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Chapter History

Brigadier General James Brickett – Old Newbury Chapter

In 2007, the Brig. Gen. James Brickett Chapter merged with the Old Newbury Chapter.

There are 67 members and eight associate members from Florida, Arizona, Illinois, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Ohio, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

Brigadier General James Brickett Chapter

The Brigadier Gen. James Brickett Chapter was organized 1 February 1947. Its first Regent was Mrs. Mabel Mason.

Brigadier General James Brickett

The name of the chapter honors a local patriot, James Brickett, born 16 Feb 1738 in Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts. He married Edna Merrill. He died 10 Dec 1818 in Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts, and was buried in Pentucket Cemetery, Haverhill, Essex, Massachusetts. A graduate of Harvard, he set up his medical practice in Haverhill.

During the French and Indian War, he was a surgeon’s mate in the regiment of Royal Americans serving with Colonel James Frye. He served at the Battle of Ticonderoga. After the war, he returned to Haverhill until the American Revolution.

In 1774, he was elected captain of the Haverhill Militia. On 19 April 1775, he and his militia were called to join Colonel James Frye to march to the battles of Lexington and Concord. He was commissioned a Lieutenant Colonel on 17 May 1775. On 17 June 1775, he marched to join in the Battle of Bunker Hill where he was wounded early in the action. With other surgeons he repaired to the north side of the hill and continued to care for the wounded during the battle and retreat. He was also commissioned by the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts as a surgeon. (Siege of Boston, p. 176.)

In July 1776, he was commissioned a Brigadier General by the Legislature and given command of forces sent to Canada. After the Battle of Saratoga, he brought the British prisoners back to Boston to be returned to England. He returned to Haverhill and resumed his medical practice.

Brigadier General James Brickett went on to become a Selectman from 1779 to 1782. He was Haverhill’s Representative to the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in Boston, and served on the board that authorized the Commonwealth’s constitution. He was instrumental in helping to found the first fire company in Haverhill.

Old Newbury Chapter

“A History of the Old Newbury Chapter, Newburyport, Massachusetts” from the Massachusetts Daughters of the American Revolution by Anna L. Bailey
Published by Headquarters of the Daughters of the American Revolution
417 Pierce Building, Copley Square, Boston, December 1891 through December 1905.

On June 17, 1896, a large and distinguished company gathered in the spacious rooms of the historic Dalton Mansion in Newburyport, to take part in the exercises attendant upon the formation of Old Newbury Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and the presentation of its Charter, which was framed in wood taken from the frigate “Constitution.”

Dalton Mansion

The first meeting was held at the house, formerly the residence of Hannah Flagg Gould, a poet of considerable note the first half of the last century. In the ten years which have elapsed since that day, the Chapter has accomplished valuable work, of which its members are justly proud.

Its membership, beginning with sixteen, now numbers sixty, and includes descendants from Governor Dudley, Elder Brewster, Governor Hinckley, Governor Prence, Colonel Moses Little, Governor Josiah Bartlett, and others of lesser rank, but no less ardent patriotism.

Four daughters of Revolutionary Patriots have been honored members, two of whom are still living, Mrs. Jane Hill Currier and Miss Ruth I. Short. The other two are Miss Abby Short and Mrs. Lydia Lowell Pinder.

Jane Hill Currier
Amy Short

Monthly meetings from November to May have been regularly held, important papers on national and local history read, and many pleasant moments passed over the tea cups, in the social hour which always follows the literary program.

In addition to its literary work, the Chapter has contributed funds toward Continental Hall, the statue of Washington which was presented to France, the memorial for tomb of LaFayette, and memorial to Governor Roger Wolcott.

It worked actively for the comfort and welfare of the soldiers during the Spanish War, and gave money toward the support of the families of local volunteer soldiers. Much of the work usually done by the Daughters of the American Revolution, such as marking historic sites, etc., had already been done in Newburyport by the City Improvement Society and the Newbury Historical Society, but the Chapter identified several graves of Revolutionary soldiers hitherto unknown, and caused them to be suitably marked.

It annually gives the “American Monthly Magazine” to the Free Reading Room of the city, and has given framed pictures to the new Jackman School and to Dummer Academy, and a copy of the Declaration of Independence, framed in historic wood, to the High School. Books upon local history have been purchased and sent to D.A.R. headquarters, in Washington, and reading matter sent to military posts. In addition to this, the Chapter has put by a goodly sum toward the purchase of a bronze tablet to be placed in the Public Library April 19, 1906, in memory of Old Newbury’s soldiers and sailors in the Colonial and Revolutionary Wards.

The following ladies have served the Chapter as Regents: Miss Edith Russell Wills, 1896-1899; Mrs. Laurence W. Brown, 1899-1901; Mrs. Joseph E. Moddy, 1901.

Photos from the History of the Massachusetts Daughters of the American Revolution by Anna L. Bailey for the Old Newbury Chapter.