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215. Lot Norton Seymour

215. LOT NORTON7 SEYMOUR (Noah6, William5, John4, John3, John2, Richard1), born at New Hartford, Conn., 3 Mar. 1788, died there 27 Oct. 1844; married at New Hartford, 26 Feb. 1812, BELINDA SPENCER, born at Bristol, 4 June 1792, died at Springfield, Mass., 19 Nov. 1873, daughter of Henry and Eunice (Alling).

In personal appearance Lot Norton Seymour was tall, spare, with very black hair and eyes, and had a dark complexion. He was a farmer and millwright, but seems to have devoted more time to his books than to either his farm or mill, and more time to religion than to his books. He was a man of a sensitive, emotional and religious nature, and left behind him the record of a singularly pure and blameless life. He had a remarkable memory, and committed the entire poem of “Paradise Lost” to memory; his memorization of the poem was so perfect that he could recite all or any part of it. Even Lord Macauley, distinguished as he was for feats of memorization, was proud of having memorized “Paradise Lost.” Whether our New England student of Milton would have been better occupied tilling his stony farm than with his volume of Milton, is an open question which no one need decide.

Belinda (Spencer) Seymour, his wife, was also tall, of dark complexion, and had piercing black eyes. Her father, Henry Spencer, had marched as a boy with a company of Wallingford men to repel the British troops at New London. She was a woman of keen mind, great energy, had a trenchant and sarcastic way of speaking, and in her later years was a constant reader and greatly interested in public affairs. It was natural to a man of his temperament and idealism to break away from the political faith of his family just as he broke away from its religious faith, at least to the extent of abjuring CalVID1Sm. He became imbued with the principles of Jefferson, and transferred his allegiance to the Democrats, and in that small community and in a strong Federalist family, may be said to have “suffered accordingly.” The author has his copy of Jefferson's works in four volumes. Ultimately he became affiliated with the Whig party.

His granddaughter Mrs. Vadakin recalled him as “a very kindhearted man, always good to the children, taking us to long rambles over the fields with him,-that is, myself and Aunt Harriet, we taking turns in being carried on his back when we were too tired. He was tall and spare and very erect. I was never allowed to visit him on the Sabbath until almost dark, and then I would go out and look in at his bedroom window, and he would smile and I would run around the house and go in and be greeted very lovingly.” At one time, earlier in life, he built carding machines, traveling about the state to erect them; and mechanics were more congenial to him than farming. “He had no music in him; he said the babies would rather go to sleep than hear him try to sing.” He prayed very loud, doubtless because of his deafness. “When Uncle Alborn was buried, he rose in the church and exhorted sinners to believe.” – much to the embarrassment of his wife and family, but there was no doubt of his sincerity and zeal. “He delighted to entertain the circuit ministers. I think his last years were mostly concerned with the life to come.”

Mrs. Maria (Watson) Pinney, granddaughter of “Squire” Chauncey Seymour of New Hartford, lived there as a little girl, and remembered Lot Norton Seymour very well. She recalled him as dark and thin and very deaf. He was very pious and led the neighborhood meetings in prayer. On account of his deafness, he did not always know when to stop, and sometimes kept on after the next man had begun. His wife, Mrs. Pinney thought, was not at all pious, and unappreciative of his genius for godliness, but a woman of unusual executive capacity.

295. i. RALPH COWLES8, b. 26 Dec. 1812.
ii. HARRIET ADELINE, b. 20 Dec. 1814; d. 22 Apr. 1817 ae, 2.
296. iii. HENRY ALBERT, b. 22 Jan. 1818.
iv. ALBORN A., b. 6 Oct. 1820; d. 23 Nov. 1842 ae. 22, drowned in the Farmington River; buried at Nepaug in the old yard by the Nepash.
v. HARRIET JANE, b. 11 July 1831; d. 27 May 1871; m. 11 June 1854[?], ELISHA E.7 HAWLEY, b. 11 June 1830, d. at Fair Haven, Conn., 7 Dec. 1878, s. of Eleazer6 (Elisha5, Samuel4 Joseph3, Samuel2, Joseph1) and Lavinia (Fox). On 21 Sept. 1872 he m. (2) Frances D. Harrington, b. 10 Feb. 1835, dau. of Stewart and Rosanna (Robinson). A resident of Winsted, Conn.

The author cannot forbear to insert here a tribute to his Aunt Harriet, a tall, angular, plain, old-fashioned woman, pleasant spoken and with singularly ingratiating manners. My father, her brother, was very fond of her, and was much opposed to her marriage to Mr. Hawley, who, he felt, was not good enough for his sister.

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book/215.lot_norton.txt · Last modified: 2012/04/14 12:28 by jims