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497 men signed the oath,
31 were loyal to the King

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By Charles W. Brewster

Editors Note: C.W. Brewster was a Portsmouth columnist in the mid-1800's. This article includes his opinions and may not reflect current research or current values.

The Association Test of 1776.

THE Declaration of the Independence of the United States was well ascertained to be the voice of the people, before it was signed in the Congress at Philadelphia on the 4th of July, 1776. On the recommendation made by Congress, March 14, 1776, the signatures of the people were obtained to an obligation to oppose the hostile proceedings of the British fleets and armies. The fullness of the returns gave the signers of the Declaration assurance that their acts would be sanctioned and sustained by the country. We give below a document from the Secretary of State's office, which shows all the names of the citizens of Portsmouth in 1776, and the position in which they stood in regard to the Revolution. It will be seen that while four hundred and ninety-seven signed the Association test, thirty-one were either absent or refused to sign. Of the latter, fifteen were reported as "being notoriously disaffected to the common cause." The Test list is headed by the name of Meshech Weare. We have arranged the names alphabetically, for convenience of readers.

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The Patriot Test

To the Selectmen and Committee of the Town of Portsmouth: COLONY OF NEW-HAMPSHIRE, In Committee of Safety, April 12th, 1776. In order to carry the underwritten Resolve of the Hon. Continental Congress into execution, you are requested to desire all Males above twenty-one years of age (lunaticks, idiots, and negroes excepted,) to sign to the Declaration on this paper; and when so done, to make return hereof, together with the name or names of all who shall refuse to sign the same, to the General Assembly, or Committee of Safety of this Colony. M. WEARE, Chairman.

In Congress, March 14, 1776.
Resolved, That it be recommended to the several Assemblies, Conventions, and Councils, or Committees of Safety of the United Colonies, immediately to cause all persons to be disarmed, within their respective Colonies, who are notoriously disaffected to the cause of America, or who have not associated and refuse to associate, to defend by arms, the United Colonies, against the hostile attempts of the British Fleets and Armies. Extract from the minutes. CHARLES THOMPSON, Sec'y.

In consequence of the above Resolution, of the Hon. Continental Congress, and to shew our Determination in joining our American Brethren, in defending the Lives, Liberties, and Properties of the Inhabitants of the United Colonies:

We the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with Arms, oppose the hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American Colonies.

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These white Male Portsmouth Citizens Signed

Amos Abbett
William Abbott
William Adams
Simeon Akerman
Nahum Akerman
John Akerman
Joseph Akerman
Walter Akerman
Barnet Akerman
Benjamin Akerman
Joseph Allcock
William Appleton
Samuel Aris
James Arnold
Benjamin Austin, Jr.
Jona. Austin
Edward Ayers
Thomas Ayers
George Ayers
Thomas Ayers
Joseph Ayers
Perkins Ayers
Jonathan Ayers
John Ayer
Samuel Ball
Peter Ball
Samuel Ball, Jr.
Charles Banfill
Joseph Banfill
John Banfill
Tobias Banfill
John Bartlett
Joseph Bass
Samuel Beck
Andrew Beck
John Beck
John Beck, Jr.
William Beck
Samuel Beck
Joseph Benson
Thomas Bickford
Henry Bickford
Benjamin Bigelow
Abner Blasdel
Samuel Bowles
Thomas Bowles
Joseph Boyd
Joshua Brackett
Caleb Brewster
David Brewster
William Brewster
Moses Brewster
Daniel Brewster
Samuel Briard
John Briard
Joseph Brotten
Benjamin Brotten
John Broten
Edm. Butler
James Byan
David Call
Benj. G. Carter
Henry Carter
Samuel Cate
Samuel White Cate
William Cate, Jr.
Richard Champney
Benjamin Chandler
William Chiles
Jeremiah Claney
Supply Clap
Thomas Clark
Joseph Clark
Josiah Clark
John Clarke
James Clarkson
Philaneon Colbdor
John Collins
Richard Cotten
William Cotton
William Cotton, Jr.
Nathaniel Cotton
Thomas Cotton
Joseph Cotton
Joshua Crocket
Caleb Currier
Thomas Currier
Samuel Cutts
A. R. Cutter
Samuel Dalling
Theodore Dame
George Dame
Joseph Damrell
Ruben Danil
Eliphalet Daniell
John Davenport
Edmund Davis
Daniel Davis
John Davis
Edward Dempsey
John Dennett
Ephraim Dennett
Jeremiah Dennett
Nathaniel Dennett
John Dennett
George Doig
Richard Dolly
James Drisco
Samuel Drowne
John Dudley
John Dury
James Dwyer
Abraham Elliot
Richard Elliot
Stephen Evans
Richard Evans
Daniel Evans
James Fall
Richard Falpey, Jr.
Moses Feren
Mark Fernald
Gilbert Fernald
Richard Fitzgerald
Gershom Flagg
Nath'l Folsom
Nath'l Folsom
Luke Foster
Michael Fouler
James Frisbee
Michael Frost
John Frost
Rendal Furnald
John Furnald
William Furnell
Robert Furniss
Thomas Gaines
George Gains
William Gale
John Gardner
Wm. Gardner
Henry Gardner
George Gebon
William Gibbs
James Gooch
John Gooch
Nathaniel Gookin
Daniel Grant
John Grant
John Greenleaf
Alex. Greenlan
John Gregory
Nath'l S. Griffith
James Grouard
Ezekiel Gumdier
Wm. Gunnison
John Gunnison
Josiah Haines
Samuel Hall
George Ham
Samuel Ham
Samuel Ham, Jr.
Ephraim Ham
Timothy Ham
William Ham
William Ham, Jr.
Joseph Ham
Samuel Ham
Thomas Hart
George Hart
George Hart, Jr.
James Hart
John Hart, 3d
John Hart, Jr.
Daniel Hart
Richard Hart
Edward Hart
Robert Hart
William Hart
Richard Harvey
James Haslett
Matthew Haslett
Samuel Haven
Samuel Haven, Jr.
Thomas Hayley
Hugh Henderson
Dennis Hight
James Hight
Elisha Hill
James Hill
Samuel Hill
Charles Hodgdon
Benjamin Hodgdon
Phineas Hodgdon
Thomas Hodgson
Abiah Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook
Robert Holmes
Jeremiah Homes
William Homes
George S. Homans
John Hooker
John Hooper
Leaverett Hubbard
Enoch Huntress
Jonathan Huntress
Samuel Hutchings
John Hutchins
George Hull
William Hunt
William Hunt
Joseph Jackson
Clement Jackson
Hall Jackson
George Jackson
Samuel Jackson
Richard Jackson
John Jackson
Daniel Jackson
Daniel Jackson, Jr.
Nath'l Jackson, Sr.
Nath'l Jackson, Jr.
Ebenezer Janvrin
George Janvrin
William Jenkins
Alexander Jones
James Jones
James Jones
Joshua Jones
Peter Kennison
George King
George King, Jr.
James P. King
Richard Kitsson
Temple Knight
Wm. Knight
Paul Laighton
Samuel Langdon
Samuel Langdon, Jr.
William Langdon
John Langdon
Richard Langdon
Joseph Langdon
John Langdon
John Langdon
Daniel Lang
Mark Lang
John Lang
James Lang
Henry Lang
John Lang
Nathaniel Lang
Josiah Leach
Joseph Leach
Nathaniel Lear
Benjamin Lear
Samuel Lear
Tobias Lear
Thomas Leigh
Joseph Leigh
John Leina
John Lewis, Jr.
George Libby
Jeremiah Libbey
Pierse Long
John Lord
Joseph Lowd
Edward Lowd
Joseph Low
Daniel Lunt
David Maclure
John Mackmahawn
Benjamin Mackay
Peter Man
Thomas Manning
Clement March
Thomas Marden
Israel Marden
John Marden
James Marden
George Marshall
George Marshall, Jr.
John Marshall, Sr.
John Marshall, Jr.
Obden,r Marshall
William Marshall
Thomas Martin
William Martin
Francis Massuerre
George Massey
Hugh McBride
A. McIntyre
James McInter
Thomas Mead
Stephen Meeds
John Melcher
John Melcher
James Melcher
Nathaniel Melcher
Nathaniel Mendum
Benj. Miller, Jr.
Moses Miller
Richard Mills
Jacob Mills
John Moffatt
Richard Monson
Thomas Moses
Theodore Moses
Samuel Moses
James Moses
Nabad Moses
John Moses
Aaron Moses
Joseph Moulton
Timothy Mountford
Nath'l Mucharmore
Robert Neall
Mark Nelson
William Nelson
Leader Neson
Benj. Newmarch
John Noble
Mark Noble
Joseph Norris
Samuel Norris
John Norton
Henry Nutter
Valentine Nutter
Henry Nutter
Samuel Oakes
Thomas Palmer, Jr.
William Palmen
William Parker
William Parker
John Parker
Benj. Partridge
William Patridge
William Pearry
Thomas Peirce
Thomas Peirce, Jr.
John Peirce
Daniel Peirce
Noah Peirce
Philip Pendexter
Edward Pendexter
John Penhallow
Samuel Penhallow
R. Wibird Penhallow
A. Pepperill
William Peverly
Kinsman Peverly
John Pickering
Nath'l Pike
John Pike
John Pike
Thomas Pillar
Ezekiel Pitman
Joseph Pitman
John Pitman
Noah Pitman
John Pope
James Priest
G. Purcell
Jonathan Quint
Benjamin Reed
George Reed
John Reid
William Richards
Robert Robertson
Thomas Ransom
Moses Ross
Nehemiah Rowell
Charles Rundletts
Thomas Sawyer
Jonah Savage
John Savage
Henry Seaward
Giles Seaward
Shackford Seaward
Joseph Seaward
John Seaward
Mark Seavey
John Seavey
Thomas Seavey
Samuel Servise
Joseph Simes
Nathaniel Shannon
Ruben Shapley
Richard Sharman
Joseph Shaw
John Sherburne
Henry Sherburne
Thomas Sherburne
Andrew Sherburne
Thos. Sherburne, Jr.
William Sherburne
Nathaniel Sherburne
John Sherburne
George Sherburne
D. Sherburne
Sam'l Sherburne
Nath'l Sherburne
Edw'd Sherburn
John Sheafe, Jr.
Jacob Sheafe, Sen.
Samuel Sherref
Jona. Shillaber
Joseph Shillaber
Peter Shores
Peter Shores, Jr.
James Shores
James Shores, Jr.
William Shores
John Showers
Samuel Slade
Ruben Snell
Keith Spence
Wm. Stanwood
John Stavers
Cotton M. Stevens
James Stoodly, Jr.
Gupey Stoodley
James Studely
James Swett
David Swett
John Swett
Stephen Sumner
Richard Tarlton
James Tarlton, Jr.
Samuel Thompson
E. Thompson
William Thompson
John Thompson
Thomas Thompson
Jacob Tilton
Daniel Towle
Jacob Treadwell
Nath'l Treadwell, Jr.
Charles Treadwell
W. E. Treadwell
Nath'l Treadwell
Samuel Tripe
Richard Trusdel
William Trefthen
John Tuckerman
John Tuckerman, Jr.
Joseph Tucker
George Turner
John Varrel
William Vaughan
William Walden
John Walden
Thomas Walden
George Waldron
Gideon Walker
Joseph Walker
Wm. Walker
Daniel Walker
Mark Walker
Tobias Walker
Samuel Walker
Tobias Warner
Nahum Ward
Richard Ware
Samuel Waters
Charles Waters
George Waters
Samuel Waterhouse
Timothy Watson
Meschech Weare
Joseph Weeks
Benjamin Welch
William Welch
John Wendell
George Wentworth
Joshua Wentworth
H. Wentworth
John Wheelwright
Michael Whidden
Joseph Whidden
Samuel Whidden
J. Whipple
John White
William White
Richard White
P. White
Nathan White
James Whiteaker
Zebulon Wiggin
John Williams
Richard Wilson
William Wilson
Joseph Winkall
Richard Woods
Moses Woodward
William Yeaton
Robert Yeaton

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These Men Didn't Sign the Articles

Pursuant to an order to us directed by the Committee of Safety of this State, we have waited on every person in town, and have tendered them the association for signing, and do herewith return the said association, and the names of those who have refused to sign the same, viz.

Noah Parker
Isaac Rindge
Stephen Weeks
Chase Freeze
Jos. Stacy Hastings
Theodore Atkinson
James Sheafe
Stephen Little
William Torrey
William Hart
Maj. Samuel Hale
Cotton Palmer
John Peirce
Moses Noble
John Eliot
John Moore
Thomas Armet
Alford Butler
Eleazer Russell
Samuel Gardner
George Jaffrey
Mark H. Wentworth
Daniel Warner
Jona. Warner
John Sherburne
Samuel Waters, Jr.
John Campbell
Richard Tucker
Giles Pickett
Daniel Rogers, absent, at Nottingham;
Peter Pearse, absent, at Newington.

Portsmouth, 14th August, 1776.
By order of the Committee.
H. WENTWORTH, Chairman.
GEORGE GAINS, )Selectmen.

While some of those who refused to sign were English in sentiment and too strongly attached to the mother country to rebel, others there were who were willing that a revolution should take place, but would not risk the chance of their offices or business by taking a part in the rebellion, fearing the consequences, should it prove a failure. Nearly all who held office under the crown refused to sign the test. The case of Jonathan Warner may be that of some others. Warner was a Commissary under the crown, and of course classed with the tories. In his keeping were some of the munitions of war, which the patriots needed. The Sons of Liberty, before whom the sign of the Earl of Halifax fell, waited on Warner, and demanded the keys of the store house, which was on Church hill, where Robinson's store now stands. With all the sternness of an official he said: "What right have you to make such a demand? The keys are my private property, I will not give them up to any body; but if you break in my door, what can I do?" The hint was taken, the door broken open, and the munitions of war removed. The Commissary did not perhaps regret the proceeding, by opposing which his reputation as an officer did not suffer with his sovereign. The next day he met one of the patriots, and remarked: "What do you think! they broke open my store last night and I should not be surprised if they do it again to-night."

Text scanned courtesy of The Brewster Family Network
Copy of Rambles courtesy Peter E. Randall
History Hypertext project by
Design Copyright © 2000

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