GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2002-09 > 1031774462
Subject: [GM-L] James Joselin son of Major Elias Joslin & Elizabeth Stearns
Date: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 16:01:02 EDT
Subject: JOSLIN, James Thomas
Source: Biographical Review
Life Sketches of Leading Citizens of Middlesex
County, Massachusetts 1898 Biographical Review
Publishing Company - Boston
"Who among men art thou, and thy years how many, good
friend? - Xenophanes.
James Thomas Joslin, senior member of the firm of J. T.
and R. E. Joslin, attorneys-at-law, offices in Hudson
and Boston, was born in Leominster, MA June 23, 1834.
He was the son of Major Elias Joslin and his wife,
Elizabeth (Stearns) Joslin, and was of the 8th generation
of his family in this country, descending from Thomas
Joslin who came with his wife, Rebecca Joslin and their
five children to America in 1635 and settled in Hingham,
MA. Thomas Joslin lived in Hingham about 15 years,
locating on land granted to him in 1637. About 1650 he
moved to Sudbury, now Wayland, MA. A few years later
he went to Lancaster, MA where his family signed the
covenant in 1654. He died 1660 leaving a will which was
probated in Middlesex County.
Nathaniel Joslin, son of Thomas, was living in Lancaster
in 1675 when the town was destroyed by the Indians, but
escaped with his wife and family to Marlboro. He died in
Marlboro in 1694 one of the richest men of that town. His
wife was Sarah King of Marlboro. Peter Joslin, Nathan-
iel's son married Miss Howe of Marlboro and settled on
the ancestral acres in Lancaster. In 1692 while he was
away from home the Indians attacked his house, killed
his wife and three children, and carried away his eldest
son, whom they afterward put to death; and they held his
wife's sister, Elizabeth Howe, captive three months,
until she was ransomed.
Peter Joslin subsequently married three times. He died
in 1759. His son, John, born at Lancaster, settled on
what was called Joslin Hill in that part of Lancaster
which became Leominster, MA, where he held a tract of
land embracing a thousand acres, and was engaged in
farming during his active life. He was Deacon in the
church in Leominster. He married Lucy Wilder who bore
him ten children.
Captain John Joslin, son of John and Lucy Joslin was the
great-grandfather of James T. Joslin, subject of this
biography. At the time of the Revolution he commanded
the Leominster company, raised to repel the forces
coming down from Canada; and he was in the battle of
Bennington, where his younger brother, Thomas Joslin
a member of the same company, was killed. Captain John
Joslin served about three years in the Continental Army.
He was Town Treasurer a number of years and he repre-
sented the district in the legislature. "He discharged
the duties of the offices he sustained, of civil, re-
ligious and military nature, with honor and faithful-
ness." He died Sept. 10, 1810, aged seventy-five. His
wife was Susanna Carter. They were married in 1757 and
they had a family of seven sons and six daughters,
twelve of whom lived to marry. Their son, Elias Joslin,
(senior) the next in this line, was born April 29, 1763
in Leominster and had a farm of three hundred acres
there. On August 23, 1787 he married Prudence Lincoln
b. April 20, 1768. He died Dec. 10, 1824. She died
Jan. 16, 1848.
Their son, Major Elias Joslin, father of James T. Joslin
subject of this sketch, was born Nov. 10, 1795, in
Leominster, MA and was educated in the common schools of
that town. He owned one of the best and most extensive
farms in Leominster, since then purchased for a town
farm and was engaged in the pursuit of agriculture most
of his life. He also had an extensive lumber business.
He was a Webster Whig. When only seventeen years of age,
he was a member of the Leominster Artillery, which was
called into service at South Boston during the War of
1812. Subsequently becoming interested in the State
volunteer militia, he enlisted as a private and rose to
the rank of Major. He married Elizabeth Stearns dau of
Levi Stearns of Lunenburg, MA. She was born Nov. 17,
1799 and died at the age of eighty-seven. Both were
members of the Unitarian Church. They had a family of
ten children; namely: William Stearns Joslin, Charles
Loring Joslin, John Elias Joslin, Francis Lincoln Joslin,
Mary Elizabeth Joslin, George Warren Joslin, James
Thomas Joslin, Martha Ann Joslin, George Clesson Joslin
and Ellen Louisa Joslin.
William Stearns Joslin b. Jan 22, 1820 resided in Arcola
Illinois where he was one of the two early settlers.
Charles Loring Joslin b. Jan 12, 1823 carried on an
extensive horn and shell business in Leominster. He d.
Jan 2 1893.
John Elias Joslin b. Aug 1, 1825 lived in Chesterfield,
Francis Lincoln Joslin b. Jan 9, 1828 d. Dec. 22, 1860.
Mary Elizabeth Joslin b. May 16, 1830 m. Nathaniel Thom,
on Sept. 21, 1852. She was a widow residing in Haverhill
MA in 1898.
George Warren Joslin b. Mar 9, 1832 d. Oct 28, 1835.
Martha Ann Joslin b. Feb. 13, 1837, was married to
William B. Tisdale on Dec. 4. 1878 and lived in Leominst-
George Clesson Joslin b. Aug 19, 1839, was Captain of
Company F, 15th MA Regiment in the Peninsular campaign
and wounded twice at Antietam. At Gettysburg he was
Lieutenant Colonel in command, though not twenty four
years old. Taken by the Confederates at Mine Run battle,
he was confined three or four months in Libby Prison;
and later, with others, he was put under fire at
Charleston to protect the city. He was not released
until after the close of the war. Colonel Joslin was
subsequently employed for a number of years in the
custom-house of Boston. He resided in Roxbury, MA.
Ellen Louisa Joslin b. July 16, 1842 was a graduate of
the State Normal School at Salem, class of 1861 (July).
At the Normal School her classmate and friend was Miss
Boutwell, only daughter of the former Governor Boutwell
then a member of Congress. Miss Joslin was for some
years employed as governess having charge of the children
of prominent American families at home and abroad and
was for a time assistant teacher and manager of a private
school for children. In later years she was manager of
the great house of Admiral Hovey of Boston.
James Thomas Joslin entered the Leominster High School
in 1852 in the first fall term of the school. He took
the classical course, under Master Josiah Phillips, a
Yale graduate; and during his last year he was a teacher
in the school. After completing his studies, he taught
four or five winters in Leominster. Entering the
Lawrence Academy, Groton, MA he there fitted for college
in two years, a year short of the regular time. He then
went home and undertaking the business of management of
the farm, succeeded in extricating his father from
financial difficulties. In the spring of 1857 he too up
the study of law with the Hon. Charles H. Merriam of
Leominster; and after remaining with him somewhat over
a year, he studied two years in the office of the late
Nathaniel Wood, of the law firm of Wood & Bailey in
Fitchburg, MA. Admitted to the bar June 19, 1860 he
opened an office in Feltonville (now Hudson) the follow-
ing August. In 1865 he wrote the first articles
agitating the incorporation of Feltonville and vicinity
into a new town, and he was chosen one of the committee
of three to manage the matter. He was counsel of the
committee. The lst petition asked for the formation
of the town from two counties and four towns. Hudson
was incorporated in 1866 and two years later a part of
Bolton was annexed. Mr. Joslin was on the committee
from the beginning and in the matter of annexing part of
Bolton he was counsel for the petitioners. He was one
of the petitioners for the Central MA Railroad and was
employed in 1879 as counsel to present to the legislative
committeethe matter of extending the railroad from Stony
Brook to the Boston & Lowell road. This project was
bitterly opposed by the Fitchburg Railroad Company, but
after a short contest was carried. That same session
Mr. Joslin was employed to advocate a change of law for
the farmers of the State relative to fencing land on
railroad lines. The measure was opposed by all the
important railroads of the State; but the committee
reported the bill, and it became a law. Mr. Joslin had
achieved distinguished success in his profession and
secured a number of important decisions before the full
He was a Justice of the Peace. In 1864 he was apptd
Postmaster of Hudson. He was one of the incorporators
of the Hudson Savings Bank (one of its vice-presidents.)
He was counsel for the First National Bank of Hudson.
He married Anna Catharine Burrage, daughter of John
Burrage of Charlestown, MA. They had two children:
Ralph Edgar Joslin b. Aug 26, 1864 and Nellie Watson
Joslin wife of Arthur C. Lamson of Marlboro.
Ralph Edgar Joslin graduated from Tufts College in 1886
In 1889 he became his father's partner. He married
Fanny Melissa Davis of Hudson.
James T. Joslin was a Mason in Melrose. He was Past
Eminent Commander of Trinity Commandery, K.T. of Hudson;
was 1st Noble Grand of Hudson Lodge, No. 154, I. O. O. F.;
and a member of King David Encampment of Fitchburg; was
Grand Master of the State in 1880; and representative
to the Sovereign Grand Lodge in 1881 and 1882. He was
on the committee of the Unitarian Church and superinten-
dent of the Sunday School for a number of years.
In Jan. 1865 he was called to Washington and a number
of relatives and friends of Capt. Burrage (a schoolmate
of his own) who was in the hands of the Confederates,
asked him to try to obtain the Captain's exchange.
Mr. Joslin on reaching Washington called on Representative
former governor Boutwell who introduced him to Governor
Rice and in company with the latter gentleman and Senator
Wilson, Mr. Joslin called on the President. It was his
good fortune to be with Mr. Lincoln alone in his private
office for nearly an hour. President Lincoln referred
to the Lincoln family in the east and Mr. Joslin mentioned
that his paternal grandmother was a Lincoln. The Presi-
dent was pleased and insisted on his staying with him
another half hour, though many were waiting. As a
result of the interview the papers in the Burrage case
brought to Mr. Lincoln by his private secretary, Colonel
Hay, were given to Mr. Joslin and he was authorized to
go to the Adj.General as a messenger from the President.
The Adj. General signed the order for Burrage's release
and in two weeks Capt. Burrage was restored to his rank
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth