The Wainwright Family of Essex County Massachusetts

Hale Tree
Everett Tree

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The Hale and Everett Families


In 1814, Thomas Wainwright, son of Thomas and Lydia Lurvey, married Harriett Hale, and settled in the Fifth Parish at Sandy Bay (now Rockport). This family became the "other" Wainwright family on Cape Ann.  Though not related directly to our family, Harriett Hale has such an interesting background that I thought I would include her family as part of this work.  Besides, I believe that it was the Hale connection that first established the family tradition of naming children Everett.

The Hale family is one of distinction and honor in New England.  Harriett's great-great grandfather, Rev John Hale (1636-1700) was the first minister at the First Parish Church in Beverly, ordained on 20 September 1667.  He was particularly noteworthy in his involvement with the Witchcraft delusion of 1692.  He was a contemporary of the Rev. Samuel Parris of Salem Village, and was involved in many of the witch trials.  At first, he supported the prosecution of accused witches.  After his wife Sarah was accused of witchcraft, However,  Rev. Hale had a change of heart.  In 1697, after Sarah's death, he published a book "A Modest Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft",  in which he condemned those who took a leadership role in the prosecutions. 

Rev. Hale had a large family in New England.  His grandson, Richard Hale, moved to Tolland Connecticut and established his own family line in that place.  One of his children, Lt. Nathan Halewas the young Continental Army officer hanged as a spy by the British in New York in September 1776.  After graduating Yale College, Nathan began a career as teacher in Connecticut. At the outbreak of hostilities, Nathan received a commission as Lieutenant in the Continental Army and had an unremarkable military career until he one day overheard his commanding officer say he was in need of someone to spy on the British.  His friends and Commanding Officer advised him that he was much too honest to be a spy but he would not be dissuaded.  He was captured shortly after arriving in British held Long Island.  He is, arguably, one of the most famous Revolutionary War patriots; being forever remembered for his final words, "I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country."

Lt. Hale had a brother, Enoch Hale whose son Nathan  married Sarah Preston Everett of Dorchester Massachusetts in 1815.  Sarah's brother Edward Everett (1794-1865) was a Unitarian minister, a member of the House of Representatives from 1825-1835, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 1836 to 1840, Minister to England from 1841 to 1845, President of Harvard University from 1846 to 1849, US Senator from Massachusetts 1852 to 1853 and a brilliant abolitionist orator.   He is most noted for delivering an eloquent two-hour address at Gettysburg Pennsylvania in 1863 just before Abraham Lincoln delivered his immortal (and shorter) Gettysburg Address.

Nathan and Sarah had a child, Edward Everett Hale in 1822.  Edward was a Unitarian minister and for a time Chaplain of the US Senate.  He is most well known as the author of "Man without a Country", and many other works of fiction.. Edward Everett Hale was a full third cousin of Harriett Hale, and it is likely that she was aware of this connection to the Everett family.  Thus, when Harriett's grandson was born, in 1853, it seems logical that the name Everettwould come to mind to commemorate both the Senator and the Minister.  The name came into common use within both branches of the Wainwright family after that time.

The Hale Society meets each year in Beverly Massachusetts  for a reunion and to visit the church established by Reverend John Hale.  Across from the church, in a stone-fenced enclosure of the Old Burial Ground  lie the good Reverend and his family.

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