Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


February 21, 2013

Dalton column: Launching of William Ballard


The “limited, feeble, anti-suffragetist” Miss Abbot had one or two more surprises. She writes of William Ballard who came “here” at the age of 17 in 1633, and that a number of the Ballards knew Roger, the Indian for whom Roger’s Brook was named. Since most early records, as shabby as they are, indicate that William Ballard arrived in Andover in 1653, we can, but need not, assume that when Charlotte Helen Abbot spoke of William Ballard being here in 1633, the “here” she spoke of was North America. As to the Indian Roger, this is a rare account of his existence outside of Cutshamache’s (the Indian on Andover’s town seal) reservation of Roger’s right to some land and the taking of alewifes from the river, but, again, it is difficult to know if Miss Abbot is playishly speculating or not. However, since we know that Roger lived in Andover at the time of its official settlement, we must inquire as to the origin of his European name.

The author of the second story, perhaps attempting to staunch speculation as to what C.H.A. meant when she spoke of William Ballard’s arrival “here,” explains that Ballard arrived in Newbury in 1646 and came to Andover in 1653,”...being the first Ballard family to settle in Andover.” The author of the second account of the “Launching of the William Ballard,” was likely Townsman editor John N. Cole, and this account is more specific in some details, stating that Miss Lucy Ballard Abbot, a descendant of William Ballard, and the sixth named Lucy, “was sponsor of the event... and made an attractive picture as she stood on the bow carrying a large bunch of daisies.” Horace Hale Smith, the ninth generation in a direct line from William Ballard, was the master of the boat, which was launched near the Andover Canoe clubhouse, not far from the Andover side of the Hartwell Abbot Bridge.

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