In 1821, the Annisquam woods was the scene of a murder.
millstone_sketch_2Gorham Parsons, while chopping wood, struck and instantly killed a boy of 10 years, named Eben Davis, the act being done with a hatchet. The boy had given offense by singing a song. After committing the deed Parsons took the boy on his back and carried him to the village.

Parsons was arrested and tried for murder but set up the defense that the hatchet flew, striking the boy, killing him accidentally. Although the character of the wound rendered this story highly improbable, yet from the fact that Parsons had taken the boy from the woods, he was given the benefit of the doubt and acquitted.

Years afterwards while on a fishing voyage he confessed the deed to some of the crew, declaring that he had carried the boy on his back long enough. Watching for his chance, he attached a millstone to his neck and jumped overboard.

From “The History of Gloucester,” page 315

One thought on “A tragic story from old Gloucester

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s