Facts and Events
During my research for Jacksons in early New Jersey I ran onto a story or poem that just begs to be posted. The book was a history of Dover and Rockaway, New Jersey, it's very early founding. There were only a VERY few settlers in the area at the time and one whole page prior to this poem was given to the struggle to build and establish the first church in the area. Then comes this poem on page 53:
AUNT ABIGAIL'S MEETING
Aunt Abigail Jackson was very devout.
And this is the story that comes down about
This old-fashioned saint—'tis an anecdote quaint,
Well attested, it seems, without mythical taint.
The Rockaway folks—seventeen fifty-nine --
Decided to ask all their neighbors to "Joyn" (jine)
And set up a Meeting House handy for all,
Above Beman's Forge, near a brook that was small.
They called the inhabitants of Rockaway,
Pigeon Hill, Horse Pound, Meriden, Denmark, they say,
Franklin, Dover and Berkshire and further away,.
To meet and consult on a place that would suit.
Where a new Meeting House would be sure to take root.
It soon was agreed, so with zeal they began
To lay the foundations and work out the plan.
So eager they were the first meetings to hold
They began with loose boards laid on beams, we are told.
But interest waned, and soon meetings were few.
Till one faithful soul started things up anew:
Aunt Abigail Jackson was so filled with zeal
That she held a grand meeting which made its appeal.
What though floors were lacking, no parson in sight.
Though side walls and ceiling were in sorry plight,
She just sat on a beam and sang hymns; she could sing
Like a bird; but no bell was yet ready to ring
And no organ led off.
When the neighbors inquired,
"Who all was at meeting?" Aunt Abbie said,
"Three - The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—me;
That makes four!—a good meeting as could be desired!"
More came the next time; so folks, in that day,
On the beams held their meetings in old Rockaway.
This was Abigail Mitchell, wife of Benjamin Jackson. It is interesting to put this with the story of her husband Benjamin leading the singing in the Rockaway Church http://www.jacksonfamilygenealogy.com/pages/bioBenjaminJacksonbyVirgilAllen.htm.
- ↑ Jackson, P. A. Jackson Ledger. (1887), 11.
- ↑ Robbins, Oscar Burton. History of the Jackson family of Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y., Ohio and Indiana: descendants of Robert and Agnes Washburn Jackson. (Loveland, Colo.: Robbins, 1951), 20, 21, 22.