Taking the Trade: Depositions

Below you will find transcripts of all depositions that survive in the criminal case files for the prosecutions that occurred after Sarah Grosvenor’s death—between Nov. 1745 and March 1747. The transcripts were made by Cornelia H. Dayton. They largely replicate the capitalization, punctuation, and abbreviations used in the original, handwritten documents. It was typical for the scribe taking down the testimony to abbreviate names that had already been mentioned, so that for example, Zirviah became Zir__. Because of the welter of names and kinfolk here, we have hyperlinked names to the Biographies page. Links to biographies are red. Original underscoring appears in black.

You can look at the image of an original document by clicking the link found in Testimony #4 below (Testimony of Hannah Grosvenor with Zerviah Grosvenor, etc.)

If you have time to read only a few of these documents, we recommend reading, in this order: #2, Zerviah Grosvenor; #6, Abigail Nightingale; and #3, John Grosvenor.

Readers should be aware of the following, standard 18th-century abbreviations used in these documents: ye =the, yt = that, yy = they, sd. = said (meaning previously mentioned), wn = when, wch = which, wh & wth = with, tho’t = thought, acco = account, Ms. or Mrs.= Mistress, Ans. = Answer, &c = etcetera. Remember that spellings had not been standardized by the 1740s; educated folk might spell idiosyncratically, inconsistently, or phonetically at times. Square brackets indicate the transcriber’s interpolations or explanations.

Document Source: Windham County Superior Court Files (1726-1908), Box 172, Record Group 3, Archives, History, and Genealogy Unit, Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.


(1) Testimony of Sarah and Silence Sessions

(2) Testimony of Zerviah Grosvenor

(3) Testimony of John Grosvenor

(4) Testimony of Hannah Grosvenor with Zerviah Grosvenor, plus testimony of Zerviah alone, and of Zebulon Dodge, Elizabeth Grosvenor, Alexander Sessions, Jonathan Shaw, and Rebecca Sharp

(5) Additional Testimony of Hannah Grosvenor

(6) Testimony of Abigail Nightingale

(7) Deposition of Anna Wheeler

(8) Deposition of Ebenezer Grosvenor

(9) Deposition of [Dr.] Parker Morse of Woodstock


(1) Testimony of Sarah and Silence Sessions

  • undated; probably given in Nov. 1745 to the Inferior Court held in the Pomfret meetinghouse; this testimony is written on the back of a summons for witnesses to that court
  • Sarah and Silence were sisters-in-law of Amasa Sessions; Silence Thayer had married Amasa’s older brother Alexander in January 1740/41, and Sarah Dana married Amasa’s younger brother Simeon in March 1744; thus they were probably both in their 20s

Sarah Sessions Testifyeth That She was at Capt Grosrs‘ In The Time of Sarah Gross Sickness sometime in July 1742 & She was Then not well, & ye Ww Eliz. Gros came in & Told yt Doct Hollowell was at Mr Cheney’s, with That Zerviah G____ went in Great Haste after the Doct) & Bro’t The Doct back with her, Wn The Doct Came Sarah Desired us wo: were in the room to go out, & we all went out & Left The Doc & She together alone; & after the Doct came out they came out of Ye West room into ye East Room, & She followed him out, & said to him Do you think Doct you can help me, & he Answered Yes, Yes Child, I Beleive I can; but I am going as far as Mr Waldo’s & I’ll come back too:night & Then I’ll Do Something for you, ys was Just at Night, & Mrs Hannah Gros__ & Zerviah went together ^wh Sarah down to John Gros’s– & Then Zirviah Gross Got up a horse & went away, was gone Some time, & wn she Returned She Said she had seen Amasa Sessions, & That he said he would come There That Evening; & She came ^accordingly, & She Told him Sarah G___ was down at Jno Gr___ & He went away: Next Morning I Asked Zir__ how Sa– did & She Told me she was very poor, & That Doct Holowell & Amasa Session had been There all night with her, & She came home The next day in the Forenoon, Hannah & Zir__ came home with Sarah [carroted above: her–].

Silence Sessions, Testifyeth That Zirviah Grsr came up some time of a Saturday in an afternoon, like a person hurried, she Then gave some Acco. respecting her Sister Sarah’s having an Untimely birth, but Whether she was in a Right mind or no she can’t say — but seemeth most likely to her she was not. — but They went out together, & she asked Zir___ whether Sarah had a Child or no She said Yes; & who was with her, & She said Couzin Hannah & I, & I asked her what They did with it, & She Said They carried & Buried it in the Bushes, & I Said To her how could you do it, I could not, she said I don’t Know, The Devil was in us, & Then I had ye first fit I Ever had.


(2) Testimony of Zerviah Grosvenor

  • undated
  • Zerviah was Sarah’s next older sister. She was born in June 1721 and thus was 21 at the time of Sarah’s death, and age 25 in 1746.
  • She married Samuel Lyon in Oct. 1748 at the age of 27.

Zerviah Grosvenor testifyeth & saith that being in discourse with my late Sister Sarah Some time in the Month of July before her death and being Suspicious that She was with Child I askd her whether it was so which She declined owning & went away Sorrowful, and in a day or two after She was taken sick and as we apprehended was in danger of a fever: and hearing that Doctor Hallowell was at one of our Neighbours my Mother desired me to go and Call him, which being done he came along with me to See her; I told D: Hollowell I feared She was with Child, which i[f] it was true I desired him to know of her & not Give her any thing that should harm her; he being Come to the house desired all Save my Sd: Sister to leave the Room which we did: and immediately on his Coming out told me She was not with Child; but my Suspition continuing I urged him Several times while he was with her that Day to let me know it if it was so, but he declared as often that there was nothing in it. ___ he also told her that She need not keep house, and moved her going downe to Cozen John Grosvenors, which She did, I also going down with her. and we tarrying there ’till evening, he advised her not to go home that night, on which I left her there with the doctor and returned home. Soon after which Mr. Sessions Came to our house and inquiring after her, I told him where She was on which he went down to her. and as I perceived they Stayed there that night together but what was done I know not. the next Day my sd: Sister Came home and was not well; a few Days after which I asked her again whether she was not urged with Child & urged her to let me know if it was so, telling her the sooner it was known the better on which She began to Cry, & owned it was true, then I asked her why She did not let me know it before, She answered because She had been taking trade to remove it; I asked her why She did so telling her that I thought the last error was worse then the first; I also asked her how long it was Since She began to take the trade, she answered ever Since She knew it was so. I asked her where She had the trade She Said of Doctor Hollowell and that Sessions was of mind to have her take it, Soon after which Mr. Sessions Came to See her; and I informed him what my Sister had told me, letting him know that I was Sorry for what had happened and advising them immediately to Marry and not any farther to take any unlawful measures, asking him why they had taken the Method they had. to which he replyed because he was afraid of his Parnets and that they would always make their lives uncomfortable. then I asked him whether he thought it was not his Child, or whether he did not design to have her to which he answered he had not the least suspicion but that it was his and that he designed to marry her if they lived, and they immediately agreed to be published the Sabbath following but that not being done the Sabbath evening Mr: Session Came again to See her and brought Some trade with him, and on enquiring in the reasons of its being neglected & his pretending to give any thing more to make her Miscarry, and my opposing the Same Mr. Sessions said that Both he & the Doctor thought it was necessary to give her more, or they were afraid She would be greatly hurt by what was already done; Soon after which he took a paper of powder out of his pockett and perswading prevailed with her to take Some of it and Carried off the rest, telling me that he would see that She took it himself for that Hallowell said he had given sufficient before to have done the Business had not either She or my Self thrown it away. ___ A little after which said Doctor Hallowell Came to John Grosvenor, and according to the best of my remembrance sent up one of their Children to Call my sd. Sister down and little after She was gone I went down after her and found them together and presently on it the doctor desired her to go into a Room With him, and some time after they had been together, the doctor Calld in Cozen Hannah, and immediately they desired me to bring in some Cold water for that my Sister was faint, which I immediately got and Carried in asking them what was the Matter, and they gave me to understand that he (viz the Doctor) had made an Attempt to deliver her, and likewise informed me that he had taken away done that which would make it necessary for the Child to Come away. and that her Circumstances were such as made it needful for him to proceed. Soon after which I left the Room; and on Coming in again perceived by their discourse that he had made another Attempt upon her. Some time after which she returned home and within a day or two Miscarryed having at the Same time an ague fit, after which She revived and Seemed Considerable Comfortable for a few Days and then was Seized with a fever violent Pain in one of her Limbs and an ague fit, and on it followed a fever which with Sundry of Sd. fits Continued for the Space of about four or five weeks and then She died—–all which the deponent declares to be the truth

[signature] Zerviah Grosvenor


(3) Testimony of John Grosvenor

  • undated
  • John was 31 in 1742 and been married to Hannah (see testimony #4) for 9 years; four of their 7 children had been born by 1742; John Grosvenor was the son of one of Captain Leicester Grosvenor’s younger brothers, and thus a first cousin of Sarah and Zerviah; John at some point in his adult life was chosen a Captain in the militia

John Grosvenor of Lawful age testifieth that Sumetime in the month of august in the year 1742 I heard that Sarah Grosvenor was with Child and I went to Se her I beleave the first day of her keeing [keeping] house and I asked her whether She was not with child and She told me in a Sorrofull mannar that She was and I asked her who it was by and She said it was by Amasa Sessions and I asked her whether She had been takeing of trade to destroy it and She Said that She had and I asked her why She did and She Said because Sessions So very earnestly perswaided her and I asked her where Sessions got the trade that he brought her to take and She Said from docter hollowel and that by his direction and I See hollowel a little time after and I asked why he gave Sarah Grosvenor trade to destroy her Child and to do with her as he did and he said because Sessions Came to him and was So very earnest with him and offered him five pounds if he would do it but he Said he would have twenty of of him before he had done and I went after Said docter to providence a few days before the young woman died and hollowel thought that She woul not live he Seam,d very much to lament that he Should be perswaid by Sessions to do as he had done

Back of the sheet:
and on further thinking I remember in the descorce aforesaid I ask’d sd hollawell whether or not that sessions hers w of his new of his doing what he did at my house before he did it and he gave me to understand that he did before ever he did any thing to sd Sarah and was at Mr Waldoes to hear the event


(4) Testimony of Hannah Grosvenor with Zerviah Grosvenor, plus testimony of Zerviah alone, and of Zebulon Dodge, Elizabeth Grosvenor, Alexander Sessions, Jonathan Shaw, and Rebecca Sharp

Click here to see the first page of testimony.

  • undated
  • three pages of a single folded sheet
  • the underscoring in Hannah’s testimony was probably done by a lawyer or judge either to indicate what was acceptable as evidence OR to demarcate the part of Hannah’s testimony which Zerviah Grosvenor could also swear to; the words penned in above the original line clearly represent Zerviah’s version of this testimony
  • Hannah Grosvenor was a “cousin” of Sarah and Zerviah by marriage; as Hannah Dresser, she had married Sarah’s and Zerviah’s cousin John Grosvenor (see Testimony #3) in 1733
  • town records indicate that Elizabeth Grosvenor was the widow of Thomas Grosvenor; Thomas was the youngest brother of Leicester Grosvenor, and thus Elizabeth was Sarah’s and Zerviah’s aunt
  • Alexander Sessions was one of Amasa’s brothers; aged 28 in the summer of 1742, Alexander had been married to Silence (see Testimony #2) for a little more than a year
  • Jonathan Shaw, a married, 38-year-old householder in Pomfret, was another first cousin of Sarah and Zerviah Grosvenor; his mother was Leicester Grosvenor’s sister
  • Rebecca Sharp of Pomfret was the wife of Isaac Sharp; she was born Rebecca Church and married Isaac in 1744; the context of her account suggests that the recounted conversation with Zerviah Grosvenor took place either in October 1745 or October 1746.

Hannah Grosvenour Declared That Sometime In The month of July she was Told by Sarah Grosvenour that She was with Child, & I knew but little more about it, but in the Latter End of July or beginning of August 1742, Doct. John Hollowel came to The House where The sd Hannah Dwells, and Desired The Liberty of a room or Chamber, wch was granted him, he Saying he was weary & wanted Rest, & accordingly he went into the room alone, & Some little time after, The Sd. Sarah came into the House while he was There alone, wch he perceiving, soon came out, & after some private Conference together between them, The Sd. Hollowel & Sarah, went into the room together, and Shutt the Door &fastenes it; & after they had been in a Little while, he came to the Door, & Desired me [written above “me”: Hannah] to come in, and I wnet in & was much Surprized & Imediately called Zirviah Grosvenour who was [written above: her to come] in the other room, to come in, and found her sd Sarah lying on the Bed very faint, and We Enquired what was the Matter, [written above: & was Surprized & fetched some water] and he Gave us to understand, that he had been making an Attempt on the Body of Sd Sarah To Take the child of wch She was Then ^pregnant away from her, and I [written above: Hannah] Opposed it with as much Zeal as I [written above: she] was capable off, & he replied to me [written above: her] it was of Necessity to be done, for he said She ^had taken so much Trade to Destroy ye Child, yt. now if It was not taken away it would Destroy her Life, and (according to The Best of my remembrance) he used a further force upon her while I was by, and he Sett me to hold a bottle of Drops Att[illegible] her Nose & ye Doct Gave her drops & she revived and he said he had done so much to her, as would Cause the Birth of The Child in a Little time; This was in the after part of The Day, & before ^the Sun was down she went home, & her Sister Zirviah [written above: she & I] went home together to her [written above: our] Father’s house; and I Think The next day or Day after She was Delivered of an Untimely Birth, because I was called In by Zirviah aforesd to her Sd.Sarah, and [written above: for] I found her very ill, [written above: & went to Call Hannah Grosr] and a Child which I Saw, yt I conclude come from her, none Else being in the room Ill, & I am not Certain of any Else There beside sd Zirviah [written above: Hannah] who came to call me [written above: with me]; & Zirviah Told me, when She came to me That she Tho’t she sd Sarah [written above: & wn I went away to call Hannah] would be quickly delivered; and by the Appearance of The Child, wch was not half So large as Children commonly are when Born, & the place where I saw it was in a Common Chamber pot, & The Child with all yt belonged to it did not half fill it; & The Child did not Appear to have any Life In it, & it Seemed by The Scent from The Child That it had been hurt & was decaying; and We took The child wrped it up & conveyed it away and Buryed it; I am not certain whether I can find The place, It was in Capt Grosvenour [written above: Our Father’s] wood Land; and She remained for Seven or Eight days in a mending way, & was so as to go down into the Lower room & walk about, and Then was Taken very Sick & Died about month after; & Doct Hollowell & Doct Coker were with her in her Sickness & Doct. Hollowell was principally Improved; & I Think Amasa Sessions Applied to him for her & went & fetcht him Sd. Hollowell, & I heard The Family Say he called him, & I Think I see them go there together; and Further She says That When She came into The room, Wn she Supposes Sd.Sarah was Delivered, She found Said Sarah on The Pot in Wch The child was, & She rose from it, upon my Coming in; —–Thus Declared Hannah Grosvenour.

[Written in the left margin of the first page of this testimony:] When Zirviah came There, The Doct. Hollowell & Sarah aforesd. were together talking before they went alone together, & She Thinks The Doct Sent one of Jno Grosrs Little Children to Call Sarah

Zirviah adds
just before her Sickness, I foudn That She was wt Child, & That She had been Taking Medicines of Doct. Hollowell to make her Miscarry, & Then when I found That was the Case I talked with him & my Sister upon it & Told them I Tho’t What they had done was very Sinfull; & he Said That yr. was no life in The child, but it must be taken from her or She would Dye wth. wt had been done; I twas once knowing to her taking Medicines which Amasa Sessions brought from the Doct. aforesd. (as he said) & Gave her, wch She Took at two portions; and Wn Sd. Sessions bro’t the Medicines aforesd. my Sister & he talkd upon it, & my Sister was loath to Take it, & Thot it an Evil, & Sessions urged her to it, & told her yr. was no life in the Child, & That it would not hurt her, I told him, I tho’t It a Sin, & She had better not Take it, but They had better Marry, & he said That would not do, They should have a very uncomfortable life at home with his father & Mother; When My Sister Lay ON her Death bed he lamented her Taking the Medicines aforesd, & Thot Mr. Sessions persuaded her to it–

Zebulon Dodge saith he Talked with Zirviah Grosvenor Sometime last Sumer [or Turm?] & she Told him yt Sarah Grosvenor had a Child, & It was a perfect Child & She Supposed She sd Sarah was near 7 months gone with Child, & That her Sister Told her so;

Eliz Grosvenor Testifieth That Hannah Grosvenor Told her That Sarah Grosvenor had an Untimely birth,–________

Alexander Sessions Testifieth That Zirviah Grosvenor Told him That When They Take Sarah Grosvenor first in hand, It was at her Cousins house, & That Wn Doct. Hollowell was alone with her, Hannah Grosvenor- ^John Stood at The Door to keep people from hearing & coming, and I asked her if her Sister was Delivered There & she said No, she was delivered in her Father’s Chamber, & She Said That ^Couzin Hannah & I was present there wn she was delivered,
and I asked her if she was well delivered & she said no that was the cause of the Death & She Said it was a perfect Child, & was a pritty child, & They Took it & buried it between her Fathers & over towards her Cousin Ebenezer’s;— And he being asked whether she was In her right mind wn she gave This Account ___ Ans. he could not Tell; she did not Appear like a person in her right mind ^(by reason of the untimely Visit on Saturday afternoon [)] , * & had a very bad fit at his house after wards yt. day, & It was commonly famed That she was Often Out in her head.

* and at The other Time she [illegible], for This account was not all given at Once.______ & He Said that Hollowell Told him, That Sessions never applied to him for anything, to cause an abortion & that if She
was with Child he did not Think Amasa Knew it.

Jno Shaw Testifies That He has heard Hannah & Zirviah Grosr give an Account of Sarah Grosrs having an Untimely birth, & Tho They never gave him So particular Acco. as is given now To The Court Yet he did not Observe anything in Wch There Appears a variation in ye Accts.; & yy manifested a great concern about wt Hollowell had done; and he Says he Talked with Hollowell Sundry Times about it, but particualrly Once In Jail, & Told him These I could not look upon him otherwise Than a Bad man Since he had Destroyed my Kinswoman (meaning Sarah Grosr.) & he seem’d to Manifested That Amasa Sessions (as I understood him[)] was ye Occasion of it, & I Told him I did not believe Sessions Ever Importuned him to lay hands on her, & he never Said he Did, & he Did not Say The Storys were True or not, Tho he always Tried to Cast it on Sessions. —–This Discourse we have had Over Once & Again. Whether Zirviah was out of head about The Time Alexr. Sessions Speaks off in his Evidence? Ans. She was yt very Night She Said She had been at sd Sessions’s yt Saturday Night

Amasa Sessions Told him, That he could freely be Striped naked provided he could bring Sarah Grosr To life again, (& give All he had in ye ____ home) & have her as his wife, but Doct Hollowell had Deluded him, & Destroyed her; had he been as much knowing In The Time of it, as he was Then, he tho’t he could have got Things yt would have preserved her Life. —-Doct Coker Told me, That Doct Hollowel Deserved To Dye & was a Man of Death, for he had Destroyed The young woman (meaning Sarah Grosr.) & he Feared mentiond Sessions as Accessory to it as concerned in it & blamed him, but Especially Hollowell, & yt he Told Hollowell at Uncle Grosrs in The Time of it That he had Destroyed The Woman; & he Said The Hand of Justice would Take hold of him sooner or Later

[On back:]
Rebeckah Sharp of Lawfull Age testifieth and saith that Being in Company with Ms. Zerviah Grosvenor Some time in october last we falling into Discourse about those Stories Concerning Amasa Sessions and her sister Sarah Grosvenor I Asked her how long it was after her sister Sarah had taken the trade Before She knew it, She said some time and she thought about Eight weeks, I asked her also wither it where a perfect Child she said yes, I further ask’d her, wither there was any Body with hannah and her self when they Buried it, she said that seeing they Pretended to keep it Private, I might be sure they would be as private as they Could, I asked her also wither she thought there was Life in the Child, she siad no, she did not think there was Ever any life in it


(5) Additional Testimony of Hannah Grosvenor

  • undated
  • compare to Hannah’s testimony above (#4) those parts of the depostion that repeat in very similar language the substance of other testimony have been omitted or summarized in square brackets

Sum time in the summer season I heard that Sarah Grosvener was with Child by Amasy Sessions & I understud by her that the said Sessions had a desire to destroy the Child ….[she recounts the incident of being called to help Dr. Hallowell during his attempt to remove the fetus] the docter Came out of his room an ddiscorsed with Sarah Grosvener after which he desired a room for them to be in by them^selves and they went in and fasned the doore and after sometime I heard a noise in the room where thay was and i was quickly called in by the Docter and when I came in I saw Sarah Grosvener Lying on the bed ___[illegible] very faint I asked what was the matter and i understood by the Docter that he had bin trying to Deliver her of a Child, i asked him why he did so he told me shee had taken so much trade that shee would dy if shee was not delivered he also said that Amasy Sessions imployed him and was waiting att Mr Waldows to know the event after her recovery from her faintness he still Insisted on the necessity of her being Delivered and i think attempted to do it but did it not….[the same day Sarah and Zerviah went home and Hannah] went to see her [Sarah] the Evening following and found her in bed very ill and Sessions in the Chamber with her and when I went home Sessions went for the docter to go and see her and to finish what he had began and the docter implyd he had don what would cause an abortion and in a day or two I being called by Zerviah Grosvenor to their house in hast and going into the Chamber i saw Sarah Grosvenor siting over a Chamber pot and Shee a Riseing from thence I saw an untimely birth in the chamber pot that and what was with it, not amuch above half filling the pot the head seamed to be brused and the whole ^baby in a decayed condition [After 7 or 8 days I went to see Sarah and found her in the Lower room] att work I asked her how shee did shee told me shee should have Come to our house before now if it had not bin for fear of cathing cold

[Clerk’s notation:] Given in under Oath–


(6) Testimony of Abigail Nightingale

  • signed, not written in her hand, undated
  • town records indicate that this Abigail was the wife of Samuel Nightingale and probably in her twenties at the time of the abortion incident; her children were born between August 1741 and April 1750

Abigail Nightingale of Lawful Age &c testifyeth & Saith that being at the House of Capt Licester Grosvenor a little before the Death of his Late Daughter Sarah Grosvenor & observing sd. Sarah Grosvenor to be under great Concern of mind but for ought that then appeared having the free exercise of her Reason, I asked her what was the Matter to which she replyed by asking me whether I thought her Sins would ever be pardoned, to which I answered that I hoped she had not Sinned the unpardonable sin but with true and hearty repentence hoped she would find forgiveness. then I asked her what made her take the trade (meaning what she had used for destroying the fruit of her body) to which she replyed because Sessions would take no denyal, and that she told him she was willing to take the sin & shame to her self, and to be obliged never to tell whose Child it was, and that she did not doubt but that if she humbled her self on her Knees to her Father he would take her & her Child home, and that she urged him not to go on to add sin to sin, that the Last transgression would be worse then the first, and that she feared it was too late. (all which she spake in a very affectionate Manner.) on which I observed to her that I heard that Mr. Sessions denyed that it was his Child. to which she replyed, that as to that she knew nothing about it only what I told her adding that let Mr. Sessions say what he will, she never knew any other Man but Amasa Sessions in all her life; on saying which the Conversation was interrupted &c — at another time when it was apprehended that said Sarah Grosvenor was just going out of the world sd. Amasa Sessions sitting on the Bed with her and my Self and endeavouring to raise her up &c he asked my thought of her state &c and then leaning over her used these words poor Creature I have undone you —————— at another time being in company with Aforesd Sarah Grosvenor, and she being (to appearence) full of Sorrow & Distress of mind asked me whether I knew that Doctr Hallowell had attempted to deliver her, and on my telling her that I did not, and on her insisting on my never discovering the Matter &c said she would tell me all about it; and immediately began to inform me that at a Certain time being at her Father’s house sd. Doctor Hallowell Came to her Cozen John Grosvenors and sent for her to go down there, and on her going down, said he wanted to Speake with her alone; and then they two went into a Room together; and then sd. Hallowell told her it was necessary that something ^more should be done or else she would Certainly die; to which she replyed that she was afraid they had done too much already, and then he told her that there was one thing more that could easily be done, and she asking him what it was; he said he could easily deliver her. but she said she was afraid there was life in the Child, then he asked her how long she had felt it; and she replyed about a fortnight; then he said that was impossible or could not be or ever would; for that the trade she had taken had or would prevent it: and that the alteration she felt Was owing ^to what she had taken. and he farther told her that he verily thought that the Child grew to her body to the Bigness of his hand, or else it would have Come away before that time. and that it would never Come away, but Certainly Kill her, unless other Means were used. on which she yielded to his making an Attempt to take it away; charging him that if he could percieve that there was life in it he would not proceed on any Account. and then the Doctor openning his portmantua took an Instrument out of it and Laid it on the Bed, & she asking him what it was for, he replyed that it was to make way; and yt then he tryed to remove the Child for Some time in vain putting her to the Utmost Distress, and that at Last she observed he trembled and immediately perceived a Strange alteration in her body and thought a bone of the Child was broken; on which she desired ^him (as she said) to Call in some body, for that she feared she was a dying, and instantly swooned away —– all which I the Subscriber Do testify to be the truth as Witness my Hand &c Abigail Nightingale


(7) Deposition of Anna Wheeler

  • Dated November 5, 1745, in Pomfret; “Given in under oath”
  • Anna Wheeler was an older sister of Sarah and Zerviah Grosvenor; Anna was 23 in 1742 and had been married to Josiah Wheeler since the age of 16; she and her husband lived in Pomfret
  • the deposition does not appear to be in Anna’s hand

That about a weeke or fortenit as near as I can remember Before my sister Sary Grosvenor was taken sick with her Last Sickness I being at the house of my father Grosvenour & fearing my Sister was with Child I asked har to Goe in privet with me which She did I asked har how it was with har on that aCount & I asked her whither She did not feel an unusual feeling & She said she thought She did I asked har how Long she had felt such a feeling & she told me a weeke or fortnit…I told har I was much Concerned for har & wondered thay did not git Ready to mary She told me thay designed to mary as soone as thay Could & that Sesions was as much Concarned as she Could Be, this Is ye Substance of ye discourse we had as near as my memory Sarves me– Anna Wheeler


(8) Deposition of Ebenezer Grosvenor

  • undated, but accompanied with a cover letter that identifies it as written on or before April 14, 1746 and sent to the Inferior Court that met April 17 in Windham: To Honorable Jonathan Trumble Esq. at Lebanon, from Joseph Cady [a Justice of the Peace, probably] at Killingly, April 14, 1746: “Hond Sir: the Enclosed Evidence Ebenezer Grosvenor of Pomfret brought to me and offerd to make solemn oath thereto, In order to be Sent to your Self, for he said he had Appointed a Journey to Boston with a Drove before his Citation before yourSelfe &….”
  • Ebenezer was 28 in the summer of 1742; he had been married to Lucy Cheney since March 1736 and had his own household in Pomfret; he was a brother of John Grosvenor (see testimony #3) and thus also a nephew of Capt. Leicester Grosvenor and a first cousin of Leicester’s daughters, Sarah and Zerviah

sometime in the month August in the year 1742 Doctor John Holowell being at my house in pomfritt & he told me that he had been at Mr. Sessions [meaning the house of Amasa’s father, Lieutenant Nathaniel Sessions] and I understood that Mr. Amasay Sessions Came with him from his fathers & I had heared that Sarah Grosvenor was with child & he told me that he had ben at Capt Grosvenors which made me ask him wheather it was So or no& after sum time the sd Doctor told me he beleved that she was & knowing said Sessions made Sute to sd Sarah Grosvenor I asked him what was the Reason that they did not marry & he told me that he Doubted that Sessions Did not Love her well a nough for saith he: did not beleive it was his son & if he Could Cause her to gitt Red of it he would not Go near her again, & the doctor gave me to understand that said Sessions had bin Interseeding with him to Remove her Conseption

[back of sheet:]
further more…I understood that the Doctor had at that time under taken to distroy hir conception & further more sum time after I saw Doctor hollowell & falling under discorse Concerning these former things & he told me that sd Sessions was a wating at Waldos to know the avent of his making that attempt to Remove hir Concepttion at John Grosvenors & furthermore the sd Doctor told me to the best of my Remembranc that he either knipt or Squeisd the head of the Conception Ebenezer Grosvenor


(9) Deposition of Parker Morse of Woodstock, Practitioner of Physick

  • delivered to the Inferior Court held April 17, 1746 in Windham before Assistant Jonathan Trumbull and Justice of the Peace (and of the Quorum) Ebenezer West; the whole document is apparently in Morse’s own hand

To the Honble. Court of Enquiry present in Windham
I the Subscriber being requested by Leicester Grosvenor Esqr. of Pomfret to visit his Daughter Sarah ^as a Physician in the Sickness of which she Died; went accordingly, & found her the said Sarah siezed of a Malignant fever with all the simptoms of it, in an Exalted Degree, & as I then apprehended Likely to be mortal in Its Event. & having before heard a report whispered, among some of the Neighbours of the sd. Mr. Grosvenor yt. Doctr: Jno Hollowell of Providence at the request & by the procurement of Mr. Amasa Sessions of Pomfret aforesd. had been Instrumental of her Sickness by Causing the abortion of a Birth (Embrio or Fetus) with which she the Sd. Sarah was pregnant or Supposed to be so, a Short time before, I Enquired of Mrs. Anne Grosvenor Widow, (Since Deceased) Concerning the Young Womans Circumstances & Told her I had heard within a Little while she was with Child Mrs: Grosvenor Answered me that She was not with Child, & that I might do what I thought was best for her fever without any regard to her being with Child because she was not; The abovesd. Mrs: Grosvenor Did not Say to me that the abovesd. Sarah had not been with Child nor that She had, I should have asked some further Questions but some Other Persons Coming up prevented me — I repaired again to the young woman which was sick viz the sd. Sarah Grosvenor, & found her under all the Simptoms of a Malignant fever; being reduced to a great Degree of weakness, with Nervous Contractions Causing Convulsive motions, much Disordered in her brain, & near to or quite Delirious upon Observation of which I Judged ^her Sickness to be mortal & to the best of my remembrance I told her Friends so & Left her, & from that Time I saw her no more
Parker Morss Practitioner of Physick
Windham April 1746


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Last Modified: January 1, 2009