A Novelette by Barb Dodge
Years of rule by Charles I. No
parliament! More taxes! Less religious liberty! War
looming on the horizon. There were all kinds of signs
that showed that things were not as they ought to be.
Increasing anger against King Charles I. Unrest of the
Brother William was doing very well in the colonies. He had his own farm, and he had a good standing in the community. He could worship as he chose. He didn't need to worry about displeasing a King. He could do as he wished. He was FREE!
Richard was married and had several children. He would need to give up his land tenancy. It would be no easy undertaking for him to transport his family to the colonies. He was leaving at least one little child in an English graveyard. Would his wife be willing to pull up roots, leave her family and travel to this strange foreign land? He would be leaving his father and brother, Michael, behind. How would he be able to leave England when King Charles was obstructing immigration. If he left, it would probably have to be without royal permission. There were many problems to work out before he could undertake such a voyage. I am sure that he gave much thought of all of these things. In the end, he decided it was worth it to try to leave his homeland.
Richard and his family arrived in Salem in 1638. Immigrants were only admitted to the colony, by applying to the town and obtaining leave.He and his family moved on to the land of his brother, William until he could get established. After awhile he was able to settle with his family on "Dodge Row" in North Beverly, not far from Wenham Lake. He built a home and gave his attention to farming but he held in high esteem the value of education. In 1653, he was the biggest contributor to Harvard College. He gave a piece of his land for a burying ground which is now known as "the Cemetery on Dodges Row". He had 5 sons, and so he has more descendants than William who had 2 sons.
Do you want to know more about Richard and his descendants? "The Genealogy of the Dodge Family of Essex County, Mass. 1629-1894", by Joseph Thompson Dodge is available through our Family Book Store.