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Gen. Micah Brooks

Male 1775 - 1857  (82 years)

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  • Name Micah Brooks 
    Prefix Gen. 
    Born 14 May 1775  New Haven, CT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 7 July 1857  Mount Morris, Livingston County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • From the History of Livingston County, New York, by James H. Smith, published by D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, 1881:
        This brief record Commemorates the life and services of one who lived I in the most eventful period of human history, excepting only the years made memorable by the life and teachings of the Saviour of the world. Micah Brooks was born a subject of George III, at the time the American colonies were resolving upon open revolt – he died eighty-two years later, having witnessed and taken part in the most remarkable changes that ever occurred in government, society, industry, science. and art. He was the son of David Brooks, who was the son or Enos, who was the son of Thomas, who was the Son of Henry Brooks, who came from Cheshire, England to Cheshire, Connecticut. He had fought under Oliver Cromwell, and the restoration of Charles II, was offensive to him and caused him to remove to America. His son Thomas settled fourteen miles north from New Haven, and the town to which he removed was called Cheshire, after the place of his father’s nativity, at least so read the family records. His grandson, David, the father of Micah, was born in Cheshire. Conn., in June of 1744, and married Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel Doolittle of Wallingford, Conn., who was a son of David, the son of Abram Doolittle who came from England. He was graduated at Yale College in 1765 and received the degree of Master of Arts. He also studied theology and was duly ordained as a minister, but continued to conduct his farm at Cheshire, taking a prominent part in the discussions and agitations that preceded the Declaration of Independence. He was appointed a member of the Vigilance Committee for the town of Cheshire, to prevent the consumption of tea and other articles unjustly taxed by the British government, the inhabitants having voted not to use them. On the breaking out of hostilities he joined, as a private soldier, the first company organized in his town, but afterwards became Quartermaster or his regiment. When occasion required he served as chaplain and in emergencies, shouldered his musket. He was also a member of the State Legislature and a delegate to the state convention that adopted the U. S. Constitution at Hartford. Later in life he retired to his farm in Cheshire and died there in 1802.
      Micah Brooks was born May 14, 1775, on his father’s estate in Cheshire, Conn., where he spent the first years or his life, and acquired the studious and diligent habits which distinguished him through life. Schools were few and poor during the Revolution, and the years that followed, but Micah belonged to a family that had the benefit of parental discipline and instruction and where reading was enjoined and enjoyed. Thus he acquired habits of observation and research that made his mind a repository of useful knowledge. He was the oldest of his father’s family, which consisted of Micah, David, Elizabeth, Benedict, Laura Charity, Polly, Patty and David; all of whom lived to maturity except David, the second son, ho died in his sixth year; and all, excepting Patty, married. Micah Brooks gave from his own recollection, a very interesting: account of the period immediately following the Revolutionary war, and it was published in Tuner’s, Phelps and Gorham’s Purchase. In 1796 in common with many sons of New England, he explored the regions of the west, visited the Mohawk, Susquehannah. Seneca, and the Genesee, and saw many pioneers in their lonely cabins, suffering privations but full of hope. In the fall of 1797 he visited the land or promise the second time remain in at East Bloomfield during the winter and keeping the district school there. Mr. James Sperry gives an account or this venture as follows: “ In the fall ’97, a young man with a pack on his back came into the neighborhood of Gunn, the Bronsons and &c., and introduced himself as a ,school teacher, from the land of steady habits, proposing that they form a new district and he would keep their school. The proposition was accepted all turned out and built a schoolhouse, the young man assisting and he kept school there that winter and the one following, and the house was entirely filled. My father sent eight children to his school; there we learned for the first time, that the earth is round – an old hat with a chalk line ‘round it for the equator served as globe to illustrate the revolution of the earth on its axis. Although the schoolmaster was a favorite with parents and pupils, they thought he was telling something he knew nothing about, and still believed the earth was flat, and immovably fixed.
      In those days to be a good surveyor was a great accomplishment and a vast amount of surveying was to be done. Micah Brooks studied the art with Prof. Meigs, and held a certificate from the court of New Haven County, appointing him surveyor within and for said county. In the fall of 1798 he made a tour, on foot to Niagara Falls, following the Indian trails and stopping overnight with Poudry and his Indian wife at Tonawanda. In 1799 he purchased a farm in East Bloomfield, paying six dollars per acre for it. The price of land soon declined, speculators having run the price up too high. In 1803 – 04 good lands on the Holland Purchase was bough for three dollars per acre. Mr. Brooks immediately commenced clearing his land, boarding with Deacon Bronson and giving two days’ work for one week’s board. In 1800 he was associate commissioner with Hugh McNair and Matthew Warner, to layout a road from Canandaigua to Olean, and another from Hornellsville to the mouth of the Genesee River. Subsequently he found much use for his chain and compass in laying out roads and running lines on his wild lands in Livingston and Allegany counties. In 1801 he built a small frame house, then returned to Coml., and brought out two sisters to keep house for him, but as they soon married, he went back again to Conn., and December 13, 1802, was there married to Mary, daughter of Deacon Abel Hall, of Lyme, Conn. Frugal, industrious, intelligent and public spirited, he became, a prominent and useful citizen. In the militia he rose through successive gradations to the rank of Major General. In 1806 he was elected Justice of the Peace, in 1808 assistant Justice of the County, the same year was elected to the Legislature from Ontario County, and in the war of 1812 served in three campaigns as Lieut. Col. He was elected to Congress in 1814, representing a very large territory and serving on important committees. In 1821 he was elected to the New York state convention that revised the state constitution, and was presidential elector in 1824. For twenty years he was a Judge of Ontario county courts. While a member of Congress he presented to that body a petition drawn by DeWitt Clinton, asking the national government to aid in the construction of the Erie Canal. Some twenty years later he addressed a large convention at Rochester, presided over by Judge Nathan Dayton, of Lockport, urging the speedy enlargement of the Erie Canal – which was effected with manifest advantage to the state and nation.
      February 1, 1839, delegates from several counties assembled at Cuba, Allegany County, to forward the completion of the New York and Erie Railroad, which had been chartered seven years before, but which, owing to the great commercial revulsion of 1837, and the magnitude of the undertaking, had not been completed. Gen. Brooks was chosen president of the convention, and addressed that body; his speech was published in the papers and widely circulated. In 1823 in connection with John B Gibson and Jellis Clute, he purchased the lands of Mary Jemison, and soon after removed to them; the place of his residence is known as Brook’s Grove. In 1833 he bought 6,382 acres in Caneadea, Allegany Co., consideration $8,000. His wife having died, he was again, September 23, 1833 married to Eliza Chattin, who died in 1863, without issue. His sons were, Lorenzo H., of Caneadea, now deceased, and Micah Wooster, who is married and resides at the homestead. His daughters were, Marcia, wife of Henry O’Reilley, Clarissa, wife of Theodore F. Hall, of Kansas, Catharine, a mute, very intelligent and highly educated, now deceased, Laura, residing at Brooks’s Grove, and Cornelia, wife of Geo. Ellwanger, of the Mt. Hope Nurseries, at Rochester. In politics, Gen. Brooks was a firm supporter of the Whig party. He was master of himself, temperate in his habits, upright in his dealings, kind, compassionate and forbearing. July 7, 1857, his life work being done, he leaned back in his chair and died, without a struggle. A public meeting of citizens testified to the respect in which he held, and the press of the country announced that a true patriot and useful citizen had departed.
    Person ID I78212  Schirado
    Last Modified 17 June 2012 

    Father Rev. David Brooks,   b. 14 August 1744,   d. 22 December 1801  (Age 57 years) 
    Mother Elizabeth Doolittle,   b. 26 May 1749, Wallingford, CT Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 August 1831, Cheshire, CT Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 20 January 1773  Wallingford, CT Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Family ID F18980  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Mary Hall,   b. about 1782, Lyme, CT Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 March 1825, Livingston, Columbia County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 43 years) 
    Married 13 December 1802  New Haven, CT Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F52526  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S250] Wallingford Vital Records.

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