Francis Heuston Obituary

Francis Heuston

Francis Heuston Obituary #1
Brunswick Telegraph
June 4, 1858

Obituary. Died in Brunswick, June 1st - Francis Husten, at the age of 94. Mr. Husten was in usual health, and was at work in the field planting. He came to the house for some more seed, and fell dead in the entry. Mr. Husten was a native of Africa, and came to this country as chattel. He was for very many years, a slave, in the State of Maryland, (we think). Not having been properly instructed in his constitutional obligations, and being totally unmindful of the safety of the Union, he took leg bail some 40 years ago, and came North. For some time he followed the sea. He was once in a vessel out of Portland, when the Gulf of Mex. was infested with Pirates. The vessel was spoken by a suspicious looking craft and a boat with 8 men came alongside. Mr. Husten advised the Captain not to let them come on board, saying, they are but 8, and our ship's company are 7, which is one for each of you, and I will take two. Mr. Husten was a man of Herculean frame, and when in the prime of life was a very powerful man, and had the Pirates attempted to board her he would doubtless redeemed his promise to be responsible for any two.

Mr. Husten was well known in Bath and Brunswick, and always maintained the reputation of an upright and honest man. One of his neighbors who has lived by him for many years, assures us that he was a man of the strictest integrity - perfectly reliable and perfectly trustworthy. Many a white face conceals a blacker heart than ever he had.

Peace to his memory.

Francis Heuston (Corrected) Obituary #2
Brunswick Telegraph
June11, 1858

Mr. Francis Heuston. In the Telegraph of the 4th inst., was published a notice of the death of this aged colored man. The notice was written by a gentleman, long a resident of the town, and well acquainted with the deceased. The paragraph was handed to us on Thursday, 3d inst., only an hour or two before we went to press, and we published it, thinking the notice was correct in point of fact; indeed we had little reason to raise any doubts upon the matter, as we had heard the facts stated substantially the same as given in the notice.-- But we fear the truth compels us to rob the biography of Mr. Heuston of a portion of its romance at all events. At least we shall be compelled to give a different version of his life from that recorded by our correspondent, and this up-on authority of his daughter, Mrs. Bowe, who resides upon the river below the Landing. According to her statement her father was born in Nantucket, Mass., in the year 1794 and was 94 years of age at the time of his death. While a boy he served in an armed vessel during the Revolutionary War, and after the war followed the sea for 20 years. He came to Brunswick between 50 and 60 years ago, and took up the place upon which he lived at the time of his death. He was occasionally employed in coasting vessels after becoming a resident of Brunswick. Mr. Heuston was twice married, having for his first wife Mehitable Griffin, of this town, and for his second Mary ______, a woman who was brought from the South, and left her master at Bath; he had 11 children by the two wives, and eight survive him; four of them by the second wife - the oldest being but six years of age, the youngest but eight months. Mr. Heuston was a man of great physical strength, and it used to be said of him by shipmasters with whom he served, that he could handle a hogshead of molasses as easily as most men could a barrel of the same article. We think he possessed one of the most wonderfully developed chests that we ever saw upon a human being.

Our correspondent spoke of the deceased as [a] man of the highest integrity, ever exhibiting a nice sense of honor; this is the general verdict of his fellow citizens. We may mention a fact which has come to our knowledge within a day or two, (we did not obtain the information from any of his family) which goes to show his goodness of heart. When Mr. Samuel Freeman died, the selectmen thought that the town would be compelled to bury him at the public expense, and to furnish some aid to his family. After an expense had been incurred by the selectmen to the amount of $7, Mr. Heuston called at the office, -- enquired what sums had been incurred, and remarked he would pay the same (he did pay the $7) and see that the corpse was properly interred, and he would do it “as he was on of our color and he should not like to have it go on the town books that he was helped by the town.” Here was a very proper pride of race, and it was manifested in a very laudable manner. Pity it is that there are not more to be found to imitate his example.

[Transcriber's note: 1794 - 1858 does not add up to 94 years. Mr. Heuston would have to have been born around 1764. Mr. Heuston's second wife was Clara Battease, known as Mary locally, she was the former slave of David Turner of Beaufort, S.C. ]

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