The Cartlands were part of the Underground Railroad

Closely related to poet John Greenleaf Whittier was the Cartland family in Lee. In fact, Greenleaf was especially close to cousin Moses Cartland, though their expectation of dying as bachelors was ultimately crushed when Moses wed a much younger first cousin, contrary to Quaker discipline.

My trail starts with Joseph Cartland, born in Dover in 1721, who moved the family to Lee and established Walnut Grove farm, which would eventually encompass two thousand acres. With first wife Lydia Allen, who died in 1758, and second wife Anna Hanson, he had 11 children, most of them active Quakers.

The Cartland home in Lee is known as a stop on the Underground Railroad of escaping slaves.
The meetinghouse doubled as a Friends school.

Their spacious home became a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the Quaker meetinghouse, which doubled as a Friends school, stood across the road.

His son Jonathan Cartland, married to Elizabeth Austin, and their children included the noted abolitionist and educator Moses A. Cartland, a confidant of second-cousin John Greenleaf Whittier, who was a frequent guest. Moses also served in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives and was a founder of the Republican Party. His brother Joseph Cartland, husband of Gertrude Whittier, headed Haverford College for four years before they became principals of the Friends School in Providence, Rhode Island. They retired to Newburyport, Massachusetts, which had a Meeting that was part of Hampton/Amesbury Monthly Meeting.

Cartland influence in Dover continued. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, William and Howard Cartland owned Cartland Grocery on Locust Street.

From there, my notes trail off.


Check out my new book, Quaking Dover, available in a Nook edition at Barnes & Noble.

Welcome to Dover’s upcoming 400th anniversary.


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