Emerson Cogswell

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ChartsAncestors of Harriet Hanson Robinson
Emerson Cogswell, son of Emerson Cogswell and Mary Pecker, was born probably shortly before his baptism at Ipswich, Essex Co., Massachusetts, 12 April 1743.1 He died at Concord, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 13 May 1808.2

Emerson married (1) Eunice Robinson, daughter of Dr. Jeremiah Robinson and Eunice Amsden, February 1772;3 he married (2) Anna Learnard, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), at Concord, 3 May 1789;4 he married (3), as her 2nd husband, Elizabeth Bateman, whose ancestry is unknown (or not traced here), in 1794.5

In 1790, his household was probably the one enumerated at Concord, with 4 free white males over 16, 2 under 16, 6 free white females, and 1 other free person.6

Emerson, a hatter, moved from Boston to Concord in 1771-73.

He was one of the four Sergeants of the Concord Minutemen in 1775, and a second Lieutenant under Capt. George Minot in 1776. His company was engaged at Cambridge in early 1776, and went to Rhode Island for six weeks in 1778. He was a lieutenant, then under Capt Thomas Brown of Lexington.

He was always referred to as Leftenant Cogswill," wore smallclothes, and was "portly, not to say, fat; so that his wife was obliged to buckle his shoes." He was also one of the twelve founding members of the Concord Committee of Public Safety. After the war, this group continued to meet as the "Social Circle." Meetings of the club continued even after the group had dwindled to only Cogswell and a Mr. Fay, who whiled away pleasant evenings with sumptuous feasts, singing, and stories. All women were rigorously excluded from the festivities. Later, the club revived when a group of local notables joined, including Dr. Ripley. The club was still active, in 1871, with an elected membership of 25, who met weekly at different members' homes for nine months of the year.

Emerson was somewhat of a religious free thinker, falling out with Dr. Ezra Ripley, the local minister, finally refusing to even hear him preach. But he continued to read his Bible "diligently, and perhaps ostentatiously," as the people passed by on their way to meeting, and apparently he remained on good personal terms with the minister. When Cogswell died of consumption, Dr. Ripley attended the funeral and said, "Mr. Cogswell was a good man if ever there was one."

At the time of his third marriage in 1794, he was elected "hogreeve," in charge of impounding stray hogs. It was common practice to put the village's most recently married man into this office.

Sometime in the 1790's, Emerson went to Canada to learn how to make napped hats. He failed in his business, however, because he had bound (co-signed) himself for the debts of a Mr. Brown who defaulted and fled to the South. Cogswell and Capt Safford of Beverly, Massachusetts pursued Brown by horse for many months and when they finally found him they could get no money from him; all they got was title to a poor piece of land. When the pair finally returned on a Sunday in January, 1800, an attachment had been put on Cogswell's property and the doors had been closed. Cogswell threw open his doors, for which, the next day he was hauled off to jail. Capt Safford settled the debt for his friend with "buckets of specie" and took over the Cogswell property. The Cogswells continued to live on their old land, paying rent to Safford.7

Family 1

Eunice Robinson b. 13 Oct 1750, d. 11 Sep 1786
  • Mary Cogswell5 b. 9 Jan 1773, d. 4 Dec 1799
  • Bridget Cogswell8 b. 25 Apr 1774, d. 27 Aug 1782
  • Lucy Cogswell8 b. 27 Apr 1776, d. 1856
  • William Cogswell8 b. 5 Apr 1778, d. 13 Dec 1827
  • Emerson Cogswell8 b. 24 Oct 1779, d. 1 Oct 1824
  • Eunice Cogswell9 b. 20 Sep 1781, d. 13 Sep 1782
  • Martha Cogswell+9 b. 12 Mar 1783, d. 24 Nov 1856
  • Eunice Cogswell10 b. Sep 1786, d. 12 Mar 1790

Family 2

Anna Learnard b. abt. 1764, d. 3 Oct 1792
  • James Cogswell10 b. 14 Oct 1790, d. 26 Mar 1791
  • Hannah Cogswell11 b. 7 Jan 1791, d. 13 Jan 1869
  • Edward Cogswell11 b. 20 Aug 1792

Family 3

Elizabeth Bateman
  • Anna Cogswell11 b. 20 Aug 1797
  • Mary Cogswell12 b. 5 Mar 1800, d. 6 Nov 1853
  • Susanna Cogswell5 b. say 1802
  • Eunice Cogswell13 b. 2 Feb 1804
This person was last edited on8 Jan 2020


  1. [S664] , Vital Records of Ipswich, Massachusetts to the End of the Year 1849: Volume I - Births (Salem, Massachusetts: Essex Institute, 1910), 95-99, further cited as Vital Records of Ipswich - Vol I.
  2. [S663] , Concord, Massachusetts: Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635-1850 (Concord, Massachusetts: Town of Concord, 1891), 329, further cited as Concord Vital Records. Mis-identified as "husband of Mary." His son Emerson was married to a Mary.
  3. [S76] Harriet H. Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter, and Some of His Descendants," The Robinsons and Their Kin Folk Third Series (July 1906): 99-123, at 116-117, further cited as Robinson, "John Robinson of Exeter."
  4. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 260.
  5. [S296] Ephraim Orcutt Jameson, The Cogswells in America (n.p.: p.p., 1884), 69-70, further cited as Jameson, Cogswell Family.
  6. [S2161] Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790, 12 vols. (Washington D.C.: Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of the Census, 1907-1908), MA:139, further cited as Heads of Families, 1790.
  7. [S186] Harriet Hanson (Mrs. W. S. Robinson) Robinson, "Warrington" Pen Portraits: A Collection of Personal and Political Reminiscences from 1848 to 1876 From the Writings of William S. Robinson (Boston, Massachusetts: p.p., 1877), 3-6, further cited as Robinson, Warrington Pen Portraits.
  8. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 249.
  9. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 253.
  10. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 420.
  11. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 272.
  12. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 273.
  13. [S663] Concord Vital Records, 322.