Benjamin K. Hagger

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"Benjamin King Hagger was probably the son of William Guyse Hagger and Mary or Mehitable King, who were daughters of Benjamin King.  He may have been born in Newport in 1769.  He died in Baltimore on November 8, 1834.

The Baltimore American and Commercial Advertiser of November 11, 1834, states that he was sixty-five years old, formerly of Massachusetts, but 18 years a resident of Baltimore.

He is listed in the Boston City directory of 1798 as a mathematical instrument maker, Ann Street.

A report of the Boston Record Commissioners:  Marriage Document No. 101, page 298, states "William King Hagger of Boston and Mehitable Ballard of Framingham were married October 6, 1796"  The marriage intention reads "Benjamin King Hagger".  Mehitable Ballard was the granddaughter of Samuel Ballard of Boston.1

1)  Reference:  Smart, Charles E.   The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700  Troy, New York:  Regal Art Press.  1962


There is a known compass marked Benjamin King Hagger, Concord, Massachusetts.  Little is known about Hagger's time spent in Concord.  The following is copied from a typed manuscript titled "Houses and People in Concord, 1810 to 1820" by Edward Jarvis, 1882:

"A little farther west an on the site of the house lately occupied by Mrs. Barber and Mr. Abner Ball was a very old house but deserted as a dwelling and then used as a mechanics shop by Benj. R. Haggar, who for ten years, made ship's compasses.  Originally, I think, a mathematical instrument maker.  He then kept a ship chandlery store in State St., Boston, but failed.  His creditors put him in jail in Concord.  He got bondsmen and had what was called the "liberty of the yard", which embraced the square, the Lexington road as far as Mr. Fay's and Heywood St., the Watertown road from Heywood St. to the mill-dam, and also the mill-dam.  The jail limits may have extended farther, but so far a poor-debtor might go; but if he went over the bounds, the bondsman was liable for the debt.  There were always, in our young days, many of these poor debtors.  Mr. Haggar lived in the long house opposite and worked industriously in this old house as a shop.  My father was his friend and supplied him with the needful capital and sold compasses fro him in Boston or sent them to Baltimore for sale, through Joseph Field, a flour merchant of Boston, 17 Long Wharf, with whom my father dealt largely and who made his purchases principally in Baltimore and kept a vessel running between the two cities for the purpose. --- The old house disappeared between 1815 and 1820."

Other historic documents also indicate Benjamin King Hagger's presence in Concord.  They include:

--  His son, Joseph was born and his wife died --- September 26, 1806 (Source:  Concord Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1635-1850)

--  Concord tax documents locate him there in 1807 and again in 1817.

The above information was compiled and sent to Bud Uzes by the Concord Free Public Library



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