He Needed a Wife, She Needed a Husband

Sketch 2019 by Wendy Harty; inspiration: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Two are better than one. If either falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also if two lie down together they will keep warm. Though one may be overpowered two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Forbidden – Keziah cont’d

The New Year of 1733 had come and gone in Eastham, Massachusetts. Keziah Atwood woke with cousin Bethia’s heel pressed into her cheek. The little cousin had flipped upside down in her sleep and her sister, Jerusha was pressed tightly up against her back sharing their warmth. Keziah extracted herself from the sleeping bodies. Things were going to happen today. Mama’s leg was healing nicely. Aunt Keziah had let her sister, Hannah up out of bed. Last night she’d brushed her sister’s hair into a gleaming mass of curls that hung down her back. Melted snow water made warm bath water. While Hannah soaked Aunt Keziah brushed Keziah’s, Jerusha’s and Bethia’s curls into submission. Keziah’s brothers, Samuel 9 and Enoch 4 were also scrubbed behind their ears.

Their meagre belongings had been packed and Uncle Jonathan had helped transport them the three and a half miles to a new home at Cedar Swamp, the northwest corner of the Town of Orleans, situated on Town Cove and Rock Harbor on the Bay side of the Cape. At meeting last Sunday the people had heard the words of Ecclesiastics. Keziah knew their family certainly needed some help since her father, Stephen Atwood had died less than two months before.

Elisha Higgins became their answer. Elisha was a fourth generation Puritan, born in Eastham. He was a great grandson of Richard Higgins, one of the 7 Founding Fathers of Eastham. As the town of Plymouth outgrow itself in 1644, and the blessed increase in their families was so great it was plain that they must scatter, these seven moved to Eastham. Those first seven fast increased to twenty; the twenty to fifty. Thus it was that Richard Higgin had Jonathan who had Elisha Sr. who had ten more: Elisha Jr., Martha, Beriah, Alice, Apphia, Jonathan, Elizabeth, Joseph, Ruth and Barnabas.

Elisha Higgins Jr. had married Sarah Lewis. When Sarah died October 1732, the couple had three children: Jane 11, Sarah 8, and Elisha III aged 6. And Elisha Higgins Jr. needed a wife! His sister, Martha, who was married to Uncle Jonathan Doane, knew just the answer. There wasn’t much of a courtship, as both parties involved made the agreement.

Keziah wondered how she could feel happy and sad at the same time. She was leaving the only home she’d ever known. She was moving away from grandparents Doc and Dorothy Doane. The Higgins and Doane family were inconnected already. Besides Elisha’s sister, Martha marrying her Uncle Jonathan, his other sisters Alice and Apphia had married her mother’s cousins Solomon and Simeon Doane and Elisha’s brother, Jonathan had married Rachel Doane.

At the meeting house, this large extended family had paused in their work to celebrate the marriage of Elisha Higgins to her mother, Hannah Doane Atwood Higgins, January 24, 1733. A new family was formed with his kids, her kids and within ten months, their kids.

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