Clipped From The Indianapolis Star
Il A HOOSIER LISTENING POST : , un-smoothed O YOU remember "At good Old Siwash" by George H. Fitch? And have you read the inscription on the monu ment at Bardstown, Ky., which declares declares that John Fitch was the inventor, inventor, in 1785, of the world's first successful steamboat? And were you ever more delightfully entertained than by one of Clyde Fitch's plays? it so, you win De interested In tne new "History of the Fitch Family" A.D. 1400-1930, 1400-1930, 1400-1930, compiled bv Roscoe Conkling Fitch of Detroit, which has just been presented to the Indiana State Library by Robert L. Fitch of this city in memory of his grandfather, grandfather, Dr. Ebenezer Fitch, first president of William's College (1793- (1793- lBini, wiinamstown, Mass. This book, in two volumes, beautifully printed and illustrated, is probably one of the most complete and satis factory books of this kind yet published. published. There is an impression, rather gen eral, it seems, that "genealogical hounds" are only interested in their own family history and will never auow any one else to interrupt and tell about his own family. We have all had some experience with such people, but there really are a number number of others who are interested in genealogy in general, and find it a most interesting way to study history history whether it be their own genealogy genealogy or that of some one else. These will find the Fitch history of especial interest since members of the family were early colonists and took an active active part in the history of America from the settlement of Jamestown down to the present day. This first adventurer to the new world was Shipmaster Matthew Fitch, Gentleman, of Bocking, County Essex, England, who in company with Capt. John Smith, set sail on Dec. 19, 1606, to found the Virginia plantation. He made several voyages to and from England, was master of his own ship in 1609 and was lost when his ship went down in a hurri-"cane hurri-"cane hurri-"cane in July, 1609. The record runs : "Master Matthew Fitch In the first voyage to Virginia, 1606-7; 1606-7; 1606-7; in the first company to the Falls in May, 1607. Lost at sea in July, 1609." Apparently the next Fitch in Amer ica was the Rev. James Fitch I, who came to New England in 1638 as a youth of 16 and completed his studies for the ministry under the Rev. Thomas Hooker and the Rev. Sam uel Stone of Hartford, Conn. What a thrill to read, a few lines further on, that he was later the founder of that most beautiful and historic little town of Lebanon, Conn. who that has seen it can ever forget its Christopher Wren church spire and the old Governor Trumbull house? and that he named it for the lofty cedars of Lebanon used by Solomon in building the temple ! Running through the first chapters of this book, one finds that the early history of New England is filled with records of the Fitch family. Deputy Governor Thomas Fitch (1612-1704) (1612-1704) (1612-1704) was one of the founders of Norwalk, Conn.; Thomas Fitch IV was Governor Governor of Connecticut, 1700-1774; 1700-1774; 1700-1774; his son, Col. Thomas Fitch V, made a reputation in the French and Indian War and, "because of his dashing appearance at the head of his volunteer, volunteer, ununiformed troops, the precursors precursors of Roosevelt's Rough Riders, he was given the nicknamn of 'Yankee 'Yankee Doodle,' which inspired the famous famous American patriotic song. Maj. James Fitch, when Assistant Governor Governor of the colony In 1701, used his influence to secure the grant of the original charter of Yale College. He gave the glass and nails for the first building, and in 1701 an endowment of 637 acres of land, which insured its permanent establishment. In the settlement of the West we learn that the Fitches took part, moving first to western New York, to the Wyoming country in Pennsyl vania, to Ohio. And in this John Fitch, steamboat inventor, had a part, for he made a map known as "The Fitch Map of the Northwest." printed it on a cider press and issued issued it in 1785 to secure funds with which to further his steamboat invention, invention, and it is said that the widespread widespread circulation of this map aroused new interest in the great Unsettled territory to the westward ana families who had moved from Connecticut Into New York and the border states continued Into Ohio, In diana, micnigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc, It is to be noted that the descendants descendants of these notable ancestors have not allowed the family banner to drag in the dust; they have taken part In wars, they have been college presidents, and, among the women, deans of women and professors in various universities; they have been historians, dramatists notably Clyde Fitch entomologists, lawyers, business business men. Whether you have a drop of Fitch blood in your veins or not, if you are interested in the history of your country and its development, you will find much of interest in this book. One of the most attractive illustrations to me is a reproduction of the fresco painting in the Capitol at Washington of Lieut. John Fitch at work designing a steamboat. showing tn the background a nicture of one of his side-wheel side-wheel side-wheel steamboats and his famous "Fitch map of the Northwest, 1785." This is one of a number of family histories which have been given to the genealogical department of the state library. Now that this department department has a large and beautiful room for its collection, more such gifts should be made, so that the material may be placed where it will be available available for consultation for years to come.