Organization's Embossed Seal
Benjamin Sumner (1737-1815) was born and married in Hebron, CT, and later moved with his family to become one of the earliest settlers of Claremont, Sullivan Country, NH. He served many civic positions in Claremont including Selectman, town clerk, Town Meeting Moderator, legislative representative, and civil magistrate.
John Avery Jr served as the Secretary of State of Massachusetts from the adoption of the Massachusetts State Constitution in 1780 until his death in 1806. He was a Boston merchant, distiller and colonial rights activist. . John Avery, Jr. (1786), of Boston, son of John and Mary Avery, was born Sept. 2, 1739. His father was a justice in Boston. John, Jr. (1786), graduated at Harvard College in 1759. He was published to marry (1) Miss Mary Gushing, March 23, 1769, and (2) Harriet Williams, March 21,1799. He was a member of the West Church, and held the office of deacon. Oct. 25, 1774, he was one of the ten persons added to the committee " to consider of Ways & Means for employing the poor Sufferers by the operation of the Boston Port Bill, so called." In 178o, he succeeded Samuel Adams as secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and held that office until his decease. He was also secretary of the Massachusetts Humane Society, and was buried on the day of its semi-annual meeting. Their orator, in the midst of his discourse, alluded to the funeral knell which called them to pay their respects to their worthy officer, " an early, active, and important member of the society." Sept. 21, 1793, he was recording secretary of the Massachusetts Society for the Promotion of Agriculture. He resided on " Newbury Street, corner Sheaf's lane," now corner Washington and Avery streets. He died at Boston, June 7, 1806, aged sixty-seven years. " Died on Saturday last, John Avery Esq.  Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts aged 67 years. " The two Houses of the Legislature, after an expression of their grief for the loss which the public has sustained in the recent demise of the late Secretary of the Commonwealth, Voted unanimously to attend his funeral and to invite Gov. Strong, Lieut Gov. Robbins and the Honorable Council to attend the same." The formation of the funeral procession is then given in detail, and the article concludes as follows : -- " In all the political changes which have taken place in Massachusetts since the adoption of the present constitution in 178o, such has been the sense of all parties of the rectitude and ability with which Mr. Avery  has discharged all the duties of Secretary of State that, if our memory serves us, in all that period he has been annually unanimously elected to that office. In all the social and domestic duties, he was a man of superior excellence."1 John Avery, Jr. (1786). AUTHORITY: Boston Records.
Thomas Russell son of James and Katherine Russell, was born in Charlestown, Mass., April 7, 1749; died in Boston, April 8, 1796. Thomas was one of the first who engaged in the trade with Russia, at the close of the revolutionary war. In the year 1788 he was chosen a Representative of the town of Boston to the General Court, and the same year he was chosen a Delegate to the convention for deliberating on the adoption of the Federal Constitution. In the year 1789 he was elected into the Council of the Commonwealth He was of an old Charlestown family,--(if anything relating to families can be called old in this country, especially in reference to the middle of the last century,) and resided there a part of the year till his death. This estimable gentleman was regarded, in his day, as standing at the head of the merchants of Boston. He lived at the corner of Summer and Arch streets. According to the fashion of the day, he generally appeared on ' Change in full dress ; which implied at that time, for elderly persons, usually a coat of some light colored cloth, small clothes, diamond or paste buckles at the knee and in the shoes, silk stockings, powdered hair, and a cocked hat ; in cold weather a scarlet cloak. A scarlet cloak and a white head were, in the last century, to be seen at the end of every pew in some of the Boston churches. In the latter part of his life, Mr. Russell built the stately mansion in Charlestown, near the old bridge. Though living on the bank of Charles river, on great occasions, before the bridge was built, his family drove to town in a coach drawn by four black horses, through Cambridge, Brighton, and Roxbury. Mr. Russell, at his decease in 1796, is supposed to have left the largest property which had at that time been accumulated in New England. . Warren, John Eulogy on the Honourable Thomas Russell Boston 1796 Warren, John. An eulogy on the Honourable Thomas Russell, Esq. late president of the Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America; the Humane Society of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; the Agricultural Society; the Society for the Advice of Immigrants; the Boston Chamber of Commerce; and the National Bank in Boston. Who died at Boston, April 8, 1796. Delivered May 4, 1796, before the several society's to which he belonged.