|Birth: ||Oct. 13, 1784|
|Death: ||Dec. 18, 1861|
MACHIAS REPUBLICAN, Machias, Me., Tuesday, Dec. 31, 1861. John Coffin Talbot of East Machias.
Death seems premature, when it takes away our friends in the unimpaired vigor of their minds, in the midst of their employments out of the circle of an undiminished affection. So this estimable man, though at the ripe age of 77, seems to have gone too soon to those, who noted his vigorous health, and thought of the long lived stock of which he came. His last sickness, which was short and not painful, came suddenly to suspend the routine of humble duties faithfully performed, and to shut out public concerns in which his life-long interest had not abated. His spectacles lay in an open record book upon the old secretary, at which he had sat so many years, showing that his last labor had been connected with the town office he had held for nearly half a century; but the record in the neat, careful hand was complete- none of his proper work left to a successor. One of his last evenings he spent till a late hour at a social gathering of charitable ladies, whom he gratified by a short speech, less impressive doubtless in what was said, than in the sympathies of the good heart, of which it was expressed.
Mr. Talbot was born Oct. 13, 1784, in East Machias, his father's house standing a few rods from the homestead in which he spent his life after marriage. His father, Peter Talbot, came from Stoughton, Mass., just before the Revolutionary war in the employment of Ichabod Jones, Esq., of Boston. Peter Talbot was a mechanic and land surveyor; his roomy house too for many years was used as a tavern whereby he became widely known to townspeople and travellers. He was a man of excellent character-,-and, for his times, of good education, but with reserved manners and little enterprize. He was always highly esteemed by his fellow townsmen and one represented them in the Massachusetts General Court. He brought with him from Massachusetts just after their marriage, his wife, Lucy Hammond, a woman of commanding personal appearance and great energy of character.
They lived to extreme old age, and, with the exception of one son who was drowned in early manhood, the rest of their children, three sons and three daughters, lived to be aged. The parents had the rare happiness to have all these six children settle in their immediate neighborhood, and at one time the entire family were living in the centre of the village in their own houses upon land that had belonged to the old homestead, or adjoining it, to one of the sons. All who remember the old East Machias Meeting House, will remember the Talbot Side, where the old gentleman sat in the first wall pew and his children with their families sat in the pews next behind him in the order of their ages.
John Coffin was the third son and fifth child of his parents. He went to school scantily to the brilliant, but dissipated Irish convict, Master Gilmore, so well remembered by our old people, but his principal training was the logging wood on the river and in the saw mills where toil and exposure gave his system that tone and strength, which kept it in health and vigor to a full old age.
He had married Mary Foster, one of the old families of the place, to whom he had been in fact affianced in their childhood. Into the house which he had provided and which she afterwards adorned of her character, they entered as bride and bridegroom one beautiful December Sabbath in 1810. Fifty-one years afterwards on another beautiful December Sabbath, sad friends bore him away from the same home, in which he had lingered three years after her, with the record of a happy domestic life plainly written on his placid face.
Mr. Talbot was a member of the House of Representatives of this State in 1825 and again 1831. He was a member of the Senate body the last of those years. From 1837 to 1857 he held the office of Judge of Probate for Washington County, in 1844 he was a delegate to a national Presidential Convention at Baltimore, and in 1852, he was a member and president of the electoral college of this State for the election of President. He was not less known or less useful as the Postmaster of East Machias, to which place he was appointed in 1813 during Madison's administration and which he held continuously for a period of thirty six years. On the death of late Capt. Bowles in in 1813, he was elected Town Clerk of the then town of Machias and in that town and in East Machias he remained in that office till his death with the exception of one year before the division of the town when George S. Smith, Esq., received the election.
He valued his legislative experience principally for the estimable men in different parts of the State, whose friendship in this common service he gained and retained. His circuits through his district as Judge of Probate, furnished him materials with which to enrich his fireside narratives of men and things the chief charm of his conversation; and many persons during those periodical rounds among them the widow and the fatherless, were first put in communication with his courteous manners and just and liberal mind.
In all his public employments he was faithful, punctual and industrious- his love of such duties enabled him to fulfill them with dignity and ability. He had a relish for public disputations and for discussion of legal and political questions. His opinions were arrived at by a quick and sagacious judgment, adhered to with considerable pertinacity and sometimes advocated with vehement warmth. He spoke with a ready rather than a copious command of language always with earnestness and sometimes with a singular acuteness and point.
In his business he was too cautious to be enterprising but managed his small affairs with precision and clerkly method, so that every paper, record and file indicated his paramount love of order and regularity. He was just and liberal in his dealings and always careful to make prompt and full payment particularly to those to whom he was indebted for labor.
His tastes and habits were simple and temperate, and his pleasures nearly all centred in the quiet sphere of home. Less reserved and less excited there than in public, his genial mind unloosed itself sometimes in a strain of graphic narrative, sometimes of grotesque humor, that made his society the chief pleasure of the domestic circle. He liked of all things to exercise hospitality, and never was happier than when surrounded and excited by the faces and smiles of genial persons. His kind feelings and natural courtesy never gave way either to an unmanly reserve or a repulsive selfishness. He stood like a green and vigorous tree, the prop of his house, under which all feebler natures could find both shade and shelter. His was always the youthful eye looking out hopefully on life, the strong arm to lean on and feel that all was safe. Health was the type of his character- a health of mind and heart, the ancients "sane mind in a sane body".
He was generous towards his children in those very respects which gave them the best estimate of his forethought and wisdom. He taught them to prize education by his constantly expressed regrets of his own privations of it, and dismissed them upon the world with such intellectual outfit, as he could provide means to supply.
His religious opinions were liberal, almost to laxity in the view of some, but his religious feelings were deep and sincere, so that while he was a poor stickler for his creed, he always loved prayer and the reading of the Scriptures, and sympathized in feeling, as he did in experience, with the more fervent types of piety.
It is believed that a wide circle of neighbors and friends sincerely esteemed his character and did full honor to his virtues, and that in their mind regrets for his recent and sudden death, they judge, all too despondently, they ne'er may look upon his likes again. It is hoped they may be disappointed in seeing other emulate his example and reproduce his excellence.
Peter Talbot (1745 - 1836)
Lucy Hammond Talbot (1751 - 1831)
Mary Foster Talbot (1789 - 1858)*
Stephen Peter Talbot (1811 - 1834)*
William Henry Talbot (1813 - 1903)*
John Coffin Talbot (1816 - 1900)*
George Foster Talbot (1819 - 1907)*
Emma Caroline Talbot Keller (1821 - 1904)*
Thomas Hammond Talbot (1823 - 1907)*
Susan H. Talbot (1825 - 1910)*
Mary E. Talbot (1828 - 1915)*
Apphia Talbot Foster (1772 - 1860)*
Lucy Talbot Harris (1775 - 1861)*
Stephen Talbot (1781 - 1811)*
Peter Talbot (1783 - 1875)*
John Coffin Talbot (1784 - 1861)
Micah Jones Talbot (1787 - 1869)*
Sarah Jones Talbot Cary (1792 - 1856)*
East Machias Village Cemetery
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Lin
Record added: May 31, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19638231