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The Carpenter Soldier

Joel Talbot (1785-1878)

Hannah Fuller Talbot (1791-1877)


Joel Talbot was born on September 5, 1785 and grew up in South Dedham.


Soon after the opening of the 19th century, the British and Americans were at war once again, in the War of 1812, which finally accomplished the independence of the United States begun by the Revolutionary War.


From the spring of 1813 until the close of the war, British ships hovered along the coast and threatened the destruction of maritime cities and towns. Attacks upon Boston, which had a large ship building industry, and was a city of some wealth, were expected. During the entire war there was actually little fighting along the New England coast but Massachusetts felt the pressure of declining industries, the drain upon her wealth, and a general sense of insecurity. Caleb Strong, the Governor of Massachusetts, was strongly opposed to the War as were many others of wealth because of possible interference with the shipping interests of New England. It was not until after territory in Maine was lost to the British that Strong took measures to protect the coastline.



A large number of citizens of all classes and trades volunteered, including Joel Talbot. A fort was built in East Boston. On September 6, 1814, Governor Strong issued an order for the state militia to be ready to march to Boston on a moment’s notice. Most Companies of soldiers served in Boston from September 10 thru October 30. Joel Talbot, who enlisted as a Private in Captain Davenport’s detached company which was raised in Milton, was in service at South Boston from September 13 to November 7, 1814.



The proclamation of President Madison of the treaty of peace ending the War of 1812, which essentially was concluded on December 24, 1814, was made on February 18, 1815.


Joel Talbot, a carpenter by trade, returned to South Dedham. He married Hannah Fuller of South Dedham. The couple had 4 children: Elizabeth (1817-1850), George (1820-1898), Henry A. (1822-1866), and Joel (1824-1841). Three of their children predeceased them. Joel, died in October of 1841 of bilious fever at the age of 19. Elizabeth died on January 18, 1850 of consumption at 33 (the gravestone, erected at a later date, gives her birth and death dates as 1826 and 1866). Henry, a cabinet maker, died on September 18, 1866 of pulmonary tuberculosis. According to cemetery records, he was buried in Brockton.


Hannah Talbot, 86, died of old age on October 17, 1877. A few months later, on February 17, 1878, Joel Talbot died at the age of 93. His death, too, was attributed to old age.


Joel, Hanna(h), Elizabeth, Talbot Gravestone


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