Enoch Little, Jr.

Enoch Little, Jr. was the third child (of 9) of Enoch Little and Hannah Hovey. They are the first settlers of what is now Little Hill in Webster. Enoch kept a day-book throughout his life, giving an intimate look at the challenges of the day, and a glimpse at life in (what was then) the wild frontier. From the History of Boscawen and Webster, pgs. 403-8:

In the fall of 1775 his father moved into his log cabin, and during the long winter evenings Enoch employed his time in learning to write, by lying on the split floor before the pitch knot fire, with strips of birch bark for paper and a charred stick for a pen.

The family was very poor. There were many mouths to feed. Nothing had been raised. Corn was scarce and high, but there was one man to whom they could look for help,–Capt. Peter Coffin, who never took advantage of his opportunity, but who supplied them with corn at the regular price, on credit. There were so many to be provided for, that in midwinter some of the children were obliged to go with bare feet. Enoch often was obliged to wrap his feet in swingling tow, and stand on a chip while cutting down trees in midwinter.

From Enoch’s day-book:

“Enoch Little, born Jan. 17, 1763 in Newbury, Mass.
“1766. Moved to Hampstead at 3 years and 3 months old–lived there 8 years.
“1774. April, moved to Boscawen at 11 years and 3 months old.
“1785. At the age of 22 took my land wild and began to clear.
“1786. Went to school at Atkinson.
“1787. Kept school on Corser hill in winter, and worked my land in summer.
“1787. Built my first barn.
“1788. Kept school on Corser Hill. Hired Oliver Clement 7 months this summer for 42 dollars. Cleared 6 acres on the hill, and by the lowest side of the new barn field.
“Kept school in Jo’s house this winter, and carried on my farm alone this summer, and in the fall began to cut timber for my house.
“1790. Prepared boards and shingles, bricks &c., for my house this winter. Raised my house in June, made my cellar, covered my house, built my chimneys this fall, and married the last day of Nov.
“Moved into my house 22 Feb, 1791.”

He went to Atkinson academy one term in 1786, when he was 23 years of age. There he made the acquaintance of a pleasant girl, Polly Noyes [born Atkinson, NH 15 March 1771, daughter of James Noyes and Jane Little], 15 years of age, whom he asked to be his wife, and who accepted the offer,–agreeing to wait till he could get started a little in life. Her parents were prudent people, and the father was not quite sure whether or not the young man from the backwoods would succeed in getting a living; and so, when he went down to claim his bride, in 1790, the father informed him that the kettle, frying-pan, feather-bed, and quilts, which made up the daughter’s outfit, were loaned to him. The young husband, flashing up, proposed not to take them. He would sleep on the floor, and cook his porridge as best he could. The pluck displayed pleased the father-in-law, and in November, 1790, with his bride seated on a pillion behind him, and all her outfit packed on a led horse, he rode from Atkinson to Little hill, and began married life on a farm now occupied [1878] by Dea[con] Francis B. Sawyer.

Enoch Little and his wife, Mary “Polly” Noyes, married Atkinson, NH 30 November 1790, were the parents of four daughters and two sons. Enoch died 28 March 1848; Polly died 14 July 1833. They were buried at the Meeting House, but moved to Corser Hill Cemetery when the Blackwater Dam was built.