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Lemuel Crane

Lemuel Crane was born July 12, 1725, the 8th of 11 children from two marriages. Lemuel was likely born near a place called “Fort Hill” in Connecticut. At around the age of 3 his father sold land and a dwelling (presumably the family home).

Lemuel was married to Jershua Crane, daughter of Jonathan, on May 13, 1752. They settled in Lebanon, Connecticut and had 3 children (E. B. Crane, p. 44-45). Based on limited research, it appears Lemuel and Jershua were first cousins. Their fathers, John and Jonathan, were brothers.

Lemuel is listed as one of the men of Alstead who signed The New Hampshire Association Test in April, 1776. The document was created as a way to identify and disarm any British sympathizers in the months leading up to the beginning of the Revolutionary War (Bouton, p. 205).

Slade Cemetery, Alstead New Hampshire
Slade Cemetery, Alstead New Hampshire. The likely burial location of Jershua Crane. Photo credit: George Wilsom (4/5/2008).

On August 2, 1776 Lemuel and 10 other men established land for a cemetery near Alstead, New Hampshire known today as The Slade Cemetery. Later records indicate the cemetery had an unmarked grave, thought to be Lemuel's wife Jershua (Peck, p. 159-160). Lemuel and Jershua’s date of death and burial location are currently unknown.


The following has been transcribed from “Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume II.

182. Lemuel Crane4 [92], (John,3 Jonathan,2 Benjamin1 ), married Jerusha Crane, daughter of Jonathan, as Lebanon town records say. May 13, 1757, which no doubt should have been 1752. Settled in Lebanon, Conn. Children:

183—1. Zebulon, b. Feb. 21, 1753.
184—2. Prudence, b. Feb. 12, 1755.
185—3. Louisa, b. Feb. 16, 1757.

Crane, Ellery Bicknell. Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume II. Pages 44-45.

Jershua's marriage to Lemuel is also recorded under the profile of her father, Jonathan:

83—9. Jerusha ; m. Lemuel Crane, May 13, 1757; family at Lebanon.
Crane, Ellery Bicknell. Genealogy of the Crane Family. Volume II. Page 32.

On March 14, 1776 a resolution was passed by the Continental Congress to identify and disarm anyone who refused to associate with the American cause (Bouton, p. 204-205). On April 12, 1776 the Colony of New Hampshire Committee of Safety presented the selectmen from each town with a document, referred to as the “Association Test.” The other men of the town were asked to sign a pledge to the United American Colonies and to oppose Britain.

Listed with the names of the men from Alstead, New Hampshire (Bouton, p. 208) who allied against the British was Lemuel Crane. The names of 8199 New Hampshire men were recorded to have signed the document, 773 refused. The New Hampshire Association Test occurred nearly three months before the United States Declaration of Independence.

In Consequence of the above Resolution of Hon. Continental Congress, and to show our determination in joining our American Brethren in defending the Lives, Liberties, and Properties of the inhabitants of the United Colonies:

We the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with Arms, oppose the Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets and Armies, against the United American Colonies. (Bouton, p. 205)

Bouton, Nathaniel. Documents And Records Relating To The State of New Hampshire, Volume VIII. Concord, New Hampshire: Edward A. Jenks, State Printer. 1874. Google Books. Web. 2015.

On August 2nd, eleven men purchased land for a cemetery. The cemetery, located in Alstead, New Hampshire was known as the John Slade Cemetery. The timing of the purchase is interesting, considering all twelve men involved in the land transfer were signers of “the Declaration of Independence by the People of New Hampshire,” (Bouton, p.205) only a few months earlier.

Aug. 2, 1776, Nathaniel Rust conveyed one-fourth of an acre of land for twenty shillings to John Burroughs, John Slade, Lemuel Crane, Job Thompson, John Hill, John Burroughs, Jr., Joel Burroughs, Timothy Burroughs, Daniel Burroughs, John Slade, Jr., and Nathaniel Rust “on the road from Alstead to Marlow at the corner of the fence westerly of my dwelling house.” Although it was not so stated in the deed, yet the names of the grantees, all of whom resided in the southwest corner of Alstead, and the description of the location indicate that this was the piece of land called in this book the “John Slade cemetery.” (Peck, p. 79)

The Slade Cemetery seems to be a likely burial location for Jershua Crane. Currently there is no further information to support Arnold’s assumption and no stone to mark her grave. Full text of the deed is on page 160 of Peck’s book.

The location of the highway has since been changed, so that the cemetery can now be reached only by crossing fields. It is enclosed by a stone wall and was put in order by the town of Alstead several years since. The earliest of the 33 inscriptions is dated April 4, 1785. Arnold refers to this cemetery on page 21 of his “sermon.” After referring to the burial of a child in the burying ground near the middle of the town, he says:

"There are two other burying places in town. The first buried in that of the East Parish, was a child of David Richardson; and the first buried in that at the west part of the town, near Walpole, was Mrs. Crane, an aged woman."

There is no stone to mark the grave referred to. This Mrs. Crane was, perhaps, wife of Lemuel Crane, one of the grantees mentioned in the deed of the cemetery, who owned and lived in 1779 on Lot No. 2 in the 2d range, joining the John Slade farm on the east.

(Peck, p. 159-160)

Peck, Thomas Bellows. William Slade of Windsor, Conn. And His Descendants. Keene, New Hampshire: Sentinel Printing Company, 1910. Google Books. Web. 2015.