These biographies and family sketches are copied exactly as found. Undoubtedly there will be minor variations found in later research.
Be this as it may, the young Frederick possessed many, if not all of these traits to a degree that goes far to fully establish much that enthusiastic devotees of heredity claim for it. At the time of his arrival at the village of Cape Vincent, it was just fairly recovering from the enervating effects of the War of 1812-15, and beginning to show some indications that it might in a few years become a prosperous town. Its educational advantages were not great, but such as they were, they were fully improved by this lad, who early showed signs of a natural aptitude for the acquirement of knowledge, far above the average; and in fact, throughout his whole life he gave evidence of a great love for intellectual pursuits, especially along the line of poetical composition--as some fugitive pieces from his facile pen, which are yet in existence, will abundantly prove. In those days, however, writing poetry was not an available method of winning wealth nor anything else, beyond a mere local renown; and so the young man took up more profitable employment. With true "down East" instincts, he was a born speculator; that is to say he had the instincts of trade, he was quick to see in which direction an opening lay, or in what occupation he was most likely to realize the greatest profit with the quickest returns; and so, when he was ready to assume the responsibility of engaging in business for himself, he began the slaughtering of beeves for market. At this time it was a profitable trade, and the young man made a success of the business. In view of his parentage, and what must have been his childhood associations in Nantucket, that Mecca of seamen, it would have been strange if the young Frederick had not himself had something to do with ships and shipping. Accordingly, at one time we find him in command of a small sloop, trading between Cape Vincent and Gananoque, at which port the farmers found their best wheat market, because of the flouring mills which were erected there at an early date.
Connected with this trade, Captain Hinckley, of Cape Vincent, now a very old gentleman, relates, with great glee, a story about Mr Folger. Captain Hinckley was also engaged at the same time in trading between the same places, and on one occasion when returning from Gananoque, very early in the morning, they tied up on the shore of Carleton Island, built a fire, and set about preparing breakfast. Mr Folger was not only fond of pancakes, but prided himself on his skill in preparing them for the table; and he proposed having some for breakfast. Turning a barrel bottom side up, he placed a pan thereon, mixed his batter, put the requisite quantity in the frying pain, and held it over the fire to bake, boasting, at the same time, of his skill in tossing them up when ready to turn, and catching them in the pan with the unbaked side down. This time he was too eager, and instead of catching the half baked disk in the pain, he caught it on his bare wrists, when, giving one yell of pain, he plunged at full length into the river, satisfied for once that his usual skill had failed him. They had pancakes for breakfast, however, though the narrator failed to state whether or not they were turned with a curve toss and caught on the fly.
Speaking of the "curve," brings to mind what is said of Mr Folger by one who knew him well in his younger days. It seems that he was exceedingly fond of sports requiring skill and dexterity, rather than mere brute force. As a rifle-shot, he was seldom excelled. It was his custom, when slaughtering beeves, to shoot them in the centre of the little curl of hair in the forehead, a spot which he never failed to hit. Another of his favorite sports was ball playing, especially the old time game of base-ball. Whether he was the inventor of the "curve throw" or not, it was a fact attested by many, that he would so throw the ball that it would almost reach the batter's club, when it would take a sudden curve upward, while the unlucky batter struck beneath it. Saturdays were generally devoted to base ball; and no matter how busy the season, every one left work to go to town to see the game, for which sides had chosen the previous Saturday, the losing party to pay the eggnogg or a supper. Mr Folger finally built a tavern on the corner of Market and Broadway, having a restaurant in the basement now occupied as a beer saloon. He was also a speculator in village lots to some extent with the late Hon. Charles Smith.
He married Miss Laura Breck, a sister of Mr. Breck, of the well-known firm of Calvin & Breck, and sister to Mr Calvin's second wife. The fruits of this union were Benjamin W., Henry M., Fred A., Helen, Hattie, Mamie and Etta. The sons are too widely and favorably known to need further mention here. It was their misfortune that their father died when they were very young, and at a time when the guidance of such a father would have been a priceless boon. He died on the 28th of September, 1851, aged 42 years. He was cut off in the very prime of manhood, beloved by all, mourned by all. When Cape Vincent was taken from Lyme and erected into a town in 1849, he was the first and only choice of the people for their supervisor. Kindhearted, affable, polite, agreeable, he was popular with all classes. Quick-witted, he had no equal at repartee; and yet so acute his perceptions and gentle his nature, that his keenest shafts, pierced they never so deeply, begot nothing but love and admiration in the breast of the wounded.
His early demise was not only a great loss to his family, but if such a thing were possible, greater to the community in which he lived. As one who knew him well said to the writer: "What a pity it is that Cape Vincent did not have a hundred such men."
The following, copied from a Nantucket newspaper, shows the ancient renown of the Folgers, who seem to have been related to the celebrated Dr Benjamin Franklin: Considering its position, writes a correspondent of the New York Post, Nantucket has been wonderfully prolific of great men and women. Among the first families on the island were the Macys. The Folgers are another noteworthy race. The only child of "Peter Foulger," born after his removal from Martha's Vineyard to Nantucket, was Abiah, who, in her young maidenhood, removed to Boston and married Jonah Franklin, the tallow chandler. The fifteenth child by this marriage was Benjamin Franklin, the philosopher. The mother, in talent and worth, is said to have been every way worthy of her illustrious son. Another member of this family was Charles J. Folger, the present secretary of the treasury, who was born in Nantucket, in a house which stood on the site of the present Sherburne House, on Orange street. The Coffins, famous in naval annals, are a numerous family on the island. Lucretia Mott was born at Nantucket in 1793. Phoebe A Hanford is a native of Siasconset; Gen. George N. Macy, of the late war; the Rev Dr F.C. Ewer, of New York; the Mitchells, mathematicians and astronomers, and scores of other men and women who have gained honorable positions in the professions figured in these reminiscences.
Jno. H. Moore,
Ira C. Nicols,
Charles A. Briggs,
H. or M. Perego,
Austin M. Horr,
Don A Freeman,
Richard E. Keys,
Marshall S.B. Pringle,
Fred G Shaffer,
Isaac T. Cross,
Charles A. Briggs,
John D. Clark,
Henry S Simmons,
James P. Rector,
Elisha L Dodge,
Louis P Jodwine,
Col AD Shaw, our distinguished citizen, eminent public speaker and grand, good soldier, was the first man to enlist from Cape Vincent in Co A, 35th NY Vol Infantry, May, 1861.The Historian finds it very difficult to prepare rolls of Union soldiers that are entirely reliable. Such as they are, we present them, and if any veteran is unmentioned he can charge it to his own inattention in neglecting to have his record right at GAR headquarters.
The death rate of Cape Vincent is but 8 per thousand, being the lowest in the State, as per report of the Health Commissioners of the State.
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