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Dolphin Freeman

Dolphin Freeman (1798-1844), also known as Dauphin Freeman, was the son of Watertown’s Richard Freeman. His brother was Pollard Freeman. Dolphin was baptized in Waterbury’s Episcopal church shortly after his birth.

His father died when Dolphin was 17; Samuel Hickcox became his legal guardian, while Samuel Nettleton, cousin to Hickcox, became Pollard’s guardian.

Dolphin inherited a number of items from his father, including a pair of velvet pantaloons, a great chair and a spice mortar, as well as a portion of the family farm, located on Echo Lake Road in Watertown.

In the 1820s, Dolphin married a woman named Elvira (sometimes spelled Alvira), who was born in 1803. They had four children together, although their eldest child died in 1825 at age two. Their other children were Erastus (1824-1855), Leverett (1827-1898) and Frederick (1830-??).

By 1840, Dolphin had changed his name to Dauphin. He died in 1844. His gravestone reads “In Memory of Dauphin Freeman who died March 25, 1844 A.E. 46.”

Dolphin's Children

Very little is known about Dolphin's son Erastus. Town records list a child of Erastus Freeman dying at age 2 in 1849. Erastus died in 1855. So far there is no record of his having married or having other children.

Frederick, like his brother Erastus, worked as a laborer. He married a woman named Hannah in the 1850s. Tragically, the couple's daughter Martha Jane died in 1856, when she was only three months old. She was buried next to her uncle Erastus. Her grave marker was inscribed "My parents, dear, weep not for me/ When in this yard my grave you see./ My time was short and blest is He/ That called me to Eternity."

By 1860, Frederick and Hannah had moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, where Frederick worked as a seamster. They had a daughter named Eunice who was born in 1858.

Leverett Freeman (1827-1898) was a farmer his whole life. His wife, Antoinette, was born in 1831. They had three children: Arthur, born in 1864; Eunice, born in 1866; and Lucy, born in 1868. The family lived on their farm in what became the Oakville section of Watertown. In 1903, Antoinette moved to Waterbury. She may have died soon after.

Related Biographies

Dolphin's Baptism Record
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Dolphin's Baptism Record - 1799
Detail of the record book of St. John's Episcopal Church, Waterbury. Collection of the Mattatuck Museum

Dolphin's Adoption Paper
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Dolphin's Adoption Paper- 1815
Dolphin's adoption following the death of his father, Richard Freeman. Collection of the Mattatuck Museum

Dauphin Freeman's Gravestone
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Dauphin Freeman's Gravestone
Located in the Old Burying Ground in Watertown. Dolphin Freeman became Dauphin Freeman when he was an adult. The small stone resting in front is a fragment from the grave stone of Wealthy Skilton, who is buried to the right. His son Erastus is buried to his left.

Map of Watertown (detail)
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Map of Watertown (detail) - 1859
Detail of Clark's Map of Litchfield County. Leverett Freeman's home is highlighted. It was located on Buckingham Street in Oakville, approximately where Hadley Street is today.
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