[Mr. Tucker's first column]
"Our Town" By James W. Tucker
Thursday, August 31, 1950
The writer has lived his summers in happy Hampton for thirty-five years. He has been a legal resident of the town on an all-year basis for nineteen years. At the very outset, he wondered why he should feel so much at home in this particular area.
Just recently we ascertained the reason why we have always, in spite of small and inconsequential adversities, felt so much at home in this small corner of New England. Our cousin, John True Tucker, 3rd, of South Acworth, New Hampshire, has made available to us a mass of genealogical charts, papers and books. From this data, we find that in the 1600's we had a six times great-grandfather. Morris Tucker, born in England in 1639, who came to this country as a young man and lived most of his life in nearby Salisbury, Massachusetts.
In 1692, according to Salisbury town records, Grandfather Morris Tucker signed a petition in favor of Mary, wife of Captain Thomas Bradbury, who had been condemned as a witch, but not executed. Taking the part of a condemned witch, operated against the Morris Tuckers in Salisbury, so grandfather sold his property to his oldest son, James, and moved to Tiverton, R. I., where he died on September 23, 1711. Taking a small part in behalf of the restoration to citizenship of one Goody Cole who was condemned as a witch in Hampton in the early 1700's, did not operate in any way against Morris' great, great, great, great, great, great, grandson, James [W. Tucker], in 1938.
Grandfather Morris, who lived in nearby Salisbury, married three times and had nine children. It is recorded that he loved his adopted town and the nearby ocean so much that he wept openly when he mounted his horse and with his wife behind him, started the long ride to his new home in Rhode Island. So, it probably is from this progenitor, who lived only a few miles from here about three hundred years ago, that we undoubtedly inherit a natural love for this area and for the ocean to the eastward. No wonder we have always felt perfectly at home in this section of the country.
Over the all-too short years, our high regard for our adopted town and for its citizens has continued to grow.
The community's unusual historic background, its dignified physical charm and its spirit of progressiveness, appeal to me, as these same notable assets have appealed likewise to many other citizens. There are thousands of facets to such a jewel of a community as Hampton, most of them as bright and sparkling as the sun-kissed tips of the waves of the bordering Atlantic on a bright September morning. Some lack lustre and are dull but these dark facets of community life in Hampton are notable mainly because they are so comparatively few in number.
We who live in Hampton and in all of the other little communities are the grass-roots of the nation. Our responsibilities, as citizens, are just as great and just as important as if we were citizens of the great metropolises of New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. If there is apathy in our nation toward the threat of communism, that same apathy persists in our town. If citizens in general allow organized groups -- oftentimes with selfish aims -- to do their political and economic thinking for them, the chances are that we in Hampton may also lack the necessary individual incentive to study the character and the records of candidates for important public offices.
If there exists in our nation a tendency towards statism and away from the comparative free enterprise of individuals which made our modern system of capitalism, in spite of its recognized faults, the greatest economic force in the world, then the chances are that such a tendency exists right here today in our happy little village.
So, it may be that from everyday happenings in our town, certain conclusions may be drawn which oftentimes have national and international importance, for we are the grass-roots of the nation and world. And that makes our town a much more important community that we usually credit it with being. Consequently local happenings which are chronicled in the pages of Hampton Union are oftentimes more significant than we are inclined ordinarily to believe.
From time to time we shall be discussing these local problems -- sewers, erosion, navigation hazards, water costs and service parking, traffic, toll roads, town management and a hundred kindred subjects. And, of course, they necessarily will be discussed from the standpoint of the average citizen. You are invited most cordially to join in these discussions, for it is not my town, but our town.