Roxbury, Dorchester, Reading Vt, New Canaan NY, To Tuscaloosa, Leaven, St John Jr, & The Revere Bells
The Revere Family Bell of 1828, Donated by Messrs.’., Leavens and
St John Jr, to the Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Joshua Bayley Leavens and Samuel St. John Jr, were intimately involved in procuring the Revere Bell for the First Methodist Episcopal Church of Tuscaloosa. Joshua Leavens was born in Reading, Vermont, and Samuel St John Jr in New Canaan, Connecticut. John Leavens (Levens, Levins, Levinz or Levnze) first arrived in 1632 and settled in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The first time that the Leavens and St John families brushed elbows was in 1634 with the immigration of Mathias St John to Dorchester, Massachusetts. Both villages were separate chartered towns free of Boston’s Puritan dominance. Today, they are neighborhoods on the southeast side of Boston. The first suggestion that the donors crossed paths was the War of 1812. Each volunteered and fought in a New York Militia unit. Both units served at the 1814 Battle of Plattsburgh, New York. We cannot yet confirm the reasons that Leavens and St John volunteered for the New York Militia versus a Connecticut or Vermont unit. Our Endnote  speculates on the reason.
Samuel St John’s first partner, Edward Griffith, died in the year 1824 in New York City. Joshua Leavens joined the establishment of St John Jr in 1825. Their partnership began in New York City, and by 1828 they had opened operations in Mobile, Alabama. We have tracked their business and legal activity by newspaper announcements made in various regional papers. We have posted them in the image section at the end of this report https://www.walkbostonhistory.com/tuscaloosa-bell.html. The clippings provide insight into a sophisticated legal and business environment.
In our full blog we identified the two bell donors from their youth to their death. Additionally, we have provided a genealogy of both families back to 1632 and 1634.
Follow the donors from the War of 1812 to Leavens passing in Mobile Alabama and St. John Jr’s., last days in New Haven Connecticut in 1866. https://www.walkbostonhistory.com/tuscaloosa-bell.html.
Images of the bell foundry then and now are provided along with the Revere ledger documenting the initial date of purchase and completion.
 There may be a historical answer. The British invaded from Canada via the upstate New York waterway of Lake Champlain to split New England from the rest of the United States. The waterway runs for miles abutting New York State on its western side and Vermont to its east. The Governors of Vermont, Connecticut, and Massachusetts did not commit their militias to defend New York. Contentiously, all three governors believed they were chartered to use the militia only to defend their state. In truth, New England was lukewarm on the war as the prominent issue of “impressment” had been resolved in writing before the beginning of combat. Additionally, local commerce with England was substantial. Thirteen years later, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Governors’ opinions. Under the circumstances, volunteers made their way to New York to serve in the war.
https://www.walkbostonhistory.com/tuscaloosa-bell.html from 1632 to 2018.
www.walkbostonhistory.com/revere-bells-index.html for more on the Revere Bells.