My Irish Grandparents Biographies Secret Garden

of the
Little Family

James Amasa Little

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 William Little Jr

Linking Generations: The Littles

James and Susannah, Susannah Young Little,
Fannie & Thomas and Tamar & Isaiah

James Amasa Little the youngest son of James Little and Susannah Young, was born 14 September 1822 at Aurelius, Cayuga County, New York. He was named after his father, but in mature years took the name Amasa as a middle name. As he himself stated, it seems that he was born to sorrows and hardships which began early. When still a babe in arms he was left fatherless by the death of his father through an accident. Any recording of his early childhood has been lost so we pass along till his seventh year when he was bound out to a couble named Bouton who lived at Ira in Cayuga County, N.Y. They were good Christian people but as James has said, they were married late in life and had no children of their own to tone down the austerities of their characters. Sperry Bouton was a kind hearted man but quick tempered and excitable under the influence of his wife who had a melancholy turn od mind and was apt to find much fault with trifles which was the cause of many severe beatings for the boy. He has said thate he has no recollection of any affection ever manifested for him by either of them. As he grew up he longed intensly for somebody to love. There was a void in his young heart and nothing in his surroundings to fill it. The fault finding and beatings caused an increasing discontent and he longed for the time of release to come. As he was nearing his 16th birthday a change came when one day Bouton flew into a passion and was about to administer another beating. James decided he had born quite enough, and took a stand in his own self defense. He was relieved now of much abuse but took no advantage of the circumstance and continued diligent in his duties and labors.

The Boutons were conscientious in sending him to school until his 11th year then he began to work and went to school about four months through the winter and received a good education for those days. He learned rapidly in school, and at an early age resolved to play less and read more, and to use every facility for improving his mind. He loved stories of travel, history and biography and before 16 years of age he had studied Grecian and Roman history and was much interested in Plutarch's Lives and Milton's "Paradise Lost." The Boutons were strict in the observance of the Sabbath day and attending church. The boy missed probably only one or two times a year attending the presbyterian church at the town of Lysander, Onondaga County. He says in their neighborhood, there was no profane or vulgar language, no sabbath breaking and property was safe anywhere. These early habits of associations have exercised a great influence for good all through his life. He remained with the Boutons until spring of his 17th year then he hired out on his own. He taught school when 18 years, and had his first romance which ended in disappointment because he was penniless and the girl had a small inheritance; therefore, her father would not give permission for the match.

He was amabitious to make a home of his own so in the spring of 1841 after visiting relatives in New York, he took a boat for Milwaukee. Here he again met with a sad disappointment. He worked all summer for a "long faced praying Methodist," who in the fall cheated him of all his earnings by taking bankruptcy. A year later he made his way to Nauvoo where his uncles and his mother and oldest brother Edwin were. He recalled that his mother had visited him once while at the Boutons and that she and husband, Stilson, were "Moromons." He was very predudiced against the "Mormons." He found his family at Nauvoo in poverty and sickness, and he himself contracted the chills and fever.

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