Absalom Baker Scattergood was born on July 11, 1822 in Dolington, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. I was unable to definitely determine who his parents were, although one source lists his parents as John Head and Catherine (King) Scattergood. I believe, based on the history of the area encompassing Bucks County, Pennsylvania and across the river to Burlington, New Jersey, that Absalom’s family would have been Quakers more than likely. According to the records of the First United Methodist Church of Mount Holly, New Jersey, Absalom married Rachel King on August 12, 1843, so at some point Absalom had left the Society of Friends and joined the Methodist Church. According to church records, he was a member of the First United Methodist Church in 1840. Their first child, John, was born in 1844. James, was born on October 19, 1848, but he died at the age of four years old and one month on November 24, 1852. Their third child, William, was born on November 27, 1854, and daughter Catherine (Kate) was born on October 9, 1858. In 1842 an organization called “Sons of Temperance” was founded in New York and quickly spread throughout the country. It was a brotherhood of men who supported the temperance movement. There was a two dollar initiation fee and a weekly membership fee of six cents (and secret passwords, handshakes and regalia). The official pledge was: “I will neither make, buy, sell nor use as a beverage, any spirituous or malt liquors, wine or cider.” On January 23, 1845 the Mount Holly Division, No. 8 of the Sons of Temperance was instituted.
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