Cynthia Franklin Pierson Olmsted
by Lynne Belluscio
During this month of women’s history, I’d like to remember our early pioneer women. Looking through the published histories, it is often frustrating to discover that these women are only identified by the men to whom they were related. They are “the daughter of . . . the wife of . . . . the mother of . . . . the sister of . . ." Their experiences are rarely recorded. I am apt to believe that they were too busy raising children, washing clothes, nursing the sick, and cooking to take the time to write about their lives. And perhaps they didn’t think that they made much of a difference, but it was their strength, perseverance and tenacity that identified their generation. And I’d like to think that they passed their strength on to their daughters and granddaughters.
Cynthia Franklin was born on May 10, 1783 in Killingworth, Connecticut. Her mother Martha Pierson and her father, Ishi Franklin were married in 1772. The Franklin family was large. Cynthia had eight brothers, Luther, John, Ishi, David, Daniel, Ruben, Warren and Silvarnus. And she had three sisters, Esther, Martha and Clarissa. Cynthia was the middle child. In 1804, on November 5, when Cynthia was twenty one, she married John Pierson. Their first daughter, Florilla was born in the first year. Soon the young family was on their way to the Genesee Country with John’s bachelor brother, Philo. The trip took over three weeks and John wrote to his mother when they arrived near what is now Stone Church. “We got here the 23rd day of June. We stopped one day at Whitestown at Uncle Jonas Paramelee’s. We had very good weather, no rain to hinder us . . . .I have had the fever ague about fifteen days. I am now getting better. (The ague was a type of malaria, spread by mosquitoes, and was known as the Genesee Fever.) Cynthia has had a little of the ague.
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