Historical Houses & Societies
Daniel Webster Estate is best remembered as a statesman, orator, lawyer, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State. He is least remembered for being a farmer, fisherman and hunter. Daniel Webster came to Marshfield in 1828 and, two years later bought the 600-acre Thomas Farm. During the twenty years that he lived here, Webster expanded to an 1800-acre farm that he named “Green Harbor”. It was described as “an English country estate”. In its day, the Webster Estate encompassed a large portion of Marshfield, including present day landmarks such as, the Green Harbor Golf Course, the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary, conservation and recreation land and the Isaac Winslow House.
The Isaac Winslow House was built circa 1699 for the Hon. Isaac Winslow (1671–1738) at the place named “Careswell” after their family home “Kerswell” in Worcestershire, England. This was the third house built on land granted to Gov. Edward Winslow (1595–1655) in the 1630s who erected the first homestead.
A Mayflower passenger and major leader in the early years of Plymouth Colony, Edward was three-times governor, intermediary with the Native Americans, as well as ambassador from the colony to England. His son Col. Josiah Winslow (1628–1680) also held the governor’s office, the first native-born to hold it, in addition to leading the Colonial Militia in the 1675 “Great Swamp Fight,” the decisive battle of King Phillip’s War.
Judge Isaac Winslow was Josiah’s son. He also held many prominent positions in the colony, both military and civil. He was the judge of the Probate Court at Plymouth, chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas, and president of the Council of the Province of Massachusetts Bay.
His house was inherited by son Gen. John Winslow (1703–1774) who had an outstanding military career as a major general in the British service. He participated in several military campaigns, starting with the War of Jenkin’s Ear from 1740–1741. At Nova Scotia (Acadia) from 1742–1755 he assisted the British in the removal of the French Acadians, an event commemorated by Longfellow in his epic poem “Evangeline.” Lastly, at Lake Champlain in 1756, he commanded Fort William Henry.
After the death of John, the property was passed to his son, Dr. Isaac Winslow. Isaac had a large medical practice serving southeastern Massachusetts and was well known for his work with the smallpox inoculations. He embraced the British cause during the American Revolution and was one of Marshfield’s leading loyalists, the house becoming the center for Tory activities. When war broke out, most properties belonging to those loyal to England were seized by the Great and General Court of Massachusetts. It is believed that because Isaac was so admired and beloved as a physician by the people, his property was not confiscated.
Dr. Isaac Winslow was the last of the family to occupy the house. After his death in 1822 the estate was sold to honor debt. It then was put up for auction in 1825, divided and purchased by local families. The house and remaining land were later purchased by neighbor Daniel Webster.