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1812 — Madison County, New York
Alexander had an advantage for acquiring a good education because his later life shows he had a mastery of reading and writing. His education was in a large part received from his mother. A school was not organized in Hiram until 1800. General Peleg Wadsworth, the founder, opened a school in the large hall of his home. The sole teacher in the first school was the General's son, also named Peleg, who was only a boy himself at the time. Alexander probably attended the first school because the Clemons Farm was near the Wadsworth house. The three brief years at the Wadsworth School, constituted some of the most important formal training Alexander received. While he was attending school, his parents were planning a move to New York State.
When Alexander was twelve years old his family removed from Hiram to Hamilton, Madison County, New York. 10 Like other Yankees, they were attracted to western land for the opportunity for bettering themselves. Here are no records about Alexander's early youth spent at Hamilton.
At the age of twenty, Alexander enlisted on 28 July 1812, for Military service at Concord, Cattaraugus County, New York, as a private in the War of 1812, in the New York State Militia for six months. 11 He was a substitute for Azuaziah Ashmun. This was a common mobilization practice during the war.
9 Letter from Miss Bethesda Bosworth, Local Historian, Hiram, Maine, dated 25 February 1961.
10 E. C. Newton, Clemons-Newton Family History, MS, in possession of the author.
11 pension Record, War of 1812 (National Archives, Washington, D. C.) Note: He served in Militia Company commanded by Capt. Joseph McClures, in regiment of Col. Dobbs, and Brigade of Brigadier General William Wadsworth. Brigadier General Wadsworth may have been related to Alexander since Alexander's Aunt Ruth was married to Charles Lee Wadsworth.