Genealogical & Family History of Northern, NY
Pages 234-241

William Richard Cutter, A. M.
Editorial Supervisor

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


OTIS. The Otis family has had many men of distinction from colonial times to the present, and all are of the same family, all descendants of the same progenitor, John Otis, or, as the name is otherwise spelled, Attis, Oates, Oatise. The English family as a coat-of-arms.

(I) John Otis, emigrant ancestor, born in Barnstable, England, 1581, settled in Hingham, New England, and was there at the time of the first division, drawing land in 1635, and had later grants. Most of the early settlers there were from Hingham, England, where it is thought Otis lived for a time before coming to New England. His homestead was on Otis Hill, in the southwest part of Hingham, Massachusetts. he married (first) Margaret ----------- in England. She died in Hingham, June 28, 1653. He married (second) Elizabeth ----------------. He died in Weymouth, May 31, 1657 aged sev-

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enty-six years. His will, dated the day before his death, was proved July 28, 1657; bequeathed to his wife; to son John, show was executor; to daughter Margaret Burton and her three children' to daughter Hannah Gile; to Mary and Thomas Gile, Jr.; to daughters Ann and Alice. His widow Elizabeth made will September 12, 1672, proved July 17, 1676; bequeathed to her son John Streme; daughter Elizabeth and son-in-law, Lieutenant John Holbrook. Children of John Otis: 1. John, mentioned below. 2. Richard. 3. Margaret. 4. Hannah. 5. Ann. 6. Alice.

(II) John (2), eldest son of John (10 Otis, was born in Barnstable, Devonshire, England, 1620. He came to New England with his parents, and lived on Otis Hill, Hingham. He held land in Hingham 1668-69. In 1661 John Otis removed to Scituate where John Otis was buried May 8, 1641. It seems likely that John Otis, who died there and of whom all record is lacking, may be father of John Otis (1) and grandfather of John Otis (2), who twenty years later went to Scituate to live. He probably had land there. He bought a house of Deacon Thomas Robinson, south of Coleman's Hill. Otis also bought of John Hatherly twenty-three shares of the Conihassett partnership of forty shares. The Conihassett tract was three miles square and included parts of the present towns of Hanover, and Abington. He was admitted a freeman in Hingham, 1662, and at Barnstable in 1678. He settled in Barnstable on the Otis Farm, opposite Hinkley Lane, near the marches in the West Parish. He left his son John there, and returned to Scituate, where he died January 16, 1683. There is a stone on his grave in the old burying-ground in the meeting house land a mile south of the harbor, but the inscription is not legible. He married (second) Mary, daughter of Nicholas Jacob, who came over in 1633. His children were: 1. Mary, baptized 1653. 2. Elizabeth. 3. John, born in Hingham, 1657. 4. Hannah, probably born 1660. 5. James, 1663. 6. Joseph, mentioned below. 7. Job, 1667.

(III) Joseph, son of John (2) Otis, was born 1663. He married, November 20, 1688, Dorothy, who died February 18, 1755, daughter of Nathaniel Thomas, of Marshfield. The Thomas family owned the estate where afterward Daniel Webster lived. Joseph Otis settled in Scituate and held various offices of trust and honor; was judge of court of common pleas of Plymouth County, 1703-14, and deputy to general court in 1713. "He was a gentleman of great integrity, a judicious and useful citizen." "He was a Christian upon principle, a public-spirited and useful man, distinguished by talent of the solid, judicial and useful, rather than the brilliant and showy kind. He was of large stature; his countenance solemn and serene; frank and open in his manners, of ready wit and sound understanding. As a private individual he had the union of simple dignity and benevolent courtesy which mark the gentleman." He removed to New London, now Montville, 1721, whither his sons and some of his daughters had preceded him. In 1714 he bought of Captain Samuel Gilbert a farm of two hundred and thirty acres in the east part of Colchester, for seven hundred and seventy pounds; afterward he gave it to his son Nathaniel. He bought six hundred and fifty acres of James Harris in the North Parish, "adjoining the pond called Obplinsok," now Gardner's Lake. He was a moderator of the town meeting at North Parish, and was on the parish and church committees. Children, born at Scituate: 1. Nathaniel, January 30, 1689-90. 2. James, January 21, 1692-93, mentioned below. 3. Deborah, April 24, 1694. 4. Mary, March 20, 1695-96. 5. Dorothy, April 24, 1698. 6. Elizabeth, September 2, 1700. 7. Ann, September 21, 1702. 8. Bethia, November 20, 1703. 9. Delight, December 19, 1806. 10. Hannah, December 10, 1709. 11. Joseph, October 1, 1712. 12. Rachel, December 1, 1713.

(IV) James, son of Joseph Otis, was born in Scituate, January 21, 1692-93, died

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at Saybrook, Connecticut, 1754. He lived at Montville and Saybrook. He married Sarah Tudor, of new York, she died at Colchester, February 15, 1788, aged ninety-one years. Children: 1. James, born 1714. 2. John, 1732. 3. Elizabeth. 4. Stephen, mentioned below.

(V) Stephen son of James Otis, was born September 30, 1738, died at Halifax, Vermont, aged ninety-three years. He married, in 1762, Lucy Chandler, of Duxbury, born 1738, died March 4, 1837, nearly a hundred years old. He lived at Colchester, Connecticut. He was in the old French War under General Putnam, and was at Fort Stanwix and at the taking of Montreal. He was also a soldier in the Revolution, and saw the burning of New London.

(VI) Chandler, son of Stephen Otis, was born April 8, 1770. He settled in Leyden, New York, 1796, and married there, Abigail Coe. Children: 1. John, mentioned below. 2. Alma, married William Johnson, and lived at Rockport, Illinois; the family is prominent; before the Civil War they were active in the "Underground Railroad." 3. Sina

(VII) John (3), son of Chandler Otis, was born at Leyden, New York, September, 1797, died April 18, 1873. He married, 1824, Mary Graham, born 1801, Westmoreland, England, died 1877. He settled on Otis Hill, Denmark, in 1825, and was a typical family. When a young man, he carried the mail overland between Denmark and Ogdensburg, usually on horseback, but on at least one occasion he made the trip on foot, a distance of seventy-three miles each way. Many stories are told of his great strength and physical endurance. On one occasion he carried four bushels of wheat up two flights of stairs, putting one foot before the other. In his later years he practiced the profession of veterinary surgeon, having made a thorough study of the subject in his leisure moments while conducting his farm. Children: 1. John, married Jerusha Thompson; settled in Wilna, New York. 2. Abigail, married Albert Thompson. 3. Joseph, c., see forward. 4. Mary Jane, married John Grieves; reside in Rockport, Missouri. 5. Seth. 6. Stephen S., married Ellen Penneman; has children; resides in Rockport, Missouri. 7. Caroline, married Wilson Lamb; resides in Wilna, New York. 8. Alma. 9. Sina.

(VIII) Joseph c., son of John (2) Otis, was born February 28, 1830, died April 18, 1890. He was educated in the common schools and at the Denmark Academy. He worked for two years for Milton Clark, who had a tannery in Watertown, New York. At the time of discovery of gold in California his attention was attracted by the possibilities of wealth, and i1852 he went by way of the Isthmus of Panama and engaged in mining in the Trinity River district. He was successful beyond his greatest expectation, and in 1854 returned to Lewis County by way of Nicaragua. He bought the homestead and conducted it until 1876, when he sold it and located in the village of Denmark, where he bought a desirable residence where he spent his declining years. He served in Company B, Thirty-fifth Regiment, New York Volunteers, as a private, and rose to the rank of second lieutenant, winning his promotion by bravery in action, fidelity, and attention to duty. He participated in nine battles, and took pride in the fact that he marched every mile that his regiment marched. He was a member of Copenhagen Lodge, No. 23, Free and Accepted Masons. In politics he was a Republican until 1872, when he voted for Greeley for president, and was afterwards a Democrat; held various offices in the town, and had been superintendent of the poor of the county. He married, March 11, 1855, Almira M., born June 18, 1829, died August 28, 1881, daughter of Aaron and Elizabeth (Thrall) Kitts. He married (second) Cornelia A. Edmunds, of North Adams, Massachusetts. Children by first

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wife: 1. Aaron K., born February 6, 1857, died June 1, 1859. 2. Richard C., mentioned below. 3. Alma J., born September 20, 1859, died May 19, 1863.

(IX) Richard C., son of Joseph C. Otis, was born in Denmark, New York, May 25, 1858. He attended the public schools of his native town, the Rochester Business Institute, and the Genesee School at Rochester, New York. For two years he managed his father's farm in St. Lawrence County. Since 1880 he has had a farm in Denmark village. His residence has a charming view of the Black River Country, and none of the comforts, conveniences and luxuries of country life are lacking. At one time Mr. Otis was interested in cheese factories, being part owner of two in Copenhagen. He is a director of the Carthage National Bank. For the past twenty years much of his time has been occupied as an adjuster for the Patrons' Fire Relief Association. In politics he is a Republican. He was elected assessor of the town three years; was supervisor from 1899 to 1903, and one of the most influential men of the board of supervisors. He was chairman of the building committee, and the construction of the Lewis County clerk's office, one of the most artistic and best equipped buildings of the kind in the state, was directly under his supervision. He also had oversight of the building of the large and spacious bar at the county home. Both buildings are a credit to the county and to the committee that built them. In 1903 he was elected justice of the peace and is still holding the office. In politics, as in business and private life Mr. Otis has followed the rules of absolute integrity and honesty, and has the fullest confidence of his townsmen. He is a member of Copenhagen Lodge, No 238, Free and Accepted Masons; of Carthage Chapter, No. 259, Royal Arch Masons; of Copenhagen Lodge, No. 831, Odd Fellows; and of Denmark Grange, Patrons of Husbandry, and in 1910 was elected county deputy for Pomona Grange. He has long been prominent in agricultural affairs. He has been for twenty years one of the directors of the Lewis County Agricultural Society; since 1908 he has been superintendent of transportation at the state fair, and was assistant superintendent two years. He is also director of the Northern New York Development League. He and his family are members of the Denmark Congregational Church.

He married March 10, 1880, at Denmark, Mary Eliza, daughter of William and E. Catharine (Squire) Hartwell, granddaughter of William and Elizabeth (Cooper) Hartwell, William Hartwell, Sr., came from Dutchess County, New York, and settled in Denmark, in 1804, with a family of children--Ransom, Morris and Abigail L. The county was then in its infancy, and this family was among the earliest settlers. Six children were born after coming to Denmark--William, Laurie, James, Almon, Charles S., and Benjamin. William, Sr., was a soldier in the War of 1812, and after his death his widow received a soldier's land bounty. He died September 18, 1845, aged sixty-eight years; his wife Elizabeth died January 6, 1871, aged ninety-three years. Children: i. Ransom, born 1799, died April 10, 1850, ii. Morris, July 18, 1801, died August 25, 1880, iii. Abigail L., July, 1803, iv. William, Jr., mentioned below, v. Laurie, July 27, 1808, vi. James, 1810, vii. Almon, 1812, viii. Charles S., 1814; ix. Benjamin, December 11, 1817, died January 25, 1881. William Hartwell, Jr., was the first child born after the family came to the new home in Lewis County, September 27, 1806; and he was educated there in the public schools, began life as a mechanic, and then turned to farming. He was of sound sense and held the esteem and confidence of all his townsmen. He married e. Catherine, daughter of Dr. Charles Squire, born in Dutchess County, and came to Lewis county in 1810, who for nearly sixty years was a physician, practicing at Denmark, and was surgeon in the War of 1812. Dr. Squire died at Den-

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mark, September 15, 1867. He married Eliza Evans, of Fairfield, Herkimer County, New York, January 15, 1813[ Children: i. Charles D., born November 23, 1815, ii. E. Catherine Squire, January 24, 1824. Children of William Hartwell, Jr.: i. Mary Eliza, born April 9, 1858; married Richard C. Otis, mentioned below, ii. Ada, born November 9, 1859; married Herbert N. Waters, of Lowville, iii. Walton S., born June 18, 1861; married Mary Goodell, born June 18, 1860, and resides at Mexico, Oswego County, New York; have two children, William G. born September 23, 1890, and Marguerite Hartwell, November 12, 1891. Richard C. and Mary Eliza (Hartwell) Otis have one child, Ruth Hartwell, born M arch 29, 1889, at Denmark, graduate of Howard Seminary, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, class of 1910.


GLEASON. The name Gleason is found in various localities in carious forms. In the very early records it is frequently spelled Leson, or Leeson. Later it appears with some thirty variations in spelling, such as, Gleison, Glezon, Gleeson, Glysson, Gleazon, Gleyson, Leason, Leison, Lesen, Eison Eason, etc.

(I) Thomas Gleason, immigrant ancestor, was born, it is supposed, in Sulgrave, Northampton County, England, 1607, died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1686. He was married in England to Susanna Page, who died January 24, 1691, in Boston, Massachusetts. His name first appears in the records of Watertown, Massachusetts, where he took the oath of allegiance, June 1, 1652. In 1658 he removed to Charlestown, and December 3, 1658, he leased from Captain Scarlett, a portion of the Squa Sachem lands. These lands, lying in what is now Medford, had been deeded to the town of Charlestown in 1639 by Squa Sachem. By the will of the latter, all of the property was bequeathed to certain prominent citizens, among whom were governor John Winthrop and Edward Gibbons. In this way they secured possession of the lands on the west side of Mysticke Pond, and it was this land which was subsequently leased to Thomas Gleason. Soon after the lease was made, a question arose as to the rightful ownership of the lands, and in March, 1662, the town of Charleston instituted a suit against Thomas Gleason for the purpose of obtaining possession. The case was still unsettled when he died in the spring of 1686, and he had in the meantime used all his resources infighting it. Children: 1. Thomas, born in England, 1637. 2. Joseph, 1642, Watertown. 3. John, 1647, Watertown. 4. Philip, 1649-51, Watertown. 5. Nathaniel, 1651, killed April 21, 1676, in the Sudbury fight. 6. Isaac, 1654, Watertown, mentioned below. 7. William, 1655, Cambridge, Massachusetts. 8. Mary, October 31, 1657, Cambridge. 9. Ann, 1659, Charlestown, Massachusetts.

(II) Isaac, son of Thomas Gleason, was born 1654, in Watertown, died May 14, 1698, in Enfield, Connecticut. He married, June 26, 1684, Windsor, Connecticut, Hester, daughter of James and Hester (Williams) Eggleston, born December 1, 1663, Windsor, and died there. Her father, James Eggleston, was the son of Begat Eggleston, who cams from England, probably Exeter, to Dorchester, Massachusetts, 1630. He was in the Pequot fight, and received for his services a grant of fifty acres of land. He died December 1, 1679, and his widow marred (second) James Enno. Her mother Hester Williams, was the sister of Roger Williams, and is said to have been the first white child born in Hartford. Isaac Gleason enlisted in King Philip's War, and is credited at the garrison at Springfield, Massachusetts, June 24, 1676, with seventeen pounds, four shillings, nine pence; August 24, 1676, credited with six pounds, eighteen shillings, ten pence. He was admitted an inhabitant of Springfield, February 5, 1676, and in 1678 is named on a list of about one hundred and thirty persons, who took the

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oath of allegiance. The order for convening these persons and of administering the oath was given by Major John Pynchon, under the authority of the general court held in Boston, October 2, 1678. The following extract is copied from the town records of Springfield: "Feb. 9, 1679. At the meeting of selectmen Isaack Gleason ordered to look after South door of meeting house to prevent persons, especially boys, from leaving church unnecessarily during service." He was by trade a carpenter. He removed to Enfield, Connecticut, where he settled in 1681. Children: 1. Hester or Esther, July 21, 165. 2. Isaac, November 12, 1687, mentioned below. 3. Thomas, July 29, 1690, Enfield. 4. Abigail, March 14, 1695. 5. Martha, August 7, 1695. 6. Deborah, January 23, 1698.



(III) Isaac (2), son of Isaac (1) Gleason, was born November 12, 1687, in Enfield, died June 5, 1761. He was one of the first settlers in the southeast part of Enfield. His name appears, in the list dated June, 1736, of the soldiers who were in the Falls fight above Deerfield and who were entitled to a share in the lands granted by the general court. He married, August 31, 1712, Mary, daughter of John Prior. Children: 1. Esther, September 7, 1712. 2. Isaac, March 10, 1715-16, Enfield. 3. Mary, July 7, 1718. 4. Joseph, August 13, 1721. 5. Jonah, July 4, 1724. 6. Abigail, April 3, 1628. 7. Job, January 28m 1731. 8. Jacob, mentioned below.

(IV) Jacob, son of Isaac (20 Gleason, was born March 10, 1723, Enfield, died April, 1805, in Benson, Rutland County, Vermont. He married (first) Hannah, daughter of Ezekiel and Hannah (Chandler) Pease, born in Enfield, January 11, 1732. He married (second) Ruth ----------, who died March 4, 1813, aged seventy-one. He was a soldier in the Revolution. About 1786, he removed with his family to Benson, and was the first settler in the east part of that town, which was then a wilderness. Children: 1. Jacob, married (second) Widow Harrison. 2. Benoni, born 1760. 3. Enoch, mentioned below. 4. Sherman. 5. Sacket. 6. Bissell, married Asahel Stiles, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 7. Laura, married Thomas Goodrich, of Pittsfield. 8. Putnam.

(V) Enoch, son of Jacob Gleason, married Polly Rumsey, of Hubbardson, Vermont. Children: 1. David, mentioned below. 2. Sackett. 3. Vivalda. 4. Chauncey. 5. Adelia. 6. Jane. 7. James.

(VI) David, son of Enoch Gleason, was born about 1770 and appears to have settled in Manchester, Vermont.

(VII) David Thomas, son of David (2) Gleason, was born at Winhall, Vermont, June 13, 1828. He attended the public schools, but on account of ill health, left school at an early age. In 1850 he came to Denmark, Lewis County, New York, where he has since resided. During the sixty years ye gas witnessed the growth of the town from a frontier community to its present flourishing condition. He came before railroads were built and he has seen the introduction of the telegraph as well as the telephone. He has a fund of reminiscences of a generation that has passed away. In the first trying days of his settlement in the new town he longed for the Green Mountains in which his boyhood was spent, and from time to time went back to visit. But he prospered at Denmark, and became one of the most successful farmers of that section. He retired a few years ago from active labor to a well-earned period of rest and ease. Though not of an ambitious nature and not caring for public office or distinction, he was a man of much influence in local affairs and highly esteemed by all his neighbors and townsmen. Few men in this section are as well known or more honored than he. In politics he is a Democrat. He married, November 8, 1860, Mary

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(Sharp) Barnum, died May 15, 1895, daughter of William and Betsey (Kitts) Sharp. William sharp came from England when about seventeen years old, having been forced into the British Army, but deserted and came to America.


POTTER. There were many families from England of the name of Potter, settled in New England, prior to the year 1650. The Lewis County family descend from George of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It is not known that the various families were connected; it is possible, however, that the Rhode Island families headed by George of Portsmouth, Nathaniel and Robert, may have been, though no record has been discovered. The name is supposed to come from Normandy in France, meaning potter, a maker of pots, but may be only an accidental coincidence.

(I) George Potter, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1638, was admitted an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck. April 30, 1639, he and twenty-eight others bound themselves by covenant into a "civil body politicke," as subjects of his Majesty, "King Charles." He was born in England, was married and had a son Abel. The widow of George afterward married Nicholas Niles.

(II) Abel, son of George Potter, died 1692. He was of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He was bound by his stepfather, Nicholas Niles, for the term of eighteen years, beginning February 4, 1646. He began acquiring property as soon as his freedom was secured, was a freeman, a taxpayer and left a will, proved November 23, 1724, He married, November 16, 1669, Rachel, daughter of John and Priscilla Warner, who bore him eight children.

(III) John, second son of Abel and Rachel (Warner) Potter, born in Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1680, died 1770, at the age of ninety years. He married, February 19, 1702, Joan Dearborn. Children: 1. John Jr., whose son's monument stands along the highway leading from Pownall to Troy in Rensselaer County, New York. The locality is known as "Potter's Hill." 2. Susanna. 3. Elizabeth. 4. Mary. 6. William. 6. Abel. 7. Joseph.

(IV) Joseph, youngest child of John and Joan (Dearborn) Potter, was born in Coventry, Rhode Island, 1715, died at the age of seventy years. He married, September 11, 1742, Freelove Bennett, born 1723, died 1824. Children, all born in Coventry, Rhode Island: 1. Samuel, see forward. 2. John. 3. Mary. 4. George. 5. Mercy. 6. Ruth. 7. Rowland. 8. Hannah. 9. Ephraim. 10. Betsey. 11. Gilbert.

(V) Samuel, eldest child of Joseph and Freelove (Bennett) Potter, was born in Coventry, Rhode Island, May 24, 1745. He married (first) Lydia Mattison, who died 1812. He married (second) Mary (Molly) Jackson. Children by first wife: 1. Augusta. 2. 2. Joseph, see forward. 3. Freelove. Children by second wife: 4. Lydia. 5. Robert. 6. Samuel. 7. Sarah. 8. Mary. 9. Susan. 10. Stephen.

(VI) Joseph, son of Samuel and Lydia (Mattison) Potter, was born in Coventry, Rhode Island, March 16, 1775, died January 28, 1858. He removed to Vermont, and lived later in Floyd, New York. He married, March 16, 1795, Phebe Adams, born in Vermont, December 26, 1774, died 1858. They were parents of eight children: 1. Lydia, born March 2, 1799. 2. Dudley, June 2, 1801. 3. Samuel, August 2, 1803. 4. Allen, March 26, 1806. 5. Joseph (2), May 5, 1809. 6. Augustus, November 10, 1812. 7. Abraham M., June 21, 1814. 8. Benjamin Franklin, see forward.

(VII) Benjamin Franklin, youngest child of Joseph (2) and Phebe (Adams) Potter, was born in Floyd, Oneida County, New York, September 29, 1817. He lived in Floyd with his parents until 1833, when the family removed to Lewis County, New York. he received as good an education as the schools of his day and section afforded, and for none years taught school in the winter months, spending his summers in

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farming. In 1840 h went West for a few months, looking for a location but sickness caused his return, better satisfied with his New York home and prospects. In 1850 he bought the farm where he lived the remainder of his life. He erected commodious buildings and devoted himself to the cultivation of his farm. He was an extensive grower and shipper of hops. The forests still afford an abundance of wild game, and he was a large shipper of venison to the New York market. He was a stalwart life-long Democrat, and served on the board of county supervisors and other town offices. During the Civil War, he was intensely loyal to the Union cause, and most active in securing the quota of men the ton was called upon to furnish. He was a good citizen, highly respected, and filled well his every station in life. He married, March 11, 1846, Rachel Ann Case, born August 29, 1820, daughter of Pardon and Marcia (Adams) Case of Turin, New York. Children: 1. Fannie M., born August 16, 1848; married Frank E. Wilson. 2. E. Eugene; see forward. 3. Marshall N., October 4, 1851. 4. Flora A., November 2, 1853; married Charles Crofoot. 5. Frank A., February 3, 1856. 6. Samuel C., February 28, 1858. 7. Ida L., December 20, 1860. 8. Alice M., July 8, 1863.

(VIII) E. Eugene, eldest son and second child of Benjamin Franklin and Rachel Ann (Case( Potter, was born in Turin, New York, February 16, 1850. He was educated in the public school at Collinsville, and followed farming for twenty-four years in West Turin. In 1906 he retired from active farm life, and has resided since that at Lyons Falls with his sisters. During his active he made a specialty of hop culture and was very successful. He is interested financially in the Black River National Bank of Lowville, and has other investments in county enterprises. He is a Democrat and served West Turin as assessor for four year, 1799-1903. In 1903 he was elected supervisor, serving until 1907, and again elected in 1909 for a term of two years. He is unmarried.


Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1910

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

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