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May 1913 

'^^^^E NEW YORK 




3r wrinkles or 
lout either the 




BY Lafayette wilbur, 


History maketh a young man to be old, without either wrinkles or 
gray hairs, privileging him with the experience of age, without either the 
infirmities or inconveniences ihereot.— Fuller . 




Entered according to act of Congress. June ;24th, 1P99, by 

Lafayette wilbur, 

in the office of the Librarian of Congress at 
Washington, D. C. 

A day, an hour of virtuous liberty 

Is Worth a whole eternity of bondage —A'/ili.<t.ton. 




At agt of 64. 


This volume has been written to give to the 
public an accurate account of the early history of 
Vermont when it was called New Hampshire 
Grants and New Connecticut, and down to the 
time that the State was admitted into the Union in 
1 791. The writer has not created any fiction for 
the book, but facts have been related that are 
more interesting and useful than fiction, to Ver- 
monters. It may lack the polish that some literary 
writers would p-ive it. The most of it has been 
prepared for the press during the past year in bits 
of time that the writer has been able to snatch 
from pressing professional business. The reader 
will find accurately stated the action of the hardy 
pioneers that resulted in establishing the State 
amid the greatest dilficulties in a dense wilder- 
ness, beset with dangers from hostile Indians, 
and bitter opposition from the people of neigh- 
boring territor}^ and the British army. 

In drawing conclusions the proper data has 
been given, and exact dates given to historical 
events and transactions related, the absence of 
which is a serious lack with many historians 


4 pri:fack. 

Ethan Allen's lite was so prominently con- 
nected with the early history of Vermont, that 
one chapter has been devc)ted exclusively to his 
life. The Boorn Case given in Chapter fifteen 
was an earl\' interesting case where innocent 
men were tried and convicted of murder and 
sentenced to be hung. The Chapter on Jericho 
may be of some local interest. The Charter or 
Grant of the township from Gov. Benning Went- 
worth was similar to those given in granting other 
towns by him. The chapters giving a list of the 
Members of the Windsor Convention of 1777, 
Council of Safety, Governors, Senators, and 
Judges of the Supreme Court, and giving the 
duration of their official service, will be useful as 
a handy reference. 1 have endeavored to o;ive 
credit in quoting from other writers, and here ex- 
press my acknowledgemuMits to them. 

This volume now yiven to the public takes up 
the History ot Vermont and the doini^s of her 
people, only down to the time when she was ad- 
mitted as the -fchirteenth State of the American 
Union. A more complete and continued histor}' 
must be left for future volumes. 

LaFayettk Wilbur. 

Jericho, .Jn\\j-Hh. is'JU. 

Mistorv is Philosophy teaching by example. — Dionysius. 

The greatest glory of a tree born people, is to transmit 
that freedom to their children. — Havard. 





CHAPTER I. (Pagel.) 


CHAPTER 11. (Page 67.) 


CHAPTER HI. (Page 127.) 


CHAPTER IV. (Page 134.) 


CHAPTER V. (Page 145.) 


CHAPTER VI. (Page 162.) 


CHAPTER VII. (Page 175.) 


CHAPTER Vni. Page 186.) 


CHAPTER IX. (Page 193.) 




CHAPTER X. (Pa^i^elOG.) 


CHAI'TER XL (Page 204..) 


CHAPTER XH. (Page 209.) 


CHAPTER Xni. (Page 227. 


CHAPTER XIV. (Page 240.) 


CHAPTER XV. (Page 281.) 


CHAPTER XVI. (Page 295.) 


CHAPTER XVII. (Page 330.) 


CHAPTER XVIII. (Page 236.) 


WIT AND HUMOR. (Page 347.) 


Errors found in printing, so far as they are misleading, are 
corrected below. 

On page 30 the verses should have been divided into five 

On page 34 in the 6th line from top it should read -'about" 
instead of "go out." 

The word 'grants," wherever it occurs referring to the 
people or territor\ of New Hampshire Grants, should be 

On page 62, bottom line, word "no" should be inserted be- 
fore the word ■ -pains." 

On page 150, in eighth line from bottom, the word '-set- 
ting" should read "sitting." 

On page 173, the name "Xeshbe" should read "Neshobe," 
and the name "Mendon" should read '-Minden." 

On page 227, the words --this and." in first iine, should 
be erased. 

On page 304. the name "Brutt's" should read -'Butts." 
In the list of Judges for 1879, on page 344, the name of H. 
Henrv Powers should follow that of Jonathan Ross. 


The Author makes his grateful acknowledge- 
ment for quotations taken from the Addresses of 
Hon. Lucius E. Chittenden, Pages 82, 230 

Hon. John W. Stewart, 
Hon. Edward J. Phelps, 
Hon. John N. Pomeroy, 
Hon. Julius Converse, 
Professor Joseph S. Cille\', 









1 1 


A Free State gathered in the Council should 
speak by all its citizens, each one claiming as of 
birthright a voice to aid his country: None 
should be excluded from the privilege, if grown to 
man's estate, unless he fail of inlellect or lose his 

right through crime. 

Ancestors who won their way should shine 
in their descendants. — Tapper. 



IT is interesting to study the history of any peo- 
ple who are strugghng for existence, or who 
are striving to maintain their rights and to assert 
their Uberties and estabHsh their independence; 
and this must be especialh^ so when that histor3^ 
relates to one's ancestors and their own land. 
How intensely did our feelings and s^mipathies 
reach out for the Hungarians under their leader 
Kossuth when the\^ were struggling to be free; 
but their endeavors and aspirations were not 
more noble, and the difficulties that stood in the 
wa3' of their freedom and independence were not 
greater than seem to environ the Green Mountain 
Bo3'S. The hardships and the dangers with' which 
the hardy sons of the territory now called Ver- 
mont were beset, grew largely out of the claims 
that different parties made to her lands, and the 
assumed right to govern her people. New Hamp- 
shire claimed her from the East, New York 
claimed her from the West, and Massachusetts 
would take a slice from the Southern border. 

The first settlement, within the jurisdiction 
now known as Vermont, was made at Fort Dum- 
mer, in the present County of Windham, in the 
year 1724, under a grant from the Provincial 


Government of Massachusetts. A controversy 
arose between the Provinces of Massachusetts 
and New Hampshire in reference to the line be- 
tween the two Provinces. In the year 1740, the 
King of England in Council settled the line 
between the tw^o jurisdictions, and located it in 
running West of Connecticut River, where the 
jurisdictional line now is between Massachu- 
setts and Vermont, which brought the settle- 
ment at Fort Dummer within the jurisdiction of 
Xew^ Hampshire. This line betw^een New^ Hamp- 
shire and Massachusetts as settled by the King 
and Council, was to extend West till it should 
meet with His Majesty's other governments. 

In the year 1741, Benning Wentworth was 
commissioned as Governor of New Hampshire. 1 1 
was understood at that time that the jurisdiction 
of New Hampshire was established as far West as 
Massachusetts, and Massachusetts claimed and 
exercised jurisdiction to wnthin twenty miles of 
Hudson River. With this, understanding, the 
Governor of New Hampshire, on the third day of 
January, 1749, made a grant of a township six 
miles square, situated tw^enty miles East of Hud- 
son River, and called it Bennington. Numerous 
applications were made to Gov. Wentworth for 
grants in the vicinity of the Province of New 
York. Gov. Wentworth not feeling exactly cer- 
tain how^ far West the jurisdiction of New Hamp- 
shire extended, opened a correspondence with the 
Governor of New York, Nov. 17th, 1749, with a 
view of ascertaining and settling the Western line 
of his jurisdiction; and in that correspondence in- 


formed him that people were daih' applying for 
grants of land, some of which were in the neigh- 
borhood of the New York Province, and asking 
the Governor of the Province of New York in 
what manner these grants will affect the grants 
made b\" the New York Governors; also inform- 
ing him by the same letter, that the snrvej^or who 
had run the line between Massachusetts and New 
Hampshire, had declared on oath that in run- 
ning that line Westerly it would strike Hudson 
River about 80 poles North of where Mohawk's 
River comes into Hudson River, which he pre- 
sumed is North of the Cit^^ of Albany, and asked 
to be informed how -far North of Albany" the gov- 
ernment of New Y^ork extends, and how^ many 
miles to the East of Hudson River. Governor 
Clinton of New York, April 9th, 1750, replied, 
"that the Province of New York is bounded East- 
ward by Connecticut River, and that letters pa- 
tent from King Charles H. to the Duke of Y^ork, 
expressly granted all lands from the West side of 
Connecticut River to the East side of Delaware 
Bay. Governor Went worth, the 25th of April, 
1750, said, in his reph^ to that letter, to Gov. 
Clinton of New Y'ork, that the subject of his letter 
would have been entireh' satisfactory had not the 
two charter-governments of Connecticut and 
Massachusetts Bay extended their bounds many 
miles Westward of Connecticut River, and that 
he was advised by His Majesty's Council that 
New Hampshire had an equal right to claim as far 
West as the charter-governments of Connecticut 
and Massachusetts Bav, but disclaimed anv inten- 


tion of interferin^tj with his Government, and 
asked Gov. Clinton to inform him by what au- 
thority Connecticut and Massachusetts govern- 
ments claimed so far to the Westward as they 
have settled. And on the 6th of June, 1750, Gov. 
Clinton informed Governor Wentworth b}^ letter, 
that as to Connecticut their claim was founded 
upon an agreement with his government, in or 
about the year 1684; and afterwards confirmed 
b}' King William, and that the line was run and 
marked in 1725; and as to Massachusetts, she 
got possession at first bA' intrusion and were 
allowed to continue the intrusion by the negli- 
gence of New York, and complained to Gov. Went- 
w^orth for granting the township of Bennington, 
and asked him to recall the grant. But Gov. 
Wentworth, on the 22nd of June, 1750, wrote 
Gov. Clinton that he would represent the whole 
matter to the King His Majest}^ and advised him 
to do the same, and that he would not enter into 
any controversy until his Majesty's pleasure 
should be further known, and declined to recall 
the grant. 

Notwithstanding the claims of New York that 
their jurisdiction extended to Connecticut River, 
Gov. Wentworth continued to grant townships, 
and from Jan. 3d, 1749, till the 4th of Aug., 1763, 
granted 129 townships, 11 of which were in the 
Count3^ of Chittenden. Hinesburgh was granted 
June 21, 1762; Charlotte w^as granted June 24, 
1762; Colchester, Bolton, Burlington, Williston, 
Huntington (called New Huntington), were 
granted June 7th, 1763, and Jericho, Milton, 


Westford and Underhill, were granted June 8, 
1763; St. George and Shelburne were granted 
Aug. 18th, 1763; and in 1764, 14,000 acres were 
granted to certain officers. To arrest these pro- 
ceedings, Colden, Lieut. -Governor of New York, 
on the 28th Dec, 1763, issued his proclamation 
commanding the Sheriff of the County of Albany 
to make return of all names who had taken pos- 
session of lands under New Hampshire grants, 
and claiming jurisdiction as far East as Connec- 
ticut River, by virtue of the grant to the Duke of 

On the 13th March, 1764, Governor Went- 
worth issued his proclamation assuring the peo- 
ple who had taken grants of land from New 
Hampshire, that the patent to the Duke of York 
Was obsolete, and did not convey or give any cer- 
tain boundary to New York, and encouraging his 
people not to be intimidated, hindered or ob- 
structed in the improvement of the lands granted 
them, and to maintain the jurisdiction of His 
Majesty's government of New^ Hampshire as far 
Westward as to include the lands granted, and 
commanding all civil officers to deal with any per- 
sons that may presume to interrupt the settlers 
on said lands as to law and justice appertains. 

New York not willing to rely for their claims to 
the land as far East as Connecticut River, on the 
grant to the Duke of York, made application to 
the Crown for a confirmation of their claim. And 
on the 20th day of July, 1764, at the Court of St. 
James, the King in Council took the matter of the 
application into consideration, ordered and de- 


clarcd the Western bank of the Connecticut River, 
from where it enters the Province of Massachu- 
setts Ba}', as far North as the 4r)th degree of 
North Latitude, to be the boundary Hne l^etween 
the said two Provinces of New Hampshire and 
New York. Although New Hampshire grants 
were surprised at this order, they were willing to 
submit, as they did not suppose it would affect 
the title to their lands, their land titles hav- 
ing come from the Crow^n through the grants 
made b}- the Governor of New Hampshire. The 
Governor of New Hampshire after remonstrating 
against the change of jurisdiction, for a while 
abandoned the contest, and recommended the set- 
tlers to due obedience to the authorities and laws 
of the Colony of New York. 

Soon, however, a controversy^ arose between 
New Hampshire grants and the government of 
New York as to the effect and construction ot that 
order. The government of New Y'ork contended 
that the order had a retrospective operation and 
that all the grants made b}' the Governor of New^ 
Hampshire were void, while the New Hampshire 
grants held that the effect of the King's order in 
Council was only to operate from the date of 
the order, and that the title to their lands, 
granted before the date of that order and before 
the change of jurisdiction, would remain good. 
The government of New Y^ork insisting that their 
construction of the order should prevail, extended 
their jurisdiction over the New Hampshire grants; 
divided their territory into four counties, Albany, 
Charlotte, Cumberland, and Gloucester, and es- 


tablished in each courts of justice, and called upon 
the settlers to surrender their grants obtained of 
New Hampshire, and purchase again under grants 
from New York, and thus payfor their lands twice. 
This the Grants refused to do, and New York 
proceeded to grant their lands to others, who 
brought actions of ejectments in the courts at Al- 
ban3', and obtained judgments against the grants; 
but the officers of New York, while attempting to 
execute those judgments, and deprive the Grants 
of their lands, met wnth determined resistance. 
Associations among the Grants w^ere formed for 
their protection: there was organized an obstinate 
resistance to the New Y^ork authorities. A con- 
vention at length was called of representatives 
from several towns of the West side of the mount- 
ain, which appointed Samuel Robinson agent to 
represent them at the Court in England, and set 
forth to the King and Council their grievances and 
obtain a confirmation of their grants from New 
Hampshire. He went to London on his mission, 
the result of which was, the King in Council on the 
24th day of JuW, 1767, commanded the Governor 
of New York for the time being, "do not, upon 
pain of His Majestj^'s highest displeasure, presume 
to make any grant whatsoever covered by the 
New Hampshire grants;" but notwithstanding 
this order, the Governor of New York continued to 
make grants, and continued to bring actions of 
ejectments against those who held land under the 
grants made by New Hampshire. The courts at 
Albany decided not to receive in evidence duly au- 
thenticated copies of the royal orders to the Gov- 

8 p:arly history 

ernor of New Hampshire, giving the Governor of 
New Hampsliire, as the\' claimed, the right to 
grant the hinds to the defendants, which made the 
trial, jug-handle like, all on one side. 

Let us look at the surroundings of this people 
then called New Hampshire Grants. The govern- 
ment of New Hampshire had acquiesced in the or- 
der that their jurisdiction should not extend West 
of Connecticut River. New York had got an or- 
der allowing their jurisdiction to extend to Con- 
necticut River, and the New York courts had de- 
cided all the cases affecting the title to the land 
granted against the New Hampshire Grants. The 
Governor of New Hampshire had withdrawn their 
authority and protection from the settlers. New 
York was a powerful Province, and its people self- 
ish and unrelenting. The New Hampshire Grants 
were few in number. Any people thus situated, 
less hardy, bold and brave than the Green Moun- 
tain Bo3'S, would have shrunk from a contest 
with the government of New York. The course of 
the government of New Y''ork had stung the 
Grants to madness, and they \vere driven to the 
last resort. A convention of the people assembled 
at Bennington and resolved to support their 
rights and protect their property against the 
usurpation and unjust claims of the Governor and 
Council of New York by force. The contest com- 
menced. Several of the Grants were indicted as ri- 
oters by the New York courts. The officers of 
New York sent to arrest the persons indicted, 
w^ere chastised with the "twigs" of the wilderness. 
A militarv association was formed with Ethan 


Allen as commander. Committees of safety were 
formed in several towns west of the Green Moun- 
tains. On the other hand, the sheriff of Albam' 
Count3' was directed to raise the Po^se comhatus 
to assist in the execution of his office. The Gover- 
nor of New York offered a reward of 150 pounds 
for the apprehension of Ethan Allen, and 50 
pounds for each of five others. And in retaliation, 
Ethan Allen and the other five proscribed persons 
issued a proclamation offering five pounds for the 
apprehension and delivery to any officer of the 
Green Mountain Boys, the Attome3^ General of 
the Colony of New York. On the 19th of May, 
1772, Gov. Tryon of New York addressed a letter 
to Rev. Mr. Dewe3^ and the inhabitants of Benning- 
ton and the adjacent country, telling them he had 
heard of their violent and illegal acts which could 
not fail of being highh^ offensive to their Sover- 
eign, and that if they persevered in their disobedi- 
ence it would bring against them the exertions of 
the powers of government, but claimed he was 
willing to examine into the grounds of their com- 
plaints, and asked them to lay before him and His 
Majest^^'s Council the cause of their behavior and 
discontent, and promised to give relief, and prom- 
ised protection to any one they sav/ fit to send to 
represent them, except Robert Cochran, Ethan 
Allen, Remember Baker, Seth Warner, and a Mr. 
Sevil, persons for w^hose apprehension he had of- 
fered rewards; and closed his letter b^^ saying 
*'they might not be deceived by a persuasion that 
part of the country that you inhabit w411 ever 
be annexed to the government of New Hamp- 


shire." Rev. Dewey answered, in short, sta ting- 
some of the eanses of discontent, setting forth 
that, "the}' held the fee of the land that the}' had 
settled on by virtue of grants from the King of 
England nnd was reputed to be within the Prov- 
ince of New Hampshire, and that b\' some means 
they had got the jurisdictional hne changed; and 
that grants of land had been made by New York 
government covering the same lands granted by 
New Hampshire, and that repeated efforts were 
made b^' writs of ejectment to dispossess the set- 
tlers, who had titles under grants from New Hamp- 
shire, and who had been deprived of the right to 
show their defense by the courts of New York ; 
the}', the Y^orkers, had violently broken open the 
settlers' houses to get possession, and to arrest 
the settlers; and had fired upon and injured inno- 
cent women and children ; and closed bv supplicat- 
ing the Governor to assist in quieting his people in 
the possession of their lands, till the controversy 
should be settled by the King. 

At the same date, Ethan Allen, Warner, Baker, 
and Cochran addressed a long communication to 
Governor Tryon, in which the}' stated that "no 
tyrannical exertions of the powers of government 
can deter us from asserting and vindicating our 
undoubted right and privileges as Englishmen," 
and informed him, "that since their misfortune of 
being annexed to the Province of New Y''ork, the 
law has been rather used as a tool (than a rule of 
equity) to cheat them out of their country that 
the\' had made valuable by labor and expense." 
"And if they did not oppose the New Y'ork sheriff 


and posse, they would take immediate posses- 
sion of their houses and farms; and if the^^ did 
oppose them the3' were indicted as rioters, and all 
assistin;^, are indicted as rioters so long as they 
act the bold and manh' part and stand by their 
liberties." The3' told the Governor it had come to 
this, at least, that "we must tamely be dispos- 
sessed of our rights and jDroperty or oppose of- 
ficers in taking possession ; and as a necessar\^ 
step, oppose taking rioters, so called, or run away 
like so many cowards, and quit our countr\^ to a 
number of cringing, polite gentlemen who have 
ideallv possessed themselves of it already;" and in- 
formed the Governor that changing the jurisdic- 
tion from New Hampshire to New York did not 
and could not deprive them of their lands and prop- 
erty; and moreover, the King in Council had or- 
dered the government of New York not to disturb 
the settlers till they had decided the whole con- 
trovers3', and therefore it was the Yorkers that 
were rioters and land robbers ; and that ever3' act 
the}' had done to compass their doings, though 
tmder the pretense of law, was violation of law 
and an insult on the Constitution, and authority- 
of the Crown, as well as to us; and informed him, 
if he did not knov^ before, that "Right and wrong 
are eternalh^ the same, to all periods of time, 
places and nations ; " the taking aw^ay their rights 
under the specious pretense of law, only adds to 
the criminality^ of it. The\' closed their letter by 
assuring the Governor that their acts were not 
against his government, but looked upon him as 
their political father, but it was oppression that 


was the ground of their discontent, and en- 
treated the Governor to aid in quieting the set- 
tlers in their possessions, and if he should do this 
there would be an end to riots, so called, and their 
tongues would express their gratitude for such 
protection. While negotiations were pending, 
the Green Mountain Boys dispossessed certain 
settlers, on Otter Creek, who claimed lands under 
New York, by reason of which Governor Tryon ad- 
dressed a highly seasoned letter to the inhabitants 
of Bennington, the 11th of August, 1772, charg- 
ing them with breach of faith and honor; on the 
25th of August, 1772, the people of the grants re- 
plied and stated to the Governor that the dispos- 
sessing certain persons from certain lands and a 
saw^-raill on Otter Creek, w^as but a repossession of 
property previoush^ taken from the New Hamp- 
shire Grants by the Yorkers. 

This controversy continued to engage the at- 
tention of the British Cabinet, and on Dec. 3d, 
1772, they seemed to have declared that grants 
made under New Hampshire ought to beconfirmed 
and the settlers hold title to their lands under their 
original grants, though their lands were wdthin 
the Province of New York. 

We have come now to an interesting period of 
our early history, when the New Hampshire 
Grants were to declare themselves independent of 
New York. New Hampshire had withdrawn their 
claim from all territory west of Connecticut River 
and consequently all protection to its people. The 
mass of settlers on the New Hampshire grants 
consisted of a brave, hardy race of men. Their 


minds had been aroused to the exercise of their 
hiohest energies in a controversy involving every- 
thing that was dear to them, property, Hberty, 
and life. Foremost among the Grants stood Eth- 
an Allen. He was bold, ardent, and unyielding, 
and was peculiarly fitted to become their leader. 
During the progress of this controversy, several 
pamphlets were written b\' him well suited to stir 
up public feeling against the injustice of the New 
York claims. At this period, the people in what 
are now the Counties of Bennington and Rutland, 
called a convention by committees from the sev- 
eral towns. This body declared among other 
things, that no persons should take grants, or 
confirmation of grants, under the government of 
New York, and they forbade all inhabitants in the 
district of New Hampshire grants, to hold, take, 
or accept any ofl[ice of honor or profit under the" 
Colon3^ of New York, and all oflicers, either civil or 
militar}', who had acted under the authority of 
New York, wet e required to suspend their functions 
on pain of being viewed. The word "viewed" had 
a peculiar signification. These decrees were fre- 
quenth^ enforced by the application of the "beech 
seal." At this day we might feel inclined to cen- 
sure the Green Mountain Boys for the severitv of 
the punishment the^^ were called upon to inflict, 
but we must remember there was no choice left 
them. It was an entire surrender of their farms, 
or a determined resistance by force. Necessity and 
lorce drove them to resistance. Benjamin Hough, 
who accepted and ofliciated as a justice of the 
peace under the authorit\^ of New York, was 


brought before the Committee of Safety, composed 
ot Green Mountain Boys, for trial. In his defense 
he claimed and plead he was actin^Li: under the au- 
thority of New York, but it was replied that a 
convention of Grants decreed and forbade all per- 
sons holdini^: any office, civil or military, under 
New York. He was adjudged guilty and sen- 
tenced, "that he be taken from the bar of the Com- 
mittee of Safety, tied to a tree, and there on his 
naked back receive 200 stripes; his back being 
dressed, he should depart out of the district, and 
on return, without special leave of the convention, 
to suffer death. New York regarded this conduct 
as treasonable, and proceeded to legislate against 
the Grants in the most despotic manner. These 
persons thus interviewed, and others, made com- 
plaints to the New York government, and claimed 
its protection. A New York committee passed re- 
solves Feb. 25th, ITT-i, declaring that many acts 
ofoutrage and cruelty had been perpetrated bylaw- 
less persons, calling themselves the Bennington mob, 
and have seized, insulted and terrified magistrates 
and other civil officers so that they dare not exer- 
cise their functions; have rescued prisoners for debt, 
assumed to themselves militarycommands, and ju- 
dicial power, burned and demolished houses and 
property, beat and abused the persons of his Maj- 
est3^'s subjects," and many other acts. And the}- re- 
solved the^^ would not countenance such conduct, 
and prayed their Governor to issue a proclama- 
tion, offering a reward of 50 pounds for the ap- 
prehending the leaders of the Green Mountain 
Boys, among whom were Ethan Allen, Seth War- 


ner and Remember Baker, and committing them to 
the jail at Albany; and recommended that a law 
be passed to suppress such proceedings, and "to 
maintain the free course of justice, and for bring- 
ing the offenders to coiidign punishment. This act 
did not seem to intimidate the Grants against 
whom such action was taken, for at a meeting 
held in Manchester, in March, 1774, they declared 
in substance, that the New York Committee had 
passed over in silence the great bone of discontent, 
the Green Mountain Boys' right and title to the 
lands granted them by New Hampshire, and how 
the Yorkers had attempted, through the New York 
courts and other means, to deprive them of their 
land and their improvements thereon, and de- 
clared "we are determined to maintain those 
grants against all opposition, until His Majesty's 
Royal pleasure shall be known in the premises." 

On the 9th of March, 1774, the General Assem- 
bly of New York enacted, among other things, 
that if an}^ number of persons, to the number of 
three, being unlawfully; riotously and tumultu- 
ously assembled in the Counties of Albany and 
Charlotte, do not disperse at the command of a jus- 
tice of the peace or sheriff, they should, on convic- 
tion, suffer twelve months' imprisonment, with- 
out bail, and such other imprisonment as the 
court should see fit to' impose, not extending to 
life or limb; and that if any person should know- 
ingly hinder such justice or sheriff in making proc- 
lamation to disperse, should, on proof, be ad- 
judged a felon and suffer death without the bene- 
fit of the clerg^^ And if any person should in said 


counties assume judicial powers as judge or jus- 
tice, and should try, fine, sentence or condemn, un- 
less havinij^ authority under the Province of New 
York, or should seize, detain or assault and beat 
an\' civil officer in the exercise of his office in order 
to compel liim to resign, or should terrify, hinder or 
prevent him from exercising his authority under 
New York, he should be adjudged a felon and suffer 
death without benefit of clergy. And that special 
provision were made for bringing the ringleaders 
of the Green Mountain Boys to trial and punish- 
ment, that the}; might be committed to the 
prison at New York City or Albany, without the 
right of bail ; and that they should voluntarily 
surrender themselves for commitment and trial; 
and if they fail to do so, should suffer death with- 
out trial ; and if any person receive, harbor or suc- 
cor, any such person, knowing they had bien re- 
quired to surrender themselves, the}' should suffer 
imprisonment: and if any person committed any of 
the offences specified they might betaken to Albany 
for trial. So you see that the provisions were of 
the most sweeping character, intended to awe the 
people into abject submission and to crush out the 
spirit of liberty and independence. With the pas- 
sage of this law^ terminated every prospect of 
peace or to the submission to the claims of New 
York. The Grants regarded it as originating sole- 
ly in the avarice of a set of speculators who cov- 
eted their lands and their valuable improvements 
thereon. The great bod}' of the people ot New 
York did not sympathize with those acts or the 
course of the New York authorities. The threaten- 


ings of the New York government were regarded 
with utter eontempt by the Green Mountain Boys; 
the\' had been educated in the school of adversity 
and inured to hardship and danger, and they met 
the shock with a firm, unbroken spirit. The spirit 
and determination of the people calling themseU^es 
the New Hampshire Grants, were clearly set fqrth 
in a remonstrance issued 133- Ethan Allen and oth- 
ers the 26th da3^ of April, 1774, against the enact- 
ment of such cruel laws and against the course of 
the New York authorities. After setting forth, in 
substance, that the object of those laws was greed, 
declared that they were conscious that their cause 
was good and equitable in the sight of God and all 
unprejudiced and honest men, that the spring and 
the moving cause of their opposition to the gov- 
erninent of New Y'^ork, was self preservation, and 
to preserve and maintain their property and de- 
fend their lives. The}^ told the Y^orkers in that re- 
monstrance "that the}^ had gained as well as mer- 
ited the disapprobation and abhorrence of their 
neighbors ; that the innocent blood the^^ had al- 
ready shed, called for Heaven's vengeance on their 
guilty heads; and said, "that if the^^ should come 
forthwith against us, thousands of their injured 
and dissatisfied neighbors, in the several govern- 
ments, will join with us, to cut off and extirpate 
such an execrable race from the face of the earth." 
They described to the Yorkers the character of 
their laws in this remarkable statement, viz.,: "If 
we oppose civil officers, in taking possession of 
our farms, we are, by those laws, denominated fel- 
ons; if we defend our neighbors who have been in- 


dieted as rioters onl\' for defendinL^ our ])roperty, 
\vc are likewise adjudged felon. In fine, every op- 
position to their monarehial government is deemed 
felony, and at the end ot every sueh sentence, there 
is the word death." But the Green Mountain 
Bo\'s said, "there was one matter of consolation 
for jas, viz., that printed sentences of death will 
not kill us when we are at a distance, and if the 
executioners approach us, they will be as likely to 
fall victims to death as we." And in the same 
document, addressed themselves to the people of 
the Counties of Albany and Charlotte, as Gentle- 
men, Friends and Neighbors, and after stating to 
them that they cannot but be sensible that the ti- 
tle to their lands is in reality the bone of conten- 
tion, and that they were industrious and honestly 
disposed, paid their debts, and were friends of 
good order, they warned all officers who might 
be induced to apprehend any of their people 
under the so-called laws of New York, that they 
were "resolved to inflict immediate death on 
whomsoever may attempt the same; and that 
they would kill and destro\^ an^" person or persons 
whomsoever, that should presume to be acces- 
sory, aiding or assisting in taking any of them. 
They declared that all such "officers or persons 
had license under the laws of New York to kill us, 
and an indemnification for such murder from the 
same authority, yet, they have no such indemnifi- 
cation from the Green Mountain Boys. " 

The New Hampshire Grants known as the Green 
Mountain Boys were fully persuaded that the law^s 
referred to, directed against their property, liber- 



tv and lives, were not only oppressive and cruel, 
but unconstitutional and void, and asked in their 
address, "can the public censure us for exerting 
ourselves nervously to preserve our lives in so crit- 
ical a situation? For in the Provinces of New 
York into which we are unfortunately fallen, we 
cannot be protected in either property or life, ex- 
cept we give up the former to secure the latter; so 
we are resolved to maintain both, or to hazard 
or lose both." This address bears date the 26th 
April, 1774., and attached to it were the following 
lines composed by Thomas Rowlev, to wit :— 

When Ciusar reigned King of Rome 
St. Paul was sent to hear his doom ; 
But Roman laws in a criminal case, 
Must have the accusor face to face, 
Or Ca.'sar gives a flat denial — 
But here is a law now made of late. 
Which destines men to awful fate. 
And hangs and damns without a trial; 
Which made men view all nature through ^ 
To find a law where men were tried 
By legal act which doth exact 
Men's lives before they're tried. 
Then down I took the sacred Book. 
And turned the pages o'er, 

But could not find one of this kind. 

By God or man before." 

At this stage of the controversy^ while the mat- 
ters between the New^ Hampshire Grants and New 
York had advanced near to a general w^ar, the 
contest between Great Britain and her American 
Colonies had reached an alarming crisis. Meas- 
ures had been taken for convenino^ a Continental 


Congress, which was held at Philadelphia on the 
5th of Sept., ITT^. 

The meetinp^ of this congress was followed by a 
general suspension of the ro\'al authorities in the 
Colonies, and man}- of the courts of justice were 
shut up or adjourned without doing business. In 
the New Hampshire Grants at this time there were 
three parties. There was the Tory part\' that 
were loyal to Great Britain and did not sympa- 
thize with the action of the Continental Congress 
which was looking to a final separation from the 
British government; there was a party that was 
loyal to New York, and who were doing what 
they could to cause the New Hampshire Grants to 
submit to the laws of New York ; and the third 
and the most powerful party that had determined 
to resist the authority of New York at all haz- 
ards. The latter party also sympathized with the 
action and purpose of the Continental Congress. 
It is difficult to sa\' what would have been the 
result of the controversy between the Green Moun- 
tain Boys and New York, had not the controvers3^ 
been arrested by the commencement of the rev- 
olutionary war. That war called forth all the 
energies of the united Colonies. Although New 
York did not entirely forget the Green Mountain 
Boys, still the NATIONAL contest demanded and 
received their greatest attention. The Green 
Mountain Boys profited by this change in affairs. 
There was opposition in the County of Cumber- 
land to the court being convened and held at 
Westminster under the royal authority and the 
Province of New York, but those in authority 


whose feelings were enlisted in favor of New York, 
as against the New Hampshire grants, and who 
were supporters of the ro\'al authority of Great 
Britain, persisted in forcing their way into the 
court house, being armed with guns, shot one 
man, William French, and wounded others. This 
massacre, as it was called, so aroused the peo- 
ple of Cumberland Count}' and the people of New 
Hampshire, that two hundred armed men from 
New Hampshire came over to the assistance of 
the people, and they, with the others from the 
Grants, arrested and confined those of the royal 
part}' that were concerned in the massacre, and 
the leaders were sent under strong guard to jail at 
North Hampton. This transaction served to 
arouse the people on the east side of the Green 
Mountains against New York. 

Previous to this, the opposition to the claims 
of New York had been confined, principally, to 
the inhabitants on the western side of the moun- 
tains. Indeed some of those on the eastern side 
of the mountains had surrendered their charters 
to their lands received from New Hampshire, and 
taken new grants under the authority of New 
York, and stood unconcerned spectators of the 
controvers}^ in which the settlers on the western 
side of the mountain were so deeply involved. 
Twenty towns east of the mountain had been 
granted under New York. But their people were 
fired with a commendable zeal in favor of the 
course taken by the Continental Congress. This 
fact, and the massacre of the 13th of March, 1775, 
at Westminster, referred to above, stirred the 


people throughout the County of Cumberland, 
and gave new impulse to the opposition to New 
York, in that ]Dart of the country. And at a 
meeting of the inhabitants in that quarter held 
at Westminster on the 11th of April, 1775, the 
opposition to New York took a more definite 
shape. At that meeting it was voted, "That it is 
the dut\" of said inhabitants, as predicated on the 
eternal and immutable law of self-preservation, 
to wholly renounce and resist the administration 
of the government of New Y'ork, until such time 
as the lives and property of those inhabitants 
may be secured b^^ it, or till the\^ could lay their 
grievances before His Majesty's Council, with a 
petition to be taken out of so oppressive a juris- 
diction, and either annexed to some other gov- 
ernment or erected or incorporated into a NEW 

The conflict with Great Britain overshadowed 
ever^' cause or dut^-, and seemingly the New Y'ork 
controversy came to a standstill. But the New 
Hampshire Grants did not fail to profit from this 
state of things, and never, for a moment, lost 
sight of the object for which they had so long 
contended; "they improved the delay in the cul- 
tivation of a more perfect Union, and in better 
organization, and the\' settled down into a more 
deliberate, but not less decided, hostility to the 
claims of New Y'oik. On the 9th daj' of Ma)'. 
1775, Ethan Allen, with his valiant band of 
Green Mountain Bo3'S, surprised and captured the 
Fort of Ticonderoga — demanded its surrender 
"in the name of the Great Jehovah and the Con- 


tinental Congress." This signal exploit brought 
the Green Mountain Bo^-s into prominence and 
gave them influence in the country, and they were 
treated with more consideration ; and the inhabit- 
ants on the grants began to feel their importance, 
but w^ere determined to have no immediate con- 
nection with New York, even in the common 
defense. On the 17th day of January-, 1776, the 
Grants sent a petition to Hon. John Hancock, 
the President of the Continental Congress, then 
assembled at Philadelphia, setting forth therein in 
substance, their controversy with New York, and 
asking that their controversy' might laj" dormant 
till the contest with Great Britain should end; 
and asked that the^^ might do militar3^ duty in 
the Continental service as inhabitants of New 
Hampshire grants, and not as inhabitants of the 
Province of New York, and that commissions be 
granted accordingh'. But Congress recommended 
that they, for the present, submit to the govern- 
ment of New York, and gave them the encouraging 
assurance that "the submission ought not to 
prejudice their right to the land in controvers3%" 
and when their present troubles were at an end the 
final determination of their rights ma3' be mutually 
referred to proper judges. Up to this time the 
Grants had not enjoyed the benefit of a regular 
organization as a Colony', and had no bond of 
union, save a common interest to resist the claims 
of New York. And thus matters stood on the 
4th day of July, 1776, w^hen the American De- 
claration of Independence was published to the 
world. The American Colonies had declared 


themselves independent of Great Britain, so that 
in theory, at least, she had no authority to settle 
the dispute with New York. Congress, then in 
its infancy, and with its uncertain rii^ht and 
power, had no disposition to interfere. There 
existed no earthly power, recognized as superior, 
having the right to decide the controvers}-. This 
state of things suggested to the settlers the expe- 
diency of declaring themselves independent. There- 
fore measures were taken to call a convention of 
the people. Delegates were appointed in different 
towns, who met at Dorset on the 24th of July, 
1776. There were 58 delegates coming, from 
26 towns from the west side of the mountain, 
and from eight towns from the east side of 
the mountain. At an adjourned meeting of this 
convention, held on the 25th of Sept., 1776, it 
was resolved, "to take suitable measures, as soon 
as may be, to declare the New Hampshire Grants 
a free and separate district. And also declared 
their attachment to the common cause against 
Great Britain. And the convention on the 15th 
of Jan., 1777, declared the New Hampshire Grants 
a free and an independent State. It was voted at 
that convention to ascertain how- many were for 
a new State. The committee reported that "We 
find by examination that more than three-fourths 
of the people in Cumberland and Gloucester Coun- 
ties, that have acted, are for a new State; the 
rest we view as neuters." 

A committee of that convention reported, 
and the convention adopted, among other things, 
a declaration that they "do proclaim and pub- 


licly declare that the district of territory, com- 
prehending and usually known by the name and 
description of New Hampshire Grants, of right 
ought to be, and is hereby declared hereafter, to be 
called, known and distinguished by the name of 
New Connecticut, alias Vermont." While these 
events were transpiring, the Green Mountain Boys 
held themselvs ready to meet any calls that w^ere 
made upon them to sustain the common cause 
against Great Britain, and to repel any attempt 
that New York should make to encroach upon her 
domain. On the 6th of Jan., 1776, Gen. Worces- 
ter, commanding the Colonial troops in Canada, 
called for help from the Green Mountain Boys, 
till the regular forces could be sent him. They 
responded at once. Warner and his men were in 
Canada in a very short time. Their promptness 
and alacrity elicited the notice and approval of 
both Gen. Washington and Schuyler. At first the 
different towns were like separate and independent 
governments. , Those towns that were granted 
under New Hampshire, had by their respective 
charters, the right of self government in March 
meeting, by the election of town officers and 
ordering town affairs. And, as has been inti- 
mated. New York repudiated these charters and 
any action taken by the people under them. It was 
for the mutual protection of the people of these 
different organizations, and to maintain their com- 
mon rights against New York, that led the differ- 
ent towns to act in concert. It was a matter of 
necessity. They learned to act on the old maxim, 
"that in union there is strength." These people 


were hardy, brave, and true to each other. These 
several towns ajjpointed Committees of Safety; 
and these Committees met in convention as occa- 
sion required, to consult and adopt measures for 
their common protection. Then as the exigencies 
of the people demanded, and especially to prepare 
to bear their part in the war of the Revolution, 
there was a call made for a GENERAL CONVEN- 
TION, the proceedings of one of which have al- 
ready been alluded to. The first regular organized 
regiment was voted at a meeting held at the Inn 
of Cephas Kent in Dorset, July 26th, 1775, on the 
west side of the mountain. At that meeting the}' 
proceeded to choose officers of the regiment, ac- 
cording to the wishes of the Provincial Congress 
and the directions of Gen. Schuyler. Ethan Allen 
and Seth Warner were candidates for the office of 
Lieut.- Colonel. Allen was defeated, and greatly 
mortified by his defeat. He charged his defeat to 
the old farmers, who, he said, "did not incline to 
go to war." 

The 7th Company- of the regiment was raised, in 
part, from the towns near Onion River. Perley 
Sunderland was made Captain of one of the Com- 
panies, and it was said of him, "he was a mighty 
hunter of both beasts and Tories." When the Col- 
onies declared themselves independent of Great 
Britain, there was' quite a sprinkling that adhered 
to the government of their mother country ^re- 
mained lo\'al to her. Such persons were called To- 
ries. The property of many Tories was confiscated 
and used to pay the expenses of the war. Many 
of such persons joined the British. On the 26th day 


of Feb. ,1779, this State passed an act, that if any 
such persons should return and should be f >und 
guilty, the}' should "be ordered to be whipped on 
the naked back, not more than forty, nor less than 
twenty stripes which shall be inflicted. And the 
delinquent shall be ordered to quit the State im- 
mediately ;" and it such return without leave from 
the Governor's Council and General Assembly, and 
be found guilty, he should be put to death ; and if 
any one should harbor such person, he should 
pay a fine of 500 pounds. Col. and Daniel 
Marsh fled to Canada at the time that Gen. Bur- 
go^-ne swept along the western border of the 
State, and was reported to be marching to the 
valle\' of the Connecticut. They afterwards re- 
turned, and were allowed to remain. Daniel 
Marsh, in 1784 to 1789, represented his town, 
Clarendon, in the General Assembly. In 1778, 
James Rogers of Londonderry joined the King's 
troops, and his property' w^as confiscated ; and in 
1797, his son petitioned the General Assembly for 
the restoration of his property, and all that re- 
mained unsold was restored to him. • 

The people were determined to root out Torey- 
ism, and various measures were passed b\' General 
Convention looking to that end. The General 
Convention held on the 25th of Sept., 1776, at 
Dorset, "voted to erect a jail in the town of Man- 
chester, 20 ft. by 30 inside; said jail to be built of 
logs and earth ; and for the confinement of Tories 
and other offenders that may be adjudged to be 
confined." At this meeting twelve persons were 
chosen to be a committee to attend the next meet- 


ing of the Convention. The office of this commit- 
tee was to act advisory and prepare business for 
the Convention. This was the commencement of 
the body afterwards called the Council. And af- 
ter that, the delegates that were chosen to the 
Convention, was called the House. 

Separate from these bodies was a Committee of 
Safety, the origin of the Council of Safety. The 
original number composing that body, and just 
the manner of the election or appointment at first, 
is involved in some doubt, but enough is known ol 
it to show it was an extraordinary body with ex- 
traordinary powers. It exercised a combination 
of legislative, judicial, and executive powers. The 
government administered by it was, in principle, 
nothing short of absolute despotism. It is stated 
in the 1st volume of Governor and Council, that 
the Council of Safety was appointed July 8th, 
1777, as a temporary substitute for a State gov- 
ernment in time of war. In power it was limited 
onh' by the exigencies of the times. Its acts and 
orders had the force of laws, and it was the execu- 
tors of them ; it exercised judicial powers; it served 
as a board of war ; it punished public enemies or 
reprimanded them ; it transacted business, civil 
and military, with other States and with Con- 
gress ; it prepared business for the General Assem- 
bly — in short it was the State. Its President, Vice- 
President, and Secretary were its executive officers, 
and performed what the Governor, Lieutenant- 
Governor and Secretary did, after the organiza- 
tion of the State government. The officers of the 
first Council, in 1777, were Thomas Chittenden, 


President; Jonas Fay, Vice-President; andiira Al- 
len, Secretary. 

An allusion to the Allen family' will not be out 
of place here. It was the most remarkable family 
that ever inhabited Vermont. From Samuel Allen 
of Chelmsford descended Joseph Allen, the father 
of six sons; to wit, — Ethan, Heman, Heber, Levi, 
Zimri, and Ira. Aliens, Bakers, and Warners-were 
related either by affinity or consanguinity, and 
thus the most distinguished of the early heroes 
and statesmen of Vermont were closely allied, and 
were a great power for many years. It was said 
of Ethan Allen that he was not a devoted Chris- 
tian, but there was evidence that he believed in a 
God. The monumental inscription for his wife, 
Mary Brownson, was composed and run as fol- 
lows: — 

• '< • ',- ■ 

•'Farewell, my friends, this fleeting world adieu. | '^ 

My residence is no longer with jou. 

My children I commend to heaven's care, 

And humbly raise my hopes above despair; 

And conscious of a virtuous transient strife, 

Anticipate the joys of the next life; 

Yet such celestial and ecstatic bliss — ■ .... 

Is but in part conferred on this. 

Confiding in the powers of God most high. 

His wisdom and goodness, and infinity, .. . 

Displayd, securely I resign my breath 

To the cold, unrelenting stroke of death; 

Trusting that God who gave me life before, 

Will still preserve me in a state much more i 

Exalted mentally, beyond decay, "., ; 

In the blest regions of eternal day." 

Levi Allen resided in the State but a short time. 
He left the State, became a Tory, and continued 


to be one to the end of the Revolutionar}^ war. 
He was a man of ability, but eccentric and un- 
stable, and was said to be as the '*rolHng stone 
that gathers no moss." Somewhat of an ill feel- 
ing grew up between him and his brothers Ethan 
and Ira. While smarting under the loss of his 
propert3', which he attributed to Ira, he wrote 
the five following verses. The first represents 
Ethan speaking; the 2nd, Ira ; the 3d, Levi; the 
4th, Ethan and Ira; and the 5th, Levi — to wit: — 

Old Ethan once said over a full bowl of grog, 
Though 1 believe not Jesus, 1 hold to a God; 
Tiiere i> aiso a Devil — vou will see him one dav 
]n a whiilwind of fire to take Levi away. 

Says ira to Ethan, it plain doth appear 
That you are inclined to banter and jeer — 
1 think for myself and freely declare 
Uur Le\ i "s tc»o stout for the prince of the air; 

If ever \ou see them engaged in afi'ray, 

'Tis our Levi who'll take the Devil away. 

Savs l,ev , your speeches make it perfectly clear 

'1 hat \(»i. both seem to banter and jeer; 

TlK)ujh through all the world my name stands enrolled 

For trie s sly arid crafty, ingenious and bold. 
Th re i^ one consolation which none can deny, 
Tint iher • is one greater rogue in this world than I. 
Who's I. •t.'* they both cry with equal surprise. 
'Tis hri ! 'tis Ira! yield him the prize." 

Ira Allen was 21 years of age when he came to 
Vermont. He became distinguished both in civil 
and militniy service. He arose to the position of 
Major < eneral of militia. He w^as busy with his 
])en in d -k'nding the interestsof the State, assisting 
Gov. Chi tenden in his. correspondence, preparing 


documents for the Convention, and in conducting 
the diplomatic correspondence with the enemy 
hereafter referred to. He was a member of the 
Council of Safty and of the board of war, member 
of the legislature two years, and of the Governor's 
Council nine years. State treasurer nine years, 
and a leading man in conducting the affairs of the 
State till she was admitted into the Union. 
Hon. E. P. Walton, remarking upon him and 
Ethan Allen, said in his 1st volume of the "Gov- 
ernor and Council," ''That the State of Vermont 
has just provided munificenth^ for a statue of Eth- 
an Allen to stand in the old Representative Hall 
of Congress till it shall crumble by the breath of 
time, a mute but an eloquent witness of the brav- 
ery and patriotism of her sons; but the record of 
the service of Ira Allen in her struggle and history 
— of his skill, as statesman and diplomatist — of 
his grand designs for the promotion of her learn- 
ing and the development of the material resources 
of the State, will forever stand, a monument more 
brilliant than brass and more lasting than 

It would be interesting to follow the career oi 
the prominent men intimately connected with the 
early history of Vermont, and especially that of 
Gov. Chittenden, who was Governor from March, 
1778, till Aug. 25, 1797, except one year. The 
territory known as the New Hampshire Grants 
took on the name, and was called, down to the 
4th of June, 1777, New Connecticut, but was 
changed at that date to Vermont, in accordance 
with a suggestion of a Dr. Young of Penns^d- 


vania. B3' order of the Convention, held on the 
4th of June, 1777, the Committees of Safety in the 
Counties of Cumberland and Gloucester were for- 
bidden acting under any authorit3^ derived from 
New York. Many persons who continued to act 
in the interests of New York were summarily dealt 

The first record of the doings of the Council of 
Safety, appointed under the Constitution, that 
have been preserved, were the records of its pro- 
ceedings the da\^ before the battle of Bennington, 
and is as follows: "Bennington, in Council of 
Safety, Aug. 15, 1777. Sir, You are hereby desired 
to forward to this place, by express, all the lead 
you can possibly collect in your vicinity, as it is 
expected, every minute, an action will commence 
between our troops and the enemy, within 4 or 5 
miles of this place — and the lead will be positively 
wanted. — By order of the Council, Paul Spooner, 
D. Sec'y." 

The orders of the Council of Safety were of the 
most peremptory kind, and some of them were not 
a little amusing. One to Capt. John Fassette w^as 
this: "You are requested to take a potash kettle, 
for the Hessian troops to cook in, — give your 
receipt for the same and bring the same to the 
meeting house in this place (Bennington)." Some 
of their orders were humane in their nature, as 
appears from one dated Aug. 27, 1777, which 
says "that the Council had received information 
that our scouts had taken all the stock of every 
kind, from Auger Hawley's wife, of Rupert, and 
she made application to him for a cow, as her 


children were in a sufferin^^ condition. These are 
therefore, to require 3'ou to let her have one cow, 
for the time being, out of the first cows 3^ou take 
from any disaffected person. By order of Council, 
Ira Allen, Sec '3^" One order was to Mr. Harris, 
directing him to employ some one to harvest Mr. 
Brackenridge's wheat and put the same into his 
barn ; to pa\^ the expenses out ot the wheat, and 
what is not wanted for the use of the family, you 
will keep until further orders from this Council. 

The Council did not hesitate to order the taking 
of anybody's private property for the public serv- 
ice. On the 27th of Aug., 1777, they ordered 
four horses to be taken belonging to John Mun- 
roe, Esq., and convey them to the Council ; but on 
the same day gave Mrs. Munroe the following 
permission: ''By sending to Bennington to-mor- 
row^, you can have one of your riding horses to 
use, until we send for him." The Council did not 
seem to spare the Tories or their property', as 
it appears from the following order of the Council 
of Safety, to wit: ''Aug. 28, 1777. To David Fas- 
set te — Sir, You wnll proceed to Mr. James Brack- 
enridge's, and if you find any stock or other effects, 
which you have reason to expect belongs to any 
enemical person within this State, you w^ill seize 
the same and cause it to be brought to this Coun- 
cil." Benjamin Fassette, on Aug. 29, 1777, was 
ordered to "proceed to Pownal and bring from 
some of the Tories, that are gone to the enemy, 
or otherwise proved themselves to be enemy to 
their country, a load of sauce for the use of 
wounded prisoners here." One Tor^^ was permit- 


ted to return home "and renuiin on his father's 
home farm (and if found off, to expect 39 lashes 
of the beech seal)." 

The Tories were closel}' watched in all their 
movements, and were required to obtain passes 
['mJ from the Council to go -€iS ¥~oT the State, as the 
following show. One was permitted to go to 
Arlington to see his wife as she was sick, and tore- 
turn again in 36 hours. One was permitted to pass 
the guards from Bennington to Manchester, and 
remain on his farm, during his good behavior 
or the pleasure of the Council. One was allowed 
to go to his farm in Manchester, there to remain 
unmolested, "he behaving as becometh a friend to 
his country, as he has taken the oath of allegiance 
to the States of America." 

An3'body's property was used or ])ressed into 
the service if the public needs demanded it. One 
order to Captain Nathan Smith was "to march 
with the men under his command to Pavvlet, on 
horse back, where you will apph' to Colonel 
Simonds for a horse load of flour to each man 
and horse, who will furnish sufficient for that 
purpose." One order was to Capt. John Simonds, 
giving him power to "let or lease the estate, both 
real and personal, of a certain Colonel late of 
Kent, now with the King's troops; and all real 
estate, except so much as humanity' requires for 
the comfortable support of the family left Ijehind, 
you will sell at public vendue, and return the 
money raised on such sale, after the cost is paid, 
to the treasurer of this State. You will return to 
this Council an account of all the estate, both 


real and personal, that you shall seize." The 
property of loyal people was, of course, returned 
to them when the necessity for its use had passed. 
One certificate from the Secretary of the Council 
was as follows: "This may certif3^ that we, 
pursuant to Gen. Gates' orders, employed Mr. 
Moses Cleaveland to ride post from this to 
Sheffield, and to impress fresh horses when he 
should find it necessary-." One certificate from 
the Council as to a certain Tory was, "That it was 
their opinion that he return to his farm in Castle- 
ton, whenever he shall procure a certificate from 
under the hands of his several neighbors in that 
vicinity, that the3' are severally satisfied to re- 
ceive him into their friendship." 

Whenever an}' were ready to return and 
remain lo3'al to the State, mercv and pardon 
was extended to them. On Nov. 16, 1777, the 
Council "recommended to the respective Com- 
mittees of Safet\' in this State, to be ever mindful 
of the worthv and laudable example set bv His 
Excellencv Gen. Washington, and the good people, 
inhabitants of New Jersey — always bear in mind 
to consider the weak capacities of many who 
have been affrightened into submission to Gen. 
Burgoyne, after which, seeing their error, confess 
their faults, and are willing to defend their count- 
r^^'s cause at the risk of life and fortune. 

Many acts of favor were extended to the 
women. One order was, "Mary Reynolds is per- 
mitted to send for her gra^' horse, and keep him 
in her possession until further orders from this 
Council." Andrew Hawley was permitted to 


take his gun, first obtaining liberty of the Com- 
niitte of Safety, and return it to the Committee 
within six weeks from the date of the order. 
Capt. John Fassette was commissioned to se- 
quester Tor3^ effects. John Wood and Benjamin 
Fay were appointed assistants to Capt. Samuel 
Robinson, as overseers of Tories. When crops 
were scarce people \vere forbidden transporting 
them out of this State. On Jan. 14, 1778, in 
Council, it was resolved, that no wheat, rye, In- 
dian corn, flour, or meal be transported out of 
this State, except they have a permit frorh this 
Council, and if found guilty of violating the or- 
der, the property was forfeited and three-fold 
value thereof in money. 

The first license law was passed by the Council 
Jan. 24, 1778, which provides that those who sold 
any kind of spirituous liquors in any less quantity 
than one quart, or in any quantity to be drank 
on or about the premises, should forfeit and pay 
the sum of six pounds. 

It has already been stated that the Convention 
held at Westminster Jan. 15, 1777, had declared 
the district an independent jurisdiction or State, 
and christened it New Connecticut. At the same 
Convention a report of a committee was adopted, 
recommending that proper information be given 
to Congress of the reasons wh}^ the New^ Hamp- 
shire Grants have been declared a free State, and 
praying Congress that the State be granted 
representation in that Honorable body. Jonas 
Fay, Thomas Chittenden, Heman Allen and 
Reuben Jones were appointed a committee to 


conve3' the information and prayer to the Hon- 
orable Continental Congress of the U. S. A. The 
authorities of New York learning .of this, Ten 
Broeck, President of the Convention of New York, 
Jan. 20, 1777, made a bitter complaint to Con- 
gress and protested against the dismemberment 
of their State. He claimed the action of the New 
Hampshire Grants was brought about by the arts 
and influences of certain designing men, and that 
it was a misfortune to be wounded so soon, 
sensibly, while the3' were making their utmost 
exertions in the common cause. And he found 
fault with Congress for allowing Col. Warner and 
other officers to receive commissions independent 
of New York, and closed his letter by saying, *'If 
the State is to be rent asunder, and its juris- 
diction subverted, to gratify the deluded and 
disorderly subjects, it is a folly to hazard their 
lives and fortunes in a contest which in every 
event, must terminate in their ruin." 

As the New York authorities learned that the 
then so-called State of Vermont had friends scat- 
tered all through the Colonies, both in and out 
of Congress, they became thoroughly alarmed, and 
again addressed John Hancock, the President of 
Congress, endeavoring to stay any action of that 
body favorable to Vermont. Thomas Young of 
Philadelphia, heretofore alluded to, a friend of the 
Grants, had written several -communications, en- 
couraging the Grants to take action towards be- 
coming a State, and asking to be represented in 
Congress. These communications reached the 
New York authorities. New York, on the 23d of 


June, 1 777, got Congress to take aetion on these 
complaints; and among other things, it resolved, 
"That the independent government attempted to 
be established b^- the people styling themselves in- 
habitants of New Hampshire grants, can derive 
no countenance or justification from the act of 
Congress; and that the petition of Jonas Fay, 
Thomas Chittenden, Heman Allen, and Reuben 
Jones, be dismissed ; and that Congress, by rais- 
ing and officering the regiment commanded by 
Col. Warner, never meant to give any encourage- 
ment to the people aforesaid, to be considered an 
independent State; and certain paragraphs in the 
letters of Thomas Young, addressed to the people 
of the grants, were derogator}^ to the honor of 
Congress, and tended to deceive and mislead the 
people to whom they were addressed." 

This was throwing cold water on the move- 
ment of the people in Vermont to become inde- 
pendent and free. .While Congress was passing 
these resolves, the people of Vermont, in conven- 
tion assembled, were forming a constitution and 
perfecting a system of civil government. While 
the Convention was at work at Windsor, their at- 
tention was called to the more exciting scenes of 
war. News arrived of the evacuation oi Ticonde- 
roga. Gen. Burgoyne was sweeping up Lake 
Champlain, across the western border of the 
grants, and towards Albany, creating consterna- 
tion and alarm. The Green Mountain Boys, for a 
time, forgetting ever^-thing but the common cause 
and the enemy, gathered with the New Hampshire 
soldiers under Gen. Stark, and met the British 


forces under Gen. Rauni, fought and won the bat- 
tle of Bennington on the memorable 16th of Aug., 
1777, and which led to the surrender of Gen. Bur- 
goyne a few da^-s after. The bravery and success 
of the Green Mountain Bo\"s on this occasion won 
for them and the people of the grants a respect 
and a standing that the^^ had not before gained. 

The New Hampshire Grants had declared them- 
selves an independent State. No sooner had the\' 
done this than they were met with new difficul- 
ties. The territory of New Hampshire w^as made 
up of several grants from the Council of New^ 
England to John Mason, between the years of 
1621 and 1635, and their western boundar}^ was 
60 tniles from the sea. The land between Mason's 
grant and Conneccticut River, was granted by vir- 
tue of a royal commission to the Governors of 
New Hampshire. The people of this last grant, as 
soon as Vermont had organized its government, 
show^ed a disposition to dissolve its connection 
with New^ Hampshire and unite with the people of 
Vermont. They put their claim on the ground that 
inasmuch as the Colonies had dissolved their con- 
nection with the mother countr}-, they had re- 
verted to a state of nature, and were at libert3' to 
form a separate government, or connect with an- 
other, as they thought best. Consequenth^ 16 
towns on the east side of Connecticut River peti- 
tioTied the Legislature of Vermont, praying to be 
admitted into its union. This proposition Avas re- 
ferred to the people of Vermont, and a majority of 
the towns voted: "that the union take place; — the 
vote standing 37. in the affirmative and 12 in the 


negative. These 16 towns announced their with- 
drawal to the Governor of New Hampshire, and 
asked for a divisional line to be drawn. You may 
imagine the just alarm it created in New Hamp- 
shire. Governor Weare of New Hampshire, Aug. 
19, 1778, addressed their delegates in Congress, 
informing them of the situation, and asking them 
to advise with other members of Congress con- 
cerning the situation ; and giving it as his opin- 
ion, that if they did not, it was '*very probable the 
sword would decide the controversy, as the mi- 
nority' in those 16 towns were claiming protection 
from this (New Hampshire) State, and he thought 
they were bound by every tie to afford it. 

On the 22nd day of Aug., 1778, Gov. Weare 
addressed Gov. Chittenden, and stated to him, 
among other things, that the idea that those 16 
towns did not belong to any State and were at 
liberty to form another union with Vermont, was 
*'an idle phantom, a mere chimera, without the 
least shadow of reason for its support." He told 
Gov. Chittenden, the people of Vermont were fur- 
nishing her enemies, to her becoming a separate 
State, with arguments against her. And he be- 
sought him for the sake of the people he presided 
over and for the sake of future peace, to relinquish 
every connection, as a political body, with the 
towns on the east side of the Connecticut River. 
Gov. Chittenden, on the receipt of this letter, con- 
vened the Council and sent Ethan Allen to Phila- 
delphia to ascertain in what light the proceedings 
of Vermont in this matter, were viewed. Ethan 
Allen performed this service and reported back to 


the Council, October 10, 1778, that it was his 
"opinion, that unless this State recede from such 
union immediately, the whole power of the Confed- 
eracy ot the United States of America w411 join to 
annihilate the State of Vermont and vindicate the 
right of New Hampshire. The whole matter v^-as 
taken into the consideration b\^ the Vermont As- 
sembly for a long time, and finally it began to hes- 
itate to go any further w4th the hazardous exper- 
iment of claiming to hold the 16 towns against 
the wishes of New Hampshire. 

The seceding 16 towns struggled hard to con- 
tinue their union with Vermont, but the people of 
Vermont had become aware of the danger of at- 
tempting to continue the union, and by a vote of 
the General AssembW, Feb'y 12, 1779, voted that 
the union of the 16 towns with Vermont ought to 
be considered as being null from the beginning. 
About this time there had been a convention 
called, of those w^ho were favorable to uniting 
with the 16 towns, that met at Cornish; and a 
petition w^as presented b3^ that convention to the 
House of Representatives of New Hampshire, ask- 
ing that all towns west of the Mason line, might 
go together — either all be allowed to go with Ver- 
mont, or all the grants, including the 16 towns, 
be allowed to unite wnth. New Hampshire, and 
thus annihilate Vermont; and the House of Repre- 
sentatives of New Hampshire, b3' a committee, re- 
ported that "New Hampshire should la^^ claim to 
all of New Hampshire grants (so-called) h'ing 
west of Connecticut River, but, if the Conti- 
nental Congress shall allow the towns west of 



Connecticut River to become a separate State, 
they would acquiesce therein," which report was 
adopted June 2-4, 1779, by the House. This idea 
of being swallowed up by New Hampshire was 
opposed by the leadin^^ men of Vermont. 

At this critical moment, when the State was 
threatened with annihilation, events took place in 
the County of Cumberland, which gave a new im- 
pulse to the controversy with New York. There 
was a party that had always existed in the Coun- 
ty of Cumberland that was opposed to the inde- 
pendence of Vermont, and had up to that time 
reluctantly submitted to its authority-. A conven- 
tion was organized by these disaffected ones, 
w^hich met at Brattleboro on the 4th of May, of 
1779. This convention petitioned Gov. Geo. Clin- 
ton of New York for relief from their unhapp3' sit- 
uation, setting forth in their petition that those 
who did not 3'ield obedience to the pretended Ver- 
mont authorities, had to suffer the loss of their 
property both real and personal, and that they 
were compelled to pay taxes to the authorities 
that be, that they did not recognize as legal, and 
called earnestly for protection from the New York 
government, and if that protection was not speed- 
ily granted they should have to obe3' a govern- 
ment which they viewed as usurpation, and add 
their strength to oppose the government of New 
York. About this time a military association was 
formed in the County of Cumberland to oppose 
Vermont authorities. Ethan Allen was directed 
by the Governor to suppress it. Col. Patterson, 
who headed the opposition to Vermont authori- 


ties, aske^i aid from New York, which was prom- 
ised by Gov. Clinton of New York, who assured 
the opposition part}^ that the authority of Ver- 
mont should in no instance be acknowledged, ex- 
cept in the alternative of submission or inevitable 
ruin ; and also addressed Congress, stating in that 
address, that he daih- expected to be obliged to 
order out a force for the defence of those who ad- 
hered to New York. 

Congress took the matter into consideration 
June 1, 1779, and appointed a committee to re- 
pair to the New Hampshire Grants and inquire 
the reasons why they refuse to continue citizens of 
the States that before that time exercised jurisdic- 
tion over them, and to take prudent means to ef- 
fect an amicable settlement of the difficulty. A 
committee of five was appointed. While these 
matters were transpiring in Congress, Col. Ethan 
Allen marched with an armed force and arrested 
the militia officers that were acting in Vermont 
under the authority of New^ York. This w^as made 
known to Congress b3^ Gov. Clinton, and Con- 
gress authorized said committee to take this mat- 
ter also into their consideration. Only tv^o of this 
committee appeared in Vermont, and on the 24th 
of Sept., 1779, the committee was by Congress 

At this time the Vermont authorities were 
pained and surprised to learn that Massachusetts 
was laying claim to a part of her territory. And 
Gov. Chittenden addressed a letter Oct. 28, 1779, 
to Samuel Adams, President of the Council ol 
Massachusetts, and sent the same by Brig. -Gen. 


Ethan Allen, asking him to state "wliat part of 
this State they meant to extend their claim over, 
and how far they meant to carry such pretenvSion 
into execution. At this time Congress had ]jassed 
a resolve to take the claims of New Hampshire, 
New York, and Vermont into their consideration, 
with a view of settling them in some wa_v. On the 
28th of October, 1779, Adams replied to Chitten- 
den, ''that Massachusetts had an ancient and a 
just claim to all the territory between Connecticut 
and Hudson Rivers — that their territory was 
bounded easterly b^^ Connecticut River, w^esterh', 
by the eastern line of New York, and northerly by 
the northern boundary of Massachusetts Bay ; 
and this includes a part of that territory which 
you call the State of Vermont, and over this tract 
they meant to extend their claim." This shows 
that Massachusetts was not bashful. After a par- 
tial hearing of these disputes in Congress, the^' 
were postponed. 

Previous to this, on the 24th of Sept., 1779, 
and on Oct. 2, 1779, Congress unanimously passed 
resolutions recommending to New York, Massa- 
chusetts Bay, and New Hampshire to pass laws 
authorizing Congress to hear and determine the 
controversy as to their respective boundaries and 
the dispute with the Grants, and then Congress 
would, on the first day of Feb., 1780, hear and de- 
termine said controversy and dispute, and pledged 
their faith to carr^' into execution their decision. 
And also resolved that it was the dut\' of those 
who were loyal to Vermont, to abstain from exer- 
cising any power over an}^ of the inhabitants who 


profess to owe allegiance to either of the other 
States ; and that the other States abstain from 
exercising authority' over the lo3'al citizens of Ver- 
mont; and that no towns east of Connecticut Riv- 
er should be conceded within the jurisdiction of 
Vermont; and that any violation of the true in- 
tent and meaning of these resolutions of Congress 
should be considered as a breach of the peace ol 
the confederacy. In short, Congress desired that 
all matters should remain as they then were till a 
determination should be made in Congress as to 
the matters of dispute. Congress sent a copy of 
these resolutions to Gov. Chittenden. 

On the 29th of October, 1779, the Governor, 
Council, and House of Representatives of Vermont 
resolved unanimously ^'that this State ought to 
support their rights to independence, at Congress, 
and to the world, in the character of a free and in- 
dependent State," and chose Ethan Allen, John 
Fay, Paul Spooner, Stephen R. Bradley and Moses 
Robinson "to vindicate their rights to independ- 
ence, at Congress, and to transact all other po- 
litical affairs of this State at Congress, as a free 
and independent State." Congress did not pro- 
ceed to a final determination of said dispute 
on the 1st of February 1780, but the matter v^as 
postponed from time to time, and on the 2nd of 
June, 1780, it passed a resolve requiring the au- 
thorities of Vermont to abstain from all acts of 
authority, civil or military, over the inhabitants 
who hold themselves to be subject to any other 

Vermont now was literally struggling for exist- 


ence. Had she not had men of extraordinary wis- 
dom and firmness, she would have gone down. 
Gov. Chittenden, July 25, 1780, addressed the 
President of Congress, setting forth their rights 
and determination in a bold and firm manner. He 
told him, that "the people of this State viewed 
the resolutions of Congress in their nature subver- 
sive of the natural rights which the people have to 
liberty and independence," and had a "direct tend- 
ency to endanger the liberties of America ; and de- 
nied the power of Congress to decide that Ver- 
mont, a free and independent State, belonged to 
any other jurisdiction ; and being an independent 
State, Congress had no business to legislate over 
Vermont." He told him, "there may, in future, be 
a trial at Congress, as to which of the United 
States shall possess this territory, or how it shall 
be divided between them ; but this does not con- 
cern Vermont." He told him, "that the cloud 
that has hovered over Vermont since the ungener- 
ous claims of New Hampshire and Alassachusetts 
Bay were made, has been seen, and its motions 
carefully observed by this government, w^ho ex- 
pected that Congress would have averted the 
storm ; but disappointed in this, and unjustlv 
treated, as the people over whom I preside con- 
cieve themselves to be, in this affair, 3'et blessed b\' 
heaven with constanc^^ of mind, and connections 
abroad, as an honest, valiant and brave people, 
are necessitated to declare to your Excellency, to 
Congress, and to the world, that as life, liberty, 
and rights of the people, intrusted them b}' God, 
are responsible, so they do not expect to be justi- 


lied in the sight of heaven, or that posterity 
would call them blessed, if thej- should, tamely, 
surrender any part." And he closed his letter to 
him b}' saying, that " the_v were induced once 
more, to offer union with the United States of 
America, — should that be denied, this State will 
propose the same to the legislatures of the United 
States, separiiteh', and take such other measures 
as selt preservation may justify. 

On the 10th of Dec, 1779, Vermont issued an 
appeal (written hj Stephen R. Bradle3') ^o the 
candid and impartial world, stating the claims of 
New York, and New Hampshire, and Massachu- 
setts, and the right of Vermont to her independ- 
ence, and an address to Congress. It was grand, 
bold, logical, and convincing. I onlj^ have time to 
refer to one or two passages in it: ''Again," he 
said, "the State of Vermont has merited an indis- 
putable right to independence, in the esteem of ev- 
ery true Whig, by her brave and noble conduct, in 
the gloomy struggle of America with Great Brit- 
ain. First in America were the Green Mountain 
l»03's (to their immortal honor be it written) that 
commenced an aggressive war against British tyr- 
anny. Under every disadvantage in being a fron- 
tier, they nevertheless, with their lives in their 
hands, took Ticonderoga and other important 
garrisons in the north, so early that New York as 
a government, was called as a dead weight in the 
continental scale. The Green Mountain Boys, like 
men, determined to obtain liberty or death, pur- 
sued the war into Canada, and many fell fighting 
in the glorious cause of American liberty and free- 


dom. Let the brave, immortal Gates, and the 
deathless Stark, tell posterity that they, in the year 
1777, assisted by the militia of the State of Ver- 
mont, humbled the long boasted pride ol Great 
Britain, and brought the towenng Gen. Burgoyne, 
with his chosen legions, to ask mercy at their feet. 
In a word, Vermont, by her blood and treasure, 
at the point of the sword, has fairl\' merited lib- 
erty ; and by the eternal rule of reason has a right 
of independence from every consideration ; she 
has received it from God, as being created with 
equal liberties in the scale of human beings ; in na- 
ture, from the formation of territories and from 
her victorious struggles with Great Britain." And 
in short, the^^ had promised protection to all the 
loyal citizens, and, therefore, were under the neces- 
sity of supporting their independence. 

The letter of Gov. Chittenden and the appeal 
referred to, had a great impression on the small 
States, who were found favoring Vermont, and 
Congress hesitated ; but the subject of admitting 
her into the Union was postponed. Gov. Chit- 
tenden addressed a letter to John Hancock, 
Governor of Massachusetts, the loth of Dec, 
1780, and made a powerful appeal to him, setting 
forth among other things, that, "Vermont la- 
bored under many great evils — Congress claiming 
jurisdiction over them, three of the States claim- 
ing their territory, in whole or in part, and ex- 
posed to British invasion from Canada ; and in 
one event the}' might be under the disagreeable ne- 
cessity of making the best terms with the British 
that may be in their power; and that it w^as out 


of the power of Vermont to be further serviceable 
to the United States unless they were admitted in- 
to the Union. And that it w^as high time that 
Vermont had better assurances from the several 
States now in the Union, w^hether at the conclu- 
sion of the present war, she may without molesta- 
tion enjo3^ her independence, or whether she is only 
struggling in a bloody war to establish neighbor- 
ing States in their independence, to overthrow^ or 
swallow up her own, and deprive her citizens of 
her landed estates." 

This letter had the desired effect on Massachu- 
setts. On the 8th of March 1781, the Governor of 
Massachusetts replied "that when Vermont 
should be recognized as an independent State, 
that the}^ would relinquish all claim to her juris- 

Vermont did not cheerfully yield to the policy 
that resulted in the indefinite postponement of the 
decision that the\^ hoped would make Vermont one 
of the States of the Union. Nor did it produce the 
best of feelings toward the three States that had 
been putting forth their best efforts to rob Ver- 
monters oi their lands and deprive them of their 

At this time a new effort was made to unite 
the towns in New Hampshire west of the Mason 
line, with the towns west of Connecticut River. 
And at a convention held at Walpole, N. H., on 
the 15th of November, 1780, in which several of 
the towns in the County of Cheshire were repre- 
sented, action was taken favoring the union, and 
it took measures to call a convention of the 



Grants, from both sides of the river, to be held at 
Charleston on the third Tuesday of January , 
1781, at which convention 43 towns were repre- 
sented ; and on the 10th of February, 1781, an ap- 
plication was made by the Charleston convention 
to the Legislature of Vermont for the union of 
the grants on both sides of Connecticut River. 

The Legislature of Vermont, on receiving that 
application, adopted a report that set forth, in 
substance, that the State of New Hampshire had 
receded from her former position acknowledging 
the independence of Vermont, and had made at- 
tempts to unite the whole of the grants to Nev^' 
Hampshire, and that some people from New 
Hampshire had endeavored to support internal 
broils in the eastern part of Vermont ; and on the 
10th day of Februar^^ 1781, recommended that 
the Legislature of Vermont lay jurisdictional 
claim to all lands east of Connecticut River, north 
of Massachusetts, and south of latitude of 45 de- 
grees. Then the Legislature set forth a declara- 
tion that New York for many years had under- 
taken to usurp the rights and the property of the 
people of Vermont, and, therefore, the committee 
recommended the Legislature to lay jurisdictional 
claim to all lands north of the north line of Mas- 
sachusetts, and extending the same to Hudson 
River, ''but not to exercise jurisdiction, for the 
time being." The Legislature adopted the recom- 
mendations; and in April, 1781, the union of the 
towns east of Connecticut River, west of the Ma- 
son line, was consumated, and 35 representatives 
trom the Grants east of Connecticut River took 


their seats in the General Assembly of Vermont. 
This union being accomplished, the General As- 
sembh^ turned their attention to taking in a part 
of the State of New York east of Hudson River. 
And on the 11th of April, 1781, the Legislature ap- 
pointed a committee to meet with a convention to 
be held at Cambridge, N. Y., in May, 1781, to 
take into consideration the subject of the defense 
of the frontier, and the union of the towns east of 
the Hudson. This report was adopted by a vote 
of 48 3'eas to 39 naj^s. Representatives from 12 
towns met at Cambridge and adopted the recom- 
mendations of the Legislature of Vermont, and de- 
clared that the territory as far w^est as the Hud- 
son, pursuant to the recommendations, be con- 
sidered as a part of the State of Vermont. 

And they further declared that the whole mili- 
tary force of Vermont shall be exerted in their de- 
fence; and that the independence of the State of 
Vermont shall be held sacred. These recommenda- 
tions w^ere approved by the Vermont Assembly, 
June 16th, 1781, by a vote of 53 yeas to 24 nays. 
Ten members were chosen from the New York 
towns, and eight of them took their seats in the 
Vermont Assembly. 

Vermont was now placed in an interesting and 
a critical position. By the bold and decisive 
policy that she had followed, she had augmented 
her resources, compelled the respect of her enemies, 
gained upon the confidence of her friends, quieted 
disaffection in her own borders, invited immigra- 
tion and laid the foundation of a large and power- 
ful State. Up to this time no people were more 


firmly attached to the cause of American independ- 
ence than the people of Vermont, and none had 
more successfully contributed to sustain it ; and 
this, too, in face of difficulties and discourage- 
ments with which the people of other States of the 
confederacy did not have to contend. 

After all their efforts to maintain the common 
cause, they were denied by Congress a just partici- 
pation in the blessings they had done so much to 
secure. Their claim to independence had been 
treated with indifference, they were threatened a 
dismemberment of her territory, and annihilation 
of her sovereignt}^ ; and were left to contend single 
handed against the common enem\'. Their lands 
bordered on that of the enemy on the north, and if 
the British invaded the American States from the 
north, the Vermonters must first stand the shock 
of battle, and not till they should be overpowered 
could the other States be harmed. 

It seemed to the Green Mountain Bo^^s that 
they had got to take this terrible burden or enter 
into some arrangement with the British enemy, 
w^hereby they might dela\' the conflict and better 
their condition. Their right to independence had 
been denied by Congress, and as much as they 
loved the cause of their country-, attested b}' their 
deeds, they saw every step taken to support it, ren- 
dered their condition more hopeless. It was of no 
importance to them that the American arms 
should be successful, while they were threatened 
w4th subjugation by the States, and her existence 
as a State blotted out. She could make better 


terms than that with the enemy ; and entered into 
negotiations with the British. 

These negotiations were carried on with great 
secrec_v by the leading men of Vermont. The Brit- 
ish were aware that a warm contest had been car- 
ried on between New York and Vermont, and that 
Congress had denied Vermont an independent ex- 
istence, and that the people of Vermont w^ere dis- 
satisfied with the course that Congress had taken 
in refusing Vermont admission into the confeder- 
acy of the States ; and, therefore, took advantage 
of this state of things and made an attempt to in- 
duce Vermont to remain lo^-al to Great Britain. 
This correspondence was conducted mainly on the 
part of the British by Frederick Haldimand, a 
British General in Canada, and is called the Haldi- 
mand correspondence. On March 3d, 1779, Lord 
Geo. Germaine, the British Secret ar3' for colonial 
affairs, wrote to Gen. Haldimand, that the British 
Minister could see no objection to giving the peo- 
ple of Vermont reason to expect that the King 
wall erect their country into a separate province. 

On the 30th of March, 1780, Beverly Robinson, 
an adherent of the British at New York, (the same 
man who made the successful attempt to corrupt 
Benedict Arnold) addressed a letter to Ethan Al- 
len. This letter was delivered to Allen in the 
streets of Arlington b3^ a British soldier in the 
habit of an American farmer. The letter was quite 
artfully drawn, setting forth that he had been in- 
formed that he, Allen, and most of the inhabitants 
of Vermont, were opposed to the wild and chimer- 
ical scheme in attempting to separate the conti- 


nent from Great Britain ; that he would willingly 
assist in restoring America again to Great Brit- 
ain ; and if those were his sentiments, begged him 
to communicate what proposals he had to make 
to him, said Robinson, or to Sir Henry Clinton, 
the British Commander-in-Chief at New York City; 
and assured Allen that upon his taking an active 
part in restoring the people of Vermont in favor of 
the Crown of England, Vermont might obtain a 
separate government under the King and the con- 
stitution of England. Robinson claimed he was 
an American himself, and felt much for the dis- 
tressed situation his poor country was in, and 
was anxious to restore peace and the mild and 
good government they had lost ; and said if Allen 
disapproved his hinting the things he had referred 
to, and did not choose to make any proposals to 
the government, he hoped he would not suffer any 
insult to be offered to the bearer of the letter. And 
if he should see fit to send proposals, and they 
should not be accepted or complied with, the mat- 
ter should be buried in oblivion between them. 
And if he saw fit to send a friend with proposals 
he should be protected and well treated. This let- 
ter was not received by Allen till sometime in Juh', 
1780. He immediately communicated it to Gov. 
Chittenden and to some other principal men of 
Vermont, who thought it best not to make an\' 

At this time some Vermonters had friends that 
were prisoners in the hands of the British in Can- 
ada, and negotiations were entered into b)^ the 
Vermont authorities wMth Gen. Haldimand to set- 


tie a cartel for the exchange of prisoners. During 
the negotiations, Maj. Carleton, a British officer, 
promised not to commit an^- hostile acts on Ver- 
mont during the negotiations, and the Vermont 
authorities also agreed to cease hostilities during 
the same time, providing the truce should embrace 
the northern frontier of New York. This was 
agreed to. This truce was used b3' Gen. Haldi- 
mand as the opportunity for attempting to detach 
Vermont from the American cause. After this 
truce was agreed upon, Gen. Carleton ceased his 
hostile demonstrations both in New York and Ver- 
mont and returned to Canada. 

The British had great hopes at this time of de- 
taching Vermont from the American cause. Gen. 
Haldimand wrote to Gen. Lord Germaine Dec. 16, 
1780, that he '*had some reason to believe the of- 
fers he made to the chief of that district (Vermont) 
some time since have been or may be accepted." 
Commissioners had been appointed to carry out 
the matter of the exchange of prisoners, and the 
Vermont commissioners had entertained Gen. Hal- 
dimand 's agents, with much political conversa- 
tion, and exhibits- of papers took place, from 
which the British concluded they were in a fair 
way to effect their purposes. The agents or com- 
missioners appointed by Gen. Haldimand had full 
power to negotiate for the return of Vermont 
to their British allegiance. Gen. Haldimand, Dec. 
20, 1780, in his instructions to his commissioners, 
said, "I authorize you to give these people the 
most positive assurance that their country w411 be 
erected into a separate province, independent and 


unconnected with every government in America, 
and will be entitled to every prerogative and im- 
munity' which is promised to other provinces in 
your proclamation of the King's commissioners." 

On the 9th day of March, 1781, Ethan Allen 
addressed a letter to the President of Congress, 
and sent him the letter that he received from Bev- 
erh' Robinson, and also informed him that Ver- 
mont had opened a truce with Gen. Haldimand 
in order to settle a cartel for the exchange of pris- 
oners. Allen justified the course that Vermont 
had taken in negotiating with the enemy, and 
said ''I am fully grounded in opinion that Ver- 
mont has an indubitable right to agree on terms 
of cessation of hostilities with Great Britain, pro- 
vided the United States persist in rejecting her ap- 
plication for a union with them ; for Vermont of 
all people would be the most miserable, were she 
obliged to defend the independence of the United 
States and they at the same time at full liberty 
to overturn and ruin the independence of Ver- 
mont," and closed the letter by saying, "I am as 
resoluteh^ determined to defend the independence 
of Vermont as Congress is, that of the United 
States; and rather than fail, will retire with the 
hardy Green Mountain Boys into the desolate cav- 
erns of the mountains, and wage war with human 
nature at large." 

Colonel Allen met the British commissioners, to 
agree on a cartel for the exchange of prisoners, 
and told the British commissioners that his au- 
thority' did not extend to treat for a union with 
Great Britain ; but from a history of the confer- 


ence it is evident it was the main topic under con- 
sideration. Ira Allen told them, "that matters in 
Vermont were not yet ripe for any permanent pro- 
posals" — referring to the subject of the renewal of 
their allegiance with Great Britain, — and told 
them that, ''some of the Council were anxious to 
bring about a neutrality, being convinced that 
Congress never intended to admit them as a 
State;" but for the time being desired to settle a 
cartel for the exchange of prisoners, and thereby 
keep open a door for negotiations." 

From a memoranda of the conference held in 
May, 1781, it was evident that the British com- 
missioners were willing to comply wnth all the de- 
mands of .\llen, except allowing Vermont to 
choose her own Governor, if Vermont would re- 
turn to her allegiance; but Allen plead for delays 
and said it would be impossible to effect a union 
with Great Britain until the union with a part of 
New Hampshire and a part of New York, that had 
in a formal wa^^ taken part, had become more 
firmly united, and until the3' had better prepared 
their people for the change. Allen told them that 
when the western union was complete, Vermont 
could raise ten thousand fighting men. He said 
he, and Vermont in general, were inclined for the 
success of America, but interest and self-preserva- 
tion (if Congress continued to oppress them) more 
strongly inclined them to wish for the success of 
Great Britain, and fight like devils against their 
oppressors, be they who they might. 

Before Allen left them, he agreed wnth the Brit- 
ish commissioners how they might in future keep 



each other informed of the progress of affairs. Sig- 
nals were agreed upon for the messages that Al- 
len might send ; that if the British should send 
messengers they were to be men of trust ; that the 
contents of the message should be a secret, to the 
messenger, written on a small piece of paper, 
which he should be directed to swallow, or other- 
wise destroy, it in danger of being taken by a 
scout from New York. These negotiations contin- 
ued 17 days, during which time a cartel for the 
exchange of prisoners was completed ; hostilities 
were to cease between the British and the Ver- 
monters until after the then next session of the 
Legislature ot Vermont, and in the meantime 
Vermont w^as to consolidate her unions to weaken 
Congress, permit letters to pass through Vermont 
to and from Canada, and take prudent measures 
to prepare the people for a change of government. 
The course of Vermont was mysterious. Bev- 
erly Robinson wrote Gen. Haldimand, in May, 
1781, that Vermont deserves our diligent atten- 
tion, and that he had much to say respecting her 
mysterious conduct." In one letter, dated at 
Quebec, May 21, 1781, to Vermont authorities, it 
urged Vermont to take immediate and decisive 
steps to unite with Great Britain ; it stated that, 
"there is from accounts from Europe great reason 
to think that a general negotiation for peace has 
commenced under the mediation of the Emperor 
at Vienna." Whatever the terms of peace may be, 
the people of Vermont must be left in the same un- 
favorable situation they were in before the present 
trouble, unless they accept the terms offered them 


by Great Britain, and "save themselves a separate 
government independent ol the other States." 
Gen. Washington disapproved of the cartel for the 
exchange of prisoners made b}' Vermont with the 
British in Canada. 

I think it very clear that Vermont had a double 
purpose in these negotiations. If the people of 
Vermont should become perfectly satisfied that 
they should not be recognized as an independent 
State by Congress, but that her territory should 
be divided between the States claiming her terri- 
tory, many of the leading men had come to a de- 
termination to unite their fortunes with Great 
Britain, if they should be granted a separate ex- 
istence. So, for the time being, it was with them 
"Good Lord, good devil," for they did not know 
whose hands they might fall into." 

If the war should continue, it was evident that 
Vermont must become the battle ground between 
the British in Canada and the American forces, 
and, therefore, Vermont attempted to take the neu- 
tral position. It was a stroke of policy on the 
part of Vermont to make the British believe that 
they had no hope of being recognized as a separate 
State, and that, therefore, as soon as the Vermont 
authorities could get the Vermont people ripe for 
a union with Great Britain, it should be done. 
By this means they avoided the calamities of 
active war within their own borders. Without 
doubt the people of Vermont had rather unite 
their fortunes with the United States, and conse- 
quently made frequent endeavors to be admitted 
as the fourteenth State; but Congress dallied 


along without any decisive action for the tear of 
offending New York and New Hampshire, and dur- 
ing this state of affairs, the Vermont authorities 
gave the British to understand that they were 
preparing to cast in their fortunes with them. 

As late as the 10th of July, 1781, Col. Ira Allen 
wrote to Gen. Haldimand, that "It is expected 
that Vermont's agents to Congress will make of- 
fers to Congress that will not be accepted, by 
which means those in favor of government \Yill be 
able to evince to the people of this State that Con- 
gress means nothing more than to keep this State 
in suspense to the end of the war, and then divide 
the territory among the claiming States." " It is 
exceeding difficult and somewhat dangerous at- 
tempting to change the opinion of large and popu- 
lar bodies. Therefore, carr^-ing these matters 
somewhat under the rose until the next election, 
when in all probability a large majority of the 
then officers of the government will be well dis- 
posed, and then by the advantage of another de- 
nial from Congress, with the reins of government 
in their hands for one j^ear, they will make a rev- 
olution so long wished for by many." 

Sir Henry Clinton wrote to Gen. Haldimand 
from New York 23d July, 1781, that "if a reunion 
of Vermont with the mother country can be ef- 
fected, it must be productive of happy conse- 
quences, but I confess I have my suspicions of 
those people." Lord George Germaine wrote from 
London to Gen. Haldimand the 26th of July, 
1781, "I am sorry you have cause to doubt their 
sincerity, but I flatter myself that when they see a 


bod}' of troops sufficient to protect them near at 
hand, they will readily yield to the force of the 
weighty arguments 3^ou will have it in your power 
to urge." And he urged him to appear in considera- 
ble force on the frontier, which he said would be 
the surest means to give efficacy to the negotia- 
tions with the Vermont people. And nothing 
should be omitted to attach them to His Majes- 
ty's government." 

Gov. Chittenden on the 14th of November, 
1781, addressed a letter to Gen. Washington, jus- 
tifying their course in attempting to effect a union 
with a part ot New Hampshire and a part of New 
York, and the agreement Vermont made with the 
British for a cartel for the exchange of prisoners 
and cessation of hostilities, thereby saving the 
shedding of blood and the State from invasion, by 
a stroke of polic}- that they could not have pre- 
vented by an^^ military force they had at their 
command. And closed his letter on that subject 
by sa\'^ing, "And in the month of October last, the 
enem}' appeared in force at Crowm Point, and Ti- 
conderoga; but were maneuvered out of their ex- 
pedition, and the}^ returned into wnnter quarters 
in Canada, with great safety, that it might be 
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, *I will 
put my hook in their nose and turn them back by 
the w-ay which they came, and thej^ shall not come 
into this city (alias Vermont,) saith the Lord.' " 

Gen*. Washington, in his reply by letter dated 
Jan. 1, 1782, said, "Your late extension of claim 
has rather diminished than increased the number 
of your friends, and that if the extension should be 


persisted in, it will be made a common cause." and 
it must involve the ruin of that (X'ermont) State 
ao^ainst which the resentment of the others is 
pointed." And said, "I will only add a few words 
upon the subject of the negotiations which have 
been carried on between you and the enemy in 
Canada and in New York. It has this certain bad 
tendency; it has served to give some ground to the 
delusive opinion of the enemy, upon which they in 
a great measure found their hopes of success;" and 
gives Gov. Chittenden a hint that if Vermont re- 
leases her claim to any part of New Hampshire 
and New York, Congress would be more likely to 
admit her as a State into the Federal Union. 

New York sought the aid of Federal troops to 
enforce their demand against Vermont. But as 
Congress was prevented from using United States 
troops against Vermont, by the intervention of 
Geo. Washington in Februar}', 1783, New York 
had no means to a resort to force, except by her 
own troops. To this the sixth article of confeder- 
ation interposed an obstacle which could not be re- 
moved without the consent of Congress. New 
York repeatedly and persistently urged Congress 
to give their consent till Ma^', 1784, but did not 
succeed in getting consent of Congress. 

One of the British agents, speaking of Ira 
Allen's lettets in the carrying on of the negotia- 
tions referred to, said, "the apparent studied style 
of Allen's letters does not appear to us like the un- 
disguised sentiments of an honest heart." And in 
speaking of Mr. Fay, a Vermont agent, he said, 
"we have sparea pains, the short time Mr. Fay 


has been with us, to endeavor him out. He pro- 
fesses so much honest^', accompanied with so 
man3^ gestures of sincerit3% that he seems to over 
act his part. He is perfecth' honest, or a perfect 
Jesuit. We have tQO much reason to fear and be- 
lieve the latter; however, it appears plain that he 
wishes to continue the negotiations till next No- 
vember, for what reason it is uncertain. He de- 
clares solemnly that they will be then able to join 
us. Allen declared the same w^ould happen in Juh-; 
— to us it appears they wish to have two strings 
to their bow, that the\^ ma^^ choose the strongest, 
which they cannot determine till Mr. Washing- 
ton's success shall be known. We do not believe 
that Vermont expects b\' procrastinating to 
strengthen herself as a State, but we believe sin- 
cerely they design to secure themselves in this cam- 
paign from invasion of King or Congress l?y spin- 
ning out the summer and autumn in truces, cartles 
and negotiations, by the expiration of w^hich they 
expect to hear the result of the negotiation at 
Vienna, and other matters, by which thQj may be 
enabled to judge of the strongest side, the only 
motive (we believe) by which they are influenced." 
There were eight persons on the part of Ver- 
mont that were engaged in carrying on these ne- 
gotiations. Samuel Williams, one of Vermont's 
early authors, put the matter in its true light. He 
said, "But whatever may be thought respecting 
the proprietj^ of such policy (as was pursued by 
Vermont) the event showed that the gentlemen of 
Vermont had formed a sound judgement with re- 
gard to the effect. The British, flattered with the 


prospect thnt they should draw off a considerable 
part of the continent to their government, there- 
fore carefully- avoided hostilities against Vermont, 
restored her persons, forbade her troops to enter 
or attack her territory, and considered her people 
rather in the light of friends than enemies. Thus, 
while the British generals were freely imagining 
that they were deceiving, corrupting and seducing 
the people of Vermont, by their superior arts, ad- 
dresses and intrigues, the wise policy of eight 
honest farmers, in the most uncultivated part of 
America, disarmed their northern troops, and kept 
them quiet and inoffensive through their cam- 
paigns, assisted in subduing Cornwallis, and fi- 
nally saved the State. 

While these negotiations were going on Ver- 
mont made application to be admitted as a State, 
and lei? Congress settle the boundaries between 
New Hampshire and New York, as to whether the 
East and West Unions should constitute a part 
of Vermont, but no decisive action was taken by 
Congress. Vermont also proposed to New York 
and New Hampshire to adopt some measures to 
settle the boundar}^ between Vermont and their 
respective States, but not much was accomplished 
in that line. New Hampshire would not agree to 
surrender an}' claim east of the Connecticut River, 
and New York would not surrender an3'thing, and 
would take measures that indicated that they 
should exercise their jurisdiction b}' force over the 
towns that had formerly united with Vermont. 
The warlike spirit ran high both in New Hamp- 
shire and in New York, and that aroused the peo- 


pie of Vermont. The following verse was com- 
posed at that time, showing the spirit of the Ver- 
monters, nameh^: — 

"Come York, or come Hampshire — come Traitors and 

If vou rule over our lands, ye shall rule over our graves; 
Our vow is recorded — our banner unfurled. 
In the name of Vermont we defy all the world." 

Actual conflict for a time was imminent between 
the forces of Vermont and New York on the one 
side, and the forces of Vermont and New Hamp- 
shire on the other side, but it was avoided by ne- 
gotiation. But the right of existence of Vermont, 
and if an existence, whether she had a separate 
jurisdiction, and the extent of that jurisdiction, 
continued to be a matter of controversy between 
the respective claiming States and before Con- 
gress. On the 20th February, 1782, the Legisla- 
ture of Vermont passed a resolution to the effect 
that the west bank of the Connecticut should be 
the east line; and a line running from the north 
corner of Massachusetts northward, twenty miles 
east of Hudson River, the west line of Vermont, 
and relinquished all claim over any district of ter- 
ritory outside of those lines; and this w^as done 
with the expectation, that if they did so, Vermont 
would have a speedy admission into the Federal 
Union as a State. And they appointed Jonas Fay, 
Moses Robinson, Paul Spooner and Isaac Tichenor 
agents to negotiate her admission into the Union. 
The friends of Vermont were again disappointed, 
but through all the disappointments, and the in- 
difference manifested by Congress, the hostility of 



Vermont to New York never abated. The}- never 
for one moment contemplated submitting to New 
York, but were determined cither to be an in- 
dependent State or a member of the Federal Union, 
On the 7th of October, 1790, commissioners 
from New York and Vermont settled the contro- 
versy between the two States. The line between 
them was to be "the west line of the most western 
towns which had been granted by New Hamp- 
shire, and the middle channel of Lake Champlain, 
and Vermont was to pay New Y^ork $^0,000." This 
agreement was ratified by both States, and thus 
terminated a controversy which had been carried 
on with great animosit}' for twenty-six years. 
Vermont approved and ratified the constitution of 
the United States, and by act of Congress passed 
the 18th of February, 1791, Vermont, on the 4th 
of March, 1791, was received and admitted into 
the Union "as a new and entire member of the 
United States of America." 

Vermont may be small in a geographical sense; 
it may be rough and rugged in physical contour, 
and may not possess the wealth, or resources 
from which to obtain it, which some States and 
Territories have; yet it is rich in heroic history, in 
grand and sublime scenery, a favorite climate, and 
the full freedom of hand and thought, which makes 
noble men and women. This is her glory and her 
pride, and she can never be robbed of these. 



The former chapter was an address prepared 
b3' the writer of this Yolnme, a few^ years ago, and 
is inserted without adding to it so as to make it a 
complete history of the times it purports to cover. 
It will be my endeavor in the present and follow- 
ing chapters to supply much that was omitted in 
the first chapter, so as to give the reader a more 
complete idea of early Vermont and the sturdy 
character of her people. And in doing so it has 
become necessar3^ to state more in detail, what 
has been said in a general w^ay in the former chap- 
ter. And this is mA^ apology for any repetition 
that may, in some instances, occur. 

It is stated in the 26th Vol. of New Hampshire 
State Papers, bj- A. S. Batcheldor, the editor, that 
an acquaintance with the contentions betw^een the 
provincial or colonial governments of New York, 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire is necessary 
to a fair conception of the legal and political 
status of the grants made by those States in the 
first period of their history. At an early period 


Massachusetts claimed, from the language of its 
charter, that the north line of that State was 
three miles north of the outlet of Lake Winnipise- 
ogee. But the King in Council in 1739, deter- 
mined the line to be governed b}- the river Mono- 
mack, alias Merrimack, so far as that followed a 
westerly course, but when it turned to the north, 
the line should continue "thence due west across 
said river till it meets with His Majesty's other 
governments." This determination was favora- 
ble to New Hampshire. A joint commission ol the 
two States fixed the boundary line. In running 
this line w^esterly Fort Dummer fell within the lim- 
its of the province of New Hampshire and within 
the limits of the present town of Brattleboro, Vt. 
The western terminus of this line and the western 
boundary of New Hampshire would depend upon 
where the eastern boundaries of the other gov- 
ernments should be determined to be. The gen- 
eral understanding was, at that day, that the 
easterly boundary of New York was not on Con- 
necticut River. The question had been previ- 
ously raised. The Hartford treaty of 1656, be- 
tween the United Colonies of New England on the 
one part, and the Dutch Colonies of New Nether- 
lands on the other, fixed a line of division, between 
New Netherlands and New England, to begin at 
the west side ot Greenwich Bay, and to run a 
northerh' course up into the country, and after, as 
it should be agreed by the two governments of 
the Dutch and of New Haven, provided the line 
should not come within ten miles of Hudson River. 
From this time till 1664, the Dutch did not claim 


as belonging to them, an^' territory or lands, ex- 
cept in Hartford, east of Connecticut River; and 
it was believed that the Dutch possessions v^^ould 
not extend easterly of the extension, northerly of 
the twent3^ mile line, providing it did not come 
within ten miles of the Hudson River. In 1664, a 
charter was granted to the Duke of York, by King 
Charles, to confirm his purchase of Long Island 
and other territory from the Earl of Stirling, to 
whom they had been conveyed by the Council of 
Plymouth on the surrender of their charter to the 
Crown in 1635. In the charter to the Plymouth 
Colony, to which the Duke of York succeeded, the 
language used in describing the eastern boundary 
of the territory was as follows, "and all the lands, 
from the west side of Connecticut River to the 
east side of Delaware Bay." 

Contention arose, between the Duke of York as 
one party, and Connecticut and Massachusetts 
successively as the other party, the foundation of 
which was the construction of said charter. The 
controversy resulted in fixing the boundary line 
between the last two named Provinces and that 
of New York at twenty miles east of and parallel 
with Hudson River. It was understood after this 
period to 1740, that the western boundary of 
Massachusetts, against New York, extended 
northerly to the line of Canada. The region now 
called Vermont was then, for the most part, a wil- 
derness, and the relations existing betw^een the 
English and the French and their Indian allies, 
rendered the settlement of that part of New En- 
gland extremely hazardous, and the persons who 


undertook its settlement were subjected to many 

hardships. The claims of New York to territorial 

jurisdiction to the Connecticut River, if not practi- 

calh' abandoned, were for a lon^r time held in abey- 

Under these circumstances Governor Went- 
worth might well apply the practical test of ac- 
tual land grants on the west side of Connecticut 
River as far west as the west line of Massachu- 
setts, with a reasonable expectation of being sus- 
tained in the movement. 

The early town organizations of the New 
Hampshire Grants within the present limits of 
Vermont, that were granted by the Governor of 
New Hampshire, had the right of self-government 
in March meeting in the election of all town of- 
ficers and in the management of town aifairs. ^As 
early as the year of 1770, the New York courts 
repudiated the town charters granted by the 
Governor of New Hampshire, but those towns, 
with great unanimity, resolved to support their 
rights and protect their property under the grants 
against the unjust claims of the Governor and 
Council of New York, by force. These towns ap- 
pointed Committees of Safety to attend to their 
defence. These committees met, from time to time, 
to take measures for the common protection. A 
General Convention was called to meet on the 
16th of Januar\', 1776, by a w^arrant issued Dec. 
10, 1775, by a committee appointed for the pur- 
pose. It is not known b^' what authority it was 
called, but the Convention was composed of town 
Committees. In January, 1777, a Convention 


composed of committees or delegates, assumed ju- 
risdiction of the whole territory, and declared it 
to be a separate and independent State. The re- 
solves of the Convention were executed by com- 
mittees or agents appointed by the Convention. 
This simple arrangement stood in stead of a form- 
ally constituted State government. This bod^^ ex- 
ercised supreme legislative and executive power. 
It was elected b3' the people, expressed their will, 
and was answerable to them. New York claimed 
that the whole territory, now called Vermont, 
was within their jurisdiction. The contest be- 
tween the two jurisdictions was earnest and un- 
yielding. The Grants made application to the 
King to settle the controversy^ in their favor, in- 
sisting that their territory was not within the 
boundary- of New York. The commencement of 
the Revolutionary War, and the news of the bat- 
tle of Lexington, fired the hearts of most of the 
people. A bod}^ of troops was raised for the com- 
mon defense from among the New Hampshire 
Grants, b\^ the request of Congress, who were 
called the Green Mountain Boys, and who chose 
their own ofl&cers. A part of this regiment was 
raised from the towns near Onion River. Peleg 
Sunderland, who was called a "mighty hunter of 
both wild beasts and Tories," was recommended 
as one of their captains. At a meeting of the rep- 
resentatives of the several tow^ns in the New 
Hampshire Grants, on the west side of the Green 
Mountains, held at the Inn of Cephas Kent in Dor- 
set, Jan. 17th, 1776, it was voted that, ''the 
inhabited towns in the Grants be allowed votes in 


the meetings or conventions in proportion to the 
number such deputed member or members shall 
represent." Committees were appointed at said 
meeting to warn General Meetings of the commit- 
tees on the Grants when they should judge neces- 
sary from southern or northern intelligence. 

On the 20th day oi July, A. D. 1764, the King 
of England with the advice of his Council, on peti- 
tion from the authorities from New York, annexed 
all the territory- west of Connecticut River, south 
of Canada line, and north of Massachusetts, to 
New York Province. To this action the Grants 
remonstrated and reported to the King the situa- 
tion, and on the 24th day of July, 1767, the King 
and his Council took the report into consideration 
and commanded the New York authorities, that 
they, for the time being, make no grants in the ter- 
ritory of the New Hampshire Grants. 

A petition was drawn, to present to the Conti- 
nental Congress, setting forth the condition of the 
Grants, the action that the King and his Council 
had taken, and the course of conduct of New York, 
and pra3'ing Congress to take their cause into 
their wise consideration, and order that the 
Grants do duty in the Continental service as in- 
habitants of New Hampshire Grants^ and not as 
inhabitants of the Province of New York. This 
petition was presented at the adjourned meeting 
held at the Inn of Cephas Kent the 17th of Janu- 
ary, A. D. 1776, and was agreed to. Lieut. James 
Breakenridge and Capt. Heman Allen were chosen 
to prepare said petition to Congress. 

The Grants were willing to do all in their power 


in the common cause, but not as Yorkers. It was 
the wish of the Grants, as expressed in the peti- 
tion, to have the dispute between them and New 
York lie dormant till the contest with Great Brit- 
ain was over, when there would be a better op- 
portunity to get an equitable decision in the dis- 
putes with New York. 

(^n the death of Gen. Montgomer3' the com- 
mand of the Colonial forces in Canada devolved 
upon Gen. Wooster who was left in charge of the 
troops at Montreal, and he wrote Col. Warner a 
pressing letter for reinforcements. This was after 
the deteat of the Colonial forces at Quebec. He 
said the safety of the Colonies, and especialh^ the 
frontiers, depended upon keeping possession of 
Canada, and said, "I am confident I shall see you 
here with your men in a ver^^ short time." Gen. 
Wooster -was not disappointed. His promptness 
in rendering aid elicited the approval of both Gen. 
Washington and Gen. Schujder. The alacrity 
with which the Green Mountain Bo\^s furnished 
aid showed their readiness to serve the common 
cause, and defend their rights against the arbi- 
trary- power of King George IH., as well as the 
usurpation of New York. The stand that the 
hard\' Green Mountain Boys took educated the 
people of their territory to become brave, inde- 
pendent and self-reliant. 

Said petition to Congress was presented to 
that body by the committee chosen for that 
purpose, but it was opposed b^- New York, and 
ordered to lie on the table for consideration. 
A motion was made to withdraw the peti- 



tion that it mifjht not be acted on when the 
Grants were not properly represented in the ab- 
sence of the Committee. Congress passed a reso- 
lution that the petitioners, for the present, submit 
to the government of New York till the contest 
with Great Britain was over, without prejudice to 
their rights to their lands, and that the contro- 
versy with New York, in the end, be sul)mitted to 
proper judges, and that the Committee have leave 
to withdraw their petition. The Grants were 
willing to aid the common cause as the resolu- 
tions required, but they never yielded allegiance to 
the government of New York. 

Many persons residing in the New Hampshire 
Grants joined the enem}- of the United States, and 
on the 26th day ol February, 1776, the Grants 
passed an act to prevent such persons returning 
to the State, and if any violated the act the^- were 
to be arrested and tried in the courts, and if found 
guilty were to be whipped on the naked back, not 
more than fortA', and not less than twenty, stripes, 
and ordered to quit the State ; and if he returned 
again to the State, he was to be put to death ; and 
if any one harbored such persons they should for- 
feit and pay five hundred pounds. There was a 
list of one hundred and eight names incorporated 
in the act to w^hich the first part of said act ap- 
plied. At the adjourned session of the Convention 
held on the 17th day of January, 1777, it was vo- 
ted that "the district or territory is hereby de- 
clared forever hereafter to be considered as a sepa- 
rate, free and independent jurisdiction or State." 
At an adjourned Convention, held at Dorset on 


the 25th of Septenber, 1776, where towns from 
both sides of the Mountain were represented, it 
was resolved that, "no laws, direction or direc- 
tions" from the State of New York, would be ac- 
cepted b3' them. 

James Rogers came from New Hampshire to 
Londonderry, Vt. That town had been granted 
by New York (bv the name of Kent) to said Rog- 
ers Feb. 13th, 1770. He held a commission as jus- 
tice of the peace and as assistant justice of an infe- 
rior court in 1766, and 1772. In 1775, his politi- 
cal situation and views were doubtful, both par- 
ties supposing him to be a friend of their party, 
probably for want of accurate information as to 
his position. But on Buro^oyne's invasion he 
joined the King's troops, and on Oct. 3d, 1777, 
the Council of Safety took control of his prop- 
erty and confiscated it in 1778. }*>ut in 1795, and 
1797, on a petition of his son James, so much of his 
property as had not been disposed of was returned 
to him by the General Assembly. The property of 
Tories and enemies was from time to time confis- 
cated b}' the authorit}^ of the State. 

The government of New York continued to keep 
up a semblance of authority over the Grants, and 
to commission various persons residing in the 
Grants to carry out the will of New York govern- 
ment. All such commissions and appointments to 
oflfice, they thought, would serve to keep the peo- 
ple loyal to the government of New York. But it 
is evident that the people of the Grants were too 
determined to maintain and guard their liberties 
and rierhts, and to establish their absolute inde- 


pendcnce as a separate power or as a separate 
State of the Union, to be easily dissuaded by flat- 
tery, or by the gift of emoluments, or a little brief 
authority under the government of New York. 
The Vermont Couneil of Safety and the Conven- 
tions composed of committees, or representatives, 
or delegates, from the different towns, acted inde- 
pendent of New York in all of their deliberations, 
and in appointing officers in their military force. 

Jails were voted to be built, by the Convention, 
of logs and earth, in Manchester, for the confine- 
ment of Tories and other offenders. It was voted 
by the Convention Sept. 2Sth, 1776, that, "as 
it appears that the town of .\rlington are princi- 
pally Tories, yet the friends of liberty are ordered 
to warn a meeting and choose a Committee of 
Safety and Conduct, as other towns." And at the 
same meeting, voted to appoint Col. Seth Warner, 
Capt. Heman Allen and four others a committe 
"to prepare a citation to send to the State of New 
York, to know if they have any objection to our 
being a separate State from them." On January 
15, 1777, a committee reported to the Convention 
that, "we find by examination that more than 
three-fourths of the people in Cumberland and 
Gloucester Counties, that have acted, are for a 
new State; the rest we view^ as neuters.'' And at 
the same meeting it was voted that a committee 
(naming them) prepare a draught for a declara- 
tion for a new and separate State. 

The next day the committee reported, viz.: 
"Right 1st, That whenever protection is withheld, 
no allegiance is due, or can of right be demanded ;" 


and secondly, they set forth fully their grievances 
against New York and their monopolizing land 
traders, and declared that the New Hampshire 
Grants of right ought to be, and is hereby declared 
forever hereafter a separate, free and independent 
jurisdiction or State, by the name, and forever 
hereafter to be called, known and distinghished by 
the name of New Connecticut. On the 4th oi June, 
1777, the name was changed to Vermont. Down 
to tlie 17th da^' of January, 1777, certain dele- 
gates from the New Hampshire Grants had served 
as delegates in the New York Convention, and on 
the last named date the Vermont Convention di- 
rected that a letter be drav^'n directed to them, 
that they would "on sight hereof withdraw 
themselves from the Convention of the State of 
New^ Y^ork and appear there no more in the char- 
acter of representatives for the County of Cumber- 
land." That County was not represented in New 
Y^ork alter 1784. , The people of the New Hamp- 
Grants, who were endeavoring to throw off all al- 
legiance to New York, were not only severe on all 
New^ Y'ork sympathizers, but the deacons of the 
churches were severe with their members whose 
conduct was not stricth^ in accordance with the 
fourth commandment. 

An anecdote is related about Dea. Session of 
Westminister. A member of Parson Buelin's 
church had shot a bear in his cornfield on Sunday, 
and for this, excommunication was voted. When 
the Parson attempted to read this document in 
church, the accused, fully armed, rose to his feet 
and brought his musket to bear on the Parson. 


This SO shocked the nerves otthe Parson he handed 
the document to Dea. Sessions to read. The dea- 
con declined, sayinf^^, "all thin<j^s are lawful unto 
me but all things are not expedient." The New 
York sympathizers in Cumberland County had 
appointed Dea. Sessions to represent them in New 
York, and he found it also not expedient to con- 
tinue to represent them in New York. The Con- 
vention of the New Hampshire Grants under the 
name of New Connecticut, on the 17th day of 
March, 1777, published to the world their declar- 
ation as a free and independent State 

The first proclamation for a fast was issued the 
7th day of June, 1777, by Joseph Bowker, Presi- 
dent of the Convention, and by its order. It 
was set forth in the proclamation that, "since 
God has been pleased in his wisdom to visit the 
inhabitants of this land with his judgements by 
suffering our unnatural enemies to wage war 
against us, the pestilence to prevail," etc., as a 
just reward for the many prevailing sins, it called 
upon the people for solemn fasting and praA^er. I 
suppose this was an old theological view of God's 
dealings with the children of men ; that it w^as a 
world of special providences. But how different is 
this from the more reasonable idea that every- 
thing is worked out by God's natural laws ac- 
cording to the principles of evolution. 

On the 4th dav of June, 1777, the Convention 
passed resolves as a sovereign body, and took ex- 
clusive jurisdiction of the territory under the new 
name of Vermont, and soon after, in July, 1777, 
proceeded to frame and adopt a Constitution tor 


the State. At this time the Convention was ver3^ 
much disturbed bv reason of a dispatch from Col. 
Seth Warner announcing the advance of Burg03'ne 
upon Ticonderoga, and calling for assistance. 
And as a further soveringn act the convention as- 
serted its right, as against New York, to the 
County jail at Westminister, and issued orders to 
a sergeant and six men to guard it. 

Many of the militia of Vermont at this time 
were with a part of the Continental army defend- 
ing Ticonderoga under General St. Clair, but the 
pressing needs of that General for assistance, and 
at the earnest request of Col. Seth Warner, the 
Convention took further measures to aid the com- 
mon cause by furnishing more men and stores. 
While the Convention at Windsor was in session, 
a dispatch from General St. Clair was received, 
announcing the evacuation of Ticonderoga on the 
morning of the 6th of Juty, 1777, and the pursuit 
of the retreating Americans by the British, and 
the attack upon the forces of Col. Warner at Hub- 
bardton on the morning of the 7th of July. 

The Convention received a letter from General 
St. Clair bearing date at Col. Mead's at Otter 
Creek, July 7th, 1777, stating, among other 
things, that, ''Finding that the enemy were ready 
to attack, and that it was morally impossible to 
maintain the Post with the handful of troops, and 
at the same time considering how necessary to 
the States it was to perserve our army, small as 
it is, it was determined in a council of general offi- 
cers, that the Post on Ticonderoga and Mount In- 
dependence, should be evacuated and a retreat at- 


temped to Skeensboronirh l)y the way of Castle- 
ton," on his march to Bennington. 

Before the Convention adjourned, a Council of 
Safet3' was appointed to administer the affairs of 
the State until some other provision in that re- 
gard should be made. This was the first Council 
appointed under the Constitution. Thomas Chit- 
tenden, Ira Allen, Moses Robinson, Jonas Fay, 
Joseph F'dy, Paul Spooner, Nathan Clark, and 
Jacob Bayley were of the number of that Council 
of Safety. The whole number was twelve, but it 
is not certain who all the other four were. The 
duties of this Council were onerous, delicate, and 
confidential, and owing to the fact that the peo- 
ple of Vermont had declared their position as an 
independent and sovereign State, and had to con- 
tend against a powerful enemy on the north, and 
as New Hampshire on the east, Massachusetts on 
the south, and New York on the west were striv- 
ing to extend their jurisdiction over Vermont 
lands, it required men of the best talent and of 
reliable character, imbued with the most exalted 
patriotism, to discharge the duties of the Ver- 
mont Council. 

This Council, and those they selected to aid 
them, were vigilant and thorough in their work 
in suppressing all action that was intended to 
favor New York. Their faithful service was shown 
in the case of Benjamin Spencer of Durham, now 
called Clarendon. Spencer had held the office of 
justice of the peace and assistant judge of the 
court of common pleas under the jurisdiction of 
New York. He and other New York officers in the 


neighborhood persisted in issuing writs against 
New Hampshire grantees, and conveying lands 
under New York title; and they were charged with 
seducing and inveigling the people to be subject 
to the laws and government of New^ York. Ira 
Allen said he was "an artful, intriguing and design- 
ing man." The Vermont leaders visited him with 
a large body of men in the autumn of 1773, and 
warned him to desist on penalty of suffering vio- 
lence, which he did not greatly heed. They made 
a second visit to him, and Spencer was arrested. 
The people assembled when Ethan Allen an- 
nounced that "the proprietors of New Hampshire 
Grants had appointed himself, Seth Warner, Re- 
member Baker, and Robert Cochran to inspect 
and set things in order, and to see that there 
should be no intruders on the Grants, and said 
that Durliam had become a hornet's nest which 
must be broken up." Spencer's trial immediately 
commenced and he w^as required to stand up 
with uncovered head. He was charged with the 
above mentioned offences; in short with cudling 
with the land jobbers of New Y^ork. He was 
found guilty of all the charges, his house declared 
to be a nuisance and must be burnt; and he was 
required to promise that he would no longer act 
as a New Y^ork magistrate. Spencer objected to 
the destruction of his house and property, as it 
would be cruelty to his wife and children. The 
committee modified the order and simply required 
the roof of the house to be taken off, to be re- 
placed when Spencer w^ould accept it under the 
New Hampshire title. This was agreed to, and 



Spencer promised to no lonj^er act under New- 
York, and he afterwards became a delegate in the 
Convention at Windsor, pledging to stand by the 
new State. 

Other Yorkers were visited in like manner, with 
salutary effect. When Burgoyne's army ad- 
vanced into the country, Spencer sought personal 
safety with the enemy at Ticonderoga, where he 
died a few weeks afterw^ards. • 

There has been considerable criticism of the con- 
duct of General St. Clair in not defending Ticonde- 
roga, and evacuating the place, and exposing the 
country south, and western Vermont to the rav- 
ages of the enem3^ And it has been asserted by 
many that his conduct was not consistent with 
loyalt\^ to the American cause. On this question 
I here insert an address delivered by Hon. Lucius 
E. Chittenden of New York, but formerly of Bur- 
lington, Vt., before the Soldiers' re-union at Ben- 
nington, Vt., on Nov. 5th, 1897. Mr. Chittenden, 
as a writer on the early history of Vermont, is em- 
inentW qualified to accurately state the facts, and 
his address can be treated as good authority on 
the historical facts related by him. The address is 
worthy of being preserved in a substantial form, 
and is as follows: — 

"I come to address you when m^- life has "fallen 
into the sere and 3^ellow leaf," and whatever of 
ability to interest you I once had has left me, be- 
cause I hope still to be competent to perform an 
act of justice to one of the founders of independent 
Vermont and to correct another chapter of the 
false historv written about her before she had 


fought her way into the Federal Union. Of the 
events with which you were personally connected 
it would be presumptuous for me to speak. Of 
these, you have your own historians who have 
written with the bayonet and sabre as well as 
with the pens of ready writers. Without further 
preface, then, let nie come at once to the event 
which forms my subject ^and which ushered in 
upon this theatre the battle summer of 1777. It 
is the second capture of Ticonderoga, and its 
historian, Ira Allen. 

"With the cur;-ent history of this capture, you 
are familiar. It runs after this wise. Gen. Schuyler 
w^as in command of the continental army at Sara- 
toga; Gen. St. Clair held the twin posts of Ticon- 
deroga, and Mount Independence on the Vermont 
shore, the two being connected b3^ a bridge. The 
army of Burgoyne w^as approaching by the lake 
and along the w^est shore. St. Clair, who was 
perfectly aware of Burgoyne's advance, had given 
out that his force was quite sufficient to hold these 
forts, if attacked, until he could be reinforced from 
Schuvler's armv or from the militia of Vermont 
and Massachusetts. 

''But on the morning after Burgoyne appeared, 
St. Clair was surprised to find that the British 
had a batter3^ on the top of Mount Defiance which 
commanded the interior of Fort Ticonderoga. This 
position St. Clair supposed was im.pregnable. Find- 
ing that the British had taken it and placed a bat- 
tery upon its top w^hich commanded every square 
foot inside the fort, there seemed to be no alterna- 
tive between retreat and surrender. He therefore 


summoiid a council of war, which with equal haste 
decided to withdraw the army, partly in boats to 
Skenesborough, now Whitehall, and partly on land, 
via. Hubbardton, Castleton and a round-about 
circuit through the woods, to Saratoga. 

"This retreat was attended with disaster. That 
by w^ater had scarcely commenced before the whole 
region was lighted up ,by the burning buildings 
on Mount Independence. The boats exposed were 
attacked b^- the British and many of them were 
captured. Only an insignificant remnant reached 

"The retreat by land w^as more disastrous. 
What became of Gen. St. Clair does not appear in 
the current accounts. But it does appear that the 
British pursuit under Gen. Fraser was immediate; 
that within the first ten miles the retreat of the 
continentals had become a rout, and that the reg- 
iments of Francis and Warner, which held the rear, 
were the onl}' regiments which undertook to pre- 
serve their formation, and that these regiments 
protected the retreat from destruction. At Hub- 
bardton the}' halted. 

"The continentals scattered, and a few of\hem 
afterwards came in at Castleton and other south- 
ern towns. Warner and Francis were attacked 
the next morning b\' an overwhelming force of 
British and Indians, and after a fierce resistance 
in which over 300 of the British were killed, Fran- 
cis fell and Warner directed his regiment to retire 
and make their way as best they could to Manches- 
ter. There the^- remained until the great da}^ of 
Bennington, when Major Saftbrd led them by that 


night march through the mud to this town, and 
brought them to their colonel in the field in time 
to defeat the second column of British and Hes- 
sians, and to turn a great battle into a great vic- 

"It has been impossible for an^^one to read even 
the most partisan account of the loss and retreat 
from Ticonderoga and to suppress his suspicions 
of the loyalty of Gen. St. Clair. . These suspicions 
were rife at the time. Warner did not hesitate to 
denounce him, and to declare that his treachery 
caused the loss of the battle of Hubbardton and 
the other calamities of that disastrous retreat. 
There was a court of inquiry, but it was conducted 
at a time when the country was rejoicing over 
great victories ; Warner was a soldier w^ho had no 
love for the role of a prosecutor; the inquiry was 
very superficial and resulted in St. Clair's acquittal. 
The account which I have sketched has therefore 
become the accepted history of the second capture 
of and the retreat from Ticonderoga. 

'T propose to-night to inquire into the histori- 
cal accuracy of this version. It is a subject in 
which Vermonters are interested, for it concerns 
the only defeat that has ever occurred on her soil. 
It concerns also the reputation of her soldiers 
and at least one of the founders of independent 
Vermont who had much to do with bringing her 
into the Federal Union. 

My principal witness will be Ira Allen. As the 
weight of his evidence depends upon the character 
of the witness, you will ask : 

Who was Ira Allen ? 


I answer that he was one of the founders of 
Vermont. The first governor, assailed for his al- 
leged favoritism to Ira Allen when he fell into pe- 
cuniary difficulties, is reported to have exclaimed 
with an indignation that he seldom exhibited, 
that he "would not be the governor of a people 
who found fault with him for helping Ira Allen. 
For!" he said, "there would have been no Ver- 
mont if there had not been an Ira Allen." When, 
in 1774, the governor settled upon his Williston 
farm, Ira Allen was making a survey of the Col- 
chester lands, of which he became the owner. It is 
quite possible that he knew Ira Allen in Connecti- 
cut. Ira was the brother of Ethan, and the 
youngest of a familv of nine children. We know 
almost nothing about him until he came to the 
New Hampshire Grants. There, he became one of 
the most energetic of the leaders, always working 
in close connection with Thomas Chittenden. He 
was a born diplomatist and writer. He was the 
author or editor of all the Allen pamphlets, which 
are now so rare and so indispensable to Vermont 
history. Vermont had no newspaper until 1778. 
When it became necessary to make public some 
new phase of the controversy with New York, 
Ethan Allen would write it out and Ira would re- 
vise it; or Ira himself would prepare a pamphlet, 
procure a small edition printed in Hartford, Con- 
necticut, and distribute it. In this wa}- the case 
of Vermont in all its changes, was kept before the 
Continental Congress and the public. He was 
Thomas Chittenden's most able lieutenant. They 
were present in all the conventions of the Grants, 


either as delegates or officers. Both were dele- 
gates to the convention at Windsor on the sec- 
ond ot July, 1777, when the first constitution was 
adopted, and the members hastened home to resist 
the advance of Burgoyne. 

"The last act of the Windsor convention was 
to name a Council of Safety to govern the new 
State until the State government went into opera- 
tion. Of that council of eight members, Thomas 
Chittenden was made president and Ira Allen sec- 
retary. It was agreed that the council should 
meet at Manchester as soon as Allen could return 
from Hartford, where he went to have the consti- 
tution printed for distribution. 

"What time Allen reached Manchester, we do 
not know, for there is no record of the council 
meeting there. It was probabl^^ about the middle 
of July. In the meantime, disastrous events had 
occurred. Ticonderoga had been evacuated ; the 
battle of Hubbardton had been lost; St. Clair, 
with the remnant of his continentals, was retreat- 
ing toward Saratoga, and Burgoyne was pursu- 
ing his triumphal march southward and the whole 
frontier was open to the enemy. 

"Warner, who was now satisfied with the 
treachery ot St. Clair, had directed the men of his 
regiment to separate and make their way as best 
they could to Manchester, where he would meet 
them. They obeyed his orders and about 150 of 
them reached Manchester, where they remained 
w^hile Warner went with Gen. Stark to Benning- 

"Ira Allen then not onlv met Col. Warner at 


Manchester, but he was there when Warner's 
men, fresh from the retreat and the defeat at Hub- 
bard ton, arrived there. He must have had means 
of knowledge of the facts of that retreat almost 
equal to that of having been personally present. 
When, within a few years afterwards, he wrote 
out the story, we may, I think, accept it as the 
true history of the events in the order of their oc- 

"Before I lay this interesting document before 
you, I should explain how it came to be written. 
After the war was over, Ira Allen purchased of the 
French directory 15,000 muskets and 21 brass 
cannon for arming the militia of Vermont. They 
v^ere shipped from a French port in the 'Olive 
Branch,' which was captured on the high seas 
by a British ship and proceeded against in Admir- 
alty on an unfounded claim that the cargo was in- 
tended for use in Ireland. 

**The case of the 'Olive Branch' is too dark a 
chapter in English judicial history to be presented 
in the time at my command. It began in Decem- 
ber, 1796, when Gen. Allen was probably the 
wealthiest man in Vermont. It ended in Febru- 
ary, 1804, when he was a ruined man who could 
not return to Vermont without being imprisoned 
for debt. The ship and cargo was discharged be- 
cause no s^^llable of evidence against them was 
ever produced. There was no justificatian or apol- 
ogy for the capture, and yet Gen. Allen was con- 
demned to pay the captor's costs, amounting to 
some four thousand dollars. 

"To anyone desiring to understand the scien- 


tific process of the ruining a man by litigation, 
where the party is a nation having one of its own 
judges at command, I recommend the study of Ira 
Allen's account of the 'Olive Branch,' published in 
1805. It comprises 550 closely written pages and 
is a history of judicial oppression and tyranny 
which w^ould be incredible w^ere it not supported 
by documentary proof. It accomplished its in- 
tended purposes, for it crushed the most patriotic, 
brilliant and deserving of the early Vermonters, 
and drove him to his death in exile and in pov- 
erty'. It is not agreeable to me to be compelled to 
make the admission that \yq do not even know 
where his body lies buried. 

"The 'Olive Branch' is the first reported case in 
the British Court of Admiralty. Ira Allen deter- 
mined that such an exhibition from the English ju- 
dicial bench should not be lost to posterity. He 
paid for the report, and the case now stands at 
the head of a long list of reported cases in which 
no parallel to it can be found. I will give you one 
example from the report. 

"Sir James Marriot was an irritable old man 
long past his usefulness, if that condition ever ex- 
isted. Mr. Pitt had offered him a pension for life 
and an Irish peerage if he would resign. But he 
would not be tempted. The 'Olive Branch,' how- 
ever, was his last judicial appearance. He was 
succeeded by that able judge. Sir Walter Scott, 
who w^as one of the counsel for the captors of the 
'Olive Branch.' 

"On a motion for the discharge of the 'Olive 

Branch,' while the counsel for the claimant was 

90 p:akly history 

pointing out that there was not one S3^11able of 
proof to sustain the allegation of the eaptors, 
Judge Harriot burst in upon him with this fulmi- 
nation : 

" 'Why, Doctor Nicholl ! I am surprised that you 
will attempt to support such a cause. What ! 
the State of Vermont want 20,000 stands of 
arms? No such thing; 400 or 500 would be 
enough for them. W^h3% they are a \'oung, sucking 
State. The people are a banditti, transported for 
crimes from France and England ; not well settled 
in government. These arms may be intended for 
use against Mr. Washington. The claimant is like 
Romulous and Remus who suckfed the wolf, full of 
fight and revolution. I knew he was a military 
man by his step on the floor and his name (Ira), 
which denotes rage, revenge and madncos.' The 
lawyer who reads this paragraph will not be sur- 
prised that Judge Marriot condemned the cargo 
of the 'Olive Branch.' True, it was held on appeal 
that there was not a particle of evidence to sustain 
the finding, but Judge Marriot was not embar- 
rassed by a little fact like that. He would prob- 
ably have condemned the ship if the captors had 
not consented to her discharge. 

"Why was Ira Allen dogged to his ruin by Brit- 
ish emissaries ? Unfounded suits for hundreds of 
thousands of dollars were commenced against him 
by London traders, in which he had to give bail. 
The^^ pursued him to Paris, had him arrested and 
confined, without fire or light, in the cold of win- 
ter, in the prisons of the Temple and St. Pelagic. 
And when finally he compelled a decision in his fa- 


vor, it was with the singular condition that he 
must pa3" the captor's costs of three thousand 
three hundred pounds. For Ira Allen was a 
fighter. Through these seven years he had stood 
as the vindicator of Vermont in London. There 
he wrote his history in her defence. There he com- 
pelled even Judge Marriot to retract his libels on 
the people by showing that Vermont was settled 
hj the best emigrants from Connecticut and other 
New England States, and he never gave up the 
fight until though ruined in fortune, he was vindi- 
cated as a Vermonter. 

"The treatment of Ira Allen is so contrary to 
British notions of fair play, is apparently so 
causeless and inexcusable, that many have long 
believed in and looking for a secret and deep- 
seated cause for it. I have been one of their num- 
ber, and I now believe that cause is susceptible of 
explanation. I shall make no apology for at- 
tempting to explain it, for if I succeed I shall have 
made a valuable contribution to our early history. 

"The Aliens' were a family of fighters. Ethan 
had captured Ticonderoga, invaded Canada, and 
when captured and made a show in England, 
had never failed to beard the British lion and 
show his contempt for him at every opportunity. 
Ira was not a soldier, but he was the most adroit 
and skilful of the early leaders. It was largely 
through his influence that Vermont, when rejected 
by Congress and opposed by the surrounding 
States, instead of yielding to the apparently inevit- 
able, became independent and stood upon her own 


"And there came a time when it seemed that 
the Vermonters must yield. It was after the win- 
ter at'Valley Forge. The military strength of Ver- 
mont of males from 16 to 45 was over 7000 men, 
and the}' were almost all in the army. Warner's 
regiment of Vermonters was withdrawn from the 
State and put under continental authority. Every 
gun, even the spades and pick axes, had been or- 
dered out of the State for the use of the 'army. 
Then it was that Governor Chittenden made a 
statement of the facts to General Washington and 
showed that the whole frontier was open to Brit- 
ish invasion, and asked him what the Vermonters 
were to do. Washington replied in substance, 
admitting the truth of the governor's statement, 
and stating that the fate of the war depended 
upon keeping his army together; that there was 
no other way to do it, and that the Vermonters 
must be left to take care of themselves. 

"And this occurred just at the time when the 
British agents were tempting our generals wnth 
bribes of money and place. Arnold yielded, but he 
was the onh- traitor. The same agent, Beverly 
Robinson, made similar offers to Ethan Allen, and 
his response to the tempting offer was to send the 
letters which made it, to Congress. 

"It was then that Ira Allen preformed the great 
act of his life — an act for which Vermonters should 
honor his name and defend his memory. The 
famous Haldimand negotiation for a truce and an 
exchange of prisioners was opened and its manage- 
ment was entrusted to Ira Allen. I cannot here 
go into details. I can onlj' speak of its results. 


The whole Northern frontier was open and un- 
defended. On one side of it lay Vermont and a 
part of New York; on the other were ten thousand 
disciplined British regulars, and there they lay all 
through the 3^ears 1780 and 1781, and until the 
capture of CornwalliS and his army put an end to 
the war and secured the independence of the United 
States of America. And the entire negotiations 
were conducted with sbch diplomatic ability and 
skill that no accusation was ever made of the 
slightest deception, misrepresentation or unfair- 
ness on the part of Ira Allen or his associates. 

"Until the logic of facts convinced him of his 
error, Allen relied confidently upon the impar- 
tiality of the Court of Admiralty, and w4th Sir 
Thomas Erskine, one of his council, referred to his 
services in the Revolution as not discreditable to 
his standing in a British court. When confined in 
the Temple prison in Paris in November, 1791, he 
had addressed a letter to the French Directory 
showing that himself and his family had been in- 
fluential in ripening and bringing about the Revolu- 
tion, in the capture of Ticonderoga, in cutting off 
the right wing of Burgoyne's army, and in keeping 
the British in Canada, inactive in 1780 and 1781. 
This letter was before Judge Marriot's court, and 
there are powerful reasons for supposing that had 
much to do with influencing Judge Marriot's de- 
cision. In fact, it is impossible to account for the 
temper and partiality of that decision in any other 
way. If the purpose existed to ruin Allen in return 
for his success in theHaldimand negotiation, Judge 
Marriot proved to be a very willing instrument in 
carrying that purpose into execution. 


"That Allen believed that the court was influ- 
enced by the prejudices excited figainst him is evi- 
dent from his own comments upon the case. On 
page 390 of the report, he says : 'In the course of 
events that took place in the Revolutionary War, 
British gold was repeatedly crfifered to my deceased 
brother, Col. Ethan Allen, the late Col. Joseph 
Fay and the claimant.' 

"If the exertions of the Council of Safety in Ver- 
mont disconcerted any mysterious plans of the 
British cabinet and their generals and thereby con- 
tributed to the capture of Burg03me and his army, 
it might have been the means of raising greater 
prejudices against the claimant in the Court of 
Admiralty. If these early exertions in defense of 
his native country, (for he was an active member 
of the Council) furnished ground for a judge of the 
Court of Admiralty to impeach his character and 
condemn his property, taken on the high seas, it 
must be a hard case if it does not furnish some 
support of his character and rights in the United 
States against the speculators there, engaged in a 
conspiracy against him. » 

"I think as Allen's countrymen we may ask if it 
v^^as not intended to punish Allen for defeating the 
projects of the British in Canada. Wh}^ does Judge 
Marriot, after being driven from the first ground 
stated in his sentence of condemnation, at this late 
period in the trial in the Court of Appeals aban- 
don these suggestions about Ireland, and then 
raise suspicions without one syllable of evidence, 
after near two 3'ears diligent inquiry respecting 
hostile designs against the Canadians? 


"After the decision in his favor, which, at the 
end of eight years of litigation had ruined him, was 
too late to be of any value, Allen made some at- 
tempts to secure indemnity for his losses from the 
British government which he believed was respon- 
sible for Judge Marriot's conduct. In this he 
failed ; and then for his own vindication he wrote 
and published the history of the litigation and the 
matters connected with it. The volume is now^ of 
great rarity, and most indispensible to the early 
history of Vermont. In it occurs the document to 
which I have already called your attention. It is 
entitled 'Ticonderoga Evacuated.' I can onh' give 
it in a condensed form as follows : — 

"On the 6th day of July, 1777, while it was yet 
dark, the Americans evacuated the garrison of Ti- 
conderoga and its dependencies, previous to which 
the commandant had requested assistance from 
the militia of Vermont in virtue of which about 
nine hundred and fift^' militia men had assembled 
at said garrison ; some officers that were members 
of a convention to form a constitution for said 
State had been excused that service on the frontier 
and gone to Windsor. The militia of Vermont 
were united in one regiment under the command 
of Col. Moses Robinson and Major Heber Allen 
as field officer; Joseph Fay, as adjutant; James 
Brooklings, as quartermaster. 

" 'This regiment was quartered within the fort 
in the barracks, and, as the continental troops 
were without and around therfi, it was said by an 
old aid-de-camp of the general that it was not nec- 
essary to keep out guards, and when they were 


wanted to man the lines they would be notified. 
In this situation, said regiment remained from 
their arrival on Thursday until Saturday evening, 
when they received orders to lie on their arms as 
they might be called on to man the lines before 
daylight. Towards day, Col. Robinson, being un- 
well, called on Adjutant Fay to get him some wa- 
ter. On his going out, he saw the general's house on 
fire, by the light of which he discovered that all the 
tents were struck and removed, and not a man to 
be seen on the ground. He immediately returned 
to Col. Robinson with this information; the regi- 
ment was ordered to parade, when Col. Robinson 
ordered Major Allen to take the front and march, 
quick time, to Mount Independence, and brought 
up the rear himself. Just as the front entered on 
the bridge to pass from Ticonderoga to said 
Alount, the British arrived at the outposts, as ap- 
peared by their firing and shouting for success. As 
the rear left the bridge, the British shipping in the 
lake were bearing down under a press of sail. 

" *I pause here to ask : If this account is true, 
what becomes of the discovery of the battery on 
Mount Defiance and the council of war, in the St. 
Clair version, which advises the evacuation? ' 

"Allen's account continues that when the regi- 
ment had marched about a half mile to the top of 
the Mount, Alajor Allen found two regiments of 
continentals there and ordered his own to halt. 
The vessels had then reached the bridge and com- 
menced firing. 

" 'But for the providence that led Col. Robinson 
for water,' continues Ira Allen, 'in twentv minutes 


more, nearly 1000 Vermonters would have been 
prisoners to Gen. Burg03^ne. For neither Gen. St. 
Clair, or anv of his officers, had given Col. Robin- 
son the least information of the intended evacua- 
tion, although Robinson's regiment comprised 
nearly one-fourth of St. Clair's army, and every 
man but that regiment had crossed the bridge, or 
gone by water toward Skenesboro, a considerable 
time before.' 

"On the top of Mount Independence, Major Al- 
len found Gen. St. Clair and two regiments of con- 
tinentals. St. Clair seeing the Vermonters halted, 
asked: 'What regiment is that?' 'Col. Robin- 
son's', was the answer. 'What!' exclaimed St. 
Clair in a tone of surprise. 'Of the militia?' 'Yes,' 
replied Major Allen, 'of the militia.' 

"I remark here, as Ira Allen implies in a note, 
there were good reasons for St. Clair's surprise. 
He had stolen aw^ay in the silence of the night, 
leaving his regiment to be made prisoners to I^ur- 
goyne, and now they were here, under their ow^n 
officers, in no temper to be trifled with by the trai- 
tor who had intended to betray them. 

"According to Allen's account, St. Clair under- 
took to assume the command just as though 
nothing had happened. He ordered the Ver- 
monters to remain where they were until all the 
continentals had passed and then to bring up and 
protect the rear, thus exposing them to all the 
danger of the actual pursuit of the enemy, which 
he knew was inevitable. 

"Major Hebar Allen was sufficient^ convinced 
of St. Clair's treacher^^ to Vermonters to justify 



him in repudiating his authority and disobeying 
his orders. Ira Allen's account states that the 
major told St. Clair to his face, and with emphasis 
that the regiment did not come there to guard the 
continentals but to assist them ; and turning to 
the regiment gave it the order to march. 

"St. Clair then ordered Warner to guard the 
road of the retreating continentals. Warner re- 
plied that 'by the rules of war, his place was in the 
front and not in the rear, but he could only obey 

"The retreat then began by the road to Castle- 
ton. Within the first mile it become a panic-stricken 
rout. The continentals did not attempt to pre- 
serve their formation and broke up in the utmost 
confusion. The panic was increased when St. Clair 
and his staiT, on horseback, dashed through and 
rode down the crowd until they reached the front. 

"Within the first five miles, Warner repeatedly 
sent to the front to halt until some order could be 
restored. No attention was paid to him. Then 
Warner himself rode through the crowd until he 
overtook St. Clair and demanded 'What in the 
name of God' he meant by such confusion? said 
that there was neither front, rear or flank guards, 
nor one regiment or company together; that no 
officer knew his men nor men their oflScer; and 
that a small party of the enemy would capture the 
whole body. St. Clair then ordered Warner to 
stop and see that the men passed in files, and then 
to take the rear. St. Clair and his aids kept the 
front to Lacey's camp, fifteen miles from Mount 
Independence. He then ordered the men to halt 


and sit down on each side of the road. Major Al- 
len with about 200 men ot the Vermonters, appre- 
hensive that parties of the enemy were by this 
time distressing their families, were marching with 
trailed arms until the3' came up with St. Clair, 
who ordered them to halt. No attention was paid 
to his orders; he then gave peremptory orders for 
them to halt or he would order the continentals 
to fire on them. 'Fire and be damned, if you dare,' 
was the indignant reply of Major Allen. His men 
cocked their guns and marched past St. Clair. In 
about a mile they discovered the trail made by 
a part3^ of the enemy, which they crossed and 
marched rapidly to Castleton Mills, which they 
found in possession of the enemy. Robinson's men 
were then ordered to disperse, and each man was 
directed to go to the defence of his family and 
home, for these men all lived in the frontier towns. 
"At Hubbardton, Warner found the regiments 
of Francis and Hale, and with them decided to 
wait for the attack of the pursuing enemy. The 
next morning they were attacked by the British 
under Colonel Fraser and a force of nearly twice 
their number. The regiments of Warner and Fran- 
cis defended themselves with their usual courage, 
inflicted a loss on the British of over three hundred, 
and would have defeated them had not Francis 
mistaken a movement of Warner to a less exposed 
position for a retreat. Francis was killed, and 
Warner ordered his men to disperse and make their 
way to Manchester. St. Clair had reached Castle- 
ton when he heard the guns of the battle at Hub- 
bardton, Several of his officers wished to go to 




the assistance of the Vermonters, but St. Clair for- 
bid them. Capt. Fletcher of the militia ordered 
his company to leave their packs with the guard 
and follow him. St. Clair ordered them to stop. 
Hut Fletcher and his men went on until the\' were 
met with the news of the defeat. Then the brave 
St. Clair with the <^uns of Hubbardton booming 
in his rear, continued his flight to Rutland, Claren- 
don, Wallingford, Kardwick, Manchester, Sunder- 
land, Arlington, White Creek or Salem to General 
Schuyler's headquarters at Saratoga. 

''This was a circuit of thirty- miles and left this 
part of Vermont exposed to the ravages of the 
enemy. Warner's men gave the people some assist- 
ance in saving their cattle and goods; Capt. Gid 
Brow^nson made a stand with his company at 
Pawlet until Warner collected his men at Man- 

"Ira Allen further says that St. Clair was a citi- 
zen of Pennsylvania, that the grants of that State 
covered lands previously granted by the Colony of 
Connecticut to the Delaware and Susquehanna com- 
panies; that disputes existed between the claim- 
ants and blood had been repeatedly shed; that in 
1 778 a great part of the settlers under said com- 
panies had been killed by the common enemy, and 
that St. Clair participated in the prejudices of Penn- 
sylvania against Vermonters and other men of 
New England origin. 

"The remaining portions of Allen's article, while 
they are not pertinent to the loyalty of St. Clair, 
are of great interest to Vermonters. He said that 
circumstances in l780 led the Vermonters to be- 


lieve that their frontiers were left exposed to the 
enemies through the influence of the land claimants 
of New York. But the negotiations and truce be- 
tween the British in Canada and the Vermonters 
protected her aHke against the British and the in- 
trigues of the land claimants of Xew York. 

"The capture of General Burgo^me and his army 
(continues Allen) was of the first consequence to 
the cause of the United States from its more than 
threefold effect; first in uniting and strengthening 
the people and their armies; second, in discourag- 
ing the British, Hessian and Loyalist troops in 
America, strengthening the minority- and opposers 
of the war in England; thirdh', it enabled the 
United States to make a treaty with the French 
nation in 1778 which brought the French fleets 
and armies to their assistance and opened the 
French ports to the cruisers of the United States ; 
and, finally, the truce between Vermont and the 
British in Canada, kept 10,000 troops inactive in 
1780 and 1781, and enabled General Washington 
to recall his forces from the north and concert 
measures with the French Admiral and General 
for the capture of Cornwallis and his army. 

"There is much more of interest to Vermonters 
in this record of Ira Allen's, but I must not further 
trespass upon your time by its presentation. You 
have done great things for the honor of Vermont ; 
you may yet do one more. Y^ou may advocate 
until you secure a histor\^ of earh^ Vermont which 
shall do full justice to the members of the Vermont 
Council of Safety. Then will the storv of the 
battle summer be remembered as long as the de- 


feat of Pickett's charge, and the name of Ira Allen 
and George J. Stannard shine in her annals with 
equal and undiminishing lustre. 

"Comrades: You are standing on consecrated 
ground. Bennington, like the field of Gettysburg, 
has been enriched by the blood and hallowed by 
the devotion of brave men. Our fathers have made 
it renowned while the bronze monument of Cata- 
mount Tavern stands. If 3'ou would know of 
what metal they are made, come here and see. 

"It is July of the battle summer of 1777. The 
Green Mountain Boys have captured Ticonderoga, 
swept the British from the lake, pursued them into 
Canada, and everywhere been swift to answer 
every call of the Revolution. But every adjoining 
colon\^ is against them now% and is w^aiting to 
pounce upon its share of dismembered Vermont. 
Congress has shut the doors of the Union in their 
face and advised them to make new terms with 
New York, which thev have defied for fourteen 
3'ears. Their answer to such gratuitous advice 
was to declare Vermont independent, w^th the 
Windsor constitution as their charter, and then 
they disperse to defend their homes. 

"For now, a new peril threatens them. The un- 
defended frontier is fringed w^th the invading hosts 
of Burgoyne, swooping dow'n like Goths upon 
Roman Italy to burn, plunder and sla3^ Their 
able-bodied men with their arms, and even their 
axes, picks and shovels, are far away with the 
Continental arm}', and this 3'ear boys and women 
will gather the harvests. The need of the hour is 
armed men ; and they must be had or Vermont 


must fall. Ticonderoga has been abandoned; the 
battle of Hubbardton has been lost, and the 
traitor St. Clair is swinging around a great circle 
as far as possible from Vermont and from danger. 
The Coucil of Safet}- has met in Manchester, and 
as that is now a frontier town, had adjourned to 
meet at the house of Joseph Bradley in Sunderland. 
"That meeting was not unlike that other on 
the day of Pentecost. The apostles were not more 
faithful to their risen Lord than these men to Inde- 
pendent Vermont. We can almost see the cloven 
tongues, like as of fire, that sat upon each one of 
them, so filled were the\^ with the spirit of liberty. 
Like the apostles, too, th^j had their Judas. His 
name was Spencer, of Clarendon, who had on that 
day deserted to Burgoyne, and with St. Clair be- 
came the onh^ traitors who disgraced our history. 
• "These councillors lacked neither faith nor 
courage, but they could not achieve impossibilities. 
They could not bring gold for brass nor silver for 
iron, nor could they sow dragon's teeth and have 
them spring up armed men. All that long day they 
debated and consulted until the going down of the 
sun, but they had accomplished nothing. Then 
they agreed to adjourn to meet at sunrise next 

"Before the adjournment the president rose, 
(not to make a speech) Daniel Chipman said he 
was never known to make a speech, and the near- 
est he came to it was to make a suggestion. He 
made a suggestion now, in his ordinary tone, free 
from excitement but full of determination. 'The 
men must be enlisted,' he said, 'a full regiment, 


and armed ready for the field, and fed and paid. 
We will put that proposition behind us. It is not 
open to discussion.' *I agree to the necessity, 'said 
one, 'but how can it be done when we have neither 
the money nor the means of raising it? ' 'I don't 
know how we are to get it,' said the president, 
'but my wife has a string of gold beads and I have 
ten head of fat cattle. We will begin with the 
beads and the cattle, and trust the Lord to show 
us what then to do.' 

"From this point I read from Record: 'We ad- 
journed to meet at sunrise. One member of the 
Council who had spent the night alone concerting 
plans to raise the money, early in the morning 
proposed that the Council appoint Commissioners 
of Sequestration, who should seize on all the prop- 
erty' of those who had joined the enemy, sell it at 
auction, and pay the mone^' to a treasurer, to be 
appointed, for the use of the State. The plan was 
adopted which, it is supposed, confiscated the first 
property of the kind in the United States. The 
treasury was well supplied with money to defray 
the expenses of the government and to pa\' 
bountv, wages, and equip a regiment fit for service, 
under the command of Colonel Samuel Herrick, in 
about fifteen days.' I need scarcely add that the 
member who walked his room all that night ; who 
devised the plan, and who wrote this modest 
record in which his name does not appear, was 
the youngest member of the Council, Colonel Ira 


A Convention was summoned by the Council of 
Safety to meet at Windsor on the 24th of Decem- 
ber, 1777. They met and revised the Constitution 
which had been framed, but postponed the election 
under it vnitil the first Tuesda}^ of March, 1778,' 
and the sitting of the Assembly till the second 
ThursdaA^ of the same month. At this time there 
was no printing press establishment in Vermont, 
and Ira Allen procured the printing of the revised 
Constitution at Hartford in Connecticut. The 
Convention was fearful that if the ratification of 
the Constitution was submitted anew^ to the 
people it would be rejected. They, therefore, con- 
cluded to keep the ratification of it within as small 
a circle as possible, and keep its ratification away 
from the voice of the people further than was 
vested in the Convention by the delegates who 
were authorized to form the Constitution. The 
Constitution was so framed that legal means 
might be taken to alter or amend it once in 
seven years, agreeable to the will of a majority of 
the freemen of the State. 

It has been noticed that the influence of Con- 
gress had been rather against the formation of the 
new State. And the intrigues of New^ York to 
divide the people would endanger the ratification 
of the Constitution if it was submitted to the 
voice of the x^eople; so but little time and oppor-^ 
tunity were given the people to discuss the merits 
of the document, or to stir up opposition to it. 
Allen returned with the printed Constitution from 
Hartford, Conn., only a few days before the gen- 
eral election. The friends of the Constitution were 



induced to attend the meetings in the several local- 
ities for the election of rej^resentatives, and to take 
the freeman's oath. By this means representatives 
were chosen to the Assembly that was to meet at 
Windsor on the 12th of March, 1778. The repre- 
sentatives met, and the votes ot the freemen that 
had voted for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, 
Treasurer, and twelve Councilors, were sorted 
and counted, and those who had a majority of 
votes for the respective offices were declared 
elected. Bennington was the only town that 
objected to the Constitution for want of a proper 
ratification oi it, but as the Assembly approved of 
it, the objection died aw^ay, and the people of the 
State were satisfied. 

The Constitution \vas, in the main, a copy of 
that of Pennsylvania, which was recommended as 
a model by Dr. Thomas Young, the early friend of 
Vermont; and w^ho was influential in adopting the 
name Vermont for the State. The Constitution 
had the approval of Benjamin Franklin. There 
was added to the declaration of rights that was 
not in the Pennsylvania declaration, viz.: "There- 
fore, no male person born in this country, or 
brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law 
to serve any person as a servant, slave or appren- 
tice, after he arives to the age of 21 years, nor fe- 
male in like manner, after she arrives to the age of 
18 years, unless they are bound by their own con- 
sent after they arrive to such age, or bound by 
law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, 
costs and the like." Vermont was thus the first 
of the States to prohibit slavery by constitutional 


provision, a fact of which Vermonters may well be 

The legislative power was vested in a single 
Assembl3' ot members chosen annually by ballot 
bj' the several towns in the State; each town was 
entitled to one representative only, unless it had 
more than eighty taxable inhabitants, when they 
were entitled to two. 

The executive authority w^as vested in a Gov- 
ernor, Lieutenant-Governor and twelve Councilors, 
elected annually by ballot of the whole freemen of 
the State. The legislative powers of the Coun- 
cilors was simply' advisory, but bills were allowed 
to originate in the Council. The judges of supe- 
rior courts were elected annually by joint ballot 
of the Council and Assembl3^ 

The people of the State were so completeh- set 
against any kind of slavery that the Assembly at 
its October session enacted, '*that if any person 
shall hereafter make sale of any subject of this 
State, or shall convey or attempt to convey anv 
subject out of this State, with the intent to hold 
or sell such person as a slave," and should be con- 
victed thereof, the^^ should forfeit and pay to the 
person injured 300 pounds and costs of suit. In 
Novemember, 1777, one Dinah Mattis, a negro 
woman, with Nancy, her child, who were incus- 
tody of the British army, were taken prisoners, 
with some soldiers. Ebenezer Allen, a captain in 
the Vermont service, immediately^ gave her and her 
child a deed of manumission. 

The Allen family w^ere most closely identified 
with the early histor\' of the State, and were dcr 

108 p:arlv history 

sccndants of Samuel Allen, who resided at Chelms- 
ford about 16'52. Joseph Allen of Litchfield and 
Coventry, Conn., married Alary Baker, daughter 
ot John Baker, March 11, 1737. From this mar- 
riage sprang Gen. Ethan Allen, who was born at 
Litchfield, Conn., Jan. 10, 1738, also, later, 
Heman, Lydia, Heber, Levi, Lucy, Ziniri and Ira. 
Col. Ira Allen died at Philadelphia, Jan. 7th. 1814, 
in the 62d year of his age. 

Ethan, Heman, Zimri and Ira Allen and Re- 
member Baker constituted the "Onion River Land 
Co.," and became extensive proprietors of land in 
the State. Their lands were estimated to be 
worth from one to one and a half millions of dol- 
lars. The controversy with New York involved 
the title to their lands, and undoubtedly the great 
value of which stimulated their zeal, courage, per- 
sistent and successful efforts for the independence 
of the State. 

The character and fate of the sons of Joseph 
Allen were different. Heber and Zimri did not be- 
come very prominent. The time of General Ethan 
Allen, when he might have been of the most use to 
his country, was spent in a British prison, and he 
died at the age of 51. Heman died in the 29th 
vearofhis age, but his life opened with promise. 
Levi was brilliant and daring, but "unstable as 
water," and his life was a failure. Ira attained 
the greatest age and rendered the most numerous 
and valuable service, but his great wealth was 
wasted through protracted litigation ; he was 
forced to leave the State to preserve his personal 
libertv from exacting creditors, and died in pov- 


erty. In a letter to Eleazer Keyes, July 3d, 1810, 
after stating he had failed to obtain justice in 
Great Britain and Vermont, and the injury to his 
health by British, French and Vermont prisons, 
said, "he left Burlington in 1803: 'skin for skin, 
yea all that a man hath will he give for his life,' " 
and wanted to know if these were the rewards for 
exertions for the independence of Vermont and the 
United States? He came to Vermont when 21 
years of age, and rose to the position of Major- 
General of militia, and was busy with his pen in 
the interest of Vermont, and conducted the diplo- 
matic correspondence with Gen. Haldimand; he 
was one of the commissioners who amicably set- 
tled the long and violent controversy with New 
York that insured the admission of Vermont to 
the Union, and was the founder of the University 
of Vermont. 

Thomas Chittenden, who was born at East 
Guilford, Conn., Jan. 6, 1730, was one of the most 
remarkable and important men that figured in the 
earh" history of Vermont. He was Colonel of mili- 
tia and a justice of the peace. In 1774, he settled 
in the valley of the Winooski at Williston, from 
w^hence he was driven by the invasion of the Brit- 
ish in 1776; and dwelt in Pownal and Arlington 
till 1787, when he returned to his homestead in 
Williston. He was a member of the Vermont Con- 
vention, President of the Council of Safety, and 
was Governor from March, 1778, with the excep- 
tion of one \'ear, until he resigned a short time be- 
fore his death, which occurred August 25, 1797. 
He had but acommon school education, and in his 


youth was not devoted to books and study so 
much as to athletic sports, but he had an intuitive 
insight into all men with whom he came in con- 
tact and into all questions he had to decide. 
Ethan Allen said, "he was the only man I ever 
knew who was sure to be right in all, even the 
most difficult and complex cases, and yet could 
not tell or seem to know why it was so." 

When the Convention at Windsor adjourned, 
July 8th, 1777, Ticonderoga w^as in the hands of 
the enemy, Warner had been defeated at Hubbard- 
ton, Burgoyne was rapidly advancing into New 
York on the western border of Vermont, and Gen- 
eral Howe wMth another British army was moving 
up North River to enable General John Burgoyne 
to join him. General Schuvler, in command of the 
Continental troops, was l^^ing with his army be- 
tween the two British forces. One part of Bur- 
goyne's forces w^ere threatening the American 
stores at Bennington. Under this state of affairs 
active measures must be immediately taken by the 
Vermont Council of Safety against the invasion of 
her territory by the Army under Burgoyne. 

Ira Allen, Secretary of the Council, on the 15th 
of July, 1777, addressed a letter to the New Hamp- 
shire Council, urging their assistance, and said to 
them that, "unless we can obtain the assistance of 
our friends so as to put it immediatel3' in our 
power to make a sufficient stand against such 
strength as they may send, it appears that it w^ill 
soon be out of the power of this State to maintain 
a frontier," and New Hampshire would become 
the frontier. Meshech Weare, President of the 


New Hampshire Council, replied in substance that 
three battallions under command of Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Stark would be forthwith sent into the State 
to oppose the ravage? and the coming forward of 
the enemy. Allen also communicated the alarming 
rumors to Gen. Philip Schuyler, who replied by 
letter dated at Fort Edward, July 16th, 1777, 
that, *' As an officer of the Honorable the Congress, 
who represents the 13 United States of America, I 
cannot with propriet^^ take notice of the 14th 
State, unknown in their Confederacy," but urged 
the Vermonters and the New Hampshire forces to 
co-operate in repelling the invasion of the British. 

Stark came on with the New Hampshire forces, 
but refused to act under the Continental officers. 
A party of militia came on from Massachusetts to 
the aid of Vermont, and a regiment was raised in 
Vermont, and Samuel Herrick appointed its Colo- 
nel. No sooner had Gen.Schu3der, a citizen of New 
York and commander in chief of the Northern 
army, heard of the raising and the presence of 
these forces in Vermont to oppose the British than 
he sent orders to the militia of Massachusetts and 
to Colonel Herrick's regiment to repair to Sara- 
toga. The Massachusetts regiment had to obey, 
according to the regulation of Congress, but the 
Council of Safety superceded Gen. Schuyler and 
gave orders to Col. Herrick to remain within the 
State of Vermont. 

This occasioned some sharp correspondence be- 
tween Gen. Schuyler and the Council of Safety. 
On the 13th of August, 1777, the Council of Safety 
issued a circular to the Colonels of the State mili- 


tia. orderin<^ them to re])air to Bennington with 
their men, as the Couneil had just l^een informed 
that the enemA^ were within twelve miles of that 
place and doubtless there would be an attack at 
or near that place within twenty-four hours, and 
that they had the assistance of Maj.-Gen. Stark 
with his bri<^ade, and to hurr\' what Rangers were 
recruited forward with all speed, and said, "Now 
is the time, sir." And on the loth of August, 
1777, the Council issued an order to send by ex- 
press all the lead they could collect, "as it is ex- 
pected every moment an action will commence 
between our troops and the enemy's, within four 
or five miles of this place, and the lead will be 
positively wanted." 

The battle of Bennington was fought on the 
16th of August, 1777. During the engagement, 
Jonas Fay, the Vice-President of the Council, 
wrote the following letter and order : — 

"State of Vermont, in Council of Safety, 
Bennington, 16th August, 1777, 
6 o'clock [p.m.] 

"Gentlemen: Brig. -Gen. Stark from the State 
of New Hampshire, with his Brigade, together 
with the militia and compan}^ of Rangers raised by 
this State, with parts of Col. Symond's regiment 
of militia, are now in action, with a number of the 
enemy's troops assembled near this place, which 
has been for some time very severe. We have now 
in possession (taken from them this da3') four 
brass field pieces, ordnance, stores, etc., and this 
minute four or five hundred prisoners have arrived. 
We have taken the ground, altho fortified by en- 
trenchments, etc., but after being driven about 
one mile, the enemv being re-enforced, made a sec- 


end stand, and still continue the action. The 
loss on each side is doubtless considerable. You 
are therefore in the most pressing terms requested 
by Gen. Stark and this Council to forward the 
whole of the militia under your several commands 
to this place without one minute's loss of time: — 
they will proceed on horseback with all ammuni- 
tion that can be provided conveniently. On our 
present exertions depends the fate of thousands. 
I am, gentlemen, Your most obt. servant, 

Jonas Fay, Vice-President 

To the Gentlemen Officers nearest] 
this place commanding Regiments [ 
of Militia in the several United [ 

States." J 

Notwithstanding the continuance of the war 
with Great Britain, the New Hampshire Grants 
insisted upon maintaining the title to their lands 
against the authorities of New York. After the 
New York authorities had granted lands in 
Vermont in violation of the order of the King in 
Council, July 24, 1767, and taken measures to en- 
force the Grants to yield to the claims of New 
York, an organization of the Green Mountain 
Boys was formed for resistance, in which Ethan 
Allen, Seth Warner, Remember Baker, Robert 
Cochran and Gideon Warren were captains. They 
resorted to chastising Yorkers who interferred of- 
fensively, "with twigs of the wilderness." Hugh 
Munro, an old offender, v^as lashed three times, 
each time till he fainted, w^hen his wounds were 
dressed and he was banished from the State. 

Others were dealt with in a similar manner, 
whereupon Gov.Tyron of New York issued a proc- 
lamation, Dec. 9th, 1771, offering a reward for the 



arrest of each, of the captains. Said Munro gath- 
ered in New York a posse of ten or a dozen men 
and repaired to the house of Remember Baker of 
Arlington to arrest him under Gov. Tyron's proc- 
lamation, and about daylight on the morning of 
March 22, 1772, broke into the house, wounded 
Baker and his wife, maltreated his children, and 
retired into New York with Baker as a prisoner. 
Munro was pursued and Baker was rescued. In 
1777, Munro fled to Burgoyne,s camp, and the 
Vermonters confiscated his property. He was for- 
ever proscribed, with other New York sympathiz- 
ers, by the Vermont Act of Feb. 26, 1779. 

Doctor Samuel Adams settled in Arlington in 
1764, and he advised and urged the New Hamp- 
shire Grantees to purchase the New Y'ork titles to 
their lands, but such conduct was very offensive to 
the opponents of New York, and he was advised 
to be silent. At this he took offence and threat- 
ened to silence any man who interferred with him. 
He was arrested, tried and convicted as an eneni}-, 
and punished by being hoisted up to the Cata- 
mount signpost and suspended there two hours, 
to his own chagrin and the merriment of the be- 
holders, which had a salutary eftect on the Doctor; 
but in 1777 he became a violent Tory, and raised 
a company in Arlington and vicinity to co-operate 
with Burgoyne. His property was confiscated 
and his family sent within the enemy's lines in 

It was voted in the Vermont Assembly in 1778, 
"that the stvle of the Governor of this State be, 
His Excellency,', and that the bill presented to the 


House by the Governor and Council relating to 
jurisdiction, be altered, and in the place of *'Ne\v 
Hampshire," insert "the west bank of Connecti- 
cut River," and thus fixing the eastern boundary 
of Vermont pn the west bank of that river. 

All western Vermont was at one time named 
Bennington County, and eastern Vermont Unity 
Count\\ which was changed to Cumberland. In 

1776, and for a long time after, the inhabitants 
on the west side of the mountain were kept in a 
constant state of alarm for tear of sudden attacks 
from Indians and the British. 

In 1776, Moses Pierson had raised a large crop 
of wheat on the ''Ezra Meach farm" which lies in 
Shelburne on the lake a few miles south of Burling- 
ton, which he was forced to leave in the autumn, 
for fear of the enemy, but returned in January, 

1777, accompanied by Capt. Thomas Sawyer and 
fourteen soldiers who had marched through the 
trackless wilderness about ninety miles, strength- 
ened the place, built a block house, made of large 
logs laid closely together. On the 12th of March, 

1778, the^^ were attacked b3' 57 Indians, com- 
manded b}^ a British officer. The fight was stub- 
born; twice the house was set on fire by the 
enemy, but the flames were extinguished, once b3' 
L'eut. Barnum of Monk ton, who lost his life by 
the daring act. After a two hours' fight the en- 
emy retreated, but they were pursued and two of 
them were captured. The loss of the Vermonters 
were three killed, while the enemy lost twelve 
killed, among whom were a British captain and 
an Indian chief 


The Council from time to time ordered the com- 
manders of the Vermont mihtar^' force to protect 
the inhabitants, situated in the sparsely settled 
districts, from the enemy. 

The General Assembl_v empowered the Gover- 
nor and Council to appoint a court to confiscate 
and order the sale of both real and personal prop- 
erty of estates belonging to the enemies of the 
United States, and to appoint commissioners to 
adjust and settle the accounts of creditors to said 
estates. And, accordingly, a Court and Commis- 
sioners were appointed for those purposes. 

One David Redding had been sentenced to 
death, after having been convicted by a jury of 
six men as a public enemy. Application was 
made for his reprieve, June 4th, 1778, because he 
was not tried by a full jury. The reprieve was 
granted till the 11th of June. The people were 
sreatlv excited bv reason of the delav in the execu- 
tion. To appease them Ethan Allen mounted a 
stump and promised them that, "if Redding es- 
caped he would be hung himself." Redding was 
tried on the 9th by a full jury, and executed on the 
11th of June, 1778. 

The first divorce granted in Vermont of which I 
have any information w^as decreed by the Gover- 
nor and Council in June, 1778. Lurania McLane 
petitioned to be discharged from her late husband, 
John McLane. After considering the petition and 
evidence (the husband not appearing), the Coun- 
cil declared, that "the said Lurania be discharged 
from him,the said John McLlane, and that she has 
a good and lawful right to marr3^ to another 


man." The first Vermont Statute on divorce of 
which there is any record, is the Act of February, 

The frame of government declared that the 
House of Representatives "shall be styled the Gen- 
eral Assembh' of the Representatives of the Free- 
men of Vermont," but later it became to include 
the House, and when both acted together they 
were called the Joint Assembly. 

From 1778 till 1781 there was a great agita- 
tion among the people of both Vermont and New 
Hampshire, growing out of an attempted union of 
the towns in New Hampshire, near Connecticut 
River, with Vermont. A union was consumated 
and at one time the representatives of thirty-five 
New Hampshire towns took their seats in the 
General Assembly of Vermont. New Hampshire 
claimed that this action and attempted union w^as 
illegal, and growing out of this controversy war 
was imminent between Vermont and New Hamp- 
shire, but better counsel prevailed and the union 
of those towns w^ith Vermont was dissolved. 

Tories were sentenced to banishment from the 
State, but many returned w^ithout permission, and 
consequently on Feb. 26, 1779, one hundred and 
eight persons were, by name, banished by an act 
of the General Assemby; and the Assembly passed 
an act "that if any such person or persons which 
have been sentenced to banishment as aforesaid, 
shall be found in this State after the first day of 
Ma3% next, (which have not obtained, or shall not 
obtain a pardon or reprieve from their crimes from 
the Governor and Council of this State) such per- 


son or persons shall be whipt not exceedin^j forty 
stripes, to be repeated once a week, by order of 
any assistant judge or justice of the peace, so long 
as they shall continue in this State." 

By an act of Feb. 25, 1779, the Governor and 
Council were constituted a Board of War, with 
full power to raise men for the defence of 
the frontiers, and the Council were given 
power to liberate the Tories under the care 
of Captain Samuel Robinson, or, dispose of 
them according to their merit. And on the 
24-th of February, 1779, the Assembly resolved 
to raise $15,000 by a lottery fund for military de- 
fence. In Cumberland County there was opposi- 
tion to the draft that had been ordered by the 
Board of War. The opposition had been stimulated 
by Col. William Patterson, w^ho was commissioned 
by Gov. Clinton. Patterson had a regiment of 
about 500 men. Gov. Chittenden sent Ethan 
Allen wdth an armed force, who promptly arrested 
Patterson and others, in all forty-four, most of 
whom w^ere indicted, convicted and fined. These 
rioters, as they were called, were tried at West- 
minster in May, 1779. 

William French and Daniel Houghton were 
killed or died of their wounds at Westminster in 
the collision that took place between the adher- 
ents of New York and the Green Mountain Boys 
the 13th of March, 1775. Ira Allen characterized 
the affair as "that odious and never-to-be-forgot- 
ten massacre,'' and it was charged as the ''shed- 
ding^ innocent blood.'' 

The next Vermont Convention was improved 


as a means of turning public opinion against New 
York, whose officers, it was charged, were respon- 
sible for the affair. New York charged the 
blame upon the Whigs. The people that did not 
S3"mpathize with New York were determined that 
the court that was run by officers of New York 
should not hold the session under the New York 
regime, as the rights and liberties of the people of 
the State were in danger and their lands taken 
from them. The Vermonters had an interview 
with Col. Chandler, the chief judge, to dissuade 
him from attending court, as the sheriff would 
have attendants with arms, and there w^ould be 
blood shed; but the judge told them there should 
be no arms brought against them, and he would 
open court on the 13th of March, 1775. Judge 
Sabin, the other judge who was to sit that term, 
and other officials of the court, were anxious to 
go on with the court as usual. 

The Vermonters heard the Court was going to 
take possession of the court-house, and were go- 
ing to keep a strong guard at the door and pre- 
vent them from coming in. Thereupon the Ver- , 
monters thought best to get to court before the 
armed guard were placed there. About one hun- 
dred of them entered the court-house, about four 
o'clock in the afternoon. They had no sooner en- 
tered before a large number of men, armed with 
guns, swords, and pistols, appeared, but the Ver- 
monters had no weapons. Patterson came up at 
the head of his armed company and commanded 
them to disperse, and caused the King's proclama- 
tion to be read, and told them, that if they did 


not disperse in 15 minutes he would blow a hole 
throutj^h them. The Yermonters replied that they 
should not disperse, but that the eourt party 
might come in if they would unarm themselves. 
— not without — and hold a parley. Mr. Gale, the 
Clerk of the Court, drew a pistol, held it up and 
said, "I will hold no parley with such d — d rascals 
but by this," referring to his pistol. The Yer- 
monters returned to the house. Col. Chandler^ 
one of the judges, came in. The}' told him that 
they had his word that there should not be any 
arms brought. He said the arms were brought 
without his consent, but he would go and take 
them away, and they should enjoy the house un- 
disturbed until morning. But about midnight the 
New York sympathizers came. The alarm was 
given and the Yermonters were ordered to man 
the doors. The sherifif's party marched up within 
ten rods of the door. Three obeyed the sheriff's 
order to fire. The word "fire" was repeated ; "G-d 
d — n you, fire. Send them to hell." 

An e3^e witness described the rest of the scene in 
the following language: "Several men were 
wounded; one was shot wnth four bullets, one of 
which went through his brain, of which wound he 
died the next day. Then they rushed in with their 
guns, swords and clubs, and did most cruelly 
mammock several more; and took some that were 
not wounded, and those that were, and crowded 
them all into close prison together, and told them 
they should be in hell before the next night, and 
that they did wish there were forty more in the 
same case with that dying man ; when they put 


him into prison, they took and dragged him as one 
would a dog, and would mock him as he la3' gasp- 
ing, and make sport for themselves at his dying 

The people in that Countj^ and in New Hamp- 
shire and Massachusetts were notified, and 
alarmed at such an aggravated murder, and came 
to the assistance of the inhabitants. This massa- 
cre was on the 13th of March, 1775. The next 
da}^ at twelve o'clock nearly 200 men well armed 
came from New Hampshire, and they, with those 
who had gathered from Cumberland Count3^took 
up those who were engaged in the massacre and 
confined as man3^ as the\' could find evidence 
against. Thev held an inquest, and the jury on 
their oath brought in "that W. Patterson did on 
the 13th of March, inst., b\' force and arms, mak.e 
an assault on the body of William French, then 
and there h'ing dead, and shot him through the 
head with a bullet, of which wound he died, and 
not otherwise." The leaders of the massacre were 
sent to the North Hampton jail, and others were 
put under bonds. The sheriffs part\^ claimed the 
sheriff was struck several blows before he ordered 
his Posse to fire, and that some of the Posse were 

The convention held at Westminster, April 
11th, 1775, while the facts of the massacre w^ere 
fresh in their minds, "Voted, as our opinion, 
that it is the duty of the inhabitants, as 
predicated on the eternal and immutable law of 
self-preservation, to wholh' renounce and resist 
the administration of the government of New 



York," until they could be protected in life and 
property, or be annexed to some other govern- 
ment, or be incorporated into a new one. 

There is another account of the Westminster 
affair, not inconsistent with the above, that re- 
cently appeared in the Burlington "Free Press," a 
newspaper published at Burlington, Vt. The ar- 
ticle was called out on the occasion of an oaken 
gavel, made from a sill of the old court-house at 
Westminster, having been presented tothe Brattle- 
boro Chapter of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution. I here insert that account : — 

"This sill was originally a part of the court- 
house at Westminster, the scene of the Westmin- 
ster massacre, where the first blood of the Ameri- 
can Revolution was shed. The prized wood was 
carefully turned to the required shape by Mr. 
Hines and it was trimmed with sterling silver 
appropriately engraved. It was then determined 
that the presentation should be attended with 
special exercises. 

"The first court-house in Cumberland County, 
now Windham Count3', was a rudeh' constructed 
affair, built in Chester about 1768. Many were 
dissatisfied, however, with its location and they 
desired that its site be changed to Westminster. 
After much agitation and rioting, this was accom- 
plished and Westminster was chosen as the shire 
town of the County at a meeting of the supervisors 
in Chester, May 26, 1772. The erection of a 
court-house was begun in Westminster in the 
fall of that year and by the close of the next 
summer it was readv for use. The location se- 


lected was on the brow of an elevation which has 
since been known as 'Court-house hill.' The court- 
house was about 40 feet square and was built of 
hewn oak timber and clapboarded. The roof was 
gambrel, surmounted by a square cupola open at 
the sides. An aisle 10 or 12 feet wide ran east and 
west through the middle of the lower floor, with 
double doors at each end. The building was in- 
tended for a jail and tavern as well as a court- 
house, and in the southeast corner was a kitchen 
occupied by the jailer and in the southwest corner 
w^as a bar-room in which the jailer served in the 
capacity of bar-tender. In each room w^as a large 
fireplace connecting with the huge chimney, which 
rose between the two rooms. Another door was 
cut in the south side of the building leading into 
an entry, on either side of v^^hich were doors to the 
kitchen and bar-room. In the north part was the 
jail, which comprised two prison rooms separated 
by a narrow aisle running north and south. This 
aisle communicated w4th the broad aisle by a 
door. Dt ors also opened from the prison rooms 
into the narrow aisle. Stairs led from the east 
entrance to the court room on the second floor. 

"A session of the Cumberland Countj^ court 
was to be held in the 'old court-house' March 13, 
1775. Much dissatisfaction prevailed in the 
County because New York had refused to adopt 
the resolves of the Continental Congress, and the 
whigs made exertions to dissuade the judges from 
holding the stated session. They were unable to 
obtain from Chiet Judge Thomas Chandler the de- 
sired promise that no session would be held, so 


they resolved to prevent it by strateg^^ On the 
da^' set for court a party of from 80 to 100 whigs 
from Westminster and surrounding towns armed 
themselves with cudgels and took possession of 
the court-house about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. 
Soon afterward High Sheriff William Paterson, 
fearing trouble, came to Brattleboro and enlisted 
the services of 25 men. Others joined them on the 
wa}' back and soon after the whigs had obtained 
possession of the court-house Paterson marched 
up to the house at the head of 60 or 70 armed 
Tories. The whigs heeded not the order to dis- 
perse and after much heated argument and ex- 
change of threats Judge Chandler appeared and 
promised the whigs possession of the house with- 
out molestation until morning, when court would 
convene and hear their grievances. The Tories 
then departed and the whigs left the house, leav- 
ing a guard to give notice in case of an attack in 
the night. The sheriff increased his forces and 
after having drank to the honor of George III 
he marched, as he supposed unobserved, to the 
court-house about 11 o'clock. The moonlight re- 
flected from their bayonets told the sentry of their 
coming, however, and the doors w^ere quickly 
guarded. The sheriff attempted to enter the 
house, but was twice repulsed. He then ordered 
his men to shoot, but the volley passed over the 
heads of those in the house. The next volley was 
lower and the guards were driven from their posts. 
The house was soon filled with Tories and a hand- 
to-hand conflict followed in the darkness. The 
deadh' w^eapons of the Tories and their superior 


numbers soon gave them the victory. Ten of the 
whigs were wounded, two of them mortally, and 
seven were taken prisoners. Two of the sheriff 's 
posse were wounded. The whigs who escaped 
spread the alarm and by the dawn of daj' a large 
number had assembled at the scene of the massa- 
cre. The prisoners were released and the leaders 
of the assault were arrested and sent to jail at 
Northampton, in Massachusetts, "until they could 
have a fair trial." The whigs or libertv men w^ho 
were mortally wounded were William French of 
Brattleboro and Daniel Houghton of Dummerston, 
but as French died early on the following morning 
and Houghton lived for nine days, their names 
have not often been coupled as martyrs in the 
cause of freedom." 


The inscription on the monument of WilHam 
French was as follows, viz.: — 


In Memory to William French 
Son to M^ Nathaniel French Who 


Was Shot at Westminster March y 
13 1775 by the hands of Cruel Min- 

e d 

istereal tools of Georg y 3 in the 
Corthouse at a II a Clock at Night in K 


the 22 year of his Age^ 

S Here William French his Body lies 
For Murder his blood for Vengance 

King Georg the third his Tory crew 
tha with a bawl his head Shot threw 
For Liberty and his Countrys Good 
he Lost his Life his Dearest blood 



A County Committee of Safetj^ that had been 
chosen by the New York Convention to look after 
matters in Cumberland County in the interest of 
New York, met at Westminster Sept. 2nd, 1777, 
The following protest made by a member of that 
Committee showed the feeling and sentiment of 
the people in Eastern Vermont : viz., "Whereas I, 
the subscriber, a member of the County Commit- 
tee of Cumberland to represent the town of 
W^indsor in Convention this third day of instant 
June, do now in behalf of said town enter my pro- 
test against an3^ proceeding under the State of 
New York, either directly or indirectly, as to any 
jurisdiction over said town. 

Ebenezer Hoisington." 

In June, 1777, an inquir3^ was made as to the 
temper of the people in eastern Vermont, and the 
reply from Cumberland County was, that the New 
Hampshire Grants had declared themselves inde- 
pendent and would not let the County Commit- 
tees sit, nor permit anything to be transacted un- 
der the jurisdiction of New York," The adherents 
of New York held meetings in good many of the 
towns in the interest of that State, but as time 
went on, those adherents became less, and the 
opponents of Vermont fewer. On June 15,1777, 


Gen. Jacob Bagley, who had been a member from 
Gloucester County to the New York Congress, 
wrote and declared that the people of that County 
were almost to a man violent for a separation 
from New York. 

The New Hampshire Grants had endeavored 
through their delegates to get Congress to recog- 
nize them as independent of New York and as a 
member of the Union, but Congress was slow to 
act to settle the dispute between the Grants and 
New York, or to recognize them as an independent 
State. On the 30th of June, 1777, Congress 
passed a resolve, "That the independent govern- 
ment attempted to be established by the people, 
styling themselves inhabitants of the New Hamp- 
shire grants, can derive no countenance or justifi- 
cation from the act of Congress, declaring the 
United Colonies to be independent of the Crown of 
Great Britain, nor from any other act or resolu- 
tion of Congress." 

This looked like turning the cold shoulder to 
the brave Green Mountain Hoys. The Commit- 
tee of the House of the State of New Hampshire, 
on the 2nd of April, 1779, reported to the House 
of that State, that that State "should lay claim 
to the jurisdiction of the whole of the New^ Hamp- 
shire grants, so-called, lying to the westward of 
Connecticut River." This looked like annihila- 
tion. But the same report conceded, that, if the 
Continental Congress allowed the Grants west- 
erly of Connecticut River to be a separate State 
by the name of Vermont, the state of New Hamp- 
shire would acquiesce therein. This report was 


ordered to lie, but it was taken up at the session 
of the House, on June 24, 1779, and passed. This 
concession seemed to open a door whereby Con- 
gress might settle the \vhole controversy b3^ ad- 
mitting all the Grants westerly of the west bank 
of Connecticut River, as a separate State. 

Ira Allen through the appointment by the Leg- 
lature of Vermont and the instruction from the 
Governor and Council, waited upon the General 
Court of New Hampshire to settle the controversy 
of the two jurisdictions. Allen's position was, 
that New Hampshire had no just claim to the 
Grants. And after admitting that there w^as a 
small minorit3^ of the people in favor of uniting 
with New Hampshire, stated that Vermont had 
been to great expense in sending agents to Great 
Britain to present their claims to the King and 
his Council, to be separate from New York, at a 
time when New Hampshire refused to exert her- 
self to recover her jurisdiction over the Grants, 
and substantially surrendered her claims to New 
York ; that New^ Hampshire having left the Grants 
to contend alone against New York, she should 
not now claim her territorial that in fact the 
Green Mountain Bo\'s had been deserted by New 
Hampshire, and had to contend against the New 
York Land jobbers without her aid ; that this was 
a time when the Green Mountain Boys were few 
in number, generally poor, and had but little more 
than Heaven to protect them and their families, 
and in this s'tuation, stimulated b}- a patriotic 
spirit of freedom, baffled all their adversaries for 
more than seven years. And when New Hamp- 



shire was appealed to to exert herself to obtain ju- 
risdietion of the Grants again, when the Green 
Mountain Bo\'S were hard pressed hy both Great 
Britain and New York, she said, "the King gave 
and the King hath taken away, and blessed be the 
name of the King," and made no exertions to ob- 
tain the land for herself, or to aid the Grants. 
Consequenth' her jurisdiction was curtailed to the 
w^est bank of Connecticut River. Allen claimed it 
was conceded by the United States that Vermont 
had borne her equal share of the burdens of the 
Revolutionary war, and consequently was entitled 
to equal privileges with the rest of their brethren 
of America. 

On the 3d day of June, 1779, Thomas Chitten- 
den, Governor and Commander-in-Chief in and 
over the State of Vermont, issued his proclama- 
tion of full and free pardon of all public offences, 
except treason and misprison of treason and cap- 
ital offences committed since January 15th, 1777. 
On the 23d da}^ of February, 1778, Gov. George 
Clinton of New York, for the purpose of inducing 
the people of Vermont to submit to the authority 
of New York, issued his proclamation, among 
other things setting forth, "that all persons actu- 
ally possessing and improving lands, b}- title un- 
der grant from New Hampshire or Massachusetts 
Ba^-, shall be confirmed in their respective posses- 

Ethan Allen made a reply to this proclamation, 
and while admitting there were disaffected 
persons within the boundaries of the territory- of 
the New Hampshire Grants, asserted that 


almost the whole of the inhabitants of the State 
were disaffected with the government of New 
York, and it was not a fact that the ancient, orig- 
inal and true bounds of New York included the 
lands within the territory then called Vermont, 
and that the first claim of that kind was asserted 
in the proclamation of Gov. Tyron, dated the 11th 
of December, 1771, where he claimed that New- 
York extended to Connecticut River. Allen did 
not recognize the act of the English King in 1764, 
attempting to change and curtail the territory of 
New Hampshire, and extend the Eastern boundary 
of New York to Connecticut River, and had no 
doubt but Congress would curtail the claims of 
New York. And as to the overtures made b}^ the 
Governor of New York to undo the grants made 
by New York of the lands in Vermont, and confirm 
the New Hampshire Grants, so-called, in their 
titles, Allen stated with great force that the Legis- 
lature of New Y^ork had no such right or legal 
power. As to the lands that had been granted by 
New York, that State could not nullify or defeat 
their own grants. He said, "It is contrary to 
common sense to suppose that the propert\^ of the 
subject is at the arbitrary disposal of the Legisla- 
ture; if it was, they might give a grant to-day 
and vacate it to-morrow, and so on ad infinitum. 
But the truth of the matter is, the first conveyance 
will and ought to hold good ; and this defeats all 
subsequent conveyances." 

Allen claimed that the overtures, made in the 
proclamation of Gov. Clinton, were calculated to 
deceive woods people, who, in general, may not be 


supposed to understand law or the power of a le^^^- 
isliitive authority. But very few of the people ot 
V^ermont accepted of the overtures. Allen claimed 
that the best way of vacating those New York in- 
terfering grants was to maintain inviolable the su- 
premacy of the legislative authority of the indepen- 
dent State of Vermont. That would overturn every 
KeW' York scheme for their ruin, and made the 
Green Mountain Boys free men, and confirmed the 
title to their property, and put tliem into the en- 
joyment of the great blessings of afree,incorrupted 
and virtuous civil government. 

Another reason that Allen gave in his reply, 
why Vermont should not be under the jurisdiction 
of New York, was because the local distance of 
Vermont from the seat of government in the State 
of New York was 450 miles, which w^ould make it 
inconvenient and w^ould constitute a sufficient 
reason for the independence of Vermont, and said, 
'4f the inhabitants were obliged to submit to the 
government of New York they would wish to have 
the distance ten times greater." 

He also asserted that the people of Vermont 
considered themselves as being in union wnth the 
United States from the time they took possession 
of Lake Cham plain and the garrison depending 
thereon in behalf of the United States, in May, 
1775; and had pursued the same object, viz., lib- 
t;rty ; and had participated in all their troubles,- 
and had hazarded all that was worth living or 
dying for, and that it only needed a formal declar- 
ation to constitute them a member of the Union. 
And, lastlv, he said that a confederation of the 


State of Vermont with the other free and indepen- 
dent States could not fail of being attended 
with salutary consequences to the Confederacy for 
ages to come; that her people were stimulated 
\vith a spirit of liberty, having a perfect detesta- 
tion of arbitrarv power, and would instil the 
principles of liberty and social virtue into their 
children, w^hich will be perpetuated to future gen- 
erations ; that the State being removed from the 
sea coast, her people will be in a great measure 
exempted from luxury and efifeminac}', and be a 
valuable support to the rising empire of the new 



Not^vithstanding the great eiforts that the peo- 
ple of Vermont made for a separate existence as a 
State and the earnest pleading to be recognized as 
a member of the Confederacy, on equal terms with 
the other thirteen jurisdictions, the\' received no 
favorable consideration from the action of Con- 
gress, although they had the sympathy of some 
of its members. New York continued to treat the 
Green Mountain Bo^^s as rebels, outlaw^s and 
felons, and passed laws to which was attached the 
death penalty for their violation, all of which .was 
designed to crush out the spirit of liberty and the 
purpose to form an independent State. It only 
served to nerve the Green Mountain Boys to a 
more determined resistance to arbitrary power. 

The Green Mountain Boys issued their mani- 
festo in respect to those laws and as to their en- 
forcement, signed by Ethan Allen, Seth Warner, 
Remember Baker and others, declaring, among 
other things, that if the officers acting under New- 
York government should attempt to enforce those 
unjust laws, and arrest any of their number, "that 
thev were resolved to inflict immediate death on 
whomsoever may attempt the same" And pro- 
vided that if any of us or our party shall be taken 


and we have not notice sufficient to relieve them, 
or whether we relieve them or not, we are resolved 
to surround (their captor or captors) whether at 
his or their own house or houses, or an3^where 
that we can find him or them, and shoot such per- 
son or persons dead. And we will kill and destroy' 
anv person or persons whomsoever that shall pre- 
sume to be accessory, aiding or assisting in taking 
an3^ of us." The Green Mountain Boys could not 
be protected in life and property under the laws of 
New York unless they gave up the latter to secure 
the former, and, therefore, resolved to maintain 
both, or to hazard or lose both. 

In June, 1779, the Legislature passed an act to 
prevent persons from exercising authority unless 
lawfully authorized by the State of Vermont; that 
statue w^as aimed against all persons who should 
attempt to act in the name and b}- the authority 
of the State of New York. The penalty for the first 
offense under the act was a fine; for the second, 
not exceeding forty stripes on the naked body; 
and for the the third, the right ear was to be 
nailed to a post and cut off, and the forehead was 
to be branded with the letter "C" [contumacious] 
with a hot iron. 

Gov. Chittenden referring to this matter in his 
message to the Legislature, October 14th, 1779, 
said, T am unhapp\^ to inform 3'ou that the disaf- 
fected inhabitants in the lower part of Cumberland 
County continue in their unjustifiable obstinacy 
against the authority of the State;'' but he recom- 
mended the suspension of the laws intended to 
have been executed against those offenders, in con- 


sequence of a letter received from John {33% Presi- 
dent of Congress, inclosing acts passed by that 
body relating to a final settlement of the differ- 
ences subsisting between Vermont and the adjacent 

By November 1st, 1779, the lawful money of 
the State, or bills of credit, had become very much 
depreciated, as $16 in lawful money was equal to 
but one silver dollar, so that the Governor's yearly 
salary, w^hich at this time was one thousand 
pounds, was not actually a large sum. 

At an early day the Legislature passed acts 
ensuring the people of the State the freedom of 
conscience in religious matters, as appears by an 
Act passed in 1780, viz.: "An Act for the purpose 
of empowering the inhabitants of the respective 
towns of this State to tax themselves for certain 
occasions." The act provided that no person 
should be compelled by the major vote of the town 
to build or repair a meeting house; or support a 
worship, or minister of the Gospel, contrary to the 
dictates of his conscience, provided said person or 
persons shall support some sort of religious wor- 
ship as to him may seem most agreeable to the 
Word of God. 

The settlers in Vermont, in an earh- period in 
her history, were annoyed by the hostile disposi- 
tion of Indians. On the 9th of August, 1780, a 
party of twenty-one Indians visited Barnard and 
captured Thomas M. Wright. Prince Haskill and 
John Newton, and carried them to Canada. New- 
ton and Wright escaped in the spring of 1781, and 
Haskill was exchanged in the autumn of that year. 


They suffered many hardships while remaining 
prisoners, but on returning, resumed their farms 
and lived on them man^^ years. A small band of 
Indians captured two young sons of one Brown, 
in the town of Jericho, and carried them to Can- 
ada, but after several years and the close of the 
Revolution they were permitted to return to their 

On the 18th of August, 1780, the Governor 
and Council ratified an agreement that Stephen R. 
Bradley made with a Mr. Green of New London, 
Conn., to remove his printing apparatus from 
thence to the State, for the purpose of printing 
agreeable to the agreement. 

On the 25th of July, 1780, Gov. Thomas Chit- 
tenden issued his proclamation giving the Tories a 
limited time to leave the State and join the enemy, 
their room being better than their company. 
There v^ere but nine persons, so far as known, 
who availed themselves of the proclamation. 

The Governor and Council and the Legislature, 
from time to time sought the favorable action of 
Congress to admit the State into the Confedera- 
tion as a State. And on the 18th day of August, 
1780, the Governor and Council, resolved that Ste- 
phen R. Bradley, Esq., be and he is hereby re- 
quested as agent in this State, to repair to Phila- 
delphia, in company with Col. Ira Allen, to trans- 
act the political affairs of this State and report to 
this Council." 

At the session of the Assembly October 13th, 
1780, Gov. Chittenden requested the House verb- 
ally to accept his resignation of the office of Gov 


138 p:arly history 

ernor, but on repeated requests he withdrew his 
request and took the oath of office. 

A question arose in the State regarding the re- 
granting of land that had before been granted b}- 
New York, and as to the vaHdity of such grants. 
The Committee who had tliat matter in charge 
were ot the opinion that the prior grants made by 
the authority of New York, since the King's pro- 
hibition, ought not to be considered as a sufficient 
bar against granting the same to other respecta- 
ble, worth}^ petitioners, and asked the sense of the 
Assembly on the subject. And thereupon the As- 
sembly resolved unanimously that the said previ- 
ous grants, made by virtue of the authority of 
New York, were not a bar against granting the 
same to respectable and v^orthj^ petitioners. In 
February, 1781, the Assembly passed an Act for 
quieting disputes concerning landed property. 
The act constituted the Governor, Council and 
House of Representatives a court for the trial of 
cases, where two or more charters had been made 
of the same tract of land, to different proprietors. 

In the Center village of the historical town of 
Bennington stood "Catamount Tavern" House 
which had been a notable place of early times and 
until it was burnt to the ground the 30th of 
March, 1871. It was erected by Captain Stephen 
Fay, about 1768. It was tw^o stories high and 
and about 44 feet by 34, with high fireplaces in 
each story. On the top of the high sign post w^as 
placed the stuffed skin of a catamount, from which 
came the name of the house. It was widely' 
known as the Headquarters of the settlers in their 


contest with the New York land claimants. It 
was the home of Ethan Allen when he first came 
to the New Hampshire Grants. One Doctor Sam- 
uel Adams of Arlington became an advocate of the 
New York titles, and advised his neighbors to pur- 
chase their land from New York. He was warned 
to desist Irom such a course, but he persisted there- 
in and threatened death to anyone who should 
molest him. He was taken to the tavern, tried 
and ordered to be tied in an arm chair and hoisted 
up to the sign, where he was required to remain 
two hours. This had a salutary effect, but he af- 
terwards at the time of Burgoyne's invasion, be- 
came a violent Tory, and fled to Canada. From 
the Council room of this tavern Ethan Allen is- 
sued his order for mustering the Green Mountain 
BoA's for the capture of Ticonderoga — w^hich cap- 
ture was effected seven da^'s after. In this house 
sat the Vermont Council of Safety during the try- 
ing campaign of 1777; here Gen. Stark and War- 
ner, with the aid of the Council, planned the fam- 
ous attack on Baum's entrenchments, w^here was 
won the brilliant victory, which turned the cur- 
rent of success from the British to the American 
arms. Here it w^as that Dav4d Redding, a traitor 
and spy, was tried, condemned and hung. 

From w^hat has already been said r€;specting 
Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and New 
York, it appears that each party asserted that 
their respective claims to Vermont territory were 
sound and right. It was stated in the introduc- 
tion to Vermont's appeal to the candid and im- 
partial world : that, " 'tis very curious to see how 


many shapes Massachusetts Bay, New Hamp- 
shire and New York, are able to make His most 
Sacred Majesty appear in ; he certainly according 
to the vulgar notions, much exceeds the devil ; 
while his adjudications were in their favor he had 
the immutability of a God, but when against them 
the design of a villain." 

The Governor and Council on the 10th day oi 
December, 1779, published to the world what is 
called Vermont's Appeal to the candid and impar- 
tial World, containing a fair statement of the 
claims of Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire and 
New York, and the right that the State of Ver- 
mont had to independence, with an address to 
Congress and the inhabitants of the 13 original 
United States. It is a document clear in state- 
ment, grand and eloquent, and as able a paper as 
any statesman has ever written. We take the fol- 
lowing extract from it, viz.: — 

"Countrymen, Fellow Citizens and Breth- 
ren : Under the strongest ties of friendship, as 
men who have equalh^ suffered together, from the 
iron rod of tyranny in the late cruel measures of 
Great Britain, and who have gone hand in hand, 
and stood by each other, in times when threatened 
with ruin, tyranny and death; we beg your most 
serious attention by our address to this very im- 
portant subject. .J, ^. ^ It gives us pain and 
grief to mention the intrigues and artifices, used 
b\' wicked and designing men, to destroy the in- 
estimable liberties and privileges of the State of 
Vermont; and that too, by those ungrateful ones, 
who have been preserved from Indian cruelty by 


our brave and strenuous exertions durino^ the pres- 
ent war. .^ ^ ^ We beg leave to recall your at- 
tention to the present most critical situation of 
the inhabitants of the State of Vermont; many of 
us were soldiers in the Provincial army during the 
last war between France and Great Britain and 
suffered inconceivable hardships, in successive 
campaigns, in striving to support the honor of 
the British nation, and to conquer and defend this 
territory of land from Indians, Canadians, and 
French, at which time 'tw^as that we discovered 
the excellence' of the country, and determined, if 
ever circumstances would permit, to settle the 

And then after fully stating the contest of the 
Grants with New York, the appeal continues as 
follows: "We have now existed as a free, inde- 
pendent State almost four years, have fought Brit- 
ains, Canadians, Hessians, Waldeckers, Douch- 
men, Indians, Tories and all, and have waded in 
blood to maintain and support our independence. 
We beg leave to appeal to 3"our own memories, 
with what resolution we have fought by your 
sides, and what wounds we have received fighting 
in the grand American cause; and let 3^our own 
recollection tell what Vermont has done and suf- 
fered in the cause of civil liberty and the rights of 
mankind. And must we now^ tamely give up all 
worth fighting for? No, Sirs, while we wear the 
name of Americans, we never will surrender those 
glorious privileges for which so many have fought, 
bled and died ; we appeal to your own feelings as 
men of like sufferings, whether you would submit 


your tVccdoni and independence, to the arbitra- 
ment of any court or referees under heaven? If 
you would after wasting so much blood and 
treasure, you are unworthy the name of Ameri- 
cans; if vou would not, condemn not others in 
what you allow yourselves. To you we appeal as 
the dernier resort under God ; your approbation or 
disapprobation, must determine the fate of thous- 
ands. - ^. ^ We have coveted no man's estate, 
we have at all times been ready to submit all dif- 
ferences relative to the fee of lands in dispute to 
impartial judges, and now solemnly declare to all 
the world that we are contending for liberty' , the 
gift of the Creator to all his subjects, the right 
of making our own laws, and choosing our own 
form of government ; and will God be pleased to 
dispose the hearts of our countrymen to save the 
inhabitants of the State of Vermont from tyranny 
and oppression, to grant them their liberties in 
peace, and to see the things which belong to their 
political salvation before they are hidden from 
their eyes.'' 

Ira Allen, by the order of the General Assembly 
of Vermont expressed in a resolution passed Oct. 
21st, 1779, was sent to the General Assemblies of 
the States of New^ Jersey-, Pennsylvania, Virginia, 
Maryland, and some other places in the interest 
of Vermont, and to vindicate their position, and 
the opposition of Vermont to the Government of 
New York. Mr. Allen attended those Legisla- 
tures. He addressed a letter to the Council of 
Pennsylvania, setting forth the unjust claims of 
New York and the right of Vermont to take her 


place as one of the States of the Union. He said 
the citizens of Vermont have viewed themselves in 
the Union with the other free States of America 
ever since the^^ took Ticonderoga, Crown Point, 
etc., in favor of the United States, and were will- 
ing to furnish their quota of men for the common 
defence, and pay their proportion of the expense 
of the war when admitted a seat in Congress. 

By the resolution of Congress of Sept. 24th, 
1779, the first day of February, 1780, was as- 
signed for action on the claims of New York, New 
Hamp^shire and Massachusetts to the jurisdiction 
of Vermont, but action was postponed. As Ver- 
mont had no representation in Congress any hear- 
ing there had must be ex parte. But the agents 
of Vermont, Jonas Fa^', Moses Robinson, and Ste- 
phen R. Bradley, transmitted to that body infor- 
mation that they were in town (Philadelphia), 
ready with full powers to close an equitable union 
with the other independent States of America. 
Peter Olcott and Bezaleel Woodward were ap- 
pointed agents for towns in the northern district 
of New Hampshire Grants on both sides of Con- 
necticut River, who represented to Congress that 
it was the wish of the people in that district be- 
tween the heights of land on both sides of the 
river that the}^ should be included in one State, if 
a new" State should be formed. The matter was 
postponed in Congress from time to time till June 
2nd, 1780, when Congress resolved that the Grants, 
*'and they be and hereby are strictly required to 
forebear and abstain from all acts of authoritv, 
civil or militar}^ over the inhabitants of an\' town 


or district who hold themselves to be subjects of 
and owe allegiance to any of the States claiming 
jurisdiction of the said territory (Vermont), in 
whole or in part, until the decisions and determin- 
ations in the resolutions aforementioned shall be 



The Yermonters continued to act and conduct 
their affairs as an independent State without 
much regard to the resolution of Congress. In- 
deed, Gov. Thomas Chittenden, in a repl3^ ad- 
dressed to the President of Congress, to the reso- 
lutions, denied that Congress had the right or 
power to prevent Vermont being a free and inde- 
pendent State. And in that address said, "If Ver- 
mont does not belong to some one of the United 
States, Congress could have no such power (to 
judge of the jurisdiction of Vermont) without 
their consent ; so that, consequently, determining 
they have such power, has determined that Ver- 
mont has no right to independence; for it is ut- 
terly incompatible w4th the rights and preroga- 
tives of an independent State, to be under the 
control or arbitrament of any other power. Ver- 
mont has, therefore, no alternative; they must 
submit to the unw^arrantable decree of Congress, 
or continue their appeal to heaven and to arms." 

* * * 
"The cloud that has hovered over Vermont, 

since the ungenerous claims of New Hampshire 

and Massachusetts Bay, has been seen, and its 

motions carefully observed by this government; 



who expected that Congress would have averted 
the storm: but, disappointed in this, and unjustly 
treated as the people, over whom I preside, on the 
most serious and candid deliberation, conceive 
themselves to be, in this affair, yet blessed by 
heaven, with constancy of mind, and connections 
abroad, as an honest, valiant and brave people, 
are necessitated to declare to your Excellency, to 
Congress and to the world, that, as life, liberty and 
the rights of the people, intrusted them by God, are 
inseparable, so they do not expect to be justified 
in the eye of heaven, or that posteritv would call 
them blessed, if they should, tamely surrender any 
part." ,, * * And closed his reph- as follows: 
"Notwithstanding the usurpation and injustice of 
neighboring governments towards Vermont, and 
the late resolutions of Congress, this government 
from a principle of virtue and close attachment to 
the cause of liberty, as well as a thorough exami- 
nation of their own policy, are induced, once more, 
to offer union with the United States of America, 
of which Congress is the legal representative 
Vjody. Should that be denied, this State will pro- 
pose the same to the Legislatures of the United 
States, separatel3% and take such other measures 
as self-preservation ma3' justif)'." 

While the matter, concerning the jurisdiction of 
Vermont, was before Congress, there was an effort 
made by Ira Allen, Luke Knowlton and others, to 
unite thirt3'-five towns east of Connecticut River 
and that part of New York east of Hudson River 
(extending from North Latitude 45° to the north 
line of Massachusetts) with Vermont under the 


same jurisdiction, Ijiit this scheme was finally 

Vermont not having been made a party to the 
deliberations in Congress as to the settlement of 
the claims to the Vermont lands and her jurisdic- 
tion, Ira Allen and Stephen R. Bradle}-, the Ver- 
mont agents, remonstrated against the proceed- 
ings of Congress although they were invited to at- 
tend the deliberations and declined because they 
were not treated b\^ Congress as the agents or 
representatives of an\' State or people invested 
with legislative authoritv. On the 22nd day of 
Sept. 1780, the Vermont agents sent in to Con- 
gress their formal remonstrance against their pro- 
ceedings, which closed with the following warn- 
ing, "It gives us pungent grief that such an impor- 
tant cause, at this juncture of affairs, on which our 
all depends, should be forced on by any gentlemen 
professing themselves friends to the cause of Amer- 
ica with such vehemence and spirit as appears on 
the part of the State of New Vork ; and shall onh^ 
add, that if the matter be thus pursued, we stand 
read}' to appeal to God and the world, who must 
be accotmtable for the awful consequences that 
may ensue.'' Congress having heard the evidence 
produced by New Vork and New Hampshire, on 
the 27th da}- of Sept., 1780, resolved that the fur- 
ther consideration of the subject should be post- 
poned. On the 22nd day of November, 1780, Gov. 
Chittenden made demand on the Legislature of 
New^ Vork, by letter to Gov. Clinton, to give up 
and fully relinquish their claims to jurisdiction 
over Vermont. Governor Clinton on Feb. v)th, 

148 i:akl\ nis'lOKV 

1781, transmitted the letter with his niessa<j^e to 
the New York Assembly, in whieh he said, "Noth- 
ing but the desire of giving you the fullest inform- 
ation of eYer\' matter of public eoneern, could in- 
duce me to lay before you a demand, not onh' so 
insolent in its nature and derogatory to the honor 
of the State and the true interests of your constit- 
uents, but tending to subvert the authority of 
Congress." This message and letter was referred 
to the New York Senate to a committee of the 
whole, and in the House to a committee of nine. 
On the 21st of Februar}-, 1781, the Senate consid- 
ered the subject, and a resolution was reported, 
"declaring it inexpedient for the State to insist fur- 
ther on its right to jurisdiction over Vermont," 
and provided for commissioners to meet commis- 
sioners of Vermont to settle the terms for a cessa- 
tion of jurisdiction by New York. On the same 
day' the Senate adopted the resolutions with onW 
one dissenting voice, and sent them to the House 
for concurrence, where they were made the order 
of the day for Feb. 27th, 1781. 

Before a vote was taken in the House on the 
resolutions. Gov. Clinton sent in his message, de- 
claring that, "if the House should agree to carr^' 
those resolutions into effect, the duties of his office 
would oblige him to exercise the authority vested 
in him by the constitution, and prorogue them." 
This threat prevented the adoption of the resolu- 
tions. The Vermont Assembly, by^ an act of Feb. 
14th, 1781, endeavored to promote the project of 
consumating the east and west union which was 
to include towns east of Connecticut River as far as 


the Mason line, and on the west to Hudson river, 
but the defeat of the resolutions in the New York 
House b^' the threat of Gov. Clinton, suspended 
the movement. 

Gov. Chittenden had also made demands to the 
Governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, 
for their respective States to relinquish their claim 
over the jurisdiction of Vermont. Massachusetts 
responded favorably . New Hampshire would ac- 
quiesce in such determination as Congress should 
make. Connecticut and Rhode Island seemed to 
be favorably disposed towards Vermont, and ap- 
pointed commissioners to take into consideration 
the subject matter of the policy and justice of ad- 
mitting into the Union the people calling them- 
selves the State of Vermont, to meet commission- 
ers from the other New England States and the 
State of New York, in convention, to be holden in 
Providence on the 12th of April, 1781, to confer 
on that subject, and for conferring on the matter 
of their common defence against the British. 

On Jan. 16th, 1781, delegates from forty-three 
towns in New Hampshire met in convention at 
Charleston, a town on the east side of Connecticut 
River, to deliberate on the subject of forming a 
State of towns situated on both sides of Connecti- 
cut River, and a resolution was adopted b^' the 
convention favoring that object. Twelve dele- 
gates of the convention remonstrated against 
such action. The convention adjourned to meet 
at Cornish in February, three miles from Windsor, 
Vt., where the Vermont Assembly^ would then be 
in session. On the 12th of Feb., 1781, the Gov- 

17)0 i;aki.\ } lis loin 

ernor, Council .mikI House ril Windsor look u\) the 
matter, and appointed a committee ot seven, who 
reported back to the X'ermont Assembly. The re- 
j)ort, after giving a history of the attempts to 
unite the to\Yns east of Connecticut River with 
Vermont, and the attempt of Xew York to extend 
jurisdiction over all of Vermont, reecmimended 
that the Leo^islature lay a jurisdictional claim to 
all lands east of Connecticut River to the Mason 
line, north of Massachusetts, and south of latitude 
45°. and west to the center of the deepest channel 
of Hudson River, but not to exercise jurisdiction 
for the time being; which report was accepted. 
Articles were drawn up and approved, and on 
April 0th, 1781, representatives from the towns 
east of the river took their seats in the Vermont 

Lieut. John I'atterson and 37 other citizens of 
Camden, and John Austin and 79 others of Cam- 
bridge (towns within the jurisdiction of New 
York) petitioned to have Vermont extend their 
jurisdiction to the west so as to include their 
towns, and this was agreed to by the Vermont 
Assembly. On June 15th, 1781, the representa- 
tives of the western district, informed the House, 
then setting at Bennington, that thcA' were read3' 
to take their seats according to the Articles of 
Union, and the several representatives were duh- 
received b\^ the Assembh'. 

An act was passed Im' the Legislature directing 
that all the tefritory, as far w^est as the deepest 
channel of the waters of Hudson River, be divided 
into townships and annexed to Bennington and 


Rutland Counties. And Gov. Chittenden issued 
his proelamation, for all to take due notice of the 
laws and (Orders of the State. 

The intercepted correspondence between the 
Vermont authorities and the British in Canada, 
carried on for some purpose, seemed to open the 
eyes of some in Congress and out, and brought 
some of them who had been lukewarm toward 
Vermont, or actually hostile to her, to look more 
favorable to her independence. 

James Madison wrote to Edmund Pendleton, 
August 14, 1781, that "the controversy relating 
to the district called Vermont, the inhabitants of 
which have for several years claimed and exercised 
the jurisdiction of an independent State, is at 
length put into a train of speedy decision. Not- 
withstanding there is an objection to such an 
event, there is no question but they will soon be 
established into a separate and Federal State. A 
relinquishment made by Massachusetts of her 
claims ; a despair of finally obtaining theirs on the 
part of New York and New Hampshire, the other 
claimants on w^honi these enterprising adventures 
were making fresh enchroachments ; the latent 
support afforded them by the leading people of 
the New England States in general from which 
they emigrated ; the just ground of apprehension 
that their rulers were engaging in clandestine ne- 
gotiations with the enemy ; and lastly perhaps, 
the jealous policy of some of the little States, 
w'hich hope that such a precedent ma\' engender 
a division of some of the large ones, are the cir- 
cumstances which will determine the concurrence 
of Coneress in this affair." 


The information given by the intercepted cor- 
respondence with/the enemv, Ira Allen said, had 
,2^re£iter influence on the wisdom and virtue of 
Congress than aU the exertions of Vermont in 
taking Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and the two 
divisions of Gene.ral Burgo\me's arm\' or their 
petition to be adi:nitted as a State." Undoubtedly 
the fear that the. New Yorkers had that the Grants 
might cast in their fortunes with the British and 
thereby leave their people exposed to fresh ravages 
from tne enem^-, and perhaps endanger the revolu- 
tionar3' cause, served to modify their atitude 
towards Vermont and make them less hostile to 
the independence of Vermont. It was the pur- 
pose of Vermont m the negotiations w4th Canada 
to secure Vermont from British invasion, but 
rather than submit to the jurisdiction of New 
York the\^ would oppose such a union with force 
of arms, and would joiu the British in Canada. 

On the 18th of August, 1781, the committee 
of Congress and the agents tor Vermont, had an 
interview. The committee from Vermont pro- 
posed that Vermont be recognized as an inde- 
pendent State, and to fix the western boundary, 
about where it was finallj^ determined upon w^hen 
the State was admitted ; and that Vermont have 
the same right as any other State, and matters of 
dispute be settled by Congress on hearing. 

Congress on August 20th, 1781, passed a reso- 
lution, "that it be an indispensable preliminary to 
the recognition of the independence of the people 
inhabiting the territorj^ called Vermont, and their 
admission into the federal union, that she explicit- 


Iv relinquish all demands of lands or jurisdiction, 
on the east side of the west bank of Connecticut 
River." New Hampshire became friendly to the 
independence of Vermont on condition of the re- 
linquishment of the unions, but New York com- 
menced active measures against Vermont and 
committed some depredations on the people in the 
west union. The New York forces took some of 
the Vermont militia prisoners. Gov. Clinton 
claimed that the Vermont malitia taken prisoners 
were for the service of the enemy the British. In 
this Gov. Clinton was mistaken. Gov. Chittenden 
demanded the release of the prisoners and de- 
clared that unless they were given up Vermont 
would render no assistance to New^ York against 
the coinmon enemy. Gen. Gausevoort said he 
was much opposed to civil war, but it was the 
duty of New York to protect those w^ho owed and 
professed allegiance to New York. Ira Allen re- 
plied that Vermont had an equal right to protect 
those who acknowledged her jurisdiction ; but it 
was advisable to use lenient measures on both 
sides, till Congress should have settled the bound- 
ary between the states — thus preventing the 
horors of civil war when the common cause re- 
quired all to be united against Great Britain. 
There was at this time considerable friction 
created, and sharp sparing between Col. John 
Abbott, Col. E. Walbridge and Gov. Chittenden 
on behalf of Vermont and Col. H. VanRensselar, 
Gen. Gausevoort and Gov. Clinton on behalf of 
New York growing out of the occupancy of the 
lands in the western union, but no actual clash of 

1")+ i:aki,\ msr(>K\ 

rirnis look i)],'^^'. (>eii. iiniisevoort retired IVoni 
the district and left the snnie in ])ossession of the 
Vernionters and those claimin;^ that a union had 
been effected between that district and Vermont. 
In the eastern union New Hampshire authorities 
were active in exercising their authority as a state 
over the country lying between the Mason line 
and Connecticut river ai'ter the union had taken 
place as stated in this chapter. And Vermont was 
equally determined to maintain their authority 
over the district, and the civil officers of each state 
were in conflict, and the contest hot, and civil war 
seemed inevitable for a time. The New Hamp- 
shire House on January Sth, 1782, resolved to 
raise one thousand men to enable the civil officers 
to exercise their authority in that quarter. Col. 
Hale gave Gov. Weare a humorous account of his 
own arrest, which I insert here as he expressed it 
in writing, including s])elling and grammar. He 
said, "the Vermont party had a lorce offortA' 
men, and for a frunt gard thev Raised some of 
•their most ablest wx)men and sent forward with 
some men dressed in Women's apparil which had 
the good luck to Take me Prisoner Put me aboard 
one of their slays and hlled the same with some 
of the Principal women and drove off Nine miles 
to Wcllan Tarvern in \Varpole, the main body fol- 
lowing after with aclimation of Joy, where they 
Kcgailed themselves and then set me at liberty, 
Nothing Doubting but they had entirely subdued 
New Hrmpshire." 

['resident Weare issued a joroclamation giving 
Vermonters forty days to leave the last union, or 


subscribe an oath acknowledging that New 
Hampshire had jurisdiction to Connecticut River. 
On February 22nd, 1782, forty days from the 
date of the proclamation, the General Assembly of 
Vermont resolved to dissolve both the Eastern and 
Western Unions; this action was largeh^ due to 
the intervention of Gen. Washington, whose letter, 
and the resolutions of Congress of August, 1781, 
were accepted as pledges that on the withdrawal 
of Vermont to its former boundaries, the State 
would be admitted into the Union. This assur- 
ance was not fully m.ade good, for when the ques- 
tion of the admission of Vermont into the Union 
next came up in Congress a majority decided 
against it. The first union of towns in New 
Hampshire with Vermont was dissolved at the 
request of New Hampshire on the 12th day of 
February, 1779, by the Legislature of Vermont, 
and she relinquished all her claims to the New 
Hampshire Grants to the eastward of Comiecticut 
River. In Alarcli, 1779, the Legislature of New 
Hampshire proposed the laying of their jurisdic- 
tional union to the whole of New Hampshire 
Grants, which included the State of Vermont, 
against which Vermont strenuoush^ remonstrated 
at the General Court of New Hampshire, but to 
no purpose. New Hampshire thereb^^ violated 
their settlement of the boundary line ; consequent- 
ly on the 4th day of February X781, the Legisla- 
ture of Vermont laid a jurisdictional claim to 
both the New Hampshire Grants east of Connecti- 
cut River and the New York territory, believing 
and claiming that the inhabitants of both of those 


districts were, by natural situation to the waters 
ot the Northern lakes and exposure of the inhabi- 
tants of the old territory of Vermont to the incur- 
sions of the enem\' from Canada in times of war, 
would render it expedient that they should belong 
to this State, and that self-preservation and 
mutual defence rendered it indispensabl_v neces- 
sary that the inhabitants of those districts, with 
those of the old territory, should unite in one en- 
tire State. The purpose of Vermont, the second 
time, to extend their claim of jurisdiction to the 
Mason line on the east, and to the Hudson River 
on the west, was to counteract the efforts of those 
two adjoining States in assuming jurisdiction over 
the old territory of Vermont, and to quiet some of 
her own internal dissensions occasioned by those 
two governments, and to make them experience 
the evils of intestine broils, and strengthen Ver- 
mont against insult. The condition upon which 
Vermont admitted the East and West Unions was, 
that in case Vermont should be admitted into the 
Federal Union with the United States, Congress 
should determine boundaries. 

Queries may arise as to wdiether it was good 
polic}', or honest, for Vermont to extend her juris- 
diction into the States ol New Hampshire and New 
York. It will be borne in mind that Vermont had 
urged Congress to admit her as a State and was 
willing to let Congress determine her boundaries, 
but this action was strenuoush' opposed by both 
New Hampshire and New York, as well as the 
offer to those States to refer the disputes respect- 
ing boundary- lines to the final arbitrament and de- 


cision of indifferent men. Both States laid their 
respective claims to Vermont; and both refused to 
make an alHance with Vermont against the com- 
mon enemy, and would not confer on the subject. 
This silence on that matter, and their entire con- 
duct indicated that the\^ intended to let Vermont 
struggle, as the}' thought, in their impracticable 
notions of independence — they said, "it was a for- 
lorn hope;" they said, "the Vermonters are nicely 
situated to Canada, and w^hen the war is termi- 
nated, if an^^ of them remain alive, we, old Confed- 
erate States, can easily subject them ; we have a 
right to call upon the whole Confederacy to crush 
them; they w^ill go through the hazards and fa- 
tigues of that exposed part of our frontiers better 
than as though they had, sometime past, been sub- 
jugated ; we know the length of their tether, and 
can shorten it when we please, and have some- 
time since divided their territor\^ between us ; we 
have them snug enough, and scorn to answer any 
of their proposals." The Vermonters claimed it 
was as honest in them to lay jurisdictional claim 
to the Grants east of Connecticut River, as it w^as 
for New Hampshire, previously to break over the 
mutual settlement of their boundary line with 
Vermont on Connecticut River and lay claim to 
the w^hole territory of Vermont. It was rumored 
that the whole Confederacy of the United States 
w^ould join to extirpate Vermont. But the Ver- 
monters had too much confidence in the repre- 
sentatives of the people of the United States to be- 
lieve they would be engaged in such a work of des- 
truction. They said it was not supposable that 


the eleven States will be duped to espouse the 
cause of the two claiming States, the reward of 
which would be nothing but infamy and disgrace. 

They said, "How inglorious would be the vic- 
torious Continental troops, just returned from the 
capture of a proud and haughty army, with a 
Cornwallis, the pride of England, at their head, 
appear in arms puissanth' tramping on the rights 
of a brave and meritorious people, and sacrificing 
their liberties which they have been valiantly sup- 
porting. Did not Vermont strike a respectable 
part of the martial blow towards capturing Gen- 
eral Burgoyne, which brought the alliance with 
France, and, in the chain of causes, brought the 
French fleet to Chesapeake, and brought about a 
second memorable era in America?" Continuous 
efforts were put forth, by New York and New 
Hampshire, to prevent Vermont's admission into 
the American Union, while on the other hand Ver- 
mont w^as pressing her claims ior admission, but 
Congress took no decisive steps on the subject. 
A committee of the Vermont Assembly regarded . 
the resolution of Congress of the 7th and 21st of 
August, 1781, guaranteeing to the respective 
States of New York and New Hampshire, all the 
territory without certain limits, therein expressed, 
as having determined the botmdaries of Vermont, 
and the Assembly resolved, accordingly, on Feb. 
20, 1782. 

And on Feb. 26th, 1782, the House chose three 
persons to represent the State in Congress, and 
commissioned and gave private instructions to 
two of them. Moses Robinson and Paul Spooner, 

OF yp:kmont. 159 

Esquire., to repair to Philadelphia and consider 
themselves invested with lull power to agree on 
terms upon which the State should come into an 
union with the United States, and to sign and rat- 
ify articles of Federal union with the Confederated 
States of America, and take seats in Congress if 
the union was effected. 

On March 16, 1782, Gov. Chittenden addressed 
a letter to General Washington, in which he said, 
"as the dispute of boundary is the only one that 
hath prevented our union with the Confederac\% 
I am ver\' happ\' in being able to acquaint your 
Excellency, that that is now removed on our part, 
by our v^ithd rawing our claims upon New Hamp- 
shire and New York. "' '"" ■• Since, therefore, we 
have withdrawn our jurisdiction to the confines 
of our old limits, we entertain the highest expecta- 
tions that we shall soon obtain what we have so 
long been seeking after, ^m acknowledgement of 
independence and sovereignty. For this we have 
appointed commissioners, with plenary powers, 
to negotiate an alliance with the Confederated 
States, and, if they succeed, to take seats in Con- 
gress, and should Heaven prosper the designs of 
their negotiations, we please ourselves much, that 
we who are of one sentiment in the common 
cause, and who have but one common interest, 
shall yet become one nation, and 3'et, be great and 
happy. The glory of America is our glory and 
with our country we mean to live or die as her 
fate shall be." 

At this juncture of affairs, the independence of 
Vermont, and its admission into the Confederacv, 


was favored by the Eastern States, exeept New 
Hampshire and New York ; the cause and interest 
of these two States to oppose Vermont was ob- 
vious from what has been said as to their position 
and action, but when New Hampshire gained her 
object and Vermont limited her claim to the west 
bank of Connecticut River, she became indifferent 
to Vermont's independence, though it became 
probable that her action, in the near future, would 
harmonize with the other Eastern States in favor 
of Vermont. 

The Middle States, save New York, were in- 
clined to favor Vermont's claims for admission, as 
Vermont would act with them in opposing the 
claim of Virginia and other large States to Western 
territor\^ ; and the smaller States would favor 
Vermont, as it would strengihen the interest and 
influence of the little States. Virginia, North Caro- 
lina, South Carolina and Georgia opposed her in- 
dependence and admission as a separate State out 
of jealousy of a predominance of Eastern influence, 
and because it wonldgive another small State an 
equal vote in the Senate, in deciding on all of the 
grand interests of the Union, and be an example 
for the dismemberment of the other States. These 
conflicting interests engendered and kept up the 
controversy and served to delay Vermont's ad- 

At this point we will suspend the consideration, 
for the present of the controversy both in and out 
of Congress, respecting the admission of Vermont 
as an independent State of the Union, and take 
the reader to the consideration of the internal affairs 


of the State, and to the nature and extent of the 
doings and legislation of the Vermont Assembly, 
and the Governor and Council. 




hi 1782, a second and successful attempt was 
made to establish a printing press in Vermont, at 
which the State printing might be done. A com- 
mittee of three was chosen by the House, to agree 
with persons to set up and continue the printing 
business in some convenient place in the State for 
the term of five years, and that a public news- 
paper be printed and published weekly- at said 
printing office, and in consideration thereof such 
persons should receive the sum of three hundred 
pounds lav.'ful money out of the public treasury of 
the State, and have the privilege of doing all of 
the State printing at a reasonable price. 

Hough and Spooner of the Journal at Windsor, 
and Haswell and Russell publishers of the Ver- 
mont Gazette at Bennington, were the only print- 
ers in the State until Matthew Lyon started the 
Farmer's Library at Fair Haven in 1793. 

On Oct. 21, 1782, a permit Avas granted by the 
Governor and Council to Lieutenant William 
Blanchard and John Blanchard to pass the pres- 
ent lines to the Northern part of the State, for the 
purpose of hunting. On Feb. 14, 1783, a petition 
was pres'ented "to the Council, requesting that 
Ebenezer Willoughby, late of Shaftsbury, who had 


been some time ,'ibsent from the State, be permit- 
ted to return thereto and enjoy the privileges of a 
freeman thereof, which request was granted for 
him and his family and effects, to return to the 
State ''by his dispensing with such of his interest 
as has been disposed of by this State for its use, to 
atone lor his past offences committed against this 
State." Willoughb3' had previously joined the 
enemy, but was captured and his property confis- 

Certain persons had been convicted by the Su- 
preme Court of conspiring and attempting an 
invasion and rebellion against the State and were 
banished from the State. The Assembh^ passed an 
act giving His Excellence' the Governor, and the 
Honorable Council, power to pardon such as had 
become penitent, the Assembly setting forth that, 
"this Assemblv being desirous at all times of 
showing merce^ when it can be done consistent 
with the public safet3\" 

Postal arrangements in that earle- dae^ in Ver- 
mont were meager and primitive. At a special 
session of the Council held at Bennington Nov. 26, 
1783, it was resolved that Samuel Sherman be 
paid nine shillings per week out of the public * 
treasury, for ridiiig post, carrying and bringing 
the public intelligence to and from Alban3', until 
the setting of the General Assembly in February 
next, and "he to be accountable for all the mone^' 
he shall receive as postage on letters, which is to 
be deducted from the nine shillings per w-eek." It 
was provided that postage would be under the 
same regulations as in the United States. 


At a session of tlu' Asseniljl^' and Council held 
at Bennin<2:ton in February and March 17S4, a 
bill was passed prescribing the mode in which the 
House and Governor and Council should enact 
laws for the State. One object of which was to 
make the two Houses co'^rdinatc in their powers 
of legislation as far as the Constitution would 
then permit. 

The General Assembly, from time to time, by 
resolution, impeached justices of the peace and 
other State officers for wrong doing and mal-ad- 
ministration in office, and on trial before the 
Governor and Council convicted them, iind sus- 
pended or removed them from office. On Feb. 24, 
1784, the Council appointed a committee of two 
to join a committee from the General Assembh' to 
consider and report upon the most effectual meas- 
ures for the securing and settling of all the small 
islands in Lake Champlain east of the deepest 

On Oct. 15, 1784, after His Excellency Thomas 
Chittenden and other State officers and members 
of the Council had been declared elected for an- 
other term, Joseph F^a^', the retiring secretary of 
* the Council, caused to be published the following 
viz. : — 
"To THE Printers of the 'Vermont Gazette:' 

Gentlemen: By inserting the following extract 
of an official letter received last evening, you will 
not only gratif>' the public by giving early knowl- 
edge of the choice of their rulers for the year ensu- 
ing, but sting the ears of our enemies with the 
unwelcome news of the uniformity of the people by 


continuing in office those gentlemen who have 
been the guardians and faithful servants of the 
pubhc during a bloody war with Great Britain 
and the contest with the several neighboring 
States for eight years past. Such a steady firm- 
ness does honor to the people, and 133- a continu- 
ance, with due observance of good and whole- 
some laws, cannot fail to render this little republic 
happy, important, and the dread of her enemies." 

The great results the Green Mountain Boj^s had 
accomplished in behalf of the New Hampshire 
Grants and the State of Vermont against obstacles 
seemingU^ overwhelming, shows ^vhat a few, but 
brave, persevering and determined people, ad- 
hering to principle and aiming at libert3' and in- 
dependence, ma3' accomplish. 

The General Assembh^, on October 29th, 1784, 
resolved that, "the treasurer be and is hereby di- 
rected to pay His Excellenc^^ Thomas Chittenden, 
Esq., thirt\^-six shillings, L.'MoneA^, on the two 
pennj^ tax for cash expended by him for distilled 
spirits for the use of the Militia on the daj' of 
general election." And at the same date three 
agents, Hon. Ira Allen, Major Joseph P^a^^ and 
Hon. Jonas Fay were appointed agents or com- 
missioners to transact the necessar}^ business of 
opening a free trade to foreign powers through the 
Province of Quebec. 

On June 7th, 1785, it was represented to the 
Council that Abijah Prince and his wife Lucy and 
family were greatly oppressed and injured by John 
and Ormas Noyce in the possession and enjo^^ment 
of a certain farm. The Council having takf^n the 


matter into consideration and made due in([uir3', 
were ot the opinion that they were much injured, 
and unless some method was taken to protect 
them, the3' must fall upon the charity of the town, 
and resolved, that His Excellency be recjuested to 
write to the selectmen of the town of Guilford 
recommending to them to take some effectual 
measures to protect said Abijah, Lucy and family 
in the possession of said lands, till the dispute can 
be equitably settled. 

The Council from time to time remitted fines 
that had been imposed b3' the courts. The Assem- 
bl\' passed acts, concurred in b\' the Council, to 
confirm persons in the quiet and peaceable posses- 
sion of their farms, and render all judgements re- 
specting the same, entered b3' an^' Court of law, 
null and void. On election da3^ it was the custom 
to have an election sermon preached in the House 
of Representatives. 

The General Assemblv and Governor and Coun- 
cil, from time to time, on petition, granted farms, 
lying in Gores between chartered towns, to per- 
sons, and appointed committees to dispose of 
lands in such Gores to the inhabitants living there- 
in, and to others under proper regulations and re- 
strictions ; the committees to be accountable for 
the avails. 

As late as 1785, Addison Count3^ embraced all 
territor3' north of Rutland Count3', west of the 
mountain to the northern boundary of the State; 
and Orange County all territory north of the 
Count3^ of Windsor, east of the mountain, to the 
northern boundarv <>( the State. 


On October 27, 1785, the Assembly concurred 
in an act directing what coin and mone\' should be 
legal currency in the State, and on Feb. 20, 1787, 
an act was read and approved to ascertain the 
value of contracts made for Continental money or 
bills of credit of the United States. Lawful mone^- 
or bills of credit, down to Sept. 1, 1777, w^ere of 
the value of gold and silver, and said bills of credit 
had so far depreciated by Sept. 1, 1780, as fixed 
by said "act, that seventy-two of them w^ere worth 
but one dollar in gold or silver cohi. 

During the tr\'ing times through which Vermont 
passed, Isaac Tichenor was a prominent figure. 
He was born in Newark, N. J., and came to Ben- 
nington June 14, 1777, and w^as representative of 
that town in the Vermont Assembly from Oct. 
1781, to Oct. 1785, and speaker in 1783 ; member 
of the Council from Oct. 1786, to Oct. 1792; judge 
of the Supreme Court five ^-ears from 1791, and 
chief justice two 3'ears ; and a member of the Coun- 
cil of Censors in 1792; and United States Senator 
in 1796-7, when he resigned to take the office of 
Governor; and again U. S. Senator from 1815 to 
1821, in all seven years. He was Governor from 
1797 to 1807, and 1808-9, in all eleven years . 
He was elected agent and delegate to the Conti- 
nental Congress in 1782 and 1783, 1787, 1788 
and 1789 ; and in 1790, he w^as one of the commis- 
sioners of Vermont who settled the protracted 
controversy' with New York. He was a man of 
good private character and talents, accomplished 
manners and insinuating address. It is said that 
his fascinating qualities acquired for him at an 


early day the souV)ncjnct of the "Jersey Sliek.", 1S3S, in his S.lth year, and left 
no descendants. 

Governor Chittenden had his attention called 
to an address of President Wheelock of Dartmouth 
College which address suggested to the State 
to sqncstcr to the use of the College, "a part of the 
public lands in the State, those onK' which were 
left to a society for the propagation of knowledge 
in foreign parts," in return for Avhich the College 
promised to educate Vermonters free of tuition. 
The proposition was criticised as an attempt both 
to divert the glebe rights improperly, and to pre- 
vent the establishment of colleges in Vermont. 
On March 3d, 1787, the Assembly "resolved that 
the proposals ot President Wheelock, made to this 
House in behalf of the trustees of Dartmouth Col- 
lege, are such that they cannot be accepted." A 
proposition for a college at Williamstown had 
been made 133- Hon. Elijah Paine and Cornelius 
hjnde; and subsequently another b^' Ira Allen, 
Governor Chittenden and others for a college at 
Burlington, which Avas accepted, and a charter 
was granted Nov. 3, 1791. 

By an act passed Oct, 31, 1780, neat cattle, 
wheat, rj^e and Indian corn, (beef, pork and sheep 
were afterwards added,) were made lawful tender 
on an execution ]dy the debtor; that when proper- 
ty was taken on an execution that had been issued 
for more than one pound, after four days had 
elapsed, it was to be appraised off to the creditor 
at the sign post in the town where taken. 

On Feb. 17, 1787, the petition ot Lieut. -Col. 


Benjamin Randall and fifty-five others, inhabi- 
tants of Little Hoosack, in the State of New York, 
was presented, praying for compensation for the 
damages the3' sustained ior their influence and 
zeal in adding the Western Union to this State. 
And thereupon the Assembly decided to grant to 
them a township six miles square as soon as va- 
cant land could be found. 

Drunkenness, even in the earh^ history of Ver- 
mont, was not regarded as altogether commen- 
dable, for on Feb. 19, 1787, it was enacted by 
the General Assembly, that, "any person found so 
drunk as to be deprived of the use of reason and 
understanding, or the use of their limbs, was sub- 
ject to a fine of six shillings for ever}^ offence, for 
the use of the poor; and for non-payment of fine 
and costs, the offender vv^as to be set in the stocks 
not exceeding three hours." . And it was provided 
by another act, that each town was to provide a 
good pair of stocks with lock and key, and the 
stocks should be erected in the most public place 
in town. 

It was enacted that the penalty for a person 
convicted of adultery was that, "He, she, or the^- 
shall be set upon the gallows, for the space of an 
hour, with a rope or ropes about his, her, or their 
neck or necks, and the other end cast over the gal- 
lows ; and also shall be severely whipped on the 
naked body, not exceeding thirty-nine stripes, and 
shall from the expiration of twenty-four hours af- 
ter such conviction, during their abode in this 
State, wear a capital A of two inches long, and 
proportionable bigness, cut out in cloth of a con- 


trarv color to their clothes, and sewed upon their 
u])])er garment, on the outside of their arm, or on 
their back in open view." And the same penalty 
was prescribed for poh'ganiy. The penalty for 
treason against the State was death. Cropping, 
or cuttin<i^ off an ear and branding on a hot iron 
with the letter C was one of the penalties for 

On March 2, 1787, an act was passed giving 
subjects of the United States the same privileges 
as citizens of Vermont. 

The first constitution had been established by 
legislative statutes in 1779, and 1782, so it was 
deemed prudent to establish the amended consti- 
tution in the same wa^', and it was read and con- 
curred in on March 2, 1787. The opinion pre- 
vailed, at that time, that the Legislature was 
sovereign, and no .idea was entertained, said 
Daniel Chipman, "that an act of the Legislature 
however repugnant to the Constitution, could be 
adjudged A'oid or set aside by the judiciary." The 
original and amended Constitution w^ere both 
adopted by the representatives of the several 
towns in conventions, and confirmed by the repre- 
sentatives of the same towns in the General 

On March 3d, 1787, an act was concurred in 
adopting so much of the common law of England, 
and also so much of the statutes of Great Britain, 
enacted previous to October 1, 1760, in explana- 
tion of the common law, as was not repugnant to 
the Constitution, or an}' statute of the State. On 
March 8, 1787, an act was concurred in directing 


what money or currency- should be legal tender, 
and what should be its fineness ; and also an act 
establishino- post offices in the State, at Benning- 
ton, Rutland, Brattleboro, Windsor and Newbur^^ 
An act was passed empowering the Count3' 
Courts to license Innkeepers, and it provided that, 
"Any person who sold less than one quart of in- 
toxicating liquor without a license was subject to 
a penalt3^ of three pounds for the first ofience, six 
pounds for the second, and so on doubling the 
pen altA^ for each repetition." 

At the October session of the Assembh', 1787, 
Addison Count3' was divided, and Chittenden 
County was formed out of her territory and or- 
ganized by an act of the Assembly. An act also 
was passed at that session establishing a County 
grammar school at Castleton, in the County of 

Acts were frequenth' passed giving liberty for 
persons to raise mone^' to establish and carry on 
various enterprises. On March 7, 1789, the Gov- 
ernor and Council, on account of the distressed 
situation of the inhabitants in the Northern part 
of the State for the want of grain, occasioned by 
the failure of crops, issued an ordinance that from 
the 20th day of March until the 18th day of April 
next ensuing, no one should export out of the 
State (being the products of the State) any wheat, 
rye, Indian corn, barlcA', or the meal or flour of 
an^^ of said articles, and making it lawful for anj^ 
sheriff, constable, grand juror, or selectman, to 
stop and examine any and ever3^ sleigh, cart, 
wagon or carriage or other conve3'ance which 

1 7 'J i:\lU.Y HISTORY 

they apprehended was loaded with an^- of said 
articles for transportin^^^ out of the State contrary 
to the true intent and meaning of the ordinance. 

In the year 17S9, the freemen of Vermont made 
no choice of Governor, and on the 9th day of 
October, 1780, the Council and the Assembly met 
in Grand Committee at Westminster and chose 
Moses Robinson of Bennington Governor for the 
ensuing year. The retiring Governor, on the an- 
nouncement of the election of his successor, ad- 
dressed the Council and the gentlemen of the 
House, and said, in part, "Since I find that the 
election luis not gone in my favor by the freemen, 
and that you gentlemen, would prefer some other 
person to fill the chair, I can cheerfully resign to 
him the honors of the office I have long since sus- 
tained, and sincerely wish him a happ}' adminis- 
tration, for the advancement of whicli my utmost 
influence shall be exerted." 

The House, through their speaker, addressed 
the retiring Governor, who said in part, "The 
Representatives of the people of Vermont upon 
this occasion request Your Honor to accept for 
your past services all that a noble and generous 
mind can give, or wish to receive, their gratitude 
and warmest thanks.'' 

Moses Robinson was the second Governor of 
Vermont, and assumed the duties of his oflfice Oct. 
13, 1789. He was Governor one year and was 
succeeded by his predecessor, Thomas Chittendeji. 
It was said at the time that Gov. Robinson bore 
the loss of his chief magistracy with a fortitude 
which becomes the character of a philosopher and 
a Christian. 


The population ol" the State in 1791, was 
85,533. On Januar\^ 22, 1791, an act was passed 
by the Assembly and concurred in directing the 
width of sleds to be used in the Counties of Orange 
and Windsor. 

There were manychangesof the names ot towns 
inthe early historA' of Vermont. The town of 
Albtirgh had had six different names before it re- 
ceived its present name in 1791 ; the town of Wil- 
mington was changed to Draper in 1763, and sub- 
sequently it was changed back to Wilmington ; 
the town of Bradford was called Moretown ; 
Brandon v^-as formerly called Neshbe; Lowell was 
called St. George; Johnson was called Browning- 
ton; Newport was called Duncanburgh; Sutton 
vras called Billymead ; Fairfield or a part of that 
town was previously called Smithfield ; Sheldon 
was called Hungerford ; Jay was called Myllis ; 
Craftsbury was called Mendon ; Morgan was 
called Caldersburgh ; Waterford was called Little- 
ton; Barre was called Wildersburgh ; Barton was 
called Providence; Alban}- was called Lutterloh ; 
Hartland was called Waterford. 

Early in Vermont history there were towns in 
Bennington County called Somerset and Bromle^^ ; 
in W^indham County, Hindale and Fulham; in 
Windsor County. Saltasth ; in Rutland County, 
Harwitch; in Addison County, Kingston; in 
Caledonia County, Deweysburgh, Hopkinsville, 
and St. Andrews; in Essex County, Ferdinand, 
Alinehead, Lewis and Norfork; in Franklin Coun- 
ty, Huntsburgh ; in Orleans County, Kelley vale. 

The Counties of Washington and Lamoille were 
made up from towns in adjoining Counties. The 


oltl maj^s sliow that ChitLciulcii Count}' included 
Middlesex, Worcester, Stowe, Waterbury, Wa its- 
field, Moretown, Duxbur^^ Fayston and Starks- 
boro. Orleans County included Morristovvn, El- 
more, Hyde Park and Wolcott. Franklin Count\^ 
included Sterling, Johnson, Cambridge, Coits Gore 
(now Waterville), and Belvidere. 

Previous to the Declaration of Independence of 
Vermont in 1777, the State was included within 
the limits of four Counties. The County of Cum- 
berkmd, embracing that portion of the State 1}-- 
ing east of the Green Mountains and extending as 
far north as the south line of Orange County, was 
established by the Colonial Legislature of New 
York in 1766. This act was annulled by virtue of 
a Royal decree in 1767. but was renewed in 1768, 
and the County was incorporated in March of the 
same year. The first Shire town was Chester, but 
the County seat was removed to Westminster in 

The County of Gloucester, embracing all of the 
State l\'ing east of the Green Mountains and north 
of Cumberland County, was established in 1770. 
The Shire town was Newburj-. 

The County of Charlotte, embracing a portion 
of the State of New York and that portion of Ver- 
mont lying west of the Green Mountains and 
north of the towns of Arlington and Sunderland, 
was constituted in 1772, with its Shire located at 
Skeensborough (now Whitehall), N. Y. 

The remainder of the State, lying wxstofthe 
Green Mountains and south of the County of 
Charlotte, was embraced in the County of Albany 
in the State of New York. 



In this chapter we resume the consideration of 
the controvers\' respectin,:^ the admission of Ver- 
mont as one of the United States of America from 
where \ve left the subject at the close of Chapter 
III. At that period of the controversA' there was 
a sentiment in the Eastern States and in most of 
the Middle States favorable to the admission of 
Vermont, but w-hen Congress took up the question 
again on Nov. 5, 1782, a material change in that 
body becamemanifest, which was due to the new 
friends that New York had gained through the 
acceptance by Congress, in October previous, of 
her cession of Western territor3% and b3' Vermont's 
rigid enforcement of her authority in September 
against the insurrection that had been stirred up 
by the adherents to New York in Windham Coun- 
ty. In April, 1782, the Legislature of New York 
passed two acts, for pardoning certain offences, 
and quieting the minds of the inhabitants of Ver- 
mont. The New York sympathizers in Windham 
County got up and circulated a remonstrance 
against the action of the authorities in Vermont, 
asserting therein, that the principal men of Ver- 
mont were engaged in a treasonable correspond- 
ence with the British Commander and Governor 
ofCanada, and had made an agreement to raise a 

17r. I^AK•L^■ HISTORY 

force U) l)c cmploxcd niuler British pay lor the des- 
truction of the lie<!:e subjects of the United States, 
and asked New York to raise one regiment or 
more in the County of Cumberland, to be paid by 
New York, for the protection of the people. This 
document wasscnt to Gov. Clinton, who replied to 
the committee remonstrants in Cumberland Coun- 
ty, promising to use his best endeavors to render 
them aid, and requested them to "diffusively and 
expeditiously disperse" among the people copies 
of those New York quieting acts, and to soothe 
and c[uiet the Vermonters, and said that "we 
never had it in contemplation to deprive individu- 
als of their property." And said in the same 
reply, that the State of New York is determined 
not to relincjuish its right of jurisdiction to the 
country distinguished by the name of New Hamp- 
shire Grants, unless Congress should agreeable to 
our act of submission, judicially determine it not 
to be comprehended within our boundaries. This 
expression that, "we never had it in contempla- 
tion to deprive individuals of their propert}-," was 
not consistent with the acts of the New Y'ork ati- 
thorities in attemjiting to oust the Grants from 
their land by writs of ejectment, writs of posses- 
sion, and ))y force. Governor Clinton in said 
reply, said, "that there is the fullest evidence of a 
criminal and dangerous intercourse between some 
of the leaders in the assumed government and the 
common enemy, and this, 1 trust, will be an addi- 
tional inducement with such who profess to be 
friends to the cause ol America, to interest them- 
selves in ])rcvaiHng with their fellow citizens to 

OF VERMONT. 1 i i 

return to their allegiance, and by that means dis- 
appoint the views of a combination who from 
motives of self interest and ambition would enter 
into a league with the enemy and sacrifice the lib- 
erties of their country." The adherents of New 
York in Guilford immediately called a meeting in 
which the instructions of Governor Clinton, in his 
repl\% w^ere adopted, and voted, "to stand against 
the pretended State of Vermont until the decision 
of Congress be known, with lives and fortunes." 

Numerous justices of the peace were appointed 
by New York for Cumberland Count}-, and charged 
among other things, to take notice of all attempts 
to set aside the laws and ordinances of that State, 
and at the same time officers for a battalion of six 
military companies, in the towns of Brattlebor- 
otigh, Guilford and Halifax, were commissioned; 
which action of the New York authorities looked 
like a determined effort to enforce New York law 
in Vermont, and suppress all Vermont authority 
b}^ military force. 

On June 19, 1782, the General Assembly of Ver- 
mont pa^ssed an act for the punishment of con- 
spiracies against the peace, liberty and independ- 
ence of the State, which was aimed at the New 
York adherents at Guilford and vicinity-. Gover- 
nor Tichenor was appointed to go to the three 
above named towns and endeavor, by persuasive 
means, to unite the people in favor of the govern- 
ment of Vermont and save the necessity of resort- 
ing to compulsor\' measures, but his eminent per- 
suasive powers failed to accomplish the purpose. 
And on June 21, 1782, the Vermont Assembly 

178 i:aklv histokv 

])assed an Act cmpc^wcriiiii^ the Governor to raise 
men to assist the sheriffs. Both sides were pre- 
paring for the conflict. On July 29, 1782, judge- 
ment had been rendered by John Bridgeman, a 
Vermont justice, against Col. Timoth}^ Church, 
the commander of the New York battalion ; an 
execution was issued on the judgement, and the 
sheriff attempted to arrest the Colonel thereon, 
but was prevented doing so by Church and his 
friends. The sheriff then applied to the Governor 
and Council for an armed posse to assist him in 
executing Vermont laws in Windham County; 
thereupon Governor Chittenden was authorized 
to raise two hundred and fifty men for that pur- 
pose. Ethan Allen was commissioned as com- 
mander of the military force, and by the 10th of 
September had executed his orders, so thoroughly, 
that the offenders and the opposers of Vermont 
law had been, b\^ September 19, 1782, tried, con- 
victed and sentenced — some to banishment and 
confiscation of their property, and others to pay 
fines. Charles Phelps of Alarlborough and Joel 
Bigelow^ of Guilford, two of the offenders, escaped 
and left the State for the purpose of acquainting 
Governor Clinton of the proceedings. Bigelow 
soon returned with a letter from Governor Clinton 
recommending the adherents of New York to ab- 
stain from acts of violence until Congress should 
decide on the questions in dispute, but if the pris- 
oners were not released he deemed it justifiable 
and advisable that an attempt be made for their 
release; and if that could not be effected, then an 
equal number of insurgents should be taken to 


some place in New York and held as hostages for 
the security and indemnity of the prisoners held 
under Vermont law. 

Said Bigelow, in his affidavit sent to Governor 
Clinton, represented that Ethan Allen had de- 
clared that he would give no quarter to man, 
woman or child who should oppose him ; and he 
would lay Guilford as desolate as Sodom and 
Gomorrah. Thereupon Governor Clinton ad- 
dressed a letter to the New York delegates in Con- 
gress, in which he said, ''I feel the honor of the 
State and myself hurt that my repeated applica- 
tions to Congress for a decision of the controversj" 
have not only been ineffectual, but even unnoticed. 
You are fully sensible of my situation, and of the 
condition of the State to assert its rights, and I 
flatter myself you feel for our unfortunate fellow 
citizens who are thus exposed to outrage and in- 
jury. I have, therefore, only to add an earnest 
request to use every means for inducing Congress 
to attend to this very important business." 

Governor Clinton, on Sept. 27, 1782, addressed 
a letter to the New York adherents in Cumber- 
land County, in which he said, "there was every 
reason to believe that Congress will immediately 
interpose and exert their authority for your relief 
and protection." He also wrote to Jonathan 
Hunt, the Vermont sheriff, warning him of the 
dangerous consequences of his action. Some of 
the adherents of New Y^ork who had been released 
from their Vermont imprisonment, presented their 
petition to Congress and asked for aid in their 
impoverished and distressed condition, and for a 


restoration of their property- that had been con- 
liscated, but Congress ^ave them no aid. 

On Oct. 4, 1782, when Timothy Church, Wil- 
liam Shattuck, Henry Evans and Timothy Phelps, 
four of the chief offenders against Vermont under 
sentence of banishment, were released from prison, 
they were taken across the Hne into New Hamp- 
shire by a deputy-sheriff, Samuel Averyj who 
warned them that they would incur the penalty 
of death if they ever returned to Vermont. 

The General Assembly setting at Man- 
chester, on Oct. 17, 1782, chose Moses Robinson, 
Paul Spooner, Ira Allen and Jonas Fay agents to 
Congress, any two of them to be vested with pow- 
ers as plenipotentiaries to negotiate the admis- 
sion of the State into the Federal Union, and to 
agree upon and ratify terras of confederation and 
perpetual union w^ith them when opportunity 
should present; and were commissioned as such 

The Legislature of New Jerse\- instructed their 
delegates in Congress to use their influence against 
the admission of the State, and to subdue the in- 
habitants of Vermont to the obedience and sub- 
jection of the State or States that claim their alle- 
giance. The3' disclaimed ever^' idea of imbuing 
their hands in the blood of their fellow citizens, or 
entering into civil war among themselves, regard- 
ing such a step to be highly impolitic and danger- 

The Vermont affairs from time to time were 
before Congress down to January, 1783 ; and the 
discussion in Congress and the action of that bod}', 


were on the whole, unfriendly to Vermont, but not 
decisive ao^ainst her independence. The unfavor- 
able resolutions and action of Congress towards 
Vermont encouraged the New York adherents in 
Windham County, but Goa\ Chittenden showed a 
firm purpose to maintain the authority of Ver- 
mont against all opposition and against the 
threatened hostility of Congress, as well as the 
insurrectionists in Windham County. 

On January 9th, 1783, Governor Chittenden, 
by letter to the President of Congress, remon- 
strated against the unfriendly action of Congress, 
founded pa.rtly on the mutual agreement between 
Congress on the one part, and the State of Ver- 
mont on the other, that the latter should have 
been taken into the Union previous to the late ac- 
tion of Congress ; and partly on the impropriety 
of the claim of Congress to interfere in the internal 
government of the State. The agreement referred 
to, the reader will remember, was the encourage- 
ment that Congress gave Vermont, that if she 
complied with certain resolutions of that body 
and relinquished all claim to the so-called East 
and West Unions, she should be admitted as one 
of the States of the Union of the United States of 

And after Governor Chittenden received the 
letter heretofore referred to, from His Excellency 
George Washington, assuring him that if Vermont 
withdrew her jurisdiction to the confines of her 
old limits, Congress would admit Vermont as a 
State of the Union, Governor Chittenden and the 
people of Vermont confided in the faith and honor 


of Congress, that those assurances would be 
made good. Governor Chittenden in the remon- 
strance said, "How inconsistent then is it in Con- 
gress to assume the same arbitrary stretch of pre- 
rogative over Vermont, for which they waged 
war against Great Britain? Is the liberty and 
natural rights of mankind a mere bubble, and the 
sport of State politicians? What avails it to 
America to establish one arbitrar\' power on the 
ruins of another? Congress set tip as patriots for 
liberty, the}- did well ; but pnxy extend the liberty, 
for which they are contending, to others." 

The remonstrance, in referring to the criminals 
that had been banished or fined, for which Gov. 
Clinton, the New York committee and Congress- 
men were so solicitous for their relief, continued, 
"The notorious Samuel Eh-, w^ho was ring leader 
of the late seditions in the State of Massachusetts, 
a fugitive from justice, was one of the banished; 
he had left that State and was beginning insur- 
rections in this, when he was detected, and care- 
fully delivered to the sheriff' of the County of 
Hampshire in the State of Massachusetts, who, 
as I have been since informed, has secured him in 
goal at Boston, to the great satisfaction and 
peace of that State. This Samuel Ely, Timothy 
Church and William Shattuck, who were three of 
the banished, had previously taken the oath of 
allegiance to the State of Vermont ; and so had a 
greater part of those who were fined; and every 
one of the towns in which they resided, had for 
several sessions of the Assembly, previous to their 
insurrection, been represented in the Legislature 
of the State." 


It will be seen from the foregoing that matters 
were approaching, very fast, to a disagreeable 
and alarming issue. General Washington saw 
the necessity- of bringing the controversy to a 
peaceful settlement; and on Feb. 11, 1783, he 
wrote Joseph Jones, a member of Congress, a long 
letter in which he said, "That the delegates of the 
New England States in Congress, or a majority of 
them, are willing to admit these people into the 
Federal Union as an independent and sovereign 
State; * * "'' that the^^ have a powerful inter- 
est in those States and have pursued ver\^ politic 
measures to strengthen and increase it long before 
I had an\' knowledge of the matter, and before the 
tendency was seen into or suspected, by granting, 
upon very advantageous terms, large tracts of 
land; in which, I am sorry to find, the army in 
some degree have participated. Let ine next ask, 
by t\^hom is this district of countrA^ principalh' 
settled? And of whom is your present ariny com- 
prised? The answers are evident, — New England 
men. It had been the opinion of some that the 
appearance of force would awe these people into 
submission. If the General Assembly ratify' and 
confirm what Mr. Chittenden and his Council 
have done, I shall be of a very different sentiment ; 
and moreover, that it is not a trifling force that 
w411 subdue them, even supposing they derive no 
aid from the enem\' in Canada ; and that it would 
be a ver^^ arduous task indeed, if they should, to 
say nothing of a diversion which may and doubt- 
less would be made in their favor from New York 
bv Carleton. if the war with Great Britain should 

184- KAKLV HIST(Hn' 

continue. Tlic countrv is very mountainous, full 
of defiles, and extremely strong. The inhabitants, 
for the most part, are a hardy race, composed of 
that kind of people who are best calculated for 
soldiers; who in truth are soldiers; for many, 
many hundreds of them are deserters from this 
arnn-, who, haA'ing acquired yjroperty there, 
would be desperate in the defence of it, well know- 
ing that they were fighting with halters about 
their necks." 

Joseph Jones, in his reply to General Washing- 
ton, said that, "If Vermont confines herself to the 
limits assigned her, and ceases to encroach upon 
and disturb the quiet of the adjoining States, and 
at the same time avoiding combinations, or arts, 
hostile to the United States, she may be at rest 
within her limits, and by patient waitiug the 
convenient time, maA" ere long be admitted to the 
privileges of the Union." Vermont w^as accused 
of a want of sincerity and candor in her negotia- 
tions with Congress. That body had trifled so 
long with Vermont, her government and her peo- 
ple had but little respect for the Continental Con- 

Unquestionabh' the letter of General Washing- 
ton, though written in his private capacit3' to Mr. 
Jones, had much to do in bringing about r more 
favorable sentiment in the Confederacy for the ad- 
mission of Vermont. On Feb. 25, 1783, in a com- 
mittee of the whole of both Houses in Vermont, it 
was resolved that the citizens of the State had 
from the first attempt to form a State govern- 
ment uniformlv shown their attachment to the 


common cause and a desire of being connected 
with the P'ederal Union, and that neither the Ex- 
ecutive or Legislative authoritj^ of the State had 
ever entered into an3^ negotiation, truce, or com- 
bination with the cnem3^ of the United States, ex- 
cept for the exchange of prisoners, and expressed 
their good intentions towards the United States. 
But notwithstanding that, Vermont, at all times, 
was determined that her existence as a State 
should not be swallowed by interested adjoining 
States b}' anv action of those States or by Con- 

And in an address to Congress, made b\' a com- 
mittee of the Vermont Assembly appointed Feb. 
26, 1783, in reply to the resolutions of Congress 
adopted Dec. 5, 1782, unfavorable to Vermont's 
separate existence, the committee said, "All and 
every act of Congress which interferes with the 
internal government of this State and tend to pre- 
vent a general exercise of our laws, are unjustifi- 
able in their nature and repugnant to every idea 
of freedom; ^ "" ^ we cannot express our sur- 
prise at the reception of the late resolutions of 
Congress of the 5th of Dec. 1782, obtained ex 
parte and at the special instance of an infamous 
person," referring to Charles Phelps of Marl- 
borough, a persistent opponent of Vermont. 
I^helps had been some of the time in favor of Ver- 
mont and at other times in favor of New York. 
Governor Chittenden, for the purpose of showing 
to Congress what an unreliable and worthless 
character he was, sent to Congress the affidavit 
of Phineas Freeman and Jonathan Howard, taken 
on Jan. 15th, 1783, in which it was stated that 
Charles Phelps declared, "that he would as soon 
come under the Infernal Prince as under the State 
of New York." 




Let lis refer to riii attempt to divide Vermont 
between New Hampshire and New York after each 
of those States had iailed in their efforts to absorb 
the whole. The proposition was for New Hamp- 
shire and New York to compromise the dispute 
and divide the State by the ridge of the Green 
Mountains, and New Hampshire take the Eastern 
and New York the Western part of Vermont. 
This scheme originated in 1779, and its proposal 
was made in Congress in March, 1782. Some of 
the towns on the east of the mountain favored 
such an object; and resolutions of a convention of 
committees of Newbury-, Bradford, Norwich and 
Hartford favored it and inquired of the General 
Court of New Hampshire if the3' were desirous to 
thus extend their jurisdiction. On Julv 2, 1782, 
President W^eare of New Hampshire wrote to 
Governor Clinton that, "It is represented that an 
agreement between the States of New York and 
New Hampshire, respecting the boundaries might 
probably tend to bring the matters to an issue, 
and the people, in general, between Connecticut 
River and the height of land, would be better sat- 
isfied to belong to New Hampshire than to Ver- 
mont, if Vermont could be made a separate State." 

(186 ( 

OF vp:kmoxt. 187 

The House of Representatives of Xew Hamp- 
shire took into consideration the representation 
of the four towns expressing a desire to he under 
the jurisdiction of Xew Hampshire, and resolved, 
in substance, that New Hampshire had a just title 
to the whole of Vermont, but, for the sake of 
peace and good harmon}- with New York, and to 
accommodate the inhabitants east of the height 
of land, she w'as willing to extend their jurisdic- 
tion to that part ot Vermont that lies east of said 
height of land, if the generality of the people de- 
sired it, and provided, New York would settle the 
boundarv on the said heighth of land ; and sent 
the resolutions to Governor Clinton. 

Alexander Hamilton wrote to Governor Clinton 
from Philadelphia Jan. 1, 1783, that the New 
York Legislature "should take up the affair of 
Vermont on the idea ot a compromise with Massa- 
chusetts and New Hampshire," and said, I have 
little hope that we shall ever be able to engage 
Congress to act with decision upon the matter, or, 
that our State will ever recover anj' part of the 
revolted territory but upon a plan that will inter- 
est those two States." Gouverneur Morris, a dele- 
gate from New Y^ork in Congress, wrote to John 
JaA^ that "Vermont is yet Vermont, and I think 
no wase man will pretend to say when it wnll cease 
to be so." And after he left Congress he wrote 
Governor Clinton that, "I wish the business of 
Y'ermont were settled. I fear we are pursuing a 
shadow\ * * * It is a mighty arduous business 
to compel the submission of men to a political or 
religious government. It appears to me very 

188 i:aki,v histokv 

(loiibttul whether X'crniont, it" independent, would 
not be more useful to Xew York, than as the East- 
ern district. ■" * liwe have not the means of 
eonquerinf2: these people we must let them quite 
alone. We must continue our impotent threats 
or w^e must make a treaty-. If we let them alone, 
they become independent clc facto, at least. Hun- 
dreds will resort to them for different reasons. 
They will receive lands from them, and cultivate 
them under the powers w^hich are. When the dis- 
pute is again renewed these cultivators will, I be- 
lieve, be better soldiers than logicians, and more 
inclined to defend their possessions, than examine 
their titles. If w^e continue our threats, they will 
either hate or despise us, and perhaps both." 

Durinsr the winter of 17S3-4-, the civil Dowers 
of the State, aided by the military posse, were 
rigorouslv and successfully used. On Nov. 16, 
1783, a part^' of Yorkers assaulted the house of 
Luke Knowdton of New^fane, forcibly entered, and 
captured and conveyed him into Massachusetts, 
and a Yermont military force were sent in pursuit. 
Knowlton was released and returned to the State. 
The civil power was at once brought to bear, and 
three of the offenders w^ere (juickly arrested, but 
the attempted arrest of the leader at Brattleboro, 
Dec. 1 , was forcibly prevented by the adherents to 
Xew York, and on the same day another party of 
Yorkers, among whom was Charles Phelps of 
Marlborough, captured and carried aw^ay Benja- 
min Carpenter, formerh- Lieut. -Governor of 
the State. 

These acts aroused the Yermonters, and thev 


arrested William Shattnck and Charles Phelps, 
who were under the sentence of death for treason, 
and who had been permitted to be at large, and 
imprisoned them at Westminster. This so terri- 
fied the adherents of New York, the\' addressed a 
petition to Governor Chittenden asking that there 
might be some eqtiitable and salutary measures 
taken to prevent all kinds of severity- between the 
contending parties, and that Shattuck and Phelps 
might be released from their imprisonment. But 
Governor Chittenden left the civil and military 
authorities to deal with all offenders. Small de- 
tachments of militia were employed in searching 
and seizing the arms and persons of belligerent ad- 
herents of New York. Several leading New York 
adherents were arrested and imprisoned at West- 

These attacks and outrages on the part ot New 
York sympathizers and Yorkers, and retaliatory 
measures on the part of the Yermonters, continued 
for some time. The New York adherents resisted 
the pajmient of taxes to the Yermont collector. 
And on the 16th of Dec. 1783, about twenty of 
them, armed, marched from Guilford to Brattle- 
boro and surrounded the house of Landlord Arms 
where the constable and tax collector, Waters, 
was stopping, fired a number of balls into the 
house, wounded two men, burst into the house 
and took and carried away the constable with a 
design, it was supposed, to take trom him a quan- 
tity' of mone^' that he had collected on taxes. 

On Dec. 19th, 1784, it was learned there was a 
body of Yorkers, who were determined to oppose 

TOO i:aklv iiisToRV 

the collcctin<^ of taxes, were assembled at Guilford. 
Stephen R. Bradley with the sheriff immediately 
marched the posse, about 200 men, to Guilford, in 
order to reduce them to the obedience of law. 
When the troops appeared in sight, the whole 
body of Yorkers fled without firing a gun. With- 
in two days some thirty of them came in and took 
the oath of allegiance and delivered up their arms. 
It was ascertained that there was another band 
of about forty Yorkers in Guilford near the 
Massachusetts line, Bradlc}^ and the sheriff took 
a detachment of 120 men and proceeded to dis- 
perse them. When the posse got within twenty 
rods of the Y'onkers they fired one volley and re- 
treated into Massachusetts. One man of the 
posse was badly wounded. 

The abductors of Luke Knowlton and C3'ril 
Carpenter, before referred to, w^ere tried at West- 
minister before Chief Justice Aloses Robinson and 
convicted, and sentenced. Many others of the 
New York adherents were convicted and fined or 
imprisoned for the offences charged against them. 
Charles Phelps was tried and was adjudged at- 
tainted of treason and sentenced to forty days' 
imprisonment and a forfeiture of all his property 
to the State. 

On March 6th, 1784, an act was passed giving 
the Governor and Council the power to pardon 
any of the inhabitants of Windham Count3^ who 
have heretofore professed themselves subjects of 
the State of New York. On March 2, 1784, an 
act was passed to punish persons for the crime of 
high treason and misprision of treason against the 


State. The penalty for the former was death, and 
the latter fine and imprisonment. 

New York was powerless to effect anything by 
force. She could not reach the disturbed district 
without passing through Massachusetts, whose 
consent she probably could not obtain ; or through 
Western Vermont, where they had met defeat be- 
fore. Under these discouraging circumstances 
New^ York renew^ed the conflict in Congress. The^- 
set forth, anew, their complaints against Vermont, 
and said if Congress should dela^^ the decision of 
the controYers\% it ought to be considered a denial 
of justice. And on March 2, 1782, the New York 
House resolved, "that until the aflairs with Ver- 
mont were adjudicated by Congress, thcA^ would 
furnish no further aid to Congress." 

New York asked for Federal tT;oops to be used 
on the frontier. The frontier might mean Western 
frontier ; but the design of New York was to use 
them against Vermont to protect the New York 
adherents in Eastern Vermont. Congress refused 
to permit her to control any troops. Congress 
was again urged b^^ New York to decide her con- 
troversy with Vermont, but New York was only 
willing to have the dispute settled to their mind 
and not otherwise. In the instructions given to 
the delegates of New York in Congress, b3^ their 
Legislature, after complaining of the procrastina- 
tion of Congress in the settlement of their dispute 
with Vermont, it stated, "that if she (New York) 
must recur to force, for the preservation of her law- 
ful authority, the impartial world will pronounce 
that none of the blood-shed, disorder or disunion 


which may ensue, can be imputable to this Legis- 

Governor Chittenden in his long letter to the 
President of Congress bearing date April 26, 1784, 
referring to the above threat, said, "As to this 
bloody proposition, the Council of this State have 
only to remark, that A'ermont does not wish to 
enter into a war with the State of New York, but 
she will act on the defensive, and expect that Con- 
gress and the twelve States will observe a strict 
neutrality-, and let the two contending States set- 
tle their own controvers}'. And as to the allega- 
tion of the State of New York against the conduct 
of this State in bringing a few malcontents to jus- 
tice and obedience to government, whom they 
have inspired with sedition, I have only to ob- 
serve, that this matter has been managed b\' the 
wisdom of the Legislature of this State, who con- 
sider themselves herein amenable to no earthh- 
tribunal." These sentiments show that the Ver- 
monters believed in the justice of their cause, and 
that the\' were able to cope with New York alone. 
In June, 1784, and again in April, 1785, Congress 
ordered a force of seven hundred men to be raised 
by all the ])Osts in the I'nited States, but they 
were not to be under the control ot an}' State, 
thus defeating the ulterior purpose of New York 
to use the Jtroops against Vermont. On May 29, 
1784, the committee of Congress made their re- 
port to that bod}' in favor of the admission of 
Vermont as a free, sovereign and independent 
State by the name of Vermont. No other direct 
action on the Vermont question was ever taken 
bv the Continental Cons^ress. 



The people of New York sought opportunities 
to annoy Yermonters. On Juh' 10, 1784, Hon. 
Micah Townshend, a citizen of Yermont, was ar- 
rested in the city of New York in an action of tres- 
pass at the suit of Seth Smith of the State of New 
Y^ork, for officiating in the line of his duty as the 
Clerk of the County- Court of Windham County. 
Townshend petitioned the Legislature of Yermont 
that they would interfere in his behalf and indem- 
nify him against loss and damage. Although the 
suit was aimed at Townshend, still it concerned 
the State at large and ever^^ officer and subject of 
the State. 

A retaliatory act was passed by the Assembly- 
appointing three commissioners to seize and sell 
so much of the lands in Yermont belonging to citi- 
zens of New York as would raise fifteen hundred 
pounds in specie, and directed them to pay to 
Townshend, as soon as the New York Court 
should render judgement against him, the amount 
of the judgement, cost and expenses of defending 
the suit, and a proper recompense for being im- 
justly sued. The suit however, was not pressed 
in the New York court, but discontinued. 


Several acts were passed by the X'ermont 
Assembly granting full pardon to many ot the ad- 
herents of New York who were offenders against 
the laws of Vermont, and in many eases their con- 
fiscated property was restored. The Assembly in 
October, 1783, enacted a retaliator}^ statute de- 
claring that, no person residing in New A'ork shall 
commence an3^ suit at law within the jurisdiction 
of the State against any inhabitant or resident 
thereof, for any civil matter or contract, until the 
Legislature of New York shall allow the inhabi- 
tants of this State full liberty to commence a like 
suit within their jurisdiction. 

In 1784, the Revolutionary Avar had come to 
an end. The treaty of peace had been signed. 
The war with Great Britain had been greath' dis- 
tressing to everA^ part of the United States. The 
end of the war put an end to many embarrass- 
ments of Congress and to all fears of the people of 
Vermont. The people, weary of the long and dis- 
tressing war, wished for repose and were heartih- 
desirous of dropping all occasions of controversy^ 
and debate. The Confederacy' was in an exhaust- 
ed condition ; their revenue was small and their 
currency had failed ; their Continental mone3' 
nearly valueless ; their armies were dissatisfied 
and unpaid ; and the public affairs of the Union 
were becoming more embarrassed with disorder, 
want of wisdom, credit and power. 

Such being the case, an admission into the 
Union of the States, ceased to be an object of im- 
portance or desire. The evasive, irresolute, and 
what the Vcrmonters called contradictory acts of 


Congress, had greatly destroyed the eonfidenee 
that the people of Vermont had reposed in that 
body, and it was thought by many it would not 
be best to have an}- connection with them. Ver- 
mont as a separate jurisdiction stood in a better 
situation than the Confederation. Vermont was 
not subject to the calls of Congress for money ; her 
Legislature had acquired wisdom and experience 
in governing the people ; she had not contracted 
large debts, nor was it necessary to impose heavy^ 
taxes upon the people. The State had a large 
quantity of valuable lands to dispose of, and pur- 
chasers and settlers were constanth^ coming into 
it from all the New England States, so that the 
condition and prospect of the people became easy^ 
and more flattering than those of her neighbors. 
At this time there was a general inclination not 
to be connected with the Union if they could fairh- 
avoid it. This situation remained until the adop- 
tion of the Constitution of the United States. The 
adoption of the Constitution, and the wisdom and 
justice that soon marked the action of Congress, 
served to create a sentiment favorable to the Con- 
federacy, but Vermont took no further pains to 
join it, further than to appoint delegates to Con- 
gress . 



It will be well here to consider the condition of 
the land titles in Vermont, and what is termed the 
Betterment Acts. It has been seen that when an 
independent Constitutional government was or- 
ganized in Vermont in 1778, a large portion of its 
territory had been granted to citizens of the con- 
tending States. The same territory that had been 
granted In- one of the contending States to pro- 
prietors was also granted by the other ; hence 
arose conflicting titles and rights between the 
Xjroprietors as well as between States ; that in 
1777, the Governor and Council entered upon the 
work of sequestering personal property of persons 
who had joined the enem\', and in 1778, the Gen- 
eral Assembly established a board of confiscation 
with power to seize and sell the real estate, and at 
that time Vermont began to grant lands ; and the 
grants from the State were greatly and speedily 

There had been no general systematic surve\'- 
ing, and the State had no map or plan of the sur- 
ve3'S, and no public records within it of a large 
proportion of the grants ; nor records of the deeds 
for man}' vears. What actual surve3's that had 
been made were the work of different persons. 
The proprietors of the territory covered b^- con- 
flicting grants made sales as fast as purchasers 

(196 1 


conld be found, and. many of the latter occupied 
and improved their land, so purchased, relying 
upon the validity' of their titles. This confused 
condition of things Avas a fruitful source of Htiga- 
tion in after 3'ears. The common law was 
adopted and courts were established in Vermont 
in 1778, by w^hich titles could be ascertained, so 
far as practicable. 

It was obvious that tlie results of common law 
trials would have been distressing to many per- 
sons who had in good faith purchased, occupied 
and improved their lands to which they had a 
fault^^ title. Measures of relief were resorted to. 
In the act of Feb. 1779, establishing the Superior 
Court, it was provided that that Court, "shall 
have no power to try any action or title of land, 
for the year ensuing," which left the disputes re- 
specting lands to the Assembly and the Council. 
This act was continued in force till October, 1781, 
when a Betterment Act was enacted. 

In June 1779, Ira Allen was appointed Surveyor 
General, for the purpose of procuring copies of all 
charters that ever were made of lands lying in the 
State, in order to make out one general plan, so as 
to know where the vacant lands were. In October 
of the same 3^ear a Board of Commissioners was 
constituted, for the better regulating the title of 
lands, whose duty it was to call for charters, 
patents, deeds and other papers respecting lands ; 
and also having power given them to put claim- 
ants of lands upon their oath, and make reports 
of their doings and deposit them in the clerk's 
office of the town where the land was situated. 

IDS i:aklv history 

Ami ilif Hoard was, also, to rcjjort to the Gcnci-al 
Assembly at tlic opening ot each session, and the 
reports when approved by that body were to be 
recorded in the town clerk's office. 

The Betterment Acts were enacted to enable 
persons who had entered and made improvement 
on lands, under claim and color of title, who 
should be driven out of possession Ijy a le,2:al trial 
at law, to recover the value of the betterments or 
improvements that such persons had made, Irom 
the rightful owner of the land. And the Act pro- 
vided that when any person or persons in actual 
possession of lands of which they had purchased a 
title, supposing such title to be good in fee, and 
should be prosecuted l)y action of ejectment, or 
writ of right, and final judgement should be ren- 
dered against them, such person should have a 
right of action to recover of him who had the legal 
title, so much monev as should be adjudged cquit- 
aWe for the improvements; and the mode of pro- 
ceeding was pointed out in the Act. 

A new Betterment Act was passed in 1784, and 
another in 1785, which superceded the first act 
and a change was made as to the amount of the 
recovery- and the mode of ascertaining the value 
of the betterments or improvements ; but the main 
feature and purpose of the first act was retained. 
In the bill of 1784, the rule of recovery was, so 
much money as the true value ofthe estate exceed- 
ed its real value (after deducting the interest C)f 
such real v^due at six per cent per annum) at the 
time the settlement ofthe land began. Bv the act 
of June. 1785. the jury were to assess the value 


of tlie land as at the time of" settlement by the 
possessor, and assess the value at the time of trial 
or assessment, as if the same was uncultivated, 
and allow the possessor one half of what the land 
had risen in value, and add thereto the value of 
the improvements ; these two items ^vas to be the 
amount of the recovery of the person who had 
been dispossessed of the land he had supposed he 
had purchased vrith a good title. 

The Betterment Act met withconsidercible oppo- 
sition. The opposers said, '"the law makes everv 
man a trespasser who enters upon the land of an- 
other without license and subjects him to dam- 
ages ; ]n\t bv this Act you would compel the legal 
owner to pay him a bount\' for his trespass." This 
law was clearl}' founded on the principles 'of 
natural justice and was in great favor with the 
people of Vermont. Daniel Chipman, commenting 
on the Act and on the uncertainty^ of the titles to 
land in New England, said, purchasers were not 
accustomed to receive the title deeds so as to have 
in their hands evidence of the title. Consequently 
a man so disposed could impose on one and sell 
him lands as well without the expense of a pur- 
chase as with. And swindlers took advantage of 
this state of things and made a business of selling 
lands without making a purchase. 

Simeon Sears was one of these primitive swind- 
lers, who had become notorious in that line of 
business, and the following anecdote was told. 
Some of the people of Bennington had been con- 
fined in the City Hall at Alban3' b^- the authorities 
of New York. The Citv Hall, of course, became a 

201) KAKLV msT(nn' 

hated place, and an oljject of dread to the Green 
Mountain Boys and became a subject of conversa- 
tion at all their meetings, and they began to con- 
sider ways and means to destroy it. And at one 
of the meetings a number of modes of effecting this 
were proposed, and among the rest, several modes 
of blowing it up. But Ethan Allen said, "Xo, the 
better way will be to employ Sim Sears to sell the 
d-d thing." 

From 1784-, to 1787, the times were hard and 
the people were becoming uneasy and discontent- 
ed. They were burdened in their poverty-stricken 
condition at the close of the Revolutionary War, 
with the surve3'ing and alloting the lands, the 
cutting of roads, subduing the wilderness, and 
erecting places of abode. Most of the people in all 
the new towns were burdened with debt, and de- 
pendent upon the productions of the soil to paA^ 
them ; markets were distant, and the cost of trans- 
portation great. The capital of the richest men 
was mainly in land, and therefore but ver}^ few 
were able to loan money at any rate of interest, 
or on an}' security, however good ; specie was 
rarely seen, and the paper currency- was for the 
most part of little value. Many complained, but 
hardly knew where to fix the blame for the dis- 
tress that was abroad. Some contemplated the 
same violent remedy that was attempted in other 
States, and that culminated in a neighboring 
State in Shay's Rebellion. 

A disturbance of the proceedings of the courts 
in Rutland County in Nov. 1786, was threatened, 
and a mob that had gathered for the purpose of 


interfering with the business of the court and to 
prevent the session from being held, had to be dis- 
persed bj^ the militia. The leading rioters were 
arrested, tried, convicted and fined, and the rebel- 
lion quelled. A similar attempt had been made to 
interfere w4th the court and its proceedings at 
Windsor a few days before, with like result as in 
the Rutland County affair. 

The General Assembly in session at Rutland in 
Oct. 1786, was active in passing laws for the re- 
lief and quieting the people. Jonathan Fassett, a 
leader in the Rebellion and a member of the 
Assembh% w^as impeached, and found guilt^^ of 
riotous conduct. An Act for the prevention and 
punishment of riots, disorders and contempt of 
authorities, w^as passed b^^ the Assembh', March 
8, 1787. The leaders of the discontented aimed 
their shafts particularly at Gov. Chittenden and 
Ira Allen ; the latter made an elaborate defence of 
himself, and Governor Chittenden appealed to the 
public in an address, in which he stated that the 
people of Vermont w^ere in a much better condi- 
tion than the people of the other States ; that 
while the Revolution had left on the United States 
a debt of $42,000,375, exclusive of their own re- 
spective State debts, Vermont had but a trifle to 
pay. He said that, "In the time of the war we 
were obliged to follow the example of Joshua of 
old, who commanded the sun to stand still while 
he fought his battle ; we commanded our creditors 
to stand still while we fought our enemies." And 
consequently, he said, the people were left in debt 
and behind hand, harrassed and destitute of pro- 

LMil> i-:awi.v iiis'i'()K'\' 

visions nL tlicclost* ol ihc war. Ik* said one rea- 
son for their present distress was. tliat sinee the 
elose of the war. "in hen of exerting" or.rselves to 
tlie ntterniost. to raise flax and wool and clothe 
ourselves, we have purchased on credit too many 
articles of the growth and manufactures of for- 
eign countries, by which means we have drained 
the State of nearly all the Ccish we had, and a 
great part of our cattle, ■"'■ " * and I know of 
no certj:un effectual method that can be taken to 
afford substantial relief, but by prudence, industry 
and economy, and these must be encouraged by 

Shay's Rebellion ])roke out in tlie Common- 
wealth of Massachusetts in 17S7, and the Gov- 
ernor of that State recjuested the assistance of 
Vermont in apprehending and returning certain of 
the rebels that had taken shelter in \'ermont, to 
Massachusetts authorities. Governor Chittenden 
issued his proclamation enjoining upon all the cit- 
izens of the State not to liarl'jor, entertain or con- 
ceal Daniel Shay. Luke Day, Adam Wheeler and 
Eli Parsons, leading rebels, and rerjuiring all jus- 
tices of the peace to issue their warrants when- re- 
quired, to apprehend them thiit they might be re- 
turned to the authorities of Massachusetts or de- 
livered to some civil or military officer. And the 
citizens of this State were forbidden to take arms 
in support of the rebellion or contribute relief to 
its abettors and promoters. 

On April 'iO, 17S7, about one Imndredofthe 
rebels who had been driven from ADissachusetts, 
met at Ca])tain (^^lalusha's in Shaftsl)ury to agree 


on measures to continue their opposition to their 
o^overnment, ])ut the sheriff of the County, Jonas 
Galusha, commanded them to disperse, and the^- 
immediately left the State and met at White Creek 
in the State of New York. Several of the rebels 
were arrested in Vermont and returned to Massa- 
chusetts' authorities. Ethan Allen had been 
wrongfully accused Vv'ith S3"mpathizing with the 
rebellion, but he declared, "he had never had any 
communication with Shay or an3^ of his adher- 
ents, directly or indirectly, but that he had heart- 
ilv desoised both of them and their cause." 



All the acts of Vermont, especially from 1778, 
to 1791, were really the acts of a sovereign State, 
and peculiarh^ so, as the internal police regulations 
were enforced against New Vork and the adher- 
ents of that State in Vermont, as well as against 
Congress. The act of issuing bills of credit and 
making them a legal tender for debts, coining 
mone\% regulating weights and measures, estab- 
lishing post offices, naturalizing natives of other 
States and countries, corresponding with foreign 
governments in respect to commerce, which she 
exercised, were all acts of an independent and sov- 
ereign State. 

It was enacted in 1781, that there be printed 
bills to the amount of twenty-five thousand one 
hundred and fifty-five pounds of lawful monc\' for 
the payment of the debts of the State and other 
public purposes, and a committee were empow- 
ered to make a device and form for the bills. The 
bills w^ere to be a law^ful tender for payment on all 
contracts and executions, and should be redeemed 
b\' the treasurer of the State, by the time fixed in 
the act, in silver, at the rate of six shillings for one 
Spanish milled dollar, or gold equivalent. The 
penalty that a person was subject to, if found 


giulty of altering or counterfeiting the 1)ills, or 
making instruments for that purpose, was death. 
The amount issued under this act was 24,750 
pounds. By an act passed in Feb. 1782, the bills 
of credit were not to be legal tender after June 1, 
1782, except in the treasury of the State. 

On June 15, 1785, an act was passed granting 
Reuben Harmon, Jr., Esq., the right of coining cop- 
per, and by an act of Oct. 24, 178G,that right was 
extended for the term of eight years Irom July 1, 
1786; the coins issued in 1785, and before Oct. 
1786, had on the face of the coin the legend, 
''Vermontensium. Res Publica.'^ — meaning. The 
Republic of the Green Mountains, or Vermont ; 
and the device was a rising sun, with mountains 
and trees in the foreground, and a plough in the 
field beneath — significant of a new and rising agri- 
cultural State. On the reverse, the device was an 
e3^e, radiating to thirteen stars, with ''Quarta. 
Demcima. Stella,'' for the legend — signifying that 
Vermont, as the fourteenth State, was looking for 
admission to the Union with the thirteen States. 

B\^ an act passed Oct. 24, 1786, both the 
legends and devices \vere changed — the device to a 
bust in a coat of inail, and the legend to Vertnon 
Auctori — meaning by the authority of Vermont. 
On the reverse, was a female figure, seated with a 
shield at her side, and holding in her right hand an 
olive branch, in her left a rod. The legend was 
Inde: etLib: — meaning independence and liberty. 
There were other devises and mottoes. 

On Oct. 26, 1787, an act was passed, naturaliz- 
ing Solomon Willard of Xew Hampshire, declaring 

200 i:akl\' HisToKv 

him "to be entitled to all the ]3rivile*j;es, benefits 
and immunities of a natural born subject and 
member of this Commonwealth, and shall forever 
hereafter have and enjoy the freedom of Vermont." 

On March 10, 1787, an act was passed natural- 
izing Hon. St. John de Crevecoeur and his two 
children. The father was a citizen of France — was 
l)orn in Normandy in 1731, educated in r>ngland 
and came to America in 1754, and settled on a 
farm near New York Cit3% from which he was 
driven b\' the British during the Revolutionary 
war, and returned to England. Afterwards he 
became the author of several literary- works. 

An act establishing post offices in the State 
passed the General Assembly March 5, 1784, and 
Mr. Anthony Haswell of Bennington was appoint- 
ed Post Master General within and for the State 
of Vermont. Five post offices were established 
within the State: viz., in Bennington, Rutland, 
Brattleboro, Windsor and Newbury-, and the post 
riders from Bennington to Brattleboro were to be 
allowed three pence per mile for travel, and those 
on the other routes two pence per mile, and were 
to have the exclusive right of carriage, and enjoy 
the advantage of the fees arising from the carriage 
of letters and packets of every kind ; and the rate 
ot postage was to be the same as in the United 
States. The Governor had the right by the act to 
frank his letters or packets. 

In these da3's of railroads run b\' steam or elec- 
tricity, telegraphs, and telephones, we can hardly 
realize the meager facilities for communication and 
transportation during the earlv history ofVer- 

OF VK R.MONT. 207 

mont. It was a great event when in Nov. 1787, 
a stage wagon for the first time was erected to 
run, with four horses, between the city of New 
York and Stratford Ferry in Connecticut; which 
completed the stages from Portsmouth in the 
State of New Hampshire to Richmond in the State 
of Virginia, a distcmce of over 700 miles. January 
21, 1788, Daniel Marsh advertised himself as post- 
rider from Clarendon to Onion River, Jericho being 
the end of his route; but there was no authority 
for establishing an office in Chittenden County, 
which then extended to Canada line, until June 1, 
1792. At that time additional offices w^ere opened 
in Manchester, Vergennes and Burlington, under 
authority of Congress. 

On March 9, 1784, the Council resolved that 
the Governor be requested to take such measures 
as he should judge best for opening trade with the 
Province of Quebec, but theAssembh^ did not pass 
the act, and nothing definite was done on the sub- 
ject till Oct. 29, 1784, when it was enacted that 
the Governor and Council be authorized and em- 
• powered to appoint not exceeding three persons 
as commissioners to confer and agree, with per- 
son or persons in Canada, having power to agree 
concerning trade and commerce, pertaining to 
"the opening a free trade into and through said 
Province of Quebec." Ira Allen, who was one of 
the cominissioners, instituted negotiations with 
Great IJritain through Lieutenant-Governor Ham- 
ilton in the city of Quebec. 

By proclamation Lord Dorchester, Governor- 
in-Chief ol the Province of Quebec, permitted the 

208 i:aklv histokv 

free importation and exportation of lumber, 
Lj^rains, produce, live stock and other things. It 
was supposed the intention was to make the priv- 
ilege reciprocal, but neither the proclamation nor 
the ordinance limited the privileges to or with the 
State of Vermont, nor did it declare that they 
were granted in response to any application of 
Vermont; they applied to the United States as 
well as Vermont, but the advantages were enjoyed 
by the people of Vermont almost exclusively, on 
accoimt of the proximity of the State to the Prov- 
ince. Lord Dorchester could not tolerate any 
separate intercourse with the people of Vermont 
without infringing upon the treaty of peace of 
1783, with the United States — that treaty includ- 
ed Vermont within the boundaries of the United 
States. Pine timber and ashes constituted by far 
the largest part of the exports from Vermont for 
many years. Certain articles were prohibited 
from being exported or imported. 





Certain gentlemen in New York, during the 
winter of 1784, presented a petition to the Assem- 
bly of that State, praying that they would pass a 
law to enable their delegates in Congress to apply 
for and consent to the sovereignty^ and independ- 
ence of Vermont, and a bill was brought into the 
House to that effect ; many were desirous to reach 
some kind of a compromise with the Vermont set- 
tlers in respect to the title of theii* lands that was 
in dispute. William Samuel Johnson, a delegate 
in Congress from New York, and who seemed in- 
clined to favor an equitable settlement of the 
long-drawn-out controversy, thought it a favor- 
able opportunity^ for the Vermohters, who had 
taken title to their lands under the New Hamp- 
shire grants and from the State of Vermont, to se- 
cure an indisputable title to their farms. 

In the spring of 1787, Alexander Hamilton, a 
member for the City of New ^York introduced into 
the New- York Assembly a bill entitled "An act to 
empower and direct the delegates, to acceed to, 
ratify and confirm the sovereignty and independ- 
ence of Vermont, on conditions -that Vermont 
should confine the limits of her territory between 

r:^ ■■•■■■■■ i:i09) 


Conncclicnt River and the line t\vent\' miles east 
of Hudson River, and requiring Vermont to accede 
to the Union and preserving New York titles to 
land in Vermont. 

Hamilton, in presenting the bill, said in part, 
"I believe there is pot a member of this House but 
considers the independence of the district of terri- 
tory .n question, is a matter fixed and inevitable. 
All our efforts to a different point have hitherto 
proved fruitless, and long since we seem to have 
entirely given up the controversy. Vermont is, in 
fact, independent, but she is not confederated. 
And I am constrained to add that the means 
which the}' employ to secure that indpendence, 
are objects of the utmost alarm to the safety of 
this State, and to the confederation at large. 
* * * It is not natural to suppose, that a pow- 
erful people both by number and situation, uncon- 
nected as the\' now stand, and without an^- rela- 
tive importance in the Union, irritated by neglect, 
or stimulated by rev^enge — I say, is it not probable, 
under such circumstances, they will provide for 
their own safety, by seekingconnection elsewhere? 
And can he who hears me doubt but that connec- 
tions have already been formed with the British in 
Canada? " * * Confederated with a foreign 
nation, we can be at no loss to anticipate the con- 
sequences of such a .connection, nor the danger of 
having so powerful a bod\' of people, increasing 
rapidh' in numbers and strength, associated with 
a foreign power, and ready upon an}- rupture to 
throw their weight into an opposite scale. In 
their present situation, they bear no part of our 


public burdens ; if they were a part of the Confed- 
erac3', the3' must of course participate in them ; 
the\' are useless to us now, and if they continue as 
they are, they will be formidable to us hereafter." 

The bill was taken up in the Assembly on 
March 28, 1787. Richard Harrison made a 
strong argument against the independence of Ver- 
mont, and said, among other things, in substance, 
that the adherents of New York, her citizens and 
those who had purchased lands in that territory 
by grants from New York, had the right to be pro- 
tected in person and property ; that the bill w^as 
unconstitutional, impolitic and destructive to the 
property and the rights of their citizens; that the 
constitution has declared the Counties of Cumber- 
land, Gloucester and Charlotte shall be repre- 
sented in the Senate and Assembh^ of New York. 
He treated the alleged connection between Ver- 
mont and the British Government a phantom, but 
if such a connection existed Vermont must be re- 
duced to a sense of duty. 

To this argument Hamilton made a candid and 
masterly reply, but it is too long to insert here the 
full text, and I shall be content to give only a few 
extracts. He asserted that the chief object of gov- 
ernment to protect the rights of individuals by the 
united strength of the community, must be taken 
with this limitation : — The united strength of the 
community ought to be exerted for the protection 
of individuals so far as there is a rational prospect 
of success, and so far as is consistent with the 
safety and well being of the w'hole. * * * But 
is not bound to enter into and prosecute enter- 


prises of manitcst rashness and lolly; or in the 
event of success, would be jiroductive of more mis- 
chief than good. * * Arc we now in a situa- 
tion to undertake the reduction of Vermont, or 
are we likely to be in such a situation? Where 
are our resources ? Where our public credit to en- 
able us to canw on an offensive war? We ought 
to recollect that in war, to defend or attack, are 
two different things ; to the first, the mountains, 
the wilderness, the militia, sometimes even the 
poverty of a country- will suffice. The latter re- 
quires an army and a treasury. The population 
of Vermont will not be rated too high if stated at 
nearl3" one-half that of New York. '^ '" * Can it 

be imagined that it would be able, finally to re- 
duce such a people to its obedience ? The supposi- 
tion would be chimerical, and the attempt mad- 
ness. Can we hope for a more favorable posture 
of affairs hereafter ? Will not the population and 
strength of Vermont increase in ratio to our own? 
* * * The scheme of coercion would ill suit even 
the disposition of our owm citizens. The habit of 
thinking to which the revolution has given birth, 
is not adapted to the idea of a contest for do- 
minion over a people disinclined to live under our 
government. Arid, in reality, it is not the interest 
of the State ever to regain dominion over them b^^ 

On April 11, 1787, the bill passed the Assembly 
Avith a vote of 27 to 19, but the bill failed in the 
Senate. The vote in the Assembh' and the dis- 
cussion showed that New York was fast losing 
her grasp on Vermont. It would seem by a letter 


written by James Madison to George Washington 
March 18, 1787, that if" Vermont now consented 
to become a State of the Union, it must be on two 
conditions : First, that neither the boundaries nor 
the rights of her citizens shall be impeached under 
the 9th article of Confederation; second, that no 
share of the public debt already contracted shall 
be allotted to her. 

In 1788, no attempt was made to secure the 
assent of New York to the independence of Ver- 
mont, but during that year New Hampshire, Vir- 
ginia and New York ratified the Constitution of 
the United States, and Kentucky, with the consent 
of Virginia made application for admission into 
the Union which the Southern States would favor, 
while the Northern States would favor the admis- 
sion of Vermont as a counterpoise. Thus earl3^ a 
sectional feeling manifested itself. The most em- 
barrassing question now was, how should the 
conflicting land titles be settled. Vermont was 
desirous to avoid having the titles to the lands 
left to the decision of the Supreme Court for fear 
that they would hold that the New York title 
would beheld the better title. On July 15, 1788, Na- 
thaniel Chipman wrote Hamilton, and asked him 
it it was not probable that the Federal Legisla- 
ture, when formed, might on the concession to the 
Union, be induced on some terms, to make a com- 
pensation to the New York grantees out of their 
western lands, and said that if those difficulties 
could be removed, opposition of Vermont to be- 
coming a member of the Union would be reconciled. 

Hamilton in replv, on July 22, 1788, said that 


"the accession of Vermont to the Confederacy is 
doubtless an object of ^j^reat importance to the 
whole. " * * Upon the whole, therefore, I think 
it will be expedient for you as early as possible, 
to ratify the Constitution, upon condition that 
Congress shall provide for the extinguishment of 
all existing claims to lands under grants of the 
State of New York, which may interfere with 
claims under the State of Vermont." 

In Grand Committee of both Houses, on 
Oct. 22, 1787, Moses Robinson, Ira Allen and 
Jonathan Arnold were elected agents to Congress ; 
and on Oct. 25, 1787, the General Assembly re- 
solved that it be the duty of the agents to Con- 
gress to use all due diligence to remove every ob- 
stacle to the accession of the State to the Federal 
government. John Jay and more than vsixty oth- 
ers of New York presented their memorial to the 
New Y^ork Legislature suggesting it would be ex- 
pedient to appoint commissioners with full powers 
to treat of and agree to, the independence of Ver- 
mont ; and on Feb. 27, 1789, theNew^ York Assem- 
bly again passed a bill on a vote of 40 to 11, de- 
claring the consent of the Legislature of that State 
to erecting the district of Vermont into a new 
State by Congress. 

This bill also was defeated in the Senate. But 
on July 6, 1789, the New York Assembly passed a 
bill, that became a law, appointing seven Commis- 
sioners to declare the consent of the Legislature to 
erect the Vermont territory into a new State on 
such terms and conditions and in such manner and 
form as they should judge necessary and proper, 


with the restriction that no person claiming lands 
in such district should have any right to an\^ com- 
pensation whatsoever from New York. 

On July 23, 1789, the Vermont Legislature ap- 
pointed, also, seven Commissioner's with like pow- 
ers, purposes and restrictions. Upon this subject 
the following lines were published in the Vermont 
Gazette Jan. 25, 1790:- 

At Westminster, lately, the State of Vermont, 
After due consultation determined upon't. 
That seven good me7i were sufficient to join 
With New York to determine the government line, 
Remove all obstructions and point out the way 
For Vermont in the Union her stars to display ; 
But alas ! brother freeman, I fear it will prove 
We have raised six or seven new blocks to remove. 

The Vermont Commissioners went to Albany to 
fulfil the duties of their appointment and to con- 
fer with the New York Commission; and a long 
correspondence took place between the two Boards 
of Commissioners. The New^ York Commissioners 
concluded the powders given them were not suffi- 
ciently broad to treat ftilly on all the subjects of 
the controvers3^ They, however, afterwards ob- 
tained ample power from their Legislature. The 
two Boards met at New York on Sept. 27, 1790, 
and after a long negotiation the two Boards of 
Commissioners agreed, and executed a formal in- 
strument in writing as a basis of final adjustment 
of the whole controversy. 

By this agreement New York was to give her 
consent that Vermont be admitted as one of the 
United States of America, and the boundary- line 
between the two States, to be where it now is ; 
and on the admission of Vermont^ all claims of 


jurisdiction froiii the State of New York, within 
the State of Vermont, should cease; that if the 
Legislature of the State of Vermont should on or 
before Jan. 1, 1792, declare that the State of Ver- 
mont, should on or before June 1, 1794, pay the 
State of New York the sum of thirty thousand 
dollars, then all right and title of New York, to 
lands within the State of Vermont under grants 
from the government of the late Colony- of New 
Y^ork, or from the State of New York, should 
cease. If Vermont should not elect to make such 
declaration, it was provided in the instrument 
how New York should be compensated in lieu of 
the thirty thousand dollars. 

As Vermont made the required declaration and 
afterwards paid the thirty thousand dollars to 
New Y'ork, we omit the other provision. The 
Vermont Commissioners reported to the Legisla- 
ture of Vermont that they closed the negotiations 
with New York on Oct. 7, 1790. And on Oct. 28, 
1790, it was enacted b\' the Legislature of Ver- 
mont that the treasurer ot the State pa3' to the 
State of New York the thirty thousand dollars on 
or before June 1, 1794, and that the boundary line, 
agreed upon, be made perpetual, and that all 
grants, charters, or patents made by or under the 
government of the late Colony- of New York, in the 
Vermont district, except such as were made in 
confirmation of grants, charters or patents bj" or 
under the government. of the late Province of New 
Hampshire, "are declared nul and A'oid, and in- 
capable of being given in evidence in an}' court of 
law within this State." 


Alexander Hamilton exerted a greater influence 
in obtaining the consent of New York to the inde- 
pendence of Vermont and to her admission into 
the American Union, than an\' other citizen of 
New York. He was a man of great abilities and a 
statesman of whom Yermonters have ever had the 
highest regard, and her people regretted his iin- 
timelv death. 

An Act w^as passed by the Legislature of Ver- 
mont on Oct. 27, 1790, authorizing a convention 
to be called, to consist of one delegate from each 
town, to meet at Bennington Jan. 6, 1791, to de- 
liberate upon and agree to the Constitution of the 
United States. The delegates were elected, and 
the Convention met as provided b^^ the Act. The 
general question arose in the convention vvhether 
it w^ould be expedient or inexpedient for Vermont 
to enter the Federal Union. Nathaniel Chipman, 
the delegate from Rutland and a law3'er of supe- 
rior abilities, took a leading part in favor of the 
State entering the Federal Union and agreeing to 
the Constitution of the United States. His argu- 
ments were strong and convincing. He said in 
part, in substance, that the narrow limits of Ver- 
mont were w^hollj- inadequate to support the dig- 
nitj^ or to defend the rights of Sovereignty- ; the 
division of an extensive territory into small inde- 
pendent Sovereignties greatlv retards civil im- 
provements, but when small States are united un- 
der one general government, civilization has pro- 
ceeded, more rapidly, and the kindly affections 
have much sooner gained an ascendent than when 
the^^ remained under numerous neighboring gov- 


ernnicnts; the weak arc jealous of the strong and 
endeavor b}- art and cunning to supply their want 
of power; the strong are ever ready to decide 
every question by force according to their own in- 
terest, that creates a want of public faith, recrim- 
ination and animosities. In an extensive govern- 
ment, national prejudices are suppressed, hostili- 
ties are removed to a distance, and priyate in- 
juries are redressed by a common judge ; the peo- 
ple view all as members of one great family, con- 
nected by all the ties of interest, of country, of 
affinity- and blood. 

We are almost encircled by the United States 
that have become great and powerful, and our in- 
tercourse with them must be on very unequal 
terms. When our interests clash with those of the 
Union, it requires very little political sagacity to 
foretell that every sacrifice must be made on our 
])art. In the event of war between Great Britain 
and the United States, Vermont would be in a sit- 
uation much to be regretted. Our country, from 
its situation, would become a rendezvous and a 
thoroughfare to the spies of both nations. Con- 
fined to the narrow limits of Vermont, genius, for 
want of great occasions, and great objects, will 
languish, and the spirit of learning will be con- 
tracted and busy itself in small scenes, commensur- 
ate to the exigencies of the State, and the narrow 
limits of our government; but admitted into the 
Union, instead of being confined to the narrow 
limits of Vermont, we become members of an ex- 
tensive empire, social feelings will expand, channels 
of information will be opened wide and the spirit 


of learning and laudable ambition will be called 

Daniel Buck, the delegate from Norwich, op- 
posed the admission of Vermont. He said, in part, 
in substance, that Vermont, by her local situation, 
had a uniformity of interest; that there w^as no 
mercantile and landed interests found clashing 
here, and that of lord and tenant was not known; 
the laws, therefore, w^ere simple and suited to the 
w^hole; the affairs of government were managed, 
as it were, under the eye of the people and the ma- 
chine was so small that every one could look and 
see how the wheel moved, but if Vermont came 
into the Union the sacrifice she makes must be 
great — her interest must bend to the interest of the 
Union ; that the people of the State must be much 
happier unconnected with any other power, than 
to be in the Union. 

The Convention on Jan. 10, 1791, by a vote of 
105 to 4, assented to and ratified the Constitu- 
tion of the United States. The main act or reso- 
lution of the Convention was as follows: viz., 
"This Convention having impartially deliberated 
upon the Constitution of the United States of 
America as now established, submitted to us by 
an Act of the General Assembly of the State of 
Vermont passed Oct. 27, 1790, do in virtue of the 
power and authority to us given, for that jDur- 
pose, fully and entirely approve of, assent to, and 
ratify the said Constitution; and declare that, 
immediately from, and after this State shall be ad- 
mitted b3^ the Congress into the Union, and to a 
full participation of the benefits of the government 


now enjoyed by the States in the Union, the same 
shall be binding on us and the people of the State 
of Vermont forever." 

A duplicate of said Act and resolution was 
transmitted to the President of the United States. 
When the news of the result of the Convention 
was received at Albany, New York, Jan. 13, 1791, 
the independent company of artiller\' paraded in 
uniform, and fired a Federal salute of 14 guns, 
followed by three cheerful huzzas from the respect- 
able citizens. 

At Rutland, Vt., a celebration was held, and 
after a collation, fifteen toasts were drank, with 
the discharge of cannon. The following song 
composed for the occasion was sung: viz, — 

Come every Federal son, 
Let each Vermonter come. 
And take his glass 
Long live great Washington, 
Glory's immortal son ; 
Bright as the rolling sun. 
O'er us doth pass. 

Hail, Hail this happy da\ . 
When we allegiance pav, 
T' our Federal head, 
Bright in these western skies, 
Shall our new star arise, 
Strike our enemies 
With fear and dread. 

Come each Green Alountain Boy, 
Swell every breast with joy, 
Hail our good land, 
As our pines climb the air 
Firm as our mountains ai"e. 
Federal beyond compare 
Proudlv we stand. 


Fill, Fill vour bumpers high. 
Let the notes rend tiie skv. 
Free we'll remain, 
By that immortal crown 
Of Glorj and renown, 
Which our brave heroes won 
On blood stained plain. 

Then come join hand in hand 
Like a firm Federal band. 
Bound by our [one] law. 
From our firm Union spring- 
Blessings unknown to kings, 
Then each shout as he sings 
Federal huzza. 

On^^asc 20, 1791, the General Assembly of 
Vermont passed an Act for the appointment of 
commissioners to look after the interest of the 
State in the matter of her admission into the 
Union; and Nathaniel Chipman and Lewis R. 
Morris ^vere appointed such commissioners, and 
they repaired to Philadelphia in discharge of their 
duties. The Act for the admission ofthe State of 
Vermont into the Union was as follows; viz: — 

"The State of Vermont having petitioned the 
Congress to be admitted a member of the United 
States — ]>e it enacted by the Senate and House of 
Representatives ofthe United States of America in 
Congress assembled, and it is herebv enacted and 
declared, that on the fourth day of March, 1791, 
the said State, b^^ the name and style of, 'The 
State of Vermont,' shall be received and admitted 
into this Union, as a new and entire member of 
the United States of America." 

This bill passed the House Feb. 14, 1791, and 


it passed the Senate and was dul}- signed b\' John 
Adams, President of the Senate, and b}' George 
Washington, President of the United States, Feb. 
18, 1791. And on Feb. 25, 1791, Congress enact- 
ed a law giving Vermont two Representatives in 
Congress, and on March 2, 1791, passed an Act 
giving effect to the laws of the United States with- 
in the State of Vermont, and constituting Vermont 
one judicial district, of which Nathaniel Chipman 
w^as appointed Judge by the President, with the 
advice and consent of the Senate. 

We have now come down to a period in the his- 
tory of Vermont when she first stood as one of the 
sovereign States ol the United States of America. 
We have seen she has filled a unique place in his- 
tory. She is the only State of the Union, save 
Texas, that lor 3'ears held her place among the 
nations of the earth absoluteh' independent from 
all other nations, Kingdoms or States, rendering 
obedience to no other power. She established 
post offices and post routes within her borders, 
issued bills of credit, coined money, made treaties 
with foreign powers and agreed with them on the 
terms of exchange of prisoners in time of war, and 
other sovereign acts that the States of the Union 
could not exercise under the Constitution of the 
United States. She was not only the first State 
that was admitted into the Union after the orig- 
inal thirteen Colonies had become confederated, 
but was the first State that never had tolerated. 
Slaver^' within her borders. 

There has been a misunderstanding or dispute 
as to whether persons were ever held as slaves in 


Vermont. The official printed reports of the cen- 
sus of the United States assigned sixteen slaves to 
Vermont in 1790, or 1791, all in the County of 
Bennington. The fact was discovered after the 
publication of the report, that the persons charged 
to Vermont in 1790, as slaves, were free blacks. 

The most severe battle that was fought on the 
soil of Vermont while she was acting as an inde- 
pendent jurisdiction was near the present village 
of Bennington on August 16, 1777. The victory 
there won over the British forces was made pos- 
sible by the heroism and the blood shed by the 
brave Green Mountain Bo^'s. The defeat of the 
enem}^ on the field hastened the surrender of the 
British army under General Burgoyneat Saratoga, 
and the surrender of the Royal troops under Gen- 
eral Lord Cornwallis, at Yorktown, and the close 
of the War of the Revolution. 

It is but a few years since, that the spot where 
that battle was fought and victory won, was 
marked by the erection of a monument. The 
General Assembly of Vermont passed an act Nov. 
28, 1876, incorporating the Bennington Battle 
Monument Association, for the purpose of erect- 
ing and maintaining a suitable monument com- 
memorative of the achievements of General John 
Stark and the patriot soldiers of Vermont, New- 
Hampshire and Massachusetts at the decisive 
battle of Bennington. The monument was erect- 
ed, the shaft of which was 100 feet high, at the 
expense, with the grounds, of $90,000. The one 
hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Benning- 
ton was celebrated at Bennington on a grand 


sc£ilc, and with imposing ceremonies, on August 
16th, 1877. 

The Battle of Bennington was not commemor- 
ated by the erection of this monument on account 
of the large numbers engaged (for the numbers 
were small in com]3arison to the great battles of 
the world, like Waterloo and Gettysburgh), but it 
is remembered for the principle at stake, the hero- 
ism and self-sacrifice displayed. Judged b\^ these 
standards, it will be reckoned among the memor- 
able battles of the world. 

At the time the chances seemed to be desperate. 
Burgo^me was making a successful march with a 
trained veteran army from Canada to the Hudson 
to connect with the British force under General 
Clinton. Ticonderoga had fallen, and the Ver- 
monters had been defeated at Hubbardton, and it 
looked as though Burg03'ne's march to Albany 
could not be prevented. The wdiole frontier of 
Vermont was exposed to the enemy composed of 
British troops and savages. The left flank of 
Burgoyne's army must be struck and vanquished, 
for it was nearing Bennington, where the supplies 
for the Vermont soldiers were stored. What was 
done must be done quickly. The situation was 
critical. Soldiers from Massachusetts, • New^ 
Hampshire and the Green Mountain Boys from 
their farms were quickly gathered, and they under 
General John Stark, seconded by Warner, met the 
enemy on August 16, 1777, and won a victory 
that not only saved Vermont from the incursion 
of the British troops and savages, but the nation. 

In that battle the Vermont farmers fought 


with desperation ; it was the last hope of the 
Hampshire Grants, who were fighting as Hon. 
E. J. Phelps said in his dedicatory address, "for 
all they had on earth, whether of possession or of 
rights. The3^ could not go honae defeated, for they 
would have had no homes to go to." Their vic- 
tor3" sounded the first notes of the death knell of 
the power of Great Britain over the American 
Colonies. It revived the drooping spirits of the 
American Generals and of Congress. 

* Hon. John W. Stewart, Ex-Governor of Ver- 
mont, in an address deliA^ered at the laying of the 
corner-stone of the monument the 16th day of 
August, 18^7, said, that, "Our fathers did rally 
and stand here, like a wall of consuming fire, 
against the invading host, and their rally and 
battle and victory will forever stand in American 
history as one of the most dramatic and eventful 
episodes recorded on its pages. Probabl3^ few, if 
any, of those engaged in the battle began to meas- 
ure the momentous consequences w-hich hung 
upon its issue. It seemed to them simply a strug- 
gle- for the capture or the retention of a quantity 
of supplies, and so far important; but the far- 
reaching consequences of the result could not then 
be foreseen. Our fathers builded better chan the^^ 
knew. We estimate the value of their services in 
the light of subsequent events. But their want of 
foreknowledge does not detract, in the slightest 
degree, from the moral quality of their action. 
That lies in their read}', unselfish loA-alt^^ to a peril- 
ous duty, and their prompt response to its call at 
the risk of life itself. 



"No race of men ever trod this jjlanet, who 
more than they revered and respected rightful au- 
thority, divine and human, and it was tlie ri2:ht- 
ness and righteous exercise of authority which 
commanded their respect and allegiance. Its abuse 
they knew was outside the functions of govern- 
ment and therefore intolerable. * *' On Aug- 
ust 14 Baum had reached a point £d)OUt six miles 
from Bennington and had captured a large quanti- 
ty of wheat and flour at Sacoik mill. From here 
he wrote a dispatch toBurgoyne, that about 18t)0 
militia were in his front, which would leave at his 
approach; of w^hich another has wittilv said, 
they did leave but took Baum's whole arm\^ along 
with them. On the night of the 14th Baum en- 
trenched his army in a strong position. On the 
15th it rained. On the 16th Stark attacked the 
entrenched and disciplined troops on all sides. 
They made a brave defense, but they w^ere nearly 
all killed or taken prisoners. Immediateh' after 
the battle was over Col. Breyman, sent to rein- 
force Baum with five or six hundred men, was ob- 
served approaching, with whom a second battle 
was fought, continuing until sunset, when the ene- 
m}' fled, leaving his artillery- and escaping in the 
darkness. About 700 of the enem}' w-ere captured 
and 207 men killed. * * '■• Burgoyne in a pri- 
vate letter to the British minister, soon after the 
battle, said, the New Hampshire Grants, in par- 
ticular, a countr3' unpeopled in the last w^ar, now 
abounds in the most active and most rebellious 
race of the continent and hangs like a gathering 
storm on m3' left." 



There has been presented in this and the previ- 
ous chapters the main features of the struggle of 
the Green Mountain Boys for an independent ex- 
istence from New Hampshire and New York. It is 
not possible to crowd into one volume of moder- 
ate size all the acts and a detailed history of the 
people of the territory- named Vermont, and shall 
be content with a short resume. 

Before the American Revolution the New Hamp- 
shire Grants were engaged in their conflict with 
New York. The Grants had taken and paid for 
their lands as a part of the Colony of New Hamp- 
shire, under grants from its governor as agent of 
the British Crown. New York, for more than a 
hundred years from the date of her own charter, 
attempted no jurisdiction over the Grants. But 
after the settlements began to be numerous and 
had grown to considerable importance. New York, 
greed V to enlarge her boundaries, arbitrarily 
began to claim that her eastern boundary extend- 
ed to Connecticut River. The loosel3^ drawn and 
even conflicting charters of New Hampshire and 
New York invited a controversy. The greater in- 
fluence and pov^er of New York obtained from the 
Crown an order establishing the Connecticut as 
the dividing line, and then claimed that all of the 



grants of land, that had l)ecn made l)y the Gov- 
ernor of New Ham])shire, were void, and cUiimed 
the right to and did grant the same land to others, 
to some extent. 

The Grants claimed that if the decree or order 
of the Crown had any effect it could not be retro- 
active; that it did not invalidate titles that had 
become vested in the possessor, whether acquired 
under the New Hampshire charters or grants or 
by adverse possession. The settlers resisted the 
claim of New York and their efforts to confiscate 
their land, and in 1767, succeeded in again bring- 
ing the subject before the King and Council, who 
reheard the matter and positively forbid New 
York making further grants of land that had been 
granted by New Hampshire prior to 1764, but 
New York, nevertheless, continued to make grants. 
The settlers were without mone^^ and had no 
means to resist the arbitrary course of New York. 
Justice was denied them in the Courts of New 
York. Then they set the authorit3^ of New York 
at defiance and resolved to protect themselves. 
How well the grants succeeded has been told in 
these pages. When the authority of Great Britain 
was thrown off, the organization of a separate 
government was a necessity unless they submitted 
to the arbitrary power of New York, as New 
Hampshire, after the Royal order of 1764, had 
withdrawn all claim to lands west of Connecticut 

In 1777, a Constitution was drafted and rati- 
fied, and an election was held under it, and Thomas 
Chittenden was made Governor. Under this con- 


stitution Vermont was for thirteen years an inde- 
pendent community, when it was admitted as an 
independent State. Down to this time she had 
maintained herself against New York and against 
Congress. Hon. E. J. Phelps, said, in an oration 
delivered at the dedication of the Bennington 
Battle monument, that, "No oppression charged 
upon Great Britain by America, approached that 
sought to be visited b3' Congress and New York 
upon Vermont, while she was lighting side by side 
with them to her last man and last dollar, in the 
struggle for national independence." 

The more closelv we study the lives and achieve- 
ments of earl3^ Vermont men, the greater is our ad- 
miration for their patriotism, their love of liberty, 
their character and capacity. It came to be seen 
by New York that the right of self-government 
ought not to be denied to Vermont, nor the lands 
of her people taken from them, and that such re- 
sults could onl}' be attained by a war of extermi- 
nation. The demands of Vermont were finally' 
conceded. So Vermont came more than a hun- 
dred years ago into the sisterhood of the States — 
the first accession to the thirteen original States. 
She came into the Union unconquerable in spirit, 
proud of her untarnished histor\% and reluctant to 
surrender the independence that had cost so much 
and been cherished so long. But she came to re- 

Mr. Phelps, in the oration referred to, referring 
to the monument, said, "Long before it shall cease 
to be reckoned as 3^oung, we and our children will 
have disappeared from the scene. It is our mes- 


sender to posterit}'. Here it shall wait for them, 
while the successive generations shall be born and 
die. Here it shall wait for them, through the 
evenings and the mornings that shall be all the 
days that are to come. Crowned with the snows 
of countless winters; beautiful in the sunlight and 
shadows of unnumbered summers; companions of 
the mountains which look down upon it, whose 
height it emulates, whose strength it typifies, 
whose history it declares. * " * It shall tell the 
story not only of Stark and Warner and Chitten- 
den and Symonds, the Aliens and the Fa^'S and the 
Robinsons, and their compeers, but of that multi- 
tude of their humbler associates, less conspicuous, 
but just as devoted, whose names are only written 
in the memory of God." 

I will close this history of the early da^'S of 
Vermonr and the acts of her sturd3' and brave 
pioneers by quoting the eloquent words of Hon. 
L. E. Chittenden, taken from an oration delivered 
b}' him at Burlington, July 4, 1876. He said : — 

"How was it possible that a few scattered set- 
tlers, deficient in resources and poor in purse, 
could accomplish the results which they did accom- 
plish? In 1774, they numbered scarcely more 
than 1,500 families. They w^ere dispersed from 
the Winooski and the Great Bend of the Connecti- 
cut to the Massachusetts line. They had no 
means of assessing taxes, no organization which 
was not pureh' voluntary'. The\' had already 
maintained themselves against the powder of New 
York through a struggle of nearly ten years. 
They sprang to arms at the summons ot revolu- 


tion. Thc3' captured Ticonderoga, raised a regi- 
ment which made the name of Green Mountain 
Bo3^s historical, joined in the invasion of Canada, 
saved the remnants ofWooster'sarm3^ and barred 
their long frontier against invasion. Relieved 
for a space from arms, they came into convention, 
to form a constitution. The news of Burgo\'ne's 
invasion, and St. Clair's retreat, arrested their 
deliberations. Again they hurried to the frontier, 
fought the battle of Bennington, raised another 
regiment and paid its expenses out of Tory prop- 
erty. Again they kept an invading army idle for 
many months which almost outnumbered their 
population, and sent them back to the place from 
w^hence they came. Once more we find them in 
convention at Windsor, finishing that first Con- 
stitution, the most democratic, free and just ever 
yet adopted in any American State. They adopt- 
ed it without even the form of a vote, and having 
launched the independent State of Vermont in de- 
fiance of New York, New^ Hampshire, Kuig George, 
and I might say of all the evil powers of earth and 
air, they entered upon that singular struggle with 
Congress and the other States, which did not end 
until 1791, w^hen all opposition worn out or over- 
come, Vermont took her seat at the national 
board in a Federal Union. 

"Look now at the men whose characters our 
fathers could assimilate, whose diversities the3^ 
could make an element of strength. Let us name a 
few of the leaders, who resembled each other in 
one respect only — they were all patriots. 

"There was Ethan Allen, a man of giant frame 

232 f:arlv history 

and iron muscle, in manner ron<i;h, \mt in soul as 
gentle as a woman, impatient of restraint, intoler- 
ant of opposition, his mind undisciplined and in 
constant revolt against all control, human or 

"Ira Allen, his brother, a born diplomatist, 
smooth and polished in address, equalh' skilled in 
concealing his own thoughts and in discovering 
those of others. 

"Seth Warner, the soldier, open and generous, 
into whose soul jealousy- or vice of an\' kind could 
find no by-way to enter, the Bayard of Vermont, 
without fear and without reproach. 

"Their First Governor, a plain, simple farmer, 
but shrewd and far-sighted, whom men could take 
into their confidence in spite of themselves, whose 
rule of life it was to make the best of ever^-bod}-, 
because to use a rather Irish expression, which he 
applied daih', "he knew they always turned out 
better than he thought they would." 

"The two Fays, Jonas and Joseph, masters of 
the caucus, so" sj^stematic that no convention 
could be held regular that had not a Fay for its 

"The Robinsons, negotiators, pioneers in all 
missions to other States and powers: Nathaniel 
and Daniel Chipman educated trained lawyers, 
slightlv aristocratic, faithful servants of the church 
by law established. Stephen R. Bradlay, a Demo- 
crat by nature, the best political writer of his 
time. Ebenezer Allen, who could not write a sen- 
tence correctly, but who could and did write the 
first American Pvmancipation proclamation. Re- 


member Baker, who always doubted which he 
hated most, a Yorker,- a Tor\', or an Indian. 
Cochran, a hunter and guide, a philosopher and a 
patriot — and I might name a score of others, but 
these will serve to make leaders enough for all our 
political parties, for as man3' sects as ever opposed 
the Pope, — so unlike each other in all things that 
3'ou would not suppose the3^ could have sprung 
from the same race. Had the\' been like ourselves, 
they would have all been leaders, but each would 
have led a different party. 

"We have to go deeper to find their points of 
unit3'. They all came from that iron-souled race 
of thinkers, who, earh^ in the 17th century- burst 
the letters of Church and State, and shook the 
centres of monarch^^ to their bases with the prop- 
osition, that the powers of government were de- 
rived from the people, should be emplo^-ed for the 
benefit of the people, that an^^ s^^stem or religion 
w^hich taught the contrary' was no true system or 
religion. For this faith they might be and were 
broken on the w^heel, but from it they w^ould not 
turn. They Avere Republicans in religion and in 
politics. Emigrating from Europe into the free air 
of this Western world these principles became a 
part of themselves, their descendants carried them 
into western Connecticut and Massachusetts, and 
from thence into this wilderness, where they con- 
fronted all the dangers and deprivations of a new 
settlement. They , were patriots by birth, by 
growth and by education. However much thej' 
might differ in other affairs, they were all agreed 
that thev w^ould not tolerate anv invasion of 


their rights of person or propert3'. Thnt was 
tyranny, and tyranny was to be resisted to the 
death. They were taught by their fathers — their 
lives were perpetual illustrations of the necessity 
of united action. In their case division was de- 
struction, — union, perfect union of opinion, re- 
sources, characters, and powers alone could pre- 
serve them. 

"I now^ ask 3- our attention to some of the con- 
sequences to the person and the community of this 
common unity of action and opinion, among these 
men, who differed so widely among themselves. 
I need not remind you that in their time the tele- 
graph, the railway and the steamboat had not 
been invented. There was scarcely a highway 
upon the Grants. Men went from place to place 
on foot or on horseback, following Indian tvails or 
lines of marked trees. You will scarceh' credit the 
assertion that under such circumstances the full 
effective strength of the new settlement could be 
mustered at an^^ given point with nearly as much 
celerity as now. The statement is almost incred- 
ible, but you will hear my proofs before you reject 
it. I take them from histor3\ It w^as on the 9th 
of Ma\' 1775, when Allen summoned his first man 
to march upon Ticonderoga. He lost a full day 
waiting for boats, on the shore of the lake, and 
even then captured the fort in the morning twi- 
light of May 10th. There w^as then a block house 
near the north end of the bridf^ie at Winooski. It 
was called Fort Frederic, garrisoned by men en- 
gaged in surveying or clearing the intervales 
above. Thev were under the command of Remem- 


ber Baker. In some wa3', Allen's summons 
reached Baker in time to enable him to call in his 
men, equip them, embark them on a flat-boat, sail 
down the river to its mouth, row or sail up the 
lake, capture a boat filled with escaping British 
soldiers, on the wa3^ to Canada, and to reach 
Crown Point in time to take part in the capture 
of that fort, before noon of the 10th of May. 
Could 3^ou do much better now ? 

"I find the fact also recorded that in the winter 
of 1776, an express from Albany brought the news 
to Bennington that Sir John Johnson with five 
hundred Tories and a body of Indians was march- 
ing upon Tr3^on County, then at the eve of insur- 
rection. The Yorkers — the people who had kid- 
napped Baker, and declared Allen an outlaw — im- 
plored the Green Mountain Bo3^sto help them. Did 
they answer, You are the men who, with strong 
hand, without right, for more than ten 3'ears 
have been striving to rob us of our homes ? Xo ! 
no ! Within twelve hours after the news reached 
the Grants, more than ninet3' Green Mountain 
Boys, armed, equipped and provisioned, were 
on the march, and every one of these Yermonters 
was furnished b3' a single town. The3' joined 
Schuvler, marched to Johnstown, and received the 
surrender of the invading force. 

"David Wooster, a captain in the French war, 
had a New York grant of lands in the town of Ad- 
dison. In 1761, the Yermonters who had ex- 
pelled Col. Reid from the meadows of Otter Creek 
found Wooster serving writs on the settlers of the 
lands he claimed. Thev tied him and his sheriff to 


a tree, threatened them with the Beech seal, and 
released them only when' they had withdrawn 
their writs, and promised to go and sin no more. 

"We next hear of VYooster in midwinter of 1776. 
Monti2:omery has fallen. Wooster is in command 
of a defeated and dispirited arm^- below Montreal, 
and the smallpox is epidemic among the frozen, 
starved and wounded patriots, who have traversed 
the wilds of Maine onl}' to be defeated before 
Quebec. Thej^ are surrounded by an enem\' twice 
their number. He is writing to Col. Warner. 
'Our prospect is dubious.' he says, 'I have sent 
to General Schuyler, General Washington and to 
Congress. * * * but you know how long it 
will be before we can have relief from them.' 'You 
and the valiant Green Mountain Corps are in our 
neighborhood.' * * * 'You all have arms and 
ever stand readv to lend a helping hand to 3^our 
brethren in distress.' Had I time I would read 
the whole of this touching letter. He implores 
Warner to send him help. 'Let the men set out at 
once * * * by tens, twenties, thirties or fifties.' 
'It will have a good effect on the Canadians.' 
'i am confident I shall see you here with your men 
in a very short time.^ 

"This letter was written near Montreal on the 
6th of January, and on the 22d, onl^' 16 days 
later, Schuyler withdrew his request upon Wash- 
ington for reinforcements, because, as he said, 
Warner h^id been so successful in sending men to 
Wooster 's aid. Again the courage and celerity of 
the Vermonters saved the army. The}- formed 
Wooster's rear guard, standing like a wall be- 


t'.veen him and his pursuers, and fought all the 
way from the St. Lawrence to the islands of Lake 
Champlain. Nor did they relax their watchful 
care until June, when the last weary, wounded 
soldier ot that army was safely sheltered within 
the w^alls of Ticonderoga. 

"I could give many other illustrations of their 
promptness in marching to protect a friend or de- 
stroy an enem^^ Let us now note their conduct in 
a difficult emergency. 

"The embryo State never passed through a 
darker period than that between the advance of 
Burgo^aie and the battle of Bennington. The re- 
treat of St. Clair left the whole western frontier 
unprotected. Burgoyne scattered his proclama- 
tions, setting forth his own strength and offering 
protection to all who w^ould abandon the patriot 
cause. All the provisions brought to his camp 
w^ould be paid for in gold. The defection was 
frightful. Everv wavering man accepted his 
offers. Even one member of the Council, to his 
eternal disgrace be it said, deserted. The people 
were poor. They had no money or credit. Alarm 
and confusion everywhere prevailed. A volunteer 
force must be raised, armed, fed and clothed, or 
the contest in this quarter was ended. How could 
it be done? 

"But there was a little band of men known as 
the Council of Safety which was neither discour- 
aged nor dismayed. They took account of their 
resources as cooly as a few weeks before the}^ had 
discussed the provisions of the new^ Constitution. 
The prime necessit\^ of the moment was to raise an 


adequate tbree ot volunteers, and put a stop to 
these desertions. Hotli objects were accomplished 
b\' a sin^c^le resolution, conceived, adopted, and its 
execution provided for, in a single session. 

"Ira Allen, then a statesman 26 years old, was 
its author. It provided for a committee of seques- 
tration, with power to confiscate the estates of 
the Tories and out of the proceeds raise and pan- 
tile volunteers. It stopped desertions instantly. 
Volunteers promptly came forward. This resolu- 
tion was the first and a most fatal blow struck at 
the army of Burgoyne. 

"Let me now call your attention to an illustra- 
tion of the practical common sense which appears 
to have controlled the actions of our ancestors. 
I refer you to their first convention to frame a 
Constitution. It convened at Windsor in July, 
1777. Half its members came direct from their 
regiments to the convention. Burg03'ne was ap- 
proaching with anarm^' which twice outnumbered 
all the men on the Grants able to bear arms. Con- 
gress had just declared that the idea of forming a 
new State here was in substance derogatory to 
that body and a violation of the rights of New 

"Cool and undismayed the delegates met in 
convention. Ira Allen has written that 'the busi- 
ness being new and of great consequence required 
serious deliberation.' No doubt of that. A draft 
of the Constitution was presented, by whom pre- 
pared we do not know. They examined it section 
by section. In the midst of the debate an express 
arrived with news of St. Clair's retreat before 


Burgoyne. The families of the President and 
man^^ of the members were exposed to the hireHng 
and the savages in his train. Their first impulse 
was to adjourn and hasten to the defence of their 
homes. Just then a sudden Julv storm arose, 
which their venerable chaplain declared was an in- 
dication of the Almighty's will that the Constitu- 
tion should be adopted then and there, and while 
awaiting its cessation, in the very conflict of the 
elements, the darkened hall illuminated bv the 
flashes of the lightning, they formed a State. The 
Constitution was read through and virtuallv 
adopted. A vote appointing the Committee of 
Safety- followed, an adjournment to December, the 
storm passed over, and within two hours of the 
arrival of the express the members were on their 
way to defend their families and their firesides. 

*'They came together again in December. Stir- 
ring events had happened meantime in which the3' 
had been actors. The battles of Bennington and 
Hubbardton had been fought ; Burgoyne had sur- 
rendered, Ticonderoga had been retaken, the 
frontier had been cleared of the invader, and man3^ 
of the volunteers had returned to their homes. 
The convention finished its work without delay. 
They adopted a preamble and ratified the Consti- 
tution. They decided that it was not expedient 
to submit their work to a popular vote. They 
named the 12th of March for their first election 
and sent Ira Allen to Connecticut to have the con- 
stitution printed." 



Ethan Allen was a descendant of Samuel Allen, 
who came to New England in 1632. The most re- 
markable famih' that ever lived in Vermont, espe- 
cially in the early history of the State, was that of 
the Aliens. It was numerous and closeh^ identi- 
fied with the history of the controversy- with New 
Hampshire and New York, resulting in the estab- 
lishing a government under the name of Vermont. 
From Samuel Allen of Chelmsford (in 1632), and 
Windsor, Conn, (in 1636), descended the six sons 
and one daughter of Joseph Allen of Litchfield and 
Coventry, Connecticut: to wit. Gen. Ethan Allen, 
Captain Heman, Lydia, Alaj. Heber, Lieut. Levi, 
Zimri, and Col. Ira Allen. 

There were three Heman Aliens in the Allen fam- 
ily : one was the son of said Heber, and one the son 
of Mathew the brother of Samuel Allen, and the 
other the son of Joseph Allen. From Alathew Al- 
len descended Maj. Ebenezer Allen of Tinmouth 
and Heman Allen of Milton, Vt., and afterwards 
of Burlington. Joseph Allen married Mary Baker 
and they were the parents of Gen. Ethan Allen. 
Mary Baker was the sister of the father of Remem- 
ber Baker, the brave associate of Ethan Allen. 
Remember Baker and the said six sons and daugh- 
ters of Joseph Allen were cousins. The mother of 
Remember Baker was aunt to Seth Warner : and 



thus it is seen that the most distinguished of the 
early heroes and statesmen of Vermont were re- 
lated by the ties both of blood and marriage. 

Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Ct., January 
10th, A. D. 1737. He was the eldest of his fa- 
ther's family and the one that his parents designed 
should receive a collegiate education, but the 
death of his father in straightened circumstances 
obliged Ethan to abandon, much to his bitter dis- 
appointment, the pursuit of a collegiate education 
in the 18th 3^ear of his age, while pursuing his pre- 
paratory studies. At an early age he was fond of 
political discussion and became interested in the 
affairs of the Colonies and in their contentions 
with Great Britain. He was a great reader and 
he said he had "acquainted himself with the his- 
tory of mankind." We have but a meagre account 
of his early life, but it is said he followed the life 
of a hunter for several years. The first account 
we have of him in Vermont (New^ Hampshire 
Grants) was in the \^ear 1766, and he immediately 
took a liveh' interest in behalf of the people in- 
habiting the Grants, who were suffering from the 
wrongs and oppressive measures of the authori- 
ties of New York. 

Gov. Wentworth ol New Hampshire had grant- 
ed townships as far west as Bennington, and 
claimed the right under the Charter from the 
British Crown to do so. The settlers had paid 
for their lands in the several towns granted, 
and had taken possession of them, felled the for- 
ests, planted their crops and established their 
homes. The people in each town thus settled 


mana<2:cd and controlled their own municipal af- 
fairs — eacli grant was sort of a primitive Repub- 
lic. New York, another Province of .Great Brit- 
ain, denied the right of New Hampshire, and as- 
serted a right in opposition. The settlers sup- 
posed that the conflict was simply a mere ques- 
tion of Colonial jurisdiction, and had no idea it 
was going to interfere with or disturb their title 
obtained under the grants from New Hampshire. 
But it was not long before they were undeceived, 
for soon the Colonial officials of New York ignored 
their rights and demanded pay for the lands 
again for the New York speculators who recjuired 
the settlers to take the title of their lands under 
New York grants. The time had now^ come to op- 
pose the claims of New York in their courts, or 
appeal to arms to maintain their rights. In such 
contests the Grants must have a leader who was 
bold, energetic and fearless, and who sympathized 
with them. They found such a leader and defender 
of their rights in P^than Allen. He came to the 
front in their support. He at first put confidence 
in the courts of New York and when suits of eject- 
ment were brought against those in possession of 
lands under the New Hampshire grants, b_v those 
who took their supposed title under grants from 
New York, Allen took his law^-er and went before 
the New York judges, and pleaded the Royal 
grant purchased and paid for with the money of 
the grantees, in full confidence that his claims 
would be respected 133- their courts, l)ut he was 
mistaken. The courts there rejected the RoN'al 
grant and the titles obtained by the settlers under 


the grants from the Governor of New Hampshire, 
as so much waste paper, and judgement was pro- 
nounced in favor of the claimants under New York 
grants. The King's attorney told Allen he "better 
go home and advise his people to make the best 
terms they could with their landlords, for might 
often prevails against right." Allen answered, 
"The gods of the hills are not the gods of valleys." 
This the Yorkers found out later. 

Allen saw that the magnitude of the work of 
defense of the settlers was great. He knew it 
demanded all his energies. He and the other Green 
Mountain Boys were a great power and held the 
Yorkers in wholesome dread. Allen was sleepless 
and untirinsf. He would be in Connecticut enlist- 


ing material aid for the defense of the Grants; next 
he w^ould be holding meetings in the Vermont 
settlements, perfecting organizations for defence 
among the settlers; then would be emplo^^ed in 
resisting the New Y^ork sheriff and his posse. One 
day he would be holding a court for the trial of a 
Tory justice, and the next would be executing the 
sentence with the twigs of the Avilderness; and then 
he would appear where the enem^- would least 
expect him. The enem\' looked upon him w'ith 
dread, and the3'' denounced him as a rebel, the 
leader of the mob, a felon, and an outlaw. The^' 
were insane with rage, but he hurled back defi- 
ance. He told them, "if you come forth in arms 
against us, thousands of your injured neighbors in 
the several Provinces will join with us to cut oft' 
and extirpate such an execrable race from the face 
of the earth." Allen and the Green Mountain Bo vs 


had the British and the Indians as enemies to keep 
at bay, and treacherous Tories and spies in their 
midst to watch and su])due. 

The first systematical and bloody attempt by 
the British at Lexington to enslave America elec- 
trified the mind of Allen and fulh' determined him 
to take part in the controversy against British 
aggression and in favor of the Colonies. And while 
he was wishing an opportunity would present itself 
that he might signalize himself in behalf of his coun- 
try, directions came to him privateh^from the Col- 
ony of Connecticut, to raise men from among the 
Green Mountain Boys, and surprise and take the 
fortress of Ticonderoga. This enterprise he cheer- 
fully undertook, cut off all intelligence between the 
garrison and the country, and made a forced march 
from Bennington and arrived at Lake Champlain 
opposite Ticonderoga on the evening of the 9th 
da3' of May, 1775, with 230 brave Green Moun- 
tain Boys. It was with great difficulty that he 
procured boats to cross the lake, but he succeeded 
in landing 83 men near the garrison and sent Col. 
Seth Warner back with the boats to bring up the 
remainder of the men. It began to grow daylight, 
and Allen felt himself under the necessity to attack 
the fort, before Warner could cross the lake with 
his command, though he viewed it hazardous. He 
addressed the 83 men as follows: — 

"Friends and fellow soldiers, You have, for a 
number of 3'ears past been a scourge and terror to 
arbitrary power. Your valor has been famed 
abroad, and acknowledged, as appears by the 
advice and orders to me, from the General Assem- 


bly of Connecticut, to surprise and take the garri- 
son now before us. I now propose to advance 
before 3'ou, and in person, conduct you through 
the wicket-gate; for we must this morning either 
quit our pretensions to valor, or possess ourselves 
of this fortress in a few minutes; and, inasmuch as 
it is a desperate attempt, which none but the 
bravest of men dare undertake, I do not urge it on 
any contrary to his will. You that will undertake 
voluntarih^ poise your firelocks." 

Ever}' man poised his firelock. Allen at their 
head marched to the wicket-gate, where he found 
a sentry posted who snapped his fuse at Allen. On 
the approach of Allen the sentry retreated through 
the covered way into the fort and gave the alarm. 
Allen's party followed him into the fort. The gar- 
rison was taken by surprise and made but little 
resistance. One of the sentries who attempted to 
make some resistance was wounded by Allen and 
asked for quarter which was granted. Allen de- 
manded that he show him the place of the com- 
manding ofiicer; this request was complied with 
and Allen quickly repaired to the place and ordered 
the commander, Captain De LaPlace, to come 
iorth instantly, or he would sacrifice the whole 
garrison: at which the Captain came immediateh' 
to the door undressed, when Allen ordered the 
Captain to deliver him the fort instantly. He 
asked Allen by what authority he demanded it; 
Allen answered him in the ever memorable words, 
"In the name of the great Jehovah, and the Con- 
tinental Congress." The Captain began to speak 
again when Allen interrupted him, and demanded, 


with his drawn sword over his head, an immediate 
surrender of the garrison, to which the Captain 
immediately complied. Fifty men and officers sur- 
rendered ; there were taken about 100 pieces of 
cannon, one 13 inch mortar and a number of 

This capture was carried into effect in the gray 
of the morning of May 10, 1775. Allen did not 
know the work that he and his men accomplished 
that morning, would be regarded by all future 
generations as one of the most w^onderful exploits 
in American history, and his praises be told as 
long as Vermont shall continue a state and the 
United States exist as a nation. This brilliant 
exploit must have been a bright spot in the 
memories of the Green Mountain Bo3'S during 
their w-hole lives. It gave great encouragement 
to the drooping spirits of the American Patriots. 
But little did Allen dream that in a few months 
the tables w^ould be turned and he become a pris- 
oner and compelled to drag out a miserable exist- 
ence for two 3^ears and eight months in an English 

Col. Warner and his men soon after the capture 
of the fort joined Allen at the fort. Allen immedi- 
ately sent Warner with 100 men to capture Crown 
Point w^hich was garrisoned with a sergeant and 
12 men, w^hich was taken the same day with over 
100 pieces of cannon. 

The next thing that Allen sought to accomplish 
\vas to get possession of a British sloop of war 
which was laying at St. Johns. To accomplish this 
they proceeded to arm and man a schooner and 


sent Captain Arnold with it to accomplish the un- 
dertaking. Allen took command of ,a batteau. 
The schooner was the fastest sailing craft and Ar- 
nold arrived at St. Johns, possessed himself of the 
sloop, a Sergeant and 12 men before Allen could 
arrive, and sailed with the prize for Ticonderoga, 
when he met Allen, who went on board the sloops, 
where "severed lo^^al Congress healths were 
drank." Now the Green Mountain Bo^'S were 
masters of Lake Champlain and the garrison de- 
pending thereon . 

The following is another account of this Can- 
adian enterprise that has been furnished me, viz.:— 

''After taking Ticonderoga, and in order to 
obtain complete control of Lake Champlain, Allen 
desired to get possession of a British armed sloop 
w^hich was anchored in the Richelieu river at St. 
Johns. It was accordingly' arranged between him 
and Benedict Arnold that the latter should start 
for St. [ohns in a schooner which Capt. Herrick 
had taken at Skenesborough (now Whitehall), and 
that Allen should follow with three batteaux, 
which were at Crown Point. Arnold, on the 17th 
of May, got within thirty miles of St. Johns, when 
the wind failed him. He pushed forward in small 
boats, with thirty-five men; surprised the garrison 
at St. Johns and seized the sloop. Learning that 
a detachment of British troops, with artillery-, 
was on its way to St. Johns from Montreal, 
Arnold did not await Allen's arrival at St. Johns, 
but started back, taking with him the sloop and 
twenty prisoners. Fifteen miles this side of St. 
Johns he met Allen with, as the accounts say, 


about one hundred men; but from Allen's letter it 
ajipears that he had a smaller number. Arnold 
informed Allen of the near approach of the British 
troops and advised him to turn back; but he 
refused to do so, saying that he would push on to 
St. Johns, and hold possession of the fort there. 
But the English troops were there before him, and 
when he appeared on the opposite side of the river, 
they opened fire on him with six field pieces and 
two hundred muskets. Allen returned the fire; but 
perceiving that he was heavily outnumbered, he 
abandoned the attempt, re-embarked hastily on 
his boats, leaving three men behind, and returned 
to Ticonderoga. He intended, as his letter shows, 
to return in stronger force and seize and fortify 
Isle aux Noix, but this purpose was not carried 
out at that time. We submit Allen's letter below: 


Sr. — This Hour Capt. Warner and mj'self Ar- 
rived at Ticonderoga with the soldiery, consisting 
of Seventy six men Including Oflicers. We met with 
Cannonading of Grape shot. The Musick was 
both Terrible and Delightful. We were across the 
water at the Distance of 80 or 100 rods. None of 
our part3' was killed, the regulars broke their 
ranks, but we know not as we killed any of them. 
The council of war agreed to immediately take 
Posession of the Isle of Noah, which is ten miles 
this side Saint Johns and fortify it and advance all 
the troops thither we can spare from everv station 
on the lake. This is therefore (to) Desire and 
Earnestly request you to Lay this Letter before 


Those of our friends that are at Your Station to 
repair here for the purpose above 

Mentioned — I should think 5 or 6 men sufficient 
to occupy Your Station and forward Provisions 
Except Proper hands to manage the water Crafts 
for that purpose I Desire Y^ou would send all the 
Soldiers You Can and urge forward Provisions 
and Ammunition. 

Fail Not. Given under my Hand, the 21st day 
of May 1775. 
Ethan Allen Commander of the G. M. Boys. 

N B. — this Express is by the Agreement of the 
Council ot War. 

To Capt. Noah Lee, Commandant at Skeens- 

Early in September, 1775, the little army under 
the command of Generals Schuyler and Mont- 
gomer^^ was ordered to advance into Canada. 
Allen was at Ticonderoga at the time the orders 
were received. The Generals of the army requested 
Allen to attend them in the expedition; he com- 
plied with their request though he had no commis- 
sion. He was told he should, as occasion required, 
command detachments of the army, and advanced 
with it to Isle-aux-Noix, containing about eighty- 
five acres, ten miles north of the boundary line of 
Vermont, where the British had a small garrison. 
From there he made two tours into Canada to 
observe the disposition, designs and movements 
of the inhabitants, and to let them know that the 
design of the army was only against the English 
garrisons, and would not interfere with their 
liberties or religion. While there he met Colonel 


Brown, of the army under the command of Gen- 
eral Montgomerv, who desired that Allen should 
procure canoes, so as to cross the river St. Law- 
rence a little North of Montreal, and he, Brown, 
would cross it a little to the South of the town 
with near two hundred men, and capture the city. 
Allen's party consisted of 110 men, eighty of 
whom were Canadians. As agreed with Brown, 
Allen crossed the river in the night of the 24th of 

The story of Allen's attempt to take Montreal 
and the result of his failure to do it I will give in 
his own words: — 

"Soon after day -break, I set a guard betw^een 
me and the town, w^ith special orders to let no per- 
son whatever pass or repass them, another guard 
on the other end of the road, with like directions; 
in the meantime, I reconnoitered the best ground 
to make a defence, expecting Col. Brown's party 
was landed on the other side of the towm, he hav- 
ing, the da\' before, agreed to give three loud huz- 
zas with his men early in the morning, w^hich sig- 
nal I was to return, that we might each know- 
that both parties were landed; but the sun, by 
this time, being nearly two hours high, and the 
sign failing, I began to conclude m^'self to be in 
premunirc, and would have crossed the river back 
again, but I knew the enemy w^ould have discov- 
ered such an attempt; and as there could not more 
than one-third part of m^^ troops cross at one 
time, the other two-thirds w-ould of course fall into 
their hands. This I could not reconcile to my own 
feelings as a man, much less as an officer: I there- 


fore concluded to maintain the ground, if possible, 
and all to fare alike. In consequence of this resol- 
ution, I despatched two messengers, one to La- 
prairie, to Col. Brown, and the other to I'Assomp- 
tion, a French settlement, to Air. Walker, who 
was in our interest, requesting their speedy as- 
sistance, giving them, at the same time to under- 
stand my critical situation. In the mean time, 
sundry persons came to my guards, pretending to 
be friends, but were b3^ them taken prisoners and 
brought to me. These I ordered to confinement, 
until their friendship could be further confirmed; 
for I was jealous the3' were spies, as they proved 
to be afterwards. One of the principal of them 
making his escape, exposed the weakness of my 
part\^, which was the final cause of my misfortune; 
for I have been since informed that Mr. Walker, 
agreeably to my desire, exerted himself, and had 
raised a considerable number of men for my as- 
sistance, which brought him into ditficulty after- 
wards, but upon hearing of my misfortune, he dis- 
banded them again. 

The town of Montreal was in a great tumult. 
General Carleton and the royal party, made every 
preparation to go on board their vessel of force, 
as I w^as afterwards informed, but the spy escaped 
from my guard to the town, occasioned an altera- 
tion in their policy, and emboldened Gen. Carle- 
ton to send the force which he had there collected, 
out against me. I had previously chosen my 
ground, but when I saw^ the number of the enemy 
as the^^ sallied out of the town, I perceived that it 
would be a dav of trouble if not of rebuke; but I 


had no chance to flee, as Montreal was situated 
on an island, and the St. Lawrence cut off my 
commun'cation to Gen. Montgomery's camp. I 
encouraged m^^ soldiery to bravely defend them- 
selves, that we should soon have help, and that 
we should be able to keep the ground, if no more. 
This, and much more I affirmed with the greatest 
seeming assurance, and which in reality- I thought 
to be in some degree probable. 

The enemy consisted of not more than tort3' 
regular troops, together with a mixed multitude, 
chiefl\' Canadians, with a number of English who 
lived in town, and some Indians; in all to thenum- 
ber of near five hundred. 

The reader will notice that most of m}- party 
were Canadians; indeed it was a motley parcel 
which composed both parties. However, the ene- 
my began the attack from wood-piles, ditches, build- 
ings, and such like places, at a considerable distance, 
and I returned the fire from a situation more than 
equally advantageous. The attack began be- 
tween two and three o'clock in the afternoon, just 
before which I ordered a volunteer b\^ the name of 
Richard Young, with a detachment of nine men as 
a flank guard, which, under the cover of the bank 
of the river, could not onl\^ annoy the enemy, but 
at the same time, serve as a flank guard to the left 
of the main bod}-. 

The fire continued for some time on both sides; 
and I was confident that such a remote method of 
attack could not carry the ground, provided it 
should be continued till night; but near half the 
body of the enemy began to flank round to my 


rio^ht; upon which I ordered a volunteer by the 
name of John Dugan, who had lived many years 
in Canada, and understood the French language, 
to detach about fifty of the Canadians, and post 
himself at an advantageous ditch, which was on 
my right, to prevent my being surrounded. He ad- 
vanced with the detachment, but instead of occu- 
pying the post, made his escape, as did likewise 
Mr. Young upon the left, with their detachments. 
I soon perceived that the enemy w;is in the pos- 
session of the ground, wdiich Dugan should have 
occupied. At this time I had about forty -five men 
with me; some of whom w^ere wounded; the enemy 
kept closing round me, nor was it in my powder to 
prevent it; by which means, my situation, which 
w^as advantageous in the first part of the attack, 
ceased to be so in the last; and being almost en- 
tireh^ surrounded with such vast unequal numbers 
I ordered a retreat, but found that those of the 
enem}^ who w^ere of the country, and their In- 
dians, could run as fast as my men, though the 
regulars could not. Thus I retreated near a mile, 
and some of the enemy, with the savages kept 
flanking me, and others crowded hard in the rear. 
In fine, I expected, in a very short time to try the 
world of spirits; fori was apprehensive that no 
quarter would be given me, and therefore had 
determined to sell my life as dear as I could. One 
of the enemy's officers, boldly pressing in the rear, 
discharged his fusee at me; the ball whistled near 
me, as did many others that day. I returned the 
salute, and missed him, as running had put us 
both out of breath: for I conclude we were not 


frightened: I then saluted him with my tongue in 
a harsh manner, and told him that, inasmuch as 
his numbers were far superior to mine, I would 
surrender, provided I could be treated with honor, 
and be assured of good quarters for myselt and the 
men who were with me; and he answered I should; 
another officer, coming up directly after, confirmed 
the treaty; upon which I agreed to surrender with 
mv party, which then consisted of thirty-one ef- 
fective men, and seven wounded. I ordered them 
to ground their arms, which they did. 

The officer I capitulated with, then directed me 
and my party to advance towards him, which 
was done; I handed him m^- sword, and in half a 
minute after, a savage, part of whose head was 
shaved, being almost naked and painted, with 
feathers intermixed with the hair of the other side 
of his head, came running to me with an incredible 
swiftness; he seemed to advance wnth more than 
mortal speed; as he approached near me, his hellish 
visage was beyond all description; snake's eyes 
appear innocent in comparison of his; his features 
distorted; malice, death, murder, and the wrath of 
devils and damned spirits are the emblems of his 
countenance; and in less than twelve feet of me, 
presenting his firelock; at the instant of his pres- 
ent, I twitched the oflScer, to whom I gave my 
sword, between me and the savage; but he flew 
round with great fury, trying to single me out to 
shoot me without killing the officer; but by this 
time I was nearh' as nimble as he, keeping the of- 
ficer in such a position that his danger was my de- 
fence; but in less than half a minute, I was attack- 


ed b\' just such another imp of hell: Then I made 
the officer fl^v around with incredible velocity, for a 
few seconds of time, when I perceived a Canadian, 
who had lost one eye, as appeared afterwards, 
taking m\' part against the savages; and in an in- 
stant an Irishman came to m}^ assistance and 
drove away the fiends, swearing by Jasus he 
would kill them. This tragic scene composed m^' 
mind. The escaping from so awful a death, made 
even imprisonment happj^; the more so as my con- 
querers on the field treated me with great civ.lity 
and politeness. 

The regular officers said that they were ver^- 
happy to see Col. Allen: I answered them, that I 
should rather chose tohave seen them at General 
Montgomer^-'s camp. The gentlemen replied, that 
they gave full credit to what I said, and as I 
walked to the town, which was, as I should guess, 
more than two miles, a British officer walked at 
my right hand, and one of the French noblesse at 
my left the latter of which, in the action, had his 
e3'ebrow carried awa\^ by a glancing shot, but was 
nevertheless very merry and facetious, and no 
abuse was offered me till I came to the barrack 
yard at Montreal, where I met General Prescott, 
who asked my name, which I told him: He then 
asked me, whether I was that Col. Allen, who 
took Ticonderoga. I told him I was the ver^- man: 
Then he shook his cane over m_v head, calling 
man\' hard names, among which he frequenth' 
usedthe word rebel, and put himself in a great rage. 
I told him he would do well not to cane me, for I 
was not accustomed to it, and shook my fist at 


him, telling him that was the beetle of mortality 
for him, if he oft'ered to strike; upon which Capt. 
M' Cloud, of the British, pulled him by the skirt, 
and whispered to him, as he afterwards told me, to 
this import; that it was inconsistent with his 
honor to strike a prisoner. He then ordered a 
sergeant's command wnth fixed bayonets to come 
forward, and kill thirteen Canadians, which were 
included in the treaty aforesaid. 

It cut nie to the heart to see the Canadians in 
so hard a case, in consequence of their having been 
true to me; thc}^ were wringing their hands, say- 
ing their pra^-ers, as I concluded, and expected im- 
mediate death. I therefore stepped between the 
executioners and the Canadians, opened m}' 
clothes, and told Gen. Prescott to thrust his ba}'- 
nets into my breast, for I was the sole cause of the 
Canadians taking up arms. 

The guard, in the mean time, rolling their eye- 
balls from the General to me, as though impa- 
tiently waiting his dread commands to sheath 
their bayonets in my heart; I could, however, 
plainlv discern, that he was in a suspense and 
quandar\' about the matter. This gave me addi- 
tional hopes of succeeding; for m^^ design w^as not 
to die. but to save the Canadians by a finesse. The 
general stood a minute, when he made me the fol- 
lowing reply; "I will not execute you now; but 
you shall grace a halter at Tyburn, God damn 

I remember I disdained his mentioning such a 
place; I was, notwithstanding, a little pleased 
with the expression, as it significantly conveyed 


to me the idea of postponing the present appear- 
ance of death; besides his sentence was by no 
means final, as to "gracing a halter," although I 
had anxiety- about it, after I landed in England, 
as the reader will find in the course of this history. 
Gen. Prescott then ordered one of his officers to 
take me on board the Gaspee schooner of war, and 
confine me, hands and feet, in irons, which was 
done the same afternoon I was taken. 

The action continued an hour and three-quar- 
ters, by the watch, and I know not to this day 
how many of my men were killed, though I am 
certain there were but few. If I remember right, 
7 were wounded. 

I now come to the description of the irons, 
which were put on me: The hand-cuff was of the 
common size and form, but my leg irons, I should 
imagine would weigh thirty pounds; the bar was 
eight feet long, and very substantial; the shackles, 
which encompassed my ancles, were very tight. I 
was told by the officer, who put them on, that it 
was the king's plate, and I heard other of their 
officers say, that it would weigh forty weight. 
The irons were so close upon my ancles, that I 
could not lay down in any other manner than on 
m3' back. I was put into the lowest and most 
wretched part of the vessel, where I got the favor 
of a chest to sit on; the same answered for my bed 
at night; and having procured some little blocks, 
of the guard who day and night with fixed baj^- 
onets. watched over me, to lie under each end of 
the large bar of my leg irons, to preserve my 
ancles from galling, while I sat on the chest, or 

258 p:arly history 

lay back on the same, though most of the time, 
night and da}', I sat on it; but at length, having a 
desire to lie down on my side, which the closeness 
of my irons forbid, I desired the captain to loosen 
them for that purpose; but was denied the favor. 
The Captain's name was Royal, who did not seem 
to be an ill-natured man; but oftentimes said, that 
his express orders were to treat me with such sev- 
erity, which was disagreeable to his own feelings; 
nor did he ever] insult me, though many others, 
who came on board did. One of the officers by 
the name of Bradlev, was very generous to me; he 
would often send me victuals from his own table; 
nor did a day fail, but he sent me a good drink of 

or OCT 

The reader is now invited back to the time I 
was put in irons. I requested the privilege to 
write to General Fresco tt, which was granted. I 
reminded him of the kind and generous manner of 
m^^ treatment of the prisoners I took at Ticonder- 
oga; the injustice and ungentleman-like usage I 
had met with from him, and demanded better 
usage, but received no answer from him. I soon 
after wrote to Gen. Carleton, which met the same 
success. In the mean while, many of those who 
were permitted to see me, were very insulting. 

I was confined in the manner I have related, on 
board the Gaspee schooner, about six weeks; 
during which time I was obliged to throw out 
plenty of extravagant language, which answered 
certain purposes, at that time, better than to grace 
a history." 

On one occasion Allen on being insulted, in an- 


ger twisted off with his teeth a ten-penny nail that 
went through the bar of his hand cuff ; one of the 
b^'standers said, he could eat iron. Allen was put 
on to an armed vessel \aymg off against Quebec, 
the officers of which treated him kindly. One of 
the officers, Capt. Littlejohn said, ''that a brave 
man should not be used as a rascal, on board his 
ship." While the ship was laying there Capt. 
Littlejohn was challenged on the plains of Abra- 
ham. The fight was to take place the next morn- 
ing. The Captain acquainted Allen of the affair, 
whereupon, Allen told him he would be glad to 
testify his gratitude to him by acting the part oi a 
faithful second ; Littlejohn replied he wanted no 
better man, but said, I am a King's Officer and 
3'ou a prisoner under mv care, j^ou must, therefore 
go with me, to the place appointed in disguise, and 
engage upon the honor of a gentleman, that 
whether I die or live, you will return to ray Lieu- 
tenant on board this ship. To this Allen solemnly 
agreed. The controversy^ was settled without 

On Nov. 11, 1775, Allen w^as put on the vessel 
called Adamant with other prisoners, under the 
power of an English merchant, Brook Watson, a 
man of cruel and malicious disposition. During 
the voyage Allen was insulted b\' everv black- 
guard sailor, and Tor\' on board. Allen appealed 
to Watson's honor for better treatment. Watson 
told him it w^as impertinent for a capital offender 
to talk of honor or humanit3'; that anything 
short of a halter was too good for him and that 
would be his portion s-oon after he landed in Eng- 


land. A lieutenant among the Tories told him he 
ou.i^ht to have been executed for rebellion against 
New York, and spat in his face, for which act Allen 
sprang at him and partly knocked him down, 
when the lieutenant fled to others for protection. 
Allen and the other prisoners were kept in a filthy 
dark room forty days without means of clensing 
their bodies, and covered with body lice, resulting 
in sickness. 

Allen was landed at Falmouth, England, in the 
same suit of clothes in which he was taken prison- 
er, and there was exhibited to the citizens, of that 
place, who were excited b\' curiosity. In England 
Allen was anxious on the question as to what 
should be his fate. It w^as talked generally that 
he would be hanged. Parliament was divided on 
the question. But the Americans had the most 
prisoners in their power, and if the British resorted 
to hanging, it was a game that two could play at; 
Allen was well treated in the Castle where he was 
imprisoned. He requested the privilege ot writing 
to Congress, and after a while got permission to 
do so. He wrote giving an account of his treat- 
ment, after having been taken prisoner, under the 
orders of General Carleton. He desired Congress 
to desist from matters of retaliation until they 
knew the course that the English would take 
respecting their treatment towards him, and that 
if retaliation should become necessary, it might be 
exercised, not according to the smallness of his 
character in America, but in proportion to the im- 
portance ot the cause for which he suffered. The 
design of the letter was to save his neck from the 


halter. He managed to have the letter fall into 
the hands of Lord North before it Avas sent to 
Congress, although he did not tell the officers, to 
whom it was delivered, that that was his purpose. 
The next day after it had been delivered to the of- 
ficer in charge, who had given Allen license to 
write, the officer said to him, "Do you think we 
are fools in England, and would send your letter 
to Congress with instructions to retaliate on our 
people. I have sent your letter to Lord North." 
Allen at the Castle behaved in a daring soldier-like 
manner, thinking that would tend to his preserva- 
tion better than concession and timidy. But he 
had determined, that if cruel death was inevitable 
he would face it undaunted ; and when he arrived 
in the world of spirits, he said, he expected he 
* 'should be as well treated as other gentlemen of 
his merit." While imprisoned in the Castle people 
came for fift^^ miles distant to see, question, and 
make free with him in conservation. One asked 
him what had been his occupation in life, and Al- 
len replied, he had studied divinit\^ but was a 
conjurer by profession, and had conjured them out 
of Ticonderoga. They would take him on the 
parade in the Castle w^here large numbers could 
see and hear him. He would harangue his audi- 
ences on the impracticability^ of conquering the 
American Colonies, and expatriated on American 

Allen refused to take a bowl of punch that he 
had ordered from the hand of a servant. He used 
to argue, with learned gentlemen who came to see 
him, on moral philosophy and Christianity, and 


thev seemed to be surprised at his power of argu- 
ment. On his passage to England he was forbid- 
den to walk on deek, but he disregarded the order 
and went on deck; this enraged the captain who 
said to him, "Did I not order a'Ou not to come on 
deck?" Allen replied "that it was the place for gen- 
tlemen." The Captain enjoined him not to walk 
on the same side of the deck that he did. The fleet 
rendez-YOused at the Cove of Cork, and Allen with 
the other prisoners were generously treated by 
several merchants, who contributed largely to 
their relief. They sailed from England Jan. 8th, 
and from the Cove of Cork the 12th day of Feb- 
ruary' and W' ere taken to Madrid. When they sailed 
from Madrid Allen was treated cruelly and Cap- 
tain Symonds seemed in no way anxious to pre- 
serve the lives of the rebels, as he called the prison- 
ers, but wished them all dead. As Allen expostu- 
lated with the Captain and his men for such treat- 
ment; the Captain said he "needed no directions 
from him how to treat a rebel; that the British 
would conquer the American rebels, hang the Con- 
gress, and such as promoted the rebellion, and 
you (Allen) in particular, and retake their own 
prisoners, so that your (Allen's) life is of no con- 
sequence in the scale of their policy." Allen replied 
that if he was safe till they conquered America be- 
fore the\' hung him, he should die of old age. The 
ship in which Allen and the other prisoners were 
confined cast anchor in the harbor of Cape Fear in 
North Carolina. They next anchord, the ship Mer- 
cury, on which Allen was then confined, near New 
York, and arrived at Halifax about the middle 


of June, pinched with hunger, and suffering from 
inhuman treatment that the Captain refused to 
alleviate. Allen with the other prisoners were left 
on board of a sloop six weeks and were not landed 
at Halifax till the middle of August, and there all 
of them, thirty-four in number, were locked up in a 
large room, together, the furniture of which con- 
sisted principalh' of excrement-tubs. They re- 
monstrated against such usage, but to no pur- 
pose. Five of the prisoners, including Allen, were 
legally entitled to parole which they could not 
obtain. The provisions w^ere better than they had 
previously" been served with, but all grew weaker 
and weaker on account of sickness contracted 
from the foulness of the place. On Oct. 12th most 
of them were ordered on board a man-of-war that 
was bound for New York. 

Allen expected to be treated as cruelly as be- 
fore, but when he went on deck, he was met by 
Captain Smith, who gave him his hand and in- 
vited him to dine with him, and assured Allen he 
should be treated as a gentleman, and that he had 
given orders to the crew to so treat him. This 
was unexpected. On account of such kindness an- 
other side of Allen's character was exhibited. This 
kind treatment affected him so he could hardly 
speak and drew tears from his eyes, which all the 
harsh usage he had met with was unable to pro- 
duce, but he soon got control of his feelings and 
expressed his gratitude for the unexpected favors. 

A few additional prisoners were taken on board 
among whom was a Captain Burke. A conspiracy 
had been concocted bv Burke and some of the 


ship's crew, to kill Captain Smith and take the 
ship, and the thirty-four thousand pounds Sterling 
that was theron, into an American port. This Al- 
len and some other prisoners, that was led into 
the secret, opposed. Allen told them he could not 
reconcile it to his conscience, and it should not be 
done, and pointed out the ungratefulness of such 
an act, and he should guard Captain Smith's life. 
Nothing more was heard of the conspiracy. 

The ship cast anchor at New York and Captain 
Smith recommended Allen to Admiral Howe and 
to General Sir William Howe as a gentleman of 
honor and A-eracity, and desired that he should be 
treated as such. He was landed at New York and 
given his parole, but restricted to the limits of the 
cit3\ The merciless manner in which the prison- 
ers in the hands of the British at New Y'ork were 
treated, the hellish dehght and triumph of the 
Tories over them, as the\' were dying by the hun- 
dreds by starvation and sickness, the foulness of 
the places where they were kept, the despair that 
seemed to be imprinted on their countenances as 
they begged for a morsel ot bread, was too much 
for Allen to bear in his exhausted condition, allien 
regarded General Howe a murderous tyrant. 
While Allen was detained at New York, General 
Howe though a British officer offered him the Col- 
onelcy- of a regiment of Tories if he turned traitor 
to his sufiferins^ country; they used, as thev 
thought a persuasive argument to induce Allen to 
accept their offer; theA' said the country- would be 
soon conquered, and when that should be done he 
should have a large tract of land either in New 


Hampshire or Connecticut. Allen replied, "that 
if he by faithfullness to the American cause had 
recommended himself to General Howe, he should 
be loth, by unfaithlulness to lose the General's 
good opinion, and besides, he viewed the offer of 
land to be limited to that which the devil offered 
Jesus Christ, 'to give him all the kingdoms of the 
world if he would fall down and worship him;' 
Avhen at the same time, the damned soul had not 
one foot of land on earth." 

On Jan. 22, 1777, Allen was admitted to parole 
with other officers and quartered on the westerly 
part of Long Island, and was treated well till the 
news came that Burgoyne had retaken Ticondero- 
ga, which made the Britons feel their importance 
and gave them an insatiable thirst for cruelt\\ On 
August 25, 1777, Allen was apprehended, on pre- 
tense he had violated his parole, and taken to New 
York and imprisoned, and denied all food for three 
days, and suffered otherwise from the inhuman 
treatment- of the enemy and remained their prison- 
er until the 6th of May, 1778. 

It has been claimed that Ethan Allen was desti- 
tute of religious principle or faith. Whatever may 
have been his particular religious belief, it was 
evident he was a man of action, principle and 
patriotism, and had a high regard for the rights 
of his fellow man. He possessed the courage to 
stand b^' his convictions in the hour of trial and 
danger. The poetry composed by him for a mon- 
umental inscription for his wife, Mary Brownson 
Allen, indicated his trust in God. These lines are 
found on page 29 of this volume. 


Ethan, Henian, ZImri, and Ira Allen with Rem- 
ember Baker constituted the Onion River Land 
Compan3^, and as such became the most extensive 
land proprietors in the State, first under the New 
Hampshire Grants, and subsequently under the 
State by grants from Vermont. Some of Gov. 
Thomas Chittenden's letters and public docu- 
ments were written by Ethan Allen. 

It is evident to the reader ot all that has been 
written and published of Ethan Allen, that his 
public services, after his release from his imprison- 
ment, were far less prominent than before his cap- 
ture. And the impression has prevailed, to some ex- 
tent, that he had lost his energy and zeal both for 
the nation and the State, but this view was a mis- 
take. It is true his patriotism was doubted in the 
closing months of 1780; that he was arraigned 
before the General Assembly; and that he resigned 
his commission as General of the Vermont militia 
because there was an uneasiness among some of 
the people on account of his command. He w^as 
very indignant that false, ignominious aspersions 
against him were entertained. He was acquitted 
of all disloyalty and public confidence was restored 
to him. The aspersions against him did not serve 
to dampen his patriotism, and on resigning his 
commission of general, he said, if the Assembly 
thought best to give him the command at any 
time, he would endeavor to serve the State ac- 
cording to his abilities. He served the State after- 
w^ards in 1782, on being called upon by the Gen- 
eral Assembly and the Governor to suppress the 
enemies in Windham Countv, and he met the call 


promptl3\ That he was not as prominent in the 
service of Vermont and the nation as in his earlier 
days was due not to any change of views towards 
the State or country, or the decay of his powers, 
but because the occasions for like and striking ser- 
vices did not again occur. After his arraignment 
in 1780, he was called into service for the State in 
1781, when New York attempted to awe Vermont 
into subjection to its demands. Allen was one of 
the few public men who were engaged in the Hal- 
dimand correspondence, and took part in it with 
Ira Allen and Joseph Fay. General Ethan Allen 
was ready to serve the State with sword or pen to 
the last day of his life, with all the force of mind 
and muscle that he ever possessed. He was always 
a hero. 

Allen married for his second wife the daugh- 
ter of a Colonel in the British army. In Aug- 
ust, 1778, the Governor and Council requested 
Allen to repair to Philadelphia and ascertain in 
what light the attempted Union of Vermont with 
a part of New Hampshire was viewed by Con- 
gress, which service he performed, and in October, 
1778, he reported to the Vermont Legislature 
that the members of Congress were unanimously 
opposed to Vermont extending jurisdiction across 
Connecticut River. On Feb. 16th, 1779, Allen, 
Jonas P'ay, and Paul Spooner, Esquires, were 
chosen by the House to manage the political af- 
fairs of the State at Congress. In March, 1779, 
Ethan Allen addressed a letter to General Wash- 
ington, in which, after stating that the enemies' 
ships and scouting parties were expected down 


Lake Champlaiii to annoy the frontier that was 
weakly guarded and widely extended, said, "un- 
doubtedh' your Excellency will readily conceive 
that this part of the country has done more than 
its adequate proportion in the war, and though 
the\' are greatly reduced as to materials to main- 
tain standing forces, yet on sudden emergencies 
the militia is able and willing to face an equal 
number of the enemy though they should have no 
other reward but the satisfaction of defeating 
them." These statements show that his zeal, 
bravery and patriotism for his country had not 
abated. In April, 1779, Gov. Chittenden sent Al- 
len to Cumberland County to quell a disturbance 
that had been created in opposition to a draft for 
men to re-enforce the military on the border. Col. 
William Patterson who had been commissioned 
b^^ Gov. Clinton had raised a regiment of 500 men. 
Allen with an armed force promptly arrested Pat- 
terson and 43 others who were indicted for the 
part they took in resisting the draft. On June I2th 
1779, Allen and Hon. Jonas Fay were directed to 
wait upon the General Council of America, and 
recommended to that Honorable Board to do and 
transact any business that concerned the State of 
Vermont. This was giving these two men ver^^ 
broad powers. In 1781, Allen was appointed by 
the Council, with others, a committee to make a 
draft of the political affairs of the State for publi- 

Ethan Allen wrote the vindication of the op- 
position of the inhabitants of Vermont to the Gov- 
ernment of New York, and of their right to form 


an independent State, which was submitted to the 
impartial World. This was the most important 
document that was written concerning the contro- 
versy of Vermont with New York, and the efforts 
of the Green Mountain Bovs to establish the ter- 
ritory called the New Hampshire Grants as an in- 
dependent jurisdiction. It is too long to be insert- 
ed here; it was a protest against the demand of 
New York to have Congress decide in their favor 
the controversy on an ex parte hearing; it set forth 
the fact that New York obtained the jurisdiction 
of the contested territory on an ex parte hearing 
before the King and Council in 1764, contrar\^ to 
the minds of the settlers under New Hampshire, 
and that, therefore, such determination so obtained 
ought to be treated nul and void: that the conduct 
of New York in the matter was reprehensible; it 
set forth the measures that were taken b}" the 
Grants to modify the decision of the King and 
Council favorable to the rights of the settlers; it 
set forth the unwarrantable course of New York 
to dispossess the settlers of their lands by writs of 
ejectment and the resistance inade by the in- 
habitants, and how the New Hampshire Grants, 
west of Connecticut River, declared themselves a 
free and independent State. Ethan Allen also 
wrote the reply to Gov. Clinton's proclamation 
that had been issued to induce the Grants, by 
threats and promises, to become subjects of New 
York. That proclamation referred to an act of 
outlawry that had been passed against Ethan 
Allen and other leading Green Mountain Boys. 
Allen in his reply, said, "In the lifetime of this act 


I was called b_v the Yorkers an outlaw, and after- 
wards b\' the British, was called a rebel; and I 
humbly conceive that there was as much propriety' 
in the one name as the other; and I verily believe, 
that the King's commissioners would now be as 
willing to pardon me for the sin of rebellion, 
provided I would, afterwards, be subject to Great 
Britain, as the Legislature of New York, provided I 
would be subject to New York; and I must confess 
I had as leave be a subject of the one as the other; 
and it is well known I have had great experience 
with them both." Before the proclamation of 
Gov. Clinton had been issued. New York had 
granted lands, to New Y'ork adherents, that had 
previously been granted b\' New Hampshire and 
Massachusetts Ba3% which regranting created 
great alarm to the people who had taken their 
title from New Hampshire and Massachusetts 
Ba3', for fear they would loose their lands and 
their improvements thereon. It had the effect to 
stir up strong opposition to New York authority'. 
To allay the alarm and opposition to New York, 
Gov. Clinton stated in his proclamation, in sub- 
stance, the regrants b\^ New York should be treat- 
ed as of no effect. II the grants ever had any val- 
idity the\' could not be nullified after people had 
purchased and took possession of their lands in 
good faith. If the grants made b^- New Y'ork were 
not valid, then their offers and overtures were but 
empty words. Allen exposed the hollo wness of 
their offer in the following language: For the legis- 
lative authority of the State of New Y'ork, to pre- 
tend, as the\' do in their proclamation, to vacate 


an 3' grants made by their own authorit_v, in favor 
of any possession, and to confirm such possessions 
b^' nullif^'ing and defeating their own grants, is the 
hight of folly and stupidity-: For the lands being 
once granted, the property passeth to the grantee 
who is become the sole proprietor of the same; and 
he is as independent of that legislative authority- 
which granted it, as any person may be supposed 
to be, who purchasetha farm of land of me by deed 
of conversance; and it is as much out of the power 
of that legislature to vacate a grant made by 
them, or the same authoritr^, in favor of any pos- 
sessor, as it is out of m^^ power to vacate my deed 
of conveyance in favor of some second person. It 
is contrary' to common sense to suppose, that the 
property of the subject is at the arbitrary disposal 
of the legislature; if it was, they might give a 
grant to-day, and vacate it to-morrow, and so on, 
ad infinitum/' The following shows Allen's activ- 
ity in the interest of Vermont. Samuel Minott of 
Brattleboro, the chairman of a committee of the 
adherents of New York, wrote to Gov. Clinton 
May 25th, 1779. that, "The Committee oi Cum- 
berland (now Windham) County w^ho are. now 
met for the purpose of opposing the authority of 
the State of Vermont, take this opportunity to in- 
form your Exellency by Express, that Col. Ethan 
Allen with a number of Green Alountain Boys 
made his appearance in this Countr^ 3'esterda_v, 
well armed and equipped, for the purpose of re- 
ducing the loyal inhabitants of this County to 
submission to the authority- of the State of Ver- 
mont, and made prisoners of Col. Eleazer Patter- 


son and all of the Militia officers, but one, and a 
number of other persons. Allen bids defiance to 
the State of New York, and he and the Green 
Mountain Boys declare they \\\\\ establish their 
state b^' thesword, and fight all who shall attempt 
to oppose them. * * * Our situation is truly crit- 
ical and distressing, we, therefore, most humbly 
beseech your Excellency to take the most speedy 
and efficient measures for our relief; otherwise our 
persons and property must be at the disposal of 
Ethan Allen, who is more to be dreaded than 
death with all its terrors." 

In October, 1780, Ethan Allen with the approv- 
al of the General Assembh^ entered into an agree- 
ment for Vermont, with Maj. Carleton for Gen. 
Haldimand,in pursuance of which the British force 
was withdrawn to Canada. On April 12th, 1781, 
Allen was chosen Brigadier-General again, which 
office he had previously resigned when inquiry was 
instituted by the General Assembl3^ on charges made 
against him b^- William Hutchins and Simon 
Hathawa^^ Allen now declined to accept the of- 
fice, but with the promise that he would render 
any service desired of him at any time, although 
not formally commissioned : that promise he faith- 
fully observed. 

The charges that were made against General 
Ethan Allen were infidelit3' to the country in con- 
nection with the Haldimand correspondence. Allen 
was verv indignant, and while the charges were 
being read, he declared that the paper contained 
false and ignominious aspersions against him, and 
would hear no more of it, and went out of the house. 


After the Assembly had heard the testimony of 
Joseph Fay and Stephen R. Bradley, the charges 
were withdrawn, and the House by resolution ap- 
pointed a committee to thank Allen for his good 
services. The armistice entered into with the 
British by General Allen and others were not only 
approved of by the Vermont authorities but was 
for the benefit of both Vermont and the Confed- 
eracy. He betra3'ed nobody, but served his State. 
He was a party to a truce which protected Ver- 
mont and New York alike. These facts show no 
stain upon his character as an ofiicer or patriot. 
Strictly speaking, he owed nothing to the Con- 
tinental cause, as he was not in the service of Con- 
gress, nor was he or his State recognized by it. 
Congress left Vermont standing alone. Vermont 
declared herself to be, and in fact was, an inde- 
pendent State; and as such had a right to protect 
herself from every foe, by any means allowable to 
a sovereign State. That was Allen's ground, and 
the ground assumed and asserted by Gov. Chitten- 
den. And as the result proved, it was the true 
ground. Vermont maintained her independence 
till she was admitted into the Union. 

Allen's loyalty to the Confederacy as well as his 
magnanimous spirit was shown in his letter to 
Gov. Clinton of April 14, 1781, in which he tend- 
ered his own services, and the services of two 
other Vermont oflEicers, to New York, to defend 
that State, against their cruel mvaders. This also 
shows that Gov. Clinton's distrust of Allen's pat- 
riotism was unfounded. If we remember the 
former hostile relations between Allen and Clinton 



that letter must be deemed extraordinary. On the 
11th day of Januar}', 17S2, Allen was appointed 
as one of the Committee to make a draught of the 
then state of the controversy, to be published. (3n 
Sept. 2d, 1782, Allen was commissioned Brigadier 
General to raise and equip 250 men to march into 
the County of Windham as a posse comitatus for 
the assistance of the civil authority of that County. 
The noted "Catamount-Tavern" house at Ben- 
nington was the home of Ethan Allen for several 
years from 1770, after he came to reside in the 
New Hampshire Grants, as Vermont was then 
called. And Allen was sojourning at that house in 
the spring of 1775. It was from the Council room 
of that house that he, on Ma3' 3d, 1775, is- 
sued the order mustering the Green Mountain 
Bovs for the capture of Ticonderoga. It was here 
in 1778, that David Redding, a traitor and a sp3', 
was tried, convicted and sentenced to be executed 
by the Green Mountain Boys. Redding w^as con- 
victed by a jury of six men, though he should have 
been tried by a jury of twelve men. And many 
were fearful that the gallows would be cheated of 
its prey b\' reason of that fact, and violence was 
apprehended. Whereupon Allen, who had just re- 
turned from his long English captivity', mounted a 
stump and w^aiving his hat, exlaimed, "attention 
the whole!" and then advised the multitude, to de- 
part, peaceably, to their habitations, and return 
on the da\' fixed by the Governor and Council, and 
with an oath said, "you shall see somebody' hung 
at all events, for if Redding is not then hung, I 
\\\\\ be hung myself." Redding was retried b^' a 


jury of twelve men and hung as predicted b\^ Allen. 

In October 1779, Allen was appointed as one of 
the Committee to form the outlines of the plan to 
be pursued by the State lor defense against the 
neighboring States in consequence of the acts of 
Congress. Allen was determined that Vermont 
should become absolutely independent or be ad- 
mitted as a State of the American Union; and in 
no event be subject to New York. In May 1781, 
Dr. George Smith, who was one of the British 
commissioners to treat with Vermont, w^rote to 
Gen. Haldimand that he heard Col. Allen declare, 
"that there was a north pole and a south pole, 
and should a thunder-gust come from the South, 
(Congress) the^^ would shut the door opposite 
that point and open the door facing the North, 

Allen also wrote the "Concise refutation of the 
claims of New Hampshire and Massachusetts to 
the territor3^ of Vermont." It was an able docu- 
ment but too long to be inserted here, and refer 
the reader to Page 223 of the II. Vol. of the "Gov- 
ernor and Council." Allen again showed his warm 
attachment to the interests of Vermont and his 
determination to stand by her against all enemies 
from whatever quarter they should come in his 
letter addressed to the President of Congress on 
March 9, 1781. After justifying his course in ar- 
ranging for an armistice and an exchange of 
prisoners with General Haldimand, said, "I am 
confident that Congress will not dispute my sin- 
cere attachment to the cause of my country 
though I do not hesitate to say I am fully ground 

^' ' 


ed in opinion that Vermont has an indubitable 
right to agree on terms of cessation of hostilities 
with Great Britain, provided the United States 
persist in rejecting her application for a Union 
with them: For Vermont of all people, would be 
the most miserable were she obliged to defend the 
independence of the United Claiming States, and 
the_v at the same time at full liberty to overturn 
and ruin the independence of Vermont. I am as 
resolutely determined to defend the independence 
of Vermont as Congress is that of the United 
States, and rather than fail, w411 return with hardy 
Green Mountain Boys into the desolate caverns 
of the mountains, and wage war with human na- 
ture at large." Reference has been made to the 
fact that Ethan Allen with other leading Ver- 
monters, took a hand in the correspondence and 
negotiations with the British in Canada for an 
armistice and exchange of prisoners for which he 
and the others were greatly censured. Allen on 
October 30, 1784, at the request of Gov. Chitten- 
den, addressed to the public a document from 
which the following extract is taken. "The Foreign 
Policy of this Government has been demonstrated 
to be good in the final consequences of it, and the 
State is in good and respectable condition at pres- 
ent. It only remains that our courts of equity 
and law do impartial, and that our citizens sup- 
port the honor and dignity of our laws and unit- 
edly combine to support our liberty and inde- 

In 1787, some unjust suspicions had been in- 
dulged in that Allen was in some waj^ aiding 


Shays's rebellion in Massachusetts. On the 3d 
of May, 1787, Ethan Allen wrote to Col. Ben- 
jamin Simmons of Mass., stating that that State 
''might depend upon the Vermont Government to 
aid in quelling the rebellion. Allen also w^rote to 
the Governor of Mass., assuring him that no 
asylum would be given in the State of Vermont to 
the insurgents of the State of Mass.'' In Decem- 
ber 1780, Ethan Allen applied to Gov. Trumbull of 
Connecticut in behalf of Vermont, for powder 
with which to ward off an expected invasion from 
Canada and the Governor ordered two tons of 
powder to be sent to the Green Mountain Boys 
from the powder mill of Elderkin and Wales of 
that State. This fact shows that w^hile Allen and 
others in Vermont, from October 1780, until 1783, 
were trying to protect the State from the British 
army in Canada by diplomacy, they also relied 
upon the effects of pow^der. And they had it on 
hand for use. 

Ethan Allen died in Burlington, Vt., February 
12th, A. D. 1789, and was buried near the site of 
his monument in Green Mountain Cemetery. No 
portrait of Allen has ever been found. Allen was 
commissioned as a Brigadier-General by Vermont 
and engaged in the Revolutionary W'ar,but was in 
that sense only a Brigadier-General in the Ameri- 
can Army. The several statues of him are unlike 
and are said not to be perfect representations. The 
statues at Montpelier, Vt., and at the national 
capital at Washington, D. C, w^ere produced by 
the same sculptor. It was a long time after the 
first move was made to erect a monument to his 


memory- before the efforts were crowned with suc- 
cess. At Montpelier in Council on October 17th, 
1831, it was resolved that a committee be ap- 
pointed to inquire into the expedienc3^ of making 
an appropriation for the purpose of erecting a 
monument to the memor\' of Ethan Allen, late 
Hrigadier-Generc'd in the American Army, and re- 
port by bill or otherwise. 

The Legislature November 14th, 1855, ap- 
propriated a sum not exceeding two thousand 
dollars to erect a monument at the burial place of 
Ethan Allen, l)ut it was finall}^ placed at the State 
House at Montpelier. The preamble to the act 
appropriating the money, was as follows: 
viz, "Whereas, the courage, the perseverance, the 
sagacity, and the virtue of Ethan Allen zealously 
and constants exercised in upholding the rights 
and liberties of the people of the New Hampshire 
Grants, and his successful efforts in establishing 
the sovereignty of the State of Vermont, against 
the active opposition of New Hampshire and New 
York, the w^avering neutrality of the Federal gov- 
ernment, and the artful overtures of the agents ot 
the British Crown, have justh' rendered his name 
the foremost, in the early histor3^ of this State, 
and entitle it to the grateful and reverent remem- 
brance of the citizens thereof." The monument 
and statue erected at the place of his burial were 
completed, unveiled, and presented Jul^^ 4th, 1873, 
with appropriate exercises. The monument is of 
] Jarre granite. The base of the pedestal is eight 

feet square on the ground and consists of two 
steps of granite, on which rests a die of solid 

f OF VERMONT. 279 

granite six feet square. Above the pedestal rises a 
Tuscan shaft of granite, four and a half feet in di- 
ameter and fort^'-two feet high. Upon ;its capital 
on a base bearing the word "Ticonderoga," 
stands a heroic statue of Ethan Allen, eight feet 
four inches high. The expense of the statue was 
about $2,700, and was raised by subscription. 
Larkin G. Mead was the sculptor of this statue. 

The Honorable John X. Pomeroy of Burlington, 
Vt., in his address at the ceremonies of the unveil- 
ing this statue on July 4th, 1873, said, "Long may 
it stand over the sacred ashes of the patriot sol- 
dier — the ornament of this beautiful spot on the 
banks of the Winooski appropriately backed bv 
the Green Mountains on the East, and boldly 
facing the Adirondacks on the West — in view of 
that rural retreat where at the age of fifty-two 
years he died, and of that beautiful and historic 
Lake which ninety-seven years ago bore him and 
his Green Alountain Bo^'s to the bold assault up- 
on Ticonderoga, and which washes its interesting 
ruins. Yes, sir, long may it stand on its granite 
pedestal, through its coming centuries, to bear 
testimony to the high appreciation of a grateful 
people of one, w^ho, with an ever active and daunt- 
less spirit, by the pen and voice as well as the 
sword, warred against the most desperate and 
powerful enemies successfully, and largely con- 
tributed to the establishment of a State and the 
Independence of a Nation! And when time and 
storms shall crumble this stately column and 
statue, as crumble the3" must, and the antiquarian 
of the future shall explore the ruins and develope 

280 p:arly history 

the contents of the leaden casket they enclosed, 
may it be divulged to a free and noble people, who 
shall still recognize this Glorious Anniversary, and 
cherish the memory of Ethan Allen. 

In Governor Julius Converse's response, he said, 
"As an assurance of the just appreciation with 
which this honored gift is received, in the name of 
the State I promise that the same shall be vigilant- 
ly guarded and tenderly cherished as long as the 
marble shall endure, or deeds of noble daring shall 
find admirers amongst the brave and the good." 

In the days of Ethan Allen, despotic power and 
oppresion were seen and felt on ever3^ hand. His 
very soul rebelled against every tj^rannical act of 
whatever sort. And when the news of England's 
first attempts, with force of arms at Lexington 
and Bunker Hill, to enslave America, came to his 
ears, it electrified his mind, and he was read^^ and 
iully determined to cast in his lot in the interest of 
American independence. The welfare of the world 
and the American cause needed men full of the 
spirit of libert}^ and who possessed the dauntless 
courage to oppose the Kings and Potentates of 
earth in their mad career to trample on the rights 
of mankind. The world needed such men as 
Ethan Allen to roll back the tide of slaver}', in- 
justice, oppression, and despotic barbarism, that 
the nations of the earth might move on under the 
banner of the free, and to a higher state of civiliza- 
tion. Ethan Allen stood in the front rank ofthose 
who made it possible to establish the independence 
of Vermont as a separate jurisdiction and the free 
American Nation. 





In the \'ear 1819, Stephen and Jesse Boorn 
were arrested and tried in Bennington County, 
Vermont, for the alleged murder of Russel Colvin 
on May 10, 1812, at Manchester. 

It appears that Stephen and Jesse Boorn and 
Russel Colvin had a quarrel May 10th, 1812, at 
Manchester, Vt., resulting in Colvin leaving the 
State, and was not heard from till after Stephen 
and Jesse Boorn had been tried and convicted of his 
alleged murder. The legal proceedings in the case 
and the evidence on which a conviction of the re- 
spondents was found, so far as I have been able to 
obtain it, was as follows: viz. "Lewis Colvin testi- 
fied that, grandfather was gone to the street. 
Grandmother sent me to Mr. Sacket's. I did not 
return till night, as I went to Matterson's to carry 
meat. I next saw Stephen and Jesse at night down 
at the house — heard nothing from them about Rus- 
sel's absence — heard Stephen say that on the day 
of the quarrel, Russel ran aw^ay to the mountain, 
and I did not hear Russel's name mentioned by 
them for a year. My mother had been gone over 
the mountain for some time. On the day of the 
quarrel, John was ploughing over the ridge, and 
when I ran home from the field, John was at home 



batin*^ the team. 1 did not tell John of the quar- 
rel — do not know the reason. 

Lewis Colvin cross examined by Mr. Skinner. 
I told this story just before snow went off, one 
Sunday night, to Mr. Pratt and Mr. Sheldon. Sail, 
never told me to tell this story — do not remember 
that Stephen killed the woodchuck the da_v Russel 
went oflf, nor an3'thing about it. Do not know 
where Jesse lived at that time. He did not live at 
Briggs' at that time. John was ploughing on the 
flat this side of the lot where the boys were at 
work; do not remember where Rufus (a younger 
brother) was at the time. A month after the quar- 
rel, heard mentioned in the family of Russel's run- 
ning off^Stephen and Jesse were not present. 
Stephen told me he would kill me if I told of his 
striking Russel. This was at the door the day af- 
ter the quarrel. Lewis then said it was two days 

Sallie Colvin. Better than four years ago Mr. 
Hitchcock told me I could not swear my child on 
any person if my husband w^as living. I went to 
my father's — stood in the stoop — Stephen told me 
I could swear the child, for Russel was dead and 
he knew it; and Jesse said I could swear it, but 
would not. When I returned from over the moun- 
tain, about five days after the disappearance of 
my husband, I asked Lewis where Russel was; he 
answered, gone to hell. I heard nothing at my 
father's what had become of m^- husband. 

William Wyman. About three or four weeks 
before Colvin went off, Stephen came to my house 
and asked me if his father was obliged to support 


Colvin's young ones. I told him yes. Stephen 
asked if it was not hard, and further said if there 
was no one else to put a stop to it, he would, and 
he said it with an oath. 

William Farnsworth. In conversation with 
Stephen, about two months ago, I questioned him 
about killing, cooking and eating the woodchuck, 
and if he was at home then, and told him that his 
parents had denied that it was so; he however 
said that it was so, and that his parents had 
sworn themselves to the devil, and that their con- 
dition was worse than his own. I told Stephen 
that Johnson had stated that he (Stephen,) Jesse, 
Russel and the boy were together picking up 
stones the day Russel went off, and that his father 
and mother had denied it, and stated that he and 
Jesse were not then at home. Stephen replied that 
it made no odds what his father and mother had 
sworn to, but that what Tom Johnson had sworn 
to was true. I advised him to confess the whole 
facts which he knew. 

Silas Merrill, {a fellow prisoner and in chains,) 
stated, that in June last, Jesse's father came to the 
prison, and spoke to Jesse — after the old man went 
away, Jesse appeared much afflicted — we went to 
bed and to sleep — ^Jesse waked up, and shook me, 
and wanted that I should wake up — he was fright- 
ened about something that had come into the 
window, and was on the bed behind him — he stat- 
ed he wanted to tell me something, we got up and 
he went on to tell me, he said it was true that he 
was up in the lot together with Stephen, Russel 
Colvin and his son, picking up stones as Mr. John- 


son had testified — that Stephen struck Colvinwith 
a club and brought him to the ground — that Col- 
vin's boy run, that Colvin got up, and Stephen 
gave him a second blow above his ear and broke 
his skull — that the blood gushed out — that his 
father came up, and asked if he was dead — they 
told him no, he then went off — soon after he came 
again and asked if he was dead, they told him no, 
and he again vv^ent off^soon after, the old man 
came the third time and asked if he was dead, the\^ 
told him no — the old man said, c/a/7377 him — Then he, 
Jesse, took him by the legs, Stephen by the shoul- 
ders, and the old man round the body, and carried 
him to the old cellar hole where the old man cut 
his throat, with a small pen-knife of Stephen's,— 
that they buried him in the cellar between day- 
light and dark, that he stood out one side and kept 
watch — that a jack-knife was found which he knew 
was Russel's, that he had often borrowed it to cut 
fish-poles — two or three days after, Stephen had 
Colvin's shoes on— that he, Jesse, spoke to Stephen 
and told him that Sal. would know the shoes — 
that he saw no more of them — the old man gave 
Stephen $100, and Stephen promised $25 of it to 
him. After Jesse was put into another room, 
when we were permitted to see each other, Jesse 
told me that he had informed Stephen of having 
told me the whole affair — Stephen then came into 
the room — I asked him if he did take the life of Col- 
vin. He said he did not take the main life of Col- 
vin, he said no more at that time. A week or ten 
days alter, Stephen and I went up into the court 
room together — Stephen then said he had agreed 


with Jesse to take the whole business upon him- 
self, and had made a confession which would 
only make manslaughter of it — I told him what 
Jesse had confessed and he said it was true. Jesse 
told me, that in February, 18 months or more af- 
ter Colvin was buried, there came a thaw — that 
he and Stephen took up the bod3', secured the 
bones and remains in a basket and pulled up a 
plank in a place where they kept sheep, and put 
the bones under the floor — that the next spring the 
barn was burnt — that they took the bones and 
pounded them up and put them into a deep hole in 
the river — that the skull bone w^as burnt so that it 
crumbled to pieces, that his father scratched up 
some pieces and put them into a hollow birch 
stump near the road. 

Witness cross examined by Mr. Skinner. — 
Jesse, when he confessed the affair, did not say the 
body was removed anyw^here till they carried 
it off as stated — that Jesse said Esq. Pratt w^as 
gone to talk with his wife, but she knew nothing 
about it. — ^Jesse wished me not to tell an3^thing of 
w^hat he said to me — I first told Mr. Pratt of 
Jesse's statement, if I recollect right — nobody was 
present in the court-room when Stephen told me 
as before mentioned — that Jesse one Sunday, when 
we were on the bed together told me he wished me 
to keep council, and that he understood that his 
wife had said something about keeping watch. I 
understood from Jesse that Russel struck Stephen 
first — that they had been JaiW/?^ all the time the 
fore part of the day. 

Mr. Attorney offers a written confession signed 


by Stephen Boorn, dated August 27th, 1819; but 
it appearing that some promises of favor had been 
made to him ])reYious to the confession being 
made, it was rejected b^- the court. 

William Farxsworth \vas produced to prove 
what Stephen told him when he and Stephen were 
alone, about his being present when Russel was 
killed. He was objected to by respondent's counsel 
because it was subsequent to the proposition 
made by Esq. Raymond; and Mr. Skinner offered 
to prove other proposals and promises made to 
the prisoners, at other times, before the conversa- 
tion now offered to be proved. 

The Court decided that the witness, Farns- 
worth, should be examined, and on preliminary- 
examination, the witness stated that neither he, 
nor anybody else to his knowledge had done any- 
thing directlv or indirectly to influence the said 
Stephen to the talk he was now about to com- 

The witness states — That about two or three 
weeks after the written confession, Stephen told 
me he killed Russel Colvin, that there was a quar- 
rel, and that Russel struck at him, that he struck 
Russel and killed him, that he put him into the 
bushes, that he buried him and dug him up, put 
the remains under the barn which was burnt, the 
bones were taken up and put into the river, just 
above the deep hole, that he scraped up the re- 
mains and put them into a stump, that he knew 
the nails w-hich were found were Colvin's, that no 
person was present, that he perpetrated the whole 
business himself. I asked him about thejack-knife; 


he said it was Russel's, he knew it, as soon as he 
saw it. I told him the case looked dark, he re- 
plied, that if Jesse had kept his ^uts in the\^ should 
have done well enough, that he put the pieces of 
bones under the stump through a hole between the 
roots and stamped the dirt down. — He said he 
wished he had back that paper, I asked him what 
paper: he said "Hav'ent you seen a paper I wrote?" 
Here Mr. Skinner stated, that as Mr. Farns- 
worth had, contrary to his expectations, been al- 
lowed thus to testify-, he now in behalf of the pris- 
oners, called for the w^'itten confession, which was 
read as follows, viz. — 

"May the tenth, 1812, I, about 9 or 10 o'clock, 
went down to David Glazier's bridge, and fished 
down below uncle Nathaniel Boorn's, and then 
went up across their farms, where Russel and 
Lewis was, being the nighest waA^ and set down 
and began to talk, and Russel told me how many 
dollars benefit he had been to father, and I told 
him he was a damned fool, and he w^as mad and 
jumped up, and we sat close together, and I told 
him to set down, a^ou little tor^^ and there was a 
piece of a beech limb about two feet long, and he 
catched it up and struck at my head as I sat down 
and I jumped up and it struck me on one shoulder, 
and I catched it out of his hand and struck him a 
back-handed blow, I being on the north side of 
him, and there was a knot on it about one inch 
long. As I struck him I did think I hit him on his 
back, and he stooped down and that knot was 
broken off sharp, and it hit him on the back of the 
neck, close in his hair, and it went in about a half 


of an inch on that great cord, and he fell down, and 
then I told the bo^' to go down and come up with 
his nncle John, and he asked me if I had killed Riis- 
sel — I told him no, but he must not tell that we 
struck one another. And I told him when we got 
awa}' down, Russel was gone away, and I went 
back and he was dead, and then I went and took 
him and put him in the corner of the fence by the 
cellar-hole, and put briers over him and went 
home and went down to the barn and got some 
boards, and when it was dark I went down and 
took a hoe and boards, and dug a grave as well as 
I could, and took out of his pocket a little barlow 
knife, with about half of a blade, and cut some 
bushes, and put on his face, and the boards and 
put in the grave, & put him in four boards, on the 
bottom and on the top, and the other on the sides, 
and then covered him up and went home crying 
along, but I want afraid as I know on. And when 
I lived at William Boorn's I planted some pota- 
toes, and when I dug them I went there and some- 
thing I thought had been there, and I took up his 
bones and put them in a basket, and took the 
boards and put them on my potatoe hole, and 
then it was night, took the basket and my hoe and 
went down and pulled a plank in the stable floor, 
and then dug a hole, and then covered him up, and 
went in the house and told them I had done with 
the basket and took back the shovel, and covered 
up ni}' potatoes that evening, and then when Hived 
under the west mountain, Lewis came and told me 
that father's barn w^as burnt up, the next day or 
the next but one, I came down and went to the barn 


and there was a few bones, and when they was at 
dinner I told them I did not want my dinner, and 
went and took them, and there want only a few of 
the biggest of the bones, and threw^ them in the riv- 
er above \V3'man's, and then went back, and it 
was done quic ktoo, and then was hungry- by that 
time, and then went home, and the next Sunday- 1 
came down after mone\^ to pay the boot that I 
gave to boot between oxens, and went out there 
and scraped up the little things that was under the 
stump there, and told them I was going to fishing, 
and went, and there was a hole, and I dropped 
them in and kicked over the stuff, and that is .the 
first any bod^' knew it, either friends or foes, even 
niv wife. All these I acknowlege before the world. 

"Manchester, Aug. 27, 1819." 
It appeared from the testimon}^ of a number of 
respectable witnesses, that a jack-knife and a but- 
ton w^ere found at the old cellar-hole, which be- 
longed to said Colvin immediately previous to his 
disappearance — that a number of bones and two 
nails \vere found in a hollow stump, one of which 
was supposed to be a thumb nail, but the other 
nail and the bones were so decayed that it was 
not ascertained whether they were animal or 
human bones — that some bones were found at the 
cellar-hole which were not human bones — that the 
respondents had said that Russel had gone to hell, 
and that they had put him where potatoes would 
not freeze; and that they had made various state- 
ments concerning the transaction, sometimes stat- 
ing that they were present at the time of Colvin's 


disa])pearing, sometimes that they were at Paw- 
let, Rupert, Sandgate, and various other places. 

The jur\' found both the respondents guilty, 
and they were sentenced to ])e executed on the 
28th January, 1820. 

Soon after the trial ended, a petition was sent 
to the Legislature, then sitting at Montpelier, for 
pardon or commutation of their punishment. The 
Hon. Judge Chase laid the facts before the Legis- 
lature, by their request, in a form of a report, and 
on the 15th ol November, the house adopted the 
following resolution: — 

'[Resolved, That the prayer of Stephen and 
Jesse Boorn be so far granted, as to commute the 
punishment of death, for that of imprisonment for 
life, in the State's Prison at hard labor, in the case 
of the said Jesse Boorn, and that he have leave to 
bring in a bill accordingly; and that it is inex- 
pedient to grant any relief to the said Stephen." 
On the question. Shall the first clause of the resolu- 
tion be adopted, the yeas were 104 — nays 31. On 
the second clause, yeas 94 — nays 42. A bill was 
subsequently passed comporting with the first 
clause of the above resolution. 

Stephen Boorn, on hearing that the Legislature 
had not granted him any relief, caused a notice to 
be published in the Rutland Herald, of the folio \v- 
import: — 

"MURDER. — Printers of Newspapers through- 
out the United States, are desired to publish that 
Stephen Boorn, of Manchester, in Vermont, is sen- 
tenced to be executed for the murder of Russel Col- 
vin, who has been absent about seven years. Any 


person who can give information of said Colvin, 
may save the life of the innocent by making im- 
mediate communication. Colvin is about five feet 
five inches high, light complexion, light hair, blue 
eyes, about forty 3'ears of age. 

"Manchester, Yt. Nov. 26, 1819." 
What can be suposed were the feelings of the 
public on seeing the foregoing advertisement? 
Could an^' person believe that Colvin was alive, 
after having heard the confessions of the two pris- 
oners, that thev had murdered him, buried him, 
dug up his bones, buried them under the barn, the 
barn afterwards being burned, and the bones tak- 
en up again and thrown into the river, Colvin's 
hat, button and knife found, Stephen with Col- 
vin's shoes on, and Colvin not heard ol for more 
than seven years? But after all, it turns out that 
Colvin is still in "the land of the living," although 
various opinions were formed as to the correctness 
of the following letter published in the New- York 

Shrewsbury, Monmouth, N.J. Dec. 6. 
''To the Editor of the N. Y. Evening Post. 

"Sir— Having read in 3'our paper of Nov. 26th 
last, of the conviction and sentence of Stephen and 
Jesse Boorn, of Manchester, Yermont, charged 
with the murder of Russel Colvin, and from facts 
which have fallen within my own knowledge, and 
not knowing what facts ma_v have been disclosed 
on their trial, and wishing to serve the cause of 
humanity, I would state as follows, which mav be 
relied on: Some years past, (I think between five 
and ten ) a stranger made his appearance in this 


county, and being inciuircd of, said his name was 
Russel Colvin (which name he answers to at this 
time) — that he came from Manchester, Vermont — 
he appeared to be in a state of mental derange- 
ment, but at times gave considerable account of 
himself— his connections, acquaintances, &c. He 
mentions the name of Clarissa, Rufus, &c. Among 
his relations he has mentioned the Boorns above — 
Jesse, as Judge, (I think) &c. &c. He is a man 
rather small in stature — round favored, speaks ver3^ 
fast, and has two scars on his head, and appears 
to be between 30 and 40 3'ears of age. There is no 
doubt but that he came from Vermont, from the 
mention that he has made of a number of places 
and persons there, and probably is the person sup- 
posed to have been murdered. He is now living 
here, but so completely insane, as not to be able to 
give satisfactory account of himself, but the con- 
nexions of Russel Colvin might know b\' seeing 
him. If you think proper to give this a place in 
3'our columns, it may possibh" lead to a discovery 
that ma3^ save the lives of innocent men — if so, you 
will have the pleasure, as well as myself of having 
served the cause of humanity. If 3'ou give this an 
insertion in your paper, pray be so good as to re- 
quest the different editors of newspapers in Xew- 
Vork and Vermont, to give it a place in theirs. 
"I am. Sir, with sentiments of regard, 3'Ours,&c. 


On the promulgation of the above letter in New 

York, the members of the corporation of the city 

sent a Mr. Whelplc}', of that cit\', who was form- 

erh' acquainted with said Colvin in Vermont, to 


New-Jersey to ascertain the fact. Mr. Whelpley, 
being satisfied that it was the same Colvin who 
was supposed to have been murdered, he was con- 
ducted to Manchester, through New-York, Albany 
and Tro3', at which places the streets were literal- 
h^ filled with spectators to get a peep at the mur- 
dered Colvin! On the 22d day of December, 1819, 
a large assembly of people from various towns ad- 
joining, had convened at Manchester to behold 
the entrance of Colvin into the tow^n, in order to 
see the dead man, and hear his story! His entrance 
was announced by the firing of cannon, and 
Stephen Boorn was immediately released from 
prison, and his chains, to behold his old acquaint- 
ance ! 

Russel Colvin came to the house of William Pol- 
hemus, in Dover, Monmouth county, New-Jersey, 
in March or April, 1813, somewhat deranged and 
has lived there since until his removal as above 
stated; and after staying in Manchester a day or 
two, he returned back to New-Jerse3\ He did not 
give an^^ particular account of the quarrel men- 
tioned in the trial, nor w^ould he own his wife, from 
which circumstances some have supposed that he 
w^as not the man supposed to have been mur- 
dered, but some other person ever3^ way re- 
sembling the said Colvin; and I must confess, 
that if there had been no stronger proof of the re- 
turn of Russel Colvin to Manchester than that 
every person in Manchester formerl^^ acquainted 
with him, knew him to be the same Colvin, I 
should have my doubts ; but on inquiring of the 
people of Manchester, and ascertaining that the 


man returned for Russel Colvin, would call the 
people who he was formerly acquainted with b}' 
their names and their titles, such as Esq., Capt., 
uncle, &c. my doubts are removed, and I am in the 
full belief of the said Russel Colvin having returned 
to Manchester as stated. 

Various are the opinions relating to this mys- 
terious affair, but one thing is certain — that is, that 
Stephen Boorn, Jesse Boorn and Russel Colvin had 
a quarrel as stated bv Thomas Johnson, and the 
Boorns' confessions, and I think also that Colvin 
received a bad wound from Stephen, and that Rus- 
sel went off without his hat and shoes unknown 
to Stephen or Jesse, and not being heard of for a 
number of years, Stephen and Jesse were no doubt 
of the opinion that Colvin had died of the wounds 
received from them. After they were examined 
and committed for trial, knowing they had told 
different stories about the transaction, and Colvin 
not being heard of, and others advising them to 
confess, they were induced to make the confessions 
and in such a way as to make Colvin the first ag- 
gressor, and if possible save themselves from the 



The town of Jericho in the County of Chitten- 
den was one of the one hundred and twent3'-nine 
towns that were granted by Benning Went worth, 
the Governor of New^ Hampshire, when that State 
claimed jurisdiction over the territory now called 
Vermont. The town is in lat. 44°— 27', and long. 
4,° 4'. The 129 towns were all granted betw^een 
Jan. 2nd, 1749, and Nov. 4th, 1764. The grant for 
Bennington bears date on the 3d day of Januar^^, 
1749, it being the first town granted. Jericho was 
granted the 7th day of June, 1763. The grant was 
in the words, figures and names following: 

*2 — 33 *Province of New-Hampshire. 

Jerico GEORGE the Third, 

'-- — — j^ By the Grace of God, of Great-Britain, 
I France and Ireland, King, Defender of 

=1 P. S. the Faith &c. 

To all Persons to whom these Pres- 
}_ ., ^ enls shall come. 

Know ye, that We of Our special Grace, certain 
Knowledge, and meer Motion, for the due En- 
couragement of settling a New Plantation within 
our said Province, by and with the Advice of our 
Trusty and Well-beloved Benning Went worth, 
Esq; Our Governor and Commander in Chief of 



Our said Province of New-Hampshire in New- 
England, and of our Council ofthe said Province; 
HAVE upon the Conditions and Reservations 
herein after made, given and granted, and by 
these Presents, for us, our Heirs, and Successors, 
do give and grant in equal Shares, unto Our loving 
Subjects, Inhabitants of Our said Province of New 
Hampshire, and Our other Governments, and to 
their Heirs and Assigns for ever, whose names are 
entered on this Grant, to be divided to and amongst 
them into Seventy two equal Shares, all that 
Tract or Parcel of Land situate, lying and being 
within our said Province of New-Hampshire, con- 
taining by Admeasurement, 23040 Acres, which 
Tract is to contain Six Aliles square, and no more; 
out of which an Allowance is to be made for High 
Wa^'s and unimprovable Lands b}- Rocks, Ponds, 
Mountains and Rivers. One Thousand and Fort\' 
Acres free, according to a Plan and Survey there- 
of made by Our said Governor's Order, and re- 
turned into the Secretar3^'s Office, and hereunto 
annexed, butted and bounded as follows. Viz. Be- 
ginning at the Southerly or South Easterly Corner 
of Essex at the Northerh' side of Onion or French 
River (so called) from thence Easterly up said 
River so far as to make Six Miles on a straight 
Line, allowing the same to be Perpendicular with 
the South Easterh^ Line of said Essex from thence 
Northerly a Parralell Line with the south Easterly 
line of said Essex six Miles from thence Westerh- 
about six Miles to the North Easterh' corner of 
said Essex, from thence southerly by the Easterly 
Line of said Essex Six Miles to the place begun at 


— And that the same be, and hereby is Incorpor- 
ated into a Township by the Name of Jerico And 
the Inhabitants that do or shall hereafter inhabit 
the said Township, are hereby declared to be En- 
franchized with and Intitled to all and ever\' the 
Priviledges and Immunities that other Towns 
within Our Province by Law Exercise and Enjoy: 
And further, that the said Town as soon as there 
shall be Fifty Families resident and settled there- 
on, shall have the Libert}^ of holding Two Fairs, 
one of which shall be held on the 

And the other on the 
annually, which Fairs are not to continue longer 
than the respective 

following the said and that as 

soon as the said Town shall consist of 
Fifty Families, a Market may be *open- 
ed and kept one or more Days in each *2 — 434 
Week, as may be thought most ad- 
vantagious to the Inhabitants. Also, that the first 
Meeting for the Choice of Town Officers, agreable 
to the Laws of our said Province, shall be held on 
the 14th July next which said Meeting shall be 
Notified by Mr. John Burling who is hereby also 
appointed the Moderator of the said first meeting, 
which he is to Notify and Govern agreable to the 
Laws and Customs of our said Province; and that 
the annual Meeting for ever hereafter for the 
Choice of such Officers for the said Town, shall be 
on the second Tuesday of March annually. To 
Have and to Hold the said Tract of Land as 
above expressed, together with all Priviliges and 
Appurtenances, to them and their respective Heirs 


and Assigns forever, upon the following Condi- 
tions, viz. 

I. That every Grantee, his Heirs or Assigns 
shall plant and cultivate five Acres of Land within 
the Term of five Years for everv fifty Acres con- 
tained in his or their Share or Proportion of Land 
in said Township, and continue to improve and 
settle the same b\' additional Cultivations, on 
Penalty' of the Forfeiture of his Grant or Share in 
the said Township, and of its reverting to Us, our 
Heirs and Successors, to be by Us or Them Re- 
granted to such of Our Subjects as shall effectuall}' 
settle and cultivate the same. 

n. That all white and other Pine Trees within 
the said Township, fit for Masting Our Ro3^al 
Nav\% be carefulh' preserved for that Use, and 
none to be cut or felled without Our special License 
for so doing first had and obtained, upon the Pen- 
alty of the Forfeiture of the Right of such Grantee, 
his Heirs and Assigns, to Us, our Heirs and Suc- 
cessors, as well as being subject the Penalty ofany 
Act or Acts of Parliament that now are, or here- 
after shall be Enacted. 

HL That before an3^ Division of the Land be 
made to and among the Grantees, a Tract of Land 
as near the Centre of the said Township as the 
Land will admit of, shall be reserved and marked 
out for Town Lots, one of which shall be alloted 
to each Grantee of the Contents of one Acre. 

IV. Yielding and paA'ing therefor to Us, our 
Heirs and Successors for the Space often Years, to 
be computed from the Date hereof, the Rent of one 
Ear of Indian Corn onh% on the twenty-fifth Day 


of Dece/rzfoer annuall3', if lawfully demanded, the 
first payment to be made on the twenty-fifth Da^^ 
o{ December, 1763. 

V. Every Proprietor, Settler or Inhabitant, 
shall yield and pay unto Us, our Heirs and Succes- 
sors yearly, and every Year forever, from and after 
the Expiration of ten Years from the abovesaid 
twent\'-fifth Day of December, namely, on the 
twenty-fifth Day of December, which will be in 
the Year of our Lord 1773 One shilling Proclam- 
ation Money for ever^^ Hundred Acres he so owns, 
settles or possesses, and so in Proportion for a 
greater or lesser tract of the said Land; which 
Mone\' shall be paid by the respective Persons 
abovesaid, their Heirs or Assigns, in our Council 
Chamber in Portsmouth or to such Officer or Of- 
ficers as shall be appointed to receive the same; 
and this to be in Lieu of all other Rents and Ser- 
vices w^hatsoever. 

In Testimonv whereof we have caused the Seal 
of our said Province to be hereunto affixed. Wit- 
ness Bexxixg Wentworth, Esq; Our Governor 
and Commander in Chief of Our said Province, the 
Seventh Day of June In the Year of our Lord 
Christ, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty 
three And in the Third Year of Our Reign. 

B)^ His Excellency's Command, 
With Advice of Council, 

^ T Atkinson Jun^ Sec^y 

Pro^ New Hamp^ June 7^^ 1763 

Recorded According to the Original Charter 

under the Prov^ Seal 

t?^ T Atkinson Jun^" Sec^y 



*2— 435 *The Names of 
Edwd Burling 
Thos Burling 
Sanil Burling 
John Sackett 
John Sackett Junr 
John Wiggins 
Willm Wiggins 
Willm Latham 
Lancaster Burling 
Amos Dodge Junr 
James Jarvis 
Charles Jarvis 
Philip Brasher 
Willm D Peyster Junr 
Barnard De Forcest 
Amos Underhill Junr 
Soloman Underhill 
Saml Laurence 
Thos Grenell 
W^illiam Mercier 
John Burling 
John Bowne 
Nichs H Bogart 
Jereah Martine 
Peter Tetard 
Charles Davis 
John Davis 
James McCreedy 
Henry Matthews 
Collo Saml Barr 
Drjohn Hale 
Thos Grenell Senr; 

the Grantees ofjerico (Viz) 
James Burling 
Walter Burling 
Benja Burling 
James Sackett Junr 
Danl W^iggins 
Danl Wiggins Junr 
Benja Wiggins 
Danl Latham 
Amos Dodge 
Arthur Jarvis 
James Jarvis Junr 
Benja Bill 
Abrm Brasher 
Morris Earle 
John Bates 
David Underhill 
Edmd Underhill 
James Laurence 
Thos Grenell Junr 
John Dyer Mercier 
Philip Burling 
John Vermilye 
John Martine 
John Guerinaux 
Saml Gillat 
Stephen Davis 
James Davis 
John Cornell of Flushing 
Saml Averil 
Joseph Blanchard 
Benja Jarvis 


Hon John Temple, Theo: Atkinson, Mk H^' Wcnt- 
worth Esqrs. 

His Excellency Benning Went worth Esq^ a 
Tract of Land to Contain Five Hundred Acres as 
marked B — W — in the Plan which is to be Account- 
ed two of the within Shares, One whole share for 
the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts, One Share for a Glebe 
for the Church of England as by Law Establish'd, 
One Share for the First settled Minister of the Gos- 
pel, & One Share for the benefit of a School in said 
Town — 

Province of New Hamp^' June 7^^ 1763 

Recorded according to the Back of the Original 
Charter of Jericho under the Pro^' Seal 

r^ T Atkinson Jun Sec^^' 

The town contained 23,040 acres. Bv an Act 
of the Legislature, Richmond was incorporated 
Oct. 27th, 1794-, and a part of Jericho, together 
with a part of Williston, and a part of Hunting- 
ton (then called Xew Huntington) were taken to 
make that town. 

The town is well watered with springs and 
brooks. The Onion or Winooski River (in the 
early history of Vermont called the French River) 
washes the southwestern boundarv. Brown's river 
enters the town at the northeast from Underbill 
and runs through the town into Essex. Lee River 
also takes its rise in the town of Underbill, enter- 
ing Jericho in the east part, and running through 
the town the distance of six miles, and unites with 
Brown's River at the village of Jericho in the west 
part of the town. Mill Brook enters the town 


rom Bolton, and runs into Onion River about 
half-way from Richmond to Essex. Jericho is a 
good farming town, and well adapted to raising 
most kinds of grain and grasses. 

In the early days of Jericho there were but few 
families that had come to settle there to fell the 
forest and to establish homes for themselves. 
Those that first came were poor and had to 
struggle with povert}^ and hardships incident to 
a pioneer life, and ^vere exposed to cruel treatment 
from the British and hostile Indians, and were re- 
quired to be watchful to guard against capture 
by the enemy. At first there were a few families 
who settled in the south part of the town near 
Onion River, and a famiW bj' the name of Joseph 
Brown settled on Brown's River near Underbill in 
1774. On Oct. 16, 1780, hostile Indians from Can- 
ada, inspired and aided by the British, made their 
way to and burnt the village of Royalton, and on 
their return the part3' divided on Onion River near 
Bolton, one division going down the river to Lake 
Champlain and made their way back to Canada, 
while the other division passed over through Jeri- 
cho to said family of Browns on Brown's River. Be- 
fore the Indians had found the residence of the 
Brown family, a man by the name of Gibson who 
had been hospitabl_v entertained by Brown for 
some time, while hunting in that section, fell into 
the hands of the Indians. He told the Indians if 
the\' would let him go, he would lead them where 
they could get a whole family. The Indians agreed 
to this and were led b}^ Gibson to the house of 
Brown; six savages entered the house and took 


prisoners Mr. Brown and his wife and two chil- 
dren, (not their own,) who were living with them 
at the time. A man b^' the name of Old residing 
with Brown, seeing the Indians enter, jumped 
from a window and escaped to the family of Rod- 
erick Messenger living in the south part of the 
town near Onion River. At the time the Indians 
reached the house Brown's two boys, Charles and 
Joseph, of 14 and 12 3'ears of age respectiveh', 
were not at home. When the two boA^s returned 
home at night they were also taken prisoners by 
the Indians la^-ing in wait for them. The Indians 
after securing their prisoners, killed the cattle, 
sheep and hogs belonging to Mr. Brown, set the 
house on fire and started for Montreal. The pris- 
oners suffered much on their journev through the 
woods, from fatigue and hunger. On their arrival 
at St. Johns, they were sold to British officers at 
eight dollars per head, and b_v them retained as 
prisoners nearly three years and kept at hard la- 
bor as servants for their masters, and were allow- 
ed but miserable fare. The said sons, Joseph and 
Charles, fled from the British service and imprison- 
ment in the spring of 1783, and returned to their 
Jericho home, where their father and mother joined 
them when they were released upon the declara- 
tion of peace between Great Britain and the United 

The said Charles, the eldest boy that was cap- 
tured, was the father of Zina Brown, formerly a 
Methodist minister, and Luther Brown who form- 
erlv lived in the brick house near the cemetery a 
little east of the village of Underhill, and the other 


boy, Joseph, was the grandfather of Henry M. 
Brown, who now lives near the place where the 
two boys were captured. 

The first three settlers, and who came from the 
western part of Massachusetts, were the said 
Joseph Brown, Senior, Roderick Messenger already 
referred to, and Azariah Rood, who settled in town 
in 1774-. 

The town was organized March 22, 1786, at a 
meeting warned by John Fassettc, Judge of the 
Supreme Court. At this meeting James Farns- 
worth was chosen Moderator; Lewis Chapin, 
Clerk; Peter Mc Arthur, Constable. At another 
meeting held June 13th, 1786, Azariah Rood, 
Joseph Hall and Jedediah Lane were chosen Select- 
men. Jedediah Lane was the first Representative 
ofthetownto the General Assembly and was 
elected Nov. 29, 1786. 

Among the earh' settlers were David T. Stone, 
who came to town about 1791, from Connecticut, 
Gains Pease and George Brutts came to town about 
the same time and all settled on Lee River. The fol- 
lowing, a well authenticated incident, is related of 
these three men who believed in exact justice. One 
Case\^ who lived in the same neighborhood, for 
some offence took his son to the woods at night, 
and after a dreadful whipping left him tied to a 
tree until his screams brought the neighbors to 
his relief in the early morning. Notice was given 
of the transaction to the executors of the law, in 
this case, who appeared at the abode of Casey, 
the next night, and with the "beech seal" and raw- 
hide well laid on sought to change the disposition 
of Casev. 


Amono^ the early settlers were John Lyman, the 
father of John, (who was Clerk of the town for 
many years,) and Daniel who lived in Jericho for 
many years and till their death after the death of 
their father; David and Jedediah Field who came 
to Jericho from Quilford, Conn., about 1797, Alar- 
tin Chittenden, Nathaniel Bostwick, John Lee, 
Caleb Nash, Benjamin Da}-, Polli C. Packard, Jesse 
Glovd, Jesse Thompson, James Marsh, Isaac Ben- 
ham, Oliver Lowre}-, Truman Barney' , Truman 
Galusha, Nathaniel Plin^-, Lemuel Blackman, 
Elias Bartlett, Hosea Spaulding and Timothy 

One of the first roads that w^as built through 
Jericho, was built, as it was a .custom in those 
daj's in a direct line over high hills, ran from what 
is now called Underbill Flatts to Onion River, over 
the hill and by the now farm house of Eugene Her- 
rick, and crossed Lee River near where W. R. Ma- 
comber now lives, and from there over the hill and 
by where Arthur K. Morse now resides, to Onion 

It may be of some local interest to record where 
persons who were for a long time citizens of the 
town, resided. It will not be my purpose to be def- 
inite as to the time when such person's residence 
commenced or when they removed or died; nor will 
it be practicable for the writer, to state the res- 
idence of the inhabitants before 1857, when he be- 
came a citizen ot the town, but will state the res- 
idence of the persons hereafter named from about 
the year 1857 to about 1870. On the road lead- 
ing from Jericho to Onion River, Daniel Lyman and 


his son Charles H., owned and lived on the farm 
where Airs. E. L. Sargent now resides, and Horace 
Babcock a Httle east of the same road on land 
now owned by Wert Brigham. David Hutchinson 
lived on the farm where his son James H. Hutchin- 
son now lives; Orin Crane residcd.on the next farm 
to the south. Orley Thompson owned and lived 
upon the farm a little east from said road, that is 
now owned by Hosea Wright. 

On the road running up Onion River Rufus 
Bishop lived on the place where Daniel B. Bishop 
now lives, and the said Daniel B. resided on his 
farm a little farther towards Richmond. Lcet A. 
Bishop resided a long time on the farm now occu- 
pied by E. C. Fay. and until he removed to Willis- 
ton. George Goodrich lived on the road leading 
from the Leet A. Bishop place to Jericho Center, 
on the farm now owmed and occupied by Edgar L. 
Barber. On the cross road leading from the said 
Leet A. Bishop place to the road leading from Jeri- 
cho Center to Richmond there resided S\dvester 
and Cyrus Tarbox on the farm where the survivor 
Cyrus now lives; and about one-half mile to the 
east of said Tarbox farm resided Solomon Powell 
on a farm which he afterwards sold and removed 

On the road running from Richmond to Jericho 
Center Jesse Gloyd has resided many ^^ears near 
Richmond line, where he and his son now live. 
About half a mile north from the last named place 
Dea. Ezra Elliott resided on the farm where George 
E. Cunningham now resides. Lewis Marsh resided 
for man}' years a little north of the Elliott farm, 


and Harvey P'ord lived on the north bank of 
Mill Brook as you go north on said road. Subal 
Palmer lived at the top of the hill a few rods north 
of the Ford place and kept spruce beer for sale, 
and for a sign indicating what article he had to 
sell, he had placed over his door, "Spruss Bier." 
A little further towards the Center Henr3'Borrow- 
dale lived on his large farm, where S. W. Hoyt 
now lives. At the forks of the road where the 
Mill Brook road connects with the road to Rich- 
mond John T. Clapp lived many years, and till he 
removed to Jericho Corners. A little to the north 
of the Clapp place where the road is lined with 
handsome maple trees, there resided DanaBicknell, 
where B. G. Brown now resides. Said Bicknell af- 
terwards removed to where his children, Dustin 
and Emma now live. On the same street Josiah 
Townsend formed v resided. Russell French re- 
sided in the brick house north of the Bicknell place, 
where his son Warren F. French now lives. 

On the Mill Brook road there lived RoUin M. 
Clapp, A. S. Wood, Lyman Hall, and William 
Nealy. There lived on the East hill on the road 
leading across said brook, Harve\" Field on the 
farm where his grandson Robert Field now lives. 
Silas J. Haskins, Ansel, Daniel, Zenas, and Horace 
Nash lived at Nashville. 

Martin Howe, Theodocia and Lavina Monroe, 
and Harry Hoskins lived on the road running from 
Nashville to Lee River. There lived on the road 
leading from Nashville to West Bolton Judge An- 
drew Warner on the farm now occupied by Charles 
and Willie Ben tie v. Hubbel B. Smith lived at the 


end of a spur ot a road where Newell Story now 
lives. Furthereaston the main road leading to Bol- 
ton there lived Chaimcey Abbott. Benjamin B. 
Hatch lived on the farm where Moses Leary and his 
son now live; Billings Stroud lived on the same 
road near Bolton line. On the road leading 
towards Jonesville there lived Chesman Johnson 
and John McAndlass. Nathan Smith lived at the 
end of the spur of road leading north from near 
the Moses Leary place. 

South from Jericho Center near the Cemetery 
Ho3't M. Chapin lived, and on the same road run- 
ning round to the Richmond road there lived Hen- 
ry Gibbs and Nathan Richardson. Nathan Benham 
lived on the farm where his son-in-law, H. H. Hall, 
now resides. On the road running north-easterly 
from the Common there lived William Bartlett; 
and Norman Wight lived at the north end of that 
road. James Morse lived and carried on mercan- 
tile business at the south side of the Common un- 
til he moved on to his farm, where Arthur K. 
Morse now lives. Elias Bartlett lived a little 
north of the Common, on the road leading to 
Jericho village. Joel B. Bartlett lived at the west 
side of the Common near the store where George 
Styles has since resided. E. H. Lane was for a long 
time a merchant, doing business on the west side 
of the Common. Hosea Spaulding lived in the 
red house north of the village on the road towards 
Jericho, where Wells Lee now owns, and John 
Chambers lived at the corner of the road a little 
north of the said Spaulding place; Martin Bartlett, 
the land surveyor, owned and lived on the farm 
now owned bv Isaac C. Stone. 


William Johnson, Hira A. Percival, Phillip Car- 
rol and Bryan Reddy lived on the Plains on the 
south road leading from Jericho to Jericho Center, 
and Alexander Miller lived east of the Plains on the 
hill where Henry Smith now resides. Charles Hil- 
ton lived on the hill on the road leading from the 
said Miller place to Onion River where Carl Schill- 
hammer now lives, and where W. R. Macomber 
formerly lived. Vincent Yarney lived on the road 
leading from the said Hilton place to Jericho Cen- 
ter on the farm where Sarah Varney and Jed Yar- 
ney now reside. On the road from there to Onion 
River there lived James Morse. John Smith; and 
Gordon Smith lived where he now lives. On the 
road leading from the said Miller place to Jericho 
Center Everet W. Johnson lived a little east of 
said Miller place, and James Graham resided on 
the farm where Oliver H. Brown now lives. 

Allen Balch owned and lived on the farm where 
W. W. Ring now lives on the Lee River road lead- 
ing up said river from Jericho village; Milton Ford 
lived w^here Matthew J. Tierne\' resides; Addison 
M. Ford lived where he now^ does; T. Chittenden 
Galusha resided where John Schillhammer now 
lives. Henry B. Percival lived on the farm where 
W. I. Byington now lives; Lyman Stimson lived 
on the farm now owned by Sidney S. Thomson, 
and carried on the wheelwright and blacksmith 
business. Robert Gibson lived and carried on the 
shoe and boot making and repair business for 
many years and until he died, a little east of the 
Stimson place near the bridge. Asa Church lived 
at the corner of the roads where the Lee River 
road crosses the road leading to Underbill. 


Lucius L. Lane lived up the river on the farm 
where L. H. Chai)in now resides, and Reuben Lee 
lived on the farm now occupied by his son-in-law, 
Luther M. Howe. Silas Ransom lived on the farm 
now occupied byB. B Mattimore; Cyrus Lanelived 
on the farm now owned and occupied by Martin V. 
Willard and son George. Ezra Kinney- lived near 
the school house. Antoine Laflash lived where 
Frank E. Kinney now does; Hiram Stone lived on 
the farm where James Alorse now resides. Simeon 
Pease, Benjamin Joy and Thomas Choate lived on 
the road running from Lee River near said Hiram 
Stone farm to Underhill Center. Said Pease lived 
where Ezra J. Brown now^ lives. On the Lee River 
road, Leonard Pease lived on thefarm now known 
as the McGinnis farm. 

Xehemiah Prout}- lived in the two story house 
adjoining the Leonard Pease farm. David Benson 
lived where his widow resides, and Edgar Barney 
owned the saw-mill and lived on the premises 
there situated, where J. E. Burrows now resides. 
There lived on the upper road running from Lee 
River towards Underhill Center Isaac Smith and P. 
B. Smith his son; Stephen Hale lived on a farm on 
the same road leading to West Bolton, where John 
McGee now lives. Benial AlcGee, a litegou3 man, 
lived in the north-east corner of the towm. James 
Martin lived where F. N. Fuller now lives, and on 
the same road F. A. Fuller, D. W. Doncaster lived 
for man3' years. Alva Pease lived on the farm 
where his son, Frank W. Pease, now resides; Leon 
Gauvin lived in the brick house on the same road, 
and Oatis Church lived on the farm next to Bolton 

OF vp:rmont. 311 

On the road running from Lee River to Under- 
bill Flatts (so called) Ezra Church lived on the 
farm where Asa Church now lives; C3'rus Packard 
lived where his son Harrison now resides, and Ed- 
mund Martin lived on his farm situated on the 
road leading from the Packard farm easterly to 
Lee River. 

Homer Rawson lived where he now resides, on 
the corner of the roads, one leading northerly on 
to the Cilley hill (so-called.) Dr. Jesse Thompson 
lived where James McLane now lives, and C. M. 
Spaulding lived where Clark R. Varney resides, 
and Henry Oakes lived where Albert Cilley since 
lived till he died. Uzziel S. Whitcomb lived where 
James Hanle\' now lives, and Hiram Martin lived 
on the farm where Nelson A. Prior now resides, 
and Oliver Lowrey in the next house to the east 
of the Martin place, while Albert Lowrey owned 
and occupied the farm where his son, O.J. Lowrey, 
now lives, and George P. How^e lived on the farm 
now owned by Ira Hawley; Arthur L. Castle lived 
for many years and till he died, on the farm now 
owned by Irving A. Irish, and Selah Babcock a 
few rods to the east, adjoining the Castle farm. 
Lucius S. Barney lived on the farm now owned by 
his son, Truman B. Barney; and Hiram B. Day on 
the farm now owned by Elmer G. Irish. 

Joseph Brown resided on the farm where his 
son Henry Brown now lives, on the road leading 
to Jericho Center; and Albert Gleason lived on the 
farm now owned by his son, I. R. Gleason. Rex- 
tus Orr lived on the middle road running south 
from the said Hiram B. Day farm, and on the same 


road, about a mile to the south, Newell Marsh 
liYed, on the farm that was afterwards owned by 
Martin H. Packard, and now owned by M. B. 
Small. Abijah Whitton and his son, John P. Whit- 
ton, lived on the first farm on the road leading 
south from the said Albert Low^rey farm; Rollin 
M. Townsend lived where Loren Jackson now^ 
lives, on the same road; and Harvey Booth lived 
on the farm where his son, Hawley C. Booth, re- 
sides; while Hiram Booth lived on the farm where 
William Schillhammer resides. Julius H. Hapgood 
lived on the farm now owned by S. A. Hale on the 
Race-wa\^ road. 

At the Flatts village, Charles Hubbell lived 
near the covered bridge that spans Browm's River; 
and Edw^'ird S. Whitcdmb, Senior, ow^ned the farm 
and store situated where C. H. Hayden is carr\'- 
ing on the mercantile business. Robert Jackson 
lived on the farm now owned b\' Frank S. Jackson 
on the road leading to Underbill Center; and 
Luther Brown owned and lived in the brick house 
on the same road. The Arthur "Bostwick House," 
afterwards the ''Dixon House," that was run as a 
hotel and summer boarding house for many years, 
stood on the road leading north through the main 
part of the village, a few^ rods north-westerW from 
said Whitcomb store building. L. M. Dixon lived 
where E. S. Whitcomb now resides; Julius H. Bost- 
wick owned and lived upon the premises where 
Samuel A. Hale lives; Isaac C. Bostwick lived 
at the corner of the said village road and the Race- 
way' road; and Joseph Kingsbury lived on the op- 
posite corner on the farm where Walter E. Russell 


and his son John now reside. Amos Eastman lived 
in the next house north, nearh' opposite of the 
Episcopal church. Samuel B. Bliss lived on the 
premises where his son Edwin Bliss resides, and 
carried on the blacksmith business there for many 
years; and George Claflin on the place on the op- 
posite side of the road. Stephens. Brown, form- 
erly an eminent lawyer, resided westerly from the 
Claflin place, at the end of a spur of. a road. Dr. 
A. F. Burdick lived many years where he now 
does, nearlv opposite the Methodist church. 

Benajah C. Buxton lived on the saw mill prem- 
ises on the south bank of Brown's River, on the 
road leading from where Homer Rawson lives to 
the "Cilley Hill," and Patrick Russell on the op- 
posite side of Brown's River, on the premises 
where Julia E. Moulton now resides. George B. 
Oakes owned the farm where Mrs. Henry L. Lane 
now lives; and Andrew J. Cilley lived on the farm 
where George White now resides. Spencer Cille^^ 
lived on the first farm on said "CilleA^ Hill" (so- 
called); and Walter E.Russell owned and occupied 
the next farm north till he moved on to the Kings- 
bury farm at Underhill Flatts (so-called) ; and 
George W. Smith lived for man^^ years, and till his 
death, where his son-in-law, Henry T. White, now 

At the village of Jericho, sometimes called 
Jericho Corners, Rollin M. Galusha resided in the 
brick house below the bridge ; and Horatio B. 
Barney lived in the brick house below the "Tavern 
House" that was kept for many years by his 
brother, Martin C. Barney. Solomon Papineau 


lived where Joseph Bissonett n(3\v lives. George 
B. Oakes lived on the corner where E. B. Williams 
now resides; David Fish lived for many 3'ears 
where Charles E. Percival now lives; and Erastus 
Field, on the opposite side of the street. Anson 
Field, Sr., lived at the corner of the road opposite 
of the said George B. Oakes' place. Sylvanus 
Blodgett lived on the same premises where the Lu- 
cius Irish house now stands, and his son R. S. 
Blodgett a few rods further east; Orlin Rood 
lived for many years where his son, D. E. Rood, 
resides. Dea. Truman Galusha lived in the brick 
house on the hill where H. N. Percival now resides. 
R. Loomis Galusha lived on said Truman Galusha 
place, after the death of his father Truman, till his 

The w^riter lived for many years above the Bar- 
ney "Tavern House," on the opposite side of 
the street; and Ferdinand Beach lived on the w^est 
side of the street as the street rises the hill. J. H. 
Hutchinson lived at the top of the hill west of the 
school house. Luther Prouty occupied the brick 
house and premises on the opposite side of the 
street from the school house where Horace S. 
Wood now resides. Joel Davis lived in the house 
west of the Alethodist church, w^hich house Calvin 
^lorse afterwards owned and lived in, and is 
where H. A. Percival now lives. Dr. George Howe 
lived, before 1857, on the same street, in the house 
now owned by Anson Field ; and Dr. Dennison 
Bliss lived on the south side of the street where 
Warren P'ellows now resides. Anson Field lived 
where L. F. Wilbur now resides. 

OF yp:rmoxt. 315 

John Oakes resided on the farm now owned by 
Glenn Booth, and William E. Oakes resided where 
Frank Howe now lives; and Nathan Porter lived 
where Mrs. AI. B. Atchinson now lives, it being 
one of the oldest houses in the village. Simon Da- 
vis and Henry M. Field, his son-in-law, lived where 
Anson Field now does, on the street running north 
from the main street in the village; Joseph 
Jocko lived at the north end of the bridge, on the 
east side of said road; while Hiram B. Fish lived 
in the next house north from the Jocko place. 
John Fairchild lived on the opposite side of the 
road, adjoining the saw-mill premises. 

The Baptist and the Methodist churches now 
occupied by those denominations rcspectiveh' were 
built in the year 1858. 

There are two places in Jericho with the build- 
ings thereon that have an interesting history that 
should receive more than a passing notice: viz., the 
Academy at Jericho Center and the Brick Church 
at the Village of Jericho. 

At Jericho Center the Academ\^ building and the 
land where it stands were conveyed by deed by 
Lewis Chapin on the 6th day of September, A. D., 
1825, in words and figures following: viz.: — 

"Know all men by these Presents that I Lewis 
Chapin of Jericho do by these presents give grant, 
convey and confirm unto the owners and proprie- 
tors of the building called the Baptist Meeting 
House and select School Room, the ground on it — 
the spot to contain 40 feet on the road and forty 
feet back — being forty feet on each of the four lines. 
To have and to hold the above granted and bar- 
gained premises to them," etc. 


Said deed was received for record by John Ly- 
man, Jr., Town Clerk, and recorded in Vol. 4, on 
Pao^e 500 of the land records of Jericho. On Oc- 
tober 28th, 1828, the Legislature of Vermont 
passed an Act of incorporation, by which Harvey 
Smith. Nathaniel Blackman, Wm. P. Richardson, 
Simon Bicknell, Hosea Spaulding, Simeon Parmelee, 
Septimeus Robinson, and Seth Cole, and their as- 
sociates and successors, were constituted a body 
politic and corporate, the Trustees and Mem- 
bers of Jericho Academy, with powers to hold 
property, real and personal, including a librar3'. 

At the Centennial anniversary of the organiza- 
tion of the First Congregational Church of Jericho 
in 1891, Professor Joseph S. Cille3', who was edu- 
cated at said Academ\^ when the school there was 
having its palmy da3's, prepared and read at the 
anniversarv a paper, which he gave me permission, 
before he deceased, to have appear in this book. 
The paper was as follows, Viz.: 

"There are, in the lives of us all, occasions of 
special interest and of great importance. Seasons 
of success and failure, of victors and defeat; times 
of gladness and of sorrow; days of exceeding 
brightness and the deepest darkness; hours of the 
purest delight and of the deepest grief. 

Nor are these times, days and hours ended 
when passed; the3' exist in memor3' forever, way 
marks in the journev of life over which we often 
pass in review to find return of joy or renewal of 
grief. This is a da3' especiallv calling for such re- 
view. One hundred years in the life of the First 
Cong. Church in Jericho end to-day. Most of 


those here assembled will find their review of life 
limited by much less than half the century, but 
others there are whose earl^^ recollections extend 
time much farther gone than that. Of that num- 
ber I am one, and I am glad to live over again in 
memory-, for a day, my early life in Jericho, my un- 
ion with this Church in those boyhood days, and 
my pleasant hours spent as student in 3'our acad- 
emy, concerning which Institution I was invited 
to speak to-day. 

So to live again in my earW home, with earh' 
friends, and amid the sports and delights of boy- 
hood days, is joy indeed, though lessened much by 
the thought that most of the things that then 
were, now are not. 

In very early life Jericho was my home for two 
or three years, and again, years intervening, I was 
here a large share of the time for 3'ears in attend- 
ance at the Academ3^ And as I think of those 
bright days, I sympathize most fully with Holmes, 
as he exclaims: 

••0, for one hour of vouthful joy, 

Give back mv twentieth Spring, 
I'd rather laugh a bright haired bov. 

Than reign a gray beard king." 

But my recollections of the Academy go back of 
my connection with it. I well remember its Prin- 
cipal, Simeon Bicknell, who took charge of the 
school in the spring of 1827, I think. I remember 
him as my first teacher in Vermont, in a district 
school in that part of Jericho vulgarh^ called Bear- 
town. The next spring after that he became Prin- 
cipal of the Academy, and remained so about five 


Air. Bicknell was a ^^ood man, a line scholar, 
an excellent teacher, a Christian gentleman. So 
said the people, so said his pupils, and his praise 
was no less upon their tongues in after years than 
then. Under his administration Jericho Academ}' 
stood first, or among the first schools of the State, 
of its kind. 

Scholars came in large numbers from far and 
near, many of whom stood high as students and 
afterwards attained eminence as men in the differ- 
ent pursuits of life, or as women in the noble 
works of her sex. 

Those were the days of glorv for the Academy 
and for the town of Jericho. Nor did that glor}^ 
though dimmed, fade entirely upon the departure 
of Mr. Bicknell. For several years the School 
flourished and prospered greatlv in the hands of 

I do not know the name of the immediate suc- 
cessor of Mr. Bicknell, but am sure that Eleazer J. 
Marsh soon followed him as principal, and that 
he remained a 3^ear or two. Mr. Marsh was my 
first teacher in the Academ3\ and to him I ow^e 
much of the delight I have since found in stud}', 
and for whatever success, little though it be, I 
have had in mv life work. He was a noble man 
and a good teacher, respected and beloved by his 
pupils. Under his instruction I learned to read 
most of all, and I have since acted in accordance 
with m3' view, that when one has learned to read, 
he may further educate himself, if he will. 

John Bo^-nton, mv second teacher, succeeded 
Mr. Marsh. He was the superior of Mr. Marsh 


in some respects, and inferior in none. Under him 
the Academy' flourished. The people approved and 
his pupils rejoiced in his instruction and his coun- 
sel. He was a brilliant genial, kind hearted, man- 
ly man. He was courteous to all, but especiallv 
kind in manner to the poor and ignorant as shown 
in his daih' intercourse with the people. He des- 
pised empty show and vain pretense, but honored 
solid worth whether in rich or humble garb. Dear, 
good man, long since he passed from earth away 
to rest, I trust in the presence of the God to whom 
with his pupils he offered his morning prayer. 

My third and last teacher at the Academy-, was 
James T. Foster, a kind, pleasant man, and agood 
teacher, though hardly the equal of either Air. 
Boynton, or Mr. Alarsh. 

After him there was but little of permanence in 
instruction at the Academy, and the interest of 
former da^^s began to decline. There were many 
teachers, one after another, for several 3'ears, but 
no special success attended the administration of 
a 113-. 

I was here during the summer of 1839, while a 
Rev. Mr. Kingsbur_v was principal of the school. 
He was a good man, no doubt, and I presume was 
competent to instruct, but he had no power to 
control. Simph' an apolog\' for a teacher, he 
ought to have apologized to all concerned for en- 
gaging as such, as ought every one who is in the 
position of a teacher and yet has no power of dis- 
cipline, no vim. 

To lack of this, in most of those engaged as 
teachers in subsequent 3'ears, (though other things 


tended the same wa}^) Avas due the steady de- 
cline of interest and prosperity in Jericho Acad- 
emy. So positive was that decline that the re- 
turn of Mr. Bicknell, the first able Principal, failed 
to restore its ancient fame. Though he was still 
the same able and efficient teacher and in a mea- 
sure successful, the decline continued, after his 
short stay, and death followed. 

The building still remains but its halls echo not 
the steps of the student as once the3' did. Humble 
in its origin, never pretentious, and now plain in 
appearance as at first, but for those educated 
therein, it stands a reminder of pleasant hours, 
months, and 3'ears of jo3'OUS student life. 

Incidents in m}- earh^ life here, and especially of 
m\^ school, so throng upon m\^ memorv that I can 
not dismiss them all, without a word of jo^'ous 
remembrance or of sad recollection. M\^ remem- 
brance of those days is very fresh and clear. 

To the days of m\' school life here I refer 
now with special interest. It was on this wise: it 
was m^^ fortune to be the son of a poor man; 
upon m\' importunit}', he said to me, 3^ou may 
have your time and attend school, if \^ou wish, 
having 3'our home here whenever 3'ou desire it, but 
you must pa3' 3'our own bills at school. 

I was soon on my wa3' here, rejoicing in the 
privilege given me. On m3^ wa3', as I was just 
starting out in life for m3'self, I thought it well to 
take an inventor3' of stock. Doing so, I found a 
decent suit of clothes, books sufficient for present 
need, and down deep in my pocket m3' cash depo- 
sit, 25 cents, an old American quarter. That was 


my outfit. How I was to succeed I did not know, 
but I had faith and hope. I had already learned 
that this Jericho was not the place for one to fall 
amonf^ thieves, but I knew that I must find a 
good Samaritan to take me in, and I found him in 
the person of Mr. Nathaniel Blackman, who said 
he would board me for one dollar per week, and I 
might pay him w^hen I could. And I found another 
in the Preceptor of the Acadeni}-, who also took 
me in on trust. The 3'ear was one of great pros- 
perity for me. Considerable progress was made 
in study; the winter v/as spent in teaching; in the 
spring my bills w^eie all paid; and I had 300 per 
cent on my cash deposit, so that I then had a full 
round dollar, and that I paid for a second hand 
Latin Dictionary-; and then, pennyless, I again 
went on my way rejoicing. Nor was I alone in 
the struggle with poverty. Others there were reli- 
ant alone upon themselves. Among these I remem- 
ber Paraclet Sheldon, who became an eminent 
teacher; Charles C. Parker, afterwards an able and 
successful minister of the gospel, and Burr Ala^m- 
ard now an eminent lawyer in Detroit. Others of 
this class were successful in the struggle, and 
among them a very dear class mate, Lester War- 
ren, now an able and respected clergyman. There 
were noble ladies in this class who struggled hard 
for victory and gained it. But by far the larger 
number of students had help in their course, and 
by their scholarly attainments and virtuous ac- 
tion the\^ well repaid parental care and friendlv 
aid. Mr. Chairman, there were scholars in the 
days of that Academy-, made so by hard study. 



How their names stand out in memory. George 
Lee Lyman, George and James Blackman, Lucius 
and Edgar Lane, Emerson Chapin, George Bliss; 
and Irom away, were John A. Kasson and Luke 
P. Poland, men of national reputation, and dearer 
still do I remember as school mates, Whipple Earl 
and Torrey E. Wales. Nor are the ladies forgot- 
ten, Lucinda Bartlett, Irene Blackman, Hannah 
Richardson, Marcia Howe, Valencia and Minerva 
Lane, Esther G. Smith and man3' more of whom I 
can not speak now, live in memory with 3'ou as 
well as me. There was not a dishonored name 
among all I have mentioned or with whom I ^vas 
associated in the school, so far as I know. 

But, ah me! Where are the glad, joyous, hopeful 
and happ\' ones that thronged the Academy in 
those well remembered da3's ? Silence would re- 
spond to the roll call of most of their names. But 
verA' few live in this vicinit^^ Some are far away. 
3'et useful and happ^^ I trust, but most oi them 
live only in the memor\^ of the few who survive. 
The noble men and women who lived in these 
homes, fift\', sixt\^ seventy' \'ears ago, now rest 
3'onder in their silent, windowless places of rest. 
The support of school and of the church, nobh- 
borne bA^ them, now^ rests upon their children who 
are themselves fast becoming old men and women. 
MaA' this support so essential to the prosperitv, 
happiness and eternal welfare of the people, never 
fail the good old town of Jericho. 

Jericho Acadenu', like man\' others, stands to- 
daA' silent and alone, but those prepared therein 
for College, for teaching, for business, or for stud}- 


of the professions, can never look upon it but with 
reverence and gratitude for the good there received, 
and will never think of it but with pride in its 
ancient fame, and sorrow for its present desola- 

The old Brick Church at Jericho Corners, which 
has been so handsomely repaired and furnished, 
and rededicated to the service of God, has been sub- 
ject to many changes and has quite a history. The 
house w^as built in 1824 and 1825, on the land of 
Dr. George Howe, by an organized association 
called the "Brick Meeting House Societ3' of Jeri- 
cho," under an "act of the Legislature for the sup- 
port of the Gospel," passed October 26th, 1798; 
that said Howe b\' deed conveyed said house and 
the green or common on w^hich it stands to Oliver 
Lowry, Luther Prouty and Wm. A. Prentiss, April 
3d, 1834, in trust to be used for religious worship, 
w4th a condition that it should revert to said Dr. 
Howe and his heirs if the owners and proprietors 
of the house should neglect to occupy the same for 
the purpose for which it was granted. Dr. Howe 
died in 1857, testate, leaving his property to his 
wife, who survived him. The Second Congrega- 
tional and Baptist churches occupied the house for 
public worship each on alternate Sabbaths from 
1826 down to 1858. In 1858 the Baptist church 
and societ\^ built a house of their own and aban- 
doned the "Old Brick Church." The Second Con- 
gregational church at that time w^as w^eak, but 
the}^ continued to occupy the house for religious 
worship till 1865, when, by reason of their inabil- 
ity' to support preaching, it w^as voted to suspend 


meetings, and no meetings were afterwards held in 
it. Xo eare was taken ot the house by anybody 
and the windows were soon all broken out and it 
appeared as though it was trulv forsaken, and 
most of the people thought the conditions of the 
deed had not been kept and that it had reverted to 
the widow of Dr. Howe. At that time the village 
was in need of a school house, and, as the walls of 
the Old Brick Church were sound, the school dis- 
trict took measures to acquire a deed of Mrs. 
Howe of the Old Brick Church and common, to be 
used for school purposes, and appointed a commit- 
tee to remove the pews from the house and fit it 
up for a school house — which work the committee 
proceeded to do. But before they had proceeded 
far in their work, those who were opposed to con- 
verting the church into a school house, and believ- 
ed that the Second Cono^res^ational church had not 
abandoned the house but merelv suspended reli- 
gious meetings for the time being, brought their 
bill in Chancer\^ against the school district and its 
committee, enjoining them from converting the 
building into a school house, .-\fter a long litiga- 
tion the Supreme Court decided that the house had 
noi reverted, and said that "it could not be as- 
sumed but that a time of strength and prosperit3^ 
will follow their time of weakness." And timehas 
shown the wisdom and correctness of their decis- 
ion. After the title of the property had been thus 
settled, one of the original owners of a pew^ 
brought suit against the school district committee 
to recover the value of his pew, and after another 
long litigation the Supreme Court decided that in- 


asmuch as the owner of a pew is only entitled to 
the right of" sitting, and the house was in no con- 
dition to be occupied for religions services, his re- 
covery- must be limited to one cent damages and 
one cent costs. The title having become settled 
by these suits, the house stood in the midst of the 
beautiful village an unsightlv object and a disgrace 
to the people, till November, A. D. 1876. 

In 1874 and 1875, the state of things which the 
Supreme court thought might come to pass in re- 
spect to the condition of the church, was realized. 
The Second Congregational church in 1874, was 
reorganized and quite a large number have been 
added. In the 3'ear 1876 the church felt as though 
the\' must have a house of their own in w^hich to 
worship, and during that year the church, with 
those who felt an interest in the "Old Brick 
Church" and common, at the expense of three 
thousand dollars made it a beautiful edifice. The 
audience and vestry rooms were tastih^ finished 
and furnished. This house was rededicated by the 
Second Congregational church on the 19th of De- 
cember, 1877, M. H. Buckham, President of the 
Vermont University, preached the re-dedication ser- 
mon from the text found in Acts II. 42, and the 
dedicator3' pra^'er w^as made b^- Rev. Edwin 
Wheelock, of Cambridge." 

The histor^^ of the litigation referred to may be 
found in two reported cases; viz, Howe and others 
vs. School District No 3 in Jericho, 43 Vt. Law 
Reports on Page 282; and Howe vs. Stevens and 
others 46 Yt. on Page 262. 

In the 3'ear 1894 or 1895, the writer prepared 


for the i:)rcss, and tliere was published in the Chit- 
tenden Reporter, a paper printed at Jericho, the 
following: Viz, 

The town of Jericho was created b3^ grant from 
Benning Wentworth, Gov. of New Hampshire, its 
charter being dated June 7, 1763. The tow^nship 
then consisted of 23,040 acres, but in 1794 about 
5,000 acres was taken by an act of the Legislature 
to form, in part, the town of Richmond. 

Most of the land of the towm is w^ell adapted to 
agricultural purposes. There are no sw^amps creat- 
ing miasma to render the town an unhealth^^ place 
in which to live. Proverbially it has been a 
health\' town in which to reside. Like most rural 
districts of Vermont, it has suffered in consequence 
of some of its enterprising citizens emigrating to 
the West, and many removing to the larger centers 
of population. Such changes have been our loss, 
but a gain to the communities to which thej^ re- 

But it is in reference to its present prosperity 
and the advantages that all new^ comers will reap 
by becommg its actual residents, that I w^ish to 
speak. In the j^ear 1874, the town bonded to the 
amount of $24,000 in aid of the construction of 
the B. & L. Railroad. The last of these bonds 
were paid the present 3'ear, and the town is nearly 
free from debt. Our railroad accommodations are 
now first-class. The people in the north-easterW 
part of the town are accommodated Ida- the Under- 
hill depot, which is within ten rods of the line of 
the town; the south part of the town is accommo- 
dated by the depot at Richmond; the south-w^ester- 


\y part by the depot at North Williston, and the 
people of the whole town as well as the people of 
West Bolton and the eastern part of Essex, are 
well accommodated b3^ the depot at Jericho. 

There are more than 75 dairies in the town, 
ranging from 6 to 50 cows each, and more than 
25 dairies of more than 15 cows each. There are 
four creameries in different parts of the town. 
There are three postoffices in town, located at 
Nashville, Jericho Center, and Jericho. There are 
three villages. The village of Underhill Flatts, (so 
called) the larger part of which being in Jericho, is 
a prosperous village. On the Jericho side of the 
line are four stores, a steam saw mill, a tin shop, 
two phvsicians, and an Episcopal and a Methodist 
church. The village at the Center has two stores, 
a blacksmith shop, and a Congregational church, 
in front of which is a handsome green park with 
shade trees. 

The village of Jericho, sometimes called Jericho 
Corners, is the principal village of the town, sit- 
uated on Brown's River, on w^hich there are sev- 
eral good mill privileges, some of which are im- 
proved and others w^here manufacturing industries 
might be greath^ extended. At this village there are 
now two stores, three blacksmith shops, one har- 
ness shop, a paint shop, two house painters, a car- 
riage painter, a lawyer and two physicians, one of 
the best grist mills in New England, where flour is 
manufactured by the roller process, a pump manu- 
factory, a saw mill, a manufactory for butter and 
cheese boxes, a manufacture' for all sorts of 
wooden ware, a large tin shop, two millinery 


shops ami a good hotel. There are also two 
weekly papers printed here, and offices where a 
large amount of press work is done. The village 
has first-class schools, run under the town system. 
Prof. J. S. Cille\' resides here, who fits students to 
enter college. The village is pleasantly located, 
the streets are handsome, the buildings and resi- 
dences are kej^t in good repair. There are three 
churches— Congregational, Baptist, and Aleth- 
odist— and a school house hall that can be used for 
meetings and entertainments. The gospel is dis- 
pensed here Iw ministers of four different beliefs. 
Congregational, Baptist, Methodist, and Epis- 
copalian. There is a Good Templar's organisa- 
tion, a Literary and Scientific Club that meets 
once in two weeks, and a Lecture Course has been 
provided for. With such facilities, time here will 
be pleasantly and profitably spent. 

As a place of residence or for those who desire 
to engage in agriculture or manufacturing in- 
dustries, Jericho is an inviting place. Its excellent 
farming lands, pleasant villages, good schools, 
pleasant surroundings, low taxes, its undeveloped 
water power that can be utilized for manufactur- 
ing purposes, and the fact that it is easv of access 
by railroad, furnishes great inducement for ener- 
getic people to come hither. 

Many prominent and professional men have 
practised and resided in the town of Jericho, 
among whom were Jacob Alaeck an able lawyer, 
the Honorable David A. Smally, who was not only 
a prominent law3^er and an eloquent advocate, but 
became Judge of the District Court of the United 


States for the District of Vermont, which office he 
held for man\' 3'ears. Hon. Asahel Peck, who was 
Judge of the Supreme Court of Vermont, was also 
a resident of Jericho w^hen he afterward held the 
office of Governor of Vermont. It would be along 
list of names to mention all of the men andw^omen 
w^ho have been citizens of Jericho, who have been 
successful in business life and in teaching, and 
prominent in the professions and as statesmen. 
Many left their native State and became useful 
citizens in some other of the United States and the 
w^orld, to make a name for themselves and to bless 





Members of the Windsor Convention, Council 
of Safety, Governors and Senators. 

The members of the adjourned session of the 
Windsor Convention, convened at Windsor June 
4th, 1777, (at which the name of the State was 
changed from New Connecticut to Vermont, and 
at which it was resolved to form a Constitution 
for the State) were as follows: Viz. — 
Capt. Joseph Bowker, Nathan Clark, Esq., 

Pres. Mr. John Burnham, Jun. 
Mr. Simeon Hathaway, Major Jeremiah Clark, 
Dr. Jonas Fay, Secretary, Capt. Ebenezer Willough- 
Mr. Gideon Olin, by. 

Mr. Abel Benedict, Mr. Joseph Bradley, 

Mr. Eli Brownson, Mr. Martin Powell, 

Mr. Thomas Bull, Mr. Cephas Kent, 

Mr. Moses Robinson, 2d, Dr. Gaius Smith, 
Captain William Fitch, Capt. Jonathan Willard, 
Mr. Caleb Smith, Capt. Zebediah Dewe3\ 

Air. Jesse Churchill, Capt. William Gage, 

Capt. Ebenezer Allen, Benjamin Spencer, Esq. 
Mr. Whitefield Foot, Mr. Joseph Smith, 
Mr. Stephen Place, Mr. John Sutherland, 




Capt. Jonathan Fasset, 
Mr. Gamaliel Painter, 
Capt. Ira Allen, 
Air. William Mellen, 
Col. Benjamin Carpenter, 
Mr. Israel Smith, 
Mr. Dennis Lockland, 
Mr. Joshua Webb, 
Mr. Jabez Sargeant, 
Capt. W^illiam UtW, 
Capt. W^illiam Curtis, 
Capt. William Gallop, 
Mr. Stephen Tilden, 
Mr. John Throop, 
Mr. Asa Whitcomb, 
Col. Peter Olcott, 
Mr. Jacob Burton, 
Mr. Daniel Gilbert, 
Mr. Frederic Smith, 
Dr. Bildad Andrus, 
Mr. John G. D. Bailey, 
Mr. Amaziah Wood- 

Capt. Josiah Powers, 
Capt. Henian Allen, 
Col. Thomas Chittenden, 
Dr. WiUiam Hill, 
Capt. John Barney, 
Mr. John Dyer, 
Nathaniel Robinson, Esq. 
Dr. Reuben Jones, 
Capt. John"^Coffein, 
Mr. Ebenezer Hoisington, 
Major Joel Matthews, 
Mr. Benjamin Emmons, 
Col. Joseph Alarsh, 
John W\ Dana, Esq., 
Mr. Asa Chandler, 
Alajor Thomas More- 
Joel Marsh, Esq., 
Air. Abner Chamberlin, 
Air. Amos Woodworth, 
Air. Benjamin Baldwin, 
Capt. Robert Johnson, 
Capt. Jeremiah Powers. 


The persons who composed the original Council 
of Safety' of 1778 under the Constitution were: Viz, 

1. Thomas Chittenden, Governor. 

2. Ira Allen, State Treasurer and Councillor. 

3. Nathan Clark, Speaker of the General As- 


4. Joseph Fay, Secretar\' of the Gov. and Coun- 

cil. " 



5. Jonas Fay, 

n. Jeremiah Clark, 

7. Benjamin Carpenter, 

8. Paul Spooner, 

9. Jacob Ba\'le3', 

10. Moses Robinson, 

11. Hem an Allen, 

12. Matthew Lvon, Dep. Sec' V of Gov. and Coun- 


SERVICE, FROM 1778 TO 1898. 

Names of Governors. 

Thomas Chittenden, 
Moses Robinson, 
Thomas Chittenden,' 
Paul Brigham,'- 
Isaac Tichenor, 
Israel Smith, 
Isaac Tichenor, 
Jonas Galusha, 
Martin Chittenden, 
Jonas Galusha, 
Richard Skinner, 
Cornelius P. Van Xess, 
Ezra Butler, 
Samuel C. Crafts, 
William A. Palmer, 
Silas H. Jennison,-^ 

Charles Paine, 
John Mattocks 
William Slade, 

Commencement of Expiration of 
Service. Service. 

Feb. 1778, Oct. 1789. 

Oct. 1789, 

" 1790. 

" 1790, 

" 1797. 

Auo^. 1797, 

" 1797. 

Oct. 1797, 

" 1807. 

" 1807, 

" 1808. 

Oct. 1808, 

'' 1809. 

" 1809, 

" 1813. 

'' 1813, 

" 1815. 

" 1815, 

' 1820. 

' 1820, 

' 1823. 

" 1823, 

' 1826. 

" 1826, 

' 1828. 

' 1828, 

' 1831. 

' 1831, 

' 1835. 

' 1835, 

' 1836. 

' 1836, 

' 1841. 

' 1841, 

' 1843. 

' 1843, 

' 1844. 

' 1844, 

' 1846. 



Horace Eaton, 
Carlos Coolidge, 
Charles K. Williams, 
Erastus Fairbanks, 
John S. Robinson, 
Stephen Royce, 
Ryland Fletcher, 
Hiland Hall, 
Erastus Fairbanks, 
Frederick Holbrook, 
J. Gregor\^ Smith, 
Paul Dillingham, 
John B. Page, 
Peter T. Washburn,^ 
George W. Hendee,-^ 
John W. Stewart, 
Julius Converse, 
Asahel Peck, 
Horace Fairbanks 
Redfield Proctor, 
Roswell Farnham, 
John L. Barstow, 
Samuel E. Pingree, 
E. J. Ormsbee, 
William P. Dillingham, 
Carroll S. Page, 
Levi K. Fuller, 
Urban A. Woodbury, 
Josiah Grout, 
Edward C. Smith, 


. 1846, 

Oct. 1848. 

i i 


" 1850. 



'• 1852. 



*' 1853. 



" 1854. 

i t 


" 1856. 

( t 


" 1858. 

t k 


" 1860. 

k i 


" 1861. 

i k 


'' 1863. 

4 i 


" 1865. 

i k 


" 1867, 



" 1869. 

k ( 


'' 1870. 

k k 


" 1870. 

k k 


" 1872. 



" 1874. 

k k 


" 1876. 

k k 


'' 1878. 

k i 


" 1880. 

k k 


" 1882. 

k k 


" 1884. 

k ( 


" 1886. 

k i 


'' 1888. 

k k 


" 1890. 



" 1892. 

k k 


" 1894. 

k k 


'' 1896. 

k k 


" 1898. 



" 1900. 

Thomas Chittenden died in olRce August 25th, 1797. 
Paul Brigham, Lieutenant-Governor and Governor 

from August 25th 1797 to October 16, 1797. 
Silas II. Jennison, Lieutenant-Governor, and Governor 

by reason of no election by the people. 
Peter T. Washburn died in office February 7th, 1S70. 
George W. Hendee, Lieutenant-Governor, was Gov- 
ernor from February 7th, 1S70, to October, 1S70, by 
reason of the death of Governor Peter T. Washburn. 




Elections took ]3lace in October. 
Moses Robinson, 1791- 

Isaac Tichenor, for the unexpired term 

of Moses Robinson resigned, 1796- 

Xathaniel Chipman, 1797 

Israel Smith, 1803 

Jona. Robinson, for the unexpired term 

of Isaac Smith resigned, 1807 

Jona. Robinson, for six years, 1809 

Isaac Tichenor, 1815 

Horatio ScYmour, 1821 

Stephen R. BradlcA', 
Elijah Paine, 

Stephen R. Bradley, for the unexpired 
term of Elijah Paine resigned, 

Stephen R. Bradly, for six years, 

Dudle\' Chase, 

James Fisk, for the unexpired term of 
Dudley Chase resigned. 









\Vm. A. Palmer, for the unexpired term 

of James Fisk resigned, 1818- 

\Vm. A. Palmer, for six years. 1819 

Dudley Chase, from 1825- 

Horatio Seymour, " 1821- 

Samuel Prentiss, " 1831- 

Benjamin S\Yift, " 1833- 

Samuel S. Phelps, '' 1839- 

Samuel C. Crafts, " 1842- 




William Upham, 
Solomon Foot, 
Samuel S. Phelps, 
Lawrence Brainerd, 
Jacob Collamer, 
Luke P. Poland, ' 
George F. Edmunds, ^ 
Justin S. Morrill, ^ 
Redfield Proctor, 
Jonathan Ross, ^ 












Luke P. Poland was appointed by the Governoi to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the decease of Jacob Collamer. 

George F. Edmunds was appointed by the Governor to fill the va- 
cancy occasioned by the death of Solomon Foot. 

Jonathan Ross was appointed by the Governor to fill the vacancy 
occasioned by the death of Justin S. Morrill, who died Dec. 
1898. Jonathan Ross received his appointment Jan. 11th 1899. 





The Judges of the Supreme Court were elected 
annually by the Legislature in joint Assembh', 
that commenced its session in October, and their 
term of service commenced as soon as theN' were 
elected until the Statute provided that their term 
of service should commence the 1st of Decem- 
ber following their election. In the year 1870 the 
biennial system of elections was adopted, and from 
that time their term of office continued two years. 
It will be understood that the names given were 
assistant judges, except those w^ho are designated 
as Chief Judge. And all of the Judges are ex- 
officio Chancellors of the Court of Chancery. 

From the year 1857, to 1870, the full bench con- 
sisted of a Chief Judge and five Assistant Judges, 
and after the year 1870, the full bench consisted of 
a Chief Judge and six Assistant Judges. 

When vacancies occur by death, resignation or 
otherwise the\' may be filled by appointment by 
the Governor. Until the year 1849, the Judges of 
the Supreme Court were also the Chief Judges of 
the County Court, but in the year 1849, the sys- 
tem was changed and three Judges were elected 



aniuuiDy that constitnted the lull bench in the 
Supreme Court, and whose duties were confined to 
that Court; and another set of Judges were elected 
annualh', to serve as Chief Judges in the County 
Courts of the State, and their duties were confined 
to that Court. This system for both the Supreme 
and County Courts was continued till the year 
1857, when the State returned to the present sys- 
tem, where all of the Chief Judges of the County 
Courts are also Judges of the Supreme Court. 

During the time the Judges of the Supreme 
Court consisted of three Judges, who were relieved 
from the duty of holding County Courts, the 
Counties of the State were divided into four Judi- 
cial Circuits. The first Circuit consisted of Ben- 
nington, Rutland and Addison Counties: — the 
second, Windham, Windsor and Orange Counties: — 
the third, Chittenden, Franklin, Lamoille and 
Grand Isle Counties: — the fourth, Washington, 
Caledonia, Orleans and Essex Counties. And each 
Circuit had a Judge who was elected 133^ the Legis- 
lature, and who was the Chief Judge of the County 
Court in the several Counties composing his Cir- 
cuit. The following were the Judges who were 
elected and served as Chief Judges of the County 
Courts in the four Circuits during the time that 
that system continued, although all of them were 
not in office at the same time: Viz, Robert Pier- 
point, Jacob Collamer, Asahel Peck, Luke P. 
Poland, Abel Underwood, John Pierpoint, James 
Barrett, A. O. Aldis, Alilo L. Bennett and Wm. C. 

All the Judges of the Supreme Court, except the 




Chief Judire, are denominated Assistant Judges, as 
1st, 2nd, 3d,, oth, and Gth, as the number 
might be, and take their position in the order in 
which their names appear, respectivel}^ in the list 
of Judges. The occasion of vacancies that occured 
from time to time, and appointments made by the 
Governor to fill vacancies are stated in notes at 
the end of the list. By the act of Legislature of 
1870, the official term of service of the Judges com- 
menced December 1st, following their election. 

It has been the practice, that when a vacancy 
occurs in the list of Judges, to promote those who 
stand below the place made vacant and let the 
new appointee grace the lowest position. 

Elected Oct., 1778,— October, 1779,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 

John Shepardson, 
John Fassett, Jun. 
Thomas Chandler, 
John Throop. 

October, 1780,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
John Fassett, Jun., 
Increase Moseley, 
John Throop. 

From Feb. to Oct. 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
John Fassette, Jr., 
John Throop, 
Jonas Fay. 

John Shepardson, 
John Fassett, Jun., 
John Throop, 
Paul Spooner. 

Oct., 1781toFeb., 1782. 
Elisha Payne, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
John Fassett Jun., 
Simeon Olcott,* 
Jonas Fay. 



October, 1782 — 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
Jonas Fa}', 
John Fasset, Jun. 
Peter Olcott. 

October, 1784,— 
Paul Spooner, Ch. J. 
John Fasset, 
Nathaniel Niles, 
Thomas Porter, 
Peter Olcott. 

October, 1786,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
Nathaniel Niles, 
Nathaniel Chipman, 
Luke Knowlton. 

October, 1788,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
Stephen R. Bradley. 

Oct. 1791, 1792 
and 1793,— 
Samuel Knight, Ch. J. 
Elijah Paine, 
Isaac Tichenor. 

October, 1783,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
John Fassett, 
Peter Olcott, 
Thomas Porter. 

October, 1785,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J. 
Paul Spooner, 
Nathaniel Niles, 
John Fassett, 
Thomas Porter. 

October, 1787,— 
Moses Robinson, Ch. J 
Nathaniel Niles, 
Paul Spooner. 

Oct., 1789 and 1790,- 
Nathaniel Chipman Ch. J. 
Noah Smith, 
Samuel Knight. 

Oct., 1794 and 1795,— 
Isaac Tichenor, Ch. J. 
Lot Hall, 
Enoch Woodbridge. 

October, 1796,— October, 1797,— 

Nathaniel Chipman Ch.J. Israel Smith, Ch.J. 
Lot Hall, Enoch Woodbridge, 

Lot Hall. 

Enoch Woodbridge. 


i:ak'LV iiistok'v 

Oct., 171)8, IT'Jl) 
and 1800. 
l-^nocli \V<)()(ll)ri(lL;c, Cli.J 
Lot Hall, 
Xoah Smith. 

Oct., ISOa, 1804, 
1805 and ISOG,— 
Jonathan Robinson Ch.J 
Royal Tyler, 
Thco])hilus Harrington. 

Oct., 1809, 1810, 
1811 and 1812,— 
Royal Tyler, Ch.J. 
Thcophilus Harrington, 
David Fay, 

October, 1815,— 
Asa Aldis, Ch.J. 
Richard Skinner, 
James Fisk. 

Oct., 1817, 1818, 
1819 and 1820,— 
Dudley Chase, Ch.J. 
Joel Doolittle, 
William Bray ton. 

October, 1822,— 
C. P. Van Ness, Ch. J. 
Joel Doolittle, 
Charles. K. Williams. 

Oct. 1824,— 
Richard Skinner. Ch. J. 
Joel Doolittle, 
Asa Aikens. 

Oct., ISOI and 1802,- 
Jonathan Robinson Ch.J. 
, Royal Tyler, 
Stephen Jacob 

Oct., :1807 and 1808,— 
Royal Tyler, Ch.J. 
Thcophilus Harrington, 
Jonas Galusha. 

Oct., 1818 and 1814,— 
Nathaniel ChipmanCh.J. 
Daniel I'arrand, 
Jonathan H. Hubbard. 

October, 1816,— 
Richard Skinner, Ch. J. 
James Fisk, 
William A. Palmer. 

October, 1821,— 
C. P. Van Ness, Ch.J. 
Joel Doolittle, 
William Bray ton. 

Oct., 1823,— 
Richard Skinner, Ch.J. 
Charles K. Williams, 
Asa Aikens. 



The last list of Judf^res were elected October 
1824, and their term ended October, 1825. 

The list of Vermont State Judges that have 
served the State since the year, 1825, with the ex- 
piration of their terms of service respectively are 
given below. The elections took place in October 
previous to the 3'ears hereafter named : Viz, 

1826 and 1827,— 

Richard Skinner, Ch. J. 
Samuel Prentiss, 
Titus Hutchinson, 
Stephen Royce, Jr. 

Richard Skinner, Ch. J. 
Samuel Prentiss, 
Titus Hutchinson, 
Bates Turner, 
Ephraim Paddock. 

Richard Skinner, Ch. J. 
Samuel Prentiss, 
Titus Hutchinson, 
Bates Turner. 


Samuel Prentiss, Ch. J. 
Titus Hutchinson, 
Charles K. Williams, 
Stephen Royce, Jun., 
Ephraim Paddock. 

1831,— 1832 and 1833,— 

Titus Hutchinson, Ch. J. Titus Hutchinson, Ch. J. 
Charles K, Williams, Charles K. Williams, 

Stephen Ro^xe, Jr., 
Ephraim Paddock, 
John C. Thompson.^ 

1834 and 1835,— 

Charles K. WilHams Ch. J. 
Stephen Ro3'ce, 

Samuel S. Phelps, 

Jacob Collamer, 

John Alattocks. 

Stephen Royce, Jr., 
Nicholas Baylies, 
Samuel S. Phelps. 



1836, 1837 and, 
Charles K. Williams, 

Stc])licn Roycc, 
Sanincl S. Phelps, 
Jacob Collamer, 
Isaac F. Rcdficld. 

1843,1844and 1845,- 

Charles K. Williams, 

Stephen Ro^-ce, 

Isaac F. Redfield, 

Milo L. Bennett, 

William Hibbard. 

1847 and 1848,— 
Stephen Royce, Ch. J. 
Isaac F. Redfield, 
Milo L. Bennett, 
Daniel Kellogg, 
Hiland Hall, 
Charles Davis. 

Stephen Royce, Ch. J. 
Isaac F. Redfield, 
Daniel Kellogg. 

1856 and 1857,— 
Isaac F. Redfield, Ch.J. 
Pierpoint Isham, 
Milo L. Bennett. 

1839, 1840 1841 

and 1842. 
Charles K. Williams, 

Ste])hen Royce, 
Jacob Collamer, 
Isaac F. Redfield, 
Milo L. Bennett. 

- 1846,— 

Charles K. Williams, 

Stephen Ro3'ce, 

Isaac F. Redfield, 

Milo L. Bennett, 

Daniel Kellogg. 

1849 and 1850,— 
Stephen Royce, Ch. J. 
Isaac F. Redfield, 
Milo L. Bennett, 
Daniel Kellogg, 
Hiland Hall, 
Luke P. Poland. 

Stephen Ro3xe, Ch. J. 
Isaac F. Redfield, 
Pierpoint Isham. 

1858 and 1859,— 
Isaac F. Redfield, Ch.J 
Milo L. Bennett, 
Luke P. Poland, 
Asa O. Aldis, 
John Pierpoint, 
James Barrett. 



I860 — 
Isaac F. Redfiekl, Ch.J. 
Luke P. Poland, 
Asa O. Aldis, 
John Pierpoint, 
James Barrett, 
Loyal C. Kellogg. 

1866 and 1867,— 
John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Lo3^al C. Kellogg, 
Asahel Peck, 
WiUiam C. Wilson, 

Benjamin H. Steele. ^ 

John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Asahel Peck, 
WilHam C. Wilson, 
Benjamin H. Steele, 
Hoyt H. Wheeler. 

1872, 1873, and 
John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Asahel Peck, * 
Hoyt H. Wheeler, 
Homer E. Royce, 
Timothy P. Redfield, 
Jonathan Ross. 

1861, 1862,1863,1864 
and 1865,— 
Luke P. Poland, Ch. J. - 
Asa O. Aldis, 
John Pierpoint, 
James Barrett, 
Loyal C. Kellogg, 
Asahel Peck. 

1868 and 1869,— 
John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Asahel Peck, 
Wilham C. Wilson, 
Benjamin H. Steele, 
John Prout. 

John Pierpoint, Ch. J, 
James Barrett, 
Asahel Peck, 
Hoyt H. Wheeler, 
Homer E. Royce, 
Timothy P. Redfield, 
Jonathan Ross. 

1875 and 1876,— 
John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Hoyt H. Wheeler, 
Homer E. Ro^xe, 
Timothy P. Redfield, 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henrv Powers. 

, ,4-4- 


jolni ricri)()Int, Cli. |. 
James Harrctt, 
Hoyt II. Wheeler, ^"^ 
Homer H. Royee, 
Timothy V. Redlield, 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henr3^ Powers, 
Walter C. Dnnton. « 

John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Homer E. Royce, 
Timothy P. Redfiekl, 
Jonathan Ross, 
Walter C. Dunton, ' 
W^heeloek G. Veazey. ^ 

John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
Homer E. Ro\'ee, 
Timothy P. Redfiekl, 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henr^' Powers, 
Wheeloek G. Vcazev, 
Russell S. Taft. 

1883 and 1884,— 
Homer E. Rovee, Ch. J, 
Timothy P. Redfiekl, • - 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Wheeloek G. Veazey, 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell. 

lohn Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
James Barrett, 
Homer E. Royee, 
Timothy P. Redfiekl, 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Walter C. Dunton. 

John Pierpoint, Ch. J. 
lames Barrett, 
Homer E. Royce, 
Timothy P. Redfiekl, 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Wheeloek G. Veazey. 

John Pierpoint, Ch. J. ^ 
Homer E. Royce, '" 
Timothy P. Redfield, 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Wheeloek G. Veazev, 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell. " 

Homer E. Royce, Ch. J. 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Wheeloek G. Veazev, 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell, 
William H. W^alker. 



1886 — 
Homer E. Rovcc, Ch. J. 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Wheelock G. Veazey, 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell, 
William H. Walker. 

1888 and 1889,— 
Homer E. Royce, Ch. J 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
Wheelock G. Yeaze\', 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell, 
James M. T^^ler. 

Homer E. Ro\^ce, Ch. J. 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, 
W^heelock G. Veazey, 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell, 
William H. Walker, ^^ 
James M. Tyler, ^^ 

Homer E. Royce, Ch. J. 
Jonathan Ross, 
H. Henry Powers, ^^ 
Wheelock G. Veazey, ^^ 
Russell S. Taft, 
John W. Rowell, 
James M. Tyler, 
Loveland Munson. 



From Dec, 1st 1890, to Dec. 1st 1898 inclusive 
the Judges of the Supreme Court were as follows: 

Jonathan Ross, Ch. J. 
Russell Taft, 
John W. Rowell, 
James M. T\der, 
Loveland Munson, 
Henry R. Start. 
Laforest H. Thompson. 

The Judges after Dec, 1st 1898 were : 
Jonathan Ross, Ch. J. ^^ 
Russell S. Taft, ^' 
John W. Rowell, 



James M. Tyler. 
Lovelaiul Miinson, 
Laforest IL Thompson. 
Henry R. Start, 
JohnH. Watson. ^^ 

* Simeon Olcott resigiii J Feb. 13. 178 J an 1 Sam lel Fletcher was el- 
ected bai decline J to accept, an i John Thioop was elected: and probably 
Elisha Payne resif-Mied at the same time as his name does not appear as 
Judge of the Court after Feb. 13, ITS,'. 

The list of Judges for 178l-17(^J in Slade's State Papsrs is inaccurate. 
See Governor and Coancil. Vol. II. pp. 116, 117. 

a The change in the list of Judges in Feb . 1782. was owing to the dls- 
solatioa of the eastern and western Unions at that time. 

1. John C. Thompson deceased in June. 1H31. 

2. Luke P. Poland held the position of Chief Judge till Dec. 1865. 
when he resigned, and was appointed by the Governor United States 


3. .John Pierpoint was appointed Chief Judge Dec. 1st, 1865, to fill the 
vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Luke P. Poland, and Benjamin 
H. Steele was appointed Judge In Dec . 186.5 to fill the vacancy occasioned 
by the resignation of Luke P. Poland. Ch. J. and the promotion of John 
Pierpoint to the Chief Judgeship. 

4. Asahel Peck resigned August 31st, 1871, anl was elected Governor 
Sept. of the same year. 

5. Hoyt H. Wheeler resigned March 31st 1877, having been appointed 
Judge of the District Court of the United States for the District of Ver- 

6. Walter C. Dunton was appointed Judge April 13th. 1877. to fill the 
vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Hovt H. Wheeler. 

7. 'Walter C Dunton resigned October 27th, 1873. 

8. Wheelock G. Vcazey was appointed Judge to fill the vacancy oc- 
casioned by the resignation of Walter C. Dunton. 

9. John Pierpoint, Chief Judge, died January 7th, 1F82. 

10. Homer E. Koyce appointed Chief Judge January 10th, 1882, to fill 
the v.icancy occasioned by the decease of John Pierpoint. 

11. John W. Kowell was appointed Judge January 10th, 1882. 

12. Timothy P. Redfield in 1SS4 declined re-election. 

13. James .M. Tyler was appointed Judge Sept. 16th. 1887. to fill the va- 
cancy caused by the resignation of William H. Walker. 

11. Homer E. Royce Chief Judge and H. Henry Powers Judge declined 
re-election at the end of their official year in 1890. 

15. Loveland Munsou WIS appointei Judge to fill the vacancy caused 
by the resignation of Wheelock G. Veazey. 

16. Jonathan Ross Chief Judge resigned January 11th, 1899, and was ap- 
pointed the same day. by the Governor, United States Senator for Ver- 

17. Russell S. Taft was appointed by the Governor Chief Judge on Jan- 
uary 19th, 1899, to till the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Jona- 
than R0.S.S, Chief Judge. 

18. John H. Watson was appointed Juige by the Governor January 
19Mi. 1899. to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Jonathan 
Ross as Chief Judge and the promotion of Russell S. Taft to the Chief 
Judge ■;hip and the promotion of the other Judges. 




Judge Poland, of Vermont, was the last of the 
Congressmen who dressed in the old Whig uniform 
of "bufif and blue" — a buff A^est and a blue coat 
with brass buttons, and a white neckerchief— such 
as Daniel Webster used to wear when he addressed 
the Senate or the Supremie Court. 

The Judge, who was an excellent lawyer, was 
once presiding at the trial of a long and intricate 
case. With him sat two side-judges — the office in 
those da3's w^as not infrequently occupied by men 
who knew little and thought less. During the 
trial one of them w^as heard whispering to a friend 
"The Chief Justice agrees wnth me in my opinion 
of the law in this case and \Yill charge the jur^- just 
as I should." Judge Poland also heard the re- 
mark, and smiled. Several v^ears before that he 
not onl\' smiled but laughed heartih* at some re- 
marks made b}' a brother law\'er. 

He and Joshua Sawwer were opposing counsel 
in a case of assault and battery. Sauwer had 
drawn a prolix declaration in which the assault 
appeared much worse than the witnesses repre- 
sented it. Commenting on this difference, Poland 
told the jury that the declaration reminded him of 
an incident in his own practice. 

"Years ago," said he, 'T began a; suit of this 
character in favor ot Asa Barnard against Maj. 
Hyde, who inflicted corporal punishment upon 
my client for the trivial offense of telling him he 
was a great liar. Barnard asserted that the Ma- 
jor had struck him a blow on the head with a 



heavy cane, and lie came to nie to obtain redress. 
I framed a declaration in ten counts, setting forth 
the beating, bruising, wounding and evil entreat- 
ing with all the tautological nonsense I could 
command. In the last count I recited that Bar- 
nard's life was greatly despaired of. 

"I read the declaration to my client in a voice 
almost as sympathetic as that in which nn- broth- 
er Sawyer read his declaration to you, gentlemen. 
I noticed the tears were coursing down my client's 
furrowed cheeks in rivulets. I asked him thecause 
of his grief. With sobbing utterance he answered, 
'I didn't know it was half so bad before.' " 

Court and jury laughed at this humorous sug- 
gestion that Sawyer's evidence did not sustain 
Saw3'er's declaration, and many thought that 
witty as he was he would be unable to turn the 
laugh from him. He made a long speech, and as 
he was about to close, said, as if Poland's humor- 
ous remark had just occurred to him : 

"Gentlemen, you appeared to be much delighted 
when the learned counsel related an incident of his 
own practice. I confess I was not amused. My 
old friend Barnard has told me the storv man^^ 
iimes, but with this difference : He said he did weep 
when Poland read a long paper to him ; but that 
paper was not Poland's declaration, but his bill I" 

The retort upset ever\'body. Even the grave 
Judge laughed, and no one enjo3'ed the reply more 
than Poland himself. 

On the prosecution of a negro for stealing a dog 
with a collar on, when a demurrer to the indict- 
ment was sustained because it was not larceny to 
steal a dog, the ])rosecution claimed that he also 
stole the collar that was on the dog, but the de- 
fense claimed that the negro took the dog only and 
the dog took the collar. The prisoner was finall^^ 
discharged. 3 Cent. L. J. 554. 

of vermont. 349 

Justice Brewer's Estimate of Lawyers. 

"While it is cheap wit for man^v to sa^v sneerino^ 
things of our profession, vet, if 3'ou strike from 
Anglo-Saxon history the thoughts and deeds of 
her lawyers you rob it of more than half its glor_v. 
Blot from American society- to-da\' the lawyer with 
all the work that he does and all the power that 
he exerts, and 3^ou leave society as dry and shifting 
as the sands that sweep over Sahara. For the 
m\'stic force that binds our civilization together 
and makes possible its successes and glories in the 
law, and the\^ who minister at its shrine and keep 
alive its sacred fires, are 3'ou and I and that vast 
multitude of our co-workers who boast no higher 
title than that of lawver." 

Her Judgment Sustained. — In a divorce case 
where there was evidence that the wife called her 
husband "an old fool," the court sa^^s, "The re- 
cord sustains the wife's judgment." And on an- 
other point also her conclusion was affirmed. She 
told him she would have been foolish to have mar- 
ried a man of his age who had no money, and the 
court says, "Again we think her judgment was 

"I make whisky," said the moonshiner, "to 
make shoes for my little children." The judge 
seemed touched, for he had children of his own. 'T 
sj^mpathize with you," he said, "and I am going 
to send you to the Ohio Penitentiary, where 3'ou 
can follow the shoe business for two vears." 

An Impossible Possibility. — The foreman of a 
jury in a recent murder trial reported : "The prob- 
ability, or even possibility-, of this jury ever 
agreeing is impossible in my opinion." 


A Bad Habit. — That suicide is a "pernicious 
habit that obviously tends to shorten life" is the 
defense set up by a life insurance company- in a re- 
cent action on a polic^v wliich expressly excluded 
liability for such reprehensible habits. It must be 
conceded that suicide if it becomes habitual would 
have the tendencv described. 

\Vp:eping IX CorKT. — We, some time ago, drew 
attention to a Kentucky case which decided that 
counsel might legally shed tears in court. In 
France, however, it seems that an attorney ma3' 
not do so, on account of which rule a French dis- 
ciple of Blackstone was induced to try a new ex- 
pedient, which unhappil3' proved ineffective. It 
appears that he had instructed his client to weep 
every time he struck the desk with his hand, but 
forgot and struck the desk at the wrong moment. 
She promptly fell to sobbing and crying. "What 
is the matter with you?" asked the judge. "Well, 
he told me to cry as often as he struck the table." 
"Gentlemen of the jur^-," cried the unabashed law- 
yer, "let me ask you how you can reconcile the 
idea of crime in connection with such candor and 

Kinship of Hog and Bacon. — The following 
is related by Lord Bacon of his father, Sir Nicholas. 
When the latter was appointed judge on the 
Northern Circuit, "he was 63^ one of the malefac- 
tors mightih' importuned for to save his life ; 
which when nothing he said did avail, he at length 
desired his merc3' on account of kindred. 'Prithee, 
said m3' lord judge, 'how came that in ? 'Wh3', if 
it please 3'ou, m3' lord, 3'our name is Bacon and 
mine is Hog ; and in all ages Hog and Bacon have 
been so near kindred that the3^ are not to be separ- 
ated.' 'A3', but,' replied Judge Bacon, '3'ou and I 
cannot be kindred except 3'ou be hanged ; for Hog 
is not Bacon until it be well hanged !' " 


How Lawyers are like Lies.— In a very wit- 
ty address bv Jesse Holdon before the Chicago 
Credit Men's Association ( published in "The 
American Lawver" for September), he said of law- 
yers : ''Like the boy's version of the text about 
iving, thev mav bean abomination unto the Lord, 
but thev are an ever present help in time of trouble, 
as all of you know by actual experience." 

Lied to His Attorney.— A German on trial 
many years ago in western Ohio for maliciously 
cutting a neighbor's cow had so convinced his at- 
torney of his innocence that, although the evidence 
aoainst him was totally insufficient to convict 
hmi, his attorney, in order to give him the com- 
pletest vindication, placed his cHent on the stand 
and asked him point blank, "Did you cut the 
cow?" The effect was startling. With blanched 
face and quivering lips, the accused starred m 
agony at the court and stammered, "Mein Gott, 
shudge, I can't tell vou a lie. I know I shall go in 
de hell if I do. I cut dot cow." 

Moonshine Courts Didn't Count.— A witness 
in a North Carolina state court was asked on 
cross-examination if he did not testify in a former 
trial directlv contrary to what he had just sworn 
to. He replied, with' evident unconcern, 'T did, 
sir." Lawver. "You did. Well, which was the 
truth and which was the lie ?" Witness. "W^hat 
I told the first time was a lie, and what I say now 
is the truth." Lawyer. "And are n'tyou ashamed 
to confess that vou perjured yourself in a court of 
justice ?" Witness. "Why, no, sir, that first time 
was only the Federal court." 

Mrs. Peck— Suppose that you and I were all 
alone upon a desert island, what is the first thing 
that you would do ?" Henry (impulsively )— Try 
to get away. 


His CiiAKACTKR All RiGHT ViiT. — The follow- 
ing cross-examination of a witness in a court in 
western North Carolina is sent us as an actual 
occurrence : 

Dist. Atty. '*Now, Mr. Blinkins, you swear 
before this court and jury that you know the de- 
fendant's reputation in the community in which 
he lives and that he is generally reputed an upright 
peaceable, law-abiding citizen ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. "Now, Mr. Blinkins, don't you 
know that Lafe Huggins has never done anything 
but loaf around and drink moonshine w^hiskcvand 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. "And don't a'Ou know that he 
abuses and beats his wife terribly ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir. 

Dist. Att\\ "And don't j^ou know that he 
broke up the Pigeon River camp meeting last win- 
ter and whipped the circuit rider ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. And don't 3'ou know that he kicked 
his old father down the steos and out of the 3'ard 
and nearly killed him ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. And don't you know^ that he was 
convicted in this very court three years ago of ma- 
liciously shooting Deacon Smith's hogs ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. "And don't you know that he was 
once accused of stealing a horse, and that the 
owner of the horse and the principal witness for 
the prosecution were killed just before the trial 
was to be had ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. "And don't you know that his 
neighbors all know these things ?" 

Witness. "Yes, sir." 

Dist. Atty. Then how can 3'ou sit there and 


swear that this defendant's reputation is good in 
the coinmunitv in which he lives ?" 

Witness. "Wh^-, mister, a man has to do a 
heap wuss things than that to lose his character 
in our neighborhood." 

A Correct Judgment.— In Buffalo many years 
ago, when Judge Str3^ker was on the common 
pleas bench, there was an elderly law\'er named 
Root who sometimes appeared in court when he 
had taken a drop too much. On one of these oc- 
casions he persisted in interrupting the court with 
irrelevant remarks. Everv time he was ordered to 
sit down he obe\'ed but soon popped up again. 
Finally the exasperated judge exclaimed : "Sit 
down, Mr. Root, and stay there. You are drunk." 
*'I will cheerfully obe\^ your honor," said the of- 
fender, "inasmuch as it is the first correct judg- 
ment rendered bv the court this term." 

Judge — Did 3'ou see the beginning of this 
trouble ? Witness — I did, your honor. It occurred 
five years ago. Judge — Wh\', how is that ? Wit- 
ness — It began when the minister pronounced 
them man and wife. 

Holding It under Advisement. — A Missouri 
justice of the peace at the close of a case announc- 
ed with great dignity ; "I will hold this case under 
advisement until next Monda\' morning, at which 
time I will render judgment for the plaintiff." 

W^HERE THE Law IS. — An attorney writes : 
"The opinion of our supreme court in the case is 
not instructive, and was evidentl}^ written by a 
judge who wished to aflRrm a judgment clearh' un- 
supported b)' both law and facts, but in our briefs 
you will find the law." 


A well-known jiulgc, noted for his tendency to 
explain things to juries, expressed in a recent case 
his own ideas w^ith such force that he was sur- 
lirised the jurors thought of leaving the box. They 
did leave, however, and were out for hours. In- 
quiring the trouble, the judge was told one of the 
twelve was standing out against the eleven. He 
summoned the jury and rebuked the recalcitrant 
sharph'. "Your honor," said the juror, "may I 
say a word ?" Yes, sir," said the indignantjudge; 
"what have \'Ou to say ?" "Well, what I wanted 
to sa_v is, I'm the onlv fellow that's on your side." 

One of the older members of the Cincinnati bar 
was once pleading a case before Judge Sage, and 
had talked incessantly for two hours. Suddenly 
and unexpectedly, the long-winded man stopped 
short and coughed. "I should like a glass of wa- 
ter," said he to the court attendant ; and the man 
disappeared to get it for him. For a moment there 
was a long-drawn sigh from the listeners ; and 
then Judge Sage leaned forward to the friend who 
tells the story, and whispered, "Whv don't 3'ou 
tell 3'our friend, Alfred, that it is against the law 
to run a windmill with water ?" 

As Affidavits Usually Be. — An attorney who 
filed pretended affidavits to which he affixed his 
official jurat as notary public w^hen the signers 
had never been sworn, but merely admitted the 
signing, excused himself by asserting that this was 
"the usual manner of administering oaths in such 
cases ;" but he was not able to convince the court 
of that fact. 

A unique formula for swearing to an affidavit 
adopted b\' a well-known attorney whose charac- 
teristic nasal solemnity made it effective, was this: 
"I swear that this affidavit is as true as affidavits 
usuallv be." 


Where a small dog was awa^- from home decol- 
lete, although the statute required a collar, and 
was killed by a large dog, and the defense was that 
the killing was lawful because of the want of a 
collar, it was held by the court that the big dog 
was not dejtire or de facto a police officer or con- 
stable, and was not shown to have examined the 
records to see whether or not the little dog had 
been licensed to travel without a collar. Heisrodt 
V. Hackett (Mich.) 3 Cent. L.J. 479. 

Ix Pursuance of the Code. — In an affidavit 
taken before a Mississippi justice of the peace, on 
w^hich a conviction for assault and battery was 
sustained, the affiant declared that the accused 
"did wilfully assault and strike him with a deadly 
weapon, to wit, 'a tobacco box,' in pursuance of 
chapter 29 of the Annotated Codeof 1892, against 
the peace and dignity of the state of Mississippi." 

Senator Walcott, Air. Reed, — the famous T. B., 
— and Mr. Choate were spending a cose}^ evening 
together at Senator Walcott's home. "I have 
never smoked a cigar, I have never played a game 
of poker, and I have never attended a horse-race 
in my life," said Air. Choate in the course of the 
conversation. Senator Walcott looked patheti- 
cally at the Speaker of the House. "I wish I could 
sav that," he remarked. "You can," said Air. 
Reed : "Choate did." 

An officer in the arm\', seated at the table 
d'hote, of an hotel, looking significanth^ at a 
clerg3^man opposite, said : "If I had a son who 
was an idiot I would make him a clergyman." 
"Evidentl}' 3'our father was not of that opinion," 
quietly responded the clergyman. 


A i^rofcssor of Trinity College, Dublin, over- 
hearing an undergraduate using profane oaths, 
rushed at him, exclaiming, "Are you aware, sir, 
that you are im])erilling 3'our immortal soul, and 
what is worse, incurring a fine of five shillings ?" 

Curiously worded advertisements are common 
in the London papers. One paper offered a prize 
for the best collection of such announcements, and 
the following is the result : — 

"A lad}' wants to sell her piano, as she is going 
abroad in a strong iron frame." 

"For Sale : A pianoforte, the property' of a mu- 
sician with carved legs." 

"Wanted : A room for two gentlemen about 
thirty feet long and twenty feet broad." 

"Lost : A collie dog In^ a man on Saturda}- 
evening answering to Jim with a brass collar 
round his neck and muzzle." 

"Wanted : By a respectable girl, her passage to 
New York ; willing to take care of children and a 
good sailor." 

"Mr. Brown, furrier, begs to announce that he 
will make up gowns, capes, etc., for ladies out of 
their own skins." 

"Wanted : An organist and a bo}- to blow the 

"Wanted : A boy to be partly outside andpartlj^ 
behind the counter." 

"To be disposed of, a mail phaeton, the prop- 
erty of a gentleman with movable headpiece as 
good as new." 

"Well, father," exclaimed the prodigal son, as 
he made his appearance again at the family fire- 
side, "are you ready to kill the fatted calf ?" "No," 
replied the old man grimlv, I think I'll let vou 


"No," said Senator Sorghnm, with emphasis, 
"I can't talk for publication to-day." "But Sena- 
tor, in all the 3^ears of our acquaintance, this is the 
first time you ever declined to let me quote you." 
"I don't want jou not to quote me. I want you 
to say I decline to be interviewed. This is confi- 
dential ; I've concluded it's time for me to act as if 
I'd got to be so important that I dare not talk for 
fear of giving something big awa3'." 

An exchange sa\'s a gentleman invited some 
friends to dinner ; and, as the colored servant en- 
tered the room, he accidentally dropped a platter 
which held a turkey-. "My friends," said thegentle- 
man, in a most impressive tone, "never in my life 
have I witnessed an event so fraught with disaster 
in the various nations of the In this calam- 
ity we see the downfall of Turkey, the upsetting of 
Greece, the destruction of China, and the humilia- 
tion of Africa." 

The founder of one of our agricultural colleges, 
who was more noted for having the interest of the 
public at heart than for aptness of expression in 
speech, was once called to be chairman of a meet- 
ing convened to consider the necessit}^ of procuring 
ground for a new cemetery. "Gentlemen," said 
he, "I suppose 3^ou all know that there has got to 
be a new cemetery, and now we are anxious to 
know how manv of vou are readv to 2:0 into it !" 


The dude was making the girl dead tired by his 
long and vapid talk on the advancement of wo- 
men. "Don't 3-ou ever wish you were a man ?" he 
asked as a kind of clincher. "No," she responded 
in the sweetest, most womanly way. "Do you ?" 

"Owing to unforeseen circumstances," an- 
nounced an Australian paper not long ago, "our 
last issue did not appear." 


"Annual bargain sale now going on Don't go 
anywhere else to be cheated," is the rather dubious 
manner in which a New York furniture dealer 
worded his announcement. 

"When I was first married," says Rev. Dr. Lor- 
mer, pastor of Tremont Temple, Boston, "I had 
m}' strict ideas about Sunday observance. Mrs. 
Lorimer had a colored *aunty' for cook ; and on 
the first Saturday after she came I went into the 
kitchen, and told her I did not want any Sunda3' 
work, so she could prepare all meals for that da^- 
beforehand. She didn't say one word while I was 
talking. Then she looked up, and pointing to the 
door, exclaimed, 'Now look hyar, Alarse George, 
you jest go in dar and 'tend to 3^our Christianity, 
and leave me 'tend to mah kitchen !" I went ; and, 
as near as I can remember, she had hot dinners 
Sunday's as long as she sta^-ed with us." 

"What is the meaning of the saying 'The king 
can do no wrong' ?" "I think it must be a sort of 
insanitA' plea — a theory that most monarchs are 
non compos mentis, or prettv near it." 

Irascible Lieutenant {down engine-room tube) 
— Is there a blithering idiot at the end of this tube? 
Voice from the engine-room. — Not at this end, sir. 

'It's a standing rule in my church," said one 
clergyman to another, "for the sexton to wake up 
any man that he ma}- see asleep." "I think," re- 
turned the other, "that it would be much better 
for the sexton, whenever any man goes to sleep 
under your preaching, to wake you up." 

Lawyer: "I have my opinion of 3'ou.'' Citizen: 
"Well, you can keep it. The last opinion I got 
from you cost me $150." 


A Boston Sunday-school teacher lately gave 
her class a rather graphic description of how Eve 
was created from the rib of" Adam. "Mamma," 
said the \^oungest member of the class that even- 
ing, pressing his hand to his side, "I'm afraid I'm 
going to have a wife." 

Gilboy — I understand that Judge Marrymore is 
breaking up housekeeping. 

Gadman — That can't be ; he's very busy these 
days deciding divorce cases. 

Gilbov — Well, isn't that what I said ? 

Kind Neighbor (accompanied b^^ a large mastiff, 
to a little girl very much afraid of him) : "He's a 
good dog, he never hurts any one. Don't you see 
how he's wagging his tail ?" Little Girl (still 
shrinking back) : "Yes, I see ; but that isn't the 
end I'm afraid of." 

"Are vou a native of this town ?" asked a trav- 
eller of a resident of a sleep\" little Southern ham- 
let. "Am I a what ?" "Are you a native of the 
town?" ''Hey ?^^ "I asked if 3'ou were a native 
of this place ?" At that moment his wife, tall and 
sallow and gaunt, appeared at the open door of 
the cabin, and, taking her pipe from between her 
teeth, said acridly : " 'Aint' 3'e got no sense, Jim ? 
He means wuz ye livin' here when you was born, 
or wuz ye born before 3'ou begun livin' here. Now 
answer him." 

AIiSTRESS (to Norah) — What must be the condi- 
tion of a person in order to be buried in conse- 
crated ground ? Norah (in great surprise) — Dead, 
mum ! 

GovERXESS— Come Ethel ; it's time for good 
little girls to be in bed. Ethel — Yeth, Miss Mor- 
gan ; but you know I have been naughty to-da}'. 


Wliile Col. Gillani. with tlie Middle Tennessee 
Reg.inicnt, was oecupx in^j^ Nashville he stationed 
sentries in the principal streets. One da\' an Irish- 
man, who, not long enlisted, was put on duty, 
kept a sharp watch. Presently, a citizen came 
along. "Halt I Who goes there" ? "A citizen," 
was the response. "Advance, and give the coun- 
tersign." "I have not the countersign," replied 
the indignant citizen. "And the demand for it at 
this time and place is unusual." Well, begorrah ! 
Ye dont pass this wa^' until ye say, 'Bunker Hill'I" 
The citizen appreciating the situation, smiled and 
advanced to the sentry, and cautiously whispered 
the magic words. "Right I Pass on !" And the 
wide-awake sentinel resumed his beat. 

"My bo3' Johnny- has such a cheerful disposi- 
tion." "Yes ?" "dh, yes. When I make him wash 
his neck, instead of grumbling, he just says he's 

s:lad he is not a giraffe. 

"We bought a lawn mower at the Montague 
auction." "Well, that was all right, wasn't it ?" 
"All right ? Maria says it is our old one w^hich 
thev borrowed and never returned." 

Perfectly Harmless. Dix— I once knew a 
young man who smoked fiftv cigarettes daily 
without auN' particular harm resulting therefrom. 
Hix — Is it possible ! Dix — Yes ; and the only no- 
ticeable effect was the death of the smoker. 

The Dupe — Tell me the worst I The Doctor 
(gloomilv) — You will soon be up and around. 

A girl sued a man lor breach of promise, and 
proved him such a scoundrel that the jury decided 
that she ought to pay him something for not mar- 

rving her. 


First Artist — Well, old man, how's business ? 
Second Artist — Oh, splendid ! Got a commission 
from a millionaire. Wants his children painted 
very badi}'." First Artist (pleasantly)— Well, 
mv boy, you're the very man for the job. 

A new post-office was established in a small vil- 
lage awa^^ out West, and a native of the soil was 
appointed postmaster. After a while complaints 
were made that no mail was sent out from the 
new office, and an inspector was sent to inquire in- 
to the matter. He called upon the postmaster, 
and. statiiull the cause of his visit, asked why no 
mail had been sent out. 

The postmaster pointed to a big and nearly 
empty mail-bag hanging up in a corner, and said : 

"Well, I ain't sent it out 'cause the bag ain't 
nowheres nigh full yet !" 

During a discussion at a meeting of the Trinity 
College Historical Society upon the slight consid- 
eration attached to hfe by unciyilized nations, a 
speaker mentioned the extraordinary circumstance 
that in China if a man were condemned to death 
he could easily hire a substitute to die for him; 
''and" the debater went on, 'T believe man^y poor 
fellows get their living by acting as substitutes 
in that way !" 

Miss De Style— Oh, major ! Did you ever go 
to a military ball ? Old Veteran— No. my dear 
young lady ; in those days I had a military ball 
come to me. It nearly took my leg off. 

Little Bob— I could walk the rope just as well 
as the man in the circus, if it wasn't for one thing. 
Little Willie— What is that ? Little Bob— I'd 
fall off. 


Rhvkrsk Action. — The Ehlcrlv Matron — You 
shoLildn t mind the i)al33' cr\'ing a little. It 
streno^thens his lnn<j^s. 

The Yoi'nCtKR Matrox — Oh, no doubt ; 1)ut it 
weaken 's his father's religion. 

Mistress (to servant) — Did you tell those ladies 
at the door that I was not at home ? Servant — 
Vis, mum. Mistress — What did they say ? Ser- 
vant — "How fortinit !" 

Good Sense — The eourt, in the case of Marshall 
vs. State, 59 Ga. 156, said "To be too drunk to 
form the intent to kill, one must be too drunk to 
form the intent to shoot." 

Mrs. Jones — Wh3^ don't you do something to 
support yourself? 

The Tramp — I wuz t'inkin', madam, of startin' 
one of dem endless chains of letters contributing to 
me relief. 

She — "Sometimes 3^ou appear reallv manly, 
and sometimes you are absolutely effeminate. How 
do you account for it ?" He — 'T suppose it is here- 
ditary. Half of my ancestors were males and the 
other half females.' 


c 5 e ^