Skip to main content

Full text of "Early history of Vermont"

See other formats


3 3433 08190271 4 





BY Lafayette wilbur, 



The laws of history, in general are truth, method, and clearness of 
expression.— Dnjden. 



I goo. 

Entered according to act of Congress, October 20th. 1900. bj 

Lafayette vvilbur. 

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

History is the complement of poetry.— aS'/?- ./. Stej)h, 


In presenting the second volume of the Early 
History of Vermont to the public the author here 
states that when he commenced to write this vol- 
ume he expected it would cover the history of the 
State far into the 19th century, but found so 
much material that had been untouched by the 
tirst volume he has been unable, except on a few 
points, to bring the history of the State and its 
people down to a later period than the admission 
of the State into the Federal Union in 1791. 
The writer has thought it best to make thorough 
work as far as he goes and let future volumes em- 
brace the later history of the State. The natural 
and beautiful scenery of Vermont is touched upon 
in the tirst chapter; its natural vegetation and 
products, and the living creatures that inhabited 
the primeval forests are given in the second chap- 
ter: the depredations and character of the Indi- 
ans are considered in the third chapter. It is 
hoped that the fourth chapter that treats of the 
division of the State into counties and districts 
will not be devoid of interest. 

The controversy of the Grants with New 
York and the internal affairs of the State, includ- 
ing some official letters relating to the claims of 
Massachusetts to Vermont territory, and some 
State papers and other documents have been pre- 


sented in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth 
chapters, showing the foundation principles of the 
government of Vermont, and the bold stand taken 
and the patriotic sentiments expressed by the 
Green Mountain Boys. The early laws and the 
interesting features of the primitive legislation 
have claimed the writer's attention in the ninth 
and tenth chapters. The doings of the Board of 
War are given. The character of the early set- 
tlers, their homes and customs, and town meet- 
ings will always be interesting matter — these topics 
are presented in chapters twelve and thirteen. 

It has been thought by some critics that any 
one writing a history of his own State is liable to 
be biased in favor of the people of his State and 
give an unfavorable coloring against those with 
whom they have had controversy, hence, the 
writer thought it advisable to give the New York 
view of their controversy with the New Hamp- 
shire Grants and the Green Mountain Boys. 
The New York view will be found in the four- 
teenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters. 

The history of the early religious privileges 
and Sabbath observance have a prominent place 
in the earh' history of Vermont and in all New 
England, and is replete with interesting, strange, 
and amusing features, and is treated ot in chap- 
ters seventeen and eighteen. In the last named 
chapter the Congregational polity and government 
is considered. 


We may learn much of the character of the 
pioneers of Vermont from their biographies, there- 
fore, a sketch is given of a few of the early set- 
tlers in the nineteenth and twentieth chapters. 
More sketches of their lives may be given in fu- 
ture volumes. In chapter twenty-one a list of 
members of Congress, District Judges, and Lieu- 
tenant-Governors are given. To make the two 
volumes more useful and convenient to the reader, 
an index is given of the context of both volumes. 

In preparing this volume the writer has been 
great!}' aided by other writers from which he has 
quoted, and to whom he has given credit, and 
here makes his acknowledgments. 

La Fayette Wilbur. 

Jericho, 17., December 81. v>ihj. 



CHAPTER I. (Page 1.) 


CHAPTER II. (Page 10.) 


CHAPTER III. (Page 17.) 


CHAPTER IV. (Page 43.) 


CHAPTER V. (Page 53.) 


CHAPTER VI. (Page 101.) 


CHAPTER VII. (Page 126.) 



CHAPTER VIII. (Page 138.) 


CHAPTER IX. (Page 149.) 


CHAPTER X. (Page 172.) 


CHAPTER XI. (Page 200.) 


CHAPTER XII. (Page 207.) 


CHAPTER XIII. (Page 221.) 


CHAPTER XIV. (Page 229.) 


CHAPTER XV. (Page 249.) 


CHAPTER XVI. (Page 273.) 



CHAPTER XVII. (Page 293.) 


CHAPTER XVIII. (Page 317.) 


CHAPTER XIX. (Page 347.) 


CHAPTER XX. (Page 379.) 


CHAPTER XXI. (Page 403.) 


INDEX. (Page 408.) 


On page 45 before the name Skeensborough a comma should be used 
in place of the period. 

On page 48 the word "Grand" should read "General.'" 

On page 54 in 2d line from bottom the word ' part" should read 

On page 127 in 8th line from top the word ' but" should be erased. 

On page 210 in 6th line from bottom the word -mere" should read 

On page 243 in 7th line from top the word "that"" should be erased. 


On page 337 the names of John Pierpoint, James Barrett and A. O. 
Aldis should not appear among the Circuit Judges, but were elected Su- 
preme Judges when the circuit system ceased. 

On page 346 the name of Henry R. Start should precede that of La- 
forest H. Thompson. 

In Preface the word "thirteenth" should read "fourteenth." 
On page 66 line 11 ".J80,000"" .should read "30,000." 
On page 77 line 20 the word "Hamp" should read "Hampshire," 
On page 90 line 14 the word -Romulous" should read "Romulus." 
On page 91 line 16 the word "looking" should read "looked." 
On page 107 line 9 from bottom "500" should read "100." 
On page 117 line 14 the word "consummate" should read "consummat- 

On page 148 2nd line fi'om bottom for "consumating" read "consum- 

On pages 153 and 154 the name "Gainsevoort" should read "Ganse- 

On page 180 line 8 from bottom "imbuing" read "imbruing." 
On page 182 line 14 "which" read "whose relief." 
On page 190 line 14 "Yonkers" read "Yorkers." 
On page 205 in line 20 "Demcima" "Decima."' 
On page 205 line 3 from bottom "devises" read "devices." 
On page *221 line 15 "June" read "January." 
On page 225 line 14 "1887" read "1877." 

On page 261 line 6 from bottom "expatriated" read "expatiated." 
^:ff°Since the publication of the volume of this history Hon. 
Laforest H Thompson, Judge of the Supreme Court, has deceased, and 
Wendall P. Stafford appointed a member of the Court. And William W. 
Stickney elected Governor at the September election of 1900. 


'They love their land because it Is their own, 
And scorn to give aught other reason why ; 

Would shake hands with a King upon his throne, 
And think it kindness to his Majesty.''''— Hallec/c. 

"England! with all thy faults. 
I love thee stilV—Coivper. 





In the first volume of this work but little was 
said about the physical state and natural scenery 
of Vermont in its earh^ da^'S. It will be well to 
devote the first chapter of the second volume to 
those and kindred features of the State. 

Its situation is between 42 degrees 44 minutes, 
and 45 degrees of north latitude, and between 3 
degrees 31 minutes, and 5 degrees and 24 minutes 
east longitude from Washington, and situated 
about eighty miles from any part of the ocean. 
The width of the State at its southern extremity 
is about forty miles, while the line of the northern 
end of the State, running from Connecticut River 
to Lake Champlain, is ninety miles long. The 
length of the State running the course of Connec- 
ticut River, the w^estern bank of which is the east- 
ern boundary of the State, is about 215 miles. The 
northern line of the State runs on a parallel of 45 
degrees north latitude, and was survej^ed in 1772 ; 
the south line w^as surve^-ed in 1741. 

The western boundary was determined by the 
government of Vermont and New Y^ork at the ter- 
mination of their controversy in 1790. The line 
begins at the south-west corner of Pownal, run- 
ninof alonof the western boundaries of that town 


and Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Sand- 
gate, Rupert, Pawlet, Wells and Poultney, to 
Poultney River; thence down the same through 
the middle of the deepest channel of said river, 
East Bay and Lake Champlain, passing east of 
the islands called the Four Brothers, and wester h^ 
of Grand Isle and LaMotte, to the 45th degree of 
north latitude. All of said first eight towns had 
been granted by His Excellency Benning Went- 
worth. The length of the State is 157^ miles, 
and the average width, 57 miles, containing an 
area of about 9000 square miles. 

The surface of the State is very diversified and 
uneven, and through the entire State there are al- 
ternate valleys and hills, making the scener^^, to 
the lovers of nature, picturesque and grand be- 
3'ond adequate description. Much of its farming 
land is rough and stony, but it produces grasses 
and grains abundanth^ so that the farmer gets 
rich returns for his toil. Considerable plain lands 
border upon the rivers, the soil of which is rich, 
deep, and easil3^ tilled. 

The green verdure covering the landscape, and 
the Green Mountains, that extend through the 
State from south to north about midway between 
Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, not only 
makes the scener3" grand and delightful, but sug- 
gests the ^'Verd Mont'' the Green Mountain State 
of Vermont. This range of mountains is broken 
through by the Onion and Lamoille Rivers. 

The lands of the State are drained by the rivers 
and brooks taking their rise in the Green Moun- 
tains, some running easterly and flowing into 


Connecticut River, others flowing northerly and 
empt3'ing into Lake Memphremagog, and several 
others flow either into Lake Champlain or Hud- 
son River; the four largest, Missisquoi, Lamoille, 
Onion and Otter Creek, discharge their waters in- 
to Lake Champlain. 

Lake Champlain is about 110 miles long, and 
12 miles wide at its widest place; its medium 
width is about 4V2 miles, and was discovered by 
Samuel Champlain in 1609. It has several bays, 
East Bay at Whitehall, Button Bay in Ferris- 
burgh, Shelburne Ba^^ just south of Burlington, 
Burlington Ba3' at Burlington, Colchester Ba^- 
just north of Burlington, St. Albans Bay near St. 
Albans, and McQuam's Bay at S wanton. 

No lake in the United States has had more im- 
portant, or more stirring and interesting events, 
in connection with the settlement of North Amer- 
ica, than Lake Champlain. In the Indian wars, 
in the war between England and France, in the 
struggle between Great Britain and the Ameri- 
can Colonies, and in the more recent w^ar of 1812 
to 1814, between the United States and the same 
power, its waters have been crimsoned with the 
blood of the contending forces. 

The name of the lake stands out prominently 
with some of the most remarkable events of our 
countr3^ At Fort Ticonderoga, that stood on its 
w^estern shore about twenty mdes north of White- 
hall, was where the British arm\^ under the com- 
mand of General Abercrombie were repulsed w^hile 
attempting to take the fort from the French, suf- 
fering the loss of 1941 men ; and where in the jGar 


following, the French in turn surrendered to Gen- 
eral Amherst, who commanded the English forces. 
This fort, w^hile held by the British, was surprised 
and taken by the brave Green Mountain Bo3'S 
under the command of General Ethan Allen on the 
morning of May 10th, 1775, and was retained in 
the possession of the Americans until the 6tli da\^ 
of Jul}', 1777, when it was evacuated b}^ the 
American troops under the command of Gen. St. 
Clair, and taken possession of b^^ General Bur- 
goyne; but soon afterwards was repossessed by 
the Americans. 

Crown Point fortress was built b\^ the French 
in 1731, fourteen miles north of Ticonderoga, but 
was surrendered to General Amherst in 1759, and 
held by the British until the capture of Gen. Bur- 
goyne. Fortifications were erected at Platts- 
burgh during the war of 1812 to 1814 with Eng- 
land. It was near this place on the lake, that the 
American fleet, under Commodore McDonough, 
gained a signal victory over the British squadron, 
on the 11th of September, 1814. Fortifications 
were also built at Burlington, Yt., and Fort Mont- 
gomery^ has more recenth^ been built near the 
northern end of the lake. 

Hoskins states in his history, with undoubted 
truth, that, "There are many indications that 
Lake Champlain was once much more extensive 
than it now is, and covered with its waters a con- 
siderable portion of the land which is now greath^ 
elevated above its surface. Shells and clams are 
found in the highest parts of the islands in the 
Jake, imbedded in the marl, or incorporated with 


the stones, and on the continent the3' are scat- 
tered at heights of forty or fift}^ feet above the 
level of the lake. The soil also, in manj- places 
exhibits the appearance of being deposited in reg- 
ular strata on the subsiding of the waters." 

It is probable that at some early period of time 
and during the glacial period, the ocean swept 
through from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River 
to the vicinity of New York, changing the surface 
of the earth in this region and depositing and 
shaping its substances as they are now found. 
The area of the State as given by the different his- 
torians vary quite a little, probably occasioned by 
a difference taken as the average width of the 
State and including or excluding the waters of 
Lake Champlain. 

Samuel Williams, in his historj- of Vermont, 
the second edition of which was published in the 
year 1809, refers to the land of the State as fol- 
lows : "The land included within these limits, is of 
a very fertile nature, fitted for all the purposes 
and productions of agriculture. The soil is deep, 
and of a dark color; rich, moist, warm and 
loamy. It bears corn and other kinds of grain in 
large quantities, as soon as it is cleared of the 
w^ood, without an\^ ploughing or preparation. 
After the first crop, naturally turns to rich pas- 
ture or mowing." 

There are several mountains in the State, from 
the tops of which one beholds as grand and 
enchanting scenes as there is in all America. Kill- 
ington Peak is situated in Rutland county ; Cam- 
el's Hump lying in the town of Huntington; 


Mount Mansfield lies on the boundry line between 
Chittenden and Lamoille Counties, the summit of 
which has the appearance of a man's face turned 
up towards the heavens above. The following 
table of heights of the highest ten mountains in 
the State is taken from Gannet's "Dictionar^^ of 
Altitude in the United States," third edition, pub- 
lished b^^ the United States' Geological Surve3" : 
Mount Mansfield 4364 feet 

Killington 4241 

Camel's Hump 4088 

Mount Lincoln 4078 

Jay Peak 4018 

Potato Hill 3986 

Pico Peak ' 3967 

Little Killington 3951 

Stratton Mt. 3859 

Mount Equinox 3847 

The height of Mount Equinox was determined 
by the Coast and Geodetic survey. The others 
are from the authority stated. It will be seen 
that Mount Mansfield maintains its primacy in 
the family. To one standing on its summit there 
lies before him to the west between Lake Cham- 
plain and the mountains, the distance of twenty- 
five miles, a panorama of rivers and brooks, 
meadow and wood ; a country dotted all over 
w^ith farms with their buildings and orchards, 
with here and there handsome villages in plain 
view, and the City of Burlington on the eastern 
shore of the lake. 

The Lake itself can be seen more than half its 
length, and in a clear dav, the Adirondacks west 


of the Lake in New York State, stand out as a 
magnificent background, presenting a picturesque 
and charming scene to the e3'e. To the east of the 
mountain the land is undulating and the countrv 
more mountainous, so that the eye has not so 
extensive sweep, but thrifty farms and fine farm 
buildings can be seen in all directions. There are 
other mountain peaks, but of less note. 

The following account of the christening of the 
Green Mountains is in the life of Rev. Hugh Pet- 
ers, published in 1807: viz. ''Verd Mont was a 
name given to the Green Mountains in October, 
1763, by the Rev. Dr. Peters, the first clergyman 
who paid a visit to the 30,000 settlers in that 
countr\', in the presence of Col. Tapliri, Col. 
.Welles, Col. Peters, Judge Peters, and man^^ 
others, who were proprietors of a large number 
of townships in that Colon\\ The ceremony was 
performed on top of a rock standing on a high 
mountain, then named Mount Pisgah because it 
provided to the company- a clear sight of Lake 
Champlain at the west, and of Connecticut River 
at the east, and overlooked all the trees and hills 
in the vast wilderness at the north and south. The 
baptism was performed in the following manner: 
Priest Peters stood on the pinnacle of the rock, 
when he received a bottle of spirits from Col. Tap- 
lin, then harangueing the company w^th a short 
history of the infant settlement, and the prospect 
of its becoming an impregnable barrier between 
the British Colonies on the south and the late Col- 
onies of the French on the north, which might be 
returned to their late owmers for the sake of gov- 


erning America by the different powers of Europe. 
We have here met upon the rock Eatam, standing 
on Mount Pisgah, which makes a part of the ever- 
lasting hill, the spine of Asia, Africa and America, 
holding together the terrestrial ball, and dividing 
the Atlantic from the Pacific ocean — to dedicate 
and consecrate this extensive wilderness to God 
manifest in the flesh, and to giv^e it a new name 
worthy of the Athenians and ancient Spartans, — 
which new name is Verd Mont, in token that her 
mountains and hills shall be ever green and never 
die. He then poured out the spirits and cast the 
bottle upon the rock Eatam." 

The mountain referred to, probabh^ was either 
Mansfield or Camel's Hump, but there must have 
been a stretch of the imagination in this account, 
as there is no mountain in Vermont high enough 
to enable one to see the waters of Lake Cham- 
plain and Connecticut River from the same spot. 
There was also an exaggeration as to the number 
of inhabitants, for in 1771, there were but about 
7000 inhabitants in this territory. This rite of 
baptism was not performed by Dr. Hugh Peters, 
but by Samuel A. Peters, D. D., L. L. D., who was 
born Dec. 12, 1735, at Hebron, Connecticut. 

The water of the rivers and brooks of Vermont 
is of the purest quality, owing to the fact they 
have their rise among the Green Mountains. The 
larger of the rivers are, Otter Creek, that takes its 
rise in Bennington County and falls into Lake 
Champlain at Ferrisburgh ; Onion River, that 
rises in Cabot and flows into the same lake 
between Burlington and Colchester ; the Lamoille 


River that proceeds from a pond in Glover and 
empties into Lake Champlain in the northwestern 
part of Colchester; and the Missisquoi River, 
which takes its rise in the town of Lowell, and 
takes a circuit northerlv into Canada, returning^ 
to the State at Richford, and flows into Missis- 
quoi Bay in Higho^ate. 

On the east side of the State, the Passumpsic 
rises in Westmore and falls into the Connecticut 
River at Barnet; White River and its main 
branch rise in or near Roxburj in Washington 
Count3% and Brookfield in Orange Count\% and 
flows into Connecticut River at Hartford. 



When the territory now called Vermont was 
discovered by Europeans, no S3'stem of agricul- 
ture, worthy of the name, was practiced by the 
natives, but it was one continuous forest. There 
were a great variety of plants and flowers, and a 
great many kinds of trees that spread over its 
hills, valleys and mountains. It is not my pur- 
pose to give a complete list of them, but will name 
those that are most common. Among the trees 
there are the ash, butternut, balsam, basswood, 
beech, birch, cherr\^, cedar, chestnut, elm, hem- 
lock, maple, oak, pine,poplar, spruce and willow. 

Among the trees, shrubs and vines that bear 
valuable and pleasant fruit are the apple tree, 
blueberry, blackberry, cherry (black, red and 
choke), currant, cranberr3^, gooseberr^^ grape, ha- 
zelnut, juniper, mulberry, plumb, raspberry and 
strawberry. There are among the valuable wild 
esculent roots and seeds the artichoke, cucumber, 
hop, leek, onion, oat and pea. 

Among the vegetables that were indigenous to 
the soil were the elder, blood-root, elcampane, 
golden-thread, ginseng, garget, lobelia, liquorice 
root, pond lily, pleuris\^ root, snake-root, skunk 


cabbage, sweet-flag, senna, and sarsaparilla. 

The following plants, that are indigenous here, 
are found to operate as a poison: viz., thorn- 
apple, henbane, nightshade, ivy, creepingiv}', 
swamp sumach, baneberrj', and white hellebore. 

There are some plants and the bark of some 
trees that are not poisonous, the medicinal prop- 
erties of which are valuable: such is the ba3^-berr3', 
the prickh^ ash and the witch hazel. 

The native wild animals and quadrupeds that 
were found in Vermont w^ere numerous. It is not 
within the scope of this historv, nor m^" purpose 
to give their size, nature or habits as that would 
fall to the work of the zoologist. 

The primitive forests of this territory were 
inhabited by, and furnished shelter and food for 
the moose, bear, w^olf, deer, fox, wild cat, raccoon, 
porcupine, woodchuck, skunk, martin, hare, 
rabbit, -weasel, ermine, squirrel, rat, mole, mouse, 
and lynx. Along our rivers, ponds and lakes, 
there were found the beaver, musk rat, mink, 
and otter, all of which furnished employment and 
sport lor the hunter and trapper. The flesh of 
several of those animals furnished meat for the 
inhabitants, and the skins and furs were used for 
clothing, and were ver^^ valuable as articles of 
merchandise. As settlements were made through- 
out the State and the forest frequented by civil- 
ized man, those animals and quadrupeds were 
hunted and killed. Some of them migrated to 
other localities ; the moose, wolf, otter and beaver 
have wholly disappeared from Vermont. 

The beaver is a remarkable animal and 


exercises an extraordinary amount of intelligence 
and skill in the management of the concerns of its 
domestic life, and in building dams, and in the 
construction of their dwellings. Its forefeet and 
toes are so constructed as to answer the purpose 
of fingers and hands ; its teeth are sharp and 
curved that enable him to cut down trees and cut 
them up into suitable lengths for constructing 
dams and houses. They associate and combine 
to pursue their comm.on business and welfare. 
Samuel Williams in his history sa^^s of him, "Their 
association and management has the aspect of a 
pure democrac3^; founded on the principle of per- 
fect equality- and the strongest mutual attach- 
ment. This principle seems sufficient to preserve 
the most perfect harmony, and to regulate all the 
proceedings of tlieir largest societies." '■ ^' " The 
place for making their dams, "is always chosen 
in the most convenient part of the stream; and 
the form of it is either direct, circular or with 
angles, as the situation and circumstances of the 
water and land require; and so well chosen is 
both the place and the form of these dams that no 
engineer could give them a better situation and 
form either for convenience, strength and dura- 
tion. The material of which the dams are con- 
structed are wood and earth. If there be a tree 
on the side of the river, which would naturall3^ fall 
across the stream, several of the beavers set them- 
selves with great diligence, to cut it down with 
their teeth. Trees of the bigness of twenty inches 
diameter are thus thrown across the stream. 
They next gnaw oif the branches from the trunk, 


that the tree may assume a level position. Others 
at the same time are cuttino^ down small trees and 
saplings, from one to ten inches in diameter. 
These are cut into equal and convenient lengths; 
some of the beavers drag these peices of wood to 
the side of the river, and others swim with them 
to the place w^here the dam is to be built ; as many 
as can find room are engaged in sinking one end of 
these stakes, and as man^^ more in raising, fixing 
and securing the other end. While many of the 
beavers are thus laboring upon the wood, others 
are equally engaged in carrying on the earth part 
of the work. The earth is brought on in their 
mouths, formed into a kind of mortar with their 
feet and tails, and spread over the vacancies be- 
tween the stakes. * * * The better to preserve 
their dams the beavers alwa^^s leave sluices, or 
passages near the middle, for the redundant wat- 
ers to pass off. " -^ " 

"The dam is no sooner completed than the 
beavers separate into small bodies, to build cabins 
or houses for themselves. These houses are built 
upon piles, along the borders of the pond. They 
are of an oval form, resembling the construction 
of a haycock ; and they varj^ from four to ten feet 
in diameter, according to the number of families 
they are designed to accommodate. The\' are of 
two stories, generally of three, and sometimes 
they contain four. Their walls are from tw^o to 
three feet in thickness at the bottom and are 
formed of the same materials as their dams. - * ^ 
Through each floor, there is a communication ; 
and the upper floor is always above the level of 


the water when it is raised to its greatest height. 
Each of these huts have two doors ; one on the 
land side to enable them to go out and procure 
provisions by land; another under the water and 
below where it freezes, to preserve their communi- 
cation with the pond. * * '•' The smallest of 
their cabins contain one famih^ consisting gener- 
ally of five or six beavers; and the largest of the 
buildings will contain from twenty to thirty. 

"No society of animals can ever appear better 
regulated or more happ\" than the family of beav- 
ers. The male and female always pair. Their 
selection is not a matter of chance or accident, but 
appear to be derived from taste and mutual affec- 
tion. * * * Nothing can exceed the peace and 
regularit3^ which prevails in the families, through 
the whole commonwealth of these animals. No 
discord or contention ever appears in any of their 
families. Everj^ beaver knows his own apart- 
ment, and storehouse, and there is no pilfering or 
robbing from one another. * * * Different socie- 
ties of beavers never make war upon one another 
or upon any other animals. When they are at- 
tacked b^^ their enimies, the\^ instantly plunge 
into the water to escape pursuit. And when 
they cannot escape, the^- fall an easy sacrifice. 
The arts necessary for their safety are carried by 
the beaver to a great emenience. The situation, 
direction, form, solidity, beauty and durability of 
their dams are equal to anything of the kind, 
wdiich has ever been performed by man." 

The writer has seen one of these dams built by 
the beaver in the towm of Waterville, Vt. These 


animals are from three to four feet in length, and 
of the average weight of about forty pounds. 

Most of the birds that inhabit in the United 
States are found in Vermont. The crow, hawk, 
owl, blue jay, snowbird, partridge, woodpecker, 
and sometimes the robin, blackbird, lark, snipe, 
bluebird, make their home in Vermont during the 
entire year. The wild goose, w41d pigeon, swal- 
low", and the black martin, called birds of passage, 
go south to a warmer climate for the winter, and 
return in the spring. Among the singing birds are 
the robin, skylark, thrush, mocking-bird, bobo- 
link, 3xllowbird, bluebird, wren, red-winged black- 
bird, catbird, goldfinch, and hangbird ; and those 
that resort much to water are the goose, duck, 
teal, heron, gull, schelldrake, crane, stork, loon 
and waterhen. 

Among the list of others that are found here, 
though some of them are not ver\^ numerous, are 
the eagle, kingbird, cuckoo, kingfisher, woodcock, 
woodsnipe, quail, curlew, plover, wild turkey, tur- 
tle dove, whip-poor-will, night hawk, ground bird, 
English sparrow, and humming bird ; the latter is 
the smallest of all birds. 

Fishing in Vermont has been a pleasant pas- 
' time for man^^ and at some portions of the 3^ear 
fishermen have made fishing a profitable employ- 
ment. In the lakes, ponds, rivers and brooks of 
Vermont we have the sturgeon, salmon, bass, 
pickerel, perch, shad, eel, pout, shiner, chub, min- 
ow, sucker, dace and trout. 

Serpents are not very numerous in Vermont, 
owing doubtless to the severe cold climate. The 


black snake and the rattlesnake are said to be 
poisonous ; the green snake, striped snake and ad- 
der are harmless. The black snake and the rattle- 
snake have the power of charming birds and small 
animals, toads and frogs. There are well authen- 
ticated instances of this kind. It is one way they 
obtain their pre3^ 



Samuel Champlain was the first civilized man 
that discovered the lake bearin<^ his name; he 
sailed tip the Lake Champlain in the year 1609. 
At that time there were no European settlements 
in New England. The Indians held possession of 
the whole country. The^^ cultivated but small 
portions of the land, and their agriculture was 
mainly limited to the raising of corn. The forests 
of this territory, in the valleys and on the hills 
and mountains, w^ere the hunting grounds of the 
Indian tribes. The Mohicans, a minor tribe of the 
Iroquois, whose principal residence was at Al- 
bany, N. Y,, claimed jurisdiction of this land and 
forest. Antiquities of an Indian character have 
been discovered in many parts of the State. On 
the island of South Hero they had a settlement 
near the Sand Bar that crosses the water into 
Milton; and another in Colchester. Arrows and 
other utensils have been frequently thrown up, on 
breaking the soil. The St. Francois Indians had 
a settlement of about fifty huts, and a consider- 
able quantity of cleared land on which they raised 
corn, in Swanton. They also had a station in 
Newbury that they occupied in passing from the 



tribes in New England to those upon the Lake 

Nathan Hoskins says in his histor\^ that, "The 
settlers of the town of Clarendon derived their 
title of lands from the Indians ; and this was the 
only grant obtained from them in the State." 

The Indians \vere well-formed, stood erect, and 
w-ere of copper complexion, with long black hair 
and high cheek bones. Their women were treated 
more like brutes and servants than companions of 
human beings. The Indian disposition, created 
by long training and manners of life, v^'as cruel 
and relentless. Tenderness and refined feeling in 
them were well nigh gone, and they did not look 
for pleasure in beaut}-, chastity and affection. 
They had no true system of language, no manu- 
scripts or books, and no written histor3\ Their 
traditional historj^ was ineager and covered but 
a short period of the past. The\- were strangers 
to civilization, and manifested but little or no dis- 
position to learn and practice the ways of civilized 

The Indians that inhabited New England and 
New- York and rowed their barks over the surface 
of the adjacent lakes, delighted in hazardous and 
desperate undertakings, and sought their renown 
in their success. In his undertaking in his rude 
and destitute condition he exercised but little rea- 
son, and his ideas were few and narrow. When 
his life was not enlivened by the chase, or at war 
with the neighboring tribes, his time was spent in 
spiritless apathy and idleness. His political 
wants and reo:ulations were but few ; and he en- 


gaged in war not so much for the welfare of his 
tribe as for revenge. His miUtarv operations 
were different from those of civiHzed nations. The 
object of the true soldier is to win a victory and 
succeed in the campaign with the shedding of as 
little blood as possible, but to obtain success 
without blood was considered a disgrace to a vet- 
eran savage. With him insult and violence, which 
would shock the heart of depravit}^, w^ere both 
offered and endured without a look of pity or 
thought of regret. A display of fortitude in so 
dreadful a situation was regarded as a triumph 
b^^ the Indian warrior. He boasted of his freedom 
and would not be subject to another. 

The Indians in this land made no advance 
towards the discover\^ of letters, but seemed de- 
sirous to record the deeds of their warriors and 
victories, and this w^as done b3' rough figures 
and imitations carved or painted u^^on trees 
and rocks. Hoskins says in his History of Ver- 
mont pubHshed in 1831, that, "Ten or twelve 
figures of a superior workmanship, are wrought 
into the surface of a rock, at Bellows Falls, in 
Rockingham. The heads of men, women, and 
children, and some animals, are represented by 
these inscriptions. The outline of these figures 
are awkward and badly executed." 

Previous to the American Revolution Lake 
Champlain w^as a great highwaj^ for the various 
tribes of Indians engaged in w^ars between them- 
selves, and in the w^ars between the French in Can- 
ada and the English Colonies. At the time Cham- 
plain founded the Colony of Quebec, and circum- 


navigated the lake which now bears his name, the 
tribe of Algonquiiis inhabiting Canada were at 
war with the powerful nation of Iroquois. Cham- 
plain and two Frenchmen, with a party of Indians 
of the Huron tribe, who had suffered severely from 
the inroads of the Iroquois, went on an expedition 
through Lakes Champlain and George, to avenge 
themselves upon their enemies. They had a skir- 
mish with the Iroquois. The two Frenchmen 
were armed with muskets and obtained a com- 
plete victory over the Iroquois; this was the first 
time that that tribe had ever seen the effects of 
gun-powder. In this contest fiftj^ of the Iroquois 
were killed and the remainder put to flight. 

By the year of 1665, France had increased her 
military strength in Canada, and in that year 
w^ent on an expedition against the Mohawks, one 
of the Five Nations, with a force of about 1400 
men. This detachment marched b^^ the way of 
Lake Champlain, on snow-shoes, and after great 
suffering came to a settlement at Schenectady, and 
a general peace was concluded with the Indian 
tribes in 1667. But peace with the savages was 
of short duration, and the Governor of Canada 
built forts Cliambly and Sorel to prevent the Ir- 
oquois entering his province b3^ the waA^ of Lake 

In 1689, three expeditions were fitted out in 
the dead of winter by France against the English, 
one of which was against New York, under the 
direction of D'Aillebout, who had under his com- 
mand about 200 Frenchmen and 50 Indians. 
The^^ proceeded by the wa}' of Lake Champlain 


and arrived in the month of Januarj^, 1690, at 
Schenectady, a village on the Mowhawk. This 
expedition entered the village in the night of Feb- 
ruary 8, 1690, while the inhabitants were asleep, 
and invested every house in small parties'at the 
same time, and the inmates were treated with the 
most inhuman barbarities. Their houses were set 
on fire, men, women and children were dragged 
from their beds and murdered. Sixty persons fell 
by the hand of the enem}^ twenty-seven w^ere car- 
ried away into captivity, and the remainder fled 
to Albany, through deep snow, twenty-five of 
whom lost their limbs b^^ the severity of the 
weather. The enemy retreated and were followed 
by a part^^ of \^oung men from Alban}^, w^ho took 
twen t3"-five of their number prisoners. 

Soon after, to retrieve this disaster and to keep 
alive hoslility towards the French, Major Schuyler 
of Albany placed himself at the head of a part^^ of 
Mohawks, passed through Lake Champlain and 
made a vigorous attack upon the French Settle- 
ment on the river Sorel. In this encounter about 
300 of the enemy were slain. This invasion of 
Canada excited the veteran Frontenac to return 
the call of the Mohawks b}^ the same route; 
and on January 15, 1695, attacked the Mohawk 
castle, losing thirty men, but carried the Indian 
fortress and captured 300 Mohawks. 

In 1704, the French and Indians under the com- 
mand of DeRouville and liis two brothers, with a 
force of 300 men, made an excursion against Deer- 
field, Mass. This force took their route bj^ the 
way of Lake Champlain until they came to the 


French (now Onion) River, passed up that stream 
and over to Connecticut River, upon which thcA' 
traveled upon the ice to Deerfield, and entered the 
town in the night on the 29th da^^ of February-, 
1704, killed in the most barbarous manner forty- 
seven of the men, women and children, set fire to 
the village and departed the same day in great 
haste, and carried 112 of the inhabitants into cap- 

The French in the year 1731, determined to 
make a nearer approach to Albany, and accord- 
inglv, in that j^ear sailed through Lake Cham- 
plain with a considerable force and erected a iort 
at Crown Point. This fort was well calculated to 
serve their interests, as all attempts of the Indians 
of the Mohawk Valley, and of the English at the 
conquest of Canada, lay through the Lake Cham- 
IDlain route. The fort at this point secured the 
w^hole navigation of it, commanding a large por- 
tion of the English and Indian frontiers, furnish- 
ing a magazine of arms and ammunition to suppl3^ 
troops, providing an as3dum for the Indians when 
retreating from their plundering and murdering 
expeditions against the English frontiers, and was 
of the highest importance to them. 

The garrison was first stationed on the east 
side of the Lake, where the town of Addison now 
is, but afterwards established at Crown Point. 
During the war, declared by George the II., wdiich 
continued four j-ears from 1744, the Champlain 
Valley was frequented b\' scouting and navigating 
parties of French and Indians, who spread de- 
struction and dismay bj^ plundering, murdering. 


and scalping wherever the\^ could find defenceless 
individuals or settlements. In the summer of 
1757, about six thousand Provincial troops under 
the command of Generals Johnson and Lyman, 
and a bod\' of Indians under the directions of Hen- 
drick, a Mohawk Sachem, had a blood3^ battle 
near the south end of Lake George, with the In- 
dians and the French arm3^ under the command of 
Baron Dieskan, in which 700 of Dieskan's men 
were killed and 30 taken prisoners, and in which 
Baron Dieskan was slain. The loss of the Provin- 
cials was about two hundred. 

It w^ould be interesting to follow further the 
stirring events that took place along the vv estern 
side of Lake Champlain and the eastern border of 
New York State, south of Lake Champlain, and 
recount the var^-ing fortunes of the contending 
parties, though it would have but little to do 
W'ith Vermont histor3\ Suffice it to sa}-, the En- 
glish concentrated the Provincial forces to proceed 
to Montreal in the last English campaign against 
the French in Canada, in 1760; the conduct of the 
campaign was committed to Colonel Haviland. To 
facilitate the undertaking. General Amherst directed 
that a road should be opened from Number Four, 
on Connecticut River, across the Green Mountains 
to the waters of Otter Creek and down that river 
to Lake Champlain. In constructing this road it 
was found, that part of the way, one had, some- 
time before, been cut down the Creek to the Lake. 

On the 13th of August, 1760, Haviland took 
the forces under his command and proceeded down 
the Lake and took the Isle Aux Nois, and the forts 


at St. Johns and Chambly also fell into his hands. 
He then crossed over to Montreal, \Yhich surren- 
dered on the 8th da^^ of September, 1760, to- 
gether with all the French settlements in this part 
of America. Thus ended the six j^ears of war that 
had waged without much regard to the rules of 
war between ciYilized nations. 

What great changes have been wrought result- 
ant upon the termination of that contest between 
the French and the English, in favor of the latter. 
The contest having been settled in favor of the 
English, there follow^ed a period of prosperit3' 
wHth the American Colonies, then the bloody Rev- 
olution of independence and the building of a 
great nation. Would this people have reached 
the high road of civilization, in which they stand 
to-day, if the fortunes of w^ar had then favored 
the French nation? This may be a difficult ques- 
tion to answ^er. It is certain that our position as 
a people and a nation at the close of the ninteenth 
century, is the natural and inevitable result of the 
gathered past of its histor\\ Our present condi- 
tion has been brought about b^^ evolution and 
revolution, — the two forces and action cannot be 

The earh^ settlers in the territor3' of Vermont, 
then called New Hampshire Grants, were anno^-ed 
by the Indians till the termination of the Revolu- 
tionary war. The northern hives of Indians re- 
siding upon the Canadian frontier poured in upon 
the wilderness of New England, all through the 
French and American wars, carrying many of the 
settlers and their families into captivity. To pro- 


tect the inhabitants, places were fortified on the 
banks of Connecticut River. Fort Dummer was 
built at Brattleboro, Forts Bridgman and Sart- 
well at Hinsdale, now Vernon. 

In 1746, a party of twenty Indians a.t tacked 
the men at Bridgman Fort, killed and wounded 
four, and took two prisoners; and in 1747, killed 
and carried several into captivity. In the month 
of July in the year 1755, the Indians ambushed 
Caleb Howe, Hilkiah Grout and Benjamin Gaf- 
field. Howe was killed, Gaffield was drowned in 
attempting to escape across the river, and Grout 
escaped unhurt ; but their wives and children v^^ere 
carried away as prisoners into Canada by the 
w^ay of Crown Point and the lake, and sold to the 
French or distributed amongst the Indians. 

On August 13, 1754, thcA' surprised Charles- 
ton, New Hampshire, and made prisoners Messrs. 
Labree, Farnsworth, and a man by the name of 
Johnson and his famih^, all of whom were taken 
through the wilderness, the distance of two hun- 
dred miles, and after enduring untold suffering 
were ransomed and returned to their friends. 
While on their w^ay to Canada the\^ were en- 
camped at Cavendish, where Mrs. Johnson had 
a daughter born, whom they named Captive. 

A battle was fought at Newfane in 1756, be- 
tween a part\' of thirtj^ soldiers v^^ho were on their 
way from Charleston and Fort Hoosac in Massa- 
chusetts, commanded by Captain Melvin, and a 
superior force of Indians. Melvin was overpow- 
ered and retreated to Fort Dummer, leaving two 
killed and one missinsf in the hands of the Indians. 


The settlers lived in a fearful state of apprehension 
for many years. 

Before the Revolutionary war the Indians were 
incited to depredations and acts of bloodshed 
against the American settlements b^^ the French — 
the French being at w^ar with the Enghsh. Dur- 
ing the Revolution the Indians continued their 
-sudden invasions and savage w^arfare upon the in- 
habitants of the territory now^ called Vermont, 
and the adjacent Colonies of New Hampshire and 
Massachusetts, though under different masters, 
the British. George and Aaron Robinson w^ere 
killed by them in 1777, in the town of Brandon, 
and many of its inhabitants w^ere taken prisoner 
and their dwellings burned. In November, 1778, 
Major Carleton, an English officer, captured 39 
men and bo\^s at Bridport and adjoining towns, 
and carried them away to Canada. Elijah 
Grand\^ and Thomas Hinkl3' were discharged to 
return with the w^omen and children to the Amer- 
ican settlements, while the husbands and the elder 
sons w^ere retained. The prisoners were taken to 
Quebec, arriving there the 6th day of Dec. 1778, 
and then detained till June, 1780, w^hen the3^ were 
taken down the St. Lawrence River ninety m.iles to 
work. A part of them made an effort to escape. 
Hoskins relates their experience to escape as 
follow^s : — 

"On the night of the 13th of May, 1779, eight 
of them escaped and crossed the river, which here 
was 27 miles wide; b3' noon the next da_v the^^ 
reached the opposite shore. They separated into 
two parties of four each. Messrs. Sturdifit, Ward, 


and Smith, and one other, composed one com- 
pany, and proceeded up the river, for Sorell. Most 
of the people treated them with kindness, until the 
20th, when nearh' opposite Quebec, the river was 
so swollen that they dare not attempt to cross it, 
and therefore, requested the aid of a Frenchman, 
whom they saw in the field. He conducted them 
to his house, where they were made prisoners by a 
French officer. All of them effected an escape, ex- 
cept Sturdifit, who remained a prisoner until the 
close of the war. Ward was separated from the 
Smiths a week, when he accidentally fell in with 
them. Two days after they came together, four 
Indians, with their guns and dogs, came upon 
them, whom the^^ out-run through the night and 
the next day until noon, when they were taken b\' 
the Indians about six miles from Three Rivers, 
and imprisoned. One side of the prison, where 
they were committed, was wood, through which 
they cut a hole with an old jackknife, and in a 
w^eek made an escape by a rope formed of their 
bed clothes, by which the^- let themselves down 
from a window, into a room adjacent to the 
prison. Fourteen days they eluded the search of 
the Indians by traveling in the w^oods, having 
crossed over from the north side of the St. Law- 
rence River. Th^y reached the Sorell in the night, 
and the next day climbed the Chamblj^ Mountains 
to take observations for directing their course 
through the forests of Vermont. They arrived at 
Missisquoi Bay, after four da^'s travel through 
Swamps and a dreary w^ilderness. During the 
whole route thev subsisted entirelv on what flesh 


the\^ killed and cooked in the woods. At Panton, 
they fell in with a scout of three Americans." 

Lieutenant Benjamin Everest, during the first 
settlement of Vermont in 1769, w^as engaged with 
Col. Ethan Allen in suppressing Yorkers in their 
intrusion upon the inhabitants of Panton and 
New^ Haven ; he received a commission from the 
Continental Congress, and was engaged in the 
battle of Hubberton in Col. Warner's regiment, 
and in the battle of Bennington, in the regiment 
commanded b3^ Col. Herrick. Everest had the 
command of Fort Vengeance, at Rutland, and af- 
ter, was taken b_v the British as a sp3^ and con- 
fined nine da^^s in prison, and then taken to Can- 
ada in a prison ship. Believing his doom was cer- 
tain if he could not escape, he b^^ entreaties got his 
irons taken off and himself placed upon the Cjuar- 
ter-deck, and there he got his guards intoxicated, 
and made his escape from the vessel by swimming 
ashore. He passed through the Indian encamp- 
ment as a British officer and traveled in the night 
over the mountains vv^est of Lake Champlain to 
Westport, and then crossed the Lake and made 
his way through the wilderness to Castleton. Af- 
terwards, while on a scouting expedition,' he w^as 
surprised hj seven Indians and taken prisoner, 
and delivered to General Powers, who confined 
him in irons. He escaped and the whole encamp- 
ment were out in search of him, but he eluded 
their grasp b\' concealment. 

On August 9th, 1780, twent3^-one Indians en- 
tered the township of Barnard and made prison- 
ers of several persons as related in Vol. 1, on page 


136 of this History. On October 16th, 1781, five 
men, who were on their w^a\' from the fort in Cor- 
inth on a scout down Onion River, w^ere fired 
upon in the town of Jericho by a company of six- 
teen Tories. Three of the scouts were mortallj^ 
wounded and died soon after, and w^ere buried in 
Colchester, and the other two w^ere taken to Que- 
bec and there detained till the spring of 1782, 
w4ien they \yqvq permitted to return. 

A scouting party under command of Major 
Breckenridge anno3'ed the settlers of Newburjv^, 
killed one man and took others prisoners, then 
marched to Corinth where they obliged the inhab- 
itants to take the oath of allegiance to the King 
of Great Britain. The settlement at Peacham, on 
the Hazen militar^^ road, w^as invaded bv a party 
of French and Indians, wdio took Col. Elkins and 
several others prisoners. One hundred and fift3'- 
one, in all, were sent to England and confined in 
prison, but in 1782, they w^ere exchanged for the 
troops of Cornwallis. 

During the war of the American Revolution the 
New Hampshire Grants were exposed to the dep- 
redations of the Indians and Terries and had their 
property burned or destro3'ed, and man3^ w^ere 
killed and tortured, and the people of man3' settle- 
ments lived in constant fear of being brought into 
a like situation. 

The battle at Shelburne with the Indians, and 
the capture of the Brown family, are referred to 
in the first Volume on pages 115 and 302. The 
burning of Ro3'alton is also referred to in the first 
Volume, but some additional facts as to that pil- 


lage and massacre are here given. In 1780, Roy- 
alton, on White River, contained 300 inhabitants, 
and in October of that \^ear 203 Indians and seven 
white men under command of Lieut. Horton, pro- 
ceeded by way of Lake Champlain and Onion 
River, on an expedition against Newbury, for the 
purpose of capturing Lieut. Whitcomb, who, as 
thcA' claimed, had wantonW shot General Gordon, 
an English officer, in July, 1776. This party be- 
came aware that Newbury had learned of their in- 
tentions and had prepared for defense ; they there- 
fore abandoned their contemplated attack on 
Newbur3% and turned their attention towards 
Royalton and proceeded to Tunbridge, where they 
lay in their encampment during the Sabbath. On 
Monda^^, the 10th of October, they commenced 
their depredations at the house of John Hutchin- 
son, taking him and his brother prisoners; then 
proceeded to Robert Haven's, where the\^ killed 
Alessrs. Button and Pember; from thence to Jo- 
seph Keeland's, and took him, his father, Simeon 
Belknap, Giles Gibbs and Jonathan Brown prison- 
ers. They then went to the home of Elias Curtis 
and took him, John Kent and Peter Alason pris- 
oners. When they arrived at the mouth of the 
stream called the Branch, they made a stand and 
sent out small parties from their body in different 
directions to plunder and bring in prisoners ; they 
extended their ravages down the river into 
Sharon, taking two prisoners there and burnt sev- 
eral houses and barns. 

Another part3^ was sent up the river, took a 
3^oung lad prisoner, plundered and set fire to the 


house of General Stevens, and as the\' passed 
alonc^ set fire to buildings. They then crossed the 
hills to Randolph and camped for the night on one 
of the branches of White River. In the course of 
that da\' they had killed two persons, taken 
t\vent\^-five prisoners, burnt t\vent3'-iive houses 
and about the same number of barns, killed 150 
head of cattle and many hogs and sheep. 

The attack with such large numbers was so 
sudden the people took no measures for defense, 
but alarm was immediateh' given, and several 
hundred from towns on Connecticut River 
promptly marched to the rescue and organized 
under the command of Captain John House, w^ho 
began his march in search of the savage arm^^ 
which were overtaken. The Indian sentries were 
placed half a mile in the rear of the main body, 
near the path, behind some trees, who fired upon 
the American party, wounding one man. The 
Americans returned the fire, killing one Indian and 
wounding several. The Indians were alarmed 
and sent an aged prisoner to inform the Ameri- 
cans that if they made an attack they would put 
to death all the prisoners in their hands. The 
Indians tomahawked two of the prisoners, one 
because he w^ould not march, and the other to re- 
taliate for the death of the Indian w^ho was slain 
by the Americans. 

The Indians hastily retreated through Ran- 
dolph and the west side of Brookfield, and thence 
down Onion River, and the lake to St. Johns and 
Montreal. One part^^ of them passed over 
through Jericho, taking the Brown famih^ before 


mentioned, on their wa3% captive. The Americans 
followed the Indians as far as Brookfield, and con- 
sidering that further pursuit would be fruitless, 
returned. Those whom the Indians had taken 
prisoners and who did not tr3^ to escape and the 
women and children were treated with more len- 
ity than the Indians had been accustomed to deal 
with them. 

One w^oman had self-possession enough to ad- 
dress them in a bold and spirited manner. She 
told them, "that if the\^ had the spirit and souls 
of men the3^ would cross the stream, go to the fort 
and fight with the men." The Indians replied to 
her that "Squaw should not say too much.'' One 
woman, w^hose little bo3^ the Indians had taken, 
followed them with her other children and en- 
treated them to return him. Rather than contend 
with her earnest solicitations the Indians released 
him with ten or twelve other children belonging 
to her neighbors. At last, wishing to get rid of 
her importunities, an Indian politeh^ offered to 
carry her over the stream on his back. She with- 
out hesitation accepted and he carried her safel3^ 
over to the opposite bank. 

When the Indians arrived at Montreal with 
their prisoners, many of them were sold to the 
British Colonel at eight dollars a head. All of 
those who remained alive were liberated and re- 
turned to their homes and friends the next 
summer. In the town of HA'de Park there lived 
two aged and infirm Indians by the name of Jo- 
seph and Molly who were treated as the wards of 
the State, and by an Act of the Legislature passed 


November 7, 1792, John McDonald, Esq., was ap- 
pointed their guardian and was directed to deliver 
to them "necessary supplies at such seasons of the 
year as they cannot supply themselves, not to ex- 
ceed three pounds." 

The Indians, the native of this land, called hj 
some writers the man of America, differed in color, 
form, feature and language from any race of men 
on the face of the globe. What was the origin of this 
race ? Did they arise from a lower state of being 
or organism in America, according to the princi- 
ples of evolution as is the teachings of Darwin? 
or were their ancestors created by the fiat of God, 
about six thousand 3^ears ago, in Asia, and mi- 
grated to this country at some remote period? 
One writer says thcA^ were of the same complexion 
with the most ancient nation in Asia, and says, 
"from authentic documents, we are able to trace 
the existence and national transactions of the 
Hindoos to a greater antiquity than we can find 
within any other nation. And those were the red 
men of Asia, and the Indians of both continents 
are marked with the same peculiarity^ of color, a 
reddish brown." Their origin, and how they 
came here, is shrouded in obscurity and 

It will be fitting here to give an accouut of the 
manner of life, habits and customs of the Indians. 
A true description of them will be as applicable to 
the tribes of other parts of the countr\^ as of those 
in Vermont. They subsisted upon berries and roots 
which the earth produced spontaneously, and cul- 
tivated in a quite limited extent Indian corn, 



beans, pumpkins and squashes ; but their main re- 
liance for food was by fishing and hunting. Fish 
and game abounded in Vermont wilderness, but it 
was laborious business for the Indians to fish 
and hunt successfully as their weapons, the bow, 
arrow and club, and their fishing tackle, were of 
the most primitive kind, and had not the im- 
proved implements invented and made b^- civilized 
man. They w^ere ingenious in devising means to 
take their game, and indefatigable and persevering 
in its pursuit, — the most dexterous hunter became 
the most distinguished savage of the tribe. When 
the season of the 3'ear was unfavorable for the 
taking their game, they were reduced to great 
want and their sufferings severe. He had a vora- 
cious appetite and was a great eater when food 
was abundant, and in times of famine he bore 
hunger with patience. His chief source of subsis- 
tence was hunting and fishing, consequently, a 
large territory became necessarj^ for even a small 
tribe. Hostile tribes had to be kept at such a dis- 
tance as not to encroach upon the territor\' or the 
game of the adjoining tribe. 

Their government was of a primitive nature 
and simple in form, the design and object of which 
was not mainly for the protection of the property 
or security of the individual members of the tribe. 
The idea fixed and clear in their mind was that 
the fish in the river, the game in the forest, and 
the berries and roots they gathered from the for- 
est for food, were not the product of his labor and 
therefore did not belong to him more than any 
other one of the tribe. But when an3'-thing was 


obtained b^^ the exertion of any particular person, 
no other savage doubted that it was his exclusive 
propert3\ To the Indian, the river and the forest 
were public propert3^ to w^hich ever\^ member had 
an equal and common privilege, and as to those 
matters seldom any controversy arose. The right 
of redressing private injury was generally left in 
private hands. If injuries were inflicted, it be- 
longed to the friends and the family injured to 
seek redress. If the controversy or injury was not 
settled in a friendh' wa3^ the injured one sought 
his revenge and aimed at the destruction and 
death of the aggressor. 

The whole tribe assembled together in their 
public councils. Having no writings, records or 
histor\^ to preserve the knowledge of their public 
transactions, therefore, the memory of the aged 
was relied on for early transactions. The mat- 
ters brought before their councils were taken into 
consideration slowh^ solemnly, and deliberatel\^ 
The force and power of their government was 
placed wholl^^ in public sentiment. Williams, says, 
in his history, that, "the chief has no authority to 
enforce his councils or compel compliance with his 
measures. * * * There is no appearance or mark 
of distinction ; no ceremonj^ or form of induction 
into office." 

The tendenc3' and effect of the savage govern- 
ment was equality, freedom and independence, 
among all the members of the tribe. As to their 
rights, the savages knew no superior, and had no 
idea of abasement, humiliation, dependence or ser- 
vitude; hence it was impossible to hold them in 


slavery, and where it has been attempted it has 
been a failure. 

When the Indian prepared for war he took 
with him a bag of corn, his bow and arrow, club 
or tomahawk, which were his complete equipment 
for a campaign. While on the march the\^ scat- 
tered into straggling companies, that they might 
better supply their needs by hunting, but when 
thej" drew^ near the enemy, they concentrated and 
proceeded wath stratagem, and' secrecy, and en- 
deavored to draw their enem^^ into ambuscade. 
Thej' would find and follow the track of an enem^^ 
with great ingenuit}-, and surprise them, and w^ait 
for the moment when thej^ could find them the least 
able to defend themselves, and then attack with 
^reat fur^^ They wall not come out into the open 
field and fight a battle, but alwa^^s endeavor to 
secure themselves behind trees and rocks. They 
will seldom if ever attack a superior or an equal 
number of disciplined troops. When they make 
an attack it is wath a force superior to their en- 
emy, and commence the attack with a general out- 
cr3^, terminating in a universal 3' ell. 

It is said that an Indian warwhoop is an awful 
and horrid sound. If they are successful then it is 
a scene of fury, impetuosity, vengeance, outrage 
and death. Revenge, at such a time, takes poss- 
ession of the savage, and regardless of order, dis- 
cipline and danger, seek onl3^ to butcher, burn 
and destroy, strip and scalp the dead, and then 
make a sudden and swift retreat. When prisoners 
were taken they w^ere treated varioush^ and often 
inhuman^, but not often tortured or burnt at the 


The 3'oung' men while in pursuit of food and on 
the chase were under the tutelage and direction of 
the most skillful and successful hunter, and in war 
followed the most brave and renowned. The edu- 
cation of the youth consisted in being trained as a 
dextrious hunter; to be patient, firm and persever- 
ing under great hardship and suftering, and to be 
inveterate and fierce in the destruction of enemies. 
The refinement of manners, and the government 
of passions were not attended to nor desired. The 
youth were trained to take care of themselves and 
to look for food and obtain honor, independence 
and superiority^ b3' their own exertions. The par- 
ent aimed to have his son inured to hardship and 
danger, and to bear fatigue, famine and even tor- 
ture. The general appearance and demeanor of 
the Indians were grave and serious, even melan- 
choly and sad, probably, caused b^^ the constant 
hardship and danger the^^ pass through. 

The relations between the sexes were not so 
chaste and well regulated as in civilized life. 
The kind and just treatment of women, their 
beauty, refinment and intelligence depends upon 
the state of civilization that a nation has at- 
tained. With the Indian the w^omen had no polit- 
ical rights, no voice with the tribe how they 
should be treated. They were treated as labor- 
ers and required to perform the most menial ser- 
vice, and were viewed by the male portion of the 
tribe as ever^^ ^ys.y inferior: therefore they became 

The clothing of the Indians consisted of skins 
and furs of animals, and the^- delighted in orna- 


ments, and all the finer\^ and decorations were re- 
served to the men. The nose and ears were deco- 
rated with pieces of shining stones, shells and 
gold ; the face painted with bright colors and fig- 
ures. They would anoint their bodies with some 
kind of grease or oil to protect them against in- 
sects to which they were exposed. The Indians 
outside of their favorite occupations of fishing, 
hunting and war, are inactive and indolent, spend- 
ing their time lounging, eating and sleeping ; 
have great aversion to labor; digging, toiling and 
cultivating the earth are beneath their dignity and 
honor. Their bodies, iood, cooking and manner 
of life generall}' were filthj-. 

Although indolent and lifeless when not en- 
gaged in their favorite pursuits, they were enthusi- 
astic and noisy in pla3^, and delighted with music, 
but their songs are of a grave and serious nature. 
Songs for war, for victory and for death call forth 
their feelings and passions, and it is said that 
w^hen burning at the stake their consolation is to 
sing the song of triumph and death. Dancing is a 
delightful recreation to them as it serves to excite 
their sensibility and calls forth their active powers, 
and with them is of great importance. With that 
ceremony war is declared, ambassadors are re- 
ceived and peace concluded. In the dance all of 
their actions, steps and expressions are expressive, 
and intended to represent the subject or business 
for which the dance is gotten up. If peace is made 
between hostile tribes, it is celebrated by a dance, 
the parties smoke the same pipe and join in the 
same dance, which is made to signif)^ that the 


hatchet is buried. This is different than the dance 
in civilized life which means nothing at all. 

The Indians wear no beard, and it is said it is 
their universal and constant practice to pluck 
it out hj the roots b}'- instruments made for the 
purpose. The savages of North America were 
and are addicted to drunkenness. Even before 
they came in contact with Europeans the^^ made 
a liquor of an intoxicating nature from maize. 
The Indians were not accustomed to lay an\^ re- 
straint upon their appetite, and after thc}^ came 
in contact with the white race and could procure 
liquor much more readil}^ and a larger supply 
than they had done among themselves, drunken- 
ness became widespread among them ; the use of 
liquor was more demoralizing than with the Euro- 
peans. The cruelty and barbarity of the Indian, 
especially' while under the influence of liquor, was 
but little removed from the ferocit\' of wild beasts 
of prey. 

These considerations show the manner of life of 
the original men of America. But many of their 
habits and ways of life were favorable to vigour 
and health of bod3% activity and courage, and the 
endurance of hardship, suffering, fatigue and hun- 
ger, through extremes of heat and cold. He had 
some redeeming qualities ; he w^as magnanimous, 
and generous to friends; he remembered a kind- 
ness; the love of country was very strong with the 
savage, and therefore he desired to expand the na- 
tional fame and conquest of his race; he seldom 
betrayed the interests or councils of his people or 
turned traitor to his countrv and his tribe. 


There have been some Indian orators of no 
small abiliU^; when he spoke, his speech was short, 
and his meaning conve3'ed in bold and strong met- 
aphors and figures ; he delivers himself with great 
force and propriety of gesture. None received 
promotion among them unless tliGj distinguished 
themselves for braver3^ and met with success. If he 
in his undertakings proved unfortunate and an un- 
successful leader, he lost all his influence and repu- 

Thev knew nothing of modern education ; it is 
said thev could count to only about twenty, and 
therefore they would have but little use for arith- 
metic ; when the3^ desired to give an idea of large 
numbers they referred to the trees of the forests, or 
the hairs upon their heads. Thev had no name for 
any of the sciences. 

The religious ideas of the Indians were weak 
and obscure. The\^ denominated the Deit3' the 
Great Spirit, and believed in the immortality of 
the soul, and were led to that view by the voice of 
Nature; had no private or puplic devotion, nor 
any mode of worship. Therefore they had no 
priests nor houses of worship. With the Indians 
the divine, social and human virtues do not find 
a congenial soil — such qualities with them are few 
and weak. 

Matters of art and domestic affairs, such as are 
found in civilized life, were ver3^ little attended 
to among the Northern Indians ; spinning, weav- 
ing and knitting were unknowai to them ; their 
clothing was derived from hunting ; their huts or 
wigwams were of the simplest construction, cov- 


ered with limbs, leaves and bark, with a hole in 
the roof for the escape of smoke. Of the many and 
great uses of iron they were wholly ignorant, 
hence, the instruments for use to work the soil, or 
in w^ood, were of the most primitive nature; their 
axes were made of stone and their knives of shell 
or bone. Their instruments of war were the club 
made of hard wood, a lance pointed with a flint 
or bone, and the bow and arrow; their cookery 
hardly deserved the name ; they baked their bread 
on coals; the\^ boiled their meat and other food 
by filling a hollowed out log or stone with water, 
into which they put the raw article of food, and 
boiled it by throwing into it stones heated red 

The\^ manifested considerable skill in construct- 
ing their canoe by hollowing out a tree, and from 
bark, and were equally dextrous in the manage- 
ment of them in passing through rough w^aters 
and over rapids and falls. Some of them had 
knowledge of medicines. Their medicines w^ere 
made from w41d plants and vegetables. Their 
knowledge of the curative qualities of their medi- 
cines w^as the result of such observation as exper- 
ience naturally produced, and their improvement 
in this line was almost nothing. 

The population of the Indian was ver^^ sparse. 
On the whole it would not exceed but about one 
person to the square mile. The difference between 
their numbers in a given territor3% and those in a 
civilized country, is very great, which leads us to 
look for the cause in the manner of life of the sav- 
age. It probably was owing to his great irreg- 


■ularity of life, a want of suitable and nutritious 
food in sufficient quantities. From these causes 
they suffered ; with them at one period it \Yas 
gluttony and excess, and at another, deprivations, 
hunger and cold. Their life was made up of ex- 
tremes. Constant fatigue and distress are unfavor- 
able to increase of population. Their constant 
wars had also an unfavorable influence on the 
population ; it swept off their most vigorous men. 
From these considerations we are led to say that 
it is onh' in the highest state of civilization that 
the human race can find the greatest increase of 
their numbeis, knowledge, safety and happiness. 



The division of the territory of New Hampshire 
Grants, and afterwards the State of Vermont, in- 
to Counties will next claim our attention. That 
part of the territor3' of the Grants lying east of 
the range of mountains was first called Unity 
Count3% but it was afterwards changed to Cum- 
berland Count\^ in 1768, and later, Cumloerland 
County was itself divided, the northern line of 
which was the south line of Thetford, Stratford 
and Tunbridge. It appears from the Documen- 
tary History of New York, that Gloucester Coun- 
ty w^as formed Februar\^ 28th, 1770, and was de- 
scribed as all that certain tract or district of land 
situated hnng and being to the northward of the 
County of Cumberland : beginning at the north- 
west corner of said County of Cumberland ; and 
thence running north as the needle points fifty 
miles ; thence east to Connecticut River ; thence 
along the west bg.nk of the same river as it runs 
to the northeast corner of said County of Cumber- 
land on the said river; and thence along the north 

bounds of the said Count}^ of Cumberland to the 



place of beginning; and that the township of 
Kingsland be declared and appointed the County 

The petitioners set forth in their petition for the 
establishing of said Count\% that such of the pe- 
titioners as live to the northward of Cumberland 
are exposed to rapine and plunder from a lawless 
banditti of felons and criminals who fly thither 
from other places. And that it is impossible to 
obtain justice while they remain a part of the 
County of Alban3^, as the magistrate can have no 
e3'e upon those distant parts, nor can the petition- 
ers procure officers to come thither, or thej^ in 
their present state go to them ; that there are up- 
wards of seven hundred souls to the northward of 
the Counts- of Cumberland, and that such is the 
quality and situation of the land, that under 
proper encouragement, and b\' the help of the 
overflowing of the neighboring Colonies, the 
whole country may in a few 3^ears be under ac- 
tual cultivation. The County seat was after- 
wards fixed at Newburv. 

The western part of the territory of the New 
Hampshire Grants, or so much of it as was 
claimed to be wnthin the jurisdiction of New York, 
at an earh- day, was included within the bounda- 
ries of the New York Counties of Albany and 
Charlotte. It will be borne in mind that the 
Count}' of Unity, the territory of which was after- 
wards called Cumberland and Gloucester, on the 
east side of the mountains, and the Counties of Al- 
ban3^ and Charlotte on the west side of the moun- 
tains, were constituted and named bv the New 


York authorities, as the3^ claimed the entire terri- 
tory^ embraced within the Hmits of those Counties. 

The County of Charlotte was formed in the 
year 1772. When the Green Mountain Boys de- 
clared the New Hampshire Grants an independent 
State, and as patriots pledged their propert}-, hon- 
or and lives to maintain that declaration, and 
adopted the Constitution of the State in 1778, the 
names of Albanv and Charlotte Counties were 
dropped, and all Western Vermont was included 
in Bennington Count3^ It was this Acar that the 
w^est bank of Connecticut River was fixed as the 
eastern boundary' of Vermont. While the Countj^ 
of Charlotte, lying north of the Count\^ of Albany, 
included a part of what now^ is the State of Ver- 
mont. Skeensborough (now^ Whitehall) of New 
York was its shire towm. 

B3^ an Act passed by the State of Vermont in 
February, 1779, all Western Vermont to the south 
line of the Province of Quebec was included within 
the County of Bennington, and all Eastern Ver- 
mont to the south line of the Province of Quebec 
was embraced within the County of Cumberland, 
and the particular boundaries of the two Counties 
were given in said Act. At a session of the Gen- 
eral Assembly held at Windsor in Februarv, 1781, 
an Act was passed b_v which Bennington Countj^ 
was divided and its bounds limited to the terri- 
torj' of that Count\^ h'^^S south of a line, begin- 
ning at the northwest corner of Rupert, running 
easterl3' on the north line of Rupert, Dorset and 
Bromle\' (now Peru), to the line of Cumberland 
Count3% with Bennington and Manchester estab- 


lished as half shires, and all territory north of 
said line was constituted a separate County and 
named Rutland, with Tinmouth as its shire. By 
the same Act of the General Assembly of that 
year, Cumberland County and the entire eastern 
part of the State was incorporated into three 
Counties : viz. Windham, Windsor and Orange, 
and thus dropping the names of Cumberland and 
Gloucester. Windham embraced by the Act all 
that part of Cumberland County lying south of a 
line commencing at the southeast corner of 
Springfield, running westerly to the east line of 
Bennington Count3\ Windsor embraced all terri- 
tory- lying north of Windham County and south 
of a line running from the north-east corner of 
Norwich, westerly on the north line of Norwich, 
Sharon, Ro^-alton and Bethel, to the Bennington 
Count\^ line, and all remaining territory lying 
north of Windsor Count}^ south of Canada line 
in Eastern Vermont, was established as a County 
b\^ the name of Orange, with Thetford and New- 
bur^^ as half shires. 

Where half shires w^ere established, the courts 
were set and held in those half shires alternately. 
While a union of a part of New Hampshire west 
of the Mason line, with Vermont, continued, the 
General Assembh^ of Vermont, at a session held in 
April, at Windsor, passed the following Act, viz : 

''Be it enacted, etc., that all the lands within 
this State, on the east side of Connecticut River 
hdng and being opposite the County of Orange, 
be, and hereby are, for the time being, annexed to 
the said County of Orange. 


"5e it further enacted, that all the land lying 
and being within this State, on the east side of 
Connecticut River, opposite to the County of 
Windsor, and northward of the northerh- lines of 
Claremont, Newport, Unity and Wendal, be, and 
hereby are, for the time being, annexed to the 
County of Windsor. 

^'And be it further enacted, that all the lands 
within this State, on the east side of Connecticut 
River southwardly o.f the northwardly lines of 
the towns of Claremont, Newport, Unity and 
Wendal, be, and hereby are, for the time being, 
erected into one entire and distinct County, b^^ the 
name of W^ashington County." The territory 
claimed by Vermont on the east side of Connecti- 
cut River, was by an Act passed at the same ses- 
sion divided into four probate districts, viz.: the 
districts of Keene, Claremont, Dresden and Hav- 
erill. While the union of a part of New Hamp- 
shire west of the Mason line remained with Ver- 
mont, the towns east of Connecticut River lying 
and being opposite of the Counties of Windsor 
and Orange, were, by an Act of the General x\ssem- 
bly, annexed to the Count}^ opposite on the west 
of said river. 

On the 27th day of February, 1787, the Gen- 
eral Assembly passed an Act defining the bound- 
aries and limits of the several Counties of Benning- 
ton, Windham, Windsor, Rutland and Orange and 
constituting the County of Addison, leaving Rut- 
land County substantially as it now is. The 
boundary lines of Addison County began at the 
north-west corner of Rutland Countv, thence 


north on the west line of the State to the forty- 
fifth degree of latitude, thence east to Orange 
County, thence south on the west line of Orange 
County to the north line of Rutland County. By 
this division of the State it brought Addison and 
Orange together as adjoining Counties, both ex- 
tending north to Canada line. 

At the October session of the Grand Assembly 
of 1787, an Act was passed October 22, restrict- 
ing the limits of Addison County, and forming 
Chittenden County; the dividing line between it 
^nd Addison County commenced at the south- 
west corner of Charlotte, thence east on the north 
line of Ferrisburgh and Monkton to the north- 
-east corner thereof, thence south on the east line 
of Monkton to the north line of Pocock, (now 
Bristol) thence south to the north-west corner of 
Lincoln, thence the most direct course eastw^ardly 
between towns on town lines, until it intersected 
with the west line of Orange County. All terri- 
tory north of said line to the north line of the 
State was named Chittenden County; and it was 
provided that the courts for that County, for the 
time being, should be held at Colchester. By an 
Act passed October 22nd, 1790, the towns of 
Windsor and Woodstock should be half shires of 
Windsor County, and the courts to be held alter- 
nately^ at those places. 

Yergennes was taken from the towns of New 
Haven, Panton and Ferrisburgh and was by an 
Act of the General Assemblj^ passed October 23rd, 
1788, incorporated as a city. It has the distinc- 
tion not only of being the oldest cit^- of Vermont, 


but the oldest incorporated cit3" in New England — 
incorporated thirt^^- three 3'ears before Boston, 
Mass. Boston was incorporated Februar^^ 23, 
1822, then numbering 43,000 inhabitants. 

By an Act of the General Assembly passed Nov- 
ember 5, 1792, Orange and Chittenden Counties 
were divided and limited. And from said two 
Counties there w^ere constituted the Counties of 
Franklin, Caledonia, Essex and Orleans. Orange 
County w^as limited to 20 towns, Caledonia to 21 
towns and some gores, and Essex embraced all 
the remaining tow^ns of Orange Countj^ except 
Greensborough, Glover, Barton, Brownington, 
Nav3^ Caldersburgh and Holland. The north line 
of Chittenden County was fixed ; beginning at the 
east side line of then Orange County at the north- 
east corner of Worcester and running on the north 
line of Worcester, Stowe, Mansfield, Underbill, 
Westford and Milton to Lake Champlain to the 
northward of South Hero and through the deep- 
est channel and water between North and South 
Hero and west to the deepest channel of the lake, 
and all territory north of said line was instituted 
and named Franklin Countj^ the east line of 
which ran southerl^^ from Canada line between 
Carthage and Richford, and between Westfield 
and Montgomery, excluding Belvidere and to the 
north-west corner of Eden, and on the west line of 
Eden to Hyde Park, and thence on between Hyde 
Park and Johnson, and between Morristown and 
Sterling to the north line of Chittenden County. 
Orleans Countjv was constituted and forme(J by 
the same x\ct from the remaining towms of Orange 


County and the towns of Elmore, Morristown, 
Eden, Hyde Park, Wolcott and Greensborough. It 
was provided by the Act, constituting these new 
Counties, that the court business was to be done 
in certain other Counties till courts should be es- 
tablished in the new ones. 

By an Act of the General Assembly passed Nov- 
ember 9, 1802, a County" was formed from the 
towns of South Hero and Middle Hero and islands 
near, of Chittenden County, and North Hero, Isle 
LaMotte and Alburgh from Franklin County and 
w^as named Grand Isle County. 

By an Act of the Legislature passed November 
1, 1810, a Count}^ was formed from the towns of 
Fayston, Duxbury, Waterbur^^ Waitsfield, Wor- 
cester, Middlesex, Moretown and Stowe of Chit- 
tenden County, from Montpelier, Calais, Marsh- 
field and Plainfield of Caledonia Count3% and from 
liarre, Berlin and Northfield of the County of 
Orange ; and this new County was named Jeffer- 
son, but by the Act of November 8, 1814, the 
name was changed to Washington. Montpelier 
became its shire, and is the Capital of the State. 

At this writing there are five incorporated cit- 
ies in the State: viz. Yergennes, incorporated in 
1788; Burlington, incorporated in 1864; Rutland, 
incorporated 1888 ; and Montpelier and Barre, in- 
corporated in 1894, and St. Albans, incorporated 
in 1896. By Acts passed by the Vermont Assem- 
bly October 26, 1835, and October 1836, Lamoille 
County was formed from towms taken from 
Franklin, Chittenden, Orleans and Washington 
Counties. Hyde Park became the shire town of 
Lamoille Count3^ 


On January 27th, 1791, the General Assembly 
passed an Act dividing the State into three Con- 
gressional Districts : Bennington and Windham 
Counties forming the First District; Windsor and 
Orange the Second District; and Rutland, Addison 
and Chittenden the Third District; but as Congress 
was not expected to admit only two representa- 
tives when the State should be admitted, and in 
such case, the Counties on the west side of the 
mountains \vere to form the First District, and 
those on the east side, the Second. When the State 
was admitted by vote of the Senate, Februar\^ 12, 
and by the House. Februar\^ 18, but two repre- 
sentatives were assigned to the State. And by 
Act of November 8, 1792, the two Congressional 
Districts were established, one on the east, and 
the other on the west of the mountains. 

In 1796, there was a difference of opinion with 
some and a question made as to whether there 
was not a strip of land lying between what was 
treated as the north line of Vermont and the true 
line between Vermont and Canada, as made by 
the treat\" between the United States and Great 
Britain. William Coit of Burlington represented 
to the General Assembly that he had examined the 
supposed north line of the State, and had with 
Mr. Collins, then late survej^or of the Province of 
Canada, who made said line, and found the line 
var\dng so far south of the forty-fifth degree of 
north latitude as to embrace vv^thin Canada lands 
really belonging to Vermont to the amount 23, 
040 acres. The Assembly appointed a committee 
to confer with the Survevor General Whiteiaw re- 


specting the lands. The committee reported they 
could not ascertain that there were any such va- 
cant lands. By the treat3^ of Washington of 1842, 
on boundaries, the line run by Collins and Valen- 
tine in 1772-3—4 was agreed upon as the bound- 
ary line, and commissioners were appointed to 
mark the line. The joint report of these Commis- 
sioners, made April 20, 1848, stated in substance, 
that they had explored the Valentine and Collins 
line and found the blazes on the original forest 
trees that indicated it was marked at the time 
Valentine and Collins ran the line, and that the 
committee were satisfied that the line they found, 
was the one mentioned in the treat3', although it 
was not a straight line, and that the western por- 
tion of it was about a half-mile north of the true 
parallel of latitude 45 degrees. So that it appears 
that all the maps which give the northern bound- 
ary of the State on or below the parallel of lati- 
tude 45°, are erroneous. 



The general political history of the territory" 
now known as the State of Vermont, down to the 
time it was admitted as one of the States of the 
American Union in 1791, was embraced in the first 
volume. In this chapter it will be our endeavor 
to supply some facts and incidents that occurred 
during the time covered b3^ that volume, and give 
the substance, at least, of some papers and docu- 
ments, not heretofore given, that were brought in- 
to existence during that time, that will serve to 
make the histor^^ more complete, and show the 
courage, capacity and the indomitable energy of 
the Green Mountain Bo^-s. 

The first uprising in the New Hampshire Grants 
against the New York land jobbers was mainly 
started in the western part of the Grants ; the 
State government originated in that uprising, and 
w^as to a large extent the work of the Chittendens, 
the Aliens, the Fays and the Robinsons, all of 
whom resided on the west side of the Green Moun- 
tains. That part of the territor\^ east of the 
mountains was nominally under the jurisdiction of 



New York, and for many 3'ears its leading men, at 
least the majoritA^ of them, were content to submit 
to it. Although they were willing to submit to 
the authority of New York, most of them w^ere 
Whigs, as were nearly all of the leading men west 
of the mountain; and ultimateh^ the Whigs, of 
both sides of the mountain, were active in getting 
rid of Tories and in establishing the independent 
State of Yermont. Hence the early meetings and 
conventions held by them, and the eiforts put forth 
b3^ them resulting in Yermont becoming the four- 
teenth State of the American Union, should be re- 
lated as a part of the histor^^ of the State. Pre- 
vious to 1791, the territory east of the Green 
Mountains contained the largest part of the pop- 
ulation of Yermont; up to 1771, the population of 
Cumberland and Gloucester Counties (which now 
embrace Windham, Windsor and Orange) contain- 
ed about two-thirds of the people of the whole ter- 
ritory, but in 1791, the number on the east side of 
the mountains were 43,970, and on the w^est side 

As soon as the people of the American Colonies 
began to take a strong and determined stand 
against the oppressive acts of Great Britain, there 
began to be a determination to overawe the ad- 
herents of Great Britain who were called Tories ; 
there w^as a determination to root out all Tory 
sentiment. When the people of the New Hamp 
shire Grants began to put forth efforts to shake 
off New Y^ork authority and to prevent its inter- 
fering with the grants obtained from Governor 
Went worth, the Tory part took sides against the 


A committee of correspondence of fifty members 
was formed in New York, MaA^ 10, 1774, for the 
purpose of eliciting the sentiment of the people of 
the Colonies on the measures of the mother coun- 
tr3^ concernino' the Colonies. Isaac Low, a lead- 
ing merchant of New York, an ardent Whig, was 
appointed its chairman May 23, 1774. Two da3's 
before his appointment he addressed a letter to 
supervisors of Cumberland Count\^ asking infor- 
mation as to the sentiment of the people. The 
supervisors met in June 1774, but endeavored to 
conceal the purpose of the letter, it was supposed 
on account of their Tory sympathies. Low^ stat- 
ed in the letter, "Let us with the brave Romans, 
consider our ancestors and our offspring. Let 
us follow the example of the former, and set an ex- 
ample to the latter. Let us not be like the slug- 
gish people, who through love of ease bow them- 
selves and become servants to tribute, and whom 
the inspired prophet, their father, justly compared 
to asses. Had I the voice which could be heard 
from Canada to Florida, I would address the 
Americans in the language of the Roman patriot." 
This was patriotic language, but its sentiment 
"was not carried out by him. Although Low was 
a member of the first Continental Congress, he be- 
came a Lo3"alist wdien the British army controlled 
New York, to save his propert3', as he was a man 
of great wealth. The Whig government of the 
State of New York, however, attainted him and 
confiscated his property. The letter referred to 
was procured of the supervisors through the ef- 
forts of Doct. Reuben Jones of Rockingham and 


Capt. Azariah Wright of Westminster, who heard 
of its existence; and a copy of it was sent to sev- 
eral towns. The result was a Countj^ convention 
was called to take into consideration the subject 
matter of the letter and the preparing a report to 
the New York committee of correspondence. Fol- 
lowing the circulation of the copy of said letter a 
meeting was called in the town of Chester by the 
supervisor and clerk to beheld October 10th, 1774, 
which resulted in passing the following resolves; 

"First, that the people of America are nat- 
urallj^ entitled to all the privileges of free born 
subjects of Great Britain, which privileges the3^ 
have never forfeited. Secondh^, resolved that ev- 
er\^ man's estate, honestly acquired, is his own 
and no person on earth has a right to take it 
aw^ay without the proprietor's consent, unless 
he forfeits it; b^^ some crime of his committing. 
Thirdly, resolved that all Acts of the British Parlia- 
ment tending to take away or abridge these 
rights, ought not to be obe3^ed. And fourthly, re- 
solved that the people of this town will join with 
their fellows, American subjects, in opposing in all 
lawful wa^^s every encroachment on their natural 

Following the meeting at Chester, a Cumber- 
land Count\^ convention was called and held at 
Westminster on the 19th of October, 1774, at 
which delegates from Townsend, Chester, Hart- 
land, W^estminster, Halifax, Alarlborough and 
Woodstock, at least, attended, and at which they 
took into consideration Mr. Low's letter above re- 


ferred to, the Act of the British Parliament in lay- 
ing a dut3^ or tax on tea, the Boston Port Bill, 
and other Acts. The convention appointed a 
committee to take those subjects into consider- 
ation and report to the convention. The com- 
mittee reported that, — 

" This County- being in its infant state, contend- 
ing with the hardships of subduing the wilderness, 
and converting it into fruitful fields, being situat- 
ed here in a corner, at a considerable remove from 
the populous, civilized parts of the countr3^ con- 
ceive the}', b}^ their own experience, in a small de- 
gree feel the sufferings of their ancestors. 

''The first planters in America endured hunger, 
cold, and other distresses, until the\% bj^ their ar- 
duous industry, found suitable relief from their 
bountiful fields and their own expenses ; and as the 
people of this County were chiefl\^ born in some 
one or other of the New England Provinces, and 
conceive them to be at least as loj^al to the King 
as an3^ subjects he can boast of, are surprised to 
find, by the late Acts of Parliament, that all Amer- 
icans are deprived of that great right of calling 
that their own, which they b\' their industr\' have 
honestly acquired ; are surprised to find a power 
arise in Britain, which, with impunity' sa^^ they 
have a right to bind the Colonies in all cases 
whatsoever, and attempt to exercise that author- 
ity, by taking, at their pleasure, the properties of 
the King's American subjects without their con- 
sent, especially since some of the former Kings of 
Great Britain by charter granted to their subjects 
in New England, their heirs, and assigns, and all 


Others who should settle within certain bound- 
aries, divided into Colonies, all the liberties and 
privileges of natural free-born subjects of Eng- 
land ; 3^et, notwithstanding this, that such a 
power should arise under the mere inspection of 
the King, unrebuked, to claim all American prop- 
erty, and actualh' to take as much as the^^ please, 
in direct breach of the solemn compact between a 
former King, on his part, and his successors, made 
with the first planters of these Colonies, and others 
that after should be born among them, or join 
them, or be born on the seas when going thither; 
and we do not conceive those whose rights are 
as aforesaid solemnh^ declared, are more sacred in 
respect of the security of their property, than the 
right of this and other Colonies whose rights are 
only natural as British subjects ; for he who has 
nothing but what another has power at pleasure 
lawfulh^ to take away from, has nothing that he 
can call his own, and is, in the fullest sense of the 
word, a slave— a slave to him who has such 
power ; and as no part of British America stip- 
ulated to settle as slaves, the privileges of British 
subjects are their privileges, and whoever endeav- 
ours to deprive them of their privileges is guilty of 
treason against the Americans, as well as the Brit- 
ish Constitution. Therefore Resolved, 

"I. That as true and loyal subjects of our gra- 
cious Sovereign, King George the Third of Great 
Britain, &c., we will spend our lives and fortunes 
in his service. 

"11. That we will defend our King while he 
reigns over us, his subjects, and wish his reign 


tna3^ be long and glorious, so we will defend our 
just rights, as British subjects, against every 
power that shall attempt to deprive us of them, 
while breath is in our nostrils, and blood in our 

"III. That considering thelate Acts of the Brit- 
ish Parliament for blocking up the port of Boston, 
&c., which we view as arbitrarv and unjust, inas- 
much as the Parliament have sentenced them un- 
heard, and dispensed with all the modes of law 
and justice which we think necessary to distin- 
guish between lawfully obtaining right for prop- 
erty injured, and arbitrarih^ enforcing to com- 
ply with their wdll, (be it right or wrong,) we 
resolve to assist the people of Boston in the 
defence of their liberties to the utmost of our 

"IV. Sensible that the strength of our opposi- 
tion to the late Acts consists in a uniform, manly, 
steady, and determined mode of procedure, w^e will 
bear testimony against and discourage all riot- 
ous, tumultuous, and unnecessarj^ mobs which 
tend to injure the persons or properties of harm- 
less individuals ; but endeavour to treat those per- 
sons whose abominable principles and actions 
show them to be enemies to American libert3% as 
loathesome animals not fit to be touched or to 
have any society or connection with." 

These meetings and conventions served to stir 
up the people and set them firmly against British 
oppression. Following this convention Lieut. 
Leonard Spaulding, a bold and a most ardent 
Whig of Dummerston, was committed hy a Sheriff 


and his deputies to the common ^aol for high 
treason against George the Third. The next da3% 
October 29th, 1774, the majority of the people of 
that town met on the green and chose a commit- 
tee to better secure and protect their rights from 
the ravages of the British t3'rant and his New York 
and other emissaries. A committee of five were 
chosen who, in about eleven da3's, proceeded to the 
gaol and released Spaulding from his confinement. 
The official account of the action of the committee 
is as follows: "The plain truth is, that the brave 
sons of freedom whose patience was worn out 
with the inhuman insults of the imps of power, 
grew quite sick of diving after redress in a legal 
wa3^, and finding that the law was onh^ made use 
of for the emoluments of its creatures and the 
emissaries of the British t\^rant, resolved upon an 
easier method, and accordingly opened the gaol 
without ke3' or lockpicker." 

Said Lieut. Leonard Spaulding came first into 
notice as a resident of Putney in 1768. From the 
outset of the controversies he vras widely known 
as an outspoken and sturdy enemj' of the Tories 
and Yorkers, and as such, was a favorite with the 
Whigs who were generally strong adherents of the 
Continental cause, and numbered as the Green 
Mountain Boys. In 1771, a judgement had been 
recovered against Spaulding in a New York court, 
and the officer in serving the papers had seized a 
portion of his property and held it in his custod3% 
thereupon, a large party crossed Connecticut 
River from New Hampshire into Putne_v, broke 
open the enclosure, and rescued the propert^^ In 


1774,Spaulding had become a citizen of Dumniers- 
ton and was so free in the expression of his Whig 
sentiments, that he received special attention from 
the royal authorities ; he having thrown out some 
words unfavorable to the British t_vrant (referring 
to the King) relating to the Quebec Bill, by v/hich, 
he said "George III is made pope of the English 
Government," and that "one man they put into 
close prison for high treason, and that all the\^ 
proved against him was, that he said, if the King 
had signed the Quebec Bill it was his opinion that 
he had broke his Coronation oath." For this pre- 
tended crime Spaulding was imprisoned eleven 
da^'s for treason. It took three or four Yorkers 
to conquor him when he was committed. His 
friends went and opened the prison door and let 
him go, thev^ doing no violence to any man's per- 
son or property. This imprisonment in no meas- 
ure dampened the patriotic zeal of Spaulding who 
was in 1775, conspicuous among those who re- 
sented the Westminster massacre bv arresting the 
royal oflicers; he, in 1776, at the head of a mili- 
tary force, held in duress [udge and Colonel Sam- 
uel Wells, a wealth}^ citizen of Brattleboro and a 
leader among the Tor\' Yorkers. Spaulding after- 
wards made suitable confession and apolog\^ for 
the taking Colonel Wells. In 1781, the Yerm.ont 
government, by way of conciliation appointed 
two well known Yorkers to office — men who were 
officials under New York at the time of the West- 
minster massacre, but Lieut. Spaulding united 
with others in sending an indignant remonstrance 
to the Governor and Council against the appoint- 


ment, which had the effect to delay but not to pre- 
vent them from being commissioned. Spaulding 
was a delegate in all the conventions called in the 
interest of the Grants, after September 24th, 1776, 
and represented Dummerston in the General As- 
sembly of March 1778, and for the years 1781, 
1784, 1786 and 1787. 

On October 14th, 1774, the Continental Con- 
gress discussed and adopted the following declara- 
tion and resolves : viz. 

'•Whereas, since the close of the last war, the 
British parliament, claiming a power, of right, to 
bind the people of America b3' statutes in all cases 
whatsoever, hath, in some acts, expressly imposed 
taxes on them, and in others, under various pre- 
tenses, but in fact for the purpose of raising a rev- 
enue, hath imposed rates and duties pa3'able in 
these Colonies, established a board of commis- 
sioners, with unconstitutional powers, and ex- 
tended the jurisdiction of courts of admiraltj^ not 
only for collecting said duties, but lor the trial of 
causes mereW arising within the body of a 
county- : 

"And whereas, in consequence of other statutes, 
judges, who before held only estates at will in 
their offices, have been made dependent on the 
crown alone for their salaries, and standing 
armies kept in time of peace : And whereas, it has 
lately been resolved in parliament, that b^^ force of 
a statute, made in the thirty-fifth year of the 
reign of King Henry the eighth, colonists may be 
transported to England, and tried there upon 
accusations of treasons and misprisions, or con- 


cealments of treasons committed in the colonies, 
and by a late statute, such trials have been di- 
rected in cases therein mentioned : 

"And whereas, in the last session of parliament, 
three statutes v^ere made: one entitled 'An act to 
discontinue, in such manner and for such time as 
are therein mentioned, the landing or discharging, 
lading, or shipping of goods, wares and merchan- 
dize, at the town, and within the harbour of Bos- 
ton, in the province of Massachusetts-Ba^-, in 
North America;' another entitled 'An act for the 
better regulating the province of Massachusetts- 
Ba3' in New England ; ' and another entitled 'An 
act for the impartial administration of justice, in 
the cases of persons questioned for an}' act done 
by them in the execution of the law, or for the 
suppression of riots and tumults, in the province 
of the Massachusetts-Ba}' in New England;' and 
another statute was then made, 'for making more 
effectual provision for the government of the pro- 
vince of Quebec, &c.' All which statutes are im- 
politic, unjust, and cruel, as well as unconstitu- 
tional, and most dangerous and destructive of 
American rights : 

"And whereas assemblies have been frequently 
dissolved, contrar^^ to the rights of the people, 
when they attempted to deliberate on grievances ; 
and their dtitiful, humble, loyal, and reasonable 
petitions to the crown for redress, have been re- 
peatedU'- treated with contempt b\^ his majesty's 
ministers of state: 

"The good people of the several colonies of New 
Hampshire, Massachusetts-Bay, Rhode Island 


and Providence Plantations, Connecticut, New 
York, New Jerse3^ PennsA^lvania, Xew-Castle, 
Kent, and Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Vir- 
ginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, are 
justly' alarmed at these arbitrary proceedino^s of 
parliament and administration, have severally 
elected, constituted, and appointed deputies to 
meet, and sit in general Congress, in the cit3' of 
Philadelphia, in order to obtain such establish- 
ment, as that their religion, laws, and liberties, 
may not be subverted : Whereupon the deputies so 
appointed being now assembled, in a full and free 
representation of these colonies, taking into their 
most serious consideration, the best means of ob- 
taining the ends aforesaid, do, in the first place, as 
Englishmen, their ancestors in like cases have us- 
ually done, for asserting and vindicating their 
rights and liberties, DECLARE, 

"That the inhabitants of the English colonies in 
North America, by the immutable laws of nature, 
the principles of the English constitution, and the 
several charters or compacts, have the following 
Rights : 

"Resolved, N. C. D. 1. That they are entitled 
to life, libert}', and property-: and the\' have never 
ceded to any sovereign power whatever, a right 
to dispose of either without their consent. 

"Resolved, N. C. D. 2. That our ancestors, 
who first settled these colonies, were at the time 
of their emigration from the mother country, enti- 
tled to all the rights, liljerties and immunities of 
free and natural born subjects, within the realm of 


''Resolved, N. D. C. 3. That b\' such emigra- 
tion they by no means forfeited, surrendered, or 
lost any of those rights, but that the\' were, and 
their descendants now are, entitled to the exercise 
and enjo^^ment of all such of them, as their local 
and other circumstances enable them to exercise 
and enjoy. 

''Resolved, 4. That the foundation of English 
liberty, and of all free government, is a right in the 
people to participate in their legislative Council : 
and as the English Colonists are not represented, 
and from their local and other circumstances, can- 
not properly be represented in the British parlia- 
ment, the^^ are entitled to a free and exclusive 
power of legislation in their several provincial 
legislatures, where their right of representation 
can alone be preserved, in all cases of taxation 
and internal polit3^, subject only to the negative of 
their sovereign, in such manner as has been here- 
tofore used and accustomed : But from the neces- 
sity of the case, and a regard to the mutual inter- 
est of both countries, we cheerfully consent to the 
operation of such acts of the British parliament, 
as are, bona fide, restrained to the regulation of 
our external commerce, for the purpose of securing 
the commercial advantages of the whole empire to 
the mother country-, and the commercial benefits 
of its respective members ; excluding ever3^ idea of 
taxation, internal or external, for raising a rev- 
enue on the subjects, in America, without their 

"Resolved, X. C. D. 5. That the respective 
colonies are entitled to the common law of Eng- 


land, and more especially to the great and inesti- 
mable privilege of being tried by their peers of the 
vicinage, according to the course of that law. 

"Resolved, 6. That they are entitled to the 
benefit of such of the English statutes, as existed 
at the time of their colonization, and which the^^ 
have, by experience, respectively^ found to be ap- 
plicable to their several local and other 

"Resolved, X. C. D. 7.— That these, his majes- 
ty's colonies, are likewise entitled to all the immu- 
nities and privileges granted and confirmed to 
them by royal charters, or secured by their several 
codes of provincial laws. 

"Resolved, N. C. D. 8. — That they have a right 
peaceably to assemble, consider of their griev- 
ances, and petition the King, and that all prose- 
cutions, prohibitory proclamations, and commit- 
ments for the same, are illegal. 

"Resolved, N. C. D. 9. — That the keeping a 
standing arm3^ in these colonies, in times of peace, 
without the consent of the legislature of that coK 
ony, in which such army is kept, is against law. 

"Resolyed, N. C. D. 10. — It is indispensably^ nec- 
essary to good government, and rendered essen- 
tial by the English constitution, that the constitu- 
ent branches of the legislature be independent of 
each other ; that, therefore, the exercise of legisla- 
tive power in several colonies, by a council ap- 
pointed, during pleasure, by the crown, is uncon- 
stitutional, dangerous and destructive to the free- 
dom of American legislation. 

"All and each of which the aforesaid deputies, in 


behalf of themselves, and their constituents, do 
claim, demand and insist on, as their indubitable 
rights and liberties ; which cannot be legall_v taken 
from them, altered or abridged by any power 
whatever, without their own consent, by their 
representatives in their several provincial leg- 

"In the course of our inquiry, we find man\^ in- 
fringements and violations of the foregoing rights, 
which from an ardent desire, that harmonj^ and 
mutual intercourse of affection and interest may 
be restored, we pass over for the present, and pro- 
ceed to state such acts and mea3ures as have been 
adopted since the last war [with France,] which 
demonstrate a system formed to enslave 

"Resolved, N. C. D. — That the following acts 
of parliament are infringements and violations of 
the rights of the colonists, and that the repeal of 
them is essentially necessary, in order to restore 
harmony between Great Britain and American 
colonies, viz. [Here several acts are specified, in- 
cluding those named in the preamble, and the ob- 
jectionable features of some of them are stated, 
such as the establishment of the Roman Catholic 
religion by the Quebec bill, for example.] 

''Also, that the keeping of a standing army in 
several of these colonies, in time of peace, without 
the consent of the legislature of that colony, in 
which such army is kept, is against law. 

"To these grievous acts and measures, Ameri- 
cans cannot submit, but in hopes their fellow sub- 
jects in Great Britain will, on a revision of them, 


restore us to the state, in which both countries 
found happiness and prosperity, we have for the 
present, only resolved to pursue the following 
peaceable measures: 1. To enter into a non-im- 
portation, non-consumption, and non-exportation 
agreement or association ; 2. To prepare an ad- 
dress to the people of Great Britain and a memo- 
rial to the inhabitants of British America; and 3. 
To prepare a royal address to his majesty, agree- 
able to resolutions alread^^ entered into." 

And on October 20, 1774, Congress adopted 
and signed the following Articles of Association : 

''WE, his majestj^'s most loyal subjects, the 
delegates of the several colonies of New Hamp- 
shire, Massachusetts-Ba3^ Rhode-Island, Connec- 
ticut, New-York, New-Jerse}', Penns3dvania, the 
three lower Counties of New-Castle, Kent and 
Sussex on Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North- 
Carolina, and South-Carolina, deputed to repre- 
sent them in a continental Congress, held in the 
city of Philadelphia, on the fifth da3^ of September, 
1774, avowing our allegiance to his majest3^ our 
affection and regard for our fellow-subjects in 
Great Britain and elsewhere, affected with the 
deepest anxiety, and most alarming apprehen- 
sions, at those grievances and distresses, with 
which his majest3^'s American subjects are op- 
pressed ; and having taken under our most serious 
deliberation, the state of the whole continent, find, 
that the present unhapp3^ situation of our affairs 
is occasioned by a ruinous S3'stem of colon3' ad- 
ministration, adopted by the British ministr3' 


about the 3'ear 1763, evidently calculated for en- 
slaving these colonies, and with them, the British 
empire. In prosecution of which system, various 
acts of parliament have been passed, for raising a 
revenue in America, for depriving the American 
subjects, in man^^ instances, of the constitutional 
trial by jury, exposing their lives to danger, by di- 
recting a new and illegal trial beyond the seas, for 
crimes alleged to have been committed in Amer- 
ica: And in prosecution of the same s^-stem, sev- 
eral late, cruel, and oppressive acts have been 
passed, respecting the town of Boston and the 
Massachusetts- Bay, and also an act for extending 
the province of Quebec, [to the Ohio and the Miss- 
issippi rivers, embracing the present states of 
Ohio, Alichigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin,] 
so as to border on the western frontier of these 
colonies, establishing an arbitrary government 
therein, and discouraging the settlement of Brit- 
ish subjects in that wide extended country ; thus 
bj^ the influence of civil principles and ancient pre- 
judices, to dispose the inhabitants to act with 
hostility against the free Protestant colonies, 
whenever a wicked ministry shall chuse so to di- 
rect them. 

"To obtain redress of these grievances, which 
threaten destruction to the lives, libertj-, and 
propert\' of his majesty's subjects, in North Amer- 
ica, we are of opinion, that a non-importation, 
non-consumption, and non-exportation agree- 
ment, faithfull^^ adhered to, v^ill prove the most 
speedy, effectual, and peaceable measure: And, 
therefore, we do for ourselves, and the inhabitants 


of the several colonies, whom we represent, firmh^ 
agree and associate, under the sacred ties of vir- 
tue, honor and love of countr3', as follows : 

"First, That from and after the first da^- of 
December next, we will not import, into British 
America, from Great-Britain or Ireland, an^- 
goods, wares, or merchandize whatsoever, or 
from an^' other place, an\^ such goods, w^ares, and 
merchandize, as shall have been exported from 
Great-Britain or Ireland ; nor will we, after that 
day, import any East-India tea from an^^ part of 
the world; nor any molasses, syrups, paneles, cof- 
fee, or pimento, from the British plantations or 
Dominica ; nor wines from Aladeria, or the West- 
ern Islands ; nor foreign indigo. 

"Second, We will neither import or purchase, 
any slave imported after the first day of December 
next ; after which time, we will wholly discontinue 
the slave trade, and will neither be concerned in it 
ourselves, nor will we hire our vessels, nor sell our 
commodities or manufactures to those who are 
concerned in it. 

"Third, As a non-consumption agreement, 
strictly adhered to, will be an effectual security 
for the observation of the non-importation, w^e as 
above, solemnly agree and associate, that from 
this day, we will not purchase or use any tea, im- 
ported on account of the East India compan^^ or 
any on which a duty hath been or shall be paid ; 
and from and after the first day of March next, we 
will not purchase or use any East-India tea what- 
ever; nor will we, nor shall any person for or un- 
der us, purchase or use an^- of those goods, wares, 


or merchandize, we have agreed not to miport, 
which we shall know or have cause to suspect, 
w^ere imported after the first day of December, ex- 
cept such as come under the rules and directions of 
the tenth article, hereafter mentioned, 

"Fourth, The earnest desire we have not to in- 
jure our fellow-subjects in Great-Britain, Ireland, 
or the West-Indies, induces us to suspend a non- 
exportation, until the tenth day of September, 
1775; at which time if the said acts and parts of 
acts of the British parliament hereinafter men- 
tioned are not repealed, w^e will not directh' or in- 
directly, export any merchandize or commodit^^ 
whatsoever to Great-Britain, Ireland or the West- 
Indies, except rice to Europe. 

"Fifth, Such as are merchants, and use the 
British and Irish trade, will give orders, as soon 
as possible, to their factors, agents, and corres- 
pondents in Great-Britain and Ireland, not to ship 
any goods to them, on any pretense whatsoever, 
as they cannot be received in America, and if an3' 
merchant residing in Great-Britain or Ireland, 
shall directly or indirectly ship an^^ goods, wares 
or merchandize, for America, in order to break the 
said non-importation agreement, or in any man- 
ner contravene the same, on such unworthy con- 
duct being well attested, it ought to be made pub- 
lic; and on the same being so done, we will not, 
from thenceforth, have any commercial connect- 
ions with such merchant. 

"Sixth, That such as are owners of vessels will 
give positive orders to their captains or masters, 
not to receive on board their vessels an^' goods 


prohibited b\^ the said non-importation agree- 
ment, on pain of immediate dismission from their 

"Seventh, We will use our utmost endeavours 
to improve the breed of sheep, and increase their 
numbers to the greatest extent ; and to that end, 
we will kill them as seldom as may be, especially 
those of the most profitable kind ; nor will we ex- 
port any to the West-Indies, or elsewhere, and 
those of us who are or may become overstocked 
with, or can conveniently spare any sheep, will 
dispose of them to our neighbors, especialh^ to the 
poorer sort, on moderate terms. 

"Eight, We w^ill, in our several stations, en- 
courage frugality, econom}^ and industry, and 
promote agriculture, arts and manufactures of 
this countr\', especially that of wool; and will dis- 
countenance and discourage every species of ex- 
travagance and dissipation, especially all horse- 
racing, and all kinds of gaming, cock fighting, ex- 
hibitions of shews, pla3^s, and other expensive di- 
versions and entertainments ; and on the death of 
any relation or friend, none of us, or an\^ of our 
families, w411 go into any further mourning-dress, 
than a black crape or ribbon on the arm or hat, 
for gentlemen, and a black ribbon and necklace for 
ladies, and we wnll discontinue the giving of gloves 
and scarves at funerals. 

"Ninth, Such as are venders of goods or mer- 
chandize will not take advantage of the scarcity 
of goods, that ma}^ be occasioned bj^ this associa- 
tion, but will sell the same at the rates we have 
been respectively accustomed to do, for twelve 


months last past.— And if an^^ vender of goods or 
merchandize shall sell any such goods on higher 
terms, or shall, in an3^ manner, or b3^ an3^ device 
whatsoever, violate or depart from this agree- 
ment, no person ought, nor will an\^ of us deal 
with any such person, or his or her factor or 
agent, at any time thereafter, for any commodity 

''Tenth, In case any merchant, trader, or other 
person, shall import any goods or merchandize, 
after the first da3^ of December, and before the 
first daj' of Februar\^ next, the same ought forth- 
with, at the election of the owner, to be either 
re-shipped or delivered up to the committee of the 
county or town, wherein the^' shall be imported, to 
be stored at the risque of the importer, until the 
non-importation agreement shall cease, or be sold 
under the direction of the committee aforesaid ; 
and in the last-mentioned case, the owner or own- 
ers of such shall be reimbursed out of the sales, the 
first cost and charges, the profit, if any, to be ap- 
plied toward relieving and emplo34ngsuch poor in- 
habitants of the town of Boston, as are immediate 
sufferers bv the Boston port-bill ; and a particular 
account of all goods so returned, stored, or sold, 
to be inserted in the public papers ; and if any 
goods and merchandize shall be imported after the 
first da^^ of Februar\% the same ought forthwith 
to be sent back, without breaking an\^ of the pack- 
ages thereof. 

"Eleventh, That a committee be chosen in every 
count3% cit3^ and towm, b3^ those who are quali- 
fied to vote for representatives in the legisla- 


ture, whose business it shall be attentiveU^ to ob- 
serve, of all persons touching this association; 
and when it shall be made to appear, to the satis- 
faction of a majority of any such committee, that 
any person within the limits of their appointment 
has violated this association, that such majority 
do forthwith cause the truth of the case to be 
published in the gazette, to the end that all such 
foes to the rights of British- America may be pub- 
licly known, and universally contemned as the en- 
emies of American liberty; and thenceforth we re- 
spectively will break off all dealings wuth him or 

"Twelfth, That the committee of correspond- 
ence, in the respective colonies, do frequently in- 
spect the entries of their custom-houses, and in- 
form each other, from time to time, of the true 
state thereof, and of every other material circum- 
stance that may occur relativ^eto this association. 

"Thirteenth, That all manufactures of this 
countr^^ be sold at reasonable prices, so that no 
undue advantage be taken of a future scarcity of 

"Fourteenth, And we do further agree and re- 
solve, that we will have no trade, commerce, deal- 
ings or intercourse w^hatsoever, with an\^ colony 
or province, in North- America, w^hich shall not ac- 
cede to, or which shall hereafter violate this asso- 
ciation, but will hold them as unworthy- of the 
rights of freemen, and as inimical to the liberties 
of their country. 

" And we do solemnly bind ourselves, and our 
constituents, under the ties aforesaid, to adhere to 


this association, until such parts of the several 
acts of parliament, passed since the close of the 
last war, as impose or continue duties on tea, 
wine, molasses, s^-rups, paneles, coftee, sugar, pi- 
mento, indigo, foreign paper, glass, and painters' 
colors, imported into America, and extend the 
powers of the admiralty- courts beyond their an- 
cient limits, deprive the American subject of trial 
by jur\% authorize the judge's certificate to indem- 
nify the prosecutor from damages, that he might 
otherwise be liable to, from a trial by his peers, re- 
quire oppressive security from a claimant of ships 
or goods seized, before he shall be allowed to de- 
fend his property, are repealed. And until that 
part of the act of the 12 G. 3, ch. 24, entitled, *An 
act for the better securing his majesty- 's dock- 
yards, magazines, ships, ammunition, and stores,' 
by which any persons charged wdth committing 
any of the offences therein described, in America, 
maj^ be tried in any shire or countj^ within the 
realm, is repealed — and until the four acts, passed 
the last session of parliament, viz. that for stop- 
ping the port and blocking up the harbour of Bos- 
ton — that for altering the charter and government 
of the Massachusetts-Ba3' — and that which is en- 
titled, 'An act for the better administration of 
justice. &c.' — and that 'For extending the limits 
of Quebec, &c.' are repealed. And we recommend 
it to the provincial conventions, and to the com- 
mittees in the respective colonies, to establish such 
farther regulations as they ma}^ think proper, for 
carrying into execution this association." 

These articles were signed bv the President, 


Peyton Randolph, and all of the delegates of the 
twelve States that composed the Confederacy, ex- 
cept those of Georgia, who did not take their seats 
in Congress till Sept. 13, 1775. The sentiment of 
the people of the country in 1774 and 1775, in- 
cluding the people of the New Hampshire Grants, 
against the British government, was more unani- 
mous than at a later date, when many began to 
count the cost of rebellion against the British gov- 
ernment ; that unanimity was shown by the gen- 
eral sympathy spontaneously expressed for the 
persecuted people of lioston. Vermont was not 
then in a position to declare the sentiment of her 
people on the journals of Congress, but it was de- 
clared in town meetings and conventions. When 
the above mentioned resolutions and articles of 
association became known it stirred up a pat- 
riotic feeling in many of the towns. John Hazel- 
tine, by the advice of some of the leading men of 
the County of Cumberland, issued a circular call- 
ing a convention of delegates to meet at Westmin- 
ster on November 30, 1774. The two delegates 
from Chester were instructed to use their best en- 
deavours to procure a vote of thanks to the Con- 
tinental Congress for their good service. Their 
delegates were also directed to procure and con- 
vey certain instructions to Samuel Wells and 
Crean Brush, the representatives of the County in 
the New York legislature, one of which was to ex- 
ert their best skill and wisdom to choose deputies 
to represent New York in the Congress of the Col- 
onies called to meet at Philadelphia the next May. 
The people of Dummerston gave their delegates 


similar instructions, and adopted other measures 
showing the earnest patriotism of the town : it 
was an order to assess the town sufficient to pro- 
cure 100 weight of gun powder, 200 weight of 
lead and 300 flints for the town use. The tax 
was made payable in potash salts. The conven- 
tion was held pursuant to the call and adopted 
the congressional resolves and promised reli- 
giously to adhere to the Articles of Association. It 
was moved in the convention that a committee of 
inspection be chosen in the Count\^ to perform the 
service mentioned in the eleventh article. This 
was opposed b\^ John Grout of Chester and Sam- 
uel Wells of Brattleboro — both being Tories, and 
none w^ere appointed by the convention. The peo- 
ple of Dummerston were dissatisfied w^ith this 
failure to appoint such committee, and called a 
town meeting to be held January 3, 1775, at 
w^hich meeting seven persons were chosen as a 
committee of inspection, *'whose business it was 
to w^atch the conduct of the inhabitants and ex- 
clude Tories and negligent Whigs from ever3^ pub- 
lic office." The\' removed from town office two of 
the town assessors, for refusing to execute the 
vote of the town as to ammunition ; disarming a 
citizen w^ho was supposed to be a Tory ; and pre- 
vented another town officer from performing his 
official duties until he b\' his conduct proved him- 
self to be a Whig. This example thus set b\^ Dum- 
merston was generally adopted by other towns 
afterwards. The public pulse w^as best ascer- 
tained through the action of town-meetings at 
which everv adult male, residins^ within the limits 


of the township, was expected to be present and 
was at libertj^ to address the meeting and to vote 
upon any question that came up for considera- 
tion. These local meetings were liable to be called 
at any time as the exigencies of the situation and 
times demanded. 

At a meeting of committees that had been ap- 
pointed by inhabitants on the east side of the 
range of the Green Mountains, held at Westmin- 
ster, on the 11th day of April, 1775, it w^as voted 
"as our opinion, that our inhabitants are in great 
danger of having their property cruelly and un- 
constitutionally taken from them by the arbitrary 
and designing administration of the government 
of New York ; sundr3^ instances having already 
taken place; and that the lives of those inhabi- 
tants are in the utmost hazard and imminent dan- 
ger, and that it is the dut\^ of said 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, till such time as the lives and propert^^ of 
those inhabitants may be secured by it, or till 
such time as thQj can have opportunity to la^^ 
their grievances before his most gracious Alajesty 
in council, together with a proper remonstrance 
against the unjustifiable conduct of that govern- 
ment, w^th an humble petition, to be taken of so 
oppressive a jurisdiction, and either annexed to 
some other government, or erected and incorpor- 
ated into a new one, as may appear best to the 
said inhabitants, to the royal wisdom and clem- 
enc3^ and to such time as his Alajesty shall settle 


this controversy." The meeting chose Colonel 
John Hazeltine, Charles Phelps, Esq. and Colonel 
Ethan Allen as a committee to prepare the remon- 
strance and petition. 

At a full meeting of delegates from the several 
towns in the Count\' of Cumberland, a colony of 
New York, convened at Westminster June 6, 1775, 
and in keeping with the sentiment expressed at 
the previous meeting of April 11th, passed the fol- 
lowing resolves. Viz : — 

''1. Resolved, That the late Acts of the 
British Parliament, passed in order to raise a rev- 
enue in America, are unjust, illegal, aud diamet- 
ricalh' opposite to the Bill of Rights, and a funda- 
mental principle of the British constitution, which 
is, 'that no person shall have his property- taken 
from him without his consent.' 

"2. Resolved, That we will resist and op- 
pose the said Acts of Parliament, in conjunction 
with our brethren in America, at the expense of 
our lives and fortunes, to the last extremit}^ if our 
duty to God and our Countr^^ require the same. 

"3. Resolved, That we think it needless to 
pass man^^ resolves, exhibiting our sentiments 
with regard to the unhapp^^ controversy^ subsist- 
ing between Great Britain and America. Let it 
suffice, therefore, that we full^' acquiesce with 
what our brethren have lately done at New- York, 
in their late Association ; and it is hereb^^ resolved 
that the late Association entered into at New 
Y^ork is perfectly agreeable to the sentiments of 
the freeholders and inhabitants of this County, 
and that they fully acquiesce in the same. 


''4. Resolved, That this County is at present 
in a very broken situation with regard to the 
civil authorit3^ We therefore sincerely desire that 
the advice of the honorable Congress maj be b3^ 
our Delegates transmitted to us, \vhereb3' some 
order and regularity maj^ be establised among us. 
We therefore should take it as a favour if the hon- 
ourable Congress would particularly recommend 
to us in this County some measures to be pursued 
by us the inhabitants of the same ; for we are per- 
suaded their advice herein would have great 
weight to influence our people universally to pur- 
sue such measures as would tend to the peace, 
safety, and good order of this County for the 

"5. Resolved, That we, the inhabitants of 
this Count \^ are at present in an extremely de- 
fenceless state with regard to arms and ammuni- 
tion. We sincereh^ desire the honourable Provin- 
cial Congress would consider us in this respect, 
and from their generosity and goodness would do 
what in them lies for our relief in the premises. 
We have manj- brave soldiers, but, unhappih' for 
us, we have nothing to fight with," 

After the ro3'al order of 176,4, extending the 
jurisdiction of New York to the west bank of Con- 
necticut River, New Hampshire surrenderded all 
claim to all the territory west of that river and 
withdrew all protection from the people of the 
New Hampshire Grants and left them to defend 
themselves, their possessions and propert3% from 
the cruel and tyrannical usurpations of the Colony- 
of New York. This rendered it necessarv for the 


Grants to take up arms to maintain the title to 
their lands that had been granted to them b^^ 
Governor Wentworth and paid for. The Grants 
had subdued the wilderness and cultivated and 
made productive their farms, and had, they sup- 
posed, good title to their homes. At this time, if 
the Net\^ York government had left the settlers in 
the undisturbed possession of their farms and not 
attempted to regrant their lands and homes to 
others under New York authority, the people 
within the jurisdiction of the New Hampshire 
Grants, w^ould have submitted to the government 
of New York, and would have become peaceable cit- 
izens thereof. But when the latter began to ignore 
the rights of the Grants and resell their lands to 
strangers, and bring actions in the courts of New 
York to oust the bona. £de settlers from their 
homes, and turn them out into the world penni- 
less, and pass the most cruel laws against them, 
empowering their judges, in case anv one had not 
obeyed their cruel enactments and did not volun- 
tarih^ surrender himself for trial, to award sen- 
tence of death against him or them, the same as 
though he or they had been attainted or convicted, 
then it was, that the Grants determined, to the 
last extremity, to defend their rights and protect 
their homes rather than submit to New York. 
During all this time, those w4io were averse to 
submitting to the authorities of New York, stood 
loyal to the general cause of the Colonies against 
Great Britain. 
The following lines, the author of which is un- 


known, express the sentiments of the Vermonters 
during that trying period : Viz. 

"Ho — all to the borders I Vermonters, come down, 

With your breeches of deer skin, and jackets of brown: 

With your red woolen caps, and your moccasins, come 

To the gathering summons of trumpet and drum ! 

Come down with your rifles I — let gray wolf and fox 

Howl on in the shade ot their primitive rocks ; 

Let the bear feed securely from pig-pen and stall ; 

Here's a two-legged game for your powder and ball I 

On our south come the Dutchmen, enveloped in grease; 

And, arming for battle, while canting of peace; 

On our east, crafty Meshech has gathered his band, 

To hang up our leaders, and eat out our land. 

Ho — all to the rescue I For Satan shall work 

Xo gain for his legions of Hampshire and York ! 

They claim our possessions — the pitiful knaves — 

The tribute ive pay, shall be prisons and graves I 

Let Clinton and Ten Broek, with bribes in their hands. 

Still seek to divide us, and parcel our lands; — 

We've coats for our traitors, whoever they are ; 

The warp is oi feathers — the filling oitar\ 

Does the "Old Bay State" threaten ? Does Congress complain ? 

Swarms Hampshire in arms on our borders again? 

Bark the war-dogs of Britain aloud on the lake? 

Let 'em come I — what they ca;/, they are welcome to take. 

What seek they among us? The pride of our wealth 

Is comfort, contentment, and labor and health; 

And lands which, as Freemen, we only have trod, 

Independent of all, save the mercies of God. 

Yet we owe no allegiance ; we bow to no throne ; 

Our ruler is law, and the law is our own ; 

Our leaders themselves are our own fellowmen, 

Who can handle the sword, or the scythe, or the pen. 

Our wives are all true, and our daughters are fair. 

With their blue eyes of smiles, and their light flowing hair; 

All brisk at their wheels till the dark even-fall, 

Then blithe at the sleigh-ride, the husking, and ball I 


We've sheep on the hill-sides ; we've cows on the plain : 

And gay-tasseled corn-fields, and rank-growing grain ; 

There are deer on the mountains; and wood-pigeons fly 

From the crack of our muskets, like clouds in the sky. 

And there's fish in our streamlets and rivers, which take 

Their course from the hills to our broad-bosomed lake ; 

Through rock-arched Winooski the salmon leaps free, 

And the portly shad follows all fresh from the sea. 

Like a sunbeam the pickerel glides through its pool 

And the spotted trout sleeps where the water is cool, 

Or darts from his shelter of rock and root 

At the beaver's quick plunge, or the angler's pursuit. 

And ours are the mountains, which awfully rise 

Till they rest their green heads on the blue of the skies; 

And ours are the forests, unwasted, unshorn. 

Save where the wild path of the tempest is torn. 

And though savage and wild be this climate of ours, 

And brief be our season of fruit and of flowers, 

Far dearer the blast round our mountains which raves. 

Than the sweet summer zephyr, which breathes over slaves. 

Hurrah for Vermont I for the land which we till 

Must have sons to defend her from valley and hill; 

Leave the harvest to rot on the field where it grows. 

And the reaping of wheat for the reaping of foes. 

Far from Michiscoui's valley, to where 

Poosoomsuck steals down from his wood-circled lair. 

From Shocticook river to Lutterlock town, — 

Ho — all to the rescue I Vermonters, come down I 

Come York or come Hampshire, — come traitors and knaves ; 

If ye rule o'er our latid. ye shall rule o'er our graves ; 

Our vow is recorded — our banner unfurled ; 

In the name of Vermont we defy all the tvorldl 

Ira Allen, in his phamphlet entitled "Miscellane- 
ous Remarks," published in May 1777, in giving 
his reasons why the New Hampshire Grants 
should be separated from the government of New 
York and be an independent State, well repre- 


sented the sentiment and spirit of this people. He 
closed his remarks, in stating the grounds of sepa- 
ration, as follows : Viz. 

''One special reason \vh\' the district of the New 
Hampshire Grants cannot connect \vith the State 
of New York is, the Supreme Court in Albany, at 
July term, in the year 1770, expressh^ declared the 
New Hampshire charters null and void, b3' said 
Court giving writs of possession against the New 
Hampshire settlers, by virtue of subsequent pa- 
tents from New York, b\' reason of which several 
of the New Hampshire settlers were dispossessed 
of valuable farms and tenements; therefore, the in- 
habitants of said Grants cannot be freeholders in 
said State, to act in an3^ public business, till the3^ 
take re-grants of their lands, which we cannot do 
by an^' other means than by purchasing subse- 
quent patents from our greatest antagonists, and 
at their own price, which most certainly would 
have been most unhealthy' for our purses. 

"Perhaps some queries may arise in the minds of 
some gentlemen whether the district of the New 
Hampshire Grants, in their infant state, have men 
that are capable to govern the internal policA^ of a 
State, and are able to support government. I 
would ask such gentlemen which of the United 
States of America was so well peopled and so 
able, when the^^ began government, as we are? 
Surely, I think not one; but many weaker, as to 
men of learning and sagacity to rule a State. I 
see no great difficulty in it, though it is not com- 
mon that men of so great learning, as some in the 
world, would go to subdue the desolate wilder- 


ness; yet I think we have men of as much virtue, 
and as good talents b\^ nature, as an^^ in the 
world. Tent-makers, cobblers and common 
tradermen composed the legislature of Athens. 
'Is not the body (said Socrates) of the Athenian 
people composed of men like these?' For any 
man to arrogate, and sa\^ that we have not men 
that can govern the internal policy of a State, 
might, with the same parity of reason, say that 
the United States of America should al\va3^s be 
subject to Great Britain, because there w^ere men 
of more universal knowledge, as to ruling the scep- 
ter, and more experienced generals, and better 
equipped with shipping and w^arlike stores, &c. 

"Necessity is the mother of invention. We find, 
by experience, that we have as good men to rule 
our Senate, as Britain her scepter ; and as noble 
generals in the field as English annals have any 
account of. Powder, cannon and all kinds of 
w^arlike stores are manufactured amongst us. 
Ships of war are built, and the preparations of 
war go on with such rapidit^^ that it is not to be 
paralled in histor\\ Foreign powers are now as- 
sisting the rising States of America in man3^ re- 
spects. This the United States of America could 
not have done had they not asserted their free and 
natural rights and liberties that were given them 
by the God of Nature, thereby to throw off the 
heavy 3'oke of bondage that George the 3d has 
prepared for us and our successors. 

"Neither will the people of the district of the 
New Hampshire Grants ever be a free and happy 
people, except they steadfastly maintain the free 


and natural rights and liberties that were given 
them by the God of Nature, thereby to throw off 
the bondage that the former litigous government 
of New York has attempted to ensnare us with. 
Those things have greatl^^ deterred our settle- 
ments, and should this obstacle be moved out of 
the way, no doubt but man^^ worth}^ gentlemen, 
fit for any situation in life, would move into our 
territories, which would be to the mutual benefit 
of the whole. 

"It is true our settlements are not, manv of 
them, of an ancient date, 3^et are ver^^ flourishing, 
and, like young beginners, we are willing to work 
for our living. We have plenty- of fertile lands ; 
our territory is considerabh^ larger than either of 
the States of New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode 
Island and Providence Plantations, or New Jer- 
sey. No doubt but in a short time it will be as 
well peopled. As we are but small as to numbers, 
our public concerns will also be small in propor- 
tion; and as to a mode of government, there can 
be no greater expense in that, for the thirteen 
United States w^ill all form their modes of govern- 
ment before we shall, and we can have the privi- 
lege of perusing them; and if an3' of them should 
be agreeable, the people can adopt them, or take 
such parts as shall best suit them. 

"Our assemblies or courts will have quite short 
sessions, and have but little way to go, and all 
such mone\' will be spent in the State, and as the 
power of legislation is now in the people, they will 
not have occasion to commision many salaried of- 
ficers in the State. Thev will also set all officers' 


fees at a reasonable rate. As to Court Houses, 
some are already built, and I cannot see why we 
should be at an^v more expense on that account, 
if we are in a new State, than if we were annexed 
to any other; for, take it which wa^' you will, 
Court Houses and Jails will be wanted; therefore 
I cannot see where an\' very great expense should 
arise from. 

"If we were to be in. the State of New York, then 
we must send delegates to sit in the Provincial 
Congress of said State. It would be a long and 
expensive road to travel, and an expensive place 
when there, and in order to have the people pro- 
perly represented, there should a considerable 
number go, and when the}' are all met in Con- 
gress, the State would be so large that gentlemen 
from the extreme parts \vould not personalh' 
know but very little better the situation of the 
other extreme parts than a gentleman would from 
London. Yet most of them must sta^' and see 
what was done, and give their consent for or 
against ; and as there has been an unhapp^^ dis- 
pute between this district and the former govern- 
ment of New York, and some members of that 
Hon. House have been our greatest antagonists, 
it is possible the best of men might be some biased, 
though unperceivable to them. Thus, these gen- 
tlemen will spend near or all, the year, in doing 
what little business concerns this district, and as- 
sist others to do theirs, which they know nothing 
of, and in getting other gentlemen to give their 
consent to all resolves that concern this district, 
who will be equally ignorant of our situation, b}- 


reason of their local situation from ours. This be- 
ing the case, it necessarily follows that there ought 
to be delegates enough from this district to know 
all business that should be necessary to be done 
for said district. If so, surely the same gentlemen 
might, much easier and cheaper, do their business 
by meeting in some convenient place in this dis- 
trict, where no other business would interfere with 

"When civil laws should again take place, 
doubtless there would be many actions appealed 
up to the Supreme Court of New York, and, as the 
State would be so large, doubtless thev would be 
full of business. For that, and man3' other reas- 
ons, it is likeh', actions would be continued from 
one session to another; no doubt some very dispu- 
table cases that need numbers of evidences person- 
ally to speak. What amazing expense it would be 
for a man to go 450 miles to attend court, in this 
situation ; yet his action ma^^ be put along 
through several courts. In this way of expense 
w^ould go many thousand pounds out of this dis- 

"The great distance of road betwixt this dis- 
trict and New York is alone a convincing argu- 
ment that the God of Nature never designed said 
district should be under the jurisdiction of said 

"I now appeal to the impartial reader which of 
these two wa^'s would be best, wisest and cheap- 
est, both for the district of New Hampshire 
Grants, and the State of New York. 


"Brave Countrymen, 
We're here assembled for the toughest fight 
That e'er strained the force of American arms. 
See von wide field, with glittering numbers g^y, 
Vain of their strength, they challenge us for slaves, 
And bid us yield their prisoners at discretion. 
If there's an American among you all 
Whose soul can basely truckle to such bondage, 
Let him depart! For me, I s^vear, by Heaven, 
By my great father's soul, and by my fame, 
My country ne'er shall pay ransom for me. 
Nor \yill I stoop to drag out life in bondage. 
And take my pittance from Britain's hands : 
This I resolve, and hope, brave countrymen, 
Ye all resolve the same." 

At one time there was an effort made, by a few, 
not only to throw off New York authority, but to 
become annexed to Alassachusetts. At an ad- 
journed meeting of the Cumberland County Com- 
mittee of Safet3^ at Westminster, in June, 1776, 
there w^as a paper introduced before the Commit- 
tee that brought on a discussion of the right of 
New Hampshire Grants to secede irom New York. 
Several of the members, representing a large con- 
stituency, favored a union with Massachusetts. 
The paper referred to expressed, "that the whole 
district described in said petition, nia\' be hereaf- 
ter reunited to that province, and reserving to 
themselves also the right of offering their pleas, 
arguments, and proofs, in full, to effect a reunion 
thereof to that ancient jurisdiction, for those im- 
portant reasons to be adduced, when, where, and 
before whom the parties concerned shall be admit- 
ted to offer the same." In a biography of Charles 
Phelps it is stated, "that on one occasion he with 


a singularity of behavior not easih* to be ac- 
counted for, was engaged in a scheme to effect the 
annexation of Vermont to Massachusetts." Pre- 
vious to this he had shown an attachment to New 
York. It was said that Mr. Phelps declared that 
he did not act out of an\^ good will to the State of 
New York, but to throw the people of Vermont in- 
to confusion and that he would as soon come un- 
der the Infernal Prince as under the State of New 
York, and that his ultimate design was to procure 
the territory of Vermont to be annexed to the Bay 
State. Mr. Phelps was a native of Alassachusetts, 
and it would be quite natural that he should pre- 
fer a union with that State. 

The first knowledge that Vermont authorities 
had that Massachusetts had entered in Congress 
a claim to part of her territory was in October, 
1779, b}' a letter to Governor Chittenden from 
John Jay, bearing date Sept. 25, 1779. It was af- 
ter the resolutions of Congress of Sept. 24, 1779, 
w^herein it was ''most earnestly recommended to 
the States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts 
Bay, and New York to forthwith pass laws, ex- 
pressly authorizing Congress to hear and deter- 
mine all differences betw^een them relative to their 
respective boundaries." This claim was a sur- 
prise to Vermont. Governor Chittenden made a 
direct appeal to Massachusetts in a letter to Sam- 
uel Adams, President of the Council of that State. 
The General Assembly of Vermont on October 
21st, 1779, chose Brigadier-General Ethan Allen 
to wait on the Council and General Court of Mas- 
sachusetts Ba^^ to negotiate the public business ol 


Vermont with that State. The general conduct of 
Massachusetts was friendh^ to Vermont, but they 
concluded that if Vermont was to be parceled out 
among its neighbors they should have a share. 
Gov. Chittenden's letter to Adams was as follows : 
viz : — 

Manxhester, October 28th, 1779. 

Sir, — I am directed b\^ my Council and the Gen- 
eral Assembh' of this State, now sitting, to signif\' 
to 3'our honor that his Excellency-, John Ja^-, Esq., 
the late President of the Congress of the United 
States, has, b^- express, communicated a letter to 
me, bearing date the 25th ult., enclosing certain 
acts of Congress, for an equitable settlement of all 
differences subsisting between the State of Alas- 
sachusetts-Bay, New Hampshire and New Vork, 
on the one part, and this state, on the other ; In- 
which I obtained the first intelligence of a claim 
being set up and continued, by Massachusetts 
state, over anA- part of this. 

"The General Assembly have been pleased to 
appoint the bearer. Brig. -Gen. Allen, to wait on 
3-our honorable Council and General Court, to 
learn over what part of this state 3-ou mean to ex- 
tend 3'our claim, and how^ far 3-0U mean to carry 
such pretensions into execution, in the trial at 
Congress, on the first daA' of February next, agree- 
able to the acts of Congress, with which, I am in- 
formed, 3-0U are served with a cop^-. Ever3- neces- 
sary step shall be invariabh- pursued, on m3^ part, 
to bring about an equitable accomimodation of all 
differences aforesaid, agreeable to the strict rules 
of Justice and equity ; which cannot be attended 


to, in my opinion, without an explicit acknowl- 
edgement of the independence of this state; for 

"First. Can any, even the least, reason be giv- 
en for this state's being put under the jurisdiction 
of Xew-York, contrary to their will? Have not 
the inhabitants of Vermont suffered an infinit^^ of 
evils, by New York's pretending to exercise juris- 
diction over them, when neglected by every 
friendU' power on the continent, even the author- 
ity which gave them being not excepted ? 

''Second. Has not Vermont, for man3' years 
before the late revolution took place between 
Great-Britain and America, been forced to the last 
alternative, the absolute necessity of having re- 
course to arms, to defend their interest, purchased 
at the dearest rate; and of exhibiting that same 
spirit of patriotism, which has, so far, brought 
America out of a state of threatened slaver}^ into 
the fruition of freedom and liberty' ? 

"Third. Does not that same spirit of freedom 
now exist among the free citizens of Vermont, 
which is absoluteh' necessary to be continued, b\' 
the United States of America, in order to carr3^ 
into execution the declaration of Congress, on the 
4th of July, 1776 ? Surely it does. 

"Fourth. Can such apeople be dragged, orflat- 
tered, into a subjection to any one of the United 
States, or be divided to two or more of them, 
mereh^ to allow them a stretch of jurisdiction, and 
thereby augment their power? Sureh^ they 

"If you will please to lay this before your hon- 
orable Council and General Court, and v^^rite me 


your answer, b\' the bearer, the favor shall be ever 
gratefull3' acknowledged b^^ 
Sir, 3'our honor's most obedient humble servant, 

Thomas Chittenden." 

Samuel Adams replied to Chittenden as follows, 

"Sir,— Your letter dated Manchester, the 2Sth 
of October, [1779,] and directed to the President 
of the Council of this State, has been laid before 
the General Assembh', according to your request, 
and dul3" considered. Two questions of impor- 
tance are therein proposed, viz. 'Over what part 
of this State (b^- which we suppose is to be under- 
stood Vermont) we mean to extend our claim?' 
and 'How far w^e mean to carry such pretensions 
into execution, in the trial at Congress on the 
first daj' of February- next.' 

"This State hath an ancient and just claim to 
all the territory referred to in your letter lying be- 
tween the rivers Connecticut and Hudson, 
bounded as follows : viz. easterh' b^^ Connecticut 
River ; westerU^ b\^ the eastern line of New York ; 
northerh^ hj the northern boundary of Massachu- 
setts Ba3' ; and southerly by the northern limits of 
the Massachusetts jurisdiction as it was settled 
b3^ the King of Great Britain in the A^ear 1739. 

"This we take to be a full answer to 3'our first 
question, according to its true intent, because we 
suppose a part of the district of Countr_v which 
has been commonh' called the New Hampshire 
Grants, and is contained within the bounds so de- 
scribed, is a part of that territory- which 3'ou call 
the State of Vermont. Over this tract of countrv 


we mean to extend our claim, notwithstanding 
the decision of the King of Great Britain aforesaid 
in favor of the Province of New Hampshire, in 
1739, which we have ever considered to be unjust. 
And as the General Assembly hath no authority 
to divest the State of an3^ of its constitutional 
rights, we mean to continue, assert, and main- 
tain the said claim, before any body competent to 
try and determine the same, against the protesta- 
tions of any people whomsoever. 

"However necessar3^ you, Sir, may judge it that 
an explicit acknowledgement of the independence 
of the State of Vermont should be made, in order 
to bring about an equitable accommodation of 
the difficulties subsisting between the States men- 
tioned in your letter, this State cannot come into 
such an acknowledgement consistently with its 
connection with the United States of America and 
the engagements it has solemnly entered into with 
them. We have, therefore, reason to expect that 
such formality- of state in this address to you as 
would be correspondent with that which is 
adopted in your letter will be candidly dispensed 
with at this time. 

"In the name and by the orders of the General 

I am with due respect, Sir, 

Your most obedient and ver3" humble servant, 

Samuel Adams." 

The letter of Gov. Chittenden was evidently 
written with a careful observance of the state for- 
mality; addressing Adams as the President of the 
Senate, with the expectation that he would return 


the courtesy and acknowledge him as Governor of 
Vermont. This he failed to do, and addressed him 
as a private citizen, and seems to give a reason, in 
his letter, for so doing. The whole course of 
Massachusetts in asserting her claim, was to se- 
cure the independence of Vermont and prevent its 
partition between New^ York and New Hampshire, 
although in 1779, the General Court declared that 
the State of Massachusetts had "a clear and indis- 
putable right" to the southern part of Vermont. 
But when in the year 1780, the subject was 
brought before Congress, the General Court de- 
cided that the claim was an ''infringement on the 
rights of Vermont," and refused to prosecute it 
further. And when Congress in September 1780, 
proceeded to hear the claims of New York and 
New Hampshire, at the same time the legislature 
of Massachusetts instructed the delegates of that 
State in Congress to move and use their influence 
for a postponement of the question till time and 
circumstances will admit of a full and complete 
discussion, and that Congress in the meantime 
take proper steps to prevent an\^ grants of lands 
in Vermont being made by any person or persons ; 
and the consideration of the matter in Congress 
was postponed. On Nov. 1, 1780, the Governor 
and Council appointed agents to treat with 
Aiajor Carleton of the British force in Canada un- 
der General Haldimand, for the purpose of settling 
a cartel for the exchange of prisoners. This ac- 
tion of the Governor and Council w^as done in pur- 
suance to a resolution of the General Assembly of 
October 30, 1780. Out of this grew the so called 


Haldimancl Correspondence. On December 12, 
1780, Gov. Thomas Chittenden addressed the fol- 
lowing letter to Gen. John Hancock of Massachu- 
setts, viz : 

"Sir, — Enclosed I transmit 3'our Excellency a 
copy of my letter to Congress of 25th of July last, 
which, together with this, I request ma\' be laid 
before the Legislature of the State over whom 3'ou 
preside, for their perusal and consideration. 

''The arguments and representations therein 
exhibited are equalh' applicable for the considera- 
tion of the several Legislatures of the United 
States separately. 

"Alany and great are the evils which Vermont 
labors under: Congress claiming a jurisdiction 
over them: three of the United States claiming 
their territory in whole or in part, and Vermont 
at the same time a frontier in part to those ver^^ 
States, and exposed to British invasion from Can- 
ada, who being possessed of the Lake can sud- 
denh^ bring their whole force into this State, 
which, beyond hesitation, will be their object next 
campaign, unless some immediate measures be 
adopted to prevent it, as the^^ have alread3^ de- 
stroyed the frontier settements of the state of New 
York. In a word, their force will undoubtedh' be 
so great that it will be out of the power of the 
State to form magazines and to support a bod\' of 
troops sufficient to withstand them, and the con- 
sequence must inevitabh^ be, either that the people 
of this State be sacrificed; or, 2dly, be obliged to 
retire into the interior parts of the United States 
for safetv ; or 3dlv, be under the disagreeable ne- 


cessit3' of making the best terms with the British 
that may be in their power. Xearh^ the same 
would be the condition of either of the United 
States separateh' considered from their Union (as 
they would be unable to withstand the British 
power,) w^hich may abundanth' serve to evince 
that it is out of the power of Vermont to be fur- 
ther serviceable to them, unless thcA' are admitted 
into Union. 

"This State is of opinion that it is high time 
she had better assurances from the several States 
now in Union, whether, at the conclusion of the 
present War, she may without molestation enjo\' 
her Independence, or whether she is onh' strug- 
gling in a Bloody- War to establish neighboring 
States in their Independence to overthrow or 
swallow up her own and deprive her citizens of 
their landed estates. I do, therefore, in behalf of 
this State, demand your Legislature that they re- 
linquish their pretensions of a claim to jurisdiction 
over any and everj^ part of this State, and request 
them to join in a solid Union with Vermont against 
the British forces which invade the American 
States. Such a Union for the mutual advantage of 
both States, I am read\' to ratifiy and confirm on 
the part of this State." 

In response to the letter of Chittenden to Han- 
cock, the General Court of Massachusetts on 
March 8, 1781, adopted the following resolution 
that w'as approved b^^ Governor Hancock, viz. 

"This Court having matureh' and deliberately 
considered the same, feel themselves disposed to 
comph' with the request of said Inhabitants, and 


to concede that the said territor\^ and the Inhabi- 
tants within the same should be a sovereign inde- 
pendent State, in such \va3^ and manner and upon 
such terms as shall be agreed upon and estab- 
lished by the Congress of the United States of 
America : 

''Therefore resolved, that in case the territory 
called Vermont be recognized b\^ Congress as a 
sovereign independent State and enter into the 
Confederation with the other American States, 
this Commonwealth will and do hereby relinquish 
their claim of jurisdiction in and over the said ter- 
ritory and ever3' part and parcel thereof from the 
North side of the town of Northfield on the West 
bank of Connecticut river in the Count3' of Hamp- 
shire to the North West corner of the town of Wil- 
liamstown in the count3^ of Berkshire, in such 
manner and b3' such other bounds as shall be es- 
tablished b3' the delegates of the United States in 
Congress assembled, reserving nevertheless to 
each and every individual within and without 
said territor3' of Vermont, their full right and title 
to such lands within the same as are held and en- 
jo3"ed b3^ virtue of any right or grant derived from 
the Province, State, or Commonwealth of 

The letters of Governor Chittenden to Con- 
gress, to General Washington and to the Govern- 
ors of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Is- 
land, Haldimand correspondence, and the spirit 
and action of the people of Vermont, which w^as 
well know^n, gave timeW notice that Vermont 
might be forced for the protection of her people to 


make terms of some sort with the British, were 
the main factors that warded off a bloody cam- 
paign, and which served to estabHsh Vermont as 
one of the States of the American union. It will 
be remembered that no aid was given in that criti- 
cal period of Vermont's history, b}' Congress or 
an^' of the neighboring States, although at the 
same time Vermont's Continental regiment of 
Green Mountain Boys, under Warner, was serving 
in New Vork. It must be conceded that it was 
a masterly stroke of good policy of Gov. Chitten- 
den, Ira Allen and their associates that won for 
Vermont a place in the American union against 
the power and influence of neighboring States, 
Tories and opposition within her own borders 
and the power of a foreign foe. 

The claim of Massachusetts to an\' part of Ver- 
mont after the year 1739 was extremely weak, as 
at that date the King in Council settled the 
boundary line between New Hampshire and 
Massachusetts Bay substantially where it now is, 
which brought Fort Dummer wathin the Province 
of New Hampshire. That Fort had been built by 
the Massachusetts Ba\' Province in 1724, and 
w-as garrisoned at their expense till it was ex- 
cluded from their jurisdiction by the settlement of 
tJie boundary above mentioned. After the bound- 
ary line had been settled the Massachusetts Bay 
Province represented to the government at home 
that Fort Dummer having been determined to be 
the proi3ert\^ of New Hampshire, they were no 
longer obliged to garrison and maintain it, and 
prayed that, as it was necessarv for the defense of 


that part of the country, that New Hampshire 
might be directed to support it; the King and 
Council so directed in 1744, and declared that in 
case the\' refused to compl3' with so reasonable 
and necessary a proposal, his Majesty w^ould find 
himself under the necessity- of restoring that fort 
with a proper district of land contiguous to it to 
the Province of Massachusetts Bay; and from 
that time New Hampsnire actualh^ maintained 
Fort Dummer and paid a demand of arrears for its 
previous support to Massachusetts-Ba^-. These 
transactions would seem to have foreclosed or cut 
off any claim that Massachusetts ever had to the 
jurisdiction of Vermont. 



A convention of the inhabitants on the west 
side of the range of the Green Mountains was 
called by a committee of the New Hampshire 
Grants, Moses Robinson and others, to be held at 
Cephas Kent's in Dorset on Januar\^ 16th, 1776, 
to act upon the following articles of business : Viz. 
"to see if the law of New York shall have free cir- 
culation where it doth not infringe on our proper- 
ties or titles of lands, or riots (so-called) in defence 
of the same" and ''to see if the said convention 
will come into some proper regulations, or take 
some method to suppress schismatic mobs that 
have or ma3^ arise on said Grants." 

x\t this convention a committee vv^as chosen to 
examine and report their opinion relative to the 
last mentioned article. Eighteen towns were rep- 
resented in the convention. It was A'oted they 
should be represented in proportion to the number 
of inhabitants of the towns respectiveh^ ; it was 
also voted " to represent the particular case of the 
inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants to Con- 
gress by remonstrance and petition." • 

The convention w^arned to meet at Dorset on 
the 24th of July, 1776, where 32 towns from the 
west side of the mountain were represented, 
adopted and subscribed the following declaration : 


Viz. "We the subscribers, inhabitants of that dis- 
trict of land commonh' known by the name of the 
New Hampshire Grants, do voluntarily and 
solemnh' engage under all the ties held sacred 
amon^^st mankind at the risque of our lives and 
fortunes to defend, b\' arms, the United American 
States against the hostile attempts of the British 
fleets and armies until the present unhappy- con- 
trovers\' between the two countries shall be set- 
tled." This declaration was signed 133- the entire 
convention save one. William Marsh went over 
to the enemy after signing the above and fled to 
Canada. His propert\^ was confiscated and his 
return to the State forbidden hy an Act passed 
February 26, 1779. It is stated of Marsh by E. 
P. Walton in the "Governor and Council" that he 
was not a Tory, and he had been an efficient friend 
of the new State, but when the splendidly equip- 
ped arm^^ of Burgoyne swept along the western 
border and a part of it w^as reported to be ad- 
vancing on the military- road from Mount Inde- 
pendence to Castleton, and knowing that the con- 
dition of the Grants were such that the^^ were 
likelj- to be overwhelmed b^^ superior force, Marsh 
became panic-stricken and hastened, with other 
disheartened Whigs and a greater number of Tories 
to seek refuge in Canada. Marsh after a time 
w^as permitted to return and represented his town, 
Manchester, in the General Assembl^v in 1784 
to 1788. 

It \vas also resolved unanimously 133' said last 
mentioned convention, in substance, that if an3' 
of the inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants 


should in future subscribe and return any such 
declaration or association to an^- committee of 
safetj' for either of the counties of the Province of 
New York, other than the above, thev shall ]}e 
deemed enemies to the Comimon Cause of the New- 
Hampshire Grants. These were the first formal 
proceedings in convention for the evident purpose 
of severing the connection of eastern Vermont 
with New York and of uniting the eastern and 
western towns in a common league for prosecut- 
ing the war for national independence. 

The Dorset convention that was held July 24, 
1776, adjourned on the 25th of that month, and 
on the 6th of August Heman Allen, Jonas Fa^' and 
William Marsh attended a joint meeting of the 
Committees of Safet3' of Cumberland and Glouces- 
ter Counties assembled at Windsor, where the 
matter of a separate jurisdiction was taken into 
consideration and the boundaries of a new State 
were described. James Clay was the chairman of 
Cumberland Count^^ Committee of Safety- and had 
favored the interests of New York. Allen told him 
"that he had consulted with several members of 
the Continental Congress, wlio had recommended 
to him and his coadjutors to ascertain the feelings 
concerning the formation of a new state." He also 
reminded ClaA' that if the Grants should accede to 
the form of government that New York was soon 
to adopt, the Grants would have no opportunity- 
to withdraw- their support therefrom at a future 
day. The people of each town were invited to as- 
semble in tow-n meeting and express their opinion 
as to the best course to pursue. Several towns 


called meetings. The inhabitants of Rockingham 
voted to associate with the inhabitants of that 
district of land commonh^ called and known by 
the name of the New Hampshire Grants, and in- 
structed their delegates chosen to the Dorset con- 
vention to be held in the fall, ''to use their best in- 
fluence to obtain the passage of such resolves as 
would tend to establish the Grants as a separate 
and independent State." A like spirit pervaded 
many other towns. In Halifax and some other 
towns there were two parties, and in some, they 
showed no disposition to throw off the jurisdic- 
tion of New York. The leaven that was working 
for a separate State was destined to leaven the 
whole lump. At the adjourned session of the con- 
vention at Westminster January- 15, 1777, being 
composed of delegates from both sides of the 
mountain, it was voted that a letter be drawn 
forbidding the delegates from Cumberland Count\^ 
sitting in the Provincial Congress of New York ; 
and a letter was accordingly sent to them by a 
committee. The convention also voted that 
"This convention, whose members are duly chosen 
b3" the free voice of their constituents in the sev- 
eral towns, on the New-Hampshire Grants, in 
public meeting assembled, in our own names, and 
in behalf of our constituents, do hereb3^ proclaim 
and publiclv declare that the district of territory 
comprehending and usually known b3' the name 
and description of the New Hampshire Grants, of 
right ought to be, and is hereby declared forever 
hereafter to be considered as a separate, free and 
independent jurisdiction or state; bv the name, 


and forever hereafter to be called, known and dis- 
tinguished by the name of New Connecticut; 
and that the inhabitants that at present are, or 
that hereafter may become resident, either by pro- 
creation or emigration, within said territorj^, shall 
be entitled to the same privileges, immunities and 
enfranchisements as are allowed; and on such 
condition, and in the same manner, as the present 
inhabitants in future shall or may enjo}^ ; v^diich 
are, and forever shall be considered, to be such 
privileges and immunities to the free citizens and 
denizens as are, or, at an^^ time hereafter, may be 
allowed to any such inhabitants of an}- of the free 
and independent states of America; and that such 
privileges and immunities shall be regulated in a 
bill of rights, and b3' a form of government, to be 
esta.blished at the next adjourned session of this 

And it was voted that proper information be 
given to the Continental Congress wh3^ the New 
Hampshire Grants had been declared a free State. 
It was also voted that a committee of w^ar be ap- 
pointed on the east side of the mountains to be in 
conjunction with the committee of war on the 
west side of the mountains, to act on all proper 
occasions ; and that some suitable measures be 
taken to govern the internal polic\^ until more 
suitable measures could be taken. 

On January 15, 1777, at the convention held at 
Westminster the Declaration of Independence for 
the State was adopted, and published in the "Con- 
necticut Courant" of March 17, 1777. In the dec- 
laration the new State was called "Xew Connecti- 


cut." This declaration was not satisfactory to 
the subsequent couYcntion held at Windsor, June 
4, 1777, as it failed to state the causes for the sep- 
aration from New York, therefore, the latter con- 
vention set forth the causes of separation as fol- 
lows: Viz. 

*'In the 3'ear 1764 the legislative authority of 
New York did obtain jurisdiction over the before 
described territory' of land, bY virtue of a false rep- 
resentation made by the late Lieut. Governor 
Colden, that for the convenience of trade and ad- 
ministration of justice the inhabitants were desir- 
ous of being annexed to that government. 

"They have refused to make re-grants of the 
same lands to the original proprietors and occu- 
pants, unless at the exorbitant rate of $2300 fees 
for each township, and did enchance the quitrent 
three fold, and demanded an immediate deliverv of 
the title derived before from New Hampshire. 

"The judges of their supreme court have made 
a solemn declaration that the charters, convey- 
ances, &c., of the lands included in the before de- 
scribed premises, were utterly null and void, on 
which said title was founded. 

"In consequence of which declaration, writs of 
possession have hj them been issued, and the 
Sheriff of the County of Albany sent at the head of 
six or seven hundred armed men to enforce the 
execution thereof. 

"They have passed an act annexing a penalty 
thereto, of thirty pounds, and fine and six months 
imprisonment, on an^^ person who should refuse 
attending the sheriff after being requested for the 
purpose of executing writs of possession. 


"The goverrjors, Dunmore, Tyron, and Colden, 
have made re-grants of several tracts of land in- 
cluded in the premises, to cernain favorite land- 
jobbers in the government of New York, in direct 
violation of his Britannic Majest\''s special orders 
in the vear 1767. 

''They have endeavored and man^- times 
threatened to excite the king's troops to destroy 

"They have issued proclamations wherein they 
have offered large sums of mone3' for the purpose 
of apprehending those persons v^'ho dared boldly 
and publich' to appear in defence of their just 

"The}' did pass twelve acts of outlavrry on the 
9th of March, A. D. 1774, empowering the respec- 
tive judges of their supreme court to award execu- 
tion of death against those inhabitants in said 
district, that they should judge to be offenders, 
without trial. 

"The}' have and still continue an unjust claim 
to those lands, which greath' retards emigration 
into, and the settlement of this state. 

"The\' have hired foreign troops, emigrants 
from Scotland, at different times, and armed them 
to drive us out of possession. 

"The}' have sent the savages on our frontier to 
destroy us. 

"The}' have proceeded to erect the counties of 
Cumberland and Gloucester, and established 
courts of justice there, after they were discounten- 
anced by the authority of Great Britain. 

"The free convention of the State of New York, 
at Harlem, in the vear 1776, imanimouslv voted 


'that all quitrents formerh' due to the king of 
Great Britain, are now due and owing to this con- 
vention, or such future government as shall be es- 
tablished in this state.' 

"In truth, the}^ the late government of New 
York, have spared neither cost or pains, nor been 
wanting in using every artful insinuation in their 
power, (however unwarrantable by the laws of 
God or man,) to defraud those inhabitants out of 
the whole of their landed property ; and nothing 
but consciences void of offence towards God and 
man, to whose impartial judgment we appeal, 
could have induced those inhabitants to have run 
the risk, and to have undergone the hardships and 
fatigues the3^ have borne, lor the salvation of 
their hves, liberties and properties. 

"In the several stages of the aforesaid oppres- 
sion, we have petitioned his Britannic Majesty in 
the most humble manner for redress, and have, at 
verv great expense, received several reports in our 
favor ; and in other instances wherein we have pe- 
titioned the late legislative authority of New 
York, these petitions have been treated with neg- 
lect. We shall therefore only remind the public 
that our local situation alone is a sufficient reason 
for our declaration of an independency, and must 
therefore announce a separation from the state of 
New York, and refer the public to our declaration 
made the 15th da}^ of January last, and published 
in the 'Connecticut Courant,' and sincerely wish 
that in future a lasting peace nia^^ continue be- 
tween the state of ^ew York and this, with the 
other United States of America." 


This convention changed the name of the State 
to Vermont for the reason that the convention 
was informed there was a district of land ly- 
in^ on the Susquehanna River known as New 
Connecticut, and it would be inconvenient for two 
separate districts on this Continent to bear the 
same name. 

The delegates of this convention were deter- 
mined to silence and eradicate all sentiment and 
action of all persons, within the borders of the 
new State, who were opposing the new order of 
things and the establishment of the new State of 
Vermont, as appears by the following resolves of 
the Convention: viz., — 

''Resolved, That the keeper of the common 
goal for the Count}- of Cumberland within this 
State be and is hereby directed to keep in safe cus- 
tod}^ all Prisoners already committed by any legal 
authority within this State until regularly dis- 
charged b}' this Convention or their further order 
had thereon, and that for the future the said 
keeper be and is hereb}- directed to observe such 
orders as he shall receive from either of the Com- 
mittees of Safety for either of the towns in this 
State during recess of this Convention. 

"Resolved, That the Chairman of the Com- 
mittees of Safety- for the Counties of Cumberland 
and Gloucester immediatel}^ on sight hereof and 
are hereby- directed and required to desist acting 
in such capacity by virtue of an^- authority de- 
rived from the Honorable Convention of the State 
of New York, and that their several associates are 
directed strictlv to observe the same. 


"Resolyed, That the several Committees of 
Safet3^ acting under the authority of this State be 
and are hereby directed to take into their immedi- 
ate custody all such estates of enemical persons 
who have heretofore or that may hereafter be by 
sufficient evidence proved to be such, which es- 
tates are not alread\^ in custody- by virtue of such 
authority, and them safely keep for the use of this 
State during the recess of this Convention except 
Vv^hat ma\" be sufficient -to defray the necessar\" 
charges arising for trial of such offender or 

"Resolved, That all Commissioners appointed 
b\' the authority of the State of New York for the 
purpose of seizing the estates of enemical persons 
for the use of that State, to the prejudice of this, 
be and hereby are required to desist and surcease 
such commission or commissions immediateh^ on 
sight hereof, and they are hereby severalh^ strictly 
forbid disposing of an^^ such estate so seized 
within this State except what is sufficient to de- 
fray- the charge of trial, seizing, &c., until further 
order from this Convention or the orders of the 
President or Vice President of this State with his 
Council during the recess of this said 

"Resolved, That the Committees of the sev- 
eral towns in this State be and are hereby empow- 
ered to seize and secure all and ever3' person and 
their estates that appear to be enemical to their 
country- and to proceed to trial in manner and 
form following : 

"That the Committee of anv town in this State 


shall seize the person and estate of an^- such sus- 
pected enemies, and, if on examination they shall 
find just cause to, proceed against the same the^^ 
are hereb3' empowered to call thirteen committee- 
men from the adjacent towns including the com- 
mittee of said town which are hereby- empowered 
to try such offender or offenders and give sentence 
against him or them and order the said judgment 
to be put in execution — Provided the offender or 
offenders is not wortln^ of death or other corporal 
punishment, in which case the committees are em- 
powered to imprison the offender or offenders in 
the common gaol or gaols wnthin this State, there 
to remain without bail until a proper court shall 
be established in this State to trj^ him or them." 

The authorities proceeded immediately to take 
charge of the public propert}^ and issued orders to 
a sergeant and six men to guard the jail, at West- 
minster, both daj^ and night, and to permit no one 
to advance within six feet of the gratings or to 
approach the jail door. This was regarded as the 
enforcement of the jurisdictional claim of Vermont 
against Xew York. 

It has been stated, in the first volume, that the 
Convention held at Windsor in July, 1777, pro- 
ceeded to form a Constitution for the State, and 
that, in the main, it was like that of Penns\dva- 
nia. In fact there were some additions, and the 
Vermont Constitution was an improvement up- 
on that of Penns3'lvania, The following were the 
additions incorporated into that instrument: viz., 
1st, Slaver^' prohibited; 2nd, Compensation se- 
cured for private property taken for public uses; Se- 


curity of Protestants against civil disabilities on ac- 
count of religion ; the right to govern the internal 
police inherent in the people of the State solely ; 
no writ against the person or property of a debt- 
or to issue unless the creditor shall make oath 
that he is in danger of losing his debt ; no person 
to be transported for trial out of ,the State for an 
offense committed within it; form of Freeman's 
Oath ; provisions against the hasty enactments of 
laws of a public nature, and restriction of pow- 
ers of the Governor and Council, and General As- 
sembh' to regulate fishing. In 1786 there were 
several amendments. One was that the legisla- 
tive, executive and judiciary departments shall be 
kept separate and distinct, so that neither exercise 
the power properh^ belonging to the other. The 
words "by their legal representatives," were add- 
ed to a former section, so that it should read, 
"That the people, b\' their legal representatives, 
have the sole, exclusive and inherent right of gov- 
erning and regulating the internal police of the 
same." Other amendments have been made to the 
Constitution from time to time. The preamble to 
the first Constitution of the State established b3^ 
the Windsor Convention in 1777, was as follows: 
viz., — 

"Whereas, all government ought to be insti- 
tuted and supported, for the security and protec- 
tion of the communitj^ as such, and to enable the 
individuals who compose it, to enjoy their natural 
rights, and the other blessings which the Author 
of existence has bestowed upon man ; and when- 
ever those 2:reat ends of government are not ob- 


tained, the people have a right, by common con- 
sent, to change it, and take such measures as to 
them ma^^ appear necessary to promote their 
safety and happiness. 

''And whereas, the inhabitants of this State 
have, (in consideration of protection only) hereto- 
fore acknowledged allegiance to the King of Great 
Britain, and the said King has not onh^ with- 
drawn that protection, but commenced, and still 
continues to carry on, with unabated vengeance, 
a most cruel and unjust war against them ; em- 
plojang therein, not only the troops of Great Brit- 
ain, but foreign mercenaries, savages and slaves, 
for the avowed purpose of reducing them to a 
total and abject submission to the despotic 
dominion of the British parliament, with man\' 
other acts of tyranny, (more fulh^ set forth 
in the declaration of Congress,) whereby all alleg- 
iance and fealty to the said King and his success- 
ors, are dissolved and at an end ; and all power 
and authorit^^ derived from him, ceased in the 
American Colonies. 

"And w^hereas, the territory which now com- 
prehends the State of Vermont, did antecedently, 
of right, belong to the government of New Hamp- 
shire; and the former Governor thereof, viz. his 
Excellency Benning Wentworth, Esq., granted 
many charters of lands and corporations, w^ithin 
this State, to the present inhabitants and others. 
And whereas, the late Lieutenant Governor 
Colden, of New York, with others, did, in viola- 
tion of the tenth command, covet those verv 
lands ; and by a false representation made to the 


court of Great Britain, (in the ^^ear 1764, that for 
the convenience ol trade and administration of 
justice, the inhabitants were desirous of bein^ an- 
nexed to that government,) obtained jurisdiction 
of those very identical lands, ex-parte; which ever 
was, and is, disagreeable to the inhabitants. And 
whereas, the legislature of New-York, ever have, 
and still continue to disown the good people of 
this State, in their landed property, which will ap- 
pear in the complaints hereafter inserted, and in 
the 36th section of their present constitution, in 
which is established the grants of land made by 
that government. 

''They have refused to make re-grants of our 
lands to the original proprietors and occupants, 
unless at the exorbitant rate of 2300 dollars fees 
for each township ; and did enhance the quitrent, 
three fold, and demanded an immediate delivery of 
the title derived before, from New Hampshire. 

"The judges of their supreme court have made 
a solemn declaration, that the charters, convers- 
ances, &c., of the lands included in the before de- 
scribed premises, were utterly null and void, on 
which said title was founded ; in consequence of 
w^hich declaration, writs of possession have been 
by them issued, and the sheriff of the county of Al- 
bany sent, at the head of six or seven hundred 
men, to enforce the execution thereof. 

"They have passed an act, annexing a penalty 
thereto, of thirty pounds fine and six months im- 
prisonment, on an\s person who should refuse as- 
sisting the sheriff, after being requested, for the 
purpose of executing writs of possession. 


''The Governors, Dunmore, Try on and Colden, 
have made re-grants of several tracts of land, in- 
cluded in the premises, to certain favorite land 
jobbers in the government of New York, in direct 
violation of his Britannic majesty's express prohi- 
bition, in the year 1767. 

"The^" have issued proclamations, wherein they 
have offered large sums of money, for the purpose 
of apprehending those very persons who have 
dared boldh^, and publiclv, to appear in defence of 
their just rights. 

"They did pass twelve acts of outlawry, on the 
9th day of March, A. D. 1774, impowering the re- 
spective judges of their supreme court, to award 
execution of death against those inhabitants in 
said district that they should judge to be of- 
fenders, without trial. 

"They have, and still continue, an unjust claim 
to those lands, which greatly retards emigration 
into, and the settlement of, this State. 

"The\^ have hired foreign troops, emigrants 
from Scotland, at two different times, and armed 
them, to drive us out of possession. 

"They have sent the savages on our frontier, to 
distress us. 

"They have proceeded to erect the counties of 
Cumberland and Gloucester, and establish courts 
of justice there, after they were discountenanced 
by the authority of Great Britain. 

"The free Convention of the State of New York, 
at Harlem, in the year 1776, unanimously voted, 
'that all quit-rents formerly due to the King of 
Great Britain, are now due and owing to this 


Convention, or such future government as shall 
be hereafter established in this State.' 

"In the several stages of the aforesaid oppres- 
sion, we have petitioned his Britannic majesty, in 
the most humble manner, for redress, and have, at 
very great expense, received several reports in our 
favor; and in other instances, wherein we have 
petitioned the late legislative authority- of New 
York, those petitions have been treated with 

"And whereas, the local situation of this State, 
from New York, at the extream part, is upwards 
of lour hundred and fifty miles from the seat of 
that government, which renders it extremely diffi- 
cult to continue under the jurisdiction of said 

"Therefore, it is absoluteh- necessary, for the 
welfare and safet\^ of the inhabitants of this State, 
that it should be, henceforth, a free and indepen- 
dent State; and that a just, permanent and 
proper form of government, should exist in it, de- 
rived from, and founded on, the authoritj^ of the 
people only, agreeable to the direction of the hon- 
orable American Congress. 

"We the representatives of the freemen of Ver- 
mont, in General Convention met, for the express 
purpose of forming such a government, — confess- 
ing the goodness of the Great Governor of the Un- 
iverse, (who alone, knows to what degree of 
earthl3' happiness, mankind ma^" attain, by per- 
fecting the arts of government,) in permitting the 
people of this State, b\' common consent, and 
without violence, deliberatelv to form for them- 


selves, such just rules as they shall think best, for 
governing their future society ; and being fully 
convinced that it is our indispensible duty, to es- 
tablish such original principles of government, as 
will best promote the general happiness of the 
people of this State, and their posterity, and pro- 
vide for future improvements, without partiality 
for, or prejudice against, any particular class, sect, 
or denomination of men whatever, — do, by virtue 
of authority vested in us, by our constituents, or- 
dain, declare, and establish, the following declara- 
tion of rights, and frame of government, to be the 
CoNSTiTUTiox of this COMMONWEALTH, and to re- 
main in force therein, forever, unaltered, except in 
such articles, as shall, hereafter, on experience, be 
found to require improvement, and which shall, 
by the same authority of the people, lairU^ dele- 
gated,- as this fram.e of government directs, be 
amended or improved, for the more effectual ob- 
taining and securing the great end and design of 
all government, herein before mentioned." 

The first section of the declaration of rights fol- 
lowing the preamble was as follows : 

"That all men are born equally free and inde- 
pendent, and have certain natural, inherent and 
unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoy- 
ing and defending life and libert}^ ; acquiring, pos- 
sessing and protecting property, and pursuing 
and obtaining happiness and safetjr. Therefore, 
no male person, born in this country, or brought 
from over sea, ought to be holden b^^ law, to serve 
any person, as a servant, slave or apprentice, af- 
ter he arrives at the age of twentv-one years, nor 


female, in like manner, after she arrives at the age 
of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their 
own consent, after the^^ arrive at such age, or 
bound b}^ law, for the payment of debts, damages, 
fines, costs or the like." This was the first eman- 
cipation act in America. 

During the work of the convention at Windsor 
in 1777, in framing the Constitution, the Council 
of Safet^^ saw the imperative need ot more troops 
to protect the people on the west side of the Green 
Mountains from the great danger that threatened 
them. Many of them who had supported the title 
of the New Hampshire Grants against the unjust 
claims of New York had been compelled to re- 
move. If they continued to abandon that part of 
the State it would expose the settlers on the east 
vside of the Green Mountains to the invasion of 
war both from the savages and the British. The 
Council of Safet^^ had no money or revenue at 
command to raise and pa\' men for the defence of 
the frontier. Ira Allen asked that a regiment be 
raised; Nathan Clark, not convinced of the prac- 
ticability of raising a regiment, moved in Council, 
''that Ira Allen, the youngest member of the 
Council, who insisted on raising a full regiment, 
while the majority of the Council were for raising 
only two companies of sixt^^ men each, might be 
requested to discover ways and means to raise 
and support a regiment, and make his report at 
sun rising on the morrow." The next morning 
the Council met and Allen reported the wa\^s and 
means to raise and support a regiment: viz. "that 
the Council should appoint Commissioners of se- 
questration, with the authority to seize the goods 


and chattels of all persons who had or should join 
the common enem\^ ; and that all property so 
seized should be sold at public vendue, and the 
proceeds paid to the treasurer of the Council of 
Safety, for the purpose of paying the bounties and 
wages of a regiment, forthwith to be raised for 
the defence of the State." The Council adopted the 
measure. This was the first instance in America 
of seizing and selling the property of the enemies 
of American independence. Like measures were 
afterwards pursued in all the States, but not till 
November 27th, 1777, four months after the Ver- 
mont Council of Safet3^ had adopted Allen's pro- 
ject, did Congress recommend the same course to 
all the States. When this regiment was raised 
General Schuyler, a citizen of the State of New 
York, and commander in chief of the northern 
army, sent orders to Colonel Herrick, the com- 
mander of the regiment, to repair forthwith to 
Saratoga, but the Council of Safety- gave special 
directions to Colonel Herrick to remain with his 
regiment within the State of Vermont, and not to 
put himself under the command of General Schuy- 
ler. The Council of Safet^^, undoubtedl^^ felt jus- 
tified in giving the order as the State had been de- 
clared independent and it had not been received 
into the Confederation. 

The commissioners of confiscation were given, 
by the Council of Safety-, a commission as follows : 

In Council of Safety, State of Vermont, 
Bennington, 28 Jul v, 1777. 

"To : You are hereb\' required (agree- 


able to a previous resolve of this Council) to seize 
all lands, tenements, goods and chattels, of any 
person or persons in this State, whom 3'ou know 
or may hereafter learn, to have repaired to the en- 
emj, and a true inventor^^ thereof to take, and re- 
turn to this Council, except articles as are wanted 
for the use of the army ; which are w^anted at 
Manchester or elsevv^here, where there is a con- 
tractor to receive and pa3^ for them. You will ap- 
point three persons noted for good judgement, 
who are, after being duh^ sworn, to apprize the 
same ; and all other movable effects 3^ou are to sell 
at public vendue, except such necessaries as hu- 
manit\^ requires for the support of such families. 
And after pajnng necessar\^ charges 3- ou are to re- 
mit the remainder of the money to this Council. 
You will take the natural and artificial marks of 
every creature 3'ou shall receive, or take, and their 
age, from whom the\^ came, for wdiat sold, and to 
whom sold. You are to lease out all such lands 
and tenements at a reasonable price, not exceed- 
ing two A^ears, giving the preference to such per- 
sons as have been driven from their farms b^^ this 
w^ar. Y^ou are further authorized to arrest any 
person, or persons, \'OU shall have sufficient 
grounds to believe are enemies to the liberties of 
this and the United States of America, and all 
such persons as 3'ou shall arrest 3^ou wnll seize all 
their movable effects (where there is danger of 
their being embezzled) and keep in safe custody 
until after trial. If the\' are acquitted, to give 
unto such person or persons such seizure ; but if 
found sfuiltv, to make return to this council. You 


are to call to 3'our assistance sucli person or per- 
sons as A^ou shall find necessar}^ keeping regular 
accounts of all your procedures. 

B\^ order of Council, 

Ira Allen, Secy." 

A Lieutenant of one of the companies of the sec- 
ond regiment of militia of the State of which Sam- 
uel Herrick was Colonel, w^as Nathaniel Filmore, 
the grandfather of President Filmore. 

The first Board of Councilors under the Con- 
stitution was organized March 12, 1778, and con- 
sisted of Ira Allen of Colchester, Jacob Bay ley of 
Newbur_v, Joseph Bowker of Rutland, Timothy 
Brownson of Sunderland, Benjamin Carpenter of 
Guilford, Jeremiah Clark of Shaftsbury, Benjamin 
Emmons of Woodstock, Jonas Fay of Bennington, 
Thomas Murdoch of Norwich, Paul Spooner of 
Hartland, Moses Robinson of Bennington, 
Thomas Chandler Jr. of Chester, secretar^^, and 
Matthew Lyon of Arlington, deputy secretar^^ 
For a while the Governor and Council were the 
Board of War, and after the Board of War was 
formed it was constituted largely of Councilors. 

The duties of the Council were various. It 
seems that one Thomas Bra^^ton had been neg- 
lecting his family, as the Council on April 9, 1778, 
w^hile in session at Arlington, issued to Sylvanus 
Brown the following order: viz., "Sir, — Mr. 
Thomas Brayton informs this Council that you 
have a side-saddle in 3'our custody vv^hich is his 
property-. He says that he has procured sufficient 
bonds to the Committee for the maintenance of 
his family by which he is entitled to such of his 


moveables as have not been taken and disposed of 
by the atithorit\' of this State previous to his pro- 
curing such bonds. Therefore, you are required to 
deHver the saddle to Mr. Brayton on sight hereof, 
unless you have sufficient evidence that any part 
of his goods are reserved by the Committee of 
Safety for the town of Clarendon." The Gov- 
ernor and Council were watchful and ever on the 
guard against the enemies of the State and of the 
United States, as will be seen b}^ the following 
order issued to Captain Ebenezer Wallace b3^ 
Thomas Chittenden on April 10, 1778, viz. 

"Sir, — You are hereb3' required to Call to jonr 
assistance two sufficient able bodied effective men, 
and such as you can repose the Greatest Trust & 
Confidence in, & with them immediately to pro- 
ceed to the Green Mountain East of this place & 
from thence you are to proceed to the North, & to 
Search the Woods Critically & diligenth', & in 
case you or Either of 3^our part\' shall make dis- 
covery^ of any person or persons who have volun- 
tarily heretofore gone over to the Enemj^ & are 
now within this State as Spies, or otherwise, that 
3^ou secure anj^ such person or persons, & him or 
them bring forthwith before this Board to be fur- 
ther Dealt with according to Law. And you are 
hereby- authorized and empowered to call to 3^our 
assistance such of the militia of this State as ^-ou 
may from time to Time find Necessar^^toCarrvthis 
Measure into effectual Execution, & if at an\^ Time 
3^ou should find Necessary j-ou are to Immediateh' 
post away the Intelligence of 3^our Situation and 
the discoveries vou have made to the Gov. of this 


State; & you are hereby further directed & em- 
powered to Administer an oath of secrecy- to the 
persons whom 3'ou shall Take to your assistance ; 
and 3^ou are likewise to secure any other person or 
persons whom you may judge to be Enemies to 
this or the United States of America." 

One order w^as to Captain Samuel Robinson, 
which order was, "Sir, — You are hereby directed 
to give William Irish a pass to carry his famih' 
down the Country to Spenser Town, and then to 
return to 3^ou again as quick as possible, and set 
the time when he is to return." 

The Council were vigilant in looking after the 
interest of the people who were living on the fron- 
tier exposed to the ravages of the enemy as ap- 
pears from the following advice and warning 
given April 22, 1778, to the inhabitants north of 
Pittsford on Otter Creek, viz. 

"We have received a petition from the Inhabi- 
tants of the Towns on Otter Creek North of Pitts- 
ford dated April 13, 1778; and having Considered 
the Petition & their present Circumstances do ad- 
vise said Inhabitants that as Soon as they can 
Come wnthin our Lines, the^^ improve the oppor- 
tunity. It does not at present appear to this 
Council, that we can Guard further North than 
Pittsford & Castleton. Therefore you will Con- 
duct your selves accordingly. We shall give 
orders to the officer now Commanding our part\' 
to the North, & shall Continue such orders to any 
officer Commanding b^" Commission under this 
State, to Give all possible assistance to you in 
moving until you have had an opportunity to 


come in, which if you do not improve 3'ou nia\^ 

expect to be treated as enemies. 

B3^ order of Gov. & Council. M. Lyox, D. sec'v. 

"To THE Inhabitants to the North of Pitts- 
ford ON Otter Creek. 

"Another letter of the Same Substance & date 
sent to the Inhabitants of Panton, Addison and 

Attest M. Lyon, D. Sec'y. 

"State of Vermont. In Council, 

Arlington, April 22d, 1778. 

Dear Sir, — In consequence of intelligence re- 
ceived at several different times from the North- 
ward, I have ordered the Militia (who are now on 
their March) to your assistance. I have sent the 
Medicine & Dressings for the use of the Corps 
under your Command, Bandages are not to be 
had, you will therefore (if Necessit\^ requires) take 
such as can be Spared by the Inhabitants taking 
a particular account of the Quantit\^ & Its Value 
that it maj^ be paid for. I send you also one hun- 
dred of Catridges, I hope will be sufficient for 
your purpose until a-^ou will be further Supplied 
from hence, which is now on the w^a3\ I have not 
the Least Doubt of 3^our Militar\^ skill, & the Con- 
duct & spirit of the officers & soldiers under your 
Command, & that vv^ith your exertions, in Con- 
junction with those sent to your assistance, you 
will be able (with the blessing of God) to protect 
the Inhabitants against the fury and Rage of Sav- 


ages & Diabolical Tories until Seasonably Re- 
lieved. I heartily wish vou Success. 

And am Dr Sir 3^our very Humble Servant. 
Thomas Chittenden. 
Capt. Ebenr Allen." 

In 1778, the State appears to have been divided 
into six probate districts with a judge assigned to 
each; viz. Bennington district, Captain John Fas- 
sette, judge; Manchester district, Martin Powell 
Esq., judge; Rutland district, Joseph Bowker 
Esq., judge; Newbury district. General Jacob Ba^^- 
le3^ judge; Hartford district, Paul Spooner Esq., 
judge; and one other district that is supposed to 
be Cumberland, now Windham, Major Jno. Shep- 
hardson, judge. 




Similar instances like those we have given in 
this and the previous volume of the character of 
the legislation of the General Assembl^^ and of the 
orders and actions of the Governor and Council 
might be greatly extended, but our purpose is sim- 
ph' to give a sufficient number to show the true 
state of society, the nature of the government and 
how it was administered, that it might leave on 
the mind of the reader a correct impression of the 
then existing state of affairs. 

On Februar3^ 20, 1779, a petition of Timothy 
and Eli Evarts was before the Council, asking 
that one hundred and fifty acres of land be 
granted their father, Silvanus Evarts of Castle- 
ton, in discharge of a debt from the State to him. 
It was voted to choose a committee of one to join 
a committee from the House to take into consid- 
eration the petition. The father was proscribed by 
act of the Assembly six days alter this vote, and 
this pa\'ment or grant was a remarkable instance 
of generosity- — a case where the sins of the father 
were not visited upon the children. 

It w^as resolved in the Assembly- in February 

1779, that the Councillors and Representatives 



have six dollars per da^^ during the session to be 
counted from the time of their leaving their re- 
spective homes until they could conveniently re- 
turn to the same, and one shilling per mile for 
horse. And at the same session it resolved to al- 
low John McNiel one hundred and thirty dollars 
to purchase one cow for the use of his family. At 
this time one Spanish milled dollar was worth but 
five dollars and a half of lawful money in Ver- 
mont. These payments, therefore were not large. 
In the grants of townships by Governor Went- 
worth, while New Hampshire was a Colony of 
Great Britain, there was reserved all white and 
other pine trees fit for masting the Ro^-al Navy, 
and none of such timber was to be cut or felled 
without a special license, upon the penalty of for- 
feiture of the right of the grantee. After Vermont 
became a State it kept up the same policy, and 
hence the Council resolved that in each charter of 
incorporation for any grant of lands, made out 
and executed b^^ the Council, a reservation be 
made therein of all pine timber suitable for masts 
or spars for shipping, to the use of the freemen of 
this State forever. The timber was to be marked 
b3' a surve^'or agreeable to the directions of the 
General Assembly, so at that early day the State 
was looking out for the welfare of the shipping in- 
terests. In the grants of land in the town of Ben- 
son, under the authority of the State and Council, 
they were looking out for the permanent settle- 
ment of the town and the immediate cultivation 
of its lands. The Council resolved November 10, 
1779, that ''everv grantee of said Benson, his 


heirs or assigns, shall plant and cultivate ten acres 
of land, and build a house at least eighteen feet 
square on the floor, or have one famil3^ settled on 
each respective right or share of land within the 
term of two 3'ears next after the conclusion of the 
present w^ar bet ween Great Britain and America, or 
within two years after the Province of Quebec 
shall be reunited with the free and independent 
States of America, on a jDcnalty of the forfeiture of 
his grant." Grants to proprietors of other towns 
were upon similar conditions. 

The Council did not regard the action of New 
York authorities in granting lands in Vermont as 
of an^^ validity, for on October 24, 1780, the 
Council resolved, unanimously, that the several 
locations made by virtue of the authority of New 
York, since the King's prohibition, be and is here- 
by considered not a sufficient bar against grant- 
ing the same to respectable and worth\^ petition- 

Colonel UdncA^ Ha\' of the Continental armj' 
made application in November, 1780, to the Gen- 
eral Assembly' for leave to procure beef for the 
army in the New Hampshire Grants, not recog- 
nizing Vermont as a State in his application. The 
committee appointed to investigate the matter re- 
ported, as their opinion, "the Legislature of this 
State ought not to undertake to supph^ Colonel 
Hay with the beef required." The Legislature was 
guarding the independent position of the State 
in not recognizing officialh' the officer of a gov- 
ernment which would not recognize Vermont. 
Colonel Ha3^ was not prevented from buying beef 


here, if he could find anYbod\^ who would sell it to 

The numerous grants of townships in 1780, and 
after, b\^ the State, played an important part in 
increasing the necessary'- funds to defra^^ the State 
expenses and to maintain an army for the defence 
of their rights. The reader will remember that 
Congress on June 2, 1780, had declared the acts of 
Vermont in asserting her independence and in con- 
tinuing its grants of land in violation of the reso- 
lutions of Congress of the fall of 1779, were highh^ 
unwarrantable and subversive of the peace and 
w^elfare of the United States, and required the peo- 
ple of the State to forbear and abstain from all 
acts of authority, civil or military, over the resi- 
dents of Vermont, who preferred the jurisdiction 
of another State. This demand of Congress was 
regarded by the Governor and Council in the na- 
ture of a declaration of war, and the Governor 
protested against this action, and notified the 
President of Congress that Vermont would con- 
tinue her appeal to heaven and to arms. In that 
critical condition the General Assembh' of October, 
1780, determined to put Vermont on a war foot- 
ing, and gave the Board of War full power to raise 
an armj^, or call out the militia, and 133^ numerous 
land grants furnished the "sinews of w^ar." The 
disposable and ungranted land of the State and 
the improved land of Tories, were the sources of 
the revenue of the State, w^hich relieved Vermont 
from heaYj taxes. All the other States w^ere 
groaning under the burden of taxation. This con- 
dition of things in Vermont led Ira Allen to say, 


It was thought good poHcy not to la\' any taxes 
on the people, but to raise a sufficient revenue out 
of the property confiscated and the ungranted 
lands. Hence it was found that those who joined 
the British were benefactors of the State, as they 
left their property to support a government they 
were striving to destroy-. It is further to be ob- 
served, that not only the taxes and war expenses 
were paid by the sale of the enemies' propert3', but 
new and firm friends were added to the govern- 
ment. While the other States in New England were 
severely taxed to carrv on the war, Vermont had 
no taxes to pay. These circumstances greath^ 
promoted migrations into Vermont. 

This policy was systematical^ pursued. A 
printed form of petition to the General Assembly 
for a land grant, was prepared and widely circu- 
lated through New England, the middle States and 
in the Continental army. Land companies were 
formed in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island and by officers in the 
Continental army; and members of Congress 
were not excluded. This state of things caused 
General Washington in 1783, to write, "Two 
things I am sure of, namely: that they (the mem- 
bers) have a powerful interest in the New England 
States, and pursued very politic measures to 
strengthen and increase it, long before I had an^^ 
knowledge of the matter, and before the tendency 
of it was seen into or suspected, 133^ granting upon 
ver\' advantageous terms large tracts of land ; in 
which 'I am sorr^- to find, the arm}- in some degree 
have participated." Large sums were raised 


through these grants, in part, in anticipation of a 
possible contest with New York, and even with 
Congress. A committee was appointed to report 
w^hat lands could be granted and wdiat persons 
w^ould most conduce to the w^elfare of the State to 
have such grants. This shows that not only 
money was wanted, but men of influence both in 
and out of the State. The first grant recom- 
mended by the committee was that of Montpelier. 
On October 21, 1780, the House directed that the 
grant be made to Colonel Timothy Bigelow and 
Compan}^ and that the Governor and Council 
were requested to issue a grant or charter of in- 
corporation of said township of Montpelier. The 
grantees were required to pay for the grant four 
hundred and eighty pounds in hard monev or an 
equivalent in Continental currency. In some 
cases lead and flint were accepted for the grants, 
instead of hard mone^^ Alore than fifty town- 
ships were granted at the October session of 1780. 
Ira Allen's account as State Treasurer from 
March 1777, to October 1786, was, omitting shill- 
ing and pence, as follows : Continental money re- 
ceived of Commissioners : 

For confiscated property £190,433 

Lawful mone\^ received for lands granted 66,815 
State notes (bills of credit) issued 24,750 

Cash received in lawful money from taxes 38,536 
Cash received on hard mone3^ taxes 7,411 

In the year 1791, Allen reported that for that 
year the average state tax per capita was but six 
pence three farthings to each inhabitant. 

At times the militar3' strength was too small 


to protect all the settlements in the State. The 
Assembly appointed a committee to report where 
the frontier lines should be established during the 
campaign of 1781. The committee reported, on 
February 14th, 1781, "that the line of defence on 
the west side -of the Green Mountains be estab- 
lished at the forts of Pittsford and Castleton, and 
by no means to be drawn further south unless by 
urgent necessity by the opposition of a superior 
force of the enemy." 

Ebenezer VValbridge and Thomas Porter, who 
were a committee to sign bills of credit emitted b3^ 
the State, suspected that Samuel Averj^ and Ezra 
Stiles and others w'ere ''concerned in the wicked 
plan of counterfeiting said mone3%" and a war- 
rant was issued June 13, 1781, directed to Benja- 
min Fa^^, to arrest them, and bring them before 
the Governor and Council at Bennington, and "to 
make diligent search in all suspected places, and 
break locks and doors for counterfeit mone3\" 
These persons were examined and liberated. 

It has been stated in the first volume of this 
history that there were negotiations carried on 
between the authorities in Vermont with the Brit- 
ish in Canada ostensiblj^ to agree upon a cartel 
for the exchange of prisoners, and that the British 
took this opportunity^ to induce the Vermonters to 
forsake the American cause and unite with them. 
A correspondence was entered into betw^een those 
high in authority in Vermont w4th General Haldi- 
mand, the British general in Canada, on that sub- 
ject. This negotiation and correspondence, of 
whatever nature or design of it was, was kept 


within a very narrow circle, and the knowledge of 
which was intended ta be kept from the people, 
but it came very near being given to the public by 
what took place between the British General St. 
Leger and the officers commanding th^e Vermont 
troops. It w^as nscessary to keep up a show of 
hostile designs between the Vermont arnij^ and 
the British forces, therefore. General St. Leger, 
at the head of the British army from Canada, as- 
cended Lake Champlain and rested at Ticonder- 
oga. General Enos had the command of the 
troops of Vermont with his headc|uarters at Cas- 
tleton. Each army sent out scouts, and shots 
w^ere exchanged between them. Sergeant Tupper 
of the Vermont troops was killed and his body fell 
into the hands of General St. Leger who sent all 
of Tupper's clothes with an open letter to General 
Enos, informing him of his regret for the fate of 
the sergeant and made an apology for his death. 
General Enos sent the news of the arrival of St. 
Leger at Ticonderoga at the head of the British ar- 
m\',and thedeath of Tupper w^ith St. Leger's apol- 
ogy for his fate to Governor Chittenden b3^ a mes- 
senger. When the Governor received the message 
he was sitting in a large room at Charleston with 
some other persons. These jDersons were eager to 
learn of the negotiations, supposed to be carried 
on with the British, for the purpose of making an 
ill use of the information. While the message 
from General Enos was being read bj^ the Gov- 
ernor, Major Runnals, who had heard something 
about St. Leger's apology, came in and inquired 
of Ira Allen, "what was the reason that General 


St. Leger was sorry that Sergeant Tupper was 
killed." Allen said he could not tell, but observed 
"that good men were sorry when good men were 
killed or met with misfortune, which might be the 
case with "General St. Leger." This enraged Run- 
nals. Allen then requested Runnals, "to go at the 
head of his regiment, and demand the reason of 
his sorrow, and not sta3^ there asking impertinent 
questions, eating up the country's provisions, do- 
ing nothing when the frontiers were invaded." 
Other high words passed between them that drew 
the attention from the letters and message sent 
the Governor and Colonel Allen from General 
Enos and other officers. The Governor immedi- 
ately surhmoned the IJoard of War to meet in se- 
cret session at his chambers where new letters 
were made out purporting to come from General 
Enos and other officers of his army, to be used for 
the information and satisfaction of the public and 
read in Council and the Assemblj- for the originals 
and then returned to the Governor. These letters 
contained CA^erything that was in the originals ex- 
cept the negotiations had with the British which 
prudence dictated to be separared from the other 
part, that the public might not thwart the object 
of the negotiation that the Board of War and 
some leading Yermonters had in view. Soon after 
the news came of the surrender of Lord Cornwal- 
lis and his army. When this surrender was made 
known to General St. Leger he and his arm\^ re- 
turned to Canada. Thus ended the campaign of 
1781. It has been seen that the object of the 
Haldimand correspondence on the part of Ver- 


mont was to make the British believe, that if the\' 
let the northern campaign of 1781, go b}^ without 
forcing Vermont to defensive measures, Vermont 
could be induced to cast in their fortunes with 
them. While the Verm outers in fact never in- 
tended to carr\' out that purpose. It was simph' 
a ruse to get rid of the horrors of a bloody cam- 
paign. Chief Justice Samuel Church of Litchfield, 
Connecticut, in an address at Salisbur}- in that 
State in 1841 , declared that the policy of Ver- 
mont, in the Haldimand Correspondence and the 
eastern and western unions was shaped and her 
designs accomplished, by the advice of a confiden- 
tial Council and friends of Vermont, assembled at 
the house of Governor Wolcott in the village of 
Litchfield, Connecticut. 

In May 1782, seventeen British prisoners w^ere 
taken to Canada and exchanged for fortv citizens 
of Vermont and neighboring States who had been 
captured b^^ the British. 

John Murry, 4th Earl of Dunmore, who was 
born in 1732, and descended in the female line from 
the house of Stuart, and who succeeded to the 
peerage in 1756, was made Governor of New 
York, in January' 1770. While Governor of New 
York, in a period of less than five months between 
February' 28th and JuU^ 8th, 1771, he granted 
lands in Vermont to the amount of 511,900 acres, 
all of which had been previously granted b\' Gov. 
Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire; of this 
quantity- of land, 51,000 acres were granted, in 
the name of other persons, for himself. His fees 
for these grants amounted to $14,248.44. 


The titles of land under the New Hampshire 
o^rants were incidentally confirmed, at least, by the 
British board, \Yhich had jurisdiction of land ti- 
tles in America, eighteen 3'ears after the King and 
Council on the 24th day of July, 1767, com- 
manded that the Governor of Xe\v York was not 
to make any grant of any part of the land known 
as the New Hampshire Grants. On December 24, 
1786, John Munro of Shaftsbury wrote to James 
Duane that he had been to England to get com- 
pensation for loss of his property- ; that in Septem- 
ber 1785, the Commissioners awarded him a piti- 
ful sum, having made large deductions from his 
claim; and he declared that "we discovered that 
the deduction was owing to the New Hampshire 
claims covering the most part^of m^- propert3\" 

Joel Bigelow, Elijah Prouty and William Shat- 
tuck were returned b\^ the Cumberland County 
Committee of Safe t\' to the session of Januar_v 21, 
1784, of the New York Convention ; the^^ were the 
last representatives of Cumberland County in 
New York. 

In 1791, an act was passed that ever\^ pos- 
sessor of improved land should cut the thistles in 
the month of Julv or August in each ^xar and a 
penal t\^ not exceeding thirty shillings for each neg- 
lect, ^vith costs of prosecution. 

The first reward offered Vc the Assembly for 
the detection of crime was in 1791. On the night 
of October 6th, 1791, the Windham County court 
house was burned, and on the 24th of October fol- 
lowing that of the County of Windsor was also 
burned. The Assemblv advised Governor Thomas 


Chittenden to ofter a reward of five hundred dol- 
lars for detection of the incendiaries, and the Gov- 
ernor, accordingly, issued his proclamation. 

An act in 1791, was passed to meet the con- 
scientious scruples of the Quakers. It was en- 
acted that "Whereas the people called the Quak- 
ers, living in this State, have petitioned the Legis- 
lature, informing them that they feel a tenderness in 
their conscience with respect topaj^Ing taxes in the 
expenditure of which, sums of money are paid to 
the Chaplains of the General Assembly; and where- 
as this Legislature are ever willing to show their 
readiness to comply with the seasonable request 
of all such people as may think their rights of con- 
science infringed on." Therefore it was enacted 
that such sum as may be necessary for that pur- 
pose, shall be paid out of the avails of fines and 
penalties laid by the Supreme Court. 




In the year 1774, to get rid of the Colon.v of 
New Y^ork, a plan was formed by Colonel Ethan 
Allen, Amos Bird, Colonel Philip Skene and other 
principal characters among the people, to establish 
a new royal colon3% which was to contain the 
Grants of New Hampshire west of the Connecti- 
cut River and the country north of the Mohawk 
River to latitude 45° north, and to be bounded 
w^est by Iroquois River and Lake Ontario. Skene 
had been an officer in his Majesty's service, and 
had retired on a large patent of land Mng at the 
south end of Lake Champlain, which was called 
Skenesboro (now Whitehall) which was regarded 
as a proper site for the capital of the new colony' 
of which Skene w^as proposed to be Governor. 
W'ith this in view he went to London, at his own 
expense, to accomplish that object. Had he suc- 
ceeded, important results would have come to 
individuals and to the public. If that event had 
taken place the people who settled under the ro^-al 
grants of New Hampshire w^ould have been quiet, 
and relieved from the oppressive conduct of the 
Governor and Council of the Colony of New 



At London Colonel Skene ofot himself ap- 
pointed Governor of the garrisons of Ticonderoga 
and Crown Point, and then was advised to delay 
making application for the charter of a new col- 
ony, and first bring forward a petition from the 
people living in the proposed colons- to the King 
and Privy Coimcil, stating therein, "that in order 
to restore harmony in said district and for the 
convenience of administering justice in a depart- 
ment ver\' remote and extensive, his Majesty 
would be pleased to establish the territory afore- 
said, with colonial privileges, and appoint Colonel 
Philip Skene Governor thereof." At that time 
matters seemed favorable for the establishing of a 
new colon}', but soon the approaching war in 
America put an end to the negotiations for a 
royal colony- that was to surround that impor- 
tant bod\' of water, Lake Champlain. This was 
a separate project from the attempt to form the 
west union with Vermont. It has been asserted 
that Colonel Skene actually obtained a charter for 
Skene's Province, but no actual proof has ever 
been produced of its actual existence, and it is 
probable that the then approaching Revolution- 
ary War served to put an end to the whole scheme 
before the charter was actualh^ granted. 

It was resolved by the Governor and Council 
June 19, 1781, "that Mr. Samuel Sherman be em- 
plo3'ed to ride post from his Excellency's in Arling- 
ton to Camp Headquarters at Castleton once a 
week for three months from the date hereof, to go 
up one road hj the way of Tinmouth and return 
bv wav of Pawlet ; that for his encouragement he 


be allowed fourteen shillings per week out of this 
State's treasury, he to convey all public letters 
and dispatches free of all other expenses." 

On June 9, 1785 articles of impeachment were 
laid before the Council by Stephen R. Bradle3^, 
loursuant to an act of the General Assembly 
passed October 16th, 1783, against John Barrett, 
a Justice of the Peace of Springfield, for mal-ad- 
ministration in office for rendering judgement and 
corruptl_v awarding execution in suit against one 
Holmes, at the suit of one Shaw when he knew 
the parties had settled and Shaw had given or- 
ders to have the suit withdrawn, and for cor- 
ruptly rendering judgement and awarding execu- 
tion against one Prouty of Brattleboro, when he 
knew said Prouty had been dead for three 3^ears. 
Barrett was tried and found guilt\^ and asked 
that his case might be reviewed, w^hich request 
was denied by the Council, but by an act of the 
Assembly a rehearing was granted. A new trial 
was had and he was found guilty again on Octo- 
ber 24, 1785, and suspended from office for 
six months, and ordered to ps-j the costs of 

When Gov. Chittenden was declared elected for 
another year in October, 1784 ,for Governor of 
the State, he made a congratulatory- speech on the 
ratification of the Articles of Peace between Great 
Britain and the United States. The ceremonies 
attending tlie inauguration were unusually impos- 
ing, the account of which in the Vermont Journal 
\vas as follows, viz. : 

"On the 14th instant, (being the second Thurs- 


day of October,) the annual General Election of 
this State was held at Rutland. In the morning, 
a compan\" of troops, completely equipped, and 
dressed uniformly in scarlet, from Col. Clark's 
regiment of Rutland, proceeded to Wallingford, 
where the^^ met his Excellency- and a part of the 
honorable Council, whom they escorted to Rut- 
land. The attention of the officers, and the alert- 
ness and activity of the privates, was parallel to 
that of veteran troops — orders were given wdth 
judgment, and executed with precision. About 11 
o'clock the\^ proceeded to the meeting-house, 
w-here a sermon was preached, b^^ the Rev. Job 
Swift of Manchester, very suitable to the occa- 
sion. In the afternoon. Col. Clark's regiment of 
foot, the horse, and a company- of artillery were 
paraded, when the w-hole w^ere reviewed b\' his 
Excellency ; after which thirteen cannon were fired 
for the United States, and a fourteenth for Ver- 
mont, succeeded b_v an equal number of voUies 
from the foot and horse. The militia then pa- 
raded at proper distances from each other, the 
troop rode through, & the usual firings were per- 
formed — at the same time regular discharges were 
given by the artillery-, w^hich added a grace and 
dignity to the maneuvers. Indeed the w^hole exer- 
cises of the da^' w^ere such as did honor to the 

The town of Wilmington was first chartered 
to Phineas L^^man of New Hampshire April 29, 
1751, but on the ground that the conditions of 
the charter had not been complied with, New 
Hampshire again chartered the town, by the 


name of Draper to Francis liarnard and sixty 
others June 17, 1763. Subsequently the name 
was changed to Wilmington again. 

The first Council of Censors, the election of 
whom was declared Maj^ 6, 1785, were as fol- 
lows, viz. : The Hon. Ebenezer Walbridge, Jona- 
than Brace, Alicah Townsend, Ebenezer Marvin, 
Increase Mosel3% Elijah Robinson, Joseph Marsh, 
Ebenezer Curtis, John Sessions, Jonathan Hunt, 
Benjamin Carpenter, Stephen Jacobs and Lewis 
Beebe, Esquires. The Convention called by the 
first Council of Censors met at Manchester on the 
last Thursda3^ in June, 1786, and adopted part of 
the amendments of the Constitution which had 
been proposed by the Censors. The General As- 
sembly, October 20, 1786, ' 'Resolved that the 
Committee appointed by the Convention for pre- 
paring the Constitution for the press, lay before 
the General Assembly at their next session the 
journal of said Convention in order to see if some 
particular sections of the Constitution are not 
omitted through mistake." From this it would 
seem that the Constitution was redrafted by a 
Committee of the Convention, so as to incorpor- 
ate the amendments. The Constitution was 
signed b3^ order of the Convention Jul^' 4, 1786, by 
Moses Robinson, president, and Elijah Paine, sec- 
retar\^, and first printed in the Vermont Journal, 
from August to October, 1786. 

From a letter written by Jacob Ba^dey Octo- 
ber 28, 1787, to Gov. Clinton of New York, it ap- 
pears that Clinton had, or claimed to have, an in- 
terest in considerable land in Vermont, which 


shows the ground of his hostility to the indepen- 
dence of Vermont. Bayley had become a member 
of the Vermont Council ; he wrote Gov. Clinton 
asking pay for his sufferings in behalf of New 
York. He wrote him that "Your land in New- 
bury is safe — have secured Hillsborough [part of 
Danville] all others on the York grant is gone, or 
at least granted by this State. If I could have 
had a plan or map of your claim I might have 
saved some. John Kelle3^ has a grant of St. 
George (formerl3^ Shelb_vvale) and now Lowell, 
and says it is all his. I wish to know and have 
the bounds set." Gov. Clinton claimed land in 
Cavendish under a New York grant. Hillsbor- 
ough covered about one half of the present town 
of Danville, which was chartered by Vermont to 
Bayley and his associates October 31, 1786. The 
name of Gov. Clinton did not appear in the list of 
persons who were compensated for land out of 
the Vermont fund that New York received on sur- 
rendering her claim to Vermont territory : hence 
he either disposed of his claim to others or forbore 
to make it known, lest he might be charged with 
pecuniar\^ interest in his persistent opposition to 
the independence of Vermont. 

In 1788, the several towns were assessed each 
their proper portion of the expense of surveying 
town lines and cutting roads. 

In those early days the Governor was received 
at the opening of the General Assembly with a 
good deal of pomp and military demonstration. 
An account of Gov. Chittenden's journey to meet 
the Assemblv in 1789, as stated in the Vermont 


Journal of October 14, 1789, was as follows, viz. : 
*'0n the da\^ preceeding the meeting of the two 
houses Gov. Chittenden was met at Hartland by 
a company of cavalr3^ commanded by Captain 
Elisha Hawle_Y of Windsor, and safeh^ escorted to 
Westminster, where he met the General AssembU^ 
of this State. The3^ were supplied with ever\^ nec- 
essary while on the road (which was two da^^s,) 
and on their return home, at his Excellency's ex- 
pense." The election sermon was delivered by 
Rev. Dan. Foster of Northfield. 

In the early history of Vermont there was no 
law that required that the representatives to the 
General Assembly should be residents of the town 
they represented. In 1789 Hon. Noah Smith, a 
resident of Bennington, represented the town of 
Johnson. There ma^^ have been other instances. 
It is claimed that Highgate was represented b\' 
John Knickerbacor, a non-resident, in 1790, 1791 
and 1792. 

There was no choice of Governor bj^ the people 
in 1789, whereupon the Council and the Assembly 
met in grand Committee and chose Moses Robin- 
son, Esq., Governor, but the next year Thomas 
Chittenden was again elected Governor b\^ the 
people by a majority of near 1300 votes. 

Gov. Robinson, on quitting the supreme magis- 
tracy October 14, 1790, addressed the gentlemen 
of the Council and the House of Representatives 
as follows, viz. : 

"At the last annual election of the officers of 
this government, there was no choice made b\' the 
freemen of the supreme magistrate of the state ; it 


was therefore the duty of the council and house of 
representatives, by their joint ballot, to elect some 
person to that office; it was the pleasure of the 
two houses to honor me with the appointment, of 
which I cheerfulh' accepted, and am conscious to 
myself that I have faithfully discharged m^' duty 
in the execution of that trust. 

"It appears from the present election, that the 
freemen have given their suffrages in favor of his 
excellenc\' governor Chittenden. I heartih^ ac- 
quiesce in the choice, and shall, with the greatest 
satisfaction, retire to private life, where I expect 
to enjo3^ that peace which naturalh^ results from 
a consciousness of having done my dut}'. 

"The freemen have an undoubted right, when 
they see it for the benefit of the communit\^ to call 
forth their citizens from behind the curtain of pri- 
vate life, and make them their rulers, and for the 
same reason to dismiss them at pleasure and elect 
others in their place. This privilege is essential to 
all free, and to republican governments. As a cit- 
izen I trust I shall ever feel for the interest of the 
state : the confidence the freemen have repeatedh^ 
placed in me ever since the first formation of gov- 
ernment, laj's me under additional obligation to 
promote their true interest. 

"Fellow citizens of the legislature, I wish you 
the benediction of heaven in the prosecution of the 
important business of the present session ; that all 
3^our consultations ma^^ terminate for the glorv of 
God and the interest of the citizens of this state, 
and that both those in public and private life may 
so conduct, in the several spheres in which God in 


His providence shall call them to act, as that, 
when death shall close the scene of life, we may 
each of us have the satisfaction of a good con- 
science and the approbation of our Judge." 

The House through its speaker, Gideon Olin, 
made the following answer, viz. : — 

"Although the suffrages of the freemen of Ver- 
mont have replaced his excellenc\^ Governor Chit- 
tenden in the chair of government, for the year en- 
suing, yet their representatives in general assem- 
bly are happ^^ in having an opportunit\^ of ex- 
pressing their entire satisfaction with 3^our late 
administration ; and beg you to accept their 
warmest thanks for the services you have ren- 
dered them. 

"In republics like ours, ever\^ citizen has an 
equal right to be elected into the first ofhce of gov- 
ernment : upon this principle, we flatter ourselves 
you will feel no regret in retiring from office, and 
mixing with 3'our fellow citizens, till the\' shall 
again call you to public view. 

"In your retirement, we wish 3^ou the full en- 
jo3MTient of all the happiness and tranquility which 
result from domestic life, and a consciousness of 
having discharged every duty both as a private 
citizen and a chief magistrate with faithfulness 
and integrity." 

On the return of Gov. Chittenden to the exec- 
utive chair he was honored b}' the militar^^ dis- 
play and public gathering usual on election da^^ 
at that time, and he addressed the gentlemen of 
the Council and the Assembl3' as follows, viz. : — 

"I have received official information of my ap- 


pointment by the freemen of this state to be their 
governor for the year ensuing. M^^ heart is im- 
prest with a grateful sense of the singular respect 
shewn and honor done me bj^ this election. 

"This da^' witnesses the excellence and beaut\' 
of our glorious constitution; which by the bless- 
ing of heaven, the fortitude and perseverance of 
former couA^entions, councils, and assemblies, with 
the aid of the militar\^ force, we have obtained 
and supported, against the opposition of a potent 
foreign power, a haughty neighboring govern- 
ment, and numerous domestic opposers. The 
constitution, gentlemen, groped in the dark 
for daA^s, months and years, but now it shines 
with purer lustre. By it our lives, properties, 
liberties and privileges, civil and religious, are 
protected : B\^ it we retain a right to choose our 
own rulers and that from among ourselves ;-b3' it 
we are rescued from submitting to the edicts of 
any foreign power, or neighboring government, 
while every civil officer is annually taught his de- 
pendence. The appeara.nce of this da\^ also 
evinces, that our government is well established, 
the minds of the people happily cemented, and ev- 
ery thing contributes to complete our political 
felicity, and prepare the way for the happ}' day 
when we shall add no small weight to the scale, 
and be under the protection of a new and glorious 
empire, which bids fair in a short time to vie in 
power and policv with any of the European 
States, which gives me more satisfaction than all 
the honors in the power of this or any other state 
to confer on me. 


*'It is with some reluctance that I shall enter 
again into public service, all circumstances consid- 
ered ; 3'et the good of this people lies so near my 
heart, that when duty calls, nothing shall deter 
me from acting that part I judge will contribute 
most to the peace, happiness and prosperitj^ of the 
people. Therefore with a firm reliance on receiv- 
ing that kind aid and support from the Council 
and House of Representatives that the nature of 
my office requires, I shall accept the office to 
which I am elected, and am read3^ to take the qual- 
ifications pointed out b3^ the constitution ; and I 
pra\" God to grant me wisdom to conduct agree- 
able to His will, and then I trust it will be for the 
best good of His and my people." 



Previous to 1724, the territory now called Ver- 
mont was an entire wilderness, and down to that 
time there were no traces of human existence 
within her borders except an occasional residence 
of the Indian. The soil for ages had been enriched 
with decaj'ing vegetables. This was the situation 
of the country when it began to be the abode of 
civilized man. Lands were cheap. The first set- 
tlers \vere principalh^ emigrants from New Eng- 
land and for the most part of an English origin, 
which accounts for the adoption of English cus- 
toms and laws hereafter mentioned. All the dan- 
gers and hardships incident to pioneer life and 
new settlements in a vast wilderness surrounded 
by savages and exposed to want, were encount- 
ered by the settlers. None but energetic, hardy 
and brave men and women would seek homes in 
the then unbroken wilderness of Vermont ; but 
they came and arose above the perplexing difticul- 
ties that beset them. They had high ideas of lib- 
erty and independence and great confidence in 
their abilities w^hich served to carry them through 
the hardships of the early settlements and the try- 
ing ordeal through which they had to pass in 
their controversy^, not only with Great Britain, but 
w4th New York, that has been so fullv delineated 



in this and the previous volume. Man3' of the 
first settlers were men of superior talents though 
unpolished. Their traits of character always 
marked their action and proceedings in the Coun- 
cil and the field and fitted them to inaugurate and 
maintain their town and State governments that 
the3^ afterwards set up for themselves. The first 
settlers did not come here w^ith the views of estab- 
lishing an independent government, but to culti- 
vate the soil, to make themselves homes and pro- 
cure a competency for themselves and their chil- 
dren. It was not so much a matter to them, 
w^hether the^^ should be under the government of 
New^ Hampshire or New^ York, provided thej^ were 
permitted to enjoy, unmolested, the hard earned 
fruits of their industr3'. With this view in mind 
thej' paid for their lands and took the title of the 
same b3^ grants from the Governor of New Hamp- 
shire wnth a confident reliance that the title 
thereto, derived from the Crown, was w^ithout a 
flaw. When New York claimed the3^ had a supe- 
rior right to their lands and sought to dispossess 
them of it, the settlers' onh- alternative was to 
make a determined resistence, and resorted to the 
law of self defence. New York seemed to adopt 
the principle that might made right. The set- 
tlers, therefore, said, We recognize no authority 
coming from New York, but we wnll establish our 
own law^s and maintain our rights b3' force of 
arms if need be. 

At this time there w^as no state government 
worth3^ of a name. When New York made her 
claim to the lands to Connecticut River, New 


Hampshire soon withdrew her claim to the terri- 
tory and consequently her protection to its inhab- 
itants. This left nothing but town governments 
apart from New York. These towns on the New 
Hampshire Grants were small republics. There 
was no other regular government in the State. 
Everything was unsettled ; there was no social 
compact, nor an3^ bond of union save that which 
resulted from common wants and common dan- 
ger of the people, but it was a strong bond 
created out of urgent necessity. Ever3^ arm of the 
settlers w^as nerved for resistance against New 
York. The settlers fell back upon their natural 
rights and the law springing from them. To give 
effect to these rights and the resistence, town 
meetings were called through the grants ; com- 
mittees of Safety were appointed, to act in behalf 
of the people in the defence of their rights in the 
absence of a State government. Conventions were 
called in which different towns were represented 
by their town committees or delegates. From 
these organizations decrees went forth for the 
maintenance of the rights of the Grants, and espc- 
pecially against the actions of the Yorkers, which 
w^ere enforced hj the application of the beech seal. 
The executors of these decrees became a terror to 
evil doers. 

Until the adoption of the Constitution in 1777, 
the people were governed by the most despotic 
power, and but little regard was paid to such 
laws as exist in well regulated governments. Af- 
ter the government of the State was organized un- 


der the Constitution in 1778, the people be^^an to 
live under. laws enacted by the General Assembly 
which reflected the will of the people, and not lon- 
ger under arbitrar3^ power. The people saw the 
necessity of having a government of law. So 
much of the common law of England as w^as ap- 
plicable to our local situation and circumstances, 
and not repugnant to the Constitution and 
laws of the State, was adopted and consid- 
ered the law of this State. This was a wise pro- 
vision, as the common law had grown up and ex- 
panded, little b^^ little, through a long term of 
3'ears to meet the wants and necessities of the peo- 
ple. At the October session of the Assembly of 
1788, an Act was passed constituting a Court of 
Chancerv. "It was enacted that a Court of Chan- 
cery be constituted within and for the State of 
Vermont to be holden in the several Counties at 
the several terms and places appointed bA^ law for 
holding the Supreme Court of judicature of this 
State in each and every County. And the judges 
of the Supreme Court of judicature as aforesaid, 
two of whom to be a quorum, and they are here- 
by constituted and appointed judges as chancellors 
of said court with all the powders exercised by that 
court in the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 
neighboring States, not repugnant to the Consti- 
tution. And that all bills or matters heretofore 
brought and depending before a Court of Equity 
in this State and undetermined be taken up in the 
same stage in which they were left b3' said former 

The Act of the General Assemblv at its October 


session in 1786, constituting the Supreme Court, 
a Court of Equity, repealed the Act of October 22, 
1779, that authorized the Governor and Council 
and General Assembly to try certain cases in eq- 

Thomas Chittenden on taking the oath of office 
as Governor on the 14th of October, 1779, made a 
speech before the General Assembly, the noble 
words of which are worth3^ of record, and are as 
follows: viz., — 

The Legislature having constitutionalh^ met, I 
cannot forbear expressing to v^ou my highest sat- 
isfaction in the many great and important advan- 
tages arising from the due execution and careful 
administration of the laws, since they took place, 
and cannot but rejoice when I reflect on the infin- 
ite diffenence between a state of anarch^' and that 
of a well regulated government; the latter of 
which we dail}- experience. And I most earnestl^^ 
recommend to all magistrates, and others in au- 
thority under me, together with the freemen over 
whom I have the honor to preside, to persevere 
and let their conduct be uniforml\^ just, and up- 
right, and encourage one another to unite iu the 
supporting and maintaining their common rights ; 
which cannot fail to recommend this State to the 
impartial world. At the same time am unhappy 
to inform you that, notwithstanding the generous 
and lenient measures with which the disaffected 
inhabitants in the lower part of Cumberland 
County have been indulged, yet the^' continue in 
their unjustifiable obstinacy against the authority 


of this State; I shall, however, recommend the 
suspension of the laws intended to have been ex- 
ecuted on those offenders, at present, in conse- 
quence of a letter received from his Excellency 
John Jay, Esquire, President of Congress, inclos- 
ing certain acts passed b^^ that honorable board, 
relating to a final settlement of all difference sub- 
sisting between this and the adjacent States; 
which I now submit to you for 3'our considera- 
tion ; a subject of the greatest importance, and de- 
mands 3"our most serious attention. 

"Your agents to Congress have attended, 
agreeable to their instructions, from time to time. 
Their proceedings I shall now la^^ before 3'ou for 
\'our perusal and approbation ; which, I hope, will 
prove satisfactory. From every circumstance, I 
think w^e have the highest reason to believe that 
from the efforts of our agents and the interposi- 
tion of Congress, our unhappy disputes w^ith the 
neighboring States, will soon terminate in a final 
and happy issue. 

"With respect to the present situation of the 
domestic affairs of the State, it is w4th pleasure 
that I inform you that the measures pursued by 
the Board of War, b3^ the assistance of Divine 
Providence, have proved effectually sufficient to 
defend our frontiers, against the ravages of the 
common enem3% while the^^ have been permitted 
to execute their horrid vengeance on man^^ of the 
innocent inhabitants of the different parts of the 
continent; w^hich, in some measure, proves the ap- 
probation of Heaven to our Independence, and 
justifies the measures pursued to support and de- 


fend it. As the time for which the troops now in 
service, are engaged, expires the middle of Novem- 
ber next, 3^ou will be careful to make such provi- 
sions lor future defense, as your wisdom shall 

The act specialh- referred to was that of June 

1779, to prevent persons from exercising author- 
ity^ unless lawfully authorized by the State, w^hich, 
though general in terms was specialh^ aimed 
against all persons w^ho should attempt to act 
in the name and by the authorit^^ of New York, 
and was as follows : viz., 

"Be it enacted, &c. that if an^^ person with- 
in this State, (except continental officers) shall, af- 
ter the first day of September next, accept, hold, 
or exercise any office, either civil or military, from 
or under any authority-, other than is or shall be 
derived from this State, and be thereof duly con- 
victed, shall, for the first offense, pay a fine not ex- 
ceeding one hundred pounds, lawful mone^^ ac- 
cording to the discretion of the court which may 
have cognizance thereof; and for the second* of- 
fence of the like kind, shall be whipped on the 
naked bod3^ not exceeding fort^^ stripes, according 
to the discretion of the court before whom the3' 
are prosecuted: and for the third offence, shall 
have their right ear nailed to a post, and cut off; 
and be [branded in the forehead with the capital 
letter C, on a hot iron. This act to continue in 
force until the rising of the Assembly in October, 

1780, and no longer." 

On March 23, 1778, the Assembly passed an act 
to pay the surgeons for dressing the wounds of 


the soldiers of this State that were wounded in 
the Bennington action. After the laws that had 
been enacted and promulgated in 1779, his Excel-' 
lencv Thomas Chittenden issued his proclamation 
requiring their due observance and was as fol- 
lows: viz., 

"Whereas, The virtuous efforts and laudable 
exertions of the good people of this State, have 
not only enabled them (b\^ the benevolent interpo- 
sition of the all- wise Governor of the universe) to 
frustrate the wicked devices, the despotic and t}-- 
rannical designs of their foreign as well as domes- 
tic enemies, but has procured to themselves the in- 
estimable blessings of a free and independent gov- 
ernment, and merited the esteem and confidence of 
the United States of America. 

"And Whereas, it has ever been found (by uni- 
versal experience) in all free governments, to be of 
the highest importance, both for the honor of God, 
the advancement of religion, and the peace, safet\^, 
and tranquility of the inhabitants thereof, that 
good and wholesome laws be established, and jus- 
tice impartially 'administered throughout the 
same, in order to secure each subject in the peace- 
able enjo_vment of his rights and liberties both 
civil and religious. And whereas the laws of this 
State are now promulgated in a full and legal 
manner amongst the inhabitants thereof, whereby 
each subject may become acquainted with his 
duty : 

'T have therefore thought fit, by and with the 
advice of my Council, and at the request of the 
General Assemblv, to issue this Proclamation, and 


do hereby strictly require, charge and command 
all persons, of what quality- or denomination so- 
ever, residing within this State, to take notice 
thereof, and govern themselves accordingly, on 
pain of incurring the penalties therein contained. 

''And I do hereby further strictl3^ require and 
commannd all magistrates and justices of the 
peace, sheriffs, constables, and other civil officers, 
to be active and vigilant in executing the laws 
aforesaid, without partiality-, favor or affection. 

"Given under m^^ hand, and the seal of this 
State, in the Council Chamber, in Bennington, 
this 26th day of February, in the third 3'ear of the 
Independency of this and the United States of 
America, and in the year of our Lord, one thous- 
and seven hundred and sevent\'-nine. 

B3' his Excellency- 's command, with advice of 
Council. Joseph Fay, Secy. 


The earh- laws of Vermont are not only inter- 
esting subjects of stud\', but they throw much light 
on the habits and disposition of the people, show- 
ing their independence and spirit of patriotism 
and showing a disposition to deal severely with 
those who were disobedient, lawless, and dis- 
loyal to the government. There appears to 
have been but little Statute law enacted, b^- the 
Genenal Assembly, except that which was intend- 
ed for a temporary- purpose, until 1779. The fol- 
lowing note found in Slade's State Papers throws 
light on this point : viz. — 

"Much exertion has been made to obtain acop3' 


of the laws of 1778, — but without effect. They 
were published towards the close of that 3'ear, in 
a pamphlet form, but were never recorded in the 
Secretaire's office. No records appear to have been 
made in that office until the 3'ear 1779 ; when the 
Constitution, and the laws of that 3'ear were re- 
corded. The laws of 1778, were probably de- 
clared to be temporary — as were the laws of sev- 
eral succeeding years — and ceased to have effect 
before any records were made. Some of them, in- 
deed, were, obvioush^ designed to answer a tem- 
porary purpose onlv, — such as the acts, enacting 
certain laws 'as they stand on the Connecticut 
law book ;' and all appear, so far as we can learn 
from the journals of the legislature, to have pos- 
sessed the character of mere temporary regula- 
tions, rather than permanent laws. Some of them 
were probably re-enaeted, in substance, in the 
year 1779, and incorporated in the general code of 
that year. These considerations may explain the 
extraordinary^ fact that the recording of those 
laws was purposely omitted. It is indeed a subject 
of regret that an}^ cause should have been thought 
sufficient to justifj^ a neglect, by which the first es- 
saje at legislation, by the government of Vermont, 
has been lost to succeeding generations." 

An act for securing the general privileges of the 
people, and establishing common law and the 
Constitution, as part of the laws of the State was 
passed at the Februar^^ Session of the Assembly 
1779, held at Bennington, and was as follows: 
viz. — 

"Forasmuch as the free fruition of such liber- 


ties and privileo^es as humanity, civility, and chris- 
tianit\' call for, as due to every man, in his place 
and proportion, without impeachment and in- 
fringement, hath been, and ever will be, the tran- 
quillity^ and stability of churches and common- 
wealths ; and the denial or deprival thereof, the 
disturbance, if not ruin of both: 

"Be it enacted, and it is hereby enacted, by the 
representatives of the freemen of the State of Ver- 
mont, in General Assemble met, and by the au- 
thority^ of the same, that no man's life shall be 
taken away; no man's honor or good name 
stained; no man's person shall be arrested, re- 
strained, banished, dismembered, nor any w-ays 
punished ; no man shall be deprived of his wife or 
children; no man's goods or estates shall be taken 
awav from him, nor any wa3'S indamaged, under 
colour of law, or countenance of authoritj^ ; unless 
it be by virtue of some express law of this State, 
w^arranting the same, established b^- the General 
Assembly; or, in case of the defect of such law^, in 
an\' particular case, by some plain rule, war- 
ranted b3' the Word of God. 

"That all the people of the American States, 
within this State, wdiether the\^ be inhabitants or 
not, shall enjoy the same justice and law that is 
general for this State, in all cases proper for the 
cognizance of the civil authority- and courts of ju- 
dicature, in the same, and that without partialit\^ 
ordela\^; and that no man's person shall be re- 
strained or imprisoned, by an\^ authority w^hat- 
ever, before the law hath sentenced him thereto, if 
he can and will put in sufficient security, bail, or 


mainprize, for his appearance, and good behav- 
iour, in the mean time; unless it be lor capital 
crimes, contempt in open court, or in such cases 
wherein some express law doth allow of, or order 
the same. 

"Be it further enacted bj the authority- afore- 
said, that common law, as it is generalh^ practiced 
and understood in the New-England States, be, 
and is hereby established as the common law of 
this State. 

"Be it further enacted b^^ the authorit^^ afore- 
said, that the constitution of this State, as estab- 
lished b\^ general convention held at Windsor, July 
and December, 1777, together with, and agreeable 
to, such alterations and additions as shall be 
made in such constitution agreeable to the 44th 
section in the plan of government, shall be for- 
ever considered, held, and maintained, as part of 
the laws of this State." 

The last clause of this act that the constitution 
''shall be forever considered, held, and maintained 
as a part of the laws of this State," would seem 
to be a work of supererogation, as the constitu- 
tion was the fundamental law of the land. This 
singular proceeding can onlv be accounted for 
from the fact, as we have seen by the former vol- 
ume of this history, that the constitution had 
never been submitted to or sanctioned b}" the peo- 
ple, but went into operation as it came from the 
hands of the convention that framed it. 

At the said session the Assembh^ passed a law 
giving Justices of the Peace jurisdiction to tr\^ and 
determine causes where the matter in demand or 


fine did not exceed ten pounds, or the corporal 
punishment did not exceed ten lashes ; and award 
sentence where the title of land was not con- 
cerned. If the matter in demand, fine or pun- 
ishment, exceeded what is stated above, the 
count3^ court had exclusive jurisdiction. The in- 
fliction of corporal punishment was the practice of 
barbarous ages. The fact that that mode of pun- 
ishment has gone out of date is an indication that 
the world is rising into a higher state of civiliza- 
tion. At the Februar^^ session 1779, the General 
Assembh" constituted and established one Supe- 
rior Court for the State, consisting of one Chief 
Judge and four other judges. This was at a time 
when there were but two Counties in the State ; 
and for that year the Superior Courts were to be 
held at Westminster and New^bury in the Countv 
of Cumberland and at Bennington and Rutland in 
the County of Bennington. 

The statute w^as quite severe against persons 
for breaking open jails and rescuing prisoners. 
The statute on this subject was as follows : viz., 

''That if an3^ person, or persons, shall impede 
or hinder any officer, judicial or executive, civil or 
military, under the authoritj^ of this State, in the 
execution of his office ; on conviction thereof be- 
fore the superior court of this State, shall be 
whipped on the naked back, not exceeding one 
hundred lashes for the first offence, and pay all 
costs and damages that shall accrue from such 
disorder, beside cost of prosecution: and for want 
of estate to pay said costs, damages, &c. the of- 
fender ma^' be bound in service to any subject of 


this State, for such time as shall be judged b^^ said 
court to be sufficient to pay said costs, damages, 
&c. And said court are hereb\^ authorized to bind 
said delinquent. 

''Be it further enacted, b^^ the authority 
aforesaid, that if any person shall be guilty- of a 
second offence of the like nature, and shall be con- 
victed thereof, he shall be branded with the letter 
C on the forehead, and shall be whipped on the 
naked back, not exceeding one hundred lashes ; to 
be repeated every time of conviction. 

"Be it further enacted, by the authorit3^ afore- 
said, that if any person or persons, either directly 
or indirecth', shall break open, or aid or assist in 
breaking open, any goal, or place of confinement, 
wherein an^^ prisoner or prisoners ma^^ be confined 
b3^ the authority of this State, on conviction 
thereof, shall be whipped on the naked back, not 
exceeding one hundred lashes, and be branded on 
the forehead with the letter B, and pay a fine, not 
exceeding one hundred pounds, and all costs and 
damages that may accrue from such disorder, to- 
gether with cost of prosecution ; and for want of 
estate to pa}- said costs and damages, the offender 
may be bound in service as aforesaid. 

"That the superior court, before the dismission 
of such delinquent, may call on him to give bonds, 
in suret3' , not exceeding three thousand pounds^ 
for his good behavior : and in case such delinquent 
shall refuse to give such suret3% said court are 
hereby empowered to confine such delinquent in 
any of the goals in this State." 

In the earlv davs of Vermont it was not safe to 


be idle, as it was enacted by the General Assembly 
in Februar_v, 1779, "that the selectmen for the 
time being, in the several towns in this State, 
shall from time to time, diligently inspect the af- 
fairs and management of all persons in their 
town, whether householders or others; and if 
the3^ shall find any person or persons that are 
likeh' to be reduced to want, by idleness, misman- 
agement or bad husbandr^^ that then such select- 
men may appoint an overseer to advise, direct, 
and order such person in the management of their 
business for such a time or times as the}- shall 
think proper; certificate of which appointment 
shall be set on the sign post, and a cop3^ thereof 
lodged in the town clerk's ofiice, by such select- 
men forthwith ; and thereupon no such person, 
while under such appointment, shall be able to 
make any bargain, or contract without the con- 
sent of such overseer, that shall be valid in law." 
There were further provisions made bv the act 
that if the orders of the overseer were not heeded, 
the selectmen after investigation and hearing duh' 
had w^ere to take care of the delinquent's family 
and property-. 

The constant danger to which the people of 
the State were exposed from foes without and dis- 
loj^al persons within the State required that sev- 
eral regiments of well drilled militia should be 
ready for service in defence of the State : There- 
fore it was provided by an act of Februar\^ 1779, 
that the Governor should be captain general and 
commander-in-chief and the deputy governor, for 
the time being, should be major general, of and 


over all the militan- forces within the State. The 
State was divided into five districts, and one reg- 
iment to be raised in each district, to be made up 
from the military companies of the several towns 
in the district. It was further provided that all 
male persons, from sixteen 3'ears of age to fifty 
should bear arms and duh' attend all musters and 
militarv exercises where they belonged, "except 
ministers of the Gospel, councellors, justices of the 
peace, the secretar\^ judges of probate and supe- 
rior and inferior courts, the president, tutors, and 
students at collegiate schools, masters of arts, al- 
lowed ph3^sicians and surgeons, representatives or 
deputies, for the time being, school masters, attor- 
ne3-s at law, one miller to each grist-mill, sheriffs, 
and constables, for the time being, constant jury- 
men, tanners who make it their constant business, 
lamed persons, or others disabled in body." 

It was also provided, "That every listed soldier 
and other householder, shall always be provided 
wdth, and have in constant readiness, a well fixed 
firelock, the barrel not less than three feet and a 
half long, or other good firearms, to the satisfac- 
tion of the commissioned officers of the companv 
to which he doth belong, or in the limits of which 
he dwells; a good sword, cutlass, tomahawk or 
bayonet, a worm, and priming- wire fit for each 
gun; a cartouch-box, or powder-horn and bullet- 
pouch; one pound of good powder; four pounds 
of bullets fit for his gun, and six good flints." 
And a penalty was provided if they failed to keep 
the same. 

There w^as a law passed at the same session that 


authorized and empowered the selectmen of any 
town to w^arn any transient person, that had not 
resided in such towm longer than a year, who 
w^ere not of a quiet and peaceable behavior, or 
was, in the opinion of the selectmen, likel^^ to be 
chargable to such town, to depart out of such 
tow^n, unless he obtains a vote of the inhabitants 
of such town, in a legal town meeting to remain 
in such town. If such person did not depart 
within tw^enty days, after being warned, he could 
be arrested and transported to the next towm, to- 
wards the place where said person was last an in- 
habitant and so on to the place where such person 
w^as an inhabitant last, and out of the State if he 
was not an inhabitant thereof. Evidently one of 
the objects of this law^ was that a town might not 
be burdened with paupers, who belonged to other 

It was provided by a law of that session that 
every person w^ho should be fined for the breach of 
any penal law and should not forthwith pay the 
fine or give good securit^^ for its payment, should 
be imprisoned, or bound out and kept in service 
until it be paid. If a person should be convicted 
of stealing money, goods or chattels to the 
amount of six pounds, the offender should forfeit 
and pay treble the value thereof to the owner, and 
be punished by w^hipping, not exceeding thirty- 
nine stripes, for one offence. 

It w^as provided by an act that the General As- 
semblj' should appoint one or more surveyors in 
each county for the laying out of lands and run- 
ning the bounds of land already laid out according 


to their original grants, and running lines between 
adjoining proprietors. The surve^^ors also had 
the power to appoint chainmen to aid in measur- 
ing lines and to administer the oath to them to 
faithfully discharge their duty as chainmen. 

The Governor and Council November 12, 1779, 
"Resolved that the several surveyors of this State 
be directed in running town lines, to allow^ one 
chain in thirtj^ for swagg of chain." At the same 
session they "Resolved that every grantee of the 
towm of Benson, his heirs or assigns, shall plant 
and cultivate ten acres of land and build a house 
at least 18 feet square on the floor, or have one 
family settled on each respective right or share of 
land, within the term of two j^ears next after the 
conclusion of the present war between Great Bri- 
tain and America, or within two 3'ears after the 
Province of Quebec shall be united with the free 
and independent States of America, on penalty- of 
the forfeiture of his grant or share in said town- 
ship, and the same to revert to the freemen of this 
State to be by their representatives regranted to 
such persons as shall appear to settle and culti- 
vate the same." Similar orders and restrictions 
and clauses of forfeiture were inserted in man^^ of 
the grants to encourage and make settlements 

The same year the General Assembh^ passed an 
act to punish drunkenness, which provided "that 
if an^^ person should be found drunken, so that he, 
or she, be thereby bereaved and disabled in the use 
of his or her reason and understanding, appearing 
either in his or her speech, gesture or behavior, and 


be thereof convicted, such person was subject to a 
fine of eight shillings to be used for the benefit of 
the poor" in the town, and if he bad no property 
out of which the fine could be collected, the of- 
fender should sit in the stocks not exceeding three 
hours nor less than one hour. 

For swearing and cursing, a person on convic- 
tion thereof forfeited six shillings and it the sum 
was not paid, the offender was required to sit in 
the stocks the time required as in the case of con- 
viction of drunkenness. 

There were manv crimes that were punished 
with great severity" : viz. if any person should con- 
spire or attempt an3^ invasion, insurrection or 
public rebellion against this State; or should 
treacherously and perfidiously attempt the altera- 
tion and subversion of our frame of government, 
fundamentally established b^- the constitution of 
this State, bv endeavoring the betra^-ing of the 
same into the fiands of an^^ foreign power ; if an^- 
person rise up b\^ false witness, wilfully, and of 
purpose to take awa3' any man's life; if an3^ per- 
son, of the age of sixteen years, or upwards, 
should wilfulh^ and of purpose burn an3' house, 
barn or out house to the prejudice or hazard of 
any person's life; if any person, on purpose, and 
of malice forethought, and by lying in wait, 
should cut out or disable the tongue, or put out 
an e^-e or e3'es so that the person was thereb_v 
made blind; or if any person within this State 
should blaspheme the name of God, the Father, 
Son or Hoh^ Ghost, with direct, express presump- 
tion, and high-handed blasphem\% or should curse 


in like manner, such person should be put to 

The following law was of doubtful constitu- 
tionality : viz., "Be it enacted, that when, and so 
often as any disorders and damages are done in 
the night season, that upon complaint speedily 
made thereof, to any court, assistant, or justice of 
the peace, they are hereby empowered to issue 
forth a writ or writs, for the bringing before him 
or them any such suspected person or persons, 
and examine him or them concerning such disor- 
ders and damages. 

"And if such suspected person or persons, upon 
such examination, cannot give a satisfactory ac- 
count to the authority before whom such examin- 
ation is had, where he or they were, when such 
disorders and damages complained of, were com- 
mitted and done, and that he or they had no hand 
in doing the same, he or they shall be liable to pay 
and answer all such damages as the person or per- 
sons complaining, shall have sustained or suffered, 
as aforesaid ; and also such fine or punishment as 
the court, assistant, or justice, before whom the 
trial is had, shall see cause to order, not exceeding 
ten pounds." 

An act for the punishment of burglary and rob- 
ber3^ was as follows: viz., ''that whosoever shall 
commit burglary, by breaking up any dwelling- 
house, or shop, wherein goods, wares, and mer- 
chandize are kept ; or shall rob any person in the 
field, or highway; such person, so offending, shall, 
for the first offence, be branded on the forehead 
with the capital letter B, on a hot iron, and have 


one of his ears nailed to a post and cut off; and 
also to be whipped on the naked body fifteen 

"And for the second offence, such person shall 
be branded as aforesaid, and have his other ear 
nailed and cut off as aforesaid, and be whipped on 
the naked body twenty-five stripes. 

"And if such person shall commit the like of- 
fence, a third time, he shall be put to death, as be- 
ing incorrigible." 

It was also enacted that each town shall have 
a town brand, to brand all horses therein near the 
left shoulder. Usualh^ the brand consisted of a 
letter or figure. The inhabitants in each town 
were to choose a suitable person to be a brander 
of horses, who should be under oath and was re- 
quired to make an entry of all horses branded, 
with the age and color, natural and artificial 
marks, in a book by him kept for that purpose. 
The act for marking cattle, swine and sheep was 
as follows; viz., 

"To prevent disputes, and differences that may 
arise in the owning and claiming of cattle, sheep, 
and swine, that may be lost or stray away, 

"Be it enacted, &c. that all the owners of any 
cattle, sheep, or swine, within this State, shall 
ear-mark, or brand, all their cattle, sheep, and 
swine, that are above half a A^ear old ; and that 
they shall cause their several marks to be regis- 
tered in the town book. 

"And whatsoever cattle, sheep, or swine, shall 
be found unmarked, and not branded as afore- 
said; the owners thereof shall forfeit and pa3^ 


three shillings per head, one half whereof shall be 
to the complainer, and the other half to the town 

At an earW da^^ in this State there was an at- 
tempt by legislation to break up or prevent the 
practice of lying. The good intentions and efforts 
of the legislators in this line have not been com- 
pletely successful. The legislation referred to on 
this subject was as follows : viz., 

"That every person of the age of discretion, 
which is accounted fourteen years, who shall wat- 
tingh^ and willingly make or publish any lie, 
w^hich may be pernicious to the public weal, or 
tend to the damage or injur v of an}- particular 
person, or to deceive and abuse the people with 
false news, or reports, and be thereof duly con- 
victed before any court, assistant, or justice of the 
peace, such person or persons shall be fined for 
the first ofience forty shillings ; or if unable to pay 
the same, then such person to sit in the stocks not 
exceeding three hours. 

"And for the second offence in that kind, which 
such person shall be convicted of, shall be fined 
double the aforesaid sum ; and if unable to pay 
the same, shall be whipped on the naked bod}-, 
not exceeding ten stripes. 

"And for third offence, double the fine for the 
second ; or if the party be unable to pa3^ the same, 
then to be whipped not exceeding twent^^ stripes : 
and 3^et if any such person shall offend in that 
kind, and be legally convicted thereof, such per- 
son, either male or female, shall be fined ten shill- 
ings each time more than formerh' ; or if unable to 


pay such fine, then to be whipped as aforesaid, 
with five stripes more, each time, than formerly, 
but not exceeding thirty nine stripes at any time. 

''Provided nevertheless, that no person shall be 
barred of his just action of slander, or defamation, 
or otherwise, by an\^ proceeding upon this act." 

The General Assembly undertook to stamp out 
the evil practice of slander b3' enacting a law 
against it, the preamble of which was, "Whereas 
defamation and slander is a growing evil, and 
tends much to the disturbance of the peace:" and 
then the act proceeded and declared, "that who- 
soever shall defame or slander any person or per- 
sons whatever, and be thereof legally convicted 
before anj^ court in this State, shall pa^^ a fine, not 
exceeding thirty- pounds, to the public treasury of 
the countv." 




At the session of the Assembly held at Benning- 
ton in October 1780, an act was passed directing 
what money and bills of credit should be legal 
currency'- in the State. It was enacted "that all 
genuine coined gold, silver and copper, shall be le- 
gal money in this State, viz: gold, at the rate of 
five pounds per ounce; silver at six shillings and 
eight pence per ounce, and coined copper at two 
pence per ounce. And that the bills of credit 
emitted by the United States of America before the 
18th day of March; 1780, be a legal tender as 
mone^^ according to their current value; having 
regard as w^ell to their current value at the time of 
making all contracts as at the time of rendering 

In 1780, it was found that sundr3^ persons liv- 
ing in the frontier towns refused their personal as- 
sistance in defence of the frontier settlements and 
were suspected of holding secret and traitorous 
correspondence with the enem^^ and harboring 
and concealing them ; — to prevent which the As- 
sembly at its October session in 1780, passed a 
law, the first section of which was as follows : 

"That it shall be the duty of the select-men of 



an3^ such frontier town, if the\' have good grounds 
of suspicion that any person or persons Hving in 
such town, do secretly correspond with the en- 
emy ; or an^' person or persons who do not feel 
themselves m danger from the common enemy, 
and refuse their personal assistance to defend said 
frontiers, or have, for a long time, neglected their 
duty therein, — to warn a meeting of the inhabi- 
tants of such town, reciting in such warning the 
names of the person or persons so suspected ; and 
that the design of such meeting is to take into 
consideration whether the3' judge such person or 
persons to be dangerous to the safety of the fron- 
tiers. And whatsoever person or persons shall be, 
b^^ such meeting, so warned, judged and voted to 
be necessar^^ to be removed, either on account of 
their unfriendliness to the cau3e of America, or 
their unwilHngness to support said cause, shall be, 
by warrant from an assistant or justice of the 
peace, directed to the sheriff of the county, his dep- 
utj, or either ol the constables of such town, re- 
moved, with his family and effects, after twent3^ 
days, and within thirt^^ da^^s, at their own 
proper cost and charge, to the interior part of this 
State ; which warrant such magistrate is hereby 
to issue, on application of the select-men of such 
town." The person so voted to be removed, 
had a right of appeal to the Governor for a 

The Assembly at its February session 1781, 
held at Windsor passed an act for quieting dis- 
putes concerning landed property which provided 
"that the Governor, Council and House of Repre- 



sentatives shall sit as a court, to hear and finally 
to determine all disputes between proprietors 
holding under different charters, made out by one 
and the same authority." 

The act of the Assembly passed at the session 
held at Windsor, April 1781, fixed the depreciation 
and the current value of Continental bills of 
credit, the value of which was to be measured 
agreeable to the following table, w^hich shows the 
value of one hundred Spanish milled dollars in 
Continental bills of credit, at the several times 
therein expressed : viz., 
September 1, 1 777, 100 April 1 

October 1, 
November 1, 
December 1, 
Januar^^ 1, 1778 
February 1, 
March 1, 
April 1, 
May 1, 
June 1, 
July 1, 
August 1, 
September 1, 
October 1, 
November 1, 
December 1, 
Januar\^ 1, 1779 
Februar}^ 1, 
March 1, 

110 May 1, 
120 June 1, 
130|July 1, 
140 August 1, 
155 September 1, 

October 1, 
November 1, 
December 1, 
January 1, 1780 
February 1, 

260|March 1, 

295! April 1, 

325!May 1, 

360|june 1, 

400 July 1, 

450j August 1, 

500|September 1, 


It was stated in the first volume of this history 
that that part of New York that was denomi- 



nated the West Union was annexed to Vermont. 
The act defining the territory that was taken, and 
extending legislation over it, passed at a session 
of the Assembh' held at Bennington in June 1781, 
was as follows: viz., 

"Whereas it is found necessary-, for the pur- 
poses of representation, and for exercising civil 
government, that the inhabited part of the follow- 
ing described district, viz. — Beginning at the 
north-west corner of Williamstown, and extend- 
ing west, ten degrees north, to the centre of the 
deepest channel of the waters of Hudson's River; 
then up said river, and extending through the cen- 
tre of the deepest channel thereof, to the head 
thereof; thence north, b\^ the needle of the com- 
pass, to the latitude forty-five — (latch- taken into 
union with this State) be divided into townships, 
with the usual incorporate privileges ; and that 
the said district be annexed to said counties. 

"Be it exacted, &c. that the districts of land, 
in said territory, commonly known b\- the names 
of Hosack, Cambridge, White-Creek, alias New 
Perth, Black-Creek, Skeensborough, Kingsbur\', 
Scotch-Patent, alias Argyle, and Fort-Edward, 
be, and thev are hereby incorporated, each of 
them, into a distinct township, and to be sever- 
alh- known and distinguished by the aforesaid 
names respectiveh' ; and are hereby vested with 
all the privileges and immunities, which other 
towns within this State do of right exercise and 

"Be it further exacted, that the tract of 


land within the said territorA^, h'ing west of, and 
adjoining to, Pownal, and north of the south line 
of said territor\', and west of a line extended from 
the east line of the tract of land known by the 
name of Scorticook district, and south of Hosack 
district, be and is hereby- incorporated into a 
township, b^' the name of Little Hosack ; and 
that the tract of land, King bounded west on the 
north river, south on the south line of said terri- 
tory-, north on the tract of land, commonh- called 
Scorticook district, and east on Little-Hosack, 
together with the district of land, commonh^ 
known b}- the name of the district of Scorticook, 
be and is hereb_v incorporated into a township, b^' 
the name of Scorticook ; and that such part of the 
tract of land, known b\- the name of the district 
of Saratoga, as is included in said territor3', be 
and is hereby- incorporated into a township, b^^ 
the name of Saratoga-East; and that the tract of 
land, h'ing west of, and adjoining to, Pollet, and 
north of, and adjoining to, Black-Creek, and west- 
erh^ on Kingsbnr\' and Skeensborough, be and is 
hereby incorporated into a township, b^' the name 
of South-Granville ; and that the tract of land, 
north of said South-Granville, as far north as the 
west-line of the township of Wells extends, be and 
is hereby incorporated into a township, by the 
name of Xorth-Granville; and that the tract of 
land, northward of said Xorth-Granville, extend- 
ing north to the East-Ba3^ bounded eastward on 
Fairhaven, and westward on Skeensborough, be 
and is herebv incorporated into a township, by 
the name of Eastborous^h. And that each of said 


townships be and are hereby- vested with the same 
privileges and immunities as other towns within 
this State do of right exercise and enjoy. 

"And be it enacted, that the townships of 
Little-Hosack, Hosack, Cambridge, Scarticook, 
and Saratoga-East, being that part of said terri- 
tory which formerh' belonged to Albany county-, 
be and are herebA^ annexed to the counts' of Ben- 
nington ; and that all the remaining part of the 
aforesaid townships, be and are hereby- annexed 
to the county of Rutland." 

At the same session the inhabitants of each of 
the towns in the West union were b}" an act of the 
Assembly authorized and empowered to hold 
town meetings in their respective towns in Juh' of 
the same 3^ear at such places as usual, or most 
convenient, and persons were named and ap- 
pointed, by the act to warn such meetings in the 
respective towns, and provisions were made for 
taking the lists of the inhabitants and the rate- 
able polls. These acts show how firmh^ fixed the 
minds of the members of the General Assemblv 
were to maintain jurisdiction over the territory- 
of the West union. 

The General Assembh' many times in matters 
of legislation exercised doubtful powers : such as 
prohibiting the trials of the title of land, the sus- 
pending or prohibiting actions from being insti- 
tuted for the collection of debts, annulling and 
making void final judgements of courts and sta^-- 
ing executions after the rights of parties had be- 
come fixed. 

It is evident that the people as late as 1782, 


had some miso^ivings as to the binding force of the 
constitution because it was not original^ sub- 
mitted to the people for ratification, as the Gen- 
eral Assembly passed an act at its session held at 
Windsor in June 1782, (as the^^ had done once be- 
fore at its February- session held at Bennington 
1779) declaring the constitution to be a part of 
the law of the State. This act of June 1782, was 
as follows: viz., 

"To prevent disputes respecting the legal force 
of the constitution of this State, and to determine 
who are entitled to the general privileges of the 
constitution and laws ; 

"Be it exacted &c. that the constitution of 
this State, as established by convention, held at 
Windsor, Julv and December, one thousand seven 
hundred and sevent\'-seven, subject to such alter- 
ations and additions as shall be made, agreeable 
to the fort^'-fourth section in the plan of govern- 
ment, shall be forever considered, held and main- 
tained, as part of the laws of this State. 

"And be it further exacted, that all the peo- 
ple of the American States, within this State, 
whether the\' be inhabitants or not, shall enjo\^ 
the same justice and law as is general for this 
State, in all causes proper for the cognizance of 
the civil authority" and courts of judicature in the 
same ; and that without partialit\^ or delay : and 
that no man's person shall be restrained or im- 
prisoned, unless b^^ authority of law." 

At the same session the Assembly passed an act 
adopting the common and statute law of England 
as follows : viz., 


"Whereas, it is impossible, at once, to provide 
particular statutes adapted to all cases wherein 
law maj^ be necessary for the happy government 
of this people. 

''And w^hereas, the inhabitants of this State 
have been habituated to conform their manners to 
the English laws, and hold their estates b^' Eng- 
lish tenures. 

"Be it enacted, &c. that so much of the com- 
mon law of England, as is not repugnant to the 
constitution or to any act of the legislature of 
this State, be, and is hereby adopted, and shall be, 
and continue to be, law vv^ithin this State. 

"And whereas, the statue law of England is so 
connected and interwoven with the common law, 
that our jurisprudence would be incomplete with- 
out it; therefore, 

"Be it further enacted, that such statue 
laws and parts of laws of the kingdom of Eng- 
land, as were passed before the first day of Octo- 
ber, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred 
and sixt3\ for the alteration and explanation of 
the common law, and which are not repugnant to 
the constitution, or some act of the legislature, 
and are applicable to the circumstances of the 
State, are hereb}* adopted and made, and shall be 
and continue to be, law within this State, and all 
courts are to take notice thereof, and govern 
themselves accordingly." 

The people were very watchful against any and 
all attempt made for the alteration or subversion 
of the Vermont frame of government, or the be- 
traying the same into the hands of the neighbor- 


in^ States, as appears from the following section 
of a statue passed at the last mentioned session, 

"That if any person or persons shall conspire, 
or attempt, an3^ invasion, insurrection, or public 
rebellion, against this State; or shall treacher- 
oush^, and perfidioush^ attempt the alteration, or 
subversion of our frame of government, funda- 
mentalh' established b\' the constitution of this 
State, by endeavouring the betra^'ing of the same 
into the hands of any of the neighboring states, or 
any other power, and be thereof convicted before 
the superior court, shall suffer banishment, or im- 
prisonment, at the discretion of said court; and 
the goods, chattels and estates of such offenders, 
shall be seized, condemned, and sold, as forfeit to 
the use of this State." And it was provided that 
if an^^ person so banished neglected to depart 
when ordered, or should return to the State with- 
out first obtaining libert^^ from the General As- 
sembh^, and should be convicted, they should suf- 
fer death. 

The people of Vermont believed in extending 
equal rights to the inhabitants of different States. 
The Legislature of the State of New York enacted 
a law that no person or persons belonging to the 
State of Vermont should be permitted to com- 
mence an\' suit or action at law in New York, un- 
less thev should acknowledge the jurisdiction of 
New York and took the oath of allegiance to the 
same. The Vermont law making powder retali- 
ated by enacting, in substance, that no inhabitant 
of New York or person residing therein, should 


commence an\^ suit within the jurisdiction of this 
State against any inhabitant thereof for any civil 
matter until Xew York should allow the inhabi- 
tants of this State full liberty to commence suits 
in Xew York. 

The first medical society- in Vermont was estab- 
lished under an act passed at the October session 
of the Assemble held at Rutland in 1784. Jonas 
Fay and sixteen other physicians and surgeons in 
Bennington and Rutland Counties were incorpor- 
ated and constituted a bodj^ corporate and politic 
in law, by the name of The First Medical Soci- 
ety IX Vermont. 

At the June session of the Assembly of 1785, 
held at Norwich, there were granted twenty-three 
thousand acres to the trustees of Dartmouth Col- 
lage, and the President of Moor's Charit3^ School, 
and to their successors within this State ; and the 
Governor and Council were requested to issue a 
charter of incorporation for the same, when sur- 
veyed, to the trustees of Dartmouth College and 
the President of Moor's Charity School and to 
their successors, to be to and for the use and bene- 
fit of said College and School forever. In pursu- 
ance of this act a charter was issued by the Gov- 
ernor dated the 14th of June, 1785, for a tract of 
land six miles square, by the name of Wheelock. 

On October 1781, the General Assembh^ chose a 
committee of three to burn the bills of credit of 
the State. Timothj^ Brown, John Fassett, Jr., and 
Matthew Lyon were such committee w^ho gave 
bonds to the State for the faithful performance of 
their dut3\ The bills destroyed were those re- 
deemed by reception in pa^-ment for taxes. 


There was a custom in the early histor^^ of Ver- 
mont to appoint a committee to present and ar- 
range business for the session of the General As- 
sembly. This practice is a good one as it would 
save much time of the Assemblj- in getting read}' 
for the consideration of proper and necessary 
measures of legislation ; it w^ould save the State 
from enacting so many crude and ill-judged meas- 
ures that result in litigation, and in the end re- 
pealed. The committee appointed to arrange busi- 
ness for the session to be held in February 1782, 
brought in a report on the order of business which 
was in substance to call 'upon His Excellency, the 
Governor and his Council, for all official papers re- 
lating to the interest of the State received since 
the then last session ; to call upon the several 
commissioners appointed on different matters at 
the previous session to report ; to call upon the 
committee for revising the laws ; to adopt proper 
measures for the defence of the State against the 
common enem}' ; to call upon the surve^^or-general 
to la^^ before the House a surve^^ of the State, as 
far as he has obtained it, as also a plan of all the 
townships granted and the vacant lands un- 
granted ; to call upon the treasurer to give an ac- 
count of what paper monej^ has been received into 
the treasury since the then October previous and 
how it has been disposed of; to la}^ before the 
Continental Congress in a decent and spirited 
manner our determination to support our just 
rights, and repeat our desire to be admitted into 
the Federal Union ; that a proper check be put 
upon the treasurer to enable the auditor to adjust 


his accounts ; to make provision for the payment 
of the soldiers in the State's service in the then 
last campaign ; to take into consideration the pa- 
per currencA', and to take proper measures to reg- 
ulate the press. This last item had no reference to 
the restraint on the libert}- of the press, but to re- 
vive the then suspended newspaper at Westmin- 
ster, or to establish one at Bennington. There 
were two, soon after established, one at Benning- 
ton and one at Windsor. The one at Windsor was 
called the "Vermont Journal and Universal Adver- 
tiser," and the one at Bennington the "Vermont 
Gazette or Freeman's Depositor\^" 

On February 27th, 1782, a law^ was passed to 
compel the more punctual attendance of the mem- 
bers of the Assembh\ The act imposed a fine of 
one pound and ten shillings for each da^' of ab- 
sence without excuse, the daih^ roll of the clerk be- 
ing conclusive evidence. 

On June 21, 1782, an act was passed providing 
a punishment for the assembling of six or more 
persons "with weapons of terror" to hinder the 
execution of the laws ; or against any person or 
persons who should "conspire, or attempt any in- 
vasion, insurrection or rebellion against the State. 
The third section of the act provided "that if any 
person banished under this act should refuse to de- 
part, or after departure should return without 
leave and be convicted thereof," he should suffer 
death. Attested copies of the act w^ere sent im- 
mediately to the towns of Brattleboro, Halifax, 
Guilford and Marlboro. 

On October 21, 1783, the Governor and Coun- 


cil received a bill from the General Assembly to the 
effect that a bill be enacted into a law, to prevent 
the return of inimical persons to the State. At 
this time there was a stipulation in the Provis- 
ional Treaty of Peace that Congress recommended 
to the several States to pass acts permitting those 
who had gone from them to return, but Congress 
had not moved in the matter: therefore, the 
Council resolved in substance, that for this State, 
considering the situation, to lead the United 
States in these matters "appears premature," and 
that the Council were of the opinion that no act 
be passed at that session respecting inimical per- 
sons, and requested the Governor to omit giving 
anj^ persons within the enemy's lines, who have 
been deemed enemies to this and the United States 
a permit to return until the further order of the 

It was resolved in Council on October 24, 1783, 
that Ira Allen, Esq., Survej'or General, be empow- 
ered and directed to dispose of a township of land 
granted to Maj. Timoth\' Woodbridge and asso- 
ciates, by the legislature, in October 1781, — that 
the avails be applied to the use of purchasing 
stores for the purpose of surveying town lines; 
and that Allen be empowered to hire money for 
the same purpose and to dispose of thirt3^-five 
rights of land in the town of Carthage (now Jay) 
for the same purpose. IJy the authority of these 
and other resolutions, Allen took the township of 
Woodbridge for himself, out of which a contro- 
versy arose that resulted in the defeat of Governor 
Chittenden for governor in 1789. Some attrib- 


uted private and sinster motives to Chittenden in 
allowing the township of Woodbridge to be 
granted to Ira Allen. The movement for the de- 
feat of Chittenden originated in the Assembly in 
1788, and was designed to destroy the confidence 
of the people in Ira Allen and Governor Chitten- 
den. The Council endeavored in vain to check the 
House. The facts were that on October 26, 1781, 
a township of unappropriated land w^as granted 
to Maj. Theodore Woodbridge, and that the Gov- 
ernor and Council made out a charter for the 
township named Woodbridge, but it was forfeited 
for non-pa3'ment of the amount due for the grant, 
and the Governor and Council empowered and di- 
rected Ira Allen as Surveyor General to dispose of 
the township that had been granted to Maj. 
Woodbridge. The State became indebted to Allen 
for cutting roads and surve^dng town lines, and 
the Council gave him the right to dispose of said 
tow^nship and other lands to reimburse himself. 
At the election in September 1786, Allen w^as de- 
feated as State Treasurer, and that so alarmed 
him that he called upon Governor Chittenden to 
deliver him the charter of Woodbridge, which he 
did ; and w^hen arraigned for it in 1788, he de- 
fended the act. The committee of the House con- 
sistmg of Stephen R. Bradlev, Ebenezer Alarvin 
and Phinehas Freeman, reported that Chittenden 
admitted, "that he did, without advice of Coun- 
cil, in October 1786 * * * make out and sign, in 
a private manner, to Ira Allen Esq. a charter 
which for aught he knows, covers some of the 
premises. That he did, at that time, take a large 


bond of said Allen to indemnifj^ him." And the 
committee reported that the reason that Chitten- 
den gave for his act was his "fear that the State 
would wrong said Allen in his capacit^^ as Sur- 
veyor General." The committee concluded their 
report as follows: viz., "His Excellenc3^ has violated 
the trust reposed in him by the constitution, to 
keep the public seal of the State sacred; and that 
he has converted it to private, sinster views ; and 
3'our committee submit to the House, what order 
should be taken — and that in the opinion of 3^our 
committee said charter was fraudulent, and ought 
to be declared void b3^ act of Legislature." After 
a long and anxious hearing of the Governor and 
others, the report was accepted. Jonathan Hunt, 
who was instrumental in exposing the Governor 
and Allen in the matter, asked for an annulment 
of Allen's charter, and a committee on the ques- 
tion was appointed, and reported. On the 24th a 
a bill for the annulment was agreed to and 
sent up to the Governor and Council for concur- 
rence. There w^as a long contest, but the bill did 
not pass. The bill w^as sent out to the public in 
the printed journals and was industriously circu- 
lated and used in the next political canvass, and 
served to defeat Governor Chittenden in Septem- 
ber 1789. After a full consideration of the mat- 
ter the people became satisfied that there had been 
no fraudulent intent and no "private, sinster 
views" concerning the part the Governor took in 
the matter, but it defeated his election. At the 
succeeding election, and as long as Chittenden re- 
mained Governor, a majorit^^ of the suffrages of 
the people were readil3' given for his support. 


On October 17, 1786, an act was passed "for- 
biddino^ the sale of an3' negro, or subject of this 
State being sold into slaYer3\" On March 7, 
1787, a bill was passed against counterfeiting. 
The penalties attached were as follows : viz., 

'*Ever3' person or persons so offending, being 
convicted thereof before the Supreme Court of this 
State, shall be punished by having his right ear 
cut off, and shall be branded with the capital let- 
ter C on a hot iron, and be committed to anj- 
gaol or house of correction, there to be confined 
and kept to work under the care of a master, and 
not to depart therefrom without special leave 
from the Assembh' of this State, until the da}^ of 
his, her or their death ; imder the penalty of being 
severeh^ whipped b\' order of an^^ Court or Justice, 
and thereupon to be returned to his former con- 
finement and labour : and all the estate of an^^ 
person offending as aforesaid, shall be forfeited to 
this State, and nia3^ be accordinglv seized for that 
purpose, bj^ order of the Court before whom such 
offender is convicted." 

In an act regulating tavern keepers it was re- 
quired that ''the names of tavern haunters were 
to be posted at the door of ever^^ inn in town, and 
inn-keepers were prohibited from entertaining 
them or furnishing liquor to them." 

On October 14, 1785, Nathaniel Chipman re- 
ported the following rules to and were adopted 
by the Assembly, relating to elections in joint As- 
sembly and the privileges of the Governor and 
Council, viz : 

''1st — That ever\' member and Spectator be 
subject to the rules of the House. 


"2d — That the doors of the House be open to 
all Spectators who behave themselves orderly, ex- 
cept the interest of the State require the same to 
be shut. 

"3dlv — That the officers of the House attend 
punctually at the times of adjournment on pen- 
alty of being reduced to private stations. 

"4thly — That no member being absent at roll 
call take his seat without libertj^ from the 

"5thh^ — Any member who is absent after roll 
call without leave of the House more than fifteen 
minutes at one time shall be subject to the like 
penalty — and if such member continue absent for 
one day or more shall be liable to be expelled from 
the House. 

"6thly — That no member speak in the House 
without leave of the Speaker of the House. 

"Tthly — That no member speak more than 
twice on one subject without leave of the House. 

"8thly — That no member make any nomina- 
tion until such nomination be called for by the 
Speaker — And that the Speaker put every motion 
to vote w^hich is seconded unless withdrawn or 
objected to. 

"9thly — That no person who is not a member 
of this House (except the Governor and Council) 
shall speak in the House without first obtaining 
leave by [through] a member of the House." 

In February 1783, a resolution was reported 
and agreed to that the "assistant judges after 
1783, should take rank b\^ the date of former 


On February 25, 1783, the following preamble 
and resolutions were agreed to in the committee 
of the whole, consisting of the Governor, Council 
and General Assembly : viz., 

"Whereas it is represented that sundry false re- 
ports have been industriously circulated among 
the inhabitants of the Independent States- of 
America, tending to excite Jealousies and distrust 
and thereby lessen their friendship and esteem to- 
ward the Citizens of this State," 

"Resolved, that the Citizens of this State have 
from their first forming government uniformh' 
shewm in a public manner their attachment to the 
common cause and desire of being connected in a 
federal union with the United States as may ap- 
pear b\' their resolutions and other public 

"Resolved, that neither the Executive, or Legis- 
lative authority of this State have ever entered 
into any negotiation, truce or combination with 
the enemies of this and the United States, except 
that only of an exchange of Prisoners, and they 
are still determined, at the risque of their lives and 
fortunes to continue their opposition to any at- 
tempts made, or that may hereafter be made to 
infringe or abridge the rights to [or] the freedom 
and Independence of this and the United States ; 
nor is there a disposition existing in this Commit- 
tee, from their confidence in the good intentions of 
the United States, to afford their aid, to propose 
or consent to any terms of peace or otherwise de- 
rogator\' to or inconsistent with the rights. Liber- 
ties, or independence of this or the United States 
of America." 


On March 5, ITS-i, the General Assembly 
passed an act establishing post-offices at Benning- 
ton, Rutland, Brattleboro, Windsor and Newbury 
and regulated the manner of carr\ang the mails. 
And on the 9th da^^ of March, 1787, the following 
law was enacted by the General Assembly : viz., 

"Whereas the business of promulgating the 
Laws, conveying timeh^ notice to the Inhabitants 
of the State of all proprietary proceedings and 
other matters of importance to the Public can in 
no other wa^^ be effected so extensiveh- and with 
so small expense as by the appointment of regular 
Posts for conveying the same to the different 
parts of this State. 

"Be IT ENACTED by the General Assembly of the 
State of Vermont that there be five Post-offices 
established within this State, one in Benning- 
ton, one in Rutland, one in Brattleboro, one in 
Windsor and one in Newburv under such regula- 
tions as are established for the government of 
Post-offices in the United States. 

''That the Post-Rider from Bennington to 
Brattleboro be allowed three pence per mile trav- 
el, and those on each of the other routs includ- 
ing a Post-rider from Bennington to Albany two 
pence per mile ever}^ time the^^ respectively per- 
form their routs, in hard money orders or hard 

"And BE IT FURTHER EXACTED by the authorit\^ 
aforesaid that the Postmaster General be and he 
hereby is impowered to employ a Post to ride 
from Rutland in the Count3^ of Rutland through 
the County of Addison upon such rout or routs 


as he shall jud.o^e will best accommodate the 
Inhabitants of said Countj^ of Addison in pro- 
mulgating the laws of the State &c., and such 
Post shall be allowed two pence per mile each 
fortnight for one half the circuit going one road 
and returning another, to be paid as aforesaid. 
And the said Postmaster General is authorized 
hereby to establish Post Offices in such towns 
in Addison County as he shall find necessar\'. 

"And BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the author- 
it3' aforesaid that the scA-eral Postmasters be di- 
rected to keep a regular account of all profits and 
emoluments arising from the office and exhibit the 
same to his Excellenc\^ the Governor and the Hon- 
orable the Council of this State when requested. 
And that until the further order of the Legisla- 
ture the Post-riders from the several offices shall 
be entitled to an exclusive right of carriage and 
enjoy the advantages of the fees arising from the 
carriage of letters and Packets of every kind, and 
that the rate of Postage be the same as in the 
United States. 

"And be it further enacted by the authority 
aforesaid that no person presume to ride on any 
of the routs of such established posts for the pur- 
pose of carrying letters, packets, or other matters 
particularly- within the province of such estab- 
lished Posts to carry on penalty of paying the 
sum often pounds to and for the use of any Post- 
master who shall prosecute the same to effect for 
every such oftence. 

"And be it further enacted by the authority 
aforesaid that his Excellencv the Governor and 


such other persons as the Legislature shall in fu- 
ture authorise, shall have authority to frank an^- 
letters or packet, for which letter or packet no 
postage shall be demanded." 

After the treaty- of peace between the United 
States and Great Britain there was some contro- 
versy arose as to what government had jurisdic- 
tion over the place then called Dutchman's Point 
which was on North Hero, half a mile south of Al- 
burgh. At this Point and also at Point Au Per 
in New York, two and one half miles from Al- 
burgh, the Brirish troops remained for several 
3^ears, and as late as October 16th, 1792, they ar- 
rested Benjamin Marvin of Alburgh for officiating 
as a Vermont magistrate on \vhat thej^ claimed as 
British territor3\ In the Vermont Council April 
12, 1784, it was "resolved, that his Excellenc3' the 
Governor be requested to call on Colonel Eben- 
ezer Allen to take possession of a place called 
Dutchman's Point as soon as the same shall be 
evacuated b^- the British troops. And also that 
the Governor write to General Haldimand on the 
subject. The action of General Haldimand at 
that time was peculiar and was a subject of much 
comment. All commercial interests for the time 
being were prohibited for reason unknown to any 
but himself at that time. No goods could pass on 
New York side without paying duty. A letter 
was sent from Canada to a gentleman in New 
York dated June 12, 1784, which read, "Our Gen- 
eral Haldimand is one of the most curious old 
women you ever heard of. In consequence of a 
tale told him by a Captain Mure, who was in- 


suited in New York last fall, he has refused to de- 
liver up Alichilimackinac ; has sent Gov. John 
Hay to re-command the district, and refuse passes 
to all who apph' for them over the Lakes to Al- 
bany or York." And it was reported that ''No 
person is allowed to pass from Canada into these 
States without a written permission, and all our 
Indian trade into that province is absolutely pro- 
hibited." In reference to the military movements 
mentioned in the letter from Halifax, it after- 
wards appeared that Great Britain persisted in 
holding and garrisoning the posts from Ogdens- 
burg to Machilimackinac, on the ground that the 
United States had violated certain treaty stipula- 
tions on their part. John JaA^, secretary- for for- 
eign aftairs, in a letter to Congress, October 13, 
1786, fully justified Great Britain for so. doing; 
but on account of those militar}- movements. 
Congress was alarmed by indications of Indian 
wars in both the north-western and south-west- 
ern portions of the countr3\ 

Following the efforts to open a trade between 
the Province of Quebec and this State and to set- 
tle a treaty ol amity and commerce with the pow- 
ers of Europe, the following act was passed Octo- 
ber 29, 1784, by the Assembly and concurred in 
by the Governor and Council, viz: 

"Whereas, man3^ advantages will arise to the cit- 
izens of this State, by extending commerce to the 
province of Quebec, and through that channel to 
Europe: Therefore, 

"Be IT EXACTED, &c. that the Governor and 
Council be, and thev are hereby authorized, and 


empowered, to appoint one or more persons, not 
exceeding three, to repair to the province of Que- 
bec, with full power to confer with any person, or 
persons, that may be authorized therefor, by any 
power with whom it shall be necessary to agree, 
concerning matters of trade and commerce; and 
to transact with such person, or persons, all such 
matters and business as shall be necessary to 
complete, on the part of this State, the opening a 
free trade into, and through, said province of 

Growing out of the effort to establish commer- 
cial relations of Vermont with Canada there was 
an attempt made, to make the Congress of the 
United States and the people beUeve that Ver- 
mont was secretly treating w4th Great Britain, 
and were in future to become her ally in contro- 
versies with the United States. It was supposed 
it was emissaries from New York who were stir- 
ring up feelings of jealousy between Vermont and 
the government of the United States. A letter 
dated at Halifax, October 30, 1786, on this sub- 
ject is as follows, viz : 

"The information I have given ought to be kept 
secret for my sake, and 1 communicate in the 
greatest confidence that it will not be divulged ; 
but depend upon it, troops are pouring into Nova- 
scotia and Canada, from home, every day— the 
posts in the U. S. are daily fortifying— the garri- 
sons are increased. — Commissoners from Vermont 
are, at this moment, in treaty with the British 
Commissioners at Montreal, to bring about an 
union with the old government : A storm is gath- 


ering over your republics, more terrible than they 
have ever experienced ; nay, the thunder is now 
on the point of breaking upon your heads. — God 
grant that 3'ou ma^^ get seasonable and authen- 
tic intelligence, that 3'ou may be prepared to re- 
sist the shock." 

Another letter, published in the Vermont Ga- 
zette of November 20, 1785, is as follows, viz : 

'*It is currently reported, and the report gains 
credit, that secret emissaries from New York, and 
creatures corrupted b}' their influence, are secretly 
at work in every part of this State, fomenting un- 
easiness among the people, and promoting insur- 
rections. The first essay is said to be to raise a 
jealousy respecting us in the United States, by in- 
dustriously spreading reports that we are in se- 
cret treat3^ with Great Britain, and on any future 
emergency shall espouse her cause ; and then, un- 
der specious pretenses, to raise cabals in this 
State, induce the unwary to join in their nefarious 
schemes, to rise in opposition to legal authority, 
and stop the course of justice. Arise ye freemen of 
Vermont! Defend your injured independencce ! 
Let no insidious foe precipitate your ruin, by per- 
suading you to raise the arm of desperation 
against your own life! liberty ! and property !" 

The situation and the determination of Ver- 
mont after the treaty of peace of 1783 is stated in 
Ira Allen's "History of Vermont" as follows, viz: 

"On the news of peace in 1783, between Great 
Britain and the United States, finding that the 
territory of Vermont w^as included within the 
boundaries of the latter as relinquished by the 


former, the Governor and Council appointed Colo- 
nel Ira Allen their Commissioner, to concert meas- 
ures with the Legislative Council of Canada for 
opening a free, commercial intercourse with that 
province; but the most essential part of his mis- 
sion was to confer with the Commander in Chief, 
General Haldimand, with respect to the views of 
the British Government, as applied to Vermont in 
particular, and the United States in general. It is 
to be observed, that man3' propositions had pass- 
ed between the agents of Great Britain and Ver- 
mont, respecting Vermont's being a colony under 
the crown of England ; that In' the preliminaries 
of peace Vermont was within the territor^^ con- 
ceded to the United States as aforesaid ; that she 
had dissolved her unions wath them, a part of her 
consequence, and was not received into the con- 
federacy^ of the United States. In this situation, 
completely independent, and not in alliance or 
connexion with any power on earth, she had cau- 
tiously avoided contracting much debt; therefore 
wisdom dictated moderation, that she might take 
advantage of whatever circumstances should 
arise from the new order of things; that consider- 
ing the multiplied debts the United States has 
contracted, in the course of their struggles for in- 
dependence; that their constitution had not suffi- 
cient energy to govern an extensive countrv in 
time of peace ; consequently a new constitution 
would be necessary in the United States, the for- 
mation and ratification of w^hich, the liquidation 
and settlement of the public accounts, providing 
ways and means for discharging the same, were 


respectively arduous tasks; and the more so, 
when it was considered that the sense of danger 
from without gave rise to new discords within, 
and between the States a differance in political 
sentiments and interests might be difficult to rec- 
oncile. What influence British agents would 
have, or what their objects might be, in the 
United States under these circumstances, was 
also a question. Under these impressions, the 
Governor and Council of Vermont instructed 
Colonel Ira Allen, at different times, to repair to 
Quebec, to confer with Governor Haldimand, his 
successor, &c., on the preceding matters, and to 
advise for the best good of Vermont ; the result of 
which was, that it was adviseable for Vermont to 
consolidate the interest of her citizens, on one 
common principle, and admit of no titles to lands, 
but those derived from New Hampshire, their sub- 
secjuent confirmations, on the same grounds, from 
New York, that were in some instances made near 
Connecticut River, and the Grants made by Ver- 
mont ; and to form no connexions with the United 
States for the time being, or until the United 
States should establish a more permanent consti- 
tution, liquidate and provide wa3's and means for 
the discharge of their debts. This policy being 
adopted by certain persons in Vermont, Avas 
steadily pursued b\^ them." 

Before Vermont was admitted into the Union, 
the State manifested an interest in favor of a ship 
canal between Lake Champlain and St. Lawrence 
River, and to that end Ira Allen entered into ne- 
gotiations in Canada in 1784—5, as appears from 


the following extract from Ira Allen's History, 

''Lake Champlain is a noble chart [sheet,] and 
so deep that ships of war have sailed in it. It is 
sprinkled with many beautiful, fertile and well in- 
habited isles, but it is to be lamented that the 
wealth of its waves should be merely confined to 
the fisherman, when they might be converted to 
the noblest purposes of trade and useful naviga- 
tion, for the mutual benefit of millions, by a navi- 
gable cut to the river St. Lawrence. 

"In consequence of an application made b}- Ira 
Allen, Esq; of this State, to General Haldimand, 
Governor of Canada, in 1784 and 1785, the Gen- 
eral thought so highly of the proposition, that he 
appointed Captain Twist, the engineer of that 
province, to make a survey and estimate the ex- 
pence of a canal from the river St. Law^rence to 
Lake Champlain, w^hich was executed in 1785. 
The Captain began his surve^^ at the rapids of St. 
John's and carried it on along the side of the river 
Sorel to Chamblee, &c. The estimate of the ex- 
pence of this cut, sufficient to bear vessels of two 
hundred tons burthen, was calculated at £27,000. 
The canal which I now^ [1798] propose is to ex- 
tend from St. Therese to the river St. Lawrence, 
as laid down in the map annexed to this book, 
[Allen's Histor\% London edition of 1798] the ex- 
pense may exceed the preceding estimate; but the 
excess will be amply compensated as the difficult- 
ies of a narrow winding river, upwards of thirty 
miles, w^ould be avoided. It may be necessary to 
make several survevs to ascertain the best, as the 


country is level, and the soil marl_v. The waters 
of Lake Champlain are higher than the river St. 
Lawrence, which demonstrates the probability of 
the measure. It is impossible to calculate the ad- 
vantages of this undertaking in a commercial 
point of view; such an undertaking would pro- 
mote agriculture, population, arts, manufactures, 
handicrafts, and all the business of a civilized 
state, regulated b3^ wnse laws, sound police-, a 
deep sense of religious dutv and moralit^^" 

Of course all negotiations between the State 
and foreign powers ceased w^hen she became one 
of the States of the American Union. 



The first record of the appointment of a Board 
of War was the record of the doing of the ad- 
journed session of the Convention held at Dorset 
in western Vermont on September 27, 1776. It 
w^as then voted that Mr. Simeon Hathaway, Dr. 
Jonas Fay, Nathan Clark, Esquire, Lieut. Joseph 
Bradle3% Lieut. Martin Powell, Mr. Cephas Kent, 
Capt. Joseph Bowker, Capt. Joseph Woodward 
and Nehemiah Howe be a committee of w^ar for 
northern Vermont. And hj a vote of the Conven- 
tion taken at the same time the Board was em- 
powered to issue their warrant, to the field offic- 
ers of the militia on the district of the New Hamp- 
shire Grants on sufficient notice from the Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the armies of the United States 
of America, or Congress, or on any sudden emer- 
genc\^ that shall be adjudged b3^ said committee of 
war to be for the immediate safety of the Grants, 
commaading them to march immediateh^ to the 
relief of such part of the continent as required to, 
and if any person refused to obey W'ithout suffi- 
cient excuse they were subject to fine. And the 
committee of w^ar had full power to hear an\^ com- 
plaint against any field officer for neglect of their 
duty and to proceed against them and collect by 
warrant or execution fines imposed. 



On Januar\^ 15, 1777, the General Convention 
voted that Major Thomas Chandler, Mr. Stephen 
Tilden, Mr. Ebenezer Hoisington, Mr. Joshua 
Webb, Lieut. Dennis Lockland, Mr. Jonathan Big- 
elow, Col. Thomas Johnson, Air. Elijah Gates and 
Nichols White be a committee of war to act in 
conjunction with the committee of war alread3" 
chosen. This committee was for the east side of 
the mountain. At the same time the Convention 
recommended to each town in Cumberland and 
Gloucester Counties to choose new committees of 
safet^^ where the tov%ms were disaffected with the 
existing committees. The design of this move evi- 
dently v^'as to supersede the committees of Tory 

Members of the Board of War were appointed 
from time to time whenever changes or additions 
were necessary-, and to a large extent were taken 
from the Committee of Safetj^ and Councilors. 
For a short time the Governor and Council were 
the Board of War, and on March 11, 1779, com- 
menced their action as such under the resolution 
of the General Assembh^ of February 25, 1779. 
The Board of War as thus constituted were His 
Excellency, Thomas Chittenden, Joseph Bowker, 
Timoth^^ Brownson, Joseph Fay, Moses Robinson 
and Ira Allen and thej^ made choice of Mathew 
L^^on as their secretar3^, and their first meeting 
was at the house of His Excellency. Their work 
was various ; ordering the calling forth the militia 
for the defense of the inhabitants ; establishing the 
line of defense ; ordering the building of forts ; giv- 
ing timeh' warning to the settlers of approaching 


danger; recommending families to move within 
the line of defense, and that the men remain on 
their farms but work in collective bodies with 
their arms. 

The General Assembly on June 2, 1779, b3^ reso- 
lution approved of the method that had been 
taken b3^ the Board of War for the defense of the 
frontier, and recommended that the^^ attend to the 
defence of the frontier, and also passed a resolve 
"that his Excellency, the Governor, and an3^ four 
members of the Council, be and the^^ are hereby in- 
vested with all the powers that have been hitherto 
given to be made use of by the Court of Confisca- 
tion." It appears w^hen the Board of War met at 
Manchester on October 27, 1779, Samuel Robin- 
son, Esquire, and Maj. Benjamin Wait, Ebene/.er 
Allen and Samuel Fletcher, Esquire, had been ad- 
ded to the Board and met with the Board on that 
occasion. On April 6, 1780, the Board of War ac- 
cepted of a report of their committee recommend- 
ing the building of forts at Pittsford and Hubbard- 
ton, and the Board voted that there be built near 
the north line of Pittsford apiquitfort w4th proper 
flankers, with barracks sufl^cient for 150 men in- 
closed, and another at Hubbardton sufficient for 
75 men. 

At Arlington May 11, 1780, the Board of War, 
on learning that troops on the frontier had not 
been furnished provisions by the Continental au- 
thorities, and the troops were nearl^^ out of meat, 
and w^ould be obliged to quit their posts if provis- 
ions w^ere not furnished them, the selectmen of the 
respective towns w^ere directed to collect thirty 


pounds of pork, for each man, in the town in 
which the inen were raised ; and the same be for- 
warded to the house of Col. Mead at Rutland im- 
mediately; and it it could not be collected with- 
out, they were to take the pork from the inhabi- 
tants, ''in proportion to what they have and their 
families." The selectmen were to keep an account 
of the pork taken and the expense of transporta- 
tion which w^as to be paid lor by the State. 
There was a quick response to this order. The 
following is the report made by Sandgate, viz : 
"Sandgate, March 6th, A. D. 1781. 
We raised our Gate of Pork according to orders 
and sent it to headquarters, being sixty weight 
of Pork. This we attest. 

Timothy Hurd,) Select- 


Reuben Thomas. J men." 

Bennington's proportion was 720 pounds as 
there were 24 men raised in that town. The 
Board met again on June 12, 1780, and Jonathan 
Fassett w^as then one of their number. At that 
session the Board voted to raise one company of 
men to join Maj. Ebenezer Allen's command for 
the defense of the frontiers of the State, their pay 
to commence six days before they marched. It 
w^as also voted that "the members of the Board 
do hereby engage to use their influence that said 
company have one township of land granted them 
(in equal shares) towards their bounty and wages 
at the session of Assembh^ in October next as 
cheap as any of such quantit^^ shall be then 
granted." Soldiers w^ere raised from time to time 


as the exigency of the defence of the frontier 

At a meeting of the Board of War August 21, 

1780, the Board resolved that the Commissary of 
Issues, at ever3^ post where cattle are killed for 
the use of the army, take charge of the hides 
and tallow, to see that the former are properly 
dried and that the latter is properly rendered and 
that they are disposed of as his Excellency the 
Governor shall direct from time to time. On 
November 29, 1780, Stephen Pearl, Esq., had be- 
come a member of the Board of War. On Jan- 
uar3^ 20, 1781 the Board "resolved that the equip- 
ment of non-commissioned officers and soldiers 
(exclusive of his blankets and clothing) shall be as 
follows, viz: 1 good musket, 1 good ba3'onet or 
tamahawk, 1 good knapsack, 1 powder horn, 1 
bullet pouch and a sufficient trump line or sling 
for packs." 

The Board of War were watchful and ever on 
their guard against the enem3'. On February 19, 

1781, it "resolved that Lieut. Beriah Green be and 
he is hereby directed to take a scout of fifteen men 
w4th ten da^^s provisions and proceed in the most 
likeh^ place to make discovery- of the enem^^, to the 
lake, b}^ the wa\^ of Onion River, unless the enem^- 
prevent his proceding so far, and make return of 
his discovery to Major Wait." They prepared for 
winter campaigns as well as in the more favorable 
parts of the 3^ear. They resolved on February 22, 
1781, that the Commissary of Purchases be re- 
quested to furnish fifty pairs of snow shoes for Ma- 
jor Wait's detachment without loss of time, and 


that each man furnish himself with a good pair of 
snow shoes and be paid for the same on their re- 
turning them into the State store. The Board of 
War required very prompt action. Captain Jesse 
Saw\'er was notified of his appointment as Captain 
in the Regiment of Rangers ordered to be raised, 
and he was required to give notice of his accept- 
ance of the office "in half an hour or it will be tak- 
en in the negative." On April 13, 1781, Timothy 
Bedel and Capt. Ebenezer Brewster were chosen as 
members the Board of War, and it appears that 
John Fassett, Jr., Joseph Tyler, Thomas Murdock 
and Benjamin Emmons had been added as mem- 
bers. On October 15, 1781, the Board of War ap- 
peared to have been revised as at that time the Gov- 
ernor and Council in conjunction with the House 
proceeded to elect the Board of War and Timoth3' 
Brownson, Benjamin Emmons, Ira Allen, Roger 
Enos, Joseph Caldwill, Israel W^mian, Thomas 
Murdock, John Fassett and Joseph Bowker, Es- 
quires, were chosen. The General Assembh' on 
February 18, 1783, elected the following seven per- 
sons as a Board of War, viz : Brigadier General 
Roger Enos, Colonel John Strong, Brigadier Gen- 
eral Samuel Spofiford, Colonel Elijah Robinson, Col- 
onel Timothy Brownson, Colonel Benjamin Wait 
and Colonel Moses Robinson were elected. Pro- 
babl3^ there is no record of the major part of the 
doings of the Board. It is quite probable there 
were other persons not named above who were 
members of the Board of War during the time it 
had an existence. It is evident that the Board 
was an important arm of the government of Ver- 


mont during the stirrrng events in Vermont's con- 
trovers3^ with New York, and during the Revolu- 
tionary War— times that tried men's sonls. 



It has been the endeavor of the writer in what 
has been written to give a prett^^ full political his- 
tory of the earl^" days of Vermont, and of strug- 
gles and trials of the brave Green Mountain Boys 
and the privations of the pioneers of the State 
that they had to endure in order to protect the 
people and to establish a State government. 
While public duties were important and pressin 


there was the dangerous w^ork of establishing 
homes in a dense wilderness. A greater part of 
the pioneers in Vermont came from the four other 
New England jurisdictions which at first were 
colonies of Great Britain. They gathered to- 
gether what few things the^^ possessed and loaded 
them into the wagon or cart and journed into a 
newly granted township, and perhaps made a 
small pa3'ment towards a lot of land selected for 
their home in the wilds of Vermont. It is not 
eas3^ to imagine the true state of affairs that the 
husband and his wife and a famiW of small chil- 
dren were compelled to face. On their arrival at 
their new home, w4th no house or barn, or if one, 
it Avas small and of the most primitive kind, with 
but a small amount of provisions, no neighbors 
and no school or church privileges, and sur- 
rounded by both wild beasts and savages. 



They commenced life b^^ building a small log 
house and barn covered with poles, bark and 
boughs, (for there were no saw mills with w^hich 
to manufacture lumber to make houses of mod- 
ern style) and clear a small piece of ground on 
w^hich to raise, for the first 3^ear, a few potatoes 
and vegetables, and perhaps a small patch of 
Indian corn. Before the first year is at an end 
the small stock of provisions that they have 
brought with them or w^as enabled to raise, would 
be exhausted. For the few first 3^ears the family 
would have a hard struggle to live, even it they 
escaped sickness and eked out the year's living 
by the use of wnld meat and berries. If the famih^ 
persevered a few years theii prospects w^ould be- 
gin to brighten. In a lew years by dint of hard 
labor and many privations their lot of land w^ould 
become a farm on which the3^ could keep a stock 
of cattle, sheep, horses, hogs and poultry. In a 
few years after the State began to be settled, saw 
mills and grist mills, of quite limited capacity, 
were built in several parts of the State. But for 
man^^ years lumber had to be hauled a long dis- 
tance and people were compelled to carr3' their 
grain to be ground for family- use twent3^ miles or 
more. Emigrants from other States came in from 
time to time, and the townships began to be set- 
tled, and settlers began to be neighbors and saw 
the necessity of schools to educate their children, 
and then the community- w^ould build a little 
log school house and obtain a teacher to teach 
their children to read, write and cipher. 

The common school was alwavs a favorite 


with the people of Vermont. They did not imbibe 
the sentiments of Governor Berkele\^ of Virginia. 
He hated the common school and wrote in 1665 : 
"I thank God there are no free schools nor print- 
ing in Virginia, and I hope we shall not have them 
these hundred 3'ears." At an early day, everv 
town, as it became settled, was divided into 
school districts, the people of which elected their 
committee, treasurer and collector, and the school, 
in whole or in part, was supported on the grand 
list. The teacher was required to board round in 
the families that had children to send to school. 
And each famih^ was required to board the 
teacher in proportion to the number of children 
they sent to school would bear to the whole num- 
ber of scholars attending the school. This some- 
times would come hard on a poor family that 
numbered ten or twelve children as was quite 
common in those days. But there was one recom- 
pense, the children would have the assistance of 
the teacher during the evenings at home. Every 
school district had a school house, and often times 
built of logs, with a row^ of pine desks on three 
sides of it, behind which the adult scholars sat, 
with low benches in front for the children. 

The school master was about the house, ferule 
in hand, a despot as well as instructer ; feruleing 
and whipping were common for disobedience of 
orders, and if a scholar received a whipping at 
school, he was quite likely to receive another at 
home if the disobedience and punishment at the 
school came to the knowledge of the parents. 
This was the rigid New England way of bringing 


Up children and enforcing obedience to orders. 
Children and stalwart 3^oung men and fair maid- 
ens merging toward womanhood, all attended the 
common district school, for it was not regarded 
commendable not to be able to read, spell and ci- 
pher. The older part of the inhabitants of the 
present time well remember the manner of con- 
ducting the schools in Vermont. The classes in 
both reading and spelling took their places on the 
floor in a straight line, and at the word "atten- 
tion" given b3^ the master the boys would bow 
and the girls would make their c(|)urt|sy. In the 
spelling class, if one should "miss" a word the one 
that spelled the word correctly standing below 
took his place above the one who mis-spelled the 
word. It w^as an honor to stand at the head of 
the class, and a disgrace to remain at the foot. 
The rich and poor stood on a level; merit won. 
In those early da3^s of Vermont the committee and 
the parents of the scholars visited the schools fre- 
quently to see for themselves the advancement 
their children were making in their studies and in 

The spelling school was an interesting feature 
of the district school where a health^^ competition, 
between the scholars attending the school and 
scholars of neighboring districts, was created. 
The3^ niere usualh^ held in the evening, where the 
scholars of different districts in a town or vicinity 
w^ould meet to contend for the victor3'. The mas- 
ter would select a bo3^ and a girl to take their 
seats and "choose sides." They would alter- 
nateh^ select from those present to take their seat 


Upon the side they were chosen for. The aim of 
the chosers would be to get as many of the best 
spellers as possible. The master would "put out 
the words" and the exercise in spelling would go 
on for a while, when all would be required to 
stand and the master would pronounce the words 
to each side alternateh'. The person who mis- 
spelled a word was to set down and this proceed- 
ing would continue until all were ''spelled down." 
The last standing one was the victor. Entertain- 
ments consisting of dialogues, declamations and 
essa\'S were of frequent occurrence at the school 
house. During the session of the school in the 
long winter evenings at home the scholars would 
sit in front of the mammoth fireplace studying 
and working out the problems in arithmetic by 
the light of the fire, for the lamps were then not in 
use, and even tallow candles were a scarce article. 
Sometimes a light would be procured by putting a 
rag or wick into a dish of melted fresh lard or tal- 
low and lighting and burning one end of it that 
protruded above the grease in which it lay. 

Man^' a A'oung man appreciated even these 
meager opportunities for accjuiring an education 
and made good use of their time, and became 
some of the first men of the State and Nation. As 
population increased in different parts of the 
State, and the times began to be more prosperous 
and business began to expand, and wider oppor- 
tunities opened for the young men and women, 
higher and more advanced studies were brought 
into the schools and taught. It was soon pro- 
vided b3^ law that spelling, reading, writing, geog- 


raphj, arithmetic and English grammar should be 
taught in the common schools; and this opened 
the door for still greater demands. Soon schools 
of a higher grade called the "AcademA^" were es- 
tablished in different parts of the State, where the 
young men and women could obtain a higher edu- 
cation and fit themselves to enter college. The 
Academies throughout the State were prosperous, 
useful and ver^^ popular for man^- A^ears where 
young men fitted themselves for teachers, minis- 
ters, lawyers, legislators, governors and states- 
men, and thereby not onl\^ honored their native 
State, but obtained a worthy name and great 
honor in other States of their adoption. Vermont 
has looked well for the educational interest of her 
children. Two prosperous colleges have been es- 
tablished within her borders — one at Burlington 
in 1791, and one at Middlebury later. Many of 
her sons, however, have been educated at Han- 
over, situated in New Hampshire but few miles 
from the eastern border of Vermont. 

During the first forty years of the early settle- 
ments in Vermont money was hard to be got 
with which to buy the necessaries of life for the 
family — in fact the settler had but little to sell ; 
potash was the principal article of exportation ; 
he was trained in the school of adversit\' and was 
forced to be frugal and manufactured at home ev- 
er3^ thing that the family must have for their com- 
fort. He raised his own flax, from which to ob- 
tain his necessar}^ linen clothes ; he raised his own 
sheep from which he obtained the wool from 
which to manufacture the necessarv bed clothes 


and wearing apparel for himself and famil3^ The 
flax wheel, the spinning wheel, the quill wheel, 
swifts, and both the hand and wheel-reel and the 
loom were the necessary articles for the household 
and in constant use by the mother and her daugh- 
ters. The flax was pulled and laid upon the 
ground, and dried, when the seed was removed by 
threshing, and spread in thin rows again upon the 
ground where it remained several weeks through 
rain and sunshine to make the outer fiber brittle 
and fit it for breaking and swingling — a process of 
separating the wood3^ part of the stock from the 
finer part. Then again the coarser part of the 
flax was separated from the finer by drawing the 
flax through a hatchel. The coarser part of the 
flax was called tow, and w^as made into rolls b\^ 
hand cards, to be spun and wove into coarse 
cloth from which towels, pantaloons and other 
useful articles were made. 

It was an interesting sight to go into a house- 
hold where the mother and her four or five daugh- 
ters were industriously at work, one making the 
cheese or butter, one doing up the house work, 
one spinning the rolls that had been made from 
the wool, another using the hand cards making 
rolls from tow, while another would be weaving. 
It was not infrequently that the daughters w^ere 
assisting in milking the cow' s, feeding the poultry 
and weeding in the garden while the father and 
sons were doing the heavier work upon the 

It took considerable skill to handle the spin- 
ning wheel and to work the loom to advantage. 


This kind of work was hard and made the days 
seem long and wearisome. It required the turn- 
ing the wheel with one hand and holding the 
thread and drawing it out w^ith the other, and 
then running it back upon the spindle ; then the 
yarn was reeled into skeins, dj^ed and washed and 
put upon the warping bars and into the looms ; 
then each thread of the warp must be drawn 
through the "harness" and through the reed; the 
weaver w^ould sit in front of the loom with her 
feet upon the treddles and her hands upon the 
lathe; the w^orking of the treddles w^ould open the 
w^arp so that the shuttle, containing the thread or 
yarn wound upon a quill, w^ould be thrown back- 
ward and forward, beating the threads together 
by the lathe, making a firm cloth — making all 
wool cloth for gow^ns and men's garments ; weav- 
ing linen for sheets, pillow-cases, towels, napkins, 
stand cloths, table cloths and imderwear of tow 
and w^ool. Carpets were woven, the filHng of 
w^hich were made from long strips of rags sewed 
together. Some women would "take in weaA^ing" 
as it was called — and weave man^- hundred 3'ards 
for their neighbors and made considerable money 
by so doing. 

Knitting for the use of the famih' and knitting 
articles for sale or that might be exchanged for gro- 
ceries for the house was alwa^^s in order; and this 
workw^as resorted to while visiting. There were no 
idle hours. Straw and palm-leaf hats and bonnets 
were manufactured, b^^ hand b\^ the mother and 
daughters, for sale at the country stores. The read- 
er must not think that this w^as all druds^erv. It 


was work the family had been trained to do and 
in which the^- deHghted. The joyful song, the 
lively chat and the merry laugh would accompany- 
the work. They knew the possession of a new 
calico dress, apron or shawl depended upon their 
industry-. At the commencement of early winter 
a shoemaker was hired to come into the famih- 
with his bench and shoemaking tools to make the 
necessar\^ shoes and boots for the family. The 
sons of the famiily would regard themselves well 
dressed and well provided for with their panta- 
loons, vest and frock, made from the wool, raised 
from the sheep kept on the farm, spun, wove, cut 
and made up b\' the mother and daughters and a 
cap or hat made by their hand, with boots, fitted 
and made by their shoemaker, all at home. The 
average man in those days had no mone3^ with 
w^hich to purchase broad-cloth, silk hats and 
finery. Luxuries were few. Work was a duty ; 
life was a tremendous reality and there was but 
little time for pla}'. 

As time went on and population increased, the 
lands began to be cleared, roads improved and 
neighbors w^ere nearer each other, the practices of 
civilized and social life were multiplied, and 
framed houses substituted for log houses. The 
rooms in the new house would be the spare or 
"square room," a large living kitchen, a bed room 
and the back room below and an open chamber 
above used for the children for a sleeping apart- 
ment. One large chimney- in the center of the 
house built from the ground with a mammoth fire 
places in the square room and kitchen, with a 


large brick oven at the side of the chimney and 
conne'cted with it, the mouth ot which opened into 
the kitchen, and in which all the bread, pies, pud- 
dings and beans were baked. Once a week this 
oven would be heated b3^ burning w^ood in it un- 
til the brick of which it was made were hot; then 
it w^ould be cleared and filled wdth the articles to 
be baked, w^here the^^ would remain till readj- for 
the table. 

The kitchen was a great institution. In the 
fire-place was fastened a long iron crane that 
could be swung out, and on which pots and ket- 
tles were hung that were used for cooking. The 
fire place was large enough so that a large ''back 
log" would be placed on a pair of andirons w^ith a 
fore stick, with smaller w^ood piled thereon. 
When this fuel got well afire the w^hole room 
w^ould be well lighted. Potatoes were baked in 
the hot ashes and embers and the children would 
parch their corn therein. By such fires the famity 
would sit during the long winter evenings, peel 
and eat the beech nuts the^^ had gathered during 
the fall, eat apples and drink cider, of which they 
would have an abundance ; before these fires the 
children w^ould do their reading and study their 
school lessons for the coming da\'. In this large 
room w^as seen the long famil^^ table, a cupboard 
for the dishes, the large wooden clock fastened up 
in the corner, spinning w^heel and loom, with 
chairs and benches sufficient to accommodate the 

Sugar for the family use was made from the 
maple tree. In early spring the farmers bored 


holes in the trees in which the\^ drove spouts 
through which the sap ran and was caught in 
troughs dug out from blocks of wood, and 
wooden buckets. The sap was boiled in large and 
small iron kettles that were hung upon poles. 
The writer has seen as man3' as eight five pail ket- 
tles hung in double rows, side by side, in which 
the sap was boiled. The sap w^ould be boiled till it 
became thick like molasses — this w^as called "syr- 
u ping off." When a large quantity of syrup had 
accumulated, a da\^ would be set for "sugaring 
off," when friends and neighbors were invited in to 
the sugar orchard to eat sugar, when all would 
have a merry good time. 

Usually the merry gatherings of the young peo- 
ple were mingled with the necessary labor con- 
nected with the farm, or household duties. At 
harvesting-time the corn in large quantities would 
be gathered into the barns and sheds. Then a 
large party of young men and maidens, invited to 
the "husking-bee," would take their seats on milk- 
ing stools and benches, improvised for the occasion, 
around the unhusked piles of corn, and strip the 
husk from the ear for two or three hours. After 
which a grand supper of baked beans, doughnuts, 
pumpkin pies, apples and cider would be furnished 
for the entire company, who would pa.rtake of it 
w^th much gaiety and mirth. The "paring-bee" 
was another gathering where work and pleasure 
were combined. A large company- of 3^oung peo- 
ple would be invited to meet at a farm house to 
pare, quarter, core and string apples for drying. 
A large quantity- of apples would be worked up in 


an evening. The work done, refreshments would 
l3e served to the compan3% and then the floor 
w^ould be cleared for a country dance that would 
be kept up into the small hours of the night. 

In the early da^-s of Vermont, the only two 
days of the year that were much regarded as holi- 
days were the fourth of July, the da^^ of the month 
on w^hich the national Declaration of Indepen- 
dence was signed and published to the world, and 
Thanksgiving Da\^ appointed b\^ the Governor. 

The Fourth of Juh^, j^earh', if it did not happen 
to be on Sunda3% was ushered in by the firing of 
guns and the ringing of bells. Some eloquent 
speaker, chosen beforehand, would appear before 
a large concourse of people gathered from man^- 
miles around for a celebration, with a prepared 
speech which he would deliver, giving a glowing 
account of what Washington, Adams and Jeffer- 
son and the brave soldiers of the Revolution ac- 
complished. A long and a well loaded table 
would be spread to satisfy the hunger of all pre- 
sent; punch, egg-nog and rum would be their fav. 
orite drinks. The da^^ would be thoroughly en- 
joyed b3^ all, men, women and children. 

"Thanksgiving" was appointed by the Gov- 
ernor of the State for a Thursday in the last da^^s 
of November. At this time harvesting was past, 
the barns were filled with grain and hay, the cel- 
lars filled w4th potatoes, vegetables, apples and 
cider, the corn husked and placed in the crib or 
granary-, the house banked and everything read^' 
for winter, and the children readj' for winter 
school as soon as Thanksgiving was over. The 


original purpose of the appointment of such a da\' 
was to have it observed as a day to thank the 
Giver of all things for the bountiful harvest and 
the blessings of life that had come to the people 
during the year ; and it was the unfailing custom 
for the people in accordance with the request of 
the Governor in his proclamation, to assemble in 
the forenoon in the accustomed place of worship 
and hear a Thanksgiving sermon preached by the 
minister of the parish. But that which was most 
prized and thoroughly enjoA^ed by all, both 
old and ^^oung, was the ''Thanksgiving dinner." 
The da\'s just previous to Thanksgiving were 
daj's of preparation. Turkey's and chickens were 
killed ; there was the chopping of meat and apples 
for mince pies. The chicken pie was the favorite 
dish; puddings, cakes, tarts and sauces were fur- 
nished in great variety to tempt and satisfy the 
appetite, and drinks of various kinds to quench 
the thirst. Children and grandchildren (and the^- 
were numerous in those days) came to the old 
home to eat dinner with parents, grandfather and 
grandmother. Dinner finished — the old folks 
talked of former days, the great events that were 
transpiring in the world — the luck and prospects 
of each other came under discussion ; while the 
children spent their time in playing games. The 
evening would be spent in eating pop-corn and 
apples and drinking cider. 

Exercises suitable for a Christmas were but lit- 
tle thought of in those days. There was one day 
in the jestr when the men in the earl\^ da^^s of Ver- 
mont assembled for an entirely different purpose — 



that was 'June training day." The object of 
which was to fit men for war and defend the 
rights of the State and their countr3^ 



The study of the early settlements, the rural 
towns and mountain villages and the forced fru- 
gal habits of the pioneers of Vermont is exceed- 
ingly interesting, and many of their wa^'s and in- 
dustrial habits are worth^^ of imitation. The in- 
habitants were in blood and tradition almost en- 
tirel3' English, and at the same time completeh' 
American so far as they represented political ideas 
that have obtained prominence and significance in 
the general work of civilization. There was but 
little of the feelings and wa^'s of aristocrac\' in 
Vermont, and in fact through New England. The 
finer and poorer houses stood side by side along 
the streets of the villages, but wxre not crowded 
together in blocks as you would have found in the 
English villages, as there was abundance of land 
on which to build ; each head of the family, as a 
rule, owned the house and the farm on which it 
was built. The relation of landlord and tenant 
was not commonly met with. Social distinction 
was almost unknown among them, and political 
privileges were open to all. Each large proprie- 
tor attended in person to the cultivation of his 
own land, assisted b_v his own sons or b}^ neigh- 


bors workino^ for hire when his own estate did not 
require his labor. The necessary domestic service 
in the house was performed by the mother and the 

In those da^^s the poor who were unable to 
support themselves usually were provided for by 
the overseer of the poor in some family in the 
town, at the common charge. The people as a 
rule were honest; the danger from thieves was so 
slight that it was not regarded necessary to fas- 
ten the doors of the houses at night ; the people 
were quite generalU' educated in the common 
branches, especially in spelling, reading, writing, 
arithmetic, geography and English grammar. 
Theological questions and doctrines of an ortho- 
dox nature occupied the attention of the people, 
the effect of which is still seen and felt among the 
people. The deep religious sentiment and the hon- 
est, energetic, brave and independent character of 
the Vermont men and women have gone out into 
all the States of the Union as the inhabitants of 
Vermont and their descendants have made their 
homes in the different States. 

The earh^ settlers of Vermont were to a large 
extent of a Puritan stock, somewhat narrow in 
their religious conceptions, but their honesty and 
sterling character were unquestioned. Their an- 
cestors from whom the early settlers of Vermont 
derived these A-aluable characteristics, gave up 
pleasant homes in England to avoid persecution, 
and through many privations and hardships es- 
tablished their homes in the American wilderness, 
and this gives us a key to what is best in the his- 
tor3^ of the Vermont people. 


As the people from the other New Eno^land 
States and to some extent from, other States or 
Colonies fathered mto ,o:rants of land or towns 
(usualh' about six miles square) the requirements 
of education and of public worship as well as of 
defense against Indian attacks led them to form 
small village communities. The 129 towns that 
w^ere granted by Benning Wentworth, Governor 
of New Hampshire, to a large company of persons 
who became settlers of those townships and own- 
ers of the land; so, as the townships began to fill 
up with settlers each would have its own village. 
Sometimes two or more villages would grow up 
in the same township and the roads from one vil- 
lage to another and from one town to another be- 
came bordered with homesteads and cultivated 

The government of the township was vested in 
the town meeting which government is said to be 
peculiar to New England, but other countries had 
had local self-governing bodies. These meetings 
w^ere termed "March meetings," as they were us- 
ually held in the month of March annually, when 
every male person of adult age within the limits of 
the township was privileged to be present and ad- 
dress the meeting and vote upon all measures that 
came up. 

The m©st primitive self-governing body is said 
to be the village communit\^ of the ancient Teu- 
tons. John Fisk in his work on ''American Politi- 
cal Ideas," sa3's "In its Teutonic form the primi- 
tive village community (or rather the spot inhab- 
ited b\^ it) is known as the Mark — that is, a place 


defined by a boundary- — line. One characteristic 
of the mark community- is, that all its free mem- 
bers are in theor\^ supposed to be related to each 
other through descent from a common progeni- 
tor; and in this respect the mark community- 
agrees with the clan. The earliest form of politi- 
cal union in the world is one which rests, not 
upon territorial contiguity, but upon blood rela- 
tionship, either real or assumed through the legal 
fiction of adoption. In the lowest savagery blood 
relationship is the only admissible or conceivable 
ground for sustained common action among 
groups of men. Among peoples which wander 
about, supporting themselves either b3^ hunting or 
at a somewhat more advanced stage of develop- 
ment b\' the rearing of flocks and herds, a group 
of men, thus permanenth^ associated through ties 
of blood relation is what we call a clan. 

"When bj- the development of agricultural pur- 
suits the nomadic mode of life is brought to an 
end, when the clan remains stationary upon some 
piece of territor^^ surrounded b3' a strip of forest- 
land, or other boundaries natural or artificial, 
then the clan becomes a mark community-. ^ ^ ^ 
Territorialh- the old Teutonic mark consisted of 
three divisions. There was the village mark 
where the people lived in houses crowded closeh' 
together, no doubt for defensive purposes; there 
was the arable mark, divided into as many lots as 
there were householders ; and there was the com- 
mon mark, or border-strip of untilled land, 
v.^herein all the inhabitants of the village had com- 
mon rights of pasturage and of cutting fire wood. 


All this land originall_v was the property not of 
an3' one famih^ or individual, but of the commu- 
nity. The stud3^ of the mark carries us back to a 
time when there may have been private property- 
in weapons, utensils or trinkets, but not in real 

The pleasant green commons or squares which 
occur in the midst of many villages was due to the 
custom of holding land in common as in the mark- 
communit3\ The origin of the common as found 
in modern towns is forgotten, but the common it- 
self survives for the purpose of ornament or pleas- 
ure ground. In manA' old towns of New England, 
the little park now used as pla}- ground, was once 
the common pasture of the town. It is said that 
Boston common did not cease to be a grazing-field 
until 1830. Fisk says, *Tn Russia and in Hindu- 
stan the same primitive form of social organiza- 
tion exist with ver\' little change at the present 
da3^ Alike in Hindu and in Russian village-com- 
munities we find the group of habitations, each 
despoticallv ruled b3^ a pater- familias.'" 

As soon as the towns in the territorv now 
called Vermont were granted from time to time 
and became organized b3^ the election of town offi- 
cers under its charter, the government of the re- 
spective towns became vested in the town meet- 
ing. And from the time that New Hampshire 
withdrew her claim and authorit3^ from all the 
territory west of Connecticut River in 1764, until 
the New Hampshire Grants declared the State to 
be free and independent in 1777, the government 
of the several towns was as pureh^ democratic as 


an\^ that ever has been seen in the world. As the 
town governments became perfected the\^ chose a 
board of selectmen who had a general oversight 
of the affairs of the town, a town clerk, a town 
treasurer, listers and assessors, overseers of the 
poor, constable, surve^-ors of highways, fence 
viewers and other officers. The town s\'stem in 
Vermont as well as in all New England at that 
early day w^as found in its completeness. 

There was one important difference between 
the clan, tribe or mark and the township S3^stem 
of Vermont. In those primitive communities, we 
have seen, the bond which kept them together and 
constituted it a political unit was the bond of 
blood-ship relation. In the township system in 
Vermont and in all New England, people with no 
blood relation-ship, and of different nationality 
and strangers, freeh' became citizens of the town 
with equal right to participate in its political af- 
fairs. And in the larger political divisions such as 
cities and counties blood relationship among the 
people gave no special privileges. 

The tow^nship s^'stem that prevailed in the New 
Hampshire Grants undoubtedh' gave a great im- 
petus to the prosperity of the settlements, and fos- 
tered emigration from the Colonies where that sys- 
tem did not exist. The fact that the inhabitants 
of the several townships could manage their own 
affairs, in their own way, stimulated a healthy 
growth in the several little republics and created 
a spirit of emulation between the inhabitants of 
each. But these fortunate results would not have 
continued a ver^^ l^^g time if each township had 


remained separate and acted independent of each 
other. As long as these separate organizations 
had a common interest to subserve and did act- 
ualh^ act together for their common protection 
and defense, all would be well, but it was not pro- 
bable that all would have acted in concert for a 
long term of 3^ears, after their common danger had 
passed unless there had been a common head and 
a controlling power that each community or 
town was bound to obe3^ To prevent the people 
from the different townships from waring upon 
one another there must be some authority to 
which each local organization could appeal for the 
determination and settlement of disputes that 
might arise between them. If there is no confeder- 
ation between continuous small communities, as 
controversies arise, one community w^ould be con- 
quered by another, and in time a monarchial form 
of government would be adopted by the stronger 
over the whole — a centralized administration 
destructive to self-government. The several com- 
munities could establish a confederation and . a 
central government where each division would be 
represented and preserve their local governments. 

The history of the World shows an attempt to 
form a political organization of a large number of 
small independent communities so as to secure 
concerted action among men on a great scale, 
wdthout the small local governments being repre- 
sented, has been a failure. If you secure concerted 
action without representation from the local dis- 
tricts, it will be with the sacrifice of local indepen- 
dence. The only true mode of uniting a great 


number of local governments so as to retain the 
local governing authority is b3^ forming a confed- 
eracy under the representative system. When the 
State of Vermont was declared independent and a 
constitution was adopted and the State govern- 
ment put into operation, the several townships 
secured the right of representation in the State leg- 
islature, and each town had the right, and still 
have the right, to manage their own affairs inde- 
pendent of the action of other towns — independent 
as it well could be under a well constituted State 




It has been stated in this history that after 
Governor Wentworth had granted the town of 
Bennington and many other appHcations had 
been made for other grants, and not knowing 
how far west New Hampshire extended according 
to the King's commission given to him, desiring 
to avoid interfering with the government of New 
York, on November 17, 1749, addressed a letter 
to Governor CHnton asking him how many miles 
east of the Hudson River, northward of Massa- 
chusetts line New York extended. To which 
Governor Clinton replied that the New Y^ork Pro- 
vince was bounded east by Connecticut River, and 
basing his claim upon letters patent from King 
Charles the II to the Duke of York granting all 
lands from the west side of the Connecticut River 
to the east side of Delaw^are Bay. 

On April 25, 1750, Governor Wentworth in re- 
ply to Governor Clinton's claim wrote him that 
New^ Hampshire had an equal right to claim as far 
west as the chartered governments of Connecticut 
and Massachusetts Bay. On June 6, 1750, Gov- 
ernor Clinton in answering Governor Went- 
worth's claim, said in substance that Connecti- 


cut's claim was founded upon an agreement with 
New York in 1684, and afterwards confirmed b\' 
King William, and that the lines between those 
two States were run and boundaries marked in 
1725 ; and that Massachusetts possessed them- 
selves of the land by intrusion and continued their 
possession through the negligence of New York, 
and thought he should be obliged to send a repre- 
sentation of the matter to his Majest3\ Then 
Governor Wentworth declared that he, too, should 
represent the matter to his Majesty-. 

Governor Clinton to strengthen his position 
and claim of New York sought to obtain the opin- 
ion and report on the matter from Richard Brad- 
le3', Attorne^^ General of New York. He made an 
extended and elaborate report to Governor Clin- 
ton relating to the eastern boundar\' of New 
York. He claimed there was no weight in the ar- 
gument that New Hampshire extended to within 
twenty miles of Hudson River because Connecti- 
cut and Massachusetts Bay did ; because the west- 
ern boundary of Connecticut was fixed b^- agree- 
ment with New York and confirmed bj^ King Will- 
iam ; that Massachusetts took possession of the 
land to within tw^entj- miles of Hudson River 
without pretence of right ; and claimed that the 
indefinite description of the bounds of Massachu- 
setts Bay charter would limit the western bound- 
ar\^ of that State to the eastern boundary of Con- 
necticut. The western boundar^^ in the Massa- 
chusetts charter was described as follows; "west- 
ward as far as our colonies of Rhode Island, Con- 
necticut and the Narra^^ansett Countrv." 


The Attorney General contended that this de- 
scription did not carry Massachusetts as far west 
as the western boundary of Connecticut; and if it 
could bear the construction contended for by 
Massachusetts, it also could bear the construction 
that Massachusetts onh^ extended west to the 
eastern boundary- of Connecticut ; and if the con- 
struction was doubtful the construction should be 
taken in a wa^^ the most favorable to the Crown, 
and therefore all land taken possession of westerly 
of the east line of Connecticut w^as an intrusion. 
The attorney general also contended that after 
the Dutch Conquest in 1673, a grant that was 
made in 1663 to the Duke of York was confirmed 
to him, his heirs and assigns in 1674, included all 
the land between Connecticut and Hudson Rivers, 
but admits that afterwards the same lands fell 
back and became the lands of the Co wn, and in- 
sists the3^ were in the hands of the Crown at the 
time of the grant to Massachusetts in 1793, and 
that o^overnors were appointed by the King for 
the province of York withotit giving any other or 
an^^ bounds to that province. 

This state of things would lead us to inquire 
that if the construction of the said Massachusetts 
charter was as favorable to fixing the western 
bounds of that province as far west as the west- 
ern bounds of Connecticut as it was to limiting 
to the eastern bounds of the latter State, would 
not the forfeiture of the charter of the province 
of York leave the Massachusetts construction 
to prevail ? This point the Attorney General 
did not argue. It appears that King James I 


granted the lands in question to the Council of 
Devon established at PU^mouth and to their suc- 
cessors and assigns, and that Council in the third 
year of the reign of King Charles I, granted to Sir 
Henry Roswell and others, their assigns and their 
associates forever, certain described land which 
was claimed to be the lands in question and was 
confirmed to them by King Charles I in the fourth 
3^ear of his reign, and though that grant was va- 
cated in the year 1684, in Chancery, yet, that 
they were seized of those lands by virtue of that 
grant at the time of the grant to the Duke of 
York; and therefore, the Duke of York could 
not take them by virtue of his grant, and they 
"were, therefore, granted to the Grantees of the 
Council of Devon b\' the charter in 1693. 

The Attorney' General in repl_v to this, stated 
that there was a proviso in the patent or grant to 
the said Council of Devon that it should not include 
lands that were actually possessed or inhabited 
by an3'' other Christian Prince or State. And then 
proceeds to argue that Henr\^ Hudson discovered 
the country of York about 1608, and soon after 
sold it to the Dutch who called it New Xether- 
land, and although it did not clearh- appear how 
far their claim extended, it probably extended as 
far south as Delaware River and north-easterh^ as 
far as Connecticut River. 

The Attornej^ General argued that it was not 
probable that the Duke of York made a grant of 
these lands in dispute that he must have known 
interfered with former grants made to the gran- 
tees of the Council of Devon. And the Attornev 


General claimed that the disputed lands became 
vested in the Crown by the conquest made of 
them from the Dutch by the English under Sir 
Robert Carr in the year 1660, and surrendered to 
King Charles the II in 1673, and then granted to 
the Duke of York in the jQar 1674, and therefore 
the lands could not have been granted to the gov- 
ernment of Massachusetts Bay so as to give a 
good title in 1693. If the Council of Devon had 
a good title from the Crown when the Duke of 
York took his grant, as the Council of Devon 
claimed, the right of the latter from whom Massa- 
chusetts claimed their title must have been supe- 
rior. It was not claimed that the territory of 
western Alassachusetts and the territor\^ of what 
is now Yermont was in actual possession of the 
inhabitants within the grant to the Duke of York, 
so that if the possession of the Duke of York ex- 
tended to Connecticut River, it was simply a con- 
structive possession. 

When this disputed territory became settled, it 
was settled by people from the New England 
States. The Attorney General admitted that ''the 
abdication of the Crown b3^ the Duke of York in 
the 3'ear 16SS,the government of the Duke became 
vested in the Crown," and it is not claimed that 
the Crowm had issued a new patent or grant of 
these lands after the Crown had become rein- 
vested Vv'ith these lands, before Massachusetts Bay 
had taken them under their grant in 1693. In 
view of all these facts the Attorney General jumped 
at the conclusion, ''that the government of New 
Hampshire, ^vhich is to extend westward till it 


meets with his Majest^^'s other governments and 
no farther, must terminate at that river," but ad- 
mitted tha t matters "relating to the eastern bounds 
of the New York government is very imperfect." 

Surve\^or General Golden of New York on Octo- 
ber 14, 1751, gave his observations on Mr. Brad- 
ley's report to a New York committee in which he 
said that the several tracts of land eastward of 
Hudson River for about twenty- miles are held b\^ 
the inhabitants of New York by grant from the 
governors thereof and paying A^early rents to the 
Crown, and no claim was made by him that 
grants were made b^^ that government farther 
east; but said, "that if his Majest\' asserts his 
right to the soil within his province of New York 
as far east as Connecticut River against the intru- 
sion of Massachusetts Bay it would greatly in- 
crease his revenue." 

On August 14, 1752, the Solicitor General 
said, "there are about 60,000 acres of land 
on the west side of Connecticut River which 
were purchased b\' private persons from the gov- 
ernment of Connecticut, to whom that land had 
been laid out b\^ the government of Massachusetts 
Bay as an equivalent of two or three townships 
which the Massachusetts Ba\' purchased from 
Connecticut government. This tract of land by 
the determination of the boundar\^ line in 1738, is 
become a part of New Hampshire." This appears 
to be a distinct recognition of the fact that New 
Hampshire extended west of Connecticut River. 

Governor Wentworth in his letter of March 23, 
1750, to the Board of Trade, said "the Com- 


missioners from the Crown have settled the 
boundarj^ between New York and Connecticut at 
twenty miles east of Hudson River. The Massa- 
chusetts Bay have allow^ed the government of 
New York to extend their claim to twenty miles 
east of Hudson River and have carried on their 
settlements in conformity thereto;" and said, 
in his letter, "it will be necessary to inlorm 3^our 
Lordships that the government of New York was 
founded on a grant made b^^ the Crown to the 
Duke of York and that it was to commence at the 
sea and run sixty miles north into the country, 
which line will cross Hudson River about twenty 
miles south of the city of Alban^^" 

In the report of his Majesty's Council of the 
province of New York and the Commissioners ap- 
pointed to examine into the eastern boundaries of 
that province to the Lieutenant-Governor thereof, 
they said "Governor Went worth is pleased to ex- 
press himself thus: "presuming it will be his Maj- 
esty's pleasure that a north and south line should 
divide both Massachusetts and New^ Hamp- 
shire from the government of New York, on which 
we observe, that, had Governor Wentworth been 
informed, as we believe the truth is, that a north 
and south line from the north-west corner of Con- 
necticut Colony would have crossed Hudson 
River some miles southward or below the city of 
Alban3^, and would leave that city and a great 
part of Hudson River to the eastward of that line, 
he could have no reason for advancing that pre- 
sumption, and the rather, had he been informed, 
as the fact is, that the Dutch settled Albany by 


the name of Fort Orange, and had a fort and gar- 
rison there about 140 3^ears ago, and many years 
before the grant to the Council of Plj^raouth under 
which Massachusetts Bay had their first claim." 

"Governor Wentworth is pleased to sa3^, that 
I have extended the western boundary of New 
Hampshire as far west as the Massachusetts Ba3^ 
have done theirs, that is within tw^entj^ miles of 
Hudson River, on which we beg leave to observe 
that his having done so, after being informed of 
the boundaries of this province by the Minute of 
Council of the 3d of April, 1750, before mentioned, 
and by the Minute of June 5th, 1750, that the 
Massachusetts settlements westward of those 
boundaries were made by intrusion, is very extra- 
ordinar3^ ; and we are further of opinion that the 
intrusions of Massachusetts Ba\^ within this pro- 
vince could be no good Yeason for Governor Went- 
w^orth to commit the like." They concluded their 
report b3^ advising that the whole matter be laid 
before the Lords Commissioners for Trade and 

On December 28, 1763, Lieutenant-Governor 
Colden, to counteract the action of Governor 
Wentworth in granting towmships of land west of 
Connecticut River, and to prevent persons from 
purchasing land under said grants, issued his proc- 
lamation, setting forth the New York claim under 
letters patent and grant to the Duke of York, and 
commanding all judges, justices and other civil of- 
ficers to continue to exercise jurisdiction in their 
respective functions as far as the banks of Connec- 
ticut River notwithstandino: anv contrarietv of 


jurisdiction claimed b}' the government of New 
Hampshire, and enjoined the High Sheriff of the 
Count}' of Albany- to return to him or the Com- 
mander-in-Chief the names of all persons who, un- 
der the grants of the government of New Hamp- 
shire, do or shall hold the possession of anv lands 
west of Connecticut River, that they might be 
proceeded against according to law. 

Lieutenant Governor Colden in his letter to the 
Board of Trade of January 20, 1764, represented 
in substance that both Governor Clinton and 
Governor Wentworth had agreed not to com- 
mence a dispute as to the rights of their respective 
governments, respecting the western boundary of 
New Hampshire, until his Majesty's pleasure 
should be known, and that each should make a 
representation of the matter to his Majesty, and 
the copy of their respective representations should 
be exchanged, and complained that Governor 
Wentworth had failed to make such exchange, 
and said that the government of New York con- 
fided that New Hampshire would not venture to 
make any further grants until his Majesty should 
be pleased to determine the limits between the 
two provinces, as such grants must interfere with 
those of New York and would be a nullity ; and 
claimed that the government of New York was 
surpiised to discover that New Hampshire had 
proceeded, notwithstanding the assurances of 
Governor Wentworth, to grant a large number of 
townships westward of Connecticut River. 

And complained that the granting of such 
townships had, probable, been concealed from the 


knowledge of the government oi New York, but 
they incidentally had learned by the grantees or 
from persons emplo3'ed by them, w^ho had trav- 
eled through the New York Province and the 
neighboring Province of New Jerse^^, "publiclj^ of- 
fering lands for sale at such low rates as evince 
the claimants had no intention of becoming set- 
tlers, either from inabilit}-, or conscious they 
could derive no title to the lands under the grants 
of New Hampshire;" and that therefore he issued 
the proclamation referred to above. x\nd then 
again set forth the grounds of their claim to the 
lands to Connecticut River which have heretofore 
been given. 

He argued that because "the government of 
New York first in 1664, and afterwards in 1683, 
yielded to Connecticut the lands w^estward, to the 
distance of 20 miles of Hudson River, and that 
Massachusetts Bay had taken and held possession 
to within 20 miles of that riyer b^^ intrusion, 
could be no reason why New Hampshire should 
grant lands west of Connecticut River." And 
then said, "the lands in question la^^ more conven- 
ient to be included within New" York than New 
Hampshire, Hudson River being navigable by ves- 
sels of considerable burthen to Albany, the trade 
of that part of the countr^^ will probably center 
there, to which place the transportation or car- 
riage will be much easier than to the ports of New 
Hampshire, and where the inhabitants are likely 
to meet wnth a better market for their produce. 
The revenue to the Crown if the lands are settled 
under this Province, will be greater than if 


granted under New Hampshire, in proportion of 
the difference of quit rent. " * * There is another 
circumstance of some weight at this juncture. 
The preference given to this government from its 
evident superioritj-, has induced a great number of 
reduced offiers to claim here the bounty his Maj- 
esty has been pleased by his proclamation of the 
7th of October last, to extend to those who have 
served in North America during the late war, 
(English and French) and manj^ have located their 
spots within the claim of New Hampsihre; indeed, 
if they had not, it would have been impossible for 
this government to have found lands enough for 
them, clear of dispute and not reserved to the Indi- 
ans ; but they absolutely decline any application to 
New Hampshire for lands westw^ard of Connecti- 
cut River." And then insisted that if his Majesty 
should, on any consideration extend the limits of 
New Hampshire westward of Connecticut River, 
he presumed to hope the right of property and the 
right of jurisdiction will be saved to this Province 
in respect to all lands before granted by this 

Lieutenant Governor Colden again in his letter 
to the Board of Trade of February 8, 1764, said 
"the Governor of New Hampshire, I am told, has 
latel\^ granted 160 townships, of six miles square, 
on the west side of Connecticut River. A man in 
appearance no better than a peddler, has latel3^ 
traveled through New Jersey and this Province, 
hawking and selling his pretended rights of 30 
townships on trifling considerations. The whole 
proceedings of the government of New Hampshire, 


in this case, if what is told me is true, are shame- 
ful and a discredit to the Kind's authority under 
which they act." 

In reph' to the proclamation and letters emin- 
ating from the New York authorities, Governor 
Went worth on March 13, 1764, issued his procla- 
mation setting forth in substance that New York 
had no title to the lands granted by him, and that 
the patent to the Duke of York under which New 
York claims, is obsolete, and that New Y^ork can- 
not convej' anv certain boundar\^ to New York, as 
plainly appears b^^ the boundary lines of the Jer- 
se3'S on the west and the colony of Connecticut on 
the east, and exhorted that the grantees now set- 
tled on those lands not to be intimidated, hin- 
dered or obstructed in the improvement of their 
lands, and to maintain his Majesty's government 
of New Hampshire westward far enough to in- 
clude the Grants, and encouraging the Grantees to 
be industrious in clearing and cultivating their 
lands, and commanding all civil officers to be dili- 
gent in exercising jurisdiction under the govern- 
ment of New Hampshire, and to deal with any 
person or persons that may presume to interrupt 
the inhabitants or settlers on said lands, notwith- 
standing the proclamation of Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor Golden. 

New York on July 20, 1764, at the Court of St. 
James obtained the following order from his Maj- 
esty and Council, viz: "that the western banks of 
the river Connecticut, from where it enters the 
Province of Massachusetts Bay as far north as 
the fifty-fifth degree of north latitude, to be the 


boundary line between the said two provinces of 
New^ Hampshire and New York for the time 
being." On August 17, 1764, Har. Schuyler, a 
New^ York sheriff, reported to Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor Golden that the New Hampshire people had 
turned out Creiger from his land, drove off his cat- 
tle and carried awa3^ a parcel of Indian corn and 
compelled Creiger to pay forty-five dollars to re- 
deem his cattle, and that he had arrested four of 
the New Hampshire people and lodged them in 
jail in Alban3^ 

On September 4, 1764, Governor Went worth 
b3' letter demanded their release, and added that 
it would be an act of cruelty to punish individuals 
for disputes between two governments, and that 
as to the question of jurisdiction he was willing to 
submit it to the King. 

The Governor and Council of New York at a 
Council held at Fort George in the Cit^- of New 
York on June 6, 1766, ordered all persons holding 
claims under grants from New Hampshire to ap- 
pear and produce their instruments of conve\'ance 
by w^hich the\^ derived their title or claim to the 
lands, before his Excellenc\' in Council; and if such 
person should not appear and support their title 
within three months their claims would be re- 
jected. These proceedings appear to have been 
called to the attention of Lord Shelburne, for in 
his letter to Governor Moore of New York of April 
11, 1767, Lord Shelburne said that tw^o petitions 
had been presented to the King in Council, one b\' 
the Societ3^ for the propagation of the Gospel and 
the other bv Samuel Robinson of Bennington for 


himself and more than a thousand other grantees 
of lands on the west side of Connecticut River un- 
der grants from the Governor of New Hampshire, 
praying for redress of grievances. And his Maj- 
esty commands that 3^ou make no new grants of 
these lands and not molest any person in the quiet 
possession of his grant who can produce good and 
valid deeds under the seal of the Province of New 
Hampshire until he receive further orders. 

Lord Shelburne stated in the above letter that 
he had in his letter of December 11, 1766, directed 
him to "take care that the inhabitants be not mo- 
lested on account of territorial differences or dis- 
puted jurisdiction, for whatever province the set- 
tlers may be found to belong to, it should make 
no difference in their property provided that their 
title to their lands should be found good in other 
respects, or that they have been long in the unin- 
terrupted possession of them." And closes his let- 
ter as follows, viz: "the unreasonableness of oblig- 
ing a very large tract of countr\^ to pay a second 
time the immense sum of thirty three thousand 
pounds in fees according to the allegations of this 
petition for no other reason than its being found 
necessary to settle the line of boundary between 
the colonies in question is so unjustifiable that his 
Majesty is not onh^ determined to have the strict- 
est inquiry made into the circumstances of the 
charge, but expects the clearest and fullest answer 
to every part of it." 

In Governor Moore's reply to Lord Shelburne's 
letter and order bearing date June 9, 1767, which 
is too long to be inserted here, denies the truth of 


the allegations in petitions of the Society for the 
propagation of the Gospel and of Samuel Robin- 
son and those represented ; and denied there were 
more than a quarter of the number of actual set- 
tlers on the disputed territory as represented b^^ 
those petitions or that he received a large amount 
of mone^' for fees in granting land ; or that he 
had deprived the grantees of their rights ; and he 
declared it would be his highest pleasure to have 
the strictest inquiry made into the charges made 
against him in the petitions. 

The letter from Lord Shelburne above referred 
to dampened the ardor of the New York author- 
ities to interfere with the grantees under New 
Hampshire. At the Court of St. James July 24, 
1767, the King with the advice of his Council, 
having the matter in controversy under consider- 
ation did, "require and command that the Gov- 
ernor or Commander in Chief of his Majest3''s 
Province of New York, for the time being, do not 
(upon the pain of his Majesty's highest dis- 
pleasure) presume to make any grant whatever of 
any part of the lands, until his Majesty's further 
pleasure shall be known concerning the same." 

This order was construed to prohibit onlv the 
granting of such of the lands as had been actualh' 
granted by the government of New Hampshire. 
The Legislature of New York about the year 1769 
passed an act for the partition of certain land 
called Wallumschock that had been granted to 
James DeLance\^ and others under letters patent 
bearing date Juh^ 15, 1739, and were located in 
the Countv of Albanv and included land east of 


the 20 mile line. And commissioners and surve3'- 
ors were sent to make partition of the land with 
the expectation that it would augment his Maj- 
est^^'s quit-rents. 

The surveyors and commissioners from Albany 
in running the line met with some opposition from 
the settlers. Thereupon Lieutenant Governor 
Golden issued his proclamation commanding the 
Sheriff of the County of Albany to apprehend and 
take James Breckenridge, Samuel Robinson, 
Moses Robinson and several others, that he 
called rioters and offenders, and commit them, and 
that they be dealt wdth according to law. Com- 
plaints were made by Governor Wentworth to 
Colden that WiUiam Deane and others of Windsor 
in the County of Cumberland in the Province of 
New York were trespassing against his Majest}^ 
by cutting, felling and destroying white pine trees 
off from lands in the town of Windsor w^hereb3' 
the trespassers had forfeited the lands that had 
been granted to them, and said land for that rea- 
son had become vested in the Crown. 

For a w^hile after the King in Council on Julv 
20, 1764, had declared that the New York Prov- 
ince extended to Connecticut River, New Hamp- 
shire ceased to make claim to lands west of Con- 
necticut River or to protect the inhabitants of the 
New Hampshire Grants from the encroachments 
of the New York authorities on their rights and 
possessions. In consequence of the withdrawal ot 
any claim to the territory known as the New 
Hampshire Grants by New Hampshire, many of 
the people inhabiting the said Grants began to 


assert their independence and resist any Xew York 

New York sympathizers, to the number of 436, 
residing in the Counties of Cumberland and Glou- 
cester, on November 1, 1770, petitioned to the 
King, setting forth that anciently the Colony of 
Nev^ York was bounded on the east by Connecti- 
cut River; that the government of New Hamp- 
shire was limited, and confined in its extent west- 
w^ard to his Majesty's other governments, and 
that notwithstanding this clear designation of 
boundar3' to each Province, New Hampshire con- 
tinued to make grants westward of that river till 
finally on July 20, 1764, the Royal order deter- 
mined and declared the western bank of the Con- 
necticut River was the boundary line between the 
Provinces of New Hampshire and Nevv^ York; and 
complaining that in June 1770, a number disor- 
derly'- persons of Windsor in the County of Cum- 
berland, in a riotous manner and by threats ob- 
structed the proceedings of the Court of Common 
Pleas, and claimed that no obedience vv^as due to 
magistrates and civil officers, and their action was 
unauthorized ; and that the jurisdiction belonged 
to the government of New Hampshire ; and that 
said riotous persons eluded public justice b3^ flight 
into New Hampshire ; and said rioters and others 
had signed a petition to have the jurisdiction 
changed from New York to New Hampshire ; and 
all of this was done to elude the punishment due 
to transgressors ; to promote the interests of in- 
dividuals w^ho have made a traffic of the New 
Hampshire titles and to aggrandize the family of 


the late Governor Wentworth, for whose benefit 
reservations of land were made in all the numer- 
ous grants w^hich he thought proper to pass. 

On December 3, 1770, four hundred and eight 
persons, representing themselves inhabitants of 
certain lands on the w^est side of the Connecticut 
River in the Province of New York made petition 
to John Earl of Dunmore, Captain General and 
Governor-in-Chief in and over the Province of New 
York, setting forth that an uuhapp}^ controversy- 
had existed for some years between the govern- 
ments of New York and New Hampshire rela- 
tive to the validit\^ of the grants issued b\^ the lat- 
ter, which has proved extreme^ detrimental to 
the Crown and the countr3' ; that they had settled 
on the lands granted them and cultivated and im- 
proved them, conceiving their title to be good till 
the Royal Order of July 20, 1764, determining that 
New York extended to the western bank of the 
Connecticut River ; that they now were desirous of 
holding the same under New York and asked for a 
confirmation of the title of their lands under New 
York for a moderate fee ; and that the lands that 
w^ere not improved might be granted on the usual 

On January 27, 1771, a petition signed by 
many persons residing in the territory known as 
the New Hampshire Grants, was presented to the 
King, setting forth that they w-ere faithful, obedi- 
ent subjects, w^hose only hope of relief from imme- 
diate povert3% distress and ruin, with their helpless 
wives and children, depended upon his Majest3^'s 
lenient and paternal interposition, that the3' were 


within jurisdiction of New York which was for- 
merh' in his Majesty's Province of New Hamp- 
shire; that they in good faith settled, cultivated, 
inhabited and improved the lands granted to 
them under the patent issued to them b\' lienning 
Went worth, and iexpended their whole fortune 
and all their labor on the premises so granted to 
them. The jurisdictional Hne having been re- 
moved the\*, therefore, were included in New York, 
which ''is and forever will be highly detrimental 
and disagreeable to them, both in their property 
and good government;" and since the change of 
jurisdiction, their possessions have been granted to 
other people under the great seal of New Y^ork ; 
that writs of ejectment have been brought, their 
property wrested from them ; their persons im- 
prisoned and their whole substance wasted in 
fruitless law suits merely to enrich a few men in 
said Province of New Y^ork ; that man\' of the pe- 
titioners were soldiers in his Majesty's army in 
the English and French war in North America ; 
and asked to be preserved from impending evils b^- 
being re-annexed to New Hampshire. 

Lord Dunmore from New Y'ork wrote Lord 
Hillsborough March 9, 1771, respecting the trou- 
bles in the New Hampshire Grant territory. He 
said "this is a fine country, capable of great culti- 
vation, and of subsisting many thousands of 
useful subjects." 

He claimed that the disorders there owe their 
origin and progress to the intrigues of persons in 
power in the Province of New Hampshire, with 
aims of enhancing their private fortunes, out of 


the Crown lands, and in the vain hope that his 
Majesty may be moved to annex this territor\" to 
the Province of New Hampshire under which their 
grants were obtained. He claimed that a great 
majority of the settlers were averse to a change, 
but w^ell disposed to a peaceable submission to the 
decision of his Majesty of 1764, and there would 
be no established tranquility in that quarter till 
the revocation of the late order by which the 
grants of this province w^ere suspended. 

On March 4, 1771, Alexander Colden, Surveyor 
General of lands for the Province of New York, 
made his certificate that on May 22, 1765, he re- 
ceived a cop3^ of an order of the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor directing him, until further orders, not to 
make return of any warrant of survey, then al- 
read\', or which might thereafter come to his hand, 
of any lands actually settled by persons under the 
grants of the government of New Hampshire 
westward of Connecticut River and eastward of 
Hudson River, unless for persons in actual pos- 
session thereof, and that he had complied with 
such order. 




The adherents of New York continued to send 
in their complaints to the authorities of that 
State accompanied by man3' affidavits, claiming 
that the inhabitants of the Grants were fomenting 
disorder; that they had become purchasers of 
land under the New Hampsliire grants after the 
proclamation of Governor Golden of December 28, 
1763, in which he claimed that New^ York claimed 
jurisdiction to Connecticut River ; that such set- 
tlers purchased their lands on condition never to 
pay the purchase money except the New Hamp- 
shire title be made good ; they do not submit to 
the laws, customs or usages of the government of 
New York ; they choose selectmen for the town- 
ships and hold frequent town meetings pursuant to 
their charters, and make the laws of New Hamp- 
shire the rule of their conduct ; the^- declare they 
have tied up and publicly whipped persons who 
had settled under titles derived from New York ; 
and they have threatened to serve every person 
in like manner who should come there on the like 
errand ; that proprietors under New York have al- 
wa3^s been disposed to treat the settlers under 

1 :249 1 


New Hampshire with tenderness and forbearance 
which the3^ have construed to arise solely from the 
proprietors under New York doubting the validity 
of their own title, and it has increased the spirit of 
opposition of the New Hampshire Grants, and 
thcA^ assert that the suits of ejectment brought 
against them under the authority of New York 
were simpW to frighten them ; that the New York 
officers w^ere resisted b^' armed men when the3' 
came to serve writs of possession against the de- 
fendants in the ejectment suits; that the settlers 
under New Hampshire were animated Hvnth hopes 
that the Royal order of July 20, 1764, might be 
rescinded ; that had it not been for the encourage- 
ment given to the settlers b3' the Governor of New^ 
Hampshire that the3^ would be soon annexed to 
New' Hampshire, they w^ould have submitted to 
the laws and jurisdiction of New York, and the 
disputes concerning land titles would have been at 
at an end. 

John Munroe represented in his affidavit that 
the settlers in the vicinit^^ of Shaftsbur3', since 
his Majest3^'s order in Council of Jul3^ 20, 1764, 
had increased five-fold, and purchased, for a small 
consideration, titles under New Hampshire, when 
they knew the land had been granted b3^ the gov- 
ernment of New York, and that the people regu- 
lated themselves by the laws of New Hampshire 
and the charters granted by Governor Went- 
worth ; that a number of persons disguised, res- 
cued from a Constable, Moses Robinson w^hom the 
Constable had in charge as a prisoner, and when 
the Constable commanded them to disperse and 


surrender up his prisoner and telling them the^' 
were acting against law, the\' "damned the laws of 
New York and said the^^ had better laws of their 
own," and obliged the Constable and his assist- 
ants to fly for their lives ; that the claimants un- 
der New Hampshire had in general confederated 
to resist by force of arms the execution of the laws 
of New York ; that the Sheriff undertook to serve 
a writ of possession on one Isaiah Carpenter. 
The Sheriff found Carpenter and some of his neigh- 
bors in the house armed to resist, one gun loaded 
with powder and bullets and one with powder 
and kidne^^ beans. 

The affidavit of one Simeon Stevens who 
claimed to be an inhabitant of Charleston in the 
Province of New Hampshire, taken at New York 
City, stated, that he understood and believed that 
Governor Wentworth granted all the lands on the 
west side of Connecticut River without the advice 
of his Council in granting the respective tracts, 
but did obtain their general advice for making the 

Samuel Wells of Brattleboro. one of the judges 
of the Court of Common Pleas, and one of his 
Majesty's Justices of the Peace who purchased 
lands under Governor Wentworth before 1762, 
which was confirmed to him b^^ a grant from the 
government of New York, stated in his affida- 
vit, given March 2, 1771, that at the time the 
King had determined that the eastern boundary- 
of New York was the Connecticut River, Jul\' 20, 
1764, the Province of New York to the eastward 
of the Green Mountains had verv few inhabitants, 


but at the time of giving his affidavit the3^ had in- 
creased to ten times the former number and had 
purchased lands under the New Hampshire pa- 
tents, but since the King's determination afore- 
said many were desirous of taking out new grants 
from the Province of New York : he said that 
within two years the people in that part of the 
country have been induced to conceive that that 
part of the countrj^ w^ould soon be annexed to 
New Hampshire, and that they had been encour- 
aged in that view by Governor Wentworth ; that 
a petition to his Majesty to bring about the an- 
nexation had been widely circulated in the north- 
ern part of the district and signed b^^ many of the 
people, whether inhabitants of that country' or 
not and b\^ children down to 12 3'ears of age; but 
the settlers in the southerly part of that tract east 
of the Green Mountains had not signed the peti- 
tion and were almost universally desirous of re- 
maining in the Province of New York. 

Many affidavits substantially of the same char- 
acter were taken in the interest of New York. 
One John Kelley stated in his affidavit, bearing 
date March 6, 1771, that he had a map that he 
procured from a gentleman in New Hampshire as 
an authentic draft of the lands said to have been 
granted by Governor Wentworth on the west side 
of Connecticut River, and from that, it appeared 
that Governor Wentworth had issued 129 pa- 
tents, the names of the townships and the dates 
oi the grants being given, commencing with Ben- 
nington, that was issued Januar\^ 3, 1749, and 
ending with Corinth that was issued February 4, 


The number of inhabitants in the County of 
Cumberland in 1771, was 3947, and in Gloucester 
Count\^ 762 as given in the New York Document- 
ary History. In the County of Gloucester at that 
date there were 121 heads of families as given in 
said Historv. 

On Ala^' 30, 1771, John Munro, a Justice of the 
Peace, wrote to Secretary- Ban\'ar in the interest 
of the New York government, that "ever^- person 
that pretends to be a friend to this government is 
in danger of both life and propert^^ ; for m\' own 
part I have done every thing that might be a 
means to prevail, but all to no purpose, for every 
act of friendship that the government and minis- 
ters of justice show them, seems to raise their 
spirits as if the whole government Avere afraid of 
them. They assemble themselves together in the 
night time and throw down all Yorkers fences and 
drive the cattle into the fields and meadows and 
destroy both grass and corn and do every mis- 
chief they can think of." 

Accompanying this letter were affidavits of 
Samuel Willoughb\' and David Wing taken before 
said Munro as Justice. Willoughb^', who was one 
of his Majest^^'s Constables, stated that he was 
overtaken on the King's highway- by a number of 
rioters armed with clubs, and that one of them 
laid hold of him with his club over his head, and 
threatened his life unless he would carrA- off the 
writ of ejectment which he had served upon one of 
the rioter's wives in his absence, which the Consta- 
ble refused to do, upon which one of the rioters 
came up and laid the writ upon his arm and 


obliged him to bring it off; and that on the night 
of the 23d day of Maj' 1771, on his way from Al- 
bany to Bennington to serve some executions, he 
lodged at the house of Samuel Safford in Benning- 
ton, and that in the night the famih' were alarmed 
b3^ the firing of a gun, and in the morning he found 
his horse had been shot dead. 

David Wing stated in his affidavit that on May 
21, 1771, he was commanded to assist Samuel 
Pease, one of his Majesty's Constables of the 
Count3^ of Alban3% to take one Thomas French 
with others for rioting, but the^' were met by a 
number of rioters ; they found French's house sur- 
rounded b^^ a great number of men "vowing that 
the Constable and his party should carry no man 
out of town, and if the Constable carried one to 
jail, the jail should not stand three weeks; they 
damned the rascally Yorkers, Esquire Munro and 
all his authorit3^ with manv such other ex- 

In a long document addresssd b\' the Board of 
Trade to the Lords of the Priv3^ Council June 6, 
1771, the Board in a general wa^^ claimed that 
the jurisdiction of New York extended to Connec- 
tict River, but at the same time suggested, to save 
disputes and for effectually securing the settlers 
under New Hampshire grants in the possession of 
what the^' have alread^^ settled and improved, 
that it be submitted to a jury whether there had 
been any actual settlement and improvement of 
the lands claimed under the New^ Hampshire 
grants, and if such settlements and improvements 
were found to have been made before grants were 


made b3' New York, such settlers should have pref- 
erence and be left in possession. 

On October 2, 1771, the Governor of Xew York 
addressed a letter to the Governor of Xew Hamp- 
shire, complainin"^ that his Excellence had pro- 
em ed Whiting and Grant to explore Connecticut 
River, with the purpose of showing that the 
northern limits of Xew York would in no part in- 
tersect the Connecticut River, and that his Majes- 
t3^ mi^jht be induced from this circumstance to al- 
ter and extend the jurisdiction of Xew Hampshire. 
And stating that he had received intelligence that 
Whiting and Grant, instead of tracing to its 
source the northerh^ branch which was the head 
of the river, pursued an easterly branch above the 
township of 'Lancaster to its source that they 
called the head of Connecticut River. 

The following account of an attempt ot Henr3^ 
Ten Eyck, the High Sheriff of the County of Al- 
ban}', to serve a writ ot possession for the lands 
and tenements recovered of one James Braken- 
ridge at Bennington in Jul3^ 1771, is given b3' Wm. 
Pemberton, one of the Sheriff's posse. The3' found 
a large number of armed men in and near the 
house. The house was locked and barricaded and 
a number of loop holes made through which to 
fire. The Sheriff knocked at the door for admit- 
tance. He was refused admittance. The Sheriff 
ordered the writ to be read. The Sheriff went up 
to those outside of the house— about fort3^ armed 
men — and requested them to begone. The Sheriff 
asked them what business they had there. They 
then asked the Sheriff what business he had there. 


The Sheriff informed them he came to take posses- 
sion of Brakenridge's house. The\^ requested the 
Sheriff and his posse to depart, and if they did not 
the3^ would make them depart, whereupon the 
Sheriff returned to the house, knocked at the door 
and requested admission, and called upon one of 
his deputies for an axe in order to break open the 
door. As soon as the Sheriff took the axe, the 
party opposed presented their guns that had been 
previoush' cocked ready for use. Pemberton took 
hold of the Sheriff and prevented him from forcing 
the door, thereupon the Sheriff and his posse left. 
The Sheriff started for another house to give pos- 
session, but his posse vv'ould not follow him. 

John Munro in his letter to Governor Tryon of 
November 6, 1771, said, ''I am sorfj^ to inform 
your Excellency that the same factious spirit still 
prevails throughout this countr\^, for its got so 
that no man durst speak one word in favor oi 
this government without being in danger of both 
life and propert^^ — for the^^ declare themselves not 
afraid of all the force that this government send 
against them, and the\^ will hold the land in defi- 
ance of his Majesty, should he go contrar^^ to 
what the^' think is right." 

On November 12, 1771, a warrant was issued 
for the arrest of Ethan Allen, Baker, Sevil and 
Robert Cochran and accomplices, to be brought 
before a Justice to be dealt with as rioters. In the 
complaint of Charles Hutcheson on which the 
warrant was based, it w^as stated that while he 
w^as at work on his 200 acres of land granted to 
him under the seal of the Province of New York, 


nine persons armed, calling themselves New 
Hampshire men, came to the house he had built 
on the lot and attempted to demolish the house. 
He requested them to stop. The^^ said they 
would burn it; for that morning they had re- 
solved to offer a burnt sacrifice to the gods of the 
world. * * * The\' held two clubs over his head 
read\^ to strike and commanded him to leave that 
land, and if he returned he should be barbarously^ 
used." The\' often boasted that the3' could on 
short notice raise man^^ hundreds of New Hamp- 
shire men to prevent any soldiers or others settle- 
ing on these lands. He said he had been ''credibly 
informed that said Allen denies the being of a 
God, and denies that there is an^- infernal spirit 

The said Justice who issued said warrant for 
the apprehension of said persons, wrote to Col. 
Fanning November 12, 1771, "that I am of opin- 
ion no Sheriff or Constable will apprehend them. 
That it will be highlv necessary' for his Majesty's 
peace and the relief of these distrest highlanders 
who fought valianth' through the last campaign, 
that his Excellency in Council issue his procla- 
mation offering reward for apprehending those 
abominable wretches — that then some person of 
their own sort will artfulh^ betray them." 

On December 11, 1771, \Vm. Try on issued his 
proclamation setting forth that New York had an 
incontestible right to the territory to Connecticut 
River, and that sundr^^ loose and disorderly per- 
sons claimed lands under New Hampshire within 
17 miles of the Hudson River, and openlv bid defi- 



ance to the authority of his governmeut, burnt 
several dwelling houses, and were endeavoring to 
delude the ignorant and unwarj^ into a belief that 
20 miles from Hudson River is the boundar^^ be- 
tween this Province and New Hampshire; and 
claimed that until the 3'ear 1741, the west bound- 
ar\^ of New Hampshire was the Mason line which 
extended only sixty miles from the sea coast. 
And generall^^ reviewed the jurisdictional contro- 
versy with New Hampshire. And closed his proc- 
lamation, by enjoining all persons residing on the 
lands before claim.ed by New Hampshire, to 34eld 
strict obedience to the law^s of New York as faith- 
ful subjects, as they w^ould answer the contrar3^ at 
their peril. The Council of New Hampshire took 
under their consideration the letters of Governor 
Tr^'on to Governor Wentworth and said procla- 
mation, and advised Governor Wentworth not to 
issue an\' proclamation relating to the premises 
as his Majest^^'s order in Council July 20, 1764, 
had limited New Hampshire to the w^est bank of 
Connecticut River. 

In the official documents and declarations of 
the New York Governors and other officials and in 
the letters and affidavits given and sent to the 
New York authorities b\^ the inhabitants of the 
New Hampshire Grants who were sympathizers 
with the New York view of the controversy, called 
and treated the inhabitants of that territory' reb- 
els, rioters, and rascals instead of men contending 
for their personal and propertv rights. The Gov- 
ernor of New York on Alay 19th, 1772, informed 
his Council that the rioters had brought to Ben- 


nington two peices of cannon and a mortar peice 
from the fort at East Hoseck with powder and 
ball, and were making great preparation for their 
defense, giving out that a bod\' of regulars were 
on their march against them. And that Remem- 
ber Baker and his partj^ went the day before to 
the house of Bliss Willoughb3^ and cut him in a 
barbarous manner. And on the same day Gov- 
ernor Tryon addressed a communication to the in- 
habitants of Bennington charging them with 
many illegal acts and warning them of the conse- 
quences, setting forth that such acts were not 
only a reproach to themselves but dangerous and 
injurious to their families and interests and can- 
not fail of being highU^ offensive to their Sover- 
eign ; that the3^ might depend that a perseverance 
in their disobedience to, and violation of the laws 
of their country must soon draw forth against 
them the exertions of the powers of government ; 
that he was willing to examine into the grounds 
of their behavior and discontent with deliberation 
and candor, and give such relief as the nature of 
their situation and circumstances would justify; 
and would give full protection and security to any 
one the3^ might send to confer on the matter, ex- 
cept Robert Cochran, Ethan Allen, Remember 
Baker, Seth Warner and one Seville mentioned in 
his proclamation of December 9, 1771 ; and re- 
minding them that the King had fixed Connecti- 
cut River as being the boundar3' between New 
Hampshire and New York; and don't be misled or 
deceived b^^ a persuasion that that part of the 
countr}' that thcA' inhabited would ever be an- 
nexed to the government of New^ Hampshire. 


On Ma}^ 22, 1772, Benjamin Spencer informed 
the Governor "that in the town where he resided 
the inhabitants were daih' threatened to be driven 
off their possessions, the house he lived in burnt, 
and that he was obliged to confine himself at 
home as he could not with safety go from thence 
to transact his business." 

On June 1, 1772, the Council of New York made 
report to their Governor giving their version of 
the entire controversy, placing the New Hamp- 
shire Grants in the wrong. The Council admitted 
that the New Hampshire Grants claimed and 
deemed the soil of the district in controvers3^ was 
within the jurisdiction of New^ Hampshire until 
the 3'ear 1764, when the King fixed the boundar3^ 
betw^een the two provinces at Connecticut River ; 
that the property in the soil w^as not altered but 
the jurisdiction onl}^ w^as established b^^ the order; 
that since that order sundry grants have been 
made by New York government on the lands that 
had been previoush^ granted b\' New^ Hampshire. 
Such grants were contrar3^ to the prohibition con- 
tained in his Majesty's instructions to the Gov- 
ernor of New York, but grantees under New^ York 
had brought repeated ejectments to dispossess the 
settlers, under New Hampshire, whose proof on 
trials of their title, though taken from authentic 
records, w^ere rejected, and not allowed time to col- 
lect evidence to support their cause, contrary to 
the laws and usages of New Y^ork ; and that man^- 
persons had been groundlessh^ accused and in- 
dicted as rioters and thereby greatly harassed 
and distressed by imprisonment and unreasonable 


On November 24, 1772, John Munro wrote 
Governor Tr3'on that nione}' was being counter- 
feited and counterfeit dollars of the dates of 1760, 
1766, and 1768, and a crown piece dated 1752, 
were found on John Searls of Arlington and Com- 
fort Carpenter of Shaftsbury ; that he had issued 
mittimus for them and sent them off in the custody 
of the Constable and his assistants ; they suffered 
Carpenter to make his escape, and Searles they 
committed to jail, but after ten days let him go 
about his business. And then says, "what can a 
Justice do when the whole countr\^ combines 
against him — the very night I sent those two to 
jail some of their associates broke and destro^-ed 
one of m3^ potash works, which cost me upward 
of fift\^ pounds — my propertj^ is destroi'ed night 
and day. By the confession of these felons, there 
is a line of money makers from New Jersey to a 
place called Cowas Back of New Hampshire. I 
have got the names of 17 more. I have sent after 
them, but I know the Constables will not be faith- 
ful for they are, it is my opinion, less or more 

The New York Council in November, 1772, 
were informed hj Major Philip Skene that certain 
towns on the Grants held a meeting at Manches- 
ter on the 21st of October, 1772, and appointed 
Jehiel Hawley and James Brakenridge their agents 
to repair to London to get a conformation of 
their claims under the grants of New Hampshire 
and that their agents w^ere instructed to pray for 
an alteration in the jurisdiction ; thereupon on 
December 3, 1772, the Board of Trade addressed a 


long communication to the Lords of the Privy 
Council, restating their claim of the nature of the 
controversy, which has heretofore been stated, 
and too long to be stated here in full, and stating 
their plan to the Privy Council for the settlement 
of the difficulties respecting the Nev^' Hampshire 
Grants. But in all the plans suggested they in- 
sisted that the jurisdiction should extend to Con- 
necticut River. 

On December 23, 1772, a petition of 151 per- 
sons of the County of Cumberland was presented 
to Governor Tryon pra^^ing his Excellency" to issue 
a writ to enable the freeholders and inhabitants 
of the said County to elect and choose two repre- 
sentatives of said County to serve in the General 
Assembly. Said petition was read in Council and 
the writ ordered to issue. 

After the County, Charlotte, had been formed 
out of the County of Alban3" that embraced lands 
and towns east of the twenty mile line, there was 
a numerously-signed petition presented to Gov- 
ernor Tryon to make Skenesboro (now Whitehall) 
the seat of judicature for the new County, and 
that was favored by man\" of the New Hampshire 

A petition was made to the King in Januarj^ 
1773, signed by the inhabitants of Gloucester and 
Cumberland, to the number of about 400, beseech- 
ing his Majesty "to direct that the several town- 
ships which they hold under the charter of New 
Hampshire within the said Counties may be forth- 
with granted and confirmed to them under the 
Great Seal of the Province of New York at the us- 
ual quit-rents and half the fees of office." 


Lord Dartmouth, on behalf of the King and 
his Council, in answer to the report of the Lords of 
Trade respectino^ the land grant controversy^ be- 
tween New Hampshire and New York, addressed 
Governor Tr\'on on April 10th, 1773, giving his 
Majest3^'s final instructions upon the difficult 
matter, in w4nch he declared, "that all claims to 
lands derived from the grants of townships here- 
tofore made by the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay, should be established and confirmed, and the 
present proprietors quieted in their possessions, 
and that all grants whatever made by the govern- 
ment of New York within the limits of said town- 
ships, being in their nature oppressive and unjust, 
should be set aside, but that the persons, claiming 
possession under those grants, should upon condi- 
tion of their quitting such claim, receive grants 
under the seal of New York upon the like terms 
and free of all expense of an equal number of acres 
in some other part of the district h'ing between 
the River Hudson and the River Connecticut. 
And that in cases where an\' actual improvement 
has been made, the possessor should receive fifty 
acres of waste land for ever\' three acres that 
have been so improved." They also decided that 
grants made b3' New York, antecedent to those 
made by New Hampshire, should be confirmed, if 
possession had been taken and improvements 
made. And that all townships laid out by the 
Governor of New Hampshire or New York, not 
included within the limits of antecedent grants, 
be established as townships, and all persons pos- 
sessed of shares therein where actual settlement 


and improvement have been made be quieted 
in such possession. And recommended that the 
legislature of Xew York establish some mode 
to ascertain by a jury the state of possession, 
settlement and improvement on such lands. And 
all other lands not granted be disposed of as 
the King shall think fit. No order was made to 
place the disputed lands within the jurisdiction of 
New Hampshire. These orders did not satisfy the 
people generalfy living in the disputed territor\\ 

Governor Tryon not being quite satisfied with 
the above instructions and order of the King and 
and his Council, addressed Lord Dartmouth on 
Jufy 1, 1773, and said, "3^our Lord is alread}^ ap- 
praised that the measures recommended by the 
Lords of Trade cannot be carried into execution 
without the authority of the legislature, and 3'ou 
will permit me frankfy to declare that I think I 
cannot flatter mj-self with the slightest hope of 
procuring the concurrence of the Assembl3^ of this 
Province in a scheme so repugnant to the claims 
of persons who from their numbers and connec- 
tions have a very powerful influence in the Col- 
ony." And urged that his Majesty should take 
the matter into his own hands without the aid of 
the legislature and "declare the New York Patents 
valid whether the3' do or do not interfere with 
prior or subsequent grants under New Hampshire. 
And that all New Hampshire Patents be declared 
void." And make liberal equivalents out of 
waste lands to the settlers under New Hampshire 

In August 1773, more rioting was reported. 


James Henderson wrote August 12, 1773, "last 
night we were overpowered b^^ more than 100 
men. Our houses are all burnt down. The grist 
mill is all put down ; the mill stones broke and 
thrown into the creek; the corn all destro^^ed by 
their horses ; and w4ien it was proposed that we 
should build houses and keep possession, they 
threatened to bind some of us to a tree and skin 
us alive, therefore we think it impossible for us to 
live here in peace." 

John Munro wrote again to Governor Tr\^on 
on August 22, 1773, "that the mob had broke 
loose. * * * A few nights ago all my pot and 
pearl ash, with twenty barrels of pot and pearl 
ash were burnt to ashes in the night time. ^ * * 
Last night one of the mob was taken b3' a Con- 
stable for stealing a horse but the mob rescued 
him immediately and carried him to Benning- 
ton." This letter was read in Council on Septem- 
ber 20, 1773. 

John Cameron made affidavit at New York 
City September 25, 1773, which set forth that he 
and several others settled as tenants of Col. John 
Reid on lands on the Otter Creek in Charlotte 
County, while viewing the land with Colonel 
Reid, were met by two Englishmen who claimed a 
part of the land under New Hampshire on which 
houses had been built by Reid's former tenants ; 
that crops were growing on said lands ; that said 
New England claimants agreed to remove from 
the land till the King's pleasure should be known, 
if Reid would purchase their crop, which Reid con- 
sented to do ; and that Reid paid over 61 pounds 


for the crops, and Reid's tenants took possession 
of the land; and notwithstanding this a mob on 
August 11, 1773, turned James Henderson and 
others out of their houses and burnt them to the 
ground, and let loose about 50 horses into the 
field of corn that Colonel Reid had purchased, and 
also burnt a large stack of ha^^ ; that rioters on 
the next day headed by Allen, Baker and Warner 
destroyed Reid's grist mill; that the said Cam- 
eron then demanded by what authority- or law 
they committed such violence, to which Baker re- 
plied that the3^ lived out of the bounds of the law, 
and holding up his gun said that was his law and 
that thc}^ were resolved never to allow an}^ per- 
son claiming under New York to settle in that 
part of the Province, but if he would join with 
them they would give him lands for nothing ; that 
he saw among the rioters one Joshua Hide one of 
the men that Reid had paid for his crops. 

On August 31, 1773, the Council of New York 
advised the Governor to request the Commander- 
in-Chief to order troops to occupA^ the posts of Ti- 
conderoga and Crown Point to keep the peace 
and aid in the execution of the law^ in that part of 
the countr}'. Governor Tr^-on sought to obtain 
some of the King's troops through General Haldi- 
mand, but Lord Dartmouth informed the Gov- 
ernor through General Haldimand ''that the King 
does not think fit that his Majesty's troops 
should be drawn out in aid of the civil power in 
the Colonies, unless in case of absolute and una- 
voidable necessity. 

Benjamin Spencer in his affidavit taken Decem- 


ber 6, 1773, set forth in substance that a mob led 
by Ethan Allen, Seth Warner and Remember 
Baker, numbering in all 130 to 150 men, on No- 
vember 12, 1773, broke down his door with an 
axe and entered his house, and ordered him to 
arise and called him an old offender, and that he 
and his townsman must take and hold their lands 
under New Hampshire and submit to the rules of 
their mob or the\' would destro3^ their property- 
and make them quit the country ; that he was 
taken to the house of Joseph Smith in Durham 
where the mob concluded to hold their Court ; 
there the^^ erected what they called a "judgement 
seat," where Allen, Warner, Baker and Robert 
Cochran took their seats as judges ; that they 
charged him that he had made application to the 
government of New York for title to his land and 
induced others to join him ; that he acted as Com- 
missioner of the Peace under the Great Seal and 
government of New York contrar\^ to t/2e2r orders 
and rules ; had issued warrant against one of 
their part^^ for trespass and induced people to pay 
respect and obedience to the laws of New^ York. 
The Judges adjudged his house a nuisance and 
that it should be burned. "The3' accordingly set 
the roof on fire and took the roof entirely off with 
great shouting of joy and much noise and tu- 
mult." They charged Spencer not to act as a 
magistrate or do an^^thing against their interest 
on pain of the severest punishment. 

On February 4, 1774, the New York Grand 
Committee of Grievances made report, on the 
claimed outrages, to the New York Assembl_v, and 


recommended that the Governor be addressed to 
"issue a Proclamation offering a reward of fifty 
pounds for apprehending and securing in his Maj- 
est\^'s gaol in Albany for each or either of the fol- 
lowing persons, viz: Ethan Allen, Setli Warner, 
Remember Baker, Robert Cochran, Peleg Sunder- 
land, S3dvanus Brown, James Brackenridge and 
John Smith" whom thej^ denominated ringleaders 
and actors in the riots. The House brought in a 
bill accordingly. On March 9, 1774, Governor 
Tryon issued his Proclamation as prayed for, ex- 
cept he increased the reward for the apprehension 
and securing Allen and Baker to 100 pounds 

On September 1, 1774, the said Benjamin 
Hough complained to Lieutenant-Governor 
Golden again of the conduct of rioters and said, 
"the measures heretofore adopted by his Excel- 
lence^ Governor Tryon in Council, the resolves of 
the General Assembh^ and the acts of Legislature, 
(being an act to punish rioters passed March 9, 
1774,) instead of producing this salutary effect, 
have only served to increase the rage and malice 
of those dissolute people and to expose your peti- 
tioners to fresh insults, and, if possible, to greater 
danger, * * * that the rioters were unrestrained 
by principles of duty or fear of punishment, and 
seem to have arrived at the last stage of deliber- 
ate opposition to government and laws ; that 
they have lately erected two fortresses in the 
County of Charlotte — one on Onion River and the 
other on Otter Creek, an act of hostility; * * * 
that the inhabitants that are averse to the law^- 


less proceedings are daih^ exposed to the most im- 
minent dangers in persons and property, and that 
their magistrates are treated with so much inhu- 
manity^ the^^ can have no reason to look for the 
least mercy. 

On September 7, 1774, the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor applied to General Gage for a militar\^ force 
to aid in quelling disturbances, but it was again 
refused. Lieutenant-Governor Golden wrote to 
Lord Dartmouth October 4, 1774, that the affi- 
davits sent him show how much his Majesty's 
peaceable subjects are molested and insulted b^^ a 
lawless set of men who at first settled there under 
a claim made b^^ the government of New Hamp- 
shire; but since the\' have been disowned b\^ that 
government, thev will pa\^ obedience to none— as- 
sume all power to themselves, choose magistrates, 
erect Courts and inflict punishments. Fugitives 
from all the neighboring governments resort 
thither, so the\" are now become numerous and a 
dangerous bod^^ of banditti which is ever^^ day in- 
creasing." The object of Golden in writing to 
Lord Dartmouth was to get aid from the King's 
troops, but Dartmouth declined to lavor his 

Lord Dartmouth on December 10, 1774, wrote 
Lieutenant-Governor Golden, in reph' to his appli- 
cation for troops, "I do not at present see suffi- 
cient ground for the adoption of such a measure, 
and I cannot be without hopes that, when the pre- 
sent ver\' alarming situation of the King's affairs 
in North America, from other causes, will leave 
our hands more at liberty, some means may be 


fotind to accommodate these disputes without the 
risk of bloodshed." Undoubtedly the expression 
oi ''alarming situation'' referred to in the above 
paragraph had reference to the state of feeling 
that was rising through the American Colonies, 
showing a determination of the people to throw 
off their allegiance to the British Crowm, and the 
King and his Council feared that comphnng with 
Lieutenant-Governor Colden's application for 
troops would add fuel to the fire that was already 

In March, 1775, Benjamin Hough again made 
his complaint to Lieutenant-Governor Colden of 
outrages committed against him by those he 
called a mob, in which he stated that on the 26th 
day of January-, 1775, he was seized b3^ an armed 
power and bound and violently forced from his 
residence, and kept in close confinement for several 
days, and was tried before a mock tribunal and 
condemned to receive 200 stripes on his naked 
back ; and that ignominious sentence was carried 
into the severest execution, and then was ban- 
ished from the countr3' on pain of receiving 500 
lashes in case he should be found within their jur- 
isdiction. He then was dragged from his house 
bleeding and fainting under his wounds, and they 
insisted he should go at once to the cit^- of New 
York or Alban^^ ; and to add to their arrogance 
the3^ publich' gave him a certificate that he had re- 
ceived full punishment for the crime with w^hich 
the\^ had charged him, signed b^^ Ethan Allen and 
Seth Warner. He set forth that the crime he was 
charged with was that he had complained to the 


gOYernmeiit of New York of their misconduct to 
magistrates and inhabitants of the Counties of 
Albany and Charlotte, and discouraged people 
from joining them, and had accepted and exer- 
cised the office of a magisarate for said Counties 
contrar^^ to their injunctions. This trial and pun- 
ishment took place at Sunderland. This affidavit 
was read in Council on March 9, 1775. 

Other riotous proceedings were reported to the 
New York authorities by the New York s^^mpa- 
thizers, especially from Cumberland County. A 
long report was made and several affidavits w^ere 
taken giving an account of the affair or massacre 
at Westminster Court House that took place at 
the time William French was killed. They 
claimed they killed one of the rioters and wounded 
nine other persons. What took place on that oc- 
casion is fully stated in the former volume. 

On April 5th, 1775, Lieutenant-Governor 
Colden wrote to Lord Dartmouth, on learning of 
the trouble at Westminster, that the Bennington 
rioters grew from time to time more daring and 
dangerous. They began with pretending only to 
hold possession of the land on w^hich they had set- 
tled, but they have extended their designs farther, 
and are daily growing more and mOre formidable 
and dangerous to government. 

We have followed the history of the contro- 
versy between New York and New Hampshire 
down to a time when the attention of the people 
of New York, as well as the people of the New 
Hampshire Grants and of all the Colonies were 
called to take part in the Revolutionary struggle 


to free the Colonies from British t3'rannv and es- 
tabhsh the American Nation. We have come 
down to the important event of the capture of Ti- 
conderoga by the Green Mountain Boys led by 
Ethan Allen. 




The reader has noticed that in the history of 
the New York \'ie\Y of the controversy^ as set forth 
in the last two chapters, the New York officials in 
their letters, reports and official documents in no 
w^ay recognized the territory lying between Con- 
necticut River and the twenty mile line east of 
Hudson River as a separate jurisdiction, but 
treated that territory as the north-eastern part of 
the New York Province, and claimed that all the 
disturbances in that territory were within their 
own jurisdiction and rebellion against the laws of 
their State. Their complaints were against Gov- 
ernor Wentworth and the State of New Hamp- 
shire. Thej' sought aid from the Crown to quell 
the riots and to settle the disputes between those 
who had taken title to their land under confficting 
patents or grants. But the time had come when 
England was treated as the enem\^ of the Colon- 
ies and New York could look no longer to British 
source for assistance and that government must 
prepare, in common with the other Colonies, to 
defend themselves against British tyranny. 

19 (273) 


After the Green Mountain Boys had captured 
Fort Ticonderoga under the lead of Ethan Allen, 
and took a vessel at St. Johns and destroyed a 
number of boats and store houses, Ethan Allen 
came to the conclusion that it was time for New 
York to cease her opposition to and interference 
with the settlers on the New Hampshire Grants, 
and addressed the following letter to the New 
York Provisional Congress, viz : 

"Ticonderoga, 20th July, 1775. 
Respectable Gentlemen : 

When I reflect on the unhapp\^ controversy 
which hath many years subsisted between the 
government of New York and the settlers on the 
New^ Hampshire Grants, and also contemplate on 
the friendship and union that hath lateh' taken 
place between the government and those, its 
former discontented subjects, in making a united 
resistance against ministerial vengeance and slav- 
ery- ; I cannot but indulge fond hopes of reconcili- 
ation. To promote this salutary end, I shall con- 
tribute m^' influence, assuring 3^our Honors, that 
your respect for not onh^ to Mr. Warner and m}-- 
self, but to the Green Mountain Bovs in general, 
in forming them into a battalion, are 13%^ them 
duly regarded, and I will be responsible that they 
will retaliate this favor by wholly hazarding their 
lives, if need be, in the common cause of America. 

I hope no gentleman in the Congress will re- 
tain any preconceived prejudice against me, as on 
my part I shall not against any of them ; but as 
soon as opportunity' ma^' permit and the public 
cause not suffer thereby-, shall hold m3'self in readi- 


ness to settle all former disputes and grievances 
on honorable terms. 

I am Gentlemen, with greatest respect, 
Your devoted, most obedient, humble servant, 

Ethan Allen. 

To the Honorable Provincial Congress, New 

On the first of September following, Seth War. 
ner was appointed Lieutenant-Colonel of the 
Green Alountain Boys by the New York Provin- 
cial Congress. The above letter indicated that 
Ethan Allen was willing to extend to the New" 
Y^ork government the olive branch of peace and 
reconciliation, but New York made no concessions 
to New Hampshire or the Green Mountain Boys 
at this time, but endeavored to make common 
cause with the other twelve Colonies against 
England and at the same time to maintain their 
jurisdiction as a Province to Connecticut River, 
and sought assistance from the Continental Con- 
gress in the maintenance of such claim. While on 
the other hand the inhabitants of the territory 
called at that time the New Hampshire Grants 
w^ere fullv determined to resist all efforts that 
should be made, from whatever source it might 
come, to bring them into the jurisdiction of New 
York or to submit to her authority, and at the 
same time make common cause with all the Col- 
onies against Great Britain in her attempt to sub- 
ject the American Colonies to her arbitrary- rule 
and government. 

At a Convention, of 56 delegates from 36 differ- 
ent towns, held at Dorset September 25, 1775, 


the Convention had under consideration the il- 
legal and unjustifiable measures of New York, es- 
peciall}' in respect to the landed interests of the 
inhabitants on the New Hampshire Grants and in 
regard to forming a separate District from New 
York, and declared it would be ver\' inconvenient 
for the inhabitants, on account of distance and 
other reasons to associate or connect with New 
Y'ork, but that it was "necessary that every indi- 
vidual in the United States of America should ex- 
ert themselves to their utmost ability in the de- 
fense of the liberties thereof,'' and 45 of them 
signed a statement that thc}^ would "strictly and 
religiousl_v adhere to the several Resolves passed 
in this or a future Convention (constituted on 
said District) of the Honorable Continental Con- 
gress relative to the general cause of America." 
Some time in 1776, some members of Congress 
advised the agents of the Grants, not to make ap- 
plication to have their territorv at that time set 
off into a new State, but to have a delegate at 
New Y^ork or Philadelphia so that the3' might be 
ready to answer for themselves in case New York 
should attempt to have a confirmation of their 
claim over their territory, and deemed it advisa- 
ble to avoid signing an3' instrument that would 
by an^^ means bind them to New York so that 
they could not renew their pretensions at a future 

The authorities of New York had learned that 
Colonel Warner was authorized to raise a regi- 
ment on the New Hampshire Grants, independent 
of the State of New York, to be emplo\'ed in the 


common cause. At this New York was indignant. 
They said '"this State is of great importance in 
the present w^ar. ^ * - The State will not sub- 
mit to be dismembered ; and there are not want- 
ing many respectable characters, both in the Sen- 
ate and the American army, who intimate that 
they would rather submit to a tyrant at 3000 
miles distance than to avaricious or tj-rannical 

On Januar\^ 20, 1777, a committee to whom 
was referred the state of the Counties of Glouces- 
ter, Cumberland and Charlotte made report to 
the Xew York Committee of Safet\^ claiming that 
violent disputes and animosities have arisen and 
still subsist within the said Counties b\' reason of 
sundry unjust and iniquitous pretensions an- 
cienth^ set up bj' the States of Massachusetts and 
New Hampshire against certain large tracts of 
land within the knowm bounds of New York; and 
that man^' wicked and turbulent persons for the 
promotion of their private interests have artfully 
fomented said animosities, falsely alleging that 
said Counties were out of the bounds of the State, 
and that the government were determined to op- 
press, harass and impoverish the inhabitants of 
said Counties, and have incited them to disown 
their allegiance to the State of New^ York; and 
men of influence in the neighboring States con- 
cur in the design to dismember the State, and 
that it was reported that the Continental Con- 
gress would aid and assist in the independence of 
the said Counties, and such report received great 
weight and authorit}^ from the appointment of 


Seth Warner to be the Colonel of a regiment to be 
raised in that part of the State of New York and 
to appoint his own officers independent of the 
State ; that said Warner had been principally con- 
cerned in divers riots, outrages and cruelties com- 
mitted in the said Counties ; from the action of 
Congress they meant to give direct and ample tes- 
timony of their intention to protect such turbu- 
lent persons in their unjust designs; that many of 
the adherents to New York living on the Grants 
would submit to the tyranny of Great Britain 
"rather than suffer so valuable a territory to be 
purloined from them;" that the spirit of disaffec- 
tion has extended to those Counties through the 
arts and misrepresentations of certain inhabitants 
of the County of Charlotte distinguishing them- 
selves bj^ the name of Green Mountain Boys and 
other emissaries ; and in substance that territory 
was aiming at complete independence; and that a 
pressing application be made to Congress to inter- 
pose their authority and recommend to said in- 
surgents that they submit peaceably to the juris- 
diction of New York ; and disband the regiment 
directed to be raised by said Warner. 

On January 20, 1777, A. Ten Broeck of New 
York wrote a letter to John Hancock, President of 
Congress, in which he complained that they got 
no aid from Congress against the New Hampshire 
Grants, although New York were making their ut- 
most exertions in the Common Cause, and said 
that the King of Great Britain had by force of 
arms, taken from them five counties ; and attempt 
is made in the midst of their distress, to purloin 


from them three other counties. And closed the 
long letter b\' sa\4ng, ''it is become a common re- 
mark in the mouths of our most zealous friends, 
that if the State is to be rent asunder, and its jur- 
isdiction subverted, to gratif\^ its deluded and dis- 
orderl3' subjects, it is a folly to hazard their lives 
and fortunes in a contest which, in everv event, 
must terminate in their ruin. 

Thomas Young of Philadelphia, the friend of 
Vermont, as stated in the first volume of this his- 
tory, on April 11, 1771, wrote to the people of 
the Grants to proceed, call a convention of dele- 
gates of the respective towns of their District and 
form a Constitution for their State, and he 
doubted not the^^ would be admitted as a State 
by Congress. 

On June 30, 1777, the members of the Conti- 
nental Congress took into consideration the let- 
ter from Abraham Ten Broeck, President of the 
Convention of New York, and the resolutions of 
the Committee of Safety of that State, the peti- 
tion of Jonas Fay, Thomes Chittenden, Heman 
Allen and Reuben Jones in behalf of the people of 
the New Hampshire Grants and the letter of 
Thomas Young of Philadelphia, and, after deliber- 
ation, resolved that Congress, b3^ raising and offi- 
cering the regiment commanded by Colonel War- 
ner, never meant to give an\' encouragement to 
the claim of the people (of the New Hampshire 
Grants) to be considered as an independent State; 
and that the sentiments expressed in the said let- 
ter of said Young, were derogator^^ to the honor 
of Congress and a gross misrepresentation of the 


resolution of Congress, and tend to mislead the 
people so addressed. 

The New York Council of Safety took measures 
to immediateh^ put in circulation through the 
New Hampshire Grants said resolution of Con- 
gress, and James Cla\^ was emplo\^ed for that 
purpose. The Council of Safety- of Vermont on 
August 10, 1777, caused said Cla\^ to be arrested 
for the distributing said resolves through the Dis- 
trict and for notif^^ing the County Committee of 
Cumberland Count^^ to meet again acting under 
the State of New York contrar^^ to the resolves of 
June, 1777. 

On September 4, 1777, John Sessions wrote 
John McKesson, Esq., Secretary of the Xevv^ Y^ork 
Convention, that it gave him peculiar satisfaction 
that their "affairs have been upon the carpet of 
Congress — but it b^^ no means answers the end to 
stop the progress of the faction respecting the 
new State." 

On February 23, 1778, the State of New York, 
b^' George Clinton, issued a proclamation, setting 
forth at length again, in substance, that the cause 
of the disturbance in the New Hampshire Grants 
in the four Counties of Charlotte, Cumberland, 
Gloucester and Albany- was the disputes growing 
out of the conflicting land titles under patents or 
grants issued from the respective governments of 
New Y'ork, Massachusetts Bay and New Hamp- 
shire, and therein made overtures to the inhabi- 
tants of these four Counties to induce them to vol- 
untarih^ submit to New York, viz: All prosecu- 
tions against them be discharged ; all persons pos- 


sessing and improving lands under grants from 
New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay, not 
granted under New York, should be confirmed in 
their possession ; all persons improving lands not 
granted by either government should be confirmed 
in their possession; persons in possession of lands 
granted b\' New Hampshire and Massachusetts 
Ba3^ but granted afterwards by New York, shall 
be confirmed under the prior grant ; in case of dis- 
putes as to titles, not provided for in the procla- 
mation, the New York Legislature should provide 
rules of justice and equity for the determmation of 
the dispute; that in cases where confirmations 
were necessary each grantee should pay five 
pounds for each 300 acres or under, and additional 
sums for additional lands ; and then provided for 
reducing cjuit-rents. 

These overtures should be of no avail to an\^ 
persons who yielded or acknowledged any alle- 
giance to the pretended State of Vermont after 
Alay 1, 1778. The sj^mpathizers of New York liv- 
ing on the Grants continued to make their com- 
plaints and prefer their petitions ^to the New York 
Assembly and to Governor Clinton setting forth 
that their property was from time to time taken 
from them or destroyed b\' the Green Mountain 
Boys, and that they were cruelh^ treated if they 
acted as obedient citizens of New York or defied 
the authority of the pretended State of Vermont. 

Samuel Alinott in his petition of May 4, 1779, 
said the^' "were in hopes that the disaffected 
party would not have reduced them to the disa- 
greeable necessit}' of apph^ing for protection, dur- 


ing the continuance of the war with Great Britain, 
but our present circumstances loudly demand the 
speedy and effectual execution of the promise 
made by the Legislature; we shall otherwise be 
compelled to obe3' a government which we view^ 
as an usurpation, and add our strength to op- 
pose one which we conceive entitled to our dutiful 
obedience and support." 

Governor Clinton wrote from Kingstown on 
Ma3^ 14, 1779, to Samuel Minott from whom he 
had previously received information as to the con- 
dition of affairs in the north-eastern part of New 
York. Governor Clinton stated he had received 
Minott's petition and a lettter from Colonel Pat- 
terson on the subject of the unhappy disturbances 
which prevailed in that part of the State, and said 
he had anxiously expected the determination of 
Congress upon that important matter, and had 
every reason to believe it would be favorable to 
the State of New York, and he would urge every 
argument in his power to induce them speedily to 
determine the controversy and by a seasonable in- 
terposition prevent, if possible, the dreadful con- 
sequences of having recourse to arms. And rec- 
ommend the adherents of New York, residing in 
that disturbed territor\^ "firmness and prudence, 
and in no instance acknowledge the authority of 
Vermont, unless w^here there is no alternative left 
between submission and inevitable ruin. * - * if 
I should discover that any attempt will be made 
by Vermont to reduce you by force of arms, I will 
instantly issue my orders to the militia who are 
properly equipped, and w^ho will be led against 


the enemies of the State whoever the\' may hap- 
pen to be." 

Governor Clinton on Mav 18, 1779, wrote to 
John Ja3^ President of Congress, that matters in 
the Grants ''are fast approaching to a ver^^ seri- 
ous crisis which nothing but the immediate inter- 
position of Congress can possibly prevent." And 
said that the Legislature had from time to time 
made promises of protection to those who had 
preserved their allegiance to Xew York, but they 
will not much longer be content with mere 

Samuel Minott wrote to Governor Clinton 
from Brattleboro, May 25, 1779, "that Colonel 
Ethan Allen, with a number of Green Mountain 
Boys, made his appearance in this County 3'ester- 
day, well armed and equipped for the purpose of 
reducing the loyal inhabitants of this Count\' to 
submission to the authorit}- of the State of Ver- 
mont, and made prisoners of Colonel Patterson, 
Lieutenant Colonel Sargeant and all the militia 
officers and a number of other persons. Allen de- 
clared he had 500 Green Mountain Bo3'S with 
him. He treated the people here with the most in- 
sulting language, assaulted and wounded several 
persons with his sword without the least provo- 
cation, and bids defiance to the State of Xew 
York, declares they will establish their State by 
sword, and fight all who shall attempt to oppose 
them." And asked for speeds' relief. "Other- 
wise," he said, "our persons and property must be 
at the disposal of Ethan Allen which is more to be 
dreaded than death with all its terrors." 


On May 29, 1779, Clinton wrote to the New 
York delegation in Congress that the "Vermont 
business had arrived at a crisis," and that he 
should issue orders to make arrangements for 
marching to repel the outrage at Brattleboro, and 
that he should feel it his dut^^ to order the 1000 
men destined for the defense of the frontiers unless 
the interposition of Congress shall render the 
measure unnecessary. 

On June 1, 1779, John Jay wrote Governor 
Clinton from Philadelphia "that it was the design 
of Congress to send a Committee to the inhabi- 
tants of the Grants to inquire into the reason whj^ 
the^^ refuse to continue citizens of the respective 
States w^hich heretofore exercised jurisdiction over 
that district, and to take every prudent measure 
to promote an amiable settlement of all differences 
and prevent a division and animosities so prejudi- 
cial to the United States." Congress appointed 
as such Committee, Oliver Elseworth and Jesse 
Rood of Connecticut, Timothy Edwards of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, Doctor Witherspoon of New Jer- 
sey and Colonel Atlee of Pennsylvania. 

Governor Clinton w^rote to the President of 
Congress June 7, 1779, and said it was with as- 
tonishment and concern that he observed that 
Congress had passed over in profound silence the 
remonstrance on the seizure and imprisonment of 
the principal officers of government in the County- 
of Cumberland, by the revolters; that the resolu- 
tions of Congress appointing a Committee to con- 
fer with the revolted citizens, will not produce the 
salutary effects required and would not be satis- 


factory to New York, and hinted that a breach 
might ensue betwixt the Legislature and the gen- 
eral Congress. 

He also wrote to General Washington June 7, 
1779, a letter complaining that his State had not 
been fairh^ treated by Congress, and requested 
Washington to return to New York six brass 
pounders together with their apparatus which 
the State lent for the use of the arm3' in 1776, 
or in case of loss, to replace them, and informed 
him that the flour that the Legislature had 
authorized him to collect would be wanted to 
support the authority of the State, and might not 
be able to fill up the Continental battalions b3' 
draft from the militia. He seemed to be more in- 
clined to fight the inhabitants of the Grants than 
the common enem}'. 

The Committee appointed b^^ Congress to 
bring about a settlement of the differences be- 
tween New York and the inhabitants of the New 
Hampshire Grants, submitted to Governor Chit- 
tenden a long list of questions, the answer to 
which might throw light upon the controversy'. 
One question was, "Are 3'ou satisfied that the 
proclamation b_v Governor of New York would se- 
cure your property in the soil though the jurisdic- 
tion were allowed?" Governor Chittenden's an- 
swer was: "B\' no means, as it is onh' a shadow 
without any substance, and calculated to an- 
swer sinster purposes which is implied in his sec- 
ond proclamation, viz : that all such lands which 
have heretofore been granted by the government 
of New Hampshire or Massachusetts Bay and 


have not been since granted by the government of 
New York, the words, 'and have not since been 
granted by the government of New York,' wholly 
exclude the most valuable lands in this State; in- 
cluding that which is in actual possession, as the 
State of New York has since made grants of the 
same lands — and I presume to say it is not in the 
power of the Legislature of New York to confirm 
those lands, being previously granted to others. 
There are sundry- other passages in the same proc- 
lamation equallv insufficient and dissatisfactor\^" 

Another question was: "If the property of 
your lands were perfectU^ secured to 3'ou would 
your people be willing to return under the jurisdic- 
tion of New York?" Answer: "We are in the full- 
est sense as unwilling to be under the jurisdiction 
of New York as w^e can conceive America would to 
revert back tinder the power of Great Britain." 
Another question was; "What w^as the occasion 
of Colonel Allen's proceeding b3^ arms to take and 
confine sundr\' officers in Cumberland County, 
w^ho professed to be subjects of the State of New 
York?" Answer: "Colonel Allen proceeded into 
Cumberland Count\^ under the direction of the 
civil authority of this State (Vermont) to assist 
the Sheriff in the execution of his office." 

Governor Chittenden stated in his communica- 
tion to the Committee that he believed he was 
warranted in sa^'ing in behalf of the people of his 
State that the3' would be happ\^ to submit the dif- 
ferences between the two States to the determina- 
tion of Congress if allowed equal privileges with 
New York in supporting their cause, reserving all 


rights, privileges, immunities and advantages 
which they had or might have by any former 
grants, jurisdictions, powers and privileges on ac- 
count of any province or state heretofore had, 
notwithstanding an\^ subsequent transaction. 

On July 23, 1779, a petition signed by Samuel 
Minott, Chairman of a Committee of ten towns 
from the County of Cumberland, was sent to Con- 
gress, setting forth that in some instances the 
government of New York had been oppressive to 
the inhabitants of New Hampshire Grants, but 
now they were willing to redress any wrongs as 
soon as pointed out. The petitioners stated that 
now the\^ "are in the fullest sense as unwilling to 
be under the jurisdiction of Vermont, as we can 
conceive America would be to revert back under 
the power of Great Britain, and they should con- 
sider their lives and properties equal insecure." 
And asked Congress as speedily as possible to re- 
store peace to them. 

On August 27, 1779, the New York Legislature 
instructed their delegates in Congress to "entreat 
once more the mediation of Congress" in the set- 
tlement of the controversy with Vermont, they 
having been informed that a quorum of the Com- 
mittee appointed bv Congress had never met. 
They stated to their delegates, "that they were 
persuaded their successful efforts to expel a for- 
eign tyranny would avail them little while they 
remain subject to the domestic usurpation ; that 
the pretended Legislature of Vermont has already 
confiscated and are now disposing of estates of 
persons who have joined the enem}^ and probably 


will soon proceed to grant the unappropriated 
lands — b^^ these means they raise money foi the 
support of their government and obtain a great 
and daih' accession of strength, not onh- by an 
additional number of settlers, but ever^- other pur- 
chaser will be interested to maintain an authority- 
upon which their title depends. These proceed- 
ings also will increase the confusion, and render 
the restoration of peace at a future da\^ more diffi- 
cult as they bear no share in the present burthens ; 
that that part of the countr3^ is become an as^'- 
lum for all persons who wish to avoid military 
duty or the pa^^ment of taxes ; and numbers are 
daih' emigrating thither influenced by this mo- 
tive." They stated to their delegates that if the^^ 
should be disappointed and Congress decline to in- 
terpose as they had proposed, the3' should direct 
Mr. Jay, to whom the3' had especialh' committed 
the business, to immediateh' withdraw. 

Congress on September 24, 1779, discharged 
the Committee that had been appointed to in- 
quire into the reasons w^h^^ the inhabitants of the 
Grants refuse to continue citizens of the respective 
States w^hich had exercised jurisdiction of the dis- 
puted District, and Congress took the whole mat- 
ter under their consideration, and in substance 
stated, that whereas disputes w^ere subsisting 
between New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, 
New York and the district called New Hamp- 
shire Grants: Resolved, that it is earnesth^ rec- 
ommended to the said three States to pass laws 
authorizing Congress to hear and determine all 
differences between them relative to their respec- 


tive boundaries and disputes which they may 
have with the people of said District relative to 
jurisdiction or disputes between grantees ot lands 
lying in said District. Congress resolved unani- 
moush' to proceed on February 1st, 1780, with 
the hearing relative to the jurisdiction and re- 
quested each party interested to prepare for a 
hearing. And resolved that it was their dut}' to 
let all matters in dispute remain in statue quo till 
the controversy^ was determined by Congress. 

On September 21, 1779, Charles Phelps, who 
had been sent to Philadelphia to look after the in- 
terests of New York in the controversy with Ver- 
mont, addressed a long, effusive communication 
to the Legislature of New York stating how he 
had used his influence among the members of Con- 
gress to attach them to the cause of New York, 
and how he had opened the subject of their griev- 
ances to the members, and that they had told him 
that it was "high time Vermont was broke up." 
But he said "some of the delegates of Congress 
think more favorably of Vermont " ^ * and 
would be heartily glad they w^ere established a 
separate State." He said "I endeavor to induce 
them to belicA-e the truth which is that if Con- 
gress don't immediateh' interpose there will be a 
great effusion of blood as soon as I get home." 

In February- 1780, Phelps addressed a long let- 
ter to Governor Clinton seeking his influence with 
the New York Legislature for the' payment of his 
services and expenses in behalf of the State while 
at Philadelphia. He claimed his services were "in 
behalf of this patriotic State in a matter of so 



much importance to the justice, the sacred ri^rhts 
of jurisdiction, the emolument and lasting tran- 
quility of this whole State, against the lawless 
and treasonable pretended dominion of such con- 
tumacious, most violent, insulting, headstrong 
and ferocious people of Vermont, risen up in the 
woods among the mountains, snatching at the 
helm of government, wrenching the sacred and 
awful scepter thereof out of the hands of those 
who were lawfully commissioned to wield it, to 
the infinite prejudice of the people of the whole 
State, and in contempt of the authorit^^ of Con- 
gress and to the whole magistracy of this, and in 
its consequences to that of the whole in United 

On June 12, 1780, Micah Townsend on behalf 
of some of the inhabitants of Cumberland Count^^ 
who had suffered by the disturbances then prevail- 
ing in the eastern district of New York made ap- 
plication to the New York Legislature for compen- 
sation for injuries and losses suffered by the State 
not protecting them, — the State Legislature hav- 
ing pledged its faith in Februar\' 1778, to protect 
its inhabitants in the Counties of Alban3% Char- 
lotte, Cumberland and Gloucester in their persons 
and estates. Other parties made their petition to 
the Governor and the Legislature, from time to 
time, to get relief from their distressed condition 
and compensation for losses sustained, sacrifices 
made, and for suffering, tortures, banishments, 
imprisonments in loathsome gaols endured and 
for having been half starved and threatened with 
being put to ignominious deaths. 


Judge Robert Yates of Albany wrote to Gov- 
ernor Clinton Februarv 24, 1782, that the Legis- 
lature of the pretended State of Vermont had re- 
linquished their jurisdiction over the Eastern and 
Western Unions, and that he had issued his mitti- 
mus against a number of those who had sup- 
ported Vermont in their usurpation, and had 
them in custody, three charged with holding mili- 
tary commissions under the pretended State of 
Vermont, seven for having by force of arms op- 
posed the government and authority of the State 
of New York, one for having accepted and exer- 
cised the office of Grand Juror under the pretended 
State of Vermont, and one for having accepted the 
office of Constable under the pretended State of 

In March 1782, man^^ of the people then resid- 
ing in the West Union in the towns of Cambridge, 
Grand ville and White Creek, who had given their 
allegiance to Vermont and had submitted, as they 
claimed, reluctantly to Vermont authority, now 
that the Union had been dissolved and the protec- 
tion of Vermont withdrawn from the inhabitants 
of that section, petitioned the Governor and the 
Legislature of New York to pardon them of their 
transgressions, and restore t^em to their former 

As late as September 27, 1782, Governor CUn- 
ton w^rote to the Convention held in Cumberland 
County, "that he had reason to believe that Con- 
gress will immediately interpose and exert their 
authority for their relief and protection." 

On March 1, 1786, the Senate of New York 


took into consideration the petition of Timothy 
Church, Major WilUam Shattuck and Major 
Henry Evans in behalf of themselves and other in- 
habitants oi Cumberland County, and reported 
that the petitioners having been deprived in a 
great measure of the means of subsistence, and 
having become odious to the present government 
of the assumed State b_v reason of their supporting 
the laws of New York in said CountA^, are unable 
to continue longer therein without the greatest in- 
convenience to themselves and families, and are 
desirous of removing immediately into the west- 
ern part of New York, providing the3" can procure 
vacant lands fit for cultivation ; that thcA' have 
a claim on the State for some compensation for 
their suiFerings and losses. 

The Senate then resolved that the Legislature 
during their then present meeting grant them "a 
quantity of vacant lands equal to a township 
eight miles square." The House concurred in the 
resolution. About 13G persons were allotted 
lands under said resolution in a township in the 
County of Chenango, N. Y. The differences be- 
tween New York and Vermont were afterwards 
settled, and the boundar3' between the States 
agreed upon and determined, the particulars of 
w^iich settlements were fully stated in the former 
volume. The thirtv thousand dollars that Ver- 
mont paid to extinguish the claim of New York to 
the land that fell into the jurisdiction of Vermont, 
and in settlement of the controversy- was divided 
between sevent^^-six claimants and their represent- 
atives. Goldsrow Ban^-ar received the largest 
sum, it being $7218.94 and William Giles the 
smallest sum, it being $5.49. 

GHflPTtR XVii. 




The religious belief, the strict Sabbath observ- 
ance and the manner of worship, as well as the 
intolerance of the early settlers of Vermont w^ere 
of the Puritan t^-pe, and were to a large extent de- 
rived from the early Colonial people of New- Eng- 
land. As a matter of fact the earlv settlers of Ver- 
mont w-ere emigrants from Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island, and they brought their 
manners, customs and religious sentiments wdth 
them. The Puritans of New- England left the Old 
World for America to get rid of the religious perse- 
cutions to w^hich they were subject, but when they 
got fairh- established here, and had become 
prosperous and powerful, they also became 

A description of the earh- meeting-houses and 
their furnishings, the length of the service and the 
manner of conducting it, and keeping order, the 
authority the church assumed or actually had 
throughout earh^ New- England, would be an apt 
description of the service and church matters 
among the people in the earh- days of Vermont. 

In each successive town settlement w-here there 
were sufficient numbers to support church service, 



the new communit3^ built a house for the pubHc 
worship of God. It was called a meeting-house 
and not a church. In the Puritan's wa3^ oi think- 
ing the church worshipped in the meeting-house 
and he was opposed to calling it a church, and op- 
posed to calling the Sabbath Sunda^^ — but chose, 
rather, to call the day the Lord's Day. At an 
early day in Massachusetts it was enacted that a 
meeting-house should be erected in ever\^ town, 
and if the people failed to do it, the magistrates 
were empowered to build it at the expense of the 
town. The meeting-houses were built of logs and 
the chinks filled with cla\'. At an earl^^ daj^ in 
Vermont, meetings in some places were held in 
barns. It was considered a great advance and a 
matter of proper pride when settlers had the 
house lathed and plastered. 

The first meeting-house in Dedham was but 36 
feet long, 20 feet wide and 12 feet high "in the 
stud." The next improved type was a square 
wooden building, unpainted, either inside or out, 
with a belfrA'. The first meeting-houses were 
built in the village, with dwelling houses clustered 
around them. In som.e parts of New England the 
Colonists were required b3^ law to build their 
dwelling houses within one half mile of the meet- 
ing-house. But as the community grew, the 
houses became too closely crowded for the uses of 
a farming community' ; their farms became too far 
from their dwellings, and w^ood and water had to 
be taken at too great a distance, and it became 
inconvenient. As the country grew older the Indi- 
ans were not so troublesome and there was not 


the necessity of remaining in a closel3^ compact 
community as formerly, and the new-coming set- 
tlers built on outlying and remote land. 

When the town had become quite generally set- 
tled and people had built upon the scattered 
farms, the meeting-houses, to accommodate the 
whole township, were located near the center of 
the population, and often on an elevated location 
for various reasons: viz., because the meeting- 
house was a watch-house from which to keep vig- 
ilant lookout for the approach of hostile or sneak- 
ing Indians ; the house and its steeple were a land 
mark and a guide on earth, as it could be seen for 
miles around b\^ travelers jour ne3ang through the 
woods ; our New England ancestors loved a 
''sightly location" for their meeting-house. 

Travelers through Vermont, at the present 
time, may observe some of those old meeting- 
houses, still standing, but deserted b3^ both the 
congregation and minister, or the bi^ilding has 
fallen and nothing can be seen but the foundation 
stones that mark the spot where religious services 
w^ere once held. And near b^' the spot ma^^ be 
seen the neglected grave yard with its fallen head 
stones where tall grass, the blackberr\^ bushes and 
the wild cherr\' tree flourish. 

In an earh^ day the church raising was a great 
event in town. Each citizen was forced hy law to 
take part in or contribute for "raising the meeting- 
house." Not only logs, lumber, nails, use of 
horses and men's labor were contributed, but a 
barrel of rum was regarded as a necessar\^ article 
in the raisins: of the meetinsr-house. In A. M. 


Earl's work on the New England Sabbath, she 
says, that when the Medford people built a meet- 
ing-house there were provided "for the workmen 
and b^^standers five barrels of rum, one barrel of 
good brown sugar, a box of fine lemons and two 
loaves of sugar." 

As late as the seventeenth centur\' oiled paper 
was used instead of glass in the windows to ad- 
mit the light ; curtains and window shades were 
in those da3^s unknown. Sometimes the houses 
were gloomy ; a parson preaching in one of them 
on the text, "wh^^ do the wicked live?" said, as he 
peered at his manuscript in the dim light, "I hope 
the^^ will live long enough to cut this great hem- 
lock tree back of the pulpit window." Notices of 
various kinds were posted on the meeting-house 
door as the most conspicuous place to attract the 
attention of people. A man who should bring a 
living wolf to the meeting-house was paid b^^ the 
town 15 shillings, and if dead 10 shillings, and if 
he wished the reward he must bring the dead 
wolf's head and nail it to the meeting-house and 
give notice thereof. Prohibitions from selling 
guns and powder to the Indians, notice of town 
meetings, intention of marriage, copies of laws 
against Sabbath breaking, warnings of vendues, 
sales and lists of town officers were posted on the 
meeting-house doors through New England, in- 
cluding Vermont. 

On the meeting-house green stood the Puritani- 
cal instruments of punishment, the stocks, whip- 
ping-post, pillory and cage. These instruments 
of punishment were used through New England 


till sometime in the 19th centur3'. The pillory 
was used as a means of punishment in Boston, 
Massachusetts, until 1803. In an earh^ day no 
stoves or fireplaces were allowed in the meeting- 
house ; the people had to depend on their cloth- 
ing, the foot stove for women, and the love of 
God, to keep them warm. Before stoves or fire- 
places were allowed in the church and before the 
Revolutionary War, a closet in the meeting-house 
was used for the storage of powder, and grain 
that was designed for the minister were stored in 
the loft of the meeting-house. And other people 
were allowed to store grain there ; and in Connec- 
ticut the church loft was used to cure tobacco 

At a later day when the people got to be a lit- 
tle more prosperous the high, large, square house 
was built with gallery upon three sides. The pul- 
pit was built on the fourth side from seven to ten 
feet high from the floor, to which a narrow flight 
of stairs led ; sometimes the stairs were built up 
in the vestibule to a door in the wall between the 
vestibule and the body of the house through 
which the minister entered into his pulpit. 

For many years after the settlement of New 
England the Puritans went armed to meeting and 
gun loaded ; the\^ were express^ forbidden to fire 
off their charges at any object save an Indian or a 
wolf. Trumbull writes the following verse, viz : 

"So once, for fear of Indian beating, 
Our grandsires bore their guns to meeting, — 
Each man equipped on Sunday morn 
With psalm-book, shot, and powder-horn, 
And looked in form, as all must grant. 
Like the ancient church militant." 


In Massachusetts and Connecticut the law pro- 
vided that a certain number should go to meeting 
armed. In 1642, in the former Colony, six men 
with muskets and powder and shot were thought 
sufficient for the protection of each church. In 
Connecticut a law was passed in 1643, that any 
one required to go armed to meeting, neglecting 
to do so, should forfeit twelve pence for each of- 
fense. In 1644, a fourth part of the trained band 
was obliged to go armed to church each Sabbath, 
and the sentinels were ordered to keep their 
matches constanth' lighted for use in their match- 
locks, and to wear an armor, which consisted of 
"coats basted with cotton wool, and thus made 
defensive against Indian arrows." The details of 
defense were carefully looked after; bullets v^ere 
made common currency at the value of a farthing, 
in order that the3^ might be plentiful and in eYer\^ 
one's possession. 

In Concord, New Hampshire, the men, who 
came armed to meeting, stacked their muskets 
around a post in the middle of the church, while 
the honored pastor, who was a good shot and 
owned the best gun in the settlement, preached 
with his treasured weapon in the pulpit b^^ his 
side, readj^ from his post of vantage to blaze 
away at an^- red man whom he saw sneaking 
without, or to lead, if necessary, his congregation 
to battle. The Maine Indians were so bold the 
church at York felt it necessary- to retain the cus- 
tom of carrying arms to the meeting-house until 
1746. In those days w^hen the church services 
were ended the men rose and left the house before 


the women and children to insnre the protection 
of the women and children, and for the same rea- 
son it was thought necessary for the men to sit at 
the head of the pew, a custom that is not heeded 
or necessar\' now. 

In some parts of New England the people were 
gathered together or warned to meet at the 
proper hour on the Sabbath by various warning- 
sounds : in Haverhill the settlers were warned by 
the ringing toot .of the horn ; the Montague and 
South Hadlev people were notified of the hour of 
assembling by the blowing of a couch-shell. The 
drum was often used as a signal for gathering for 
public worship. In Norwalk the drum was 
beaten until 1704, when the church got a bell. In 
1638, a platform was made upon the top of the 
Windsor meeting-house on which to walk to 
sound a trumpet or drum to give w^arning for 
meeting. Sometimes three guns were fired as a 
signal for church-time. In Plymouth in 1697, the 
selectmen were ordered to procure a flag to be put 
out at the ringing of the first bell and taken in 
when the last bell was rung. The first bells, for 
lack of bell towers, were sometimes hung on trees 
beside the meeting-house. These modes of calling 
the people together for public worship did not ob- 
tain to any great extent in Vermont. 

In the first meeting-houses in Vermont and in 
all New England, the seats were uncomfortable 
benches w-hich were made of simple rough planks 
placed on legs like milking-stools, with no rests for 
the back, but when the communities grewwealth3', 
spots for pews were sold ; the influential or rich 


would sit in a group together, and finalh^ a fam- 
ily would have their own famil3^ pew, that was 
oblong or square and usualh^ unpainted, but the 
owner was at liberty to paint his own pew to 
suit his taste and used such wood as he saw fit in 
constructing it, and used his own discretion in its 
stjde and finish, which resulted in much diversit}^ 
and incongruity. The pews were the individual 
property- of the members who built them and not 
common propert}-. This is difierent from what is 
now held. The law now simply gives the owner 
of the pew the exclusive right of its occupancy. 

In the time of the earh^ settlements the back of 
the pews were very high, coming up nearly to the 
head of the person sitting in them. It is recorded 
in the records of the Haverhill church that per- 
sons might build pews in the house, "provided 
they would not build so high as to damnif\^ and 
hinder the light of them windows." The floor of 
the pews were several inches above the floor of the 
alleys. The benches and pews were never cush- 
ioned. It is a matter of tradition that one Col- 
onel Greenleaf caused a nine da3^s talk in Newbur3^ 
town, Massachusetts, at the beginning of the 
19th century-, when he cushioned his pew." The 
name of the owner of the pew frequenth' was 
painted on the pew door and the door fastened 
b^^ a wooden button. 

Men frequently stood up for a time during vSer- 
mon time to rest their cramped up legs. It is 
stated in A. M. Earl's book that while Deacon 
Puffer of Andover, Vermont, was thus standing 
leaning against the pew-door the wooden button 


gave awa^^ under his weight and he sprawled on 
all-fours, with a loud clatter, into the middle of 
the aisle, to the amusement of the children, and 
the mortification of his wife. And thus it may be 
seen that diversions were frequent in meeting in 
those days. 

The important duty of "seating the meeting- 
house," fell upon a dignified and influential com- 
mittee. The order of the seating is well described 
in the lines written b\^ Whittier, viz : 

"In the good house of worship, where in order due and fit. 
As by public vote directed, classed and rauked the people sit; 
Mistress first and good wife after, clerkly squire before the 

From the brave coat, lace embroidered, lo the gray frock 
shading down." 

In some churches the seating committee made 
a list of the attendants and the seats assigned to 
each, which was read in church and nailed to the 
door, and ever^^ person should take the seat as- 
signed them, and if any should act contrar3^ to the 
order of assignment the^' were to be reproved by 
the deacons, and for a repetition of the offense pa^- 
a fine. Sometimes the fine imposed was very se- 
vere. Two men of Newburj^, Massachusetts, were 
in 1669, fined twentv-seven pounds and four shil- 
lings each for that offense. In the Puritan meet- 
ings as well as in Quaker meetings, m.en sat on 
one side of the meeting-house and women on the 
other and entered the house by separate doors. 
On one side of the pulpit a square pew was as- 
signed to the minister's family. Seats in the gal- 
lerv were reg^arded in the earlv churches as the 


most exalted, in every sense, in the house, except 
the di^nity-bearino^ foreseat and a few private 

The matter of seating was a great source of 
disappointment, jealous3% offended dignity and 
unseemly pride. This contention resulted in "dig- 
nifying the meeting," which was to make certain 
seats, though in different parts of the house, of 
equal dignity. In the matter of "seating the 
meeting-house," age, office, militar\' service and 
the amount paid towards building the house, 
counted. This custom of seating extended well 
into the 19th century. After a while the practice 
of selling the pews at vendue was gradually 
adopted, which served to allay much unpleasant 

The first religious services ever held within the 
bounds of the territor}^ now called Vermont, was 
held at Fort St. Anne about the year 1666, on the 
Isle La Motte. It is said that the French viceroy 
in Canada, De Tracy, detailed Captain Pierre de 
St. Paul Sieur de La Motte with a force of 300 
men to establish a military post on the island. 
This fort built b^^ the French was garrisoned by 
them for some twenty \^ears and was often visited 
by the Catholic fathers; religious services and 
communion were held there during that period. 
The Catholic historian, O'Shea, says, that the 
chapel in Fort St. Anne was the first erected in 
Vermont, and one of the first Roman Catholic 
chapels erected in New England. . 

The next religious services held in the territory 
now called Vermont, were at Fort Dummer. This 


Fort was on the meadow, between Venter's Brook 
and the Connecticut River, now apart of the town 
of Brattleboro. It was a block house built on the 
west bank of said river, b^^ Sir William Dummer, 
then Lieutenant-Governor and acting Governor of 
the Province, then embraced w^ithin the limits of 
Massachusetts Ba3\ This fort was begun Febru- 
ary 3, 172-4. Timothy D wight of Northampton 
was the first commander and he superintended its 
building. It was built of native pine. 

Dwight w^rote Governor Dummer they would 
live a heathenish life unless a chaplain be allowed, 
and gave as one of the advantages of having a 
chaplain that there would "be an opportunity to 
Christianize the Indians." Rev. Daniel Dwight was 
nominated and approved as chaplain and was al- 
lowed 100 pounds as salar3^ Timothy Dwight, 
the commander, became through a son born at the 
Fort Dummer, grandfather of the first President 
Dwight of Yale College. In 1730, Rev. Ebenezer 
Hinsdell was made chaplain of the fort and the In- 
dians came to the fort to hear him preach on the 
Sabbath. Rev. Andrew Gardner afterwards be- 
came chaplain at the fort. 

The garrison had become derelict and careless, 
resulting in several disastrous surprises to parties 
in various directions from the fort, causing great 
alarm and discouragement ; thereupon. Chaplain 
Gardner on Sunday, July 17, 1748, preached from 
the text, ''If thou shalt not watch, I will come on 
thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what 
hour I will come upon thee." He was the last 
chaplain at the fort. The first church in Benning- 


ton was organized in 1763, with Rev. Jedediah 
Dewey as pastor. Preaching services w^ere begun 
at Westminster in 1766, and at Brattleboro in 

In the earh' days of Vermont the building of 
houses of worship and the support of the minister 
was not left to the option or discretion of each in- 
dividual in the town or parish as is now the rule, 
but they w^ere compelled by law^ to contribute for 
such expense and support. 

The General Assembly at its October session of 
1783, held at Westminster, enacted in substance 
that it was the duty of the parish cleik on the ap- 
plication of seven freeholders of the parish or 
town to warn a meeting of the legal voters, to ap- 
point a place of public worship of God, fix on a 
place of building a house and vote a tax sufficient 
to defra\' the expenses of building; and also to 
agree with a minister to preach in the tow^n or 
parish, and vote him a settlement in money, all to 
be assessed on the polls and rateable estate 
within the limits of the town or parish. If there 
were persons in the town or parish who were of 
different religious sentiment from the prevailing or 
ruling church in the town or parish, who desired 
to escape taxation, it was provided by the act 
that such persons should bring a certificate, 
signed by some minister of the gospel, deacon or 
elder, or a moderator in the church or congrega- 
tion to which the^^ pretended to belong, that they 
were of different persuasion. Until such certifi- 
cate was shown to the clerk of the town or parish 
such persons should be subject to be assessed on 
their polls or rateable estate, w4th the majority-. 


Whether wise or unwise, the statute and the 
sentiment of the people w^ere ver^v strict on the ob- 
servance of the Sabbath. The General Assembly 
at its February session in 1779, enacted in sub- 
stance, that no person shall upon land or water, 
do or exercise an}^ labor, business or work (except 
w^orks of necessity and mercy) nor engage in an3' 
game, sport, play or recreation, on the Lord's 
Da3', or day of public fasting and thanksgiving, 
on pain, if convicted thereof, of forfeiting not ex- 
ceeding the sum of ten pounds. And any person 
found guilt3^ ''of any rude, profane or unlawful be- 
havior on the Lord's Da3^ either in words or ac- 
tion, by clamorous discourse, or by shouting, 
hollooing, screaming, running, riding, dancing, 
jumping, blowing of horns or an\' such like rude 
or unlawful words or actions in any house or 
place, so near to or in any public meeting-house 
for divine worship that those who meet there 
may be disturbed," shall incur the penalty of 
forty shillings for ever3' such offense, and be 
\vhipped on the naked back, not exceeding ten 
stripes, nor less than five. 

Nor shall any person drive a team or droves of 
an^^ kind, or travel on said da}^ (except on busi- 
ness concerning the then present war, or b\^ some 
adversity the\^ were belated, and forced to lodge 
in the woods, wilderness or highways the night 
before, and in such case travel no farther than the 
next inn or place of shelter on that day) on the 
penalty of forfeiting not exceeding ten pounds. 
And the act further declared, "nor shall any per- 
son keep or stay outside of the meeting-house. 


durino^ the time of public worship, nor unnecessa- 
Y{\y withdraw themselves from the public \vorship 
&c. on the penalty of pa3'ing a fine not exceedino^ 
three pounds. And if any number of persons shall 
convene and meet together in company or compa- 
nies, in the street or elsewhere, on the evening 
next before or after the Lord's Da^^ and be con- 
victed thereof, shall be subject to the same pen- 

It was further provided that the grand -jur}-- 
nien and tithing-men, and constables ot each 
town, shall carefully inspect the behavior of all 
persons on the Sabbath and due presentment 
make, of any profanation of the worship of God 
on the Lord's Day or an\' da^- of public fast or 
thanksgiving, to the authorities, and if convicted 
of an\' profanation the\' were subject to be pub- 
licly whipped not exceeding twenty strips. Where 
minors w^ere guiltv of such offenses, their parent 
or guardian might administer the proper punish- 
ment, and if they failed to do it the^^ were subject 
to be fined themselves. The officers and tithing- 
man were required to restrain all persons from un- 
necessary walking in the streets or fields, swim- 
ming in the water, keeping open their shops or fol- 
lowing their occupation or recreations, in the 
evening preceding the Lord's Day or in the even- 
ing following. No appeal was allowed under the 
act from any conviction. 

In the days of the tithing-man he was prom- 
inent in connectionSvith public worship, and was 
both feared and hated by the uneasy and fun-lov- 
ing bo3^s and girls and sleepers during the church 


service. The appearance and action of the tith- 
ing-maii in a church in the present age would be 
ludicrous indeed ; it would seem out of place to see 
him with his wand of office, fringed at one end 
with a dangling fox-tail and the other end fitted 
as a sharp goad, strutting through the house, 
peering around, prodding and rapping the rest- 
less bo3^s, and waking the drowsy sleepers. Some 
of the Colonial sleep banishers were equipped with 
a long staff, heavily knobbed at one end with 
which he severely rapped the heads of the sleepy 
men, and from the other end of the staff depended 
a fox tail or a hare's foot, which he softly thrust 
into the faces of the sleeping women that startled 
them into wakefulness. One tithing-man in his 
pious ardor appjied the wrong end, the end of the 
heavy knob, to a drowsy matron's head, for which 
he was severeh- cautioned by the ruling elders to 
use "more discresing and less haist." 

A. M. Earl relates an instance where Roger 
Scott of L3'nn, in 1643, struck the tithing-man 
who thus roughly and suddenly wakened him, 
who lor the act was soundly whipped, as a warn- 
ing both to keep awake and not to strike back in 
meeting. And another case of an old farmer by 
reason of a hard days work the day before had 
fallen asleep, was hit by the tithing-man, but not 
wholly awakened. The bewildered farmer sprung 
to his feet, seized his wife bv the shoulders and 
shook her violently, shouting at the top of his 
voice, "havr, back! haw, back! stand still will 3^e?" 
The ministers urged the tithing-men to faith fullj^ 
perform their allotted work. 


It was a common thing in an early da^- 
through Vermont and all New England for the 
minister to make pointed remarks in a loud voice 
to awaken those who were asleep. Mr. Moody of 
York, Maine, to awaken sleepers in his meeting, 
shouted, "fire, fire, firel" and when the startled, 
sleepy men jumped up, calling out "where?" the 
minister roared back, "in hell, for sleeping sin- 
ners." Some ministers called to their sleeping 
parishoners by name to "wake up." A church at- 
tendant of considerable dignity and standing on 
being thus spoken to immediately answered back, 
"mind your own business, and go on with 3'our 

The tithing-men were men of authority- not 
only on the Sabbath, but during the week to see 
to it that the children in their neighborhood 
learned their catechism, and reported whether 
all the members of the several families attended 
public worship, gave in the names of "idle tipplers 
and gamers," and warned tavern-keepers to sell 
no more liquor to any toper who was drinking 
too heavily. He warned all new comers out of 
town. In Vermont this warning-out process was 
by virtue of the earl3^ statute law of the State. 
This was done by the Constable serving notice on 
the new comer. This notice was not because the 
new comers were objectionable or undesirable, 
necessarily, but was simply a legal form of precau- 
tion, so that if they became paupers, standing in 
need of relief, the town could remove them on 
legal process to the town from which the\^ came 
and throw the burden of their support upon the 
latter tow^n. 


The tithing-man watched to vSee that no 3^oung 
people walked abroad on Saturday evening, he re- 
ported all those who stayed at home or profaneh^ 
behaved or lingered without the doors at meeting 
time on the Lord's Day. The latter class if they 
did not heed the warning of the tithing-man, were 
"set in the stock or cited before the Court, or 
confined in the cage, constructed for the purpose, 
on the meeting-house green. The tithing-man 
could arrest any person who walked or rode at 
too fast a pace to and from meeting. A. M. Earle 
relates an amusing instance, viz : Two young men 
who were driving through the town on the Sab- 
bath were stopped by the tithing-man; one of the 
offenders gave as an excuse for his Sabbath travel, 
''my grandmother is lying dead in the next town" 
and hence was allowed to drive on ; when at a 
safe distance, he stood up in his wagon and 
shouted back, "and she has been lying dead in the 
grave yard there for thirty years." 

It is no great wonder that the young people 
w^ere restless in church and sought opportunities 
to be absent during the service, and that the hard 
working elderh^ people fell asleep during the ser- 
vices, when we remember the great length of the 
sermon and their prosy character, some of which 
would run up to the "twenty-eighthly." The sexton 
or clerk sat near the desk to turn the hour-glass 
as often as the sands ran out, which was to re- 
mind the clergyman how long he had preached, 
but he seldom took the hint to bring his sermon 
to an end. The prayers of the minister were long. 
It is said that a Dr. Lord always made a prayer 


one hour long. Long prayers were highly es- 
teemed. A poor gift in pra^^er was treated as a 

A. M. Earl says, that "everywhere in the Puri- 
tan church, precator_Y eloquence as evinced in long 
prayers was felt to be the greatest glory of the 
minister, and the highest tribute to God." The 
congregation had the custom of standing in 
prayer-time, until quite a recent date. Sermons 
that took two hours to deliver w^ere frequent, and 
ministers did not approve, in those earh7 times, of 
having their time for sermonizing cut short. In 
the early years of the 19th century an old Scotch 
clergyman in Vermont, bitterly and fierceh^ re- 
sented the establishment of a Sunday School, for 
the children, which w^as proposed by some pro- 
gressive parishioner during the nooning; and this 
parson craftily and somewhat maliciously pro- 
longed his morning sermons to shorten the time 
of the nooning and thus crowd out the Sunday 

This Vermont congregation, after enduring for 
two or three years the tedious three hours of the 
first preaching service of the day, arose in a bodv 
and crowded out the prolix preacher and estab- 
lished the Sunday School. This parson sullenh' 
spent the noonings in the horse-shed that he 
might not be at the Sabbath School service. 

One peculiarity of the meeting-house at an 
earl3^ period in Vermont, and in Colonial days 
throughout New England, was, it was destitute 
of any warming apparatus in winter. The long, 
tedious services must have been hard to endure in 


the unhealed churches during the cold winter 
weather. Judge Sew all made record in his diarA- 
of the fact that came tmder his observation in the 
early da^'s of Alassachusetts Bay, that "the com- 
munion bread was frozen prett\^ hard and rattled 
sadly into the plates." This hints at the comfort- 
less cliurch-life of our ancestors. 

Rev. Mr. Wiggles worth preached on the text, 
"Who can stand before His cold?" Then by his 
own and his people's sickness three weeks passed 
without public worship ; then on Februarj^ 20, he 
preached from these w^ords : "He sends forth His 
word and thavv^s them." And the next day the 
thaw set in, and it was regarded as a direct an- 
sw^er to his pra^^er and sermon. People now'-a 
days, except the superstitious, w^ould suggest that 
he chose well the time to pra^^ for milder w^eather. 
Some ministers preached wath their hands cased in 
w^oolen or fur mittens or heavy knit gloves, and 
wore in the pulpit in the bleak meeting-houses a 
long camlet cloak, and covered their heads with 
skull caps. 

It makes one shiver to think of those gloom3' 
and cold churches that grew colder as the winter 
advanced and until they bore the icy chill of death 
itself. One cannot but believe that the practice of 
sitting through the long winter service was the 
cause of much of the New^ England consumption. 
In the severe winter weather the women carried to 
meeting little foot stoves, being tin or metal boxes 
which stood on legs and were filled with hot coals 
at home, and replenished them during the da^^ 
from the hearthstone of a neighboring farm house 


or from the noon-house. The children would sit 
around their mother's foot stove on their low 
crickets, warming their half frozen finders. 

In some places foot stoves were forbidden to be 
taken to the church for fear of setting the house 
on fire. In one town in 1792, it was ordered that 
no stoves be carried into the new meeting-house 
with fire in them, which left the women of that 
town, Hardwicke, to contrive some other way to 
keep their feet warm, as appears from the follow- 
ing lines, viz : 

"There to warm their feet 

Was seen an article now obsolete, 

A sort of basket tub of braided straw 

Or husks, in which is placed a heated stone, 

Which does half-frozen limbs superbly thaw, 

And warm the marrow of the oldest bone.'' 

Some people made fur bags of coarse skins into 
which worshippers thrust their feet for warmth. 
In some communities it was a custom for each 
family to bring, on cold days, their dog to church 
to lay at his master's feet to keep them w^arm, but 
after a time the3^ became such a nuisance that a 
dog whipper was appointed to serve on Sundays, 
to drive out the dogs. The first church of Boston 
was the first New England congregation, except 
the church in Hadley, to have a stove for heating 
the meeting-house; this was in 1779. In 1783, 
the old South Church of Boston introduced the 
stove which brought out in the Evening Post of 
January 25, 1783, the following lines, viz : 

"Extinct the sacred fire of love, 
Our zeal grown cold and dead. 
In the house of God we fix a stove 
To warm us in their stead." 


The settlements in Vermont and other New 
England communities followed this innovation and 
warmed their churches b^^ stoves, though with 
great misgivings in some localities. Samuel 
Goodrich has given his recollections of the suffer- 
ings endured by the wife of an anti-stove deacon. 
It shows how imagination affects some people. 
After the stove had been set up in the church, she 
came in and swept by the unwelcome intruder 
with averted head into her pew. She sat through 
the service growing paler with the supposed unac- 
customed, unhealthy heat from the stove, till she 
fainted. She was carried out of church and upon 
recovering said languidly that "it was the heat of 
the stove," when she was informed that no fire 
had been built in the new stove. 

Man3^ amusing instances are related of the op- 
position to the introduction of the stove with 
which to suitabU^ warm the church. The stern, 
pleasure-hating Puritan left their English homes 
and native land for the love of God and the free- 
dom of conscience to come to the wild, barren and 
unwelcome shores. The^^ endured with fortitude 
and w4th seeming satisfaction personal discom- 
forts and contempt of luxury, and it took nearly 
two hundred years of gradual softening and mod- 
ifying of character to prepare their minds for so 
advanced a reform and luxury as proper v.-armth 
in meeting- houses. 

The noon-house was a long, low building with 
a rough stone chimney at one end. The end next 
the chimney was used as a place of refuge in the 
winter time at the noon interval between the two 


services b\' the suffering members of the pious con- 
gregation who found there in front of the huge fire 
place the necessary warmth that could not be had 
in the meeting-house, and where they enjoyed their 
noon da^^ meal brought from their respective 
homes, consisting of bread and cheese, doughnuts, 
pork, peas and pie. Horses were kept in one end 
of this house to shelter them from the storm and 
cold. The noon-house continued to be used in 
some parts of New England till after the Revolu- 
tion and until the commencement of the 19th 

The common horse sheds were not built to an^- 
considerable extent till a later date. The bo^'S, 
even in the noon-houses were not allowed to talk 
or pla\\ Some old patriarch even then, would ex- 
plain to them the notes that he had taken during 
the morning sermon. It hardh^ seemed fair to 
cheat the bov^s of their noon-time rest and relaxa- 
tion, and compel them to listen to another long 
exposition of the Scripture from an unlearned 

In man3^ commimities the noon-houses were to 
the town people vv'hat a Sunday- newspaper is to 
Sunday- readers no\v-a-da\'s, and where they 
learned the news of the week and events to come ; 
the men talked in loud voices the points of the ser- 
mon, and in lower voices of wolf and bear killing, 
of taxes, crops and of domestic animals, and 
many a sly bargain was made in the noon-house. 
The shivering women gathered about the blazing 
fire, talked of their household affairs, and dis- 
coursed in low voices of their spinning, weaving 


and candle-making, and their success or failure in 
the different kinds of work. 

The wood for the use of the noon-house was 
given bv the farmers of the congregation. Some 
apple growing farmer would give a barrel of cider 
to supplv the internal warmth, an article of costh^ 
luxur\' in the early da3'S of New England life. 
This thawed-out Sunday barrel of cider proved a 
source of much refreshment, inspiration and 
tongue-loosening to the chilled and shivering dea- 
cons, elders and farmers who gathered at the 
noon-house. A hot todd\^ or punch, a mug oi flip, 
home-brewed beer, and a liberal dash of Jamacia 
rum were frecjuent, and taken without hesitation 
even b3^ the parson. When stoves were intro- 
duced and used in the Vermont and New England 
meeting-houses, the noon-houses were no longer 
needed and quieth^ disappeared, and the noon-day 
lunches were eaten in the meeting-houses. 

The oflice of Deacon of the earh^ churches, in 
the pioneer settlements, was an important one. 
The deacon had charge of the prudential concerns 
of the church, and "dispensed the Word" in the 
absence of the ordained minister. They usually 
sat near the pulpit in a pew raised above the level 
of the meeting-house floor; furbished the sacra- 
mental wines, the cost of w^hich was allowed to 
them from the church-rates or raised by special 
taxation, and sometimes the inhabitants of the 
parish were ordered to pa3" their share in wheat ; 
the^^ had charge of the communion service — often 
a pewter service, and had charge of the church 
contributions, and guarded against gifts such as 


worthless currency and other articles. In Bristol, 
Connecticut, the deacons wore starched white 
linen caps in the meeting-house to indicate their 
office. These venerable men were a group of awe 
inspiring figures, who, next to the parson, had the 
respect of the community. 

Rules for conducting funerals were ver\^ quaint. 
On May 11, 1780, in one town, a report of a com- 
mittee, to whom had been referred the conduct of 
funerals, was as follows, viz : 

''Whereas, It is the opinion of this town that 
funerals ought to be conducted with great decency 
and decorum in order to impress on rising and 
risen generations the importance of the awful so- 
lemnity, and to render the house of mourning bet- 
ter than the house of feasting. Be it therefore rec- 
ommended to all the inhabitants of this town to 
observe the following regulations at funerals : 

"First— That the relatives of the deceased fol- 
low next the corpse, two and two. 

"Second— If the deceased was a male person the 
males are to follow next the mourners, two and 
two, and the women after them, two and two ; 
but if the deceased was a woman, then the women 
are to follow next the mourners and the men after 

"Third— Those on horseback are to follow in 
after the foot folks, horses two and two, and the 
carriages are to follow in the rear of the proces- 
sion. And it is requested that no person walk or 
ride on either side of the procession from the house 
to the grave." 




In the early days of New Eno^land the music for 
public worship was indescribably bad, and con- 
sisted largeh^ in the versification of the Psalms, 
and, as one described it, as, "squealing above and 
grumbling below." A few feeble efforts w^ere 
made at the beginning of the 18th century to 
"guide the singing." Wretched failures were 
made in pitching or "setting the tune." But if the 
qualit3^ of their music was not edifying it was 
made up in the length of the performance. Some 
of their pieces w^ere 130 lines long, and occupied 
when lined and sung, a full half hour. 

It is related of Dr. West, w^ho preached in Dart- 
mouth in 1726, that he forgot one Sabbath to 
bring his sermon to meeting. He gave out a 
Psalm, walked a quarter of a mile to his house for 
his manuscript, and got back to his pulpit before 
the psalm was finished. Judge Sewall for many 
years seemed to have the charge of the singing 
and entered the following facts in his diary, viz: 
"In the morning I set York tune, and in the sec- 
ond going over, the gallery carried it irresistibh' 


to St. David's, which discouraged me very much." 
It must have been, at least, interesting to have 
seen him stamping his foot, beating time and call- 
ing out York, at the top of his voice, and finally 
succumbing to St. David's bv' reason of the strong 
voiced gallery. 

As poor as the singing was it was a source of 
pure delight to the Puritan Colonists ; 

"For all we know 
Of what the blessed do above 
Is that they sing and that they love."' 

It has been well said that in the early commu- 
nities they reverenced the poor halting tunes in a 
wa^^ quite beyond our modern power of fathom- 
ing. At length the clergymen arose in a body and 
demanded better performances, and notes were in- 
troduced. Still the bands of old fogies w^ere 
strong, who wished to cling to the way of singing 
thej^ were accustomed to, and objected to singing 
by note for that the names of the notes were blas- 
phemous, and popish, a contrivance to get mone^^ 
it would bring musical instruments into the 
church, that no one could learn the tunes ; that if 
the3^ began to sing by rule the next thing would 
be to pray and preach by rule; but the last and 
the most prominent reason was, "the old way 
was good enough for our fathers and therefore 
good enough for us." 

From the long agitation of the singing ques- 
tion came the establishment of the New England 
"singing-school." Through Vermont and all New 
England the 3'oung people gathered once or twice 
a week at the meetinsf-house or school-house in 


the evening, during the winter season, to learn to 
sing by note under the direction of a singing mas- 
ter. Then followed the forming choirs from those 
who had learned to sing, who were permitted to 
sit in the front gallerv, the women upon one side 
and the men upon the other. In \V00dbur3', Con- 
necticut, in 1750, a vote was taken that the 
singers "ma^^ sit up gallery- all da3\ if they please, 
but to keep to their own seat and not to infringe 
on the women ones." 

It was hard in some churches to adopt the new 
mode of singing. The deacons insisted upon lin- 
ing for the choir to sing, but this the choir re- 
sented, and broke up the old mode of lining, by 
not stopping singing at the end of the line, w^hich 
cut the deacon out. On one occasion the deacon, 
after having been vanquished and set aside by the 
choir, arose at the end of the performance by the 
choir, and calmly said, "now let the people of the 
Lord sing." The custom of lining finally disap- 
peared, but it died hard. One bitter objection 
was made against the leader beating time so 

It w^as arranged between the deacon and the 
choir that the deacon was to lead and line and 
beat time in the forenoon while the choir was to 
have control in the afternoon ; and whoever 
should lead the singing should be at liberty to use 
the motion of his hand while singing for the space 
of thiee months only. Often the reading and sing- 
ing one line at a time, gives a wrong idea of the 
meaning intended to be conveyed as in the 
following, viz : 


'•The Lord will come and he will not" 

and after singing that line through, read, 

"Keep silence, but speak out." 

When singing was introduced into the church 
in Salem, Massachusetts, one indignant and dis- 
gusted church attendant recorded on the panel of 
a pew : 

"Could poor King David but for once 

To Salem Church repair; 
And hear his Psalms thus warbled out, 

Good Lord, how he would swear. 

"But could St. Paul but just pop in, 

From higher scenes abstracted. 
And hear his Gospel now explained, 

By heaven, he'd run distracted." 

As improvement in modes of worship were 
adopted and musical instruments were introduced 
in aid of singing and true worship, the church at- 
tendants who clung to the old waj^s of worship 
and singing in church thought the very end of 
Godh' worship had come. The ministers were as 
much opposed to them as the laj-men. Cotton 
Mather declared that, "there was not a word in 
the New Testament that authorized the use of 
such aids to devotion." Ministers preached often 
on the text, "I will not hear the melody of thy 
viols," omitting the other half of the text that 
read, "Take thou awa^^ from me the noise of thv 
songs;" they hurled many a text at the "fiddle- 

The pitch pipe, the fife, the tuning-fork, the 
clarinet, the violin and the bass-viol all came into 
common use before the organ was introduced and 


used. I doubt if there is any more suitable and in- 
spiring aid to the rendering of pieces of music in 
the worship of God in the church than the violin 
and bass viol. One old lady about the middle of 
the 19th centur_v wrote that the violin did not 
suit the old people, and one old gentleman in the 
church where she attended, got up, took his hat 
off the peg and marched off, and said, "they had 
begun fiddling and there would be dancing soon." 
One church voted that the clarinet be used in the 
choir ; one church member who was opposed to 
its use, brought into meeting a fish-horn, which he 
blew loud and long to the complete rout of the 
clarinet-player and the singers. When reproved 
for the act, said, "if one man could blow a horn in 
the Lord's house on the Sabbath he guessed he 
could too." He had to be bound over to keep the 

Many a minister said openh- that he would like 
to walk out of his pulpit when the obnoxious and 
hated flutes, violins, bass-viols and bassoons were 
pla3^ed upon in the singing gallery-. One clergy- 
man announced contemptuoush^ "we will now 
sing and fiddle the 45th Psalm." And another 
sadly deplored that "now we haA'e onh^ catgut 
and resin religion." It is true that it is ver3^ sel- 
dom, in religious matters as in other things, that 
improvements and advancements come without 
active and often bitter opposition. 

Notwithstanding the early New England and 
Vermont settlers clung to the old ways, and Puri- 
tanic beliefs and practices in worship, no one 
doubted their sinceritv. And manv of them had 


the honest, Christian courage to ask forgiveness 
for the mistakes of Hfe. A notable instance of this 
is that of Judge Sewall who in a Boston meeting 
with a dignified face and demeanor and with a 
contrite heart, stood up and through his minister 
asked humble forgiveness of God and man for his 
sad share as a Judge in the unjust condemnation 
and cruel sentencing to death of the poor mur- 
dered victims of delusion, the Salem witchcraft. 

The Blue Laws of Connecticut were unduly se- 
vere on Sabbath breaking however slight the in- 
fraction of the law might be. Some of the in- 
stances were as follows, viz: In Plymouth a man 
was sharply whipped for shooting a fowl on Sun- 
day ; another was fined for carrying a grist of 
corn home on the Lord's da3^ and the miller who 
allowed him to take it was also fined. Elizabeth 
Eddy was fined for wringing and hanging out 
clothes. James Watt, in 1658, was publich^ re- 
proved for writing a business note Sunday even- 
ing somewhat too soon. 

In Newbur3% in 1646, Aquila Chase and his 
wife were fined for gathering peas from their gar- 
den on the Sabbath, but the fine was afterwards 
remitted and the offenders admonished. A Dun- 
stable soldier was fined for "welting a piece of an 
old hat to put in his shoe to protect his foot." 
Capt. Kemble of Boston in 1656, was set for two 
hours in the public stocks for kissing his wife, pub- 
licly, on the Sabbath upon the steps of his own 
house, when he had just returned from a vo^-age 
at sea after an absence of three j^ears. 

The Vermont Sundav laws were about ot the 


same character, some of which have been ah'eady 
quoted. As late as 1831, in Lebanon, Conn., a 
lady journeying to her father's home was arrested 
for unnecessaril3^ traveling on the Sabbath. She 
brought suit and recovered damages for false im- 
prisonment. In Maine in 1776, a meeting was 
held to get the "town mind" on a plan to restrain 
visiting on the Sabbath ; the town voted that if 
persons should make unnecessary visits on the 
Sabbath "the3^ should be look't on with con- 
tempt." People were frequently fined for non- 
attendance at public worship. 

Quakers were fined in great numbers for refus- 
ing to attend church which they hated and which 
abhorred them. The Quakers were set in the 
stocks and whipped if they came to church and ex- 
pressed an}' dissatisfaction, and suffered the same 
punishment if thc}^ stayed away. There were 
strict orders against the use of tobacco ; its use in 
Connecticut, was absolutely forbidden under Ruy 
circumstances on the Sabbath within two miles of 
the meeting-house. These instances are sufficient 
to show the character of the Vermont and Colon- 
ial laws and their enforcement. 

The Puritans and the early settlers were not 
content with the strict observance of the Sabbath 
alone but included Saturday evening in their holy 
day. The clergymen were rigid in the prolonged 
observance of Sunday-. From sunset on Saturday 
until Sunday night they would not shave, have 
rooms swept, nor beds made, have food prepared, 
nor cooking utensels and table-ware washed. 
The Puritans claimed they found Scripture sup- 


port for this observance of SaturdaA' night in 
these Vi^ords, "The evening and the morning w^ere 
the first day." The following poem was written 
on the subject of the New England Christians set- 
ting apart a daj- and a half for the Sabbath, viz: 

"And let it be enacted further still 
That all our people strict observe our will ; 
five davs and a half shall men and women, too, 
Attend iheir business and their mirth pursue, 
But after that no man without a fine 
Shall walk the streets or at a tavern dine. 
One day and a half 'tis requisite to rest 
From toilsome labor and a tempting feast. 
Henceforth let none on peril of their lives 
Attempt a journe\' or embrace their wives ; 
No barber, foreign or domestic bred, 
Shall e'er presume to dress a ladj's head ; 
No shop shall spare (half the preceding day) 
A vard of ribbond or an ounce of tea." 

The strict observance of Saturday evening and 
the Sabbath, appeared to the Puritans and their 
immediate descendants to be one of the most vital 
points of their religion — they made no compromise 
with levity or the bus\' world but rested abso- 
lutely on the Lord's da3^ As time went on both 
Saturda\^ and Sunday evenings became a time of 
general cheerfulness and often merrj^-making. 

In the earh^ daj'S of Vermont and throughout 
New England the authority- in the church severely 
criticised and punished an^^ expressions of dispar- 
agement of the minister, his teachings or any re- 
ligious exercises of the church. One man was pub- 
licly whipped for speaking deridinglv of God's 
words and ordinances as taught by the minister. 
Mistress Oliver was forced to stand in public with 


a cleft stick on her tongue for reproaching the 
elder. A man in New Haven, Conn., was whipped 
and fined for declaring that he received no profit 
from the minister's sermons. It would seem that 
such treatment for uttering honest dissent from 
utterances and teachings of the minister savors of 
both superstition and tyrann3\ In this enlight- 
ened era no such treatment of like expressions 
would be tolerated. 

• In 1631, Phillip Ratcliffe, for "speaking against 
the churches" had his ears cut off, \vas whipped 
and banished. Two women were punished in 1669, 
for saying, "the Divil a bit." As time rolled on 
church members escaped somewhat from ecclesias- 
tical power, and some openly disparaged their min- 
isters in a way that in earlier days would have 
been w^hipped, caged or fined. One m.inister was 
reproved for lack of dignity ; another for having 
jumped over the fence instead of decoroush^ w^alk- 
ing through the gate. Enough has been said to 
show the custom of the times, the character and 
rigid discipline of the church leaders, and the 
change of sentiment as light and knowledge began 
to spread. 

The setthng and the ordination of the minister 
was a great event and a time of much merriment. 
At such time the ordination ball was held and 
was alwa^^s a great success. In Dan vers a j^oung 
man danced so vigoroush^ and long on the sanded 
floor that he wore out a new pair of shoes. 
Those balls were kept up to a comparative recent 
date; one was given in the town of Wolcott at an 
ordination in 1811. A plentiful feast or supper 


accompanied the ordination, and at such times, 
cider, wine, punch and grog \Yere liberally sup- 
plied. One writer has said, "different times make 
different manners; the earl}^ Puritan ministers did 
not, as a rule, drink to excess, any more than do 
our modern clerg^^men ; but it is not strange that 
though they were of Puritan blood and belief, 
they should have fallen into the universal custom 
of the day, and should have gone to their graves 
full of years, honor, simplicity and rum." 

Some of the ministers were sharp at rei^artee. 
Two young men met Rev. Mr. Hanes of Vermont, 
and said with mock sad faces, "have you heard 
the news? The Devil is dead." Quick came the an- 
swer, "oh, poor, fatherless children! w4iat will be- 
come of you?" 

In the Colonial days ministers themselves were 
not quite so careful to guard against the appear- 
ance of evil as the most of them are at the close of 
the 19th century. John Fisk in his second volume 
of "Old Virginia and Her Neighbors" relates in- 
stances of this kind, viz: One parson was for 
years the president of a "jocke^^" club. Another 
fought a duel within sight of his church. A third, 
who w^as evidently a muscular Christian, got into 
a rough and tumble fight w4th his vestrymen, and 
floored them ; and then justified himself to his con- 
gregation the next Sunda}^ in a sermon from a 
text of Nehemiah, "And I contended with them, 
and cursed them, and smote Certain of them, and 
plucked off their hair." 

In 1711, a bequest of 100 pounds w^as made to 
the vestry of Christ's Church parish, providing 


the interest was paid to the minister for preaching 
four sermons each \'ear against the four reigning 
vices, viz: Atheism and irreligion, swearing and 
cursing, fornication and adultery, and drunkenness. 
The sermons were preached b\^ a minister who 
w^as notoriously guilt}^ of all the vices mentioned. 
Earle, in her work on the New England Sabbath, 
relates some of the incidents of the cheerful parties 
at the early ordination-times, when "the reverend 
assembh^ of elders enjoyed to the full degree of 
twelve gallons of sack and six gallons of white 
wdne," and had for their motto, "in essentials, un- 
ity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things 

One reverend gentleman kept an account of his 
purchases, and on one page of his account book 
was found 39 entries, 21 of which were for Xew^ 
England rum. From such practices we cannot 
wonder at the coupling in Byron's sneering lines : 

"There's naught, no doubt, so much the spirit cahns, 
As rum and true religion." 

Rev. Mr. Whiting, in the earh' days of Nevj 
England, had an apple orchard from which he 
made delicious cider. One da^- an Indian called at 
his house and w^as given a drink of the cider, the 
Indian on setting down the mug and smacking his 
lips, said, "\'e Adam and Eve were rightlie 
damned for eating 3'e appills in \'e garden of Eden, 
they should have made them into cyder." In 
those da\'s, God-fearing, pious ministers did not 
hesitate to owm and operate distilleries. Rev. Na- 
than Strong, pastor of the P'irst Church of Hart- 
ford and author of the hymn "Swell the anthem, 


raise the song," was engaged in the distilling busi- 
ness, and afterwards received the degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from Princeton College. Enough has 
been said to show the reader the state of society 
in earl3^ Vermont and Colonial da^^s. 

The salaries of the clergymen were not large 
but varied Irom 20 to 70 pounds for a jesir — this 
sum enabled them to live comfortably with the 
plain ways of living in the new countr3\ The min- 
ister of the Andover Church was voted a salary of 
60 pounds, and "when he shall have occasion to 
marry, 10 pounds more." In those days the sti- 
pend was paid in corn and labor and the amount 
for each was established by fixed rates upon the 
inhabitants, and the w^ealth of each member was 
taken into consideration in making the assess- 
ment. These assessments were called voluntar3^ 
contributions, but if an^^ citizen refused to con- 
tribute, he was taxed, and if he refused to pa\^ his 
church tax, he was punished. One man who 
dared to write a book against the enforcement of 
voluntary subscriptions, was fined 10 pounds 
for his wickedness, and the printer of the book 
was also punished. 

The reader will be puzzled to know how gifts 
that were forced by dread of fines, pillory and 
cage, could be regarded as voluntar3\ In the 
early town grants in Vermont one lot was set 
apart for the first settled minister. It was a com- 
mon thing for the minister's house and the meet- 
ing-house to be built b\^ contributions from all the 
citizens of the town or parish; some would give 
the use of team; some work; some material, such 


as logs, stone, lumber and nails. Some would re- 
bel against being forced to work, and fines were 
common against delinquents. The minister was 
allowed free pasturage for his horse in the burial 
ground. Sometimes the minister was poorly 

In the earh^ da3'S of Vermont and in New Eng- 
land genera^ after the War of Independence, the 
church members gave whatever thev had, such as 
meal, maize, beans, cider, lumber, pork, apples, 
pumpkins and grain. Pieced patchwork, bed- 
quilts and other things for the parson's wife and 
famih^ would be given by the women of the par- 
ish, and the women of the congregation would 
meet for a quilting for the benefit of the minister's 
famih^ Often a bee would be made to do the har- 
vesting on the minister's land and other necessary 
work. As time went on man\^ rebelled against be- 
ing forced to support the minister and religious 
services, especially whea it was against the dic- 
tates of their conscience. The law compelling such 
support was repealed, and the support of the min- 
ister and the dominant church, and in fact all 
churches and religious institutions, became a mat- 
ter of voluntar^^ contribution in fact, as well as in 

When the onh' way for the raising of the minis- 
ter's salar\' was b^^ voluntary subscription or do- 
nation, the subscriptions were paid in various 
ways: in work, vegetables, sugar, potatoes, 
grain, hay, meat and wood and almost everj^- 
thing that the members of the congregation 
raised, manufactured or dealt in, as well as 


molle^^ The writer well remembers of working 
with his father's team for the minister to appU' 
upon his father's subscription. 

At the time of the early settlements, quite a 
common article of coatribution to the minister 
was wood; one minister in 1763, received 120 
loads from the citizens of his parish ; the minis- 
ter's load was three quarters of a cord and was 
expected to be good ''hardwood." Earle in her 
book, relates one instance where a parson 
watched the farmer unload his yearly contribu- 
tion, and remarked to him, "isn't that prett\^ soft 
wood?" When the farmer replied, "and don't we 
sometimes have pretty soft preaching?" 

Some ministers in those da^^s did not hesitate 
to ask for what thej^ wanted. It is said Rev. Mr. 
French of Andover, Mass., gaye out in November 
the following notice: "I will write two discourses 
and deliver them in this meeting-house on Thanks- 
giving Day, provided I can manage to write them 
without a fire." Abundance of wood was fur- 
nished the next da3^ at the parson's door. A par- 
son in a New England town rode from house to 
house one winter afternoon, saying in each that 
he wished he had a slice of their good cheese for 
his wife expected company. On his waj' home his 
sleigh was upset. The town's people who as- 
sisted him in righting his sleigh found that nine 
great cheeses had rolled out into the snow from 
the sleigh. 

In low-salaried, rural districts, parsons had to 
practice the most rigid econom^^ to live within 
their income. Some had to perform considerable 


manual labor to carry themselves and family 
through the year. One clergA-man in Andover, Ver- 
mont, worked at shoe-mending all the week with 
his Bible on the bench before him preparing his ser- 
mon for the coming Sunday. Rev. John Cotton 
said that "ministers and milk were the onh^ cheap 
things in New England," and he deemed various 
ills, such as attacks by fierce Indians, loss of cat- 
tle, earthquakes and failure of crops, to be divine 
judgements for the small ministerial pa^'. This of 
course savors of superstition. 

The annual donation to the minister was, in 
some respects a unique affair. This gathering 
took place in the winter season. The adult peo- 
ple of the parish would meet at the minister's resi- 
dence in the afternoon. The women would bring 
their pies, cakes, doughnuts, bread, butter, cheese 
and other eatables in abundance not only for the 
minister and his family, but for an afternoon meal 
for the company. Quilts, comforters, pillows and 
other house furnishings, both useful and ornamen- 
tal, were generously supplied. 

The men would bring bags of potatoes, corn, 
oats and other grains, together with dried apple, 
dried pumpkin, beans, peas, wood, hay and veg- 
etables of all kinds and small amounts of mone3^ 
Sometimes it was agreed between the deacons or 
parish committee at the commencement of the 
year that all donations should be applied to- 
wards the pa3^ment of the minister's salary. In 
such case all the articles donated were delivered to 
the deacons and their value ascertained, and the 
appraised value applied on the salary, and the do- 


nated articles then delivered to the minister. In 
the evenino: the youn.2^ people of the parish, both 
boys and girls, would assemble to make their do- 
nations and for a social. 

In closing the subject that has been under con- 
sideration in the last two chapters, I will insert 
an address that was delivered by the writer a few 
years ago which shows the harmony that existed 
in the early days of Vermont and that still exists 
between the Congregational Church government 
and the town governments in Vermont and 
throughout New England as well as the civil gov- 
ernment of the United States, and also showing 
the influence that the Congregational policy has 
had in creating and moulding our form of govern- 
ment. The Congregational church has been the 
leading church organization in Vermont from the 
time of its earliest settlements. The address is as 
follows, viz: — 

The questions arise, should there be such har- 
mony between the two? Is there such harmony? 
In what does that harmony consist? 

Government of some kind is necessary. Man is 
a being constituted with a great variety of facul- 
ties, passions and appetites ; and these are capable 
of almost endless variety- of modifications and 
combinations. To a being thus constituted, to 
prevent the utmost capriciousness of conduct, and 
give him a command of choice in his actions, some 
balance, some constant regulator is necessary. 
Man, as a moral and accountable being, has cer- 
tain duties to perform and observe; he finds him- 
self bound to his dutv by a three-fold cord of ac- 


countabilitv— to God, to his own conscience, and 
to his fellow men. 

Governments among men are established for 
the purpose of creating, regulating and guarding 
those rights and duties. When any people are 
capable of forming a constitution of government, 
on natural principles, and establishing a power of 
administration within the limits of those princi- 
ples, they w411 be able to secure themselves from 
the danger of exorbitant abuses. Care must al- 
wajs be taken that the ruler shall feel, in a proper 
degree, his responsibility- to the people for his pub- 
lic conduct, and to provide that he shall adminis- 
ter, not his own powers, but the powers of gov- 
ernment intrusted to him as a sacred deposit. 

The fundamental principle of the government 
should be such that they ma3^ run through, and be 
applied to all the departments of that govern- 
ment. Let the same great principles be applied 
not onh- in the nation, but in the state, the 
count\% the tou^n, and in all the associations and 
organizations, politicalh', morally and relig- 
ioush^ Those governments and associations 
should be so established and adjusted that the in- 
dividual ma\' have the largest securit^^ in his per- 
sonal and natural rights which consist in the 
right of personal liberty', personal security and of 
private property, and the right of free thought 
and free action, where it will not infringe upon, 
and abuse the rights of others. 

In monarchial governments those rights are 
cramped and abridged to a considerable extent. 
There the word and will of the king is law. No 


matter how much it ma\^ interfere with ^^our in- 
dividual rights, or how severe its mandates, ser- 
vile obedience is demanded and enforced without 
modification and without appeal ; under such rule 
free and independent thought and action become 
the exception and the people become intellectualh^ 

This arbitrary- and t^^rannical principle, if car- 
ried out in the Church will have its baneful and 
dwarfing eifect — like or worse in effect and charac- 
ter, than in the state government. This can be 
readih^ seen in the history of the Romish Church. 
Private opinion, while confined to the breast of an 
individual does not belong to the cognizance of 
human law^s, societies as human tribunals. Such 
matters are between the individual and his con- 
science, and is cognizable only by the Great 
Searcher of the human heart. It has never been 
claimed by any human tribunal, except that of the 
Romish Church. The Pope, the head of that 
Church, who claims to be God's vice-gerent on 
earth, claims also the right and power to search 
the human heart. Accordingly^, in former times, 
more than now, the Court of Inquisition, a tribu- 
nal erected b\' the authority of the Pope, have as- 
sumed as a right (which they exercised) an au- 
thority to compel by torture, any person sus- 
pected of secretly entertaining an3^ opinion in- 
serted in their catalogue of heresies, to confess 
that opinion and recant the same, or suffer in per- 
son or perish in the flames. 

An^^ civil government or church that do such 
things, and that do not tolerate private opinion 


and judgement have the inherent seeds of death. 
The right of private opinion and jtidgementis a sa- 
cred one with which state, church or society can- 
not interfere without a violation of the first princi- 
ples of the law of nature. Man should have the lib- 
erty of conscience— which is the libert}- a man has 
of discussing and maintaining his' religious opin- 
ions and of worshiping God in that w^ay and man- 
ner w^hich he believes in his conscience to be the 
most acceptable to his Maker without being liable 
on that account to an\^ degradation, penalties or 
disqualifications, civil or political. 

The attempt to exercise this undoubted right 
b}' individuals in monarchial governments has led 
to man^' a sanguinary conflict in ages past, and 
this too has been the result in limited monarchies. 
Even in England, that boasted land of liberty, dis- 
senters from the established Church have, on that 
account, been deprived of many important rights 
and privileges both civil and political, or per- 
mitted to enjoy them on conditions and compli- 
ances without any just measure of religious lib- 
ert\^, but this was when church and state were 

In any country and under any government the 
Romish Church, according to its former teachings 
and practices, would not contribute to the peace, 
welfare and happiness of the people. In the Rom- 
ish Church the authority and dictation of the 
Pope is law to their people, hence conflict must 
arise between Romish authority on the one hand, 
and civil authorit^^ on the other. 

The genius of our institutions is such, under 


our republican government, the people have some- 
thing to sa3" as to what the character of those in- 
stitutions shall be, who shall be their governors, 
leaders and representatives, and what authorit^^ 
they shall exercise over the people, and if the 
washes of the people are not listened to, they are 
sent to the rear and others put forward that w^ll 
do their bidding within the limits of the constitu- 
tion of the land. There is but one voice and that 
is the voice of the people. That A^oice and power 
may be heard in the national and state councils, 
and in our county and towm affairs. This is not 
the voice of one man, but it is the voice of the peo- 
ple represented generally by a majoritA^ vote. 

It is a government "of the people, for the peo- 
ple and b_v the people," This same principle is es- 
pecialh' carried out in Congregational Churches. 
And so far as form of government is concerned it 
will include the Unitarian, Baptist and perhaps 
some other church organizations. The organiza- 
tion and government of the Congregational 
Churches are such as to give the largest libert^^ to 
the individual member — free to exercise and ex- 
press his opinion ; his power and influence ma\^ be 
felt in the organization by vote, hj speech, and b^' 
practice and action. His conscience is not to be 
dwarfed and twisted to suit the notion of an}- 
man or set of men. 

In a general wa^^ of speaking there is but one 
essential requisite to become one of its members. 
He must believe in God and his Word, and obe}^ 
his will. To serve and worship him is but the dic- 
tates of common reason about which believers do 


not differ. The mode and manner of worship is left 
to the conscience of every man upon the best infor- 
mation he is capable of attaining. Where in all 
the ecclesiastical bodies is there a freer and better 
opportunity of governing their body in a manner 
that shall suit the majorit3^ of its members than 
the Congregational Churches? At the same time 
the principles b}^ which they govern themselves 
accords with the Word of God and the genius of 
our institutions. 

The agreement is such between the two that if 
a person is well versed in the order, management 
and conduct of the Congregational organiza- 
tions he will have no difficult}^ in exercising his 
rights in the management of our political and civil 
institutions. So that if one is well versed in the 
control or management of the one, they will not 
be strangers if the^- are called upon to exercise re- 
sponsible duties in the other. In these United 
States religious libert3' is secured, and the n<iht of 
conscience enjoyed to their full extent. No state 
establishment of religion, no religious test is per- 
mitted by the Constitution. 

All the different sects enjoy equal privilege^ and 
equal rights, natural, civil and political. Our 
own State Constitution declares, "that all men 
have a natural and inalienable right to worship 
Almightv^ God according to the dictates of their 
own consciences and understandings as in their 
opinion shall be regulated by the Word of God; 
and that no man ought to or of right can be com- 
pelled to attend any religious worship or erect or 
support an^^ place of worship or maintain an_y 



minister contrary to the dictates of his conscience 
&c." This gives the fuhest liberty. Where can a 
person have a better chance to exercise his judge- 
ment in these regards than in the Congregational 
Church? No pastor or spiritual adviser can be 
forced upon them for any length of time against 
the w^ill of its members, as expressed by a major- 
ity vote, the manner of support of their pastor is 
left to the will of its members ; when and where 
their meetings are to be held and whether few or 
man}' is left to its members. 

In electing their officers for the management of 
the church, the body does not have to get permis- 
sion from an}' higher authority. The members 
have a right to look to the fitness, the talents and 
the integrit}^ of the candidate, the same as in the 
management of their local, civil and political af- 
fairs. Not only have the}^ the right to exercise 
their free, unbiased judgement in respect to the 
management of both the religious and political 
bodies, but it is their dut}' to be active members 
of both. Understanding the duties in the one, 
ought to fit a person to some extent, at least, for 
the duties of the other. 

We have said that a person under the govern- 
ment under which he lives has the fullest liberty 
and complete right to enjo}- his opinion and exer- 
cise his rights. In one sense this is taken with 
some restrictions and qualifications. No one has 
the right to violate the rights of others, to dis- 
turb the peace and good order of societ\% under 
pretense of conscience or of religious duty. And 
to do it would be acts equally criminal as though 


perpetrated tinder anj^ other pretense, and are 
equally prohibited b\^ the laws of nature, b3^ the 
Supreme Being (the Author of religion) and justly 
punishable by the laws of society. In fact to pun- 
ish the abuse, instead of its being a restraint upon 
libert\% it is its greatest suret3^ 

All political, civil and religious bodies have, or 
should have, certain principles and rules by which 
their respective bodies and its individual members 
are governed and the conduct of its members are 
controlled and regulated. Those principles are 
usualh^ embodied in a constitution, articles, cove- 
nant or b3'-laws to w^hich every member is ex- 
pected to conform. But instead of its narrowing 
his rights and privileges it is enlarging and ex- 
tending them. In one sense every man, on enter- 
ing into society or any organization gives up a 
part of his natural liberties in consideration of re- 
ceiving the cidvantages of mutual commerce, and 
he is obliged to conform to the laws and rules 
wdiich the society or organization have thought 
proper to establish. These rules and laws are his 
own will. The will of the socity or organization 
is made up of the wills of the individual members^ 

The Congregational polity is democrac3^ and is 
quite fully carried out in our town organizations. 
If it is asked if w^e are not bound and controlled 
by the general law^s enacted by the General Assem- 
hly and required to submit to officers appointed 
by it, and to the authoritv of the officers of the 
State? We sa^^, yes: but all of its powers and au- 
thority are derived from the people, and the Leg- 


islature and their appointees and State officers 
have no power or authority except what the peo- 
ple invest them with. The theory is this : The le- 
gal voters in all the minor divisions of a State, 
such as cities and towns, meet in their respective 
limits, precincts and wards and choose, usualh^ by 
ballot, one or more to represent them in the State 
Legislature and in the national councils. At first 
the States were independent of each other, the^^ 
owed no dutj^ or service to an^^ other, but for the 
sake of greater protection and the enlargement of 
their rights and to insure greater peace and tran- 
quillity, the people, through their representatives, 
surrendered certain rights and privileges to a na- 
tional government. They delegated certain pow- 
ers to the nation. 

The power and authorit\^ of the national gov- 
ernment are limited and restricted. It can onh' 
exercise what has been delegated to it by the peo- 
ple. All power and authority not delegated to 
Congress or not prohibited to the States are re- 
served to the States respectivel3^ and to the people 
thereof. Wliatever power or rights that have 
been surrendered to the national government has 
been done hy the free act and will of the people. 
The source of all power and authority in this land 
resides with the people, and that power and au- 
thority is exercised in its purest and completest 
manner in cur town S3'stem of government. 

Like the Congregational mode of government 
it is democratic, and it is exercised when the peo- 
ple meet to elect, appoint or designate their officers 
and adopt meaj^ tires to regulate and control their 


action. In an earl^^ day parishes stood in the place 
of towns, and the parishes for a time controlled 
and managed the affairs of the religious organiza- 
tions throughout New England, so that the parish 
or town S3^stem of government which w^as a gov- 
ernment of the people, w^as also carried into Con-' 
gregational organizations, and this democratic 
policy and polity fulh^ adopted by them, or the 
principles governing Congregational Churches, 
which Vv-as thoroughh- democratic at an early 
day, w^ere taken up and adopted by our New En- 
gland communities in the management of their 
town offices and government. The government of 
the Congregational organizations and Churches 
and of that of the towns and parishes have been 
so essentialh^ the same and are so interwoven, it 
is difficult to tell which was the father of the sys- 

For a time, since the landing of the Pilgrims on 
Pl^^mouth Rock, church and state, especially in 
Massachusetts, was run and supported by one 
and the same organization, and it was carried to 
such an extent that the interests of church and 
state began to clash and the courts had to settle 
their controversies. At one time the parish or 
town, by the action of its general court or town 
meeting, claimed the right to dictate to the church 
who their pastor should be. This was so in 

Massachusetts Colony on the 10th day of May, 
1631, enacted b3^ their general court or town meet- 
ing as follows, to wit : "And to the end that the 
bodj^ of the commons ma}^ be preserved of hones 



and good men, it was likewise ordered and agreed 
that for time to come, no man shall be admitted 
to the freedom of this body politic, but such as are 
members of som.e of the churches within the limit 
of the same." 

And on June 10, 1650, the general court en- 
acted "that whosoever shall hereafter set up any 
churches or public meetings diverse from those al- 
ready set up, without consent as aforesaid, shall 
be suspended from any voice in town meetings 
and presented to the next general court to receive 
such punishment as the court shall think meet to 
inflict." And on the 6th of June, 1651, it was or- 
dered ''that if any laz3^ slothful or profane per- 
son doth neglect to come to public worship of 
God, such person shall forfeit for ever\' such de- 
fault ten shillings, or be publicW whipt." 

Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, in 1637, 
declared "Whereas the wa\' of God hath alwa^^s 
been to gather his churches out of the world. 
Now the world, or civil state, must be raised out 
of the churches." The New Haven Colony en- 
acted, "That church members only shall be free 
burgesses, (citizens) and that the3^ only shall 
choose magistrates and officers among them- 
selves, to have power of transacting all the public 
civil aifairs of this Plantation, of making and re- 
pealing laws, dividing of inheritances, deciding of 
differences that ma}^ arise." 

In those early days town or parish and church 
were regarded as coterminous — it covered the 
same extent oi territor\\ It belonged to one for 
civil purposes and to the other for ecclesiastical 


purposes. The plan was for a church for each 
town. The same persons acting for the town in 
civil matters and for the parish in ecclesiastical 
affairs. All who resided within the limits of the 
town, were under the spiritual care of the minis- 
ter of the church, and all were required to attend 
its public worship, and aid in the erection of the 
sanctuar\^ and in the support of the pastor. 

Taxes and assessments were imposed for these 
objects, the same as for town expenses, and if the 
assessments were not voluntarially paid the3^ 
were enforced b\^ civil process. Finalh^ in some 
parts of New England this conipulsor\^ process 
was adopted without regard to town limits 
against all who worshiped at the sanctuary in the 
town. In June, 1662, the people of a town in 
Massachusetts at their town meeting or general 
court adopted the following proposition, to wit: 
''The court proposeth it as a thing ver^^ commend- 
able and beneficial to the towns where God's 
providence shall cast any whales, if they should 
agree to set apart some part of ever\' such fish or 
oil for the encouragement of an able, godly minis- 
try amongst them." 

In those days civil supervision of the churches 
was direct and decisive. On May 11, 1655, upon 
motion and desire of the people of Greenwich, this 
court doth declare that Greenwich shall be a 
township entire of itself, providing they procure 
and maintain an orthodox minister. October 10, 
1697, it was ordered by the court that good and 
marketable grain and poik, in payment of the 
minister's rate shall pass at the prices named in a 


For a time after the landino^ of the Pilgrims the 
churches had the right and exercised the privilege 
of electing their own minister without the concur- 
rence of the parish, but in 1692, it was enacted in 
Massachusetts "that every minister, being a per- 
son of good conversation, able, learned, and ortho- 
dox, that shall be chosen by the major part of the 
inhabitants of any town, at a tow^n meeting duly 
warned for that purpose, shall be the minister of 
that tow^n." But the next year this act w^as mod- 
ified so as to give the church a right and a voice in 
the selection of their minister. 

In the earlv days of the New England church 
ministers w^ere called to and settled in a towm 
long before the organization of a church there, 
hence all matters pertaining to the supply of a 
preacher were entireh^ left to the action of the 
towm in town meeting. About the year 1780, 
there were incorporated into the Massachusetts 
bill of rights the following provisions, to wit : 
''Providing notwithstanding, that the several 
towns, parishes, precincts and other bodies politic 
or religious societies, shall at all times have the 
exclusive right of electing their public teachers and 
of contracting w4th them for their support and 
maintenance." This gave the parish a right to 
hire and dismiss the minister as the act w^as con- 
strued by the court. And it followed that when 
the church began to assert its supposed rights 
in this regard, conflict between church and state 
ensued. Churches were hampered till the^^ sought 
relief, in Massachusetts, b^^ acts of incorporation. 

Enough has been said to see that the parish 


and church s\'stein for the support of the Gospel 
grew together in Vermont and in all New Eng- 
land, and all their affairs were largel3^ managed 
and controlled b\^ the same men, b^^ the same 
methods, and by the same organizations. And the 
internal machinery by which they were kept up 
and propelled was the same. It was natural that 
the same S3'stem of government that was adopted 
in their parish and town governments, should be 
used and adopted in the government of the 
churches with which the3" had so long been con- 
nected so far as it was applicable. In the civil 
government of all New England towns, all their 
officers are chosen by the legal voters assembled, 
by a majority- vote ; all their measures for the sup- 
port of schools and for the support of their govern- 
ments are adopted in the same wa^^ and if they 
keep within the limits of the constitution under 
which thej' act and by which the\^ have consented 
to be governed, no one can interfere with their 
right and action. 

And so it is with the Congregational Churches, 
they choose their pastor and deacons and their 
minor officers of clerk, treasurer and committees 
to arrange and carry out their temporal affairs, 
b\' majorit^^ vote ; and if an\' of their services are 
no longer wanted the^^ have the right and power 
of removal; if they violate none of the covenants 
and rules and contracts that the^^ have assented 
to, the\^ remain in undisturbed control. In one 
sense a Congregational Church is an independent 
body, owing no allegiance to an^^ higher or supe- 
rior bod\' in the management of its affairs. When 


they make their decision, by a majority vote, it is 
final. No appeal is allowable. There is no body 
to appeal to; and none that has any authority 
over it. Of course it is proper for them in matters 
of moment to ask for advice of other churches and 
to follow that advice, if in their judgement it ac- 
cords with the Word of God, and does not inter- 
fere with civil authority'. 

But they are not bound, because a council of 
churches advises a certain course of action, to 
adopt it. A Congregational Church in the con- 
ducting of its business is controlled and gov- 
erned by parliamentary practices and usa^s. A 
Congregationalist, well fitted to conduct its meet- 
ings through complicated business, will be fitted 
to condnct any other political or business meeting 
w^here good order and parliamentary rules obtain. 



Among the men whose lives and influence 
were the most prominent in establishing the inde- 
pendence of Vermont and getting her admitted 
into the American Union were Thomas Chitten- 
den, Ethan Allen and Ira Allen. The part that 
these brave men officialh^ took in conducting the 
affairs of the settlers in the New Hampshire 
Grants and in establishing the State of Vermont 
has been so full\' set forth in this and the previous 
volume it would add nothing of importance to 
here give a further sketch of their services. No ac- 
curate history of the early days of the territor3' 
now^ called Vermont could be written without re- 
cording the deeds of those men. And it will make 
the histor3' that I have endeavored to w^rite of 
that territory more complete by giving a bio- 
graphical sketch of many of less prominence who 
took part in that earl3^ struggle. I commence 
with General Bayle^'. 

General Jacob Bayley of Newbur^^ was an 
officer under New Vork and commissioner to ad- 
minister oaths of office, Judge of the inferior court 
of common pleas, and justice of the peace ; he was 


elected deputy for the session of the New York 
Provincial Congress of May 23, 1775, but did not 
take his seat ; he was appointed Brigadier-General 
of the militia of Cumberland and Gloucester Coun- 
ties August 1, 1776. He continued nominally un- 
der the jurisdiction of New York, and a mild ad- 
herent of her cause until June 14, 1777, when he 
wrote to the New York Council of Safet}^ that "I 
acknowledge the receipt of an ordinance from you 
for the election of governor, lieutenant-governor, 
senators and representatives for the State of New 
York. The Sheriff and committee gave the proper 
orders, but I am apt to think our people will not 
choose any members to sit in the State of New 
York. The people before the3^ saw the constitu- 
tion, were not willing to trouble themselves about 
a separation from the State of New York, but 
now they are violent for it." 

On July 8, 1777, he was appointed a member of 
the Vermont Council of Safety, and in March fol- 
lowing was elected Councillor. He was elected as 
one of the committee b_v the Convention of dele- 
gates of the Grants held at Westminster Court 
House, October 30, 1776, to go through Cumber- 
land and Gloucester Counties to carr^^ the pro- 
ceedings of that Convention to complete an asso- 
ciation in the interest of the New Hampshire 
Grants. At a session of the Westminster Conven- 
vention January 15, 1777, he w^as elected as one 
of the delegates to carry a petition of the Conven- 
tion to the Continental Congress and to negotiate 
business in behalf of New Connecticut. He was 
one of the members from Newbury in the Windsor 
Count}^ Convention of Juh^ 1777. 


General Jacob Bay ley was born in Newbury, 
Massachusetts, Juh' 2, 1728, and married Pru- 
dence Noyes October 16, 1745, and settled in 
Hampstead ; was Captain in the French War, 
1756, and escaped from the massacre of Fort 
William Henry in August, 1757; was Colonel at 
the taking of Ticonderoga and Crown Point bj- 
Amherst in 175y, and arrived in Newbur3^ Ver- 
mont, in October, 1764. In 1776, he commenced 
the celebrated Hazen Road, designated as a mili- 
tary road from Connecticut River to St. Johns, 
Canada, that was afterwards completed by Gen- 
eral Hazen to Hazen's Notch near Montgomery 
line; he w^as Commissary-General during a por- 
tion of the Revolutionary War. He was a leading 
man in his town and count^v and represented his 
town in the Legislature, a member of the State 
Council and a Judge of Gloucester and Orange 
County Courts. He died March 1, 1816. In 
March 1778, he was appointed one of the Court 
of Confiscation and was Judge of Probate for the 
Newbury District. In 1775, he sent an address to 
the Northern Indians to persuade them to join the 
Americans against the British. 

Doctor Paul Spooner was appointed one of 
the Committee of Safety b^^ the Windsor Conven- 
tion of July 1777; he appears first in Vermont as 
a delegate from Hartland in the Convention at 
Westminster of October, 19, 1774, called to con- 
demn the tea act, the Boston port bill and other 
kindred measures ; and he was one of the commit- 
tee of the Convention who made a written report 
expressing surprise that the King and Parliament 


should dare assert a right to bind the Colonies in 
all cases whatsoever. He was a delegate at sub- 
sequent Conventions in 1775, and was chosen one 
of the three delegates to represent Cumberland 
County in the New York Provincial Congress in 
1775 and 1777. 

On Ala3^ 5, 1777, he was chosen Sheriff of Cum- 
berland County under New York but declined to 
accept the office; he was appointed one of the Yer- 
mont Council of Safety in Juh^ 1777, and accepted 
of the same ; he was a member of the first Council 
under the Constitution, and was re-elected five 
times, serving from 1778 to October 1782, w^hen 
he was elected Lieutenant-Governor in joint As- 
sembly, there having been no election by the peo- 
ple, and was annually re-elected until 1787. 
Twice he was agent from Yermont to Congress in 
1780 and 1782, and nine years Judge of the Su- 
preme Court. 

In 1781, and 1782, he was Probate Judge for 
Windsor County. It has been erroneoush^ stated 
b^^ some authorities that he removed from Hart- 
land to Hardwick, and was the first towm clerk of 
the last named town in 1795, and was its first 
lepresentative to the General Assembly and served 
as such from 1797 to 1799, but that Paul Spooner 
was a nephew of the Doctor. Doctor Paul 
Spooner was well educated and had a good pro- 
fessional reputation. On June 19, 1782, the Coun- 
cil requested him and Jonas Fay to call upon the 
disaffected inhabitants of Orange County and the 
northern towns of \Yindsor Count3\ explain the 
action of Congress and use their utmost endeav- 


ors to unite the disaffected people to the Vermont 
government. He died at Hartland September 5, 

Colonel William Marsh was one of many 
others who signed a declaration in Tul_v 1776, de- 
claring that the^^ would "at the risk of their lives 
and fortunes defend b^^ arms the United States 
against the hostile attempts ot the British &c." 
and was regarded a valuable Green Mountain 
Boy in 1777, but in the dark days of the Revolu- 
tion fled to Canada leaving his family in Dorset. 
His property was confiscated and his return to 
the State forbidden by an act passed February 26, 
1779, that continued in force till November 8, 

There has been something said in extenuation 
of his conduct. It has been truh^ said he was not 
a Tory ; he had been an efficient friend of the new 
State, but when the arm_v of Burgoyne swept 
along the western border and was reported to be 
marching to the valle\^ of Connecticut River, and 
but a little force in Vermont to oppose a trium- 
phal march, Colonel Marsh became panic-stricken, 
and hastened with other disheartened Whigs and 
a greater number of Tories to seek refuge in Can- 
ada. His wife secured her most valuable goods, 
filling her brass kettle with her pewter ware and 
silver spoons and sank them in a pond so perfecth^ 
safe that she never recovered them. Colonel 
Marsh, however, returned and was permitted to 

Captain Heman Allen was a brother of 
Ethan Allen and born in Cornwall, Connecticut, 


October 15, 1740, and died May 18, 1778, oi dis- 
ease contracted in Bennington Battle; he was a 
member of the Convention of Januar\' 16, 1776, 
and was its agent to present its petition, to repre- 
sent the situation of the New Hampshire Grants 
to the Continental Congress ; he was a delegate 
for Middlebur3^ in the Convention of July 24, 

1776, and a member at large with Colonel Seth 
Warner in the Convention of September 25, 1776, 
and a delegate for Rutland in the Convention of 
January 15, 1777, and for Colchester in the Con- 
vention of June 4, 1777. He served with Warner 
in the Canada expedition of 1775, and in Juh^ 

1777, was appointed a member of the State Coun- 
cil of Safety. 

His services were such that he was not brought 
into quite as prominent notice as his two 
brothers, Ethan and Ira, but in character and ca- 
pacity was fulh^ equal to either, and was em- 
plo3^ed on the most important committees. He 
attended upon Congress in 1776, and by his tact 
saved the State from an adverse decision b^^ that 
body which at that time would have been greatly 
injurious, if not fatal to the interests of Vermont. 
A high degree of confidence was reposed in his 
judgement and ability. 

Hemax Allen of Alilton and afterwards of 
Burlington was of another line of the Allen family 
and a son of Enoch Allen, born at Ashfield, Massa- 
chusetts, June 14, 1777; he was a member of 
Congress eight years and died at Burlington 
December 11, 1844. 

Heman Allen of Colchester, known as Chili 


Allen, was the son of Heber Allen and nephew of 
Colonel Ira Allen, and was adopted by Ira on the 
death of Heman Allen's father ; he was born in 
Ponltney February 23, 1779, and was a member 
of Congress in 1817 and 1818, and resigned in the 
latter year to accept the office of United States 
Marshall for the District of Vermont, and ap- 
pointed Minister to Chili by President Alonroe in 
1823 ; he resigned that office in 1829, and died at 
Highgate April 9, 1852. 

Benjamin Carpenter of Guilford was the first 
delegate of that town in a Vermont Convention 
of April 11, 1775, at which Convention the gov- 
ernment of New York and the massacre at West- 
minster were condemned ; he also was a delegate 
in the Dorset and Westminster Conventions of 

1776, and a committee sent to W^indsor in June 

1777, to hear the report of the agent sent to Con- 
gress concerning the new State. From 1778 to 
1791, Guilford was ruled b^^ sympathizers with New 
York or Tories, but Carpenter steadily adhered to 
Vermont disregarding personal danger. In De- 
cember 1783, he was taken prisoner b\' the York- 
ers and carried awa3% to his great damage. The 
following inscription on his tombstone gives a de- 
scription of his person and a histor3^ of his services 
and character, viz : 

" Sacred to the Memory 
of the 
Hon. Benj. Carpenter, Esq. 
Born in Rehoboth, Mass., A. D. 1726. 
A magistrate in Rhode Island in A. D. 1764. 
A public teacher of righteousness, 
An able adv^ocate to his last for Democracy, 


And the equal rights of man. 

Removed to this town (Guilford) A. D. 1770, 

Was a field officer in the Revolutionary War, 

And founder of the first Constitution and government of 

A Council of Censors in A. D. 17S3, 
A member of the Council and Lieutenant-Governor of the 

State in A. D. 1779, 
A firm professor of Christianitv in the Baptist Church 50 

Left this Avorld and 146 persons of lineal posteiity, March 

29th, 1S04, 
Aged 78 years 10 months and 12 davs, \vilh a strong mind 

and full of faith of a more glorious state hereafter. 
Stature about six feet — weight 200 Death had no terrors." 

Jeremiah Clark was born in Preston, Connec- 
ticut, in 1733, and came to Bennington 1767, and 
soon thereafter made his pitch in Shaftsbury 
where he dwelt about fifty years. He served as 
Major and took part in the Battle of Bennino^ton 
with a son sixteen \^ears of age : he was one ot the 
committee who warned the Dorset Convention of 
January 1776, and was a delegate in several other 
conventions, served as a member of the Council of 
Safet^^ in 1777 — S, and as Councellor in 1778, to 
1780, inclusive; he was Chief Judge of Bennington 
Count^^ Court in 1778, and while serving in that 
caj)acity passed sentence of death on David Red- 
ding who was the first man executed in Vermont; 
he died in 1817. 

Nathan Clark came to Bennington from Con- 
necticut in 1762, and took a prominent stand as a 
Green Mountain Bo^^ in the controversy with New 
York, and said to be the author of many of the 
published papers of the times ; he also was chair- 


man of the Bennino^ton Committee of Safet}' and a 
member of the Stat.e Council of Safety and 
Speaker of the first General Assembly. He lost 
one son, Nathan Clark Jr., in the Battle of Ben- 
nington. Isaac Clark, known as "Old Rifle," was 
also in that battle and was Colonel in the War of 
1812, and distinguished as a partisan leader — he 
was also the son of said Nathan Clark ; he after- 
wards arose to the position of General; he mar- 
ried Hannah, the third daughter of Governor 
Thomas Chittenden; he was a good fighter and a 
very zealous Republican of theschool of Jefferson. 

He represented Castleton in the General Assem- 
bly' from 1796, to 1799, inclusive, and was a vic- 
tim of the so called "Yergennes Slaughter House" 
in 1798 — he having been expelled from the House 
for an alleged misdemeanor as a member of the 
committee to canvass votes for State officers. A 
new election was ordered and he was re-elected by 
a majorit}' of all the votes in his town, but the 
Federalists refused to admit him at that session, 
which, it is supposed, led to the writing of the fol- 
lowing lines, viz: 

'•Nature has left this tincture in the biood, 
That all men would be tyrants if they could. 
If they forbear their neighbors to devour, 
'Tis not for want of v.ill, but want of power." 

On the expulsion of General Clark there was 
published in a Republican magazine (a piece writ- 
ten by Matthew Lyon,) the following, viz: "The 
last political death reported, is that of General 
Clark — he departed this life the 25th instant, aged 
14davs; he died in the defense of that Countrv 


which, through his aid, had given birth to his as- 
sassins — his last moments were marked with as 
much serenity as the celebrated John Rogers' 
were, and in some degree similar; only the one 
died for religion, the other for political sentiments, 
both under the reign of partj^ terror. His parting 
soul breathed forth a strong and manh' hope 
of a speed3^ and glorious resurrection of 
Republicanism . ' ' 

"When party zeal in public good shall end, 
And show the world who is his country's friend ; 
When Democrats shall rise and reign, 
And freedom bless the earth again ; 
When Tories shall sink down to hell, 
Where pandemonium harpies dwell; 
Millennial love shall then prevail ; 
Aristocrats lament and wail ; 
Republicans rejoice to see 
The blest return of libertv ; 
Vergennes ever will harmless prove, 
Or rage a stimulous to love." 

The above was written b^^ L3'on when he was 
in jail at Vergennes suffering the penalt\^ of the 
alien and sedition act. General Clark was Col- 
onel of the 11th U. S. Infantry March 12, 1812. 
He also commanded a successful expedition 
against St. Armand, Lower Canada, October 12, 

Matthew Lyon w^as one of Vermont's remark- 
able men ; he was born in Wicklow Count3', Ire- 
land, in 1746, and came to America at the age of 
thirteen and w^as so poor he had to indenture his 
person in Litchfield, Connecticut, to pay his pas- 
sage — this indenture was sold to Jesse Leaven- 


worth (one of the founders of Danville, Vermont,) 
for a pair of steers. His favorite oath used to be 
''by the bulls that redeemed me." He was a dele- 
gate for North Wallingford in the Dorset Conven- 
tion of Juh' 24-, 1776, being then thirt\^ years of 
age, and during that year he was Lieutenant in 
Captain John Fassett, Jr's. companj^ and was 
stationed at the block-house in Jericho which was 
abandoned by the men of the company, on the re- 
treat of the Continental Army from Canada. 

Lyon reported this fact to General Gates and 
charged the responsibility mainlj^ on Captain 
John Fassett Jr., vsrhen the officers were arrested, 
including Lyon. They v^^ere tried bj^ court mar- 
tial for cowardice, convicted and cashiered. This 
charge was claimed to be unjust on the ground 
that for fort3^ men to stay at Jericho when our 
arm\^ was retreating before the British up the 
lake, when every man, woman and child had quit 
that part of the State, would be sheer fool-hardi- 
ness. It appeared afterwards that L^'on opposed 
the evacuation of the block-house on Onion River 
and was acquitted of blame. 

In Congress, Roger Griswold taunted Lyon for 
"wearing a wooden sword," and Lyon resented it 
b3'' spitting in Griswold's face. There was an at- 
tempt to expell him from the House for this act, 
but it failed for want of a two thirds vote. The 
cashiering of L^^on was not injurious to him in 
Vermont, however annoying for a time, for he af- 
terwards was made Commissary-General and Col- 
onel and elected twice to Congress. Arlington 
was a stronghold of the Tories and Lyon with 


Thomas Chittenden and John Fassett Jr. tempo- 
rarily became citizens of that town on that ac- 
count, and took possession and confiscated prop- 
erty of Tories. Ira Allen was only three miles dis- 
nant and these four men erected a judgement seat 
and sat as Council to pronounce woe upon every 
rebellious Tory. 

Here 'Lyon married, for his second wife, Beulah, 
widow of Elijah Galusha and the fourth daughter 
of Thomas Chittenden. For several A^ears he was 
Clerk of the Court of Confiscation and in 1785, 
for refusing to produce its records, was impeached 
by the General Assembly, tried and convicted and 
sentenced to reprimand and to a fine of 500 
pounds, but an application was made for a re- 
hearing w^hich v/as ordered, and nothing more 
was done with the affair. General Schujder re- 
stored him to his military rank and appointed 
him paymaster in Warner's regiment Jul}^ 15, 
1777. In April 1778, he w^as appointed Deputy 
Secretary of the Governor and Council ; he was 
also Clerk of the Assembly and Secretary of the 
Board of War in 1779. 

He represented Arlington in the General Assem- 
bly from 1779, to 1782, inclusive, and Fairhaven 
ten 3^ears, in 1783—4, and 1787, to 1796. He was 
elected to Congress in 1796, and re-elected in 
1798. He was said to be a terse and vigorous 
writer and able debater. On July 31, 1798, the 
Vermont Journal published a letter written by 
L^^on June 20, of that year and mailed at Phila- 
delphia on July 7, 1798, three days after the se- 
dition act of Congress went into effect. A portion 


of this letter was deemed seditious, and L\'on was 
indicted, tried and convicted in October following. 
The penalties imposed were a fine of $1000 and 
imprisonment for four months. 

While he was imprisoned he was re-elected to 
Congress, and when the prison doors were opened 
in February 1799, he announced that he was on 
his way to attend Congress at Philadelphia, and 
thus escaped a re-arrest which his opponents had 
prepared for him. He took his seat in Congress 
on February 20, 1799, when Mr. Ba3^ard of Dela- 
ware moved to expell him. from the House, and 
urged the matter with a good deal of bitterness. 
The cause of urging the passage of the resolution 
of expulsion w^as that on its passage might de- 
pend the fact whether the Federalist should or 
should not have the vote ol the State if the elec- 
tion of president should be thrown into the House 
in the next Congress, it being known that Lyon 
w^as a Republican and the other Congressman 
from Vermont, Lewis R. Morris, a Federalist. 
If L^^on could be expelled the Federalists would 
have a chance to secure the seat on a special elec- 
tion. Bayard's resolution failed for want of a 
two-thirds vote. 

In 1801, the election fell into the House and 
Thomas Jefferson received the vote ofL3'on, and 
Aaron Burr that of Morris. On the 36th ballot 
Morris withheld his vote and Lyon voted, for Jef- 
ferson, thus giving the vote of Vermont to Jeffer- 
son, which was sufficient to elect him. Lyon on 
one occasion said on a disagreement with Jeffer- 
son, "I made him and I can unmake him." At the 


end of his term in Congress he removed to Ken- 
tucky and was a member of the Legislature of 
that State, and their member of Congress for eight 
years, from 1803 to 1811. He petitioned Con- 
gress to refund said fine and cost, $1060.90, im- 
posed on him under the sedition act ; and after a 
delay of thirt3^ jeavs an act was passed July 4, 
1840, refunding the amount to his heirs with 

He was a man of great business capacit3\ At 
Fairhaven he built the Lj^on Tavern House prior 
to 1787, and the first store there, in 1791 ; he built 
the L\'on Iron Works in 1785, Lyon's Paper Mills 
in 1791, manufacturing paper from bass wood, 
and built the first grist mill prior to 1795, and a 
saw mill in 1797; he established a printing office 
and started the third newspaper in Vermont, ''The 
Farmer's LibrarA^," in 1793. He continued his 
business enterprises in Kentucky. 

Colonel Joseph Fay, who was the brother of 
Jonas, w^as born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, 
about 1752, and came to Bennington in 1766. 
He was Secret ar^^ of the Council of Safety from 
September 1777, to March 12, 1778, and of the 
State Council from ALirch 1778, to 1794, and Sec- 
retary^ of State from about November 1778, to 
1781, and member of the Board of War. He was 
associated with Ira Allen in the famous negotia- 
tions with General Haldimand. He removed to 
New York City in 1794, and died there of ^-ellow 
fever in October 1803. 

Moses Robinson was son of Samuel Robinson, 
Senior, the pioneer settler of Bennington, who 


went in December 1765, as agent of the New 
Hampshire grantees to petition the King for relief 
against the government of New York, and died in 
London, October 27, 1767. Samuel, the father of 
Moses, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 
1605 ; the name of the grandfather of Moses was 
also Samuel Robinson, who was born in Bristol, 
England, in 1668, and he claimed descent from 
Rev. John Robinson, "the father of the Indepen- 
dents," who was pastor of the Pilgrims before 
thej' sailed from Holland in the Alayflower in Au- 
gust of 1620. 

Moses Robinson was born in Hard wick, Mass- 
achusetts, March 26, 1744, and came to Benning- 
ton with his father in 1761. He was the first 
Town Clerk of Bennington, chosen in March 1762, 
and held the ofiice nineteen j-ears ; as Colonel of 
militia, he was with his regiment at the evacua- 
tion of Ticonderoga and Mount Independence in 
July 1777; he was a member of the Council of 
Safety in 1777—8, and Councillor eight years to 
October 1785, and served as a member of the Su- 
preme Court, in all, ten 3'ears and elected Governor 
in 1789, by the Joint Assembly, there having been 
no election b_v the people. He was elected one of 
the United States Senators in 1791, and held the 
office till 1796, when he resigned. 

He was said to be a man of piet}-. On one oc- 
casion there being a dela}^ m business, he proposed 
spending the time in prayer-meeting, which was 
agreed to ; and in one prayer-meeting he invited 
the two deacons to offer prayer, but he was unsuc- 
cessful and performed the dut^^ himself, commenc- 


ing with an open confession: "O, Lord I Thou 
knowest we have come up here this afternoon to 
w^orship Thee, and w^e are cold and luke-warm as 
it were, — I fear at least some of us are!" He 
united with the church June 20, 1765, and was 
elected deacon May 22, 1789, which office he held 
until his death, May 26, 1813. 

Doctor Jonas Fay was son of Stephen Fay, 
and w^as born at Hardw^ick, Massachusetts, Janu- 
ary 17, 1737, and removed to Bennington with 
his father in 1766. He was prominent and an in- 
fluential man in the contest with New York and 
the mother country, and could waeld the pen as 
w^ell as the sword ; he w^as Clerk of the Conven- 
tion of settlers in March 1774, and of many other 
Conventions subsequent^ held in the interest of 
the New Hampshire Grants and Vermont. On the 
declaration of Vermont's independence in 1777, he 
w^as one of the committee to prepare and present 
to Congress the declaration and petition of the 
State, and was an agent of the State on several 
occasions to manage the affairs of the State in 

At the age of nineteen he served in the French 
War during the campaign of 1756. He was with 
Ethan Allen as surgeon in the capture of Ticon- 
deroga in May 1775, and served in the same ca- 
pacity in Warner's regiment. In July 1775, he 
was appointed b3^ the Alassachusetts committee 
at Ticonderoga to muster the troops as they ar- 
rived ; he w^as a member of the Council of Safety 
in 1777—8, and then of the State Council for the 
first seven 3^ears, and was Judge of the Supreme 


Court; he was Judge of the Probate Court for 
five years from 1782 to 1786. He resided for a 
while after 1818, in Charlotte and Pawlet, and 
died in Bennington, March 6, 1818. 

LiEUTEXAXT James Breakexridge of Benning- 
ton has a conspicuous place in the history of the 
controversy with New York. At first he seemed 
to stand firm against the encroachments of the 
New York authorities. On his farm the first at- 
tempt was made to enforce the authority of New 
York October 19, 1769, but the New York author- 
ities were overawed by the hostile appearance of 
many of Breakenridge's neighbors who with 
Breakenridge were indicted as rioters in the court 
at Albany. In July 1771, another attempt was 
made at the Breakenridge firm to enforce the New 
A^ork authority, but it failed. 

Governor Hall says, "in fact, on the farm of 
James Breakenridge was born the future State of 
Vermont." Breakenridge was appointed one of 
the agents to represent to the King the grievances 
of the claimants under the New Hampshire 
Grants; on January 17, 1776, he was one of the 
agents appointed to represent the case of the 
Grants to the Continental Congress ; he was fre- 
quently denounced by the Yorkers as a rioter and 
was proscribed with others in the New A^ork riot 
act of 1774. 

He was of Scotch-Irish descent, and it was said 
he was scrupulous about bearing arms against 
the King ; as Burgoyne wnth his splendidly equip- 
ped arm3^ sw^ept along the western border of Ver- 
mont Breakenridge thought it w^ould be vain to 


make further resistence, and fled to the protection 
of Burgoyne as many other residents of Vermont 
did in 1777. He was sentenced to banishment 
within the enemies' hnes by Vermont. He appHed 
for rehef, which was granted. He finalh^ re-ac- 
quired citizenship in Vermont, and it is said 
adorned it by an honorable life. 

Lieutenant Leonard Spaulding w^as a resi- 
dent oi Putney in 1768, and from the outset w^as 
a sturdy enemy of Loyalists and Yorkers, and 
consequently a favorite with the Whigs and Green 
Mountain Boys. In 1771, when his property was 
seized b3^ an ofliicer to satisfy a judgement recov- 
ered against him in a New York court, a large 
pSLTty from* New Hampshire crossed the river into 
Putney, broke open the enclosure and rescued his 
property. In 1774, he had become a citizen of 
Dummerston and he was so free with his Whig 
sentiments that he got special attention from the 
royal authorities. 

He threw out words unfavorable to the British 
t^a'ant and was imprisoned therefor for high 
treason, but his friends opened the prison-door 
and let him go. The imprisonment in no way 
dampened his patriotic zeal and he was conspicu- 
ous among those who resented the Westminster 
massacre by arresting the royal officers; he was a 
delegate in all the Conventions beginning with 
that of September 25, 1776, and represented Dum- 
merston in the General Assembl^^ of March 1778, 
and for the years 1781, 1784, 1786, and 1787. 

Benjamin Wait, though not recognized as a 
leader, left a record remarkable for military and 


civil services. He was born in Sucibur\\ Massa- 
chusetts, February, 13, 1737, and at the age of 
eighteen entered the military service under the 
British General Amherst and performed important 
militar3' service in the English-French War. At 
twent_v-five years of age he had been engaged in 
fort\^ battles and skirmishes and had his clothing 
perforated man^- times, but received no wound. 
He settled in Windsor in 1767; in 1769, was em- 
ployed to arrest depredators upon the King's 

In 1770, identified himself decidedly with the 
Green Mountain Bo3'S. In February 7, 1775, he 
was the sole delegate from Windsor in the Whig 
Convention of the County- of Cumberland. Al- 
though an avowed opponent of New York in the 
controversy about jurisdiction and land titles he 
with some others offered to aid New York in rais- 
ing of a regiment of good, active, enterprising sol- 
diers "to keep under proper subjection regulars, 
Roman Catholics and the savages at the north- 
ward," and to defend their own rights and privi- 
leges against ministerial tyranny and oppression ; 
lie was commissioned b}' New York as Captain in 
a battallion of rangers, and on September 3, 
1777, was appointed Major, b^^ Vermont, in Her- 
rick's regiment of rangers, and he commanded 
that part of it which in connection with Colonel 
John Brown swept the British from the north end 
of Lake George and from Ticonderoga, and he 
was complimented for this spirited conduct b}^ the 
Council of Safety. 

On November following he was ordered to take 


possession of Aloiint Independence. On February 
10, 1778, he was authorized to co-operate with 
Colonel Herrick in raising 300 men for an in- 
tended expedition to Canada under General La- 
fayette ; he was appointed Sheriff of Windsor 
Count\', which office he held for about seven 
3'ears. The General Assembh^ resolved, on Novem- 
ber 27, 1779, that North and South Hero in 
Grand Isle County should be granted to him and 
his company, which grant was voted by the Gov- 
ernor and Council November 11, 1779. 

He performed various services for good order 
in the State and was wounded in quelling an in- 
surrection in Windsor Counter. When "the piping 
times of peace" came the General Assembly com- 
plimented him in electing him to the office of Brig- 
adier-General. The township of Waitsfield was 
chartered to him and Roger Enos and others Feb- 
ruar^^ 25, 1782, and Wait was the first settler in 
1789, and the first representative and held that 
position by successive elections from 1795, to 
1802, inclusive. He was truh' the father of the 
town, and it bears his name. General Benjamin 
Wait died in 1822, aged 86 years. 

Samuel Herrick came to Bennington about 
the year 1768, but left the tovvm and State soon 
after the close of the Revolutionary War. While 
in Vermont the record of his life was honorable. 
In May 1775, he was one of the Captains who 
joined the expedition for the capture of Ticonder- 
oga and Crown Point. He was appointed Col- 
onel of Vermont rangers in Juh' 1777, and in Au- 
s^ust of the same year led the attack on the rear of 


Brown's ns^ht in the Battle of Bennington, and in 
September following his regiment with Colonel 
Brown's troops gained the command of Lake 
George, dispossessed the enemy of Mount Indepen- 
dence, Defiance, and Hope, and forced their retreat 
from Ticonderoga. Subsequently' Herrick was 
Colonel of the south-western regiment of Vermont 

Rev. Samuel Williams, L. L. D., was born in 
Waltham, Massachusetts, about 1740; grad- 
uated at Harvard in 1761 ; was ordained minister 
of ] Bradford, Massachusetts, November 20, 1765; 
he afterwards was professor of mathematics and 
natural philosophy in Harvard. He removed to 
Rutland, Vermont, about 1788, and was elected 
to the General Assembly in 1783, and was 14 
years a member of the House ; he was a member 
of the Governor's Council in 1795 to 1798, inclu- 
sive; he was a Judge of the Countj^ Court from 
1790 to 1797, inclusive, and in 1794, he preached 
the election sermon. 

At one time he was editor of the Rutland Her- 
ald that was established in 1792, and published in 
1794, a one volume History of Vermont and ex- 
tended it into two volumes in 1808; in 1795 — 6, 
he published the Rural Magazine. He was one of 
the founders of the University of Vermont. John 
Wheeler, the President of the University, said in 
an historical discourse August 1, 1854, that "the 
creative mind of Dr. Samuel Williams had worked 
for the University of Vermont and in it." He was 
the most learded man of Vermont in his da^'. He 
died in January 1817. 


Colonel Joseph Bowker was a prominent 
man in public affairs in Vermont during the few 
3^ears he lived. E. P. Walton states in a notice of 
him that, "with two exceptions he was President 
of every General Convention" while he was in the 
State. He was the first representative elected 
from Rutland and was elected Speaker of the 
House. The same year when the votes for Coun- 
cillor were canvassed it was found he had been 
elected to a seat in the Council. To that body he 
was elected seven times and till his death. He was 
the first Judge of Rutland County Court, which 
office he held till December 1783 ; he was the first 
Judge of Probate and held that office till his death 
in 1784. He was patriotic and popular. It is said 
he left no heir and no stone to mark his grave. 

Captain Justus Sherwood of New Haven. 
John Munro named him as one of the party who 
rescued Remember Baker in 1772. He was pro- 
prietor's clerk of that town from their first meet- 
ing in 1774, until 1776, when he removed to 
Shaftsbur3^ on account of the War. At that time 
he was an avowed Loyalist and was punished as 
such at Bennington. He was so exasperated at 
this that he raised a company of Lo3'alists and 
joined the British army in Canada. He was em- 
ployed b\^ General Haldimand in the negotiations 
with Vermont in 1780, and 1783. 

John Munro, Esq., of Shaftsbury held a magis- 
trate's commission under New York. The Green 
Mountain Bo3^s were in the habit of chastising 
Yorkers who interfered offensively with the affairs 
of the Grants. Munro's house had been visited bv 


them who fired into it, so alarming him that he 
fled for safety to New York. He there gathered a 
posse of about a dozen men, repaired to the house 
of Remember Baker of Arlington to arrest him un- 
der Governor Tr3^on's proclamation. They broke 
into Baker's house about day light March 22, 
1772, wounded Baker and his wife, maltreated his 
children and retired into New York with Baker as 

An alarm was spread among the Green Aloun- 
tain Bo3's, and they pursued Munro and his posse, 
rescued Baker and restored him to his family. 
Munro remained quiet till 1777, when he fled to 
Burgoyne's camp and the Vermonters confiscated 
his property ; he was proscribed b\^ the Vermont 
act of February 26, 1779. The Council of Safety 
gave permission for Munro's wife, January 30, 
1778, to remain in possession of his farm till 
further order, and on August 17, 1777, gave her 
liberty to take and use one of her riding horses by 
sending to Bennington for it, till the Council 
should send for it. 

General John McNeil of Charlotte was a 
Loyalist but took the oath of fidelity and w^as 
permitted to remain in the State and was reck- 
oned as an honorable citizen. He was one of the 
first settlers of Tinmouth where his residence was 
in 1777, when his property was confiscated. He 
resided for a while in Bennington with James 
Breakenridge, a Loyalist. He removed to Char- 
lotte from Bennington. McNeil was the first 
Town Clerk of Charlotte, elected March 13, 1787, 
audits first representative; he was elected and 


served as representative in 1788, 1789, 1790, 

1792, 1793, and 1796; Judge of Probate in Chit- 
tenden County for three years from 1787 to 1789, 
inclusive, and Judge of the County Court five 
3^ears from 1789 to 1793, inclusive; he was a dele- 
gate in the Convention of 1791, which adopted 
the Constitution of the United States; and of 

1793, w^hich re-arranged the Constitution of Ver- 
mont. McNeil's ferry from Charlotte to Essex, N. 
Y., perpetuates his name. 

Jesse Weldex was the first settler in St. x\l- 
bans but was driven off during the Revolutionary 
War, and, it is said, he was taken prisoner by the 
British, and escaped and returned to St. Albans in 

Colonel James Mead of Rutland was a mem- 
ber of the Dorset Convention of September 25, 
1776, and one of the committee appointed by the 
Windsor Convention in June 1777, to arrange 
with the commander at Ticonderoga for the de- 
fense of the frontier; and was Colonel of the third 
regiment of militia. 

Brigadier Moses Hazen was at the opening of 
the Revolutionary War a resident of Canada 
drawing half pay of a Captain from Great Britain 
for previous military service. His propert3^ w^as 
used by General Montgomery for military pur- 
poses in his Canada campaign. On application 
the Continental Congress made compensation for 
his loss of half pay, and he entered the Conti- 
nental service and raised a regiment in Canada, 
but in the retreat of 1776, he left Canada; he 
served through the war in the different fields of 


service and was made Brigadier-General by 
brevet, June 2, 1781. 

His name was prominently connected with the 
building of the "Hazen road," that was com- 
menced by General Bayley in 1776, and continued 
b3^ Hazen in 177v), from Peacham through Cabot, 
Walden, Hard wick, Greensboro, Craftsbury, Al- 
bany and Lowell to ''Hazen's Notch," in Mont- 
gomer3' — a road about fifty miles in length. 

Colonel Joseph Marsh, the subject of this 
sketch, was a descendant from Joh n Marsh who 
came from England to Massachusetts in 1633, 
and to Hartford, Connecticut, in 1635; Joseph 
Marsh who settled in Lebanon, Connecticut, in 
1697, w^as the grandson of said John. The grand- 
son of said Joseph was the first Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of Vermont, Colonel Joseph Marsh of Hart- 
ford, Vermont, the subject of this sketch. He w^as 
born in Lebanon, Connecticut, January 12, 1726; 
he went to school but a single month and his ad- 
vantages from books were limited, but he mas- 
tered what he read and held it with a tenacious 
memory; he had a close, logical mind and exceed- 
ingly interesting in conversatioa and free from 

In person he was of large stature, well propor- 
tioned, broad shouldered, large boned, lean and of 
great muscular power and weighed over 200 
pounds. His dress was of the Washington pat- 
tern, and a bold and graceful horseman. He mar- 
ried Doroth}'^ Mason January 10, 1750, the sister 
of Colonel Jeremiah Mason of Lebanon, Connecti- 
cut. Colonel Marsh settled in Hartford, Vermont, 


in 1772; that town was then embraced in Cum- 
berland County under the jurisdiction of New 

He was a member of the Provincial Congress 
of New York in 1776, but was absent much of the 
time. In July of 1777, his regiment of which he 
was Colonel came under the jurisdiction of Ver- 
mont, and on August 13, 1777, he was ordered by 
the Council of Safet3^ to march one half of his regi- 
ment to Bennington. He was at Hartford at the 
time and probably was not in the Battle of Ben- 
nington on the 16th of August, as there was not 
time to get his men there after he received his 

He was a member of the Windsor County- Con- 
vention of June 4, July 2, and December 24, 1777, 
and was Vice-President thereof. In March 1778, 
he was elected Lieutenant-Governor and re- elected 
in 1779, and annualh^ from 1787, to 1790. For a 
time was chairman of the Court of Confiscation 
for Eastern Vermont. He was chairman of a 
Committee of Safetv for a section of Vermont; he 
represented Hartford in the General Assembly in 
1781 — 2 ; one of the first Council of Censors in 
1785, and nine 3^ears Chief Judge of Windsor 
County- Court from 3 787, to 1795, inclusive — it be- 
ing his last public office. He died February" 9, 

Colonel Timothy Brownson came from New 
Framingham, Connecticut, and the first perma- 
nent settler in Sunderland in 1776. He was 
prominent in the civil affairs of the State and one 
of the most trusted advisers of Governor Chitten- 


den, a delegate in the Conventions of January 16 
and September 25, 1776, and member of the Con- 
vention which adopted the Constitution, and 
Councillor for many years. He was one of the 
eight persons named by Governor Chittenden as 
having been cognizant of the Haldimand negotia- 
tions, and a member of the Convention of 1791, 
which adopted the Constitution of the United 

Benjamin Emmons left Chesterfield, New Hamp- 
shire, his former home, and settled with his family 
in Woodstock, Vermont, in April 1772, and took 
an active part in organizing the new settlement, 
and at the first town meeting held in May 1773, 
he was chosen Supervisor; he became familiar 
wnth the civil affairs of Cumberland County and 
Avith all the political movements of the da}-. At 
the annual town meeting in Woodstock, May 
1775, he was a member of the Committee of 
Safety, and in June 1776, he became a member of 
the County Committee of Safety. His political 
sentiments were clear and pronounced ; he was for 
the independence of the Colonies as against the 
mother country, and for the independence of the 
Grants as against New York. 

He was on a committee to canvass Cumber- 
land and Gloucester Counties for the purpose of 
stirring up the minds of the people to favor the 
separation from New York, and a member of the 
several Conventions as delegate from Woodstock, 
including the Convention that framed a Constitu- 
tion for the new State of Vermont. He was 
elected one of the first twelve Councillors under 


the Constitution and one of the members (^f the 
Court of Confiscation; in 1781, he was Assistant 
Judge of Windsor County Court, and was a mem- 
ber of the Council from 1779 to 1786. He repre- 
sented Woodstock in the General Assembly eleven 
years; his last election was in 1803. He was in- 
strumental in making Woodstock the shire town 
of Windsor Count3\ 

He was chosen in 1791, a member of the Con- 
vention which adopted the Constitution of the 
United States and one of the Council of Censors 
for 1799. As a Justice of the Peace, his judgement 
and equity made his work abundant and his name 
famous. As money was scarce in those days and 
neat stock was used largely in payment of debts, 
he was the man to whom many went, for ^-ears, 
to fix the pi ice at which stock should be received. 
In 1806, his children who had settled in the West 
persuaded him, soon after, to follow them, but he 
died six weeks after reaching the promised land in 
1811, at about the age of 86 years. 

Thomas Murdock of Norwich was a member 
of the Westminster Convention of January 15, 
1777, and of the Windsor Convention of June 4, 
1777; Councillor and member of the Court of 
Confiscation in 1778, and until October 1779, 
Judge of the Windsor County Court 1782, to 
1787, and represented Norwich in 1780 and 1782, 
and then retired to the pleasures of private life ; 
and died at Norwich in 1803. 

General Peter Olcott was an eminent man 
of Norwich and active in both civil and military 
affairs of the State, and in May 1777, he was ap- 


pointed by New York Commissioner to receive the 
property of those who had joined the enemj^, the 
British, and in 1778, he performed similar service 
for Vermont as one of the Court of Confiscation 
for Eastern Vermont. 

He was a member ol the Windsor County Con- 
ventions of June, July, and December of 1777, 
which adopted the Constitution. In 1777, he 
commanded a regiment in Gloucester County. He 
was Councillor from the first session till October 
1779, again in 1781 to 1790; Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor in 1790 to 1793, and Judge of the Supreme 
Court from 1782 to 1784, and died at Norwich in 
September 1808. 

Thomas Chandler, Jr., was born at Wood- 
stock, Connecticut, September 23, 1740, and came 
to New Flamstead (now Chester) with his father 
in 1763, and elected Secretary of State by the Gen- 
eral Assembly March 13, 1778, and took the oath 
of ofiice and commenced service as Secretary of the 
Council at that time. He was appointed Town 
Clerk in March 1763, at a meeting of the proprie- 
tors held at Worcester, Massachusetts, and held 
the ofl&ce until March 1780; on July 16, 1766, he 
was appointed b^^ New York Assistant Justice of 
the Inferior Court of Common Pleas for Cumber- 
land County, and he held the office till after the 
Westminster massacre; he was delegate in the 
Westminster Convention in October 1776, and 
January 1777. 

He was elected to the first General Assembly in 
March 1778, and from 1778 to 1781, and in 1787, 
and was Clerk of that body in March 1778, but 


resigned both positions to be Secretary of State. 
He was Speaker of the House from October 1778, 
to 1780, resigning in the middle of the session of 
1780, on account of charges affecting his charac- 
ter, for which he brought a libel suit and recov- 
ered damages. He was Judge of the first Supreme 
Court, elected in October 1778, and of the Wind- 
sor County Court in 1786. He w^as reduced to 
poverty by sickness in his family and an act of in- 
solvency was granted him October 15, 1792. He 
was the son of Thomas Chandler, Senior, who 
was Chief Judge of the royal Court at Westmin- 
ster that was overthrown after the massacre. 

Captain Remember Baker w^as born in Wood- 
bur\^ Connecticut, in June 1737, and married De- 
sire Hurlbut April 3, 1760. His father's name 
was also Remember, and his grandfather was 
John Baker of Ancient Woodbury, Connecticut. 
The father of Captain Baker was brother to Mary 
Baker, the wife of Joseph Allen, the father of 
General Ethan Allen. At the age of eighteen Cap- 
tain Remember Baker served in an expedition 
against Canada and thus acquired knowledge of 
western Vermont, which, doubtless, was one of 
the means of attracting the Allen family to the 
New Hampshire Grants. 

The Captain settled in Arlington in 1764, and 
in 1771, he was appointed one of the Captains in 
the military force under the command of Ethan 
Allen to resist New York ; he was at the capture 
of Ticonderoga and Crown Point in May 1775; 
he went in July 1775, on a reconnoitering expedi- 
tion to Canada, by direction of General Schuyler, 


and while in that service, in August, he was killed 
in a skirmish with the Indians near St. Johns; he 
fell at the age of thirty-five. Ira Allen, as his ad- 
ministrator, settled his estate. As a neighbor he 
was distinguished for his kindness, and his mem- 
ory was held dear by man^^ families whose dis- 
tresses he had generously relieved. 

He took a prominent part in the controversy 
with New York and in favor of the independence 
of the American Colonies. He was one of those 
whom Governor Tryon of New York in 1771, is- 
sued a proclamation offering a reward of 20 
pounds each for their apprehension for their riot- 
ous opposition to the New York government. On 
February 5, 1772, Ethan Allen, Remember Baker 
and Robert Cochran issued a retaliatory^ procla- 
mation as follows, viz: "Whereas James Duane 
and John Kempe of New York have by their men- 
aces and threats greatly disturbed the public 
peace and repose of the honest peasants of Ben- 
nington, and the settlements to the northward, 
which peasants are now and ever have been in the 
peace of God and the King, and are patriotic and 
liege subjects of George III. Any persons that wil^ 
apprehend those common disturbers, viz : James 
Duane and John Kempe, and bring them to Land- 
lord Fay's at Bennington shall have 15 pounds 
reward for James Duane and 10 pounds for John 

The reward was to be paid by those who is- 
sued the proclamation. Captain Baker as an offi- 
cer and soldier was cool and temperate in council, 
but resolute and determined in the execution of his 


plans. Baker was captured in 1772, bj^ a New 
York party led by John Alunro, but w^as rescued 
b3^ the Green Mountain Boys. The part that 
Baker took in the struggle against New^ York has 
been frequently referred to in this and the previous 
volume, to which the reader is referred for further 
particulars of his public services and pioneer life. 






William Gallup of Hartland was a delegate 
in the Convention of Windsor, June 4, 1777, and 
was one of the 71 delegates of the Conventions 
that met at Dorset and Westminster and Windsor 
in 1776 and 1777, the members of which declared 
Vermont a free and independent State; he was for 
man3^ 3^ears a member of the General Assembly 
and died August 1803, aged 69 j^ears. 

John Peters was born in 1740, and came from 
Hebron, Connecticut. He was a most devoted 
Loyalist, and doubly distasteful to Vermonters as 
a Yorker and a Tor3^ He resided in Mooretown, 
(now Bradford) and was moderator of the first 
town meeting. He held the office of Justice of the 
Peace under appointment from New York in 1770 
and 1774, and appointed commissioner to admin- 
ister oaths March 17, 1770, and again April 10, 
1772, and Assistant Judge of the Inferior Court of 
Common Pleas, and Count3^ Clerk March 17, 
1770; and in February 1771, he set out with 
Judge John Taplin and the Sheriff to hold Glouces- 
ter Count}' Court in Kingsland (now Washing- 



He gave the following account of his search for 
a Court or the place to hold one, viz : "On Febru- 
ary 25, 1771, we set out from Mooretown for 
Kingsland traveling until night, there being no 
roads and the snow very deep we traveled on 
snow shoes or rackets. On the 26th, we traveled 
some w^a^^s and held a council, when it was con- 
cluded it was best to open Court. As we saw no 
line it was not known whether in Kingsland or 
not, but we concluded we were far in the woods, 
and did not expect to see an\^ house unless we 
marched three miles w'ithin Kingsland, and no one 
lived there, when the Court was ordered to be 
opened on the spot." 

He built the first saw mill in Bradford in 1772, 
on the south side of Waits River. He went to 
Canada finally and raised a corps called the 
Queen's Loyal Rangers, of which he became Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel. When peace was declared he re- 
tired to England and died at Paddington of gout 
in the head and stomach in 1788. His property 
was confiscated. A notice of him read as follows, 
viz: "Rebellion and loyalty are alike fatal to 
some families, and alike prosperous to others." 

Colonel Elisha Payne of Cardigan, New 
Hampshire, took an active part in Vermont af- 
fairs. His great influence was exerted in forming 
the unions of the towns in western 'New Hamp- 
shire west of the "Mason Patent" wnth Vermont, 
and put forth his best endeavors to prevent the 
dissolution of those unions with Vermont after 
they w^ere formed. He appeared as a representa- 
tive from Cardigan in the General Assembly of 


1778, and chairman of committee raised to can- 
vass the votes for State officers and Councillors. 
The canvass showed he was elected Councillor by 
the people, but he refused to accept as he thought 
he could be more useful in the House in opposing 
the dissolution of the union with the New Hamp- 
shire towns; he served as Lieutenant-Governor in 
1781, at a critical period of the history of the 

There was a Convention of 43 towns of New 
Hampshire held at Charleston January 16, 1781, 
and another at Cornish, soon after, in New Hamp- 
shire in the interest of those towns in uniting with 
Vermont, and he was one of the committee ap- 
pointed at those Conventions to wait on the Gen- 
eral Assembh^ of Vermont. And on Februar}^ 10, 
1781, he addressed the Assembly asking for the 
union with Vermont and continued his efforts till 
it was consummated April 5, 1781; he took his 
seat in the Assembly as representative from Leba- 
non, in which town he resided till he died ; he was 
elected Judge of the Supreme Court in October 
1781; and on January 10, 1782, he was ap- 
pointed delegate to Congress. 

On December 14, 1781, Governor Chittenden 
ordered Lieutenant-Governor Payne, as Major- 
General, to call out all the militia in eastern Ver- 
mont, if need be, to resist any forcible attempt of 
New Hampshire to regain jurisdiction over the an- 
nexed towns. He was ordered to repel force by 
force; he wrote a conciliatory letter, though firm in 
tone, to President Weare who had got much 
aroused by the action that Vermont had taken, 

i -•• 


which letter served to delay any military move- 
ment of New Hampshire, and peace was preserved. 
As soon as the unions were dissolved he adhered 
to his State. Two of Colonel Payne's daughters 
spent their lives in Vermont: Mar^^ wife of Abel 
Wilder of Norwich and Ruth, wife of Captain Na- 
than Jewett of Montpelier. 

William Patterson came to Westminster 
about 1772, under the patronage of Crean Brush, 
another notorious Yorker and Tory. Patterson 
was of Scotch-Irish descent and born in Ireland, 
made Sheriff of Cumberland County by New York 
in 1773. His first offense w^as the arrest and im- 
prisonment of Leonard Spaulding, the hero of 
Dummerston, October 1774, because he said that 
the Quebec Bill "made the British tyrant, Pope of 
that government." Spaulding was released by 
the interposition of the Whigs. Patterson's next 
act in the interest of New^ York was heading the 
Torv crew^ at the massacre at Westminster. 

MiCAH TowNSHEND was bom on Long Island, 
May 13, 1749, highly educated at Princeton, New 
Jersey. He was admitted to the bar of New York 
in April 1770, and settled at White Plains, West- 
chester County; Clerk of the Committee of Safety 
for that County; appointed Captain of a militia 
compan^^ raised to combat Tories. He removed 
to Bennington August 15, 1778, and married 
Mary, the daughter of Colonel Samuel Wells. 
For a short time he served the adherents of New 
York, but soon was convinced that that course 
wasunvrise and took the oath of allegiance to and 
became a citizen of Vennont. 


In 1781, he was made Judge and Register of 
Probate for the County of Bennington and held 
these offices until 1787; also in the year 1781, he 
was made Secretary- of State and held that office 
till he resigned October 21, 1788, when the Gen- 
eral Assembly commended him "for the fidelit^v 
and skill with which he had discharged the duties 
of that office." He disposed of his property to 
Hon. Ro^^al Tyler in 1801, and removed to Guil- 
ford, and after one j-ears residence there removed 
to Farnham, P. Q., where he died April 23, 1832. 
His reputation as a law^^er was high and he was 
greatly esteemed as a man. 

John Fassett, Jr., after he came to Vermont 
was much of the time in the pubHc service of the 
State. He was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, 
June 3, 1743, and came to Bennington with his 
father, Deacon and Captain John Fassett in 1761, 
and removed to ArHngton in 1777, and from there 
to Cambridge in the summer of 1784; he was 
Lieutenant in Warner's first and Captain in War- 
ner's second regiment in 1776. 

In 1777, he was one of the commissioners of 
sequestration ; he was_ elected representative ot 
Arlington in the General Assembly for 1778 and 
1779, and for Cambridge in 1787, 1788, 1790 and 
1791, and elected Councillor in 1779, and was 
Councillor for 15 years and until 1795. He was 
Judge of the Supreme Court eight years, from 
1778 to 1786, and seven years Chief Judge of 
Chittenden County Court. He was one of the 
leading men who approved of the Haldimand Cor- 
respondence entered into to save Vermont from in- 
vasion bv the British forces from Canada. 


John Throop of Pomfret was commissioned a 
Justice of the Peace when that town was organ- 
ized in 1773, a delegate in the Convention at 
Windsor of June 4, 1777, and of the Convention 
of July and December following, and was also 
Councillor; a member of the House in 1787 and 
1788; Judge of Probate in 1783 to 1792; Judge 
of the Court of Confiscation in October 1779, and 
of the Supreme Court from 1778 to 1780, inclu- 
sive, and in 1782. 

Samuel Fletcher was born in Grafton, Mass- 
achusetts, in 1745, and was a soldier in the old 
French War, afterwards learned the trade of 
blacksmith and removed to Townshend about 
1772; married the daughter of Colonel John Haz- 
eltine formerly- of Upton, Massachusetts, a lady of 
fortune. Mr. Fletcher joined the armj^ and was 
at the battle of Bunker Hill. In 1776, he was 
elected Captain of militia, and in 1777, his entire 
company volunteered to reinforce the arm3^ at Ti- 
conderoga. On that expedition, he with thirteen 
men attacked a British party of forty men, killed 
one and took seven prisoners without sustaining 
any loss. 

In 1778, he joined his fortunes with the new 
State of Vermont, and became Colonel of a Cum- 
berland County regiment, and was afterwards 
raised to the rank of Major-General. He was in 
the Battle of Bennington and served in the cam- 
paign against Burgoyne until he surrendered ; he 
was a delegate to the Vermont Convention of July 
1776, and was one of the committee to treat with 
the inhabitants on the east side of the mountains 


as to associiting with the delegates of said Con- 
vention ; he was an active member of the Conven- 
ventions of October 1776, and of January 1777, 
that declared the independence of Vermont; a mem- 
ber of the three first General Assemblies, and also 
again in 1807; he was Councillor from 1779 until 
1790, and also in 1808 and 1813. 

From 1788 to 1806, he was the Sheriff of Wind- 
ham Count^^, and Judge of the Count\' Court in 
1778, 1783, 1784 and 1786, and a member of the 
Board of War in 1781. He died September 15, 
1814. General Fletcher was a man of enterprise, 
industr\^ and skill and a valuable public officer; he 
w^as a fine writer, elegant in manners, bland and 
refined in deportment, hospitable and a perfect 

Luke Kxowltox (who received the appella- 
tion of "Saint Luke") was born in Srewsbury, 
Massachusetts, in 1737; he was a resident of 
Newfane in 1772, and received $249.53 of the 
$30,000 paid to New York by Vermont to settle 
the controversy^ between those States. On the or- 
ganization of the town, he was chosen Town 
Clerk and held the ofhce sixteen 3'ears, and in 
April 14, 1772, was appointed by New York one 
of the justices of the peace for Cumberland 
Count^^, and one 3'ear from June 1776, a member 
of the Cumberland County Committee of Safety; 
he next appeared as agent for that County 
against Vermont in Congress, and he was recom- 
mended for that service by Governor Clinton and 
described as a gentleman of "penetration and 



probity," but Knowlton soon changed his opin- 
ion on the Vermont question. 

Ira Allen was in attendance on Congress in the 
interest of Vermont at the same time that Knowl- 
ton was there, and it is supposed Allen's influence 
and the information that Knowlton got there 
convinced him that his duty lay in another direc- 
tion. It was there that a plan was laid between 
two persons to unite all parties in Vermont, and 
call a Convention of delegates of all parties inter- 
ested to meet at Walpole, New Hampshire, No- 
vember 15, 1780, and Knowlton was one of the 
men named who initiated measures to bring 
about this proposed Convention and another one 
to meet at Charleston, January 16, 1781. 

This Convention resulted in consummating the 
east and west unions with Vermont. In 1782, 
Knowlton and Samuel Wells of Brattleboro as- 
sisted in exchanging view^s between General Haldi- 
mand and the British agent in New York Cit^^, 
which was undoubtedly with the assent of the 
Vermont authorities, as it is now known that 
Vermont was then carrying on a correspondence 
with General Haldimand who had to consult with 
the British commander and his agents in New 
York City. 

On complaint made to General Washington 
and through him to Congress, Congress by reso- 
lution ordered Knowlton and Wells to be ar- 
rested, but the^^ escaped, it was thought, through 
the aid of Ethan and Ira Allen. On November 16, 
1783, a party of a dozen adherents to New York 
arrested Knowlton, ostensiblj^ on account of said 


order, but let him go after taking him over the 
Vermont Hne into Massachusetts. 

He represented Newfane in the General Assem- 
bl\^ in 1784 to 1789, excepting the year of 1787, 
for five years ; he was a member of the Council 
from October 1790. to October 1801, eleven years, 
and a member of the Convention of 1793 ; Judge 
of Windham County Court from 1787 to Decem- 
ber 1794", and in 1802, fifteen years, and Judge of 
the Supreme Court in 1786; he was represented 
as a leading character, and a man of great ambi- 
tion and enterprise, but of fevr words, thotigh a 
man of the keenest perception. 

Doctor Jonathan Arnold was born in Provi- 
dence, R. I., December 14, 1741 ; he was a member 
of the Assembly of that State in 1776, and the au- 
thor of the act of that State, repealing the law re- 
quiring the oath of allegiance to the mother coun- 
try, and their member of the Continental Con- 
gress from 1782 to 1784, and surgeon in the Rev- 
olutionary Arm^^ After the War he removed to 
St. Johnsbury, Vermont, and was its first Town 
Clerk in 1790, and was one of the Governor's 
Council at the time of his death ; he was one of 
the Judges of Orange County from 1793, until his 
death Februar\^ 1, 1789. He had two sons, Jo- 
siah LA'ndon and Lemuel Hastings, the first born 
in Providence, R. I., and the other at St. Johns- 
bury. It was said of Dr. Arnold that he was 

"Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, 
But looks thro' Nature up to Nature's God — 
And knows where Faith, Law, Morals all began. 
All end — in Love of God, and Love of Man." 


Colonel Ebenezer Crafts came from Stur- 
bridge, Massachusetts, and was a graduate of 
Yale College in 1759; he removed to Vermont in 
1791, and died in 1810. He was one of the gran- 
tees of Minden (now Craftsbury), and was the 
father of Governor Samuel C. Crafts. 

Joseph Tyler was a patriot from the opening 
of the Revolutionar\' War. He came from Upton, 
Massachusetts, and commenced the first settle- 
ment in Townshend, 1761 ; he was first Major of a 
regiment of minute-men. He was a delegate for 
Townshend in Cumberland Count}-, and Commit- 
tee of Safety from June 1776, to June 1777, when 
the people of his town instructed him not to act in 
that capacity- under the new Constitution of New 
York, as their town did "not belong to the juris- 
diction of that State." It does not appear as he 
acted longer in the interest of New York. He was 
appointed by the Westminster Convention one of 
a committee to obtain signatures in Cumberland 
and Gloucester Counties pledging the signers to 
opposition to Great Britain. In February- 1781, 
he was made a member of the Vermont Board of 
War. He represented Townshend in the General 
Assembly in 1783 and 1784. 

Captain John Stark of Paw let came from 
New Hampshire previous to 1770, and was a 
cousin of General John Stark, and commanded a 
company in the Battle of Bennington. He was 
Judge of Bennington Countv Court, Rutland 
shire, from March 1778, to December 1779, and 
was one of the grantees of the "Two Heroes" 
which included Grand Isle; he removed to Grand 


Isle about the year 1800, and soon after was 
killed by a kick of a horse. He had one son Sam- 
uel and twelve daughters. His son Samuel re- 
moved to Oswego Count\', New York, and had 
ten daughters before he left Vermont. 

Samuel Knight came first to Brattleboro and 
later to Guilford, and was commissioned attorney 
in "His Majesty's Court of Record" in Cumber- 
land Cotmty June 23, 1772, and appointed by 
New York commissioner to administer oaths of of- 
fice; his profession brought him to Westminster 
at the time of the massacre and the coroner's jury 
named him among the murderers of William 
French, but he was not personalh^ engaged in the 
assault, and was not arrested with others of the 
Tory part\^ ; he left the place and did not return 
to Brattleboro luitil March 1776. 

He took no active part in the Revolutionary 
struggle, but strenuoush^ favored New York in the 
controversy^ with Vermont down to 1778. He 
finalW became satisfied that New York was not 
going to succeed and submitted to Vermont au- 
thority and was appointed a [ustice of the Peace 
in the latter State; he was Judge of Windham 
County Court four years ; Judge of the Supreme 
Court from 1789 to 1793, and represented Brat- 
tleboro in 1781 to 1785, inclusive. He was a 
man of great abilities and "an honest man, the 
noblest work of God." 

Noah Sabin came to Putney in 1768, and was 
its first Town Clerk, 1770. In April 1772, he 
was appointed by New York, Judge of the Inferior 
Court of Common Pleas and Justice of the Peace 


for Cumberland County, and was one of the 
Judges at the time of the Westminster massacre, 
and was earnest to have the Court go on, and dis- 
countenanced all opposition of the people to the 
Court and the royal authority in the County ; he 
therefore w^as very unpopular with the Whigs, 
and for a while his life was in danger; he was de- 
nounced as a murderer because of his official con- 
nection with the Westminster affair, and arrested 
by the Committee of Safety, and confined to his 
farm on the penalty of death at the hand of any 
man who should find him outside of its limits. 

On December 7, 1778, the church at Putney re- 
fused to receive him to the communion on account 
of his political opinions, but in April 1784, he was 
admitted to the communion after he submitted to 
Vermont, and was also appointed Judge of Pro- 
bate; he was also Judge of Probate from October 
1786, to October 1801. He died Alarch 10, 1811, 
in his 96th year. He was said to be a conscien- 
tious man. 

General John Strong was born in Salisbury, 
Connecticut, in 1738, and settled in Addison in 
1766 ; he w^as captured by a part\' of British and 
Indians, but was paroled by General Frazer. He 
went to Dorset and lived there with his family till 
1783, when he returned to Addison. He repre- 
sented Dorset from 1779 to 1783, and Addison 
from 1784 until 1787. He was Assistant Judge 
for Bennington County in 1781 and 1782, and 
Chief Judge for Addison County from 1785 until 
1801; he was Probate Judge for Addison County 
from 1786 to 1802, and member of the Council 


from 1786 until 1803, and also a delegate in the 
Convention of 1791. His death occurred in June 

Colonel \Yilll\m Williams came from Xorth- 
boro, Massachusetts, to Marlboro, Vermont, in 
1769, and moved to Wilmington previous to 
1777; he represented Wilmington in the Conven- 
tion at Windsor which adopted the Constitution, 
and was appointed by that Convention to pro- 
cure arms for the State. He served in the "French 
War" which ended in the treaty- of peace signed at 
Paris February 10, 1763; in June 1775, he of- 
iered his services to New York with Benjamin 
Wait and others to raise men in defense of Cum- 
berland Count3' against "regulars, Roman Catho- 
lics and savages at the northward;" he distin- 
guished himself as commander of a regiment at 
the Battle of Bennington. 

He w^as representative of Wilmington in the 
General Assembh^ from October 1779, to October 
1781. In 1782, he was again a resident of Marl- 
boro, and after the close of the Revolutionary 
War removed to Lower Canada where he died in 
1823. B. H. Hall says, "as an officer he w^as 
brave, energetic, skillful and humane; as a citizen, 
active, enterprising and progressive ; he was held 
in high estimation by the inhabitants of the var- 
ious towns in wdiich he dwelt, and though of a 
w^andering disposition he could easily accommo- 
date himself to any circumstances in which he 
might be placed." 

Judge Israel Smith settled in Thetford in 
1766, and was an active man in town and count}^ 


affairs and favorable for national independence. 
He represented the town many 3^ears in the Gen- 
eral Assembly, and held the office of Judge of Pro- 
bate and County Judge, first Assistant Judge from 
1786 to 1793, and Chief Judge from 1793 to 1797. 
He held offices under New York from 1770 to 

Colonel Nathaniel Brush came to Benning- 
ton about 1775, and commanded the militia of 
that town in the Battle of Bennington ; he served 
as Judge of Probate in 1781, and from 1787 to 
1794, and as Clerk of the Courts from 1787 to 

Amos Fassett was a son of Deacon John 
Fassett of Bennington and brother of Hon. John 
Fassett, Jr. He removed to Cambridge in 1784, 
with Noah Chittenden, and was Assistant Judge 
for several years. 

Captain Nehemiah Love well was known as 
a famous fighter and served as Captain in Ver- 
mont in 1780 to 1782 ; he was one of the grantees 
of Goshen and represented Corinth in 1783. 

Benjamin Hickock was a delegate for Hub- 
bardton in the Convention at Dorset July 24, 
1776 ; he was taken prisoner with others at Hub- 
bardton Jul3^ 6, 1777, by a part\^ of Indians and 
Tories under Captain Justus Sherwood, but was 

Seth Smith of Brattleboro was an agent of the 
adherents to New York in Windham County, and 
in that capacity visited Governor Clinton who 
sent him to represent Vermont matters in Con- 
gress: he did it so unfavorablv that the grand 


jury of the County indicted him for attempting to 
betray the State ''into the hands of a foreign 

John Arms was one of the first settlers of Brat- 
tleboro ; held several offices under New York from 
1766 until 1770. He joined the enemy, but re- 
pented and returned to Vermont and was par- 
doned on taking the oath of allegiance to Ver- 
mont. He wrote a political account of the West- 
minster massacre. 

Stephen Row Bradley LL. D., was born in 
Cheshire, Connecticut, February 20, 1754, and 
the son of Moses and Mary (Row) BradW, and 
grandson of Stephen Bradley of New Haven, Con- 
necticut, who served under Oliver Cromwell. The 
grandson, Stephen R., graduated at Yale College 
in July 1775 ; he had considerable militar\^ spirit, 
and was aid-de-camp to General David Worcester, 
and present w^hen that General was slain at Dan- 
bury in April 1777. He studied law under Tap- 
ping Reeve at Litchfield, Connecticut. His first 
appearance in Vermont was at Westminster May 
26, 1779, when he was admitted to the bar of 
this State and appointed its Clerk ; he was ap- 
pointed on October 22, 1779, as one of the agents 
to present the case of the controversy of Vermont 
to Congress. 

The "Vermont's Appeal to the Candid and Im- 
partial World" was written by him — an able pre- 
sentation of the right of Vermont to become an in- 
dependent State. In June 1780, he was appointed 
State's Attorney for Cumberland County. He 
represented Westminster in the General Assembly 


in 1780, 1781, 1784, 1785, 1788, 1790 and 1800, 
and Clerk of the House in 1778, and in 1785 its 
Speaker. From March 1781, to March 1791, he 
was Register of Probate for Windham Countj^ 
and in 1783, a Judge of the County Court and in 
1788, a Judge of the Supreme Court; he was one 
of the commissioners appointed in October 1789, 
to settle the controversy with New York, and a 
delegate in the State Convention of 1791, which 
adopted the Constitution of the United States, 
and when the State was admitted into the Union 
he was elected the first United States Senator for 
the eastern side of the State and held that office 
until March 1795. 

He again was elected and held the office from 
March 1801, to Alarch 1813. He did honor to 
himself and to the State in all his services for the 
independence of the State and as Senator of the 
United States. He received five elections as Presi- 
dent of the Senate, and was President of the Con- 
vention of Republican members of Congress and 
as such January 19, 1808, summoned the Con- 
vention of members which met and nominated 
Madison for President. He was opposed to the 
War with Great Britain, and counselled Madison 
against it, and was so dissatisfied with the na- 
tional polic3^, he at the close of his term in 1813, 
withdrew from public life. 

He was a lawyer of distinguished abilities, and 
a good orator; he had an inexhaustible flow of 
wit, and a great amount of unaffected urbanity, 
and had a large acquaintance with mankind, 
and an extensive range of historical knowledge. 


He was the author of that part of the existing 
Constitution of the United States which requires 
that the Vice-President, hke the President, shall be 
chosen b^^ a majority of the electoral votes. In 
1818, he removed from Westminster to Walpole, 
New Hampshire, where he resided till he died, De- 
cember 9, 1830. 

General William Eaton, a citizen of Vermont 
for some years, deserves an honorable mention. 
Pie was born in Woodstock, Connecticut, Febru- 
ary 23, 1764, entered the Continental Army at 
the age of 16, and came out of the Army in 1783, 
with the rank of sergeant ; he entered Dartmouth 
College and graduated in 1790, having spent his 
vacations in Vermont as school teacher. From 
1791 to 1793, he was Clerk of the Vermont 
House, and in 1792, he obtained a commission as 
Captain in the United States Army which he held 
till 1797, when he was appointed consul to Tu- 
nis where he arrived in March 1799. 

He concerted with Hamet CaramelU, the lawful 
Chief of Tripoh, then in exile, an expedition 
against the usurping Chief, which was done on 
the authority of the United States, whose fleet 
was to co-operate. In fiftj^ days he crossed the 
Lybian Desert with an army of 500 men, and en- 
camped before Derne, the capital of the richest 
province of TripoH, April 26, 1805. This town 
contained a population of 15,000 and had strong 

Eaton increased his force to 2,500 men by the 
addition of Arabs, and with the co-operation of 
three United States frigates captured the place in 


two hours, and soon opened his way to the gates 
of Tripoli. Peace was soon declared, that put an 
end to further proceedings. After his return to 
the United States Aaron Burr made an ineffectual 
endeavor to enlist him in his conspiracy. He w^as 
a witness for the government in the trial of Burr. 
Eaton died at Brimfield, Massachusetts, June 1, 

Noah Chittenden was the oldest son of Gov- 
ernor Thomas Chittenden and born in Salisbury, 
Connecticut, in 1753; he came to Vermont with 
his father in 1784, and removed to Cambridge; 
and previous to 1796, to Jericho. He represented 
Jericho in 1796, and from 1812 to 1815, and was 
Sheriff of Addison County in 1785, when it ex- 
tended to Canada line, and of Chittenden County 
from 1787 to 1790; he w^as Assistant Judge of 
Chittenden County Court in 1804 until 1811; 
and Judge of Probate in 1811 ; he was Councillor 
from 1801 till 1812. He married a daughter of 
Hon. John Fassett and had a son Thomas and a 
daughter Hannah; Hannah married Hon. Tru- 
man Galusha of Jericho. 

Dr. Samuel Adams came from Newton, Connec- 
ticut, and settled in Arlington and held his land 
under New Hampshire title. He dissented in 
1774, from the polic\^ of the Conventions of the 
Green Mountain Boys, and urged grantees under 
New Hampshire to purchase New York titles. 
This was very offensive to the opponents of New 
York and the3^ advised him to keep silent. This 
request he resented, armed himself and threatened 
to silence anv man vn^io interfered with him. 


For this he was arrested, tried and convicted 
as any enemy and punished by being hoisted up to 
the Catamount sign-post, and suspended there for 
two hours, to his own chagrin and much merri- 
ment of the beholders. This had a salutary effect 
on the doctor, but in 1777, he became a violent 
Tor}' and raised a compan}- in Arlington, Man- 
chester and the neighborhood to co-operate with 
Burg03'ne. On one occasion he killed a Whig 
townsman and fled to Canada. His property 
was confiscated and his famih^ sent within the en- 
em\''s lines in 1778, and was proscribed b\' the 
act of February 26, 1779. 

Dr. Reuben Jones of Rockingham, afterwards 
of Chester, was an ardent Whig of Cumberland 
County, and very active in stirring up the people 
to arrest the loyal Court after the Westminster 
massacre, riding express, hatless to Dummerston 
for that purpose. He was an ardent supporter of 
the independence of Vermont, serving effecientl^^ in 
each Convention, beginning w^ith that of Septem- 
ber 25, 1776, and oflEiciating as Secretary in some 
of them. 

He represented Rockingham four 3'ears, and 
Chester one 3'ear, in the General Assembly. In his 
last \'ears he was embarrassed b}- poverty and 
driven to and fro between Vermont and New 
Hampshire to escape jail. On one occasion while 
under arrest the popular S3^mpathy was so strong 
for him as to force his release, for which he and 
two friends were indicted in Windsor Counts- 
Court . 

Captain Azariah Wright in 1770, was Cap- 


tain of militia in Westminster and a leading Whig 
in 1774, and in March 1775, was efficient with his 
compan3^ in arresting the leaders of the Court 
party and dispersing their adherents at the West- 
minster massacre. In 1778, he with 12 men went 
to Quebec; and in 1779, was greatly offended be- 
cause Thomas Chandler, Jr., one of the said Court 
partA^ was Speaker of the House, and wrote two 
queer letters to the Governor and Council and 
Assembh^ which caused the resignation of 

George Earl was one of the jury of inquest to 
inquire into the death of William French, which 
sat at Westminster March 15, 1775, and was 
Captain of the Chester compan3' of militia August 
15, 1775 ; he was a member for Chester of the 
Cumberland County Committee of Safet3^ in 1776, 
in which capacity he united with six other mem- 
bers November 7, 1776, in a protest against fur- 
ther proceedings as a Committee, because the 
action of the majority was "repugnant to the re- 
solves of the Continental Congress." The matter 
was compromised and the protestants resumed 
their seats, but their protest stands as proof of 
their fidelity as patriots. 

Nathan Canfield was a prominent man in Ar- 
lington. Ke was a Tor3^ and as such was ordered 
to be confined in jail at Litchfield, Connecticut, 
but he was permitted to remain at his home on 
his friends giving bonds that he would report to 
the Council at anv time. Notwithstanding his 
Tor\^ politics he was on excellent terms with 
Ethan Allen, Warner, Baker, and other Whigs. 


He represented Arlington in the General Assembly 
in 1786. 

Colonel Thomas Lee of Rutland was Captain 
in Colonel Warner's regiment and presided at a 
court martial at Fort Ranger in 1779, for the 
trial of Major Hilkiah Grout; he was also Cap- 
tain in Colonel Gideon Warner's regiment in the 
Vermont militia in 1780. He headed the at- 
tempted insurrection in Rutland Count_v in No- 
vember 1786. 

Colonel Stephen Pearl in 1780, was elected 
a member of the Board of War and was then a 
resident of Pawlet. In November 1786, he com- 
manded the Rutland Count^^ militia who put 
down the insurrection at that time. He shortly 
after removed to South Hero and from thence to 
Burlington, of which town he was a popular citi- 
zen and held various town and county offices. 

Major-General Roger Enos entered the Con^ 
tinental Army at the opening of the Revolution- 
ary War, and was in the expedition of Benedict 
Arnold tlirough the forest of Maine to Quebec in 
the autumn of 1775 ; he commanded the rear divis- 
ion of eleven hundred men. The difficulties were 
so great, a council of war was held, and against 
the judgement and advice of Enos, Arnold deter- 
mined to go on and Enos was commanded to 
bring up his strongest men and leave the sick and 
feeble to return. Enos took the responsibility on 
himself and returned with his whole command. 
At first he was harshly censured, but later his con- 
duct was excused under the circumstances of the 


General Enos first appeared in Vermont history 
in March 1780, when the town of Enosburgh 
was granted to him and his associates. For a 
time he was commander of all the Vermont 
troops in service ; he was one amon.s: the few cog- 
nizant of the Haldimand Correspondence, and 
governed his militar^^ movements accordingl}'. 
His residence was in Hartland until after 1791 ; 
he represented that town in the General Assembly 
a number of vears between 1782 to 1790. The 
closing years of his life were spent with his daugh- 
ter, Mrs. Ira Allen, in Colchester, where he died 
October 6, 1808, in the 73d year of his age. 

Rev. Lewis Bebee lived in Arlington previous 
to 1787, and from June 14, 1787, till May 6, 
1791, was pastor of the Congregational Church 
in Pawlet. He was a member of the first Council 
of Censors, 

Rev. Elijah Sill came from New Fairfield, 
Connecticut, and organized the Congregational 
Church in Dorset September 22, 1784, and was its 
pastor from that time until 1791. 

Colonel Seth Warner was born in Wood- 
bury, (then Roxbury) Connecticut, May 17, 1743, 
and died at Roxbury parish in Ancient W^oodbury, 
Connecticut, December 26, 1784; his remains 
were interred with the honors of war which w^ere 
justh^ due to his merits — the funeral sermon was 
preached from the text, "How are the might^^ 
fallen, and the weapons of war perished." The 
following is on the tablet placed on his grave : 

"Triumphant leader at our armies' head, 
Whose martial glory struck a panic dread, 
Th}' warlike deeds engraven on this stone, 
Tell future ag»s what a hero's done. 


Full sixteen battles he did fight, 
For to procure his country's right, 
Oh ! this brave hero, he did fall 
By death, who ever conquers all. 
When this vou see remember me." 

He came to Bennington to reside in Januarj^ 
1765, and in 1771, was elected by a convention 
Captain of the Green Mountain Bo\'S, of whom 
Ethan Allen was commander, whose special duties 
were to protect the New Hampshire grantees from 
the influence and action of the New York author- 
ities, and in this business he was zealous and 
thorough, but his zeal was tempered with wis- 
dom. On May 10, 1775, he commanded the 
party that captured the fort at Crown Point ; he 
was elected Lieutenant-Colonel commandant ot 
the regiment of Green Mountain Boys to serve in 
the Continental Army, and in 1776, he raised a 
regiment and served efiicientW in Canada, and on 
Jul3^ 5, 1776, he was appointed Colonel by Con- 
gress and raised still another regiment that he 
commianded through the war; he was always re- 
lied on as a safe man. 

He was assigned to bring up the rear in the 
disastrous retreat from Canada in the spring of 
1776, and again in July of the same year in St. 
Clair's retreat from Ticonderoga, and fought the 
bloody battle on the stubbornly contested field of 
Hubbardton. Warner with the remnant of his 
regiment saved at Hubbardton was present at the 
Battle of Bennington and aided General Stark 
in planning the attack. Stark in his official ac- 
count of the battle said "Warner's superior skill in 
the action was a great service to me." 


Colonel Warner was of noble personal appear- 
ance, not less than six feet and two inches in 
height, thin in flesh, but of great bodily strength ; 
he was free from affectation, social, pleasing, and 
dignified. The following lines, concerning him, 
were published in the Vermont Gazette of January 
17, 1785, viz: 

"True to his trust, and worthy of command, 
He fought the battles of an injur'd land, 
Freedom exulting own'd her patriot son, 
And placed him on her list with Washington ; 
There with distinguished luster Warner shone. 
In all the list his peer was scarcely known ; 
But conquering death has laid the hero low, 
His conquests ended, and reliev'd his woe. 
Peace to his shade, let grateful thousands say. 
Who taught the road to fame, and led the wav." 




The lists of the Representatives of Vermont in 
the Congress of the United States, United States 
District Judges, and Lieutenant-Governors of the 
State to the present time are as follows, viz : 

Names of 

Nathaniel Niles 

Commencement of 

Expiration of 


1791 March 3,1795 

Israel Smith 
Daniel Buck *' 

Mathew Lyon May 

Lewis R. Morris " 

Israel Smith Dec. 

William Chamberlin Oct. 
Martin Chittenden " 
James Elliot " 

Gideon Olin 

James Fisk Dec. 

James Witherill ' Oct. 
Samuel Shaw Nov. 

William Chamberlin May 
Jonathan H. Hubbard " 
James Fisk Dec. 

William Strong " 

William C. Bradlev Mav 




" 1797 



" 1803 

'' 1803 

'' 1803 



26,1807 April 25,1808 
7,1808 March 3, 1813 

22,1809 May 1,1810 

" 1809 " " 1810 
3,1810 March 3,1815 
'' 1810 *' '' 1815 

24,1813 " "1815 




Ezra Butler 


24, 1^13 '^ ' 


Richard Skinner 


" 1813 " ' 


Charles Rich 

( i 

" 1813 " ' 


Daniel Chipman 


4,1815 " ' 


Luther Jewett 


" 1815 " ' 


Chauncey Langdon 

i ( 

" 1815 " ' 


Asa Lyon 


'' 1815 


Charles Marsh 


" 1815 " ' 


John Noyes 


" 1815 " ' 


Heman Allen ^ 


1,1817 " ' 


(of Colchester) 

Samuel C. Crafts 


" 1817 


William Hunter 

> i 

" 1817 March 3 


Orsamus C. Merrill 

?> a 

" 1817 Jan. 13 


Charles Rich 


•' 1817 


Mark Richards 


" 1817 March 3 


Rollin C. Mallory 




William Strong 


6,1819 March 3 


Ezra Meech 


" 1819 " ' 


Elias Keyes 


3,1821 " ' 


John Mattocks 


" 1821 '' ' 


Phineas White 


'' 1821 " ' 


William C. Bradley 


h 3, 1823 '' ' 


D. Azro A. Buck 

*' 1823 '' ' 


Ezra Meech 

" 1825 " ' 


John Mattocks 

" 1825 " ' 


George E. Wales 

" 1825 " ' 


Heman Allen 

'' 1827 '' ' 


(of Milton) 

Benjamin Swift 

" 1827 - ' 

' 1831 

Jonathan Hunt ^ 

" 1827 " ' 


William Cahoon 

" 1827 " ' 

' 1833 

Horace Everett 

'' 1829 " ' 

' 1843 



William Slade 

' • '' 1831 

' '' 1843 

Heman Allen 

' ^' 1832 

* - 1839 

(of Milton) 

Hiland Hall 

' '* 1833 

' - 1843 

Benjamin F. Deming 

' " 1833 

' ^' 1835 

Henrj^ F. James 

' " 1835 

* '' 1837 

Isaac Fletcher ' 

' '^ 1837 

' '' 1841 

John Smith 

' '' 1839 

' '' 1841 

Augustus Young * 

' '^ 1841 

' '' 1843 

John Mattocks ' 

' ^' 1841 

' '' 1843 

George P. Marsh 

' '' 1843 

' ^' 1849 

Solomon Foot 

*' 1843 

' - 1847 

Paul Dillingham 

* '' 1843 

' - 1847 

Jacob Collamer ' 

' " 1843 

* '' 1849 

William Henry * 

' '' 1847 

' '' 1851 

Lucius B. Peck ' 

' - 1847 

'* 1851 

William Hebard ' 

' " 1849 

' ^' 1853 

James Meecham ^ ' 

'' 1849 

' '' 1856 

Ahiman L. Miner 

' " 1851 

' '' 1853 

Thomas Bartlett, Jr. ' 

" 1851 

' •' 1853 

Andrew Trac}' 

' '^ 1853 

• '* 1855 

Alvin Sabin 

' ^' 1853 

' " 1857 

Justin S. Morrill 

' " 1855 

* ^' 1767 

George T. Hodges 

' '' 1856 

' " 1857 

Eliakim P. Walton 

' " 1857 

' " 1863 

Homer E. Royce 

' " 1857 

^ '' 1861 

Portus Baxter 

' ^' 1861 

' " 1857 

Frederick Woodbridge ' 

' " 1863 

* '' 1869 

Worthington C.Smith ' 

' •' 1867 

' '' 1873 

Luke P. Poland 

' '' 1867 

' ^' 1875 

Charles W. WiUiard 

' " 1869 

' " 1875 

George W. Hendee 

' " 1873 

' " 1879 

Dudley C. Denison 

' '' 1875 

' '^ 1879 



Charles H. Joyce 

' " 1875 

' " 1883 

Bradley Barlow 

' '' 1879 

' " 1881 

James M. Tyler 

' '' 1879 

' •' 1883 

William W. Grout 

' " 1881 

' " 1883 

Luke P. Poland 

' '' 1883 

' '' 1885 

John W. Stewart 

' " 1883 

' " 1891 

William W. Grout 

' '' 1885 

' '' 1901 

H. Henry Powers 


' " 1891 

' " 1901 

Ja,me.s Witherill resigned in 1808 to accept the appointment of 
Federal Judge in Michigan Territory. 

Heman Allen resigned in 1818, and was appointed United States 
Marshall for Vermont. 

Orsamus C. Merrill was returned as member of the 16th Congress 
and took his seat but his election was successfully contested by 
Rollin C. Mallory who took his seat January 13, 1820. 

Jonathan Hunt died in office. 

James Meacham died in office. 

United States 

District Judges. 

Names of 

Commencement of Expiration of 


Service. Service. 

Nathaniel Chipman 

1791 1793 

Samuel Hitchcock 

1793 1801 

Elijah Paine 

1801 1842 

Samuel Prentiss 

1842 1856 

David A. Smallev 

1856 1877 

Hoyt H. Wheeler 





Names. Time of Service 

Joseph Marsh 1778 — 79 

Benjamin Carpenter 1779 — 81 
Elisha Payne 1781 — 82 

Paul Spooner 1782 — 87 

Joseph Marsh 1787 — 90 

Peter Olcott 1790 — 94 

Jonathan Hunt 1794 — 96 

Paul Brigham * 1796 — 1813 
William Chamberlin 1813 — 15 
Paul Brigham 1815 — 20 

William Cahooii 1820 — 22 

Aaron Leland 1822 — 27 

Henry Olin 1827 — 30 

Mark Richards 1830 — 31 

Lebbeus Edgerton 1S31 — 35 
Silas H.Jennison * 1835 — 36 
David M. Camp 1836 — 41 

Waitstill R. Ranney 1841 — 43 
Horace Eaton 1843 — 46 

Leonard Sargeant 1846 — 48 
Robert Pierpoint 1848 — 50 

Julius Converse 1850 — 52 

William C Kittredge 1852—53 
Jefferson P. Kidder 1853—54 


Names. Time of Service. 

Ryland Fletcher 1854—56 

James M. Slade 1S56— 58 

Burnam Martin I858 — 60 

Levi Underwood i860 — 62 

Paul Dillingham 1862—65 

Abraham B. Gardner 1865 — 67 

Stephen Thomas 1867 — 69 

George \W. Hendee * 1869 — 70 

George N. Dale 1870 — 72 

Russell S. Taft 1S72— 74 

Lyman G. Hunckley 1874 — 76 

Redfield Proctor 1876—78 

Eben R. Colton 1878— So 

John L. Barstow 1880 — 82 

Samuel E. Pingree 1882 — 84 

Ebenezer J. Ormsbee 1884 — 86 

LeviK. Fuller i886~8S 

Urban A. Woodbury 188S — 90 

Henry A. Fletcher 1890 — 92 

F. Stewart Stranahan 1892 — 94 

Zophar M. Mansur 1894 — 96 

Nelson W. Fisk 1896 — 98 
Henry C Bates 1898 — 1900 
Martin F. Allen 1900 

* Also acting Governor. 

INDEX. T.y^h.f*! 

Allen, Ethan 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 22, 26, 40, 42, 43. 

45, 53, 56, 118, 130, 131, 132, 139, 178, 240, 

Vol. 11. , 76, 259, 267, 274. 
Allen Family, 29, 30, 91, lOS, 

Allen, Ira 29, 30, 57, S5, 86, 92 to 105, 108, 110 . 

118, 129, 137, 142, 147, 153, 165, 168, 197, 

207, 214, 238. Vol. II., 84, 184, 195. 
Allen, Heman 36, v38, 72, 76. Vol. II., 351, 

Allen, Ebenezer 107, 232, 

Abbott, Col. John 153. 

Acts of Sovereignty 79, 204 to 208, 

Admission of Vermont 215 to 220. 

Adams, John . 222 

Adams, Dr. Samuer^ oZ-ii, Jf & ' '^, 114, 139. 
Arnold Jonathan 214. Vol. II., 387, 

Adams, Samuel \Jq\1^ uS - Vol. II., 93,^3-96, 

Affidavits taken in interest of New York Vol. II., 
250-1-2-3-4-5, 265, 271. 
Allen, Heman of Milton 
Allen, Heman of Colchester 
Arms, John 

Baker, Remember 9, 10, 15, 114. 

267, 376. 
Burgoyne, Gen. 






, 352, 


. II. 











Barrett, John Vol. II., 140. 

Boundary line of Vermont 65, 115, 215. 

Board of War 118. Vol. II. 200-6. 

Bridgeman, John 178. 

Bigelow, Joel 178. Vol. II., 136. 

Betterment Act 196 to 203. 

Buck. Daniel 219. 

Bennington battle monument 223. 

Boorns, Stephen and Jesse 281. 

Bennington battle 39, 112, 223 to 226. 

Bradley, Stephen R. 45, 47, 137, 143, 147, 190, 

232. Vol. II., 185, 393. 
Bavley. Gen. Jacob 128. Vol. II., 347. 

Baum', Gen. 38, 39, 139. 

Brackenridse, James 33, 72. Vol. II., 244' 363. 
Bowker, Joseph 78. Vol. II., 368. 

Brush, Crean Vol. II., 76. 

Bigelow, Col. Timothy Vol. II., 131. 

Bills of Credit • Vol. II., 132. 

Brown, Timothy Vol. II., 181. 

Berkeley, Gov. Virginia Vol. II., 209. 

Boundary line between New Hampshire and New 

York' 2, 6. 

Boundary line between New Hampshire and 

Massachusetts 2, 3, 68. 

Brownson, Col. Timothy Vol. II., 372. 

Bebee, Rey. Lewis ' Vol. II., 400. 

Brush, Col. Nathaniel Vol. II., 392. 

Council of Safety 330 

Cilley, Joseph H. 316. 

Cochran, Robert 9, 10. Vol. II., 259. 

Chittenden, Thomas 28, 31, 36, 38, 40, 46, 48, 
109, 118, 130, 135, 137, 145, 147, 153, 159, 
165, 172, 181, 182, 192. Vol. II., 91, 96, 125, 
141, 146, 153, 156, 185, 286. 

Council, 80, 107, 116, 166, 207. Vol. II.. 121, 142. 

Councillors, fees of Vol. II., 126. 


Clinton, Gov. 3, 4. 42, 43, 60. 118, 130, 148, 153, 

176, 178, 179 187. Vol. II., 143-4, 229, 280, 

282, 284, 291. 
Chipman, Nathaniel 213, 217, 218, 221, 222. 

Vol. II., 187. 
Constitution 78, 105, 106, 170, 228. 

Congress and Vermont 43, 44, 45, 105, 128, 134, 

137, 143, 147, 175, 181, 221, 222, 229. 

Vol. II., 279, 288. 
Cartel for exchange of prisoners 55 to 64. 

Colden, Lieutenant-Governor Vol. II., 244, 271. 
Chipman, Daniel 170, 199, 232. 

Colleges 168. 

Catamount Tavern 138, 274. 

Counties 6, 115, 151, 166, 173, 174. Vol. II., 

Common Law 170. Vol. II., 152, 158, 160, 179. 
Committee of Safetv 9, 14, 26, 28, 32, 76, 80,105, 

111. Vol. II., 105, 119. 
Coin 167, 204. Vol. II., 172. 

Continental Congress 20, 23. 43, 44, 158. Vol. 

II., 62-76. 
Converse, Julius 280. 

Confiscation 196. 

Conventions of the Grants 24, 26, 27, 70, 71, 72, 

75, 76, 119. Vol. II.. 101, 103, 109, 275. 
Carpenter, Benjamin 188. Vol. II., 353. 

Chittenden, L. E. 82, 230. 

Chandler, Col. 119. 

Carpentei, Cvril 190. 

Church, Timothv 178, 180, 182. Vol. II., 292. 
Champlain, Lake Vol. II., 3, 198. 

Crown Point Vol. 11. , 4. 

Committee to arrange business for Assemblv Vol. 

II., 182. 
Conventions held Vol. II., 56, 79. 

Clay, James Vol. II., 103, 280. 

Correspondence with enemv Vol. II., 132-5. 



Congregational government and polity Vol. II., 

332 to 346. 

Clark, Jeremiah Vol. II., 354. 

Clark, Nathan Vol.11., 354. 

Chandler, Thomas Jr. Vol. II., 375. 

Champlain, Samuel Vol. II., 1. 

Canfield, Nathan Vol. II., 398. 

Chittenden, Noah Vol. II., 396. 

Dewe}^ Rev. Jedediah 9, 


Vol. IL, 




Dorchester. Lord 



Dummer, Fort 2, 


Vol. II., 


Dartmouth College 

Vol. II., 


Dartmouth, Lord Vol. 


263, 266, 


Division of $30,000 

Vol. IL, 

, 292 

D wight, Rev. Timoth}^ 



District Judges 

Vol. II. , 


Ely, Samuel 


Erskine, Thomas 


Everest, Lieutenant Benjamin 

Vol. II 

., 28, 

Everts, Silvanus 

Vol. IL, 

. 126, 

Evans, Major Henr^^ 

Vol. IL, 


Emmons, Benjamin 

Vol. IL, 


Enos, Major-General Roger 

Vol. IL, 


Earl, George 



Eaton, General William 

Vol. IL, 


Federal troops 191, 192. 
Fav, Tonas 29, 36, 38. 65, 143, 165, 232. Vol. IL, 


Fay, Joseph 165, 232. Vol. IL, 360. 

Fassette, John 36. 

Pay, Benjamin 36. 

Fay, John 45. 

Fast dav 78. 


Franklin, Benjamin 106. 

French, William 21, 118 to 126. 

Fassette, David 33. 

Fassette, Benjamin 33. 

Foreign relations 165. 

Finances Vol. II., 129, 131. 

Freeman, Phinehas Vol. II., 185. 

Fassette, John Jr. Vol. II., 181, 383. 

Fort Anne Vol. II., 302. 

Fassette, Amos Vol. II,, 392. 

Fletcher, Samuel Vol. II., 384. 

Green Mountain Bovs 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 22, 25, 
38, 39, 52, 73, 113, 129, 134, 135, 165. 

Ganesvoort, General 153, 154. 

Galusha, Jonas 202. 

Grout, John Vol. II., 77. 

Grantees hold their lands on conditions Vol. II., 

Gardner, Rev. Andrew Vol. II., 303. 

Galup, William Vol. II., 379. 


Hough, Benjamin Vol. II., 268, 270. 

Howe, General 110. 

Hale, Colonel 154. 
Hamilton, Alexander 187, 209, 210, 211, 212, 213. 

Haswell, Anthony 206. 

Harrison, Richard 211. 

Hancock, John 23, 37, 48. 

Herrick, Samuel 111. Vol., II., 366. 

Houghton, Daniel 118 to 125. 
Haldimand, Frederick 53, 55, 56, 58, 60. Vol. II., 

192, 198. 

Hubbardton battle 84, 99. 

Hazeltine, John Vol. II., 79. 

Hay, Colonel Udney Vol. II., 128. 

Henderson, James " Vol. II., 265. 

Hinsdell, Rev. Ebenezer Vol. II., 303. 


Hazen, Brigadier Moses Vol. II., 370. 

Hickock, Benjamin Vol. II., 392. 

Indians 115, 136, 137, 302. Vol. II., 17-42, 298. 

Impeachment, 164. 


Jay, John 136, 214. Vol. II, 193. 284. 

Jones, Joseph 184. 

Jericho 4, 295. 

Judges of Supreme Court, List 336 to 346. 

Jones, Reuben 36, 38. Vol. II. 397. 


Knowlton, Luke 188, 190. Vol. II. 385. 

Kelley, John, Vol II. 252. 

Knight, Samuel Vol. II. 389. 

Laws, early 136, 164, 169, 170. 

License Law 36. 

Law against encouraging public enemy Vol II. 
173, 180. 

Law to secure people their rights Vol. II. 159, 


Land, granting of 138. 

Land Trial in New York 7. 

Law, punishment for w^rongfullv holding office 

Vol. II. 155. 

Law, punishment lor impeding officers and es- 
caping from jail Vol II., 161-2. 

Law, punishment of Idlers Vol. 11. 163. 

haw, punishment for stealing Vol. II., 165. 

Law, punishment for drunkenness and 

swearing Vol. 11. 166-7. 

Law, punishment of which was death. Vol. II. 

Law, punishment for burglary and robbery 

Vol. IL, 168-9. 


Law requiring the branding of beasts Vol II. 169* 
Law, punishment for lying Vol. II. 170. 

Law, punishment of slander Vol. II. 171, 

Law, quieting disputes to land Vol. II. 173. 

Law fixing value of bills of credit Vol. II. 174. 

Law giving bounds to the West Union Vol. II, 175. 
Law, retaliatorv Vol II. 180. 

Lyon, Matthew"^ Vol. II., 181, 356. 

Laws, to compel attendance on Assemblv 

Vol. II., 183. 
Law^s against rebellion " 183. 

Laws against return of inimical persons " 184. 
Laws for punishment of counterfeiting " 187. 
Laws as to Foreign trade " 193, 

Lee, Col. Thomas " 399. 

Lovewell, Capt. Nebemiah '' 392. 

Lieutenant-Governors 407. 


Massachusetts jurisdictional claim Vol. I., 1, 2, 

44, 68, 139. 

Marsh, Col. William Vol. II., 102, 351. 

Marsh, Col. Joseph Vol. II., 371. 

Murdock, Thomas Vol. II.. 374. 

Monev, depreciated 136, 167, 194. 

Monev 167, 204, 205. 

Madison, James 151, 213. 

xMorris, G. 187. 

Marsh, Daniel 27, 207. 

Morris, Lewis R. 221. 

Morris, Hugh 114. 

Mattis, Dinah 107. 

Mason line 39-41. 

Mountains of Vermont Vol. II., 5-9. 

McNeil, John Vol. 127, 369. 

Massachusetts Vol. II., 89-100. 

Murry,John Vol. II. 135. 
Munro, John Vol. IL, 136, 250, 253, 256, 261. 

265, 368. 

Marvin, Ebenezer Vol. II. , 185. 


Moore, Gov. Vol. II., 241-2. 

Minot, Samuel Vol. II., 281, 283, 287. 

Mead, Col. James Vol. II., 370. 


New Hampshire Claims 1, 2, 6, 7, 50, 68, 128, 

130, 139, 155, 160, 186, 227. 
New Hampshire Grants, first uprising Vol. II., 53. 
New York jurisdictional claims 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 68 

to 72, 139. 209, 227, Vol.11,, 230 to 240, 259. 
New York Laws Vol, I., 15. 

New York, opposition to Vermont 127, 176 to 

179, 211, Vol. II., 249. 


Olcott, Peter 143. Vol. II., 374. 

Orders of Council 32 to 36, 162, 166, 171. 

Olin, Gideon Vol. II., 146. 

O'Shea '' 302. 

Petition to Congress 72, 74. 

Punishment of Tories 74, 117, 137. 

Pearl, Col. Stephen ^ Vol. II., 399. 

Punishment for adhering to New York 81, 82, 

114, 135. 
Printing Press 105. 137, 162. 

Post Office facilities 163, 171, 206, 207, Vol. 11.190. 
Phelps, Charles 178, 185, 188, 189, Vol. II., 79, 

90 289. 
Pardon ' 163, 175, 190, 194. 

Phelps, Edward J. • 229,230. 

Patterson, Col. Eleazer 42 

Poland, Luke P. 337, 347. 

Pomerov, J ohn X. 279. 

Peters familv 7. Vol. 11. , 7, 9. 

Patriotic Poetrv " 82, 89 

Probate Districts *' 125. 

Prouty, Elijah, *' 136. 

Persons who should bear arms *' 164. 


Post riders Vol. II., 139, 190. 

Peters, John *' 379. 

Payne, Col. Elisha " 380. 

Patterson, William 118, 119, 121, 124. 

Vol. II., 382. 


Robinson, Samuel 7, 118. 

Vol. IL, 137. 

Vol. II., 241, 244. 

Retaliatory Statute 

193, 194. 


Vol.11., 8, 9. 



Redding, David 

116, 274. 

Rogers, James 

27, 75. 

Robinson, Beverly 

53, 54, 58, 92. 

Robinson, Moses 45, 65, 143, 

158, 172, 214. 

Vol. II. 144, 244. 

Rules of House 


Rosolutions of Loyalty 


Rewa "ds offered 


Religious services first held 


Rules for conducting funerals 



Sevil, Mr. 9. 

Schuyler, Gen. 25, 26, 73, 110, 111. 

Sunderland, Peleg 26, 71. 

St. Clair, Gen. 79, 82 to 103. 

Shattuck, William 182, 189. Vol. II., 136, 292. 
Sears, Simeon • 199. 

Shay, Daniel 202. 

Slavery 107, 222, 223. Vol. II. 187. 

Stewart, John W. 225. 226. 

Senators of U. S., list 334. 

Sessions, Dea. 77. 

Secret negotiations with British 53 to 64, 151. 
152, 175, Vol. II., 194-7. 

Spooner, Paul 45, 65, 158. " 349. 



Stark, Gen. John 38, 111, 112, 189, 224. 
Spaulding. Lieutenant Leonard Vol. 11. , 60, 364. 

Skene, Philip " 138, 261. 

Supreme Court Vol. XL, 152, 161, 188. 

Schuyler, Har " 24L 

Shelburne, Lord " 241-2-3. 

Stevens, Simeon " 251. 

Spencer, Benj. 80,81. " 260,266. 

Sherwood. Capt. Justus " 368. 

Sill, Rev. Elijah ' " 400. 

Smith, Seth " 392. 

Smith, Israel '• 371. 

Strong, Gen. John '' 390. 

Sabin, Noah " 389. 

Stark, Capt. John '* 388. 

Tryon, Gov. 9, 12, 113. Vol. XL, 257, 259, 264. 

Town, change of names 173. 

Treason, penalty of 191 

Townsend, Micah ' 193. 

Trade with foreign powers 207. 

Tichenor, Isaac 65, 167, 177. 
Towns in Chittenden Countv, when granted 4 

Tories, "^ 20, 76, 137. 

Town Charters, conditions of Vol. XX. 127. 

Tavern haunters " 187. 

Ten Broeck. A. 37. Vol. XX., 278. 

Towmsend, Micah Vol. XX., 290, 382. 

Throop,John " 384. 

Tyler, Joseph •' 388. 


Union of New York with Vermont, 39 to 42, 49, 
50, 65, 117, 146, 148, 149, 150, 154,155,156, 
186, 187. 



Vermont Independence. 12, 25, 36, 39, 45, 49, 66. 

77, 78, 127, 145, 151, 152, 153, 213,214,215, 

222, 229. Vol II., 197. 
Vermont, change of name, 25 

Vermont's appeal, 140. 

Van Rensseler, Col. H., 153. 

Vermont, its contour and description, Vol. II., 1, 

149, 229. 
Vermont, its products, animals, etc.. Vol. II., 10— 

Vermont, as New Connecticut, Vol. 11. , 104, 105, 

Vermont's Declaration of Independence, Vol. II., 

Vermont's first settlers, Vol. II., 149, 151. 

Vermont's first Medical Society, " 181. 


Wentvvorth, Gov., towns granted bv, 2, 4, 70, 

227. Vol. II., 229, 236, 240, 241. 
Weare, Meshech, 40, 110, 154. 

Woodward, Beazleel, 143. 

Wright, Capt. Azariah, Vol. II. 397. 

Warner, Seth, 9, 10, 13, 25, 26, 37, 38, 73, 76, 79, 

84, 85, 224, 232. Vol. II., 259, 267, 275, 400. 
Wit and Humor, 347 

Welden, Jesse, Vol. II., 370. 

Westminster Massacre, 21, 118 to 125. 

Worcester, Gen., 25, 73, 235, 236. 

Washington, Gen., 22, 61, 73, 92, 155, 181, 183, 

184, 213, 222. Vol. II., 130. 
Walbridge, Col. E. 153. 

Wood, John, 36. 

Western Union, 51, 65, 146, 148, 150, 155, 156, 

Wentworth, Benning, 2, 3, 5, 6. 

Wheelock, Pres. of Dartmouth, 168. 


Wells, Samuel, Vol. II., 76, 77. 

Warning out process, " 165. 

Warrants issued against Yermonters. Vol. II., 


Wait, Benjamin, Vol. II., 364. 

Williams, Rev. Samuel, " 367. 

Williams. Col. William, " 391. 


Young, Doct. Thomas, 31, 37, 106. Vol. II. 279. 
Yates, Robert. '* 291.