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From the Discovery of the Coos Country 

to Present Time. 

With Genealogical Records of Many Fam;ilies. 



St. Johnsbury, Vt., 




Bntered according: to Act of Congress, in the year 1 900, by 

In the Office of the Librarian of Consrress, at Waahins^ton. 


Seventy years ago, in the autumn of 1831, Rev. Clark Perry, 
then pastor of the Congregational church in this town, delivered an 
historical address embodying the results of the inquiries which he 
had made among the oldest people as to the early events of the 
settlement of the town, and the period of the Revolutionary War. 

He lamented that all who had borne an active part in those 
events had been allowed to pass away without any pains being 
taken to gather from them the full particulars of those years, and 
that in consequence of that neglect, the time had passed when a 
complete history of the town could be written. 

A period precisely equal to that which had elapsed since the first 
white men wintered in the Coos Country, to the date of Mr. Perry's 
address, has passed since his time, and it would seem useless to 
attempt, at this late date, what could not be properly done seventy 
years ago. 

Yet the attempt has been made to gather the annals of the 
town, and the result is now submitted to the considerate judgment 
of those most interested in its history. 

It is to Rev. Clark Perry that we ow^e the preservation of so 
much relating to our early years. He interested himself in the days 
of old, and imparted to others somewhat of his enthusiasm. 

After Mr. Perry went aw^ay, Mr. David Johnson took up what 
was to him a most congenial task, that of collecting the papers of 
his father, Col. Thomas Johnson, and he thus preserved, incidentally, 
much of our early^ history. 

Of the collections of Mr. Perry and Mr. Johnson, Rev. Grant 
Powers had the full use in preparing his historical sketches of the 
Cods Country, in 1846. Had Mr. Powers realized the interest which 
would one day be attached to all the memorials of those early 
years, he might have been more accurate in his statements, and 
have given honor to all to whom honor was due. But he allowed 
his own prejudices and those of others to influence the narrative; he 
neglected, for reasons well known to himself, to mention many of 
the most prominent men in Newbury and Haverhill, and, as a result, 
his work, while graphic and interesting, is unreliable as a history oiF 
either town, and is chiefly remarkable for what it does not say. 

The present volume, made possible through the public spirit of the 
town as shown by its votes in the annual meeting of 1898, and the 



succeeding years, is an attempt to complete the work which Messrs. 
Perry, Johnson and Powers began. For the editor it has been the 
labor of many years, and many of the incidents which it relates 
were given him by people, now long dead, who could remember the 
Revolutionary War. 

In its preparation all accessible sources of information have 
been drawn upon, and material enough for several such volumes 
has been found, so that the task has been one of selection and 

That it is free from errors would be to claim what no history 
ever was or will be, and that its publication will bring to light facts 
which may modify some of its statements is probable. But it 
preserves much that would, otherwise, soon pass into oblivion, and 
its value will increase as the years go by. 

It has been prepared amid the labors and cares of farm life, and 
at a distance from any reference library or collection of archives, 
and much more might have been gathered, had the editor more 
leisure for the task. 

And for the absence of much that might be interesting in 
anecdote and reminiscence he may be allowed to plead his total 
loss, for almost thirty years, of the sense of hearing. 

If this volume keeps the memory green of the noble men and 
women who have lived in Newbury ; if it convevs to the present and 
future generations some idea of the trials and privations which 
their ancestors endured; if it. makes clearer to them the struggles and 
self-denial through which the institutions of the town were built up, 
the labor and cost of its preparation will not have been in vain. 

The study of those years past should make us more contented 
with the present. It is easy to view the past through rose-tinted 
spectacles; it is not so easy to comprehend the hard conditions of 
life in those days. 

It is well for us if we can learn to say with Chaucer: 

*"It doth mine heart ^ood, 
That I have had my world as in my time." 

The grateful acknowledgements of the editor and his readers 
are due to those citizens by whose influence the town was induced 
to undertake the publication of this volume, and to the various 
town officials who have aided in the work. A list of those in 
Newbury who have communicated a fact or a record would be a 
census of half its population. 

The editor desires to mention several gentlemen whose kind 
assistance has been of great value in its preparation : 

Acknowledgements are due to Hon. Albert S. Batchellor of 
Littleton, N. H., without whose aid no history of any town in the 
*'New Hampshire Grants*' would be complete; to Col. Henry O. 
Kent of Lancaster, N. H.; to W. F. Whitcher, Esq., of Woodsville; 


to cx-Govemor Pamham and Mr. Henry G. McDnffie of Bradford ; 
to the late Mr. Edward Miller of Ryegate; to the late Hon. Lucius 
E. Chittenden of New York City ; to Hon. E. E. Farman of Wcu^aw, 
N. Y., and Tours, France; to D. Farrand Henry, Esq., of Detroit. 
Also to Mr. Henry McFarland and the late Parker Pillsbury of 
Concord, N. H., to Messrs. Edwin A. Bayley, P. L. Bailey, and J. E. 
Chamberlin of Boston, and to Mr. Benjamin Hale of Newburyport, 
and to Hon. Ezra S. Steams, now of Pitchburg. It is needless to 
mention that Miss M. J. Tenney of Haverhill, Mass., has greatly 
aided in the work. 

Acknowledgements are also due to the town and church clerks 
in Newburv, Haverhill, Piermont, Bradford and Topsham; to the 
late T. W' Wood, and the late T. C. Phinney of the State and 
Historical Libraries at Montpelier; to Rev. N. P. Carter of the 
New Hampshire Historical Society; to Major Chase and his able 
assistants of the New Hampshire State Library; to Rev. L. H. 
Cobb, D. D., of the Congregational Library, Boston; to Mr. John 
Ward Dean of the New England Historic-Genealogical Society ; to 
the officials of the Boston Public Library, and to the custodians of 
the state archives at Montpelier, Concord, Boston, Hartford and 
Albany. And last, but by no means least, to the publishers, the 
engravers, and the binders, through whose skill and care this 
history of Newbury is presented to its readers. 

P. P. W. 

Newbury, Vt., January 6, 1902. 

Table of Contents. 



LfOcation. — Area. — Meadows. — Their Names. — Scenery. — Mount Pulaski. 
— Ingall's Hill. — Changes in the River. — Waste Region. — Halls, Round 
and Long Ponds. — Jefferson Hill. — Lime-Kiln. — Height of Mount 
Pulaski. — Wright's Mountain. — Blue Mountain.— Highest Farm. — 
Mount Washington, Lowest Point from which It Is Seen. — Falls at 
Boltonyille. — Falls at West Newbury. — Scope of this Volume. 1-5 



The Lower Coos. — Indian Tribes. — Indian Relics. — Settlement of Hart- 
ford, Conn. — Brattleboro. — Londonderry. N. H. — Concord. — Wells 
River. — Origin of the Name. — Wright's Expedition. — " The Redeemed 
Captive.'* — Ancient Maps. — Baker's Expedition. — Charlestown, 
"Number Four." — Capt. Symes's Project.— John Stark. — Love well's 
Expedition. — Rogers's Expedition. — The Return through the Wilder- 
ness. 6-14 



Close of the French and Indian War. — Bayley, Hazen, Kent, and Bedell at 
Coos. — The Charter. ^They Take Possession of the Land. — Pettie, 
Johnston, and Webb. — Sawmill Built in Haverhill. — Samuel Sleeper. 
— Glazier Wheeler. — Thomas Chamberlain. — Wright. — Noah White. — 
— John Hazeltine. — Thomas Johnson. — Jacob Kent. — Blanchard and 
Willard. — The Season of 1762. — Com and Potatoes. — Appearance of 
Country. — The Dwellings. — Arrival of Old Friends. 1 5-20 



The English Newbury.— The Massachusetts Newbury. — The Wentworth 
Charter. — Boundaries as by the Charter. — Provisions. — Why the Town 
is so Large — The Bradford Claim of 1807. — Col. Johnson's State- 
ment. — Topsham Gore. — The Grantees. — Those w ho Became Settlers. 
—Grantees of both Newbury and Haverhill. — Grantees of Newbury who 
Settled in Haverhill.— Grantees of Haverhill who Settled in New- 
bury.— First Meeting of Proprietors. — The Town and the Proprietors. 
— ^otment of the Town among the Grantees. 21-29 




Condition of Country. — Indian Trails. — Hall's Pond, Brook and Meadow. 
—Jacob Kent.— John Foreman.— The First White Child.— The First 
Marriajs:e. — The First Death. — Rev. Silas Moody. — Hardships of the 
Settlers.- New-Co mers in 1763. — Rev. Peter Powers.— The Log 
Meeting-House. — The First Sawmill. — The Mill-Crank and Its His- 
tory .— Sawmill on Harriman's Brook.— The First Grist Mill. — Settle- 
ment of Lancaster.- At Bath. — Cultivation of Potatoes. 30-35 



Whiting's Survey.— The Meadow Lots.- The House Lots.— The Fifty- Acre 
Lots. — Coleman's Survey. — Whiting's Gore, or the ** Half-Mile Strip." 
— Signatures to Whiting Deed. — Speculation. — Survey of the "Hun- 
dred-Acre Lots." — The F Lots. — The Gore. — Whitelaw's Survey of the 
Undivided Lands.— Topsham Lands. — Drawing of Lots. — Pagan's 
Tract. — Witherspoon's Lands. — Clinton's Tract. — Colden's Survey. — 
A Petition. 36-4f0 



The First Town-Meeting.— Ty thing- Men.— Hog-Reeves. — Hog-Constable. 

— Anecdotes. — Deer-Reeve. — Field Dri ver. — Pounds. — Stocks. — Whip- 
ping Post.— Murder of an Indian. — St. Francis Indians. — The First 
Store in Co6s.— The First School. — Carpenters. — Blacksmiths.— 
Coopers. — Brickyard. — Tanneries. 41-46 



The First Roads. — Petition for a Road to Portsmouth. — Hardships of the 
Settlers.— Training Field. — Military Company.— Dartmouth College 
in Haverhill. — Origin of the College.— Site Selected. — Newbury Lands 
Promised to the College. — Location at Hanover. — Counties. 47-^1 



Wcntworth Grants. — The King's Order in Council. — New York Oppressions. 

— ** The Green Mountain Boys."— Gen. Bay ley in New York. — The New 
Charter.— Its Conditions.— The Grantees. — Deed to Gen. Bayley. — 
Apprehension of Inhabitants. — ** David Johnson vs. Harrison Bayley." 52-67 


"when we were under the king." 

Prices in 1770. — Population. — Heads of Families in 1770.— Settlements 
at West Newbury.— Settlements at Wells River. — The Second Meeting 
House. — Court- House and Church. — The Old Jail. 58-63 



Settlement of Ryegate.— The "Scots American Colony.'*— The Inchinan 
Meeting.— James Whitelaw. — David Allen.— Dr. Witherspoon. — White- 
law's Journal. — Purchase of Ryegate. — Its Settlement, — Mills Built at 
Bolton ville. — Settlement of Bamet. — William Wallace. — First Tavern. 
—First Road.— Road to Wells River. — Cham berlin's Ferry.- Porter's 
Ferry.— Early Houses.— Wild Beasts. — Anecdotes. — Church Going. — 
Bad Elements. — Counterfeiting. — Glazier Wheeler. 64-70 




News of the Battle of Lexington. — The First Recruits.— Our Meagre Rec- 
ords. — The Johnson Papers. — Veterans of the Old French War. — The 
Situation. — Scarcity of Ammunition. — Wheelock*s Letter to Gov. 
Trumbull. — Gen. Bayley and the Indians. — His Address to the North- 
ern Indians. — Its Authorship. — The Association. — Minutemen — Bay- 
ley Made Brigadier General. — His Letter to the River Towns. — The 
First Alarm. — Military Strength of the Town. — Tories. — Col. Porter. 
— The Army in Canada. — The Repulse at Quebec. — Reinforcements. — 
Roads to Montreal.— Johnson's Expedition toSt. John.— The Military 
Road. — Meeting of the Committee of Safety. — The Alarm. —The SmaU- 
pox. 71-77 



Meeting at College Hsdl. — Trouble with the Tories. — Robert Ro^rs again. 
— Arrest of Col, Porter and Others. — Dual Service of Soldiers. — Bur- 
goyne's Expedition. — Bayley to the New York Congress. — A Call 
Irom Schuyler for Men. — Burgoyne*s Proclamation. — Fall of Ticon- 
deroga. — Retreat of the Americans. — Bennington, — Fort Independ- 
ence. — Bayley *s CsJl for Men. — Capt. Frye Bajrley's Muster Roll. — 
The Capture of Supplies. — The Surrender of Burgoyne. 78-83 



A Time of Quiet. — Progress of Settlement. — Corinth. — Topsham. — Bay- 
ley, Lovewell, and Powell. — Alarms.— Tories. — Bedell's Tourney to 
Canada.— Store-Houses.— The Hazen Road.— The Story of Tamalek. 84-88 



Alarms. — Burning of Peacham.— The "Great Alarm." — Benjamin Whit- 
comb. — A Night of Terror. — The Burning of Royalton. — Mr. Powers' 
Tory Sermon. — Its Consequences. — •*Tne Haldimand Correspond- 
ence."— Azariah Pritchard. — Capture of Col. Thomas Johnson. 89-94 




His Unfortunate Situation. — Tidings of his Capture. — The Alarm. — Capt. 
Webb —Riot at Col. Johnson's.— The Last Two Years of the War.- 
Blockhouses. — Bliss and Sleeper Killed by the Indians. — Sherwood and 
Smy the.- Their Report. — Plans to Capture Gen. Jacob Bayley. — Rob- 
ert Rogers again. — Pritchard's Attempt to Take Bayley. — Shem Kent- 
field. —The Attack. — Sarah Fowler. 95-100 



Pritchard's Retreat. —James Bavley. — Trial of Johnson and Chamberlain. — 
Johnson's Journey to Heaoquarcers. — Interview with Washington. — 
Peace. — Summing up. — Newbury's Service in the Revolution. — " Guard- 
ing and Scouting."— Joseph Brant.— Resolution against the Tories. — 
^mUar Action of Haverhill. — Reflections. — Forts and Blockhouses.— 
Fort at the Ox-Bow. 101-106 




Troubles with New York. — Committees of Safety. — The first Convention. 
— The Dorset Convention.— The Westminster Conventions. — **New 
Connecticut."— General Bay ley's Change of Heart.— The New York 
Constitution. — The Windsor Convention. — The State of Vermont. — 
The Councilof Safety. — The First General Assembly.— The New Hamp- 
shire Delegation. —The First Union.— Session at Bennington.— The 
Cornish Convention.— The Union Dissolved.- Four Parties in the 
Valley. 108-112 



The Convention at Cornish, — Manifesto of Bayley, Payne and Woodward. 
— Town Meetings. — Vermont in an Unfortunate State. — Action of 
Newbury. — Of Haverhill.— The Charlestown Convention.— The ** Sec- 
ond Union." — The New York Towns. —The Vermont Legislature Meets 
in New Hampshire. — Civil War Threatened. — Washington's Letter. — 
Dissolution of the Union. — The Thetford Convention. — Town Meet- 
ings. — Reconciliation. — Admission of Vermont into the Federal Union. 113-118 



The Revolutionary War as it now Appears. — The Tories. — A Family Feud. 
— Half-hearted Patriots.— Depreciated Currency . — The Law ot 1787. 
An Old Bill. — "The Critical Period in American History."— General 
Distress. — Shay's Rebellion. — Henry Tufts. — Counterfeit Money. — 
The Bushel of Wheat. — Lumbering. —Masts. — Visit of President 
Dwight. 119-125 



Recruiting Station.— French Refueees. — Anecdote. — Washington's Death. 
—Settlement of Jeflferson HilT — Farms of the Early Settlers.— The 
Execution of Bufnham. — Population. — Immigration. — The War of 
1812.— Actions of the To wn. — Passing Away of the Fathers of the 
Town. — Death of Indian Joe. 126-131 



Action of the Town. — The Building Committee.— Sale of the **Pew 
Ground. " — Description of the Building.— Regulations for Construc- 
tion.— Prices of Produce.— Levi Webster. — The Cost of Finishing the 
Interior.— The Lightning Rod. — Bell.— Stoves. — Historical Notes.— 
A New Meeting-House. — The End of the Edifice. — Mrs. Peaslee's Rem- 
iniscences. — Two Sessions of the General Assembly . — October, 1787. 
— A Lost Governor. — The Session ot 1801. — The Old Court-House.— 
Election Day. — After History of the Building. 132-140 



Traveling Facilities. — Clothing.— " BindingOut."— Sawmills.— How Con- 
structed. — Mills on HalTs Brook.- On Harriman's Brook.— Stoves 
and Fire-places.- Candles. — Clocks and Watches. — Vocations of 
Women. — Farm Tools.— Threshing and Cleaning Grain.— Sugar- 
Making. — Dairying. 141-155 




KiTcr NaTigation. — Boats. ^ Steamboats. — Roads. ~ Early Tay ems. — The 
Co^Sssnck HoQse. — Merchants in the Bachop Block.— Supplies for the 
War of 1812.— The Marsh Store.— The Burbank Store.— The Eames 
Store.— Timothy Shedd.— Tannery.— Peter Burbank.— G. G. Cush- 
man. — Judge Underwood. — E. Parr. — Isaac W. Tabor.— D. A, Rog- 
ers. — C . C. Dewey . — Paper-mill. — I ra White. — P*ipcr Making. — John 
L. Woods. — The Leslies. — Abel Wells and Sons. — First Physicians. — 
The Gales.— The Scotts.— Singular Loss of Money.— The Plood of 
1828. 156-170 



Action of Newbury and HaTerhill. — Mr. Silas Moody.— Pastorates of Rev. 
Peter Powers. — Rev. Jacob Wood. — Rev. Nathaniel Lambert.— Rev. 
Luther Jewett.— Rev. Clark Perry. — Rev. G. W. Campbell- Rev. A. 
Dean. — Burning of the Meeting-house. — Rebuilding. — Ke v. H. N. Bur- 
ton. — Rev. S. L. Bates. — Rev. J . L. Merrill. — Deacons. — Bells. — Choir. 
— Organ. — Communion Service. — Parsonages. 171-179 



Early Methodism in Vermont. — Vershire Circuit.— Class Formed in Brad- 
ford. — In Newbury. — Appointments. — Newbury Seminary. — District 
Changes. — Appointments. — Rev. Dan Young. — Meeting-house. — Par- 
sonage. — Sunday School. — Prosperity. — Removal of the Seminary. 
— Repairs. — Bell. — Memorial Windows. — Missionary Societies. 180-185 



The Congregational Church at Wells River. — A Missionary Field. — Build- 
ing a Meeting-House. — Formation of Church. — Pastors. — Remodeling 
oA^hurch. — Deacons. — Parsonages. — Organ and Choir. — Communion 
Service. — First Settlements at West Newbury . — Petitions for Preach- 
ing.— Services there. — Methodism.- Revival of 1827.— The "Goshen" 
Church. — The Union Meeting-house Society. — Erection of Church. — 
Reniedication. — bell. — Choir.— Town House. — Congregational Church 
at West Newbury. — Pastors. — Parsonage. — Free Christian Church. — 
St. Ignatius' Church. 186-196 



Reflections. — Exemptions from Minister Tax. — Presbyterian Churches of 
Rvegate. — Mr. Livermore's Reminiscences. — The Goshen Meeting- 
Blouse. — First Schools.— Old School.— Agreements. — A Town Resolu- 
tion.— The School District System.- Old Schoolhouses. — A Caustic 
Description. — Wages. — Young Lady's School. — Newbury High School. 197-207 



Its Inception. — Located at Newbury.— Erection of Building. — Arrange- 
ment of Interior. — Boarding-house. — Trustees. — Opening. — Rev. 
Charles Adams. — Bishop Baker. — Financial Embarassment.— Minis- 


ters and their Families. — Teachers. — Clark Hinman. — The Race 
Question.— -SlaTcry. — F. S. Hoyt. — Dr. King. — Female Collegiate 
Institute. — High Water Mark. — Dr. King's Administration. — Henry 
S. Noyes. — C. W. Cushing. — Fenner E. King. — Geo. C. Smith. — Silas 
E. Qmmby. — S. F. Chester. — Newbury Biblical Institute. — Mrs. Twom- 
bly's Narrative.- Dr. WiUett. — Private Societies. — Summing up. — 
Stewards.— Attendance. — Instructors. 208-221 



A Reminiscence by Prof. G. N. Abbott. — Why the School Was Removed. — 
Rev. A. G. Button. — Sale of Property. — Supreme Court Decision. — 
Later Schools. — Rev. S. L. Eastman. — Town Central School.— Obser- 
vations. 222-232 




Montebello Ladies* Institute. — Rev. William Clark. — Miss Mary E. Ten- 
ney. — Mrs. Bridgman. — Closing of Montebello. — Wells River Graded 
School. — Observations. — School Lands. — Schoolhouses. — College 
Graduates. 233-241 



Early Books. — Nathaniel Coverly. — The First Newspaper. — Newbury Bib- 
lical Magazine. — The Christian Messenger. — L. T. Mclndoe. — The 
Aurora of the Valley. — Other Papers. — Haverhill Papers. — Papers f 
Taken a Century Ago. — Books Printed then. — The Publications of 
Coverly. — Bibliography of Newbury. 242-250 



Early Collections of Books. — The Library Association of 1796. — The New- 
bury Village Library. — The Tenney Memorial Library. — The Building. 
Its Dedication. — The Wells River Library. — Private Libraries.— Tem- 

gsrance. — Early Drinking Customs. — Mr. Livermore*s Testimony. — 
ev . David Sutherland. — An Old BiU. 251-257 



David Johnson's Journal. — Col. Thomas Johnson's Journal of the Seasons. 
The Winter of 1780.— Snow Storms.— Freshets.— The Cloud-burst of 
1795.— Cold Years.— The Snow Storm of 1834.— The Dark Day of 
1780.— The Yellow Day of 1881.— The Meteoric Shower of 1833.— 
The Comet of 1857. 258-265 



Boltonville. — Whitelaw's Journal. — Mills. — Dea. Andrew Brock.— The 
Boltons.— Present Mills.— Residents there in 1832.— The Lime Kiln 
Neighborhood. — First Settlers. — Schools. — Lime Burning. — Religious 
History. — The Swamp Road Fi^ht. — The Grow and Doe Neighbor- 
hoods. — Disappearance of Families. 266-273 




First Store.— Colonel Wallace.— Colonel Johnson.— David Johnson.— "The 
Deoot Bmlding."— "The Morse Buildin^f.— The Chadwick Store.— The 
Old Book-«tore.— The Keyes Family.— Other Merchants.- Merchants 
at West Newbury. — At the Centre. • 274-279 



Oz-bow Cemetery. — The Grow Neighborhood. — Rogers Hill. — West New- 
bury. — At Wells River. — Boltonville. — Jefferson Hill.— Town House. 
The Poor.— Warning Out of Town. — "Selling the Poor.*' — Town 
Farms. — The Old Militia. 280-290 



First Stages.— Quebec and Boston Stage.— Stage Lines.— Taverns.— The 
Spring Hotel. — The Newbury House. — The LovewcU Tavern. — Other 
Inns. — Postal Routes. — First Post Office.- Postage.- Private Car- 
riers. — Newbury Offices. — Official List since 1832. 291-300 



Early Navigation. — Middlesex Canal. — Falls on Connecticut River. — Canal 
Tolls.— The Co6s Turnpike.— The Windsor Convention.— Dams along 
the River.— The "John Ledyard."— Certificate of Stock.— The "Adam 
Duncan." — A River Ticket.- Failure of the Company. — Canal Pro- 
jects.— The Railroad Era. — Ferries. — Bridge at Bellows Falls. — Col. 
Porter's Charter. — Bridges at Wells River. — At Newbury. — At South 
Newbury. 301-312 



First Roads.— Old Roads.— Road around Ingalls Hill.— Railroad from 
Boston to Concord. — Building of Passumpsic Railroad.— Riot at In- 
galls Hill. — The Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad. — Railroad 
War at Wdls River.— The Montpelier and Wells River Railroad.— 
Tdegraph. 318-319 



Early Banks in New Hampshire.— The CoSs Bank.— Early Vermont Banks. 
—The Wells River Bank.— Directors.- National Bank at Newbury.— 
Savings Bank.— Hard Times.- Counterfeiting.— The Bristol Bill 
Affair. — Imprisonment for Debt. — Glazier Wheeler again. 320-327 



Physicians. — Lawyers. — Old Houses. — Derivation of Local Names.- Cen- 
sus of Newbury.— Reflections.— Pensioners of 1840.— The last Survi- 
vors. — Nonogenarians. — An Old Superstition. 328-338 




Masonry intheCods Country. — Anti-Masonry. — Charity Lodge.— Pulaski 
Lodge. — Odd Fellows — Bounties in the Civil War. — Electric Light- 
ing. — Events at Wdls River. — At Newbury. — Farms. — Newbury 
Comet Band. 339-346 



Soldiers Credited to this Town.— Col. Preston Post. — Col. Preston Relief 

Corps. — Veterans now Residing here. — Spanish War. 347-354 



State Officers. — Senators. — County Officers. — Town Clerks. —Members of 
Constitutional Conventions. — Representatives. — Votes for Governor. 
— Moderators of Annual Town Meetings. — Selectmen. — Listers.— 
Constables. — Treasurers. — Superintendents of Schools. — Overseers of 
the Poor. — Road Commissioners. 355-367 


Revolutionary and Miscellaneous Papers. — The New Hampshire Charter. — 
The New York Charter. — Diary of Gen. Jacob Bayley m the Old French 
War. — Journals of Col. Jacob Kent. — Col. Fiye Bayley 's Diary in 
1776. — Col. Thomas Johnson's Journal while in Canada. — Thomas 
Mellen's Narrative. — Letters. — Revolutionary Muster RoUs. — New- 
bury Lands in 1808. — Miscellaneous. 368-414 

Biographical Sketches and Family Records, 417-743 


History of Newbury, 



General Description. 

Location.— Area.— Meadows.— Their Names.— Scenery.— Mount Pulaski.— 
Ingall's Hill-.— Changes in the River.- Waste Region.— Halls, Round 
AND Long Ponds.— Jefferson Hill. — Lime-Kiln.— Height of Mount 
Pulaski.— Wright's Mountain.— Blue Mountain. — Highest Farm. — Mount 
Washington, Lowest Point from which It Is Seen.— Palls at Bolton- 
viLLE.— Palls at West Newbury.— Scope of this Volume. 

NEWBURY, Vermont, occupies the north-easterly comer of 
Orange county, and is separated by Connecticut river from 
Haverhill in the county of Grafton and state of New Hamp- 
shire. It is bounded on the south by Bradford and a small part of 
Corinth, on the vv^est by Topsham, and on the north by Ryegate, in 
the countv of Caledonia. 

Speaking vsrith more geographical accuracy, the parallel of forty- 
four degrees, north latitude, crosses the river about a mile below the 
southern extremity of the town. The meridian of seventy-two 
degrees, west longitude, passes through Haverhill at nearly the 
same distance from the most eastern point of Newbury. 

It contains about 36,450 acres, comprising a great variety of 
soil — rich tracts of meadow, fertile upland, high hills and deep 
valleys, with some square miles of land whose broken and ledgy 
surface forbids cultivation. 

A glance at the map of the town shows its principal streams, 
the location of its villages and post offices, and the highways and 
railroads which enable its inhabitants to communicate with each 
other, and the surrounding towns. But a more particular descrip- 
tion is necessary toward the understanding of those natural 
features which so much influence the early development of a town 
and Its subsequent history. 

The longest settled, and best known parts of Newbury, are the 
meadows, or intervale lands, which border the Connecticut. These 


meadows have an average breadth of about one mile between the 
Newbury and Haverhill hills, and it is understood that the portion 
allotted by the river to this town is considerably the larger. 

Through this intervale the river flows, with an average width 
of about five hundred feet, at times taking a straight course for 
some distance, then bending and doubling, touches the feet of the 
Newbury hills, now stretching away toward those of Haverhill. 
Midway of the town, it makes a circuit of nearly four miles, 
returning within a half mile of its starting point, enclosing a tract 
of wondrous beauty and fertility known as the Great Ox-bow. 
The scenery of the Connecticut valley has called forth the 
admiration of all who have beheld it. It would be easy to 
quote pages of description, which travelers from our own and 
other lands have written. One of the earliest. President Dwight 
of Yale College, wrote thus of the Ox-bow in 1803: **Its w^hole 
extent is one vast meadow, covered with the richest verdure, 
except a tract converted into arable ground, and it is scarcely 
possible for mere earth to exhibit a more beautiful surface." 

The names of the several meadows, borne by them since the 
town was settled, beginning at the north, with their ancient limits, 
are: Upper meadow, from Stair hill at Wells River to the foot of 
Ingairs hill ; Cow meadow, from the foot of Frye Bayley*s hill to 
the ridge of land on which the houses at the Ox-bow are built ; then 
the Ox-bow; next. Musquash meadow, which extends from the 
mouth of Harriman's brook to the point of rocks opposite the Dow 
or Keyes farm in Haverhill; Kent's meadow, from the point of 
rocks to White's cove, now Bailey's eddy ; Sleeper's meadow, from 
the bend of the river to Bedell's bridge, and Hall's meadow, from 
the bridge to Bradford line. 

The prospect of these meadows, with their alternating intervales 
on the Haverhill side, green with grass, interspersed with fields of 
com and grain, through which the river winds, here hidden by the 
trees which bend over it, and there presenting its broad expanse to 
the sunshine, is one of loveliness and peace. Above and beyond, the 
hills of Haverhill with their farms and villages, the woods which 
clothe the higher elevations, the bulwark of Moosilauke lifting its 
bare and wind-swept top far into the sky, the attending and more 
remote mountains, present a scene of grandeur rarely surpassed. 

Several points along the chain of rocky hills west of the 
meadows offer different aspects of the scene. The most noted 
view is along the road from Mr. Moore's house, passing over Mount 
Pulaski, behind Newbury village. Another prospect, scarce inferior, 
is from the heights in the rear of Ingall's hill. 

In spring, or when great rains have fallen upon the country 
north of us, the scene takes on a new aspect. The winding channel 
of the river cannot carry away the water as fast as it is poured in 
by the swifter streams above us ; the river overflows its banks ; and 


the valley becomes a long narrow lake, with trees, buildings and 
the railroad embankment rising above the flood. 

Conld we know the history of these intervales, how they were 
formed in the course of long ages, the record would be more 
interesting than anything we can say about its human inhabitants. 
But the speculations and conclusions of geologists form no part of 
this history. 

The course of ancient river beds is to be seen in many places on 
the meadows. The stream has, at several points, worn away acres 
of land from different farms. It has, moreover, changed its channel 
in more than one place, and detached portions of land from one 
town and annexed them to the other, without consulting the 
authorities of either Vermont or New Hampshire, or the wishes of 
those who imagined themselves the owners of the soil. An elm 
which is said to mark the spot where James Woodward in 1762 
made his first pitch in Haverhill, now stands about ten rods from 
the river, on the Newbury side. 

According to a statement of Gen. James Whitelaw in 1795, a 
line from the southeast to the northeast corner of Newburv would 
cut off" about 2,040 acres lying east of it. The same line would 
take in a valuable part of Haverhill. The number of acres would 
be somewhat different now. 

West of the meadows, and of the small tracts of plain which lie 
at the foot of the hills, for more than half the length of the town, 
extends a region which bears a striking contrast to that which we 
have been considering. Rising from the lower lands in precipices, 
or in pastures hardly less abrupt, extending back an average 
distance of about a mile, and stretching from Wells river to 
Hall's brook, is a region of hills which in some instances rise to 
a height of more than eight hundred feet above the river. 
Extensive ledges, bare or covered with shallow soil, are mostly 
clothed with woods, the second, third, and in some instances the 
fourth or fifth growth since the original forest was removed. It 
contains some tracts of good pasture, and in various parts farms 
were begun and abandoned. Wood roads wind about among the 
hills, and there is still some good timber growing on them. Two 
roads only from the west to the east part of the town cross this 
territory, and there is only one dwelling in the tract, which 
embraces fully one-tenth of all the land in town. 

This wilderness, interposed between the villages along the river 
and the farms of the west part of the town, is a great disadvantage 
to Newbury. Had this section consisted of excellent farming land, 
the social, religious and political history of Newbury would have 
been very different. 

Vermont is a land of hills, and Newbury has its full share. The 
wide and deep valley of Hall's brook bisects the town from north- 
west to southeast, drains about one-third of its area, and has 


furnished the power, at some twenty sites along the main stream 
and its branches, for mills of various kinds. It receives the waters 
of Hall's pond, which covers about three hundred acres, and lies 
a mile south of the geographical centre of the town. Round and 
Long ponds, which reflect the hills in the west part of the township, 
near the road from Newbury to Corinth, find their outlets in the 
same stream. Quite a large section of the town is drained by 
branches of Waits river in Bradford. 

The hills south of Wells river rise high and steep, affording 
excellent pasturage. Jefferson hill, with its deep strong soil and 
long northern slope toward Ryegate, lies in the northwest corner 
of the town. Lime, burned to a small extent many years ago in a 
deep valley near the Topsham line, gave its name to the Lime-kiln 
neighborhood. Other local designations will be duly explained. 

The railroad track where it enters Newburv from Bradford is 
said to be 375 feet above the sea-level. The highest cultivated land 
in town, long called the "Mountain Carter place,*' from which is a 
prospect of vast extent and variety, lies a mile or two northwest of 
the hamlet of West Newbury. A wooded hill behind this elevated 
farm, shares with two others, several miles from it and from each 
other, the claim of being the highest land in town. 

Such a region of high hills, deep valleys and wide stretches of 
rolling upland, presents many fair prospects. Mount Mansfield 
and Camel's Hump may b^ seen on a clear day, to the northwest, 
from one or two hills, and Ascutney, far to the south. But the 
finest prospects are those of the Connecticut valley and the New 
Hampshire mountains. Moosilauke dominates the landscape in its 
direction. The **house on Moosilauke" can be seen from four out of 
five of the houses in Newbury, its elevation being 4,810 feet above 
the ocean and its distance from the river about nine miles as the 
bird flies. 

Toward the south the mountains rise in lessening height. But 
east and north the Franconia and White Mountains stand like a 
wall beneath the sky. The long line of their summits, the inter- 
vening hills, and the peaks that rise far to the north are only seen 
in days of rarest atmospheric purity, and form a picture of which 
the eye seldom tires. 

Note. Motint Washington is seen from the windows of about thirty houses in 
this town. From the house of Mr. Charles W. Bastman, near Wells River, and 
from a few points much lower than the house it is visible, and is the lowest spot 
in the Connecticut valley from which the highest peak in New England can be seen. 
At some points in the upper Coos the river is seen at high water from Mount 
Washington, but it must be remembered that the valley is there many feet higher 
above sea>level than at Newbury. 

The height of Mount Pulaski has been ascertained by Prof. G. N. Abbott to be 
379 feet above the fountain on the common, and 855 feet above the ocean. The 
ledge southwest is 70 feet higher. The summit of Wright's mountain in Bradford is 
2,100 feet above the sea, and that of Blue mountain in Ryegate is 2,192 feet. 




There are no natural curiosities worthy of especial notice in this 
town. The falls at Boltonville, down which the river pours over a 
succession of ledges, are picturesque at high water. Near the 
church at West Newbury, a small stream which comes down from 
the hills to the north, falls almost perpendicularly for about forty feet 
into a deep ravine, whose rocky walls, overhung by dense foliage, 
shut in a cascade well worth v of a visit when the brook is swollen 
by spring or autumn rains. 

Such may serve for a general description of Newbury. Its hills 
have not yielded any mines of useful ore or precious metal. There 
are no quarries here to furnish the stone for the walls, or rich 
marbles for the costlv adornment of great edifices in the cities. 

No man of national fame was born in Newbury. It was never 
the birth-place of a President or even a Governor. It has not been 
the scene of any famous event. On the other hand we do not have 
to admit that any criminal whose evil deeds appalled the world, first 
drew breath here. It has never been the scene of any of the great 
crimes which have shocked humanity. But it has been the birth- 
place or residence of a great many men and women who helped 
make the world wiser and better. Not a few of them acted a 
modest part in great events. Its schools have trained thousands 
for the active work of life. Its churches have been ministered to by 
godly men. The farmers of 'its hills and valleys left to their children 
the legacy of honest, industrious lives. Their names and deeds are 
passing into oblivion. To chronicle the annals of the town, and to 
preserve their names and the records of their families in the town 
where they lived, and among the sons and daughters of Newbury 
who are scattered abroad, will be the scope of this volume. 


The Coos Country. 

Thb Lowbr Coos.— Indian Tribes.— Indian Rrlics. — Settlement op Hartford, 
Conn.— Brattleboro.— Londonderry, N. H. — Concord. — Wells River. — 
Origin of the Name.— Wright's Bxpbdition. — "The Rbdbembd Captiye." — 
Ancient Maps.— Baker's Expedition.- Charlestown, "Number Pour." — 
Capt. Symes's Project.— John Stark.— LtOVE well's Expedition.- Rogers's 
Expedition.— The Return through the Wilderness. 

WHAT we now call Newbury, formerly comprised, with the 
portion of the Connecticut valley as far south as Orford, 
the **Lower Coos," and was still called by that name by 
the older people, within the memory of men yet Uving. 

The name Coos, sometimes spelled Cohass and Cowass, was 
applied to two extensive tracts of land in the upper Connecticut 
valley, the other or "Upper Coos," being the broad intervales near 
Lancaster. The meaning of the appellation has been variously 
held to be, "a crooked river;" "a wide valley;" **a place of tall 
pines ; " *'a place of deer ; " and "a great fishing place." 

We will leave to special students the search among the confused 
mass of facts and theories concerning the various Indian tribes 
which, from time immemorial, dwelt or wandered here. It was, 
probably, neutral or disputed ground between large tribes, visited 
by various bands or families, for the purpose of fishing or 
cultivating the meadows. 

It was, perhaps, the residence, for many years at a time, of 
some of these companies. But the testimony is so vague, and the 
time so distant, that nothing positive can be asserted. Those 
who have made a study of Indian relics are of opinion, from the 
examination of the stone arrow and spear heads and domestic 
utensils, that many of them came from far distant parts of the 
country, even from beyond the Mississippi, but whether through 


actnal visits from those remote tribes, or by purchase, cannot be 

The antiquity of these visits, or periods of habitation, is 
attested by these relics of the stone age, articles of greatest 
necessity, and therefore of greatest value in Indian eyes. These 
have been found upon all the meadows, and along the valley of 
Hall's brook. But the greatest quantity and variety, attesting 
their frequent visits, and long periods of residence, are found upon 
the Ox-bow and upon the ridge between it and Cow meadow. 
These consist of arrow and spear heads, axes, chisels, and domestic 
utensils. A stone mortar and pestle were found by the early 
settlers. The great Ox-bow seems to have been a spot beloved by 
the Indians. The remains of an Indian fort were found upon the 
Ox-bow by the settlers. These relics of a departed race possess a 
singular and mysterious interest. 

Some mounds along the meadows in Haverhill have been 
thought to be the work of Indian hands. But the few who 
lingered here after the white men came were degenerate, and soon 

Almost equally uncertain is the time when the region was first 
visited by white men. In 1635, fifteen years after the landing at 
Plymouth, the first settlements began at Hartford, Connecticut, 
and Springfield, Massachusetts. From that date, in spite of Indian 
wars and the hardships of the wilderness, the frontier of civilization 
advanced up the river. Hadley was settled in 1647, and a few 
families ventured their lives in Northfield in 1673, whence they 
were, in a few years, driven by the Indians, so that a permanent 
settlement was not gained until 1713. 

The first settlement in Vermont was made in what is now the 
southeast corner of Brattleboro, in 1724, when Fort Dummer 
was built to curb the Indians. 

On the Merrimack, the progress was equally slow. In 1719, 
a colony from the north of Ireland, to which their ancestors had 
emigrated from Scotland about a centurj' before, came over and 
began to settle at Londonderry , soon taking up land in the adjacent 
towns. From this remarkable body of people, known as the 
Scotch-Irish, came some of our best families. This colony was 
never molested by the Indians. Concord was settled in 1725, and 
a few families came to Boscawen and Canterbury before 1730. 

For some years, the smoke from the log cabin of Ebenezer 
Webster, father of Daniel Webster, marked the outpost of 
civilization. Beyond, the country lay an unbroken wilderness 
to the French settlements along the Saint Lawrence. There, 
white men of another race, and another creed, had begun a 
civilization, which was, eventually, to measure its strength with 
the English race for the mastery of a continent. It is probable 


that the first white men to view the Coos country were Catholic 
missionaries or fur traders from Canada. 

Future research may yet reveal the date and circumstances of 
the earliest visits to this part of New England, which now lie 
concealed among the archives of the Catholic missionaries. There 
is reason to believe that the records of discovery exist, and, aside 
from such probability of future confirmation from the recitals 
which are contained among the records preserved at Montreal 
and Quebec, are other considerations which favor the belief that 
the first explorers of this valley were Frenchmen and not English- 
men. It is certain that the Kennebec valley was explored by the 
Jesuit missionaries at a period which long antedates the first 
recorded visits of white men to the Coos country. It can hardly 
be supposed that these hardy and astute men who traced the 
paths along the Kennebec to the English settlements by the sea, 
overlooked the trails which passed down the Connecticut. Our 
knowledge of the sagacity displayed by the Jesuit missionaries 
and French soldiers, forbids us to suppose that the men who 
explored the chain of the Great Lakes to the western extremity 
of Lake Superior; who traced the Mississippi to its source and 
followed its waters till they mingled with those of the Gulf of 
Mexico ; who planted their missions and trading posts along the 
Missouri, would have left unvisited the Connecticut valley at 
their doors. 

So far as our present knowledge of the past reveals, the Coos 
country emerges into the light of history about the beginning of 
the eighteenth century, — two hundred years ago. 

In the spring of 1704, (says Penhallow's **Wars of New England 
with the Eastern Indians'*) word came from Albany that a band 
of French Indians had built a fort and planted corn at Coos, high 
up the river Connecticut. On this, Caleb Lyman with five friendly 
Indians, probably Monhegans, set out from Northampton and 
after a long march through the forest, surprised, under cover of a 
thunder storm, a wigwam containing nine Indians, and killed seven 
of them. 

A tradition handed down from Col. Frye Bayley, and others of 
the first settlers, relates that in the same year, one Capt. Wells 
with a small force of men descended the Connecticut. At the 
mouth of Wells river several of the men fell sick with the smallpox, 
and the party spent the winter or a part of it there, building a 
small log fort for their protection, subsisting by hunting, fishing, 
and upon supplies purchased from the Indians. It is said that some 
of the men died there, and that the river took its name from their 
leader, who may have been Capt. Jonathan Wells of Deerfield. 

This much is certain, that in 1725, Capt. Benjamin Wright of 
Northampton, with a scouting party of sixty men, ascended the 
Connecticut to the mouth of Wells river, which they followed, and 


having passed several ponds, crossed the height of land, and 
descended Winooski river to Lake Champlain, returning by the 
same conrse. The jonmal of their expedition expressly mentions 
"the fort at the mouth of the Wells river." Many descendants of 
this Capt. Benjamin Wright are now living in Newbury. 

Upon an ancient map, the name is spelled Weld's river. When 
£r Chamberlin, about 1770, began to clear land in what is now 
Wells River village, he found the remains of a log building, just 
above the mouth of that stream. Human bones have been dug 
up near that spot. 

Other evidence of early visits to the Coos country is found in 
the narratives of those unfortunates who were taken captive by 
the Indians, and hurried through the wilderness from burning 
villages in Massachusetts and Connnecticut, who lived to recount 
their sufferings. 

One of the best known of these was Rev. John Williams. He 
was minister at Deerfield, Mass., when the village was destroyed 
February 29, 1704, and one hundred and twelve prisoners, men, 
women and children, were carried off to Canada, by a party of three 
hundred and forty-two French and Indians. Mr. Williams lived 
to return and published a narrative of his sufferings called "The 
Redeemed Captive Returning to Zion." A copy of the first edition 
of this little volume is now worth more than its weight in gold. 

He tells us that at the mouth of White river the company 
divided, and a part of the force, with some of the captives, went 
up that stream, while the remainder ascended the Connecticut 
and tarried some time at the Coos meadows. Their provisions 
giving out, they subsisted by hunting and fishing, and barely 
escaped starvation, two of their number, Jacob Holt and Daniel 
Hix, dying of hunger. Subsequently in his narrative he mentions 
Coos, as if the region was well enough known, even at that early 
day for its location to be understood by the mention of its name. 

It would be easy to cite many similar involuntary visits to this 
part of New England. An ancient map, made about the time of 
the old French war, gives the correct course of both the Connecticut 
and Wells rivers, and says, "Along this route (up both these rivers), 
many captives have been carried to Canada." 

Other Indian trails led up the Passumpsic, and by streams 
which descend from the heights near the source of the Connecticut. 
It is probable that most of these unhappy prisoners viewed the 
region with no favorable eye. Those who were hurried along with 
the prospect of a fearful captivity or a horrible death, were not 
likely to admire a country where each forward step made return 
more hopeless. 

But there were others, hunters and adventurous spirits, who 
were capable of intelligent and leisurely observations and 
who saw the possibilities of the region as a desirable place for 


future settlement. By degrees it began to be generally known 
that, far up the great river, were fertile meadows waiting for the 
plow, and wooded uplands which could be turned into productive 
farms. But there was little to induce people to come here, and 
make new homes in the wilderness. There was still plenty of good 
land nearer the sea coast to be taken up. It was pleasant to be 
near the older towns which had become seats of wealth and culture. 
More than anything else, the fear of the Indians kept settlers out of 
Coos. From the breaking out of King William's war in 1689, till 
the surrender of Quebec, seventy years later, there was almost 
continual war. The line of the frontier was marked with fire and 
blood. Yet in spite of that, settlements advanced steadily into the 

On the 27th of February, 1709, Thomas Baker was taken 
captive at Deerfield, and was carried to Canada up the river, and 
over the carrying place to Lake Memphremagog. He remained 
among the Indians for a year, and learned much of the country, 
the rivers, and the passes through the mountains. In the spring of 
1712, he raised a company of thirty-four men, with whom he 
reached the Coos in four days. They seem to have spent some time 
in exploring the locality, and having a friendly Indian for their 
guide passed through the trail along the Oliverian, and killed some 
Indians in what is now Rumney. They were pursued, but by a 
stratagem evaded their pursuers and reached Dunstable without the 
loss of a man. For this exploit they received by special resolution 
of the legislature of Massachusetts, a bounty of twenty pounds, in 
addition to their wages from March 24th, to the 17th of May. 

This resolution, which is dated June 11, 1712, mentions Lieut. 
Baker as ''commander of a company of marching forces in the late 
expedition to Coos, and from thence to the west branch of the 
Merrimack river, and so to Dunstable." From this man Baker's 
river in Warren, Wentworth, and Rumney is named. He died in 
Dover about 1763. 

In 1748, settlements began at Charlestown, N. H., long called 
"Number Four," but were abandoned after several families had been 
carried off. After the erection of a fort at that place, a few of 
the settlers returned and cleared land under its protection. But it 
was hazardous, as Indians constantly prowled in the woods and 
assaulted the place ten times within two years. In April, 1747, 
while the fort was held by Capt. Phinehas Stevens, with thirty 
men, it was attacked by Boucher de Niverville with a large war- 
party of French and Indians, and sustained one of the most 
desperate sieges in the whole record of frontier wars. The assault 
lasted three days and two nights, and at the end of the third 
day, the enemy, having suffered great loss, withdrew to Canada. 
Richard Chamberlin, afterwards one of the first settlers of 
Newbury, was one of the garrison. 


The settlement at Charlestown had now acquired a firm hold, 
and people began to think of settling the Co5s country. In the 
summer of 1751, several hunters came up the river and examined 
the land on both sides as far as* the highlands at the mouth of the 

In the following year, Capt. Symes of North Hampton made 
application to Governor Wentworth for charters of four towns 
six miles square at Coos, to be granted to four hundred men, who 
proposed to settle there. On the 22d of November, he again wrote 
to the Governor that three hundred and forty men were already 
engaged in the service, and prayed that fifty of them might be in 
the pay and maintenance of the province. These men were mainly 
from New Market, Rye, North Hampton, East Hampton and South 
Hampton. It further appears from the petition that several of 
them had been to Coos in the summer, and were favorably 
impressed with the country. 

In his message to the General Court, Wentworth favored the 
design, and alluded to "previous grants and promises of land at 
Coos" being forfeited. It would thus appear that this was not 
the first attempt to settle the country. He also recommended that 
these four hundred men be formed into a regiment, one hundred men 
in each town. Their plan was to cut a road along the river from 
Charlestown and lay out towns on' each side. They were to erect 
a stockade in each town, large enough to enclose a blockhouse 
and the dwellings of the settlers. Thus it was to be, not only a 
settlement, but a military post. 

The project made some stir, and tidings of it reaching Canada, 
a deputation of French and Indians appeared at Charlestown, and 
remonstrated against it, using language not to be misunderstood, 
and the plan came to an end. So little is known of the scheme that 
we have no record of the names of the adventurers, or whether any 
of them were among the settlers of either Newbury or Haverhill 
ten years later. 

In the spring of the same year, 1752, John and William Stark, 
Daniel Stinson, and Amos Bastman, while hunting in Rumney, were 
surprised by the Indians. Stinson was killed, William Stark got 
away, while John Stark and Eastman were taken to Canada. The 
party encamped the first night where Haverhill Comer now stands, 
and passed directly through the Coos meadows, and on their return 
in the summer passed through them again. 

In the spring of 1753, a committee was appointed by the 
General Court, to go up "and view the Coos Country." This 
consisted of Col. Zaccheus Love well, Maj. John Talford, Capt. 
Caleb Page, a surveyor, and sixteen men, with John Stark as their 
guide. The celebrated Robert Rogers was one of the party. They 
came up the Pemigewasset and Baker's rivers, and marked out a 
road, cutting out the fallen trees, reaching the Connecticut river at 


Moose meadow in Piermotit. They passed but one night in the 
valley, returning the way they came. Grant Powers, following the 
the biography of General Stark, gives the year of this expedition as 
1754, but the state archives show that it was in the previous year. 
It is supposed that they discovered traces of a large force of 
Indians, and made a timely^ retreat. 

Meanwhile, the first mutterings of the storm which was about 
to burst began to be heard, and the great contest which was to 
decide forever whether North America was to be ruled by French- 
men or by Englishmen, opened in the forests of Pennsylvania. 

In the spring of 1754, Governor Wentworth, hearing reports 
of a French advance into the Connecticut valley, sent Capt. Peter 
Powers of HoUis, a brave and experienced soldier, with a company 
of men, of which James Stevens was lieutenant, and Ephraim Hale 
was ensign, who came up the Pemigewasset and Baker's rivers, and 
reached this valley at Piermont. They seem to have followed the 
path marked out the year before by Lovewell and his men. 

The journal of Captain Powers, now in the possession of the 
Connecticut Historical Society, is largely quoted by Rev. Grant 
Powers, who does not seem to have known what the real object 
of the expedition was. In his message to the legislature of that 
year, Governor Wentworth says that he had sent Powers to see if 
the French had begun settlement at either Upper or Lower Coos, 
or had, as reported, built a fort at Northumberland. Leaving 
Concord June 15, 1754, they came to the Hibbard place in Piermont 
on the 25th, and on the next day they went up as far as Horse 
Meadow, **above the cleared intervale." On the 2d of July they 
reached Northumberland, but saw no signs of fort or settlement, 
but did find where the Indians had been making canoes, but who 
had probably fled on the approach of a force too strong to molest. 
On their return they crossed into Newbury at the mouth of the 
Ammonoosuc, and went through the cleared intervale, crossing into 
Haverhill below the Ox-bow. Thev seem to have reached Concord 
safely with the Indians following close behind. Captain Peter 
Powers was the father of Rev. Peter Powers, the first minister of 
Newbury and Haverhill. Hundreds of his descendants have lived in 
the valley which he explored in 1754. 

Five years later there passed through this valley an expedition 
to which there attaches a melancholy interest. In 1759, Major 
Robert Rogers, whom we have met before as one of Lovewell's 
company of explorers, was sent by General Amherst from Crown 
Point, with about one hundred and fifty men, to destroy the 
Abenaki village which was situated upon the St. Francis, a few 
miles above its junction with the St. Lawrence, and was the 
residence of the most cruel tribe of Indians in Canada. After 
leaving Lake Champlain, Rogers, finding himself pursued, and 
fearing that his retreat would be cut off, took the bold resolve of 


out-marcWng his pursuers, destroying St. Francis, and returning 
by Lake Memphremagog and the Connecticut. He accordingly 
sent men back to Crown Point to request General Amherst that 
provisions should be sent up the river from Charlestown to meet 
him as he came down. 

The Indian village was surprised in the night and set on fire. 
Two hundred of the savages were killed. They found several 
captives, and nearly seven hundred scalps. Rogers's men, some of 
whom had suffered from this cruel tribe, gave no quarter, but 
inflicted a blow which struck terror to all the Indian tribes, from 
Lake Ontario to the Penobscot. The victors at once began their 
return through the wilderness, closely followed by the enemy. Near 
Lake Memphremagog their provisions gave out, and Rogers 
divided his men into small parties, the better to sustain life by 
hunting. Several of the band fell into the hands of the Indians, 
but most of them reached the great river, at one place or another, 
between the Nulhegan and the Passumpsic. But when the foremost 
came to the place where relief was to meet them, they found, to 
their horror, fires burning, but those who had made them were 
gone. Lieutenant Samuel Stevens had been sent up the river with 
boats and abundant provisions, but when he came to the place 
which had been appointed, finding no one there, he waited two 
days and returned. For this outrageous conduct he was dismissed 
the service. 

It has never been clearly demonstrated where this spot was. 
Some of the survivors stated that Round island, in the mouth of 
the Passumpsic, which is separated by a deep and narrow channel 
from the railroad, a little below East Barnet, is the place where 
they found the fires burning. Others insist that the mouth of the 
Ammonoosuc is the place, which is the one specified by Rogers himself. 
The fact seems to be that the unfortunate men were so overcome 
with hunger and despair, that they did not know where they were, 
and were never able afterward to tell, with certainty, where they 
came out upon the river. The late David Johnson, Esq., who had 
personally known several of Rogers's men, was told by them that 
when they came to the mouth of Cow Meadow-brook, they found 
the smouldering embers of a fire, but no one with it, and that they 
were so much overcome by hunger and despair that some of them 
died. The first settlers, three vears later, found the remains of men 
at various places upon the Ox-bow and the high ground near it, 
who were believed to be some of Rogers's expedition, and there may 
be still a few old men who can point out the spots where the bones 
of these unfortunate men were found. 

Rogers, with three men, made his way with great peril down 
the river on a rude raft, and sent back boats with provisions to 
the men, as they could be found along the banks. Some of the 
survivors made their way through the woods to the settlements 


on the Merrimack. Of the one hundred and forty-two men who 
had left St. Francis, forty-nine perished in the wilderness, or were 
tortured to death by the Indians. Robert Rogers served under the 
king during the revolutionary war, and made his appearance in 
Newbury several times during the struggle. 

The expedition of Rogers was one of the most dramatic episodes , 
of the French and Indian war. The story of the long march 
through the wilderness; the night attack; the burning village; 
the terrible tale of the retreat through the wilds of Canada; the 
famished men struggling through the pathless woods, and the 
feat-ful deaths of so many, thrill the imagination. There has 
been much controversy over different portions of the narrative. 
Rev. Grant Powers, in his ''Historical Sketches of the Coos Country," 
treats as fabulous the account of the relief expedition of Stevens. 
It appears that he had not seen Rogers's journal of the expedition. 
He made no mention of the statements which Mr. Johnson had 
obtained from the lips of some of the survivors, several of whom 
were living in this vicinity in his younger days. But Mr. Powers 
was anxious to believe that his ancestor was the first to explore 
the country where so many of his descendants were to live, and put 
aside all evidence of previous discoveries. Several men who after- 
wards attained considerable distinction in the revolutionary war 
were of Rogers's party. One of them, Capt. Benjamin Wait, from 
whom the town of Waitsfield, where he settled and died, is named, 
is memorable. And Waits river in Bradford was also named for him. 
The Indian name of this river — Mahounquamossee — ^is given upon 
the map of 1760. 


The First Year. 

Cix>SE OF THE French and Indian War.— Bayley, Hazen, Kent, and Bedell at 
Coos.— The Charter.— They Take Possession op the Land.— Pettie, 
Johnston, and Webb.— Sawmill Built in Haverhill.- Samuel Sleeper.— 
Glazier Wheeler.— Thomas Chamberlain.— Wright.— Noah White.— John 
Hazbltine.— Thomas Johnson.— Jacob Kent.- Blanchard and Willard.— 
The Season of 1762.— Corn and Potatoes.— Appearance op Country.— 
The Dwellings.— Arrival of Old Friends. 

WITH the close of the French and Indian war the history of 
Newbury begins, and practically that of Vermont. Before 
that time a few settlements along the river, in the 
southeast corner of the state, had been held only by the intrepidity 
of the settlers. All the rest of it lay a wilderness, save only a few 
spots of cleared land like the Ox-bow, or where the woods had been 
removed for military purposes along Lake Champlain. But the 
constant passing of troops and small companies through the state 
had made the resources of the country generally known, and, at the 
close of the war, civilization, whose outposts had been Charlestown 
on the Connecticut, and Salisbury on the Merrimack, advanced 
into the wilderness by leaps and bounds. 

With the surrender of Montreal, on the 8th of September, 1760, 
the empire of France in the New World, which had been so gallantly 
held, passed away. The French in Canada settled quietly down 
under English rule. There was no longer any one to stir up the 
Indians against the settlers of New England. All that came to 
them of the struggle in which they bore so great a part, had 
been their own destruction. They saw their hunting-grounds pass 
into the hands of their enemies, and were too feeble even to protest. 
The army which had conquered Canada was disbanded, and the 
victors sought their homes in the older settlements. Among those 
who returned through the Connecticut valley from the surrender 


of Montreal, were four oflScers who had served in GofF's regiment 
during the decisive campaign, and whose influence is felt in Coos to 
this day. They were Lieut.-Col. Jacob Bayley, Capt. John Hazen, 
Lieut. Jacob Kent, and Lieut. Timothy Bedell. As Jacob Bayley's 
name will occur in these pages more frequently than any other, and 
as there were several other officers named Bayley in Coos, to 
distinguish him from the others, he will be spoken of as General 
Bayley, although he did not attain the title until seventeen years 
later. We do not know whether either of the four had ever passed 
through here before. It is not known whether there were any 
others in the party. But we do know, from written statements 
made long after, by both Bayley and Kent, that they remained 
some days in the place, and carefully examined the surrounding 
country. They decided that it was a desirable place to settle in, the 
gateway to a vast country above, a central point which should 
command the trade of the region. 

On their return to Hampstead, these four men, being prompt 
and resolute, set themselves at once to the work of obtaining 
charters of two towns at Coos, taking measures to secure their 
friends in the enterprise. Bayley and Hazen stood high in the 
estimation of the colonial government, as they had done efficient 
service in the late war, and both had influential relatives, whom 
Governor Wentworth was anxious to please. Hazen was aided by 
his brother, Moses Hazen, while Bayley received the advice and 
powerful support of his brother-in-law, Moses Little. These had 
been officers in the late war, and were to be still more distinguished 
in that of independence. As the result of their combined efforts, the 
charter of Newbury was granted. May 18, 1763, to Jacob Bayley, 
John Hazen, Jacob Kent and Timothy Bedell, with seventy-two 
associates. The charter of Haverhill was granted on the same day 
to the same men, John Hazen's name being first, with a number of 
partners equal to that of Newbury. But, before that time, a great 
deal had been done at Coos, and quite a number of families had 
begun to make homes here. Bayley and Hazen came up in the 
summer of 1761, and made their plans. The former went on to 
Crown Point, while the latter returned to Hampstead, by way of 
Charlestown, and engaged several men to come to Coos, cut and 
stack hay on the great and little Ox-bows. Col. Thomas Johnson 
says that they secured about ninety tons of excellent hay. Mean- 
while, Col. Moses Little had been gathering cattle for himself, 
Bayley and the Hazens, mostly young cows and steers, with which 
John Pettie, Michael Johnston and Abraham Webb left Hampstead 
about the middle of August, and reached Coos the last of October. 
They came by way of Charlestown, then called Number Four, and 
followed a line of spotted trees along the river bank. They spent 
the winter here, feeding the hay to the cattle, and breaking the 
steers, subsisting mainly on provisions which had been brought up 


in boats from Charlestowu. Dr. Bouton, in his history of Concord, 
N.H.jSays that the winter was tinasuallylong and cold, and it would 
seem that the time mast have dragged heavily to the men in their 
rude shelters on the Little Ox-bow. But spring came at last, and 
Johnston and Pettie, being relieved, started for home down the 
river. Their canoe was upset at a point now called Olcott Falls, 
and Johnston was drowned. He was a brother of Col. Charles 
Johnston of Haverhill, and of Col. Robert Johnston of Newbury. 
The next year, Abraham Webb, who was partly mulatto and partly 
Indian, was drowned in the river at Newbury, and was the first 
man buried in the cemetery at the Ox-bow. 

In the spring of 1762, Capt. John Hazen came up and began to 
build a sawmill at the falls in North Haverhill. In February came 
the first family into Newbury, which consisted of Samuel Sleeper 
and his wife from Plaistow, or Hampstead, by way of Charlestown. 
They came up on the ice in a rude vehicle, half sleigh and half sled, 
which conveyed the family ^nd a few necessaries for their primitive 
housekeeping. He lived for some time, says Rev. Clark Perry, in a 
rude hut which stood about where Mr. Doe's brick house now 
stands, at the Ox-bow, but later took up land where the Kents 
long lived, in the south part of the town. According to Rev. Grant 
Powers, Sleeper was a Quaker preacher, whom Bayley had sent on 
to take possession of the land for him, but none of the letters which 
are preserved, that passed between Bayley and Col. Little, mention 
Sleeper at all. Mr. Powers says further, that Sleeper made himself 
obnoxious to the people by disturbing the services of the Sabbath in 
the meeting-house, and interrupting the sermon by obtruding his 
dissent from the doctrines of the minister. For this untimely 
exercise of the right of free speech, he was imprisoned for awhile in 
a cellar upon Musquash meadow. Later he removed to Bradford 
where he became quite prominent, but died before 1771. 

With Sleeper came Glazier Wheeler from Shutesbury, Mass., and 
his brother Charles, who had started on a hunting trip, fallen in 
with Sleeper, and established themselves at Newbury. Wheeler was 
a practical genius, whose skill in the use of tools made him invaluable 
on the frontier, but whose misdirected ingenuity was destined to 
get him into trouble. He engaged, some years later, in making 
counterfeiter's tools, and in the manufacture of base coin, and, 
according to the custom of the time, had his ears cropped. Later 
in life, he is said to have been employed in the mint at Philadelphia, 
on account of his remarkable skill as an engraver. 

The second family was that of Thomas Chamberlain and wife 
from Dunstable, N. H., who settled on Musquash meadow, near 
the river, but later removed to the Ox-bow, where he built a house 
which afterwards became the parsonage. A depression in the 
ground, in the newest part of the cemetery, at some distance from 
the road, marks the cellar. He had been here before, more than 


once, as a hunter and as chain-bearer for Joseph Blanchard when 
he marked the bounds of the towns along the river in the winter 
of 1760-61. In June, **one day about noon," came Richard 
Chamberlin and wife, being the third family, from Hinsdale, N. H., 
in boats. Seven of their thirteen children came with their parents, 
the rest afterward. Before night they had erected a rude hut of 
posts and bark, in which they lived three months. A large stump 
in the middle, covered with a board, served for a table. He settled 
upon Musquash meadow, and kept a ferry between Newbury 
and Haverhill for many years. At the same time with Richard 
Chamberlin, says Mr. Perry, came Benoni Wright, and associated 
himself with Sleeper. For some strange doctrines which he preached 
and for his way of making himself obnoxious, the elders of the 
settlement condemned him to receive ten lashes, **well laid on." 
After this gentle reminder of public disapproval was carried out, 
Wright removed to Bradford, and dwelt for some time in a cave 
on the mountain which still bears his name. 

According to Mr. Perry, Noah White, the first of seven brothers 
and sisters to settle in Newbury, came in 1762, but Mr. Powers 
says he came in the next year. In the former year came John 
Hazeltine, from Hampstead, and settled on the* Ox-bow. In the 
same spring came Simeon Stevens, Joshua Howard, and Jaasiel 
Harriman, and were the first of the settlers to come up by way 
of the Pemigewasset and Baker rivers. They employed an old 
hunter to guide them, and came in four days. Stevens settled in 
Newbury, Howard on an island which still bears his name, now a 
part of the Grafton county farm, while Harriman, who was a 
blacksmith, lived a few years in both Newbury and Haverhill, but 
became one of the first settlers of Bath. Thomas Johnson arrived 
in the same year, and boarded awhile in the family of Uriah Morse, 
in Haverhill. Joshua Howard came as agent or hired laborer of 
Gen. Bayley, being an enlisted soldier in his company, but whose 
services not being needed, was sent here to take care of his cattle. 
In the fall came Jacob Kent, who was employed with Johnson by 
those who proposed to become proprietors, to examine the land^ 
and make boundaries, preparatory to the town being chartered. 
In the summer, Gen. Bayley also came to see what was being done in 
the region to which he expected to remove, and from that time forth 
was the master spirit of the new colony. It would appear that 
there were five or six families in Newbury before it was chartered, 
who were here without any special leave to settle, or title to the 
soil, but who probably expected that when the town was chartered 
they should, with others, become proprietors, which, with most of 
them, was the case. 

According to Col. Thomas Johnson, neither of the Chamber- 
lains was in the interest of Bayley and Hazen, but Thomas came 
here to take possession in behalf of his neighbor at Dunstable^ 


Capt. Joseph Blanchard, under whom he had served in the late war, 
and w^ho hoped to obtain a charter for a town in Coos. Richard 
and his sons were in the interest of Oliver Willard, a merchant and 
land speculator of Northampton, who also hoped to secure a 
charter, by virtue of possession; but Bayley and Hazen seem to 
have easily persuaded the Chamberlains to cast in their lot with 
them, as both Thomas and Richard, with Joseph and Abiel, sons of 
the latter, all became grantees under the charter. It is said that 
Willard was so mortified and angry at being thus supplanted by 
Bayley and Hazen, that he threatened that if he could ever catch 
the latter outside the settlement, he would flog him to his heart's 
content. The two men afterwards met at Charlestown, and, upon 
endeavoring to carry out his threat, Willard found Hazen much 
more than his match. 

It was the testimony of the first settlers who still survived 
when Rev. Clark Perry collected the materials for his historical 
discourse in 1831, that good com was raised on the Ox-bow in 
1762, but lower down, on Kent's meadow, the first seed did not 
prove good, and it was so late before good seed could be had from 
Charlestown that it was not ripe before frost came. This corn, 
carefully dried, pounded up, and made into puddings with a little 
milk, was the chief food of the settlers. After this year, com and 
wheat were both good and plenty. Mr. Perry says that potatoes 
were grown in that year from seed brought through the woods 
from Concord. Salmon were plentiful in the river, and trout in the 
brooks. Deer were not unfrequently found and bears were often 
killed, which, in the absence of beef and pork, formed a welcome 
addition to the larder; but it was several years before domestic 
animals could be spared for food, and during the earlier years their 
meat was seldom tasted at Coos. 

Could we return for an hour to the primitive life at Newbury, 
one hundred and thirty-eight years ago, we should find little to 
remind us of the present aspect of the scene. The Connecticut 
flowed through a dense forest, broken here and there by Indian 
clearings of a few acres in extent. A heavy growth of pines 
covered the plain on which Newbury village now stands. Moos- 
ilauke overlooked a mighty forest which stretched away as far as 
the eye could reach ; but a closer observation would discern tokens 
of a coming change. The sound of the settler's axe was heard by 
the river bank. In a few places, a rude trail, the precursor of the 
present river road, wound through the woods. The sun shone 
into new clearings here and there, and the smoke from a few log 
dwellings rose in the primeval forest, for the settlers had come. 
What was there here for that handful of adventurers in the Coos 
country in that far ofl^ winter of 1762-63? What was their 
manner of life in the rude huts which only partially sheltered them 
from the northern blasts ? When we remember that there were no 


roads, no schools, no churches ; that there was no physician nearer 
than Canterbury or Charlestown; that there was no habitation 
of white men within sixty miles of them, and that the woods were 
fall of savage beasts, and that the dread of the Indians had by no 
means passed away, we wonder how the people endured it. One 
of the sons of Richard Chamberlain related in his old age, that they 
seldom arose in the mornings of that long winter, without seeing 
the tracks of bears and wolves in the snow around their cabin on 
Musquash meadow. Few of the cabins had doors, for as yet there 
was no sawmill, but a coverlid suspended over the entrance kept 
out some of the cold. Sometimes wolves would lift this curtain, 
and thrust in their heads. The cattle had to be shut in pens built 
strongly enough to resist the attacks of bears. Yet the people 
seem to have got through the winter very well. No one died, and 
we do not know that any went back in the spring disheartened to 
the older settlements. The men worked hard, at healthy, vigorous 
labor in the open air, chopping, and clearing land and hunting. 
They seem to have had plenty of food; they were all young, and 
took their privations as a matter of course. Richard Chamberlin 
was the only man past forty-five, and he was accustomed to 
pioneer life. 

It is probable that there were several additions to the settlement 
during the winter. We know that Jacob Kent and Joseph Harriman 
came in January, for the former tells us this in his journal. They 
probably came from Concord on snow shoes, carrying their packs, 
each with his trusty gun, camping out at night, beneath such 
shelter as they could make. People thought little of such things 
then. How welcome must have been their coming to the settlers. 
We may be sure that the tidings of their arrival were not long in 
reaching every cabin on the Little Ox-bow and Musquash meadow, 
and the Great Ox-bow, and how the settlers must have flocked 
around the newcomers to hear the news ! In these days when we 
have instant communication with all parts of the world, we cannot 
comprehend what the coming of an old acquaintance meant to 
these people, in this far-off nook of civilization ; what feasts from 
their rude plenty would be set before the weary travelers. Such 
excitement must have been to the hardy settlers and their wives, 
what a brisk walk in the wintry air is to a man in perfect health, 
which sets every nerve and fibre in a glow. Still, make the best of 
the winter as they might, how welcome was the approach of the 
spring of 1763! How glad the people must have been to see the 
days grow longer; the snow banks settle; the bare ground once 
more appear; the river break up, and the cleared lands emerge from 
the snow. Col. Frye Bayley said, in his old age, that maple sugar 
was made in Newbury in that year. It is quite probable, however, 
that the hardships and privations which the people had to suffer 
were too much for two feeble frames, for in the spring two women 
at Coos died of consumption. 


The Charter. 

Thb ExGLisH Nbwbury.— The Massachusetts Newbury.— The Wentworth 
Charter. — Boundaries as by the Charter. — Proyisions. — Why the Town 
IS so Large. — The Bradford Claim op 1807. — Col. Johnson's Statement. — 
TopsHAM Gore. — The Grantees. — Those who Became Settlers. — 
Grantees op both Newbury and Hayerhill. — Grantees of Newbury 
w^HO Settled in Hayerhill. — Grantees op Hayerhill who Settled in 
Newbury. — First Meeting op Proprietors. — The Town and the 
Proprietors. — Allotment op the Town among the Grantees. 

NEWBURY, in England, is a municipal borough on the river 
Kennet, in Berkshire, near the border of Wiltshire, fifty-three 
miles west of London. **It owes its origin to the Roman 
station Spine, now represented by the modern village of Speen." 
Several centuries ago, a portion of the village, on the other side of 
the Kennet was called the New Borough, which became the market 
town of Newbury — ^that is New Borough — ^now having some ten or 
fifteen thousand inhabitants. Two battles were fought there during 
the civil war, in 1643, and 1644. 

In 1635, certain emigrants, whose minister. Rev. Thomas 
Parker, had for some time preached in the English Newbury, 
settled at the mouth of the Merrimack in New England, and 
complimented their pastor by giving the name of Newbury to 
the new town. Our forefathers in Coos, when they applied for a 
charter to this town, gave it the name of Newbury, whence most 
of them originated, as their ancestors had given the name of the 
English town to the New England settlement. 

No one knows what became of the original charter of Newbury, 
signed by Governor BenningW entworth on the 18th day of *May, 
1763, and countersigned by Theodore Atkinson, his junior 

Powers says March 18, 1763, btit May 18th is the correct date. 


secretary. It is believed that Gen. Bayley carried it to New York 
when he went there to obtain the charter from the Governor of 
that state, in 1773, and it may be still in existence at Albany. 
But the charter is on record at Concord, in the office of the Secret^.ry 
of State, in the second of the folio volumes of town charters. In 
these volumes, the body of each charter is printed ; in form and 
conditions they are all alike, but the particular description of each 
town is written in. The charters of Newbury and Haverhill are 
precisely alike, except in the written parts. The following is the 
particular description of this town as written : 

'^Beginning at a Tree marked standing on the Bank of 

the Westerly side of Connecticut River opposite to the mouth of 
Amonusock River so called, and from thence Southerly, or South 
Westerly, down Connecticut river til it comes to a Tree there 
standing marked with the Figures and is about seven miles 

in A Strait Line below the Mouth of Amonusock afores** from 
thence running North fifty-nine degrees West Six Miles and one 
Quarter to a stake and stones, from thence North twenty Degrees 
East Six miles & one half Mile to a stake and stones, from thence 
to the Marked Tree on the Side of the River, the Bound first 

Newbury, in common with other towns, was granted the 
privilege of holding fairs and markets. The conditions of a grant, 
were, in brief, as follows : 

1st. Each grantee must cultivate, within five years, five acres for 

each fifty acres which he possessed, under penalty of forfeiture. 
2nd. All white pine was reserved for the royal navy. 
3rd. A tract of land near the center of the town was reserved for 

town lots, each grantee to have one acre. 
4th. For this an ear of Indian com should be presented when required 

during two years. 
5th. After December 25, 1773, each proprietor must pay one shilling 

annually, Proclamation Money,«tor each hundred acres which 

he held. 

These conditions do not seem to have been very hard, but 
before the rent became due, the charter granted by Wentworth 
was superseded by that of the Governor of New York, and Newbury 
became a part of that province. *By the terms of the charter, the 
town was divided into eighty-one shares; one to the Church of 
England ; one to the Incorporated Society for the Propogation of 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts; one for the first settled minister in 
town, and one for the benefit of a school in the town. In addition 
to these reservations, a tract of five hundred acres, counting as two 
shares, was reserved for Governor Wentworth, and was called the 
Governor's farm. This land includes most of what is now called 

Both town charters will be found in full in the appendix. 


Wells River village, and the corresponding reservation in Haverhill 
embraces Woodsville. 

The charter also provided that the first meeting for the choice 
of oflScers should be held on the second Monday in June, 1763, and 
that Jacob Bay ley, Esq., should call the meeting and be moderator 
thereof. The conditions of the Haverhill charter are identical with 
those of Newbury, and the first meeting of the proprietors was to 
be held on the day following that of Newbury, the meeting to be 
called and presided over by John Hazen, Esq. 

A glance at thie map of the state will indicate that Newbury is a 
very large town in area, much larger than any of its neighbors, in 
fact there is only one larger town in the state. It may now be 
proper to explain how it came to be so large. In the year 1807, 
the town of Bradford, whose inhabitants had always considered 
themselves unjustly deprived of a portion of their territory by this 
town, applied to the legislature of that year, to have a strip of 
Newbury, one mile and sixty-eight rods wide, annexed to Bradford. 
Their claim was supported in a paper drawn up with g^eat care by 
John McDuffee, Esq., of Bradford, a noted surveyor of his time, in 
which their side of the case was presented. 

It will be noted by reference to the charter, that the south 
corner of Newbury was appointed to be about seven miles below 
the northeast comer, which would be near the southwest comer of 
Bedell's bridge. In reality, the corner of Newbury and Bradford is 
one mile and sixty-eight rods south of that point. According to 
their claim, Thomas Blanchard of Dunstable was employed in 
1760 by Wentworth, to make a survey of Connecticut river — from 
Charlestown to the mouth of the Ammonoosuc, which latter place 
the Governor fixed upon as a point from which to establish the 
bounds of the towns above and below it. Between these two 
places, he was to erect a boundary, or mark a tree, at the end of 
every six miles, these boundaries being the north and south limits of 
the towns on the river. Blanchard chose Thomas Chamberlain as 
his assistant, and they made the north limit of the ninth pair of 
towns on the Connecticut river, now Bradford and Piermont, to be 
near the southwest comer of Bedell's bridge, and, finding that 
there still remained seven miles between that point and the island 
at the mouth of the Ammonoosuc, this was made into one town on 
each side of the river, one mile longer than the town below it. 

The strength of the Bradford claim was in their belief that 
when Caleb WiUard and Benjamin Whiting, under the direction of 
the proprietors of Newbury and Haverhill, surveyed the bounds of 
each town, in 1763, they, acting under private instructions from 
Bayley and Hazen, as they went down the river from the mouth of 
the Ammonoosuc, disregarded the boundary which Blanchard had 
made three years before, and kept on into the ungranted and 
unsettled land below them, and made a new bound, one mile and 
sixty-eight rods below the previous one. Thus doing, they had 


enriched Newbury and Haverhill, at the expense of Bradford and 
Piermont. The settlers upon the river road, south of Bedell's 
bridge, attended town-meeting in Mooretown, now Bradford, and 
paid taxes there, for some years before 1778. But in that year, 
Newbury reasserted its claim, and has held it ever since. 

In rebuttal. Col. Thomas Johnson, with the assistance of Gen. 
Jacob Bayley, still in the full possession of his faculties, drew up a 
paper, stating the claim of Newbury to the strip in question, which 
is, in substance, as follows : 

In 1762, Governor Wentworth, desiring a new survey made, 
sent Gen. Jacob Bayley, with Mr. McNeal, the King's surveyor, to 
make new bounds to the towns above Charlestown, and they 
proceeded up the river about thirty miles above the mouth of the 
Ammonoosuc. In that summer there was a road marked out from 
Canterbury, and, in some degree, made passable. In the same 
summer, Maj. Joseph Blanchard made application for himself and 
friends for a charter of what is now Newbury, and so did Oliver 
Willard, but Bayley and Hazen had claims upon the Governor for 
their services in the late war and had friends whom it was for his 
interest to oblige. He therefore promised the charter to Bayley and 
Hazen. But when they appeared before the Governor, Wentworth 
insisted that he should add the names of twentv of his friends to 
those who had been decided upon by Bayley and Hazen. To this 
the two latter naturally objected, representing that they had 
already been at considerable expense in surveying the town, and 
opening a road, and that it was unjust to them to admit twenty 
other proprietors, thus reducing the value of each of the shares — 
dividing the land among eighty proprietors instead of sixty. 
Wentworth was but following the custom of the time. The colonial 
governors were in the habit of rewarding their friends for their 
support, either by making direct grants of land to them or by 
placing their names among the grantees of new towns. The 
governments were poor in money, but rich in land which had an 
indefinite prospective value, and thus the royal governors could 
enrich their favorites without costing themselves anything. So 
Bayley and Hazen were told that the twenty names must go in, 
but that they should be allowed to take from the ungranted lands 
south of them enough to make up for twenty additional shares. 
Accordingly, the survey of Newbury, by Bayley, in 1763, cut out of 
the ungranted lands south of it a strip one mile and sixty-eight 
rods wide. The map, or plan, of Newbury, upon the back of the 
recorded charter gives the south-east corner of Newbury exactly 
where it is now. Therefore their claim that this addition to 
Newbury was by direct permission and authority of Governor 
Wentworth was admitted by the legislature, and Bradford lost 
its case. But Haverhill was less fortunate, or Piermont more 
persistent, as in 1784 the former town was compelled to divide 
with the latter a similar disputed strip along its south side. 



In 1803, Newbury was compelled to relinquish to Topsham a 
strip one mile in breadth, which it had claimed, along the east side 
of that town, which in old deeds, is called **Topsham Gore." It 
was the opinion of the late Richard Patterson, who had carefully 
surveyed the town lines, that Newbury gained a little at the expense 
of Ryegate. The truth seems to be, that Newbury and Haverhill 
w^ere settled when the land around them was ungranted, and the 
proprietors made the towns as large as they could. 

The town of Newbury was granted to the following persons as 
proprietors, the spelling of their names being that of the charter : 

Jacob Bayley, Esq. 
Ephraim Bayley 
Jeremiah Allen 
David Flanders 
Samuel Stevens 
Abner Sawyer 
William White 
John Goodwin 
Noah White 
Edmond Morse 
Moses Little 
Simeon Stevens 
Abner Bayley 
Jaasiel Harriman 
Ha3ms Johnson 
Joseph White 
Zacheus Peasley 
Thomas Danforth 
James King 
William Holden 
Ebene' Mudgett 
Joseph Chamberlain 
Rich^ Chamberlain 
Thomas Chamberlain • 
Sam*^ Johnson 
Sam^ Stevens, Esq. 
Benj** Emerson 
Nathn* Martan 
Joshua Hains 
Frye Bayley 
Martin Severance 
Theodore Atkinson 
Mark Hunk« Wentworth 
Mark Temple 
Elnathan Blood 
Col. Clement Marsh 
Coll John GofiFe 

John Hazzen 
Ephraim Noyse 
Enoch Thurstin 
John Beard 
Joshua Copp 
John Ingalls 
Joshua Bayley 
John Hasseltine 
Simeon Goodwin 
Joshua Hay ward 
Jesse Johnson 
Peter Page 
Jacob Kent 
Abner Newton 
John Hugh 
Samuel Hobart 
Ebenezer Eaton 
John White, Jun. 
Caleb Johnson 
Timothy Beadle 
Moses Hazzen 
Asa Foster 
Daniel Appleton 
Abiel Chamberlain 
Jonathan Broadstreet 
W" Haywood 
Jacob Eaton 
Peter Morse 
Archelaus Miles 
Edward Bayley 
Col Will*" Symes 
Hon. John Temple 
Benj Winn 
Samuel Cummius 
John Cumraius 
Elias Alexander 
Capt. Marquand 


Governor Benning Wentworth was counted as holding two 
rights, or shares. 

Of the above grantees of Newbury the following became actual 
settlers: Jacob, Ephraira, Frye, and Joshua Bay ley, Thomas, 
Richard, Joseph, and Abiel Chamberlain, William, Joseph, and 
Noah White, Caleb and Haynes Johnson, John Hazeltine, Simeon 
Stevens, Jacob Kent, Benjamin Emerson, Samuel Harriman, 
John Goodwin, and Moses Little. A few of these remained only a 
short time, but most of them made their homes here. 

Jacob and Ephraim Bayley, John Hazeltine, Jacob Kent, and 
Simeon Stevens, who settled in Newbury, were grantees also of 
Haverhill, while John Hazen, Joshua Howard, Timothy Beadle 
(Bedell), and Simeon Goodwin, who settled in Haverhill, were also 
proprietors of Newbury. 

The following were proprietors of Haverhill only, but settled 
in Newbury, although some of them did not remain here long: 
Aaron Hosmer, Nathaniel Merrill, Thomas Johnson, John Mills, 
Benoni Wright, Josiah Little, John Taplin, and Nehemiah Lovewell. 
The remaining grantees soon sold their rights to persons who 
became actual settlers. 

The first meeting of the proprietors of Newbury was held at the 
inn of John Hall in Plaistow, N. H., Monday, June 14, 1763. at 
which the town was duly organized, and which seems to have been 
attended by several of the grantees. Jesse Johnson was chosen 
clerk; Caleb Johnson, constable; Benjamin Emerson and Capt. 
John Hazen, selectmen. This organization was made before any of 
the grantees present had removed to Newbury, and was merely in 
accordance with the terms of the charter, as a formal act. At the 
same time and place was held the first proprietors' meeting, which 
was the first town-meeting of Haverhill, at which Jesse Johnson 
was chosen clerk; Stephen Knight, constable; Capt. John Hazen, 
Jacob Bayley, Esq., and Maj. Edmund Morse, selectmen. 

The town machinery, thus put together and set running at the 
inn of John Hall at Plaistow, on the 11th of June, 1763, and 
transported to Newbury in the next year, still continues, after the 
lapse of one hundred and thirty-seven years, by being wound up on 
the first Tuesday in March of each year, to do its regular work 
with very little change in its most important parts. There were 
then, as now, a moderator, clerk, selectmen, and an overseer of the 
poor. The constable still, as "when we were under the King," 
collects the taxes, and arrests evil doers. The highway surveyor 
of those and later times is represented by the road commissioner. 
But the real ofiicial labor of the town, is done by oflScers bearing 
the same titles at the close of the nineteenth century, as their 
predecessors bore at its beginning. 

During the first thirty years of our history there were two 


separate organizations, the Town of Newbury and the Proprietors 
of Newbury. All the male citizens of the town, who took 
"Freeman's Oath," could vote in town-meeting, and hold office, but 
only the grantees or those holding land immediately under them, 
could vote in the proprietors' meeting. 

For some years the proprietors or grantees under the crown, 
owned the whole town, and divided the land among themselves, 
held their own meetings, and raised taxes upon the real estate. 
The Proprietors' Book, one of the most valuable of those preserved 
in the town clerk's office, records the proceedings of the proprietors' 
meetings, and the original divisions of the land among the 
grantees. These proprietors' meetings were held only when warned 
by the clerk at the call of a certain number of members. But when 
the land w^as all divided and many of the grantees had died or 
moved away, the meetings seem to have been held only at long 
intervals, (the last one recorded was in 1791), and the proprietary 
seem to have passed out of existence without any special vote to 
dissolve on the part of its members. But in Haverhill the proprietors 
seem to have exercised authority in the town, held their meetings 
regularly, and controlled public affairs. The last meeting of the 
proprietors of Haverhill was held August 22, 1810, almost twenty 
years after the Newbury proprietary had ceased to exist. 

At the meeting held June 13, 1763, a committee consisting of 
Joseph Blanchard, Edmund Mooers, and Bdmund Morse, was 
chosen to audit the accounts of Bayley and Hazen, and assess the 
amount of their expenses in procuring a charter, surveying the 
town, making a road from Canterbury, and other necessary 
expenditures, upon the proprietors' shares, with two and a half 
dollars upon each right, to defray the expense of laying out the 
town into lots. They also voted that the committee should select 
responsible men to assess and collect this tax. At that time the 
only legal residents of Newbury were the proprietors, so that this 
meeting was, in fact, the first legal town-meeting of Newbury, 
although held more than one hundred miles from it. It was also 
voted at this meeting that Jacob Bayley, John Hazen, Jacob Kent, 
Ebenezer Mudgett, and Lieut. Harriman should be authorized to 
bound the town, and lay out one lot to each proprietor in the 
intervale or meadow, and a house lot on the higher land, these 
lots to be of size according to their estimated value. For his 
services rendered to the town, Jacob Bayley was authorized to 
select five intervale lots, where he should choose, * 'provided 
that his taking so many does not incommode the settlement of 
the town." 

Another meeting of the proprietors was called for September 
26th, which adjourned to October 1st, at the same inn of John Hall, 
at which Jacob Bayley was chosen Proprietors' clerk, Edmund 


Mooers, moderator, Capt. Jolm Hazen, Lieut. Benjamin Emerson, 
and Jesse Johnson, assessors, and Caleb Johnson, collector. They 
voted : 

1st. that ''the rights whose owners had failed to pay their 
equal share of the expenses," should be sold at public vendue. 

2d. That allowance should be made to those who have already 
settled at Newbury. 

3d. That each proprietor should choose his intervale lot and 
receive the same, when he should improve by tillage three acres 
on each lot, and that they should pitch, in the order of their making 
improvements, each paying his share of the assessed expenses. 

They also provided that if more than one person should pitch 
upon the same tract, they should draw lots and the loser should 
pitch elsewhere. 

4th. They voted to make half the road thfough Haverhill 
toward Portsmouth, with the proprietors of Haverhill, and chose 
Jacob Bayley, John Hazen, and Jacob Kent a commktee to prepare 
such a road. 

It will be understood that as early as 1763 there were no 
settlements between Canterbury and Haverhill, and whatever was 
to tie done, must be by the settlers at Coos. A road of some kind 
must be had, yet we shall find that they did not intend to build the 
whole road alone. 

5th. They voted to lay out a fifty-acre lot of equal value, to 
each right, as near it as possible. 

6th. They chose Capt. Moses Little, Lieut. Moulton, and 
Jacob Bayley a committee to lay out one hundred acres to each 
right, '*this fall, if there be time," and that these lots should 
be drawn. 

Finally, they voted "to pay a preacher, with the proprietors 
of Haverhill to preach at s^ town, two or three months this fall or 
winter." On the same day, and at the same place, the proprietors 
of Haverhill met, and made similar regulations, and voted **to join 
with Newbury one or two months this fall in paying for preaching." 

On the 1st day of March, 1764, another proprietors' meeting 
was held at the house of William Marshall, in Hampstead, which 
at once adjourned to the former place of assembly at Plaistow, 
where it was voted to sell at public vendue the mills which had 
been built at Haverhill by the proprietors of both towns. They 
voted, also, to give eighty acres of land to the man or men who 
should build a sawmill on Hall's brook, under certain conditions, 
the g^ant including the mill privilege. This meeting adjourned to 
William Marshall's house, in Hampstead, where it was voted 
that the proprietors assist Haverhill in laying out a road to meet 
the road from Portsmouth, and that Benjamin Whiting should be a 
committee to lay out the lands voted last fall. 

The mills which had been built in Haverhill were sold at 


auction April 2d, and were bid oflFby Jesse Johnson, John Hazen,and 
Jacob Bayley, for two hundred and ninety-seven dollars. When 
we speak of dollars in those early days, it must be understood that 
Spanish dollars are meant. Many of the older deeds on record in 
the town clerk's office mention the consideration to be a certain 
sum in ''Spanish milled dollars." 

The last meeting of the proprietors, held out of town, passed a 
vote about supplying the town with preaching, and adjourned to 
*'Col. Jacob Bayley's att Newbury, Coos, on the 15th of October 


The Early Years. 

Condition of Country.— Indian Trails.— Hall's Pond. Brook and Meadow. — 
Jacob Kent.— John Foreman.- The First White Child.— The First 
Marriage.— The First Death.— Key. Silas Moody.— Hardships of the 
Settlers.— New-Comers in 1763.— Rey. Peter Powers.— The Log Meeting- 
house.— The First Sawmill.— The Mill-Crank and Its History.— Saw- 
mill ON Harriman's Brook.— The First Grist Mill.— Settlement of 
Lancaster.— At Bath.— Cultiyation of Potatoes. 

WHILE the proprietors of the town were settling its concerns 
more than a hundred miles away from it, hardy and 
resolute men'and women were making themselves homes in 
Coos. It is probable that there were quite a number of families 
here before the end of 1763, whose names have not come down 
to us. Mr. Powers and Mr. Perry seem only to have mentioned 
those w^ho remained in Newbury. There w^ere others who staid 
here a few years and then went on into newer lands or back whence 
they came. In the early records recur names ot families which 
disappeared before the revolution. 

Little but tradition informs us as to the condition of the 
meadows before their settlement. It is certain that a large part 
of the Great Ox-bow, in Newbury, and the Little Ox-bow in Haver- 
hill, had long been cleared and cultivated by the Indians in their 
rude fashion. Of the other meadows little is known, but it is 
supposed that they were covered with woods among which lay a 
great mass of fallen timier amidst which tall weeds and tangled 
vines made, in many places, thickets which were almost impene- 
trable. But there were cleared places on most, if not all, and on 
Horse meadow was quite a large field. 

There were several Indian trails ; the location of most has long 
been lost, but of a few the general direction is known. The great 
trail, from the Merrimack to Lake Memphremagog, came up 


through Warren in a course, which, says William Little, in his 
history of that town, is followed very nearly by the railroad. 
Another came up the Connecticut, and at Wells River sent a branch 
up that stream. Indian Joe, the famous scout, used to point out a 
nnmber of paths through the woods, which were made by his dusky 
brethren. The first road, which was marked by spotted trees from 
Charlestown to Coos, followed one of these trails. In various 
places in this town, where the woods have never been cut down, 
are paths which may be clearly discerned for long distances, which 
were here when white men came to Coos and are believed to be 
sections of pre-historic trails. The settlers used these woodland 
paths in their journeys and they gradually became public roads. 

The settlers who came in 1762, made small clearings, both for 
the planting of com for food, and with the expectation of thus 
establishing a claim to the lands upon which they wished to settle. 
Early in 1763, people began to come into both towns in quite large 
numbers. James Woodward and John Page came into Haverhill, 
and settled on the farms where they passed the rest of their lives. 
Noah White came to Newbury, and settled upon Kent's Meadow, 
but afterwards removed to Bradford where he became prominent. 

In May came Daniel Hall and his sons in a boat from Northfield, 
Mass. They reached the mouth of a brook in Bradford after dark 
on a Saturday evening. On the morrow he refused to proceed on 
his journey, upon the Sabbath, and remained at the mouth of the 
stream till the next day. That brook— Hall's brook, Hall's pond 
and Hall's meadow perpetuate his name, says Rev. Clark Perry. 

In November came Col. Jacob Kent from Plaistow and settled 
on Kent's meadow, where he built the first framed house in town. 
Later, not being able to buy as much of that meadow as he desired, 
he removed to Sleeper's meadow, where his descendants long lived. 
In the same month, and perhaps in the same company with Kent, 
James Abbott of Concord, and Ebenezer White of Plaistow, with 
their hardy sons and daughters, moved into Newbury. About the 
same time came Frye Bay ley, then young and unmarried. Thomas 
Johnson moved over from Haverhill and located at the Ox-bow. 
These were men of superior character — ^the best possible material 
for a new settlement, and their influence extended over many years. 
Mr. Powers says that James Abbott's family was the twelfth in 
both towns. There were several young men who boarded in these 
families, clearing land, and doing other work. 

In that year, John Foreman and two others, who had been 
soldiers for several years in the British army, left it at Quebec, 
and made their way to Coos. Foreman settled in Newbury, 
married a daughter of Richard Chamberlin, and after the war 
removed to Bath. Of him and his descendants a more particular 
account will be given later. 

On the Ox-bow, April 4, 1763, was bom the first English child, 


Betsey, daughter of John Hazeltine. She married Capt. Nehemiah 
Lovewell, whom she outlived nearly half a century, and died 
November 19, 1850. A few weeks later the first white male child 
was bom to Thomas Chamberlain and his wife, and was called 
Jacob Bayley Chamberlain. He settled in Canada after the war, 
and died there. His mother, says Mr. Perry, received a grant of 
one hundred acres from the proprietors, as a bounty. In the spring 
of the same year the first white child was bom in Haverhill, but it 
died in a few days. 

In Haverhill also was the first death among the settlers, Polly 
Harriman, of consumption, aged eighteen. Some weeks later **the 
Widow Pettibone*' died in Newbury, the first death, and Abraham 
Webb was drowned. 

It is believed that Aaron Hosmer and Susanna Chamberlain 
were married in that year, the first marriage at CoSs. 

Bayley and Hazen visited Newbury at least once in 1763. and 
made preparations for removal hither and Mr. Silas Moody, a 
relative of the Littles, who had recently graduated at Harvard, 
was engaged by the proprietors to come and preach, which he did, 
and remained several weeks, preaching in both towns. 

It would seem that the year 1763, saw considerable progress in 
the settlement. A sawmill was in operation in Haverhill, and the 
rude huts of the previous year gave place to log houses with some 
semblance of domestic convenience. The forests began to fall 
before the axe, and the smoke rolled up from many a clearing in the 
autumn sunshine. According to Col. Little, a road was made 
passable for ox teams for two or three miles south from the 
Ox-bow. Carpenters and blacksmiths had come to Coos, and, 
although their tools were few and their conveniences rude, necessity 
stimulated the invention of many useful contrivances. 

The season had been a fruitful one, and there seems to have been 
a good crop of potatoes, corn and wheat, with hay for the cattle. 
The latter were all young, and it was desirable to preserve them for 
their increase and labor, so it is not probable that much beef was 
killed in that year. We do not learn how early sheep and swine 
were brought to Coos. But the woods abounded in game, the 
rivers and brooks swarmed with fish. Those who had been here 
long enough to clear land and raise crops, had a plenty, although 
not a great variety of food. Still their way of living must have 
been very primitive, when sixty miles of wilderness separated the 
settlers from their nearest neighbors. But the hardy men and 
women thought little of these things ; every nerve was strained to 
better their condition. Many of the necessities of life were hard to 
be had. Dr. Samuel White said in his old age that he had seen ten 
bushels of wheat exchanged for one of salt. Tea and coffee were 
rarely tasted at Coos in those early years. The herbs of the field 
were medicine for the sick. Their farming tools were rude and 




heavy, and much strength was wasted in handling the implements 
of their toil. A carpenter's tool of any kind was a treasure not to 
be valued in money. One man was the fortunate owner of a saw^, 
another of an auger, while a third had a broad-axe, and the mutual 
exchange of these articles made kindly feelings, while their loss or 
injury was hardly to be forgiven. 

Books were few, and schools were not yet, but there were men 
and women of intelligence who gave a tone to the settlement. The 
Bible was in every house, and was the one book which every one 
knew. All were poor except in land, with willing hearts and strong 
arms to win a sustenance from the soil. 

The year 1764 was a year of increase to both towns. Dea. 
Jonathan Elkins, Col. Timothy Bedell and Hon. Ezekiel Ladd 
moved their families into Haverhill. In October General Bay ley 
came with his family, although it would appear that his son 
Ephraim preceded him by several months. His house was already 
built, which stood where Mr. Richard Doe's brick house now stands 
at the Ox-bow. Water is still drawn from a well which was dug 
in that year, a few feet from the north-west corner of the house. 
**He had been," says Mr. Powers, **the principal mover in every 
proceeding, and now he had come to bless himself, and to save much 
people alive, in the approaching struggle between Great Britain and 
her colonies." In the same year, probably. Col. John Taplin came, 
and his son John. He seems to have lived about where the Spring 
Hotel once stood, and the library stands now. The proprietors 
who had not been able to persuade Mr. Moody to return and settle 
at Coos, addressed themselves to Rev. Peter Powers, who had 
returned to Hollis, after being settled a few years at Newent, now 
Lisbon, Conn., who was well known to most of them. He came in 
June to look the ground over, preached acceptably in both towns, 
and a mutual liking between him and the people led to his accep- 
tance of the call made by the proprietors of the towns. The 
Congregational church was organized at Hollis in September of 
that year, and a log meeting-house was built, says Grant Powers, 
south of General Bayley's house, between it and the foot of the hill. 
After the erection of a better house of worship, it was used as a 
schoolhouse for some years. 

In the same year, the frame of a sawmill on the lower falls of 
Hall's brook was raised. Everything about it except the saw, and 
the crank which propelled it up and down in the frame, could be 
made here, but the latter could only be procured at some larger 
place. One was engaged at Concord and in the winter time several 
men, who had prepared a sled which they thought would answer 
for its transportation, went down after it. They returned on 
snowshoes, drawing the sled, which had very wide runners, after 
them. The snow was deep, the weather extremely cold, and their 
progress was slow. When they were crossing Newfound lake, 



being very tired they made a halt, and sat down upon the sled to 
rest, but one of the party, John Page, arose and went some distance 
after water. When he returned he found his comrades fallen into a 
sleep, which would soon have been death, had he not, after great 
eflFort, aroused them to a sense of their danger. **But the same 
party," says Grant Powers, **came near perishing when they had 
arrived in sight of Haverhill, and had it not been for James Woodward 
to perform for Page, what Page had done for them upon the pond, 
they would have given up the ghost." This crank, which so nearly 
cost the lives of six men, was placed in the first sawmill built in this 
town, which stood where Mr. Knight's upper dam is now, at South 
Newbury, in which it did service some twenty years. Somewhere 
about 1790, David and Samuel Tucker and Jonathan Johnson built 
a mill at the outlet of Hall's pond, to which they transferred this 
crank where it outlasted several successive mills, until about 1871, 
this mill, the last survivor of the old *'up-and-down*' sawmills 
in this region, went to decay. The old crank is now carefully 
preserved by Mr. S. S. Tucker, and is good for another century or 
two. It weighs one hundred and seventy-five pounds. A few weeks 
after this old crank began its work on Hall's brook, a sawmill was 
completed at the falls west of Newbury village, where several 
successors have been built. In the fall of 1765, a grist mill went 
into operation, which stood at the foot of the hill below the saw- 
mill, but above the bridge. This was the first grist mill in Orange 

Haverhill and Newbury were not long allowed to remain the 
last setlements on the river. In 1763, David Page, who had been 
dissatisfied with the division of land in Haverhill, resolved to begin 
a settlement at Upper Coos. Lancaster was incorporated July 5, 

1763, and in the following autumn, David Page, Jr., and Emmons 
Stockwell went there, built a camp, and wintered some cattle. In 

1764, David Page and others moved into that town, separated 
from Newbury by forty miles of wilderness. Other towns in that 
region were soon occupied. 

In 1765, Jaasiel Harriman, whom we have seen coming to 
Newbury in 1762, began to clear land near the great rock, south 
of Bath village, and on that rock his daughter raised the first 
vegetables in town. 

Some of the early settlers, probably all who had families and 
household goods, came upon the ice, which furnished a level road 
from Charlestown, or in the open season, in boats. For the safety 
and comfort of those who traveled directly by way of Plymouth, 
rude shelters of logs, with chimneys of stone, were erected at 
intervals of ten or fifteen miles. 

Rev. Grant Powers has preserved many anecdotes of the early 
settlers, and their hardships, which without his painstaking would 
have, long ago, been forgotten. It is not the intention of this 


Tolume to supplant the work which he did. His sketches should be 
in every house in Newbury. But he never intended his book to be 
considered a complete history of the Coos country. All he desired 
was to secure from oblivion some oi the tales which still continued 
to be told when he preached in Haverhill seventy-five years ago. 
The Cods country owes a debt to Mr. Powers for his care, and we 
will not detract from the interest of his volume by telling his tales 
over again. He did not attempt to recount the real history of the 
times, and there is enough that he did not say to more than fill 
one volume. 

It has before been stated that potatoes were raised in Newbury 

in 1762. It would seem by this that the use of the potato had, 

within a few years of the settlement of Newbury, become general. 

Potatoes were introduced into New England by some emigrants 

from the north of Ireland in 1719, and were first raised in the 

garden of Nathaniel Walker of Andover, Mass. The first mention 

of them in Newbury, Mass., was in 1732. In 1737, Rev. Thomas 

Smith of Portland, Me., says in his diary that there was not a peck 

of potatoes in the whole Eastern country. "So late as 1750," says 

Coffin's history of Newbury, Mass., "should any person have raised 

80 large a quantity as five bushels, great would have been the 

inquiry among his neighbors, in what manner he cotdd dispose of 

such abundance." They were first raised in beds, like onions. Yet 

little more than ten years later their use had come to be general. 


The Land Divided. 

Whiting's Survey.— The Meadow Lots.— The House Lots.— The Fifty-Acre 
Lots.— Coleman's Survey.— Whiting's Gore, or the **Half-Mile Strip." — 
Signatures to Whiting Deed.— Speculation.— Survey of the "Hundred- 
Acre Lots."— The P Lots.— The Gore.— Whitelaw's Survey of the 
Undivided Lands.- Topsham Lands.— Drawing of Lots.— Pagan's Tract.— 
Witherspoon's Lands.— Clinton's Tract.— Colden's Survey.— A Petition. 

IN the fall of 1763, Benjamin Whiting, a noted surveyor of his 
time, laid out the meadow lots, house-lots, and fifty-acre lots, 

and made a plan of them, which was accepted June 14, 1764. 
The several meadows were divided into sections containing from 
eighteen to thirty acres each, according to their supposed value. 
With each meadow lot was **coupled*' a **house-lot*' which lay 
upon the upland along the river road, and which had from one to 
five acres, and a**fifty-acre lot" lying back or west of the main road. 
When a proprietor had made certain designated improvements 
upon his'*pitch,"and had paid his share of the proprietors' expenses, 
he received a title deed from Gen. Bayley, on behalf of the grantees, 
of his meadow lot, with the house-lot and fifty-acre lot which 
belonged to it. The meadows were divided into as many lots as 
there were grantees. The rest of the town lay unsurveyed, except 
that the boundary lines were ran out, until 1768. By that time 
all the land on the meadows had been taken up, and there began to 
be a demand for land in the back part of the town, for settlement. 

The proprietors employed Dudley Coleman of Newbury, Mass., 
a graduate of Harvard College in 1765, who afterwards became 
a noted officer in the revolutionary war, to come here and lay out 
what are called the **hundred-acre lots." But before he began this 
division, the proprietors, on the 27th of April, 1768, conveyed by 
deed to Benjamin Whiting, for two hundred pounds, all that part 
of Newbury which lies west of a line drawn from a point five and 

V •-•» 

Showing the vh< 


three-quarters miles from the southeast comer of the town along 
the Bradford line, to another point, the same distance from the 
northeast comer of the town, along the Ryegate line. This tract, 
which lies between the Topsham line and the west line of the 
"hundred-acre lots," is seven miles, one hundred and four rods long, 
and one-half mile wide, and is called to this day the **half-mile 
strip, "or "Whiting's gore." It contains above two thousand acres, 
and may have been deeded to Whiting to pay him for his work in 
surveying the east part of the town. At the north end of this 
strip, and in the extreme northwest comer of the town, is the 
"glebe" which long paid rent to the Episcopal church. 

This deed is signed by the proprietors of Newbury, in 1768, 
whose names were as follows, in the order of their signing. Whiting 
the grantee being expressly mentioned as one of them : 

acob Bayley John Taplin 

acob Kent Joseph Chamberlin 

Moses Thurston Enoch Thurston 

Samuel Hale Thomas Johnson 

John Hugh Peter Powers 

Thomas Chamberlain Abial Chamberlin 

Jacob Hall Richard Chamberlin 

Gideon Smith Robert Johnston 

Abner Fowler Levi Silvester 

Joseph White Simeon Stevens 

Noah White Benjamin Emerson 

Robert Hunkins Jacob Fowler 

John Haseltine Reuben Foster 

Jonathan Butterfield Leonard Whiting 

John Hazen Uriah Chamberlin 

When we compare this list of the proprietors of 1768, with that 
of the grantees upon the charter of 1763, it will be seen that great 
changes had already taken place in the ownership of the town. 
Of the seventy-five names which are on the charter, only thirteen 
are attached to this deed, while seventeen new names are added. 
As several others of the grantees became actual settlers, it may be 
that they had not, in 1768, complied with all the conditions of the 
charter and received title deeds to their land. Of those seventy-five, 
about forty never settled here or obtained a full title to their land, 
but sold their claims. In those days men speculated in Vermont 
lands, just as rich men now invest in Western land, or in stocks and 
bonds. Men who had influence could get their names inserted in 
the charters of new towns, and would sell the rights thus obtained 
as soon as the land came into demand, while others dealt in rights 
and shares of wild land. By various means some men became 
owners of whole townships, either by buying out the actual 
grantees, or by means of inserting a great number of fictitious 


names in the charters. In most of the Vermont towns not one of 
the grantees became an actual settler. It was very fortunate for 
Newbury and Haverhill that so many of their grantees were men 
already well known to each other, and that the plans for local 
government were so fully matured before much settlement had 
begun. The advantage gained by mutual acquaintance was still 
farther secured by the fact that all, or nearly all, who came into 
either town from the lower portion of the Merrimack valley, were 
bound, in one way and another, by ties of common ancestry. All 
these aided to form a close union of common interests between 
Newbury and Haverhill, and helped to give the towns the strong 
and united position which they held before, and especially during, 
the revolutionary war. 

Coleman and his men began their survey in September, at the 
southeast comer of the "half-mile strip," and ran eight parallel 
lines from Bradford to Ryegate. The last of these lines is often 
spoken of as the "east line of the hundred-acre lots." They then 
began at the Bradford line and laid out seventy-two lots, by 
running cross lines, and then began at the Ryegate line and laid 
out seventy-eight lots — all these between the half-mile strip, and 
the "east line," above mentioned. These one hundred and sixty 
lots are called the hundred-acre lots, and are numbered from one, 
up. They vary much in size. Mr. Patterson used to tell of a 
hundred-acre lot from which one hundred and fourteen acres were 
sold, and there were one hundred and twelve acres left. The survey 
was made in a pathless wilderness, with all the obstacles of hills, 
precipices, swamps, and fallen timber, and was far from accurate, 
yet has answered the purpose of sub-division for one hundred and 
thirty years. 

Between these divisions, there remained a tract which they 
divided into lots which vary in size, and are known as P lots — "P 1 
in the fourth range," and so on. There are fifteen of these lots. 
There still remained a strip of land called "The Gore," which is of 
unequal width, and extends from the east side of the half-mile strip 
to the east side of the hundred-acre lots, through the centre of the 
town. The town house stands on the north edge of the gore, which 
is sometimes half a mile wide. The "east line of the hundred-acre 
lots," crosses the road between Newbury and West Newbury, a short 
distance west of Joseph Johnston's house, and crosses the brook 
road, in front of the Chalmers sawmill. Between this and the fifty- 
acre lots lay an irregular and rocky tract which was unsurveyed 
for twenty years, when Gen. James Whitelaw w^as employed to 
complete the survey, and the land was divided among such of the 
grantees as still remained, giving them about thirty-four acres each^ 
After 1800, Benjamin Baldwin of Bradford laid the half-mile strip 
out into lots. 

It will be seen that the owner of each of the eighty shares was 


entitled to a meadow lot, with its appendage of house lot and 
upland, and two of the hundred-acre lots, besides an equal share of 
what still lay undivided, no inconsiderable quantity of real estate. 
Before Coleman finished his survey, he laid out into seventy- 
eight lots a strip one mile wide, on the east side of what is now 
Topsham, but then claimed by Newbury. This was the land which 
Newbury had to give up to Topsham in 1803. It would seem that 
Gen. Bayley paid Coleman for his labor, and had to wait a long 
time for his own pay, as witness the following among the Johnson 

"Newbury, April 14, 1790. 

The Proprietors of Newbury to Jacob Bayley, Esq., Dr., 
for mouey paid Capt. Dudley Coleman for laying out 
the hundred-acre lots, £13.7.9 

To 20 days work in assisting in laying out s^ lots at 

4 shillings per day, 4.0.0 

Interest on account, 20.9.4 


Received of the Proprietors by an order on Col. Frye Bayley, 
Collector of the Proprietors' tax, £37.16.1, which is in full of all 
betwixt me and the Proprietors of Newbury for all services done by 
me, and for notes, debts, dues, and demands preceding this date, and 
also for Mr. Moody's preaching in this town. 

Jacob Bayley." 

It would appear by the Proprietors' book that the first division 
of hundred-acre lots was made soon after Mr. Coleman completed 
his survey of the town. The proprietors drew the lots by numbers, 
one lot to each share. Some owned several shares, and drew as 
many lots. Few of the proprietors held more than one share. At 
the first drawing of lots, seventy-five were taken. The Proprietors' 
Book does not give the date of either the first or second drawing of 
lots, bat it is evident that several years elapsed between them, 
as changes in the number of shares are given, new names are 
mentioned, and some of the former ones are not on the second list. 
At the second drawing seventy-eight lots were taken, making one 
hundred and fifty-three in all. There remained a considerable 
portion of the hundred-acre lots, which was not yet assigned. 

The map of the one hundred-acre lots, made about 1774, gives 
1200 acres as owned by John Pagan and John Witherspoon, which 
lay in a body east of the half-mile strip, and about midway between 
Bradford and Ryegate. East of this lay a tract of 600 acres owned 
by George Clinton. John Pagan was a merchant at Glasgow, who 
afterward held some public office in London ; John Witherspoon was 
president of Princeton college, and of him we shall have more to 
say. George Clinton was governor of New York for some years. 

In 1783, Dr. Witherspoon commissioned James Whitelaw and 
Alexander Harvey to sell and convey his lands in Newbury and 
elsewhere in Vermont. Deeds, on behalf of the proprietors, were 
granted by Jacob Bayley as early as the fall of 1763, but none were 


recorded for several years. The only oflBces in New Hampshire at 
that time, for the registry of deeds, were at Exeter and Portsmouth. 
As the control of that province over Newbury ended in 1764, it is 
not probable that any were sent away to be recorded.* Neither is it 
likely that many were sent away for record while this town was 
under the jurisdiction of New York, or that the authorities of that 
province established any offices for the recording of conveyances in 
what is now Vermont. The third session of the General Assembly 
of Vermont, sitting at Bennington, in February, 1779, passed a law 
that all deeds or conveyances of houses or lands should be recorded 
by the clerk of the town in which the land lay, or that of the 
nearest organized town, if there was no organization. It would 
seem that the town authorities procured a blank book, which bears 
the name of the First Volume of Land Records, in which the first 
recorded deed was given August 26, 1779, and received for record 
by Jacob Kent, town clerk, August 23, 1781. This volume, and the 
second of the series, also contains the record of deeds of land in 
Ryegate, Peacham and Topsham. 

Vermont is the onlv state in the Union in which the record of 
deeds is kept by the clerk of each town, instead of an officer who 
keeps the records for the whole county, at the county seat. 

In 1764, Newbury passed under the government of New York, 
and in 1765, Alexander Colden, Surveyor General, made a new 
survey of the boundaries of the town, at the request of Benjamin 
Whiting and the proprietors, and fixed the southwest comer at the 
present northwest corner of Bradford. This did not please the 
people of Newbury, and a petition for himself and twenty-five 
others of Newbury, was presented to Governor Clinton in December, 
1766, by Whiting, which stated that the west line of the town, as 
laid down by Colden, did not include all the lands which had been 
granted by Governor Wentworth, and that the west line of the 
town, lacked ninety-six chains and fifty links to bring it up to the 
town of Topsham. It was ordered in council that the Surveyor 
General should make the return of Newbury * 'according to the 
ancient bound," as prayed for by the petitioners. 

• Note. Since this was written, it has been discovered that several deeds of 
land in Newbury, made in colonial days, are on record at Bxeter. 



Early Days in Newbury. 

The First Town-Mebtikg. — Tything-Men. — Hog-Rebyes. — Hog-Constable. — 
Anecdotes. — Dber-Rbete. — Field Driver.— Pounds. — Stocks. — Whipping 
Post. — Murder op am Indian. — St. Francis Indians. — The First Store in 
Co55. — The First School. — Carpenters.— Blacksmiths. — Coopers. — 
Brickyard. — Tanneries. 

THE first local town-meeting was held at Gen. Bayley's house, 
on June 12, 1764. Jacob Kent was chosen town clerk, an 
office which he was to hold till the end of the century ; Jacob 
Bayley, Jacob Kent, and James Abbott, were selectmen; John 
Hazeltine was chosen constable; Maxi Hazeltine and Thomas 
Johnson were surveyors of highways; Richard Chamberlin and 
Simeon Stevens were tything-men ; John Hugh was hog reeve, and 
Levi Sylvester was appointed field-driver. These latter. titles with 
that of deer reeve, who was chosen the next year, sound strangely 
to oar ears. 

Tything-men were a sort of local police, the name being of 
Anglo-Saxon origin, which once meant the chief man of a ty thing or 
parish. In New England it was their duty to inspect taverns, keep 
an eye upon strangers and suspicious persons, and they could arrest, 
without a warrant, offenders against the laws. It was their duty 
to detain travelers upon the highway on the Sabbath, keep order in 
public assemblies, particularly in the meeting-house on the Lord's 
Day. When on duty the tything-man carried a wand or staff five 
feet long. In Massachusetts the tything-men were appointed by 
the selectmen, but here they were always chosen in town-meeting. 
There was but one for a number of years, but as the town grew, 
two or more were chosen from different parts of the town. A 
ntmiber of duties which are now performed by other officers were 
then attended to by the tything-men ; thus the office was considered 
very important, and only the most staid and substantial citizens 


were elected to it. The last tything-men were elected in 1850, but 
had not been chosen before for several years. There are those living 
who can remember the tything-men in the old meeting-house 
walking about during sermon, and keeping a vigilant eye on the 
small boys. 

Hog-reeves were charged with the oversight of swine that ran 
at large, to see that they were yoked and ringed. They were to 
enforce the law against the owners of unruly hogs. In the course 
of time their duties extended to the care of the town pound, and 
the taking up and detention of stray and quarrelsome cattle. They 
were often called hog-wards, and their office still nominally survives 
under the title of pound-keeper. Sometimes this official was called 
**hog-constable," and a few amusing stories are told concerning the 
election of various individuals to the position. 

Many years ago the legal voters of Peacham laid themselves 
open to a keen thrust of the wit of their minister. Rev. Leonard 
Worcester, by nominating him for hog-constable. He arose and 
thanked his fellow townsmen for the honor they proposed to do 
him, and said that if elected he would certainly accept, and for the 
same reason that he accepted the call to become their minister. 
**For," said he, **I came among you as a shepherd to his flock, but 
if you have so far degenerated as to become a herd of swine, it is 
fitting that I should be hog-constable ! " He was not elected. 

We have not so good a story to tell upon that topic, but there 
is one which will do to relate. In 1824, Dr. Calvin Jewett was 
moderator of town-meeting in Newbury, and when in the course of 
the proceedings it was necessary to choose a hog-constable, several 
persons declined the nomination. Whereupon the doctor lectured 
the voters upon their delinquency, by telling them that the office 
was an important one, prescribed by law, and that some one ought 
to be willing to fill it, to which appeal the meeting responded by 
electing him. He probably thought it rather more of a joke than 
anything else, but it could hardly have seemed one when about 
midnight he was awakened by several of his neighbors, who 
informed him that the office being important and prescribed by 
law, it was equally important that there should be no vacancy, 
and a justice of the peace who was present swore him in ! 

While the country was yet new, the woods abounded in deer. 
Both the skin and flesh of these animals were valuable to the 
settlers, and in 1741, a law was passed in New Hampshire making 
it a crime to kill a deer between January 1st and August 1st. 
It was the duty of the town to choose, annually, one or more 
deer-reeves, or deer keepers, who were to see that the law was 
observed, and to prosecute its violators. But before the century 
ended, the deer had passed away, and the office with them. 

For many years after the settlement of Newbury most of the 
unimproved land was unfenced, and the rights of the owners lay 


in common. It was the daty of the field driver to impound all 
animals running at large upon the public roads, or upon the 
common lands, without the consent of the land owners. For such 
^eivkres he leGeiyed one shilling each, for cattle and horses, and 
three-pence each for sheep and swine, to be paid by their owners 
before being taken firom the custody of the officer. 

The first pound was made in 1766, and was a little north of 
the residence of William H. Atkinson. As the town grew, and 
domestic animals increased. Wells River was made into a ''pound 
district," and one was built at West Newbury. These have long 
since disappeared. The only remaining pound stands upon the 
town farm, and is about fifty feet square. It was surrounded by 
a strong wall six feet high, now fallen down, and a heavy beam 
lay along the wall, on the four sides. A strong door, secured with 
a padlock, admitted the offending quadrupeds to an enclosure which 
has not been used for its intended purpose for thirty years. 

The same town-meeting which voted to build a pound for the 
detention of unruly animals having four feet, voted also to erect a 
pair of stocks for the correction of such offenders as had but two. 
This terror to evil-doers was built by Joseph Chamberlin, and stood 
near his house on the "little plain.*' The stocks consisted of a 
platform about five feet firom the ground, upon which was a bench 
on which the culprits sat, with their ankles inserted in holes of a 
convenient size, which were made in a fi-ame in front of them. This 
was constructed of two beams, one above the other, which were 
hinged at one end, and holes, half in the upper and half in the 
lower timber, were made, of sizes to suit large and small people. 
The upper beam being lifted, the offender's feet were placed in the 
holes on the upper side of the lower one, and the corresponding 
upper half being brought down, it was secured by a padlock. The 
legs of the culprit were stretched out level, the bench had no back, 
and in that most uncomfortable position the unlucky malefactor 
had to sit fi*om one to ten hours, according to the duration of the 
sentence, in full view^ of all who passed. For public information the 
culprit's name and offence were set forth upon a board placed above 
his head. Upon the frame work of the stocks was a sign board to 
which all public notices were affixed. The law of 1779 prescribed a 
penalty of twenty shillings a month upon any town which failed to 
provide stocks, and keep them in repair. The machinery of justice 
was expected to be always ready for work. 

The Newbury stocks disappeared before 1810, but the whipping- 
post is well remembered by the oldest people, and stood, as late as 
1836, a little north of Mr. Pamham's garden, a few feet back from 
the street. Small thefts, idleness, profanity, and a host of other 
offenses were punished by fines, by sitting in the stocks, and in 
aggravated cases, by whipping. Jails were few, and insecure ; there 
was no state prison, and people could not afford to support 


criminals at public expense. So the offender was made a public 
spectacle in the stocks, or the rod of correction was faithfully 
applied at the whipping-post. There is evidence that both means 
of punishment were often used in Newbury in those early days. 

Mr. Perry tells us that in 1764, or 1765, a man named Neal was 
supposed to have murdered an Indian at the Upper meadow. Both 
had been drinking and were heard quarrelling. They set out on the 
river in a boat, but Neal reached the Haverhill side alone. The 
body of the Indian, in a mangled state, was washed ashore on 
Howard's island. Neal was tried for the murder, and imprisoned 
at Portsmouth, but did not suffer death. Mr. Perry has also 
handed down the legend that an English officer was once murdered 
upon a rock by the river just above the outlet of Harriman's brook. 

For some vears after the settlement, detachments of the St. 
Francis tribe of Indians annually visited the place, and spent some 
time in hunting and fishing. A very few domesticated themselves 
among the settlers. Occasionally one of them would lay claim to a 
farm or a piece of land, which he would give up before witnesses, for 
some small article. Tradition asserts that the Indian title to 
several farms was extinguished in this way. The settlers never 
seem to have had anv fear of them, but Rev. Mr. Powers in a letter 
written about 1767, describes them as a miserable crew, to whom 
there seemed little hope of doing any good. They, however, soon 
became extinct, but there is still a strain of Indian blood in more 
than one family in Newbury. 

Mr. Perry tells us that the first store in Coos was opened at 
the Little Ox-bow in Haverhill, as early as 1765, perhaps before. 
From a letter in the handwriting of Col. Thomas Johnson it would 
seem that a school of some kind was kept in Newbury in that year. 

Newbury and Haverhill had now come to be considered 
established settlements, with a society which attracted a valuable 
class of residents. Dr. Smith and Dr. Samuel Hale had established 
themselves in the practice of medicine. The talents and piety of 
Mr. Powers induced people to settle under his ministry. 

All the traditions of those early days tell us that the first 
settlers of Newbury and Haverhill had to go down the river to 
Charlestown to mill for some years. If that was the case, it would 
seem that the gristmill which had been built on Poole brook in 
Haverhill by the proprietors in 1762, either did not go into 
operation, or proved ineffective. It may be that it only ground 
grain coarsely, and there was no mill which could make bolted 
flour any nearer than Charlestown. 

It is hard to distinguish the precise facts in the meagre and 
faded records of those early days. Our ancestors were not given to 
the easy use of the pen, and seem never to have thought or imagined 
that a time would come when the smallest details of their life at 
Coos, would interest their successors. So they passed away, and 


only a very few of them left any written memorials. It is from the 
scanty remains of these that we gather a few particulars of their 

The first mechanics which come into a new settlement, are those 
whose trades supply the most immediate necessities of the settlers. 
People must have clothes, and shoes ; next there must be carpenters 
and coopers, who can work in wood, and blacksmiths, who can 
work in iron. 

The first houses being mere huts, which furnished a rude shelter 
from cold and storm, were soon replaced by more substantial 
habitations, made of logs. There was not much exercise in them 
for the skill of the carpenter. Log houses are warm, when well 
built, and when well cared for, will last many years. The last log 
house built by an actual settler, on newly cleared land, in this town, 
was abandoned about 1873, and was occupied for many years. 
The present generation of young people know log houses only by 
pictures. The first roofs were covered with bark, which soon gave 
place to shingles, split and shaved. As soon as there was a 
saw-mill to furnish boards, many conveniences of domestic comfort 
could be easily made. Before that, people learned to split boards 
from wide and perfectly straight blocks. The ancient desk in the 
town clerk's office, made by Col. Jacob Kent, is said to be of boards 
split and hewed with an axe. Shingles, until within about fifty 
years, were split and shaved. Being of selected timber, straight and 
clear of sap, they lasted about three times as long as the best of the 
sawed shingles do now. The shingles on the north side of the roof 
of the Johnson house at the Ox-bow, remained nearly a century 
before they were replaced. When framed dwellings are built, men 
who make the building of houses their trade, settle in a new 
community. There were good carpenters among the early settlers, 
and the pains-taking workmanship of some of the oldest houses, 
testifies to their skill. 

Jaasiel Harriman, sometimes called Joseph Harriman, from 
whom Harriman's pond and brook are named, is said to have been 
the first blacksmith who came to Newbury. Tradition says that 
his first anvil was a particularly hard stone, laid on a stump. 
Harriman soon removed from town, but Joseph Chamberlin was a 
blacksmith, and carried on the trade for many years. 

Nails were made by hand then, and for about forty years 
afterwards, as machines for making cut nails did not come into 
use till after 1800. In all the houses in this town built before 1805, 
the nails originally used were made by hand. Before machines were 
made for the manufacture of cut nails it was quite common, 
although, perhaps never in Newbury, for farmers to have a small 
forge built in a comer of their great kitchens, at which they made 
nails in stormy weather, or in the long winter evenings. The state 
records of New Hampshire show that bounties were paid men who 


could produce satisfactory evidence that they had made 100,000 
nails within a specified time. Iron was first brought by boats up 
the river, fi-om towns in Massachusetts, where it had been for 
many years mined and worked . Some years after the revolutionary 
war, iron of an excellent quality began to be made at Pranconia. 

Maxi Hazeltine, who lived at difierent times in Newbury, 
Haverhill and Bath, was a very skillful blacksmith, and some fine 
specimens of his workmanship, in the shape of locks and hinges, still 
exist. He made the lightning rod for the "old meeting-house" in 
1788. When nails were thus made they were sold by number and 
not by weight, and hence came our modem designation of nails as 
four-penny, ten-penny, etc. There are many old bills extant in this 
town, which mention a certain number of nails. 

On account of the scarcity of iron, and before machines were 
invented to work it readily, many utensils, now made of metal, 
were then made of wood. Consequently coopers were in demand, 
but now the trade has almost fallen into disuse. Wood for staves 
and hoops was plentifiil, and there was a great demand for all the 
products of the cooper's art. It is related that John Mann, a cooper 
of Orford, made pails and tubs, which he drew to Newbury on a 
hand sled and exchanged for com, about 1765. 

We do not know how early brick were made in Coos, but 
certainly before 1770. Before that time chimneys were constructed 
of rough stone, laid up in clay. The first brick-yard is said to have 
been at the Ox-bow, where Mr. Doe's bam now stands, on the west 
side of the road. 

We do not know when the first tannery was built at Coos. 
There was one in either Newbury or Haverhill as early as 1768, and 
one Baton was a tanner in one town or the other, in 1777. Later 
tanneries are mentioned elsewhere. 


Early Events. 

Thb First Roads. — Petition for a Road to Portsmouth.— Hardships of the 
Sbttlbrs. — Training Field. — Military Company.— Dartmouth College 
IN Haybrhill.— Origin of the College. — Site Selected.— Newbury Lands 
Promised to the College.— Location at Hanoyer.— Counties. 

THB settlements at Coos had attracted attention all through 
the older part of New England. It was considered a great 
enterprise in those days, for Baylev, Hazen and their 
associates to have pushed sixty miles into the wilderness. Their 
example was followed by a great immigration. The roads opened 
up the Merrimack and the Connecticut, caused the towns in the 
upper part of both valleys to become settled several years before 
they would otherwise have been. With Newbury and Haverhill as 
their base of supplies, settlements began in the upper country. 
Not only were Newbury and Haverhill becoming settled, but they 
already had something to send to market, and having something 
to sell, the inhabitants, naturally, wanted a road to get to market 
upon. Then and for many years later, the only direct road to 
Concord and Portsmouth, was by a way which could only be 
traversed by pack-horses. It came up over the heights from Warren 
by Tarleton pond, and entered Haverhill Comer by what is now 
called the "old turnpike" into Court street. Those who travel over 
that hilly road at the present day, may well wonder what its 
condition could have been when it could only be traversed on 
horse-back. It was not passable for an ox-cart for several years. 
But in winter, when the snow lay deep, and streams and swamps 
were frozen over, it was not so hard getting along. Even as late 
as 1772, there were tracts of woods fifteen miles long on the road 
from Concord to Haverhill, without a house or a clearing. We 
may well understand why the settlers petitioned for aid in the 
building of a road. Within a month after the granting of the 


charter, Bayley and Hazen petitioned the General Court on behalf 
of the proprietors of both towns, for aid in building a road from 
Dover **through Harrington, Barnstead, Gilmantown, to cross 
Winnepesocket Pond at the Wares, through Salem Holdemess, 
the Four Mile Township, and Romney to Haverhill.*' 

On Christmas Day, 1764, Bayley again wrote, urging the 
importance of a road as an aid to the settlement of the upper 
part of the state, and said that since the previous spring, goods 
to the amount of a thousand pounds, lawful money, had been 
brought into Newbury, paid for chiefly in furs. The settlers 
expected within a few years to have grain, live stock, wool, sugar, 
butter, cheese, pelts and hides, pot and pearl ashes, to sell, and 
would want roads to get them to market. Portsmouth was an 
important market for some years, as it lay in a long-settled 
community, and possessed much wealth and foreign commerce. 
When Lake Winnipiseogee was frozen over, its straight and level 
sheet of ice was a welcome change to the men and teams which 
had traversed the hill roads for several days. It is probable that 
in the second or third w^inter after the settlement people began to 
go to market with their own teams. 

The history of HoUis, N. H., tells us that during the first years, 
many of the settlers at Coos returned to their old homes to spend 
the winter, but this would not have continued after society had 
become in some measure established. When there were schools, 
and the ministrations of the gospel, so highly valued by our 
forefathers, were had, people became more contented in their new 
homes. There were people w^ho in their old age told a younger 
generation, that all which kept them in Coos was the terror of 
the passage back to the places whence they came. Many a man 
and woman came all the way from Concord alone, the woman 
riding a horse and the husband walking by her side, carrying a 
few indispensable articles, camping out under the trees at night. 
Many cattle were lost upon the road by falUng from precipices, 
or by sinking in the swamps. 

The first houses were mere shelters from the wind and storm, 
without windows, lighted only by an opening in the wall which 
must be closed to keep out the cold. Sometimes oiled paper was 
used as a substitute for glass, which permitted a dim light to struggle 
through. This state of things did not last more than two or three 
winters, in this vicinity, but was repeated in newer towns for 
some years, as they became settled. People hardly seem to have 
minded much about their privations, but took them as necessary 
preliminaries to the subjugation of the wilderness. But in their 
old age, those of the pioneers who survived to tell of the settlement 
of the country, to those who were young seventy years ago, were 
wont to dwell with affectionate reminiscence upon those days of 
privation. Seen through the long vista of years the harsh features 


of the scene had faded away. Their fireside tales were less of 
disaster, of fear, and of want, of the danger from wild beasts and 
savage men, than of the many things that cheered them, of 
neighborly ministrations, of the kindly hands which had always 
a little to share, even in poverty, with their neighbor, of the 
intimacy which bound the few families at Coos in those early years. 
Their golden age was in the past, and the comforts of their later 
years had no zest like those first successes in their new homes. 
There is something in pioneer life which has a peculiar fascination, 
and there have been men and women who were never happy except 
when upon the verge of civilization, or a little beyond it. 

Ever since the settlement of New England, military organizations 
had been carefully kept up as an aid to protection against the 
ever-dreaded Indian, and our forefathers in Newbury were not long 
in associating themselves for military defense. In the fall of 1764, 
the first military company at Coos was organized, and continued in 
existence down to the revolutionary war. The commission of 
Jacob Kent, as "Captain of an Independent Company of Militia, 
which Company is to consist of all the Inhabitants by Law obliged 
to do Military Duty in Haverhill and Newbury, in this Province 
respectively," is still preserved in the Kent family. It is dated 
September 6, 1764, and was one of the first, and certainly one of 
the very last military commissions granted by Benning Wentworth 
to any inhabitant of the New Hampshire Grants. The first training 
field was on the plain **east of Robert Johnston's tavern," where 
R. J. Hibbard now lives, and was so employed for many successive 

Few are aware how near Haverhill once came to becoming the 
seat of one of the foremost colleges in the country, in which case 
the history of Newbury as well as of that town would be very 
difierent from what it is. 

In 1740, Rev. Eleazer Wheelock was pastor of a Presbyterian 
church at what is now Columbia, Conn., and to eke out his small 
salary kept a private school. To this, in 1743, was admitted 
an Indian named Sampson Occum, who became a preacher of 
considerable fame, both in this country, and in Great Britain. In 
1765, Joshua Moor, a farmer of Mansfield, Conn., gave a small 
property **for the foundation, use and support of an Indian Charity 
School," and additional funds for its maintenance were gathered in 
the colonies, and in England and Scotland. For many reasons it 
was desirable to remove the school to a new site, and Governor 
Wentworth secured its location in New Hampshire^ and granted 
a charter for an institution of learning, which, in honor of the 
principal benefactor, was called Dartmouth College. But as yet 
no site had been fixed upon for its location, and Haverhill was 
one of several towns which made efforts to secure so desirable 
an acquisition, a place which seems to have been preferred by 


Wentworth himself. The prominent men of Newbury and Haverhill 
at once saw what a great advantage it would be to Coos to have 
the new college located there, and engaged in the laudable attempt 
to secure it, with a public spirit which might well be emulated by 
the present generation. Newbury as a site was out of the question, 
as the town had passed under the authority of New York, by that 
time, but a spot was selected just above North Haverhill, on the 
plain, directly opposite the eastern extremity of the Ox-bow. They 
employed Elijah King, a surveyor, to lay out the land, and started 
a subscription paper, to which Jacob Bayley and John Hazen 
subscribed 1000 acres each, and Timothy Bedell 500 acres. Bayley 
went to Connecticut and laid their plans before Dr. Wheelock, and 
to Portsmouth to secure the cooperation of Wentworth. He gave 
a bond to convey to the college, if located in Haverhill, a part of the 
Ox-bow, which is now the east end of the farms of James Lang, 
Henry W. Bailey and Richard Doe. Colonel Asa Porter, a graduate 
of Harvard College, who had recently settled upon Horse Meadow, 
oflFered a valuable part of what is now called the Southard place. 
It was also agreed to sell to the college, at the cost of the 
improvements, the whole of the Little Ox-bow in Haverhill, on 
which was a framed house and a large barn. Dr. Witherspoon was 
appealed to, and responded with an offer of 1000 acres in Ryegate. 
In all about 6000 acres of the best lands in Newbury, Haverhill, 
Ryegate and Bath were promised. Mr. Powers exerted his influence 
with the people to promote the good cause. Gen. Bayley also 
agreed to put up the frame for a building two hundred feet long, to 
begin with. He went to Newburyport and enlisted the aid of the 
Littles in the enterprise. 

Governor Wentworth wrote to Dr. Wheelock his express desire 
that the college should be located either at Haverhill, or at Landaff, 
which had been granted to it. There is nothing in our town or 
proprietors* records to show that any action was taken by either, in 
behalf of the college, but Haverhill took action by its proprietors in 
voting a mill lot to the college, in North Haverhill, and fifty acres 
of adjacent land. These negotiations lasted through several 
months, and the Haverhill party believed the prize already within 
their reach, when in August, 1770, they were astounded to learn 
that Wheelock had decided to locate the college at Hanover. The 
disappointment of the people at Coos was great, and so was it at 
several other places which had hoped to secure it. But his 
disappointment did not prevent Gen. Bayley from writing Wheelock 
a very kind letter. 

We can only conjecture what might have resulted to Newbury 
had Dartmouth College been placed so near its bounds. In many 
respects the Haverhill location is superior to the one at Hanover, 
It has been said, and probably is in a measure true, that Dr. 
Wheelock feared the influence of certain men at Co5s would 


weaken the personal control which he wished to establish over 
the institution. But there is no reason to suppose that he acted 
dishonorably in any way. It was certainly not the fault of the 
chief men of Newbury and Haverhill that Dartmouth College was 
not established in the litter town. 

Before 1771, New Hampshire was all one county, and when its 
division into five counties was made, Vermont had become part 
of the province of New York, and Albany county extended its 
jurisdiction over all that is now Vermont. In 1768, Cumberland 
county, which comprised the present counties of Windsor and 
Windham, with part of what are now Rutland and Washington 
counties, was formed, and in 1770, Gloucester county, which was 
to include all the east half of the state, north of Cumberland, was 

On the 4th of April, 1772, an ordinance was passed by the 
Council of New York, directing the courts of Common Pleas and 
General Sessions ol the Peace to be held at Newbury, on the last 
Tuesday of February and August, ''during the space of seven years." 
The first session of the General Assembly of Vermont, 1778, merged 
the two counties of Cumberland and Gloucester into one, bearing 
the former name. But in February, 1781, what had before 1778, 
been Gloucester county was formed into Orange county, and 
Newbury was made the shire-town. In 1792, Essex and Caledonia 
counties and a part of Orleans county were taken from Orange 
county. In 1810, several other towns were taken from it, to form 
Washington county. The countv-seat was removed to Chelsea 
in 1796. 

Courts for Grafton county were established at Haverhill and 
Plymouth in February, 1773. Col. John Hurd, of Haverhill, was 
Chief Justice, and Col. Asa Porter, an Associate Justice. The first 
court-house stood upon the plain above North Haverhill, on the 
site which, a short time before, had been selected as the location 
of Dartmouth College. 

In 1793, a court-house was built at Haverhill Comer, and the 
courts were held there, but the old building at North Haverhill was 
standing as late as 1820. 


The New York Charter. 

Wentworth Grants.— The King's Order in Council.— New York Oppressions. — 
"The Green Mountain Boys.**— Gen. Bayley in New York.— The New 
Charter.— Its Conditions.— The Grantees.— Deed to Gen. Bayley. — 
Apprehension of Inhabitants.— "David Johnson vs. Harrison Bayley." 

IN the Proprietors' Book is the following: "May 1, 1765, The 
Proprietors met to consult what measures to take in conse- 
quence of the King's Proclamation Declaring the West Bank 
of the Connecticut River the Dividing Line between New Hampshire 
and New York." They voted, **To send Agents to New York to 
acknowledge their jurisdiction,'' and that **Jacob Bayley, Moses 
Little, and Benjamin Whiting should be the agents to act together 
or singly as occasion served, consistent with each other." This 
is the first mention on our records of a great controversy, which 
lasted twenty-seven years, out of which came the state of Vermont. 
Up to the year 1764, the authorities of the province of New 
Hampshire had supposed the western boundary of their province 
to be a line drawn from the northwest corner of the province of 
Massachusetts Bay, to the southern extremity of Lake Champlain, 
thence up the middle of the lake to Canada. On the 3d of January, 
1749, Governor Wentworth chartered the first township in what 
is novsr Vermont, that of Bennington. This action brought on a 
correspondence between Wentworth and the New York authorities, 
who claimed that the eastern line of their province, north of 
Massachusetts, was the west bank of Connecticut river. Wentworth 
insisted on his right, and in 1750, granted Halifax. In the next 
year he granted two towns, in the next, seven, and so on, till by 
the end of 1764, he had made grants of one hundred and eighty 
towns between Lake Champlain and Connecticut river. This in 
despite of the continual remonstrance of New York. 

In 1764, the conflicting parties, by their agents, laid their claims 


before the King in Council. The representations, or the influence 
of the representatives of the New York claimants, proved the 
stronger, and on the 20th of July an order was made declaring the 
west bank of Connecticut river from the province of Massachusetts 
Bay to the 45th parallel of north latitude, to be the boundary line 
between the provinces of New York and New Hampshire, and a 
proclamation to that effect was issued. The people on the New 
Hampshire Grants were surprised but not alarmed at this order, 
which they regarded as merely extending the jurisdiction of New 
York in future over their lands, and had no apprehension that it 
could, in any way, affect their title to them. They continued to 
settle and cultivate their farms as before. But in the two little 
words to be lay a great deal of mischief "The government of 
New York contended," says Mr. Slade, **that the order had a 
retrospective operation, and decided not only what should hereafter 
be, but what had always been, the eastern boundary of New York, 
and that, consequently, all the grants made by the Governor of 
New Hampshire were void.*' The settlers in the Grants were 
called upon to surrender their town charters, the authority under 
which they held their lands, and re-purchase those lands under 
grants from New York. "New grants of those who refused 
were made to others, in whose name actions of ejectment 
were commenced in the courts at Albany." These measures 
met with determined resistance, and a convention was called 
which chose Samuel Robinson to go to London, and lay their 
gprievances before the King. Mr. Robinson plead their cause 
so well that a second Order in Council charged the Governor of 
New York, under penalty of His Majesty's displeasure, not to 
make any grant of any part of the land described in the report 
until farther orders. 

William Tryon became Governor of New York, and, notwith- 
standing this express prohibition, continued to make grants and 
writs of ejectment. When these actions came to trial, the settlers 
-were not allowed to plead the royal order made to the Governor 
of New Hampshire, or of the charters made in pursuance of them, 
in defense. It is hard to see how Tryon dared to venture upon such 
a proceeding, in defiance of the royal order. But he was a tyrant 
by nature, and as the troubles between the crown and the colonies 
had begun, he was able to venture upon actions which, in quiet 
times, would have cost him his place. Besides, he was avaricious, 
and the fees, which were considerable, received for the charter of 
each new town, enabled him to accumulate wealth very rapidly. 
In addition to the fees, each charter secured to Tryon the five 
hundred acres in each township, which had been reserved before 
to the Governor of New Hampshire. Thus he might, in a few 
years, roll up €m immense fortune, and there were plenty of people 
who did not scruple, under cover of law, to eject settlers and 


possess themselves of the farms upon which they had expended 
years of toil. 

There was nothing left for these settlers on the Grants, who 
were forbidden any legal redress, but to resist by force, and officers 
sent to carry out the orders of New York were seized and "chastised 
with the twigs of the wilderness." This resistance was met by 
still further oppression, and armed bodies of troops were sent into 
the Grants to dispossess the settlers. They met with determined 
opposition, and military associations of men were formed, who 
called themselves the **Green Mountain Boys," whose exploits will 
forever be associated with the name of the state. Ethan Allen, 
Seth Warner, Remember Baker, and others, became very famous 
for their exploits, and impressed such terror that few New York 
constables had the temerity to venture into the region. A state 
of almost civil war raged in the southwest part of the state, which 
put a stop to its development for some years. 

Of course all these things looked, and still look, very different 
from the New York side, and Mr. McMaster may not be far wrong 
in saying, **For seven years their treatment of each other would 
have delighted two Indian tribes on the war-path. Their history 
during this time is a shameful record of wanton attack and 
reprisals, of ambuscades laid in the dead of night, of murder, arson 
and bloodshed." 

The settlers at Newbury probably felt no great alarm for 
several years, as they then had only little intercourse with the towns 
west of the Green Mountains. But reports came to them of the 
violent measures which were being taken against those who had 
not complied with the demands of the New York authorities. Blood 
had been shed ; settlers had been ejected from their homes ; families 
had been driven into the wilderness. Rumor magnified the danger, 
and the people believed that their farms were soon to be taken from 
them also. So great was the anxiety, that Gen. Bayley, after 
consultation with the principal men, went to visit the scene of the 
troubles and had an interview with Allen and the other leaders. 
Allen wanted Bayley to join with them in resisting the encroach- 
ments of New York. But he thought it best to go on to New York 
and find if there were any terms on which he could obtain security 
for the people at Newbury. They were, he said, few and poor, 
far from aid, and could not well, from their remoteness, act in 
concert with the people in the southwest part of the state. 

It would appear that Allen and his associates were satisfied 
that it was Bayley's duty to secure peace if he could, as there is no 
record of any remonstrance made by them to the course taken by 
him and the proprietors of Newbury. At New York, Bayley met 
with Dr. Witherspoon, whose influence was great, and with Clinton, 
whom he had known in the French war. He was assured that he 
could obtain upon favorable terms a new charter, which would 


secure to the proprietors all the rights and privileges which they 
had held under Wentworth. With this assurance he returned home, 
and laid the matter before the proprietors, and was commissioned 
bvthena to return to New York, and act for them in the best manner 
he could. In New York, therefore, on the 6th of February, 1772, 
he presented a petition, as agent for the proprietors of Newbury, 
praying for the grant of a new charter. We have no account of the 
motives that were urged by Bay ley and his advisers, before the 
Governor and Council, but he was successful. On the 19th of 
February, 1772, he received the new charter, which may be seen at 
the town clerk's office. It is written on parchment, and a leather 
case was made to keep it in. The specifications and conditions 
of the New York charter do not greatly differ from that which 
had been granted by Wentworth. It sets forth that the tract of 
land which had been granted to Jacob Bayley and others, by a 
charter from the Governor of New Hampshire, whose bounds had 
been fixed by the order in council made upon the petition of 
Benjamin Whiting and others, was re-granted to the- following 
persons : 

Jacob Bayley John Taplin 

Stephen Little Samuel Stevens 

Joseph Blanchard Nathan Stone 

Waldron Blaan James Cobham 

Joseph Beck Samuel Ba^^ard 

John Wetherhead William Williams 

James Creassy John Bawler 

John Grumly Marin us Willett 

Richard Wenham John Kelly 

John Shatford Jones James Downer 

Samuel Bayer John Keen 

John Lewis Crean Brush 
John Taylor 

It reserved for religious and educational uses, and for the 
Governor's benefit, similar tracts of land to those which had before 
been allotted to them. The proprietors were to pay a yearly rent 
of two shillings and sixpence sterling on Lady Day of each year, for 
each hundred acres. There are regulations for the choice and 
succession of town officers, and for the preservation of the standing 
pine in the township. This charter is recorded in the Book of 
Patents, No. 16, page 195 etc., at Albany. 

It would appear that New York laws required that there should 
be no fewer than twenty-five grantees to each charter, and so it 
runs to Jacob Bayley and twenty -four associates. It is not known, 
or supposed, that more than five of them — Bayley, Little, Taplin, 
Stevens, and Blanchard, ever visited Newbury, or had any interest 
here. The latter four may have been in New York when the charter 


was granted. The others were all New York men, who probably 
allowed their names to be used, upon solicitation. Some of them 
afterwards became active upon one side or the other, in the revolu- 
tionary war. It is a curious circumstance that a son of Marinus 
Willett, was, many years later, professor of Biblical Literature in 
the theological department of Newbury Seminary. 

Before the charter was signed, the grantees gave a bond to the 
King of £2,000 New York currency, binding themselves to convey 
to each proprietor under the New Hampshire charter, a deed of the 
land he held, or was interested in, upon the payment of fees. On 
the next day but one, these twenty-four grantees executed a trust 
deed to Jacob Bayley of all their rights as grantees, he assuming 
the conditions of the bond. This deed was recorded in the office of 
the Secretary of State at New York, March 31, 1772, and delivered 
to Jacob Bayley. The latter kept the document in his own hands 
for sixteen years, when he left it with Col. Jacob Kent, the town 
clerk, to be recorded. The paper was mislaid, and was not found 
again until 1803, thirty-one years after its execution, when it was 
finally recorded here in Newbury by Isaac Bayley, town clerk at 
that time. 

The expense of the New York charter is not known, but it is 
believed to have cost Gen. Bayley quite a sum. In his testimony 
before a master in chancery in a case which will be adverted to later, 
Isaac Bayley, his son, testified that a short time before the death of 
the General, a claim of between three and five hundred dollars came 
on from New York for the expense of procuring that charter, which 
the witness paid himself. Neither is it known what was paid to 
those who were influential with the council, but the fact that 
Clinton, about that time, became the possessor of six hundred acres 
of Newbury land, which had been ungranted, is suggestive. From 
that time until his death in 1815, Gen. Bayley, as agent under the 
new charter, gave quit-claim deeds to all who applied for them, 
who held lands under the old charter. But many neglected to do 
this, and after his death there arose, in some manner, a rumor, or 
apprehension, that the grantees of the new charter still held claim 
over those lands upon which a deed of confirmation had not been 
passed by him. 

It is within the recollection of some yet living, that people 
sometimes acquired a title to their own farms, by allowing them 
to be sold for taxes, and then bidding them in, and paying the tax, 
received a deed from the collector. But in 1843, a decision of the 
Supreme Court settled the matter forever, in the following case. 
At the first division of one hundred-acre lots. No. 55 fell to John 
Hugh, who in 1770 sold it to Dr. Samuel Hale, who sold it to Col. 
Thomas Johnson in 1779. At the latter 's death, it came into the 
hands of his son, David Johnson. Gen. Bayley died in 1815, but no 
administration was made of his estate till 1832, when Tappan 


Stevens obtained license to sell whatever land still remained in his 
name. It was discovered that this lot was one of the few pieces of 
land left, upon which no deed had passed under the New York 
charter. After some years Harrison Bailey obtained a quit-claim 
deed from Mr. Stevens, against the latter's advice, giving his note 
for fifty dollars, hoping to make his claim good against Johnson. 
This he expected to do on the plea that the new charter made the 
old one void, and that no title under the New Hampshire charter 
was of any value, unless confirmed by a deed under the later one, 
and began to carry out his purpose by cutting timber upon this lot. 
Johnson at once secured an injunction to prevent Bay ley from 
removing any more lumber, and commenced a suit for ejectment. 
The case was heard before a master in chancery, and came before 
the Supreme Court at the March term of 1843. The decision was, 
that Johnson's claim to the land upon which he had always paid 
taxes, never having been abandoned, was a legal claim, and that 
the New York charter only confirmed the one which had been given 
nine years before by Benning Went worth. This ended all the 
troubles about the charters. 


"When we were under the King." 

Prices in 1770.— Population.— Heads of Families in 1770.— Settlements at 
West Newbury.— Settlements at Wells Riyer— The Second Meeting 
House.— CouRT-HousE and Church.— The Old Jail. 

OF the period which intervened between 1769, and the breaking 
out of the revolutionary war, only a few scanty records 
survive. But from such annals of the time as have escaped 
destruction, we may obtain an idea of the condition of the people 
which may not be very far from the truth. By the year 1770, it is 
probable that the meadows and much of the upland or plain had 
been cleared, and the' soil brought forth abundantly. A class of 
people had come into both Newbury and Haverhill, and made their 
homes, who possessed considerable education and some wealth. 
Several had seen service in the French war. Three or four possessed 
the advantage of a college education — Rev. Peter Powers, Col. Asa 
Porter, Col. John Hurd and perhaps others. Many were well 
known through the older portions of New England, and gave a 
certain rank and dignity to the new settlement, causing it to be 
known far and wide. Frame houses were replacing the log 
habitations of the pioneers. The towns above and below them 
were being settled, and, as Newbury and Haverhill had depended 
upon the settlements sixty miles away for their supplies, in their 
first years, so the new towns which sprang into existence after 
they had become established, came, in their turn, to depend upon 
Haverhill and Newbury, for seed and cattle with which to begin 
new farms. There was a ready sale for all the grain and cattle 
which could be spared. Mr. Whitelaw says that in 1773, the price 
of wheat was four shillings a bushel, rye about the same, and corn 
about three shillings. Beef and mutton were about two pence a 
pound, pork five pence, butter six pence, and cheese four and a half 
pence. Apple trees had been planted in both towns in the year 1763, 

"when we were under the king." 59 

and by 1770, their fruit had become quite plentiful, while as yet there 
were no trees in bearing elsewhere, nearer than sixty miles. 

Workmen of all kinds had established themselves at Coos. 
Young men came, some unmarried, others whose families waited in 
the older settlements until homes could be prepared for them. Many 
of these paid for land in work. People were pleased with the 
country and persuaded their friends to come here and settle. 
Families which had been related, or previous to their coming, had 
been acquainted, saw intermarriages among their children. We do 
not know how many marriages were solemnized in Newbury in 
those days. Such occasions were generally made much of. The 
pension application of the widow of Thomas Hibbard, in 1837, 
mentions the guests at their wedding in 1772, by which it would 
seem that all the principal people in the neighborhood attended 
the ceremony. But it was no place for frail people, and the stem 
conditions of a new country, with the care of the large families of 
those days, bore hard upon women. Our annals make mention, 
only too frequently, of many wives who died within a few years 
after marriage. Only the strong survived, but those who reached 
middle age commonly lived beyond three score and ten. 

We have no precise means of knowing the population of the 
town in those early daj's. Haverhill, by the census of 1767, 
returned one hundred and seventy-two inhabitants, of whom only 
one was over sixty years of age, and forty-three were under 
sixteen. In 1773, Haverhill reported three hundred and eighty- 
seven residents, all under sixty but one. There were at that time 
in that town one hundred and seven boys under sixteen. Probably 
Newbury had as many, and the united population was not under 
three hundred and fifty at the former, and at least seven hundred 
and fifty at the latter date. In 1767, Orford had seventy-five, and 
Hanover ninety-two inhabitants, who had increased to two 
hundred and twenty-eight, and three hundred and fort^'-two, 
respectively, at the latter date. 

In 1770, a list of heads of families was returned to the Governor 
of New York, which gives us approximately the whole number of 
people who were here at that time, and is in many ways a valuable 
list.* They are as follows : 

Jacob Bayley Sylvanus Heath 

Ephraim Bayley Robert Hunkins 

Frye Bayley Samuel Hale 

Samuel Bamet Thomas Johnson 

Jonathan Butterfield Elihu Johnson 

Thomas Chamberlain Haynes Johnson 

•Documentary History of New York, Vol. iv. p. 209. 


Richard Chamberlin Robert Johnston 

Joseph Chamberlin Jacob Kent 

Abiel Chamberlin Nehemiah Lovewell 

Nathaniel Chamberlin John Mills 

Uriah Chamberlin Stephens McConnell 

Er Chamberlin John Nutting 

Ezekiel Colbume Peter Powers 

Abner Fowler Simeon Stevens 

Abner Fowler, Jr. Bphraim Spafford 

Jacob Fowler Gideon Smith 

Jonathan Fowler Levi Sylvester 

John Foreman John Taplin, Jr. 

Jonathan Goodwin Daniel Tillotson 

John Haseltine Moses Thurston 

Robert Haseltine David Weeks 

Daniel Hall Ebenezer White 

Enoch Hall Joseph White 

As families were large in those days, and there were many young 
men boarding in these forty-six households, an average of eight to 
each would give the population as about three hundred and fifty in 
1770. All of these lived along the river road, or in houses reached 
directly from it. Mingled among the settlers, and not probably 
enumerated, were several Indians, who, although not worth much 
for steady work, gladly caught fish or hunted game, which they 
exchanged for the white man's grain and potatoes, and too often 
for the white man's fire-water. A few of them proved very efficient 
in the coming war. 

In 1770, was the visitation of the army worm, whose ravages 
are so graphically described by Grant Powers. This pest destroyed 
all the com and wheat between Northfield, Mass., and Lancaster, 
N.H. They were "millions upon millions, "covering acres, completely 
hiding the .walls and roofs of buildings over which they passed. 
About the first of September they suddenly disappeared, and not 
even the carcass of a worm was seen. Their description, as recorded 
by Rev, Dr. Burton of Thetford, tallies exactly with that of a 
similar pest which committed great depredations around North- 
ampton and Springfield, Mass., a few years ago. 

In that year or the next, settlements began in the back parts of 
the town, says Mr. Perry; a Mr. Kelly began to clear land not far 
from where the Union meeting-house stands at West Newbury. 
About the same time George Banfield, Edmund and John Brown 
began a clearing on the road that runs northwest from the school- 
house on Rogers's hill. Just before the revolutionary war broke 
out, Samuel Hadley and Samuel Eaton settled on the farm which 
Col. John Smith and his descendants have owned for more than a 
century. Up to this time all the settlements in Newbury were along 
the river, and the opening of farms in the back parts of the town 

"when we were under the king." 6 1 

was retarded and made difficult bj the range of hills and broken 
country, of which mention is made in the first chapter of this 
volume. Had this tract, a mile or more in width, consisted of good 
farming land, gradually rising from the meadows, settlements would 
have spread back among the uplands. But the wilderness intervened, 
and the first settlers had to go four miles back from the river to find 
suitable land for farms. This range of hills has been a great 
obstacle to the development of the social, religious, and commercial 
prosperity of Newbury. The town has suffered by reason of the 
physical conditions which have prevented the establishment of a 
central village which should be a center of the common interests. 

About the time that settlement began at West Newbury, Er 
Chamberlin commenced operations at Wells River. The ground 
now occupied by that village was then covered by a dense thicket of 
trees and fallen timber, through which Wells river found its way to 
the Connecticut by several channels^ After a few years, having 
cleared some land, he built a dwelling-house and a sawmill. This 
part of Newbury is in the tract of five-hundred acres, reserved by 
Governor Wentworth, and called the '^Governor's farm," to which^ 
or a part of it, Chamberlin acquired a title. 

The log meeting-house which had accommodated the settlers in 
their day of small things had now become too contracted, and 
perhaps the people felt that they were able to have something 
better. The warning for March meeting in 1770, contained an 
article "to see where the town will agree to meet on the Sabbath 
the spring and summer ensuing." There is no record of any action 
being taken, In 1771, the town was requested **to see if it will do 
anything to the meeting-house." No action is on record about 
that. It is believed* that a meeting-house, or the frame of one, was 
put up in 1771, a little above Mr. Famham's house on the **Little 
Plane,*' but the location being unsatisfactory, it was taken down, 
and set up opposite the cemetery on the Ox-bow. There is much 
obscurity connected with this building, both its location and uses 
have been the subject of dispute. At a special town-meeting. May 
18, 1773, it was voted **to finish the meeting-house that is now 
raised, the owner giving in what is done." The meaning of this 
is not clear. It was also voted **that the notes that were given to 
build a meeting-house be given up. Captain Hazen giving up a bond 
which Haverhill took of Newbury for building the same." It is 
probable that these notes were payable in labor and materials, and 
that, the conditions being fulfilled, they were given up. The bond 
referred to seems to have been to the proprietors of Haverhill, as 
security for money advanced by them toward the building. 

The old records of the county court tell us that in 1773, the 
August term of the Court of Common Pleas was held at Robert 
Johnston's Inn, and that, on the third day they adjourned to inspect 
"the building intended for a Court-House and jail in this township." 


It goes on to say that the court-house was a frame building, with a 
tenement for the jailer, but the jail was of logs. The court seems 
to have been pleased with what had been begun, and appointed 
(whether to be raised by tax, or by subscription is not stated), £400, 
to finish the building in part, and for other purposes **not to be over 
nice in doing it." The court-house and the meeting-house, appear 
to have been one and the same structure, and is sometimes called in 
the town records **the State-House," sometimes '*the Court-House" 
and once at least, as the "Meeting-house." 

There is extant a bill of Thomas Johnson's against the town, 
dated February, 1773, in which some of the items are for shingles 
and for timber of various dimensions. If we suppose that this 
timber was used in the construction of the meeting-house, its size 
would seem to have been about forty feet by fifty, and fourteen feet 
in height of post. 

The town had voted on the 14th of May, 1773, "To build a 
gaol 28x14 feet, one story high." Very little is known about this 
building, but it is believed to have stood back of the court-house, on 
the brow of the hill. One which was constructed in another part 
of the state about that time, was built with an inner, and an outer 
wall of logs, the space between the walls being filled with earth 
and stone. This jail seems to have been little used and fell into 
decay, as at the June term of Orange county court, held at Thetford 
in 1783, Abner Chamberlin, sheriff, represented that for want of a 
"Common Gaol" he was under an "intolerable burthen" for lack of 
a place to safely keep the persons committed to his custody. It was 
also represented to the court "that there is at Newbury in this 
county an ancient building which was formerly occupied by this 
county when under the jurisdiction of New York as a Common 
Gaol." The county records go on to say that it being represented 
that this "ancient building" might be obtained, the sheriff was 
directed to repair to Newbury, and agree with its owner for the 
building, which he was to put in proper repair for a "Gaol" at the 
expense of the county. It seems that it was put in proper repairs 
as in Spooner's Vermont Journal sometime in October of that year 
a reward was offered for the apprehension of one James Marston of 
Fairlee, who had "broken out of the Gaol at Newbury." This jail, 
or a successor, was standing and used for the purpose of a prison 
as late as 1794, for the autobiography of Mrs. Asa Bayley mentions 
it as containing prisoners in that year. 

It appears that the meeting-house was not completed for some 
years, as on May 27, 1776, the town voted "To build pews and 
seats in the meeting-house on the vacant ground." It seems that 
some had built pews at their own expense, but that a large part of 
it was seated with benches, as the old one had been. It was voted 
"to sell the pews and seats when built, at vendue," and Ephraim 
Webster, Jonathan Goodwin, Jacob Kent, Simeon Stevens, and Dudley 

"when we were under the king." 63 

Carleton were chosen a committee to perform the same. It was 
also voted "that Haverhill shall have opportunity to bid off the 
pews and seats if they shall think fit." This building, the second of 
the town and church, was used as a place of public worship about 
fifteen years, until the building of the **01d Meeting-house" in 1788. 
In it met the legislature for the October Session of 1787. It 
continued to be used for a court-house until the county-seat was 
removed to Chelsea in 1796, after which a school was held in it at 
one time. It was taken down by Col. Thomas Johnson in 1801, 
and the materials used in the construction of a building commonly 
spoken of as **the old court-house," which stood near the present 
schoolhouse in the Ox-bow district. The old people used to say 
that in this early meeting-house, the men were seated on one side, 
and the women on the other. On one occasion Mr. Powers was 
disturbed by some whispering which was going on, and, pausing in 
his sermon, rebuked the brethren for their unseemlv conduct in the 
house of God. Whereupon one of the deacons arose, and informed 
the minister that the whispering was not on their side of the house, 
but came from the women's side. **Ah, then," sighed the good man, 
*4t is of no use for me to say anything," and went on with his 
discourse. It will be observed that our forefathers never used the 
word church to designate the building employed for religious 
worship. It was always the * 'meeting-house, " and the church was 
a body of religious believers which met in it. 

The warning for town-meeting in March, 1798, contains the 
following article, "To see if the town will repair the Old Court- 
House, so that it may be of some advantage to the inhabitants, 
and take some method to do the same." It was voted, **To choose 
an agent to take care of the Old Court-House, and receive a lease of 
the land on which it stands from Gen. Jacob Bayley, for the use of 
the town and that Daniel Farrand, Esq., be agent." It was also 
voted '*that said agent lay out a sum not exceeding fifteen dollars 
in making necessary repairs in and about said house." There is 
nothing to show that any work was done upon the building, and a 
few years later it was taken down. 

Rev. Grant Powers tells us that, in one of the earlier years, the 
proclamation for Thanksgiving did not reach Newbury till after the 
appointed day had passed. The people, however, decided to keep 
the feast, but it was discovered that there was no molasses in the 
settlement. A supply being expected from Charlestown, the day 
was postponed to await its arrival, but, after waiting several 
weeks, the desired article not having appeared, Thanksgiving was 
kept without it. 


Before the Revolution. 

Sbttlbment of Ryegatb.— Thb "Scots Ambrican Colony." — The Inchinan 
Mbeting.— Jambs Whitblaw.— David Allen.— Dr. Witherspoon.— Whitb- 
LAw's Journal. — Purchase of Ryegatb.— Its Sbttlbment.— Mills Built 


Tavern.- First Road.— Road to Wells River.— Cham Berlin's Ferry.— 
Porter's Ferry.— Early Houses.— Wild Beasts.— Anecdotes.— Church 
Going.— Bad Elements.- Counterfeiting.— Glazier Wheeler. 

A GATHERING of farmers and artisans at Inchinan, in far-off 
Scotland, on the 5th of February, 1773, was destined to 
have unforeseen consequences upon the future welfare of 
Newbury. The most important event, affecting this town, between 
its own settlement and the revolutionary war, was the colonization 
of Ryegate. The latter town, settled by the Scotch, shares with 
Bamet, the honor of being the only towns in Vermont established 
by colonies from beyond the Atlantic. So large a proportion of 
our Newbury people are of Scotch descent, that a particular 
account of this enterprise seems to be a part of our history. 

This Association, called the Scots American Company, which 
is sometimes spoken of as the Inchinan colony, was formed for the 
purpose of purchasing land for settlement in North America. At 
this meeting, articles of agreement were signed, and two men, 
James Whitelaw and David Allen, were selected to go to America, 
and examine, and purchase land. Mr. Whitelaw, in after years 
one of the most prominent men in Vermont, was well educated, a 
surveyor, a man of rare judgment, business ability, and good sense. 
David Allen was a farmer, then thirty-three years of age, Whitelaw 
being only twentj'-four. They left Glasgow March 25, 1773, and 
arrived in Philadelphia on the 23d of May. They were met by 
Alexander Semple, whom they had known in Scotland, who 
introduced them to Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon. This gentleman, 


whom we have mentioned before, was one of the most distinguished 
men of his time. He was born in Scotland in 1722, and became 
president of Princeton College, in New Jersey, in 1768. In 1776, he 
was a member from New Jersey of the Continental Congress, in 
whose debates he took a prominent part, and was a signer of the 
Declaration of Independence. He visited Newbury several times, 
and preached here more than once. 

Dr. Witherspoon informed Whitelaw and Allen that he owned 
a township of land on Connecticut river, in the province of New 
York. This he would sell them, on favorable terms, but advised 
them to see all they could of the country before purchasing any-* 
where. Whitelaw and Allen visited the Mohawk valley, and crossed 
this state to Chariest own, N. H., where they saw Mr. Church who 
was joint owner of Ryegate, with Dr. Witherspoon, and arrived 
at the latter place on the 25th of June. They spent several days 
in examining the land, then returned to New York, and spent about 
three months in traveling through the middle and southern colonies, 
going as far south as the interior of North Carolina. 

On the first of October they purchased the south half of 
Ryegate, for which place they set out, and reached Newbury 
November 1st, where they conferred with Gen. Bayley about their 
purchase. A week later, they were joined by James Henderson, a 
carpenter, who had been sent on by the Scots American Company. 
At that time there were no settlers in Ryegate, except Aaron 
Hosmer, who had moved across the line from Newbury. John 
Hyndeman, from Scotland, had already reached the place, and by 
the end of January they had two houses up and finished. In May 
there arrived from Scotland, David Ferry, Alexander Sym and 
family, Andrew and Robert Brock, John and Robert Orr, John 
Wilson, John Gray, John Shaw, and Hugh Semple. **In August, 
David Allen set out to return to Scotland and all the colonists 
attended him to Gen. Bayley's in Newbury, and James Henderson 
went along with him to Newburyport, where he took leave of 
him," says Whitelaw's journal. 

In October came John Waddell, James Nelson, Thomas McKeith, 
Patrick Lang' and family, William Neilson and family, David Reid 
and wife, Robert Gemmell and son, Robert Tweedale and wife, 
Andrew and James Smith. On the 22d, two weeks from their 
arrival, Andrew Smith died, the first death in Ryegate. 

Mr. Whitelaw tells us that by the beginning of December all 
the settlers had houses built for themselves, on their lots, and were 
well pleased with their situation. Most of these first settlers 
located near what is now Ryegate Comer, or in the Whitelaw 
neighborhood, and as a great many Newbury people are descended 
firom them, their names, and the time of their coming are here given. 

In January, 1775, Mr. Whitelaw purchased of Jacob Bayley, 
all that part of lot No. 120 in Newbury, that lies north of Wells 


River, in what is now Boltonville, with one-half the mill privilege, 
and James Henderson began to frame a sawmill and a grist-mill. 
In August, the frames of the grist-mill and the first framed house 
were raised, and about the beginning of October the frame of the 
sawmill was put up. On October 28th, the grist-mill was set going 
but the sawmill did not begin work until the middle of Julv 

The first marriage was that of James Henderson and Agnes 
Symes, and eight days later that of Robert Brock and Elizabeth 

This settlement of Ryegate by the Scotch, was of untold value 
to Newbury, and the whole state, as it introduced into the New 
England community a new element, possessing to a remarkable 
degree the qualities of thrift, energy, and profound religious 
convictions. The early colonists were followed by others, many of 
whom settled in Newbury. The first comers endured many 
hardships, but they proved themselves equal to any emergency. 
The soil of Ryegate and Barnet is of the very best in Vermont, and 
in a few years the colonists attained a reputation as skillful 
husbandmen, which their descendants continue to hold at the 
present day. 

Already, some of the first comers were selling out in Newbury, 
and moving into new towns. In 1770, Daniel, Jacob and Elijah 
Hall, with Jonathan Fowler, began to clear land in Bamet. In the 
same year the chief proprietors of that town engaged Col. John 
Hurd, of Haverhill, to build a saw-mill and a grist-mill, receiving for 
the work one hundred acres of land, which included most of what 
is now Bamet village. In 1774, settlers from Scotland, under the 
leadership of Col. Alexander Harvey, began to come into that 
town. Gen. Bayley, in a letter written about 1770, says that the 
whole country was rapidly filling up with a very desirable class of 
settlers, and what had, ten years before, been a howling wilderness 
was fast being turned into fruitful farms. All these newer 
settlements depended upon Newbury as their market and base of 
supplies. In 1774, or perhaps the year before. Col. William Wallace 
came from Scotland, and opened a store in a building which stood 
very near where Mr. Henry W. Bailey lives, on the Ox-bow. Before 
that time all purchases from the older towns had been made by 
people who went to the distant markets with their own teams, and 
brought up goods for their neighbors. Mr. Wallace was trained 
to mercantile pursuits, and soon did a very large business, which 
extended with the progress of settlements, almost to Canada. 

Mr. Perry says that the first tavern in Newbury was opened by 
Col. Thomas Johnson after he built his new house in 1775, but it is 
certain that Col. Robert Johnston kept an inn three or four years 
before that time. 

The first road in town was, of course, along the meadows, but 


the present river road does not follow the old path very closely. 
The earliest settlers built their houses upon the meadows, from 
which they were driven by the gfreat freshet of 1771. Their first 
efforts as a community, were to make such roads as they could, by 
which the inhabitants could communicate with each other. A path 
followed by the settlers toward Bradford, gradually became passable 
for ox-teams, and was formally surveyed and accepted by the town, 
June 14, 1773. At the same time the road to Wells River was 
surveyed, and the record reads curiously to 'the present generation. 
"From a certain brook [the tavern brook at the top of Ingalls' hill] 
near the upper meadow near where a road was marked by the 
committee for highways, near where Nathaniel Chamberlin lives, 
thence northeast about four rods east of said Chamberlin 's house 
as we have marked, having Mr. Er Chamberlin for our pilot, to 
Wells River, about fifty rods below said Chamberlin's mill." This 
road, through which the selectmen had to have a guide, turned off 
from the present river road at the top of Ingalls' hill, went west of 
the first range of low hills, and came out upon the present river 
road at the freight depot yard. The old houses along the river 
road were moved down from that ancient highway, which can 
still be traced. This river road, from Bradford to Wells River, was 
the only one laid out and accepted by the town, before the 
revolutionary war began. 

Richard Chamberlin settled by the river bank, on Musquash 
meadow, and there kept a boat on which he ferried men and teams 
to and from the Haverhill side. The road which went to the **01d 
Ferry," and to the first bridge across the river, is the same 
which descends to the meadow, on F. E. Kimball's farm. 
It may be that some infinngeraent upon his monopoly caused 
the town to vote June 1, 1773, **That Mr. Richard Chamberlin take 
care of the ferry that is by his house acrost Connecticut river and 
receive the profits of his ferrying for three coppers per man and 
horse, and one copper per man, and allowing the use of his boat on 
the Sabbath for Haverhill and Newbury to pass and repass to the 
public worship of God the boat being made good, this vote to 
continue till further orders." This was not the first trouble which 
Chamberlin had about the ferry. Some time, not far from 1770, 
Col. Asa Porter was granted, by the legislature, the sole right to 
keep a ferry within three miles, in a straight line, from the Little 
Ox-bow. He then resorted to some measure not now known, to 
make trouble for Chamberlin. In 1772, Thomas Johnson appeared 
before the General Court at Portsmouth, with a petition from 
Richard Chamberlin for a continuance of the ferry, "which he had 
maintained ever since the settlement of Newbury and Haverhill." 
A committee was appointed to investigate the matter, and found 
that Chamberlin's ferry was of convenience, and accomodated a 
different part of Haverhill from that of Col. Porter. So the 


petition was granted. The action of the town may have been in 
regard to some phase of the ferry dispute, but Chamberlin and his 
sons maintained and kept the ferry, until the bridge was built in 
1796. At a town-meeting, May 28, 1776, it was voted, "To lay a 
rode to the river nigh the potash, through Dudley Carleton's land, 
after Haverhill has laid out a rode against it to the rivepl" This is 
the farm road that passes through the Ox-bow. 

By the year 1775, several frame houses had been erected. From 
what can be gathered, it is probable that there \yere, at that time, 
more houses between **the narrows" as the ridge where the railroad 
arch now is, was then called, and the mouth of Cow Meadow 
brook, than there are now. But life and property were exposed to 
dangers in those days, from which both have long been free. 
Children, and sometimes older people, were lost in the woods, and 
everybody had to turn out and hunt after them. Most farmers 
suffered an annual loss by the ravages of wild beasts. Wolves 
prowled about the farms, and were constantly on the watch for 
sheep. Men were living thirty years ago, who could remember when 
the sheep on the meadows had to be gathered at night into secure 
yards near the dwellings, to keep them out of reach of these 
rapacious but cowardly animals. Bears came down from the 
hills and devoured swine. One Sunday, three bears came into 
Col. Kent's house while the Colonel was gone to meeting, but out 
of respect for the day, or for the lady, who was alone, departed 

One of Richard Chamberlin's girls, who had been across the 
river in her father's boat, returned in the dusk of the evening, and, 
after pushing the boat into the stream, found that an animal in the 
further end, which she had supposed to be a dog, was a young bear. 
The girl screamed, and the bear leaped over the side of the boat 
and disappeared with a great splash. Which was most alarmed, 
the girl or the bear, is not known. A bear seen on Kent's meadow 
was pursued by several men, who followed his trail out to what is 
now called Wallace Hill, where he took refuge in a great tree, 
completely screened by the dense foliage and gathering dusk. 
Desirous to secure his skin with as few bullet holes as possible, and, 
at the same time to save their powder, the men decided to watch 
the tree all night. They sent one of their number for refreshments, 
and kindled a fire, beside which they passed the night. In the 
morning they proceeded to dispatch the bear, but found that 
Bruin, desirous to keep his skin for his own use, had contrived to 
depart unheard in the darkness! The remarks of the hunters are 
not preserved. 

In the early days, a bounty was placed upon the heads of bears, 
wolves, and wild cats. Bears were not so much dreaded as wolves. 
They were slower, and were not dangerous when not hungry. In 
winter they were out of the way. The meat of a fat bear was no 


bad substittite for pork, and not infrequently, when a bear had 
devotired a farmer's swine, "the farmer took some satisfaction in 
eating the bear. Then there was his skin, and the bounty. Some- 
times a cub was caught, and tamed, but who ever tamed, or wished 
to tame, a wolf? Bears have been sefen in Newbury within a few 
years, and are not infrequent in the White and Franconia Mountains, 
but the wolf disappeared long ago. In 1776, a bounty of ten 
dollars was offered for the head of each wolf killed in town. 

In those days everybody went to church. Haverhill people 
came on foot, crossing by Chamberlin's ferry at the Dow farm, or 
from the Porter place. Mr. Perry tells us that both men and women 
came on foot from Bradford, to the meeting-house at the Ox-bow. 
It was not uncommon for companies of a dozen or more to come, 
all the way from Ryegate Comer, on foot, carrying children, and 
when they came to Wells river, the women would take oflF their 
shoes and stockings and "trip it through as nimbly as the deer." 
We must not suppose, however, that it was altogether religious 
fervor which drew people to church. The natural desire of men and 
women to see each other, was fully realized, for the meeting-house 
was the one place in all the region where everybody saw everybody 
else, and where every bit of local gossip was in circulation. The 
long nooning was given up to argument and conversation. We may 
be sure that in the years which preceded the revolution, there was 
no place where the issues of the hour were more fully discussed, than 
at the meeting-house on the Sabbath, between services. 

But there was an element in this, like every other frontier region, 
which was turbulent, and hard to keep under control. Offenses 
against morality were very common, not so much among the 
pioneers themselves, as in a floating class who are always found on 
the confines of civilization. Acts of violence were not unknown. 
In 1772, a tenant of Col. Little's, named Ryan, who lived on 
Musquash meadow, was ordered off the place by Dr. Porter of 
Haverhill, who had set up a claim to the land. Ryan refused to 
comply, and one night his house was broken open by a gang of 
lawless men acting under Porter's orders, the family was turned out 
of doors, the dwelling pulled down, and the farming tools thrown 
into the river. Next day, the Newbury people came to the aid of 
the Irishman, put him up a new house and sent a message of 
defiance to Porter. The appearance of Col. Little himself upon the 
scene, having opportunely come up to Coos, restored order. 
\ During these, and many later years, Glazier Wheeler was 

engaged in the making of counterfeit money. He had a blacksmith 
shop in Newbury, but was associated with others, who had a log 
hut concealed in the woods in Haverhill, where they carried on 
operations. They made Spanish dollars of 1760, and crown pieces 
of 1752, and other coins, using an alloy containing one-half the 
legal quantity of silver. Later they became more bold, and still 


further adulterated the metal. Some of these coins were found in 
circulation as far south as Philadelphia, but several years passed 
before their real origin was suspected. Those who circulated them 
took good care not to have too many in one locality But in 1772, 
a man who was caught passing one of these coins, and had been 
under some suspicion before, to escape the gallows, implicated 
Wheeler, and officers were sent both from New York and from 
Massachusetts to take him, but he evaded capture. A letter 
from Governor Tryon to Governor Wentworth, brought a sharp 
reprimand from the latter, to the authorities of Haverhill, intimat- 
ing that if the local constables could not suppress the unlawful 
proceeding, some more effectual means would be used. During a 
a number of years the good name of the region suffered from the 
operations of this gang. They conducted themselves with so much 
prudence that no evidence could be obtained to convict them. In 
1772, Mr. John Munro was sent from New York to find out about 
Wheeler, and his whereabouts, and in a letter to Governor Tryon, 
on November 24th, graphically described Coos, as *'a place up back 
of New Hampshire." 


The First Year of the Revolution. 

News of thb Battle of Lexington — The First Recruits.— Our Meagre 
Records.— The Johnson Papers.— Veterans of the Old French War.— 
The Situation.— Scarcity of Ammunition.— Wheelock's Letter to 
Got. Trumbull.— Gen. Batley and the Indians.— His Address to the 
Northern Indians.— Its Authorship.— The Association.— Minutemen.— 
Bayley Made Brigadier General.— His Letter to the Riyer Towns.— 
The First Alarm.— Military Strength of the Town.— Tories.- Col. 
Porter.— The Army in Canada.— The Repulse at Qubbec— Reinforce- 
ments,— Roads TO Montreal. — Johnson's Expedition to St. John.— The 
Military Road.— Meeting of the Committee of Safety.— The Alarm.— 
The Smallpox. 

MR. PERRY says that the frame of Col. Thomas Johnson's 
house on the Ox-bow, was raised the day the news of the 
battle of Lexington reached Newbury, and that on the same 
evening Nehemiah Lovewell, Peter Johnson, and Silas Chamberlin 
started for the seat of war. That was probably about, the end of 
April, 1774. Our town records are strangely silent upon the subject 
of the revolutionary war. No one, who will take the trouble to go 
through the pages of the first volume of town proceedings, which 
record the actions of the town, from 1774, to 1783, would suppose 
that anything particular was going on in the world, least of all, 
that the town clerk, Col. Jacob Kent, was himself acting no small 
part in a great revolution. The actors in those scenes seem never 
to have imagined that they were doing anything remarkable, and 
have left very little to guide us during that long struggle. Our chief 
authorities for that period are Gen. Bayley's correspondence, as 
preserved in the New Hampshire state papers, the Documentary 
History of New York, the Washington correspondence, and 
"Governor and Council." There also remain certain letters of 
Col. Charles Johnston, Gen. Moses Dow, and Col. Ebenezer 


Webster. The journal of Col. Frye Bayley, in 1776, the 
fragmentary diary of Col. Jacob Kent, the journal of Col. 
Thomas Johnson while a captive in Canada, and a few letters 
of his, give some idea of the times. The historian of Dartmouth 
College has given us many letters from the treasures of that 
institution. The state of New Hampshire has published all its 
revolutionary rolls and other papers. Our state has yet to do 
a similar work. Many years ago, David Johnson, Esq., with 
reverent care, copied all the correspondence of his father, and Gen. 
Bayley, which could be found. There are many unpublished papers in 
the possession of the New Hampshire Historical Society, which have 
been of great aid in the preparation of this history. From all these 
sources, aided by what can be locally obtained, some idea of what 
the revolutionary war was, here in Coos, has been prepared. These 
chapters should have been written a century ago. But better now 
than never. 

The settlements at Coos were exceedingly patriotic. Even the 
Scotch settlers of Ryegate, fresh from Great Britain, were for the 
American cause, to a man. There were, in all the settlements, 
many who had seen service in the French and Indian war. It 
was reported to New York, in 1773, that nearly all the heads of 
families in Mooretown, now Bradford, had "been out*' in that 
struggle. Of the Newbury men, the following are known to have 
served in one or more campaigns of that war: Jacob Bayley, 
Thomas Chamberlain, Richard, Joseph, and Abiel Chamberlin, 
ohn Foreman, Jonathan Butterfield, Jacob Kent, Simeon Stevens, 
ohn Mills, Robert Johnston, Abner Fowler, Nehemiah Lovewell, 
ohn Taplin, and John Taplin, Jr., Jonathan Goodwin, Robert 
lunkins, and John Hazeltine. There were probably others. The 
value of their experience, especially that of Jacob Bayley, Jacob 
Kent, John Foreman, and Robert Johnston, was very great. 

Haverhill was equally fortunate in having men of experience 
and tried courage. John Hazen was now dead, but Charles 
Johnston, Timothy Bedell, and others, had military experience, and 
some knowledge of Canada. 

Before the winter of 1774r-5 had passed. Councils of Safety and 
Correspondence had been formed, and the sentiments of every man 
were known. But the country was in a defenceless state. Although 
all the able-bodied men knew something of military discipline, there 
were few weapons. On January 30, 1775, the town of Haverhill 
voted, '*to furnish the town with a sufficient stock of powder, 
flints, and lead as soon as may be." The Coos country lay in the 
direct pathway from Canada to Massachusetts, and was most 
likely to suffer from a northern invasion. 

In June, Capt. Charles Johnston wrote the provincial congress : 
"As to position of defense, we are in difficult circumstances; we are 
in want of both arms and ammunition. There is but very little, or 


none worth mentioning— perhaps one pound of powder to twenty 
men, and not one-half our men have arms. We look upon ourselves 
as in imminent danger of the enemy, and in no capacity for defense." 

One special cause for alarm is given in a letter from President 
Wheelock, written from Hanover, March 22d, to Governor Trum- 
bull: — "Your Honor well understands what a feeble and defenseless 
state these frontier towns are in, how near to the Canadians, and 
what an easy prey we may be to such a northern army of savages, 
etc., as we are threatened with. We hear of preparations making 
for an invasion, and that some of the warriors among the Indians 
were in high spirits to engage on the one side or the other, in the 
present controversy; and if they shall not be secured in our interest, 
they will likely join on the other side." 

General Bay ley, who had by his humane treatment of the 
Indians acquired a great influence over them, invited many of their 
chief men to come to Newbury, where he engaged several of them 
to act as scouts, and keep watch through the woods toward 

On the 23d of June, 1775, Gen. Bayley prepared an address to 
the Northern Indians, which is here given in full. 

"Newbury, Coos, June 23, 1775. 

The present war is only between the King and a part of the Lords, and America. 
The Lords say all Americans shall become slaTcs, or servants to them shall plow no 
more than they say; eat nor drink nor war nor hunt but only by their leave; shall 
not kill deer, moose, beaver, or any other thing, bnt by their consent. Americans 
say they will, and that the King, by the Lords advice has sent redcoats to kill ns, 
if we will not be snbject to what they say. And we have thirty thousand men, 
with jB^iras, great and small, to fight in onr defense; we only want to live as we 
have lived, here-to-fbre. We do not want to fight if they would let us alone. 

Von are as much threatened as we are, they want yon to kill us and then they 
will kill you, if you do not serve them. Dreadful wicked men they be; they do not 
think there is any God that will punish them bye and bye. If you have a mind to 
join us, I will go with any number you shall bring to our army, and you shall each 
have a good coat, blanket, etc., and forty shillings per month, let the time be longer 
or shorter. If you will go to Canada, and gather what intelligence you can, and 
bring it to me, at any place you shall set, I will meet you myself, and pay vou 
well ; further if you are any way afraid of the Regulars, you and all those tribes 
shall have protection here, as we will fight for you in your own country if wanted ; 
but if you, or the French or any other Indians fight against us, we know your 
country and shall be troublesome to you. You know how we could fight, last war. 
Bnt I know you will be friendly, and you may depend upon us. We will pawn all 
we have for die most strict observance of any agreement with you. We are all now 
heathen, and we will be so with you, and we must all meet before God in a little 

Jacob Bayley.*** 

When, where, and to whom, this unique address was delivered is 
unknown. In the possession of the New Hampshire Historical 
Society, is a paper, drawn up by Col. Timothy Bedell, which is 
somewhat similar, and on the back of it is a statement that it was 

*New York Archives, 4th ieries, Vol. II., Col. 1070. 


probably delivered at a Cotincil held on the Saint Francis. Perhaps 
Bayley's address may have been presented at that, or a similar 
gathering. It probably had some effect, as it is certain that the 
Indians gave Coos very little anxiety during the war. Its entire 
authorship is equally uncertain. The sentiments are Bayley's, and 
the general form of the address, but the style bears no resemblance 
to that of his letters which are extant. It is probable that his first 
draft was revised, and received its final polish from some abler 
hand, perhaps that of Rev. Peter Powers. 

On the 15th of June, a letter from the New York Provincial 
Congress came to Newbury, desiring that a delegate should be sent 
from Newbury to attend that body, and enclosing articles of 
association which it was desired that all should sign, in behalf of a 
Congress of all the colonies. A town-meeting was called, and Jacob 
Bayley was chosen, **to send to York." No copy of the signatures 
to the association is to be found, but it is believed to have been signed 
by nearly all the men in Newbury. Bayley did not, however, attend 
the Congress, but, on the 29th of June, wrote to that body, giving 
as his reason for non-attendance, the state of the frontier, and the 
alarming intelligence from Canada. This letter, which is quite 
long, says that he could raise two or three hundred men for the 
defense of the frontier, from the neighboring towns, bujfc that they 
needed at least two hundred guns, powder and flints. The letter 
was sent by Col. Harvey of Barnet.* 

On the 16th of May, a company of minutemen was formed, of 
which Thomas Johnson was captain, Simeon Stevens, lieutenant, 
and Joseph Chamberlin was ensign. This company numbered 
forty-six men, six of whom were from Barnet. Later, it was 
reorganized, and numbered fifby-one, of whom nine were named 
Chamberlin. The records at Montpelier show that the men were 
in service from six to twenty days, and received two shillings a 
day. It is not probable that all the men were in service at once, 
but that they were called upon to stand guard, or go on scout, in 
turn, as many as were needed. It was eleven years before they 
were paid. 

The common danger that the river towns were in, and 
the necessity that there be a commanding officer over all the 
militia, was now apparent. The military experience, ability, and 
patriotism of Jacob Bayley were well known and fitted him for 
the command, and it being intimated to him that it was the 
general desire, he was, later, appointed brigadier general by the 
New York authorities. The following paper, on the last page of 
the Proprietor's book, is not dated or signed, but is in his hand- 
writing, and was probably written about the end of 1775. It 

•Am. Archives, 4th series, Vol. II., Col. 1134. 


seems to be the first draft of a military order to the companies 
along the river : 

"Whereas it appears that many of the People on this River being Destitute of a 
Regular Command Desire that I should take the Command as Brigadier Gen*l and 
-whereas it is of Necessity that it should be known who are ready for Action and 
who will command the several Regiments and Companys, you will therefore call 
upon each Colo on each side of Connecticut River, as far as the line of Massachusetts 
Bay for a return of their several Companies, specifying those who command and the 
number ready to turn out at a minute's warning and to order each Colo to make 
their Regiments ready for Action. You are not to regard what state or Convention 
the officers are commissioned from, and that each Company have an Alarm Post 
appointed and in case of an alarm to wait at the Post for orders, as it is not known 
where the Bnemy will attack. Doubtless the Bnemy will make a feint in some place 
of vrhich I could wish People will be aware. I could wish each man will equip 
themselves with snow-shoes by the returns to be made to me or Colo Bellows, or 
Hunt, and whereas it is my opinion that if the Enemy make an attack on us this 
winter it will be at Otter Creek and Coos, the Reg't below Windsor and west of the 
River, ^ an attack is made to march to Rutland. Windsor, and Hartford, to look 
well to the Passages into the tipper part of Windsor and Hartford." 

It will be remembered that several months before the actual 
breaking out of hostilities, there was an alarm of an immediate 
invasion from Canada in order to put an end, at once, to the 
disaffection in New England. This was the first of many alarms 
which vexed the frontier during eight years. 

It is probable that there were sixty or seventy men in 
Newbury, between the ages of sixteen and sixty, able to bear arms. 
A military company was organized in Bath. A few of the men 
had guns, the rest carried cornstalks to deceive the Indians. 

During the entire war, parties of scouts, numbering from 
two or three to a score, were constantly patrolling the woods, 
watching the mountain passes, the river fords, and the islands 
at the outlet of Lake Champlain. Some journals of these 
expeditions are still preserved. 

Bayley seems to have succeeded in getting some ammunition 
for the town, as a receipt from Alexander Harvey of Bamet, 
about the end of November, is for two pounds of flints from the 
Newbury stock. On the 15th of July, Col. John Taplin wrote to 
the president of the New York Congress, that '*the country seems 
well united and the people fixed to one another in the cause of 
liberty," There were, however, a few men in Coos who had little 
confidence in popular government, and supported the cause of 
the Crown. The most prominent were, Col. Asa Porter, and 
Andrew S. Crocker, of HaverhilL The former, from his ability, 
his education, and his wealth, was particularly dangerous, and his 
house was believed to be the resort of the leading tories, and 
emissaries from Canada. A road near North Haverhill, and a 
piece of woods close by it, are often called the **tory road," and 
the "tory woods," to this day. 

In the first week of September, 1775, several men from 
Newbury marched from Haverhill with a part of Bedell's regiment 


which was ordered to Canada. It is not known who they all 
were. Frye Bayley, and John Foreman were among them. The 
former was an ensign. It is probable that one of the Chamberlins 
and John Seagel were of the company. These men returned before 
winter. The invasion of Canada^ which resulted so disastrously to 
the American cause, promised success for some time, and the belief 
was entertained that the whole of Canada would join with the 
colonies, and declare independence of Great Britain. But the 
American forces were repulsed at Quebec, and the advantages 
which had been gained were soon lost. Four hundred men of 
Bedell's regiment were disgracefully surrendered at a place called 
The Cedars. The American army was forced to retreat from 
Canada, and the condition of the troops was unfortunate. To 
prevent the total destruction of the army, troops were sent from 
the southern part of New England to join the forces and cover the 
retreat. The first men were sent by way of Charlestown, and the 
military road which was opened across the Green Mountains 
during the French war. 

Washington being desirous to learn if a shorter route to 
Canada could not be made, Gen. Bayley, then with the army 
before Boston, informed the commander-in-chief that a much 
shorter road lay through the Coos country, and that he could 
find men who could go through the wilderness and mark out a 
road. Capt. Thomas Johnson was selected as the man to 
undertake this enterprise.* He was to take two or three men, and 
an Indian guide, and mark a road by blazed trees to St. Johns, 
and when the first troops reached that place he was to return, and 
make report of the time, and points of compass. He took with 
him Frye Bayley, Abial, and Silas Chamberlin, and John McLean. 
They left Newbury on Tuesday, March 26, 1776, the advance 
guard following several hours behind. Johnson's journal says that 
they "lodged that night with the last inhabitant" — probably in 
Peacham. They marched on snow-shoes, the snow melting, and 
the rivers breaking up, and they had to wade through the 
streams which they reached. On Sunday, the party reached Mr. 
Metcalfs on the Missisquoi, whence Frye Bayley returned to 
report progress. On Friday they reached St. Johns, about 
one hundred miles from Newbury. The expenses of the party 
amounted to twenty pounds, which was paid in 1786, as 
appears in a certificate at Montpelier. Along the path which had 
then been marked out, several regiments passed to Canada on 

It was found that troops could be sent to Canada by way of 

*yobnson's Journal. Johnson to Maj. Stark, 1804. Johnson in Spooner's Vt. 
Journal in reply to charge of Toryism. 


Coos, about ten days quicker than by way of Lake Champlain, and 
this fact led the Continental authorities to begin a military road 
from Newbury to St. Johns. James Whitelaw and a party of men 
were sent in advance to make a location, who were followed by 
Gen. Bayley, with sixty men and many teams, to cut down trees, 
build bridges, and lay corduroys across the swamps. The road was 
partly completed to a point about six miles beyond Peacham, when 
scouts came in with tidings that Canadian troops were advancing 
down the path which Johnson had marked out, to capture the 
party who were building the road, and destroy all the settlements 
on the river. Bayley and his men made a hasty retreat, and the 
road was abandoned. Bayley was apprehensive for the safety 
of Whitelaw and his men, who were some distance in advance 
of the main body. But the wily Scotchman was not caught 
napping, and made good his retreat, striking through the 
woods to the Connecticut river at Barnet. On the 24th of June 
the committees of safety from Bath, Haverhill and Bradford met 
at Gen. Bayley's house, to concert measures for their common 
protection. Messengers were sent to warn all the people up the 
river. The alarm was great, and fear magnified the small party 
of Canadians who had actually followed Johnson's trail to the 
borders of Peacham, into an army. Nearly all the settlers at the 
Upper Coos came to Haverhill, and some continued their flight to 
Concord. The few inhabitants of Peacham came to Ryegate, and 
all Ryegate and Peacham came together to Newbury. Joseph 
Chamberlin was sent with a scout of ten men to discover the 
whereabouts of the invading army, but finding no trace of them, 
returned. The alarm soon died away, and the Ryegate and 
Peacham people found their homes undisturbed on their return. 

In May, Capt. Frye Bayley was sent to the army in Canada, 
with dispatches from Washington, and remained with it until it 
reached Crown Point. His journal, still preserved in this town, 
gives us a vivid picture of the sufferings of the men, and the 
difliculties which attended the retreat. It will be found later in 
this volume. 

With the return of the army from Canada, and the transfer of 
the seat of war to the Hudson river the immediate danger of 
invasion passed away. It was succeeded by an alarm of a still 
more terrible nature. Some soldiers returning by way of Coos, 
were taken with the smallpox. A building was erected for their 
accommodation, which stood in the woods above the first railroad 
crossing north of the Newbury depot, and some portions of it 
remained when the railroad was built, in 1848. A daughter of Col. 
Frye Bayley, who died in 1863, said that several men died there, 
and were buried in the woods. Their names are unknown. 



The REVOI.UTION — Continued, 

Meeting at College Hall.— Trouble with the Tohibs.— Robert Rogers 
AGAIN.— Arrest op Col. Porter and Others.— Dual Service op Soldiers.— 
Burgo yne's Expedition.— Bayley to the New York Congress.— A Call from 
Schuyler por Men.— Burgoynb's Proclamation.— Fall op Ticondbroga.— 
Retreat of the Americans.— Bennington. — Fort Independence.— Bayley's 
Call for Men.— Capt. Frye Bayley's Muster Roll.— The Capture op 
Supplies.— The Surrender op Burgoynb. 

ON the 5th of July, 1776, the Committees of Safety from all the 
towns in the valley, met at College Hall in Hanover, to devise 
measures for the protection of the frontier. Gen. Jacob 
Bayley, of Newbury, Col. Charles Johnston, of Haverhill, and Col. 
Peter Olcott, of Norwich, were chosen a committee to direct and 
order the affairs of the Newbury department. Two hundred and 
fifty men were raised, under the command of Capt. Woodward, of 
Haverhill, to **scout and guard," with headquarters at Newbury. 

The disasters which had befallen the army in Canada, had 
caused the tories in this part of the country to believe that the 
cause of liberty was about to fail, and they began to concert plans 
for the overthrow of the new institutions. A few men who had 
hitherto been counted upon the American side, now allied themselves 
with the supporters of the crown. Communications were opened 
with the Canadian authorities. Some of these messages were 
intercepted by Bayley's scouts. It was determined by the 
committees at College Hall to strike a blow at these enemies to 
the public safety. 

In November, 1775, Major Robert Rogers came into Newbury 
under circumstances which excited alarm to all who knew" the 
character and present relations of the man. He had chosen a time 
when Bayley, Kent, and others who might know him were away, 
and made himself friendly to the American cause, mingled intimately 


with the people, and found out all he could about the resources of 
the country. It was discovered that several Indians were lurking 
in the woods at the same time, and that Rogers had visited Col. 
Porter, and other prominent tories. Bay ley returned somewhat 
anexpectedly, and knowing that Rogers held a command in the 
British army, sent to arrest him, but he had made his escape, 
disguised, it is said, as an Indian. 

One of the first acts of the session at College Hall, was a resolve 
to strike a blow at the tories. On the 7th of August, Col. Porter, 
Col. John Taplin, David Weeks, and Jacob Fowler were arrested 
and brought before the Committee of Safety. After a hearing, 
Taplin, Weeks and Fowler were allowed to go on bail, but Col. 
Porter was sent to Exeter under guard, and confined in jail for 
some time. These resolute measures alarmed the tories, and 
suppressed, for a time, their machinations. 

In September, 1776, several men from here enlisted in regiments 
firom other states, which were sent to the Hudson. One of these 
was Peter Powers, the minister's eldest son, who died at New York 
on the 30th of that month, and is buried there. 

In December, a number of men who belonged to Chase's regi- 
ment were sent to New York, to re-inforce Capt. Joshua Howard's 
company, in Oilman's regiment. 

It will be understood that during the whole war, there were 
firequent calls for men on short terms of service for particular 
purposes. Many of the militia were upon the rolls of Bedell's 
regiment, and remained at home, except when called into actual 
service, when they were transferred to some company on the field. 
In Capt. John G. Bayley's company, '^guarding and scouting," in 
Col. Peter Olcott's regiment, from April, 1777, to May, 1779, there 
were eighty-five men, and their terms of actual service, in that 
company, ranged from twenty days to two months and nine days, 
during the two years. But in the course of those two years, the 
great majority, perhaps nearly all, of that company, served in one 
or more campaigns, as members of other companies Vnd regiments, 
in actual service. Several of them, like Nehemiah Lovewell, Robert 
Johnston, Frye Bayley and Jacob Kent, were enrolled as privates 
in the **home guards" (to borrow a modern phrase) while, at the 
same time, holding commissions and executing them, as ofiicers, 
in regiments on the field. This dual connection renders the 
computation of the actual service of many revolutionary soldiers 
almost impossible. 

At the beginning of 1777, the British ministry determined to 
crush the insurrection in America in one decisive campaign. Gen. 
John Burgoyne was ordered to assemble an army in Canada, 
advance by way of Lake Champlain and the Hudson, while Gen. 
Clinton was to ascend the river from New York with an over- 
whelming force, and thus sever New England from the other 


colonies. The campaign was well planned, and had it been as 
skilfully carried out, the war might have ended.. It was known 
months in advance that great preparations were going on in 
Canada for an invasion of New England. It was believed at first, 
that the expedition was intended to march to Boston by way of 
Coos. The Committee of Safety sent urgent messages to the 
authorities imploring men and ammunition. 

On February 26, Gen. Bay ley wrote to the president of the New 
York Provincial Congress as follows, — 

"Newbury, February 26, 1777. 

Sir— We baTe lately sent scouts to St. Francis and Missisquoi, and find by tbe 
former that the enemy in Canada determine to survey the passes to this country, 
at least soon. From Missisquoi that General Carleton has confined Mr. Metcalf to 
Montreal, who has moved his family and moveables from Missisquoi. 1 suppose 
that Lieut. Hoisington's men should be ordered to duty under some commander. I 
am continually employed in the Service, but have no Pa^^ and am willing as long 
as I can live without Begging — ^the time is now come. 

I had in Pay 60 men from the 1st of July to the 10th of September at ten 
Dollars per month and supplied them, which were the only soldiers m this Quarter. 
During this time I was Desired by Committees of this and Neighboring States to do 
this Service (they were men I had hired to make the road to Canada.) I must 
Desire you to consider my Case — and grant me relief by paying the roll ofiered you 
by my clerk, Mr. William Wallace, as I cannot do justice to the American Cause 
without. The militia are now on their march from this County. I am obliged to 
advance Marching Money and I am 

Gentlemen, Your Most Obedient Humble Servant, 

Jacob Bayley*." 

On the following day, February 27, says Col. Frye Bayley's 
journal, "an express came from Gen. Schuyler to take every fifth 
man in the militia to go to Ticonderoga." This was on Saturday. 
On Monday the militia met at Robert Johnston's inn, where the 
draft was made and on the next day the men were mustered in 
and set out. No record of their names can be found. 

On the 28th of May, the Council of Safety, at Kingston, N. Y., 
sent a message requesting Gen. Bayley to order a company of 
rangers from Gloucester and Cumberland counties, to march to 
Kingston, in Ulster Co.t On the 14th of June, Bayley wrote to 
the Council, in remonstrance to this order, as stripping the frontier 
of men and arms, which were much needed for present defense, 
and there was no money to advance to the men.t On the 29th 
of June, Burgoyne arrived at Ticonderoga, with a brilliant 
army of eight thousand British and Germans, besides many 
Canadians and Indians. He there issued a proclamation in 
which he promised rewards to those who joined his army, 
protection to those who remained quiet, and extermination to 
all who resisted. He threatened to unloose all the northern 

•Documentary Hist, of N. Y., I. 641. 
fN. Y. Archives, I., p. 153. 
tllnd, p. is6. 


Indians, many of whom had joined his army, upon the settlements. 
This proclamation was circtdated throughout the country. On 
Sunday morning, July 7, one of them was found nailed to the 
door of the meeting-house in Newbury. In many places, the 
tories were exultant, and gave people much trouble. In Strafford 
and vicinity about thirty went over to the enemy. But in Coos 
the vigorous measures which had been taken by the Council of 
Safety had over-awed the disaffected. Joseph White and his son 
and perhaps one or two more, disappeared for a few months, 
and were supposed to have been in the enemy's camp. The 
threats of an Indian war, instead of terrorizing the people, 
produced the opposite effect, and aroused all New England to 
resistance. But it took time to gather the militia and mean- 
while Burgoyne pursued his way unchecked to the Hudson. On 
the 6th of July, Ticonderoga was evacuated, and all its stores 
fell into the hands of the enemy, and the retreating forces were 
routed with great loss at Hubbardton. Skenesborough, now 
Whitehall, fell, and the British reached the Hudson on the 29th 
of July. Fort Edward was abandoned, and the Americans fell 
back to Saratoga, and then to Stillwater, at the mouth of the 

Burgoyne believed himself secure and expected in a few days 
to form a juncture with Clinton. But being in need of supplies, 
he sent Col. Baum with two pieces of artillery and eight hundred 
British and Hessians, with a body of Canadians, Indians and 
tories, to sieze the military stores at Bennington. We all know 
the result of that expedition. The records are so incomplete that 
we do not know how many Newbury men were at Bennington. 
Nehemiah Lovewell was there, and probably one or two of the 
Chamberlins, as some of that family usually contrived to be on 
hand where any fighting was going on. Bayley was at Castleton 
on that day, but arrived soon after. So did others from Newbury, 
who helped guard the prisoners. Dr. Samuel White served as 
surgeon, but is not believed to have reached the field till the 
next day. Several men who fought at Bennington settled here 
afterwards, notably Thomas Mellen, whose narrative of the 
battle is one of the best accounts of it which we have. There 
were also some men from Newbury, who were in Capt. Thomas 
Johnson's company at Mount Independence, and who enlisted in 
other companies, and did service later in the campaign. Their 
muster roll is lost. 

The shortness of the terms of service for which many, perhaps 
most, enlisted, was a great source of weakness to the American 
cause all through the war. Many of the New Hampshire men 
enlisted for only a month, their terms expired after the battle, 
and the men went home to secure their crops. Some of them 
returned to join the army at Saratoga. 


The battle of Bennington has been considered the turning 
point of the revolutionary war. But work remained to be done 
before the capture of Burgoyne was accomplished. Money was 
very scarce, and the means for the equipment of the army were 
famished by private citizens. John Langdon, of Portsmouth, 
pledged all his property. Jacob Bayley, of Newbury, mortgaged 
his farm. HardJy a town in New England, settled at that time, 
but has its patriotic incident connected with the Burgoyne invasion. 

Mr. Perry says that nearly all the able-bodied men of 
Newbury went to the seat of war. Col. Thomas Johnson, 
who was serving as aid to Lincoln, was in command of most 
of the Newbury men at the capture of Ticonderoga and Mount 
Independence. After the surrender of the latter. Col. Johnson was 
in command of an escort of troops which was to take about one 
hundred prisoners to Charlestown, which he did, treating them 
with great kindness. Among the officers was a Mr. Spardain, 
whom he afterwards met while himself a prisoner in Canada. 

Meanwhile, the investment of Burgoyne was proceeding and 
troops were being hurried to Saratoga. Gen. Bayley was active 
and untiring in his efforts to secure men and supplies. On the 21st 
of September, he wrote from Castleton, "We request that all the 
militia above Charlestown and eastward march with horses, 
bringing flour and beef to serve one month. I think every man 
of spirit will turn out. Pasturing good and plenty." Col. 
Jacob Kent was sent to Coos to engage the militia. His diary 
says that his regiment left Coos on September 25th, Thursday, 
reached Pawlet on Monday, and Saratoga on Wednesday, 
September 31st, and was present at the surrender of Burgoyne, 
October 17, 1777. It is not certain how many Newbury men 
were at Saratoga. The muster roll of Capt. Frye Bayley's 
company is given in the Appendix. This company served from 
September 23d, to October 27th. Their travel was two hundred 
and seventy miles.* It does not appear that any men were lost 
from this company. It did good service, however. One of its 
exploits was the capture of fifteen boats loaded with supplies for 
Burgoyne's army. These boats had passed down the Hudson, 
and had moored for the night on the further side of the river, 
Bayley determined to capture the boats, and called for volunteers. 
Bartholomew Somers, of Ryegate, and a man from New Hamp- 
shire, swam the river, secured one of the boats unobserved, and 
re-crossed the river. Bayley and as many men as could get into 
the boat, crossed the Hudson, and found that the men in charge, 
suspecting no danger, had gone on shore to eat their suppers. 
The boats were secured without alarm being given, and were all 
safely brought to the American side of the river. 

^Mnster roll at Montpelier. 


Had this history been written, as it should have been, seventy 
years ago, it would have collected many personal reminiscences 
of that campaign, from the lips of men who marched from 
Newbury, and had their part in that memorable affair. David 
Johnson gathered a few anecdotes in his lifetime, which he 
transmitted to Rev. Grant Powers. One of them, the exploit 
of Ephraim Webster, and another, in swimming across Lake 
Champlain with dispatches, is well known, and is mentioned 
elsewhere in this volume. This is not the place to give a 
detailed account of the expedition of Burgoyne. Our narrative 
mainly concerns itself with those who w^ere left behind. It is 
said that at one time there were but six able-bodied men left 
in Newbury, and these included the minister and Dr. Smith. 
The women did the field work, and had to bear the suspense 
as they could. It must have been ten days before the great 
news came to Coos, how that Burgoyne had been hemmed in 
at Saratoga, and had, after fighting bravely, been compelled to 

The battle of Saratoga is considered by historians, as one 
of the decisive battles of the world. Before that event it was 
believed that the Americans would struggle to little purpose 
against Great Britain. But in a few months it was known 
all over Europe, that the great expedition of Burgoyne had 
met with disaster, and that, in the backwoods of America, a 
British army had been compelled to deliver up its arms. We 
all know what followed. It should be a matter of local pride 
that in that remarkable series of events, the men of Newbury 
bore a commendable part. 


The Revolutionary War — Continued. 

A Time of Quiet.— Progress of Settlement.— Corinth.— Topsham.— Baylby, 


Canada — Store-Houses.— The Hazen Road.— The Story of Tamalek. 

IT seems probable that a comparative degree of peace and 
prosperity existed at Coos for two or three years after the 

surrender of Burgoyne. The disastrous failure of that 
expedition secured peace upon the frontier for a short time. The 
British in Canada were in no condition to renew the attempt 
to invade New England. Burgoyne had set out upon his 
expedition with a well-trained and fully-equipped army, and had 
been completely overthrown. A second invasion, though often 
threatened, was never begun. The interval of comparative peace 
enabled the inhabitants to establish themselves more securely in 
their possessions, and to extend the bounds of the settlement. 

We have seen that clearings had been begun on several farms 
at West Newbury before the revolutionary war. By the year 1780, 
it is believed that some thirty families had settled in that part of 
the town, all away from the river road. It is probable that 
between 1777, and 1780, Col. Robert Johnston built a sawmill on 
his mill lot, a tract of one hundred acres, granted him as a bounty 
for building a mill at the falls, where the road to West Newbury 
from the village crosses Hall's brook. This lot lies east of, and 
adjoining, the hundred-acre lots. 

About that time, certainly before 1780, Jonathan Butterfield 
built a grist-mill on Hall's brook at the same falls where Mr. 
Runnels' mill is now, but on the other side of the stream. 

In the summer of 1777, Bzekiel Colby, from Newbury, began 
a settlement in Corinth, where his family was soon joined by others. 
Col. John Taplin and his sons removed thither, and became citizens 
of influence. 


Reuben Page, a younger brother of John Page of Haverhill, 
who had served five terms in the revolutionary war, settled near 
the comer of Newbury, in Corinth, about 1780. In that year, the 
first sawmill was built in that town. Col. Thomas Johnson states 
that there were about forty families in Corinth in 1782. 

In 1781, Thomas Chamberlain removed firom the Ox-bow to a 
part of Topsham, then, and for some years later, claimed by 
Newbury. He was soon joined by Thomas McKeith, from Ryegate, 
and Samuel Famham. The road from the river in Newbury to 
these remote settlements was the one that passes the schoolhouse 
on Rogers' hill. The part beyond the late Harrison Cheney's was 
abandoned many years ago, but this was the only outlet which 
the first settlers in Topsham and Corinth had for some years. 

But although the country seemed peaceful, the leading men 
were apprehensive that hostilities would break out again, and they 
were soon reminded that it was only a truce and not a permanent 

In December, 1777, Capt. Frye Bayley and Capt. Nehemiah 
Lovewell, of Newbury, and John Powell, of Strafford, were sent 
from Newbury to Montreal, to escort one Capt. Singleton, who 
had been here to negotiate for an exchange of some prisoners. 
They took but three days' provisions, expecting by that time to 
reach settlements. They were overtaken by storms, their provisions 
gave out, and they suffered greatly from cold and hunger during 
their journey, which lasted ten days. On their arrival, their flag 
was disregarded, and they were thrown into prison where they 
remained several months. Bayley returned to Boston by way of 
Halifax, October 8, 1778. 

During the years which followed 1777, the frontiers were 
kept in a state of continual and increasing alarm. This was in 
accordance with the policy of the authorities in Canada, which 
had several motives. One of them was to prevent the enlistment 
of men from Coos for service elsewhere; another, to keep people 
from settling here, and a third, to make the inhabitants think that 
their security lay in making peace with Canada. 

The tories in Newbury and Haverhill plotted ceaselessly, but 
were restrained from actual violence by the wiser heads among 
them. Some of them were idle and dissolute persons who went as 
far as they dared without putting themselves in actual danger. 
Their number was very small, compared with those who embraced 
the patriot cause, and they confined themselves to the perpetration 
of a mtdtitude of petty annoyances. It was common for some of 
them to go about after dark and fi-ighten any solitary family by 
unearthly noises in the night. Another device was to go upon the 
hills behind Cow Meadow and raise the Indian war-whoop. The 
settlers lived in constant dread of their lives from these lawless 
people, and feared that they would gain courage from such 


cowardly axrtions as frightening women and maiming cattle, to 
murder and arson. Really nothing of the kind ever occurred, and 
no one was murdered, and no house was burned by the tories at 
Coos, so far as w^e know. It is probable that much of this 
immunity was due to the influence of Col. Asa Porter. His 
sympathies were with the royal cause, but his humane and liberal 
views forbade any violence, and he knew how to lay a strong hand 
upon the lawless. 

It was believed by Gen. Bayley and the other leaders at Coos, 
that the time was favorable for another invasion of Canada, and 
that there would be no peace on the frontier, as long as the tories 
were sustained by hope from that quarter. On the 13th of October, 
1778,* he instructed Col. Bedel to go to Upper Coos, and take 
proper men to go into Canada, and bring back all the intelligence 
which they could gather. The points upon which he solicited their 
inquiries were : — What forces were in Canada ; the condition of the 
garrisons ; the general sentiments of the people, and of the clergy 
toward the American cause; the disposition of the Indians, and 
whether there had been good or bad crops that season. They were 
also to buy all the moose skins, moccasins, and snow-shoes they 
could collect, and to engage the Indians to bring to Newbury 
all the skins and moccasins they could obtain, when the fall 
hunt was over. The information obtained inspired the belief, 
that if a sufficient force was sent into Canada to insure 
protection, the inhabitants would rise and throw oflF the British 
yoke. Preparations began at once for another invasion of Canada. 
A large storehouse was built at Haverhill, and a great quantity of 
military stores was collected there.f Cattle were bought and killed, 
their meat salted down, and the hides taken to the tan-yard. Many 
Indians came to Newbury, with skins to sell, and the more expert of 
them were employed in making snow-shoes. Military stores were 
brought to Newbury, and quantities of shoes, blankets and the like, 
were placed in a building which stood where Dea. Sidney Johnson's 
barn now stands, on the Ox-bow. The medical stores and more 
valuable goods were deposited in the southwest corner room in 
Col. Thomas Johnson's house, and in the chamber above it. In 
December, a party of men was sent to Peacham, to begin where 
Bayley left off in 1776, and open the road to Canada. 

In April, 1779, Col. Hazen was directed to move his military 
stores to Peacham, and sent a letter to the selectmen of all the 
towns along the river, whose purport will be understood by the 
following extract from the town records: — *'At a meeting held at 
the State House in Newbury at the request of Colo. Moses Hazen 
to see if the town of Newbury will repair the old Rode to 

♦ New Hampshire War Rolls. IV., 276, 
t Bedel Papers, p. 93. 


Ryegate, or look out a new one, and also provide carriages to 
move his military stores to Peacham," it was voted, "that 
Colo. Moses Little, Thomas Chamberlain, Thomas Johnson, 
Robert Johnston, Josiah Page, and Colo. Lovewell be a committee 
to look ont and lay a rode from Gen. Bayley's mill on Harriman's 
brook, to Wells River, at or below Whitelaw's mills, and make a 
return to the selectmen immediately." This road which was then 
made through the woods, was the **old road" which turned to the 
right at the top of the "saw-mill hill," and may easily be followed, 
until it comes out on the present road near where Henry G. Rollins 
now lives. It afterward became a public road, and was abandoned 
about 1842, when the road was laid out near Harriman's Pond. 
The road which Bayley had begun in 1776, was continued by Hazen 
through the towns of Cabot, Walden, Hardwick, Greensboro, 
Craftsbury, Albany, and Lowell, to a notch in the mountain in 
Westfield, still called Hazen's Notch. 

A large portion of Bedel's regiment was ordered to Peacham to 
construct this road, which also built blockhouses at Peacham and 
other places, which were garrisoned during the war. Work was 
discontinued on the military road the last of August, the reports of 
forces being dispatched from St. Johns to capture the constructing 
party, hastening the abandonment. The road was never of any use 
from a military point of view, but it greatly aided the settlement of 
the towns through which it passed, and the road is called the 
Hazen Road to this day. There was never any intention of 
invading Canada at that time, and the whole affair of building 
the road and accumulating supplies was only a strategem to 
deceive the Canadian authorities and prevent their sending any 
troops from Canada to New York. Notwithstanding the failure 
of this expedition to Canada, Gen. Bayley and the other leading 
men at Coos believed that the proposed invasion was only 
postponed, and exerted themselves to persuade Washington and 
his generals that the only safetjr for New England lay in the 
subjugation of Canada, and until that should be accomplished, in 
the stationing of a strong and well-drilled force at Coos to guard 
the frontier. 

There exist among the Washington papers many letters from 
Bayley, conveying the information gathered by his spies in Canada, 
regarding another expedition forming there and urging immediate 
action. By the beginning of 1780, the Coos country had become 
populous, and the g^eat meadows yielded abundantly. The 
plunder of such a region offered a great temptation to the British 
in Canada, and it seemed a matter of common prudence to secure 
the safety of the Connecticut valley. But the British were never 
able to form another expedition in Canada, strong and well enough 
equipped, to promise success after the failure of Burgoyne. 


Mr. Powers devotes considerable space to the narrative of an 
Indian feud, to which he assigns no date, but which is believed 
to have occurred about 1779. As his account di£fers in many 
particulars from those of Mr. Perry and David Johnson, it is only 
worth our while to give the main facts. Toomalek, whom Johnson 
calls Tamalek, a son of the wife of Captain Joe, was one of the 
Indians employed as scouts by Bay ley, and who seems to have 
displayed traits of courage and fidelity, possessed some of the 
worst Indian characteristics of cruelty and revenge. He murdered 
a young Indian girl, the wife of one Mitchell, at the foot of the hill 
where the river turns north, at the upper end of the Ox-bow. A few 
years later he quarrelled with Mitchell and killed him. For both 
these he was acquitted by the Indian court, under the influence 
of one John, a savage Indian who had domesticated himself at 
Co6s. Later he murdered Pial, son of John, in Haverhill. For 
this last crime he was condemned by Indian law, and shot in the 
court-house at Newbury, John being the executioner. His body 
was buried by Joe and Mary. About twenty-five years ago, the 
skeleton of an Indian was dug up near the site of the old court- 
house, which was believed to be that of Tamalek. 


The Troublous Times. 

Ajlasms.— Burning op Pbachaic.— Thb **Gsbat Aljlkic."— Benjamin Whitcomb.— 
A Night of Terror.— The Burning of Royalton.— Mr. Power's Tort 
Skricon. — Its Consequences. — "The Haldimand Correspondence."— 


THB change of plans which led to the abandonment of the 
expedition to Canada brought trouble upon the people at 
Coos, and the later years of the revolutionary war were fiill 
of alarms. There were certain men upon whose heads a price was 
set in Canada, and the hope of obtaining the o£fered rewards made 
some of the tories concert plans for the capture of these men, 
among whom were Gen. Bayley, Col. Thomas Johnson, Capt. Frye 
Baylcy, Col. Robert Johnston, Capt. John G. Bayley, Robert 
Hunkins, and others. But all these were brave and resolute men 
whom it would be no easy matter to kidnap, and great danger 
attended any attempt at abduction, in a thickly-settled country, 
among people accustomed to alarms. In August, 1779, some 
children who had gone after blackberries in a clearing, back of 
where B. B. Chamberlain now lives, discovered several men lurking 
in the woods. The children ran to the houses and gave the alarm, 
upon which guns were fired to call in the men who were at work in 
the meadows. The smoke from clearing land in Ryegate and the 
shouts of the strong-voiced Scotchmen urging their oxen were seen 
and heard in Newbury, and were magnified by apprehension into 
a massacre of the inhabitants, and the burning of the settlement. 

We, who live in these times of instant communication and rapid 
travel, can scarcely form any idea of the terrors of those days. 
People who lived near the river kept boats and rafts hidden where 
they could be quickly reached, by which they might escape into 
Haverhill, the east bank of the Connecticut being considered safest. 


Several families moved over to Haverhill about that time for 
greater security. 

In 1780, houses were burned in Peacham, along the Hazen 
road, and the inhabitants carried to Montreal. On the 9th of 
August, a party of twenty-one Indians came into Barnard and 
made prisoners of three men, vsrhom they bore oflF to Canada. In 
October, came the "Great Alarm," the burning of Royalton by 
a party which had been sent from Canada to destroy Newbury, in 
revenge for the murder of Gen. Gordon of the British army. 

In July, 1776, Benjamin Whitcomb, whose home then, and for 
some years after seems to have been at Newbury, and who was in 
command of a scout on the river Sord, had mortally wounded Gen. 
Gordon, as he was riding between Chambly and St. Johns, and had 
taken from him his watch and sword. Several attempts had been 
made to capture Whitcomb, but without success, when it was 
learned, in 1780, that he was living here. Some months preceding 
the invasion, one Hamilton, who had been taken prisoner with 
Burgoyne, and had been released on parole came to Newbury and 
remained sometime. He made himself friendly with people, and 
learned all he could about the situation and resources of the 
settlement. Later, he went to Hanover and Royalton, and under 
pretence of surveying land in the northern part of the state, went 
directly to the enemy in Canada. 

In October, Capt. Nehemiah Lovewell, of Newbury, who had 
been sent with a company of rangers to garrison the blockhouses 
in Peacham and Cabot, and guard the Hazen road, was, with a 
small scout, near the Lamoille river, when he discovered a party of 
armed Indians, nearly three hundred in number, making their way 
south through the woods.* They were under the command of one 
Horton, a "British lieutenant, with a Frenchman named LaMotte 
as his assistant, and with Hamilton for their guide. Lovewell sent 
his fleetest men to warn the inhabitants* The alarm was sent to all 
the towns as far south as Charlestown. By the time the tidings 
reached Hanover, terror had magnified the invading force into an 
army. All the militia from Bath to Charlestown turned out. The 
people of Newbury, who lived below Harriman's brook, left their 
homes and fled to Haverhill. So many crowded upon a raft which 
left the Newbury side at Sleeper's meadow, that it began to sink, 
when Robert Hunkins and others lightened the frail craft by 
swimming ashore. The alarm reached Newbury after dark, and 
that night was one the like of w^hich this town has never seen since. 
People left their homes as they were, the fires burning, their bread in 
the ovens, their suppers untasted, and fled for their lives. Some few 
retained presence of mind enough to secrete their most valuable 
possessions. The wife of Capt. John G. Bayley lowered all her 

• Mrs. Lovcwcira written statement in 1837, now in the N. H. Hist. Soc. 


crockery and silTer spoons into the well. Mrs. Bbenezer Eaton, 
wlio lived near where William U. Bailey has long resided, hid her 
spoons and her husband's knee-buckles so well that she was never 
able to find them again. In the morning the militia came in, the 
day passed without alarm, and people began to return. It was a 
day or two before the facts became known. 

When the party under Horton came near the present site of 
Montpelier, they found Jacob Fowler of Newbury, and one or two 
others, who were hunting. Fowler was accounted a tory, and 
Horton acquainted him with their plans, but was informed by him 
that Newbtiry had received the alarm, and that the militia had 
gathered in considerable force. They next determined to assault 
Hanover, w^hich had, since the establishment of Dartmouth College, 
become the largest place above Charles town. But not daring to 
cross the river, at that time very high, they passed through Barre, 
Washington, and Chelsea, into Tunbridge, where they remained 
over Sunday, October 15th. On the following day they fell upon 
Royalton, killed several of the inhabitants and carried twenty-five 
persons to Canada.* They burned one house in Tunbridge, several 
in Randolph, twenty-one in Royalton ; sixteen new bams filled with 
hay and grain, slaughtered about one hundred and fifty head of 
cattle, and all the sheep and swine they could find, and destroyed 
all the household furniture they could not carry away, taking about 
thirty horses laden with the spoil of the settlement. An untimely 
snow storm which fell that dav, increased the dreariness of the 
situation. So fell upon Royalton the blow which had been intended 
for Newbury. 

The troubles incident to life upon the frontier in time of war, 
were heightened by an act of indiscretion on the part of the 
minister, Mr. Powers. On the Sabbath, September 10, 1780, he 
preached two sermons fi'om Judges v. 23, which were a scathing 
and intemperate review of the part which had been taken by the 
tories since the war began. The substance of these discourses 
was printed at Hanover, under the title ''Tyranny and Toryism 
Exposed." Their deliverance gave mortal offense to the persons 
at whom it was directed, and tended to increase the hard feelings 
between the two parties at Coos. Mr. Powers' life was threatened 
by means of anonymous letters, and his name was added to those 
upon whose heads a reward had been placed. He became greatly 
alarmed for his safety, and moved with his family to Haverhill, 
into Col. Charles Johnston's house, leaving his son Stephen in his 
own at Newbury. This offended many of the whigs, as the 
patriots were called, especially some of the Bayleys and Col. 
Robert Johnston. They felt that they had endured much more 

'Narradve of Zadoc Steele. Halls Bastern Yt. 


for the cause of liberty, and had far more at stake than he had, 
and that, having by his utterances increased the ill will of the 
tories against them, he had left them to get out of the trouble as 
best thej could. They succeeded in shutting up the meeting-house 
against him, and the rest of his preaching in Newbury was held 
in houses and barns, and in the open air. 

In order to comprehend more fully the perplexities which beset 
the leaders at Coos during the last years of the revolutionary war, 
we must now^ advert to a phase of the history of Vermont which 
has been the perplexity of four generations of historians. 

In October, 1780, certain men who had been prominent in the 
American cause, entered into negotiations with the Canadian 
authorities, which continued through nearly three years, and are 
known in history by the name of the commanding general in 
Canada, as the ''Haldimand Correspondence." "This negotiation,'* 
savs Dr. Williams, who wrote while the authors of it were still 
living, "consisted on the part of the British of constant attempts 
and endeavors to persuade the leading men of Vermont to 
renounce their allegiance to the states of America, and become a 
British province. On the part of the gentlemen of Vermont, the 
correspondence consisted of evasions, ambiguous, general answers 
and proposals, which had for its object a cessation of hostilities, at 
a time when the state of Vermont, deserted by the continent, and 
unable to defend herself, lay at the mercy of Canada.'* 

It would be useless, in a town history, even to give a general 
idea of these negotiations which fill several thousand manuscript 
pages. There were only eight men in Vermont who were in the 
secret of this correspondence : Thomas Chittenden, Moses Robinson, 
Samuel Safford, Ethan Allen, Ira Allen, Timothy Brownson, John 
Fassett and Joseph Pay. They succeeded in making the British 
authorities in Canada believe that Vermont could be easily 
detached from its adherence to the American cause and annexed to 
Canada. They persuaded them to agree to a truce, by which 
the British troops were to be withdrawn from Vermont, while the 
militia of this state was disbanded. There is a great deal in this 
correspondence which has never been fully explained, and to read 
some of the letters of the Aliens to the authorities in Canada, it 
would be believed that they were ready to sell Vermont to the 
British. How Gen. Haldimand and his officers allowed themselves 
to be thus duped, passes wonder. Indeed, it must be admitted that 
throughout the whole negotiation, Haldimand seems to have been 
actuated bv a benevolent desire to avoid further bloodshed and 


bring the colonies, by kindly measures, back into the control of the 

No one on the east side of the state was admitted to the 
secret of these negotiations, but it was not long in coming to the 
knowledge of the leading men in the Connecticut valley, that 


something strapicious was going on in the west part of the state. 
It was known to Gen. Baylej that certain men living near 
Bennington had been to Canada; that Canadian agents had 
yisited Vermont, and that a correspondence was going on along 
Lake Champlain. It was not long before an attempt was made by 
the British to secure an emissary on this side of the state. 

Azariah Pritchard, a Connecticut tory, who was ambitious to 
secure a commission in the British army, had visited Canada, and 
was given to understand that he could bring himself into favorable 
notice, by seizing some prominent man in the Connecticut valley, 
and taking him into Canada as a prisoner. He secured a list of the 
men upon whose heads a price was set, and engaging a small 
company of lawless men, he came down to Coos, and learned all he 
could about the principal citizens. But the serious risks involved in 
taking a man out of a populous locality, deterred his attempt. He 
learned that Col. Thomas Johnson, who had entered into a contract 
with James Bayley of Peacham, to build a gristmill in that town, 
had started with Josiah and Jacob Page, and two ox teams, for 
Peacham with the mill stones, on Monday, March 3d, 1781. On 
Wednesday night, while Johnson and Page were staying at the 
house of Dea. Jonathan Elkins in Peacham, Pritchard and his men 
surrounded the house, and carried Col. Johnson, Jacob Page, and 
Jonathan Elkins off to Canada. Rev. Grant Powers, with his usual 
inaccuracy, says that Page was sent down the river and never 
heard from afterwards. As a matter of fact, he was exchanged, 
and returned to Newbury, settling finally in Ryegate, where he is 
well remembered by old people. 

Jonathan Elkins was sent to Quebec, where he suffered greatly 
from cold and hunger. In the fall, he was carried to England and 
confined in Mill prison, and was not exchanged for a year and a 
half from the time of his capture, when he was but nineteen years 
of age. Hon. Henry K. Elkins, a prominent business man of 
Chicago, is a son of Jonathan Elkins. 

Johnson was, on the contrary, treated with a leniency and 
courtesy in marked contrast to the harsh treatment which was 
the lot of Elkins. He was well known, personally, to many of 
the British officers in Canada, and was considered by the authorities 
as a fitting man to represent Canadian interests on the east side 
of the Green Mountains, where, as yet, they had no partisan of 
influence or station. 

To their inquiries respecting the views and feelings of the people 
upon the New Hampshire Grants, he affected indifference, and 
appeared to have grown lukewarm in the cause of the colonies. 

They gradually made him acquainted with the negotiations 
which were going on between the Canadian authorities and the 
leaders in south-western Vermont, and he was informed that if he 
would serve their cause at home, he would be permitted to retmm 


to Newbury. Accordingly, upon his promise to inform them of 
what was being said and done at Coos, which would be of value 
to them, he was given his parole, at St. Johns, October 5, 1781, 
and reached home on the 12th of the same month. 

During his captivity, he kept a diary which, for the first time, is 
published in this volume. 


Col. Thomas Johnson. 

His Unfortunate Situation.— Tidings of his Capture.— The Alarm.— Capt. 
Webb.— Riot at Col. Johnson's.— The Last Two Years of the War.— 
Blockhouses. — Bliss and Sleeper Killed by the Indians.— Sherwood 
AND Smythe.— Their Report.— Plans to Capture Gen. Jacob Bayley.— 
Robert Rogers again.— Pritchard's Attempt to Take Bayley.— Shem 
Kentfdsld. — The Attack.— Sarah Fowler. 

WHETHER the capture of Col. Thomas Johnson was planned 
in Canada, or whether Pritchard's exploit had placed in the 
hands of the British a man whom they believed could be 
wrought upon to serve their purpose, cannot be determined. 

The war which Great Britain had carried on with the colonies, 
had now been conducted nearly six years, yet with all their 
resources of men and money England had little to show in the way 
of results. A new policy was now to be inaugurated, and the 
troubles between Vermont and New York were used by the British 
to weaken the attachment of the former state to the federal union, 
and finally draw it back to the Crown. With a similar result in 
view, but by various means, they hoped to win the revolted colonies, 
one by one, back to their allegiance. 

The journal of Col. Johnson, while in Canada, shows that he 
was treated with a consideration greatly disproportioned to his 
rank as lieutenant-colonel in the colonial militia. But if the British 
expected much from him, they were disappointed, while at the same 
time his connection with them drew many troubles upon his head, 
here in Newbury. He had been very prosperous since he came to 
Co5s, and as, by 1781, financial difficulties had overtaken Gen. 
Bayley, Johnson was probably much the wealthiest man in 
Newbury, and his fine house still attests the style in which he lived. 

This prosperity had its drawbacks. He had made a few 
enemies, and as the worst charge which could be made against a 


man in those days was that of torvism, there were those who had 
not scrupled to say that he was at heart a tory, and had underhand 
dealings with Canada. There had not been, for some time, the best 
of feeling between him and Gen. Bayley, which arose out of some 
transactions, between Johnson, and two of the latter's sons. 
Probably no man in Coos was placed in a more diflScult situation 
during the later years of the war. His enemies averred that his 
capture in Peacham was arranged beforehand, and that he had 
gone there expressly to be thus taken, and when the tidings of his 
capture reached Newbury, there was quite a riot at his house. 

Mrs. Johnson had gone with her children to spend the day with 
her sister, Mrs. Wallace, when, about ten o'clock, a messenger came 
from Peacham, with the news of her husband's capture. It was 
supposed that his captors were but the advanced guard of an 
invading army, and the alarm was sent out to all the towns as far 
south as Hanover. The first officer to arrive was Capt. Webb with 
a few men. Between Webb and Johnson there had been trouble, in 
some long forgotten manner, and the former took possession of the 
house with his men. 

At that time there was a considerable quantity of rum, brandy, 
and other stores in the south-west front room, and the chamber 
above it. Webb demanded the keys of Ebenezer Whitaker, the hired 
man, and on his refusal, broke open the doors, and helped himself 
and his men liberally to the spirits, using abusive language toward 
Johnson. The men were becoming dangerous, when Capt. Jeremiah 
Hutchins came over from Haverhill with his company, and restored 

When Johnson returned home, he found trouble awaiting him. 
There were men who had returned from the Canadian prisons, in 
which they had suflFered from cold and hunger, who reported that 
at a time when they were allowed only enough to keep soul and 
body together, Johnson seemed perfectly at liberty, walking about 
at his leisure, dining with the officers, and having a good time, 
apparently. These rumors were seized upon by his enemies, and 
colored to suit their purposes, and Johnson was exposed to no 
small danger. But it does not appear that his loyalty was 
doubted by Gen. Bayley, Col. Kent, or the more considerate men 
on both sides of the river. 

The last two years of the war were the most trying of all to 
the people at Newbury. There was a constant succession of 
alarms, and considerable bodies of troops were employed in 
guarding the frontier. A blockhouse was built in Corinth, another 
in Cabot, and a third in Bamet. There were several blockhouses 
along the Hazen road, and others were built at Upper Coos, and 
during some months of 1781, and 1782, a daily patrol was kept 
up between these posts, Capts. Nehemiah Lovewell, of Newbury, 
and James Ladd, of Haverhill, were stationed at Peacham. In the 


smnmer of the former year, Constant Bliss, of Thetford, Moses 
Sleeper, of Ne^^btiry, Nathaniel Martin, of Bradford, and a fourth 
whose name is not preserved, were sent to take possession of a 
blockhouse on the west side of Caspian lake, in the town of 
Greensboro. In an unguarded moment, when at a distance from 
the house, they were attacked by a party of Indians. Bliss and 
Sleeper were killed and scalped, the others were carried to Quebec, 
and confined as prisoners. 

People in these days who suppose that the revolutionary war 
ended with the surrender of Cornwallis in October, 1781, will be 
surprised to know that at no period in the war did the patriot 
cause seem more hopeless to the people in Coos, or their own 
situation more dangerous, than in the two years mentioned. 

Col. Thomas Johnson had learned enough of the negotiations 
that were going on between the leaders on the west side of the 
state and the Canadian authorities, to make him anxious for the 
result. He took Gen. Bayley into his confidence, and laid before 
him what he had learned. The latter was not long in finding out 
much more, and, not being in the secret of their plans, they believed 
that Ethan Allen, and Ira Allen, Thomas Chittenden, and Jonas 
Fay, were engaged in a conspiracy to hand Vermont over to the 
British. It could not long escape observation that while the 
eastern part of the state was kept in constant alarm, there was 
peace and quiet west of the mountains. There were others besides 
Bayley and Johnson who knew that something mysterious was 
going on, and there were those on both sides of the river who 
entered into correspondence with Canada, in order to secure to 
themselves some share in whatever might be in the future. 

Both Bayley and Johnson addressed themselves to Washington, 
laying before him such information as they had obtained. Some 
of their letters are given in this volume. 

It had been agreed by Johnson, as one of the conditions of 
his parole, that he should give the British information of the 
movements of the Americans, with shelter and provisions to the 
British scouts, and that he should repair at once to any place to 
which he should be called. Early in 1782, he received a letter 
from Canada by the hand of Levi Sylvester. After that the 
correspondence became quite frequent, and he was closely pressed 
concerning the movements of Gen. Bayley and others. But the 
British in Canada were not long in finding out that their scheme 
for detaching Vermont fi-om the American cause was making no 
progress, and having no apparent suspicion that they were being 
deceived by the Aliens and their associates, sent, in September, 
1781, Mr. George Smythe and Capt. Sherwood into Vermont to 
find out the cause of the delay. 

These commissioners reported at Quebec on the 30th,* that they 

* Haldimand Papers. 


were **fully of the opinion that Messrs. Chittenden, Allen and Fay, 
with a number of the leading men in Vermont, are making every 
exertion in their power to endeavor to bring about a re-union with 
government, and that at heart one-third part of the people 
sincerely wish for such a change. But Congress are much alarmed, 
and have lately at great expense employed a number of emissaries 
in Vermont to counteract underhand whatever is doing for 
government. The principal of these are General Bayley, Colonel 
Chas. Johnston, Morey, Brewster, and Major Childs, on Connecticut 
river. This junto, of which General Bayley is the soul, are 
endeavoring to set the populace against the present leaders by 
insinuating that they are tories, and intend to sell Vermont to 
the British," etc. Gen. Bayley being the chief obstacle to their 
schemes, it was desirable to get him out of the way, and several 
plans were contrived for his capture. 

Long after the war, a man confessed to Bayley that he with 
others lay in wait for him all one day, beside the road into the 
Ox-bow, and that he came near them several times, but each time 
turned back before they could seize him.* 

Later, one Abel Davis, who lived in Peacham, and worked on 
either the British or the American side, as he found it to his 
advantage, came down to the home of Er Chamberlin, who lived 
at the mouth of Wells river, and feigning to be lame engaged 
Chamberlin to go to Gen Bayley and tell him that he had important 
intelligence to communicate. The General was about mounting his 
horse, when Capt. John G. Bayley came in and advised as a 
precaution, that he should accompany him, and that they should 
cross the river, and go up on the Haverhill side. Arriving opposite 
Chamberlin's house, they hailed Davis, and directed him to come 
over to them, which he did, but had nothing important to tell. 
Davis returned, and as his boat touched the Vermont shore, several 
armed men sprang out of the bushes and seized upon a man who 
chanced to be in the boat with him, supposing him to be Bayley. 
So he escaped their hands. t 

In May, 1782,t Major Robert Rogers came into Coos with a 
strong force, and encamped among the hills back of where Bradford 
village now stands, and held communication with certain men of 
doubtful loyalty to the American cause. Col. Bedell, Davenport 
Phelps, Col. Taplin, Isaac Patterson, and others, sending for 
Johnson to come to him, but he contrived not to do so. Gen. 
Bayley obtained information of this, and a strong guard w^as 
stationed at his house every night for some time. 

• Exeter News Letter, 
t Johnson Papers. 
t Johnson Papers. 



In June, another attempt was made, which is related at some 
length by Grant Powers, whose account diflfers in many particulars 
from those which still exist in the handwritings of Johnson, Bayley, 
Dow, Johnston, and others. Powers states that the date was 
June 17, 1782, while those who were engaged in the afifair give it 
as the 35th, which was Saturday. Johnson's own account is, that 
on Friday, June 14th, Col. John Taplin came in from Corinth, and 
told him that there was a party in from Canada to take oflF some 
of his neighbors, but he replied that they must take care of them- 
selves. The next morning Levi Sylvester came, and told Johnson 
that Capt. Pritchard, and Capt. Breckenridge, were in with a party 
of men and were encamped about two miles back from the Ox-bow. 
Johnson went with Sylvester, and held a long conversation with 
them upon the plans of the British respecting Vermont, now fully 
matured. These were, that Vermont should become a province of 
Canada, and all who opposed their plans were to be distressed and 
destroyed as fast as possible. They informed him that Gen. Bayley 
was the man who was thwarting the plans which promised so 
much, and that they had come to take him prisoner. Johnson left 
the men, and returned home by a circuitous route, determining $it 
all hazards to give Bayley some warning. 

The only plan which promised any success with safety, was the 
one which he adopted. Bayley, with two of his sons, was plowing 
on the Ox-bow, near sunset, when Johnson gave his brother-in-law, 
Dudley Carleton, a slip of paper on which he had written, 
"Samson, the Philistines be upon Thee." Carleton rode into the 
meadow, crossed the field where the General was plowing, and 
dropped the paper at some distance from the team, near the furrow. 
Bayley picked up the paper, read it, plowed round once or twice, 
and directed his sons to turn out the team. He remained upon the 
Ox-bow until the danger was over, and then crossed to Haverhill. 

Gen. Bayley lived at that time in a one-story wooden house, 
with a gambrel roof, which stood where Mr. Doe's brick house now 
stands, on the Ox-bow. The guard at the house, which had been 
kept there for some time during nights, consisted of Capt. Frye 
Bailey, Ezra Gates, Joshua and Jacob Bayley, Jr., and Samuel 
Torrey, two of the General's youngest sons, and Thomas Metcalf. 
It had become well known that danger was imminent, but from 
what source was not understood. 

In that same week one Shem Kentfield was hanged as a spy 
at Albany, and in his dying confession revealed the plot to capture 
Gen. Bayley. An express was sent to Newbury from Albany to 
warn Bayley of his danger. This warning reached him a few hours 
before the intimation from Johnson, so that he was on his guard. 
The attack was made "at early candlelight," by eighteen men, of 
whom three, Joseph White and Joseph White, Jr., and Levi Sylvester 
were from Newbury, Henry and David Cross were from the Upper 


Coos. The rest, excepting Pritchard and Breckenridge, were 
unknown. Torrey was standing guard at the door, and the 
rest had stood their guns in a long hall which ran across the 
house from the front door, and opencfd into the ell part behind. 

The attacking party rushed across the road from Cow Meadow 
and were not seen or heard until within a few feet of the house. 
Torrey was taken prisoner, and all the inmates of the house, save 
a young girl, Sarah Fowler, made their escape through doors and 
windows. *Ezra Gates was wounded in the arm as he was running 
from the house. This was the only occasion during the war, in 
which a hostile gun was fired, or blood shed, in Newbury. 

The attacking party might easily have been cut off had the 
people showed any presence of mind, but the only persons at the 
Ox-bow who seem to have had their wits about them that evening 
were Mrs. Thomas Johnson, who loaded and fired several guns to 
give the alarm, and Sarah Fowler, who was the only person who 
remained in the house, and repeatedly blew out the candles which 
the soldiers had lighted to search for the GeneraPs papers. She 
was in charge of a young child of Mrs. Ephraim Bayley's. This 
young girl married Capt. Joseph Perkins, and they became early 
settlers of Shipton, P. Q., where she exemplified, during the 
privations of a frontier life, the same undaunted courage which 
she showed on that evening here in Newbury. 

• Ezra Gates was a Connecticut soldier, who was left at Newbury sick, by one of 
the expeditions which was passing through. He settled in this town, and kept the 
toll bridge at Wells River for some years. He also lived a long time in Bath, where 
he is buried, although he died in this town, in 1844, aged 85. His right arm was 
always lame from the wound he received at General Bayley's. Many of his 
descendants live in towns near here. 


The End of the War. 

Psitchard's Rstr^at.— Jambs Batlby.— Trial op Johnson and Chambbrlain.— 
Johnson's Journby to Hbadquartbrs.— Intbrvibw with Washington.— 
Pbacb. — Summing up.— Newbury's Servicb in thb Revolution.— "Guarding 
AND Scouting."— Joseph Brant.— Resolution against the Tories.— 
Similar Action of Haybrhill.— Reflections.— Ports and Blockhouses.— 


PRITCHARD did not remain long in Newbury. He knew very 
-well that an hour or two would bring a force together which 
could easily cut his men oflF, and began a retreat, taking with 
them Torrey and Pike, the latter being Bayley's hired man. A 
little south of the cemetery, the party met James Bayley returning 
from his father's sawmill, bare-headed and bare-footed. Him they 
took prisoner, and carried to Canada in that condition. They also 
took Peletiah Bliss, who, although an old soldier, had the adroitness 
to feign terror, and they let him go. They stopped at the house of 
Andrew Carter, who lived at or near the **old Buell place," at West 
Newbury, and drank up all the milk the old lady had, and ate all 
the bread they could find. In passing through Corinth, they forced 
the inhabitants to swear allegiance to the King. 

They were followed, about an hour later, by a force of thirty 
or forty men who had been called together by the alarm, and which 
went on their trail as far as Topsham, where they surrounded the 
house of Thomas Chamberlain, and brought him and his son 
Jacob prisoners to Newbury. About five o'clock on Monday 
morning, Johnson was arrested, in his own house, and taken before 
the Council of Safety at Haverhill, to answer to the charge made 
by Capt. John G. Bayley, that he had planned the attempt to 
capture Gen. Bayley. The latter appeared before the Council, and 
without revealing the fact that he had been warned by Johnson, 
contrived to get him off. Chamberlain, who had lately fallen under 


the influence of Col. John Taplin, was itidaced to tell what he 
knew, and was allowed to go home. 

Capt. Absalom Peters, with a strong company, was ordered 
to Newbury, and remained in camp until the end of the war, himself 
acting as aid to Gen. Bayley. There were no further attempts to 
molest any men at Coos. But Johnson's troubles increased. He 
was reported to Canada by the tories, as having warned Bayley of 
his danger, and by certain patriots in Newbury was charged with 
being himself a tory and a spy. Some of the scouts who returned 
to Canada with his answers to communications from there were 
waylaid, and the contents of his letters made public. 

It appears, also, that Gen. Bayley, to whom he had intrusted 
important secrets, was not as cautious as he should have been, and 
he was obliged to appear suspicious of Johnson in order to hide 
the facts, and to connive at the measures which were taken. A 
guard was posted around Col. Johnson's house for several weeks, 
day and night. This was made up of men who did not belong here, 
a piece of caution which averted much friction. Gen. Bayley drew 
up a letter to Washington in which he set forth the unfortunate 
position of Col. Johnson, which he sent by Capt. Frye Bayley. It 
was desired to effect his exchange, in order that he might be free to 
reveal the plots of Chittenden and the Aliens. For, at that time, 
and for a year or two at least afterwards, both Bayley and Johnson 
were firmly persuaded that the dangers to which both were 
exposed, and from which they had suffered, were the work, not of 
the British in Canada, but of Ethan and Ira Allen, Thomas 
Chittenden, and Jonas Fay. 

Bayley did not scruple to say that in his opinion Ethan Allen 
was as great a traitor as Benedict Arnold, and that there would 
be **no peace till five or six rascals were hanged." Johnson was 
threatened on both sides, and his life and property were in great 
danger. There still exist, in various libraries and archives, a great 
number of letters written by Bayley, Johnson, Gen. Moses Dow% 
Charles Johnston, Ebenezer Webster, father of Daniel Webster, and 
others, to various individuals in high positions, which set forth the 
unhappy state of the times. Almost every man of any consequence 
in Newbury seems to have been involved in the troubles of the time, 
with the single exception of Col. Jacob Kent, whose name is never 
mentioned in the correspondence. He was probably completelj' 
occupied with his own affairs, and in the faithful execution of the 
public offices which he held. 

Johnson finally decided to lay his case before Washington in 
person, and on the 20th of November set out for Newburgh, going 
via Exeter to solicit the advice of the leading men in that region. 
On December 4th, he reached Newburgh, and had a very satisfactory 
interview with the commander-in-chief. Washington could not 
then directly aid him, but assured him of his sympathy, and 


acknowledged the value of his services. Johnson returned home 
on the 12th of December. Meanwhile the British in Canada were 
preparing an expedition to occupy Vermont, but it was too late, 
for the war was fast hastening to its close. Active hostilities had 
ceased more than a year before. It was only along the frontiers 
that any strife remained. 

In a few months, peace was restored, the colonies became a 
nation, and the people of Newbury and the rest of Vermont, were 
at liberty to cultivate their farms, clear land, and build themselves 
houses without any danger of molestation from tories or Indians. 

The question has been often asked, how it was that the Coos 
country, so exposed to attack, so tempting a prey to the rapacity 
of the British in Canada, the Indians and the tories, so often 
threatened during almost eight years, yet escaped all serious 
disaster? With the slight exception of the attack on Gen. Bayley's 
house, not a hostile gun was fired in Newbury during the whole 
war, nor, so far as we know, was a dollar's worth of property 
destroyed. Yet at various times the danger was so grave that it 
seemed the country would have to be abandoned. We have no 
record of the number of alarms which were given here in Newbury, 
but at Lancaster, there were ten alarms in which the militia were 
called out. 

Fergurson's History of Coos County says, "the number of 
of days spent in guarding and scouting by men of Lancaster during 
the war was four hundred and fiftv-seven. One man was carried 
away captive from Lancaster in 1780, and two in 1782. In 1775, 
there were eight families in Lancaster, comprising sixty-one people." 
We have no means of knowing precisely how much time was spent 
by Newbury men in guarding and scouting during those eight 
years, but we can form some estimate from the records which still 
remain of one or two of several companies which were employed 
in that work. 

In Capt. John G. Bayley's company, "guarding and scouting," 
from April, 1777, to May, 1779, as appears from the records at 
Montpelier, there are enrolled the names of eighty-five men, whose 
entire time of service is given as 2,862 days, an average of thirty- 
four days each. The custom was that when an alarm was given, 
or when it was advisable to watch a pass or a ford, or guard a 
blockhouse, a number of men were called out for the purpose by 
the captain, and this was so arranged that each man should have 
about an equal share of the work. 

It must be remembered that in the time mentioned, Burgoyne's 
expedition and capture occurred, and nearly all the men enrolled 
in Capt. Bayley's company saw actual service in that campaign in 
other companies, notably those of Capt. Thomas Johnson and 
Capt. Frye Bayley. But the campaign of Burgoyne was the only 
one when the militia of Newbury were all called to the field, at the 


time when the New Hampshire Grants arose as one man to hunt 
the enemy down. 

Capt. Frye Bayley was in command of a company, also 
employed in guarding and scouting, from January, 1781, to the end 
of the war, in which about seventy men were enrolled, whose time 
of service was from fourteen to fifty days. Taking these two 
companies as a basis of calculation, it would seem that, on the 
average, four or five men were, taking one month and one year 
with another, on guard during the whole war, from this town. 
This leaves wholly out of account the service of Newbury men in 
the active campaigns, in which there were always several engaged. 
To their constant care, and close observation of what went on in 
the northern wilderness, the settlements owed much. The danger 
incurred by these rangers and guards was very great. They were 
often sent, two or three at a time, through the wilderness, to 
see what was going on along the St. Lawrence, to observe the 
Indians on the Richelieu, or to inspect the fortifications at Isle Aux 
Noix. Yet in that hazardous service it is believed that not more 
than two or three Newbury men perished. 

The words, "guarding and scouting," cover the records of 
various service. Prisoners were often sent here, for safe keeping, or 
to await an exchange, and, in the latter case, men were detailed to 
escort these to the Canadian lines. Men were also employed in 
guarding the military stores deposited here, or in Haverhill, and, in 
case of alarms, to protect the houses of the more prominent 
citizens, or watch the roads. 

There were no mails or post-offices in Vermont then, so that all 
dispatches had to be sent by special messengers. 

Only the most hardy and discreet men were sent in the 
dangerous service of ranging the wilderness between here and the 
Canadian settlements. 

But the great cause, under Providence, for the exemption of the 
Coos country from being the scene of such horrors as desolated 
Wyoming, was the powerful influence of Joseph Brant, the great 
chief of the Mohawks. He was educated by President Wheelock 
at his Indian school, and when the war broke out, Wheelock is 
said to have interceded with Brant for the protection of the Coos 
country, and that the latter threatened vengeance if the Connecticut 
valley was ravaged. 

The last entry of the few in our town records which relate to 
the war, shows the feeling toward the tories. At a town-meeting 
held June 3rd, 1783, it was voted : **No person that hath joyned the 
Enemy shall have any abidence in this town and any person that 
shall harbor or feed them shall get the Displeasure of the town by 
so doing." It was also voted, **that Samuel Bamet, John Haseltine, 
Reuben Foster, Gideon Smith, Silvanus Heath, Frye Bayley and 
Joshua Bayley be a committee to deal with all such persons." Such 


actions on the part of towns seem to have been common, for the 
records of Haverhill give an article in the warning for town-meeting 
September 16, 1783, as follows: "To pass some votes as said 
inhabitants shall think fit concerning tories, absentees or persons 
who have left the United States of America, and voluntarily taken 
residences within the lines of the enemies of such states, and have 
returned or may return into this town." It was voted "That 
Jonathan Ring, Joseph Hutchins, Nathaniel Merrill, Thomas Miner 
and Ephraim Bayley be a committee to take care that no such 
persons mentioned be suffered to reside in this town." 

Whether any action was ever taken against the tories by the 
Newbury resolution is not know^n. Significant, however, is the 
circumstance that certain families cease from our annals about that 
time. But many, perhaps most, of these men, settled quietly down 
under the new government, and by industry and kindly bearing 
soon won back the good will of their neighbors, and in a few years 
all bitterness passed away. 

So ended, happily in the main, the great struggle for 
independence, and out of it Newbury had emerged almost 
uninjured. Of all its residents who had served in it, not more 
than five or six, so far as we know, lost their lives. The hardships 
of the campaigns seemed slight to these pioneers. Men accustomed 
to the severe toil and exposure of those days, were already inured 
to the dangers of the wilderness. The hardest part of the war fell 
upon those who did not share its exciting scenes, but upon whom 
fell the burden of waiting at home, the wives and the mothers. 
How fared they, these women of Newbury, when all the men in the 
settlement who could march, had gone to the army ? Tradition 
says that at one time of danger, when all the able-bodied men 
of Newbury w^ent after Burgoyne, there were but six men left 
in this town. We wonder how they lived through those scenes 
who remained at home. Perhaps people were less nervous then 
than now. When a man left home to go on a scout, his wife 
did not expect to hear fi-om him again till he returned. 

Mention has been fi-equently made of forts and blockhouses. 
It must not be supposed that regular fortifications were meant by 
the former term. They were, usually, no more than very strongly 
built houses, commonly of logs, which, when held by a few resolute 
and wary men, could resist the attacks of a considerable force. 
Such were farm houses which stood at some distance firom any 
others, in new clearings. The log houses of those days were easily 
made secure from bullets. Frame houses were more open to attack, 
as the walls were not thick enough to stop bullets, and the windows 
were larger. For the defense of such, a stockade, so called, was 
constructed of posts a foot or more in size, and eight or ten feet long, 
standing on end close together, around the house, at a distance of 
ten or fifteen feet from it, secured by a strong gate. Such a stockade 


was built around Col. Robert Johnston's house, which is now a 
bam, standing at the south end of the village, and some of the 
posts remained till after 1800. The house of Maj. Nathaniel 
Merrill, now owned by W. F. Eastman, next north of the cemetery 
at Horse Meadow, was surrounded by a stockade, as was that of 
Col. Charles Johnston, at Haverhill Comer, the older part of the 
house in which Mr. William Tarleton now lives. 

In the records preserved at Montpdier, mention is made of 
sums of money and labor expended in building a**fort*'at Piermont. 

Blockhouses were not made for dwellings, but for defense, and 
were built very strongly of logs, and placed at strategic points. 
Some of these were small buildings which could shelter a few 
men, and several were built along the Hazen road in Peacham 
and Hardwick. Sometimes they were large enough to shelter a 
considerable garrison. There was one such on a hill near Corinth 
Centre, which was garrisoned by forty men at one time, and was a 
central point whence scouting parties were sent out. 

Mention is found in old records of a fort at Newbury, and there 
has been some discussion as to where it stood. Mr. Frye Bayley, in 
1836, pointed out to Dea. D. T. Wells, who died in 1899, the 
location and general plan of that building, which stood on the 
narrow summit of the ridge at the left hand, beyond the cemetery, 
going toward the Ox-bow. The traces of two parallel ditches may 
still be seen, and forty years ago a few brick and cinders remain^ 
on the spot. No mention is made of it in the town records, and it 
was probably built, not by the inhabitants, but by some of the 
many bodies of troops which were continually passing through the 
valley, and was large enough to furnish barracks for one or two 
companies. Capt. Absalom Peter's company, which was stationed 
here during the summer of 1782, was probably quartered in it. 
Miss Sally Bayley, who died in 1867, remembered the building, 
which was taken down when there was no further use for it. 


Newbury in the Vermont Controversy. 

Troubles with Nbw York.—Committbes of Safety.— The First Convention.— 
The Dorset Convention.- The Westminster Conventions.— "New Connec- 
ticut.*'— General Bayley*s Change of Heart.— The New York Con- 
STiXDTiON.— The Windsor Convention.— The State of Vermont.— The 
Council of Safety.— The First General Assembly.- The New Hampshire 
Delegation.- The First Union.— Session at Bennington.— The Cornish 
Convention.— The Union Dissolved.— Four Parties in the Valley. 

THE year 1777, is memorable as the "Bennington Year," and as 
J^also the year in which the country between Lake Champlain 
and Connecticut River was formed into a new state. But 
fourteen years were to pass, and many complications arose, before 
Vermont became a member of the Federal Union. 

Our limits forbid, and the scope of this history does not require 
a full account of these complications, but as the town itself, and 
some of its citizens by themselves, took a small part in these 
operations, it is necessary to give some account of them. We have 
seen that Newbury was settled under a charter granted by the 
governor of New Hampshire, but that in 1764, by the King's order 
in Council, what had been known as the New Hampshire Grants, 
was declared to be part of the territory of New York. 

Now it did not make very much diflference to the settlers which 
government they were under, if they were not molested in their 
lands, if the results of their toil were secured to them, and the laws 
were faithfully administered. But in 1770, the New York courts 
repudiated these New Hampshire charters, and declared all 
proceedings under them to be of no effect. The governor of New 
York proceeded to make new grants of lands which had been settled 
and cultivated for a number of years, to persons from that colony, 
and many of the settlers along the western side of the state, were 
driven from their homes, and strangers reaped what they had sown. 


The inhabitants of several towns west of the Green Mountains, 
chose Committees of Safety, ** whose business it was to attend to 
their security and defense against the New York claimants." We 
have also seen that the proprietors of Newbury secured themselves 
from molestation by procuring a new charter from the governor of 
New York. 

The committees of towns which lay near each other, met from 
time to time to devise measures for their protection, and when the 
revolutionary war broke out, all these committees were called to 
convene at the inn of Cephas Kent, in Dorset, on the 26th of July, 
1775, to devise measures for the common safety. This convention 
accordingly met, and took action concerning the raising of troops 
for the invasion of Canada, and appointed a committee, with 
authority to call another convention when it should seem necessary. 
This second convention met at the same place as the first, on 
January 16, 1776, transacted some business, and appointed a 
committee of three, with power to call a general meeting of all the 
committees in the Grants. 

A third convention met at Dorset, July 24, 1776, which was 
attended by delegates from thirty-one towns, all west of the 
mountains. This body devised means, both offensive and defensive, 
against the British in Canada, and measures of common protection 
against the authorities of New York. This convention, having 
adjourned to the 26th of September, met at the same place, and 
was attended by delegates from twenty-five towns west of the 
mountains, and from eight on the east side, Windsor being the most 
northerly. In this convention were fifty-six delegates, representing 
thirty-six towns on the Grants, who took measures for separation 
from New York, and for defense against the British in Canada. 
They also voted that Col. Jacob Bayley, and Col. Jacob Kent, 
should be, with Capt. Abner Seeley, a committee to lay the 
proceedings of the convention before the inhabitants of the County 
of Gloucester. 

At that time both Bayley and Kent were holding offices under 
New York. Kent was assistant judge of the inferior court of 
common pleas, while Bayley had been, as previously stated, elected 
a deputy from Newbury for the session of the New York Congress 
in 1775, but did not take his seat. This convention remained 
in session four days, and adjourned to the 30th of October, at 
Westminster. At this last mentioned session, no delegate appeared 
from any town above Norwich, and it does not appear that 
any one from Newbury was present, as Solomon Phelps was 
instructed to write a letter to General Bayley, asking his assistance. 
Adjourned to the 15th of January, 1777, this convention met again 
at Westminster, adopted a Declaration of Independence, and chose 
a committee of five to present the proceedings of the meeting to the 
Continental Congress. Of this committee Gen. Bailey was to be 


one, and Col. Thomas Johnson was made one of a Committee of 
War. This convention declared the New Hampshire Grants to be 
an independent state tinder the name of **New Connecticut." 

It would seem that the convention felt some anxiety as to the 
course Newbury would take, this town having no special reason to 
separate from New York. Indeed at that time, General Bayley 
was attached to New York, and on the 19th of February, 1777, 
addressed the New York Convention, in a letter* which he probably 
intended should represent the state of affairs, and the sentiments 
of the people in Gloucester County, but which instead, faithfully 
indicates his own mental perplexity as to what ought to be done. 
This was written while Burgoyne's invading army was getting 
ready in Canada, and displays his fears at the impending danger, 
and his solicitude that the setting up of Vermont as an independent 
state at that time, would make it easy to be conquered from 
Canada. He therefore opposed any separation, until the public 
safety was more assumed. His letter, is in some particulars very 
obscure and perplexing, although his general meaning is clear. But 
in the course of the next four months Bayley changed his mind, and 
on the 14?th of June again addressed the New York authorities, and 
informed them that whereas before the people of Gloucester were 
opposed to any separation, they were now to a man, violent for 
the change. This sudden action on Bayley 's part laid him open to 
the charge of inconsistency, but was due to the fact that those who 
were working for the new state took care to circulate copies of the 
New York constitution throughout the Grants. 

At that time the New York assembly consisted of seventy 
members, apportioned to counties; New York city and county 
having nine, Albany city and county ten, Dutchess seven, and 
the others in like proportion. Vermont was divided into three 
counties and allowed only nine members as follows: County of 
Charlotte four, Cumberland three, Gloucester two. The Senate 
had twenty-four members, of whom three were apportioned to the 
Vermont counties.f When Gen. Bayley and the other leaders in 
this part of the territory had read this constitution, and perceived 
the unfairness which gave to Albany County alone, a larger 
representation than the whole of Vermont, they were convinced 
that the common interest of the Grants compelled the formation 
of a new state.t 

On the fourth of June the convention met at Windsor, at which 
seventy-two delegates representing forty-two towns were in 
attendance. The minutes of the convention give **Mr. John G. D. 
Bailey, and Capt. Robert Johnson" as the delegates from Newbury. 

•Documentary Hist, of N. Y. Vol. 4, p. 560—561. Gov. and Council I, p. 373,4. 

tGoYcmor and Conncil, p. 1 , p. 64. 

IHon. L. E. Chittenden's letter, Sept. 7, 1898. 


They were, without doubt, John G. Bayley and Capt. Robert 
Johnston. But there is nothing in our town records to show that 
any meeting to choose delegates to this convention was ever held. 
This is probably owing to the neglect of the town clerk, Col. Kent, 
to record the warning and the proceedings of the town meeting. 
That both these men attended, is certain. It having been discovered 
that the name. New Connecticut, had been given to a district on 
the Susquehanna, the convention unanimously voted that the New 
Hampshire Grants should thereafter be called and known as 
Vermont. The towns were directed to hold meetings on the 23d 
of June, to choose delegates to a convention to be held in the 
meeting-house at Windsor on the 2d of July. Accordingly, at a 
, town meeting duly warned, of which Reuben Foster was moderator, 
it was voted, "To be separate from the state of New York, and 
formed into a state by name of Vermont." Also '*To accept of the 
independence voted in the convention held at Westminster on the 
15th of January, with the amendments, and that Col. Jacob Bayley 
and Reuben Foster be delegates." 

**0f the proceedings of that convention," says Mr. Walton, 
"no complete account exists." Even the names of the delegates are 
not all known. The reason is, that at that time Burgoyne was on 
his march, all New England was in alarm, and the proceedings of 
the convention passed unobserved. But the members remained at 
their posts until the 8th, adopted a constitution, and chose a 
Council of Safety, which should administer the aflFairs of the state 
until a government under a constitution could be organized. Of 
this famous council, Jacob Bayley of Newbury was one, and was 
chosen, says Hon. L. E. Chittenden, in a letter to the editot of this 
volume, at the personal solicitation of Thomas Chittenden, who 
represented to the convention the importance of having the 
strongest man east of the mountains, upon the board. The only 
source of authority in Vermont, from August, 1777, to March, 
1778, was this council, which prescribed the conduct of the war, 
raised troops, appointed officers, and exercised all the duties which 
commonly fall to the executive. The records of this Council of 
Safety fill 121 pages of the first volume of "Governor and Council." 

The constitution, which was very nearly a copy of that of 
Pennsylvania, provided for a Governor, Deputy Governor, House of 
Representatives, and a council of twelve members instead of a 
Senate. The convention then adjourned, and before it came 
together again, Burgoyne had met his fate. 

The first General Assembly of Vermont convened in the meeting- 
house at Windsor, March 13, 1778, and organized the new state, 
the Newbury minister, Mr. Powers, preaching the election sermon. 
It seems probable that Col. Jacob Kent represented Newbury. We 
have no record of the election of anyone. On the opening of the 
Assembly, a committee firom sixteen towns on the east side of 


Connecticut river appeared, and presented a petition praying that 
these towns might be admitted to become part of the new state. 
There were the river towns between Cornish and Littleton and six 
lying back from the river.* 

Foreseeing that to grant their request would involve the new 
state in trouble with New Hampshire, and yet unable to dismiss the 
petition without offending the river towns on the Vermont side, 
with whom the proposed union was popular, the Assembly hit upon 
the expedient of referring the subject to the freemen of the several 
towns, to be decided according to the instructions which they 
should give their representatives, at the next meeting of the 

The town-meeting held in Newbury upon the above matter, 
agreed to leave the whole subject for fuller consideration. Nothing 
appears on our town records as to such later action, but from the 
sequel we infer that the delegates, Reuben Foster and Jacob Kent, 
were instructed to declare in favor of receiving these towns, and 
others which wished to join the new state. 

The Assembly met at Bennington in June, when these sixteen 
New Hampshire towns were received by vote. This was called the 
"First Union." On the 8th of October, 1778, the Assembly met 
again at Windsor, when the representatives from the west side of 
the mountains, who were called the Bennington party, and who 
had opposed the union with the New Hampshire towns because it 
threatened to disturb the supremacy which they wished to hold in 
the new state, brought forward, upon the second day, a protest 
from President Weare of New Hampshire, against an action which 
threatened to dismember that state. They also produced represen- 
tations which thev had secured from members of the Continental ' 
Congress, to the effect that Vermont could not be admitted into the 
union as a state, unless it relinquished its claim upon these New 
Hampshire towns. The Bennington party, although not strong 
enough to dissolve the union by a direct vote, succeeded in passing a 
series of resolutions, which were calculated to cause uneasiness 
among the delegates from the towns on both sides of the river. 

All the actions of the Assembly are not known, but the course 
taken was such as to cause twelve members from each side of the 
river, with Lieut.-Gov. Marsh, two members of the Council, and the 
clerk of the House, to withdraw from the Assembly. These seceders 
met and called a convention to meet at Cornish, N. H., on the 9th of 
December. The remaining members of the Assembly adjourned to 
Bennington on the 12th of February 1779, where they dissolved the 
union without opposition. 

At a town-meeting held in Newbury, on December 7th, 1778, 

*Tbese towns were: — Cornish, Lebanon, Dresden, (Hanover,) Lyme, Orford, 
Piennont, HaTerbiJl, Bath, Lyman, Aptborp, (Littleton,) Enfield, Canaan. 
Cardigan, (Orange,) Landaff, Gnntbwait, (Lisbon,) and Morristown, (Pranconia.) 


General Bayley being moderator, the town approved of the action 
of its representatives in withdrawing from the Assembly, and chose 
Col. Thomas Johnson and Dr. Gideon Smith to represent the town 
in the Cornish convention. 

There were now three well defined parties which desired to 
exercise authority over what is now the state of Vermont. They 
are known as the Bennington party, of which the Aliens and 
Thomas Chittenden were leading spirits, which strove to erect a 
new state between the Connecticut river and Lake Champlain. 
The second party, called the New Hampshire party, desired to 
re-annex the Grants to that state. The third, called the New York 
party, asserted the claim of that state over what is now Vermont. 
It seemed probable that the two last parties would eflFect a 
compromise, and divide Vermont between them, along the ridge of 
the Green Mountains. 

To these parties was now added a fourth, smaller than either of 
the others, but which commanded attention, from the ability of its 
leaders. This party, sometimes called the **college party," because 
its head-quarters seemed to be at Dartmouth College, had for its 
prime object, the union, under one jurisdiction, of the towns on 
both sides of Connecticut river. It grew out of the common 
interest of the valley towns, which were much more intimately 
connected with each other, than with those which lay beyond the 
mountains to the east, or the west of the valley. This party 
determined to keep these towns together, either by a union of them 
with New Hampshire or with New York, or, failing to make 
favorable terms with either, by erecting a new state, in the 
Connecticut valley, to be composed of the towns on both sides of 
the river. 

*The struggles of these four parties," says Professor Chase 
in his History of Dartmouth College, **for six years kept New 
Hampshire and New York, as well as the new state itself, in an 
unceasing turmoil, that involved even the Continental Congress, 
and threatened not only civil war at home, but, at one stage, 
through the unscrupulous tactics of one of the parties, the surrender 
of the disputed territory to the British." 


Newbury in the Vermont Controversy — Continued. 

The Convention at Cornish.— Manifesto of Bayley, Payne and Woodward.— 
Town Meetings.- Vermont in an Unfortunate State.— Action of New- 
busy — Of Haverhill.— JThe Charlestown Convention.— The "Second 
Union."— The New York Towns.— The Vermont Legislature Meets in 
New Hampshire.- Civil War Threatened.— Washington's Letter.— Dis- 
solution OF THE Union.— The Thetford Convention.— Town Meetings.— 
Reconciliation.- Admission of Vermont into the Federal Union. 

BEFORE the conYention assembled at Cornish, three of the 
seceders, Jacob Bayley of Newbury, Elisha Payne of Orange, 
N. H., and Bezaleel Woodward of Hanover, issued from 
Spooner's press at the last mentioned town, a pamphlet, dated 
December 1, 1778, entitled, "A Public Defense of the right of the 
New Hampshire Grants on both sides Connecticut River to 
associate together and form themselves into an Independent 

This, which is but one of several appeals which made their 
appearance at the time, was undoubtedly prepared by Mr. 
Woodward, and occupies fourteen closely printed pages of the 
fifth volume of Governor and Council. The pamphlet itself, is 
exceedingly rare. 

The Cornish convention passed a number of resolutions 
-containing the reasons for their action, looking toward a union of 
the river towns in Vermont with the state of New Hampshire, in 
case they failed to unite the river towns in New Hampshire, with 
the state of Vermont. General Bayley and Davenport Phelps were 
appointed a committee to present the action of the convention to 
the New Hampshire legislature, and at Newbury, on the 17th of 

•Yt. Gov. and Coimcil, Vol V, p. 625. N. H., State Papers, Vol. X, p. 287. 


March, 1779, they drew up a definite proposition addressed to that 

Bayley and Phelps, with Lieut.-GoY. Marsh, repaired to Exeter, 
and presented their case before the legislature. Ira Allen appeared 
in the interest of the Bennington party. The legislature voted to 
appeal the matter to the Continental Congress, which was done, 
but nothing seems to have come of their action. 

The freemen of Newbury were warned to meet in town-meeting 
on April 6th, 1772, "to take into consideration a letter sent into the 
town by Col. Peter Olcott, the substance of which is to see if the 
town, with the other towns lying on the Connecticut river, will 
petition to Congress not to confirm the state of Vermont, until we 
should have an opportunity to give our reasons why it should not 
be confirmed, and to consider the form of such a petition." This 
meeting, of which Ephraim Webster was moderator, voted, "that a 
petition be laid before the Continental Congress, representing the 
arbitrary, unjust, and unconstitutional proceedings of the state of 
Vermont, so called." 

The protest of Nchemiah Lovewell, against this petition, "as 
being erroneous, and very unfortunate," may still be seen in the 
first volume of Town Proceedings. Nothing, however, came of the 
petition to Congress. 

Vermont was now in a very embarrassing situation. New 
York claimed the whole territory on one side, and New Hampshire 
on the other, while Massachusetts put in a claim for a strip 
along the southern border. Congress seemed indifferent, and it 
appeared that the new state wotdd be divided up among its 
neighbors, or fall a prey to the wiles of the British in Canada. 
This was in the very midst of the revolutionary war, when politics 
ran high, party spirit was bitter, and the alarms kept the country 
in a constant state of anxiety. 

During a space of two years our town records are silent upon 
the controversy, but on the 22d of March, 1781, a town-meeting 
was called by order of the General Assembly, "to see if they would 
accept of the union of the people on the east side of the river, to be 
with the Grants on the west side." Voted in the affirmative, and 
that Jacob Kent and Josiah Page represent the town at Windsor. 

It will appear that a great change had taken place since the 
First Union was so summarily rejected, and we shall have to go 
back several months to understand the cause. 

We must bear in mind, however, that the whole history of these 
proceedings is very obscure, and many interfering interests add to 
our perplexity. The action of the town of Haverhill, on March 31, 
1781, was similar to that taken by many other towns east of the 
river.* "To agree to the articles of union between the state of 

•Haverhill Town Records. 


Vermont and the New Hampshire Grants," and chose Timothy 
Bedell, and Joshna Howard representatives to the General Assembly 
at Windsor." It is not necessary for us to consider the grievances 
which led the towns in the western part of New Hampshire, to 
desire a separation from the rest of that state, and annexation to 

A convention of delegates from the towns in Cheshire County, 
held at Walpole, November 17, 1780, determined that "matters 
lately agitated with respect to the New Hampshire Grants, render a 
nnion of territory absolutely necessary." 

They sent out a printed circular, calling a convention from all 
the towns within the Grants, to meet at Charlestown, on the third 
Tuesday in January, 1781. This convention was attended by 
delegates from forty-six towns, and passed resolutions looking 
toward a second union of the towns on the east side of the river 
with Vermont. A committee was appointed to confer with the 
Vermont legislature, which was to convene at Windsor in February, 
and the convention adjourned, to meet at the same time, at 
Cornish, on the opposite side of the river. 

This session of the Assembly met on the third of February, and 
on the 10th received the committee of the convention. After 
consideration of an elaborate report, articles of union were agreed 
upon, to take effect when ratified by two-thirds of the interested 

On the fifth of April the convention and the Assembly met at 
the same places as before, and, the returns being favorable, members 
fi-om thirty-five towns east of Connecticut river were admitted to 
seats in the legislature of Vermont.* This is known as the ''Second 
Union." For the first time for several sessions of the Assembly, 
Newbury was represented, as we have stated, by Col. Kent and 
Josiah Page. Col. Bedell and Capt. Joshua Howard were the 
members from Haverhill. Thirty-six Vermont towns favored the 
plan of union, seven dissented, and six made no return. 

In June, the Assembly met again, this time at Bennington, and 
at that session the representatives from eleven towns near Hudson 
river, now within the limits of the state of New York, were 
admitted to seats, on terms similar to those which had been given 
to the towns in New Hampshire. These New York towns were 
brought into the union through the contrivance of the Bennington 
party, in order to balance the increase of territory on the east side 
of the state. Newbury does not appear to have been represented 
at this session. 

• These towns were: — Hinsdale, Walpole, Surry, Gilstini, Alstead, Charlestown^ 
Acworth, LetDster, Sayille, Claremont, Newport, Cornish, Croydon, Plainfield, 
Grantham, Marlow, Lebanon, Grafton, Dresden, Hanover, Cfardigcm, Lyme, 
Dorchester, Hayerhill, Landaff, Gnnthwaite, Lancaster Piermont, Richmond, 
Chesterfield, Westmoreland, Bath, Lyman, Pranconia cmd Lincoln. 


This Assembly sent delegates to the Continental Congress, 
applyingfor the admission of Vermont to the Federal Union. These 
delegates were informed by that body, that it was indispensable for 
admission, that Vermont relinquish all claim to territory east of the 
.Connecticut, and west of a line drawn from the north-west corner 
of Massachusetts, to the southern extremity of Lake Champlain. 
This was precisely what the Bennington party wished to bring 

On the eleventh of October, 1781, the Vermont legislature met 
at Charlestown, in the state of New Hampshire, when Elisha Payne 
of Lebanon, in that state, was chosen Lieutenant-Governor of 
Vermont, in default of an election by the people. Members were 
present from thirty-six towns east of the river, and from sixty-six 
west of it. This Assembly passed some resolutions concerning the 
terms prescribed by Congress, and regulated the courts of the towns 
east of the river. It was not to be expected that the authorities of 
New Hampshire would stand idle, and allow the state of Vermont 
thus to detach a portion of its territory and hold a session of its 
legislature within its borders. 

In most of these towns which had been thus annexed, this new 
union was strenuously opposed by a minority. Disturbances broke 
out, the authority of Vermont was defied in its new possessions, 
and armed collisions took place in Cheshire County. 

The Governor of New Hampshire ordered a draft of 1000 men, 
to proceed to the scene of disturbance. The commander of the 
Vermont troops prepared to hold the new territory by force of 
arms. Civil war seemed imminent, and great anxiety prevailed, 
while disinterested spectators wondered what would come next. 

It was at this period that the tories and the British in Canada 
were most active and most hopeful, for they expected and desired 
that the dissensions should increase, and the state of the Grants 
become such that the people would return to their allegiance, as 
their only refuge from anarchy. But this was not to be. Wiser 
counsellors were at hand. Vermont was not to become a province 
of Canada, neither was the Connecticut valley to be the scene 
of civil war. At this critical period, Washington, who had been 
observing these proceedings with deep anxiety, threw the weight of 
his vast influence into the scale. In a letter to Gov. Chittenden, he 
pointed out the danger to the general welfare of the country, if any 
state could, at will, seize upon and annex a portion of another state. 
He made an earnest appeal for immediate submission to the will of 
Congress as the only condition for the admission of Vermont into 
the Federal Union. 

In February, 1782, the Vermont legislature met at Bennington, 
when few of the representatives from the eastern side of the state 
could be present, and dissolved the union with the New Hampshire 
towns by a formal vote. 

It does not appear that either Gen. Jacob Bayley, or Col.. 


Thomas Johnson had anything to do with this Second Union. 
Indeed, during much of the time when it was in existence, Johnson 
was a prisoner in Canada. The deep-seated distrust which both 
held toward Ethan Allen and his associates madeit impossible for 
them to concur in any scheme which would put the river towns into 
the control of the Bennington party. In their view the interests of 
these towns were identical, and they wanted to have all the 
territory drained by the Connecticut, north of the Massachusetts 
line, under one government. It does not appear, either, that they 
opposed the plan, probably thinking it would come to nothing. 

General Bay ley wrote to President Weare at Exeter: **I am 
determined to fight for New Hampshire and the United States as 
long as I am alive, and have one copper in my hands."* 

Several of the river towns in Vermont were not willing to give 
up the matter without another trial, and a convention was called 
to meet at Thetford in June, to which Newbury was invited to send 
a delegate. Our town records are silent as to this invitation, and 
any action which came from it, but in the state archives at 
Concord is a paper in the handwriting of Col. Kent, which is as 
follows : 

"Nbwbury, May 31, 1782. 

At a Legal Meeting of sd Town, on said Day being a fall meeting voted to be 
under the GoYemment of the State of Newhampshire at the same time chose Gideon 
Smith to meet a Convension of members from towns who should be of our Opinion 
at Thetford in Order to make application to s<l State of Newhampshire. 

But two men Voted in the Negative, who were William Wallis and Levi 

Jacob Kent, Town Clerk. 

It would certainly seem that at this time, Newbury people had 
little wish to join the n&w state of Vermont. The other towns 
which sent delegates to the convention at Thetford, were, Bradford, 
Thetford, Norwich and Hartford. This convention chose Abel 
Curtis of Norwich, agent, to present the application of these five 
towns to the New Hampshire legislature, and that body entered 
into a correspondence with the authorities of New York, which 
insured some protection to the frontier. Very little is known 
concerning either this correspondence or its result. But a second 
paper in the New Hampshire Archives shows that something was 

Newbury, November 7, 1782. 

Whereas Application was made to the State of Newhampshire at their Session 
at Concord in June last by Mr. Curtis, Agent for five Towns, and Incouragment 
given for Jurisdiction and Protection, and we are Sensiable that protection has been 
afforded from sd State for which we return sd State thanks in the Name of this 
Town, and now Desire said state would Extend Jurisdiction over Said Town in its 
fiiliest Extent as it is the Desire of the Town in General. 

Sylvanus Heath, 1 Selectmen 
Joshua Bayley, > of 
Frye Bayley, J Newbury. 

•N. H., State Papers, Vol. YIII. p. 281, 


The precise meaning of this paper we do not at this distance of 
time, know. 

It may be that prominent men in New Hampshire interceded 
with the Bennington party, now successful, on behalf of the towns 
which still held out. Certain measures of that party provoked an 
appeal to Congress, which drew from that body, December 7, 1782, 
a^ order forbidding any resort to coercive means. 

But the troubles gradually subsided ; the river towns, one by 
one, recognized the authority of the new state, till Norwich and 
Newbury were left alone in opposition. Two years later a complete 
change was wrought. Newbury sent two representatives, Jacob 
Bayley and Ebenezer White to the Vermont legislature, and in 1786, 
Jacob Bayley was again elected a councillor, and took his seat at 
the board under Governor Chittenden, whom he had a few years 
before, denounced as a traitor. Vermont looked for immediate 
admission into the Federal Union, but the influence of New York 
was strong enough to keep it out for several years. 

Meanwhile the state was being peopled by an industrious and 
thriving class of emigrants, new towns sprang up, taxes were 
light, and the new state was, evidently, doing so well alone, 
that it became desirable to admit so prosperous a commonwealth 
into the Union. 

Political reasons demanded its admission to balance the 
entrance of Kentucky; sufficient influence was brought to bear 
upon New York to give up its claims upon the payment of a sum of 
money, and at a convention which met at Bennington, January 10, 
1791, in which Daniel Farrand represented Newbury, and took an 
important part, the state of Vermont assented to the Constitution 
of the United States. 

The act for the admission of Vermont into the Union was 
approved by Washington, February 18, 1791, and on the fourth of 
the following March it became the first of thirty-two states to be 
admitted to the Federal Union.' 


After the War. 

Thb RbtoLtUTionaxt War as it now Appear8.~Thb Toribs.— A Family Feud.— 
Half-heartbd Patriots.— Depreciated Currency.- The Law of 1787.— 
An Old Bill. — "The Critical Period in American History.''— General 
Distress. — Shays' Rebellion.— Henry Tufts.- Counterfeit Money.— The 
Bushel op Wheat.- Lumbering.— Masts.- Visit op President D wight. 

IT is now a century and a quarter since the revolutionary war 
began, and it is possible to view, dispassionately, the whole 

course of events. Yet the precise measure of either praise 
or blame which should be allotted to each actor in those scenes 
cannot be awarded now, but the Americans were not all 
disinterested patriots, neither were all the British tyrants. 

One class of men has received scant justice at the hands of 
posterity. Seventy years ago the name of Tory was so obnoxious 
that it was hardly possible to offend a man more than to call him 
by a name which implied that either he or his immediate ancestor 
had taken the unpopular side in the great struggle. Many years 
ago the word "Tory," was found scratched upon the stone in the 
Ox-bow cemetery, which marked the grave of a certain 
revolutionary oflBcer, whose situation during the war had made 
him the object of much annoying criticism from his enemies. The 
culprit was discovered, and a bitter feud residted between two 
families which out-lasted that generation. 

It has been asserted, with considerable probability, that the 
war for independence was the work of a minority of the people of 
the colonies, and that, had the result depended upon a ballot, the 
colonies would have adhered to the crown. Fortunately for us and 
for the world, the contest was decided in favor of popular 
government, but much obloquy has fallen upon certain men in 
Co5s, which they never deserved. 

Colonel Asa Porter, Col. John Taplin and others, were men of 


education and influence who had held office under the crown, and 
who honestly believed that the sort of goverment which was 
intended to be set up would bring about, in the end, worse evils 
than those which the country before suffered. Thence they declined 
to cast in their lot with men like Bayley, Johnson and Bedell, and 
in consequence of their prominent position, they were held to be 
guilty, in popular belief, of instigating a thousand plots and deeds 
of which they were both innocent and ignorant. 

There were men in the Coos country who took advantage of the 
disordered state of the times to gratify private malice, and there 
were also those who profited by underhand dealings with the 
enemy. There were others, officers in the Continental service, who 
kept up a secret correspondence with Canada. There were those 
also in Coos, who were locally active in the plot to supersede 
Washington by Gates. But the outcome of the war so signally 
resulted in making Washington pre-eminent above all other 
Americans, that those who had striven to overthrow him, made 
haste to remove the traces of their hostility. 

Still, all was not destroyed, and the pride of many families 
would be wounded could they know what the Canadian archives 
can reveal. But these were few ; the great majority of the people 
in the Connecticut valley were true and loyal to the patriotic cause. 
Among the troubles which grew out of the war, and which the 
Coos country had to share with the older portions of the colonies, 
was the disturbance to business which arose from the depreciation 
of the currency. Successive issues of paper money, which could not 
be redeemed in coin, were still further shorn oif their value by 
numerous counterfeits. The bills issued by the order of the 
Continental congress were so poorly executed that it was very 
easy to counterfeit them, and even the genuine soon became of little 
value. In these days of a stable currency, we find it hard to 
imagine the state of things which would result, if a man could not 
know what the dollar bill which he received todav will be worth 
tomorrow or next week. Business security is only assured when a 
man knows that the dollar of today will be worth just one hundred 
cents next week or next year, or five years hence. 

But the continental currency depreciated so rapidly in value, 
that the General Assembly of 1787 found it necessary to fix by law 
the value of paper money expressed in contracts made at different 
times after September, 1777, when the Continental dollar began to 
fall below the Spanish milled dollar, which was the chief coin in 
circulation. By that law, the value of the Spanish dollar was that 
of two paper dollars in 1778 ; by the September following it was 
worth three dollars, and ten months later the Spanish dollar was 
valued at ten paper dollars. In all contracts dated January 1, 
1780, one dollar in silver was held to be equal to twenty paper 
dollars ; by the first of the next September the ratio was 72 to 1 


and kept on rising. Money was never so plenty as when it was 
almost worthless, because when a man received any of the 
currency, he made haste to spend it as soon as possible, to get as 
much out of it as he cotdd. 

There were men ruined by this fall in values. John Hugh, who 
owned a farm on the Ox-bow, sold it, receiving his pay in 
Continental currency, with which he intended to purchase new 
land in the north part of the state, but before he could invest the 
money, it had become almost worthless. 

The following bill, preserved among the Little papers, has 
interest in this connection : 

"Dr. The United States of America to Moses Little. On 

express from General Bay ley to his excellency, General Washington, 
being 350 miles from Co6s to Morristown, February 28, 1781. 
To my expenses on the road to headquarters, $ 946 

To my expenses on my return, 1146 

To my time, 31 days, at $81 per day, 2345 


This formidable bill, when reduced to coin, shrinks to the modest 
snm of $63.44. 

The years which passed between the end of the war and the 
adoption of the Federal constitution were, to the country, 
generally, years of distress and uncertainty. This time was what 
Prof. Fiske has so well entitled, "The critical period of the 
American republic." The new nation was only a league between 
the states; there was no central authority, no head to the new 
government. It seemed doubtful, even to the wisest and most 
patriotic, if the new nation would long endure. 

There was great distress in all parts of the country. Many 
had become impoverished by the war ; many had left the country. 
A few had seized upon the opportunities of the time to acquire 
wealth. The continental currency had become so worthless that 
no one would take it, and disappeared from circulation. Taxes 
were high, and money was scarce. Those who were so unfortunate 
as to have all their property in wild land, saw it worth so little as 
hardly to sell for enough to pay the taxes upon it. Those who had 
money, made haste to invest it in real estate, taking advantage of 
the dire necessities of their neighbors. Our town records show how 
many farms, and tracts of wild land, came into the hands of a very 
few men about that time. 

In Massachusetts a formidable rebellion broke out in 1786, 
tinder the leadership of Daniel Shays. There were outbreaks in 
different parts of New Hampshire and Vermont. At Rutland a 
mob prevented the sitting of the court. Here in Newbury, one 
Henry Tufts, who was always in mischief somewhere, appeared at 
the court-house on the day of the opening of the court, made an 
inflamatory speech, displayed a gun, and called on the people to 
follow him, and turn out the judge, lawyers and jury, who were. 


he declared, the authors of all the misfortunes which the country 
suflfered. Tufts was, however, at once disarmed, and put in jail, 
after which, being compelled to sit in the stocks, he decided to leave 
the town. Some years later, he wrote from Maine, under an 
assumed name to Col. Johnson, trying to recover the gun which 
had been taken from him. This was that Henry Tufts, who, 
later, published an autobiography of which Thomas Wentworth 
Higginson gave some account in Harper's Magazine for March, 
1888, under the title, *'A New England Vagabond." Tufts died in 
Maine in 1831. He married one of his numerous wives in this 

The evils which were caused by a depreciated currency were 
augmented by the great amount of base coin which was in 
circulation. When we speak of the money of those days, two 
things must be remembered— that there were no banks in this 
country until after the revolutionary war, so there were no bank- 
notes — and that the United States did not begin the coinage of gold 
and silver until 1792, consequently ^1 the coin which circulated 
was of foreign countries. At the present time it is rare to see a 
foreign coin in circulation, except Canada silver, but in 1787, an 
account of money, amounting to one hundred pounds sterling, sent 
to New York, enumerated coins of five nationalities. Here in 
Newbury, the records of the First Congregational church show that 
it was voted, June 6, 1788, "that each member should leave a 
pistareen with the minister for the purpose of purchasing the wine 
for the communion service." 

In these days, counterfeiting is about as dangerous business as 
a man can engage in, but in those days of slow communication, the 
occupation was comparatively safe and lucrative. It was much 
easier and safer to counterfeit the coins of some distant country, 
whose money was little known, than it was to imitate the coin oif 
the United States, had any been made then. 

Glazier Wheeler, whom we have met before, had fallen into the 
hands of men who obliged him to make for them Spanish dollars 
and **Half Joes," which contained only one-fourth as much pure 
metal as the genuine. The money which he had been making, 
contained one-half the usual amount of gold and silver. Wheeler 
was caught in the act of making dies, was made to stand one day 
upon the pillory at Haverhill, have one of his ears cropped, and be 
imprisoned one year. He complained bitterly over his treatment 
by those who had profited by, and then abandoned him. He had 
served with credit in the war, and later, is said to have retrieved 
his fortune by his skill as an engraver in the mint at Philadelphia. 

At this time, and for many years before and after, the -standard 
of value, in local trade, was a bushel of wheat, the staple product 
of the farms, the one for which there was the most steady demand, 
and most equable value. The bushel of wheat paid taxes ; upon it 


was computed the minister's salary, and the laborer's wages. The 
great meadows produced, annually, thousands of bushels for 
export, and the hill farms were beginning to contribute to the 
supply. At present a field of wheat is hardly seen on the meadows 
from Ryegate to Hanover. 

The years which passed between the end of the war and the 
beginning of the century, were, on the whole, very prosperous ones 
in Haverhill and Newbury, for those who had been here long enough 
to have established themselves, or those who came here with 
money enough to purchase improved farms. The country between 
Haverhill and Concord had become settled, and the roads were 
better every year. The whole north country from here to Canada 
line was filling up with an industrious and thrifty population. 
Newbury being at the head of boat navigation on the river, had the 
great advantage of situation, and there were some very 
enterprising men in this town in those days, who were quick to 
seize upon the opportunities then offered. 

They made it for the interest of people about to settle above 
here to purchase their supplies in Newbury, instead of bringing 
them from the places whence they came. In turn Newbury was a 
convenient market, and the merchants had much trade with all the 
upper country. 

The circumstance of the courts being located here, brought 
many people into the place, and caused it to be well known. Some 
of our older houses, twenty or more, were built in that period. 
Haverhill academy was opened in 1793, and soon made its influence 
felt. One evidence of the prosperity of the time is shown by the 
enterprise of the people in building roads, and making it easier to 
market the produce of the farms. 

In 1796, the town suffered a considerable loss in the removal of 
the county seat to Chelsea. For nearly twenty-five years Newbury 
had received all the benefit which in every newly settled country 
attends the possession of the seat of justice. Several lawyers, some 
of whose names have not come down to us, made their home here, 
and it was from that removal, that Newbury ceased to be the most 
important place in the east part of the state, above Windsor. The 
close of the century left the town in a prosperous condition, when 
we take its position into consideration. The distance of the 
nearest market, and the condition of the highways, prevented the 
development of the resources of the country. Only live stock, and 
the more portable products of the farm went to the distant 

When we consider that a century ago there were no 
manufacturing towns, and that there were, in all New England, not 
more than ten places of as many thousand inhabitants, and those 
along the coast, we may well wonder that there was any market at 
all, not already supplied by towns nearer the sea-ports. There was, 


however, a growing export trade, and those products of the farm 
which were in greatest demand were those which were required to 
supply this trade. These were butter, cheese, wool, maple sugar, 
dressed meat, salts, (i e., pot and pearl ashes,) and grain. Lumber 
was floated down the river, either in the log, or in boats, usually 
the former. Timber for ship-building, especially for masts, was in 
demand. It is said that during the wars of Napoleon, trees were 
cut in this town to supply masts for the French navy, and which 
were floated down the river. 

There are huge pine stumps four feet and over in diameter, still 
remaining in the woods in Newbury, from which the trees were 
removed a hundred years ago, and which bid fair to outlast 
another century, and which may have furnished masts for 
Napoleon's ships. 

The sale of trees for masts began soon after the revolutionary 
war, and was continued for many years. Some of the accounts of 
sales of these still exist. Dr. McKeen thus states regarding similar 
transactions in Bradford : "Pine trees were then plenty and money 
scarce. Sticks of timber sixty feet long were estimated bjr their 
average diameter at the rate of twenty-five cents an inch. 
According to this rule a mast sixty feet long and thirty inches in 
diameter would come to but seven dollars and a half. One giant 
mast 116 feet long, and forty inches in diameter was thus delivered. 
This large pine trunk, at the above rate, would be estimated at not 
quite twenty dollars." These facts are given to show how hard 
people had to work in those days to get a little money. 

Another business which was quite important was that of 
building flat-bottomed boats for the conveyance of lumber to 
market, and bringing up cargoes of salt, rum, iron and other heavy 
articles of merchandise. There were several builder's yards in this 
town. One, and perhaps several, were at Wells River. Boats were 
also built near the mouth of Harriman's brook, and near the 
present site of Bedell's bridge. Sometimes, for lack of a return 
cargo, the boat was sold lor its lumber, and the men who had gone 
down with it, returned on foot. The men who went down with 
rafts usually returned in this way, and there are still old men who 
have often walked back from Hartford, or Northampton, after 
going down with their load. Many, and perhaps most of the older 
men who were living twenty years ago, had spent considerable time 
upon the river in their younger days, just as many of the older men 
of the present day used to be teamsters between here and Concord 
before the railroad was built. 

There are none left who can tell what Newbury was at the close 
of the century, the exact location of homes, or precisely what 
parts of the town had been cleared. Bolton ville and the farms 
around West Newbury, were settled much earlier than any other 
sections back from the river. John Wilson, who came to Bradford 


in 1795, and settled west of Wright's Mountain, stated in writing 
in his old age, that at the date mentioned, the only road from 
Corinth to Newbury was the one which goes past the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse. About 1788, John C. Foster bought land, and began 
clearing on the farm which, two years later, he sold to William 
Peach. Not much later, settlement began on the farm long owned 
by William Wallace, and about the same time, by Thomas Mellen, 
where J. C. Leavitt now lives, south of the town house. These were 
the first settlements in that part of the town. In 1796, President 
Dwight of Yale college, made the first of three journeys which 
included the Connecticut valley. In this year he mentions the fine 
apple orchards along the river road, the finest he had ever seen, but 
wheat, he said had been blasted upon the meadows for some years. 
Dr. Dwight was a very close observer, and some of his remarks are 
worth quoting: 

"October 7, Crossed the river at the ferry above the Great 
Ox-bow. The boat was managed by two children smaller than I 
had ever seen entrusted with such employment. But the expedition 
and safety with which we crossed the river, proved their perfect 
competency for their business, and convinced me that we generally 
estimate the capacity of children beneath the truth. The houses of 
the place are moderately good in size and structure, but not being 
painted have an unpleasant appearance. 

About 1782, a spring was discovered, which ceases, it is said, 

to flow for some time once in every two or three years. When its 

waters are left to settle they are covered with a yellow pellicle, and 

emit a strong sulphurous odor." 

He again visited Newbury in 1803, and 1812, noting many 

improvements at each visit. 


The Nineteenth Century. 

Rbcsuiting Station.— Fkbnch Rbfugbb8.—Ambcdotb.— Washington's Death.— 
Settlbmbnt op JbpfbrsonHill.— Paxms of thb BaiuuT Sbttlbrs.— Thb 
Execution of Bubnham.— Population.— Immigration.— The War of 1812.— 
Actions of thb Town.— Passing Awat op the Fathers of the Town.— 
Death op Indian Job. 

IN 1799, a recruiting station for the United States army was 
opened at Newbury, and it would seem from certain bills which 

remain among the Johnson papers, that a company of soldiers 
from the regular array was stationed here. They mention 
"barracks," and a "hospital". Capt. Andrew McClary was 
the officer in command, and J. V. Glen was Adjutant. The 
bills are in a handwriting which is a marvel of beauty. 

Near the close of the century many citizens of France sought 
refuge in this country from the troubles and dangers of their own 
land. Upon the heads of some of them, a price was set, and they 
made their way, for security, to the remote villages. Several of 
these, both men and women came here, and remained some time. 
They did not mingle with the townspeople, as only one or two 
spoke English, but kept entirely to themselves. They do not 
appear to have taken their exile much to heart. Some of them 
had rooms at the Ox-bow, and others were quartered lower 
down, in the village. One evening these latter went up to 
Moses Johnson's tavern, where they made merry, returning long 
after midnight. At that time there was a very tall and large 
tree standing on the west side of the road, south of where 
Dea. Sidney Johnson now lives. The moon, then low in the 
west, cast its broad shadow across the white, dusty road, and 
when the merry party came to the place they imagined that the 
shadow was a stream of water, and came to a standstill. They 
debated for some time how to cross without falling in and getting 


wet, when one of the party, less tipsy than the rest, wrenched a 
board from the fence, which he placed across the chasm, and the 
party, holding each others hands for security, tip-toed safely over. 
Augustus de St. Pot, one of them, taught dancing school a term or 
two here in Newbury, and afterward went to Maryland. There 
was considerable gossip about these people at the time, but they 
were soon forgotten. 

The news of Washington's death reached Newbury about the 
end of January, 1800, and appropriate religious services were held 
in the meeting-house. According to the recollections of Reuben 
Abbott, a procession was formed at LovewclPs tavern, now the 
Sawyer House, which comprised the military companies in the 
neighborhood, and the veterans of the war, and marched, 
with military music, to the meeting-house, where a sermon was 
delivered by Rev. Mr. Lambert, and a funeral anthem, composed 
by Mr. Ingalls, was sung. The pulpit and galleries were hung 
with black, and the services made a great impression. 

In 1801, John Peach, Noyes and Joshua Bayley went out to 
Jefferson Hill, thto covered with an unbroken forest, and began 
to clear land. John Peach built the first log house, near the 
present residence of his son, A. M. Peach, and Joshua Bayley the 
second. They were joined, later, by Merrill, James, Jacob, 
Ephraim and John Bayley. 

Dr. Samuel White came about 1806, and later comers settled 
around them. James Bayley settled at the top of the hill, at the 
south, where Thomas P. Bailey now lives, and that house, the 
oldest on the hill, was built in 1827. James Bayley moved to St. 
Lawrence Co., N. Y., in 1833, and died there. 

Dr. White lived near the present schoolhouse, his farm being on 
that side of the road. Then came the farm of John Peach ; his son, 
James, afterward owning the northerly part. Merrill Bayley's 
place was where Albert Wright lives, his brother, Ephraim, 
settling south of him. The buildings erected by Ephraim are 
gone, Joshua Bayley's farm was north of the cross-road, and 
his brother, Noyes, lived where Mr. Randall does now, and the 
log schoolhouse which stood till 1847, was on the north side of 
the road, opposite the burying-ground. 

John Bailey's farm was that now owned by George W. Bailey, 
and Jacob settled where Andrew Wylie now lives, but later, 
bought out his brother James. James Waddell settled on the 
present farm of Henry Randall, and John Waddell on that now 
owned by Robert Lackie. 

Archibald Hunter came from Scotland, and cleared the place 
where Andrew Arthur lives; Nathan Avery, Jr., built the house, 
and h'ved on the farm now owned by the widow of Alvah James, 
and Aaron Morse lived west of him, a little way from the road. 
These were later comers. James, son of John Peach, was the first 


child bom on the hill, in 1803, and Mrs. Joseph Fuller, in 1833, was 
the youngest child of the first settlers. A bridle road, whose location 
is almost forgotten, led up through Scotch hollow to the east side 
of the hill. The first public road from the hill went to Boltonville, 
and was surveyed by Nathan Avery, July 1, 1810. 

For many years this neighborhood was somewhat isolated 
from the rest of the town, and the people formed a community of 
their own. Later, and especially since the building of the railroad, 
its interests are more with South Ryegate, than with the rest of 

Mention is elsewhere made of the legislative session of 1801, 
and of other things, in connection with particular periods of local 
history. In 1805, an event occurring in Haverhill has a place 
in the annals of Newbury. On the 18th of December, Josiah 
Burnham, a prisoner in the jail at Haverhill Comer, murdered, 
under circumstances of peculiar atrocity, two fellow prisoners, 
Hon. Russell Freeman, and Capt. Joseph Starkweather. Burnham 
lived here in Newbury a number of years, and was a signer of the 
New York petition of 1770. He was, by turns, farmer, horse-dealer, 
school-master, and vagabond. He was also a very good surveyor. 
His trial took place at Plymouth, and his defense was Daniel 
Webster's first plea. This latter circumstance gives the murder an 
historic interest. Burnham was hanged August 12, 1806, the 
gallows being erected on the hill-side north of the Comer. It was 
estimated that 10,000 persons, the largest crowd that had ever 
gathered in this part of the country, witnessed the execution. A 
remarkable sermon was preached on that occasion by Rev. David 
Sutherland of Bath. Burnham had sold his body to the surgeons 
for rum, and after the execution, it was brought over to Newbury, 
and placed in Dr. McKinstry's office, in the Col. Johnson house. The 
same evening it was dissected in a small building which stood where 
the east end of James Lang's bam now stands, at the Ox-bow. One 
of the doctors, from up country, brought a large cleaver, such as 
is commonly used by butchers, as his share of the dissecting 
instruments. The skeleton of Burnham is in the anatomical 
museum at Hanover. 

From the opening of the century down to the breaking out of 
the southern rebellion in 1861, there is little in the annals of the 
town which does not find a more appropriate place in the history 
of the various institutions of Newbury. A few things, however, 
do not seem to have a proper position in any of these. 

The first two decades of the century do not seem so prosperous 
as those which preceded and followed them. The population, 
which had been 873 in 1790, and 1304 in 1800, showed a gdin of 
only 59 in the first ten years, and only 160 in the second decade. 
This, despite the fact that in those years many farms were 
opened, and large sections of the town came into cultivation. 


^ "^ 


i «! ■- 


1 ^ ' 




j^^lBFar' l^^HlH 



and, also the records of families, which show that many peopk 
came here to settle in those years, and the natural increase of 
poptdation was qnite large. 

As early as 1800, there was a considerable immigration, and 
many families went np to the north part of the state and the 
southern townships of Canada, and took up land. About that 
time it begun to be complained that the young men were "going 
west," which meant the valley of 'Lake Champlain and the 
Mohawk valley. Several, before 1810, had gone to Ohio, the 
frontier of civilization. 

There seems also to have been a shifting of population within 

the town. It has been stated, on good authority, that there were 

abont fifty houses in 1800, between the mouth of Cow Meadow 

brook and Col. Robert Johnston's tavern, where Mr. Hibbard now 

lives. Any one who will take the trouble to count those now 

standing which were built subsequently to 1830, will see that 

most of those standing in 1800 have disappeared. It is probable 

that, in spite of the growth of the village, there were more 

residents between the upper curve of the Ox-bow, and Bradford 

line, a hundred years ago than there are now. Those who came to 

settle here in the first twenty years of the century, made their 

homes in the back parts of the town. 

The war of 1812 was not popular in this town, which was no 

longer in the place of danger, as it had been in the struggle for 

independence, a generation before. The embargo which President 

Madison had laid upon commerce bore heavily upon New England, 

even in these remote quarters. A clause in the warning for a 

special tow^n-meeting in July, 1809, ran as follows: "To see what 

money the town will raise for the payment of this town's quota 

of Soldiers from the time they march to the time of their discharge, 

in addition to what is allowed by the United States." 

Voted : "That this town do not think it expedient or proper to 
raise any money for the payment of any soldiers which may be 
called into service by authority of Congress." 

"That if Congress suppose it necessary to call for the militia 
for the purpose of carrying into effect or enforcing such laws as 
are by them made, and more particularly a host of acts laying 
Embargo, which are considered by us as oppressive and 
unconstitutional, they will provide means for the payment and 
support of such militia." 

Voted : "That it is the sense of this town that if there are any . 
persons therein who are in favor of the present measures of the 
General Government, and especially the late acts laying an 
Embargo, these people are in duty bound, and will, undoubtedly 
lend their aid and assistance into carrying into effect those laws, 
with whatever compensation the United States see fit to provide." 
These terse and vigorous resolutions were probably drawn up by 


Benjamin Porter Esq., who, it is said, sat with his brother-in-law, 
Mills Olcott, of Hanover, in the Hartford convention. It would 
seem, however, that the town took some measures for defense, as 
at a special town-meeting held in September, 1810, it was voted, 
**To raise $150. to purchase ammunition to furnish the Town 
Magazine." This magazine, commonly called the "old powder 
house," was a small brick building which stood among the pines on 
the summit of Montebello. It was standing forty years ago, and 
traces of it may, perhaps, still be seen. The first powder house was 
built in 1809. It was struck by lightning and destroyed while 
empty and rebuilt in 1836. 

For a special town meeting in September, 1812, the warning 
ran; **To see if the town will raise any money in addition to the 
present wages of the men detached from the militia in this town, if 
they are called into actual service, and if so, how much." (Voted: 
not to raise any money for that purpose.) 

"To see If the town will give said soldiers a bounty when they 
are called to march, if so, how much, and vote to raise the same." 
(Voted : Not to give any bounty.) 

Voted: "To raise $100 to defray the expense of procuring 
equipmentsfor those soldiers who are not able to equip themselves." 

There is only one further record of action or want of action of 
the town which was at a special meeting, July 6, 1813. 

"To see if the town will raise money to pay sundry contracts, 
made by the selectmen the year past for provisions, equipment, etc., 
for the drafted militia." (No record of any action.) 

It would seem, notwithstanding these, that the town did its 
duty in the matter, and a considerable number of men enlisted and 
served for longer or shorter periods. The records of the war of 
1812, at Washington, are not now accessible, and no attempt has 
been made to collect the records of soldiers of that war. A company 
of detatched militia, under Capt. Levi Rogers, served in Col. 
Pifields' regiment of state troops. Several men were from this 

Wells River was made a depot of supplies for the army, and 
great numbers of cattle were brought and dressed there, as Mr. 
Leslie relates in his chapter upon that village. In those years, also, 
nearly all the famous men of the early settlement and the war of 
independence, passed away. James Abbott died in 1803; Jacob 
Kent in 1812; Jacob Bayleyin 1835; and Thomas Johnson in 1819. 
Only Robert Johnston and Frye Bayley, of the more distinguished 
remained in 1820. In Haverhill, also, their contemporaries were 
nearly all gone at the latter date. John Hazen died before the 
revolutionary war; Timothy Bedell in 1787; Charles Johnston in 
1813; Moses Dow in 1814; Asa Porter in 1818. 

On the 19th of February, 1819, died Indian Joe, or **]oe Indian," 
as he is often called, the last of the Coosuck Indians, of whom not 


much but tradition remains. He was considered a remarkable 
man, and rendered services to the early settlers, and to the 
American cause, whose nature and extent cannot now be 
ascertained. He served in Capt. John Vincent's Co., of St. Francis 
Indians in 1777-'78, and was often employed as a scout by Gens. 
Bayley and Hazen. He knew, thoroughly, all the country between 
Coos and Canada, and the value of his services was very great. 
He evidently was held in high estimation by the settlers, and as he 
grew old there appears to have been no difficulty in obtaining a 
pension for him from the state. This pension, at first small, was 
increased at different times, until, for several years before his death 
the state appropriated seventy dollars, annually, for his support. 
Col. Frye Bayley was made his guardian, and after Col. Bayley's 
removal to Chelsea, his son was appointed in his stead. It was at 
the latter 's house that he died. He lay out one night when hunting, 
on the 1st of February, and froze both his feet, and was nearlv 
exhausted when discovered by the party which was in search of 
him. Most of the principal men in town attended his funeral, and 
bis g^n, which was found loaded, was discharged over his grave. 
**He was," says David Johnson, ''remarkably amiable and pleasant 
in his disposition when sober, and even when intoxicated was never 
known to quarrel with any one." 

Many amusing stories used to be told about Joe, and Molly his 

wife. "Molly's Pond" in Cabot, and "Joe's Pond," which is partly 

in Danville and partly in Cabot, are named for them. The remains 

of a log canoe, made and used by Joe, were to be seen, a few years 

ago, on the shore of Round Pond in this town. Joe and Molly once 

visited Washington at his headquarters at Newburgh, N. Y., and 

were introduced to the General and dined at his table, after the 

officers had withdrawn. They were gratified by the marked 

attention paid them, and it was the great event of his life. "He 

was" to again quote Mr. Johnson, "a shrewd man, and a close 

observer of men and manners. He praised his friends with genuine 

warmth, and reproached those who used him ill with the bitterest 

terms of sarcasm which his imperfect knowledge of the English 

language could supply." A few years ago, his grave in the Ox-bow 

cemetery vwas suitably marked. 


The Old Meeting-House. 

Action of the Town.— Thb Building Committee.— Sale of the "Pew Ground." — 
Description of the Building.— Regulations for Construction.— Prices of 
Produce.— Levi Webster.— The Cost of Finishing the Interior.— Thb 
Lightning Rod.— Bell.— Stoves.— Historical Notes.— A New Meeting- 
house.— The End of the Edifice.— Mrs. Peasleb's Reminiscences. — Two 
Sessions of the General Assembly.— October, 1787.— A Lost Goyernor. — 
The Session of 1801.— The Old Court-Housb.— Election Day.— After 
History of the Building. 

CONSIDERABLE space is given in these pages to the erection of 
this structure, as it was a very important building in its day, 
and many details of its construction still remain. These 
indicate many of the customs of the time, and incidentally show 
the cost of the labor and material employed. 

Soon after the war there arose a demand for a larger and more 
suitable building for religious worship than the one which served 
the double purpose of a church and court-house. This matter was 
for several years dismissed by the town, but at a special town 
meeting held August 14, 1787, the work was taken up. Two of the 
articles of warning read as follows: **First, to see if the town will 
fix on a place to build a meeting-house ; second, to see if the town 
will build a meeting-house, if so, how large, and where; to choose a 
committee to prosecute said business, and also vsrhat measures will 
be most expedient to prosecute and facilitate the same.'* At this 
meeting it was voted to build a meeting-house on the "little plain,'* 
the material for which should be provided by the first of the ensuing 

Thomas Johnson, William Wallace, Dudley Carleton, Robert 
Johnston and John Haseltine, were chosen the committee, to whom 
were afterward added, Jacob Kent, John Mills, Remembrance 
Chamberlain, and Frye Bayley. A plan of the meeting-house seems 


to have been prepared, and at an adjourned town-meeting held 
September 6, 1787, they "proceeded to sell the Pew Ground to the 
highest bidder." 

In order to understand the proceedings, it will be well to 
give some idea of the completed building. It stood on the west 
side of the street, and very near it, about half way between Mr. 
Famham's and Mrs. Catharine Atkinson's, with the side of the 
building toward the street. On the south end was a tower, about 
twelve feet square, which projected its full width from the end of 
the building, and rose several feet above the apex of the roof, 
supporting the belfry, which was not quite as large, and open on all 
sides. Above the belfry rose the tapering steeple, surmounted by a 
gilded weather cock, which was about eighty feet from the ground. 
This was the first steeple erected in Vermont. At the foot of the 
tower was one of the entrances, a door which opened into the body 
of the church, and stairs which gave access to the galleries above. 
On the opposite end of the building, next to Mrs. Atkinson's, was a 
similar projection, with entrance doors, and stair-cases, but which 
did not rise above the roof. The main entrance, "the front door," 
was on the east side next the street, exactly in the middle, and fronf 
it ran the "broad aisle" to the pulpit, which was on the west side of 
the house. A narrower aisle, which crossed this precisely in the 
middle of the church, extended the whole length of the house, 
between the doors at the ends. The galleries were built around 
three sides of the house, that over the main entrance being reserved 
for the singers. 

The pulpit was high, that the minister might see his hearers in 
the galleries ; it was reached by winding stairs, and above it hung 
the "sounding-board," suspended from the ceiling by an iron rod. 
In fi-ont of the pulpit was an elevated seat for the deacons, and 
before them was a wide board which was hung on hinges, and 
formed a communion table. The pews were about seven feet square, 
each having its door; there were seats on three sides of each pew. 
These seats were hung on hinges, and were raised against the sides 
of the pews when the congregation stood up during the long 
prayer, and were let down again at its close with a clatter which 
sounded like the discharge of small artillery. There was a row 
of pews around the sides of the house, called the "wall pews," 
and in front of them ran a narrow passage, crossing each of the 
intersecting aisles. The rest of the pews, considered the most 
desirable, were called the "body pews, "and opened either into one of 
the main aisles, or into this narrow passage. Above the partitions 
of the pews ran a rail, supported by many small turned posts which 
were the delight of children to twirl in sermon time. 

There were three windows on each side of the main door, and 
seven in the upper part, which lighted the galleries, on the east side. 
There were as many on the west side, and several at each end, so 


the church had plenty of light. Some of these windows, with their 
many small panes, may still be seen in Mr. Famham's building. 
The meeting-house was a dignified, substantial edifice, painted 
white and considered one of the best church buildings in rural New 
England in its day. At this sale the pews upon the ground floor of 
the projected house, forty-eight in number, were sold at auction, 
and realized £495, 7s. or $1,650.00. Four of them brought more 
than fifty dollars each and were bid off by Thomas Johnson, John 
Mills, Jacob Bayley and Joshua Bayley. 

The sale of the pews seems to have realized a sufficient sum to 
justify the committee in proceeding to build, and on the 1st of 
January, 1788, they agreed to "certain regulations for the purpose 
of building a meeting-house in Newbury and for finishing the same," 
which were as follows : 

*Art 1. That each holder of a pew shall have the liberty of turning in One Thou- 
sand of Good Merchantable White Pine Boards to be delivered on the little Plain 
where said House is to be Bnllt, By the first Day of April next. Also each Pew is 
taxed with Four Bushels of wlieat and Three Bushels of Ingian Com, and as much 
more as is found convenient for each Person to turn in. The wheat for the lower 
end, and back part of the town, to be Delivered at Col. Robert Johnston's, and the 
' Middle and Upper District to Deliver their Wheat at Col. Thos. Johnson's. 

The whole Wheat and Corn to be delivered by the first of February, and as there 
will be considerable Pork wanted for carrying on the Building, such persons as 
choose to, pay in Pork. Beg that they will give Timeous Notice of the Same, or 
turn it in at the aforesaid place and Time, and the two shillings on the pound that is 
to be paid in cash are Requested to pay it Immediately, or Give information what 
of each article they will procure. 

Good Rye will be accepted at four shillings per bushel; Wheat at five shillings; 
Com at three shillings; Clear Salt Pork at eight pence per pound; By the Hogg, 
Fresh at five pence per pound ; Seasoned Boards at 20 shillings per 1000 ; Clapboards 
42 shillings per 1000, and short shingles at 9 shillings per 1000.*' 

The committee had already fixed upon a carpenter of approved 
skill, in the person of Levi Webster, of Enfield, N. H., whom they 
agreed to pay five shillings a day, in wheat or neat stock, who 
came about the middle of March, and seems to have found the lum- 
ber on the ground, and labored with such skill, and good assistance, 
that the frame was raised on the 25th of June, 1788. It is said 
that every able-bodied man in both Newbury and Haverhill was at 
the raising, and the town seems to have provided a sumptuous 
dinner, the bills for which are still in existence. Veal was 3p. per 
lb., pork 8d., butter 8p., cheese 7p., bread 2p. per lb., and rum 4 
shillings a gallon. 

It seems that the house was not completed at once, as the bills 
for plastering are dated August 27, 1790, and specify the various 
portions of the interior which were plastered, aggregating 659 
square yards, at 3d. per square yard. The ceiling contained 2,668 
square feet, which gives us an approximate idea of the size of 
the house, which was probably about 45x60. The bill of Maxi 
Haseltine, a blacksmith, includes "two and one-half days work of 

'Johnson Papers. 


myself dra^ng the lightning rod, at 6 shillings a day, making five 
pr. of hinges at two and sixpence each, making pulpit hinges and 
fixing Brass for the Door 8 shillings, and putting up the rod, one 
shilling." The meeting-house was painted in eleven days by Joshua 
Ward at 6 shillings a day, which was done in November, 1790. 

On the 21st of September, 1789, the gallery pews, thirty-five in 
number, were sold at auction, to be paid for in wheat, and brought 
from twenty to forty-five bushels, according to location, the town 
receiving therefor 903 bushels, valued at £228, 7s. 6d. The amount 
received from the sale of all the pews was about $3,250. and as 
Col. Thomas Johnson stated in 1806, that the house cost between 
five and six thousand dollars, that left $2000, or more to be raised 
by tax. According to receipts still extant, it seems that the 
"meeting-house tax" was paid mainly in material, supplies and 

A large square door stone, which required four yoke of oxen to 
draw from the Catamount in Haverhill, was placed in front of the 
main entrance by Capt. Jacob Bayley. The completed meeting- 
house was regarded with commendable pride by the people of 
Newbury, who possessed for some years the best building of the 
kind in the state, and the contracts for building more than one 
church in this vicinity stipulated, that it should be "equal to the 
one at Newbury." It was a large building and, with its wide 
galleries, would seat nearly 1000 people. In pleasant weather it 
was well filled, as it was for many years the only place of worship 
on the Sabbath in town. Now there are seven or more places where 
Sabbath services are held. There is no record of its dedication. It 
was occupied as a place of worship by the First Congregational 
church for fifty-two years. In it were held the commemorative 
services upon the death of President Washington, and in it the 
election sermon was preached before the General Assembly in 1801. 
In that house were ordained Rev. Nathaniel Lambert, Rev. Luther 
Jewett and Rev. Clark Perry and Rev. George W. Campbell was 
installed. The building was also occupied for town-meetings and 
other large gatherings. In 1801, the year in which the bell was 
cast for the Ladd street meeting-house in Haverhill, Col. Thomas 
Johnson and Col. William Wallace contracted with a bell-founder at 
Hartford, Conn., for a bell weighing 600 lbs., and were notified that 
it would be ready by June. What became of that bell is unknown. 
A bell was purchased and hung about 1828, Dea. Swasey thinks. 
This bell was removed to the **new meeting-house" in 1840. 

There was no provision for warming the house until about 
1816, and it must have been a cold place, in its exposed location, on 
a winter's day. But cold or heat made little difference with the 
attendance. The introduction of the stoves met with considerable 
opposition. They were inadequate to heat the great building, with 
its many loose windows. The late Dea. George Burroughs used to 


remark that at best, it ''wasn't quite so chilly." One man was 
heard to say that they did more harm than good, for they "drove 
the cold into the back seats, so it was colder there than before." In 
1791 the town voted **that John Foster have twenty shillings if he 
take care of the meeting-house, and keep it well swept for one year." 
In 1792, Joseph Chamberlin was voted one pound for similar 

For the March meeting in 1794, Article 7 in the warning reads : 
''To see if the town will appoint a Chorister or Choristers to lead 
the singing, also what encouragement they will give Masters to 
teach the art of singing in the town, and give directions how often 
to meet for that purpose." Jeremiah Ingalls, Jacob Bayley and 
Simeon Stevens were chosen. 

In 1795, it was voted "to sell so much of the ground as to make 
one pew on each side of the Broad Alley," and William Wallace was 
chosen to sell the ground for two pews for no less than thirty 
pounds for the ground, for each pew. 

In March, 1802, it was voted, "not to allow Mr. Joseph 
Chamberlin anything for the ground where the meeting-house 

We may well wonder how the people endured the two long 
services in that building in the cold winter days. But Mr. 
Famham's house was then an inn, and the people who could not 
go home at noon, warmed themselves at its hospitable fireside, or 
at those of the other houses which were near. Such repairs as were 
necessary were made by the town for many years, but in 1828 it 
was repainted and reshingled by subscription. 

About that time began an agitation in favor of a new 
meeting-house. The Methodist society, then rapidly increasing in 
number, had laid claimi to the use of the house a part of the time, a 
few years before, and there arose some contention about the relative 
shares held in it by the town and the Congregational church. 

On the 14th of February, 1840, a meeting of the Congregational 
society was held in Judge Berry's office, at which the report of a 
committee previously chosen to inspect the condition of the 
meeting-house, and estimate the cost of re-modeling and refitting 
it, and of ascertaining upon what terms the claims of the town 
and individuals could be secured to the society, was heard. The 
report was adverse to the further retention of the house. Certain 
pew-owners, who were no longer connected with the society, 
declined to sell their shares except upon exorbitant terms, and the 
society decided to build a new church, and James Brock, Freeman 
Keyes, William Bailev, A. B. W. Tenney, Joseph Atkinson and 
William Burroughs were chosen a committee to build a new 

The last service was held in the house on the 8th of November, 
1840, and the new church was dedicated on the Friday following. 


Thus abandoned, the building stood for eight years, occasionallj 
nsed for pablic gatherings. Its end was inglorious enough. In 
1848, the town sold it to the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers 
Railroad Company to be made into a depot, the windows and pews 
were taken out, and an attempt was made to lower the great 
building, steeple and all, down the high bluff in its rear, an 
undertaking which would be considered rather formidable even in 
these days. In getting it down the hill, some of the rigging 
employed in the operation, gave way, and the whole structure fell 
with a great crash. It has been thought that there were those who 
were opposed to having the old meeting-house turned into a 
railroad station, who contrived its downfall. In its day it was the 
most important building in town, and a landmark of the Connec- 
ticut valley. It was considered a fine building, but no picture was 
ever made of it, and there is nothing to show where it stood. 

One to whom every memory of the old house is dear, has kindly 
communicated the following brief reminiscence : — 

I hardly know how to convey the memories which are mine of "the Old 
Meeting-house.'* My first recollection was being taken there Sundays — winter and 
summer. In summer time, of women in ^y attire carrying cinnamon roses and 
'caraway sprigs, according to age. In winter, of a bitter cold atmosphere, two 
box-stoves, one at each end of the longest aisle, which was from north to south, and 
of the '*foot-stoves" which individuaJs brought to their pews — only the wealthier 
ones had theses-there was none for our pew, muph to my sorrow. 

In later days, after a new church was built, where the Couro' stands at the 
present time, the '*01d meeting-house'* was the "play-house" of tne neighborhood 
children. We climbed the rickety st&irs to the belfry— swung on the "lightning-rod," 
which descended from that to the ground, just within our reach — played meeting in 
the body of the house— sung in the "singing-seats" — sat in the "deacons-seat** — 
marched up the broad aisles, of which there were two, from north to south, and 
from east to west— entered the grandest pews» which difiered from others only in 
having a three cornered shelf for the hymn books— sat in the seat of the deacons— 
and CTandest of all, ascended, with all dignity and solemnity, as we had seen done, 
to the pulpit and "preached** under the ** sounding-board'* with the ornament on its 
top decorated with red, white and blue and gold stripes. I never could understand 
why it did not fall. I really expected it would. 

Nothing would five me greater pleasure than to be able to sketch all these 
pictures as they live m my memory, but it seems to me that there are many in our 
land and on foreign shores that must remember just how it all looked. 

In later years, I cannot give the date, there was a revolt among the students of 
Newbury Seminary, and the disaffected ones got up an independent "exhibition" 
there, on a large stage erected for the occasion; the "Witches cauldron*' boiled— 
"Clan Alpine's** hosts were marshalled — "Roderick Dhu"— "Lochiel" was enjoined to 
"beware." A few weeks since I met one of these heroes— there must be others— but 
alas many, many, are, I know not where. 

Mrs. L. J. Peaslbe. 

Before 1808, when Montpelier was fixed upon as the capital, 
the General Assembly met in the more considerable towns in 
different parts of the state. Between the first session, in March, 
1778, and that of October, 1808, a period of thirty years, there 
were forty-seven sessions of the legislature, fifteen being held at 
Windsor and eight at Bennington. 

The October session of 1787 was held at Newbury, from October 
lltb to the 27th. It convened in the court-house, opposite the 


cemetery on the Ox-bow. Thomas Chittenden was Governor; 
Joseph Marsh of Hartford, Lieutend.nt Governor; Joseph Fay oif 
Bennington, Secretary; Gen. Jacob Bayley was one of the council; 
Capt. John G. Bayley was sheriff; Rev. Lyman Potter of Norwich, 
preached the election sermon, and Gideon Olin was speaker of the 
House of Representatives. There was a review of all the militia, in 
the field behind Col. Robert Johnston's house, and a troop of 
cavalry escorted the Governor to the place where the election 
sermon was delivered. Most of the prominent men in the 
state were in attendance, but nothing very important was 
transacted. Chittenden county was organized at that session, and 
a proclamation was issued by the governor, announcing the 
completion and publication of the statute laws. 

It is said that after the Assembly adjourned. Gov. Chittenden 
started for his home in Colchester, on foot and alone, but, some- 
where, between here and the Winooski valley, got lost in the woods, 
and was compelled to pass the night under a fallen tree. 

The second session held here, was the most important event 
which had taken place in the history of the town, and was brought 
about, mainly, through the efforts of Col. Thomas Johnson. For^ 
this, great preparations were made, land was bought by what we 
should now call a syndicate, and a building was erected for the 
purpose of convening the assembly and council. This land was the 
narrow strip on part of which the Ox-bow schoolhouse now 
stands; it was bought of Rev. Mr. Lambert by William B. 
Bannister, and by him conveyed to Col. Thomas Johnson and 
others. A building, known by tradition to the present generation, 
as the "Old Court-House," was erected on that spot, the previous 
court-house, opposite the cemetery being taken down, and the 
material used in its construction. It contained one large room, 
fitted up with desks for the House of Representatives, which had a 
small gallery at one end, over the entrance, and at the other end of 
the building was a "council chamber" for the governor and council. 
There were several smaller rooms. 

The building was erected by subscription. Col. Johnson's share 
of the expense being about $400. Jeremiah Harris of Rumney was 
the master-workman, and it was, if tradition be correct, the first 
building in this part of the country to be erected by the "square 

The assembly met on the 8th of October, Isaac Tichenor of 
Bennington being Governor, and Paul Brigham of Norwich, 
Lieutenant Governor, and Amos Marsh, Speaker. 

"Election day," was the great event of the session in those days. 
On that day the governor was officially notified of his election, and 
took the oath of office, which was afterward administered to the 
council. Then His Excellency, escorted by all the militia in the 
vicinity rode in state to the meeting-house, where the "Election 
Sermon" was delivered. 


One curious feature of the day must not be forgotten. Some 
months before the time, notice was given in the public prints that 
an original ode would be sung on that occasion, and the poets of 
the day were urged to prepare their strains in competition for the 
honor of producing the song, to which music would be composed 
by Mr. IngaUs. Col. Thomas Johnson, William B. Bannister, and 
James Whitelaw were the committee to pass upon the merits of 
such productions as should be offered. When the time came for the 
decision, the committee found themselves unable to decide which of 
the effusions submitted by two gentlemen from Peacham. Mr. 
Ezra Carter and Mr. Barnes Buckminster, was the superior, and it 
was finally agreed that Mr. Ingalls should compose music for both ; 
that one, to be sung before sermon should be called the Election 
Ode, and the other, to follow the discourse, should bear the title of 
the Election Hymn. Both were accordingly sung, and Mr. Ingalls 
drilled a large choir, consisting of all the best singers in the vicinity 
during several weeks before the great day. Both productions are 
preserved in Mr. Ingalls' singing-book, the ''Christian Harmony." 

Reuben Abbott, who died about twenty-five years ago in Maine 
believed himself to be the last survivor of that large band of 
singers. The election sermon was preached by Mr. Lambert to as 
many of the people as could crowd into the meeting-house. After 
the services, the governor and council, with all the clergymen who 
were in attendance, repaired to a tavern, and dined at the expense 
of the state. 

In those days, and for many years after, it was customary for 
members of the legislature, from distant parts of the state, to come 
on horseback to the place where the assembly met, hire pasturage, 
and turn their horses out to grass till the end of the session. 

Gov. Tichenor boarded at the house of Col. William Wallace, 
the building, which, afterward enlarged, became the Spring Hotel, 
using the south front parlor as a reception room. There are still 
preserved in town articles of furniture which are associated with 
the session of the legislature in 1801. 

Thomas Tolman of Greensboro, one of the most prominent men 
of the state in his time, was clerk of the House, and the following 
letter from him preserves for us some of the usages of the period : 

* 'Greensboro, Jnlj 16, 1801. 
Colo. Thos. Johnson, Dear Sir: 

I desire joti to procnre from Boston a Ream of the best paper, fine, thin and soft 
for the pen, and also one dozen skins of vellnm, or f^ood parchment for the handsome 
and fine writings of the legislature. Yonr account shall be paid, and also yonr 
trouble. If I maj depend I will not make any other application. Add M hundred 
the rery b€»t Holland quills. One thing more. I depend on you, if you please, to 
make a provision for a convenient place for my office and quarters. It must be near 
the legislature, contain a fireplace or stove, and if convenient a bed, as for a 
considerable part of the time I shall write at unseasonable hours, it would be 
agreeable if I could sleep in the same room. Excuse this trouble. My regards to 
Mrs. Johnson and to your sons. I am, with consideration. 

Your friend and humble servant, 

Thos. Tolman. 


No important legislation was accomplished at this session, 
which adjourned on the 6th of November. 

In 1806) a strong effort was made to secure another session for 
Newbury, but without avail, and whatever hopes had been indulged 
of securing the permanent location of the state capital at Newbury 
came to no result. The building itself proved a most unfortunate 
investment for those who built it. It was erected by subscription, 
and the legislature was hardly out of it before a suit began between 
Col. Johnson and Asa Tenney, and before it was tried, Mr. Harris, 
the contractor, brought suit against Johnson, Tenney and Col. 
Wallace for his pay. In the end, between 1801 and 1853, it has 
been said that ten law suits grew out of that unlucky building. 
The last of these was decided by the Supreme Court in 1852, and 
was occasioned by the erection of the schoolhouse now standing 
there. Joseph Atkinson and others were the respondents, and it 
was held that by the terms of Mr. Bannister's deed, the land could 
not be used for any other purpose than as a common, which must 
remain unfenced, and is the property of the town. This decision 
was doubtless in accordance with the law, but something should be 
done to improve this property, which lies in a beautiful part of the 
village, and might be made a very attractive spot. 

The building is well remembered by the older people. It stood 
nearly forty years, before it was finally taken down. It was 
uncertain whether the town or anyone really owned it, and 
occasioned a good deal of ridicule from the people of other places. 

In 1806 the town voted: ''That the selectmen provide and fix 
proper bars and locks to all the rooms in the State or Town house 
which lead to the Assembly Room or Gallery, at the town's expense." 
Later, the town voted the use of the building for a high school. It 
was used for all sorts of purposes, and the last years of its existence 
were melancholy enough. It stood, gloomy and dark; windows 
and doors gone; the roof fallen in; the stairs hanging from the 
gallery; the floors covered with broken plaster; children were 
forbidden to go inside of it ; and the nervous dreaded to pass the 
ruinous old building after nightfall. Strange and uncanny sounds 
came from it on windy nights, and superstitious folks persuaded 
themselves that the place was haunted. At last, about 1839, the 
old building was taken down. Sundry doors and windows from it, 
which may have served their turn in its predecessor, are still in use 
in town. 

Mr. Perry hints that the absence of public spirit which prevailed 
in Newbury during the first two or three decades, at least, of the 
century, originated in the troubles which grew out of the old 
court-house. There may be those who will think that the amount 
of ardent spirits consumed in the construction of the building had 
something to do with its misfortunes. Col. Thomas Johnson's bill 
for liquors furnished the workmen was about fifty dollars. 



■' '-^V -' 


One of the Chamberlins was a wheelwright, and probably 
began to make and repair carts and sleds very early. Sleds were all 
made with two runners, which were, sometimes, very long and 
awkward to turn. Traverse sleds were not invented till after 1825. 
Swings for shoeing oxen came into use about 1810. Before that 
time, oxen were usually thrown down upon the ground and their 
legs secured, when they were shod. Oxen were sometimes trained 
to stand still and be shod, as horses are. They were used entirely 
for farm work, and road work ; horses were used for driving and 
riding, and every man who owned a horse, owned also a saddle, an 
article seldom seen in use now. The raising and breaking of steers, 
and the sale of fat oxen, formed a large portion of the work of the 
farm. There were many men in this town forty years ago, who 
contrived to turn oflf a yoke of fat oxen every fall, replacing them 
with the next younger pair from the farm stock, thus keeping 
several pairs of oxen, and steers on hand at a time. 

There are few oxen now in use in this town, but before the 
introduction of farm machinery, they were more profitable than 
horses. They worked better among the rocks and stumps with 
which the farms were covered, and were thus well adapted to 
pioneer life, and the uses of the farm, down to a late day. There 
were men, and quite extensive farmers too, in this town, who did 
not keep horses, but did all their work with oxen, relying upon 
exchange with some neighbor for the rare events when a horse was 
indispensible. At a cattle fair held in Orford, in 1850, there were 
exhibited four hundred yoke of oxen in one team ; one hundred and 
fifty pairs of them were owned in that town. 

Sheep were kept on every farm, sometimes two or three hundred, 
but the introduction of imported breeds did not begin till a little 
before the civil war, and the fleeces were lighter than afterward. 

Cloth of all kinds, was homemade; the wool carded, dyed, spun, 
woven, and made up at home. When wanted for pantaloons, coats 
and the like of a more durable kind, and more stylish appearance, 
the web was taken from the loom, and sent to a * 'fulling-mill, "where 
it was subjected to a process which compacted the cloth, and made 
a smooth surface. This was called **fulled" cloth, and was one of 
the chief products of the farms, and one which never failed of a 
ready sale, when taken to the market towns. There were tailoresses 
in those days, who visited, in regular succession, certain farms, and 
fabricated the garments for the men and boys. The clothing thus 
patiently constructed, had an enduring quality wholly unknown to 
the present generation. A young man received a "freedom suit*' on 
arriving at his majority, and it was an even chance which would 
last the longest, the man, or the clothing which he wore. Instances 
are on record where a man wore his wedding suit on the fiftieth 
anniversary of his marriage, the garments little the worse for the 
Sunday wear of fifty years. A man's outer garment was a frock 


of homesptm, colored blue, and nothing was warmer, or more 
convenient. Such, in the earlier decades of the nineteenth century, 
were worn to meeting. Dr. Lyman Beecher, father of Henry Ward 
Beecher, used to be fond of exchanging with Rev. Leonard Worcester 
of Peacham about once a year, and one Sunday on returning to his 
Boston church after one of these visits, told his congregation, that 
on the Sunday before when he stood up to oflFer prayer in the 
Peacham meeting-house, *'half an acre of blue frocks rose up before 
me, with an honest heart under every one of them !" 

Flax has not been raised in this town to any extent, these forty 
years, yet, formerly its cultivation was general. On some of the 
farms which have been in the same hands for several generations, 
the "flax-brake," the "swingle", the "hetchel," instruments by 
whose means the rough fibre was prepared for spinning, may still 
be seen. The "flax-wheel," or "little wheel," with its accompanying 
distaff*, is one of the things most highly prized by collectors, and 
there are few left in Newbury. Linen, however, of fine quality and 
beautiful texture, was formerly made in this town, and it was once 
considered the proper thing for a young woman about to be 
married, to be able to show her entire wedding outfit, spun and 
woven with her own hands. The invention of the power loom has 
supplied the country with an inferior quality at a cheaper price. A 
"freedom suit" was one given to a young man upon attaining his 
majority, and was usually stipulated for in indentures, when a boy 
was "bound out." 

One of the earliest accounts preserved in town is one of Col. 
Frye Bayley's, which reads as follows : — 

"1768, Col. Jacob Bajley, Dr. to one Coat and Waistcoat, and Breeches, with 
Buttons and Trimmings for John Beard's Freedom Suit. £6. 8. 0." 

The custom of giving a "fireedom-suit" survived to a late day. 
The process of "binding out" boys and girls was very common, 
down to within about fifty years, and there have, possibly, been a 
few instances since that time. In earlier days, when families were 
very much larger than now, it often happened that a man died, 
leaving a large family of helpless children. It was then the duty of 
the poor masters, or selectmen, to find homes for such children, and 
apprentice them to learn the "art, mystery, trade, and calling," as 
the indenture read, of a husbandman, cordwainer, or blacksmith, 
as the case might be. A "bound out boy," as such an one was, is 
often alluded to, in the literature of the present day, as hardly more 
than a slave. In reality, scarcely anything better could happen to 
a homeless child, than to be placed in a good family where he would 
be well fed and clothed, taught industrious habits, given the 
rudiments of an education, and sent regularly to meeting. Some of 
the best men and women ever reared in Newbury were brought up 
in that way. 

Minors and indentured children were often allowed to "buv 


A Chapter of Old Things and New. 

TsATBUNG Facilitiks.— Clothing.— "Binding Out."— Saw-mills.— how con- 
structed.- Mills ON Hall's Brook.— On Harriman's Brook. — Stovbs and 
FiRB-PLACBS. — Candles.— Clocks and Watches.— Vocations of Women.— 
Farm Tools.— Threshing and Cleaning Grain.— Sugar-Making.- Dairying. 

THE year 1800, may be considered as a time when a great 
change came over the town. The old men, the first settlers, 
who had made their homes here in the wilderness, and 
had carried the Cods country safely through the struggle for 
independence, were passing off the stage of active life. New men, 
new measures, came to the front. Before that time the town- 
meeting settled the affairs of the town. It hired and dismissed the 
minister; regulated the schools and the highways; and was the 
source of authority for the little commonwealth. Life was simpler 
then than now, and bore little resemblance to the complexity of 
modem existence. 

Before considering, in detail, the institutions of the town, we 
will glance at some of the changes in domestic life, which took place 
during the earlier half of the century. 

Mr. Perry says that the first wheeled carriage was brought into 
Newbury by Rev. Mr. Goddard, who came to preach after Mr. 
Powers went away. This was in 1783. Ox carts only, were 
used before that time. The first chaise was not owned in town 
until after 1790. There was rapid improvement in the public 
roads about the end of the century, and by 1800, several of the 
well-to-do farmers had bought some kind of vehicle for driving. 
Mr. Sutherland states, however, that there were no wheeled vehicles 
in Bath, until several years after his settlement there, in 1804. Men 
and women rode on horseback, wives riding behind their husbands 
on "pillions.'' The first chaise was brought into Bath in 1807, and 
the first wagon in 1811. 


present site, there was a building which had been used as a bobbin 
mill. A short distance above it, at a deep cleft in the rock, w^as a 
shop in which Thomas Abbott, a wheelwright, made wagons and 
sleighs of a very substantial kind, some of which are still in use. 

Not far from 1820, Dea. William Burroughs built a sawmill 
at the falls near his house, where a ledge of rocks made a natural 
dam. This sawmill, owned by himself, later by his sons George and 
William, and afterward by the former and Nathan Bartlett, who 
succeeded William Burroughs in the ownership of what is now the 
town farm, did a good business until the circular mills came into 
use, when it went into decay, and was carried away by the freshet 
of 1869. 

Near the town house, at the foot of '*Meader hill," a Mr. Cook 
erected, about 1835, a blacksmith shop, which was fitted up with a 
trip-hammer, and other machinery, in which he made edge tools of 
a superior quality, during some years. All trace of these works has 
long disappeared. The buildings are standing on another site. 
About half a mile above the town house, close by the road, in a 
deep ravine, stood a mill which was fitted up with machinery for 
several operations. This mill did not stand long or do much 
business. The machinery was made by local carpenters and 
blacksmiths. The water-wheel was a huge, upright one, with 
"buckets" along its rim, the weight of the buckets when full of 
water, causing the wheel to revolve. Its motion was not very 
regular. This mill had several owners, and went to decay about 

The ''Fleming sawmill," next above it, was built by Joseph 
Prescott and Samuel Gibson, and operated by Alonzo Fleming 
many years. It went away in a freshet, June 5, 1872. The stream 
which comes down from Round and Long ponds has turned two 
mills. About 1858, Thomas Corliss put a circular saw into a 
building which he had erected a few years before, in which he did 
business, in the spring and fall for about twenty years. John and 
Thomas Corliss, Sr., and Solomon Jewell, erected, about 1820, a 
sawmill on the farm of the former, which was operated till about 
1865, and fell in ruins in June, 1877. Somewhere about 1790, 
Jonathan Johnson, Samuel and Jonas Tucker, built a mill at the 
foot of Hall's Pond, which, several times rebuilt, was in operation 
till 1871, the last of the old **up and down" mills, and using the 
crank placed in the first mill in town. A part of the mill still stood 
when the present dam was built for storage, about 1883. In 1841, 
Capt. Samuel Eastman erected a building at the falls on Vance 
brook, near the Union Meeting-house, in which he carried on a 
starch factory for two years. This ends the list of mills on Hall's 
brook and its branches. 

Harriman's brook and pond, were formerly called Taplin's 
brook, and Taplin's pond. There have been several mills along 


that stream. Gen. Jacob Bayley built a distillery at the place 
sometimes called **the old tannery." This is called in old deeds 
**Gen. Bayley's malt house." Later, probably about 1790, it 
passed into the hands of Rasmus Jonson, a native of Sweden, who 
built the quaint house now owned by N. Lupien. He was called 
"Stiller" (distiller) Jonson. The making of whiskey was in those 
days thought to be as reputable a business as any other. The 
buildings afterward passed into the hands of Freeman and Henry 
Keyes, w^ho converted them into a tannery. Since then they have 
been put to various uses under several owners. A grist-mill 
formerly stood at the foot of the falls, above the bridge. The mill 
at the top of "sawmill hill," was first built by Gen. Bayley, 
and after him was owned by several persons. In 1838, Joseph 
Atkinson sold it to Austin Avery, who kept it in operation till a 
short time before he died, after which it went to decay. It was 
rebuilt in 1882, and has since been in use, when there was water to 
run it. At the ''dry sawmill" the mill was abandoned about 1855. 

There have been mills on Scott's brook, nearly down to South 
Ryegate, of which no particular account has been received, and 
there have been a few elsewhere. The first steam sawmill was 
erected by the Scotts, at Ingalls' hill, near the **Tavem brook," 
"about the time the railroad was built." Of later portable mills, 
it is not worth while to attempt any history. They have nearly 
stripped the town of its timber. 

It is believed that the first stove in this part of the country was 
one set up in the house of Rev. David Goodwillie, in Bamet, about 
1790, by his brother, who was a tinsmith in Montreal. Stoves for 
heating were certainly in use in Newbury by 1800, but cooking 
stoves did not come till after 1820. Before that time all cooking 
was done at the fireplace, which, in the larger houses, filled more 
than half of one side of the great kitchen. Wood was more than 
plenty, it was an object to get rid of as much of it as possible, and 
the great fireplaces were sometimes eight feet long, five feet high, 
and three feet or more deep. To build a roaring fire in one of these 
caverns was a work requiring considerable skill. First, the "back- 
log," of maple or birch, two feet or more thick, and as long as the 
fireplace, is drawn into the kitchen by a horse, or pair of steers, 
and rolled by the farmer and his boys to its place at the back side 
of the chimney, where it will defy the heat for days, sputtering 
and giving out clouds of steam and smoke. In front of it, is a 
structure of various kinds of wood, green and dry, with pine knots, 
burning like torches, and sending out a resinous smell. The 
andirons support the burning mass, and on long, cold winter 
nights, enough wood is consumed to heat a modem house a week. 
Such a blaze we moderns never know. The fire illumines every 
comer of the room and the great chimney roars defiance to the 
Wast. Half the heat goes up its huge throat, and the draft draws 


in the cold outer air through every crack and crevice of the room. 
Before the fireplace stands the "settle," a long, wide seat, whose 
high back shuts out all draught, and when the wind rages outside, 
and the snow drives against the panes- 

"The honse-mates sit, 
Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed 
In a tumultuous privacy of storm." 

Kettles, large and small, hang by "hooks and trammells," from 
the "lug-pole," a green stick, which is suspended from hooks along 
the roof of the fireplace. This gave place, about 1785, to the iron 
crane, by means of which the kettles could be swung out into the 

Later, when wood grew scarce, fireplaces were made smaller, as 
we see them now. Some of the older houses had four, and even 
more fireplaces, built on the ground floor, and in the chambers, 
around the chimney, which was the core, about which the house 
was constructed. On one side of the fireplace, nestling against the 
great chimney, with an opening into the kitchen, was the brick 
oven, which was, commonly, about four feet long, three or more in 
breadth, and two feet high, with an arched roof, and a small 
opening into the chimney. To heat the oven, a fire of light, dry 
wood was made in it, and kept up until the bricks were thoroughly 
heated, when the fire was withdrawn, the oven swept, and the 
interior filled with loaves of bread, pots of beans, joints of meat, 
pies and cakes, and closed up. The oven gave out a steady even 
heat, and it is a waste of time and breath to try to convince any 
one, who has ever tasted the flavor of the baked beans and bread, 
which the old-fashioned brick ovens turned out, that any modem 
range, however marvelously constructed, can produce anything 
which approaches their delicious flavor. There are still a few 
houses in this town, in which the brick oven is occasionally used. 

Friction matches were not invented till about 1834, and before 
that time the only way of starting a fire was by "flint and steel," 
which consisted in striking a spark by their means into "tinder," 
which was prepared in various ways. It was a matter of domestic 
economy not to let the fire on the kitchen hearth ever go out, but 
this sometimes happened, and there are a good many people left in 
this town who can remember being sent to the next neighbors, to 
"get some fire." 

Candles were, next to the firelight, the only means of illumination 
which our predecessors possessed, and were made by being run in 
moulds, or by "dipping." By the last named process, a great many 
candles were made at a time, and "candle-dipping," was one of the 
annually recurring labors of the farm. 

It is not possible to tell when the first oil lamps were brought 
into town. Mr. Livermore is "not prepared to deny that there 




may have been, in 1820, one or two oil lamps," in Haverhill 
Comer, and they were, probably, introduced here about the same 
time. Kerosene came in 1859, and was preceded by a number of 
illuminating compounds, one of which, called •^camphene," gave a 
brilliant light, but was dangerously explosive. Whale oil was used 
in most families before kerosene came into general use. Candles 
were made of tallow, and sometimes other substances, animal and 
vegetable, were mixed with it which hardened them, and improved 
the quality of the light. 

Watches were brought into town before clocks, and came with 
the first settlers. Col. Kent's diary mentions selling a watch to 
Abiel Chamberlin in March, 1763. The watches of those days were 
called "bull's eyes," and had two cases, an outer and an inner, 
which were detachable. 

No fewer than seven families claim the honor of having brought 
the first clock into Newbury, and it is impossible to decide the 
precedence. A clock owned by Dea. Sidney Johnson, is believed to 
be one of the oldest in town, and was owned by his grandfather, 
the Colonel. The works were imported, but the inner case bears 
the name of a jeweler at Newburyport. There is a family 
tradition that some years after being brought here it needed 
cleaning and a local clock cleaner took it to pieces and accomplished 
the task. But he could not put it together again, nor, it seems, 
could the united skill of the settlement accomplish the feat, and the 
works were taken to Haverhill, Mass., on horseback, put together, 
and brought back in the same way. Its tall upright case was made 
by Michael Carleton. 

Most of the houses had their "noon marks," which indicated 
when the sun had reached the meridian. The custom of placing 
noon marks upon houses continued down to 1860, at least, and the 
late Richard Patterson stated that he had marked more than a 
hundred such. In the absence of clocks, people were often very 
skillful in telling the hour of the night by the progress of the 
heavenly bodies, and there were men who could tell the time by 
the stars, with surprising accuracy. When the sky was overcast, 
this resource of the watcher failed, and some amusing mistakes are 
chronicled. A woman whose husband was from home, arose from 
her sleep, and supposing it to be near morning, thought that she 
would spin till it was time to arouse her children. She accordingly 
kindled a fire, lighted her candle, and got out her wheel. She spun 
on and on, but the day did not break. She continued her task, but 
it was not until she had accomplished more than a usual day^'s 
''stint," that the light began to glow over the eastern hills. With 
the daybreak came her brother, who lived about two miles away, 
in plain sight, who inquired anxiously after the health of the 
family. They had seen her light burning all night, and thinking 


some one of the household must be ill, he had come over to ascertain 
the cause. 

When the bell was placed in the meeting-house on Ladd street, 
in Haverhill, it was rung at morning, noon, and nine o'clock in the 
evening, and the same custom was continued by the Newbury bell, 
when hung in the belfry of the ''old meeting-house," in 1828. 

The first town clock in this region, north of the college clock at 
Hanover, was placed upon the brick meeting-house at Haverhill 
Corner, about 1840. There is no record of the opening of any shop 
for the repair of clocks and watches here before 1830; there was 
one in Haverhill before 1810. 

In earlier days, and down to the middle of the third decade of 
the century, there were but three vocations open to women — 
domestic service, nursing and teaching. For the first, there was 
little demand and small pay. Families were large, and there were 
apt to be many girls in them, for whom there was no outside 
employment. Seventy-five cents a week was considered vety good 
pay, for a strong woman, whose daily task began before daylight, 
and continued during the evening. One dollar a week, in special 
cases, was thought very high pay. Housekeepers of the present 
day must almost sigh for those early days, when there was a 
surplus of domestic help. It was not uncommon for a woman 
who had worked nine months in a family, for seventy-five cents a 
week, to continue through the winter on board wages. 

Nursing was a precarious employment, and hardly better paid 
than domestic service. In 1815, tvsro dollars a week was received 
by a very skillful woman who had the* care of the wife of David 

Teaching was about the most poorly paid of all woman's 
labors. Masters were usually employed in winter, and that left 
only a few months, when a young woman might secure a school, 
for a dollar a week and board. 

With domestic service mav be classed the work of tailoresses, 
who went from house to house and made up the men's garments. 
Such were quite important personages in their time, and a woman 
who **went out sewing," and had skill with the shears and needle, 
received fair pay, which was often in produce or home made cloth. 

With the opening of the cotton mills in Lowell and elsewhere, 
there came a great change. There was a steady and increasing 
demand for female labor, in the mills, and in the other employ- 
ments which soon opened in the grovsring manufacturing towns. 
Thousands of bright, resolute, capable young women flocked to the 
cities, and often found homes for themselves there. Instead of a 
surplus of domestic help there began to be a scarcity, and a 
consequent rise in wages of the few employments open to women, 
in this part of the country. 

In these days, when every farmhouse draws upon distant 


regions for the supply of its daily needs; when our flour comes 
from beyond the Mississippi ; when our homes are lighted by oil 
from Pennsylyania ; when our shoes are made in one part of the 
country, and our coats in another ; when luxuries and conveniences 
of which our fathers, seventy years ago, never even dreamed, are 
found in the remotest dwellings among the hills, it is hard, even 
impossible, for us to put ourselves in their places. The expenses of 
a healthy family were very small, when every farmhouse was a 
hive of industry, where butter and cheese, woolen and linen cloth, 
and many other articles of commerce were manufactured. 

At the sixtieth wedding anniversary of Nathaniel Roy and wife, 
of Bamet, about twenty-five years ago, it was stated that this 
couple, although well-to-do, and hospitable, had not, in that 
time, bought a pound of meat, a pound of'flour, or a pound 
of sugar. Many of the families in Newbury of that era could say 
as much. The actual, unavoidable cash expenses of a healthy family 
a century ago, hardly exceeded twenty-five dollars. People 
commonly worked out their taxes, and store bills were paid in 
produce. Nearly every man had some trade at which he could 
work, and exchange the skilled labor of his hands, with some other 
man, equally skillful in some other employment. Sometimes, and 
often, a man was master of two or three trades. There were men 
in this town who made their own shoes, of hides furnished by their 
own cattle, and converted into leather at the local tannery, formed 
upon lasts carved out by their own hands, sewed with linen thread 
made upon their farms, with "waxed ends," furnished with bristles 
from the backs of their swine, and soled by pegs made by 
themselves. The same men, could, probably, shoe a horse, lay 
up a chimney, or make tables and chairs. An old account book, 
kept by Jonas Tucker, shows that he did all these, and more, and 
there were many like him. 

All farm work, except plowing, harrowing and hauling was 
done by hand, and with the aid of tools which a man would not 
now accept as a gift. The iron plow did not come into use till after 
1820; the plow of earlier date was of wood, except the point, 
which was of iron, and fastened on by bolts, and plates of iron 
were attached to the wing and share, where the most wear came. 
With plows like these were the great meadow farms tilled, eighty 
years ago. Harrows were made of the crotches of trees, into 
which the teeth were placed. Our complicated variety of modem 
apparatus for pulverizing the soil, was then unknown. It is only 
within fifty years that cultivators began to come into use. 

Grain was reaped, the only way in which it could be gathered, 
on newly cleared land. A good reaper could cut about an acre in a 
long August day, laying it in *'gavels." Cradling came next, and a 
man could cradle an acre rather quicker than he could mow one. 
The occupation required a peculiar deftness of arm, and a good 



cradler was paid about forty cents a day, more than the wages of a 
mower, in 1820. Grain was threshed entirely by the flail, and 
cleaned by hand by the help of a "fan." This was made of thin 
boards, and shaped much like the letter D, the semi-circular side 
being next to the operator. It was about four feet long, on the 
straight side, and around the circular part ran a thin board, set on 
edge, and fitted with handles like those of a basket, on each side of 
the man who held it. About a peck of uncleaned grain was poured 
into the fan at a time, and it was shaken up and down in a peculiar 
way, by the handles, with a sound that went "swish," **swish," 
**swish." The exercise was varied by shaking the fan, to bring all 
the grain to the front, and the chaff and dust was expelled by the 
breeze created by the motion of the fan, and the falling grain. The 
process was considerably hastened by working in the wind. A man 
could clean up about thirty bushels in a day, **if his back-bone was 
made of iron." 

Winnowing mills came into use about 1815, and threshing- 
machines twenty years later. The first machines only threshed the 
grain, the cleaning was done afterward, by the hand-mill. 

Mowing was all done bj' hand, down to about 1855, when 
mowing machines came slowly into use. There were men in this 
town who made a business of mowing, hiring out to mow on the 
great meadow farms, keeping up a steady swing from morning till 
night. Such men had great strength and endurance, qualities aided 
by liberal draughts of New England rum. Some of these could mow 
very rapidly. There is a story of a man who could mow faster 
than he could ordinarily walk, and when he wanted to go 
anywhere quickly, he took a scythe and mowed his way along. 
Such tales illustrate to us the prowess of our ancestors ! The bent 
scythe snath came into use about 1810. Before that time they 
were all straight, and many old people clung to the straight 
snath, as long as they lived. Worn out scythes were made into 
horseshoes by the blacksmiths. 

The first mowing machines were brought into town and sold 
by Dea. George Swasey. They bore little resemblance to the 
machines now in use, which are the result of many years of 
experiment. They had only one wheel, the cutter-bar extended at 
right angles to the machine, and could neither be raised nor 
lowered. The only way of stopping the scythe when the machine 
was moving was to take it out. In a short time the hinged 
cutter-bar came into use, and other improvements, one after 
another. Yet the vital principle of the machine, the knives attached 
to a bar of steel, moving swiftly back and forth between 
immovable fingers, was the same at first as now. The many and 
various improvements consist in the more ready application of the 
power to the knives, and in the manner by which the cutter-bar is 


adjusted to the conditions of the grass, and the inequalities of the 

The horse-rake is of modem invention, the first mention is of 
one on Long Island in 1826. This consisted of a beam of wood 
about eight feet long, into which wooden teeth were fastened, and 
which had handles like those of a plow. The teeth slid under the 
hay, and when full, the horse was stopped and backed, the man 
drew out the rake, and, bearing down upon the handles it was 
made to pass over the windrows when the process was repeated. 
Later, some genius put teeth on both sides of the head, and, by 
means of a lever on the handles, the rake was made to turn over 
when fttU. This was called the ''revolving rake,'* and there may be 
a few still in use in this town. Another rake had wire teeth, and 
was much like the present rakes, but had no wheels, and the man 
walked behind, holding by a pair of handles. When full, it was 
lifted up by main force, and the hay was discharged. This kind of 
rake was called the "man-killer," and no man who ever followed 
one, behind a fast-walking horse, over a five acre field, on a sultry 
July afternoon, ever doubted the applicability of the name. In 
1857, Charles P. Carpenter, of St. Johnsbury, invented a rake 
which went on wheels, and was one of the first predecessors of the 
wheel-rakes now in use. 

Maple sugar began to be made in the second or third spring of 
the settlement of Newbury. Its manufacture has steadily increased, 
and the capital invested in the business probably exceeds in value 
that of all the farm implements and machinery in use, seventy j'^ears 
ago. In earlier years, sap was caught in wooden troughs, and 
boiled in kettles hung from poles in the open air. Sugar-houses with 
arches and set pans came into use about 1857, and evaporators 
ten years later. The industry may be completely revolutionized by 
discoveries and inventions sure to come within a few decades. 

The wages of a farm laborer have steadily increased. In 1800, 
Isaac Waldron hired out to Col. Frye Bayley for one year for eighty. 
dollars. Eight dollars a month, at the beginning of the century, 
and long after, was the ordinary pay. The few living yet whose 
memory runs back to the '30s declare that this sum was the 
common pay of a hired man in those days. But eight dollars a 
month meant something then, and he saved enough in a few years 
to buy a good farm. Very few save anything now. Wages were 
higher along the seacoast, where the young men went to sea, and it 
was common for young men in this part of the country to start off 
on foot, in April, for Salem or Marblehead, work there all summer, 
returning in the fall. The number of occupations in which a young 
man could engage in those days was very small. But with the 
opening of the railroads, the requirements of manufacturing cities, 
and the westward migration, laborers became scarcer, and wages 
rose. During the civil war wages rose to a high figure, and the 


introduction of farm machinery had hardly begun. At the present 
time comparatively little farm work is done by hand, but machinery 
has not yet come to the aid of the farmer's "chores." 

An industry which has wholly passed out of existence in this 
part of the country, was the manufacture of "salts" as pot and 
pearl ashes were called. The manufacture of these began early. 
There was a "potash" in 1768, at the foot of the hill below Mr. 
Lang's bam, on the Ox-bow. There was always a great demand 
for these products and "salts" were one of the very few things 
which always brought cash. They were formerly made quite 
extensively around West Newbury, and in diflferent parts of the 
town there are places which resemble the sites of abandoned houses, 
and which the old people will say "is where they used to make 

In early days grain was the staple product of the farms, and 
thousands of bushels of com, wheat, rye, oats and barley, were 
exported. Some farmers went to Salem, the wheat market for the 
export trade, several times in each year. About 1800, the blight 
came upon the wheat which grew on the meadows, and it soon 
became unprofitable there. 

The raising of fat cattle for market was profitable. 'The Boston 
markets were mainly supplied from Vermont and New Hampshire. 
Immense droves of fat cattle were collected by buyers in this part of 
the country every year, and driven to market. Young cattle were 
also brought in herds from northern New York, and sold to the 
farmers along the Connecticut valley. 

During the civil war, the price of wool rose to seventy-five cents 
and even one dollar a pound, in the depreciated currency of the 
time, and every one rushed into the wool business. With the return 
of peace, and a plentiful supply of cotton, wool declined, and sheep 
became unprofitable in their turn. 

Dairying has always commanded a large share of the farmer's 
labor, and was never more skilfully conducted than at present. 
Formerly, the butter season began with the turning out of the cows 
to pasture in the spring, and ended when they were brought to the 
bam in the fall. Few fed grain to cows in winter, except to one or 
two which were allowed to go farrow, for a supply of milk. 

All the butter and cheese making was done by hand, and with 
most of the farmers, butter was stored away in the cellars to await 
cool weather and the higher prices which came with it. The 
burdens of the dairy were heavy on the women of the family, and 
many a housewife wore her life out in this work. The introduction 
of the creamery system and the invention of the cream separator, 
has changed all this. With improved systems of dairying came the 
silo, for preserving corn-fodder, and a great change in farming. 
Instead, as formerly, of exporting great quantities of grain, vast 
amounts of western feed are brought into Newbury to supply the 


dairy farmers, and the acreage of com, now larger than ever, is all 
consumed in town. 

The wages of carpenters in 1820, were $1.25 per day for a 
skilled workman, and seventy-five cents for an apprentice. The 
bricklayers on the seminary building, in 1833, received $1.25 per 

John Mills is understood to have burned the first kiln of brick 
at South Newbury, at the foot of the hill, north of Mr. Doe's. 
There have been two other brick-yards in that part of the town, 
one east of the brook, near the grist mill, and the other north of 
the mill-pond. George Eastman leased the latter yard, and its 
appliance for brickmaking, of Benjamin Atwood, for every tenth 
brick ; his father, Seaborn Eastman, also made brick there. 

Beside the tanneries mentioned elsewhere, and that of Webster 
Bailey, one was conducted at West Newbury by Oscar Blake, on the 
farm now owned by W. C. & D. Carleton. One of the old bams on 
that farm was one of the tannery buildings. 

The house in which Joseph Sawyer lives at West Newbury, was 
built for a chair factory, by two brothers by name of Caswell. 

The question is often asked, Was there more wealth in Newbury 
sixty years ago than now? It cannot be precisely answered. 
Wealth has a relative rather than a positive value. The changes of 
the last half century have been so great and so various that the 
measure of value which served in 1840, hardly answers the purpose 
now. Still the changes of the intervening time are rather with 
individuals than with the whole community. There are families in 
this town whose habits and manner of life differ very little from 
those of their predecessors here seventy years ago. 

But the comforts and conveniences within the reach of the 
farmers of moderate means in Newbury at the present time are far 
greater in number and variety now than then. 

Life is what people make it for themselves, and the study of conditions is of value if it makes us more content with the 
world as we have it in our time. 

NoTB. Mr. Swasey thinks that he brought his first mowing machine into town 
in 1854. It was a Ketcham mower, of the kind described on page 152, and sold for 
$100. The year before, Mr. Edward Hale, on the upper meadow, nsed something 
resembling a mowing machine. The cutter bar was of wood, two inches thick, and 
could cut only tall grass. 

The late Deacon Wells helped start the first revolving horse rake in town, about 
1836, on Col. Tenney's farm. They were afraid that the horse would take fright 
and run away, so the Colonel grasped the handles, Timothy Haseltine held the horse 
6rm]y by the head, while Mr. Wells took a strong grip on the reins. The rake 
revolved, and came down with a clatter, the men braced themselves for the catastro- 
phe; the horse stopped, put down its head and took up a mouthful of hay. **0h, if 
that's the way you are going to act,*' says the Colonel, "we'll stop and put the 
boy on !" 


Reminiscences of Early Wells River. 

By Hon. Charles B. Leslie. 

RiY BR Navigation.— Boats.— Steamboats.— Roads.— Early Taverns.— The Coo s- 
sucK House.— Mbrcu ants in the Bachop Block.— Supplies for the War 
OF 1812.— The Marsh Store.— The Burbank Store.— The Eames Store.— 
Timothy Shedd.— Tannery.— Peter Burbank.— G. G. Cushman.— Judge 
Underwood.— E. Farr.— Isaac W. Tabor.— D. A. Rogers.— C. C. Dbwey 
Paper Mill.— Ira White.— Paper Making.— John L. Woods.— The Leslies.— 
Abel Wells And Sons.— First Physicians.— The Gales.— The Scotts.— 
Singular Loss of Money.— The Flood of 1828. 

WELLS RIVER Village is in the northeastern comer of the 
town ol Newbury and also the county of Orange, on the 
Governor's right. Five hundred acres were granted to 
Governor Benning Wentworth, which right came into the hands of 
Er Chamberlin by purchase, and he built the first grist-mill. 

The village is at the head of boat navigation. The boats 
spoken of and once used on the Connecticut river, would carry 
about twenty-five tons of merchandise, and they went down the 
river loaded with lumber, that is clapboards and shingles, etc., and 
brought back heavy goods like iron, salt, rum, molasses, and that 
class of goods. They could not come any farther up than Stair 
Hill, at the lower side of the village, where they unloaded. These 
boats were built for the use of square sails, set in the middle of the 
boat. They had a crew of seven men to propel them up the river, 
six spike pole men w^ho worked three on a side, by placing one 
end of the pole on the river bottom, the other end against the 
boatman's shoulder and walking back about half the length of the 
boat, pushing on the pole. The captain steered with a wide bladed 
oar at the rear. Rafts of lumber were made up here, to be piloted 


to Hartford, Conn., in boxes sixty feet long, and thirteen feet wide, 
just the right siaje to go through the locks at the falls on the river, 
singly. There was a sawmill at Dodge's falls, where timber was 
sawed, and floated down through the narrows, to Ingalls' eddy, 
where they put six boxes together, making what was called a 
"division." The boxes could not be floated by this village, except 
at high water, because of the sand bars. 

About 1835, a Transportation Company was formed for 
propelling these boats up stream by means of steam-tugs, which 
were built with a stem- wheel; these tugs were too large to pass 
through the locks, which necessitated a boat between each lock. 
One steamboat too big to pass through the locks was built here, 
near where the Henderson block now stands, and was used as a 
passenger and tow boat as were those previously mentioned. This 
last boat operated between Wells River and White River Falls. 
This boat was called the Adam Duncan, and finally blew up one 
fourth of July at White's Eddy just below the bridge at Newbury 
street. One Dr. Dean, of Bath, was on board, and jumping 
overboard, he was killed by the paddles or was supposed to have 
been. After the explosion the boat floated down stream to White 
River Falls, where it lay till it rotted. Before these longer boats 
were put on the river, one boat small enough to pass through the 
locks, called the John Ledyard, came up from Hartford, making 
one trip as far as Wells River. 

Prior to the building of high dams on the river, salmon used to 
run up as far as Wells River and were caught here. Undoubtedly 
the Indians used to come by way of Wells River from Lake 
Champlain and fished here for salmon in the Connecticut river, 
and probably met Indians of other tribes who came down the 
Connecticut river from the north part of the state. Their 
arrowheads and flints have been found on the hills north of Wells 
River Village, back a little from the Connecticut river. 

Before the days of railroads, Wells River was quite a junction 
for the stage roads and market routes. The writer has seen as 
many as fifty loaded two-horse teams in the streets of Wells River, 
at one time. The highway going north turned off" at the top of 
Ingalls' hill and kept back just on top of the hill till it came out on 
the meadow up here at Stair hill, and all farm buildings below Stair 
hill were on the hill. From Stair hill the road passed through Wells 
River, and up the paper mill road to the willow tree just below 
William Buchanan's house, where the old grist-mill was. The road 
then crossed the Wells River, going to Ryegate. There was no road 
west of the paper mill. The road ended at the paper mill, until 
about sixty years ago, but the road to Leighton hill went up the 
high hill just opposite the house of Mr. William Buchanan, and all 
persons traveling that way were obliged to climb this immense hill. 
About sixty years ago a Spanish doubloon, (about twenty dollars), 


was picked up on land now owned by Mrs. Moore. Doubtless this 
coin was lost there by some one in one of the military expeditions 
which was on the way to Canada. 

The first hotel was kept by Mr. Benjamin Bowers, I think, who 
came here before 1796. He died, and was buried in the field near 
where Mr. Newton Field now lives. The hotel was on the spot 
where the Baldwin block is situated. It was a small house, and 
after Joshua Hale succeeded Bowers, it was used as an ell to the 
front which Hale put up, which was just like the house now kept by 
Johnson, called the Wells River House. This last named house was 
also erected by the Hales, for Mrs. Hale's sister, Mrs. Barstow. 
The Hales kept the hotel for many years, and accumulated a good 
property. After the Hales, the same hotel was kept by various 
persons — one Pickett, Justus Gale, Jesse Cook, Simeon Stevens, 
Young and Hobbs, Sawyer and Chaplin, Jacob Kent and Harry B. 

The Coossuck House was situated where the new hotel now is 
and was kept by Jacob Kent, Henry F. Slack and William R. Austin 
and by Slack alone. After Slack quit the Co5ssuck House he kept 
one situated on the land north of S. S. Peach's present dwelling. 
This house is now gone, having been destroyed by fire some years 
since, and while Slack owned it he leased it ta one John A. Bo wen. 
Slack went back into the Coossuck House and kept it till he died, 
having bought it ol Colonel Kent. It has been kept by one 
Hartshorn, and by Durant & Adams and by one Fry, and was 
burned down in 1892 and the present one built on its site. This 
hotel was built by Col. Kent. 

The early general merchants were : Josiah Marsh, who became 
quite a land owner in the village of Wells River. I am very sure he 
came from Connecticut. He traded in the south end of the building, 
now called the Bachop block, but formerly known as the Hutchins 
& Buchanan store, and which they enlarged by adding about half 
of its present size on the north end of it, about forty-five years ago. 
Mr. Marsh had a large trade, and must have come before the war 
of 1812. The land records in Newbury will tell when he first 
became a land owner. Mr. Marsh had a large storehouse on the 
west side of Main street, opposite his store, standing where 
the present Hale's Tavern stands. It was built for storing 
heavy merchandise. 

In the war of 1812 there were many army supplies furnished 
from Wells River, to wit : Beef from cattle slaughterd here — there 
were two slaughter-houses — one opposite the house now occupied 
by Dr. J. F. Shattuck, and upon the same side of Wells River that 
his house stands ; the other was down on the bank of Connecticut 
river, and near where Richard Henderson's house now stands. The 
flour was ground in the grist-mill, which stood near the large 
willow tree back of Mr. W. G. Buchanan's dwelling-house, just 


above the present dam across Wells River. The dam which 
famished the power to that grist-mill, was above Mr. Buchanan's 
house and nearly opposite to Hon. E. W. Smith's residence. This 
dam turned the water into a canal which was thus taken to the 
grist-mill. The site of this canal is now visible. This grist-mill 
doubtless was built by Er Chamberlin. Probably Mr. Marsh was 
engaged in the slaughtering of cattle and grinding flour, and 
furnishing them to the American army. Mr. Marsh gave to the 
town the old burying ground, but which ceased to be used for 
burial purposes a few years since, the bodies interred there having 
been removed to the new cemetery. 

Those merchants who occupied the Marsh store were: Samuel 
Hutchins, and his son Samuel, from Bath, N. H. The firm name 
was Samuel Hutchins & Son. This firm was succeeded by Hutchins 
& Goodall. This firm was composed of the above named Samuel 
Hutchins, Jr., and one Alexander Goodall. Then there was a 
younger Hutchins came into the concern by the name of William. 
He stayed only a short time and went West. Then Mr. Samuel 
Hutchins took in the late Moses Buchanan, and they did business 
under the name of Hutchins & Buchanan. Afterward Col. James 
Buchanan, a brother of Moses, having been a clerk for Hutchins & 
Buchanan, was taken into the firm, and I think the firm tiame of 
this company was Hutchins, Buchanan & Co. Afterwards Moses 
Buchanan sold out to his younger brother, William G. Buchanan, 
Mr. Hutchins having gone out of the firm, and the Buchanan's did 
business under the name, style and firm of J. & W. G. Buchanan. 
The Hutchinses, Goodalls, and Buchanans, one and all, were good 
sharp and well trained business men, did a* large business, and 
accumulated large properties. Those who have occupied that store 
since are W. G. Buchanan and Gilbert Child — Buchanan & Child ; 
Then came Mr. Archibald Bachop, who married a sister of the 
above named Buchanans, and he took in as a partner, Mr. A. S. 
Farwell. This last named company failed, and Mr. Bachop, by 
trusting irresponsible customers lost his property. 

There came here from Connecticut, about the same time Marsh 
did, Mr. G. A. Burbank, a relative of Peter Burbank, who also was 
a merchant. He built the dwelling-house which has since been 
rebuilt and remodeled, and is now the fine residence, owned and 
occupied by Colonel Erastus Baldwin. His store was a little east 
of Colonel Baldwin's dwelling-house and abutted on the highway 
leading to Mclndoes Falls. It was removed many years ago. The 
writer hereof remembers the store, and his first pair of boots, being 
trimmed with red morocco, and a hat to match, were purchased for 
him of one Averill, who was the proprietor of, or a clerk in, said 
store. After the store building ceased to be used as a store, it was 
used in manufacturing from cattle's horns, horn combs, to be worn 
in those days by women, and afterwards the building was used for 
a dwelling-house. 


Another merchant came here early from Northumberland, N. H., 
by the name of William Eames. He traded in the store which until 
very lately stood where W. G. Foss' dwelling-house stands. It was 
customary in those days for country merchants in this section of 
the country to take of their customers and debtors, in the fall of 
the year, neat cattle, and take them afoot to Brightqn market. 
This was done by the merchants hereabout, Mr. Eames, Hutchins & 
Son, Hutchins & Goodall, and Hutchins & Buchanan, and Mr. 
Eames went to Brighton with a drove of cattle and was taken sick 
there and died. I well remember the time, and that his death was 
greatly lamented, he being highly esteemed here. Mr. Eames was 
in company in the tailoring business with Stephen Meader, the 
father of the late A. S. Meader, the long-time tailor here. This 
copartnership did not include the store trade at all. The tailor's 
shop was in the second story of the store which was reached by a 
flight of stairs, out-of-doors, on the south side of the store. J. L. 
Woods settled the Eames estate. After the death of Mr. Eames, the 
store was occupied by Moore & ShurtlifF for a while, then a firm, 
Baxter & Hunter traded there and this firm was succeeded bv 
Timothy Shedd and Hiram Tracy, under the firm name of Shedd & 
Tracy. After a year or two Shedd & Tracy moved out of the 
Eames store into Mr. Shedd's large building, which Mr. Shedd had 
used as a shoe and leather store, which stood on the west side of 
main street, and just south of the street now leading from Main 
street to the creamery. This has been removed and is the same 
now occupied by F. Deming. Since Shedd & Tracy moved out of 
the Eames store, it has been occupied by Mr. A. S. Farwell for sale 
of dry goods and also tailoring business, carried on by Mr. Farwell. 
Shedd & Tracy traded in the Shedd store for many years. Finally 
Mr. Tracy traded there alone, succeeding the firm of Shedd & Trac}', 
but he became badly involved, and failed. Mr. Tracy came here as 
early as 1828 from Woodstock, Vt., and for his first wife married a 
daughter of Mr. Shedd. 

After Mr. Tracy ceased trading, Timothy Shedd and his son, 
William R. Shedd, went into business in trade, and also milling 
business, remodelling the bark mill into a grist-mill. They did 
business under the firm name of T. & W. R. Shedd and they moved 
the store, which had till then always been the property of Mr. Shedd, 
to its present situation, where it is now owned and occupied b> 
Mr. F. Deming, and where Mr. Deming has traded for 40 years, 
having during that time, had one partner for a short time, viz: 
the late A. T. Baldwin, and has within the present year associated 
with him, S. E. Clark. 

Timothy Shedd came to Wells River from Rindge, N. H., at an 
early date of its settlement. He was a tanner by occupation and 
by his great industry and energy, accumulated a good estate. He 
was man of large stature, and capable of doing the work of his 


occupation, at first alone, which, as we all know, is of a yery 
laborions nature. He was of abstemious habits, as well as very 
close in his dealings. He was an influential member of the 
Congregational church, first at Newbury, and later at this place. 
His first work, he told the writer, was done under a shed near the 
present grist-mill, and his bark house was at the mouth of the 
canal, through which the water passes, which carries the grist- 
mill. I well remember the old bark house. After it ceased to be 
used, he erected the building which has since been remodelled 
and made into the present grist-mill, and in which were stored 
large quantities of hemlock bark, and therein ground up to 
be used in vats, to tan the hides with. In my early boyhood Mr. 
Shedd had so extended and enlarged his tannery business, that he 
had not only a large number of vats at the mill where he ground 
the bark as aforesaid, but he had, also, a large number near where 
the store, now occupied by Mr. Deming now stands. These vats 
were out-of-doors and uncovered. The rear part of Mr. Deming's 
store, which is now used for a back-store and bam, the lower 
story was then used for limeing and beaming hides, to take the hair 
off, and run over the flesh on them, and had vats therein, in 
which the hides were limed, and also to soften and remove 
the ill effects of the limeing, by putting them into a vat, containing 
hen manure. The upper part of this building, over tie tannery, 
was used for the finishing of leather. Where the front part, or 
salesroom of Deming's store is, was used as a dwelling. (Probably 
used by Mr. Shedd when he was first married). Mr. Shedd aUo 
manufactured harnesses and boots and shoes, keeping several men 
at work making them. The modus operandi of tanning sole 
leather was this : After the hair was taken off they were fulled in a 
fulling-mill, and then put into vats, a layer of bark and then a hide, 
and then bark and hides, alternately, till filled, then filled with 
water and allowed to remain six or eight months, when they were 
taken out, dried and rolled with a brass roller heavilv loaded 
down, and which was propelled by water, back and forth over the 
hide, which had become leather, until it was made hard and 
compact, when it was ready for market. 

Mr. Shedd also during his busy life was engaged in the lumber 
business, owning and operating a sawmill on the north end of the 
present dam across Wells River, in this village. The country here- 
abouts was, at the the time of the early settlement of Wells River 
village, heavily timbered with large pine trees, hemlock and spruce 
as well as hardwood. The pine, hemlock and spruce was much of 
it sawed into lumber, but a considerable quantity was floated in 
the log, down the Connecticut river. At first, hemlock and spruce 
was not valuable timber, but have become so since the pine has 
been cut off. 

Peter Burbank was the first lawyer who located at this place. 



He came from Somers, Connecticut. He was a strong and well 
read lawyer, endowed with a great memory and strong common 
sense, which means that he was broad minded, and could apply his 
knowledge in a manner to influence judges and jurors in his favor. 
He was a careful and wise counsellor and looked cases well over 
before commencing a suit, and when his suit was begun he left no 
means unemployed to carry his cause to a victory for his client, and 
the same was true of his efforts if he was called to defend a cause. 
His office was a building about 15x15, and stood pretty near where 
Robert Nelson's store and dwelling-house now is. Mr. Burbank did 
a large and successful law business, and .was a hard antagonist in 
the trial of suits. He was in politics a Jeffersonian and Jackson 
democrat and was elected to the legislature of the town of Newbury 
in the years 1829 to 1831. He was untiring in his law practice. 
He procured the charter to be granted of the Bank of Newbury 
while a member of the legislature in the latter vear, and was its 
first president. He was fifty-five years old when he died, January 
13th, 1836, at his home in Newbury near South Ryegate, which he 
called **The Hermitage", and is the same place occupied by the 
descendants of the late William Nelson. Mr. Burbank liked farming 
pursuits, was a lover of good horses, and owned the Morgan 
stallion called the Woodbury horse and afterwards the Burbank 
horse. This horse made the best appearance under the saddle of 
any horse in the country. 

Gustavus Grant Cushman was bom in Bamet, Vt., Nov. 
C, 1804. At the age of twenty years he entered the office of Messrs. 
Paddock & Stevens, at St. Johnsbury, and finished his legal 
education with Peter Burbank, and was admitted to the bar at 
Danville, April, 1827, and began practice at Wells River, and I am 
quite sure, as a partner with Mr. Burbank, and in 1829 he removed 
to Bangor, Me. He held various public offices there up to the time 
of his death about 1875. 

Hon. Abel Underwood was bom in Bradford, Vt., April 8, 
1799. He determined early to have a liberal education, and he was 
graduated from Dartmouth College in the class of 1824. He read 
law with Hon. Isaac Fletcher, at Lyndon, Vt., and was admitted 
to the bar, at Danville, in 1827. He was, for a short time, in 
company with Mr. Fletcher when he came to Wells River, and 
located in the practice of his profession. In 1828 clients were not 
numerous for the young lawyer, with Peter Burbank, who was 
then considered a giant in the practice of the law, as a competitor, 
and so he went to Dexter, Me., but his clients there were not 
numerous, and he came back to Wells River, after a short residence 
in Maine, and made Wells River his final abode till his death, which 
occurred April 22, 1879. After his return to Wells River, his old 
antagonist, Peter Burbank, had ceased to practice, and Mr. 
Underwood began to have clients in plenty, and in a few years 


had a lucrative business. He held various offices, representing 
Newbury in the legislature in 1861 and 1862. He was also state's 
attorney for Orange County in the year 1839, which office he 
filled for two years. He was United States District Attorney for 
Vermont in the years 1849 to 1853. He was a Judge of Circuit 
Court from 1854 to 1857. He was also a Register of Bankruptcy 
under the bankrupt law, and held various offices of trust both in 
his profession and out of it. He was of industrious habits, and 
persevering and determined in the prosecution of his business, 
^whatever it was, and conscientious and honest in all of his 
relations in business intrusted to his care. He was president 
and director of the Bank of Newbury for many years. 

Elijah Farr, lawyer, was born in Thetford, Vt., August 14, 
1808, but his parents, soon after his birth, removed to Bradford 
and he always called that town his home. He was a remarkably 
tall man, being six feet, five inches in height and of a very slim 
build. His education was acquired in the common schools of the 
town and Bradford Academy, preparatory to the study of the law. 
His law preceptor was Hon. J. F. Redfield, of Derby, Vt., and who 
was for many years, twenty -five I think, a judge of Supreme Court 
of Vermont and for a large part of that time its chief justice. He 
was admitted to the bar in Orleans County, June 3d, 1835. He 
came immediately to Wells River, and entered into copartnership 
with Peter Burbank, the copartnership being dissolved by the death 
of Mr. Burbank. Mr. Farr was one of the executors of Mr. 
Burbank*s will. He was a good lawyer, an eloquent and powerful 
advocate. He was in politics a democrat and was state's attorney 
for Orange County in 1839 and 1841 and state senator for the years 
of 1843 and 1844. He was postmaster at Wells River under 
several administrations. His law practice was extensive and he 
was successful therein. He died July 2nd, 1845. He had the year 
before, taken into copartnership, a young man, who had read law 
with him, the present writer, who was admitted to the bar in 
December, 1843, at the Orange County Court, which copartnership 
terminated by the death of Mr. Farr, and I took the firm's 
business and helped settle his estate. 

Isaac W. Tabor, a Bradford man, practiced law at Wells River, 
fi-om 1830 to 1833. He was a good lawyer but his business was 
not large here. He removed to Houlton, Aroostock County, 
Me., where he took a high position as a lawyer and man. He 
represented Houlton in the legislature and died there, Januarv 23, 

D. Allen Rogers was born in Columbia, N. H., September 11, 
1828, and died at Wells River. July 11, 1881. He was a son of 
Rev. Daniel Rogers, who died at Stewartstown, N. H., many years 
ago, but subsequent to his son coming to Wells River. Mr. Rogers 
was a good academical scholar. He read law with Lyman T. 


Flint, Esq., at Colebrook, N. H., and was admitted to the bar 
of Coos County at the May term, 1854. He held the oflSce of 
postmaster at Colebrook, for some years. Mr. Rogers sold out 
his practice at Colebrook and bound himself not to practice 
there, under the expectation of going into the law practice 
with Cornelius Adams, Esq., at Washington, D. C, but Mr. 
Adams soon after died and that ended his high aspirations. He 
was forced to leave Colebrook and go to St. Johnsbury, Vt., where 
he remained about one year, when he became a partner with the 
writer, in January, 1860, and removed to Wells River where 
he lived until his death. Mr. Rogers was state's attorney for 
Orange County in 1876, and for two years, which o£5ce he so well 
filled that the presiding judge, who was holding court at Chelsea, 
during the session of the Republican convention, held during Mr. 
Rogers' incumbency of that office, recommended that he be 
nominated again, he having filled the office so well that the 
county and state would be benefitted by his being again 
nominated and elected, but the office-seekers prevented that 
being done. Mr. Rogers was elected to represent the town of 
Newbury in the General Assembly for the biennial session, 1872, 
and held the office of selectman of Newbury for two years, and 
filled all of these trusts well. He was an excellent Biblical scholar 
and was the superintendent of the Sabbath school at Wells River 
for many years. Being well read in the word of God he was an 
able and pleasing instructor and so beloved by the scholars that 
they placed a gramte monument at his grave. 

There have been other lawyers of later years who have been 
ornaments to the profession, one of whom I will speak of because 
of his successful conviction of a man who called himself **Dr. W. H. 
Howard," namely, Charles C. Dewey, then state's attorney for 
Orange County. Howard had performed a criminal operation 
upon a young woman at Bradford, Vt., and she died from its 
effects. Mr. Dewey was a very well read and strong lawyer, and 
by^ his management of the Howard case so successfully, he was 
brought into prominence as a lawyer. He went to Rochester, 
N. Y., from Wells River, but soon came back to Vermont and 
located at Rutland, and died there of softening of the brain. 

The first paper-mill was eiected on the south end of the same 
dam and privilege that supplies the water that propels the 
machinery in the present mill. "Bill" Blake, as I understand it, 
came up from Bellows Falls, Vt., and built the mill, and afterward 
Samuel and Stephen Reed, brothers, and natives of Rindge, N. H., 
came here from Bellows Falls, and succeeded Mr. Blake in the 
ownership of the mill. They manufactured writing and wrapping 
paper, and after a few years they formed a copartnership with 
Captain Ira White, and finally sold out to Mr. White and moved 
away. These brothers had four sisters that came to Wells River, 


one after the other, from Rindge, N. H., where the Hales came from, 
to work in the hotel kept by Joshua Hale. Pretty soon after one of 
the girls came she would get married, and Mrs. Hale would send 
for another of the sisters until they were all married. One married 
Timothy Shedd, one Captain Ira White, one Emory Gale, and the 
other Charles Hale, the only son of Joshua Hale, and Mrs. Charles 
Hale was the grandmother of Charles Hale Hoyt, tHe celebrated 

Capt. White was bom in Swansey, N. H., in the year 1789, and 
when he was twelve years of age went to Surry, N. H., to live with 
Judge Lemuel Holmes* during the rest of his minority. Upon his 
arriving at the age of twenty-one years, March 22, 1810, Judge 
Holmes gave him a nice recommendation as to his faithfulness and 
honesty. In April, 1810, Mr. White went to Bellows Falls, Vt., 
where he lived five years, when he came to Wells River to live in 
1816, being then twenty-six years old. After he bought out the 
Reeds, he increased the paper-making business greatly. Writing 
paper and brown wrapping was manufactured by him and by the 
Reeds too. The manner of manufacturing paper in those days was 
very much different from what it is now and the quality poorer. 
The rags were brought to the mill by Mr. White's peddlers, several 
of them sent out over the northern part of Vermont and New 
Hampshire, where they gathered cotton and linen rags, bought by 
way of a barter trade and delivered at the paper-mill where they 
were assorted and cut up by female help, and then ground into 
paper pulp, the white ones for writing and the colored ones for 
wrapping paper. In some of the wrapping paper straw was mixed 
with the rags. After the rags were beaten into pulp, in two great 
beaters, the pulp was put on to a wire sieve, made the size of the 
sheet of paper, and shaken to even it on the sieve, when it was put 
on to woolen felt cloth. The felt and pulp were used alternately, 
till the pile was of the proper size, when the mass was put into a 
larger press, capable of giving great pressure, and after the proper 
time, was taken from the press and the paper removed firom the 
felting and dried in a room in the second story of the mill, having 
sliding pieces of boards, so that the air had free access to dry the 
paper. After the paper was sufficiently dried it was finished by 
having first, all the lumps picked out of the paper and it was 
callendered so as to make it smooth and fit to write on, whether it 
was in the sheet, or in a blank or account book. Of course, it 
would be hard to use steel pens upon it, but in those early days, the 
quill was what the pen was made of. Mr. White had a store, two 
rooms, in the south end of the second story of the Hutchins & 
Goodall store. The stairs bv which the rooms were reached were 
on the outside of the building. Mr. White afterwards erected the 

*Jndgc Holmes afterward came to Newbanr, and died here. 


building now used by Mr. Sheldon as a jewelry store and tenement. 
Here Mr. White had on the lower floor, his store, or salesroom, in 
front, and in the rear was a part of his book-bindery, a portion of 
the second story being also used as a book-bindery. The rest of the 
second floor was used as a printing office. 

Mr. White was the first man to introduce a printing-press into 
Wells River.* The first one was what was called a Ramage press, 
and after that he got a newer and better pattern of a press. He 
printed spelling-books and testaments. He finally went to work 
and dug the canal to take water from the pond to the present mill, 
and it proved to be so costly that it failed him. There was a 
grist-mill in the old paper-mill, which was used to grind unbolted 
meal, after the grist-mill that stood just below the willow tree near 
William G. Buchanan's dwelling-house, ceased to be used. Captain 
White was a man of strict integrity, and of good habits, and lived 
to be ninety-eight years and eight months old. His children were 
three ; one son and two girls. One of the girls is the wife of William 
G. Buchanan, and the other married a Mr. Fav of Boston and died 
there a few vears since. The son, Henrv K. White, was a natural 
trader and peddled all of his business. life. He died at Toronto, 
Ont., leaving a widow and daughter. After Mr. White's failure the 
paper-mill property went into the hands of his bondsmen, Timothy 
Shedd and Charles Hale. They let Captain White's son, Henry K. 
White, take it into his hands and operate it for a short time, and 
finally Durant & Adams bought it and did a larger business. This 
firm was succeeded by Adams & Deming. 

One of the early settlers of Wells River was John L. Woods, 
Esq. He came from Corinth, Vt., and soon became the possessor 
and owner of a large part of the land in and around the village. 
The records of the town will show when he came and the lands he 
owned. He owned and lived in a house which stood where Mrs. 
Samuel A. Moore's house is and was engaged in farming and 
lumbering, and also to a limited extent in brick-making, having 
kilns on the field which Mrs. Moore now owns and one where 
Jerry Sullivan lives. He administered upon the estate of William 
Bames, who has been before spoken of, and. a large amount of 
litigation grew out of its settlement, which Mr. Woods put into 
the hands of the late Judge Underwood, who had just come back 
from Maine, and for whom Mr. Woods took a liking. Doubtless 
more lawsuits were had than were really necessary and the estate 
was insolvent in consequence. Mr. Woods became the owner of 
the sawmill located at the mouth of the Ammonoosuc River, in 
Woodsville, where the dam now is, and went over there and built 
a dwelling house and store near the sawmill, where he lived until 
his death. His grave is in a little lot, just large enough for it, just 
south of the public highway, leading under the railroad bridge in 
that village. At the time Mr. Woods went to Woodsville to reside, 



there were but two dwelling houses there, one of which was a 
large two-story house, called the Brock house, situated at the 
northeasterly end of the village, and the other a farmhouse, then 
occupied by Cyrus Allen, and now owned bv Joseph Willis, situated 
at the southwesterly extremity of the village, which is named for 
Mr. Wood, and which has come to be, by railroading and court- 
house, an important center of business. Mr. Woods was a good 
hearted man and friendly to the poor, whom he helped. He was a 
man of good judgment as to values of properties and of first-class 
business tact and integrity. 

One of the early industries in Wells River was the cloth-dressing 
business. John W. Leslie and his younger brother, George R. Leslie, 
came from Bradford, Vt., in 1818. John bought the clothing works 
and took his brother, George R., who was by trade a clothier, into 
company with him, and John W. engaged in the lumbering business 
quite extensively, and to a limited extent carried on farming. In 
those days cloth-dressing was an important trade. W^oven cloth 
was home-made, both for men's and women's wear, and brought to 
the cloth-dressing shop, where it was fulled in a fulling-mill, to make 
the fabric thick and close in.fibre. It was then colored and a knap 
raised by teazles, and then sheared and pressed, and much of the 
cloth when finished was fine looking and made handsome suits. 
Girls, until, they became of age, wore dresses made of flannel, colored 
red and wine color, which were warm and comfortable. The 
clothier's shop was situated on the bank of Wells River, on the 
premises now occupied by Mr. Graves. The water privilege was 
granted by Er Chamberlin to one Quimby and by Quimby to one 
Felch, I think, and then to the Leslie's, The land title records will 
show as to this. 

The parents of the Leslies were Alexander Leslie and Lucy 
Warner Leslie, who raised ten children — five sons and five daughters. 
They are of Scotch descent and can trace their genealogy back to 
the reign of James I., under whom they held important offices. 
John W. was the father of the writer, as has been hereinbefore 
stated, and George R., the father of the late George Leslie, who was 
for many years the able cashier of the Bank of Newbury, both while 
it was a state bank and when it became a national bank. It is one 
of the best banks in the state, its officers, one and all, having been 
conservative and first-class business men. The cloth-dressing and 
wool-carding business ceased under the management of George R. 
Leslie, it having ceased to be of any importance because of 
the great woolen manufacturers' establishments at Lowell and 
Lawrence, Mass., and other places. 

The old blacksmith shop, now standing on Main street, is not 
the original one that stood there. The first one was burned down 
some time prior to 1830, and the present one, now called the **01d 
Smithy," was erected on the same site. It was owned by the Wells's 


when burned and they built the "Old Smithy," but were not the 
first blacksmiths that plied their trade in the village, one John Sly 
and one Williams, examine the land records for Mr. Williams' full 
•name and the time he came here and left. 

Abel Wells and his sons came quite early in the settlement of 
the village. I have understood they came from Peacham, Vt. 
Abel's wife was a Morse, if I remember aright. His sons were 
Waterman, Jared, Hiram, Augustus, and Horace Wells, and there 
was one daughter, a Mrs. Mack. The old folks resided in a house 
which stood where Mrs. Lucinda C. Baldwin now lives. Waterman 
was the first one who was married, his wife being a Miss Sleeper, 
and they lived in the south half of a double house standing on the 
ground now occupied by C. B. Leslie's dwellings. Jared married a 
sister of the late Abner B. White and lived in the old homestead of 
his father, the same doubtless being the property of the sons. The 
father, Abel Wells, was driving a horse and carriage on the hill 
near Mr. C. W. Eastman's present residence, when he met a 
peddler, whose cart was loaded with rags and sheep skins, which 
frightened Mr. Wells' horse and he ran away. Mr. Wells was 
thrown out and killed, his neck being broken. The Wells's made 
cow-bells. The bells were put into clay mortar, heated to a great 
heat, and when suflSciently brazen, cooled gradually by throwing 
them about with pitchforks. 

The first physicians came early in the settlement of the village, 
from Lancaster, N. H. Their names were Samuel Carter and 
a Dr. Bumside. They did not stay here long. The next one was 
Enoch R. Thatcher, who came from Woodstock, Vt., about 1827, 
and practiced here with good success for a great length of time. 

Emory Gale and his brothers, Leonard and Justus, came here 
early, from Guilford, Vt. Emory married one of the Reed sisters, 
hereinbefore spoken of. He was the father of a large family, 
among whom now living are Mrs. A. B. White, Miss C. A. Gale, 
and Mrs. Carlos M. Morse of Plymouth, N. H. Mr. Gale 
was engaged in lumbering and farming, and was a good citizen. 
Leonard Gale was never married. He was a mechanic and owned 
the building now occupied by Sherwin & Son, which had water 
power under it to propel the necessary machinery used by Mr. 
Gale, who manufactured various articles. The most important 
were shingle machines, to saw out short shingles, which were 
used all about the country. The other important branch of his 
manufactory was a machine used in manufacturing writing paper. 
He was a nice man, accumulated considerable property, and died 
here at a ripe old age. Justus kept the hotel for a short time and 
went west. 

Charles J. Scott and Cyrus J. S. Scott, sons of John Scott, who 
married a Miss Johnston, at one time owned the farm on which 


Peter Btirbank lived and died, called "The Hermitage," near South 
Ryegate in Newbury. This farm they exchanged with Mr. Burbank 
for land in Wells River village. They immediately after went into 
the lumbering business here. They were shrewd business men and 
accumulated quite a property. Cyrus, the younger, married a 
daughter of Timothy Shedd, and was a scholarly man. Their 
lumber business was large and that of Cyrus extended into the 
state of Michigan. Mrs. Susan Colby, of Woodsville, is a daughter 
of Cyrus Scott. 

In the early days of state banks they were obliged to keep a 
place of redemption of their circulation, which, for this section of 
New England was in Boston, Mass. Bach bank was under the 
necessity of redeeming its own bill, by the bills of other banks or by 
gold and silver coin, and the way they got their money to and 
from Boston was by way of stage drivers, who were common 
carriers for that purpose. The bank here put into the hands of 
one John Hawes, a large sum of money, to be taken to Haverhill 
Comer, N. H., to be then delivered to another driver. It was in the 
summer of 1842, or thereabout, and when Mr. Hawes reached 
Haverhill he looked for the money put into his care, and it could 
not be found. The passengers were searched but nothing came of 
it, and men were immediately sent back with rakes, who raked 
the highway from Haverhill to Wells River without success. The 
bank took measures to at once bring suit against the stage 
company for the money, and it so happened Farr & Underwood 
were both out of town. The writer ventured to bring the suit 
and the claim was secured. Nothing more was heard of the 
money until the making of repairs on highways the next year, 
while repairing a small bridge at Stair hill, the package was found 
all safe, which was a great relief to Mr. Hawes, whose honesty 
never was doubted. 

About the year 1828, in September, there came a great flood, 
and the village of Wells River, as well as all sections of the country 
were inundated and flooded. The people at the north end of the 
village went on to the hill back of Baldwin's block and staid there 
all day until the waters receded. At this time the sawmill on the 
north end of the dam, before spoken of, was torn down sufficiently 
to relieve the great body of water that came down Wells River, 
from further flooding the village, the water being from four to six 
feet deep in the upper end of Main street. The water broke around 
the south end of the dam, which was badly gutted, so as to 
necessitate building a part of the present dam of stone. At the 
time of the first grist-mill, just below the willow tree, before 
spoken of being in use, of course the present dam had not been 
built, and the public highway bridge crossed the river just below 
the grist-mill and above the dam. When the dam was erected, the 


bridge across the river was then put at the head of Main street, 
where it has been ever since— for ninety years, more or less. 

After the cessation of the mill at the ** willow tree," the dam 
being washed away that brought the water into the flume, the 
machinery was taken up to the paper-mill, and there used till the 
Shedds built the present mill. 

It was taken to the paper-mill probably about 1812, and used 
for grinding supplies for the army, and the custom grinding for the 
farmers about. There was for many years a bolt in it, and it did a 
large amount of business. 



The First Congregational Church. 

Action of Newbury and Haybrhill.— Mr. Silas Moody.— Pastorates op Rey. 
Peter Powers.— Rey. Jacob Wood.— Rey. Nathaniel Lambert.— Rey. 
Luther Jewbtt.— Rey. Clark Perry.— Rey. G. W. Campbell.- Rey. A. 
Dban.— Burning of the Meeting-house.— Rebuilding.— Rey. H.N. Burton.— 
Rby. S. L. Bates.— Rey. J. L. Merrill.— Deacons.— Bells.— Choir.— Organ.— 
Communion Seryice.— Parsonages. 

NEXT to the town organization itself, the oldest institution in 
Newbury is this church. We can only mention here the chief 
events in its long and honorable record. At the third 
meeting of the proprietors of Newbury held at the inn of John Hall 
in Plaistow, N. H., on the 3d of October, 1763, it was voted, "To 
pay a Preacher with the Proprietors of Haverhill, to preach at s^ 
towns two or three months this fall or winter." 

On the same day the proprietors of Haverhill held a meeting at 
the same place, and voted, **To join with Newbury in paying for 
preaching one or two months this year." In September Mr. Silas 
Moody, a relative of the Littles', who had recently graduated at 
Harvard College, was induced to come to Coos, with the 
expectation that if he and the people were mutually suited, he was 
to become their pastor. According to an old receipt signed by him, 
it would seem that he preached three Sabbaths in Newbury, and 
two in Haverhill, being paid by each town in proportion. Mr, 
Perry seems to think that he came again in the spring of 1764, and 
preached, and it would seem that he gave satisfaction, as the 
proprietors at a meeting at Hampstead on the 1st of March, 
instructed Jacob Bayley, **To apply to Mr. Moody, or elsewhere to 
preach at Coos next summer." He did not see fit to settle here, but 
after teaching a few years, became pastor of the Congregational 
church at Arundel, now Kennebunkport, Me., where he died, after a 
ministry of forty-five years. Professor Moody of Bowdoin College 
is his great-grandson, and he has other well known descendants. 


Mr. Moody not being available, General Bayley made a most 
fortunate choice in Rev. Peter Powers, who had returned to his 
native town of Hollis, after a pastorate at Newent, now a part of 
Lisbon, Conn., of six or eight years. He came to Coos at the end 
of May, 1764, and preached in houses and barns, to the settlers in 
both towns. Mr. Powers and the people were mutually pleased 
and on his return to Hollis, a church was organized in September, 
consisting of members who had settled, or were about to settle, on 
each side of the river. This was the second church formed in 
Vermont, the one at Bennington, two years earlier, being the first. 
Mrs. Asa Bayley 's autobiography tells us that there were fifteen 
original members, eight of whom were present at Hollis, at its 
organization. There has been some discussion as to whether this 
was a Congregational or a Presbyterian church. General 
Whitelaw, writing home to Scotland in 1773, speaks of it as 
Presbyterian, and Mr. Powers was a member and clerk of the 
Grafton presbytery. The early records are lost, yet it seems safe to 
infer that it bore resemblance to both systems of church 
government, but that, after some years, it became entirely 
Congregational, without any particular vote to that effect, on the 
part of its members. 

On the 24th of January, 1765, the town tendered Mr. Powers a 
formal call, and the selectmen, Jacob Bayley, Jacob Kent, and 
James Abbott, who were deacons of the church as well, were 
appointed to wait upon him, and receive his answer. They were 
also instructed, "To apply to the town of Haverhill, and to the 
propriety of both Haverhill and Newbury, to see what assistance 
they will give us toward getting the gospel and supporting the 
same." It will thus be seen that there were five distinct bodies 
uniting in the settlement of the minister — the church, the two 
towns and the proprietors of each town. 

In those days the minister was settled by the town, and 
supported by direct tax. Such usage, however repugnant to our 
ideas of the independence of church and state, was in accord with 
the law and custom of the time, and worked well enough when the 
people were all of one mind in their religious views. 

On the 1st of February the town met, and received Mr. Powers' 
acceptance of the call, and directed that the installation should be 
on the last Wednesday of the month. It voted also that Rev. 
Abner Bayley of Salem, N. H., Rev. Daniel Emerson of Hollis, Rev. 
Henry True of Hampstead, Rev. Joseph Emerson of Pcpperell, 
Mass., and Rev. Joseph Goodhue, should be a council for the 
installment. It was also voted that Jacob Bayley, Esq., should 
represent the town of Newbury at the council, which was to be held 
**down county, where it is tho't most convenient." There being no 
church of any kind within sixty miles, the council was most 
conveniently held in one of the older towns, where there were 


churches and people. We have no record to show that the church 
itself was represented t>y a delegate at the installation of its own 
minister, but as Jacob Kent was present, he may have attended on 
its behalf. Mr. Powers preached his own installation sermon 
which was afterwards printed, from Matt. 22:8, 9. He moved his 
family to Newbury about the end of March, several men and teams 
going down to Charlestown, to bring his goods up on the ice, 
which, before their return had become unsafe. 

On the third Tuesday in April a town meeting was held, at 
which it was voted that James Abbott, Capt. Fowler and Dr. 
Smith should be a committee to provide the materials for Mr. 
Powers' settlement. He was to receive seventy-five pounds lawful 
money, six shillings to the dollar, paid semi-annually, and thirty 
cords of wood, carried to his house, yearly. He was also to receive 
$450, as settlement money, $200 to be paid in cash and the 
remainder in labor and material to build a house, all this to be paid 
within ten months of his acceptance. 

The Haverhill town records show that Mr. Powers received 
from that town for the first three years £89. 5s. 6d., and that after 
1771, the proportion of Haverhill was £35 until 1777, when its 
ihare was £37. 6s. Mr. Powers' labors were not confined to 
Newbury or Haverhill, but it does not appear that any other of the 
towns in which he labored, contributed to his support. He was, 
for several years, the only minister in this part of the Connecticut 
valley, and was called upon to preach, solemnize marriages, and 
bury the dead, all the way from Hanover to Lancaster. He is said 
to have preached the first sermon in twenty-seven towns in this 
vicinity, and organized several churches, on a Presbyterian 
platform. For twenty years at least, the meeting-house at the 
Great Ox-bow, in Newbury, was the only church building within 
many miles, and people came there to meeting from Mooretown, 
now Bradford, from Ryegate Comer, and from Bath, on foot, both 
men and women. It is probable that in pleasant weather, all the 
settlements from Thetford to Peacham were represented in the 
meeting-house at Newbury. 

It was fortunate for the settlements at Coos, that they were 
able to secure, for eighteen years, the ministrations of a man so 
able and earnest as Rev. Peter Powers. But it must not seem 
strange that during the Revolutionary war his salary fell into 
arrears, and there was friction between him and the town. 
However, in the course of time, his dues seem to have been paid. 
He removed to Haverhill in 1781, in consequence of the troublous 
times, and the town considered that in so doing, he had withdrawn 
from the agreement made when he was settled in 1765. After some 
correspondence between him and the authorities of Newbury, his 
pastorate terminated, and Newbury and Haverhill, grown larger 
and stronger, became separate parishes, and it does not appear that 


Haverhill, as a town, contributed afterwards to the support of 
preaching at Newbury. Of Rev. Peter Powers and his descendants 
a more complete account appears in another part of this volume. 

From 1782 until 1788, the church was without a pastor, and 
part of the time without regular preaching. The pulpit was 
supplied by several individuals, whose periods of service cannot be 
given, or the names of all. Rev. Ebenezer Cleveland, who preached 
some years at Bath and LandaflF; Rev. Abishai Colton; Mr. 
Jeremiah Wilkins, afterwards a merchant at Concord, N. H. ; Mr. 
Goddard, Mr. Tolman, and Rev. Lyman Potter, were among them, 
as appears by receipts for sums paid them for preaching.* 

On the 11th of April, 1787, Mr. Jacob Wood, a native of 
Boxford, Mass., and a graduate of Dartmouth College in 1778, 
who was for three years preceptor of Moors' Indian Charity 
School, at Hanover, began preaching, receiving twenty-four 
shillings a Sabbath. He was ordained and installed January 7th, 
1788. Mr. Wood was a learned and faithful minister, and greatly 
beloved during his ministry. A passage in the "Life and Times of 
Elder Ariel Kendrick," describes him as a gloomy preacher, who 
dwelt more upon the terrors of the law, than upon the persuasions 
of the gospel. He was taken ill and died, February 10, 1790, in his 
thirty-second year. During his illness, it is said, he talked in Greek, 
being deprived, at intervals, of the use of his reason. He also made 
some rhymes which were long remembered. Mr. Wood's funeral 
was attended by all the ministers in the region, who were 
entertained by the town, which also assumed the expenses of his 
illness and burial. He was buried at the Ox-bow, and is the only 
one of all the ministers of the three Congregational churches in this 
town, who is buried in Newbury. Some articles of furniture, once 
ow^ed by him, and a few books that were his, are still preserved 
here. His salary was £84, paid in wheat, rye, com, beef, butter, 
cheese and wool. In lieu of "Settlement" the town purchased for a 
parsonage, Thomas ChamberlaSn's house, whose site is marked by 
a depression of the surface in the newest part of the cemetery, at 
some distance from the road. The **old meeting-house" was builtt 


Mr. Tolman was the same gentleman whose letter is given on p. 139. Rev. 
Mr. Potter emigrated to Ohio, and was one of the earliest ministers of that state. 

tAs the first three meetiog-honses were bnilt by the town, a more particular 
acconnt of their erection is previously given. Some facts which have come to light 
since the earlier chapters of this-volnme went to press, deserve mention. The 
committee to build a meeting-house in 1768 were, on the part of Newbury, John 
Taplin. Jacob Kent and Jacob Fowler; on the part of Haverhill, Timothy Bedell 
and Ezekiel Ladd. Rev. Grant Powers states that a framed meeting-house was 
erected near where the "old meeting-house," was afterwards built, but as there was 
dissatisfaction with its location, it was taken down, and rebuilt west of the 
cemetery. He does not seem to have known the cause of the dissatisfaction. At 
that time the vicinity of what is now North Haverhill was the principal part of 
that town, and the people there did not like the location of the meeting-house, 
thinking it too far south for their convenience, so it was taken down, and relocated 
and became both chuich and court-house. 


during his ministry and the minister taxes of those who had settled 
in the south-west part of the town were remitted. 

On the Sabbath which followed Mr. Wood's death, Mr. 
Nathabiel Lambert, a graduate of Brown University, began his 
ministrv, and on the 29th of May, received a formal call from the 
towTi, and on November 17th, was ordained and installed. The 
ordination sermon, which was printed, was preached by Rev. 
Ebcnezer Bradford, of Rowley, Mass. His salary was to be ninety 
pounds the first year, with an annual increase of five pounds, until 
the third year, when it was to remain at one hundred pounds, with 
the use of certain lands owned by the town. The parsonage where 
Mr. Wood had lived was sold, and new quarters were found for the 
minister in the house now owned and occupied by Mr. J. B. Lawrie. 

Just what led the town to vote in 1794, "that Jacob Bay ley, 
Esq., Simeon Stevens and Jeremiah Ingalls should be choristers to 
lead'in singing," we may never know. It is possible that there was 
a want of harmony in the choir, in more than one form. Mr. 
Lambert was dismissed by council April 4, 1809, but resided here, 
and continued to preach for two years more. The cause of his 
leaving was the delinquency of the town in paying his salary, and 
he only obtained what was due him by a suit against the town. 
With his ministry, closed the union of the town and the church, to 
the advantage of both. Mr. Lambert was a very able preacher, 
widely known and esteemed, and preached the election sermon 
before the legislature in 1801. In his theological views he was of 
the Hopkinsonian school of Calvinism. He died at Lyme in 1838. 

From Mr. Lambert's dismission to 1821, the church was 
supplied by several ministers. Its business affairs, which had before 
been conducted by the legal voters of the town of Newbury, were 
now managed by a society, formed among those who were 
interested in its welfare. For some years after 1816, Rev. David 
Sutherland of Bath, was moderator of the church. On January 
1st, 1821, Rev. Luther Jewett, of St. Johnsbury, ^as called by the 
church and society, and ordained on the 28th of February. He 
was dismissed on account of ill health in February, 1828. Mr. 
Jewett was a native of Canterbury, Conn., and a graduate of 
Dartmouth College. He was a member of Congress from 1816 to 
1819, and a man of talent, promptness and energy. 

Rev. Clark Perry became pastor on June 4, 1828, and was 
dismissed June 15, 1835. He graduated at Harvard College in 
1823, and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1826. Those yet 
living, who remember Mr. Perry, always speak of him with peculiar 
affection. Inquiries made by him into the early history of the 
town, resulted in an historical discourse, delivered in 1831, which 
preserved for later generations much which would certainly have 
otherwise been lost. Mr. Perry died at Gorham, Me., July 22, 1843. 


Rev. Geo. W. Campbell was installed in January 1836, and 
dismissed July 9, 1851. The old meeting-house had grown 
dilapidated and was, besides, not owned by the church, and a new 
church building was erected on the site of the present one, at a cost 
of about $3,000, and dedicated November 13, 1840. In 1843, the 
present vestry building was erected, by subscription, and has since 
been enlarged and altered. Mr. Campbell died at Bradford, Mass., 
in 1869. The council which dismissed Mr. Campbell, installed Rev. 
Artemas Dean as his successor. 

On Sunday, January 13, 1856, the church edifice was burned. 
The sexton had made the fires in the stoves, rang the first bell, and 
gone home. A driving snow storm was going on with a high 
northwest wind, and little was saved. The steeple remained 
standing for some time after the east end of the building had fallen 
in, and the west end being undermined by the fire and shaken by the 
wind, the bell began to toll, and kept on tolling until the towet- fell 
over into the flames. 

The society at once set about the work of building a new 
church, and the present edifice was erected in the summer of 1856, 
Archibald Mills being the master workman. While the work was 
going on services were held in the Seminary Hall, which was oflFered 
for the use of the church by the trustees. Every part of the new 
building was constructed with the thoroughness which characterized 
the work of Mr. Mills, and it was first opened for public worship 
on the Sabbath before its dedication, which was September 23, 
1856. Mr. Dean was dismissed March 31, 1857. He was a 
very earnest preacher, direct and fearless. His resignation was 
demanded by the state of his health. He is now retired, living in 
New York City. 

Rev. Horatio N. Burton, was installed December 31, 1857, and 
dismissed in March, 1869. A particular account of Dr. Burton 
and his family is elsewhere given. From his dismission to the 
coming of Rev. S. L. Bates, a period of two and a half years, the 
church was supplied by Rev. George B. Tolman, and Rev. A. T. 
Deming, both now deceased. Mr. Bates came here in November 
1871, and was installed, January 16, 1872. He was a fine 
musician, and did much toward the development of musical taste 
in the community. He was dismissed January 28, 1890. Rev. W. 
A. Bushee supplied the church most of the time from his dismission 
till the coming of Rev. J. L. Merrill, in 1891, who has entered upon 
the tenth year of his pastorate. 

The First Congregational church of Newbury has always been 
one of the strong churches in the state. Its ministers have ranked 
among the abler men in the Connecticut Valley. While it has 
never had among them, any one who could be named among the 
eminent divines of New England, they have been men of culture, 
well trained for their work. It is the mother church of all the 
northern portion of the valley, and there is hardly a church of the 


Congregational order, and of many others as well, north of 
Hanover, which does not number, among its earlier members, some 
one from the Newbury church, and fourteen ministers have gone 
from the parish. Its mission has largely been to train its sons and 
daughters for other fields. It has sent out three colonies : One in 
1829, when seven members were set off to form a church in 
Topsham ; twenty-four in 1840, as a nucleus of the church at Wells 
River; and twenty-one in 1867, to begin the church at West 
Newbury. Owing to the loss of the earlier records, and the neglect 
to record all the names of those who have joined it, the precise 
number of the members cannot be given. They are probably, 
about 1,400, in all. Representatives of seven generations, from 
more than one of its earlier members, are found upon the roll of 
this ancient church, and those which have sprung from it, in this 

**The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall 
be established before thee." 

The following have served as deacons. 
•Jacob Bayley, 1764-1815 David T. WeUs, 1853-1868 

•James Abbott, 1764-1803 ♦Freeman Keyes, 1853-1871 

•Jacob Kent, 1812 ♦George Burroughs, 1869-1887 

•Thomas Brock, 1806 ♦Joseph Atkinson, 1872-1883 

Jeremiah Ingalls, 1803-1810 Henrv H. Deming, 1872-1883 
•William Burroughs, 1812-1835 ♦Daniel P. Kimball, 1883-1895 
•John Buxton, 1819-1864 Sidney Johnson, 1883 

•James Brock, 1835-1855 George Swasey, 1883 

•Jonas Meserve, 1853-1869 

A Sundav School has been connected with the church since 
about 1816. ' 

In 1797, James Andrew Graham, LL. D., published in London 
a volume of **Letters from Vermont," in which he says: 
"Newbury has the most elegant church in the state, with a large 
bell, the only bell in the state." What basis this latter statement 
rests upon, is not known. It is not believed that there was any 
bell here at that time. The first bell in this part of the country, 
north of the college bell at Hanover, is believed to be the one which 
formerly hung in the Ladd street meeting-house at Haverhill, and 
which, now cracked, hangs in the schoolhouse near by, and 
bears the inscription, "Wm. Doolittle, Hartford, 1802." Arthur 
Livermore characterizes it as **the sweetest bell ever heard." Rev. 
J.L. Merrill says that a considerable sum in silver was contributed 
by the citizens of Haverhill and cast into the bell metal, which 
accounted for its silvery tone. Deacon George Swasey thinks that 
the first bell upon the meeting-house was bought in 1828. This 

^Dicd in service. 


bell was removed to the new meeting-house, and melted when that 
church was burned in 1856. The present bell, cast by Jones & 
Hitchcock of Troy, N. Y., was bought in 1857, and first used April 
12th, of that vear. 

The history of the choir would fill a small volume. Jacob 
Bay ley and Simeon Stevens first "took the lead of the singing"; 
then came Jeremiah Ingalls, who trained what was then considered 
a wonderful choir. It is said that travelers would plan to stop in 
their journeys over Sunday, in Newbury, to hear the fine singing. 
It is not certain who succeeded Mr. Ingalls. Jacob Kent 3d, was 
leader in 1829, and probably for some years before and after; then 
came P. W. Ladd, for about twenty years; H. N. Bumham was 
leader for some years, and E. K. Prouty, at two periods, the last, 
more than fifteen years, ending in 1866. The later leaders have 
been : N. B. Stevens, Joseph Atkinson, E. H. Famham, E. 
J. Robinson and others. The present chorister is M. A. Gale. 
According to the recollections of Reuben Abbott, Mr. Ingalls 
introduced the bass viol into the old meeting-house, which was 
afterward played by William B. Bannister, and later, by one or more 
of the Kent family. 

In the church which was burned there was a small instrument 
called a **seraphine." In 1857, a pipe-organ which had been used in 
a church at Lowell, Mass., was purchased for $300. Miss Fanny 
Johnson, Miss Ellen Jewett and Miss Joanna A. Colby were 
organists in its time. In 1877, the present organ, costing about 
$1,500 was placed in the church. Mr. Henry K. White, Miss Fanny 
Bailey, Prof. David A. French, Mrs. J. B. Lawric, Miss Caroline 
Lang, Miss Rosamond Chamberlin and others, have played this 
organ. Miss Mae B. Ford, a graduate of the Conservatory of 
Music, Boston, has been the organist for several years, when in 

The communion service used by the church has an interesting 
histor3^ We do not know what utensils were used during the first 
years. On June 28, 1792, the church voted:— **That each brother 
pay three shillings to the treasurer of the church for the purpose of 
procuring certain furniture, or certain utensils, for the sacramental 
table." With this money, **two Flaggons'* were purchased. In 
1799, Dr. Gideon Smith died, and left fifty dollars by will, to 
purchase articles for the communion service. This money was 
loaned for a time, and in 1811, six silver cups, and a flagon, were 
bought with it, which are inscribed with his name. In 1872, Mrs. 
Charles Atkinson gave two flagons, two plates and a baptismal 
bowl. Other gifts to the church have been made from time to time. 

In 1893 the interior of the church was completely remodelled — 
new pews put in, the old windows replaced by memorial glass, and 
many other improvements made, at a cost of $3,300. Windows 
were placed in the church in memory of the following persons: 



Freeman and Emeline C. Keyes, Charlotte Butler Shedd, Belle 
Hibbard, Hanes and Phebe Johnson, Lavinia, wnfe of Rev. Dr. J. J. 
Owen, Harry C. Bayley. The vestry has several times been enlarged 
and fitted for the social uses of the society. 

Mr. Powers lived in his own house, which was a little north of 
Mr. Doe's brick house at the Ox-bow and Mr. Wood in one which 
stood in the present cemetery. In Mr. Lambert's time, the town 
bought the house where Mr. Lawrie now lives, which was the 
parsonage for many years. Mr. Dean lived in a house which stood 
where Mr. James George's now stands, at the south end of the 
village, and which was burned in September 1855. In that year 
Deacon James Brock died, and left by will $500 as a parsonage 
fund, to which enough was added to purchase the present building, 
then a one-story house, which had been a grocery, and a tailor shop, 
and remodeled it into its present appearance. It is understood 
that Mr. Powers kept a book, in which he recorded the names of 
members received to the church, baptisms administered, marriages 
solemnized, and funerals attended by him. He carried this to 
Maine, but it long ago disappeared. Reference was made to it as 
far back as 1810, and in 1830, Rev. Clark Perry caused search to 
be made among the Powers families for it, but in vain. In 1845, 
David Johnson tried to find it, as did the editor of this history in 
1896. It has, probably, been destroyed, as none of Mr. Powers' 
descendants know anything about it. If it could be found, it 
would be invaluable to the town and church. Nathan Goddard 
signed his name as "clerk" March 19, 1784, and kept the records 
till 1791. 
Rev. Nathaniel Lambert, acting clerk. 

Webster Bailey, 
William Burroughs, 
Rev. Luther Jewett, 
William Burroughs, 
Rev. Clark Perry, 
Joseph Berry, 
Rev. G. W, Campbell, 
Freeman Keyes, 
Rev. H. N. Burton, 
L. Downer Hazen, 
Rev. H. N. Burton, 
E. H. Famham, Jr., 
George Swasey, 

acting clerk, 




acting clerk, 


acting clerk, 

acting clerk, 

acting clerk, 

acting clerk, 

acting clerk, 


April 3, 1791-June 29, 1811 
June 29, 1811-Dec. 30, 1816 
Dec. 30, 1 816-March 5, 1821 
March 5, 1821-Feb. 3, 1825 
Feb. 3, 1825-Mav 2, 1828 
May 2, 1828-June"^ 15, 1835 
June 15, 1835-Jan. 3, 1836 
Jan 3, 1836-Jan. 26, 1851 
May 3, 1851-Feb. 27, 1858 
Feb. 27, 1858-Julvll, 1862 
Nov. 11, 1862-Feb. 6, 1866 
March 3, 1866-Feb. 1,1868 
Feb. 6, 1868-Feb. 5, 1870 
March 26, 1870 

It is not possible to give the entire list of Sunday school 
superintendents. The following are recalled : George Ropes, in the 
earlv '30s, P. W. Ladd, Dea. Freeman Keyes, 1846-'71; H. H. 
Deming, 1871-82; Sidney Johnson, 1882. 


The Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Early Methodism in Vermont.— Vershire Circuit. — Class Formed in Bradford. — 
In Newbury.— Appointments.— Newbury Seminary.— District Changes. — 
Appointments.— Rev. Dan Young.— Meeting-house. — Parsonage. — Sunday 
School,— Prosperity.— Removal of the Seminary.— Repairs.- Bell. — 
Memorial Windows.— Missionary Societies. 

THE researches of Rev. A. L. Cooper D. D., show that, from the 
year 1788, appointments in the adjoining towns of New 
York and Massachusetts, included preaching stations in the 
extreme southwest part of Vermont. The list of appointments, 
down to 1826, is from Dr. Cooper's pamphlet. In 1796 Rev. 
Nicholas Sneathen, a native of Long Island, at the solicitation of 
John Langdon of Vershire, came to that town to preach, and formed 
what was known as the Vershire circuit. There seems reason to 
suppose that he preached in this town at least once in that year. 
Mr. Sneathen, afterward attained distinction, and was chaplain of 
the House of Representatives at Washington, and, later, one of the 
founders of the Methodist Protestant church. He died in 1845. 

A **circuit" embraced a number of preaching stations, each too 
small to support a minister alone, which were visited by the pastor, 
in regular order. The biographical notice in this volume, of Rev. 
Solomon Sias, will give some idea of the labors of these itinerant 
ministers. It is probable that from the first, the Vershire circuit 
included an occasional appointment in Newbury. 

In 1797, Ralph Williston was appointed upon this circuit, and 
in 1798, Joseph Crawford. In the winter of 1798-'99 a class of 
five members was formed in Bradford. In 1799, this circuit was 
called the Vershire and Windsor circuit, and in that year the first 
Methodist church building in Vermont was erected in Vershire, 
Revs. Joseph Crawford and E. Chichester being the appointees upon 
this circuit. 


In 1800, the New England conference was formed, and the 
Vershire circuit, which then included all of Orange County, was 
transferred to it from the New York conference, to which it had 
previously belonged, and Timothy Dewey was appointed to 
the charge. In 1801, Solomon Langdon and Paul Dustin were 
appointed. In that year a class was formed in Newbury, at the 
house of Joseph Prescott, where N. C. Randall now lives, by Revs. 
James Young, Elijah Sabin and John Broadhead. There were eleven 
in this class, but the names of Joseph Prescott and wife, Ashbell 
Buell and wife, and Stephen Powers are the only ones which are 

In 1802, the Vershire district became a part once more of the 
New York conference and Samuel Draper with Oliver Beale were 
sent to it. From 1804 to 1826, this part of the state was called 
the Vermont district of the New England conference, and the 
following were the appointments to the Vershire circuit : In 1804, 
John Robertson and D. Goodhue; 1805, Oliver Beale; 1806, Elijah 
Hedding, afterwards bishop. The biography of Bishop Hedding 
states that the circuit embraced ten towns, and the work was so 
arranged that he was to pass through these towns, and preach 
from one to three times daily, within the limits of each, every two 
weeks. In 1807, B. F. Lombard was in charge; 1808, Eleazer 
Wells, who spent his last days here; 1809, Joel Steele; 1810, N. W. 
Steams; 1811, W. Bannister; 1812, Erastus Otis; 1813 and '14, 
B. R. Hoyt, afterward long a resident, and financial agent of 
Newbury Seminary. In 1815, Amasa Taplin was the appointee; in 
1816, Jonathan Worthen; 1817, Samuel Bates; 1818 and '19, 
Solomon Winchester ; 1820, Eleazer Wells, (supply); 1821-'22, Joel 
Steele; 1823, Joel W. McKee and C. D. Gaboon; 1824, John Lord, 
Joseph B. White, John Foster; 1825, Isaac Barker and N. W. Scott. 

In 1826, the continued growth in numbers and financial ability 
of the Vershire circuit, which had been marked in 1823 by the 
appointment of two preachers to the charge, instead of one, is 
further shown by setting oflF Bradford and Newbury as a separate 
station, in the Danville district, and Paul C. Richmond was 
appointed over it. In 1827-'28 A. H. Houghton was in charge. In 
1829, the New Hampshire and Vermont conference was organized, 
and C. W. Levings was sent to Newbury. In 1830,-'31, this church 
was in the Plymouth district, and Schuyler Chamberlin and R. H. 
Spaulding were in charge in 1830; William D. Cass, and F. T. Daily 
in 1831. In 1832, the conference name was changed and called 
the New Hampshire conference ; Newbury was put into the Danville 
district again with C. Cowen and W. Nelson on the circuit. In 
1833, the western half of the territory was called the Vermont 
district and Richard Newhall and C. Cowen were the pastors. 

In 1834, Newbury Seminary was opened and an era of great 
prosperity began for the church, with a house of worship of its 


own, and the full service of a pastor. During the next thirty-four 
years, no church in the conference was more important, or better 
equipped for service. Some of its best ministers were stationed at 
Newbury, and their labors were shared by the seminary professors, 
and by a number of ministers of the same order, who had taken up 
their residence here, where their experience and advice were of great 
value with those students who had the ministry in view. The 
pastors in charge were: For 1834, S. Kelley and N. O. Way. In 
1835 this was called the Barnard district, and S. Kelley continued 
in charge. In 1836, it was included in the Chelsea district, with 
E. J. Scott, the appointee, and in 1837-'38, John G. Dow. In the 
latter year Newbury was put into the Danville district, where it 
remained for some vears. 

The appointments since 1838 were: In 1839, William M. 
Mann; 1840, J. Templeton; 1841-'42, L. D. Barrows; 1843, 
Alonzo Webster ; 1844, supplied from the seminary; 1845, Moses 
Chase; 1846, E. Pettingill; 1847, Haynes Johnson; 1848-'49, 
S. P. Williams; 1850-'51, H. P. Cushing; 1852-'53. E. Copeland; 
1854, J. G. Dow; 1855, Haynes Johnson; 1856-'57, P. P. Rav; 
1858-'59, S. Quimbv; I860, A. G. Button; 1861-^62, W. D. 
Malcolm; 1863, D. 'Packer; 1864-'65. E. C. Bass; 1866-*67, 
H. A. Spencer; 1868-'69.-'70, Z. S. Haynes; 1871, J. W. Cline; 
1872, S. B. Currier; 1873-'74, G, M. Tuttle; 1875-'76-'77, P. N. 
Granger; 1878-'79, J. McDonald; 1880-'81-'82, Leonard Dodd; 
1883-'84-'85, J. H. Winslow; 1886-'87-'88, N. W. Wilder; 1889- 
'90-'91, Thomas Trevillian; 1892-^93, A. G. Austin; 1894-Oct. '95, 
John L. Tupper; Oct. 1995-'96, A. W. Ford; 1897-'98, W. H. White; 
1899, W. C. Johnson; 1900, F. D. Handy. These are the ministers 
whose appointments were from conference. We must not omit 
mention of most valuable service rendered by the seminary 
professors, by resident clergymen, and by students who had the 
ministry in view. These faithfully supported the pastors and found 
their way into all parts of the tewn. Many a successful minister, 
between Maine and California, looks back to his first sermon 
preached in the Leighton hill schoolhouse, or in district No. 12. 

There was another class, now long passed away — men not in 
active service, but occasionally preaching in the intervals of 
business, and others, not attached to any circuit, but who 
traveled about on horseback, preached in sparsely settled 
neighborhoods, and assisted at protracted meetings, or took 
for a time, the place of some disabled minister. Many of these, 
when past labor, published brief but interesting narratives of their 
experiences. Such a one is that of "Father Newell,"" who came 
to Newbury now and then. A more pretentious work was the 
autobiographj' of Rev. Dan Young, who lived in Lisbon, and had 
a leaning toward political life. He preached in Newbury a great 
deal. On one occasion he baptized a number of converts in a deep 




pool on Hall's brook, near the present residence of Mr. Andrew 
Knight. A bridge spanned the stream, at some height above the 
water, and many oi the throng gathered upon it to witness the 
ceremony. Mr. Young observed the weakness of the structure, 
and begged the persons upon it to come away, but to no purpose. 
In the following night when no one was near, the bridge fell into 
the stream. Mr. Young was able but eccentric, and his book is 
shorn of half its value by the lack of an index, and by his total 
omission of the dates of the events which he records. 

The present church building at Newbury village was erected in 
1829, on land given to the society by Rasmus Jonson. Timothy 
Morse, John Atwood, and Dr. John Stevens, were the building 
committee. At the time of its erection the members preferred to 
speak of it as the Methodist Chapel, and it is sometimes called **The 
Chapel," to this day. According to the custom then, the pulpit 
was in front of the gallery, the pews facing the entrance doors. 
Somewhere about 1845, the pews were turned around, and a pulpit 
built at the other end of the house. During the days of the old 
seminary, from 1834 to 1868, the church was in term time 
completely filled. Those were the prosperous days of the church, 
when the Newbury appointment was second to none in the state. 
The parsonage was built in 1838, principally through the efforts of 
Rev. J. G. Dow. 

The Seminary Hall and one of the class-rooms were used for 
devotional meetings. There was generally, in those days, one 
Sabbath in each month, when the pastor preached at West 
Newbury, and seldom one, when there was not some religious 
service in the back part of the town, conducted either by the pastor, 
or by some of his numerous assistants. In those days several 
families were identified with the church, who composed most of its 
permanent membership and from whom came its principal support. 
The families of Col. John Bayley and those of his sons and 
daughters, and their connections the families of Dr. John and 
Ephraim Stevens were prominent. The family of Timothy Morse, 
and those of the Atwoods, Carletons, Joseph Prescott, Ross Ford 
and his sons, Paul McKinstry, E. C. Stocker, the Rogers families, 
Stephen Powers' and Hutchins Bayley's, Clark Chamberlin's, and 
Andrew Grant's, the George and Leighton families, with many 
others of whom not a single representative remains, were the 
substantial people who shared the burdens and the privileges of 
the society. 

Dr. John Stevens was the leader of the choir for many years, 
and others of the family played the bass viol. A small instrument 
called a seraphine was placed in the gallery in the early fifties, and 
was usually played by the music teacher from the seminary. After 
Dr. Stevens retired the chorister was commonly the teacher of vocal 
music in the seminary, and the choir, during term time, received 
accession from many sweet and fresh young voices. 


A Sunday school was established early, and for many years the 
superintendent was the principal of the seminary and the classes 
were taught by the teachers from that institution. 

We have mentioned that a class was formed at West Newbury 
in 1801, but the time when such were commenced at the village, and 
on Leighton hill is not known. During term time, there were one, 
and sometimes two classes, sustained for and by the students. 

The New Hampshire Conference met at Newbury in June, 1842, 
Bishop Hedding presided, and James M. Fuller was secretary. 
The Vermont Conference has twice held its session here. The first 
of these was in June, 1856. Bishop Baker presided, and Rev. A. G. 
Button was secretary. In April 1867, it met here again, with 
Bishop Scott presiding, and Rev. R. Morgan, secretary. 

The removal of Newbury Seminary to Montpelier was a blow 
to the church from which it has never recovered. It was attended 
with the departure of several families, and followed by the death of 
members who were sorely needed. Its field, embracing nearly the 
whole town, must now be cultivated by the pastor alone, without 
the abundant aid which supplemented the labors of his predecessors 
in the old seminary days. Since 1866, the pastor preaches at the 
village in the forenoon, and then drives out five miles to West 
Newbury, or the town house to a second service. It is a laborious 
charge, one in which the virtues of patience, fortitude and self- 
denial are fully cultivated. 

The history of the church since 1868 chronicles few prominent 
events. In 1876, the house of worship was repaired ; the gallery, 
then disused, was partitioned off for a small vestry; a raised 
platform for the choir was built at the left of the minister; the 
sombre desk was replaced by a set of pulpit furniture, the gift of 
the brothers Ford, and other changes were made. In 1887, 
Freeman J. and Dr. Orlando W. Doe of Boston presented the church 
with a bell, weighing 2000 pounds, in memory of their parents. A 
tower, which bore no sort of resemblance to the modest design of 
the main structure was erected by subscription, and attached to 
the east end of the church, in which the bell was placed. In 1899 
this tower was taken down, and a new belfry, as near like the 
original one as could well be made, in pleasing harmony with the 
rest of the building, was built, and the bell placed in it. At the 
same time the old windows were removed, and new ones of stained 
glass were put in. 

Windows were placed in the church in memory of the following 
persons: Joseph Prescott, by Miss Belle Prescott; Rev. Solomon 
Sias, by his daughter; Ephraim B., and Dr. John Stevens; Maria 
Nourse George, by her children; Ebenezer C, and Mary M. Stocker, 
by their daughters; Mrs. Lydia Rogers Bolton, by her children; 
Charles W. Leighton, by Mrs. Leighton; John S., and Mary Jane 
George, by F. W. George; principals of Newbury seminary, by 


subscription. Upon the memorial window, behind the pulpit, are 
inscribed the names of the principals of Newbury Seminary. Services 
of rededication of the church and reunion of the students of the 
seminary were held September 19, 1900. An historical address was 
delivered by Hon. Horace W. Bailey, sermon by Rev. J. 0. Sherburne, 
prayer by Rev. J. A. Sherburne, remarks by Prof Solomon Sias of 
Schoharie, N. Y., and others. Letters from several former pastors 
of the church, principals of the school, and early pupils were read. 

The church has sustained other losses than those occasioned by 
death or removal. In 1888 a number of members withdrew, and 
connected themselves with an organization now known as the 
Free Christian church. In 1896 the conference saw fit to establish a 
new Methodist church in Newbury, called the Newbury Centre and 
Boltonville church, transferring to it a number of members from 
the village church, without, in some cases at least, consulting their 
wishes in the matter. George C. McDougall was appointed to this 
new charge, preaching at the town house, and at the depot hall, 
in Boltonville. This project, of dividing what was already weak, 
resulted in failure, and after three years, Mr. McDougall was given 
a new appointment, and the village minister again supplied at the 
town house. 

Mention must not be omitted of various charitable and 
missionary societies which have been supported by the congre- 
gation. In 1835, there was founded the '*Dorcas Society," which 
was, in time, superseded by the "Woman's Foreign Missionary 
Society," and the "Woman's Home Missionary Society." Much, 
of which no record is kept, was done by the former, in aid of 
indigent students who had the ministry in view. 

Such is the imperfect record of a church which has a most 
worthy place, both in local history and in the annals of Methodism, 

and of it may be hoped that, grand as its past has been, its best 

work is yet to be done. 


Religious History — Continued. 

The Congregational Church at Wells River. —A Missionary Field.— Building 
A Meeting-house. — Formation of Church.— Pastors.— Remodeling op 
Church.— Deacons.— Parsonages.— Organ AND Choir.— Communion Service.— 
First Settlements at West Newbury.— Petitions for Preaching.— 
ServicesThere.— Methodism.— Revival of 1827.— The "Goshen" Church.— 
The Union Meeting-house Society.— Erection ofChurch.— Re-dedication.— 
Bell.— Choir.— Town House.— Congregational Church at West Newbury. 
—Pastors.— Parsonage.— Free Christian Church.— St. Ignatius's Church. 

THE first record of religious service at Wells River is found in a 
vote of the town on March 25, 1805, "that Mr. Lambert 

preach every second Sabbath in each three months of the time, 
at Wells River, so-called." Of what previous religious privileges 
that part of the town had, we know nothing, but many of the 
people in the region fi-om which the membership of the present 
Wells River church is drawn, were members of, or attendants at, 
the churches at Newbury, Horse Meadow, or Bath. 

From the funeral discourse of Rev. Samuel R. Thrall, published 
in 1874, some facts relating to the religious history of Wells River 
are gathered. The time alluded to was in the late thirties, when 
the older men like Joshua Hale had passed away, and before any 
religious organization was gathered there. 

"In those days Wells River was pre-eminently a missionary 
field. The village was a noted stopping place for stage-drivers, and 
as noted for its utter lack of religious character. In all the village 
there was not one man, and only one woman, who could be 
expected to attempt offering a prayer at the bedside of the dying. 
There were very few men that could not be counted upon not to 
swear like pirates upon any shadow of provocation. Two men, 
neither of whom was a professing Christian, one day asked each 
other why they could not have a church, and after a little talk 
together set about the work of building one." 

In 1838, a Meeting-house Society was organized, on the 24th 




of May, and Charles Hale, Emory Gale and Jacob Kent, Jr., were 
chosen a committee to select a site for a church. They decided upon 
a piece of land owned by Timothy Shedd, which was bought for 
$150. Charles Hale, Emory Gale, and Timothy Shedd were the 
building committee, and upon this lot the present house, now 
greatly enlarged, was built, at a cost of $2,650, and the building 
then consistedonly of an audience room, which was on the ground 
floor. The house was heated by stoves. There were 58 pews, 
which brought at the auction sale, February 1, 1840, $2,701.14, 
three pews remaining unsold. The highest price was brought by 
pew No. 2, which was hid off by C. J. S. Scott for $70. The 
subscriptions were repaid from the avails of the sale, and the 
building became the property of. the pew-owners. It was, at first, a 
union meeting-house, and each pew^owner had a right to name a 
minister whose sentiments agreed with his own, such part of the 
year as his share in the house bore to the whole. It is not known 
that the privilege was ever exercised, and the Meeting-house 
Society gave place, many 3'ears ago, to the Congregational Society. 

The church was dedicated January 28, 1840, the sermon being 
preached by Rev. George W. Campbell, of Newbury. Rev. David 
Sutherland, of Bath, offered the prayer of dedication. On the 14th 
of April, 1840, twent^'^-four members of the Newbury church, who 
lived in the vicinity of Wells River, were organized, by a council, 
into a branch church, under the oversight of Rev. Mr. Campbell, 
and the Newbury church. This branch became an independent 
church, by act of a council which met Jan. 12, 1842. At the 
-public services held the next day, a discourse was delivered by Rev. 
David Merrill, of Peacham, author of the celebrated **ox sermon." 
On the 13th of the following April, Rev. Samuel R. Thrall, who had 
been preaching since January 24, 1841, was ordained and installed. 
He was dismissed March 16, 1847. His salary was $400, and the 
use of the parsonage. Of his somewhat remarkable family, and of 
Rev. J. D. Butler, who succeeded him, an account is elsewhere 

Mr. Butler, then a professor in Norwich University, and 
afterwards its president, began to preach April 11, 1847, 
was ordained October 14, of that year, and dismissed in 
1850. For some time he resided at Norwich, driving to Wells 
River on Saturday and returning on Monday. Mr. Butler 
afterward became eminent as a linguist, traveler and teacher. 
He is still living at Madison, Wis., connected with the University 
and the Historical Society of that state, and in 1898, at the age 
of eighty-five, was chaplain of the Wisconsin senate. In his time, 
and mainly through his exertion, the bell was purchased, which 
was hung February 29, 1848. For some years it was rung at 
six a. m., noon, and nine p. m. The sum received as damages 
caused by the building of the Passumpsic railroad was applied 
to painting and repairing the church. 


Rev. S. M. Plympton was ordained and installed, May 8, 
1851, and resigned May 5, 1861. He was bom at Sturbridge, 
Mass., in 1820, was graduated at Amherst College in 1846, and 
at Andover Theological Seminary 1849. After leaving Wells River, 
he was chaplain of the 4th Vermont, in the Civil War, and died 
at Chelsea, September 14, 1866. His salary was $500 and the 

Rev. William S. Palmer was ordained and installed pastor, 
February 19, 1862, and closed his services September 14, 1874, 
to become pastor of the Second church at Norwich, Conn. Mr. 
Palmer was bom in Orford, N. H., August 6, 1827, was graduated 
at Dartmouth College in 1849, and Andover Theological Seminary 
in 1852. Before coming to Wells River he was a teacher. He was 
widely known, and often called upon to deliver sermons and 
addresses upon public occasions. In 1869, the church building 
was enlarged to give room for twelve additional pews, and 
thoroughly repaired at a cost of about $2000. Rev. John 
Rogers, '*a good preacher and a ripe scholar," preached some 
months after Mr. Palmer left. He died soon after leaving Wells 
River. Rev. Eugene J. Ranslow was called, October 11, 1875, 
and continued in office till 1888. He is now pastor of the church 
at Swanton. Mr. Ranslow was graduated at Vermont University, 
and served in the navy during the Civil War. 

Rev. Rufus C. Flagg, a graduate of Middlebury College, was 
called December 11, 1888, and recognized by council January 22, 
1889. He resigned January 21, 1897, to become president of Ripon 
College, Wisconsin. A call was extended to Rev. RoUa G. Bugbee, 
June 19, 1892. He was pastor till January 21, 1897. In 1894 the 
church edifice was thoroughly repaired, and, to some extent, 
remodelled. An addition was made behind the pulpit to contain the 
organ, new pews were put in, electric lights introduced, and many 
other improvements made, at a cost of $6,500. Mr. Bugbee 
resigned January 21, 1897, and after the pulpit had been occupied 
by several individuals. Rev. George H. Credeford of Winthrop, Me., 
was tendered a call, April 19, 1898, and entered upon his ministry. 

Mr. Credeford married April 4, 1899, Miss Ella M. Bixby of 
Newbury, and is the only one of the twenty-six ministers of the 
three Congregational jchurches of Newbury who has taken a wife 
in this town. 

The deacons have been : 

Ehjdley C. Kimball, 1842-1847 C. 0. Penniman, 1873 

Moody Powers, 1844-1863 A. M. Whitelaw, 1877 

A. B. W. Tenney, 1863-1873 H. W. Adams, 1890 

F. Deming, 1894 

The whole number of members whose names were on the roll to 
January 1st, 1900, was 510. 

The firgt parsonage was the house next north of the 


school building, built by Silas Chamberlin in 1792. The present 
parsonage was erected in 1876. The organ was put into the church 
by the Ladies Society in 1872, at a cost of about $1,200. The 
organists in their succession have been Miss Ellen Underwood, 
Georga B. Fessenden, Mrs. Anna D. Leslie, and at present, Mrs. E. 
W. Smith. The leaders of the choir, from the early '40s have been 
Leonard Gale, then A. T. Baldwin about twenty years. The 
present leader is Hon. E. W. Smith. The first communion service of 
the church was of Brittania metal, and was presented to it, June 
1, 1842, by Mr. Timothy Shedd, and was, by the church, given to 
the one at West Newbury, August 1, 1867. The present service 
was presented in 1867; the silver pitchers were given by Edward 
Hale, the goblets by A. T. Baldwin, and Franklin Deming, and the 
baptismal urn by the Ladies Aid Society. 

There are six memorial windows in the church, in memory of 
the following persons: Dea. A. B. W. Tenney and wife, by Miss 
Martha J. Tenney; Rev. Salem M. Plympton, by Mrs. F. Deming; 
Daniel A. Rogers, by Mrs. F. Deming ; Mrs. Lucy W. Whitelaw, by 
her children ; Anna J. Kimball, and Helen S. Kimball Hubbard, by 
their father, Dea. J. P. Kimball ; and one dedicated to the Sabbath 
School by the pupils of the school. 

The Wells River church, which draws its membership and 
audience from four towns, three counties, and two states, has been, 
for about forty years, one of the largest and strongest in the state. 

We have seen that Newbury was settled by people of the 
Congregational order, and that, according to the law and custom 
of the time the minister was supported by tax. At first, when all 
the people lived along the river, the meeting-house at the Ox-bow 
was a central place. But settlements spread, and in the course of 
twenty-five years the heavy woods in the south and southwest 
parts of the town were broken by little clearings, in the midst of 
each of which was a log house, and in most cases, a family of 
children. By 1785, there were settlements in the south part of the 
town all the way to Topsham line, and the settlers felt it a 
hardship that they should be taxed to support preaching at a part 
of the town, miles away, along trails which could only be travelled 
on foot, or on horseback. The town seems to have been considerate 
and in 1788, Joseph Harriman, William Pettie, Josiah Pratt, Israel 
Putnam, John Sly, Jonathan Ladd, James Heath, and Moses Winn 
and son, were exempted from paying their minister tax. Some of 
these lived in what is now Topsham, eight or ten miles from the 
Ox-bow. In 1790, it was voted to release those that lived west of 
Wright's mountain. But in the next year these dwellers far away 
considered that they ought to have preaching and united in the 
following petition : 

Whereas, we wbose names are underwritten live at such a distance from the 
place of public worship that we cannot attend without much trouble and difficulty, 


we therefore pray you would take it into consideration and grant nnto us our 

proportionable part of preaching according to what the back part of the town 
pays, etc. 

John Vance James Vance John HaseltiAe 

Otho Stevens John Johnson Joseph Kent 

Tarrant Putnam Moses Johnson Samuel Butter6eld 

John Vance, Jr. Peletian Bliss William Kineaid 

James Dodge Paul Ford Robert Lovewell 

Samuel Hadley Moses Chamberlin Benjamin Akin 

Samuel Tucker Jacob Pratt Abraham Brickett 

It was voted to request Mr. Lambert to preach at Capt. John 
Haseltine's such a proportion of the time as the list of said 
subscribers bears to the list of the whole town. This arrangement 
continued during some years, but was not quite satisfactory to the 
people beyond the mountain, as in 1794, Nicholas White, Timothy 
White, John Sawyer, John Sanders, Joseph Sleeper, Ephraim 
Metcalf, Robert Lovewell, James Thompson, Nathaniel Dustin, and 
Jonas Chapman were released from their tax. But in 1801 the 
town decided not to release the settlers beyond the mountain, but 
ordained instead that Mr. Lambert should preach the last Sabbath 
in each month at Mr. Tarrant Putnam's. In 1804? the town voted 
to continue this arrangement, and also voted that Mr. Lambert 
should preach the second Sabbath in each three months, near Mr. 
Zaccheus Dustin's. This is where Hale Bailey now lives. 

With the dismission of Mr. Lambert the union between church 
and state passed away, but by that time there were members of his 
church in every school district in town, and they were not neglected 
in the pastoral ministrations. Preaching was held much of the 
allotted time at Jonas Tucker's and at the schoolhouse **near Mr. 
John Doe's," as runs the record of various meetings by Rev, 
Clark Perry. Along the valley of Hall's brook **the schoolhouse 
near Mr. Peach's," was selected as a religious gathering place, and 
meetings were held on Jefferson hill. 

Methodism was at first more strong at West Newbury than 
elsewhere, the first class meeting in town being held at Joseph 
Prescott's. Its earlier services were held in farm-kitchens and the 
schoolhouse on Rogers hill. But none of these could contain the 
multitudes that thronged to revival services which were held in 
1827, in a barn which stood opposite the present residence of the 
late Oliver B. Rogers. Camp meetings were held once and again on 
Jefferson hill. 

Members of the Carter and Haseltine families with others, were 
connected with a Baptist church in Bradford, whose meeting-house, 
a century ago, adjoined the cemetery on the upper plain. This 
society became extinct, and a Free-Will Baptist church was 
organized, which on October^l, 1809, withdrew from the Free-Will 
Baptist connection, and adopted tenets commonly held by the 
religious body which designates itself by no other title than that of 
Christian, but adopting the name of Christian Baptists. This 




society, at one time very flourishing, built, in 1834, a church 
building, now lately repaired, in that part •of Bradfo;;d called 
"Goshen," just across the Newbury line. ^ 

There were several attempts to build a church at West Newbury, 
one as early as 1810, but the matter was delayed many years. It 
was not easy to fix upon a site. There were influential people in 
the part of the town which adjoins Topsham, who wanted it to be 
built near the present-residence of R. S. Chaniberlin. 

On February 16, 1832, an association was formed and on the 
18th the first meeting of the Union Meeting-house Society was held 
at the dwelling-house of David and Elijah Tucker. This meeting, 
of which Levi Rogers was president, and Daniel Putnam clerk, 
chose John B, Carleton, David Haseltine, Dudley Carleton, Jr., 
Nathaniel Niles, and Jonas Tucker, a committee to build a 
meeting-house which should contain not fewer than fifty, nor more 
than fifty-six pews. The subscriptions to the house were payable, 
one-third in money, and one-third in neat stock and grain. The 
site was g^ven by Col. John Smith and the timber was hewed by 
Dudley Carleton, Jr. Archibald Mills was the thoroughly capable 
master workman, and the church, whose exterior has been little 
altered, was erected on a sightly eminence, where it is a conspicuous 
landmark, and one of the most pleasing church edifices in this 
region. It is strange that no trees have ever been set out around it. 
In the fashion of the time, there was a gallery for the singers above 
the vestibule; in front of it was the circular pulpit, supported on 
posts, as high as a man's head, and attained by stairs behind; the 
body pews faced the pulpit, and the front doors. There were 
fifty-six pews, forty of which were in front of the pulpit, and sixteen 
at the right and at the left. A pipe organ, built by Robert Mclndoe 
was placed in the gallery. At the sale of pews the sum realized was 
$1,452.75, which more than paid the cost of the building. The 
pew-owners were Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Methodists, 
and Baptists, and were entitled to the use of the house by ministers 
of each order, such part of the time as the number of pews held by 
each party bore to the whole number. In 1843, the organ was sold 
and removed. In 1854, the building was repainted and newly 
shingled, at a cost of $250. In 1873, the house was thoroughly 
repaired, new windows put in, and new pews; the aisles were 
carpeted, the gallery was closed in, and made into a vestry, and the 
pulpit which had been in the Congregational church at the street 
was placed at the west end of the house. Oliver B. Rogers, John 
Smith, William C. Carleton and Levi L. Tucker were the committee. 

The house was rededicated September 11, 1873, by special 
services, at w^hich sermons were preached by Rev. Isaac McAnn, the 
presiding elder, and by Rev. William S. Palmer, of Wells River. At 
this meeting a subscription for a cabinet organ was started, which 
was purchased and used for the first time on Thanksgiving day. 


The entire expense of the repairs was about $2,000. In 1891, the 
building was repaired and repainted. In the spring of 1892, a bell 
weighing one thousand pounds was presented to the society upon 
certain conditions, by Bradley D. Rogers of Buffalo, and Mrs. 
Angelina P. Webster of Plymouth, N. H., son and daughter of Levi 
and Betsey Rogers, and in their memory. Repairs and alterations 
were made upon the belfry, and on July 4th of that year the new 
bell was hung and dedicated with appropriate services. The bell 
was presented by Mr. Rogers, and accepted by Rev. C. H. Coolidge; 
a dedicatory prayer was offered by Rev. J. L. Merrill, and a sermon 
was preached by Rev. A. G. Austin. Brief addresses were delivered 
by others. 

The present committee of the society are John Smith, Dudley 
Carleton, and Joseph Sawyer, and in its existence of nearly seventy 
years it has had but three clerks, Daniel Putnam, 1832-'59 ; Thomas 
L. Tucker, 1859-'87; Byron 0. Rogers, 1887. 

It is creditable to the people of West Newbury that two 
religious societies have occupied the same building for such a long 
period in harmony, and it is also creditable to the successive 
committees of repairs that they have preserved intact, the belfry and 
tower, which are so well adapted to the building, and harmonize 
with the landscape in which the church has stood so long. Services 
were held with considerable regularity for over thirty years by the 
pastors of both churches at the village, and by others. Since 1865, 
regular alternate services have been held by the pastors of the 
Congregational church, organized in 1867, and the pastor of the 
Methodist church whose field includes nearlv all of the town. In 
the earlier years, Moses Brock, Sr., led the singing, and Thomas L. 
Tucker played the organ. Later, Mr. Tucker became chorister and 
under his leadership of about thirty years, the choir was considered 
the best in town. His son, S. S. Tucker has long been the chorister, 
and Mrs. Joseph Sawyer the organist most of the time since the 
instrument was purchased. 

In 1839, the town house was built as near the geographical 
centre of Newbury as possible, the location being selected as about 
equally inconvenient to all sections of the town. It has been used 
as a substitute for a church building in that locality since its 
erection, and, since 1866, services by ministers who alternate there 
and at West Newbury have been regularly held. It accommodates 
a part of the town which is several miles from any church, and a 
congregation of fair size gathers there. Dea. A. McAllister was 
superintendent of its Sunday-school for nearly twenty-four years. 
About fifty families are nearer the town house than to any church 

For many years the pastor of the Congregational church at the 
village, held one service in the month at West Newbury, and 
many members of the church lived in that part of the town. 
Somewhere about 1860, this practice was discontinued, and the 


Congregationalists at West Newbury were left without preaching. 

During several years the people engaged preaching for a few months 

at a time, but no minister remained there long enough to make much 

impression. In the summer of 1865, Rev. David Connell came to the 

place and began services, and under his preaching a Congregational 

church of twenty-one members was formed, on February 13, 1867. 

All of these were from the Newbury church. The church was 

organized by a council held in the Union Meeting-house, of which 

Rev. Silas McKeen, D. D., was moderator, and Rev. John K. Williams 

was scribe. Dr. McKeen preached the sermon, and other parts were 

taken by Revs. H. N. Burton, J. K. Williams, William S. Palmer and 

J. D. Emerson. Mr. Connell lived for one year in the house 

which E. Minard now owns and occupies. In 1866, he moved into 

the present parsonage, then owned by H. K. Wilson, which was, in 

1868, purchased by Freeman Keyes, James Abbott and 0. C. 

Bamett, and by them conveyed to the church under conditions 

which provide for its becoming the property of the Vermont 

Domestic Missionary Society, should the church become extinct. 

Mr. Connell resigned his charge in 1869, and removed to the 
north part of the state. He was bom in Edinburgh, Scotland, 
February 15, 1815, and was graduated at Glasgow University, 
and at the Theological Seminary connected with it. He was an 
able man, of large information and wide acquaintance, and well 
equipped for the ministry, but was not able to avoid trouble in 
the parish. His ministry was unfortunate, and he left the 
community in a divided condition. Mr. Connell died at Portsmouth, 
N. H., November 11, 1895. Mrs. Connell was also from Scotland, 
and in many respects a remarkable woman. They had a large, and 
somewhat unusual family. Their oldest son, William, is a lawyer 
in Omaha, Neb., and was a member of Congress for one term; 
another son is a physician there; James is a jeweler in Portsmouth, 
N. H., another also lives in Omaha, and of the daughters, Lillian 
married Rev. H. M. Tenney, D. D., another is a widow, and a third 
is a teacher. 

k very different man from Mr. Connell, was Rev. Robert D. 
Miller, who in January 1870, came to West Newbury, and entered 
upon his labors with the church. Few men coming into a place 
so torn with dissension could have managed such a work of 
reconciliation as Mr. Miller, and that, not by argument, but by the 
force of his own exemplary life, and winsome personality. Mr. 
Miller was bom in Dummerston, Vt., September 23, 1824, was 
graduated at Amherst College in 1848, and at Hartford Theological 
Seminary in 1853. Under his ministry the church prospered, and it 
was largely through his influence that the Union Meeting-house 
was repaired in 1873. In March 1875, he resigned his charge, to 
the great regret of the whole community, and, it is believed 
afterward of his own. He is still living at Maiden, Mass. During 



his ministry, his son, Charles, a fine young man, met his death by 
drowning, at Gill, Mass. His only surviving son, John C, a 
graduate of Middlebury College, is in business in Boston. 

In June, 1875, Rev. Amzi B. Lyon took charge of the church, 
and remained here thirteen years. He was bom of a long line 
of clerical ancestry', at Brownhelm, O., March 22, 1831, was 
graduated at Oberlin College, 1854, and Andover Theological 
Seminary in 1857. He was a man of quiet, studious habits, and 
a good citizen, faithful in his calling. Mr. Lyon was married, for 
the third time, while at West Newbury, to Miss Clara E. Palmer of 
Concord, N. H., long a teacher at Abbott Academy, at Andover, 
Mass. She was the daughter of Hon. Dudley S. Palmer, a 
prominent citizen of Concord, who spent his last years at the parson- 
age, dying there May 1886. Mr. Lyon went into missionary work 
in Spearfish, S. D., and he died, at Chadron, Neb., March 3, 1890. 
He left a daughter, Emma, who was graduated at Abbott academy, 
and married Rev. Charles E. Rice, and a son, now in Colorado. 

In the fall of 1888, Mr. Edward W. Smith came here from 
Brooklyn, N. Y., and was acting pastor two years, and was 
ordained an evangelist in the Union Meeting-house, November 13, 
1889. Mr. Smith was sincere, but ill-equipped for the ministry, and 
his brief pastorate was not a success. 

Rev. Chalmer H. Coolidge, a native of Peru in this state, who 
had taken a partial course at Oberlin College, was acting pastor 
from May, 1892, to May 1896. Mr. Coolidge represented this 
town in the legislature of 1894. He was a man of ability, 
extensive information, and great industry. He resigned to become 
pastor of the church in Piermont. In June following Mr. 
Coolidge 's departure, Mr. Ralph H. Abercrombie, from Lawrence, 
Mass., a graduate of Bangor Theological Seminary came, and 
was ordained and installed pastor of the church, November 6, 
1896, the only settled minister the church has ever had. He was 
dismissed by council August 23, 1898, and became pastor of the 
Brookfield church. Mr. Abercrombie was a fine musician, a man of 
genial nature, who did much good and made many friends. 

The church was without a minister till October, 1899, when 
Rev. George A. Fumess came here from Wardsboro, and still 
remains. The minister preaches at the church at West Newbury, 
and at the town house. The members are widely scattered; 
those who live in this town receive their mail at six difierent 
post-offices. It has always been small in numbers and weak 
financially, and has been sustained only by much self-denial 
on the part of a few, and by aid from the missionary society. 
But it has been a means of good, and may yet see great prosperity. 
Connected with this small church are a Ladies' Missionary Society, 
and a Ladies' Aid Society, and a flourishing society of Christian 


The deacons have been : 
•James Abbott, 1867-1870 *Moses Brock, 1867-1874 

•David T. Wells, 1868-1899 *Archibald McAllister, 1868-1899 

Maurice H. Randall, 1896 Jonas Tucker, 1896-1900 

Albert N. Kendrick, 1900 

tThe Free Christian church, the youngest religious society in 
Newbury, had its origin in a tent meeting held near Newbury 
village in September, 1888, by Rev. H. C. Holt, and a society was 
formed of individuals who held similar views with his, most of 
whom had previously been connected with the Methodist church. 
They at once set about building a meeting-house of their own at 
Newbury village, which was begun December 6, 1888, and 
completed February 6, 1889. This building, usually spoken of as 
the Adventist church, cost about $700 not counting the value of 
much labor which was freely given. The cost of the land was 
$175. This building was dedicated February 6, 1889. This society 
was not formally organized into a church till March 22, 1892, but 
sustained regular preaching, both in the church building, and in 
other parts of the town. In the fall of 1890, Mr. Holt held a series 
of tent meetings in John Buchanan's sugar orchard, near the 
Centre, which were attended by great numbers of people. 

The Free Christian church was organized March 22, 1892. 
The number of original members was thirty, and fourteen have 
since been added. The articles of belief held by the church include 
repentance and faith ; baptism by immersion ; personal holiness ; 
the near approach of the advent of Christ ; the literal resurrection 
of the dead ; the destruction of the ungodly ; the renewed earth, the 
home of the saints; and that death ends the opportunity for 
conversion. Rev. H. C. Holt was chosen pastor April 6, 1892, and 
held the office till his death, August 27, 1896. He was born in 
Hartland, Vt., October 16, 1844, began preaching 1879. He was 
pastor of the Advent church at Bridgewater, Vt., several years, 
then engaged in evangelistic work until he came to Newbury. 

Rev. George H. Temple was chosen pastor of the church, 
December 25, 1897. He was born in Warren, Vt., March 17, 1847^ 
began preaching in 1886 ; pastor one year of the Advent church in 
Warren, then engaged in evangelistic work until he came here. 

The present oflScers are: John B. Brock and W. E. Marston, 
deacons; W. E. Marston and O. W. Brock, elders; O. W. Brock, 
clerk and treasurer; O. W. Brock, superintendent of Sunday 
school. The members of this church are scattered over town, and 
some of the most regular attendants live seven miles and more from 
the place of worship. 

•Died in service. 

tPreparcd by Mr. J. B. Brock. 


In the second chapter of this volume we have mentioned the 
probability that the first white men who visited the Cods country- 
were Catholic missionaries from Canada. But so far as is now 
known, there were no families here of the ancient faith till the 
building of the railroad in 1847, when a multitude of Irishmen and 
their families came here, and received the occasional ministrations 
of a priest. After the railroads were completed a few Catholic 
families remained, and were visited from time to time by a 
clergyman of their order. It was not for many years that a church 
was gathered. 

St. Ignatius's Catholic church was organized and built in 1874 
by Rev. J. S. Michaud of Newport, Vt., the first pastor and who 
continued as paster until about 1880. Since that date the church 
has been supplied with pastors as follows: Rev. D. J. O'SuUivan; 
Rev. R. F. Higgins, Rev. J. Whitaker, White River Junction, Vt., 
Rev. J. A. Boissonnault of St. Johnsbury, Vt. ; Rev. J. Paquet, 
and Rev. J. Pontbriand, Lyndonville, Vt., the present pastor. The 
church has about eighty communicants. Residents of Newbury, 
Groton and South Ryegate also attend this church, which is at 
Wells River. 


Religious and Educational. 


Rtbgatb.— Mr. Liybrmorb's Rbminiscbncbs.— Thb Goshbn Mbbting-Housb. 
—First Schools.— Old School.— Agrbbubnts.— A Town Rbsolutiom.— Thb 
School District Ststbm.— Old Schoolhousbs.- A Cattstic Dbscription.— 
Wagbs.— Young Lady's School.— Nbwbury High School. 

IN an early chapter of this voltime it was pointed ont that the 
town owed much of its early prosperity to the fact that so 

many of its grantees became actual settlers, and their previous 
acquaintance and concerted action placed the new settlement in a 
very strong position. This was no less true of the church. The 
grantees who became settlers, were, almost without exception, 
favorable to the system of church government established here, and 
before a single framed house had been built in town, "The Church of 
Christ at Newbury and Haverhill, in Coos," as the old records run, 
had been placed on a firm footing. In towns where all the settlers 
were persons who had bought out the original proprietors, and 
were in general, strangers to each other, it was many years, usually, 
before a church was formed, as there was apt to be such a diversity 
of opinion that no one society became strong enough to support a 
minister, until the early years had passed away. 

By the old colonial law the majority of voters decided the form 
of worship, and there was no exemption from tax, of those who 
differed from it. But in 1780, an act of the legislature enabled any 
person who differed from the established order, to escape being taxed 
to support it, on presentation of a certificate, duly attested, that 
such person belonged to some other church, and contributed to its 
support. In 1801, a further act enabled any person who presented 
to the town clerk a declaration in writing, that he did not agree in 
religious opinion with a majority of the inhabitants of the town, 
was released fi*om taxation for the support of the church. It is 
significant that while in Bradford the number of certificates 


presented tinder these acts was about 150, here in Newbury there 
were but eighteen, thirteen of which related to members of the 
Baptist church at that town. 

The foregoing account of the churches of this town gives but a 
meagre idea of the religious history of Newbury. To narrate the 
small beginnings of each society ; to g^ve the names and succession 
of their pastors ; to describe the various edifices which have been 
consecrated to religious worship; to merely mention the channels 
through which the benevolence of the churches has reached its 
sharers, is about all that we can do. 

But when we have said all this, and even more, we have not 
begun to tell what its churches have been to the town. There have 
been many men and women here in Newbury, to whom the church 
of their choice, which, in their view, realized most nearly the divine 
ideal, was the dearest thing on earth. The churches of Newbury 
have been built up and fostered by the self-denial and loving care of 
several generations of devout men and women.- It is to these, the 
business men of our villages, the farmers of our hills and meadows, 
rather than to the ministers of the gospel who have labored here, 
devout men as they have been, to whom belongs the honor of 
maintaining the Christian religion in this town. Making all 
possible allowance for the mixture of human frailty with the 
worthiest aspirations, the fact still remains that the Christian 
religion, has been, during all these years, the strongest power here 
in Newbury. It is easy to deny this, and to point out that a 
spirit of wordliness has entered the churches and weakened their 
influence; that faith is not as of yore upon the earth. Yet it may 
well be asked, whether, had Newbury been settled by men who 
cared nothing for these things, if no church spire had ever pointed 
toward Heaven; if the sound of the church-going bell had never 
floated over these hills ; if there had been no godly ministry here ; if, 
had there been none in Newbury who loved the house of God, would 
there have been anything in the history of the town worthy of 
remembrance ? 

The religious history of Newbury would not be complete if we 
failed to note that a large number of its families, during more than 
127 years, have been connected with the Presbyterian churches in 
Ryegate. By request, the following brief account of these, prepared 
by the late Edward Miller, Esq., is inserted here: 

The first settlers of Rjegate attended church at Newbury, and 
occasionally received the ministrations of its minister. Rev. Peter 
Powers. Not far from 1779, the first church in that town, the 
Associate Presbyterian, was formed. This is often called the 
"Seceder" church, and was an ofishoot from the General Associate 
church. In 1858, the seceders upited with two other bodies and 
formed the United Presbyterian church. This church was joined 
with one at Barnet Centre, till 1823. Rev. David Goodwillie, and 


his son, Rev. Thomas Goodwillie, D. D., occupied the pulpit of the 
church at Baniet Centre for a period of eighty years. They were 
among the most prominent ministers of the state. The Ryegate 
church erected one of the finest church buildings in this vicinity, at 
the Comer, a few years ago. 

The Reiformed Presbyterian church at Ryegate Corner, generally 
called the Covenanter church, was organized in 1799. Rev. James 
Milligan was its pastor from 1817 to 1840; Rev. James M. Beattie 
from 1844, till his death in 1882. Their house of worship at the 
Comer, was burned August 16, 1899. This church has always had 
a considerable representation in Newbury. The members consider 
the taking of oaths to support a temporal power as unscriptural, 
and do not vote or hold office. 

The Reformed Presbyterian church at South Ryegate was 
formed in 1843, and the present church edifice built in 1849. This 
church differs from the Covenanters in that its members use the 
elective franchise. Many of this congregation live in Newbury. 

These three churches use a version of the Psalms in meter, at 
their Sabbath service. 

The youngest Presbyterian church in Ryegate is called the 
"First Presbyterian church," and was organized, says Mr. Samuel 
Mills, by a commission from Boston Presbytery, November 12, 
1875, with fifty-three members. Its membership on January 1, 
1900, was 160. Many of this number live in Newbury. Since 
its organization this society has built a church, vestry and 
parsonage, costing about $7,000 at South Ryegate. Rev. William 
Wallace is its fifth and present pastor, installed January 1, 1900. 
"The Presbyterian form of religious worship is founded on the 
word of God as expressed in the confession of faith, catechisms, 
larger and shorter, with the form of church government agreed 
upon by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, and practiced 
by the church of Scotland." These four churches have had several 
hundred members in this town. 

We conclude the religious history of Newbury, by presenting a 
picture of a Sunday in Haverhill Corner, eighty years ago. It was 
written by Hon. Arthur Livermore, now past ninety years of age, 
residing in England. Those who remember the times say that with 
a few changes of names, it would describe a Newbury Sabbath in 
those days, and have asked for its insertion here. 

On Sunday mornings in snmmer, we were sent to our chambers, each with a 
tract, to await the hoar of preparation for the more serious business of the day, and 
the familiar hail at the foot of the stairs: "Now boys, you may lay aside your 
tracts and go into the garden and gather your carraway, and then it will be time to 
set out for meeting." That sort of nosegay was deemed to be the thing for the holy 
hoar, and to say toe truth, it has to this day, the odor of sanctity to my nostrils. 
We were called to meeting by the sweetest bell ever heard, which old Mr. Cross made 
to swing in the steeple of the meeting-house on Ladd street, with a strongly religious 
air, which no other bell ever had, nor could any but the same old man draw forth 
from that one. 


Grant Powers ezpotinded the doctrines to a congregation that knew not the 
infelicity of donbt, and with the air of one who did not donbt either his own dogma» 
or his hearers' acceptance of it. The system of faith conserved in that church did 
certainly prevail. Those who resisted were marked. Those who r^arded the matter 
objectively none the less believed, and looked for the day when that belief should be 
informed with life, and bear fruit in the heart. 

Following the afternoon meeting was the Sunday school, held in a schoolhouse 
at the Comer. For this the bovs and c^rls prepared by committing to memory such 
hymns and scriptures as they pleased, lor whicn th^ received payment at the rate of 
one cent for each hundred verses so committed. The tally was kept by the issue of 
tickets of the denomination of one cent and one mill, all of which were redeemed in 
cash at the end of the quarter. If the mammon of the world appeared to some to 
have been unwarrantably thus drawn into the service of religion, it may be 
remembered that much scripture was thus impressed upon memories at a period 
when such memories were more impressible, and retentive. 

Conference came in the evening **at early candle-lighting," at which the minister 
was not ordinarily present, but left to the deacons, and other gifted members of the 
church, the conduct of that somewhat diversified scene of exhortation, psalmody, 
mutual encouragement and prayer. 

**£arly candle-lighting,*^ the formula used by the minister to denote the time for 
the conference to meet, denoted also the absence'of clocks in some of the houses that 
could be depended upon as unerring timekeepers. I like to dwell npon any of the 
tokens of manners more primitive than our own, when the flight of the hours was 
marked by the movements of the heavenly bodies, when the cock announced the 
b^nnin|: of the day*s labor, and the twilight its dose. This gloaming of Sunday 
nev^ failed of light sufficient to guide the pious steps of dear Mrs. Webster to the 
conference. She bore in a brass candlestick, a tallow candle, to help in the imperfect 
illumination of the scene. If she ever wearied of the clumsy exhortations, of the 
prayers that painfully dragged for the devout orator to frame a wish, or to imagine 
a want not already more than supplied by the bountiful source of all good ; if she 
failed to be wakened to ecstacy by the singers grouped around the candles, and . 
holding their books in a manner to receive their veir dim light, she took up arms 
against the perception of such weariness, because tne conference was a means of 

Sace, and it was her duty, and should be her privilege, to attend with regularity, 
id she did so. Twenty years at least, later, the same candle was represented by its 
like, conveyed in the same candlestick, hj the same figure, scarcely cnanged, though 
moving with steadiness somewhat impaired by age. 

Seventy years ago the kitchen clock in Mrs. Webster's house was wound on 
Saturday evenings, because the winding was not counted a work of necessity or 
mercy permitted to be done on Sunday.* 

Mention was made in the last chapter, of the ''Goshen Meeting- 
House," which stands just over the line in Bradford. After that 
chapter was printed, the Contracts, and other papers relating to its 
construction came to light, and were placed in the editor's hands, 
that the particulars of its erection might be preserved. They cast 
some light upon the usages of the time, as both the church at Wells 
River and the one at West Newbury, were contracted for in a 
similar manner. 

This meeting-house is the only one left, in this vicinity, in which 
the pulpit is in front of the gallery, and the pews face the entrance 
doors. Not only the church at West Newbury, and the Methodist 
church at the village, but the brick church at Haverhill Corner, 
were built in that way. 

•Note. Mrs. Webster was the wife of Hon. Stephen P. Webster, an old-time 
lawyer of Haverhill Corner. He lived in a large two-story house on the north side 
of Court street. 


The Christian Baptist church, once very flourishing, is nearly 
extinct, and the building was falling into decay, when measures 
were taken, in 1899, for its preservation. It is now seldom used. 
The interior containing forty pews, is very quaint and plain. 

In October, 1832, a committee was appointed by the Goshen 
society to superintend the building of a meeting-house, which met 
once each month at the store of F. & H. Keyes, that stood on the 
Kne between Newbury and Bradford. The committee were : Henry 
Keyes, clerk, David Manson, Levi Colby, B. B. Rollins, Simeon 
Chase, Jr., William Heath, Nicholas S. Chad wick, and Levi Carter. 

The society erected the frame and boarded it, with roof and 
cupola, and then, by their agent, Richard Aldrich, conveyed it to 
this committee, who furnished the capital for completing the church. 
Those who did the work and those who furnished the material, 
were paid one-third in cash, and the rest in grain or neat stock. 
When the house was finished the committee received the pews, forty 
in number, which they were to sell at such prices as would repay 

George W. Prichard, Israel Willard and William Burroughs 
were the referees who certified as to the quality of the work and 
estimated its cost, and the first named, with ElUs Bliss and Moses 
Chamberlain, were the committee who appraised the pews. The 
house was completed in June, 1834, and, the contract being 
fulfilled, the committee dissolved. This account of the building of 
the Goshen meeting-house is given because it was largely built by 
Newbury people, and many families from this town regularly 
attended there. The late Nicholas Chadwick told the editor of this 
volume, that the building would have been placed upon the town 
line, had there been a level spot large enough for it. 

The town-meeting of March 12, 1769, took the first recorded 
action regarding education, by voting fifteen pounds for the support 
of a school. It is probable that during the previous years, 
something was done, and there were private schools, of some kind, 
as there were several who were well qualified to teach, among the 
settlers, and the children were not allowed to grow up in ignorance. 
The town continued ever after to aid the cause of education by 
increased appropriations. The first schools were held in private 
houses, and in the log meeting-house. Chance has preserved the 
name of one of the pioneers of education in Vermont. In a letter 
to some gentlemen at Newburyport, dated at Newbury, Coos, 
September 28, 1772, *Col. Moses Little writes to recommend one 
James Hicks, who had taught school in Newbury, with great 

•Little papers. 


success, the preceding year. This James Hicks was, the letter said, 
well educated in the school of London. How he came to have 
wandered into this wilderness, we shall never know. He seems to 
have gone to the Barbadoes, intending to return to England. 

There was only one school in town for many years, for the 
people were poor, and had a hard struggle to get along. We know 
very little about either schools or text-books. Probably all the 
instruction was from the Testament, and the New England Primer. 
These were in every house. 

Among the Johnson papers are preserved sundry agreements 
which relate to early schools in this town. 

"Newbury, Novr 8th, 1781. 

We the subscribers being met for the Purpose of Hiring a schoolmaster, have 
a^^reed to give a suitable person Ten Bushels of Wheat per Month, if one cannot be 
htred for less and found, have chose Thos. Johnson, Capt. John G. Baylej, Wm. 
Wallace, a Comity to Regulate sd school, and to tax and rate sd district, agreeable 
to the Number of Scholars that shall be in s<> school, and if there is Thirty scholars 
in sd district, we the Proprietors, agree that no scholars shall be advertised to be 
taught in s^ school, out of the District, the above to be binding for three months 

Elihu Johnson William Wallace 

Thos. Johnson Josbph Chambbrlin 

Pelbtiah Bliss Benjamin Muzzey 

Bbbnk White John G. Baylby 

Ephm Baylby 

Evidently the desired man would not be paid in wheat, as the 
following relates to the same school. 

Newbury, Nov. 15, 1781. 

"We the subscribers do here-by promise to pay Samuel Hopkins seven pounds, 
four shillings, by the 12ti» day of February next, to be paid in hard money, and hard 
money only, provided he teach a school three months according to the Directions we 
have given him of equal date herewith, if not then paid, then Interest till paid. 
Witness our hands. 

Thomas Johnson. 

John G» Baylby. 

William Wallace." 

Mr. Hopkins seems to have done his best, as the paper is 
endorsed : 

"Newbury, Feb. 5, 1782. 

We the subscribers do hereby acknowledge that the within named Samuel 
Hopkins has performed his part of this Oblegation, and we are m Duty bound to pa^" 
the same. 

Thomas Johnson 
John G. Baylby." 

The following is of later date, and more precise in specifying the 
qualifications of the master. 

"Newbury, Sept. 18, 1786. 

We, the subscribers, do each of us af^ree to Pay our equal Proportion in Produce 
for the board and support of a good schoolmaster, Qualified to teach English, 
writing and Arithmetic in the midle District school and to find our Proportion of 
wood at s<l school. Provided there is a sufficient number of subscribers, not less than 


Twentj, The Schoolmaster to be immediately ag^reed with for two or three months. 

John Bbakd Jacob Baylby, Jdn. 

Ephm Baylby Joshua Bayley 

Fryb Bayley Jacob Bayley 

John McLanb John G. Baylby 

Dudley Carlbton Thos. Johnson 

Joseph Chamberlin William Wallace 

Jacob Tressell John Mills. 

We can read much between the lines of this agreement. The 
desire to have the children taught the fundamental rules of business, 
the scarcity of money, but the plentitude of produce, and above all, 
their earnest desire to do the best they could for their children. 

The town was divided into four school districts in 1782, and in 
1789 into seven. In 1796 there was dissatisfaction with the 
master in the Ox-bow district, and Colonels Johnson and Wallace 
applied to President Wheelock at Hanover, to send them a young 
man who could teach a satisfactory private school. William B. 
Bannister was sent, and was so acceptable that he drew away 
nearly all the pupils from the regular district school, and the master 
resigned. On October 25, 1796, the district voted that Mr. 
Bannister's school should be considered the district school, and Rev. 
Mr. Lambert, Colonel Johnson, and Dr. Kinsman should be a 
committee to fix a rate and attend to the interests of the school. 
Mr. Bannister afterward became a prominent citizen of this town. 
The rate bill of that school is preserved, and the cost was assessed, 
"one-half on the Grand List, and one-half on the scholar.*' A 
similar mode of providing for the expenses was common in many 
districts in town within twenty years. 

In 1801 the General Assemblv established a Grammar school in 
Orange County, and a special town-meeting was held at which Asa 
Tennev, and William B. Bannister were chosen a committee to meet 
the county committee, and see upon what terms the school could 
be established at Newbury. Nothing came of this, as the school 
was located at Chelsea. 

In 1811, the law assessed a tax of one cent on the dollar in 
support of schools, and the town voted that the tax might be paid 
in good wheat at one dollar per bushel, good rye at seventy-five 
cents ; and good Indian com at fifty cents. 

In 1818, there were 603 children, between the ages of four and 
eighteen, in the sixteen districts, as follows: .Wells River, 36; 
Upper Meadow, 23; Ox-bow, 78; Village, 56; Martin, now 
Kendrick, 18; Rogers' Hill, 43; West Newbury, 43; Brock, 45; 
Powers district, 22; Grow district, 37; Doe district, 39; Lime 
Kiln, 20; Jefferson Hill, 28; Wallace Hill district. 28; Boltonville, 
29; South Newbury, 73. Before the change to the town system 
there were twenty-one districts. In some of these, no school had 
been maintained for years. In 1823, the number of pupils reported 
was 691, and the following year, 707. 


In 1826, the citizens seemed to have aivakened to some sense of 
the backward condition of the schools, and the town passed the 
following resolution, in which the terse and vigorous diction of Rev. 
Luther Jewett is plainly seen : 

"Resolved,— That a committee of seven be appointed. by the town, whose duty 
it shall be to examine the several school districts m town, twice in the season, once 
near the commencement of each term, and once at the close of the same, and make 
report at the next March meeting, of the best scholars in each district, and of those 
wno may make the greatest improvement ; likewise to make report of each master 
who should ezcell in the work of instruction and government of said school, and 
designate those, if any, whom they maj judge deficient in literary accquirements or 
injudicious or improper mode of governing their schools." 

Dr. Calvin Jewett, David Haseltine, A. B. W. Tenney, Ephraim 
B. Stevens, Alfred Nevins, James Bayley 2^ and Haynes Johnson 
2^ were the committee. This excellent resolution was better made 
than kept. 

The school district system began with the settlement of the 
town, and endured till it was swept away by the acts of the General 
Assembly which supplanted it by one which placed the schools under 
a more direct control, and more efficient supervision. Each district 
was a little independent commonwealth, with certain well defined 
boundaries, which built and owned its own schoolhouse, raised and 
collected its own taxes, and on the last Tuesday of March, in each 
year, the voters settled its momentous concerns with a formality 
which copied, on a small scale, the proceedings of the annual 
town-meeting. Each district had its board of officers, school 
district politics ran high, and the system was the occasion of more 
local quarrels than anything else in town. Too often the sole 
qualification of the school committee was his ability to hire a 
teacher on lower terms than anybody else. Schools have been 
taught in Newbury, and large schools too, for seventy-five cents 
a week, and even as low as fifty cents, with board. 

Often, and, in early days, usually, the teacher boarded around, 
going from house to house, here a day and there a week, her sojourn 
under each roof being regulated by the proportion of pupils 
furnished from the family, or by the share of the general tax which 
was paid by the head of the household. The former was called 
'^boarding by the scholar," and the latter **boarding by the Grand 
List." It was not altogether the worst of systems. The teacher 
and the pupil were brought close together; the former had the 
opportunity to estimate more accurately the influences which 
surrounded the latter, and many a famous teacher owed much of 
her after success to the occasion for insight and study of her pupils, 
which was aflForded by * 'boarding around." Nor was the value all 
to the teacher and the pupil. The advent of a gentle, refined, 
teacher into a lonely farmhouse, was an event. For such an one 
the best room was prepared, the house took on an unwonted 
cheerfulness, and her gentle influence was remembered there for 


years afterward. The teacher was thns brought into closer 
relations with the pupil and the parents than now. Somewhat of 
good passed forever away with the old system. 

The first schoolhouses were of logs. The log meeting-house of 
the first settlers, was, after its disuse for that purpose, and perhaps 
before, used for a schoolhouse. The last log schoolhouses, on 
Jefferson hill, and Leighton hill, were burned in 1847. The second 
generation oJF schoolhouses were nearly square; at one end was the 
door, and at the other, the teacher's desk. The rude benches and 
desks were at the right and left of the teacher, facing the stove, 
which occupied the middle ground between the teacher's desk and 
the door. Two such edifices, now falling into decay, still stand on 
the county road, one near Long pond, and the other in the **Doe 
neighborhood." The latter was mercilessly ridiculed by Rev. H. N. 
Burton in his report as superintendent of schools, nearly forty 
years ago. 

'*This school is certainly in pursuit of knowledge under difficulties. The terms 
are short; the numbers few; the pupils tardy and irregular; the wood is usually 
green and buried in the snow ; the schoolhouse old and rickety, stuck in a side-hill, 
between two roads, among the rocks, in the edge of the woods, over a brook. We 
add that the scholars and teachers must have been pretty good, or they would have 
made no progress at all." 

The kind of schoolhouse built fifty years ago, is represented by 
one still standing in the town house district. 

The district schoolhouse was the place where were held singing 
and spelling schools, prayer and class meetings, lawsuits, justice 
trials, lyceums and lectures. Around these old-time buildings 
cluster a thousand memories. 

We have better schoolhouses, and greater facilities for acquiring 
a common school education, but more commodious and more 
healthful school-rooms and all that can be taught therein, will not 
give the world a better class of men and women than were trained 
in these rude old schoolhouses in Newbury sixty years ago. It is 
easy to ridicule them, and the old systems of teaching, but there 
were other lessons taught than from books. In them were learned 
the lessons of self-denial, of fortitude, of the value of time, of 
honesty, of individual responsibility, and out of them came men 
and women who have been an honor to our town. 

The terms of school were usually two, winter and summer, of 
ten or twelve weeks each, and it was not until about twenty years 
ago that the back districts had a fall term. The opening of 
Newbury Seminary was of vast benefit to the schools of this town. 
It sent a class of trained teachers out among the district schools 
and furnished a ready means of education for the best scholars. 
The wages paid teachers were very low. A dollar a week and 
board, was a common price for the school mistress sixty years ago, 
and twenty years ago the salary (if such it could be called) had 


hardly doubled. Winter terms were taught by masters, at twelve 
or fifteen dollars a month, and board. The master usually held his 
position of command ''by the dynamic reasons of larger bones.'* 
Some schools bore a hard name, and disgraceful rows in them were 
all too common. Others were dominated by a few bad boys, who 
were upheld by their fathers, of whom teacher and committee stood 
in fear. These evils passed away with the district system. 

The cost of maintaining the schools in Newbury under the old 
system, cannot be ascertained, for the reason that the districts 
managed their own financial affairs and raised the taxes necessary 
for their maintenance, or part of them. It was easy for a few 
penurious men to combine, and force the district to limit the term 
of its school to the briefest period which the law would permit; and 
fix the compensation at the lowest possible price at which a teacher 
of the most meagre qualifications could be engaged. 

The decay and depopulation of more than one neighborhood in 
this town is the result of a niggardly policy toward its schools. It 
was a long step forward when the town assumed the care of ita 
school system. Under the old law, a district composed of intelligent 
people who knew what a school should be, and were determined to 
have a good school, always had one, while those localities where 
ignorance and penuriousness ruled, was always burdened with a 
school whose inefficiency was worse than no school at all. 

In 1830, a select school was opened in a building called the ''old 
Porter office," which had been the law office of Daniel Parrand and 
after him of Benjamin Porter, and which stood near, and a little 
.east of, Henry W. Bailey's house at the Ox-bow. In their day it 
was customary for country lawyers to have their offices in separate 
buildings, standing near, but not connected with, their residences. 
Such may still be seen at Bath Upper Village. This building is now 
the kitchen part of Silas Leigh ton's house. This edifice was 
secured by Hon. Joseph Berry and David Johnson, and fitted up for 
a school-room. These gentlemen became financially responsible for 
the success of the school. Their first teacher was Harriet Newcomb 
from Keene, and her letter of acceptance of their offer to engage her 
to teach, gives some idea of what was expected of a lady teacher 
seventy years ago. 

Kebnb, April 27, 1830. 

Joseph Berrj Esq., 

Dear Sir: 

On receiving jour favor of the 24th I have decided upon leaving Keene sooner 
than I had at first intended and will take the stage on Friday next. Answering yonr 
inquiry as to the text-books which I prefer to use I will mention: "The National 
Reader," Murray's or Putnam's Grammar, preferring Greenleafs, Woodbridge's 
Ancient and Modem Geography, Smith's Arithmetic, Blake's Conversations on 
Chemistry and PhUosophy. I am sorry to say that I do not understand Algebra 
well enough to teach it, but can teach German and French. • • • 

Harriet Nbwcomb. 


It would seem that it was not considered necessary for a young 
lady to know algebra, as Miss Newcomb came and taught a term 
of thirteen weeks, from May 3, to July 31 , having seventeen pupils 
who paid twenty-five cents per week, and twelve and one-half cents 
for use of books. In the fall she taught a second term of twelve 
weeks, having twenty-eight pupils. She seems to have been 
succeeded by Miss Charlotte Foxcroft, who taught two terms in 
1831, for three dollars per week and board, receiving extra for 
languages and ornamentals. Her receipts for the two terms were 
ninety-five dollars, quite a large sum in those days for a woman to 
earn. She must have been a very popular teacher, as several 
children were named for her. The names of fifty-nine pupils are 
preserved, of whom only one is now living in this town. Caroline 
B. Gibson of Leominster, Mass., was preceptress from September, 
1833 to June, 1834. 

This school was incorporated in 1830, and kept in operation till 
the opening of Newbury Seminary, when it was discontinued. In 
1843, owing to some dissatisfaction which arose about that time 
with the management of the Seminary, it was revived under the care 
of Miss Abigail Williams of Kennebunk, Me. In the fall of 1843, an 
extension of corporate privileges was granted, and the school was 
remodelled, with a department for young men, and called **Ncwbury 
High School.'' The session was held in the Congregational vestry, 
then a newbtulding containing two school-rooms, one of which was 
in the chamber. 

David Johnson was president of the board of trustees and 

William Atkinson was treasurer. The catalogue for 1844 gives 

ninety-five names, with an aggregate attendance of 130. Jonathan 

Tcnncy was the principal, Nancy C. Johnson, preceptress. Miss 

Ellen Gregory, teacher of music, painting and drawing, and Edward 

P. Kimball was assistant. It would seem the causes of dissatis- 

&ction with the Seminary were removed, as the school was 

discontinticd not long after 1844. 


Newbury Seminary, 

Its Inception.— Located at Newbttkt.— Erection of Building.— Arrangement op 
Interior.— Boarding-house.— Trustees.— Opening.— Rev. Charles Adams. — 
Bishop Baker.— Financial Bmbarassmbnt.- Ministers and their Families. 
-Teachers.— Clark Hinman.— The Race Question.- Slater y.— P. S. Hoyt. 
—Dr. King.— Female Collegiate Institute.— High Water Mark.— Dr. 
King's Administration.— Henry S. Noyes.— C. W. Cushing.— Fennbr B. King. 
—Geo. C. Smith.— Silas B. Qudcby.— S. F. Chester.- Newbury Biblical 
Institute.— Mr. Twombly*s Narrative.- Dr. Willett.— Private Societies.- 
Summing up.— Stewards.- Attendance.— Instructors. 

NEWBURY village was, for thirtjr-four years, the home of a 
school somewhat remarkable in its way, and now that a 
period almost equal to that of its existence here has passed 
since its removal, and those trained within its walls have acted such 
part, little or great, as they have in the world, it is possible to 
consider the institution itself, and its place in the educational 
history of New England, much more accurately than ever before. 

The academies in this part of the country which preceded it, 
were children of the communities in which they were placed. They 
came slowly into existence to meet, in some measure, the needs of 
the young people, who were anxious to obtain somewhat more of 
learning than the meagre teaching of the district schools. Newbury 
Seminary was the creation of a religious body which selected the 
village as a convenient place for its denominational school, and by 
the same organization it was removed. 

Along some lines of educational work it was the pioneer, and 
the ideas which had their unfolding here, were developed by other 
and richer institutions. Some of its experiments in education have 
been rejected by the experience of time, but it accomplished a work 
which seems greater as the years pass. It had its origin as one of 
the earliest institutions of learning in a denomination of Christian 


people, then small in numbers and weak financially, but which is 
now the largest in the land, and numbers its schools by hundreds. 
It had no endowment ; it was only by the closest economy that it 
was carried on, but "there were those who loved it," and gave freely 
of whatever means or talents they had. Its history deserves 
something more than a chapter in the annals of the town in which 
it was placed. 

At the session of the New Hampshire conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal church, held at Lyndon, in this state, in 
1832, a committee, of which Rev. Solomon Sias was chairman, 
was appointed to consider the subject of founding and maintaining 
a literary institution within its borders, which then included 
the territory now embraced by the Vermont conference. This 
committee, after due consideration, recommended that a committee 
of seven be appointed to consider propositions from such towns as 
should offer inducements, with discretionary power to locate such 
a school, make contracts, purchase lands, and enter into any 
necessary arrangements to carry the contemplated object into effect. 
At the session of conference held at Northfield, N. H., in 1833, this 
committee reported that among the towns which had made 
proposals for the location of such a school, Newbury had been 
selected because of its central location, and local advantages. 

The sum of $6,000 had been pledged on condition that the 
school should be located here, a larger sum than had been offered 
by any other place. This sum was also pledged on condition that 
the conference should raise an equal amount, which, by much 
self-denial on the part of many of its members, was done. 

The old Lovewell farm and tavern-stand, then owned by 
William Bailey, were bought, the purchase including nearly all the 
present common, most of the land west of the present Sawyer 
House to the ridge of Mt. Pulaski, south to the present farm of 
D. Y. Ford, including a part of Musquash Meadow, and some 
necessary pasture. Proposals for the erection of the present 
Seminary building were advertised in the Democratic Republican at 
Haverhill, in March, 1833, by Benjamin R. Hoyt, John W. Hardy, 
and Timothy Morse, according to a plan which could be seen at 
Morse & Bumham's store. They called for a brick building, three 
stories in height, forty feet by seventy on the ground. In reality it 
falls a few inches short of those dimensions in both length and 
breadth. The building was begun in the spring of 1833, and the 
exterior was completed, as it now stands, before cold weather. 
The brick were made at the yard of Benjamin Atwood, near the 
grist-mill at South Newbury, and delivered on the spot, it is said, 
ifor three dollars per thousand. So little was the science ot 
ventilation then understood, that a height of ten feet, three inches, 
between floor and ceiling, for the lower floor, nine feet, nine inches, 
for the second, and eight feet, five inches for the third, was deemed 



amply sufficient space for a school of more than two hundred 

At that time Benjamin Kelley lived on what is now the 
common, nearly opposite the present residence of James B. Hale. 
The town bought his place, removed the buildings, and added the 
land to the portion of the seminary farm which had been set apart 
for a common. At the same time a deep "gulley" across the 
common, which had been caused by a terrible storm in 1795, was 
filled, at an expense of about $700, and the bounds of the common 
were made about as they now are. 

The Seminary building, when completed, contained two large 
rooms on the ground floor, for the male. and female departments, 
and two or three smaller rooms. The second floor had a large 
lecture hall, a library room, and a number of small rooms for 
various purposes. The third floor was divided into a number of 
study rooms. The entire cost of the building and its simple 
furniture, was about $4,100. The boarding-house, formerly the old 
Lovewell tavern, now the **Sawyer House," contained about forty 
rooms for students, and cost, including the land, and necessary 
alterations upon the building, not far from $6,500.* The long wing 
of that edifice, which now extends in the direction of Mt. Pulaski, 
was then two stories in height, and stood at right angles to the 
main, or front part, of the house, extending toward the common. 

Newbury Seminary was chartered by the General Assembly of 
Vermont in 1833, its control being vested in a board of thirteen 
trustees. This body, says Rev. A. L. Cooper, was a close 
corporation, electing its own officers and filling its own vacancies^ 
the conference havingno immediate control beyond recommending a 
course to be pursued. Of this body, Timothy Morse was resident 
agent, and oversaw the construction of the building. 

In the spring and summer of 1834, the machinery of the new- 
institution was put together, and on Monday, September 15, the 
school opened with prayer in the chapel, and an introductory 
address by Mr. Baker.t The initial catalogue of the seminary was 
of the first term only, and contains the names of 122 pupils, the 
number of young men being eighty-one. 

The principal, or as he was then styled, the preceptor, was Rev. 
Charles Adams, bom at Stratham, N. H., in 1808, and a graduate 
in 1833, of Bowdoin College. He was, says Mrs. Twombly, of 
medium height, robust and impulsive. In school he was considered 
arbitrary, but just toward all, a man feared and respected, rather 
than loved. He was highly esteemed in town, both as a preacher 

^Democratic Republican, Aagnst 6, 1834. 
fDemocratic Republican, September 19« 1834. 




and as a. citizen. In 1839 he left Newbury, and was connected 
with Wilbraham Academy fonr years ; was two years professor in 
Concord Biblical Institute, and ten years president of Illinois 
Female College, but closed his active career as a clerk in the dead 
letter office at Washington. He died at above eighty, about ten 
years ago. Mr. Adams built and occupied the house now the 
residence of Deacon George Swasey. 

In the catalogues of 1834 and 1835, Rev. John G. Bennett's 
name appears as a teacher in English. Mr. Adams' assistant was 
Mr. Osman C. Baker, a native of Marlboro, N. H., and a student 
for three years at«W£sleyan University. He was, says Mrs. 
Twombly, tall and large in stature, very kind, but firm in the 
school-room. In society he was retiring, but able to give a good 
account of himself when called upon. In 1844, he was elected a 
professor in the Theological Institute at Concord, N. H., and in 
1852, was chosen a bishop in the Methodist church, in which office 
he died, December 20, 1871. He was the author of several works 
upon the polity and discipline of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

The first preceptress of the Seminary was Miss Elsey French, 
who afterward married Joel Cooper, of Rochester, Vt. The school 
began with only a limited course of study, which was enlarged from 
time to time, as the interests of the pupils demanded, and money to 
pay more teachers could be had. Music was not taught until the 
fall of 1837. In those primitive days, board at the boarding-house 
including washing, fuel and lights, was only $1.25 per week, and 
tuition was very low. The school year at first was forty-eight 
weeks, in two terms, but after a year or two the year was divided 
into four terms of eleven weeks each. 

**The financial condition of the school," says Rev. J. A. 
Sherburne, **through nearly its whole history, was an occasion of 
much anxiety and perplexity to its friends, who were often before 
the public, asking for aid. One means of raising funds was by the 
sale of scholarships. One hundred dollars constituted a scholarship 
and entitled its holder to the privilege of sending a student free of 
tuition. As the money for these scholarships was used up in the 
current expenses instead of being invested, they were a constant 
financial embarrassment to the school."' 

The seminary farm had been purchased with the idea of 
affording needy students a chance to pay part of their expenses in 
labor upon it, but not meeting expectations, it was afterward sold. 
The establishment of the seminary was, in many ways, a great 
advantage to Newbury, and made the village widely known, while 
the coming of families drawn hither by its advantages, caused a 
demand for more houses, of which about forty were erected during 
the ten years which followed the opening of the school, while some 
of the older dwellings were enlarged to meet the demand for 
tenements and rooms. 


Among those who, from time to time in the earlier years, were 
drawn hither by Newbury Seminary, were a number ol Methodist 
ministers, who came here to educate their children, or who, being 
retired from active service, found congenial society with the 
brethren of their persuasion. Among these may be mentioned Rev. 
N. 0. Way, and Rev. B. R. Hoyt, who occupied, successively, the 
house where the Farnham family have long lived. The latter 
clergyman had several sons, who became somewhat distinguished. 
Others were Revs. Solomon Sias, Orange Scott, Calvin Granger, G. 
F. Wells, men of honorable distinction in their day, who aided 
greatly in giving a high tone to the society of the village, and in 
whose families were young people possessing rare qualities of mind 
and heart. 

The first steward was Mr. Lewis B. Tebbetts, who had been a 
merchant in Dover, N. H., and who was induced to come here and 
open a store for the sale of school books, stationery, and other 
essentials for the student. He afterwards acted as secretary for the 
trustees. Mr. Tebbetts built and occupied the house in which Mrs. 
Nelson Bailey now lives. 

The coming of so many bright, earnest young men and women 
to the staid village, brought new life; the young people of the place 
came into contact with young men and maidens who were, 
commonly, the best and most advanced scholars in the place where 
their homes were ; and opportunity of acquiring a more thorough 
education was brought to the doors of the young people of this 

The catalogue of the summer and fall terms of 1836, gives 249 
students, besides thirty-one in a primary department — the young 
men still outnumbering the young women about two to one. In 
the spring term of that year Miss Jane Z. Morrison, who had been 
connected with the school at Newmarket, N. H., became preceptress. 
She was the daughter of Dr. Moses Morrison, who once lived on 
the **old Mclndoe place," at West Newbury; **a man,*' says Mrs. 
Webster, **of much learning but little thrift," who afterward 
removed to Bath. She married Rev. Alexander Nelson, a native of 
Ryegate, who taught here at one time, and who afterward became 
president of a western college. Miss Betsey Dow became 
preceptress in 1837, and was succeeded two years later by Miss 
Calista H. Johnson. Miss Dow married Rev. J. H. Twombly and 
is still living. 

Mr. Baker's assistant was Mr. Clark T. Hinman, who in 1844?, 
succeeded Mr. Baker in his turn. Mr. Hinman was bom in 
Kortwright, Delaware County N. Y., August 3, 1819, and 
graduated at Wesley an in 1839. He resigned in 1846, to become 
principal of Wesleyan Seminary at Albion, Mich., and on June 23, 
1853, was elected the first president of Northwestern University, at 
Evanston, 111. He died while on a journey east, at Troy, N. Y., 


October 21, 1854, from typhoid fever, the result of overwork. He 
had made a profound impression upon a considerable portion of the 
public, and his loss to the university was almost irreparable. Mr. 
Hinman received the degree of D. D., from Ohio Wesleyan 
University. He is buried at the Ox-bow, with his wife, who was a 
daughter of Hon. Timothy Morse of this town. He occupied the 
house, built by Mr. Morse, in which S. L. Swasey now lives. A 
very poor portrait of Dr. Hinman appeared in the Northwestern 
Christian Advocate for August 31, 1898. 

Daring the administration of Messrs. Baker and Hinman, J. 
Harrison Goodale taught Latin in 184*1, and in 1842, Rev. Henry 
W. Adams taught Hebrew, Latin and mathematics; Miss Rachel 
Smith was preceptress from 1841, (succeeding Miss R. H. Corliss, 
who had held the position for part of the year 1840,) until her 
sudden death, March 27, 1844. Miss Smith was the only teacher 
ever connected with the Seminary, who died while in service. The 
catalogue for 1845 gives 329 different students for the year and six 

During the administration of Mr. Hinman, probably in 1842, a 
colored girl presented herself for admission. At that time it was 
held by a large portion of the public, to be a sin and a crime to 
teach a colored person to read and write, a view endorsed generally 
by the clergy and the religious press, who ranged themselves on the 
popular side. Her coming made some sensation and there were 
those who advised her exclusion from the school, and the steward 
was inclined to refuse her a place at the boarding-house. But the 
preceptress insisted that she should come, and gave her a seat next 
her own at the table, to the great disgust of some, who predicted 
the ruin of the school. Miss AUyn, now Dr. Rachel Allyn, who 
famishes this reminiscence, shared her room with the colored young 
lady, and no calamity came upon the institution for this action. 
We can hardly comprehend in these days a state of affairs which 
make this act one of moral heroism. But only a few years before, 
Noyes*s Academy, in Canaan, N. H., which had opened it sdoors to 
a few colored pupils, was, for that cause, in a legal town-meeting, 
condemned as a nuisance, and on the 20th of August, 1835, 500 
men, embracing some of the most substantial and respected citizens 
of Canaan and other towns, aided by a string of ninety-five yoke of 
oxen, hauled the offending building out of town, where it was soon 
set on fire and burned. 

The relations between the trustees and the faculty, and between 
the latter and the pupils were generally harmonious, but Prof. G. N. 
Abbott recalls a circumstance which shows that the course of 
things did not always run smoothly. ''It was customary at the end 
of each fall term to have an exhibition, which of course attracted a 
great deal of the students' interest and attention, with a profit of 
doubtful value. Somewhere about 1842, the corporation voted to 


have no exhibition at the end of the fall term. Some of the students 
rebelliously persisted in getting up an exhibition, and were expelled." 

Mr. Hinman's chief assistant was Rev. Harvey C. Wood, a 
graduate of Dartmouth College in 1844, who, on the resignation of 
the former, became his successor, being the third assistant who 
attained to that office. Mr. Wood is yet living, a resident of 
Aurora, Neb., hale and hearty at eighty-three. In the fall of 1846, 
Rev. Francis S. Hoyt, who had fitted here for college, and graduated 
at Wesleyan University, became principal, but resigned after two 
terms," to take charge of Wesleyan Seminary at Springfield, Vt., 
which opened its doors March 2, 1847. In the fall of the latter 
year Mr. Wood, who had been his predecessor at Newbury, 
succeeded him at Springfield. Mr. Hoyt afterward filled a 
professor's chair in Ohio Wesleyan University, and, later, became 
editor of the Northwestern Christian Advocate. He is still living 
at Berea, Ohio. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph E. King, who 
had been his assistant and who was principal from 1848, to 1853. 
Under his administration the school attained its highest prosperity, 
and widest influence. 

In the fall of 1847, smallpox broke out in the school and village, 
which caused great excitement. Many of the students went home, 
and a few died. 

The catalogue for 1847-8, gives 241 difiierent students, with an 
aggregate attendance of 338. For the first time the young women 
outnumbered the young men. 

Dr. King writes, that his salary for the first year, as assistant, 
was $350, board at that time being $1.50 per week. As principal 
he received $400, at first, which was increased $50 annually. Mr. 
King induced the versatile and accomplished James E. Latimer, to 
come from Wesleyan University, and act as his assistant, at a 
salary of $350. Mr. Latimer was afterward principal of New 
Hampshire Conference Seminary, and later, became professor of 
Historic Theology in Boston University. Miss Dyer was 
preceptress in 1847-8. She afterward became Mrs. Gushing. The 
next year the number of students had risen to 346, with 
aggregate attendance of 604. In the latter year, Mr. Jabez 
Brooks, who was soon called to a professor's chair in a western 
college, taught Greek and mathematics. In that year the interior 
of the seminary building was remodeled into the form which it 
retained until again made over for the graded school, in 1887. 
This made a hall and one recitation-room on the ground floor, four 
recitation-rooms and a reading-room on the second floor, and a 
small hall was made across the north end of the third story. 

In 1849, the Female Collegiate Institute was chartered, which 
went into operation in 1850. Mr. F. D. Hemenway came into the 
faculty in the latter year, to become, after four years, a professor at 
Evanston. In 1850, Miss Caroline J. Lane became preceptress, 


-who was succeeded in 1852 by Miss Jane P. Chase. In 1850 also 
Mr. George N. Abbott, lately deceased at South Newbury, who 
iiad been assistant while a student in 1844, and again in 1847, 
while in college, came into the faculty, as teacher of science and 
mathematics. In 1852, Miss Sarah E. King succeeded Miss Chase 
as preceptress. She afterward, as Mrs. Ames, became a noted 
teacher in New England and New York. 

In the last two years of Prof. King's administration, the 
institution reached high-water mark, the whole number of different 
students being 534, the aggregate attendance 878, and in the 
bJl term of 1851 there were 320 pupils. There were nine teachers, 
three of whom were in the music and ornamental departments. 
Professors King, Noyes, Cushing and Abbott with Miss Chase and 
Miss Calef were the working faculty. Dr. King gives us an insight 
into the financial working of the institution at that time. He says : 
"The revenues for maintaining so large, and really so able and 
accomplished a faculty, were all derived from tuition fees ranging 
from $3.25 to $4.50 per term. The boarding-house paid its own 
way, keeping teachers and students comfortably, if not handsomely 
st $1.50 per week. Out of the surplus from these modest revenues 
the buildings were kept in the best of repair, and several valuable 
improvements were made; we were out of debt, and there was 
money in the treasury at my resignation in November, 1853. 
There was a nominal treasurer, and an actual auditor, the 
venerable 'father* Solomon Sias, who received two dollars annually 
for going through the accounts and the vouchers. The treasurer 
had no function but to read the report put into his hands. The 
work was all done by the principal." 

In November, 1853, Mr. King announced to the resident 
trustees, that he had received an offer to become the principal of 
a new institution, about to be opened, under favorable auspices, 
in the state of New York. He would gladly have remained in 
Newbury, but after waiting four days and receiving no word from 
that body he telegraphed his acceptance. When it was known that 
he was about to leave, the trustees and citizens, with a zeal and 
unanimity which came too late, offered him almost any terms if he 
would stay. Had their offer been earlier, he would have remained 
and built up in Newbury, such an institution as that at Port 
Edward, of which he has long been the head. Dr. King married a 
daughter of Amherst Bajley, and an account of his children will be 
found among the annals of that family. 

The seventh principal was Henry S. Noyes, bom December 24, 
1822, at Landaff, N. H., and a graduate of Wesleyan in 1848. Mr. 
Noyes sustained the character which the school had attained and 
was supported by an able faculty, Charles W. Cushing, Jonathan 
Johnson, P. D. Hemenway, and Jasper Tenney, being his assistants, 
with Mrs. Noyes as preceptress, and five other teachers— eleven in 


all. Mr. Noyes was principal but one year, when he resigned to 
become professor of mathematics in Northwestern University, of 
which he was acting president, from 1860 to 1867. He died there 
May 24, 1872. 

From 1855 to 1858, Rev. Charles W. Gushing, who had been 
connected with the school as assistant for eight years, was 
principal. In 1858 there were thirteen teachers, Mr. Henry Lummis 
being his lieutenant two years, while Miss Azubah C. Edson was 
preceptress during Mr. Cushing's administration. Mr. Gushing 
was the only principal who never attended college, and owes his 
position and fame entirely to his own exertions. He was afterward 
principal of Lasell Female Seminary. 

There are many who will recall Mr. Gharles Gobeille, the French 
teacher for several years. He was deformed, but very polite and 
agreeable. In 1858, Rev. Fenner E. King, who had been assistant 
for three years, became principal, and held the office four years, 
after which he entered the ministry, and died March 30, 1869, at 
Garydon, Iowa. He was a relative of Rev. J. E. King, and married 
a Miss Nelson, of Ryegate. Gambridge, N. Y., was his birthplace 
in 1826, and he graduated at Wesleyan in 1854. During his 
administration the patronage fell off somewhat ; other academies 
drew students away ; money for needed repairs, and the purchase of 
more modem apparatus was not forthcoming; and the breaking 
out of the war called away manj' young men, ten enlisting at one 
time. The number of different pupils fell to 267. A military 
department was added during the first years of the war. 

When Mr. King resigned in 1862, the traditional policy of the 
school was followed by placing his assistant, Rev. George G. Smith, 
at its head. Rev. J. G. W. Goxe, afterward principal at Montpelier, 
was his associate for some time. Under Mr. Smith's administration 
the school regained somewhat of its former patronage, and. there 
were 415 different pupils in attendance in 1863. He was bom at 
St. Johnsbury, in 1830, graduated at Wesleyan in 1859, and, after 
leaving Newbury, at the end of the winter term, in 1866, was at 
the head of Drew Female Seminary at Garmel, N. Y. He died in 
1871. His wife was Miss Newhall of this town. 

Miss Emeline B. Ghapin was preceptress from 1858 to 1863, 
when Miss Betsey M. Glapp held that position two years. Rev. 
Silas £. Quimby succeeded Mr. Smith, both as assistant, and as 
principal, giving place at the end of the fall term of 1867, to Simeon 
F. Ghester, A. M. Rev. Gharles W. Wilder was associated with Mr. 
Quimby, and Mr. Ghester, and Miss Kate S. Jewell was preceptress. 
At the end of the spring term of 1868, the seminary was closed, 
and Mr. Ghester became the first principal at Montpelier. He has 
been, for many years, the honored master of the high school at 
Springfield, Mass. 

Mr. Augustus Pond was, in 1837, the first music teacher; in 



1838, Miss Martha Morse, who became Mrs. Hinman, taught until 
1846. Mr. Thomas A. Cutter, in that year, was followed in the 
next by C. S. Harrington; Miss Lucia M. Stevens, now Mrs. 
Peaslce, and her sister, who became Mrs. Ladd, taught the science 
from 1847 to 1855. Two of the Cheney brothers, and Mr. E. K. 
Prouty taught vocal music at various times. In 1855 L. B. 
Harrington taught music ; Mr. Joshua Gill in 1857, and in 1859, 
David A. French, who was connected with the school excepting two 
years, during which Mr. Solon G.Smith conducted that department, 
until the school closed. Several others assisted from time to time. 

Connected with the seminary were two other institutions which 
had a separate legal existence, but which were, actually, under one 
management, and shared a common purse. One of these was called 
"Newbury Biblical Institute," and was designed to train young men 
for the ministry. Mrs. Twombly tells us that the beginning of this 
department was on this wise : At the opening of the winter term 
of 1837, (she, then Miss Betsey Dow, being preceptress), five or 
six young men solicited the principal to form a class in Mental 
Philosophy. This class was formed, but for want of time on the 
part of Messrs. Baker and Hinman, was given to her. 

"At the annual examination in 1838, the class and its teacher 
received special commendation from the board of visitors for the 
manner and thoroughness of the work accomplished.'' Miss Dow 
continued to hold the class while she remained in the school, when it 
was taken by Mr. Baker, who added studies of a theological 
character. During some years before this the desirability of a 
theological school in which to train young men for the Methodist 
ministry had been agitated, and the proposal had met with some 
rivalry and jealousy among the conferences, and the institutions 
which desired to secure such a theological department as an 
addition to their own courses of study. 

On the 11th of August, 1841, the seminary trustees announced 
in Zion's Herald, that, following the recommendation of the annual 
conference held in Dover the preceding June, a department of sacred 
science would be opened immediately, in connection with Newbury 
Seminary, '*to meet the wants and conditions of those who were 
called of God to the work of the ministry, until more complete 
provision could be made." Rev. W. M. Willett, a learned man, and 
fine Hebrew scholar, became president of this department, and with 
him was associated Rev. John Dempster, D. D. 

Dr. WiUett was born in New York city in 1803, and lived to be 
past ninety, dying a few years ago, having filled a chair in Drew 
Theological Seminary for some years. He came of a noted Dutch 
family and was son of Col. M annus Willett, a noted officer in the 
revolutionary war, who was one of the grantees of Newbury under 
the New York charter. He lived in the brick house built by Timothy 
Morse, where the Leslie family have long resided and was quite a 


wealthy man. He edited and published the ''Newbury Biblical 

At the end of the spring term of 1846, Newbury Biblical 
Institute closed its work here, and was merged into the General 
Biblical Institute at Concord, which, about twenty years later, 
closed its work there and the theological department of Boston 
University was opened in its stead. Thus the oldest and most 
important Theological Seminary of the Methodist Episcopal chtu-ch 
in the United States, had its humble origin in a class in Mental 
Philosophy taught in 1837 by Miss Betsey Dow, in Newbury 
Seminary. "Honor to whom honor is due." 

The establishment of a theological department at Newbury 
Seminary was an experiment little favored by the great majority of 
the Methodist clergy of that day. Before this time the ministers 
of that order were, generally, men who had obtained only a limited 
education. Many of them had never attended even a district 
school for a whole year altogether, but had acquired their training 
in the arduous work of the itinerarcy, and the continued study of 
the Bible and Wesley's sermons. They regarded with distrust, 
and, perhaps, with a little jealousy, any attempt at systematic 
training of the clergy. But there were those who took a more 
comprehensive view, and saw that if the Methodist church would 
attain the eminence and permanency which they desired, it must 
have an educated ministry. But the failure to secure an endowment, 
and to erect a suitable building for the accommodation of its 
students, caused the discontinuance of the Biblical Institute. 

The **Female Collegiate Institute," was chartered in 1849, and 
became a department of Newbury Seminary, having however, a 
separate board of trustees, and special courses of study for the 
higher education of young women. It went into operation in the 
fall of 1850. No endowment was ever provided, and tuition fees of 
both institutions were kept in a common purse, all bills being paid 
by the treasurer of the seminary, who was, during most of the 
time, the principal. During the eighteen years of its existence, 118 
young ladies were graduated, and received diplomas. This 
institution was transferred with the seminary to Montpelier, and 
has still a legal existence. 

There were several private societies connected with the 
seminary, which deserve passing mention. Mrs. Twombly says 
that she organized, in the fall of 1837, **a literary society, composed 
of young ladies only, for the benefit of the more advanced, many of 
whom had taught in the district schools, and which was the first 
society of the kind formed in any academy in the country. 
This fact was elicited by those who opposed these separate 
organizations. They wrote to the different schools, asking if such 
societies existed and hoped to silence the young ladies by proving to 
them that they were going beyond their sphere, being bold and 


presumptuous in assuming what belonged to gentlemen only." 
The "Aesthetic Society" was formed in 1852, and at first included 
only such young ladies as were pursuing their studies at the 
institute. The Band Society of young men was organized in 1856, 
and the Adelphi Society in 1857. The Ladies Literary Society came 
into existence in 1861. The two former of these shared a hall upon 
the third floor, and the two latter held their meetings in a room 
finished ofi* for them in the attic. These societies still exist at 
Montpelier. Other organizations were formed from time to time, 
which existed for months or years. Rev. J. A. Sherburne recalls 
that in his time, the early '4*0*s, a paper was edited by the students 
and printed by Mr. Rand, for some time, but its very name is now 
forgotten. A public debating society called the Pulaski Lyceum, 
met at stated times, and furnished opportunity for the cultivation 
of public speaking. Exhibitions were held once or more during each 
year, and lectures were provided by the faculty or by the literary 

The more advanced students scattered through Newbury and 
the adjacent towns, as teachers in the district schools, and those 
who had the ministry in view, exercised their talents in the 
schoolhouses among the hills, and were prominent in the prayer 
and class meetings which were regularly held in the seminary 
building. Much less, in those days, was required than now, by 
way of training for the Methodist ministry, and many young men 
entered active service with no further preparation than a few terms 
at this institution. The great majority of the non-resident students 
attended the Methodist church and assisted in its services. The 
religious life of the school was always earnest and carefully fostered. 
Scarcely a term passed without a measure of religious interest, and 
revivals, which embraced most of the pupils, are remembered. 

We may not close this retrospect of the institution, without 
making mention of a class of men and their wives, who in a humble 
sphere aided essentially in the general prosperity. These were the 
stewards, who, usually, but not always, kept the boarding-house, 
and received a meagre share of the praise when all went well, and 
were sure to have a full measure of blame when things went ill. 
Much depended upon the tact, good humor, and adaptablity of 
those who had the oversight of the boarding-house, and a morose, 
crabbed steward was certain to be the object of all the pranks 
which a band of mischievous students could invent. The stav of 
such an one was short. Mr. Lewis A. Tebbetts, Royal B. Waldo, 
E. B. Stevens, were among the earlier of the stewards. Mr. and 
Mrs. O. B. Rogers, still living at West Newbury, kept the 
boarding-house back in the early 50*s.* Wealth was not 
accumulated by any of the stewards while engaged in the ofiice. 

*Mr. Rogers has died since this was written. 


"Old Newbury Seminary "came to an end many years ago The 
methods of instruction have so changed since its day, and the 
advances in natural science have been such, that its course of study, 
and its apparatus of illustration would now be condemned in any 
backwoods graded school. But in its time it was not behind the 
age in which it flourished. Its teachers had the enthusiasm of 
youth, and, with few exceptions, the art of imparting their own 
ardor to their pupils. It was a working school, and drew its 
students, almost entirely, from families of farmers and mechanics, 
young men and women trained to labor, who knew the narrow 
limits of their opportunities, and made the best of them. Newbury 
was an ideal place for such a school. There was little to distract 
the attention of the student. Baseball, football, lawn-tennis and 
the like amusements were unknown. There was no need of any 
gymnasium, or class in physical culture. The young people of that 
day were brought up to work, and knew very well how to obtain 
exercise and the means of support at the same time. 

A conservative estimate, derived from a careful study of the 
catalogues, gives the number of students who attended the 
institution from 1834, to 1868, at about 7000. Of these, some 
remained but one term, or even less ; others spent years within its 
walls, and obtained from the institution all it had to give. 
Comparatively few entered college. The vast majority of the 
pupils, here received all the education which they ever had, beyond 
the district school. To give even the names of all, in the various 
ranks of life, who received, in that plain brick building, some of 
the training which enabled them to attain honorable mention 
above their fellows, would occupy many closely printed pages of this 
volume. No human arithmetic can compute the value rendered to 
the world by "Old Newbury Seminary." 

While its poverty forbade its attaining a rank as one of the 
great schools of the country, it was highly successful as a factor of 
education in this part of New England. Much of its energies were 
engrossed in the struggle for existence. During its earlier years a 
heavy debt rested upon the institution, and it was only by great 
self-denial on the part of some of its friends that it was kept from 
actual bankruptcy. The salaries which it could pay were so 
meagre that it could not retain its teachers after they had won, 
within its walls, reputations which commanded elsewhere a fair 
compensation. It trained its own teachers for other institutions. 
Great schools are built up by great instructors, and no one of the 
principals of Newbury Seminary remained long enough to impress 
the stamp of his own individuality upon it during many years. 
For its teachers, it was but a stepping stone to better positions. 
Of the twelve principals, and as many others who were their chief 
assistants, four became college presidents, and all but three were, 
after leaving Newbury, at the head of some college or academy. 


Miss Elsey French, and her successors, with their associates, 
were no less honored in their own after life, although not in posi- 
tions so conspicuous. 

The great work which Newbury Seminary accomplished was, to 
vary slightly the language of one of the greatest of English critics 
when speaking of our smaller American colleges: **It got hold of a 
multitude of young men and women who might never have resorted 
to a distant place of education. It set learning before them in a 
visible form, plain indeed and humble, but which accomplished for 
those who came to it, a work which a richer and more stately 
institution might have failed to do.*' 

The name of Miss Calista H. Johnson, who was preceptress in 
1837, was accidentally omitted in this chapter. Few of the under 
teachers remained long, and it was not thought worth while to give 
their names. 

NoTB. The editor wishes to acknowledge not only the aid received from 
residents of the town in the preparation of this chapter, but especially the kind 
assistance of Rev. J. A. Sherburne, Rev. A. L. Cooper, Rev. Dr. J. E. King, Rev. C. W. 
Cashing, and Mrs. B. Dow Twombly and that of Rev. J. W. Merrill, D. D., who has 
deceased since it was written in 1898. 


Newbury Seminary — Continued. 

A Rbminiscencb by Prof. G. N. Abbott.— Why thb School was Rbmoyed.— Rby. 
A. G. Button.— Salb of Property.— Supreme Court Decision.— Later 
Schools.— Rev. S. L. Eastman.— Town Central School.— Obseryations. 

THE memory of the writer of this reminiscence reverts to a time 
when the brick walls of the seminary building were aboat 
breast high (to a man) and when a multitude of carts and 
men were engaged in filling up **the guUv" which an immense show^er 
had washed out on a memorable occasion in the past, just where 
the seminary common was destined to be. But the doors of the 
seminary did not open to him till more than seven years later, 
when the institution was fully under way, with a full board of 
instructors and a large patronage. 

The spring term of 1841, brought to him the unspeakable 
privilege, as then regarded, of reciting English grammar and 
algebra to Rev. Mr. Hinman, and natural philosophy and chemistry 
to Principal Baker. The classes in these subjects were large, made 
so by volunteers ; for at that time there was no set course of study, 
each student being allowed to choose his own studies so long as 
there was any chance to presume his fitness to enter upon them. 
Chemistry was taught by recitations and experiments, and its 
study was evidently pursued by students of both sexes, for pleasure 
as well as for profit. Years later it seemed strange to the writer to 
see a majority of his college classmates showing by their conduct a 
willingness that the chemistry hour might be relegated to the 

Note. It was the expressed preference of Professor Abbott, that this 
reminiscence should be giYcn only as, "By a former pnpil," or some such title. But, 
since his decease, it has seemed to the editor, that we haYC so Yery little of the work 
of this learned and excellent man, that the public would desire that his authorship 
of this paper should be declared. 


period of diurnal slumber. This apathy of the college class was 
not properly attributable to any fault in the instruction, which was 
indeed excellent, but on the other hand, Mr. Baker, of the seminary, 
had an uncommon genius for making a recitation-room agreeable; 
and he could make it doubly interesting when any branch of 
natural science was the topic, for to his mind nature was never 

It is to be remembered that the time now referred to was before 
the invention of the telegraph had thrilled the world with a sense of 
the practical possibilities of nature's forces — ^before the Darwinian 
hypothesis had roused an absorbing interest in the question of 
man's kinship to nature; and that hence this unpretentious 
teacher's enthusiasm in natural science might have been in a sense 
anticipatory of its future achievements. Already, however, 
geology, with its eons of pre-Adamic life, had made its revelations, 
which were taught in this seminary before being put into the 
curriculum, of at least some of the New England colleges. The 
seminary could not then well be said to be behind the times, 
whatever else might be said of it. 

As regards the manner of conducting recitations, it was similar 
to that of a college. In general an hour was allowed for each 
recitation, so the whole lesson could be discussed. The work of the 
class was not interfered with by the presetjce of other scholars — the 
studying being done for the most part in the private rooms of 
students, as if they had been students in a university. The changes 
of occupants of recitation rooms at the end of each hour were 
accomplished with as much quietude and decorum as prevails at the 
entrance and exit of a church congregation. 

The writer's acquaintance thus begun, with the internal 
working of the institution, lost nothing of its delightful character 
daring its continuance for more than three years, in which time 
preparation for college was acquired. It always seemed easy to 
study in Newbury, as if, there, some pre-'*Roentgen rays" were 
helping to deeper and easier insight. This was possibly not entirely 
due to the existence of the seminary. It was possibly something 
more than a pleasant joke, when an old resident of the place, after 
speaking of the lack of bustle and business, said, however, it was a 
good place for meditation. But the seminary had the advantage of 
this — so to speak — meditative atmosphere. At any rate the 
apparent facility with which students' attention could be drawn 
to the instruction of book or teacher, whatever the reason for 
such facility, made an impression on the writer, which time and 
comparative observation have only served to deepen. Of course 
not all those students were geniuses ; but their respective talents, 
whether five, two, or one, were almost without exception devoted 
to honest work. 

During the period covered by this narration thus far, there were 
other teachers than the two before mentioned, no doubt also highly 


worthy of mention; but this being designed to be simply a personal 
reminiscence, those with whom no intimacy was had, can not well 
be remembered better than they were ever known. There should be 
named, however, one other teacher, Rev. Henry W. Adams, who 
was instructor in Latin for a time. He is pleasantly remembered, 
but his continuance was not long enough to give his pupils the full 
benefit of his acquaintance. 

It would be interesting in connection with one's personal 
reminiscence to refresh one's memory of all those honored 
instructors, who well nigh two generations ago, used to appear 
every week-day morning at prayers, in the old seminary, by the help 
of truthful portraits. No such portraits have come to the writer's 
knowledge. He has, to be sure, seen as a magazine frontispiece, 
what purports to be a picture of Rev. Dr. Clark T. Hinman, who 
died at the age of thirty-five, the president of Northwestern 
University ; but to one who for years often witnessed the vivacity, 
the earnestness, the energy, displayed in the ruddy countenance of 
the living Dr. Hinman, or on fit occasions his sunny smiles of 
enjoyment and pleasantry, this picture affords little satisfaction, 
except as it may truthfully represent his fine head of hair, and 
the mere geometrical symmetry of his features, while the expression 
is utterly wanting. It was probably copied from a faded 
daguerreotype. The live, unfaded physiognomy of the man himself, 
was faultless in expression and exceptionally agreeable to 
contemplate, besides being truthful to the inner man. A beholder 
naturally did not feel that his eyes were on a man who looked 
one thing and thought another. Of course such a physiognomy 
indicated less of reserve than some wise men affect. A readiness to 
speak out his thoughts was characteristic of the man. Of this he 
was conscious, as appeared from a remark of his on a Greek 
passage in a reading lesson, which represented Simonides as saying 
that he had often regretted having spoken but never having kepi- 
silent. The teacher's comment was to the effect that he had more 
often regretted not having spoken. In the remembrance of Dr. 
Hinman there is only brightness without an unpleasant shadow. 

Of Principal Osmon C. Baker, afterward Bishop Baker, it may 
certainly be said that he presided with rare dignity over the 
assembled students. His presence meant a voluntary prevalence of 
order and propriety. If an uncommonly daring student ventured 
tor once to disturb the quiet ongoing, he suddenly found that 
discipline was not wanting. On one well remembered occasion, a 
young man thought to attract attention by a verbose answer to his 
name at public roll-call. Quick came the words, "That is not a 

proper answer, Mr. : call at my room at 12 o'clock." Had 

a flash of lightning darted through the assembly room, the effect 
could hardly have been more startling. Bishop Baker can be 
remembered only to be honored and revered. 


Another instructor also, though not strictly belonging to the 
seminary board of teachers, yet comes up distinctly in these 
recollections. Prof. William Marinus Willett came to Newbury 
to assist in starting the projected theological school called the 
Biblical Institute. Being of a generous disposition and having 
abundant private resources, he offered to give instruction in 
Hebrew, gratis, at his own private house, to seminary students 
desiring it, irrespective of their connection with a theological 
class. The writer was one of a small number who availed 
themselves of this privilege, and he still most gratefully remembers 
its enjoyment. 

At the beginning of the fall term of 1847, a teacher was 
wanting, ovring to some failure of an engagement. The trustees 
requested the writer to fill the vacancy for a single term— he then 
being an undergraduate in the University of Vermont. The 
acceptance of this offer gave him an opportunity to make the 
familiar acquaintance— as roommate — of Rev. Joseph E. King, who 
was then just entering upon his connection with the seminary. 
From that brief association the writer learned, among other things, 
that the bom gentleman has some marked advantages over the 
artificially educated one. Success was assured to Mr. King from 
the very beginning of bis career in Newbury. During this very busy 
term little intimacy was had with other teachers, of whom Rev. 
Francis Hoyt was the principal. 

During an interval of four years, following the last mentioned 
date, some changes were wrought. The number of students was 
materially increased. The Female Collegiate Institute was created 
and associated with the seminary. This brought the young women 
to the fi-ont, giving them a chance to prove, if thej* could, the 
fallacy of the old theory of their mental inferiority. It was a 
pleasant change, enjoyed apparently by the young men as well as 
by the young women. The increased number of recitations seemed 
to make it necessary to abbreviate them somewhat— the plan 
apparently being to make up by increased animation the loss in 
time. At any rate the shortening was a stimulus to both pupil and 
teacher to come to the recitation with lesson prepared. In the same 
interval Rev. J. E. King had become principal of the seminary and 
president of the Collegiate Institute ; Mr. Henry S. Noyes and Rev. 
Charles Wesley Cushing, instructors — or, according to the newer 
stndent dialect, professors; Miss Caroline J. Lane preceptress, who 
was later succeeded by Miss Jane P. Chase, and the latter by Miss 
Sarah Etta King. 

A further connection of the writer with the institution, as a 
teacher, introduced him into these new associations. Though the 
usual intercourse between fellow teachers may appear freer and less 
constrained than that between teacher and pupil, yet in their efforts 
for an exact mutual understanding, the teacher and the fairly 



intelligent pupil may get a deeper insight into each other's mental 
substratum, than is likely to come from an exchange of many 
learned conventionalities between persons acting the agreeable. 
Accordingly, it is easy to imagine the writer better acquainted with 
his own teachers, previously mentioned, than with those just now 
named. Still most persons, and especially persons of such 
demonstrative habits as teachers are by the requirements of their 
profession, will be likely to manifest to ordinary observation, some, 
if not all, of their own peculiar traits. Among possible traits, may 
appear in a given case, a marked ability to read character. Any 
one can see how valuable an ability this would be for an educator, 
or for the head of an institution, who has much to do with differing 
characters of both students and teachers. 

Of the persons just above named, President King could hardly 
fail to be seen as possessed in an eminent degree, of the faculty for 
discerning the inner man of any one coming under his observation. 
Such a faculty, used mostly often in discovering the best side and 
best possibilities of another's character, is likely to effect friendly 
relations. One who finds himself seen in a better light than that in 
which he sees himself, should at least be thankful for a revelation of 
his own better capabilities. As used by Mr. King, the faculty in 
question cannot fail to have been of great service both to himself 
and to many others. 

Prof. Noyes was characterized by great aptitude for acquiring 
knowledge and readiness in communicating the same. With all his 
facility of communication, however, he did not fail to impress his 
pupils with the importance of utilizing their own faculties in the 
process of making knowledge their own. He did not propose to do 
all the students' studying and reciting. The recitations of his 
classes meant business, and it was easy for him to hold the respect 
of those whom he taught. 

Of Prof. Gushing, among other things, may be mentioned his 
unusual versatility, adapting him almost equally to the chair of 
the scientific instructor, to the pulpit, or to almost any rostrum 
for popular enlightenment. Much valuable talent, no doubt, 
practically runs to waste for want of adaptation to any existing 
forum. If a man really has something to say to his fellowmen, it is 
of no small consequence that he be able to say it on any fit occasion. 

In institutions of the grade of the one now considered, teachers 
are not the only recognized educational agencies. Self-education 
must supplement the instructor's work, or the result will be too 
little substantial. To give themselves a field for mental self-exertion 
students generally form literary and debating societies, and these 
societies come to be regarded as a part of the institution's 
machinery. In the present instance there were such societies in a 
state of healthy activity during the whole time covered by this 
sketch. In the last of the periods referred to, they were more in 





nmnber and certainly not less prosperous, than in the earlier period. 
Their literary character was more pronounced— that is, they 
presented more written work — in the later time, though the oral 
discussion of questions was vigorously continued. These societies 
occasionally gave public performances— open, that is, to all students 
and to any others desiring to be present. Into their preparation 
for such entertainments they were wont to put a considerable 
amount of creditable brain-work. 

Should any reader of this sketch note an omission of higher 
titles, in connection with some of the names which have appeared, 
he may understand that such omission — where it occurs — was 
intentional, the object being to * 'modernize" as little as possible. 
This briet reminiscence has been written at the request of persons 
desiring to perpetuate the memory of Newbury Seminary (this 
name popularly including the whole institution) as it imaged its 
own character in the mind of an observer familiarized with, its 
ongoings. It is as such observer that the writer has spoken, only 
desiring that, in so far as these few words can serve to transfer to 
other minds, the picture which is in his own, their effect may be to 
help keep in lively view a bright spot in the history of Newbury. 

It may well be asked how it came to pass that this school, for 
which thirty-four years of successful operation had given a prestige 
among the educational institutions of New England, and which 
had been conducted at a minimum of expense, with such a 
maximum of result, was removed from Newbury. This is not a 
part of the history of this town which is pleasant to tell, as it is a 
portion of it not creditable to the honesty or sagacity of those* who 
conspired to bring about the removal. 

Among the various ambitions which inspired Rev. Amasa G. 
Button, long a resident of Newbury, and president of the board of 
trustees of Newbury Seminary, was the desire to represent the 
town in the state legislature. To this end he was presented as a 
candidate for town representative, during several years. But it 
being well understood by the leaders of the republican party that a 
large section of the party would not support Mr. Button, they 
contrived to set him aside at the caucuses. But in 1865, he made a 
personal canvass for the office, and caused it to be made known 
that nnless he was elected, he would have the school removed from 
Newbury. No one paid much attention to his threat, but he would 
probably have been elected had he conducted his canvass with 
fairness and courtesy. But the course which he unfortunately took, 
and the intemperate language used by a noisy individual, who 
claimed to speak for him at the caucus, whose utterances Mr. 
Button made no attempt to check, gave great offense to many, and 
while Mr. Button's friends presented his name, his opponents 
nominated Mr. L. D. Hazen. There ensued the most sharply 


contested Freeman's meeting ever held in this town, and the contest 
was prolonged till nearly nine o'clock in the evening, without any 
sign of yielding on either side. 

At that late hour, a few republicans who had hitherto 
supported Mr. Hazen, by an agreement with some of those who 
had voted for Mr. Button, presented the name of W. W. Brock, who 
received about twenty votes. At the last ballot, both Mr. Button, 
and Mr. Has^n were dropped, and Mr. Brock was elected. Mr. 
Button, deeply mortified at the result, lost no time in carrying his 
threat into effect, and at the next session of conference he was 
ready with his schemes. He was a man of much financial ability, 
a ready and fluent speaker, with a plausible manner, and a great 
force of will, and having some wealth, and a thorough knowledge 
of the members of the conference, had no trouble in securing the 
appointment of a committee to his liking, whose duty should be, to 
investigate the conditions of Newbury Seminary. This committee 
made precisely such a report as Mr. Button would have written, 
which was to the effect that the interests of the conference required 
the removal of the school to a more central place, and one * 'where 
the local influences would be more favorable." There were many 
plausible reasons for such a removal, which were adroitly urged by 
Mr. Button and his friends. 

Newbury Seminary was founded under the auspices of the New 
Hampshire conference when it included nearly all the territory 
now controlled by the Vermont conference, and at that time 
Newbury was the most central place. The division of the territory 
left Newbury on one side of the newly -formed Vermont conference. 
At the same time there were academies at Springfield and Fairfax, 
which, as well as Newbury Seminary, were under the auspices of 
conference. It was not very difficult to make the brethren believe 
that the educational interests of the conference required the 
consolidation of these three institutions into one, which should be 
near the center of the state, and which they expected would become 
to the Vermont conference all that the seminary at Tilton is to the 
New Hampshire conference. They failed to consider the difference 
which unalterable geographical conditions imposed upon an 
institution located at Tilton, and one at Montpelier. Neither did 
they observe that the students of Newbury Seminary came chiefly 
from the Connecticut valley above Orford, and from the towns 
which were drained by the upper branches of the river, and that 
few students from these localities would cross the hills to 

Another reason had also great weight. The old seminary 
building needed thorough repairs and remodelling. This was just 
after the close of the civil war, when education was making 
wonderful advances, and new ideas were controlling the minds df 
men. To those who had seen some of the splendid school buildings 
which were springing up all over the country, the plain old brick 


building, with its inconveniences, seemed mean and meagre. It 
were better to take the building down. Better still to erect a new 
one at Montpelier, which place bid the highest for the location of 
the new institution. 

There was a great deal of talk about doing something to retain 
the school here, and had a wise and far-sighted public spirit 
prevailed in Newburj, the school would never have been moved 
away. A few public meetings were held and that was about all. 
In short, had there been one man as resolute to keep Newbury 
Seminary here as Mr. Button was to move it away, it would be 
here still, and Newbury would now be one of the great educational 
centers of New England. It is probable that $20,000 could have 
been raised to keep the school here, had people been alive to their 
own interests. But, looking back, people seem to have felt a 
strange apathy regarding the whole matter. 

At the close of the spring term of 1868, the school was closed, 
and in the fall the term began at Montpelier, in buildings which had 
been used as a hospital and barracks during the war. In a few 
years a building more costly and pretentious was erected, and 
the institution, at first chartered as the "Vermont Conference 
Seminary," then re-christened "Vermont Methodist Seminary," and 
now simply "The Montpelier Seminary," still exists. It has been a 
heavy load for the conference to carry. Newbury Seminary was, 
practically , self-supporting ; Montpelier Seminary is always running 
behind, financially, and every few years a desperate eflFort has to be 
made to raise the debt, and keep it from closing its doors. The 
attendance is hardly one-third that of the old seminary at Newbury 
in its best days. Among the means to which conference resorts to 
keep the school going, is a system of assessments which compels the 
hard-worked, and under-paid ministers of the Vermont conference 
to contribute a sum equal to two per cent of the nominal salary of 
each to the Montpelier Seminary. Truly Mr. Button did the 
educational interests of the conference little service when he 
succeeded in removing Newbury Seminary to Montpelier. But of 
Montpelier Seminary itself, nothing but praise can be said. 

The conference, at the annual session, in 1868, granted the 
trastees of Newbury Seminary, the right to sell the property of the 
institution, and transfer the proceeds to the new seminary at 
Montpelier. Thej' at once sold the real estate at Newbury to Mr. 
A. J. Willard, one of the trustees, and about the same time the 
seminary and boarding-house were stripped of everything which 
could be carried away, and Mr. Willard received a deed from the 
trustees, of the whole property. The matter was not allowed to be 
thus settled. Suit was brought against Mr. Willard and the 
trustees, by Mr. Tappan Stevens, and other gentlemen, which was 
entered in the court of chancery for Washington county, at the 
September term of 1868. Upon hearing, Judge Peck, the chancellor. 


ordered that A. J. Willard should convey the real estate back to the 
trustees, placing the title where it was before he received the deed, 
and the defendants were enjoined from selling or disposing of the 
property, and from using the same, otherwise than in the use and 
support of Newbury Seminary. The case was carried to the 
Supreme Court, and was argued at the general term, 1869. Judge 
Poland and C. W. Willard argued the case in behalf of A. J. 
Willard, T. P. Redfield being counsel for the plaintiff. The decree 
of the Court of Chancery was affirmed by the Supreme Court, and 
the trustees were enjoined from selling the property, and using the 
proceeds of an institution chartered by the name of Newbury 
Seminary, which had long existed at Newbury, for the use and 
support of another institution located at Montpelier. 

During these legal proceedings a school had been maintained in 
the old building. In the fall of 1868, Rev. John M. Lord, a 
Congregational clergyman, and a graduate of Dartmouth College, 
who had retired from the ministry, opened a school, with the 
assistance of his wife, in two rooms of the seminary building, which 
he conducted for two or three terms. Mr. Danforth, a student 
jfirom Dartmouth College, with one or two assistants, taught a 
select school in the building in 1870, and was followed by Mr. 
Arthur W. Blair. 

In the fall of 1871, the trustees authorized Rev. Samuel L. 
Eastman, a native of Newbury, and a graduate of Northwestern 
University in the class of 1857, to re-open Newbury Seminary 
under the old name, with a competent corps of assistants. The 
institution re-opened with a very fair attendance, and there seemed 
some prospect for a time, that Newbury Seminary would again 
attain its former fame. 

Had Mr. Eastman possessed the personal magnetism of Dr. 
King, or the power of arousing enthusiasm in his pupils, which 
belonged to Professor Cushing, and others, who had been at the 
head of the old institution, he might have built up a school which 
would have proved a formidable rival to the one at Montpelier. 
Wholly lacking in these indispensible qualifications for successful 
administration, the qualities of good scholarship, energy and 
perseverance, which he certainly had, availed him little, and 
attendance soon began to fall off. The opening of Montebello 
Ladies' Institute drew away the pupils from the most well-to-do 
families in town. Mr. Eastman complained to the trustees that the 
school did not pay expenses and received from them a mortgage 
deed of all the real estate, which, after some years, he foreclosed. 

Mr. Eastman labored with great energy to keep the school 
going, but to no avail; the attendance dwindled away to a 
handful, and the experiment of a new Newbury Seminary ended 
in melancholy failure. In the spring of 1887, he did the town a 
good service by selling the property to Dr. Hatch, from whom the 


Tillage school district bought the old seminary building, which, in 
time, passed into the ownership of the town, and is now occupied 
by a graded school. From time to time one portion of the interior, 
after another, has been remodelled, and it is now better adapted to 
the purposes for which it was originally intended, than ever before. 
What there may be in the future for this structure which has borne 
so noble a share in the cause of education, time only can tell. 

In June, 1884, the semi-centennial of Newbury Seminary was 
held within its walls, and was attended by a large number of its 
former pupils, from all parts of the country. Addresses were made 
by many who had been connected with the institution during nearly 
every term of its existence, and the plain old **Seminary Hall** 
seemed once more as of old. The reunion was tinged with sadness, 
as the former pupils wandered through the old rooms, and marked 
the decay which had begun to fall upon the structure. There still 
exists a corporation known as **The Trustees of Newbury 
Seminary," which meets at stated times, elects its officers, and 
dissolves, without having any duties whatever to perform, funds to 
administer or affairs to direct. 

Before we close these chapters upon this institution, it is well 
that we consider, for a moment, what would have been the result, 
both to the school itself and the town in which it was placed, had it 
never been removed. The old seminarv was the work of an 
earlier and simpler day. When it began its part in the educational 
work of the century, the religious body which founded it, was 
itself struggling for recogfnition. During the thirty -four years 
of its existence, the Methodist church had passed the period of 
experiment, and had come to be the largest religious organization 
in the land. Some of the best and brightest minds in the church 
had entered the walls of this institution as teachers. It was one of 
the very earliest of its schools of learning, and contributed to an 
extent not to be estimated, to the development of the denomination. 
When it was organized, the common school system, if system it 
could be called, was crude, and its results unsatisfactory. In those 
early days there was an academy in nearly every larger town, an 
institution entirely separate from the district schools. At the 
present day, the common school system has so changed, and the 
sphere of its labor so enlarged, that the graded schools have 
supplanted the academies. The teacher of seventy years ago, if 
placed in a modern school-room w^ould helplessly contemplate the 
apparatus of instruction. 

If the old seminary still existed, its patronage would represent 
a different class of pupils from those who flocked to its doors fifty 
years ago. An examination of its catalogues shows that the 
majority of the students came from places where no academies 
existed. In most of those localities at the present time, the 
carriculum of the graded schools embraces most of the studies 


which were then taught here. An institution which should hold the 
rank in the educational system of today, that Newbury Seminary 
did in its prime, would require a costly endowment, and new 
methods of instruction. The school had fallen behind in the march 
of intellect, when it came to an end in 1868. Its methods and 
apparatus were those of an earlier day, and but two courses were 
left to choose for it — either to reorganize the school on a new basis 
with a munificent endowment, or remove it elsewhere. The people 
of Newbury most unwisely permitted its removal, and naught 
remains of it, save the old building and the memories which cluster 
around it. 

It is idle to speculate upon the degree of usefulness to which the 
institution might have been brought here in Newbury, or its 
influence upon the town. It had its day and ceased to be, but its 
influence will continue to be felt long after all who were connected 
with it have passed away. 




Mrs. Bkidgman.— Closing op Montbbbllo.— Wblls RiybrGradbd School.— 
Obsbryations.— School Lakos.— Schoolhousbs.— Collbgb Graduates. 

IN 1873, Rev. William Clark purchased the property known as the 
Newbury Sulphur Springs and Bathing Establishment. The 

buildings were enlarged and improved by him, and school-rooms 
were finished off in them which were intended as temporary 
accommodations for the school, which he opened in the fall of that 
year, under the name of Montebello Ladies' Institute. It was 
hoped by him and his associates, that an endowment would be 
secured for the institution, and permanent buildings erected. 

Mr. Clark was bom in Barre, Vt., July 6, 1819, graduated at 
Dartmouth College in 1842, and afber teaching for a few years, was 
ordained a Congregationalist minister, and from 1852 to- 1859, 
was a missionary in Turkey, and founder of a seminary at Babek, 
on the Bosphorus. Much of his life was spent abroad, several years 
of it as U. S. consul at Milan. The institute derived its name from 
the place of his residence in Italy. During his long sojourn in 
Europe he gathered a small, but invaluable collection of authentic 
paintings by the old masters, which he brought to Newbury. 
Among them were The Holy Family, Van Dyk; Christ in the 
Garden, Correggio (formerly owned by the empress Maria Louise) ; 
The Village Festival, Teniers (probably); Christ Preaching in the 
Desert, Rembrandt. Mr. Clark greatly improved the premises, and 
laid out walks on what had before been known as Powder-house 
Hill, and made a very attractive place of it. 

The principal of the institute was Miss Mary E. Tenney, who 
was assisted by several other teachers, and the school, founded and 
conducted by them, was of a much higher rank than any which 
had been opened here. No one of all the teachers of Newbury 


Seminary had enjoyed the advantage of foreign travel, or had 
more than a limited acquaintance with modern languages. At 
MontebellOy German, French and Italian were in daily use among 
the members of the family. Of the institute and its principal, 
the following was prepared by Miss Genevieve Clark : 

In the autumn of 1873 was opened a boarding and day-school 
for young ladies at Montebello — ^then the property of Rev. William 
Clark, The school was named the Montebello Ladies' Institute, 
and afforded superior facilities for mental and moral culture. The 
institution was select and homelike, and no efforts were spared to 
render it in its discipline, in its teaching, and in its entire influence, 
worthy of patronage and confidence. Mr. and Mrs. Clark had the 
care of the family arrangements of this institution, and to the 
young ladies placed under their care furnished a refined Christian 

The principal of the school was Miss Mary Elizabeth Tenney, 
who, for three years before coming to Newbury, had been the 
preceptress of Glenwood Ladies* Seminary, West Brattleboro, Vt. 
In 1867 after completing the course of study in one of New 
England's seminaries. Miss Tenney had for two years the 
advantages of foreign travel and study, giving special attention to 
the languages and music. 

At Montebello Miss Tennev had with her five teachers, who 
in each and every department required the pupil to not only 
understand, but master the studies pursued. The number of 
boarding pupils was limited to twenty-five, these were from New 
England, and the Middle States. The day pupils numbered 
sixty-five, all that the building could accommodate. 

Regarding the character and standing of this institute. Rev. S. 
L. Bates, in a memorial sermon preached in Newbury, February 15, 
1880, said, **The name of Mary Elizabeth Tenney will always be 
spoken with profound reverence and with tender affection by all 
who knew her excellence and w^ere observant of her life-work Her 
relations to this community were such as to awaken in us all 
special admiration and thankfulness for what she was and what 
she did. To her, teaching was not merely a calling, it was a life. 
The one thought and desire of her soul evidently was to fulfil the 
grand purposes of her existence in her chosen work. It is not too 
much to say that her influence and labors in this place were of 
incalculable value, not only to those who received her instructions 
but to the community at large." Owing to the promise and hope 
of less care and responsibility. Miss Tenney resigned her position at 
Montebello, in the summer of 1879, and accepted a professorship 
in Smith College, Northampton, Mass. She entered upon her duties 
there in October of the same year, but her health was unequal to the 
position, and she left the college two months later, for her father's 
home in Westborough, Mass. Here she died in February, 1880. In 


the Vermont Chronicle soon after, appeared the following tribute 
written by Rev. Mr. Bittinger of Haverhill, New Hampshire: 

Many hearts are saddened at the early death of this accomplished Christian 
lady. Her noble and winning character, and the high hopes which she inspired, 
made her the center of a large circle of personal friends and admirers. None that 
knew her donbted the brilliant career which lay before her in her chosen profession. 
Jnst entered npon her duties as professor of French and history in Smith College, her 
health yielded to the long strain of overwork in stndy and teaching. Her work at 
Newbnry, Vt., was as thorough and conscientious as any educational service with 
which the writer is acquainted, and would stand the severest tests of genuine 
training. She possessed wonderful powers over her pupils — a natural bom 
leadership — ^not of official position, but of character and excellence. Her mind was 
enriched by varied opportunities of foreign study and travel, which her fine culture 
combined with her rare natural endowments gave her a foremost place among 

Trained in one of New England's best Christian families, the daughter of Erdiz 
and Elizabeth Hamilton Tenney, her father, Dr. Tenney, for thirty-five years the 
esteemed pastor of the church in Lyme, N. H., she breathed from the first, a religious 
atmosphere, and this rarest of inheritances she never lost. 

It was a young life that went out February 12, only turned of 35, but this 
comfort is kept, it was faithful, good and true. In the death of this gifted young 
woman not only a great loss is sustained by her immediate friends, but the college 
and education share in the bereavement. 

Some time before Miss Tenney left Newbury, Mr. Clark returned 
to Europe, and resided abroad, in teaching and in business, till 
1889. He died at Westboro, Mass., February 8, 1894, in his 
seventy-fifth year. Mrs. Clark was a sister of Mrs. Joseph 

In the fall of 1879, the institute opened under the management 
of Mrs. Isaac Bridgman of Northampton, Mass., and her son, Mr. 
John Bridgman, who conducted it for one year. They were 
excellent teachers, but did not secure the attendance which had been 
drawn to it by Miss Tenney; the property of Montebello was 
at that time somewhat involved, and no endowment having 
been secured, and no one being ready to assume the financial 
responsibility for the school, it was discontinued. Its day pupils 
were drawn from the best families in Newbury and its vicinity, and 
the influence exercised b\' the school and its teachers was of great 

During the spring of 1880, a paper called **The Montebello 
Critic," was published by the pupils, as an organ of the institute. 
The first number of this bright little sheet was issued April 5, and 
the last of five bi-weeklv issues, on June 9. It was printed at the 
"Globe" office, Lisbon, N. H. 

For the following sketch we are indebted to Mr. W. H. Buck : 
Early in the seventies, the people of Wells River, perceiving that 
in order to keep abreast of the times, a more commodious school 
building was necessary, began agitating this question and 
persistently continued doing so until this important subject 
assumed definite form, and out from the smoke of the conflict, 
there stands today, in our village, a large and commodious 


school building, light and airy and well supplied with school 

Since its completion in 1874, the educational work of the Wells 
River Graded School has been of a high order and the students who 
have gone out from this institution have taken high positions of 
trust and honor in our land. Lawyers, doctors, inventors, 
mechanics and farmers are among its alumni. Mrs. Quimby was 
the first principal, remaining a year. In the spring of 1876, W. H. 
Buck was elected principal. Under his management, with an able 
corps of assistants, the school came rapidly to the front, and was 
soon recognized as one of our leading educational institutions. 
During his five years of hard and unremitting labor, the school was 
thoroughly organized and well graded, and on his retirement in 
1881 it was in a flourishing condition. Then followed a year of 
unsuccessful work. 

In 1882 the trustees secured the services of Principal E. W. 
Goodhue, who remained at the head of the school for six years. 
Mr. Goodhue was a thorough instructor and under his management 
the school was brought to a high standard of scholarship. Prom 
this time on, the trustees were unsuccessful in obtaining efficient 
principals, necessitating frequent changes, which necessarily retards 
educational progress, until in 1890 Miss Edna Stewart, a lady of 
high intellectual and executive ability, was elected principal. Under 
her instruction the standard of scholarship was raised. During her 
term of service two classes were graduated, the graduates taking 
high rank in the colleges to which they were admitted, which was a 
very strong testimonial of excellent work well done and she leaves 
a record which has not been excelled in the history of the school. 

During the next four years a number of changes were made in 
the working force of the school. In the fall of 1898, Professor H. S. 
Richardson, a graduate of Dartmouth, was elected principal. Miss 
Carr in the primary room. Miss Dunlap in the intermediate, and 
Miss Munsell in the grammar, are his able and efficient assistants. 

The present corps of teachers are all experienced and thorough 
instructors and we feel that the future of our school promises great 
results. Our people take a just pride in our school and nothing 
that is essential to its upward and onward progress is withheld. 
In 1886 our school was incorporated by an act of the legislature 
under the name of the Wells River Graded School, and it will be the 
aim of our people to ever make it one of the leading educational 
institutions of our state. The following are the teachers who have 
seen long service in the school : Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Buck, five 
years; E. W. Goodhue, six years; Miss Edna Stewart, three years; 
Annie (Clark) English, five years; Louise (Whitney) Bailey, six 
years; Miss Ella A. Dunlap, ten years. 


The laws which have sought to provide schools and regftilate 
them, have been so many, so various and so often altered, that it is 
not worth while to attempt following the changes they have 
caused. In early days the school districts were left much to 
themselves, as far as the conduct of the schools was concerned, 
receiving a certain or uncertain portion of the taxes according to 
their proportion of pupils, or to the aggregate of attendance. 

At the annual town meeting of 1825, the following resolution 
was adopted : 

Voted : That a committee of seven be appointed by the town whose duty it 
shall be to examine the several district schools in the town of Newbnry twice in the 
season, once near the commencement of snch school, and once at the close of the 
same, and make report at the next March meeting of the best scholars in each 
district, and ot those who may make the greatest improvement, likewise to make 
report of each master who shall excell in the mode of instruction and government of 
snch schools, and desi^pate those, if anv. whom they ma^ jndge deficient in literary 
acquirements, or injudicions or improper mode of governing their schools. 

Provided, that the said committee shall not be obliged to visit any school unless 
the clerk or committee of such school district shall furnish the chairman of the Town 
School Committee with a written notice of the time when their district school 
commences, and the time of terms to be kept, one week previous to the 
commencement of said school. Chose Calvin Jewett, David Haseltine, A. B. W. 
Tenney, Bphraim B. Stevens, Alfred Nevers, Jas. Bayley 2^ and Hanes Johnson 2^, 
be the committee. 

It is pretty safe to say that if Rev. Luther Jewett wrote the 
first half of this extraordinary resolution, somebody else wrote.the 
last half. Like many other resolutions, it was, probably, better 
made than kept, as we hear no more of it. 

There is no record of any superintendent of schools being 
chosen, or any one having the general oversight of them, till 1846, 
and not till much later, that any examinalrion of teachers was had, 
or attempt made to assure their qualifications for the position. 
But gradually, and in spite of much opposition, the schools were 
brought under closer oversight, and the standard of the 
qualifications of their teachers was raised. A century ago, about 
all that was required of the master was that he could read and 
write, and **cipher" as far as the •'Rule of Three." People were 
poor, and few young men received any more "schooling" than one 
or two months, in winter, when work was not driving. They had 
but Httle time to learn, and what little they had time for, must be 
very practical. To read well, to write a legible hand, to keep such 
simple accounts as a farmer needed, was all they tried to learn. 
And there were scores of men here in Newbury, whose early 
education was as meagre as this, but whose hard, practical 
common sense and determination, made up for deficiencies; men 
who conducted the town affairs, and did the town honor in the 
General Assembly. A noted Englishman visited Montpelier about 
1832, and spent several days listening to the proceedings of the 
House of Representatives. He declared that he had never heard 
purer English, more solid, sensible, concise arguments, or 


statements which went more directly to the root of the matters in 
question, than came from those farmers and business men, very few 
of whom had ever seen the inside of a college or academy. 

Some of the farmers in this town became great readers, 
especially of history and philosophy ; with others their studies took 
a mathematical turn. Bancroft Abbott, grandfather of the late 
Professor Abbott, with the aid of a few old text-books, completely 
mastered algebra and geometry. Simon Carter, a farmer who 
lived just across the Topsham line, and died in 1868, acquired so 
thorough a knowledge of mathematics that he was frequently 
appealed to as authority in hard problems. 

Two men, one of whom was a college graduate, were discussing 
an abstruse point in mathematics. One of them declared that he 
must be correct because he was told so at college. The other 
replied, **I am sure I am right, for Simon Carter told me so." 
**Well/' replied the other, ''if Simon Carter said so, it must be so.** 

When there were few books, people read those that they had 
over and over, and the faculty of memory was more fully cultivated 
than now. There were several men in Newbury sixty years ago, 
who could repeat the whole of the New Testament and most of the 
Old. One of the Renfrews could render the entire Pilgpnm's Progress 
word for word. Some of the Scotch Presbyterians could repeat the 
Westminister Assembly's Shorter Catechism, questions and answers, 
and the references. Such men were not easily worsted in argument. 1 

Jeremiah BojTiton, a farmer well remembered, and a regular I 

attendant at church, would, after his return home, repeat to his ^ 

wife, an invalid confined to her room and bed, the greater part of 
both sermons. • 

When we speak of the schools of those times it must be borne in 
mind that people were poor, and these schools were the best they 
could provide. They had only what they could pay for. The era 
of municipal extravagance had not begun sixty years ago. 

The school lands comprise certain lots which were set apart 
by both charters of the town for religious and educational 
purposes. These are : One of the eighty-one shares into which the 
proprietorship of the town was divided, was granted to the Church 
of England, one to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts, and one for the benefit of a school. Portions of 
certain farms on Leighton hill, and others in the north-western 
corner of the town, comprise these lands. The farm near South 
Ryegate, once called the Scott place, later **The Hermitage" of Hon. 
Peter Burbank, and now owned by the heirs of William Nelson, is 
on the glebe or church lands. These lands formerly paid rent to the 
Episcopal church, and Hon. C. B. Leslie recalls the fact that in his 
early days of practice, he used to carry the rents from Mr. Nelson, 
to an agent of the Episcopal church at Chelsea. Later a law was 
passed, not without opposition, which took these revenues from the 

1 1 

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I • 




I ; 

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Episcopal church, and gave them for the support of the schools. 
These tracts are known as 'ieased lands/' and conveyance of title 
in them is by lease and not by deed. The income from the school 
land was $104 in 1899. 

These lands have caused the town some trouble from time to 
time. Sometimes tenants failed to pay the rents, and once or twice 
there was suspicion that these sums were diverted from the town 
treasury. In 1827 Asa Tenney was appointed agent for the school 
lands in town, and such an agent is still annually chosen. The 
foUowing particulars regarding various schoolhouses are worth 
preserving : 

The first schoolhouse at Wells River was near the upper bridge 
on the main street. The one which was removed to make way for 
the present brick building was a one-story building, having two 

In the Ox-bow district schoolhouses have stood upon several 
different sites. For some years the schoolhouse was near Mr. 
Famham's house. The present building, now disused for some 
years, was built in 1851. In 1779, Col. Robert Johnston conveyed 
land to District No. 4, (the village district) as a site for a 
schoolhouse. The brick schoolhouse, now used as an oflSce bv 
Horace W. Bailey, Esq., was built in 1839, at a cost of $475. 

There was, formerly, a schoolhouse on what is now Mr. Greer's 
land, near Mr. Kimball's line, on the east side of the road. The one 
on Rogers hill was built in 1862, and took the place of one standing 
before 1820. In 1827, a schoolhouse of brick, and of very peculiar 
internal arrangement, was built at the foot of the hill, below 
William Putnam's, at West Newbury, taking the place of one which 
^was burned. This building gave way, in 1871, to the one now 
standing there, for some years disused. 

The schoolhouses on Jefferson Hill, at the Lime Kiln and at 
Boltonville, are elsewhere mentioned. The first one in '^Scotch 
Hollow," now the Center, stood at the top of the hill above Mr. 
Buchanan's. The second one, on the * 'school road," was built in 
the early fifties. The first one on Leighton hill, was a log house, 
burned in 1847, and stood on the road from the present one to M. 
B. Abbott's at the top of the long hill. The second one stood on 
the same site, and was demolished in 1873. The first school in th^ 
town house neighborhood was taught in 1823 in the "square 
room" of William Peach's house, by Adeline Gibson. In 1824 a 
schoolhouse was built below his house, which was removed about 
1845, to the road which goes to Hall's pond, near the main road. 
In 1850, one was erected near the lily pond, which was in use 
just fifty years. 

In January 1869, the schoolhouse near Mr. John Kendrick's was 
burned, and a new one built in that year. In the winter of 
1862-63, the schoolhouse near Harriman's pond burned so quietly 



one night, as not to be observed by its nearest neighbors, and in the 
summer following a new one, now disused, was built. 

In 1857 schools were held in twenty-one districts in Newbury. 
In several of these there are not now children enough to make a 
school, and the few there are sent elsewhere. Two, and in some 
cases three, districts, have been consolidated, and a new house built 
which should accommodate all. A.t present there are twelve 
schools in town, and there are seven old schoolhouses, either 
vacant, or turned to other uses. 

In 1887, the village district purchased the old seminary 
building, and began its interior reconstruction. In 1892, the 
Ox-bow and village districts were made one. In 1893 the town 
central school was beg^n, and is a graded school with free tuition 
to residents of the town. Its principals have been : 

Elmer B. French, 1890-93, 
Fred B. Prichard, 1893-95, 
Btban A. Shaw, 1895-97, 
Charles L. Orton, 1897-98, 
Gay W. Felton, 1898-90, 
Geo. D. Osgood, 1900, 

Tufts College, Mass. 
Dartmouth College. 
Norwich University, Vt. 
Vermont University. 
Vermont University. 
Vermont University. 

The following is a list of college graduates who were natives of 
Newbury. It is not assumed that this list is by any means 
complete, but it includes all the names which could be gathered. 

Abbott, George N. 

Vermont University, 



Abbott. WiUiam T. 

Dartmouth, 1882. 


Atkinson, Frances M. 

Vermont University. 



Bates, Mary B. 

Vermont University, 



Bayley, John M. 

Unknown, 1816, 


Boyce. Nathaniel S. 

Michigan University 

, 1864, 


Brickett, Harry 

Dartmouth, 1840, 


Chalmers, Bdward B. 

Dartmouth, 1887. 


Chamberlain, Remembrance 



Chamberlin. Preston S. 


Dean, Samnel H. 



Doe, Orlando W. 




Bastman, Samnel L. 

N. W. University, 1869. 


Bastman. Horace T. 

Vermont University, 



Farwell, Jnlia H. 

Mt. Holyoke, 


Johnson, Haynes 

Dartmouth, 1822. 


Johnson, Moses 

Dartmouth, 1834, 


Johnson, Alexander G. 

Dartmouth. 1837, 


Johnson, Bdward C. 

Dartmouth, 1840, 


Johnson, Jonathan 

Wesley an, 


Keyes, Henry W. 



Keyes, Charles W. 


Keyes, George T. 


Ladd, John J. 

Dartmouth. 1862. 


Leslie, Charles B. 

Dartmouth. 1877. 


Mclndoe, George J. 

Dartmouth, 1896, 




McLcod, Robert D. 
Olmsted, Perlcy A. 
Powers, Jonathan 
Powers, John Hale 
Porter, Timothy O. 
Porter. George 
Qoimby, Carl 
Rogers, Edwin A. 
Rnggles, Henry E. 
Smith, Raymond U. 
ShnrUeff, WiUiam S. 
Spencer, John W. 
Swasey, Samnei 
Tewksbnry, William A. 
Tncker, George 
Wallace, John 
Watkins, Harris R. 

Michigan, 1888, 
Vermont University, 1876, 
Dartmouth, 1787, 
Wesleyan, 1869, 
Dartmouth, 1822, 
Dartmouth, 1831, 
Wesleyan, 1889, 
Dartmouth, 1845, 
Norwich University, 1894, 

Boston University, 1891, 
Dartmouth, 1828, 
Middlebury, 1865, 
Beloit, 1853, 
Dartmouth, 1808, 
Dartmouth, 1888, 


















The following were at some college for a longer or shorter time 
but did not graduate : 

Carleton, John H. 
Cargin, Charles G. 
Clark, Carrie 
Lang, Caroline H. 
Poivers, Mathew 
Ropes, Arthur, 

Scott, Orange W. 

Tcnney, A. B. W. 

Wallace, Dudley C. 
Wason, Thomas, 




Women's College, Baltimore, 
















Died in college- 



Literary Newbury. 

Early Books.— Nathaniel Coverly.— The First Newspaper.— Newbury Biblical 
Magazine.— The Christian Messenger.— L. J. McIndoe.— The Aurora of 
THE Valley.— Other Papers.— Haverhill Papers.— Papers Taken a 
Century Ago.— Books Printed Then.- The Publications of Coybrly. — 
Bibliography op Newbury. 

THE first settlers of this town compared favorably in 
intelligence with those of any other, but they could not have 
had many books, still, doubtless, every family, not wholly 
indigent, owned a Bible, and it was thoroughly read and studied. 
It took time to accumulate in the whole settlement as many 
Yolumes as any intelligent farmer will now have. The few 
treasured books and pamphlets which have come down to us from 
the pioneers, are, generally, of a semi-theological character, dealing 
with the most abstruse subjects upon which the human intellect can 
exercise its powers of inquiry and inference. Some of these works, 
which our fathers loved, are of so profound a character that few of 
us, shallow modems, possess resolution enough to sit down and 
resolutely grapple with their contents. The mental giants of those 
days produced volumes whose intelligent study calls for their 
comprehension, the concentrated attention of all the mental faculties 
which their readers possess. One of these works, **An Inquiry into 
the so-called Freedom of the Human Will," written by a New 
England clergyman in a country parish, before the revolutionary 
war, is considered one of the masterpieces of the human intellect. 
Upon such books, and by sermons modeled upon them, were our 
forefathers trained. 

The first settlers of Newbury were illiterate, if we consider 
illiteracy to consist in poor spelling. Of all the men who were in 
Newbury before the revolution, counting out certain Scotchmen, 
there were, probably, not three, besides the minister, -who could 


write a short letter without making mistakes in orthography. 
General Bayley could not, nor Colonel Johnson, nor Colonel Kent. 
It is easy to laugh at their letters, but one of their descendants, 
who should undertake to hold an argument with his ancestor, 
would have little reason to laugh. The men who carried the Coos 
country safely through the revolutionary war, had found little time 
to learn the niceties of spelling, but they did know the whole subject 
of the controversy with Great Britain, to the last particular. 

Newspapers began to be taken in town as early as 1768, but 
their reception could have been only at irregular intervals, as some 
one happened to come up from the seacoast. A newspaper was a 
treasure in those days, and was passed from hand to hand, and 
from family to family. One reason why so few papers from the 
early days survive, is, that they were worn out with reading. 
Many of the pamphlets against tyranny printed between 1770, and 
177.5, found their way here, and a very few originated in the Coos 
country. After the war the circulation of papers increased, and all 
the wealthier families took at least one. 

In 1794, Nathan Coverly, Jr., came here from Salem, Mass., and 
started the first printing office in the Connecticut valley, north of 
Hanover, in a building since burned. It stood on the other side of 
the road from the dwelling of the late Miss Swasey, at the Ox-bow. 
He did a considerable amount of printing, including a few .small 
books, in a creditable manner. Of one of these, Flavel's **Token for 
Mourners," a few copies are still owned in this vicinity. He carried 
on a store for the sale of books and stationery in the front part of 
the building, the printing office being at the rear. In 1796, 
probably in May, he began the publication of a newspaper called 
the "Orange Nightingale and Newbury Morning Star." A part of 
No. 15, of the date August 25, is preserved. It was well printed, 
carefully made up, appears to have been Federalist in politics 
and bore the motto: •'Here truth is welcome — Candour guides the 
way." It had the latest news from London, dated June 1st, and 
speaks of the French victories in Italy under Bonaparte. There is 
very little local news. A criticism upon the proceedings of a church 
council, which was held to adjust some difficulties between the 
churches of Newbury and Haverhill, an account of a woman killed 
by a bear in St. Johnsborough, (St. Johnsbury) and a poem upon 
the death of a daughter of Josiah Page of Ryegate, are about all. 

This paper was short-lived for want of funds and patronage, 
and Mr. Coverly closed out his business here, and returned to Salem, 
where he was living in 1808. The type and fixtures were sold to 
Farley & Goss of Peacham, where they were used in the publication 
of a paper called the '*Green Mountain Patriot." This paper came 
to grief in its turn, and the materials of the office were taken to 
Danville and used in starting the **North Star," in 1804. No 
further attempt was made to publish a paper here in Newbury for 



more than fifty years, as far as can be learned. Ira White, 
however, had a printing office at Wells River, where he did a great 
deal of miscellaneous printing, and published school, and other 
books. For some years after 1840, when Newburv Seminary was 
at its highest prosperity, there was a printing office at Newbury 
village. Hayes & Co., were printers, succeeding a Mr, Rand, 
who later became the publisher of Zion's Herald. 

When the theological department of the seminary was 
established, it was believed that there was sufficient encouragement 
to warrant the starting of a magazine, devoted to reviews, essays, 
and general religious intelligence, and which would, it was hoped, 
find its way into the more cultured circles of the Methodist church, 
in the country generally. The **Newbury Biblical Magazine" was 
begun in May 1843, and issued on each alternate month. Professor 
William M. Willett was the able editor, and the other professors 
seem to have been contributors. The first number was a pamphlet 
of forty-eight pages, which was afterwards enlarged, and in its 
general character compares well with other reviews of the time. It 
was singularly free from controversy and some of its critical essays 
were very profound. It may be questioned if the Methodist church 
possesses, even at this day, a more able publication, when we 
consider that it was conducted in a small and remote country 
village, far removed from any large library, such as is indispensable 
to the critical student, and that its editor and chief contributor 
was engaged in labors which would seem enough to keep one man 
busy. The magazine came to an end with the twelfth number, that 
of March, 1844. The reasons for its discontinuance as given by 
the editor, are the great amount of labor which it imposed upon a 
man not strong in health, and want of financial support. From a 
bound volume of this excellent production, owned by the late 
Andrew Grant, much that is valuable regarding Newbury Seminary 
was obtained. The first six numbers of the Biblical Magazine were 
printed by Hayes & Co., and the remainder by L. J. Mclndoe. 

**The Christian Messenger" was commenced March 12, 1847, 
and was edited by the seminary professors, and resident ministers, 
and was, for many years, the religious organ of the Methodist 
church in Vermont. Its stay, however, in Newbury, was short, as 
after a little more than a year it was moved to Montpelier. It was 
discontinued a few years ago. 

In 1848, an anti-Catholic paper, called **The Northern 
Protestant and American Advocate,*' was started, but its life, at 
least in Newbury, was brief. In 1845, Lyman J. Mclndoe removed 
his printing office from Haverhill to Newbury, and in April, 
1848, began the publication of the ** Aurora of the Valley/' a 
semi-monthly literary publication, which soon became very popular, 
and which he enlarged. It did not collect much news at first, and 
depended mainly upon contributions to its columns from local 


writers. Some of its short stories and essays were very good. It 
was, later, changed to a weekly newspaper, still possessing a 
literary character, and supported the Whig, and afterward, the 
Republican party. D. B. Dudley was its assistant editor for a time. 
About 1857, the paper was removed to Bradford, and later, to 
Windsor, where it was merged into the Vermont Journal. 

Mr. Mclndoe was an able editor, who was successful financially, 
and his paper was a great benefit to the town. A literary taste 
displayed in the selection of stories for the Aurora caused its 
introduction into many families, and was the medium whereby 
much valuable literature was brought into the homes of Newbury 
people. Mr. Mclndoe had his first printing office in the **old depot 
building,*' and afterward in a two story structure with a high 
basement which stood between James B. Hale's house and his store. 
In this he did an extensive business, printing religious books and 
tracts. He also kept an excellent book-store, which was continued 
by his brother David; till about the time of the removal of the 
seminary. During the existence of that institution, several papers 
were sustained by the students at diflBerent times, which had their 
little day and expired. A small publication was conducted by the 
pupils of Montebello Ladies Institute for a short time. It was 
called '*The Montebello Critic," and was published in the spring of 

At Wells River an eight-page weekly paper was commenced 
in 1878 by W. S. S. Buck, called 'The Riverside," but was 
discontinued after some time. A monthly paper in the interest of 
the Congregational church at that place, edited by Rev. R. C. 
Flagg, was begun in March, 1889. It w^as called **Church and 
Home," and was published by F. Sherwin and Son. Its existence 
was two years, the last number being published in February, 1891. 
Mr. Sherwin and his son are the sole representatives of the printer's 
craft in this town. 

Mention should be made of two or three Haverhill papers 
which had a large influence and circulation in Newbury. The **New 
Hampshire Post and Grafton Advertiser," was begun in 1827 and 
continued till 1848. Its politics were Whig, and it had several 
owners. In 1828, Hon. John R. Reding began the publication of 
the "Democratic Republican," which was continued by his brothers 
till 1863. He married a sister of Hon. Isaac Hill of Concord and 
the paper, which was ably edited, w^as the strenuous advocate of 
the principles of the Democratic party, as represented by Andrew 
Jackson. A bound volume of this paper, which contains most of 
the numbers from January 9, 1833, to February 22, 1837, has been 
of much value in the preparation of this book. It is owned by 
Joseph C. Johnston. The first daily paper taken in town is believed 
to have been the "Boston Daily Atlas," in 1848. Col! O. C. Hale 


began to take it about the time the railroad was built. The 
breaking out of the civil war caused a great increase in the number 
of both daily and weekly papers taken here, and daily papers were 
first sold on the trains about that time. 

The first religious paper was the '^Boston Recorder/' and it 
was taken as early as 1818 by one family and perhaps by others. 
Some post office bills which remain among the Johnson papers 
show that among the papers taken here just one hundred years 
ago (1800) were **The Boston Centinel," "Portsmouth Chronicle," 
'^Worcester Spy," and the '^Connecticut Courant." The Centinel 
was, long ago merged into the **Boston Advertiser." The others 
are still published. There were three copies of **The Museum" 
taken, a paper which the editor cannot identify, also the **Cabinet." 
The ** Worcester Gazette" had two subscribers. 

In these days, when every family receives many requests to 
subscribe for newspapers every year, it is hard to comprehend the 
difficulty our ancestors had in subscribing for a paper at all. When 
in 1795, Hon. Thomas Tolman of Greensboro, whom we have 
mentioned before, and General Crafts, of Craftsbury, who 
afterwards became governor of the state, decided to take a paper 
printed at Philadelphia, they did not know how to obtain it, and 
addressed the following letter to Colonel Thomas Johnson : 

Greensboro, Mar. 21st, 1795. 
Dear Sir:— 

It having been agreed to take 2 or 3 newspapers from the other states, thro' 
yonr hand as Postmaster, and from Newbury to be conveyed in the best manner to 
this Town and Craftsbury, will 3'ou be so kind as to take the trouble of contracting 
(thro* the mail) with Mr. Bache of Phila. for his General Advertiser, printed twice 
a week, for one year, for me. and direct them enclosed under cover and directed 
** Thomas Tolman, Greensborough, by the Newbury maU, Vermont,'* or something 
like it, with the terms conveyed in the first conveyance, for which if you will make 
yonrselt' accountable to him, I will to you. 

I am. Dear Sir, 

Your obed't and humble servant, 

Thos. Tolman. 

It had been intended to give a list of all books printed in 
Newbury, but it was found to be impossible. No record was kept 
of them, and only a few copies remain. Ira White printed school 
books, and several religious works, including an edition of the New 
England Primer. A small volume entitled, ''The Female Wanderer, 
Written by Herself," bears his imprint. Hayes & Co. printed small 
volumes, biographies, and reprints of English classics. In addition 
to several works which bear his name, L. J. Mclndoe printed a 
number of Sunday school books for Rev. Orange Scott, which bear 
the imprint of the Wesleyan Association. 

How many books Mr. Coverly, our first printer, published, is 
unknown. . The complete titles of the following are here given : 


Thb Poor Man's Companion, 


M1SCBLLANBOU8 Observations Concerning Penal and Sanguinary Laws. 

The Mode and Nature of Evidence, 


An Inquiry into the Propriety and Policy of Punishment. 

By John Young, Esq., 
Of Newhampshire in New England. 

Newbury, Vermont, 

Printed by Nathaniel Coverly, 

And Sold at His Book-store Near the Court House. 

This formidable title ushers in some observations upon the 
duties and privileges of the citizen. John Young lived in Haverhill 
at one time, and in his life played many parts in many places. This 
little volume is a curiosity. It consists of one hundred pages, 
measuring six inches by four, and is bound, literally, in boards, thin 
sheets of wood, covered with paper, forming the covers. The type 
is clear, and the edges of the leaves are untrimmed. A copy is 
owned by Hon. Horace W. Bailey. 

A Token for Mourners. 

By John Flavbl. 
Printed by Nathaniel Coverly 


Newbxtry, Vermont, 
Near the Court House, 1796. 

A copy owned by Mr. Sherwin, at Wells River, has 132 pages. 
What follow are missing. There is a complete copy in the library 
of the Vermont Historical Society at Montpelier. 

Silas Ballou, Uniybrsalist. 

Nathaniel Coyerly, 
Newbury, Vermont, 1797. 

This title is furnished by Hon. Albert S. Batchellor. 

The following bibliography gives, by authors' names, the titles 
of all books or pamphlets written by natives of Newbury, as far as 
they could be ascertained ; of all addresses delivered in this town, 
or elsewhere by persons residing in Newbury at the time of delivery, 
with a few which do not come under either of these heads : 

Abbott, George N. Essays and Reviews. (A short time before his death. Prof. 
Abbott had begun to collect the titles of his works, which consisted mainlj of 
contributions to such pablications as the "Universitj Magazine," ''The Mercers- 
burg Review," and the like. They were upon topics which appealed to scholars 
like nimself. A few were printed separately.) 

**Tbe Christologic Problem." An essay read before the Winooski Association, 
January 8, 1867, Andover, Mass., 1869, 20 pp. 

Adams, Rby. Henry W. Discourse delivered before the preachers of the Danville 
district, iu the Methodist church at Newbury, March 24, 1843. Ncwbuiy, 
Hayes & Co. pp. 43. 

Atkikson, Rev. Gborgb H., D. D. Biography. 



Bailby, Horace W. Report as saperintendent of schools, 1886. Catalogne of the 
Library and Philosophical apparatus of Dr. Cutting of Lunenburg. 

Baylby, Mrs. Asa, (Daughter oi Dea. James Abbott.) Memoir. By herself, edited 
by Rev. Ethan Smith, 1816, pp. 207. 

Batbs, Rby. S. L. Sermon. On the death of Miss Mary E. Tenney, February 15, 

1880, pp.13. 

Sermon. Before the General Convention, 1888, (In Vermont Chronicle.) 
*'The Days of Old." An Historical Discourse, upon the 126th, anniversary of 
the First Congregational church, September 29, 1889. 
Bolb, Rbv. John. Sermon. At funeral oi Mrs. William Reid. (In published volume 

of sermons, 1860.) 
Bradford, Rbv. Ebenbzbr. Sermon, at ordination of Rev. Nathaniel Lambert, 

November 17, 1790. 
Brown, Chbstbr. Shepard Family, (of Newbury and Hardwick.) Montpelier, 

Argus & Patriot Office. 1894, pp. 16. 
Burton, Rbv. H. N. Report as Superintendent of Schools, 1860, '61, '62. 

"Go Forward." Discourse delivered at the semi-centennial of the Vermont 
Domestic Missionary Society, at St. Johnsbury, June 17, 1868. Montpelier, 
Freeman Office, pp. 16. 
Button, Rbv. A. G. Report, as Superintendent of Schools, 1863. 
BuTLBR, Prop. Jambs Davib. Address, on the Battle of Bomington, delivered before 
the legislature, October 20, 1848, while pastor of the church at Wells River. 
(Contains the narrative of Thomas Mellen.) 
Campbbll, Rbv. Gborgb W. Republicanism. Sermon delivered at the dedication 
of the Congregational Meeting-house in. Newbury, November 13, 1849, 
Haverhill. J. R. Reding, pp. 18. 

Sermon. February 20, 1847. At the Ordination of Rev. (George H. Atkinson, 
Newbury. L. J. Mclndoe, pp. 24. 
Chambbrlain, Wrigbt, Report, as Superintendent of Schools, 1875. 
Chambbrlin, Evbrbtt, Chicago and the Great Conflagration, 1872. 
The Political Struggle of 1872. 
Chicago and Her Suburbs. 
Chambbrlin, Josbph Edgar, The Listener in Town, 1896. 
The Listener in the Country, 1896. 
John Brown, a Biography, 1899. 

Statement of Line of Descent of Chamberlin Families in Newbury, 1894, 
pp. 11. 
Chalmers, Robbrt, Description of Plans Submitted for the Garfield Monument, 

1881, pp.4. 

Pamphlet upon Atmospheric Moisture in the Form of Fog and Dew, 1874, 
Church, First Congrbgational. Covenant, 1823, pp. 4. Manual, 1876, 
Montpelier, J, Poland, pp. 24. 

Report Annual, 1877, and each succeeding year, except 1889, *90, *91. 

Wells River Congregational. Manual, 1842. 

Manual 1864, McFarland & Jenks, Concord, N. H. 

Manual 1890, Co5s St^am Press, Woodsville. 
Dbmpstbr, Prop. J. The Benefit and Danger of Society. 

An Address to the Ladies' Mutual Improvement Society of Newbury 
Seminary, November 14, 1846. L. J. Mclndoe, pp. 11. 
Farrand, Danibl. It is not known that Judge Farrand published anything while 
living here. Several of his daughters wrote tales and sketches, poems and 
historical works, or were associated with others in the preparation of school 
and college text-books. But they lelt Newbury while young, and were not 
identified with the town in any way. 
Johnson, Nancy, Letters from a Sick room. 

Simple Sketches and Plain Reflections, pp. 180. 

The Myrtle Wreath. 

Little Things. 

Peasant Lire in Germany, Two Ed., pp. 426. 

Cottages of the Alps, pp. 401. 

Iroquois, (See Johnson Family — this volume.) 
Johnston, Janb, She is understood to have published several small volumes, or 
tracts, for children. One is remembered— An account of the life and death of 
Amaziah, son of Joseph Ricker, who died about 1816, at the age of twelve. 


Hasbltinb, Samuel, Religioas Experience. By himself, with some account of his 

life and death, pp. 38, 1819. 
HnocAN, Clark T. Address before the Ladies Literary Society, November 17, 1841, 

pp. 33. 
Ingalls, Jbrsmlah, The Christian Harmony. A book of church music, 1805, pp. 

201. Henry Ranlet, Exeter, N. H. 
Kbyes, Dba. Prbeman, Memorial, 1872, pp. 27. 
Kbybs, Hbnry, In Memoriam. Testimonial of the Vermont State Agricultural 

Society, 1870, pp. 4. 
Lambert, Rby. Nathaniel, Election Sermon, delivered at Newbury before 
Governor Tichenor, October 8, 1801, pp. 21. 
Sermon, delivered about 1796. 
Mbrrjll. Rby. J. L. Historical address at the Centennial of Haverhill Academy, 

Angust 4, 1897. (In ''Centennial Anniversary.") pp. 68-85. 
Munsbll, Mrs. Antha M. "The Over Sixty Club," of Wells River, pp. 26, Sherwin 

& Son, Wells River, 1900. 
Newbury Seminary. Catalogues. The first catalogue was of the fall term of 1834. 
Afterwards a catalogue was issued at the end of each academic year, except 
1868. Triennial catalogues were published of the Collegiate Institute in 1867, 
and after removal to Montpelier. 
Catalogue, by Rev. S. L. Eastman, in 1875, '76. 
Newbury High School, 1844. 
Newbury, Town op. Town Reports, 1893, and each following year. 

Selectmen and Auditors, Report of the Financial Condition of the Town, 
February 1876. 

Report of the Committee appointed to Investigate the Financial Books of the 
Town of Newbu^, March 1, 1877. 

Report of the Superintendent of Schools, by Rev. S. M. Plympton for March 
1859. By Rev. H. N. Burton for 1860. '61, '62. By Rev. A. G. Button, for 
1863. By Wright Chamberlain, for 1875. By Horace W. Bailey, for 1886. 
Of late years the school report has been printed with the town report, in the 
years 1894, et seq. 

Town Central School. Catalogue published in 1897, and each succeeding 
Village Library Association. Catalogue, 1881. 
Patterson, Richard, On the Financial affairs of Newbury, May 1, 1877. 

Same subject, February 1, 1880. 
Fi^YMPTON, Rby. S. M. Report as Superintendent of Schools, 1859. 
Porter William T. Timothy O., Benjamin and George, (See Porter family.) 

William T. Life of. By Francis Brinley 1860, pp. 273. 
Putnam. Elder Benjamin, Sketch of life of. By himself, 1821, pp. 216. 
Powers, Rby. Peter, Sermon delivered at his installation in HoUis, N. H., 
February 27, 1765. -For the Towns of Newbury and Haverhill, at a Place 
Called Co5s." Portemouth, 1765. 

Sermon at the Funeral of Mrs. Frye Bayley, February 1, 1772. (This was 
one of the very earliest publications in Vermont.) Newburyport. 

Sermon preached before the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, on the 
day of their First General Election at Windsor, March 12, 1778, Newburyport, 
pp. 40. 

Tyrany and Toryism Exposed. The substance of two sermons preached at 
Newbury on Lord's Day, September 10, 1780. Westminster, 1781. (These 
were the sermons which were the occasion of Mr. Power's leaving Newbury.) 
Powers, Rev. Grant, Historical Sketches of the Discovery, Settlement and 
Progress of Events in the Co5s Country, Haverhill, 1841, pp. 240, 2d edition, 
Sanborn, Prof. E. D. Sermon at Funeral of Dea. Freeman Keyes, June 1871. (In 

''Memorial," also in Vermont Journal.) 
Sutherland, Rev. David, Christian Benevolence. A Sermon Delivered before the 

Washingtonian Benevolent Society in Newbury, July 4, 1812, pp 15. 
Tbkpbrancb, Sons op, Constitution' and by-laws of Pulaski Division Established 

at Newbury, April 23, 1849, pp. 24, Aurora of the Valley Press, 1849. 
Tennby, Martha J. The Tenney Family, 1891 , pp. 370. 

Tbnnby Memorial Library. Catalogue 1897, pp. 88, Opinion Print, Bradford. 
Catalogue Supplementary, 1900, pp. 34, Sherwin & Son. 


Thrall, Rby. Samubl L. Sermon. Valedictory, at Wells River, March 28, 1847. 

Wallace, John, Oration before the Washington Benevolent Society, July 4, 1812, 
pp. 14, Windsor, Thos. M. Powers. 

Address delivered at Newbury, July 4, 1823, pp. 11, Haverhill, N. H., S. T. 

Wells River Village. Annual Report 1898. 
Annual Report 1899. 

WiLLETT, Rev. wm. Inaugural Address delivered before the Newbury Biblical 
Institute, 1843. In Biblical Magazine. 

Wood Rev. H. C. On Reading. An address delivered before the Ladies' Literary 
Society of Newbury Seminary, 1845. Hayes & Co., Newbury, pp. 12. 

White, Lydia E. (Miss White is not a native of this town, but of Topsham, yet is 
of Newbury ancestry, and spends much time here. As mention of her name and 
publications is not given in Oilman, they are recorded here for preservation.) 

•*The Record of a Day." A paper published in October, 1864, under the 
auspices of the Christian Commission as a supplement to all the religious 
weeklies in New York, circulating in these and in pamphlet form, to the number 
of about half a million copies, besides bein^ copied ejctensively by the general 
press. It proved exceedingly popular, bemg an account of a day spent in 
gathering hospital supplies. So true to life were its character sketches, that, 
although entirely fictitious, it everywhere passed for a bona fide narrative. 
Nothing else was produced during the war that gave so graphic an idea of the 
home work done for the army and navy, during those trying years. Later 
works of Miss White have been, '*The Campaign at Widdletown," * 'Parish 
Notes," "Live Coals," ''Success in Society." Her brother, Carlos E. White, 
published "Ecce Pemina," and a younger brother, N. Byron White, has published 
certain agricultural works, the best known of which is "Thirty Years Among 

White, Rev. Pliny H. Essay upon the Ecclesiastical History of Vermont. 
Delivered before the General Convention of Congregational Churches, held in 
Newbury, June 1866. 


Libraries — Temperance. 

Early Collections of Books.— Thb Library Association of 1796.— The 
Newbury Village Library.— The Tennby Memorial Library.— The 
Building. — Its Dedication.— The Wells River Library.— Private Libra- 
ries. — Temperance.- Early Drinking Customs.— Mr. Livermorb's Testi- 
mony.— Rev. David Sutherland.- An Old Bill. 

BY the year 1800, several raen had quite respectable collections 
of books. Rev. Nathaniel Lambert, Mr. Farrand, Benjamin 
Porter, Col. Thomas Johnson, and Col. Frye Bayley were 
among these. The latter reported in 1805, that he had £50 worth 
of books. Many of these were rare volumes, or were so by the 
time the family became extinct in town, so that at the auction sale 
of the property, in 1863, after the death of its last representative, 
some of the rarer volumes were secured by collectors*, and libraries 
in the cities. 

About 1796, certain gentlemen agreed to place in a convenient 
room, such books as they could spare, for the common use of such 
as acquired a title to the privilege by presenting a book. This 
Library Association was afterwards incorporated, and was in 
existence for many years. 

The Congregational Sunday-school was organized about 1815, 
and soon began a collection of such books as were then considered 
proper for religious reading. The library erf Newbury Seminary 
was neither large, nor carefully selected, but contained many 
valuable works. An agricultural library was started in February, 
1864, by a number of farmers, who subscribed for shares, which 
were five dollars each. This did not seem to arouse much interest, 
and most of the shares were sold at a small portion of their cost. 
The greater part of these volumes are now included in the Tenney 
Memorial Library. 

On October 10, 1868, a few ladies formed the * 'Newbury Village 



Library Association," at the suggestion of Rev. Dr. G. H. Atkinson, 
who presented it with a number of volumes. Mrs. C. M. Atkinson 
was the first president, and Miss Julia Famham was librarian. 
The books were kept in Mr. Farnham's house. In 1885, the library 
was moved to a suitable room in the Congregational vestry. In 
1890 Miss Charlotte Atkinson became librarian, and in 1894, Mrs. 
J. L. Merrill succeeded her. An annual fee of one dollar was 
required of the persons using the library, and funds for the purchase 
of books were raised by means of entertainments. The first 
catalogue was printed in 1881. By June, 1897, the number of 
volumes'had increased to about 1600. 

In the autumn of 1895, Miss Martha J. Tenney, of Haverhill, 
Mass., made public her long cherished intention of erecting a 
suitable building for a library, in memory of her father, Col. A. B. 
W. Tenney, and the owners of the old Spring Hotel site promptly 
offered as much of that valuable location as she should desire for 
the purpose. A definite proposition was made by Miss Tenney to 
the town, to which the selectmen responded by calling a special 
town-meeting on January 28, 1897, which was well attended. , A 
unanimous vote in favor of accepting the proposition was the 
result of the meeting, and upon the receipt of the telegram 
announcing the acceptance of her oflFer, Miss Tenney instructed Mr. 
H. M. Francis, an architect of Fitchburg, Mass., to prepare the 
plans for a building 40 x 45 feet, of brick and stone, for a library. 

Mr. J. B. Littlehale of Fitchburg was the contractor; the work 
began in June, and was completed in January. The building is 
Romanesque in style, the basement is of Ryegate granite, the walls 
are of Longmeadow stone, and red brick. The roof is slated, and 
the construction of the building is very thorough. When completed 
the land and building were conveyed to the town, under the 
conditions set forth by Miss Tenney in her proposition to the 
selectmen. The building and its contents are under the care and 
management of a board of nine trustees, who are, in the order 
named by Miss Tenney : 

F. P. Wells Thos. C. Keves 

Horace W. Bailey Erastus Baldwin 

Byron 0. Rogers Mrs. W. H. Atkinson 

Mrs. C. F. Darling Rev. J. L. Merrill. 

C. C. Doe 
This body of trustees is self-perpetuating. The present officers 
are: Rev. J. L. Merrill, President; Mrs. W. H. Atkinson, Secretary; 
Mrs. C. F. Darling, Treasurer; Byron O. Rogers, Auditor. Horace 
W. Baileyis chairman of the executive committee, and Miss Frances 
M. Atkinson has been the librarian since the building was opened. 
The town, by its acceptance of the deed of gift, must appropriate, 
annually, a sum of not less than $150 for its maintenance and 
enlargement. The building was first opened to public inspection on 


the evening of March 17, 1897. It contains a reading and art 
room, and the library of the Newbury Village Library Association, 
with such additions as have been made to it. The village library 
contained about 1,600 volumes, to which some 600 were added 
before the building was opened. By gifts and b3' purchase the 
library has steadily grown, until on November 1, 1900, it numbers 
3,535 volumes. The reading-room is furnished with the best 
magazines, and works of reference are*accessible. It is open to the 
public on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and evenings, and is 
free to all the inhabitants of the town. When opened, the library 
was without endowment, or other income, than the annual 
appropriation from the town, but liberal gifts have been made to it, 
and the income from the town and its invested funds, has paid all 
its expenses and provided for the purchase of new books. Within 
the past year, (1900) through the liberality of Miss Tenney, it 
receives the photographs and bther publications of the Library Art 

The Tenney Memorial Library was dedicated June 10, 1897, 
the one hundred and second anniversary of the birth of Col. 
Abner Bailey White Tenney. The day was very rainy, but the 
Congregational church, in which the exercises were held, was 
completely filled. Rev. J. L. Merrill presided ; prayer was oflFered by 
Rev. W. H. White, and a scholarly oration was delivered by 
Prof. Sanborn Gove Tenney. Hon. Horace W. Bailey testified the 
public appreciation of the gift by a well prepared address, and 
remarks were made by Hon. Henry O. Kent of Lancaster, N. H., 
Hon. F. W. Baldwin of Barton, Vt., Mrs. A. P. Webster of 
Plymouth, N. H., and others. Letters were read from Miss Tenney, 
Mrs. Sophia Tenney Hale, and Rev. Artemas Dean, D. D. The 
Mahogany Quartette of St. Johnsbury sang, and a Boston lady 
presided at the organ. At this gathering several hundred dollars 
were subscribed as the nucleus of a permanent fund. Miss Tenney, 
who is much of an invalid, has never yet seen the building which she 
has erected for the benefit of her native town. 

The Wells River Library Association had its origin in 1849. 

Rev. James D. Butler, paster of the Congregational church, who 

had traveled extensively in Europe, gave a course of lectures, the 

proceeds of which went for the purchase of books. These were the 

first lectures upon European travel ever delivered in this town. 

This library has steadily grown, and was, for some years, kept at 

the bank, Mr. Leslie, the cashier, serving as librarian. On May 30, 

1892, Col. Erastus Baldwin conveyed to the village, and the 

association, the two-story building in which the library is now 

placed, in memory of his brother, Alvi T. Baldwin, and Ralph 

Baldwin, the latter's son. The rent of the tenement above is for 

purchase of books, of which there are now about 1,500. The 

present officers of the association are: Erastus Baldwin, President; 


R. G. Brock, Vice President; Miss Addie K. Bigelow, Librarian and 
Treasurer, and the Executive Committee are : Dr. and Mrs. J. F. 
Shattuck, Mrs. E. Baldwin, Mr. J. F. Hale and Mr. N. H. Field. 
A membership fee of fifty cents annually entitles each member to 
take books from the library, under the rules. In 1899, arrangements 
were made for an exchange of volumes between the libraries at 
Wells River and Newbury village. 

Several private libraries deserve mention. That of Hon. 
Benjamin Hale, most of it having been that of his father, President 
Hale, of Geneva College, was large and valuable. He lived in the 
brick house now owned and occupied by Mr. Richard Doe. 

The First Congregational church has retained its pastors long 
enough for them to collect many books, and Rev's H. N. Burton, 
S. L. Bates and J. L. Merrill, the successive occupants of the present 
parsonage, have made it the home of libraries, by no means 
altogether theological. The same may be said of the pastors of the 
Wells River church. 

The largest private library in town is that of Hon. Horace W. 
Bailey, which, somewhat miscellaneous in character, has many rare 
volumes, and is especially rich in publications relating to the early 
history of Vermont. The editor of this voltmie returns his thanks 
to Mr. Bailey, and to Rev. J. L. Merrill as well, for the free use of 
their collections of historical works. 

The most valuable and best selected private library in Newbury, 
is that of Mr. George H. Moore, which contains fine editions of the 
English classics, many of which were imported by him. It is 
particularly strong in the departments of philosophy and history. 
Mr. Moore owns some of the earliest printed books known, and 
several of his volumes are so rare as to be almost unique. He 
possesses the only set of Hogarth's Plates in this vicinity. 

**0f making many books there is no end," said the wise man, 
and the present inhabitants of Newbury have no reason to 
complain of a scarcity of reading. The young people of the 
present day have no comprehension how their predecessors sixty 
years ago, or even much later, hungered after •*something new to 
read." They will never value books as people used to do when they 
were very few. 

In early days the use of ardent spirits was universal. 
Everybody, practically, drank ; only here and there was a man who 
did not drink at all. Intemperance, and all the evils that followed 
in its train, was regarded with indifference by most, with aversion 
by some, and with horror by a very few. Spirits were handed 
around at weddings and funerals. Every social gathering was 
marked by excesses. A glass of spirits was placed upon the pulpit, 
that the minister might refresh himself when fatigued by the 


delivery of his long sermon. Col. D. S. Palmer, who died at West 
Newbury in 1886, remembered hearing one of the most noted 
divines of New Hampshire preach a sermon upon the wrath to 
come, when too much under the influence of liquor to stand erect in 
the pulpit. It seems strange how little good men realized the 
extent of the evil, and their own share in extending it. Men in 
those days sold, rum and whiskey, who would at the present time 
no more sell liquor, than they would poison their neighbors' cattle. 

Cider was universally drank, and in some families was placed 
on the table at every meal. There was a cider-mill and often 
three or four, in every neighborhood. There were also several 
distilleries in town. The old farmers consumed an amount of 
the beverage which seems incredible. From twenty to forty 
barrels of cider were considered necessary to support a family 
through the winter, and some of this cider became hard, very hard 
indeed, before it was drank. Many, but by no means all, of the 
old cider-drinkers, acquired a taste for potato-whiskey and 
apple-brandy. But there were many men who drank cider daily 
who rarely tasted anything stronger. Indeed, it must be admitted 
that spirituous liquors did not, seventy years ago, have the deadly 
effect which they now produce. 

The men of the early decades of the century were much more 
exposed to cold and storm and their toil was hard and in the open 
air. Their vigorous frames could readily withstand the effiects of 
the stimulants. And there may be some truth in the remark of an 
aged lady that ''folks didn't talk temperance till liquor got so bad 
it killed people." 

Rev. David Sutherland, of Bath, has left the following record of 
the use of liquor in his early ministry, which began in 1804: 

"During the first seven years of my pastoral life, I was sorely 
grieved with the prevalent use of intoxicating drinks. I could enter 
no house without encountering the rum bottle, or an apology for 
its absence. Intemperance was the bane, not only of the church of 
which I was pastor, but of all churches within my knowledge. I 
preached with great earnestness and plainness on the subject of 
intemperance. But the evil still continued. It occurred to me at 
last, that total abstinence must be the only check, for just as long 
as temperate drinking continued, intemperate drinking would. I 
immediately adopted the total abstinence principle, although, for 
ought I knew, I was alone in creation in adopting the principle. 
But I did adopt it, and not only published it in my own 
congregation, but in every congregation to which I had access, that 
I would never offer a drop of strong drink to any man, nor accept 
it from any man. And my resolution became so extensively 
known, that, except in one instance, I have not been asked to drink 
any intoxicating liquor these forty-two years." (This was written 
m 1853.) 


Haying and sheep-washing were especial seasons of excess. 
People drank in summer because the weather was so warm, and in 
winter because it was so cold. It was not thought possible to raise 
a barn without spirits. As late as 1860 it was not uncommon to 
furnish liquor, but by that time it hAd begun to be thought a bad 
practice. At the raising of a bam in that year, the owner had 
promised that there should be no liquor. But when the help came 
together it was found that several men were under its influence, and 
the temperance men seeing the situation, went home. The owner 
was obliged finally to concede to the temperance sentiment, in order 
to get his barn raised at all. 

The accounts kept of a distillery at West Newbury, from 1811 to 
1813, reveal some curious things. A well known citizen, a pillar in 
the town and church, who kept a tavern, was credited to 
thirty-seven gallons of whiskey. In December, 1812, Daniel 
Lindsey began to work eight months for Daniel Eastman, for 
twelve gallons of whiskey a month. It is not probable that he 
drank any part of this. He simply took his pay in what was, in 
those days, an article of commerce, and no more was thought of it 
than if he had taken it in wheat. 

There is a curious bill extant entitled : 

"To sundry expenses against the commissioners of the estate ot Peletiah BHss, 

L. S. D. L. S. D. 

to one pint brandy. 0. 3. 0. to five meals, 0. 7, 6. 

to five meals, 0. 7. 6. to \^ mug tod, 0. 0. 9. 

to V^ pint brandy, 0. 1. 6. to mng Cyder, 0. 1. 4. 

to V2 mug Flip, 0. 0. 9. to pint brandy, 0. 1. 6. 

to three meals, 0. 4. 6. to pint of wine, 0. 2. 0. 

to V^ pint brandy, 0. 1. 6. to four meals, 0. 6. 0. 

to horses kept, 0. 6. 2. to pint wine, 0. 2. 0. 
Amounting to £2. 2s. 4d. 

William Wallace, Isaac Bayley and Asa Tenney were the 
commissioners, and the spirits were set before the people who had 
business with them. The bill rendered by Col. Thomas Johnson in 
1801, against the committee who built the "old court house" 
included a charge of £9. 16s. 8d. for rum. 

It was many years after that before the temperance reform 
began, and even as late as 1833, the New Hampshire Courier, 
speaking of the commencement exercises at Dartmouth College in 
that year says: **The most striking feature of this annual colleore 
celebration, and the one which appears most prominent in the eyes 
of a stranger, is the shocking extent to which vice and intoxication 
are carried on by the assembled crowd. The common was covered 
with a complete hurly-burly of peddlers, auctioneers, tippling 
booths and travelling shows. More than twenty different gambling 
establishments were to be seen in operation on the open common at 
one view.'* 

The annual musters and June trainings were seasons of 


drutiketiness. At the muster in 1821, the bill for treating the 
regiment, of about 600 men, was $21.25— about one gallon of 
spirits to each thirty men. The handbill for an auction in 
Haverhill, in 1832, contains the announcement that a barrel of 
choice whiskey would be opened for the benefit of purchasers. Mr. 
David Eastman thinks that at a certain store at West Newbury, 
after 1841, a hundred barrels of rum were sold in ten years. It is 
by such facts as these that we may mark the progress and 
operation of the temperance reform, which began about 1840. 

Mr. Livermore says that at Haverhill Corner in 1820, and for 
the next decade, there was more or less drinking among the 
members of the bar, and decanters of rum and brandy were always 
in evidence in the parlor of the boarding-house, and on the dinner 
table. There was an old lawyer named Moody, from Strafford 
county, whose invariable formula, after summoning the waiter, 
with a rap of his cane, to the foot of the stairs, was to order : 
^'Waiter, bring a bottle of rum, a bottle of brandy, a pitcher of 
water, a bowl of sugar, four teaspoons, and a pack of cards ! " 

The earliest records that are preserved of the First Congrega- 
tional church in this town, show very plainly how prevelant the 
vice was in those days, by frequent mention of prominent members 
being censured for drunkenness. The temperance reform was not 
altogether the work of churches or associations, or brought about 
by the arguments of reformers. People began to think for 
themselves upon the miseries which were wrought by the traffic, 
and their convictions made themselves felt in the form of laws, 
which should restrict and eventually forbid its sale. 

The cause was half won when drinking became unpopular, 
when it was to a man's discredit that he drank, and loss of standing 
that he sold liquor. There is still liquor drank, and men who get 
drunk, and there are a few old men who were brought up when 
drinking habits were universal, and who take an occasional glass. 
But, generally speaking, the present representatives of the class of 
men who drank seventy years ago, are total abstainers now. 
Various temperance organizations have flourished for a time, in 
this town, of which no particular account has been obtained. 




David Johnson's Journal.— Col. Thomas Johnson's Journal of the Seasons,— 
Thb Winter of 1780.— Snow Storms.— Freshets.— The Cloud-burst of 
1796.— Cold Years.— The Snow Storm of 1834.— The Dark Day of 1780.— 
The Yellow Day of 1881.— The Meteoric Shower of 1833.— The Comet 
of 1857. 

MENTION of a weather chapter for this history to one of the 
oldest men in town elicited the remark, that "There has 
been a good deal of weather here in Newbury.*' No one will 
attempt to gainsay this, and the object of this chapter is to collect 
and preserve data regarding remarkable storms and other 
phenomena. There was an old farmer in this town, dead now these 
thirty years, who used to say that there had been no really good 
weather since Andrew Jackson's day. These have been gathered 
from a great variety of sources, old newspapers, diaries, town 
histories, memoranda in old account books, and the like. One 
unique record, consisting of notes made by Colonel Thomas Johnson 
is given entire. It is, probably, the earliest weather record ever 
made in this part of the country. 

A still more remarkable register was kept by his son, David 
Johnson, from May 1, 1835, to January 1, 1859. In this he noted, 
daily, the height of the thermometer, at 6 A. M., noon, and 6 
P. M. ; the direction of the wind ; the appearance of the clouds ; the 
fall of rain or the depth of snow ; the coming of the earliest birds, 
and the southward flight of the wild geese; the dates of opening 
and closing of the river; and any observations or comparisons 
which occurred to him. He also mentions the earliest date in the 
season when there was snow on Moosilauke; the time and 
appearance of the Aurora Borealis; the sight of comets, meteors 
and the like. When he was from home or ill, some one of the familv 
made these observations for him. At the end of each year, he 


posted up the weather account, with as much care and method as 
he did those of his own business. One would suppose that Mr. 
Johnson had nothing else to do but look after the weather. 
Toward the end of his life, some of his observations were published, 
and attracted the attention and correspondence of scientific men. 

Some facts communicated by him in January, 1857, to the New 
York Times, at the request of Lieutenant M. F. Maury of the 
Smithsonian Institute, seemed to him to call for a word of 
apology. '*In conclusion it may be as well to observe that for the 
absence of scientific accuracy in these crude sketches, the writer may 
be allowed to plead, in excuse, that they were made by an 
unlettered old man, in the seventy-ninth year of his age, but who is 
blessed with e3cesight to see to read and write without the aid of 

Had Mr. Johnson given his observations a wider range, with 
the flavor of reminiscence and anecdote, which he could have 
impai-ted, he might have produced something not unlike the 
"Natural History of Selborne." The following 'Journal of the 
Seasons," is given without change or omission, but the spelling and 
use of capitals are modernized. A note in the hand- writing of 
David Johnson would imply that it was publshed in the Regent's 
Report of the state of New York for 1852. 

In the year 1773 the wheat was headed out in June, 10th day. 

Jnne 10th. This night there was an uncommon great frost, killed a considerable 
part of the Indian com so that it never grew again. 

June the 11th. This night there fell a snow two inches deep. 

November 13, 1782. This day began to fodder cattle. This night the river 
froze over in some places. 

November 29. Very cold. 

December 1st. Very warm weather. 

December 6th. Cold sharp weather two days. Warm weather one week. 

December 12th. Cold time. 

December 30th. Snow fell this day. 

February 2nd, 1783. This a very cold daj'. 

February 17th. This day the great rain began and rained three days. This 
month more than common warm. 

March 10th. This one of the coldest days that ever I knew. 

March 29th. Three very warm days. This day heavy thunder. 

March 30th. This day the river broke up. This night the frogs peeped. 

April 16 and 17. Uncommon hot for the time of year. 

April 25th. This day the apple tree blows out to be seen. 

May IStfa. This evening there fell the heaviest shower we ever knew. The river 
raised fifteen or sixteen feet, flowed the ploughed land. 

August 9th. This day was the coldest that had been at that season for 
seventy-five years. The frost hath done great damage in many places killing almost 
all the com and sauce — ^had it not been for the fog I think that we should have lost 
a great part oi our com. 

September 10. The rain began at this time iand continued till the 19th of 
October without giving us more than two days at a time of fair weather. Then 
there fell a snow at the height of land about knee deep with a most violent storm 
here— about three inches. The snow went off with a great rain which made a great 
freshet the 23rd of this month— October. Then we had one week of fair weather. 


November 28. This day there fell a small snow and winter set in. 

November 30. This day and night there fell a deep snow. 

December 1. This one of the most blnstering days that ever I knew. 

Uncommon pleasant weather till the last of December. 

January, 1784. Severe and still cold weather till the last of February. Then 
warm and pleasant. The middle of March the snow was all gone. 

April 1. Pleasant weather. The 8th day the weather turned cold. Three days 
severe cold. 

April 14 and 15. Rained steady, 16th, snowed all day. Snow fell one-half foot 

June 28. About this time the weather was exceeding hot. 

July 15. A severe drouth about this time. 

July 25. A g^eat plenty of rain about this time. 

October and November. The pleasantest weather that ever was known. 

December 3. This day fell the greatest quantitv of rain that/ver I knew in the 
time. The river rose fifteen ieet in one night. The winter set in late. 

April 10, 1785. This day the snow was two feet deep in the Ox-bow. 

The winter past hath been the most moderate, altho the snow hath been four 

April 20, 1785. The old snow not being gone, there fell a snow about six inches 

April 24. This day the river broke up and the ice went clear. 

April 28. This day I went into the Ox-bow and the snow was so deep in the 
road tnat I could not ride in the road. Some places the drifts were three feet deep. 

1785. This is a very cold summer. 

October 17. This night was the first frost to kill anything. 

October 23. This day the great freshet was at the height which covered all the 
meadows — swept all the fences off. 

November 20. About this time the ground froze up. 

December 4. This day the snow fell to make sledding. 

March 22, 1786. This day the river broke up and the road began to settle. 

March 26. This day the frogs began to sing. 

April 2. This day there fell a snow one loot deep with the severest storm we 
had this winter. 

June 8. Very hot weather. 

June 17. This day finished molding. 

August 23. The trost killed things on the high land. This month exceeding 

September 12. Gathered my apples. The last of September and the first of 
October as hot weather as any we have had this summer. 

November 15 and 16. At this time the river shut over and winter set in 
without rain and the streams the lowest or as low as ever was known. 

December 9. This day fell a deep snow and not one day that it thawed since 
the 15th day of November. The best sledding this winter. Went to Portsmouth 
with mv Slav (sleigh) and returned the last day of December. Went to Portsmouth 
for the second time and returned the 26th of January. 

May 20. The river broke up at this time but did not clear out till the last day 
of March. 

April 9. This day began to plow and sow. 

April 18, 19, 20, 21. These days have been the coldest weather that ever we 
would know at that season of the year. One of the coldest summers that we would 
know. A warm fall as we know. The first cold weather that came this winter was 
the first week in January, 1788. 

1788. This spring rather cold and backward. 

July 2nd. About this time I began to mow. Have been about two weeks 


trying to get hay with five or six hands. Have got three loads in and about eight 
or nine more in the field rotting. If the forepart of the day is ever so clear and vblit 
it don*t fail of raining by three o'clock in the afternoon. 

July 26. This day fell such a quantity of rain that on the next day the river 
flowed the low meadows so that the hay was floated. 

May 21, 1789. This day turned out cattle to pasture but poor feed and but 
just planting. No apple-tree blows to be seen 3''et. 

November 3, 1789. This day fell snow over shoes and good sledding. 

November 11. The pleasantest weather you ever saw. 

December 22, 1 794. Good plowing at this time, good boating on the river till 
the first of January, 1795. 

The winter of 1761-62, when the men employed by Bayley and 
Hazen wintered at Coos, was long and cold, and the snow had not 
all disappeared in the woods, on the first of May. In August, 
1764, there was a heavy frost, which froze the leaves on the trees, 
but the corn on the meadows was shielded by a fog. 

The winter of 1780 was long and cold, and for forty successive 
days, including the entire month of March, the snow did not thaw 
on the south sides of buildings, as far south as Haverhill, Mass. It 
lay four feet deep in the fields, and was so hard that teams could 
travel about upon it over the fences in every direction. 

There seems to have been no freshet of any magnitude from the 
first settlement till 1771, and the inhabitants felt secure upon the 
meadows. But after that experience most of the settlers removed 
to higher ground. A few, however, clung to the idea that the flood 
of that year would never be repeated. Colonel Johnson's record 
closes in 1794, and there is little to guide us for several years. On 
the 19th of February, 1802, says President Dwight, in writing in 
1813 of this part of the country, a snow-storm began which lasted 
a iveek, and it was estimated that more than four feet fell. This 
storm was general throughout New England, and as far south as 
Rhode Island the snow was as deep as here. 

In 1807 there was a freshet, and another in 1812. Thi^ last 
carried away every bridge on the river above Orford. The former 
flood exceeded, in the estimation of old people, everything which 
had been experienced before, and a mark made upon a rock near 
Colonel Tenney's was not again reached by the water until 1876. 
These freshets appear to have been produced by rains and the 
melting of deep snows in the north, and did not cause the local 
injury which was made by one in 1828, which was not exceeded till 
1869. Great damage was caused along all the streams, and at 
Wells River several buildings were carried away, or were destroyed 
to give a passage to the flood. At the March meeting in 1829, the 
taxes of many who had suffered by the freshet were abated. 

In January 1839, after a period of fine winter weather, a heavy 
rain set in, the night of the 25th and continued about thirty hours. 
"The river flowed one-third of the Ox-bow, and one-half of Cow 
meadow. The ice broke up, but did not clear out round the 
Ox-b'ow. Vast quantities of ice came down from above, mixed 


with wood and timber ; thirty or forty acres in Cow meadow were 
covered with a mass of ice, wood and timber." 

Nearly every year the rise of the river causes a flood upon the 
meadows and railroad travel has, more than once, been suspended 
for several days. On the 28th of April, 1850, a rain set in, and the 
river rose higher than before since 1807. The railroad was under 
water from where Alfred Chamberlin now lives to Ingalls hill, and 
the water rose to the thresholds of the windows of Edward Hale's 
house on Upper meadow. The winter of 1861-62 was memorable 
for depth of snow, and in the spring the water was again very 
high, and Bedell's bridge was carried away. But all previous 
damage by flood in this town was exceeded by the **great freshet" 
of 1869. The summer had been very wet, and on the 2d of October, 
heavy rain set in, which lasted two days. All the brooks in town 
were swollen to rivers, bridges were swept awaj^ and many pieces 
of highway washed out. A second freshet on the 12th destroyed 
most of the repairs which had been made upon the roads. A tax of 
fifty-five cents on the dollar, to repair damages, was voted at a 
special town-meeting, November 8th. On the meadows theloss was 
great. The corn was nearly all cut and shocked, and it stood under 
water for a long time. It was a great task to get it dry after the 
river had subsided, as the ears and stalks were soaked, and covered 
with sand. 

In 1876, after this part of the Connecticut valley had become 
dry and people had begun planting, heavy rains and melting snows 
in the mountains, caused a flood in which the river rose about 
eight inches above the highest water-mark before reached. The 
water was six inches deep on the kitchen floor of the house in which 
Charles C. Scales now lives, on the Upper meadow. In 1895, the 
spring freshet was very high, railroad travel was suspended for a 
few days, and the water stood nearly three feet deep in the bridge 
between Newbury and Haverhill. 

In June, 1795, there was a heavy shower — perhaps what we 
should now call a cloudburst — on the hills around Harriman's 
brook, and that stream, swelled to a torrent, broke around the 
mill-dam, west of New^bury street, poured down the hill, and across 
what is now the common, and washed out a deep channel which 
began about where the fountain is, or used to be, and caused the 
**gulley" north of Mr. Cobleigh's house. The gulley was as deep as 
it now is east of the street, for some way on the common. Before 
that time, the plain was unbroken at that place. James Wilson, 
who came to Bradford in that month, stated in a paper of 
reminiscence, which he drew up in his old age, that the water in 
the river was discolored by the mud from that wash-out for many 

A special town-meeting was warned to be held on the 1st of 
September: **To see if the town will bridge over the Gulley, or 


turn the road back of Capt. Lovewell's barn." It was voted — 
"That the road nigh Capt. Lovewell's shall continue where it was 
always trod'' and a bridge was built across the chasm. When the 
seminary building was erected the part of the gulley upon the 
•common was filled in by the town, at a cost of $700. 

In our northern latitude unseasonable storms are long 
remembered. During several years, from 1812 to 1818, the 
seasons were cold and the times were hard. The year 1816 was 
known as the *'cold year," and the "famine year." The season was 
■early, and planting was well advanced by the 15th of May. But 
the summer was very cold and there was frost in every month. 
Moosilauke was white twice in July and three times in August. On 
the 5th of June, some masons who were building a brick house at 
Bath Upper Village, were compelled to abandon their work until 
the 10th as the mortar froze in the open air. Thermometers had 
not then come into general use, but it was afterwards believed that 
the temperature was not much above zero. The corn was entirely 
•destroyed in that year — only a few saved enough for seed by 
maintaining fires around their com fields. James Works of 
Waterford went down to Connecticut and brought up a large 
-quantity of com in a flatboat, to Newbury, which he sold for $2.50 
per bushel, the common price at that period being about fiftj'- 
cents. Money was very scarce and provisions were so dear that 
some people suffered from hunger. A daughter of Thomas Brock 
was married in that year, and the family, although well-to-do, were 
hard pressed to provide the young lady with a suitable outfit. 

"May 15th, 1817," says an entry in an old account-book kept 
by Robert Bamett, **snow fell three inches deep at the Upper 
meadow, and in Orange it fell six inches deep, and so cold as to 
freeze potatoes which were planted." 

"June 16th there was a very hard frost which froze potatoes to the ground.'* 

On the 15th of May, 1834, occurred the great snow-storm 
which is a landmark in the memory of old people. An entry in an 
account-book kept by Jonas Tucker of West Newbury is as follows : 

'*Snow fell frora daylight to ten o'clock two feet deep, on higher land it fell two 
and a half— had it not settled it would probably have been from two and a half to 
three and a half deep. For about two hours it gained an inch in each ten minutes. 

16th May. The earth was completely covered with snow all day. 

17th, Bare spots appeared." 

The season was an early one. Plum and apple trees were in 
blossom before the middle of May, but on the 13th it grew suddenly 
-cold, and people along the river road planted com with their 
mittens on. The snow was damp and broke down trees badly. It 
grew cold after the storm, and water froze hard in the houses, and 
as far south as Concord, icicles two feet long, were formed. On the 
heights, east of Haverhill Comer, over three feet of snow fell. At 


Burlington the storm lasted about twenty-four hours. The stage 
from Burlington to Haverhill went all the way on runners. The 
stage from Montpelier to Danville stuck in the snow, and had to be 
abandoned. The third day was warm, and the snow was all gone 
before dark. The small streams were swollen to a great height, but 
the river was not much affected. In spite of the storm, 1834 was 
**a great fruit year." 

There has not since, been such an untimely storm. Many 
anecdotes are remembered by aged people, of cattle and sheep lost 
and perishing in the snow, and, in not a few instances, men who 
went to search for them became bewildered, and relief parties had 
to be organized to find them. 

The winters of 1843 and 1850 were extremelv cold, as was that 
of 1854. There were twenty mornings in February of the latter 
year, when the mercury was below zero. July and August were 
very dry. There was a heavy fog nearly every morning, but no 
rain, and very little fell during the fall. Fire, started in the swamp 
on Leighton hill, east of the farms of J. F. George and Mrs. Wheeler^ 
destroyed a large amount of timber, and all the men in the vicinity 
were called out to fight the fire, on the 22d, 23d and 24th of 

The 5th, 6th, and 7th of February, 1855, were believed by the 
oldest people to be the coldest days known since the town was 
settled. The mercury fell to— 36° at the Ox-bow, and, on the 7th, the 
highest point reached was —17°. The day was windy, and there 
were many suflFerers by the cold. At Boston the thermometer 
indicated -20°, at New York -7°, at Philadelphia -6°, and at 
Washington -3°. The winter of 1874 was remarkable for its length. 
On the 1st of May, the snow was still deep, and people did not 
gather in their sugar tools till after the 10th, and there was sugar 
made in this town after the 15th. But if we have had long winters 
and untimely snow-storms, we have also had winters of unusual 
mildness, and, more than once, the ground has entirely thawed out^ 
and people have done plowing in midwinter. 

On the 18th of January, 1817, when the snow was very deep^ 
there was a thunder-storm in the night which lasted two hours,, 
and many buildings were burned by lightning, in different parts of 
New England. In the evening of March 14, 1850, there was a 
heavy thunder-shower. The snow was deep, and the previous day 
was the first mild day of the spring. Several buildings have been 
struck by lightning and burned in this town, but so far as known,, 
no life has been lost from that cause. 

It seems singular that Colonel Johnson makes no mention of 
the famous **Dark Day" which occurred May 19, 1780. For 
several days previous, the air was full of smoke, and on the 
morning of the 19th there was, here in Newbury, a light shower, 
with some thunder. About ten o'clock it began to grow dark, and 


before noon it became so dark that one could not see to read in the 
open air, and all visible objects assumed strange colors. Fowls 
went to roost, small birds flew into the houses, as if seeking the 
protection of men, and cattle came home from the pastures, 
uttering strange cries of distress. Candles were lighted in the 
houses, and in places where there were churches, multitudes flocked 
to them, thinking that the end of the world had come. In the 
afternoon it rained, and the water which fell was discolored, as if 
mixed with soot. By four o'clock, it was as dark as it usually is at 
midnight, when there is no moon, and candles and torches burned 
with great brilliancy. It was the night of the full moon, but it was 
so dark that a sheet of white paper, held before the eyes, was 
invisible. Very^ few people slept that night, but sat up, and 
•*watched for the morning," which was remarkably clear, the sun 
rising in cloudless splendor. A great deal has been written about 
this occurrence, which is generally believed to have been caused by 
combined thick clouds and dense smoke. It did not extend much 
beyond the Hudson, and was darkest in southern New England. It 
was not as dark here in Newbury, but it was dense enough to be 
remembered as one of the remarkable events in the memories of old 
people fifty years ago. 

November 2, 1819, another dark day occurred, which recalled 
that of 1780. Candles were lighted in many of the houses at noon, 
but the obscurity passed away before evening. 

September 6, 1881, is celebrated in meteorological annals, as 
the **Yellow Day." This day was also very dark, and in houses 
and mills artificial light was used. The most remarkable feature 
was the strange colors which all objects assumed, yellow taking 
the mastery of all the rest, producing strange effects upon familiar 
objects. Kerosene and gas burned with intense brilliancy, like 
electric lights, and all outlines in the open air seemed to waver and 
grow indistinct. The air was very moist; the temperature about 
75°; the wind was north, and blew moderately. Toward evening 
these appearances gradually passed away. 

The meteoric shower of November 13, 1833, was one of the 
most wonderful sights ever witnessed. The night was perfectly 
clear, and about ten o'clock the display began. Thousands of 
meteors fell, some of them with dazzling brilliancy. The flashing 
was incessant, many at the same instant falling in all directions. 
People were awakened from sleep by the glare, and the superstitious 
thought that the end of the world had come. The comet of 1857 
was hardly less wonderful. When most brilliant, the head of the 
comet was at the zenith, while the tail had not all risen over the 
northern hills, and was in breadth about equal to one degree of the 
horizon. It was so bright that one could easily read by its light, 
and the shadows of objects were cast southward. It also passed 
away, but to the ignorant it was an object of dread, portentous of 
some great calamity in the universe. 


A Chapter of Local History. 


BoLTONs.— Present Mills.— Residents there in 1832.— The Lime Kiln 
Neighborhood.— First Settlers. — Schools.— Lime Burning.— Rbligious 
History.— The Swamp Road Fight.— The Grow and Doe Neighborhoods.— 
Disappearance of Families. 

THIS paper is compiled from an article upon Boltonville 
prepared several years ago by Mrs. Lydia S. Bolton; from 
a later paper by Mrs. N. Robinson; from information by Mr. 
Edward Miller, and from an account written by Mr. E. G. Parker 
upon the business men and farmers in Boltonville, in 1832. 

The first mention of the place now called Boltonville is found in 
General Whitelaw's Journal, and is as follows : 

**About the beginning of January, 1775, James Whitelaw 
purchased the part of lot 120 in Newbury that lies north of Wells 
River, with one-half the privilege of the river, to build milns for the 
company and James Henderson began to block out wood for 
building them. About the middle of August we raised the frame of 
the grist-miln and first framed house, and about the beginning of 
October we raised the sawmiln. 

*'Oct. 28, 1775. We set the grist-miln running. 

**July 1, 1776. Alarm came of St. Johns being retaken by the 
regulars, and that Indians would be sent through to lay waste the 
country ; all the people in Ryegate moved down to Newbury where 
they had more company, but after about ten days, and seeing no 
appearance of danger returned home. A few daj's later we set the 
sawmiln going, which answers its end very well." 

This land, and water privilege, was bought by the Scots 
American Company which settled Ryegate, because they found they 
had, in that town, no stream of water sufficient for mills. The 
frame of the first sawmill stood where the grist-mill shed now 



James Ferguson was the first miller. The first dwelling-house 
was occupied by Dea. Andrew Brock. These were the first buildings 
in the place. This water privilege is the best on Wells River, the 
stream falling about sixty feet in the course of six or eight rods, the 
last fall being about thirty feet. 

Later, James Smith bought ot Josiah Little the remainder of lot 
No. 120, lying on the south side of Wells River, and built his house 
on the plain, back of where Mr. Sly's house now stands, and the 
first road to Jefferson hill passed by it, and went over the great hill 
to the present comer of the Jefferson hill, and Scotch Hollow roads. 

On the 23d of May, 1787, the Scots American companv sold the 
mills, with the land that lies in Newbury, and two lots adjoining, in 
Ryegate, with a reserve of the pine lumber for the company's use, to 
Dea. Andrew Brock, and at this time the name of '*Brock's Falls" 
was given the place. In our earlier town records, it is called 
**Whitelaw's Mills.'' 

About 1809 the grist-mill and sawmill wete burned, but Deacon 
Brock at once set about rebuilding them, and soon had a new 
grist-mill completed, and set running. About 1812 there was a 
room finished off in the mill, and a carding machine put in. 

About 1817 Deacon Brock died, and from his estate in March, 
1820, John Bolton of Danville bought the grist-mill and carding- 
mill, and the land lying west of it in Newbury. The next month, 
William Bolton, then a young man, moved his family into the place. 
In the fall of 1820, John Bolton bought of Thomas Eames of Wells 
River, all the right he owned in the fulling-mill, which stood where 
the grist-mill shed now stands with the right of drawing water 
from the grist-mill flume. In the spring of 1826, John Bolton 
commenced erecting a building for carding and cloth dressing. 

In the spring of 1827, the machinery was taken out of the 
grist-mill, removed to the factory, and Mr. Gardner carried on the 
business there. In the spring of 1829, the old Brock grist-mill was 
torn down, and the present one, built by John and William Bolton, 
at a cost of $4,000, was set running on the 29th of September the 
same year. In 1835, John Waddell bought of John Bolton the 
water privilege at the head of the great falls, erected a house and 
shop, together, for the manufacture of furniture and general 
repairing, and occupied it until his decease. In 1843 John Bolton 
died, and the property he owned in Newbury was, by will, left to 
his son, William, and the wife of his son Luther. In 1853 William 
Bolton took down the old house which Deacon Brock built in 
1775, and built the one in which Mr. Robinson now lives, very near 
where it stood. 

In 1863 H. K. Worthley bought the grist-mill owned by William 
Bolton, and kept it in his hands until December, 1887, when it was 
sold to Freeman P. Tucker. At the latter's death it passed into the 
hands of his brother, Samuel A. Tucker. 


In the year 1831 a mail route was established from Wells River 
to West Topsham, through Groton, and a petition was sent to 
Washington for a post office at what had been known as Brock's 
Falls. At the suggestion of Mr. Robert Whitelaw, the name of the 
place was called Bolton ville, and William Bolton was the first 
postmaster. He resigned the office in 1841, and Thomas Wasson 
was appointed in his place, which he held until the office w^as 
discontinued. In 1863 it was re-established, and H. K. Worthley, 
F. P. Tucker, and S. A. Tucker have since held the office. The 
carding-mill and farm are now owned by Charles S. Bolton. Thus 
far the narrative of Mrs. Bolton. 

Mr. Parker tells us of the residents of Bolton ville in 1832: — 

John Waddell ran a wheelwright and carpenter's shop in the 
basement of the factory building, later he built the house and shop, 
(now owned by Mr. Sargent, and used as cider mill, etc.,) and 
continued the same business until his death. Jacob W. Sulham was 
the village shoemakei* ; he owned, and lived in a house where Mr. 
Sargent's house now stands. As was the custom, Mr. Sulham went 
from house to house with his **kit" of tools, fitting and repairing 
boots and shoes for each member of the family. He also took his 
fiddle for evening entertainment, where the neighbors were sure to 
form a merry group around the tallow candles, to hear the fiddle 
talk. Israel Sly, the blacksmith, lived in the basement of William 
Bolton's house, on nearly the same site where N. Robinson now 
lives. He built the shop now standing near the iron bridge. Later 
he built the house on the hill, where his son Edwin now lives, 
working in the shop, and farming until his death. Mrs. Sly, his 
wife, lived with her son, Edwin, until her death, November 23, 1899. 
Jacob F. Paige, carpenter and joiner, lived in the house now owned 
by Mrs. Mary Hadlock. His shop was in the back part of his 
house, but his business and family increased so fast he was obliged 
to build a house and shop on land now owned by N. Robinson, the 
buildings long since torn down. 

Samuel Boyce lived in a log house a little south of where D. B. 
Reid now lives, and raised a family of five boys and three girls. 
Horatio Stebbins lived on nearly the same site where Alonzo Boyce 
resides, carried on a small farm, and did blacksmith work in a shop 
near his house. Enoch Nelson owned the farm, and lived in the 
house which Lewis Hill now owns and occupies. His brother, 
Stephen Nelson, owned a large farm at the end of the road, beyond 
where Mrs. Stephen Putman now lives. Mr. Nelson was a 
successful farmer, an honest and respected citizen. William Gardner 
owned the Vance farm, and lived in a log house south of where Mr. 
Vance now lives, John McLure lived — and cleared up the farm — 
and built a set of buildings near where his sons James and Charles, 
now live. Mr. McLure was a staunch Presbyterian, and deacon of 
the church for many years; a hard-working, industrious farmer. 


ames Henderson, senior, built, 
ames Gardner now lives; and 

accumnlating quite a property, 
about 1806, the house in which 
his son James built that in which Edwin Henderson and his 
mother reside, selling the old house and part of the farm 
to Hugh Gardner, father of the said James. A Mr. Quint owned 
and lived on the farm on the hill, where his son Josiah now 
lives; he also built a mill at the Quint place, so-called, where 
barley was hulled and oatmeal was made, doing a large business, 
as that was the only mill of the kind for miles around. James 
Foresythe lived on the farm now owned by Mrs. Cole and formerh', 
by the late Duncan Ritchie. Michael Cross lived on a small farm on 
the main road, at that time, leading to Jefferson Hill, and made 
baskets. Charles Wheeler, better known as *'Uncle Charlie," owned a 
few acres of land a little off the main road, and gained a livelihood 
by hunting, fishing and trapping. William Randall, father of 
Moses Randall, owned a farm and lived on the hill back of where 
Moses Randall now lives. 

The Methodist society held meetings in the summer seasons, in 
a bam on William Gardner's farm, near where James Vance now 
lives; afterwards in the hall of the factory building; later in a 
schoolhouse standing on the site of the M. & W. R. R. station. 

School was held in a log schoolhouse, near where James Vance's 
sugar house now stands. In 1834 it was burned, and for several 
years school was held in different places in the district : in a room 
over John Waddell's shop; in the hall of factory building; and in 
Jacob F. Paige's shop, until the district could agree upon a building 
lot, for the schoolhouse above mentioned. 

Along the west side of the town, from Ryegate line south, lies a 
deep valley, shut in on the west by the massive Topsham hills, and 
on the east by Jefferson hill, and the heights west of the Center, and 
Long pond. The west line of the "hundred acre lots" passes for 
several miles along the bottom of this valley, and the west side of 
it lies mostly within the **half mile strip," or "Whiting's Gore." 
About midway lie two small ponds. The outlet from one of them, 
called Scott's brook, finds its way down the valley northward, to 
Wells river at South Ryegate. The water from the south of these 
ponds follow^ the valley southwest into Topsham, and Tabor 
branch of Wait's river, by a small stream called the Levi brook. 
The soil along the valley is of limestone formation, deep and 
productive. The farms which cling to the hills on the west, are 
among the best in town, and the locality is noted for its orchards, 
and its excellent pasturage. 

This part of the town, once called the Nourse neighborhood, 
and often. District No. 12, is more generally designated as the 
"Lime Kiln." It' was long somewhat isolated from the rest of 


the town, its only outlet, except through Topsham, being the 
road across the hills to Newbury village, seven miles away. 
Consequently it has a history and annals which are all its own, 
and somewhat of these have been gathered for this chapter, by Mr. 
Henry Whitcher, Mr. C. B. Fisk, and Mr. Thomas P. Bailey. There 
is material of tale and legend among the hills of this town to 
furnish a volume for a novelist. 

The first settlers came about 1789, and made clearings in the 
dense woods. Among them were John McAlvin, Adam Salter, 
David Pulsifer, Stephen Chase, Mason Randall, and Josiah Newton. 
The first recorded deed was from Mason Randall to Jeremiah and 
David Nourse, May 9, 1803, and the second, September 5, 1803, 
from Stephen Chase to Josiah Newton, who conveyed, in July, 1815, 
to Robert Johnston, the same farm, which is now the homestead of 
Henry Whitcher. 

Most of the families which were prominent there fifty years 
ago, came after residing some years in Ryegate or Groton. The 
Whitcher and Renfrew families came that wav; the Eastmans 
from New Hampshire; the Nourse and Boynton people from 
Windham County. Some of the early families came over from 

For a few years the children of that locality attended school in 
Topsham, it being a union district, the schoolhouse standing on the 
edge of the lonely burial ground which lies high among the hills on 
the old Topsham road. In 1807, District No. 12 was established, 
and a schoolhouse was afterward built on the Nourse farm, near 
the small cemetery there. Later a schoolhouse was erected near 
Isaac Eastman's which was remodelled in 1889, at an expense of 
about $800, and is used also for religious meetings. 

Some time near 1829, John Botten began the manufacture of 
lime, which was carried on later by Charles George, who did a large 
business until 1836 or *37, when he sold out to Isaac Eastman, who 
continued the work about twenty years, until competition from 
lime brought by railroad ruined the business, as the new quality 
was whiter. Mr. Eastman made, in some years, about 3,000 
bushels of lime, which was used in all the region, and walls 
plastered with it sixty years ago are still firm. 

Isaac Olmsted, in 1830, began the making of chairs, which he 
carried on some three years. Josiah Dow and Samuel Eastman 
were shoemakers. George Cook was a blacksmith for some time 
about 1841. David Chase, and his son-in-law, W. B. Stevens, were 
coopers. In 1846-8 William H. Nourse built a sawmill in the north 
end of the district, which did a good business for several years. In 
1838 there were, in that part of the town set off as district No. 12, 
in 1807, seventeen families which embraced 115 persons, and sent 
thirty-four scholars to school. In the same region there are now 
twelve families and forty-five persons, with seven children of school 





age. The present bounds of the district contain twenty-two 
families, with ninety-two inhabitants, and twenty children who 
attended school. Several well known teachers came from this 
locality, and two or three college graduates. 

The religious history of this part of the town is somewhat 
peculiar, as it is remote, and no church was ever organized there. 
There have always been members of several churches in the vicinity 
who lived at the Lime Kiln, and religious services have been held a 
part of the time during the past eighty years. Rev. Daniel 
Batchelder from Corinth, who built up a large Free Will Baptist 
church in that town, labored there successfully about 1815, and 
later. Rev's Paul Richmond and William Peck gained converts to 
the Methodist church by their fervent preaching. Rev. Clark Perry, 
and others of the Congregational order, held many services there. 
After the opening of Newbury Seminary, the zeal of both professors 
and students led them to that valley, and stated services were long 
held, and a Sunda}* school was in very successful operation. There 
were always good singers in that neighborhood, and the fine 
singing drew encomiums from Bishop Baker. In 1842, an 
Adventist preacher by the name of Staples came, and held large 
grove meetings, predicting the exact time of the end of the world. 
But the date which he had set for the final consummation having 
passed with no manifest change in the operations of the universe, 
the excitement which he produced soon died away, and the preacher 
departed. Representatives of seven shades of doctrines reside in 
that neighborhood at the present time. 

This fragment of local history must also include mention of a 
controversy called the **Swamp Road fight." This road, which 
begins at the old Burbank mill site on Scott's brook, near South 
Ryegate, follows this stream across a cedar swamp to a point on 
the Levi brook road near David Lumsden's, and was built in 1860. 
It is about two miles and three-quarters long. Before that road 
was built the residents there could get their produce to market 
only by the roundabout road through Topsham, Corinth and 
Bradford, or by choice of climbing over Jefferson hill, or the hills 
toward Newbury street. It took six years of struggle to get the 
much-needed road surveyed and built. 

A petition with about 200 names attached, dated September 
30, 1854, was presented to the selectmen, who were A. B. W. 
Tenney, John B. Carleton and Joseph Smith, praying them to lay 
out and build this road. This they refused to do, as did another 
board a year or two later, on the ground that the road would 
benefit Corinth, Topsham and Ryegate more than it would 
Newbury, and recommended that a Courts Commission be 
appointed, with power to assess those towns to help build the 
road. Accordingly a petition was presented to the court, and 
Stephen Thomas, A. H. Gilmore and John B. Peckettwere appointed 


as a commission. They viewed the proposed route, and after 
holding several hearings, decided that the road should be built, and 
that Ryegate and Topsham should be assessed forty per cent of the 
cost. This decision aroused much opposition among the largest 
taxpayers of these towns, who were not much interested in the 
building of a road which lay in a remote corner of Newbury, and 
much more bitterness was engendered there than the affair would 
seem to have warranted. Seventeen meetings of the commission 
were held, at which the petitioners were represented by Hon. C. B. 
Leslie, assisted by Robert Ormsby and J. W. Batchelder. The towns 
employed counsel to oppose the building of the road, and many 
were bitterly opposed to it who knew little or nothing about the 
matter. But the petitioners were in the end triumphant, and Mr. 
Whitcher, who, with Thomas P. Bailey, managed their cause, were 
successful in stopping the opposition of Topsham, and Col. Horatio 
Brock being town agent in 1859, having satisfied himself of the 
necessity of the road, recommended the building of it. At that 
time, Ephraim Bailey, T. P. Bailey, and Charles H. George, lived on 
the line of the proposed road, and were not near anyone already 
built. He directed that the road should be built, which was done, 
and completed in November, 1860. 

The building of the railroad through South Ryegate brought 
this locality nearer a market, and the swamp road is now one of 
the most travelled in town, and not expensive to keep in repair. 

Before closing the account of this controversy it is proper to 
say that while there were plenty of people who were perfectly 
willing to do all the talking which was called for, and more, the 
financial load was carried by a few, and the survivors wish their 
names preserved. They were: Henry Whitcher, Ephraim Bailey, 
T. P. Bailey, James Peach, C. H. George, Isaac Eastman, John 
Peach, John Weed, Levi James, Nelson Renfrew, James Crawford, 
Thomas Wormwood and William Hunter of Newbury, George Hall, 
James White and J. B. Darling of Ryegate, S. F. McAllister, W. T. 
George, Lyman Batchelder and Valentine Weed of Topsham. 

There was a prospect, at one time, that the Montpelier and 
Wells River railroad would be built up Scott's brook, thence to 
East Corinth, and through the vicinity of the copper mines, but 
nothing came of it. 

Newbury is such a large town in area, that the Grow and Doe 
neighborhoods, in the southwestern comer, are more than twelve 
miles from Wells River by the nearest roads. Settlements, 
however, began in that part of the town much earlier than in 
other sections which are now more thickly settled. Settlements 
began in Topsham, just beyond the Newbury line in 1781, on what 
was soon known as Chamberlain hill, and is now oftener called 
Currier hill. Eighty years ago that localitj', on both sides of the 
line, was quite densely populated ; there was a store and a tavern 


on Carrier hill, and trainings were long held on the old Chamberlain 
farm. The first settlers of Topsham were a fine race of people, and 
more than one man of national fame has come from that town. *In 
both the Doe and Grow neighborhoods, were early established 
several families of marked individuality, who were of good 
standing in the town, and acquired considerable wealth. Among 
these were the Grow, Putnam and Chapman families, of the first 
settlers, and the Pultons, Bmersons and others, later comers. Doe, 
Clark and Corliss, were the most common names in the other school 
district, with the Renfrews, who came later. There was a fine 
Scotch element here, and some of the most prominent men in town 
affairs have lived in this locality. 

This section of Newbury is drained by branches of Waits river, 
and its inhabitants receive their mail at Bast Corinth. Many 
families, which in the early decades of the century were prominent 
around West Newbury, have entirely disappeared before the end of 
it. The Carters and the Haseltines are all gone, and only one 
family keeps up the Rogers name. 

If no other value belongs to the present volume, it will preserve 
the names and deeds of these, and other families — the substantial 
people of Newbury in their time. 

*NoTB. President Gates of Iowa College is a native of Topsham, and Rev. AIti 
T. Twine, D. D., secretary of the Missionary Society of the BpiscopaJ church from 
1866, till his death in 1882, was also bom in that town. 



Merchants and Business Men of Newbury. 

First Storb.— Colonel Wallace.— Colonel Johnson.— David Johnson.— "The 
Depot Building."— The Morse Building.— The Chad wick Store.— The 
Old Book-store.— The Keyes Family.— Other Merchants.— Merchants 
at West Newbury.— At the Centre. 

COL. WILLIAM WALLACE is understood by Mr. Perry to have 
opened, about 1775, the first store in Newbury, in a building 
which stood near Mr. Lawrie's house. A few years later he 
removed this building, which he considerably enlarged, to the site 
now occupied by the library. When he erected the house which 
afterward became the Spring Hotel, he removed this building to the 
other side of the street, where it still stands, the back part of the 
old "Newbury House." 

Col. Thomas Johnson was a merchant as well as an innkeeper, 
and kept store in a building now used as a com bam by Mr. Weed. 
He afterward fitted up a wing to his house for that purpose. This, 
long after removed, is the kitchen part of Mr. James Lang's house. 
His son David Johnson succeeded him in the business, which they 
had for some time carried on together, and built the brick building, 
now the residence of Mr. Southworth, in which he did business 
until within a year or two of his death. A clerk of Colonel 
Johnson's a century ago, named Tural Tufts, wrote a beautiful 
hand, and kept writing-school winters. 

Of other than these, as traders, we have very little account. 
One John McLain is mentioned often in the early annals as a 
merchant, but who he was, or where he traded, are uncertain. He 

Note. It was intended that this paper should follow that of Mr. Leslie upon 
Wells River. Btit many desired particulars could not be obtained then, and other 
chapters were substituted. It is to be regretted that some one, to whom the history 
of the village is as familiar as that of Wells River is to Mr. Leslie, had not prepared 
this chapter. 


must have been here several years, a century and more ago. One 
Stickney, or, perhaps, two brothers of the name, carried on business 
here about the time of the war of 1812. There were, probably, 
others, whose names have not come down to us, who did a 
mercantile business in the earlier decades of the century. 

In 1820, Dr. Luther Jewett had a drug-store in his house — ^the 
one under the great elm south of the cemetery. In the '90*s Nathan 
Covcrly, Jr., kept a book and stationery store in connection with 
his printing office, which was in a building nearly opposite where 
the late Miss Swasey lived. James Spear, who built and owned 
what is now Montebello House, was a hatter, and had a shop in a 
small building which stood near it, in which he kept the post office 
for some time. The present Congregational parsonage was a 
grocery in the early '30s, and afterwards became a tailor's shop. 
Hon. Joseph Berry is advertised in the Democratic Republican about 
the same time as keeping a book-store. 

About 1830, Simeon and Austin Avery erected a large building 
for the Tyson Furnace Company of Plymouth, Vt. This was 
intended as a place for the storage and sale, for this region, of their 
plows and stoves, and was called the **Depot Building." Mr. Peter 
Wheelock was the Company's agent for some time. This building 
stood between T. C. Keyes's house and the town clerk's office; was 
very large, standing with its end to the street, and, in front was 
much like Keyes's st9re. The lower floor was divided by a hall 
which ran the whole length of the building, and there was another 
on the second floor. There were always several families living 
there, and a number of small stores were opened in it— and closed. 
Paul McKinstry carried on the stove and hardware business there, 
for many years. Hayes & Co. had their printing office in that 
building, and Mr. Mclndoe began there the publication of the 
"Aurora." On the second floor Simeon Shepardson took 
photographs and ambrotypes, in the '50's and '60's. This 
building was burned in the fire of 1876. 

Where the town clerk's office now stands, William K. Wallace 
had a small building in which he carried on the watch and clock 
business. Burnham Shepard succeeded him, who sold to S. L. 
Swasey, in 1875. 

There was a building on the comer where James B. Hale's store 
now is, as earlj' as 1810. Timothy Morse came here about 1815, 
and remained here till his death, nearly fifty years later. He built 
the store on the corner last mentioned, which was burned in 1876. 
He was a very active, energetic man, who always had several lines 
of business in his hands at a time. Mr. Morse was a brother of 
Robert Morse, a well known innkeeper at Rumney, and largely 
engaged in the stage business. Timothy Morse married a daughter 
of Cotton Haines of Rumney, the wives of Seth Greenleaf and 
W. W. Simpson, well known stage proprietors and drivers, being. 


sisters of Mrs. Morse. Mr. Greenleaf was the first conductor on 
the old Boston, Concord and Montreal railroad, and was employed 
in that capacity till 1868. Mr. C. H. Greenleaf of the Profile House 
is his son. 

Dennison R. Bumham came here about 1830, and his first 
partner, in the Morse building, was a Mr. Skinner. This partner- 
ship did not last long, for Mr. Morse bought Mr. Skinner out, and 
the firm became Morse & Burnham. James M. Chadwick, who had 
been their clerk, came into the firm, and they had a branch store at 
South Newbury, in the house now that of Mr. A. B. Rogers. Later 
Mr. Burnham removed to Plymouth, N. H., and kept the 
Pemigewasset House, until it was burned, in October, 1862. 
Carlos M. Morse, son of Timothy, bought out Mr. Chadwick, and 
had Anson M. Stevens as a partner for some two years. After 
carrying on the store alone about a year, Mr. Morse sold out to 
Henry H. Deming, in 1862. 

Timothy Morse was one of the most active business men 
Newbury ever had. His plans embraced a great variety ot 
ventures, many of which were successful, and others were not. He 
owned the great meadow farm which is now that of Frank E. 
Kimball, and usually had some building operation going on. He 
built the brick part of the old Newbury House, the brick house in 
which the Leslie family live, that of S. -L. Swasey and that of C. F. 
Darling, and others. He was largely influential in erecting the 
Methodist church building in 1829. There had been much 
controversy and some bitterness about the old meeting-house 
between the two religious societies, but Mr. Morse was far-sighted 
enough to see that it was for the interest of the Methodist society 
that it should have a house of worship of its own. The event 
proved his sagacity, as one of the motives which operated largely 
in securing the establishment of Newbury Seminary here was the 
fact that the society had a good church building. 

Mr. Deming came from St. Johnsbury, and carried on that store 
till 1882. The later years, his son, Charles H. Deming, was his 
partner, and, before the store was sold to James B. Hale, in 1882, 
C. H. Deming had carried on the business alone. Mr. Hale has now 
been in trade on that corner eighteen years. About the time Mr. 
Deming came here, Mr. Chadwick erected a small building in front 
of his house, which was the one in which Mrs. Jacob Worthen lives, 
and in which he kept a general store till a few years before he died. 
This store is now the middle part of that in which Silsby & 
Knight have their grocery and feed business. After Mr. Chadwick, 
Ezra A. Day, now of Worcester, Mass., kept store there, the 
building being moved to the site of Silsby & Knight's store. 
Horace W. Bailey came into it a year or two after Mr. Day went 
away, and kept groceries and feed. He erected the front part of 
that building. Before the fire of 1876, there was a long, two story 



building, with a high basement, standing with its end to the 
street, between the house and the store of James B. Hale. It was 
an old building, and had many occupants. Deacon Swasej does 
not remember its erection or its builder. L. J. Mclndoe had his 
printing office in it, after he went out of the depot building. He 
also had an excellent book-store, which his brother. Rev. David 
Mclndoe, kept after him. Mr. James Smillie had his book-store 
there a few months in 1870-'71. 

On the other side of the street. Col. William Wallace kept store 
in the back part of what is now called the "Old Newbury House," 
which, in 1834, his son, Moses Wallace, offered for sale, in the 
Democratic Republican. Timothy Morse built the brick part of 
that old hotel, and it was used for a tavern till about 1873. There 
was a brick blacksmith shop in those days, on the brow of the hill, 
back of Mr. M. A. Gale's house. 

The business house now represented by Thomas C. Keves, has 
existed longer than any other in this vicinity excepting, ^rhaps, 
that in Bradford of which J. B. W. Prichard is the present head, 
whose father. Col. George W. Prichard, began business there, in 

Reed & Gould were general merchants in the building which is 
now the dwelling-house occupied by J. E. Worthen, and which then 
stood where Mr. Keyes's store now stands. In 1823, Freeman 
Keyes, then a young man of eighteen, came here from Vershire, as 
their clerk. In 1825, his brother Henry, then fifteen years old came, 
into that store. In 1829, Mr. Gould died, and Freeman was taken 
into the firm, which then became Reed & Keyes, and when Henry 
became of age, in 1831, the two brothers bought out Mr. Reed, and 
formed a partnership, under the firm name of F. & H. Keyes, which 
continued without interruption till 1854. During this time they 
built up one of the strongest mercantile firms in Orange county. 
From 1831 till after 1834, at least, the brothers conducted a branch 
store, in "Goshen," a few rods from the meeting-house. *The 
building was taken down about 1880. One of the brothers was 
usually in charge of this establishment, and it did a large business. 
It was called **Keyes*s backstore." Mr. T. P. Hazelton was in 
charge of it at one time. In addition to their mercantile business 
they conducted other enterprises. After the death of Rasmus Jonson 
they bought the distillery, and converted the buildings into a 
tannery in which they did a fair amount of leather manufacture, 
making a market for hemlock bark. 

In 1846, the Connecticut and Passumpsic railroad was begun. 
The firm commenced by subscribing $10,000 for stock, which was 
frequently increased as more money was needed. From that time 

•Their first store was in Bradford, but they erected a bailditig just on the 
Newbury side of the line. After some years they sold to William McDuffie. 


Henry Keyes devoted most of his time to the railroad enterprise, 
leaving the management of the store to his brother. In 1854, the 
brothers dissolved partnership, Freeman taking the store, and 
Henry took the farm in Haverhill. This was the General Dow farm, 
which was owned by Mr. Dow and his heirs from 1785 to 184?8, 
when it was sold to the C. & P. R. R. Co. to avert a suit for 
damages, threatened by the circumstance that the building of the 
embankment in the river, just above the point of rocks, on the 
Newbury side, had caused the river to wash away some part of the 
farm in Haverhill. This farm was bought by F. & H. Keyes in 
1850. The firm was reconstructed under the name of F. & H. T. 
Keyes, the latter member being a younger brother, Horace T., who 
remained in the firm till 1872. In 1864, Thomas C. Keyes, son 
of Freeman, was admitted as a partner, the firm name being F. & 
H. T. Keyes & Co. In 1871, Freeman Kej-es died, and, a year later 
T. C. Keyes assumed the management, which he still retains. 

The present building was erected in 1840, and the old store was 
moved to its present site, the third building below the Keyes's store. 
The store was not closed during the moving of the building, but 
customers were let in and out of it by movable steps. John A. 
Meader was the master workman on the present building. The 
upper part was finished off for, and used as, a tenement. 

The post office building was put up for a storehouse originally, 
with a hall above, which was used by the Sons of Temperance, 
**The Know-Nothings,*' and, later by the Masons, being called 
**Pulaski Hall." During the civil war this hall was used by the 
ladies who made supplies for the soldiers. During many years the 
upper part of the store was used for offices, tailor shops and the 
like, and the telegraph oflSce was there till about 1862. In the 
long period — almost eighty years — in which the Keyes family has 
conducted the mercantile business in Newbury, a great many young 
men and boys entered their employment, and were trained toward 
the attainment of the success in business, which most of them 

Some particulars of clerkship are preserved which cast light 
upon the wages of the time : 

In 1829 Royal Blake engaged to work one j'ear in the store as 
clerk for $70, one-half cash and the other half goods at twenty-five 
per cent advance. In 1830, he left the store and went on the road, 
peddling goods for one-half the profits made after deducting the 
cost of freight, and all expenses. In 1845 Josiah Tilden came there 
to learn the business, and was to receive $35 the first year, and $10 
in advance each following year. Several other young men entered 
the store from time to time, on similar terms. 

About 1825, William Bailey bought the old **Lovewell Tavern 
stand," and with Dea. John Buxton as his partner, conducted a 
general store for some years. 

Deacon Buxton was. a harness maker, who, later, took his 


apprentice, Ebenezer C. Stocker, into partnership. Mr. Stockcr 
carried on the business after Deacon Buxton retired, until he died, 
in 1892. 

P. W. Ladd came from Haverhill in 1828, and after working 
many years at the blacksmith trade, went into the stove and tin 
ware business, in the building which Mr. Marcy uses for a carriage 

The building in which E. H. Famham carries on the cabinet 
business, was built and after some years enlarged, by Mr. George 
Ropes, who came here about 1826, and married a daughter of John 
Johnson. He did considerable business, and made many winnowing 
mills, some of which are still in use. 

Evelyn H. Farnham made furniture and coffins, and did general 
repairing in that building, and his son, bearing the same name, is a 
cabinet maker, and has done a great deal of fine work in repairing 
and renovating antique furniture. 

There has been no general store at South Newbury since the 
branch store of Morse & Burnham went out of trade. Mr. Runnels 
has kept a grocery in his mill, since he came there, in 1881. There 
was no merchant at West Newbury until Capt. Samuel Eastman 
began trade in 1841. He built the store in which J. B. C. Tyler 
now trades. In 1847* he built a starch factory near the Union 
Meeting-House. Mr. Eastman failed in business, and was succeeded 
in the same building by Hazen K. Wilson, who took Horatio N. 
Carleton as partner, a year or two later. In 1870 they built a new 
store where the creamery is now, and carried on a very large 
business. In 1874 Mr. Carleton went out of the firm, and John N. 
Brock became partner with Mr. Wilson till 1877, when he sold out 
to Mr. Wilson, and removed to Bradford. Mr. Wilson took his son 
George into trade with him, and conducted the business till the 
winter of 1882-'3, when he closed out and went to Florida. David 
.Brown, with a small capital, went into the building and did a little 
trade, and died there. The Darlings of South Ryegate bought the 
building and put in a new stock of goods, a Mr. Adams, who had 
been in the store of A. T. Stewart & Co., New York, being their 
manager. This store was burned while owned by the Darlings 
February 21, 1888. 

John B. C. Tyler is the merchant at West Newbury now, in the 
old Eastman store. A telephone line was constructed from South 
Newbury to West Newbury in 1897. Samuel Gibson kept store, 
many years ago, in a wing of the tavern-house built by him, and 
afterward long owned by John Wood at the Centre. In 1865 
Thomas P. Bailey opened a general store, at the same place, which 
he kept till 1869. In 1870, Nelson B. Tewksbury began trade in 
the same rooms, building his present store in 1871. He has carried 
on a general mercantile business there for over thirty years. 

*Thi8 date is incorrectly gtTen in a prcTions chapter as 1841. 


Cemeteries — Care of the Poor — ^The Militia. 

Ox-bow Cbmbtbry.— Thb Grow Nbighborhood.— Rogers Hill. — Wrst Nbw- 
BURY.— At Wblls Riybr.— BoLTONYnxB.— Jbffbrson Hill.— Town Housb.— 
Thb Poor.— Warning Out of Town.— "Sblling thb Poor.''— TownParms.— 
Thb Old Miutia. 

THE oldest burial-ground in this town, and one of the very 
oldest in this state, is the Ox-bow cemetery, which has 
been in continuous use since 1763. Rev. Clark Perry, in 1831^ 
states that the first person buried there was Polly Harriman, 
who died in Haverhill in the spring of 1763, whose remains were 
brought over to Newbury for burial. Mr. Perry twice repeats 
the same statement later in his discourse, which was delivered 
while there were several persons living, who might have attended 
her funeral. But Rev. Grant Powers, writing sixteen years later, 
states that she was buried near the meeting-house at Horse 
Meadow. The second person buried there was the first who died 
in this town — "the Widow Pettibone." The third was Abraham 
Webb, who was an half-breed Indian, and had been a slave of 
Gen, Jacob Bayley. To quote Mr. Perry's precise language: 
"Polly Harriman, the Widow Pettibone, and Abraham Webb, 
were the first three occupants of that plot of ground where 
most of the fathers and many of the children, and the stranger 
that came to sojourn among them, now sleep together in quiet 
silence." It is believed that it was, formerly, an Indian burial- 
ground, as human bones were exhumed in digging the earliest 
graves. Originally, the cemetery did not come up to the road, 
but there was once a house between it and the highway. This 
was removed long before the birth of any one living. 

The town-meeting, held May 28, 1776, voted— "To clear and 
fence the burying-ground," by which vote it would seem that little 






pains had then been expended upon the last resting place of the 
dead. There is no recorded action regarding the cemetery again 
till March 27, 1798, when the town voted— '*To fence the two 
front sides of the burial-ground that is near the court-house with 
cedar posts, hard-wood rails tenanted in the posts, and boards 
nailed on sd rails, with pickets sawed in top, the back sides to be 
fenced with cedar posts and rails.'' It will be remembered that 
there was then one house, and perhaps more than one, in what is 
now the newest part of the yard, and a lane ran along the south 
side of the old part. Additions have been made to the ground from 
time to time till it now includes several acres. 

The older part had long been neglected, and had grown up to a 
thicket of pine bushes and poplar trees, which had, in some 
instances fallen, and broken down the ancient stones, few of which 
are now left. In 1870 these bushes were all cut down, and the 
ground cleared of the undertow th. The oldest stone which can 
be deciphered bears the date of 1768— the name has crumbled 
away and no one knows whose dust has lain there all these years. 
Many of the older stones were made by a Mr. Risley, at Hanover, 
and paid for in wheat. Some of the bills are still in existence. The 
fine and well-preserved stone erected to the memory of **Mr. Peter 
Powers, son of Rev. Peter Powers, and Mrs. Martha Powers, his 
wife, who died at New York, in ye Continental Army, September 
30, 1776, in his 19th year," was made by Mr. Risley in 1790, 
and cost twenty bushels of wheat. The one to Rev. Jacob Wood 
(now broken) cost eighteen bushels, and the one to Capt. Simeon 
Stevens cost the same amount. Manv of the later slate stones 
were carved by Wyman Smith. The early headstones, with their 
quaint inscriptions and elaborate carvings are nearly all gone, 
and pains should be taken to preserve the few that remain, No 
record is known to exist of the number of burials in this village 
of the dead. 

It is probable that, with one or two possible exceptions, no 
burial-ground east of the Green Mountains, in this state, contains 
the dust of an equal number of revolutionary soldiers. The late 
Col. Jacob Kent believed that about seventy-five were buried there. 
His estimate is probably under rather than over the real number. 
It also holds the dust of several men who were participants in the 
earlier struggle— the French and Indian war. Ot many, the places 
of their burial can no longer be pointed out, and in a few years, 
more of these heroes' graves will have disappeared. It is the duty 
of the town, either of itself, or by acting through some patriotic 
society, to see that the graves which can be indicated, are provided 
with suitable headstones. 

The following are the names of revolutionary soldiers who are 
buried here, whose gfraves, with very few exceptions, are known. 


The titles given are those which indicate their rank as commissioned 
officers, in the Continental service. 

Bancroft Abbott Jacob Fowler 

Nathan Avery Abner Fowler 

Gen. Jacob Bayley Jonathan Goodwin 

Capt. Jacob Bayley Nehemiah Hadley 

Major Joshua Ba3-ley Jonathan Hadley 

Capt. Frye Bayley Sylvanns Heath 

Capt. John G. Bayley Capt. Lemuel Holmes 

James Bayley Col. Thomas Johnson 

James Bayley s^ Joe (Indian) 

John Bamett Col. Robert Johnston 

Thomas Brock Col. Jacob Kent 

Peletiah Bliss Jacob Kent, Jr. 

Joel Carbee Capt. Nehemiah Lovewell 

Richard Chamberlin Peter Martin 

Lient. Abiel Chamberlin Thomas Mellen 

Lieat. Joseph Chamberlin John Milk 

Benjamin Chamberlin John Mills, Jr. 

Moses Chamberlain William Peach 

Remembrance Chamberlain Gideon Smith 

Asa Co burn Capt. Simeon Stevens 

William Doe Peletiah Watson 

John Baton William Wallace. 

The absence of any memorials to mark the last resting place 
' of so many of the patriotic dead of the revolution is easily 
understood by any one who calls to mind the poverty of the 
country in the early days, the destruction by time of so many of 
the rude stones, and the fact that many of these veterans died very 
poor, and 

**Lie here by poverty distressed no more." 

Few of the men of the revolution survived when the country grew 
rich enough to pension its heroes, but in that place of graves lies 
the forgotten dust of many a brave man. There should be some 
organization to preserve the memorials which remain. 

Of the soldiers of the war of 1812, the following are known to 
be buried there : 

Col. John BavW John Bayley J. Amherst Bayley 

Michael Bayley Edward Rollins Ross C. Ford 

Simeon Stevens George Averj*. 

Soldiers of the civil war : 

George Bailey William O. Moulton 

Georj^e Chalmers Alvin G. McKinstry 

Henry E. Dunbar James A. Newell 

Samuel A. Eastman Edwin M. Noyes 

Charles W. Greenleaf Owen O'Mallev 

W. W. Johnston Orvin C. Temple 

Joseph Kent C. S. Wallace 

Edward P. Keyes Emery J. Webster. 
Thomas F. Kelley 

This cemetery has, of late years, received the oversight of an 
association which has expended considerable labor and money in 





- 1 a 


the care of the grounds. While much has been* done, much is 
needed — the building of a receiving tomb, the introduction of a 
water supply, and many lesser conveniences for the proper care of a 
large cemetery. 

Next in age to that at the Ox-bow is probably one in the 
extreme southwest part of the town, in what was long called the 
Grow neighborhood. This cemetery has a sunny location, with a 
southwesterly slope, and is believed by Mr. D. S. Fulton to contain 
about 200 graves, only a part of which are marked. Reuben Page, 
who saw several years' service in the Revolutionary war, Benjamin 
Muzzey, who was in local service, and Daniel Stevens, who was a 
teamster in the army at 17, are buried there. This cemetery 
contains one or two of the quaintly carved stones which were 
common about 1800. The burial-ground near the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse, is on land conveyed to the town by Daniel Eastman, 
in 1801, and the interments there are estimated by Mr. David 
Eastman at above 200. John and David Haseltine, Thomas 
Eastman, Paul Ford and Joseph Olmsted, were revolutionary 
soldiers, whose remains rest there, and probably others. The 
ground, being wet, was not well adapted for a cemetery, and in 
1835 a new one was opened near the church, on land given by Col. 
John Smith, and to this latter, some of those interred in the older 
one were removed. Most of the older settlers of West Newbury are 
buried in one or the other of these cemeteries. 

In the new cemetery are buried : Col. John Smith, Israel 
Putnam, Stephen Powers, and Dudley Carleton, who served in the 
war of independence, and Colonel Smith, David Haseltine, Nathaniel 
Niles, Ware McConnel, John Corliss, and Col. Levi Rogers of 
the war of 1812. Soldiers of the civil war: Stillman Jenne, 
Joseph M. Nason, Edwin C. Niles, Robert F. Smith, and Thomas 
L. Tucker. George King served in the Crimean war. 

There is another cemetery at West Newbury, a sort of family 
burying-ground, on the **old Putnam place." Some ten or twenty 
are believed to have been buried there. The graves of only six are 
marked in any way. The place had grown up to timber, but was 
fenced by the town in the year just passed. 

The old cemetery at Wells River, which was in the village, was 
first used about 1801, and was in use till after 1863, and there 
were occasional later burials. These ceased after the opening of 
the one near Mr. Eastman's, in 1867, and in 1890 leave was 
obtained to remove the dead therein buried to the new enclosure. 
This was done, and the ground given over to other uses. It is 
said that several veterans of the old wars were buried there, 
but of these the name of Joshua Hale is alone recalled, of the 
revolutionary war; Charles Hale and others are of the last war 
with England. Loren Vance, Edward B. Wright, Joshua Kendall 
and William Wallace were soldiers of the civil war. 


The cemetery at Boltonville is of late enclosure, and contains- 
many graves — the earliest burial was in 1842. Lieut. John 
Whitcher, John and Stephen Putnam, and Carlos Chamberlin, 
of the civil war, rest here. 

The first burial in the cemetery on JeflFerson hill was about 
1848. The location of this yard is very pleasant. Jacob and 
Joshua Bailey and William White were soldiers of the war of 
1812; George Lumsden and William Wheeler of the civil war. 
Dr. Samuel White must not be forgotten, as he was a surgeon, 
in the revolutionary war, and attended the wounded from the 
Battle of Bennington. There are two other small cemeteries on. 
Jefferson hill, each containing 'a few graves. One is on the 
* Jewell place," and the other in the Tenney pasture. These have 
lately been enclosed. 

On the **Nourse place," in the Lime-Kiln neighborhood, is a 
small burial ground, containing perhaps fifty graves. George 
Banfield, of the revolutionary war lies here, also Aaron Fisk, 
Daniel Stevens and Edwin Tuttle, of the civil war. On the Orrin 
Heath farm is a small enclosure, in which the Clark and Renfrew 
families, with a few of their neighbors are buried. The locality is 
very retired. The cemetery at the town house is on land given by 
Charles George, and the first burial was that of his daughter, in 
1839. Many families bury their dead here. A new yard was 
enclosed south of the town house in 1884, Wells Goodwin and 
Thomas Corliss, soldiers of 1812, are buried here, and John Welk, 
a **Plattsburgh Volunteer." Horace D. Eastman, Ephraim E. 
Fleming, Edmund E. Hix, Amos Meserve, Ephraim Rowe, Jonas 
W. Tuttle, and Milo C. Bailey, of the civil war, are here buried. 
Amos Meserve was the only Newbury soldier killed in battle, 
whose remains were brought home. There are a few unmarked 
gfraves in other parts of the town, but the custom so common 
in many parts of New England, of burial upon farms, never 
prevailed here. 

Funeral customs have changed considerably since 1763. About 
1785, the town purchased a **burying-cloth," in accordance with 
the usage of the time. This was made of heavy black goods, with 
a gilt fringe and tassels, and was large enough to cover the coffin,, 
while it was being borne to the grave on a bier. The burying-cloth 
was owned by the town, and a small fee was charged for its use. 
In early days coffins were not bought ready-made, but were ordered 
of the local carpenter when wanted. It was not uncommon in 
many places, although perhaps not in Newbury, for people of some 
wealth to have their coffins made while they were yet living, and 
upon such, considerable expense was sometimes lavished. The 
custom, now universal, of enclosing the coffin in an outer box for 
burial, came in about the opening of the civil war, although, 
occasionally observed before. 


The cemeteries in town are pleasantly located, and, generally, 
<iuite as well looked after as those of other towns. One thing, 
however, should be no longer neglected. The inscriptions upon all 
the older stones should be carefully copied, and recorded. It 
sometimes happens that the date of some person's death is of great 

The poor and unfortunate we have always had with us, and the 
money expended for their support would amount to a larger sum 
than people suppose. The town had not been long settled before 
there were people needing aid, and in 1771, Jacob Bayley, Jacob 
Kent and John Haseltine were chosen **poormasters." Who were 
the objects of their care, or what the expense to the town, we do 
not know. It is probable that such aid was in the shape of 
provisions and medical attendance. The officers do not seem to 
have had much to do, as the same persons were also chosen as 
* 'supervisors," ''commissioners," and the like for many years.- 
Usually there is no mention of any overseer of the poor in the 
record of town-meetings. There were poor people, however, who 
had to be helped and bills and receipts preserved among the 
Johnson and Kent papers show that such public expense was much 
the same in its details as now — aid to the physically and mentally 
infirm, help in sickness, burial of the dead, and the care of orphan 

There is a curious bill among the Johnson papers : 

Feb. 12, 1790. 
"The town of Newbnry Dr. to Joshaa Swan, 

to Diging the Reverend Jacob Woods Grave, £0. 6. 0. 

to Digmg Jona Bmersons Grave, 0. 3. 0. 

0. 9. 0." 

Why it cost twice as much to dig the minister's grave as the 
pauper's is among the "whys" which it is often very easy to ask 
-concerning the town's affairs. 

One Mr. Hearn, or Heron, is often mentioned, and the name is 
^singular from the fact that he is always spoken of as Mr. Hearn, 
while other recipients of the town's bounty are called by their 
proper names. In some long-forgotten way the town became 
involved in a lawsuit about this Mr. Hearn. Poor man! his 
troubles were over in this world more than a hundred years ago. 

No person is entitled to expect relief from a town unless he is a 
resident of it, and to determine what constitutes residence has 
always been a perplexing question, and has given rise to more 
lawsuits between towns than almost anything else, and various 
laws have been passed, and decisions of the Supreme Court handed 
down, which bear upon this question. There was, formerly, a law, 
in most of the New England states, which provided a way by 


which towns could prevent any newcomer, from gaining residence, 
and thus freeing the town from responsibility for support of such 
person. The process was called **waming out of town," and 
consisted in the reading in the hearing of such a person, by a 
constable, or by leaving a copy of a warrant, issued by the 
selectmen, of which the following is a specimen. 

State of Vermont \ To the first Constable of 

Orange County, ss. / Newbury in sd County. 

Greeting. By the authority of the State of Vermont, you are hereby required to 
warn A. B. and family, now residing in Newbury to depart s^ Town. Hereof fail not,, 
but of this precept and your doings due return make according to law. Given under 
our hands this 27th day of December, 1814. 

Asa Tennby, ") Selectmen 
Joshua Hale, > of 

Jonas Tucker, J Newbury. 
State of Vermont ) 

> Newbury, Jan. 6, 1815. 

Orange Co. ss. j 

I then served this precept by leaving a true and attested copy with the said A. 
B. and family. Attest. Abner Bayley, Constable. 
Travel 10 miles, .60 Newbury Town Clerk's office 

Copy, .J/7 Jan. 10. 1813. 

.67 Rtc^ and recorded, 

I. Bayley, Town Clerk. 

This thing was quite profitable for others, if rather unpleasant 
for the person who thus received a hint that his residence was not 
desired, as there was a fee for the selectmen who prepared the 
warrant, another for the constable, and another for the clerk. 
There are 112 such warnings recorded in the first book of town 
proceedings. The first is dated January 5, 1787; the second, July 
20, 1806; and the last, November 12, 1816, when the law was 
repealed. One of these warrants includes twenty-four families. 

In 1823 it was voted, **not to build a poorhouse." It was 
the custom for many years to **sell the poor at auction," as it was 
called. The support of the homeless poor was set up at auction, 
in town-meeting and struck off to the lowest bidder. This was 
quite apt to be some sordid soul, who pinched and starved the 
unfortunate beings, who were thus at his mercy. This gave rise 
to some scandals, which may as well not be recalled. 

In 1837, the **surplus money,'' from the United States, was 
divided among the towns, and Newbury received $5,376.03, and 
with a portion of this the town bought the Simon Blake farm 
at West Newbury, for a town farm, Charles Hale, Moody 
Chamberlain and A. B. W. Tenney being the purchasing committee. 
This was the last earthly home of many unfortunates, during the 
twenty-nine years it w^as thus occupied. No record was ever kept 
of the deaths that occurred there. In 1846 there were eleven 
persons whose ages averaged 76 years. In 1866 the town sold 
that farm to William C. Carleton, and purchased the farm of 
O. C. Bamett, who bought it back the next year. Two persons 


died there while that was the town farm. The present farm was 
bought of Porter Watson in 1867, and the main part of the 
present structure was built, and the barns remodelled, in 1885, 
under the management of John S. George, the overseer. The 
deaths at the present farm have been forty. The system of 
herding all the helpless beings of a whole county under one roof 
never has been adopted in Vermont. 

Before speaking of the militia system which prevailed after the 
establishment of the national government, it is well to consider 
why that system first became necessary. From the earliest 
settlement of New England down to the close of the War of 
Independence, the fear and dread of the Indian entered, as one of 
the conditions of existence, into e very-day life. It was necessary 
for self-preservation, that there should be some system of military 
training among the settlers, that men might know what to do, 
and where to resort, in case of attack, and under whose orders to 
place themselves. The militia system was brought from England, 
and adopted to meet new conditions in America. In every new 
settlement, one of the first things which the settlers attended to 
was the formation of a military company for self-defense. Thus 
we have found that in 1764, while the settlements at Coos were 
hardly two years old, the able-bodied men were formed into a 
company of militia, of which Jacob Kent was made captain. 
When the revolution came on, all these military companies were of 
vast service, as furnishing men for the field, who already knew a 
little of military discipline. 

Soon after the war began, all the able-bodied men between the 
ages of sixteen and fifty were enrolled in the * 'train-bands.'* 
These bands met for regular drill, and when there was a call for 
men, as many as were needed were sent out from these bands. 
Besides these, was the **alarm list,*' in which were enumerated all 
the men between fourteen and sixty-five, who were liable to be 
called upon in an emergency. At two or three times of peril 
during the war the alarm list was resorted to. One of these was 
during the last weeks of the campaign of Burgoyne, when all the 
stronger men went to the seat of war, while the old men and boys 
kept watch and ward at home. After the war, and down to 
about 1847, all the able-bodied men between the g^ges of eighteen 
and forty-five years were, with few exceptions made by law, 
enrolled in the militia, and required to do military duty. Every 
man was obliged to keep himself constantly provided with such 
arms and equipments as were necessary for actual service, and, 
for so doing, his poll was exempt from taxation. The military 
force of the state amounted to about 25,000, and was divided 


into four divisions, ten brigades, and thirty-five regiments, with 
from eight to twelve companies each. 

Belonging to most of the regiments was also one company of 
cavalry, one of artillery, one of Ught infantry, and in many cases, 
more than one, of each. Each division was commanded by a 
major-general, with a division inspector, a division quarter-master 
and two aids ; each brigade by a brigadier-general, with a brigade 
inspector, brigade quarter-master, and one aid ; each regiment by a 
colonel, lieutenant-colonel and major, with the customary staff; 
and each company by a captain, heutenants and ensign, with the 
usual non-commissioned officers. The major and brigadier-generals 
were appointed by the legislature. The field officers were chosen by 
the commissioned officers of their respective regiments, and the 
several companies chose their own officers. Such was the military 
system of our fathers, and it had both its good and evil efiects. It 
constituted an organized force, which acquired some knowledge of 
military discipline, and which, when the war of 1812 came on, was 
immediately effective. It was also of value, as teaching an erect 
bearing and an alert air to those who took pride in military 
evolutions. In the course of years it came to pass that those who 
were fond of military display formed themselves into crack 
companies, which were composed of picked men, and which, while 
computed in the regular militia, were enrolled as independent 
companies. These were uniformed, and their equipments were 
superior in quality. These companies frequently met for drill and 
inspection; their officers were men of wealth and standing in 
the community; the men took a great deal of pride in their 
organizations; and these companies, whether of cavalry or 
infantry, in their handsome uniforms, presented, by their correct 
evolutions and military bearing, a marked contrast to the regular 
companies, who were not uniformed. These latter, which included 
all not otherwise enrolled, between the ages of eighteen and 
forty-five, were derisively termed the **floodwood companies." 

The select companies generally adopted some designation, the 
'^Washington Guards" or the like, while the regular companies were 
made up of men who had not time, money, or perhaps inclination 
to join the expensive select organizations. Still a captain was a 
captain, and a colonel was a colonel; the title once won, usually 
attached itself to a man's name through life, but more than one 
man in this town was ruined bv the self-conceit which the accession 
to the **little brief authority," gave to an inferior personality. 

The militia were ordered out to training in June, and in the fall 
the brigade met for **general muster." The first training field was 
that in the rear of R. J. Hibbard's house, but after many years the 
militia living east of Hall's brook met at the upper meadow, or 
on the hill back of Wells River. Those west of the brook drilled at 
West Newbury. General muster was held on the **old parade 


ground" at East Corinth, where fairs are now held, and that plot of 
gronnd has seen more military display than any other piece of land 
in this connty. There was an artillery company in Topsham and a 
company of cavalry, wholly or partly made np in this town. The 
Newbury militia were long attached to the first regiment, second 
brigade, and fourth division of the state militia. In 1821, Moody 
Chamberlin was colonel ; James A. Baylej^ Dudley Carleton, and 
James Wallace w^ere captains; A. B. W. Tenney was captain of a 
company of cavalry which numbered forty men; there were ten 
men in the band and each company had its drum corps. The rank 
and file on parade numbered 590 men. 

One of the good results of the old militia system was its 
fostering of the love and practice of martial music, and there were 
several fine bands in this county which are now forgotten. The 
West Newbury drum corps is the legitimate successor of one of 
these old organizations, and some of the young men in it are 
grandsons and great-grandsons of its members, eighty years ago. 
Great were the days of "June training," and nothing could eclipse 
the glories of *'annual muster,'* and if any of the present generation 
want to hear some good stories, let them go to some of the few 
who remain, who "used to train." 

It would require more time than the editor of this work can 
command to ascertain the names of captains in the old militia; 
the colonels before 1800, were, some of them, Frye and Joshua 
Bayley, Nehemiah Lovewell, Jacob Kent, father and son, and 
Robert Johnston. Later, and of a younger generation, were 
Waterman Wells, A. B. W. Tenney, Charles Hale, John Bayley, 
Amherst Bayley, Jacob Kent (grandson), Horatio Brock and 
Levi Rogers. 

There was, however, another side to the old militia system. 
Many men, especially the officers, expended much more money than 
they could well afford, and the trainings and musters were seasons 
of riot, drunkenness and fighting. Among the thousands who 
flocked to the parade ground were many hard characters. 
Gambling and vice were unblushing, and the prevalent custom 
of "treating'* led to evil results. It was the custom for a company 
to assemble at the captain's house, and fire a salute, when that 
officer appeared and treated the crowd. The late Ezekiel White 
of Topsham, was one of the first to substitute a good dinner 
in place of a **treat," and the custom was often adopted as 
temperance sentiments began to prevail. 

The militia system fell into disrepute in the early *40's. It had 
become unpopular with the rank and file to whom the loss of 
time, and the expense incurred was considerable; it was many 
years since there had been a war ; the whole system was felt to be 
an unnecessary burden ; temperance sentiment was not in harmony 
with the excesses which attended it, and public opposition was 



strong enough, about 1847, to abolish all the militia laws. The 
volunteer companies generally maintained their organization for 
some years. After the civil war the militia system was revived 
for a few years, but soon fell into disfavor, and was, in its turn, 
abolished. The military organizations now connected with the 
state militia are wholly voluntary. 


Stages, Inns, and Post Offices. 

First Stages.— Quebec and Boston Stage.— Stage Lines.— Taverns.— The 
Spring Hotel.— The Newbury House.— The Loyewell Tavern.— Other 
Inns.— Postal Routes.— First Post Office.— Postage.— Private Carriers.— 
Newbury- Offices.— Official List since 1832. 

THERE was no public conveyance for passengers between here 
and Concord until after the century began. In 1805, a 
charter was obtained for a turnpike firom Haverhill comer to 
Baker's river, which was finished in 1809, and soon after, the mail 
carrier, Silas May, drove a wagon along the route, in which he 
carried the mail, and any chance passenger. This turnpike went 
over the hills from Haverhill to Warren. The road through 
Oliverian Notch was not built till 1826. 

In the New Hampshire Patriot for December 25, 1810, appears 
the following advertisement : 

'New Line of Stages from Boston to Quebec. 


Public notice is hereby given that there is a regular line of stages erected, to run 
from Quebec through Craig's Road to Boston, and will commence on the fourteenth 
of January next, and will be regularly kept up by the subscribers, the proprietors of 
the said line. Will run as follows : Start from Quebec and Boston on Monday of 
each week, meet at the line of 45 degrees of north latitude at Stanstead on 
Wednesdays and arrive at Boston and Quebec on Saturday of each week. 

Joshua Stiles. 

John Griffin. 


*JONA. Sinclair. 
James Gardner. 
*Henry Stevens. 
Newbury, Vt., Dec. 17, 1810." 

This notice has called out some speculation, and there have been 
doubts expressed if the enterprise ever began. Certainly it could 

*Mr. Sinclair was of Hayerhill, Henry Steyens of Barnet. 


not have continued long. The war came on soon after, and would 
have put an end to the business, had it survived till that time. 
Little's History of Warren says there was a line of stages begun in 
1811, which soon failed up. This may be the same. 

In 1814 a line of stages began to run from Haverhill to 
Concord, which kept up till the railroad was opened in 1848. In 
the same year, a stage line went into operation down the 
river, and connected to New York. There were many enterprising 
men in Haverhill Corner in those days, and it became the centre for 
a number of stage lines, and the place where the stages laid up over 
night. This gave occupation to a large number of taverns, and, in 
the busy season, it was not uncommon for from 150 to 200 travelers 
to pass the night there. There were lines to Plymouth, Hanover, 
Lancaster, Danville, St. Johnsbury, Montpelier and elsewhere. In 
1832, a stage left Haverhill three times a week, at six a. m., for 
Albany via Chelsea and Royalton, where it lodged, and left at five 
a. m., the next day for Poultneyor Fort Ann, where it lodged again, 
reaching Albany on the third day, in season for the afternoon boat 
to New York. The fare was six dollars. 

Stage drivers were great men in those days; hardy, tough 
(they had to be), men of energy, with fertility of research to meet 
the exigencies of their exacting occupation. It was a hard life, 
and stage drivers were rough, but kindly. Mr. Harry B. Stevens, 
of Bradford, is an old stage driver, one of the last who are left, 
and he could fill a good-sized volume with recollections of his 

Mr. Livermore says that in 1820, the eastern stage left 
Haverhill on Tuesdays and Fridays at four o'clock in the morning, 
taking breakfast, **which seemed late," at Morse's inn in Rumney, 
and arriving at Concord at six in the evening, **unless detained by 
adverse conditions of weather, spring and autumn mud, and the 
like." Two days were spent in going to Boston. In 1835, the 
traveler had choice of several routes between Concord and Boston. 

*'01d stage times," a title which denotes an era long passed 
away, denotes also one of hospitality, of good cheer in the old 
taverns, belated travelers, and much stir and bustle. People could 
travel easier, but there was still no easy way of marketing produce. 
Farmers went to market in winter with their own teams, carrying 
the more valuable and portable products of the the farm. Most 
farmers went, at least once, in the winter, "down below." Many 
of the old **pungs" in town, have made the journey time and again, 
long before their present owners were born. Pungs were built to 
last, they never wore out. Old residents of Concord say that they 
used to see strings of teams, a mile long and more, of farmers from 
up country, on their way to market, their teams walking as close 
behind each other as they could go. There were men who made a 
business of teaming from Concord to the north country, driving 
four, six, or eight horses. 

TnH SpRiNn Hotel h 

The SpvInO Hotkl in 18Tt<. 


When all the travel went along the public roads, taverns were 
common. Mr. Leslie has given an accotmt of early inns at Wells 
River. Nearly all the taverns in Newbury were on the river road. 
In 1800, Jeremiah Ingalls built a large house at the top of what is 
now called Ingalls hill where he kept a tavern called Ingall's Inn, 
about ten years. The old Johnson house on the Ox-bow was 
opened as an inn in 1773, and was long a noted tavern, kept by 
Colonel Johnson, and by his son, Moses. The town records show 
that Col. William Wallace was an innkeeper as early as 1785, 
whether in the house which afterwards became the Spring Hotel 
or not, is not known. In 1800 he kept the latter tavern. It was 
then a square, two-story house, much like the old Bliss tavern at 
Haverhill Comer, in which Mr. Leith lives. In 1810 Mr. Edward 
Little owned it, enlarging it, and adding a third story. Barnard 
Brickett succeeded Mr. Little, and in his time it was called 
Brickett's Inn. Peter Wheelock, from 1833 to 1836, was succeeded 
by Joseph Atkinson, who gave place to Tappan Stevens, in whose 
hands it remained until nearly the end of his life. Judge Stevens, as 
he was called, enlarged the building. During much of its history 
the Spring Hotel was run in connection with the sulphur springs. 
These springs were discovered about 1782, and there is a record of 
their being resorted to for curative purposes in 1804. What is now 
called Montebello House was built by James Spear— the front part 
of it — ^and was enlarged from time to time and bathrooms added. 
Little can be accurately learned about its various proprietors. It 
was remodelled and enlarged to its present appearance in 1873, 
by Rev. William Clark. 

The Spring Hotel was kept by Nelson B. Stevens after his 
uncle, Judge Stevens, retired from it. This hostelry was one of 
the noted inns of the north country, and always enjoyed the 
reputation of being a well-kept hotel, with a good run of 
custom, and was a popular summer resort in connection with 
the sulphur springs. About 1868, it came into the hands of 
Samuel L. Kendall, who added, in 1869, a fourth story with a 
French roof and cupola, and a wing containing thirteen rooms. 
He introduced gas, manufactured upon the premises. The main 
building then contained about forty rooms, was painted white, 
and was a very conspicuous landmark. In that house, as 
originally constructed, there was a secret apartment, known 
only to the proprietor, reached by a winding passage around 
one of the great chimneys, and fitted up with huge chests for the 
concealment of smuggled goods. After Mr. Kendall the house 
was owned by John £. Chamberlain, and while kept by his son, 
B. W. Chamberlain," was entirely destroyed by fire, September 5, 
1879. Its site remained vacant until the library building was 
erected there, seventeen years later. According to famil}' records, 
the house in which Mr. E. H. Pamham and his sister live, was 


opened as a tavern in 1788, by Joseph Smith, and kept by him 
till his death. 

The old Newbury House was built by Timothy Morse, about 
1834, the brick part of it, and was an addition to the wooden 
part, which was owned as a store by Moses Wallace. This taycm 
often changed hands, and the name of all its proprietors cannot 
be given. Nelson B. Stevens kept it for several years, also Hiram 
Hill, and from 1854 to 1856, Ezekiel Sawyer. 

The oldest part of what is now the Sawyer House was built 
soon after the revolutionary war, by Capt. Nehemiah Lovewell, 
who kept tavern there till his death in 1801, and his widow 
succeeded him, keeping it till 1825. This was, originally, a two- 
story house, the third story being added later. In 1833, it was 
purchased for a seminary boarding-house. Mrs. Lovewell had 
trouble with Col. Thomas Johnson over a barrel of rum, which she 
bought of him, and which she averred was more than half water. 
The colonel stoutly affirmed that it was rum, and nothing but 
rum, when it left his premises. The affair made much talk, and the 
colonel sued the widow for slander. It came out in the trial that 
the barrel had taken a whole night to travel the mile which lay 
between the two taverns, a circumstance which Mrs. Lovewell's 
hired man, and two others, were very backward about explaining. 
But peace was restored. 

At South Newbury, Col. Remembrance Chamberlain, and his 
son Col. Moody Chamberlain, kept tavern on what is now called 
Riverside Farm, for manjr years. The house was burned in 
February, 1876. Col. John Smith opened, about 1804, a tavern, 
on the farm now owned by his grandson, the present John Smith, 
at West Newbury. The old tavern sign is preserved by the latter. 
Gideon Tewksbury kept tavern for a long time, on what is now 
called the Cunningham place, near the Bradford line. At the 
Centre, Samuel Gibson built and occupied for a tavern, the house in 
which the late John Wood lived, and which was burned in March, 
1899. Other houses in town were used as taverns at one time, or 
another. In days when people went to market with their own 
teams, they usually carried their provisions with them, and grain 
for their horses, sleeping at night on the bar-room floors. Ten cents 
was usually charged for lodging, in this manner. The principal 
revenue of the inn came from the bar. 

During the time that Wells River was the terminus of the 
railroad, there were lines of stages from there to Littleton, St. 
JohnsT3ury, Danville and other points. Hotel business was 
thriving; a few made money; others lost about all they had. 
Several went into the business there who were not adapted to the 
occupation, and failed in consequence. 


Before the revolutionary war there was nothing resembling a 
postal service, conducted by the government, in this part of the 
country, and all the letters which came to Coos were brought by 
private hands. In those days it was considered the proper thing, if 
a man was going to a distant place, to let his neighbor know his 
intention beforehand that they might send any letters which they 
wished, by him. There were merchants in Salem and Boston who 
made themselves popular with their customers up this way by 
caring for letters left with them, and any one from Coos going to 
such places was expected to call at their stores and get such letters 
as were to come this way, and bundles of newspapers were among 
the most desired freight of a sleigh returning from market in winter. 

In 1776, for military purposes, the council of safety appointed a 
post-rider to go from Portsmouth to Haverhill, once in two weeks, 
by way of Dover and Plymouth, and return by way of Hanover 
and Keene. This was primarily intended for the conveyance of 
military information, but the carrier, John Balch, was allowed to 
carry private letters for a small sum. 

In 1783, the first mail route was established in Vermont, from 
Bennington to Albany, once in two weeks, and two years later the 
service was extended to Rutland, Brattleboro, Windsor and 
Newbury. The carriers went once a week, and received two pence a 
mile, hard money, between Brattleboro and Newbury. When, in 
1791, Vermont entered the Federal Union, the general government 
assumed the mail service, but for some reason the northerly portion 
of the route was discontinued, and Hanover remained, for some 
years, the last post oflSce on the river. 

In February, 1791, a resolution to establish four post routes 
and riders in New Hampshire, was carried by only one majority in 
the legislature, there being thirty-four votes for, and thirty-three 
against it. In June of that year these routes went into operation, 
the rider going once each week from Concord by way of Boscawen 
and Plymouth to Haverhill, returning via Hanover and Canaan, 
receiving £12 for each six months. In 1795, the federal government 
took possession of the mail routes, and extended the river route 
from Hanover to Newbury, and Thomas Johnson was made post- 
master at Newbury, and Capt. Joseph Bliss at HaverhilL For 
about five years these places were the post oflBces for all the 
country north of them, as far as settlements extended. September 
1, 1799, a mail route went into operation from Newbury through 
Ryegate and Peacham to Danville, once each week. Gen. James 
Whitelaw was the first postmaster in Ryegate, Samuel Goss at 
Peacham, and David Dunbar at Danville. A few months later, 
however, Mr. Dunbar resigned the Danville post oflSce and one or 
two small appointments which he held under government, alleging 
that they were not, altogether, "as profitable as a good farrow 
cow." In 1810, a route was established from Danville to Derby 
and return once in two weeks. 


In 1807, the following routes, which included Newbury and 
Hayerhill, were in operation : 

"From Portsmouth by Dover, Rochester, Middletown, Ossipee, 
Moultonborough, Centre Harbor, and Plymouth, to Haverhill and 
Newbury, Vt., and from Newbury, by Haverhill, Plymouth, New 
Hampton, Meredith, Gilmantown, Nottingham, and Durham to 
Portsmouth once a week." The rider was to leave Portsmouth 
on Tuesday, at 2 p. m., and arrive at Newbury by 7 p. m., on 

"From Hanover by Orford to Haverhill, once a week." This left 
Hanover on Fridays and connected with the Portsmouth mail at 

"From Montpelier by Berlin, Barre, Washington, Corinth, 
Bradford, Newbury, Ryegate, Bamet, Peacham, and Danville to 
St. Johnsbury, once a week." The rider left Montpelier Thursday 
noon, lodged at Newbury Friday night, reaching St. Johnsbury at 
5 p. m., Saturday. There was a route from Haverhill to Guildhall 
once a week. 

Examination of the proposals for carrying the mail in 1807 
dbows that a mail left Boston twice a week, Tuesday and Friday, 
at 3 a. m., and, remaining at Francestown over night, reached 
Windsor at 2 p. m., on Wednesday and Saturday. There the mail 
was transferred to another rider, reaching Hanover about nine 
o'clock of the days last mentioned. As there was but one mail a 
week above Hanover, and that left on Friday morning, the letters 
which left Boston on Friday, remained at Hanover several days 
before they went along. A more direct route, however, went by 
way of Salem, and Haverhill, Mass., to Windsor, and connected 
there with the Hanover mail. Letters were from a week to ten 
days coming from New York, and, in that year a letter which 
came from Ohio took six weeks to reach Newbury. 

Rates of postage were so high as to be almost prohibitive. 
The postage upon letters was computed, not upon their weight, 
but upon the number of sheets which the letter contained. The 
postal rates were eight cents for all distances under forty miles, 
increasing to twenty-five cents when more than five hundred. If 
there were two sheets, the letter paid twice these rates, and so on. 
Newspapers were carried for one cent each, and one and a half 
cents when the distance was over one hundred miles. Even as late 
as 1816, letter postage to Boston was one shilling, or seventeen 
cents. Very few letters were prepaid ; the person addressed had to 
pay the postage, but was not compelled to take the letter from 
the office. Persons whose standing was good were allowed to let 
their postage bills run several months. 

From an old account book kept by David Johnson, who 
succeeded his father as postmaster in 1800, some interesting 
particulars are gathered. It will be remembered that in 1800 


postal service had been extended to Peacham and Danville, but 
Nev^bnry v^as still the post office for a considerable territory. For 
the quarter ending April 1, 1801, the amount collected for unpaid 
letters received through the mail was $14.1 2V^; the postage upon 
letters prepaid at the office was $4.82^; and the amount collected 
from newspapers was $1.57. A few sundry items brought the 
receipts of the Newbury office to $20.12%. 

Mr. Johnson's commission — thirty per cent of the amount 
collected from unpaid letters, and fifty per cent of the sum paid 
upon newspapers, all amounting to $5.64 was not a magnificent 
salary. Postmasters, however, were privileged to send their own 
letters free through the mails, and this to a man with large 
correspondence, like Mr. Johnson, was no small matter. 

The net receipts of the Newbury office in 1806 were $49.61%, 
and Mr. Johnson's salary amounted to $29.15. One hundred and 
twenty free letters were received. The average postage on letters 
received at Newbury for September, 1824 was fifteen cents. 

Among the Johnson papers are many like the following: 

Newbnry. Oct. 1, 1803. 
Ben Porter, Bsq., Dr. 

To postage on letters received since July 1, $2.24 

Do. newspapers, .89 


Allowing him the low average of ten cents on each letter, it 
would give him only twenty-two letters in three months, probably 
only a small part of those which he actually received. The fact 
was that on account of the high postage most letters were sent by 
private hands. Ingenious people contrived to evade postage by 
means of dotted words and letters in newspapers, which passed 
through the mail for one cent each. These letters and words when 
read consecutively, conveyed information. Another way, still 
remembered by many elderly people, was to send a blank sheet of 
paper, made up like a letter. Peculiarities in the address, or in the 
form of the letters used, understood by the sender and the receiver, 
conveyed information as to the writer's health and circumstances. 
The person addressed would receive the letter, examine it, and 
return it to the postmaster, professing inability to pay the postage, 
having, meanwhile, obtained information of the writer, without 
expense. When the postage on a letter was twenty-five cents or 
more such evasions were very common. There was something 
wrong in a system which drove people to cheating in order to 
gratify their natural desire to hear of each other's welfare. 

In 1820 the lowest rate of postage on a letter was six cents ; 
above thirty miles, ten cents ; above eighty miles, nine pence; and so 
on, till letters going more than 400 miles, paid twenty-five cents. 
In 1840, the efforts of Rowland Hill and others, in the face of great 
ridicule and opposition, effected the reduction of postage in Great 


Britain from one shilling to one penny. Six years later in this 
country, postage was reduced to five cents for 300 miles, or less, 
and ten cents between places more distant. Postage was later 
reduced to three cents between all offices in the country, without 
regard to distance. In 1883, the present rates for letter postage 
were adopted. Postage stamps were invented in 1847, and 
adopted by the American government in 1852. Postal cards were 
introduced in 1873. 

Owing to the high rates of newspaper postage, country papers 
found it for their advantage to have their papers distributed 
among their patrons by private carriers. In 1796 **The Orange 
Nightingale and Newbury Morning Star," then published in this 
town, advertised its carriers in the following manner: 

"Nbw Post. 

Phillip Rawlins proposes ridiDg as Post thro the towns of Riegate, Bamet, and 
Peacham, m each of which towns any person who wishes to become a subscriber for 
the ^Grange Nightingale' will be supplied at the moderate price of ten shillings per 
annum. In Duesburg (Danville), Cabot, Walden and Hard wick at Twelve Shillings, 
and through Greensboro and Craftsborough for Fourteen Shillings per annum. 
Those persons who will please to favor him with their commands, may depend on 
having their business strictly attended to. 

Newbury, August 25.*' 

The last sentence alludes to the fact that these carriers 
conducted a sort of express business, carried small packages, 
executed commissions and the like. Files of old newspapers from 
the earlier third of the century have many such notices. There 
may be people still living who can remember when the Danville 
**North Star" was distributed by carriers. 

The first postmaster at Newbury was Col. Thomas Johnson, 
1785-1800; David Johnson, 1800-1812. The office was in their 
store, at the Ox-bow. Joseph Smith succeeded Mr. Johnson, and 
kept the office in his tavern, where Mr. Famham now lives, till his 
death in 1815. The next postmaster was James Spear, Jr., who 
lived in what is now Montebello House. He was a hatter, and the 
office was in his shop, a small building near his house. Mr. Knight 
kept the office in his house, the brick house north of the old 
Newbury House. Since his time the office has been in the Keyes 
store, in the building which stood where Mr. Hale's store stands, 
at three different periods in its present location, and from 1891 to 
1897, in the store of Silsby and Knight. 

Isaac W. Tabor was postmaster at Wells River before Mr. 
Burbank, but whether he was the first one at that place, is not 
known. In April, 1871, a postal route was put into operation 
between South Newbury and Newbury Centre, and offices were 
established at the latter place and West Newbury. Before that 
time there had been an arrangement by which some one went from 
West Newbury to South Newbury, daily, for the mail. After 1866, 
by a similar arrangement, the mail was brought to the Centre from 
Newbury on Tuesdavs and Fridavs. 



The following official list, procured for this volume by Mr. 
Horace W. Bailey, from the Post Office Department at Washington, 
gives the date of appointment of each occupant of the offices in 
town since 1832. It will be remembered that before Mr. Worthley's 
appointment at Boltonville, in 1865, the post office there had been 
discontinued during several years. 


James Spear, Jr., 


About 1815 

Prentiss Knight, 

November 14, 1831 ■ 

Freeman Keyes, 

December 15, 1845 

William B. Stevens, 

February 24, 1849 

J. M. Chadwick, 

AprU 9, 1849 

Daniel Peaslee, 

May 23, 1853 

Simeon Stevens, Jr., 

March 31, 1854 

Jedediah C. Woodbury, 

July 31, 1858 

H. B. Morse, 


August 2, 1861 

Thomas C, Keyes, 


June 9, 1875 

JR. W. Chamberlin, 


September 23, 1885 

William H. Silsbv, 


June 11, 1891 

M.C. Knight, 


April 6, 1893 

G. L. Andrews, 


April 15, 1897 

Susie S. Sawver, 


October 1, 1900 

Peter Burbank, 


December 12, 1832 

Elijah Farr, 


January 28, 1836 

Hiram Tracy, 


June 12. 1841 

Charles B. Leslie, 


December 26, 1844 

William R. Shedd, 


February 6, 1850 

A. S. Farwell, 


December 23, 1852 

C. B. Leslie, 


May 12, 1853 

Seneca Dickey, 


October 4, 1853 

A. S. Farwell, 


April 5, 1856 

Franklin Deming, 


May 4, 1861 

Edgar C. Graves, 


February 23, 1886 

John Bailey, 


May 14. 1889 

A. H. Bailev, 


March 30, 1893 

William G.Foss, 


May 22, 1897 

William Bolton, 


January 15, 1833 

Thomas Wasson, 


April 14, 1841 

H. K. Worthley, 


April 17, 1865 

Freeman Tucker, 


January 13, 1888 

H. C. Sargent, 


Junel, 1895 

Sarah Tucker, 


August 13, 1895 

Samuel A. Tucker, 


January 27, 1899 



Thomas J. Doe, 
William W. Brock, 
James Gage, 
William W. Brock, 
Miss A. A. Doe, 
Edson Doe, 
George N. Renean, 
W. H. Child, 
Clarence A. Butler, 
A. J. Knight, 
Henry W. Heath, 
A. J. Knight, 
George Franklin, 
A. A. Olmsted, 
P. D. W. Hildrcth, 

H. N. Carleton, 
Dudley Carleton, 
Hazen K. Wilson, 
Dudley Carleton, 
J. B. Darling, 
Hector Haseltine, 
J. S. Buttenworth, 
B. A. Minard, 
J. B. Tyler, 












Nelson B. Tewksbary, appointed. 

June 23, 1838 
October 21, 1862 
September 21, 1865 
September 20, 1869 
March 14, 1871 
March 26, 1872 
December 26, 1879 
September 20, 1880 
March 7, 1883 
February 20, 1886 
September 1, 1886 
September 24, 1887 
January 12, 1895 
October 2, 1895 
August 5, 1897 

April 5, 1871 
July 8, 1874 
July 22, 1874 
February 23, 1883 
January 8, 1887 
March 31, 1888 
July 9, 1890 

uly 6, 1891 

uly 25, 1896 

Aprils, 1871. 


Connecticut River. 

Early Navigation.— Middlbsbx Canal.— Falls on Connecticut Rivbr.— Canal 
Tolls.— The Coos Turnpike.— The Windsor Convention.- Dams along the 
River.— The "John Lbdyard."— Certificate of Stock.— The "Adau 
Duncan."— A River Ticket.— Failure of the Compant.— Canal Projects.— 
The Railroad Bra.— Ferries.— Bridge at Bellows Palls.- Col. Porter's 
Charter.— Bridges at Wells River.- At Newbury.— At South Newbury. 

THE census of 1840, gives twenty-seven men as employed upon 
the river. Before the railroad was built, boating was an 
occupation which employed many men. The boats in use, 
and the mode of their operation, are described by Judge Leslie 
elsewhere in this volume. In these days, when anything but a mill 
log is seldom seen upon the Connecticut, it is not easy to realize 
that a large commerce was once carried upon that stream. 

Boating began upon the river with the first settlements along 
its banks, and the commerce extended as the country opened. After 
the revolutionary war, when the nation was in prospect of a long 
peace, internal improvements were demanded, and among others, 
some way of passing the falls and rapids along the channel of 
Connecticut river. As early as 1785, and probably before that time 
there were men who were constantly engaged in the business of 
transporting passengers and merchandise on the river. Many of 
the early settlers of the town came that way, especially of the 
Scotch emigrants of this town, Ryegate and Bamet. 

The records, from 1809 to 1816, of a storage ware-house at 

Note. This chapter was prepared after the preceding chapters were printed, at 
the request of many who desired that all the particulars which could be p^athered, 
of the early navigation of Connecticut river, and of the bridges which cross it, should 
be thus preserved. Thanks are due to the several gentlemen who have furnished the 
necessary data, and, especially, to the secretary of state at Concord, and to Messrs. 
Chester Abbott, of Woodsville, and Arthur K. Merrill of Haverhill, for their kind 
assistance in collecting data concerning the bridges. 


Wdls River, show that a great amount and variety of goods 
were received there, and that merchants and others, from towns 
sixty miles north of here, had their goods brought in that way. 
About one-third of the storage charges were for ardent spirits, and 
the downward freight seems to have consisted mainly of hides and 
ashes, besides lumber. 

The following characteristic letter is in the handwriting of its 
author : — 

Nbwbury, 23d October, 1816. 
Mr. Thomas K. Bracb, Dear Sir: 

The tmbounded goodness of Providence having visited the country adjacent ta 
Connecticut River virith plentiful showers of Snow and Rain, I presume you will soon 
see at Hartford again the Boats from Co5s. If Mr. Warren Bvans should arrive at 
Hartford with a Boat, you may put on board two tierces T. I. Salt, & 30 or 40 i^» 
Lorillard*s Snuff. I enclose Thirty-two Dollars on Account. 

David Johnson. 

It must be remembered that at this time the development of 
the western country had hardly begun, the Mohawk valley was the 
western limit of civilization, and the growing towns on the 
seacoast drew their supplies for local use, and for the export 
trade, within the bounds of New England itself. Consequently 
there was rivalry between the business men of the sea-port towns 
of Massachusetts, and those of Hartford and Springfield, for the 
control of trade from northern New England, and between these 
last-mentioned towns, and New Haven and New York, which also 
sought for the Vermont trade. 

Boston capital built the Middlesex canal, from that city to 
Lowell, which was opened in 1803, and the great advantage to all 
northern New Hampshire soon began to be felt. By the aid of 
locks, boats could come up the Merrimack to Concord without 
breaking bulk, and in a very short time merchants at the cities on 
this river found that they were losing trade. They, in their turn, 
sought to improve the navigation of the Connecticut, so that boats 
could pass from Hartford to Bamet. The falls which were the chief 
obstacles to navigation were those at Enfield, South Hadley, 
Turners Falls and Bellows Falls. There were others, such as White 
River falls, Water Queechy and the like, but these were less. It was 
necessary to construct canals around these falls and rapids. The 
first one opened w^as that at South Hadley, in 1795. When 
completed, it was two and one-half miles long, and had eight locks. 
That at Turners Falls was three miles long, and had ten locks. The 
Enfield canal was opened in 1829, and was six miles long; the one 
at Bellows Falls was short and had eight locks. There were shorter 
canals constructed at White River and Water Queechy. 

Boats were built, as Mr. Leslie says, just wide enough to pass 
through the locks at these falls, and they saved all the labor and 
time required before, to unload each boat, and transport the 
merchandise around the rapids by teams. There was a charge for 


lockage at each fall. In 1823, the tariff of tolls at Bellows Palls 
canal shows that each boat passing through the canal paid $2 toll, 
and eighty cents for each ton it carried. The boxes of lumber which 
were to pass through the canals were not to exceed fifty-four feet in 
length and seven in width and to draw not more than three feet of 
water. As there were three other long canals to be passed through, 
besides two or three very short ones, it will be seen that the canal 
tolls alone amounted to, at least, four dollars per ton. In the same 
year the rates of freight charged by a boating company between 
Concord, N. H., and Boston, via the Middlesex Canal, were seven 
dollars per ton from Concord to Boston, and ten dollars per ton 
from Boston to Concord. The Boston people sought to gain 
the trade of the north country by constructing a canal from 
Pemigewasset river in Wentworth to Connecticut river in Haverhill, 
after improving the channel of the river as far as Wentworth. 
John McDuffee, Esq., of Bradford, surveyed the route in 1825, and 
made an elaborate report. This canal would have followed, 
generally, the present line of the railroad, from Warren to Haverhill. 
The difficulty of getting water at the height of land was the chief 
obstacle. The merchants of Haverhill Corner, which, eighty years 
ago was the most important place in the north country, were not 
in favor of river navigation, their interest lying in the Coos 
turnpike, which was largely built by Haverhill capital, and which, 
in its turn, built up Haverhill Comer. This turnpike, which went 
out through Court street, and passed between the Tarleton lakes 
in Piermont to Warren, was then the most traveled road in all this 
region. There was a tavern about every two miles, and often 200 
teams passed over it in a day. One may now travel for miles along 
that road without meeting a team, and what was then a prosperous 
community, east of Tarleton Lake, has not now a solitary 
inhabitant. But the passage of boats along the river was slow, 
and some plans were formed by which their time could be shortened. 
It took twenty-five days to go from Wells River to Hartford and 

Steamboats were constructed to carry passengers and freight, 
and take boats in tow. In 1826, one called the Bamet was built in 
New York for service on this river, but it never got above Bellows 
Falls. In that year a convention, of which Hon. Moses P. Payson 
of Bath was president, was held at Windsor to determine plans for 
the improvement of the river navigation as far as Barnet, or, as 
Mr. Li verm ore puts it, **to legislate Connecticut river into the list of 
navigable streams, and to order the removal of obstacles." 

The Connecticut River Navigation Co. issued a pamphlet 
containing the reports of the president and directors, and that 
of Mr. Hutchinson, its civil engineer. He recommended the 
construction of dams at suitable points along the stream, by 
means of which the water could be raised high enough to make 


navigation easy, these dams to be passed by canals. Two of these 
were to be in this town, the upper one below the rapids at Wells 
River, costing about $32,000 which was intended to enable the 
boats to cross the bar, and pass through the narrows ; the other 
at the upper curve of iiie Ox-bow, which also included the cutting 
of a canal across its narrowest part, thus shortening the distance 
by several miles. This would cost $56,000. The estimated cost of 
these daHas and canals between Hartford, Conn., and Bamet was 
over $1,000,000. It was expected that when these improvements 
were completed, small steamboats would ply upon the river, each 
drawing a small fleet of boats. The project was feasible, and had 
no railroads ever been built, something of the kind would have 
been carried out. The latter part of the report discusses the 
comparative cost of transporting freight at four miles an hour on 
the river, and at an equal speed upon a railroad, it not being 
believed then that trains could be made to go faster than six or 
eight miles an hour, at the utmost. 

In 1830, a small steamboat called the John Ledyard, was built, 
and was taken through the locks by the falls on the river, from 
Hartford to Wells River. Hiram Wells of the latter place, an 
experienced river-man, was the pilot. Its arrival at Wells River was 
announced by the firing of cannon, and a large crowd assembled to 
see the wonder. A poem, by some forgotten writer, commemorated 
the great occasion, the closing stanza of which is preserved : 

" 'Tis gone, 'tis gone, the day is past, 
And night's dark shade is o'er ns cast ; 
And further, farther, farther still, 
The steamboat's winding through the vale, 
The cannon roar, o'er hiU, through dale, 
Hail to the day when Captain Nutt 
Sailed up the fair Connecticut." 

But the expectations of those who hoped that its advent would 
usher in an era of prosperity were not realized. The boat was 
taken through the narrows, a short distance above the mouth of 
the Ammonoosuc, to a bar in the river. A long rope was attached 
to it, and a string of river-men and others, wading, tried to haul 
the boat over the bar. But to no purpose. The John Ledyard 
went back down the river, and never returned. 

In the fall of that year the Connecticut River Valley Steam Boat 
Company issued stock for the building of several boats. One 
certificate, which is preserved, reads as follows : 

No. 628. 

This Certifies, that Henry Keyes of Newbury, in the County 
of Orange and State of Vermont is the owner of one Share of Capital 
[Seal.] Stock in the Connecticut River Valley Steam Boat Company, transferable 
according to the form subjoined. 

Witness the Corporate Seal of said Company at Windsor, this 
16th day of March, A. D. 1831. 
J. W. Hubbard. Clerk. Jona. H. Hubbard, President. 

Shares, No. 1174. 


On the back of this certificate is the pencilled memorandum: 
"Paid $12.50 March 21, 1831." 

In that year five boats were built, and put upon the river, at 
diflferent sections between Hartford and Wells River. The Adam 
Duncan, of which Mr. Leslie speaks, and which was built just 
above the mouth of Wells River, cost about $4,700. It was sixty 
feet in length, on the keel, with a breadth of beam of twelve feet, 
the guards projected over the sides to an entire width of nineteen 
and one-half feet, and it drew twenty-two inches of water. The 
cabin was ten by twenty-four feet, and was divided into two parts 
by a movable partition. Four boilers, each fifteen feet long by one 
foot in diameter, propelled this leviathan of the deep. Horace 
Duncan of Lyman was the captain of the boat, and Hiram Wells 
was its pilot. The company issued tickets, which were printed in 
sheets, and were two by four inches in size. At the left end of each 
was a figure of the Goddess of Plenty, with agricultural implements 
at her left, and a mill in the distance on her right ; at the top was 
the picture of a steamboat, and in the vacant space was printed : 

"This ticket entitles the bearer to Twenty miles travel on board the Boats of 
the Connecticut River Valley Steam Boat Company. 

J. W. Hubbard, Clerk. 
Windsor, Jan. 20, 1831.'* 

The Adam Duncan made a trial trip, it seems, and on its second 
trip, which was a Fourth of July excursion to Hanover, the 
connecting pipe between the boilers burst, letting the steam and 
water escape. There can be few, besides Mr. Leslie, surviving, 
who were on the boat at the time. ''Several of the passengers,'' he 
says, "were in the fire-room, but no one was injured except Dr. 
Dean of Bath, who jumped overboard, and was drowned." This 
ended the career of the **Adam Duncan" which was taken to Olcott 
Falls and stripped of its machinery. 

The steamboat company did not long survive the Adam Duncan. 
There were many obstacles to successful navigation of the river; 
the rates of freight were high ; the enterprise did not pay expenses ; 
assessments were called for, and in 1832 the company failed. 
Steamboat service was, however, continued down the river, below 
Turners Falls, till the railroad was built. The canals which had 
been constructed with such expense around the various falls are 
still, most, if not all of them, used for some purpose. The Enfield 
canal is owned by a corporation called the Connecticut River Co., 
and is still kept open for the passage of boats, and quite a revenue 
is collected from mills which extend for about a mile along its 
banks, and receive water from it. The old canal at Holyoke, 
which is on the Hadley side, furnishes power for several mills, and 
the same may be said of that at Bellows Falls. 

In 1825, the war department sent an engineer to Barnet, who 
made surveys of three separate routes for a canal from that place 



to Canada. The same season, the Connecticut River company 
employed Holmes Hutchinson, an expert from the Erie canal, who 
made a survey of the river from Bamet to Hartford. His report as 
to the feasibility and desirability of the scheme was accepted by the 
company. But nothing was ever done in the practical work of 
constructing a canal, although, had no railroad ever been built, 
such a canal would have been made. But the first charter for a 
railroad in Vermont was granted in the same year in which the 
steamboat company went to pieces, and the era of railroad building 
set in. Within a few years the canals which had been constructed 
at such an expense, and with such expectations, the Middlesex, and 
the New Haven and Northampton Canal, were disused. The former 
was, practically, discontinued in 1846, and the last boat passed 
through it in 1852. Traces of this former highway of commerce 
may still be seen, beside the railroad, in Billerica and Wilmington. 

We have considered the means by which our fathers sought to 
utilize the river for transportation ; our narrative now concerns 
itself with the bridges which have spanned the stream since 1795. 

For the first thirty-five years after the settlement of Newbury 
and Haverhill, all public travel across Connecticut river, in the open 
season, was by ferry. Charters for ferries were sometimes granted 
by the New Hampshire legislature, and sometimes the towns on 
both sides of the river permitted some one to keep a ferry during a 
limited period, at a place not covered by any charter. The first 
ferry was kept by Richard Chamberlin, and after him by his sons. 
He had no charter, but kept the boat for the public convenience. In 
1 772, the legislature of New Hampshire approved his title to keep a 
ferry, and in the next year a town meeting in Newbur}- confirmed 
his right, and fixed the rates of toll. 

The ferry of Col. Asa Porter was by charter, which gave him 
the exclusive right to maintain one between his farm and the 
Ox-bow, his right extending for three miles up, and as many down, 
the river. At Wells River, Er Chamberlin began to keep a ferry, 
about 1772, for which, after some years, he obtained a charter. At 
South Newbury, it is said that Uriah Stone, a native of Germany, 
who came to Haverhill in 1763 or 1764, and settled very near the 
present site of Bedell's bridge, carried people across the river in a 
boat which he made himself, hewing out the planks. Later, he 
removed to Piermont where he settled on what is now called the 
Hibbard place, where he kept a ferry to Mooretown, now Bradford. 
He died in 1819. The late President Chester A. Arthur was his 

Moody Bedell kept a ferry a little above the present bridge 
called by his name, and in 1801, the town of Haverhill granted him 
the right to maintain one between his farm, which was below the 
month of the Oliverian, and that of Remembrance Chamberlain, in 
Newbury. The **ferry house" was on the Newbury side. The right 


to maintain a ferry from Colonel Porter's farm, now called the 
Southard place, on Horse Meadow, to the Ox-bow, still remains in 
the farm. 

Ferry-boats were flat-bottomed, and were wide enough, and 
long enough, to convey a loaded wagon with horses or oxen. 
Usually two or more boats were kept at the ferry, one for foot 
passengers, and a larger one for teams. When a traveler came to 
the river side opposite the **ferry house," if he saw no one with the 
boat, he proceeded to **hail the ferryman." 

The first bridge across Connecticut river was built at Bellows 
Falls, in 1785, by Col. Enoch Hale, father of Joshua Hale, long 
so prominent at Wells River. It consisted of a single span, 365 feet 
in length, and extended from a ledge of rocks on one side of the 
river, to one on the other side. This bridge was of much value to 
the surrounding country, but proved a financial loss to its owner. 
In 1797 there were thirteen bridges across the river. Newbury and 
Haverhill being the principal towns in this part of the valley, and 
lying on the great road from the market towns to the north 
country and Canada, the principal men in both towns early saw 
the advantage which a bridge between them would be, locally, and' 
also what an impetus it would give to the increasing traflic from 
the growing towns to the north, if there was a bridge here by 
which the river could be quickly and safely crossed at all seasons. 

The first charter for a bridge between Newbury and Haverhill 
was granted January 14, 1795, to Col. Asa Porter, **and 
Associates," who were styled the "Proprietors of Haverhill 
Bridge.*'* This was to be erected, as near as might be, upon 
the boundary between Haverhill and Bath, near the northerly end 
of the ridge upon which the railroad engine house is built, at 
Woodsville, a few rods north of the present bridge. The middle 
pier of it was to be built upon the small island in the river there, 
which was ceded to the proprietors of the bridge, and they were 
granted the exclusive right between the south end of what is now 
called Howard's Island, and a point two miles above the mouth of 
the Ammonoosuc. Four years were allowed for completion, a time 
which was in 1797, extended three years. No bridge was ever 
erected there. 

The second charter for a bridge at Wells River was approved, 
December 27, 1803, and the incorporators were: Er Cbamberlin, 
Ezekiel Ladd, James Whitelaw, Moses Little, Amos Kimball, 
William Abbott, and their associates.! The charter granted to 
Colonel Porter having lapsed, the new enterprise was given the 
privileges which had belonged to that one. It was to be placed 

*N. H. Manuscript Laws, Vol. IX., p. 77. 
tN. H. Manuscript Laws, Vol. XIV., p. 285. 


where Er Chamberlin had kept a ferry for about twenty-five years. 
One share in the bridge was reserved to the latter, to recompense 
him for the loss of his ferry, and the right to maintain one reverted 
to him, upon the discontinuance of the bridge. This bridge was 
built in 1805, and stood below the present one, and above the 
mouth of Wells River, "at the ledge of rocks." The records of the 
Wells River Bridge Corporation show that in 1806 the shares of 
the bridge sold at their par value of fifty dollars, which proves that 
it was profitable. The rates of toll as fixed by the charter were: 
For each foot passenger, one cent ; for a horse and rider, three cents ; 
each chaise or two- wheeled carriage drawn by one horse, ten cents; 
one-horse wagon or cart drawn by one beast, eight cents; by two 
beasts, ten cents ; each four-wheeled carriage or coach, twenty-five 
cents, and two cents for each horse more than two ; two cents for 
each animal, except sheep and swine which were one cent each. 
These rates differ slightly from those of the Porter charter. It is 
not thought that this was a covered bridge, but that it was built 
upon wooden piers. 

In the spring of 1807, this bridge was carried away by a 
freshet, and was rebuilt in that year. Between 1807 and 1812, 
when it was again carried away, it underwent considerable repairs. 
From 1812 to 1820, there was no bridge, and the ferry was 
conducted as before, by Chamberlin, who, in 1817, conveyed all his 
rights therein to John L. Woods.* The New Hampshire legislature 
in January, 1813, passed an act to allow the proprietors to rebuild 
and complete the bridge within two years after the following 
September .t An extension of two years time was granted in 1815, 
and a further extension of three years from November 1, 1817, was 
granted by the legislature, in the preceding June. 

In 1820, a new bridge was constructed at a cost of about 
$3,000. This stood below the mouth of Wells River, and the 
abutment, on the Woodsville side can still be seen. This bridge, 
says Mr. J. P. Kimball, was originally an open bridge, and was 
built on **horses" or wooden piers, there being several of these 
under the bridge. Some time after it was built a sort of temporary 
roof was constructed over it. This bridge was carried away by the 
freshet of 1850. In the course of that summer a new bridge was 
erected there, which stood till the present one was completed, and 
then it was taken down. 

In 1853, the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad Co. 
secured an entrance into Vermont by inducing the owners of this 
last bridge to erect a new one, a short distance below the mouth of 

*Brid|^e Records. 

tl. N. H. Mannscript Laws, Vol. XX.. p. 46. 2. lb. XX. p. 288. 3. lb. XXL 
p. 48. 


the Amtnonoosuc, granting them the privilege of laying their tracks 
along the roof of the bridge, where they still remain. When it 
was built, and for many years after, locomotives and cars were 
constructed very much lighter than they are now, and traffic 
was also light, but in later years the increasing weight of rolling 
stock, and the increase also of traffic has compelled the repeated 
strengthening of the structure, which has* narrowed the roadway 
until it is hardly wide enough for two teams to pass. The frequent 
passage of heavy trains, and shifting engines along the roof, render 
it a dangerous place, yet no serious accidents have yet occurred 
there. A new highway bridge, of modern construction, between 
Wells River and Woodsville, is greatly demanded. 

The journal of the New Hampshire House of Representatives 
for the session of 1794, states that among the business brought 
before the house on December 30, was the following: "Whereas, 
Benjamin Chamberlin of Newbury, Vermont, proposes building a 
Bridge over Connecticut river, at, or near the place where he and 
his fathers have kept a ferry ever since the settlement of the town, 
which is the best and oldest road for passing between the states to 
the north and Canada, prays to be allowed to build and tend said 
bridge for toll." The principal subscribers to the enterprise, on the 
Haverhill side, were: Moses Dow, $400; Ezekiel Ladd and John 
Montgomery, each $100; and on the Newbury side: Thomas 
Johnson, $300; Benjamin and Nathaniel Chamberlin, and Josiah 
Little, each $100. The Haverhill subscriptions amounted to 
$1,000, and it was stated that as much had been promised from 
Newbury, but owing to the high water and floating ice prevailing 
at the time, the man with the Newbury subscription was unable to 
cross the river. On the 7th of January, 1795, the same day on 
which Colonel Porter presented his petition for a bridge at Wells 
River, a petition similar to that offered by Chamberlin, was 
presented in behalf of Simeon Goodwin and Robert Johnston. 

Ebenezer Brewster of Hanover, Peter Carleton of Landaff*, and 
Capt. John Mann of Orford, were appointed a committee to view 
the river from the lower end of Howard's island to the south line of 
Haverhill, and select a site for a bridge. This committee reported 
at the June session of 1795, in favor of locating the bridge about 
thirty rods below Chamberlin's ferry. The charter was granted 
June 18, 1795, to Benjamin Chamberlin, Ezekiel Ladd, Moses Dow, 
Thomas Johnson, William Wallace, John Montgomery, and 
associates as ''Proprietors of Haverhill Bridge."* Their charter 
rights extend "from the extreme point of the little Ox-bow, to the 
southwest comer of Ezekiel Ladd's farm, a little above the mouth 
of the Oliverian." The rates of toll were nearly like those of the 
Wells River bridge. A bridge was built there in 1796, and stood for 

*N. H. Manuscript Laws. Vol. IX., p. IG*. 


some time. It was, probably, an open bridge. Among the Johnson 
papers there is a copy, in his own handwriting of a letter from 
Colonel Johnson to General Chase, which casts some light upon the 
construction of that bridge, and its fate. 

Newbury, April 19, 1797. 
Sir : 

You have no doubt heard of our misfortune as to losing our Bridge, it was 
owing to two things: l«t the ambition of some of the proprietors wanting to have, 
the longest arch \'et built; 2d the workman was not equal to so great a peice of 
business. One abutment stands good, also the little Bridges with very little 
repairing are good, our Plank with a considerable part of the timber on hand. The 
main thing we want is a workman that understands building a Peer in the middle of 
the river, we have no man in this part of the Country that ever helped build one, or 
knows anything about it. As you went through the business for us last year, I ask 
as a particular favor in behalf of the Proprietors, that you would recommend to us 
a suitable man to undertake to build a Peer. * * Our stone are all within ten rods 
of the river bank, and our timber within % of a mile. One Peer will want to be 
twenty-five feet high. In this case I wish you would make a brief guess what the 
cost would be to build such a peer. 

Yours, etc., 

Thos. Johnson." 


That some kind of a bridge was reconstructed there seems 
evident from the recorded action of the selectmen in 1798, who 
placed the south limit of highway District No. 2, which *Vuns down 
on the river as far as the north abutment of the bridge across 
Connecticut river.*' This bridge is mentioned elsewhere. But it 
did not stand many years, evidently, as the records of the present 
bridge corporation, beginning January 1, 1805, state that on that 
day a meeting of the Haverhill Bridge Company was held, at 
which Charles Johnston, Samuel Ladd, Joseph Pearson, John 
Montgomery, Jeremiah Harris and Asa Tenney were appointed a 
committee to make estimates for building a bridge similar to the 
**Fcderal Bridge** over the Merrimack river at Concord, and to 
determine the best place to build said bridge. This committee 
reported, May 4, 1805, that the bridge be built "from land of Mr. 
Phineas Ayer in Haverhill, to that of Col. Robert Johnston in 
Newbury," i. e., where the present bridge is. Some time between 
that date and 1809, a bridge was built. The records are meagre, 
and nothing is said about this bridge being carried off, but on April 
3, 1822, Ephraim Kingsbury, the clerk, sold all the shares in the 
corporation to Asa Tenney and Josiah Little for one cent a share. 
It would seem there was nothing left of the bridge. 

There is no further record till August 18, 1833, when Josiah 
Little petitioned for a meeting to be called on September 10, at 
which stock for a new bridge was subscribed. 

In the Democratic Republican for September 19, 1833, Ephraim 
Kingsbury, clerk, advertises for proposals for building the present 
bridge, and for furnishing stone, and erecting the abutments and a 
pier, which was built in 1834. No record of the cost is preserved, 
but it is understood to have been about $9,200. It is believed to be 
the oldest bridge on Connecticut river, yet it is still called the "new 


bridge" by old people. The thoroughness of its construction is 
attested by its having withstood all the freshets of nearly seventy 
years, although the water has, several times, been three feet deep 
along its driveways, and great quantities of logs crowded against 
it from above. It has a double passage-way for teams and is 
believed to be the only bridge of that manner of construction left 
on the river. Repairs have been made upon it from time to time, 
and in 1895, about $2,000 was expended upon it. The structure 
was strengthened by means of arches, a feature not known, or 
not employed in this part of the country, at the time it was built. 

On April 1, 1898, it was voted to call in all the old stock, and 
issue new, which consist, of ninety-two shares of one hundred 
dollars each. It is all owned by eleven persons. The present 
directors are: W. H. Atkinson, H. E. and R. W. Chamberlain. 
Arthur K. Merrill is clerk and treasurer. 

The charter for a bridge between South Newbury and Haverhill 
was granted, June 16, 1802, to Moody Bedell and others, to be 
built within the limits of Bedell's ferry.* The first meeting of the 
stockholders was held May 9, 1805, at the inn of Asa Boynton in 
Haverhill. There were one hundred shares of stock, Moody Bedell 
holding thirty-five. Twenty-three shares were held on the Vermont 
side, Capt. William Trotter of Bradford, holding fifteen. Moody 
Bedell conveyed for $900, his rights in the ferry, to the bridge 
company. The first directors were William Trotter, Moody Bedell, 
Asa Boynton, and Gideon Tewksbury. On the 24th of June they 
contracted with Avery Sanders to build a bridge for $2,700. This 
was an open bridge, resting on wooden piers. General Moody 
Bedell, for whom that bridge and its successors were named, was a 
son of Col. Timothy Bedell, who visited Coos with Bayley, Hazen, 
and Kent, in 1760, and was himself a revolutionary soldier, and a 
distinguished oflScer in the war of 1812. He died in 1841. How 
long this bridge stood is not precisely known. President Dwight 
speaks of crossing it in 1812. In that year the shares held by 
General Bedell were sold to Hon. Moses P. Payson of Bath. In 
1821, September 4, a meeting was held to see about rebuilding the 
bridge, by which it seems that it had been wholly or partly carried 
away. It appears that much of the timber and plank were saved. 
On June 16, 1824, the report of the committee which rebuilt the 
bridge was presented, which showed that the cost had been 
$2,585.61 exclusive of what was paid the committee for their 
services. It would appear that this bridge stood till 1841, as on 
February 11th the directors were instructed to use every effort to 
secure the bridge. But, three days later, the stockholders voted 
"not to rebuild," by which vote it seems that the bridge had been 
carried away in the meantime. 

♦N. H. Manuscript Laws, Vol. XIII., p. 136. 


There was no bridge from that time till 1851, when an 
open bridge, supported by wooden piers, and with heav> 
timbers crossing the driveway overhead, was built. Col. Moody 
Chamberlain, J. R. Reding and Asa Low were the building 
committee. This was carried away by the high water of the 
spring of 1862. In the fall of that year the middle pier of the 
present bridge was constructed, and the next year a covered bridge 
was built. C. G. Smith, Johnson Chamberlain and Nathaniel 
Bailey were the building committee. This bridge was of very 
light construction, and in 1865, the directors were instructed to 
strengthen it by putting in arches. This structure was very 
narrow, and was demolished by a gale, July 4, 1866. The present 
bridge was built in that year. 

In 1812, a law was passed equalizing the tolls on the three 
bridges between Newbury and Haverhill, as follows: Each foot 
passenger, one cent ; each person, except the driver, on any team, 
one cent ; each one-horse team six and one-fourth cents ; each chaise 
or other carriage, twelve and one-half cents ; each team drawn by 
three horses, fifteen cents; four-wheeled carriage drawn by two 
horses, twenty-five cents, and three cents for each additional horse.* 

In 1809, a charter was granted to Asa Tenney, Thomas, John, 
Moses and David Johnson, and William B. Bannister of Newbury, 
and eighteen others, resident elsewhere, for a bridge between Horse 
Meadow and the Ox-bow, at some place between one-half mile 
above, and one-halt mile below Colonel Porter's ferry.t The 
proprietors were to build a road "fi-om Colonel Porter's ferry 
house, to the main road in Haverhill." It is not known that any 
action was ever taken about building a bridge at that place. 

*N. H. Manuscript Laws, Vol. XIX., p. 299. 
tib., Vol. XVIII., p. 278. 


Col. Jacob Kent I»t. Clahk Kkkt ktands *t tp 


Highways and Raii^roads. 

PiB«T Roads.— Old Roads.— Road akound Imgai^i^ Hill.— Railroad pkom 
Boston to Concord.— Building of Passdmpsic Railroad.— Riot jlt Inoalls 
Hnx.— The Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad.— Railroad War 
AT Wblls Riybr.— Thb Montpblibr and Wblls Riybr Railroad.— 

THE first volume of town proceedings contains the certified 
surveys of eighty-four roads or alterations of roads, which 
included all the highways which were laid out, and formally 
accepted by the town, to the year 1837. The earliest of these is the 
present river road, "beginning at the town line as was formerly," 
to Wells river— the stream, not the village. This return only gives 
the general course of the road, which, in several instances, departs 
fi-om that of the "old" road. The second road accepted by the 
town, was one from "Mr. John Mills'es," (now Doe's Comer,) "to 
the town line near James Heath's," and is the road which passes 
out by the Rogers hill schoolhouse, and the old Haseltine place, 
through the Grow neighborhood, to the Corinth line, in what is 
now Topsham. John Wilson of Bradford stated in writing in his 
old age, that in 1795, this was the only road from Corinth to 
Newbury. A portion of this road, has been discontinued. It was 
surveyed by Aaron Shepard in 1785, and the courses are marked by 
trees. At the same time the road from Ebenezer White's, now 
Warren Bailey's, to the place at West Newbury where the late John 
Wilson long Uved, and thence past the cemetery to the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse, was accepted. 

It must be understood that these dates do not show when these 
roads first began to be trod, but when they were accepted by the 
town, which thenceforth assumed their maintenance. Before the 
time of such survey and acceptance, the roads were merely paths 
through the woods, and were kept in such repair and improvement 



Highways and Railroads. 

FuieT Roads.— 'Old Roads.— Road around Imgai«l6 Hill.— Railroad from 
Boston to Concord.— Building of Passumpsic Railroad.— Riot jlt Inoalls 
Hill.— The Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad.— Railroad War 
AT Wblls Riybr.— Thb Montpblibr and Wblls Riybr Railroad.— 

THE first Yolume of town proceedings contains the certified 
surveys of eighty-four roads or alterations of roads, which 
included all the highways which were laid out, and formally 
accepted by the town, to the year 1837. The earliest of these is the 
present river road, "beginning at the town line as was formerly," 
to Wells river— the stream, not the village. This return only gives 
the general course of the road, which, in several instances, departs 
from that of the "old" road. The second road accepted by the 
town, was one from "Mr. John Mills'es," (now Doe's Comer,) "to 
the town line near James Heath's," and is the road which passes 
out by the Rogers hill schoolhouse, and the old Haseltine place, 
through the Grow neighborhood, to the Corinth line, in what is 
now Topsham. John Wilson of Bradford stated in writing in his 
old age, that in 1795, this was the only road from Corinth to 
Newbury. A portion of this road, has been discontinued. It was 
surveyed by Aaron Shepard in 1785, and the courses are marked by 
trees. At the same time the road from Ebenezer White's, now 
Warren Bailey's, to the place at West Newbury where the late John 
Wilson long Hved, and thence past the cemetery to the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse, was accepted. 

It must be understood that these dates do not show when these 
roads first began to be trod, but when they were accepted by the 
town, which thenceforth assumed their maintenance. Before the 
time of such survey and acceptance, the roads were merely paths 
through the woods, and were kept in such repair and improvement 


Highways and Raii^roads. 

FiB«T Roads.— Old Roads.— Road akound Ingai^i^ Hill.— Railroad from 
Boston to Concord.— Building of Passdmpsic Railroad.— Riot jlt Inoalls 
Hnx.— Thb Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad.— Railroad War 
AT Wblls Rivbr.— Thb Montpblibr and Wblls Riybr Railroad.— 

THE first Tolume of town proceedings contains the certified 
surveys of eighty-four roads or alterations of roads, which 
included all the highways which were laid out, and formally 
accepted by the town, to the year 1837. The earliest of these is the 
present river road, "beginning at the town line as was formerly," 
to Wells river— the stream, not the village. This return only gives 
the general course of the road, which, in several instances, departs 
from that of the "old" road. The second road accepted by the 
town, was one from "Mr. John Mills'es," (now Doe's Comer,) "to 
the town line near James Heath's," and is the road which passes 
out by the Rogers hill schoolhouse, and the old Haseltine place, 
through the Grow neighborhood, to the Corinth line, in what is 
now Topsham. John Wilson of Bradford stated in writing in his 
old age, that in 1795, this was the only road from Corinth to 
Newbury. A portion of this road, has been discontinued. It was 
surveyed by Aaron Sbepard in 1785, and the courses are marked by 
trees. At the same time the road from Ebenezer White's, now 
Warren Bailey's, to the place at West Newbury where the late John 
Wilson long Uved, and thence past the cemetery to the Rogers hiU 
schoolhouse, was accepted. 

It must be understood that these dates do not show when these 
roads first began to be trod, but when they were accepted by the 
town, which thenceforth assumed their maintenance. Before the 
time of such survey and acceptance, the roads were merely paths 
through the woods, and were kept in such repair and improvement 


Highways AND Railroads. 

Pmer Roads.— Old Roads.— Road around Ingai,ls Hill.— Railroad prom 
Boston to Concord.— Building op Passumpsic Railroad.— Riot jat Ingalls 
Hill.— Thb Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad.— Railroad War 
AT Wblls Riybr.— Thb Montpelibr and Wblls Riybr Railroad.— 

THE first volume of town proceedings contains the certified 
surveys of eighty-four roads or alterations of roads, virhich 
included all the highways which were laid out, and formally 
accepted by the town, to the year 1837. The earliest of these is the 
present river road, "beginning at the town line as was formerly," 
to Wells river— the stream, not the village. This return only gives 
the general course of the road, which, in several instances, departs 
from that of the "old" road. The second road accepted by the 
town, was one from **Mr. John Mills'es," (now Doe's Comer,) "to 
the town line near James Heath*s," and is the road which passes 
out by the Rogers hill schoolhouse, and the old Haseltine place, 
through the Grow neighborhood, to the Corinth line, in what is 
now Topsham. John Wilson of Bradford stated in writing in his 
old age, that in 1795, this was the only road from Corinth to 
Newbury. A portion of this road, has been discontinued. It was 
surveyed by Aaron Shepard in 1785, and the courses are marked by 
trees. At the same time the road from Ebenezer White's, now 
Warren Bailey's, to the place at West Newbury where the late John 
Wilson long Uved, and thence past the cemetery to the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse, was accepted. 

It must be understood that these dates do not show when these 
roads first began to be trod, but when they were accepted by the 
town, which thenceforth assumed their maintenance. Before the 
time of such survey and acceptance, the roads were merely paths 
through the woods, and were kept in such repair and improvement 


Highways and Railroads, 

Fiser Roads.— Old Roads.— Road around IngaLtLS Hill.— Railroad from 
Boston to Concord.— Building of Passumpsic Railroad.— Riot jat Ingalls 
Hnx.— Thb Boston, Concord and Montrbal Railroad.— Railroad War 
AT Wblls Riybr.— Thb Montpblibr and Wblls RiYBR Railroad.— 

THE first volume of town proceedings contains the certified 
surveys of eighty-four roads or alterations of roads, which 
included all the highways which were laid out, and formally 
accepted by the town, to the year 1837. The earliest of these is the 
present river road, "beginning at the town line as was formerly," 
to Wells river— the stream, not the village. This return only gives 
the general course of the road, which, in several instances, departs 
from that of the "old" road. The second road accepted by the 
town, was one from **Mr. John Mills'es," (now Doe*s Comer,) "to 
the town line near James Heath*s," and is the road which passes 
out by the Rogers hill schoolhouse, and the old Haseltine place, 
through the Grow neighborhood, to the Corinth line, in what is 
now Topsham. John Wilson of Bradford stated in writing in his 
old age, that in 1795, this was the only road from Corinth to 
Newbury. A portion of this road, has been discontinued. It was 
surveyed by Aaron Shepard in 1785, and the courses are marked by 
trees. At the same time the road from Ebenezer White's, now 
Warren Bailey's, to the place at West Newbury where the late John 
Wilson long lived, and thence past the cemetery to the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse, was accepted. 

It must be understood that these dates do not show when these 
roads first began to be trod, but when they were accepted by the 
town, which thenceforth assumed their maintenance. Before the 
time of such survey and acceptance, the roads were merely paths 
through the woods, and were kept in such repair and improvement 


Highways AND Railroads. 

Pmer Roads.— Old Roads.— Road around Ingai,ls Hill.— Railroad prom 
Boston to Concord.— Building of Passumpsic Railroad.— Riot jut Inoalls 
Hill.— The Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad.— Railroad War 
AT Wblls Rivbr.— The Montpelier and Wells Riyer Railroad.— 

THE first volume of town proceedings contains the certified 
surveys of eighty-four roads or alterations of roads, which 
included all the highways which were laid out, and formally 
accepted by the town, to the year 1837. The earliest of these is the 
present river road, ''beginning at the town line as was formerly," 
to Wells river— the stream, not the village. This return only gives 
the general course of the road, which, in several instances, departs 
from that of the "old" road. The second road accepted by the 
town, was one from **Mr. John Mills*es," (now Doe's Comer,) "to 
the town line near James Heath*s," and is the road which passes 
out by the Rogers hill schoolhouse, and the old Haseltine place, 
through the Grow neighborhood, to the Corinth line, in what is 
now Topsham. John Wilson of Bradford stated in writing in his 
old age, that in 1795, this was the only road from Corinth to 
Newbury. A portion of this road, has been discontinued. It was 
surveyed by Aaron Shepard in 1785, and the courses are marked by 
trees. At the same time the road from Ebenezer White's, now 
Warren Bailey's, to the place at West Newbury where the late John 
Wilson long Uved, and thence past the cemetery to the Rogers hill 
schoolhouse, was accepted. 

It must be understood that these dates do not show when these 
roads first began to be trod, but when they were accepted by the 
town, which thenceforth assumed their maintenance. Before the 
time of such survey and acceptance, the roads were merely paths 
through the woods, and were kept in such repair and improvement 


as the people who lived on them were able to give, which was not 
much. The first roads were merely passages through the forest, 
through which people could find their way by "blazed*' or spotted 
trees. The first settlers in the back parts of the town had no better 
roads than these during the first years, which were not passable by 
wheeled vehicles. The road to West Newbury, thus surveyed and 
accepted in 1785, had been traveled some fifteen years by that time. 

The road that leads from Newburv Street to East Corinth, 
called the * 'county road," and which is one of the roads laid out by 
a county commission of which Col. Frye Bayley was a member, 
about 1797, has undergone more changes in its general course than 
any other, except the river road. It begins to be mentioned 
in 1788, and formerly left the present road behind the house of 
H. D. Gamsby, about half a mile from the top of **sawmill hill," 
and may be followed till it came out a little west of the highest 
point of land, between the village and the town farm. This old 
road was, except for the long, hard hill at the east end of it, very 
straight and level, and the road which comes from Leighton hill, 
w^as continued into the woods where the two joined. This old road 
was discontinued in 1841, when the present road was made, and 
the road east of Harriman's pond was laid out about the same 
time. The old county road again left the present road where there 
is a bend near a small brook, at the top of the last hill east of the 
town farm, and took a straight course over the hill, coming out at 
the great willow on the Peach farm, where F. G. Rowland now 
lives. Later, the west end of it was brought down south of, and 
near Mrs. Demeritt's house, coming upon the present road a 
little west of it, where the schoolhouse once stood. This road was 
discontinued in 1824. The distance from the Peach farm to the 
street was about one-third less by these old roads than by the 
present one, and both are still used as foot-paths. There was no 
road past the present town farm till 1827, but the highway left the 
county road near the Lilly pond, half a mile east of the town 
house, and went south, past where Levi Whitman now lives, (that 
farm was not cleared then,) and came out to the one which now 
ends at the old Boynton place, now part of the Chalmers farm. 
The cellars of six houses which formerly stood on, or near that 
road, may still be seen. 

At the top of the hill, beyond L. W. McAllister's, near Round 
pond, the old road took a straight course west and south of the 
present one, which it did not touch again till it came out and 
crossed it at the **four corners," where the late Davis Cheney lived, 
in a large, two-story house. Thence it followed the road which 
goes toward Currier hill, about half a mile, and turning abruptly, 
passed through the west side of what is now J. E. Currier's field, 
loining the present road near the ruinous schoolhouse in the Doe 


There are many miles of such disused roads in this town, and 
the precise location of some is not now remembered. Somewhere 
about 1840, the road along Wells river, from the paper mill to the 
four corners was made. Before that time all travel went up an old 
road from the paper mill to the **Ben Chamberlin place." 

The road through Cow meadow gave the town considerable 
trouble, *as appears from many recorded actions in town meeting. 
At one time the river washed away a section of it and the selectmen 
laid out a new road a little further from the bank of the river, but 
the abutting landowners refused to accept the damages awarded by 
the town for the land taken to set it further back, erecting gates 
across the road, which were not all removed till after 1805. This 
road formerly kept close along the river-bank, all the way from the 
Ox-bow to the foot of the Frye Bayley hill. The north end of it 
was altered to run west of the railroad, when the latter was built, 
in 1847. 

In 1830, after several years of agitation, and determined 
opposition, a road was laid out around the base of Ingalls hill. 
Tappan Stevens was the leader of the agitation for this road, and 
David Johnson, who then owned the Ingalls farm, was the no less 
resolute leader of the opposition. A great deal of extravagant 
language was used, both by those who favored, and those who 
opposed the undertaking, and several appeals to the county court 
were had. But it was finally built, and was of great help to the 
heavy teaming of those days. 

Formerly the highway tax was worked out, and only 
unsatisfactory results, in most cases, came from the labor. After 
heavy winter storms the roads were broken out, all the men and 
oxen in a neighborhood turning out to the task. With the use of 
road machines, snow rollers, and a more efficient oversight, the 
highways have steadily improved. 

The first iron bridge in town was built at Wells River in 1880. 
There are now three over Wells river, and three over HalPs brook. 

The railroad was opened from Boston to Concord in 1842, and 
it was determined by the ruling powers in New Hampshire at that 
time, that the road should not be extended beyond that point, and 
the legislature of that year passed a law, by a vote of 136 to 84, 
that no railroad should be constructed until the corporation should 
first pay to the owner of lands which they proposed to cross, 
whatever he should exact for the privilege. This put a stop to 
railroad building in that state for several years, and the attempt to 
secure a charter for a road from Franklin to Orford failed. But in a 
few years the agitation for railroads in the north part of the state 
became so formidable as to threaten to overturn the party in 
power, when charters were secured for the Northern railroad from 


Concord to the mouth of White River, and for the Boston, Concord 
and Montreal, from Concord to some point on the Connecticut 
river in Haverhill. 

The Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers railroad was first 
chartered November 10, 1835, but no work was ever done under 
this charter, which became void. The second charter was secured 
October 31, 184?3. The road was to commence at some point on 
the Massachusetts line, near the Connecticut river, run up that 
river and the Passumpsic, to some point on the Canada line, in 
Newport or Derby. 

In 1845, the right was secured to divide the route at the mouth 
of White river, the northerly portion to be called the ** Connecticut 
and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad." The road was organized at 
Wells River, January 15, 1846, with Erastus Fairbanks a& 
president. The survey was commenced in April following, and 
ground was broken on the 7th of September. Miller Fox was the 
chief engineer, and brought his family to this town. A steam 
shovel was brought up and set to work on William U. BaileyV 
farm, and multitudes flocked to see the strange machine. The ledge 
at Ingalls hill was considered the most diflicult part of the work 
between White River Junction and Wells River. The men employed 
at that time in railroad construction were mostly Irishmen, and a 
horde of men, women and children pf that nationality invaded the 
town, where their brogue and actions excited aversion and fear. 
Many of their cabins stood along the foot of the hill south of where 
Mr. Learned now lives, then called the **Frye Bayley hill." 

Several years before, the town had, at great expense, built a 
road around the base of Ingalls hill, close to the river, which may 
still be traced, in places, and which was of great help to the heavy 
travel which, in those days, went along the river road. 

There was not, however, room enough around the base of the 
ledge for both railroad and highway, and the railroad was obliged 
to purchase of the town the road which it had constructed around 
the foot of the hill. 

•A short time after work began on the ledge at that place, a riot 
broke out among the Irishmen, which ended in a tragedy. There 
was a bitter feud between the men who came from the county of 
Connaught, in Ireland, and those who came from the county of 
Cork. The latter, who were called the Corkonians, had driven the 
former, who were known as the Fardowners, from their work on 
the Northern railroad. The Connaught men came up to work 
on the Passumpsic railroad^ and when the Northern road was 
completed, the Cork men came to work on this road, and there was 
soon trouble between the two gangs. Most of the men employed 
in the great cut at Ingalls hill were Cork men, and in the night of 
the 21st of September, 1847, a party of the Connaught men went 
in a body to the shanties of the Cork men, threatening their lives,. 


and attempting to break in upon them. But the Cork men had 
firearms, and kept their assailants at bay, who went away, 
threatening to return in a week with re-enforcements. The next 
day, which was Monday, Michael Kelley, who was in charge of the 
work at Ingalls hill secured warrants against several of the rioters, 
and, with Leander Quint as deputy sheriff, arrested three of them, 
took them to Newbury and returned after others. On entering a 
shanty at the south end of Ingalls hill Kelley pointed out Patrick 
Gallagher, who was arrested, when a gang of six or eight men 
assaulted Kelley and Quint. Kelley retreated backward, was shot 
through the neck and instantly killed. Quint escaped. Kelley's 
body was stripped of his watch and money. The rioters escaped to 
the woods. The affair produced great excitement, the country 
was roused, the roads and bridges were watched, and some of the 
men were taken. 

At a court held at Wells River, Michael McGinty was committed 
to jail without bail and three others in default of it. Some of the 
rioters were sent to the state prison, but no one suffered death, as it 
could not be proved by whom the fatal shot was fired. 

The railroad was opened to Wells River, November 6, 1848, the 
terminus being where the freight depot now is. Work began on the 
railroad above that point December 17, 1849, and trains began to 
run to Mclndoes October 7, 1850. The road was completed to St. 
Johnsbury November 23, 1850; and regular trains began to run 
fi-om that place November 28th. Meanwhile the Boston, Concord 
and Montreal railroad was slowly making its way up the 
Pemigewasset valley, and the building of that road was regarded 
with hostility by the projectors of the Northern and Passumpsic 
roads, for both were after the business of the north country. Late 
in the fall of 1849, the road was opened to Plymouth, and May 25, 
1851, the cars came to Warren. Cutting through the great ledge 
at Warren Summit took a year and a half, and cost $150,000. 
The road was opened to East Haverhill in the fall of 1852, and in 
May of the next year to Woodsville. 

The building of the bridge across the Connecticut at Wells River 
was the occasion of a railroad war. Of this Judge Leslie, who 
probably knows more about that affair than any one else living, 
may be allowed to speak in his own words : 

*'I was attorney for over thirty years for the Boston, Concord, and Montreal 
Railroad, and the White Monntains Railroad, and had legal charge of their affairs 
hereabouts during that time. The facts were these: There was a strife between the 
New Hampshire roads and the Connecticut and Passumpsic railroad, as to the 
control oi the White Mountain travel, and as the roads approached this place, there 
was a big war between them. The C. & P. went to work to prevent the N. H. roads 
from coming into Vt., and as a part of the program, laid out the spur road from the 
present passenger depot at Wells River to tne prospective bridge across Connecticut 
river, intending thereby to reach the White Mountains R. R., not caring to have any 
•connection with the B. C. & M. R. R. But the men who were at the head of the 
latter road were in good friendship with the White Mountain people, but could not 


reach and extend its road into Vt. without a charter granted to it from the 
legislature of Vermont, and this the Passumpsic people would not permit, and the 
N. H. roads were able to prevent the Vt. road to obtam a ri^ht by charter to bnild a 
bridge into N. H., and as attorney for the N. H. roads I advised that land be bought 
in Vt. and build the abutment of the bridge upon that land in Vt. and so was given 
the power to buy eight acres of land for that purpose. 

Then the Passumpsic people took another course, and undertook by way of an 
injunction, to prevent the putting and building; of a bridge abutment upon the land 
so purchased, but failing in this, tried to confiscate this land to the state, claiming 
that the B., C. & M. R. R., being a foreign corporation, could not hold land in it, but 
the court held that it could, and decided the matter in favor of the B., C. & M. R. R. 
Then, to stop further litigation, I advised the B., C. & M. people to make a trade 
with the Wells River toll bridge Co., whose bridge was below the village of Wells 
River, and whose charter gave it the exclusive right to build a bridge within a 
certain distance, by which trade the public travel could be taken through the railroad 
bridge, which was done, and the toll bridge was taken down, which ended the war. 

When the B., C. & M. reached Woodsvilie there was a great celebration of the 
event, with speeches by Asa M. Dickey and Mr. Quincy, the president of the road, and 
the first train was saluted by the firing of cannon and cheers from the assembled 
multitude. This ended the great railroad fight." 

There was much done, however, which Mr. Leslie does not 
mention, and at one time one company employed a small army of 
men in constructing the **dump," west of the bridge, while the 
other had a crew, equally large, busily engaged in digging it away. 
There was much rivalry between the roads for a time, and in the 
summer of 1853 the Boston, Concord and Montreal railroad ran a 
stage from Newbury to Haverhill depot, and carried passengers 
from Newbury to Concord, and below, for less than was charged by 
the Passumpsic railroad, directly from Newbury. The stage thus 
mentioned, was driven by Mr. Thomas Johnson, still living in this 

A charter was obtained in 1849, for a railroad from Montpelier 
to the Connecticut river in Newbury, called the "Montpelier and 
Connecticut River Railroad Co." There was a plan to have the 
Boston, Concord and Montreal railroad cross the river at South 
Newbury, and pass up thevalley of Hall's brook, to South Ryegate, 
but nothing was ever done under that charter. The present 
Montpelier and Wells River railroad was chartered in 1867; work 
was begun upon it in the summer of 1871, and it was completed to 
Montpelier in November, 1873. 

The first telegraph line was erected in 1851, and called the 
'*Vt. and Canada Telegraph Co." The wire, a single one, passed 
along beside the river road, and had no connection with the 
railroad ; the idea of employing the telegraph in the operating 
of trains was not thought of then. The first telegraph office 
at Newbury village was in the building which is now the 
Congregational parsonage. Jerry N. George was the first operator 
at Newbury, or one of the first. The office was soon after removed 
to a tailor's shop in the second story of Keyes's store. It was not 
till about 1861 that the office was removed to the depot, and the 
line carried along beside the railroad. A single wire sufficed for all 
the business up to about 1870. The telegraph line from Plymouth 


to Wells River was constructed in November, 1862. Mr. Farwell 
was the first operator at Wells River. 

Railroading was new business fifty years ago, and some of the 
early regulations for the running of trains seem curious now. In 
18%51, trainmen were instructed not to run after dark in bad 
weather. The depots at South Newbury and Newbury are the ones 
which were built when the railroad was. The first depot at Wells 
River was below Stair hill, and the second was south of the 
parsonage. The present station was built in 1888. When Mr. 
Allison, the agent there, entered the office in 1862, all the work was 
done by him, with the aid of a boy. It now requires nine men to 
carry on the work at that important railroad centre. 

The distance along the railroad from Bradford line to Ryegate 
line, is 9 miles, 2371 feet. The amount of land damages was 
$16,034.19. Freight rates were very high at first— $1.50 per 100 
lbs. on first class freight to Boston. 

The mail train south has always passed Newbury at about the 
same time for fiftj' years, but reached Boston at seven, instead of 
four, as now. Except for the first two or three years, this was the 
only passenger train. The accommodation train was put on for a 
few months in 1865, and made permanent in 1871. The road 
hardly paid its riinning expenses for some years, and shares sold 
at one time as low as five dollars. But, under the energetic 
management of Hon. Henry Keyes of Newbury, it was brought 
into a paying condition, and is the only road in the state which has 
ever paid a dividend to its stockholders. 

The Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers railroad was leased to 
the Boston and Lowell railroad Jan 1, 1887, and on the 27th of 
October in the same year, the latter began to be operated by the 
Boston and Maine railroad. The Boston, Concord and Montreal 
railroad was almost bankrupt for awhile, but under the 
management of Mr. J. A. Dodge, it became a good property. 
Up to 1870 a single passenger train, which had only a baggage 
car and a passenger car, accommodated all the travel, above 
Plymouth, except in summer. Up to 1870, during most of the 
year, one engine did all the work, above Woodsville. The "air line" 
trains, between Boston and Montreal, were put on in 1874. 


Banks and Money Matters. 

Basi^y Banks in Nbw Hampshirb.— Thb CoOs Bank.— Barly Vbrmont Banks.— 
Thb Wblls Riybr Bank.— Dirbctors.— National Bank of Nbwbury.— 
Sayings Bank.— Hard Tiiibs. — Countbrpbiting.— Thb Bristol Bill Affair.— 
Imprisonmbnt for Dbbt.— Glazibr Whbblbr again. 

TTTE have seen that there were no banks in the colonies before 
V V the revolutionary war, and it was not until near the close 
of the struggle that the first private bank in the country, 
the Bank of North America, was, in 1781, established at Phila- 
delphia. In 1784, the first bank in New England, the Massa- 
chusetts, was established at Boston. 

In New Hampshire, the New Hampshire bank at Portsmouth, 
was established in 1793, and no more were put in operation till ten 
years later, when another bank was chartered for Portsmouth, and 
banks were established at Exeter, Keene, and Haverhill. The 
opening of the Coos bank at Haverhill at that early day is 
significant, not only of the enterprise of the business men of 
Grafton County, but, also, of the growing wealth and financial 
importance of the Connecticut valley. At that time, and for many 
years after, there was no other bank within one hundred miles of 
Newbury, and a vast amount of business from the west side of the 
river was transacted there. The persons named in the act of 
incorporation of the Coos bank were: John Montgomery, Moses 
P. Payson, Peter Carleton, Moor Russell, Daniel Smith, Nathaniel 
Barlow and Timothy Dix, Jr. 

George Woodward, a lawyer, who built and occupied the fine 
old mansion at the south end of the common at Haverhill Comer, 
was the first cashier, and the bank vault, a structure which would 
make a modem burglar laugh, may still be seen in the Merrill 
building. For about twenty-five years, that bank, and its 


successor, the Grafton bank, was the only bank in Grafton county. 
The old Coos bank failed, disastrously, after about twenty years. 
The fact that in 1820 its bills in circulation amounted to nearly 
$175,000, while the capital stock actually paid in was only 
$97,700, had something to do with its failure. Many Newbury 
people were embarassed by the catastrophe, but the winding-up of 
its affairs was intrusted to Mr. John Nelson, a lawyer of ability 
and integrity, who discharged his trust with great credit to himself, 
and to the satisfaction of those concerned. Mr. Nelson built and 
occupied the house where Mr, P. W. Kimball now lives, on the east 
side of the common at the Corner. The Grafton bank was kept in 
the brick house south of the brick block, where the vault still 

In Vermont, prior to the year 1817, in which year the first 
charter for a bank was granted by the legislature, a large majority 
of the people were opposed to the establishment of banks, or the 
issue of paper money. The experiment of a state bank, with 
branches in the larger towns, proved a failure, and came to an end, 
and this fact tended to heighten the popular distrust of similar 
institutions. In 1803, charters for banks at Windsor and 
Burlington were granted by the House of Representatives, but the 
governor and council refused to concur, on the ground that the 
issues of paper money would drive specie out of the country ; would 
introduce an extensive and dangerous credit; would facilitate 
hazardous and unjustifiable enterprises; would tempt debtors to 
borrow money to discharge their debts instead of paying them ; 
would tend to centralize the wealth of the state in the hands of a 
few; would make it hard for a poor man to borrow money except 
upon exorbitant terms; and because the governor and council 
considered that government was not designed to open new fields 
of speculation, or protect the property of individuals. These were 
the opinions of Gov. Isaac Tichenor and his advisers. 

Other bank charters met a similar fate during several years, 
and it was not till 1818, that the first charters were granted for 
private banks in Vermont, which were at Burlington and Windsor. 
Banks were chartered at Brattleboro in 1821; Rutland in 1824; 
Montpelier, Danville and St. Albans, in 1825; Yergennes in 1826; 
Chelsea and Bennington in 1827; Woodstock, Middlebury and 
Bellows Falls in 1831; at Manchester, Newbury, Irasburgh and 
Guildhall in 1832. 

The act incorporating a bank in Newbury was passed November 
7, 1832, and William Atkinson, Peter Burbank and Timothy Morse 
oir Newbury, William Barron and Asa Low of Bradford, Jonathan 
Jenness and James Petrie of Topsham, Daniel Cook of Corinth and 
Jesse Stoddard of Fairlee, were named in the act, and of these, 
Messrs. Atkinson, Morse, Petrie, Stoddard, Barron and Burbank 
were commissioners to receive subscriptions. Mr. Morse was clerk. 



The amount of stock was $100,000, the number of shares to be 
subscribed for was limited to four to each person, and ten per cent 
was required to be paid with the subscription. The books were 
opened February 5, 1833, at the Spring Hotel, at Newbury, and on 
the 15th of the same month, the required number of 2000 shares 
having been subscribed, they were closed. The shares were 
subscribed for by 1032 individuals, but when the time arrived for 
the first meeting of the stockholders it was found that the shares 
had been absorbed by 85 persons. The first meeting of the 
stockholders was held at the Spring Hotel, March 8, 1833, when 
William Barron, James Petrie, Timothy Morse, Samuel Hutchins, 
Ebenezer Brewer, Epaphas B. Chase, and Peter Burbank, were 
elected directors. The number of shares voted upon was 1949. 

To the great disappointment of Newbury village it was found 
that the majority of votes was in favor of Wells River as the place 
of location. This is said to have been brought about by the adroit 
management of Peter Burbank. William Barron and Timothy 
Morse declining to serve, Jesse Stoddard and Erastus Fairbanks 
were chosen directors in their places and Peter Burbank, president. 
On May 22, 1833, Stephen Haight, bank commissioner, authorized 
the bank to begin business, one-half of the stock being paid in, with 
Benjamin F. Moore, cashier. Until the completion of the bank 
building, its business was done in the south front room of the house 
ip which the Leslie family long lived, now owned by Mrs. Graves, 
an adjoining closet serving as a vault. 

On June 6, 1834, the first dividend, of five per cent was 
declared. The land on which the bank stands was bought of 
Samuel Hutchins, and the older part of the present building was 
erected in 1834. January 13, 1835, Timothy Shedd and Ephraim 
Chamberlin, Jr., were chosen directors, in place of Fairbanks and 
Chase, and Zabina Newell was elected cashier, and Ebenezer Brewer 
was elected president. In January, 1836, Levi P. Parks was chosen 
a director in place of Stoddard, and in February, William Wheeler 
in place of Burbank, deceased. The pressure of the panic of 1837, 
forced the bank to suspend its dividend for the semi-annual 
distribution in June. In 1838, Alexander Gilchrist succeeded as 
director. Dr. Petrie, who had lately died, and in September, a fourth 
assessment of $10 on each share was made. In 1839, A. B. W. 
Tenney became a director, in place of Mr. Brewer, and Samuel 
Hutchins was elected president. In 1841, Mr. Newell became a 
director and president, and Oscar C. Hale was chosen cashier, his 
salary at first being $300 which was gradually increased to $800 
by 1846. In the former year, the bank paid a dividend for the first 
time since the panic of 1837. During those years much real estate 
must have been taken, as it appears many times in votes to sell. In 
1843, Colonel Tenney was elected president, arid Josiah Hale a 
director. In 1846, Mr. Gilchrist, who had deceased, was succeeded 
by Robert Harvey. 


Tn 1842, the bank voted to destroy, for the first time, by 
burning, its mutilated notes to the amount of $48,287.50, and 
unused fractional blanks to the amount of $3,615.57. Before that 
time the bank had issued fractional currency, a practice afterwards 
discontinued. In 1845, Messrs. Tenney and Hutchins were 
authorized to employ an agent to attend, the legislature, and 
procure a renewal of the charter. 

October 28, 1847, it was voted to accept the provisions of the 
new charter, and an assessment of $5 per share was ordered. The 
board of directors stood for 1848: A. B. W. Tenney president, 
Samuel Hutchins, Robert Harvey, Timothy Shedd, E. B. Chase, Asa 
Low, and Charles Hale, the latter becoming director in that year. 
April 13, Abel Underwood was elected a director to succeed Mr. 
Low, and on April 27 Ephraim Chamberlin succeeded Mr. Chase. 
August 31 an assessment of $7.50 on a share was voted, and on 
December 14, the capital was reduced to $75,000. In 1850, Mr. 
Chamberlin was succeeded by Nathaniel Bailey, who gave place the 
next year to Oscar C. Hale. September 27, 1849, a committee 
consisting of Samuel Hutchins, Robert Harvey, A. B. W. Tenney, 
and Charles Hale, destroyed by burning $234,800 in mutilated bills. 
In 1851, Robert Harvey became president, and in 1853, William R. 
Shedd succeeded his father as director. In 1856, $228,700 in 
redeemed bills was destroyed, and in 1857, $14,300. In 1858, O. C. 
Hale resigned the position of cashier, and a set of resolutions was 
adopted by the directors, in appreciation of his long and faithful 
service, and $100 was appropriated with which to purchase a silver 
pitcher to be suitably inscribed, and presented to him. Mr. George 
Leslie succeeded Mr. Hale, and Isaac N. Hall was chosen a director. 
In 1859, Samuel Hutchins and Charles Hale were succeeded bv 
R. M. Bill and George Leslie. In 1860, D. W. Choate was elected in 
place of Mr. Bill. January 14, 1862, it was voted to sell $3,500 of 
Rutland and Washington railroad stock. This was sold to Jay 
Gould, and the bank has the correspondence about them in Mr. 
Gould's handwriting. It was one of his first purchases. 

At the opening of the civil war, July 1, 1861, the assets and 
liabilities of the bank were $373,324.78, the amount of outstanding 
notes being $267,300, the capital at the time being $75,000. Mr. 
Underwood became president in 1861, and the same board of 
directors managed the affairs of the bank during the war. It 
became a national bank June 24, 1865. In 1866, John Farr became 
a director in Mr. Leslie's room. In 1867, Mr. Choate was succeeded 
by John W. Batchelder. In the next year Mr. Leslie was again 
placed on the board, in the place of Mr. Batchelder. In 1870 and 
1871, William R. Shedd was president, and was succeeded in 1872 
by A. B. W. Tenney, who died September 13, 1873, having served 
the bank as director thirty-three years. Franklin Deming succeeded 
Colonel Tenney as president, and Mr. Harvey gave place, as 


director, to W. H. Cummings, who became president in 1874. In 
June, 1875, the capital stock was increased to $300,000, and the 
number of directors was reduced to five. In 1878, John Bailey, Jr., 
succeeded Mr. Underwood, and Mr. Hall gave place to Alexander 
Cochran, in the next year. The board of directors remained 
without change till 1891, when Mr. Cummings died, and was 
succeeded as director by John N. Morse, and Mr. Deming became 
president. November 21, 1893, Mr. Leslie died, after a long and 
faithful service of thirty-five years, in which he had discharged the 
duties of cashier to the entire satisfaction of the directors and the 
public. Nelson H. Bailey was chosen cashier on the following day. 
In 1894, Mr. Shedd deceased, and was succeeded by Brastus 
Baldwin. In 1898, Mr. Morse died, and E. Bertram Pike became a 

It will be seen that the bank owes much of its stability to the 
long connection with it of its cashiers and directors. Mr. Hale and 
Mr. Leslie were entrusted with its funds for fifty-three years; 
Colonel Tenney was associated with it as director thirty-three 
years; William R. Shedd, forty-one years; Abel Underwood, 
twenty-eight years, while of the present board, Mr. Doming has 
been in service since 1874, Mr. Bailey since 1878 and Mr. Cochrane 
since 1879. The bank has, in common with all monetary 
institutions, had its losses, and in times of financial distress, it has 
required much skill on the part of its managers to avert misfortune 
but it has ever received the confidence of the business public, and in 
the days of the old state banks, its bills often commanded a 
premium. Several attempts have been made to rob the bank, 
without success. In 1900, an electrical alarm was placed upon the 

The Wells River Savings Bank was incorporated in 1892, and 
opened for business March 7, 1893, in the rooms of the National 
bank. The deposits have steadily increased, until, at the close of 
the year 1899 there was due to the depositors nearly $370,000. At 
that date the trustees were: James Johnston, George Cochran, 
J. R. Darling, D. S. Fulton, Ora Bishop and E. W. Smith. The 
oflScers were: James Johnston, president, D. S. Fulton and J. R. 
Darling, vice presidents, Samuel Hutchins, treasurer. A few months 
later Mr. Johnston died, and was succeeded by John Bailey, both as 
trustee and president. Certain business conditions under which our 
predecessors in the early part of the nineteenth century had to 
labor, mav well be mentioned here. 

The years which followed the panic of 1837, were *'very hard 
times," and were due, largely, to distrust of the monetary system, 
or want of system, which prevailed. The supply of farm produce 
exceeded the demand ; it was hard to get it to market, and when 
there it scarcely brought enough to pay the cost of transportation. 
Money was very scarce, and many farmers hardly received ten 


dollars in cash for the whole year. Mr. Henry Whitcher relates the 
following: *'A Mr. Carruth, a hard working farmer of Topsham, 
in the hard times of 1841, took his butter, a large quantit}:, to 
Wells River to sell. He was offered eight cents a pound, but said 
that he must get more than that, and went to the other merchants, 
but could get no offer, at any price, so he went back to the man 
who had offered him eight cents, and sold him the butter, expecting 
to receive a part of it in cash. But he was told that he must take 
it all in store pay. 'But I must have some money,' said he *for I 
have a letter which has been in the post office for six months, 
because I have not had twenty-five cents to get it out.' He was 
given twenty-five cents, and went home." Compared with distress 
like this, what do we know in these days about hard times and 
scarcity of money ? 

One of the evils under which the country labored, was the 
uncertain value of the money which was in circulation. Whatever 
may be the faults of the national banking system, it assures 
absolute protection to the holders of its bills. The five dollar bill 
which a man receives in Newbury, will be worth exactly that sum 
anywhere in the country, and even if the bank which issues the bill 
should fail, the bank note is just as good as before. So that it 
makes no difference to the holder what bank issues the note. But 
before the exigences of the civil war forced the present system upon 
the country, this was very different. The value of a bank note 
depended upon the ability of the issuing bank to redeem it. If the 
bank failed, the note was worthless. There were hundreds of 
banks in the country, and prudent people took only specie, or the 
bills of such banks as they knew were solvent. People were also 
careful about taking the bills of banks at a distance. Bills of 
western banks suffered a discount in the east, because of their 
insecurity, while bills of New England banks commanded a 
premium in the west. There were brokers who dealt in bank bills, 
exchanging the bills of distant banks for those near home for a 
percentage, which was often very large. 

There was also much counterfeit money in circulation. The 
receipts from an auction held in this town in 1856, amounted to 
about $1,100 in cash, of which nearly $100 proved to be 
counterfeit. At present counterfeit money is so rare that Mr. 
Bailey, the present cashier of the bank of Newbury, has seen but 
two bad bills in his long connection with that institution. But in 
those days, each bank had a different plate for its bills, so that 
there were thousands of different bills in circulation, and it was 
easy to pass counterfeits of distant banks. There were also bills in 
circulation purporting to be of actual banks, but which had no 
existence whatever. 

Sometimes the imitations of a bank's bills were better engraved 
than the genuine, as the counterfeiters could command better skill 


than the banks themselves. The process of making a bank-note 
paper which cannot be imitated was not then known. Gangs of 
counterfeiters infested the country, carrying on operations in remote 
hamlets, or in Canada. These associations were often wealthier 
than the banks whose money they imitated, and were able to 
evade punishment either by keeping out of the reach of justice, 
or, in many cases, by bribing a jury. To protect themselves, the 
banks combined in associations intended to detect and punish 

Our neighboring town of Groton, was, at one time, the locality 
of a gang of counterfeiters. In January, 1849, some dies for 
engraving were stolen from the office of W. W. Wilson of Boston, 
one of his employees, named Christian Meadows, an engraver 
and printer, disappearing about the same time. This man 
came to the bank at Wells River one day, and was recognized by 
Mr. Hale, the cashier. Later be was seen in company with a man 
who registered at the hotel as **W. H. Warburton, Groton, Vt." 
The latter, who was an Englishman, was a burglar and bank 
robber, generally known as "Bristol Bill," from his connection with 
a bank robbery at Bristol, R. I. Detectives were put upon the case, 
and from the evidence secured. Col. Jacob Kent, sheriff, with a 
party of men, went to Groton on the evening of March 5, 1849, 
and arrested Warburton, and a woman named Margaret O'Connell, 
a counterfeiter from Boston. On the premises they found a complete 
set of burglar's apparatus. At Groton Village they found a 
**transfer press," weighing about 1,500 pounds, a copper plate 
printing press, and blank copper plates. Several men in Groton 
were implicated in the affair, and were arrested. Under the bee 
house of one Ephraim Low were found three boxes marked "axes," 
containing 135 dies for vignettes, names of banks, etc., being most 
of the lot stolen from Mr. Wilson, and a set of engraver's tools. 

Between the robbery of Mr. Wilson and the Groton affair was a 
burglary on Long Island, in which Warburton, Meadows and the 
O'Connell woman were implicated. The latter person was well 
educated ; an accomplished and daring woman. She was taken to 
New York to testify in the Long Island case. Warburton, 
Meadows, Ephraim Low, McLane, Marshall, and Peter M. Paul 
were taken to Danville jail. Paul turned state's evidence. Low 
died in jail. Warburton (Bristol Bill) and Meadows were sentenced 
to state prison for ten years. After sentence was passed upon 
Warburton, he sprang upon Mr. Davis, the state's attorney, and, 
with a knife which he had contrived to secrete, inflicted a dangerous, 
but not fatal wound, in his neck. After the expiration of his 
sentence he was taken back to Caledonia county, and there 
sentenced to six more years of imprisonment for his attack upon 
Mr. Davis. Meadows was pardoned by Governor Fairbanks, at 
the solicitation of Daniel Webster, this being one of the last acts of 


the latter's life, and was afterwards employed in the engraving 
department of the treasury at Washington. 

Among other usages of a sterner age, which have completely 
passed away, was that of imprisonment for debt, a practice 
defended by many excellent people upon grounds which a more 
humane era condemns as both cruel and impolitic. Sometimes the 
law was of real value, but it oftener inflicted punishment upon 
men whose misfortune was made to be a crime. Any creditor could, 
upon failure to meet an obligation, have the unfortunate debtor 
sent to jail till the debt was paid. This power was a terrible 
weapon in the hands of a bad man. Our town records contain 
several articles like the following in the warnings for annual 
meetings : "To see whether the town will do anything for the relief 
of A. B., now confined in Chelsea jail for debt." Once or twice, but 
not often, the selectmen were instructed to see what conld be done. 
There were but two ways of release, either by paying the debt 
and costs of imprisonment, or by taking "poor debtor's oath." 
Sometimes men languished for years, in jail, for debt. One man 
was thus confined in Danville jail fourteen years. A slight 
alleviation of the evil permitted a man whose reputation for 
honesty was good, upon giving sufficient security, to obtain 
employment, if he could get it, within a certain distance of the jail, 
returning to imprisonment at night. These bounds were called the 
"jail limits," and persons whose liberty was thus restricted were 
styled "jail birds." It is fortunate for many men now living in 
Ne^vbury that imprisonment for debt has long been abolished. 

Note. In early chapters of this volume, mention is made of Glazier Wheeler, 
and his counterfeiting schemes, and the statement that he is said to have afterwards 
been employed as an engraver in the mint at Philadelphia. Mr. Bittinger makes this 
statement in his history of Haverhill, and it is made elsewhere. Since those chapters 
were printed I have seen the autobiography of Stephen Burroughs, which if it may 
be relied upon, casts some doubt upon this. Wheeler and Burroughs were associated 
in schemes oi counterfeiting in the year 1787. He says thus of Wheeler: 

*'He was a man tottering under the weight of years, having long since, to all 
appearances, been a presumptive candidate for the grave. He was a man of small 
mental abilities, but patient and persevering in any manual pursuit, to admiration. 
Credulous in the extreme, whicn subjected him to the dupficity of many who had 
resorted to him for his work ; inoffensive and harmless in his manners, simple in his 
external appearance, and weak in his observations on men and manners. He had 
spent all his da^s in the pursuit of the knowledge of counterfeiting silver ho as to 
bear the test of assays. He had always been unfortunate and always lived poor.'* 

Burroughs and Wheeler were sentenced to three years in the House of 
Correction, and confined on Castle Island, in Boston harbor. After their arrival at 
that place Wheeler is not a^ain mentioned. One other circumstance related in this 
autobiography deserves notice : While a student at Dartmouth College Burroughs 
had for a roommate, Jacob Wood, who afterward became the second minister of tois 
town, and for whom he entertained considerable dislike. Stephen Burroughs was 
the onl^ son of Rev. Eden Burroughs, D. D., of Hanover, and his book of »ome 400 
pages, is the history of a woefully ill-spent life. But he was a man of talents, and 
his narrative possesses considerable historical value. Late in life he reformed, and 
taught school in Canada with great success. He died at Three Rivers, P. Q., in 1840, 
aged eighty-five years, a member of the Catholic church. Several editions of his 
book have been published. 


Professional Men. — Miscellaneous. 

Physicians.— Law ybr8.~0ld Housbs.— Dbriyation op Local Nambs.— Cbnsus 
OP Nbwbury.— Replections.— Pensionbrs op 1840.— The Last Surviyors.— 


MOST of the physicians who were in practice here long enough 
to be remembered, either belonged to families already settled 
in this town, or founded families of their own, and are 
mentioned at more length elsewhere. But, for convenient reference, 
the names of those who practiced here for some years are given 

Dr. Gideon Smith and Dr. Samuel Hale were the earliest. Dr. 
Samuel White came in 1773, and died in 1848. At the opening of 
the century, Drs. Kinsman and McKinstry, with Dr. White, were in 
active practice. The former removed to Portland, Maine. Drs. 
Stevens and Jewett were here in the '20*s. The former passed his 
entire life in this town. In the last half of the century Drs. Watkins 
and Watson were successful in practice; the former was widely 
known. Since 1885, Dr. Hatch has practised here much of the time, 
and Dr. Russell and Dr. W. M. Pierce are the latest practicioners. 

Wells River had no settled physician for some time after it 
became quite a village. Dr. Enoch Thatcher was the first who 
staid long. He died in 1850, aged 45. Dr. John McNab lived there 
at intervals after 1825, and had a large practice. Dr. Daniel 
Darling and Dr. Bugbee were there in the early '50's, also Dr. 
McNeice and Dr. Blood. The former died in 1859. Dr. A. H. 
Crosby, of a family famous in the annals of surgery, was located 
there for some years before the civil war ; Dr. Ira Brown and Dr. J. 
R. Nelson, in the '70*s. The present physicians are Drs. Lee and 

At West Newbury, a Dr. Merrill was in practice, in some form, 
long ago, and a Dr. Morrison, who removed to Bath. Dr. Carter 




practised there man; years before he went to Bradford. Dr. Samuel 
Potnam was there early, but lived, much of the time, in "Goshen." 
In dentistry, Dr. Dearborn was here as early as 1852, and had an 
office in the Keyes building. Dr. Newton was here in 1857, and Dr. 
Gibson in 1858, and subsequently. He also had an office at Wells 
River. One Dr. Wood practised in the later '60's, and Dr. Buxton 
began a practice in 1880, which he transferred to Kansas. 

At. Wells River, Dr. H. D. Hickok was for some years in the 

. "art preservative of teeth," but removed to Malone, N. Y.^Dr. 

Munsellcametn 1880, and still remains. He also has an office at 

Harwich, Mass., which be occupies during some months of each 


The medical history of the town has not much of interest. The 
biographical notice of Dr. Samuel White gives some idea of what 
was demanded of doctors in old days. Of all diseases the smallpox 
was most dreaded, and we may infer Irom repeated actions of the 
town, that it broke out every few years. In 1776, it was brought 
here by soldiers on the retreat from Canada. It again visited the 
town in 1783 and 1792. In the latter year, an article in the 
warning for town meeting read thus : 

"To see if the town will open a peat house in some convenient 
place in s^ town." 

The town voted "That the meeting recommend to the 
selectmen to give liberty to have a House for noculation of the 
smallpox opened in this town, and under such regulations and 
restrictions as shall prevent its spreading." 

In 1803, the disease raged in alt the Cobs country, and again 
broke out in 1810, but was not so severe here as in Corinth, where 
many died. Robert McKeen, a brother of the first president of 
Bowdoin college, came down with it, and chose to be taken to a 
solitary habitation, ^rhere he died, attended by an old man. In 
1847, the disease broke out among the students at the seminary. 
There were many cases and several died. Among these was a 
daughter of Barron Moulton, of Waterford, the wife of Dr. Stevens, 
and the wife and three children of Rev. S. P. Williams, the pastor of 
the Methodist church. The alarm produced was very great. 
Hardly any one could be foimd to attend the sick, and there was 
some suffering from want of care. It was at the time of tfae 
building of the railroad, and it was supposed that it was brought 
here by the laborers, but it proved to have come otherwise. 

Capt. James Wallace left his farm, and for many days and 
nights took care of the sick. For this he refused any compensation, 
saying that he had done no more than was his duty to do by his 
neighbors in trouble. At the town meeting in March, 1848, he was 
publicly thanked by the town for his attention to the sick during 
the excitement. There were a few mild cases in town in 1862 aud 
one or two later. 


In 1815, the * 'spotted fever" broke out, but was not so severe 
here as in many other places. In Warren, N. H., whole families 
were swept away, and entire neighborhoods were depopulated. 
Persons seemingly in perfect health were stricken with the disease, 
and died in a few hours. Dr. Lemuel Wellman, a noted physician oif 
Piermont, went to Warren to help care for the sick, took the 
disease, and died in four hours. It is many years since any serious 
epidemic has visited this town. This town has sent out a goodly 
number of physicians; of most of them mention is made among 
the family records. 

As with the doctors, so with the lawyers, — most of them were 
connected with local families, and are particularly mentioned 
elsewhere. Mr. Leslie has given sketches of several who were 
located at Wells River, and well known to him. A still more 
elaborate paper upon the **Bench and Bar of Orange County," by 
Hon. Roswell Famham of Bradford, occupies 136 pages of Childs's 
Gazetteer of Orange County. Reference is made to it for a more 
complete account of such as are mentioned here only by name. The 
following lawyers, with their terms of practice here, are mentioned 
by Governor Fartiham : 

Daniel Farrand, 1787-1796 Charles B. Leslie, 1843 

Benjamin Porter, 1796-1818 Charles Story, 1850-1851 

Wm. B. Bannister, 1800-1807 Timothy P. Fuller, 1848-1852 

John Wallace, 181 4-1826 Charles C. Dewey, 1854-1860 

Peter Burbank, 1815-1836 David T. Corbin, 1859-1861 

John Chamberlin, 1818-1822 Daniel A. Rogers, 1861-1881 

Abel Underwood, 1828-1879 Benj. F. Bumham, 1861-1863 

Joseph Berry, 1827-1852 Washington Patterson, 1871 

Isaac W. Tabor, 1830-1833 E. W. Smith, 1872 

Scott Sloan, 1884-1898 

The above list includes only those who were in active practice 
here for at least a year, and more. There were several men, not in 
regular practice, but who had extensive knowledge of law, and 
were engaged on many cases. Among them the late Richard 
Patterson should find a place. He was self-educated, but his 
keenness of intellect, and wide reading, made him the master of 
more legal knowledge than was usually possessed by men trained in 
the profession. Of several of these lawyers particulars are given in 
these pages which were not known to Mr. Famham. But before 
the removal of the county seat to Chelsea in 1796, there must have 
been several lawyers here who are not enumerated by Mr. Famham, 
but whose names are preserved among various legal papers of the 
time. Josiah L. Arnold was in practice here a short time in 1792, 
and a Mr. Brown. 


Since the retirement of Judge Leslie, and the removal to 
Woodsville of their office by E. W. Smith and Son, there is no lawyer 
in this town whose office is located here. Woodsville now attracts 
the profession as Haverhill Comer did formerly. This part of the 
country was a better field for lawyers a century ago than it is now. 
Whether it is that people have become more peacable, or whatever 
the cause, it is certain that there was much more litigation then 
than now. 

Rev. David Sutherland says that when he came to Bath in 1804, 
Bsquire Buck held a justice court at Bath village every Monday 
morning, and was seldom writhout cases to try. The late Esquire 
Patterson stated that there were about four lawsuits when he 
came to Newbury in 1832, where there was one, sixty years later. 
This condition of more peaceful neighborhoods can be deplored by 
no one, except by that class of the legal fraternity who are never 
able to attain to anything higher in the profession than to help 
forward a neighborhood quarrel. 

According to inquiries made by Rev. J. D. Butler in 1849, the 
oldest house in Wells River is the "'old parsonage," now the residence 
of Dr. Munsell. It was built in 1792, by Silas Chamberlin, on part 
of the present site of the church, and removed to its present 
location by James Matthews about 1836. The kitchen part 
appears to be older than the rest of the house. The next oldest is 
the kitchen part of the George Leslie house, which was built in 1794. 
The next oldest is that of Mr. Adams, which was built by Simon 
Douglass, about 1805, probably. All the old houses between Stair 
hill and Ingalls hill, on the Upper meadow, originally stood on the 
old road, which ran upon the higher land, and were moved to the 
new, or present road, many years ago. The most northerly one 
was formerly called the Heath house, and is understood to have 
been built by Sylvanus Heath, who died about 1787. Mr. Scales's 
house was built by his grandfather, Charles Chamberlin, and is 
understood to have been built before 1800. 

The age of the Colonel Tenney house in which Mr. McAllister 
lives, or its builder, are unknown. This was the Nathaniel 
Chamberlin farm, and may have been built by him, or by his 
successor, Jonathan Tenney. It was moved "down the hill" about 
1800. The house of Mr. Learned is one of the very oldest in town, 
although little of the original structure, except the roof and timber 
remains. This was the Col. Frye Bayley house, and was begun by 
him in 1775, but the war came on, and nothing was done to it for 
several years. It was very little altered when remodelled by Mr. 
Learned a few years ago. That house saw a great deal of fine 
company in the best days. 


The old Johnson home on the Ox-bow is believed to be the 
oldest in town, and the frame of it was raised, sa js Mr. Perry, the 
day that the news of the battle of Lexington reached Newbury, 
which was probably abont the end of April, 1775.* The contract, 
still preserved, for doing the mason work, shows that the great 
chimney was built the year before. It was used as a tavern by 
Colonel Johnson and by his son Moses. Frank Johnson, the latter'^ 
son, owned it till his death, and his widow, who became Mrs. 
Duncan McKeith, lived there till 1863, when she sold it to Robert 
Nelson, Many interesting things could be told about this venerable 
mansion, which has long been a landmark of the valley. As before 
stated, a wing or addition to that house on the north side, is now 
the kitchen part of Mr. James Lang's house. According to Mr. 
Powers, the glass for the windows was brought from Concord on 
horseback, but it may be that this was for an earlier frame house, 
which stood a little north of it. The bams are older than the 
house; one of them is believed to be the oldest building in this 
town. A plan of these buildings, made by Colonel Johnson, while a 
prisoner in Canada, is preserved by Mr. T. C. Keyes. 

The house of Dea. Sidney Johnson was built in 1800, by his 
grandfather, the colonel. There was formerly a wing to that house, 
on the upper floor of which was a ball room, used in connection 
with the tavern house. The David Johnson house, which Mrs. 
Wheeler owns, and occupies for a summer residence, was built in 
1807. The kitchen part of the house opposite the cemetery, was 
formerly the kitchen half of the two-story house in which Col. John 
Bayley lived. The kitchen part of the Silas Leighton house was 
once the '*old Porter office, "and before Mr. Porter's time was used 
for the same purpose by Mr. Farrand. Afterwards, as before stated, 
it was used for a young ladies' school. 

The house under the great elm was built, it is understood, by 
Mr. Bannister, about a century ago. The quaint old house in which 
the late Miss Swasey lived was built in 1797, by her father, Capt. 
Moses Swasey, and was intended to be the kitchen part of a larger 
house, which he did not live to build. 

According to Miss Swasey, the house which Mrs. Miller owns 
and occupies was built by Col. Peter Olcott, for his daughter, who 
married Benjamin Porter. Colonel Olcott was one of the most 
distinguished men in this part of the country in his day, and is not 
supposed ever to have lived in Newbury, although he was chosen in 
1776, a representative from this town to **York," with Gen. Jacob 
Bayley, but an old plan of the river road, preserved in the first 
volume of the town buildings, gives Esquire Farrand as living there, 
in 1795. This house often called the **Harry Bayley house," has 
been much altered from its original plan. The house of Mr. Henry 

*A misprint in a former chapter gives the date as 1774. 




W. Bay ley, was built by his grandfather, Isaac Bayley, Esq. Its 
age is unknown, but it is understood to be more than a hundred 
years old. General Bayley died in that house, and six generations 
of the family have lived in it. 

The house owned bv Dr. Hatch used to stand where Mr. 
Darling's now does. Its age or its builder are unknown to Dea. 
George Swasey. The "Bailey Avery house" was built in 1785, by 
his grandfather. Col. Joshua Bayley, his daughter, Sally, being ten 
years old when it was built. She was bom in 1775. The house in 
which Mrs. Lupien lives was built by Rasmus Jonson, a native of 
Sweden, who came here about 1780. 

Returning to the river road — Mr. James Lawrie's house was 
standing in 1785, and may be a few years older. It may have been 
built by Col. William Wallace, and was for many years the 
Congregational parsonage, and was occupied as such by Rev's 
Nathaniel Lambert, Luther Jewett, Clark Perry, and George W. 
Campbell. It formerly had two large chimneys, which were taken 
down in 1857. 

The main part of Montebello House was built, according to 
information considered reliable, in 1795, by James Spear. The one 
next south of it, at the top of the hill, was built by Joseph 
Chamberlin, but its age is unknown. It is one of the oldest in 
town. Mr. Famham's house was, according to family record, 
opened as an inn by Joseph Smith in 1788. It formerly had a 
square roof, like that of Henry W. Bailey's house. Mr. Atkinson's 
house was built by Horace Stebbins. The hotel called the Sawyer 
House, was built, as before stated by Capt. Nehemiah Love well, 
soon after the revolutionary war. A small volume could be written 
about that house, and its inmates, as it has been used as an inn, or 
as a boarding-house for the seminary students, for 115 years. 

The house in which Robert J. Hibbard lives was built by his 
great-grandfather. Col. Robert Johnston, and is very old. It was 
formerly larger than now, and a part of it was taken down when 
it was remodelled. It had a square roof then. Mr. Jonathan 
Griffin's house was built by Thomas Burroughs who came here in 
1790, and that of Mr. Kimball, by Levi Sylvester, before 1800. 
The **old Stevens house" is one of the oldest in town, and was built 
by Capt. Simeon Stevens, who died in 1787. Its great chimney 
was taken down a few years ago, and contained brick enough to 
build a modern cottage. Mr. John Heath's house was formerly 
that of Joseph Kent, and had a square roof. That of Robert 
Meserve is the original Col. Jacob Kent house, but its age is 
unknown. It is thought to have been built before 1780. 

The house owned by C. C. Doe, at South Newbury, was built by 
Dr. Samuel White, before 1790. The house kno\v'ii as the Davenport 
house is one of the very oldest in town, and was built by John 
Mills very soon after the revolutionary war. After him, it became 


the property of Benjamin Porter, Esq., who enlarged it, so that it 
was formerly very much larger than now. It was remodelled and a 
part of it taken down by Mr. Davenport, about 1865. The Porters 
were a very aristocratic family, and that house has probably 
sheltered more distinguished men than any other in this town. 
Daniel Webster, Rufus Choate, Franklin Pierce, Jeremiah Mason 
and other eminent men have slept beneath its roof. It had, long 
ago, the reputation of being haunted, and stood empty for some 
time on that account. Mr. W. W. Brock's house was built in 
1800, by his grandfather, Thomas Brock. This 'closes the list of 
century-old houses, on the river road. 

There are not many as old as that in the back part of the town. 
The one on the ''old Mclndoe place*' is one of them, and was built 
by Paul Ford. The old Haseltine house was erected by Capt. David 
Haseltine, some years before 1800, and is the oldest lef^ standing in 
that part of the town. The old house, long unoccupied, opposite 
Joseph C. Johnston's, is supposed to be the oldest in the back part 
of the town, and was built by Capt. James Johnston. The house 
next south of the town house, owned by J. C. Leavitt, was built 
by Thomas Mellen, and was standing in 1802. The oldest in 
Boltonville is the James Gardner house, and was built, says Mrs. 
Agnes Gardner, by James Henderson in 1807. In the Grow 
neighborhood stands a very old house, thought to be a century old, 
and built by Jonah Chapman. It has been very little altered, inside 
oi^out, since it was built. Mr. James Eastman's house is believed 
by Mr. Whitcher to be the oldest in the Lime-Kiln neighborhood. 

It may be well to give the derivation of many local names, 
although most have been given before. 

Wells River, the stream, from which the village has its name, 
was named for one Captain Wells, who visited the locality in 1704. 
Harriman's pond and brook were formerly called Taplin's pond and 
brook. Joseph Harriman was one of the earliest settlers. Mount 
Pulaski was thus christened at a Sunday school celebration held 
there about 1825, at which Rev. David Sutherland delivered an 
address. It was, of course, named for the Polish nobleman, who fell 
in the revolutionary war. 

Hall's meadow, brook and pond, are named from Daniel Hall, an 
early settler. Different parts of the brook have been called Whiting's 
brook, Chalmers brook, Peach brook, and the like. A group of 
houses along this stream at South Newbury, was given the name of 
Happy Hollow by James Bayley, who once lived in the Brock 
neighborhood. The appropriateness of the name has sometimes 
been questioned. A branch of Hall's brook, called Vance brook, 
which winds about among the hills at West Newbury, and falls into 


a deep ravine near the Union Meeting House, was so named from a 
family of early settlers in that locality. 

Jefferson hill was settled during the administration of Thomas 
Jefferson, and was given the name, it is said, by John Peach. 
Boltonville was first called *'Whitelaw's Mills," then "Brock's 
Mills." The present name was given when the post office was 
established. Scott's brook, in the northwest part of the town was 
named for John Scott, an early settler there. Levi brook, in the 
Lime-kiln neighborhood was named for Levi James, who came there 
in 1813. He was influential in getting the road built along that 
stream in 1830, and it wascalled ''Levi James's brook," then "Levi's 
brook," and then simply Levi brook, as now. 

The census of the town, since 1790, is as follows : 

1790, 873. 1800, 1304. 1810, 1363. 

1820, 1623. 1830, 2252. 1840, 2578. 

1850, 2984. 1860, 2549. 1870, 2241, 

1880, 2316. 1890, 2080. 1900, 2125. 

In 1890 Wells River village had 525 inhabitants, and in 1900, 
565. It will be seen by the above table that Newbury has shared in 
the depopulation of all hill towns in New England. There are 
more than 200 spots in town where houses once stood, and there 
are none now. The large farms have absorbed the smaller ones, and 
the causes of their abandonment are the same as of hundreds of 
other towns. 

Family names, borne by several households seventy years ago, 
have entirely disappeared, and others have but one or two 
representatives. A new class, with ideas and aspirations very 
different from the founders of the town, has, in many cases, come to 
the farms which they tilled. There are some indications that the 
tide has turned and that the waste places of the town may again 
be built up. Better roads, a more liberal policy toward schools ; 
free mail deliverv ; whatever will tend to render the farmer's lot 
more desirable, will bring about that result. 

The following list contains the names of the revolutionary 
pensioners who were living in town in 1840, with their ages : 
William Tice, 80 Asa Cobum, 83 Sarah (Ring) Ladd, 72 

Daniel Heath, 76 Joseph Harriman, 85 John Smith, 82 
Samuel Johnson, 77 Sarah Ladd, 79 Thomas Mellen, 83 

Peter Bayley, 87 Nathan Avery, 81 

Before 1825, pensions were paid at Burlington, annually, for 
the whole state, and those who lived in distant parts of it had to 
get their money as best they could. It was common then for some 



one to go to Burlington and collect the pensions for those living in 
diflFerent localities, for a fee. There were instances known of men 
thus collecting money, and decamping with their ill-gotten gains. 
After 1825, pensions for the eastern part of the state were paid, 
semi-annually, at Windsor. 

The last revolutionary pensioner who died in Newbury, was 
Simon Ward, at the house of Myron Abbott, January 5, 1858, aged 
96 years, eight months, 23 days. He was buried at Hanover. The 
last revolutionary soldier in Vermont, was Jonas Gates, who died 
at Chelsea in 1864, in his 100th year. The last survivor of the war 
of 1812 in this town, and the last enlisted soldier of that war in 
this state, was Wells Goodwin, who died December 11, 1894, aged 
100 years, 1 month, 2 days. 

This list of nonogenarians is not claimed to be a complete one, 
but includes all whose names could be found. The year of death, 
age in years, and nativity are also given. Names joined by brackets 
are those of husband and wife. 

Lydia (Bancroft) Abbott, 


New Hampshire, 


John Atwood, 


New Hampshire, 


William Bailey, 




Sarah Bailev, 




Martha (Powers) Bailey, 




Beneiah Bowen, 


New Hampshire, 


Polly (Milliard) Bo wen, 


New Hampshire, 


Rebecca (Abbott) Brock, 


New Hampshire, 


Mehetabel (Barker) Carleton, 




Dudley Carleton, 




Euphemia (FairfaU) Chalmers, 




Dennis Crummey, 




Charlotte (Page) Cobnm, 



John Downer, 




Sarah (Sargent) Eastman, 


New Hampshire, 


Martha (Ellsworth) Pamham 




Alonzo Fleming, 




Elisha French, 



Sarah (Towle) George, 


New Hampshire, 


f Wells Goodwin, 

\Lydia (Heath) Goodwin, 





New Hampshire, 


Phebe Goodwin, 




Mrs. Susan Griner, 




Judith (Dustin) Grow, 


New Hampshire, 


Amos K. Heath, 




Hanes Johnson, 




Ebenezer Kendrick, 


New Hampshire, 


Marvin Kasson, 






Mary (White) Kent, 
Elvira (Morton) Knight, 
Col. John Kimball, 
Mrs. Mary Leighton, 
Moses Morton, 
Thomas Mellen, 
Mrs. Jane Parker, 
rWiUiam Peach, 
\Eli2abeth (Bowden) Peach, 
Samuel Powers, 
Jean (Nelson) Renfrew, 
Mary (Nichols) Rogers, 
Mrs. Amelia Rogers, 

{Col. John Smith, 
Sarah (Kincaid) Smith, 
Dea. John Smith, 
Jacob W. Sulham, 
Simeon Stevens, 
Michael Sullivan, 
Mrs. Esther Truesdell, 
Harmon Titus, 
Dea. Selah Wells, 
Mrs. Dolly White, 
Simon Ward, 
Dr. Samuel White, 
Lucia (Kasson) Wallace, 
Jane Waddell, 

Betsey (Manson) Willoughby, 
Ira White, 
Jabez Wheeler, 


New Hampshire, 









New Hampshire, 



Bath, N. H. 



New Hampshire, 



New Hampshire, 




















New" Hampshire, 



New Hampshire, 



New York, 















New York, 






New Hampshire, 



New Hampshire, 









New Hampshire, 



New Hampshire, 



Province of Quebe 

c, 91 

Time and education have wrought the disappearance, almost 
complete, of a class of beliefs which, seventy years ago, influenced 
the minds of men to an extent little comprehended by the present 
generation. Still these notions have not wholly died out and there 
are farmers, yet in this town, who do not begin haying on Friday, 
or dress pork on the old of the moon. But in the early part of the 
century, the belief in witchcraft had not wholly died away. There 
was an old farmer at West Newbury, who affirmed that he had seen 
witches dancing along the crane in the fireplace at midnight, and 
believed that some malady which affected his cattle was caused by 
a woman in his neighborhood, whom he accused of being a witch. 
In despair of relief he resorted to a process, which, in more credulous 
times, was held to possess a mysterious power. With a mixture of 
tallow and beeswax he moulded what he considered to be an image 
of the offending w^oman, which he hung up before the fireplace. As 
the effigy slowly melted, he stuck it full of thorns from the thorn- 



apple, and at the same hour the woman who had cast an evil spell 
upon his cattle fell down stairs and broke her arm. When this old 
man was on his death bed he kept the family Bible under his head as 
a protection from witches. Dr. Carter, who attended his last illness, 
slyly took the Bible out, and put in a pile of old almanacs, a 
substitution which when discovered, came near sending the old man 
into another world several weeks before his actual departure. 

There was once an Enoch Arden case in this town which did 
not terminate like that of Tennyson's hero. A farmer who lived 
near the Topsham line went away, and not being heard from for 
several years, his wife, believing him to be dead, married again, her 
second husband carrying on her farm. Some time after this the 
missing man returned, and came into the field where his successor 
was at work. The two men sat down on a rock and discussed the 
situation. They finally agreed that the lady, thus unexpectedly the 
possessor of two husbands, should decide which of them should 
abide with her. After some consideration she chose, and it would 
seem, wisely, the second. Whereupon the man who came home, 
**went his way, and she saw him no more." 

After the chapter on post offices was printed, a small 
memorandum book came to light, which shows that in 1848 there 
were sixty different weekly papers taken through the Newbury 
post office. Of these the ''Christian Messenger'' had fifteen 
subscribers; "The Flag of Our Union," had twenty one; the 
"Vermont Watchman," sixteen; and the "Vermont Journal" 
fourteen. The "Boston Daily Atlas" was taken by Timothy Morse, 
the "Morning Post" by Henry Keyes, and the "New York Daily 
Tribune" by some one whose name cannot be made out. 


Fraternal Societies. 

Masonry in the Coos Country.— Anti-Masonry.— Charity Lodge.— Pulaski 
Lodge.— Odd Fellows.— Bounties in the Civil War.— Electric Lighting.— 
Events at Wells River.— At Newbury.— Farms— Newbury Cornet Band. 

A FARMING town, with no large central village, is not a very 
good field for the development of those societies which 
flourish best in more densely populated localities, still 
Newbury has had a modest share in the benefits which such 
organizations are understood to confer. 

The researches of Hon. A. S. Batchellor, show that the first 
Masonic lodge in the Connecticut valley, north of Massachusetts, 
was established at Charlestown, N. H., by a charter from the St. 
Andrew's Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, dated November 10,1781. 
Col. Timothy Bedell, of Haverhill, was one of its charter members. 
This was called "the Vermont Lodge," the New Hampshire towns 
in this valley, then adhering to the State of Vermont. This lodge 
was removed, in 1788, to Springfield, Vt., and Faithful Lodge was 
chartered to take its place at Charlestown. Dartmouth Lodge was 
established at Hanover, in 1788. 

In June, 1799, Union Lodge was organized at Haverhill. Col. 
William Wallace, of Newbury, was one of the charter members, and 
some of its communications were held at Newbury, and it seems 
probable that many members of that lodge lived in this town, as on 
one occasion, about 1805, a sermon was preached in the meeting- 
house before the Masonic bodies. In 1809, this lodge was removed 
to Orford, and, later, Grafton Lodge was established at Haverhill. 

October 17, 1811, Charity Lodge was chartered at Newbury by 
the Grand Lodge of Vermont. John Ewen, John Bayley, Isaac 
Bayley, Moses Johnson, William Bailey^, David Bamett and others 
were members. Moses Johnson was Master, William Barron was 


Senior Warden, and William Bailey, Junior Warden, of this lodge. 
For nearly twenty years it was very active, and numbered some 
of the most prominent men in Newbury among its members. 
In 1829, the anti-Masonic controversy, one of the most remarkable 
manifestations of popular excitement, broke out, and was seized 
upon by adroit politicians, as a means of getting into public office. 
Dr. Spalding of Haverhill, in his **Reminiscences,*' speaks of it thus: 

"The old federal party in Vermont, in consequence of their opposition to the 
war of 1812, bad become so unpopular as to lose all political influence in the state, 
and therefore resolved to regain it by taking advantage of this excitement in New 
York, and were much encouraged by their success there. They induced the editor of 
the ^'Danville North Star," to renounce masonry, and publish an anti-masonic paper. 
The institution was not only attacked, but every mason, whatever his character 
might have been heretofore, was denounced as a liar and murderer, and unless he 
would renounce and denounce masonry, was unworthy of being a fit member of 
society. Some went so far as to proscribe masons in their business, and a few said 
they longed to see them •put to the guillotine. Ministers were dismissed from their 
parishes, and some of the most worthy members of our churches were ex-communi- 

Vermont was the only state in the Union in which the anti- 
masons came into power. In 1830, William A. Palmer, of Danville, 
was the candidate of the party for governor, and this party was 
large enough to prevent an election by the people. Governor Crafts 
was re-elected, by the legislature. In 1831, Palmer and the 
anti-masons had the largest vote, but not a majority. He was 
elected by the legislature, after nine ballots, by a majority of one. 
The same thing happened the next year, and Palmer was re-elected 
by the legislature, after 49 ballots, by two majority. In 1833, 
Palmer was re-elected by the people. In 1834, the anti-masonic 
party had begun to go to pieces. A large portion of it joined with 
the Whig party, but Palmer was again elected by the legislature. 
But in 1835, although Palmer still led the popular vote, the Whig 
party, led by Horatio Seymour, was strong enough to prevent an 
election by the people, and defeat Palmer in the legislature, but not 
strong enough to elect any one else. After 63 ballots there was no 
choice for governor. The effort was then given up, and Silas H. 
Jennison, who had been elected lieutenant-governor, on the ticket 
with Palmer, had to take the governor's chair. 

Thus ended one of the strangest chapters in the history of 
Vermont politics. 

Newbury does not appear to have been carried away by the 
popular craze. In neither of these years did Palmer receive a 
plurality of the votes cast for governor in this town. In 1830, 
Palmer received 32 votes, against 182 for the two other candidates ; 
in 1831, 49. against 118; in 1832, 92, against 210; in 1833, 129, 
against 187; in 1834, 79, against 156; in 1835, 82, against 195. 
There seems to have been a good deal of staying at home done 
about that time, on election day, as at Freemen's meeting in 
1836, when the anti-Masonic party had gone out of business, the 


ballots cast for governor, which in 1835 had been 277, rose to 
440, and in the next year to 482. 

The subjoined account of Masonic and Odd Fellows lodges, and 
other fraternal societies at Wells River, gives an accurate account of 
the present status of those bodies. In addition, there have been 
organizations of Sons of Temperance, Good Templars and Patrons 
of Husbandry, which had their day of brief prosperity, and of 
decline. The present Farmer's Grange at Newbury, is of late origin. 

***A Masonic lodge was established at Newbury, Vermont, in 
1811, by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Vermont, and the 
first meeting was held in the Moses Johnson hall, October 17. 
Moses Johnson was its first master and Isaac Bayley its first 
secretary. So far as I have been able to determine fi-om the records, 
the last meeting of Charity Lodge was held on the second Monday 
of December, 1828. Later, I suppose this Lodge was moved to 
Bradford. January 19th, 1861, Philip C. Tucker, Grand Master of 
Vermont, granted a dispensation for the re-establishment of a 
Masonic lodge at Newbury, and appointed D. A. French the first 
master; A. W. Eastman, the first deacon, and Milo Dodge the first 
junior deacon. The first meeting of Pulaski Lodge was held at 
Brother Tappan Stevens'. At this meeting Ephriam B. Stevens was 
elected first treasurer and Henry L. Watson first secretary. A. W. 
Eastman contracted with Mr. Keyes for the use of his hall for $30 a 
year. At a meeting of Pulaski Lodge, held August, 7, 1871, it was 
voted to remove the lodge to Wells River, as soon as a suitable hall 
could be procured, and S. S. Peach and E.G.Parker, were appointed 
a committee to confer with Mr. Penneman, in regard to same. Soon 
afterwards Pulaski Lodge was finally and pleasantly established in 
its new quarters in Wells River, where it has been located for the 
past twenty-eight years. Pulaski Lodge has always maintained a 
high standard of excellence in its work among the lodges of the 
state. It has made many good men Masons within its walls. It 
has always dispensed charity to all worthy brothers of the order 
when called upon. It now numbers sixty-four members. Its present 
oflBcers are: H. T. Baldwin, master; J. A. George, S. W.; R. U. 
Smith, J. W. Financially the lodge is in good condition, and has 
taken into its ranks, a good many of the leading young men of our 
town. At the present time it is dispensing its charity with a 
generous hand, and no worthy brother goes empty-handed from its 
doors. We wish for the lodge many years of prosperity, and may it 
ever be found on the side of right in the future, as it has been in the 

t**Temple Lodge, No 10, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 

•By W. H. Buck, 
f By R. G. Brock. 


organized March 23, 1881, with six charter members, namely, 
Harry A. Holton, George P. Arthur, Samuel M. Chamberlin, Edgar 
C. Graves, Frank L. Morse and James A. George. Its growth 
from that time has been steady and healthful, and at the close of 
this year has had 115 names on its roll. A large majority were 
the young and middle-aged men of this town; men who have 
been honored by their townsmen with positions of trust and 
responsibilit}'. Of this number eleven have died and manj' have 
moved away, and transferred their connection to other lodges, 
leaving the present membership about sixty. Since its organization 
the lodge has paid to members and their families in sick and funeral 
benefits, several thousand dollars, but greater, and more beneficial, 
has been the kindly ministrations of the members to each other in 
time of sickness or sorrow. 

Corinthian Chapter No. 42, of the Order of Eastern Star was 
instituted at Wells River, January 15, 1898, with twenty-five 
charter members. This institution also is flourishing.*' 

The events of the last forty years can be touched upon but 
briefly. The civil war broke out in April, 1861, and the next four 
years were times of anxiety, mourning families, sudden changes, 
and the breaking up of old associations. With the close of the war 
a new era was found to have begun. The frugal domestic life and 
quiet manners of the early half of the century passed away, and 
were succeeded by an era of inflated prices and more costly living. 
City life and the attractions of the west, drew the young people 
away. The panic of 1873 still further tended to discourage 
agriculture. During the war, sheep raising had been very profitable, 
and at one time wool brought one dollar a pound. 

When the **hard times" of 1873 came on, many farmers were 
deeply in debt, and with the low prices which prevailed, could not 
obtain the comfortable support for their families, to which they had 
become accustomed. Many farms were sold for what they would 
bring, and the town was the poorer for the loss of families. But 
our loss was the general gain ; they carried the institutions of New 
England to newer states, and the sons of Newbury made themselves 
known wherever they went. 

The changes in farming have been many and great, and those 
who have adapted themselves to the successive changes, have 
succeeded. Stock-raising, like sheep-farming, became unprofitable, 
and was succeeded by dairying, which is now the principal 
occupation of our farms. 

In the second j^ear of the civil war the town was obliged to 
oflFer bounties as an encouragement to the enlistment of men to fill 
the quotas allotted to the town. Newbury was, by a large 
majority, in favor of the war for the Union, but there was a 


considerable minority who opposed the war, and censured the 
administration of President Lincoln. At special town-meetings in 
the years 1862, '63 and *64, bounties, amounting usually, to about 
eight dollars a month, for the time the soldier was expected to 
serve, were voted. The war expenses of Newbury amounted in all 
to $42,622.07. From this came our town debt, which, it is hoped 
the year 1901 will see wiped away. In all probabilitj- the town 
has paid, not much less than $70,000, as its share of the expense 
of putting down the rebellion. 

Later events at Wells River, not elsewhere mentioned, are as 
follows : 

On July 21, 1870, the freight depot was burned and the old 
engine house, which had stood there since the railroad was built. 
In 1876, the old American House was burned. In 1888, the 
village was incorporated, with municipal officers of its own. On 
September 26, 1892, the largest fire which was ever in that village, 
was caused by lightning, which struck the hotel stable about 4 a. 
m., and the old '*Co6suck House" and out-buildings; the Hatch 
building, used as a barber shop and tenement; the Smith Meader 
building, used as a tailor and shoe maker's shop; the Belodo 
building, occupied as a store and tenement; Mrs. Badger's 
two-tenement house, D. W. Learned 's house, bam and harness shop, 
and Mrs. Colby's house, were burned. The new buildings erected 
on the **burnt district" are Hale's Tavern, Mrs. Leamed's and Mrs. 
Colbv's houses. 

Electric lighting was first introduced into Wells River from the 
Woodsville plant about September 1, 1891, some twenty street 
lights were installed, and Mr. Deming's house was wired and 
lighted, being the first house in town to have electric lights. 

The electric and water works plant at Wells River, organized 
in the spring of 1896, is owned and operated by the village, for the 
purposes of street lighting and fire protection, and furnishes water 
for domestic and sanitary purposes, and electric current for lighting 
or power. The power and pumping station w^as built on Wells 
river, near a site known as * 'Scott's lower mill," where a granite 
dam was built for the station. The two turbine wheels have 
about one hundred and fifty horse power. The generator furnishes 
electricity for sixty-five incandescent street lights, and for about 
1800 house lights. In the fall of 1900, wires were carried down the 
river to the farms of H. T. Baldwin and James G. Learned, and to 
the Grafton County farm buildings, on Horse Meadow in Haverhill. 
A power pump, with a normal capacity of three hundred gallons 
per minute was placed in the power house, and pumps water to a 
reservoir, on the hill west of the village, two hundred and thirty 
feet above the street. This reservoir, built of stone and cement, has 
a capacity of 270,000 gallons, the water being filtered. A ten 
inch main pipe conveys the water to the main street, supplying 


twenty hydrants at a pressure of about one hundred pounds to the 
square inch. The water is distributed about the village for house 

Nothing definite has been learned about the mills which have 
long stood at the several falls between Wells River and Boltonville. 
At the site known as the "box-factory," a large plant was burned 
in 1873. Its successor, a sawmill and basket factory, was burned 
in 1900. At the ''Hadlock mill site," Mr. Andrew Aitkin is, in 
January, 1901, erecting a building for a sawmill and basket factory. 

The Wells River Creamery Company was organized October 
14, 1891, with a capital stock of $3,000, which was afterward 
increased to $5,000, and the number of shares to fifty. A building 
was erected in that year, but the plant was not ready for work till 
April 1, 1892. This creamery has a branch at Swiftwater, N. H. 

In 1894. Col. Erastus Baldwin erected at Wells River, a 
windmill tower of which he gives the following account : 

'*In regard to the windmill I constructed :— To have the well 
bored, in 1894, we went down eighty feet, and struck a living spring 
of the purest water analyzed. The water came up to the top of 
pipe, (which is eight inch iron). I have pumped thirty gallons a 
minute for eight hours and only lowered the water seventeen feet in 
the pipe. The tower is made from southern pine and is 176% feet 
high, twenty-five feet higher than any other windmill tower in the 
world. The tank the water is pumped into holds 1,013 barrels. 
Three years ago I began manufacturing sodas, and have shipped this 
season, and sold, 2,200 four dozen cases. Have used three tons of 
granulated sugar, beside the other extras. When in full working 
order I seal up, ready for shipment, 200 dozen per day. The water 
is used at my house and tenements.'' 

In Newbury village the principal events have already been 
mentioned. On Sunday, August 13, 1876, fire, caused by children 
plaj'ing with matches in a barn, destroyed the Deming store, the 
**old depot building,** the "old book store,** and the drug and 
jewelry store of S. L. Swasey. 

The Newbury village Creamery Association was organized in 
January, 1892, and the building erected in the following spring, 
with a branch, or skimming station, at West Newbury. The first 
creamery in town was the one at South Newbury, which began in 
1884, and continued in operation till 1898, when it was consolidated 
with the one at Haverhill, by the Lyndonville Creamery Co., which 
controlled both plants. 

Newbury has some of the largest farms in the state, and a very 
interesting volume could be written about our farms and their 
owners. Few of them are in the hands of the families which owned 
them a century ago. The largest in town, that of Frank E. Kimball, 
upon the Musquash meadow, has 165 acres in one field. This farm, 
and that of W. H. Atkinson, which lies south of it, were gathered 


by the Little family, by purchase or forclosure of mortgage, from 
the earliest settlers. The Kimball farm was purchased of Mr. Little, 
by Timothy Morse, who, in 1857, sold it to Lucius Hazen and sons. 
In 1865 the Hazens sold it to a Mr. Palmer, from whom, in the 
next year, it was purchased by* D. C. and D. P. Kimball. There 
were several large barns on this farm, which were removed, and the 
present immense bam built by the Kimballs. The fine residence on 
that farm was burned January 4, 1898. On the Upper meadow, no 
descendant of an original settler remains, except C. C. Scales and 
Alfred Chamberlain. The McAllisters own the Heath and Tenney 
farms; H. T. Baldwin the Hale farm, while the Dr. Smith and 
Ingalls farm is now owned by Mr. Learned and son, who also own 
that of Col. Frye Bayley. The farm of F. W. George is made up 
from the rights of several proprietors. 

On the Ox-bow, Dea. Sidney Johnson and Henry W. Bailey are 
the only ones who own farms, which have come to them directly 
from their ancestors, the original proprietors. Mr. Doe owns most 
of Genera] Bayley's farm, and a part of Mr. Lang's was that of 
Nathaniel Merrill. On Kent's meadow, Robert J. Hibbard is the 
only descendant of an original proprietor, who owns the same farm. 
M. E. Kimball's farm was that of Levi Sylvester, and others. A. 
Greer owns the Colonel Stevens farm. On Sleeper's meadow the 
three Kent farms are owned by John Heath, C. E. Brock and Robert 
Meserve; that of Dr. White by C. C. Doe, while the Colonel 
Chamberlain farm is at present called the "Glendower Stock Farm." 
That of W. U. Bailey was made up from several farms. On Hall's 
meadow, that of W. W. Brock has. been in the family about 130 
years ; that of Jonathan Smith for half that time. The farm of 
James A. Brock, was, long ago that of Maj. Stevens McConnel. 
That between the two last mentioned, has been in the Chamberlain 
family for many years. 

Lack of space forbids mention of many interesting particulars 
regarding the larger farms in the back part of the town. At West 
Newbury, the farm of John Smith has been in the family since 1790 ; 
that of W.C. and D. Carleton is made up of the farms of Capt. John 
G. Bailey, and a part of the ''old Eastman place." It has one of the 
largest sugar orchards in the state, and their apparatus for sugar 
making is complete. 

Newbury Comet Band was organized in 1857 or 1858. Henry 
W. Bailey was chosen its leader, and continued as such during its 
existence. The first leader was Mr. C. H. Clark, a noted circus 
band leader. There were twelve members. During the civil war 
several of the members were in the army, and the band was broken 
up. In 1863, after the return of Mr. Bailey from the war, it was 
re-organized, and maintained till about 1880. A notable instance 


of its furnishing music was at the dedication of the Summit House 
on Moosilauke, where more than a thousand people had gathered, 
on July 4, 1860. Another memorable occasion was a flag-raising 
at the Ox-bow, in 1861, where the flag was raised by Capt. Hanes 
Johnson and David Johnson, Esq.,' the last surviving sons of Col. 
Thomas Johnson, both past eighty years of age at the time. 

About 1868, an orchestra, composed of members from Newbury 
and adjacent towns, was organized, with Mr. Bailey as leader, 
which furnished music for all occasions till about 1886. The 
'^Crafts Genealogy" claims that the first piano in Vermont was 
brought to Craftsbury, by the wife of Governor Crafts, in 1797. 
Mr. Livermore says that there were, in 1819, two pianos at 
Haverhill Corner; one was owned by the family of Gen. John 
Montgomery, and the other by the daughters of General Dow. It 
is believed that the first pianos in Newbury were purchased by 
David Johnson and Timothy Morse, for their daughters, about 1834. 

In 1893, Mr. George H. Moore erected, about one and a half 
miles from Newbury village, on the road to West Newbury, the 
most costly residence in town. The site commands one of the 
loveliest prospects in the Connecticut valley, which it overlooks for 
many miles. The house is of colonial style, built of cobble-stone 
and native rock, laid in Portland cement. It is one of the finest 
private residences in the state. 

President Dwight, in his "Travels in New England," a century 
ago, devotes several paragraphs in glowing description of the 
panorama of the valley and mountain scenery which was spread 
before him as he stood upon the spot now occupied by this mansion. 

Some one has styled Newbury **the land of continuance." Its 
scenery has lost none of its loveliness in a hundred years. Men 
may come and men may go but the valley of the Connecticut 
remains forever. 


Newbury in the Civil and Spanish Wars. 

Soldiers Credited to this Town.— Col. Preston Post.— Col. Preston Relief 
Corps.— Veterans now Residing here.— Spanish War. 

THE following list of soldiers from Newbury, who served in 
the Rebellion, with their regiment, rank, company and 
history, was furnished for Hemen way's Gazette by Hon. 
Henry W. Bailey. 

FIRST REGIMENT. Three Months. 


A very, Nathan A., 
Brooks, James B., 
Brock, Thomas A., 
Chamberlin, R. W., 
Clark, Fred Ezra, 
Howard, Emery A., 
Johnson, George A., 
Mcscrve, Robert, 
Page, Albert, 
Tncker, Thomas L., 
Wilcox, Edwin A., 


Priv., D May 2, '61, Mustered ont Aug. 15, '61. 









Mns'n, D, 
Corp., D, 





















Arery. Frederic B., Priv., C, July 16, '61, 

Bailey, Henry Ward, 
Bailey, Charles F., 

Bailey, Thomas P., 
Bickford, Wm. J., 
Bliss, Philetns, 
Bowley, Addison, 
Carmth, Robert B., 

Priv., C, 








Chamberlin, Cutler B., Priv., K, 

Corbin, David T, Capt., C, 

Danforth, Samuel, Pnv., C, 

Dunbar, Henry E., Corp., C, 

Sept. 22, '62, 
July 16, '61, 

Sept. 22, '62, 
July 16, '61. 
Sept. 22, '62, 
July 16, '61. 

Died at Andersonville, March 
13, '65. 

Discharged Aug. 9, '62. 

Promoted 2d Lieut., Nov. 25, 
'63. Mustered out July 27. 

Discharged Nov. 6, '62. 

Discharged Aug. 15, '62. 

Mustered out, July '27, '64. 

Died Feb. 27, '63. 

Re-enlisted Dec. 21, '63. Mus- 
tered out July 11, '65. 

Mustered out June 19, '65. 

Discharged Sept. 12, '62. 

Mustered out June 19, '65. 

Discharged May 4, '62. 



Famham, BrdYii E., Serg., C, 
Farnham. Frederic E., Priv., C, 
Gardner, George H., 


July 16, '61, 


Jan. 10, '62, 

Gardner, Horatio W., 
George, James L., 
Greig, James, 

Heath, Everett K., 

Johnston, Erastus C, 
Kelley, Walter M., 





July 16, '61, 




Priv., K, Jan. 8, '63, 


Kelly, Thomas F., 

Langmaid, Solomon S., Priv., C, 

Little, Charles W., Priv., D, 

Lnmsden, George, Priv., K, 

Mcader, Charles C. 2d, Priv., C, 
Meserve, Amos, 


Peach, George, 

Ramsay, John W., 

Stebbins, Horatio N., 

Temple, Orvin, 
Ttittle, Samnd M., 
Wallace, William, 3d, 
White. Charles, 
White, Charles K., 


Priv., C, 

Priv., G, 

Priv., C, 

Priv.. G, 
Priv., K, 

Dec. 31, '63, 
Apr. 12, '62, 

July 16, '61, 

April 12, '62, 

July 16, '61, 



Sept. 22, '62, 

July 16, '61, 

Sept. 22, '62, 



Discharged Nov. 4, '62. 

Died April 10, '62. 

Re-en. Dec. 21, '63. Killed at 

Spottsylvania May 12, '64. 
Discharged June 4, '62. 
Mustered out July 27. '65. 
Re-en. Dec. 21, '63. Promoted 

Sergeant Jan. 1, '64. KiUed 

at ^'edar Creek Oct. 19, '64. 
Re-en. Dec. 21, '63. Promoted 

Corp. Dec. 18, '64. Mustered 

out June 19, '65. 
Dis. Dec. 1, '61. Re-en. 9th G. 

Mustered out June 19. '65. 
Lost one eye in the Wilderness. 

Discharged May 1 7, '65. 
Mustered out July 11, '65. 
Re-en. March 22. '64. Mus- 
tered out July 17, '65. 
Discharged sick. 
Discharged July 9. '62. 
Mustered out July 27, '64. 
Killed at Lewmsville, Sept. 11, 

Re-en. Dec. 21, '63. Promoted 

Corp. Killed at Petersburg 

April 2, '65. 
Pro. 2d Lieut, Aug. 10, '61. 

Killed in action June 29, '62. 
Tr. Invalid Corps. Died Nov. 

20, '63. 
Discharged Jan. 22, '64. 
Pro. Corp. Dis. May 17, '66. 
Mustered out June 5, '65. 


Pro. Corp. Nov. 1, '63. Mus- 
tered out June 19, '65. 


Avery, Ayers N., 
Bailey, Auburn F., 

Chapin, Charles C, 

Clark, Isaac, 
Dowse, Asa, 
George, Edmund H., 
Heath, WUUam W., 

Halley, John S., 
Stamford, Thomas N., 

Teel, Benjamin W., 

Dickenson, Elijah, 
Jenne, Stillman, 
Jenne, Roswell C, 
Jenne, William S., 

Martin, Moody C, 
Meader, William, 

Priv., H, 
Priv., F, 


Priv.. G, 

Priv.. H, 



Sept. 20, '61, 
Dec. 31, '63, 

Sept. 30, '62 

Dec. 31 '63, 


Sept. 20, '61, 

Corp., D, 
Priv., F, 

Died March 23, '63. 

Died at Salisbury, N. C, Jan. 

22. '65. 
Pro. 2d Lieut. Mustered out 

Jan. 13, '65. 
Mustered out July 13, '65. 
Mustered out June 29. '65. 
Re^en. Feb. 17. '64. Killed at 

Wilderness May 5. '64. 
Mustered out. Sept. 30. '64. 
Reduced to ranks. Mustered 

out Sept. 30. '64. 
Sept. 30, '62, Mustered out June 19, *65. 




Priv., B, Sept. 22, '62. Tr. to inv. corps Oct. 1, '63. 

Oct. 15, '61, Discharged Jan. 6, '63. 

" " Nov. 24, '62. 

** Pro. Corp. Mustered out June 

26, '65. 

Sept. 22, '62 Discharged Nov. 13, '62. 

Priv., G, Sept. 22, '62 Tr. to inv. corps, Oct. 1, '63. 





Atwood, WiUiam D., 
Bean, G«oi^, N. M., 
Brown, George L., 

Bean, Richard C, 
Bnmham, Benj. P., 

Danforth, George L., 

BYanj«, Walter D., 
Pleming, Preeman P., 
Hemenway, P. W., 
Kellej, Loren P., 

Meader, Horace B., 
Morrison, George W., 
Morrison, Hiram, 

Noyes, Parker Jr., 
No yes, James, 

PriY., C, Peb. 18/62. Mnstered ont Jane 22, '64. 

PriY., D, 



PriY., P, 
PriY., C, 

Wag., D, 
PriY., C, 

PriY., .D, 


PriY., C, 

May 17, '64, 
Jan. 9, '62, 

May 17, '64, 
Dec. 31, '63, 

Peb. 18. '62. 


Jan. 5, '64, 
Dec. 31, '63. 
Peb. 18. '62, 





O'Malley, Owen P., PriY.. D, Dec. 26, '61, 

Page, Albert B., 
Pronty , Bltjah K., Jr., 

Smith, Robert P., 
Tattle, Blias J., 
Tattle, George L., 

Waldron. Benjamin, 

Waldron, John M., 

Bailey, Hibbard H., 
Bolton, Carlos B., 
Brock, Andrew, 
Chamberlin, Amos J., 
Planders, Amos. 
Learned, Benj. P., 
Learned, Seldon P., 
Learned, William A., 
Marry, George M., 
Fnller, Joseph H., 
Perkins. Jonathan, 
Pntnam, John C, 
Wright, William T., 

Bartlett. Alonzo P., 
Bartlett, Oscar P., 

Mastered oat Jane 15, '65. 
Discharged Jnly 5, '63. 

Died May 20, '64. 
Mastered oat Jane 15. '65. 
Dischat]^ Dec. 13, '64 for 

promotion in colored troops. 
Re-en. Jan. 5, '64. Mastered oat 

Jane 28, '65. 
Died Jane 25, '63. 
Mastered oat Jane 28, '65. 
Mastered oat Jane 28, '65. 
Killed at Port Hadson. Jane 14, 

Died March 25, '63. 
Mastered oat Jane 22, '64. 
Re-en. Jan. 5, '64. Mastered 

oat Jane 28, '65. 
Discharged Oct. 17, '63. 
Trans. La. Nat. Gnards, Dec 

31. '62. 
Re-en. Jan. 5. '6A. Tr. to V. R. 

C. Mastered oat Jaly 17, '65. 
Discharged Aag. 11, '63. 
Discharged Oct. 1, '62, for pro'n 

in 2d La. Vols. 
Discharged Oct. 17, '62. 
Mastered oat Jane 28, '65. 
Re-en. Jan. 6, '64, Pro. Corp. 

Mastered oat Jane 28, '65. 
Re-en. Jan. 5, '65. Died March 

29. '65. 
Re-en. Jan. 5. '65. Mustered 

oat Jane 28, '65. 


PriY., G, Jaly 9, '62, Deserted Jan. 13, '63. 

Mastered oat June 13, '65. 
Discharged May 14. '63. 
Muster^ out June 13, '65. 
Discharged Jan. 15, '63. 
Discharged March 14, '63. 
Mastered out June 13, '65. 
Died June 21, '63. 
Mastered oat Jane 13, '65. 
Mustered out May 13, '65. 
Mastered out July 26, '65. 
Mustered out Aug. 3, '65. 
Tr. to inY. corps. 

Serg., C. 

PriY., G, 

PriY., D, 

PriY., D, 

Serg.. C, 

PriY., C, 





Peb. 18, '62, 







Serg., G, 
PriY., G. 




PriY., C, 

Priv., E, 

PriY.. I, 

Priv., C, 

Jan. 6. '64. 
Dec. 31, '63. 
Aug. 13, '64, 
July 9. '62, 

PriY., G, Sept. 1, '62, Mustered out May 13, '65. 


Damon. George B., Capt., G, 



Hadlock, James W., 
George, Charles H., 
George. Osman C. B., 
George, James H., 

George. Jno. N., 
Hayncs, Charles V., 

PriY., G, Sept. 1, '62, 





Mus'n, G 


PriY., G, 

Sept. 2, '64, 
Sept. 1, '62, 

Pro. Corp. Peb. 6, '65. Must- 
ered out June 22, '65. 

Pro. major Dec. 19, '64. BrcY. 
maj. Oct. 19, '64. Mustered 
out June 22, '65. 

Mustered out May 13, '65. 

Mustered out June 22, '65. 

Died Dec. 2. '63. 

Pro. prin. mus'n May 1, '63. 
Mastered out June 22, '65. 

Mustered out June 22, '65. 

KUled in action, Noy. 27 '63. 



McKinstry, Azro P., 
Place, John C, 
Scruton. William C, 
Thompson, Charles, 
Tuttle, Edwin, 

Priv., G, Sept. 1, '62, 

tl 41 

Corp., G, 
Priv., G, 




Sampson, Horace B., 
Williams, John D., 

Mustered ont Jane 22, *65. 
Missing Sept. 19, '64. Dead. 
Died Sept. 19, '63. 
Mustered out June 22, '65. 
Pro. Corp. Nov. 1, '64. Must- 
ered out June 27, '65. 


Priv., D, Nov. 9, '63. Died Feb. 6, '64. 

Serg., L, June 27, '63. Died of wounds Oct. 26, '64. 


Atkinson, William H., Priv., H, Oct. 4, '62, Mustered out July 14, '63. 

Avery, Park, 

Bailey, George, 

Bamett. George B., 

Barrett, Charles G., 

Bartlett. Charles P., 

Bartlett, Daniel S., 

Bartlett, John M., 

Bailey, Milo C, 

Bean, George N. M., 

Brock, Thomas H., 




Scrg., H, 

Chamberlin, Joseph A., Priv., H, 
Chamberlin, R. W., 1 Lt., H, 

Eastman, Addison W., Corp., H, 

Priv., H, 


Serg., H, 







Priv., H, 




Died Mav 3, '63. 
Mustered out July 14, '63. 





Corp., H, 
Priv., H, 



Pro. Serg. Nov. 4, '64. Must- 
ered out July 14, '63. 
Died April 27, '63. 
Died April 7, »63. 
Mustered out July 14, '63. 

Gage, Asa B., 
Greig, Thomas, 
Howard, Emery A., 
Johnston, Joseph C, 
Keyes, Edward P., 
Leonard, Sidney S., 
McAllister, Leonard W., 
McKinstry, Alvin L., 
McKinstry, Henry, 
Meserve, Robert, 

Moulton, William O., 
Nason, Joseph M., 
Newell, James A., 
Peach, Jonathan J., 
Ricker Isaac M. . 
Rogers, Nelson J., 
Rollins, Henry G.. 
Stebbins, Scuyler C, 
Stevens, Augustus B., 
Tewksbury, Nelson B., 
Wallace, George W., 
Wallace, James Jr., 
Wallace. William K.. 
Whitman, Monroe D., 
Woodward, Clark J., 
Wormwood, William, 


Aitken, Andrew, Priv., D, Oct. 22, '62, Mustered out Aug. 5, '63. 

Chalmers, George, Jr., Serg., D, *' Discharged April 28, '63. 

Chalmers, William W., Priv., D, '* Mustered out August 5, '63. 

Cowdry, Albert R., Corp. D, 

Cowdry, Milo G., Priv., D, 

Hunter, Nathan A., 
Jones, William B., 
Wheeler, William, 

• 4 









• 4 

• 4 


Pro. 2d Lieut. Co. H, March 10, 
'63. Must, out July 14, '63. 

Mustered out July 14. '63. 

Resigned March 4, '63. 

Reduced to ranks Dec. 8, '62. 
Mustered out July 14, '63. 

Mustered out July 14, '63. 











Died March 12, '63. 
Mustered out July 14, '63. 
Mustered out July 14, '63. 
Discharged March 13, '63. 
Discharged April 22, '63, 
Mustered out July 14, '63. 















Webber, George, 
Webber, Russell L., 

Aldrich, William T., 
Cadue, John, 
Chapman, John, 
Jenne, Roswell C, 
Landers, Andrew, 
Riley, James, 
Underwood, William 
Wilson, Joseph, 

Abbott, Horace N., 
Bailey, Samnel P., 

Bennett, John W., 
Cook, George, 
Fleming, George H., 
Howland, Levi P., 
Leet, Charles Jr., 
Leet, Henry, 
Mitchell, Harris B., 
Marsh, Henry G., 
Powers, John Hale, 
Sargent, Phineas L., 
Webster, Emery, 
Webber, George, 
Webber, Philip, 

Clark, Fred Ezra, 
Whitman, Shepard B., 

Blodgett, Clark Perry, 

Clark, Fred Ezra. 

Kasson, William W., 

Little, Dana D., 
Pennock, Calvin, 

Priv.. D. Oct. 22, '62, Mustered out Aug. 5, '63. 

** Dis. at Brattleboro May 1 1 , '63. 



Priv., I, May 10, '64, 

Priv., E, Apr. 12, '64, 

Priv.. I, July 6, '64, 

Apr. 12, '64, 

May 10, '64, 

Apr. 12, '64, 

H., " May 10, '64, 






Carbee, Henry C, 
Davidson, George B., 
Greig, Thomas, 
Smillie, John, 

Bailey, Milo C, 
Bamett, George B., 
Famham, Frank E., 
Hardy, Sumner, 
Wormwood, William, 

Mustered out July 17, '65. 
Tr. to Y. R. C, Aug. 21, '64. 
Discharged Dec. 18. '64. 
Discharged Oct. 13. '65. 
Died Sept. 5, '64. 
Mustered out July 14, '65. 
Mustered out July 14, '65. 
Discharged May 27, '65. 


Priv., D, Dec. 31, 
Corp., H, Sept. 16, 

L.CoL.D, Nov. 19, 
Priv., F, Sept. 8, 
Priv., D. Dec. 31, 

Sept. 22. 

Dec. 31, 





Serg.. D, Nov. 19, 
Priv.. D, Dec. 31, 
Nov. 19, 
Sept. 26, 
Dec. 31, 
Priv., I, Aug. 12, 





'63, Died in Gen. Hos. June 30, '64. 
'61, Missing Oct. 11, '63. Died in 

'61, Mustered out Nov. 18, '64. 
'64, Mustered out May 30, '65. 
'63, Tr. to v. R. C. Apr. 25, '65. 
'62, Missing June 30, '63. 
'63, Mustered out June 1, '65. 

Mustered out Aug. 9, '65. 
'61, Pro. capt. Mus. out Aug. 9, '65. 
'63, Deserted Dec. 26, '64. 
'63, Mustered out Nov. 18, '64. 
'62, Mustered out May 29, '65. 
'63, Died Feb. 15, '64. 
'64, Mustered out June 21, '65. 

Mustered out June 21, '66. 


Priv., H, Dec. 31, '61, 
Priv., E. Nov. 9, '61, 


Priv., Dec. 31, '63, 

Discharged June 24. '62. 
Discharged Dec. 4. '62. 









Tr. to 1st Co. Heav. Art. Mus. 

out July 28, '65. 
Tr. to 1st Co. Heav. Art. Dis. 

Feb. 13, '65. 
Pro. 2d Lieut. Heav. Art. Mus. 

outjuly 28, '65. 
Died Aug. 31, '64. 
Tr. to 1st Co. Heav. Art. Mus. 

out July 28, '65. 





Jan. 13, '64, Mustered out July 31, '65. 

Mustered out July 31, '65. 
Died May 11, '64. 
Pro. Corp. Mustered out July 
31, '65. 










Sept. 1, '64, Mustered out Jtine 15, '65. 
Sept. 2, '64, 
Sept. 3, '64, 








Sept. 2, '64, 

This list gives the enlistments only which were credited to 
Newbury. There were those from this town who enlisted in other 



states, in which they chanced to reside when the war broke out, but 
it was not possible to obtain their records. 

tCol. Preston Post, No. 64, Department of Vermont, Grand 
Army of the Republic, was organized at Wells River, October 27, 
1883, with twelve charter members, and up to the present time 
there have been enrolled eighty-four soldiers and sailors of the 
rebellion, forty-one of whom were residents of the town, and sixteen 
enlisted from Newbury. Of the fifteen past commanders, eleven 
have been from Newbury: James A. George, R. G. Brock, D. B. 
Reid, W. H. Munsell, Andrew Aitken, C. N. Paige, W. H. Goodwin, 
J. M. Waldron, S. L. D. Goodale, N. A. Hunter and Samuel Tuttle. 

The Grand Army has for its object the keeping fresh the memory 
of those who have died, and the town has aided this object by 
liberal appropriations for the observance of Memorial Day. The 
organization has also been honored, its members having held every 
office in the gift of the town. 

The following are members of the Post who were residents of 
Newbury. Those marked with a star have removed from town. 

William P. Johnson, Co. K, 

*Cnmraing8 Priest, Co. H, 

William H. Goodwin, Co. H, 

Ser^. Rnsseli Moore, Co. C, 

William H. Munsell, Co. L, 

David B. Reid, Navy, 

Charles N. Paige, Co. D, 

James A. George, Co. A, 

Corp. Robert G* Brock, Co. F, 

Andrew Aitken, Co. D, 

Corp. Daniel Taisey, Co. D, 

Corp. Charles F. Persons, Co. D, 

Stephen Putnam, Co. B, 

♦George Webber, Co. D, 

William H. H. Gardner, Co. C, 

*Rev. Eugene J. Ranslow, Navy, 

Sergt. William H. Silsby, Co. K, 

John M. Waldron, Co. E, 

Henry G. Rollins, Co. H, 

♦Lyman J. Brown, Co. K, 

♦Nathan A. Hunter, Co. D, 

♦Charles P. Bartlett, Co. H, 

Corp. Samuel Tuttle, Co. C, 

James L. George, Co. C, 

♦Asa Dowse, Co. G, 

♦S. L. D. Goodale, Co. E, 

Walter M. Kelley, Co. K, 

♦Nahum E. Harvey, Co. I, 

Corp. Elias J. Tuttle, Co. D, 

Corp. George L. Tuttle, Co. D, 

Harvey D. Gamsby, Co. E, 

Ephraim Rowe, Co. B, 

Joseph C. Johnston, Co. H, 

Albert A. Bowen, Co. B, 

Jonathan F. Geiffin, Co. I, 

♦Charles H. Chase, Co. I, 
Clark P. Blodgett, 

tBy R. G. Brock. 

10th Vermont Regiment. 
8th New Hampshire Regiment. 

1st Vermont Regiment Cavalry. 
Monitor Monadnock. 
4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery. 
1st New Hampshire ** 
15th Vermont Regiment. 







6th New Hampshire Regiment, deceased. 
15th Vermont, and D, 1st Vermont Cavalry. 

Sloop of war, Brooklyn. 
8th Vermont. 

15th " and C. U. S. S. S. 
6th New Hampshire, deceased. 
12th Vermont. 
15th New Hampshire. 
39th Massachusetts. 
5th New Hampshire. 
1st Vermont Battery. 















*Corp. Oscar B. Daniels, Co. D, 8th Vermont. 

'Samnel C. Stevens, Co. I, 3d Vermont. 

Lorin A. Vance, Co. K, 2nd Massachusetts, deceased. 

John If. Hanson, Co. B, 27th Maine. 

Sergt. Samuel B. Goss, Co. I, 5th New Hampshire. 

Capt. A. R. Hawley, Co. E, 8th Vermont. 

Kimball Marshall, 6th Massachusetts. 

*Col. Preston Relief Corps No. 10, Department of Vermont, of 
Wells River, Vt., was instituted May 6, 1885, by Department 
Inspector, Mrs. Margaret H. Ide, of St. Johnsbury, Vt., with 
eighteen charter members. Sixty names, in all, have been enrolled. 
Five of the number have **fallen asleep." Sixteen have been 
transferred and discharged, leaving a present membership of 
thirty-nine. Mrs. Mary B. Goodwin was the first president of 
the corps. One hundred dollars and eleven cents has been expended 
in money, for relief; this includes the furnishing of a room in the 
Soldier's Home at Bennington, Vt. Quite a sum of money has been 
given to the Post, to aid in their relief work. Eighty-six dollars 
and fifteen cents is the estimated value of relief other than money, 
and the end is not yet ; for, working as auxiliary to the G. A. R., 
and with the motto— Fraternity, charity and loyalty — the mission 
of this organization will end only when our last veteran is laid at 
rest, and the sons and daughters of veterans shall come to the 
front-r-shall assume our duties, and '*Deck them with garlands, 
these soldiers of ours." 

The veterans of the civil war who are members of Colonel 
Preston Post are given in the account of that organization. Those 
not given there, now residents of Newbury are : 

W. H. Atkinson Albert C. Fnllcr 

A. A. Avcrry Frank Fisher 

George B. Bamett £. H. Famham 

Thomas P. Bailey Everett K. Heath 

Robert Carrath J. J. Button 

R. W. Chamberlin Hiram P. Kidder 

Amos J. Chamberlin Robert Meserve 

E. J. L. Clark Leonard W. McAllister 

Isaac Clark Nelson B. Tewksbury 

Frederic Durant Chas. H. Thompson 

H. D. Davis James Wallace 

Joseph Fuller Philip Webber 

These two lists give the names of all the veterans of the civil 
war now residing here. Those who are buried here are mentioned 
in the accounts of the cemeteries in town. 

The names of Newbury volunteers in the Spanish-American War 
as prepared by M. L. Brock are: 

Moses L. Brock, 1st Lieut. 
Charles F. Wilson, Q. M. Sergt. 
Charles H. Jackson, Corp. 

*Bj Mrs. A. M. Mnnsell. 



Priv. Allard, Hal. H. Priv. French, Cha«. B. 

" Bailev. BIcena W. ** Greenwood, Henry 

" BaileV, Merton ** Hunter. William 

*• Bailey, Frank P. " Lane, Alvah 

" Bailey, Leroy F. " Lnpien, Leon A. 

•• Bailey. Edward T. ** Mann, Arthnr E. 

" Barrie, Norman ** Silver, Charles L. 

** Brock. John A. ** Smith. John B. 

"All the Newbury volunteers were members of Co. G, 1st 
Regiment Vt. Volunteer Infantry. They mustered into the U. S. 
service, May 16, 1898 ; started south the 23d day of May, going to 
Camp Thomas, Chickamauga Park, Ga., where they remained 
during the summer. Upon cessation of hostilities the regiment was 
sent back to Fort Ethan Allen, Vt., arriving there the 23rd day of 
September, 1898 ; were furloughed for thirty days, and mustered out 
of service the 28th day of November, 1898. While the regiment 
saw no active service, the long period of inaction in camp was a 
harder test of endurance than any active campaign, and the regiment 
was individually a skeleton of its former self, when it once more 
stood on good Vermont soil. The Newbury men all returned safely, 
though several were very seriously ill with typhoid and malarial 
fevers. Corporal Jackson, Privates Greenwood, Bailey and Hunter 
have re-enlisted, and are now in the Philippines doing service 
against the natives." 


State, County, and Town Officers. 

State Officers. — Senators.— County Officers.— Town Clerks.— Members of 
Constitutional Conventions.— Representatives. — Votes for Governor.— 
Moderators of Annual Town Meetings. — Selectmen.— Listers.— Consta- 
bles.— Treasurers. — Superintendents of Schools.— Overseers of the 
Poor.— Road Commissioners. 

IN the following lists are given the names of the principal town 
officers, and those who were residents of Newbury, while 
holding state offices. In Vermont, the town is the unit, and 
the county only an aggregation of units, convenient for the 
assembling of the people in courts. In the other states the 
county is the unit, and the towns merely a sub-division of it. 
Consequently, in Vermont, each town is a more independent 
commonwealth than in other states. 

The speaker of the House of Representatives in 1798 was : 

Daniel Parrand. 

A member of the council in 1778, 1786, '87, '88, '89, '90 was: 

Jacob Baylcy. 

The Senators were : 

A. B. W. Tennev, 1836, '38 Joseph Atkinson, 1854. '56 

Timothy Morse, 1840 Horatio Brock, 1860. '61 

Tappan Stevens, 1841, '42 William R. Sbcdd, 1872 

Elijah Parr, 1843, '44 John Bailey, 1886 

Henry Kcyes, 1847, '48 Horace W. Bailey, 1894 

The Chief Justices of Orange County Court were: 

Jacob Bayley, 1786. '87, '88, '89, '90.' 91. 
Tappan Stevens, 1844. 

The Sheriffs were : 

John G. Bavlev, 1786, '87, '88 Tappan Stevens, 1837 

Frye Baylcy, 1789. '90, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95. '96 Jacob Kent Jr., 1842, '43 
A. B. W. Tenney, 1834 

The Marshall in 1845-'49 was: 

Jacob Kent. 



The Fish and Game Commissioner was : 

Horace W. Bailey, 1894-1900. 

The Judges of Probate were : 

Jacob Kent, 1786, '87, '88, '89, '90, '91 
Daniel Farrand, 1796. '98, '99. '00 

The Registers of Probate were : 

Nathan Goddard. 1786, '87 
Daniel Farrand, 1788, '89 

Charles B. Leslie, 1854, '56, '58 
Henry W. Bailey, 1868-75 

Isaac Bavley, 1791-96 
Joseph Berry, 1840 
Charles B. Leslie, 1850 

The Judge of Circuit Court in 1855-'56 was: 

Abel Underwood 

The States Attorneys were: 

Daniel Farrand, 1796. '98 
Abel Underwood, 1838, '40 

Elijah Farr. 1839. '41 
Asa M. Dickey, 1850 
Charles C. Dewer, 1858 

The Clerks of Courts were : 

Isaac Bayley, 1801-1812 
Joseph Berry, 1850 

The foUowinsr were Town Clerks : 

Col. Jacob Kent, 176498 
Isaac Bayley, 1798-1814 
Moses P. Clark. 1814 
Isaac Bayley. 1815-28 

Jo5;eph S. Gonld. 1828 
Isaac Baylev, 1829-35 
Isaac A. Bailev, 1835-37 
David Johnson, 1837-39 

Simeon Stevens, Jr., 1839-41 
David Johnson. 1841-56 
Henry W. Bailey, 1856-86 
Horace W. Bailey, 1886 97 
Albert W. Silsby, 1897 

The members of Constitutional Conventions were: 

Daniel Farrand, 1791 

Jacob Bayley. 1793 
ames Spear, 1814 

James Spear, 3822 
Moody Chamberlain, 1828 
Tappan Stevens, 1836 

John B. Chamberlain, 1843 
Joseph Atkinson, 1850 
Richard Patterson, 1869 

The Delegates to Conventions before 1784, and Representatives 
to the General Assembly, were: 

Col. Jacob Bayley and Col. Peter Olcott , Representatives to send to "York," 1776. 
Col Jacob Bayley and Reuben Foster, Members ot Convention at Windsor, 1777. 
Renben Foster and Col. Jacob Kent, Representatives at Windsor. 1778. 
Capt. Thos. Johnson and Dr. Gideon Smith, Rep. to Convention at Cornish, Dec 

7 1778. 
John G. Bavlev. 1779. 
Jacob Kent, 1780. 

Jacob Kent and |osiah Page, to convention at Windsor, March 28, 1781. 
ohnG. Bayley. 1781. 

Dr. Gideon Smith, to convention at Thetford, June, 1782. 
Not represented, 1783. 
Jacob Bavlev, Ebenezer White, 1784. 

John G. Bayley, 1785 
Thomas Johnson, 1786 
Thomas Johnson. 17«7 
Thomas Johnson. 1788 
Thomas Johnson, 1789 
Thomas Johnson. 1790 
Joshua Bavley, 1791 
Daniel Farrand, 1792 
Daniel Farrand. 1793 
Joshua Bayley, 1794 
Thomas Johnson 1795 
Daniel Farrand, 1796 
Thomas Johnson, 1797 

Isaac Bayley, 1814 
Isaac Bavley. 1815 
Benjamin Porter, 1816 
Simeon Stevens. Jr., 1817 
Asa Tennev, 1818 
Simeon Stevens, Jr., 1819 
James Spear, 1820 
Levi Rodgers. 1821 
Charles Johnston. 1822 
JohnL. Woods, 1823 
John L. Woods, 1824 
John L. Woods, 1825 
Charles Johnston, 1826 

A. B. W. Tenney, 1841 
Wm. H. Carter, 1842 
Simeon Stevens, Jr , 1843 
John Atwood, 1844 
James Buchanan, 1845 
James Buchanan, 1846 
Samuel Grow, 1847 
Samuel Grow, 1848 
A. B. W. Tenney, 1849 
A. B. W. Tennev, 1850 
Moody Chamberlain. 1851 
Oscar C. Hale, 1852 
Oscar C. Hale, 1853 



Daniel Farrand. 1798 
Thomas Johnson, 1 799 
Thomas Johnson, 1800 
Thomas Johnson, 1801 
Joshua BajlcY, 1802 
Joshna Bayley. 1803 
Joshna Bayley, 1804 
Isaac Bayley f 1805 
James Spear, 1806 
James Spear, 1807 
James Spear. 1808 
Joshna Bayley. 1809 
No Record, 1810 
Benjamin Porter, 1811 
Benjamin Porter. 1812 
Asa Tenney, 1813 

Timothy Shedd, 1827 
Timothy Shedd. 1828 
Peter Barbank, 1829 
Peter Bn* bank, 1830 
Peter Bnrbank, 1831 
A.B.W. Tenney, 1832 
A.B. W. Tenney, 1833 
A B. W.Tenney, 1834 
"Nine ballots and no elec- 
tion, 1835" (seeFalton 
Simeon Stevens, Jr.. 1836 
Simeon Steyens, Jr., 1837 
Moody Chamberlain. 1838 
A. B. W. Tenney, 1839 
A. B. W. Tenney, 1840 

James M. Chadwick, 1854 
Henry Keyes, 1866 
A. B. W. Tenney. 1856 
Andrew Renfrew, 1857 
Andrew Renlrew, 1858 
Henry W. Bailey, 1859 
Henry W. Bailey, 1860 
Abel Underwood, 1861 
Abel Underwood, 1862 
William R. Shedd, 1863 
William R. Shedd, 1864 
Wm. Wallace Brock, 1865 
Wm. Wallace Brock, 1866 
Robert R. Pulton, 1867 
Robert R. Pnlton, 1868 
John Bailey, Jr., 1869 

The Constittitional convention of that year recommended 
biennial sessions, and the change was made. 

John Bailey, Jr., 1870 Daniel A. Rogers, 1872 

Henry W. Adams, 1876 Leyi L. Tucker, 1878 
Bdgar W. Smith, 1882 John Bailey, 1884 
Pranklin Demin^, 1888 A. Allyn Olmsted. 1890 
ChalmerH.Cooledge,1894 Wm. H. SUsby, 1896 
Hammond T. Baldwin. 1900. 

Ebenezer C. Stocker, 1874 
Daniel P. Kimball, 1880 
Thomas C. Keyes, 1886 
A. Allyn Olmsted, 1892 
Frank B. Kimball, 1898 

So many local or personal issues eflfect the vote for town 
representative, that the ballot for Governor is believed to express, 
more nearly, the political opinion of the town. The first record of 
votes is in 1795: 

1795 Isaac Tichenor 30 

1796 Isaac Tichenor 54 

1797 Blijah Paine 23 

1798 Isaac Tichenor 54 

1799 No record. 

1800 Isaac Tichenor 61 

1801 Isaac Tichenor 85 

1802 Isaac Tichenor 57 

1803 Isaac Tichenor 60 

1804 No record. 

1805 Isaac Tichenor 62 

1806 To 1 812. No record. 

1812 M. Chittenden 106 

1813 and 1814 no record. 

1815 M. Chittenden 108 

1816 Samuel Strong 118 

1817 Jonas Galusha 95 

1818 Jonas Galusha 117 

1819 Jonas Galusha 115 

1820 Richard Skinner 91 

1821 Richard Skinner 100 

1822 No record. 

1823 C. P. Van Ness 32 

1824 C. P. Van Ness 111 

1825 C. P. Van Ness 78 

1826 Ezra Butler 85 

1827 Ezra Butler 98 

1828 S. C. Crafts 163 

1829 S.C. Crafts 129 

1830 S.C. Crafts 91 

1831 Heman Allen 82 

Thomas Chittenden 12, Scattering 
Thomas Chittenden 6, 
Isaac Tichenor 6, 



Israel Smith 18, 

Israel Smith 64, 

Jonathan Robinson 69, 

Jonathan Robinson 37, 

Jonas Galusha 103, 

Jonas Galusha 79, 

Jonas Galusha 107, 
Isaac Tichenor 67, 

Mark Richards 1. 

William C. Bradley 3, 















Henry Olin 
Joel Doolittle 

William Hall 

Joel Doolittle 
Ezra Murch 
Ezra Murch 



86, Herman Allen 
91, Wm. A. Palmer 
36, Wm. A. Palmer 























1832 S.C. Crafts 117, 

1833 Ezra Murch 174, 

1834 Wm. C. Bradley 99, 
1836 Wm. C. Bradlcv 170, 

1836 Silas H. Jennisbn 188, 

1837 Silas H. jfennison 222, 

1838 Silas H.Jcnnison 244', 

1839 SilUs H. Jennisoo 267, 

1840 Silas H. Jennison 284, 

1841 Nathan Smilie 250, 

1842 Charles Paine 239, 

1843 John Mattocks 241. 

1844 Wm. Slade 265, 

1845 Daniel Kellog 228. 

1846 Carlos Coolidge 95, 

1847 Paul Dillingham 228, 

1848 Carlos Coolidge 195, 

1849 Carlos Coolidge 278, 

1850 C. K. WiUiams 288, 

1851 C.K.Williams 262, 

1852 E. Fairbanks 264. 

1853 E. Fairbanks 222, 

1854 Stephen Royce 267, 

1855 Merritt Clark 228, 

1856 Ry land Fletcher 298, 

1857 Hiland Hall 284, 

1858 Hiland HaU 284. 

1859 Hiland Hall 276, 

1860 E. Fairbanks 292, 

1861 Fred. Holbrook 281, 

1862 Fred. Holbrook 232, 

1863 T. Gregory Smith 263, 

1864 J.G.Smith 260. 

1865 Paul Dillingham 267, 

1866 Paul Dillingham 287. 

1867 John B. Page 248, 

1868 John B. Page 271. 

1 869 P. T. Washbnme 252, 

1870 John W. Stewart 255, 
1872 Jnlius Converse 289. 
1874 Ashael Peck 248, 
1876 H.Fairbanks 297, 
1878 Redfield Proctor 235, 
1880 RoswellFarnham304, 
1882 John L. Barstow 233. 
1884 Samnel Pingree 272, 
1886 E.J. Ormsbee 266, 
1888 W. P. Dillingham 262. 
1890 C. S. Page 276, 
1892 L. K. Fuller 272, 
1894 Urban Woodbury 262, 
1896 Josiah Grout 302, 
1898 E.C.Smith 209, 
1900 W. W. Stickney 273, 

Ezra Murch 93, 

Wm. A. Palmer 129, 

Wm. A. Palmer 79, 

Wm. A. Palmer 89, 

Wm. C. Bradley 173,' 

Wm. C. Bradley 220, 

Wm C. Bradley 238, 

Nathan Smith 242, 

Paul Dillingham 243, 

Charles Paine 250, 

Nathan Smilie 252, 

Daniel Kellog 266. 

Daniel Kellog 253, 

Wm. Slade 173, 

Panl Dillingham 244, 

Horace Eaton 169, 

Paul Dillingham 244, 

Horatio Needham 279, 

L. B. Peck 252, 

Timo. P. Redfield 260, 

J. S. Robinson 254, 

J. S. Robinson 254, 

Merritt Clark 228. 

Stephen Royce 188, 

Henry Keyes 216, 

Henry Keyes 236. 

Henry Keyes 236, 

John G. Saxe 235, 

John G. Saxe 193, 

Andrew Tracy 76, 

B. H. Smalley 83, 
T. P. Redfield 201, 
T. P. Redfield 191. 

C. N. Davenport 169, 
C. N. Davenport 148, 
J. L. Edwards 156, 
J. L. Edwards 160, 

H. W. Heaton 111. 

H. W. Heaton 110. 
Abram B. Gardner 134, 
W. H. H. Bingham 139. 
W. H. H. Bingham 177, 
W. H. H. Bingham 137, 

E. J. Phelps 188, 

G. E. Eaton 119, 

L. W. Redington 143. 

S. C. Shurtleff 113, 

S. C. Shurtleff 132, 

H. F. Brigham 143. 

B. B. Smalley 146, 

G. W. Smith 139, 

J. H. Jackson 87, 

T. W. Maloney 79. 

J. H. Senter 85. 

Wm. A. Palmer 92, 
Horatio Seymour 2, 
Horatio Seymour 67, 
Charles Payne 25, 




W. R. Shafter 
W. R. Shafter 
O. C. Shafter 
L. Brainerd 
O. C. Shafter 

L. Brainerd 





James M. Slade 60, 
Scattering 2, 

Robert Harvey 55, 
B. H. Smalley 34, 
R. Harvey 28, 



B. L. Allen 








Town meetings were held in houses and bams until the first 
meeting house was built, in which, and its successors, they were 
held for many years. In the '30s the town met frequently at Samud 
Gibson's tavern, where Oscar Renfrew now lives, at the Center. 
There were several efforts to build a town-house, but they came to 



nothing. The present town-house was built in 1839, at a cost of 
about $800. The land on which it stands was given by Charles 
George, who also gave the timber for the frame. It was repaired