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My father at his death in 1893 left in manuscript a partially 
finished history of the Town of Canaan. It has been my inten- 
tion since that time to print it. I remember of my mother say- 
ing that my father had said the history would all have to be re- 
written before it was printed. I did not realize then, and not 
until within a few years, how true that was. Every year since 
1893 I have spent more or less time in getting the material into 
shape, exerj year realizing how little I knew and how incom- 
petant I was to perform the task. The mass of material, and the 
condition in which it was, seemed to me stupendous. Not in the 
slightest degree familiar with any of the past of the town, being 
absent from it from the time I was thirteen years old, with only 
periodical visits at home during vacation. During these times 
I took no interest in my father's work. For thirty years he had 
been accumulating the material. A good part of it was from 
personal observation but much of it was obtained from the 
reminiscences of old people, indefatigable search in old garrets 
for letters, books, deeds, diaries, scraps, anything that would 
lead to a clew on some forgotten incident. 

My father says of himself : " I grew up to strong youth on the 
shores of the beautiful pond that fronts our street. It was a 
pleasant resort for thoughtful people. Old and young used to 
linger about there, and many confidences were imparted, some 
of which I shall never reveal. I was vers' near, and was con- 
scious of much that was said and done in society, in politics, and 
in religion. Opinions were freely expressed before me, because, 
being merely a duplex tree, no one supposed my ears might 
ever give tongue to my voice. I made note of many things and 
treasured them up. Some of these events occurred so long ago 
that it is safe to write of them. They had an interest for those 
who took part in them as similar events have today, and formed 
epochs in men's lives." 

In my youth I spent days riding over the hills with him in 
search of anything about Canaan, \-isiting the old graveyards. 
He rarely trusted to his memory, which is fortunate in some 

iv Editor's Note. 

respects, for he had a very powerful remembrance of all events 
that occurred during his life, whether in Canaan or in other 
parts of the country. He was accustomed to jot down his notes 
on anything that was at hand, small scraps of paper, pieces that 
had already been used on one side, sometimes on both, cross writ- 
ing and interlining with some other notes, but never scratching 
out or rewriting. When once written it expressed his .thoughts 
unchangeably. This habit was acquired by reason of his pro- 
fession, — printer, reporter and editor. 

To arrange these small scraps and put them in their proper 
place has been at times like tracing out a labyrinth, for in my 
ignorance of men and things I knew not where they went. 
Neither did I know where they came from, and was tempted not 
to believe them, but in no instance have I found any item, how- 
ever small, to be incorrect. I often heard my father disputing 
with others about some old occurrence. He always afterwards 
ascertained whether he was right or wrong. 

When the old house burnt in 1898 many people asked me if my 
father's papers were destroyed. At that time I said they were 
not, and not until within a few years have I realized that some 
of them must have been burned, for there are gaps in some of 
the work that can not be accounted for in any other way. I take 
little credit to myself for this book. It is my father's work, 
with the exception of some chapters which I wrote and which the 
reader can readily tell. And these chapters contain some of his 
notes, but his death prevented him from carrying his search 

It will be observed that this book is a history of the early days, 
down to about 1860. It contains as just an account as could be 
gotten. From that date much is within the memory of those 
living. Some future historian can set himself that task. I have, 
however, where things of interest have happened since 1860, made 
some mention of them. The strenuous life of this town hap- 
pened before that date. Since the Rebellion the life of the 
people has run smoothly. History is not made in that way. 

After my father had been working some years upon this book 
there was an article in the warrant for town meeting to see if 
the town would financially assist in completing the histoiy of 

Editor's Note. v 

the town. It was voted down. He then made up his mind that 
the book should be printed without their assistance. The amount 
of time and labor he spent in collecting this material can only 
be imagined. That there should not be patriotism enough in 
the town to care for its history is, of course, deplorable. This 
lack of patriotism has often been commented upon by many who 
think more of this town than any other place on earth. It is not 
only so in this town but in many others. 

James B. Wallace. 
Canaan, N. H., January 1, 1910. 


All history should be the history of the people. It is what 
the people are doing in villages, communities and families, that 
lie at the foundation of national character, and sentiment, and 
consequently of national events. Those matters which possess 
a natural interest to a particular neighborhood, from associa- 
tion with the familiar names and places, are of interest to every 
one who seeks in the experience of the past for that wisdom that 
may be desired from a knowledge of what those who lived before 
us have done and suffered. 

These records present to us pictures of human life, its virtues 
and failings, such as we can best understand. The village dis- 
putes, religious quarrels, and political discussions of past times, 
are analagous to those to which the present generation is exposed. 
They afford examples of character and conduct of which we can 
see the beginning and the end, and maj^ draw therefrom most 
useful lessons. "We are living over the same lines with some 
variations, but subject to the same general laws of action, inas- 
much as we possess the same natures and are governed by the 
same passions and motives, which lead to similar results. 

The historic genealogy of a village may be made as useful a 
guide through the devious paths of life as the chart of the 
mariner to him who sails among the breakers of the great deep, 
pointing out the track that others have pursued, and showing 
where and how they have advanced in safety, and also wherein 
they have become the victims of passion, folly and heedlessness. 

By reference to various authorities it appears that so late as 
1760 there were no settlements in New Hampshire north of 
Charlestown, which was then called "No. Four;" nor were there 
more than three towns settled south of Charlestown in the Con- 
necticut valley within the present limits of New Hampshire. Hins- 
dale, or Fort Dummer, was settled in 1683, Westmoreland or 
"No. Two" in 1741, and Walpole in 1752. With the exception 
of Walpole, these towns were all settled by Massachusetts men, 
for until 1741, it was supposed the north line of Massachusetts 
would include these towns. At Hinsdale and Charlestown forts 

viii Preface, 

were built at an early period of their settlement and soldiers 
were stationed there for the double purpose of affording protec- 
tion to the inhabitants and arresting the progress of the Indians 
from Canada, while meditating incursions upon the frontier 
towns. And so little interest did New Hampshire feel in the 
settlement and development of this country that in 1745, when 
Grovernor Wentworth recommended to the Assembly to take and 
sustain their newly acquired "Fort Dummer, " which fell to 
them upon the establishment of the line between the two colonies, 
the lower house declined the acceptance of this place and also 
of ' ' No. Four. ' ' alleging that the fort was fifty miles distant from 
any towns settled by New Hampshire ; they did not own the ter- 
ritory, and that they were not equal to the expense of maintain- 
ing the places. 

It was not until 1752 that the Governor of New Hampshire was 
permitted to adopt any measures to secure to that colony this 
valuable country. He then made several grants of townships on 
both sides of the Connecticut River, and a plan was formed for 
taking possession of it, the great richness of which they had heard 
from hunters and returned Indian captives. There was a term 
of years, from 1752 to 1760, during which the governors of New 
Hampshire and Massachusetts were too busily occupied in prose- 
cuting the war with the French and Indians to allow them to 
give much attention to the extention of their settlement. But in 
the year 1760 the last act in the bloody struggle was accomplished 
in the capture of Montreal by the forces under General Amherst, 
and Canada Avas reduced to a British province. 

It is said during the war the seasons were fruitful, and the 
colonies were able not only to supply their own troops with pro- 
visions, but also the British fleets and armies with food and re- 
freshments of all kinds. But after the close of the war there 
followed two years, those of 1761-62, of great scarcity ; so great 
as to make it absolutely necessary to seek supplies from abroad. 
During the drouth of 1761 disastrous fires raged in the forests 
in various parts of the state. And in the succeeding years the 
emigrants who passed northward in search of new homes trav- 
ersed immense tracts of territory covered with the charred 

Preface. ix 

remains of forests, whose naked trunks and leafless branches 
were fast going to decay. 

It was in the year 1761 that His Excellency Benning Went- 
worth turned his attention to this wilderness, and with the assist- 
ance of his secretary, Theodore Atkinson, resolved to change its 
forests into fruitful fields and cover them with cheerful homes. 
In this vicinity the towns of Canaan, Dorchester, Enfield, Gran- 
tham, Groton, Hanover, Lebanon, Lyme, Orford. Plainfield and 
Rumney were incorporated by separate charters. 



The Charters of Canaan 
The First and Second Settlers 
Proprietors' Meetings, 1768-1785 
Proprietors' Meetings, 1786-1845 
Town Meetings, 1770-1785 
Town Meetings, 1786-1797 
Town Meetings, 1798-1818 
Town Meetings, 1819-1909 
The Pitch Book and Proprietors 


Public Rights .... 

The Common, Broad Street, The Meet 

iNG House .... 

Dame's Gore and State's Gore 

The Surplus Revenue and Literary 

The Baptist Church 
The Congregational Church 
The Methodist Church . 
Schools .... 
Noyes Academy 
Canaan Union Academy 
Lawyers .... 
Soldiers .... 
XXII. Doctors, College Graduates 
Roads .... 

Te>iperance in Canaan . 
How Some of Our Houses were Built 

Wheel Carriages, Tanneries, Pots and 
Pearl Ashes . 


Secret Organizations 

Old Families 



Appendix : Votes for Governor; Representatives; Select 
men; Moderators; Town Clerks; Town Appropria 
TioNS for Charges; Census of 1790; Inventory of 
1783; List of Voters, 1825; Enrollment List, 1864 





















































Chapter XXVII. 
Chapter XXVIII. 
Chapter XXIX. 











The Charters of Caxaax. 

The charters of Canaan are interesting documents, their tone 
and style are kingly, such as our Eepublican ears are unused to. 
The first and original charter signed and granted July 9. 1761. 
having lapsed by reason of the non-performance of its conditions 
by, the grantees, they made application to Gov. John Wentworth, 
who renewed the old charter by a second charter dated February 
23, 1769, and granted them a further term of four years to ful- 
fil the conditions of the first charter. 

The first charter commences with the royal declaration : 

Province of New Hampshire, 

George the Third, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and 
Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith &c. 

To all persons to whom these presents shall come Greeting Know ye, 
that wee of our special Grace, Certain knowledge and Meer motion, for 
the Due incouragement of settling a new Plantation within our said 
Province, by and with the advice of our trustj' and well beloved Pen- 
ning Wentworth Esq, our Governor and Commander in chief of our 
said Province of New Hampshire. Have upon the conditions and 
Reservations hereinafter made. Given and Granted and by these pres- 
ents for us our Heirs and Successors, do give and grant in equal Shares 
unto our Loving Subjects Inhabitants of our said Province of New 
Hampshire and our other Governments, and to their heirs and assigns 
forever whose names are entered on this Grant to be divided to and 
amongst them into sixty eight equal shares, all that tract or parcel of 
land, situate Lying & being within our sd Province of New Hampshire 
containing by Admeasurement Twenty three Thousand acres, which 
tract is to contain six miles square and no more out of which an allow- 
ance is to be made for highways and unimprovable lands by Rocks 
ponds mountains and Rivers one Thousand and Forty acres free accord- 
ing to a plan & survey thereof made by our said Governors order, and 
returned into the Secretary's office & hereto annexed, butted and 
bounded as follows; viz; Beginning at the South East Corner of Han- 
over from thence North fifty five Degrees East by Hanover Six miles 

2 History of Canaan. 

to the Corner thereof, from theuce South Sixty one degrees East six 
miles, from thence South forty one degrees West six miles from thence 
North fifty eight degrees West seven miles and one quarter of a mile 
to the bound first mentioned, and that the same be and hereby is In- 
corporated into a Township by the Name of Canaan, and the inhabi- 
tants that do or shall hereafter Inhabit the said Township are hereby 
declared to be enfranchised with and Intitled to all and every, the 
privileges and Immunities that other Towns within our Province by 
law exercise & enjoy and further that the said Town as soon as there 
shall be fifty families resident & Settled thereon shall have ye Liberty 
of hold Two fairs one of which shall be held on the . . . and the other 
on the . . . annually which fairs . . . 

And as soon as the sd Town shall consist of fifty families, a market 
may be opened and kept one or more days in each week as may be 
thought most advantageous to the Inhabitants. 

Also the first meeting for fhe choice of Town Officers, agreeable to 
the laws of our said Province shall be held on the third Tuesday in 
August next, which said meeting shall be notified by Thomas Gustin, 
who is also appointed the Moderator of the First Meeting, which he is 
to notify and Govern agreeable to the Laws and Customs of our said 
Province, and that the annual meeting forever hereafter, for the choice 
of such officers for the said Town shall be on the second Tuesday of 
March annually. 

To have and to hold the above tract of land as above expressed 
togather with all privileges and appurtenances to them and their re- 
spective heirs and assigns forever, upon the following conditions: 

1st viz: That every Grantee his heirs and assigns shall plant and 
cultivate, five acres of Land within the term of five years for every 
fifty acres contained in his or their share or portion of land in said 
Township, and continue to Improve and settle the same by additional 
cultivations on penalty of the forfeiture of his Grant or share in said 
Township and of its Reverting to us our heirs and successors to be by 
us or them Regranted to such of our subjects as shall effectually settle 
& cultivate the same. 

2nd. That all white and other Pine trees within the said Township 
fit for Masting our Royal Navy be carefully preserved for that use and 
none to be cut or felled without our special license for so doing first 
had and obtained upon the penalty of the forfeiture of the Right 
of such Grantee his heirs and assigns to us our heirs and successors 
as well as being subject to the penalty of any act or acts of parliament 
that now are or hereafter shall be enacted. 

3rd. That before any division of the land be made to and among 
the Grantees a tract of land as near the centre of the said Township as 
the land will admit of shall be reserved and marked out for Town Lots, 
one of which shall be allotted to each Grantee of the contents of one 

4 yielding and paying therefor to us our heirs and successors for 

The Charters op Canaan. 

the space of ten years to be computed from the date hereof the Rent of 
one Ear of Indian Corn only, on the Twenty fifty day of December an- 
nually, if lawfully demanded, the first payment to be made on the 
Twenty fifth day of December 1762 

5 Each Proprietor settler or Inhabitant shall yield and pay unto us 
our heirs and successors yearly and every year forever, from and after 
the expiration of ten years from " the above and twenty fifth day of 
December which shall be in the year of our Lord 1772, one shilling 
proclamation money for every Hundred acres he so owns settles or 
possesses and so in proportion for a greater or less tract of land, which 
money shall be paid by the respective persons above said their heirs or 
assigns in our Council Chamber in Portsmouth or to such officer or 
officers as shall be appointed to receive the same and this to be in 
lieu of all other Rents and services whatsoever. 

In testimony whereof we have caused the seal of our said Province 
to be hereunto affixed. 

Witness Penning Wentworth Esq our Governor and Commander in 
Chief of our said Province the Ninth day of July in the year of our 
Lord Christ one thousand seven hundred and sixty one and in the First 
year of our Reign 

By his Excellency's Command with advice of Council Theodore At- 
kinson Secty. 

Bexnixg Wentworth. 

Province of New Hampshire July 9th. 1761 

The names of the Grantees of Canaan 

Thomas Gustin 
Gibson Harris 
Ebenezer Harris 
Daniel Harris 
Joseph Babcock 
Amos Walworth 
Joseph Eames 
Ebenezer Eames 
Ebenezer Peck 
Allen Wightman 
Jared Spencer 
Ephm Wells Jur 
Thomas Wells 
Thomas Gustin Jur 
Jedidiah Lathrop 
Clement Daniels 
John Chamberlain 
Benj Chamberlain 
Abner Chamberlain 
David Chamberlain 
Richard Sparrow 

George Harris 

Caleb Whiting 

Willm Fox Jur 

Stephen Kellogg 

Thomas Gustin 

Richard Wibird Esq 

James Nevins Esq 

Capt. John Wentworth Somers- 

Thomas Westbrook Walden 
Daniel Fowle 
Israel Kellogg 
Aaron Cady 
Aaron Cady Jur 
Nathaniel Cady 
Asa Daniels 
John Tribble 
Samuel Dodge 
Samuel Meacham 
Isaiah Rathbun 
William Chamberlain 

History of Canaan. 

Willm Chamberlaiu Jur 
Thomas Gates 
George Lamplieer 
Thomas Minor 
Phinehas Sabine 
Joshua Rathbun 
Sylvester Randal 
Saml Dodge 3rd 
Ephm Wells 
Josiah Gates JiK 
Lewis Loveridge 

Rufus Randal 

James Jones 

Jonathan Beebe 3rd 

Jabez Jones 

George King Mercht 

Will™ King do 

Capt Willm Weutworth 

Thomas Parker 

Daniel Rogers 

John Newmarch Esq 

His Excellency Benuing Wentworth Esq, a tract to Contain five Hun- 
dred acres as marked on the plan B. W. which is to be accounted Two 
of the within shares. One whole share for the Incorporated Society for 
ye propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts 

One share for the first Settled Minister of the Gospel 

One share for the benefit of the School in said Town & one share for 
a Glebe for the Church of England as by law established. 

Province of New Hampshire July ye 9th 1761 

Recorded in the book of Charters 

Theodore Atkinson Secretary 

The Charters of Canaan. 5 

The above is copied from the Proprietors' Records and was 
supposed to have been copied from the original charter which 
was in the possession of the Proprietors' clerk at one time, but 
where it is now is not known. The following is from the State 
Papers and is the renewal of the original charter : 

Province of ) George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain, 
New Hamp. ( France Ireland King defender of the Faith &c. 

Whereas we of our special Grace & mere Motion for the due encour- 
agement of settling a new Plantation within Our Province of New 
Hampshire by our letters patent or Charter under the seal of our 
Said Province dated the 9th day of July 1761 in the first year of our 
reign a tract of land equal to six miles square bounded as therein ex- 
pressed & since surveyed admeasured marked & ascertained by our 
order to Isaac Riudge Esq our surveyor general of lands for said 
Province Granted to a number of our loyal subjects whose names are 
entered on the same to hold to them their heirs & assigns on the condi- 
tions thei-eiu declared & to be a Town corporate by the name of Canaan 
as by reference to the said chapter may more fully appear And 
whereas the said grantees have represented unto us that by reason of 
the great Inconveniences which occur in the Settlement of the new 
Townships so remotely situated from any other Townships or Settle- 
ments that can afford any assistance hath rendered it impracticable for 
the whole number of grantees to perform that Part of the Conditions 
that relates to the cultivation of such a Proportion of the said Grant 
That there are families now settled on the premises which affords them 
hopes of a final Settlement without delay and humbly supplicating us 
not to take advantage of the breach of said Condition but to lengthen 
out & grant them some further Time for the performance thereof. Now 
ICnow ye that we being willing to promote the end proposed have of our 
further Grace & Favor suspended our claim of the forfeiture which the 
said Grantees may have incurred and by these presents do grant unto 
the said Grantees their Heirs & Assigns the further Term of Four years 
from this date for performing and fulfilling the conditions matters 
& things by them to be done as aforesaid, except the Quit Rents which 
are to remain due & payable as expressed & reserved in the original 
Grant or Charter. 

J' Wentworth. 

Feb. 23. 1769. 

Attached to the charter are the names of sixty-two men as 
original grantees, and among them all it does not appear by any 
record that more than ten or twelve of them ever saw their 
''grants" — Amos Walworth, Ebenezer Eames, George Harris, 
Daniel Harris, Samuel Meacham, Thomas Gates, Thomas Miner, 

6 History of Canaan. 

James Jones, Samuel Dodge, Epliraim Wells, Jr., Josiah Gates, 
and possibly Thomas Gustin, whose name was discovered as a 
witness to a deed executed before William Ayer in Canaan. 
These men appear to have made explorations and to have per- 
formed various labors, and they left honorable names upon the 
records of the town. But there were other men than those named 
in the charter, to whom Canaan is indebted for opening up high- 
ways into the wilderness which developed all her hills and val- 
leys. But few authentic documents exist relating to the early 
settlement of this town. No diaries detailing the events of that 
early life have ever been discovered, showing the hardships en- 
dured or the dangers avoided by those men and women whose 
resting place among us at this day is perhaps an obscure mound 
of earth without a stone to indicate whose bones have there de- 
cayed. Nor are there any letters to friends detailing the fate 
or prospects of those who came here. But little information is 
to be gained from the public records. These record the ap- 
pointment of officers and of committees to perform certain duties, 
whose reports being "accepted," no more can be learned from 
them. They show that money was "raised" for building roads, 
laying out pitches, and for other purposes, but it does not ap- 
pear how this money was expended, no one being held account- 
able for it. 

Nor for sixteen years after the first settlement of the town, is 
there to be found in the town archives a list of the taxpayers. 
There is a partial list of the taxpayers for the year 1782 and a 
more complete list for the year 1786 in the handwriting of 
Ezekiel Wells, and which is a copy of the original record. The 
list for 1782 contains the names of forty-seven, three of whom 
were non-residents, that of 1786 contains seventy-eight names, 
three were non-residents. Not until 1793, more than twenty- 
six years after the settlement of the town, appears the first com- 
plete recorded list and it embraces 124 names. The old set- 
tlers are dead, their children are dead and their grandchildren, 
except here and there, one whose memory has become obscured 
by years, and whose recollections of the times of their fathers 
are little to be relied upon. With these difficulties in view at the 
starting point it will be seen that the task of the annalist be- 
comes almost one of imagination. Of course it is of little con- 

The Charters of Canaan. 7 

sequence whether the historj^ of Canaan be written or unwritten, 
like the man whose lineage ran back into obscurity, from whence 
little light is visable. 

Years before the events described occurred, this country A\'ith 
all its ponds and streams, had been explored by trappers and 
hunters whose success always equalled their industry. It was 
related to me by Ensign Colby, that an ancestor of his from 
Haverhill, J\Iass., with a partner named Tribble, was one of the 
earliest explorers here, and that the reports these men made 
upon the natural products of the soil, influenced many persons 
in Haverhill, Amesbury, Plaisted, etc., to seek new homes here. 
On one occasion Colby and Tribble arrived on the shores of Hart 
Pond late in the afternoon, weary and discouraged by their 
toilsome journey through the forest. Dense woods lined all the 
banks, no trace of human life visible anywhere. They struck 
a fire and ate their scanty meal. Tribble v/eary and in ill humor, 
told Colby it was useless to trap in such a place. He didn't be- 
lieve there was any game in this region. For himself, he was 
going to sleep, if Colby choose to set the traps, he was welcome 
to all the skins he could catch. The traps were set, and in the 
morning the trapper was rewarded by finding each one sprung, 
and holding fast a beaver, otter or a mink. Tribble apologized 
for his ill nature and unbelief of the night before, saying: 
"Hereafter the meaner the country looked the greater would be 
his expectations of game." It is fair to state, that Colby in the 
division of the furs, took no advantage of his partner's unbelief 
of the night before. They continued to trap some three weeks, 
with various success, about the pond and on Mascoma River, near 
the present village, always camping on the shores of the pond 
at night. One day, the sun about an hour high, they heard or 
supposed they heard, the report of a gun fired in the direction 
of their traps on the river, believing it to be a signal gun of the 
Indians and that they had discovered their traps. Without 
stopping to ascertain the truth, they took counsel of their fears, 
seized their skins and guns and hastily and fearfully took the 
trail that led to the settlements. They continued their flight 
through a wild forest for forty miles, to a place now called 
Boscawen. Here they sat down on the brow of a hill for rest 
and refreshment. Upon reflection they concluded they had 

8 History of Canaan, 

fooled themselves out of their property, so they took the same 
trail back, to reclaim their traps, and were not surprised to find 
them all safe, many of them being sprung. Nor were there any 
indications of Indians to be seen. 

The Indians, one hundred and more j^ears ago were suffici- 
ently numerous and hostile to cause the settlers to be extremely 
watchful. Evidence exists of two Indian camps in this town. 
One of these was situated upon the shores of Hart Pond, upon 
land now owned by Mr. George E. Cobb. Another has been 
located near the outlet of Goose Pond. Various rude imple- 
ments, such as axes made of stone, jugs, etc., have been un- 
earthed at these points, which confirms the belief in their former 
existence. The tribe is not known nor their language. They 
have disappeared like the trees, and few in our generation will 
care to inquire whence they came or whither they went. They 
probably belonged to the great family of Abnakis who inhabited 
this part of New Hampshire and northern Maine. But as our 
settlers had little to do with Indians, neither have we. 

Wild game was in abundance, and the rivers were full of fish. 
Venison was plenty in the humble houses of the settlers. Bears 
and wolves were troublesome ; besides serving to frighten crying 
children into silence, they often made sad havoc among the 
flocks. Moose, deer, rabbits, foxes, partridges, with beaver, otter, 
martin, mink, etc., abounded, and in their way each served to 
settle and open up this town to the institutions of ci\dlization. 


The First and Second Settlers. 

The story of the first settlement of Canaan is legendary and 
has been brought down to us by generations. There are no docu- 
ments to offer as proofs of its truth, and if any ever existed, 
they have been carefully gathered up and sold for paper rags. 
But the legend runs, that in the wintry December of 1766, the 
old man Scofield, who had been knocking about the country in 
search of a home while wandering in the neighborhood of Leb- 
anon, from passing trappers and woodmen, heard of the rich 
intervals, the huge trees, and game in abundance, to be had in 
the wilderness, where as yet, no man had settled for a longer 
time than was needed to take up his traps. He started for the 
new region on snowshoes, hauling his effects on a handsled, fol- 
lowed by his wife and four children, two young sons and two 
daughters and settled here, the first white man, among the great 
pines and maples, the black bear and wolf his only neighbors. 
The old man must have possessed a stout heart and infinite faith 
in himself, for I take it, no man even in these devout days would 
go forth into the wilderness upon snowshoes and a handsled with 
simply a trust in God. Such a trust might do in the summer 
time, when the earth is generous in fruits and flowers, and a bed 
of grass or leaves is easy for the bones of the weary ; but when 
the frost cloud descends and settles upon the earth, and feathers 
of young frosting give a nap to all things, a stern reliance upon 
self is a safer trust. Faith in God may do for a man in the 
agonies of inexorable death when he knows it is unsafe to post- 
pone faith any longer, but it will never prevent his freezing with 
the mercury at zero and below. And so thought old John Sco- 
field, for he brought his axe and shovel, removed the snow, 
felled trees, built him a great fire and a brush house and left a 
name in the local ananls that will live forever. 

It is related that the next morning after his arrival, the old 
man left his family, and set out for Lebanon for such of his 
goods as he had been unable to bring the day previous, intending 

10 History of Canaan. 

to return the same evening. But a heavy rain occurred which 
swelled the ]Mascoma so as to make it impassable. He arrived on 
the banks of the river after dark, but was unable to cross it, re- 
maining there all night. And this was in the month of December, 
1766. The experiences of that lonely traveler as he struggled 
to shelter his family from the inclemency of those December 
days, partake very little of romance, but they were common to 
the people of those days. 

John Scofield was an Englishman, born in 1715. He had been 
a resident of Norwich. Conn. He was not a very social man, 
liked to have his neighbors so far away that when he Adsited 
them they would be glad to see him; would "welcome the com- 
ing, speed the parting guest. ' ' Early in the spring of 1766, find- 
ing himself embarrassed with near neighbors, he traveled up the 
river leisurely looking for a place to set up his family altar. 
After many hardships he reached Canaan in the manner before 
stated. Here he found land and space enough to satisfy his 
most lonely desires. He erected his first brush house in the 
valley, about twenty-five rods north from the schoolhouse in the 
old District No. 10, and afterwards built one of logs in the 
same place. The rocky remains of the old cellar are still to be 
seen there, overgrown with briars and bushes. There was also 
an oven built oval of stone, which was standing within forty 
years. It was taken down many years ago by Nathaniel Wilson 
and the stones laid into a w^all in the vicinity. It was from this 
place he heard the report of Thomas ^Miner's gun on the eventful 
morning in the following spring, and which was a signal to him 
that he was no longer to live alone. Some time after this event, 
and before the lands were pitched upon by the slowly arriving 
grantees, he built a house nearer to the river, where he spent 
the remainder of his life. The field where his remains now lie 
was his own property, deeded to him by the proprietors. He 
cleaned it and dedicated a portion of it for a burial place. 
Several young persons were buried here before his own death. 
Mrs. Sarah Scofield. his widow, who died in 1794. is supposed 
to have been the last person buried there. 

It does not appear that John Scofield 's intention to set apart 
this spot as a burying place was ever completed. It was never 
enclosed, nor was there ever any record made of the fact. And 

The First and Second Settlers. 11 

when the farm was sold to Capt. Daniel Pattee in 1799, no reser- 
vation was made in the deed in reference to these graves, al- 
though it was well known that they were there. The practice 
of using it was doubtless abandoned from the inconvenience of 
getting to. it. And the present graveyard on the sand knoll at 
West Canaan was substituted for it. The circumstances attend- 
ing the laying out of the burying ground on the Street were 
similiar in their nature. The land was given to the people for 
a bur;snng place by the then owner, Nathan ]\Iesser, but when 
afterwards he sold it to ]Mr. John Fales, he neglected to reserve 
the graveyard in the deed. Then ]\Ir. Fales laid claim to the 
enclosure and threatened to plow it up, and plant potatoes upon 
the graves, if it were not paid for. The town paid him thirty- 
seven and one-half dollars, and in the deed a reservation was 
made of two rods square as a burial place for the Fales family. 
There was a stone wall around the original lot which was re- 
moved on the east side by Franklin P. Swett in the '60 's and a 
picket fence built in its place. The town has bought four addi- 
tions. A small strip was added by G. H. Goodhue and the 
tomb of William D. Currier was accepted by the town. 

Mr. Scofield brought with him to Canaan a wife and four chil- 
dren: Delight, who afterwards married Gideon Rudd; Eleazer, 
aged twelve years ; John, Jr., aged ten ; and IMiriam, aged eight 
years. The latter afterwards married ^laj. Samuel Jones, who 
came in early from Connecticut. The old man was strong- 
minded and self-reliant ; he had early nerved himself to make 
his own path in the world, and here we find him on that De- 
cember night, the only man in Canaan, with his axe and rifle, 
making a brush house to shelter his little family and keep them 
from suffering. He was fifty-one years old at that time and had 
been accustomed to the comforts of social life, but he left all 
these to build himself a home in these mid woods. That his 
labors and virtues were appreciated, is evident from the fact that 
when the proprietors awarded sixty dollars to those pioneers 
who had contributed most to effect the settlement of the to^vn, 
Mr. Scofield was the first of the four among whom it was di- 
vided, his proportion being rated at twenty-six dollars. The 
early settlers of Canaan were men of brave patience. Words fail 
in describing the reality to the occupants of comfortable homes 

12 History of Canaan. 

at this day. They were rich only in stout hands and strong faith, 
and they conquered the wdlderness of swamp and forest because 
they wanted a home. The earth which bore such trees would 
yield rich crops of grain and fruit. They set themselves down 
in the wild wood, it made little difference where, and attacked 
the trees. There was another man into whose life a good deal 
of romance was crowded, and as his appearance here was almost 
co-equal with Mr. Scofield, their relations to each other render it 
proper that we should refer to him now. 

Thomas Miner, named a grantee in the charter, was the sec- 
ond man who came to this town. He resided at Norwich, Conn., 
and at the date of the charter was eighteen years of age. Not- 
withstanding his youthful years, his name appears as one of the 
grantees. He was a restless man, full of energy and activity all 
his life, a poor writer and not much of a scholar and not al- 
ways mindful of the courtesies of life. This temperament led 
him at an early age to seek excitement in the varied career of a 
sailor. This life ever full of danger and hardship, at length it 
became dull and monotonous to him and he sought change in in- 
land adventure. His ventures at sea had been fortunate, he had 
laid by a sum sufficiently large to secure him independence of 
labor. He married Eleanor Lamb in Norwich, 1765, at the age 
of 22, and his first child, named Allen, was born in September of 
the following year, 1766. He was at this time out of business, 
somewhat disgusted with the restraints of the Blue Laws that 
governed the civilization of Connecticut, and waiting for some 
exciting event to shape his course in the world. While in this 
frame of mind, it occurred to him that he was joint proprietor 
of a wild uninhabited tract of land in New Hampshire, which 
he had never seen. He w^as one of the sixty-one proprietors 
named in the charter. He could learn but few particulars con- 
cerning this land. Emigrants to the Upper Cohos had passed 
through it by the foot trail, but could give no description of it, 
except that it was covered with goodly trees, plenty of stone for 
fencing purposes; the waters abounded in fish, and the woods 
with game, — some of it dangerous. He resolved to explore that 
wild land, even if he had to go alone. This scheme just suited 
his present state of mind. He had explored the ocean whose 
waste of waters left no trace behind. Now he would explore the 

The First axd Second Settlers. 13 

land and leave trace of himself that should make him famous in 
local story. 

Many of the grantees were residents of Norwich, Colchester 
and the adjoining towns, the Harrises, George, .Gibson, and 
Daniel; Dr. Ebenezer Eames, James Jones, Amos Walworth, 
Josiah Gates, Jedediah Lathrop, Samuel Meaeham. Then there 
were Joshua and Ezekiel Wells, John and Samuel Jones, and 
others Avho Avere proposing to migrate. ^Ir. Miner made known 
to many of these men his intentions, but at first got little en- 
couragement. Meeting Mr. Harris one day, he said to him: 
' ' Mr. Harris, I 've got tired of this humdrum sort of life in a vil- 
lage, where everybody has to be so proper and religion is a pre- 
tense for a great deal of meanness. And I don't want to stay 
any longer in a place where I'm not allowed to kiss my wife on 
Sunday. I'm going to get out er this, and try the bears and 
wolves for neighbors, and live on fish and venison. Come along, 
and let 's look after our six miles square. ' ' 

To this Mr. Harris replied: "No hurry about it, ]Mr. Miner, 
it's a long way, and a hard way, on foot or horseback, it's slow 
traveling, but few places to stop at. You are young and active, 
with a young wife and child. You don't want to leave them be- 
hind. We'll get ready this fall and winter, and in the spring 
we can go in company; and others will go along too. In that 
way we shall be able to defend and support one another, and on 
that long road there will be need enough of it." 

"Well," says Miner, "I did think of starting out alone, be- 
cause you see, I 've been used to doing that. I thought I 'd leave 
my wife here and run up there and spend the winter looking 
round. Now I'm a poor writer and a worse scholar, and the 
bad of it is, that I should have to write to my folks. You're a 
scholar and understand all about these land voyages. Your ad- 
vice is good. We'll spend the winter in getting ready and start 
out early in the spring, and build us a home up there where 
'tain't unlawful for a man to say 'damn it,' if he's strongly 

It was intended to start out a company of several families, 
and take along such conveniences as could be transported. But 
when spring came they were not ready. Some of them hesitated 
— that the journey was too long — they wanted to learn some- 

14 History of Caxaax. 

thing more of the country, and they would wait longer. Mr. 
Miner's temperament was not of the waiting kind. AVhen the 
spring came and he found the company still undecided, he took 
his wife and child and such implements and conveniences as he 
could pack upon a horse and with a compass in his pocket, to 
guide him when he became uncertain of his way, he started out 
for his territory driving a cow. His journey through Connecticut 
and Massachusetts was comparatively easy. There were many 
settlements and roads had been laid out. After getting into the 
Connecticut valley the woods seemed to close in upon them in 
long stretches, the clearings were few and very small and the 
roads dwindled down to a single trail, at times only discernible 
by the blazed trees which marked the way. 

In all western New Hampshire but four towns had been in- 
corporated. In eacli of these towns a block house or fort had been 
erected and they had attained prominence from the fact that 
being on the frontier they were often exposed to attack by the 
Indians from Canada. At these places he stopped for rest, and 
to hold intercourse with the people. His journey was a quiet 
one, unmarked by any disturbing incident. . He and his young 
wife enjoyed the constantly varying scenery^ which roused within 
him new impulses, and thoughts to which his life had heretofore 
been a stranger. In some of the reflective moods which fell upon 
him he would, say : ' ' Wife, I 've loved the sea and was never 
afraid when the strong winds lashed it into fury, but it was a 
desert "oithout a flower or tree and all that fell into it was 
swallowed up and disappeared forever. But this new road we 
are traveling is dotted all along with fragrant flowers, and the 
great trees, always stretching their long arms out before us, are 
calling us to a new destiny. We are started upon the long road. 
We are young, and life which a few months ago, seemed like an 
old wornout coat, now rises up all before us. Whatever may be 
our fate, we will have confidence in one another, and trust in 
God." And so they passed leisurely along on their way, past all 
the settlements, until they approached their land of promise and 
stopped to rest upon the rising land afterwards called "South 
Road, ' ' that gave them a bird 's-eye view of much of the northern 
part of the town. Here they rested and decided to pitch their 
camp. Not a house in sight, not a smoke, not a clearing ; no sign 
of civilization. 

The First and Second Settlers. 15 

This young man of twenty-three years, wlio thought he had 
already enjoyed and exhausted the pleasures of the sea, and had 
found the charms of social life unsatisfactory, stood thereon that 
evening, the past all behind liim, facing the new present, and 
looking through the great trees at a future crowned with fruit- 
ful fields and houses filled with comely faces. He stood there 
like a prophet and "viewed the landscape o'er." There was 
fearless resolution in his heart, and he turned to his wife who 
was near by caressing the boy, and said : * ' Wife, this is a goodly 
place. I think we'll build us a home here. This seems to be a 
great point in our lives. You know I'm not much of a hand 
a-praying, but we'll begin now, and thank God that we are here, 
and pray that he will give us strength and grace to accomplish 
the labors that are before us, and length of days that we may see 
the generations that are to subdue and utilize these forests and 
streams." And it was right here and on this occasion that all 
the romance departed out of his young life. The sun was setting 
in crimson and gold. His wife and boy were resting upon the 
ground, the horse and cow weary with their long journey, were 
turned loose to graze. The scene w^as not a rural one ; it en- 
gendered a feeling of insecurity which called for immediate ac- 
tion. The past glimmered for an instant before his mind, \vith. 
all its religious and social opportunities, but it was only a gleam 
that flitted rapidly away and left him standing there on the 
brow of that hill, filled at once with the resolves of ripe man- 
hood. Henceforth there was to be only work, not a mere struggle 
for existence, but earnest active labor that the years to come 
would be proud of. 

His reveries were disturbed by his wife, w^ho said: "Well, 
Thomas, the sun is getting low. Where shall we make a bed? 
The little boy is tired; he must have his supper and go to rest." 
Thomas seized his axe, and in a short time had cleared away 
the brush and arranged the branches of the trees, so as to form 
a shelter from inclement weather. Then with flint and steel, he 
struck a fire and while his wife mixed the coarse bread and 
baked it before the fire, he milked the cow, and they sat down 
at their first frugal meal, not far from the spot where he after- 
wards erected his dwelling. 

On awakening, the next morning, it is related that his horse 

16 History of CANA.ysr. 

was not to be found. After making hasty preparations, Mr. 
Miner seized his hat and coat and started out in pursuit, follow- 
ing the trail by which he came back as far as Charlestown, or 
No. 4. where he found his horse secured in the stable of a man 
who three days before spoke \Ndth the travelers as they passed 
along, and who, supposing the horse had strayed from his owner, 
secured him in his stable. Mr. ]Miner hastily retraced his steps 
to his camp, where he found his wife safe, but in much anxiety of 
mind lest he might be waylaid by evil-minded persons. After 
relating their mutual experiences while separated, she said to 
him : ' ' Thomas, I think we are not alone here. While you were 
^way I heard sounds resembling the chopping of an axe, followed 
by other sounds as if large trees had fallen and one time I 
thought I recognized the report of a gun, and these sounds all 
came from the direction of the valley yonder. Shan't we be 
:glad to have a neighbor ? ' ' 

' ' Indeed you surprise me, wife ; I thought I was the first and 
last man here. But we'll rest tonight, and in the morning I'll 
beat about in the valley cautiously, and see what discoveries I 
can make ; can 't be that ^Mr. Harris, or any of the others down 
home have stolen a march on us ! We '11 soon see. ' ' 

On waking the next morning his ears were greeted with 
sounds as of an axe in the valley below. The idea of an axe im- 
plied a white man, of course. So he discharged his rifle and 
waited the effect. This was soon answered by the report of an- 
other gun. He felt sure then that he had a neighbor, and in due 
time he found himself in the presence of our first settler and 
oldest inhabitant, John Scofield. 

When he had made himself known the two men greeted each 
other Avith friendly salutations. Mr. Miner exclaimed: "It's 
good to see you here, my friend ! Thought I was ' monarch of all 
I surveyed. ' but I 'm willing to divide with ye ! " " How is it. ' ' 
said Mr. Scofield. "about those other men that are down in the 
charter, if they ever come in they'll about fill up the town; and 
if I'm going to be crowded here, I'll go off to Canada, where 
I 've had my eye for a long time ? ' ' 

"No need of that," replied ]\Iiner, "I've thought it all over 
as we came along, you just stay where you are and you'll get 
these lands about as cheap as you want them. ' ' 

The First and Second Settlers. 17 

"I've been jammed in crowds all my life," says Scofield, "and 
I'm up here to get away from them, can't bear to be crowded, 
never could ; came away from Connecticut because there was too 
many people and too much law. ' ' 

' ' Just you hold and listen a minute, ' ' says Miner. ' ' I 've seen 
a good many of these proprietors down there in Norwich and 
Colchester and there's soft spots in more than half of them. 
They will never come up here because they are afraid of the 
journey, and if we can make them believe there's to be assess- 
ments on their rights, they'll be glad to sell out cheap and you 
and I can have the benefit of their indolent fears. ' ' 

"It looks very probable, perhaps you're right. But how are 
je for venison at your camp 1 ' ' 

' * None at all, seen nothing to shoot at, ' ' says Miner. 

"Well, you'd better come in and take some along with ye. 
We killed a bear that was snuffin' round the pig pen, two days 
since and the boys brought in a deer, so we are well supplied; 
and mind you bring the dame soon to see the old woman; its 
natural they should want to talk with one another. ' ' 

"So I will," says Miner, "this venison is much like the land, 
it don't cost much after you get it." 

It was not long before the women came together with very 
eheerful greetings. Mrs. Scofield was a middle-aged, motherly 
woman, who had followed her husband in all his wanderings for 
a home. They had a cabin which afforded them a shelter for 
themselves and their children. She was hopeful all her life; and, 
humble as it was, cheerfulness reigned in her home. Thus it was 
that at their first meeting, the old and the young couple being 
mutually pleased, formed a lasting friendship which continued 
during their lives and afterwards, in another generation be- 
came stronger by family ties. 

Mr. Scofield, on learning that the proprietors of these lands 
were preparing to occupy them, naturally felt anxious as to his 
position here. He had after much wandering got his family in 
a position to secure a comfortable home. He had cleared a smaU 
patch of ground and was preparing to put in seed. Mr. ]\Iiner 
had assured him that there was land enough in Canaan for all 
the people who were coming, without any one of them being 
crowded, "and further." said he, "and to remove all your 


18 History of Canaan. 

anxieties, I pledge my word to you that sliould any dispute arise, 
as to your occupancy here, I'll di\ide my share with you, for I 
am an equal owner and have a right to do what I will with my 
own. Then we will take advantage of circumstances and when we 
find a disgusted proprietor, we'll step in and buy him out before 
he has time to change his mind. ' ' 

They resolved to be neighbors. Mr. ]\Iiner would plant his 
stakes at a convenient distance from Mr. Scofield, who should 
retain the land whereon he had made improvements and what- 
ever lands they occupied, their rights should be recognized by 
the grantees. Ha"\dng made this friendly covenant, they each 
set themselves diligently to work, and in due time they had 
green fields 

"Where the rain might rain upon them; 
"Wliere the sun might shine upon them ; 
Wliere the "winds might sigh upon them ; 
And w^here the snows might die upon them. ' ' 

And now, having brought these two men together, who were 
so long apart, we aa^II leave them while we go back and look after 
some other men. who. though willing. Avere not strong enough to 
come alone, but who. in the following years left records of hon- 
orable lives and actions. 

Other Early Settlers. 

Of the sixty-one grantees named in the charter, fifty-one were 
residents of Norwich, Colchester, and the surrounding towns in 
that vicinity in Connecticut. The other eleven were the friends 
of the Governor, and their names were written in the charter 
by court favoritism, a system that has always been understood 
in courts and cabinets, and by which men of genius get lands, 
or profits without work. 

After the departure of young Miner, in quest of his unknown 
lands, the subject of emigration often came to the surface in 
conversation between the proprietors, but several months passed 
away before they arrived at a conclusion. And then instead 
of coming as settlers, a few started out as explorers, who were 
to visit the lands and report upon its beauty and loveliness, its 

The First and Second Settlers. 19 

fertility and the uses to which industrious men might put it. 
The party consisted of George and Daniel Harris, brothers, 
Amos Walworth, Samuel Benedict, Samuel Jones, Lewis Joslyn, 
Asa Williams, Joseph Craw and Daniel Grossman, some of these 
gentlemen brought along their families. The expedition was 
delayed until summer and they reached Ganaan by the same 
route as that traveled by ]\Ir. Miner. It is supposed they were 
heartily welcomed by the tw^o first families, who were anxiously 
awaiting for news from home. ]\Ir. George Harris, who from 
his energy and superior intelligence, was recognized as a leader 
among them, soon after their arrival organized parties for ex- 
ploration, and in a few days they had examined the southern, 
western and northern portions of the iovm. The following inci- 
dent relating to one of their parties is handed down as a legend : 
George Harris and his party, in 1767, came upon a sheet of 
water near Hanover, whose surface seemed to be alive with wild 
geese and ducks. They killed a goose — an old one — and cooked 
it, all day, and then it was tough. It never got to be a tender 
goose, and to commemorate this circumstance they named that 
water "Goose Pond." 

Another of these parties, in traversing the northern part of 
the town, came upon the camp of James Clark, who, with his 
family, had just come in from the Piscataqua settlements, and 
had pitched upon the hill, which he afterwards sold to Joseph 
Bartlett. This man Clark lived here until 1772, when Governor 
Wentworth built his road to Hanover. It was laid out north 
of Clark's house. The governor offered to take Clark into his 
service, which he accepted and followed on in the train to 

These exploring parties returned to Mr. Miner's camp at the 
time appointed, expressing themselves well pleased with the 
lands they had examined, particularly with the numerous ponds 
and streams which indicated abundance of water. In their 
travels, each one had selected a spot upon which to pitch his 
home. George Harris, Amos Walworth, Samuel Jones, Joseph 
Craw and Daniel Grossman selected lands upon what is now 
"South Road," so as to form a neighborhood. Grossman, Craw 
and Benedict, who had brought their families along, went into 

20 History of Canaajst. 

the business of brush housekeeping, like Miner and Scofield. 
While Samuel Jones, who was unmarried and had been a major 
of militia, for the time being, attached himself to the family of 
Mr. Scofield, from which he afterwards took a wife, and began 
improvements on his own pitch, which was not far away. Mr. 
Harris and Walworth returned to Colchester to convey the result 
of their observations to the waiting ones who came eagerly to 
hear the reports from New Hampshire. 

But they were not ready to start, and did not come yet for 
more than a year, except Mr. Harris, who, with his wife and 
family, and accompanied by Samuel Dodge and Capt. Josiah 
Gates, returned to his new home the same season, and busied 
himself in assigning lands, laying out roads and other matters 
in the interests of the grantees. Before winter set in, each of 
these families had built log houses, and were prepared with their 
slender means to meet the rigors of the season. Joseph Craw's 
child died during the winter of 1768, the first death in the town- 
ship. There was much to discourage these new settlers. No 
roads to pass from house to house. No corn mills nor saw- 
mills, no crops of grain to be gathered. The way of their 
coming was not favorable for the transportation of grain or food. 
Their slender stock slowly diminished, until the colonists began 
to feel alarm lest they might come to want and their families 
suffer. Here was a great trial approaching and it needed brave 
men to meet it. And under it some of those strong men grew 
faint and wished they had not come. Some, it is said, even 
turned back and sought their old homes in Connecticut. There 
was no mill nearer than Lebanon, nor roads leading to it, nor 
bridges upon which to cross the streams. Only a foot trail led 
through the forest, obstructed by swamps and fallen trees, and 
rafts of logs served for bridges. 

For several years it occurred that a man must walk to Leba- 
non, where a mill had been built, work a day to earn a bushel of 
"bread corn" and have it ground, then pack it upon his back 
to his home in the forest, by that blind trail through the forest. 
We can imagine how carefully that bushel of bread corn was 
husbanded and dealt out to the laborers. The times afforded no 
room for tramps, nor vagabonds, nor idlers, or other non-workers 

The First and Second Settlers. 21 

to lounge about and eat up the hard-earned bread of honest 

"Here eyes do regard them, 
In eternity's stillness, 
Here is all fullness, 
Ye brave, to reward you, 
Work and despair not. ' ' 

It happened, a few years after the settlers came in, there was 
a failure of crops. There was but one man in town who had 
corn in his crib, our old friend, Maj. Samuel Jones, who was a 
man of wealth and influence, living on South Road, west of 
Beaver Brook. He was a kind man, considerate to his poor 
neighbors, to many of whom he gave employment. It is related 
that Col. Ezekiel Wells, also a man of wealth and influence, went 
to the major to purchase corn, confident that his social position 
was such as to bar a refusal, and thus he would save the trouble 
of going to Lebanon. But the major was inexorable. He 
replied : ' ' Colonel, you have a good horse and plenty of money, 
and can get your corn with but little personal inconvenience. I 
want a good deal of work done, and these neighbors of mine 
have nothing else to pay for my corn. It wouldn 't be right for 
me to sell you my com and send these men all the way over to 
Lebanon on foot. No, Colonel, can't do it, we must help one 
another." Colonel Wells was an irascible and profane man, but 
the major was not moved thereby. Returning home, the colonel 
stopped a moment at a place where young Thomas Baldwin was 
hewing timber and made this remark: "By God, I wish I was a 
devil." Thomas stopped his work, and looking at the colonel 
quietl}^ replied: "Put your foot upon this log and I'll make a 
devil of you at one blow of the axe." 


Proprietors' Meetings, 1768-1785. 

During the winter and spring- of 1768, there was but little 
variation in the labors of the settlers. Some progress had been, 
made in laying out roads, and several acres of trees had been 
felled and the land burned over preparatory to putting in 

Until this season, it does not appear that any organization of 
grantees had ever been made. It was necessary that some per- 
sons should be authorized to transact the business of the grantees, 
in order that the settlers might feel secure in their titles. Ac- 
cordingly a meeting of the Proprietors was warned and was 
held, probably at the house of John Scofield, although the record 
does not say, on the nineteenth day of July, 1768. This is the 
first meeting of the people of Canaan. They met as proprietors 
of the Township of Canaan, owners of the land and not as citi- 
zens in a municipal capacity. The doings of the proprietors as 
recorded in the Proprietors' Book of Records, was concerned 
mostly with the laying out and dividing of the land, the ap- 
pointment of officers for the purpose of allotting the land, called 
the "Lot Laying Committee," the appointment of assessors for 
the purpose of assessing the taxes to pay the expenses of the 
proprietary in surveying the lots, surveying and building roads 
and bridges, the appointment of a collector to collect the taxes, 
a treasurer to hold the money, and a proprietors' clerk to keep 
the records. Committees were appointed at different times for 
different purposes, mostly to see that the proprietors ' money was 
laid out in a proper manner towards the object for which it was 

Not till two years later was a town meeting held, and during 
these two years the town affairs were conducted by the pro- 
prietors. The town officers were also officers of the proprietary, 
sometimes holding the sanie positions in each body. There were 
really more offices to be filled than men to fill them and some 

Proprietors' ^Ieetings, 1768-1785. 23 

held two positions. Up to 1787, the proprietors assessed taxes 
on the lands for the purpose of building and mending roads and 
bridges, after- that time the care of roads and bridges was 
assumed by the town and appropriations were made by the town 
alone. From 1770 to 1787, appropriations were made by both 
to\\Ti and proprietors for that purpose. 

The first meeting of the proprietors is as follows : 

Province of New Hampshire: Canaan July 19th. 1768. A Meeting 
Legally warned of the Proprietors of the Township of Canaan in said 
Province, the following votes were passed (viz.) : 

1st. Chose Mr. George Harris Moderator. 

2nd. Made choice of Mr. Joseph Craw Proprietors Clerk. 

3rd. Made Choice of Mr. George Harris first Committee Man. 

4th. Chose Captain Josiah Gates 2nd. Committee Man. 

5th. Chose Samuel Benedict 3rd. Committee Man. 

6th. Chose John Burdick 4th. Committee Man. 

7th. Chose Mr. Joseph Craw 5th. Committee Man. 

8th. Chose Mr. Samuel Benedict Asseser. 

9th. Chose Mr. John Burdick 2nd. Asseser. 

10. Chose Mr. Joseph Craw 3rd. Asseser. 

11. Chose Mr. Samuel Dodge Collector. 

12. Chose Mr. John Scofield Treasurer. 

13. Voted to raise a tax of three dollars upon each Proprietors Right 
to defray the Charges of Making & Mending Rodes in the Township of 

14. Voted that the above mentioned tax of three dollars on each 
Prors Right for making and Mending Rodes be worked out under the 
care and direction of the Proprietors Committee and to be done by the 
middle of November next & ye sd Committee alow 4/ [shillings] pe 
day for sd labor. 

15. Voted to raise one dollar upon each Proprietors Right which the 
Proprietors will give with one hundred acres of upland to be layed out 
in the undivided land with a stream where it shall be judged best & 
most convenient to build Mills on to any person who will appear and 
build a good Corn Mil & Saw Mill within twelve months from this time. 
So as to have said Mill well done and going for the benefit of the Town. 

16. Voted that the Proprietors Committee are hereby directed to 
lay out to those Proprietors as are already settled in said Township of 
Canaan Ten acres of Meadow and allso one huudred acres of Upland 
where they have already made their Pitch, to be allowed towards their 
Right or share in Said Township, and also the said Committee are fur- 
ther directed to lay out ten acres of Meadow and one hundred acres 
of upland as above said as shall appear to make speedy settlement in 
said Town & furthermore the Proprietors Clerk is hereby directed to 
put the returns sd ten acres & hundred acres lots upon Record as they 

24 History op Canaan. 

shall be layed out and returned by the Committee to each proprietor 
as aforesaid. 

17. Voted that the owners of more than one sixteenth Part of the 
Rights or Shares in the Township of Canaan shall make request to the 
Proprietors Clerk, setting forth the reasons for calling said meeting 
and also the articles to be acted upon and of the time and place of 
holding said meeting. That the Clerk warn a meeting by duly posting 
a notification Agi'eeable to said request (10) days at least before the 
time of holding at the house of Mr. John Scofield in said Canaan. 
Shall be a suflBcient warning for the future. 

18. Voted to raise six shillings on each Proprietors Right Labour 
or Provitions to be given to the first settlers in said Canaan as was 
proposed to be given them Encouragement, to be proportioned amongst 
them as (viz.) : 

to Mr. John Scofield of Vallew of 26 dollars 

to Mr Asa Williams 18 dollars 

to Mr Samuel Jones of Vallew of 8 dollars 

to Mr. Daniel Crossman of Vallew of 8 dollars 

Test George Harris Moderator, 
Joseph Craw Pro C 

Soon after this meetino: the proprietors realized that their 
charter had lapsed for non-performance of its conditions, and 
without its renewal in their favor they were liable to be deprived 
of the results of all their labors ; that the township might be 
granted to others. Accordingly they prepared a memorial and 
presented it to the governor, followed on December 3, 1768, by 
a petition of George Harris in behalf of himself and the other 
grantees, praying for a new grant of the township : 

A memorial of the Proprietors of the Township of Canaan in sd 
Province humbly represents that your Excellency memorialists having 
obtained A Royal Charter of the sd Township of Canaan Did A number 
of them soon begin A Town in the second range, & the Town between; 
it & Conn River not having begun to settle [namely, Hanover] and in- 
deed all the towns thereabouts being destitute of Roads and also of 
Provisions (to Spare) which rendered the settlement impractible at 
that time; Whereupon the adventurers withdrew until the Spring of 
the year 1766. At which time (the difficulties being in some measure 
removed and the proprietors having given New Encouragement to the 
first settlers) Canaan began to settle indeed and Encreases fast to this 
time & bids fair to Encrease still — that whether the Proprietors are 
engaged to settle the Town your Excellency may determine something 
by A copy of part of Canaan Proprietors records which we herewith 
transmit to your Excellency But your Excellencys memorialists being 
sensible that the time limited in their sd Charter for Duty to be done is 

Proprietors' Meetings, 1768-1785. 25^ 

Expired, & the duty uot done in full as required in the sd Charter, al- 
though they have made Good proficiency hereto — Thei'efor your Ex- 
cellency memorialists humbly pray your Excellency would be Pleased 
to renew their Chareter, that so the further settlement of Canaan may 
be Encouraged and those who have advanced their interests thereon, 
not Deprived thereof, and the Hopes of all your Excellencys Dutiful Me- 
morialists Resolved into Gratitude, and furthermore your Excellencys 
memorialists (apprehending it to be requisite to have the lines of the 
Township of Canaan ran and the bounds Ascertained), Humbly beg^ 
Leave to recommend Mr Aaron Storrs to your Excellency as a fit person 
for sd purpose (he being A Surveyor that is well approve of and pray 
your Excellencies favor (if it may also be your Pleasure) to appoint 
him to that service. Whom we also appoint to be our agent to Lay this- 
our Memorial befor your Excellency & to Rec*eive your Excellencys 
answer to this our Memorial & your Excellencys Memorialists as in 
Duty bound Shall Ever Pray. 

At a Meeting of the Proprietors of the Township of Canaan held ia 
Canaan Aug ye 12 day 1768 Chose Mr Aaron Storrs to Lay the above 
Memorial before his Excellency the Govr of New Hampshire. 

Test Joseph Craw. Propr Clerk 

The meeting referred to on Auorust 12, 1768, was never re- 
recorded in the Proprietors' Book of Records. 

Petition of George Harris of Norwich in Colony of Conn husbandman 
in behalf of Himself and other Grantees of Township of Canaan, unto 
your Excellency & the Honbie Council humbly shews: — 

That yr Petitioner & his associates have expended large sums in 
bringing forward the settlement of said Township, which (on acct of 
the many Obstruction & Difflcultys they have met with for want of 
necessary Roads & Mills) they have not been able to effect, till his 
majestys grants to them was expired & as the settlement of new land 
is a heavy and weighty work, yr Petitioners pray they may be indulged 
with a New Grant of said Township for such time longer as yr Excel- 
lency may judge necessary & your Petitioner as in duty bound shall 
ever pray — 

George Harris in 

behalf of Himself & associates 

Dec. 3, 1768. 

Their application was successful and Gov. John "Wentworth 
granted them a renewal signed February 23, 1769. 

For two years subsequent to the first recorded meeting, there 
does not appear to be much increase in the population, but few 
of the grantees arrived and some who Avere here returned to 
Norwich. Among the new settlers we find Deacon Caleb Welch, 

26 History of CANAA^r. 

who "pitched" upon the farm once owned by Harrison Fogg. 
He cleared the land of trees and dead brush, built a house, and 
planted an orchard of apple and pear trees, from which he lived 
to make thirty barrels of cider in one year, which he and his 
boys drank. He w^as very close with the fruit, jealous of his 
apples and pears. He came here with four boys, Caleb, Martin, 
William and Russell. William married and settled in Enfield, 
Martin married and died in Jerusalem. Deacon Caleb died with 
old Moses Low, who lived near him. He was buried in the 
Cobble, but no stone marks his grave. His wife went to live 
with her son in Enfield, where she died at the age of ninety 

The Deacon's was the eighth family that settled in town. His 
son, Caleb, afterwards built the house where once Rufus Rich- 
ardson lived and was its last occupant. Young Caleb sold it to 
Joshua Currier, who lived in it sixteen years, sold it to David 
Richardson and then bought the house where his son, Farring- 
ton, once lived, the first house east of the Gulf. 

Dr. Ebenezer Eames, along with whom came Thomas Baldwin, 
a youth then sixteen years old. Joshua and Ezekiel Wells, 
two brothers; Samuel Chapman, w^ho kept an inn on South 
Road, and was afterwards known as the old lame basket maker; 
Jedidiah Hibbard, Asa Kilburn and Samuel Meacham and his 
family, the three latter men being residents of Lebanon as earlj^ 
as 1764, followed Harris upon his return from Connecticut. 

The power to call a legal meeting by the proprietors seems to 
have lapsed and application had to be made to Israel Morey 
in January, 1770, one of His Majesty's justices of the peace at 
Orford, who called a meeting to be held at the inn of Mr. John 
Man at Orford on May 10. At this meeting John Scofield was 
chosen moderator and the meeting adjourned to six o'clock the 
next morning at the house of John Scofield, in Canaan, to meet 
for the future and forever hereafter in Canaan. 

It appears now that the settlers are much depressed and 
disafiPection is apparent from the hardships they encountered 
and the scanty harvests. The want of a mill was every day 
increasing, and no relief seemed to be at hand. The bread corn 
had still to be carried to Lebanon as for four years past, by the 
same trail first blazed by Scofield and now not much improved. 

Proprietors' ^Ieetings, 1768-1785. 27 

It was voted that the proprietors of Canaan build the desired 
mills, and that they be completed in a workmanlike manner by 
the twenty-fifth day of December, 1770. A tax of twelve shil- 
lings was laid on each right, to be paid to the person who should 
build the mills. And as further encouragement to some such 
person, a grant of three hundred acres of land from the undi- 
vided uplands was voted, one hundred of these acres to be laid 
out so as to include all privileges convenient to said mills. But 
in vain did they hold out their twelve shillings tax, about $125, 
and three hundred acres; no millwright appeared yet for many 

At this meeting Jedidiah Hibbard was chosen clerk, the 
duties of which he fulfilled until 1773. John Scofield was chosen 
treasurer and held the office until his death, in 1784. Jedidiah 
Hibbard was chosen collector and Jolui Scofield, Joseph Craw 
and Asa Kilburn assessors. The clerk was authorized to warn 
meetings upon the request of ten of the proprietors and until 
there be twelve families settled herein by posting a copy of the 
warning in a public place, also sending a copy to Mr. Fowle, the 
printer at Portsmouth, and one to George Harris at Colchester, 
Conn., to be inserted in the public prints, if he see cause. And 
whenever twelve families are settled here the notification may 
be posted in said town alone. 

From all the evidence we have gathered, it appears that at 
this time, 1770, nearly four years after the arrival of Mr. 
Scofield, there were not yet twelve families in the town, and 
these were chiefly settled upon or near the present "South 
Eoad. ' ' Their names were John Scofield, Thomas Miner, Joseph 
Craw, Daniel Crossman, Asa Williams, George Harris, Amos 
Walworth, Caleb Welch, Samuel Chapman, Ebenezer Eames and 
Samuel Benedict. Several other names appear, as Samuel Jones, 
John Burdick, Samuel Dodge, Jedidiah Hibbard, Asa Kilburn, 
Josiah Gates, Thomas Baldwin, but they were not reckoned as 
family men. A large majority of the proprietors living in 
Connecticut had not arrived and failed ever to come. They 
entered into the proprietary as many do in these days for the 
purpose of selling out at enhanced prices. 

The meeting adjourned to meet again at the house of Jolui 
Scofield. The proprietors' meetings were all held up to the 

28 History of Canaan. 

time of the building of the meeting house at the homes of the 
settlers, then a few meetings were held in the meeting house, for 
the most part they were held at the different dwelling houses. 
Until 1774 the meetings were held at John Scofield's, until 1780 
they met at Samuel Chapman's, and thereafter at different 
places as suited their convenience. At the meeting on June 12, 
1770, each proprietor Avas authorized to make choice of one 
hundred acres of upland and ten acres of intervale. A tax of 
fifteen shillings was laid on each right to defray the expenses of 
laying out said lots. It was voted to ratify and confirm the 
several taxes which had been assessed upon the rights but not 
all collected, up to this time, and Mr. George Harris was ap- 
pointed to collect each and every' of the aforesaid taxes. 

The first tax granted August ye 18 1761 being on each 

proprietors right 
The second granted November ye 16 1762 on each Right 
The Third tax granted Mar 31 1763 on each Proprietors 

The Fourth tax granted Sept ye 23 1765 on each Right 
The Fifth tax granted March 11 1766 on each Right 
The Sixth tax granted Sept 3 1767 on each Right 
The Seventh tax granted March the 21 1769 on each 

Right 17 9 

The ratification of these taxes was followed by the sale of 
thirteen of the original rights for non-payment of taxes and 

The mill still troubled them and it was further voted "six 
shillings on each right, to be paid iu labor, and the time for 
completing then be extended to August 15, 1771." Eight 
months longer we must pack our bread corn to Lebanon and back. 

In the following October, through infinite exertions, the archi- 
tects were discovered, and the mills for which we sighed were 
located. John Scofield, Joseph Craw and Asa Kilburn were 
appointed "to make and execute good deeds of three hundred 
acres of land unto Nathan Scofield and Ebenezer Eames, as 
encouragement for building Mills in Canaan as soon as they 
think fit," and extending the time for completing the cornmill 
to December 1, 1771, on account of the difficulty of procuring 
mill stones. How anxiously they watched the work in that mill. 









Proprietors' IMeetings, 1768-1785. 29 

From the foimdatiou to the cap-board, they saw it rise and 
become more and more a mill, and when it was announced that 
on a certain day, the miller would hoist the gate, every man 
started early in the morning with a bushel of corn, hoping to 
be first on the spot, so that he might be able to boast that his 
was the first grist ground at the new mill. But perhaps we may 
imagine the disgust of these early risers, who on arriving at the 
mill, discerned one of those irrepressible, everlasting Yankees, 
who are never behind anybody, already there, quietly sitting 
upon his bag, waiting for the door to open. He had been there 
nearly all night. 

The mill was built at the "Corner," near the old tannery of 
F. P. Swett, on the stream running from Hart Pond. It was 
built by Dr. Ebenezer Fames. The contract was for a corn and 
sawmill. The sawmill was not located at the Corner. From all 
we can learn it was located in the southerly part of the to^Ti, and 
another party got the benefit of the town appropriation for it. 
Doctor Fames was one of the grantees of the town and his share 
in the town land was set off to him, one hundred acres of which 
he occupied near his mill. The mill was a clumsy and uncouth 
affair, but it ground well the corn of the people. The stones were 
turned by an overshot wheel about twenty-five feet in diameter. 
We used to watch the slow revolutions of that great wheel and 
wonder how it would effect us to take a ride upon it. The deed 
given to Doctor Fames by the committee of the proprietors in 
1771 was for one hundred acres of land, called the ' ' 1st. Hundred 
of the Mill Right," and in the Proprietors' Book of Records is 
described as follows : 

Beginning at au old hemlock stump, at the end of the lower dam 
at the lower end of Hart's Pond. Then S 35° W about 12 rods across 
said Pond to a stake and stones, then S 20° E 31 rods to the N. E. Cor- 
ner of a 50 acre lot in the 1st. Division of the Right of Samuel Dodge. 
Then S 78i/2° W 164 rods in said Dodge's line to a stake and stones, 
thence N 12° W 100 rods to a stake and stones then N 781/2° E 164 
rods to a stake and stones standing in the south line of the 1st. 100 of 
George Lamphere, then S 12° about 64 rods to the first bound. 

John Cubrieb & Ezekiel Wells. 
Committee of Proprietors. 

It is not known what became of Doctor Fames and his wife. 
His last appearance as a taxpayer was in 1794. And the "1st. 

30 History of Canaan. 

100 of the Mill Right"' in that year was given in for taxation by 
Henry French. Two years afterwards, in 1796, it is given in by 
Dudley Gilman. In 1797, it becomes separated, sixty acres is 
owned by Hezekiah Jones and forty acres by Joshua Clement. 
Then come Nathan Messer, in 1799, and Cyrus Carlton, who 
came here from Orange, where he had continued lawsuits with 
Nathan Waldo, which afforded both gentlemen great pleasure 
until the lawyers scooped in pretty much all their estate and 
then Mr. Carlton escaped to Canaan, bought the grist-mill and 
built a house, long owned and occupied by Hough Harris, and 
now by A. S. Green. 

Excepting the laying out of roads and the survey of lands, 
the mill was the first solid improvement made in Canaan. 
Nearly all the houses so far were thrown up for temporary 
shelter, being built of logs and brush. There were no school 
houses, the schoolmaster had not yet arrived. No teams ; hospi- 
tality was universal. The people were all workers and strug- 
gling for existence. 

At the meeting of October 16, 1770, a tax of nine pence was 
laid on each right to defray the expense of sending John 
Scofielcl to Portsmouth and George Harris to Colchester, to col- 
lect money due the proprietors from the grantees. These moneys 
were the taxes before referred to which the absent proprietors 
neglected to pay, and which they did pay. Other taxes were 
only collected upon the sale of the rights, the owners of which 
were pleased with such a release from their obligations to the 

In January, 1771, at an adjourned meeting, Jedidiah Hibbard, 
having procured a law book for the proprietors, it was voted 
to be received and paid for. John Scofield's bill of 16 pounds^ 
8 shillings, and Ezekiel Wells' bill for 1 pound, 2 shillings, for 
labor on the highway, was allowed. 

Subsequently, in the same year, it was voted that each proprie- 
tor should clear one acre of intervale and cut and girdle two> 
acres of upland before he should have title to his lands. 

Five acres of land to each right, in the most convenient place, 
near the mills, were voted, for the convenience of timber, and 
from this day no proprietor might choose any land that might 

Proprietors* ]\Ieetings^ 1768-1785. 31 

be thought necessary for such five-acre lots. Then followed 
several adjourned meetings, which record only the division of 
land among the proprietors, and the laying of taxes for the 
building of roads. And this building of roads seems to have 
been the great burden of the settlers and who can wonder at 
the burden. Not much else is done in those days. ]\Iany of these 
roads are traveled now, and the traces of those which have been 
changed are distinctly visible. 

The only historical road built this year was the Wolfeborough 
or ' ' Governor 's Road, ' ' to pay for which each right was assessed 
two pounds L. M., for the purpose of making and clearing. This 
vote was passed in May, 1772. Joseph Craw, Samuel Benedict 
and Samuel Jones were appointed to lay out the one hundred 
and twenty-four pounds forthwith, and for each faithful day's 
labor they were to allow each man five shilling and six pence. 

This road was surveyed from the Pemigewasset River to 
Dartmouth College, October 30, 1771. The direction of the 
road in Canaan, according to the surv^ey, was: "W 15° N 1% 
miles to line of Canaan & Hanover." This road cut across the 
northwest comer of the town, crossing the bridge across ^Marshall 
Brook at the head of Goose Pond, and continuing on the line 
of the present road to Tunis, and from there to Dartmouth 
College. It is still known in Hanover as the Wolfeborough 
Road and the land lying along was laid out to its line. In 
the spring of 1772, Gov. John Wentworth started in his four- 
horse state coach from Wolfeborough, to visit his possessions 
towards Connecticut River. He was accompanied by an escort 
of sixty soldiers, and the road was cleared for him as he 
passed along through forest and swamps, over hills and through 
valleys, building bridges of logs over the streams and corduroy 
roads over the impassable mud. He passed over IMoose Moun- 
tain to Hanover, where the new college had but recently been 
organized under the care of Dr. Eleazer Wheelock. In Canaan 
this road is a matter of legend for the most part; it is grown 
up to trees where the land has not been cleared. The line of 
it is visible from the distinctive color of the foliage, being the 
light green of white birch. A portion of this road is sometimes 
traveled, although it has been discontinued. 

32 History of Canaan. 

On the twenty-ninth of November, 1773, an adjourned meet- 
ing was held, when Capt. Caleb Welch w^as made moderator and 
a new committee was appointed, and the minister's lots and the 
school lots were voted to be laid out. And then the meeting was 
dissolved, after having been in session, by adjournments, more 
than three years and half. On June 1, 1773, a vote was passed, 
and is recorded in the handwriting of George Harris, confirming 
and ratifying all the transactions of the proprietors, relative 
to grants of land and calling public meetings, "notwithstanding 
any want of form, legal and proper terms or defects and defaults 
of process relative to the premises." And the dissolution of this 
meeting closes an epoch in our town history. For all these years 
the records are slim, aifording scanty information of the lives 
of the people. There were town meetings and proprietors' meet- 
ings, to elect officers, to repair roads, to allow bills, to appoint 
committees to lay out "hundred acre lots." But as yet there 
appear no votes nor reports, upon loyalty, religion or educa- 
tion. Only once in a while is there a gleam of light upon the 
thoughts of this busy people. 

Jedidiah Hibbard, having left town, in the latter part of 
November, 1773, Thomas Miner was appointed proprietors' 
clerk. From the records he has left it is very evident that 
Thomas spoke the truth, when he said to Mr. Harris, at his 
first setting out for the new lands, "that he had little or no 
education." The ink is well preserved, black, but the 
chirography, spelling and grammar are a little peculiar. There 
is no punctuation, rarely was a new sentence begun with a 
capital letter. 

At a meeting in June, 1774, Capt. Caleb Clark, who lived near 
the old Fales place, was allowed to lay out a certain hundred 
acre lot "lying on the east side of the road that goeth from 
Fames mill and adjoining to Capt. Dame's Gore. Said Clark 
is to have said lot in room of his second hundred, in considera- 
tion that he pay the expense of laying it out and give the pro- 
prietors five pounds, one half to be done on the road and the 
other half on the bridge, to be built across the Mascomy river 
near John Scofield's at the lower Meadows." 

Thomas Miner was to have the liberty of pitching one hundred 

Proprietors' ^Meetings, 1768-1785. 33 

acres, given him as "encouragement for building a Saw-mill." 
Capt. Caleb Clark, Capt. Charles Walworth and John Scofield 
were appointed agents to make ]Miner a deed. 

This sa^vmill is stated to have been erected upon Moose Brook, 
south of the road, and some imagining persons affirm that many 
of the foundation stones are still visible, and that a flat stone 
with a square hole in the center was hung as a grindstone, but 
was not much used. It also lies there now, still washed by the 
ever-flowing waters of Moose Brook. But Mr. Miner received the 
deed and by the terms of it the people of Canaan were "well 
accomodated." The deed is very neatly written, in the* fair 
hand of Thomas Baldwin and is dated "This 15th. day of 
September, annoque domini 1777," with Thomas Baldwin and 
Asa Kilbum as witnesses. A part of this deed is copied below 
as follows: 

Kuow all men &c, That we Caleb Clarke of Newmarket, iu the prov- 
ince &c, Gent, Charles Walworth of Canaan &c, Gent, and John Scofield 
of Canaan aforesaid, husbandman, being chosen or delegated by the 
Propriety of Canaan, to be a Com'tee in the name & behalf of said 
propty to execute and deliver unto Thomas Miner of Canaan aforesaid, 
G«nt, a Good Authentic Quit Claim Deed of One hundred acres of the 
undivided lands in said Canaan in such place as him the said. Miner 
shall think fit to pitch one hundred acre lott not incroaching on the 
undivided in travail nor any other pitch made before it, which privi- 
lege of pitching said lott is Granted unto him the said Miner by the 
aforesaid propriety, for that he the said Miner hath erected a Sawmill 
in said Canaan, which well accommodates the inhabitants of said town. 
Wherefor we the named Caleb Clarke, Charles Walworth and John 
Scofield, by virtue of the authority delegated to us by said propty for 
the purpose aforesaid in the name and behalf of said propty. Do by 
these presents, in consideration of the aforesaid service Done by him the 
said Miner for said Propty to their full satisfaction Give Grant bargain 
Sell Release Alien Convey and confirm to him the said Miner his heirs, 
assigns &c. 

Sixty acres of this hundred was pitched north of the Wells 
farm, east of Hart's Pond. 

Several adjournments of this meeting took place, the matter 
of which was recorded in the uncouth hand of Mr. IMiner, and 
then between the years 1774 and 1780 a hiatus occurs in the 
Proprietors' Eecords. This was during the Eevolution and many 

34 History of Canaan. 

of the proprietors were in the Continental Army. It is a pity to 
lose sight of this straggling settlement, during these years, and 
our loss is hardly compensated in freeing us from the almost 
unreadable cipher of Mr. Miner. In the year 1780, George 
Harris was appointed to settle with Lieut. Thomas Miner and 
make a request of him for the book of records he held. A 
request was also made upon Ebenezer Eames for a proprietors' 
'book, containing a record of the pitches. Whether it was a 
different book from the one Thomas Miner had is not known, 
for there is but one Proprietors' Book of Kecords in existence. 
Thete may have been another book and if so it contained the 
record of those who owned the land, and in which right and 
division it was pitched. 

This book was ''once committed to the care of Asa Kilbum, 
late of this town. ' ' Mr. Kilburn, after residing in Canaan sev- 
eral years, laboring hard to improve his lands, had sold out and 
returned to Connecticut, not satisfied with life in our town. He 
left Canaan in 1777 with Jedidiah Hibbard and joined Col. 
Jona Chase's regiment at Ticonderoga. 

At this date the land had become concentrated in few hands, 
that is, a large part of it. For while a few men had taken advan- 
tage of the necessities or fears of many of the grantees, a large 
number of small falnns, hundred acre lots, had been planted and 
were being improved by the owners. The grantees had, for 
reasons heretofore pointed out, been glad to part with their 
rights, and now new men appear as proprietors, who had come 
in during the time there was no meeting, from 1774 to 1780. 
Many of the proprietors held their lands for speculation, driving 
close and snug bargains with the new settlers, while some of 
them were very liberal. It is said that Mr. Harris, who was 
anxious to have the town populated with industrious families, 
upon several occasions gave an hundred acres of land for a 
day's labor. He believed he would be richer for giving away a 
part of his land for actual settlement, than to keep it as wild 

James Treadway, sometimes called Elder Treadway, with his 
wife, was an early settler resident here. He came from Dutchess 
County, New York, about 1770. He had purchased a large 

Proprietors' ^Meetings, 1768^1785. 35 


number of original rights and all the land Asa Kilburn owned 
in 1770, excepting what Kilburn lived on. He built a log house 
in the woods back of the bam on the old Dustin farm, where he 
lived for many years. He was a preacher, too, before there was 
a pulpit, — the first preacher to the settlers. The people gath- 
ered into bams and houses to hear him, but he was not liked, 
being a man of strong prejudice, verj- opinionated, and in all 
his disputes manifesting much selfishness. His name appears 
but once in the town records, and then in a manner to throw 
suspicion upon his integrity. Owning many of the original 
rights, some of which were not located, and having obtained 
possession of the "Pitch Book," he made many records for him- 
self, of choice lands without regard to the rights adjoining, in 
many cases lapping over upon pitches already made, causing 
great annoyance. He located some lands from the shores of 
Hart's Pond westward, adjoining the lands of Capt. Eobert 
Barber, and he claimed all the lands north of Captain Barber's 
line. Persons aggrieved by his arbitrary acts, remonstrated with 
him, but he paid no attention to their complaints. At last, they 
brought the matter before the proprietors, at a legal meeting 
held January 17, 1780, when the following votes were passed: 
"That those Pitches which were made by Mr. James Treadway 
while he held the Pitch Book in his possession contrary to the 
former vote of the proprietors shall be void and of none effect." 
"That those other Pitches that ware farely made by the other 
Proprietors that do not interfere on former Pitches shall stand 
good and remain valid." These votes had the effect, of course, 
to put a stop to Mr. Treadway 's encroachments. 

Mr. Jonathan Dustin bought of Mr. Treadway thirteen rights, 
embracing the lands of the old Dustin farm, which at that time 
extended from the shores of Hart Pond to Town Hill. Mr. 
Dustin first lived in a house of logs, built near the site of the 
house of Mrs. Levi George. 

There were men in those days, who believed there was land 
enough and wild enough, and that where land was so plenty 
and people so few, ihey needed not to purchase anybody's right 
to settle upon it. Leonard Horr, Elijah Lathrop and William 
Record, believed this dogma firmly and became, in fact, squat- 

36 History of Canaan^. 

ters. But they were soon hunted out by the vigilant committee, 
and were solemnly warned, that in order to become o^vners, they 
must procure a good and authentic deed of one hundred acres 
of upland from or under one or any of the proprietors, and 
should make their pitch according to usage and shall improve 
it by building a house thereon and continue to occupy and culti- 
vate it for six months. A failure to comply with any of these 
conditions will work to their discomfort. 

The next year, in 1781, Leonard Horr was permitted to retain 
the lot he had already selected ''northwesterly of the Saw Mill 
on Mascoma river, provided he makes speedy settlement. 

On September 12, 1781, it was decided to lay out the three 
public rights: the Glebe right for the Church of England, the 
first settled minister's right and the school right, but it was sev- 
eral years afterwards that these rights were laid out. 

A bed of claj^ had been opened near Hart Pond, a piece of 
six acres had been laid out on West Farms, near where Nathan 
C. Morgan lived, and two acres of land more was laid out adjoin- 
ing the six acres as a common field. 

This meeting of the proprietors, first called in 1780, was con- 
tinued by adjournments, from time to time, until June, 1782, 
when it was supposed to have been dissolved. Nothing more of 
interest is to be gleaned here, only votes to lay out roads, for 
committees to divide the common lands, for taxes, and the dry 
details relating to the propriety, and then, for four years, there 
is no record. At this period in our history there seems to be a 
clew lost as in a mine, when the lead drops away. There are 
neither town nor proprietors' records. 

And now, while waiting for some further events to come 
around, let us look in upon some of our old friends, and see how 
they lived, and first we will premise that in those days coal as a 
fuel had not been known : the same may be said of illuminating 
gas, made from it. No iron stoves were used and no contrivances 
for economizing heat were employed until Doctor Franklin in- 
vented the iron-framed fireplace, which still bears his name. All 
the cooking and warming was by means of fire kindled upon the 
hearth or in ovens. Tallow candles or pine knots furnished the 
light for the long winter evenings, and sanded floors supplied 

Proprietors' Meetings, 1768-1785. 37 

tlie place of rugs and carpets. The water used for household 
purposes was drawn from wells by the aid of sweeps. Pumps 
were not invented until after the beginning of the last century. 
Friction matches were not made until within seventy-five years. 
If the fire went out upon the hearth over night, and the tinder 
was damp, so that the spark would not catch, the alternative 
remained of wading to the nearest neighbor through the snow 
for a brand. It was seldom that more than one room was 
warmed in any house, except in case of illness of some member 
of the famih^ and the winter nights of over a hundred years ago 
were long and dreary. The men and women undressed and went 
to their beds in a temperature colder than that of our modem 
barns and sheds, and they did not complain, because they were 
used to it. 

' ' Simple is that olden story, 
Of the years now pale and hoa^v^ 
When the church, the farm, the schoolhouse, 

Made the round of country life. 

"When amid these northern mountains. 

By these clear cool hillside fountains, 

Lonely households lived and labored 

Far from noise and city strife. 

"Here the sturdy youthful farmers 
Early found their maiden charmers, 
Wooed them in the country- fashion, 

Won them for a life of toil. 
Wed them in their simple dresses, 
In their o^ti soft curling tresses. 
And new households thus were planted, 
On the rough and rock}" soil. 

"Was this life all toil and labor? 
When some neighbor met with neighbor, 
Was the talk alone of cattle, 

Flocks and herds and crops of corn ? 
Had the scene no gentler pleasures ? 

38 History of Canaan. 

Did it know no joyous measures? 
Yea, for out of hills and valleys, 
Richest hopes and joys were born. 

"Many a church was minus steeple. 
And in winter time the people 
Gathered from their scattered dwellings 

To a house without a fire. 
But it had a charm for keeping 
Men and little boys from sleeping. 
As the sermon struggled onward. 

To the fifteenth head and higher. 

"But the women, maid and mother, 
Passed their stoves to one another. 
Those convenient tin arrangements. 

Made to hold the slumbering coals. 
While the male sex held from napping, 
Spent their weary time in rapping, 
Rapping their stiff boots together, 

Those were times that tried men's soles. 

"Say ye not that life is barren. 
Sweeter than the rose of Sharon, 
Are the memories that gather 

Round a life in honor spent. 
Bright with an immortal beauty. 
Is a long life linked to duty, 
Ever toiling and aspiring 
In a patient sweet content. 

"But with all the buzz and hurry, 
And with all this work and worry, 
Matrons found more time to visit 

Long before the setting sun, 
Than in these our days, so pressing, , 
When more time is spent in dressing, 
And the day is just beginning 

When the olden dav was done. 

Proprietors' ]\Ieetings^ 1768-1785. 39 

*'How these olden memories muster, 
How around the heart they cluster, 
How the thoughts come thronging backward 

From those sturdy scenes of old. 
There are no days like the old days. 
There are no ways like the old ways, 
And in every generation 

The old stor%' must be told." . 


Proprietors' ^Meetings, 1786-1845. 

During a period of more than four years, the proprietary 
makes no records for the clerk, George Harris, to record as would 
appear from the absence of the least scratch of a pen or the leav- 
ing of any space in the record book which might be filled up 
afterwards. On the contrary, the last four years which are blank 
on all tOA^Ti records, were full of happenings, perhaps so much 
occurred that the clerk of the proprietors as well as the town 
clerk, had not the courage to narrate events. Canaan was in the 
secession movement to join Vermont, so anxious were the other 
fifteen towns to belong to the sovereignty across the Connecticut 
River, that all the to\\Ti, as well as proprietary officers, neglected 
their duty. The proprietors awoke at last to find themselves in 
debt, and George Harris, the owner of ten rights, Joshua Harris, 
the o^\Tier of one right, John Harris, the O'WTier of one right, 
Ezekiel Wells, the owner of five rights, and "William Richardson, 
the owner of one right, and owners of more than one-sixteenth 
part of the rights of land in town, requested the clerk to call a 
meeting at Maj. Samuel Jones' on the 27th day of June, 1786. 
They voted to raise one shilling and six pence on each hundred 
acres of upland to defray the cost of running the lines between 
Canaan and Enfield; John Scofield, the son of our first settler 
(the old settler is now dead two years), is appointed collector and 
to pay the money over to the selectmen of the town. This debt 
is the result of a meeting back in 1781, and five years after they 
are ready to pay the bill. Samuel Jones, Ezekiel Wells and 
Joshua Harris were appointed "Assessors." Another meeting 
is held in December to lay a tax on the ''wild lands." for the 
purpose of "making & repairing the Rodes." Daniel Blaisdell 
is chosen collector to collect the tax of sixty pounds, as well as 
the balance of the previous tax of one shilling and six pence on 
each right, w^hich John Scofield did not collect, "made in order 
to defray the charge of settling the lines in sd Town between 
Canaan & Enfield." 

Proprietors' ^Meetings, 1786-1845. 41 

This is the first appearance on the proprietors records of the 
name of Daniel Blaisdell. The December meeting was ad- 
journed until the next June, 1787, and again adjourned until 
July. The proprietors failed to meet then. 

They were earnest, industrious men, working always -^dth a 
purpose, and whose hours of leisure were all filled with labor, 
but they were not men fitted by education to make a record. 
When their day's work was over they sat down and thought of 
the next day, letting the past take care of itself, and the life of 
one day was on!}- a repetition of the day preceding. The dis- 
inclination to think of what was past, shows itself in a niggardly 
manner throughout all their records. The town clerks were 
illiterate and bungling and often neglected to record most im-^ 
portant events. Selectmen, assessors and committees were 
equally negligent. Thus it occurs that there are several hiatuses 
in our history which greatly mars its continuity, and leave 
many blank years. Thus the record for 1787 closes June 3d, 
A\dth George Harris for clerk. In the meantime ]\Ir. Har- 
ris died, "made his exit out of time in a sudden and unex- 
pected manner," as the old record has it, and then for nearly 
ten years until January 10th, 1797, the clerk gives no sign. Not 
a line to show that those men kept records, and so long had the 
proprietors neglected their affairs that they had lost the right to 
control their property and were obliged to call in the assistance 
of the law to reinstate them in their rights. Joshua Wells, Rob- 
ert Barber, Joshua Harris, William Richardson, William Ayer 
and Ezekiel Wells, made application to Jesse Johnson, a justice 
of the peace of Enfield, who issued a warrant, came over and 
restored life to the defunct "propriety" by organizing a meet- 
ing with legal officers. ]\Ieantime in all these years they had not 
been idle. Their committee had kept at work with a surveyor 
laying out hundred-acre lots and intersecting them with high- 
ways. In 1788 a road was laid out "commencing at Grafton 
line, at a corner bound between Nathaniel Wliittier and Daniel 
Blaisdell's, to be four rods wide to the head of Broad Street, 
so called; thence eight rods wide, 288 rods to Mr. Elias Lath- 
rop's." In 1793 the road leading from "Capt. Joshua Wells' to 
Dame's Gore," a distance of 1,240 rods, was surveyed. There 
were e\ddences all over town of work, in surveys and pitches^ 

42 History of Canaan. 

but no record of any deliberative meeting is recorded. At this 
meeting, warned for the second Tuesday of January, 1797, provi- 
sion is made by empowering the clerk, so that the life of the cor- 
poration might hereafter be continued and in case of his death, 
the ' ' Lot laing Committee, ' ' shall have the power to call a meet- 
ing "upon the petition of one-sixteenth part of the proprietors." 
Ezekiel Wells is appointed clerk, which office he holds until 1808. 
During this period nearly all the land in town is surveyed and 
recorded in his handwriting. Ezekiel Wells is given the privi- 
lege "of laying out a second hundred-acre^ lot, insted of a lot 
the Governors lot has took, which was No. 1 in the 2nd. Range. ' ' 

After nearly nine years the books and papers of the pro- 
priety are scattered and Ezekiel Wells, Daniel Blaisdell and 
Capt. Robert Barber were chosen to look them up. Capt. Caleb 
Clark, one of the lot laying committee, has died in the meantime 
and Lieut. William Richardson is appointed in his place. And 
Nathaniel Bartlett takes the place of Samuel Jones, who has 
left town in 1795, although he appears as the owner of land 
until 1797. This meeting remains adjourned for more than a 
year. For more than four years there is no record, 'then the 
clerk is applied to to warn a meeting for August 27th, 1801; 

The article respecting any further division of the undivided 
lands is passed. Thomas Miner, Daniel Blaisdell and Jehu Jones 
are appointed assessors and Ezekiel Wells collector to collect 
the one dollar tax on each right voted to defray the ' ' charges of 
the proprietary." This meeting remains in session by adjourn- 
ments for nearly two years, when the clerk is again requested 
to warn a meeting on the 17th of May, 1803. The proprietors 
voted that Ebenezer Clark, then the representative to the General 
Court, "present a memorial praying them to grant the dis- 
puted lands that Esq. Hoyt, in behalf of the Proprietors of Graf- 
ton petitioned for at the last session of said Court, adjoining the 
easterly line of Hanover. ' ' Clark had been urged by the town 
to remonstrate against Hoyt's petition. This land was State's 
Gore, called also Gates's Gore from the name of the person who 
purchased it of the state. Later in September, Daniel Blaisdell 
is allowed four pounds, two shillings, "which is in full, except 
on Clark's action." This was for legal services in the adjust- 

Proprietors' Meetings, 1786-1845. 43 

ment of the disputes over Dame's Gore line. William Rieliard- 
son is allowed six pounds "in full," for like ser^dces. 

At an adjourned meeting on March 29, 1804. Daniel Blaisdell, 
William Richardson and Joshua Harris were chosen a commit- 
tee "to prosecute any person who have or shall hereafter tres- 
pass on any common lands of the proprietors." This meeting 
finally, after more than a year and seven adjournments, dies, and 
the Clerk in September, warns another meeting for the 8th of 
October. At that time all the articles are passed and this meet- 
ing is adjourned six times. Finally on the 12th day of February, 
1805. the proprietors vote to have Daniel Blaisdell and Wil- 
liam Richardson, their committee chosen in 1801, settle the ac- 
tion with the proprietors of Orange. That town had sought to 
evict Josiah Clark; the result was that Orange paid all the 
costs. Daniel Blaisdell received $17.10 for his services and John 
Currier $1.10 and William Richardson $4.50. In November, 
1805, they raised $186 to establish the line between Canaan and 
Hanover. John Currier, Ezekiel Wells and William Richardson 
were chosen assessors to assess the tax on the rights. Daniel 
Blaisdell to collect it and pay it to John Currier, the treasurer, 
the old assessors are to pay any money they have to the treasurer. 
Nathaniel Barber had pitched seventy-seven acres of land on the 
3d hundred of Richard Sparrow, and he was given the liberty 
to lay it out somewhere else on land not already taken. 

In 1806 Richard Clark, Jr., son of old Richard, has "the 
liberty to pitch and lay out as much land as falls short on the 
third Hundred of Thomas Gustin Second Right on undivided 
land adjoining said Clark land." The time for laying out the 
first, second, third hundred-acre lots of upland and the first ten 
acres of intervale continues to be extended to the 13th day of 
November, 1809, with warnings from time to time against tres- 
passers, that the committee will prosecute them if they settle on 
any lands which belong to the propriety. The proprietors are 
anxious to ascertain how much land had been taken up, and by so 
doing determined how much there is left and it takes many years 
with much prodding on their part to get the settlers to survey 
and record their pitches. During these years there are numerous 
adjourned meetings held, at wdiich the time is continually ex- 
tended. The meeting warned in 1806. keeps in session until 

44 History of Canaan. 

1808. Taxes are assessed on July 27. 1807, of $13 on each pro- 
prietor's right for the purpose of laying out the lots. 

On October 8, 1807, the proprietors voted that the real owner 
"of the 3rd. Hundred of Lewis Loveredge have the privilege of 
pitching and laing out 50 acres of said lot on any lands wich 
is pitched or laid out to any other person notwithstanding the 
survey made to Jonathan Page. ' ' This land lay a little northerly 
and west of Bear Pond and for many years no owner had paid 
taxes on it nor for some years to come. 

On February 22, 1808, John Currier was chosen the new clerk. 
The old clerk had become tired of writing adjournments. He 
continues in that office thirteen years until June, 1821. 

On June 23, 1808, a committee, consisting of Capt. Joshua 
Harris, Daniel Blaisdell, Esq., and Capt. Ezekiel "Wells, is 
chosen to ascertain the quantity of land in town not divided. At 
this meeting Micah Porter's intervale was voted to be surveyed. 
Thomas Baldwin sold it to Samuel Jones and Jones sold it to 
Porter, but the right to which it had been laid was forgotten, 
and the title was defective. In 1809 it was surveyed as sixteen 
acres adjoining Joshua Harris ' land. Thomas Miner had deeded 
twenty acres of William Chamberlain 's right, which was entitled 
to only ten acres of intervale, and the proprietors confirmed ten 
of the acres to the right of Clement Daniels. In 1809 the pro- 
prietors having brought suit against Robert Barber to eject him 
from a piece of intervale, agreed to settle and pay the costs, and 
leave Barber in possession. 

From November, 1809, to July, 1812, there was no meeting of 
the proprietors. During this time they had evidently ascertained 
the amount of undivided land, for when they meet on July 9, 
1812, they proceed to vote to lay the 4th Division of Upland of 
seven acres. The trespass committee are impowered to make set- 
tlement with all trespassers. This meeting by various adjourn- 
ments continues until December. Then there is no meeting until 
March, 1814, when the clerk warns a meeting for the 10th. 
They then authorize the trespass committee to bring actions 
against those who have forfeited their pitches by failing to have 
them recorded and surveyed in the manner laid down, and for 
cutting timber on the forfeited pitches. A second Di\asion of 
Intervale of one acre is voted to be laid out to each right. From 

Proprietors' ^Meetings, 1786-18-45. 45 

June. 1814, to June. 1816. there is no meeting. Ezekiel Wells, 
John Currier and Daniel Blaisdell are chosen the lot ' ' laing com- 
mittee in futer;" Daniel Blaisdell is chosen treasurer, Joshua 
Harris committee to prosecute trespassers with ]\Ioses Dole. A 
further division called the 5th, of seven acres is voted to be 
made of the land in the proprietary. Then for nearly five years 
the records are silent, until April 17, 1821, the clerk warns a 
meeting and an agent is chosen to ' ' inquire into each survey bill 
and make a new and complete index of the same, to take notice 
of any apparent mistake has been made in any survey." They 
choose the best man in town for their agent, Daniel Blaisdell. 
And the records bear witness of his work. He found three rights 
that had two ten-acre lots of intervale laid out to them, and that 
there were three rights, Thomas ]\Iiner, Abner Chamberlain and 
Clement Daniels, "hath had no ten-acre lot laid out to them." 
It was apparent that some of the former owners had deeded the 
same right twice. In 1821, June -4. Elijah Blaisdell is chosen 
clerk, and continued in the office until 1845. No meeting is held 
until 1823, when at the request of Daniel Blaisdell, "owner of 
the shares of Rufus Randal. Ephraim Wells. Thomas Gustin, 
James Kevins, Esq., and forty other shares or rights, a meeting is 
held on the 22 day of March." John M. Barber prays the pro- 
prietors to set off a piece of land to him in consideration of his 
deeding the rights of Thomas Miner, Benjamin Chamberlain, 
Asa Daniels and Joseph Eames, to them. They voted to deed 
him a strip of land lying between Josiah Barber's and the river, 
to satisfy these rights of their full share of land. And on the 
5th day of April, 1823, Barber deposited the deed with the 
clerk and it was recorded in the book of records and those rights 

On June 14, 1823, the proprietors voted that all the undivided 
lands between the following limits, "beginning at the ^Meeting 
house, thence on the road leading to Lebanon by William Camp- 
bell's farm, to the schoolhouse in his district, thence northerly 
on the road by Daniel Eamball's to Deacon Pillsbury's, thence 
southerly in the road to the meeting house begun at, be reserved 
to make out the fourth and fifth di\'isions of upland, on all the 
rights not as yet laid out or other\^•ise cancelled. ' ' There was in 
this a lot of land lying around Bear Pond, for the most part 

46 History op Canaan. 

worthless and included the Pond, which at that date was many- 
rods larger than now. Daniel Blaisdell prays the proprietors to 
set off to him land to satisfy twenty-two rights of which he is 
the owner, viz. : William Chamberlain, Joshua Rathburn, 
Josiah Gates, Jr., Capt. John Wentworth, Rufus Randall, James 
Jones, Thomas Gustin, second right; Amos Walworth, Stephen 
Kellogg, Joseph Babcock, William Fox, Jr., Thomas Gates, John 
Tribble, Jonathan Beebe, 3d, Ebenezer Peck,- Ebenezer Harris, 
Daniel Harris, Ebenezer Eames, Samuel Meacham, Richard 
Sparrow, Sylvester Randall and Caleb Whiting, the first Divi- 
sion of Intervale of John Newmarch and Thomas Miner. Land 
within the following limits was set off to him : ' ' to begin at the 
Grafton Turnpike road on Orange line, thence northerly on said 
Turnpike road to the corner by Joshua Wells farm, thence to fol- 
low the road leading from said Wells to Dames Gore thence to 
follow the line of said Gore to Orange line, thence by said Orange 
line to the place begun at" "Provided he reserves within said 
limits enough land to satisfy the second division of intervale of 
one acre to each of those rights which has not yet been laid out 
or cancelled." The quitclaim deed was executed within six 
days and the rights cancelled. 

They also voted at this meeting to lay out a sixth Division of 
Upland of six acres. On March 18, 1824, Daniel Blaisdell, owner 
of the right of Ephraim Wells, receives "the strip of swamp 
land adjoining the intervale of Asa Paddleford and Deacon 
French, near Enfield line southerly and the lands of Reuben Gile 
easterly, the land of Joseph Follensbee westerly and adjoining 
northerly on the road that leads from said Follensbee 's to said 
Giles, extending on said road from the line of Giles land south- 
erly about forty-four rods, to a stake and stones being the corner 
of said Follensbee 's land, near his orchard." "Also a small 
strip adjoining the westerly side of the Turnpike road, and Or- 
ange line and between Orange line and lands of said Blaisdell, ' ^ 
and this right or share is cancelled. On June 30th, Daniel 
Blaisdell, owner of the School, Minister and Isaiah Rath- 
burn rights, receives the "strip of swampy land lying westerly 
of Goose Pond Brook, adjoining land of Daniel Pattee and Le\T 
George, and adjoining westerly on upland of Ahimez Wright, 
and easterly on upland of Jason Kidder and extends northerly 

Proprietors' Meetings, 1786-1845. 4T 

as far as AVright "s and Kidder 's lands extends, ' ' and these rights 
are cancelled. Moses Lawrence, owner of the rights of Samuel 
Dodge, 3d, Lewis Loveridge, Stephen Kellogg, Thomas W. 
Waldron and John Newmarch, has set off to him to satisfy these 
rights the following land: "within the following limits, begin- 
ning at Dames Gore line on the road by Joseph Bartletts, thence 
on the road to the corner of the road between Bartletts and 
Josiah Barbers, then on the road by Lawrences, to the road 
by Nathan Cross, then on the road northerly to Dames Gore line, 
thence westerly on Gore line to place begun at." "Also all the 
undivided land not laid out southerly of and adjoining said Law- 
rence home farm and adjoining westerly on land belonging ta 
Josiah Barber and David Richardson and easterly on lands 
owned or occupied by Lieut. Richard Clark and Elijah Blaisdell, 
and to extend southerly the whole width of the piece, to land of 
Uriah Welch, supposed to contain thirty-five acres." The pro- 
prietary seems now to have about finished its labors, but there 
are still some rights uncancelled. And these are the property of 
the estate of Daniel Blaisdell. After slumbering for nearly 
twenty-one years, Joseph Dustin and Elijah Blaisdell, son and 
son-in-law of Daniel Blaisdell, request Jonathan Kittredge, a 
justice of the peace, to call a meeting of the proprietors at 
Heath's Inn for the 21st day of July, 1845. They seek to choose 
a moderator and a new clerk. Elijah Blaisdell, the old clerk, 
had removed from town and became thus incompetent. They met 
and chose Jonathan Kittredge clerk. And he proceeds to call a 
meeting according to law that the proceedings which they are 
about to take may be legal, and afford them a good title to the 
undivided lands they propose to sell, for during those years Mr. 
Dustin has found numerous gores and pieces, not included in the 
old surveys and which have descended to the heirs of Daniel 
Blaisdell. On the 2d day of December, 1845, they meet and 
confirm a deed of land which Daniel Blaisdell gave James East- 
man, dated November 24, 1832, of land on the west side of Goose 
Pond. Blaisdell was the owner at the time of his death of all 
the rights uncancelled except the rights of Richard Wibard, 
Daniel Rogers and William WentwortJi, George and William 
King. The proprietors vote to cancel ten rights, in consideration 
of this conveyance, viz. : John Chamberlain, Abner Chamber- 

^^ History of Canaan. 

lain, William Chamberlain, Jr., Aaron Cady, Aaron Cady, Jr., 
Nathaniel Cady, Daniel Fowle, Samuel Dodge, Thomas Gustin 
and Thomas Gustin, Jr. 

They voted to reserve the common land lying on the westerly 
side of the Maseoma Eiver, northerly of H. G. Lathrop's and 
adjoining Dame's Gore, for the right of Richard Wibard. Jo- 
seph Dustin and Elijah Blaisdell are appointed a committee to 
dispose of the remaining undi\ided land which is not enough 
to make any further division and account to the proprietors 
''for their equal share of the proceeds, excepting the land ad- 
joining Bear Pond and the piece reserved for Richard Wi- 
bard 's right." So ends the records; there was no accounting so 
far as recorded. It is, however, well known that Mr. Dustin 
under that vote sold several pieces of land. The land around 
Bear Pond he claimed as his own and was not sold out of the 
family until long after his death. It was never surveyed. 

There still remain uncancelled the rights of George and Gibson 
Harris, Allen Whitman, Jared Spencer, Ephi-aim Wells, Jr., 
Thomas Wells, Jedediah Lathrop, Clement Daniels, David Cham- 
berlain, Israel Kellogg, George Lamphere, Phineas Sabine, 
Jabez Jones, Richard Wibard, James Nevins, George King, Wil- 
liam King, William Wentworth, Thomas Parker, and Daniel 
Rogers. The right for the propagation of the Gospel and the 
Glebe Rights were not cancelled, but the proprietors assumed 
ownership of them after the Revolution, and sold the land set 
off to these rights to different parties who occupied them. 


Town Meetings, 1770-1785. 

The first town meeting of which there is anj" record was 
called by Benjamin Giles, justice of the peace, "upon the peti- 
tion of more than ten freeholders, inhabitants of the Township 
of Canaan," on the 3d day of July, 1770. The charter pro- 
vided that the first town meeting should be held on the third 
Tuesday in August, 1761 ; it certainly was not held in Canaan. 
Thomas Gustin was to be the first moderator and all annual 
meetings were to be held on the second Tuesday of March ' ' for- 
ever hereafter." At the first meeting at John Scofield's house, 
John Scofield was chosen moderator; Samuel Benedict, clerk; 
John Scofield, Joseph Craw and Samuel Benedict, assessors; 
Asa "Williams, tithingman ; Ezekiel Wells, surveyor of roads. 
And all future meetings shall be warned in the manner follow- 

The annual meeting on the second Tuesday in March to be annually 
warned by the Town Clerk, for the time being, by setting up a warning 
of Notification at least ten days before sd meeting, at some public Place 
in sd Canaan. And also the Clerk for the time being, shall at any time 
when applied to by seven Freeholders of sd Canaan, or the Assessors for 
the time being. Warn a meeting of the Freeholders of sd Town to be 
held at any proper place in sd Town, by setting up a "Warning seven 
days at least before sd meeting at some public place in sd Town. 

The same names appear on tliis occasion, with the addition of 
Ezekiel Wells, who with his brother, Joshua, arrived the pre^dous 
year, that we are already familiar with in the Proprietors' Rec- 
ords. The Wells brothers were both unmarried, Joshua being 
a disappointed man of thirty-five and Ezekiel eleven years 
younger, who came because Joshua did. In 1771, at the second 
annual meeting, the same names appear as before, only a little 
changed about ; Samuel Jones is constable ; Asa Williams, fence- 
viewer ; Ezekiel Wells, tithingman ; Samuel Chapman, surveyor. 
In 1772 appears the same scant records of Samuel Benedict as 
clerk, not a profitable clerk for us, who are striving to learn 

50 History of Canaan. 

philosophy by studying the history of persons who first cut down 
trees, and made roads in Canaan. The names of Ebenezer 
Eames and Caleb Welch are added to the previous list. This is 
the first year in which selectmen were chosen ; they had been 
called assessors. 

In 1773 the place of holding the annual meeting was changed 
from John Scofield's to the dwelling house of Thomas Miner, 
when Caleb Welch was chosen town clerk; Thomas Miner, mod- 
erator, and Samuel Chapman, the lame basket-maker, tithing- 

A census of the town was requested this year and it was 
made up in the following manner: 

Unmarried from 16 to 60 12 

Married from 16 to 60 11 

Boys 16 years and under 16 

Sixty years and upwards — 

Females, unmarried 11 

Females, married 12 

Widows — 


The number of ratable polls was nineteen. In 1774 the annual 
meeting was ''lagally warned" and held at the "dwelling house 
of Samuel Chapman." And here is an addition to the old list 
of names : Charles Walworth as selectman and Ezekiel Gardner, 
tithingman. And here also on this occasion, for the first time, 
appears the name of "Thomas Baldwin Surveyor of highways." 
Young Baldwin is, just before this time, twenty-one years old, 
and has now cast his first vote. He has already made himself 
useful to the people because of his superior intelligence. 

Nearly all these people were of Connecticut, of the old Puri- 
tan stock, and brought their peculiar notions of the sanctity of 
the Sabbath to Canaan. They used to assemble in barns and 
houses, where the elders led in prayer and they all hummed a 
song of praise, and this young man was elected to read a printed 
sermon. On this occasion it was "voted that they would build 
a pound, between Mr. Samuel Chapmans and Moose Brook, to be 
built by the inhabitants on the first IMonday in May next." 
And they built the pound on the west side of the brook, not far 

Town Meetings, 1770-1785. 51 

from Mr. Miner's mill. But the pound, like the mill, has long 
ago disappeared from sight. In 1775, January 16, the select- 
men were directed to send a letter to the "Committee of Cor- 
respondence" at Exeter, "to answer their request." John 
Scofield was appointed to carry the letter. He assured the com- 
mittee that the people were in sympathy with the movement for 
the redress of wrongs. The committee of correspondence was 
appointed by a convention of deputies, which met at Exeter 
January, 1775, to consult on the state of affairs, appoint dele- 
gates to the next general Congress to be holden at Philadelphia 
in May following. They issued an address to the people, warn- 
ing them of their danger and exhorting them to union, peace 
and harmony; to frugality, industr>% manufactures and learn- 
ing the military art, that they might be able, if necessary, to de- 
fend the country against invasion. 

A circular was sent out to the towns in New Hampshire in 
which they said : 

You are requested to desire all males above twenty one years of a^e 
to sign the declaration on this paper, and when done to make return 
thereof, togather with the name or names of all who shall refuse to 
sign the same, to the General Assembly or Committee of Safety of this 

On the first day of July the list of subscribers to the ' ' Associa- 
tion Test" was made out and forwarded. It was found that 8,199 
male persons over twenty-one years of age, then living in New 
Hampshire, had solemnly promised to risk their lives and prop- 
erty in defense of their country and families against British 
aggression, while 773 for various reasons refused to sign. The 
greater part of the latter class were hostile to colonial inde- 
pendence. There were twenty-four Canaan signers, by which it 
will be seen that at that date, which was nearly ten years after 
the settlement of the town, there were but twenty-four males 
in it over twenty-one years. 

This paper sent to Exeter is as follows: 

We, the subscribers do hereby solemnly engage and promise, that we 
will to the utmost of our power, at the risque of our lives and fortunes, 
with arms oppose the hostile proceedings of the British Fleets and 
Armies against the United American Colonies. 

52 History of Canaan. 



Ebeuezer Earns John Scofield 

Richard Clark Samuel Lathrop 

James Treadway will Ezekiel Gardner 

on certain conditions John Scofield Jr 

(viz) (1) Gideon Rudd 

Caleb Clark Joshua Wells 

Thomas Miner Samuel Joslen 

Samuel Jones Richard Joslen 

Joseph Walter Charles Walworth 

Thomas Baldwin Ezekiel Wells 

Jehu Jones Eleazer Scofield 

his Caleb Welch 

Thomas Baxter X Job Scipio 

Robert Burts 

Canaan July 1st. 1776 
To the Honbie Committee of Safety for the Colony of New Hampshire. 
These are to certify that every man in this town signed this agree- 



Samuel Jones f men 

(1) 1st On Condition thay no man who is taken a Captive from the 
British forces be made an oSicer or let to be a Soldier in the Continental 
Army a21y that every American found and taken in a arms against 
the United Colonies be Immediately put to Death and Sly that all and 
every of the British Troops that are Captivated by the Continental 
forces by Sea or land or any other way taken shall be kept in Prison 
or Close Confinement and 41y than every Commanding Officer or a 
Soldier or any Person or Persons imployed in any Business whatever 
in the Cintinental Forces who is found & proved to be a Traitor to 
the United Colonies in America be put to Death Immediately. 

Upon these aforementioned Conditions do I sign this Declaration. 

Witness my hand 

James Treadway 

With the above was sent the following request from the Com- 
mittee of Safety of Canaan and Enfield. Each town had its own 
committee appointed to look out for its defense. 

To the Honbie Committy of Safety For the Colony of New Hampshire, 
A Request from The Comitty of Safety for the Towns of Canaan 
And Enfield alias Relhan in s<i Colony; 

Whereas we Being in Eminent Dange of being Ravaged and De- 
stroyed by the Savages, and other of our Unnatural Enemies, And we 
Being Unable to Defend our Selves in the Lest; for the want of guns 

Town Meetings, 1770-1785. 53 

& aminition We therefore humbly Request that your Honors Would 
send us Sixteen guns, forty two pounds of Gunpowder and 168ibs of 
Lead 21 Dozen of flints B Lieutt Sami Jones of sd Canaan and Mr Elisha 
Bingham of Enfield Which men are chosen for the Said Purpose. Gentn 
your Compliaire with this Request will Greatly Oblige & Enable us to 
Defend our Selves in these frontier Towns. 

EsExr Eames T 

Sami Meacham I '^"' 
I of 


Thos Baldwin J 

The Reasons Why this Paper was not Signed By two of the Com- 
mittee is Because one is Absent and the other is the Bearer 

S. Meacham 

The Provincial Congress on July 5, 1776, "voted that Samuel 
Jones of Canaan and Elisha Bingham of Enfield have and re- 
ceive out of the treasury 5 pounds for the purpose of purchasing 
Lead and flints for the use of the inhabitants of said towns. 
They giving good security for repayment of said sum when re- 
quested." The council on the same day voted to give them 
twenty-five pounds of powder and five pounds in money. 

There are no more records for the year 1775, but a warning 
for the annual meeting. If Paul Kevere's message was heard in 
Canaan we do not know. The fires of Bunker Hill and Lexing- 
ton did not illuminate these forest homes; but these laborers 
did join the band of patriots, although they left no record of 
it. Their actions spoke louder than any words they could 

The Committee of Safety of New Hampshire, in order to de- 
termine the strength of the colony, requested a census of the 
town, which was as follows: 

The accompt of Inhabitants, 

Males under 16 yrs 16 

Males over 16 yrs. to 50 not in army 17 

Males above 50 yrs 3 

Persons gone to the Army 3 

All females 28 

Negroes and slaves — 

Canaan Sept. 22. 1775 67 

Upon diligent search we find that we have a Gun for every one capa- 
ble of yousing them. As for Power & ball we have none with us. 

Asa Kilbubn ) 

„ „ )■ Selectmen. 

Ebenz Eames f 

54 History of Canaan. 

In 1776 more new names appear: "Chose Thomas Baldwin 
Constable." Jonathan Bingham was surveyor and Jehu Jones 
tithingman ; Asa Williams, pound-keeper. Capt. Samuel Jones, 
Thomas Miner and Caleb Welch were appointed to look out for 
a burjdng-place. They selected and laid out the grounds known 
as "The Cobble," near Jehu Jones' house on South Road. Un- 
der date of September 30, 1776, the towns of Canaan, Hanover 
and Cardigan were notified to meet to elect someone to represent 
them in the General Assembly and Council at Exeter the next 
December. They met at Hanover November 27 and refused to 
elect anyone, being dissatisfied with the methods of representa- 
tion and that their advice was not taken in the government. They 
had been requested two years before, in 1774, and had declined. 
In 1774- '76 Lebanon, Hanover, Relhan, Canaan, Cardigan and 
Grafton were classed together and entitled to one represent- 
ative, but they failed to send anyone. On September 18, 1776, 
Hanover, Canaan and Cardigan were classed together as being 
large enough to send one representative, but they did not send 
anyone in 1777. And here ends the record for that great year. 

In 1777 the annual meeting was held at the house of Joshua 
Harris, son of George. The records of this meeting are un- 
usually elaborate, which is due to the fact that they "Chose In- 
sign Thomas Baldwin, Clerk." In this case Mr. Baldwin has 
recorded himself. The name of Richard. Clark, 3d, is added to 
the list of freeholders. "Voted that the Committee of Safety 
be desired to administer the oath to the other officers." This 
committee was a patriotic committee, deriving its powers from 
the Council and Assembly, and had charge of military affairs 
when the Coimcil and Assembly were not in session. John 
Scofield was a member and beyond this fact nothing is known. 
That some of our friends and neighbors did shoulder their 
muskets in the cause of popular liberty is evident from the fol- 
lowing liberal bounty offered by the town : 

Voted that every person that has ever been in the Continentals 
service, or may enlist the ensueiug year, and may be gone through the 
usual season for business, shall not be liable to pay any taxes in this 
tovra for that year he is so gone. 

Here appears the first vote of the town to defray town charges : 
"Voted to raise by a rate on the Poles and ratable Estate of the 

Town IMeetings, 1770-1785. 55 

inhabitants of this town the sum of 3 pounds L. ]\I. for the de- 
fraying town charges. What is paste and for the Insuing year. ' ' 

All the back rates on the highways were to be worked out this 
year. The penaltj' for not paying the rate on polls and estates 
should be the same as for not working on the highway. 

The only other business is contained in the following : 

Voted to appoint Capt. Joshua Wells, Caleb Welch and Eleazer Sco- 
field fence-viewers, to examine fences, where any damage is done by 
hogs, and see if such fence is sufficient to stop hogs yoked according to 
law. If they adjudge the fence not sufficient then the owner of the 
fence shall not be liable to pay the damage, provided the swine are 
yoked and ringed according to law. 

It might be interesting to those concerned to learn who, by the 
terms of this vote, is "holden to pay the damage." The owner 
of the fence is exempted. The swine, if yoked according to law, 
are not liable to pay, and the owner of the swine is not men- 
tioned. Now who is to pay the damage when Joseph Craw's 
hogs pass through Samuel Jones' poor fence, with their yokes 
and rings on, and commit trespass to Samuel Benedict's garden? 

By the record it appears that Thomas Baldwin was elected 
clerk for three years, 1777, 1778. 1779. Beyond the record of 
1777 he confines himself to a copy of the warnings of the other 
two years; no record of the doings of the meetings, and thence 
onward for six years longer the record is a failure — years of 
great events to the town and nation — until 1786. All is blank ; 
nothing appears save a few marriages, births and deaths among 
the people, and these are in an unknown handwriting. Thomas 
was unfaithful to his trust. He might have done much for our 
enlightenment, for he was a young man of ability. He gained 
a great reputation in the Baptist Church, but as a town clerk 
he was a fraud. 

There was increase in population ; new names appear, old 
names disappear. What were all these toilers doing in these 
long years? Who can tell us? Lands were surveyed and roads 
built, taxes were voted and many of the people joined the three 
regiments that were voted to support the War of Independence. 
Beyond these facts we shall never be able to look into the social 
condition of those times. Had they preachers or schoolmasters. 

56 History of Canaan. 

and what were their names? During this time town meetings 
were held; petitions in the archives of the state department 
show that. The warning for the town meeting in 1779 contained 
an article "to take into consideration a tax bill from the Treas- 
urer of Xew Hampshire." The town evidently voted to have 
William Aver present a petition respecting it, as the following 
shows, but with what result is not known. 

To the Honorable Council & House of Representatives of said State. 
The petition of William Ayer of Canaan in the County of Grafton in 
said State in behalf of said town humbly sheweth that by means of the 
unsettled state of said County & the claim of Vermont they have never 
made their state tax but are now desirous to make the said taxes & to 
discharge the same: but the said town being much too high in the pro- 
portion of the State tax the petitioner prays the same may be examined 
& set right & said town will immediately proceed to make & discharge 
their taxes & as in duty bound shall ever pray. 

Exeter June 17. 1779. 

Wm. Ayeb. 

The petition was successful, for the Assembly voted to adjust 
the rate at twenty shillings on everj- 1,000 pounds of state and 
continental money for the years 1777, 1778, 1779, "said taxes 
now being all in arrears. ' ' 

On the 20th of October, 1780, the Indians from Canada at- 
tacked and burned Eoyalton, Vt. An express was sent with the 
exciting intelligence for relief from the neighboring towns. A 
company of twenty men was instantly raised in Canaan to join 
those from Lebanon to go to the assistance of the unfortunate 
people of Eoyalton and to scout along the frontiers, lest the 
enemy should fall upon other settlements unawares. Joshua 
Wells was placed in command of this company. The names of 
those volunteers are known and their service also recorded by 
their captain, w^ho sought payment for their services. 

There seems to be no further inconvenience in regard to mills. 
The people were fully accommodated. Mr. Eames' grist-mill was 
running at the Corner. Mr. Miner's sawmill was running on 
Moose Brook. Jonathan Carlton of Amesbury had built a saw- 
mill on the Mascoma at the outlet of the pond, and Capt. Robert 
Barber had come in from Newmarket and built the mill after- 
wards known as Welch's. He also built a second mill on the 
Mascoma, not far from the site of the old paper mill. 

Town Meetings, 1770-1785. 57" 

The first settlers in Canaan, except James Clark, were all from 
Connecticut, and came here cliiefiy through the influence of 
George Harris, who, as one of the gTantees. was much interested 
in the new settlement. Craw, Williams, Jones, Benedict, the 
Wellses, Welch, Joslyn, Walworth, Gates, Lathrop, Eames and 
others came with or followed after Mr. Harris. It was a long 
and weary way they traveled, on foot or on horseback. Roads- 
were not marked out in many places. In others they were ob- 
structed by stumps and logs. They left Colchester and Norwich 
in the opening spring and arrived early in the summer. These 
first-comers, most of them, located upon the ridge of land now 
called South Road, extending from John Scofield's, near Mas- 
coma River, near West Canaan, to the farm once owned by S. D. 
Gorham, which was the homestead of Charles Walworth, a half 
brother of Amos Walworth, the grantee. These men and fam- 
ilies endured much of hardship and suffering. They found 
here no shelter, no food, no ground fit for tillage, and but little 
seed to put in the earth when it should be prepared with axe and 
brand. These were soon followed by families from Haverhill^ 
Amesbury, Plaistow, Hampstead, Newmarket and other eastern 
towns, inclined to settle here chiefly through the influence and 
representations of the friends of the governor, who had been 
made grantees and were anxious to realize something from their 
grants. Among these were the Dustins, father and sons, the Blais- 
dells, Clarks, Ayer, Bartlett, the Barbers, Sawyer, the six Rich- 
ardsons. Some of these found their way to Sawyer Hill and to 
various other parts of the town, but chiefly upon the uplands^ 
believing that they thus received the best lands for corn, vege- 
tables and grass. 

The inventory for the year 1783, seventeen years after the set- 
tlement of the town, shows some progress. Two hundred and 
seventy-nine acres of land had been subdued and made use of by 
the settlers. 

A true Inventory of the Polls and rateable Estate in town of Canaan 
in said State in the year Auuo Domini 1783 — 

No. Polls 50 

No. Horses 28 

No. Cows 62 

No. Oxen 29 

58 History of Canaan. 

No. of 3 years old 14 

No. of 2 years old 20 

No. of yearlings 10 

No. acres pasturing 118 

No. acres mowing 127 

No. acres tillage 34 

No. acres wild land fit for improvement 12,000 

Wm. Ayer ) 

„, -, !- Selectmen. 

Wm. Richardsox f 

It was during the years of unwritten history that the seces- 
sion of the sixteen towns took place. Canaan was one of these 
towns. The people severed their connection with New Hamp- 
shire and voted themselves a part of the new territory of Ver- 
mont. The history which records this peaceful uprising is sub- 
stantially as below condensed: 

The original grant of New Hampshire was made to John 
Mason, and extended sixty miles from the sea. The line passed 
from the towTi of Rindge through the west part of Concord, 
striking Winnipesaukee Lake. Later grants extended its western 
boundary to Lake Champlain. Under these later acts, grants of 
townships were made on both sides of the Connecticut River. 
In 1764 a decree of the king in council was passed limiting the 
boundary of New Hampshire on the west to the Connecticut. 

The grants to New York were not more definitely bounded, 
and in consequence a fierce strife arose as to the right of New 
York to control the lake and the river. The inhabitants of the 
towns on both sides of the river were mainly from Massachusetts 
and Connnecticut, and their views of public policy coincided. 
They were not well satisfied with the line which separated them 
from each other, and after the Revolution, when New Hamp- 
shire adopted measures for framing a constitution, their dissat- 
isfaction was expressed in acts as well as words. Vermont peti- 
tioned Congress to be received into the confederacy as an inde- 
pendent state, and a majority of the people in many towns on 
this side of the river desired to unite with them, by petition 
dated June 11, 1778, the result of conclusions they had reached 
in March. There were sixteen of these towns, as follows : 
Cornish, Lebanon, Dresden (now Hanover), Lyme, Orford, 
Piermont, Haverhill, Bath, Lyman, Apthorp (now Littleton), 

Town Meetings, 1770-1785. 59 

Dalton, Enfield, Canaan, Orange, Landaff, New Concord (now 
Lisbon), and Franconia. They took the position that since the 
government of Great Britain was overthrown, they were left to 
their own natural sovereignty, that the original grant of New 
Hampshire extended but sixty miles from the sea, that these 
townships were independent grants, each in itself a sovereign 
political organization and that as the power which had created 
them was thus overthrown, they were at liberty to attach them- 
selves to whatever state they pleased. On the other hand it was 
maintained that by their own acts in receiving grants and 
protection from New Hampshire, they had acknowledged the 
sovereignty of that state over them. There was much discus- 
sion in the towns bordering on the river. They refused to send 
delegates to the convention which formed the constitution of 
New Hampshire, but united in a petition to the Vermont as- 
sembly, which then met at Windsor, to be received as a part of 
that state. The question was submitted to the people of Vermont 
in their general assembly and the union with the sixteen towns 
was accepted June 11, 1778. They were accordingly admitted 
as a part of that state and gave notice to New Hampshire to that 
effect, and asked for an amicable settlement of the boundary 
line between the two states. The government of New Hamp- 
shire was by no means disposed to recognize the right of seces- 
sion. The president of New Hampshire, Hon. Meschech "Weare, 
wrote to Governor Chittenden of Vermont, August 22, 1778, 
reclaiming these towns, making a strong argument therefor. 
He said : * ' Were not these towns settled and cultivated under the 
grant of the governor of New Hampshire ? Are they not within 
the lines thereof? Did not the most of these towns send dele- 
gates to the convention of this state in 1773? Have they not 
from the commencement of the war applied to the State of New 
Hampshire for assistance and protection ? It is well known that 
they did, and that New Hampshire at her own expense supplied 
them with arms, amunition &c, to a very great amount. I 
earnestly desire that this matter may be seriously attended to, 
as I am persuaded that the tendency thereto will be anarchy 
and confusion." He also made an appeal to Congress to inter- 
pose and prevent, if possible, the shedding of blood. Congress 
by a resolution on August 2, 1781, made it an " indespensible 

60 History of Canaak. 

preliminary" to the admission of Vermont as a state and freeing 
them from the claim of sovereignty of New York, that Vermont 
give up all claim to the to^xTis on the east side of the Connecticut 
Eiver. The movement of these towns received no encourage- 
ment from Congress and Canaan was not in sj^mpathy, as ap- 
pears by the following petition : 

Canaan January 22 1782 

To the Honorable and Generable assemble of the State of New Hamp- 
shier greating we haveing for a Long time bin under a broken situ- 
ation the pretended State of Vermont pretend to Exercise athority over 
us which causis a great confusion among us & there being more than 
one half of the inhabitants of this town that have bin and now are will- 
ing subjects to this state pray that we mite be put in sum regularasion 
that we may have a Justice of the peace & militare officers that we may 
be in a way to defend our selves against the Enemies of the united 
States for we think our Selves in great danger having no authority 
amongst us but the pretended athority of Vermont which we are not 
willing to be under if we can have any other N. B. we the subscribers 
beg the privilege that the Honorable Cort wold commisonate William 
Ayer as Justice of the peace & that we mite be led to the choyce of 
miletery officers 

Joseph Stickney Thomas miner 

Joseph flint Daniell Carr 

Daniel farnum William Smith 

Samuel Chatman Leonard hor 

Nathi Barlet Benjaman Sawer 

Joshua wels Samuel Meacham 

Samuel Josen Robard Barber 

Mathew Man Jonathan Stickney 

Josiah hall Bartlet Ezkel wels 

Benjamin Burt David fogg 

James woodbury John Bartlet 

henry springer Samuel Hinkson 
Jaspur barber 

At the first meeting of the assembly of Vermont, February 
22, 1782, after the people had voted to receive these towns and 
the delegates from this side had taken their seats, the question 
arose whether these towns should be erected into a separate 
county. This was refused, whereupon the delegates again 
seceded and left the Vermont assembly in disgust. Their friends 
on this side of the mountains, bound more strongly to them than 
those on the other side, proposed to unite with them to form a 
new state on both sides of the river, to be called New Connecti- 

Town Meetings, 1770-1785. 61 

cut. Then followed a series of contentions between New York, 
Vermont and New Hampshire, which is not interesting here, all 
of which were finally settled by the admission of Vermont with 
her present boundaries into the confederacy of the United States, 
a settlement which was hastened by the shrewd policy of Ethan 
Allen, who conferred with the British authorities in Canada 
and elsewhere as if he desired a union with them. 

In some of the towns concerned in this contest there was 
manifested a spirit of lawlessness and disorder. In others Com- 
mittees of Safety were appointed with unlimited powers. A 
meeting of the Committee of Safety for Canaan, Hanover, Leba- 
non, Plainfield and Grantham was held at Lebanon and the 
following vote was passed : ' ' That the laws of our country ought 
and shall be the rule of our procedure in judging of the qualities 
of offences and punishing the same only with such variations as 
the different channel of administration requires." It appears 
from the record that in 1786, after the question of sovereignty 
had been settled, that the people of the town, like honest men, 
voted that the uncollected taxes during the years of their seces- 
sion should be paid. The amoimt is not known. 

At the beginning of the year 1785 two petitions were pre- 
sented to the president and council, which show the unsettled 
condition of affairs in town : 

To his Excellency the Pres & Honbie the Council 

That as we are not represented in the house to our satisfaction we can 
not rest easy to have advice taken from that quarter in your Honor- 
able Board respecting the appointment of Civil & Military officers. 

We take liberty to inform you that Caleb Clark Esq will give best 
satisfaction for a Civil Magistrate of any man in town 
Canaan Jan 26 1785 

Asahel "Wells* Jonathan Stickney 

Josep Stickney Zebulon Gates 

Benj Harris* William Richardson* 

Robart Barber James woodbury 

Joseph Flint Samuel Hinlvson* 

Jehu Jones* William Smith 

Ezeklel Gardner* William Douglass* 

Caleb Welch Elias Lothrop* 

George Harris* Thaddeus Lothrop 

Turner Peterson* Humphrey Nichols 

Samuel meacham* Abel Hadley* 

benjamen hurts* Benja Sawyer* 

62 History of Canaan. 

Another petition of the same date requested the appointment 
of Capt. Robert Barber for a field officer: "that he would give 
much the best satisfaction. We understand a certain Mr. Jones 
has been mentioned, who will not answer the valuable pur- 
pose of peace in s^ Town." It was signed by seventeen 
men, twelve of those on the above petition marked * and 
Joshua Harris, Elisha Lathrop, Ezekiel Wells, Richard Clark, 
and Isaac Walker. Samuel Jones was a major in the Twenty- 
Fourth Regiment the previous year. 

It was in 1785 that a petition was presented to the General 
Assembly by Col. Elisha Paine and others, to form a new town 
out of portions of territory of the towns of Lebanon, Hanover, 
Canaan and Enfield. The part of Canaan to be included was 
in the southwest comer. The petition was not successful. 


Town Meetings, 1786-1797. 

It is now nine years since our town clerk made any record. 
His name was Thomas Baldwin, and in that time he had become 
converted to the Baptist belief, had studied divinity, theology, 
been ordained as an evangelist, and placed in charge of the new 
Baptist Church, w^hich was organized six years ago. In that 
capacity he served well and left a large mark for future theolo- 
gians to look at, but his style of keeping town records is not 

Our new clerk, Mr. David Fogg, who had recently married 
Ruth Dustin, daughter of old Jonathan, lived in a log house 
some fifty rods southerly from the house John j\I. Barber after- 
wards built. Some of the apple trees he planted are still stand- 
ing. He wrote a firm, even hand, and his record is diffuse as to 
the appointment of officers. Mr. Fogg's name comes to sight 
several times in the few coming years, and then he disappears, 
and there is not even a grave-stone to perpetuate his exit. 

When Demophile was near her end she said to me: "Do you 
ever go and read those names and bits of verses on the stones 
yonder? You and Aspasia used formerly. Some of them tell 
us to be sad and sorry for folks who died a hundred years ago ; 
others to imitate men and women we never should have had a 
chance of seeing, had they been living yet. All we can learn 
from them is this — that our country never had any bad people 
in it, but has been filled with weeping and wailing from its foun- 
dation upward." 

In 1786, twenty years after the first settlement of the town, 
the census of the inhabitants was 142 males and 111 females. 
This year appears the first vote in reference to schools. "Voted 
to raise fifteen pounds L. M. for the support of schooling, ' ' and 
Capt. Robert Barber, Eleazer Scofield and Richard Clark were 
appointed a committee to divide the town into school districts. 
The schools had not been a feature in the town, no system existed, 

64 History of Canaan. 

any respecta])le person, who could strike a good square blow with 
a ferrule or rod, had merit sufficient to become school-master 
And sometimes persons were employed who had to spell words 
of a reading exercise before pronouncing them. Ignorance was 
rather winked at, other desirable things being equal. Two 
months in the winter, when there was nothing else to do, was 
all that could be afforded by these hard working settlers for 

New names appear: Joseph Flint and John Hall Bartlett as 
tithingmen ; among the six surveyors of highways is Abel Hadley ; 
Richard Otis and William Douglass are hogreaves; Benjamin 
Sawyer and Esquire Ayer are fence- viewers. "Voted to raise 16 
pounds L. M. to defray town charges. ' ' Compare with March 9, 
1886, a hundred years later: "Voted to raise $3000 to defray 
town charges." The selectmen had grown to be as careless as 
the clerks. The finances and affairs of the town had fallen into 
confusion. It was voted to have a thorough investigation thereof 
for the years from 1781 to 1786, and Joseph Flint, Daniel Blais- 
dell and Richard Otis, were appointed for the purpose. They 
made a full report, which was "excepted," but they fail to in- 
form us if they discovered any "rings" by which the town had 
been swindled. It is fair to infer that after James Treadway left, 
honesty was a prevailing virtue, although sometimes harrassed 
by incapacity and ignorance. Ten shillings on the pound was 
raised for the repair of roads, not to include the large bridges. 
A new pound was voted to be built near the "South end of the 
town." It was located on South Road at the northeast corner 
of John May's. Joseph Flint was appointed as constable to 
collect back taxes for the vear 1781, "and an extent for the 
deficiency of soldiers for this town. ' ' 

It was a sin unpardonable to be a pauper, or unfortunately 
poor. Our tramps were treated with more consideration, as the 
following will show: 

State of New Hampshire. Grafton, ss. 

To Mr. John Scofield Constable for the town of Canaan for the present 
year. You are hereby required in the name and government of the 
people of said state, to warn off said Canaan, sundry persons now dwell- 
ing in said town, viz., Abigail Cooley and Theodate Flanders with 
Coffey her child. Their neglect of departing within fourteen days 

Town Meetings, 1786-1797. 65 

will expose them to the penalty of the law. Therefore fail not and 
make return of your doings. 

William Richardson " 

Caleb Welch 

Jehu Jones 
Canaan Aug 9 AD 1786. 


The constable states in his return that he read this precept 
within the hearing of these unfortunate women, who, looking 
in vain for some hospitable door to open to them, wearily passed 
over our bounds, and were heard of no more. In the following- 
year similar warnings were given to Francis and Mehitable Ken- 
niston and their seven children, to Hannah Stevens and to Sar- 
gent Blaisdell, a brother of Daniel and Parrott Blaisdell, a 
soldier who had failed to gain a residence anywhere. Also to 
Abigail Finch "to depart from this town that they may not 
become chargeable." "Those people that w^ill make oath that 
they have paid their poll tax in any other town for the year 
1781 shall be exempt from paying in this to-wTi for that year." 

William Richardson, ]Major Jones and Benjamin Sawyer were 
appointed "to lay out a road from the old Wolfeborough road 
to Mr. Bradbury's land." That road has been made fourteen 
years, and now they call it "old." It is doubtful if it ever was 
traveled by any one after the governor's journey. William 
Bradbury had moved on to his farm which was then the north- 
west corner of the town, next to the old town line, in 1785, from 
Xewburyport. He cleared it up by hand, and while doing it 
lived with William Richardson. 

"Voted that we instruct our representative in order to in- 
courage the making of paper money. ' ' Jesse Johnson of Enfield 
was the representative of the towns of Canaan, Enfield, Dor- 
chester, Cardigan and Grafton, and he was instructed by the 
following notice : 

At a legal meeting holden in Canaan on Tuesday the 8'day of August 
1786 the inhabitants of s^ Town unanimously voted to have paper 

money made. 

David Fogg, Toicn Clerk. 

And Major Jones. Esquire Ayer and David Fogg were chosen 
a committee "to instruct our representative." The reason for 
this vote we learn from other sources. In January. 1777. one 


66 History of Canaan. 

hundred pounds of silver or gold was equal to the same in 
Continental money. In February it took 104 pounds of Conti- 
nental money to equal one hundred pounds of silver or gold. 
In January, 1778, Continental money had depreciated so that 
it took 325 pounds to equal one hundred pounds of gold. In 
1779 it took 742 pounds : in January, 1780, 2,934 pounds, and in 
June, 1781, one hundred pounds of silver or gold would buy 
12,000 pounds of Continental money. Neither debts nor taxes 
could be paid, and much distress existed in every community. 
The great struggle for independence had terminated in the 
emancipation of the people from foreign jurisdiction, but the 
people were suffering from the lack of any system by which 
values could be approximated. A large debt accumulated by 
the war remained to be discharged. Requisitions for this pur- 
pose were made by Congress and by the state governments. The 
course of trade was not in favor of the colonists, consequently 
the silver and gold gradually disappeared. So large was the 
balance of trade against the colonies that it seemed impossible 
that any system of imposts could be adopted by which the coin 
could have been retained. Recourse was had to the usual mode 
of taxation on polls and estates, by which means hea^y burdens 
were laid upon the husbandman and the laborer. Private credi- 
tors, who had suffered long by forbearance, were importunate for 
their dues, and the courts were full of suits. Various remedies 
were suggested by the people, who felt themselves oppressed, 
but that which offered quickest relief was a new emission of 
paper bills founded on real estate and loaned on interest. The 
cry for paper money was incessant and universal. It was to be 
the panacea for all troubles. But to all the clamors of the people 
there could be but one response, that it was not in the power of 
any legislature to pass any law that would secure paper from 
depreciation. A law was passed, called the "tender act," by 
which it was provided that executions issued for private demands 
might be satisfied by cattle and other enumerated articles, at an 
appraisal of impartial men under oath. This act was limited to 
two years, before the expiration of which it was revived with al- 
teration and continued for three years longer. The effect of this 
law, where attempts were made to execute it, was that the most 

Town Meetings, 1786-1797. 67 

valuable kinds of property were either concealed or made over 
to third parties, and whenever the sheriff appeared he could only 
le\y upon articles of little value. Attempts were made by the 
legislature to encourage the importation of money from abroad 
by exempting goods from port duties. But all these efforts were 
in vain. No encouragement could be given for the circulation 
of money while the tender act was in force, because every man 
who had money felt it was safe only in his own pocket. 

The cry for paper money was like a raging fever. In every 
town there was a party in favor of it, and against all laws which 
obliged men to pay their debts. This same party also clamored 
against courts and la\\yers. The abolition of the courts was 
demanded, as being sinecures, whereby clerks, judges and law- 
yers enriched themselves at the expense of the people. 

To still the alarm and collect the real sense of the people on 
the subject of paper money, the assembly formed the plan for 
the emission of fifty thousand pounds, to be let at four per cent., 
on landed security ; to be a tender in payment of state taxes and 
for the fees and salaries of public officers. This plan was imme- 
diately printed and sent to the several towns, and the people 
were desired to give their opinion for and against it and make 
return at the next session of the assembly. 

The excitement upon the subject was kept up by inter- 
ested parties, who spread false reports in regard to the acts of 
the government. When the assembly again met at Exeter they 
were surrounded by a body of two hundred armed men, who in 
a threatening manner, demanded an issue of paper money, an 
equal distribution of property and a release from debts. Sen- 
tries were placed at the doors and the whole legislature was 
held prisoner, the mob threatening death to any person who 
should attempt to escape before their demands were granted. 
They continued their riotous demonstrations through the day, 
when they withdrew and spent the night upon a hill a mile 
away. The next morning they were attacked by the militia and 
dispersed, some forty being made prisoners, who were subse- 
quently discharged upon making humiliating submissions. The 
dignity of the government being vindicated, its lenity became 
conspicuous. The plan adopted by the assembly for the issue 

68 History of Canaan. 


f paper monej^ was not sustained in the returns made by a 
■majority of the towns and all the questions touching upon it 
Were determined in the negative. And in Canaan it was "Voted 
that the handbill respecting paper be not adopted." 

It was found by many patriots that the American Revolution 
would not produce that sum of political happiness, which its 
warmest advocates had formerly predicted. The efforts of the 
factions in several of the states had produced alarming results. 
But the powers of government being exerted with vigor, the 
spirit of anarchy was suppressed and the hopes of good men 
grew strong. Major Jones was appointed collector "to collect 
what remains due on a tax bill for the year 1779 in certificates 
agreeable to the scale of depreciation at the time it was due 
to the treasury." 

In 1787, twenty pounds was raised to defray town charges, 
and ten shillings on the pound for highwaj^s. "Voted to sell 
the necessary wood for Mr. Walters' support at Vendue to the 
lowest bidder," and a committee was appointed to let out his 
place as long as they shall th'nk proper. Joseph Walters was an 
invalid soldier and needed daily care. He was poor also, but 
owning land and being an old resident, he could not be warned 
off the town. Mr. Baldwin was voted thirty pounds in labor and 
produce this year and his estate was exempt from taxation, as it 
I had been last year. The votes for a president on the thirteenth 
, day of March, 1787: John Langdon, 23; John Sullivan, 9. 
Joshua Harris was appointed the first coroner in town, this year, 
by the president and council, and this office he held for ten years. 
Oliver Smith held the office one year, in 1798. 

In 1788, Mr. "Walters' care is bid off to Richard Otis for nine 
pounds. "Mr. Otis is to support the fire, that is wood conven- 
ient be found at the door cut suitable for the fire, and when 
necessary the fire be made, and also two cows shall be well pas- 
tured on the place in case there is feed enough grows, and that 
they be provided for in winter, or so long as it is necessary that 
this should be fed with hay, and fed therewith when it shall 
be needful, to be kept on the place while they give milk." The 
town was to pay the bill in wheat or other grain at the rate of 
five shillings per bushel. ]\Ir. Otis was to have all the feed over 

Town Meetings,, 1786-1797. 69 

and above what was needed to keep the cows. But Mr. Walters 
was to have the privilege of keeping two hogs, the town to inclose 
a small spot to pasture them. John Currier's name appears for 
the first time as surveyor of highways, Samuel Noyes as a select- 
man, and Thaddeus Lathrop as a fence-viewer. The votes for 
president this year were : John Sullivan, 1 ; John Langdon, 21 ; 
Josiah Bartlett, 7. And here appear the first votes for senator: 
Jonathan Freeman, 4 ; Colonel Payne, 18 ; and Bezaleel Wood- 
ward, 7. 

At this meeting, March 11, it was "Voted to build a Meeting 
House. ' ' On May 9, a meeting was called to see about the build- 
ing of the meeting house, and a committee was appointed to 
report on June 10, at which time the people got into a con- 
troversy as to the size of the house, the spot upon which to build 
it, its shape and other matters, got badly out of humor and 
went home. They said no more about a meeting house for 
several years. On December 15, "in obedience to an act of the 
State of New Hampshire, ' ' the legal voters met at Capt. Robert 
Barber's and voted for representatives to the first Congress and 
for the five electors for the first president of the United States. 
The votes for representative were : General Sullivan, 11 ; General 
Peabody, 10 ; General Bellows, 12 ; Judge Livermore, 18 ; Judge 
Calf, 5. For the electors : Jonathan Freeman, Esq., 19 ; Colonel 
Toppin, 19; Col.. P. Long, 19; General Dow, 19; Maj. Daniel 
Tilton, 9; General Badger, 10. The "Selectmen are to provide 
things for the support of the Widow^ Birt and her family, that 
they are under necessity for." Her husband, "Ben Rob," had 
served in many campaigns, and had come home wounded and 
broken in health, and was now dead. 

Maj. Samuel Jones was appointed treasurer without any 
other bonds than his own for the present year. The selectman 
are as loath to account as our tax collectors were before the 
passage of the law that compelled them to close their books 
every year. And "Mr. John Harris, Ensign Daniel Blaisdell 
and Capt. Joshua Harris were chosen to settle with the select- 
men for the years 1787-1788. Also to settle with former Select- 
men which have not already settled, and act discretionary in the 
matter. " 

70 History of Canaan. 

Jesse Johnson of East Enfield was appointed delegate to the 
convention in 1788 to ratify the Federal Constitution. He repre- 
sented the towns of Canaan, Enfield, Dorchester, Orange, Han- 
over and Grafton. 

In 1789, Jehu Jones warns Eliphalet Norris and Lydia Norris 
and four children, also Francis Kenniston, who does not seem 
to have paid much attention to the first warning; Ichabod 
Honey, Betty Honey and Ebenezer Honey to "depart out of 
this town" for fear they might become town charges. 

At the annual meeting there are twenty-eight votes cast for 
president of the assembly. "Voted not to raise any money for 
schooling this year." Times are bad, money scarce and hard to 
get, wages low. Other things must be had, so we will let the 
school-master wait awhile and study at home by the blazing 
back-log. But we will vote to pay the county tax of 1783 of 
thirteen pounds, which we repudiated, and twenty pounds to 
defray town charges. 

Some of these good men worried lest the selectmen had been 
or might be led into temptation, and become thievish, so they 
voted "the selectmen for 1785 be put upon oath respecting the 
towns money from the year 1781 to 1786, ' ' but they neglected to 
tell us how hard they swore or what they swore about. 

The poor they always had with them, and they needed care. 
Wood for the poor was vendued by the card to the lowest 
bidder. Ezekiel Gardner bid off one cord to draw to the 
Widow Birt and cut it fit for the fire for six shillings. Capt. 
Robert Barber bid off one cord for six. Parrott Blaisdell bid off 
one cord for seven and six pence, the latter to be drawn to 
Lieut. Thomas Miner's for Mr. Walters. In 1790, Mr. Walter, 
whose serious illness had been a severe trial upon the sympathy 
and good nature of the people, was finally disposed of. An 
agreement was made with Thomas Miner, that he should receive 
a deed of all Mr. Walter's interests in Canaan, and take him 
and support him during his natural life, both in sickness and 
health. And the selectmen conveyed to Mr. Miner and took 
bonds for Mr. Walter's support. And David Dustin was to take 
"Widow Birts son Will that lives with her for ten pounds." 
"Uncle David," as he was called in after years, was a friendly 

Town Meetings, 1786-1797. 71 

man, kind-hearted, and the widow's son had a good home while 
in his house. So, also, it was voted "to let Jehu Jones have the 
order of the town upon the Treasurer for twenty pounds or 
upward and excuse him from collecting the hard money bill 
committed to him, he engaging to collect a bill in certificates in 
room of it, which bill shall be made out to him hereafter by the 
selectmen." And "that Jehu Jones pay back to those persons 
who have paid him their tax on the hard money bill that the 
Town excused him from collecting." Thirty pounds was raised 
for the support of Elder Baldwin, "excepting those w^ho are 
conscience bound that they can not support ministers that way. ' ' 
Wheat at five shillings a bushel was made a legal tender for 
town taxes. And the selectmen were instructed "to provide 
a measure for a standard to try half bushels A\dth. ' ' 

Richard Otis warns William Hukins, Samuel Folsom, his wife 
Anne, and five children, Joshua Cushen, Deborah and Soloman 
Cushen, Sarah Walter and Sarah Fox, to leave town, because 
they are poor. The first jurors' meeting was held on March 30, 
1790, and Thomas Miner was chosen the first grand juror from 
this town and Ezekiel Wells the first petit juror. 

This year the town sold the Lock lot "for the purpose of dis- 
charging a debt the town owes in state notes and certificates. 
Which were hired for the town's use in the year 1789." The 
census of the town, taken in 1790, gives the number of inhabi- 
tants as 483, an increase in four vears of 230. 

In 1791, no money was raised for town charges, but the usual 
rate was voted for highways. Thirty-seven votes were cast for 
Josiah Bartlett for president. David Dustin was town clerk. 

In 1792, nine pounds was raised for town charges and wheat 
could be taken in settlement. Deacon Welch is exempted from 
paying "pole tax for his son Dan that was taken away by death." 
Widow Worth was cleared of all taxes due Mr. Oilman, he being 
the constable and collector. "Voted if Grafton will agree to 
the same we will for the Futer meet at Mr. Clifford's for the 
choice of representative." On the 7th of May a special meeting 
was called to act upon the amendments to the constitution of the 
state. Sixty affirmative and thirteen negative votes were re- 
ceived. Deacon Welch "is permited to erect a number of small 

72 History op Canaan. 

buildings on the highway opesit to his house and barn not to 
extend more than twenty feet from Jehu Jones line for the term 
of Twenty years." On August 27 was held the presidential 
election and the following electors received the following votes: 
Daniel Kindge, 25; Gen. Joshua Colby, 23; Jonathan Freeman, 
34; Judge Thomas Cogswell, 36; Capt. Daniel Warner, 27; Gen, 
Benjamin Bellows, 32. 

In the warning for October 10 there is this article : "3'''^. To 
see if the Town will agree to have the enockalation of the small 
pox set up under propper Restrictions : " At the meeting they 
voted * ' not to have the Small Pox set up by enockelation. ' ' 

About 1785, an institution for sanitary purposes was estab- 
lished under the shadow of Cardigan Mountain. It was called 
"The Pest House," a name suggestive of contagion, disease^ 
death. It was a place of refuge for persons afflicted with small- 
pox, where they could receive the best treatment w^hich the lim- 
ited knowledge of the disease could suggest. It has been said 
that the house was once the residence of Col. Elisha Paine, a 
proprietor and one of the first settlers in Cardigan, and in his 
day a prominent and troublesome man, both socially and politi- 
cally. This is a mistake. Colonel Paine built his house over an 
ancient cellar hole nearer- the center of the town. Some time in 
the eighties smallpox appeared in this state. The people were 
terrified at its ravages and in many places fled at its approach, 
and left the hapless victims to care for themselves. Benevolent 
and thoughtful men began wearying themselves with projects 
for the treatment of the scourge, and how a cordon could be 
drawn about it, so as to confine it within narrow limits, and the 
residents in exposed localities feel safe to return to their usual 
labors. The idea of establishing a pest house was brought out 
at an assembly of gentlemen who had met to confer upon the 
demoralized condition of the people and if possible provide a 
remedy. The suggestion was adopted at once and a committee 
appointed to select the location for the house. Some of these 
gentlemen were familiar with the topography of Cardigan 
region. Its dense mountain loneliness had not yet attracted 
settlements. And a pest house filled with smallpox patients 
would be a signal to all who might wish to lay down their 

Town Meetings, 1786-1797. 7S 

burdens here to seek some other asylum. A cellar was dug and 
wells were sunk and a house 36 x 30, two stories high, was erected, 
together with convenient out-buildings. And to this lonely 
asylum of wretchedness, the unfortunate victims of that terrible 
disease w^ended their sad way, from various parts of the state, 
in order that they might receive the needed care and kindly 
treatment which was denied them at home. 

It is reported that at one time some thirty students at Dart- 
mouth College were sent there and some of the professors also 
repaired thither. Among these exiles were some who afterw^ards 
W'cre distinguished in their various' callings. Thomas G. Fessen- 
den was a well-known agricultural journalist; Parker Noyes 
became a distinguished lawyer; Philander Chase became a 
bishop, and was founder of several western colleges; Seth Cur- 
rier, brother of John, of Canaan, a merchant. They were of the 
class of '96. These young men were detained at the pest house 
six weeks, long, dreary, heart-breaking weeks of sickening dis- 
gust to all of them, during which time they were not permitted 
intercourse with friends outside. Some of the patients died, and 
were quietly buried on the grounds, a short distance from the 
house, but no stones ever marked the resting place. Nathan 
Briggs, a farmer of the vicinity, was a patient for six weeks, 
and was constantly reminded of the sickening danger by the 
strong antiseptic remedies used to purify the air. The old man 
used to tell of the homesickness and feeling of loneliness which 
seized upon the young persons confined there, and seemed to be 
almost as bad as the disease they were forced to face day by 
day. It was in 1796 that Doctor Jenner made his first experiment 
of transferring the pus from the pustule of a milkmaid, who had 
caught the cow-pox from the cows, to a healthy child. The 
result was published and the practice spread throughout the 
civilized world. But it was not accepted everywhere. Two 
years after Doctor Jenner 's experiment, the practice had not 
been adopted in the pest house under the shadow of old Cardigan. 

In February, 1793, the matter came up again and it was again 
voted "not to have the Small Pox by enockalation set up in s** 
town." So much excitement prevailed that a special meeting 
was called in March "to see if the town will have the Small Pox 

74 History of Canaan. 

come into sd Town by way of enockalation under proper re- 
strictions." And it was voted ''not to have the Small pox come 
into sd Town by way of enockalation" under any proper or 
improper restrictions. Again, after two years, an effort was made 
to induce the town ' ' to adopt the practice of inoculation for small 
pox," but the doubts in regard to the success or utility of the 
practice were so strong among the intelligent voters of that age 
that it was voted "to pass the article." It was about this time 
that the pest house was gradually cleared of its patients, either 
by death or successful treatment. And the buildings were left 
for the winds and storms to howl among their decaying timbers 
until they rotted away and became a part of the soil upon which 
they stood. And the only knowledge we possess of this institu- 
tion is the unwritten legends that come dowm from those sad 

The purveyor of the house was Daniel Blaisdell of Canaan, 
who lived on the farm once Prescott Clark's. He contracted to 
furnish vegetables and wholesome provisions to its inmates at 
reasonable prices. In order that he might approach the house 
without danger of contracting the disease, he arranged by build- 
ing roads so that he could always approach the house to the 
windward. Then driving his cart and oxen as near to the house 
as prudent, he would stop and call loudly to announce his arrival. 
Then, unloading, he would depart as he came, having little inter- 
course with the inmates. It is further reported that he was a 
faithful purveyor, and that his provisions were fresh, wholesome 
and abundant. 

The physician in charge was Doctor Tiffany from Connecticut, 
a skillful, self-reliant man. He had brought with him as an 
assistant, a young man named Storrs. One day, in the absence 
of the doctor, Mr. Storrs decided to vaccinate himself in his 
own way. He did so by injecting the virus between his eyes. 
On the doctor's return the young man reported to him what 
he had done. The doctor examined him with anxiety, for some 
moments, and then very quietly said : " If you, my young friend, 
have any communications to make to your friends, it will be 
wise for you to do so without delay. You have committed a 
fatal error, and I know of no remedy that can save you from 
death." The young man died. 

Town IMeetings, 1786-1797. 75 

On October 10, 1792, the town voted "that the selectmen 
settle with Mr. Joslin with Regard to ISlr. Treadway's taxes dis- 
cretionary." Mr. Treadway had left town and did not pay his 

In 1793, the collectorship of the taxes was set np at public 
vendue for the first time "to the lowest bidder and him to be 
the collector providing he gits bonds to the Satisfaction of the 
town." "That the man that bids of the collectorship shall not 
be holden unless he hes the Constables both likewise." These 
two ofSces continued to be held by one person for many years 
afterwards. It was voted "that John Burdick procure a stand- 
ard of weights and measures." And here is the first vote for 
governor : Josiah Bartlett, 35 votes ; John Langdon, 7 votes. 

Here is a curious vote. Some one had been "up against it"; 
somebody 's feelings or otherwise had been hurt, and even to this 
day some people go to the legislature and enact laws out of spite 
against some one whose property has offended them. "Voted that 
if any mans Ram is found in his neighbors inclosures from the 
tenth day of September to the middle of November, the owner of 
such stray Ram shall pay One Dollar or forfeit his Ram which 
he pleases." 

Jacob Hovey's wife and child are still paupers, their care to 
be paid for in "Grane." 

There are two burying grounds at this time and it is voted to 
fence them "with Boards and Posts." Lieut. William Richard- 
son, Mr. Jon. Carlton, Lieut. R. Whittier, committee for the 
"North Burying Yard"; John Burdick, Jehu Jones and Lieut. 
Thomas Miner for the "South Deestrict. " 

In 1794, the population of the town was, by the New Hamp- 
shire Register, 483. John Harris is paid by the town "for 
going after Jacob Hovey." Jacob may have deserted his wife 
and left her a town charge. He is brought back and his family 
no more appear as town charges. Hovey lived on the north side 
of the Wolfeborough Road, afterwards Luther Kinney's farm. 
The collectorship is bid oft' to Dudley Oilman for one half -pence 
on the pound. 

On the thirteenth day of March the inhabitants of Canaan, 
Grafton and Orange met at Simeon Arvin's and elected John 

76 History of Canaan. 

Biirdick representative to the General Court. This is the first 
Canaan man to serve in that capacity. On April 22, the town 
met at the meeting house for the first time. Nine pounds was 
raised to defray town charges. 

On October 28, the town met at the meeting house for the 
second time, and continue to thereafter, although the building 
is still unfinished. The town voted "to make up this town's pro- 
portion of iMinute Men forty shillings per month, togather with 
what the State and Continent gives them when they are called 
into actual service." John Worth is chosen "to officiate in the 
office of Justice of the Peace in the town of Canaan and for the 
County of Grafton." This is the first justice chosen in the town, 
although William Ayer had held a commission from the state 
for several ^-ears and continued to until he left to\vn. 

At the annual meeting in 1795 they met at the meeting 
house, but after transacting a little business they adjourned to 
Simeon Arvin's. The present selectmen are "to settle with 
Jehu Jones and other collectors as far back as they find anything 
due the town. ' ' Money was found due the town uncollected, but 
the collectors wanted further remuneration for making any 
further efforts, and the town voted "not to pay them anything," 
and "to prosecute all Town Collectors which are delinquent in 
settling with said to'WTi, as soon as may be convenient." 

Thirty pounds was raised for town charges and eight shillings 
on the pound for highways. John Currier is collector at the 
rate of "three pence three farthings on the pound." 

In 1796, twelve pounds was raised to defray town charges, 
six shillings rate for roads and four for bridges. Clark Currier 
is appointed collector of school money. 

On October 16, the people met to cast their votes for six 
electors for president of the United States : Beza Woodard, Esq., 
23 votes: John T. Oilman, Esq., 23 votes: Benjamin Bellows, 
Esq., 22 votes; Oliver Peabody, Esq., 22 votes: Ebenezer Thomp- 
son. Esq.. 20 votes; Timothy Farrer. Esq.. 25 votes. 

On October 20, 1796, the people of Hanover appointed an 
agent, Jonathan Freeman, to prefer a petition to the General 
Court to have the land east of Moose ^Mountain annexed to 
Canaan or some other town, as may be convenient. Canaan took 

Town Meetings, 1786-1797. 77 

no action nor appeared. This land was a part of a gore which 
ran across the north line of the town from the Connecticut River 
to Canaan. No action was taken upon this petition other than 
the natural consequences, which would result from the situation 
of the land. It belonged to Hanover and there it is now. 

The first book of records of the town closes with a meeting on 
the twenty-fifth of January, 1797, called in regard to preaching, 
and the town vote to ' ' procure a book for records for the use of 
the town." The town meetings through this first volume relate 
to but few subjects, the election of town officers, roads, schools, 
and preaching, which will be dealt with elsewhere. (This book of 
the first records of the town has disappeared and no one seems 
to know where it has gone. My father, in his life time, made a 
copy of them for his more ready reference. It is the only copy 
known. ) 

The inventory for the year 1793 contains 127 names, the list 
is probably defective, one leaf may be missing. Quite a number 
of familiar names are absent. This is the first year the select- 
men have made an inventory. The largest taxpayer was Samuel 
Jones, who had four acres of tillage, twenty acres of mowing, 
twenty acres of pasturing, twenty-two animals, and his tax was 
five pounds, six shillings and eleven pence. John Scofield paid 
a tax of four pounds, sixteen shillings, and six pence, on four 
acres of tillage, twelve acres of mowing, twenty-five acres of pas- 
turing and fourteen animals. Thomas Miner had two acres of 
tillage, nine acres of mowing, twelve acres of pasturing, two 
animals and paid a tax of three pounds and ten shillings. These 
three men were large landowners of undeveloped land. 

The inventory for 1794 contains 141 names, three of them 
non-residents. The total amount of tax raised was 161 pounds 
and two shillings. Under the head of "money on hand or at 
interest," "Samuel Noice" is taxed for fifteen pounds for 1793. 
No other person has "Aloney on hand." In 1794 this fifteen 
pounds is taxed to Allen Miner, which is a mistake, as it, no 
doubt, should have been taxed to Samuel Noyes, who was a man 
of means. It would appear that all the rest of the people traded 
on "Grane," calves, pigs, or whatever they could produce for 

87 History of Canaan. 

Samuel Jones, John Scofield, Kobert Barber, Ezekiel Wells, 
Caleb Welch and Thomas Miner are the largest taxpayers, in 
order, all large owners of undeveloped land. 

There are 141 names on the inventory for 1795. The sum total 
of the tax is 182 pounds, 3 shillings and 8 pence. The largest 
taxpayers, in order, were John Scotield, Samuel Jones, their 
taxes being about $22 each; Caleb Welch, Joshua Harris, Eze- 
kiel Wells and Eichard Clark 3rd. 


Town Meetings, 1797-1818. 

At the aumial meeting- on the fourteenth of March, 1797, the 
vote for governor was forty-seven votes for John T. Oilman and 
sixty-four votes for Moses Dow. Daniel Blaisdell had forty- 
three votes for senator. On the next day the towns of Canaan, 
Enfield and Orange met at the "Meeting House and chose 
Daniel Blaisdell representative. ' ' 

At the annual meeting, William Richardson was chosen jus- 
tice of the peace by a majority of nineteen. Six shillings on 
the pound was raised for highways, and two shillings and six 
pence to defray town charges and "making and mending 

The collection of taxes was struck off to Richard Clark, 3d, 
at two pence on the pound. Ezekiel Wells, Daniel Farnum and 
William Richardson were chosen hogreeves. The hogs were not 
much restrained of their liberty, for that reason the duties of 
these officers was not more than complimentary. This office was 
held in so little honor that the men appointed to it were chosen 
more as a joke, and in later years, to make it the more ridiculous, 
as many as twenty were appointed, of which the first was called 
the "General," and the others held subordinate positions on his 
staff, as "major," "captain," "corporal." Hogs found in 
trespass were placed in the pound. Some expense attended their 
release, and this fact made men observant of the ways of their 

In 1798, the competition for the collection of taxes was 
spirited. Several bidders appeared and the excitement was high. 
Bidding began at three per cent, and went down until Richard 
Clark, 3d, determined not to be beaten, offered "a onepenny on 
the pound, for the privilege of collecting the money." The next 
year Richard paid only "a happenny on the pound for the 
privilege." William Richardson is justice of the peace this year. 

In 1798, no money seems to have been raised to defray town 

80 History of Canaan. 

charges. In 1799, sixty dollars was voted to be raised, and six 
shillings on the pound to repair highways and bridges. The 
Widow Folsom and her children were "on the town." Mrs. 
Folsom was bid off to Jolui Perley at "20 cents per week so long 
as he keeps her. ' ' She was the widow of Samuel Folsom, men- 
tioned in 1790, and there were eight children. The selectmen 
wrote twice to her father. ' ' Capt. Steaven Harriman of Hopkin- 
ton," to come to her relief and save the town any more expense. 
No doubt he did, for her name does not appear again. 

In 1800, Timothy Johnson is chosen collector of taxes, and 
"he is to have one penny on the pound for collecting." One 
hundred dollars is raised for town charges, and eight shillings 
on the pound for highways. The selectmen are to "act discre- 
tionary, respecting taxing non-resident proprietors." At this 
time so much of the land was owned by non-resident proprietors, 
who never came to see their possessions and would not pay their 
tax that it led^the town into as much expense to get the tax as 
the tax amounted to. the land being unimproved and unoccupied, 
if sold at tax sale there was not likely to be any one to buy it. 
Besides the greater portion of the land in town was still "com- 
mon," had not been divided. The "Widow Judkins is bid off to 
Prescott Clark at seventy-nine cents a week for one year. 

Ruth Woodbury and her child were vendued to Samuel Welch 
for $32.50 for five months, and another child was sold to Daniel 
Farnum for twenty dollars ' ' until he is twenty-one. ' ' The hus- 
band and father was James Woodburj^ a Revolutionary soldier, 
who came to Canaan about 1780. He fell in love with Sally 
Springer, and wanted to marry her, but she preferred Daniel 
Blaisdell. The old man afterwards married and had a large 
family, some of whom were paupers and lived on the to-wTi. 
Daniel and Sally had a son James, who was a vain man, filled 
with conceit, very pompous and overbearing. He would always 
wear gloves when he could get them, and was usually on a swell 
when the older people were about. One day, having on a little 
larger swell than usual, old Esquire Richardson, who had been 
a justice of the peace since 1798, took him down as follows: 
^'Um, you needn't feel so damn smart with your old gloves on, 
it's only an accident you didn't have ole Jim Woodbury for 

Town Meetings, 1797-1818. 81 

your father. ' ' The census of the town for 1800 was 835 inhabi- 
tants, an increase in ten years of 352. 

At this date there were four sawmills in town, Trussell's at 
the "Village," Matthew Greeley's at Goose Pond, Robert Bar- 
ber's, afterwards Welch's, and Scofield's dt West Canaan. The 
mill at Goose Pond was built previous to 1790 by John Perley, 
who had come from Gilmanton, and had passed into the posses- 
sion of Mills Olcott, Esq., of Hanover, and then into Mr. 
Greeley's hands. Clear pine lumber was worth $14 per thousand, 
common lumber $5, and there was no market beyond the imme- 
diate vicinity of the mills. 

In 1801, Reuben Kimball took the Widow Miriam Judkins 
for $80 during the rest of her life, $20 a year until paid, he to 
give bonds. One hundred and thirty dollars is raised for town 
charges and thirty cents for highways. 

At the annual meeting a prayer was addressed to the grantees 
of the town, asking them to fix a "Right or share in the town 
lands at 310 acres and to deed the remainder of the territory to 
the town." But the proprietors had not yet arrived at the un- 
selfish conclusion that 310 acres was equal to 330, and the prayer 
was answered in the negative. 

In 1802, they voted not to have a town treasurer, the select- 
men were to perform that duty. The same appropriations were 
made for town charges and highways as last year. 

In 1803, the same amount was voted for highways and $80 
for town charges. They voted, with the consent of the proprie- 
tors of the meeting house, to build a "Pound" on the "Com- 
mon," between the meeting house and the Pond. "Thirty-six 
feet square, of hewn timbers, eight feet high from top of sill to 
top of plate, " to be finished in an acceptable manner by the first 
of September. The building of it was bid otf to Prescott Clark 
for twenty-five dollars. The old pound was built among a lot of 
alder bushes. The timbers rotted away in a few years, and it 
was removed. It was also voted to fence the burying grounds 
"with good wall or posts and boards spiked on." There were 
five of these grounds at that time, namely: The "Street," 
"Wells," the "Cobble," West Canaan and West Farms. "Lt. 
Whittier, Wm. Richardson, Capt. John Currier, Capt. Ezekiel 

82 History of Canaan. 

Wells, and Lt. Thomas Miner" were the committee chosen to see 
the work completed. In 1804 the town voted fifty dollars for 
town charges and the same as before for highways. It also voted 
forty-five dollars to procure "weights and measures as the law 
requires. ' ' 

On June 19, 1804, Canaan Social Library was incorporated 
into a proprietorship by the following men : John Hoyt, James 
Doten, Caleb Welch, James Johnson, Jr., Ebenezer Clark, Caleb 
Welch, Jr., Micah Porter, Hubbard Harris, Joshua Pillsbury, 
Levi George, Joshua Harris, Richard Otis, Elias Porter, John 
Currier, Ezekiel Wells, Jacob Trussell, Thaddeus Lathrop, Jr., 
Jacob Dow, Nathaniel Tucker, Nathaniel Bartlett, Moses Dole, 
Robert Wilson, Richard Clark, 3d, Caleb Pierce, Micaiah Moore 
and Nathaniel Barber. They could receive subscriptions to the 
amount of $1,000. Jacob Trussell was to warn the first meeting. 
Capt. Moses Dole was to purchase the books. Something like 
two hundred volumes were purchased, and Doctor Tilton covered 
them with sheepskin from Jacob Dow's tannery. Such books as 
Boswell's "Life of Johnson," Cooke's "Voyages," Davidson's 
"Translation of Virgil," Buchan's "Medicine," "Pilgrim's 
Progress," etc., were among them. The following is a copy of 
the subscription paper which led to the incorporation : 

We, the subscribers, tacking in to considderation the Benefit of hav- 
ing a Libra in this town, as sune as we Can get phifty shairs sind for 
at two Dollars a shair. Tharefore we think it is Best to meat at the 
meeting house on Monday, the 27th day of June, at wone o'clock p. m. 
to set a time when the money shall be paid and what method the 
proprators will tacke to get the books. 1803, Canaan, June 15. 

Thirty-five shares were all that was ever issued. 

In 1832, there w^as an article in the warrant to see "if the 
town will vote $50 for new books for their Lyceum." It was 
not acted on. Assessments were made each year, some paid and 
others did not ; their shares were sold and the new owners failed 
to pay assessments. The books became old and were finally 
divided up amongst the members. Some of them are to be found 
in the Town Library. 

In 1805, $150 was raised for town charges, and the same as 
before for roads. Joshua Richardson, John Currier and John 

Town Meetings, 1797-1818. 83 

Fales were chosen by the town to settle with Gordon Burley, 
"on the vendue deed he hokls from the town of land of Joseph 
Randlett." Randlett's land had been sold for taxes, during the 
time he was having a dispute with Homer, the then owner of 
Dame's Gore. The to^vn having no jurisdiction of the Gore 
land, had presumed to tax what they had no right to. In a sub- 
sequent meeting, the town voted to have the selectmen "settle 
with Burley as reasonable as possible." This land was the 
third one hundred acres of the right of Samuel Meacham, and 
was located north of the old Nathan Cross farm. John Currier 
was appointed to go to Wentworth "to find Ruth Woodburj- a 
place to board." 

In 1806, crows had become so troublesome that twenty cents 
a head was offered for dead ones by the town. Thirty doUars 
Avas raised for town charges, and the highway rate was raised to 
fifty cents. The question of taxing non-resident land came up 
again in the warrant, and the town dismissed the article. Eze- 
kiel Wells was appointed pound-keeper of the new pound. He 
lived then in the old house of the Wallaces, burned in 1898. 

In 1807, $200 was raised for town charges, and forty cents 
for roads. An ' ' able bodied man shall receive six cent per hour 
for labor on the highways and the same for oxen." And prob- 
ably the men performed as much labor in an hour at that price 
as they did later for seventeen cents per hour. They also voted 
to tax non-resident lands. The people objected to bearing the 
burdens of others. 

In 1808, $150 was voted for town charges and forty cents for 
roads. In 1809, seventy-five dollars was raised for town charges 
and thirty cents for roads. Some men were employed to build 
a bridge over the river near Josiah Clark's mill. It required 
a gallon of ]\Iicaiah Moore's rum to complete it, the workmen 
drank it all, and then asked the town to pay for it, which was 
declined with thanks. 

In 1810, $200 was raised for town charges, and the same as 
last year for roads. Joshua Harris was appointed the first post- 
master of the town and held the office for three years. The 
census of the town in this year, 1.094, showing an increase in 
ten vears of 259. 

84 History of Canaan. 

In 1811, $200 was raised for town charges and "fifty cents on 
a hundred dollars" for roads. William Campbell is to "find 
bed and board for Widow Pattee and abigail, keep their clothes 
good, until next March meeting for $1.89 per week. The town 
to pay their doctor's bill." Mr. Fisk gets $100 for Euth Wood- 

In 1812, $300 was raised for town charges and fifty cents for 
roads. Eobert Williams, Jr., bid off the Widow Pattee and her 
daughter for seventy-five dollars for the year. 

Canaan was a strong federal town and was, of course, opposed 
to the war with Great Britain. Party lines were closely drawn, 
and much bad language uttered. Some personal altercations 
occurred, which left bad feelings, and threats of chastisement 
were heard. In reference to the war of 1812, both parties held 
meetings and passed resolutions, but the Federalists only, being 
largely in the majority, were able to put themselves upon record. 

On the 27th of July, 1812, a town meeting was held. Thomas 
H. Pettingill was moderator and John Currier clerk. A com- 
mittee composed of Mr. Pettingill, Caleb Seabury, William Rich- 
ardson and Jacob Trussell was appointed to make report of the 
opinions entertained by the people. The committee introduced 
their report with a lengthy "whereas," detailed the country's 
grievances, and followed by "Eesolves" of a highly patriotic 
nature, as follows: 

Wliereas the constituted authorities of our country have declarea 
this nation to be in a state of war with one of the great beliggrant 
nations of Europe, and in pursuance of that declaration have caused 
a call to be made for a number of training bands to hold themselves 
in readiness to take part in the service of their country. Which call 
we acknowledge they have a constitutional right to make for the pur- 
pose of executing the laws of the union to suppress insurrection and 
quell invasion. And, whereas, it hath been the motlern custom of 
Europe degraded by the iron yoke of its present military despot, to 
select by conscription such subjects as his sovereign pleasure dictates 
to fight it battles. And, whereas, the tyrannical and slavish custom 
hath of late been introduced into this land of liberty and equality, 
and there is danger of its becoming the permanent usage for raising 
troops. And, whereas, we trust there is yet in this town too much 
of the true spirit of seventy-six, to suffer such a degrading and unequal 
custom to prevail here while the citizens who compose the training 
band, (although respectable) are by no means the most wealthy and 

Town Meetings, 1797-1818. 85 

although the general govei-nment compensates with a lebral hand, with 
regret we perceive, that the compensation offered by law for the serv- 
ices of the non-commissioned officers, and soldiers is by no means an 
equivalent and while we conceive it to be equally our duty to obey every 
constitutional call of our government and frown with indignity on every 
uncinstaut infringement of our rights, we deem it also our duty not 
to suffer the poorer class of our citizens to protect the lives and prop- 
erty of the wealthy without due compensation. Therefore, resolved, 
and voted that if the non-commissioned officers and privates, who are 
to be detached from the training band in this town, shall be called 
into actual service, for either of the above purposes, that the selectmen 
be hereby authorized and directed to assess a sum of money on the 
poles and ratable estate, liable by law to be taxed, sufficient to make up 
said troops the sum of ten dollars per month, including the pay they 
shall actually receive from the government, whether they volunteer 
their services or are drafted. And it is our duty to believe that they 
will not be called for any but the above purposes. And we earnestly 
recommend the former, as to occupy the gi'ound of slaves is humiliating 
to free men. 

Voted to pass the second resolve, which is in the following 
words : 

Whereas, the publick concerns of our beloved country have of late 
assumed a dangerous and alarming aspect. And our government hav- 
ing in our opinion quit the highly honorable prudent and natural po- 
sition taken by that man whose wisdom prudence and discernment 
united all classes in the best means to promote the great interest of 
the commonwealth. 

And, whereas, the government of the United States, hath declared 
this nation to be in a state of war with Great Britain, who was at the 
time of that declaration the purchaser and consumer of about % of that 
vast amount of our domestic productions exported abroad for market, 
the income of which enriches our citizens and filled our national treas- 
ury. And while we acknowledge their right by constitution to declare 
war, and our duty to obey every constitutional injunction of our gov- 
ernment, we claim with equal confidence the right guarranteed to us 
by the same constitution, and that of the State of New Hampshire, of 
freely expressing our opinions, of that as well as all others of a pub- 
lic nature, without being put in fear by every engine of tyranny or even 
of mobs with the disgrace of the American name hath been set on 
foot and executed in the city of Baltimore and Savannah. 

Therefore, being assembled to consult upon the common good. Re- 
solved, in the opinion of this meeting, that in the present critical situ- 
ation of the European world, it is the heighth of imprudence for this 
nation to enter into and prosecute a war with either of the great con- 
tending parties, in our opinion, a declaration of war against either 
Great Britain or Prance, is and to the least discerning mind must be 

86 History of Canaan. 

considered as taking part with its enemy, and thereby subjecting this 
nation to the ruinous effect of that destructive war, which at present 
and for many years past, hath involved Europe in that wretchedness 
and distress, which shalvcs human nature even to name, the termina- 
tion of which no mortal eye can see nor the most sagestive mind can 

Resolved, that whereas, the present majority both in Congress and in 
our Cabinet, have in the opinion of this meeting, either turned a deaf 
ear to or have treated with neglect the remonstrations of the people 
against the late declaration of war and measures of restrictions on our 
own commerce. That at this critical period, it is not only the privilege, 
but the solemn duty of every citizen (while he religiously submits to 
the powers that be) to use all legal and constitutional measures to con- 
vince the unconvinced, that a change of public officers is absolutely 
necessary in order that the privileges liberty and prosperity, which our 
ancestors purchased with blood and immence treasures may be handed 
down to posterity unimpaired. 

Resolved that every constitutional attempt to suppress the people or 
their representatives from freely expressing their opinion as well 
against as in favor of the measures of administration (which such 
opinions grounded 'in truth) is in the opinion of this meeting a gross 
infringement of the most valuable right of free men, and that every 
ofl3ce holder or office seeker or any other person who either directly or 
indirectly shall threaten any citizen with a coat of tar and feathers, 
or any other art of mobbery, to deter him from freely expressing such 
opinion, merits and ought to receive the sovereign contempt of a free 
people, and we shall ever hold ourselves ready to aid government with 
our lives and fortunes in suppressing any mob, under whatever name it 
may assume or in whatever garb it may be clad. 

A copy of these resolutions was forwarded to Hon. Nicholas 
Oilman, one of our senators in Congress, and through him the 
voice of Canaan was uttered in the halls of Congress, but the 
war still went on. 

In November of this year, New Hampshire had the high honor 
of discovering Daniel Webster. His first election was announced. 
Canaan gave him 159 ballots. His opponent receiving forty-six. 
In 1813, the town voted $250 for town charges and fifty cents 
for roads. The selectmen of Orange asked Canaan to receive the 
jurisdiction of a part of that town. Canaan declined to accept. 
Much expense and more annoyance had already occurred from 
the litigous disposition of Nathan Waldo, Esq., whose influence 
was paramount in Orange, and it was through this trait in the 
man's character, that led a portion of the people of Orange to ask 

Town Meetings, 1797-1818. 87 

protection from Canaan. Upon the slightest pretext, and upon 
no pretext, he was ready to appeal to the courts, and when 
beaten upon one point would try another. But he was finally 
beaten himself, and having wasted all his property, was carried 
to Haverhill jail for debt, upon the limits of which he and his 
wife died and were buried by the county. 

In 1814, $200 was raised for town charges and fifty cents for 
highways. Non-residents' lands were released from taxation 
excepting hundred acre lots. This was done at the instance of 
the proprietors. Robert Wilson takes the Widow Pattee and 
her daughter for $50, and the selectmen are requested to provide 
for James Woodbury and family and the Widow Buntin and her 
family. Mr. Buntin had owned, at one time, Barber's mill. 

In 1815, Lawj'er Pettingill is elected representative, town 
treasurer and moderator. He held these offices for four years 
in succession. For being treasurer he received the munificent 
sum of two dollars. Daniel Blaisdell, for being first selectman, 
the sum of $16.06; Daniel Pattee, second selectman, $9.01; 
Nathaniel Bartlett, third selectman, $3.52; Moses Dole, town 
clerk, $2.50. 

The militia, having returned from Portsmouth, the town was 
asked to make up "any addition to their wages," to $12 per 
month. The town, in a long series of resolutions, in 1812 had 
patriotically voted to give them a just amount for guarding 
rich men's property, but they are not of the same opinion now, 
and refuse to make up anything. The poor are vendued as 
usual — James Woodbury is bid off by John Currier for nothing 
per week; Mrs. Woodbury goes to William Gr. Richardson for 
thirty-eight cents per week, and Widow Pattee and her daughter 
to Jacob Jewel, who lived near the Gore, for $67.95. Two hun- 
dred and sixty dollars was voted for town charges and the same 
rate for roads as last year. 

In 1816, $150 is raised for town charges, and the same as last 
year for roads. The Widow Pattee is bid off to Daniel Pattee 
for seventy dollars, the Davis family are left for the selectmen 
to care for and Mrs. Wells, James Woodbury, Jr., and his 
father go to "Biley" Hardy. 

In 1817, $300 is raised for town charges, roads the same as 

88 History op Canaan. 

before. The Widow Pattee is bid off to Jonathan Foster for 
$66.75, Mrs. Woodbury and James for $100 to Joseph Clark. 
The town is asked to provide a work house for their poor. The 
paupers have become so numerous that some cheaper way is 
sought to take care of them, but the town refuses to do otherwise 
than it has been doing for all the past years. Hiring their poor 
taken care of by the lowest bidder. The selectmen are requested 
to provide a pall for the use of the town. 

In 1818, $400 is raised for town charges, roads the same as 
last year. Widow Pattee and her daughter go to David Gould 
for $66.50; James Woodbury to Mr. Gould for $68, and :\Irs. 
Woodbury to Elisha Miner for $36. 

And so closes the second book of town records. The men 
prominent in these years are : Daniel Blaisdell, Ezekiel Wells, 
John Currier, Caleb Seabury, Jacob Trussell, Daniel Pattee, 
Elias Porter, Thomas H. Pettingill, Hubbard Harris, Daniel B. 
Whittier, Nathaniel Currier, Jacob Dow, George Walworth, 
Nathaniel Bartlett. Daniel Hovey, John Worth, Jim Woodbury 
and young Jim. 

In the year 1797 we find Clark Currier was licensed "to 
keep tavern the present year," also in 1812 and 1813. "Lt. 
Simeon Arvin ■ has our approbation to keep tavern, and sell 
spirituous liquors by retail."' "Capt. Joshua Harris to be a 
person well qualified to retail spirituous liquors." "Theophilus 
Currier to keep a public house." "Wm. Parkhurst, of Canaan, 
living on the Broad Street near the Meeting house, be a person 
Avell qualified to sell spiritous liquors." Also, in 1798 and 1799, 
Simon Smith is licensed to sell liquor on parade day, October 7, 
1812, in the street, between Simeon Arvin s and Jacob Dow's. 
Moses Dole holds a license for a tavern and retailer of rum from 
1800 to 1821. Joshua Harris from 1802 to 1809. Simeon Arvin 
holds a license from 1799 to 1814; Dudley Gilman in 1798-1800; 
Mary Gilman in 1801 and Dudlev in 1802 : John Perlev in 1799 ; 
Oliver Smith, 1798 : Hubbard Harris, 1799 ; John Wilson, 1802- 
'03 ; Micaiah Moore from 1803 to 1812 : John H. Harris in 1805, 
1815-1817; Joshua Harris in 1806; and the last two in 1817- '18; 
Nathaniel Barber in 1806 ; Daniel Blaisdell, Jr., on parade day, 
September 28, 1809, and 1810. 

Cardigan Mountain and Canaan 


Town Meetings, 1819-1909. 

The third book of town records begins with 1819. The Widow 
Pattee was sold to Warren Wilson for $65, James AYoodbury 
also for $67 ; Mrs. Woodbury and Lewis Lambkin 's children are 
left to the selectmen to dispose of. Amasa Jones got $14 for 
taking care of Mrs. Lambkin. The pay received by the select- 
men the last year for their services was as follows : Elias Porter, 
$13.93: John H. Harris, $11.13; Daniel Blaisdell, $13.33; 
Thomas H. Pettingill received $2 for being treasurer and Daniel 
Hovey $4.50 as clerk. Four hundred and ninety-nine dollai*s 
was voted for town charges and to build and repair bridges. 
The rate for highways is fifty cents. In 1820, $350 was voted 
for town charges. Parrot Blaisdell of Orange took James Wood- 
bury for $39, the other poor are left to the selectmen, as well 
as Prescott Clark's children. The census of the town this year 
shows 1,198 persons, a gain of 104 since the last. 

In 1821, $750 was voted for town charges, roads at the same 
rate. The poor are left to the selectmen to dispose of: James 
Woodbury, Widow Pattee, Betsey Colby, — who is to be taken 
to her husband and relieve the town, — Mrs. Lambkin and her 
son, Abigail Flint, Prescott Clark and his four children. The 
selectmen are to procure guideboards. 

In 1822, the time for calling the annual meeting passed and 
recourse was had to Daniel Blaisdell, as justice of the peace, to 
call it. The selectmen were voted sixty-seven cents a day for 
taking the inventory and fifty cents in other matters. They 
voted "to purchase of John Fales a convenient place for a 
burying ground. ' ' This is the first addition to the Street Ceme- 
tery. One hundred dollars was voted to fence it and the other 
grounds. Two himdred dollars w^as voted "for extra expenses." 

The Canaan Musical Society was incorporated this year with 
a charter from the legislature, dated June 27, 1822. John 
Currier, Timothy Tilton and Moses Kelley were the incorpora- 


90 History of Canaan. 

tors. The society had the privilege of holding .$1,000 worth 
of property. In 1823, $450 was voted for town charges. In 
1824, $400 was voted and the same amount in 1825. In 1826, 
$500 was raised for town charges; in 1827, $600; in 1828, $800. 
In 1830, population was 1,428, a gain of 230. 

In 1836, abolitionism was rampant over the country, both sides 
did not hesitate to express their opinions of each other and many 
of them, personal friends and neighbors, became enemies of the 
bitterest kind. Canaan was not without its sympathizers on 
both sides and feeling ran high. The opponents of the abolition- 
ists were in power and they did not hesitate to "resolve" at the 
town meetings, against the other side expressing their contempt 
of the principles of the abolitionists. 

At the annual meeting in 1836, the opponents expressed their 
spite against Hubbard Harris in the following manner: "Voted 
that if Hubbard' Harris refuses to present to the committee 
chosen for the purpose of examining the doings of said Harris 
while treasurer, the orders and papers in his hands for their 
inspection, the selectmen are authorized to commence suit." In 
October of the same year a town meeting was called and Dr. 
Thomas Flanders, Capt. Joseph Wheat, and James Pattee were 
appointed a committee to draft resolutions "suited to the con- 
dition and state of abolitionism" in the town, which they did in 
the following way : 

Whereas, we the legal voters in the town of Canaan, understanding 
the abolitionists in the town are about to petition Congress to abolish 
slavery in the District of Columbia, would take this opportunity to 
express our opinion, on the subject in open town meeting, notified and 
warned for the purpose of choosing electors of President and Vice- 
President of the United States, and would respectfully remonstrate 
against Congi-ess interfering with the institution of slavery in said. 
District of Columbia, or any of the States of the United States. As we 
believe it to be unconstitutional and inexpedient, as has been ably and 
candidly shown by the Committee of the House of Representatives. 

Resolved, that we view abolitionism in the present form to be the 
seed of Toryism, the spirit of the Hartford Convention, the scum of 
Anti-masonry, and the foe to Democracy, which requires the vigilence 
of the people to detect its secret plans. 

Resolved, that these remarks, remonstrances and resolutions, be 
signed by the selectmen and town clerk and transmitted to some of our 
delegation in Congress and also a copy be sent to the N. H. Patriot and 
States Gazette. 

Town :\Ieetings, 1819-1909. 91 

Not satisfied with this they further reported: 

That whereas abolitionism has of late attempted to hold incendiary 
meetings headed by infamous hirelings from abroad, calculated to dis- 
turb the Public Peace. Therefore, resolved, that a committee of Vig- 
ilence be appointed to consist of 23 persons, that in case any more of 
such meetings should be appointed, that they use such measures as 
they in their wisdom should think proper to put a stop to such meet- 

Resolved, that it be recommended to the several school districts not 
to employ any instructor or instructors to teach any of the schools 
in said districts (who may be tainted, or suspected of taint of this 
cursed heresy). 

The last was omitted from the record. 

The following persons were appointed for the committee of vigilence: 

March Baber John Fales jr 

Daniel Pattee Peter Stevens 

Daniel Campbell Ezra Nichols 

Nathaniel Shepherd Wm. Campbell 

James Pattee Daniel Pattee jr 

Nathaniel Eaton Herod Richardson 

John Shepherd Benj. Porter 

Elijah Colby Americus Gates 

Amos Miner Daniel Currier 

Henry C. George Chamberlain Packard jr 

Joseph Dustin Wesley P. Burpee. 
John Fales 

In 1837, there is an attempt to get the town to purchase a 
poor farm. The article is dismissed and it is not until 1839 
that the farm is purchased. 

In 1840, the town votes not to pay anything for ringing the 
bell. The census of the town this year was 1,576 persons, a 
gain of 148, 

In 1842, Phineas C. Dunham, who lived in the old tavern, the 
Orand View House, was to receive "$6 for ringing the 
meeting house bell for meetings on the Sabbath and for all 
funerals, and that said sum be paid to said Dunham's wife in 
monthly installments provided he rings said bell suitably and 
regularly." He was a little inclined to be irresponsible at times 
from the effects of too much stimulants. 

In 1843, the town voted to accept proposals from any one who 
would take the poor farm for the ensuing year. Bartlett Hoyt 

92 History of Canaan. 

was allowed $6.75 for coffin, grave clothes aucl digging grave 
for his father-in-law, Eobert Wilson. 

In 1844, the disposition of the poor farm is left with the 
selectmen. The farm had become a burden. They let it to 
James Tyler and received $130. 

In 1844, Hannah Page was a town charge. She had owned a 
part of the Jenniss farm. The town was asked to sell their inter- 
est and distribute the proceeds as they had done with the surplus 
revenue. This the town refused to do. Stephen Jenniss wanted 
the farm and the town offered it to him if he would take care 
of Hannah and take her off the town. He was to have the use 
of the farm as long as she lived by taking care of her. At her 
decease he was to have the farm. In 1845, the town was asked to 
quitclaim to Jenniss the part of this farm taken by the Northern 
Railroad and it refused. In 1854, the towa deeded the farm to 

There was some talk of a hearse this year, but the town 
refused to purchase one. The selectmen wanted more pay per 
day and asked for seventy-five cents. The town refused it. This 
year they voted that Sawyer Hill should be known as Prospect 
Hill. The name never stuck. There seems to be a fad among 
some people to change old names which mean so much to new 
ones which have no meaning at all. The new names last long 
enough to be confusing and then die out, never to be heard of 
more, like those who invented them. Before Benjamin Sawyer 
settled there, in the old surveys it was called the "Hill east of 
Goose Pond." Along about 1800 it was called Prospect Hill. 
It then became Sawyer Hill. 

In 1844, the temperance spirit appeared again in the warrant, 
that the selectmen should not license any "person to sell spirit- 
uous liquors." Examination of the old account books of the 
traders and tavern-keepers, shows that the greatest number of 
items in almost any man's account was for rum and molasses. 
License to sell liquor was granted by the selectmen without 
any apparent qualifications, except the ability to keep a stock 
of it on hand. The fee charged was two dollars. 

All the traders held licenses and the tavern-keepers. Licenses 
were also granted to many others for muster day, to sell in the 

Town Meetings, 1819-1909. 93 

street. The common, the field north of C. P. King's store, and 
A. W. Hutchinson's field, on the side of the Pinnacle, were used 
as muster fields. James Wallace was a trader whose store was 
located a few rods south of the present Wallace house. He sold 
rum in 1818 and for many years. The store was moved and a part 
of it is now the barn attached to Doctor Shrigley's house. 
Nathaniel Currier whose store was at the upper end of the 
"Street," sold rum. So did Capt. Joseph Wheat, Elder Wheat's 
son, James Arvin, Simeon Arvin's son, at the lower end of the 
street; Daniel Porter, John Clough, Seth Daniels, who lived on 
George W. Davis' farm; James Pratt, Benjamin Blake. On 
muster da}-, October 11, 1819, these men could have been seen 
selling liquor either on the street near "Widow Hannah Ar- 
vin's" or at their own stores. 

Rum was sold on the street on election day — in fact, any day 
that any one wanted it. John Worth at East Canaan, Guilford 
Cobb on the street, Eleazer and Jesse ^Martin, James B. Wallace 
and Albert Martin, Currier & AVallace. Perlej- & Pattee, Charles 
Hutchinson, Jonathan Barnard, Calvin Pressey, Phineas East- 
man, B. P. George, Eleazer Barney and James C. Pattee are those 
whose names appear from 1818 to 1855. 

In 1846, there were eight candidates for representative in the 
field and after balloting all day they adjourned until the next 
morning. Jonathan Kittredge's friends stood by him and he 
was finally elected. 

In 1847. the town voted to "prohibit Horses, Neat Cattle, 
Sheep and Swine from going at large in any Street highway 
or Common." This vote was reiterated in 1865 by imposing a 
fine of $2. 

In September of this year the Northern Railroad had 
laid its rails as far as Grafton and in November the trains 
ran as far as Lebanon. Before that date the -village at the 
station consisted of but a few houses and most of those were on 
the Turnpike. After this it began to assume the size of a vil- 
lage and for many years was known as East Canaan, and not 
until it had changed itself into a fire precinct did it leave off 
the word "East." 

At the annual meeting in 1849 the town balloted for three davs 

94 History OF Canaan. 

for to^\^l clerk and then voted to pass the article. This entry is 
found on the record: "After three days hard labor and twenty 
hard and hotly contested Ballottings, concluded to let the 'Old 
Coon' remain in his (the) hole, James Burns Wallace therefore 
remains town clerk imtil another clerk is chosen." 

The town also voted six times for representative and then 
voted not to send one. James Burns Wallace was a candidate 
for that office, and they could neither defeat him nor elect him. 

In the next year, 1850, "After three. unsuccessful ballotings 
for town clerk, voted to pass the article, and Wallace remains, 
he thinks the people of Canaan are a spunky lot of fellows." 
There was no choice for representative this year, the indepen- 
dent vote, represented by Caleb Dustin, serving to defeat both 
Allen Hayes, the Wliig candidate, and W. P. Weeks, the Demo- 
cratic candidate. 


Benjamin P. George was employed this year to take charge of 
the town house. ]Mr. G-eorge continued in this position as long 
as he lived. He lived in a house on the site of C. W. Dustin 's. 
Before this he had lived in the Gore, in a house now no longer 
in existence, but the cellar hole still remains, next above the 
house J. W. Hoyt built, and on the other side of the road. The 
census of the town for 1850 shows 1,683 persons, a gain of 107. 

In 1851, the town offered $100 reward to discover the person 
who burned Sam Avery's barns, and William W. George was 
appointed town agent to discover the person, but without avail. 
Samuel Avery had three barns burned by an incendiary some 
time previous to this date. Avery worked away from home most 
of the time. No one was seen to go there, as the farm was off 
the traveled road. One barn burned and he hired a man by 
the name of Dudley to hew out timbers and build a new one. 
This burned and Avery hired Dudley to build another. This 
burned; and Avery, becoming tired of rebuilding, traded with 
Levi Hamlet, in 1852, for the house now occupied by Mrs. Mary 
A. Eobie, which Hamlet had built. Avery thought his wife set 
fire to the barns, as she did not M^ant to live there. His son, 
Thomas D. Avery, ran away to sea, was gone several years, came 
back and bought the John Smith place, northeast of Hart's 
Pond, sold out and went to Loudon. 

Town Meetings, 1819-1909. 95 

In 1853, the old poor farm, having been sold in 1846, the town 
was asked to purchase another, the experience having been dis- 
astrous, and the town refused. John ]M. Barber and Bartlett 
Hoyt were appointed agents to purchase the first hearse, har- 
nesses and house for the same, at an expense not to exceed $150. 

In 1854, the town voted to accept and print 500 copies of the 
report of the superintending school committee. This report was 
the work of ]\Ir. C. C. Webster, who was then teaching in the 
academy. Dr. Arnold IMorgan and John ]M. Barber were the 
other members of the board, but they performed little service. 
This first report of any town officers ever printed is as true today 
as then — it is the best report ever printed. 

In 1855, the town voted to print 400 copies of the auditors' 
report. This is the first town report printed. In 1856, the town 
voted to have the school committee's report printed with the 
selectmen 's. 

In 1857, the town voted to hire a farm for their poor and also 
made the same vote in 1860. In 1859, the town voted to choose 
the state, county and town officers on one ballot. Before this 
they had been voted for separately. The "Canaan Grenadiers" 
was formed this year, under state law, and the town accepted 
them as a volunteer company. The south side of the town house 
was shingled this year. The census for I860 shows 1,762 inhab- 
itants, a gain of 79. 

In 1861, the Rebellion having begun, the town voted to borrow 
such sums of monej'' as would be necessary to take care of the 
indigent families of volunteers. They paid out during the year 
$800.42. In 1865, the town voted to issue $10,000 in bonds, 
payable in from three to ten years at six per cent, interest, paya- 
ble semi-annually. 

In 1870, the town voted to apply the railroad tax on the town 
debt, which at that time was $61,173.39. They also voted to 
establish a cemetery in the northeast corner of the town near 
Hiram Jones'. This vote was never carried out, although many 
people had been buried there. But in 1909, the town procured 
a deed of the land. The census this year showed the largest 
population the town ever had, 1,877. a gain of 115 in ten years. 

In 1876. the town voted not to establish the East Canaan fire 
precinct. Thirteen years later, on November 4, the selectmen 

96 History of Canaan. 

were petitioned to lay out Canaan fire precinct, which was done 
on the seventh. 

In 1878, the town voted to hond its indebtedness, which at 
that time amounted to $4J:,316.18. The interest was to be at 
four per cent., free from taxation. Ten thousand one hundred 
dollars' worth of bonds, payable in from one to seven years, at 
the option of the town, and ten thousand dollars' worth of bonds 
payable in from seven to fourteen years, were issued by the 
town. The last of these bonds was paid in 1890. 

In 1879, the town voted to notify the Northern Railroad to 
protect the crossing at Welch's mill. In February, 1877, Enoch 
Call had been killed at that crossing. It was many years after- 
wards before there was adequate protection by discontinuing 
that part of the road which crossed the track and building a new 
one north of the grist-mill. 

In 1880, the town pound was abolished by vote and ordered 
sold. The census this year showed 1,762 inhabitants, a loss of 
105 in ten years. The town also adopted a seal for its weights 
and measures, which was the figure "2." 

In 1884, the town adopted the act relating to blank inven- 
tories. The law was carried out for a few years until now the 
blanks are carried around and very rarely sworn to, and are 
practically useless for the purpose for which they were designed 
— to make a man give in all his taxable property to the 

In 1887, the town received its first trust fund for the benefit 
of cemeteries. Hiram Richardson bequeathed $500, the income 
of which was to be expended in the care of Sawyer Hill Ceme- 
tery. In 1888, the increasing demand for better sidewalks led 
the town to instruct the selectmen to spend part of the highway 
money upon them. Chapter 79 of the Public Statutes relating 
to sidewalks and sewers was accepted, and on September 5 the 
selectmen laid out certain sidewalks at the depot. The census 
of the town in 1890 was 1,426 persons showing a loss of 336 in 
ten years, two less persons in town than sixty years before, in 
1830. The library law was adopted in 1892 and the town re- 
ceived $100 worth of books from the state. This was the begin- 
ning of the town library. It was kept for some years in ]\Iiss 
Emma A. Bell's house, the librarian, until it became so large that 

Town Meetings, 1819-1909. 97 

more room being needed the upper floor of the academy building 
was fitted up. In 1907, Abram L. Williams bequeathed to the 
library $500, to be expended in the purchase of useful books, 
provided the town would raise a like amount for that purpose. 
The town raised $125 at first, and the next year raised the 
balance. There are now in the library about 3.000 volumes, 
besides many unbound books and pamphlets. In 1894,' the town 
received the Jesse Martin fund of $500, the income of which was 
to be expended upon the care of the Martin and Blodgett lots 
in the Street Cemetery, 

The police court was established by vote of the town in 1895, 
and Warren B. Richardson was appointed by the governor and 
council, police justice. He resigned in April, 1907, and James 
B. Wallace was appointed. 

The Hiram M. Cobb bequest was received by the town in 1898 
of $300, the income to be expended on the care of the Cobb lot 
in the Street Cemetery. The William D. Currier mausoleum 
was accepted as a part of the Street Cemetery in 1900. The 
population of the town had slightly increased this year to 1,444, 
from ten vears ago. The Pattee fund of ten shares of Northern 
Railroad stock was received by the town in 1901. one half the 
income to be expended on West Canaan Cemetery and the other 
half to be used by the town. In 1902, the Lura G. Milton fund 
of $500 was received, and the income was to be expended upon 
the care of the Milton lot in the Street Cemetery. In 1905, the 
Wells' fund of $200 was received and the income was to be ex- 
pended upon the care of the Peter S. Wells lot in West Canaan 
Cemetery. In 1907. the town received two bank books, one of 
$100, the other of $300, bequests of Abram L. Williams, the in- 
come of the first to be expended in cutting the bushes along the 
roadside about the West Farms Cemetery, the income of the $300 
to be expended in the care of the Williams. Longfellow and 
Knowlton lots in the same cemetery. In 1908, the town accepted 
$200 from C. H. Hackett, the income to be expended in the care 
of his lot in the Street Cemeterv. 








nvu Jt 





Canaan, 1910. 



The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 

The Pitch Book was a book of records kept by the proprietors ' 
clerk, in which were recorded the pitches or claim of any owner 
of a right to any parcel of land, setting forth to what right the 
land should be allotted, the quantity, where it was located and 
bounded generally, the date, and to whom the pitch was made, 
to be hereafter surveyed. For a number of years this book was 
the only evidence of ownership, except occupation, which the 
early settlers had. When the lots or pitches were surveyed by 
the committees appointed by the proprietors, these surveys were 
recorded in the Proprietors' Book of Records. 

The "Lot laing Committee" attended to the laying of the lots 
and they w^re surveyed at the instance of the committee by a 
surveyor for the person who had first recorded his pitch or claim, 
or to other persons who were entitled to them by purchase of the 
rights upon which such lands were laid, or by purchase from 
those who had bought the rights, or by gift for certain purposes 
by the proprietors. The old Pitch Book was lost. It no doubt 
saw hard usage and went to pieces. One piece of it is still in 
existence, in the handwriting of Ezekiel Wells. The earliest 
pitch recorded in it bears date May 1, 1795. There is also in 
existence the Pitch Book of lands in the Fourth Division, in the 
handwriting of Jolin Currier, proprietors' clerk, consist- 
ing of a few leaves of paper sewed together with a string. There 
are two pitches recorded in the Book of Proprietors' Surveys, 
one of which is as follows : 

Oct 21. 1806. Then Nathaniel Whicher made return of a pitch of 50 
acres of the 3rd. 100 of the Glebe lying east and west of the road that 
leads to Dorchester by Thomas Bedwell's joining west on a tract of 
land called the Green laud. 

Ezekiel Wells Proprietors Clerk. 

The charter signed on the ninth day of July, 1761, by Benning 
Wentworth, divided the land in the town into sixty-eight shares 

100 History of Canaan. 

and two plots or parcels. Sixty-two shares were granted to 
sixty-one men. Five shares were granted as follows: One share 
for the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in Foreign Parts ; one share for the First Settled Minister of the 
Gospel; one share for the benefit of schools in said town; and 
one share for a Glebe for the Church of England, as by law 
established. One parcel of 500 acres, accounted as two shares, 
Benning Wentworth reserved for himself. One parcel was to 
be laid out as a town plot, before any other division of lands, as 
near the center of the town as the land would admit, for town 
lots, one lot to each grantee of the contents of one acre. One 
hundred acres was also given to Thomas Miner as encourage- 
ment for building a sawmill in 1774. 

On July 19, 1768, the proprietors voted to raise one dollar on 
each right and to give one hundred acres of land with a stream 
where it shall be adjudged most convenient, to any person who 
shall appear and build a good corn and sawmill. In 1770, a 
further tax was raised and the amount of land was increased 
to three hundred acres, to induce someone to build a mill. The 
first hundred was to be laid out upon a stream and the remaining 
two hundred to be laid out in quality in proportion to the other 
lands in town. The first hundred was laid out at the outlet of 
Hart Pond and extended to within a few rods of the Mascoma 
River, in a westerly direction. The second hundred was laid 
out in two parcels to Joseph Bartlett, on the north side of the 
"old town line," above the land owned by Josiah Barber. The 
third hundred was laid out on the hill, on the east side of the 
road, where lately E. C. Bean lived, and included the farm now 
owned by J. A. Green. The one hundred acres given Thomas 
Miner was laid out in two pieces, one of sixty-two acres, ad- 
joining on the north of Joshua Wells' old farm, and extended 
down the hill towards George W. Hazeltine's. The other parcel 
of forty-three acres was laid out south of Josiah Clark's old 
intervale farm and north of Mud Pond at East Canaan. The 
deed to Miner gave him the right to pitch his land wherever he 
saw fit. Both parcels were pitched by Nathaniel Barber, M'ho 
must have purchased the right of Miner. 

The proprietors' surveys do not show directly that the pro- 
prietors conformed to that article of the charter respecting the 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 101 

laying out of a town plot, as there is no survey of it recorded. 
But two surveys, one recorded October 8, 1801, on the right of 
Thomas Miner, began at the "South west corner of the Town 
Plot," and another on the right of Thomas Parker, which is now 
known as the "Currier Pasture" began at the "South-east 
corner." There is also a "draft of a Town Plot," in which the 
grantees are named and opposite is a number of the lot and 
range. But there is no key to it to indicate what its meaning 
may be. 

The first meeting in which it was mentioned was in August, 
1772, and it was voted "that the Town Plot be laid out in ye 
most Convenient Place In sd Town. ' ' In October, Joshua Wells 
was placed upon the committee, "In the room of Samuel Bene- 
dict," to complete the laying out. Other matters took up the 
attention of the proprietors, and the town plot did not come 
up again until 1781. when it was again voted to lay it out. It 
did not come up again until January, 1797, when Capt. Ezekiel 
"Wells, Daniel Blaisdell, Esq.. and Capt. Eobert Barber were 
appointed a committee to look it up and see what situation it was 
in, report a plan and a location. In 1801 it was again voted to 
lay out the plot and a committee Avas appointed to look into 
"the state of the timber on the Town Plot." This is the first 
intimation that it had been located. At last, in 1802. the com- 
mittee reported a plan and the plot, and it was voted "that it 
be annexed to the proprietors' records next after this meeting." 
If the plot was pitched as those two surveys would indicate, it 
was located northwest of Factor^'- Village. Several old deeds 
refer to it as located in that section and forming a part of the 
farms of George W. Daniels and Fred Butman. 

The draft of all the pitches of the town does not leave any 
place for it and although several votes were passed by the pro- 
prietors in their meetings and committees appointed for the 
laying out of the same, it was probably never laid out as planned. 
Many of the charters of other towns contained this provision, and 
it was inserted, no doubt, so that the settlers might build their 
houses and form a settlement near each other. 

The five hundred acres of the governor's right was located in 
the southwest corner of the town adjoining the towns of Relhan, 
now Enfield, on the south, and Hanover on the west. Capt. John 

102 History of Canaan. 

Scofield purchased the five hundred acres of ]\Iartha Wentworth, 
the widow of Benning Wentworth, for two hundred dollars, on 
February 22, 1797. The proprietors surveyed two hundred acres 
of this right and laid it to Eleazer Scofield. The remaining three 
hundred was laid out in a parcel of four hundred acres to 
Mescheck Blake and was surveyed north of and adjoining the 
first parcel in 1799. The one hundred acres remaining of the 
four hundred parcel was laid out to the right of Eufus Randall, 
and lay north of the governor's land, extending along Hanover 
line. It was owned by John Scofield, the settler, and in the set- 
tlement of his estate it was set otf to his son, John. This land 
was all at one time the property of the Scofields. Afterwards 
it was occupied by WiUiam and Israel Harris, Joseph Follens- 
bee, Mescheck Blake, John ]\Iay and Joseph Stevens. 

Of the sixty-two names entered as grantees, the name of 
Thomas Gustin occurs twice. Whether this is a mistake, or it 
was intended to give him two shares, is not known. But the 
proprietors e^^dently inferred that he was to have two shares, 
for they laid out land on his "first" right and also on his 
"second." The Gustins were friends of the governor, so were 
Richard Wibard, a councilor and judge of probate; Thomas 
Westbrook Waldron of Dover, who was a representative at 
Exeter in 1768 and a councilor in 1773 ; James Ne\'ins. who was 
collector of customs at Portsmouth ; John Xewmarch, Daniel 
Fowle, the printer, at Portsmouth; Thomas Parker, George and 
William King, merchants. George King was deputy secretary 
of state in 1772, and clerk of the supreme court of judicature 
in 1773 and in the Louisburg expedition of 1745 was an artificer ; 
Daniel Rogers, w^ho was a councilor in 1772 and a doctor by 
profession; Capt. William Wentworth and his son, Capt. John 
Wentworth, of Somersworth, a cousin of the governor. They 
were all from the vicinity of Portsmouth. 

The charter granted 23,000 acres, which was "to contain six 
miles square and no more. Out of which an allowance is to be 
made for highways, unimprovable lands by Rocks, Ponds, Moun- 
tains and Rivers 1049 acres." It was bounded as follows: "Be- 
ginning at the S. E. corner of Hanover, thence North 55° East 
by Hanover six miles to the corner thereof. Then South 61° 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Sur\'eys. 103 

East six miles, tlien South. -11° West six miles, then North 58° 
West seven and one quarter miles." 

The charter of Hanover gives the line as running North 45° 
West. The difference between the town directions would leave 
a gore of land which was not intended. In 1772, an addition was 
made to Hanover, 180 rods wide. Hanover at that time claimed 
this addition included a part of Dame's Gore and all of State's 
Gore. But the adjustment of the line between the two towns 
made the line run North 45° West. 

The old maps made from surveys by both towns in 1805 run 
the line North. 45° East. The Hanover surveys made the dis- 
tance six miles to Dame's Gore and 165 rods on the Gore to the 
northeast corner of Hanover. John Currier, the Canaan sur- 
veyor, made the distance 1,897 rods to Dame's Gore. His min- 
utes were: Hanover line, "Began at a stake & stones being the 
south east corner of Hanover run N 41 E 45 rods to the top of 
the mountain, then 1457 rods to Goose Pond Brook then 132 
rods to hyme road, then 263 rods to the Beach tree the comer 
of Canaan." 

After the disputes over Dame's and State's Gores had been 
adjusted and State's Gore annexed to Canaan, the line was con- 
tinued 182 rods to Lyme on Hanover. 

The town, in 1805, raised $186 for the purpose of establish- 
ing the line between Canaan and Hanover, and according to 
the survey of the town, made by John Currier, in 1805, this 
line was run North 45° East 1,897 rods to Dame's Gore. The 
map made by Hanover at this time gives the line as running 
North 45° East six miles, then 165 rods on Dame's Gore. 

The other lines have been disputed and do not now run 
straight. Almost from the first settlement of the town disputes 
and contentions prevailed with Enfield and Orange in relation 
to boundaries. By the charter, the boundaries began at the 
northeast corner of Lebanon and this same point is also the 
corner bound of Hanover and Enfield. The north line of Enfield 
was run out, their surveyors ran in upon Canaan nearly a mile, 
which was the cause of unhappiness to those people who had 
built themselves homes in the belief that they were living in 
Canaan. After many discussions and much hard feeling, in 
1771, Capt. John Wentworth. George King and John Peuhal- 

104 History of Canaan. 

low were appointed to settle the dispute, "and act everytMng 
that should be thought necessarj^ Kelative thereto." The matter 
dragged along for nine years, when in 1780 George Harris, 
Samuel Jones and John Seofield were appointed to examine all 
the papers in the ease and to make a new survey of the lines, if 
thought necessary. This commission discovered what they 
thought to be a clerical error in the charter of Enfield, by writ- 
ing sixty-eight degrees instead of fifty-eight, as it was in the 
charter of Canaan. By this error the lines of Enfield inter- 
cepted and confounded all the lines of the adjoining towns. It 
was found, also, that the line as claimed by Enfield left a gore 
of land, ten degrees wide, between Enfield and Grantham, and 
which was not claimed by the proprietors of Grantham. By cor- 
recting this apparent error, it was insisted that all these con- 
flicting claims would be reconciled and the charters made uni- 
form. A petition was presented to the General Court and in 
1781, in a joint meeting of the town and the proprietors, George 
Harris was appointed their joint agent "to appear before the 
honorable General Court this ]\Iarch instant at Exeter, then and 
there to support a Petition, which he preferred at the last ses- 
sion, relative to establishing a proper line between Canaan and 
Enfield." The General Court appointed Jeremiah Page, Henry 
Gerrish and William Chamberlain of Boscawen, a committee to 
survey the disputed lines and boundaries and report thereon on 
the ninth of July following. They reported that "the North- 
easterly corner of Enfield and the Southeasterlj^ corner of 
Canaan were at the same point of beginning, thence running 
North 58° West seven miles and sixty rods to a birch stump 
which is the Northeasterly corner of Lebanon and the South- 
easterly corner of Hanover." This report was received and 
filed away, but was not acted upon. Enfield thereon ceased to 
claim any of the Canaan lands, and extended its jurisdiction over 
the unclaimed gore on the north of Grantham, no one disputing 
her right thereto. 

In 1802, twenty years afterwards, this report was called up 
and adopted by the legislature. This line was accepted by both 
parties and a year or two afterwards the proprietors asked the 
town to di^ade the expense of the surveys and litigation which 
had been incurred. This the town declined to accede to. on the 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 105 

groiiud that the proprietors, who Avere advertising their lands 
for sale, were bound to give a good title for the money they 
received. Having paid once for a title, the people did not feel 
called upon to pay again. 

The map of the survey of John Currier, in 1805, made this 
line run North 58° West, 2.390 rods, but the minutes of his sur- 
vey were as follows : Enfield line : 

Began at the above bound, run S60E 34 rods to the top of the moun- 
tain, then 7G7 rods to Enfield road, then 8 rods to Mascum River then 
7 rods across said river, then 180 rods to the road by "Widow Sawyers, 
then 171 rods to Mud Pond, then across the pond 152 rods to an ash 
tree, then 280 rods to Otis road, then 791 rods to the south east corner 
of Canaan. 

The map of Enfield sum^ey, at this time, gives the same course 
and distance as the Canaan map, each town assisting the other 
in running the line. For eighty years no question of its cor- 
rectness arose until in 1883, Henry H. Wilson, who had been a 
continuous selectman, after close examination, became convinced 
that the covered bridge over the jNIascoma, called Blackwater or 
Scofield Bridge, was in Enfield and should be cared for by that 
town. The interest in that cause was kept up two seasons and 
several skillful surveyors were employed. At first the bridge 
was thrown into Enfield, which was a triumph for Wilson and 
Canaan. The defeated party then put on an additional surveyor 
and there was a victory for Enfield. 3Ir. Wilson then put on 
Prof. Charles H. Pettee. a civil engineer and surveyor, in whose 
skill and exactness he had the greatest confidence, and decided 
to abide the result of his labors. The bridge was in Canaan by 
a few feet. The method pursued was as follows: 

By placing a signal on Moose Mountain at a point known to be only 
a few feet from the line, a trial line having been run with the compass 
from the western bound to this point. Then a point on Grafton bills 
beyond the eastern bound and on the prolongation of the town line 
was found and a signal was erected, this point giving a view of east 
bound in Grafton west line and Moose Mountain stations. Then the 
position of Moose Mountain station was correc-ted by sighting on Graf- 
ton station and running a line to west bound. Intermediate stations 
on Howe and Coggswell Hills were determined from which the position 
of the various roads was obtained and marked by temporary stakes. 
The bearing of this line from Grafton station, Coggswell Hill and vari- 


History of Canaan. 

ous intermediate points was N 52%° W, from Howe Hill it was N 
531^° W, stiowing a slight variation. 

And to establish the line so that there should be no further 
cause for dispute the selectmen of the towns traversed the seven- 
mile line and placed thirteen stone posts firmly in the ground, 
one at each highway leading from Canaan to Enfield. The ex- 
pense of this campaign against the bridge to the towns was about 
$175. It appears, therefore, that there is a variation of the 
magnetic meridian of four and one-half to five and one-quarter 
degrees in about 107 years, in comparing the two surveys of the 
to\STi line. 

The east line of the town is the west line of Orange, and a 
part of the west line of Grafton. The town of Grafton, accord- 
ing to the record of perambulations, extends on the line of 

ja „ ijsc 

Dei*\q c&ileJ wpon Oy ft\t 6«JectTneTi o^C&nA«n t6 m&Kp. & plan «^ 
*^'* C»TVA&n Accord'fv^ -fo An »cf of tha. le^ulAfure o\ I'ht Ofaf^ p4iie<j Ctee 30, tflOJt 
Erv-f'tled An acT" fo C&u^e rHe sSverAt 'f&wn^ to mAkje jvrvsyi m order n n\»l^a 
A map oY -rhe ifife, 

Trvo piAH 'a A presehr ^cfwaV iurrey by CAte^yU AdmaAiuretrtflrtf" 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 107 

Canaan 400 rods, the points of compass have varied from 
North 41° East to North 44° East. John Currier, in 1805, sur- 
veyed two lines. One claimed by Grafton and one claimed by 
Canaan. He ran the line as claimed by Canaan, South 41° West 
387 rods from the southwest corner of Orange, which made a 
straight line with the old charter line between Canaan and 
Orange. But Grafton claimed a line west of the charter line, 
which took off a corner of Canaan amounting to about 240 acres. 
Grafton had a dispute with Enfield over a strip extending along 
its west side and, as Grafton lay to the east of Canaan, in order to 
maintain its western boundary as a straight line against Enfield, 
it was obliged to run into Canaan. John Currier surveyed this 
disputed line in Canaan to run from the southwest corner of 
Orange North 65° West 100 rods, thence South 43° West 385 
rods, to the disputed corner of Enfield. The contention of 
Grafton was not recognized. In 1812 the record of perambula- 
tion is: "Met Henry Springer of Grafton and perambulated N 
41 E about 400 rods to S. W. corner of Orange. According to 
act passed Feb. 8. 1791." 

In 1826, the record was North 40i/o° East; in 1844, it was 
North 41° East; in 1868 North 43° East. The line on Orange 
begins at the northeast corner of Canaan and has been perambu- 
lated for years, South 61° West 226 rods to the southwest cor- 
ner of Gushing 's Gore, then South 44° West 1,740 rods to the 
Grafton line. John Currier's survey was of the "old line" and 
the "new line." They both ended at the northwest corner of 
Grafton and southwest corner of Orange. 

The minutes of his survey are as follows: Orange line. "Begun 
at a large rock then run S35W 1600 rods to the south west 
corner of said Orange, then S39W 92 rods to the first road then 
105 rods to the second road then 200 rods to Enfield Corner. ' ' 

The course of the Orange "old line" was South 41° West 
1,612 rods, and of the "new line," South 35° West, 1,595 rods, 
both starting from Dame's Gore, about 250 rods apart. At this 
time Orange claimed the westerly line as its west boundary. The 
Orange map of 1805 gave the line as running South 35° West 
1.600 rods, and as part of Orange on the east end of the gore as 
South 39° West 160 rods from the northeast corner of the gore. 
The line on the south line of Dame's Gore was run North 65^ 


History of Canaan. 


Deed of 

Proprietors of Canaan ) 

to [ Aug 12. 1807 

Proprietors of Orange j 

Whereas disputes have arisen and for 
a long time subsisted about the dividing 
line . . . 

Beginning at a stake and stones near 
Daniel Blaisdell's field, N. W. Cor. of 
Grafton, Established by Gerrish etc, 
1781, N 35 E 5 m. 20 r to a rock about 3 
feet across in present supposed line of 
Canaan and Dames Gore to be N. E. 
Cor. Canaan released all lands to Orange 
East of new line. Daniel Blaisdell, Jo- 
seph Flint, Treadway land, Brown lot 
Morrill lot, Shepard lot, 402.63 wliole 
amt. located. 

Blaisdell N line 140 r. from Grafton 
Corner, from said Corner to new road is 
220 r. to S. edge of Pond is 234 r., to S. 
line of Puffer 396, to Orange road 556 
50 r. across Puffer land. 

D a7ucS C:orelt»t-C- 



reds lci4.C (o 
O r a n O t T^Oa. cL- 




?/ tti) IZco-d- 
t It. I «. 1.-0 

GrajtoK Cor. 

West 240 rods. There being so much dispute over the dividing 
line, the proprietors' committees of the two towns came together, 
had the line surveyed, and agreed upon a ' ' new line, ' ' in distinc- 
tion from the old or charter line. The new line agreed upon ran 
from Grafton corner North 35° East five miles and twenty rods, 
to the rock corner on Dame's Gore. It ran through all the lots 
which had been surveyed and bounded on Orange's "old line," 
leaving part of the land on Canaan side and part on Orange 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 109 

side. Accordingly the proprietors of Canaan, by deed dated 
August 12, 1807, released to the proprietors of Orange, who had 
appointed a committee "to pass deeds and settle the title with 
Canaan, ' ' all the land on the east side of this new line, amount- 
ing to 778 acres and eighty-seven square rods. The first mention 
in the records of the proprietors of Orange of this dispute 
occurs December 12, 1798. At this time the Shepard lot was the 
most nortliern lot located southeast of the old farm of Stephen 
Worth. All north of it was undivided. 

One hundred and eight rods of the north line of that lot was 
released to Orange out of one hundred and sixty. This seemed 
to have settled the dispute. For over thirty years this "new 
line" was the accepted boundary. In 1840, the selectmen of 
Orange sought, by petition dated June 10. 1840, to the "Hon- 
orable Senate and House of Representatives," to have "that 
part of Canaan situated east of the line as Canaan was first 
surveyed hy the proprietors annexed to Orange." Canaan in- 
structed its representative to oppose it "with all his might." 
The hearing came up in 1841 and leave was given to withdraw 
the petition, which the selectmen of Orange did. Then the mat- 
ter slumbered for nine years, until September, 1850, when John 
Flint of Lyme attempted to survey the disputed line for Canaan. 
He "began at Grafton Corner and ran thence N 37%° E nearly 
1692 rods to the rock corner, then S 61° E 152 rods to the S. E. 
corner of Gore, then N 60° E 260 rods to Groton corner, a beech 
tree." This was the old compromise line. "The bearing and 
distance of the line Canaan claims as her east line will be N 43° 
E nearly and nearly 1700 rods to the S. E. corner of the Gore." 
Dame's Gore projected beyond the "new line" as claimed by 
Orange, 152 rods. Between the "new line" and the "old line" 
was a strip of land 152 rods wide at the north end and running 
to a point at Grafton corner. Orange had claimed this strip as 
far back as 1803 when the proprietors of Orange brought action 
of ejectment against Josiah Clark and lost their suit. 

Application was made to the court of common pleas to settle 
and establish the line, which it did on November 13, 1850, having 
appointed D. C. Churchill, Isaac Ross and X. T. Berry commis- 
sioners. The line was established as follows: 

110 History of Canaan. 

Beginning at tlie northwest corner of Grafton, which is the south- 
west corner of Orange, thence running North 42%° East, 1,700 rods to 
a stake and stones, which we set up and establish as the southeast 
corner of Dame's Gore, as it was when annexed to Canaan. Thence 
running North 60° East 254 rods to the southwest corner of Groton, 
being a beech tree standing on the west side of a brooli:. No trees were 
found marked on the east end of the Gore, but we marked them with 
spots on the sides and three marlvs acrost the tree with a marking 

The expense of this survey was $430.94 to the two towns. 
The strip disputed became Canaan land. The north line of the 
town extends on the line of the towns of Dorchester and Lyme. 
The perambulation of the line between Canaan and Lyme fails 
to show any distance. But the survey made when State's Gore 
was annexed to Canaan, began at the northeast corner of 
Hanover and ran thence South 64° East 277 rods to the "corner 
of Lime and Dorchester." This survey was made after Dame's 
Gore was annexed to Canaan. The map of Lyme from the sur- 
vey of 1805 gives the same distance but the direction was South 
641/2° East. 

The old town line of Canaan was bounded on the north by 
Dame's Gore, a strip of land which lay between Canaan and 
Dorchester. In the charter this line ran North 61° West six 
miles. The north line of all the old pitches have this bearing, 
but the proprietors pitched and surveyed manj^ lots of land on 
the other side of the "old town line," which were in Dame's 
Gore, and the south line of these pitches do not follow that 
bearing. Some of them run North 64° West and North 65° West. 
John Currier's survey in 1805 runs on the gore line South 61° 
East 2,074 rods to Orange new line. Orange claimed its new 
line ran through the Gore and into Dorchester, a distance of 
sixty-two rods, taking off 220 rods on Dorchester's south line 
and Dame's Gore north line. Orange did not establish its claim. 

The minutes of Currier 's survey were as follows : Dame 's 
Gore line : 

Begin at a beach tree being the N. E. Corner of Hanover then run, 
S61E 310 rods to Clark's Pond then S29W 40 rods then 116 rods to 
the lower end of sd Pond, the Pond is 12 rods wide at the lower end, the 
general course of the Pond is N23W about 200 rods, then on the town 
line 368 rods to Mascum River, S34W is the general course of said river, 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. Ill 

tlien 274 rods to Dorchester road theu 166 rods to Lary's pond on the 
west side and 30 rods wide, runs north 60 rods, South 140 rods, the gen- 
eral course is North and South, then 216, rods to Jones's road, then 266 
rods to Indian River, then 228 rods to a large rock with stones thereon 
being on Orange line. 

About the time of the annexation of Dame's Gore to Canaan, 
in 1846, application was made to the Court of General Sessions 
by the towns of Dorchester and Canaan to settle the line between 
them. Walter Blair, D. C. Churchill and N. S. Berry were ap- 
pointed commissioners to settle the line and they established it, 
and it was confirmed by the court October 31, 1848, as follows: 

Beginning at a beech tree marked standing on the southerly side of 
a small stream, running from a small pond, said tree being shown to 
as the southwest corner of Groton, running thence North 64 degi-ees 
"West 250 rods to a small beech, spotted on the side and marked cross- 
wise with a marking iron, thence North 65 degrees West 250 rods to a 
brown ash, standing between three small spruce trees about six rods 
west of Indian River, thence North 59 degi'ees West 950 rods to a stake 
and stones standing near the south end of a stone wall, thence 60 de- 
grees West 309 rods to the South east corner of Lyme. It being a stake 
and stones. Monuments were marked with spots on the sides and three 
marks acrost the tree or stake with a marking iron. 

The north line of the town, taking- the survej" confirmed by 
the court, extends 2,036 rods. The perambulations of this line have 
been for many years South 60° East, 1,536 rods to the northwest 
corner of George W. Hadley's, then South 64° East 524 rods to 
Groton and Orange corner. John Flint's survey in 1850 shows 
the old town line to be South 61° East and the gore line evident- 
ly from Hadley's South 641/0° East 490 rods. In 1845 and 1864 
the line was perambulated North 60° "West 1,556 from Hadley's. 

It will be seen that this town corners with Lebanon, Hanover 
and Enfield at its southwest corner; with Hanover on the Lyme 
line at its northwest corner; with Dorchester, Orange and Gro- 
ton at its northeast comer, and with Enfield on Grafton line at 
its southeast corner. 

The following letter written by Ezekiel Wells and sent to the 
state department, in explanation of the old map and survey of 
1805, soon after the map was made, will serve to explain many 
things about our boundaries : 

112 History of Canaan. 

Sir, iu answer to your letter accompanying the plan of the Town of 
Canaan which you seem to wish us to correct or explain, we can only 
make the following observations, (viz) as to the information which you 
first give us that by the plan of Hanover you find that they run in upon 
Canaan "about half a mile on one side & nearly a mile on the other" 
seems to be too indefinite to admit of an explanation; but you add 
that we have not given you any account of this contested line, and 
say that you want an actual accurate survey of the true & contested 
line with all the corses & distances marked on our plan, the line which 
we have laid down on our plan between Canaan & Hanover is the only 
line ever run between the two towns by any person, & is the line which 
has been mutually holden to & perambulated by them ever since the 
settlement of the Town, and their Charters bore date about fourty years 
ago and the corse marked on our plan is the same corse given by 
Hanover Charter and the Compass of our surveyor followed the old 
line without variation to be perceived altho by sd compass in general 
there is a small variation, and the distances on the plan is agreeable to 
your Requirement, Horizontally if Hanover Selectmen have given you 
an account of any line easterly of the one on our plan we are authorized 
to say that they have done it without ever surveying any such line 
or even ever seeing the ground on which they say it is run as you may 
be further informed of by applying to Esq Blaisdel, and we further say 
that the beach tree marked on our plan as the south west corner of 
Canaan is the Established bound at which Lebanon Hanover, Enfield 
and Canaan corners . . . secondly you say that we have laid down 
on our plan what we call Orange old line but have not given the corse 
nor distance of it this neglect if it was one we have corrected, you say 
that we dont agree with Orange in the meeting of our road by more than 
a mile, & you expect us to be correct, which we have once said that 
■we wore & now without hesitation say it again. You say that by lay- 
ing down the plans of Canaan Grafton and Orange togather you find 
that Grafton runs in upon Canaan about 100 rods and request us to 
make it certain whether the station at which you have marked A on 
our plan is actually the south west corner of Orange and the northwest 
corner of Grafton, to which we can only say that it ever has been con- 
sidered as such by the selectmen of the two towns in their taxation; & 
their jurisdiction has, we believe always bin bounded there since a 
Committee from the Legislatux-e abought 24 years since established that 
as Grafton corner altho the selectmen of Grafton say that their Charter 
& act of incorporation ran in upon Canaan & Enfield (as you have 
observed & as we have worked out on our plan) and this is all for they 
peosebly consent to be bounded in their taxation at that station . 
You perticularly wish us to let you know if the south east corner of 
Canaan & the northeast corner of Enfield are at the same station; to 
"Which we reply that they are & as laid down in our plan & as we sup- 
pose in the plan of Enfield whose selectmen helpt us to survey the line 
between us. The old line between Orange and Canaan was the Charter 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 113 

line but the new line is the one permenently agreed upon by the propri- 
etors of both towns & acgnized in by sd Towns. The line between 
Canaan & Enfield and between Canaan & Dames Gore as also that 
between Canaan & Hanover are the points of compass mentioned in the 
several Charters and by compasses in general may vary from one to two 
degrees as the lines was run abought 40 years since . 

With dtie respect permit us to subscribe ourselves your most obedient 
& very Humble servts. 

The governor's plot having been taken out and the charter 
fixed the location of it the proprietors appointed committees to 
divide the land among the sixty-seven remaining rights, each 
grantee owning one share or right in the undivided lands. But 
few of the proprietors or grantees ever came to Canaan or paid 
any attention to their claims, and their rights were sold at auc- 
tion to satisfy taxes and assessments made upon the rights for 
laying out roads, building bridges and dividing the lands. 
Taxes were not laid upon the land because it was as yet un- 
divided and without owner. 

On January 3. 1771, a meeting was held in Colchester, Conn., 
at the house of Thomas Wells. Aaron Cady's right was sold 
for eight pounds, fifteen shilling to Amos Wells; Gibson Har- 
ris' right was sold for two pounds to William Caldwell; Jared 
Spencer's right was sold for one pound, fifteen shillings to Sam- 
uel Joslyn. On May 15, 1771, in Lebanon, at the Inn of Cas. 
Hill, Nathaniel Cady's right was sold to Samuel Benedict for 
four pounds ; William Fox, Jr. 's, right was sold to James Jones 
for four pounds; Thomas Gates' right was sold to Thomas Miner 
for four pounds, ten shillings; William Chamberlain's right was 
sold to Bartholomew Durkee for four pounds, five shillings ; Wil- 
liam Chamberlain, Jr. 's, right was sold to Benjamin Wheaton for 
four pounds, five shillings, as was also the right of Jedediah 
Lathrop, and was resold to Thomas Gates for five pounds. 

The proprietors first voted to lay out hundred acre lots in 
1768, known as a "First Division of Hundred acre Lots" of 
upland and a ''First Division of Intervale" lots containing ten 
acres. Subsequently there were two further divisions of hun- 
dred-acre lots of upland, then a fourth division of upland into 
seven- or eight-acre lots, a fifth division into seven-acre lots and 
a sixth division into six-acre lots. There was also a second divi- 

114 ' History of Canaan. 

sion of intervale lots into one acre. The pitches on these divisions 
were not always exact, sometimes more land was inclosed and 
sometimes less than was allotted to the division. Along South 
Road there was no allowance for the most part for roads. The 
lots being laid out to the "Road." South Road (often called the 
"Post Road"), in the early days, was laid out by the county 
court about 1774. It was intended to be nearly a straight road, 
extending across the south part of the town about two hundred 
rods from the to^\^l line. It was laid upon undivided lands of 
the grantees, and should the road ever be thrown up or its course 
changed the land would not become the property of the adja- 
cent owners. A distinction must be drawn between ownership 
by the town and the grantees, also between the proprietors and 
the grantees, men who were named in the charter. Very few 
of the inhabitants of the town were proprietors and still less of 
them grantees. The town means the inhabitants of the town, the 
proprietors mean those who owned the original rights — they 
may not have been grantees, but they became proprietors for the 
most part by purchase. 

The Proprietors' Book of Surveys is the source of title of all 
lands in Canaan, the beginning of an abstract. To it all titles 
lead for confirmation, as to points of compass and distances. It 
is a book of records in which the proprietors' committees con- 
firmed the lands as laid out. Many of the lands had been set- 
tled upon before they were surveyed, some were resurveyed, the 
old survey having been lost, and the date of record is sometimes 
the date of resurvey. But this record shows that the proprietors 
confirmed them to those who had settled upon or purchased them. 
The register's office of this county does not contain any of these 
old surveys, or pitches, only so far as subsequent owners have 
followed the old descriptions, which are omitted often enough to 
make much confusion. No plot or map was ever made of these 
pitches or surveys by the proprietors, and it is not to be won- 
dered at that they should make some mistakes ; and there are 
some instances where they ran over on to land previously pitched, 
but it was discovered, sooner or later, and the lines adjusted or 
further allowances made of land somewhere else. 

In beginning the search of a title at the present time, for the 
purpose of establishing the bounds, deeds are found as far back 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 115 

as 1864, in which the description is only by adjoining owners. 
In the '50 's we begin to find points of compass and distances, 
only in part, and further search must be made to tind all the 
bearings and distances. It finally leads back to the Proprietors' 
Book of Surveys, in which nearly every piece of land in town 
is recorded and described by points of compass and distances. 
Descriptions of property by adjoining owners is of very little 
value; points of compass, owing to the variation of the compass 
needle, which so far has constantly gone west, are not much to 
be depended upon : but distances do not vary. — they should be 
as they were a hundred years ago, allowing for the probability 
of human error. 

Once an owner loses his bounds, he must get back to some 
record that will give him a definite course to follow. The old 
pitches began at the corner of some other lot, for the most part, 
and stakes and stones were used for the corner, sometimes trees, 
and the intervale lots were often bounded by the river. Stakes 
and stones have disappeared and trees, as well. Sometimes an 
old stump is left, or there is someone who remembers where the 
old stump was. — like the stump which was the beginning of the 
1st Hundred of the Mill Lot by the dam at the "Corner." The 
river is still there, but its course is changed in many places. Still 
there may be instances where an old corner may be located. A 
survey made to Moses Dole, in 1809, mentions an island in the 
middle of the river. That island is there today, a little way 
below the site of the old paper mill. Lots, in the beginning, 
rarely gave any points of compass on the river, but they gave 
distances. The intervale lots, laid out in the meadows, sometimes 
included the river, the land extending on both sides. But. for 
the most part, the rivers, ponds, and brooks were taken as boun- 
dary^ lines. 

The bearings of the lines of the old surveys having been deter- 
mined many years ago, some of the surveys having been made 
more than one hundred and thirty years, and the compass needle 
having traveled westwardly, it becomes necessary to determine 
how far it has traveled from the bearing run by the old surveyors, 
before any new line can be run that will coincide with the old 
line. So far as known there is no way to determine the 
amount of variation. The line is where it always was, it has not 

116 History of Canaan. 

changed; but the needle will not point at the same number of 
degrees it did when the old surveyor ran it. To say that the 
needle has traveled so far in any definite number of years is not 
correct. It cannot be averaged. By setting a compass on a 
number of old lines this will be apparent. The forty acres of 
the church right and lying on the north old town line, shows a 
variation of three and one-half to three-quarters degrees. The 
south line of the 1st Hundred of the Mill lot between A. M. 
Shackford and F. B. L. Porter shows a variation of five and one- 
half degrees. This lot was first surveyed in 1771 and resurveyed 
in 1806. The south line of A. B. Howe's and the north line of 
John Currier's, surveyed in 1805, shows a variation of seven 
degrees. The south line of J. B. Wallace 's and the north line of 
A. M. Shackford 's, on the east side of Hart Pond, probably sur- 
A'eyed in 1846, shows a variation of seven and one-half degrees. 
The latter is abnormal and extraordinary and cannot be ac- 
counted for, but taking that variation for the other lines the 
land surveys correctly. Broad Street, was first surveyed in 1788, 
North 11° West, and resurveyed by the Grafton Turnpike Com- 
pany in 1804, and again in 1828 by the town which relaid the 
road over it, North 12° West, it now runs North 81/2° West. The 
common, surveyed in 1793, shows a variation of three degree and 
one half. The only way is to determine the variation of the com- 
pass upon each piece of land sought to be surveyed. This can 
be found by running a line between two established and well- 
known corners, taking some old wall, kno^vn for a long time to 
have been on the line. The old bearing having been found by 
reference to old deeds, the present bearing having been found, 
the difference between the two bearings can be used as the varia- 
tion to run the remaining lines. But if two bounds are not 
known, nor any walls or fences, reference must be had to the 
adjoining land and the survey becomes more complicated. 

There are a few surveys of old pitches missing from the old 
book of surveys. The first one hundred acres of Israel Kellogg, 
located about the shore of Hart Pond, south of the road by R. 
H. Haffenreffer's, the third one hundred acres of the mill right, 
where Jonathan Carlton lived, and where E. C. Bean lately 
lived: the second one hundred acres of Clement Daniels' right, 
extending along the road by where F. P. Carter lives, and on the 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 117 

north side of the road from the Tontine settled by John Colcord, 
and upon which Daniel B. "Whittier, the carpenter, lived in 1831 ; 
fifty acres of the third one hundred acres of the school right and 
fifty acres of the third one hundred acres of Josiah Gates, Jr., 
lying side by side on the north side of the old tOT\Ti line, being 
a part of the old Danforth and Tristram Sanborn farms. 

The divisions of land were not laid out in one parcel, as the 
allotments would seem to indicate, as well as the votes of the 
proprietors, nor were they adjoining. The first hundred of 
Samuel Dodge. 3d, was laid out in five parcels of three, fifty, 
fourteen, thirty-three, and nine acres, and many others in like 
manner. Nor was land in each di^nsion laid to all the rights. 
Neither of the George and William King rights received any land 
in the fourth, fifth and sixth divisions of upland, or the second 
division of intervale. Some of the pitches refer to the lots being 
laid out in ranges, but there is nothing to indicate the lines of the 
ranges or how many or how they extended. The only references 
are to land in the "2nd. Kange." No reference to any in the 
first. The implication drawn from the references is that the 
lands in the first range extended along South Road to the 
Enfield line, across the south line of the town. These lots are 
laid out systematically, about 200 rods by 80 rods on the road, 
and those on the north side of South Road are laid in like man- 
ner. But the land referred to as being in the second range lies 
north of these survevs and towards the west side of the town, 
above West Canaan and extending to Hanover line. The land 
supposed to be laid out in the second range are not all adjoining. 
In 1797, the proprietors voted "that Ezekiel Wells shall have the 
liberty of laying out a second hundred acre lot instead of a lot 
the Governors lot has took which was No. 1 in the 2nd. Range 
the lot belonged to sd Wells." This "No. 1" must have been 
towards the southwest corner of the town. Some of the lots bear 
numbers. "No. 1" was the "First Penhallow" lot, which, with 
the second and third "Penhallow" lots, after they were laid out 
on the three divisions of Richard Wibard's right, remained 
unoccupied or non-resident land for many years, being sold for 
taxes many times. These lots are what is known as the "Pen- 
hallow Pasture." "No. 2" laid on the right of Daniel Fowle. 
Ezekiel Wells lived here before he moved to the Street. "No. 3" 

118 History of Canaan. 

is south of and adjoining "No. 2," all on Town Hill. "No. 8" 
was the first one hundred of Ephraim Wells, pitched to Samuel 
Converse and owned by James Treadway, who, when he had 
the Pitch Book, pitched six hundred other acres of land to him- 
self, and which the proprietors afterwards nullified, to the extent 
of four hundred acres. This lot w^as the farm which Jonathan 
Dustin bought of James Treadway, but there is some conflict 
between the pitch as surveyed and the deed to Jonathan Dustin. 
The latter calls for fifty acres only of that right. There are 
numerous mentions of numbered stakes : ' ' No. 2 in the 2nd. 
Eange," "No. 4 in the 2nd. Range," located in the west side 
of the town. Nos. 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 29, 33, are the 
starting points of lots extending northerly of Town Hill and 
northeasterly and east of Goose Pond. They are not regularly 
placed and seem to have no connection with any definite system 
of arrangement of lots. In attempting to make a plot of these 
old surveys, there are many discrepancies. Lines were run at 
different dates, the compass changed, old roads have been thrown 
up, and the names of the owners of lots have changed many times. 
The surveyor who ran the lines failed to find the bounds of an 
adjoining piece from whence he wanted to start. The towns of 
Dorchester and Hanover laid their land in lots, symmetrically 
arranged and numbered in order. Canaan laid its lots without 
order or arrangement, and of many different shapes. This arose 
from letting the settlers who were on the land have whatever 
they pleased, and in some cases instead of laying out the land to 
a certain right the right was laid out to the land. In 1768, the 
proprietors "voted that their committee lay out to those pro- 
prietors already settled, ten acres of meadow^ and one hundred 
acres of upland, where they have already made their pitch, to 
be allowed towards their right or share in the township." "And 
they shall lay the same amount to any who should appear and 
make speedy settlement." In 1770. agreeable to the encourage- 
ment from the proprietors, a number of settlers appeared and 
made sundry pitches, and as these were to contain ten acres of 
intervale to each right, some thinldng themselves injured in not 
having their proper quantity, a committee was appointed to 
adjust the injury, by making up to each "that may be deficient, 
his proportion of intervale until his ten acres is completed, and 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 119 

to be adjoining what he now improves or as near as may be 
and not to interfere with other pitches. ' ' It was also voted that 
each settler "already on his hundred acres of upland should 
have the first choice of his lot before any other proprietor." 
The remainder of the intervale, if any, was to be divided among 
the whole of the rights equally. There are three instances where 
a pitch was made and the right to which it belonged was for- 
gotten. Thomas Miner's intervale and Micah Porter's, situated 
on the INIascoma River. There was also a hundred-acre survey 
in the southeast part of the town, laid to Francis Whittier, upon 
a right the name of which does not appear. This is an extra 
hundred, as all the rights have their full share of hundred-acre 

In the first vote to divide the town land there was no con- 
dition attached. In 1770, the time for making pitches of upland 
and intervale was extended to the fifteenth of November, and to 
entitle any proprietors making such pitch to the property thereof 
as his estate, to be held by him or his heirs, he must cut and 
girdle one acre of trees on the hundred acres of upland and one 
acre on his intervale in good husbandlike manner, by the fif- 
teenth of November. And in case any proprietor should make his 
pitch of one hundred acres of upland and ten acres of intervale 
at any time before the committee appointed shall lay out and 
lot the same, such proprietor shall be entitled to his pitch so 
made, and the committee are hereby empowered to confirm the 
same by ordering a record thereof to be made by the proprietors ' 
clerk, also the fulfilling the conditions which entitles any pro- 
proprietor to his pitch to be adjudged by the committee to lot said 
hundred acres and report to be made accordingly under their 
hands to the clerk to be recorded. The time was extended to 
November 1. 1771. but for the future each proprietor making 
his pitch must girdle two acres of his first hundred acres of 
upland, and at the next meeting the proprietors voted that two 
acres of intervale should be girdled. In June, 1773, the pro- 
prietors voted that each proprietor should have the right to 
make a pitch for his second hundred-acre lot of upland. 

Asa Kilburn was appointed a committee to enter the pitches, 
on the day and time of day the pitch was made. The proprietor 
must attest that he has, after the time of pitching, cut bushes 

120 History op Canaan. 

and girdled trees, and also set the first two letters of his name 
on a tree on said lot, and make his return to the clerk, and the 
first one doing this shall have the lot. The time for pitching 
second hundreds commenced in September and continued for 
nine months. 

In 1781, it was voted that those who neglect to have their 
second hundred-acre lots properly laid out shall lose their chance 
of holding by pitching and have their lots flung into a 
"draught." The proprietors began to pitch their third hun- 
dred-acre lots on May 7, 1782, and "each proprietor shall pay 
the cost of laying out his own lot." But before making their 
pitches in the third division, each person must show to the com- 
mittee his right for pitching by deed or power of attorney or 
letter from the proper owners. 

More stringent conditions were imposed upon some of the pro- 
prietors in pitching. Thomas INIiner must show a good and 
authentic deed from one of the original grantees and fell or 
cut twenty acres of land in ten months. This was really a rebuke 
to Mr. ]\Iiner, who had pitched upon a lot without asking per- 
mission of the proprietors. William Record, Leonard Horr and 
Elijah Lathrop must produce good deeds, build houses and 
proceed to cultivate the land. Silas Miller must clear and cul- 
tivate four acres of land : Isaiah Booth must clear, cultivate and 
build a house ; Jacob Hovey must cultivate and manure his land 
The seven latter men w^ere squatters. Capt. Charles Walworth 
can have a hundred acres if he will lay out another hundred- 
acre lot in square form, pay the proprietors seven pounds and 
leave a three-rod road through his land. Caleb Clark can have a 
hundred acres if he pay the proprietors five pounds. William 
and Caleb Douglass can have hundred-acre lots in the third 
division, provided they make speedy settlement and build a 

The surveying and recording of the hundreds and intervales 
dragged along until August, 1805. The proprietors voted that 
as many persons who had made pitches had not complied with 
the former vote ' ' in regard to getting their lands so pitched laid 
out and recorded," and it being "impossible to ascertain what 
quantity of undivided land there yet remain," "therefore voted 
that any lands, upland or intervale, Avhich have been pitched 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 121 

and improved or pitched only, and have not been laid out by 
the proprietors Committee and recorded and shall continue in 
that situation until the first day of November next shall be liable 
to be pitched and laid out by any other person having lands 
to pitch, notwithstanding any former pitches or possessor which 
the law doth recognize as a good title." There was still undi- 
\dded land and it was impossible to find it, for many claimed 
land over the hundreds they were entitled to and there was no 
w^ay of telling how much unless all the land should be sur\^eyed. 
The proprietors' committee proposed to do this. In 1808, 
another committee was appointed to ascertain the amount of 
undivided land. 

The time for recording was again and again extended until 
Nov. 13, 1809, at six o 'clock, ' ' after which time no former pitches 
shall avail the holder." It was not until July, 1812, that the 
proprietors were able to make their fourth division of upland of 
seven acres. The pitching was to begin at six o'clock in the 
morning, "by cutting or girdling trees and by Marking the first 
two letters of the owners name on a tree, and the one making his 
return first to the Proprietors Clerk shall be intitled to said land 
until the first day of October by that time to be surveyed or to 
forfeit his pitch." 

On the tenth of March, 1814, it was voted to lay out the second 
division of intervale of one acre. The manner of pitching was 
the same as before, but each person must have his land surveyed 
by a certain time. In June, 1816, the fifth division of upland 
was voted to be pitched of seven acres. In June, 1823, it was 
voted to lay out six acres of upland as a sixth division to each 
proprietors' right. This was the last division of lands. 

An examination was made of the records and the surveys cor- 
rected and computed by Daniel Blaisdell. and many small strips 
and gores, marshy and swamp land, were found not yet divided. 
John M. Barber, in 1823, was the owner of four rights, and 
asked that a strip be set off to him to satisfy those rights. It 
was done. Barber deeded the rights to the proprietors and they 
were cancelled, as having received their full share of lands in 
Canaan. Daniel Blaisdell asked that land might be set off to 
him. This was done and twenty-two rights Avere cancelled, and 
afterwards four more rights were cancelled in the same manner. 

122 History of Canaan. 

In 1824, Moses Lawrence deeded five rights to the proprietors 
for thirty-five acres of land and these rights were cancelled. 

At the time of liis death, Daniel Blaisdell was the owner of all 
the rights uncancelled, excepting the rights of Richard Wibard, 
George and William King, Daniel Rogers and William Went- 
worth, wliich meant that he owned nearly all the undivided 
land in town. In 1845, Elijah Blaisdell and Joseph Dustin, 
son and son-in-law of Daniel Blaisdell, called a meeting of the 
proprietors and appointed themselves a committee to dispose of 
all the remaining land and to account to the proprietors for 
their equal share in the proceeds. This was the last meeting of 
the proprietors. Many deeds are found recorded from these 
two men, nearly all of them small parcels and of irregular shape. 

There are still many farms in town that have remained in the 
possession of the descendants of the first owner, in the same 
form. The farm of John Currier, upon which his grandfather, 
John Currier, settled, is the first hundred acres of George 
Lamphere, The farm of Warren E. Wilson, and the farm now 
owned by Mrs. Colburn, were settled by her grandfather, Wil- 
liam Harris. 

What was known as the "Barber Farm," was the first hun- 
dred of Isaiah Rathburn and was laid to John ]\I. Barber. It 
extended from the Mascoma River to the line of his father, 
Robert Barber's farm on the east. The latter 's farm extended 
from the shores of Hart Pond to Indian River, beginning near 
the corner of L. B. Hutchinson's and 0. H. Perry's land, ex- 
tending down the shore of the Pond to the Wells line, then 
southerly, including the Pinnacle, to the river, where Barber's 
mill w^as located, then around on the Cochran farm, where Ezra 
Nichols settled, to the comer of the fifty acres of Allen Whit- 
man's, then in a straight line to the pond, three hundred acres. 

The fifty acres of the first hundred of Allen Whitman extended 
from the shore of the pond to the Dustin farm and from what 
is now the north line of 0. H. Perry's, on the west side of Broad 
Street (the line on the east side was changed) to the north line 
of R. H. Haffenreffer. North of Whitman's was the first hun- 
dred of Phineas Sabine, extending to the south line of F. B. L. 
Porter's land. Then came fifty acres of Samuel Dodge. 3d, to 
the North Church, then the first hundred of the I\Iill Right. 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 1*^3 

Joshua Wells ' farm lav on the east side of Hart Pond to Richard 
Whittier s land, extending towards the east, five hundred acres. 
The proprietors' surveys also give us the clew to where the old 
settlers lived, as the surveys are described by bounds on adjoin- 
ing ovraers and occupants. A map of the old pitches has been 
made, so far as possible. 

The difficulty to be overcome is to join the lots lying along 
the banks of the rivers. Both the Mascoma and Indian, because 
of their extremely irregular and winding courses, made it very 
difficult to measure their banks, and in many instances the dis- 
tance must have been averaged, for lots on one side of the river 
do not have corresponding lengths on the other. The farm of 
Simon Blanchard, upon which John Scofield, Jr., lived, lying 
northerly of South Road, and at the westerly end, and extending, 
around the vicinity of West Canaan, consisted of 340 acres, 
bounded by the river on the north and Mud Pond Brook on the 
south. It is not possible to close the plot by allowing the dis- 
tances on brook and river. It may be interesting to know who 
owned the rights of the grantees during all those years, while 
the land was being divided, when some of the proprietors, failing 
to pay their taxes, their rights were sold at auction for non-pay- 
ment. There was so much land it would seem that no one would 
be anxious to have more than he could use, but such was not the 
case. There was as much desire to be a large landowner as 
today. There was little change in the ownership of the rights 
from the original grantees, for the first few years. In 1780, 
Ezekiel Wells owned four rights, Eleazer Scofield two, Capt. 
Robert Barber one and one half, John Scofield, Jr., one, George 
Harris nine, Charles Walworth six, Samuel Jones one, John 
Scofield two, Caleb Clark nine, Jehu Jones one, Thomas Miner 
four and one half, besides several hundred-acre lots amounting 
to 2.500 acres ; Joshua Wells two rights, James Treadway and 
Jonathan Dustin fifteen. In 1786, Joshua Harris owned one 
right, Ezekiel Wells five, John Harris one. In 1823, Daniel 
Blaisdell was the owner of forty-five rights, John M. Barber of 
four, William Richardson two, and Moses Lawrence five. In 
accordance with an act of the legislature, passed December 30, 
1803, to cause the several towns to make surveys, in order to 
make a map of the state, the town at their next annual meeting 

124 History of Canaan. 

dismissed the article approving of such survey, but at a meeting- 
in March, 1805, they voted to put the making of the survey up at 
auction, and reconsidered their previous vote. John Currier 
made the survey, and this old map on tile in the office of the 
secretary of state is a very interesting relic. The "plan is a 
present actual survey by careful admeasurement horizontally."^ 
The principal roads are given, not all of them. The road to 
Eames' mill is left out. This does not, of course, include the 
gores, subsequently annexed to the town. 

The first recorded survey in the Proprietors' Book bears the 
date August. 1773, and the last July 6, 1837. After that date 
the deeds of the proprietors' committees were recorded in the 
county clerk's office. Most of the land in town was surveyed 
and allotted before 1806. Daniel Blaisdell, John Currier, Eze- 
kiel Wells and Moses Dole made most of the surveys. The "Lot 
laying Committee" between those dates embraces the names of 
Ezekiel Wells, John Currier, Joshua Wells, Joshua Harris, Sam- 
uel Jones, John Scofield, John Scofield, Jr., David Blaisdell, 
Robert Barber, Charles Walworth, William Richardson, Nathan- 
iel Bartlett, Caleb Clark. The leading men among the proprie- 
tors were Daniel Blaisdell, John Currier and Ezekiel Wells. 
The land surveyed and set off, so far as it is possible to deter- 
mine, amounted to 22,254 acres. Of this 417 acres was made in 
allowances for roads. The allowance for roads to each hundred 
acres ranged from three to nearly thirteen acres. The largest 
allowance was to the first hundred of Isaiah Rathburn, the 
"Barber Farm." Surveyors, in settling boundary lines and 
partitioning land, have not taken these allowances into account. 

The Proprietors' Book of Records is still in existence, badly 
dilapidated, every leaf separated from the binding and yellow 
with age and use. Its leaves had to be ironed to bring out the 
ink, which from much handling had become very dim. It was 
bound in sheepskin, with two leather straps, one at each end, 
to tie it together. The records of the proprietors are mixed in 
with the surveys ; nor are the surveys in order. Spaces were left 
by different clerks and these spaces were filled up by subsequent 
ones. Deeds from the owners of the original grantee rights to 
the propriety are inserted at different places. 

The Pitch Book and Proprietors' Surveys. 125 

After all the divisions of upland and intervale had been laid 
out on the rights, for certain considerations, the owners of them 
conveyed them back to the propriety. In some instances, the 
conveyance was made to the selectmen. So that now, should 
there be found any undivided land left in town, the town might 
be the owner of a part of it by reason of being the owner of some 
of the rights. 


Public Rights. 

The charter of the town provided that one share should be 
given to the "First Settled Minister in said Town." In 1773 
the proprietors of the town voted to lay out the school and min- 
ister's lot. In 1781 they voted "a one hundred acre lot in the 
first division and a one hundred acre lot in the second division 
and one ten acre lot of Intervale" to three public rights, the 
Church of England right, the first settled minister's right and 
the school right. Samuel Jones, John Scofield, Caleb Clark and 
Ezekiel Wells were appointed a committee to ' ' pitch and lay them 
out." In 1782 this committee were requested to lay out the 
third hundred-acre lots to the same ' ' Publick Rights. ' ' In 1797 
the "laying out" had not been completed, and it was voted "to 
compleat laying all the Publick Rites mentioned in the charter. " 
The first settled minister's share was set off and assigned to Rev. 
Thomas Baldwin in 1783, the year he w^as ordained an evangelist 
and placed in charge of the newly organized Baptist Church. 
In 1790, when Mr. Baldwin dissolved his connection with the 
church and people of Canaan, a town meeting was called to 
make a final settlement with him and the following vote was 
passed : 

Votecl that we do hereby ratify and confirm a vote passed in the 
year 1783 (which vote is now lost) regarding the settlement of Elder 
Thomas Baldwin, in which vote the town voted to approve and confirm 
what the church had done in calling Eldr Baldwin to be ordained as an 
Evangelist, and to exercise pastoral care over the Church and Con- 
gregation so long as he should judge it duty to continue here, by which 
he was considered as the minister of said town, though not confined for 
any certain time. 

At the same meeting Elder Baldwin, as testimony of his kindly 
regard for the people with whom he had lived and labored for 
twenty years and from whom he was about to separate, tendered 
to the town a deed of one half of his land, which was accepted 
in the lan^age following: 









Public Rights. 127 

Voted to accept a deed of Eldr Baldwin of the right of laud allowed or 
granted by Charter to the first Ordained Minister, excepting the first and 
half of the third hundred acres which is considered as one half of sd 

Elder Baldwin had sold the hundred acres of the first division 
on November 1, 1783, to Samuel Noyes for 58 pounds, 10 shil- 
lings, soon after he became the owner of the right. According to 
the Proprietors' Records, this land was surveyed to Samuel 
Noyes November 5, 1805, and he lived on it. It was located in 
the southwest corner of the town, adjoining Grafton and En- 
field. Half of the third hundred he had sold to Daniel Blais- 
dell and was included in a survey of 288 acres laid out October 
26, 1805, and lay along the northwesterly corner of the first hun- 
dred and was a part of Blaisdell's old farm. This half interest 
was offered by the town to Rev. Aaron Cleveland to induce him 
to settle here in 1799, but he did not accept. Mr. Baldwin 
did not at this time give the town a deed because the town owed 
him for preaching. The excuse for not paying the claim was the 
hard lot of the people and the scarcity of money, cattle, calves, 
wheat and other grains, which formed the circulating medium. 
The claim ran along until 1800, when it was voted "to make a 
settlement with Elder Baldwin agreeable to his request." John 
Currier, Richard Whittier and Ezekiel Wells were appointed a 
committee to settle. Mr. Baldwin came up from Boston, met the 
committee and conveyed to the town by deed dated October 1, 
1800, all his interest in the minister's right, excepting the first 
hundred and half of the third hundred acres, they agreeing to 
pay his claim and account, which had been unsettled for nearly 
eleven years. The remainder of the minister's right was then 
parceled out and sold. 

Fifty acres of the second division was surveyed to John Worth, 
Jr., July 6, 1807, and is where the present village of East Canaan 
is. Forty-five acres of the same division were laid out to Ezekiel 
Wells October 8, 1807, and began at a "stake on the east side of 
the highway leading from Canaan to Grafton, about two rods 
south of the bridge over the Indian River, thence about 200 
rods by the road to Orange line, then on the Orange line N 34 
E 14 rods to a small pond, then by the waters of the pond and 
the brook that runs out of it 131 rods"; then in a very devious 

128 History op Cx\.nAx\.n. 

course "to the first bound." This is the land through which 
the railroad now runs on the west side of Mud Pond. Twelve 
and three-quarters acres in the third division was laid out to 
Nathaniel Barber on February 10, 1809. It extends from the 
Turnpike bridge, near C. 0. Barney's, up the river, and is the 
meadow land north of his house. It was a part of Dea. Josiah 
Clark's farm. Five acres of the third division was laid out to 
Ezekiel Wells, "near where Captain Arvin lives," now owned by 
George W. Davis, adjoining the old Howard farm. Fifteen acres 
of the third division was laid out to Daniel Blaisdell November 
13, 1808, on the east side of Goose Pond and adjoining on the 
•easterly line of school lands. Seven acres of the third division 
were laid out to Simeon Arvin October 11, 1810, near Barber's 
sawmill. Seven acres of the fourth division were laid out to 
Israel Harris June 11, 1814, on West Farms, near Hanover line. 

One acre of the second division of intervale was laid out to 
Charles Church of Lebanon May 27, 1814, and thirteen acres 
of the third division were laid out June 3d to the same. Seven 
acres of the fifth division were laid out to Moses Dole September 
16, 1816, on the Mascoma River, below the paper mill site. Ten 
acres of intervale of the first division were laid out to Na- 
thaniel Barber October 16, 1801. This was sold by Barber to 
Josiah Clark and is a part of Carey Smith's farm. Two and 
one-fourth acres of the third division were laid out to Nathaniel 
Barber May 15, 1817. This piece is between C. 0. Barney's 
house and the river, extending down "Orange Pond Brook." 
One hundred and seventy-five acres of this land was the property 
of the town and was sold by them, there being 325 acres laid out 
to the right altogether. This right, as well as the school right, 
became the property of Daniel Blaisdell. Neither right received 
any land in the sixth division of upland because Blaisdell deeded 
them back to the proprietors and they were cancelled before 
the sixth division was laid out. 

The charter granted "One Share for the Benefit of Schools in 
said tOA\Ti." And it will appear that our school never received 
the benefit of a dollar from the sale of the 325 acres laid to that 
right. The land was distributed as follows: The first hundred 
acres of upland was laid out November 28, 1782, "on a hill east 
of upper Goose pond, beginning at a stake, marked No. 33, thence 

Public Rights. 129 

S 15 W 100 rods to a stake, thence S 75 E 163 rods to a beech 
tree marked, thence N 15 E 100 rods to a spruce tree marked, 
thence N 75 W 163 rods to the first bound with an allowance of 
three acres for roads." This lot remained unoccupied for sev- 
eral years. In 1796 the town voted "to sell the improvement of 
the School Lot (on Sawyer Hill) for three years to the high- 
est bidder. " " The Above said improvement struck off to Dud- 
ley Oilman for seventeen dollars for three years, said sum to be 
Paid in Clearing and Fencing on said Lot." Mr. Oilman did 
but little and at the expiration of his lease in 1799 it was voted 
"to sell the income of the School Lot for four years to the High- 
est bidder and rent to be laid out on sd lot in Clearing and Fenc- 
ing yearly." "Struck off to Mathew Oreeley for fourteen dol- 
lars and five cents yearly." Mr. Oreeley made a good trade, 
cleared the great pines and spruces off to his mill, pastured the 
open field and with stones and brush built a fence. 

Mr. Oreeley 's lease having expired in 1803, the lot was again 
put up and bid off to Jacob Tucker for $20 a year for three 
years, "to be paid in building a stone wall in front, acceptable 
to the selectmen. ' ' Mr. Tucker made good use of the land in a 
way profitable to himself. Before his lease expired Warren Wil- 
son, whose lands adjoined, asked the selectmen to sell him a 
part of the lot. The town voted in 1805 "that the selectmen may 
sell a piece of land off the school lot to Warren Wilson." But 
he did not get the land at this time. In 1806 the town voted "to 
leave the school lots for the selectmen to dispose of. ' ' And now 
comes in another factor which caused great discussion and con- 
tention in the town for many years. 

On June 21, 1804, the Orafton Turnpike Company was in- 
corporated, with thirteen incorporators, residents of the towns of 
Lyme, Orford, Canaan, Orafton, Orange and Dorchester. Three 
of the incorporators were from Canaan : Daniel Blaisdell, Ezekiel 
Wells and Moses Dole. They were given the power to make by- 
laws, build a toll road with gates and establish the following rates 
of toll : For ten sheep or swine, one cent ; for ten cattle or 
horses, one cent ; for one horse and rider, one cent ; for a sulky, 
chair, chaise with one horse and two wheels, two cents; for a 
chariot, coach, stage, wagon, phaeton, with two horses, four cents; 

180 History of Canaan. 

for the same with four horses, five cents ; pleasure parties in pro- 
portion to their size; a cart or carriage of burden, one and a 
half cents; and when drawn by two beasts, two cents. Daniel 
Blaisdell was the treasurer; the other officers were from other 
towns. There were two toll gates in town. The first gate was 
erected at Worth's Tavern, which Dr. E. M. Tucker tore down 
and erected a more pretentious mansion. The facility for evad- 
ing toll was more than the company could bear, so the gate was 
moved down near the house of Elijah Whittier, nearer the 
Orange line. The second gate w^as at Gates "s Tavern, near Han- 
over line; George C. Bradbury's. The Turnpike approached 
Canaan across a corner of Orange and took possession of the old 
highway, "beginning at the center of two stakes, standing in the 
westerly line of Orange, near Orange Pond," surveyed in 1789 
by Ezekiel Wells, and covered nearly the same ground as it 
traversed the town to the northeast corner of Hanover. The 
Turnpike was freely advertised as a bonanza, which, with its toll 
gates and bridges, was to fill the empty pockets of its proprietors. 
In 1806- '07 its books were still open and subscriptions solicited. 
Many people had great faith in its future profits and took shares 
of its stock. On the fourth day of July, 1807. a meeting was 
held at the inn of Moses Dole and action was taken as to how the 
Turnpike should be' constructed. Contracts for construction 
were let to Thaddeus Lathrop. and John Currier agreed to build 
one hundred and thirty rods for two hundred dollars, the pay- 
ment to be made upon his shares. The Pike was to be thirty feet, 
excepting causeways, which were to be twentj^-four feet wide. It 
was first to be cleared two rods from the center each way of 
stones, trees and stumps. The road should be two feet higher in 
the center than the sides. 

Dr. Caleb Pierce in the Pinnacle House subscribed for fifty 
shares, but it does not appear that he paid for them or was even 
a stockholder, but to please the doctor the company changed the 
route of the Pike from the north side of his house next the pond, 
laying a new road from near the Bickford road to the corner at 
A. W. Hutchinson's. Daniel Blaisdell subscribed for fifty 
shares, but took onl.y six. Micaiah Moore o^^Tied eighteen shares, 
Moses Dole six, Nathaniel Barber four and one half, Robert 
Barber two, Jacob Dow three, Reynold Gates two, Simeon Arvin 

Public Rights. 131 

eight and one half. Clark Cnrrier three, Joseph Bartlett two, 
Jolm Bean three, Phineas Eastman one and one half, Joseph 
Wheat two, Richard Clark, Jr., eight, Josiah Clark two, Thad- 
deus Lathrop three, Jacob Trussell two and one half, Thaddeus 
Lathrop, Jr., two, John Currier two, Thomas H. Pettingill one 
half, Amasa Howard one half, John Fales two, John M. Barber, 
Caleb Seabury, Jonathan Carlton, Amasa Clark, Abel Hadley, 
Samuel Noyes, John "Worth. Jr., Joseph Wheat, Jr., Wales Dole, 
John Currier, William G. Richardson, ]\Iathew Greeley, Benja- 
min C. Sawyer. Moses Shepard. John Hoyt, Moses Lawrence. Eze- 
kiel Wells, Daniel Carlton, Samuel T. Gates and William Rich- 
ardson one share each. One hundred and seventeen shares were 
owmed in Canaan of the three hundred issued. The stock was 
to be paid for in assessments, as the money was needed in the 
construction of the road. The par value was one hundred dol- 
lars, ten dollars of which was paid by the subscriber upon his 
agreeing to pay all future assessments and on receiving his stock. 
In 1807 the public confidence in the success of the Pike was un- 
diminished, and the subject got into town meeting. The dispo- 
sition of the school lots was again in the warrant and the people 
voted "to sell the School lots and lay out the money in a turn- 
pike road." Later, at an adjourned meeting. Jacob Trussell 
moved to reconsider the late vote and proposed to sell all the 
public rights, school, minister's, glebe and propagation of the 
gospel, and invest the money in some safe fund, the income of 
which should be appropriated to the use of schools and the sup- 
port of the gospel forever. But the "pike" had possession of the 
meeting and Mr. Trussell 's proposition was voted down. They 
then voted ' ' To sell all the public rights unsold. " "To purchase 
shares in the Grafton Turnpike road to the amount of the sums 
for which the Public rights may be sold for." "That the se- 
lectmen be agents to take care of the sale of the Public Rights, 
and see to the laying out of the property arising from the same." 
"To sell all the remaining part of the Ministers and School 
Rights. " " That the selectmen give notice of the sale of the Pub- 
lic Rights at publick vandue by gi\'ing six weeks notice, by an 
advertisement in the Dartmouth Gazette, and take notes for one 
half for one year, the other half in two years with interest." 
And "to purchase as many shares as the lands can be sold for 

132 History of CanAxVN. 

Hundreds of Dollars." "That the sale be the Monday preced- 
ing the sitting of the Supreme Court at Plymouth." 

The "Public Vandue" was held on the 30th of June, 1807, 
by the selectmen, John Currier, Hubbard Harris and Amos 
Gould, who, for the consideration of $503, conveyed the first 
hundred acres of the school right to Nathaniel Barber. On the 
same day Barber quitclaimed the same to Warren Wilson "for 
a valuable consideration." Wilson lived on the present Lov- 
erin farm. Soon after he sold sixty-three acres to William Rich- 
ardson. The land is now owned in part by Eugene A. Shepard 
and John D. Loverin. The second hundred acres was laid out 
December 12, 1784, and surveyed as follows: 

Beginning at a stake standing in the soutli line of the town, thence 
S 58 E 84 rods to a stake marked No. 3, thence N 32 E 200 rod to a 
stake and stones, thence N 58 W 84 rods to a stake and stones stand- 
ing by a brook, thence S 32 W 200 rods to the first bound. With an 
allowance of five acres for roads. 

The brook referred to is Beaver Brook. This had remained 
wild and unoccupied up to the time of the "Vandite," when the 
selectmen conveyed it to Richard Otis for the sum of $290. This 
land lies about one hundred rods southwesterly from Henry H. 
Wilson 's old farm. 

The ten acres of the first division of intervale was surveyed 
to Nathaniel Barber October 16, 1801, and was included in an 
eighty-acre intervale farm, which he sold Josiah Clark. Barber 
had occupied this land for several years when a misunderstand- 
ing in regard to the title occurred and the same selectmen sold 
it by atiction to Micaiah Moore, and also ten acres in the first 
division of intervale of the minister's right for $158. This title 
was quitclaimed to Barber August 21, 1807. 

Fifty acres of the minister's right was sold to Jonathan Carl- 
ton for $145. The remainder of land due this right and subse- 
quently laid is as follows : Twenty-eight and one-half acres 
was laid out December 6, 1808. and twenty-one and one-half 
acres was laid November 20, 1809, both to Jonathan Carlton, 
located on the west side of Goose Pond and between the two 
ponds. Both parcels were in the third division, as well as fifty 
acres, which was included in the farm of Ashel Jones, now 
owned by Alvah Dodge. 

Public Eights. 133 

Seven acres of the fourth division were laid out to Simeon 
Arvin June 10, 1814, and is included in the old Howard farm. 
Seven acres of the fifth division Avere laid out to Moses Dole 
September 23, 1816, northwest of Factory Village. The second 
division of intervale, one acre, was laid out to Charles Church 
May 27, 1814, on the south side of the Mascoma River, where 
Goose Pond Brook runs into it. These several divisions of land 
were sold and deed given. The notes received by the town 
amounted to a little over $1,500, but the sale did not put money 
in the town treasury, the sale being on one and two years' time. 
The selectmen decided to take shares in the turnpike without fur- 
ther orders from the town. The following is a copy of the old 
certificate of the town : 

Town of Canaan 15 shares. 

Know all men by these presents that I E. Kingsbury Junr, Esq of 
Orford in the county of Grafton and State of New Hampshire, for the 
consideration of $150 paid to me before the delivery hereof by the town 
of Canaan, in the County of Grafton and State of New Hampshire, the 
receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge, do hereby give, grant, sell 
and convey to the sd Town of Canaan, its assigns, the following shares 
in the corporation called the Grafton Turnpike Road, to wit the shares 
numbered from 234-248 both inclusive. To have and to hold the 
sd granted shares, with a right to give one vote for each share in all 
matters proper to be transacted by sd Corporation, and all other priv- 
ileges and appurtenances to the same belonging to the sd Town of 
Canaan and to its assigns, and I the sd E. Kingsbury Junr, do covenant 
with the sd Town of Canaan that I have full power to convey the afore- 
said shares in manner aforesaid. 

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 4th. 
day of July 1807. 

E. Kingsbury Junb. 

This old certificate turned up in 1904 amongst some old papers 
that had been in the possession of David Bagley for many years. 
It no doubt came to him from John Fales and to Fales from 
Hough Harris, who was in later years a selectman. Persons in- 
terested in the pike became clamorous; they talked like dema- 
gogues of the present day, accusing the selectmen of trying to 
defeat the will of the people. Many of the good people did not 
take stock in the pike ; they lacked confidence in its success. 
They told the people if they put their money in that pike they 
would never see it again. The pike was not finished. Indict- 

134 History of Canaan. 

ments were already pending against it for damages ; their money 
would soon be absorbed and assessments in money and labor 
would be called for to make the road passable. These argu- 
ments convinced nobody. The next year, 1808, the town voted 
"to direct the selectmen to sign the articles of agreement of 
G-rafton Turnpike Corporation, certifying that they will carry on 
and pay their assessments on those shares taken by said town." 
It is supposed that the selectmen obeyed this vote, signing the 
agreement with the pike, and for more than a year the pro- 
prietors went on with their improvements, encouraging them- 
selves and the stockholders by brave words. But no dividends 
had yet been announced, and the pike was still unfinished. 

During the year 1809 no vote upon the subject is recorded, but 
the people were good enough to promise that they would ex- 
change the road from "Dr. Maxwell's to Capt. Arvin's whenever 
the turnpike is opened and made passable. ' ' The road referred 
to was laid through the swamp near the pond. In INIarch, 1810, 
an article appeared in the warrant to see if the town would open 
the road from S. Ar\'in's to the Wells farm "till svich times as 
the turnpike shall be passable." It was dismissed. The road 
was still unfinished and in an almost impassable condition ; but 
there seemed to be some urgency in the case and to give the 
people some chance to relieve their minds a meeting was called in 
May and it was voted ' ' that the selectmen make the best distribu- 
tion they can of those notes they hold against individuals to pay 
the assessments on those shares taken by the Town of Canaan." 
These assessments had been apportioned among the taxpayers 
and money being hard to get, many objected. At the annual 
meeting in March, 1811, the town voted "to raise a sum of money 
sufficient to pay the assessments on the 15 shares taken by the 
town in the Grafton Turnpike Co." Fourteen persons entered 
their ' ' decent ' ' against paying these taxes : 

Levi George. William Campbell. 

Joshua Richardson. John Porter. 

Jacob Straw. Stephen Williams. 

William Longfellow, Jr. Joshua Meachan. 

Nathaniel Bartlett. William Longfellow. 

Reuben Gile. Lewis Lambkin. 

Daniel Pattee. Robert Williams. 

Public Rights. 135 

Not one of these men lived on the pike. There had as yet 
been no dividends and nothing- but the assessments had been 
thrust at the stockholders. Nevertheless, in June following the 
town voted "not to sell their turnpike shares nor any part 
thereof." This vote was immediately reconsidered and Daniel 
Blaisdell, Thomas Miner and Micaiah Moore were appointed a 
committee to take the subject into consideration, "to see how 
they can dispose of the Turnpike shares belonging to the town 
and report September next." On November 11 they voted "To 
sell 15 shares of the Grafton Turnpike Corporation and all the 
privileges and immunities thereunto belonging to Daniel Blais- 
dell Esq, for $100, he paying all assessments now laid by the 
corporation and all future assessments, excepting $110 on each 
share, which is already paid by the town." And that "the se- 
lectmen execute a deed to said Blaisdell, on his giving bonds 
with sureties, to indemnify the town agreeably to the above 

"Voted to suspend the collection of the Turnpike tax for the 
space of ten days, and then if the said Blaisdell shall comply 
with the above votes, the selectmen are directed to stop the col- 
lection eventually. ' ' 

On December 4 they voted "not to collect the Turnpike tax 
that was assessed in ]May last amounting to $372 on the princi- 

In the adoption of this vote we infer that the town and Mr. 
Blaisdell had traded and that for $100 he received a deed of 
property which had cost the town nearly $1,700 and against 
which there were unpaid assessments of $372. Rather a bearish 
speculation ! Looks as if the town, the school and the church 
would have been happier to have adopted Mr. Trussell's resolu- 
tion. A proposition was made and earnestly advocated to collect 
and pay to the Turnpike Company the sum of $372 un condi- 
tion that the directors give bonds to furnish and keep in repair 
n good, passable road, including bridges, from Hanover line 
through Canaan to Orange line, in place where the Turnpike is 
now laid, to be free of toll to all inhabitants of Canaan, to pass 
and repass for the term of twenty years. But they voted it 
down. They were not ready to enter into any further contract 
with the corporation. Their experience had not been agreeable. 

136 History of Canaan. 

The company had not provided a good road ; it was defective in 
several places and unfinished, and the resolution was gently 
passed out of sight. 

Several years after the above vote an article was inserted in 
the warrant to see if the town would allow the inhabitants liv- 
ing on the line of the pike to work out their highway taxes on 
said pike. But this article was coolly passed by unnoticed and 
the Grafton Turnpike Company was left to keep its roadway in 
repair from its own income, and thereafter the company, its 
feverish struggles Antli assessments insteads of dividends, its 
good or bad fortune, passes entirely out of our records. It wor- 
ried along for several years, hoping for a surplus in its treasury, 
but the turnpike business was overdone and to escape from their 
difficulties thev asked the Legislature in 1828 to receive back 
their charter and let them go into liquidation, and they went. 

In 1823 the town voted that half the tax of those living near 
the turnpike be laid out on it, provided the inhabitants pass 
free of toll. In 1827 the town voted to accept the turnpike and 
lay a road over it, provided the corporation surrender their whole 
charter; and in 1828 the selectmen re-surveyed the road, "Be- 
ginning at the center of two stakes, standing in the "Westerly 
line of Orange near Orange Pond," and thence passing over and 
including all the lands over which the Grafton Turnpike was laid 
through Canaan to Hanover line, and proclaimed it a highway 
over which all mankind were free to travel and enjoy themselves. 

Seven assessments were made upon the stock. The first was 
made July 4, 1807, of $15 on each share and the town paid $225 
on November 30. On January 25, 1808, two assessments were 
made, one for $15 and the other for $25, and the town paid 
$600. The fourth and fifth assessments were made January 30, 
1809, of $35 and $10. and the town paid $675. The sixth assess- 
ment was made in January, 1810, of $14, and the seventh and 
last assessment was made in January, 1811, of $13.85. The town 
paid none on the last and only part of the sixth. It paid in all 

The first dividend of $1.25 per share was paid in 1813 : the 
next in 1814 of fifty -five cents ; another in the same year of fifty 
cents. In 1815 there was a dividend of one dollar. There were 
two dividends of one dollar each in 1816, one of sixty-six cents in 

Public Rights. 137 

1817 and one of fifty cents in 1818, making a total payment of 
dividends of $6.46 on each share, or about $1,938 on all the 
shares. It cost the people of Canaan the sum of $15,688.19 for 
their experience with the ' ' Pike, ' ' of which amount about $755.82 
was returned in dividends. The total cost of the shares of the 
town was $2,067.75. Daniel Blaisdell paid part of the sixth 
assessment and the seventh. It cost Micaiah Moore $2,481.30, 
Simeon Arvis $1,102.28 and Richard Clark, Jr., the same. Each 
share cost the owner $137.85, less the small dividends he re- 

The remaining two public rights, "for the Incorporated So- 
ciety for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts and 
for a Glebe for the Church of England, as by law established," 
were inserted in the charter to afford a source of income for those 
religious associations established in England. They were ex- 
clusively English concerns and had no place in this country; 
no more in olden times than now. No land was laid out to these 
rights before the Revolution and the result of that struggle was 
to forfeit all rights of property on American soil belonging to 
English people or corporations to the American people. The 
proprietors assumed ownership of these rights ; they were not 
cancelled, but received their share of land in the several divi- 
sions, excepting the propagating right, which received none in 
the sixth division. In 1781 the proprietors voted to lay out the 
glebe right, but it was not done. Daniel BlaisdeU became the 
owner of these two rights and much of the land was surveyed 
to him. 

The first one hundred acres of the glebe or church right was 
laid out in 1804 to Daniel Blaisdell, and was the old farm Moses 
Lawrence lived on, and adjoined the east line of Josiah Barber's 
"long lot" on the "old town line." 

Forty acres of the second division was laid to Clark Currier 
on Sawyer Hill in 1805, and another forty was laid out to 
Thomas and Mark Cilley in 1809, and is part of the "Hoyt 
Place" on the present Gore road. 

Twenty-two and one-half acres of the same division were laid 
out to Nathan Cross in the "Gore," as was also eight and one- 
half acres of the third division in 1823. Fourteen acres of the 
third division were laid out to Moses Dole in 1809, where the old 

138 History of Canaan. 

paper mill stood. Fourteen acres of the same division were laid 
out to "Samuel Whitcher" in 1806. on the west side of the 
Indian River, above the watering trough by the fair grounds. 
Eleven and one-quarter acres of the same division were laid out 
to Thomas ]\Iiner in 1806, on the south side of the river, op- 
posite George W. Davis's, and fifty acres were laid out to Na- 
thaniel "Whitcher" in 1806, near the Gore line. The first di^d- 
sion of inten-ale of two acres was laid out in 1805, and extends 
from the Turnpike bridge at the depot down the river, embrac- 
ing the railroad station and yards and part of the village. The 
fourth, fifth and sixth divisions were located in different parts 
of the town. No land was laid in the second division of inter- 
vale, and only one acre in the sixth division of upland. The 
whole number of acres laid out to this right was 325. 

Daniel Blaisdell sold the first hundred of the propagating right 
to Stephen Worth and it was surveyed to him in 1807. It was 
the old Watts Davis farm near Tug Mountain, on Orange line. 
The second division was laid out in five different parcels, amount- 
ing to 1051/0 acres. The third division was laid out in two 
parcels, amounting to ninety-one and one-half acres. The first 
division of intervale was laid out in two parcels, amounting to 
thirteen and one-half acres, and the second division was one acre. 
Seven acres were laid out to the fourth and fifth di\'isions. No 
land was laid out in the sixth division, and the whole right 
amounted to 3251/2 acres. In 1811 the town voted "to examine 
the rights and title the town may have in the Church and Propa- 
gating rights." No report was made. They probably came to 
the conclusion that the town did not own them, although they 
were hard pushed to get money to pay their assessments on the 

The Protestant Episcopal Church is now the owner of these 
last two rights in this country. It became the o^vner by pur- 
chase from the two English societies. Some land in other towns 
in this state is still held by that church under these rights, leased 
by them and an income derived therefrom. Should any of the 
land pitched to those two rights be still unoccupied and in a wild 
condition it would be the property of that church. In this town 
all has been occupied that was set off to those rights, and it would 
be impossible to disturb the adverse title. 



The Commox, Broad Street, the Meeting House. 

The proprietors' committee, in their efforts to determine the 
center of the town for the purpose of laying out the town plot 
mentioned in the charter, examined the land, struck out their 
lines and found the western short of Hart 's Pond to be near the 
center of the grant. But this land was already laid out to cer- 
tain rights, nevertheless, the committee had an eye for the 
picturesque and they decided that this beautiful sheet of water 
should be one of the attractions of their new village. But how 
should they ever be able to make such a swamp passable and 
habitable ! They traveled through it by the aid of rotten logs, 
fallen trees, ridges of moss, and then after much hard labor they 
laid out "Broad Street" in 1788, eight rods wide, and nearly 
one mile in length. 

In the year 1800 the traveler across our Broad Street, which at 
that time was famous for its great two-porched meeting-house 
and for the great frames of unfinished buildings along its way, 
saw standing upon the fields on either side and upon the shores 
of Hart's Pond a continuous forest of huge pine trees, dead to 
the top, leafless and the earth strewn with fallen branches. 
These great trees had been girdled years before by the early 
settlers and left to die, that being the manner of death allotted 
to those monarchs of the forest. When dead and dry they were 
more easily burned standing than if cut down. 

Part of the land along "The Street" was divided into acre 
lots: but those w^ho settled there bought of the first owner. 

"Broad Street" passed through Robert Barber's farm, through 
fifty acres of the first hundred of Allen Whitman, which W^illiam 
Douglass bought for twelve shillings and two pence at tax sale 
for the taxes assessed in 1782, through the first hundred of 
Phineas Sabine, and through Daniel Colby's fifty acres of the 
first division of Samuel Dodge, 3d. The first owners sold these 
lots running to "Broad Street." The road was not granted; it 
was and always has been the property of the adjoining owners. 

140 History of Canaax. 

There was but one clearing on the "Street "when it was laid 
out. It embraced about three acres and was owned by William 
Douglass, the shoemaker who lived in a log house built in the 
orchard back of the old Pierce Tavern or Grand View House, 
torn down in 1909. Mr. Douglass planted this orchard with 
seeds brought from Connecticut, the first orchard planted in the 

To this day "Broad Street," now called "Canaan Street," is 
one of the most attractive and beautiful places in the state. It 
is 1,164 feet above tide water, 204 feet higher than the railroad 
station. At one end of it is the ' ' Pinnacle, ' ' 263 feet above the 
"Street." Towards the east is Mt. Cardigan, 3.156 feet. To 
the north are Smarts and Moose Mountains, the latter 2,326 feet 
high. Towards the west one looks off into the long valley of 
the Mascoma River, and in the distance, through a break in the 
hills, can be seen the highest peak of the Green Mountains. Ex- 
tending along the whole length of the "Street" is Hart's Pond, 
whose shores for the most part are surrounded by forests, which 
rise still higher upon the hills. 

After the town had voted to build a meeting-house and their 
committee had reported upon the "spot" to place it, a long dis- 
cussion arose upon the propriety and convenience in having an 
open "common." The proposition was acted upon favorably 
and a committee was appointed to wait upon William Douglass, 
the shoemaker, and negotiate for a deed. This deed reads as 
follows : 

Know all men by these presents that I, William Douglass of Canaan, 
in the County of Grafton, State of New Hampshire, cordwainer. 

For and in consideration of the sum of Eleven pounds five shillings 
lawful money to me in hand before the delivery thereof well and truly 
paid by Caleb Welch, John Burdick and William Richardson, in behalf 
of the proposed Meeting house in Canaan and in the county and State 

The receipt whereof I do hereby acknowledge have Granted Bar- 
gained Sold and by these presents do give gi-ant Bargain sell aliene 
enfeoff convey and confirm unto the said Caleb Welch. John Burdick and 
William Richard.son in their capacity acting in behalf of the proprietors 
their Heirs and assigns forever a certain tract of Land being and lying 
in the Township of Canaan and situate as follows; 

Beginning at the Northeasterly corner a few rods south of Mr. Wil- 
liam Douglass Dwelling house adjoining easterly on Broad street so 

The Common, Broad Street, the ^Meeting House. 141 

called thence running S 12 °E 30 Roods to a stake and stones thence 
running N 78°W 12 Roods to a stake and stones thence N 12°W 30 
Roods to a stake and stones from thence to the first bound. Likewise 
a piece of Land Lying Easterly from the above mentioned piece of 
Land between Broad street & Harts pond so called and Bounded as 
follows. Beginning at a stake and stones by the Pond thence running 
S 78°W 14 Roods to a stake and stones thence S 12 = E 11 Roods to a 
stake and stones thence N 72 °E 14 Roods to the pond from thence to 
the first mentioned Bounds to have and to hold the sd granted, prem- 
ises with all the privileges and apertainauces to the same belonging to 
them the said Caleb Welch, John Burdick and William Richardson in 
their capacity as aforesaid to their Heirs to their only proper use and 
benefit forever and I the same William Douglass my Heirs Executors 
and administrators do hereby covenant gi-ant and agree to and with 
Caleb Welch John Burdick and William Richardson in behalf of the 
proprietors of the proposed Meeting house in Canaan their Heirs 
and assigns that until the delivery hereof I am the Lawful owner of 
the sd premises seized and possessed thereof in my own Right in fee 
simple and have full power and Lawfull authority to gi'ant and convey 
the same in manner aforesaid that the sd premises free and clear of all 
and every incumberance whatever and that I my Heirs executors and 
administrators shall & will warant the same to them the sd Caleb 
"Welch, John Burdick and William Richardson as aforesd their Heirs 
and assigns against the Lawfull Claims and demands of any person or 
persons whomsoever in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand 
and seal this 26 day of December 1792. 

WiLLLVM Douglass (LS) 
Signed sealed and delivered 

in presents of 
Wm Parkhurst 

Sally Parkhurst 

Grafton Ss Canaan Jany 14th 1794 

Personally appeared William Douglass signer and sealer of the 
above instrument and acknowledged the same to Be his free act and 
Before Me William Ayeb Just. Peace. 

The price paid was about thirty-seven and one-half dollars. 

A powerful argument used in favor of the second parcel was 
that in course of time many people would have to be baptized, 
because it was a divine ordination necessary to salvation : and 
eventually everybody would have to come to the meeting-house 
to hear the Word and witness God 's ordinances, so they had bet- 
ter have a wide common opening down to the pond, that on oc- 
casions of baptism there might be room enough for all the people. 
This argument prevailed. The "Common," when William Doug- 

142 History of Canaan. 

lass sold it to the "Proprietors of the proposed Meeting House, '^ 
was a swamp crowded with stumps, trees, rotten logs and frogs. 
It was deeded unconditionally. For several years afterwards this 
swamp was drained off westwardly by ditches, until by cutting 
and clearing away obstructions it became settled land. In the 
fall of 1793 the use of the common was sold by auction to Simeon 
Arvin for two years, at two dollars per year, he agreeing to level 
the land and get out the stumps, but he failed to comply with 
his contract and nothing was done. For several years it re- 
mained in its natural condition, when Ensign Colby offered to 
clear and level the land if he could have the use of it for two 
years for his labor. The first year he did little else but cut and 
clear away. The second year the ground was ploughed and 
worked over, and he raised 123 bushels of shelled corn. As this 
crop did not sufficiently remunerate him the proprietors gave him 
the use of it another year, during which he raised 1,600 pounds 
of pussed flax, which his mother and sisters worked up into cloth^ 
as was the custom in those days. 

B. P. George enclosed a strip of it on the north side and fenced 
it in, but the fence is gone now. The academy grounds enclosed 
one rod of it on the south line and that fence is gone, too. Jesse 
Martin cleared his field of stones and left them on the west side, 
where they remained, occupying about twenty feet of space, until 
his son-in-law, Hon. Caleb Blodgett, paid for having them built 
into a wall in 1899. And the Canaan Street Improvement So- 
ciety ploughed, leveled and seeded the piece on the west side the 
same year, having leveled the piece on the east side two years be- 
fore. The "Street," laid out eight rods wide, has been en- 
croached upon by adjoining owners every time a fence or wall 
has been built; even houses have been built into it, so that now 
but a small part of it is as wide as it was laid out. 

It was many years after the settlement of the town before our 
ancestors decided to build a meeting-house. The subject came 
up at their religious gatherings, but it was only in the form of 
hopes and wishes. And even after the Baptist church was or- 
ganized in 1780 their new house seemed just as far away. Thomas 
Baldwin, who for several years had had charge over the church 
and people, preaching in barns and other buildings at great in- 
convenience, had long urged the necessity for a meeting-house,. 

The C0.M.M0X, Broad Street, the Meeting House. 143 

Avhieh should really be a "stated place for worship and dedi- 
cated to God." 

Dea. Caleb Welch and Dr. Ebenezer Eames also urged the need 
of a place of worship. For a long time a majority of the people 
were either indifferent or hostile to the project. They pleaded 
poverty and hard times and desired to wait a little longer. At 
length, at the annual meeting March 11, 1788, they voted unani- 
mously "to build a meeting house, and the meeting adjourned to 
April 2d. Nothing was done at that meeting; but a special meet- 
ing was called May 9 for the purpose of arriving at some definite 
conclusion. Lieut. William Richardson, Daniel Blaisdell, Thad- 
deus Lathrop, Jehu Jones and John Harris were chosen a com- 
mittee "to pick upon a spot to set a Meeting house and what 
method shall be taken for the building of the same. ' ' The com- 
mittee reported at once and the place proposed was accepted, 
"which is about 60 rods from David Fogg's towards Mr. Dust- 
in 's." This would fix the place a little northeasterly of Israel 
Sharon's barn on the old Barber place. David Fogg's log house 
was in the south comer of the old Lebanon road, where there is 
now a clump of apple trees. Then Deacon Welch, Lieutenant 
Wells, John Scofield, Lieutenant Richardson and Daniel Blais- 
dell were appointed to prepare the spot ("prefix" is the word 
used), "and likewise propose some convenient method to build 
sd house." The meeting adjourned to Thursday, June 2. 

The committee began to clear the ground and rocks, as di- 
rected, but dissensions arose among themselves, and several 
parties sprang up in town, each with its objections as to the de- 
tails of the plan, locality, etc. An objection urged very earnestly 
by one party was that it would not accommodate the people, most 
of whom lived upon South Road, Town Hill and Sawyer Hill. 
The discussion became so energetic and irritating that the project 
was dropped to give time for "second thoughts." What trans- 
pired at the adjourned meeting on the "2"*^ thirsday" in June 
will never be known. No record was made. But it has tradi- 
tionally come down through the old men, Elijah Miner, Ensign 
Colby, Nat Gilman and others, that there arose a serious and bit- 
ter contest regarding the location of the house, which resulted 
in the postponement of further action on the subject. Mr. Bald- 
win, who was the minister, and a few other good men continued 

144 History of Canaan. 

to urge the necessity for a house, but he left town before the 
people became sufficiently united to start out seriously a second 
time. After four rears of discussions, which oftentimes became 
harsh and bitter, developing much passion and ugliness, the 
people were summoned together on August 27, 1792, and voted to 
build a meeting-house, ' ' provided the town can agree upon a spot 
to set it, and the method how to build it." John Scofield, Wil- 
liam Eichardson, John Currier, John Burdick, Dudley Gilman, 
Ezekiel "Wells, John Worth, Abel Hadley and Richard Clark, 3d, 
were chosen a committee "to find a spot to set sd Meeting house, 
propose a method how to build it. Likewise to draw a plan of 
sd house and make report at some future meeting. ' ' At the ad- 
journed meeting on October 10 the committee reported, the 
purport of which is left to conjecture from the results which 
followed: "Voted to build a Meeting house in town by Pro- 
prietorship." "Voted to accept the Report of the Committee 
respecting the spot to set the Meeting House. ' ' 

"Voted to sell the Pue ground in order to bring the matter 
into Proprietorship." John Currier, John Burdick, Dudley Gil- 
man, William Ayer and Samuel Jones w^ere chosen to sell the 
"Pue ground. " "Voted to accept the size of the Meeting House 
proposed by the Committee. ' ' 

Dea. Caleb Welch was chosen treasurer, "to receive the obliga- 
tions in behalf of the Committee." 

Voted that each person that bids off a pue in sd Meeting House 
when he gives his obligation, may take a bond for a deed. 

The meeting dissolved and the meeting-house disappears en- 
tirely from our town records, but not from the minds and de- 
termination of the people. The town stepped aside and left the 
details of the work in the hands of the proprietors. 

The next step taken was to sell the pews upon the plan sub- 
mitted and approved by the committee. "At a public Vandue 
holden at the house of ]\Ir. Xath'l Barber in Canaan on Monday 
the 5th. day of November, A. D. 1792, for the purpose of sell- 
ing the pew ground in the proposed meeting house, the following 
gentlemen bid off pews by number for the sum set against their 
names respectively; 

The Common, Broad Street, the ^Ieetixg House. 145 

20 Jouathan Carltou £30 

30 Joshua Wells 30 

24 Capt. E. Wells 27 

47 John Burdick 27 

38 John Burdick jr 25 

29 John Currier 24 

22 Capt. Robert Barber 24 

25 Lt. William Richardson 24 

11 Thadeus Lathrop 23 

10 Richard Clark 23 

28 John M. Barber 23 

2 Dea. Caleb Welch 24 

46 Oliver Smith 23 

12 Abel Hadley 24 

31 Lt. Nath'l Bartlett 23 

27 Warren Wilson 23 

26 David Dustin 24 

14 Nath'l Barber 23 

4 Lt. Richard Whittier 23 

19 J. Wilson 22 

7 Lt. Daniel Blaisdell 22 

8 Reynold Gates 23 

44 John Kesley 22 

39 Ezekiel Gardner 19 

41 John Worth 15 

43 Simeon Arvin 22 

42 Richard Clark jr 22 

37 Hubbard Harris 21 

40 Simeon Arvin 21 

3 Clark Currier 21 

35 David Dustin 20 

33 Nath'l Gilman 19 

6 Joseph Flint 19 


20 John Burdick 14 

1 Capt. E. Wells & 0. Smith 15 

3 Samuel Heath ^ 13 

19 Levi Straw 12 

9 Nath'l Whittier 12 


34 John Bean 16 

36 Jehu Jones 16 

5 Joseph Clark 20 

18 John Scofield 15 

20 Samuel Heath 15 

18 Capt. E. Wells 17 

13 Half to Henry Springer 5 























146 History op Canaan. 

The land as above described was purchased of William Doug- 
lass. The notice for the construction of the building follows: 

1792 Advertisement. 

Public Notice is hereby given that the building and finishing of the 
new proposed meeting house in Canaan, will be sold at Public Vandue to 
the Lowest Bidder (or the person who will do it for the least sum) at 
the dwelling house of Capt. Robert Barber, on Wednesday Dec. 26 in- 
stant at 10 of the clock in the forenoon. Evei'y person wishing for a 
good bargain is invited to attend. 

Daniel Blaisdele, Vandue Master. 

Canaan Dec. 3 A D 1792. 

Dec. 26. 1792 Vandue opened according to Advertisement and Pro- 
ceeded as follows, viz: the building and finishing of the above said 
Meeting House is struck off to Mr. William Pai'khurst for £561. 

Oliver Smith, Proprietors Clerk. 

1. The building and finishing of said Meeting House is to be struck 
off to the lowest bidder, and he to be the builder and purchaser of said 
house, providing he give his obligation with sufficient bond to the satis- 
faction of the Proprietors. 

2. The dimensions of said house are to be as follows: 42 feet in 
width and 52 feet in length, and the posts to be 26 feet long betweeni 
joints, & the roof in proportion thereunto. 

Also two porches, one at each end, each porch to be 12 feet square 
the posts to be 23 feet long. 

3rd. The underpinning is to be raised one and a half foot, with 
rough stones and gravel on the lowest corner, and leveled off properly, 
and one foot three inches with hewn stones, and pointed with lime. 
The steps at each door to be of hewn stone, well proportioned & prop- 
erly placed. 

The painting of the outside is to be done in the same manner and 
exactly like the lower meeting house in Salisbury as to color. The 
house is not to be painted until the summer after it is covered. The 
windows are to have 40 lights of 7 x 9 glass. The Pews are to be made 
and placed exactly according to the plan by which they are sold, and 
the inside work to be done and completed in every respect equal to the 
upper meeting house in Salisbury. 

The frame of the house is to be raised and outside by the first day 
of October next. And the Meeting house is to be built finished and 
completed in every respect in a neat and workmanlike manner, by the 
first day of September 1794. 

The builder is to be compensated in the following manner: At the 
time of giving bonds he shall receive an obligation signed by the pro- 
prietors committee to deliver to him by the 10th. day of March next, 
good authentic notes of hand signed by the prptrs of pews on said 

The Commox, Broad Street, the ^Meeting House. 147 

house to the amount of the sum for which he is to build and finish it 
with sufficient power to collect the same; one quarter of said sum to be 
raised in money oue quarter to be paid in lumber, and one half to be 
paid in neat stock; The lumber is to be paid to the acceptance of the 
prptrs, as to qualify and sorts, and at the following rate of prices, 
viz; 18 shillings per m for good merchantable white pine boards, de- 
livered on the spot, and 33 shillings per m for good merchantable 
white pine split clapboards; and 7 shillings per m for good merchant- 
able short shingles delivered on the spot, all other sorts of lumber 
to be estimated at the same rates. 

These prices were afterwards modified : ' ' Merchantable boards 
16s, clear boards 27s per M. Clapboards 30s per M and shingles 
seven & six pence per M all to be delivered on the spot. ' ' 

At a subsequent meeting the proprietors voted that half the 
lumber should be delivered by the middle of June, 1793, and the 
other half by the middle of September next. "One half of our 
money payment shall not be called for until the first day of 
August next, 1793. And the committee shall hold the obliga- 
tions against the several prptrs until the 10th. day of March 
next (1793)." 

At the time of the building of the house, Douglass clearing 
did not embrace much of the Common. On the east towards the 
pond, there was no clearing except a roadway that led to the 
water. A swampy jungle of bush alders and hemlocks obscured 
the view. South, to the lower end of the street where Kobert 
Barber then lived, nearly all the clearing was the street along 
whose sides and even in the traveled way pine stumps obstructed 
the traveler. On the west, towards David Dustin's, it was only 
forest and jungle. It was not until September, 1793, that the 
great timbers for the frame of the house were ready to be put 
together. The sills were twenty inches square, the plates the 
same, and all the other timbers in the same proportion. During 
all this year the people and propriety had watched the work 
which they thought slow and halting. Robert and John M. 
Barber were sureties for Mr. Parkhurst and they were often 
appealed to to hurry the work, but without effect. It still lin- 
gered, one of the chief causes of the delay being found in the 
free use of Sampson Ballard's extract of molasses. 

On the day early in September, appointed for the raising, the 
people for miles around were present. "Everybody was there." 

148 History of Canaan. 

A barrel of rum had been procured from Jesse Johnson at East 
Enfield to steady the nerves and increase the emulation of the 

Mr. Parkhurst built and lived in the house for a long time the 
residence of S. P. Cobb, and kept a store in it. He married 
Sally Barber, daughter of Kobert, who had provided well for 
his children. After the raising of the frame there was to be a 
grand banquet to the workmen at his house. 

It is said that Mr. Parkhurst, who was a handsome young man, 
cool headed and of firm nerves, while working upon the ridge 
pole, was called to assist in arranging the heavy plate, and that 
he walked down the western rafter upright with his axe upon his 
shoulder, and several times during the raising exhibited feats of 
surprising coolness. At last, he proposed riding up astride one 
of the hea\y timbers, but when near the top some of the rope 
tackling broke, and he was precipitated to the ground. He was 
seriously injured by the fall, and remained unconscious for a 
long time. His wife, assisted by the neighbors, was preparing 
dinner for the men engaged in raising the frame. The news of 
the accident soon reached her, and she left her work to go to him, 
supposing him to be dead. She came upon the ground weeping 
bitterly. After a while he opened his eye and, upon learning 
what had happened, said to her: "Sally, don't you see, if you 
spend your time crying and wringing your hands, that you won 't 
have dinner ready, and all these men will be hungry ? Now get 
home as soon as you can, and I'll come after you in a little 
while." He was carried home, but never recovered the use of 
his limbs, nor did any more work upon the building. He made 
money in after years by trading in patent rights. But he and 
his family disappeared from our midst, like many others who 
figured in our early annals, and left no trace behind. 

But the work went on imder the direction of the committee 
and the Barbers, and was completed the following day. The 
first meeting held in the new house was on the 19th of September, 
when it was not yet entirely covered. It was a business meeting, 
called at 12 m., when they "proceeded to sell several more pews," 
and "to allow Lt. Daniel Blaisdell's act of 5 shillings" and "Dr. 
John Harris' act of 9 shillings." During the winter and spring 
of 1794. no work was done on the house, lint the workmen were 

The Common, Broad Street, the Meeting House. 149 

always getting ready. Major Levi George of Salisbury, was 
liired to build the pulpit and do much of the panel work. The 
contractors were directed "not to build the pulpit and canopee 
like Salisburv^ but that he build them exactly like the Pulpit and 
canopee of Chelmsford Meeting house." They also "voted that 
the sides and wall of the house be colored a stone couler, the roof 
a Spanish Brown, and the doors a sky blue." It was also "voted 
to receive neat stock instead of lumber from any proprietor to 
whom the change might be most convenient." 

The house was still unfinished on the first of September, 1794, 
the day it was appointed to be delivered to the proprietors. It 
was not completed during the year 1795, and the work was still 
incomplete up to February 1796, when they voted that William 
Richardson, Lieut. Daniel Blaisdell and Capt. E. Wells be a com- 
mittee to wait upon Captain Barber, respecting the completion 
of the house. In November of this year the proprietors finally got 
mad with Captain Barber and his son, John M., and deliberately 
threatened that "if the meeting house is not completed by the 
first day of May next, ' ' they will immediately prosecute the con- 
tractors on their bond. It was completed and offered for accept- 
ance. The proprietors were not entirely satisfied with the work 
and after examination their committee made the following 
report : 

We do not accept of the work upon the house at large. 

The frame gootl 

The underpinning Bad. 

The outside Good 

The wall pews in the gallery Good. 

The seats not Good. 

The plastering Good. 

The seats not Good. 

The breastwork good. 

The insides of the porches bad. 

The floors in the Galleries not good. 

The Singing seats bad- 

The Pulpit Good. 

The pews on the walls below Good. 

The body Pews on the West side Good. 

The body Pews on the East side Bad. 

The Glass badly set. 

The bottom floors good. 

150 History of Canaan. 

Though not "excepted" in all its parts, it was received and 
occupied as a house of public worship, and for the transaction of 
town business. There is no record of the dedication of the house 
to God, either by sermon, prayer or anthem, neither the day nor 
the reverend men who took part in it ; but their names are 
doubtless written along with Ben Adhems, nor the banquet 
which followed at Caleb Pierce's new tavern. 

The house was built without steeple or bell, with three 
entrances, one on each end, under the porticoes, and one on the 
south. The pews were square boxes, those in the center placed 
in squares of four, and a row of pews round the walls, raised 
one step above the floor. The pulpit was reached by a flight of 
ten steps, and from this elevation the minister could look into the 
gallery. A picturesque and large-toned sounding board was 
suspended over the desk. The original clapboards were split 
from pine logs and theu sawed — shingles the same. The 
timbers were cut, mostly, near the Common or near by, and the 
boards were sawed by Jonathan Carlton at his mill at the village. 
The nails were of wrought iron, cut out of nail iron of various 
thicknesses, by the aid of a machine made for that purpose, and 
set up in Mr. Carlton's mill. 

In 1804, pew No. 48 was sold by auction to Jacob Trussel for 
$36, and the committee had to "call" upon him several times 
before he paid it. This pew was sold to pay the expense of 
repairing the house. At the same time "Chose Dr. Caleb Pierce 
to keep the kee and sweep and take care of the house for one 
year, and to give him one dollar therefor. ' ' A division was made 
for the "occupancy of the house, by the several denominations 
in their several proportions, ' ' and to "fix on the days when each 
should improve their opportunity." In 1812 the town voted "to 
paint and repair the outside of the meeting house at the expense 
of the town, whatever repairs are necessary. The town having 
the privilege as usual of holding public meetings in said house. 
It shall be painted with white lead and a Red Rough." 

In 1814, it was "voted to repair the meeting house doors and 
windows but not to exceed the sum of twenty five dollars cost." 

In 1820 there was a strong feeling that the town should own 
its building for public meetings and the warrant contained an 
article to see "if the town will build or hire a house for town 

The Common, Broad Street, the Meeting House. 151 

meetings. ' ' Thej^ voted to spend $50 in repairing the old meet- 
ing house for the privilege of holding meetings for five years. 
And the proposal of the proprietors to repair the meeting house 
from time to time for the privilege of holding meetings was 
accepted. They also voted to take a lease of the house and repair 
it and voted $25 additional. 

In 1825 they voted to shingle the meeting house. In 1829, 
"voted to raise $400 to repair the meeting house provided the 
proprietors of said House will lay out and expend $200 more. 
And also that the said proprietors convey to the said town, the 
use of the said house for the purpose of holding all their town 
meetings in." Jonas W. Smith and John Fales were appointed 
to lay out the money in behalf of the town. 

The 12th of April, the same year, at a meeting of the pro- 
prietors of the meeting house, Daniel Blaisdell was appointed 
an agent to convey such title to the house as would be satisfac- 
tory to the town. Mr. Blaisdell made a deed according to his 
instructions, in which he conveyed to the town, the control of the 
house and "the right to use it for a town house forever," upon 
consideration that the to^vn should make all necessary repairs 
upon the house. On June 9, 1829, by formal vote, the town 
accepted the deed. On this occasion the house was clapboarded 
and shingled, the western porch removed and placed upon the 
eastern one, forming the present tower, about fifty-three feet 
high. The sounding board was also removed, apprehensions 
being felt that it might fall and harm some one. 

About the year 1841, a change was made in the interior of the 
house. Some persons procured the written consent of the pro- 
prietors to have the box pews removed and seats arranged as at 
present. The Baptists, also, had permission at this time to put 
a floor across the gallery and fit up the upper hall as a place of 
worship, but they failed to realize all their wishes. The floor 
was put in and the upper part left in dilapidation and con- 
fusion, relic hunters carrying off the old pew doors and wide 
panels until, more than flfty years after, in 1884, the Canaan 
Lyceum Hall Association was formed, and a hard wood floor 
was laid, for roller skating, about four feet above the floor the 
Baptists laid, and it was otherwise finished and decorated for 
the use of public and private gatherings. A stairway was 

152 History of Canaan. 

also added to reach the hall from the outside. In 1849, $200 was 
appropriated by the town for repairs on account of damage 
done by some ruthless persons. 

When the first bell was placed in the belfrj^ is not known, 
but in 1853 Eleazer Martin was appointed an agent to sell the 
old bell and buy a new one of 1,200 pounds and hang the same. 
This bell has tolled for the dead and dying, for young and old 
to assemble, for the scholars in the academy, who always took 
delight in turning it over as many times as possible, and it was 
considered a great feat for any boy. It swung for many years, 
pulled by a long rope running down to the ground floor of the 
belfrj\ Its tongue has pealed the alarm for every fire in the 
vicinity, and on almost every night before the Fourth of July 
it has not been forgotten. Its tones are so clear that it can be 
heard in Tunis. In 1894, a clock was added to the tower, just 
beneath the bell, and the bell was fastened, that the clock might 
strike the time of day upon it, so that it no longer swings. In 
1870, the town voted $400 to repair the house. 


Dame's Gore and State's Gore. 

In the granting of townships in New Hampshire and the ad- 
justment of their boundary lines, there "were found to be numer- 
ous strips, or gores of land, not large enough for a whole to^\Ti- 
ship. These strips or gores Governor Wentworth granted 
to those who had done him some personal service and were his 
friends. One of these strips lay between Canaan and Dorchester. 
It was discovered in 1772, when the southern line of Dorchester 
was run and Gov. John Wentworth, in 1773, granted it to 
Capt. Theophilus Dame, then high sheriff of Strafford County, 
for his services in the late war, in the following terms : 

Province of New Hampshire. 

George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and 
Irehmd King Defend of the Faith &ca — 

To all to whom these Presents shall come Greeting — 

Whereas we have tho't fit by our Proclamation at St. James the 
Seventh Day of October in the year of our Reign Anno Domini 1763 — 
among other things to testify our Royal Sence and Approbation of the 
Conduct & Bravery of the officers & Soldiers of our armies and Signi- 
fied our Desire to reward the same & have therein com'auded & Im- 
powered Our Several Governors of Our Respective Provinces on the 
continent of America to grant without Fee or reward to Such Reduced 
officers as have Served in North America during the late War and to 
such Private Soldiers as have been or Shall be disbanded there and 
Shall Personally apply for the Same Such Quantities of Land re- 
spectively as in & by our aforesaid Proclamation are particularly 
Mentioned Subjec-t Nevertheless to the Same Quit Rents & Conditions 
of Cultivation and Improvements as other our Lands are Subject to 
in the Province in which they are Granted; and whereas Theophilus 
Dame of Portsmouth in our County of Rockingham & Province Afore- 
said Esq, had our appointment as Captain and Served during the 
late War and having personally applied & Solicited for such Grant 
agreeable to our aforesaid Proclamation KNOW YE that we of our 
Special Grace certain knowledge & mere motion do Signify our Ap- 
probation as aforesaid & for encouraging the Settlement & Cultivation, 
of our lands within Said Province of New Hampshire in New England 
Have by & with the advice of our Trusty & well beloved JOHN WENT- 
WORTH Esq Our Governor & Com'ander in Chielf of Our Said Province 

154 History of Canaan. 

and of Our Council of the Same agreable to our aforesaid in part re- 
cited Proclamation, and upon the Conditions & Reservations hereafter 
mentioned given & granted & by these Presents for us our Heirs & Suc- 
cessors do give & Grant unto the Said Theophilus Dame and to his Heirs' 
& Assigns forever a Certain Tract or Parcel of Land Situate lying & 
being within our Said Province of New Hampshire and containing by 
Admeasurement Four thousand Two hundred & Seventy Two Acres in- 
cluding Ponds Roads & unimprovable Mountains according to a Plan 
or Survey thereof exhibited by our Surveyor General of Land for our 
Said Province by our Said Governor's order & returned into the Sec- 
retarys office of our Said Province a Copy whereof is hereunto an- 
nexed butted & bounded as follows (Viz) beginning at the North 
"West Corner of Canaan from thence running South Sixty one degrees 
East Six miles to A spruce Tree which Is the North East Corner of 
Said Canaan thence running North fifty three Degs East One Mile & 
Sixty Eight rods to the South East Corner of Dorchester thence North 
Sixty one degrees West Six Miles to the South West Corner of said 
Dorchester thence South fifty three degrees West one Mile & Sixty Eight 
rods to the Bounds first mentioned TO HAVE & TO HOLD the Said 
Tract of Land as above expressed with the Appurtenances to Him the 
Said Theophilus Dame & to His Heirs and assigns forever upon the 
following Terms (Viz) 

First — That the said Grantee Shall cut Clear & make Passable for 
Carriages &ca a road of three rods Wide thro' the Said Ti-act as Shall 
at Any Time hereafter be directed or ordered by the Governor & Council 
aforesaid which road shall be compleated in one year from the Date of 
Such Order or Direction aforesaid on Penalty of forfeiture of this 
Grant & its reverting to us our Heirs & Successors — 

Second — That the Said Grantee shall Settle or cause to be Settled 
Five Families in five years from the Date of this Grant in failure 
whereof the Premises to revert to us our Heirs & Successors to be by 
us or Them entered upon and regranted to such of our Subjects as 
Shall effectually Settle & Cultivate the Same- 
Third — That all White & other Pine Trees fit for Masting our Royal 
Navy be carefully preserved for that Use & none to be Cutt or fell'd 
without our Special Licence for so doing first had & obtained on Pen- 
alty of the forfeiture of the right of the Grantee in the Premises his 
Heirs & Assigns to us our heirs & Successors as well as being Subject 
to the Penaltys prescribed by any Present or future Act or Acts of 
Parliament — 

Fourthly — yielding & Paying therfor to us our Heirs & Successors on 
or before the Tenth day of May 1778 the rent of one Ear of Indian Corn 
only if lawfully demanded — 

Fifthly — That the Said Grantee his Heirs & assigns shall yield & 
Pay unto us our Heirs & Successors Yearly & every Year forever from 
& after the Expiration of Ten Years from the Date of this Grant 
which will be in the Year of our Lord Christ Seventeen Hundred 

Dame's Gore and State's Gore. 


Eighty Three, ONE SHILLING Proclamation Money for every Hundred 
Acres he so owns Settles or Possesses and So in Proportion for a 
greater or lesser Tract of the Land afore Said — which money shall be 
paid by the Proprietor Owner or Settler in our Council Chamber in 
Portsmouth or to such officer or officers as shall be appointed to re- 
ceive the Same and these to be in Lieu of all Other Rents & Services 
whatsoever — 

Sixthly — That this Grant Shall not interfere with Any of our Grants 
made as aforesaid & now in force uor Interrupt the Grantees in their 
Improvements making thereon agreable to the conditions thereof — 

In Testimony whereof We have caused the Seal of Our Said Province 
of New Hampshire to be hereunto affixed. 

Witness JOHN WENTWORTH Esq Our Afore Said Governor & Com- 
mander in Chieff the Seventh Day of May in the Thirteenth Year of 
our Reign Annoque Domini 1773. 

J' Wentwobth 

>;**, .» " 

1 S y^A 

156 History of Canaan, 

The proprietors of Canaan laid out land in the gore, thinking 
that it was a part of Canaan. Several rights were allotted 
land north of the "old town line." Joseph Eandlett was one 
of these ; also Josiah Clark. Daniel Lary settled there, buying 
his land of Dame. Caleb Clark bought five hundred acres of 
Dame, in 1774-77. Captain Dame was not a thrifty man. It 
passed from him into the hands of Rev. Jonathan Homer, of 
Newton, Mass., for the consideration of 143 pounds and 12 shil- 
lings, on November 5, 1787. It was described in that deed as 
"Beginning at the north-east corner of the line lately run 
by the proprietors of Canaan through the Gore, thence running 
S 61 degrees E to the north-east corner of said line, then N 53 
E to the south-east corner of Dorchester, then N 61 W to the 
south-west corner of Dorchester, then S 53 W to the first bound. 
Containing 4272 acres." It will be observed that the west 
line ran from the southwest corner of Dorchester to the north- 
west corner of Canaan. The direction of the line in the grant 
and deed are the same, but it was discovered by Homer that 
the bearing of that line was not correct, and he emploj-ecl John 
Currier to survey it, and the line was run South 88° West, and 
the east line was also changed. Homer was called a hard 
man, perhaps because he wanted what he owned. There were 
several squatters, so considered by Homer, who had settled on 
his land, and would not atone to him. Joseph Randlett was one 
of them, and he began an action of trespass against him. 
Randlett called upon the town and proprietors to make good his 
title, as he had purchased the land of them. At the annual 
meeting in March, 1801, the town was asked to take into con- 
sideration the claim of Dame's heirs against Randlett, and Col. 
Henrj- Gerrish was appointed to settle the "disputed lines of 
the town." Later in October the town appointed Daniel Blais- 
dell and William Richardson "agents, empowered to defend 
in the two actions, viz : one brought by the proprietors of Dame 's 
Gore against Joseph Randlett, and the other brought by the 
proprietors of Orange against Josiah Clark, in case the pro- 
prietors of Dame's Gore and Orange will not enter into a ref- 
erence, for the settlement of the same, and to take every measure 
to maintain our lines according to our charter and the survey." 
These suits dragged along until 1804, when the town was able 

Dame's Gore and State's Gore. 157 

to make a satisfactory settlement with Homer. The action 
against Josiah Clark, was for ejectment from 100 acres and 
damages to the amount of $500. Clark won, and judgment was 
entered in his favor for the costs in February', 1804. Clark's 
land did not belong to Orange. 

In 1803 a petition had been presented to the General Court, 
respecting a gore of land lying between Hanover and Canaan. 
Ebenezer Hoyt had been appointed commissioner to determine 
it. The town voted ''to remonstrate with the General Court 
against the petition, of those praying for the land and to post- 
pone the granting until the suit be determined between Col. 
Dame's heirs and the proprietors of Canaan, which involves in 
measure the same land." Homer had discovered that Dame's 
Gore did not include all the land on the north line of Canaan, 
that there was a small piece between Hanover, Lyme and the 
gore, which Dame's grant did not include, probably because 
at the time Captain Dame's patent was issued it was not known 
that Lyme extended beyond the line of Hanover. Homer 
wanted this piece, which afterwards became known as "State's 
or Gates' Gore." Homer did establish his right to Dame's 
grant, but it did not include the other piece. 

The inhabitants of the gore being few, and under no govern- 
ment of their own, or able to protect themselves against the en- 
croachments of adjoining towns, thought best to make applica- 
tion to the Legislature to be annexed to some town. Accord- 
ingly, in 1808, Daniel Lary petitioned the General Court to be 
annexed to Dorchester. Others of the inhabitants opposed this 
and wished to be annexed to Canaan. Homer opposed the peti- 
tion, and asked the Legislature to postpone any action in the 
matter for three years until such a time as the people knew what 
they wanted. Some of the inhabitants asked Canaan to accept 
them, should the Legislature grant their request to be annexed 
to Canaan, and in November, 1808, the town voted, "that Dame's 
Gore may be annexed to Canaan, agreeable to the petition of the 
inhabitants of the Gore to the General Court in June last"; 
but the Legislature refused to act upon or grant their petition, 
and it was many years before they succeeded. 

In 1833 the town voted to petition the General Court to annex 

158 History of Canaan. 

Dame's Gore. In 1837 the town was asked to vote for the an- 
nexation of "that part of Dame's Gore lying West of the Mas- 
coma, and also that part of Dorchester lying west of the river- 
and south of a line drawn from the North-east corner of Enoch 
Fifield's land westerly to Lyme line." The article was dis- 
missed. In 1841 the town was asked to annex Dame's Gore, 
and again refused. In 1844 they refused again; but at the 
meeting on March 14, 1846, they voted to annex Dame's Gore, 
but dismissed that part of the article which referred to the 
annexation of State 's Gore, and on July 2, 1846, the Legislature 
by enactment made Dame's Gore a part of Canaan. 

By virtue of a resolve of June 20, 1815, William A. Kent, 
treasurer of the state, appointed Ebenezer Hoyt, to ascertain 
the quantity and appraise the value of a piece of land lying 
west of the line of Dame's Gore, adjoining Hanover and Canaan. 
This resolve authorized the treasurer to convey. And on De- 
cember 27, 1815, he conveyed to Samuel Jones Gates and Adam 
Pollard for $220, the triangiTlar-shaped piece described as fol- 
lows "Beginning at the north-west corner of Canaan, thence 
running N 45 degrees E 182 rods to the north-east corner of 
Hanover, thence running S 64° E 277 rods to the corner of Lime, 
& Dorchester thence W 2° S 380 rods by Dame 's Gore to the first 
bound containing 149 acres and 100 square rods." This is State's 
or Gates' Gore. 

Of the earl}' settlers on Dame 's Gore Caleb Clark lived on the 
West end, then came Joseph Bartlett on the east side of the 
Eiver. David Jones of Epping who married Hannah Dow, lived 
for a time at the Corner, but in 1794 moved to the gore and lived 
on what was afterwards the harj farm. He was taxed in 
Canaan for the years 1793- '95. On the east end towards Orange 
was Josiali Clark, Daniel Lary and next Tristram Sanborn. 
Jonathan Homer purchased the gore in 1787 and on September 
20, 1788, he made a personal visit to the gore to take formal 
possession of his new purchase. He made Josiah Clark his 
agent, to see that no trespass was committed, trees cut or any 
squatters allowed. At that time he showed his good will by 
giving Lary and Clark the privilege to make sugar from the 
maples on Sugar Hill. This hill Homer afterwards sold to San- 

Dame's Gore and State's Gore. 159 

born in 1817. Abner H. Cilley was an early settler. He was 
industrious and obstinate, and succeeded in the face of many 
annoyances from ]\Ir. Homer in making himself a pleasant 
home. He was served with writs and summonses by the agents 
of Homer who were instructed to bring suits for larceny or tres- 
pass on every tree that was cut. Thomas H. Pettingill had good 
gleanings there, so also did Elijah Blaisdell. But Mr. Cilley 
lived and died at a good old age in his own house, the first 
built on that part of the gore, which is still standing in good 
condition, the property of R. H. Haffenreffer. Daniel Sher- 
burne was an agent for Mr. Homer, and built the second house 
on that part of the gore owned by Mr. Haffenreffer. The third 
house was built by David Pollard, who was the father of eighteen 
children, fourteen of which lived to grow up ; the fourth house 
was built by Amos Kinney, the fifth by Elwell Eastman, who lived 
there but a short time. Then B. P. George built on the west 
side of the road. Edwin May also built and lived there. The 
last man who was brave enough to finish a house on the gore 
was John W. Hoyt, whose family resided there while he was 
away in the army. Joseph Pollard, who married Abner H. Cil- 
ley 's daughter, lived there and took care of old Abner, receiving 
the latter 's property for so doing. After Pollard closed his 
house, all of the buildings were vacant for some time, until Mr. 
Haffenreffer purchased as much of the gore as he could and 
repaired all the buildings, that were not too much dilapidated. 
But for all the hard labor and money that have been put upon 
that land it still refuses to make anyone rich. 

Mr. Homer died and Charles C. Curtis was appointed execu- 
tor; he proceeded to sell the remainder of the land and accord- 
ingly held an auction in May, 1846, and closed out all of Homer's 
interests. Homer had sold land to Joseph Bartlett, Josiah P. 
HajTies, Caleb P. "Wells. David Richardson, Mary Sanborn, 
Samuel J. Gates, Nathaniel Derby, Adam Pollard, Amos Kin- 
ney, Abner H. Cilley, Joseph Sherburne, Obadiah Eastman, 
Tristram Sanborn and Josiah Clark. Curtis sold to E. and J. 
Martin, Orrin and George Fales, Alexander Caldwell, John Rock- 
well, Asa Ham, Jonathan Kittredge and John Lougee, John L. 
Pressey, John B. Flanders, Joseph Hapgood, Wesley P. Burpee, 

160 History of Canaan. 

William P. Weeks, Moses Hadley and the balance remaining 
was bid off to Curtis' son. Joseph Worthen and others, not 
succeeding in getting Homer to build a road across his land 
petitioned the court in 1821 and compelled him not only to lay 
out the road, but to pay the costs of the action. He employed 
John Currier, who surveyed a road across the gore May 23, 1821. 

The Surplus Revenue and Literary Fund. 

In the year 1836 Congress voted to distribute thirty-six mil- 
lions of dollars of surplus revenue, then lying in the treasury, 
among the several states. These millions had accumulated from 
the sale of public lands, and were still increasing. The national 
debt had been all paid. General Jackson told his party that 
this money was a source of danger to the liberties of the country. 
The Democratic party in those days was hostile to internal 
improvements, and opposed them everywhere. Railroads were 
built by individual energy ; rivers were obstructed by snags, 
sawyers, rafts, and sand bars, and even the harbors of the 
lakes and the St. Clair flats were found pretty much in the con- 
dition nature left them. This money was to be distributed in 
four installments, three of which were paid when an angry cloud 
hovered over our northern borders, threatening war with Eng- 
land, and the fourth installment was retained to pay the ex- 
penses of transporting troops to Maine, to Niagara, and to the 
Indian Stream country in northern New Hampshire. The 
amount paid over to our state exceeded over $800,000. The Leg- 
islature voted to divide the money among the towns in propor- 
tion to population. At the annual meeting on March 14, 1837, 
the toAvn voted to receive the money, and William P. Weeks was 
appointed financial agent in relation to it. The money, $3,003.75, 
was ordered to be loaned at six per cent, interest, paid in ad- 
vance, in sums of not over three hundred dollars nor less than 
one hundred to any one individual, the interest to be appro- 
priated to the schools, and to be divided among the several 
school districts in town according to the number of scholars ; and 
an inventory of the scholars was to be taken the following April 
1st of all scholars under 21 and over 3 years of age. 

The agent received the money and loaned it to such persons 
as complied with the terms agreed upon ; no discrimination being 
made in regard to the politics of the person applying for it. In 

162 History of Canaan. 

1837 the amount of interest was $180.22, and the next year it 
was the same, things moved on smoothly and the scholars got 
the benefit of the interest money. At this date there was a heap 
of malignant cnssedness slumbering in the hearts of our people. 
It came in with the mob that destroyed the academy, and cropped 
out upon all occasions of excitement. In December, 1838, when 
George Drake destroyed the windows in the academy, the town 
appointed Caleb Blodgett, Thomas Flanders and James Pattee 
an ' ' Investigating Committee, ' ' and it was their duty to try and 
fix the outrage upon the abolitionists, Jonathan Kittridge, 
Nathaniel Sumner, William W. George, and their associates. 
So positive were they that tliis injurv^ had been done by the 
abolitionists that they proceeded at once to pronounce sentence 
upon them, by voting that ' ' all the surplus revenue in the hands 
of the abolitionists be collected forthwith by the treasurer." 
And that there might be no doubt where Jonathan Kittredge 
stood they voted that he "be consigned over to the abolition- 
ists." The committee reported that they had not been able 
to fix any charge upon auj'body except the town, and the town 
paid their charges, $59.68. At the same meeting they voted to 
repair the Academy, the expense of which, amounting to $28.37, 
was paid out of the surplus revenue. At the ^larch meeting in 
1839 they voted "to collect a sum of the surplus revenue suffi- 
cient to buy a farm for the poor, and to stock it, and to fur- 
nish the house on said farm." James Pattee, Chamberlain 
Packard, Jr., and Joseph Dustin were appointed a committee to 
buy the farm. 

The farm they proposed to buy was the old Deacon Welch 
farm, then OA^Tied by Moses Pattee, consisting of one hundred 
acres and also another piece of forty acres in the north part 
of the town above John Currier's. The Pattee homestead had 
cost the impecunious Moses about eleven hundred dollars; 
but his brothers, Daniel and James, held a mortgage against 
it. They were willing and anxious to receive their money 
back, and as Daniel was chairman of the board of select- 
men, it was not difficult for him to pursuade the "Board," 
and as James was chairman of the buying committee it Avas 
not difficult for him to persuade the others that the farm was 
worth much more than the sum it cost ]Moses, and that it would 

The Surplus Eevenue and Literary Fund. 163 

be greatly to the interest of (the Pattee family) the town and 
the poor thereof to pnrchase it at the price asked. The town 
became the happy possessor of these valuable pieces of real 
estate on March 18, 1839, about a week after they voted. The 
poor had a farm, the Pattees got their money back, and a large 
hole was made in the sum total of the surplus revenue. But 
there w^ere many voters who were not satisfied with this dispo- 
sition of their money. They thought there was too much family 
interest at work in getting rid of that farm for so much money. — 
$1,450 for the land, and $550 to CRrry out the second part of the 
"vote." The town worked this farm with the usual results to 
such speculations — that mean losses every year — for a little 
over seven years, and then was glad to find a purchaser on 
August 8, 1846. at $1,200, in Moses French of Enfield. The 
furniture and stock were sold for what they would bring at auc- 
tion. The loss to the town in this operation amounted to 10 per 
cent, per annum on its investment, without reckoning the di- 
minished amounts paid to schools. 

For two years, 1837 and 1838, the interest on the surplus reve- 
nue distributed to the schools was $180.22 each year. In 1839 
the amount fell off to $60 ; in 1840 it was $60 ; and in 1841 it was 
$60 ; and the sum total of this revenue which accrued to the bene- 
fit of the schools during the five years it attracted the greed 
of the people was $540.44. After 1843 it ceased to appear in 
the records, because it had then been absorbed into the pockets 
of the taxpayers. One thousand dollars of the surplus revenue 
went into Canaan Union Academy, and with it $300 of the lit- 
erary fund, and never came out. In 1843 the amount of the 
surplus revenue was $775.58. when the town voted to distribute 
it, as a result of the trouble which had arisen over the collection 
of the notes of the proprietors of the academy. In 1844, March 
9, the amount of surplus revenue paid to Daniel Campbell was 
$814.32, and then it disappears from the records. When Dame's 
Gore was annexed, the town received $113.95 as the share of the 
gore. This also was absorbed and disappeared into the town 
treasury to pay the town debts. 

In 1821, at the March meeting, the town voted "that the 
notes for the school fund be lodged with the town treasurer and 
kept and managed by him under the direction of the select- 

164 History of Canaan. 

men and the town." What this vote refers to is not known, 
unless it is a resurrection of the old funds received from the 
sale of the school lands in 1806, for the literary fund was not 
created by act of the Legislature until June 29, 1821. This 
law was designed to distribute the bank taxes collected by the 
state amongst the schools in the several towns according to their 
scholars. In 1822 the school fund comes up again and the town 
voted "that all persons indebted to the school fund by note, 
procure two sureties, and no notes to be renewed without two 
sureties." In 1829 the town was asked to make some disposition 
of the literary fund and the "old school fund," but they re- 
fused. In 1830 the town voted that "the first selectman take 
the direction of the school fund and put it to the best interest 
of the town." In 1832 the town voted to divide the interest 
and principal of the literary fund over $1,00 and distribute 
it into the several school districts, according to polls and estate, 
and to let out the school fund of $1,000 to best advantage with 
sureties. In 1833 the town voted to purchase a poor farm not 
to exceed $1,000, and immediately afterwards voted $300 to 
purchase the poor farm, and also to place the school fund in the 
treasurer's hands. 

Elijah Blaisdell had the school fund and did not pass it 
over, so the town appointed Luther Kinne agent to prosecute 
Elijah to "final execution." Later, in July, the town voted 
to use the $300 appropriated for the poor farm towards the road 
around Clark Hill, and then tried to appropriate the school fund 
to buy the farm, but the town dismissed the latter article. In 
1834 the town appropriated the interest on the school fund and 
$120 of principal of the literary fund "to be received from the 
state." They, then, that there might not be any doubt as to 
how the funds were to be disposed of in the future, 

Resolved, That it is tlie duty of tlie treasurer to take charge of tlie 
school and literary fund, keep a regular account of the saiue in a book 
appropriated for that purpose, see that the notes are regularly renewed 
at least once in two years on the first day of February and made amply 
secure. Collect the interest and make a regular transfer of the money 
received from the state, and so much of the interest of the permanent 
school and literary fund as will make the sum of $120 annually, from 
the amount of the literary fund to the amount of the school money 
raised by the town, and to pay the same with the school money for the 

The Surplus Revexue and Literary Fund. 165 

order of the selectmen for the support of schools and for no other pur- 

On January 19, 1837, the town 

Voted that the money in the hands of John H. Harris, George Harris 
and Nathaniel Currier, being a part of the school fund and belonging 
to the town, be collected and appropriated to the payment of the ex- 
penses and charges of the town the current year as far as it may be 
needed, and that the selectmen of the town give their notes in behalf 
of the town to the treasurer for the amount. And that the treasurer 
collect the same as soon as may be. 

So vanishes the school fund, the literary fund continues to be 
received from the state and in 1839 amounts to $766.04, repre- 
sented by notes of persons who had borrowed the money. And 
the town continues to divide the interest among the several 
school districts. In 1847, $233.96 of the town money is added 
to the literary fund and in 1851 $300 of the principal with the 
interest is appropriated for the use of schools "immediately." 
The town, however, receives each year from the state "interest 
on the literary fund" for the benefit of schools, which is raised 
from the tax on banks, railroads, telephone and telegraph com- 
panies. In 1865 the literary fund, which was loaned in several 
notes at six per cent, interest, the income to be used for the 
benefit of schools, amounted to about $1,000. The interest was 
not always promptlj^ paid. The town decided to collect this 
money, and "adding enough to it to purchase a state bond or 
some other good paying security for $1,000, the same to be kept; 
and the interest to be used for schooling." In 1879 the state 
redeemed the bond and the town applied the money on the town 
debt. So disappears the literary fund. It is still put down in 
the selectmen's report of the financial condition of the town as 
a permanent debt, and the town pays interest on it for the bene- 
fit of the schools, being compelled to by the Avording of its re- 
ceipt to the state treasurer. 


The Baptist Church. 

From the earliest settlement of this town its people have 
been strongly sectarian in religious matters. Personal recollec- 
tions of the old people are, that they conceived it to be a vital 
importance to make a public confession of religion, and to be con- 
stant in their attendance upon its ordinances. Without reflect- 
ing that (in many cases) it was only an outside garment for 
Sunday use, the sentiment grows upon one that these solemn 
faced old gentlemen, whose constant appearance at the meet- 
ing-house, riding on horseback and bringing their wives upon 
a pillion behind them, were men of God to whom no evil could 
come nigh. My own increasing years and a more extended 
knowledge of human frailties and infirmities has considerably 
modified that sentiment. But that which used to excite my 
admiration greatly was the individuality that marked the rug- 
ged character of those men. There were none learned among 
them — nor were they much given to reading, except in the Bible 
and a few religious books they brought with them. Each man 
was his own expounder of the faith and doctrine he held to. 
They were all more or less given to expressing their views on 
Sundaj^s, and having once announced their beliefs, they were not 
inclined to modify them, however they might differ from re- 
ceived opinions. There were strong voiced persons among them, 
who gradually monopolized the time, and at length crowded out 
the feeble. These men and women were never favorable to 
being taxed to pay for preaching, because they considered them- 
selves qualified to preach for nothing. The records for many 
years give us only negative votes upon the subject. At length, 
when young Thomas Baldwin, one of their own boys, sprightly, 
eloquent and consistent, by hard study, and steady application, 
had been set apart and ordained as an evangelist, and placed 
over this young church and people they yielded gracefully to 
him as their leader. The women loved and petted him, and 
the men honored and respected him for his manly, yet gentle 

Congregational Church 

The Baptist Church. 167 

character — and 35 pounds was readily voted for preaching- for 
his support. But in the tiush of their pleasure at having a 
leader, and while they were congratulating themselves upon their 
unanimity, there was heard one little piping voice and then an- 
other very feeble, sounding much as if ashamed of its own 
weakness, and then another - — until five men came haltingly for- 
ward and "descented" to raising the tax. They did not believe 
it Scriptural to support a man for doing nothing but preach, — it 
would be encouraging laziness. They liked for the brethren 
to have a chance to tell of the Lord's doings, and not pay for 
a man's speech when his hands were idle. "No, they wan't a 
going to do no such thing." Everybody in that hard working 
community ought to have a chance to free his mind in his own 
way. It was put to vote, and those dissenting fellows were ex- 
cused from paying any part of the tax. Each day while clear- 
ing away the forests, or working the lands, these strong minded 
men were rehearsing the thoughts they intended to speak at the 
next Sunday gathering. Among them were many fluent speak- 
ers — men, who with education, might have shone in the world 
of letters. With such men for fathers it is no wonder that 
many of the sons became preachers, and that several of them 
should attain eminence in the denomination to which they at- 
tached themselves. 

The first preacher of whom we have any record was James 
Treadway, who came here as a settler in 1770. "We know but 
little about his doctrine, and what is known of the man, is not 
any evidence of Christian principles, but rather a desire to bet- 
ter himself during the temporary lethargy- of the proprietors, 
who, when they realized that all men are not honest, promptly 
rebuked him, and in a few years he disappears. 

The first church established in Canaan was Baptist, the rec- 
ord of this event has been laid aside, but it was probably about 
1780, that is, that denomination seemed to have the most follow- 
ers, and in the early days the most control over who should 
preach. Before the meeting-house was built there was no 
stated place of worship, they met where it was convenient. Late 
in the summer of 1780 there came to to^^^l two Baptist evange- 
lists, illiterate, but very zealous in their intercourse with the 
people. Their homely talk roused a large interest in religious 

168 History of Canaan. 

matters. Their names have passed out of story and we cannot, 
if we would, give their address. They remained here several 
weeks. Some old professors were worked up and several young 
persons converted, among the others was Thomas Baldwin. He 
had already, since the death of his boy, Erastus, become a stu- 
dious and serious young man. After these strangers had de- 
parted a suggestion was uttered that a church organization would 
be desirable, which led in a short time to the calling of a con- 
ference. Elder Elisha Eansom of Woodstock, Vt., was consulted. 
Other clergj-^men, including Rev. Samuel Ambrose, of Sutton, 
were invited to take part, and a church was organized in Caleb 
Welch's barn on South Road, that being the most convenient 
place for that purpose. It has come down in tradition that Wil- 
liam Plummer, afterwards governor, preached his Tory sermon 
in the Deacon 's bam, in 1780. It was also the place where many 
religious meetings were held in pleasant weather. Caleb Welch 
and John Worth were elected deacons. Deacon Worth in\dted 
himself to take charge of the singing, and it is said that he 
clung to that office with great tenacity. About thirty persons 
were admitted to membership. For a while the new church was 
ministered to by preachers from neighboring towns, and when 
these failed they relied upon the talent which circumstances 
had developed among them. No effort was made to settle a 
preacher for many months. Mr. Baldwin frequently conducted 
the exercises, and at length decided to prepare himself for the 

In the spring of 1783 the church invited him to receive ordina- 
tion and become their pastor. A council was called in June and 
he received ordination as an evangelist, and was put in charge 
of this church. Thomas Baldwin was a son of Thomas 
Baldwin ; his mother was the second wife of Dr. Ebenezer 
Eames, who built the first mill in tOA^-n. He was born in Bozrah, 
Conn., December 25, 1753, and came to Canaan with his mother 
and Doctor Eames in 1769. He worked as a carpenter for sev- 
eral years, and built a house near the old James Pattee place on 
South Road. Some of the old barns he framed, stood for many 
years, that of Joshua Wells, on the old Wells farm and the 
old Worth Tavern, which was torn down to make room for the 
new house built by Dr. E. ^l. Tucker, where Mrs. St. Armand 

The Baptist Church. 169 

lives. He built a house on the intervale, about a hundred rods 
from the house once occupied by B. M. Howard, now owned 
by George W. Davis. He planted his apple seeds ; several trees 
were standing a few years back, in the vicinity of the old cellar, 
and hurried back to Colchester, Conn., where a young friend 
was waitins" for him, Ruth Huntington. He was nearlv twentv- 
two years old and she was several years younger. They were 
married on September 21, 1775, and soon afterwards set out on 
their return to Canaan. He had but one horse, which carried 
his little store of goods and his young wife, she occasionally rest- 
ing herself by walking with him along the single trail that led 
through almost unending dense forests. Through Connecticut 
and Massachusetts there were occasional settlements, with roads 
passable for such vehicles as the people possessed. After pass- 
ing into New Hampshire the places of refuge were seldom met. 
Several times during their journey they camped by the wayside. 
They arrived in Canaan about the last of October and were 
duly received by the people and installed in their new home. 
Here they lived several years ; here their children were born. In 
the old record we read as follows: "May 19. 1777 Erastus Bald- 
win son to Thomas and Ruth Baldwin, was born. ' ' In the grave- 
yard on the Street is an old slatestone slab that used to bear the 
following inscription, 


Son of Elder Thomas and Ruth Baldwin. 

Died Nov. 2, 1777, in his 7th mouth. 

This fading flower 

Cut down and 

"Withered in an hour 

It is the oldest stone in the yard, but the storms of nearly a 
hundred and thirty-three years have crumbled it to pieces so 
that the words are not decipherable. It is said ]\Ir. Baldwin cut 
this stone with his own hands, and this is the only relic of the 
famous old elder which exists in Canaan. It was probably not 
erected until several years after the child's death, and exhibits 
a trace of vanity that is not objectionable. When the child 
died, in 1777, the father had not become an "Elder. " but he had 
already experienced religion in Deacon Welch's barn, chiefly 
through the strong religious sentiment that pervaded the heart 

170 History of Canaan. 

and character of his wife. In this house was born to them three 
other children, Sarah on June 8, 1780, Euth on August 31, 1782, 
and Thomas, Jr., on August 29, 1784. 

This house was bought by Oliver Smith, a very precise old 
man ; when town clerk he used to place on record the day of the 
week and the hour of the birth of each one of the numerous Smith 
family. After Smith's departure it passed into the hands of 
Stephen Jenniss, whose advice to his son will long be remem- 
bered, "That in a dark night when it rains hard, the middle of 
the road is the safest place to walk." When the railroad was 
built, the old house was sold at auction to Mr. Weeks, who wanted 
it for the memories of Doctor Baldwin that clung around it. He 
took it down and built a house with its timbers at East Canaan. 
After this he took it down again, carried the timbers to the old 
Pinnacle House, then his residence on the Street, and built a 
carriage house and sheep barn of them, where it stood for many 
years until torn down a few years ago. 

He was raised and educated in the doctrine of the Puritans, 
and became a convert to Baptism on reading a book entitled, 
"The Divine Right of Infant Baptism." The town records are 
silent during the first three years of young Baldwin's service, 
he was town clerk, but he. no doubt, considered his time more 
valuable for saving souls that telling what was done in town 
meeting. But a vote passed October 7, 1790, at a town 
meeting held at the hoiLse of Capt. Robert Barber, gives some- 
thing of w^hat was done as follows : 

Voted that we do hereby ratify aud confirm a vote passed in the year 
1783 (which vote is now lost), respecting the settlement of Elder 
Thomas Baldwin, in which vote the town voted to approve and confirm 
what the church had done, in calling Elder Baldwin to be ordained as 
an evangelist, and to exercise pastoral care over the church and con- 
gregation, so long as he should judge it his duty to continue here, by 
which he was considered as the minister of said town, tho not confined 
for any certain time. 

The first mention of his receiving any pay for his services, or 
rather not receiving anj^ was a vote passed in December, 1786, 
when it was "voted that a vote passed to give Mr. Baldwin 40 
pounds be reconsidered." On March 22, 1787. the town voted 
"to give Mr. Baldwin 30 pounds in Labor and produce the 
present year, ' ' and that his estate be exempt from taxation. 

The Baptist Church. 171 

In 1789 Mr. Baldwin received a call from the Baptist Church 
in Tnnbridge, Mass., and about the same time one from Hampton, 
Conn. In February the town voted "that Elder Baldwin is not 
under obligation to this town any longer than it appears to him 
to be his duty to stay and preach in it." It was also voted 
"that Elder Baldwin would continue and preach in Town, so 
long as he can see it to be duty." He set out early in the sum- 
mer and on the way received a call from the second Baptist 
Church in Boston. He preached at both Tunbridge and Hamp- 
ton and received unanimous calls from both. He then went to 
Boston and on July 4, 1790, preached his first sermon there and 
then returned to Canaan. On March 9th, 1790, the town voted 
"to raise 30 pounds for the support of Elder Baldwin, excepting 
those who are conscience bound that they cannot support min- 
isters that way" and "that any person who shall pay Elder 
Baldwin and take his receipt, it shall answer to the Constable 
for his proportion." On August 22, 1790, the church in Boston 
gave him a unanimous call. He continued to minister to this 
congregation until September 18, 1790, after being the first 
settled minister in town for seven years, when he accepted the 
call to Boston and was installed November 11, 1790. The church 
here increased in numbers under his preaching, and at his de- 
parture there were some seventy or eighty members. The general 
feeling in the church is represented to have been good, although 
as in all such bodies, there were some irrepressible persons who 
became impatient at having their talents ignored. 

Coming into Canaan a poor boy he left it a wealthy man, as 
owner of the ^Minister's right, he realized from that, as well as 
from the purchase of other rights, and from the sale of land 
which he had purchased and mortgaged back. In 1794 he re- 
ceived the degree of A. M. from Brown University, and in 1803 
the degree of D. D. from Union College. He edited the Baptist 
Magazine from 1803 to 1817. His election sermon, preached in 
1802, went through three editions. His 250 page answer to 
Hev. Samuel Wonston, showed his best efforts. He was founder 
of Waterville College, Maine; on his annual visit to attend the 
commencement in 1824, he preached twice at Hallowell, Me. The 
next day, August 29, he spent in walking over the college grounds 
and upon going to bed, slept for a short time, groaned and died. 

172 History of Canaan. 

aged 71 years, and was buried in Boston. He is described as 
a large man, well formed, and pleasing countenance. In appear- 
ance much like AYebster; of military carriage and a splendid 
figure on horseback. 

William Kimball, 85 years old, in 1881 remembered hearing 
him preach in the old meeting-house in 1817. ' ' He drove up from 
Boston in a chaise, accompanied by his daughter, stayed at 
Joshua Harris' Inn; the people all thronged to see him and of- 
fered him hospitality, but he remained at the Inn. He preached 
once from the text 'Grieve not the Spirit.' The house was 
thronged with eager listeners. Pushee led the choir, with his 
violin, and the music was grand and full-toned. No more eloquent 
prayers have ever been spoken in Canaan from that day to this. 
They w^ere complete, and so effective that everybody but Pettin- 
gill were in tears before they knew it. Everj'thing that needed 
praying for was brought in, and got a short and eloquent bless- 
ing without any effort. The beauty of his prayer was it was 
short and comprehensive. I was a young man, but I have never 
heard another prayer that has or can displace that in my mem- 
ory. ' ' 

Ruth, his wife, died February 11, 1812. He married second 
Margaret Duncan of Haverhill, jMass., who survived him many 

After the departure of Mr. Baldwin, there was no 
stated preaching. Various "trials" had been made, but no 
preacher had given such satisfaction as to induce the town to 
vote upon that subject. At length, about the 17th of June, 1793, 
there came along a young elder, whose gifts excited in them a 
gleam of hope, and on this day the inhabitants held a public 
meeting at the house of Capt. Robert Barber, to see, "1st. If 
the town would agree to hire Elder Elisha Ransom to preach for 
one year. 2nd. To see what sum of money the town will agree 
to raise for the support of said Ransom : and 3rd. to see if the 
to^vn will provide any house for said Ransom to live in." The 
doings of the town are dispatched on this occasion in two brief 
lines. "Choose Lt. Thomas ]\Iiner Moderator. Voted to dis- 
solve this meeting," and Elder Elisha Ransom disappears forever 
from our records. A committee on preaching had been pre- 
viously appointed. They continued their search for a preacher, 

The Baptist Church. 173 

and on the 19th of November, of the same year, they reported 
another candidate, but the town declined to accept their report. 
However, the town voted 35 pounds lawful money "to support 
a preacher of the Gospel for one year," and Dea. Caleb Welch, 
Lieut. William Richardson and John Benedict were chosen a com- 
mittee "to lay out the above sum of money in procuring Mr. 
Hooper if he can be obtained, if not some other man agreeable 
to the town." The time when Mr. Hooper was to begin was left 
discretionary with the committee. The "hireing" never began; 
Mr. Hooper disappears without coming to sight. During the 
year 1794, but little effort was made to procure preaching. The 
good people lamented the sad state into which they had fallen. 
They talked of one another as being obstinate and by their 
prejudices as being stumbling blocks to Christian progress. 
Each one asked the other to yield, but declined to give up his own 
preferences. It was a condition of society which has had its 
counterpart many times since. Up to the 10th of March, 1795, 
there was no success in procuring preaching. It was deemed 
impossible to unite the people upon any one person. But on 
this day. they made an effort and directed their committee to 
send to Mr. Uriah Smith to come and preach upon trial. All 
former votes were reconsidered and "30 pounds lawful money 
was raised to hire preaching the ensuing year." Smith was 
put "upon trial," and on the 29th of July, 1795, he was "hired 
to preach with us three months," at the rate of $10 per month. 
On November 2, Mr. Smith was hired to preach "till the Second 
Sunday of March next," at the same compensation. 

At the annual meeting in 1796, forty pounds were voted for 
preaching. In consequence of this vote, five gentlemen entered 
their dissent and protested against "raising money this way," 
to support a preacher of the gospel. In order to quiet their 
opposition, it was voted that these five gentlemen, Thomas Miner, 
Dudley Oilman, John Richardson, Robert Williams, and Asa 
Paddleford might be excused from paying their rates, which 
they refused to accept. They made themselves so busy in 
creating public opinion, that on the 15th of March, seven days 
after the former vote, when the town "voted to hire Mr. Smith 
for six months at $10 per month, he to board himself" the dis- 
senters showed a strong and growing opposition. This time they 

174 PIisTORY OF Canaan. 

reconsidered the vote to raise forty pounds and voted thirty 
pounds, and the number who entered their dissent against pay- 
ing the "thirty pounds" and also against hiring Mr. Smith had 
increased to twenty-five. The best men in town their names are 
below : 

Thomas Miner Sluiltal Biirdiek 

Robert Williams Hubbard Harris 

Robert Wilson E. Scofield 

Moses Hadley James Morse 

Reuben Kimball Asa Kimball 

John Richardson Joshua Richardson 

Joseph Clark John Wilson 

Henry Springer Daniel Kimball 

Dudley Oilman Simon Blanchard 

Asa Paddleford Caleb Wilder 

Abel Hadley John Woi'th 

Josiah Barber Joseph Flint 
Levi Straw 

The town adhered to its vote and refused to release them from- 
paying the tax. Mr. Smith continued to preach and to receive 
$10 per month until March, 1797, after which date he did not 
appear again in the pulpit. He lived several years in town, after 
he ceased to preach, and taught school in a schoolhouse that 
stood in the old orchard of Jacob Tucker, nearty opposite the 
house of Mr. Gideon Spencer on the old road to Dorchester.. 
Afterwards he moved to Enfield, where he died. 

There was still but one church in Canaan, but it was not 
strong enough to support itself and the great obstacle to securing 
"stated preaching" was found in the unwillingness of the mem- 
bers of this church to listen to preachers of any other belief. 
It was not strong enough to pay the expense of a Baptist 
preacher. There were Congregationalists, Universalists, and a 
few Methodists, and also a few impracticable men, who like some 
persons in these days, thought their own teachings good enough 
for the people, and were not inclined to yield their rights to any 
new comer. Each belief was jealous of the others, and refused 
to cooperate lest they might lose individuality. The result was. 
they had no stated preaching for several years. Whenever a 
religious meeting was held, Dea. Eichard Clark, Dea. John 
Worth, or Mrs. Miriam Harris would seize the opportunity ta 

The Baptist Church. ~ 175 

deliver their melancholy rhapsodies to an impatient audience, 
and this had got to be so severe a trial, that they at last resolved 
to form a societj' upon the "principles of equality," as they 
termed it. Elder Tyler said Dea. Kichard Clark was a powerful 
exhorter, would sometimes lose himself in his zeal. Spittle 
would fly from both sides of his mouth, one corner at a time, and 
his nose was a river of snot, which he used to blow about him first 
from one nostril and then the other, stopping one with his 
thumb. He was long winded and very annoying to Thomas 

To give the movement greater force a legal meeting was called, 
on the 28th of August. 1797. At this meeting the opponents of 
the society were so demonstrative, as nearly to break it up. 
After severe discussion, the house was divided, when it was found 
that the disorganizers were few in numbers but large in noise. 
Then Jehu Jones, Joseph Wadley and Kichard Whittier were 
elected a committee to confer with a like committee appointed 
from the church, consisting of John Worth, William Richard- 
son and Deacon Welch, who were to report a constitution for 
the society at an adjourned meeting. On the 4th of September, 
the committee made their report, which was accepted by the 
town. It was signed by a large number of men in columns 
according to their belief. I have thought it proper to print this 
report, together with the names attached to it, to show something 
of the form of thought which characterized the religious mind 
of those days. The manuscript is the original draft of the report, 
and the names were written by the individual owners. The 
paper is much worn, as if it had passed through many hands,, 
before it slept the long sleep, before it came into my possession. 


We, the subscribers, inhabitants of the town of Canaan, taking into 
consideration the importance of having the gospel preached among 
us, and the benefits and privileges that will accrue to us, our fami- 
lies, and the community at large, thereby do for the better promoting 
the same mutually and by our free consent enter into and join in a 
society to act agreeable to the following sentiments rules and regula- 
tions, namely 

First, That we will support a minister by an equality, among our- 
selves according to what we are possessed of. 

176 History of Canaan, 

Second. That we will pay our several proportions of the sum or 
sums that the society shall raise from time to time for the support 
of the minister as they shall direct. 

Third, That the minister be one that can bring credentials of his 
being a member of a regular gospel church, and in good standing with 
them, and can give evidence of his call to the work of preaching the 

Fourth, That when the church have called a minister, and the 
society like him they will manifest their agreement with them in 
the matter. 

Fifth, That it is the privilege of the minister and the church to lead 
in the worship, but if the society take the singing from the church, 
we will not contend so as to make a disturbance in the meeting, but 
will endeavor patiently to bear it as a trial. 

Sixth, That it is not our intention to debar any of the proprietors 
or society from enjoying their privilege in the meeting house accord- 
ing to their interest. 

Seventh, That all prudential matters shall be determined by the 
majority of the society, which shall consist of two thirds of the mem- 
bers present at the meeting. 

Eighth, There shall be a standing committee, whose duty it shall 
be to warn meetings when applied to by seven members of the society. 

Ninth, There shall be a clerk who shall make a fair record of the 
doings of the society. 

Tenth, That there shall be a treasurer, assessors, and a collector or 
collectors for the society. 

Eleventh, The above agreement made and entered into this 4th. 
day of Sept., A. D. 1797 to stand for the term of oue year, as witness 
our hands. 

Baptists. Jacob Miller 

John Worth Robbard Barber 

Caleb Welch Richard Whittier 

Ezekiel Wells Nathaniel Barber 

Caleb Pierce John Currier 

John M. Barber Stephen Worth 

Joseph Wadley Caleb Welch jr 

Ezekiel Gardner Thomas Miner 

Nath. Whittier Joshua Clement 

Joshua Wells Nathan Beebe 

Oliver Smith Richard Clark 

Hubbard Harris Simeon Arvin 

Israel Harris Daniel Colby 

William Harris Josiah Clark 

Jehu Jones Richard Clark jr 

Timothy Johnson jr Ebenezer Clark 

Abel Hadley John Worth Jr 

The Baptist Church. 


Caleb Seabury 
Elam Meacham 
Enoch Sweat 
David Pearson 
Samuel Chapman 
Samuel Noyes 
Nathaniel Oilman 
Reynold Gates 
Samuel Welch 
Thomas Morse 
Samuel Welch jr 
Thaddeus Lathrop 
Eliphlet Clark 
Joshua Meacham 
Thomas Cole 
Judah Wells 
James Morse 
Jabez Smith 
William Parkhurst 
Bailey Cross 
Elijah Whittier 
Jonathan Dustin 
David Jones 

J. M. Colcord 
Joshua Harris 

William Richardson 
Levi Bailey 
Reuben Currier 
Hezekiah Jones 
Eliphlet Norris 
Joshua Pillsbury 
Moody Noyes 
Dudley Noyes 
Richard Otis 
Clement Ooddard 
David Smith 
John May 
Moses Richardson 
Richard Clark 
Enoch Richardson 
Joshua Richardson 
Mathew Athaton 
John Perley 
Daniel Johnson 
Warren Wilson 
John Richardson 
John Sweet 
Jacob Richardson 
John Wilson 
Thomas Bedel 
Timothy Johnson 

At the meeting on the 4th of September, Oliver Smith was 
chosen clerk ; Jolin Worth, Jehu Jones and William Richardson, 
were appointed the ' ' standing committee ' ' to procure preaching. 
They also voted $100 to pay for preaching for one year. The 
committee were successful in finding a candidate who was willing 
to serve in the pulpit. 

His name was Ezra Wilmarth. He stayed several weeks, preach- 
ing and visiting among the families, and won the good will of the 
town to such an extent, that on the 28th of November, 1797, 
they voted to hire him and pay him "fifty-two pounds as com- 
pensation for preaching with us one year." They also agreed 
to move his family to Canaan and provide a house for them to 
live in. It was "voted to give Lt. Richard Whittier $13.50 for 
bringing half a ton — either Mr. Wilmarth 's family or his 
goods from Fairfax. Conn., to Canaan — if his family, the society 


178 History of Canaax. 

is to pay their expense on the road. Lieut. Whittier is to have 
two-thirds of the money before he starts from home. ' ' 

"Voted to give Lieut. Thomas Miner ten dollars for bringing 
half a ton from Fairfax to Canaan, meaning Mr. Wilmarth's 
family or goods." The committee was ordered to make ''pro- 
vision for ]\Ir. Wilmarth respecting a house to live in and some 
necessaries of life, &c." Thirteen pounds were raised for "mov- 
ing" Mr. "Wilmarth and providing him a house to live in when 
he gets here. "Sunday the 14th day of January, 1798, the Rev. 
Mr. Wilmarth returned to Canaan with his- f amih*, and moved 
in with Mr. Josiah Clark. His time began on said day. ' ' 

Mr. Wilmarth went about his labors serene and happy in the 
belief that he was appreciated for his faithfulness. 

The people had concluded they had found the man they 
needed. A to^^^l meeting was called in August, when John 
Currier, Jehu Jones and Caleb Seaburj^ were appointed ' ' a com- 
mittee on the part of the town to be joined by such of the lion, 
church as they may appoint to consult and propose a method for 
the settlement and support of Rev. E. Wilmarth." The com- 
mittee made a detailed report of the method and then the town 
appointed William Richardson. John Worth and John Currier^ 
a committee to present a call to ]\Ir. Wilmarth, ask his accep- 
tance and confer with him respecting his settlement over them 
in the gospel ministrj^. 

Considerable diplomacy entered into the question right here 
between the church and town. Deacon Worth and Richard 
Clark, whose "gifts" in long prayers and longer exhortations, 
never came at a timely moment, would not cut otf their priv- 
ileges. Besides these brethren had pitched the tunes and sung 
the solemn singing in their own way, without harp or sackbut. 
Fiddles and fifes were an abomination to these pious souls. They 
made no objection to ]\Ir. Wilmarth if all their rights were pre- 
served. The town yielded all they claimed, and then a united 
call was given to the preacher, who was asked to accept it and 
name a day for his installation. Right here occurs a hiatus in 
the records, the result of old Oliver Smith's usual negligence. 
Several meetings were held of which he have no account and 
some of the terms agreed upon between the high parties are 

The Baptist Church. 179 

left to conjecture. But it is plain enough that somebody was 
getting jealous, and couldn't agree. 

On the 17th of December the town voted to settle Mr. Wil- 
marth, agreeably to the conditions reported by the committee 
and which had been, assented to by all parties. Previous to this 
date, several persons who disliked Deacon Worth's hum-drum 
music, astonished that worthy man by taking the wind out of 
his mouth without asking his consent. It was an insult he would 
not forgive. They might as well stop his praying and exhorting 
as his singing. So he rallied his forces, and called upon the 
church to rise up and vote a rebuke of this audacious outrage. 

He got himself appointed the avenger of the church and issued 
the stately document which follows : 

The church in Canaan hereby inform the town that in consequence 
of their assuming the authority of governing the singing in a way 
that they knew was disagreeable to the Church without any conde- 
scension or regard to them in the matter and of the Selectmen's mak- 
ing a tax or rate for the support of preaching without giving the 
Church notice of it that they might take off their proportion according 
to the proposal made by the Church which the town voted to comply 
with, therefore they have withdrawn their call of Elder Wilmarth till 
the town shall satisfy them on the above particulars. 

John Worth, 
By order of the Church. 
Dec. 1st. 1798. 

N. B. That although we agreed to bear a trial for one year we do 
not feel willing always to bear it. 

Then followed a letter from Mr. Wilmarth declining to set- 
tle. It was addressed to Messrs. John Worth, John Currier and 
Richard Whittier, Committee, Canaan : 

Canaax, Dec. 3rd, 1798. 

Gentlemen: As the worthy and respectable inhabitants of this town 
have been pleased to honor me with a call to settle among them as a 
minister of the gospel, and you were the committee thro' whom it was 
communicated to me, I esteem it my dutj- to make a reply via you to 

I feel myself under a present necessity of answering you in the nega- 
tive — and my reasons here follow: 

1st. When the town voted the request it was with a promise that nine- 
tenths of the town were in favor of it, and were I to give my answer 
in the affirmative, it is possible, and even probable, that there would not 
be such a proportion in favor of my settlement, and consequently I 

180 History of Can a ax. 

might fall into the disagreeable predicament of being rejected after 
having consented. 

2nd. The church in this town have seen fit to discontinue their call 
and vote me a letter of dismission and recommendation to any other 
church of the same faith and order — their reasons for withdrawing 
their call will be communicated to you via their committee. 

These, gentlemen, are some of my reasons for not, at present, accept- 
ing your request. It is possible, however, that they may be removed. 

Whether I ever settle among you or not, I assure you of my best 
wishes for your welfare, as a people, and should I leave you, it will 
be with painful anxiety for your future happiness. I am, gentlemen, 
yours and the public's devoted humble servant. 

Ezra Wilmaeth. 

After this date, although the town yielded the points in dis- 
pute and renewed its call to the preacher, a coolness grew up 
between them which increased from day to day, until the year 
expired. On the 17th of April, 1799, it was voted not to permit 
"Mr. Wilmarth to make up the time he lost in preaching but 
there shall be deducted twenty shillings for every day he has 

Ezekiel Wells was appointed a committee "to ascertain what 
Mr. Wilmarth has received and what there is due him. ' ' 

It took the committee until the 10th of May to make up a 
bill of particulars, when it reported that "according to the 
receipts exhibited by the collector. 

Mr. Wilmarth has received £24:5:1 

That he was absent five days, went away one day 
before his time was out, and three days preached 

only a half day 7:10:0 

Deducted from 52:0:0 

Leaves due Mr. Wilmarth 21 : 4 : 11 

And Mr. Ezra Wilmarth stepped out of Canaan without being 
settled which seems to have afforded mutual pleasure to all 
parties, particularly to the gifted ones, John, Richard and 
Miriam. On leaving Canaan he was settled over the church in 
Rumney in April, 1799, and was dismissed in May, 1811, 

Notwithstanding their promptness in dismissing him it was 
two years and upwards before they paid him the balance due 
and part of this he took in due bills and personal promises. 

Dea. John Worth, who lived across the Pond on the Landon 
place, was a poet, also, but the productions of his genius, like his 

The Baptist Church. 181 

dust, have long since mingled and become a part of the common 
things of this life. All that has survived of his wonderful poetic 
talents are the following lines, addressed to "Pride": 

Pride, don't come on! 
Thou hast undone, 
Many a son. 

Pride, don't come arter! 
Thou hast undone 
Many a darter! 

Soon after Mr. Wilmarth's departure Rev. Aaron Cleveland, 
great-grandfather of Grover Cleveland, a clergyman from Nor- 
wich, Conn., visited friends in Canaan, and was invited to 
preach. He preached in the unfinished meeting house, and being 
a Congregationalist, like many of the settlers from Connecticut, 
they offered him inducements to remain here. A town meeting 
was called on the 12th of August, 1799, and "$100 was voted 
to be raised and to be appropriated for the purpose of hiring 
Mr. Aaron Cleveland if he can be obtained." Dea. Joshua 
Pillsbury, Micah Porter and Richard Otis were chosen a com- 
mittee to confer with him, and report their success to the town. 
Everyone was confident that Mr. Cleveland would stay for the 
"$100." They expected no refusal, for why had he wandered 
so far from home, if he was not in search of employment. They 
took another vote, as if to confirm their resolution. "Voted that 
we will hire preaching. ' ' And another : ' ' Voted that we hire Mr. 
Cleveland imtil March meeting, if he can be obtained." But 
against the two last votes, there were vigorous protests from the 
following gentlemen, "as the law directs," Jehu Jones, Reynold 
Grates, Joshua Wells, Josiah Clark and Daniel Colby, the 
first three from Colchester and the last from Newmarket and 
Haverhill. Mr. Cleveland seems to have been willing to remain 
in Canaan, but he pointed out to the committee that $100 was 
small compensation for the continued services of a minister of 
the gospel. They proposed to give him as a further inducement 
the half of the minister's right which had been deeded to the 
town by Elder Baldwin. 

He remained here until September 1st, without accepting their 
invitation. Then pressing duties calling him to Connecticut, he 
sent the committee the following letter : 

182 History of Canaan. 

Messrs. Otis. Pillshury and Porter, Committee: 

Gentlemen — In answer to your request that I should stay a week 
longer than was proposetl, let me observe: 

That should the town wish to convene again to make me some further 
proposals, a meeting may be warned on Monday next and Mr. Otis will 
attend, who proposes a journey to Connecticut immediately after. By 
him, therefore, the proposals of this town can be forwarded to me, 
which I shall lay before our Association and be directed by them re- 
specting my future steps. Mr. Otis can also be present at the Asso- 
ciation and represent the essential matters respecting the town, and 
respecting myself. 

And you may rest assured that the cause of Zion lies so near their 
hearts that they will point out the line of my duty in the case. Re- 
specting the proposal of the town as it now stands, this I should lay 
before the Association. Should the town proceed no further, and 
should be determined in the case as sd Association should advise. 

It appears as a matter of importance to me that I should commence 
my journey on the first week in September, as I have mentioned from 
the first day I came to this town, and Mr. Otis going to Connecticut 
will supply the difficulty of my longer stay at this time. 

I am gentlemen, yours, 

and Canaan's well wisher, 

Aabon Cleveland. 

The church sent Deacon Otis to urge their request, but the 
town did not offer him any further compensation. The Asso- 
ciation advised him to remain in Connecticut, and nothing fur- 
ther was heard from him except the bill for his services in the 
pulpit amounting to $50. And at the next annual meeting in 
1800 the town voted "to raise money enough to discharge the 
committee from the demands ]\Ir. Cleveland has made against 
them for preaching." 

No money was voted for preaching in 1800, excepting that 
which was to pay Mr. Cleveland; they were without a pastor. 
In 1801 Elder Samuel Ambrose, Elder Crowell, Elder Jones and 
Eev. Mr. Webster occupied the pulpit. In 1801 they voted $60 
for preaching from June to the next annual meeting and from 
this time on to May, 1808, the town refused to pay for preach- 
ing. Many persons were annoyed at the persistency of Deacon 
Clark and Deacon Worth and their followers, in demanding 
too much recognition for themselves. And when in 1802 the 
warrant contained an article about preaching, Samuel Joslen, 
before it was put to vote, entered his dissent. He said it was 

The Baptist Church. 183 

time enoiigh to get money, when it was found out who was going 
to get it, and he did not intend to be involved in any more blind 

Thus far it appears that the good people of Canaan had assem- 
bled together in the meeting-house, all denominations, with a 
church organization, consisting mostly of Baptists, and a society 
consisting of many others, not members of the church. Xo 
denomination had separated itself, or organized itself into a 
separate association. The denominational feeling had become 
so strong that on February 16, 1802, the Baptists constituted 
themselves into "The Baptist Church of Christ in Canaan." 
On this date "Brother Richard Clark was chosen moderator and 
brother John "Worth, Deacon and Clerk." 

On June 17th following, Josiah Clark was chosen Deacon. 
From the records it does not appear that the work of the church 
or the labors of the brethren were of sufficient importance to 
merit being written. There was stupor and indifference and 
petty rivalries among the members, that prevented them from 
seeing any good however little it might be in each other. 

At the date above written desire was expressed on the part of 
some of the brethren to have the church separate itself from all 
other denominations, and constitute itself simply the Baptist 
church in Canaan. 

In the effort to revive the church the brethren engaged in it 
appointed a committee to emasculate the list of members, so 
that none but the worthy might have a place therein, and this 
they did so thoroughly that if we take their record as truth, they 
left but few disciples of John Calvin in town, and these were 
Josiah Clark, Nathaniel Gilman, Richard Clark, Daniel Kimball, 
Job Tyler, Esther Clark, Sarah Gilman, Pernal Clark, Lydia 
Pearson and Abigail Cole who was excommunicated in 1836. 

We know from other sources that the Baptists, in numbers, 
exceeded all the other sects in town, between sixty and seventy 
names being found on a former record. We should have liked it 
better had thev retained all the original names, so that we 
might know who and how many among the brave settlers were 
written down ' ' as those who love the Lord. ' ' 

Up to August 19, 1804, the record is blank, but at this date 
they voted to join the Woodstock Association. The number of 

184 History of Canaan. 

members at this date is stated as thirty-eight, but only these 
additional names are found: Moses Kelley, Nancy Kelley, 
Samuel Welch, Moses Hadley, and Molly Hadley. After this 
statement there is more blank in the record, but it is evident 
that it was blanker in the church. It was a little before this time 
that the Congregational Church had been established. And the 
Baptist denomination among themselves had lost control of the 
organization. There seemed to be no controlling intelligence, and 
few or no educated persons to manage affairs. They talked of 
doctrine, and purifying the church ; it was all talk and no action. 
They talked when they had nothing to say, and when the lis- 
teners were all bored instead of edified. As in the former years 
when the same men pursued the same course, they soon fell into 
by and forbidden paths, and got lost in the great desert of the 
world. To extricate themselves from this unprogressive condi- 
tion, the brethren prayed to be enlightened. It was made plain 
then as it has often been since that no religious sect in the town 
of Canaan was strong enough in men and money to give proper 
support to a respectable preacher. 

The preaching by the resident orators was little attended to 
and the candidates for the favor of the church and people gave 
no satisfaction. They just appeared above the religious horizon 
and vanished like a summer cloud. The singing, then as now, 
was a fruitful theme of irritation. Benjamin Trussell, a musi- 
cian of more than ordinary ability, a good singer, and performer 
upon the violoncello, had moved into town and was invited to 
contribute his part in the devotional exercises of the people. 
Like a true musician, Mr. Trussell believed that singing is only 
another form of praising God, and that the more sweet sounds 
he brought to his aid, the greater was God's pleasure. He took 
his violoncello into the seats, and tuned it before the congrega- 
tion. Deacon Worth, who was counted as one of the guardians 
of all the proprieties in the church, and a leader of the singers, 
was more shocked than he had been on the occasion of the call 
of Mr. Wilmarth. That was simply a vocal interruption, but 
this was an invasion of the house of God, with the strains that 
the devil used to tempt young people to dance. A few other 
impulsive enthusiasts joined the deacon in denouncing the "devil 
music," and threatened to call a meeting of the church and 

The Baptist Church. 185 

expel the offender. They talked a good deal of nonsense, and 
some of the old singers, with Deacon Worth at their head threat- 
ened to leave the choir, and not sing any more, only that this 
was just what the other party wanted, and they would not afford 
them that gratification. The gentle spirit of Christian forbear- 
ance had nearly fled from the church, when good old Samuel 
Meacham, an early and devout Methodist, raised his hands in 
the midst of the half angry company and quietly remarked: 
"Brethren, let us pray," and then, "We pray thee, good God, 
turn the thoughts of these wrangling singers from themselves 
unto Thee ! Fill their hearts with harmonv and love, and if there 
be a single chord of music in Brother Trussell's bass-viol, that 
will tend to increase our devotions to Thee, let us have it in all 
its fullness, and, Lord, forbid that we should ever cast away 
any good or pleasant thing that falls across our lives, and now 
give us thy blessing, and send us courage to clear out the angry- 
thoughts that have invaded our hearts, and when we meet again, 
may it be in love and affection. Amen." And Caleb Seabury 
and Moses Dole responded "So mote it be." And the singing 
after the mutual jealousies had become self-exhausted settled 

Mr. Trussell's viol became a favorite, with everyone except the 
inharmonious Deacon, and he never ceased to talk about it. 
In 1807 there was no preacher, and no prospect of one unless 
the people would unite upon some person and stand by him. 
So they agreed to lay aside their dogmas and personalities and 
form a "Union Society," while like all union societies in re- 
ligion proved to be no union at all. Daniel Blaisdell was ap- 
pointed to write an agreement, such as all would sig-n. A part 
of the agreement is copied here, not particularly for any in- 
trinsic merit it contains, but as showing the involved and long- 
winded theology these people cherished, and how thoroughly 
they were convinced of original sin, and depravity, and the diffi- 
culty of making its meaning plain. 

We, the subscribers, taking into consideration not only the salutary- 
effects that moralitj' and religion rightly gi'ounded upon evangelical 
principles, hath upon society in general, but especially upon the rising 
generation, and being fully convinced that to have the gospel statedly 
preached amongst us by a regular methodical preacher, who is not 

186 History of Canaan. 

only a man of good moral character, but is reputed to have his com- 
munion from on high, will not only have a tendency to lay in the 
hearts of men in general the strongest obligation to due subjection; 
but we profess to view it as an institution of Heaven, whereby to con- 
vince sinners of Adam's fallen family of their deplorable condition, and 
bring them to embrace offered grace through a glorious Mediator, as 
the only means to escape the displeasure of an angry God. And having 
for a long time viewed with anxiety the deplorable situation of the 
town of Canaan in this respect, and fearing lest we should not be able 
to answer at the bar of injured Justice, for our neglect to our chil- 
dren and society, do agree and covenant with each other, &c." 

No subscrption was to be binding until two-thirds of the com- 
mon inventory of the town assented to the union. 

Eev. Mr. Young of Salisbury, had preached several Sabbaths 
and many of the people were pleased with him, and were desir- 
ous that he should come and settle wath them. They sent Rich- 
ard Whittier and Richard Otis down to invite him to come up 
and "preach two Sundays more," when they hoped to be able 
to determine whether he was a suitable man. ]\lr. Young came 
as desired and spent a week getting acquainted with the peo- 
ple, and was received with much effusion. The "Union" em- 
braced the Congregationalists and Methodists who were well 
enough pleased with Mr. Young, but to make it agreeable every 
way, it was agreed that Mr. Young should exchange at the re- 
quest of the Congregationalists, once in eight weeks with "some 
minister of that order," residing within a radius of thirty -five 
miles. But it is doubtful if he ever had an opportunity to ex- 
change with any one. He did preach here a few weeks after 
this invitation, but there is no means of telling either of his suc- 
cess, or the time of his exit. We do not know that he was "set- 

In 1808 the town voted to raise $150 to hire preaching, 
and that each religious denomination lay out their money agree- 
ably to their conviction. The selectmen were directed to post 
a notice for six weeks, at Captain Arvin's, Lieutenant Moore's 
and Moses Dole's Inn, calling upon all the people to come for- 
ward, and state to what denomination they wished to pay their 
minister's tax, otherwise they would be taxed as Baptists. The 
record shows that while this vote was being discussed, Reynold 
Gates, Richard Clark. Jr., Josiah Barber and Stephen Worth 

The Baptist Church. 187 

^'has come forward aud entered their decent against paying^ a 
tax to hire preaching." 

Stephen "Worth had disputed with some of the brethren the 
correctness of all Baptists beliefs. And was for his rashness 
stigmatized "an infidel." The others were Baptists by birth, 
education and conviction, and their "decent" probably arose 
from sympathy with the long winded Clark. 

This arrangement continued satisfactorily for a few years. 
In 1811 the town voted $100, "and each denomination to lay out 
the money their own way," a committee of three, Josiah Clark, 
Baptist; Joshua Pillsbury, Congregationalist, and Caleb Sea- 
bury, Methodist, were appointed to lay out the money. Again 
in 1812 the town voted to raise $150 to hire preaching during 
the year, and Caleb Seabury, Methodist; Daniel Blaisdell, Bap- 
tist, and Amos Gould, Congregationalist, w^ere a committee to 
"hire preachers of each denomination." And they added a 
cruel amendment to this vote "that no part of the $150 should 
be paid to Lt. Richard Clark." Lieutenant Clark was opposed 
upon principle to paying money to preachers. He was a talking 
man and the Lord had given him gifts sufficient unto the needs 
of the people. He had asked the town to give him the whole or 
part of the money, claiming that on all occasions when there was 
no stated preaching, he had conducted religious services freely 
-and often at much inconvenience. Many people were not pleased 
with Mr. Clark's use of his gifts and took this occasion to ex- 
press their opinion. 

In 1813 they voted to raise $100 for preaching, and once only 
after this, in 1819, did the town vote money for preaching and 
that vote was vigorously protested. The "Union So- 
ciety" went to pieces in 1812, and there was a relapse into 
the old order of things, each denomination raising their own 
money in their own way by assessment, and hiring their own 
preachers. In 1813 a successful effort was made to unite the 
church and people, and a committee w^as sent to Grafton, with 
an invitation to Elder Joseph Wheat, to come and settle here, 
which he accepted. 

Elder "Wheat was a Baptist and preached to that church and 
society for twenty-three years. From the time of his installa- 
tion in March, 1814. until during the year 1827, he lived as the 

188 History of Canaan, 

pastor and teacher of the people, going out and in before them 
as an example of an honored and revered man. Inquiries among 
his descendants have failed to discover his birthplace. It is 
supposed that he originated in Newmarket. In the war of the 
Revolution he served seven years, and "was discharged when 
twenty-three years of age. His subsequent career down to his 
arrival in Canaan is unknoAvn to us. In 1813 he was preaching 
in various places hoping to get a home, and on two or three occa- 
sions occupied this pulpit. For many years previous to 
this date there had been no "stated" preaching. The people 
who professed to be Christians, were divided into cliques, and 
there were several persons who aspired to do the preaching. 
They could talk long and loud, and because of this "gift" they 
successfully opposed the raising of money to pay "hireling" 
preachers from abroad. 

The people endured these gifted talkers with long suffering 
patience, and there seemed to be no remedj' except in quiet sub- 
mission or in active opposition. The same persons who had 
disturbed and driven Elder Baldwin out of town, had exercised 
their gifts upon Elder Uriah Smith, upon Elder Ezra "Wilmarth, 
upon Rev. Aaron Cleveland and other candidates for the pulpit 
down to 1813, when a united effort was made to break up the 
gifted monopoly and introduce an era of things that should be 
respectable, orderly and systematic. Elder Joseph Wheat was 
then preaching occasionally in Grafton, 53 years old, ripe and 
manly, with large experiences of human grief and suffering; 
would he come to Canaan, take charge of the souls in this churchy 
and gather up and soften the flinty hearts that were laughing 
at the dissensions among the saints? They sent their com- 
mittee, he came, and preached a sermon two hours long. He 
told them he was a Baptist, but he was a Christian. They liked 
him, organized a society, and gave him an invitation to join 
his fortunes with theirs. The following is the preamble to 
their agreement which was written by Hon. Daniel Blaisdell: 

To all to whom these presents shall come, know ye, that we, the sub- 
scribers, believing that the preaching of the gospel was intended by 
the all wise Governor of the Universe as a mean whereby to com- 
municate his special grace to a ruined world, and believing also that a 
regularly preached gospel tends to promote good order, and strengthen 

The Baptist Church. 189 

the bonds of society. Do agree to form ourselves into a societj- by tlie 
name of tlie First Baptist society iu Canaan, for the purpose of liiriug 
Elder Joseph. Wheat to preach amongst us; And to that end we do 
agree that if he can be obtained to remove to Canaan and preach to 
us so many Sabbaths as fortj- five in a year, and attend to such lecters 
and funerals and elsewhere as is common for a settled minister to do. 
That we and each of us, will pay our proportion according to our in- 
ventory, taken by the selectmen for the time being, of the sum of one 
hundred and twenty dollars, to be assessed and collected by a collector, 
and to be appropriated and paid over for the support of our said 
minister and his family yeraly, the whole to be paid in cash, if paid to 
the collector, but if any choose to carry to his house corn, wheat, 
rye, flour or wool, he is to receive one half the sum due to him, and 
give his receipt for the same. . . . provided nevertheless, that the 
agreement and every part thereof shall be null and void, unless such 
and so many persons shall join said society, so as that the assessments 
made as aforesaid shall not exceed the sum of thirty cents on the poll. 

This agreement contains the signatures of ninety-three men, 
subscribing in sums from fifty cents to two dollars and fifty cents. 
These men have long since passed off the stage of life. 

"Thomas H. Pettingill agrees to pay Elder Joseph Wheat 
$1.00 a year so long as he shall preach in Canaan." "Daniel 
Blaisdell one half of inventory added if necessary." John 
Currier, Nathaniel C. Pierce. Harry Leeds, Job Tyler, Josiah 
Clark, Abraham Pushee, Timothy Tilton, Joshua Currier, 
Amasa Jones, Adam Pollard, Oliver Smith and Nathan Willis, 
one dollar each. John M. Barber, Samuel Willis and Daniel Pat- 
tee will give two dollars each. Cyrus B. Hamilton will pay 
$2.50. Then there are Daniel Colby and John Worth, and Levi 
Bailey and Wales Dole and Amos Gould and William Campbell, 
at fifty cents each ; then come I\Ioses Shepherd, Nathaniel Wil- 
son. Ephraim Wilson, Abner H. Cilley, six Kichardson brothers, 
and many more all eager to join the society so as to settle the 
long vexed question of who was to do the preaching to this 
patiently waiting people. 

A committee of invitation — Daniel Blaisdell, John Currier 
and Sewall Gleason — waited upon Elder Wheat and lost no time 
in making known the wishes of the people that he become their 
spiritual guide. The old man listened smilingly and approvingly 
to their solicitations, and his eyes rested benignly and lovingly 
upon the long list of names guaranteeing support to him and his 

190 History op Canaan. 

family. He came and was duly installed in that pulpit which he 
abandoned only at the close of life. 

Elder Wheat was a careful man in his intercourse with the peo- 
ple. He had cheerful words and friendly advice for every one. 
His labors in the pulpit were arduous; his prayers and sermons 
were almost of indefinite length, and he delighted in the loud 
music of his great choir, never omitting any of the stanzas in the 
longest hymns. He labored everywhere, and was called often to 
attend funerals. In those sad occasions he w^as a very effective 
speaker, being naturally sympathetic and weeping with the 
mourners. It was his custom M^henever he heard unfriendly 
criticisms upon the life and character of a deceased person, to 
say, ' ' we should tread lightly upon the ashes of the dead. ' ' The 
preaching of Eder Wheat and the high reputation which he en- 
joyed as a patriot soldier, were powerful influences in forming 
the habits and characters of many of our people. He was gen- 
erally modest in relating his exploits. As a soldier he had en- 
dured great hardships. One incident in his camp life he used 
to relate with much feeling. He was captured by the Indians 
and taken through the woods to Canada. After a time he made 
his escape and started out alone through the then unbroken for- 
est, two hundred miles. There were a few houses and small 
clearings along the upper waters of the Connecticut River, the 
smallpox prevailed in Canada, and the people along the clear- 
ings placed him in quarantine, not allowing him to come near 
their houses by day or night. He would come near a house and 
call to the people for food, then he would retire a considerable 
distance while they brought out victuals, and placing it upon a 
stump, eat and go on his way. He passed through Canaan on 
that journey on his way to his friends in the southern part of the 
state. On being asked if he ever killed any person during his 
seven years' service, he would pause, draw" a long breath, and 
say with a sigh, "Is 'pose I 've been the death of six hearty men. ' ' 
He was not an educated man ; in fact, he used to boast of his lack 
of education, but he had a retentive memory, and his mind was 
well stored with facts and fancies, which leaped out on all occa- 
sions, and gave interest to his most tedious sermons. He would 
sometimes say that, "Edication don't make a man any better 
Christian, unless it's in him. College larn't folks can't come nigh 

The Baptist Church. 191 

to God, with their high-sounding- phrases. Bible larnin' was 
good enough for him. He had traveled nigh on to fifty years 
with it, and he thought he could get nigher to God with his 
humble ignorance than the man with his head swelled full of 
theology and divinity." His style was monotonous and sing- 
song, with cadenzas uttered in a loud tone of voice, so that his 
words could be heard at long distances. He was very effective 
in prayer. He used to talk very familiarly with God ; seize him 
by the hand and hold on till he got his blessing — a good old 
man with all his ignorance. In summer he always wore a loose 
wrapper, made of calico, that was always fljdng in the wind. 
His congregation was not always wakeful. His style and long- 
drawn utterances were favorable to drowsiness on the part of 
those hard-working men and women, and when he ceased speak- 
ing the sudden stillness would react with energy upon the 

He was much liked and sought after in all the region about 
wherever the Baptist Church prevailed. He w^as tender-hearted 
and easily put himself en rapport with his audience. Under his 
preaching many souls were converted and led safely through all 
the ordinances into the folds of the church. He was a great 
stickler for baptism ; there was no salvation without going down 
deep into the water. It was his custom to wade far out until the 
water nearly reached his arm pits and wiien he had said the 
formula in that loud singing tone that echoed back from the 
woods on the opposite shore, he would plunge the candidate 
nearly to the bottom, bringing him up again with a jerk. 

When he came to live here he bought a small farm and built a 
house a short distance below ' ' Peggy 's Tavern, ' ' on the turnpike. 
This farm he cultivated with his own hands, and by this means 
added something to his small salary, which was paid very tardily 
and oftentimes with ill grace, very much as ministers salaries 
are paid now. He possessed a powerful constitution, capable 
of sustaining great physical labor, but the infirmities of age crept 
in upon him, and he gave up preaching, and took refuge in the 
family of his daughter, Mrs. Samuel Gilman. who lived on the 
Carlton Clark farm, where, after months of suffering, he quietly 
went to sleep in 1836, at the age of 77 years. The legend upon 
his tombstone is, "Although dead, he yet speaketh." 

192 History of Canaan. 

Richard Clark, grandson of that Richard who used to spread 
his gifts freely before the people, — Richard the son, had also 
exercised his talents as a speaker,— and Richard, the grandson, 
had an ambition to preach like his fathers. He had but few 
opportunities for study, but he improved them all, and being a 
^ood-natured speaker, received ordination as a minister. He 
occasionally preached the Baptist doctrine for Elder Wheat. 
His mind was so absorbed by his ministerial duties that he lived 
and died a poor man in his own hired house. He was born about 
1793, and died at Rumney at an advanced age. 

On December 2, 1824, "Brother Ebenezer Clark was chosen 
clerk, upon the resignation of brother Richard Clark." Then, 
for several years up to July 30, 1830, Brother Ebenezer Clark, 
who was a clothier at Factory Village, entirely neglected the 
duties of his office, even if he had any to perform. During these 
years the record shows that forty-three names were added to 
the church. Several extensive revivals occurred among all classes 
of people, but the fruits thereof were divided among the Metho- 
dists and Congregationalists. The treasurer's book, 1827-1838, 
in the handwriting of Daniel Blaisdell, who was treasurer for 
many years, shows that several different preachers were hired 
and paid for. From the resignation of Elder Wheat to Elder 
John Peacock's call, preachers were hired by the Sunday. Elder 
Jesse Coburn preached several times in 1827, and also in 1828 ; 
Elder Mitchell preached in 1827, Elder Coombs in 1828, Elder 
Hall in 1829, and Elder Coburn again in 1830 ; the church num- 
bered 89 members. These men received from three to five dol- 
lars a Sunday. 

The Baptist Society from the time of the agreement with 
Elder Wlieat, continued to pay its pastor by means of the assess- 
ments, and in the manner laid down in that agreement. The 
list of persons assessed for the year 1827, contains tliirty-five 
names, some of whom were of other denominations than Baptist. 
It amounted to $42.47. For the year 1828 the tax amounted to 
$44.67 ; for 1829, the tax was $48.29 ; for 1830, $41.72 ; for 1831, 
$34.65; for 1832, $34.09; for 1833, $80.84; for 1834, $108.93; 
for 1836, $93.18, and for 1837, $66.05. In 1838 the number of 
members had dwindled to eleven, and although a tax of $62.58 
was levied, there was $22.16 abated. The clerk has added. 

The Baptist Church. 193 

"Josiah Clark, Nathaniel Oilman, Samuel Welch, John Fales, 
jr, are not as it appears members of the Society." In 1839 the 
tax raised was $34.55, with ten members; in 1841 the tax was 
$12.14. This was the last tax assessed, against the following, 
who were all that were left of the society: Joshua Currier, 
Ensign Colby, David Currier, Samuel Gilman, Daniel Kimball, 
Eben F. Currier, John Flanders, Benjamin Bradbury, Daniel W. 
Chase, and William Chase. In 1829 there was a desire to have a 
parsonage; some thought it would give the church a better 
standing to provide their minister Mdth a place to live; that it 
would be more of an inducement for a good man to come and 
preach. Subscriptions were taken, ranging from fifty dollars 
by Daniel Blaisdell, to two dollars by March Barber and Phineas 
Eastman. The whole amount subscribed amounted to $477.50 
by 44 different men, and the names of Congregationalists and 
Methodists are found on the list. They purchased the land now 
occupied by L. B. Hutchinson. The old parsonage house was 
for many years occupied by Albert Pressey; after his death it 
was sold and then torn down to give place to the present build- 
ing. From January to June, 1830, Elder Nichol preached occa- 

On July 15, 1830, the record continues, ''voted unanimously, 
that we give brother John Peacock a call to labor with us so long 
as his labors may be thought profitable by himself and the 
church, for to take pastoral care of the church, and receive ordi- 
nation as an evangelist. ' ' 

The ordination was appointed to take place on the 25th of 
August, following. Elder Wlieat at this time had become infirm 
both from age and the hardships of his earlier life. He occa- 
sionally preached, but the interests of the church seemed to re- 
quire the presence of a more active man. 

The exercises at the ordination of Mr. Peacock, August 25, 
1880, were as follows: Prayer, by Rev. S. Coombs of New Ches- 
ter; sermon, by Eev. Oeorge Evans of New Hampton, from II 
Tim. 6:5. "Do the work of an evangelist"; ordaining prayer, 
by Elder Joseph Wlieat ; charge, by Rev. Shub. Tripp of Camp- 
ton ; right hand of fellowship, by Rev. Noah Nichols of Rumney ; 
concluding prayer, by Rev. Amos Foster of Canaan. The con- 
ference minutes of the Meredith association to which Canaan 


194 History of Canaan, 

belonged, says this year : ' ' The ancient church is no longer with- 
out one to take her by the hand. ' ' 

Mr. Peacock was a man of earnest piety, of great activity and 
full to overflowing with magnetic persuasion. He started out so 
hopefully enthusiastic, that young and old flocked to listen to 
him. Religion became respectable and was much sought after 
in Canaan. And under liis leadership the church realized her 
greatest prosperity. The congregation was increased by the at- 
tendance of persons in the habit of staying at home ; the singing 
was greatly improved, a lively Sabbath-school sprang up, and 
members were added to the church, sixty-five, of whom forty- 
nine were by baptism. It was noted, too, as a good sign, that 
several chronic difficulties were cured, and it was believed for- 
ever settled. 

Mr. Peacock remained here two short years, far too short for 
the prosperity of the church; and then he began his wanderings 
as an evangelist, which did not cease until he was called home, 
full of honor, at a ripe old age. His memory remained green 
among the old people long after his departure, who never ceased 
to recall his labors here but ^vith expressions of love and rever- 
ence. He was a nervous, uneasy, good man, full of sympathetic 
magnetism and never could rest anywhere. His passion was to 
be always correcting somebody. "Whatever else they did, every- 
body in his range must "come to Jesus and be baptized." A 
great many did not escape him. He seems to have stopped about 
everywhere in New England, preaching and praying and sin- 
cerely believing that to be his chief aim in life. He was an 
earnest, well-meaning man. and the world esteemed him good. 

Below are a few extracts copied from the records of the 
church : 

Sept. 15; 1832, Elder Peacock has preached with us two years and ten 
months, and now thinks it his duty to go to some other place. Voted 
to dismiss Elder Peacock and companion, and recommend them to the 
church in Danbury. 

Then for a few months they were like sheep without a shep- 
herd, and some went astray. The church numbered in 1832, 
123 members. 

March 1833. Gave Elder George Evans, a call to come and live with 
us and Mr. Peacock. 

The B^vptist Church. 195 

Sunday May 1. 1833. Elder George Evans was recognised as pastor 
of this church, and minister for the congregation, and received the 
Right hand of Fellowship from Elder Cheney. We hope that Elder 
Evans' labors with us may be blest of God to the awakening up of the 
church, and the conversion of many sinners. 

This is the honest prayer of the pious clerk Jonathan Swan, 
To all which we say Amen, and may the conversion stick ! 

May 30. 1833, was the monthly meeting. Brethren and sisters related 
their experiences in the church. It is a low time although some are 
happy and rejoicing in the Lord. 

There was a grievance with brother Moses Hadley, with whom we 
labored awhile, but getting no satisfaction his case was waived for the 
present. And then we took measures to increase the interest in the 
Sabbath school. 

After waiting one month in prayerful consideration of our griev- 
ance with Brother Moses Hadley, on the 31st. of June. "We voted to 
withdraw the Hand of Fellowship from him and from bro. Moses Had- 
ley 3rd, also. 

The business affairs of the church had been neglected, but this 
year they appear to receive special attention. 

We taxed ourselves to support the table and other church expenses, 
and appointed Bro. B. Bradbury to collect and expend it. 

"^e taxed ourselves $60 to repair the parsonage and appointed 
Jonathan Swan and Bailey Welch to expend it. 

During the year several brethren were given letters to join 
other sister churches. John and Sarah Fales to Lyme. "Bro. 
Isaac ]\Ierrill was recommended to any other church of our faith 
and order." Joshua and Dorothy- Merrill recommended to the 
church in Lowell. And "Sylvia Merrill having related her 
Christian experience before us, she was, on Sunday, November 
10, baptised in the name of the Lord, in Hart Pond." 

From this time on, until near the close of the next year, our 
friend, the clerk of this venerable church, was too busy with 
Avorldly affairs to write up his records. He simply tells us that 
Elkanah Phillips, and Jonson Welch and Elihu Derby were 
received by letter. And on "December 17. 1834, Sarepta Currier 
was received into our fellowship by baptism" and in the waters 
of Hart's Pond, cold as the baths of Apollo, she sealed her faith. 
At a church conference held this month, "but few were present." 

The sisters held a prayer meeting while we retired to talk about 
arreages, It was then made known that several bi'ethren were get- 

196 History of Caxaax. 

ting out into tlie bigliway of tlie world, and tliat we must send out 
guides to lead them in. Elder Geo. Evans was appointed to visit bro. 
J. L. Richardson, and some others who were using unfriendly and un- 
christian words in relation to the colored pupils of the newly opened 
Noyes Academy. It was also voted to admonish brothers, Amos and 
John Kinne, Eliphlet Gilman. Bartlett Bryant, Richard Clark, and sis- 
ters Rhoda and Sarah Blaisdell and sister Cole of Orange. 

We also voted to give Joshua Currier ji', a letter of approbation as 
a preacher. 

Joshua E. Currier, was son of Deacon Joshua and ]\Iary Cur- 
rier, born 1812 ; was converted and baptized by Elder Peacock, 
studied for the Baptist pulpit, preached many years successfully 
in the West, and during his later life, preached occasionally at 
East Canaan. 

For a vear, — a vear of srriefs to the brethren on account of 
the tumults and riots incited by wicked men, and joined in by 
many of our members, who seem to have forgotten God and all 
their covenant obligations, and with hearts filled with malice and 
wickedness, are striving to harm those who do not think mth 
them. Perhaps God will soften their hearts and bring them 
humbly to see their errors, and with that hope, we will blot out 
the record of one full year, 1835. The church membership de- 
creased from 138 in 1834, its highest record to 113. 

January 1. 1836, It has been a very low time with the church, the 
year that is past. In Nov. the church held a protracted meeting and. 
the Lord as we trust met with us and revived the hearts of some of 
his people. And some sinners appeared to be anxious to know that 
they would be saved. 

At this time "Mr. Sewall Kinne, a young man of earnest con- 
victions, was invited to improve his gifts in preaching. And 
brother Evans was appointed to convey this invitation to him." 

Mr. Kinne was son of Luther and Esther Kinne, born in 1809, 
studied at New Hampton, was ordained at Jefferson, where he 
labored three years ; then preached two years in Dorchester, two 
years in Danbury, then two and a half years in "Weare. He then 
moved to Groton, where he preached twelve years. After that, 
for three years, he preached in the schoolhouse in the Gates dis- 
trict half the time. He died in Groton, August 19, 1872. A man 
of good abilities, much respected for his equable and harmless 

The Baptist Church. 197 

The church voted "that it was the duty of the brethren who 
remove so far away that they cannot attend with us, to write 
letters and let us know their condition in spiritual things." On 
"April 28, 1836, Voted to give Elder George Evans and Mrs. 
Cliloe Evans, a letter of dismission." Mr. Evans had labored 
here acceptably to the people, but to him it was a strain and 
trial, because during his years here, the thoughts of the people 
were far away from religion. Many things operated to dis- 
courage him. He asked dismission that he might go and labor 
in more congenial fields. 

On June 30, Elder Harrison W. Strong and his wife, Serena, 
were received into the church. He occupied the pulpit about ten 
months, when he received a letter of dismission. It does not ap- 
pear that Mr. Strong, by his preaching and example, left any 
deep impress upon the scene of his labors, and he left because 
many members of the church appeared to know more than he 
did. During this year the hand of fellowship was withdrawn 
from several brethren, others "were admonished for neglecting 
their covenant obligations, by absenting themselves from public 
worship and for refusing to bear any of the burdens of the 
church." Committees were appointed to visit various other 
derelict brethren and ascertain the state of their minds. 

At a church meeting in November, Deacon Currier presented 
a grievance, which had been presented before, on account of cer- 
tain members assisting in the mo\dng and suppression of the 
Noyes Academy. "Talked the matter over a little, with some 
feeling. Got no satisfaction, brethren defiant, and unchristian. 
Adjourned the meeting two weeks." On the "8th of December 
We met and talked the matter over again, but the trials are not 
removed," and were not. until death closed over the graves of 
all the actors in that wild, sad scene. Eight months pass by 
and more grievances are presented. ' ' Grief seems now to be the 
chief virtue in the church. If it ^vill only purify our hearts, and 
make us humble! Kind and courteous!" 

Sept. 7. 1837 at 9 o'clock in the morning, the meeting was opened 
with prayer, and then the brethren appointed to effect a settlement of 
a trial between four of the brethren, that after much persuasion and 
prayerful labor with the grieved brethren, the trial was taken out of 
the way. And the church expressed their satisfaction by unanimously 
rising to confirm the same, and when we had sung a hymn we ad- 

198 History of Canaan. 

It would have been more satisfactory had the names been 
written of those whose griefs ' ' had been taken out of the way. ' ' 

The next record is a wail for help. "Our lamps are burning 
dimly because the oil is not replenished. ' ' 

August 1. 1838, The church has for a long time been wading through 
trials, many and severe. Elder Boswell, has preached a part of the 
time with us this year. But we are now destitute and the Lord only 
can tell what may become of us. 

This looks as if faith was weak, and trust not strong. Cheer 
up brother; day will break, and we shall have a glorious resur- 
rection morning ! 

On the 24th of September, 1838, a council met for the ordina- 
tion of Brother Joshua Currier, Jr., as an evangelist, with inten- 
tion of serving as a missionary in the West. The council was 
composed of delegates from the churches in Dorchester, Orange, 
Grafton, Hill, Rumney, Alexandria, and Hanover. The candi- 
date having related his Christian experiences, his call to the min- 
istry and his views of Bible doctrine, the council voted their 
satisfaction and proceeded to ordain him, assigning the parts as 
follows: Reading the Scriptures, Bro. V. E. Bunker; in- 
troductory prayer, Bro. D. W. Burrows ; sermon, Bro. Henry 
Tonkin ; consecrating prayer, Bro. J. Clement ; charge, Bro. E. 
Crockett; concluding prayer, Bro. L. Conant ( Congregation- 
alist) ; benediction, by the candidate. Not a note of music is 
mentioned. Was none heard? Did those solemn brethren be- 
lieve a man could be properly set apart for the service of God 
Avithout a hymn or an anthem? It looks like it; and the town 
full of great harmonious voices ! Where was Moses and Norman ? 

Jan 10 1839 the church related their experiences with some good 
feeling, Elder Palmer C. Himes and his wife Adelphi W. Himes were 
received into fellowship, and bro. Himes is recognised as Pastor of the 

The membership has decreased to 97. 

"Lydia Flint was received into fellowship by baptism," 
through a hole in the ice. In March, Hannah Welch, Hannah 
Cilley, and Mary Bradbury, were received into fellowship by 
baptism, through a hole in the ice. 

In April "there is a growing interest among the members. 

The Baptist Church. 199 

Our congregation has considerably increased since Bro. Himes 
has preached to us. ' ' 

In November the church related their experiences and then 
"voted to A\ithdraw the hand of fellowship from Hannah Cilley 
on account of immoral conduct. ' ' This is the Hannah who only 
last ;March. went down under the cold waters through the ice. 
Our good clerk should have added that "Hannah's immoral con- 
duct" consisted in dancing all night to the music of a fiddle. 

Mr. Himes continued to preach here until May 5, 1842. Dur- 
ing his ministry a good degree of union was established. Some 
warnings were given to "derelict" brethren, but on the whole, 
he left an honored name behind him and departed with the 
prayers of all the brethren for his future happiness. 

July 3 1842 the Methodists preached iu the meeting house The Bap- 
tists met in the school house for a conference, and agi'eed to have a 
monthly meeting July 7th. This is the first time in many months the 
church have met. Brother Charles R. Nichols is with us now. 

On the 7th "we met and were revived a little. We invited 
Brother Nichols to preach to us a few Sabbaths." Mr. Nichols 
remained and preached through the year, gi\ang much pleasing 
instruction to the congregation. On the 18th of January, 1843, 
he was ordained as an evangelist. Almost every meeting of the 
church developed the fact that many of the brethren were more 
or less human. Was the standard of morals and piety of life 
placed too high, so that these everyday men and women, who 
were always in the way of the temptations of business and social 
pleasures, could not attain to it ? We fear so. Their covenants, 
vows and church obligations, composed of platitudes and high 
sounding phrases, which few of them could comprehend, very 
soon ceased to have binding effect upon their minds. They 
seized upon this religion with the firm determination to hold on 
during life. Sober reflection afterwards failed to comince 
them that their hearts were much different from their old life, 
and so they fell away from their vows and became merely men 
and women as before. 

On the 29th of January, 1843, it was just previous to the 
destruction of the world under the preaching of William Miller, 
when comets were blazing across the heavens, and the lights 
were dancing coldly in the North, three persons offered them- 

200 History of Caxaax. 

selves for baptism. They went through the ice into the cold 
waters underneath, and came out baptized in the name of the 
Lord. Before this event, their lives had not been exemplary, 
not always kind neighbors, nor altogether honest, but fairish 
sort of people. It was hoped they might grow to be better. 
They attended church services faitlifully for a season, bearing 
some burdens, but they proved after all they had endured to be 
merely human, and in seven months one was dropped and the 
other two ex-communicated from the church for a wilful neglect 
of all covenants, vows and obligations, and never afterwards was 
there any suspicions that these persons might have been Chris- 
tian brethren. "Who were these? Ah. they have gone with the 
great majority ! 

March 9, 1843. a committee reported upon their visit to Bro. 
Peter Wells and Bro. Nathan Gould. Then voted to withdraw 
the hand of fellowship from Brother Wells for total neglect of 
the church, and all its interests, "but we voted to bear with 
Brother Gould two weeks longer, hoping he may accomplish some 
of his promises." Brother Nichols prepared a temperance 
pledge for the church, but a large number of the brethren were 
not prepared to sign it. Finally, on the 10th of April, "having 
exhausted all argument out of self-respect, as well as from duty 
to God and this church, we withdraw the hand of fellowship from 
Bro. Nathan Gould for his continued neglect of all the ordinances 
of the church." 

On the 20tli of April, a few of the brethren met for prayer and con- 
ference, ajid the Lord was with us. The snow being deep in drifts 
hinders some from attending. Dea. Currier got his horse into a drift 
and had to leave the road in coming to meeting. 

At a church meeting held June 29. 1843, ''after some talk, 
mostly against it, we voted nearly unanimously to withdraw the 
hand of fellowship from slaveholders and from slaveholding 
churches, believing it a wicked violation of God's law, to hold a 
man in bondage." 

In September ''the religious temperature of the church is very 
low. Several are finding fault with Bro. Nichols, our young 
minister. And we are not agreed as we ought to be. Looks as 
though we might be destitute again." 

On the 4th of October "Brother Peacock returned among us,. 

The Baptist Church. 201 

full of zeal for the jMaster's service, and as he proposed to re- 
main A\dth us a few days, we became hopeful for the good he 
might do us." He soon began a protracted meeting which was 
continued for twelve days. 

Mauy of the church members are quickened in their minds. Sinners 
were solemn and expressed desire for religion. Things are in a low 
state. The meetings at first were thinly attended, but increased in 
numbers and interest. Brother Peacock preached twenty-four sermons 
and attended twenty-four prayer meetings. Had evidence of the pres- 
ence of God. Professors were revived, old hopes strengthened, evils cor- 
rected and good impressions made on the people. Some became anxious 
about their souls and one indulged hope. Had this meeting continued 
much good would have resulted. This church has been destitute of 
preaching for a long time and is very much discouraged. 

Twenty- four sermons, and twenty-four prayer meetings ; and 
only one to indulge a hope ! Seems as if the labor was not pro- 
portioned to the harvest gathered in. 

At the meeting in November, Bro. Benjamin Bradbury was 
chosen to the office of deacon, the honors of which office he wore 
with dignity and humble faith to the day of his death. 

During the year 1844 church meetings were held irregularly. 
The attendance was small, but generally union and harmony 
prevailed. They had no preacher, but Brother Cutting of Lyme 
occasionally occupied the pulpit. 

In 1845 the report is about the same, very friendly and united, 
"but we are like those who sleep. Brother Walker preached 
to us occasionally until July, when we were left without preach- 
ing. ' ' 

The year 1846 is not distinguished for any lively signs of 
awakening. ''Church meetings were held regularly during the 
year once in two weeks. There was union among those who met, 
but the number of these is quite small, and easy to count. ' ' The 
same may be repeated about the year 1847. Once a spasm of life 
seized the brethren. A special meeting was called at Sister 

To consider the expediency of establishing i-egular meetings on the 
Sabbath. A proposition was received from the agent of the Baptist 
State Convention to assist the church in sustaining preaching, if the 
church thought there was sufficient encouragement to ask such aid. 
After a full and free discussion of the subject, it was voted to ask for 
the proffered assistance. 

202 History of Canaan. 

But we are left in ignorance of the further action of 
either party. There were, however, some very lively Baptists 
here at that time and it is fair to suppose that they had preach- 
ing. The conference minutes for this year report: ''We are 
without a pastor; prospects discouraging; preaching only few 
Sabbaths; meetings held for prayer and conference, first Thurs- 
day of every month. They still pray, Lord, revive thy work!" 

During the next three years the records are not written, but 
it is certain that the church was held together by frequent meet- 
ings, and they had occasional preaching. They were too feeble 
to venture to promise a salary to any preacher. During the 
year 1851, the church met irregularly with small attendance, 
and not much enthusiasm. Elder J. Clements preached one 
fourth of the time. It was a weary year for the brethren, as 
was also the year following, when tired of trials, admonitions 
and warnings, the church nearly collapsed. 

The year 1853 is marked by three distinct records, which are 
as follows : 

July 9. A few of the members met to renew their covenant obliga- 
tions and to consult about sustaining preaching. Brother Eastman 
Preaches half the time for the present. 

Aug. 2. After conference voted to send a letter to the Association, 
by Brother Eastman. 

Mrs. Hinkson brought trial against Mrs. Gates. Voted to admonish 
Mrs. Gates. 

Sept. 3. Church met and accepted the letter to the Association. 
Sisters Gates and Hinkson were brought forward, and talked upon it 
awhile. Then agreed to drop it, and forgive each other, and never 
meddle with it again, and shook the friendly hand at the close of the 

Then for fourteen years the records of the Baptist Church are 
blank. The good clerk, wearied of writing the same phase over 
again and again, and so he wrote nothing at all. 

In 1859 Elder J. Clements preached part of the time. 

In 1867 the church was reorganized at East Canaan. After 
great trials, an elegant church edifice was built; a corner-stone 
was laid with solemn pomp in the southeast corner, and it was 
dedicated in June, 1872, Rev. Doctor Gardner preaching the 
sermon. It lingered along almost exhausted for many years, 
making no history worth recording. At the time of Rev. E. M. 

The Baptist Church. 203 

Fuller's pastorate, new life was infused into it, and grew under 
liis ministrations, but since its reorganization, it has not been 
strong enough, financially, to support a preacher for any length 
of time. There have been intervals when it has been without. 

Freewell Baptist Church. 

David Cross was born in Wilmot, lived in Canaan many years 
on the Clifford farm ; was an elder when he came here and was 
instrumental in organizing the Freewell Baptist Church of 
Canaan and Orange. On the 12th of January, 1828, "twelve 
precious souls met togather at his house and took the right hand 
of fellowship as a church by signing the creed. ' ' In connection 
with his name and because of his influence in organizing the 
church here, the following simple story is copied from the rec- 
ords of that lively church : 

There were a few Freewell Baptist families from different churches 
that took up their abode in Canaan and Orange about the year 1825, 
and there being no church of their order there they felt to go alone 
until such times as would be convenient for them to have a church or 
branch of a church that they could unite with in full fellowship, so that 
they could enjoy all the privileges that belong to God's house in a free 
and open manner, believing that God owns such for his people. 

Those brethren feeling as if the time of gathering a church was 
drawing nigh, appointed the 4th day of July 1827, to meet and see if 
they could have meetings set up for the purpose of declaring the deal- 
ings of God towards them, and that they might be help-meets to each 
other through life. 

When met they agreed to spend the afternoon of each second Satur- 
day, of each month as follows, — for each one to meet where they 
could be accommodated and declare the state of their minds views 
trials and determinations for the encouragement of each other, — be- 
lieving God will own and bless them in such meetings, for as he says, 
"where two or three are gathered together," etc, and Paul says, "forsake 
not the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is 
but exhort one another so much the more as ye see the day approach- 

At length the Lord began to pour out his spirit upon the hearts of 
his people, in such a manner that sinners began to cry for mercy, 
backsliders awoke, and saints rejoice in God the Rock of their salva- 

In short our numbers began to increase so that when met for monthly 
meeting in the house of brother David Cross on Jan. 12. 1828, there 
were twelve precious souls that took the right hand of fellowship as a 

204 History of Caxaax. 

Church, to be called the First Freewell Baptist church of Canaan and 

The church flourished; it gathered into its brotherhood more 
than one hundred members. It has never had a place for public 
worship, but its full-blooded activity has been felt by other 
churches. For many years it was the liveliest of them all and 
held more members than all the others. One reason for its suc- 
cess is doubtless its freedom from covenants, and the small cost 
of maintaining its organization. The elders take what is given 
them of the small collections made; they build no houses, but 
preach in schoolhouses, forests or other convenient places. It is 
a marvelous system of worship, and has great fascination for 
that large portion of the people who wish for cheap and lively 
religion. The schoolhouses have been croAvded with attentive 
listeners, and scarcely a week would pass without conversions fol- 
lowed by baptisms, witnessed by large numbers of spectators. 
It works among the people who have little time to read and think 
for themselves and draws them all within its folds. 

Of all its preachers and elders, no one deserves more credit 
than Elder Solomon Cole of Lebanon, who for years in summer 
and winter drove his horse from Lebanon to Factory Village to 
show sinners the path to God. Through a long life, devoted to 
that religion, his was always the hand held out to any who 
asked; a man of means, with a large business that required his 
constant care, some part of each week saw him exhorting his 
brethren in stentorian tones to praise the Lord. I do not believe 
he ever wrote a sermon; his words came naturally from a heart 
full to overflo\Aing. Unmindful of interruptions, he never 
failed to carry the con^dction that he was an earnest man. Col- 
lections were sometimes taken for him to buy him a new hat for 
instance, but that like all others, went to the poor and needy. 
He preached because he liked to, and no obstacle was too great, 
no storm too severe for Elder Cole. As sure as Kelley *s Hall was 
to be packed to its doors, so sure was Elder Cole to be there. He 
preached in the schoolhouse, — anywhere the people asked him. 
All who knew him admired him. He was sincere, and the word of 
a sincere, honest man, whom the people believe to be such, goes 
farther than gold or riches. I remember distinctly of one in- 
cident, when I wanted to buy some clapboards of him. He said : 

The Baptist Church. 205 

' ' I will guarantee those to be clear ; as to those, I will guarantee 
there is not a good one in the bunch." He died April 3, 1902. 

The following are some of the men who preached this faith: 
Joseph Flagg, born in Grafton about 1799 ; was an original mem- 
ber of this church; he was ordained in 1831, in company with 
Job C. Tyler, by the Weare Quarterly Conference ; married Re- 
lief Springer, daughter of Henry ; he is represented as a man of 
good talents, a very effective preacher, sincere and true in his 
friendships and attachments ; he died in Vermont some years ago. 
John Sweat was born in Gilmanton in 1813 ; he was the son of 
Xathan. who for many years lived on the old Clifford farm; he 
and Otis Willis of Hanover, married daughters of ]\Ioses Law- 
rence, studied for the ministry, and were ordained together about 
the year 1840; Mr. Sweat labored acceptably many years in 
northern Vermont, and then went to live "wdth his daughter in 
Hanover. Job Colman Tyler, son of Job and Ann (Pike) Tyler, 
born ]\Iarch 1, 1799. a man of slight education, but very confid- 
ing and intimate with God; he was very sympathetic and emo- 
tional, always earnest and interesting, and in his prayers and 
exhortations seemed to be standing in the immediate Presence; 
he had a strong desire to be counted an elder, because his perfect 
trust in God would give him more strength to help heavy-laden 
sinners lift the cross; he was ordained by the Weare Quarterly 
Conference in company with Joseph Flagg in 1831 ; his ill health 
was a bar to his being settled in the ministry, because he could 
not assume its cares and responsibilities; he was several times 
chosen pastor of the church in Canaan and Orange, and so far 
as he was able, performed its duties acceptably; he was often 
called to weddings, to the sick bed, to funerals, and though not 
great at preaching, his prayers were wonderful for elasticity and 
confidence; he lived to be an old man, and died in Canaan, 
September 1, 1879, at the age of 80 years and six months. 

Nathan Jones was born in Wilmot, September 1. 1818; he 
came to Canaan in January, 1845, and was for a greater part of 
his life a resident of the town; was ordained an elder in ]\Iay, 
1847, at Weare; from that time on he preached in Wilmot, 
Canaan and Orange, until his death at Campton, January 13, 
1894 ; he established a hammer shop on the stream that runs out 
of Hart's Pond and worked at that trade for many years; he 

206 History of Canaan. 

Avas a close reasoner and a good debater, and was respected for 
liis sincerity and perseverance; he married, first, Polly C. Bailey 
of Newbury, with whom he lived nine years; he then married 
Mary A. Gile of this toi^Ti, and was the father of six children. 

Elder George Davis, born in 1812, died in 1872; he attained 
to the name of ''Shouting Davis"; he was an irrepressible Chris- 
tian, and his hea^y voice startled many a worshiper, who was 
quietly listening to the preacher. 


The Congregational Church. 

In 1795 four Congregationalists of this town joined the Rev. 
Eden Burroughs' church at East Hanover. In 1799 the town 
wished to settle Rev. Ezra "Wilmarth as preacher, but the church 
refused to conform and the town voted to raise no money for 
preaching, which was a set-back for the long-winded deacons. 
^Meantime Rev. Aaron Cleveland of Norwich, had arrived here 
to visit Connecticut friends. He preached in the unfinished meet- 
ing house. He was a Congregationalist, as were many of the 
settlers from Connecticut. They offered j\Ir. Cleveland $105 and 
150 acres of land, half of the Minister's Right under the charter, 
to come and be their preacher. It was not much of a tempta- 
tion to the old gentleman, and when he left town he had raised 
such desires in the hearts of the brethren of his faith that they 
sent a committee to Hanover to lay their hopes and desires before 
the church in that town. As a result of this day's work, Rev. 
Eden Burroughs and one of his deacons came over to Canaan, 
where they found thirteen persons willing to enter into cove- 
nant relations as Congregationalists, after which they were con- 
stituted a branch of the Hanover church, and this relation con- 
tinued until the spring of 1803, then Doctor Burroughs and Rev. 
Mr. Dickenson of Meriden, came here and the "branch" w^as 
lopped off from Hanover and became the Congregational Church 
of Canaan. Joshua Pillsbury was the first deacon. This church 
was never self-sustaining, even in its best days. It was always 
a beneficiary of the New Hampshire Missionary Society. During 
several years the church enjoyed preaching by missionaries and 
neighbor preachers. Rev. Curtis Coe used to come up here from 
Newmarket and spend a few weeks, preaching in the meeting 
house, for each denomination had to use it; laboring lo\ingly 
without pay or the hope of reward in this world. After him, 
Rev. Broughton White come occasionally and preached pure 
Congregational truth to the people. The labors of these men 
were acceptable and fruitful. Additions were made to the 

208 History of Canaan. 

church, which gave the brethren courage and confidence to go 
on with their work. 

In 1814, Mr. Rolfe preached to them half of the time and a 
part of 1815. The church then consisted of thirty members. In 
1819 there was a strong feeling to form a society, to which any 
and all persons could belong, of any denomination, like the Bap- 
tists had done, its object being to assist the church in the 
management of its affairs in a worldly way. Accordingly appli- 
cation was made to the legislature for a charter, which was 
approved on June 17, 1819, incorporating the ''First Congrega- 
tional Society of Canaan." The incorporators were Amos 
Gould, Elias Porter, Charles Walworth, Joshua Pillsbury, Joshua 
Pillsbury, Jr., "and their associates and those who may here- 
after be associated with them." They were incorporated into 
a "religious society for the support of the gospel ministry, with 
all the powers and privileges usually enjoyed by corporations of 
a similar character and with the power of holding any estate, 
the annual income of which shall not exceed $1200." "Any 
person may join by signing the book of records and may leave 
the same by giving six months notice, and discharging all taxes 
legally assessed on him and his proportion of all debts con- 
tracted by the society during his membership." Money could 
only be raised at an annual meeting. The first meeting was 
held at Dole's Tavern, August 12, 1819. Amos Gould was 
moderator, Timothy Tilton clerk and Daniel Hovey treasurer. 
Jacob Trussell, Elias Porter and Amos Gould were the first as- 
sessors. The ten articles of the by-laws were read and adopted. 

The next meeting was at the meeting house on March 6, 1820, 
when they adjourned to James Wallace's. Jacob Trussell was 
chosen collector and $60 was voted to be raised to ' ' hire preach- 
ing. " Elias Porter, Amos Gould and Samuel Noyes were 
chosen a committee on preaching. On September 4, 1820, the 
committee were empowered to engage Rev. Charles Calkins to 
preach one year. 

The names of the members of the society for that year were as 
follows : 

Amos Gould Josiali Barber, 2d 

Elias Porter Moses Dole 

Samuel Noyes Joshua Pillsbury 

Charles Walworth Joshua Pillsbury, Jr. 

The Congregational Church. 


Timothy Tilton 
Nathau How (Enfield) 
Wm. Atliertou 
Daniel B. Whittier 
David Gould 
Jacob Dow 
Joshua Blaisdell 
Samuel Sanders 
Joseph Bartlett 
Alfred Porter 
Bartlett Hoyt 
Abraham Pushee 
Nathaniel Currier 
Shubel Towle 
Mathew Greeley 
James Wallace 

Joshua Harris 
Abraham Kimball 
James Blaisdell 
Robert Hoyt 
Levi Bayley 
Elijah Blaisdell 
Jacob Trussell 
Jacob Richardson 
John Hoyt 
Daniel Hovey 
Abram Page 
Richard Otis 
Nathaniel Derby 
Thomas Wood (Orange) 
James Eastman 

The amount of money assessed against these men was $61.05. 
And the collector was to "collect the same in case of refusal as 
the law directs. ' ' 

On November 22, 1819, a tract society was formed with Dea. 
Amos Gould as moderator and Josiah Barber, 2d, clerk. It was 
called the ' ' Canaan Moral and Religious Tract Society, Auxiliary 
to the N. E. Tract Society." Any one could become a member by 
paying twenty-five cents ; the object was to distribute tracts. 
Nearly all the subscribers were Congregationalists. Amos Gould, 
Josiah Barber, 2d, Joseph Bartlett, Elias Porter, Richard Otis, 
Jacob Trussell, Benjamin Trussell, and their wdves. James 
Blaisdell, Charles Walworth, Jolm Hoyt, Robert Hoyt, Joshua 
Pillsbury^ Jr., Polly Lathrop, Ephraim Noyes, George Richard- 
son, David Richardson, Jacob Dow, Joshua Richardson, Jr., 
Thomas Wood, Timothy Tilton and his wife, Persis F. Austin, 
Anna Richardson. 

Rev. Charles Calkins came in 1820, he had been preaching in 
Salisbury; Mrs. Hubbard Harris, his cousin, heard him there in 
1819. on her wedding journey; he was a son of John P. Calkins, 
one of the early settlers on South Road. He was not a great 
man. and was too much afflicted with nerves to be successful as 
a teacher and evangelist. The old Baptists of Canaan were not 
men of refinement, nor were they apt to choose soft words in 
reference to rival ministers. As a class they saw no good in 
anything but baptism, all other isms w^re to be talked about 


210 History of Canaan. 

and treated with contempt. They never missed an occasion to 
speak sharp words of Mr. Calkins and his church, thus en- 
gendering annoyance and ill-feeling. Mr. Calkins remained 
about four years, bearing as he thought a heavy burden all the 

John Farmer, in the New Hampshire Gazetteer of 1823, says of 
Canaan: "There is a small Congregational Church, of which 
Rev. Charles Calkins is pastor." 

In 1823 he decided that preaching was not his strong point, 
and his relations with the church were brought to a close without 
regret on either side. For several months after this event there 
was no Congregational preaching in Canaan. ]\Ir. Calkins en- 
gaged Mr. Trussell to go with him to Waterbury, Vt., and build 
a sawmill, the pay being contingent upon the success of the 
mill. Wlien it was completed and ready to operate there came 
a great rain, the swollen river crowded against the mill and car- 
ried it off. This catastrophe, Mr. Calkins received as a demon- 
stration of God's anger for abandoning His peculiar service. He 
returned for a time to New Hampshire and preached in Bos- 
cawen, but he was unsuccessful there also. He had evidently 
mistaken his calling, and discouraged by his continued ill-suc- 
cess, started out upon what was then a perilous undertaking, a 
journey into the unsettled West. He reached western Pennsyl- 
vania and there we lose all trace of him. 

In the New England Conference minutes, Canaan belonged to 
the Orange Association and in 1824 appears as a separate 
church, but no pastor. The number of church members is given 
as 34. Rev. Broughton Wliite came occasionally to preach and 
when the brethren could do no better they waited upon the serv- 
ices of Elder Wheat. There was a young man in Hanover who 
had just completed his studies and was waiting for an opening 
to preach. Mr. Wliite sent him over here in the spring of 1824. 
He was about here more than a year, gaining friends by his sin- 
cerity, his pleasant ways, his refined manners and the Christian 
graces which adorned his life everywhere. Even those rough 
natures that saw only pride and dandyism inside of a nice fitting 
suit of clothes, withheld their surly remarks when they became 
acquainted with the sentiments which governed the life of Amos 
Foster. On his first visit. ]\Ir. Foster rode horseback from Han- 

The Congregational Church. 211 

over to Canaan, arriving here on Saturday afternoon. He 
stopped at the house of James Wallace, whose wife was an ardent 
Congregationalist. He found there also Mrs. Jacob Trussell, 
whose husband was the miller at the callage. He accompanied 
Mrs. Trussell to her house. The next morning Elder Wheat came 
plodding along on his way to church. ]Mr. Trussell hailed him 
with the remark : ' ' Elder, I 've got a young man here from Han- 
over and he will preach for you a part of the day, if you like ? ' ' 
''Ha! wa'al," replies the elder, "le' me see," and turning 
shortly about, he went into the house without rapping, and 
without removing his hat or waiting for an introduction, ad- 
dressed the young minister with: "Wa'al, W'hat part of the day 
do you want to preach ? " " Oh, the part that will suit j^ou best. ' ' 
was the modest reply. The elder took a full survey of the young 
inan, and Mithout making any further remarks started on his 
way. But he lingered at the door of the church, talking with the 
people, until Mr. Foster arrived, when the elder went to him 
and said abruptly: "I guess you'd better preach all day, if 
you want to," and escorted him into the pulpit, w^here he sat all 
day listening, declining to take any part in the exercises. The 
old man was greatly pleased, and afterwards displayed all the 
friendliness he was capable of feeling during their lives. The 
old man was very opinionated, and never was kno^^Ti to own up 
that he was wrong in anything. As a general rule, he despised 
"edication." He "never had no larnin'; he was like the 'postles 
whom Christ selected for their ignorance, and thought he Vnew 
he could get closer up to God than coUege-larnt men, because 
his head and heart wan't full of dictionary words and high no- 
tions that only make men proud." "He'd preached the gospel 
nigh on to forty year and Bible larnin' was all he could make 
any use of. ' ' 

The elder when once he commenced his ser\ices, was oblivious 
to all outside influences. He had a great sonorous voice that re- 
bounded from the sounding-board above him and filled every cor- 
ner of the house. Once in that spacious pulpit, and he had 
neither ears nor eyes, nor the perception of time, till his subject 
was exliausted. The galleries were w^ell filled with singers, 
young people from all over town, who came to Elder Wlieat's 
meeting to have a good time singing his long psalms, and whis- 

212 History of Canaan. 

pering together during his long prayers and longer sermons. But 
on this occasion their levity and playfulness annoyed Mr. Fos- 
ter, and nearly interrupted the services. He supposed they 
might be laughing at him, but when he learned they were only 
engaged in their usual pastime, he thought the matter over, and 
concluded to give these young persons some good advice. Not 
long afterwards the elder invited him to preach again, and this 
time he took for his text the famous paragraph: "Rejoice, 
young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the 
days of thy youth, ' ' etc. It is said to have been a very excellent 
sermon, and was addressed very pointedly to the gallery, so 
that for a time they were shamed into a decent observance of 
the proprieties of the place. But tliey pretended also to be very 
much annoyed at the rebuke administered to them. To show 
their resentment and to make the minister and the congregation 
feel it also, — they all stayed out of the seats in the afternoon 
and there was no singing, neither was there any disturbance. 
This event afforded a whole week's gossip for the town, and it 
was improved to such good advantage that before Sunday came 
around again, the principal singers went to Mr. Foster and 
apologized for their rudeness. And he ever afterguards had good 
singing and attentive listeners. The arguments and teachings of 
that sermon had a life-long influence upon the life and conduct 
of at least one man. Old people tell us of the early life of Jo- 
seph Dustin, how his days and years were a continued profane 
riot, and that on all occasions he led the crowd when any viol- 
ence was contemplated. He had always scorned religion and 
laughed at the clumsy way Elder Wheat had of bringing souls 
to God. There was nothing cheerful or lo^^ng or refined in his 
religion, and his God was a good deal like himself, — without 
* ' edication or larnin ', ' ' and rendered blind and deaf by his own 
thunder. But here was a style of argument and refinement of 
expression, in speaking of God's love to man, that arrested Jo- 
seph Dustin 's attention and struck such deep conviction into 
his mind that it was time for him to begin a new life. It was 
not long afterwards that he became a professed Christian and a 
praying man, and for more than fifty years he did not fail to 
proclaim his belief in the God who "took his feet from the hor- 
rible pit and miry clay and placed them on the rock of Jesus 

The Congregational Church. 213 

Christ. ' ' But what created surprise was, that instead of uniting 
with Mr. Foster's church, to whom he had always been much 
attached, he should join the Methodists, after which he was al- 
ways identified as one of the leading pillars. But this is readily 
accounted for when we consider that his temperament was always 
very demonstrative, and it is only among Methodists that religion 
is allowed to fill a man bursting full, so that it runs over and 
displays its happiness in shouts of Amen and hallelujah, and in 
songs and praise. Mr. Foster was always earnest and there was 
a gentle dignity in his manners that attracted all hearts to him, 
but it was not common for his congregation to interrupt him with 
shouts of approval. 

On January 17, 1825, the committee of the church and so- 
ciety sent a letter to Mr. Foster, giving him a call to be pastor 
of the congregation, to which Mr. Foster on the 28th wrote this 
reply : 

Dear Brethren and Friends: 

With no ordinarj' feelings of interest have I viewed the mysterious 
and unexpected providences, which, at first, directed my steps to this 
place; and with no less interest have I viewed those happy occurrences, 
which have contributed to prolong my stay among you. At the com- 
mencement and during the prosecution of my pi*eparatory and profes- 
sional studies, it was my endeavor to place fully in view the solemn and 
awfully responsible undertaking in which it was my object to engage. 
And, when after having struggled with many and complicated embar- 
rassments, which, through the interposition of a kind providence, I 
was enabled to surmount, it pleased God to introduce me into the 
Work of the Holy Ministry, I endeavored to give myself up to the 
leadings of divine providence; that He, who orders all things rightly 
and well, might make such a disposition of myself and my services as 
should most subserve the promotion of His own Glory and the inter- 
ests of his kingdom. Nor do I now wish to call back the surrender I 
then made. If I do not greatly mistake my feelings, and the motives 
by which I am governed, it is my great wish to pursue the path of duty, 
without being governed by selfish or interested feelings — Wherever 
the voice of providence calls, that voice I wish to obey. In relation to 
the event in which my coming among you has resulted, I have only to 
remark, that it is one of which I had not the most distant thought. 
Of the wisdom of that providence however, which has directed to that 
event, we must not have the presumption to entertain a doubt. He, who 
orders all things after the counsel of his own will, knows what is best, 
— and if he gives direction to all events, if the minutest occurrences do 
not take place but by his preniission, and if not a sparrow falls to the 

214 History of Canaak. 

ground, without his notice, then it is a fact that all those circumstances 
that have contributed to bring about this event, are under the im- 
mediate government and direction of an all wise and over-ruling hand. 
Shall the motions of this hand be disregarded? Shall those circum- 
stances be attributed to the capricious operations of chance? Or shall 
man presume to say that he can advise to a safer and better course 
than here seems to be pointed out? If duty can be learned from the 
leadings of providence in any cases, perhaps, it may be discovered in 
this instance before us. I should not dare to oppose my judgment 
against what here seems to be the plain and obvious dictates of the 
divine hand. Another consideration has operated powerfully on my 
own mind in relation to the subject of your communication, which is, 
the high importance, that every town should enjoy the stated and 
regular means of grace, and the necessity of making strenuous exer- 
tions to supply destitute towns with these means. To the lovers of 
vital godliness it must be delightful to discover the increasing inter- 
est that is felt for the general prosperity of Religion. A deep sense of 
the condition of millions of our race, who are destitute of a knowledge 
of the Savior, seems to have been awakened; and altho' the means 
brought into operation for the general diffusion of Christian light 
thro the world, are very inadequate to the object to be accomplished, 
yet laudable efforts have been made; and, that these efforts may be 
continued, extended and increased, till the whole world shall be filled 
with the knowledge of the Lord, must be the spontaneous effusion of 
every pious heart. But while it is a matter of joy, that so much is 
done for the advancement of religion abroad, still it must be obvious 
that the claims of the destitute at home, should by no means be over- 
looked. Those even in Christian lands, without the means of grace, 
without repentance and faith, are in a condition equally as deplorable 
as those who inhabit the deepest shades of heathenish darkness. To 
cast an eye over the dreary wastes of our own domestic Zion, and view 
the moral desolations, which sin has produced, must excite an anxious 
sympathy for the inhabitants of those places. Many have been apprized 
of the importance of doing something to repair those wastes, to supply 
destitute flocks and congregations with the stated means of grace, that 
the wilderness and solitary places within our own borders may be glad 
and blossom as the rose. 

The regular and systematic enjoyment of gospel means and ordi- 
nances, furnishes the most efficient safeguard of moral principle; and of 
course, is the best security of individual right. It induces sobriety 
temperance, industry; and hence promotes peace, health, prosperity and 
general happiness. That the gospel should therefore be supported in 
every parish and town is of vital importance as to the temporal inter- 
ests of the people. But when we look back at its influence on theii* 
spiritual and eternal interests, none can possibly estimate its value. 
It hence becomes very desirable that every parish and town should be 
supplied with the stated administration of the word and ordinances of 

The Congregational Church. 215 

the gospel ; — and hence also, it becomes the duty of every well wisher 
to human happiness to contribute his share in bringing about an event 
so desirable. And when divine providence opens the way by which 
one may be instrumental in accomplishing such an object, and renders 
his duty obvious, who shall shrink from going forward in the cheerful 
performance of this duty? With these views before me. My Brethren 
and Friends, I, after a sober, deliberate and prayerful consideration of 
the subject; and at the same time under a solemn sense of the obliga- 
tions which I impose upon myself, and relying alone on the assistance 
of divine grace to make me to discharge these obligations I am induced 
to comply with the respectful invitation extended to me through your 
committee to settle over you as your minister, in thus yielding to 
your request, I can not but feel penetrated with a sense of my owTi 
insufficency for the undertaking in which I consent to engage. Let 
me entreat you to remember, that he, whom you have invited to be 
your spiritual guide, is a frail, unworthy, sinful worm of the dust. He 
therefore entreats an interest in your sympathies and prayers, in this 
let him not be disappointed. His earnest supplications will ever be 
engaged in your behalf. Many things, during my residence here, have 
occurred, which have been the occasion of mutual rejoicing; and 
created ties, which, I trust, the long lapse of eternity will only serve 
to strengthen. Let it be our united prayers, that the connexion, which 
may hereafter be formed may be crowned with still happier results. 
Let us be duly impressed with a sense of the imperfection of human 
nature, and be prepared to bring into exercise a spirit of mutual for- 
bearance and forgiveness. Let every step in relation to this important 
matter, be taken as in the near view of eternity; remembering, that we 
are amenable, for our conduct, and the motives by which we are 
actuated, at the tribunal of an omnipotent Jehovah. May we then find 
that the solemn engagement into which we are about to enter shall 
have met the divine approbation. 

Wishing you grace, mercy and peace, I subscribe myself your 
Brother and servant in the Lord. 

Aiios Foster. 

On IMarcli' 7, 1825, the society accepted of the doings of its 
committee, John H. Harris, Moses Dole and Elijah Blaisdell, and 
the contract they had made on February 28, 1825, with J\lr. 
Foster. The committee appointed from the church on this oc- 
casion to contract with ]\lr. Foster were Jacob Trussell, Elias 
Porter and Samuel Drake. This contract provided to pay Mr. 
Foster annually $250, for the term of five years, the first pay- 
ment to be made on the first day of January, 1826. i\lr. Foster 
agreed to assign to the committee ' ' for the benefit of said church 
and society the subscriptions which have been heretofore made 

216 History of Canaan. 

to him, amounting to the sum of $200." ]\Ir. Foster was to re- 
ceive any further sums from the New Hampshire ^Missionary 
Society to an amount so as to make his salary $400. If the sums 
received from the ^Missionary Society were not enough to make 
his salary $400, he had the privilege to preach out of to^^•n, to an 
extent so as to make up the $400, and no more. 

Mr. Foster had married on the 29th of June, 1825, IMiss Har- 
riet Amelia White, oldest daughter of Rev. Broughton White; 
they lived in the house now occupied by ]Mrs. Caleb Blodgett. 
The parsonage house was not fit for use, and was on the other 
side of the street. He had to pay rent all the time he was here. 
It was several times voted to pay his rent, but during all the 
time he was here the church and society were in debt to him and 
he left here with the society owing him. It is a wonder that Mr. 
Foster, all through his long life should have entertained such 
strong affection for the people of Canaan. Thej^ did not treat him 
well ; in fact, they never really appreciated him. He came here 
from school, in debt for his education. He lived here and worked 
faithfully about nine years, and then his debt was not paid, — 
was scarcely reduced — and when he left, he had borrowed 
money from one of his brethren, who threatened to sue him if 
it was not paid, — and suing a man without money in those 
days, was to shut him up in jail. Up to that time our laws in 
relation to debt were barbarous, relics of ages when poor men 
had no rights and the grave was often more merciful than the 
creditor. ]\Ir. Foster went from this town to Putney, Vt., and 
it was friends in Putney who came to his relief when threatened 
with such dangers. 

No better description could be given of the condition of the 
people and Mr. Foster's pastorate than that written by himself 
and in his words, which is also a history of his life : 

I was born in Salisbury, N. H., March 30, 1797, and was the son of 
Richard and Esther (Jewell) Foster. When I was one year old my 
parents removed to Hanover, N. H., where I spent most of the early 
years of my life. From my childhood I was in the habit of attending 
public worship, and this habit with the teachings of a pious mother 
deeply impressed upon my mind a sense of the reality and importance 
of religion. In the spring of 1815 there was a revival in Hanover under 
the ministry of Rev. Josiah Towne; in that revival, I trust, I embraced 
religion, and on the first Sabbath of January, 1816, I made a public 

The Congregational Church. 217 

confession. Then my thoughts turned to the question of becoming a 
miui^iter of the gospel, but want of means stood in my way. Kimball 
Union Academy was opened about this time, with a considerable fund 
for the express purpose of assisting indigent students in the pursuit of 
an education for the ministry. In the spring of 1816 I entered that 
institution as one of its beneficiaries. In 1818 I entered Dartmouth 
College and graduated in 1822. During my college course I was assisted 
by the Ladies Benevolent Society of Acworth. I immediately after 
graduation commenced my theological studies under the instruction of 
Rev. President Tyler. In February, 1824, the Windsor Ministerial Associ- 
ation held a meeting at Norwich, Vt., at which time I was licensed to 
preach the gospel. Rev. Broughton White was present, he had just 
come from Canaan, having spent a short time in missionary labor in that 
place, and knowing the state of things there, he requested me to go and 
spend a Sabbath with the people. In accordance with the request I 
came to Canaan in March, 1824, and preached my first and as I supposed 
my last sermon to that people. In April following, I visited the town 
again by request, and preached a second time. I was now invited to 
return and spend several weeks more. Accordingly in June I returned. 
Soon after I received a commission from the N. H. Missionary Society 
to labor in Canaan and Orange ten weeks. 

At the expiration of this service, efforts were made to retain me for a 
longer time. On the 17th of January, 1825, an invitation was given me 
to become the pastor. An affirmative answer being returned, an Ecclesi- 
astical Council was called on March 2, 1825, and I was then ordained as 
the first pastor of the Congregational Church and Society in Canaan. 
The sermon was preached by Rev. President Tyler of Dartmouth Col- 

It is well to state some other interesting things which Mr. 
Foster does not mention at his ordination. Rev. Broughton 
Wliite gave the charge; Rev. Baxter Perry of Lyme, offered the 
introductory prayer; Rev. Samuel Goddard of Norwich, Vt., made 
the consecrating prayer; Rev. Josiah Towne of Hanover, gave 
the right hand of fellowship ; Rev. Abraham Burnham of Pem- 
broke, addressed the people, and Rev. Charles White of Thetford, 
offered the concluding prayer. Elder Wlieat was an invited 
guest. The several pastors and one delegate were present from 
each of the following churches : Washington, Pembroke, Han- 
over, Lyme, Norwich, Lebanon and Thetford. The singing was 
conducted by Ashiel Smith from Hanover, who was a famous 
conductor of singing schools and choirs. The seats were filled 
with singers, for in those days singing was taught freely every 
season. Benjamin Trussell played the bass-viol and Bracket 
Tilton worked on the violin. Betsey Pratt sang treble firmly 

218 History of Canaan. 

and pleasantly. There were several counter-tenor singers, a 
part that would not be agreeable now, and was not particularly 
so then. Music was not yet arraigned for alto voices. The music 
was selected from the anthems of ''Village Harmony" and the 
"Bridgewater Collection." and included "Strike the Cymbal." 
The solos were sung by Miss Pratt, Doctor Tilton and James 
Currier. It was great music and very effective giving us an 
idea of force and power of harmony in subjection. There was 
a feast ser^^ed at James Wallace 's after the services. It was eus- 
tomarv" on all convivial occasions to serve rum to the guests. 
Out of respect to the habits of Mr. Foster and Mr. WMte, it was 
dispensed with at this time, to the no small annoyance of a 
number of those present. 
Mr. Foster continues: 

During the whole of my ministry in Canaan embracing a period of 
nearly nine years, some sixty persons united with the church. At the 
time of my leaving, it consisted of seventy members. In the meantime 
several had been i'emoved by death or otherwise. The building of the 
meeting house, dedicated Jan., 1829, promised much as to the prosperity 
of our society. The congregation on the Sabbath was considerably in- 
creased, more attention was paid to religion, the Sabbath school was 
attended by larger numbers, our prospects every way seemed encourag- 
ing. The state of morals was much improved while I was a resident 
of Canaan. At first a desecration of the Sabbath was very prevalent. 
Gunning, fishing, riding out for pleasure were common practices in that 
day. Often on the Sabbath did I hear the report of guns from one 
direction and another, and much disrespect for the sacred day was 
manifest by those improprieties in which the young indulge themselves 
In the house of God. Not only in regard to keeping the Sabbath, but 
also in regard to temperance a change for the better took place. The 
reformation of Jonathan Kitrredge, Esq., always seemed to me a signal 
and happy event. It took place, I think, in the spring of 1826. Mr. 
Kittredge had one of his fits of intoxication about the time of the state 
fast. I frequently saw him pass my house, staggering as a drunken 
man does. His appearance suggested the thought of preparing a sermon 
on the subject of intemperance, which I did. "When Mrs. Plastridge 
returned from the meeting, he was then becoming sober, he asked her, 
"What did Mr. Foster preach about today?" She said "About Intem- 
perance." "Oh," said he, "I am the cause of it." Wliich was true. He 
came at once to see me. His agony of spirit was beyond anything of 
the kind I had scarcely ever witnessed. I saw him often afterwards 
and did all I could to encourage him in his reformation, which then 
commenced. In a week or two after this, at the close of my afternoon 
service on the Sabbath, Mr. Kittredge arose and gave the audience 

The Congregational Church. 219 

a most interesting and affecting account of himself, acknowledging his 
past intemperate habits and expressing his determination by the Divine 
help thenceforth to lead a sober, temperate and Christian life. He soon 
removed to Lyme and after several years returned to Canaan. In princi- 
ple and practice he was ever afterwards, so far as I know, a consistent 
friend and supporter of the cause of temperance. Before I left Canaan 
there were influences set to work which I thought were useful. A 
Temperance Society was organized, and we had some able and inter- 
esting addresses on the subject, by such men as President Lord of Dart- 
mouth College, Dr. Muzzey of Hanover, Rev. Charles White and Dr. 
Palmer of Thetford, Vt. With the people of the "early days" of Canaan, 
I had no knowledge. But at first it seemed to me that there was a 
strong sectarian prejudice existing among the different denominations. 
As an illustration of this let me state an incident. It occurred in the 
old Meeting house, on the day of my ordination. Dr. Tyler was preach- 
ing the sermon on the text in Hebrews 5: 4, "And no man taketh this 
honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." In 
the midst of the sermon as Dr. Tyler was describing the qualifications of 
one called to the ministry, a man in the side gallery at the right hand 
of the preachei*, spoke in a loud voice that could be distinctly heard; 
"It's all college call, it's all college call." It was designed as was sup- 
posed to express his contempt of an educated minister. Before I left 
Canaan it was evident this sectarian prejudice had diminished and I 
think the effect was owing in a degi-ee at least, to the policy I adopted, 
which was this, finding several Christian denominations in town, I said 
to myself, "I will meet these Christian brethren more than half way 
and I will not lift a finger to pull down another denomination with a 
view to build up my own." 

Adopting this principle practically, I have reason to hope, I gained 
the confidence and esteem of all classes of people. Elder Wheat always 
manifested fraternal kindness and good will, and my intercourse with 
him was agreeable. I remember distinctly a call I made at his house 
awhile after my settlement in Canaan. In the interview, he gave me a 
little sketch of his own life, spoke of his having been in the war of the 
Revolution, and of his religious experiences, among other things he re- 
marked, "I haven't got no larnin', I was edicated in the school of the 
devil." His wife sitting by, raisetl her head and closed the interview by 
saying. "Well, you'll have t' die in your ignorance. It's hard to learn 
old dogs new tricks." If silence gives consent always, the old gentle- 
man accepted the retort, for no more was said. The Elder was a good 
man, but I never knew of a revival of religion under his ministrations. 

For Judge Daniel Blaisdell, I always entertained a very high esteem. 
He was a man of very correct principles, sound judgment, and exemplary 
conduct, and he made himself highly useful, both in his public and 
private life. There were other citizens whose names come to my re- 
membrance, and whom I held in high esteem. Dr. Tilton, Capt. Dole, 
the Harrises, Joshua Pillsbury, Charles Walworth and Mr. Porter on 

220 History of Canaan. 

South Road. I often call to mind my first pastorate and the pleasant 
associations and friendships I there enjoyed and it would have been 
a pleasure to us both to have made that place our permanent home. 
But circumstances such as I need not name rendered it necessary to 
make a change. 

]\Ir. Foster received a call to the pastorate in Putney, Yt., and 
was installed February 13, 1833. After remaining in Putney 
twenty years and seven months, on November 7, 1853, he be- 
came the pastor of the church in Ltidlow, Vt. In 1857 he was 
installed in Ac worth, N. H., where he labored as pastor nine 
years and feeling the infirmities of age, asked for his resignation, 
and was discharged June 13, 1866. He then returned to Ptitney, 
having come into possession of a home there, and finding the 
church without a pastor was asked to serve, which he did for 
seven years, closing his labors December, 1872. He did mis- 
sionary work, however, for about a year in Cambridgeport, Vt. 
"Counting up my labors." said Mr. Foster, "from the time I 
was licensed the time amounts to half a century." Seven chil- 
dren were born to Mr. and Mrs. Foster. On the 29th of June, 
1875, their friends and relatives united in celebrating their 
golden wedding at Putney, Yt. He died Sunday, September 21, 
1884, in his eighty-eighth year. 

It has been stated that the Congregational church in Canaan 
was never strong enough to sustain itself. It increased and 
flourished in those years and promised to do more for itself 
than it ever performed. Soon after Mr. Foster's arrival it be- 
came apparent that there was need of a house of worship apart 
from the other denominations. Although Elder Wheat and 
the Baptists claimed the old meeting house, because they had 
possession of it, they very kindly \delded the pulpit sometimes to 
Mr. Foster, still there was considerable inconvenience in it and 
some feeling. There was no question as to the title to the house. 
It was the property of "the proprietors" and they embraced all 
the beliefs in town. But the Baptists were most numerous and 
had maintained an organization in it ever since it was built. 
They disliked to yield it up and they did not. Several years 
previous to this time the Methodists had formed a church and 
though they were not in the habit of yielding any of their rights, 
yet that they might have the good A^dll of the people while they 
were weak, they prudently went to work and in 1826 dedicated 

The Congregational Church. 221 

a church on South Road, and there they shouted and sung ; and 
many of them got as near to God and talked as familiarly and 
lovingly to Him as if their names had been Elisha and Moses. 
Simple times those were; and simple Christianity, seemed a sec- 
ond time to have found a resting place upon earth. Brotherly 
love prevailed and charity and forbearance abounded so largely 
that they almost ceased to be virtues. My mother would some- 
times allow me to go over there of a Sunday. It was sixty years 
ago (1888). The experiences of half a century, traveling side 
by side with my fellow-men, have not realized to me the truth 
of the impression then made upon my boyish mind. 

It seemed to be necessary that there should be another house, 
wherein Mr. Foster could preach all the time. A religious society 
makes slow progress when it has to alternate with another in 
the occupation of a place of worship. They thought so here, 
and finally through the enthusiasm of George Kimball, Esq., 
and the energy of Jacob Trussell, the project assumed form. A 
deed of land from John Fales secured a location on the brow of 
a bleak hill, where the air currents are always strong. The deed 
was made to the First Congregational Society, dated ]\Iay 10, 
1828, and was for eighty-one square rods of land, described as 
follows: "Beginning at the northwest corner of Colby land on 
east side of Grafton Turnpike, then east six rods on Colby line, 
then north ten degrees west till it intersects with road to my 
house, then southwest on road till it intersects the Turnpike." 
The conditions were that a house should be erected within one 
year for public worship, and used as such. For conditions 
broken, the land would revert to Fales and his heirs. 

The house was built in 1828 and dedicated in January, 1829. 
Bailey Welch was the builder. He fell from the steeple to the 
ground, but lived many years after. For this the town voted him 
$100 at its annual meeting in 1829. The church was paid for 
from the sale of the pews, as the Baptists had done. At the 
annual meeting in March, 1829, the society accepted of the 
house, ' ' so far as to take care of it. ' ' Josiah Barber 2d, "William 
Kelly and Otis Fields were to furnish the wood and build the 
fire. i\Ir. Foster's contract having run out, he continued to 
stay, and in March, 1832, they tried to contract with him for 
five years longer. But he severed his connection with the church 


222 History of Canaan. 

January 2, 1833. At the time he accepted the charge of the 
church, there were on the records fifteen male and thirty female 
members. At the time of his dismission the list contained the 
names of Elias Porter and his family of five, Nathan Howe and 
his wife, Richard Otis and Dea. Joshua Pillsbury, who died dur- 
ing his stay; Joshua Pillsbury, Jr., and his family of three; 
Amos Gould and his family of two ; Charles "Walworth and fam- 
ily of two ; Ezra Chase, who was ex-communicated and family of 
two ; Thomas Wood and family of two ; Joseph Morse and wife ; 
Edward Carlton, ]Mrs. Clark, Betsey Doten, Ruth H. Kimball, 
Caroline Waldo, John Hoyt and wife, Mrs. Jacob Richardson^ 
John Sawyer and wife, James Pattee, Eliza Carlton, Harriet 
Hamilton, Mary Shephard, Samuel French, Samuel Drake, wife 
and daughter, Josiah Barber, wife and daughter, Otis Field, 
Caleb Oilman and his wife, Timothy Tilton and his wife, Hub- 
bard and George Harris and their wives, Sally Smith, Mrs. Jo- 
seph Bartlett, Mrs. Lathrop, Sarah Clapp, Mrs. Daniel Pattee, 
hncy Dole, and her daughter Mary D. Plastridge, Rebecca Cur- 
rier, Mrs. Lazarus Page, John Nevins and wife, Bartholemew 
Heath and wife, Isaac Towle and his wife, Nathaniel Barber and 
his wife, Hannah Towle, and "old" Mrs. Towle, Charles W. 
Richardson, William B. Kelly, George Nelson, Alfred B. Dustin, 
Sarah Harris, Polly Wallace, Jane Chapman, Zilpha Clark, . 
Mary F. Harris, Sarah Stetson, Sarah Fletcher and Anna/ 

Mr. Foster had charge of Orange during the first part of his 
ministry up to April, 1828, and some of the above were residents 
of Orange. They severed their connection and organized a 
separate church in Orange. Two cases of discipline are recorded 
during his pastorate. Mrs. Hannah Felch, who "had embraced 
sentiments and opinions, fundamentally erroneous and of very 
dangerous tendency." "And her deportment before the world 
had been such as to forfeit her claim to Christian character." 
For these she was excluded from communion. The other was 
Ezra Chase, who "had altogether neglected the duty of family 
worship." "Withdrawn himself from the Lord's table." 
"Used language and exhibited conduct wholly inconsistent with 
Christian character. ' ' For this he was ex-communicated. 

In April, 1833, the society joined with the church to give the 

The Congregational Church. 223 

Rev. Edward C. Fuller a call. An agreement was signed with 
Mr. Fuller April 27, 1833, for $400 annually "so long as he shall 
stay." Mr. Fuller was here through the stirring times attend- 
ing the moving and destruction of the colored school, and was 
one of the friends of that school. The church passed through 
many trials and tribulations at that time because some of its 
prominent members were arraigned against each other on the 
question of the colored school. j\Ir. Fuller was not diplomatic 
and his short sightedness led him into difficulties which caused 
him to ask dismission, which was granted March 1, 1836. 

Mr. Fuller found himself in the position of having recom- 
mended a church member to another church, who was under 
suspension at that time and who was afterwards ex-com- 
municated. Jacob Trussell, for his part taken in the removal of 
Noyes Academy, w^as, as hereafter related, tried and on the 7th 
of IMarch, 1836, ex-communicated. Mr. Trussell obtained from 
Mr. Fuller a letter of dismission to the church in Franklin. On 
the same date the church chose George Harris and Timothy Til- 
ton to join with the three deacons of the church, Nathaniel Bar- 
ber, Samuel Drake and Amos Gould, in sending a letter to the 
church in Franklin, "informing them of the accusations against 
Jacob Trussell for which he is ex-communicated." And there- 
upon the church resolved, "that we disapprove of the measures 
taken by our late pastor by gi^ang Jacob Trussell a letter, as we 
think ]\Ir. Trussell unworthy to be connected with any regular 
church after taking into consideration his past conduct." The 
sequel to this is written more than eighteen years afterwards, 
on October 29, 1854. The church was requested "to tarry" 
after meeting, and Esquire Kittredge read the following letter 
from Mr. Trussell : 

To The Congregational Church in Canaan. 

Difficulties having lieretofore existed between your body and myself 
in relation to certain events in the removal of Noyes Academy in 1834 
which led to a dissolution of my connection with the church, I take the 
liberty of saying to the church, that it would be a pleasure to me to have 
a reconciliation of all past differences take place. Those difficulties 
occurred in relation to a measure about which there was at that time 
great difference of opinion and at a time when the public mind was in 
a state of intense excitement. You are aware that a great majority of 
the people approved of the course taken in the removal of the Academy, 
including some who were members of churches beside myself. The 

224 History of Canaan. 

church in Canaan with which I was connected disapproved of those 
measures and the part which I took therein was contrary to their 
wishes, and injurious to their feelings. Without entering into any 
discussion of the measure themselves, I feel free to say to the church, 
that I am sorry to have wounded the feelings of my brethren, and 
should be glad to have Christian fellowship restored between the church 
and myself. 

It will be seen that INIr. Trtissell was not sorry for anything 
he had done, and there is no intimation that his opinions had 
changed from the time he had led the mob. But the church ac- 
cepted his excuse and restored him to fellowship and com- 
munion, and he thereafter became one of the pillars and sup- 
ports of the church. During ]Mr. Fuller's pastorate only four 
united Anth the church. Then Rev. Liba Conant came as a can- 
didate and on January 15, 1837, the church voted "to extend an 
invitation" to him, and that the sum of $315 be paid him. He 
was installed February 22, 1837. Fifty- three united with the 
church during his ministry, and there were two cases of dis- 
cipline. Nancy Morgan, from whom the right hand of fellow- 
ship was withdrawn on account of her "miscondtict, " and Ros- 
well Austin, Avho w^as ex-communicated. Mr. Conant remained 
until the spring of 1845. He became interested in politics and 
in 1844 represented the town in the legislature. His course was 
not approved of and his ministerial usefulness was spoiled. In 
1838 the church reached its strongest position with eighty-six 
members. Then came Rev. Heman Rood, who stayed one year 
and taught in the academy also. He left the people with no 
interest and discouraged. From 1846 to 1851 the church was 
without a settled minister, and its doors were seldom opened to 
occasional preachers. 

In 1851 Rev. Henrys Wood, editor of the Congregational Jour- 
nal, offered to preach one year for a small salarv\ He stayed two 
years. During his service the church was repaired, both outside 
and in and rededicated July 10, 1853. Rev. Moses Gerould was 
invited to preach four Sabbaths and entered on his labors July 
24, 1853, at the end of that time, August 15, he was asked to re- 
main on a salary of $500, which he accepted. Five days later 
a committee was appointed, consisting of George Harris, Jona- 
than Kittredge and Joshua Pillsbury, to revise the Confession of 
Faith, and on September 4th the revision was adopted. In the 

The Congregational Church. 225 

afternoon eight men and fifteen women were present and signed 
it. During the first five years of Mr. Gerould's ministry there 
were only four deaths among the church members; no cases of 
discipline; harmony prevailed. But the pastor began to feel 
discouraged. "To deplore a want of general spirituality and 
absence of the converting influences." None came forward to 
unite with the church. Alfred Nesmith intended to, but died. 
At the end of his sixth year, Mr. Gerould wrote : ' ' Small indeed 
have been the fruits of these labors in the conversion of souls, 
and less in the increase of the church. Whether this want of 
spiritual success has been owing to the unfaithfulness of the 
acting pastor, or to local causes or to something else, eternity 
must decide. With the pastor, these years have not been j^ears of 
indifference and inactivity, but he has striven to labor and pray 
as earnestly as in other years. ' ' 

For the first three years, jMr. Gerould received from the New 
Hampshire Missionary Society $200 each year, it was then cut 
down to $150, and then to $100. In September, 1861, he again 
writes: "Another ecclesiastical year of this church and its min- 
isterial service has gone, never to be recalled; and we may ex- 
claim, 'my leanness! my leanness!' Not one has been added to 
the church ! Oh, that God would arise and have mercy upon Zion, 
the time to favor her. the set time being come." "My heart is 
smitten and withered like grass, ' ' when I think of her low estate. 
' ' The word preached has seemed like water falling upon a rock. ' ' 

]\Ir. Gerould tried to close his labors with the church, but he 
continued through the next two months, and in December com- 
menced preaching through the winter "wdthout stipulated sal- 
ary." The people gave what they could, and the Missionary So- 
ciety continued its contribution, which was to cease in August 
of the next year. He ' ' reluctantly ' ' commenced another year in 
the following April, with more courage. During the ten years 
of his ministry ten members died, twenty-one united with the 
church, five by confession. In May, 1863, Mr. Gerould writes,. 
after having closed his labors over the church the month before : 
' ' How solemn the account the pastor must render of these years 
of unblest labor ! Will the blood of these unconverted be found 
upon his skirts?" "Oh, my God, enter not into judgment with 
him who so many years has stood in that sacred desk for the pur- 


226 History of Canaan. 

pose of showing the people their trangressions and the house of 
Jacob their sins, and yet has brought no more to that 

'Fountain filled with blood, 
Drawn from Immanuel 's veins. ' ' ' 

From April. 1863, to April, 1864, there w^as no congregational 
preaching. The Congregationalists united in worship and in 
sustaining the Methodist Church. For four years this situation 
continues, and the church became scattered. On the first of 
May, 1867, Rev. Robert Sloss. fresh from Princeton Theological 
Seminary, began to preach and continued through his vacation 
of four months until August. On the following 16th of Decem- 
ber, they voted to give the Rev. Robert Sloss a call and pay him a 
salary of $800. But he never came back. From May 1 to Au- 
gust, 1868, Rev. James H. 'Brian from Princeton Theological 
Senimary, preached through his vacation. Then came another 
student. A. W. Hubbard, who preached four months from May 
1, 1869. At that time there were twenty-one members, and then 
the house was closed, not to be opened again to this day for 
congregational service. On February 24, 1879, a committee 
came here to locate a Unitarian school ; they looked at the 
Academy and Congregational Church and went away. 

In 1885. the Catholics, under the leadership of Elder Joseph 
Hebert, the blacksmith at the "Village," held several ser\'ices 
there and made an otfer of $100 for the building. This was not 
accepted, much to the disgust of Elder Joseph. Repairs have 
been made from time to time by private subscription. In 1890 
the house had become very badly dilapidated and Mathew H. 
]\Iilton undertook to superintend the repairs and expend the 
money raised for that purpose. It was shingled and painted and 
the underpinning righted. In 1904, through the efforts of ]Mrs. 
Sarah A. Blodgett, daughter of Rev. ]\Ioses Gerould, assisted by 
Mr. G. H. Goodhue, a grandson of George Harris, for many 
years clerk of the society and church, the plastering, which had 
nearly all fallen from the ceiling, was cleared and the walls and 
ceiling covered with steel, the roof shingled and the floor tim- 
bers, which had become rotten, replaced by new ones. It is hoped 
to replace the inside of the church as it was originally built. 

In 1853 the pulpit was cut down and a seat, which was in 

The Congregational, Church. 227 

front of the pulpit facing the congregation taken out. There 
were three steps leading to the pulpit also. It was built much 
like the other churches in those days w^ith as strict adlierence to 
the architecture of that period as possible, both inside and out. 
The pews have doors, which were always the delight of the chil- 
dren. In the northwest corner of the gallery is the "nigger 
pew." In 1828, when the church w^as built, there were two 
negroes in town, Nancy, a freed servant whom Mrs. George 
Kimball brought from Bremuda, and Dennison Wentworth, a 
black boy, living with Mrs. Plastridge at the old "Dole Tavern." 
So scrupulous were those people not to mix the races, that this 
pew was built for their special use. This did not look as if re- 
ligion was an even thing all round, and some of the old people 
who had never seen before any difference in anybody in church, 
made amusing remarks about it. Mr. Kimball was not pleased 
with the arrangement and declined to let Nancy occupy the pew. 
They all sat together like one family. Dennison had associated 
\^dth the boys and had been considered about as good as any of 
them. He also declined the honors intended for him and the 
pew fell entirely into disuse. 

A letter from N. P. Kogers to George Kimball, dated August 
5, 1829, in reference to Nancy and the trouble in changing serv- 
ants, reads much as people talk now. The inference suggested 
by that pew, that the help was not as good as the rest of the 
family, would not tend to produce harmony. Mr, Rogers had 
been to visit Kimball in Canaan and had driven home to Ply- 

We got home after a dismal ride. I was sick, wife tired, Daniel rest- 
less, spirits depressed, visit over, journey euded, road rocky, hilly — 
hilly as Satan; picketl raspberries all along the wayside; unwell several 
days; money scarce; business dull. Wish we had as good a little 
Bermudese as Nancy, instead of the white bird of passage. They are as 
restless and troublesome as the French Jacobins, I can't keep one a 
week. Our Lydia is about retiring to her Peeling and then we have got 
the whole planet to circumnavigate for another. This notion of having 
a president only one term is making these jades as restless as king 
birds. They want to keep in perpetual rotation. When you next go to 
Bermuda you must bring Mary a neat little Bermudean she-Othello, 
as black as a blackberry and as clean as a penny. Blind her when you 
start or she will find her way back in six weeks on foot. You are bet- 
ter situated than anybody on earth. Your dwelling is an elegant re- 
tirement in a truly original neighborhood. Your faithful servant is 

228 History of Canaan. 

cut off by her ebouy hue, and by the waves that wallup towards our 
shores and the "vexed Bermoothes" from all propensity to quit your 
service and run home among white clowns and send you polling after 
another witch, to run away as soon as you have got her half learned. 
Yon have no better enemies except poor Elijah (Blaisdell), and his en- 
mity is as good as a milch cow to you in Canaan. You are a scholar, 
with inexhaustible resources to amuse and entertain. You are an Episco- 
palian, and your piety is not of a sort to disquiet or alarm you; and 
your wife is a Christian, if j'ou are not, and may sanctify her unbeliev- 
ing husband. 

The sons of several of the old church members became preach- 
ers, Ithamar Pillsbury, son of Joshua and Elizabeth Pillsbury, 
was born on South Road about 1798. In 1812. he ran away and 
enlisted in the army then marching for Canada ; was followed by 
his father and brought back; was edticated partly at IMeriden; 
graduated at Yale college in 1822, and studied divinity at Yale, 
and became a Congregationalist preacher. He was appointed 
city missionary for Boston, which position he held several years ; 
afterwards was appointed city missionary in New York. Wliile 
here he married a wife eighteen years older than himself. She 
died and he married a young girl of eighteen, by whom he had 
several children. He was a man of great energy and very earn- 
est in what he undertook. At a late period of his life he went 
to Illinois and located a tract of land which he intended to 
colonize. He named it Andover. He laid out his lands upon 
paper into streets and squares, ornamenting them with churches, 
schoolhouses, public buildings, printing presses, and all the 
resultants of a first-class community, and came East to sell his 
lots. His success did not answer his expectations. But in what- 
ever he engaged he continued to preach. He died at Andover, 

Caleb Clark, Baptist, was the son of Joseph and Abigail Clark, 
in the Porter neighborhood on the Turnpike; born July 4th, 
1797. When a young man was not of much account in the fam- 
ily, but would often say smart things at the religious meetings. 
Was a timid boy and youth, often fearful of being eaten up by 
bears. Under Elder Wheat's dispensation, he received a "call" 
to preach by way of a dream. He was sent to school to New 
Hampton, and there trained to be a minister and then went forth 
as far as Rumney ; here he settled down to preaching and farm- 

The Congregational Church. 229 

ing, until his death, much respected for his piety and simplicity 
of life. 

George Richardson, Episcopalian; born July 30, 1795, son of 
Joshua and Betsey Walworth Richardson ; graduated from Dart- 
mouth College in 1820. His brother, Charles Walworth Richard- 
son, born June 11, 1801 ; after his brother George had been or- 
dained, decided to devote his life to preaching the Congregational 
creed. It is supposed that he was ordained in Lancaster. He 
was in charge of the Congregational Church at Colebrook for 
several years and was much respected for his pulpit efforts. He 
was appointed chaplain of the twenty-fourth regiment of militia 
in 1845. Afterwards he was settled at Lancaster and Guildhall 
for several years. Then he had some connections with mission- 
ary efforts in Maine, and was active as agent and correspondent 
of some religious journals. In this town, he was for several 
years placed in charge of the public schools, going on foot 
through the twenty-one districts and accepting as compensation 
twenty-five dollars. His last years were not happy. Not being 
a thrifty man, his property slipped away and left him dis- 
couraged. His personal habits became an offence against neat- 
ness and good order. Indolent he was, and not possessed of that 
great virtue which comes after godliness. His personal appear- 
ance often indicated an aversion to the use of water. As he 
grew older, he used to imagine himself a desirable match for 
young ladies. His annoyances in that respect were laughable 
and sometimes so great as to call for the interference of neigh- 
bors. All the plans of his life seemed to have failed, and doubt- 
less his disappointments, distress and poverty shattered his 
mind, so that he was hardly accountable for his acts. He was 
a man of good abilities, but lacked tact and skill to apply them 
to useful purposes. He died in 1872, a wayworn, weary old 
man, and was buried by the to^^•n. 

William B. Kelly. Baptist, son of Moses and Nancy Kelly, 
born in 1806, was a hatter and clothier by trade ; was converted 
under the preaching of Rev. Amos Foster and then turned his 
attention to divinity. He was ordained and installed over the 
Baptist Church in Peterborough, where he died in 1836, and 
lies buried in the Street Cemetery. 

Thomas N. Jones, Congregationalist, son of Amasa, born about 

230 History op Canaan. 

1821, studied at Meriden and Grilmanton ; was first settled in Lou- 
don for several years; then called to Reading, Mass., where he 
labored until his death in 1869 ; an amiable, sincere man, who 
made many friends and retained them through his life. 

So stands today this old house, one of the landmarks of the 
town. From whatever elevation or depression the street is 
viewed it is the most prominent but one. But not like the old 
meeting house, whose portals, although once dedicated to the 
service of God. now resound ^Wth that "devil music,'" which good 
old Deacon Worth so much abhorred. The old North Church is 
still ready to receive the children and grandchildren of those 
who struggled to upbuild it for the same service of God. More 
memories for this generation cluster round its doors than any 
other spot. AVitli no feelings of curiosity, but of veneration, do 
we look upon it. We can well say with Daniel Webster. ' ' There 
are those who love it" ; love those memories, which grow stronger 
and stronger as we look across the way at the silent sentinels 
which mark the resting place of our fathers and mothers, who 
loved the old church before us and taught us to do the same. 










The Methodist Church. 

]\Iethodism came into Canaan with the early settlers, but there 
was only a trace of it; it was many years before it developed 
itself. Samuel Meachan, who built the Gould house, long since 
torn down, and lived on Town Hill, came into town wdth George 
Harris, Samuel Benedict and Lewis Joslin in the spring of 1768 
from Lebanon. N. H. He was a settler in that town as early as 
1764 and came from Lebanon, Conn. He was an unsmiling, 
sedate man, who had the appearance of being very thoughtful, 
although the world is not much wiser for his thoughts because 
they were unuttered. He was a Wesleyan from the beginning 
He, with his family, brought his faith with him from Connecticut 
and kept it. He waited patiently for his brethren, who came 
afterwards, like the birds in summer, and made the whole atmos- 
phere vocal with their songs and shouts of Glorias and Amens. 
He had six sons and five daughters : Jeremiah, Joshua, who 
lived on Town Hill beyond his father's house; Joseph, who mar- 
ried Sarah Basford; Andrew, who married Abigail Eastman; 
Elam, who married Polly Williams; and Thomas; Polly, who 
married William Bradbury and was the mother of Deacon Ben- 
jamin : Sarah, who married Amos Worthen ; Phoebe, who mar- 
ried Ezekiel Wells; Miriam, who married Asa Kimball and was 
in want all her life ; Betty, who married Moses Worthen. 

Caleb Seabury was another good man who believed that way, 
and his wife with him. They lived here more than tw^enty years 
without reproach, honored in their lives, and departed peacefully 
to their great reward in some other land. 

Capt. Ezekiel Wells was another; not a very religious man, 
not much given to prayer; somewhat profane, in fact, upon oc- 
casion. But his wife was a daughter of Samuel ]\Ieacham. and 
like that good old man, a sincere Methodist. Her influence 
seemed to bring her husband Into the same fold, and he con- 
formed as far as he was able to her discipline, and was accepted 
for whatever he was because he was an influential man. These 
three men conferring together formed the first class in Canaan. 

232 History of Canaan. 

Soon afterwards good old Da\dd Dustin joined them; then 
"Esq." Arvin applied and was admitted into that sacred circle. 
Arvin kept store at the north end of the Street then and sold 
rum, and he was often drunk upon his own liquor, which seri- 
ously scandalized the class and the brethren. It was common for 
them all to drink Arvin 's rum, but he was drunk oftener and 
worse than the others. 

There was a man named Warren Bannister who came here in 
1810 as the ^Methodist minister. He had some duties to perform 
in regard to Arvin, disagreeable duties to him, because he was 
neither brave nor shrewd. Arvin 's conduct annoyed them all, 
but being a prominent man, Bannister feared to apply the dis- 
cipline. He prayed over his dilemma and then with desperate 
courage seized its horns and excommunicated the whole class to- 
gether, serving the innocent and guilty alike. It occurred this 
was the quickest way to get the sinner out ! Then he reorgan- 
ized the class; Arvin and his friends were enraged, and much 
ill-feeling cropped out in the community. Bannister invited Mr. 
Dustin to rejoin the class. He replied. " Xo I he had been turned 
out once without cause, and he would stay out, lest he might 
be treated worse next time." Mr. Dustin lived and died a 
Methodist, but never again joined the class. There was Elder John 
Broadhead, for many years a presiding elder and resident here 
in the early part of the centur\\ He lived in a house that once 
stood on the ground that was covered by the house resided in by 
Mr. Walker, afterwards burned, on South Road. He owned 
the land down as far as the corner, where afterwards the first 
Methodist church was built in 1826. 

The elder was a Democrat of the sternest, most unyielding 
kind. Even at that time, it was doubtful whether religion or 
politics had the strongest hold on his conscience. It appears that 
most of the Methodist clergy of the early days were Democrats, 
a fact which at this day seems singTilar, since Jefferson, the 
father of the Democratic party was an avowed infidel and a great 
admirer of Voltaire. Democracy in those days was not the thing 
of shreds and patches which is today honored with that name. It 
meant then a system of government founded upon the direct 
will of the people and opposed the principle of Federalism as 
tending to consolidate the powers of the government in few 

The ^Methodist Church. 233 

hands. Elder Broadhead sometimes occupied the pulpit in the 
meeting house. In his prayers and exhortations he seldom failed 
to mingle religion with the politics to the infinite disgust of the 
Federalists who heard him. It is said that it att'orded him great 
satisfaction to lash his opponents from the pulpit, because it 
gave them no opportunity for reply. Years afterwards (in 
1829) he left the pulpit for the honors and emoluments incident 
to the life of a representative in Congress. A famous old man 
he was and held in honor in church and state. Canaan was a 
federal town, the home of Daniel Blaisdell, who never liked 
iMethodists any better than he liked Democracy. He and the 
elder often encountered each other in debate and they seldom 
separated until both had become more or less enraged. On one 
of these occasions after an unusually stormy talk, the elder said 
to some of the neighbors that he had a great mind to "thresh 
Blaisdell." The next time they met was in passing through the 
woods between their houses — Blaisdell lived on the Prescott 
Clark farm — Blaisdell stepped out and said to the elder that 
"he was ready for a threshing if he thought he was able to do 
it." The elder replied "I think I can do it now and evermore, 
but I won't at this time." He said he was mad when he made 
the threat and thought the most Christian course was to own up. 

At the beginnins: of the last centurv the countrv had been di- 
vided into circuits, the Hanover circuit to the west and the 
Bridgewater circuit to the east, and so far as they could be found, 
ministers assigned for their special care. Canaan, Dorchester 
Enfield, Springfield and a part of Grantham constituted the 
Hanover circuit, and the minister spent a week in each town. It 
was only once in four weeks they had services here. 

In 1806 the X. E. Conference met in Canaan; it was ar- 
ranged that there should be a grand camp-meeting on the shore 
of Hart Pond, in Robert Barber's woods, near the Wells place. 
Bishop Asburv' presided. ^Ministers and brethren from far and 
near came to assist him. and there was a great multitude of peo- 
ple present, curious to see and hear that famous apostle of Meth- 
odism, who had been ordained a bishop by the sainted John Wes- 
ley himself and sent here to do his Master's work. Great success 
attended the labors here. Stevens says, "On Wednesday, May 
11th, Asbury arrived in Canaan, where the conference began its 

234 History of Canaan. 

session. The next day about forty four members were present 
besides probationers and visitors. On Sunday, May 15, 'I or- 
dained,' says Asbur}^, 'eleven elders in the woods. At three 
o'clock I preached in the Meeting house. It was a season of 
power. ' ' The tenets of that faith were adopted into many fami- 
lies and continue to this day. 

After this period we lose sight of the active element in the 
church. "We only know that they never ceased to work and pray. 
There was a reaction ; no gushing or striking scenes w^ere heard 
of. The tide ebbed and flowed smoothly. The Conference Re- 
port for the year 1809 contains the first mention of a preacher 
for Canaan, Ebenezer Blake, and the membership is put down 
at 155. In 1810, under Warren Bannister and Joseph Lull, em- 
bracing the Canaan and Bridgewater circuit, the membership is 
170. It is not known how many of these were residents of Canaan, 
although the report would indicate that all were. It is, however, 
improbable. Canaan is not mentioned again until 1817 when 
Eleazer Phelps is the preacher with a membership of 69. This 
would seem to be nearer the right number taking into considera- 
tion the number of families in town. In 1818 John Paine is the 
preacher and the membership is 71. The records from 1815 are 
very meagre, with an occasional omission, often consisting of only 
a statement that a meeting was held. In 1815 Jacob Marston 
was local preacher, Robert Williams, exhorter, with Thomas 
Cotton, Benjamin Xorris, John Xe\nns, Moses Lawrence and 
Jonathan Snow were leaders. John R. Dustin and Thomas Cot- 
ton, stewards. In 1820 Joseph Killam reports 139 members. In 
1822 and in 1823 the same. In 1825 Caleb Dustin and Giles 
Campbell preached to the Canaan and Lebanon circuit with a 
membership of 213, and in 1826 the number is increased to 
235. The records for May 9, 1818, are ''Voted to give Samuel 
Norris a recommend to the yearly Conference. ' ' He was admitted 
the follo^\ang June, superannuated in 1840 and died in 1880. 

Among the old band of Methodists we find the names of Solo- 
mon Sias, Jacob Sanborn and B. F. Hoyt as presiding elders. 
Then there was Moses Lawrence, John R. Dustin, Nathaniel and 
Samuel Norris, Jacob Marston, Joseph Killam and Samuel Gile 
as leaders, preachers and exhorters, and Robert Williams, who 
in his last years lived in constant fear of the sheriff. The old 

The Methodist Church. 235 

man got into debt and had nothing to pay it with. The fear of 
the sheriff was great npon him. He scarcely dared leave his 
house, fearing he might be carried off. When he went for his 
cows he would take his axe upon his shoulder. His neighbors 
all knew of his fears, and one of them, Maj. Levi Greorge. thought 
to give him a scare. One evening while driving his cows home 
accompanied by his axe as usual, the Major came up behind him, 
and seizing him by the shoulder said, "Mr. Williams, you are 
my prisoner. ' ' The old man 's face became white with fear. He 
turned suddenly upon the Major, who said to him quietly, "You 
see, neighbor Williams, I don't fear your axe, but you needn't 
be afraid, for I 've got no papers agin you. ' ' Those were the days 
when poor men were shut up in jail for debt, as if that might 
help it. After that ]\Iajor George himself fell into debt, by 
way of an indorsement for his son-in-law, but he took precau- 
tions before trouble came, to put his property into Lawyer Pet- 
tingill's hands for the benefit of his family. Joshua Blaisdell, 
the merciless, was sheriff and was ordered to arrest the Major. 
When arrived at the house the Major said, "You can take me to 
Haverhill as soon as you please, I have provided for my family 
and shall be glad to go with you, because I don't want to be 
bothered with thinking of you any more." The sheriff departed 
with a promise to return soon, but much to the annoyance of 
the Major he never troubled him afterwards. It was one of the 
peculiarities of that sheriff' to annoy people who fell into his 
power. If letting them alone was most a§Teeable, he would ar- 
rest them, and if to arrest them gave great pleasure, he would 
stand off with his papers in his pocket, leaving his victim a prey 
to his own uncertain expectations. 

At last there came over the church days of heaviness and in- 
difference when neither preacliing nor prayers availed anything. 
They were just drifting, drifting. In the year 1824 a long- 
wished for revival commenced, primarily it was the result of a 
sermon preached in the old church by Mr. Foster from Hanover, 
who was sent here to minister to the Congregational church. All 
religions had to use the same pulpit. The people had been lis- 
tening weekly to the long monotonous sermons of Elder Wheat 
or Elder Hardy, for whom they never had much respect, and to 
Caleb Dustin and William McCoy, whose chief merit consisted 

236 History of Canaak. 

in constantly oifering "wine and milk without money and with- 
out price," but otit'ered in so indifferent a tone and manner, that 
none would accept it, thinking it was for somebody else. McCoy 
preached in Enfield and South Road and once in four weeks on 
the Street. Most of the people, particularly the older ones went 
to sleep in the corners of the pews, and only waked up at the 
slamming of the seats by the boys and girls as they rose to the last 
prayer. The seats were narrow and the backs high and straight. 
They had followed those old saints for years through all their 
arguments, and had come to believe that there was no variation 
nor shadow of change in their discourses, and for this cause they 
regarded it as perfectly safe and proper for them to sleep away 
the weary hours that lingered about this old temple. Mr. Fos- 
ter's manner was very impressive and earnest. His sermon was 
an eloquent plea, addressed to the young, urging them to live 
soberly and flee for their lives to the throne of grace and seek 
refuge there from impending danger. There was a charming 
refinement and fascination in the style of this new preacher, that 
interested the sleepers at the start and kept them aw^ake. And 
the boys were not permitted to slam the seats when they rose for 
the benediction. After the sermon the men and women gathered 
in routs, and passed opinions upon the man and his doctrines. 
They "guessed" he was "all right," and his talk was right to 
the ' ' pint. ' ' ]Mr. Haynes said it was time for all of them to wake 
up and remember that they had a Lord and INIaker to whom they 
w'ere all accountable, and not trust their entire salvation any 
longer to Elder "Wheat and Elder Hardy or Caleb Dustin. Moses 
La^vrence said it was full time for them to do some praying on 
their own account, and let us begin now said other brethren. 
Those old fossils got waked up lively, and a great solemnity like a 
shroud fell upon them, and they bowed before it. They all be- 
gan to flee to the mountains, as if it was their last chance to es- 
cape from remorse of conscience. There was great rejoicing for 
many were converted, some, who seemed to be more reprobates 
than the de\il, became submissively Christians. After this 
great harvest of souls had become ripe, the churches went to 
work to gather them in. 

The Methodist church was most active, and was greatly in- 
creased and strengthened in the numbers that entered its por- 

The Methodist Church. 237 

tals. The old members renewed J:heir vows, aud promised to 
be forever afterwards more brightly shining lights in the Church 
and before men. There was old Kobert Martin, and Benjamin 
Haynes and Orpha Currier and Levi George, Benjamin Davis 
and Thomas Miner and Amasa Jones and Jacob Dow and Moses 
Lawrence and John E. Dustin, with all their families who 
had been so long born again, as to have nearly forgotten it, and 
being in grace, didn't believe they could ever fall, whatever 
else might happen to them. With this firm belief in their own 
sure salvation, they had grown snowy cold and prayerless, ex- 
cept when their minister happened to be around, and then they 
were ever lamenting that the state of religion was so low ■ — so 
lost sight of in the affairs of life! They had so long stood in 
the front ranks with their backs to the worldly crowd and their 
broad shoulders caught all the cheerful rays of heavenly light, 
and absorbed them like sponges, so that there seemed to be no 
visible access to the Rock of Ages. And long they had thus stood 
like the weatherbeaten stumps of the dead pine trees along the 
highway of the town. 

There was a density and opaqueness about those solemn old 
saints and their notions about being "elected," that excited no 
interest among the young and gay, and there were large numbers 
of them in those days, who had festive seasons everywhere. And 
then old people talked in parables and proverbs, about their own 
security and then went about their business like other men who 
had never boasted of their grace. Sometimes it seems as if that 
generation of Christians did not die in their appointed time, 
but lapped over into another age, and have been lingering all 
the way down until now. They used to make the women wear 
bonnets plain, sans ribbons or flowers, and calico dresses made 
from scant patterns. They used to call these tricks, denying 
themselves, bearing the cross, and being in contempt of the 
world. But we used to think these plain and cheap clothes in- 
dicated more stinginess than grace. Suppose the ladies now 
shoiild be seized with a freak to appear in church, like those plain 
primitive sisters, and they should fill the church full of cheap 
calicoes and hats plain without ribbons or feathers. It would be 
a sight ! Perhaps they would boast of it as an act of humility ! 
Well, those old men who always walked about like John Gilpin, 

238 History of Canaan. 

as if they "carried weights," in the wilderness of their hearts 
heard the warning voices, and waked up as they had never been 
waked before. They withdrew their faces from the sunlight and 
fell upon their knees with their faces to the ground and let 
the flood flow over them. And when they rose if they were not 
washed clean of some of their nonsense, that, like barnacles to a 
ship, had been clinging to them, at least they said they were 
renewed, and declared with emphatic humility that they would 
never again stand in the light of divine truth. And to sigTialize 
their new earnestness and sincerity they proposed to build a 
new house. 

The great harvest of members that had been gathered in, made 
it necessary that they should have a place of their own, where 
they could assemble and counsel each other often. By the ar- 
rangement with the other churches they were entitled to occupy 
the old meeting house but once in four weeks ; that was not often, 
enough to keep up a wholesome organization. So they drew 
their plan and after some lively discussions upon the spot, lo- 
cated it on South Road where the roads intersect. This spot 
being central and of easy access would best accommodate the 
brethren of Enfield and South Road, who were supposed to con- 
stitute a majority of the church. It did not cost much to build 
the house. The hearts of the people had been recently paralyzed 
by fears of hell-fires. It made them generous. Some gave labor, 
some gave lumber, others furnished provisions for the laborers, 
and all gave something. Their zeal was great and on the 1st 
day of January, 1826, the house was dedicated. Henry J. 
Wooley, a young Irishman preached the sermon. He was a dark 
haired man, an exhorter of wonderful power, and of strange 
skill in the application of langi^age. His descriptions of hell 
and its torments were weird and unique, giving the impression 
of being personal experiences. Oftentimes in their prayer- 
meetings and love feasts he would psychologize the sensitive 
members of the meeting, and when they would awake from the 
trance into which they had fallen, they would present marvelous 
pictures of their experiences in foreign lands and spheres, some 
of them not very agreeable. 

One of the most notable things that occurs to me at this long 
distance, was the choir and the music. Music has all my life 

The Methodist Church. 239 

long been to me a passion. It has absorbed a great many hours 
of my life. The rehearsal of it has given great pleasure, and 
I never tire of listening to it. ' ' Thinking in the midst of music 
is one of the sweetest things in life, when the heart is at ease. 
When we feel the harmony, are harmonized by it, and yet lose 
not one thread of the golden woof we are weaving. ' ' I learned 
to sing in those old days, and I often feel the vibration of those 
old melodies, when my mind reverts to those old days. There 
were singers then everywhere, every house was vocal with sing- 
ing. There were no fifes or fiddles allowed in that house in the 
first years ; their tones were not harmonious to pious ears. But 
the seats were filled with young men and maidens, and in the 
center stood Keuben Welch, a tall man of large bulk, a most in- 
veterate stutterer, but what seemed strange was that a man 
who was unable to articulate any sentence intelligibly, could 
sing all day without any impediment. And I have wondered 
since then, why, knowing he could sing any sentence, he did not 
cany on his ordinary conversation by the aid of minims and 
semi-breves, rather than stumble about his words like a person 
who wants to but cannot sneeze. He used to hold a singing 
book in one hand, the hymn book in the other, and mark the time 
by each alternately, and his heavy bass voice would roll out over 
them and control all the rest. The music they sung was solemn 
and plaintive, such as was best adapted to the serious condition 
of the Christian mind. They had no Bliss, no Sankey, no Gos- 
pel Hymns; these delicious melodies which give us so much 
pleasure were unheard by them. It was not known that any- 
thing pleasing or cheerful could enter into divine worship. 

For many summers and winters these old brethren came up to 
worship God in the house they had built. They grew older and 
passed away one by one, let us hope to enjoy the heavenly 
felicities they believed in store for them. As the years passed 
by the congregation diminished, it grew more and more in- 
convenient to attend there. The members had gravitated away 
from that house. Some days the audience would resemble ours 
upon a rough day. Some days the doors would stand gaping 
widely for those who should but did not come. It seemed to 
have served the purpose for wliich it was built, and like an old 
garment was left by the wayside. Phineas Eastman bought it, 

240 History of Canaan. 

took it down at the time the Northern Railroad decided to es- 
tablish a station at East Canaan, removed to that place, and made 
a store out of its timbers, and from that day the voice of prayer 
has not been heard within its walls. Previous to this event, in 
1841, Eev. George W. H. Clark, an earnest faithful man, was 
appointed to take charge of the church here. During the fol- 
lowing year under his auspices a very extensive revival occurred, 
and very large numbers were added to the church, from the 
north and east part of the town. 

In June, 1842, a camp-meeting was held in the woods near the 
Wells burying ground, where members were converted and 
united with the church. Many of the new Christians were 
disinclined to wor.ship in the house on South Road, it being far 
to travel, and besides they wished to be where they could mingle 
with other Christians. Tliis feeling increased rapidly and ere 
long it was decided to build a new house on the Street, which 
they could occupy and control together. A building commit- 
tee was appointed, subscriptions solicited, land purchased and 
in due time the people saw a new spire rising towards heaven. 
Ever\'thing was completed, orderly and judiciously, and when 
the new house was dedicated it was already free from debt. 
This event occurred on the 2d day of October. 1844. The ser- 
mon was preached by Rev. Mr. McCurdy. 

]Mr. Clark, in 1892, wrote regarding his pastorate here : 

I arrived iu Canaan July 9, 1841, after dark, went directly to the old 
parsonage on South Road, called up the family opposite, as they had 
retired, to get the key. I found the church in a very low state. My 
preaching places for the Sabbath were three fourths of the time at the 
old chapel on South Road, and one fourth at the church at the Street. 
Held meetings in schoolhouses in different parts of my charge. A series 
of meetings were held on South Road where twelve to fifteen were con- 
verted in the fall. In March, 1842, when my Presiding Elder Rev. C. 
D. Gaboon, came to the Third Quarterly Conference, I asked him if he 
could not arrange for a camp meeting for his next visit. The presiding 
elder came, June Gth, and brought with him John Mars, a colored man. 
Camp meetings began with small attendance, but increased, some six 
were converted by Friday night. Saturday morning it began to snow 
and continued all day, but it was a great day of power. In our first 
preaching service the presiding elder preached; fourteen were con- 
verted; meeting held in the Enfield tent. Saturday morning Mars 
preached and 125 came to the altar. Monday morning closed the meet- 
ing. We went to the old church on the Street Monday evening. Mars 

The ^Methodist Church. 241 

was with me. We held meetings nearly every afternoon and evening 
for four weeks. The whole country was moved religiously as never 
before. In the Autumn we held a union meeting with the Congregation- 
alists, Baptists and Free-will Baptists. Three weeks in the Congrega- 
tional church about SO were converted. As a result of the work I bap- 
tized about 132. Early in the winter we began talking about building 
a church on the Street. That winter the timber was cut and carried to 
the mill. In the spring before I left the job wa.s let for building. I re- 
turned in a few weeks and saw it raised. 

Mr. Clark died in Fairfax, Vt., February 27. 1897. In Canaan 
his labors had been productive of harmony and good fellow- 
ship, and in 1843 he was sent to another field. Then the Eev. 
Erasmus B. Morgan fiery, fractious, irritable and opinionated, 
was placed in charge of this church. He was a very positive man, 
one of that rare class who believe they are called to improve upon 
God 's own work, neither humble nor charitable ; exacting ; a wordy 
man of narrow intellect, embracing not much beyond his own 
intellect ; very passionate withal, and apt to take offence at 
trifles. He began preaching on South Road, and sometimes oc- 
cupied Heath's Hall on the Street. He had not been here long 
before there was a called meeting of the church, and about 
half of the brethren refused to attend further upon his minis- 
trations. He was displaced by Elder Gaboon and a Mr. Eaton 
put in charge, but the cross fires were too sharp for Brother 
Eaton and he left. Mr. ]\Iorgan had a strong and earnest party 
here and he was reinstated. And he, with those who believed in 
him made war upon the other side. The feeling ran higher than 
at a presidential election, and the lies and slanders that followed 
were unbecoming professed Christians. The anti-Morgan lambs 
were without a pastor. They prayed and talked well, but they 
lacked a head. About February, 1844, a smart preacher named 
C. V. Caples, a colored man. received charge of the indignant 
half of the church, and then the wars of Morgan and Caples be- 
gan, and are a part of the church historj-. Eeligion and so- 
ciety got badly mixed, — djiiamite would have been dove-like com- 
pared to the explosions that shook and shocked the community. 
The joy and peace of believers was laid aside, and great bit- 
terness and soreness resulted from the wicked words and deeds 
that were not restrained. It is related that one of the Morgan 
brothers in a prayer, asked the Lord "to seize on Sister 


242 History of Cana^vk. 

and shake her well over hell, but be careful and not let her drop 

Morgan revoked Caples' license to preach but Elder Gaboon 
came in and vouched for him as a regular preacher. Mr. Co- 
nant. Congregationalist, vouched for him : Elder Clements, Bap- 
tist, however, called him an uncertain character. Mr. Caples 
made charges against Mr. Morgan and cited him to appear and 
answer at the next conference. The doors of the new church 
were closed against Morgan, and he preached in halls and school- 
houses. The moral atmosphere was heated and murky, too much 
so for the leading combatants. On the 8th of July, 1844, ' ' Brother 
Morgan packed up his goods" and retired discomfited, and on the 
16th, of the same month, "Brother Caples goes off to the State 
of Maine," and is no more seen in Canaan. The effect of 
that controversy was like a great blister on the church, it was 
years in healing but it purified many hearts and wrought out 
much Christian charity. 

In 1844 the Circuit was divided on the line of Canaan and 
Enfield, leaving Canaan, Dorchester and a part of Hanover in 
the Canaan Circuit. Rev. Reuben Dearborn stepped into the 
breach left vacant by the retreating hostile forces. It was not 
a pleasant place to put a new man, but he was equal to the oc- 
casion. Carefully avoiding and ignoring the past troubles, he 
gradually brought the brethren together and a degree of har- 
mony prevailed. The church increased in numbers and for 
many years was prosperous. They have had many preachers 
since that day with many of whom the brethren felt no regrets 
on parting after one year's intercourse, and there were others 
whose stay might have been lengthened until this day with profit. 
And they have always preferred to have the services of their 
preachers. But a change has come over the spirit of this country 
church. Once they were hardly content with two sermons and 
a prayer meeting on the Sabbath, now their hunger and tliirst 
after righteousness is appeased by one sermon, and no prayer 
meeting on Sunday. They are content also to share their 
preacher's services with East Canaan. In 1883 the pastor was 
required to divide his time between the two churches. During 
the term of Rev. Joshua Holman the present parsonage on the 

The Methodist Church. 243 

Street was purchased and repaired, and in 1869 the debt upon 
it was removed. 

In June, 1843, Stephen Eastman was licensed as a local 
preacher. He was born February 10, 1818, and married Laura 
L. Loverin of Loudon. He was the sixth of eleven children born 
to James and Polly (French) Eastman. He attended two terms 
at Canaan Union Academy and several terms at the Newbury 
(Vt.) Seminary, joining the N. H. Conference in 1846 at Leb- 
anon. Bishop Waugh presiding. He was stationed one year at 
Hopkinton, one year at North Charlestown, two at Walpole, 
then at Alexandria and Hebron where he closed his labors on 
earth March 14. 1854. On May 14, 1847, Lamed L. Eastman 
was licensed as a local preacher. He was born March 12, 1813, 
the fourth son of James and Polly Eastman, married April 3, 
1839, Lucy A., daughter of Henry Currier of Enfield. His life 
as an itinerant was one of great mental and physical activity. 
He relates his journeyings so modestly and concisely that it is 
best told in his own words. 

My education what I have, was in the town school and during a four 
years' course of stud.v while in charge of a church. Several years before 
joining the Conference I endeavored to improve to the best advantage in 
qualifying myself for the gospel ministry. I joined the Conference in 
1S48, at Manchester. Bishop Hedding presiding. Here I think Brother 
Stephen was ordained Deacon. I was appointed to Alexandria and 
Hebron, and reappointed in 1849. At the close of this second year I 
was ordained Deacon and Brother Stephen, Elder, by Bishop Norris at 
Newmarket. The two succeeding years I was appointed to Warner and 
Wentworth. At the close of this term was ordained Elder by Bishop 
Baker at Nashua. During these first four years I was favored with 
gracious revivals, many were converted each year. The two follow- 
ing years I was at Lancaster, where there was a great revival. The next 
two years at Littleton, and here we had a good time also. The next 
move was to Winchester, where we had two successful years. Then two 
years each at Plymouth and Amesbury, Mass., at Peterborough and 
Sunapee, and then three years at Methuen. Here my health began to 
fail, still I consented, being strongly urged to be appointed a second 
time to Warner. At the close of this year I asked for a supernumerary 
relation to the Conference without appointment, that we might rest and 
travel a little. We spent several months in Illinois and New Jersey, with 
our children; returned to Moultouborough and supplied for the year out, 
and was reappointed for the following year. Meanwhile I built me a 
house in Methuen, and moved into it, but retained my relation to the 
Conference, and preached at Kingston. The next year I rested until Sep- 

244 . History of CanaxVN. 

tember. We then went to Londonderry and supplied the year out; 
rested again and then went to Groveton, and supplied the year out. 
Was then made effective and appointed to Groveton again. This was 
in 1875-6. And closed my effective service as a traveling minister. I 
am still an unworthy member of the N. H. Conference, broken down 
with labor and disease, having lost one eye by a cancer, and was near 
losing life from the same cause. I am now able to do something for this 
Children's Home, which is perhaps as trying a position as we ever occu- 
pied. God has been and is wonderfully good to us, and we intend to 
work for his cause while our day lasts. It seems but a little time since 
we were all children, — now we are stooping with age. But let us be 
glad we have lived and toiled for a time in the vineyard of the Lord. 

The parents of Stephen and Lamed Eastman moved into 
Canaan in 1795 from Hampstead, N. H. The father, James, was 
bom April 28. 1780; the mother, Polly French, daughter of 
Jonathan French of Enfield, was born December 29, 1787. 

Caleb Fales was a ^Methodist preacher, son of John and Sally 
Fales. He had a natural call to preach without being educated 
to it. A man of fair abilities, and being of good name and 
fame among his brethren. He was born about 1800, and when 
last heard from resided in Sharon. Yt. 

Robert "Williams, son of Robert, who emigTated from Barring- 
ton or Dunbarton, and settled in Enfield, it is not known where 
young Robert was born, he married Mercy Hardy of Lebanon, 
sister of the late Mrs. William Campbell, by whom he had sev- 
eral children. He was an industrious and thrifty farmer. o\^ti- 
ing at different periods several farms in this vicinity. From 
here he went to Illinois where he continued his farmer's life. He 
died several years ago, leaving a handsome property to be 
divided among his children. He was possessed of fine natural 
abilities, and was an earnest, effective speaker. When or where 
he was licensed to preach is not known but he was known as a 
Methodist preacher, and was much respected for his piety and 
eloquence. Early in the old temperance movement he espoused 
that cause and died a rigid abstainer from alcoholic drinks. He 
also enlisted early in the anti-slavery cause and did some good 
and earnest lecturing in behalf of oppressed humanity. On a 
Fourth of July more than sixty years ago, he was appointed to 
give an anti-slavery lecture in the Congregational church on the 
Street. At that time negroes and anti-slavery meetings were 

The Methodist Church. 245 

interdicted in Canaan. The "Vigilance Committee" appointed 
by the town "legally" to disperse incendiary meetings, were 
notified of this proposed outrage upon the nice royalty of public 
opinion, and they hastened with drum and fife to disperse that 
little band of earnest thinkers whose prayers and hopes for the 
slave threatened to upheave the foundations of republican gov- 
ernment. But that heroic committee for once came too late. 
They were so long getting upon the track that when they arrived 
at the church they learned that the speech had been spoken and 
the audience gone home. 

Enoch Davis was another local preacher, of whom nothing 
can be learned except that he lived here some eighty years ago 
and let his light shine very freely. 

At East Canaan. 

Leonard Davis was the only person at East Canaan who was 
a member of the Methodist church in 1862. He was at that time 
a member of the church at the Street and afterwards transferred 
his membership. The church building now occupied by the 
]\Iethodists was a union church, and was built by the citizens. 
There was religious worship in the house but no church organi- 

Eev. C. U. Dunning in the spring of 1862 was closing his 
labors at Enfield, having preached and delighted the people at 
East Canaan, a reciuest was sent to the annual conference asking 
for him to be sent for a year. He came and was the first pastor 
of the church. He remained until the spring of 1866, one year 
under missionary' rule and three as preacher in charge of the 
church which was organized into an independent church by 
Bishop Osman C. Baker in 1863. it having been considered as 
a part of the church at the Street. Dunning reported at the 
close of his term, "Four years ago there were but fifteen persons 
who were considered to be members of the East Canaan class. 
By the blessing and good hand of our God upon us we are able 
to report 60 members and 29 probationers. Within three years 
three members and three probationers have deceased, all dying 
in the triumph of faith. ' ' 

Under J. AV. Adams eleven persons were baptized. But a 
very' unfortunate division took place and the church, which had 


History of Canaan. 

been strong and full of promise, divided into two weak ones. And 
from this disaster the church never recovered. During the pas- 
torate of Mr. Farnham considerable interest prevailed and 
twenty persons were baptized, by Rev. J. Pike, presiding elder, 
and in spite of this interest there were two less on the roll than 
when he came. In 1873 the church was repaired at an expense 
of $400. In 1883 the church was united with the church at the 
Street. In 1892 $250 was spent in repairs and in 1900, $850 
was spent in decorating the interior. 

The following is a list of the preachers at the Street: 



Martin Ruter 


Andrew Kernagen 

Thomas Branch 

Joseph Fairbanks 

Reuben Jones 

Thomas Skeel 

Joshua Crowell 

Dexter Bates 


Oliver Beale 


Elijah Hedding 

Thomas Skeel 


Dyer Burge 

Joel Winch 


Joseph Barker 

Paul Dustin 


Dan Young 


Joseph Broadhead 


Dan Carr 


1809 Ebenezer Blake 



Warren Bannister 

1812 John W. Hardy 

Joseph Lull 

Richard Emory 


Abner Clark 

1813 John Lewis 

Leonard Bennett 

John Paine 



Jacob Sanborn 

1824 Joseph Killam 


Walter Sleeper 

William McCoy 


Benjamin Burnham 

1825 Caleb Dustin 


Eleazer Phelps 

Giles Campbell 


John Paine 

1826 Caleb Dustin 

Isaiah Emmerson 

Eleazer Steele 


Orrin Roberts 

1827 Benjamin Paine 


Joseph Killam 

Henry J. Wooley 


Ezra Kellogg 

1828 Benjamin Paine 


Herschel Foster 

Joseph Sylvester 

John Foster 

1829-30 Dan Fletcher 


Joseph Killam 

1831 H. Wheelock 

Nathan Howe 

J. Sweat 

The Methodist Church. 


1832 Caleb Dustin 
S. Hackett 

1833 Caleb Dustin 
L. H. Gordon 

1834 Supplied Mr. Robbins 

1835 John H. Stevens 

1836 B. Brewster 
1837-8 Haines Johnson 

1839 A. Heath 

1840 Charles Cowing 
1841-2 G. W. H. Clark 

Nathaniel B. Smith 

1843 Erasmus B. Morgan 
Kimball Hadley 

1844 Reuben Dearborn 

1845 John Jones 

1846 Silas Quimby 

1847 Russell H. Spaulding 
1848-9 H. H. Hartwell 
1850-1 Nathaniel L. Chase 

1852 Smith Aldrich 

or M. Newhall 

1853 John Taggart 

1854 T. J. Andrews 

1855 H. A. Mattisou 

1856 John English 

1857 Nelson Greene 


Nelson Martin 


-60 Joshua Holman 

1861 Joseph Hayes 



. U. Dunning 



Reuben Dearborn 



W. Adams 


George N. Bryant 



. S. Kendall 



: A. C. Coult 



J. Mowery Bean 



S. J. Robinson 



J. H. Hillman 



. F. Baxter 



J. A. Steel 



Irad Taggart 



S. G. Kellogg 



J. H. Trow 



C. E. Eaton 



. G. Hoisington 



D. W. Downs 



C. A. Reed 



W. T. Carter 



. M. Markey 



Herbert F. Quimby 



W. A. Mayo 



Cyrus L. Corliss 



, W. Taylor 

Preachers at East Canaan; 

1863-5 C. U. Dunning 
1866-8 J. W. Adams 
1869-70 C. H. Chase 
1871 Supplied 
1872-3 S. C. Farnum 
1874-5 G. N. Bryant 

1876 Supplied by F. W. Johnson 

1877 0. P. Wright 

1878 Supplied 
1879-80 A. C. Hardy 

1881 Supplied by H. S. Parmlee 

1882 None 

From 1883 the church has had the same pastors as the Street. 



Looking back over all the years my mind uncovers the events 
of early life like a ploughshare in the grass. There were school 
scenes for all of us. A little square-roofed school house stood 
upon the common; it was painted yellow. Many of us learned 
our letters in that house under the arbitrary rule of old Olive 
Cross, whose father built the Landon house, as well as the house 
where he lived and where Mr. Brais now lives. I say old Olive 
Cross, because I have no recollection of her as ever having been 
young. Her years seemed to have been perennial and eternal. 
A brother of John P. Calkins and uncle of Rev. Charles Calkins, 
who lived in a log house near H. G. Elliott's old farm, once be- 
seiged the affections of this prim Methodist teacher. Olive's 
castle was impregnable — she declined to yield to his proposals, 
as she did to every one else, and died an old maid. She was a 
stem old Puritan, and required pure submission to her rules, 
and her punislunents were such as the Inquisition could hardly 
have improved upon. She was considered a very good woman, 
very religious and proper in her manners, and seemed to have 
earned the prescriptive right to teach the rudiments of educa- 
tion to all the children in town. She won the confidence of the 
parents by her zeal in watching for offences and in punishing of- 
fenders. I have often thought if she had children of her own 
she would have been gentler in her nature, and would have 
learned that love in a school room, or in a family, is a more 
powerful weapon than fear. But the parents of those days were 
great sticklers for force. Children needed flogging as much as 
horses, and they got it too. There were the Dows, the Wallaces, 
the Athertons, the Averys, the Barbers, the Wellses, the Tiltons. 
What would any of them ever have amounted to if they had not 
been flogged? And what would a school have been good for, 
unless it conformed to the parental discipline at home ? I have 
often wondered if in the happy home to which, when her spirit 
ceased from troubling, good old Oliver Cross was triumphantly 

Schools. 249 

removed, she ever has visions of the little girls and boys in that 
old yellow school house, standing in the floor, their noses pinched 
with split sticks, holding heavy books out at arm's length until 
they fell to the tloor through weariness ; or with screws vibrating 
between the fingers until the blood flowed, and that great, wide 
ferule, that raised blisters wherever it fell. But these were facts 
which seemed all proper and right and served to develop the 
self-respect and intelligence of the pupil ! She was the embodi- 
ment of despotic tj-ranny, and seemed to have absent spells while 
she invented new tortures for the little ones. I sometimes ob- 
serve the comity which exists in families, that is, the reciprocal 
sentiments that pass between parents and cliildren. I never 
saw a boy yet who discovered much affection for the "old man" 
who "licked" him upon occasion. He did it again, and he lied 
about it, too, if it would redeem the whip. In families where 
they keep a whip you do not see much caressing. The little 
bo3' when he comes home all tired out, does not drop into his 
father's arms and kiss him as he falls asleep. Little boys think; 
they observe the ways and the temperaments of men. A boy 
always looks in a man's face when he passes by. He is ever 
watching for little acts of courtesy, or a recognition from older 
persons. Speak to him pleasantly and notice what a joy per- 
vades his face and shines out in his eyes. He sees that the little 
manhood that fills his jacket is recognized, and he goes on his 
way happy. 

Many men and women forget they were ever boys or girls, and 
look down upon them so far oft' that they seem never to dis- 
tinguish them from birds or cattle. Thank God ! I always loved 
children ; I always liked to be with them ; I like to have them in 
mv house, filling mv yard and plaving in the shade of mv 
trees. They are like the birds among the branches thereof. 
Their voices are music to me, because they are the voices of in- 
nocence and happiness. And there is a far-off future for them 
in the coming years, when they like me, will be grey-headed, 
looking back over the events of half a century, and perhaps, 
unlike me, singing, 

"Oh! would I were a boy again. 
When life seemed formed of sunnv vears. ' ' 

250 History of Canaan. 

My recollection of the teachers in that old school house is that 
they were all alike. They never appealed to the manhood and 
self-respect of the piipils. Their laws like Draco's had penal- 
ties, and could only be appeased by corporal suffering. There 
was Edward Oleott, a rusticated student; and Elijah Blaisdell, 
who spared nobody — somebody was being punished all the 
time; and the Rev. Joseph L. Richardson, who afterwards be- 
came notorious as one of the leaders of the mob that destroyed 
the academy ; he used to believe that children could endure cold 
and thirst as well as bodily tortures. He would tell us that 
these things, although they appeared to be severe judgments, 
were intended as blessings, and if we profited by them we should 
receive a crown of righteousness at some future time ; but I 
never seemed to appreciate his prophetic promises in our behalf. 

In 1793, a meeting of the Center district was held for the fol- 
lowing purposes : 

"Caxaax, December 9, 1793. 

At a meeting of the inhabitauts of the Center District holden at the 
house of Capt. R. Barber For the purpose of consulting a spot to set a 
schoolhouse and the time when and the method how to Build said School 
House. Proceeded as follows: 

1st Chose Capt. Joshua Wells Chairman. 

2nd Voted to build a school house and set said school house on the 
north side of the road leading from Capt. Barbers to Capt. J. Wells 
as near the corner of the old road leading to Capt. Barbers mill as the 
land will admit of. 

3rd. voted to build the frame of the above said house 18 feet wide and 
24 feet long and cover the same with boards. 

4th voted to build the chimney with stone as far as the beams. 

Meeting disolved. 

Oliver Smith, Clerk. 

This is the first mention of the building of a school house. 
There were three districts in town at this time. 

The first vote to raise money for schooling was passed in 1786, 
when 16 pounds L. M. was voted. And Eleazer Scofield, Jehu 
Jones and Richard Clark were appointed a committee to divide 
the town into districts. There were no school houses, and the 
children had been taught by their parents at home. The people 
had begun to realize that more competent instruction was needed. 
But their efforts are feeble. They are not yet willing to give 
their children much of a chance. They thought that as their own 

Schools. 251 

education was obtained for the most part by hard knocks and 
experience, there was no reason why their sons and daughters 
cannot g-et it in the same way. Knowledge that could be learned 
from books was no qualification, in knowing how to cut trees 
and burn brush. So little did they value book learning, that no 
mention is made of raising any more money for schools until 
1789, when thej^ voted not to raise any. 

At the annual meeting in 1795 we find that the town voted 
to abate Asa Paddleford's school tax. It would seem that the 
town had been supporting schools. The schools had not been 
well fostered, although the town had been divided into districts 
no school house adorned the forks of the roads. The schools 
were held where any convenient place could be obtained, and 
for the most part the teacher was paid by those who had sub- 
scribed to have a school. One of the subscription papers is as 
follows : 

We the Subscribers, Do Agree to have a Woman's school, to begin as 
early Next Spring, as we shall think Proper & to last Five months the 
School is to be Kept where the School House Frame is Near Capt. 
Joshua Wells's in Canaan, and that we & Each of us Do Promise to 
bear our Equal Proportion in Getting, Boarding and Paying the Mistress 
for Teaching According to the Number of Scholars We Subscribe to 
send, as witness our hands. 

Canaan, February 6 A. D. 1795. 


Jonathan Farnum 1% Levi Bailey li/^ 

Robert Barber 1 Joshua Wells 2 

John M. Barber 1 Caleb Pierce 1 

Peter Pattee 2 Enoch Sweat jr 2 

Josiah Clark 3 Ebenezer Hanson 1 

Richard Whittier 3 Oliver Smith 2 

In this school Olive Cross commenced her long career as a 
teacher, at $4 a month, "boarding round" with the scholars. 
The frame spoken of, had been put up and covered in at the 
forks of the old road leading to Orange a little westerly from 
Joshua Well's. This frame was afterwards taken down and 
rebuilt into the schoolhouse that used to stand near John 
Worth's tavern. 

In 1795 the town voted, "that the School rates collected by 

252 History of Canaan. 

Dr. Pierce Constable, shall be refunded back and paid the in- 
dividual it was taken from." "That the northeast district 
where Abel Hadley lives, or those who have not schooled out 
their money, shall have the privilege of schooling it out in their 
own district, and that they all have an order on the constable 
if they have paid it." "That John Harris and Henry Springer 
have back their school money." "That those who live in the 
district where Lt. R. Whittier lives, who have sent their chil- 
dren to the north district to school the winter past, shall pay 
their money to that district. ' ' 

In the warrant for the annual meeting in 1796 there was an 
article "to see if the town will vote to raise money to furnish 
the town with necessary school houses. No action was taken 
upon it. But this year for the first time the tow^n chose school 
money collectors — John Currier, Ezekiel Wells, Jonathan 
Carlton, Clark Currier. 

In 1798 John Bryant taught on West Farms and the other 
teachers were Job Wilson, Amasa Jones and Eliphalet Norris. 

In 1799 Ezekiel Wells, Thomas Miner and Enoch Richardson 
were appointed a committee to divide the school districts "that 
are dissatisfied." Nine districts were made. 

In 1800 Oliver Smith, Selding Pattee and Ebenezer Clark 
taught school in southeast district one month. In 1801 John 
Bryant taught on West Farms and at John R. Dustin's. 

In 1803, a strong effort was made to provide the town with 
suitable accommodations for the schools, and a vote was passed 
"to raise a sum of $500 to build school houses in each district, 
allowing each the privilege of building its own, if they build 
within 7 months." The $500 was not assessed, through negli- 
gence of the selectmen. But the next year (1804) the town 
passed a similar vote, with this change, that the sum to be raised 
be $1,000, "allowing each district the pri\dlege of building its 
own schoolhouse, if built within seven months." A committee 
of nine was appointed to ascertain the limits of each district. 
And nine collectors were chosen to collect the money, one in each 
district. Moses Dole, John Cogswell and Benjamin Haynes 
taught the schools. A committee appointed the previous year 
to redistrict the town reported that they had divided the town 
into ten districts, and that the money appropriated was not 

Schools. 253 

sufficient to build the needed schoolhouses. And in the follow- 
ing year (1805) the town voted an additional $500, "to finish 
the schoolhouses. ' ' The town also made twelve districts and ap- 
pointed twelve collectors. The tenth district, called also the 
Center "Deestrick," as reported, was contained within the fol- 
lowing boundaries: "Taking Jonathan Carlton (C. P. King) 
'and thence northerly to ^lascoma river around by Joseph Flints 
(G. W. Davis) and all Broad Street and Caleb Welch jr, by 
request." The schoolhouse in this district was located near 
Dudley Gilman's Tavern, not far from the site of the residence 
of the late H. C. George, now Mrs. G. H. Robinson's. It was 
built about the year 1800, and was the first schoolhouse built 
on the Street. It was a large one-story building with two stacks 
of chimneys. As the Street was to be the village it was called 
the "Academy." 

After being occupied for a term of years as a school, it was 
burned one night by one of the pupils, named Zebulon Barber, 
who came from the Gore. At this late day the reason for Zebu- 
Ion's incendiary act does not appear. This school was taught 
by "Master" Parker. The studies were not numerous, but em- 
braced branches sufficient for what was then considered a fair 
education — spelling from "Webster's Spelling Book," and 
writing according to the method of those days. There were no 
arithmetics; even Pike's had not found its way into our schools. 
The pupils were instructed in "figures" and "cyphering" by 
means of sums written out by the master, whose importance 
increased in the same ratio as his figures. From a little book of 
about one hundred pages called "The Ladies Accedence," the 
rudiments of grammar were taught. . The reading was confined 
to the few pages found in the spelling book, and to the New 
Testament, from which two long readings each day formed the 
opening and closing exercises. After the burning of "The 
Academy ' ' the school was kept in a log house, situated in the field 
a little back of Miss Emma A. Bell's barn, and was taught a 
term by Lawyer Blaisdell, who often found scant gleanings after 
Hale Pettingill had picked over the ground. This was the first 
house built on the "Street" by William Douglass the shoemaker, 
for a dwelling. And it was still doubtful whether this would be 

254 History of Canaan. 

the ' ' Village, ' ' so deep and unfathomable were the mud obstruc- 

In 1810, thirteen school districts existed, and the same number 
of collectors were appointed. 

In 1811, the first school committee was chosen, "Esq" Pettin- 
giU, John H. Harris, and "Esq" Blaisdell. The next year Abel 
Brown takes the place of Jolm H. Harris. 

In 1812, the "Center Deestrick" is divided at Moses Dole's, 
he having his choice to which district he will belong "with his 
property. ' ' 

In 1813, Pettingill, John H. Harris and John Currier are the 
school committee. In 1814 there are fourteen collectors of school 
money appointed. In 1816 there are fifteen school collectors 
representing so many districts. In 1826 a committee was ap- 
pointed that divided the town into fifteen school districts. This 
was not satisfactory, so in 1828 the number was increased to 
seventeen. In 1854 there were twenty districts. In 1861 they 
had increased to twenty-one. This number continued until 
1886. After the passage of the new school law the town in 
1885 voted to redistrict the town. The superintending school 
committee was abolished as well as the prudential committee for 
each district and a school board was elected by vote of the school 

The town, in 1886. was redistricted into eleven divisions; in 
1887 there were ten. This continued down to the establishment 
of the High School district, which made two districts out of the 
town. The town school district has been divided into ten 
divisions, but most of the time there have been nine schools. 
There are twelve schoolhouses in the town district. The High 
School district comprises the southeast corner of the town. 


NoYES Academy. 

In the early part of 1834 several energetic citizens of Canaan, 
and prominent among- them was the lawyer, George Kimball, 
procured subscriptions sutScient to build a house, and to buy 
half an acre of land, for grounds. It was located in the field 
next south of the Congregational Meeting House, with an orna- 
mental fence in front. There were sixty contributors to the 
enterprise, and cliief among them stood the venerable farmer, 
Samuel Noyes, for whom the contemplated school was named. 
The amount subscribed was $1,000. of which sum only $80 was 
subscribed by the opponents of the school, and only $20 of that 
was ever paid, the friends of the school offering at that time to 
assume the whole $80. Application was made to the legislature 
for a charter which was granted July 4, 1834, to Samuel Noyes, 
George Kimball. Nathaniel Currier, George Walworth and John 
H. Harris, as incorporators of Noyes Academy. The charter 
provided for the "education of youth." That the corporation 
could hold estate not to exceed $15,000, to be divided into one 
thousand shares of $15 each. Property by way of gift could be 
held to any amount. The stock was not assessable. On the 
4th of July it occurred to some of the enthusiastic and philan- 
thropic donors of the institution, to propose having it established, 
as they said, "upon the principles of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence," whereby its privileges and blessings should be open 
to all pupils without distinction of color, coming with suitable 
moral and intellectual recommendations. A general meeting of 
the patrons of the school was warned to be held on August 15, 
1834. Previous to this meeting the plan was proposed to many 
of them individually and met their prompt acceptance. 

The nation at this time was at the height of the anti-slavery 
agitation. During this month anti-slavery riots had taken place 
in New York City, and had been continued into New Jersey. The 
people of Canaan sympathized with both sides and the line was 
as sharply drawn between the abolitionists of Canaan and their 

256 History of Canaan. 

opponents as anywhere in the countrj'. Several abolition orators 
came to Canaan and served to keep the people stirred on that 
question, which was not solved for more than twenty-five years 
after. The friends of the school realized there was going to be 
a struggle, excitement was in the air ; both sides did not hesitate 
to show their whole strength, and every effort was made to bring 
it out and place every man either on one side or the other. This 
was a question that it took a man of great ability to straddle. 
An extract from a diary written at that time, shows that the 
friends of the school were intent upon carrying out their pro- 
posed plan : ' ' Thursday, Aug. 14th, 1834. Eode around town, 
electioneering, exorted a promise from every man I called upon 
to appear on Canaan Street tomorrow at 2 o'ck. " 

Other trusty messengers were dispatched about town to notify 
all persons interested to appear. At the general meeting the 
plan was formally laid before it and discussed fully by friends 
and opponents. 

The opposition was led, with much bitterness of spirit, by 
Hon. Elijah Blaisdell. a gentleman who was not a subscriber, 
ha%dng no pecuniary interest in the institution. Other promi- 
nent opponents were present — Dr. Thomas Flanders and Rev. 
Joseph L. Richardson, all of Canaan. 

After a deliberate hearing, a ballot was taken when thirty-six 
of the fifty-one proprietors present voted in favor and fourteen 
against it. Two did not vote at all. and declined to express an 
opinion. Two of the fourteen negatives afterwards declared 
themselves in its favor. One who was not prepared to vote at 
this meeting afterwards gave in his assent. Two others hoped 
the school would go on upon the proposed plan and flourish, and 
six others who were not present afterwards sent in their decided 
assent, making a total of forty-nine subscribers who favored 
the proposed plan. The plan submitted was thus adopted, the 
proprietors proceeded to elect a board of trustees, and fix on a 
day for their meeting and organization. 

An extract from the same diarj- brings us a little nearer to 
those times : 

Friday, August 15. Attended the meeting of the proprietors of the 
Academy. N. Currier, Esq., was called to the chair, which he took with- 
out making a speech, as he never pretended to be an orator. I was 


Notes Academy. 257 

much gratified with, the proceediugs of the meeting, 17 trustees were 
chosen. Mr. Kimball spolve with considerable warmth and energj- on 
the wrongs of slavery. N. P. Rogers was present and spoke cheeringly 
of the future of this school. Mr. Blaisdell with his usual malignant 
disposition, bitterly opposed the object of the meeting, as subversive 
of the cause of good morals. Elijah does not win confidence in his asser- 
tions for his bitterness. Several resolutions were passed, among others 
it was resolved and approved that Dr. Cox of N. Y. City a notorious 
abolitionist, a friend, be among the trustees. Great events are on the 

Paine says "there is a mass of sense, lying dominant in man, 
which, often descends with him to the grave for want of some 
stimulus to bring it forth to action. Nothing so well contributes 
to that important end as agitated or revolutionary^ times. This 
allusion seems to fit our present conditions." 

But the enemies of the school — perhaps that phrase should 
not be used, it is not probable that any one was opposed to the 
Academy, as it was originated- — but the plan to introduce 
negroes into this white community was revolting to the white 
sense of propriety. Negroes were not recognized as a part of 
the social system. This negative idea in regard to the negro was 
not new at this time. There are hardly any old enough to re- 
member the first negro who came to Canaan. It was a boy, who 
came over from Hanover about ninetv-five vears ago, to live 
with Captain Dole. How curiously he was examined — the flat 
nose, thick lips, kinky hair, and more wonderful than all, the 
blackness that enveloped his skin. The boys gathered about him 
in a circle, and wondered to see him talk and laugh like them- 
selves. But the novelty at length disappeared, and then Denni- 
son Wentworth was only a ' ' colored boy. ' ' 

But the Christian men and women of those days were never 
ready to recognize his equality before God. And when the Con- 
gregational Church was built in 1828-29, that there might be 
no misunderstanding, as to the sentiment of the builders or pro- 
jectors, a pew was built in the northwest corner of the gallery, 
and dedicated to the negro race as the "Negro Pen." and there it 
remains today, a witness to the prejudice that was to culminate 
in after years, in outrages and mobs all over the land, produc- 
ing bitterness and wounds in society, that a whole generation 
has scarcely been able to heal. The negro could go into that 


258 History of Canaan. 

pen, and listen to the prayers, the hymns and sermons of the 
preacher, but he must come no nearer the altar of God. 

The opponents of the negro part of the plan were not idle. 
They gathered together in caucus, after the meeting of the 
proprietors, and decided that a "town meeting" should be called 
to procure if possible an unfriendly expression from the voting 
population of the towTi. The names of the men who were most 
prominent in this opposition were: Elijah Blaisdell, Joseph L. 
Richardson, Dr. Thomas Flanders, the Pattees — father and son 
— Jacob Trussell. AVilliam Campbell and many others. There 
was another reason aside from the social aspect of the affair, 
that led them to a public expression of disapproval of the negro 
question in the school. The Southern politicians were getting 
excited at the spread of Abolition sentiments, and it was a fondly 
cherished belief of our good men, that they could contribute 
something towards soothing their Southern brethren, by passing 
resolutions, denouncing the Abolitionists, having them published 
in the Neiv Hampshire Patriot, signed by the selectmen and 
clerk and then sending carefully marked copies to their senators 
and representatives in Congress. It was only a murmuring 
ripple of popular opinion, not very loud as yet but harsh, a 
murmur that was to develop an untamed wild beast. 

Indications of the mob spirit are foreshadowed in an extract 
from the diary before mentioned, under date of 

August 26, 1834. There is certainly sometliing pertaining to aristoc- 
racy in every village, Yea, in every community, of individuals. The 
man of wealth has his retainers as well as the religionist his proselytes. 
There are those who are ready to act in any capacity, even at the head 
of a mob whose intentions have been declared. Jefferson says "the 
mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of the pure govern- 
ment, as sores do to the strength of the human body." 

August 29, 1834. It seems that the principles of abolition are as con- 
tagious as the cholera. All seems to be infected with the mania. 
Amalgamation would be frightful, but that would be the result if these 
principles were carried out. 

A school is about to be opened here, where spirits of all colors are to 
receive instruction together. 

The master spirit of the age is 'benevolence. The earth, the at- 
mosphere, everything seems pregnant with the spirit of benevolence. 
What must be done, can be done. What ought to be done, will be done. 

NoYES Academy. 259 

A town meeting was warned to be held September 3d, "To 
take the sense of the qualified voters relative to the contem- 
plated Institution about to be established in this town, avowedly 
for the purpose of educating black and white children and youth 
promiscuously and without distinction and what measures to 
adopt in regard to said Institution. ' ' The meeting was held on 
the appointed day, and the following resolutions were passed : 

Whereas divers of the inhabitants of the town of Canaan have 
erected a building and obtained an act of the legislature incorporating 
them into an association by the name of Noyes Academy for the avowed 
purpose of literary instruction, and whereas George Kimball, Nathaniel 
Currier and a few others, in contempt of the feelings and wishes of their 
associates, and contrary to the views of the good citizens of the town, 
(and as we believe of the adjoining towns) have determined by their 
vote to dedicate said building and act of incorporation, to the establish- 
ment of a school for the purpose of mingling promiscuouly, for the pur- 
pose of instruction the Black as well as the white children of our coun- 
try, and have by their vote and declaration, declared that they will re- 
ceive such blacks into said Academy for instruction and into their fami- 
lies as boarders on the same terms as the whites, and compel their own 
children and boarders, and all who may attend said Academy to asso- 
ciate with them, without regard to colour, thereby not only outraging 
the feelings of the inhabitants of said town, setting aside the very dis- 
tinction the God of Nature has made in our species in colour, features, 
disposition, habits and interests, but inviting every black, who may ob- 
tain means by the aid of his own friends and by the aid of a Society 
heated by Religious and Political zeal, to a degree that would sever 
the Union for the purpose of emancipation. Therefore resolved That 
we view with abhorence every attempt to introduce among us a black 
population, and that we will use all lawful means to counteract such 

Resolved that we most devoutly wish for the emancipation of every 
black slave in our country, and that whenever any method shall be de- 
vised, to effect that object consistant with tlie rights, views and inter- 
ests of our Southern brethren, who are immediately interested, we shall 
be ready to make any sacrifice to effect it, provided it is not to mix 
them with our own free white population. 

Resolved that while we contemplate with sorrow, the hard fate of the 
African race, and lament that any of that race should be slaves, we are 
not prepared to sever the happy union of these states and inbue our 
hands in the blood of our brethren for the purpose, of having Black 
Presidents, Black Governors, Black Representatives, Black Judges, nor 
for the purpose of gratifying the religious zeal of any class of discon- 
tented citizens. 

Resolved, that we view with abhorrence the attempt of the Abo- 

260 History of Canaan. 

litiouists to establish a school in this town, for the instruction of the 
sable sons and daughters of Africanus, in common with our own sons 
and daughters and that we view with contempt every white man and 
woman who may have pledged themselves to receive black boarders or 
to compel their own children to associate with them. 

Resolved, that we will not send our children to any Academy or High 
school, where black children are educated in common with white chil- 
dren, nor in any way knowingly encourage such schools. 

Resolved, that we will not associate with nor in any way countenance 
any man or woman who shall hereafter persist in attempting to establish 
a school in this town for exclusive education of blacks, or for their edu- 
cation in conjunction with the whites. 

Daniel Pattee, John Shephard and Elijah Blaisdell were 
chosen to procnre the publication of the foregoing preamble and 
resolutions. And to nominate "seventeen" persons in different 
parts of the town with instructions "to use all lawful means to 
prevent the establislunent of said school and if established to 
counteract its influence." 

These men were : 

James Eastman Jacob Trussel 

March Barber Sylvanus jMorgan 

E. Blaisdell Daniel Pattee, Jr. 

Stephen Ward D. B. Whittier 

John Shephard Samuel Paddleford 

Elijah Miller Timothy B. Dudley 

George Walworth William Campbell 

Adam Pollard Joseph L. Richardson 

Under date of the same day the diary says: 

The people of Canaan assembled this day at the Town House to con- 
sider the recent measures of the Abolitionists in reference to the School. 
After listening for some time to the mobocratic vituperation of Elijah, 
a long list of inflammatory resolutions pertinent to the occasion were 
read and passed. Ah, me! the old Jacobins are determined not to have 
the niggers here. 

Great efforts were made to rally the disaffected and to create 
disaffection. Mr. Blaisdell took hold of the growing sentiment 
of opposition, petted it, rubbed it the wrong way of the fur, to 
irritate it, then presented the resolutions, all of which together 
with his speech, were duly reported in the New Hampshire 

NoYES Academy. 261 

No one raised an objection, no friends of the school took part 
in the meeting. The number voting for the unfriendly resolu- 
tions was 86, out of over 300 votes on the check list. The 
friends of the school were jubilant and considered themselves 
to be a strong and decided majority among the people. Poor, 
deluded mortals! Little did they realize the aggrieved spirit 
that animated those 86 votes. So firmly convinced that they were 
attending to their own affairs, and that no one ought to molest 
them, they took measures to open the Academy. 

On the 11th of September, 1834, the trustees met for the first 
time in the Academy, when such business as came before them 
was transacted, and the following circular was passed to be 
printed, and put in circulation : 

To The American Public. 

The undersigned Trustees of the Noyes Academy, in conformity with 
the wishes of a large majority of the donors of said Academy, and with 
the unanimous vote of the corporators, named in the act of the Legis- 
lature, have come to the resolution to admit to the privileges of this 
Institution, colored youth of good character on equal terms with whites 
of like character. In adopting this principle the Trustees deem that 
they are reducing to practice the spirit and letter of the Declaration of 
our National Independence, of the Constitution and laws of New Hamp- 
shire, and the Bills of Rights of all the States of this United Republic, 
except those which have made literature a crime, and prohibited the 
reading of the Bible under heavy penalties. 

In the State of New Hampshire according to the laiv, character and 
not complexion, is the basis of every distinction, either of honor or in- 
famy, reward or punishment. But what greater punishment can there 
be, what greater degradation, than to deprive the soul of its proper 
sustenance, the knowledge of divine and human things? Much better 
were it to kill the body than to doom the mind to ignorance and vice. 

It is unhappily true, that heretofore the colored portion of our fellow 
citizens, even in the free States, while their toil and blood have con- 
tributed to establish, and their taxes equally with those of the whites, 
to maintain our free system of Education, have practically been excluded 
from the benefits of it. This Institution, propose to restore, so far as it 
can, to this neglected and injured class the privileges of literary, moral 
and religious instruction. We propose to uncover a fountain of pure and 
healthful learning, holding towards all the language of the Book of 
Life: "Ho! EVERY ONE that thirsteth let him come and drink." 
We propose to afford colored youth a fair opportunity to show that 
they are capable, equally with the whites, of improving themselves in 
every scientific attainment, every social virtue, and every Christian 

262 History op Canaan, 

If however we are mistaken in supposing, that they possess such 
capacity; if, as some assert, they are naturally and irremediably stupid, 
and incorrigibly vicious, then the experiment we propose will prove this 
fact; and will in any event furnish valuable data, upon which the ex- 
cited patriotism and piety of the land may predicate suitable measures 
in time to come, or may i-elapse into undisturbed repose, and forever 
forbear to form designs upon this agitating subject. 

There are in the midst of this republic, of slaves and men nominally 
free, a number much greater than the population of the six New Eng- 
land States, and about nine times greater than the entire people of the 
State of New Hampshire. This mighty mass of human beings, of in- 
telligent spirits and active passions must remain here, for weal or for 
wo, until the Creator of all shall come to judge the world. They must 
not only remain here but they must in spite of all human efforts, go 
on to increase in a ratio, which inspires apprehension in those who are 
conscious of doing them continual wrong. 

If, therefore, there really exists between them and the whites, that 
natural and invincible antipathy, which many allege as an argument 
against our plan, how important and necessary is it for the welfare of 
this whole country that some of their own color should be humanized, 
christianized and qualified to gain that access to their minds and that 
control over their evil propensities which upon the above proposition 
it is impossible for any white ever to acquire. 

It is a familiar remark, that it would be an incalculable injury to this 
country, if the restraint which the influence and instructions of the 
Catholic Clergj' impose, were to be removed from the uneducated and 
depraved among the Irish emigrants. The total number of those emi- 
grants does not exceed one fifth of the colored Americans! If, on the 
other hand, the alleged antipathy does not exist, then one of the most 
common and formidable objections to the free and equal participation 
of all our youth in the means and opportunities of improvement, van- 
ishes at once and forever. 

We propose to do nothing for the colored man — but to leave him 
at liberty to do something for himself. It is not our wish to raise him 
out of his place nor into it — but to remove the unnatural pressure 
which now paralizes his faculties and fixes him to the earth. We wish 
to afford him an impartial trial of his ability to ascend the steeps 
of science and to tread the narrow way, which leadeth unto life. We 
wish to see him start as fairly as others, unconfined by fetters, unin- 
cumbered with burdens and boyaut with hope; and if he shall then fail, 
we shall at the worst have this consolation, that we have done our 
utmost to confer upon him those excellent endowments, which the wis- 
dom of God and the solemn appeal of our fathers have taught us to 
regard as the appropriate distinction of immortal and infinitely im- 
provable beings. 

We profess to be republicans, not jacobins, nor agrarians; we think 
with a great and liberal Englishman, that political equality means 
"not a right to an equal part, but an equal right to a part," not a right 

NoYES Academy. ' 263 

to take from others, but an equal right with others to make for our- 
selves. We profess to be Christians and we look with humble reliance 
for the blessing of Him, with whom "there is neither Greek nor Jew, Bar- 
barian nor Scythian bond nor free, but Christ is all in all." 

This declaration is intended to be preliminary to a detailed plan for 
the instruction and government of the Academy, which with the terms 
of tuition, the qualifications for admission, the time of commence- 
ment, and the name of the instructor, will form the subject of a future 
and early communication to our fellow citizens. 

George Kimball, Canaan, N. H. 

Nathaxlel Curelee, do, 

Timothy Tilton, do, 

John H. Haeeis, do, 

David L. Child, Boston, Mass., 

Samitel E. Sewall. do, 

William C. Muxeoe, Portland, Me., 

N. P. Rogers, Plymouth, N. H., 

George Kent, Concord, N. H., 

Saml-el H. Cox, New York City, 

Canaan, N. H., Sept. 11th, 1834. 

The same day there was a public meeting at the Congrega- 
tional Meeting House. Rev. ]Mr. Bobbins, a ^Methodist minister, 
was invited to open the meeting with prayer. He almost declined, 
but finally consented. He prayed xery cautiously, asking God 
to bless the enterprise if it was to be for His glory, but as he 
did not believe it was God's intention to mix blacks and whites, 
he prayed that all the efforts might be put to confusion. A 
careful man. this Bobbins, but not honest as God and the law 
require men to be honest. The meeting was then addressed by 
Mr. Da"vnd L. Child of Boston, followed by Samuel E. Sewall of 
Boston and N. P. Rogers of Plymouth. 

This meeting was interesting to all the friends of the school. 
The principal points upon which INIr. Child dwelt were: (I.) 
The unlimited power and control of the master over the slave. 
(II.) The capacity of the black to receive needed knowledge, 
and (III.) the possibility of safe emancipation. He illustrated 
these points with facts, some of them revolting to human nature. 

''Sept. 12, 1834," the diary goes on: "An address was deliv- 
ered at the Academy by Mr. Abdy from England, a traveler, 
upon the subject of slaverj^ as it existed in Europe, contrasted 
with it here. Mr. Child followed with some cheering words. 

264 History of Canaan. 

Then George Kimball, the lawyer, being filled with zeal, prophe- 
sied glowinglv of the great benefits that were to result to the 
human race from the small beginnings here in Canaan." At 
length, "Sept. 14th. Tranquility is again restored to our vil- 
lage. The Abolitionists are gone, and Elijah and Jacob have 
retired from sight to their several occupations in life. Now let 
us wait for the next moment for both parties have become so 
hostile that aggressions must follow." 

In those days there existed a class of men. whose minds were 
constantly seizing upon new and unheard of horrors, with which 
to influence and arouse the indignation of such as are always 
shocked at the recital of outrage and wrong. This class of 
persons like to pass from one state of indignation into another 
with abruptness, and always find the succeeding condition more 
intense than the preceding. This morbid feeling had been 
strained to a high tension, by the recital of the outrages and 
murder committed upon William ^Morgan, by the ]\Iasons of New 
York, and by the revelations of imaginary horrors, that were 
daily transpiring, within the guarded recesses of the lodge room. 
It was not difficult to transfer the sympathies of these awful 
imaginings to the actual horrors which were being daily recited, 
in relation to the black slaves. Their wrongs were visible, tan- 
gible realities, and seemed to cry to Heaven for redress. That 
cry was heard in every hamlet and village in New England, and 
awoke the sympathies of philanthropists into sudden and some- 
times unhealthv acti\dtv. 

It is possible, that the action of the trustees, inviting "col- 
ored youth," to partake of the benefits of the Academy, might 
have had its origin in a desire to secure to itself the benefits of 
the fund which several philanthropic gentlemen had set apart 
for the education of "colored youth," but certain it is, that some 
two years before the establishment of "Noyes Academy" efforts 
were commenced for the establishment of a ]\Ianual Labor School, 
somewhere in New England, to promote the improvement of the 
free people of color. Several thousand dollars, the sum was 
stated as high as $15,000, were subscribed and several places 
were recommended as suitable for such an undertaking. George 
Kimball, Esq., who was an enthusiast in everything he under- 
took, exerted himself with great assiduity, to influence the trus- 


tees and patrons of Xoyes Academy to admit pupils without 
regard to color, to the advantages of the institution. 

When this decision was announced, as it was by the trustees 
in their circular of the 11th of September, it was decided that 
the subscription with all its patronage, should be bestowed upon 
Xoyes Academy, thus securing to it a permanent fund and plac- 
ing its success bevond a doubt. But the hostile sentiments which 
met them at the threshold, and which soon developed into un- 
governed rage, caused the withholding of these funds, and 
it has not been possible to trace them with certainty. But it 
is probable, when the difficulties in Oberlin College, Ohio, which 
were caused by the same sentiments, were settled by opening 
its doors to blacks and whites alike, that generous subscription 
went to swell the funds of that institution. 

But to go back to the facts. After the meeting of the trus- 
tees on the 11th of September, a committee was dispatched to 
Andover Theological Seminary, for a ''sound and accomplished 
teacher." Doctors Skinner and Woods, reconunended Mr. Wil- 
liam Scales, of the senior class, who accepted the position, and 
appointed the first of March as the date of opening the school. 

Encouraged bv the cheering call of the circular of the trus- 
tees, fourteen colored youth and children resorted to the school, 
advancing with trembling steps to the enjoyment of privileges, 
to them at least unexpectedly presented. Besides these there 
were twenty-eight white pupils, at the opening. And it looked 
as if the school was going on in peace and prosperity. Of the 
demeanor of the colored pupils, and it is upon good authority, 
that "they were modest and inoffensive in their deportment, in 
their manners polite and unassuming, their lives unblemished, in 
their application and improvement their capacities and intel- 
lectual attainments they compared favorably with the other 
pupils." The friends of the school believed thej' saw in all the 
signs a token of God's approbation of their endeavors, and they 
rested securely upon their labors. 

In examining a lot of old manuscripts, I find several letters 
from friends, which sive a little insight into the affairs of the 
school. Several short extracts follow: "Oct. 22, 1831:. ]May 
Harris commenced the female department three or four weeks 
ago. Has about twenty scholars." "Canaan, Oct. 28, 1834. 

266 History of Canaan, 

Mr. Currier has returned from Boston. He brings intelligence 
that David L. Child, Esq., will come on in about six weeks and 
take charge of the school. The receipt of this interesting news 
affected each party in a different manner. There was a joyous 
rubbing of hands among our friends. Kimball had to holler 
long and loud. Old Dr. Tilton smiled all over. He has declared 
that the only epitaph he desires upon his tombstone is that he 
was 'The Slaves' Friend.' Col. Isaac Towle gave a grunt of 
satisfaction. You know, he is a very positive man. His 'I will' 
and ' I won 't ' settles all controversy with him. The hostiles were 
not pleased, — in fact they were mad — very mad ! Trussell, 
Arvin, old Cobb, and Blaisdell, were hardly peaceable for some 
days. Their minds were much preoccupied. I am told that 
persons who approached them upon business matters received 
only such answers as 'Abolition scimi,' 'villains,' 'perjured 
Masons,' 'unconstitutional acts,' &c. But for these men, who 
like Cassius 'have a lean and hungry look' there would be gen- 
eral cheerfulness among the people. Parson Fuller will teach 
the school until the arrival of Mr. C. He entered upon the task 
yesterday. Probably not more than twenty pupils attend. I 
do not go yet." 

"One thing further, I understand the circular is published, 
and the picture of this town is drawn with a master hand. I 
give you one sentence, which ought to melt and soften the hard 
hearts of those creatures who are base enough to oppose this 
wonderful scheme of Philanthropy." This sentence is the one 
which refers to their doing nothing for the colored man, but to 
leave him at liberty to do something for himself. 

Miss Mary Harris was engaged to teach the female department. 
"Canaan, Dec. 23, 1834. The school building stands where it 
was placed, a monument of the rashness of the projectors." 
As time passed on the excitement increased, until the town was 
a scene of bitterness, suspicion and hatred mingled in society, 
and all kindliness seemed to be crowded out. The friends of 
the school were sanguine and fearless. The opponents were 
sullen and thoughtful. Old Mrs. Nichols said: "Mr. Kimball 
ought to 'a-been abed and asleep before he got us into such a 
tarnation scrape." Col. Daniel Pattee was greatly alarmed and 
threatened "extermination bv fire and sword." 

NoYES Academy. 267 

Mr. Wesley P. Burpee, with pugnacious gravity, bobbed his 
head and declared, "This thing is iTuconstitutional, Sir! We 
must put it down. Sir ! ' ' Many secret caucuses of these men were 
held during the winter, and it was not until after long and 
mature deliberation, that a positive plan was resolved upon. 

Another letter of January 22, 1835, says: "Thirteen colored 
persons are now attending school. Kimball has just returned 
from Providence with six. He intends building a large boarding 
house. ' ' 

During the winter Mr. Kimball devoted himself to collecting 
funds for the school, and on his return in February, he an- 
nounced that he had been more successful than he even hoped. 
The school was now assured of permanence. He sold his house, 
next north of the Currier store at that time, now the second, 
and moved into the Wilson house at the corner, opposite A. S. 
Green's, with the intention of boarding all the black pupils, 
some twenty of w^hom were announced as coming on the first of 
March, when it was anticipated the "Nigger school" was to 
begin. He also announced his intention of building a boarding 
house in the field near the Academy, for the accommodation of 
black and white pupils. An earnest effort was now made by 
the good people to raise money to purchase a bell for the Acad- 
emy, but they were not successful. ]\Ir. Scales came on Sunday, 
the first day of IMarcli. On JMarch 31st a mulatto came from 
Boston to attend the school. 

I now refer to the diary, date of April 10, 1835. "Oscar goes 
to school." "One colored man by the name of Thomas Paul, 
from Boston, has arrived. Did you suppose mother would board 
the hlacJcs. No! She has enough else to do." 

"May 21. Great exertions are making to rouse up a revival 
of religion. Another colored person, a lady from Boston, has 
arrived. Show 'em in! No aristocracy here." 

A letter of June 10th says: "As yet only six 'colored youths' 
have arrived. Two of them black as night. Kimball boards 
them. This week is vacation. We cannot yet tell what the 
result of this school will be. Nothing but rare courage and devo- 
tion in the projectors to push their plans through good and evil 
reports will preserve it. The fact that the whole slave popula- 
tion of the South are coming here, shocks the sensibilities of the 

268 History of Canaan. 

toothless, eyeless, senseless part of the community. The old, 
superannuated dotards sigh at the coming events, and wish they 
had never been born. Because, forsooth, a black man has come 
among us." 

Rumors of the most absurd character were set afloat against 
the school and the people. The village was to be overrun Avith 
negroes from the South; the slaves were coming here to line the 
streets with their huts, and to inundate the industrious town 
with paupers and vagabonds. Other tales, too indecent to be 
reported, were circulated with wicked industry. As the 
Fourth of July approached violence began to be threatened, 
and it was announced that on that day an attack was to be made 
on the house. The day arrived and hundreds of men assem- 
bled, some as actors, others as spectators. The building was 
approached in a threatening manner by a body of about seventy 
men, many of whom were from adjacent towns, armed with clubs 
and other missiles and uttering fierce threats and imprecations. 
They drew up in front of the house. The leader of this brave 
band was Jacob Trussell, who announced to his followers that 
the object of their "virtuous wrath was before them." Several 
approached and attempted the door. There is in every man a 
sense of right and wrong which makes even the most hardened 
criminal hesitate to commit an unlawful act, even in the pres- 
ence of his fellow conspirators. A sudden paralysis seemed to 
seize them. A window in the second stoiy was suddenly thrown 
open and Dr. Timothy Tilton, a magistrate, appeared and after 
addressing a few words of warning, began to take down the 
names of the visitors in a loud voice. Thus he called the names 
of "Jacob Trussell. Daniel Pattee, Wesley P. Burpee, Daniel 
Pattee, Jr., Salmon P. Cobb, March Barber. Phineas Eastman," 
and so on. Then the band of rioters hesitated, fell back a little, 
and soon retreated, with undisguised speed, leaving behind them 
only their leader, who stood his ground valiantly for a while 
looking defiantly at the offensive building. 

I will incorporate part of a letter dated July 15. 1835, relat- 
ing to the movements of the allied forces of Canaan, Enfield, 
Dorchester and Hanover. The letter says : 

On the 4th of July the "Jacobins," we call them "Jac's" from old 
Jacob, their leader, held a caucus in the hall of E. Martin, to concert 

NoYES Academy. 269 

measures for the ejectment of Kimball, Scales and the blacks from this 
town. In the meantime a large number of persons from this and adjoin- 
ing towns had collected, and waited to hear the result of their delibera- 
tions. They thronged the street and fields of Canaan, clamorous and 
excited. At last the hall door was thrown open, and out came old Camp- 
bell, Daniel Pattee and sons, old Kinney, &c, &c, who proceeded immedi- 
ately to the Meeting House, where Joseph L. Richardson, a man of fame 
and years, harraugued them from the deacon's seat. He told them of 
his love for the whole human race, of his indefatigable exertions in the 
Legislature, to cause the petitions of his constituents to be "read a third 
time and passed." But, alas! they were lost! He spoke of rights and 
equity, of public nuisance and mobs, he deprecated any coersive meas- 
ures on the part of any people. In fine, the tender sympathies of the 
multitude were touched by the glowing imagery of this great and far- 
famed man. May he live to a good old age and always imagine himself 
quelling mobs. The fact is, the people had met on the Fourth, as notice 
had been previously given for the purpose of tearing down the Acad- 
emy. But they did not do it. 

A procession was formed at the hotel headed by Ben Porter and 
marched to the academy; an attempt was made to enter, when several 
gentlemen who were, unexpectedly by the mob, inside, hoisted a window, 
and proceeded to take the names of the leaders. The crowd dispersed 
as speedily as possible, muttering curses and menaces, and adjourned 
for one week. On Saturday, the 11th, they met at the old church in 
large numbers as before. William Campbell was moderator; they were 
noisy and excited, more so, if possible, than on the previous occasion. 
The only point I could gather in their proceedings was that the "n/fifgrer" 
was a nuisance, and must be removed from town. In the midst of 
their confusion. Doctor Flanders told them that the corporation had 
not in any respect proceeded according to law. There was a momentary 
lull in the assembly and a committee was appointed to inquire into the 
legality of the proceedings. This committee are to report at an ad- 
journed meeting in two weeks. 

When the people again assembled to hear the report of the 
committee, there was as before much excitement and they were 
united in one respect at least — hatred to the blacks. But they 
were divided in sentiment when the cry was raised to destroy 
the building. It was no doubt the intention of the leaders on 
each of these occasions to destroy the building and break up the 
school, but they could not rouse their followers up to that law- 
less act. So it was resolved that a legal town meeting should be 
called on the 31st of July to see what "measures the town will 
take to expel the blacks from the town of Canaan," and to act in 
relation to the black school. 

270 History of Canaan.' 

Aside from the political aspect of the question, the results of 
which were of momentous importance to the country, there was 
a large portion of the community, who could not tolerate the 
negro in their society. To show the animus of the feeling that 
prejudiced this class of the community, I copy from the New 
Hampshire Patriot of June, 1835; the grammar belongs to the 
press : 

Since the establishment of the school, it has been no uncommon spec- 
tacle to witness colored gentlemen walking arm in arm with what ought 
to be respectable white females. And that respectable people opposed 
to the school, as well as others, have been invited to parties where the 
colored portion of the school were also invited guests. It is said that 
one of the principal agitators of the slave question in this state, George 
Kimball, Esq., and his family, sit at table with a half dozen colored 
people, while a white girl attends upon them as servant. "We do not 
wonder that the white people of Canaan should consider such an estab- 
lishment a "nuisance," and that they should adopt all lawful meas- 
ures for its removal. The people of this state have more than once 
been reproached as favoring the pernicious schemes of the Abolitionists, 
and as encouraging a practical amalgamation of colors, on account of 
this school. And while we would counsel our friends in that part of 
the State to persevere in their efforts until the "Nuisance" is abated, we 
would suggest to them the propriety of mild and peaceable measures, 
such as the public sentiment and laws of the State will justify. 

From the other side we learn that ]\Irs. Hubbard Harris had 
a tea party, and invited the blacks — they attended. This was 
very shocking to several who attended. This party gave occa- 
sion to much vQry bad scandal. Mrs. "Wallace had a tea party, 
— • and did not invite the blacks. Kimball and wife, Mr. Scales 
and a score more were present. Mrs. Flanders was also invited. 
"What an insult!" exclaimed Mrs. Flanders, supposing the 
blacks had had an invitation. She declared "she was so mad 
she was insane for half an hour, ' ' the w^hich no one doubted who 
knew her. 

The 31st of July, 1835, is memorable in the annals of Canaan, 
memorable for the disorder it evolved as well as for the remark- 
able resolutions that were permitted to go upon its records, 
where they remain as a perpetual memento of the slow progress 
of public opinion. Joseph L. Eiehardson was moderator. The 
house was crowded with men filled with rage, rum and riotous 
intentions. Thev had worked themselves into the belief that a 

No YES Academy. 271 

"legal" town meeting could do lawfully what it was unlawful 
for an individual to do. They were willing to shift the odium 
of the outrage of what they were about to do upon the "legal" 
town meeting. A committee was appointed to report a plan for 
the action of the town. After much labor, that committee pre- 
sented a series of resolutions, embracing within their tortuous 
folds the plan that was to destroy the school, or rather as those 
who were seeking an excuse for their acts to "abate the public 
Nuisance." And now we come to the reports, the author of 
which sleeps in obscurity: 

Whereas believing certain individuals, by the practice of fraud and 
deception have abused public opinion abroad in reference to the state 
of feeling in this town respecting the colored school here, and believ- 
ing that designing demagogues and desperate Politicians abroad in con- 
nection with a few sordid spirits in this town who are influenced more 
by the love of gain than the love of God and man, are determined to 
continue their black operations in this town against the wishes of a 
large majority of its citizens. Although they have once and again 
expressed their disaprobation and have borne and forbourn until for- 
bearance had ceased to be a "virtue." Therefore Resolved That from 
what our own eyes have seen and our ears have heard respecting the 
close intimacy that exists between some of the colored boys and white 
females, we believe if suffered to go on, it will not be long before we 
shall have living evidence of an amalgamation of blood. Resolved 
That we consider the Colored School in this town a Public Nuisance 
and that it is the duty of the town to take immediate measures to re- 
move said nuisance. 

Voted the town take immediate measures to remove the house in 
which the colored school is kept. 

"Voted that the Selectmen select the spot on which to set said build- 

Voted that a committee be chosen to superintend the moving of said 
building at the expense of the town. 

Voted that a committee of 15 or 20 persons be chosen for said commit- 
tee and the following were chosen viz.: 

Jacob Trussell (still at 90 broken and defiant) 

Chamberlain Packard Jr (killed by God) 

Wm Campbell (a foolish old infidel) 

Herod Richardson ] 

Elijah R. Colby l (dead and rotten and now forgotten) 

Americus Gates I 

Daniel Pattee Jr (a blasphemous cripple) 

Nathaniel Shepherd (Common drunkard) 

Luther Kinne (Ossified legs) 

Peter Stevens 

272 History of Canaan. 

Robert B. Clark (dead iu his bed) 
Salmon P. Cobb (an old witch too mean to live or die) 
Daniel Campbell 
James Pattee (a drunkai-d) 
John Fales Jr (an idiot) 

Wesley P. Burpee (an awful death from cancer) 
Benj. W. Porter (drowned) 

Bartlett Hoit (killed by God after having stolen money sent him) 
to keep his wife's father from starving or thrown on the town.) 
March Barber (old foolish jealous and insane) 

The words inclosed in the parentheses after each name are on 
the town records but were put there by someone afterwards. 

Voted that the measures adopted by the town for removing said 
building, be commenced by the lOth day of August at 7 a. m. and be 
continued from day to day, without intermission, so as to satisfy the 
calls of nature, until the moving of said building be compleated. 

Voted unanimously that the following Preamble and Resolutions be 
sent to the editor of the Christian Register and Boston Observer, with 
a request that he would give them an insertion iu his paper: 

Whereas a report of the managers of the Mass. Antislavery Soc. has 
been published in the Christian Register and Boston Observer bearing 
date July 11th 1835, containing statements, that the inhabitants of 
Canaan, N. H., are generally in favor of the colored school in said 
town. Therefore resolved that the publication in that paper relating 
to said school is without foundation in truth and a libel upon the 
publick as more than four fifths of the inhabitants of this town in the 
estimation of this meeting are decidedly opposed to said school and are 
determined to take effectual measures to remove it. 

Resolved that a copy of these proceedings be sent to the N. H. 
Patriot and State Gazette and be signed by the Selectmen and Town 
Clerk. With the request that all the papers in New England insert them 

The meeting then dissolved and the noisy crowd left the vil- 
lage uttering threats and imprecations. But the chiefs in this 
"legal" conspiracy, it is said, held a private conference in the 
hall that lasted imtil morning. Wherein they discussed the 
responsibilities they were assuming, and some of the more cau- 
tious desired that they might receive counsel from some eminent 
lawyer. They accordingly consulted Josiah Quincy of Rumney, 
but his views conformed so greatly to their own, that they sus- 
pected there might be more sympathy than law in his opinion. 
They then consulted Ichabod Bartlett, who it was known was 

NoYES Academy. 273 

very outspoken against the Abolition excitement, but still was 
a careful and safe adviser. Mr. Bartlett's opinion did not arrive, 
however, until it was too late to save the building, but it is said 
to have been of such a nature that many of those who were 
engaged in the outrage of moving the building were rather 
anxious that that act in their lives should be forgotten. He told 
them, as I heard from the late Caleb Blodgett, Esq., who was 
high sheriff at the time, and had recently moved into town, that 
210 vote of the town could ' ' legalize ' ' a mob ; that the outrage 
the}' were about, to commit was felony at common law ; that 
each individual engaged in it was personally responsible for all 
the damage that might accrue, and that each and every man 
became lawless and criminal whenever he or they deprived others 
of their property or of the right to live peaceably in the com- 
munity. But, after all, he thought there was little danger to be 
feared from prosecutions, because in the then exasperated state 
of public opinion upon the slavery question, there was no jury 
in the state who would find them guilty; but all high excite- 
ments are reactionary, beware of the "second thought." For 
this advice the town paid Mr. Bartlett $5. They had better 
have paid him thousands and sought his advice sooner. 

The particulars which follow are taken chiefly from letters 
written at the time, by parties, as may readily be seen, who w^ere 
not unfriendly to the school. As this is the only record of those 
eventful days I adopt it as authentic, believing it to be a vera- 
cious tale. The first letter is dated August 15, 1835, and com- 
mences thus : 

The whole world will soou be awake to the trausaetious here. Since 
the 31st every cloud has been black with rumors. Upon the wiugs of 
every breeze was blown an account of coming events. From the tongue 
of every tattler escaped a direful foreboding. Emaciated groups of 
human forms, were to be seen in sheds and secret places,* plotting and 
planning affairs for the 10th. Sometimes a silence not unlike that 
which precedes the earthquake prevailed. Scandal, "damnable innu- 
endoes," hell-engendered lies, were eagerly received by the loquacious 
humor of this public. This is not a vision. It is a fact. But I pass 
now to the 10th. The day dawned, the sun never rose with more love- 
liness. Its meridian splendor is not an apt comparison in dog days. 
In the morn we greet him, at noon we flee from him. The cloud that 
had so long hung threateningly over us, now assumed a most fearful 


274 History of Canaan. 

aspect. The people led by villains were mad, and in their madness had 
become destroyers. I was standing at my desk writing. Saw a man, 
Mr. B., pass with an iron bar. Soon I saw several more pass with bars 
and axes. Now a wagon loaded with chains hurries along. I looked 
out at the door. The street was full of people and cattle in all direc- 
tions. A "string" of fifty yoke are just turning the corner by the old 
Church, all from Enfield. William Currier at their head. Thomas Mer- 
rill was also a leader. The destruction of that beautiful edifice has al- 
ready begun. Trussell was the first man on the ground. He is Cap- 
tain of the gang. His features show the smile of satisfied revenge. 
He thus addressed them: "Gentlemen, your work is before you. This 
town has decreed this school a nuisance, and it must be abated. If any 
man obstructs you in these labors, let him be abated also. Now fall to, 
and remove this fence." 

The first blow was struck by Benjamin Porter, who seized an 
axe and attacked the fence. He was an active lieutenant of his 
master and was everywhere present encouraging the lookers-on 
to labor. Stephen Smith was at work for Sheriff Blodgett that 
day. Mr. Blodgett stayed at home. He would not by his pres- 
ence, show sympathy with the brave band who were working 
for applause from the South, but was interested in the progress 
of the work. He sent Mr. Smith up to bring him reports. Mr. 
Smith said that he stood looking at the wreckers, thinking what a 
pity to see that beautiful edifice destroyed ! The master came 
around that way and seeing a man idle he spoke out promptly: 
''Smith, here take that axe and help clear away that fence." 
Mr. Smith seized the axe and when the fence was cleared away, 
wondered why he had allowed that man to influence him to do 
that bad work. Many others have worked under the same subtle 
influence, and had no regrets until the will of the master was 
accomplished. The account continues: 

When they first appeared and seized upon the front fence to pull it 
away, they were met by Doctor Tilton, who, as a magistrate, com- 
manded theni to disperse and begun to read the riot act. 

There was a perceptable hesitation when Trussell stepped forward, 
seizing an axe and exclaimed: "Well, we have heard all that before, 
but it won't pass with us today. Boys, fall to here! If that man inter- 
rupts you any more remove him." Then striking the first blow, he 
encouraged his crowd to deeds unheard of before in this town. I need 
not say that there was sadness among our friends. We were sad at the 
unappeasable madness of the people, who blindly followed that revenge- 
ful man, but in the days to come there will be reaction. The reading of 

No YES Academy. 275 

the riot act by Doctor Tilton was the ouly obstruction offered by the 
friends of the school. They chose to suffer affliction and the destruc- 
tion of their property rather than shed the blood of these misguided 
men. They got the shoes under a little past 12 at noon. Trussell stands 
upon the front to give orders. The team is attached. Ninety-five yoke 
of cattle. It is straightened. The chains break. They try again and 
again the chains break! Almost in vain do they try. Thermometer 
ranges at 116 in the sun. At half past 7 they had succeeded in drawing 
it into the road, when they adjourned till next day. The cattle were 
in the meantime driven down to William Martin's meadow, where they 
were turned loose for the night. I need not tell you of the band of 
earnest philanthropists, — men and women, — who met together in 
secret that dark night and wept and prayed because of the destruction 
that had befallen their beautiful hopes. A man from Enfield, Joshua 
"Devil" Stevens, as he was called, set fire to the building that night, 
intending to destroy it, but the attempt failed. 

The chains were weak, doubled they were still weak. A swift mes- 
senger was dispatched to the Shakers at Enfield and to Lyman's Bridge 
at Lyman for the cables iffeed there. He returned before morning. 
Tuesdaj-, the 11th, the progress of destruction was more rapid. The 
chains held firm when the order was given "to straighten the team." 
A little before noon they had reached our store where they halted in 
front, and at once demanded that a barrel of rum should be rolled out 
or they would demolish the doors. Mr. C. and myself thought it best 
to yield to their threats, but William said "No, he would sooner die 
than yield an inch to these fanatical villains." He backed himself 
against the door, determined to resist to the last. But he was removed 
after much struggling, and they had the rum. Do you believe we did 
not wish it might be hell fire to their bodies? 

Another scene occurred here worth relating. Mrs. Wallace 
came out of the house, mounted the fence, and began to har- 
rangue that crowd as only an earnest woman can when the 
spirit moves her. She was telling them some very wholesome 
truths, when Mr. C. came up and seizing her from behind, carried 
her into the house exclaiming, ' ' Get into the house and shut up 
your mouth. Don 't you see, if you get 'em mad they '11 pull my 
house down too." 

Any person, man or woman, who, passing quietly along the 
street, then, did not hurrah with them, was insulted by those 
ruffians from Enfield, Hanover and Dorchester. 

The cattle were allowed to rest in the heat of the day while 
the company ate the food prepared for them by the selectmen. 
Joseph Dustin was an abolitionist; he did not go to the hauling 

276 History of Canaan. 

the first day. He fed the company to the amount of $16.44, 
which the town paid. The second day j\Ir. Blodgett requested 
him in behalf of the town, to prepare a dinner for the crowd. 
He killed a beef and cooked it all. It was eaten and paid for, by 
the selectmen out of the town treasury. 

It is said that the selectmen were never averse to the advice 
of Mr. Weeks and j\Ir. Blodgett, who did not appear as open 
advocates of ^dolence, but whenever any suggestion or motive 
particularly diabolical was offered, these men would give it 
strength and courage by clothing it in legal language. 

Having rested and refreshed themselves the crowd were in no bet- 
ter humor than before. The rum had not made them peaceable. The 
team was hitched up and "straightened" with loud imprecations and 
curses and progi-essed slowly. When they were about opposite Parson 
Fuller's house, they rested for water. Mrs. F., a very plucky woman, 
when she saw the intent to use her water bucket, rushed out and cut the 
rope, thus dropping the bucket into the well, and declaring loudly that 
"her bucket should not be polluted by the touch of such foul lips." 
The men spoke to her with oaths and threats, she replied "She had been 
used to such acts for some time past she would be disappointed if they 
ever repented of their crimes or became gentlemen." 

This day was hotter than the preceding, yet with retToubled ardor 
these men persisted in their crime, until they hauled the house on to 
the corner of the Common, in front and close by the old church. They 
arrived upon the spot just at dark, so completely fagged out, both oxen 
and men, that it was utterly impossible to do anything further. There 
it stands, shattered, mutilated, inwardly beyond reparation almost, a 
monument of the folly of and infuriated malice of a basely deceived 

Four weeks from last Thursday, they are to assemble again to draw 
it upon the spot chosen by the selectmen for its location. Many aggra- 
vating circumstances accompanying this transaction cannot be related 
here. The Institution is broken up. The aggressors declare boldly that 
they fear no retribution at the hands of the law. They rely upon pub- 
lic opinion and the authorities to sustain them in taking the accom- 
plishment of their unlawful wishes into their own hands. 

When the building had rested in front of the Church, the 
company was called to order by Jacob Trussell, when several 
sentiments appropriate to the occasion, were prepared and read 
on the ground by Phineas Eastman, and received with great ap- 

1st. The Constitution of the United States. Based on a compromise 
between the North and the South, each pledging themselves to protect 

Notes Academy. 277 

each others rights and privileges, it can only be maintained by a due 
regard to the rights of the respective parties. 

The second . 

3rd. The Revolutionary Patriot>t of the Xorth and South. They fought 
togather for the privilege of making their own laws, their sous would 
be unworthy of their sires, if they should surrender their rights into 
the hands of the Abolitionists. 

4th. The Patriots of Xew Hampshire. They will fight for the rights 
and privileges of the Southern brethren which are guaranteed them by 
the Constitution, so long as there is a man that can shoulder or handle 
a gun. 

5th. The Abolitionist.'^. They must be checked and restrained within 
Constitutional limits or American liberty will find a speedy grave. 

6th. Let there be a union of all honest men, throughout all the 
United States, and an undivided and uncompromising opposition be 
presented to irredicate Abolition wherever found. 

These resolutions with a description of the day's doing were 
sent to the Xew Hampshire Patriot, signed by Jacob Trussell, 
conmiittee, and printed in that paper. 

The second one was received with immense noise, it reads 
as follows: 

The Abolitionists, a combination of disorganizers led on by an Eng- 
lishman sent to this country to sow seeds of discord between the North 
and South, May he be removed from the continent as suddenly as the 
Noyes Academy has this day been removed fi'om the control of the 

It was then voted that Scales, the teacher, and the blacks 
have one month in which to leave town. That if. on the re- 
assembling of this company on the 10th of September, they 
were found within its limits, they would be removed by force. 

On separating. Mr. ]March Barber, in behalf of the town and 
the committee, tendered his thanks to the people of Enfield, 
Hanover and Dorchester, for their efficient and energetic as- 
sistance. The chiefs from Dorchester were Benjamin Dow, 
Joshua Burley. and Jacob Blaisdell. 

There were seven young colored boys from Rhode Island, and 
one young girl from Boston, a light mulatto, about 16 years old, 
of quiet ladylike demeanor. She boarded with ]\Irs. George Har- 
ris. She afterwards married a sailor named Castle, and lived 
in Boston. One other young girl about the same age was Miss 
Maria C, daughter of Edward Bracket of Concord, for many 

278 History of Canaan. 

years a barber in that place. She was sprightly and lively in 
manner and voice. She had sandy hair, blue eyes and light 
complexion. She arrived at noon on the first day of the attack 
upon the house and went to board with Mrs. Harris. That night 
there was much riotous noise in the street. The mob had their 
grog, and many of them had doubled their rations, which made 
them forget to go home ; and some of them forgot they ever were 

They traversed the village shouting ribald expressions and 
coarsely threatened to attack the house that sheltered those two 
young girls. There were resolute men among the abolitionists 
but during that sad day of disorder they had advised themselves 
that it would be prudent to remain in the background. 

Col. Thomas Hill lived in the house long the residence of 
Dr. Wheat, a stately man, tall and resolute. He called upon 
Col. Isaac Towle, a man of good presence, and equally resolute. 
These two went to a woodpile and hewed out two clubs suffi- 
ciently large as to need but one blow upon an assailant. They 
posted themselves about the house and remained until morning. 
Probably the darkness made cowards of these prowlers. Several 
times they came near but they neglected to make any attack. 
It was an anxious night in more than one house. 
The account continues: 

Mr. Kimball was absent during all this storm. He returned on the 
12th. after an absence of five weeks. Three students came with him, 12 
more were coming, all white. 

There is a spirit of recklessness here, and it says the blacks must 
leave the town or die before the "last drawing." There are six little 
boys, one girl, so white you would not see the difference in a crowd, and 
four as large as myself. They know their rights, but perhaps dare 
not maintain them. Just now there are threats of attacking Kim- 
ball's house, where they board. Just so suTe as the mob assails that 
house, there will be blood shed. The awful "beware" has been sounded. 
I believe they intend to repair the academy and open a white school. 

Again the writer says : 

It is not yet in evidence that the men of Canaan are brave or per- 
sistent in wrong doing. Knowing our own people as well as we do, 
all through their lives, these men of brag, our fears were not excited 
when they threatened, Richardson, Flanders, Burpee, Cobb, the Pattees 
or old Campbell, and all the rest of them with Trussell added, would 
never have caused us anything but regrets. Had the lawless and reck- 
less people of Enfield, who volunteered to assist in this disagreeable 

Notes Academy. 279 

affair stayed at home, we should not now see Trussell and his tail now 
triumphing over us. The high minded people of Enfield would hardly 
esteem it an honor to have participated in this outrage, could they see 
that they have simply been used by Trussell to avenge a private pique 
of several years standing. Had it not been for Trussell and the foreign 
element which rode over and insulted us for two days, we know that 
the Academy would never have been touched. Jacob Trussell is an 
intolerant bigot, opinionated, unforgiving, not a drop of warm blood in 
his veins except what is warmed by the passions that animate him. 
He never forgave an injury and he never had a friend. He never per- 
formed an act of pure charity, and he never forgot to be selfish. He 
is a member of the Congregational Church and of the Lodge of Masons 
here, and into each of these memberships he carries the obdurate 
obstinacy of his nature. His hatred of George Kimball, Nat Currier 
and Hubbard Harris, is an unquenchable fire in his breast. These men 
are all Anti-masons, the two last are seceding Masons. And here is the 
secret of the destruction of our Academy. He has been the moving 
spirit through it all. 

He had twice before led the Canaan mob up to the door of the build- 
ing with weapons in their hands, but the sight of our good natured 
Dr. Tilton, standing there as a magistrate, to take down their names, 
for future use, restrained them even in the presence of their leader, 
and caused them quietly to disperse. And when having invited the 
people from the neighboring towns to participate in the move, he knew 
his third attempt would be successful, for with his "legal town meet- 
ing" and these foreigners to back him, he was satisfied that Campbell, 
old Cobb, the Pattees, Burpee, and others would not fail to be there. 
He was not disappointed and our village is sad and gloomy with con- 
tending emotions. Jealousy and distrust pervades the minds. Can we 
ever forgive those insults, will this community ever be happy again? 
"When a generation has passed away then who are here will see." 
"How courageous one is on paper! Had you been here and taken a 
stand 'not on a widows jointure land,' but on the front of the Acad- 
emy, and had old 'kernel' Pattee seen you, he would have winked you 
down for a 'tarnal abolitionist. Sir!'" 

The days passed on without much interest to the friends of 
the school. The fruits of all their labors through individual 
malice ''turned to Dead Sea ashes upon their lips." They were 
listless alike to threats or curses. There was an occasional rip- 
ple on the surface, the most considerable of which was the ani- 
mosity shown to Rev. Mr. Fuller, for the part his wife took on 
the day of the ' ' Great hauling, ' ' when not having the fear of the 
mob before her eyes, she audaciously removed the bucket from 
her well, and thus prevented these misguided souls from slak- 
ing their thirst. Mr. Fuller was repeatedly warned by ghostly 

280 History of Canaan. 

looking messengers upon white horses at the dead of night, 
that unless he recanted his Anti-slavery^ principles ere the ap- 
proaching 10th of October he would be severely dealt with 
There is no evidence to show at that time, at least, that Mr. Ful- 
ler heeded those solemn warnings. 

A letter of August 26, 1835, says, "The Academy stands so 
near South Church as to render the travelled road impracticable. 
But for Trussell, the Academy would not have been touched." 
Another letter of September 9, 1835, "Tomorrow is the day 
for locating the Academy. Yesterday was preparatory drill. 
Muster takes place the 11th. Those who come to assist in 
moving the Academy will probably not go home." 

On the 10th of September, according to the previous notice, 
the same men of Canaan, together with their friends, from En- 
field, assembled with their cattle, on the Common and proceeded 
to the business before them, that is, to "locate" the Academy. 
The spot had been previously selected by the selectmen. These 
officers were, James Arvin, William Martin and Sylvanus B. 
Morgan, all now gone to their long home. The last two were 
men who honestly believed they were acting for the good of 
the human race, in opposing l:he introduction of negroes here. 
The first was an assistant worthy of his leader. A man of 
ability, whose later years could not redeem the vicious habits of 
his early manhood. His political friends sought to encourage 
him, by giving him town offices, but his life was embittered 
by early recollections and through them he lent a willing ear 
to the destructive schemes proposed to him by a "brother." 

The men who considered themselves leaders were all there 
early. All of them ready with counsel, which under other cir- 
cumstances, few of them cared to follow\ There was first and 
foremost, Trussell, Campbell, March Barber, the Pattees, Bur- 
pee, Flanders, Arvin, Old Cobb, Richardson, Eastman, Kinne, 
Benjamin Porter, indeed, no name or face was missing. The thirty 
days they had given themselves for thoughtfulness, had not 
let in a single ray of softening light to their hardened under- 
standings. There is no evidence that personal insults were 
offered on this occasion. They proceeded promptly as if the 
business they were about were a pleasure, and wdth loud cries 
to the work, all the forenoon, five hours, with all their cattle, 

No YES Academy. 281 

they labored to haul the building across the road, and locate 
it in the corner of the Baptist Parsonage field. Then at twelve 
o'clock it was placed upon the spot. The cannon was then 
dragged through the street, and discharged at the house of every 
Abolitionist, breaking glass in abundance at every discharge. 
Then they adjourned for dinner, which had been prepared by 
Joseph Dustin, under the direction of the selectmen. The cattle 
were taken to the side of the Street near Gordon Burley's and 
fed. Speaking of this fact, Mr. Blodgett told me, that he and 
William Martin, pitched a ton of hay out of Burley's field on 
that occasion, quicker than any two men ever did the same 
work before. After dinner and refreshment the men were called 
to order, to receive the thanks and congratulations of the chiefs, 
who by their wisdom and virtue had thus saved Canaan from 
being the Asylum of the negro race. Several speeches were 
made and received with noisy demonstrations. Phin Eastman 
was garrulous and happy. Doctor Flanders was vindictive and 
triumphant. They were much alike in their tone. But one of 
them has been preserved. Mr. Trussell, it seems, could not trust 
himself to do justice to his subject in an extempore manner. 
Its gTeat magnitude and importance required thought. So he 
put his thought upon paper and headed it "Farewell Address." 
The manuscript was for years hidden away in the archives of 
the author. But death often discloses lost gems. This eloquent 
piece of thankfulness was thus restored to light that it might 
be preserved as part of this veracious history. 

Farewell Address of Jacob Trussell: 

Gentlemen, the work is done! The object is attained! The contest 
has been severe, but the victory glorious! No sable son of Africa re- 
mains to darken our hemisphere! The Abolition Monster, 'that ascended 
out of the bottomless pit, is sent headlong to perdition, and the mourn- 
ers go about the streets. To you, Gentlemen, who have assisted in at- 
taining this glorious victory, I present you hearty and sincere thanks, 
for your prompt attention ami your unexampled exertions in repelling 
an enemy, far more to be dreaded, than the pestilence that walks in 
darkness, or the destruction that awaits at noonday. May the sun of 
liberty continue to shine on you with increasing splendor, and never 
be obstructed by the sable clouds of Africa. And should it be your mis- 
fortune to be invaded by a similar foe, we pledge ourselves to unite 
our exertions with yours in putting down by all lawful exertions, every 
plot that threatens the subversion of our liberties, or disturbs the pub- 


282 History of Canaan. 

lie tranquility. May that being who presides over the destinies of na- 
tions, reward you a hundred fold in this life and in the world to come, 
life everlasting. 

After the tumultuous applause which followed the delivery 
of the "Farewell Address," had subsided, they again assembled 
for labor, and the building was placed in order for underpinning. 
About sunset the work was accomplished, when the procession 
was again formed, with cannon in front and was paraded 
through the Street, accompanied by the stirring peal of fifes and 
drums. As before the cannon was discharged at the house of 
every Abolitionist. At each discharge the broken glass jingled 
in unison with the yell of triumph that went up from the 
crowd, the firing and shouting was kept up until late at night. 
Just before night one chivalrous fellow ascended the cupola of 
the Academy, painted the black ball thereon white and nailed 
a white flag to the spire. And the spirited people of Canaan 
and Enfield caused this history ! 

On the 19th of September a town meeting was called to 
hear the report of their committee on removal. To see if the 
town would repair the house and set up a school and appro- 
priate the School and Literary Fund for that purpose. And 
adopt some measures to suppress the dangerous doctrine of the 

The report of the committee chosen by the town to superin- 
tend the removal of the building in which the colored school 
was kept was accepted, and Jacob Trussell, Daniel Pattee and 
Daniel Campbell were appointed to collect subscriptions to re- 
pair the building. The other articles were dismissed. 

On the 10th of October another town meeting was held, and 
William P. Weeks, Caleb Blodgett and Thomas Flanders were 
chosen to get an instructor to superintend a school in Noyes 
Academy, for tuition fees to begin as soon as the house is in 
shape. The following resolutions were also passed : 

Resolved that the Chairman of the Superintending committee, chosen 
by the town for the purpose of removing Noyes Academy, togather with 
persons associated with him, merit and receive the thanks of the town, 
for the prompt and energetic and praiseworthy manner in which he 
and they discharged their respective duties. 

That the selectmen send to the Post-master of Natchitochez and at 

NoYES Academy. 283 

New Orleans, each an Auti-slavery Almanac and direct their attention 
to the name of Hubbard Harris Esq. 

So far the work was complete. The school was destroyed, the 
children who had gathered into it, fled from the scourge that 
pursued them. The chief actor in the scene had still one more 
duty to perform. It was to bring in his bill of items of ex- 
penses. It is inserted here, in extenso, as below : 

The Committee chosen by the town to superintend the removal of the 
building in which the colored school was kept, have in discharging the 

duty assigned them, incurred the following expenses on the credit of the 
Aug. 10, 1835 Joseph Dustin, furnished beef and lamb to the 

amount of $ 16.44 

Aug. 10, 1835 E. & J. Martin, furnished refreshment consisting of 

Biscuit cheese &c to the amount of 13.64 

Aug. 10 & 11 Amaziah Carter's bill of expense 14.48 

Aug. 10, 1835 Daniel Balch's bill 3.03 

Aug. 10, 1835 Nathaniel Ingi-am's bill for mending chains 2.00 

Sept. 10, 1835 E. & J. Martin's bill 7.43 

Sept. 10, 1835 Joseph Dustin's bill for victualling 29.37 

Sept. 10, i835 Gordon Burley's bill for hay 15.00 
Sept. 10, 1835 Rufus Richardson expenses in procuring chains at 

Shakers 6. 

And returning them &c supposed to be 5.00 

Sept. 10, 1835 S. S. Smith & J. Norris bill 1.00 

Sept. 10, 1835 Ichabod Bartlett's bill 5. 

Sept. 10, 1835 Mr. Barber's bill (of Grafton) 1.00 


The addition is as the committee presented it. The follow- 
ing additional bills were afterwards audited and paid by the 
town treasurer: 

Guilford Cobb for chains lost 7.50 

Daniel Currier (Enfield) for chains lost 3.00 

James Pattee repairing chains 5.25 

Amaziah Carter procuring chains .75 

D. Currier Chains .50 


And now, having "abated the nuisance," and located it upon 
a spot selected by themselves, the bills audited and paid, the 
resolutions of thanks passed, "Farewell Address" spoken, the 
cannon fired and the windows broken, and all these duties per- 

284 History of Canaan. 

formed by virtue of a "legal town meeting" these patriotic 
men and boys retired to the solitude of their beds and slept 
upon roses, the sleep of the righteous ! Perhaps ! But at this late 
day we do not propose to trouble their dreams. 

There did, however, question arise, in days afterwards, which 
somewhat puzzled them. They had taken the house from the 
proprietors, and now what should they do with it? There was 
talk of liabilities for personal damages, actions of trespass, etc., 
but the politicians, the men in office, the clergymen generally 
and the public mind, now all known to be so unfriendly to the 
proprietors, and especially to the color of their cause, that it 
was not deemed pimdent to invoke the law, and there the case 
rests to this day. In after years, it is said, that many of these 
men regretted the part they took in that outrage. Joseph L. 
Richardson, a man of education, elected to all the offices in 
to-wTi, when upon a bed of sickness, and the vision of his past life 
returned to him, regretted that part of his life, and wished it 
had never occurred. The Faleses, father and sons, afterwards 
became earnest Abolitionists. It is said that Capt. James Pattee 
when the excitement had passed, and reason regained its con- 
trol over him, was very demonstrative in regretting the part he 
took in that great folly, but it is said that his regrets were caused 
more by the fears of prosecution for trespass, etc., than from 
a change of sentiment. 

On the other hand, it is said, that some were hardly satisfied 
with moving the building. Their vindictiveness would only be 
satisfied by making all the Abolitionists endure some personal 
affliction. Old Cobb was one of this class. He was deputy 
sheriff under Blodgett, and w^as always ready to serve any 
process against those obnoxious persons. It is well known that 
on all such occasions he more than performed his threats. Many 
families were reduced to distress and suffering through his in- 
humanity and the only rebuke he ever received, was that he 
"should keep within the law." He never repented the part 
he took in producing the chaos of those days. It is said, that 
for a long time after those events, he was in the habit of 
hissing and spitting at clerygmen whom he knew to be Abolition- 
ists, as he passed them on the highwa}'. Rev. Robert Woodbury 

Notes Academy. 285 

was one of those thus annoyed. Rev. Jonathan Hamilton an- 
other. ^ 

Dr. Thomas Flanders, was noted for his violent sentiments and 
his frequent threats, but he could not face the public opinion \ 
that came afterwards. He disappeared forever from the face 
of this people. 

James Doten was at that time an earnest Abolitionist. He 
looked upon the excited crowd as they destroyed the building 
and raising- his hands he said "he wished God would strike 
them all dead for their crimes. ' ' 

James Tylor joined the Abolition Society, but a few days 
afterwards was persuaded to withdraw his name, through the 
influence of Mr. Weeks and Mr. Blodgett. 

Jacob Trussell, like old Cobb, never repented the part he 
took on that occasioii. He was expelled from the Congrega- 
tional Church, and left town threatening that he would return 
upon occasion, and lead the "people" upon any similar occa- 
sion. In this connection it is proper, as a part of the history of 
the times to present a digest of the proceedings of the Congre- 
gational Church in relation to some of its members. One month 
after the last "hauling" on the 10th of October, 1835, Col. 
Isaac Towle presented the following paper, which was also read 
to ]\Ir. Trussell, thus : 

Brother Trussell, you have grieved not only me but other members 
of our church in the course you have taken in regard to the removal of 
Noyes Academy. 

Charge 1st. In introducing resolutions to that effect at a meeting 
of the people, contrary to the known wishes of many of your Brethren 
in the Church. 

2nd. By still persisting In moving the building as a leader of the 
party, when one of your brethren, a Magistrate, commanded you and 
others to desist. 

3rd. By being instrumental in distributing ardent spirits to the 
people when highly excited and at a time when many of the citizens 
and Brethren of the Church, considered themselves in danger, in con- 
sequence of threats against their persons and property. 

Colonel Towle lived on the old Eandlett farm, had fourteen 
children : he calculated to have them come along everj^ March ; 
was a very positive man, a strong abolitionist and saw no good 
except in the Congregational Church. 

286 History of Canaan. 

The foregoing articles of grievance were read before the 
church by Brother Isaac Towle against Jacob Trussell. On the 
31st of October the last charge was withdrawn. Jacob Trussell 
refused to answer the charges, as he said "the previous steps" 
had not been taken. The church considered this a mere pre- 
text to evade the question, but to show their clemency towards 
him, voted to adjourn two weeks, that Brother Towle might 
again take "the previous steps" so as to remove any excuse on 
Trussell's part. 

The church met again on November 9th and a long and fruit- 
less discussion ensued. Various propositions were offered for 
the settlement of the difficulties. To none of which would Mr, 
Trussell consent. It was then voted that the church w411 pro- 
ceed to settle the dispute in their own way. Meantime as a pre- 
liminary step, Brother Trussell was suspended from Church 

On November 27th an adjourned meeting of the church was 
held in the church and open to the public. There was "a large 
attendance." A long and desultory discussion ensued upon the 
subject with Brother Trussell, and he not denying the charges 
alleged against him, nor giving the brethren aggrieved any satis- 
faction, but persisting in his own justification, together with 
his trifling with the feelings of the brethren, and his abusive 
language, it was 

"Voted, that Mr. Trussell withdraw while the Church consult for a 
few moments. "Whereupon the members of the Church after delibera- 
tion voted to suspend Brother Trussell from the Church indefinitely. 

And now there was discord between the church and the pas- 
tor, Rev. Edward C. Fuller, growing out of this business. It 
seemed that he had given a letter of Christian fellowship to Mr. 
Trussell to transfer his relations to the church in Franklin, and 
this is done while he is under discipline of suspension in the 
church. The following is a copy of the original letter : 

Canaan Jany 11. 1836 
This may certify to whom it may concern that Mr. Jacob Trussell is 
a member of the Church of Christ in this place of which the undersigned 
is pastor. He is in regular standing with the exception of censure for 
assisting in the removal of the Noyes Academy, and in all other re- 
spects is recommended to the care and fellowship of any other church, 

NoYES Academy. 287 

where God in his providence may locate him. And when admitted into 
the fellowship and care of another Church his relation to this Church 
will cease. 


Pastor of the first Congregational Church in Canaan N. H. 

On the first day of March, 1836, Bro. Bart Heath was ar- 
raigned upon the same charges and passed through the same 
ordeal as Mr. Trussell, but with less resolution. It was "voted 
to excuse Brother Bart Heath for the part he acted in the re- 
moval of the Academy, in consequence of his confessions and 
explanations. ' ' A letter of ' ' recommendation ' ' was also granted 
him. Brother Heath also expressed a strong desire to be forgiven 
for any and all his expressions derrogating to a Christian, or 
against his brethren, expressing his sorrow and asking forgive- 
ness of the church, which was freely granted. Afterwards 
on the 7th of March, "Voted that Brother Jacob Trussell be 
excommunicated from this Church." 

A committee of five was chosen to send a letter to the Congre- 
gational Church in Franklin, informing them of the accusation 
against Jacob Trussell for "which he is excommunicated from 
this Church." Then finally it was resolved, "that we (members 
of the Congregational Church) disapprove of the measures taken 
by our late Pastor in giving Jacob Trussell a letter, as we think 
Mr. Trussell unworthy to be connected with any regular Church 
after taking into consideration his past conduct." The mem- 
bers of the church most conspicuous in these proceedings were 
Timothy Tilton, Nathaniel Barber, George Harris, Hubbard Har- 
ris, Jr., Joshua Pillsbury, Isaac Towle, Samuel Drake, Jesse E. 
Emerson, Caleb Gilman, Amos Gould. 

Here we take leave of the church records and return to the 
affairs of the world. So far as Noyes Academy is concerned, our 
history is about finished. It only remains to record two or three 
striking events. The town by vote, repaired the building, ap- 
propriating the money from the Surplus Revenue Fund, and 
the spirit that "hauled" it from its first foundation was evoked 
to make good the pledges it made itself. A teacher was hired 
and a few pupils attended for a few weeks, six or eight, and the 
money or the disposition failing, the school was discontinued. 
Several attempts were made to open it, but they ended in failure. 

288 History of Canaan. 

An attempt was made by the ' ' town ' ' or those who had abducted 
the building, to compromise with the proprietors, but these stood 
aloof, believing and hoping a day of redress would come, but 
it never came. These unlawful acts which it was claimed public 
opinion demanded, have been atoned for, but not in human 
courts of justice. On the morning of December 31, 1838, it was 
found that seven windows had been removed the night before. 
Search was made for them; a pile of fragments of sash and 
broken glass, pounded almost to powder, were found on the 
shore of the pond. 

A town meeting was called on the 17th, to see what "the town 
will do towards repairing the injury done to the Academy by a 
Midniglit Mob. Got up by a party who professes all the Eeligion 
^Mortality and Humility and who preaches so much against the 
Mob, Mobites and the ]\Iobs Committee." And Caleb Blodgett, 
Thomas Flanders and James Pattee were chosen to "search out 
and bring the perpetrators to justice." It was also voted to re- 
pair the injury. This outrage was believed to have been com- 
mitted by George Drake, who took this method to receipt a 
blacksmithing bill, which he had against the present owners of 
the Academy. The failure by the town to establish a school in 
the Academy after they had taken possession of it, and the pro- 
prietors had looked on at their failure, with probably no feel- 
ings of sorrow, aroused the old feeling against the Abolitionists. 
The diary again says: 

The Abolition question at tliis time (1S39) was one continued tlieme 
of excitement. The heart grows sick and disgusted at the repetition of 
the slang and abuse of the self-constituted club of Jacobins, at the lower 
end of the Street. Weeks, Blodgett and Flanders, sly and wicked be- 
yond redemption, because of the unholy influence of their secret 
councils, the soft Martins (E. & J.), the ferocious Pattees, the tiger act- 
ing Campbells, that coterie of a D n, the devil, for diabolism can be 

compared to none other now in existence. 

The building had been standing several years a silent monu- 
ment of all the bad feelings of the human heart. Its doors were 
seldom opened to the student. Many persons had expressed a 
wish that it might burn down, and its ashes scattered to the 
four winds, and that the recollection of it might cease from 
the recollection of man. On the night of March 7, 1839, a 

NoYES Academy. 289 

great light illuminated the heavens. All the people leaped from 
their beds, and saw the building, the cause of so much sor- 
row and sin, enveloped in flames. No efforts were made to ex- 
tinguish it. And the ashes were indeed scattered to the four 

James Eichardson of the class of 1841 of Dartmouth College, 
was engaged to teach in the Academy in the spring of 1839, 
after it was burned his school was transferred to Burley's Hall. 
Five days after the burning the annual town meeting occurred. 
The question of personal damages had recently been revived 
and had caused some uneasiness among that "Committee of Re- 
moval." Several of them, including Jacob Trussell, who at 
this time was residing in Franklin, had asked the town to pro- 
tect them, and on this occasion, a resolution was adopted of 
which the following is a copy : 

Resolved, that we, as a town, will defend Jacob Trussell, or any oth- 
ers, engaged with him, in the removal of Noyes Academy, against any 
suit or suits, that may be brought against said Trussell or others on 
account of said removal. 

In announcing this vote, James Arvin said : " Of all the Isms 
that ever were introduced into Canaan, Abolitionism has done 
the most mischief. It has arrayed brother against brother in 
the same church, neighbor against neighbor, and engendered 
more strife and contention than anything else combined. I am 
gratified to know that we have put it down so that it will be 
perfectly harmless for one year." 

Before closing this history, which I have detailed tediously 
perhaps, though with scarcely a shadow of the transcendant 
brutality that attended it, I ought to say that as far as possible, 
I have been impartial. Except two men, whose names are herein 
present, there was not infatuation enough in the town of 
Canaan to have perpetrated this outrage. It was charged to the 
people of Canaan, but it was the deed of the whole community. 
It was tauntingly called the "Canaan Mob," by men ashamed 
of the imprudences of their allies, but it was one of the mohs of 
New Hampshire. It was a legitimate outbreak of a very general 
"public sentiment," and the honor or odium of it should be 
shared accordingly. 


290 History of Canaan. 

People from Canaan indisposed to molest the school, were 
taunted wherever they went for living in ' ' nigger town. ' ' Guide 
boards were nailed to trees by the wayside, indicating so many 
miles to "nigger to^\^l." Rev. J. L. Richardson, representative 
for that year, appealed to the legislature for an act of some sort 
to remove the "nuisance," as "public sentiment" was pleased 
to call the school. The legislature unaccountedly refused to in- 
terfere. Individual members, however, advised their reverend 
brother, that as the constitution and law was against him, he 
must take the matter into his own hands. "Public sentiment" 
was found to be all right, and at the appointed time, it foamed 
and boiled over on the ill-fated school. 

A letter written at this time to Mr. Trussell by James Arvin, 
will show the situation of the friends of the school, who were in 
the minority, as well as informing Mr. Trussell of what he most 
desired to hear that the town would stand back of him. 

Canaan, Mar. 12th., 1S39. Dear Sir. Yours of the 3rd iust. was duly 
received and I thot proper to defer answering it until I should be able 
to give you the result of our elections. We have given our Political op- 
ponents the soundest drubbing they ever received since our party got 
in the ascendency; we chose our representative by 94 majority; our state 
and county oflBcers by an average 80 majority, as also our representative 
to Congi-ess by the same. I believe there is not a Whig abolitionist that 
holds office in town excepting Nathl Currier, a weigher of hay, and it 
was with some difficulty that the voters would consent he should hold 
the office. Thus you see we have carried all before us today. The 
trustees of Noyes Academy, allies of the Negro school, have waited in 
vain until after our March elections for a more favorable prospect to 
push on their unhallowed designs upon us. You may rely I think upon 
those men that co-operated with you and stood by you through the 
fiery ordeal you were doomed to pass while here in consequence of the 
active part you took and the efficient services you rendered in the re- 
moval of that building which is now reduced to ashes by some of the 
abolitionists or their tools. You were appointed at the head of a com- 
mittee to superintend the removal of that house, which was considered 
a nuisance, and you were appointed by the toM'n and your duty assigned 
by the town, and they are legally and morally bound in my opinion to 
see you harmless, and, sir, we have passed a resolution today, in sol- 
emn town meeting, which reads as follows. [It is given above.] 

Thus you see Canaan is yet awake and still on right ground as it re- 
spects the removal of that house and still duly appreciates the important 
services you rendered us on that trying occasion. 

I was pleased to hear from you and am happy in having it in my 

Notes Academy. 291 

power to give a copy of the resolution which amounts to what you 
desired, I believe. 

It is in evidence that Canaan would not furnish the requisite 
team, so that cattle were invited from the neighboring towns, 
some volunteering, others being impressed. It is safe to say 
that had this same "public sentiment," out of Canaan, stayed 
at home, and refrained from intermeddling, the school might 
have been in successful operation to this day. 

Among the colored people were four youths, whose names 
deserve record in the story of the school, and some of them have 
made names that will be illustrious in all future time, when the 
names and lives of those weak mortals who opposed them, shall 
only be recorded upon obscure tombstones. These youths were 
Henry Highland Garnet, Thomas Paul, Thomas S. Sidney and 
Alexander Crummell. 

Garnet was 19, coal black, and until ten years of age was a 
slave. His father, by hard toil, had ransomed himself, his wife 
and children from American slavery. A year before he came 
to Canaan young Garnet became a Christian and united himself 
with the Presbyterian Church. He was afflicted with a knee 
disease which threatened his life. This had been much aggra- 
vated on his way through New England by exposure in bad 
weather on the outside of the stage, the place allotted "all nig- 
gers" by "public sentiment." He reached Canaan exhausted 
and enfeebled by his hard journey, and with his crutch under 
his arm, hobbled up to the school, tidings of which had reached 
his ears; with all his discouragements he flew to the fountain 
of knowledge opened to him at "Noyes Academy," where he was 
distinguished for his modest, exemplary conduct, and won the 
respect of everybody that knew him. But the human wild 
beasts set themselves upon his track. He escaped like a startled 
deer, and lived eminent for his learning, revered and beloved for 
his sincerity and Christian benevolence, and when he spoke his 
eloquence fiUed his audience like a current of electricity. He 
became a doctor of divinity, and was appointed United States 
Minister to Liberia, where he spent many years of his life in the 
discharge of duties for which he was well fitted among his peo- 
ple. He died and was buried in Liberia. 

292 History of Canaan, 

Two years after these events, Garnet returned to Canaan and 
lectured in the Congregational Church. There was no disturb- 
ance. The vigilance committee failed to appear. He was 
listened to by an earnest, thoughtful audience, and received 
much attention from the citizens. He was the guest of Mr. 
George Harris and he had a reception the same evening. Among 
the callers was Ben. Porter, who had been active in driving him 
from town. He took Garnet by the hand and told him he had 
heard his speech, and that he had come there to express to him 
his sorrow and regret he had felt on account of his bad work on 
the other occasion. He had only lacked a little moral courage 
to make him go up at the close of the speech and make public 
confession to the whole audience. Porter retired to private life, 
taking no more interest in politics. A few years later he, with 
his wife and family, emigrated to Michigan. He was drowned by 
the wrecking of a steamer on Lake Erie. 

Thomas Paul was the son of a late clergj^man of Boston, of 
graceful manners, of amiable and courteous disposition, of re- 
spectable talent and attainment, twenty years of age and lighter 
in his complexion than many of those who denied him the right 
to study. 

Sidney was seventeen, quite white, a scholar of graceful per- 
son and demeanor and an accomplished writer and speaker. 

Crummell was sixteen, of full African descent, his father was 
stolen from Africa, but he was released from slavery. He was 
born in the city of New York; his mother and her ancestors for 
several generations, were never subjected to servitude. But his 
father early in life, although he came of a royal family, was 
made a slave. His father was a native of Timanee, West Africa, 
a country adjoining Sierra Leone, and lived there until he was 
thirteen years old. Alexander Crummell's grandfather was 
King of Timanee, and the incidents of his early life appear to 
have impressed themselves very strongly upon his son's memory. 
He was fond of describing the travels that he took with his 
father's caravans in the interior of Africa and of the royal re- 
ceptions given to them by the various kings. Young Crummell 
in his early life was sent to the Mulberry Street school in New 
York City, which was provided by the Quakers, afterwards re- 
ceiving further and better instruction from white tutors pro- 

NoYES Academy. 293 

vided by his father. After leaving Canaan he studied for three 
years at Oneida Institute, working at farming to pay his way. 
In 1839 he became a candidate for Holy Orders and at the same 
time applied for admission as a student in the General Theo- 
logical Seminary of the Episcopal Church. He was admitted to 
Priests Orders in Philadelphia. He pursued his studies in the 
University of Cambridge in England. After this he sought a 
home in Liberia, where he remained for many years, taking the 
double duty of the Rectorship of a Parish and a Professorship 
in the College. "While a citizen of this new Republic, he was 
frequently called upon to officiate as orator of the day; and his 
addresses were marked by great breadth of vision and foresight, 
profound historical research and decided rhetorical power. It 
is said of him that if he had not been called to the work of the 
Christian Ministry, he might have become eminent as a states- 
man. After spending the bloom of his days in Liberia, he re- 
turned to the United States, to take up his work among his 
race at the capital of the Nation, where he was Rector of St. 
Luke 's Church, until the time of his death. He wrote two books, 
the "Future of Africa" and "The Greatness of Christ," be- 
sides many contributions to various periodicals. 

Many remember the visit which this man paid Canaan in 
1895, with his friend, Mr. Downing. He had not been in 
Canaan since the night Oscar Wallace had driven him and Paul 
down the Lebanon road, out of town to escape the dangers which 
threatened their lives, and they were real, for he related how one 
man had discharged a pistol through the door of the Cross 
house at the Corner where they roomed and boarded with the 
family of George Kimball. Upon his arrival on the street he 
went to the hotel with Mr. Downing and was refused admission 
on account of his color. Hon. Caleb Blodgett received and en- 
tertained them and when his arrival became known, there was 
not one but what was glad to shake his hand and listen to his 
words from the pulpit of the Methodist Church. It was a 
pathetic spectacle to see tliis old man, tall and spare, gray, al- 
most blind, with a dignity befitting the position which he had 
held among his fellow-men, delivering a sermon to the descend- 
ants of those who sixty years before had driven him out of town. 
The contrast between the two receptions received, the first when 

294 History of Canaan. 

a boy and the second as an old man, serve to prove that the 
principles of truth and justice will always prevail. Although 
shadowed in enmity and spite for a time they will in the end 
rise and bury all bad feelings underneath. 

These young men fled from the "wrath that pursued them," 
to Oneida Institute, New York, where they were received and 
pursued their studies. A letter written on the 4th of July, 1835, 
by N. P. Rogers, one of the trustees of the school, to the Libera- 
tor in Boston, gives an interesting account of a celebration held 
at Plymouth, where these young men were present. 

The speakers on this occasion failed to respond and they were about 
to give up that part of their exercises, when George Kimball, Esq., a 
zealous Abolitionist of Canaan, send word that "if our Anti-slavery was 
of the standard to deserve the honor," he would visit us with some fine 
young men of Noyes Academy, whom he had prevailed upon to come 
and offer their support on the occasion. "Hospitality," he said, "must 
open its doors in the true spirit of emancipation or we could not expect 
them." We promptly accepted the offer and on the third had the honor 
of welcoming Brother Kimball and his wife and four young gentlemen 
of the school to our homes. I will give you some account of their his- 
tory, names and what is quite important now, their color. 

Paul, son of a Baptist minister, a scholar and a gentleman, quite in 
advance of the standard of our educated young men, of mitigated color, 
complexion quite endurable. 

Garnet, of full unmitigated, unalleviated, unpardonable blackness, 
quite "incompatable with freedom," crippled, with severe lameness, nine 
years ago a slave in Maryland, an enlightened and refined scholar, a 
writer and speaker of touching beauty. 

Sidney, an orphan literally, as well as by caste, more fortunate in 
complexion than our friend Paul, even an accomplished scholar, grace- 
ful and eloquent orator. It might raise the envj- and the emulation of 
our young patricians at the higher Seminary, coveting the glories of 
eloquence, to see and hear him speak. 

Crummell, a mere boy in years, but in talent, learning and character 
anything but a boy; black, sable as Touissant of the uudeteriorated 
aspect of that land whence his father was stolen. I talked with him 
on the subject of insurrection. He denounced it because of its midnight 
slaughter of women and children. To open war for liberty, he had less 
objection, but it was too like murder to fall upon unarmed men, a 
scrupulosity more like knight-errantry than is common in these slircivd 
times. I asked him before a Colonizationist what the colored people 
would do with the colony at Liberia, if it were left to them. "Send 
and bring them home," said he with animation, "every man of them." 
"Every man you find alive," said young Garnet. 

Mr. Garnet was introduced to the audience with a response, prefaced 

Notes Academy. 295 

with some beautiful remarks on tlie coutrast of his own feelings with 
those proper to the joyous day, and supported them in an address of 
some thirty minutes with great simplicity and pathos. His response 
was in substance, that it was the duty of every patriot and Christian 
to adopt the principles of the abolitionists, for the sure and speedy over- 
throw of slaver3', that every man who walked the American soil might 
tread it unmolested and free. There were many passages of touching 
eloquence in his address, and when he told of the objects that met his 
earliest vision and shed natural tears, at the remembrance of his own 
and his parents bondage, I found many moistened eyes in the audience 
besides my own. Yoimg Crummell followed Garnet in a spirited and 
manly speech, which was listened to with much attention. 

Mr. Sidney was called to the platform under a strong expression of 
favor, which he amply repaid by a very eloquent address. The young 
gentlemen tarried with us until Monday, the 6th, and offered us an 
opportunity to disperse some of the prejudice and uneasiness we are 
wont to feel at the fine appearance of our colored brethren. We had 
the satisfaction of attending our young friends to the house of God on 
the Sabbath, and their presence pi-oved no interruption to the services. 
They amalgamated with the congregation. The pew doors of our 
yeomanry, too respectable to be sneered down by the dandyism of the 
land, were opened to them, and they had the satisfaction of associating 
with their brethren and countrymen and fellow sinners, on proper and 
Christian footing. This I call practical Anti-slavery. 

New England at tliat time was degenerated into guilty and 
dastardly servility to the South. She was enslaved by her 
prejudices until she trampled her own laws and peace under 
foot. The descendants of the founders of Puritan Seminaries 
broke up the free scJiool. And such a school! Had it been undis- 
turbed it would have taken the lead of all others in the country, 
and enjoyed patronage unknown to any other. Abolitionists 
everywhere would have sent their sons and daughters, animated 
by the high toned principle and lofty purpose that distinguished 
them from their abusers. The flower of the colored youth would 
have found their way to it from every part of the country. 
God would have blessed it with his abundant favor. Its break- 
ing up and dispersion left the quiet and beautiful village to the 
bats and owls. The stillness of the desert succeeded. 

Rev. Mr. Fuller found his usefulness gone and he went, and 
the meeting house was soon closed up and forsaken. Has not 
the curse of that "legal mob followed this village to its latest 
days?" Alas for Canaan! her prominent men have never been 
her friends. 

296 History of Canaan. 

The following is from a letter written by the Rev. Amos Fos- 
ter, the first pastor of the Congregational Church, before Mr. 
Fuller : 

The most I can say is to express my astonishment that a class of men 
should be found so reckless, so regardless of law and human rights, 
and so devoid of moral principles, as to engage in such an undertaking. 
As the account shall hereafter be read on the page of history, it will 
fix a most unfavorable impression on the mind respecting the charac- 
ter of those most prominent in the undertaking. One of the principal 
men engaged in the matter was a member of the church. He was ex- 
communicated. On his return to Canaan he was, I learnt, restored to 
his standing in the church, after making some partial retractions and 
confession. But my impression is that he really maintained his former 
opinions and did not in fact regret the course he had taken. I was 
absent from Canaan while these unpleasant scenes were transpiring, 
and of course could not be advised of the facts on both sides of the 
question, as if I had been in the place. But from some things I heard, 
I judge that some friends of the school were rather indiscreet and pur- 
sued a course which provoked the indignation of those on the other side. 
I refer to the partiality showed to the colored students and the positions 
given them at the social gatherings. Certainly they should have been 
treated kindly, but whether it was wise to invite them or any of the 
Academy students to their social parties is, at least, doubtful. But I 
do not say that by way of apology for those engaged in the crime of 
removing the Academy. That terrible act yet dwells in the memory 
of many now living, and the records of it will be read by hundreds who 
will have a being in future years, and who, we may ask, will there be 
to justify so outrageous an act? The moral sentiments of the people 
will be so changed, I may say, so corrected, and the colored race will 
be brought to sustain such a position among their fellow beings, that 
the matter of wonder will be that there could once have been a class 
of people in the world, as should commit such a crime as breaking up 
an institution for the education of youth, both black and white. Since 
the outrage in Canaan, we can see the wonderful change that has taken 
place in the moral and political condition of the coloi'ed race. 

Canaan Union Academy. 

A few weeks after the excitement attending the burning of 
the old academy building had subsided (it was never known who 
the incendiary was) a number of men assembled in Mr. Weeks' 
office and proposed to erect a new academy upon the site of the 
one burned. It was estimated that thirteen hundred dollars 
would defray all charges. An attempt was made on April 15th 
to get the town to appropriate money from the surplus revenue 
to build a new town house and academy, but the article was dis- 
missed and a vote was taken "not to build." Subsequently, 
these men decided to make thirteen notes of one hundred dollars 
each, each note to be signed by five men, and each man to be a 
member of the new corporation on payment of one fifth of his 
note. Thus there were to be sixty-five shares in the new build- 
ing at twenty dollars each. 

The names of the signers of only twelve of the thirteen notes 
have been obtained. They are the following: 

On the first note were Eleazer Martin, March Barber, James 
Arvin, Bartlett Hoyt and Jesse Martin. 

On the second, William Gordon, Ensign Colby, Thomas Fland- \^ 
ers, John Fales and William Kimball. 

On the third, William IMartin, William P. Weeks, Guilford 
Cobb, Henry Martin and Horace Chase. 

On the fourth, Caleb Blodgett, William Doten, Tilton Nichols, 
Joseph D. Smith and Salmon P. Cobb. 

On the fifth, Joseph L. Richardson, Benjamin Bradbury, 
Joshua S. Lathrop, Alvah Richardson and Benjamin Kidder. 

On the sixth, Daniel G. Patten, Abram Page, Jr., Josiah Rich- 
ardson, Joshua W. Richardson, James B. Wallace and Amos B. 

On the seventh, Joseph Dustin, John Shepherd, Josiah P. 
Haynes, James Tyler and Nathan M. Currier. 

On the eighth, Simeon Hadley, William Campbell, Peter S. 
Wells, Daniel Campbell and Nathaniel Shepherd. 

298 History of Canaan, 

On the ninth, Amos Miner, Daniel Pattee, Jr., James Pattee, 
Chamberlain Packard. Jr. and Sylvanus B. Morgan. 

On the tenth, Francis Welch. Moses W. Jones, James Doten, 
Jr., Nathan Willis and Elijah R. Colby. 

On the eleventh, Nathaniel Barber, Nathaniel Currier, Wil- 
liam W. George, Moses G. Kelley and John Jewell. 

On the twelfth, Carey Leeds, Eliphalet C. Oilman, Jesse Clark, 
Josiah Clark, Jr., Francis Robbins and C. S. Hubbard. 

It was decided to take these notes to the town agent and ask 
the loan of thirteen hundred dollars of the surplus revenue re- 
maining on hand. The money was loaned from time to time 
during the construction of the building. One thousand dollars 
of the amount was loaned from the surplus revenue and three 
hundred from the literary fund. Afterwards a charter was pro- 
cured from the legislature and approved June 27, 1839, in 
which Eleazer Martin, Jesse Martin, Caleb Blodgett, James Ar- 
vin, Guilford Cobb, Ensign Colby, William P. Weeks, Daniel 
Pattee, Jr., James Pattee. Joseph Dustin and William Doten 
were named as incorporators, to establish an institution for the 
"education of youth," imder the name of "Canaan Union Acad- 
emy." With this money they built the academy, believing it 
would prove a successful and profitable investment; but this 
belief was a delusion, if not a snare. No steps were taken by the 
dominant party to conciliate the large number of citizens who 
were aggrieved ; no kind words were spoken, nor did anyone pro- 
pose any method to harmonize the antagonisms : and there the 
two nearly equal hostile factions stood, making faces at each 
other, the one pointing to that building as a monument of acts 
of aggression unatoned for and the other flinging back contemp- 
tuous epithets ad libitum. 

A piece of land was purchased from Jonathan Kittredge, but 
was not conveyed until Februars^ 13. 1840. for $50. It was one- 
half an acre, taken off the north side of the Baptist parsonage 
land, a part of the same land that was deeded to Jonathan 
Swan by the Baptist Society, and by it to Kittredge. The land 
was described "to run from the east side of Broad street to Hart 
Pond, with width equal at both ends." Dr. Thomas Flanders 
contracted to erect the new building, and deliver it complete 
into the hands of the trustees on the first of September, 1839. 

Canaan Union Academy. 299 

He engaged a number of efficient workmen and the work pro- 
ceeded rapidly until the outside of the house was finished. And 
here came in a little episode that created some amusement at the 
time. The doctor boarded all his workmen. His wife was 
pleased with the progress of the work, and spoke cheerfully to 
all the men as long as the outside was unfinished. The finishing 
of the inside was slower w^ork, which she could not appreciate. 
She said the men were getting lazy, and she would have them 
all discharged. On the 30th of May, 1839, she called upon Mr. 
Weeks, who held the contract, and asked to be permitted to read 
it. He placed it in her hands and turned away to attend to 
other affairs. She sat down, read it through very deliberately, 
then quietly tore it into small pieces, and placing them in a 
heap on the table, passed out of the office saying: "I guess I've 
taken the life out of that thing anyhow!" She went home and 
when the men came in to dinner, they found nothing to eat. 
She told them she had got done boarding lazy men, and they 
must go elsewhere to board. When the doctor learned of the 
affair, he went to a\Ir. Weeks and renewed the contract, and the 
building was ready for occupancy at the time appointed. 

The school was organized on the first of September. 1839, 
with a formidable board of officers. William P. Weeks was 
president of the corporation; Hon. Caleb Blodgett, vice-presi- 
dent; Eleazer Martin, secretarj^; Rev. Joseph L. Richardson, 
treasurer. The executive committee consisted of Guilford Cobb, 
]\Iarch Barber, James Arvin, Sylvanus B. Morgan, James Pattee 
and James B. Wallace. The board of visitors were Edwin D. 
Sanborn of Dartmouth College, Leonard Wilcox of Orford, Wil- 
liam H. Duncan of Hanover, Hon. David C. Churchill of Lyme, 
Arthur Latham of Lyme, Rev. Liba Conant of Canaan, Rev. 
Palmer C. Himes of Canaan, Rev. Abel Heath of Canaan, Rev. 
Ephraim Crockett of Danbury, Caleb Plastridge of Lebanon, 
John Jones and Hon. Converse Goodhue of Enfield. Mr. J. 
Everett Sargent, an undergraduate of Dartmouth College, who 
had taught the last term in the old building, was engaged as 
principal. The trustees feeling very confident of success, en- 
gaged to pay him $40 per month and board for three months. 
Miss Mary A. Blaisdell was engaged as assistant. Great efforts 
were made by the proprietors of the school to fill all the seats and 


History of Canaan. 

it opened with one hundred and twenty pupils. A catalogue of 
the institution was issued. The following is a list of the schol- 
ars, all are from Canaan except where otherwise indicated : 


Albert G. Arviu 

Edwin W. Atherton 

Franklin W. Barber 

Hiram Barber 

Horace H. Barber 

James P. Barber 

John M. Barber, Jr. 

Caleb Blodgett, Jr. 

George W. Bryant 

Roswell S. Chapman, Enfield 

Joseph D. Clark 

Hiram M. Cobb 

Frank Currier 

George Currier 

Guilford Doten 

Caleb Dow 

Isaac W. Dow 

Joseph Dow 

John B. Dustiu 

Albert Eastman 

Stephen Eastman 

George S. Eastman 

Ransom Farnham, Topsham, Vt. 

Abraham H. Flanders 

David Fogg, Enfield 

Harrison Fogg, Enfield 

John S. Gilman 

Stephen S. Gilmau 


Martha M. Atherton 

Caroline E. Atherton 

Martha J. Barber 

Rhoda Blaisdell, Orange 

Emily R. Blodgett 

Clarissa J. Chapman, West 

Mahala Choate, Enfield 
Chastina Clark 
Dorothy B. Clark 
Abby P. Cobb 
Adelia F. Cobb 

Simeon Hadley 

Henry S. Hamlet 

Levi W. Hoit 

James Huse, Enfield 

John Ingram 

James H. Kelley 

Charles W. Kidder 

Alfred H. Kittredge 

Edw. C. D. Kittredge 

John H. Lathrop 

Albert Martin 

Nathan C. Morgan 

J. Monroe Pattee, Enfield 

Wymau Pattee 

Daniel F. Sanford, Mansfield, 

Alpha B. Stevens 
Moses Stevens, Jr., Enfield 
John A. Swett 

Augustus W. Taylor, Danbury 
Charles A. Welch 
Horace B. Welch 
Charles H. Wells 
Horace B. Williams 
Samuel Williams, 2d 
Henry Wilson 
John Worth, Jr. 

Elizabeth F. Cobb 
Lucretia B. Cobb 
Phebe P. Cobb 
Susan Frances Cobb 
Elizabeth J. Conant 
Sarah Ann Conant 
Eliza Ann Currier 
Marion M. Davenport 
Mary Dow 
Emeline Dustin 
Harriet B. Dustin 
Rebecca Dustin 

Canaan Union Academy. 



Caroline P. Eastman 

Miriam Eastman 

Abigail Fales 

Sarala Fales 

Sarah Ann L. Flanders 

Offranda A. Follensbee, Grafton 

Harriet S. George 

Isabel M. George 

Julia Ann Gile, Grafton 

Lucy Gile, Grafton 

Lydia H. Gile, Enfield 

Arabella Harris 

Frances S. Harris 

Celinda Hazen, Hartford, Vt. 

Olivia "W. Heath 

Emily E. Jones, Enfield 

Maria C. Jones, Enfield 

Malinda Jones, Enfield 

Nancy L. Kimball 

Julia L. Kittredge 

Susan B. Lathrop 

Celina Martin 

Hannah C. S. Martin 
Roxilana B. Martin 
Lucy Ann IMiner 
Hannah S. Morse 
Almeda Nichols, Enfield 
Eleanor Nichols, Enfield 
Julia Ann Nichols, Enfield 
Mary E. Page 
Rachel R. Page 
Sarah Ann C. Pillsbury 
Lucy Ann Richardson 
Mary R. Richardson 
Elsa A. Smith 
Harriet A. Smith 
Hannah L. Stevens, Enfield 
Mabel E. Stevens, Lebanon 
Tryphena Stark 
Catherine R. Svs^an 
Harriet 0. Wallace 
Sophia J. "Wallace 
Hannah S. Willis 

Sixty-nine ladies and fifty-four gentlemen ; and the spring 
term was to begin on the first Monday of March. The pro- 
Bpeetus was as follows : 

This institution in its location combines every advantage of a salubri- 
ous climate and pleasant scenery. No pains will be spared by its of- 
ficers or instructors to render it a favorable resort for young persons 
who wish to pursue a thorough course of study. There are two rooms 
for recitation, and the Scholars are classed according to the branches 
pursued, but all are under the cai'e and direction of the Principal. 


Instruction is given in the various studies required for admission to 
College, in the French Language, and in all the English branches taught 
in similar institutions. 


The Tuition is $3.00 per term. After the present term an additional 
charge of $1.00 will be made to those attending to the languages. Board 
can be had in good families for from $1.00 to $1.50 per week. Students 
who wish to board themselves can obtain convenient rooms near the 
Academy, at a moderate rate. 


There will be three terms in the year, the fall term to commence the 
first Monday in September, the Spring term the first Monday in March, 

302 History of Canaan. 

aud the Summer term the first Monday in June, each to continue 12 


English, Porter's Rhetorical Reader, Smith's and Sanborn's Gram- 
mar; Olney's and Huntington's Geogi-aphy; Goodrich's History of the 
United States; Adam's New and Davies' Arithmetic; Day's and Davies' 
Algebra; Playfair's Euclid, Flint's Surveying, Comstock's Philosophy 
and Chemistry, Burrett's Geography of the Heavens; Political class 
book, "Watts on the Mind, Abercrombie's Intellectual Philosophy, Up- 
ham's Mental Philosophy, Paley's Natural Theology. Ancient Lan- 
guages: Andrew's and Stoddard's Latin Grammar, Andrew's Latin 
Reader, Latin Tutor, Ccwper's Virgil, Anthon's Sallust, Cicero's Select 
Orations, Fiske's Greek Grammar and Exercises, Jacob's Greek Reader, 
Greek Testament, Leverett's Latin Dictionary, Dounegan's Greek Lex- 
icon, Lampriere's Classical Dictionary. French: Bolmar's Levizac's 
Grammar, Bolmar's Phrase Book, LeBrun's Telemaque, Voltaire's 
Charles XII, Meadow's and Boyer's Dictionary. 


All students are required to attend at all the regular exercises, and 
observe all the regulations of the Institutions, and at all times to main- 
tain a correct moral deportment. In case of non-compliance, neglect of 
study or immoral conduct, the delinquent will be reported to his parents, 
and if he does not reform, will be immediately removed that others 
may not suffer thereby. During each term there are weekly exercises 
in compositions and declamations. 


There will be a public examination at the close of the fall and spring 
term, in the various branches attended to, which the board of Visitors 
will be expected to attend. 

The other party also organized a school in Currier's Hall and 
employed ]\Ir. I. X. Hobart, a classmate of Mr. Sargent, to teach 
it. He drew in about sixty pupils; but these efforts were 
strained. Many of the pupils who trod those unclassic floors 
were there by reason of the social and political antagonisms, 
which had not been allayed or softened as the years went by. 
There always was a trace of stinginess in the people of Canaan 
in matters pertaining to schools, and it is not surprising that the 
interest in this school should fall off, when it became a matter 
of paying out money for board and tuition. 

Mr. David H. Mason of the class 18-41. who afterwards be- 
came United States district attorney in Massachusetts, taught 
the spring term of 1840, to a diminished number of pupils, so 

Canaan Union Academy. 303 

much so that the speculation looked likely to prove a failure and 
on the 30th of ^lay, 18-10, the proprietors offered the building 
and its privileges "to any suitable person who would take the 
school upon his own risk. ' ' Mr. Mason accepted the school upon 
those conditions and conducted it two terms. Thus suddenly 
the hopes of these sixty-five men faded out. and they found them- 
selves indebted to the town in the sum of thirteen hundred dol- 
lars and accruing interest. 

In the spring of 1811 the corporation opened the academy with 
the following officers: William P. AYeeks, president; Caleb 
Blodgett, vice-president; Eleazer Martin, secretary, and Jesse 
Martin, treasurer. The executive committee were March Barber, 
James Arv'in, Sylvanus B. ]\Iorgan, James Pattee, Nathaniel 
Shepard, Peter WeUs, Daniel CampbeU, Nathaniel Currier, Wil- 
liam W. George and Dea. Nathaniel Barber. The preceptor was 
T. L. Wakefield, who graduated from Dartmouth College in 
1843. Twenty-eight gentlemen and seventeen ladies attended. 
The fall term of that year was taught by Edward E. Sargent, a 
classmate of ]\Ir. Wakefield's, with forty-five gentlemen and 
twenty-two ladies attending. 

Socially, things were not much changed : there still existed a 
good deal of sullenness, but there was a decrease of personal 
vituperation. The proprietors were, however, not pleased with 
their investment. The terms of the loan required the interest 
on their notes to be paid in advance, and the town was now ask- 
ing for the principal also. The most interesting query with 
many of them was how to avoid payment and free themselves 
from their obligations. The suggestion that was acted upon 
and accepted was made by S. P. Cobb and J. L. Richardson, 
namely, to sell the land and buildings to the town. 

At the beginning of the annual meeting on March 8, 1842, 
the interest on the surplus revenue and school fund was voted 
to be divided as before among the schools. At the last part of 
the day, after many had gone home and after all the articles 
in the warrant had been disposed of, and nothing remained to 
do but sort and count the ballots for state and county officers, 
the motion was made to reconsider the vote regarding the disposi- 
tion of the surplus revenue and school fund and voted: "That 
the Treasurer of the Town of Canaan remit to the proprietors 

304 History of Canaan. 

of Canaan Union Academy the interest on the notes given by 
them to the Treasurer of the town of Canaan or to the agent of 
said town." They also voted: "That said notes be given up to 
said proprietors when they make and deliver to said town of 
Canaan a deed of academy land and buildings thereon, owned by 
said proprietors." This led to an outburst of wrath and in- 
dignation, seldom equalled and never excelled, against the men 
who had borrowed the public money and had attempted by a 
trick to vote away that money to pay their private debts. There 
was a very radiant atmosphere in Canaan for the next two weeks, 
as the following "whereas" and "resolved" witness. 

At the close of the annual meeting the proprietors of the 
academy appointed Joseph Wheat their agent to convey the 
property to the town, and he hurried the matter so rapidly that 
the deed was made and delivered to the town on the 23d of 
]\[arch, the day before a town meeting was held, which put a 
stop to their plans. At this meeting William Eastman was 
moderator. Jonathan Kittredge, bravely seconded and assisted 
by James Eastman, took the lead in the services and offered the 
following preamble and resolutions, which seems to be weighted 
down with indignant distinctness : 

Whereas, at the close of the annual meeting on the 8th. instant a vote 
was passed purporting to be a vote of the town of Canaan to the effect, 
as recorded, that the Treasurer remit to the proprietors of Canaan Union 
Academy the interest on the notes given by them to the treasurer of 
the town of Canaan or to the agent of said town, and also that said 
notes be given up to said proprietors when they make and deliver to 
the town a good and valid deed of the academy land, and buildings 
thereon; and whereas the design in passing said vote was carefully con- 
cealed from the legal voters of said town in the article in the warrant 
for said town-meeting under which said vote was pretended to be 
passed, giving no sufficient notice thereof; and whereas, the absence 
of a majority of said legal voters was designedly and fraudulently taken 
advantage of by said proprietors to secure the passage of said vote; 
and whereas, said vote was carried by the votes of said proprietors con- 
trary to the wishes of a large majority of the legal voters of said town; 
and whereas, the said vote is for the above reasons illegal and void, 

Resolved by said town, in legal town meeting assembled, that the said 
pretended vote be, and the same is hereby rescinded. That the town 
will not accept of any deed of the academy, and the selectmen have 
no right or authority to accept the same, or to perform any other act 

Canaan Union Academy. 305 

in relation thereto, obligatory upon the town. That the records of said 
pretended vote be expunged and that the town clerk now in the presence 
of the town draw black lines around the same and write across the 
same the following words, "Expunged by order of the town this 24th. 
day of March A. D. 1842." 

Resolved that the said agent be authorized to collect said notes and 
right of authority to give up to the said proprietors the said notes and 
that he be directed not to give the same. 

Resolved that Jonathan Kittredge be and is hereby appointed an 
agent of the town to demand and receive of Wm. P. Weeks all the notes 
in his hands, given to the town or to him as Treasurer or agent of the 
town or for the towns money, and that his receipt for the same to said 
"Weeks shall be his discharge from the town therefor on his procur- 
ing bonds to the acceptance of the town. 

Resolved that the Treasurer of the town has not, nor had he any 
to take any other steps to secure the interest of the town in its public 
money or in the said notes that he may think proper. 

They also voted that the agent collect the notes or that the 
signers procure sureties acceptable to the agent. George Harris, 
Dexter Harris, James Eastman, Daniel Sherburne and AYilliam 
E. Eastman were Kittredge 's bondsmen. And then to further 
show the state of their feelings and rake up the old trouble, 
Jonathan Kittredge, Joshua Richardson and James Morse were 
chosen a committee "to look up and report the facts in relation 
to the account of the Investigating Committee of 1839, appointed 
to ascertain by what means the Academy was burned." 

They voted to "divide the Surplus Revenue and School Fund 
equally among the schools. " * A motion was then made to re- 
consider all the votes and resolutions, and it was voted "not to 
reconsider any of them." 

The other party was much disturbed at the passage of these 
votes. They met and talked earnestly together, but feeling quite 
confident that they could maintain their position, they re- 
quested "William P. "Weeks, Esq., to consult some learned coun- 
sellor-at-law, and procure his opinion as to the binding force of 
the vote passed at the annual meeting," concerning the remis- 
sion of interest and deed of the academy. On the 11th of April, 
Kittredge demanded the notes of Mr. Weeks, who refused to 
give them up. 

A special town meeting, called April 23d for various pur- 
poses, gave rise to some lively talk. Mr. Kittredge was severely 


306 History of Canaan. 

criticised and unceremoniously dismissed as agent of the town, 
127 voting for his dismissal and none against, upon a poll of the 
house; but Kittredge did not stay dismissed. He had already 
on March 29th, applied for a temporary injunction restraining 
Mr. Weeks from doing anything, and had on the 11th of April, 
after Mr. Weeks' refusal, filed a bill in equity against Mr. Weeks 
to compel him to turn over the notes to himself as agent of the 
town. Kittredge was also determined to bring suits against 
the makers of the notes, and to push them to judgment, either 
as agent of the town or as an interested citizen, and the party 
was late in discovering that they had passed one more illegal 
vote, as the subject was not named in the warrant for the town 

The "learned counsellor-at-law " (Mr. Josiah Quincy of Rum- 
ney), whose opinion they procured, in view of the suits which 
had been commenced against the makers of the notes, advised 
them to compromise with the town's agent upon the best terms 
they could obtain, as Mr. Kittredge was in a frame of mind to 
push them to the utmost extent of the law, and his costs might 
soon exceed the principal of the notes. The "learned coun- 
sellor" held the same opinion of the action of the town and of 
the proprietors of the academy as did Mr. Kittredge — that 
it was unlawful for a part of the taxpayers of the town to vote 
away the public money to pay the private debts of the proprie- 
tors of the academy, without first giving notice, in the warrant 
to that effect. 

In August the proprietors held a meeting and offered to pay 
into the town treasury the principal due on their notes to the 
town, and to take back their deed, "provided, at their next meet- 
ing, the town would vote to give the said proprietors the inter- 
est due on their notes." 

They made one desperate effort to check the strong measures 
adopted by the town agent, by calling a town meeting on the 22d 
of August, 1842, to reconsider the work of March 24th, but they 
failed. William E. Eastman was chosen moderator, much to 
their chagrin, and then it w^as voted ' ' to dissolve the meeting " ' ; 
and thus the frost of public condemnation once more struck a 
chill to their hopes and expectations. From August until the 
next February no public steps were taken, but the proprietors 

Canaan Union Academy. 307 

rallied and got their partisans well in hand, so that on the first 
of Februarj% 18-i3, feeling confident of their case, they called 
a town meeting, at which it was voted 

To give the proprietors of Canaan Union Academy the interest on 
their notes given to the town, for the surplus revenue and literary fund, 
on condition that they take back their deed of the academy land and 
buildings to the town, and pay into the treasury the principal due on 
their notes, and they shall give satisfactory bonds for the payment of 
their notes to the town. 

Passed by, yeas 149, nays 139. The bill in chancery and all 
suits brought by Mr. Kittredge against the individual proprie- 
tors, were ordered to be dismissed and stopped and "Jonathan 
Kittredge is dismissed and discharged as agent of the town in 
regard to said notes and all other matters in which he is author- 
ized to act as agent for the town. ' ' 

This vote caused much dissatisfaction with a large number of 
voters, who were not present at the meeting, inasmuch as it gave 
to a few men the accumulated interest on the money of the whole 
people. They said ' ' it was not a fair division, and if the public 
business was to be done in that partial manner, they would all 
turn out next time and make it musical for some of them." 
It soon became evident that something must be done to soothe 
and placate these stay-at-home fellows ; but they became trouble- 
some. Various schemes were considered and abandoned, but 
at the annual meeting in March, one month afterward, the fol- 
lowing extraordinary vote, which seemed to meet the worst 
features of the case, as it gave everybody a grab at the bag, was 
passed : 

To give all the inhabitants of the town, including widows and maiden 
ladies, paying taxes, a sum of money out of the Surplus revenue equal 
to the sum voted to the proprietors of Canaan Union Academy, Feb. 
1, last; 

And then 

That the remainder of the money be equally, divided among all the in- 
habitants, including said widows and maiden ladies, as also said pro- 
prietors, who are in town on the 1st. day of April, and who are liable 
to the assessment of public taxes, not including persons seventy years 
of age. 

The amount of surplus revenue in the treasury at this date 
was $814.32, and the division pro rata, among the taxpayers was 

308 History of Canaan. 

$2.34. At the same meeting, the following respectful language 
was adopted in regard to Messrs. Weeks and Kittredge, the 
gentlemen emplo.yed as counsel in the suits brought against the 
proprietors of the academy, that they be requested to dismiss 
all suits now^ pending against any and all of said proprietors, 
and that request was subsequently complied with. 

On the 12th of March, 1844, the people declared that the pro- 
prietors of the academy had got more than their share of the sur- 
plus revenue and ordered them to pay into the town treasury 
an amount equal to the excess they had received above the rest 
of the inhabitants, but it does not appear that any one of those 
proprietors ever complied with the request of the people. They 
took all that ever came into their hands and kept it. At one of 
the proprietors' meetings, the venerable and respected Joseph 
Dustin, introduced the old fire-brand in these words : 

That the school be opened for the benefit of the colored as well as 
the white children, and that all his Methodist brethren vote on the 
motion and not attempt to dodge it. 

This provided a discussion characteristic of the times and peo- 
ple. It was promptly voted down and from that day onward, 
no colored person has been seen in any of our schools. 

On May 10, 1845, the proprietors of the academy voted to 
appoint J. E. Sargent "as agent of said proprietors to execute 
and deliver to S. P. Cobb a good and valid deed of said academy, 
buildings and land for the sum of $400." It does not appear 
that this deed was ever executed, for what reason is not known, 
but it seems queer that a company of men should embark in 
such an enterprise and after spending so much money, and feel- 
ing, not to say passion, in five years be so anxious to get it off 
their hands. 

But little remains of interest concerning the academy. The 
institution was re-established in 1852, its fortunes ha\ang varied 
with the years up to 1854, when, under the care of Charles C. 
"Webster, it reached its greatest fame, with a total of 206 schol- 
ars, 114 males and 92 females; with a classical depart- 
ment designed to prepare for college, a higher English and com- 
mon English department, and four terms a year. Eleazer Mar- 
tin was president of the corporation; Jonathan Kittredge, vice- 

Canaan Union Academy. 309 

president; Jesse Martin, secretary, and Horace Chase, treasurer. 
William P. Weeks, S. P. Cobb, Jonathan Kittredge, Arnold Mor- 
gan and Caleb Blodgett were the executive committee of the cor- 
poration. There were seven instructors and the scholars came 
from all over the country, although for the most part from 
Canaan and the surrounding towns. Mr. Webster gave up the 
school in 1856, having been here three years, and removed to 
Minnesota. Burrill Porter, Jr., continued it for another year, 
with a corps of six teachers and 171 pupils. Since that it ceased 
to be a corporation and became simply a private school, with 
wide intervals of time when the building was closed. Occa- 
sionally some one came along who would open a school and con- 
tinue it for one or two terms, contributing nothing towards the 
support or care of the building, and little towards their own. 

Through the energy of J. D. Weeks and William A. Wallace as 
trustees of the academy, the school was revived in 1870, and 
continued with different teachers until 1878. Some of them were 
Herbert Norris, J. Clement Story in 1876; William Sharp and 
B. E. Goodrich in 1877. For fourteen years its doors were closed 
and then in 1891 it was opened by Prof. Luther Purmot. Hugh. 
Moore was the last person to open a school. 

In 1854 the town was asked to paint the academy, fix up the 
yard and put a fence around it; they refused to do it and the 
fence was built by private subscription. Parts of it are still in 
existence on the line between the academy land and the adjoin- 
ing owner on the south. Repairs have been made to the build- 
ing by private subscription from time to time. In 1904 the town 
library having attained such proportions, it was deemed advis- 
able to move it into the academy building, where it occupies the 
upper floor. The town having appropriated part of the money 
to fit it up for that purpose and the balance being raised by 
voluntary contributions. 

The question has arisen, who o^\tis the academy? In read- 
ing this detailed statement of the facts, relating to the 
doings of the proprietors of the academy, it is evident that 
so long as the corporation existed it considered itself the owner 
of the building. The town having refused a deed from the pro- 
prietors, exercised no control over their doings. The money 
which built the academy was borrowed, and the town was only 

310 History of Canaan. 

a creditor of those sixty-five individuals who signed the notes. 
What was done with the money was immaterial to the town. 
The town at first sought to replace this money in the funds from 
which it had been taken, but a change of feeling led it to 
distribute the balance of the surplus revenue among the other 
inhabitants. Realizing that the proprietors had had more than 
their share, they sought to make them pay the dilference back 
to the town; this they never did. The town is in the position 
of having paid for something which they would not accept, 
and not enforcing their demand for their money to be re- 
turned, but silently allowing it to remain. Some might say that 
by their silence, they had accepted the disposition which had 
been made of their money, and are really in the position of 
being owners of the property, since their money paid for it. 

At this day some are jealous of the apparent exercise of 
ownership of some people over the building, but no one claims 
it. If one person or another does anything to protect and 
preserve this old landmark of the Street, it is done with a feel- 
ing of respect for the memories which must cluster around its 
portals. Unique in its position, it stands as a monument to 
the expression of the most trying times in the history of the 
town. Deserted and alone, it attracts the attention of every 
newcomer, who wonders that it should be so neglected. Like 
a bone that has been quarreled over by two dogs, it has been 
dropped, never to be taken up again. The generation in whom 
the worst parts of man's nature was aroused has passed awaj'. 
More than sixty years have elapsed since it was a disturbing 
factor; not one of the signers of the thirteen notes is alive today; 
not one of the men who opposed their plans. The questions 
disputed at that time and at the bottom of all their hard feeling 
has long since been settled, and their children and grand- 
children have grown up with no remembrance of the spite 
and abuse thrown broadcast by their parents and grandparents. 
The issue is dead and forgotten; the slave question has ceased 
to be ; abolition, too ; and we of this day can little realize the 
depth to which men's feelings were stirred. Such is the his- 
tory of the attempts to establish a school of learning in 
Canaan, and when we look back upon its stormy course at no 
time having the good will and sympathy of all the people of 

Canaan Union Academy. 311 

the community, bitterly opposed and as bitterly favored, liv- 
ing along from year to year on the persistence some men have 
to accomplish their ends, and using the object in dispute only 
as a means, blind to the good there might be in it itself, if spite 
and revenge be eliminated, the good in it became secondary 
to the success of their plans for revenge, resorting to trickery, 
force and unlawful means to bolster up or oppose. Is it any 
wonder that such a cause should fail, when dependent upon 
such influences, that people who had not become involved should 
hesitate to take any part? 


There were no lawyers among the early settlers of Canaan, 
and from the appearance of all the written documents that 
have come into my possession not any very learned men. There 
was very little use for law or lawyers so long as these men were 
contending simply with forests and wild beasts. Disputes 
relative to land titles were easily adjusted by the proprietors' 
committees and the surveyor with his compass. It was many 
years after the first arrivals before the people had need of 
courts of justice or of lawyers. Every man felt himself con- 
strained to be neighborly, friendly and forbearing, because 
each one was dependent upon every other one for some of the 
comforts in their rough life. In like communities, where the 
labor of the day was followed by the rest of the night, there 
was no place for the idle and dissolute either to rest or amuse 

George Harris, who followed close upon the footsteps of 
Thomas Miner in 1767, was an intelligent business man with a 
good education. Having the interests of the new colonists 
greatly at heart, he exerted a wise influence over them, so that 
while he lived, the uneven tempers were held in subjection, and 
for many years there were more precautions taken against wild 
beasts than dishonest men. In those first years, when it was 
necessary to observe forms. of law, in order to give binding effect 
to the wishes of some grantee, recourse was had to Bezaleel 
"Woodward of Hanover, or Benjamin Wheaton of Lebanon, 
both of whom held commissions as justices of the peace under 
the king. 

About the year 1779 William Ayer, holding a commission 
as justice of the peace from the governor of Massachusetts, 
came with his wife to make his home in Canaan. Nathan 
Follensbee, a young friend, accompanied him : they came from 
Amesbury, Mass., and on their arrival were very hopeful of their 
future in the new settlement. Thev. secured lands on South 

Lawyers. 313 

Road, near enough to be neighbors, and built log houses for 
their first shelter, as did all the early settlers, because of the 
scarcity of sawed timber. Mr. Nathan's father and a hired 
man came with them also and located upon the farm once 
owned by Farrington Currier, and Mr. Ayer upon the next ad- 
joining, afterwards owned by Daniel Farnum. After building 
his log house, I\Ir. FoUensbee, with his father's assistance, felled 
five acres of trees, burned over land and raked in the seed, but 
the early frosts killed the crop ; then he returned to Haverhill 
and brought back a wife, Anne Sawyer. They lived here several 
years and had three sons born to them. It is related that after 
the fire which had burned the brush and timber which her 
husband had felled, that the ground was black with ashes and 
coal, there was nothing green left growing near his cabin. Mrs. 
Follensbee visited her neighbor, Mrs. Ayer, and told her how 
dismally black everything was about her home, and begged of 
her a handful of green turf, which she carried home in her 
handkerchief and transplanted. The seasons from 1785 to '90 
were severe; untimely frosts cut off the crops of the farmers 
and even their seed was lost. Discouraged by the unpropitious 
seasons, Mr. Follansbee sold his lands and moved to Hamp- 
stead, where his eldest daughter, Martha, was born, July 
30, 1793. She married Hubbard Harris, Jr., who was a trader 
on the Street and built the house long the residence of Dr. 
Arnold ]\Iorgan, now owned by Mrs. Henry Martin. One other 
sister, Betsey, was born in Hampstead in 1795. Afterwards, not 
pleased with his manner of life he was persuaded by his friend 
Paddleford and Capt. James Huse, to return to this region and 
buy lands on Shaker Hill in 1796. In 1797 his daughter Sarah 
was born. She married George Harris, a brother of Hubbard. 
Mr. Follensbee died in Enfield after a long and eventful life. 
Mr. Ayer had received a good education and was somewhat 
familiar with legal lore. He was not too modest to let his 
townsmen know that he could make his services as valuable to 
them as those of Wheaton and Woodward and at less trouble. 
The legal business of the colonists consisted chiefly in the 
making and acknowledging of deeds. The days had not yet 
come when they could afford to spend their time and sub- 
stance in litigation. Mr. Ayer served the people as justice, 

314 History of Canaan. 

conveyancer and adviser, and also in many town offices. He 
was an honored resident of Canaan about twenty years, when 
the failing health of his wife induced him to sell out his farm 
to Daniel Farnum and return to Massachusetts. But there 
were other men in town competent to perform all the legal 
services which the people required in their business intercourse. 
Thomas Baldwin was one of these men. Being a ready writer, 
he was often called upon to make deeds and wills, some of 
which are quaint and picturesque in their phraseology. I have 
several of them in my possession written in a fair, round 

Daniel Blaisdell, also, the first of the name, was a growing 
man and became so familiar with legal forms and requirements 
that he was generally selected to present questions to the 
courts, duties which he performed satisfactorily and for small 
compensation. He was not a learned man, but possessed a 
good judgment and a retentive memory. Then there was 
"Esq." John Currier, who was almost uninterruptedly engaged 
in business of a public kind all his life. These were the law- 
yers in those early days who were sufficient unto the wants of 
the people. Lawyers as such found little encouragement to 
stop here for several seasons, but chiefly because there was 
neither time nor money to squander on such luxuries. In 
nearly all bargains or trades it was agreed that payments should 
be made in farm products, labor, et2. 

At or about the time of the building of the meeting house, 
there came into town a lawyer, who with strong assurance told 
the people that they needed him, or at any rate he needed 
them, for they appeared to be thrifty and ought to have a good 
many nice questions in law to talk over, and he proposed to 
stay and get his living among them. His name was Nathanial 
Farrer, but the people did not take kindly to him. He secured 
board with Capt. Moses Dole. He remained here a year or 
more, and in that time occurred the first lawsuit in Canaan. 
Capt. Robert Barber had bought a nice horse, at a low price, 
from a stranger who was passing through town, and was much 
pleased with his bargan. The captain was a short, pussy man, 
wore breeches and a long waistcoat, like old Uncle John Barber, 
and was a good sort of a man, but always busy, too much so to 

Lawyers. 315 

pay much attention to children; in fact, children got very lit- 
tle away from home. About the only salutation they got from 
him was "take care boy, don't meddle with things." A short 
time afterwards a man from one of the Vermont river towns 
appeared in our street, inquiring for a horse which he said 
had been stolen from him. He described the horse and the 
thief, saying he had traced them as far as this village. Being 
directed to Captain Barber, he saw and claimed the horse as 
his property, but Captain Barber declined to part with it 
without consideration, whereupon the claimant set Lawyer 
Farrer upon him. brought him into court and replevined the 
horse. The captain paid the costs with an ill grace. He said 
it was "all along of harboring a lawyer in town, whose only 
means of living was by the misfortunes of honest people." The 
captain's chargin at being cheated by a horse thief was very 
great, and he continued to pour out the vials of his wrath upon 
lawyers as the natural allies of thieves, until the sympathies of 
the people were awakened in his favor and Mr. Farrer was re- 
garded as a man who might make mischief among them. Be 
that as it may, our hardworking ancestors were not yet ready 
to engage in suits at law. They knew it to be expensive, and 
so they continued to rely upon their friends, whose previous 
faithful services were a sruarantv for the future. Mr. Farrer, 
finding his cases did not multiply, and that his clothes were 
getting seedy, left town, and there is no further trace of him to 
be found in our annals. In part payment for his board bill 
due Elias Lathrop, he pledged two blank books, unruled and 
bound in sheep, with his name upon the fly-leaf. These books 
are now in my possession, containing valuable memoranda con- 
cerning the meeting house, and the reorganization of the Bap- 
tist church in 1802. 

For several years little variation was noticeable in the lives 
of our people. They labored diligently upon their lands and 
prayed for the prosperity of the church, which was without a 
pastor, but was feebly, yet vainly, struggling to find a man to 
take charge of their spiritual afiPairs. one whose teachings they 
could follow with faith and trust; but it was many years yet 
before those prayers were answered. For amusement they had 
for a long time an adjourned town meeting, which they regu- 

316 History of Canaan. 

larly attended, and scolded about the dilatorious conduct of the 
contractors in building and finishing the meeting house. 

In 1808 Thomas Hale Pettingill, a graduate of Dartmouth 
College in 1804, and just then admitted to the bar, visited rela- 
tives in Canaan, and concluded it would be a good field for him 
to work in. He was the son of Benjamin and Polly Pettingill 
of Salisbury, born November 20, 1780. He read law with John 
Harris of Hopkiuton. He built the house, later the residence 
of Jesse Martin, and opened an office in one of the rooms in 
the spring of 1808. At first he met with indifferent success. 
The old prejudice against lawyers was active and demonstra- 
tive; but he persevered, and when told they had no use for 
his kind of man, he would shrug his shoulders and wait. He 
had not long to wait, not more than a year, before he had the 
whole town by the ears. His labors necessitated the appoint- 
ment of a sheriff, and this officer planned how he could gain 
a living by this office. The next thing of importance was a 
court ; and from that day onward until now Canaan has never 
been without a lawyer, with his attendant sheriff and court, and 
the e\adence is conclusive that all of them escaped the fate of 
Farrer. No one of them has ever since been starved out, with 
the exception of George Kimball and John H. Slack. Mr. Pet- 
tingill's diligence and success surprised his friends. His legal 
machinery ground slow but sure. Many of the best and most 
quiet citizens were taken in his toils, and paid him homage. One 
record shows that from the 2d day of July, 1808, to Feb- 
ruary 23, 1811, a period of two years and eight months, Mr. Pet- 
tingill brought 193 suits before John Currier, Esq., the court's 
fee in each case being charged at sixty-seven cents. The first 
case this young lawyer brought was Nathaniel Tucker v J. 
Smith. The case was a trivial one, a misunderstanding in the 
settlement of a small account, but it served for a beginning as 
well as if it were of national importance. Mr. Pettingill was 
aggressive in his temperament, was not famous for courtesy or 
neighborly kindness ; he was persistent in the pursuit of an 
object, and no mere personal consideration turned him aside 
from the attainment of his fixed purpose to get rich. He liked 
directness and hated all shams, but he was never a great fa- 
vorite with the people, although they appreciated his ability, 

Lawyers. 317 

and for three years he held three town otfices at one time. He 
was representative in 1814, 15 and 16, moderator from 1813-20, 
town treasurer from 1813-20, and member of the school commit- 
tee from 1811-20. In his earlier years he was a Federalist. 
In 1817 he published a burlesque upon Jefferson and his 
friends, called "The Yankee Traveller; or, the Adventures of 
Hector Wigier"; later he changed his opinions, became ashamed 
of the literarv' venture and tried to recall it from circulation. 
When he left town he had made no impress upon its institu- 
tions nor upon the hearts of the people that would lead them 
to cherish his memory. Many incidents are remembered of him 
which illustrate his sharp wit and self-reliance. His imperious 
disposition manifested itself in all the walks of his life. He 
was the first candidate for the rights and benefits of JNIasonry in 
the then new Mt. Moriah Lodge, which was organized in 1814. 
The records show that he carried his temper into the lodge 
room. Another lawyer, Elijah Blaisdell, of whom we shall 
hear more further on, had located in Canaan ; he also was a 
member of that lodge. Being of the same profession and of 
similar traits and habits, they had frequent altercations. Then 
there were complaints ; one day it was the complaint of Brother 
Pettingill against Brother Blaisdell, and a committee appointed 
to consider the same. At the next communication was a report 
that the belligerants had settled their difficulty, and there was 
nothing further to report. Next time it would be a complaint 
Blaisdell v Pettingill, and the committee would go over the 
same routine ; then there would be difficulties with Nathaniel 
Pierce, and again with Doctor Tilton, and all ending in the same 
way, and each showing arbitrary temper on the part of the 
members of the bar. 

A demand against Amasa Jones was left with him for col- 
lection. He sent Amasa a letter which brought him quickly to 
his office. Amasa objected to paying fifty cents for the letter 
and began to plead his hard times. Pettingill took up his pen 
and wrote figures. Amasa asked him why he wrote. Pettin- 
gill replied, "I'm charging you ten cents a minute for the time 
you keep me waiting, I can't atford to do all this talking for 
nothing," and then Amasa made haste to pay the bill without 
further objections to the price of the letter. 

318 History of Canaan. 

lu 1813 he subscribed one dollar towards the support of 
Elder Wheat : three years afterwards, when ^Mrs. Stephen 
Worth died, and the elder at the funeral charged Stephen with 
being an infidel, greatly offending the whole congregation, Pet- 
tingill, Colonel Wells, John M. Barber and William Eichardson, 
withdrew their promises of support, and declared they would 
never hear him preach again. Mr. Pettingill resided in Canaan 
until 1822, and his going was much like his coming. His 
father, grown old, desired him to come home and live with him. 
He declined; his chances for wealth were too good to be 
abandoned here. As a further inducement the old man told 
him to sum up all his gains during his residence in Canaan 
and if he would come to him he would double the sum. The 
laAvyer counted up his gains, until they amounted to over ten 
thousand dollars, which surprised the old man into the re- 
mark that he feared Tom had not been very considerate; but 
he made good his promise and in 1822, with reluctance. Lawyer 
Pettingill turned his back upon the field of his legal triumphs, 
leaving it in possession of his antagonist, Blaisdell, and settled 
down in his native town of Salisbury, where he continued to 
reside, with the exception of two years spent in Franklin, until 
his death, August 8, 1856, at the age of 75 years. He married 
Aphia Morse at Cornish in February-, 1810. They had one son 
and two daughters. 

Old Jim Woodbury w^as a Revolutionary soldier, whom Pet- 
tingill often met, and to his salutation, the old man's uniform 
answer was "I'm a leetle better than I was yesterday. Mr. Pet- 
tingill." Pettingill's reply to this refrain was, "Well, Uncle 
Jim, you've been a leetle better every day since I knew you, and 
you are about as miserable now as a man can be and live ; you 
must have been an almighty mean man before anyone else knew 

There was Henry French of Grafton, who applied to him for 
a certificate to teach a district school. After a short examina- 
tion, Pettingill gave French a certificate reading that "he was 
fully competent to teach school in any district where there were 
no scholars." 

Elijah Blaisdell, born in Canaan October 29, 1782, was the son 
of Hon. Daniel Blaisdell. November 14, 1802. he married ^Mary 

Lawyers. 319 

Fog'g of Hampton, daughter of John Fogg, and settled down 
in Pittsfield as a shoemaker. At the age of twenty-seven, with 
a wife and three children dependent upon him, he concluded 
that shoemaking was not his strong point ! he might get rich, but 
he never would become famous; so laying aside his last and 
apron, he entered an otfice in INIontpelier, Vt., and for three 
years applied himself to the study of law, and was admitted 
to the bar. For a few years he loitered about in search of a loca- 
tion. He tried Grafton and Danbury, but the people were not 
sufficiently litigious. About 1812 he located on Canaan Street, 
in the house afterwards occupied by Albert Pressey. About the 
same time he was appointed "side" judge of the court of com- 
mon pleas for the county of Grafton. He resigned in 1834 and 
was appointed county solicitor and reappointed five years after. 
He was also the colonel of a regiment of militia. His second 
wife was Mrs. Mary Kingsbury of Plainfield. Here Pettingill 
already had a court with all its machinery in full blast. Here 
he lived and labored until 1833, when he sold out and removed 
to Lebanon. He died in Lebanon October 10, 1856. In politics 
he began a Federalist, and was elected to various town offices, 
also to the Legislature in 1827-28. Upon the election of General 
Jackson in 1828, he visited Washington to see the inauguration 
ceremonies, and he was received with so much affability by the 
old general that he became his warm supporter and forever 
afterward voted and talked as a Democrat. In 1835, when for a 
season Abolitionists had no legal rights and public opinion was 
as merciless as an octopus, he returned to Canaan, and har- 
rangued the assembled people upon the importance of "driving 
the niggers out of our beautiful town," even if it became neces- 
sary to destroy the academy building to accomplish that purpose. 
He was made a Mason in Mount Moriah Lodge in 1814, and he 
soon became upon all occasions the rival and antagonist of his 
brother Pettingill. In their temperaments, these two men were 
much alike, arbitrary and overbearing, impatient of restraint, 
not scrupulous of the rights and feelings of others, and in the 
innumerable suits w^hich they promoted, were always pitted 
against each other. Their language to each other was far from 
polite, and a stranger would suppose them to be bitterly hostile, 
but when the time arrived for making up bills of costs, they 

320 History of Canaan. 

would come readily together to divide the spoils in great seem- 
ing friendliness. 

Mr. Blaisdell held the office of judge of probate for several 
years, during the supremacy of the Democratic party. He was 
sent to the Legislature in 1826 ; was selectman in 1822-24^-25- 
28-31 and 32. But with all his long years and his opportunities 
for usefulness, he left no memorial of services by which a suc- 
<3eeding generation will recall his name as a benefactor. 

George Kimball was born in Harvard, Mass., in 1787, son of 
Benjamin and Nancy (Wilder) Kimball; he gTaduated at Dart- 
mouth College in 1809 ; read law with Stephen Moody at Gil- 
manton, and was admitted to the bar and settled in practice at 
Union, Me., in March, 1813; from thence he went to Warren, 
Me., in 1814. For many years he was a successful teacher in 
the public schools in Concord and in Richmond. Va., and also 
in the island of Bermuda in 1815, where he married a lady who 
was the owner of many slaves. On his return he brought one 
of them, named Nancy, as a servant for his wife, and through 
all the vicissitudes of their lives, Nancy remained faithful and 
true to her mistress. In 1824, he turned his attention to journal- 
ism, and became editor of The Concord Register. He was a 
gentleman of refinement and intelligence, companionable and 
of amiable disposition, a good storyteller and a writer of fair 
ability, but he was indolent, exceedingly fond of snuff and 
good whiskey, too much so to meet with success in a calling that 
requires active industrs^, tact and a quick perception. Of the 
duties of editorial life, he was a dreamer and oftentimes when 
his mind should have been active in his business, he would sit 
for hours nibbling his pen or gazing into vacancy, and when at 
last roused hy the call of the boy for "copy," he would start 
up with "Yes, yes, boys, in a few minutes"; and instead of sit- 
ting down to his work himself, would start off and beg his 
friend, George Kent, to "help him out just once more." 

In the fall of 1826, he had become weary of journalism ; it 
interfered with his fixed habits of indolence. His friends ad- 
vised him to return to the law, and that Canaan would be a 
good place to locate. There were sheriffs here, and justices and 
all the machinery for making a first-class reputation. Pet- 
tingill was gone and Elijah Blaisdell alone remained as an 

Lawyers. 321 

antagonist. He came here and opened an office and in a few 
months after received the appointment of postmaster. He was 
a scholar and an agreeable speaker, but his manner of life had 
not made him familiar with legal practice. Business flowed in 
upon him, but in the details of legal forms he made mistakes 
and was often obliged to ask leave to amend his declarations. 
Blaisdell harassed and annoyed him and he as usual had re- 
course to his old Concord friends for relief. ]Moody Kent was 
his mentor and X. P. Eogers of Plymouth, his fidus Achates. 
They partially directed his cases and carried him triumphantly 
through many difficulties. 

^Ir. Rogers was a man of rare talents. His mind was severely 
disciplined by study, reading and observation. His brain was 
active, and scattered gems of thought through the columns of 
the papers of that day. Whoever was fortunate enough to se- 
cure his friendship, found in him a great soul, true as the 
magnet, full of noble and unselfish sentiments. As a letter 
writer, he was without an equal in his time. He stood watch 
over Kimball as if he was his own child, and his advice will be 
worthy of attention ages hence. The following is dated May 
3, 1829 : 

I must request you to act as to Nell in loco guardiani (if this is gi-am- 
mar), as to her school ("Nell" was Ellen Farrand, Mrs. Rogers' sis- 
ter, who was teaching in Canaan) and assist her in her studies lul in- 
terim (pater again). Converse well in her hearing, for you can advise 
and instruct as well as Burns could, whether you "peek the sede" any 
better than that adviser, I don't judge. One thing I want to say you, 
don't run in debt at the store; estimate your stores of little articles, and 
muster money and pay down for all you buy and buy at cash prices; 
otherwise you will always be thinking about it or you will forget that 
you owe and will spend what will pay the debts. Pay your sheriff 
often, and make your magistrate work cheap, pay him but part entry 
fee. Make out all your ex'ons yourself, and let him sign them, and pay 
him nothing for signing blanks. Debt is the worst evil on earth, next 
to dishonesty. Of all things a classical gentlemanly spirit should 
keep free of dependence on the vulgar traders that we sometimes find 
in the world. Of all tyrants in the world, the most tyrannical is 
the brute that gets power by vending rum and tobacco. Don't suppose 
that I have in my eye any of your neighbors, I have not. But I give 
you and suggest this caution — that's all. 


322 History of Canaan. 

Here is another that is so well salted and spiced that I cannot 
withstand the temptation to copy it entire : 

Plymouth, Aug. 5, 1829. Dear K . Court, like a pay day or a 

day to be liung ou, draws nigh apace, and I find among other perils 
that await you and me, is the case of Gilman v. Button. Sit down and 
write me the facts in the case as they occurred, and as we can prove 
them. You must see the witnesses and hear their stories, and take fire 
at them. We must prepare that case well. Ascertain whether the wit- 
nesses will testify viva voce better than on paper, /. e., whether their 
lies will appear most plausible in a deposition or from the tongue. 

I want you to be as industrious as a pis-mire. There is no reason 
why you and I, having common sense, should be less diligent than those 
who have not got it. What a miracle it would be if we should devote 
four hours each day to the study of the law, and now in our "sere and 
yellow" time of life rise like a couple of Darien eagles to the very mid- 
heaven of eminence! Would it not be worth while, eh I No more of 
this, which prudence (if you had it) would lead you to burn. All that 
your worldly friends think you lack is hawk-eyed cunning, sharpness 
at money-getting, ambition and industry to cut and thrust in the law, 
and to heap up gain, as some of them are doing. I tell them your hap- 
piness and excellence and safety consist in your freedom from that in- 
fernal disposition to clutch at everything you see, like most of them, — 
though I want you to study law a little harder (I mean I am doing it) 
and be as economical as Franklin and prudent in your bargains, not 
sharp; to be sharp is imprudent. I am at the end of my sheet and 
entirely your friend. N. P. R. 

In the money matters, ]\Ir. Kimball was not a prudent man. 
He had all the business he could attend to, but it only tended 
to poverty. He had a bad habit of paying his sheriff and court 
fees, and charging them to his client, and then instead of collect- 
ing his costs, would borrow money, and buy everything on credit. 
He was an enthusiast and, like liis Plymouth friend, a natural 
reformer. He was largely instrumental in building the Congre- 
gational Church in 1828. In connection with Rev. ]\Ir. Foster 
and Jonathan Kittredge, he joined the new and untried temper- 
ance movement, which has been moving ever since. The anti- 
Masonic wave, which started from Buffalo in 1826, reached 
through New Hampshire in 1829. With his friend, Rogers, he 
plunged enthusiastically into its seething vortex and though 
not a Mason, he successfully talked about the "wicked deeds 
of that horrible institution, that was afraid of the light," and 
through his influence, Nathaniel Currier, John Shepherd and 

Lawyers. 323 

Hubbard Harris, were induced to make public renunciation of 
their Masonic obligations. This greatly enraged the Masons, and 
Jacob Trussell and Elijah Blaisdell said "they might just as 
well have renounced everv'thing else, for although members of 
the lodge, neither of them could explain what they had re- 
nounced. ' ' 

^h\ Kimball was naturally sympathetic. When Garrison ap- 
peared as the champion of the enslaved race, Kimball with Rog- 
ers, joined him and were ever after identified with the move- 
ment. They were greatly instrumental in building "Noyes 
Academy" and in changing its original features so as to admit 
colored pupils. They had a right to do this; but the public 
opinion of those days was as much enslaved as the negroes, and 
was fierce and brutal in its instincts as the hyena. The beautiful 
fabric which those unselfish men had erected and whose dedica- 
tion to freedom of thought ought to have made it sacred, was 
rudely thrown down, and the grand object for which it was so 
carefully nursed into being, disappeared forever in one day. 
The mob, which on the 10th of August, 1835, defied law, violated 
private rights and destroyed the germs of what would have be- 
come one of the most flourishing institutions of learning in the 
country', was simply the creature of public opinion, remorse- 
less and cruel, which pervaded the land through all its wide- 
spread territory. It was not a Canaan mob, for with all their 
evil passions then fired up, there was a lack of courage in the 
men of Canaan to perform such deeds. They gave Ichabod 
Bartlett five dollars to tell them if they had any legal rights 
to destroy the "nigger school." He did tell them that everj' 
man standing by and consenting thereto made himself liable 
to the penalties of the law — provided public opinion should 
ever allow a jury to find them gTiilty. This contingency was 
so remote that it placed no restraint upon the mob. This 
digression is made because Mr. Kimball was acting as the agent 
of such men as Samuel E. Sewall, Samuel H. Cox, Arthur Tap- 
pan, David L. Child, Benjamin Lundy, and the great body of 
Abolitionists of the country, who cherished the hope that this 
free academy might be instrumental in developing the capaci- 
ties of the negro, and in some degree mitigating the social 
rigors that environed his race. The ferocity of the mob spirit 

324 History of Canaan. 

amazed and for a time paralyzed the friends of that school. 
The people were seized with the idea that Abolitionists were to 
be exterminated with or without law^ At public meetings, find- 
ing themselves in a minority and treated as public enemies, they 
for a time refrained from attending them and waited for the 
reaction of the public mind, which was sure to come. 

Mr. Kimball found it to his interest to leave town. In 1836 
he w^ent to Alton, 111., and in company with Hubbard Harris 
engaged in mercantile business; Nathaniel Currier furnished 
$6,000 as part of their capital. When the mob of Alton at- 
tacked Lovejoy's office, killed Lovejoy and threw his press 
and type into the Mississippi, Kimball was present, but not as 
one of the defenders. He was not successful in trade, and he 
returned to the East. He remained East a short time, for for- 
tune did not favor him, being almost constantly embarrassed. 
At his wife's solicitation, they returned to Bermuda about 1840, 
where for twenty years he ,was a teacher and lawyer in the 
town of Hamilton. In 1858 he died, a weary old man. 

John Hancock Slack, A. M., son of John and Betsey (Ide) 
Slack, was born at New London in June, 1789. and died at 
Loudon County, Va., August 2, 1857, aged 68. He was gradu- 
ated from Dartmouth College in 1811, and taught school at Hop- 
kinton. He read law with Hon. Moses P. Payson of Bath, and 
Hon. John Harris and Baruch Chase of Hopkinton, and was 
admitted to the bar in 1817 ; practised at Andover, Pembroke, 
Goffstown and New Castle (Hill) ; was a resident of Canaan in 
1829 and 1830, where he taught a select school in the hall of 
Gordon Burley's store; and occasionally, when other la\Ayers 
were out of sight, had some practice. Lea\dng Canaan about 
1830, he went to Canada and then drifted southerly to George- 
town, D. C. ; thence to Fairfax County, Va., and afterwards to 
Loudon County, where he died. He married Lydia, daughter of 
Levi Hastings of Wilton, about 1825. When he resided here in 
the old Baptist parsonage, which Albert Pressey last occupied, 
he was a poor man ; he had never been successful, either as a 
teacher or lawyer; he often appeared like a hunted man, and 
many reports to his disadvantage were circulated and he seemed 
generally to be under a cloud. He often said he was confident 
he would live down all the evil that was said of him. At George- 

Lawyers. 325 

town he established a college and referred to many of the lead- 
ing men of Washington as trustees and visitors. He started out 
well, but had not the faculty of holding on, therefore, he often 
fell by the wayside. He belonged to a class of men who make 
good servants, but cannot serve themselves; they need a direct- 
ing mind. Perhaps some part of the ill success which attended 
his life was due to his partner. His home life was neither cheer- 
ful nor tidy, and he seemed to think that apologies for personal 
blemishes were due as a matter of course to visitors. To his 
boy scholars, he was always kind and friendly; for myself I al- 
ways had a warm place for him in my heart. 

Jonathan Kittredge, LL. D., was the son of Dr. Jonathan and 
Apphia (Woodman) Kittredge, born in Canterbury, July 17, 
1793 ; graduated at Dartmouth College in 1813. He read law 
with Bleecker & Sedgwick at Albany, N. Y., and Eoswell William 
Lewis of New York City, and began practice at the last place 
in 1817. It is not known how long he remained in that city, 
but soon after the departure of I\Ir. Pettingill in 1822, he 
opened an office in Canaan and resided here until 1827, when he 
removed to Lyme, where he married Julia Balch on February 
8, 1829 ; he resided there until 1836. Before he came to Canaan 
he had contracted an appetite for strong drink, his case seemed 
almost hopeless ; no man could have been worse ; he had thrown 
otf self-respect, lost caste in society, his brethren of the bar 
shunned him, and clients seldom sought his counsel. In those 
days when rum was almost as common a drink as cider, and 
many drunkards traversed the highwaj^s crookedly, the trail of 
Mr. Kittredge was the crookedest. Some efforts were made to 
reclaim and save him by a few friendly brethren of the bar, and 
particularly by that great-souled gentleman, N. P. Rogers, 
whose hand and heart always went out to the weary and heavy 
laden; and there were some too, who for reasons of their o^\'n, 
urged him on, apparently pleased with his self-abasement. The 
appetite for drink clung to him like the shirt to Nessus, and 
dragged him down until he could get no lower and no word of 
reproach or kindness could rouse him to contend with the demons 
that had seized him, but to the Rev. Amos Foster, is due his ref- 
ormation in 1825, as elsewhere related. While at Lyme he wrote 
and delivered an address upon temperance, January 8, 1827, 

326 History op Canaan. 

which when published, gave him almost a national reputation. 
The address was reprinted in England, France and Germany, 
and exerted a powerful influence for good upon the thought- 
ful world. The State Temperance Society appointed him its 
agent in 1832 and he edited its newspaper in 1834. 

There was not much need of lawyers in Lyme, either before or 
since that period, but ]\Ir. Kittredge continued to reside in that 
tow^n among friends who tenderlj^ watched over him, until he 
should gain courage and strength to meet his old enemy and 
all his bad forces in the wide world's arena. In 1836 he re- 
turned to Canaan, a period when society was almost resolved 
into its original elements ; that is, the professed Christian men 
of the town had gone back to original sin. Hatred, vituperation 
and slander filled all hearts and mouths. It was here during 
the next eight years he won an honorable reputation as an able, 
skilful and well-read laA\yer, for fair dealing and humanity 
as a man, for sincerity as a Christian and proved himself reso- 
lute and fearless in the pursuit of an object. Bad men avoided 
him, and w^hen charged with slandering him, slunk away and 
denied it. 

In politics he was a Whig, and disclaimed any sympathy with 
Abolitionists or Free-soilers, but in the excitements of those 
days, he never forgot that strength and numbers, even when 
upheld by public opinion, were not always guarantees of jus- 
tice ; and thus he soon found himself in full accord with the 
opposition to the wild elements that disturbed society and called 
itself patriotism. He was rough and uncouth in many ways, 
even with his friends, and those who disliked him sometimes 
called him "hog," or some equivalent phrase without defining 
whether they intended it as a compliment to him or it. He was 
considered a safe counselor, always true to his clients. Only 
on one occasion did we ever hear his integrity impugned, and 
that was in the settlement of an estate, when upon rendering 
his final accounts, the judge after looking over the items and 
seeing an enormous fee charged by the executor, exclaimed: 
"Mr. Kittredge, Mr. Kittredge, that is a most outrageous fee!" 
After some rough scolding, the fee was allowed, minus two hun- 
dred dollars. He was a politician, of course, and sought his own 
advancement; he was the leader of his party and could control 

Lawyers. 327 

all its elements. He succeeded very skilfidly in throwing out a 
Democratic postmaster here and secured the place to himself, 
which he held several years in a very lax manner. Five times 
he was elected to represent the town in the Legislature in 1846-48 
and 1851 and 1855. He held various town offices, especially such 
as were agreeable to him ; was selectman in 1851 and moderator 
eight years ; he went as delegate to the Philadelphia Convention 
in 1848, that nominated General Taylor, and was an active 
worker for his election. 

In 1856 he was appointed chief judge of the court of com- 
mon pleas, and held the office until the court was reformed out 
of existence in 1858. He was respected as a lawyer and judge, 
but he was not popular with either lawyers or clients. His 
brusque manner with other peculiarities among other members 
of the court, begat a hostility on the part of the bar that re- 
sulted in reforming the whole court, and several of its members, 
including Mr. Kittredge, were left out in the cold. In 1858 
Dartmouth College conferred upon him the degree of LL. D. In 
the spring of 1859 he moved to Concord, where he continued 
to reside until his death, April 8, 1864, aged 71 years. His man- 
ner of leaving the court was not agreeable to him ; he felt as if 
he had been struck by his political friends and it soured him 
towards man}^ with whom he had always worked. The act was 
said to have been engineered through the Legislature by Cragin 
of Lebanon, who had been treated coarsely by Mr. Kittredge 
and took that method to be revenged. Both parties seemed to 
enjoy great pleasure in "reforming" that court. 

Jonathan Kittredge 's greatest victory was achieved over 
himself in his earlier j^ears. He was held in honor and 
esteem by the good people here ; he was a man of large ability. 
I do not feel myself competent to give an anaylsis of his capa- 
city as a lawyer, but I can speak of him at home and in his 
neighborhood life and of his influence in affairs, some of his 
disappointments and his old age. His famous temperance ad- 
dress was given in the Congregational Church in 1829 ; I heard 
him speak it. There was a time here once when the waves of 
popular madness ran so high and wild that the law and the 
right of individuals were trampled upon and justice and truth 
were fallen in the streets. Jonathan Kittredge was the one 

328 History op Canaan. 

courageous man to buffet the howling mob and rescue truth and 
justice from the evil passions that threatened them. His chil- 
dren, Ellen ]\Iaria, born December 7, 1838, died August 11, 1839 ; 
Edward C. Delevan, referred to elsewhere, and Jonathan Perry, 
born in Canaan December 13, 1840, married Ellen S. Bond of 
Worcester, Mass., December 26, 1872 : enlisted in Company B, 
third New Hampshire Volunteers, August 23, 1861, was ap- 
pointed hospital steward, September 9, 1862; mustered out Au- 
gust 23, 1864; was in the drug business in Concord under the 
name of Underbill & Kittredge. 

William P. Weeks was the son of Brackett and Sarah (Pick- 
ering) Weeks, born at Greenland, February 22, 1803; gradu- 
ated from Dartmouth College in 1826. He read law with Hon. 
William A. Hayes and Charles X. Coggswell of South Berwick, 
Me. Admitted to the bar in 1829 in Maine : November of that 
year he located here at the instance of his brother-in-law, Gor- 
don Burley, whose large business affairs had become entangled 
and Mr. Weeks was set to work to straighten them out. Three 
other lawyers were already in practice on the Street, Blaisdell, 
Kimball and Slack. He soon afterwards entered the office of 
I\Ir. Blaisdell as a partner, and continued there for a short time, 
two or three years. There seemed to be small room for him, but 
he stayed on. believing that some or all of the others would soon 
have occasion to emigrate, and he would have an open field. Mr. 
Slack did leave within two years. Mr. Blaisdell in 1833, con- 
cluded to make his future home in Lebanon, and two years 
later ^Ir. Kimbell formed a mercantile partnership in Alton, 
111., and quitted the field of his victories and defeats. When Mr. 
Weeks came to Canaan there existed here two parties with strong 
antagonisms, which arose chiefly from business complications, 
but politics was also a large factor. It was a vicious sentiment 
that delighted in tearing reputations, and showed itself in nearly 
all the walks of life. As events developed, it was impossible for 
any intelligent man to remain an indifferent spectator. He was 
a Democrat by natural inheritance, and when his party called 
the roll, he answered, and even until the day of his death, he was 
a strong leader here. The only time he was ever ashamed of his 
party was when the Legislature of 1854 passed resolutions hypo- 
criticallv recitina- that the extension of slaverv into the terri- 

Lawyers. 329 

tories was good cause for the dissolution of the Union. It was 
to catch the Abolition vote and failed of its object, because it 
was plain that neither the men nor the party were sincere in 
enacting those words. It placed the party in a false position, 
and it lost prestige for consistency. He might have added, had 
he lived, that in thirty successive years, it never regained its 
lost character. During the sad years when the Abolition trouble 
disturbed the social harmony he was a strong partisan. He took 
no active part in the early disputes, but his counsel and advice 
as well as sympathy were always at the service of the destruc- 
tors. Threats of violence were freely made against the prom- 
inent men and women, and particularly against the colored boys. 

It was through his timely counsel that the ruffians laid aside 
their clubs and stones. That party was made up of strong- 
minded, wilful, determined men, with none too much intelli- 
gence or education, but with brains enough to carry out their 
plans in their own way, which was not always gentle. INIr. 
Weeks always held these fierce spirits in restraint by quietly 
quoting the penalties of the law to them. His practice w^as ex- 
tensive and lucrative, but it was chiefly in the branches of law 
relating to debt and credit, and the validity of titles. In these 
matters he made himself an authority. 

He was never counted a great lawyer, but lie was a correct 
business man and carefully attended to all affairs placed in his 

When the town voted to receive the surplus revenue, ]\Ir. 
Weeks was appointed agent to receive and loan it to responsible 
parties. When the Academy was rebuilt, with money borrowed 
from the agent by the proprietors, they, finding the property 
a poor investment, influenced the to^^Ti to take a deed of the 
building and give up the notes. There was strong feeling on 
the delivery of these notes. On being questioned, Mr. Wrecks 
said: " G-entlemen, you need not be alarmed for those notes. 
They are safe in my possession, and when you make a proper 
call for them they will be forthcoming. ' ' 

On July 28, 1833. to him a most important occasion, he mar- 
ried Mary Elizabeth Doe, daughter of Joseph Doe of Derry, and 
as the years went by three sons and two daughters were born to 

330 History of Canaan. 

In 1839, 1840. 1852. 1853 and 1854 he represented the to\\Ti in 
the Legislature ; he was also in the State Senate in 1848—49, being 
its president the last year: was also in the Constitutional Con- 
vention in 1850, a famous body of politicians, who went up to 
Concord, drank brandy and smoked cigars at Gass' Hotel for 
several months, and ripped and tore away at the old Constitu- 
tion so fiercely that scarcely a fragment was left, and when at 
last they sent it out to the world the people saw nothing in their 
labors to approve, and sat down hard upon it and sc^ueezed the 
life all out of it. The cost of that mutilating convention was 
about $60,000, the payment of which was the only new fact the 
people realized concerning it. The honors attending the doing 
of that body of men never matured — verdict of the voters — 
killed by too much wet nursing. 

Mr. Weeks, in the earlier years of his practice, was not always 
scrupulous of the means he used against his adversaries, and 
was unmerciful to debtors. Like many other young lawyers, 
his first rule of practice, was fees, costs and charges, and his 
second rule was to collect them. He had for a deputy for many 
years S. P. Cobb, whose le^des were like the marches of the 
legions of Attila, the grass disappeared behind him. During 
the early days, and before the Northern Railroad was built, it 
was customary for the merchants in town to go to Boston to 
buy their goods. Before making this yearly trip it was neces- 
sary for them to have money to pay for what they wished to buy. 
All the merchants with the exception of Jesse ]\Iartin never had 
money enough ahead to pay for their goods, so that just before 
starting they would take their ledgers to ]\Ir. Weeks and 
ask the loan of money upon their accounts. Mr. Weeks 
always loaned them, never charging more than $10 on a hundred 
dollars. The next daj^ he would set his partner or clerk to writ- 
ing letters to those whose names appeared as debtors on those 
books, asking them to call the next day and settle. These letters 
were not mailed, but were placed in the post-office in plain sight 
behind a string which held them up to the sight of every one. 
Very few failed to appear the next day if they received the 
letter, but as sometimes happened the debtor did not go to the 
office or hear of his having a letter, for some days, but when he 
did and hastened to ]\Ir. Weeks' office he was told. "I waited 
twenty-four hours, and a writ has been made out, but I did not 

Lawyers. ^31 

have it served, so I saved you that much. It will cost you about 
three dollars for the writ." Mr. Weeks was known to have had 
as many as 100 writs returnable at a single term of court, and 
not one of them contested, upon all of which he collected costs. 

In the course of his forty years' practice he accumulated a 
large property, all of which descended to his children. His 
habits were all close. His sympathies were with the ^Methodist 
Church, but he seldom attended the ser^dce after their clergy 
began to pray for the slaves. He always read the Xew Hamp- 
shire Patriot and conformed to all the legends of the Democratic 
party. He never expressed sympathy for the Union cause dur- 
ing the war. but always maintained with ]\Ir. Buchanan that the 
government had no right to coerce a state. In business his writs 
and summonses were always profitable; here he had no weak- 
nesses. His liberality was not profuse. With all his success in 
business, his gains multiplying year by year for the long period 
he resided here, his name does not appear as a patron either of 
religion, learning or arts, and the only monument erected to 
record his \drtues is that which stands aboA'e his grave.' 

In his later years he became in reality a banker, and his loans 
were great accommodations to persons in need of money, and it 
is only just to say that in his transactions as a banker he was 
lenient and honorable with his clients. He was a great lover of 
sheep and cattle and spent much time caressing his nice flocks. 
There were times during his practice here when he formed co- 
partnerships. The first has already been referred to, the other 
two were with young gentlemen who had been students in his 
office, both of whom have risen to eminence in their profession, 
first at the bar. and then upon the bench of the state courts. 
These young men were J. Everett Sargent and Isaac N. Blodgett. 

Mr. Weeks died suddenly, on January 8, 1870. by hanging 
himself from a beam in his barn, aged 66 years. He was a social 
and genial man and good stor\"-teller. 

Old Uncle Sam Whitcher carried the mail on horseback from 
Lebanon to Plymouth and return weekly for many years. After 
the postoffice department at Washington was burned, about 1838, 
the old man came into ]\Ir. Weeks' office with a bundle of papers 
and asked him to look them over and collect what was due upon 
them. Upon examination they were found to be quarterly bills 
for carrying the mail for the entire period the old man had been 

332 History of Canaan. 

in service. ' ' Have you never received any pay for your services 
in carrying the mail, Mr. Whitcher?" asked the lawyer. "No 
— them 's the bills, ' ' stuttered the old man. Mr. Weeks took off 
his spectacles and looking the old man straight in the eye, said 
very deliberately, "I\Ir. Whitcher, the vouchers in the postoffice 
department at Washington were not burned, as was at first re- 
ported ; they are found to be all safe. Shall I collect these bills ? ' ' 
The old man listened awhile for something more to be said, then 
slowly gathered up his papers and as he opened the door to 
depart, turned and said, "I — I guess you needn 't do nothing 
about these papers till I come again. ' ' But he never came. 

Jonathan Everett Sargent, son of Ebenezer and Prudence 
(Chase) Sargent, the youngest of ten children, was born in New 
London August 23, 1816. The father was a poor farmer and the 
children had early in life to strike out for themselves. He 
worked upon his father's farm until he was seventeen. This 
was in 1833. His desire for knowledge grew upon him, and he 
arranged with his father that the remaining four years of his 
minority should be his own, to board by teaching school and any 
other labor that would pay, and clothe himself and call for 
nothing more from his father. 

Mr. Sargent first came to Canaan as a teacher in Noyes Acad- 
emy in 1838. He was the last teacher in the old building and 
the first in the new Canaan Union Academy. He was then an 
undergraduate at Dartmouth College of the class of 1840. At 
the opening term of this school there were 123 pupils. The fol- 
lowing is in Mr. Sargent's own language: 

I first went to Canaan in Septeml>ei-, 1838, and taught that fall iu the 
old academy building, Mr. Hol>art, a classTnate of mine, teaching in a 
hall at the north end of the Street the same term. I also taught in 
the old Academy the next winter. Three months after my return to 
Hanover, the latter part of February, 1839, the old academy building 
burned. A Mr. James Richardson, another classmate of mine, taught 
school during the spring term of 1839 in Martin's Hall, over the store 
of E. & .J. Martin, at the south end of the Street, and during that spring 
and summer the new academy building was erected and was in readi- 
ness the first of September. I was employed to teach the fii'st term 
at $40 per month for three months. I returned to Hanover that winter 
and remained till Commencement, 1840. 

Mr. Sargent then entered the law^ office of Mr. Weeks and re- 
mained there until 1841, when he went South and taught there 

, Lawyers. 333 

until the summer of 1842; then he returned to Canaan and 
formed a partnership with Mr. Weeks. He had been admitted 
to the bar in Washington. D. C. in April, 1842. In July, 1843, 
he was admitted to the bar of Sullivan County. During the 
season of 1843 he built the house now occupied by George E. 
Cobb, married ^Nliss ]Mary C. Jones, daughter of John Jones of 
Enfield, and moved into the new house on Thanksgiving Day of 
that year. Here he lived until the summer of 1847, in partner- 
ship with Mr. Weeks. In a letter to me he says: "I recollect 
very well the first case I ever tried. It was in ]\Ir. Weeks ' office, 
before Eleazer Martin as justice. It was a complaint for assault 
and battery by a jNIr. Sanborn against a Mr. Whittier. They 
lived at what is now East Canaan, not far from where the depot 
stands. It was before the railroad was built. I appeared for 
Sanborn, the plaintiff, and Mr. Kittredge appeared for the de- 
fendant. I succeeded in getting the defendant fined $3 and 
costs, which was a great success for my first effort. In the sum- 
mer of 1847 I moved to Wentworth, where I lived and prac- 
ticed law twenty-two years; since that time my residence has 
been in Concord." 

During his residence in Wentworth he achieved all the judi- 
cial honors w^hich the state could confer. During his residence 
in this town he was not unlike other young lawyers who have 
started out in their life career with ambitions first to gain money 
then to win honors. Lawyers are not much different from other 
classes of money-getters, except in the value they put upon their 
services. With them the making of the fee bill is reduced to an 
exact science, and the facility with which his work is itemized 
proves that in the study of the law this department of jurispru- 
dence is seldom overlooked. He had a proficient teacher, and he 
was too apt a pupil not to take advantage of all his opportun- 
ities. He taught school here; he studied law here; be built a 
house and married here ; he was an active politician and as such 
became postmaster, and he took a deep personal interest in the 
success of his party, which being the only party which could 
point a moral in its platform, was always to be successful. It 
seems here that wealth and its comforts began to pile up around 
him, but the blushing honors which he sought did not envelop 
him until after his departure, and then he had his fill, — a pleas- 
ant neighbor and intelligent gentleman. 

334 History of Canaan. • 

In 1844 he was appointed solicitor of Grafton County. He 
Avas sent as representative from Went worth in 1851, 1852 and 
1853, and the last year was speaker of the House. He was 
translated to the Senate and became its president in 1854. In 
1855 the Know-nothings swept the state like a cyclone, and 
every Democrat was swept overboard in the whirl. The same 
year Governor ]\Ietcalf generously offered him a seat on the 
bench of the court of common pleas. He held this office four 
years, when his court was abolished and he was translated to 
the bench of the Supreme Court, and became chief justice in 
1873. In 1874 the Democrats elected the Legislature and that 
court was immediately abolished for the benefit of the party. 
Mr. Sargent then became simply an attorney, in partnership 
with William M. Chase of Concord. He held various other of- 
fices and trusts, and among them he worked up through all the 
secret mysteries of INIasonry and was elected grand master of 
]\Iasons in New Hampshire, a position as honorable, as exalted 
and desirable as any other he ever held. Then he retired from 
active business, and sat serenely back to enjoy the comforts and 
honors which long years of economy and study had showered 
upon him. a beneficent, courteous old gentleman, the most dis- 
tinguished of all the great names which Canaan has furnished 
to adorn the bar of the state. 

George W. Murray, son of John and Ruhannah (Wells) ]\Iur- 
ray, w-as born in Hill. July 31, 1830. He was educated at 
Andover Academy, taught school in Bristol and Wilmot; read 
law in the office of Xesmith and Pike at Franklin, and was ad- 
mitted to the bar at the April term at Concord in 1855. In the 
same year he opened an office at East Canaan, being led to 
Canaan because of the appointment of ]Mr. Kittredge to the 
court of common pleas, thereby removing the most prominent 
laA\yer in town at that time. That village grew up around him 
and during his thirty-five years' practice he won an enviable 
reputation as a sound lawyer. In 1857 he married Jeanette F. 
Barnes of East Lebanon, and six children were born to them. 
His advice and assistance was sought by all who could afford his 
charges, because it was believed his opinions were founded upon 
an absolute knowledge of the law. Like William P. Weeks, he 
became a sort of banker in the town, loaning much money to 
those who had security. 

Lawyers. 335 

He was a Democrat until Fremont's campaign in 1856 and 
ever afterwards was a Republican. He served two terms in the 
Legislature, but although many men were his debtors whom he 
had helped out in tight places, he was not popular among the 
voters. He rarely sought office, knowing that the prejudice 
against a man with a little money was not favorable to political 
advancement unless some of that money was used. ]\Ir. jMurray 
was a ^Methodist and the most generous contributor to the sup- 
port of that church at East Canaan. He was liberal in many 
ways where he saw that it was for the benefit of the town, but 
more particularly for his own village; his love for that led him 
at times to oppose everything that seemed to be for the benefit 
of any other part of the town. It is said of him that he has been 
the only lawyer in the state of Ne\\' Hampshire who acquired as 
large a fortune by the practice of the law solely. His business 
transactions, however, always netted him a profit. Very careful, 
he never loaned money unless he knew where he was to get it 
back ; this also made him enemies, for there are plenty of people 
who remain one's friends until they borrow money of you. then 
upon the first demand to pay they become more bitter enemies 
than they were friends. As has been said, "if you loan your 
friend money you will lose your money as well as your friend." 

He died January 5. 1900. 

Joseph D. Weeks, son of William P. Weeks, was born October 
27. 1837, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1861. studied 
law ^\ith Daniel ]M. Christie of Dover with whom he practised 
for a short time ; was admitted to the bar in 1864. At the request 
of his father he returned home, and was a resident in Canaan 
all the rest of his life. It was hinted at the time that the real 
reason for his being called home, was that his intercourse ^^'ith 
the loyal men of Dover begat a desire to enlist in the Union 
army, but his father used such arguments as induced him to 
abandon his design, and he was discharged. He was a \'ictim of 
the draft of '63 but paid John ]\Ioriarty $300 to go as his sub- 
stitute. In the years of his practice here he ever manifested a 
disposition to bestow favors upon friends and other needy per- 
sons. He entered with enthusiasm into all schemes for the suc- 
cess of the Democracy, to which he bore unswerving allegiance. 
His legal attainments, although not profound, were equal to all 
his needs. And he devoted more time to cattle, horses and farm- 

336 History op Canaan. 

ing than to books. He was generous and friendly and was never 
charged with oppressing any poor wretch who happened to fall 
into the fangs of the law. This trait gave him great power in 
politics and he seldom met with defeat. Three times he was sent 
as representative from this town, in 1869, 1870 and 1880, and 
twice to the Senate, in 1875 and 1878. It was in the latter role 
that he distinguished himself under the Weston regime, by plant- 
ing old John Proctor in Natt Head's seat, thereby making that 
body Democratic to the great disgust of the Republicans, who 
called it a fraud, and perhaps it was, but his party liked him 
all the better for it. 

He was quite regular in attendance on ]\Iethodist preaching 
and often held a handkerchief to his eyes — to protect them from 
strong rays of light. He claimed that his attendance upon Sun- 
day service was to set a good example; it was not often that he 
could repeat the text, or the substance of the preacher's remarks 
unless he involved himself in natural history. He w^as a liberal 
contributor to the church and paid it in such a free manner as 
to make one think it was doing him a favor in accepting it. 
Either as a lawyer or as a man, he was large of heart, sympathetic 
and friendly. He was very genial and entered heartily into all 
schemes to ' ' drive dull care away. ' ' 

He contriluited Avillingly to everything that in any way af- 
fected the Street, not only in money, but with his intluence. 
Every^ one called him "Joe." A good story-teller, and the story- 
lost nothing in the telling if it could be made better by any addi- 
tions. He never married, but was often suspected of having 
tender sentiments. It is not too much to assert that no man in 
Canaan ever won a stronger grip upon the respect and esteem 
of our people than he. With education and wealth, both of 
which give men high standing, the uses he made of these gifts 
won the hearts of men. Seldom a man applied to him in vain 
for help financially or otherwise. He lived among the people 
on the Street fifty-three years and died of apoplexy December 
1, 1890. 

William B. Weeks, a brother of Joseph D. Weeks, was born 
in 1839 ; educated in Canaan Union Academy, and graduated 
from Dartmouth College in 1861, read law \Wth his father, and 
was admitted to the bar; practised in Canaan a short time and 

Lawyers. 337 

then emigrated to West Virginia, with the intention of making 
a home there, but the war was raging everywhere and northern 
men were not welcome. The people were not at all friendly and 
in a few months he wandered back to his native hills, and became 
an attorney in Lebanon, where he continued to reside. He 
married Miss Henrietta Bridgeman of Hanover in 1866. 

Isaac Newton Blodgett was the son of Caleb and Charlotte 
(Piper) Blodgett. Caleb Blodget was born in Hudson in 1793, 
and moved from Dorchester to Canaan in 1833, and for a time 
lived in the old house torn down by 0. H. Perry across the 
Street from H. P. Burleigh's, where Isaac was born March 6, 
1838. Caleb Blodgett was sheriff of Grafton County for many 
vears, a clear-headed man whose advice was worth attention. 
He represented Canaan in the Legislature of 18-11 and 1842, 
was a selectman from 1838 to 1811 and in 1849. He died Octo- 
ber 5, 1872. Isaac N. was educated in Canaan Union Academy 
and was tutored for a time by his brother Caleb, at Leominster, 
Mass. ; read law in the office of William P. Weeks and Anson 
S. Marshall, and was admitted to the bar in April, 1861. On 
May 24, 1861, he married Sarah A., daughter of Rev. Moses and 
Cynthia (Locke) Gerould of Canaan. For six months after the 
date of his admission to the bar he was a partner with Mr. 
Weeks, when he bought out the business and continued to prac- 
tice in the same office until 1867. The building stood until the 
winter of 1906 just south of Miss Emma Bell's and was moved 
by H. P. Burleigh to be used by him for a carpenter's shop. In 
1867, receiving an offer of partnership from Hon. Austin F. 
Pike of Franklin, he moved there, and under the firm name of 
Pike & Blodgett continued the practice of the law until 1878, 
when on November 19th he was appointed associate justice of 
the Supreme Court. On August 18, 1898, he became chief 
justice and held that position until his resignation in 1901. He 
Avas always a politician and a Democrat. He represented Frank- 
lin in the Legislature in 1871, '73, '74 and '78 ; was a member 
of the state Senate in 1879 and 1880 ; and of the Constitutional 
Convention of 1876, 1889 and 1903. He was chairman of the 
Democratic committee in the disastrous campaign of 1875, w^hen 
the Senate "fraud" in favor of old John Proctor of 1874 re- 
acted upon his labors and all the bright dreams of his party 


338 History of Canaan. 

vanished into thin air. He was several years town treasurer of 
Franklin and proved himself a successful financier. He was 
successful as a lawyer and the conduct of his cases won for him 
respect and esteem from all parties. After retiring from the 
bench it was his wish to pass the remainder of his life in the 
quiet enjoyment of his last days. He did not wish to die in the 
harness, like his brother Caleb. But his fellow citizens would 
not leave him alone. He served two terms as mayor of Franklin 
without opposition, and he was called in consultation and as 
counsel by the brother members of his profession. He died at 
his home in Franklin, November 27, 1905. 

Frank Dunklee Currier, son of Horace S. and Emma (Plas- 
tridge) Currier, was born in Canaan October 30, 1853 ; read 
law with Mr. Pike of Franklin and was admitted to the bar at 
Concord in April, 1874; spent one year with Mr. Murray at 
East Canaan, and then opened an office for himself in the same 
place. At the start he was fortunate in having a friend in Mr. 
Murray, who being ill was advised to take a two years' vacation 
from business. He turned many of his clients over to his young 
friend. Before entering seriously upon the labors of his pro- 
fession, he took a look at the marvels and natural wonders of 
the country to the Pacific, including the mountain region. He 
was studious and energetic and managed his cases with a skill 
that gave him good standing as a lawyer, and his conduct was 
such as to give his friends confidence in his future success ; but 
his ambitions lay in politics ; its fascinations were more attractive 
than the abstruse themes of law. There was a Greenback craze 
and he was seized with it and was only rescued from being 
swallowed up in its vortex by a promise from his friends that 
he should be sent to Concord. He went to Concord one term, 
in 1879, and like other young men became conspicuous for much 
speaking. His ambition was to be conversant with all subjects, 
wise or otherwise. He asked for another trip to Concord, but 
the favor of the people was always uncertain; a breath of air, 
or a five-dollar bill has made and unmade many a reputation; 
he was defeated, but not discouraged. He still believed in po- 
litical advancement, but had lost some confidence in popular 
favor ; the same man is not always the favorite. Heroes of today 
are often laid upon the shelf tomorrow. He was secre- 
tary of the Republican State Committee from 1882 to 1890. 

Lawyers. 339 

His quick memory, wit and knowledge of men and localities was 
of great ser\-ice in closing out the campaign. He was clerk of 
the New Hampshire Senate from 1883 to 1887, exhibiting an 
active intelligence and knowledge of legislative matters that 
greatly facilitated business and gave him favor among the 
senators; was delegate to the Republican National Convention 
in 1884. He was elected senator in 1886 and was the president 
of that body; was naval officer at the port of Boston from 1890 
to 1894. He was elected again in 1898 to the House of Repre- 
sentatives and was chosen speaker of that body. In 1901 Dart- 
mouth College gave him the honorary degree of A. ]\I. He was 
elected congressman from the Second District to the Fifty- 
Seventh. Firty-Eighth. Fifty-Ninth, Sixtieth, and Sixty-First 
Congresses. As a presiding officer his ability is recognized by 
the speaker of the House, who calls him oftener to the chair than 
any other congressman. 

Irving C. George, son of Henry C. and Eleanor H. George, was 
born in Canaan in 1855 ; was educated at Canaan, Tilton and 
Meriden; read law with Mr. Mugridge of Concord; was ad- 
mitted to the bar at Plymouth in November, 1877, and located 
at Ne^^Tnarket. He married at Newmarket, in 1878, ]\Iiss Nellie 
A. Palmer, and had six children. At the request of his father 
he returned to Canaan and opened an office here ; upon the death 
of his father he returned to Newmarket, where he now is. 

Joseph Clement Story, son of Otis J. and Harriet (Clement) 
Story, was born August 20. 1855. His education was obtained 
from the schools of this town, Kimball Union Academy and 
Phillips Andover Academy in Massachusetts. He taught school 
at Canaan in the old academy on the Street, in 1876 ; his rule 
was strict, his ruler was stricter and many of us can remember 
being obliged to stand on the tops of the desks when we did not 
have our grammar lesson, or helping one another to hold a slab 
or a book at arm's length in the middle of the floor, when some 
of us did not return at recess or when the bell rang. He studied 
law in the office of George W. Murray, Pike & Blodgett at 
Franklin and E. B. S. Sanborn of Franklin; he attended Boston 
University Law School in 1879, and was admitted to the bar of 
this state in 1880 ; commenced the practice of law at Wentworth 
in 1880, where he remained for three years, when he went to 
Plymouth, where he ' continued the practice of his profession. 


340 History of Canaan. 

He married in March. 1881, Helen Smith. He died January 27, 
1895, in Burlington. Vt. 

William A. Flanders, son of Sylvester and Lois Flanders, 
born in Canaan. February 26. 1835 ; educated at Canaan Union 
Academy; read law in the office of G. W. ^lurray. and at that 
time was a much better scholar than his teacher ; admitted to the 
bar in 1861 and opened an office in Wentworth. where he was 
not successful. He was a famous mathematician, good memory, 
well stored with knowledge, but his wisdom was all vanity. — one 
of those unfortunates who for lack of good ad^^ce fall by the 
wayside and are lost in the rubbish that falls over them. In 
1866 he married Miss Angelina ]\I.. daughter of Prescott Clark 
of Canaan. He died in Wentworth in July. 1909. 

Caleb Blodgett. elder brother of Isaac N. Blodgett. was born 
in Dorchester on June 3, 1832. He came to Canaan in 1833 ^\-ith 
his parents; he was educated at Canaan Union Academy, and 
was graduated from Dartmouth College in 1856. 

After graduation he taught in Leominster. ]\Iass.. \\-ith 
the intention of making this his life work, but after a 
few years he became tired of it and returned to Canaan, 
where he began the study of law. He completed his studies in 
the office of Barton & Bacon in Worcester. Mass., where he opened 
an office. He also practised in Stoughton. Mass.. and in 1860 
opened an office in Boston, Mass.. where he practised success- 
fully twenty years. In 1882 Governor Long appointed him to 
the bench of the Superior Court. Governor Russell otfered him 
a place on the bench of the Supreme Court, which he refused, 
believing that his health and ability were better fitted for the 
trial and decision of jury cases, in which he held a unique posi- 
tion. Not a jury la^vyer during his practice, when elevated to 
the bench where those cases were the principal ones tried, he 
became and was recognized as the ablest trier of civil cases with 
a jury on the bench. He married ]\Iiss Roxalina B. ]\Iartin. 
daughter of Jesse Martin of Canaan in 1866. Owing to failing 
health, he resigned from the bench September 1. 1900. and died 
on December 11. 1901. at his residence on Canaan Street, where 
he had spent his summers for many years. His love for his 
native village was great; no suggestions were ever made to him 
for its benefit but he was always ready to contribute, not only 

Lawyers. 341 

with money, but with his personal presence. His generosity 
towards the Street is proverbial; he was ready at all times to 
make up any deficiency. * ' If you want any more, come to me, ' ' 
I have heard him say many times. He took great pleasure in 
books in his library, which he had built just before his death on 
the north end of his barn. 

Frank B. Clark, son of Henry W. and Emily E. (Rowe) 
Clark, was born in Enfield September 30, 1873. His education 
was obtained from the Enfield High School and a three years' 
course at the New Hampshire State College, after which he 
taught school, and in September, 1896, began the study of law 
in the office of Charles A. Dole at Lebanon ; was admitted to the 
bar in July, 1899; he came to Canaan September 15, 1899, and 
has continued the practice of the law here since that time. He 
was married September 15, 1897, to Bernice E. Trescott, daugh- 
ter of James A. and Abbie E. (Lamphiere) Trescott; she was 
born in Lyme, May 3, 1870. They have four children, Hugh 
T., bom in Hanover, Augiist 1, 1899 ; Earl L., born in Canaan 
April 26, 1901 ; Frank K., bom May 1, 1905 ; Bernice P. A., bom 
July 29, 1909. Mr. Clark has been a member of the school board 
of the High School District for five years, and tax collector for 
1909 and 1910. 

James Burns Wallace, son of William Allen and Mary (Cur- 
rier) Wallace, was bom in Canaan August 14, 1866 ; was edu- 
cated in the district schools of the town, Canaan Union Academy, 
Hanover High School, New Hampshire Agricultural College; 
from 1881-82, St. Johnsbury Academy, graduating in the class 
of 1883 ; then entered Dartmouth College and graduated from 
the academic department in the class of 1887; taught one term 
of school on the Street in the winter of 1885 ; went to New York 
City in the fall of 1887, and for thirteen years was an instructor 
in mathematics in Cooper Union ; was employed in the Seventh 
National Bank, and in the Bank of the State of New York until 
August, 1888. when at the instance of his cousin, William J. 
Wallace, presiding judge of the United States Court of Appeals, 
entered Columbia Law School in the fall of 1888. He studied 
there two years, and the last year was in the law office of Tracy, 
McFarland, Ivins & Piatt ; was admitted to the bar in New York 
County in November, 1890, and continued in the practice of the 

342 History of Canaan. 

law in that city until 1905, when he removed permanently to 
Canaan. In 1900 was admitted to practice in the courts of New 
Hampshire, and although never having hung up any shingle, 
does not refuse. to practice his profession. He married Decem- 
ber 22, 1889, Alice Hutchinson, daughter of Lucius B. and Alice 
M. (Rollins) Hutchinson of New York City. He has been trus- 
tee of the town library since 1907; was a member of the town 
school board in 1907 and 1908 ; representative to the General 
Court in 1909, and was chairman of the committee on liquor 
laws and a member of the committee on revision of statutes; 
was appointed justice of the police court June 19, 1907. Mr. 
Wallace is a thirty-second degree Mason, with membership in 
Summit Lodge of Canaan; St. Andrew's Chapter, and Washing- 
ton Council at Lebanon ; Sullivan Commandery at Claremont, 
and the New Hampshire Consistory at Nashua ; he is also a mem- 
ber of Kimball Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, at Lebanon, 
and a noble of Bektash Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Concord. 



Canaan ought to be a loyal and patriotic town. It has been 
largely fertilized with the remains of patriotic men. In all her 
graveyards repose the dust of those who in the gloom of the un- 
certain result of the Revolution, enlisted in the three New Hamp- 
shire regiments and went forth from pleasant homes to fight 
and win liberty and independence for themselves and the un- 
born millions with whom their most prophetic visions would 
never have dared to people this great country. They went 
forth cheerfully, supplying their own necessities. It is a list to 
be proud of and each one of them is deserving of more honor 
than we are able to bestow. Their example and habits of 
thought doubtless did much towards forming the character of 
our people. As citizens, they are known to have been law-abid- 
ing, and to have exercised a powerful influence for good morals. 
They were not educated men, but they were reverently religious 
and were constant attendants upon the service of God. The re- 
mains of forty-three of these soldiers lie buried in Canaan; 
some of the graves are marked by stones and many of them 
rest in unmarked graves and their ashes mingle with the com- 
mon soil of the town. 

Thomas Baldwin, died in Waterville, Me., and was buried in 
Boston, Mass. Joseph Wheat, Joshua Richardson, John I\Iay, 
Reynolds Gates, Robert Martin, Salmon Cobb, Eliphalet Rich- 
ardson, Enoch Richardson and Ezra Nichols, were buried in the 
Street Cemetery; the last two have no headstones, but Enoch 
Richardson is undoubtedly buried beside his wife. Daniel Blais- 
dell, John Worth, Daniel Colby, Henry Springer, Ezekiel Wells, 
Jonathan Dustin, David Dustin, Josiah Clark, Joshua Wells, 
Jonathan B. Cross, Richard Whittier and Robert Barber, lie 
buried in the Wells Cemetery ; the grave of the last is not 
marked by any stone, and the headstone of Ezekiel Wells is not 
over his grave. Warren Wilson, Samuel Meacham and Richard 
Otis lie in the Cemetery at West Canaan. William, John and 


History of Canaax. 

Moses Richardson, brothers, Nathaniel Bartlett, Moses Sawyer, 
Daniel Kimball, Mathew Greeley and James Woodbury, lie in 
the cemetery on Sawyer Hill. William Longfellow and Abra- 
ham Knowlton (Mrs. Knowlton died in Pembroke) lie buried 
on West Farms. Thomas Miner lies in the Cobble Cemetery. 

From the recollections of men who were contempory with 
many of these veterans, valuable information was obtained; 
from Charles W. Richardson, son of Joshua ; George Harris and 
Mrs. Harris, a daughter of one of them; from Joseph Dustin 
— of the War of 1812, son of one and grandson of another; 
from Jacob Richardson, son of William, an officer; and from 
Jacob Trussell, whose memory was very retentive up to the day 
of his death, at the great age of ninety-one years and eleven 

The names of these soldiers are given below: 

Elisha Bingham 
Daniel Blaisdell 
John Richardson 
William Richardson 
Joshua Richardson 
Eliphalet Richardson 
Enoch Richardson 
Ezra Nichols 
William Longfellow 
Moses Sawyer 
Warren Wilson 
Caleb Welch 
Richard Otis 
John Worth 
Beuoni Tucker 
William Ayer 
John Beedle 
Daniel Colby 
Robert Martin 
Robert Hoyt 
Henry Springer 
John Follensbee 
Samuel Jones 
Daniel Kimball 
Gideon Rudd 
Thomas Miner 
John Scofield, Jr. 
Jeremiah Meacham 
Benjamin Robert Birts 

Asa Kilburn 
Richard Clark 
Parrott Blaisdell 
Joshua Wells 
Abraham Knowlton 
Joshua Springer 
Samuel Meacham 
Josiah Clark 
Joshua Harris 
Mathew Greeley 
Jonathan Dustin 
John May 
Robert Barber 
Ezekiel Gardner 
Samuel Lathrop 
Nathan Follensbee 
John Hoyt 
Samuel Hinkson 
Joseph Walters 
John Bartlett 
Jehu Jones 
Caleb Welch, Jr. 
Samuel Gates 
Francis Smith 
Thomas Gates 
Thomas Baxter 
Asa Williams 
James Jones 
Jedidiah Hibbard 

Soldiers. 345 

Thomas Baldwiu Jacob Clifford 

Mesheck Blake Nathan Durkee 

Nathau Springer Daniel Hovey 

Reynold Gates Richard Whittier 

James Woodbury Jonathan B. Cross 

Joseph Wheat Jonathan Lock 

Salmon Cobb Theophilus Currier 

David Dustin Daniel Parker 

Ezekiel Wells Moses Richardson 
Nathaniel Bartlett 

Parrott Blaisdell and Joshua Springer were mustered out in 
Vermont; Nathan Follensbee lies in Enfield, while his brother 
Jolm (who a hundred j^ears ago lived on the Howard farm), 
Mescheck Blake. Robert Hoyt, and John Beedle, have passed 
beyond recognition and their names only are known. 

In 1780 twenty men of Canaan marched to Rutland and 
Royalton, Vt., under the command of Capt. Joshua "Wells, and 
then marched back again. The enemy did not wait for them, 
but they came back greatly exasperated against their captain, 
whom they charged with being ig-norant of his duties and very 
overbearing, giving many vexatious orders for the purpose of 
exercising his authority. The following is a pay roll made for 
part of Capt. Joshua Wells' Company in Col. Chase's Regiment 
of Militia, who were called forth in an alarm October 20, A. D. 

A Pay Roll Made for Part of Capt Joshua Wellse's Company in Col 
Chases Regiment of Militia who were Called forth in an Alarm Oct 
20 A D 1780 

Days Milds 
out. travel. 
Capt Joshua Wells 9 90 Nathaniel Bartlett 

Lt Saml Jones 9 90 Caleb Welch Jr 

Ensgn Thomas Baldwin 9 90 Jonathan Sprague 
Sergt Caleb Welch 9 90 Daniel Blaisdell 

Samuel Hinkson Private 9 90 Thos Miner 
John Scofield Junr 4 30 Sami Gates 

Jehu Jones 9 90 Ezek Gardner 

Samuel Meacham 9 90 Benj Robert Birts 

Robert Barber 9 90 Joshua Harris 

John Bartlett 9 74 Francis Smith 

N. B. Thirty Mild allowetl out of said Travail on account of Draw- 
ing Provisions on the way for a distance of Thirty Milds. 

A true Return Errors Excepted, Signed in behalf of the Company 
Canaan Deer 15 A D 1783 

Joshua Wells Capn 























346 History of Canaan. 

Thomas Baldwin came home an ensign, Samuel Jones a lieu- 
tenant, Caleb Welch a sergeant, and Thomas ]\Iiner was after- 
wards called " lef tenant. " Thomas Miner was in Captain Rus- 
sell 's Rangers in 1776 ; sergeant in Colonel Chase 's Regiment at 
Saratoga in 1777. and one of the scouts mentioned in the fol- 
lowing : 

To the Hon the General Court of the State of Xeio Hampshire — 

The Petition of the Town of Canaan Humbly Sheweth that we the 
inhabitants of Said Town the Summer past Conceived our Selves in 
Danger From the Canadain and other Savages (our Fi-ontier being in 
great measure Neglected) and therefor by a vote of the Town Did agree 
to Raise and pay Three men for Six months to Scout and Guard &c 
to which men we have paid and are obligated to pay ten pounds Each — 
the men were raised by no order nor by the authority of No State but 
only by the vote of the Town — Altho they went into a Regiment 
Raised by The authority of Vermont but Should your honors think 
they Rendered any Service to This or the United States your Petitioners 
pray that their Money Paid sii Soldiers may be Reimbursted them or 
abated on thier Taxes. All which is Humbly Submitted and your 
Petitioners as in Duty bound Shall Ever Pray &c 

Thomas Baldwin 1 Come in hehalf 
Wii Ayeb f of Said Totmi 

Canaan State of New Hampshibe June 8th 1782. 
(Reed and ordered to lay) 

Abraham Knowlton was in Captain Lunt's Company, Colonel 
Little's Regiment, in Massachusetts and was at Bunker Hill. 
Early in 1776 he enlisted in the naval service and made one 
cruise under Captain Williams. In the latter part of the year 
he enlisted under Captain Skinner and made two cruises on the 
schooner Lee. On the last cruise he was captured, carried to 
Halifax, imprisoned a year, then impressed on the British ship 
of war Culloden, and sailed for Wales, where he was taken sick, 
was taken ashore and detained as a prisoner until the close of 
the war. 

The following anecdotes are told of Enoch Richardson by 
the Rev. Charles W. Richardson: "He was. perhaps as daring 
and persevering a patriot and soldier as has been found in any 
war. When quite young, at the battle of Bunker Hill, he was 
one of the bravest. He said many soldiers would say they did 
not know that they ever killed one of the enemy, but said he : 
'I know that I killed one at Bunker Hill. I was one of the last 

Soldiers. 347 

who left the breast works when our ammunition failed. I had 
put my last charge in my gun, and attempted to fire it, but my 
gun. an old-fashioned flint-lock, missed fire; snapping two or 
three times. I dropped on my knees behind the breast works, 
catching out my jack-knife and picking the flint with it, by 
which time the soldiers near me had all retreated. At that in- 
stant a red-coat soldier, who had run forward of the British ad- 
vancing column, came up to the breast work and thrust his gun 

and bayonet over at me, exclaiming: "D n you! now I've 

got you ! " I struck his gun aside, springing on my feet and fired 
my gun, the muzzle touching his body, making a hole through 
him, I should judge, as large as my arm. As my last charge 
was gone and my gun old, I jumped over and seized the dead 
man's gun and cartridge box, sprang back and loaded and fired 
his few remaining cartridges, sending his British bullets among 
the British as they advanced, and then I turned and retreated.' 
This same Enoch Richardson was one of the soldiers who went 
in that daring expedition up the Kennebec River, and through 
the awful, woeful forest to Quebec. He was one who entered the 
city, but as it became necessarv' to escape immediately, he 
jumped down about eighteen feet, where his fall was broken by 
about three feet of snow and made his escape, and after a long 
time made his way back to his home after great hardship and 
suffering. When he was a soldier at Ticonderoga, the time of his 
enlistment, and of two of his brothers and some of their old 
neighbors expired a very short time before the taking of Bur- 
goyne's Army. They came home across Vermont by hilly and 
rough roads without shoes, and begged what food they had by 
the way, as their money was worthless. They arrived home weary 
and destitute. Three days after their arrival a recruiting officer 
came for volunteers to hasten to Ticonderoga, as there was a 
prospect of capturing Burgoyne's whole army. This Enoch 
Richardson put down his name, turned around and walked di- 
rectly back over those hard and hilly roads and was there at 
the surrender of Burgoyne's Army. Few soldiers ever had such 
courage and perseverance as Enoch Richardson, whose remains 
are in Canaan Broad Street Cemetery. I have often, when a 
child, listened with, as it were, a breathless attention to anecdotes 
of that war by my father Joshua, who was one of the army who 

348 History of Canaan. 

were successful in driving the British out of Boston. He said 
that just previous to the cessation of hostilities, and the agree- 
ment to evacuate Boston, our army threw shells into the town 
for three nights in succession, and that from the hill they oc- 
cupied, Copp's Hill, he could hear the rip and tear of the roofs 
of the buildings as those shells entered. The last evening of the 
time the British were allowed in which to get on board their 
fleet and depart was a busy, noisy night in Boston. He said that 
he and many of the soldiers remained up and listened all night 
to the rattle of wheels on the pavements, to the voices of men 
and women, to the barking of dogs, etc., two miles distant, as 
the air was favorable to make the sounds distinct. It was a 
kind of music under the circumstances which pleased our soldiers 

"He used often to tell of toils and hardships and sufferings 
at or near Ticonderoga. He was with our army in its retreat 
some time previous to the surrender of Burgoyne. The British 
were successful in fortifying a high eminence, where they could 
play upon a portion of our army without any danger of being 
reached in return. Our troops were under the necessity of leav- 
ing in great haste, and were pursued some distance and annoyed 
by the enemy. Men were frequently killed and wounded by 
cannon shots. While on the march one soldier, marching at his 
side, was shot through the body by a cannon ball and pitched 
against him as he fell, pushing him out of the ranks. They were 
under the necessity of passing through a considerable forest to 
reach a place where they could obtain food and rest. This forest 
was infested by Indians, in what numbers they did not know, 
and this part of the army was under the necessity of scattering 
and getting through the woods as best they could. He was in 
the rear and after they got into the woods and night was ap- 
proaching, he and a few with him, found a soldier who had .just 
been killed and scalped by an Indian. It soon became dark; 
they lost their small path and not agreeing in their opinions, 
which way the path was, they became separated and my father 
found himself alone hunting for the path in perfect darkness. 
He got down and crept on his hands and knees, feeling for the 
foot-path and immediately caught hold of a man's leg. He and 
the other were both frightened, thinking of the Indians in the 

Soldiers. 349 

woods but lie soon learned that the man he had found was his 
brother, John Eichardson. He told him to stay where he was 
till he crept on and found the path which he believed was near. 
He soon found it and called softly to his brother and they felt 
their way along together, until the path led them out into a small 
low meadow. At lenglh the path seemed to be gone, and he 
being forward, suddenly stepped off into a creek of deep mud 
with a little water, falling on the breech end of Ms gun and 
driving it down, muzzle foremost the whole length into the mud. 
He clambered out with the assistance of his brother, being care- 
ful to save his gun and they traveled up the creek until they 
felt out a place where they could get across. They soon saw a 
light up on higher ground and carefully picked their way tjll 
they arrived at the place where there was a house and barn 
filled with soldiers who had arrived there and were packed close 
in almost every place where a man could lie down for rest imder 
shelter; and none of them had any food that day unless it was 
some small and hasty lunch in the morning as they were starting. 
But he said there was an officer and assistant there with a light 
beside of a cask of good wine, which they had obtained and they 
told him and his brother that it was the rule for each one as he 
arrived to drink a pint of wine, which they did, and find the 
best place they could and lie down. The house was full and 
the barn also. In the house his brother crowded down between 
two soldiers. He could find no place for a time, but at length 
he discovered some low shelves, far enough apart so that a man 
could crowd in between them, but not long enough for him to 
straighten himself in. He crowded himself in between two of 
these shelves ^^'ith his feet drawn up considerably and lay until 
his limbs began to ache from contraction and then he crept out 
and got his feet down on the floor between some of the men and 
stood a short time, and then crawled in between the shelves 
again. He passed the night without any sleep. By morning 
some provisions had been obtained, though they were then poorly 
supplied, and soon after they reached Fort Edward. ' ' 

Enoch and his brother were stationed at Newcastle for three 
months, in November. 1776, Enoch was a corporal there and at 
Saratoga. He was sergeant in the Rhode Island campaign from 
March, 1778, to January, 1779. John was stationed at Great 

350 History of Canaan. 

Island in November, 1775, and was also at Saratoga and Rhode 
Island. On the evening of May 2, 1777, dispatches were received 
by the Committee of Safety of this state, informing them that 
the garrison at Ticonderoga was threatened with capture by the 
enemy, and urging immediate reinforcements to that important 
post. The matter was considered by the committee and on the 
following day the chairman, Hon. Josiah Bartlett, dispatched 
messengers to Colonels Ashley of Winchester, Benjamin Bellows 
of Walpole, and Jonathan Chase of Cornish, entreating them 
"by all that is sacred to raise as many of your militia as possible 
and march them to Ticonderoga." In accordance with that re- 
quest. Colonel Ashley marched with 109 men, Colonel Bellows 
with 112, Colonel Chase with 159, and Capt. Josiah Brown with 
fifty-four men from Col. Enoch Hale's regiment. 

In the pay roll of Colonel Chase's regiment are the names of 
Ezekiel Wells and Daniel Kimball, sergeants ; James Jones, cor- 
poral; William Richardson, xlsa Williams and Josiah Clark, 
privates. These men were in the company commanded by 
Joshua Hendee of Hanover. They marched to Ticonderoga INIay 
7, 1777, 112 miles, and finding the alarm premature, were dis- 
charged after service of forty days. For this service they re- 
ceived eight pounds, six shillings. 

The second alarm from Ticonderoga was more serious than 
tlie first. Maj. Francis Smith of Plainfield took command of 
Colonel Chase's regiment and marched to Ticonderoga on the 
27tli of June and with him were the following men: Thomas 
Baldwin, who was discharged an ensign after seven days' serv- 
ice, and Corp. Thomas Grates. The latter was one of the 
grantees in the charter. Jeremiah ]\Ieaeham and Asa Kilburn, 
who served eight days each; Jedidiah Hibbard, William Rich- 
ardson, John Scofield, Samuel Lathrop and Daniel Hovey. The 
ferriage of 209 horses over the Connecticut River is put down 
at two cents each, amounting to three pounds, nine shillings and 
eight pence. 

Ticonderoga was garrisoned by 3,000 men under General St. 
Clair. General Burgoyne was approaching with an army of 
8,000, and on the -Ith of July planted a battery on Mt. Defiance, 
750 feet above the American works. St. Clair, seeing that re- 
sistance would be hopeless, abandoned the fort on the night of 

Soldiers. 351 

July 5th and escaped with the garrison into Vermont. The 
British pressed upon the fugitives and overtook them at Hub- 
bardton, seventeen miles from the fort. Here a sharp engage- 
ment ensued in which the Americans fought so obstinately as to 
check the pursuit. We learn from Rev. Charles AV. Richardson's 
tale that the brothers Enoch and John Richardson were there. 

In September, 1777. there was a call for help from the army 
of General Gates at Saratoga. Colonel Chase's regiment re- 
sponded with enthusiasm; Joshua Wells was captain; Jedidiah 
Hibbard, sergeant-major; John Scofield, Josiah Clark, Richard 
Clark and Enoch Richardson were privates. These men are be- 
lieved to have joined in the battles of Bennington and Saratoga. 
On July 23, 1777, Capt. Joshua Hendee of Hanover, of Colonel 
Hobart's regiment, with two-months men, marched to join Gen- 
eral Stark's brigade. In this company were Sergeant Ezekiel 
Wells and Privates Nathaniel Bartlett, Josiah Clark and Elisha 
Bingham. Ezekiel Wells also served in the defense of Ports- 
mouth two months from September 27, 1777. In Captain 
Webster's company were John Hoyt, sergeant, and Robert Bar- 
ber. Thomas Baxter, Ben Rob Birts, and Gideon Rudd were in 
Captain House's company. Colonel Chase's regiment of Stark's 
brigade, in September, 1777, from Canaan. 

Among the absentees from Colonel Cilley's regiment at Valley 
Forge, January, 1778, was Thomas Baxter, who was then thirty 
years old, left sick at Albany in hospital. He enlisted in 1777 
for three years under Colonel Chase. Birts was crippled in 
his campaigns. He enlisted in 1777 for three years when twenty- 
six years old. He returned to Canaan, where he had a 
wife and child, and became a charge upon the town. 
Gideon Rudd married Delight, eldest daughter of John 
Scofield, the old settler, who "for divers good causes 
me thereunto moving, but more so especially for the love and 
good will I bear unto my well-beloved daughter Delight, wdfe of 
Gideon Rudd, ' ' conveyed to her one hundred acres of land. Mv. 
Rudd lived in Hanover afterwards, and his name is commem- 
orated in the "Rudsboro Road." John Richardson served in 
Rhode Island in August, 1778, under Captain Page of Colonel 
Gates' regiment. In 1779 volunteers were slow in coming for- 
ward. An earnest call was made for reinforcements. It was 

352 History of Canaan, 

not advisable to enforce a draft; Congress voted $200 and the 
state $300, — $500 for recruits. William Ayer of Plaistow. after- 
wards of Canaan, served in General Whipple's brigade in the 
expedition to relieve Rhode Island in 1778. He was at Winter 
Hill in Colonel Burnham's regiment as second lieutenant in 
December, 1775. Nathaniel Bartlett was at Saratoga, was a 
sergeant in Captain Runnell's company on the western frontier, 
and served from Bunker Hill to 1780. 

John Beedle was in Captain Osgood's company of rangers 
and joined the Northern army in July, 1775; afterwards he 
was in Captain Russell's company of rangers for service in New 
Hampshire, then in Captain Richardson's company for the de- 
fence of the frontier adjacent to the Connecticut River. 

William Richardson was in the Revolution before he came to 
Canaan. He was in Capt. Ezekiel Gile's company of Col. 
Stephen Peabody's regiment, as second lieutenant; enlisted 
January 1, 1778, for service in Rhode Island, and was dis- 
charged January 6, 1779. He enlisted from Hampstead in 
Hezekiah Hutchins' company of volunteers, as a corporal, and 
marched from Hampstead to Saratoga in September, 1777. He 
was appointed second lieutenant in the Rhode Island campaign 
when he was thirty-two years old. He was at Bunker Hill and 
Ticonderoga at every alarm. He died February 25, 1829, nearly 
83 years old. 

Daniel Blaisdell enlisted from Hopkinton in Captain Clem- 
ent's company and served at Newcastle and was at Ticonderoga. 
His brother, Parrott, M'as in Captain Marston's company and 
marched to Rhode Island in June, 1778. He re-enlisted in Cap- 
tain Downe's company and served up to January 1, 1779. 

Elisha Bingham was in Captain Hendee's company for two 
months and was at Stillwater as a corporal. Jonathan B. Cross 
enlisted from Methuen, Mass. He resided in Enfield and was 
town clerk of that town in 1784, but the pay rolls give him as 
serving from Canaan. 

Josiah Clark served at Fort Washington and Kittery Point 
from November, 1775, to February. 1776. in Captain Salter's 
company. He was at Ticonderoga, Bennington. Stillwater and 
Saratoga. William Longfellow, said Abram L. Williams, was a 
minuteman in 1775 at Bunker Hill, served under Moses Little, 
was a sergeant on his second enlistment ; was in New York and 
New Jersey in 1776, Trenton in 1777 ; the same year went pri- 

Soldiers. 353 

vateering with Paul Jones and was captured in August and 
confined in England; was exchanged from Mill Prison. An- 
other account told by one who heard him tell it. is. that he was 
captured and imprisoned. A plan of escape was made to dig 
underground. The dirt was to be carried out in the seats of their 
pants and the man who could carry most was to get out first. 
Longfellow was a very large man and weighed about three hun- 
dred pounds. There was only one other man larger than he. 
He was a very harsh and rough man and at the time of his 
death, when sitting in a chair gasping for breath, with his wife 
at his side feeding him medicine with a spoon, he said, "Faster, 
faster, you old devil." He died half an hour afterwards. He 
had an old straight sword four feet long which was sold after his 

Richard Clark w^as at Saratoga in Colonel Chase's regiment 
in September, 1777. Daniel Colby served at Great Island in 
Captain Downe's company in 1775. 

Nathan Follensbee enlisted from Plaistow when seventeen 
years old in 1779, and under Major Scott in 1781, was in Cap- 
tain Webster's company. 

IMathew Greeley enlisted from Salisbury in 1777 for three 
years in Captain Morrill's Company, Colonel Scammell's regi- 
ment. He served up to November, 1781. He fought with Wash- 
ington, Gates and Greene ; was one of those who conveyed Major 
Andre to Tappan and was at Stony Point under Clinton, when 
they passed up the Hudson and marched weary and foot-sore 
over the narrow defiles and ragged rocks under the guidance of 
the negro Pompey. He would tell of the boy and his curious 

Joshua Harris was at Ticonderoga in June, 1777. 

Jedidiah Hibbard was at Ticonderoga and at Saratoga ; was a 

James Jones enlisted from Lebanon; was at Bunker Hill and 
Ticonderoga twice. 

Samuel Jones was at Fort Washington in November, 1775 ; 
joined the Northern Continental Army in 1776 and was an ap- 
plicant for prize money at Portsmouth of the ship Prince 
George. He signed a petition for more pay in 1777, on the 
ground that "forty shillings was better when war began than 


354 History of Canaan. 

six poimdvS now." He was a second lieutenant at Tieonderoga 
in October, 1776, and in July, 1780, was enlisted in the first 
New Hampshire Regiment, and is described as being forty-eight 
years old, five feet four inches tall and of dark complexion. 

Daniel Kimball was a sergeant at Tieonderoga in 1776 ; was 
at West Point in July, 1780, an ensign in Capt. Abel Stev- 
ens' Company and adjutant and ensign on Colonel Xichol's 

Robert Martin from June 26, 1777, to Januarj^ 7, 1778, was 
a drummer with the troops at Rhode Island. He was at Mount 
Independence at the surrender of Burgoyne, and for a time 
was at Newcastle in Captain Calfe's Company in 1776, and from. 
1785 to January 14, 1787. 

Jeremiah Meacham joined the Northern Continental Army in 
Captain Hay ward's Company in 1776; was at Tieonderoga from 
October 28 to November 18. 1776, and in June, 1777. 

Richard Otis was a corporal in Captain Canfield's Company 
at Tieonderoga in June, 1777, and in July. 

Eliphalet Richardson was at Saratoga in September, 1777, and 
served also in the Rhode Island campaign in 1778. 

Joshua Richardson served in the Rhode Island campaign. 

Gideon Rudd was engaged in the New York service in 1779. 

Moses Sawyer was at West Point in 1780 in Captain Butler's 
Company with Jolui Hoyt. The latter was a sergeant at Ben- 
nington and Stillwater and was at Saratoga. 

'John Scofield, Jr.. was in Colonel Chase's Regiment at Tieon- 
deroga in June, 1777, with Daniel Hovey, Ezekiel Gardner, 
Jacob Clifford, Nathan Durkee and Samuel Lathrop. They were 
also at Saratoga the September following. 

Henry Springer was enlisted in Captain Stone's Company 
from Haverhill, Mass., for three years in 1777, and in 1780 he 
enlisted to 1781, in Captain Dennett's Company. 

Benoni Tucker enlisted for the campaign in Canada in July, 

Joseph Wheat was on the pay roll of Captain Everett's Com- 
pany in 1776 ; he marched to reinforce the army in New York in 
December and in April, 1777, was in Captain Walker's Com- 
pany. At the alarm in June, 1777, from Tieonderoga, he was 
in Captain Emmerson's Company. He was also in the same com- 

Soldiers. 355 

pany in Rhode Island in August, 1778. In June, 1779, he en- 
listed for one year in Captain Hawkins' Company, which was 
the Ninth Company of the Third New Hampshire Regiment. He 
was corporal in Captain McGreggor's Company in April, 1780. 

Asa Williams was at Ticonderoga in Colonel Chase's Regi- 
ment in 1776 and again in June, 1777. He took up his resi- 
dence in Enfield in 1779. 

Warren Wilson was in Captain Sinclair's company at West 
Point in 1780. 

John Worth served in the Rhode Island campaign. 

Joshua Wells was in Captain Dearborn's company August 1, 
1775, and as captain with ten other Canaan men. Jedidiah 
Hibbard, Thomas Miner, John Scofield, Jacob Clifford, Josiah 
Clark, Richard Clark, Nathan Durkee, Samuel Lathrop, Ezekiel 
Gardner and William Richardson marched to Saratoga in Sep- 
tember, 1777, and joined General Gates. His brother, Ezekiel, 
was at Ticonderoga in ]\Iay, 1777, and a sergeant in Captain 
Hendee's company at Stillwater and in Captain Lovejoy's com- 
pany in September, 1779. Richard Whittier was at Saratoga in 
1777 as corporal, and was a sergeant in Captain Robinson's com- 
pany' in the army in New York. 

Robert Barber and Sergt. John Hoyt were in Capt. Ebenezer 
Webster's company. Robert Barber was appointed an ensign 
in the fourth company of the fourth regiment by Gov. John 
Wentworth in 1770. On September 6, 1777, the following let- 
ter was addressed to Capt. Robert Barber : 

Sir, Agreeable to a request of Congress, and pursuant to order of the 
Committee of Safety of this state. You are hereby required forthwith 
to Draught or otherwise engage the one sixth part of your companies, 
not already in the war, including the Alarm list that are fit to bear arms, 
and able to march and perform their duty; to march from their homes 
at the farthest by the 15th. of this month, September, and proceed to 
Bennington and put themselves under the command of General Stark 
or the commanding oflficer there, or thereabouts, to serve until the last 
day of November next unless sooner Discharged. They are to be under 
the officers of this Regiment. The officers to have the same wages as the 
Continental Army and the soldiers $15.00 per month, and 3d per mile 
for travel to Bennington one months pay to be advanced, every man 
to equip himself with a good Firearm and also a Bayonet and Cartridge 
box if possible. Given under my hand at Newmarket the day and year 
above written. 

James Hills Lent. Col. 

356 History of Canaan. 

The United States Pension Bureau has published a roll of 
the Revolutionary War pensioners for 1834 and for 1840 : 

List of the Pexsioxers ox the Records ix 1834. 

Daniel Lary, private, Massacliusetts Continental line, died May 13, 
1827, aged sixty-eight years. 

William Longfellow, private, Massachusetts Continental line, died in 
1834; was eighty-three years old. 

Richard Otis, private, Connecticut Continental line, died in 1834; 
was eighty-nine years old; transferred from Windham Co., Vt. 

Eliphalet Richardson, private, Massachusetts Continental line, died 
October 3, 1831, aged eighty years. 

Enock Richardson, private. New Hampshire Continental line, sus- 
pended act 1820, a^ed sixty-six; died, 1820. 

Joseph Wheat, private. New Hampshire Continental line, suspended 
act 1820, aged sixty. 

James Woodbury, private, Massachusetts Continental line, suspended, 
seventy-eight years old. 

List of Revolutionaby Pexsioxebs and with Whom They Resided 

June 1, 1840. 

Bridget Wheat, age eighty-three; resided with Joseph Wheat. 

Warren Wilson, age seventj'-seven ; resided with Joseph Wheat. 

Elizabeth Currier, age seventy-four; resided with Theophilus Currier. 

Josiah Clark, age eighty-two. 

Nathaniel Bartlett, age eighty-three; resided with John Pressey. 

Daniel Parker, age eighty-three. 

Joshua Richardson, age eighty-two; resided with Joshua W. Rich- 

Daniel Colby, age eighty-seven; resided with Andrew Elliott. 

Sarah Poland, age seventy-nine; resided with Elijah Gove. 

Sarah Longfellow, age eighty-eight; resideil with Stephen Williams. 

Lydia Whitney, age eighty-eight; resided with Isaac Whitney. 

Daniel Kimball, age seventy-seven; resided with David Townsend. 

Nathan Follensbee, seventy-eight, and Mathew Greeley, aged eighty, 
are put down from Enfield. 

Jonathan Locke was a recruit, as the following order shows : 

Canaan Mar 13. 1790 
To William Gardner Esq Treas, Pleas pay to Jehu Jones or bearer the 
sum of twenty pounds with the interest due thereon being a Town 
bounty paid by the Town of Canaan to one Jona Lock a Recruit in 

Samuel Jones Wm Richardson Selectmen 

To be allowed on M^ Jones tax for 1784. 

Soldiers. 357 

The ^Iilitla. After the Revolution. 

The militia law passed in 1792 divided the militia of the state 
into brigades, regiments and divisions. Each regiment was 
divided into two battalions. The towns of Lebanon, Enfield, 
Canaan and Grafton formed the first battalion of the Twenty- 
Third Regiment; and the towns of Hanover. Lyme. Dorchester 
and Orange the second battalion. In 1796 the office of major 
of the first battalion is shown to be vacant by the adjutant-gen- 
eral's report. In 1808 it is the same. There is no evidence that 
any militia assembled for training in Canaan before 1808, but it 
is probable they did. as a petition was presented to the president 
and council in January, 1786, requesting the appointment of 
Capt. Robert Barber for field officer, and intimating that Sam- 
uel Jones, who wished for the position, was not desirable. Be- 
fore 1792 this town was included in the Twenty-Fourth Regi- 
ment. John Currier was commissioned lieutenant iu the fourth 
company of the Twenty-Fourth Regiment on September 20, 
1794. He was appointed captain in the same company, from 
which he resigned in 1800. 

In 1784 Samuel Jones was second major. 

In the latter part of the year 1808 the Legislature passed a 
new law, which led to a new arrangement of the militia of the 
state. Free, able-bodied, male citizens, from sixteen to forty 
years of age. were to be enrolled without exceptions; there 
should be at least a company of light infantry or grenadiers to 
each battalion; one cannon, with carriage, harness and ap- 
paratus, should be furnished each company of artillery, also 
music, money and a color. There should be no more than one 
company of cavalry to each regiment; that these companies 
should be furnished music, money and colors ; that each company 
should turn out for inspection of arms and military exercise on 
the last Wednesday of June, annually ; also annually in August 
or September, and as often as the commanding officer should 
think proper, not exceeding four times a year. Each regiment 
should be called out annually during the months of September or 
October; that suitable meats and drinks, or thirty-four cents 
in lieu thereof, should be furnished each non-commissioned of- 
ficer and private \Wthin the several towns and places on regi- 
mental or battalion musters; that the captain-general appoint 

358 History of Canaan. 

as many aids as he thought proper, with the rank of lieutenant- 
colonel ; that gun houses should be provided for the cannon at 
the expense of the state ; that each town should be kept provided 
with certain amounts of powder, balls, flints and camp-kettles. 

The Adjutant-General's report for 1808 mentions the existence 
of thirty-six regiments, and it would seem that there were no 
companies training in Canaan recognized by the state. That 
there were muster days is evident by the vote of the town in 
August, 1808, which is the first vote on the records to refer to 
the militia. The warrant contained an article, "to see if the 
town will find non-commissioned officers refreshments on ]\Ius- 
ter Day." The article was dismissed. It was customary on 
muster days to drink as much rum as possible, and booths were 
set up along Broad Street where the thirsty might obtain strong 
drink. The selectmen issued licenses to persons desiring to sell, 
and the first one mentioned was to Daniel Blaisdell, Jr., in 1809 
at the training on the 28th of September. William Parkhurst 
also received a license. Licenses were issued to these two men 
again in 1810. 

Between 1808 and 1812 one new regiment was formed, the 
thirty-seventh, composed of men from Canaan. Dame's Gore, 
Orange, Enfield and Grafton. The officers at that time were: 
Caleb Seabury, lieutenant-colonel commandant : Levi George, 
major, first battalion; and Benjamin Choate of Enfield, major, 
second battalion. At the annual meeting in March, 1812, the 
town voted, ' ' That each company have their choice whether they 
have 34c, or suitable meats and drinks on ]\Iuster Day, and each 
captain take the minds of his company at June training. ' ' This 
refers specifically to the law of 1808, which the town has first 
taken notice of. 

The Thirty-Seventh Eegiment held its musters in Canaan, and 
Canaan men were its officers. It was probably organized and 
recognized by the state in 1809. The adjutant-general's report 
for 1868 says, that in 1810 there were thirty-seven regiments of 
militia in the state. John H. Harris was appointed captain of 
the First Company of Infantry of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment 
on October 1. 1810, and resigned in 1812. In 1820 the officers 
were Otis Barney of Grafton, colonel ; Daniel Pattee of Canaan, 
lieutenant-coloned ; and William Livingston, major. Joseph 

Soldiers. 359 

Diistin resigned as a lieutenant in the Sixth Brio-ade Second 
Division of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment in 1824. Under the 
law of 1830, Joshua Blaisdell was division inspector of the Sec- 
ond Division, Second and Sixth Brigades. Josiah P. Barber 
was colonel of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment. Elijah Blaisdell 
lieutenant-colonel, both of Canaan, and Fauntleroy Caswell, 
major. Under the revised statutes of 1840, the officers for 1843 
were Eliphalet C. Oilman, colonel; 0. A. J. Yaughan, adjutant, 
and Horace S. Currier, quartermaster, all of Canaan. Yaughan 
had been appointed adjutant in 1841, and in 1844 was appointed 
lieutenant-colonel. He read law in the office of Jonathan Kit- 
tredge, and in 1857 moved to Laconia. 

On August 29, 1838, John M. Barber was appointed ensign 
of the Fourth Company of the Thirty-Seventh Regiment. He was 
appointed captain of the First Company, April 5, 1841. and re- 
signed March 29, 1842. There were fortv-three men in this com- 
pany. He was appointed fourth sergeant in the Granite Pha- 
lanx, of which J. Everett Sargent was captain, June 26, 1843. 
John B. Dustin was sergeant, and in the absence of his captain 
twice delivered an address to his company. It serves to explain 
the object which was sought to be accomplished by the militia, 
and is as follows : 

Gentlemen, Officers and fellow soldiers. You are called together on 
this occasion by the laws of the State and country, for the performance 
of a duty, and the accomplishment of an object of no small moment to 
the interests of our common country and to the peace and safety of us 
all. I presume none of us are prepared to question the propriety and 
utility of the law which requires us thus to meet once in each year to 
revive, quicken and renew our martial spirit and to acquire that 
knowledge of military discipline which shall the better prepare us to 
defend our rights as men and as freemen and the better to secure to us 
those blood-bought privileges which our fathers bequeathed to us as the 
richest blessings of our inheritance. 

If the law then requiring us thus to meet is right and proper surely 
this duty on our part should be esteemed a privilege and an honor, 
rather than as an irksome and laborious task. And thus it is con- 
sidered by all those who truly know and feel the real spirit and value 
of martial exercise. To be sure the manner in which our military 
performances are sometimes and I may say frequently passed over, or 
absolutely shunned by many of our fellow citizens, I>oth of those in 
military rank and honors and those of less distinction down to the com- 

360 History of Canaan. 

mon soldiers, is not at all creditable to our military system. But you 
know there are those always and in all professions who are far more 
ready to receive the honors of office than they are to perform the duties 
which their offices demand at their hands. 

But this is no objection to the real merits of our militia system. 
By training the great body of our citizens to act the part of soldiers 
we at once avoid the dangers arising to free institutions from a stand- 
ing army, and render ourselves invincible by any foreign force that 
may arise against us. For tyranny would stand but a poor chance to 
success in conducting her battles with soldiers who fight for hire, and 
care not whether the victory or defeat attends them provided the pay 
be good — against citizen soldiers who know the value of their country 
and their homes, and know also and feel that death is much better to 
them than defeat. We would hope, gentlemen, that you feel in some 
good degree the importance of the true martial spirit. And from your 
appearance this day we are led to feel a strong confidence that there 
will be a still greater increase of this spirit in your future perform- 
ances. When a company or regiment are both ready and willing to 
learn their duty and then do it, when they go through their military 
performances with spirit and pride and just aml)iti()u, there is a maj- 
esty in it, which enkindles a flame of patriotism in the heart of every 
true lover of his country. Gentlemen, the inspecting officer informs 
me that there are but few and very slight deficiencies in your arms or 
equipments today. The general appearance of the regiment will cer- 
tainly suffer nothing by a comparison with its appearance on former 
occasions, or in comparison with those of other neighboring regiments. 
We hope to see still greater improvement in your appearance hereafter. 
Let more of your c-ompanies be uniformed, more of them drilled in a 
truly soldier-like manner, and let us see every man in the old Thirty- 
Seventh proud to show himself a soldier. My present limits will not 
permit of going into any topics in any degree foreign from my subject. 
I will merely remark that though we may and should as citizens take 
an interest in all the great questions which agitate our country and 
though we may have our individual preferences as to the candidates 
for governor or president, who may from time to time be held up as the 
candidates for those offices, yet as soldiers we are to love our country, 
and whether Polk or Clay or Captain Tyler, or the Mormon prophet, 
is president, we are to love our country with a soldier's love and defend 
her with a soldier's devotion. Gentlemen, in conclusion, may you have 
a safe return after this day's exercises are closed to your homes and 
families, and may you feel more than ever resolved to maintain and 
preserve our free institutions which render those homes so happy and 
those friends so prosperous. 

Gentlemen, had I a general's commission to found a speech upon I 
could, of course, give you a much longer, if not a better address, but 
as I have not I will no further weary your patience, except by wishing 
you and yours a happy life in a happy home and in a free country. 

Soldiers. 361 

An artillerj' company was org-anized in 1820. The militia sys- 
tem of New Hampshire was then doing its level best to make 
citizen soldiers of every man. It was complete in all arms but 
one. They lacked a six-pounder gun — brass one. They wanted 
it badly. At the date above named a meeting was called of all 
interested, to assemble in the hall of Capt. Joshua Harris' Tav- 
ern on the Street, to organize an artillery company and to 
appoint a commission to ask the state to loan them a gun. 
John Jones of East Enfield was elected the first captain, 
Nathaniel Currier of Canaan, lieutenant; and Jolm Barney of 
Grafton, second lieutenant. After the election of officers they 
all drank freely of Captain Harris' rum, at the expense of 
Capt. John Jones and went home. 

The application to Governor Bell was successful. Orders were 
sent to purchase land and build a house upon it, in which to store 
the gun. Captain Harris gave the deed of the land, and the 
house was built upon contract by Shubel Greeley of Goose Pond. 
Thus those citizens obtained their gim and were proud of it. 
They used upon occasion to exhibit their delighted patriotism by 
dragging it up and down the Street, and make a thundering 
noise firing off blank cartridges wadded with green grass. They 
kept this up for eighteen years, and about the last use they made 
of it was in the grievous days when liberty of speech was be- 
lieved to be a crime, and that the ladies ought not to be allowed 
to meet together even in secret, to pray against slavery and op- 

They would harness themselves to it and drag it through the 
Street, and fire if off at the closed doors of the offending aboli- 
tionists, yelling like wild Indians as the glass rattled from the 
sash, and that was about the last triumph under the old militia 
system. Soon afterwards the artillery company was disbanded. 
and the state conveyed its title to the town. Capt. Robert B. 
Clark was commander of the cavalry, or "troop," they called it. 
The troop was organized some years previous to 1820, and 
practiced horsemanship about twice a year. They were placed 
upon the retired list about the time the artillery fired its last 

In 1851 the Legislature passed a law, that the militia of the 
state should not be subject to active duty, except in ease of war, 

362 History of Canaan, 

invasion, riot, or inability of the civil officers to execute the 
laws. This led to the militia becoming mere names on paper, 
and it soon ceased to have much vitality. At this date Caleb A. 
Sleeper was colonel ; Daniel Follensbee, lieutenant-colonel ; A. A. 
Currier, major, and William B. Follensbee, quartermaster. In 
1857 the system of 1851 was abolished, and a new one instituted 
by the Legislature. This seems to be the end of the Thirty- 
Seventh Regiment, it did not reorganize under the new law. In 
1859 an independent company was formed called the "Canaan 
Grenadiers," and was accepted by the town, Jacob Peters was 
captain, Gilman W. Clark, lieutenant, and Augustus F. Blake, 
ensign. It numbered thirty-seven men. This company existed 
until the outbreak of the Rebellion. 

War of 1812. 

In the war of 1812 fears were entertained of an attack upon 
Portsmouth by the British fleet. In April, 1812, the President 
of the United States, ordered the Secretary of War to request 
Gov. William Plumer to order into the service of the United 
States such part of the quota of the militia as he should deem 
necessary for the defence of the sea coast of the state. Volun- 
teers for the defence of that port did not offer with sufficient 
alacrity, and a draft was ordered. The quota for Canaan was 
fifteen men, for two months' service. Five men at once volun- 
teered, namely; James Dustin, born in 1791, son of David and 
Rebecca (Cross) Dustin, leaving the trade of a tanner with 
Jacob Dow. After his discharge, he in company with Abner 
H., Joseph, Aaron C, Reuben and Daniel Colby, sons of Daniel, 
emigrated to Ohio, which was then the West. Jehiel Clark, born 
December 3, 1790, son of Richard, 2d., cousin of Colonel Josiah, 
enlisted as fifth sergeant. He married and lived on the farm 
afterwards owned by Col. Isaac Towle. Xever was a prosper- 
ous man. Washington Wilson, son of John and Sarv% bom 
October 11, 1792. Joseph Dustin, brother of James, our 
"Brother Joe," born October 25, 1795. Frederic Noyes, son 
of Dudley, who in 1795 lived on the Howard Farm, and at this 
time on the Farrington Currier farm. 

Nine men were drafted, of these only the following names have 
been preserved. Elijah Flanders, eldest son of Joshua, usually 

Soldiers. 363 

called "Corker," born in 1794 on the farm next north of Joseph 
Bartlett's, brother of Sylvester. He procured a substitute a 
day or two after reaching Portsmouth and came home. James 
Blaisdell, son of Daniel and Sally, born January 17. 1784, who 
went as a substitute for Nathaniel Derby. Nat. Barber, known 
as "Devil Nat," for his wild tricks, brother of Zebulon of Dor- 
chester. He had been a soldier before, and went as a substitute 
for Timothy Sanborn. Amos Richardson, son of William. Jo- 
seph Blake, who was appointed an ensign, David Lary and Rufus 
Wilson, son of Warren. These men all enlisted in Colonel Sias' 
regiment, and Capt. John D. Harty's company, some on the 
27th and 28th, and others on the 29th of September, 1814, for 
sixty days. They were stationed at w^hat is known as "Ports- 
mouth Plains, ' ' about a mile southeast of the court house. Four 
others are reported to have enlisted but their names are not on 
the rolls. Samuel Williams, a brother of Robert, who married 
Pernal B. Worth. Samuel Sa-wyer, and a man named Gile. 
Paul Cook, who was afterwards a partner with his brother-in- 
law, Abraham Pushee, harness maker at the ' ' Corner. ' ' Cook af- 
terwards died in Lyme. These men marched to Concord where 
they were mustered into service. David Dustin went along to 
carry their baggage. They were marched to Portsmouth and 
in two or three days were discharged and ordered home, the 
threatened attack having been a false alarm. Nathaniel Currier, 
many years a trader on the Street, was on duty as a soldier near 
Oswego, N. Y., one season during the war. Dan Welch, brother 
of Simeon, son of "Bomination" Welch, born on the Rufus Rich- 
ardson farm, was in this war. He married Huldah Gould and 
died in Lowell, Mass., a poor man, without a pension. She ap- 
plied for a pension, but died waiting for it. The Old Ladies' 
Home in Lowell pursued that pension, caught and captured it. 
Joseph Dustin and Dan Welch, both gifted men, left Portsmouth 
destitute of money. They proposed to each other that they become 
traveling evangelists, and in that way work their passage home. 
They began praying and exhorting, by the wayside or in houses, 
whenever they could find two or three gathered together. They 
were successful and returned home, neither tired nor hungry. 
Josiah Clark wanted to enlist and go to Portsmouth but had a 
lame foot and could not march. 

364 History of Canaan. 

Mexican War. 

In Company H, Capt. Daniel Batchelder, of the Ninth. United 
States Infantry are the names of four Canaan men, who en- 
listed j\Iay 1, 1847, for the war, James Andrews, Benjamin Bean, 
Sanford Gardner, and Bernard McCluskey. They sailed from 
Newport on the North Bend, May 21, 1847, landed on the 
21st of June at Vigara, on the 14th of July began their march 
and were the first regiment to enter the fortress of Chepultepec, 
on the 12th of September. Asel Burnham was in either Cap- 
tain Bodfish's or Captain Rowe's company of the Ninth Regi- 

War of the Rebellion. 

May, 1861.* 

The most exciting subject now is the war. There are occasionally 
flag raisings. Union badges and flags are everywhere seen. The old 
flagstaffs of the political parties serve the common sentiment. The 
young ladies wear rosettes of red, white and blue, and the boys wear 
medals decorated with the immortal colors. Every individual act of 
patriotism is gi-eeted with three loud huzzas. All the old patriotic songs 
are being learned by the young patriots. There are no more any Repub- 
licans or Democrats. The Preceptor of our Academy has closed out 
and opened a recruiting office; he belonged to the inevitable Smith fam- 
ily, and enlisted for the war. There is a wildness about this enthusiasm 
that astonishes everybody, and it is very contagious; old and young 
throw up their hats and hurrah for the union. Clergymen have aban- 
doned the everlasting negro question, and now preach upon the war. 
They pray for the confusion of traitors. Even here, where money was 
supposed to be as scarce as honesty and patriotism at as large a dis- 
count as veracity, the people will not tolerate traitors. They do not 
allow men to talk treason now. A few days ago a man who had no 
sense came into an adjacent village with a load of potatoes and at- 
tempted to exercise the freedom of opinion by abusing Government. 
But the men and dogs took after him so finally that he was obliged to 
leave his potatoes and flee to safety. iSimilar scenes are occurring 
every day. 

My old mother, whose patriotism increases with her years, often 
wishes she were a man. She would go and fight the rebels. She 
has just prepared 300 bandages for the use of the wounded and is 
going about town inviting other ladies to do likewise. She is talking 
now of getting up a lot of white, linen caps for the soldiers in the hot 
sun. Every day she is impatient to hear the news, and she prays that 
President Lincoln may hurry up matters and give the rebels a great 

♦Written in a letter of that date, by W. A. W. 

Soldiers. 365 

battle, a crushing battle that shall smite them to the earth. Our 
Postoffice exhibits a scene of excitement every day. Men who never 
took a paper now take a daily, and they are always present when the 
mail arrives. And those who are not able to take a daily are there 
also, and are impatient until some one reads the telegraph reports of 
the night before. A hundred questions are asked of the probable re- 
sult of the war, and today there has been great rejoicing because the 
telegraph reports the President to have said that the war shall not cease 
till the Flag of the union waves over every fort, arsenal, custom house, 
and other public building within the national domain. Every one con- 
curs in such sentiments. It is wonderful what universal burst of en- 
thusiasm has escaped from northern hearts. There seems to be but 
one breast and its great throb reaches East, west, north and south, from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Canadas downward. It is thrill- 
ing to see a nation rushing to the service of its government, in such 
compact, glittering, intelligent, relentless masses. The world never be- 
fore saw so sublime a spectacle, because the world never before saw so 
great a treason, so great a necessity for prompt, impulsive action. I 
would be glad to go, but my weak back would falter by the wayside 
under the weight of arms and blankets. In after years, when the events 
of this great treason are rehearsed by the winter firesides, these soldiers 
will enjoy a glorious and enviable pride in saying, "I was there — I 
helped put out the fires of treason." And what epitaphs the heroic acts 
of those soldiers are to furnish for the eye of future generations! 
Whole lives of uselessness are now to be illustrated by one act of pat- 
riotic devotion, that shall fill fame's trumpet so full, as it sends its 
swelling candenzas with prolonged reverbrations down to the remotest 
posterity. These are the times of great thieves and greater heroes, and 
each will win immortality in their degree. 

Sixteen men volunteered in 1861, Charles Robie, Joseph Syl- 
vester. Elijah W. Johnson, Job B. Jenness, Andrew J. Danish, 
Placid Adams, Thomas McNabb, William Tolbert, George B. 
County, Stephen Shephard, Frank T. Dustin. Peter Pieron, 
Henry Hoffman, James Kimball, Anthony Welch and William 
E. Allard. 

On August 9, 1862, the town were requested to meet to see 
what should be done /in regard to furnishing the town's qitota 
of soldiers. They voted to pay each volunteer a bounty of 
$100. Whereupon David Barnard offered to give the first man 
who should volunteer $5. Twenty men came forward and gave 
in their names as volunteers for three years, and the individuals 
named opposite gave each man $5 : 


History of Canaan. 

Johu N. Ford, 
Almond R. Decato. 
Thomas S. Marshall, 
William R. Call. 
Nathaniel W. Bean, 
Philip G. Preseott, 
George M. Richardson. 
John J. Burns, 
Abel Hadley, 
John W. Philbrick, 
Sidney L. Colby, 
Thomas E. Jones. 
Charles T. Langley, 
Frank IMorey, 
Orville Goss, 
Moses H. Marshall, 
Leedns Hebei't. 
Johu B. Lovering, 
Chas. D. Washburn, 
Orson Makepeace, 

paid $5 by 

David Barnard 
Dexter Harris 
William A. Wallace 
Warren W. Wilson 
William A. Wallace 
Levi George 
Horace S. Currier 
Dexter Richardson 
Frank Currier 
Darius Barnard 
George Hinkson 
Charles Day 
Thos. D. Avery 
Lewis C. Pattee 
J. S. Davis 
Isaac Davis 
A. H. Cilley 
Stephen Morse 
Eleazer Barney 
Joseph Dustin 

Caleb Jones attended this town meeting fired with patriotism, 
and when the call was made for volunteers, he gave a pledge that 
if his boy Tom would not go he would, for he was bound to have 
the family represented, and he put down his name as proxy for 
Tom who took his place in the ranks and came home to die from 
the effects of exposure in camp life. 

William W. George proposed to give each volunteer a dinner 
at Sanborn's Hotel the day they left for camp. Fourteen of 
these men received the bounty of $100. Orson Makepeace, 
Charles T. Langley and William R. Call never enlisted. John 
N. Ford and Sidney L. Colby went afterwards. Thomas S. 
Marshall went but did not receive the bounty. Oliver B. Childs, 
William Digby, Aaron Sargent, Allen H. George and Ephraim 
Adams received the bounty besides the above fourteen, enlisting 
about the same time. The town voted to give volunteers for nine 
months ' service $100 and $50 more if called out of the state. The 
selectmen with L. C. Pattee, William L. Harris, William P. 
Weeks and William W. George were appointed a committee to get 
recruits to make up the town's quota, and they were to receive 
one dollar for each recruit, but if the recruit went to the select- 
men he was to receive the dollar. Every man who brought a 



volunteer was to receive five dollars, and the families of the nine 
months' men were to be taken care of the same as the three year 
men. The following men enlisted for nine months receiving 
$155, all in the Fifteenth Regiment: 

Everett W. Dow 
Levi Martin 
Hiram Jones 
Austin Dunham 
David Legro 
Alvah Oilman 
Dexter E. Bradbury 
Abiel Sharp 
James Furlong 
William Adams 

Gilbert J. Robie 
Rufus S. Goss 
William W. Dustin 
Don C. Washburn 
Albert Bradbury 
Edgar D. Aldrieh 
William A. Gordon 
Edwin D. Aldrieh 
Fred B. Wells 

In 1863 the town voted to pay each drafted man $300, agree- 
ably to the law of the state passed June, 1863. The following 
received $300 : 

Joseph D. Weeks 
George T. Wells 
Wm. A. Flanders 
E. H. Pressey 
Byron Edwards 
S. B. Morgan 
David H. Butman 
George D. Harris 
H. A. Nichols 
Samuel A. Colby 
J. S. Jones 

H. R. Norris 
L. K. Currier 
Albert F. Davis 
Edwin Shephard 
George W. Davis 
Charles N. Morse 
Burns Edwards 
George Tilton 
Jas. M. Eaton 
Denis County 

For these drafted men the following substitutes were 
furnished : 

John Moriarity 
Tx)ftus Reed IMager 
Henry Wallace 
James Simpson 
Alfred Marland 
Adelbert O. Williams 
Enos Gloggett 
James Harris 
John Lamontaine 
Daniel Dohert>- 
John Mulholland 
Alfred Jones 

for J. D. Weeks 
Tilton Nichols 
George W. Davis 
Wm. A. Flanders 
George D. Harris 
Edwin Shephard 
Geo. T. Wells 
Mathew H. Clark 
Sam L. A. Colby 
H. R. Norris 
George Tilton 
S. B. Morgan 

368 History of Canaan. 

George Thomas for L. K. Currier 

Thomas Ayers " Albert H. Davis 

Albert H. Currier " David H. Butman 

Robert Smith " J. M. Eaton 

James Smith " Byrou Edwards 

Edwin Gerush " Burns Edwards 

Theodore Shoemaker " E. H. Pressey 

John Marshall " John S. Jones 

On December 7, 1863, the town voted to borrow $14,000 to fill 
out the quota of the town in response to the call of the President 
for 300,000 men on October 17, 1863, and the selectmen were 
requested to contract with William W. George and Albert M. 
Shaw to fill the quota, at $500 per man unless they could be found 
for less. Elijah W. Johnson and Jolm ^V. Hoyt volunteered and 
received $555, Robert M. O'Connell, a veteran, received $600, 
and George F. Taplin received $250. The town paid Hollis B. 
\Yhitney $500 for one volunteer and W. W. George $10,633.50 
for nineteen volunteers. 

In 1864 the town voted to pay reenlisted men who had gone 
to fill out the quota $100. and who were now in service, and to 
pay C. X. Homan $300, who had been drafted. The following 
were the reenlisted men : 

Timothy A. Dunham Peter Perron 

Alonzo Mitchell Frank W. Carroll 

Joseph Graville Charles Prew 

Albert York Tj-ler Heath 
Placid Adams 

The town voted that the "selectmen put in volunteers (to fill 
out quota) provided that any persons in town that are enlisted 
shall pay to the selectmen $200 for exemption papers for three 
years to the number of 24, and the first 24 men who make appli- 
cation to the selectmen, shall be the ones that are entitled to the 
benefit and balance to be paid from the town treasury, and to 
pay future drafts $300 or their substitutes. Bounties repaid to 
be divided equalh" with town and ones receiving benefit of fore- 
going vote." Twelve thousand dollars Avas voted to be raised 
to accomplish the foregoing. The following men received $76, 
who paid $200 for substitutes : 

Soldiers. 369 

James P. Barber George E. Cobb 

Elijah Smith D. G. S. Davis 

Geo. L. Whittier Aaron Aldrich 

William Hall Daniel Hazeltine 

Benj. P. Nichols Chas. H. Leeds 

Daniel H. Campbell Wm. G. Somers 

Jeremiah Whittier Geo. W. Murray 

Geo. W. Randlett Elijah Whittier 

Augustus Shephard Warren F. Wilson 

Albert E. Barney Moses E. Currier 

H. H. Wilson Newton B. Gates 

Chas. Davis Geo. C. Bradbury 

On August 29, 1864, a town meeting was called "to see what 
the town would do to fill out the quota required by the call of 
the President for 500,000 men.'"' The town resolved to pay the 
largest bounty provided by the act of August 19, 1864. They 
resolved to pay $400 bounty to all persons having residence in 
the town three months prior "who volunteer," and to hire $4,000 
to accomplish it. Five hundred dollars bounty was paid the fol- 
lowing volunteers : 

Daniel Stickney Sidney L. Colby 

John Holt Jas. W. Atherton 

Geo. P. Clark Edson J. Fifield 

James Wilson Everett W. Dow 

"William W. George furnished five volunteers and three sub- 
stitutes, also fifteen volunteers, and substitutes for 24 enrolled 

On November 30, 1864 the town voted that the "Selectmen 
should put men into the military and naval service in anticipa- 
tion of a call, ' ' and to hire $20,000. 

At the annual meeting in 1865 William W. George was ap- 
pointed "Military Agent of the town with exclusive control." 

The men arranged by regiments is as follows, some of the 
names occur twice because of reenlistment : 


George B. County, Company B; enlisted May 27, 1861; mustered in 
June 7, 1861, for three years; transferred to Fifty-Seventh Company, 
Second Battalion, Infantry Company, September 9, 1863; discharged 
May 26, 1864. 

Charles A. Pratt, Company C; enlisted May 20, 1861; mustered in 
June 1, 1861, for three years; deserted. Concord, May 24, 1863. 


370 History of Canaan. 

Benjamin W. Adams, Company I; enlisted May 20, 1S61; mustered 
in June 7, 1861, for tliree years; deserted, Concord, April 8, 1863; ap- 
prehended February 28, 1864; discharged April 14, 1865. 

Dennis County, Company I; enlisted May 18, 1861; mustered in June 
7, 1861, for three years; discharged, disabled, January 1, 1863. (See 
First New Hampshire Light Battery.) 

Michael C. Miner, Company I; enlisted May 19, 1861; mustered in 
June 7, 1861, for three years; mustered out June 21, 1864. 

Lyndon B. Woods, Company I; enlisted May 25, 1861; mustered in 
June 7, 1861, for three years; mustered out June 21, 1864. 

Jonathan Merrill, Company I; enlisted May 20, 1861; mustered in 
June 7, 1861, for three years; wounded severely, Gettysburg, July 26, 
1863; discharged, disabled. May 2, 1864; mustered out June 21, 1864. 


William Thompson, Company K; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three 
years; promoted corporal May 1, 1865; mustered out January 19, 1865. 

Joseph Saunders, Company K; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three 
years; wounded. Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864; mustered out June 26, 1865. 

Carlos Smitz, Company K; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three years; 
transferred to navy April 29, 1864; served on Mt. Yemon and Con- 
necticut; discharged August 11, 1865. 

John McCullom, Company F; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three 
years; promoted corporal Januai'y 1, 1865; to sergeant September 1, 
1865; mustered out December 19, 1865. 

Robert McConnell, Company H; enlisted December 11, 1863, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, May 22, 1865. 

Patrick Ledlow, Company — ; enlisted December 6, 1864, for three 
years; deserted December 10, 1864. 

John W. Hoyt, Company E; enlisted December 29, 1863, for three 
years; wounded. Cold Harbor, June 3, 1864; transferred Company C, 
Twelfth Regiment, June 21, 1865; absent detached service December 19, 
1865; discharge to date December 19, 1865. 

John (alias William) Dorsey, Company F; enlisted November 30, 
1863, for three years; deserted April 11, 1864; apprehended; promoted 
corporal January 1, 1865; promoted sergeant June 25, 1865; discharged 
December 19, 1865. 

Francis Bearo, Company F; enlisted November 30, 1863, for three 
yeai's; discharged December 19, 1865. 

James Green, Company F; enlisted November 30, 1863, for three 
years; deserted. Point Lookout, Md., January 3, 1864. 

Thomas Presly, Company F; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three 
years; transferred to navy April 30, 1864; served on Mt. Yemon and 
Tacony; discharged July 25, 1865. 

Thomas Kerby, Company F; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three 
years; transferred to navy April 30. 1864; served on Quaker City: dis- 
charged July 25, 1865. 

Soldiers. 371 

John Kelley, Company F; enlisted December 3, 1863, for three years; 
wounded June 3, 1864; deserted on furlough November 10, 1864. 

Henry Preston, Company F; enlisted November 30, 1863, for three 
years; deserted, Bermuda Hundred, Va., June 1, 1864. 


George Young, Company K; enlisted December 4, 1863, for three 
years; transferred to Company B April 28, 1864; discharged May 25, 

William Whitmer, Company F; enlisted November 30, 1863, for three 
years; deserted. Point Lookout, Md., January 18, 1864. 

The Second Regiment was at the battles of First Bull Run, 
Siege of Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair Oaks, Savage Station, 
Peach Orchard, Glendale, First Malvern Hill, Second Malvern 
Hill, Bristow Station, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, Fredericks- 
burg, Manassas Gap, Gettysburg, Wapping Heights, Swift's 
Creek, Drury's Bluff, First and Second Cold Harbor, Peters- 
burg, Proctor's Creek, Chesterfield, Darbytown, Spring Hill and 
the occupation of Richmond. 


Horace L. Davis, Company E; enlisted July 22, 1861; mustered in 
August 23, 1861, for three years; detached; musician Second Brigade 
Band, Tenth Army Corps; mustered out August 23, 1864. 

James Simpson, Company A; enlisted October 12, 1863; killed, 
Drury's Bluff, May 13, 1864. 

Stephen Hadley, Company E; enlisted July 26, 1861; mustered in Au- 
gust 23, 1861, for three years; wounded slightly, Drury's Bluff, May 
13, 1864; again. Deep Bottom, August 16; mustered out September 9, 

Tyler Heath, Company B; enlisted August 14, 1861; mustered in 
August 23, 1861, for three years; re-enlisted January 1, 1864; killed, 
Drury's Bluff, May 15, 1864. 

Abel Hadley, Company E; enlisted September 1, 1862, and mustered 
for three years; died of disease, Morris Island, S. C, September 16, 1863. 


Orville Goss, Company E; enlisted August 16, 1862; mustered in 
September 5, 1862, for three years; appointed corporal November 19, 
1863; wounded severely, Drury's Bluff, May 13, 1864; discharged, dis- 
abled. May 10, 1865. 

John N. Ford, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862; mustered in 
September 6, 1862, for three years; killed, Charles City Roads, Va., 
October 27, 1864. 

372 History of Canaan. 

Edwin Gunseh, Company G; enlisted October 8, 1863; mustered in 
September 6, 1862, for three years; discharged, Philadelphia, Pa., 
October 28, 1864. 

Zephraim Forties, Company K; enlisted February 1, 1865; mustered 
in September 5, 1862, for three years; mustered out July 20, 1865. 

John Mulholland, Company D; enlisted October 14, 1863; mustered in 
in September 5, 1862, for three years; mustered out July 20, 1865. 

John W. Philbrick, Company E; enlisted August 11, 1862; mustered 
in September 5, 1862, for three years; wounded, May 15, 1864, Drui-y's 
Bluff, and February 11, 1865, Sugar Loaf Battle; discharged June 26, 
1865, Goldsboro, N. C. 


Charles Prew, Company E; enlisted January 1, 1864, for three years; 
mustered out July 20, 1865. 

Albert York, Company E; enlisted January 1, 1864, for three years; 
appointed sergeant; appointed, first sergeant January 10, 1865; wounded. 
Fort Fisher, N. C, January 15, 1865; mustered out July 20, 1865. 

This regiment was at Secession ville, S. C, Port Royal, James 
Island, Morris Island, Fort Wagner, and its siege, Dmry's 
Bluff, Half-way House, Bermuda Hundred, Deep Bottom, 
Petersburg, Laurel Hill before Richmond, Fort Fisher. 



Henry S. Hamlet, Company D; enlisted March 1, 1862; mustered 
in March 18, 1862, for three years; musician; appointed corporal; 
captured May 16, 1864; died, Millen, Ga., November 12, 1864. 

Beletsou Hoffman, Company K; enlisted October 16, 1863; wounded. 
Cold Harbor, June 4, 1864; died disease. Point of Rocks, Va., August 7, 

John Lamontaine, Company C; enlisted October 20, 1863, for three 
years; mustered out August 23, 1865. 

Albert H. Currier, Company C; enlisted October 20, 1863, for three 
yeai's; missing. Deep Bottom, Va., August 14, 1864; returned; mustered 
out August 23, 1865. 

Warren W. Hamlett, Company F; enlisted March 15, 1862; mustered 
in November 3, 1862, for three years; wounded, August 16, 1864, Deep 
Bottom; mustered out March 23, 1865. 

Orra H. Hardy, Company F; enlisted March 26, 1862, for three 
years; musician; died disease, Beaufort, S. C, November 20, 1863. 

Alfred Marland, Company^ K; enlisted October 15, 1863, for three 
years; pi-omoted first lieutenant. Company H, February 17, 1865; 
mustered out August 23, 1865 

Oscar F. Washburn, Company K; enlisted March 18, 1863, for three 
years; promoted corporal; died disease. Fort Munroe, August 13, 1864. 

Samuel Sleeper, Company K; enlisted March 26, 1862, for three years; 
discharged April 16, 1865. 

Soldiers. 373 

Thomas Ayers, Company B; enlisted October 21, 1863, for three years; 
transferred to navy April 27, 1864. 

George Thomas, Company H; enlisted October 16, 1863, for three 
years; deserted July 6, 1864; sent to regiment May 29, 1864, from hos- 
pital Beaufort, S. C, N. F. R. 

Theodore Shoemaker, Company I; enlisted October 17, 1863, for three 
years; deserted, White House, Va., June 1, 1864. 


Peter Perron, Company I; enlisted September 18, 1861; re-enlisted 
February 14, 1864, for three years; wounded July 26, 1864; discharged 
July 20, 1865. 

Timothy A. Dunham, Company I; enlisted September 18, 1861; re- 
enlisted February 18, 1864, for three years; mustered out August 23, 
1865; wagoner. 

This regiment was at Port Royal, Pocotaligo, Fort Wagner, 
Fort Sumter, Drury's Bluff, Bermuda Hundred, Cold Harbor, 
Deep Bottom. Fort Andrews, Fernandina, Morris Island, Peters- 
burg, Fort Fisher. 


Elijah W. Johnson, Company I; enlisted August 23, 1861, for three 
years; discharged January 28, 1862; was a recruiting officer of this 
regiment in 1861; received sixty-three recruits and was appointed first 
lieutenant October 12, 1861. 

Richard K. Martin, Company I; enlisted August 27, 1861, for three 
years; corporal; killed, Antietam, September 17, 1862. 

Ezra Cutler, Company I; enlisted September 23, 1861, for three 
years; deserted October 19, 1862. 

George E. Cilley, Company I; enlisted October 11, 1861, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, February 28, 1862. 

Placid Adams, Company I; enlisted September 12, 1861, for three 
years; re-enlisted January 1, 1864; discharged December 6, 1864. 

Henry Evans, Company I; enlisted September 27, 1861, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, August 16, 1862. 

Job B. Jenniss, Company I; enlisted September 9, 1861, for three 
years; wounded, December 13, 1862, Fredericksburg; May, 1863, Chancel- 
lorsville; July, 1863, Gettysburg; deserted. Point Lookout, February 12, 

Ephraim Adams, Company I; enlisted August 14, 1861, for three 
years; wounded, June 3, 1864, Cold Harbor; transferred Second Bat- 
talion, V. R. Company, October 25, 1864; discharged June 22, 1865. 

George W. Kimball, Company I; enlisted September 16, 1861, for three 
years; wounded, Chancellorsville, May, 1863; killed, Gettysburg, July 
2, 1863. 

Alonzo Mitchell, Company I; enlisted September 2, 1861, for three 

374 History op Canaan. 

years; re-enlisted January 1, 1864; killed, Deep Bottom, Va., July 27, 

Thomas McNabb, Company I; enlisted September 12, 1861, for three 
years; wounded, Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862; Cold Harbor, June 
3, 1864; discharged, disabled, November 3, 1864. 

Willie Martin, Company I; enlisted September 25, 1861, for three 
years; wounded, Fair Oaks, June 1, 1862; discharged, disabled, August 
18, 1862. 

Charles Robie, Company I; enlisted September 19, 1861, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, October 29, 1862. 

Henry H. Sherburne, Company I; enlisted July 27, 1861, for three 
years; died, disease. May 6, 1862. 

Daniel C. Smith, Company I; enlisted September 16, 1861, for three 
years; deserted June, 1862. 

Joseph Sylvester, Company I; enlisted August 23, 1861, for three 
years; deserted, December 4, 1862, Falmouth, Va. 

Andrew J. Darush, Company I; enlisted August 21, 1861, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, October 9, 1862. 

Stephen Shephard, Company I; enlisted September 12, 1861, for three 
years; killed, June 1, 1862, Fair Oaks. 


Henry Wallace, Company K; enlisted October 12, 1863, for three 
years; deserted, Point Lookout, Md., April 15, 1864. 

Patrick Shea (alias Welch), Company H; enlisted October 3, 1863, 
for three years; transferred to navy April 23, 1864; discharged, dis- 
abled, October 15, 1864. 

Frederick Flury, Company I; enlisted September 10, 1861, for three 
years; deserted August 30, 1862. 

Francis Augustus, Company G; enlisted August 16, 1864, for three 
years; deserted, Petersburg, October 12, 1864. 

Owen F. Bacon, Company H; enlisted August 11, 1864, for three years; 
px-omoted corporal; wounded slightly April 7, 1865; mustered out June 
28, 1865. 

Darby Carrigan, Company H; enlisted August 8, 1864, for three years; 
mustered out June 28, 1865. 

Daniel Doherty, Company I; enlisted October 6, 1863, for three years; 
transferred to navy April 20, 1864; discharged July 12, 1865. 

Alfred G. Jones, Company H; enlisted October 1, 1863, for three years; 
mustered out June 21, 1865. 

Loftus R. Mager, Company H; enlisted October 1, 1863, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, April 20, 1865. 

John Moriarity, Company H; enlisted October 1, 1863, for three years; 
promoted corporal; mustered out June 28, 1865. 

Orrin Wade, Company I; enlisted August 9, 1864, for three years; 
discharged, imbecility, December 23, 1864. 

John Marshall, Company H; enlisted October 6, 1863, for three years; 
wounded June 16, 1864; dishonorably discharged September 30, 1864. 

Soldiers. 375 

James McGee, Company I; enlisted August 8, 1863, for three years; 
sent to regiment August 27, 1864; N. F. R. 

Lindor Maruize, Company K; enlisted August 16, 1864, for three 
years; deserted to enemy October 28, 1864; apprehended; sentenced to 
be hanged; commuted to dishonorable discharge and five years' im- 

Robert Smith, Company I; enlisted October 6, 1863, for three years; 
died, DeCamp Hospital, July 17, 1864. 

James Smith, Company I; enlisted October 6, 1863, for three years; 
mustered out July 15, 1865. 

James Harris, Company G; enlisted October 3, 1863, for three years; 
deserted, November 14, 1863, Point Lookout. 


Joseph Gravelle, Company I; enlisted September 25, 1861, for three 
years; re-enlisted January 1, 1864; deserted. Point Lookout, March 31, 

The Fifth Regiment took part in the battles of Rappahannock 
River. Yorktown, Fair Oaks, Peach Orchard, White Oak Swamp, 
Charles City, Malvern Hill, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancel- 
lorsville, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Deep Bottom. 


Thomas J. Carlton, Company B; enlisted for Enfield October 7, 1861, 
for three years; re-enlisted for Canaan December 28, 1863; promoted 
second lieutenant. Company H, January 9, 1864; wounded June 3, 1864; 
September 30, 1864, at Poplar Springs Church; appointed first lieuten- 
ant. Company B, August 1, 1864; appointed captain January 10, 1865; 
resigned June 17, 1865. 

William E. Allard, Company B; enlisted November 27, 1861, for three 
years; deserted August 13, 1862, on marcli from Fredericksburg; went 
to Canada. 

Lucian N. Gordon, Company B; enlisted November 9, 1861, for three 
years; wounded December 13, 1862; appointed sergeant; re-enlisted from 
Enfield December 23, 1863. 

James Kimball, Company B; enlisted November 6, 1861, for three 
years; deserted August 16, 1862. 

Edwin E. Shattuck, Company B; enlisted November 27, 1861, for 
three years; discharged, disabled, December 1, 1862. 

Anthony Welch, Company B; enlisted December 7, 1861, for three 
years; killed, Bull Run, August 29, 1862. 

John W. Towle, Company B; enlisted December 9, 1861, for three 
years; wounded, August 29, 1862, Bull Run; discharged December, 1862. 


John Carter, Company H; enlisted June 29, 1864, for three years; 
transferred from Eleventh New Hampshire June 1, 1865; promoted 
corporal July 1, 1865; mustered out July 17, 1865. 

376 History of Canaax. 

The Sixth Regiment took part in the battles about Camden. 
Second Bull Run, Chantillj^, South Mountain, Antietam, White 
Sulphur Springs, Fredericksburg, Vicksburg, Jackson, Wilder- 
ness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg. 


Frank T. Dustiu, Company C; enlisted October 22, 1861, for three 
years; transferred Second Battalion, V. R. C, May 7, 1864; discharged 
November 8, 1864. 

Henry J. Gile, Company C; enlisted October 7, 1861, for three years; 
killed. Fort Wagner, S. C, July 18, 1863. 

Daniel F. Hinkson, Company C; enlisted October 7, 1861, for three 
years; killed Fort Wagner, S. C; promoted corporal July 18, 1862. 

This regiment up to June, 1863, saw little field service. After 
that it was in the battles of Morris Island, Fort Wagner, 
Olustee, Drury's Bluff, Chester Hill, Bermuda Hundred, Deep 
Bottom, New jMarket Heights, Petersburg, Laurel Hill, Darby- 
town Road, Richmond. 


George W. Richardson, Company B; enlisted July 5, 1862, for three 
years; absent in confinement, Fort Nelson, June 6, 1865; no discharge 
furnished; corporal. 

Jerome Gay, Company B; enlisted June 30, 1862, for three years; 
deserted, September 24, 1862, Antietam. 

James S. Holt, Company F; enlisted June 12, 1862, for three years; 
died, disease, February 16, 1863. 


Jacob Christensen, Company F; enlisted July 5, 1864, for three years; 
transferred to Sixth New Hampshire June 1, 1865; mustered out July 
17, 1865. 

Daniel Conway, Company I; enlisted July 5, 1864, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment. City Point, Va., February 10, 1865. 

James Green, Company A; enlisted December 24, 1863, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment January 26, 1864. 

James Murphy, Company — ; enlisted December 8, 1863, for three 
years; deserted en route to regiment December 31, 1863. 

George Lester, Company — ; enlisted December 24, 1863, for three 
years; deserted en route to regiment, N. F. R. 

Martin Smith, Company A; enlisted December 24, 1863, for three 
years; deserted, Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., January 26, 1864. 

Ferdinandt Meyer, Company F; enlisted July 5, 1864, for three years; 
transferred to Sixth New Hampshire June 1, 1865; mustered out July 
17, 1865. 

Soldiers. 377 

Henry Rider, Compauy C; enlisted December 23, 1863, for three years; 
transferred to Sixtli New Hampshire June 1, 1865; died, disease, Sep- 
tember 19, 1865; mustered out July 17, 1865. 

William Kehoe, Company A; enlisted December 24, 1863, for three 
years; deserted January 26, 1864. 

Oliver Yarden, Company D; enlisted December 23, 1863, for three 
years; deserted. Camp Dick Robinson, Ky., January 27, 1864. 

Frank Jackson, Company D; enlisted December 23, 1863, for three 
years; deserted, Loudon, Ky., March 6, 1864. 

James H. Walker, Company F; enlisted June 19, 1862, for three years; 
wounded July 30, 1864; killed, September 30, 1864, Poplar Springs 

This regiment was at the battles of South Mountain, Antietam, 
White Sjilphur Springs. Fredericksburg, Vieksburg, Jackson, 
Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg. 


Allen H. George, Company H; enlisted August 17, 1862, for three 
years; honorably discharged, disabled. May 23, 1864; appointed second 
lieutenant September 4, 1862. 

George H. Richardson, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862, for three 
years; corporal; transferred to Company F, "V. R. C, August 3, 1864; 
discharged June 30, 1865. 

Frank Morey, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862, for three years; 
corporal; promoted sergeant May 1, 1864; wounded slightly June 16, 
1864; mustered out June 4, 1865. 

John 0. Barnes, Company H; enlisted August 17, 1862, for three years; 
died, wounds. May 15, recevied at Fredericksburg May 12, 1864. 

Nathaniel W. Bean, Company H; enlisted August 11, 1862, for three 
years; died, disease, Alexandria, Va., June 29, 1864. 

Oliver B. Childs, Company H; enlisted August 11, 1862, for three 
years; wounded felling trees February 17, 1864; mustered out June 

4, 1865. 

William Digby, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862, for three years; 
transferred to Second United States Artillery October 14, 1862; died 
August 23, 1863. 

Ledus Hebert, Company H; enlisted August 7, 1862, for three years; 
wounded slightly May 6, 1864; promoted corporal May 1, 1865; mustered 
out June 4, 1865. 

Thomas E. Jones, Company H; enlisted August 11, 1862, for three 
years; wounded severely May 6, 1864, Wilderness; discharged, disabled, 
July 6, 1865; died July 27, 1865. 

John B. Lovring, Company H; enlisted August 6, 1862, for three 
years; mustered out June 4, 1865. 

Moses H. Marshall, Company H; enlisted August 8, 1862, for three 
years; transferred to Eleventh Company, Second Battalion, I. C, March 

5, 1864; discharged August 15, 1865. 

378 History of Canaan. 

Thomas S. Marshall, Company H; enlisted August 6, 1862, for three 
years; discharged, disabled. May 6, 1864. 

Philip G. Prescott, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862; discharged, 
disabled, July 15, 1863, Washington, D. C. 

Aaron Sargent, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862, for three years; 
killed near Petersburg, June 16, 1864. 

Almond K. Decato, Company H; enlisted August 9, 1862, for three 
years; mustered out June 4, 1865. 

Charles D. Washburn, Company H; enlisted August 6, 1862, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, February 25, 1864. 


John Carter, Company E; enlisted June 29, 1864, for three years; 
transferred to Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers June 1, 1865; ap- 
pointed corporal July 1, 1865; mustered out July 17, 1865. 

Elijah W. Johnson, Company H; enlisted December 29, 1863, for three 
years; transferred to Company E, Twenty-First V. R. C, January 24, 
1865; discharged August 8, 1865. 

Joseph Sherry, Company E; enlisted July 1, 1864, for three years; 
transferred Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers June 1, 1865; promoted 
corporal; mustered out July 17, 1865. 

John Taylor, Company D; enlisted June 30, 1864, for three years; 
transferred to Sixth New Hampshire Volunteers June 1, 1865; mustered 
out July 17, 1865. 

George F. Brooks, Company — ; enlisted July 20, 1864, for three 
years; deserted en route to regiment. 

Joseph D. Bliss, Company — ; enlisted July 20, 1864, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment November, 1864. 

August Champagne, Company — ; enlisted June 30, 1864, for three 
years; deserted en route to regiment. 

Thomas H. Desmond, Company — ; enlisted June 30, 1864, for three 
years; deserted en route to regiment. 

Samuel Evans, Company — ; enlisted July 29, 1864, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment. 

John McCauley, Company — ; enlisted July 2, 1864, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment. 

John Piero, Company — ; enlisted June 24, 1864, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment. 

James Richards, Company — ; enlisted July 2, 1864, for three years; 
deserted en route to regiment. 

Charles H. Allerton, Company — ; enlisted June 30, 1864, for three 
years; deserted en route to regiment. 

Horace A. Johnson lived in Canaan and was credited to Hebron. 

The Eleventh Regiment was in the battles of Fredericksburg, 
Vicksbiirg. Jackson. Wilderness, Spottsylvania, North Anna, 

Soldiers. . 379 

Polotopomy, Bethesda Church, Hatcher's Run, Petersburg, Wel- 
don Railroad, Poplar Springs Church, Cold Harbor. 


George F. Taplin, Company F; enlisted August 18, 1862, for three 
years; discharged, disabled, December 5, 1862; re-enlisted November 3, 
1863; wounded June 3, 1864; discharged, disabled, April 18, 1865. 

John W. Hoyt, Company C; enlisted December 29, 1863, for three 
years; wounded June 3, 1864; transferred to Company E, Second New 
Hampshire Volunteers, June 21, 1865; discharged December 19, 1865. 

This Regiment was in the battles of Swift's Creek. Drury's 
Blutf, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wapping 
Heights, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Bermuda Hundred, Rich- 


Enos Glogelt, recruit Company K; enlisted September 29, 1863, for 
three years; wounded October 19, 1864; discharged November 20, 1865. 

This Regiment was at Deep Bottom, Antietam, Winchester, 
Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek. 


Company F; nine months' men mustered out August 13, 1863. 

William Gordon, captain; enlisted October 2, 1862; mustered in 
November 11. 

Fred B. Wells, first sergeant; enlisted September 8, 1862; mustered 
in October 10; re-enlisted. Company B, headquarters troop, Department 
of the Gulf, July 5, 1863; discharged July 24, 1864. 

Alvah Oilman, corporal; enlisted September 8, 1862; mustered in 
October 15; died. Baton Rouge, June 3, 1863. 

Everett W. Dow enlisted September 2, 1862; mustered in October 

Abiel Sharp enlisted September 15, 1862; mustered in October 10; 
wounded June 14, 1863. 

Don C. Washburn enlisted September 5, 1862; mustered in October 
10; wounded May 27, 1863; discharged August 13, 1863. 

Levi Martin enlisted September 5, 1862; mustered in October 10. 

James Furlong enlisted September 5, 1862; mustered in October 10. 

Edwin D. Aldrich enlisted September 5, 1862; mustered in October 10;' 
killed, Port Hudson, La., May 27, 1863. 

Albert Bradbury enlisted September 15, 1862; mustered in October 10. 

Hiram Jones enlisted September 15, 1862; mustered in October 10. 

William Adams enlisted September 15, 1862; mustered in October 10. 

William W. Dustin enlisted September 2, 1862; mustered in October 

380 . History of Canaan. 

10; died, July 21, 1863, New Orleans, of wouuds received at Port Hud- 
son, La., June 11, 1863. 

Edgar D. Aldrich enlisted September 8, 1862; mustered in October 

Dexter F. Bradbury enlisted September 8, 1862; mustered in October 
10; died, disease, St. James Hospital, New Orleans, July 9, 1863. 

Austin Dunliam enlisted August 30, 1862; mustered in October 10; 
wounded May 27, 1863. 

Gilbert J. Robie enlisted September 8, 1862; mustered in October 10; 
died, disease, Memphis, Tenn., August 3, 1863. 

David Legro enlisted September 1, 1862; mustered in October 10; 
wounded May 27, 1863. 

Rufus S. Goss enlisted September 1, 1862; mustered in October 10. 

This Regiment was on duty about Carrollton and Port Hud- 
son, La. 


Andrew J. Darush, Company G; enlisted December 3, 1864; dis- 
charged by order December 28, 1864. 

John Moores, Company G; enlisted December 10, 1864; mustered out 
August 11, 1865. 

Henry Thomas, Company G; enlisted December 10, 1864; deserted 
January 14, 1865. 

Cornelius Creed, Company H; enlisted February 25, 1865; mustered 
out July 29, 1865. 

John M. Lee, Company H; enlisted February 25, 1865; deserted 
March 15, 1865. 

John S. Webster, United States Navy; enlisted June 8, 1863, for one 
years, as landsman; served on Ohio. Princeton, Saratoga, Powhattan; 
discharged July 7, 1864. 


Asa A. Hall, enlisted October 9, 1861; wounded August 9, 1862; 
captured June, 1863; re-enlisted for Strafford January 2, 1864. 


James H. French enlisted December 3, 1861; transferred to Company 
K January 1, 1862; appointed bugler; re-enlisted January 2, 1864, for 
Manchester; discharged August 31, 1866. 

They were at Cedar Mountain, Second Bull Run, Chantilly, 
Fredericksburg, Culpeper, Bristow Station. 


James Bond enlisted February 27, 1865; deserted en rmite to regi- 

Soldiers. 381 

George Langdon enlisted February 15, 1865; deserted May 13, 1865. 
Charles Bradley enlisted February 15, 1865; mustered out July 15, 

They were at Cold Harbor, "White Oak Swamp, Weldon Rail- 
road, Winchester, Cedar Creek. 


Dennis County enlisted November 7, 1863; transferred to Twelfth 
Company, Heavy Artillery; mustered out June 9, 1865. 

This Batterv" served with the Reserve Artillery until November 
5, 1864, when it consolidated with the Heavy Artiller}'. After 
November 1863, it was at Brandy Station, Wilderness, Spottsyl- 
vania, North Anna River, Sheldon's Cross Roads, Cold Harbor, 
Petersburg, Deep Bottom. 


James W. Atherton, Company H; enlisted September 3, 1864, for 
one year; mustered out June 15, 1865; sergeant; enlisted June 8, 1863; 
one year United States Navy as landsman on United States ships Ohio, 
Princeton, Saratoga. Powhattan. Xeptime; discharged July 7, 1864. 

Greorge P. Clark, corporal, Company H; enlisted August 31, 1864, 
for one year; mustered out June 15, 1865. 

Everett W. Dow, corporal, Company H; enlisted September 1, 1864, 
for one year; mustered out June 15, 1865. 

Sidney L. Colby, Company H; enlisted September 1, 1864, for one 
year; mustered out June 15, 1865. 

Edson J. Fifleld, Company H; enlisted September 1, 1864, for one 
year; mustered out June 15, 1865; promoted corporal February 26, 1865. 

John Hoyt, Company H; enlisted September 1, 1864, for one year; 
mustered out June 15, 1865; promoted corporal January 19, 1865. 

Daniel Stickney, Company H; enlisted August 31, 1864, for one year; 
mustered out June 15, 1865. 

James Wilson, Company H; enlisted August 31, 1864, for one year; 
mustered out June 15, 1865. 

Dennis County, Company M; enlisted November 7, 1863, for three 
years; mustered out June 9, 1865. 

Frank W. Carroll, Company H; enlisted September 16, 1863, for three 
j-ears; discharged, disabled, June 5, 1865. 


Andrew Blair, Company M; enlisted November 11, 1864; mustered 
out June 9, 1865. 

James Lahey, Company — ; enlisted December 23, 1864; deserted 
en route to regiment. 

382 History of Canaan. 

John Miller, Compauy — ; enlisted December 3, 1864; deserted en 
route to regiment. 

Jolin Gilmau, Company M; enlisted December 2, 1864; deserted, New 
York City, April 29, 1865. 

This regiment was assi^ed for duty in the defences about 

Adelbert O. Williams served in Company H, Thirtieth Massachusetts 
Infantry; enlisted December 3, 1861; discharged for disability March 
30, 1862. 

Sylvanus J. Dow served Company I, Twelfth Massachusetts Infantry; 
enlisted June 26, 1861, for three years; mustered in same day as 
corporal; appointed sergeant January 1, 1864; first sergeant-major 
March 1, 1864; wounded; discharged July 8, 1864; term expired. 

The names of the volunteers furnished by brokers, is as fol- 
lows : 

James Green Asa A. Hall 

John Kelly John M. Lee 

Patrick Welch Jerome Gay 

Henry Preston Jas. H. French 

Thomas Presley Andrew J. Darush 

Frank Jackson Jas. H. Walker 

Thomas Kirby Francis Augustus 

George Young John Miller 

Charles H. Allerton Jas. S. Holt 

The substitutes furnished by brokers to make out the quota 
of the towTi were : 

Francis Bearo James McGee 

John McCullom George Young 

Wm. Thompson Oliver Yarden 

Orrin F. Bacon William Dorsey 

Orrin Wade Joseph Saunders 

Henry Rider Wm. Whitmer 

Thos. Kirby Darby Carrigan 

Wm. Kehoe Jacob Christensen 

Martin Smith Joseph Sherry 

John Carter Danl. Conway 

Saml. Evans James Murphy 

Thos. Prew Geo. F. Brooks 

John Moores August Champagne 

James Bond John Mahr 

Chas. Bradley John Perron 

James Lahey Henry Kelley 

Soldiers. 383 

John Gilman George Lester 

Zephriam Forties Joseph D. Bliss 

Robert McConnell Thos. H. Desmoud 

Orra C. Hardy John McCauley 

Patrick Ledlow Jas. Richards 

Chas Smith Cornelius Creed 

Saml. Sleeper George Langdon 

Linder Marulze Andrew Blair 

Ferdinant Meyer "Warren W. Hamlett 

John Taylor Thos. Presley 

James Green Oscar F. Washburn 

In the adjutant-general's report the Canaan enrollment on 
April 30, 1865 was 139 men, the total quota under calls since 
July, 1863, up to that time was 93 men. The total credit by 
enrollment and draft was 108 men. there being a surplus of 15 
men. The number of male citizens in town between 18 and 45 
years liable to military duty was 139, the estimated number who 
entered the army and naw from April 15, 1861, to April, 1865, 
was 49 as reported, but the latter number must be a mistake. The 
number of men the town was required to furnish during the war 
can not be told nor the number it did furnish. But so far as 
the records go everj' name has been taken that has been credited 
to Canaan, some whose residence was unknown are known to have 
enlisted from this town. This record includes only the names 
of those who enlisted from this town and went to fill out the 
quota required. Some of them were residents, others were 
hired by the brokers employed by the town to obtain men in 
place of those drafted or volunteered. Some men reenlisted after 
their term of service had expired. Many of the hired substi- 
tutes deserted. 

The foregoing lists contain the names of 183 men. 



The settlers traveled from house to house by means of paths, 
which by constant treading and use became harder and harder 
and more distinctly roads. There were no wheeled carriages and 
the people went on foot or horseback. They traveled straight, 
with no reference to inequalities of hill or valley. The first paths 
were worn along South Road, between the houses of the settlers, 
and to Lebanon, where they had to go for grain. As other 
settlers came and built their tog huts in other parts of the town, 
paths were trod to their houses. When the corn mill was built 
a path was made to Eames' mill from the south part of the 
town, subsequently a road was laid over this part, "as now trod 
to Eames ]\Iill. ' ' This road ran through the north field of the old 
Barber farm, nearly on the east line of M. E. Cross', across his 
road to the town house, through his field and so on towards 
the northeast to the mills at the outlet of Hart's Pond. Traces 
of this road are still visible just inside the west line of wall on 
J. B. Wallace's land. 

Another road to the mill led along the north side of Hart's 
Pond, and was called the ''old Cardigan Road," over much the 
same course as the road now used, until it reached the corner, 
then turning and running south by Joshua Wells', turning again 
southwesterly over the hill towards the Bickford place and so 
on towards Orange over the bridge by the fair grounds. An- 
other path led to the mill from Dorchester, and came out near 
the Putney house on the previous road. 

The road across Sawyer Hill dates back to an old path trod 
between Nathaniel Bartlett's and South Road, by the houses of 
Ezekiel Wells, Samuel Meacham, Warren Wilson, William Rich- 
ardson, Clark Currier and Amasa Clark. 

These paths, which gradually became roads capable of travel 
with ox teams and horses, were built for the accommodation of 
the settlers only; there was no traveling for pleasure, and with 
the exception of Governor Wentworth when he passed over his 






Roads. 385 

road to Hanover, no one passed through the town expecting to 
find any direct route to any other town. Hills were not avoided, 
the early settler knew where his neighbor lived in a straight 
line and he went that way, not round about, with no regard for 
any other traveler but himself. These paths and roads wore 
out early, and it was not like the western prairie, where there 
is no sign of tree or rock, and when the ruts get too deep, an- 
other track is made along side of the old one with no labor. 

The settlers would have had to cut trees and remove stones, 
and even when they did begin to build new roads for team travel, 
they did not avoid hills, but kept as near the old path as possible. 
The first road tumpiked and rounded up was from South Road 
to the Street. The old settlers were nearly all proprietors, 
owned one or more rights of the grantees, and as the charter pro- 
vided an allowance for roads to be made in the surveys and 
pitches of land, they considered it their duty to lay them out 
and make repairs. For nearly two years after the settlement of 
the town there does not seem to have been much money spent 
upon roads, nor any laid out, whatever repairs had been made 
were done by the settlers without expense. Up to 1776 the 
town had voted no money for roads. In that year it voted 15 
pounds, the proprietors had raised all the money and built 
all the roads. From 1776 to 1787 both town and propriety voted 
money for roads and bridges. After that date the propriety 
seems to have left that public duty to the to^\Ti, and from that 
time on, for forty years, the records of the town are mostly the 
record of the acceptance, survey and discontinuance of roads. 

At the first meeting of the proprietors in 1768, three dollars 
tax on each proprietor's right was raised for roads. This 
amount was to be worked out at the rate of four shillings per day. 
The proprietors' committee were to see that it was worked out. 
At the first town meeting in 1770, Ezekiel Wells was appointed 
surveyor of roads, the duties of his office were to survey the 
roads to be laid out, and not to superintend their construction, 
as is done today by that officer. In 1774 the town appointed 
two surV'Cyors and their duties began to tend towards the laying 
out and constructing. 

In 1770 the proprietors raised six shillings on each right for 


386 History of Canaan. 

roads, and later in the year a further tax of 18 shillings was laid. 
In 1771 Jolm Scofield was paid 16 pounds, 8 shillings for labor 
on the highway, Samuel Jones 2 pounds. 10 shillings and 2 pence, 
Samuel Benedict 12 shillings and 8 pence, Joseph Craw 8 shil- 
lings. They were the road committee. In 1772 James Jones re- 
ceived 8 shillings for labor. This was all for the repairs on the 
old paths. The Governor's Road from the Pemigewasset River 
to Dartmouth College was voted to be built at a proprietors' 
meeting May 19. 1772, and they "Voted a Tax of Two pounds 
lawfull money be & hereby is laid on each Proprietors Right & 
Share of land in sd Canaan to defray the Charges & Cost of 
Clearing & making the Governors Rode thro sd Town." (a)* 
Joseph Craw, Samuel Benedict and Samuel Jones were appointed 
a committee to lay out the "sd one hundred and twenty four 
pounds in making sd Rode forthwith,'' and a day's work was 
to be worth 5 shillings and 6 pence. In July they voted to lay 
a road from the "Lower Meadow across Town Hill to ye road 
that goes to the Mills." There is no survey of this road rec- 
orded nor of the road voted to be laid the following October, 
"from the Mills southerly to the town Line." 

In 1773 a road was wanted through a comer of Relhan (En- 
field) and application was made to the Court of General Ses- 
sions. There is no evidence in the court records that this road 
was obtained. In June, 1773, they voted "to lay out a road from 
the road that leads (from ye Lower Great Meadows across Town 
Hill to ye Mills) on ye North Bank of Masquamy thro M"" John 
Scofields Entervale lot to Ezekiel Wells Enterval lots shall lay 
out a road for sd Wells." 

In 1774 Caleb Clark was to pay five pounds in labor for a 
lot, "one half to be done on the road and the other half to be done 
on the bridge to be built acrost the *river by John Scofields at the 
Loer Interval." In October they voted "That the Rode that goeth 
from Thomas Miners Intervale to W John Scofields should be 
laid out in a more straight form and a bridge built under the 
care of the comite across the river." "That there should be a 
Rode laid out from Capt. Wale worths (Walworths) to the rode 
that goeth from Samuel Chapmans to Mr. Eames mill." No one 
of these was ever recorded nor are they in existence now. The 

♦Refers to layout of roads. 

Roads. 387 

"Lower Meadow/' "Lower Great Meadows," and "Loer Inter- 
val," are the same and were in the vicinity of West Canaan, so 
was John Scofield's intervale. Thomas Miner's intervale was 
near G. W. Davis's. Captain Walworth lived at the east end 
of South Road, and Samuel Chapman and Ezekiel Wells on Town 

In 1777 the town chose three surveyors of highways, ' ' Richard 
Clark in the Northeast District, Charles Walworth in the South 
district, Samuel Jones in West District. ' ' The care of the roads 
had given one man too much work and we wdll see that as the 
roads increase the number of surveyors also increases. This 
is also the first indication of dividing the town into districts, it 
was a division made by custom and not by any vote of the town. 

In 1780 the proprietors voted to "lay out a Rode from Samuel 
Jones to Barbers Mil where they think it most Convenient for 
the South part of the Town." This led by the old graveyard 
down past the old Haynes house, and is now thi'own up. In 
1786 the proprietors raised 60 pounds for roads and bridges, 
' ' Forty pounds of this amount was to be laid out on the road ap- 
pointed to be laid out by the court through the town. ' ' No road 
was recorded on that date on the court records. Fifteen pounds 
was to be laid out on the road "from Lime to Grafton." Five 
pounds was to be laid out on the bridge, "from Town Hill so 
called over the river." 

Four shillings a day was to be allowed for labor in summer 
and three shillings in winter, three shillings for ox work. This 
is the last vote made by the proprietors about roads. That 
question had become too large for them, there are too many roads 
and the proprietors are few, and it is left to the town hereafter. 
The town this year raises its road money for the first time by 
the rate, ten shillings on the pound. 

It was also voted to lay out a road to "John Curriers land," 
(he lived then on West Farms), also from "]Mr. Calkins house," 
who lived at West Canaan, "to Town Hill." In April a com- 
mittee was chosen to survey all the roads in town. Whether 
they ever reported or not or performed this work is not known. 
In August, 10 shillings on the pound were raised "to make good 
the Post Road through the town," and six days' notice was to 
be given of the time to work. In November the committee "to 

388 History of Canaan. 

compleat the Post Road in this town, call on the inhabitants to 
make good the Bridge over the Maseoma river on said day by 
way of a land tax. ' ' The ' ' Post Road ' ' called the County Road 
and "South Road" also, and even to this day, was laid out by the 
County Court about 1774. The old deeds of that date refer to 
it, but it was probably laid out by the General Sessions Court Oc- 
tober 26, 1785, as a Post Road. In 1791 the post route over it was 
called No. 2. That court was the Court of General Sessions and 
had jurisdiction of highways. Upon petition signed by inhabi- 
tants living near the proposed road, the court appointed commis- 
sioners, who held a hearing and if impressed with the necessity 
or desirability of such road proceeded to appoint a day to meet 
upon the proposed route and lay out the road. The County was 
not organized until 1773. 

There is a small record book of His Majesty's Court of Gen- 
eral Sessions for several terms, from April, 1774, to April, 
1775, at Haverhill. The next term appears to have been held at 
Plymouth in November, 1782. John Wentworth. the provincial 
governor, left in May, 1775, and no court was held during the 
Revolution. There is no record of South Road ever having been 
laid out by this court. That it was laid out before the proprie- 
tors made the survey of land along the Enfield line is evident, 
for the old surveys run to the road, and the range line followed 
the road for a distance of 800 rods. It became the traveled 
highway from the lower towns to the north. From the height of 
land in Grafton it plunged down into the "Gulf" up over the 
long hill by the Joneses, down again over Moose Brook, and so 
on up and down, over Town and Saw^-er Hills, till it passed 
beyond our boundaries. This road has remained unchanged, only 
it is not so much the traveled road to Lyme now. Congress 
in 1793 established post routes through the state, one of these 
routes started from Concord and went through Boscawen, 
Salisbury^ Andover, Newchester, Plymouth. Haverhill, Piermont, 
Orford, Lyme. Hanover, Lebanon, Enfield, Canaan, Grafton, 
Alexandria and Salisbury to Concord. Each post rider was re- 
quired to perform his route weekly. The riders received twelve 
pounds each. Postage on single letters was fixed at six pence for 
forty miles and four pence for less than forty. Once a week 
citizens in Canaan could send a letter to other sections in the 

Roads. 389 

state, by the rider. If directed to a town on one of the other 
routes, six to twelve days would be required for its delivery. 

In 1786 a road was laid out from the "old Wolfeborough road" 
to Mr. Bradbury's land, and a bridge was built over the Indian 
River. Six highway surveyors were appointed this year and 
the next year, 1787, eight. The old roads are beginning to be 
inconvenient, easier travel is required, and a committee is ap- 
pointed to see ' ' where the road should be turned by Daniel Blais- 
dells land." "To alter the road from Mr. Joslens house to 
Enfield line, and a road was laid out from the 'Brick Yard' 
on West Farms, 'to John Harris land,' also from David Foggs 
to the Post road on Quaker Hill." Daniel Blaisdell lived on 
the turnpike below the depot. Mr. Joslen lived at the west end 
of the South Road near West Canaan, John Harris' land was 
north of the brick yard. David Fogg lived at the corner of the 
Lebanon and switch roads from the Street. 

In 1788 is found the first appropriation for making the roads 
passable in winter "Voted to raise 5 shillings on the pound for 
the purpose of breaking rodes and clearing out fallen trees the 
ensueing winter, if sd money is not laid out in sd time to be 
laid out on the Roads next Spring. ' ' They also voted to petition 
the selectmen of Grafton to lay out a road "from the Main Road 
that leads thro sd Grafton, to meet the road that leads to Capt. 
Barber's Mill" (1) . A survey of a road from "Thomas Baldwin's 
dwelling house to Enfield line was accepted, and to give Mr. 
Baldwin the allowance of land left for a road by the proprietors 
of sd town in exchange for the above said road." They voted 
to lay out a road from "Thadeus Lathrops to strike the public 
road." Thaddeus Lathrop lived on the east side of the road 
from the village opposite the house of J. W. Colburn (3) . A com- 
mittee was appointed to complete the bridge over the Mascoma, 
"by Lieut. E. Wells," and another committee was appointed 
to complete the bridge "on the Post road over Maskum river." 

In 1789 no new roads were laid out or voted. In 1790 nine 
highway surveyors were appointed but no new roads laid. In 
1791 the selectmen were requested to lay out a road to "Mr 
Thadeus Lathrops" and a committee was requested to alter a 
road from "where Mr. Calkins formerly lived to ^Major Jones 
Saw mill, if thev think best." 

390 History op Canaan. 

In 1792 nine higliway surveyors were appointed, as follows : 

John P. Calkins for Sugar Hill. 
John Scofield for the south district. 
Asa Paddleford for West Farms. 
Samuel Meacham for Town Hill. 
Ensign Joshua Richardson for N. W. 
Richard Clark for north district. 
Jonathan Dustin for Dogester district. 
William Douglass for Centre district. 
Oliver Smith for middle district. 
Elijah Wicher for Eastern District. 

"Voted to build a bridge over the Maseoma river, near where 
the old one stands." "To send a petition to the town of Han- 
over requesting them to make a Good Passible Road Through 
the Corner of Their To\ati which Lies betwixt Canaan and Lyme 
as the Road Goes." "Voted not to open the road through the 
Intervale from Mr. Flints to the bridge." The inhabitants 
north of the Wolfeborough road were incorporated into a sep- 
arate highway district. 

Lieut. William Richardson, Maj. Samuel Jones and Capt. 
Ezekiel Wells were appointed a committee to survey "necessary 
Roads." The building of the bridge over the Maseoma was to 
be sold to the lowest bidder. 

In 1793 "Voted that the former committee chosen to survey 
the road from Grafton line to Sawyer hill (viz) William Rich- 
ardson, R. Barber and J. Harris, make a proper return of their 
poceedings to the town clerk and him to record the same." It 
was never recorded. The tovm voted to allow for labor done on 
the highway three shillings, six pence per day for the months 
from ]\Iay to August, and two shillings per day for oxen. 
"Voted to build a bridge over Mud Pond Brook upon cost of 
the Town." "To sell the same to the lowest bidder for wheat 
at 5 shillings per bushel." This bridge was struck off to John 
Currier for $47. Thomas Miner, Joshua Wells and Robert 
Barber were to "lay out a road from West Farms to the center 
of the Town." "Voted that the road from John M. Barbers to 
J. Flints be opened and recorded." This was not recorded until 
1795 and extended from the south end of the Street to the 
Switch (8). A committee was appointed to inspect the bridge 
built bv Thomas Miner over the Indian River. In 1794 there 

Roads. 391 

were ten highway surveyors and districts. "Voted not to ac- 
cept the road from Mr. Flints to Shiibal Burdicks." "Voted to 
present a petition to the Sessions respecting the road from Pros- 
pect Hill to Lyme." This matter was brought up at the town 
meeting in Hanover and it was postponed. There is no mention 
of this among the court records. The town voted "to accept the 
survey of a road from Ebenezer Eames to Dames Gore" (5). 
"Voted to accept survey of road from Enfield line near Asa 
Paddlefords by the Brick Yard to North Branch Bridge" and 
from "Steven Eastmans to Daniel Morses." To lay out a road 
from "the Meeting house to the Widow Steven's or near by in 
the most convenient place." Nothing is known of this road nor 
of the one accepted later from "Widow Stevens to Joshua 
Stevens. ' ' 

Almost everyone wanted a road at this time to go anywhere, 
and any one could call out the committee and ask the town to 
accept of" the road, all at the expense of the town. The town be- 
gan to realize that much unnecessary work was done which 
had to be paid for so they voted to put a stop to it in the follow- 
ing: "that if any man calls out the committee, and lays out a 
road, and the town does not accept of said Road, that the man 
which calls out said committee, pay them himself for their 
services. ' ' 

In 1795 they voted "to petition the County Court to have the 
road made passable from Prospect Hill to Lyme through Han- 
over." This petition was dated August 22. 1796. Lyme ap- 
pointed Jonathan Freeman its agent to go before the Court of 
Common Pleas. The road from "]Mr. Flints to Mr. Peaslee's 
South bound" was accepted. In 1796 the highway surveyors 
were increased to twelve, and no new roads were laid out or 
asked for. 

In 1797 Ezekiel Wells was made agent of the to^wn at the 
next term of the "Inferior Court Respecting the Lyme Road," 
on a petition for a road from Lyme to Canaan meeting house. 
This petition was dismissed February 26, 1798 (2). 

The road to Lyme through the northeast corner of Hanover 
had been a source of much annoyance to the people of Lyme and 
Canaan. Hanover persistently refused to lay out the little piece 
of road in that town to join on to the ends of the road from 

392 History of Canaan. 

Canaan and Lyme. A petition dated July 6. 1796, was sent 
to the selectmen of Hanover by the selectmen of Canaan, in- 
forming them, "that the cryes of the injured Travellers are con- 
tinually ringing in our ears, on account of the intolarableness 
and almost impractacableness of Travelling the Road." Xo at- 
tention was paid and Canaan applied to the court. The court 
required notice to be given Hanover. After the dismissal of 
the petition for what cause is not known, the inhabitants of 
Lyme and Canaan at once petitioned Hanover to lay out the 
road, and on AugTist 31, 1798, the selectmen of Hanover, ap- 
pointed a place to meet the selectmen of the other two towns in 
Lyme on the 20th of September "and see where a suitable 
place for sd road can be found. ' ' 

The town "Voted to lay a rode from ]\Ioody Noyes on his line 
to Joseph Flint's land, and from thence in the most convenient 
place to sd Flints." This is the same road not accepted in 1794 
when Sliubel Burdick lived on bloody Noyes' farm. "To lay a 
road from ]\Ir. Flints to the ^Meeting house in the most convenient 
place and that the road be established when the committee lays 
it" (9). It was laid in 1798 and ]\Ioody Noyes conveyed a strip 
of land four rods wide and two hundred long to the selectmen of 
Canaan for it. A road was laid out ' ' from the road that goes by 
J\lr. Carlton's in the most convenient and best place by Nathaniel 
"Whichers to the road that goes to Dorchester by Nathaniel Gil- 
mans." This was recorded in 1800 (12). In 1798 no roads 
were voted nor in 1800. In 1801 the town voted not to "change 
the road from Ezra Nichols to the ^Meeting house." This re- 
quested change was afterwards granted. "Voted to reconsider 
Ezra Nichols road to Nath Barbers." "To establish a road from 
John M. Barbers ta Nichols. ' ' Ezra Nichols lived on the Coch- 
ran place, and Nath Barber at A. W. Hutchinson's. 

The town voted "to lay out a road from West Farms to the 
Meeting house," to exchange road from Joshua Harris' northerly 
down the hill (8) from where it "is now trod, into the Range 
way between Harris and James Doten to the North end of 
Dotens land" (9). "Voted to give Moses Richardson $12. on 
condition that he give a deed to the town of a road four rods wide 
from near his house to Francis Kinneson," and "Daniel Farnum 
$10 for a four rod road through his land and Francis Kinneson 's 

Roads. 393 

land," "where the road was rim to Moses Eiehardsons land." 
This road went from South road to the road to Grafton (17). 
The highway from West Farms to Prospect Hill was accepted 
(16), and one from Clark Currier's by Richard Clark. 3d's. to 
Reynold Gates's, and from said Clark's by Levi Cilley's to Am- 
brose Chase 's ( 14 ^ . also from Clark Currier 's to Josiah Barber 's 
(15). Directions were given to open a road from Deacon 
Harris' barn to Thaddeus Lathrop's. In 1802, "Voted to move 
road to the north line of Jonathan Carlton's lot" (20). The 
road was first laid in 1800. The bridge over Goose Pond Brook 
on the West Farms road was bid off to Jonathan Carlton for 
$36, to be 16 feet wide of 2i/^ inch plank. The road from 
Captain Wells' orchard to Moses Chase's house through J. and 
Elam Meacham's land to the old road was discontinued, and a 
road to Moses Chase's another way was voted to be laid out 
(20a). This is the tirst vote of the discontinuance of any road 
by the town, many roads hereafter were voted discontinued and 
passed out of use, many others by not being used have been closed 
and fenced in by adjoining owners. 

The laying out of roads in the early days was sometimes done 
by committees and sometimes by selectmen, contrary' to the 
law. Nor were roads discontinued legally. Some roads were 
laid out by the courts, and some became roads from constan| 
travel by the public. Efforts made in the interests of private 
indi\dduals to close roads have, when opposed, met with dis- 
aster, and the roads have continued open. It is oftentimes 
a question for the courts to decide and is the only safe method 
to pursue in closing a highway for a long time traveled over 
by the public. 

In 1803 John Currier, William Richardson and Daniel Far- 
num were appointed a committee to lay out necessary roads. 
There were fourteen highway surveyors, and thirty cents was 
raised by the rate for roads. The town "Voted to open road 
from the head of Broad Street to Thadeus Lathrops on as 
reasonable terms as they can with the owners of the land. " "To 
raise $75 for a new road from Joshua Wells to Orange line 
towards Grafton" (21). "To Discontinue road from Nathaniel 
Gilmans to Joseph Randletts as soon as new road is passable." 
New road was recorded 1802 (19). 

394 History of Canaan. 

In 1804 fifteen surveyors were appointed, but no new roads 
•were voted, and the town refused to build a bridge from Levi 
George's to Town Hill. Mr. George lived opposite George 
Ginn's. In 1805 there are 17 surveyors, the town offers fifty 
cents per day from June to August and thirty-four cents after 
that time for work on the road. The town "voted to build a 
bridge over the Mascoma at or near William Campbell's saw 
mill, and the committee to call upon the inhabitants to build the 
same." This is the bridge refused in 1804. In 1806 they 
voted again "to build a bridge at William Campbell's new mill 
over the river" — the bridge near the old tray factory. The 
town voted ' ' That Capt. George keep two gates free on the road 
from his house to Wm. Campbell's for two years." "To ex- 
change old road for land to Wm. Campbell's new mill to the 
place where new bridge is to be built" (25). "To examine 
road that leads from near Jehu Jones and comes out to the road 
below Lt. Follensbees mill" (22), and that the survey, "of 
Jehu Jones road to Welches Mill be opened by surveyor." 

The September Term of the General Sessions, laid out a 
road from South Road to Enfield line. This is the first road 
recorded in the court record as laid out in Canaan (26), and 
the next is in 1822. 

In 1807 six cents per hour was paid on the highway for men 
and oxen. There are seventeen surveyors. The survey of 
Blake's road was accepted (23), in the southwest corner of the 
town and also a survey of South Road (24). 

In 1808 Daniel Pattee, Joshua Harris and John Currier were 
chosen to fix a place to build a bridge "over the North Branch 
of Mascoma and make survey of road from where it crosses said 
river to where it intersects old road." "The old road from near 
Codfish Hill to river where old bridge was," was discontinued 
(28) and also the road from near Joshua Harris to Town 
Hill Bridge, which was the last seven or eight courses (8). 
This road led from South Road north to the river, on the line 
between Joshua Harris', afterward Sylvester Jones' and James 
Doten's. After the road was discontinued Joshua Harris 
pitched upon it in the right of Daniel Harris and it became a 
part, of his farm. The road through "George Waleworths land 
so far as it goes 'was thrown up', he giving liberty to travel to 

KoADS. 395 

the burying ground and keeping gates or bars convenient to 
pass" (22). This is the road by the Cobble Graveyard to 
South Road. 

In 1809 they voted to exchange the road beside the pond from 
Wells' to Broad Street as soon as the turnpike is passable. And 
also "to explore ground for a road from Broad Street on direc- 
tion to Lebanon City to Canaan line." This refers to what is 
now called the "Lebanon Road." As a continuous road it was 
never laid out so far as known. There was a road or path from 
Eames' mill by John M. Barber's (Israel Sharon) down the hill 
to the bridge and across the fiat to William Campbell's, known 
in early times as the road across Town Hill from east to west. 
From there on it passed through interval lots of Wells and 
Eleazer Scofield to Enfield line. There were numerous changes 
in these roads until it is probable the present road was the final 

In 1810 the committee "are to measure Mr. Walesworths lot 
of land and if there is any allowance for a road they are to lay 
out and open the road from Jehu Jones to Welchs Mill which 
was discontinued." The road from the north end of Broad 
Street near the burying ground, southerly as far as David Dus- 
tin's house was discontinued, a part of the old path to Eames' 
mill, and a road from "Dustin's to the Street near Capt. 
Moore's" was opened but not laid until 1821 (48). The 
road "from the brook near David Lawrence's house northerly, 
as far as the old schoolhouse on the northwest corner of Samuel 
Welch, Jr. 's land," was changed to a place further west and 
also the "road from the brook as far northeasterly as Welch's 
house," was changed to near Eliphalet Richardson's orchard 
(39). John Currier was allowed fifty cents a rod for building 
extra fence on account of these changes. 

In 1811 it was voted, "to make a road passable on the best 
ground from some place on Broad street by the Brick yard to 
Enfield line, near Asa Paddleford's." "To settle with Job 
Tyler for a road through his land" (32). "To discontinue road 
from William Chase's barn northerly as far as Levi Cilley's 
house, also from Luther Kinney's northerly by Richard Clark, 
Jr.'s, to Turnpike at Hovey pasture" (14). And the "road from 
Richard Clark, Jr.'s, north by Josiah Clark's to turnpike near 

396 History of Canaan. 

Saml. Gates" (14) was discontinued. They voted "to lay a 
road from near Caleb Seabury 's to the road that leads from Clark 
Currier's to Amasa Clark's." "To exchange road from Wells 
barn easterly as far as Abel Hadley's orchard, for a road on the 
west side of said Hadley's orchard to the turnpike." One hun- 
dred and eighty dollars was to be laid out on the road to Enfield 
by Jolm H. Harris, "that was fined by the court." Roads, like 
persons, in those days were indicted and fined for being bad. 
Abel Brown's request "to remove a road by building a bridge 
over a run of w^ater in Dist. No. 8, and to straighten road from 
the bottom of the hill, near Lawrence mill to the turnpike on the 
south line of land lately sold to Saml. Church," was granted. 

The old Scofield bridge and the log bridge, a little east of it, 
were rebuilt. It was voted that the "selectmen lay out a road 
from Ezekiel Wells, Jr. 's, to old Post guide on County road that 
leads to John Willises " ( 35 ) ; " from the Meeting house to back 
road near John M. Barber's (31) ; and discontinue road to bury- 
ing ground near Daniel Colby's"; "to alter road on hill, south 
of John M. Barber's." "To assist the Town Hill district so 
much as to make their part of the new road from Center district 
to old road in Town Hill district." "To lay out a road on the 
east route, according to plan exhibited by selectmen acrost Clark 
Currier's land." 

In 1812 the road from "Dea. Josiah Clark's bridge to turn- 
pike, near John Worth, Jr. 's barn," was accepted (34), and the 
road from "Saml. Whittier's to Dea. Clark's bridge," was ex- 
changed for it. 

The road from Clark Currier's to the burying ground was ex- 
changed for the road from the burying ground to Amasa Clark's. 
Esquire Pettingill was asked to procure a continuance for those 
roads which were indicted. If the road could be fixed before the 
return of the indictment and trial, there would be no fine. The 
road from the old brick yard easterly, ' ' crossing the Intervale to 
the County road at the Post guide, and the road from near 
Stephen Clifford's, easterly to northwest corner of E. Wells, 
3d's, orchard," were discontinued. In place of the latter was 

In 1813 the road from the north end of "Broad street to Gore 
line, near Asel Jones's," was straightened. One hundred and 

KoADS. 397 

sixty dollars was raised this year for making roads and bridges. 
The road from "Thadeus Lathrop, Jr/s. to the bridge between 
the two sawmills," was discontinued. The committee were or- 
dered to explore the gronnd for a new road from Greeley's mills 
to the West Farms' road. The report on straightening the road 
from Gore Road to Broad Street was not accepted. The selectmen 
were requested to lay out a road from Seth Daniels' to Welch's 
Mills (37), to straighten the road from the meeting house to 
Judah Wells', and a survey of a road from Mescheck Blake's to 
Hanover was accepted (36). The road from Esquire Currier's 
to Wood's mills was straightened and Currier allowed $30. 

In 1814 Stephen Goodhue petitioned Canaan for a road from 
Canaan's meeting house to Plymouth and the town voted to op- 
pose it. In 1815 the road from Joseph Clark's to the turnpike 
was laid, and the road from Ensign Colby's to Daniel B. Whit- 
tier's was discontinued (20). John Fales was given the "old 
road against his land southerly, which is discontinued, lying be- 
tween the two brooks, for the- present contemplated road crossing 
his land." Eliphalet Richardson is given "one rod off, westerly 
side of old road from southerly side of the Mill brook, four rods 
northerly as far as where the new road leaves the old one to 
sd Richardson 's orchard. ' ' The two last votes refer to the road 
at the Corner, voted to be changed in 1810 (39). 

In 1816 the town quiets John Currier in the possesion of the 
old road, between his land and Bailey Welch. And D. B. Whit- 
tier, Nathaniel and Ephraim Wilson are quieted in the posses- 
sion of another old road (20). 

In 1818 it is voted to lay out a road "from Adam Pollard's by 
Caleb C. Bartlett's to highway near Nathl. Bartlett's" (43). 
The survey of a road by Stephen Worth's is accepted (42). 

In 1820 the road from :\Iarch Barber's to the meeting house 
was straightened (44). March Barber lived on the old Benjamin 
Norris farm and the old road came up over the hill southwest of 
Israel Sharon's in a straight line to meet the road from the 
Switch and continued to the south end of Broad street over the 
latter road. The old road was given to J. M. Barber from the 
north side of James Wallace's land, down the hill to the Nichols 
or Cochran land. The road as straightened, is now the traveled 
road from the to\\'n house to the Norris bridge. 

398 History of Can.v.vx. 

The road from Deacon Clark's bridge to the fair grounds was 
continued by Job Jenniss's to Orange line (45). 

The road to Sewall Gleason's had been indicted on the north 
end of Sawyer Hill and a postponement was asked to repair it. 
The bridge across the river at Caleb Welch's mill was rebuilt. 
It was voted to lay out a road across Capt. Joshua Harris' land 
to David Dustin's land (48). 

This was laid out in 1821 and is the present road from the 
town house to M. E. Cross'. In 1821 it was voted to ascertain 
the boundaries of the old Mill road, and in 1822 it was deeded 
to Joshua Harris for the land which the new road took. In 
1821 it was voted to make a survey of a road from Job Jenniss ' by 
Deacon Clark's field and east side of his house to corner of Rob- 
ert B. Clark's field. William Campbell had agreed to repair the 
Scofield bridge and desired to be relieved from his obligation, 
the town agreed to relieve him if he would give the town ' ' 1500 
feet of good merchantable pine plank 2i/2 inches thick and 16 
feet long, and no plank to be received unless as thick as above 
specified." The road from Abel Aldrich's to Enfield line was ac- 
cepted and Aldrich had the privilege of straightening the road 
if he would give the land (47). In 1823 the old road was 

In 1822 the Lebanon road was indicted and the town voted 
$150 to repair it. The County Commissioners laid out a road 
from Hanover line by William Harris's into Enfield to the 
Lebanon road (49). The town voted to lay out a road for Amos 
Richardson, but would not accept of his survey and the road 
was not laid until the next year (50). This road led off the 
Lyme road in the northwest part of the town. In 1823 the road 
near Lewis Simmons' was straightened. 

In 1824 the road from Amasa Clark's to Hanover line was 
straightened; this road led off from the turnpike at the north 
end of Sawyer Hill. 

In 1825 Ezekiel Wells was given the old road through his land, 
for the land the old road took. In 1826 the survey of the road 
from Reuben Giles' to John May's, was accepted, but was not 
laid out until 1827 (54). In 1825 the selectmen were requested 
to make minutes of the survey of a road from Deacon Clark's 
bridge to Ezra Gales'. 

EoADS. 399 

In 1826 Jacob Richardson's petition for a road to Amos 
Gould's was granted, in 1827 the road from Nathan Cross' to 
and along the Gore line to Josiah P. Haynes', was accepted (57). 
This began at the old road from Nathaniel Gilman's. The road 
from Lieutenant Miner's on South road to the bridge, was left 
with the selectmen to open in their discretion. 

Daniel Blaisdell's petition for a road was granted. In 1828 
$100 was raised to build bridges injured by the freshet. In 
1827 the town voted to accept the Grafton Turnpike and the 
selectmen were ordered to lay out a road over the same (58). 

In 1831 the Clark Hill road was voted to be laid out, but it 
was not until 1833 that it was accepted and recorded (65). It 
began at the turnpike, taking- a westerly course and ended at the 
turnpike near the Gore line. It is now the traveled road and 
took the place of the turnpike which continued by Fred Avery's 
house. In 1830 a road was laid out from the south end of Wells' 
bridge to South road (59), and in 1831 the old road from the 
same point was discontinued over the saddle to the county road. 
The road from the foot of Gilman hill across the meadow to near 
Moses Flanders', was discontinued and a new road laid to take 
its place (62). 

In 1832 $50 was laid out on the new Gore road and the road 
from the CongTegational meeting house to John H. Harris's at 
the corner, was opened four rods wide. At a meeting in Septem- 
ber, there was an article in the warrant to discontinue the road 
from Daniel Blaisdell's to Job C. Tvler's, the town refused to 
discontinue it, but in 1836 the town agreed to throw up the old 
road when Tyler should build sixty-seven rods of new road. 
There was a dispute between Ephraim Wilson and John Fales 
over the ownership of an old road at the Corner which had been 
thrown up. Wilson began proceedings against Fales for tres- 
pass. The town voted to relinquish all claim to the land to Wil- 
son by his paying the town $5; Fales was to move his barn otf 
Wilson's land: the town was to give Fales $40, and he was to 
give up his claim. Wilson lived in the Fred Cross house at the 
Comer. In 1834 the old road from the top of the hill west of 
Indian river, at the begining of the new road to intersection of 
new with old, near the line of Joshua Martin 's. was discontinued 

400 History of Canaan. 

and a new one laid {G6). This was in the northeasterly part of 
the town from the Plymouth road. 

In 1836 the survey of the road from Deacon Clark's bridge to 
Deacon Sleeper's, was accepted {6S), but the road was not laid 
and recorded until 1839. This is the road from the depot, known 
as the river road to Dorchester. Joshua S. Lathrop petitioned 
for a road and it was laid out in 1840, and is now the road from 
a little below E. M. Adams' to Dorchester (71). 

It was voted to lay out a new road on the petition of John 
Hoyt and others, and another on the petition of Benjamin Wells. 
In 1841 the selectmen were requested to laj" out the Lathrop 
road on the east side of the Mascoma to the turnpike near Joseph 
Wheat's shop or Trussell's bridge. 

In 1842 the town was asked to lay out a road from Deacon 
Sleeper's house to the new road from Canaan to Dorchester, 
and also a road from Harrison Pillsbury's to the Lebanon road, 
near March Barber's. In 1847 the town was asked again and 
again refused. But the latter road was laid out by the court 
in 1848 (77). 

In 1844 the road from Campbell Hill to the Lebanon road was 
discontinued. Luther Kinney petitioned for a road and Joseph 
Wheat also and the town voted to lay out both roads. 

In 1845 the town voted to make alterations in the turnpike 
from Harrison Porter's to Gates' Gore. This discontinued the 
turnpike from beyond Fred Avery's house to where the Clark 
Hill road intersects the turnpike. The town voted not to lay 
out a road from Simeon ^Arvin's to the Dorchester road, near 
Andrew Dewey's, but afterwards reconsidered and the road was 
laid in 1846 (75). The town refused to lay out a road from 
Daniel Campbell's to the Lebanon road. Jeremiah Whittier's 
petition for a road was dismissed, but it was afterwards laid out. 
In 1847 the town was asked to lay out a road from Eaton's 
mills to the Lebanon road at West Canaan ; it was refused, but it 
w^as laid out by the court in 1848 (76). Levi Wilson's petition 
was dismissed and this road was laid out by the court in 1848. 
The road from the east line of Currier and Wallace's land, near 
Stephen Wells ' to the Dorchester line was discontinued, also that 
portion of the old road superseded by the new road (75) from 
Pillsbury's to Jenniss'. 

Roads. 401 

In 1848 the road from the depot to the turnpike was voted 
to be laid out. 

In 1849 the "Potato Road" was laid out by the court (79). 
The road from James Arvin's to March Barber's, was voted 
not to be discontinued, but in 1861 it was discontinued and the 
selectmen were requested to lay out forty-two rods of it, subject 
to gates and bars from the end of Broad street (94). The old 
road from Chamberlain Packard's to Harrison Pillsbury's was 

In 1852 Daniel B. Cole's petition for a road was dismissed, 
but the road was laid in 1855 (88). Joshua L. Lathrop's peti- 
tion for a road was granted and the road laid in 1853 (84). 
Watts Davis' petition was also granted and the road laid in 
November (83). 

In 1854 Otis Jones petitioned for a road and it was granted. 

In 1857 the court laid out a road from near A. C. Love joy's, 
down the valley of Committee Meadow brook to the Shaker Hill 
road in Enfield, a few rods east of the schoolhouse in district No. 
9 (89). 

In 1857 the railroad having built a bridge over the river 
above Scofield or Blackwater bridge, so changed the current of 
the stream that it undermined the foimdations of Scofield bridge, 
and William W. George was appointed agent of the town to 
settle with the railroad. It was adjusted by the railroad putting 
in stone abutments on the north side of Scofield bridge, to pre- 
vent the wearing of the water against the roadway. 

In 1859 the road from Moses Knights' to Hanover line was dis- 

In 1865 the road laid by the county commissioners on the 
east side of Goose Pond, on John Shepard's land near the brick 
knoll, where the new^ road intersects the old road, was discon- 
tinued north 100 rods to near the intersection of the Gates 

In 1866 John L. Perley petitioned for a road and for the dis- 
continuance of an old road ; both were granted. 

In 1867 the road about fifty rods from Wells' hill, near where 
the French shanties formerly stood, to the intersection of the 
road by John Stevens' to Enfield, was discontinued, and also a 
part of the road east of Wells' hill to S. B. !]\lorgan's. 



402 History of Canaan. 

In 1868 the road near Kelly & George's store, northeast about 
eight rods, was discontinued to the intersection of the new 

In 1869 the road from F. H. Wells' sawmill, following the 
brook to Enfield line, was discontinued. 

In 1870 the road from near Warren Wilson's to tray fac- 
tory, Town Hill road, was discontinued. 

In 1884 the road from "near the watering trough below N. C. 
Morgan's over the hill to Enfield line," was discontinued. Also 
the road from Lary Pond to Hiram Jones'. 

In 1886 the road from the "Jerusalem road to Orange, near 
David Cole's house," and the road "beginning at the intersection 
of Levi Hamlet road, thence northerly to road leading by G. W. 
Murray place," were discontinued. The latter road had been 
discontinued by vote of the town many years before. 

In 1888 the town voted to discontinue "road on west side of 
road leading across Sawyer hill, near J. E. Cilley's; thence 
west to the Gould farm." 

In 1892 the road on the "east side of the brook, near Lovejoy's 
mill; thence west to the road from Enfield by the mill to West 
Farms, ' ' was discontinued by vote. 

In 1894 the "road over the crossing at Welch's ]\Iill, " was 
discontinued, and in 1896 the town voted not to discontinue it. 

In 1896 the town voted to discontinue the road from "G. W. 
Davis's to the intersection of the Lebanon road." Mr. Davis, 
under advice of counsel, had purchased the land on both sides of 
this road; his counsel advising him that by so doing, he could 
close the road by vote of the town. The matter was carried into 
court and the case was decided against Mr. Davis. Judge Chase 
writing the opinion. The court held that highways should be 
laid out either by the selectmen or by the court ; this power was 
not conferred upon towns to be exercised by direct vote or by 
a committee chosen by the town. This was a highway solely 
because it had been used as such for twenty years, and could 
not be discontinued without the consent of the court. Upon the 
facts shown the court would not consent to close the road. 

In 1897 the town voted to discontinue the road through Wells' 
Cemetery. An addition had been made to the cemeterj^ on the 
other side of the road, which made it advisable to build a new 

EoADS. 403 

road around the west side of the cemetery, so that there might 
not be any traveled highway through it. 

In 1902 the town discontinued a ' ' piece of road north of Henr>- 
Sorrell's house; thence east past the old sawmill site of Love- 
joy's mill, to west end of road formerly discontinued." 

In 1906 the "road from Campbell's to Stephen Peaslee's old 
mill" on the road from Factory Village to Dorchester, was dis- 
continued, as well as a short piece leading westerly from the 
turnpike opposite the post office at Factory Village. 


(a) Road from Pemigewasset River to Dartmouth College October 30, 
1771: W 10 N 260 to Hue betweeu Cokermouth (Wentworth) and 
Dorchester W 260. W 23 S one mile. W 4 miles. W 15 N 1% miles 
to line of Canaan and Hanover. That part of Governor's or Wolfeboro 
road in Canaan. 

(b) Report of road commissioners in 1785 for a road from Boscawen 
to Dartmouth College: . . . thence by spotted line 15 rods from 
Nathaniel Hovey's sugar camp, thence nearly straight course to bridge 
over Mud Pond Brook, thence as road is now trod 10 rods (South 
Road), thence on straight course by Eleazer Scofield's house, thence 
to stump 3 rods to the south side of Joseph Bean's barn. 


(1) Road from Grafton to Barber's Mill. Isinglass Hill road to grist 
mill at East Canaan: Beginning on Grafton line between Danl Blais^ 
dell's and Whittier's, then N 41 W 208 r., N 28 W 26 r., N 18 W 72 r., N 
48 W 28 r., N 28 W 18 r., N 9 W 46 r., N 45 W 30 r., N 32 W 180 r., to 
Robert Barber's mill. 

(2) Road from grist mill by Wells Cemetery: Beginning opposite 
Joshua Well's house S 97 r., S 19 E 44 r., S 14 W 20 r., S 19 E 48 r., S 14 
W 20 r., S 9 E 48 r., S 11 W to Barber's mill. First course discontinued. 

(3) Broad Street: "N 11 W 288 to the road near Mr. Elias Lathrop's 
farm." See Turnpike. 


(4) Road from Wells' east side of Hart's Pond to Nathaniel Gil- 
man's: Beginning near Joshua Wells' house. Data not complete on first 
course; probably N 14 E 20 r., N 80 r., N 22 E 40 r., N 40 E 204 r., N 24 
E 112 r., N 22 E 192 r. It then met (19). 

(5) Road to Dorchester by John Currier's: Beginning near Eames' 
mill at corner, then N 30 E 75, then N 27 E 326. From this on the data is 
lost, but the old surveys would indicate that it followed the range lines 
N 24 E 20, then crossing Abner Colby's land northeasterly to the south- 
west corner of Prescott Clark's land, then on his land and Josiah 

404 History of Canaan, 

Barber's N 29 E about 300 r. to the gore line, then in the gore N 6 
E 50 r. to Joseph Bartlett's house N 65 E 73 r. The first course was 
discontinued and (39) took its place. The last course is not used. 
It was a part of the Governor's road. This road existed as early as 
1784 as a traveled way. 

(6) This road led from John Currier's in a nearly straight course 
across his land to Caleb Clark's, then to meet the road from Wells' to 
Dorchester, following the range lines, S 75 E 44 r., S 68 E 100, S 61 E 73, 
S 72 E 100 r., then in the same course to the Wells road. From Caleb 
Clark's or the Putney place to Currier's it was discontinued. 


(7) From north end of Broad Street to Corner, N 33 E 60 r. 

(8) From south end of Broad Street to Post Road, N 85 W 104, S 71 
W 61, S 52 W 40, S 27 W 17, S 6 W 13, SHE 25, S 18 W 36, S 10 W 
13, S 4 W 28, S 2 W 9, S 21 W 10, S 4 W 10, S 43 W 8, N 89 W 19, 
S 54 W 37, S 21 W 30, S 36 W 16, S 52 W 4, S 71 W 52, S 55 W 22, 
S 20 W 38, S 31 W 58 to Post Road, near Captain Harris' store (Jones' 
place). The first course was discontinued in 1861, but the selectmen laid 
out N 85 W 42, subject to gates and bars (see 94). 

Mabch 13, 1798. 

(9) Road from County Road near Moody Noyes' ( S. W. Currier's) 
to Dea. Josiah Clark's (A. W. Hutchinson's) : Beginning County Road at 
a bound on the line between Thomas Miner's and Moody Noyes', 2 rods 
on the east and 2 rods on the west, N 30 E 200 to northeast corner Noyes', 
N 38 E on west side of line between Joseph Flint's (G. W. Davis') and 
Simeon Arvin's, 41 r., N 64 E 40, S 80 E 12, N 44 E 46, N 20 E 30. N 
34, N 4 E 36, N 46 E 119, to Clark's Corner at the south end of Broad 

Moody Noyes deeded this land to the town December 17, 1799: Be- 
ginning 4 rods west of the corner of Thomas Miner's on South Road, N 
30 E 200, E 4 r. to Miner's, then southerly by Miner's 200 to South Road, 
then W 4 r. 

JuxE 8, 1799. 

(10) Near John Kimball's down Eastman Hill: Beginning at the 
Lyme Road, near Lieutenant Bartlett's house, N 12 E between Bartlett's 
house and barn 130, N 29 E 23, N 41 E 38, N 20 E 24, N 27 E 24, N 25 E 
50, N 6 E 21, N 35 W 164 to Hanover line; 4 rods wide. Bartlett lived 
about 60 rods south of H. B. Gates'. Part of this road has been thrown 

Februakt 22, 1800. 

(11) From David Bucklin's to Charles Whittier's: From Simeon Had- 
ley's to highway leading from Grafton to Canaan meeting house, begin- 
ning northeast corner of Hadley's land, N 35 W 36, N 86 W 10, N 62 W 
42; 3 rods wide. 

Roads. 405 

May 29, 1800. 

(12) From Dorchester road by Nathaniel Whittier's (Randlett place) 
to Jonathan Carlton's (C. P. King) : Beginning northeast corner Jona- 
than Dustin's land, N 61 W 99 on the north side of Dustin's to north- 
west corner S 54 W 120, S 85 W 42, N 67 W 108, N 81 W 26, N 85 W 50 to 
highway near Carlton's. All discontinued. 

August 1, 1800. 

(.13) Part of Jerusalem Spring Road: Beginning old road to Orange, 
southeast corner Peter Pattee's land N 41 B 1% miles and 20 rods to 
northeast corner Harry Leeds', running range line between Pattee and 
Rich lots, between Dow lot and Levi and Job Wilson and David Brown; 

4 rods wide (see 27). 

November 10, 1800. 

(14) Beginning Lyme road, near Clark Currier's (Edgar Ricard's), N 
59 E 38 between Currier's house and shed, N 9 E 60, N 24 W 44, N 14 E 
30, N 4 E 58, N 26 W 24, N 43 E 43, N 13 W 82, N 33 E 36, to a beech 
stump about 5 rods northw'est of Richard Clark's house; N 33 W 64, 

5 63 W 42, N 73 W 60, to highway from Lyme road by Runeld Gates' 
to Hanover line. 

Also from beech stump, S 35 E 76, S 29 E 158, S 35 E 25, S 18 E 44, 
S 15 E 55, S 6 W 32. S 25 E 23, S 14 E 104, to stake near Ambrose 
Chase's barns. 

May 29, 1801. 

(15) Road from Ricard's to Charles Lash way's: Beginning 25 rods 
northeast of Clark Currier's house iu road from Currier's to Richard 
Clark's 3 rods, S 61 E 44 to line of land between John Currier's and Clark 
Currier's, S 75 E 130 on said line; S 42 E 26, S 49 E 20, N 82 E 44, 
S 64 E 30 to stump near Ambrose Chase's house (near Collins'), S 6 
E 36 to land of William Richardson, E 96, S 54 E 20, S 79 E 16, S 54 
E 46, S 22 E 14, N 21 E 22, S 71 E 16, S 85 E 22, to line between Jo- 
siah Barber's and Moses Colby's; S 61 E on said line 72 to highway from 
Barber's to meeting house; 4 rods wide. 

June 16, 1801. 

(16) From West Farms to Prospect Hill: Beginning on road from old 
brick yard to Daniel Morse's on line between John Currier's and William 
Longfellow's, N 40 E 46, N 61 E 39, S 74 E 16, N 51 E 80, E 203, N 35 E 
34, S 74 E 62, S 44 E 30, N 80 E 24, S 58 E 18, to Goose Pond Brook; 
N 57 E 92, S 33 E 24, S 63 E 20, S 84 E 28, N 74 E 48, S 67 E 36, to road 
near John Wilson's, Wilson to give land south of road so not to be nar- 
rowed by John Perley's house (Goose Pond). 

November 4, 1801. 

(17) Daniel Farnum, James Kinneson, Moses Richardson to selectmen 
of Canaan, deed for road 4 rods wide: Beginning nortli side Post Road, 

406 History of Canaan. 

near Farnum's (Charles Whittier's), N 48 E 60, N 45 E 66, to road from 
Joshua "Wells' to Mr. Clifford's iu Grafton. 

NOVEMBBIK 7, 1801. 

(IS) Road from South Road to near William Hall's: Beginning north- 
west corner 3rd 100 Nathaniel Cady, owned by Josiah Barber, a little 
north of Barber's house on Dorchester road, S 61 E 180 to Ebenezer 
Davis' north end, across Barber's and Moses Lawrence's (Decato's). 
This road leads from the Dorchester road above the old poor farm to 
meet (38). It ran on the old town line. 

November 20, 1802. 

(19) Beginning southwest corner of Nathaniel Oilman's land, thence 
northwest in line of Oilman's and Thomas Beedle's to northwest corner of 
Charles Greenfield's, being 184 rods, thence same course 16 rods, N 11 
E 74, N 64 E 98, N 42 E 42, S 58 E 64, S 61 E 40, to road near Joseph 
Rundlett's house. This road begins where (4) ends; leads down Gil- 
man Hill to Birch Corner. Oilman and Thomas Beedle were adjoining 
owners, Beedle on the west side of the road. Beedle's line in the old 
surveys runs N 20 E, while Oilman's ran N 25 E. 

(20) Beginning old road on line between Nathaniel Whittier's and Na- 
thaniel Whittier, Jr.'s, near said junior's barn, N 61 W 30, N 86 W 50, S 
84 W 67, to Jonathan Carlton's (C. P. King's) line, N 69 W on Carlton's 
line 126 rods to old road leading from Dorchester (by John Currier's). 
This road has been thrown up. 

(20a) Beginning old road on line Moses Chase's land, S 90, near Sam- 
uel Chapman's, northwest corner south on Chapman land, 78 to south- 
west corner, S 10 E 76, S 4 W 64, to old road from east to west across 
said hill; from Reuben Puffei*'s to Campbell Hill, by Defosses'. 

December 15, 1802. 

(21) Beginning at old road at bridge in first hollow, a little east of 
Joshua Wells' house, S 31 E 114, S 53 E 64, SHE 15, S 36 E 38, S 57 E 
40, S 53 E 9, S 10 E 41, S 37 E 40, SHE 20, to bridge over Indian; 
S 38 E 23, S 21 E 28, S 38 E 48, S 18 E 25, S 30 E 41, S 46 E 20, S 27 
E 14, S 53 E 14, to Orange line. Superceded by Grafton Turnpike. 

It may possibly be the old road to the Bickford place. However, it 
plots out over nearly the same ground the turnpike covers, from Wells'. 

December 9, 1802, Town Htll. 

Minutes of roads surveyed by John Currier for the making of a map 
required by the state in 1804: "Road from Grafton to Hanover, N 51 
W 214 rods to Farnum road, N 23 W SO, N 35 W 54, N 10 W 50, N 37 
W 38, N 35 E 68 rods to Cobble Road, N 20 E 26, N 48 E 32, N 5 E 24, 
N 52 E 34 rods to Follensbee's mill, N 6 E 50, N 12 W 44, N 8 E 27, 
N 20 W 39, due N 109 to Wells' corner, due W 54, N 55 W 44, N 70 W 85, 
N 79 W 47 to Arvin's corner, N 14 W 122 to meeting house, same course 

Roads. 407 

192 rods, N 33 E 64 to Carlton's corner, N 64 W 12, N 81 W 44, N 46 
W 32, N 35 W 42, N 42 W 44 to Mascuni River, same course 120 rods, 
N 22 W 23, N 49 W 58, N 70 W 28, N 55 W 30, N 22 W 78 to Wilson's 
corner, N 21 E 178, N 30 W 60, due N 30 to Currier's corner, same 
course 33 rods, N 29 W 82, N 55 W 44, N 36 W 36, N 77 W 60, to Bart- 
lett's corner, same course 49 rods, N 49 W 33, N 35 W 30, N 5 E 52, 
N 10 W 56, N 39 W 32, N 30 W 22, N 7 W 30, to Hanover line. 

"Road from Cyrus Carlton's to Dorchester, beginning at the post guide 
at the corner: N 47 E 36 to Currier's corner, N 20 E 240, N 23 E 74, 
N 74 E 34, N 50 E 34, N 33 E 30, N 11 E 90, N 21 E 34, N 41 E 42, N 30 
E 30, N 14 E 84, N 6 E 76, N 80 E 92, due E 14 rods, N 78 E 25, N 80 
E 34, to the gore line. 

"Road from Wells' corner to Orange line: Due E 10 rods, S 53 E 76, 
S 66 E 78, S 69 E 84, S 47 E 35, S 29 E 30, S 72 E 28, N 66 E 33 to In- 
dian River; S 69 E 38, S 82 E 162, S 62 E 17, S 50 E 9, N 77 E 15, S 
66 E 18, to a maple stub near Orange line." 

May 16, 1804. 

(22) Beginning at South Road, near Jehu Jones' house, N 28 E 60 on 
Jones' line, N 85 E 12, N 10 E 32, N 26 E 68, N 86 E 14, S 72 E 26, N 61 
E 20, N 84 E 28, S 80 E 8, S 45 E 22, N 81 E 51, to road that leads from 
Canaan meeting house to Grafton. This road led by Cobble graveyard 
to near Alvin Davis' and is now discontinued. 

June 15, 1805. 

(23) Beginning Enfield line by path from Elijah Paddleford's to Me- 
shech Blake's, N 12 E 40, near John May's house, N 8 E 157, N 34, to 
Blake line; 4 rods wide. This road leads by H. L. Webster's to Enfield 

JuxE 17, 1805. 

(24) Beginning Enfield line, near bridge over Ma.scoma, near Asa Pad- 
dleford's, E 36, N 72 E 52, S 86 E 50, N 73 E 54, to Judah Wells' corner' 
N 56 E 40, N 15 E 40=, N 73 E 44, S 57 E 44, S 30 E 60, S 40 E 42, S 17 E 
43, S 38 E 69, S 85 E 144, S 59 E 177, to corner near Micah Porter's, 
then same course 113 rods^ S 54 E 58, S 60 E 183, S 56 E 76, S 70 E 
26, S 2 E 30, N 64 E 26, S 59 E 130. to Daniel Farnum's road (17), S 45 
E 31, S 73 E 44, S 58 E 152, to Grafton line. 

South Road, as re.surveyed. "Excepted Apr 7. 1807" by town. 

June 30, 1806. 

(25) Survey of road exchanged by town from the first corner, about 12 
rods east of William Campbell's old saw mill, by his new mill: Begin- 
ning at said corner S 16 E in line between Ezekiel Wells' and Chadwick's 
and Campbell's on east side of said line 46 rods to bridge near new mill, 
S 33 W 17, N 60 W 22, S 52 W 9, to said old road; 4 rods wide. Said 

^ Currier's Survey, N 74 E. 

2 Currier's survey, N 15 E 12, to Mud Pond Brook, same course 28 rods. 

' Currier's survey, same course, 133 rods, to J. Porter's corner. 

408 History of Canaan. 

line Is the center thereof from bridge to old road on south side of River 
Road to old Tray factory from Campbell's old mill to meet old road from 
South Road to river now discontinued. 

1806. Septembeb Term of Genebax, Sessions. 

(26) Beginning at south side of South Road of Canaan, nearly opposite 
house of Joshua Harris, standing in line between Micah Porter's and 
Hough Harris' land, S 30 W 116, S 43 W 84, to road laid out by selectmen 
of Enfield on Canaan line. Road laid 2% rods east of said line. Locke- 
haven Road. 

December 24, 1807. 

(27) Beginning northeast corner of Hariy Leeds' land, N 40 E 54, N 
50 E 44, N 42 E 28, to where Stephen Worth is beginning to build a 
house. Continuation of (13) to Tug Mt. House. 

Also from a road from said road to Orange line, east side of said road 
34 rods north of Leeds' corner, S 6 E 41, S 23 E 48, to Orange line; 4 
rods wide. This road is south of al)oye and easterly. 

May 1, 1808. 

(28) Beginning north side of road from meeting house to Prospect 
Hill in first hollow, a few rods north of Codfish Hill, S 63 E 8, S 49 E 34, 
S 69 E 73, to west side of Grafton Turnpike, near John Llado's mills. 
From near Fred Butman's to Factory Village. 

March 14, 1809. 

(29) Beginning northwest corner Samuel Sanborn's house in old road 
that leads from Timothy Clough's to Joshua Meacham's, N 45 E 20, N 24 
E 4, N 15 E 48, to old road. Sanborn lived on Placid Adams' farm. 

September 5, 1810. 

(30) Beginning gore line about 100 rods east of Clark Pond, where 
road is now traveled from this town to Dorchester, S 2 E 36, S 28 W 12, 
S 4 E 35, S 38 W 12, to brook that runs out of pond; S 67 W 13, S 74 W 
29, to old road near house of Luther Kinney, S 26 E 40, to Levi Cilley's 
land, S 53 W 98, S 55 W 20, to turnpike at south side of schoolhouse, 
from near R. H. Haffenreffer's in gore to Clark Pond, by Stephen 
Morse's old place to turnpike by Daniel Goss'; 4 rods wide. 

June 28, ISll. 

(31) Begiiming west side of highway, 20 rods southerly from bridge 
over small brook, southerly from John M. Barber's about 80 rods, S 63 
W 16 to west side of Mascoma, S 53 W 38, S 79 W 26, S 67 W 32, S 80 W 
59, to said old road leading from river to William Campbell's; 4 rods 
wide. Part of it is Lebanon road, by Norris place. 

Roads. 409 

July 10, 1811. 

(32) From Job Tyler's to the turnpike: Beginning at higliway near 
Tyler's house on south line of his land, N 41 E 6, N 19 E 11, N 36 E 9, E 
42. N 74 E 10, N 53 E 9, N 44 E 12, N 64 E 35, N 50 E 26, N 43 E 16, N 
39 E 38, N 63 E 6, N 34 E 10, to small brook, N 62 E 52 to turnpike; 3 
rods wide. From David Bucklin's to H. A. Oilman's, below depot. 

September 5, 1811. 

(33) Beginning southeast corner Richard Clark, Jr.'s house, S 60 W 
94, to turnpike; road from Mrs. Lydia Shattuck's by Clarence Kinney's. 

November 2, 1811. 

(34) Beginning at old road on north bank of Indian River, south of 
house lately owned by John Follensbee, N 63 E 22, S 85 E 66, S 87 E 87, 
N 34 E 14, to west side of Grafton Turnpike, crossing turnpike 4 rods, 
thence same course 36 rods, N 26 E 12, N 70 E 18, N (99) 20 (probably 
due east), N 82 E 36, N 46 E 30, to west side of river, 4 rods south of 
bridge over river on old road to Orange, from thence easterly, crossing 
river in a direction to intersect the old road on the east banlv of said 
river, with privilege of crossing old bridge so long as same is passable; 
4 rods wide; from grist mill through to East Canaan by F. D. Cur- 
rier's, over the hill to bridge by fair grounds. 


(35) Beginning northwest corner of Ezekiel Wells 3rd's orchard, S 
54 W 60, to near bank of Mascoma, S 71 W 9, to high bank on north bank 
of Mascoma, S 20 W S, to high bank on south bank of Mascoma, "W 36, S 
71 W 18, S 41 W 68, to old road, a pine stub, 20 rods north of bridge over 
Mud Pond Brook. There is no road now that satisfies this. 

May 18, 1813. 

(36) Beginning north end of old road, near Elisha Blake's house, N 23 
W 42, to near east end of Meshech Blake's house, N 94, to west line of 
land owned by Daniel Dow, to northwest corner, N 15 E 68, N 10 W 92, 
to Hanover line; 3 rods wide; southwest corner of town. 

August 19, 1813. 

(37) Beginning center of road against southeast corner of Seth Dan- 
iel's house (O. W. Davis'), S 76 E 90, to Simeon Arvin's land, S 88 E 12, 
to east side of saddle, N 80 E 45, S 70 E 16, S 53 E 35, S 86 E 24, to 
Stephen Jenness' land by the fore side of his house, N SO E 31, N 76 E 
65, S 70 E across the river 16 rods, S 84 E 15, S 52 E 42, N 88 E SO, to 
road by Caleb "Welch, Jr.'s, house; whole distance, 1 m., 81 rods; 4 rods 
wide; from O. W. Davis' to grist mill. 

410 History op Canaan. 

July 1, 1815. 

(38) Beginning northeast corner of Moses Lawrence's, S 61 E 164, to 
northeast corner of Ebenezer Davis', S 60 E 22, to road leading to Dor- 
chester, near Nathan Cross' house; 4 rods wide. This road leads from 

(18) to (19). 

(39) Beginning on the west side of the brook, between John Fales' 
shop and house where Pushee lives, N 36 E 28, to line of Eliphalet Rich- 
ardson's, thence same point across Richardson's land 21 rods, thence 
same point to top of hill 16 rods, then N 52 E 28, to old i-oad near Es- 
quire Currier's house; 3 rods wide; up hill from corner to John Cur- 

Also, beginning 1% rods below a large rock near old road in Eliphalet 
Richardsons's pasture, before the house that Bailey Welch lately pur- 
chased of David Richardson, S 49 W 21, S 88 W 13, S 86 W 46, to old 
road 4 rods above bridge over brook running to John Fales' shop, thence 
to the water course in the bridge, then across said bridge, then to a heap 
of stones in westerly edge of brook on road that leads to Esquire Cur- 
rier's. Road from Putney place to Corner. 

(40) Road from Corner to turnpike down the hill: N 62 W 15, S 85 W 
22, N 67 W 22, N 51 W 23. 

July 1, 1816. 

(41) Between Daniel and Asa Kimball's, S 49 W 58, to southwest 
corner of Asa's land, then same course 80 rods to door yard of Amos 
Gould, IVz rods north of northeast corner of his dwelling house; 2 rods 

October 23, 1817. 

(42) Beginning at old road (27), 29 rods north of Harry Leeds' 
northeast bound, N 8 E 22, N 11 E 5, N 12 E 22, N 32 E 11, N 43 E 6, N 
50 E 47, to house the late residence of John Worth, deceased, N 24 E 44, 
N 33 E 21, N 20 E 28, N 46 E 53, to east line Stephen Worth's land, then 
in his east line 29 rods to northeast corner, N 20 E 114, N 29 E 60, N 
32 E 160, to south line Dame's Gore; 623 rods long. Road from Jerusa- 
lem north to schoolhouse. 

JuxE 10, 1818. 

(43) Beginning north side of road against Sewal Gleason's barn, east 
end, N 26 W 4, N 5 W 8, N 2 E 6, N 14, N 10 E 12, N 35 W, to south- 
east corner of Nathaniel Bartlett's house 41 rods, N 53 W 50, N 58 W 
80, N 36 W 36, to stump by old road near Adam Pollard's house; 4 rods 
wide. From old Hinksou place across H. B. Gates' field. 

June 5, 1820. 

(44) To straighten road from bridge, near March Barber's, to meet- 
ing house: Beginning south side road 18 rods east of bridge, N 48 E 60, to 
north line of Ezra Nichols' (Cochran's), N 80 E, on said line 12 rods to 
road by Nichols (9). 

Roads. 411 

Second piece: Beginning at the fence on north side of road from 
James Arvin's (A. W. Hutchinson's) to John M. Barber's (Sharon's), 
opposite east side of road coming from Ezra Nichols', N 13 W 22, to 
Barber's field, N 41 E 89, to parade near schoolhouse. 

OCTOREB 30, 1820. 

(45) On line of old road near Josiah Clark's (Carey Smith's) house, S 
10 E 10, S 321/2 E 42, S 4 E 10, S 49 E 100, to Orange line; 3 rods wide. 

May 23. 1821. 

(46) Road across Dame's or Homer's Gk)re: Beginning at Canaan line 
at end of road, from Luther Kinney's to Dorchester, N 10 E 23, N 33 E 
14, N 19 E 44, N 36 E 17, N 22 E 18, N 45 E 9, N 25 E 16, N 15 E 8, N 10 
E 22, N 2 E 311/^, to Dorchester line to south end of Dorchester road, 
222% rods; 4 rods wide. John Currier, surveyor. Laid out for Homer 
James Worthen, H. G. Lathrop, chairmen. 

November 20, 1821. 

(47) Beginning end Jonathan Sawyer's wall, on line between Canaan 
and Enfield, at end of Enfield road, N IS E 70, N 4 W 60, to County 

November 21, 1821. 

(48) Beginning 4 rods east of David Dustin's house, S 85 E 48, N 76 E 
39, to meetinghouse common. Road is laid 2 rods south of above line. 

May 4, 1822. 

(49) February term of Court of , General Sessions. Beginning on Han- 
over east line, where road in Hanover intersects Canaan, S 29 E 72, 
through James Ralston's to Israel Harris' heirs' land, S 29 E 19, S 14 E 
26, to William Harris', S 14 E 24, S 15 W 28, to Sylvanus Payne's land, 
S 46 to Enfield line; S 8 E 54 on Asa and Benj. Choate's, then same point 
78 rods on Daniel Huse's, to corner Choate's, then S 29 W on line be- 
tween Choate's and David Huse's, 137 rods to county road leading from 
Follensbee's to Lebanon; 3 rods wide. 

Aprll 23, 1823. 

(50) Road to Amos Richardson's, between house and bai'n of Sewal 
Gleason, on south line of old road, S 24 W 71, to south line of Gleason 
land, same course 104 rods to south line of Amos Richardson's; 3 rods 
wide. From old Hinkson place south. 

May 24, 1826. 

(51) Beginning southeast corner of Daniel Sherburne's dwelling 
house, S 26 W 22, to highway that leads from Widow Abigail Clark's to 
turnpike; 3 rods wide. 

412 History of Canaax. 

Septembeb 9, 1826. 

(52) Benefit aud request of Elijah Gk>ve: Center gate 16 rods north of 
William Harris' house, N 2G E 19, N 53 E 22, N 21 E 22, to center of 
Blake Brook; 2 rods wide. Discontinued April 17, 1827. 

Decembeb 9, 1826. 

(53) Benefit of George Flint: Beginning at Flint's barn, on piece of 
land he purchased of Judge Blaisdell, and on line of John R. Dustin's 
land, that he purchased of Blaisdell, S 30 W 36, S 15 W 44, S 27 W 16, N 
77 W 8, N 47 W 16, to corner of Bartholomew Heath's, N 80 W 8, S 73 W 
30, N 37 W 38, S 64 W 80; then by south line of land on which Nathaniel 
Barber lives to causeway near bank of Barber's land 80 rods, then 
through lane by Barber's house to road near Daniel B. Whittier's; 3 
rods wide. 

May 4, 1827. 

(54) Beginning at the center of the road at the northwest corner of 
Giles' house, S 83 W 14, S 59 W 16, S 82 W 9, N 64 W 25, N 39 W 6, N 59 
W 28, N 72 W 10, N 56 W 31, N 62 W 9, N 31 W 14, N 56 W 28, N 32 W 
23, N 15 W 27, N 80 W 12, S 45 W 28, S 78 W 25, S 45 W 18, S 56 W 19, S 
76 W 10, S 53 W 20, S 35 W 51, S 82 W 28, S 59 W 11, S 70 W 10, S 50 W 
25, N 83 W 40; intersecting road between Paddleford house aud school- 

May 9, 1827. 

(55) Beginning west line of road from John Shephard's to Daniel 
Kimball's, one rod north of north line of Kimball's house, W 58, to 
Silas Dustin's. 

June 2, 1827. 

(56) Beginning in line between David Currier, Jr.'s, aud Aaron Nich- 
ols', in Currier's door yard, N 68 W, in Currier's and Nichols' line, 143 
rods, N 80 W 13, S 40 W 11, S 68 W 14, W 10, N 84 W 11, N 77 W 106, N 
70 W 38 to intervale, N 80 W 14 to river, S 82 W 18, S 71 W 12, S 81 W 19i^ 
to John R. Dustin's land, S 30 W 14, S 78 W 13, to George Flint's private 
road (53), S 10 W 14 on private road, S 31 W 12, S 88 W 14, N 75 W 
10 N 44 W 12, N 78 W 8, S 69 W 20, N 50 W 6, N 32 W 28, N 69 W 7, S 
76 W 21, S 78 W 14, W 14, N 66 W 52, S 88 W 27, N 50 W 14, N 73 W 
12, to road by Daniel Whittier's at end of Nathaniel Barber's land to 
his house. 

June 21, 1827. 

(57) Beginning east side of road from Nathaniel Oilman's house to 
Dame's Gore, as you descend hill towards Nathan Cross' meadow, about 
4 rods southerly of corner of Cross pasture, S 55 E 34, S 85 E 20, S 83 E 
12 to east side of Cross meadow, S 48 E 42, S 84 E 12, N 70 E 22, S 68 
E 108 to Flanders' dooryard, S 74 E 39 to line of Ashel Jones', then same 
point 28 rods, S 86 E 22, S 85 E 14, N 81 E 76, S 85 E 11 to east line 
Jones' land, N 8 E 16, N 58 E 31, N 76 E 14, N 88 E 26, S 69 E 8 to La- 

Roads. 413 

tbrop path, S 60 E 17, S 32 E 6, N 75 E 12, N 85 E 7, S S2 E 15, S 50 E 
18 to i-iver, N 82 E 36, N 52 E 12, N 19 E 36, N 35 E 19, N 58 E 10 to 
south line of gore, near corner Josiah Hayues' and Caleb Wells', where 
they now live in gore; 4 rods wide. Began at Birch Corner and went 
to Henry Tormey's. 

November 7, 1828. 

(58) Beginning at the center of two stakes standing on the westerly 
line of Orange, near Orange Pond, N 47 W 41, N 30 W 166, N 20 W 
100, N 40 W 152, N 33 W 80, N 61 W 96, N 81 W 26, N 52 W 28, N 
58 W 40, N 65 W 100, 4 rods wide, then N 12 W 240, 8 rods wide, then 
N 12 W 80, N 26 W 124, N 2 W 80, N 20 W 50, N 7 E 20, N 66, N 7 W 
120, N 14 W 116, N 10 W 120, N 16 W 100, N 22 W 68, N 14 W 54, N 
24 W 154, N 12 W 108, N 3 W 32, N 14 W 118, to Dame's Gore line, 
near southwest corner thereof; meaning to be on same ground that 
Grafton Turnpike was laid out. The turnpike was first surveyed in 
1804, and was 4th Grafton Turnpike from Andover to Orford bridge. 

AuGtrST 27, 1830. 

(59) Beginning near south end of the Wells bridge, S 60 W 32, S 
50 W 16, S 33 W 16, S 74 W 6, to the South Road; 3 rods wide. 

September, 1830. 

(60) Beginning north corner Samuel Whittier's apple house, S 77 
E 13, S 70 E 28, on Samuel Whittier's, S 57 E 14, on Moses Whittier's, 
2 rods east of Samuel Whittier's house, 2i^rods; laid out south of line. 
Samuel Whittier lived on Bickford place. 

October 16, 1830. 

(61) From Moses Sawyer's to Hanover line, 2 rods from northeast 
corner of Sawyer's house on west side of highway, N 30 W 4, N 75 
W 12, N 55 W 12, N 34 W 30, to Hanover line; 2 rods wide. 

December 9, 1830. 

(62) Beginning near bridge east of Nathan Cross' house, S 31 E 18, 
S 15 E 30, S 12, to a road, then on said road S 58 E 66, S 61 E 21, to 
maple tree on road; 4 rods w'ide (57). 

June 10, 1833. 

(63) Beginning 87 rods east from Indian River, near small bridge 
on new road from Canaan to Plymouth, S 40 W 8, S 50 W 11, S 62 W 
8, S 66 W 9, S 68 W 8, S 84 W 10, S 83 W 8, S 45 W 10, S 46 W 8, S 
53 W 7, to river, then beginning on west bank of river, N 38 W 7, N 
57 W 4, N 30 W 8, to highway; 4 rods wide. 

414 History of Canaan. 

Septembek 2, 1833. 

(64) Beginning southeast coruer of James Folleusbee's, S 68 E 32, 
through Jeremiah Whittier's land, S 59 E to road from Canaan to 
Dorchester, through Rufus Hoyt's; 4 rods wide. 

SEPTEilBEB 3, 1833. 

(65) Clark Hill Road: Beginning on turnpike near Joseph L. Rich- 
ardson's (Daniel Goss') barn, N 59 W 30, N 61 W 8, N 28 W 14, N 
48 W 8, N 51 W 6, N 34 W 10, N 36 W 7, N 51 W 9, N 66 W 10, N 44 
W 11, N 37 W 7, N 8 W 8, N 6 W 7, N 3 E 6, N 7 E 11, N 1 E 6, N 
11, N 10 W 18, N 41, N 2 W 42, to turnpike near corner of Nathaniel 
Derbj-'s field; 4 rods wide; took place of turnpike from Daniel Goss'. 

Septembee 1, 1835. 

(66) Beginning on New Plymouth road, foot of the hill, north side 
of Joshua Martin's, S 18 E 13, S 13 E 13, through Martin's, S 6 E 10, 
S 10 W 64, to pair of bars and through Aaron Whittlesey's; 4 rods 

October 1, 1836. 

(67) Beginning on east side of turnpike, where road to Widow 
Abigail Clark's intersects, near John Flanders' house, S 7oM> W, across 
turnpike and Flanders', 12 rods and 20 links, to Flanders' fence, east 
of new road round Clark Hill; 3 rods wide. 

April 16, 1839. 

(68) Beginning west end Deacon Clark's bridge, N 29 E 9, N 12, 
N 5 W 22, N 4 W 15, N 19 E 14, N 32 E 22, N 52 B 14, N 35 E 13, N 
37 E 8, N 38 E 16, N 26 E 10, N 20 E 10, N 6 E 12, N 13 E 17, N 18 
E 8, N 5 W 14, N 8 E 14, N 25 E 10, N 30 E 14, N 5 E 14, N 7 W 8, 
N 22 E 9, N 43 E 14, N 58 E 21, N 35 E 12, N 26 E 30, N 7 E 58, N 
25 E 42 and 34, N 35 E 13, N 26 E 10, N 26 E 37, N 30 E 54, to Stephen 
Sleeper's house; road from bridge, near fair grounds, up river. 

July 13, 1839. 

(69) Beginning on east side of turnpike, about 8 rods below water- 
ing trough, N 65 E 10, N 73 E 72, N 27 E 17, N 28 E 36, N 35 E 18, 
N 34 E 18, N 50 E 20, N 38 E 12, N 20 E 34, N 33 E 23, N 43 E 22, 
N 46 E 25, N 10 E 14, N 5 E 26, N 3 E 24, N 30 E 30, to road leading 
from turnpike to Dorchester. 

Decembee 11, 1839. 

(70) Beginning west side Sawyer Hill Road, at corner Daniel Kim- 
ball's mowing field, W 75, to Joseph Kimball's house; 3 rods wide. 

Roads. ^15 


(72) Begiiiniug 15 rods south of the Frenchman's house, S 52 W 
76, S 20 W 12, S 30, S S E 34, S 3 E 26, S 40 W 10, S 06 W 7, to 
turnpike by Eliphalet Gilman's; 3 rods wide. 

June 10, 1845. 

(73) Beginning on north bank of road from John Worth's to Orange, 
opposite Benjamin Y. Hilliard's barnyard, N 44 E 4, N 5 E 3, N 33 
W 8, N 5 E 10, N 39 W 11, N 14 W 4, N 30yo W 16, N 26 W 17, N 60 
W 36, near Moses Whittier's bars; 2 rods wide. 

March 3, 1846. 

(75) Beginning east side Simeon Arvin's house, N 42 E 33, N 31^^ 
E 8, N 40 E 9, N 57 E 5, N 63 E 10, N 80 E 11, N 85 E 9, N 63 E 12, 
N 311/2 E 51/0, — SO E 5, — 78 E lOi/o, N 60 E 12, — 471/2 E 11, N 46 
E 15, N 41 E 12, N 36y2 E 91/2, N 4I1/2 E 29y2, N 44 E 17, N 37 E 6y2, 
N 30 E 17, N 66^/^ E II1/2, N 70 E 13, N 52 E 40, to Dewey's road at 
junction of Dorchester road; whole district, 318 rods; 4 rods wide. 

Septembee 23, 1840. 

(71) Beginning by side of fence near road southwest from Joshua 
S. and Thad S. Lathrop's barns, N 19i/^ E 63, to birch, N 29 E 26, to 
spruce, N 31 E 10, N 40 E 26, N 38 E 6, N 49 E 7, N 60 E 6, N 63 
E 8, N 401/2 E 9, N 31 E 5, N 17 E 27, N 21 E 24, to Dame's Gore line, 
N 21 E 9, N 4 E 18, N 10 E 8, N 6 E 10, N 25 E 8, N 24 E 4, N 45 E 6, 
N 571/2 E 10, N 461/2 E 12, N 371/2 E 8, N 44 E 12, N 431/2 E 10, N 
48 E 7, N 23 E 8, N 161/2 E 51/., N 10 E 7, N 3 E 7, N 23 E 35, N 31 
E 8, to gore line, N 23y2 E 23, N 21/2 E 16, N 1 W 15, N 12 W 14, N 
23 W 9, N 8 W 101/2, N 14 W 12, N 46 E 24, N 30 E 7, N 31 E 12, N 26 
E 10, N 25 E 32, N 36 E 29, to side of road by Jesse Jones'; Dorchester 
road by T. W. Young's. 

October 9, 1846. 

(74) Beginning north side of road opposite bars on hill east of Har- 
rison Pillsbury's, S 82 E 12, S 87y2 E 91/2, S 771/2 E 19, S 861/2 E I71/2, N 
891/2 E 15, S 87% E 31%, S 74 E 12, E UVz S 86y2, E 17%, S 82 E 18%, 
S 791/2 E 15, S 8iy2 E 6, S 891,4 E 50, to north side of road near bridge 
below Simeon Welch's shops; 4 rods wide. See (37). 

August 31, 1848. 

(76) Court of General Sessions: Beginning on north side of Leb- 
anon road, 52 rods southwest of south end of Wells' bridge in Canaan, 
N 23 E 7y2, N 6 E 22, N 1% E 17, N 21/2 E 12, N 2% W 16, N 22y2 
E 2 to south side of Mascoma, on north line of Warren Wilson's, N 
43 E 5, across river, N 30 E li'^, N 24 W 22, N 20 W 22, N 15% 
W 25, N 9 W 161/2, N 8 W 14, N 24i/^ E 91/2, N 401/2 E 11, N 17 E 

416 History of Canaan. 

81/2, N 1/2 E 81/^, N 5 W I2I0, N 9 \V 16, N 16 W 11, N 2614 W 14, 
N 28 W lOVa, N 1% W 23, on north line H. C. George's, N 1% W 3, 
N 21/2 E 12, N 171/2 E 17, N 2614 E I31/0, N 25 E 13, N 201^ E lOVs, 
N 161/2 E 21, N 1714 E 16, N 23% E 16, N 2514 E 15, N 441/2 E 614, 
on north line Ezekiel and Peter Wells', N 49 E 11%, N 49% E 281/^, 
N 49% E 20, N 52 E 14 1/2, N 12 W 2, to north line Huse, Conant & 
Co.'s, N 12 W 11, on north line David and James Pattee's, N 12 W 
3, N 21/2 W 131/2, N 11 E 6%, N 41 E 30, N 25 E I21/2, N 12 E 13, N 
27 E 71/2, N 431/2 E 13, N 42 E 12, N 44 E II1/2, N 35% E 10%, N 
61/2 E 20%, N 24 1/2 E 11%, N 11 E 8%, — 9% E 10, N 8% E 5, N 
30 E 17, on north line John Barker's, N 35 E 13, N 47% E 14, to south 
side of road, 7 rods west of bridge across brook at outlet of Goose 
Pond, below Eaton's mills; then beginning north side of road, 3 rods 
east of east end of bridge, near a new building, N 40 E 10%, N 68% 
B 26, N 18 E 20, N 5% E 12, N 1% E 14, N 5% E 15, N 20 E 22. 
N 25 E 43, to north line Nathaniel Eaton's, N 16% E 38, N 20% E 
24, N 8 E 8, to north line of John Shepherd's, N S E 9, N 15% E 
11, N 34 E 5, N 40 E 5%, N 36 E 10%, N 5 E 16, N 14% E 10, N 19% 
E 39%, N 5 E 16, to north line of D. Towle's, N 5 W 9, N 6% W 
11, N 11 E 8, N IS E 8, N 9% W 11, to north line W. H. Duncan's, 
N 17 W 8, N 6% W 12, N 1% W 15, N 14% W 10, N 18% W 9, N 
16 W 9, N 23% W 11, N 33 W 8, to north line Amos Gould's, N 14 W 
8, N 25% W 12, N 32 W 12, N 43% W 13, N 45 W 35, N 23% W 
27, N 10 E 8, N 7% E 8, N 10 W 11, N 7 W 8, N 18 E 10, N 6 W 9, 
N 4% W 16, N 7% W 22, N 16% W 18, N 1% W 17, N 10 W 16, N 
6% W 20%, to north line of Caleb Bartlett's, N % E 54, N 2 W 22, 
on land of James Eastman to Hanover line, N 12 E 8, N 28% E 4, 
N 59 E 7, N 28 E 61, N 26% E 19%, N 11% E 8, on Eastman's land, 
N 22 E 18, on Eastman's to south side of old County Road, 11 rods 
north of James Eastman's house, occupied by Ira Eastman; $505.50 
damages; Goose Pond Road from West Canaan. 

October 1, 1848. 

(77) Court of General Sessions. Beginning at a stake standing in 
the road, S 10% W, from the northeast corner of Martin & Currier's 
store and three rods therefrom, thence S 67 W 10 r., to stake on Miner 
and Fairfield's land, S 60 1-3 W 12 r., 10 1., to southerly line of Fair- 
field's land, S 60 1-3 W 2 r., on Currier and Martin's land, S 47% W 12 
r. on the south line of Currier and Martin; S 47% W 1 r., to land of 
Joseph Wheat, S 32 W IS r. to the west line of Wheafs, S 32 W 9 
r. to Martin and Currier's land, S 17 1-3 W 21 r. to the south line 
of Currier laud, S 17 W 8 r. to George Harris' land, S 17 W 8 r. on 
Harris' land, S 6% W 5 r. to south line of Harris', S 6% W 1 r. to 
Joseph Wheat's land, S 9 W 7 r. to the south line of Wheat's, S 9 
W 2 r. to the south line of J. H. Harris', S 11.25 W 6 r. to the south 
line of John Fales', S 11.25 W 4 r. to the line of George Harris', 
S 6 1-3 W S r., 7 1., to south line of Harris', S 6 1-3 W 2 r., on Wil- 

Roads. 417 

liam Kimball's, S 10% W 8 r., 7 1., S 25.25 W 39 r., S 10 W 15 r., 
S 4.40 E 19 r., S TVo W 7 r., to south line of Kimball's, S 19.20 
W 20 r., to Caleb Blodgett's south line, S 21 1-3 W 75 r. to Joseph 
Dustin's, S 4 W 24 r., S U W 46 r., S 7% W 14 r., S 17 2-3 W 13 r., 9 
1., to south line of Dustin's, S 1 1-3 W 16 r., on March Barber's land, 
S 214 E 11 r., S 9% E 9 r., 15 1., S 41^ E 11, to near the southeast 
corner of J. H. Harris' land, S 4^^ E 12 r. on A. Cochran's land, S 
11 2-3 E 12 r., S 20 E 11 r., 10 1., S 15 E 10 r., 8 1., S 3 E 12 r., S 
51/2 W 16 r., 12 1., S 3 W 9 r., 14 1., S 4 W 19 r., S 4 W 2 r., S SVj 
E 10 r., 17 1., S 5 E 11 r., 16 1., on Cochran's, S 18 W 13 r., 13 1., over 
highway (4 rods out) to stake on Cochran's, S 211/2 W 21 r., 17 1., S 
23 E 43 r., 11 1., S 13 E 19 r., 5 1., to Harrison Pillsbury's land, S 
31 E 7 r., 16 1., S 33 2-3 E 9 r., 14 1., S 7 E 9 r., 8 1., S 11 1-3 W 8 
r., S 151/2 W 10 r., S 14 W 7 r., S 6% W 7 r., S 25 1-3 E 46 r., to stake 
and stones standing on north side of the road leading by Harrison 
Pillsbury's to South Road, and N 63i/^ E 14 r., 5 1., from the railroad 
track at crossing southwesterly from Pillsbury's house; the above line 
to be the center of the road; road to be 3 rods wide; from Factory 
Village to Switch. 

October 1, 1848. 

(78) Court of General Sessions. Beginning north side of road by 
John Jones', S 75 2-3 E lio rods from southeast corner of Daniel 
McKinney's blacksmith shop, N 15 E 11 r., 3 1., N 10% E 8 r., 24 1., 
and 9 r., 17 1., N 1 1-6 W 4, 18 1., and 10 r., 9 1., N 17 E 32, N 42 E 
9 r., 12 1., N 33 E 9, N 9 E 11 r., 9 1., N 19 1-3 E 13, N 16 E 10 r., 21 
1., N 14 E 11 r., 4 1., N 41 E 13 r., 10 1., N 39 E 15, N 40% E 41, N 
24° 25' E 10, N 18 E 48, N 20 E 20, N 31/2 W 45, N 8 2-3 W 25 r., 5 
1., N 15% W 16, N 6 W 10, N 13 1-3 W 10, N 16% W 41, and 18 and 
8, N 121/2 W 8, N 10 W 8, N lOVo W 24 and 3 and 9, N I41/2 W 49, 
N 6 2-3 W 76 and 17 to north line of Warren and Henry Wilson's land 
on south side of South Road. 

October 1, 1849. 

(79) Court of General Sessions. Beginning at Canaan on bank of 
South Road, at intersection of road leading by William Doten's, to 
railroad, S 6 E 110, on Theophilus Currier's, S 6 W 66, on Currier's, 
S 4 W 11, on Currier's, S 13 E 10, on Currier's, S 15 E 6, on Currier's, 
to south line, and north line Daniel Gile's, S 17 E 8, S 19 E 9, S 18 
E 10, S loii; E 16, S 1/2 E 15, all on Gile's, to south line of Canaan, 
S 11 W 64, in Enfield on Gile's east line and west line Mathew Bry- 
ant's, S 41^ — 22 on Bryant's, S 5 W 2I1/2, to north side of road by 
Daniel Gile's, S IV2 W 2, across road, S 14 W 20, S 4iL. W 15, S 11 
W 13; Potatoe Road. 

Febrlwry 18, 1851. 

(80) Beginning on road from Canaan to Dorchester, on land of 
Dustin and Somers, N 2i^ E 31, N 61/2 W 9, N 814 W 13, in north line 


418 History of Canaan. 

of Dustin's and Somers', N 5 W 59, across Benjamin P. Wells', N 109, 
across Rufus Atwell's, N 80 across Uriah F. Lary's, to road by Asahel 
Jones' and Lary's, to Dorchester, near where old Sanborn house 
stood; 3 rods wide; Lary Road. 

August 21, 1852. 

(81) Beginning north of Hiram Philbrick's house, east side of road 
from Factory Village, by Thad. Lathrop's, to Dorchester, N 88% E 
40, N 801/2 E 10, N 561/2 E 20, N 56 E 13, N BSVz E 10, N 75 E 12i^, 
near mill of Stephen Peaslee; 3 rods wide. 

^ September 1, 1852. 

(82) Gates Road: Beginning east side Goose Pond Road (76), 
on John Shepherd's, N 64% E 8, on Shepherd's, N 441/2 E 18, N 51 E 
29, to south line of Olcott lot, N 33% E 26 on Olcott's, N 30 E 13, to 
south line Nathaniel Eaton's, N 30 E 6 on Eaton's to south line Amos 
Gould's, N 26 E 16, N 27 E 22, N 26 E 281/2, N 271/2 E 19, to side of 
Gould Road; 3 rods wide. 

November 30, 1852. 

(83) Beginning east bank of road from Levi Wilson's to Dorchester, 
near house said to have been built by Stephen Worth, S 55 E 6i/^, 
S 88 E 7, S 561/2 E lli/o, N 60 E 7, across Lorenzo Jameson's, S 60 
E 2, N 791/2 E 71/2, E 22, N 73 E 9, N 871/2 E 12, N 54 E 6, across 
Edward Currier's to Watts Davis'. See (42) (27) (13). 

October 26, 1853. 

(84) Beginning on southeast side of road by George Davis' house 
to Dorchester, near William Gordon's, on land of Jones & Co., S 441^ 
E 11, S 481/2 E 8, S 35 E 9, S 61/2 E 20, S I51/2 E 15, S 9 E 8, S 10 
W 23, S 231/2 W 8, S 20% W 7, S 1 E 15, S 31/. E 10, S I71/2 E 10, S 
38 E 10, S 31/2 E 8, S 514 E 7, to south line Stephen Morse's and 
north line of Charles Day's, S 18 E 12, on Day's, S 29 E 6, S 27 E 12, 
S 18 E 10, S 27 E 16, S I61/2 E 14, S 19 E 16, S 61/2 E 12, S 2i/i W 
15, on Samuel Dow's, S 34 E 7, S 51 E 10, to north line of T. S. La- 
throp's, S 47% E 12, on T. S. Lathrop's, to Joshua L. Lathrop's north 
line, S 471/2 E 1, on J. L. Lathrop's, S 31 E 9, S 441/0 E 7, S 37 E 13, 
S 22 E 18, S 56 E 7, S 31 E 17, S 26 E 8, to east line of J. L. Lathrop's 
and west line Reuben Goss', S, on Goss', 24% E 13, to west side of road 
from Factory Village by Goss' to Dorchester; 3 rods wide; Clark Pond 

November 5, 1853. 

(85) Beginning near watercourse on line Richard Hutchinson's and 
Jonathan Barnard's, N 85% W 23 r., 15 1., on Barnard's, N 85% W. on 
Jonathan Sanborn's, to east side of depot road, north of Sanborn's wheel- 
shop; 3 rods wide. 

Roads. 419 

December 23, 1853. 

(86) Across Pattee & Perley's, Goose Pond: Beginning east side 
of road from Pattee & Perley's to Tavern House, occupied by G. West- 
gate. N 17 W 8, N 4 W 6, to road leading from tavern to Canaan Street 
and East Canaan; 2 rods wide. 

August 19, 1854. 

(87) Beginning south side of road from West Farms to Lebanon, 
on James Brocklebank's, S 8 E 8, on Brocklebank's, S 61/2 W 9, S 
31% W 14, S 16 W 6, S 9 W 11, S 1 E 20, S 2 E 9, to north line of 
Shakers', S 2 E 9, on Shakers', S 7 W 16, S 1 W 10, S 6 E 9, S 3 W 
10, S 51/2 W 26, S 151,^ W 13, S 291/2 W 20, S 371/2 W 31, S 51/2 W 5, S 17 
E 5, S 27 E 3, to. Enfield line; 3 rods wide. 

September 13, 1855. 

(88) Daniel B. Cole's road: Beginning on the northwest side of 
road from Cole's to Orange meeting house, N 31 W III/2, to west line 
Lorenzo Jameson's, N 35 W 11, N 68 W 14, N 531/2 W 27, N 54 W 15, 
N 62 W nV2, N 31 W 14, to east side of road from Leander Jame- 
son's to Dorchester; 3 rods wide. 


(89) April Term County Court. Beginning at a stake standing op- 
posite and near the house of A. C. Lovejoy in Canaan, S 18 W 41 14 
on Lovejoy's, S 6 E 83 on C. M. Dyer's. S 6 E 32 on Henry and Wil- 
liam M. Currier's, S 11 W 86 on Lovejoy's, S 11 W 30 on William Cur- 
rier and William C. Smith's, S 11 W 48 on William Currier's, S 11 
W 311/2 on Seth P. Follensbee's, to Canaan and Enfield line, S 11 W 
38, S 11 W 64, to north end of Shaker Hill Road in Enfield. Down, 
valley of Committee Meadow Brook. 

JtjNE 13, 1857. 

(90) Beginning near Charles Hutchinson's house on road from 
Alpheus Preston's to Goulding's mills to Canaan depot, N 7 E 34 r. 
to turnpike; from Barney Brothers' store north. 

June 10, 1858. 

(91) Beginning on William Digby's, south of his house, N 71 W 
10, N 42 W 8, N 61 W 14, across Bailey Welch's, N 61 W 75, to road 
from Page's mill to Dorchester, across Horace Chase's; 3 rods wide. 

June 14, 1859. 

(92) Beginning near John B. Cunningham's, N 77 W 20, to near 
meeting house, N 58 W 40, to near John Milton's; 3 rods wide. 

420 History of Canaan. 

October 19, 1859. 

(93) Beginning at Jonathan Barnard's, opposite his stable and on 
north side of road from Depot Street to turnpike, N 60^2 E 6, to turn- 
pike, then across turnpike to westerly line of Richard Hutchinson's, 
N 611/2 E 76, on Hutchinson's, N GSVs E 24, and 4, on Alfred Davis', 
N 74 E 10, N 381/2 E 7, N 8 E 14, N 10 E 20, to bank of road leading 
from Orange to depot, opposite watering trough; 3 rods wide; road 
from Barnard's by Edwin Flint's to watering trough. 


(94) Beginning 9 rods below southeast corner of Arnold Morgan's, 
on line of Morgan's and Mary Clark's, S 85 E 42, to old turnpike, near 
Edwin B. Miner's (A. W. Hutchinson's), it being course of old road 
lately discontinued; subject to gates and bars; 2 rods wide. See (8). 

November 5, 1861. 

(95) Beginning southeast corner of F. M. Wells' barn, west side of 
road from Wells', N 5 E 10, on Wells', then on laud of Shakers, N 
10 E 22, N 28 E 10, N 10 E 11 and 10, N 8 W 6, N 3 E 20, N 23 E 5, 
N 46 E 9, N 27 E 6, N 4 E 10, N 25 E 15, N 28 E 15, N 8 E 21/2, to 
Harry Follensbee's, N 8 E 3I/2, to Leonard Hadley's, N 33 E, on Had- 
ley's. The line between Hadley's and Follensbee's 162 rods to road 
leading over West Farms. 

June 1, 1866. 

(96) Beginning at road on east line Stephen Swett's, one and one 
half rods from Swett's southeast corner, S 9i/4 E 8, through land of 
John T. Milton, to west side of road from depot to street. 

February 18, 1868. 

(97) Beginning stake 6 feet north of old pine stump, east side of 
road from Canaan to Lyme, 6 r., 6 1., south of south bank of Mascoma, 
near bridge, E 141/2 N 3 r., 3 1., E 191/2 N 2 r., 4 1., E 441/2 N 2 r., 17 
1., E 53% N 10 r., 13 1., to watercourse in road from Factory Village 
to Dorchester; 3 rods wide. 

September 2, 1891. 

Road laid in place of a part of Gore Road: Beginning at a stake 
and stones on the east side of Gore Road, and near a ledge in said road, 
thence N 25 E 13 r., 11 1., N 4 E 5, N 10 W 11, to stake and stones on 
east side of Gore Road. The selectmen laid this piece without men- 
tioning any width. 

May 30, 1893. 

Road to N. J. Hill's: Beginning at stake and stones on east side of 
turnpike, one rod from southwest corner of E. C. Aldrich's laud, thence 

Roads. 421 

N 38 E 111/^, N 43 E 15 r., and 23 1., to stake on a line with E line of 
N. J. Hill's laud and one rod south of southeast corner of Hill's land; 
2 rods wide. 

September 6, 1894. 

Road that took place of road over railroad track to Welch's mill: 
Beginning 51 feet northeast of Fernald's mill, being an iron pin in 
side of road, and 10 feet north of said pin at a hemlock stake, it being 
center stake of roadbed, thence west by a stake marked 9 feet that 
stands in bank 2G feet northwest of said mill shed, then west in 
straight line to west line of Fernald's land, then west by a stake 
marked 12 feet and land of A. G. Arvin's, and by a stake marked 3276 
on top of hill to Indian River, and across said river to an iron pin in 
side of road east of W. H. Welch's house and about 4 feet northwest 
of two spotted elm trees; width to be 3i/4 rods on north side of 
Fernald's mill shed and across his land, 5 rods wide across Arvin's 
land to the river, rest of road 3^^ rods. 

November 4, 1897. 

Wells Cemetery Road: Beginning stake and stones in west side of 
road from Fernald's mill to Wells Cemetery, 142 feet north of south- 
west corner of wall around land of William Welch, thence N 45 W 

11 r., and 13 1., N 30 W 8 r. and 20 1., N 391/2 W 3 r., and 6 1., N 9 W 
4 r. and 15 1., N 24 E 7 r. and 16 1., N 11 B 6 r. and 17 1., N 5 r. and 19 1., 
N 21 W 4 r., and 21 1., N 40 W 4, N 29 W 4 r. and 16 1., N lli/^ W 22 r. 
and 19 1., to south side of turnpike; 40 feet wide. 

August 11, 1909. 

Beginning at a gate on the south side of South Road on land of 
Charles Whittier, thence S 19 W 6 r. S % W 12 r., S 131/0 E 6 r., S 

12 W 6 r., S 27% W 8 r., S 17 W 8 r., 121/2 feet and on Whittier's to 
Frank Lashua's land, thence S 19 W 11 r., S 3% W 14 r., S 41l^ E 20 r., 
41/^ feet on Lashua's to Whittier's, thence S 271/2 E 26 r., 4 feet, on Whit- 
tier's, to a point 11 Vz feet west of Charles Abbott's barn. 

Doctors and College Graduates. 

The first man to come into town with doctor in front of his 
name was Ebenezer Eames. He was a grantee and having built 
the first mill in town received the offer of the proprietors of 
three hundred acres of land called the MiU Right. Whether 
he ever practiced as a physician or not is not known, but it is 
to be presumed that if he knew anything of medicine the set- 
tlers made use of his knowledge as occasion required. He was 
a miller and a blacksmith, the latter title is given him in an old 
deed. He was the miller up to 1787, when he sold the First 
Hundred of the ]\Iill Right with all the buildings and privileges 
to Henry Finch, taking back a life lease. Finch was his son-in- 
law. The mill continued to be run by them until January 3, 
1795. when they sold out to Dudley Gilman and left town. 

Dr. John Harris came from Colchester, Conn., about the same 
time. He resided many years in a small house on the corner 
opposite the Congregational ^Meeting House,' near a clump of 
lilac bushes, which were placed there by himself. But the 
health of the people was against his success. It is not known into 
what part of the surrounding country he drifted. 

Dr. Caleb Pierce came from Enfield, bought out William 
Douglass, built the old hotel on the Street, but he was not 
successful as a landlord, was a verj' talkative and vain man, 
like his son Xat, was not popular and the young people held 
their dances at Dudley Oilman's Tavern. He died, in 1813, of 
spotted fever in the Pinnacle House which he had bought of 
Robert Barber. 

Dr. Amasa Howard came here in 1807 and in 1810 built the 
house 0. H. Perry remodeled and now lives in. He left town in 
1815, moved to Springfield and sold his house to Jacob Dow. He 
is reported to have been a very skilful physician. He was also 
a surveyor, but his obdurate habits of drinking were a bar to 
his success. It is reported further that he kept on drinking and 
moving and died in delirium. 

Doctors and College Graduates. 423 

Dr. Timothy Tilton for over twenty years traveled up and 
down on the back of a black pacer, drank wine, went to jail, 
laughed at or with his creditors, and never troubled his debtors, 
and in all the sad and weary phases of his life preser\'ed the 
good nature and wit which well became him. He came here in 
1813 while Doctor Pierce lay dead with spotted fever, and re- 
mained here until his death December 28, 1836, aged 60 years. 
He was an active Abolitionist, and took a prominent part in 
resisting the attacks on Xoyes Academy. On his headstone was 
at his request engraved "The Slave's Friend.'" He brought 
his family from Alexandria. His oldest child, Harriet Brown, 
was born in Xewchester, April 27, 1807, married Dexter Harris 
in 1825 and died October 16, 1878; William Brackett, born in 
Bridgewater, February 20, 1810; Joseph Chase, born in Bridge- 
water December 25, 1812, married Mary Jane Chapman July 4, 
1837, and built the house now occupied by F. L. Sawtelle, in 1832. 
She died in Concord, September 7, 1851, aged 38 years; Dr. 
James Aaron, the last child was born in Canaan, December 18, 
1815, graduated from Dartmouth Medical College in 1842, and 
practiced medicine in Xewburyport, Mass., where he died in 

Dr. George Nelson, who graduated from Dartmouth College 
in 1822, in the class with Rev. Amos Foster, graduated from the 
Dartmouth Medical College in 1828 and came here soon after; 
was received into the Congregational Church here June 24, 
1829. He left here in February, 1835, and in 1836 was in 
Louisiana. He died in 1875, aged 78 years. His career here 
was rather a stormv one, and he was not successful. A letter 
written in 1833 says: "Dr. Xelson is ruined. He will sue Burley 
and Cobb, Tilton, Trussell and D. B. Whittier for Slander." 

Dr. Cyrus B. Hamilton and Dr. Daniel Hovey practiced here 
about a year. Dr. Daniel Stark came here too poor to pay his 
matriculation fees. Doctor Jones, who married Sophia IMartin, 
daughter of Eleazer, remained a few years and sold out to Dr. 
Arnold ^Morgan. Doctor ^Morgan was bom in Xortlifield, Yt., 
December 10, 1816: his father was a Free "Will Baptist preacher : 
he lived in Cavendish until 1840, then moved to Windsor. He 
attended the X'orwich Militarv Academv one term, was fitted 

424 History of Canaan. 

for college but never went. He studied Avith Doctor McEwen, and 
graduated from Dartmouth Medical College in 1840. "There are 
but few young men who are so well fitted for the profession," 
said one of his professors. He began practice in Quechee, Vt., 
was there five years and went into the mercantile business in 
Pennsylvania. He came to Canaan in January, 1849. He prac- 
ticed here for twenty -nine years and died in Savannah, Ga., 
April 14, 1878, where he had gone in search of health. 
His widow and son, Ben, went West leaving his mother, who 
died here ; one daughter, Lizzie M., married Henry H. Pattee ; 
another, Frances A., married, September 4, 1869, Frank E. Bar- 
nard, son of Darius. He had sold out his practice to Dr. George 
E. Leet who remained on the Street several vears and then 
moved to East Canaan, where he lived for a few years and moved 
to Concord. 

Dr. Ara Wheat was bom in Grafton in 1816 and was the son of 
Capt. Joseph, and grandson of Elder Joseph Wheat. The fam- 
ily very soon after his birth moved to Canaan. Some time in the 
thirties he went to Ohio and returned to begin the study of medi- 
cine with Dr. Jones. He graduated from Dartmouth ]\Iedical 
College in 1860 and began the practice of his profession here. 
He married Isabel M. George, daughter of William W. George. 
They had two sons, William G. and Allen A. He gave up active 
practice in 1892 and removed to Springfield, Mass., where he 
died September 18, 1896. His wife died August 25, 1872, aged 
42 years and 17 days. 

Dr. Edward M. Tucker was born in SpringTale, 'Me., April 
22, 1839. He was educated at Dover, X. H., and in Boston, Mass. 
He studied medicine in 1864, under Dr. Levi G. Hill in Dover, 
and continued his studies under Dr. J. F. Fisher and Dr. Ed- 
ward Cowles, while hospital steward in the army. He enlisted 
in the Third Massachusetts Battery and was wounded at 
Shepardvstown, Va., September 20, 1862. He was taken to the 
hospital in Philadelphia, and was discharged from service on ac- 
count of disability after a partial recovery. He passed the ex- 
amination as a surgeon and reenlisted September 8, 1864, in 
Company I, Forty-Fourth Regiment Veteran Reserve Corps. He 
was transferred to an independent company of the Veteran Re- 

Doctors and College Graduates. 425- 

serve Corps and was discharged December 18, 1865, to reenlist 
as hospital steward in the regular army. He held that position 
until December, 1871, attending three courses of lectures at 
Georgetown Medical College. He attended the Medical Depart- 
ment of Bowdoin College from which he graduated in 1872. 
He began practice in Canaan, July 28, 1873, and remained here 
until October, 1907, when he removed to Derry, N. H., where 
he died December 8, 1908. He married, Februar}-, 1879, Mary 
Albina Kimball of Grafton, X. H. ; she died in Canaan, Septem- 
ber 5, 1902, aged 50 years, 2 months, 29 days. They had one 
child, Luie A., living in Derry. 

Dr. Frank A. Bogardus was born in Carroll, X. Y., April 4, 
1869. He has been married twice ; by his first wife he had one 
child that died young; his second wife, Blanche M. Coburn, 
daughter of John B. and Hattie F. (Doten) Coburn, he mar- 
ried August 31, 1905. She was born in Canaan, August 3, 1876. 
They have had two children, Charles B., who died young and 
Stanley, born February 1, 1908. Doctor Bogardus was educated 
in the High School at Catskill, X. Y., after which he taught 
four vears, some of the time studving medicine with Dr. Charles 
L. Dodge. He then entered Baltimore Medical College, grad- 
uating in 1894. He first settled in practice at Hill, X^. H., 
remaining there less than five months; on Au^ist 14, 1894 he 
came to Canaan and has since been in practice here. 

Dr. Persons W. Wing was born in Glens Falls, X. Y., April 
11, 1877, son of Walton S. Wing, and grandson of Halsey R. 
Wing, the first surrogate of Warren County, X. Y. He attended 
the Glens Falls Academy, and Peekskill ^Military Academy, grad- 
uating in 1897. He studied one year at Cornell University, 
and entered Long Island College Hospital in 1898, graduating 
in 1902. He married, June 25, 1902, Elizabeth H. Clarke of 
Sandy Hill, X". Y. He practiced medicine in Grafton, X^ H.^ 
before coming to Canaan, in May, 1908. 

Graduates from Dartmouth College. 

The following list embraces all the Canaan graduates from 
Dartmouth College, so far as known. It is not a long one, but 

426 History of Canaan. 

it is respectable and honorable, both as to numbers and standing 
of those named. 

The first graduate was George Richardson, of the class of 
1820, son of Joshua and Betsey Richardson, born July 30, 1795 ; 
died at Charlestown, March 17. 1829. After graduating he 
taught one year in Moor's Charity School, Hanover; was prin- 
cipal of New Hampton Academy from 1821 to 1825, having 
been recommended by the faculty of the college to the trustees of 
that institution to become its first principal. It is not known 
with whom he studied divinit}^ but it must have been during his 
residence at New Hampton, as he was ordained a deacon in the 
First Episcopal Church, and preached his first sermon at 
Charlestown, July 5, 1825. He preached at North Charlestown 
and at Drewsville on alternate Sundays.