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Full text of "History of Royalton, Vermont, with family genealogies, 1769-1911"

HISTORY 

OF 

ROYALTON, VERMONT 

WITH 

FAMILY GENEALOGIES 
1769-1911 

BY 

EVELYN M; WOOD LOVE JOY 




Published by the Town and The Royalton Woman's Club 



Fbee Press Feinting Company 

Burlington, Vermont 

1911 



v,:-,:--r 



,jOt)boi 



COPYBIGHT, 1911 



EVELYN M. W. LOVEJOY 






To 

DANIEL G. WILD, ESQ. 

THE ROYALTON WOMAN'S CLUB 

And At-t- Oxhebs Neab and Distant 

Who Love Rotalton 

This Book is Dedicated 



PREFACE. 

It is a trite saying, that there is no road so long but that it ends 
somewhere. To some who have been expectantly waiting for the publi- 
cation of the History of Royalton, it may have seemed that the work of 
preparing the matter for the printer has occupied an unnecessary 
amount of time. A careful examination of the contents of the book, and 
a fair judgment of the amount of labor required in gathering, arranging, 
and preparing the matter for these 1,000 pages and more will, I am sure, 
disabuse all minds of such an impression. 

The time required for the work has been greater than it would 
have been twenty-five or more years ago, when there were living those 
who could recall the events of the early days, as related by their fathers, 
all of whom have passed away, leaving little that is authentic. The 
condensed history of the town prepared at one time by the late Judge 
William H. Bliss for the Hemenway Gazetteer was destroyed by fire, 
and no copy was preserved. No other effort is known to have been 
made toward a connected history of the town, except the material which 
the lamented Dr. Drake is said to have gathered. Unfortunately, that 
appears to have been lost or destroyed. This necessitated delving in 
the original records of this and other towns for nearly all the informa- 
tion obtained relating to ptirely local matters. 

In the prosecution of my task, I have visited and examined the 
records of all the neighboring towns, searched the probate and county 
court records of Orange and Windsor counties, silent considerable time 
in the large libraries of Concord, N. H., Montpelier, Vt., Albany, N. Y., 
and Boston, Mass., and examined manuscript records in the oflBces of 
the SecretaiT of State in Montpelier, and in Albany, N. Y. Hundreds 
of genealogies, town histories, and State papers have been examined. 
It is not worth while to mention more in detail the labor performed, 
though this covers less than half the time occupied. 

That there are errors in the book is very probable. The copying of 
thousands of dates and names, and the conflicting records as found in 
town records, on tombstones, and in family Bibles, makes absolute ac- 
curacy impossible, but it is hoped that there are as few mistakes as are 
usually found in such a work, and that there is none of vital importance. 
Wherever there has been a conflict in dates, the town clerk's record 
has generally been accepted, especially after 1860. If errors are found, 
please refer to the "Errata" at the end of the volume to see if they 
have not been corrected. Credit must be given to the proof-reader of 
the Free Press Printing Company for calling attention to several mis- 
takes that had not been detected. 

I take pleasure in acknowledging my indebtedness, first of all, to 
our town clerk, William Skinner, who has given every facility possi- 
ble for securing data, often at some personal inconvenience, and to 
William H. Harvey, who was also most obliging during the short time 
he held the office of town clerk in Royalton. To Guy Wilson, town 
clerk in Bethel, I am also indebted for similar favors, often voluntarily 
tendered, and to the town clerks of Woodstock, Hartford, Pomfret, 
Sharon, Tunbridge, Chelsea, Barnard, Hartland, Norwich, Thetford, 
Randolph, Hanover, N. H., and Lebanon, N. H. 

Considerable of the most important matter found in the book would 
have been lacking, had it not been for the advice, assistance, and 
courtesy of the Librarian of the New England Genealogical and His- 
torical Association, Boston, the State Librarian at Montpelier, and his 



vi Preface 

able assistaut, Mr. E. M. Goddard, who is also librarian for the Vermont 
Historical Association. To the Dominion Archivist at Ottawa, Canada, 
I am deeply indebted for information relating to the Indian Raid on 
Royalton, October 16, 1780, and to the State Librarians at Concord, 
N. H., and Albany, N. Y., for permission to examine manuscripts and 
papers not accessible elsewhere. The oflBces of the Secretary of State 
at Montpelier and at Albany, N. Y., were freely open to me, and all 
needed assistance promptly and cheerfully rendered. The Pension and 
Post OflBce Departments at Washington, D. C, responded courteously 
to calls for information. The lack of data regarding early families in 
town was in a measure supplied through the kindness of the Hon. T. O. 
Seaver, Judge of Probate, Woodstock, to whose records I was given 
free access. 

It is impossible to name all who have aided me in the preparation 
of the History. Credit is given to some in the body of the book. Others 
who must be mentioned are the Royalton Woman's Club, whose mem- 
bers have been enthusiastic in gathering material, and otherwise ad- 
vancing the interests of the undertaking, Gardner Cox, M. D., of 
Holyoke, Mass., whose contributions to the history of Royalton Fort 
and the genealogical portion of the book are invaluable, to Eugene S. 
Rolfe, Boston, who turned over to me his collection of matter pertain- 
ing to the early history of Royalton and Tunbridge, to Jay Read Pem- 
ber. Clerk of the County Court, Woodstock, to Guy Rix, Genealogist, 
Concord, N. H., to Miss Mary Jameson, Chicago, William W. Culver, 
Lebanon, N. H., George H. Harvey, Woodstock, Miss Ruth Tracy, 
Beverly, Mass., Miss Laura Lincoln, and Mrs. George Taggart, who 
voluntarily gathered the data for several families, and to others too 
numerous to mention. I am peculiarly indebted to Lyman S. Hayes, 
Bellows Falls, the Historian of Rockingham, for advice and counsel, 
and to the donor who set the ball rolling, for words of encouragement 
which have brightened many an hour of hard labor. 

Dr. Janette E. Freeman's contribution to the Freeman record 
should be noticed, and the assistance received from numerous genealo- 
gies, especially those of the Clark, Cleveland, Dewey, Fowler, Rix, and 
Waldo families. 

I have not thought best to mar the appearance of the pages of this 
book, and to divert the attention of the general reader by frequent 
references to the authorities from which data have been culled. Our 
earliest town records are not in shape to be examined, except with the 
utmost care. They are on loose sheets in many instances, worn and de- 
faced. The volumes containing the early town records are not dis- 
tinguished by any distinctive mark, and in one instance are not paged. 
The land records are better preserved, and are distinguished by letters 
of the alphabet. 

"Why did your town want a History?" was a question asked by an 
outsider during the past year. The reply was, "Because it has loyal 
sons and daughters who are still interested in it, though living for 
many years outside its limits, and because it is one of the most pro- 
gressive, up-to-date towns in the State of Vermont." 

A brief account of the inception of the History and Genealogy, 
and of the action subsequent to the first proposition for such a work 
may be of interest to some. The publication of the History is due, first 
of all, to the Royalton Woman's Club. It was the active, successful 
search for matter connected with the early settlement of the town by 
members of this club that arrested the attention of one of the sons of 
Royalton, who has retained his love for his native town, and his in- 
terest in its welfare. This was the son of Elisha Wild, Daniel G. Wild, 
Esq., of Brooklyn. N. Y., who offered to give $500 towards a History of 



Preface vii 

Royalton. The Woman's Club accepted the offer, and through the 
eloquence of Mrs. Frances M. Joiner made a successful appeal to the 
town at its March meeting in 1906 to appropriate a like sum. By direc- 
tion of the town the moderator of this meeting, Marvin H. Hazen, sub- 
mitted a list of twelve names, from which the Woman's Club was to 
select an Historical Committee, later known as the Royalton Historical 
Association. This committee was to be composed, in part, of members 
of the Woman's Club. Four were selected from the Club: Mrs. 
Frances M. Joiner, Mrs. Seymour Culver, Mrs. Annette Lyman, and 
Miss Gertrude Denison. From the list of twelve names were selected, 
Mr. William Skinner, Charles P. Tarbell, Esq., Mr. R. B. Galusha, Rev. 
Levi Wild, Dr. Daniel L. Burnett, Mr. M. S. Adams, Mr. Ernest J. 
Hewitt. 

The name of Fayette Green was added "under authority" at the 
first meeting of the Association, which was held March 15, 1906, and 
the following officers were then elected: Mrs. Frances M. Joiner, Presi- 
dent; Dr. Daniel L. Burnett, Vice-President; Mr. Rufus B. Galusha, 
Treasurer; Mr. Ernest J. Hewitt, Secretary; C. P. Tarbell, Esq., Auditor. 
At the second meeting, April 4, 1906, Rev. Levi Wild sent in his resig- 
nation, which was reluctantly accepted. The personnel of the His- 
torical Association has changed in the succeeding years. The loss of 
the first able chairman, Mrs. Frances M. Joiner, was keenly felt. The 
Woman's Club elected Mrs. Henry W. Dutton in her place, who has 
equally well and faithfully performed her duties. The removal of Mr. 
Galusha from town rendered the office of treasurer vacant, and Dr. D. L. 
Burnett was chosen to fill the vacancy, and on his removal, Miss Alice 
Grant was elected treasurer. 

Besides the $1,000 already mentioned as at the disposal of the 
Association, that body received as gifts $50 from Mrs. Frederick Billings 
of New York, and $20 from Mrs. Nancy Atwood Sprague of Chicago. 
The business of the Association was entrusted to an executive com- 
mittee composed of three of its members, which number was afterwards 
increased to five. 

At the third meeting of the Association. May 26, 1906, it was voted 
to employ Mrs. E. M. Lovejoy as Historian. I was then teaching in 
Helena, Montana, but returned and began work on the History about 
the middle of July, 1906. During the succeeding two years I was 
teaching in Royalton Academy, and could devote only my vacations to 
the prosecution of the work. Since that time my labor on the History 
has been continuous, except three months of the past year, when the 
illness and death of a sister compelled a cessation of this task. 

My most sincere and grateful thanks are due to the members of 
the Historical Association, who have been uniformly kind and con- 
siderate. It was their hearty support that secured the financial back- 
ing of the town for the publication of this book, at a critical time in 
its history. The scope of the undertaking had grown, and there had 
been demands for a more complete work than the Woman's Club had 
at first contemplated. It has been in large part a labor of love, in 
recognition of the many kindnesses received by me and mine at the 
hands of the former and the present citizens of Royalton. Mention 
should be made of the labor of C. P. Tarbell, Esq., who, as legal adviser, 
has given freely of his time to the promotion of the History, and of 
Mr. Ernest J. Hewitt, the efficient secretary, both of whom are fully 
occupied with their own business cares, but who have ever cheerfully 
responded to all calls made upon them. 

The Association was highly gratified and encouraged by the prompt 
and hearty response to solicitations for subscriptions to the History, 
which were sent out in 1909. The appeal was made when it was 



viii Pbeface 

absolutely necessary to obtain a certain number of subscribers in order 
to insure the success of the undertaking. As our home list increased, 
and the white messengers containing the individual pledges came in 
from hearts warm with tender memories of the "dear old town," the 
anxious strain of weeks gave place to rejoicing over the bright prospect. 
To these my own heart goes out in gratitude and thankfulness. A re- 
cent appeal for prepaid subscriptions to enable the Association to meet 
its printing bills was equally successful, and those so kindly responding 
will have the satisfaction of knowing that they materially hastened 
the completion of the work, and lessened the labor attendant thereupon. 

In selecting the Free Press of Burlington to print the book, and 
the Empire Company of Albany to make the cuts, the Association was 
confident that the workmanship would be creditable to the town and 
satisfactory to subscribers. The photographers furnishing most of the 
pictures were I. L. Welcome of South Royalton, W. E. Graham now 
of Burlington, Mrs. Ada L. Miller of South Royalton, and Conant and 
Conant of Randolph Center. 

The History of Royalton is now offered to the public with the hope 
that, whatever faults it has, they will not be held so near the eye as to 
obstruct the view of any good it may contain. 

EVELYN M. W. LOVEJOY. 

South Royalton, Vermont, August 15, 1911. 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 

Page 

Dr. Cyrus B. Drake Frontispiece 

Chart of Partition of Land facing 22 

Commission of Benjamin Morgan, Jr facing 96 

Fort Defiance at Barnard, 1780 facing 97 

Zadock Steele facing 116 

Burning of Royalton facing 117 

The Havens Meadow in Royalton facing 120 

Site of the Indian Encampment in Tunbridge facing 121 

The Gully on Hill-side, Pember's Place of Death facing 144 

Relics of "Ye Olden Time" facing 144 

South Tunbridge — Beginning of Indian Raid facing 145 

Morgan Mill, Built, 1781 facing 145 

Mrs. Jerusha (Rix) Hutchinson facing 150 

George Avery, Taken Prisoner in Sharon facing 150 

Mrs. Lucy (Pierce) Parkhui-st facing 150 

Phineas Parkhurst, M. D facing 150 

Group of Relics facing 151 

Old Vesper House facing 151 

"Great Bridge" Lottery Ticket facing 151 

Monument Commemorating the Burning of Royalton facing 178 

Daniel G. Wild, Esq facing 179 

Unveiling of the "Indian Monument" facing 182 

Mrs. Frances (Merrill) Joiner facing 183 

First Congregational Church, Royalton facing 244 

Town Clerk's Office, Royalton facing 244 

Railroad Bridge, Royalton facing 245 

Railroad Depot, Royalton facing 245 

Site of Stevens Bridge and Handy Fordway facing 272 

First Bridge at South Royalton across White River facing 273 

Map of School Districts, 1869 facing 316 

M. E. Church, South Royalton facing 320 

Royalton Academy, Chartered 1807 facing 320 

Old Schoolhouse in District 17 facing 321 

South Royalton Graded School Building facing 321 

Joseph Tracy, Jr facing 330 

Sylvanus Bates facing 330 

John Ingersoll Gilbert facing 330 

Samuel Ward Boardman facing 330 

Edward Joseph Hallock facing 330 

Edward Conant facing 330 

Charles Noyes Chase facing 331 

Mrs. Evelyn M. Lovejoy facing 331 

Sidney Munson Harris facing 331 

William B. Herrick facing 331 

Mrs. Ellen Lee Stearns facing 331 

Miss Fannie Eastman facing 331 

Charles L. Curtis facing 331 

Facsimile Signatures of Early Settlers facing 370 

South Royalton Cemetery facing 371 

Burial Place of Rev. John Searle facing 371 

Burial Place of Gen. Elias Stevens and Wife facing 371 

Old Sharon Cemetery facing 371 

Burial Place of Rev. Martin TuUar facing 371 

Burial Place of Thomas Pember facing 371 

Burial Place of Peter Button facing 371 

Burial Place of Zebulon Lyon and Wife facing 371 

"South Royalton House" facing 384 

Harvey Hazen Woodard facing 384 



Illustrations 



Charles Henry Woodard facing 384 

The Old Fox Tavern facing 385 

"Cascadnac" Hotel and the "Brick Store" facing 385 

Percival Furniture Factory facing 400 

The Old Trescott Mill facing 401 

Site of the Curtis-Morgan Mill facing 401 

The Hewitt New Grain Mill and Elevator facing 424 

Childhood Home of Rev. Martin Tullar facing 424 

Martin House on Site of Pierce Tavern facing 424 

Home of Dr. Dana E. Dearing facing 424 

The Gen. Elias Stevens House facing 424 

George Cowdery House on the First-settled Farm facing 424 

Old Academy, Now the Town Hall facing 424 

South Royalton after the First Fire, 1878 facing 425 

New Iron Bridge, South Royalton, 1903 facing 425 

South Royalton Congregational Church facing 482 

Rev. Heni-y Martin Goddard facing 482 

Rev. James Ramage facing 482 

Rev. Sidney K. B. Perkins facing 482 

Rev. Sherman Goodwin facing 482 

Rev. Nathaniel Sprague facing 483 

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Royalton facing 483 

South Royalton Bank Note facing 502 

The Bank of Royalton Bank Note facing 502 

James Spencer Moore facing 503 

Phineas D. Pierce facing 503 

Asa W. Kenney facing 503 

David Wickam Cowdery facing 503 

Arthur Gilbert Whitham facing 534 

Herbert Chancellor Sargent facing 534 

Dana E. Dearing, D. M. D facing 534 

Arthur A. Abbott facing 534 

Sample of Early Land Record facing 535 

Samuel Parkman Danforth, M. D facing 544 

Edgar John Fish, M. D facing 544 

Jos. A. Denison, M. D facing 545 

Henry Harrison Whitcomb, M. D facing 552 

Daniel Webster Lovejoy, M. D facing 552 

James E. Morse, M. D facing 552 

David Comstock Moore, M. D facing 552 

Levi Rix, M. D facing 552 

Oliver Justin Ellis, M. D facing 553 

William H. Gerrish, M. D facing 553 

Frank Gillis Mills, M. D facing 553 

Daniel Lillie Burnett, M. D facing 553 

Clayton Philemon House, M. D facing 553 

Arthur Brown Bisbee, M. D facing 553 

William Lincoln Paine, M. D facing 553 

The Beginning of South Royalton facing 566 

Mrs. Rebecca (Dickerman) Tarbell facing 567 

Charles P. Tarbell facing 567 

Daniel Tarbell, Jr facing 567 

Luke Tarbell facing 567 

South Royalton after the Fire of 1886 facing 572 

South Royalton in the 1870's facing 573 

Map of Royalton Village and South Royalton facing 576 

Royalton Village and the "Pinnacle" facing 602 

Miss Sarah C. Doubleday facing 603 



Illustrations xi 

Mrs. Laura (Chapin) Button facing 603 

Miss Gertrude May Denison facing 603 

Mrs. Gertrude S. (Jones) Laird facing 603 

William Mortimer Sargent facing 610 

Lewis Cass Dickerman facing 610 

Mark John Sargent facing 610 

Anson Perkins Skinner facing bio 

Ernest John Hewitt facing 611 

William Henry Sargent facing 611 

John Harvey Hewitt facing 611 

Marvin H. Hazen facing 611 

The Block, South Royalton facing 616 

Old Time Picnic facing 617 

Veteran Reunion, 1909 facing 617 

Announcement of Dedication Ball at Woodard's Hotel facing 617 

Arrival of Roosevelt, Aug. 30, 1902 facing 617 

Roosevelt Alighting to Make a Speech facing 617 

Vermont Advocate facing 622 

Bam on Timothy Durkee farm, 1780 facing 623 a ups. 

Kettles Left at Indian Encampment, Randolph facing 623 

Alsop Latham facing 630 

William H. Safford facing 630 

Mrs. Sally (Cole) Latham facing 630 

Alden Craft Latham, M. D facing 630 

Benjamin Franklin Bosworth facing 631 

Benjamin Cole Latham facing 631 

Mrs. Betsey Bates (Poole) Pike facing 631 

Ebenezer Winslow facing 631 

Mrs. Sally (Gould) Felch facing 631 

Mrs. Abbie Taylor (Bancroft) Danforth facing 631 

Mrs. Jannette S. (Lyman) Bigelow facing 631 

Mrs. Hannah (Curtiss) Benson facing 631 

Mrs. Sarah (Houston) Haynes facing 631 

Mrs. Phebe Carson (Durkee) Latham facing 631 

Mrs. Mary Jane (Gee) Davis facing 631 

Ira Curtiss facing 631 

Miss Lucy Skinner facing 631 

Mrs. Maria E. (Clapp) McCullough facing 631 

Rufus Bailey Cloud facing 631 

Mrs. Betsey (Curtiss) Davis facing 631 

William Rollin Shipman facing 642 

Frederick Billings facing 642 

Truman Henry Safford facing 642 

Jacob Collamer facing 642 

Frederick Vose Marcy facing 643 

Judge Robert E. DeForest facing 643 

Judge John Sullivan Marcy facing 643 

Henry Sullivan Marcy facing 643 

Birthplace of Joseph Smith facing 644 

Joseph Smith Monument facing 648 

Dea. Martin Skinner Adams facing 654 

Forrest Adams facing 654 

David Clark Steams facing 655 

Dea. John B. Durkee _• facing 655 

John F. Shepard facing 655 

James Pike, Jr facing 655 

William Harrison Martin facing 655 

Mrs. Elvira (Tucker) Atwood facing 662 



xii Illustrations 

Ebenezer Atwood facing 662 

Oliver Augustine Atwood facing 663 

Lucia Elvira Atwood facing 663 

Thomas Hammond Atwood facing 663 

Myron Winslow Atwood facing 663 

Elizabeth Penn Atwood facing 663 

Charles Atwood facing 663 

Nancy Ann Atwood facing 663 

Charles Morris Lamb facing 676 

Lyman Benson facing 676 

George W. Bradstreet facing 677 

Benjamin Bloss facing 690 

Richard Dana Bloss, M. D facing 690 

Richard Bloss, M. D facing 690 

Jabez Parkhurst Bloss, M. D facing 690 

Storrs Lee Howe facing 691 

Norman Francis Howe facing 691 

Mrs. Mary Jacobs (Lyman) Howe facing 691 

Lyman Howe facing 691 

Mrs. Eliza ( Skinner) Denison facing 752 

Old Denison House facing 752 

Dudley Chase Denison facing 753 

J. D. Denison facing 753 

Gamer Rix Dewey facing 762 

Darius Dewey, Jr facing 762 

Full View of South Royalton from the Southwest facing 763 

Mrs. Altha (Hazen) Dutton facing 776 

David Hazen Dutton facing 776 

Henry Walbridge Dutton facing 776 

Capt. Amasa Dutton facing 776 

Mrs. Harriet Diana (Walbridge) Dutton facing 776 

Mrs. Abbie C. (Dutton) Kidder facing 776 

Mrs. Altha L. (Dutton) Hyde facing 776 

Mrs. Laura Anne (Dutton) Dodge facing 776 

Mrs. Susan (Putnam) Bowman facing 777 

John Bliss facing 777 

Phineas Stevens facing 777 

Asahel Clark facing 777 

John Lindley Bowman facing 777 

George Lyman facing 777 

The Robinson-Lovejoy House facing 860 

Charles Dodge Lovejoy facing 860 

Century Elm Facing Lovejoy House facing 860 

Mrs. Lorenza (Havens) Lovejoy facing 860 

Thomas Lovejoy facing 860 

Mark Henry Lovejoy facing 860 

Charles Dodge Lovejoy facing 860 

Mrs. Pattie (Farnham) Lyman facing 861 

Storrs Lee Lyman facing 861 

Mrs. Abigail (Woodbury) Lyman facing 861 

Elias Lyman facing 861 

Daniel l^,ee Lyman, M. D facing 861 

Jabez Lyman, Jr facing 861 

Mrs. Sarah (Webster) Metcalf facing 896 

Mrs. Polly (Gifford) Kimball facing 896 

Paul Clark facing 896 

John Gillette facing 896 

John Hammond Metcalf facing 896 



ILLUSTKATIONS Xlll 

Capt. Nathan Kimball facing 896 

Mrs. Betsey (Flint) Havens facing 896 

Jemima (Smalley) Gillette facing 896 

Jemima Gillette facing 896 

Mrs. Mary A. (Bingham) Parkhurst facing 897 

Ebenezer Dewey facing 897 

Richard Thomas facing 897 

Coit Parkhurst facing 897 

Jireh Tucker facing 897 

Capt. Harry Bingham facing 897 

Ira Perrin facing 906 

Asa Perrin facing 906 

Greenfield Perrin facing 906 

Oel Perrin facing 906 

Rev. John Perrin facing 906 

Mrs. Eunice (Crandall) Williams facing 907 

David Williams facing 907 

Mrs. Zurviah (Cleveland) Williams facing 907 

Polydore Williams facing 907 

Bridge at Mouth of First Branch facing 910 

Phineas Pierce facing. 911 

Mrs. Charlotte Stone (Parkhurst) Pierce facing 911 

The Pierce Tavern facing 911 

Mrs. Katherine Fletcher (Kendall) Rix facing 928 

Elisha Lee Rix facing 928 

William Rix facing 928 

William Skinner, Jr facing 928 

Martin Tullar Skinner facing 928 

William Skinner, Senior facing 928 

Mrs. Maria B. (Smith) Skinner facing 928 

Ira M. Russ facing 929 

Jeremiah Russ facing 929 

Nathaniel M. Russ facing 929 

Thomas J. Russ facing 929 

Neil Russ facing 929 

Broad Brook facing 996 

Mrs. Mary (Moore) Joiner facing 996 

Rev. David B. Lyman facing 996 

Dea. Salmon Joiner facing 996 

Mrs. Sarah (Joiner) Lyman facing 996 

Capt. Garner Rix facing 1030 

Mrs. Lucinda (Rix) Wild facing 1030 

Mrs. Betsey (Lyman) Rix facing 1030 

Elisha Wild facing 1030 

Dea. John Wild facing 1030 

William L. Waldo facing 1031 

Ralph Waldo facing 1031 

Benjamin F. Waldo facing 1031 

Joseph Warren Waldo facing 1031 

Henry R. Waldo facing 1031 

George W. Waldo facing 1031 

Mrs Pamela (Wheat) Waldo facing 1031 

Charles F. Waldo facing 1031 

Charles West facing 1040 

Julius Orlando Belknap facing 1040 

Mrs. Jennie (Hagan) Brown facing 1041 

Royal F. Baker facing 1041 

William Woodard facing 1041 

Rolla Miner Chase, M. D., D. D. S facing 1041 



ABBREVIATIONS. 



And. — Andover. 


m. — married. 


b. — born. 


Med. — Medical. 


Bar. — Barnard. 


Nat. — National. 


bur. — buried. 


Nor. — Norwich. 


cav. — cavalry. 


pris. — prisoner. 


cem. — cemetery. 


Rand. — Randolph. 


ch. — child, children. 


regt. — regiment. 


coll. — college. 


rem. — removed . 


com. — committee, commissioned. 


res. — resides, resided, residence. 


Conserv. — Conservatory. 


ret. — returned. 


C. V. R. R.— Central Vermont Rail- 


Roy. — Royalton. 


road. 


Sem. — Seminary. 


d.— died. 


Surg. — Surgeon. 


D. — Dutch Allotment. 


Theo. — Theological 


Dart. — Dartmouth. 


T. P.— Town Plot. 


dau. — daughter. 


Tunb.— Tunbridge. 


en. — enlisted. 


Univ. — University. 


gr. sch. — grammar school. 


unm. — unmarried. 


grad. — graduate, graduated. 


U. V. M. — University of Vermont 


inf. — infantry. 


V. R. C. — Veteran Reserve Corps. 


L. A. — Large Allotment. 


wid. — widow. 


M.— Middle. 





CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

ROYALTOiV. 

Location — Topography — Fauna — Flora 1 

CHAPTER II. 

ROYALTON CHABTEBS. 

Deed of partition — New York Charter — Vermont Charter — New- 
Hampshire Charter 10 

CHAPTER III. 

Proprietors' Rkcokos. 

First recorded meeting, 1781 — Method of allotment — Original 
grantees and lots held — Cost of Vermont Charter — "After- 
divisions" — Pitches established 18 

CHAPTER IV. 

Contest 0\'Er the New Hampshire Grants. 

Grants by Gov. Wentworth — Claims of New York and Massachu- 
setts — The "Bennington Mob" — Independence of the Grants 
declared — Royalton records relating to the controversy — Action 
of Congress — Agreement with New York — Admission to the 
Union 29 

CHAPTER V. 

Counties. 

First county in the Grants — Othe'- counties — First division by, Ver- 
mont — Division of Cumberland county — Attempts to change the 
boundary of Windsor county — Royalton's action in the matter. . 38 

CHAPTER VI. 

Boundaries. 

Ix)ss of territory by Bethel charter and surveys — Petitions for 
changes — New sui'veys and agreements with Sharon and Bethel 
— Tunbridge Gore — Attempts to form a new town — Boundary 
of Royalton village 43 

CHAPTER VII. 

The Earliest Settlers. 

Settlement of Sharon — Joel Shepard's narrative — Sketches of men 

coming to Royalton before the Indian raid — Census of 1790. ... 58 



xvi Contents 

CHAPTER VIII. 

Early Manners and Customs. 

Husking parties, apple parings, and quiltings — Fourth of July 
observances — Sabbath attendance — Outdoor sports — Training of 
children 77 

CHAPTER IX. 

ROYALTON FOKT. 

Extract from Dr. Gardner Cox's narrative— Provision for building 
the Fort — ^Capt. David Woodward's Company — Location of the 
Fort — Building of Forts Defiance and Fortitude 87 

CHAPTER X. 

Revolutionary Affairs. 

Importance of the New Hampshire Grants as a frontier — "Green 
Mountain Boys" — Raising of men in 1775 — Protection of the 
frontier — The Rangers — Board of War — Wheelock's corps — 
Zebulon Lyon's Co. — Situation in 1777 — Royalton record — 
Indian raid 97 

CHAPTER XI. 

Zadock Steele's Narrative of the Burning of Royalton. 

Attack of the savages at Robert Havens' and John Hutchinson's — 
Course down the branch and river — Shooting of Phineas Park- 
hurst — Heroism of Mrs. Hendee — Pursuit of"lhe Indians 116 

CHAPTER XII. 

The Burning of Royalton. 

Motive for attack — Records at Ottawa — Sources of information — 
Hutchinson and Havens families — Course of the Indians — 
Families on the west or south side of the river — Narrative of 
a prisoner, George Avery — Heroism of Phineas Parkhurst — 
Families on the east or north side of the river — The heroine, 
Mrs. Handy — Pursuit of the Indians — Troops sent to Royalton — 
Jonathan Carpenter's diary — Randolph sufferers — Family tra- 
ditions — Anniversaries — Indian Monument 138 

CHAPTER XIII. 

History of the Charters. 

The petition— The five who controlled the land— The allotment of 
each — Organization of the town — History of the Vermont grant 
of Royalton — Sketches of the New York grantees 183 



Contents xvii 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Ecclesiastical History. 

The first church — Uuion of Royalton and Sharon in supporting a 
minister — First church record in Royalton — First sermon in 
Royalton — Futile efforts to secure a minister — First pastor — 
The minister's lot— Pastorates of the Rev. Azel Washburn and 
Rev. Martin Tullar — Short pastorates— Call to Rev. Asahel C. 
Washburn — Pastorate of Dr. C. B. Drake — Supplies — Pastorate 
of Dr. S. W. Dike — Supplies of recent years 193 

CHAPTER XV. 

Growth and Polity of the First Congregational Church. 

Earliest records — Increase in membership — Dissidents — The Sab- 
bath school and its Home Department — Church doctrines — 
Church discipline — Deacons — Missions and Societies — Royalton 
Association — Officers of the church and society 218 

CHAPTER XVI. 

The First Meeting-House. 

Lieut. Lyon's building — The meeting-house of 1790-91 — The new 

house of 1840 236 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Roads. 

First record relating to roads — Division into highway districts — 
Taxation for roads — First recorded survey — Change in the First 
Branch road — Authentication of roads — New roads and surveys 
previous to 1800 — The county I'oad and others previous to the 
building of the railroad — Court's Commission of 1849 — Changes 
in roads — Court's committees of 1835 and 1868 — More recent 
surveys — Abolishment of highway districts — Turnpikes — Ford- 
ways 245 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

Bridges. 

Building of smaller bridges — First bridge across White river — 
Rebuilding of branch bridges — Second bridge over White river 
— The lottery — Bridge at Foxville, or N. Royalton — South Royal- 
ton river bridge 266 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Educational Matters. 

First division into districts — Division of 1795 — Trustees — District 
records — Means of supporting schools — Abolition of the district 
system — South Royalton graded school — Teachers of the town — 
Superintendents — Table to accompany Map of School Districts. 283 

CHAPTER XX. 

Royalton Academy. 

The charter — Principals — Burning of the academy building — Union 
with the town high school — Last graduation — Records of stu- 
dents — College record 317 



xviii Contents 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Matters Relating to Town Meetings. 

Officers — Place of meetings — Manner of conducting meetings — 
Town records — Town by-laws — Lists of selectmen and town rep- 
resentatives 346 

CHAPTER XXII. 

The Town's Poor. 

Auctioneering the poor — Overseers — Purchase of a town farm — 

Leasing of the town farm 360 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

Cemeteries. 

Earliest burials — First action by the town — Establishment of the 
different cemeteries — Cemetery associations — Naming of the 
cemeteries 371 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Hotels. 

First innkeepers — Owners of the "Cascadnac" — The Gilbert-Pierce 
stand — The Fox tavern — The "South Royalton House" — The 
"Central Vennont House" — "Biightwood" 379 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Post-Offices and Post-Roads. 

First post- route iu Vermont — Postmasters in Royalton and South 
Royalton — Rural Delivery — Stage routes — Rivalry of stage 
drivers 386 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

The Industries of the Town. 

Saw and grist mills — Manufacture of potash and pearlash — Cider 
mills and distilleries — Tanneries — Shoemakers — South Royalton 
and White River Shoe companies — Blacksmiths — Creameries 
— Farm products — Telephone lines — Dressmakers, millinere, 
and tailors 397 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

The General Militia. 

State of the militia previous to the Revolution and at its close — 
A muster day at Woodstock — Equipment of militiamen — Legis- 
lation regarding the militia — List of officers connected with 
Royalton — War of 1812 — Stationing of the militia — Controversy 
over commanding officers — Capt. Bingham's Co 428 



Contents xix 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 

ROYALTON IN THE CiVIL WaR. 

Soldier's Aid Society — Bounties paid — Brief history of regiments — 
Roster of men sent out by Royalton — Royalton pensioners, 
1911 443 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
The Methodist Church. 

Evidence of early organization — First preserved church records — 
Building of the first church — Removal to South Royalton — 
Union church at S. Royalton — Erection of the pai-sonage — 
Sketches of the pastors — The Sunday school, Ladies' Sewing 
Circle, and Epworth I^eague — Gifts to the church 459 

CHAPTER XXX. 

South Royalton Congregational Church. 

Organization — Sketches of pastors — Bequests — Merging of Society 
and Church — Repairs — Deacons — The Sunday school — The 
Y. P. S. C. E. and Ladies' Aid Society— Its policy 471 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

Other Remgious Organizations. 

The Baptist Church — Early membership — Union with Sharon — Dis- 
ciplining of members — Connection with East Bethel church — 
8t. Paul's Episcopal Church — Organization — Erection of a 
church building — Memorial gifts — Sketches of rectoi-s — OflRcers 
— Tlie VnivPTsalist Society — New organization of 1893 — The 
Christian Church — Pastors and members — The Catholic Church 
— Mission at South Royalton 483 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

The Banks. 

The Bank of Royalton — Organization and officers — Change to The 
National Bank of Royalton — BurglaiT of the bank — Closing of 
the bank — The South Royalton Bank — Its status in 1852— 
Trouble with the Suffolk Bank of Boston— The failure of the 
bank 499 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

Town Property. 

The five public rights — Land for the first settled minister — Ex- 
change of land — Leasing of the public lands — Record of 
public lands for 1909 — The Common — The Brewster deed — Re- 
port of the selectmen in 1835 — The South Royalton Park — 
Owners preceding the Park Association — Work of the Associa- 
tion — Town buildings — The pound 507 



XX Contents 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

Taxes and the Grand List. 

Land tax — Proprietors' taxes — Taxes for specific purposes — Rates of 
taxation — Time of raising taxes — Civil war debt — Grand list 
by decades 527 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
The Legal Profession. 

The first lawyer — Sketches of the subsequent lawyers — Hon. Jacob 

Collamer's connection with Royalton — Litigation 534 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
The Medical Profession. 

The epidemic of 1813 — Licensing physicians — Inoculation — The first 
doctor in Royalton — Sketches of the physicians practicing in 
town — Dentists 545 

CHAPTER XXX VII. 
The Villages. 

Royalton village — Its beginning — The first firm — Increase in business 
and population — South Royalton village — The enterprise of 
Daniel Tarbell, Jr. — Erection of stores and residences — Fires 
in S. Royalton — Poem by Mrs. Nettie M. Waldo 561 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 

The Central Vermont Railroad. 

Its projection and building — First train through the town — Erection 

of depots — Station agents — Casualties and accidents 577 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 
Fraternal Organizations. 

Rising Sun Lodge, No. 1, F. and A. M. — Its charter — Anti-masonic 
movement — Membership and officers — Order of the Eastern 
Star — History of its organization — The charter — Officers — The 
Washington Benevolent Society — Temperance Matters — Temper- 
ance societies — White River Grange — Organization and in- 
fluence — Royalton Woman's Club — Its work for the improve- 
ment of streets, schools, and the preparation of a town history 
— South Royalton Woman's Club — Its membership and line of 
study — Orville Bixby Post, G. A. R. — Organization, membership, 
and officers — Mark J. Sargent Camp, No. 74, Sons of Veterans — 
Organization and membership — Orville Bixby Woman's Relief 
Corps, No. 37 — Object, work, officers — Royalton Lodge, No. 74, 
I. 0. 0. F. — White River Horticultural Society — White River 
Poultry Association — White River Camp of M. W. of A., No. 
10040— The South Royalton Public Benefit Society— Gen. Han- 
cook Council, Jr., O. U. A. M 585 



COIvTENTS XXi 

CHAPTER XL. 

Phesent Business Men of South Rotalton. 

Sketches of each 610 

CHAPTER XLI. 

MiSCELIANEOUS. 

Visits of noted men — Lafayette — President Monroe — President 
Roosevelt — The Vermont Advocate — Controversy with the 
Woodstock Observer — Sketch of Wyman Spooner — The Free 
Public Library — Relics — Longevity 617 

Biographical and Genealogical Records. 

Explanation 634 

Celebrities 635 

Biographical Sketch of the Marcy Family 642 

The Smith Family in Vermont 644 

Genealogies alphabetically arranged 648 

Addenda 1049 

Errata 1051 

Index 1055 



THE NEW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY! 



LENOX 
T I L DC N FPU NOATtOlit. 



)RK| 

^RY 
224 



CHAPTER I. 



EOYALTON. 
LOCATION, TOPOGRAPHY, FAUNA, AND FLORA. 

Perhaps not half a dozen residents of Royalton could give 
an inquirer the latitude and longitude of the town in which they 
live, nor is it to be charged to general ignorance, if they fail to 
do so. There are some facts which we carry around in our 
heads, some in our note books, and some that we let lie in bound 
volumes on dusty shelves. One such volume informs the reader 
that Royalton is located in the north part of Windsor county, 
in latitude 43 degrees 49 minutes, and longitude 4 degrees and 
28 minutes east from Washington. Its latitude is about the 
same as that of Genoa in sunny Italy. Its climate, however, is 
more varied. The temperature generally ranges from the 90 's 
in Julj' and August to 30 degrees below zero in the winter 
months. There are not many winter days when the mercury 
falls lower than 10 degrees below zero. The winters are vari- 
able, like other Vermont towns. Sometimes wheels run nearly 
every month in the year, but usually snow falls about Thanks- 
giving time, and from that date until the January thaw, the 
jingling of sleigh bells makes music on the frosty air. Heavy 
snow storms are likely to fall in February and IMarch, but the 
residents console themselves with the thought that the sun is 
running its course higher every day, and the bed of downy white 
will soon melt under its warm rays. Occasionally the fall of 
snow is so heavy that the farmers are unable to get around in 
their sugar places, and a short supply of the delicious maple 
sugar is the result. Again, when there is an open winter, and 
spring comes earlier than usual, sending warm thrills through 
the sleeping maples, the buds start too early, and, though sap 
may run, it is not good for making sugar. 

The town is a hilly one, as a whole, but not so much so as 
some of the surrounding towns. The river flowing through the 
whole length of the town, the two branches, which would be 
called rivers in many localities, and the long brooks, all have 
bordering them many acres of meadow land, as fine as can be 



2 History of Royalton, Vermont 

found in any other part of New England. The hills rise one 
above another, and are of such altitude as to be worthy of the 
name of mountain, could they be set dowTi on a broad prairie. 
Not many of these hills, mostly cro\^'ned with a luxuriant growth 
of trees, have been given names. The "Elephant" is a peak 
near South Royalton, which ambitious youths sometimes climb, 
but oftener they are content to pick their way up the more mod- 
est elevation fronting the hotel, where a small building has been 
erected. At Royalton village the "Pinnacle" has been associ- 
ated in loving thought with many picnics and other good times 
in the minds of those who spent their young days in the quiet 
hamlet, or a few months within the academy walls. 

A long range of hills in the southeast part of the towTi, 
back from the river, runs in a graded line for several miles. One 
part, the middle and highest portion, is sometimes called the 
Saw-tooth Range, from the fact that three sharp cuts, at quite 
regular intervals, are plainly noticeable from several viewpoints, 
one being on the north side of the river, near Havensville, and 
another on the old Royalton & Woodstock turnpike, over the 
hills to Barnard. The "Twins" are two small elevations near 
the mouth of the First Branch. "Bald Mountain" is another 
high elevation north of the river, the location of which can be 
seen on the map of "School Districts." In the northwest part 
of the town are high hills, on one of which, near Mr. Fayette 
Green's, the broadest and most beautiful landscape can be viewed 
that Royalton affords, stretching off to the distant Green Moun- 
tains, and revealing peak after peak. A sunrise or sunset 
watched from this elevation is most entrancing. Almost every 
hill road furnishes new delights to the traveller. 

No quarrv^ing of any consequence has been carried on in 
Royalton. The Bethel quarries are located on the border of the 
town. In 1846, the State Geologist, C. B. Adams, in his report, 
in speaking of a calcareo-mica slate region in Vermont, said that 
that part of the slate which lies east of the range from Mem- 
phremagog lake to the State House at Montpelier, and thence 
to Halifax, is wholly embraced in this division excepting a part 
of Essex county. He continues. "There is considerable differ- 
ence perceptible in a portion of this division, extending from 
Derby and Holland on the north, to Bethel and Royalton in 
White River valley, from the other portions, though similar in 

lithological character. In the calcareo-mica slate region, 

especially in that portion of it first described, embracing Mem- 
phremagog basin, Clyde, Barton, and Black River valley, and 
from thence to Royalton, Barnard, and Sharon, in White River 
valley, the deposits of muck are both numerous and large." 



History of Royalton, Vermont 3 

According to his estimate Royalton and Woodstock contain not 
much less marl than the deposit at Williamstown, covering about 
fifteen acres, which he thought would yield more than sixty 
millions of bushels of marl, suitable for manufacturing lime. 
Speaking specifically of Royalton, he said. ' ' There is a large and 
very valuable deposit of marl on the farm of Mr. Dewey. It 
was deposited in an ancient beaver pond, and is now very acces- 
sible. It will supply lime for the whole White River valley. 
Several valuable deposits of muck are found in the vicinity. ' ' 

This beaver pond to which Mr. Adams referred was an arti- 
ficial pond of considerable size built up by beavers, that dammed 
the brook running through the farm now owned by Lisle Mc- 
intosh. On the farm of Amos J. Eaton was another beaver 
pond of smaller size. Proofs of the existence of these ponds are 
to be seen today. It may be that the Indians in their migrations 
knew of these ponds. On the Harry Bingham farm is a large 
boulder, commonly called the "Indian Rock," where Indian re- 
mains have been found, and it is the tradition that Indians were 
in the habit of building a temporary shelter about it, by using 
limbs of trees. 

There are no caves of any note in town. A small one is 
found near the home of Rev. Levi Wild, and another of small 
dimensions is on the hill back of the Edward Rix house. It was 
here that about the middle of the last century some young mem- 
bers of Elisha Rix's family found a mysterious note, which sent '-C 
them scampering in fear to the protection of home. This note 
is now in the possession of Mrs. William Skinner, daughter of 
William Rix. 

According to the U. S. Geological Survey the altitude of 
Royalton is 510 feet. Its geographical center is on the "Brad- 
street" farm, near the place where the portable sawing machine 
was recently set up. not far from the old school house. Royalton 
village seems to have been built up as near the center as prac- 
ticable. 

White river, the largest river east of the mountains, nearly 
sixty miles long, pursues its sinuous course through the town, 
having been frequently fed by hillside brooks since it left its 
birthplace in Granville, and continues to expand and deepen 
until its waters mingle with the Connecticut at Hartford. The 
First Branch, its largest tributary, winds its way down from 
Washington, through Chelsea and Tunbridge, and surrenders 
itself to the larger stream at South Royalton, while the Second 
Branch, somewhat smaller, with the same self -surrender in view, 
contentedly runs its course from Williamstown, through Brook- 
field, Randolph, and East Bethel to North Royalton. The town 
is thus supplied with sufficient water for the generation of power, 



4 History of Royalton, Vermont 

and for other purposes, though in very dry seasons these streams 
and other smaller ones become quite low. There is evidence, 
from the nature and conformation of the river banks and con- 
tiguous land, that the bed of the river was considerably broader, 
when the first settlers painfully picked their way along its banks, 
than it is today. Some islands have disappeared, and others 
have formed, so that a few deeds of real estate executed one 
hundred years ago are now practically worthless. 

The first settlers of Royalton did not have the fear of wild 
animals that some pioneers had in other parts of the country. 
There were bears and wolves, but they do not seem to have had 
very ferocious natures, and the settler did not need so much to 
guard his life as his property from their greedy jaws. Their 
depredations were to be dreaded, but no instance has been forth- 
coming where one's life was really in danger from these animals, 
if one were armed and had courage. 

Wolves were much more common than bears, and were so 
troublesome throughout the state, that bounties were early of- 
fered for them. A certificate is on file in the office of the Sec- 
retary of State at Montpelier, dated June 16, 1779, in which 
Isaac ]\Iorgan and Comfort Sever, selectmen, certify that in the 
preceding January John Parkhurst of Royalton killed a wolf, 
and brought the head to the subscribers, as the law directed. 
On July 6th the selectmen of Royalton paid ^Ir. Parkhurst £8 
bounty. Independent action by the towns is shown by a town 
record dated 1795. In a warning for a town meeting to be held 
Dec. 8, was an article "To see if they will join with a number 
of the other Towns in this vicinity to raise the bounty on wolves 
killed within sd Towns & to chose an agent to meet with the 
agents of other Toutis at Braintree the 10th Day of Deer, next 
on that business." They met and adjourned to the 22d. when 
no action was taken on this article. An act was passed by the 
legislature in 1797 offering a bounty of $20 for every wolf or 
panther killed in the state. The poor crow was in disfavor with 
Royalton farmers then as now, and April 24, 1806, it was voted 
to offer a bounty of twenty cents for every crow killed within 
the town from that date to August 1st. The treasurer's business 
was to cut off the head, administer the oath, and pay the bounty. 

Bears and wolves are no longer domiciled in our forests. 
The animals most troublesome to dwellers are the fox, the wood- 
chuck, skunk, weasel, and rat. The fox has been persistently 
hunted, but he still holds his own, and not uncommonly outwits 
the farmer, and dines on his choicest fowls. 

Mr. Amos J. Eaton ha,s very kindly furnished a list of ani- 
mals found in town. Among those not already named are the 
ermine weasel, little brown bat, white-tailed deer, red, gray, and 



History of Royalton, Vermont 5 

flying squirrels, chipmunk, black, and brown rats, house, and 
white-footed wood mice, meadow vole, muskrat, star-nosed and 
shrew moles, hedgehog, common hare, raccoon, striped garter 
snake, chicken, red-bellied, and black snakes, land tortoise, snap- 
ping turtle, common hyla, green, brown tree, and common tree 
frogs, garden toad, red lizard and newt. Rarer specimens are 
the northern mink, marten, spotted salamander, deer mouse, 
conie rabbit, and Canada lynx. A few years ago Mr. Eaton saw 
a wolf peeping into Royalton from Strafford line. 

There is not so large a number nor so great a variety of 
birds in Royalton, as in former years before the pugnacious 
English sparrow became so numerous. The kinds are about the 
same as in other towns in Vermont. The list which follows was 
furnished by Mr. Amos H. Lamb, ]\Ir. Amos J. Eaton, and Miss 
Minnie ]\Ietcalf. 

The summer residents that are more or less common are the 
green heron, American w^oodcock, spotted sandpiper, sharp- 
shinned. Cooper's, red-shouldered, and pigeon hawks, rose- 
breasted grosbeak, indigo bunting, scarlet tanager, cliff, barn, 
tree, and bank swallows, waxwing, loggerhead shrike, red-eyed, 
warbling, and yellow-throated vireos, summer, chestnut-sided, 
blackburnian, black-throated green, myrtle, parula, white-creep- 
ing, and Canadian warblers, oven bird, Maryland yellow-throat, 
redstart, catbird, house wren, wood, hermit, and Wilson's 
thrushes, red-breasted robin, bluebird, yellow-billed and black- 
billed cuckoos, kingfisher, yellow-bellied woodpecker, flicker, 
whip-poor-will, night hawk, chimney swift, brown creeper, king- 
bird, phoebe, wood pewee, least flycatcher, crow, bob-o-link, cow 
bird, red-winged blackbird, Baltimore oriole, purple finch, ves- 
per, chipping, song, and field sparrows, red-headed woodpecker, 
white-crowned sparrow, and the ruby-throated humming bird. 

The rare summer residents are the sparrow hawk, brown 
thrasher, great-crested flycatcher, meadow lark, purple, and 
bronze grackles, and white-throated sparrow. 

The resident birds, remaining through the year are the 
ruffed grouse, barred owl, saw-whet owl, and screech owl, hairy, 
downy, and pileated woodpecker, blue jay, American goldfinch, 
white-breasted, and red-breasted nuthatches, chickadee, American 
crossbill, and English sparrow. The robin has been known to 
winter here. 

The common migrant birds are the shell drake, wild goose, 
fish hawk, and horned lark. The rare migrant birds are the 
American herring gull, great blue heron, black-bellied plover, 
fox sparrow, winter wren, golden crowned kinglet, Traill's fly- 
catcher, rusty blackbird, and white-crowned sparrow. The very 



6 History of Rotalton, Vermont 

rare migrant birds are the American bittern, solitary sandpiper, 
and wild pigeon. 

The summer visitants are the golden, and the bald eagle, 
both very rare. The winter visitants are the American goshawk, 
northern shrike, pine grosbeak, pine siskin, snow bunting, tree 
sparrow, and red poll, nearly all of which are rare. 

Regarding the haunts and the time of appearance of some 
of these birds Miss IMetcalf writes very entertainingly. In part 
she says, ' ' The kingfisher 's shrill whistle is heard along the river 
banks until quite cold weather, and again in early spring. With 
the advent of spring the blue bird appears, enjoying the distinc- 
tion of standing at the head in the systematic arrangement of 
the birds of America in point of development, as 'it takes prac- 
tically none of man's products and boards itself.' The robin 
and song sparrow soon follow the blue bird, and the purple finch 
only a little later completes our spring quartette of the roadside. 
By May our fields and highways are thickly peopled with sweet 
singing and gayly plumaged birds, the brown thrasher, notably 
of the first, the indigo bunting of the second, accompanied by the 
plainer little vesper sparrow, the cat bird, king bird, and phoebe, 
while from the hillside comes the engaging song of the rose- 
breasted grosbeak. As summer advances, from the woods comes 
the songs of the thrushes, the call of the oven bird, the cuckoos' 
monotones, mingled with the plaintive note of the wood pewee, 
and the scarlet tanager is seen flitting about among the trees. 
Among the low-growing trees and shrubs may be found the 
white-throated sparrow, white-crowned sparrow, chewink, golden 
crowned kinglet, Maryland yellow-throat, black and white creep- 
ing warbler, and the brown creeper. The wiry call of the grass- 
hopper sparrow announces its presence in the meadow. Along 
the river bank we may hear the sandpiper's monotonous call, 
and note the restless flight of many bank swallows. Occasion- 
ally we see a blue heron, and the call of the night heron is fre- 
quently heard, while the night hawk flies busily about, 'police- 
man of the night,' as he has been called." 

A few years ago two wood ibis were shot by Mr. Clark 
Turner on the First Branch in Royalton. and were moiuited by 
Mr. Lamb. These specimens are now owned by Dr. Fish. 

Since the laws for the protection of game and fish have 
been more stringently enforced, our streams, both large and 
small, but especially the brooks, are becoming fairly well sup- 
plied with several kinds of the finny tribe, such as the trout, 
shiner, dace, minnow, and eel. No fish of any large size is now 
taken from our streams, the angler feeling well repaid for sev- 
eral hours of trolling, if at last he succeeds in hauling in a two- 
pounder. While Charles Lyman owned his saw mill, he stocked 



History of Kotalton, Vermont 7 

a pond near it with fish, and that hatchery still exists, the prop- 
erty of Fred Fowler. 

Royalton does not now boast of so large a variety of tlora 
as in earlier years. The deplorable stripping of the hills of 
their heavy growth of trees suitable for timber has resulted in 
the disappearance of several shy specimens of flowers that do not 
thrive in the open. In other cases the reckless gathering of 
rather rare flowers has ended in the extinction of that particular 
variety. The trailing arbutus at one time was very abundant 
in the vicinity of Royalton village, but has now nearly disap- 
peared. 

The closed gentian and the hop hornbeam tree are found on 
the hill road from South Royalton to Broad Brook. On this road 
also runs riot what is familiarly called viper's bugloss. It is 
not many years since it first made its appearance there, and it 
has spread with the rapidity of the tumble weed on the prairie, 
and what was at first admired as a novelty, is now called a pest. 
Another beautiful flower, which the farmers fight, as a rule, most 
industriously with small success, is the yellow and the ox-eye 
daisy. A field white with the rank ox-eye is a thing of beauty 
in the month of June, but hateful to the farmer, who knows his 
grass crop will be a minus quantity. The peculiar pitcher plant, 
quite common in some localities, is quite rare in Royalton. It 
is found on the Franklin Joiner farm. 

The swamp beyond the hills back of the Thomas Davis farm 
revels in a rich growth of mosses of great variety. Lovers of 
the loAver forms of vegetation will be amply repaid by a visit to 
this section of the town, and if they time their trip in the month 
of the crimsoning raspberry, they can also fill their pails with 
this luscious fruit. The raspberry and blackberry shrubs, so 
common thirty years ago, have largely succumbed to the ruthless 
scythe and the lack of moisture which has characterized some of 
our later seasons. 

The dandelion, which is an uncontrollable pest in some 
western states, occasions no uneasiness here, for the love of 
"greens" leads the small boys and girls to gather them plenti- 
fully for table use in the spring. Ferns grow to luxuriant size 
along roadsides and in moist places. Since the law requiring 
roadsides to be cleared has been rigidly enforced, many of our 
drives have lost much of their wild beauty, which loss is not coim- 
terbalanced by the more frequent passing of automobiles, in the 
interest of which the law seems to have had its inception. 

Rev. Levi Wild, who is a lover of flowers, and has given 
some time to the study of plant life in the town, has very kindly 
furnished some information regarding it which will be of inter- 
est to those of like mind. He says, "I suppose the Flora of 



8 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Royalton is in general like that of this section of the state, but 
there are some noteworthy exceptions. Among trees we have a 
well established colony of shellbark hickory on the 'Pinnacle' 
back of Royalton village. While this tree is common west of the 
Green Moimtains, and in the Champlain region and in the south- 
ern Connecticut valley, it is doubtful if it is found on the east 
side of the state in any other place as far north as Royalton. It 
is doubtless not native here, but was probably introduced at an 
early period in the history of the town. Miss Lucy Skinner 
used to say that these trees came from hickory nuts brought from 
Connecticut and planted here by the early settlers. Among the 
rare trees may be mentioned the buttonwood or sycamore, which 
is found occasionally in the vicinity of White river. 

It is noticeable that the white pine has been spreading 
within the past half century away from the river to the worn-out 
upland pastures. I know of one pasture which contained only 
a single pine, perhaps thirty years ago, and is now covered with 
a dense growth of trees almost large enough to cut for lumber. 
This tendency of the pine to spread should be encouraged by 
the farmers. One acre of timber pine is more valuable than 
many acres of old pasture overgrown with brakes and steeple- 
biish. Pine lumber commands a high price, and it is one of our 
most rapidly growing trees. Under favorable conditions a white 
pine may be expected to make a growth of about two thousand 
feet of lumber in three quarters of a century. 

Leaving the trees and coming to other plants, we may no- 
tice among ferns that the walking fern has been found within 
a few years on the farm of Mr. John F. Shepard. It is sin- 
cerely to be hoped that collectors will not uproot so many speci- 
mens as to destroy this station; for this curious plant, while 
common in western Vermont, is rare on the eastern side, and 
botanically it is a great distinction for a town to possess it. 
Braun's holly fern, a somewhat rare fern of elevated situations, 
is also found in Royalton. 

In the Rose Family I have seen a single specimen of the 
shrubby cinquefoil in a pasture near Broad Brook. In some 
towns of Vermont this is considered a pest. In the Pulse Fam- 
ily the blue false indigo has been found well established on the 
banks of White river. The smooth sumach is found near the 
Sharon line on the side of the river road. The fringed gentian 
is found in several places in Royalton. I think this is not so 
rare a plant as many suppose." 

Among the wild fruits we may note a fair supply of butter- 
nuts, some thorn apple trees, the red, black, and choke cherry, 
the beech nut, juniper, checkerberry, sprignet, and others both 
dry and fleshy, edible and poisonous. Ginseng grows abund- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 9 

antly in some sections, and yields good returns to those gather- 
ing the root. The wild grape is rather common along roadsides, 
and with the clematis and woodbine adds beauty to the land- 
scape. 

No attempt has been made to give a full list of the Flora 
of the town, as it would occupy too much space, but other trees 
should be mentioned, such as the ash, hemlock, spruce, black, 
white, red, and gray birch, red and black beech, basswood, elm. 
hornbeam, white and red oak, poplar, white and sugar maple, 
and quite a variety of willows. Few towns have so many old 
beautiful elms as has Rovalton. 



CHAPTER II. 



HoYALTON Charters. 

A reference to the partition deed of the township of Roy- 
alton showed that the charter of the town had been granted two 
years before the deed was executed, and a search of the pro- 
prietors' records revealed the fact, that the town was not in 
possession of the charter. If the agent who was sent for it in 
1779 did really secure a copy of it, it must have been lost. 

The deed of partition with the accompanying chart of allot- 
ments is of more value than the charter would be. ]\Iany lots 
had been pitched previous to 1779, and several had been sold 
with boundaries described as in the chart, before the town awoke 
to the necessity of having a map of its lots. 

A search for the charter revealed its existence in manuscript 
form in the office of the Secretary of State at Albany, N. Y., 
and on application, permission was readily and courteously 
granted for the examination and copying of it. As it may not 
be accessible in printed form among the archives of New York 
for years to come, if ever, and as it is a document of more than 
local interest, it is given in full. 

"George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and 
Ireland King Defender of the Faith and so forth. To all to whom these 
Presents shall come Greeting 

Whereas Our loving Subjects William Livingston, William Smith 
Junior, and Whitehead Hicks, in behalf of themselves and twenty seven 
other Persons their Associates, by their humble Petition unto our late 
trusty and well beloved Sir Henry Moore Baronet then our Captain 
General and Governor in Chief of our Province of New York, and read 
in our Council for our said Province, on the third day of November 
which was in the Year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and 
sixty six did set forth, among other Things, That there was a certain 
Tract of Land situate on the West side of Connecticut River within 
our said Province, which the Petitioners had discovered to be vacant 
and unpatented; — bounded Easterly by a Tract of Land commonly 
called or known by the Name of Sharon, and Southerly by another 
Tract of Land commonly called or known by the Name of Bernard, and 
Northerly by a Tract of Land commonly called or known by the Name 
of Tunbridge, and to run Westerly so as to comprehend Thirty Thou- 
sand Acres: And therefore the Petitioners for themselves and their 
Associates humbly prayed that as the aforesaid Lands never were 
granted under our Province of New Hampshire, our said late Captain 



History of Royalton, Vermont 11 

General and Governor in Chief would be favourably pleased by our 
Letters Patent to grant unto them and their Associates, and to their 
respective heirs and Assigns forever, the aforesaid Tract of La.nd con- 
taining thirty thousand Acres: And that the same might be formed 
into a Township by the Name of Royalton with the usual Powers and 
Privileges that are granted to Townships within Our said Province: 
Which Petition having been referred to a Committee humbly advise and 
Consent that our said late Captain General and Governor in Chief 
should by our Letters Patent grant unto the Petitioners and their 
Associates and their heirs the Tract of Land aforesaid and that the 
same should be thereby erected into a Township by the Name of Royal- 
ton with the usual privileges, under the Quit Rent Provisoes Limitations 
and Restrictions prescribed by our Royal Instructions. And whei'eas 
the said William Livingston and Whitehead Hicks by their humble 
Petition in behalf of themselves and their Associates presented unto 
our trusty and well beloved Cadwallader Golden Esquire our Lieutenant 
Governor and Commander in Chief of our said Province of New York 
and the Territories depending thereon in America and read in our 
Council for our said Province on the twentieth day of October now last 
past, did set forth That the Petitioners and their Associates having 
obtained on their former Petition an order of our said late Captain 
General and Governor in Chief with the advice and Consent of our 
Council, bearing date the seventh day of November in the said Year of 
our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty six, for granting to 
them and their heirs a certain Tract of Land on the West side of^Con- 
necticut River containing thirty thousand Acres, had procured an actual 
Survey thereof at considerable Expence: That the same tho' within 
the Lands formerly claimed by the Province of New Hampshire, had 
not been granted by that Government, and remains still vacant and 
vested in us; And therefore the Petitioners in behalf of themselves and 
their Associates did humbly pray that they might have Leave when the 
Letters Patent should issue for said Lands to insert as Grantees therein, 
the Names mentioned in the Schedule or List at the Foot of the said 
Petition, who are all the Persons interested in the Premises, to wit, 
William Livingstone, William Smith junior. Whitehead Hicks, John 
Kelly, Susannah Livingstone, Elizabeth Livingstone, John Brevort, Elias 
Brevort, Thomas Hicks, John Woods, Gilbert Hicks, John W. Smith, 
Samuel Smith, Garret Noel, John Brown, Gerard Bancker, John Robin- 
son, Gilbert Ash, William Sorrall, John Button Crimshier, Garret Roor- 
back, John McKenney, Isaac Heron, Elias Nixon, Robert Hyslop. Francis 
Child, James Moran, Isaac Myer, John Lewis, and Samuel Boyer. On 
reading and due Consideration whereof. It was ordered by our said 
Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief with the Advice and 
Consent of our said Council, that the Names of the several Persons afore- 
said should be inserted as Grantees in the Letters Patent for the Lands 
described in the said Petition, according to the Prayer thereof. In 
Pursuance whereof and in Obedience to our Royal Instructions afore- 
said. Our Commissioners appointed for the selling out all Lands to be 
granted within our said Province have set out for them the said 
William Livingstone, William Smith junior. Whitehead Hicks, John 
Kelly, Susannah Livingstone, Elizabeth Livingstone, John Brevort, Elias 
Brevort, Thomas Hicks, John Woods, Gilbert Hicks, John W. Smith, 
Samuel Smith, Garrett Noel, John Brown, Gerard Bancker. John 
Robinson, Gilbert Ash, William Sorrall, John Button Crimshier, Garrett 
Roorback, John McKenney, Isaac Heron, Elias Nixon, Robert Hyslop, 
Francis Child, James Moran, Isaac Myer, John Lewis and Samuel 
Bower, All that certain Tract or Parcel of Land within our Province 
of New York situate lying and being on the West side of the Connecticut 



12 History of Royalton, Vermont 



River in the County of Cumberland: Beginning at the Southwest 
Corner of a Tract of Land called and known by the Name of Sharon, 
being a Beech Tree with the Words The Southeast Corner of Royalton, 
and runs thence North sixty degrees West six hundred and twenty 
Chains; then North forty degrees East five hundred and thirty Chains; 
Then South fifty seven degrees and thirty Minutes East six hundred 
and eighteen Chains; and then South forty degrees West five hundred 
Chains, to the Beech Tree where this Tract first began containing 
thirty thousand Acres of Land and the usual allowance for Highways; 
And in setting out the said Tract of Land Our said Commissioners have 
had regard to the profitable and unprofitable Acres and have taken 
Care that the Length thereof doth not extend along the Banks of any 
River otherwise than is conformable to Our said Royal Instructions, as 
by a Certificate thereof under their hands bearing date the seventh day 
of this Instant Month of November, and entered on Record in our Secre- 
tary's Office for our said Province may more fully appear. Which said 
Tract of Land set out as aforesaid according to our said Royal Instruc- 
tions We being willing to grant to the said Petitioners and their 
Associates, their heirs and Assigns forever, with the several Privileges 
and Powers hereinafter mentioned. Know Ye that of our especial Grace 
certain knowledge and meer Motion, We have given granted ratified and 
confirmed and do by these Presents for our heirs and Successors 
give grant ratify and confirm unto them the said William Livingstone, 
William Smith junior, Whitehead Hicks, John Kelly, Susannah Living- 
stone, Elizabeth Livingstone, John Brevort, Elias Brevort, Thomas 
Hicks, John Woods, Gilbert Hicks, John W. Smith, Samuel Smith, 
Garrett Noel, John Brown, Gerard Bancker, John Robinson, Gilbert 
Ash, William Sorrall, John Button Crimshier, Garret Roorback, John 
Mckenney, Isaac Heron, Elias Nixon, Robert Hyslop, Francis Child, 
James Moran, Isaac Myer, John Lewis and Samuel Boyer their heirs 
and Assigns forever. All that the Tract or Parcel of Land aforesaid set 
out abutted bounded and described in Manner and form as above men- 
tioned, together with all and singular the Tenements Hereditaments 
Emoluments and Appurtenances thereunto belonging or appertaining. 
And also all Our Estate Right Title Interest Possession Claim and 
Demand whatsoever of in and to the same Lands and Premises, and 
every Part and Parcel thereof, and the Reversion and Reversions, 
Remainder and Remainders Rents Dues and Profits thereof and of every 
Part and Parcel thereof — Except and always reserved out of this our 
present Grant unto us and our heirs and successors forever. All Mines 
of Gold and Silver and also all White or other sorts of Pine Trees fit 
for Masts of the Growth of twenty four Inches Diameter and upwards 
at twelve Inches from the Earth for Masts for the Royal Navy of us 
our heirs and Successors. To have and to Jiold one full and equal 
thirtieth Part (the whole into thirty equal Parts to be divided) of the 
said Tract or Parcel of Land Tenements Hereditaments and Premises 
by these Presents granted ratified and confirmed, and every Part and 
Parcel thereof, with their and every of their appurtenances (except 
as herein before excepted) unto each of them our Grantees above men- 
tioned — their heirs and Assigns respectively, to their only proper and 
seperate Use and Behoof respectively forever as Tenants in Common 
and not as joint Tenants To be holden of Us our heirs and Successors 
in free and common Soccage as of our Manor of East Greenwich in our 
County of Kent within Our Kingdom of Great Britain. Yielding ren- 
dering and paying therefor yearly and every Year forever unto us our 
heirs and Successors at Our Custom House in Our City of New York 
unto Our or their Collector or Receiver General there for the Time 
being on the Feast of the Annunciation of the blessed Virgin Mary 



History of Royalton, Vermont 13 

commonly called Lady Day the Yearly Rent of Two Shillings and six- 
pence Sterling for each and every hundred Acres of the above granted 
Lands and so in Proportion for any lesser Quantity thereof saving and 
except for such Part of the said Lands allowed for Highways as above 
mentioned in Lieu and stead of all other Rents Services Dues Duties 
and Demands whatsoever for the hereby granted Lands and Premises or 
any Part thereof: And We do of our especial Grace certain knowledge 
and meer Motion create erect and Constitute the Tract or Parcel 
of Land herein granted and every Part and Parcel thereof 
a Township forever hereafter to be continue and remain and 
by the Name of Royalton forever hereafter, to be called and known 
And for the better and more easily carrying on and managing publick 
Affairs and Business of the said Township Our Roj^al Will and Pleasure 
is, And we do hereby Us Our heirs and Successors give and grant to 
the Inhabitants of the said Township, All the Powers Authorities 
Privileges and Advantages heretofore given and granted to or legally 
enjoyed by all any or either our other Townships within Our said 
Province. And we also Ordain and establish That there shall be forever 
hereafter in the said Township two Assessors One Treasurer two 
Overseers of the Highways Two Overseers of the Poor One Collector and 
four Constables elected and chosen out of the Inhabitants of the said 
Township Yearly and every Year on the first Tuesday in May at the 
most publick Place in the said Township by the Majority of the Free- 
holders thereof then and there met and assembled for that Purpose 
Hereby declaring that wheresoever the first Election in the said Town- 
ship shall be held the future Elections shall forever thereafter be held 
in the same Place as near as may be and giving and granting to the 
said Officers so chosen Power and Authority to exercise their said several 
and respective OflBcers during one whole Year from such Election and 
until others are legally chosen and elected in their Room and stead as 
fully and amply as any the like OflBcers have or legally may use or 
exercise their OflBces in our said Province. And in Case any or either 
of the said Officers of the said Township should die or remove from the 
said Township before the Time of their annual Service shall be expired 
or refuse to act in the Offices for which they shall be respectively chosen, 
then Our Royal Will and Pleasure further is And we do hereby direct 
ordain and require the Freeholders of the said Township to meet at the 
Place where the Annual Election shall be held for the said Township 
and chuse other or others of the said Inhabitants of the said Township 
in the Place or stead of him or them so dying removing or refusing to 
Act within Forty days next after such Contingency. And to prevent 
any undue Election in this Case We do hereby ordain and require That 
upon every Vacancy in the Office of Assessors, the Treasurer, and in 
either of the other OflSces, the Assessors of the said Township shall 
within ten days next after any such Vacancy first happens appoint the 
days for such Election and give publick Notice thereof in writing under 
his or their hands by affixing such Notice on the Church Door or other 
most publick Place in the said Township at the least Ten Days before 
the Day appointed for such Election. And in Default thereof We do 
hereby require the Officer or Officers of the said Township or the Sur- 
vivor of them, who in the order they are herein before mentioned shall 
next succeed him or them so making Default, within ten days next 
after such Default, to appoint the Day for such Election, and give Notice 
thereof as aforesaid, hereby giving and granting that such Person or 
Persons as shall be so chosen by the Majority of such of the Freeholders 
of the said Township as shall meet in Manner hereby directed, shall 
have hold exercise and enjoy the Office or Offices to which he or they 
shall be so elected and chosen from the Time of such Election until 



14 History of Royaltcn, Vermont 

the First Tuesday in May then next following, and until other or others 
be legally chosen in his or their Place and stead, as fully as the Person 
or Persons in whose Place he or they shall be chosen might or could 
have done by virtue of these Presents. And We do hereby Will and 
direct that this Method shall forever hereafter be used for the filling 
up all Vacancies that shall happen in any or either of the said Offices 
between the Annual Elections above directed. Provided always and 
upon Condition nevertheless that if Our said Grantees their heirs or 
Assigns or some or one of them shall not within three years next after 
the Date of this our present Grant settle on the said Tract of Land 
hereby granted so many Families as shall amount to one Family for 
every thousand Acres of the same Tract Or, if they our said Grantees 
or one of them their or one of their Heirs or Assigns shall not also 
within three Years to be computed as aforesaid plant and effectually 
cultivate at the least three Acres for every Fifty Acres of such of the 
hereby granted Lands as are capable of Cultivation Or if they our 
said Grantees or any of them their or any of their Heirs or Assigns or 
any other Person or Persons by their or any of their Privity Consent or 
Procurement shall fell cut down or otherwise destroy any of the Pine 
Trees by these Presents preserved to Us our Heirs or Successors or 
hereby intended so to be without the Royal Lycence of us our Heirs 
or Successors for so doing first had and obtained, that then and in 
any of these Cases this our present Grant and everything therein 
contained, shall cease and be absolutely void, and the Lands and 
Premises hereby granted shall revert to and vest in Us Our Heirs and 
Successors as if this our present Grant had not been made, anything 
herein before contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. 
Provided further and upon Condition also nevertheless And we do 
hereby for us Our heirs and successors direct and appoint that this our 
present Grant shall be registered and entered on Record within six 
Months from the date thereof in our Secretary's Office in our City 
of New York in our said Province in one of the Books of Patents there 
remaining and that a Docquet thereof shall be also entered in our 
Auditor's Office there for our said Province and that in default thereof 
this our present Grant shall be void and of none Effect, any Thing 
before in these Presents contained to the contrary thereof in any wise 
notwithstanding. And we do moreover of our especial Grace certain 
knowledge and meer Motion consent and agree, that this our present 
Grant being registered recorded and a Docquet thereof made as before 
directed and appointed, shall be good and effectual in the Law to all 
Intents Constructions and Purposes whatsoever, against Us our Heirs 
and Successors notwithstanding any misreciting misbounding mis- 
naming or other Imperfection or Omission of in or in any wise con- 
cerning the above granted or hereby mentioned or intended to be 
granted Lands Tenements Hereditaments and Premises or any Part 
thereof. In Testiviony whereof We have caused these our Letters to be 
made Patent and the Great Seal of our said Province to be hereunto 
affixed 

Witness Our said trusty and wellbeloved Cadwallader Golden 
Esquire Our Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of our said 
Province of New York and the Territories depending thereon in 
America. 

At Our Fort in our City of New York the thirteenth day of Novem- 
ber in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty nine 
and of our Reign the Tenth (Second Skin, Line the Nineteenth the 
word hereby interlined. 

Clarke 



History of Royaltox, Vermont 15 

In the preceding Certificate and Letters Patent recorded for William 
Livingstone and others page 433 line 14 the Word sadd: and Line 29 
the Words And the Reversion and Reversions Remainder and Re- 
mainders Rents Issues and Profits thereof and of every part and parcel 
thereof; and page 435 Last I^ine the Word further are interlined 
Examined this 23d November 17G9 By me 

Gw. Banyar Deputy" 

By the terms of the charter, within three years from Nov. 
13, 1769, or by Nov. 13, 1772, there must be settled within the 
township of Royalton 30 families, and 900 acres of land must 
be under cultivation, if we take as an estimate that one-half of 
the land was arable. It is not likely that a dozen families had 
settled in town at that date, and even in 1791, over twenty years 
after the charter was granted, the number of acres of improved 
land was only 1768. The General Assembly had some ground 
for stating that the land was vacant, when it meditated the re- 
granting of it to Danforth Keyes and his associates. 

A careful examination of the foregoing charter shows that 
(1) the petitioners for the land declared it to be vacant and 
unpatented, (2) that the town was named by said petitioners, 
(3) that the grant was for 30.000 acres, (4) that the petitioners 
had had a grant of this land three years before, November 7, 
1766, and had had it surveyed before the issuance of the charter, 
(5) that there were certain reservations, (6) that a yearly rent 
was to be paid, (7) that the number of town officers and manner 
of choosing them, and filling vacancies were designated, (8) 
that certain conditions of occupancy were specified, (9) and 
that provision was made for a permanent record. 

It will be of interest to some, no doubt, to compare this 
charter with the Vermont charter, which, in accordance with 
statute law, was inscribed on the first pa^es of the Proprietors' 
book of records. 

"The Governor, Council, and General Assembly of the Freemen of 
the State of Vermont, 

To all People to whom these Presents shall come Greeting, 

Know ye that Whereas Comfort Seaver, Esq., and his Associates 
our worthy Friends have by Petition requested a Grant of a Tract of 
unappropriated land within this State in order for Settling A new 
Plantation to be Erected into a Township, We Have therefore Thought 
fit for the Due encouragement of their Laudable Designs, and for 
other Valuable considerations us hereunto moving, and do by these 
Presents, In the Name and by the Authority of the Freemen of the 
State of Vermont, give and grant the Tract of Land hereafter de- 
scribed & bounded unto him the said Comfort Seaver and unto the 
Several Persons hereafter named his Associates in equal Shares Viz. 

Elias Stevens, Elisha Kent, John Kent, Elisha Kent Jur., John 
Hibbard, James Hibbard, Jedediah Hide (of Roysilton) Ebenezer 
Dewey, Ebenezer Church, Nathan Fish, John Safford, Benjamin Park- . 
hurste, Simon Sheperd, Reuben Parkhurste, Daniel Gilbert, Daniel^ 
Rix, John Kimbal, Garner Rix. Ebenezer Parkhurst, David Fish, David 
Brewster, Robert Havens, William Blackmer, Heman Durkee, Ebenezer 



16 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Brewster, Medad Benton, Nathanel Morse, Robert Handay, Benjamin 
Day, Timothy Durkee, John Jillet, Adan Durkee, John Billins, Joseph 
Fish, John Hibbard Jur., John Willcox, Samuel Benedict, Calven Park- 
hurste, Josiah Wheeler, Joseph Parkhurste, Elias Curtis, Joseph Havens, 
Johnson Safford, John Stevens Jur., Isaac Morgan, Zebulon Lyon, 
Nathan Morgan, Daniel Tuller, William Joiner, Martin Tuller, Daniel 
Havens, Benjamin Day Jur., John Evans, Jeremiah Trescott, Israel 
Wallow, William Jones, John House, Tilley Parkhurste, Phineas Park- 
hurst, Jabez Parkhurste, Samuel Clap, and Joel Marsh (of Sharon) 
which together with the five following rights reserved to the Several 
uses in Manner following, includes the whole of said Tract or Town- 
ship Viz. one Right for the use of a Seminary or College; one Right 
for the use of County Grammer Schools in said State, Lands to the 
Amount of One Right to be & remain for the purpose of Settlement of 
a Minister and Ministers of the Gospel in Said Township forever; 
Lands to the amount of one Right for the support of social Worship of 
God in said Township, and Lands to the Amount of one Right for the 
Support of an English School or Schools in said Township, which said 
Two Rights for the use of a Simenary or College and for the use of 
County Grammer Schools as Aforesaid, and the improvements, rights. 
Rents Intrest and Profits Arising therefrom shall be under the Control, 
Order, direction and disposal of the General Assembly of said State 
forever; 

And the proprietors of Said Township are hereby authorized & 
impowered to locate said Two rights justly and equitably or quantity 
for quality in such parts of said Township as they or their Committee 
shall judge will least incommode the General settlement of said Tract 
or Township; And the said Proprietors are hereby further empowered 
to locate the lands aforesaid amounting to three Rights assigned for 
the settlement of a minister and ministers for their Support, and for 
the use and Support of English Schools in such and in so many places 
as they or their Committee shall judge will best accommodate the 
Inhabitants of said Township when the same shall be fully settled and 
improved laying the same equitably or quantity for quality which said 
Lands, amounting to the three last mentioned Rights, when located as 
aforesaid, shall together with their improvements Rights, Rents, Profits, 
dues and Intreste remain inalianbly appropriated to the uses and pur- 
poses for which they are respectively assigned and be under the charge, 
direction and disposal of the Inhabitants of said Township forever; 

Which said Tract of Land hereby Given & Granted as aforesaid is 
bounded and described as follows, viz. Beginning, at Sharon Southwest 
corner then North forty Degrees East 496 Chains to Tunbridge, thence 
North sixty Degrees West 456 Chains to Bethel, Thence South forty 
Degrees West 496 Chains on Bethel line to Barnard, Thence South Sixty 
Degrees East 456 Chains on Barnard to the Place of Beginning con- 
taining 22320 Acres. And that the same be and hereby is incorporated 
into a Township by the name of Royalton, And the Inhabitants that do 
or shall hereafter Inhabit said Township are Declared to be Infranchised 
and entitled to all the Privileges & Immunities that the Inhabitants of 
other Towns within this state do & ought by the Law and Constitution 
of this State to Exercise and enjoy. To Have and to Hold the said 
Granted Premises as above expressed, with all the Privileges, and 
appurtenances thereto belonging and appartaining unto them and their 
respective heirs and assigns forever, upon the following Condition 
and Reservations Viz. That each Proprietor in the Township of 
Royalton aforesaid his heirs or assigns, shall plant and cultivate five 
acres of Land and build an House at least Eighteen feet square upon 
the floor, or have one Family settled on each respective Right or Share 



History of Eoyaltox, Vermont 17 

within the Term of Eighteen Months from the date hereof, on penalty 
of the Forfeiture of each Respective right of Land in said Township, 
not so improved or settled, and the same to revert to the Freemen of 
this State to be by their Representatives regranted to Such persons as 
shall appear to Settle and Cultivate the Same. That all Pine Timber 
suitable for a Navy be reserved for the use and Benefit of the Freemen 
of this State; In Testimony, whereof I have hereunto set my hand and 
Caused the seal of this state to be aflSxed in Council this 20th Day of 
Deer. 1781 and in the fifth year of the Independence of this State 
By His EJxcellency's Command 

Thos. Chittenden 
Tho. Tolman Dy. Secy. 
State of Vermont | Arlington 

Bennington County | December 21st 1781 

then rec'd and Recorded above Charter Tho. Tolman Dep Sec'ry 
This is a true Coppy of the Original 

Elias Stevens, Props Clerk." 

The charter as given is as it stands in the office of the Sec- 
retary of State. The town of Linfield, sometimes written Lint- 
field, and Litchfield, will be noticed on the chart of Tunbridge 
Gore as occupying the territory now covered by Royalton. Slade 
in his Vermont State Papers gives a list of Vermont towns 
granted by Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, 
and includes Lintfield (Royalton) as having been chartered Aug. 
4, 1763, before the King gave New York jurisdiction over this 
territory. On an old English map printed in 1774 it is named 
Linfield. John Kelly, one of the New York grantees of Roy- 
alton in 1769, also made a list of Gov. Wentworth 's Vermont 
grants, which he swore on Mar. 6, 1771, was taken from a N. H. 
map, purporting to be an authentic draft of lands granted by 
Gov. Wentworth in Vermont, with dates of patents, in which 
list Lintfield did not appear. In the Documentary History of 
N. Y., Vol. IV, pages 704-707, it states that the copy of charters 
in the office of the Secretary of State at Montpelier, which was 
certified to by the Secretary of State of N. H. in 1857 as correct, 
and supposed to include all grants in Vermont territory, has 
all towns in both lists except Lintfield. 

No further proof of such a grant has been found, though 
it would seem that it might have been meditated, else it w^ould 
not have appeared on any map. It was eleven years after the 
charter is said to have been given, before the English map re- 
ferred to was printed, and Royalton then was already settled 
by men taking their holdings from the N. Y. grantees. An 
appeal to the State Librarian at Concord brought forth the fol- 
lowing from his assistant, with reference to the statement in 
N. H. State Papers, Vol. 26, p. 681. which has already been given. 
"This statement was written by Hiram A. Huse, late of Mont- 
pelier, and I can add nothing to it. There is positively no evi- 
dence that such a grant was ever made by the government of 
New Hampshire." 
2 



CHAPTER III. 



The Proprietors' Records. 

Probably it will never be known whether all of the records 
of the proprietors under the New York charter have been de- 
stroyed, or whether some of them do not still exist in musty 
archives or eobwebbed garrets. The "Proprietor Book" in pos- 
session of the town deals with transactions after the grant by 
Vermont only, and has on the fly leaf the date, "February 1781." 
The first recorded action is as follows: 

"Royalton June 5th 1781 
at A proprietors Meeting, the Township of Royalton holde at Lut 
Timothy Durlvee one of the Clo'k on sd Day 

1 Chose Calvin Parkhurst Moderator 

2 Chose Elias Stevens Propt Clark 

3 Chose Comfort Sever esqr Tresure 

4 Chose Lut Zebulon Lyon Collector 

5 Chose Esq Sever Calvin Parkhurst John Hibbard 

A Perdential Committee 

6 Voted that Every Proprietor Shall be Quited in his Possion 
Except John Stevens and he is to hold one whole Right of Land and no 
more through the town and that he shall hold Right in Lot No 30 in 
the Larglotments west side whitch he bought of Hibbard and Adams. 

7 Voted that Every man that Can make it Apear that he has 
Purchased Land and has Paid for the Rite of Site Shall hold all he has 
paid for and a Proprietors Right beside his paying Charter fee for the 
hole 

8 Voted that all Proprietors that haint no Land in Town shall 
have the Liberty to pitch one hundred Acres in the individual Lands 
Lay this Lot Parel with the town Lines North and South 

9 Voted that the Widdow Sarah Rude Shall have a Right of 
Land through the town Except the second hundred of sd Right and that 
Lot Daniel Billing Son of Benj Billins Shall have that with his paying 
Charter fees for the same 

10 Voted that the Proprietors will Vandue one hundred Acres 
of Land and that the Purchaser Shall have Liberty to have the first 
pitch in the undivided Lands and that the perdential Committee shall 
give the Purchaser A good Deed of said Lot and the Proprietors will 
keep them from harm 

11 Voted that Benj Parkhurst Shall have the Liberty to Pitch 
one hundred acres of Land in the undivided Lands 

12 Voted that Ebenezer Parkhurst Shall have the Liberty to 
pitch Lot No 2 Larglotment for his Right of Land in Royalton 

13 Voted that Elias Stevens shall have a pitch of one hundred 
of Land in Lot No 6 East side Larglotn on his Right 



History of Royalton, Vermont 19 

14 Voted that Israel Wallow shall have a pitch of his second 
hundred Acres of his Right of Land in Royalton 

15 Voted that Nehemiah Nobles Shall have the Liberty to 
pitch the second hundred Acres of Land Belonging to William black- 
mores Right 

16 Voted that Samuel Clap shall have the Lot that was pitch 
for the first hundred acre Lot of the Throop Right in Lue of his first 
hundred Acre Lot and that the proprietors will Chop four Acres for the 
sd Clap 

17 Voted that the Selectmen Shall Take the Lot that is none 
by the Name of the Clap Lot and swop with Mr Elisha Kent for thirty 
acres of Land Adjoining to Leut Benton for a Ministerial Lot and that 
the perdential Committee shall give Leut Lion a good Deed of the Clapt 
Lot and the proprietors will save them from harm. 

18 Voted that Tilly Parkhurst Shall have a pitch of one 100 
in Lot No 31 Town Plot as he bought it of the proprietors at Vandue and 
gave twenty pounds Old way 

19 Voted to Chose a Committee to Receive the Numbers of 
Lots and Acres of Land belonging to each Proprietor and the Committee 
here After Chosen shall prepare and Make up a Draft so that each 
proprietor shall have three hundred Acres of Land Laid out to his 
Right and that the Committee shall Make A Return to the Next meeting 
of their Doings 

20 Voted Chose Esq Sever Calvin Parkhurst Daniel Rix Joseph 
Fish & Elias Stevens A Committee to Receive the Numbers and Lots 
and acres of Land and perseed and Make up a Draft 

21 Voted that the Proprietors will sell the Right of Land none 
by the name of the throop for one hundred pounds hard Money and that 
the Right be Left in the hands of the perdential Committee hand for 
sail 

22 Voted to Except the Plan as it now stands for our survey, 
and Lots of Land Laid Down on sd plan of sd Town and Numbers of 
Acres to Each Lot on sd Plan of sd Royalton 

But nevertheless if any proprietor is Not willing to take his 
Lot as it now stands on the Plan he shall have the Liberty to mesure 
his Lot and Make Returns to the Committee before the next meeting 
Otherwise sd plan is to Remain as it now stands 

23 Voted to Ajurn this meeting till the 21st Day of this 
Instant Month at the house of Lut Calvin Parkhurst at twelve of the 
Clok on sd Day 

Elias Stevens Pro Clark" 

John Stevens was probably never a resident of the town, 
but he had bought land and was permitted to keep it, but not 
allowed an after division. The action of the proprietors as 
indicated in Section 7, will explain why some of the grantees 
held more land than others. Several had paid the New York 
proprietors or their agents for their holdings, they had been the 
pioneers in clearing land and making roads, and it was deemed 
only just and fair that they should share equally with other 
grantees under the new charter. Considerable difficulty, no 
doubt, was experienced by some in proving that they really had 
bought the land and paid for it. The deeds of many were 
burned at the time of the Indian raid, and they had little proof 



20 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

to show. They had to trust to the honesty of the original own- 
ers, and to verbal evidence. 

These proceedings indicate that Mr. Throop, probably John 
Throop, had expected to have a right, perhaps to settle in town. 
He was a resident of Pomfret and remained there, one of the 
most influential of its early citizens. They show also, that for 
some reason Mr. Clapp did not have the lot originally intended 
for him, or on which, perhaps, he had already settled. Rufus 
Rude had died before the new charter was granted, and his 
widow was generously provided for. The land records do not 
show that she ever had any land. She was sixty-two at the time 
this right was granted her. Her daughter Sarah married Elias 
Stevens, and Rufus Rude willed a large share of his property 
to Lieut. Stevens, with whom perhaps, ]\Irs. Rude lived, and in 
that ease, Mr. Stevens may have made a pitch on her right. 

The "first hundred" in the division of lots was in Dutch 
Allotment, the second in Town Plot, and the third in Large 
Allotment. The most desirable lots had been taken previous to 
the grant of the Vermont charter, and the grantees who had not 
already settled in town, had necessarily to take less valuable lots. 
Doubtless, some of the grantees had had no deed of their land, 
but had taken a lot with the hope or understanding that they 
would be quitted in possession after clearing the land and build- 
ing homes. Comfort Sever, as related in another place, is an 
example of this class. It was to the interest of the New York 
proprietors to secure a certain number of virtual settlers to 
conform to charter requirements, and to enhance the value of 
their property. 

Just how the lots were cast is not stated. From accounts 
of drafts in other towns it is learned that the names were -writ- 
ten on pieces of paper and put into a receptacle. Then one 
person read off a number, and another drew out a name from 
the box, and so on luitil all the names had been drawn out. In 
the Hartford records it is stated "the first shall make his pitch 
by monday Next and get the two first letters of his Name on 
the bound tree under the Number that is on the bound tree with 
a certificate from recorder their hand to be Delivered to the 
Clark." A similar method was doubtless followed here, and 
had become so well known then that it did not need specific direc- 
tions. The names of the owners were on trees, and some of 
them, possibly, can be found today by sharp eyes. 

In granting the charter, the Assembly considered the cases 
of non-residents. If the land was held chiefly by such a class, 
it was in reality vacant land, and subject to grant. The proprie- 
tors of Royalton, at their first meeting did not encourage such 
holding of property, and in the cases of the Blackmer and 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 21 

Throop rights, dealt with them stringently. William Blackmer 
was a resident of Barnard. 

They met a second time on June 21st: 

"1 Voted that the Committee that was to Make up the Draft shall 
Make Report at the Next meeting 

2 Voted to Chose A committee to see that the Land is Cut for 
Mr. Clap as twas Voted Last meeting Chose Jo. Parkhurst Esq Sever 
Elias Stevens Benj Parkhurst & John Billins a Committee to see to the 
Choping Done 

4 Voted to Ajurn this meeting till the 28th of this Instant Month 
at the house of Lut Timothy Durkee At one of the Clok on sd Day 

Elias Stevens Pr Clark" 

They met according to adjournment, and the committee re- 
ported the holdings of those who owned their land. This list 
shows who claimed to own land before the Vermont charter 
was issued, and not long after the destruction of the town. A 
number had not received the allotted 300 acres, and the com- 
mittee reported that they had made a "Lotry to be Drawn for 
the same." John Hibbard, Jr., Daniel Rix, Mr. Day, Mr. Clapp, 
and Mr. Lyon were chosen to draw the "Lotry. " The result 
of the draft is shown in the list by " d. " placed before the num- 
ber of acres. The abbreviations used in condensing the list are 
A. for acres, D. for Dutch Allotment, L. for Large Allotment, 
T. P. for Town Plot, N. for North, S. for South, E. for East, 
W. for West, M. for Middle, d. for draft, and m. d. for missed 
draft, in which case the lot was cast later. The arrangement is, 
first, the name, second, the number of acres, and third, the lot. 

Benedict, Samuel— 128 A.— 32 D.; 100 A.— 16 D.; 100 A.— E. 4 L. 
Benton, Medad— 200 A.— W. 5 L.; 25 A.— 26 D.; m. d. 100 A.— 9 T. P. 
Billings, John— 255 A.— 19 & 20 T. P.; 100 A.— W. 41 L. 
Blackmer, William— 100 A.— E. 27 L.; 100 A.— W. 33 L.; d. 100 A.— M. 

13 L. 
Brewster, David— 100 A.— M. 54 T. P.; 100 A.— 30 D.; 100 A.— E. 21 L. 
Brewster, Ehenezer- 309— 46 T. P. (D.?). 

Church, Ehenezer- 80 A.— 3 D.; d. 100 A.— E. 15 L.; d. 100 A.— 24 D. 
Clapp, Samuel— 100 A.— M. 39 L.; 100 A.— W. 27 L.; d. 100 A.— 23 T. P. 
Curtis, Elias— 200 A.— 29 & 34 D.; 100 A.— W. 21 L.; 100 A.— W. 32 L. 
Day, Benjamin— 167 A.— W. 34 L.; 100 A.— E. 14 L.; d. 40 A.— W. 8 L. 
Day, Benjamin, Jr.— 100 A.— 14 D.; 100 A.— E. 25 L.; 100 A.— M. 6 L. 
Dewey, Ehenezer— 260 A.— 4, 5 & 12 D.; m. d. 50 A. — N. W. 28 L. 
Durkee, Adan— 100 A.— M. 36 L.; 100 A.— E. 19 L.; d. 100 A.— E. 28 L. 
Durkee, Heman— 100 A.— N. 53 T. P.; 175 A.— E. 30 L.; d. 25 A.— M. 32 L. 
Durkee, Timothy— 260 A.— 53 T. P.; d. 40 A.— M. 12 L. 
Evans, John— 225 A.— 27 & 29 D.; d. 75 A.— M. 32 L. 
Fish, Nathan— 100 A. 15 T. P.; 100 A.— E. 31 L.; d. 100 A.— W. 12 L. 
Fish, David— 100 A. 18 T. P.; d. 100 A.— W. 29 L.; m. d. 200 A.— 13 & 

22 T. P. 
Fish, Joseph— 100 A.— W. 54 T. P.; 200 A.— 10 & 11 D. 
Gilbert, Daniel— 100 A.— 19 D.; 80 A.— 2 D.; d. 100— E. 33 L.; 20 A.— 

17 D. (Cut off by Sharon line.) 
Gillett, John— 100 A.— W. 36 L.; 100 A.— W. 31 L.; 100 A.— M. 33 L 



22 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Handy, Robert— 100 A.— W. 19 L.; 100 A.— M. 8 L.; 100 A.— N. E. 22 L. 
Havens, Robert— 137 A.— 37 D.; 100 A.— W. 35 L.; 100 A.— 3 T. P.; d. 

100 A.— E. 7 L. 
Havens, Joseph— 75 A.— 36 D.; 100 A.— 44 D.; 100 A.— M. 4 L. 
Havens, Daniel— 142 A.— 42 D.; 200 A.— W. & M. 23 L.; 100 A.— 18 D. 
Hibbard, John— 204 A.— 28 & 29 T. P.; d. 100 A.— W. 24 L. 
Hibbard, James— 253 A.— 37 & 38 T. P.; d. 47 A.— M. 29 L. 
Hibbard, John, Jr.— 228 A.— M. 27 & 36 L.; 100 A.— M. 7 L. 
Hide, Jedediah— 100 A.— E. 40 L.; d. 100 A.— W. 20 L.; d. 100 A.— 

M. 28 L. 
House, John— 128 A.— 32 T. P.; d. 100 A.— E. 27 L.; d. 100 A.— W. 15 L. 
Joiner, William— 100 A.— W. 17 L.; 100 A.— M. 19 L.; 100 A.— M. 15 L. 
Jones, William— 100 A— 9 D.; 100 A— M. 20 L.; m. d. 100 A.— 8 T. P. 
Kent, Elisha— 280 A.— 10 L.; d. 20 A.— M. 25 L. 
Kent, Elisha Jr.— 100 A.— E. 39 L.; 200 A.— E. & W. 9 L. 
Kent, John— 100 A.— 45 D.; 80 A.— 1 D.; 100 A.— 16 T. P. 
Kimball, John— 50 A.— E. 8 L.; 128 A.— 35 T. P.; 100 A.— 26 T. P.; (?) 

32 A.— 34 T. P. 
Lyon, Zebulon— 100 A.— E. 54 T. P.; 100 A.— E. 20 L.; 100 A.— W. 14 L. 
Marsh, Joel— 100 A.— W. 37 L.; m. d. 100 A.— E. 24 L.; m. d. 66 A.— N. 

30 T. P.; m. d. 36 A.— S. W. 28 L. 
Morgan, Nathan— 170 A.— M. 5 L.; 25 A.— 26 D.; d. 100 A.— 17 T. P.; d. 

50 A.— M. 25 L. 
Morgan, Isaac— 100 A.— 35 D.; 50 A.— 31 D.; 8 A.— N. E. & S. E. 1 L.; 

d. 50 A.— M. 29 L.; d. 100 A.— M. 27 L.; d. 100 A.— E. 32 L. 
Morse, Nathaniel— 209 A.— 20 & 21 D.; 100 A.— W. 25 L. 
Parkhurst, Reuben— 100 A.— E. 41 L.; 100 A.— W. 4 L.; 100 A.— 10 T. P. 
Parkhurst, Benjamin— 108 A.— 4 T. P.; 100 A.— 30 T. P.; 100 A.— M. 

41 L. 
Parkhurst, Ebenzer— 300 A.— 2 L. 
Parkhurst, Jabez— 167 A.— E. 34 L.; d. 100 A.— E. 39 L.; m. d. 33 A.— 

17 D. 
Parkhurst, Phineas— 200 A.— 26 L., (on the river) ; m. d. 100 A.— 23 D. 
Parkhurst, Joseph— 176 A.— E. 16 L.; 100 A.— W. 6 L.; 50 A.— 31 D.; d. 

34 A.— M. 25 L. 
Parkhurst, Tilly— 265 A.— E. 1 L.; 100 A.— 13 D. 
Parkhurst, Calvin— 134 A.— W. 16 L.; 100 A.— S. E. 22 L.; 25 A.— 26 D.; 

d. 40 A.— W. 8 L. 
Rix, Daniel— 100 A.— 38 D.; 100 A.— 43 D.; 32 A.— 34 T. P.; 25 A.— 26 D. 
.Rix, Garner— 100 A.— W. 22 L.; 100 A.— M. 26 L.; d. 100 A.— 14 T. P. 
Safford, Johnson— 100 A.— S. (?) 26 L.; 128 A.— 33 T. P.; 64 A.— 34 T. P. 
Safford, John— 100 A.— W. 22 L.; 100 A.— 25 T. P.; d. 100 A.— 24 T. P. 
Sever, Comfort— 180 A.— 11 & 12 T. P.; 100 A.— 40 D.; d. 20 A.— W. 8 L. 
Shepard, Simon— 195 A.— 7 & 8 D.; d. 100 A.— E. 13 L. 
Stevens, John— 300 A.— W. 30 L. 
St&vens, Elias— 100 A.— W. 1 L.; 50 A.— E. 5 L.; 100 A.— E. 6 L.; 100 A.— 

41 D.; 100 A.— 28 D. 
Triscott, Jeremiah— 72 A.— 15 D.; 100 A.— E. 23 L.; d. 100 A.— M. 24 

L.; d. 28 A.— M. 12 L. 
Tullar, Daniel— 244 A.— 38 L.; m. d. 56 A.— 7 T. P. 
Tullar, Martin— 100 A.— N. 18 L.; 100 A.— E. 12 L.; 100 A.— M. 21 L. 
Waller, Israel— 100 A.— 6 D.; 100 A.— W. 39 L.; 100 A.— M. 14 L. 
Wheeler, Josiah— 100 A.— 25 D.; 100 A— E. 36 L.; 100 A.— M. 31 L. 
Wilcox, John— 100 A.— M. 37 L.; 100 A.— E. 35 L.; 100 A.— W. 7 L. 

Nathan Kimball, John and Johnson Safford, Daniel and ^^ 
Garner Rix held nearly 1000 acres of undivided land, which / 
makes it difficult to determine just which lots each held, but the 



History op Rotalton, Vermont 23 

list is nearly, if not absolutely correct. Isaac Morgan seems to 
have relinquished his 8 acres in 1 L., and to have taken the same 
nimiber of acres in 31 D., as later he holds 58 acres there. 

Some of these grantees remained here but a short time, and 
sold out for a mere song in most instances, and moved on to a 
newer portion of the state. It is a credit to Royalton, that, 
compared with many other towns, a larger number of her grant- 
ees chose to make their homes here, than was usual, even though 
they are found among the original grantees of other towns west 
and north. 

Four adjourned meetings followed the meeting of June 28, 
at the last of which they adjourned to Lieut. Fish's "for half 
an ower, " and finally were able to act. The busy woodman and 
farmer was more interested apparently in re-habilitating his 
home and in providing for the winter, than in the doings of the 
proprietors, especially, as their meeting had to deal with charter 
fees, which most of them were in no condition to pay. This 
meeting was held Oct. 4, 1781, and the record of the meeting 
and of the subsequent one held on the 21st is given. 

"1st Voted that all the proprietors that want sufferers in Royalton 

will pay their Charter teas within three weeks from this Day to their 

Ajint who shall be Chosen hereafter with the Rest of the Sufferers 

Giving their Obligations so that Our Ajint may Perceed to the Governor 

and take out sd Charter of Royalton 

2nd Voted and Maid Choice of Elias Stevens Ajint to Perceed and take 

of sd Charter 

3rd Voted to Raise a tax of one Dollar on Each proprietors Right in 

Royalton. 

4th Chose Elias Stevens Collector for sd Tax 

5th Voted to Ajurn this Meeting till the 21 Day of this Instant at Lut 

Farkhurst at 9 Clok in the Morning" 

"Oct 21st 1781 

Met According Ajurnment 
1 Voted that all the proprietors will pay their Charter feas to their 
Ajint by the first Day of December 

2nd Voted that David Fish shall (have) as much Land as a Committee 
shall say to Make him good in Lew of his Drafted Lot as twas Drafted 
on to a pitch Lot sd Fish is to have the Liberty to pitch before the 
Committee shall say how mutch he shall have 

3rd Chose Leut Durkee Lut Cal. Parkhurst Mr. Rix A committee to 
say how mutch Land Mr fish shall have in Lew of his Drafted Lot and 
that the Committee shall make a pitch of two hundred acres on the 
Throop Right as twas mist in the Draft 

4th Voted All proprietors that had their Lots Mist in the Draft shall 
have the Liberty to Pitch their lots in the undivided Land 
5th Voted to Ajurn this Meeting till the first Monday of Deem Next at 
Lut Lions at 9 of the Clok in the morning 

Elias Stevens prs Clark" 

Two adjourned meetings follow before Jan. 28, 1782. They 
met on that date, and considered the expenses of the agent sent 
to the governor for the charter. 



24 History of Royalton, Vermont 

"A Return of the Ajint in Giting the Charter the Cost of the Charter 
and his Expenses is £7.5.10 in State money and £3.2.0 in hard money 
1st Voted to that the Ajint shall have the one Dollar tax that was 
Raised Oct Last for his Expenses and the Cost of the Charter 

2 Voted to Chose a Committee to say what the Ajint shall have for 
his Services in Giting the Charter 

Chose Benj Parkhurst Mr. Day Capt Jo Parkhurst a Committee to the 
Report of the Committee for the Ajints service is that the Ajint shall 
have six pounds Old way for his services in giting the Charter 

3 Voted and Except the Report of the Committee 

4th Voted to Chose a committee to treat with the Ajint Conserning the 
Charter fes he Received whether he Received of those men that had 
Bought their Land and got Deed, or Not 

Chose Benj Parkhurst John Hibbard Daniel Gilbert A committee 
to tree (t) with the Ajint and Make Report to the Next Meeting 
5 Voted to put a warning for a proprietors Meeting into the Publick 
prints acording to Law 

Chose Esq Sever to put a warning into the publick Paper 
6th Voted that the Perdential Committee shall take a deed of Mr Kent 
of thirty acres of Land ajind to Lut Benton whitch is called the Min- 
isters Lot in Behalf of sd proprietors 

7th Voted that Elias Stevens Shall take a Bond for a Deed of Esq 
Joel Marsh for a Right of Land in Royalton as his Name was put into 
the Charter in Lew of Esq throop Name in Behalf of sd proprietors 
7th Voted that if Tilley Parkhurst will Pay Elias Stevens Six Pounds 
Old way and Esq Jacobs five Pounds Old way that the Proprietors will 
wait on him till Nex fall for the Rest 

8th (Voted) to Ajurn this Meeting till the Last thursday in March 
Next at Capt Jos Parkhurst at Ten of the Clok in the morning 

Elias Stevens Pros Clark" 

Mr. Tilly Parkhurst evidently found it difficult to raise the 
twenty pounds that he was to pay for the choice of a lot. He 
had the whole undivided land to choose from, and he chose to 
make his pitch of 100 acres in the west side of 31 T. P. He 
lived on the extreme eastern border of the town, and this pitch 
was on the extreme western border. The probabilities are that 
Mr. Parkhurst did not pay his twenty pounds, for on June 18, 
1783, the committee for the proprietors. Comfort Sever, Calvin 
Parkhurst, and John Hibbard, for twenty-five pounds, deed the 
whole of 31 T. P. to Joshua Hutchins. 

It was inevitable that there should be some controversy 
over the right to hold land, especially in case of non-residents. 
The proprietors at their next meeting. Mar. 27, 1782, took the 
following action : ' ' Voted that if Any Parson or proprietor 
that owns Any Land in the After division and will go and Con- 
tinue Settlement thereon shall hold what Land he owns toGather 
in sd Divition." 

The proprietors next gave their attention to j;he pitching of 
the five public rights, an account of which is given in connec- 
tion with the history of the public lands. 

After each proprietor had pitched his three one-hundred- 
acre rights, there still remained undivided land. This amounted 



History of Royalton, Vermont 25 

to enough to give each about thirty-three acres more, provided 
his land did not exceed in actual measurement, or fall short of, 
the 300 acres belonging to his right. A few availed themselves 
of this extra division, called "after divisions," and made a 
further pitch, but oftener, some one would buy up two or more 
of these "after-division" rights, and adding his own, pitch the 
whole in one lot of 100 or more acres. William Downer made 
such a pitch, June 14, 1782, in II Large Allotment, west side, 
on the rights of Medad Benton, Robert Havens, and Daniel 
Havens. In some cases the necessary amount of land for a 
one-hundred-acre lot was made out by getting the right to the 
land that was cut off by the new survey. One or two men who 
supposed they had settled in Royalton, woke up one morning 
after the survey and found they were citizens of Sharon, as 
their houses were over the border. It was this change in bound- 
ary that gave Sharon the birthplace of Joseph Smith, the Mor- 
mon. Elias Stevens was frequently employed to make pitches 
of the sort just mentioned, and he has to his record no less than 
eighteen pitches based on missed drafts, after-divisions, and land 
cut off by town lines. 

David Fish at first had a free hand in making his pitch, 
for it is recorded that on Sept. 15, 1782, he pitched "two 200 
acres in Lots No 22 & No 13 Town plot as he had had one lot 
missed in the draft and a Committee wast to say how much of 
sd Lots he shall have." What the committee said is not re- 
corded, but in a schedule of original holdings made in 1807, he 
did not hold 13 T. P. 

Some dissension arose in Royalton and other towns over the 
action of the proprietors, and in the case of Royalton, she was 
practically an independent republic of microscopic dimensions, 
until the charter was issued by the Governor of Vermont. There 
might be some question as to the legality of the proceedings of 
the proprietors, especially as the earlier records had been de- 
stroyed. Accordingly, we find recorded on page 23 of the Pro- 
prietors Book the following: 

"State of Vermont Royalton May 4th 178c! 

Whereas Application has bin maide to me By more than one Six- 
teenth part of the proprietors of the Township of Royalton in the County 
of Windsor to warn a proprietors meeting These are to warn all the 
proprietors to meet at Dweling house of Lut Zebulon Lions in sd Royal- 
ton on the 19th Day of August Next at Ten of the Clok in the morning 
then and their to Act on the Following Articles viz 1st to Chose a 
Moderator 2nd to Chose a Clark 3 to Chose a pros Tresure 4 a Col- 
lector 5 a Perdential Committ 6 to see whether the proprietors will 
Astablish the former Vots and perseeding of sd Proprietors and to 
Transact Any Other Bizness proper to be Done on sd Day 

Comfort Sever Jus Pease 

the Above is a true Coppy of the Original 

Elias Stevens Pr Clark" 



26 History of Royalton, Vermont 

"Royalton August 19th 1783 

Met Acording to warning 
1st Chose Calvin Parlihurst Moderator 

2 Chose Elias Stevens Props Clark 

3 Chose Esq Sever Tresure 

4th Chose Benj Parkhurst Collector 

5 Chose Esq Sever John Hibbard & Calvin Parkhurst A Per- 
dential Committee 

6th Voted to ratify and Stablish all proprietors Meeting and Votes 
and Persedings of the Proprietors of Royalton that was transacted from 
the 5th Day of June 1781 to the 27 Day of March 1782 whitch sd meet- 
ings and Votes are Recorded in this Book Before 

7th Voted that those proprietors that have Bin and Maid Pitches 
of their Afterdivitions and hant Maid Settlements on sd Land accord- 
ing to a Vote pased March last that they Shall have three Months from 
this Date provided they will Build A house and Chop three Acres on 
Each hundred acres that is Now pitch sd pitch is to Stand good Other- 
wise sd pitch is to be Void and of no Effect 

8th Voted that Each proprietor will Give five acres of Land out 
of Each hundred acres for the use of Publick hiways in sd Royalton 

9th Voted for the futur to warn proprietors meeting by Order of 
the perdential Committee to the proprietors Clark Directing him to 
put up A warning in writing at Least six Day before sd Meeting in 
some publick place in sd Town 

10th Voted to Ajurn this meeting till the 1st Tusday of Deer Next 
at Lut Lions at one of the Clok Afternoon 

Elias Stevens pr Clark" 

The town had zealous officers, who looked carefully after 
its permanent interests, and did not allow for any length of time 
a mere adventurer or speculator to profit by holdings within 
its limits. An examination of the record of pitches shows 
that some were pitched twice, probably because the original 
owner failed to meet his obligations. Nathaniel Alger of Kil- 
lingly, Conn., bought in 1783 a lot, 33 Dutch Allotment, of Amos 
Ames. Mr. Ames was not an original grantee, and no pitch 
of his is recorded. He sold the land on the strength of having 
the after-divisions of Benjamin Day, Benj. Day, Jr., and Alfred 
Day. Alfred Day was not a grantee, nor is any record found 
of his having been allowed to share in the after-divisions, which 
does not prove that he did not have this right. The proprietors 
took action JMay 3, 1784, voting that Mr. Alger should have the 
lot, provided he bought enough after-divisions to cover it, within 
one year. Whether he conformed to this requirement or not, 
he sold the lot the next July to Ebenezer Woodward, who was 
probably the first occupant of it, though not making an original 
pitch. 

In a few instances, where it seemed difficult to lay dividing 
lines through the thick forests, or for some other reason, two 
or more pitched lots in common, and sold in common, or later 
made a division. The case of Daniel Rix, John Safford, John 
Kimball, Johnson Safford, and Garner Rix has been noted before. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 27 

They made a division of their land in 1789, but, unfortunately, 
the allotments of only two are recorded, and in consequence 
there is more confusion regarding the land owned by these men, 
than in that of almost any others. In a tax table of 1807 the 
land assigned to each does not agree in every case with deeds 
given later. The five men just named employed Reuben Spald- 
ing of Sharon and John Kimball of Royalton to survey their lots. 

Other matters requiring the attention of the proprietors 
were "the New Lines Rim by the Survare General," the charter 
fees, and the building of a bridge across White river, but to 
avoid repetition, the reader is referred to the topics of Bound- 
aries, Charters, and Bridges. 

Pitches continued to be made from time to time until 1801. 
The last two were made by Elias Stevens. One was made on 
June 1, 1799, of fifty acres in N. W. 28 Large Allotment, to 
offset the land cut off by Sharon line from Nos. 4 and 5 Dutch 
Allotment. The other was a pitch made by Mr. Stevens for 
Ebenezer Dewey, of twenty-five acres, an after-division, in M, 
17 Large Allotment. With two men as keen as Elias Stevens 
and Zebulon Lyon on the watch for vacant land, it is safe to 
say, when they had ceased to make pitches, there was no more 
undivided land to come into their hoppers. If this be true, 
then all the land had been taken within thirty years from the 
time the first settler built his log cabin in the New York town 
of Royalton. In Sharon, Solomon Downer made a pitch as late 
as Mar. 18, 1831, and other pitches were made still later, in 
1855 and 1881. Possibly, some enterprising person may find 
that there is still vacant land in Windsor county, and that he 
does not need to go West in search of it. 

The Governor and Council, Nov. 5, 1800, concurred in a 
bill passed by the Assembly at INIiddlebury, M'hich was entitled, 
"An act authorizing the Proprietors and Landowners of the 
town of Royalton to establish the division of lands heretofore 
made." This bill was the result of the action taken by the 
town at a special meeting, Sept. 2, 1800, when it was voted by 
the town ' ' to apply to the General Assembly of the State of Ver- 
mont at their next session for an act impowering the Proprie- 
tors & Land owners of sd Royalton to establish the Proprietors 
Proceedings & Divisions of Land heretofore made in sd Town 
according to the corners & Lines they now hold too." Jacob 
Smith was chosen as agent to attend to this matter. The pro- 
prietors and the town acted together in warning a meeting, and 
their records are identical. 



28 History of Royalton, Vermont 

"Royalton June 25th 1801 
Proprietors and Land owners met agreeable to Warning 

Chose Jacob Smith moderator 

Voted to Chose a committee of seven to examine the proprietors 
record and pint out the ways and meens by whitch the proprietors and 
Landholders may cary the Act of the General Assembly past Last 
session inabling them to ratify the vote of the proprietors and Land 
owners of Royalton into effect 

Chose Abel Stevens Jacob Smith Ellas Stevens John Billings Ben- 
jamin Bozworth William Watterman and Isaac Skinner for the Above 
Committee 

Voted to Ajurn this meeting to the Second thursday of August next 
at ten o'Clok in the forenoon at this place (the meeting house) 

Elias Stevens Proprietors Clark" 

"Royalton August 13th 1801 

Proprietors and Land owners met acording to Ajurnment 

Voted to ratify establish and confirm the proprietors Votes per- 
ceedings in the town of Royalton and County of Windsor hereto (fore) 
made relitive to the Divition of Land in said town into Severilty 
except 9th vote of a meeting held on the 5th of June 1781 voting that 
the widdow Sarah Rude shall have a part of a rite of Land &c whitch 
votes are recorded in the proprietors book in said town of Royalton 

Likewise voted to ratify establish and Confirm the proprietors 
ptrceedings in the town of Royalton and the Divitions and Pitches of 
Land heretofore maid in said town by said proprietors acording to the 
Corners and Lines by whitch the Land in the town of Royalton are now 
and have heretofore ben held whitch corners and Lines ware maid and 
run by Thomas Vallentine for William Livingston Goldsbrow Banyar 
Whitehead Hicks William Smith and John Kelley reference to said 
Corners and Lines being had provided no pitch whitch has been maid 
to supply the wantage land in any right or Lot Land, except where a 
Lot is cut Short by Town Lines, shall be considered as astablished or 
in any way affected by this vote 

Voted to Dissolve this meeting 

Attest Elias Stevens Proprietors Clark" 

By this enactment of the General Assembly, and the action 
of the proprietors and land owners of the town thereon, all 
question of the legality of bounds and holdings was settled, and 
the land from that time on was held in severalty. There was 
no further work for the proprietors, and their records ceased. 
There is no evidence of any meeting of the proprietors between 
March 16, 1786, and the meeting just noted. The business of 
the town for the intervening years had really been in the hands 
of all the voters. 



CHAPTER IV. 



The Contest Over the New Hampshire Grants. 

To understand clearly the situation in Royalton during the 
early years of its settlement, it is necessary to review some of 
the conditions that obtained in the New Hampshire Grants, so- 
called, prior to 1771 and continuing to the end of the controversy 
over the disputed territory. As excellent gazetteers and his- 
tories containing a full treatment of the troubles leading to the 
Revolution, and of the controversy over the ownership of the 
Grants are accessible to almost every one, only so much of the 
history of this period will be given as is needful for a proper 
connection of events, and an understanding of the actions and 
temper of the early settlers. It is the aim of this work to give 
as much space as possible to local history, which thus far has not 
been preserved in permanent form. 

At the time of the French and Indian War Vermont was 
an unbroken wilderness, through which troops passed and re- 
passed on their way to and from Canada. The Indians had 
used it as a battle ground rather than as an abiding place. The 
hostile French and Indians on its borders had thus far rendered 
it too exposed to be an object of settlement to the British. After 
the conquest of Canada by the English conditions changed, and 
men who had been needed as soldiers were now ready again for 
service with the ax and the plough. No doubt many of those 
who had tramped along the banks of our beautiful streams saw 
the possibilities of development, and very much as Connecticut 
was settled by emigrants from Massachusetts, who made its 
acquaintance on the war path, so what is now Vermont had 
thrown its spell over those sturdy, enterprising men, who helped 
to win Canada for England. 

Soon after New Hampshire was separated from Massachu- 
setts, and Benning Wentworth was appointed Governor in 1741, 
he began to look with covetous eyes upon the rich lands west of 
the Connecticut river, and had visions of wealth that might be 
his by land grants, in each of which a goodly section should be 
reserved for himself. He was not long in finding a basis for 
making a claim to the land, namely, that as New Hampshire had 



30 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

been a part of Massachusetts, her claim westward extended as 
far as that of the mother state. By the charter of Massachu- 
setts, she was to own the territory westward until she came to 
the jurisdiction of some other colony. 

It was just here that there was a loophole for conflicting 
claims, New York and Massachusetts claiming jurisdiction over 
the same territory, and finally settling the matter between them- 
selves. Gov. Clinton of New York notified Governor Wentworth 
that New York claimed the land to the Connecticut river, but 
was politely informed by Gov. Wentworth that he had already 
chartered Bennington, which was in the disputed territory. The 
two referred the matter to England, but as it required some time 
to get a return from the King, Gov. Wentworth improved the 
interval in making more grants. The King in Council on July 
20, 1764, declared the west bank of the Connecticut river to 
be the dividing line between the two colonies. Then the contro- 
versy waxed warm. The settlers in towns chartered by New 
Hampshire ejected the New York farmers from their lands, and 
the New York sheriffs busied themselves in arresting the New 
Hampshire grantees, and no end of the difficulty seemed in view. 
New York, however, wishing to restore quiet, and acknowledging 
the claims of New Hampshire grantees who had improved their 
land in good faith, decided in 1765, May 22. that occupants of 
land who had settled before that date should retain possession 
of their land. 

This might have ended the difficulty, if patentees of New 
Hampshire had all settled on their land, but many had not, and 
held it merely for speculation. Such land was re-granted by 
New York, and this led to further trouble. On July 24, 1767, 
the King in Council ordered New York to make no more grants 
of land patented by New Hampshire. Disorders continued, and 
settlers were divided in their sentiments. A large number of 
the inhabitants of Cumberland and Gloucester counties on Nov. 
1, 1770, petitioned the King, complaining of the riotous obstruc- 
tion of the courts of law by the government and people of New 
Hampshire. New Hampshire followed suit the following year, 
petitioning the King for the annexation of the Grants to that 
province. The dispute continued, and troubles increased. 

On September 30. 1771, the year when the first settler came 
to Eoyalton. the Council of New York issued an order for the 
arrest of Ethan Allen, Remember Baker, and other "rioters." 
New York had found great difficulty in deciding disputed claims, 
and so required the New Hampshire grantees to appear, prove 
their claims, and take out new patents, paying new fees therefor. 
It was complained by these grantees that the fees for granting 
a township were $2000 or over, while the Governor of New 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 31 

Hampshire charged only $100, but they seemed not to take into 
consideration the fact, that Gov. Wentworth reserved 500 acres 
for himself in each township granted. Gov. Moore of New York, 
June 9, 1767, in a letter to Lord Shelburne defending himself 
from charges brought against him, declares that town fees have 
been only from twenty to forty pounds. ]\lany got confirmations 
of their patents from New York. Gov. Wentworth himself 
applied for a confirmation of 5000 acres in Rockingham. 

Bennington was a hotbed of discord. It favored New Hamp- 
shire, as was natural, being the first town on the Grants pat- 
ented by that state. The temper of the people of that section 
was well expressed by Ethan Allen, who, says Benjamin Buck, 
when he read the governor's name to the New York proclamation 
in 1771, laying claim to all land as far east as the Connecticut 
river, broke out, ' ' So your name is Tryon, tri on and be Damn. ' ' 
The riot at Bennington and other disturbances led the govern- 
ment of New York to apply to Gen, Haldimand and, later, to 
Gen. Gage, to furnish troops to aid in keeping the peace. They 
both demurred. Gen. Haldimand on Sep. 1, 1773, replied, "The 
idea that a few lawless vagabonds, can prevail in such a Governt 
as that of New York, as to oblige its Govr to have recourse to 
the Regular Troops to suppress them, appears to me to carry 
with it such reflection of weakness as I am afraid would be at- 
tended with bad consequences." 

This could not have seemed very complimentary to New 
York, and shows that these "few lawless vagabonds" had been 
striking terror into the hearts of their opponents. Property 
was burned, sympathizers with New York were publicly whipped 
and driven from their holdings, and officers of New York intimi- 
dated by what their enemies were pleased to term the ' ' Benning- 
ton Mob," under Allen, Warner, Baker and others. The settlers 
of Charlotte county were the chief complainants and sufferers. 
A proclamation was issued for the arrest of the leaders of the 
"mob." The whippings and ejections continued, and rawhides 
and writs were plentiful. New York failed in her effort to have 
the King order a military force to her aid. The home govern- 
ment at this time was too busy with colonial disaffection to 
attend to particular calls of that sort. 

The riot at Westminster was the natural outcome of these 
disputes. By this time the "Bennington Blob," in opposing 
New York, felt themselves opposing the aggressions of Great 
Britain herself, and so the blood of French at Westminster is 
regarded by Vermonters as the first blood shed in the Revolu- 
tion. When Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point fell into the 
hands of Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, June 7, 
1775, the controversy took on a different aspect. This was a 



32 History op Royalton, Vermont 

victory in which all patriots rejoiced, and in which men from 
both Massachusetts and Connecticut aided. The action of New 
York, on recommendation of the Continental Congress, in form- 
ing a battalion of Green Mountain Boys tended to produce a 
better state of feeling. On July 20, 1775, Ethan Allen wrote a 
very polite letter to the Provincial Congress of New York assur- 
ing them that their "respectful treatment not only to Mr. War- 
ner" and himself, but to the Green Mountain Boys in general 
were by them duly regarded, and he would be responsible that 
they would "retaliate" that favor by wholly hazarding their 
lives, if need be, in the common cause of America. 

The convention at Dorset, Sep. 25, 1775, made up of fifty- 
six delegates from thirty-six towns indicated their desire to be 
formed into a district distinct from New York. This action 
alarmed New York, which refused to furnish arms to a people 
who were likely to use them in a revolt against her authority. 
The Declaration of Independence fostered the spirit of freedom 
which nowhere found a richer soil than in the hearts of the 
settlers on the Grants. The Continental Congress in its efforts 
to raise troops looked to the valorous sons of the Grants, and 
took steps to secure a force independent of New York, a course 
Avhich New York openly resented. 

January 15, 1777, at Dorset a Convention of delegates from 
the Grants declared their independence, and assumed the name 
of New Connecticut. Thomas Young, under date of April 11 
of the same year, wrote to the people of the Grants encouraging 
them in their course, and advised them to choose delegates to 
Congress, ensuring them of success at the "risque" of his repu- 
tation. Those who think graft is a sin of recent years alone, 
may learn otherwise from his advice: "Let the scandalous 
practice of bribing Men by places Commissions &c be held in 
abhorrence among you. By entrusting only Men of Capacity 
and Integrity in public Affairs ----- is your liberties well 
secured." On complaint of New York to Congress, that body 
resolved that Young's representations were grossly wrong, and 
Congress could not receive delegates from Vermont. Copies of 
this action of Congress were sent to the Vermont towns with the 
request that they be read in the town meetings. The name of 
the new state had been changed at Windsor by a convention 
which met June 4, 1777, from New Connecticut to Vermont, as 
they had learned that a district of land on the Susquehanna 
river already bore the name first selected. 

February 23, 1778, the legislature of New York, fearful of 
losing the Grants, made a great reduction in fees and quit-rents, 
and offered to confirm those actually possessing and improving 
their lands under title from New Hampshire, although such land 



History op Royalton, Vermont 33 

might have been afterward granted by New York. This and 
ether overtures were made on condition that the independence 
of Vermont should not be recognized. There were many settlers 
who were loyal to New York, and who hated Ethan Allen as 
much as the woman whom he married did, when, as a maiden, 
she first knew him. When urged by a relative to marry Allen, 
saying if she married Gen. Allen she would be Queen of the 
State, she passionately replied, "Yes, if I should marry the 
Devil I should be Queen of Hell. ' ' New York loyalists from nine 
towns met at Brattleboro, May 4, 1779, and petitioned New York 
for protection from the officials of the new state, and subse- 
quently declared that, if the Governor of New York did not take 
steps for their relief, their persons and property "must be at 
the disposal of Ethan Allen which is more to be dreaded than 
Death with all its Terrors." 

The first record which we have of Royalton having a part 
in the controversy is dated May 15, 1779: "At a meeting 
Legaley Warned first made choice of Let Jo Parkhurst modera- 
tor. 2d The Question sent us By the Commitee apinted by the 
Convention held at Cornish December Last Viz Was Putt 
AVhether this town is Willing that the assembly of New Hamp- 
shire Extend their Claime and jurisdiction over the Whole of 
the Grants New Hampshire at the Same time Submitting to 
Congress whether a New State Shall be Established on the Grants 
&c but we Resarved to ouerSelves a Right To Vendecait oner 
claime to be a New State 3d Dissolved the meeting" At an- 
other meeting held July 12, 1779, they "Chose Lievit Joseph 
Parkhurst agent to Seet in Convention at Drisden the 20th of 
this instant ' ' and ' ' 3d Voted to support the yeomen for a distinct 
state on the ( ) of the Grants 4th Voted in case the yeo- 
men cant be supported we are to be annexed to New Hamp- 
shire." These records show that the sentiment of the people 
was in favor of independence, and more friendly to New Hamp- 
shire than to New York. 

The new government of Vermont had avowed its loyalty to 
the government of the United States, and was active in raising 
a militia force to aid in the Revolution. Those favoring New 
York refused to be drafted bj^ the authority of Vermont officers, 
or to furnish arms, and so were severely dealt with. Congress, 
as is well known, procrastinated in its action on the numerous 
petitions from both Vermont and New York. September 24, 
1779, it passed resolutions advising the states affected by the dis- 
putes to authorize Congress to settle them. Meantime the Presi- 
dent of Dartmouth College, desirous of having the college part 
of Hanover, called Dresden, given a separate existence by New 
Hampshire, and failing, favored the plan of uniting sixteen 
3 



34 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

towns on the Connecticut river with Vermont, in the hope, as 
is thought by some, of making Dresden the capital. These towns 
had been dissatisfied with their representation in the New Hamp- 
shire Assembly. Two towns were often paired, sending only one 
representative. They turned to Vermont, and claimed that by 
Mason's grant New Hampshire had no legal right to exercise 
jurisdiction over them. Vermont was not very anxious to re- 
ceive them into her fold, but she saw in such a union a way to 
increase her numbers and her influence with Congress, and June 
11, 1778, this union was effected, and Dresden was admitted as 
a separate town, making seventeen towns in all that were ad- 
mitted. A few days later it was voted to take the incorporated 
University of Dartmouth under the patronage of the state, and 
President Wheelock was appointed a justice of the peace. 

New Hampshire took action to bring her refractory children 
to submission. Vermont lost rather than gained with members 
of Congress by this political move. On Oct. 21, 1778, three 
propositions were before the assembly of Vermont: (1) Whether 
the counties should remain as they were the last INIarch. when 
the whole state was divided into two counties; (2) whether the 
counties east of the Connecticut river which had been joined to 
the state should be included in Cumberland county; or (3) 
should they be erected into a separate county? On the first 
question the affirmative was carried, and the vote was negative 
on the two others, which showed that Vermont declined to do 
anything further in the matter of union, and the New Hamp- 
shire representatives withdrew. The question of dissolving the 
union was referred to the freemen of the state, who before voted 
on the admission of these towns. A minority of the legislature 
invited all the towns on both sides of the Connecticut river to 
meet in convention at Cornish, N. H., on December 9th. They 
met and agreed to unite, snapping their fingers at the boundary 
line established on the west bank of the Connecticut river in 
1764, and coolly laid down an ultimatum to New Hampshire. 
Only eight Vermont towns were in this convention, one of which 
was Royalton, as the following record shows, the earliest of all 
the town records: 

"Royalton December 1st 1778 
At a meeting Legally Warned made Choice of Mr. Rufus Rude Moder- 
ator 2d Voted that it is the Opinion of this Town that the Votes or 
Resolves passed in the General Assembly Oct 21 Viz 1st The countys 
Remain as thay ware 2d the towns on the East Side of the River Shall 
not be enexed to Cumberland 3d Nor Shall form a County by themselves 
are unconstitutional 41y Voted that this town ac (accept?) of the Protest 
Signed by Leut Jo Parkhurst and approve of the Same 51y Chose 
Elias Curtis to Repersent this Town in a convention to Be holden in 
Cornish." 



History of Royalton, Vermont 35 

Royalton was then evidently training with the minority, and 
was in sympathy with the aspirations of Dresden. On Feb. 12, 
1779, the legislature voted to dissolve the union. The Cornish 
convention proposed that the dispute over the towns be sub- 
mitted to Congress or to arbitrators, or else that the whole of 
the Grants become a part of New Hampshire. According to 
Ira Allen, New Hampshire advised Vermont to allow her to put 
in a claim to the whole of the territory of Vermont, with the 
ostensible purpose of defeating New York, but the leaders of 
Vermont believed New York and New Hampshire to be in collu- 
sion. Massachusetts would not agree to submit the boundary 
dispute to Congress, and pushed her claim, which action has since 
been shown to have been an expression of good will, intended to 
defeat both the other claimants, and to preserve the integrity of 
the state. The decision of Royalton over the question of unit- 
ing M'ith New Hampshire has already been given in the record 
dated May 15, 1779. 

Vermont was not represented in Congress, and now asserted 
her rights more vigorously than ever before. Appeals were 
made to other states, and agents were sent to them to work in 
the interest of the young republic. It has been said that the 
second plan of union of New Hampshire and New York towns 
with Vermont in 1781 was chiefly due to Ira Allen and Luke 
Moulton. The question of this second proposed union of New 
Hampshire towns was submitted to the people. The vote was 
overwhelmingly in favor of it. Thirty-five towns were accord- 
ingly admitted from New Hampshire and twelve from New York, 
a step which increased the territory of Vermont, and gave her 
better facilities for defence against the common enemy. By 
secret intercourse with agents of Gen. Haldimand the state was 
preserved from attacks of the British, and Congress became 
alarmed lest Vermont should go over to the enemy. The loy- 
alty of the Green Movmtain State and its leaders is now well 
established, but at that time there was great uneasiness regarding 
negotiations which were thought to be going on between the 
British and the head officials of Vermont. The evasive policy 
of these leaders, who never really pledged support to the English 
government, resulted in protecting their frontiers, and in secur- 
ing the good will of the British in case it was needed to resist 
any attempt Congress might make to enforce either the claims 
of New York or of New Hampshire. 

Acting on the petition of Vermont for admission in 1781, 
Congress signified its willingness to admit the new state, if she 
would resign her claims to the towns lately united with her. 
After a sharp refusal to do this, the attitude of the inhabitants 
was changed by a wise, conciliatory letter from Gen. Washing- 



36 History of Royalton, Vermont 

ton. and Feb. 22, 1782, Vermont relinquished all claim to the 
territory lately annexed. She expected Congress to fulfill her 
part of the conditions, but she was sadly disappointed. A policy 
of delay succeeded, most exasperating and injurious to Vermont. 
It was to be expected that many who had been beneficiaries of 
New York through large grants or holding of office, should be 
opposed to the jurisdiction of Vermont. This opposition was 
so violent in the southern part of the state that an armed militia 
was needed to keep the peace and resist the Yorkers. New York 
finally grew weary of attempting to subdue her refractory pos- 
session, and shared with Vermont her distrust of the good inten- 
tion and ability of Congress to end satisfactorily the controversy. 
Every day this wayward child of hers was waxing stronger. 
After the war closed emigrants thronged to it, induced partly by 
its freedom from obligations to help pay the national debt. The 
estates of tories were dealt with summarily, and the treasury 
of the state replenished thereby. By being good-natured and 
conciliatory New York realized that she would gain more than 
by attempting force. So in 1789 w^e find commissioners from 
both states meeting and arranging the questions of boundary 
and indemnity in a very amicable frame of mind. Vermont was 
to pay $30,000 indemnity for lands confiscated, and in 1790 New 
York gave her consent to the admission of the state of Vermont 
into the union of the United States of America. Thus the old 
foe of Vermont paved the way for the admission of the state in 
1791. 

One thing more should be added in relation to the attitude 
of Royalton toward the new state. In the Archives of the State 
Department at Washington is found in Vol. I of the "N. H. 
Grants," No. 40, page 311, a copy of a petition purporting to 
come from the towns of Hartford, Norwich, Sharon, Royalton, 
Fairlee, Newbury, and Barnet, dated March, 1779, and pre- 
sented to Congress in the August following by Peter Olcott. 
That part of the petition which is pertinent to the union of the 
N. H. towns with Vermont is quoted. 

"About the time of the declaration of independence of the united 
States, sundry persons from the western part of said Grants made 
known to us that the inhabitants west of the Green Mountains were 
very desirous of having a new State formed on the said New Hampshire 
Grants — that many among us expressed our willingness for such an 
event in case the Grants east of the Connecticut river might join us 
in pursuing that object, as we have ever thought their circumstances 
in almost every respect similar to ours — they having received the 
grant of their landed property in the same channel, their manners and 
habits the same, and the local situation of the country such as makes 
it very inconvenient for us to be divided from them &c. — That we were 
by an arbitrary decree of the King unjustly deprived of that union with 
the Grants east of the river, and that we are well assured the Grants in 
general have ever been desirous of having it restored and influenced 



History of Royalton, Vermont 37 

principally by a prospect of such union a considerable number of towns 
from among us did unite with the inhabitants west of the green mount- 
ains in forming a constitution for a State. — That the towns on the 
Grants east of the Connecticut River were about the same time invited 
to join in pursuing that object and in conformity to such invitation a 
number of towns east of the river were in the month of June last re- 
ceived into union with said new State (then Icnown by the name of 
Vermont) by a resolve of the Assembly, the members thereof being pre- 
viously instructed so to do. That said Assembly have since in violation 
of their faith and honor, deprived the towns east of the river of their 
protection and actually extinguished the union with them. In con- 
sequence whereof a large number of the members of the council and 
Assembly have withdrawn their connection with that Assembly, to the 

very general approbation of their constituents. We are assured that 

the members who continue to act in Assembly have last month ap- 
pointed a Committee to apply to Congress for an establishment of a 
State on the said Grants west of Connecticut river, which in the present 
situation of affairs we beg leave to represent that we utterly refuse 
our compliance with. 

We therefore humbly pray that Congress will be pleased to do 
nothing relative thereto which may in the least encourage the establish- 
ment of a State under those disagreeable circumstances, but on the 
contrary that they will in some way express their disapprobation of it, 
and grant such relief to their injured petitioners as in their wisdom 
may seem fit." 

In the town records of Royalton only two meetings are re- 
corded prior to this petition, and no reference whatever is made 
to it. It is very doubtful if the town as an organization au- 
thorized any such petition, yet it is worthy of notice that it sent 
no representative to the Assembly in 1779, and was not at first 
in high favor with the state government. 



CHAPTER V. 



Counties. 

The first county erected on Vermont territory was organized 
by New York, July 3, 1766, and named Cumberland, possibly 
after the Duke of Cumberland, the second son of George II. On 
its northern border were the townships of Linfield (Royalton), 
Sharon, and Norwich. The King declared this act void. June 
26, 1767, as it was contrary to his orders regarding claims to 
the land in dispute between New York and New Hampshire. 
There was, however, an urgent demand for some county organi- 
zation where courts could be held and cases tried, and the county 
was re-established by Letters Patent, Mar. 19, 1768. 

A Court of Common Pleas had been established before the 
annulling act was known, and provision had been made for the 
erection of county buildings at an expenditure not exceeding 
two hundred pounds. Supervisors and other officers were or- 
dered to be elected, and the supervisors were to meet and choose 
a shire town, and levy the tax for erecting the necessary build- 
ings. Chester was selected as the county seat, and a Court of 
General Sessions of the Peace was established, to meet twice a 
year at the same time as the Court of Common Pleas. 

When the county was re-organized in 1768, the people were 
allowed to erect county buildings at their own expense. There 
was some opposition to the selection of Chester, as there was a 
strong feeling there antagonistic to New York, and it was far 
from the Connecticut river, along which were the most advanced 
settlements. Thomas Chandler, the first judge, came to the 
support of Chester by volunteering to erect a suitable court 
house and jail at his own expense. 

Mr. Child in his Gazetteer of Windsor County gives a de- 
scription of the jail, which was found in an old chancery docu- 
ment. It states that the jail was in a corner of a hut, "the walls 
of which house were made of small hackmatac poles locked to- 
gether at the corners by cutting notches into the poles." The 
cracks between pole and pole were filled with tow, moss, or clay. 
This primitive, loosely constructed affair afforded small security 
against the escape of prisoners. Chandler's court house was no 



History of Royalton, Vermont 39 

more pleasing to the county than his jail, though he planned a 
building thirty feet by sixteen, which would be convenient when 
"finished," and he had it partly erected in 1771, the year the 
first settler came into Royalton. 

Notice was given that on the third Tuesday in May, 1772, 
each town should elect one supervisor, two assessors, two collec- 
tors, two overseers of the poor, three highway commissioners, as 
many surveyors as each town thought necessary, two fence view- 
ers, and four constables. The supervisors were directed to meet 
at Chester at the "Court House," and select a place for a court 
house and a jail. After a struggle Westminster was selected 
on May 26th of that year, and the proper buildings were erected 
there. The population of Cumberland county in 1771 was but 
3947, which was divided among several towns. In some of the 
towns there could hardly have been voters enough to go around 
in the distribution of offices. 

In the meantime Gloucester county had been chartered, 
Mar. 7, 1770, by the Provincial Congress of New York, and New- 
bury was selected as the shire town. This included all the ter- 
ritory north of Cumberland and east of the Green mountains. 
Both counties were sparsely settled. The census taken by the 
authority of New York in 1771 showed that in May of that year 
Gloucester had 762 inhabitants. Charlotte county was formed 
in 1772, its southern boundary being Sunderland and Arlington. 
It included the territory west of the mountains on both sides of 
Lake Champlain to the Hudson river. The part of Vermont on 
the west side of the mountains south of Charlotte county was 
included in Albany county. 

The first Cumberland County Convention met at Westmin- 
ster Oct. 19, 1774, and occupied the new "County Hall." Stir- 
ring times were witnessed there, both before and after the mem- 
orable massacre, in which the first blood of the Revolution was 
shed, as many Vermonters claim. 

This was the status of the counties when Vermont declared 
her independence in 1777. The next year. Mar. 17, the General 
Assembly divided the entire state into two counties, Bennington 
west of the mountains, and Unity east of them. A few days 
later "Unity" was discarded for the old name, Cumberland, and 
the next year a line of division was established. The next change 
occurred in October, 1780, under an act to establish county lines, 
and Cumberland was divided into Cumberland and Gloucester, 
the division between the two running on the north line of Wind- 
sor county about as it is today. The two counties east of the 
mountains were now nearly the same as they had been under 
New York. Of course New York retained the original names, 
and therefore much confusion in the names of counties is found 



40 History of Royalton, Vermont 

in old deeds. Sometimes Royalton is in Cumberland county, 
New York, again in Cumberland county, Vermont, and a third 
time in Gloucester county. New York, and so on, with other vari- 
ations. 

In February, 1781, the population of the state had so far 
increased that a new division was decided upon, and Cumber- 
land county as it was in 1778 was divided into Windham, Wind- 
sor, and Orange counties, and the old names finally disappeared. 
All north of Windsor county was called Orange. Various 
changes have been made in the boundaries of Windsor and Wind- 
ham counties, but space forbids a further account, except to say, 
that on March 2, 1797, the state was divided into eleven counties, 
which number was later increased to fourteen by the organiza- 
tion of Grand Isle, Washington, and Lamoille, the last and 
youngest being incorporated in 1835. 

The boundaries given to Windsor county in 1797 have re- 
mained unchanged, though efforts have been made to effect a 
division. The county includes twenty-four towns, is forty-eight 
miles long by thirty wide, and contains 900 square miles. Wind- 
sor was designated as the shire town of the county by act of the 
legislature October, 1781. Legislative sessions had been held 
there in the early part of the year, and members favored that 
location, though the later settled town of Woodstock was ambi- 
tious to secure the county seat. This led to attempts to have the 
county divided into two shires, of one of which Windsor should 
be the county seat, and Woodstock of the other. The matter 
came up in the Assembly as early as June, 1781, when they voted 
not to divide the county. The selection of Windsor did not put 
an end to the rivalry between the two towns. The next step 
was to get an expression of opinion from the inhabitants of the 
county, as to the best place for the county buildings, which had 
not yet been erected. A meeting called by the authority of the 
county was held at Windsor in March, 1784, but not enough were 
interested to make a quorum. At this juncture some of the pub- 
lic spirited citizens of Windsor subscribed about $500 towards 
building a court house fifty feet by thirty-four, and at once 
began its erection. 

Woodstock was not thus to be baffled. The Hon. Benjamin 
Emmons, the representative from Woodstock, declined the honor 
of an appointment to a vacancy in the Council, that he might 
fight for his home town in the Assembly, and had the satisfaction 
of winning a victory, when the bill for establishing Woodstock 
as the shire town was approved, Oct. 27, 1786. Now the pro- 
prietors of "Windsor Court House" began to be busy. What 
was to become of their new building, if Woodstock was to be 
the shire town? Petitions besieged the legislature, and the mat- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 41 

ter was compromised, according to the account of Mr. Child, 
by legislative enactment in 1787, directing the courts to be held 
at Windsor till the inhabitants of Woodstock should build a satis- 
factory court house. 

The act of the legislature dividing Windsor county into two 
half shires was approved Oct. 27, 1790. The court houses were 
to be finished by the respective towns without anj^ expense to 
the county, and ready for occupancy before the next term of 
court. The news of this action was hardly announced to the 
residents of the county, before an opposing element appeared, 
and secured the introduction into the House of an act to repeal 
this act of division. The House voted to repeal, Jan. 17, 1791, 
refused to refer to the next session, and sent it to the Grovernor 
and Council, who promptly refused to approve it, after hearing 
the attorneys of both parties, and sent it back for amendments. 
Amended, it ordered the two shires to remain in force three 
years, after which Woodstock was to be the shire town. This 
lively rivalry between Windsor and Woodstock resulted in les- 
sening the rate of taxation for the county, as each town sub- 
scribed liberally in erecting the required buildings. 

There seemed to have been a mania for burning court houses 
in 1790, so much so that the legislature passed an act in 1791 
recommending the governor to take effectual measures to "sup- 
press the recent villany of burning court houses." Woodstock 
lost her building by fire, October 24, 1791, possibly due to the 
warm controversy over the county seat. Mr. Henry Swan Dana 
in his History of Woodstock says that a negro was suspected 
of setting fire to the building, but the evidence was not strong 
enough to hold him. A new building was erected in 1793, which 
in turn was burned July 4, 1854, having caught fire from fire- 
crackers thrown on the roof. Another court house was erected 
the same year. 

Before Woodstock was declared to be the shire town of 
Windsor county, regular sessions of the court were held at Wind- 
sor, but special sessions were itinerant like a hand-organ. When 
the cases were ground out in one town, the court moved on to 
another. This was true also of probate courts for some years, 
so that Royalton had its probate court sittings from time to time. 

How much ground there was for the charges of a correspond- 
ent of the Woodstock Observer in the issue of August 7, 1827, 
cannot be affirmed. "For some time," he writes, "a few rest- 
less and aspiring individuals on White River have been brooding 
over a scheme for dividing the county of Windsor, and raising 

Royalton to the peerage. The magnets of the north 

assembled in that snug little village and determined it to 

be expedient and advantageous - - - - and drew up a petition 



42 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

to the legislature for a division of our ancient and honorable 
county, which they have since been circulating in the disaffected 
district for signatures." He adds that Orange, Caledonia, and 
Essex are to feel the knife, and ' ' poor Essex is to be literally cut 
up and extinguished." He complains that, if the project suc- 
ceeds, the money spent on the jail and court house will be lit- 
erally thrown away, "all to gratify the whims of a few conceited 
county-makers in Royalton." 

The Observer squarely charged, that efforts were making to 
constitute Roj^alton and Windsor shire towns. Another short 
article in the same paper stated, that a meeting was held the pre- 
ceding Saturday at Royalton to see how much those interested 
would put up for a ' ' stone jug and court house. ' ' Mr. Spooner, 
who was then editing the Advocate in Royalton, in his next issue 
denied that any petition for a division of the county had been 
circulated, but owned that the matter had been discussed. He 
made light of the charges of the Observer, which fails to con- 
vince one that there was no such meeting. 

Jacob Collamer was the town representative that year, and 
it is likely that he was one of the "magnets" referred to by the 
editor of the Observer. Certain it is, that he did present the 
petition of Elias Stevens and others for a division of the county 
to the next ses'sion of the Assembly, and ably advocated it. but 
it was postponed to the next session. This petition came before 
the Governor and Coimcil Oct. 17, 1829, having enjoyed a leth- 
argic retirement for two years. It was referred to a committee 
raised on a bill for establishing a new county by the name of 
Cumberland. It seems to have relapsed into a state of insensi- 
bility from which it never recovered. The aspirations of Roy- 
alton were not realized, and she has ever since allowed Woodstock 
to enjoy the prestige of being the shire town unmolested. 



CHAPTER VI. 



Boundaries. 

It was more than half a century from the time Royalton was 
chartered by New York in 1769, before its inhabitants ceased 
to consider a change in its boundary. By the New York charter 
Royalton was to have 30,000 acres, and her territory included 
two whole ranges of lots, which are not hers today. She will, 
probably, always think with regret over the action of the 
"fathers of the town" in allowing such a divorcement of terri- 
tory. It is necessary to review the history relating to this loss, 
in order to understand how it ever occurred. 

Although Royalton was loyal to the cause of freedom, she 
did not at first show such a respect for, and acquiescence in, the 
early proceedings of the new State, as most of the towns mani- 
fested. She did not make haste, as the saying goes, "to jump 
on to the band wagon." The General Assembly did not look 
upon the town with an especially favorable eye; therefore, when 
a new survey of the towns in the State was ordered, and the 
Surveyor General pared off a large slice of Royalton on the west, 
which had already been included in the Bethel charter, and a 
thinner one on the east, and left a gore on the north, Royalton 
had to suffer without redress. She did not endure without a 
protest, though she seemed to care less for the loss on the west 
than on the east. A short history of the Bethel grant may 
explain this. 

In the year 1777, on December 29th, eighteen "adventurers," 
as they styled themselves, among them Comfort Sever of Han- 
over, and Benjamin Day of Royalton, met in that hot-bed of rest- 
lessness, Dresden, and organized into a company for the purpose 
of settling a new tract west of the Connecticut river. The next 
day they again met and voted to petition the Honorable Council 
of Safety for a charter for the northwesterly part of Royalton, 
and that part of Middlesex (part of Bethel and Randolph) which 
abutted on Royalton, taking from Royalton a tract two and one- 
half miles in breadth, the whole to be about six miles square. 
In their meeting the next day, they named the tract Bethel, and 
chose Comfort Sever treasurer. 



44 History of Royaltok, Vermont 

In their petition they say that they understand these lands 
were granted by the late Governor of New York, contrary to 
royal proclamation, to certain persons, the greater part of whom 
have gone over to the enemy. In a note it is stated, that before 
the petition was presented to the Council of Safety, Mr. Com- 
fort Sever was employed by a number of the members to apply 
to the inhabitants of Royalton for their consent to the annexation 
of the two and a half miles then forming the northwesterly part 
of the town. He reported that, in talking with the principal 
inhabitants, they appeared willing, but upon further consulta- 
tion, they informed Mr. Sever that they would consent to the 
annexation of the two tiers of 300-acre lots on the northwest, 
leaving Royalton six miles square. It was said that Mr. Sever 
had received a letter from the town clerk of Royalton to that 
effect. This report did not reach the proprietors, until the peti- 
tion had been sent in, and they say that they now expect only 
the two tiers of 300-acre lots. 

On February 11th the number of subscribers was increased 
to fifty. Abel Curtis was appointed to look up the ownership 
of the land. He was instructed to see the New York proprietors, 
and buy the land, if he could. The lots insisted upon were 49, 
56, 57, 47, 48, and a common lot. The other lots named included 
all in the two tiers except 50 and 59. They chose John Payne 
an agent to attend the Assembly at Windsor, Mar. 17, 1778. 

]\Ir. Curtis found ^Ir. Banyar at Livingstone Manor, where 
William Smith was a prisoner. Messrs. Banyar and Smith would 
sell their lots nearest the river for eighteen shillings an acre, and 
the others, for fourteen shillings, Y. C. He did not buy, but got 
a refusal of the lots until June 15. 

The agent that was sent to the Assembly reported, that that 
body would grant their petition as soon as the circumstances of 
the State would admit of it. A membership of forty-six was 
required, and $2000 on loans was to be paid into a Loan Office 
to be established in the State. This sum was raised, April 28, 
1778. A committee was chosen at the same time to survey the 
proposed town, and this committee reported on May 19, that 
they employed Mr. Zenas Colman, and as they could not find 
the upper bounds, they hired Esquire Marsh of Sharon. They 
voted to buy all lots embraced within said line of Bethel, except 
such lots as belonged to persons inimical to the United States. 
They chose Capt. Abel INIarsh to go to New York and buy the 
lots of Messrs. Smith, Banyar, and Livingstone. This agent re- 
ported June 30, that Gov. Livingstone was not at his own home, 
and could not get at his writings, but he took the agent's name, 
and assured him, that any settlers going on his land would be 
well used. iNIr. Banyar conveyed lots 56, 57, 44, 45, 46, 54 ; Mr. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 45 

Smith, 47, 48, 43, 52. Eighteen shillings in silver or gold or 
New York currency equal to it were to be paid in four years 
for each of lots 56, 57, 47, and 48, and fourteen shillings for the 
others. 

Comfort Sever resigned as proprietor in 1779, and Zebulon 
Lyon was added. John Payne received from the Governor and 
Council on Dec. 23, 1779, the charter for Bethel. This was the 
first town grant made by the new State of Vermont. 

The survey set forth in the charter began at a point six and 
one-half miles on a straight line, N. 61 degrees west from the 
northwest corner of Sharon, thence south 33 degrees west six 
miles, sixty rods, thence north 61 degrees west six miles, thence 
north 33 degrees east six miles and sixty rods, thence south 60 
degrees east six miles to the point making the first bound. 

From the foregoing it is plain that the original New York 
proprietors still owned in 1777 the land in the two tiers bor- 
dering Bethel, and they must have also held a large part of the 
rest of Royalton. The inhabitants might have petitioned the 
Assembly for a new charter to include this land, but there were 
reasons, no doubt, why this did not seem advisable at this time. 
The town was already chartered, the residents had probably, in 
most cases, paid for their individual holdings, and felt it to be un- 
just to have to pay a second time. It was a repetition of the New 
York and New Hampshire controversy so far as paying twice 
for their land was concerned. They had no claim to the unoccu- 
pied land, and if they retained it as a part of the town, would 
have to buy it of the New York proprietors. Comparatively few 
in numbers, as they were at this time, that could scarcely have 
been possible. Besides, it was by no means certain that Vermont 
could maintain her right of statehood against New York and 
New Hampshire, and in case of failure, the charters granted by 
the state would be null and void. When all points are consid- 
ered, no blame will be attached to the inhabitants of Royalton 
for taking the action which they did, but they should rather be 
commended for saving so much of the original grant, as they 
succeeded in doing. 

Trouble over the boundary between Bethel and Royalton did 
not cease with the granting of the Bethel charter. The lines of 
the town had evidently followed the course of the Connecticut 
river, and did not run due north and south. The Royalton set- 
tlers may have consciously or unconsciously infringed upon the 
Bethel land, for in May, 1787, a committee was appointed by 
Bethel to prosecute any person that should interfere over the 
old lines of Bethel. Some towns in the State were much dis- 
satisfied with the new survey made by the Surveyor General, and 
the Assembly was deluged with petitions begging for a change 



46 History of Royalton, Vermont 

in the siirvej' or for the establishment of old lines. Both Roy- 
alton and Bethel were among the petitioners in June, 1785. The 
committee of the Assembly appointed to report on these petitions, 
declared that the lines were run according to charter, but advised 
the postponement of the establishment of them until the next 
General Assembly. Dea. Dudley "Chace" opposed the report, 
and it was dismissed. Then the House took up the petitions and 
dismissed them. 

Meanwhile the charter had been granted to Royalton, and 
her boundaries had been established by it. The survey made by 
Joel Marsh agrees with the charter survey, viz.: "Begin at 
Sharon S. W. corner, thence N. 40 degrees E. 496 chains to Tun- 
bridge, thence N. 60 degrees W. 456 chains to Bethel, thence S. 
40 degrees W. 496 chains on Bethel line to Barnard, thence S. 
60 degrees E. 456 chains on Barnard line to the place of begin- 
ning, containing 22,320 acres." 

In a petition to the Assembly regarding taxes, sent by sev- 
eral towns, including Bethel, Royalton, and Sharon, dated Oct. 
2, 1784, one reason assigned for complaint was, that the Sur- 
veyor General had altered lines and taken their land from them 
in violation of the thirteenth article of the Bill of Rights. 

The boundary lines established by her charter did not give 
Bethel the whole of the two tiers which had before formed a part 
of Royalton. By referring to the chart of Tunbridge Gore, it 
will be seen that a gore of considerable size was left between the 
two towns. Bethel petitioned the Assembly on Oct. 21, 1783, 
for a gore "that is Cut of from sd Bethel, containing about 1400 
acres." She did not get it. In 1785, June 2, Silas "Williams 
and Elias Stevens petitioned in behalf of Royalton to have the 
old lines established. 

The town took action but once regarding the new survey, 
and seemed to leave the matter in the hands of the proprietors, 
until 1786, and then they did not consider boundaries, but bit- 
terly opposed taxation for the purpose of paying for running 
the new lines. The action of the proprietors respecting the new 
survey follows: 

"These are to warn the Proprietors of the Township of Royalton 
to Meet at the house of Zebulon Lion on Monday the twenty ninth 
Day of this Instant Month at one of the Clok Afternoon 

Is-t to Chose A moderator 

2 to see if the Proprietors will Chose A Ajint to send to the 
Governor to see Conserning the Land that is Cut of from sd (town?) 
by the New Lines Run by the Sevare General 

and to transact Any Other Bisness proper to be Done on sd Day 
By Order of the Perdential Committee 

Elias Stevens Pr Clark" 



History of Rotaltox, Vermont 4T 

"Sept 29th 1783 

Met Acording to warning 
1st Chose Calvin Parkhurst Moderator 

2nd Chose Elias Stevens Ajint to go to the Governor to see him 
Conserning the Land that Is Cut of By sd New Lines Maid by the 
Servare General and to see whether he Cant Get the old Lines Estab- 
lished 

3d Voted to Desolve this meeting 

Elias Stevens Pr Clark" 

The question naturally arises, Why did they petition the 
Governor instead of the Assembly? They may have had little 
hope of receiving attention from the legislators, or the old habit 
of referring disputes to their rulers may have actuated them. 
What they expected the Governor to do is not easily understood. 
They wanted the old lines established. To secure this, the Gov- 
ernor would either have to apply to the Assembly, or ride em- 
pirically over the decision of the Surveyor General. The meet- 
ing of the Assembly at Westminster was near at hand, and their 
first session opened October 9th. The work of the Surveyor Gen- 
eral was not finished, as on the 23d instant the Governor and 
Council concurred in an act to enable him "to compleat a Sur- 
vey of the Town-Lines of this State." Their hope may have 
rested in this fact, that the final word had not been spoken. The 
Governor, no doubt, told them that the proper course was to 
petition the Assembly. 

The next record of the proprietors is dated Dec. 2, 1783, 
when they met according to adjournment, which leads one to 
suppose that the record of some meetings in the interval between 
Sep. 29, when they dissolved, and this meeting were omitted. 
They merely adjourned at this time to Jan. 6, 1784 : 

"Met Acording to Ajurnment 

1st Voted to Chose an Ajint to Atend the General sembly at their 
sitting in Bennington in February Next to Put in a Petition to the 
General sembly for the Land that Is Cut of from sd Royalton Between 
Tunbridg and Royalton and Betwene Bethel and Royalton and to Git 
a grant of sd Land if posable 

2nd Chose Elias Stevens Ajint to Atend the asembly 

3d Chose John Hibbard Jun Benj Parkhurst Calvin Parkhurst A 
Committee to git a County survear and to survey the Land that is 
Cut of from sd town and Make Returns to the Next meeting 

4 Voted to Rais a tax of one Dollar on Each proprietors Right 
in Royalton to pay for Surveying and the Expense for the Ajent 

5th Voted that Standish Day pitch of Three Afterdivition shall 
stand Good whitch was pitch June 8th 1783 in Lot No. 21 Town plot 

6th Voted to Ajurn this Meeting to the sixteenth Day of March 
Next at one of the Clok on sd Day 

Elias Stevens Pr Clark" 

This petition from Comfort Sever. Calvin Parkhurst, and 
John Hibbard, prudential committee of Royalton. came up in the 
Assembly March 5th, and its consideration was postponed until 



48 History of Royalton, Vermont 

the next session. Their agent, Elias Stevens, was also the town 
representative in 1783, but Silas Williams was the representative 
in 1784. The proprietors met Sep. 7th of 1784 and chose Mr. 
Williams as their agent to look after the petition that had been 
presented by Mr. Stevens. The Journal records of the Assem- 
bly at their October session do not show that the petition came 
up again for consideration. In June, 1785, the petition of Silas 
Williams and Elias Stevens to have the old lines established was 
before the House. This was probably the petition that was put 
over to the October session of 1784, or it may have been the one 
which the town authorized, March, 1785. Its fate in this session 
was like that of a petition from Bethel of June 3, asking for the 
establishment of the old lines, which was ordered to lie on the 
table. It is no wonder if the Assembly did grow weary of a 
steady diet of petitions relating to land boundaries, and if they 
sometimes gave them scant attention, so that the petitioners com- 
plained that they could not get their petitions even read. 

Roj^alton seems to have had hope that she would yet win 
her case. The Proprietors met Aug. 9, 1785, and chose Elias 
Stevens, Joseph Parkhurst, and Calvin Parkhurst a committee 
to go and measure the line between Sharon and Royalton and to 
make returns at the next meeting. They were looking now to 
some arrangement between the towns themselves. At their next 
meeting on Sep. 6th they chose Esquire Dewey, Elias Stevens, 
Calvin Parkhurst, Esquire Sever, and Benjamin Parkhurst a 
committee to treat with Sharon or their committee in establishing 
the line between the two towns. At the same time they chose 
Daniel Tullar and Israel Waller to measure the line between 
Bethel and Royalton, and to report at their next meeting. 

Their hope revived before this meeting on the 20th of the 
month. Elias Stevens was again their representative, and he 
was chosen to attend to the matter and see if he could not get 
the land that was cut off by the new surve3^ They dismissed 
Mr, Waller and Mr. Tullar "from running the Line Between 
Royalton and Bethel." They "Chose Calvin Parkhurst and 
Benj Parkhurst a Committee to go and Run the Line Round 
the Town and git A inDifferent Chainman and in Differ survere 
to Run Round sd Town and git the Distant of the Old Lines and 
New and draw a plan of the Old Line and New and Make Return 
to the Next meeting." There is no record of the adjourned 
meeting, but in the warning for a meeting on Nov. 29th, one 
article provided for the report of the agent. Four adjourned 
meetings follow, the record of the last of which is, 
"Januy 3d, 1786 

Met Acording to Ajumment 

1 Voted to Ajurn this meeting to Let Lions for fifteen minits 
Met Acording to Ajurnment 

the Report of the Ajint" 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 49 

This is the last word said by the proprietors about the 
boundaries. 

It is quite possible that the "Stevens and Williams" peti- 
tion was one of the five petitions from as many towns, including 
Bethel and Royalton, which were referred to a joint committee 
on June 5, 1785, and that the following action was the result of 
it. This is recorded in "Governor and Council," under date of 
Oct. 22, 1785: 

"Whereas the Charter of Incorporation of the Township of Royal- 
ton was Issued in the Absence of the Surveyor General, & without 
proper Bounds from him, Therefor — Resolved, that the Surveyor 
General be directed to resurvey the said Township of Royalton as 
near agreeable to the original design of the Grant and the present 
wishes of the Proprietors as may be, and lay the same before this 
Council in order for a new Charter to be given accordingly. The 
Survey &c. to be at the Cost of the proprietors." 

It would appear that a "Correct Survey" was made, either by the 
proprietors or the Surveyor General. On Oct. 27, 1785, the Governor 
and Council passed the following Resolution: 

"Whereas the Charter of Royalton was Issued in the Absence of 
the Surveyor General, and it appears on a Correct Survey not to comport 
with the Instructions of Council, and the wishes of the people, therefore, 
Resolved, that Joel Marsh Esqr be and he is hereby requested to 
preambulate (perambulate) the lines of Royalton & Bethel, as near 
as may (be) to the wishes of the proprietors of both Towns & make 
a return of such Survey with the Difference there may be between that 
& the lines run under the direction of the Surveyor General to the 
Secretary of Council the expense to be paid by those applying therefor." 
They further "Resolved that the land that shall be found on the Survey 
this day allowed to be made in the Town of Royalton, not yet paid 
for by the proprietors, be paid for at the same price pr acre that was 
given for the Township Together with the Intrest thereof from the 
time of the other payment, in Hard money orders of this State." 

Conforming to these resolutions the town would be to con- 
siderable expense in making surveys, and in paying for the land 
which had been cut off. The Surveyor General, Ira Allen, had 
employed James Whitelaw as one of his assistants, and the new 
lines bounding Royalton were called " Whitelaw 's Lines." Mr. 
Whitelaw later became Surveyor General. 

The opposition to the new surveys culminated in 1785 in 
the House proposing an act annulling the surveys, and directing 
a discontinuance of such surveys. On October 27th a Committee 
of the Whole considered the bill. The Council had proposed to 
postpone it until the next session, but the proposition was voted 
down. . The Governor and Council then asked for a Grand Com- 
mittee of the two Houses, which voted to postpone. These rec- 
ords register the general feeling throughout the State, and prove 
that Royalton was not alone in strenuously opposing a change 
in boundary. 

Neither Bethel nor Royalton seemed willing to accept the 
line established between them. On Sep. 13, 1791, Bethel chose 
4 



50 History of Royalton, Vermont 



Joel ]Marsh to act with the prudential committee, and they were 
empowered to agree with the committee of Eoyalton and Ran- 
dolph, and settle the town lines between said towns. Whether 
it took the committee a year to conclude negotiations, or whether 
they failed, and a new committee was appointed is not evident, 
but the final record bears date. Sep. 6, 1792: 

"An agreemeat between the proprietors' committees of Bethel and 
Royalton. We do agree for ourselves and in behalf of the aforesaid 
proprietors, that the old known line, on which the lands in each of 
said towns are settled, and the old known corner, which is a maple 
tree with stones about it, marked 'B. L.' on the South West side, being 
456 chains from Sharon line, be the N. W. corner of Royalton, and the 
N. E. corner of Bethel; then running S. 40 degrees W. 496 chains to 
Barnard line be and forever to remain to be, the settled and established 
line between the above said towns, and we, in our capacity as com- 
mittee men, do release and quit all right and title, interest or claim to 
any land on either side of the above said line. And we further agree 
that the above said agreement be recorded in each proprietors' books. 
In witness whereof and in testimony of our mutual agreement we 
have herewith set our hands this sixth day of September, 1792. 

Comfort Sever, Elias Stevens, committee for Royalton, 
Joel Marsh, David Copeland, Timothy Hibbard, Committee for Bethel." 

This record which was to have been inserted in the records 
of each town is not found in Royalton records. The agents, 
Comfort Sever and Elias Stevens, were probably appointed by 
the proprietors. The last record of a prudential committee in- 
cluded Mr. Sever, but not Mr. Stevens. The town is indebted 
to Bethel for the preservation of this important history in con- 
nection with the settlement of her boundary lines. Referring 
to the diagram showing the boundaries of the town, it will be 
noticed that the Whitelaw line did not take off so large a tract 
from Royalton, as this agreement allowed. In all probability 
there had never been any authorized action granting to Bethel 
the two tiers which she claimed, and the new survey called the 
attention of the inhabitants to the possibility of having the origi- 
nal boundary re-established. The compact of 1778 was ratified 
by this agreement between the two towns, and Bethel holds a 
part of her territory by consent of Royalton. and not by charter. 
Possibly the proprietors never ratified the action of their com- 
mittee, but it is more likely that the clerk was remiss in not re- 
cording the agreement. 

The eastern line of Bethel was found by Mr. Child, land 
surveyor for many years, not to be a straight, but a crooked line, 
varymg from S. 38 degrees W. to S. 42 degrees W. He states 
that the north line of Royalton, and consequently the north line 
of the two tiers is considered to run 60 degrees E., notwith- 
standing it is stated on the plan as running 57 and one-half de- 
grees E. 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 51 

The boundary between Royalton and Bethel was at last 
amicably settled, but there was still some uncertainty regarding 
the eastern boundary of the town. Some who had built their 
homes in Royalton, as they supposed, do not seem to have taken 
kindly to a shift of jurisdiction, especially, as they were living 
in the same house. This is inferred by finding a petition before 
the House Oct. 15, 1808, coming from "sundry inhabitants of 
Royalton and Sharon regarding jurisdictional lines." No evi- 
dence is found that the town of Royalton authorized the petition, 
and it probably emanated from a few dissatisfied inhabitants of 
the two towns. It was referred to a joint committee, came up 
again Oct. 20, 1809. and once more was referred to a joint com- 
mittee. These joint committees seemed often to serve as con- 
venient wells for sinking troublesome bills. If they were never 
heard from again, the legislators could look their constituents 
placidly in the face, and say, "We acted on your petition." The 
Royalton settlers who had lost land from pitches bordering on 
Sharon had been recompensed by additional pitches in the still 
imdivided land. Nothing more is heard regarding the eastern 
boundary, and it appears to have been settled as the line was 
run, and as it stands today. 

The Tunbridge Gore was coveted by numerous would-be 
grantees. Sauthier's Map of 1779 shows no gore between Roy- 
alton and Tunbridge, and it has been supposed, that, at first, a 
part or all of this gore was considered as belonging to Royalton. 
The existence of a gore bordering Royalton was surely recog- 
nized as early, at least, as 1780. John Hutchinson and others 
petitioned, Feb. 5, 1780, for the grant of a gore between Sharon, 
Royalton, Middlesex, and Tunbridge. A petition dated, Nor- 
wich, Oct. 3, 1778, from Experience Davis, asks for a gore at 
the S. W. corner of Tunbridge of 1440 acres. He says he had 
built a house on it and lived there two or three years, and that 
he would still live there had it not been "dangerous on account 
of the Enemy of this and the United States." Aaron Stores 
(Storrs) petitioned the Surveyor General for definite instruc- 
tions as to the boundary of Randolph, saying that he was like to 
lose it for want of these instructions. His petition was granted 
June 27, 1781. Experience Davis was a Randolph settler. Pos- 
sibly, some of the land for which Mr. Davis petitioned was in- 
cluded in the gore seen on S. Gale's Map of 1774. This map 
with its explanation accompanied a petition of James Nial to 
New York for the gore lettered, CDEF. Thomas Gage attached 
his certificate, saying that Mr. Nial "was a Capt. of Rangers in 
His Majesty's service during the War in North America and was 
reduced in said capacity." There is no reason to suppose that 
Mr. Nial ever occupied the land, if he got it, and if he favored 



52 History of Royalton, Vermont 

the British, no Yankee would scruple to settle on it. We may 
conclude, then, that the stiff-spined Experience, who merely 
winked at the warnings of Governor and Council, cared not a jot 
for the claim of any British sympathizer, when he fenced in his 
"Squatter" lot in 1776. Mr. Gale in explanation of this gore, 
CDEF, says: 

"At the Time of the Passing of the Grant for the Township of 
Middlesex (which has its place of beginning at the point Z) It was 
supposed that the southeasterly Corner of that Township would have 
coincided with the southwesterly Corner of the Township of Royalton 
represented by the point A (which last mentioned Tract has its place 
of beginning as at M) whereby the Fourth Corner of Middlesex 
was supposed to be coinciding with the Northwesterly Corner 
of Royalton represented by the Point a & whereby also the 
Fifth Boundary line of the Township of Middlesex was sup- 
posed to be Coinciding with the Northerly bounds of Royal- 
ton represented by the line aP Till it should meet with the 
Westerly bounds of Tunbridge as at F. The Township of Royalton 
was laid out in the year 1770 by Thomas Valentine and the several 
lines and Corners Marked. The Township of Middlesex was laid out 
by myself in the year 1772 and Run into Lots by which survey the 
southeasterly corner of the Township of Middlesex instead of coincid- 
ing with the Northeasterly Corner of Royalton as at a proved to be at 
the Point represented by D. And the Fifth boundary line instead of 
coinciding with the Northerly bounds of Royalton (aF) proved to be 
as represented by the line DE in consequence of which the space CDEF 
Remains Vacant. 

S. Gale Surveyor." 

The grant of the Tunbridge Gore was made by the Assem- 
bly June 18, 1785. The Council of that date "Resolved that the 
fees on the Gore of Land Granted to Governor Spooner, and 
others, be one shilling pr. acre to be paid in hard money within 
one Month or Revert to the State." The grantees were Gov. 
Paul Spooner, Hon. Peter Olcott, Rev. Lyman Potter, Robert 
Havens, Joseph Havens, Calvin Parkhurst, John Hutchinson. 
Abijah Hutchinson, John Parkhurst, Abel Hendrick, Moses Ord- 
way, Benjamin Ordway, Elias Stevens, and Widow Lois Button. 
Nathan Woodbury was not named in the list recorded in Tun- 
bridge, but is named in the apportionment of acres. The fees 
were promptly paid, evidently, as on the 15th of the month the 
Council directed Col. Ira Allen to accept £5 in public securities 
from Gov. Spooner, and £5 in "States notes" in a "Settlement 
for the fees of said Gore," and to discharge Nathan Woodbury 
that sum on the granting fees due from him for his Right of 
liand between Tunbridge and Royalton. The Chart of Tun- 
bridge Gore shows the number of acres held by each grantee, but 
the divisions are disproportionate, as they so stood on the dia- 
gram filed in the town clerk's office in Tunbridge, and it was not 
deemed best to change them. 





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54 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

The Grant stated that the Gore hereafter Avas to be a part 
of Tunbridge. The boundary began at a beech tree at the cor- 
ner of Tunbridge marked "Strafford Corner 1783," being the 
southeast corner of Tunbridge, then N. 58 degrees East six miles 
in Tunbridge line to stake and stones seven links from a hemlock 
tree marked Tunbridge "S. W. corner 1783," then S. 26 degrees 
and 66 chains and fifty links to N. W. corner of Royalton, then 
S. 60 degrees E. 466 chains in N. line of Royalton to the N. E. 
corner of Royalton. 

At a proprietors' meeting held Nov. 4, 1788, at John Hutch- 
inson 's, Hezekiah Hutchinson was chosen clerk, and Col. Stevens, 
Moses Ordway, and John Hutchinson, prudential committee. 
"Whether this grant was pleasing to Tunbridge or not can only be 
conjectured. In June of the next year she appointed a com- 
mittee to ascertain the ' ' antient ' ' bounds of the town, and placed 
Elias Curtis on a committee to draft a remonstrance to the Gen- 
eral Assembly against granting any more land within her bound- 
ary. 

The boundaries of Royalton would now seem to have been 
permanently established, but there were still restless spirits look- 
ing, like Alexander, for more worlds to conquer. Some of them 
were on this very gore. It is difficult to understand just what 
motives prompted them to meditate the formation of a new town, 
bj' taking portions from Royalton, Bethel, Tunbridge, and Ran- 
dolph. It has not been ascertained with whom the idea origin- 
ated, but it was evidently hatched, and grew most lustily on this 
gore. A petition was sent to the Assembly, which considered it 
Oct. 13, 1809. It was referred to a joint committee. Jacob 
Smith was the representative from Royalton at that time. The 
petition was signed by Jonathan Whitney and others. The Coun- 
cil received from the House, Oct. 16, 1810, a bill providing for 
a committee to examine the towns of Bethel, Randolph, Royalton, 
and Tunbridge, which had been referred to a committee of four, 
and the Council concurred in the reference. 

Of course this attempt to found a new town failed, but the 
question was only dormant, not dead. It revived ten years later, 
and a petition from the same towns was before the House Oct. 
20, 1820, which was referred to a joint committee of six. It 
went over that session. Unless records are at fault, Royalton 
took no part as a town, in the earliest project of forming a new 
town, though some of her citizens did. She was passive, also, 
as regards the petition of 1820. We may infer that the forming 
of a new town was left to an expression of the voters of the sev- 
eral towns concerned. In the warning for the March meeting 
of 1821 the following article was inserted: "To see if they will 
agree to have a town formed by taking a part of Royalton, Bethel, 



History of Royalton, Vermont 55 

Randolph, and Tunbridge to be called Munroe." The article 
was laid over to an adjourned meeting and then they voted 
against forming such a town. So far as has been ascertained, 
the other towns that took any action at all in the matter, voted 
against it. The boundaries of Royalton were still undisturbed 
and have so continued to the present time. This bill was before 
the Governor and Council Oct. 21, and Mr. Chittenden was chosen 
to join the committee from the House. Probably no further 
action was taken. The petition emanated from "sundry in- 
habitants," and apparently was not authorized by the towns con- 
cerned. Royalton, as has been said, had already expressed its 
disapproval of the scheme. 

In 1829 the selectmen of the town were requested to estab- 
lish the limits and bounds of Royalton village, agreeable to an 
act of the Legislature passed November 11, 1819. The bound- 
aries are recorded as "beginning in the center of the turnpike 
road south of the dwelling house of Solomon Wheeler, Jr., thence 
up the turnpike as far as the house formerly owned by Jacob 
Cady, thence extending each way from the center of the turnpike 
the above distance forty-five rods." Dated March 20, 1829. 

No definite limits have been set to the village of South Roy- 
alton. By the charter of incorporation granted by the legisla- 
ture Jan. 15, 1909, which will be operative only when a majority 
of the legal voters in the proposed district shall vote to incor- 
porate, the bounds extend as follows: 

"Beginning at a point in the easterly line of the right of way of 
the Central Vermont railway opposite the southeasterly corner of the 
southerly abutment of the railway bridge crossing White River, on the 
farm now owned by Jessie F. Benson, on the bank of said river, thence 
southerly on the west bank of said river including lands of G. W. Smith 
and Mrs. Maxham, the Whitham farm now owned by Caspar P. Abbott 
(now o^Tied by Charles Southworth), and the N. I. Hale place, to a 
point opposite the north bound of the A. P. Skinner meadow ground, 
on the east side of said river, thence across said White river to said 
Skinner's northerly bound, thence on said Skinner's northerly bound, 
of said meadow piece, to the highway on the east side of said river, 
thence northerly on the west line of said highway, to a point opposite 
the northerly bound of the Riverview cemetery, thence on the northerly 
bound of said cemetery, and including said cemetery, to the northerly 
line of said A. P. Skinner's farm, thence easterly and northerly on 
said Skinner's line to the highway leading to the A. C. Blake farm, 
thence southerly on the westerly line of said highway to the land of 
Gertrude Patten, thence on said Patten's line and said highway to a 
point opposite the westerly abutment of the third covered bridge across 
the first branch of White river, (from its mouth) thence across said 
highway to the S. E. corner of said bridge abutment, thence across said 
Branch river to the S. E. corner of land owned by Albert Waterman and 
wife, on the easterly bank of said branch thence southerly on said 
branch river bank to a point opposite the northeasterly bound of W. N. 
Salter and E. A. Woodward's land, thence across the highway leading 
to the hill road and C. W. Seymour's farm, to said Salter's and Wood- 



56 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

ward's northeasterly bound, thence following the lines of said Salter's 
and Woodward's property so as to include all the same, and including 
all of the M. V. B. Adams land, (the property lately deeded to Jesse 
Cook) the Mary L. Mudgett piece, so-called, the Robinson place and 
the H. C. Tenney land, to land of Nettie M. Waldo, thence following 
the southeasterly line of said Waldo land on the height of land called 
the Elephant, to the corner of land now owned by Frank Fay, thence 
on said Fay's land to the main highway easterly of White river, thence 
across said highway to said Fay's line again, and on said Fay's land to 
the easterly bank of said river, thence crossing said White river at 
right angles to the land of S. S. Brooks on the westerly bank of said 
river, thence southerly on said river bank to the line of land owned 
by O. S. Curtis, including the land of D. W. Blake, and the Flint meadow 
so-called (now owned by W. E. Webster), thence on said Curtis' land 
westerly to the easterly line of the public highway, thence on said 
highway southerly to said Curtis' land again, thence crossing said 
highway at right angles and following said Curtis' line of land across 
the railway and over the hill southerly and westerly, crossing the 
Broad Brook highway, including the lands of C. E. Flint and I. B. 
Spaulding, the D. W. Blake pasture, and the Lamb pasture, to the L. C. 
Tower pasture, thence on the S. W. line of said Tower pasture to the 
M. H. Hazen pasture, and on said Hazen's southwesterly line to the 
J. W. Woodward land, thence on said Woodward's southwesterly line 
to the pasture land of C. P. Abbott (Charles Southworth), and thence 
on his southwesterly and westerly lines to the great ledge and land 
of W. B. Gould, thence on said great ledge to the land of C. W. English 
and wife, thence on said English's line to land now owned by C. W. 
Benson, (formerly the Ellen Woodward land) thence on said Benson 
and English's lines to the right of way of said Central Vermont 
Railway Co., thence at right angles across said railway land to land of 
Jessie Benson, thence on said Benson's northwesterly bound, to the 
highway, thence across said highway and following said Benson's 
northwesterly bound again, to the place of beginning." 

Under the authority vested in them by legislative enactment 
the selectmen of Royalton established Fire District, No. 1, in 
August. 1884. The following bounds were then set: 

"Not exceeding 2 miles Sqr., on the highway leading to Sharon 
from So. Royalton & on the So. Royalton side of White River as far 
and including the farm of 0. S. Curtis, on the highway leading from 
So. Royalton to Royalton same side of White River as far & including 
the farm of John Braley, (now owned by Jessie Benson) on the highway 
leading from So. Royalton to Woodstock as far & including land 
owned by A. H. Lamb & wife also including the new highway leading 
from the Woodstock road near Isaac Northrop to the Sharon road near 
James N. Cloud, on the highway leading from So. Royalton to Chelsea 
as far & including the new Factory of M. S. Adams, and on the highway 
leading from the Chelsea Road around by John A. Slack (now C. W. 
Seymour), as far and including the Ira Pierce place & now owned by 
M. S. Adams, on the highway leading from P. D. Pierce to Royalton 
as far & including the James Buck farm, on the highway leading to 
Sharon as far as P. D. Pierce's southerly line." 

In 1885. on petition, all north of the river, the John B. 
Braley and William C. Smith premises, those of Oliver Curtis. 
Benjamin Flint, Rufus and James N. Cloud were omitted, bring- 
ing the southern bound as far north as the new highway laid in 



History op Royalton, Vermont 57 

1885 between James N. Cloud and L. C. Tower, running to the 
Woodstock road or Pleasant street. In 1893 the district was 
extended to include all along the new road by Danforth Day's 
to the river, the P. D. Pierce place, and Charles Vial place be- 
tween the Pierce farm and the river. 



CHAPTER VII. 



The Earliest Settlers. 

The course of settlement from Massachusetts and Connecti- 
cut was continually northward and westward. Pioneers in one 
town often remained only long enough to secure title to their 
pitches, and then moved on further into the wilderness. Thus 
settlers in Sharon, Vermont, had itching feet for land beyond the 
limits of the town. There is some difference of opinion as to 
who were the first settlers in Sharon. A paper of reminiscences 
prepared by Joel Shepard at the age of ninety-two is very inter- 
esting reading, and deserves to pass into history. He was the 
son of William Shepard, one of the pioneers of Sharon. 

Sharon was chartered Aug. 17, 1761, by Governor Benning 
Wentworth of New Hampshire. The first recorded meeting was 
held in Plainfield, Conn., Nov. 18, 1761, when Lieut. Joseph 
Parkhurst was chosen Moderator, and John Parkhurst, Clerk. 
They voted to allow the charges of the committee for their jour- 
ney to and from Sharon, amounting to sixteen pounds. Town 
officers were chosen in Plainfield, March 9, 1762. Lieut. John 
Parkhurst received £6 on Mar. 8, 1763, for going to Portsmouth 
for the charter. Lots on the first right had been laid out in part, 
and were drawn by lot Nov. 15th of that year. Capt. John 
Parkhurst received £1.10 for surveys, riding his horse to Sharon. 
The committee that went to Sharon to lay out the lots were Capt. 
Timothy Wheeler, Capt. Silas Hutchins, Jo. Parkhurst, Jr., John 
Stevens, and Curtis Spaulding. The proprietors offered to any 
ten or five who would go to Sharon, clear three acres, sow to 
English grain, and build a house sixteen feet square, by the first 
of November, 1763, their choice of lots laid out. Evidently no 
one accepted the offer, and it was renewed to any five on April 
12, 1764, with the privilege of selecting any 100 acres in the 
undivided land, only ten of which could be intervale. In Novem- 
ber the right was extended to any one. The first town meeting 
in Sharon was held July 1, 1765, but in December one was held 
in Plainfield, and also in 1767. In 1766, March 11th, a meet- 
ing was held in Killingly, which adjourned to Plainfield, and 
Joel Marsh received for a survey of the town and the 100-acre 



History of Royalton, Vermont 69 

lots £6.2.6, and Robert Havens received six shillings for assist- 
ing the committee in laying out the town. 

The Havens and Shepard families are connected with Roy- 
alton, as well as with Sharon, and their earliest experiences in 
this vicinity are related by Joel Shepard as follows : 

"The proprietors of Plainfield, Killingly and Canterbury, 
Conn., bought the number of the town now called Sharon. They 
were to settle the town in this way — four were to be there through 
the summer, and one at least in the winter. They met together 
to see who would turn out, but all appeared loth to go. Then 
they voted to give the four that would go and settle first — and 
one of the four to stay through the winter — they gave them three 
hundred and twenty acres of land where they see fit. This was 
gratis for settling. Isaac ]\Iarsh, my grandfather. Willard Shep- 
ard, my father, one Parkhurst and one Havens turned out to go 
the next Spring. They got ready in the "Winter. They set out 
the next spring with their provisions and farming tools, and other 
necessaries, and went with an ox team as far as Old Hadley, and 
they put up at a tavern ; his name was Kellogg and there was a 
boat going up to Charlestown, Xo. 4. They put their effects on 
board the boat and went up and sent the team home. They got 
to Charlestown safe. Then there was no road, nor no inhab- 
itants, all a wilderness, and it was sixty miles. They built them 
a log canoe, and loaded and went on, and when they came to falls 
and could not get up with their canoe, they would back round 
their effects and go above the falls, and build another canoe, and 
then load and go on. They had several sets of falls to pass in 
the same way, but at last they got there safe, and they found 
the corners of the town and the number and each one made his 
pitch where his grandson now lives. "Where Isaac JMarsh made 
his pitch is where Timothy ]\Iarsh, his grandson, now lives. Wil- 
lard Shepard made his pitch at the upper part of the town, 
and the other two made their pitches. Each one built him a log 
hut. All would work for one a week, for another a week, and 
so on round, and on the Sabbath day they would resort to Isaac 
Marsh's hut; and there one Sabbath after meeting, it being 
warm, they walked down to the river where it was cooler. Some 
were reading and some were talking. Isaac Marsh had a stick 
in his hand as he sat talking, now and then picking a little in 
the leaves and dirt. At last he picked up a ring that was in the 
dirt, and come to rub up the ring they found it to be a plain 
gold ring, and on the inside was carved in small letters, 'Re- 
member the giver. ' This was a wonder, how the ring came there, 
miles from any inhabitants, and all a wilderness. He laid up 
the ring. They went to their work, which was chopping. Each 



60 History of Royalton, Vermont 

one sowed a patch of turnips. They reaped some water oats on 
an island in White River and saved them. 

Come fall they were all eager to go home, but one had to stay 
to keep the charter good. Finally, Isaac concluded to stay; he 
had provisions enough to last him till they came up in the spring. 
They started, meaning to get home to Thanksgiving, and left 
Isaac Marsh alone. Not long after they were gone, one morning 
as he was going to his work, he met an Indian and his squaw 
and four children. They shook hands and it was peace. The 
Indian appeared to be glad to see the white man, and Mr. Marsh 
invited him to go to his log house, and he gave the Indian and 
squaw a dram each, and that suited well, and he gave them a 
breakfast. Then they sat and talked. The Indian said he had 
come from Canada into this part in order to trap for beaver, 
and was about building him a wigwam for his family. 'But I 
should think.' said the Indian, 'that your wigwam would hold 
us both.' 'Yes,' said Mr. Marsh, and they set his effects all on 
one side and the Indian took the other, and then made a mark 
from the fireplace to the middle of the door and told his children 
not to step across that mark, and they did as they were bid. He 
followed trapping and had good success. He would hunt a deer 
in the morning while his wife was getting breakfast, and com- 
monly kill a deer and draw it home, and say to Mr. Marsh : ' Skin 
um and you shall have half of um. ' Marsh would dress the deer 
and take his half, and the Indian would sit and tell his war and 
hunting stories with some Indian remarks, and it was good com- 
pany. His squaw was industrious and neat, and of good govern- 
ment over her children, and pleasant to her husband. Their 
oldest son was about twelve years of age. Mr. Marsh cut down 
some small trees, and the boy would cut them up to keep a good 
fire day and night, and he made the boy a hand-sled, and he 
commonly got home enough to last through the night by noon. 
One day the boy was eying Mr. Marsh's fish pole and line. The 
boy takes a coal and a flat stone, and marked out a fish ; then he 
patted Mr. Marsh on the shoulder, and then pointed to the pole; 
then he struck the fish in two with the coal ; then made a motion 
to share one half with him, then pointed to the pole. Mr. Marsh 
knew what he wanted, and gave him the pole and some rinds of 
pork for bait. Come night the boy brought home a good string 
of trout and laid thent into two piles, and pointed to Mr. Marsh 
to take his half, and he did. The largest ones he corned down 
and smoked them for the next summer, and the boy followed 
fishing through the winter. Mr. Marsh made some sap-trays and 
tapped some maple trees. Come night he would bring in the 
sap and the squaw would boil it away, and they made molasses 
and sugar — the squaw used what she wanted. About this time 



History op Royalton, Vermont . 61 

the Indian was a-making to go back, and he soon set out, and all 
were loaded with traps and furs. He could not carry his deer 
skins, and what truck they could not they gave to Mr. Marsh, 
and they parted in friendship. 

Soon after this those w^ho went home made their appearance 
with a cow and yoke of oxen and a good stock of provisions and 
many necessaries, and they w^ent to work in earnest. Each one 
planted a patch of corn and sowed a piece of oats, and each one 
had a garden, and they went to logging through the summer and 
burning the log heaps, but saved the ashes. — After harvest two 
of them went down to Charlestown and bought their seed wheat 
and rye, and some hay seed. The oxen had as much as they 
could do, but each one got in a good crop of grain and some hay 
seed. Their corn and turnips did well, and it got to be in the 
fall, and it was Mr. Marsh 's turn to go home, and two concluded 
to stay. Mr. Marsh and the other one started and went on to 
Old Hadley and put up at the old stand, Mr. Kellogg 's. After 
they had got their supper and got rested, the landlord wanted 
tc hear all about the New "World. Marsh and his mate told about 
the country; he told him all about the Indian staying with him 
through the winter. The landlady took her knitting work and 
seated herself in the bar-room, for she wanted to hear about the 
New World as well as others. After Mr. Marsh had got through 
telling about the New World he said, 'There was one thing is a 
great mystery to me.' 'What is that?' said the landlord. Then 
Mr. Marsh said, one Sabbath after meeting, it being very warm, 
we said we would walk down to the river bank where it was 
cooler, and we did; some went to reading, and some sat talking, 
and as Mr. Marsh sat talking he had a stick in his hand and now 
and then he picked in the dirt and leaves. At last he picked up 
a ring. He was amazed to think how the ring came there. But 
come to rub up the ring, he found it to be a gold ring, and the 
wonder is how it came there. The landlady colored up and said, 
'If I can describe the ring will you give it up?' 'With all my 
heart,' said he. She said, 'If it is my ring, it is a plain gold 
ring and the inside is carved in small letters, "Remember the 
giver," and I always shall,' and the tears rolled down her with- 
ered cheeks. The company all sat amazed. ]\Ir. Marsh said, 
'The ring is yours,' and gave it up, and the tears rolled again, 
and after she got some composed Mr. M. asked her to tell how 
the ring came there, and this is the narrative. All were silent 
to hear. She said: 'This ring was given to me as a token of 
love and marriage, and the day was appointed, and the wed- 
dingers invited. This was when Hadley was destroyed the last 
time. About the break of day we heard the guns. We looked 
out and there was screaming and the buildings on fire. In a 



62 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

very short time they were in the part of the town where I was. 
All was murder and confusion. The young man took his arms 
and fought bravely; at last he was shot down. I was near him. 
I raised him up and he said, "I am dying," and took my hand. 
"Farewell forever," — and he soon breathed his last. I was 
taken prisoner. The ring was on my finger. I took it off and 
wrapped it in my bosom, and by sunrise the town was destroyed. 
Some made their escape, but most were killed or taken prisoners. 
About sunrise we went off east. Come night they divided their 
prisoners, and I was set off to an Indian. The next morning I 
was loaded with the spoils. What horses they got were loaded, 
and we were on the march as soon as it was light, and by slow 
marches we got up against the mouth of White Eiver, and then 
we crossed the Great River — the women and children on a raft. 
We encamped at the river that night. We went up White River 
the next day. Come night we encamped on the river bank. At 
night I had the ring in my bosom. There was an island in White 
River against where we encamped. Come morning I missed the 
ring. I hunted for the ring until I was ordered to march. They 
went up the lake. They then put their loading on board of 
their canoes and went on to Canada. There I was sold to a 
Frenchman. Then I was put into the kitchen to do all kinds of 
drudgery. They styled me a Yankee slave, and I continued in 
this sort until I was redeemed. Then I was sent round by Hali- 
fax to Boston. Then I got home as I could.' 

This ended the evening discourse. The next morning I\Ir. 
Marsh asked what he had to pay. 'Nothing at all,' said the old 
lady, 'your returning the ring more than pays me.' The next 
morning he went home and found all to be well. The next spring 
he started, and some others with him, and the town began to 
settle fast. The first settlers began to raise bread-stuff to sell, 
the other towns settling fast. This season there came some men 
to view Royalton, a town above Sharon. But they thought they 
never could get a road by the Point of Rocks. Willard Shep- 
ard's pick was above the Rock and he had given it up as lost. 
There was a Scotchman in the company. He said he could blow 
the rocks high and dry in a short time. He said he was a miner 
by trade. He went to work and soon made a passable cart road 
at the Point of Rocks. Since that there has been a turnpike 
up and down the river. But now there is a railroad where it 
was once said there never could be any roads got there ; and the 
country never could be settled, and it was not worth settling. 
But now see the difference. See the different factories of all 
kinds, villages, the streets of houses and all the comforts of life, 
the produce they raise such as neat stock, butter and cheese, 
sheep and wool, pork and store hogs, hay seed and the like. And 



History op Royalton, Vermont 63 

it is said that there is no state in the Union that sends more to 
market than Vermont does— according to the value of the state — 
and we may set it down as the Lord said in Genesis, first chapter, 
last verse : ' When the Lord had made all the world, and com- 
pleted the whole. He looked at it and behold it was all very good. ' 
But we weak-minded people cannot see the goodness of the land 
and the privileges at the first glance. We are apt to think our 
judgment to be good and the Lord's not." 

Dr. Cyrus B. Drake visited, many years ago, I\Irs. Lorenza 
(Havens) Love joy, daughter of Robert Havens, and questioned 
her regarding the early settlement of Sharon and Royalton. 
When she died in 1853 he wrote her obituary, in which he stated 
that Robert Havens came to Sharon in 1765. that the family 
spent the first winter in Sharon alone, and toward spring men 
came from Lebanon. X. H.. to find them, fearing they had per- 
ished. He states that at the end of a year Mr. Spalding and 
Mr. Marsh came to the town. The names of i\Ir. Havens and 
Isaac Marsh do not appear in the list of original grantees of 
Sharon. Robert Havens owned over 200 acres of land there, as 
deeds of sale show, and he lived there between five and six years 
before removing to Royalton. The Havens' descendants have 
always understood that Robert was the first settler in Sharon. 
The first settlers of Sharon must have come in 1764 or 1765, 
presumably the latter year, but without specific dates, it cannot 
be stated who was the first pioneer of that town. 

Robert Havens, the fir.st settler of Royalton, is said to have 
come from Killingly, Conn., to Sharon in the summer of 1765. 
He made a pitch on the East Hill two miles from the present vil- 
lage. He removed to Royalton some time in 1771, and settled 
on the place later known as the George Cowdery farm, where 
Mr. Cowdery 's son-in-law now resides, Mr. Irving Barrows. Here 
Mr. Havens remained five years. No deed of sale is found re- 
corded, and no record showing how he got possession of this land. 
He seems to have met some of the New York proprietors, Mr. 
Kelly in particular, and may have been offered inducements to 
begin settlement in the new town of Royalton, chartered two 
years before. He, like many other pioneers, was not able to 
write, but was a good business man, possessed of uncommon 
energy, courage, and good sense. When he came to Sharon he 
was forty-seven years old, and at the time of the Indian raid 
he was sixty-two, not an "old man," as Steele styles him, at 
least, he would not be so called today. Just how long he re- 
mained on his farm near South Tunbridge is not known, but he 
sold out and removed to South Tunbridge in his old age. He 
died at the ripe age of eighty-seven, having survived all the hard- 
ships of pioneer life for a long period of years. He was elected 



64 History of Royalton, Vermont 

to different town offices in Sharon, from that of fence viewer to 
selectman, and was employed as surveyor in laying out roads. 
In 1768 he w^as one of a committee to locate the grist mill and 
to lay out the third division of 100-acre lots. He seems to have 
taken no very active part in the affairs of Royalton, if one may 
judge from the rare occurrence of his name in the town records. 
He was once on a committee for building a bridge, and once was 
elected as highway surveyor. His eldest daughter, Hannah, 
married Daniel Baldwin of Norwich, and two of her sons, Daniel 
and Sylvester, have left honorable records as citizens of Mont- 
pelier. A daughter, Eleanor, married William Lovejoy of Sha- 
ron, and another daughter, Lorenza, married Daniel, son of Wil- 
liam Lovejoy. Joseph Havens, a son. was taken prisoner at the 
burning of Royalton, returned, married, and settled in town, but 
after a few years removed to York state. Another son, Daniel, 
lived and died in town, leaving descendants, some of whom are 
still residents of Royalton, Mrs. John F. Shepard and son Fred. 
Other descendants of the first settler who are now living in town 
are Mrs. Betsey Davis, Mrs. Hannah Benson and her family, and 
the family of the late Charles D. Lovejoy, who descended through 
Lorenza Havens. 

Who the second settler was in Royalton cannot be positively 
stated. Tradition says it was Elisha Kent. Mr. Kent was the 
son of a clergyman. He settled near the present village of South 
Royalton, and the South Royalton cemetery was once a part of 
the Kent farm. His first log hut was on the meadow, east of the 
road. He was probably about forty when he migrated to Roy- 
alton, and had two or three sons. Joseph Moss was born in 1774, 
and may have been born in Royalton. Mr. Kent was a man of 
influence in the town, and amassed considerable property for 
those days. He had a family of eight children. The oldest, 
John, removed to New York. None of his descendants are living 
in town. A grandson, Archibald, son of Elisha, Jr., was the last 
of the Kent name to own the old farm. 

Benjamin Parkhurst was another early settler, generally 
thought to be the third one. Some account of him is given in the 
chapter on the "Burning of Royalton." In his obituary it is 
said that he came to Royalton in his 19th year, when no one was 
living here. His father was Joseph Parkhurst, one of the earliest 
settlers of Sharon. If his father was the Parkhurst mentioned 
by Joel Shepard in his narrative, and Benjamin came with him, 
it would establish the date of the four settlers named by Mr. 
Shepard, as the summer of 1764, as Benjamin was born in 1745, 
Dec. 10, and would not be 19 until Dec. 10, 1764. According to 
Mr. Shepard 's account the others except Mr. Marsh returned 
before Thanksgiving. When Benjamin came from Plainfield, 



History op Eoyalton, Vermont 65 

Conn., to settle in Sharon, he passed through Pomfret, where he 
hired men to cut a road. He settled on the Dana-West farm in 
Sharon and Royalton, where he lived five years before he removed 
to his "pitch" above Royalton village in 4 Town Plot. When he' 
transferred his goods to that place, he had no road, but followed 
the beach of the river on either side, as best he could. Quoting 
again from his obituary: "He helped raise the first mills in 

Norwich, Sharon, Pomfret, Royalton, Bethel, and Randolph. 

Mr. Parkhurst assisted in preparing the timber which was used 
in the first framed building at Hanover Plain. His hands aided 
ill the first erection for the College, which has been so useful and 
become so distinguished. The honorable men of its alumni, whose 
eloquent voices are heard in the pulpit and in the halls of Con- 
gress, may reflect with veneration and affection, that the hands 
of this aged man, just cold in death, originally had part in rear- 
ing the seat of learning where they were fitted for public life. 
He contributed liberally to the College, for one in his circum- 
stances. Some of the Professors were frequently at his house, 
and occasionally spent a vacation there. The same was also true 
of the students who were from Connecticut." Further facts 
relating to Mr. Parkhurst and his family will be found in the 
genealogical part of this book. 

Isaac Morgan was here in 1775, and perhaps before that 
time. This year he bought of Whitehead Hicks 211 acres in 
5 L. A. and 100 acres in 1 L. A. A few years later he is found 
running Curtis' Mills, and they are now called Morgan's Mills. 
He was living at the Mills in 1780. Later he bought the place 
now called the "Buck Place." He had married a second time 
when he came to town, and had seven children. Five more were 
born in Royalton presumably. Isaac, Jr., was born Feb. 3, 1776, 
and if born in Royalton, may have been the first white male child 
born in town, unless Joseph Moss Kent had that honor. Mr. 
jNIorgan took a foremost part in the affairs of Royalton. At the 
first recorded March meeting in 1779, he was elected to the offices 
of selectman, surveyor, lister, sealer of weights and measures, 
and a member of the ministerial committee. He is the only one 
of all the officers to be styled "Esquire," which title the clerk 
v/as very careful to prefix to his name each time it was mentioned. 
He lived until 1815, an honored citizen of the town. He was 
eighty-four years old at the time of his death. His son Isaac 
resided in Royalton, and like his father had a large family of 
children, some of whom also lived here for a while, but no de- 
scendant is known to be here at the present time. 

Elias Curtis was probably in Royalton in 1775, or before. 
It is somewhat difficult to determine his residence at any certain 
date, as he seems to have alternated between Royalton and Tun- 
5 



66 History of Royalton, Vermont 

bridge. He was an original grantee of Tunbridge in 1761, and 
was chosen clerk. He was one of a committee to lay out that 
town into 100-acre lots. He built a saw and a grist mill there. 
The first meeting was held at the house of John Hutchinson. In 
1783 a meeting was held at the house of Mr. Curtis in Royalton, 
though why they came to Royalton is not clear. He was one of 
the leading settlers of Tunbridge, and represented that town in 
the General Assembly, and was active in promoting its interests, 
political and religious. He has the honor of erecting the first 
saw mill and grist mill in Roj^alton. Isaac Morgan was associ- 
ated with him in building these mills, and soon ran them. Mr. 
Curtis lived, probably, on the lot which he got from the proprie- 
tors for erecting these mills, namely, 35 Dutch Allotment. He 
held also 39 Dutch. He was a blacksmith in 1780, or at least, 
had a shop near his house, where he was taken prisoner bj^ the 
Indians. When he returned from captivity he built a fine resi- 
dence in Tunbridge, though he seems to have lived some of the 
time in Royalton. He was a resident of Royalton in 1779, and 
chosen moderator at the March meeting. He was elected grand 
juryman in 1782. The next year he was on the Society commit- 
tee. In 1771 when he deeded land he was a resident of Norwich. 
In Hartford town records he is found April 21, 1777, selling land 
in Hartford, at which time he gave Royalton as his residence. 
In 1785 he was elected selectman in Royalton, and was then 
styled Colonel Curtis. The next year he was placed on a com- 
mittee to see about the new surveys. In 1791 he was sent by 
Tunbridge as a member of the Convention which met at Benning- 
ton to adopt the Constitution of the United States. In 1800 he 
was one of three to petition for the right to lay out White River 
Turnpike. Mr. Curtis spent his last days in Tunbridge, and 
after a life of great usefulness, he died there in 1827, at the age 
of seventy-nine. 

From the town meeting records it appears that, besides those 
already named, there were in town March, 1779, Comfort Sever, 
Lieut. Timothy Durkee, Lieut. Elias Stevens, Nathan Morgan, 
Lieut. Joseph Parkhurst, Mr. Wallow, (Israel Waller), Mr. 
Hebard, (John Hibbard), Mr. Day. (Benjamin), Lieut. Benton, 
(Medad), Rufus Rude, and Tille Parkhurst. This did not in- 
clude all male voters of the town, of course, but probably did rep- 
resent most of the families. At a May meeting of the same year, 
Calvin Parkhurst is named, and at a December meeting, Daniel 
Gilbert and Lieut. Moors (Nathaniel Morse). John Parkhurst 's 
name is added at a January meeting, 1780, as is also Daniel Rix's.^ 
At the March meeting following David Brewster was elected^ 
brander of horses. These are all the men noted in the town meet- 
ing records prior to 1781. Of these there is space only to give 



History op Royalton, Vermont 67 

some account of the ones most closely identified with the early 
history of the town, and the records of the others, so far as has 
been ascertained, will be found in the genealogical half of the 
History. From land and Revolutionary records, and Steele's 
narrative it is known that Robert Handy, Jeremiah Trescott, 
John Billings, Joseph Kneeland, John Evans, and families by 
the name of Fish and Downer lived here on or before 1780. 

A petition of Comfort Sever to the General Assembly shows 
that he came to Royalton in March, 1778. and settled on 11 Town 
Plot, and expected a deed also of No. 12, Town Plot. This land 
included the site of the present schoolhouse at North Royalton. 
Mr. Sever was a man whose light could not be hid, and he had 
scarcely set foot in town before he was called upon for advice 
and service. Perhaps he was too much interested in projects 
emanating from Hanover, N. H., as witness his agency in secur- 
ing to Bethel a portion of Royalton. However, he was ever after 
a loyal citizen of the town, and had weight in its counsels. In 
the Hanover records we are told that, in the plans for a larger 
college building between 1771 and 1773, the authorities were in 
consultation with Comfort Sever of Stillwater, N. Y. He was a 
carpenter, and settled near the College in 1773, under the patron- 
age of President Wheelock. He served as a military man before 
coming to Royalton, and was commissioned as Captain, and was 
one of the few called true soldiers when, in 1777, Major Wheelock 
found so many had deserted at Fishkill, N. Y. He was Lieu- 
tenant at this time, and served 112 days. He was chosen town 
clerk of Royalton in 1779, which position he held until 1788. 
That same year, 1779, he was employed by the "inhabitants and 
owners of land in Royalton" to petition the Assembly to defer 
the granting of Royalton, as had been decided upon a short time 
before, by which grant many of the land owners would lose their 
rights. This action does not appear in the town or proprietors' 
records. The legislature appointed a committee to go to Royal- 
ton, investigate, and report. The petition was dated Nov. 6, 
1779. At each town meeting that year, with one exception, and 
there were six meetings, Capt. Sever was called upon to attend 
to some important business. He was chosen justice of the peace 
on Dec. 30, and the next January he began service as moderator, 
and was appointed an agent to treat for the town with the As- 
sembly respecting the property of non-residents. That year he 
was chosen clerk, selectman, and treasurer, and was one of the 
ministerial committee. He was early identified with the First 
Congregational church, and his name is on the list of members 
who solemnly renewed covenant in 1782. He continued in pub- 
lic service until 1788. In 1789 he deeded Bradford Kinney part 
of 11 and 12. Town Plot, and contracted for the support of him- 



68 History op Royalton, Vermont 

self and wife. This action may have been due to ill health. In 
1793 Mr. Kinney gave Mr. Sever a mortgage on this land to 
secure payment yearly of £24 during Mr. Sever 's life, which 
mortgage was discharged two years later. Asa Perrin in his 
diary speaks of the funeral of Mrs. Sever at the red schoolhouse 
on Sep. 5, 1792, and of the funeral of Sally Fish at Mr. Sever 's 
house June 3, 1804. Mr. Sever married the widow of David Fish 
in 1794. His name does not appear in the first town list, 1791, 
though it is found in the census of 1790. From 1799 to 1804 he 
is listed, but paid no poll tax after 1799, from which it may be 
inferred that he was sixty in 1800. His family at the time of 
the census consisted of only himself and wife. He removed to 
New York state, probably about 1805, where all trace of him is 
lost, except in 1809, as guardian of Elijah and John Fish, sons 
of David, he disposed of land belonging to David's estate. He 
was then in Jefferson, N. Y. Reading between the lines, one 
can say that Capt. Sever was a man of good judgment, reliable, 
one whose opinions were respected, and whose advice greatly 
aided Royalton in her early struggles for existence. 

Jeremiah Trescott was another Hanover man. His lineage 
has not been traced, but it is probable that his father was Jere- 
miah, a citizen of Hanover, and he may have had an uncle Ex- 
perience there. The family seems to have been a military one. 
Jeremiah is credited to Royalton in Capt. Samuel Payne's Com- 
pany in 1777, and he shares with Capt. Sever in the commenda- 
tory remarks alluded to in the sketch of Mr. Sever, as being true 
to his colors, when other soldiers deserted at Fishkill. He was 
set down as twenty-six years old in Capt. Payne's muster roll in 
1777, but his headstone gives his death as occurring Nov. 6, 1824, 
and his age then as seventy-five. He lived where John F. Shep- 
ard now lives, and is supposed to have built the old saw mill 
still running on Mill brook. He seems to have had some pecu- 
liarities of character, but was a substantial and worthy citizen 
of the town. His son Thomas succeeded him on the farm, but 
all trace of the family is lost now. Experience Trescott, a brother 
of Jeremiah, came to Royalton some years later, and settled on 
land bought of Jeremiah, the place known as the Franklin Joiner 
farm. 

Elias Stevens shared with Comfort Sever the honor of being 
the most intiuential citizen of Royalton during the first decade 
of its existence. While Mr. Sever 's advice was sought, Lieut. 
Stevens was recognized as a man who "does things." As col- 
lector, constable, and lister in 1779, he aided in keeping up the 
business end of the town's affairs. Gen. Stevens had lived in 
Sharon before coming to Royalton. In 1777 he was on a Com- 
mittee of Safety there. He took the freeman's oath in Sharon 



History of Royalton, Vermont 69 

March 3, 1778, on April 24th he gave in a deed his residence as 
Sharon, and on June 5th in another deed his residence is given 
as Royalton, which would show that he came to Roj^alton between 
the last two dates. The inscription on his tombstone states that 
he came to Royalton at the age of sixteen. He was born in 1754 
in Plainfield, Conn. He would have been sixteen in 1770. be- 
fore Royalton was settled, so there seems to have been a mistake 
in the inscription. This inscription also states that as a Revo- 
lutionary soldier he was at Bunker Hill and Saratoga. Gen. 
Stevens first settled on the Buck place, his home being on the 
west side of the road. It was on the meadow near his home that 
the Indians gathered in their plunder before returning after the 
raid. He removed from this farm after 1780, and lived for 
many years on the farm below South Royalton, now called the 
Howard place, on the south side of the river. A few years be- 
fore his death he moved to a house below his large two-story 
house, and sold a part of his farm to William Harvey. He first 
represented the town in the General Assembly in 1783, and at 
different dates between that time and 1816 he held the office for 
eleven years. He was placed on important committees, and hon- 
ored by an election to the Council in 1815. As a member of the 
militia he received the title of General, and his record will be 
found in the account of the "General Militia." His promotions 
were well merited, and his Revolutionary service fitted him for 
command. He resigned the office of Major General in 1799. He 
was active in promoting the establishment of a new county to 
be called Cumberland. He was an enterprising man. He was 
one of the owners of the White River Turnpike Company, which 
furnished a good river road through Royalton at a time when it 
would have been a heavy tax upon the town to build such a road 
and keep it in repair. He was engaged extensively in land deals. 
Chase in his History of Dartmouth calls him and others land 
speculators. They had petitioned the Assembly for land set 
apart for the use of Moore's Charity School. The petitioners 
asserted that such a school never had an existence. No other 
Royalton man approached him in the number of land transac- 
tions for a quarter of a century from 1780. Although his name 
is not found as a communicant of the church, he was associated 
with others in conducting its affairs, and several of his family 
were members. Mr. George H. Harvey, now a resident of Wood- 
stock, when a young boy lived in the house with Gen. Stevens a 
year. This is his description of him: 

"Gen. Elias Stevens was more than six feet in height, broad- 
shouldered, and a little stooping, large features, long nose, end 
quite prominent; eyes gray. He would be called very plain. 
He had a commanding personality, strong voice, great will force 



70 History of Royalton, Vermont 

and mental power. He was not a professor of religion, but was 
strictly moral and upright, and temperate. He was ready at all 
times to give hearty support to all efforts for law and good gov- 
ernment. ' ' 

Gen. Stevens had eleven children, all of whom were probably 
born in Royalton. Only a few of them lived in town after reach- 
ing maturity. Descendants of Phineas are now living in Syca- 
more, Illinois. 

Lieut. Joseph Parkhurst was one of the earliest settlers of 
Royalton. He was here in 1778, and probably some time before 
that. A Joseph Parkhurst figures in the early history of Sha- 
ron, but Joseph, the father of Benjamin, is known to have lived 
there, and it is possible that Joseph, the father of Lieut. Joseph, 
may also have settled there for a time. The place from which 
our Lieut. Joseph came, when he removed to Royalton, cannot 
be affirmed. At a March meeting in Sharon, 1768, both "Jo- 
seph" and "Lieut." Parkhurst were chosen assessors. There 
was, then, in Sharon a Lieut. Parkhurst, who was not our Lieut. 
Joseph, as he was born in 1750, and would then be only eighteen. 
Among the original grantees of Sharon in 1761 were Joseph and 
Joseph, Jr. If Benjamin Parkhurst had a brother Joseph, this 
Joseph, Jr., may have been he. Our Lieut. Joseph appears in 
the record of the first town meeting, Dec. 1, 1778, when the voters 
approved of his protest. This protest was his negative vote in 
the General Assembly, Oct. 21. 1778, on the question, whether 
the counties should remain as they were, which vote was to de- 
cide whether the New Hampshire towns should become a part 
of Vermont or not. The reason given by the minority, which 
voted No, was, that in March the whole state was divided into 
two counties, and the towns east of the Connecticut had not then 
joined, and so were never annexed to any county, and would be 
out of the protection and privileges of the state. When the vote 
was declared, the minority protested and withdrew, Lieut. Joseph 
among them. He was our first representative. He was chosen 
as an agent to sit in Convention at Dresden, at a meeting held 
July 12, 1779. He was Captain of a militia company in 1780, 
the muster roll of which may be found in the chapter on "Revo- 
lutionary Affairs." He was probably unmarried when he came 
to Royalton and settled on 16 L. A., near the Handy fordway. 
His father's death in 1779 is recorded here, and his parents may 
have lived with him. His mother died in this town in 1797. 
Asa Perrin in his diary refers to her funeral in the meeting 
house, January 18th, calling her the mother of Joseph. He had 
three wives and eleven children. A daughter, "Sukey," mar- 
ried William Woodworth, and another, Alvira, married Oramel 
Sawyer, men well known in Royalton. One of Alvira 's daughters 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 71 

married Gen. Alonzo Jaekman. Capt. Parkhiirst continued to 
serve the town in various capacities for a score of years. Like 
Gen. Stevens, he does not seem to have joined the church, but 
he was called upon to act for it on many occasions. His mother, 
Judith, was one of its members. He died in 1830, and Dea. 
Joseph, his son, succeeded him on the farm. 

Calvin Parkhurst was a brother of Joseph, about three years 
vounger. He was even more of a public servant than was Joseph. 
It is likely that the two brothers came to town about the same 
time. Calvin was elected collector in 1779. He served in the 
militia, and was a member of Capt. William Heaton's Company. 
He was then sergeant, and served thirty-six days, having enlisted 
Sep. 20, 1777. He was placed in command, as captain, of the 
eight men raised by Royalton and Sharon for guarding the fron- 
tier in 1780. He served as lieutenant in his brother's company 
of militia. The confidence of his fellow citizens in his ability 
and uprightness did not wane, and we tind that he was elected 
to the legislature in 1780, 1782, 1786, 1788-9. He voted against 
admitting the New York towns to Vermont, at the session of the 
Assembly in Windsor, April 11, 1781. In 1789 he was one of a 
committee to count the votes for governor, and was one of the 
two from Windsor county, who were chosen with a like number 
from each of the other counties, to escort Governor Robinson 
into the town of Westminster, where the Assembly was gathered. 
He had been elected Colonel in the militia on or before 1789, 
and is thus called in the Assembly Journal of Oct. 15th, when he 
was placed on a committee for nominating a committee to draft 
a constitution for a college in Vermont. He was also a member 
of a committee for nominating a committee for receiving sub- 
scriptions and donations to the college. He was "Major Park- 
hurst" in 1791, when he presented the petition for a lottery to 
be granted for building a bridge over White river. An act was 
passed Oct. 28, granting such a lottery. In 1782-3 he was chosen 
selectman in Royalton. In 1784, "Captain" Calvin Parkhurst 
was placed on a committee by voters of the town, and the next 
year "Major" Calvin Parkhurst was elected selectman. That 
year he was chairman of a committee to prepare a petition to 
the Assembly to alter the act concerning the survey of town lines, 
or to have it repealed. He served the town many times as mod- 
erator. He married Permela Robinson soon after the burning 
of Royalton, and had four children. He died of small pox at 
Rutland, in the prime of life. His place of burial is not known, 
but his wife is buried in Norwich. She married for a second 
husband, Walter Waldo. 

John Billings came to Royalton about 1778. From the His- 
tory of Woodstock it is learned, that, as a young man, he made 



72 History of Royalton, Vermont 

several voyages from New London, Conn., to the West Indies, 
and that in 1775 he enlisted as a Revolutionary soldier. He set- 
tled in Royalton in the west part of the town, and was original 
grantee of 19 and 20 Town Plot. The name of Mr. Billings 
does not appear in the town meeting records until September. 
1781. The three succeeding years he was chosen lister. In 1786 
he is called "Captain" Billings, and was elected fence viewer. 
He was a prominent member of the Baptist church, though dif- 
fering somewhat in the matter of belief. His wife, Olive, also 
had her own opinions regarding religious faith and practice, and 
the church spent considerable time and energy in an effort to 
convince them of their error. He was employed by his neighbors 
in the settlement of estates, and withal was a man of integrity 
and ability. He had a wife and three children when he removed 
to Royalton. He was the father of Oel Billings, at one time a 
merchant in Royalton. The Hon. Frederick Billings, son of Oel, 
was his grandson. 

John Hibbard was a man highly respected by his townsmen. 
He was entrusted with the duty of securing the charter for the 
town in 1779, when the voters awoke to the fact, that they really 
did not know what the divisions of the town were, and they 
needed the charter to substantiate their claims before the state 
government. He made the journey to New York state between 
the dates, June 28 and August 23, and received as remuneration 
for obtaining the charter £151.1. The same year he acted as 
"corester" for the church, and served two or more years as tith- 
iugman. He continued to serve the church in different ways, 
though not as a communicant, until a Baptist church was formed. 
He then became an active member of that church. He was in- 
terested in higher education, and was one of the men who en- 
deavored to secure a grammar school for Royalton in 1782. He 
was elected to various town offices, and placed on committees 
for the transaction of important town business. He seems to 
have served in the militia, and in 1786 in a town meeting record 
he is called "Lieut." Hibbard. He had five children, four of 
them sons. These children were probably all born before he 
came to Royalton. One son, John, Jr., was a Baptist minister in 
town for several years. Gen. Lovell Hibbard was his grandson. 
Polly, a daughter of Elder John Hibbard, married Daniel Wood- 
ward. John Hibbard was original grantee of 28 and 29 Town 
Plot. His home was so far west that it did not suffer at the 
hands of the redskins. 

Another solid citizen of the town in its earliest days was 
Daniel Rix, who came from Preston, Connecticut. He was one 
of the settlers who had families of considerable size when remov- 
ing to Royalton. Of his seven children only one, Jerusha, could 



History op Royalton, Vermont 73 

have been born in this town. If he came here before the sum- 
mer or fall of 1779, the records do not show it. It would seem 
that any newcomer who was capable of holding town office, was 
at once put into the harness b}^ the voters. Mr. Rix was put on 
a ministerial committee Dec. 15, 1779, which is the first mention 
made of him. At the next March meeting he was chosen mod- 
erator, selectman, sealer of weights and measures, and member 
of the ministerial committee. The next year he was moderator, 
selectman, pound keeper, member of the ministerial committee, 
and grandjuryman. His numerous offices must have been sat- 
isfactorily filled, for the following year he was moderator, select- 
man, and treasurer, and that he might not have any idle time, 
they elected him hoghayward, and fence viewer, and placed him 
on a committee to see that three bridges were built. That year, 
as one of the selectmen, he aided in dividing the town into dis- 
tricts. Later in the same year he was on a committee for hiring 
a minister. Whether it was that his honesty was above that of 
his fellow citizens, or he had a better equipment, certain it is 
that his steelyards were made a standard of weight in 1782. He 
continued using his time and his talents in the service of the 
town for a quarter of a century. In May, 1780, he bought fifty 
acres of Elisha Kent on the east side of 10 Large Allotment. 
That was where he was living on October 16, when his home was 
destroyed during his absence in Connecticut, as noted in the 
"Burning of Royalton." The minister's lot of thirty acres 
joined his. The last years of his life were spent on the farm in 
53 Town Plot, which his son, Elisha, bought in 1812, after selling 
the Kent place. Elisha 's father had deeded this place in 1798, 
and evidently gave up active life on the farm. Daniel Rix is 
buried in the North Royalton cemetery, which was originally a 
part of the farm where he died, and his son, Elisha, and grand- 
son Edward. A reference to the genealogy of the Rix family 
will show that many of them lived in town a part or all of their 
lives, and were among the most prominent and valued citizens 
of Royalton. William Rix descended through Elisha Lee, and =/ 
Daniel G. Wild, the chief donor to this volume, descended through 
Garner Rix, another son of Daniel the pioneer. Of his descend- 
ants now residing in town there are Pearl Dewey and family, 
his brother Glenn Dewey, Dea. John Wild and sons John, Jr. 
and Rev. Levi, and Mrs. William Skinner, daughter of William 
Rix. The name Rix has disappeared from the town list, the last 
of the name to die here being Edward, who died in 1907. Daniel X 
Rix is described as being six feet in his stockings and straight as 
an arrow. He was chosen deacon of the church in 1787. The 
history of the church shows that he was independent in thought, 
and tenacious of his opinions. He was liberal in his religious 



74 History of Royalton, Vermont 

views, too much so for the strictest orthodox members, aud the 
result was complaints that he was "embracing and propagating 
sentiments contrary to the Gospel." This w^as in 1814, and the 
Deacon was not allowed to hold his views in peace until after 
1822. 

In a marriage record of Coventry, Conn., we are told that 
Daniel Gilbert of Sharon, Vermont, married Jerusha Benton on 
Oct. 2, 1772. By this means it is known that Mr. Gilbert was 
settled in Sharon that year. In jMarch, 1773, he appears in 
Sharon records as collector. In August, 1776, he was there 
chosen as one of a committee "to meet in the county to do Busi- 
ness Respecting the New Government, ' ' which shows that he was 
thought to be a man of judgment and reliability. On Feb. 20, 
1777, he was chosen a member of the committee to ask the advice 
of neighboring ministers in getting a candidate to preach on pro- 
bation for Sharon and Royalton. The May following he was 
chosen a "dillicate" to the Convention at Windsor, to be held in 
June. It was in this Convention that the name "New Connecti- 
cut," first given to the New Hampshire Grants when they de- 
clared their independence, was changed to Vermont, and his vote 
was given for this change. In a memoir of William Gallup by 
his son. Dr. Joseph A. Gallup, is found a list of delegates to the 
Convention held at Windsor. July, 1777, for adopting the Con- 
stitution of Vermont. In this list Daniel Gilbert is credited to 
Royalton. This is probably a mistake, as his residence at that 
time seems to have been Sharon. He took the freeman's oath 
there March 3, 1778, and was elected to the Assembly as repre- 
sentative that year, and he also represented the town in 1782-83, 
1785, and 1791. Sharon sent him to the Convention at Benning- 
ton, which adopted the Constitution of the United States in 1791. 
His first appearance in Royalton records is under date of June 
28, 1779, when it was voted that, if the town was chartered again, 
Daniel Gilbert should be accepted as one of the proprietors, and 
he accordingly became one of the original grantees. He settled 
on the Dana-West farm, mostly in Sharon. From this time Capt. 
Gilbert, like Elias Curtis, vibrated between two towns, in his 
case, Royalton and Sharon. As nearly as can be made out from 
deeds and other records he was in Sharon between the dates, 
1772-79, 1782-91, 1811-1818, and in Royalton the other years 
between the dates 1779 and 1811. He died in Sharon in 1818, 
and is buried in the South Royalton cemetery. Soon after the 
death of his wife in 1799, he bought what is known as the ' ' Pierce 
Tavern," and removed there, where he kept a hotel and did a 
thriving business. The house is spoken of in one record as a 
"red" house, and he left it with much the same appearance as 
it left the hands of Phineas Pierce, Jr. Capt. Gilbert did not 



History of Royalton, Vermont 75 

hold so many and important offices in Eoyalton as he did in 
Sharon. He was placed on a ministerial committee Dec. 15. 1779. 
On his return to the fold of Royalton after his sojourn in Sharon, 
the voters seemed rather shy about putting him into office. It 
is not until 1793 that he appears as a town officer in the capacity 
of lister and highway surveyor. In 1796 he was chairman of a 
committee to estimate the cost of building a bridge over the 
mouth of the First Branch. In 1799 he was employed as agent 
to treat with the town of Ellington, Conn., regarding the care of 
Abial Craw, a man whom the town had supported in his sick- 
ness. For this service he received $78.67. His name is found 
in the first list of the town, 1791. His list was £20.10. In 1803 
he had prospered to such an extent that he led all in the size of 
his list, which was $546. He was the only man that had money 
at interest that year, according to the record, and he owned to 
having $3333.33. He was last listed in 1810. He was married 
three times, his last wife surviving him. By his first wife he had 
no children, but they adopted a niece of his wife, Nancy Benton, 
who became the wife of Cornelius Goodell. He was a kind father 
to Nancy, as he was to his step-children, the offspring of his third 
wife by a former husband. To one of these he deeded "for 
love" a generous lot of land. His military record will be found 
under another head. In the "Royalton Alarm" his company of 
eighteen men pursued the retreating Indians, while Capt. Park- 
hurst's Company evidently staid at home to guard the town. 

The list of families in town as given in the census of 1790 
follows. The first figure opposite a name shows the number of 
free white males of 16 years and upward, including heads of 
families, the second figure indicates the number of free white 
males under 16 years, and the third figure stands for the free 
white females, including heads of families. The spelling as given 
in the census has not been changed. 

Allyn, Silas, 2-4-3; Anderson, Thomas, 1-1-2; Anderson, William, 
1-1-2; Back, Lyman, 1-1-3; Backus, Stephen, 1-1-2; Banister, Artimus, 
2-0-4; Banister, Timothy, 1-2-3; Bacon, Jarub, 1-1-4; Bacon, Thomas, 
2-0-3; Benton, Medad, 2-0-2; Billings, John, 2-2-6; Bingham, Thomas, 
3-5-5; Bliss, Jonathan, 3-3-3 ; Bloyes (Bloss), Reuben, 1-0-2; Boardman, Jo- 
seph, 2-4-1; Bowen, David, 2-0-2; Brown, Aaron, 1-2-1; Brown, Alexander, 
1-1-5; Burbank, Abijah, 1-2-3; Burbank, Abijah, 1-0-2; Burbank, Henry, 
1-2-1; Burroughs, John, 1-0-2; Burroughs, Stephen, 1-0-2; Church, 
Ebenezer, 2-1-3; Clapp, Daniel, 1-1-2; Clapp, Samuel, 1-3-2; Cleaveland, 
Chester, 1-0-3; Cleaveland, Jedediah, 1-1-4; Cleaveland, Samuel, 1-1-1; 
Cleaveland, William, 1-0-2; Crane, John, 2-0-0; Crandall, Gideon, 1-2-3; 
Curtis, Samuel, 2-2-2; Curtis, Zabad, 2-2-2; Dame (Dains), Ebenezer, 
1-1-3; Day, Benjamin, 2-2-2; Day, Benjamin, Junr, 1-2-2; Dewey, Darias, 
1-1-2; Dewey, Ebenezer, 4-0-2; Dewey, Ebenezer, 1-1-1; Dewey, Pollus, 
1-3-2; Dunham, Ebenezer, 1-0-3; Dunham, Jesse, 1-2-3; Durfy, Benjamin, 
2-1-4; Durfy, James, 1-2-1; Durkee, Timothy, 1-1-3; Durkee, Hermon 
(Heman), 3-2-2; Durkee, Timothy, 2-1-2; Dutton, Amasa, 3-3-3; Evins, 



76 HiSTORl OF EOYALTON", VERMONT 

Cotton, 2-1-1; Fairbanks, Luther, 1-1-6; Fitch, Ebenezer, 1-1-3; Fish, 
David, 3-5-4; Freeman, Joshua, 2-0-0; Fuller (Tullar?), Daniel, 2-1-2; 
Gates, Rosimond, 0-1-5; Gilbert, Nathaniel, 1-0-0; Green, Adrijah 
(Irijah), 1-1-2; Havens, Daniel, 1-1-2; Havens, Joseph, 1-2-4; Havens, 
Robert, 1-1-1; Hibbard, James, 4-0-2; Hibbard, John, 1-3-5; How, Samuel, 
1-2-1; How, Squire, 1-1-4; How, Theodore, 1-3-5; Hutchinson, John, 2-0-4; 
Kent, Elisha, 1-2-2; Kent, Elisha, 1-1-2; Kimball, Jared, 1-0-2; Kimball, 
John, 2-1-3; Kimball, John, 1-2-5; Kimball, Richard, 1-0-3; Kingsley, 
Elias, 1-0-1; Kinney, Bradford, 2-0-4; Lion, Zebulon, 1-3-2; Lyman, 
Asa, 1-0-2; Lyman, Eliphalet, 1-0-1; Lyman, Daniel, 1-0-2; Lyman, 
Ezekiel, 2-0-3; Lyman, Samuel, 1-2-1; Lyman, William, 1-0-2; Medcalf, 
Samuel, 2-0-2; Miles, Ephraim, 1-3-2; Morgin, Isaac, 1-3-4; Morgin, 
Nathan, 1-2-5; Morse, Nathaniel, 1-0-3; Munroe, Isaac, 1-3-1; Nobles, 
Nehemiah, 1-4-2; Page, Nathan, 1-2-2; Palmer, Paul, 1-3-1; Parkhurst, 
Benjamin, 1-3-5; Parkhurst, Calvin, 3-1-5; Parkhurst, Jab^z, 2-0-4; Park- 
hurst, Joseph, 2-1-5; Parkhurst, Tilley, 1-1-2; Parks, John, 2-1-1; Paul, 
Hibbs (Kiles), 1-3-2; Perrin, Asa, 1-0-3; Perrin, Asa. 1-3-1; Perrin, 
Nathaniel, 1-0-2; Pierce, Jeddediah, 3-3-4; Pierce, Nathaniel, 2-1-1; 
Pierce, Palmer, 1-3-1; Pierce, Willard, 1-2-2; Pinney, Asa, 1-2-3; Reed, 
Nathaniel, 1-2-2; Richardson, Godfrey, n 1-2-3; Richardson, Jesse, 1-2-3; 
Richardson, Sanford, 1-1-2; Rix, Daniel, 4-0-3; Rugg, David, 1-1-2; Rust, 
Jeremiah, 1-1-2; Safford, Jacob, 1-0-2; Serls, Samuel, 1-2-2; Serls, John, 
2-0-3; Sever, Comfort, 1-0-1; Sheppard, Timothy, 3-1-1; Skinner, Isaac, 
1-1-2; Skinner, Luther, 1-1-1; Smith, Mary, 0-1-4; Stevens, Abel, 2-1-6; 
Stevens, Elias, 3-2-8; Sylvester, Seth, 2-2-1; Taylor, Elnathan, 1-0-2; 
Terry, Daniel, 1-0-3; Stone, Nathan, 1-1-2; Triscott, Experience, 1-0-2; 
Triscott, Jeremiah, 1-2-4; Waller, John, 1-0-0; Warriner, John, 1-0-3; 
Washburn, Asahel, 1-0-1; Waterman, Abraham, 1-4-2; Waterman, Wil- 
liam, 1-1-1; Wells, Ebenezer, 1-0-6; Wells, Jonathan, 1-0-2; Williams, 
Silas, 1-4-3; Wheeler, Josiah, 1-5-3; Woodward, Ebenezer, 1-1-4; Wood- 
worth, Timothy, 1-3-4; Young, Ebenezer, 1-3-2. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Early Manners and Customs. 

We pride ourselves od our advance in civilization, and some- 
times think with pity of our forefathers, who were content to 
live their simple lives, who could find abundant enjoyment in 
their homely duties, and were not daily seeking some new diver- 
sion, some new discovery, or some new method of rapidly acquir- 
ing wealth. If we have gained in some respects, are we sure 
that we have not lost in others? 

How do the social gatherings of the present compare with 
the old-time days of cheer and jollity? It is true that there was 
not so much time for relaxation then, but, for that reason, per- 
haps it was all the more enjoyed and appreciated. Each season 
brought its round of social festivities. In early fall, there was 
the husking party in some large barn. The floor was cleared 
and well swept, and made suitable for the seats of the fair maid- 
ens, who were to sit on bundles of cornstalks, and deftly strip 
the dry, yielding husks from the golden ears. Each maid must 
be wary, for, if by chance a red ear is spied in her hand, she 
must pay the forfeit to the one whose quick eye first detects it. 
As the ripe fruit bounds, ear by ear, into the baskets or on a 
pile, the merry jest goes round, and the laughter of youths and 
maidens scares the tiny mice from their hiding places, and then 
what a scampering of feet, mingled with feminine shrieks of real 
or assumed fear ! 

After the shocks of corn have all been denuded of their fruit- 
age, comes the bountiful repast, the delicious cooking of the skill- 
ful housewife; no fancy dishes served a la mode, but good old 
fashioned cakes, cookies, pies and doughnuts, passed around on 
pewter platters, for each to take just w^hat he likes best, and all 
he wants. Last of all the barn floor is once more cleared and 
swept, and then follow the old games, in which, perchance, there 
is a little too much running and saluting, but better in the open 
than on the sly. They begin early, and are all at home and asleep 
before the striking of the midnight hour. 

The apple parings were somewhat similar, except the gath- 
erings were in the house. Two or more young men would bring 



78 History of Royalton, Vermont 

out the apple parers, fastened to one end of a board, and plac- 
ing the board in a chair, sit on it to keep it in place, then select 
an apple, fasten it to the fork of the parer, take the specially 
constructed knife in the left hand, and beginning at the blossom 
end, deftly move the knife over the surface of the fruit, while, 
with the right, they turned the crank that made it revolve. Off 
went the sheared apple into a tray, and a ready worker seized 
it, quartered it. and snatched the next one as it bounded into 
her dish. A third person cored the quarters, which were handed 
to still another, who was armed with a long wire or needle, bent 
over at one end, to which a long piece of twine was attached, 
and it was her business to string the apple quite in the middle 
of each piece, so that it would not break off, and when the string 
was filled, its two ends were fastened together, and the skein of 
apples was taken by still another worker, and fastened to a 
wooden frame for drying. The young men in their awkward 
attempts to help or hinder had to endure the raillery and mock 
reproofs of their fair companions. Both sexes had a part in 
these recreations, though they may seem more like work than 
play. 

The quiltings were the especial pride of the feminine part 
of society. They often betokened an approaching wedding, and 
then what an opportunity for discussing the prospects of the 
bride-to-be ! One set of quilting frames sometimes did duty for 
a whole neighborhood, and when a boy was seen carrying them 
by a house, all the women therein began to speculate on the proba- 
bility of their having an invitation to the quilting. Some quilt- 
ings were very select. It would not do to ask everybody, unless 
the owner of the quilt was indifferent to the length and quality 
of the stitches. Then, too, swiftness was considered, for it was 
desirable to get the quilt off in one day, or perhaps, in one after- 
noon. If the four working on one side were slow, then the swift 
ones on the other would have to roll up their side oftener, and 
it was best to keep the two sides even. There was often much 
keen rivalry to see which side would be ready "to roll" first. 
The lines had to be straight, and the chalked string held by two 
and snapped so as to leave a mark, was in constant demand. 
When the last stitch had been taken, the bars were quickly un- 
rolled, out came the pins holding the quilt in place, and it was 
shaken and ready for the binding. The supper crowning the 
work was, generally, a marvel of good things, and recipes were 
freely interchanged. 

Donation parties were the especial privilege of the minister. 
It was an easy way, sometimes the only one of paying church 
dues. Though much has been said about these parties contrib- 
uting imdesirable additions to the larder of the minister's wife, 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 79 

and subtracting therefrom what they could not well spare, yet 
generally they were the reverse of this, and much appreciated 
by the pastor and his family, and looked forward to with pleasant 
anticipations. Just as one has a feeling of excited curiosity when 
he puts his hand in a grab bag, so the minister and his helpmeet 
grew light-hearted and joyous over the discovery of valuable 
gifts in the neatly tied bundles. It brought pastor and people 
into closer touch with each other, and was not, by any means, 
v\'holly one-sided. 

The most noteworthy public day of the year was the fourth 
of July. It had not become an old story in those days. The 
eagle was still screaming, and the boom of cannon was not so 
far away as to fail to awaken a feeling of patriotism at the dawn- 
ing of Independence Day. Eoyalton had its ' ' Fourth ' ' like other 

tO\STlS. 

Zebulon Lyon, Isaac Skinner, and Stephen Backus adver- 
tised on June 22, 1814. that there would be a celebration at Eoy- 
alton on July 4th. A procession was to form at the academy at 
10 a. m., and go to the meeting house for a sermon and oration. 
These gentlemen were the corresponding committee for the Wash- 
ington Benevolent Society. They announced that accommoda- 
tions would be provided at the public house of E. Stevens, Esq., 
probably Elkanah Stevens. Eeporters were not so numerous as 
limbs on a tree in that early time, and no further notice of the 
celebration has been found, nor is it known whether or not the 
fund of the Benevolent Society was increased thereby. 

The observance of the day in 1827 was on a grander scale, 
and from the "Advocate" published here at that time, an ac- 
count of the proceedings has been gleaned. The committee of 
arrangements were Harry Bingham, Elisha Eix, Dr. Joseph A. / 
Denison, Oliver Willes, Silas Packard. Peter Wheeloek, Jr., and ' 
Franklin Hunter. The morning was ushered in by a salute of 
thirteen guns. A procession formed at 11 a. m. at Moses Cut- 
ter's tavern, under the direction of Col. Fowler as marshal, as- 
sisted by Capt. Bingham and Capt. Asa Partridge, and proceeded 
to the meeting house under the escort of the Woodstock artillery, 
commanded by Capt. 0. N. Dana. 

There exercises were held, beginning with an anthem from 
the choir led by A. C. Noble. Prayer was offered by Eev. Kit- 
tredge ( ?) Haven, and the Declaration of Independence was read 
by Jacob Collamer, preceded and followed by appropriate re- 
marks. An oration was delivered by the editor of the "Advo- 
cate," Mr, Spooner, spoken of as a chaste, eloquent, and patriotic 
production, which did honor to the head and heart from which 
it emanated. There was delightful music by the choir. 



80 History op Royalton, Vermont 

After the exercises, dinner was served at Cutter 's hotel. No 
one need to have gone away hungry, for, if Mr. Cutter was unable 
to entertain all the guests, there was a rival tavern at the upper 
end of the village kept by Simon S. Stone, who had advertised 
for this day, that he would accommodate all w^ho would call on 
the Fourth, and give them all the rare vegetables of the season, 
"such as green peas, fresh meats, beef, pork, roasted pig, lamb, 
etc." 

At the dinner, toasts were given accompanied by the dis- 
charge of cannon. Gen. Elias Stevens presided, supported by 
Dea. John Billings and Gen. Mills ]May. Oel Billings was master 
of toasts. There were twenty-four regular toasts and thirteen 
volunteer ones. Among them were, "Vermont — Firm among 
her green hills, she stands unrivalled in patriotism, and plain 
good living"; "Slavery — Emancipation shall be our motto, until 
all are free"; Heman Durkee offered the volunteer toast, "Hon. 
William Slade — Like polished steel, the more it is rubbed, the 
brighter it shines." Wyman Spooner, the editor of the "Advo- 
cate," who had been picking flaws in the state constitution, of- 
fered this: "The constitution of Vermont — May it receive of 
the spirit of the age — internal improvement." Another toast 
Vt^as in honor of Lafayette, the pleasure of whose visit was still 
fresh in mind: "Gen, Lafayette — A nation's friend receives a 
nation's gratitude." An effort had been making for a canal, and 
Elias Lyman offered the following: "Vermont — On the sea- 
board by an independent canal on the banks of the Connecticut. ' ' 

The account of this Fourth which was celebrated eighty- 
three years ago, proves that, whatever were the limitations of the 
inhabitants of those days, they had the ability to plan and carry 
out a rather pretentious program with distinguished success. We 
can imagine the sheds and streets crowded with the farmers' 
teams, hay-ricks changed to carry-alls by a carpet of fresh straw 
and a draft on the kitchen chairs, with a rocker here and there 
for Grandsir, who fought in the Revolution, and whose deaf ear 
could still hear the roar of cannon, bringing back the day, when 
he snatched his flint lock, and in homespun marched to the de- 
fense of Bunker Hill. The quaint little women in their sun 
bonnets and pantalets listened with delight, partly to the music, 
and partly to the boast of their boy comrades, whose faces shone 
under their broad-rimmed hats, as they talked of the day when 
they should beat the drum, or carry a gun and fight for the 
father-land. 

On such days as this the whole town came together, but a 
better means of forming close companionships were the neigh- 
borly visits. It is doubtful if our grandfathers and grand- 
mothers realized what a blessing these visits were to them. It 



History op Royalton, Vermont 81 

established a bond of sympathy and mutual helpfulness, which 
the formal call of to-day does not foster. It was a time to get 
acquainted, not only with one's neighbors, but with their homes, 
their hopes, their trials. If Mrs. A.'s hens were on strike, and 
Mrs. B.'s were filling to overflowing her store basket, then a 
dozen eggs would be sent the next day to Mrs. A., who did not 
forget the favor, but reciprocated when opportunity offered. 

The long stocking legs grew inch by inch, as the two women 
chatted and measured yarn to see which would knit up to the 
knot first. It was easy to knit and talk too ; one could knit with 
shut eyes, if no stitches were dropped. After dinner when the 
dishes were done, in which work both visitor and housewife en- 
gaged, there was the afternoon to look over the carpet rags, 
nearly all colored, sewed, and ready for the loom, and to inspect 
the last piece of linen, which had a new pattern in its weaving. 
Sometimes Mrs. A. would take her Mehitable along with her, 
who was about the age of Mrs. B.'s Freelove, and the two girls 
would have their visit in the sitting room, while their parents 
chatted in the parlor. 

The men looked over the stock and guessed on the weight 
of the hogs, and the visitor praised the fine points in the horses 
and cows, or perchance they traded, each exchanging animals 
for those better suited to his own purpose. Thus passed the day, 
and it was not until after tea, when chore time came, that the 
team was brought around, and with many warm invitations to 
come again, the good host and his wife allowed their guests to 
depart to their own home. 

In Royalton, before bridges were built across the river, the 
women sometimes took their chairs and their knitting to the river 
bank, and visited across the stream. 

The yearly singing school, taught in the winter by some one 
who usually spent the rest of the year working on the farm, was 
a time of both profit and pleasure for the young people. These 
schools for some years were held in the hall in Fox's tavern at 
N. Royalton. The singing master was, generally, a good disci- 
plinarian, and did not allow any levity while he was instructing 
his class, but there was the intermission of ten or fifteen minutes, 
when fun ran riot, and the young men improved it to secure 
their partners in the walk home, unless they had driven in. In 
that case, the blooming lasses who were tucked into the sleigh 
for a ride home were the envy of all the rest. 

The old tunes were sung with fervor, and if there were not 
so many fine solos as are heard to-day, there were more persons 
who could and would sing, whether true to time and pitch or not. 
Royalton had some fine, well cultivated voices in those days, as 
well as now, and there was no dearth of talent, when concerts 



82 History of Royalton, Vermont 

or other special occasions were planned. Alden C. Noble, Mrs. 
Eliza S. Denison, Martin Skinner, and Thomas Atwood, "the 
singing teacher" of later time, and his accomplished brothers and 
sisters, and many others, could always be relied upon to do honor 
to any projected festivity where music was desired. 

The early settlers in Royalton, like those of other sections 
of New England, were Puritanical in thought and feeling. The 
dance and the card table were tabooed as a general thing, and 
indulgence in either betokened a "worldly spirit" that needed 
reproof. There was, however, enough of a liberal element, 
coupled with the "unruly blood of youth," to introduce both 
pastimes occasionally into the pleasures when young people gath- 
ered for enjoyment. There is no evidence that gambling was any 
part of their games. The old fashioned square dances were de- 
corous and bred no undue familiarity. The greatest danger 
seems to have arisen from the common custom of both saint and 
sinner of indulging in a too free use of cider, wine, and other 
stimulants. 

The charges brought against members of the church that 
had been guilty of dancing or playing cards, usually stated that 
the covenant had been broken, although the complainants ac- 
knowledged that the offenders had kept good hours. There were 
members of the "Church of Christ" in Royalton in the 1790 's 
who did not think it wrong to allow these pastimes in their homes, 
and stoutly maintained their liberty of conscience, when charged 
with "allowing Frolicking in their house," "vain mirth and 
Jollity in their house by Chanting to the sound of the viol," 
Vi'hich the stricter ones supposed "to be a mispence of time, and 
not at all attending to the glory of God." 

One family of too much importance to be simply excom- 
municated, created such a storm of protest by allowing dancing, 
that the church appealed to Rev. Storrs for advice. He appears 
to have been a man free from prejudices, calm in judgment, and 
he did not condemn these pleasures wholesale, but said the one 
Vt^ho "wantonly" indulged in them was subject to reproof. 

Among the outdoor sports in the fall were turkey shoots and 
squirrel hunts. In the latter, captains were chosen for each of 
the two rival sides, the town, and sometimes, neighboring towns 
were divided off, a certain time, usually two or three days, was 
agreed on for the hunt to cease and for the game to be brought 
in and counted. Tellers were appointed for this purpose. A 
squirrel counted as one, and other game as agreed upon, and the 
whole ended with a feast. The turkey shoot held its own until 
quite recent years, and even now one occasionally hears of such 
a contest. Other games for men and boys were wrestling, pitch- 
ing quoits, ball playing, and other athletic sports. 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 83 

In the winter, coasting, as now, was a prime enjoyment, in 
which both sexes joined. The old-style sled would hold two or 
more, and the traverse, several. Alas for any old sleigh that 
might be drowsing in a corner! It would at once be declared 
contraband, and, packed with girls, with one or two boys to steer, 
would go dashing down the hills, threatening the lives of those 
within it, who never thought of danger in the midst of their 
hilarity. 

There is little of such mingling of work and play to-day 
as obtained in "ye olden time" at huskings, quiltings, nutting 
parties, and raisings. If a farmer then wished to build a barn 
or a house, he did not let the contract, go his way, and come 
around a few weeks after, to take possession of his new building. 
When the timbers of the house were all hewed and framed to 
measure on the spot where the building was to stand, every man 
and boy in the neighborhood was on hand for the "raising." 
Each put his shoulder to the work, and worked lustily until the 
frame was up. Then came the lunch prepared for the occasion, 
eaten from the hands and washed down with frequent gulps from 
the cider pitcher, or from something stronger. This was the 
time for visiting with a neighbor, for telling stories about other 
raisings, and often for the playing of jokes upon a comrade. 
Sometimes, if the cider pitcher had been passed around before 
the frame was up, an unsteady foot slipped, and a bad accident 
marred the occasion. 

No misfortune could happen to one family without the knowl- 
edge of the whole neighborhood, and offers of friendly assistance. 
Many a growing breach was healed by the kind act of a seeming 
enemy, in time of sore need. Was a man sick and unable to do 
his haying? Joining hands and teams, his neighbors went into 
his fields, and in one day accomplished what it would have taken 
weeks, perhaps, for him to have done alone. ' ' Bees, ' ' these good 
deeds were called. There were sewing bees for a sickly wife 
with a brood of small children, haying bees, husking bees. In 
fact, any worthy person in distress could count on help without 
the asking. Hearts were open, hands were ready. 

Trained nurses were in no demand. Almost every wife and 
mother understood the art of soothing the sick, and of skillfully 
seconding the drugs of the doctor, even of applying the simple 
remedies obtained from field and forest. Both men and women 
took turns in watching with the sick ones near them. In every 
town there were always a few who showed a special aptitude in 
the care of the diseased, and so they came to be neighborhood 
nurses. When doctors were far away, it was necessary that some 
one should have sufficient experience and knowledge to apply 



84 History of Royalton, Vermont 

the needful remedies. Some of the first mothers in Royalton 
walked many a weary mile to bring relief to stricken ones. 

Funerals were occasions requiring great preparations for 
the entertainment of relatives and friends, who would be likely 
to come to pay the last rites to the departed one. Families were 
large, and relatives were numerous, but, as travel was slow, the 
number that could be present was considerably lessened. It was 
a matter of pride to have a bountiful table, to which the mourn- 
ing guests were invited. Gloomy as all funerals must necessarily 
be, those of early days were peculiarly so, rendered thus by the 
concomitants of dress and ceremony, and the lack of hopeful 
consolation, which marks such occasions at the present time. 

The early settlers of New England were pre-eminently a 
church-going people. They were here that they might enjoy re- 
ligious liberty, and they did enjoy it to the full. Headaches as 
an excuse for non-attendance at church service were unheard of. 
It was a matter of course that the whole family should go to 
meeting, from the baby just cutting its teeth, to the grandfather, 
whose polished head had to be covered by a bandana to protect 
him from a draught. The baby might cry, but there were others, 
and the preacher could drown a regiment of such infantile wails. 
The grandfather might drop off during the long prayer or ser- 
mon, and interject a snort at other times than when the " Amens" 
were shouted, but he always woke at the right time, in season to 
shake the parson by the hand and tell him what an edifying ser- 
mon they had had. and what parson would complain, after re- 
ceiving such a compliment? 

Two sermons a day was the rule. At noon the congrega- 
tion gathered in groups outdoors in the summer, in the meeting 
house in cold weather, and ate their lunches, and discussed the 
events of the past week, and the points in the sermon. No Sun- 
day schools as yet. The afternoon service was similar to the 
morning service, except, it may be, somewhat shorter, so that the 
farmers would have ample time in winter to reach their homes 
and do their chores. 

At first no such thing as stoves was known. Frequently 
nothing but foot stoves, containing coals carried from home fur- 
nished warmth, and sometimes not even these were at hand. The 
tall pulpit reached by a flight of steps, and arched overhead by 
a sounding board, literally raised the minister above the plane 
of his parishioners, as he was held above them in respect and 
reverence. Everything that resembled the formality of the Ro- 
man and the English Church was discarded, but the attitude 
during prayer was usually a standing one. 

The meetings in Royalton were first held in private houses 
or barns, and, later, when a meeting-house was built, it was also 



History op Koyalton, Vermont 85 

used for town meetings, and it is likely that the feeling of sanc- 
tity common in those days in connection with a church building, 
was considerably lacking here. The spirit of worship was, how- 
ever, truly sincere and genuine. 

Children were not allowed the liberty that is theirs to-day. 
Their will was not considered in the matter of church attend- 
ance. They were expected to be silent when their elders had 
company, and especially at table. There they were to eat what 
was put before them, and to "clean up their plates." Moral 
suasion was not resorted to for disobedience so often as the rod. 

At school the ferule was a familiar weapon in the hands of 
the pedagogue, and came down hard on the hands, and some- 
times, the heads of the unruly. The child punished at school, 
as a rule, expected a second chastisement at home. Now and 
then, when the teacher lacked personal force, and often applied 
the rod, the parent grew tired of repeated floggings, and sent 
word to the pedagogue "to whip John hard so it would last." 
John did not always improve under this heroic treatment. 

Each child at home had his stated tasks, and learned to know 
what responsibility meant. Children grew up to be very capable 
and very good, or else good for nothing. There were few "half- 
ways" under this training. They were taught to be respectful 
to their elders, especially the aged, and at school to treat the 
stranger with courtesy. It was no unusual sight in country 
schools to see the pupils at recess lined up to bow to a passing 
stranger. 

The "scholar" who could spell the school down and do the 
knottiest problems in arithmetic was the honor man. The boys 
got their physical culture behind the plough, by swinging the 
scythe or axe, and the girls, over the wash tub, or in handling 
the broom. Both, usually, were rosy-cheeked and healthy. Be- 
fore boy or girl was sixteen, either was capable of filling father's 
or mother's place in case of emergency. They had learned some- 
thing, and learned it well. If their curriculum was not enriched, 
it was, at least, sound, and gave them moral and mental stamina. 

Boys were fortunate, if, after they were fourteen, they had 
a chance to go to school more than three months in the year; 
the girls from four to six months. Their school days could not 
be extended at will, for there were spinning, carding of wool, 
and weaving to be done. The young maiden must know how to 
do all this, to cook, to make her ow^n outfit of neatly sewed bed 
and table linen, ready for the day, when, as a blushing bride, 
she should go to a home of her own. Before that time came, she 
had learned to make her own garments out of material of her 
own handiwork. Only the wealthy could afford "store goods." 



86 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Brothers and sisters grew up to be much attached to each 
other. They shared together whatever privations were theirs, 
and were interested in each other's welfare. After marriage, it 
was an annual event at Thanksgiving or other time, for all to 
meet again under the old home roof, when the tables really 
groaned under their burdens of good cheer. The poor were re- 
membered, and one or more poor relatives often found this one 
day the silver spot in a year of shadows. 

To the community life of that early period may be largely 
traced the spirit of brotherhood, w^hich is a distinguishing trait 
of the best class of our citizens of to-day. They rejoiced un- 
selfishly in each other's success, and a friendly regard for the 
rights of others was engendered, as well as sympathy in suffer- 
ing, and the holding in abeyance of personal wishes, if they ran 
counter to the public good. 



CHAPTER IX. 



RoYALTON Fort. 

Reference has been made in the Preface to my indebtedness 
to Dr. Gardner Cox of Holyoke. Mass., for valuable information 
regarding the historj^ of Royalton Fort. Very few people in 
Royalton ever heard of the fort, and the references to it in the 
town records are meager. Dr. Cox has prepared a full account 
of the Barnard, Bethel, and Royalton forts in connection with 
his history of the Cox family in Barnard, which, if not already 
published, will, no doubt, soon be in book form. An extract from 
his narrative of Royalton Fort follows: 

"During the Revolution forts were built in the towns of 
Royalton, Bethel, and Barnard, and so near each other that they 
were really within the radius of a single township. While there 
were many blockhouses and fortifications, there were few forts, 
not above ten being mentioned in the records of the state. Of 
these three only the Bethel and Barnard forts were contempo- 
raneous. The three towns were the frontier, few towns having 
been named, and less surveyed, to the north of them, and the 
wild moose was monarch of the mountains from Mount Hunger 
to ]\Iontreal. 

No sooner had the reverberations of the cannonading of Bun- 
ker Hill died away than the country was talking about the enemy 
to the north of them, and scouts were sent out to look for 'Regu- 
lars, Roman Catholics, Indians, and Frenchmen.' What they 
meant by 'Regulars' I know not, unless they were paroled sol- 
diers, or pretended deserters from the British, and what harm 
the Catholics ever did them is not explained in any of their 
numerous petitions, or by any knowledge we have had of them 
since, but probably they considered them one with the French, 
and therefore enemies. 

There were fortifications up and down the Connecticut, and 
along the lakes to the West, but the center of the state was de- 
fenceless. They soon organized a line of scouts from Newbury 
along the Onion river, Newbury being a Babylon of activity, and 
Haverhill on the New Hampshire side a center of defiance. 



88 History op Royalton, Vermont 

Times grew apace, and the inhabitants along the Connecticut 
were wont to assemble and talk the matter over. Hanover as 
a center, included a number of towns on either side of the river, 
Hartford, Thetford, Norwich, Lebanon, and Lyme, all of which 
felt that they were a little better than the rest of the earth, for 
they were not sure whether they belonged to New Hampshire, 
Vermont, New Connecticut, or whether they were little kingdoms 
all by themselves. So the surrounding towns were more or less 
the body politic in all of the Hanover deliberations. My great- 
grandfather, who built and commanded at the Barnard fort, was 
once a member of a Vermont legislature that sat in Charlestown, 
N. H." 

The failure of the attack on Quebec, and the prospect that 
the British would advance into the colonies from the Canada 
side, caused the settlers of the Grants to be in a constant state 
of fear and anxiety. Hanover shared in this unrest. The climax 
of alarm in Hanover resulted on July 5, 1776, in the calling to- 
gether of the Committee of Safety from Lyme, Hanover, Leb- 
anon, Thetford, Norwich, and Hartford in College Hall. The 
record of this meeting is found in the N. H. State Papers, Vol- 
ume VIII, page 297. 

"Chosen — Amos Robinson, Clerk 
Chosen — Deacon Nehemiah Estabrook, Moderator 

Voted, To raise 50 men Exclusive of ofHcers to Repair to 
Royalton to Fortefie in that Town & Scout from thence to Onion River 
& Newbury. 

Voted — To apoint one Captain & two Subalterns. 
Voted — To apoint Mr. David Woodward, Captain. 
Voted — To apoint Mr. Joshua Hazzen first Lieut. 
Voted — To apoint Mr. Abel Lyman second Lieut. 
Voted — To apoint a Committee of three men to Direct the 
Building of the fort at Royalton & furnish sd Fort with all neces- 
sary supplies. 

Chosen, Esqr Joel Marsh, Mr. Isaac Morgan, & Majr John Slapp 
to be sd Committee." 

Amos Robinson, Joel Marsh, and Nehemiah Estabrook were 
Hartford men. Mr. Robinson was ferryman in Hartford for 
many years. At the same time that provision was made for Roy- 
alton fort, it was also voted to raise 250 men in four companies 
to go to Newbury and "fortifie, scout and guard." The chair- 
man of the committee asked the New Hampshire government for 
aid, and the Central Committee of Safety on the 11th authorized 
Captain Woodward to raise 30 men for three months, unless 
sooner discharged, ' ' as scouting parties, to explore the woods and 
watch or oppose the motions of enemies coming against" the 
frontier settlements. They were to take orders from Col. Jacob 
Bayley, Col. John Hurd, and Col. Charles Johnson, or any two 
of them. Thus it will be seen that Capt. Woodward's company 



History of Royalton, Vermont 89 

was cut down from 50 to 30 men, and he was to enlist only ' ' able- 
bodied, efficient men, fit for such service." 

Whether Capt. Woodward took his orders from two of the 
committee or acted on his own responsibility is not known, but 
be certainly did not seek advice from Col. Hurd. This military 
man with hurt pride wrote from Haverhill on the 11th of July 
to Meschech Weare, then at Hanover, as follows: "I'm just 
now informed by a person from the college that Capt. Woodward 
has raised his men and gone out into the woods to a place called 
Royalston — I suppose about midway betw^een Connecticut river 
and the lake — to erect some stockade or fortification there from 
whence they may keep their scouts going; but they have not 
thought proper to inform the Committee what their plan may be, 
or anything of their intentions." This letter shows that Capt. 
Woodward made quick work of his recruiting, and was probably 
on the ground where the fort was located within a week or so 
after he received authority for his action. The committee gave 
him time to report, which he evidently failed to do, as on Aug. 
3d Col. Hurd again wrote, "The Committee have wrote to Capt. 
Woodward, desiring he would come to Haverhill to consult with 
us respecting his scouts." The enterprise of Dr. Cox secured 
the fact that Col. Hurd employed Capt. Samuel Paine to carry 
his message to the too independent captain at Royalton. This 
Capt. Paine kept a diary, and in it under date of Aug. 3, 1776, 
he wrote, "Also Caryd a Letter on public Service from Colo. 
Hurd & Colo. Baley, the Committee, to Capt. Woodward, and 
went out from Lebanon to Royalton with sd letter, 25 miles, 
thence by desire of ye Committee I returned to Haverill." 
Lebanon was the place of his abode as stated in his diary, Capt. 
Woodward could have lost no time in complying with the request 
of the Committee. On the 12th of August he was detached from 
his company and sent from Haverhill to Exeter, then the seat of 
government for New Hampshire, with a tory as prisoner of war, 
and an orderly sergeant. Chase in his History of Dartmouth 
says that Joseph Curtiss of Hanover took command at Royalton 
while he was absent. The Committee of Safety at Exeter under 
date of Aug. 20th say they have received letters from Col. Hurd 
by Capt. Woodward. 

The pay roll of Capt. Woodward's company was accident- 
ally discovered by Dr. Cox. The original is in the Pension De- 
partment at Washington. The pay of the captain was £6 per 
month, of the lieutenant, £4, of the commissary, £3, of the ser- 
geants £2-4, and of the corporals £2-4 per month. The privates 
each received two pounds per month, and all except the com- 
missioned officers received a bounty of £1-10. They were mus- 
tered out October 4, 1776. The pay of the entire company 



90 History of Royalton, Vermont 

amounted to £249-6-9, their "Billiting" or board bill to £99-15-1, 
and their doctor's bill to £2-7-5, making a total of £351-9-3. This, 
of course, does not represent the cost of the fort, as they were 
no doubt, during these three months, engaged in scouting much 
of the time. Capt. Woodward receipted for the sum total as 
follows : 

"Exeter Oct. 24th 1776 
Received of the Committee of Safety the above sum of Three hundred 
and fifty one pounds nine shillings, and three pence by order of the 
Treasr. 
Copy exm J. Gillman. 

David Woodward Capt." 

The pay roll included the following names: 

David Woodward, Capt., enlisted July 5 ; Abel Lyman, 
Lieut., July 5 ; Joshua Hazen, Commis., July 5 ; John Bacon, 
Sergeant, July 7; John Colburn, Sergt., July 8; Joel Brown, 
Sergt., July 7 ; Benjamin Davis, Corporal, July 7 ; Ashael Tucker, 
Corp., July 7; Elkanah Sprague, Corp., July 8; privates, Asa 
Hodge, July 7 ; Canet Sawyer, July 7 ; David Haze, Juty 7 ; 
Daniel Bliss, July 8 ; Eleazer Woodward, July 8 ; Gershom Dun- 
ham, July 8 ; Experience Trisket, July 7 ; Jeremiah ]\Ieacham, 
July 8 ; John Lyman, July 8 ; Isaac Bridgman. July 7 ; Luther 
Lincoln, July 7 ; Luther Wheatley, July 8 ; Nathan Chaffe. July 
7 : Samuel Baley, July 8 ; Silas Tinney, July 7 ; Thomas Hails, 
July 7 ; Walter Peck, July 8 ; David Wright, Aug. 16 ; Jonathan 
Wright, Aug. 16; Nathaniel Burbe, July 8. Of this number 
Benjamin Davis, David Haze (Hayes?), Gershom Dunham, 
Samuel Baley, and David Wright were pensioners, and possibly 
others. 

This list gives twenty-nine names besides commissioned offi- 
cers, but money orders were drawn for thirty members. The 
name of Joseph Curtis is not in this list, but he may have been 
the thirtieth man, whose name was accidentally omitted. Why 
he should have been given the command in the absence of Capt. 
Woodward, as stated by Mr. Chase, is not clear. One would 
suppose that the next officer in rank would have filled the va- 
cancy. 

Where was the Royalton fort located? has been a question 
most difficult to answer. In the first recorded survey of roads, 
1783, mention is made of the "old fort fordway, " which was 82 
rods below the mouth of the First Branch. This places the 
"fort fordway" where a fordway still exists on the farm of the 
late James Bingham, the fordway that connects with the Sharon 
road on the north side of the river fifty or more rods from the 
old Pierce hotel. In another survey made in 1793 the heading 
reads, "Survey of the road from ye fordway at ye old fort &c." 
"Beginning at ye usial place of fording the river thence N 32 



History of Royalton, Vermont 91 

W 26 rd to the Great road going up & down ye river This line 
describes ye scentre of this road being three rods wide." This 
is plainly on the north side of the river, as the distance from the 
road to the river on the south side is 80 or more rods. At a 
meeting held ]\Iarch 20, 1781, it was voted to build a pound at 
the crotch of the road west of the old fort. In 1780 Elisha Kent 
had been chosen pound keeper. Mr. Kent lived on the south side 
of the river, and one of his descendants says that his first house 
was on the east side of the present road, now known as Windsor 
street. In 1781 Daniel Rix was chosen pound keeper. He also 
lived on the south side of the river in 1780. In Sharon records 
the place of holding Sabbath services as agreed upon between 
Sharon and Royalton in 1777 was, for Royalton, "in the crotch 
of the road near the fort." 

Now, it would not be supposed that Mr. Kent or Mr. 
Rix would be expected to cross the river in their care 
of the pound, especially as their land was on the south side of 
the stream. The Sunday meetings must have been in some house 
or barn. In 1777 it is very probable that the river road on the 
south side did not extend much, if any, above the fort fordway. 
There would then be a "croch" where the road, which then ran 
nearer the river than now, turned almost at right angles toward 
the river. Mr. Kent's house might have been near the old fort, 
if the fort were on the south side of the river. What more prob- 
able than that meetings were held at his house? His father 
was a minister and preached the first sermon in town, and the 
Kent house was conveniently located to accommodate the major- 
ity of the inhabitants at that date. Henry Manchester, who came 
to Royalton when a young boy, says that with other boys he 
used to play on the Kent meadow, and there was then pointed 
out to him the location of the old fort, and at that time remains 
of some of the earthworks thrown up could be seen. He is not 
able to locate it definitely now, as the meadow has been greatly 
changed. A son of Mr. Kent diverted the water course on the 
hills southwest of the village, and washed much of the hill on 
to the meadow to fill in. Did he think to do this, because the 
stream had once been brought down to supply the fort? The 
meadow has also been changed by filling in at the time the race 
course was laid out. By the fordway on the south side runs a 
stream, now small, but at one time large enough to run a saw 
mill, the remains of which can still be seen. 

It has been thought by some that the fort was located where 
the Gilbert-Pierce hotel was later. The record of 1781 relating 
to the pound locates the crotch of the road west of the fort. If 
the fort were on the site of the Pierce hotel, the road then ran 
on the opposite side of the house from what it does now. No 



92 History op Royalton, Vermont 

evidence has as yet been found that it ever ran in that direction. 
That location would lay the fort open to the weapons of the In- 
dians and British on the surrounding hills, from which they 
could get plain views of the garrison, and besides it does not seem 
to tally with the other records which refer to the fort. The 
river would separate the fort from the steep hills on the north 
side, if it were located on the Kent meadow. 

A reference to the fort was found in an index to the "Ste- 
vens Papers," but diligent search and inquiry brought out the 
fact, that neither at Albany, N. Y., Burlington, nor Montpelier 
could that particular volume be found. A marginal note in the 
office of the Secretary of State at Montpelier stated that certain 
volumes of the Stevens Papers, that one among them, were lost 
to the state, and at Albany it was claimed that the volume with 
others had been sent to the Vermont government officials some 
years before. It is doubtful if it will ever be known positively 
just where the old fort was located. 

How long the fort was utilized for a garrison can only be 
conjectured. It was thus occupied during the three months that 
Capt. Woodward made it a center from which he sent out his 
scouts. It is likely that it never afterwards was thus used ex- 
cept for a brief time. The local militia may have made a camp 
of it on training days. There was such a training in May, 1780, 
when Jonathan Carpenter attended. Other troops may have also 
used it as a camping place. A part of Capt. Jesse Safford's 
Company was sent to "Camp" at Royalton in July, 1780. (Ver- 
mont Revolutionary Rolls, page 185.) In this company was 
Experience Treseott, who drew pay for fifteen miles' travel. One 
detachment was sent at the time of the Indian raid on Bar- 
nard, Aug. 9, 1780, when a band of twenty-one Indians and 
tories came up Lake Champlain and over to Stockbridge in search 
of Major Ben Whitcomb, who had killed Gen. Gordon near Three 
Rivers, Canada. Baffled in their object they went on to Bar- 
nard, where they captured David Stone, Timothy Newton, 
Thomas Martin Wright, and Prince Haskell. The news of the 
raid soon spread, and Capt. Elisha Burton's company from Nor- 
wich was sent to "Head Quarters" at Royalton. They drew 
pay for two days' service and eighteen miles of travel. The old 
fort may have sheltered these troops. In this company were 
Samuel Curtis, Roswell and Cyprian Morgan. The fort may 
have also done service for Capt. Joseph Parkhurst's company 
called out at the same time, and composed of Royalton and Shar- 
on men. 

The Barnard Alarm resulted in an immediate gathering of 
selectmen and militia officers at Captain Marsh's in Hartford, 
as stated in the diary of Jonathan Carpenter, who was then in 



History of Royalton, Vermont 93 

Pomfret. This impromptu body planned the two forts at Bar- 
nard and Bethel, later called Fort Defiance and Fort Fortitude. 
Their action was sanctioned by the Board of "War sitting at 
Arlington after the fortifications were well under way. The fort 
at Barnard was begun in a few days after the raid, and no doubt 
the Bethel fort was begun about the same time. This fort is of 
especial interest to Eoyalton people from the fact, that Capt. 
Joseph Parkhurst 's company was detailed to build it, which they 
did in six days. The record of the cost of this fort as given in 
the Vermont Revolutionary Rolls, page 704, follows: 

"State of Vermont. Dr. 

Names & Rank 

Jo. Parkhurst, Capt. — To six days at 7/4 per day £2. 5.0 

Medad Benton To six days at 5 per day | 2 10 

Carting boards 2 yoke of Oxen at % pr day ^ 
Timo. Durkee To six days at 5/ pr day, 1 day 

Carting do do 2. 0.0 

Daniel Havens To six days at 5/ pr day 1 yoke Oxen 

six days at 2/ do 2. 2.0 

John Hebbard Jr. To six days at 5/ pr day oxen 6 days 

Carting Boards 2.12.0 

Robt Handy " " " " " 1.10.0 

Israel Wallow " " " " " 1.10.0 

Benjn Day " " " " " 1.10.0 

Ebenr Parkhurst " " " " " 1.10.0 

Saml Ladd " " " " " 1.10.0 

John Crara " " " " " 1.10.0 

Wm. Crara " " " " " 1.10.0 

Elisha Kent " " " " " 1.10.0 

Stephen Powel " " " " " 1.10.0 

John Billings " " " " " 1 yoke oxen 

6 days 12/ 2. 2.0 

Jonathan Wo w(Waugh?)" " " " " 1.10.0 

Elias Curtis " " " " " 1.10.6 

Daniel Lovejoy " " " " " 1.10.0 

Nathl Morse " " " " " 1 yoke oxen 

6 days 12/ 2. 2.0 

Robt. Havens " six hundred & fifty feet of Board at 

3/ pr. hund. 0.16.6 

Ebenr Bruster " 1000 ft. Boards at 1/10 pr 1000 1.10.0 

Zeb. Lyon " 1500 ft. " " 3/ " 100 2. 5.0 

Timo. Durkee " 1600 ft. " " " " " 2. 8.0 

Danl Rix " Carting Baggage & Boards 2 days, 

2 yoke oxen 1. 0.0 

Nathan Morgan " " Boards 1 day 

2 yoke oxen 10.0 

John Hebbard Jr " " " " " " " " 10.0 

Benjn Parkhurst " " " " " " " " 10.0 

Elias Stevens " " " " " " " " 10.0 

Jer. Parkhurst To Carting Boards 1 day 2 yoke oxen 10.0 

Medad Benton " six days work of oxen at 2/ pr. day 12.0 

£44.14.6 



^ 



94 History of Royaltox, Vermont 

These mav certify the within acct. is true. 

Woodstock, Sep. 25th 1780. 

Jesse Safford Capt. 

State of Vt. Windsor Coy, Sharon Feb. 13th, 
A. D. 1783. Personally appeared Capt. Jo. Parkhurst, and made solemn 
oath, that the within is a just acct. errors excepted. 

Before me, Joel Marsh, Jus. Peace. 

Pay Table Office | 

Feb. 20th 1783 \ The within acct. examined & approved, the 

Treasurer is directed to pay the same to Capt. Jos. Parkhurst or bearer, 
it being forty-four pounds fourteen shillings & six pence. 

£44.14.6 John Strong, Isaac Tichenor, Come 

Treasurer's Office, | 

Windsor Feb. 24th 1783 j Reed of Ira Allen, Esqr Treasr the con- 
tents of the above order, being forty-four pounds fourteen shillings & 
six pence, lawful money. Calvin Parkhurst." 

From this table it is seen that nineteen men were employed 
in the actual construction of Fort Fortitude, and the same num- 
ber of yoke of oxen, and there were about forty-four daj^s' work 
wdth the oxen all told, mostly two yoke. Boards were purchased 
to the amount of 4750 feet. Daniel Rix was one who carted 
"Baggage" and boards. He lived at this time near the Roy- 
alton fort, if it were located on the Kent meadow. The fact 
that Capt. Parkhurst 's company was detailed to build the fort 
at Bethel, that so much carting was required, also that so few 
boards were bought, has led to the inference that Royalton fort 
was taken down and transported to Bethel to build Fort Forti- 
tude. All three forts must have been rather primitive affairs. 
At the time Royalton Fort was built, there was no saw mill in 
town, the certificate of the completion of the first saw mill being 
dated January, 1777. The lumber for the fort could not have 
been obtained nearer than Sharon. Joel Marsh had a mill there, 
but there was complaint in 1777 that it was not kept in repair 
for use, so that it is quite likely the lumber in part, at least, was 
brought from Hartford, and that hewn logs ready at hand fur- 
nished the greater part of the material used in the erection of 
the fort. Volume II of Governor and Council, page 38, contains 
the following Resolve of the Board of "War sitting at Arlington, 
Aug. 21st. 

"Resolved that Colo. J. Marsh, Colo. J. Safford, Maj. B. Wait, Capt. 
Sever, Capt. J. (probably Jesse) Safford, & Capt. (Benjamin) Cox be 
a Committee to station Capt. Safford's & Capt. Cox's Companies of 
Rangers. That they stake out the ground for fourts and give direc- 
tions how said fourts and covering shall be built. That said building 
shall be erected in the cheapest manner having refferance to the pres- 
ent campaign only, as the lands that the several surveyors are now 
surveying to the W. & North of you will be a settling next spring, 
which will make it necessary that a line of fourts should be erected 
further back." 



History of Royalton, Vermont 95 

It was not expected that these forts would be used for any 
length of time, as the frontier was a moving line. The reference 
to the fort at Royalton in the Sharon church records indicates 
its existence in February, 1777. If it was removed to Bethel in 
August, 1780, it had an existence of about four years. Fort 
Fortitude is said to have been located just south of the old pas- 
senger depot, and some remains of it were dug up when the rail- 
road was built through Bethel. The first garrison was Jesse 
Safford's Company, composed of men who had volunteered from 
several towns, including Royalton, Pomfret, and Sharon. Among 
Capt. Safford's men were Lieut. Zebulon Lyon, Heman Dargy 
(Durkee), Experience Fassett (Trescott), jona. Benton, John 
Kent, Cipporn (Cyprian) Morgan, Jabez Parkis (Parkhurst) 
and John Willcocks (Wilcox), who were either at that time or 
later residents of Royalton. They enlisted between the dates, 
July 27 and Aug. 20, and were discharged Dec. 1, 1780. The 
name of Josiah Goodrich does not appear in the Pay Roll of the 
Company, but is found in the Archives of New York. Capt. 
Safford gave Goodrich a certificate stating that his name was 
accidentally omitted, and that eighteen shillings and eight pence 
were due him. Goodrich addressed the following to the Com- 
mittee of the Pay Table, and the sum due was paid to Mr. Bur- 
ton. "Norwich, Feb. 5th 1781, Ira Allen, Sir, Please to pay 
to Elisha Burton, all my wages due to me, while I was with Capt. 
Safford at Royalton." Capt. John Benjamin's Company was 
stationed at Fort Fortitude a part of 1781. He was followed by 
Capt. Beriah Green of Barnard. At the time of the Royalton 
Alarm a number of companies were called to the Bethel Fort, 
but space forbids naming them. During its history about 400 
men either visited or garrisoned the fort. In 1782 Corporal Ex- 
perience Trescott, Joseph and David Waller, militiamen from 
Royalton, joined Capt. Green's forces at Bethel, and three 
daj's later three men from Sharon, William Walbridge, Pardon 
Mosher, and Nathaniel Wheeler, all being discharged October 
20, 1782. 

Benjamin Cox brought in an accoimt of 44 days' labor at 
4/ per day, and oxen 10 days at 2/ per day, amounting to 
£9.16.0 for building Fort Defiance at Barnard in August and 
September, 1780. His account was paid June 25, 1781. The 
cost of Fort Defiance was only about one-fifth that of Fort For- 
titude. The Barnard fort was erected around Bicknell's house, 
and so considerable expense was saved. Amos Bicknell was 
Assistant Commissary of Issues for the troops of the State, which 
were stationed at Barnard from Sept. 3, 1780, to Nov. 15, 1780. 
Dr. Cox is a descendant of Capt. Cox, and has in his possession 
the powder horn which the Captain carried during the Revolu- 



96 History of Royalton, Vermont 

tionary War. On this horn is carved a picture of Barnard fort, 
a reproduction of which Dr. Cox very generously furnished for 
the History of Royalton. These forts were probably piquet forts, 
with bastions at the corners, — flankers they called them. Logs 
were sharpened at one end and set upright in the ground so 
that they worked on the same principle in keeping the enemy 
out, as picket fences do in keeping chickens in an enclosure. 
The flanker allowed a man to stand within it and protect the side 
where it was located. 

While searching the manuscript records in the office of the 
Secretary of State at Montpelier I found the following bills. 
Huckens Storrs was owner of the saw mill later known as the 
Pierce mill. 

"Royalton June 1781 State of Vermont Dr. by order of Capt. 
Benjamin Commandant £ S D 

"for Sawing of Timber 800 feet at 6 S pr Hundred 2. 8. 

for Sawing of Slit work 100 feet 0. 1. 

for Sawing of Bords 1050 feet at Is and 6d pr Hundred 3. 5. 3" 

This bill was due to Huckens Storrs and Daniel Gilbert 
receipted for him. 

"Roialton June 1781 

State of Vermont to John Hawkins Dr. 
by agreement with John Benjamin Commanding ofBcer at that 
post to Build a blockhouse for which I was to have four pound Lawfull 
money. 
£4.0.0 atest John Benjamin Capt" 

Oct. 27, 1785, at Windsor the account was examined and al- 
lowed, Timothy Brownson and Israel Smith being the Committee. 
The same day John Hawkins receipted. Capt. Benjamin's Com- 
pany was stationed at Fort Fortitude from March 3, 1781, until 
Nov. 25, 1781. (Vt. Rev. Rolls, page 790.) The first bill may 
have been for repair of the fort or for the building of the block- 
house. "That post" in the second bill makes the meaning am- 
biguous as to the location of the blockhouse. Was it in Bethel 
or Royalton? Dr. Cox says there were three blockhouses in 
Barnard. None are known to have been in Royalton. No per- 
son by the name of Hawkins appears in the records of Royalton 
in the early years. The bills were probably made out about the 
time the debt was incurred, and Hawkins may have been staying 
temporarily in Royalton. 



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FORT LtEFIAN'CE AT BARNARD, 1780. 



CHAPTER X. 

Eevolutionary Affairs. 



When the Revolutionary War broke out, when the signal 
for a general uprising spread from town to town in the Ameri- 
can Colonies, when the shot was fired "heard round the w^orld," 
Royalton had few settlers, perhaps not more than half a dozen 
families, and lacked a to^\^l organization. The history of 1775 
must deal largely with general conditions, and the action of 
towns then organized on the Connecticut river in the -near neigh- 
borhood of the young settlement at Royalton. 

The New Hampshire Grants which had been exposed to the 
depredations of French and Indians in previous years, now be- 
came an opposing frontier to the British and their savage allies. 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point were most important posts, hold- 
ing the key w^hich unlocked the door for a free entrance into 
New York and the Grants, and through them to the New Eng- 
land colonies. Ethan Allen, called a Green ]\Iountain boy, 
though born in Connecticut, with the energy and courage which 
ever characterized him, lost no time in an effort to get posses- 
sion of these coveted posts, and his success has passed into his- 
tory, and given lasting glory and honor to his name. In a cer- 
tain sense, then, Vermont took the lead in winning the first 
substantial victory of this great conflict. 

Murmurings of rebellion had been heard long before the 
Lexington alarm. The colonists foresaw the certainty of a re- 
sort to arms, ere they could gain their rights. With their accus- 
tomed sagacity they made such preparations as their limited 
means and opportunities afforded. As early as March 4, 1775, 
Hanover, the wide-awake New Hampshire town, had appointed 
Israel Curtis, Capt. Edmund Freeman, and Lieut. Timothy Dur- 
kee to engage a man to come there and make gims. It would 
be interesting to know how long it took this man to make a gun, 
Vi'hat facilities and materials for work he had, and the style and 
power of the weapon he manufactured. 

New York was a claimant of the Grants in 1775, and took 
active steps to conciliate the disaffected ones. The Continental 
Congress also realized the service the men on the Grants might 
1 



98 History of Royalton, Vermont 

render the American cause, and gave due credit to the achieve- 
ment of Ethan Allen in securing the two posts on Lake Cham- 
plain. June 23, 1775, it voted to pay the men engaged in 
capturing Ticonderoga and Crown Point, and recommended the 
employing of the Green Mountain men. John Hancock, Presi- 
dent of the Congress, wrote the next day to the Provincial Con- 
gress of New York, informing it of the measures proposed, stat- 
ing that it was the opinion of the Continental Congress "that 
the Employing the Green Mountain Boys in the American Army 
would be advantageous to the common Cause, as well on account 
of their scituation as of their disposition & alertness, they are 
desirous You should Embody them among the Troops you shall 
raise. As it is represented to the Congress, that they will not 
serve under any officers but such as they themselves Choose, 
You are desired to consult with General Schuyler, in whom the 
Congress are informed these People place a great Confidence, 
about the Field officers to be set over them." 

The Provincial Congress voted to employ the Green Moun- 
tain Boys, and received Ethan Allen in consultation. In raising 
the proposed number of 500 men, they were to choose their own 
officers, except the field officers, and could express their prefer- 
ence in the selection of these. These troops were to be an inde- 
pendent body. Allen presented a list of officers, in which he 
nominated himself and Seth Warner as field officers, but com- 
mittees from towns west of the Green Mountains met at Dorset 
and chose Seth Warner. Lieut. Colonel, and Samuel Safford, 
Major. The Provincial Congress not wishing to decide the con- 
troversy over field officers, left the selection to General Schuyler, 
who politely declined the honor, saying it was too delicate a 
matter for him. This threw the responsibility back upon the 
Provincial Congress, which shouldered it, and made the appoint- 
ments for which the men had shown a preference. Allen did not 
sulk, but continued to serve. He joined Schuyler without a 
commission, and raised a body of 250 Canadians, with one-half 
of which he attacked Montreal, but owing to the superior force 
of the enemy he had to yield himself a prisoner. 

The men in this independent regiment were to be provided 
with coats of coarse green cloth, faced with red, and 250 of the 
coats were of large size, a proof of the fine physique of the 
"Boys." The company was to be a part of the Seventh New 
York brigade. 

Hartford had been dallying with New York in reference to 
procuring a new charter, as she had first been chartered by New 
Hampshire, but she never really acknowledged the authority of 
New York. At a town meeting held June 19, 1775, several days 
before the action taken by the Continental Congress in raising 



History of Royalton, Vermont 99 

a regiment of Green Mountain Boys, the town had elected Joel 
Marsh as Captain of a company of militia for Cumberland 
county. Probably this company was not wholly made up of Hart- 
ford men, but it looks like independent action on the part of 
this lively and patriotic town, which then was close to the fron- 
tier. 

In 1775 two regiments were formed in Cumberland county, 
the Upper one organized Aug. 14, at Springfield, and the Lower 
organized considerably later, owing to controversies over the offi- 
cers. Provision was also made for raising a regiment of Minute 
men. 

By a reference to the tabulated list of men serving in the 
War of the Revolution, who subsequently became residents of 
Royalton, it will be seen that several had part in the struggle 
during the year 1775. There were others also who served this 
year, that were more or less connected with the history of this 
town. The Assembly of New Hampshire was petitioned on Sept. 
10, 1776, by John House, 1st Lieut., and Daniel Clapp, 2nd 
Lieut., both of Hanover, N. H., for bounty as other soldiers had 
received for volunteer service under Capt. Israel Curtis. They 
state that they with thirty-four other men equipped at their own 
expense, marched to St. Johns in Canada, and were ordered by 
Gen. Montgomery to join Col. Bedel's regiment. They did duty 
until Nov. 18, 1775, when they engaged to serve through the win- 
ter. Their prayer was not granted. This company had volun- 
tarily been formed in response to Gen. Schuyler's call for help 
in September, 1775. No list has been preserved of the men. 
Under date of Nov. 3, Curtis wrote that the General would not 
allow them to leave until Montreal had been taken. This com- 
pany was on the Plains of Abraham in December. In April of 
the next year, after defeat, on account of small pox it was sent 
home, but Capt. Curtis got his promotion of Major and Lieut. 
House that of Captain. This action of Captain House goes to 
show that he was a man of courage, and a loyal citizen, despite 
what has been said of him because of his failure to attack and 
capture the Indians at the time of the raid upon Royalton. 

The year 1776 was to prove even more eventful than the one 
which had passed. The Declaration of Independence added new 
and stronger motives for exertion on the part of the colonists. 
The die was cast, and every man was expected to do his full 
duty as a loyal American citizen, determined to win freedom 
from British oppression. The frontiers now required the most 
watchful guarding, and the Grants were fully alive to the im- 
portance of checking any threatened advance from the Canada 
side. The frontier, starting with Haverhill, stretched on a radius 
of about thirty miles, with Hanover as a center, extending 



^ ^ ^ <j /.* I 
^ U ;J ;^. V * I 



100 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

through Newbury, Corinth, Royalton, and Barnard. The local 
militia looked after the frontiers. In the year 1776 Gen. Gates 
called it out to protect Ticonderoga. Scouts were sent out, some- 
times of one man only, again of several under a leader. Hart- 
ford in a town meeting of July 13, 1776, voted that Capt. Abel 
Marsh should deal out one pound of powder to each soldier be- 
longing to the town that had gone or was going to Royalton, and 
lead and flints proportionable to the stock. They also voted to 
raise by a tax £20 to defray charges of the supervisors and 
county committee going to Westminster, and the charge of the 
Royalton department, which was the town's quota to pay. 

Royalton was on the frontier, and it must have been stirring 
times for the few settlers that were here at that time, increas- 
ing in number, of course, but doubtless not numbering twenty 
families. This was the year when small forts were built, and 
Royalton had hers, an account of which is given in another place. 
The action of Hartford just mentioned probably was taken with 
reference to this fort. We may be sure that the families which 
took so active a part in succeeding years in the struggle that 
was waging for freedom, were no less alert and serviceable this 
year, though the records, which are very incomplete, do not make 
much mention of them. Doubtless they did their share in guard- 
ing the frontier, and in preparing ammunition. Saltpetre was 
in great demand. An anonymous letter in the New Hampshire 
Gazette of January 9, 1776, by a writer not in favor of independ- 
ence, says that the making of saltpetre had made such rapid 
progress, especially at Portsmouth, where both clergy and laity 
were employed six days in the week, and the seventh was seasoned 
with it, that he begged leave to withdraw his assertion that Am- 
erica could be conquered without ammunition. 

The Provincial Congress of New York on July 23, 1776, re- 
solved that 252 men be employed as scouting parties to be raised 
in the counties of Cumberland and Gloucester, for the defence 
of those counties, to be divided into four companies, each com- 
pany to have one captain, two lieutenants, three sergeants, three 
corporals, and fifty-four privates. The commissioned officers 
were to be nominated by mutual consent of committees from both 
counties. Each non-commissioned officer and private was to have 
a bounty upon his passing muster. The officers and privates 
were to furnish themselves each with a good musket or firelock, 
powder horn, bullet-pouch, tomahawk, blanket, and knapsack. 
The next day the Congress on recommendation from members of 
Cumberland county, Messrs. Sessions, Marsh, and Stevens, nomi- 
nated Joab Hoisington to be ]\Iajor of these troops, who were 
called Rangers. The Congress advanced to deputies from Cum- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 101 

berland county £1200 for the Rangers in Cumberland and Glou- 
cester counties, one half of the bounty resolved upon. 

The year 1776 saw also the beginning of the Board of War 
for Western Vermont, which was given jurisdiction over the 
whole of the Grants. This Board appointed twelve men to at- 
tend as a committee upon the next convention, which body of 
men is said to be the beginning of the Council. The Board ap- 
pears to have been appointed from time to time by the Assembly, 
and to have held office until a new one was named. For a short 
time the Governor and Council constituted it, and later it was 
made up chiefly of councilors. Its duties and powers were prac- 
tically the same as those of the governor today in ease of war. 

Whatever may be thought regarding the dealings of New 
York with the settlers on the Grants, it is certain that these 
settlers had to depend on New York more than once for financial 
assistance, during the period when the controversy over the 
ownership of Vermont was waging. On January 14, 1777, the 
New York Convention agreed to loan Cumberland county a sum 
not exceeding £300, and it furnished the representatives of the 
county £70 as wages in advance. Major Hoisington went to 
Fishkill, N. Y., to settle with the Committee of Safety, and had 
to apply to them for funds to get home. It would appear that 
his Rangers had not been called upon for any very arduous labor 
as yet, for as late as Feb. 24, Col. Bedel in a letter to Gen. Schuy- 
ler declared that the Rangers had not done three days' duty. 
The Provincial Congress of New York decided May 28, 1777, 
that they needed some exercise, and it ordered that Gen. Bayley 
be requested to order one of the companies of troops raised in 
Cumberland and Gloucester counties, called Rangers, to march to 
Kingston in Ulster county, without delay, to follow the further 
directions of the Council of Safety or executive power of the 
state. Gen. Bayley was in sore straits. On the 14th of June 
he wrote from Newbury to the Committee of Safety at Kingston, 
"The calling for the Rangers is stripping the frontier of Men 
& Arms, which order I received from Major Wheelock with a 
Verbal Account, that the others would soon follow. I gave the 
orders for the march of the first Company, but had no Money to 
March them, which they Insist upon. They Insist that if the 
Conditions they were raised upon, is altered in one part, it must 
be in all before they March they say their Subsistence Money 
will not half Support them on their March nor at Kingston when 
they arrive." From this will be seen the spirit of independence 
manifested by the Rangers, a spirit to be commended usually, 
but which often interfered with military discipline in the early 
days of the war. It illustrates also the difficulties under which 



102 History of Royalton, Vermont 

thie officers frequently labored, through lack of funds to pay their 
men. 

An attempt had been made in April to raise three companies 
in the northeastern part of the Grants, under the direction of 
Major John Wheelock. Commissions were not to be issued until 
150 men should be enlisted. Major Wheelock obtained only 
eighty men, even after an extension of time, owing to open defec- 
tion against the authority of New York in that part of the state. 
Provision was made for accepting what he had, if six super- 
numerary officers would discharge themselves when he should 
arrive with the men at Kingston. There seems to have been 
plenty of men who were willing to serve as officers, but appar- 
ently they were not sufficiently self-sacrificing to "discharge 
themselves," for on Aug. 30, Wheelock 's corps was declared dis- 
banded, and he was ordered to settle his accoimts. When he 
went to Fishkill to get what was left of his men, he found that 
"many had dispersed contrary to order." Capt. Payne was in 
command of them, and among the loyal ones were Comfort Sever 
of Hanover, later of Royalton, Jeremiah Trescott of Royalton, 
and Lieut. Aaron Storrs and Abel Curtis of Norwich. Wheelock 's 
men had been intended for Col. Warner's regiment. From the 
Henry Stevens Papers the following is taken : 

"Majr John Wheelock Sir where as we the subscribers did inlist 
in the Corps Commanded By you as we understand Said Corps is dis- 
banded by order of Council of Safety of this State we therefore require 
of you a Sartificate as we cannot Ingage in any other Service til we 
are Regularly Discharged By you we also are willing the value of our 
Cloathing be Reduckted out of our Back pay so no more 
We remain your Humble Servants" 

Signed by Charles Tilden, Sergt., and nine others, including 
Jeremiah Trescott, and dated Kingston, Sept. 4, 1777. 

This unique request goes to show that these men were not 
only loyal, but honest, and ready for further service. 

If the Rangers were not busy in the field, they and the in- 
dependent companies were employed in other ways. A Roll of 
Zebulon Lyon's company is recorded, which did duty in August, 
1777, by order of the Committee of Safety of Windsor and ad- 
jacent towns. They were called upon to guard the Committee 
at Windsor, and to guard Col. Stone and others to Springfield, 
etc. Zebulon Lyon w^as lieutenant of the company, James Smal- 
ley, sergeant, Moses Evans, sergeant, all of whom were allowed 
pay for fifteen days ' service ; James Sterrod or Herrod, sergeant, 
for seven days; privates, Elijah Smalley, Jesse Williams, David 
Hunter, Zebina Curtis, for fifteen days; James Sanders, Eben- 
ezer Call, James Call, Jr., Joseph Call, John Billings or Belknap, 
Abijah Lamphere, Luke Lamphere, Sylvanus Owen, Elijah 



History of Royalton, Vermont lo3 

Erown, Nathan Chaff ey, Bliss Hosenton (Hoisington), Phineas 
Powers, Timothy Knox, James Call, John Kelliam, for seven days 
each. 

The first half of the year 1777 was a gloomy one for the 
colonists, and an especially strenuous one for the Grants, which, 
under the name of Vermont, had declared its independence. It 
was natural that there should be differences of political opinion. 
Some were supporters of New Hampshire in her claim, others 
of New York, and a considerable number were still loyal to Great 
Britain, so that efforts to raise men for service were not always 
successful. The loss of Ticonderoga in July made the people 
cf the Coos region panic stricken. It looked as if the British 
would win. Some of those nearest the British posts chose to be 
on the winning side, whichever it was. Strafford and Thetford 
had had squads of men doing garrison duty. Col. Bayley de- 
clared that thirty of them deserted in this critical time, leaving 
the towns imguarded. No doubt Royalton with the adjoining 
towns participated in the general alarm, but as our records were 
destroyed in 1780, there is no evidence of her action or of the 
anxiety which she felt. She still had her fort, and even without 
a garrison it would furnish some protection. Wild beasts in the 
forests, wild men on the borders, and a bitter foe at the door 
ready to take advantage of every weak position was the situation 
at this time. 

The Canadians were seeking new and shorter routes to the 
settlements south of them. John Williams, secretary of the New 
York Convention, stated on June 23 that they had found a road 
across the mountains to Otter Creek, and could come in twelve 
days. To be aware of danger was to take steps to avert it. Capt. 
Jesse Safford was in command of forty-two men. Part of them 
were ordered to Pittsfield, and went in July. A part were or- 
dered to Royalton, and probably came at the same time, and 
occupied the fort built the preceding year, and served as a pro- 
tection to the inhabitants and neighboring towns. 

The victory over Burgoyne heartened the colonists. On 
Mar. 23, 1778, the Assembly voted to fill up Col. Warner's regi- 
ment. On June 12th they voted that 100 men out of Col. Bedel 's 
regiment be sent to guard the frontier west of the mountains. 
On June 18th it was decided to raise twenty men to guard the 
frontiers from White river to Strafford and Corinth, to the lakes, 
etc., and that Capt. Hodges have the command of said guard as 
a subaltern. Some time previous to Aug. 29, 1777, the Council 
of Safety had ' ' Resolved that 375 men of the militia of this State 
should be Raised for the defence of this and the United States of 
America." As cost of living was high, they voted fifty shillings 
per month to each person so serving in addition to his continental 



104 History of Royalton, Vermont 

pay. The General Assembly voted Mar. 25, 1778, to add to sol- 
diers ' wages that were to be raised by a vote of that House enough 
to make their wages four pounds per month. In June they 
added forty shillings bounty to this stipend. 

The proposed expedition to Canada was the military event 
of 1778 in which Vermont would have had the largest part and 
interest, but after making provision for 300 volunteers, the 
Council of Safety two weeks later declared the expedition like 
to fall through, and ordered the enrollment of men to cease. 
There is no evidence from the scanty town records of 1779 left 
to us, that Royalton took any action in raising men or provisions, 
but the record of service in another part of this chapter shows, 
that some who must have been residents of this town at that time 
were in active service. The Vermont militia in 1779 were en- 
gaged in scouting and protecting the frontier. 

At a special meeting in Royalton held Jan. 22, 1780, we get 
the first record of the active participation of the town in the 
events of the Revolution. At that time it was voted to raise five 
men for immediate service, who were to be under pay at two 
pounds per month, equal to wheat at five shillings a bushel. Esq. 
Morgan, Lieut. Durkee, and Daniel Rix were chosen a committee 
to see the five men equipped, and Lieut. Morse, Capt. Joseph 
Parkhurst and Benjamin Parkhurst were chosen another com- 
mittee to give Lieut. Parkhurst his (illegible). At their March 
meeting they voted to discharge the five men raised in January. 
There is no record showing who these men were, but it may be 
inferred that Lieut. Parkhurst (Calvin?) was one. From the 
Vermont Revolutionary War Rolls the following is taken : 

"A Pay Roll of Lieut. Calvin Parkhurst and eight privates who have 
been in the service of the United States one month and a half in guard- 
ing the frontiers of this state, the winter past, viz: 

One subn 45 days 149 s/ per day £324.0.0 

Eight privates 45 days each 53 s/4 per day each £960.0.0 



£1284.0.0 
Calvin Parkhurst, Capt. 
Westminster, March 16, 1780, In Council The above pay roll ex- 
amined and approved by order of the Governor and Council. 

Jos. Fay, Sec'y. 
Pay Table Office, 23d Feby. 1781. The Treasurer is directed to 
allow on the above order thirty-two pounds two shillings, lawful money. 
Thomas Chittenden, Timo. Brownson, Comee. 

Received of the Treasurer the contents of the above 
order. 

Aaron Storrs." 

This pay roll probably includes the five men raised by Roy- 
alton, and refers to the same men as the following petition in 
the office of the Secretary of State at Montpelier. It will be 



History of Royalton, Vermont 105 

observed that the amount allowed on the bill was only a small 
part of it, due, doubtless, to the depreciation of continental 
money. 

"To his Excellency the Govr. his honbl. Council and General As- 
sembly of the State of Vermont now sitting at Westminster — 

The Petition of the Subscribers Humbly Sheweth, that whereas the 
present Winter has been such and the repeated Intelegence from 
Canada that great apprehension arose in the minds of the frontier 
Inhabitants that the Enemy would Attempt an invasion upon some 
Quarter, and as your petitioners and the Inhabitants of the Towns of 
Royalton & Sharon whom we have the honor to represent was frontiers 
and Exposed to Such Invasion — did by the advice of one of the Mem- 
bers of the Board of War and others, Raise one subaltern and Eight 
privates to reconnoiter the Woods and keep guard for this Country, 
and Engaged to pay them (viz) the Subaltei'n Equal Wages allowed by 
this State & Each private forty shillings pr Month and Money made 
Good as in this year 1774 on condition this State would not pay them 

And whereas your Petitioners are of opinion that said Scout so 
Raised was of public Service to this State; do therefore pray your 
honors to take the Matter under Consideration and if Consistent Grant 
that said Subaltern & Eight men be paid out of the public Treasury 
of this State or such other relief as your honors in your Wisdom shall 
judge requisite and for the best Good of this State, and as your peti- 
tioners in duty bound shall ever pray — 
Westminster 12th March 1780 

Elias Stevens ) Representatives 
Daniel Gilbert \ for 

sd Towns" 

The statement was made that this guard was in service one 
and one-half months. 

The line of frontier on the west side of the mountains was 
set by the Board of War on Mar. 12, 1779, at Arlington. ''Re- 
solved that the north line of Castleton the west and north lines 
of Pittsford to the foot of the Green Mountains be and is hereby 
Established a line between the Inhabitants of this State and the 
Enemy, and all the Inhabitants of the State living to the north 
of said line are directed and ordered to immediately move with 
their families and Effects within said lines." These quotations 
will give a good idea of the state of feeling of those living on 
or near the frontiers. 

The Indian raid at Royalton was the event of 1780 which 
sent a thrill of terror throughout all the towns of eastern Ver- 
mont and adjoining sections of New Hampshire. To Zadoek 
Steele, Historian, we are indebted chiefly for a connected and full 
account of that awful tragedy. The debt of gratitude we owe 
him, and the honor due his memory for his laudable effort to 
preserve the trials and sufferings of the early inhabitants of Ver- 
mont should not grow less, because as time has gone on, new evi- 
dence and new information have been secured, which, in some 
instances, shows that his account is not wholly correct. That is 



106 History op Koyalton, Vermont 

true of all histories. Mr. Steele was not a resident of the town, 
and it was nearly forty years after the raid occurred, when he 
sought from residents of Royalton information regarding the 
events of that momentous day. It is almost strange that not 
more errors are found. His narrative is first given just as it 
stands in the original edition of 1818, and it is followed with 
another account based on the narratives of others who were pres- 
ent at that time of devastation, and on such records as have been 
furnished from reliable sources. It is in no spirit of criticism 
that the second account is given, but with a sincere desire to 
supplement, and render more valuable, if possible, the record of 
what seemed to those present on Oct. 16, 1780, as the death knell 
of the infant settlement. The correspondence of the leader of 
the Indian band and of Capt. Matthews, which is now given to 
the public for the first time, it is believed, will be found of con- 
siderable value and interest. 

A reference to the letter of Capt. Matthews, secretary of 
Gen. Haldimand, will show that an exchange of prisoners had 
been asked of Gen. Haldimand before the raid of Oct. 16, 1780. 
It does not state that the request came from Gov. Chittenden, 
but it is probable that it did. According to the "Haldimand 
Correspondence" in Vol. II of "Governor and Council," the 
Governor wrote regarding an exchange of prisoners in Septem- 
ber. It is not at all unlikely that friends of the men taken pris- 
oners in Royalton asked the Governor to take steps to secure their 
release, but it seems probable, also, as measures had already been 
taken for an exchange, that no new request was made. Prison- 
ers taken from the British by the Vermont soldiery were turned 
over to the United States authorities, and so the state did not hold 
any considerable number of prisoners available for exchange 
independent of action on the part of Washington, Commander-in- 
chief, to whom Gov. Chittenden applied. 

The negotiations, however, dealt with the proposal to make 
Vermont a loyal supporter of England, and with this object in 
view the British general readily agreed to a truce, which freed 
the state from a constant dread of invasion, and which finally 
resulted in the exchange of nearly all those who had been taken 
as prisoners to Canada after the raid of Oct. 16, 1780. 

It is not pertinent to the purpose of this book to decide 
whether the Vermont leaders were patriots or traitors in carrying 
on these negotiations, neither is it the place to defend or condemn 
the course they adopted. It is enough to say, that by these nego- 
tiations the British were led to believe that they could gain Ver- 
mont, and that Vermont, which had pluckily and successfully 
held her own against the claims of neighboring states, did, by 
the representations of her leaders, steer the ship of state safely 



History of Royalton, Vermont 107 

through a most perilous time in her history, and not only fur- 
thered her own cause, but that of the united colonies as well. 

The provisioning of troops was a serious matter, a source 
of anxiety to boards of war, commanders in the army, and to 
town officials. The removal of the hardiest and best men to 
serve in the army depleted the ranks of the laboring class in 
Vermont. Royalton in 1780 had been stripped of the larger 
part of her supplies by the ruthless red man. Soon after the 
raid, November 9th, at a town meeting held in Lebanon, N. H., 
Huckens Storrs was appointed to remove the public provisions 
from Strafford to Royalton in case soldiers were ordered to that 
tow^n. In Royalton, Zebulon Lyon's house was a storage place 
for supplies, and in Sharon, Samuel Benedict's. 

Col. Bedel in his attack on St. Johns in 1775 wrote to the 
Committee of Safety in New Hampshire, "This moment I have 

possession of St. Johns and the Post to-morrow shall march 

for Montreal. - - - - In about 4 days we shall have either a 
wooden leg or golden chain at Montreal. For God's sake let 
me know how I am to supply my men." Some of the sufferings 
of the men in Warner's Regiment in the attack on St. Johns 
have been recounted in the diary of Lieut. John Fassett, who 
was in Capt. Hawkins' Company. Col. Warner was both doctor 
and officer. Lieut. Fassett under date of Oct. 27th wrote, "David 
Brewster is very sick. Sent for Col. Warner and he gave him a 
portion of jallap. Jacob Safford not very well, nor has not 
been for several days." Two days later he entered in his diary, 
"Col. Warner blooded Jacob Safford. David Brewster is some 
better." In their attack on St. Johns they suffered from both 
cold and hunger. He wrote on Nov. 12, "12 o'clock. E. Smith, 
Jacob Safford and I have been buying an apple pie and a sort 
of floured short cake and apples. Have eaten so much as we 
can, which makes us feel well." Gov. Chittenden wrote. May 
22, 1778, that he was informed Col. Bedel's regiment was not in 
actual service for want of provisions. On June 12, Col. Bedel 
was empowered to buy grain and other provisions. 

On Oct. 20, 1780, Calvin Parkhurst was put on a committee 
by the General Assembly for the purpose of getting provisions 
from the towns. That year acts were passed by the legislature 
prohibiting sending provisions out of the state. In 1781 it ap- 
peared that the supplies set for the soldiers were not enough, 
and a provision tax was levied. In 1780 the quota of provisions 
for troops was, for Royalton, 1392 pounds of flour, 464 pounds 
of beef, 232 pounds of salted pork, 99 bushels of Indian corn, 
and 191/2 bushels of rye. The provision tax of 1781 levied on 
ratable polls and estates was 20 ounces of wheat flour, 6 ounces 
of rye flour, 10 ounces of beef, and 6 ounces of pork, on a pound. 



108 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

At a town meeting held Dec. 27, 1781, Royalton voted to raise 
five bushels of wheat in lieu of the beef for the state troops, and 
to raise wheat in lieu of rye flour. It chose Lieut. Durkee to 
receive the wheat, and also the pork that was to be raised, which 
was to be well salted, and he was to find the salt for five bushels 
of wheat. They also voted to raise three bushels of wheat in 
lieu of a hu^ndred of flour, and voted to raise and bring in the 
whole of the provisions in January next following. The Board 
of War had proposed, April 8, 1780, that each town by taxation 
pay its own men, each man to provision himself, the state in final 
settlement repaying what had been expended since the rising of 
the last Assembly, which had authorized such action. 

In the town meeting records there is but one more notice 
of any action of the town in raising men for military service in 
the Revolutionary war. This was April 3, 1782, when it was 
"Voted to raise one man as the eotoo (quota) for the town." 
They chose a committee to make a report in what manner to 
raise said man, and next voted to give John Wilcox when enlisted 
15 (torn off) of good dry sugar to be delivered at Lieut. Lyon's 
house as a bounty. Every one that was delinquent in paying 
his sugar by the third Tuesday of the next April was to pay 
"dubel" his proportion of tax. 

Regarding the character of Vermont soldiers, among them 
Royalton men, it is sufficient to quote from a letter which Gen. 
Burgoyne sent to England: "The New Hampshire Grants in 
particular, a country unpeopled and almost unknown in the last 
war, now abounds in the most active and rebellious race on the 
continent, and hangs like a gathering storm on my left." 

We shall never know who of those living in town at the time 
they served their country in the Revolution, lie sleeping in our 
cemeteries. Many early graves are unmarked. Of this number 
it is very probable that some were soldiers. In the list of Revo- 
lutionary soldiers which follows, the final resting place of those 
who are buried in town is noted, so far as known. 

Some of these patriots died before any pension law was 
enacted that would benefit them. The first pension law was 
passed as a resolution by the Continental Congress at Philadel- 
phia, Aug. 26, 1776. It provided for partial and total disability. 
If partial, the disabled ones were to be formed into an invalid 
corps. It took effect from its passage, but in 1778 it was made 
retroactive, so as to include all so disabled on and after April 19, 
1775. They were to receive half pay during continuance of disa- 
bility. 

On May 15, 1778, upon recommendation of Gen. Washing- 
ton, the Congress passed a law providing for pensioning all mili- 
tary officers commissioned by Congress, who should serve during 



History of Royalton, Vermont 109 

the war, and not hold any office of profit or trust in any of the 
states. They were to receive half pay for seven years, if they 
lived so long. Officers alone were benefited by this enactment. 
The first provision for widows and orphans was made Aug. 24, 
1780. This benefited only the families of officers. They were 
to have the benefit of the law of May 15, 1778, in case of the 
death of the officer before the expiration of seven years. The 
widows and orphans of soldiers other than officers were pensioned 
by act of Aug. 11, 1790. A five-years' half -pay law was passed 
July 4, 1836, which by repeated extensions, became the basis of 
the present law relating to widows and orphans. 

The first dependent pension law was passed March 18, 1818. 
This provided for those in need of assistance, who had served 
in the Revolution nine or more months. The pay was $20 a 
month for officers, and $8 for others. May 15, 1828, full pay 
was allowed for life to the survivors of the Revolution who en- 
listed for and during the war, and continued in its service until 
its termination. This act was extended June 7, 1832, to those 
who could not draw pensions under the act of 1828, provided 
they had served in the Continental Line, or state troops, volun- 
teers or militia, at one or more terms, a period of two years. 
They were to receive full pay according to rank, but not exceed- 
ing the pay of a captain. Those who had served less than two 
years, but not less than six months, drew a sum proportionate 
to their term of service as compared with two years. 

Several laws were enacted for the benefit of those engaged 
in Indian wars, the first being April 30, 1790, and also for those 
in the Regular Army. Laws were passed in 1836 and 1846 pro- 
viding invalid pensions for those engaged in the Mexican War. 
Pension laws have been too numerous to mention them all. The 
drift has been more and more toward a generous policy in re- 
warding the services of those who endangered their lives that 
their country might live. Some of the soldiers of the Revolution 
surrendered their rights under one enactment, to avail themselves 
of a more liberal provision under a later one. This will explain 
how it chanced that some were pensioned more than once. 

Those soldiers connected with Royalton that are known to 
have received pensions, have the fact recorded in the list at the 
end of this chapter. It cannot be hoped that this list is complete. 
Some omissions may, perhaps, be found in the genealogies of 
families, and others can be remedied only by those who know 
that such exist. It could be wished that not one of those who 
bravely fought in our struggle for independence, and who ever 
called Royalton their home, should fail of recognition in our 
town History, but the lapse of time and imperfect records must 



110 History of Royalton, Vermont 

be the excuse, if such is the case. A list of present pensioners 
will be found in the chapter devoted to the Civil War. 

The Pay Roll of Capt. Joseph Parkhurst's Company of 
Militia for the service in the alarms on Aug. 9, Royalton, 1780, 
is given in the Vermont Revolutionary Rolls, pages 191-92. The 
men all enlisted Aug. 9th, and aside from the officers received 
one shilling, four pence per day. The Roll included Capt. Jo- 
seph Parkhurst. serving 3 days, Lieut. Calvin Parkhurst, 6 days, 
Lieut. Elias Stevens, 6 days, Sergt. Walbridge. 3 days, Sergt. 
Foster, 3 days, Sergt. Wheeler, 6 days, Sergt. Haven (Havens?), 
6 days, Sergt. Billings, 3 days, Corpl. How, 3 days, Corpl. 
Mosher, 3 days, John Crary, 3 days, John Hoboot (Hibbard), 3 
days, Aaron Mosher, 3 days, Robert Handy, 6 days, Daniel Love- 
joy, 6 days, Daniel Havens, 6 days, Joseph Fish, 3 days, ]\Iedad 
Burton (Benton), 3 days, Jeremiah Presot (Trescott), 6 days, 
Nathan (Nathaniel) Morse, 6 days, Reuben Parkhurst, 6 days, 
Luther Ede, 3 days, Adam Durkee, 6 days, Elisha Kent, 6 days, 
Matthew Harrington, 3 days, Abel Fairbanks, 3 days, Zacheus 
Downer, 3 days, Lackin (Larkin) Hunter. 3 days, Nehemiah 
Lovejoy, 3 days, Jason Downer, 3 days, Asa Stevens, 3 days, 
Benj. Parkhurst, 3 days, Benj. Day, 3 days, Standish Day, 3 
days, Phineas Parkhurst, 3 days, Penl Parkhurst, 3 days, and a 
name erased. The Pay Roll ends with the following: 

"Pay Table Office. The within pay roll examined and approved 
and the Treasurer is directed to pay the same to Capt. Joseph Park- 
hurst or bearer, being the sum of seventeen pounds eleven shillings 
and three pence, with the addition of rations, lawful money. 

Thos. Chittenden, | Pnmmittf.o 
Arlington, 12 Jan. 1781. John Fasset, ^ ^ommiuee 

Vermont, Windsor County, ss. May 23, 1781. Sworn before 

Joel Marsh, Justice of Peace. 
Reed, of the Treasurer, in behalf of Capt. Joseph Parkhurst, the 
contents of the within roll. 12th June 1781. 

Amos Robinson" 

The roll of his company serving three days in the Royalton 
alarm was smaller and quite different. It included Lieut. Elias 
Stevens; Sergts. Jos. Edson, John Billings, and Isaac Pinney; 
Corps. Heman Durkee and Phineas Parkhurst; Joseph Green, 
Oliver Pinney, Timothy Hibbard. Ralph Day. Robert Handy, 
Elisha Hart, Daniel Havens, John Evans, IMedad Benton, Joseph 
Wallow (Waller), Rufus Rude (he was not living at this time), 
Nathl. Moss (Morse), Nathan Morgan, Stephen Burrus (Bor- 
roughs), Zebulon Burrus, Samuel Joslin, Jeremiah Triscut, and 
Comfort Sever, privates. 

Capt. Daniel Gilbert's Company pursued the enemy, trav- 
elled 30 miles and served four days at the time of the Indian raid. 
The Captain drew twenty shillings a day, the Lieutenant fifteen. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 111 

the Sergeants six, the Clerk six, the Corporal five and six pence, 
and the privates five shillings. The Pay Roll shows the follow- 
ing membership : Daniel Gilbert, Capt., Abel Fairbanks, Lieut., 
John Walbridge, Sergt., Jacob Foster, Sergt., Zacheus Downer, 
Clerk, Simeon How, Corp., Jonathan How, Samuel Ladd, Larkin 
Hunter, Jason Downer, Wright Spalding, John Crery, Stephen 
March (Marsh?), Elisha Kent, Daniel Lovejoy, Ashbel Ladd, 
Pierce Parkhurst, Azel Spalding, Joel Marsh, privates. His Pay 
Roll ends as follows: 

"The within pay roll is for service done in Royalton Alarm the 
16th Oct. 1780. Daniel Gilbert, Capt. 

Pay Table Office, Oct. 24, 1781. The within Pay Roll examined 
and approved and the Treasurer is hereby directed to pay to Daniel 
Gilbert or order the within sum, being sixteen pounds two shillings and 
ten pence, lawful money 

Timo Brownson, ] 

Thos Chandler, [ Comee. 

John Strong, J 

Date above rec'd of the Treasurer the contents of the above order 
in behalf of Danl Gilbert. Joel Marsh." 

ROYALTON'S REVOLUTIONARY ROLL. 
Name Col. or Regt. Capt. or Co. State Year 

Ames, David R. Dow | N. H. 1775 

Lilley J. House | N. H. Cont. 1776 

Buried in Havens Cem. 
Atherton, Matthew Mass. Cont. 

Pensioned under Act of 1832. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Back, Lyman Conn. Militia 

Pensioned June 21, 1833. Buried in S. Royalton Cem. 
Backus, Stephen 8th 2nd Conn. Cont. 1775 

Pensioned Sep. 25, 1833. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. Fifer. 
Bacon, Jareb D. Brewster J. Packard Mass. 1775 

Corp. Re-enlisted in 1777. 
Banister, Jason B. Wait J. Benjamin Vt. Militia 1781 

Pensioned under Act of 1832. Drummer. 
Banister, Timothy Elias Wild ) Vt. Militia 1780 

B. Wait J. Benjamin ] Vt. Militia 1781 

Drummer in 1780, Fifer in 1781. 
Benton, Jonathan J. Safford | Vt. Rangers 

Peter Olcott Tim. Bush 5 Vt. Militia 1781 

Benton, Medad Strong | N. Y. 1776 

Abel Marsh ] Vt. Militia 1777 

Buried in S. Royalton Cem. Lieutenant. 
Billings, John Conn. Cont. 1775 

Pen. Nov. 3, 1819 and June 7, 1832. Buried N. Royalton Cem. 
Bingham, Thomas Wales Conn. Line 1775 

Served also in 1777-78. Received $240 yearly pension 1819; 

dropped in 1820. Buried in Havens Cem. 
Bosworth, Benj. Mass. 

Served in 1775 in Lexington Alarm; en. in Capt. Nath. Carpen- 
ter's Co., Col. Tim. Walker; July 1, 1776, en. with Capt. Isaac 

Hodges, Col. Eben. Francis; Jan., 1777, with Capt. Stephen Bui- 



112 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

Name Col. or Regt. Capt. or Co. State Year 

lock, Col. Thos. Carpenter; fall of 1777 as Corp. with Capt. Nath. 

Carpenter, Col. Whitney; late fall, 1777, in Peleg Peck's Regt; 

May 1, 1778, Orderly Serg. with Capt. Jacob Fuller, Col. John 

Jacob; winter, 1780-81, Lieut, with Col. Hathaway; July 1, 1781, 

Lieut, with Capt. Elisha Gifford, Col. William Turner; went with 

Generals Spencer and Sullivan in the Expedition to R. I. Pen- 
sioned in 1832. Buried in the Lindley Cem. 
Brewster, David P. Olcott J. Hazen Vt. Militia 1777 

Cheedle, Timothy B. Durkee Vt. Militia 1781 

Buried in Royalton Broad Brook Cem. 
Clapp, Samuel, Jr. Mass. Cont. 

Pensioned July 14, 1819; suspended under Act of 1820. Buried in 

N. Royalton Cem. Sergeant. 
Clark, Paul Silas Wild | Mass. Cont. 1775 

Eliph. Sawen ] Mass. Cont. 1777 

Served until 1780. Pensioned under Act, 1818. Buried in Wil- 

liston. 
Cleveland, Squire Branch Conn. Mil. | 

Conn. Cont. { 1778 

Pensioned Mar. 5, 1819, and again June 7, 1832. Buried in East 

Bethel. 
Cleveland, Sam'l Conn. 

Pensioned Aug. 31, 1833. 
Cole, Benjamin Ledyard A. Waterman Conn. Militia 1777 

Served 1778 and 1779 with Captains Tyler and Josh. Bottom; 

Corp. with Capt. Bottom, Col. Wells, in 1780; Corp. with Capt. 

Robbens, Col. McClellan, 1781; last service as substitute for his 

father; pensioned as Sergt. under Act of 1832. Buried in Dewey 

Cem. 
Crandall, Gideon Averill Conn. Militia 1782 

Served also in R. I. Militia. Pensioned Sep. 30, 1833. Buried in 

Branchview Cem. 
Curtis, Samuel Hoisington Hatch N. Y. Militia 1776 

Served with Capt. William Heaton in Vt. Militia. 1777; with Capt. 

Sol. Cushman, Vt. Volunteers, 1778, with Captains E. Burton and 

Tim. Bush, Col. Olcott, 1780. 



Davis, Nathan 




N. H. Cont. 




Pensioned under Act of 1818. 








Day, Benjamin J. 


Parkhurst 


Vt. Militia 


1780 


Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 








Day, Standish J. 


Parkhurst 


Vt. Militia 


1780 


Day, Ralph J. 


Parkhurst 


Vt. Militia 


1780 


Dewey, Darius, Corp. 




Conn. Cont. 




Pensioned April 4, 1834. Buried in S. Royalton Cem. 




Dewey, Ebenezer Ashley E. 


Mack 


N. H. Militia 


1777 


Buried in Dewey Cem. 








Durkee, Heman Maj. E. Allen J. 


Safford 


Vt. Rangers 


1780 



Corp. Also in J. Parkhurst's Co. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 

Durkee, Timothy J. Safford Vt. Rangers 1780 

Also in J. Parkhurst's Co. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 

Evans, Cotton Lieut. Morris | Conn. Militia 1776 

Spalding \ Conn. Militia 1778 

Evans, John J. Parkhurst Vt. Militia 1780 

Fairbanks, Calvin Mass. Cont. 

Pensioned Oct. 4, 1833. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



113 



Name 



Col. or Regt. 



Capt. or Co. 



State 



Year 



Fish, Joseph J. Parkhurst Vt. Militia 1780 

Fowler, Elisha A. Branch Conn. Cont. 1778 

Pensioned Dec. 2, 1819, and under Act of 1832. 
Gains, James Mass. Cont. 

Pension secured by town under Act of 1818. Died Jan. 11, 1825; 

probably buried in town. 
Gilbert, Daniel 8th 3d Conn. 1775 

Corp. with Capt. William Heaton, Vt. Militia, Col. Peter Olcott, 

1777; Lieut, with Capt. E. Parkhurst, Vt. Militia, 1781. Buried 

in S. Royalton Cem. 



Green, Irijah 

Pensioned July 7, 1819. 
Handy, Robert Peter Olcott 

Havens, Daniel 



W. Heaton | 
J. Parkhurst j 



Havens, Joseph 8th 



Mass. Cont. 

Vt. Militia 1777 

Vt. Militia 1780 

Conn. 1777 

Vt. Militia 1780 

Conn. 1775 

N. Y. Militia 1776 

Vt. Militia 1777 

Mass. Cont. 1775 



J. Parkhurst 
7th ] 

Strong [- 

Peter Olcott W. Heaton J 

Havens, James Vose D. Sears 

Served till spring of 1783; pension secured by town under Act 
of 1818; died in 1825; probably buried in town. 
Hibbard, John, Jr. J. Parkhurst Vt. Militia 1780 

Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Hide, Jedediah Branch Conn. Militia 1778 

Howard, William Conn. Militia 

Pensioned Aug. 28, 1833. Buried in Branchview Cem. 
Howe, Samuel N. H. Cont. 

Pensioned May 14, 1833. Buried in Havens Cem. 
Howe, Squire Conn. Militia 

Pensioned Oct. 4, 1833; probably buried in Barnston, Que. 
Hutchinson, John Hoisington J. Hatch ^ N. Y. 1776 

Peter Olcott W. Heaton | Vt. 1777 

Pensioned April 30, 1833; buried in N. Royalton Cem. Served in 
Conn. Militia. 
Huntington, Jas. J. Huntington 8th Conn. Cont. 

At Lexington and Bunker Hill. Buried in Howard Cem. Sergt. 



Jones, William 




Joiner, William 


E. Allen 




Lee 


Corporal. 




Kent, Elisha 






Jo. Marsh 



Branch 
J. Safford 
O. Train 



Conn. Militia 1778 



Vt. 

Vt. Militia 



1780 
1781 



N. Y. 

Vt. 

Vt. Militia 



1776 
1777 
1780 



S. Cushman | 
J. Safford y 



Strong 1 

Tim. Bush I 
J. Parkhurst] 
Buried in S. Royalton Cem. 
Kent, John T. Beedle 

E. Allen 
Taken prisoner Oct. 16, 1780. 
Lovejoy, Daniel J. Marsh T. Bush | 

Tim. Beedle S. Cushman | 

With the Rangers under Lieut. Beriah Green in 1781; enlisted 
five times, and served 20 months; pensioned under Act of 1832; 
buried in Sharon Broad Brook Cem. 
Lovejoy, William James Fry B. Ames Mass. 1775 

At Lexington; buried in Sharon Broad Brook Cem. 



N. H. 

Vt. Militia 

Vt. 

N. H. 



1778 
1780 

1777 
1778 



114 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Name Col. or Regt. Capt. or Co. State Year 

Lyman, Ezekiel J. Huntington B. Throop Conn. Line 1777 

Served three years. Is thought to have been a soldier in the 

French and Indian War in Capt. John Terry's Co., 1st Regt., in 

campaign of 1755, under Major Phineas Lyman, and to have been 

pensioned under Act of 1818. Supposed to have been buried on 

the Lewis Skinner farm. 
Lyon, Zebulon, Lieut. B. Wait N. Y. 1776 

E. Allen J. Safford Vt. Militia 1780 

With Capt. Abel Marsh, N. H. troops, 1777; buried in N. Royal- 
ton Cem. 
Metcalf, Sam'l, Jr. Conn. Militia 

Pensioned Aug. 31, 1833; buried in Metcalf Cem. 
Miles, Ephraim B. Wait J. Benjamin Vt. Militia 1781 

In battle of Saratoga. Buried in Potsdam, N. Y. 
Morgan, Benj. C. Cilley N. H. 1775 

See cut of commission. Buried in Royalton Broad Brook Cem. 
Morgan, Nathan Peter Olcott W. Heaton | Vt. 1777 

J. Parkhurst j Vt. Militia 1780 

Corporal. 
Morgan, Roswell A. Marsh N. H. 1777 

T. Bush Vt. Militia 1780 

Recruited for Seelye in 1778, served under him as Lieut, in 1782. 

Buried in S. Royalton Cem. 
Morse, Nathaniel 

Probably in the Lexington Alarm, from Preston, Conn. Buried 

in Havens Cem. 
Noble, Nehemiah Calkins Conn. Militia 1777 

Buried in Bethel. 
Packard, Benj. Mass. Cont. 

Sergeant. Pensioned Oct. 12, 1818. Buried in Royalton Broad 

Brook Cem. 
Parkhurst, Benj. J. Marsh T. Bush | 

J. Parkhurst | 

Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Parkhurst, Calvin Peter Olcott W. Heaton 

Sergeant. Buried in Rutland probably. 
Parkhurst, Jabez E. Allen J. Safford 

Parkhurst, Joseph 

Captain. Buried in S. Royalton Cem. 
Parkhurst, Phin. Hoisington f N. Y. 1776 

Peter Olcott W. Heaton \ Vt. Militia 1777 

T. Beedle S. Cushman [ N. H. 1778 

Fifer. Buried in Lebanon, N. H. 
Paul, Kiles Branch Conn. Militia 1778 

Pensioned Mar. 8, 1833. Probably buried in Howe Cem. 
Perrin, Asa Williams Paine Conn. Cont. 1777 

Buried in Perrin Lot, No. 1. 
Pinney, Isaac Branch Conn. Militia 1778 

Sergeant. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Richardson, G. J. Reed P. Thomas N. H. Cont. 1775 

Wait Vt. 1780 

Pensioned Oct. 11, 1833; buried in E. Bethel. 
Root, John ' Conn. Militia 

Pensioned June 21, 1833. Buried in Havens Cem. 
Rude, Rufus 8th 10th Conn. Cont. 1775 

Buried in S. Royalton Cem. Died in 1779. 



Vt. 




1777 


vt. 


Militia 


1780 


vt. 




1777 


vt. 




1780 


vt. 


Militia 


1780 



History of Royalton, Vermont 115 

Name Col. or Regt. Capt. or Co. State Year 



Russ, Jeremiah J. Safford | Vt. 1778 

E. Weld I Vt. 1780 

Corp. in Capt. J. Benjamin's Co., Col. Benj. Wait 1781. Buried in 

N. Royalton Cem. 
Sever, Comfort Wheelock S. Payne N. Y. 1777 

Lieut in Capt. Payne's Co.; Capt. of a Company of Vt. Militia 

in 1781. 
Skinner, Isaac Conn. 

Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Skinner, Luther Conn. Militia 

Pensioned Sept. 25, 1833. Died in Royalton, probably buried here. 
Stevens, Abel Salisbury Vt. Cont. 1777 

As Capt. he had a Co. in Col. Nichols' N. H. Regt. in 1780. 
Stevens, Ellas Hoisington J. Hatch N. Y. 1776 

Beedle S. Cushman N. H. 1778 

Sergt. in 1776, Lieut, in 1778. Pensioned Sep. 25, 1833, on his 

service in the Conn. Militia as Sergt. and Lieut. Buried in S. 

Royalton Cem. 
Stevens, Elkanah Conn. Militia 

Pensioned Aug. 24, 1833. 
Storrs, Huckens B. Wait E. Gates Vt. 1781 

Buried in S. Royalton Cem. 
Taggart, Joseph N. H. Cont. 

Corporal. Pensioned July 7, 1819, under Act of 1832. 
Trescott, Experience D. Woodward N. H. 1776 

J. Chase 1779 

E. Allen J. Safford Vt. 1780 

With Lieut. Beriah Green, Vt. Militia, 1782. Buried in Royal- 
ton Broad Brook Cem. 
Trescott, Jeremiah D. Woodward | N. H. 1776 

S. Payne j N. Y. 1777 

Buried in Havens Cem. 
Walbridge, Isaac J. Chase N. H. 1777 

Sergeant. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Waldo, Zacharia J. Durkee Conn. 1781 

Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Waller, Joseph B. Green Vt. Militia 1782 

Waller, Israel J. Parkhurst Vt. Militia 1780 

Buried in Howe Cem. 
Waterman, Abra.,Jr. Conn. Cont. 

Pensioned Sep. 25, 1833. Buried in Branchview Cem. 
Waterman, Wm. Putnam 4th Conn. Cont. 1775 

Sergeant; wounded at White Plains; pensioned Mar. 4, 1795; pen- 
sion increased twice; buried in Havens Cem. 
Wheeler, Josiah E. Parkhurst Vt. Militia 1781 

Sergeant. Buried in Barnston, Que. 
Wills, Sylvanus J. Chase N. H. 1777 

Pensioned Sep. 26, 1833, on service in Conn. Cont. 
Wilcox, John E. Allen J. Safford Vt. 1780 

Wait B. Green Vt. 1781 

Woodworth, Tim. J. Huntington Ely Conn. Cont. 1777 

Served till 1780. Pensioned under Act of 1818. 
Woodward, E. Sr. A. Ward B. Cutler Conn. 1776 

Pensioned in 1818. Buried in N. Royalton Cem. 
Wooley, Jona. A. Scammel W. Ellis N. H. 1777 



CHAPTER XI. 



(A Reprint of the Narrative of Zadock Steele.) 



THE 

INDIAN CAPTIVE 

OR A 

NARRATIVE 

OF THE 

Qlapttfatlg an& B^uff^rtngB 

OF 

ZADOCK STEELE. 



RELATED BY HIMSELF. 



TO WHICH IS PREFIXED AN ACCOUNT 
OF THE 

BURNING OF ROY ALTON. 

Hath this been in your days, or even in the 
days of your fathers? Tell ye your children of it, 
and let your children tell their children, and their 
children another generation. 

Joel. 

MONTPELIER, VT. 

PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR. 

E. P. Walton, Printer. 
1818. 




ZADOCK STEELE. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 117 

District of Vermont, To wit: 

( L. S. ) Be it remembered, that on the twenty-fifth day 
of January, in the forty-second year of the Independence of the 
United States of America, Horace Steele, of the said District, 
hath deposited in this office, the title of a Book, the right whereof, 
he claims as Proprietor, in the words following, to wit: 

"The Indian Captive; or a narrative of the captivity and 
sufferings of Zadock Steele. Related by himself. To which is 
prefixed, an account of the burning of Royalton. Hath this been 
in yoiu- days, or even in the days of your fathers ? Tell ye your 
children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their 
children, another generation. — Joel." 

In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, 
entitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing 
the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books to the authors and pro- 
prietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned." 

Jesse Gove Vcierk of the District of Vermont. 



} 



ADVERTISEMENT. 

The Author of this work neither seeks, nor expects praise. 
To preserve in memory the sufferings of our fathers, is the prin- 
cipal object of its publication. As no particular account of the 
burning of Royalton, had ever before been published, it was 
thought advisable that it should be prefixed to the "Narrative," 
which was about to be printed. 

The great confusion which prevailed on that dreadful day; 
the long lapse of time since the event; the disadvantages result- 
ing from the frailty of human recollection, and the writer's inex- 
perience, is the only apology he offers for the imperfections of 
the work. 

For the information respecting this tragical scene, he is in- 
debted to the goodness of General Stevens. Colonel Edson, and 
others, who were eve-witnesses. 



118 History of Royalton, Vermont 



BURNING OF ROYALTON. 

As an union of interest always strengthens the bonds of affec- 
tion; so a participation in extreme suffering will never fail to 
produce a mutual sensibility. Prompted by a generous glow of 
filial love and affection, we generally take delight in surveying 
whatever gave our forefathers joy ; and are ready to drop a sym- 
pathetic tear, when we review the sufferings which they have 
undergone. But, contrary to the laws of sympathy, and justice, 
the attention of the public is often engrossed with accounts of 
the more dreadful conflagrations of populous cities in foreign 
countries, or the defeat of armies in the field of carnage; while 
the destruction of small frontier settlements, by the Indian tribes, 
in our own country, is, at the same time, little known, if not 
entirely forgotten. Thus, the miseries of our neighbors and 
friends around us, whose bitter cries have been heard in our 
streets, are too often suffered to pass unnoticed down the current 
of time into the tomb of oblivion. 

The burning of Royalton was an event most inauspicious and 
distressing to the first settlers of that town. Nor is it a little 
strange, that, among the numerous authors, who have recorded 
the events of the American revolution, some of them have not 
given place in their works to a more full detail of that afflictive 
scene. 

Laboring under all the difficulties and hardships to which 
our infant settlements were generally subject; and striving by 
persevering industry to soar above every obstacle, which might 
present itself to obstruct their progress; they had filled their 
barns with the fruits of the land ; their store-houses were crowded 
with the comforts of life, and all nature seemed to wear a propi- 
tious smile. All around them promised prosperity. They were 
far removed from the noise of war, and, though conscious of their 
danger, fondly hoped they should escape the ravages of a savage 
foe. 

Royalton was chartered in the year 1779. A considerable 
settlement, however, had taken place previous to that time; and 
the town was in a thriving condition. Large stocks of cattle, 
which would confer honor upon the enterprise of farmers in old 
countries, were here seen grazing in their fields. 

United by common interest; living on terms of friendship, 
and manifesting that each one in a good degree ' ' loved his neigh- 
bor as himself," harmony prevailed in their borders; social hap- 
piness was spread around their firesides; and plenty crowned 
their labors. But, alas ! the dreadful reverse remains to be told ! 
While joys possessed, w^ere turned to sorrows, their hopes for joys 
to come, were blasted. And as the former strongly marked the 



History of Royalton, Vermont 119 

grievous contrast between a state of prosperity and affliction; 
the latter only showed the fallacy of promising ourselves the 
future. 

On the morning of the 16th of October, A. D. 1780 — before 
the dawn of day, the inhabitants of this town were surprised by 
the approach of about three hundred Indians, of various tribes. 
They were led by the Caghnewaga tribe, and had left Canada, 
intending to destroy Newbury, a town in the eastern part of Ver- 
mont, on Connecticut River. A British Lieutenant by the name 
of Horton, was their chief commander, and one LeMott, a French- 
man, was his second. Their pilot or leader, was a despicable 
villain, by the name of Hamilton, who had been made prisoner, 
by the Americans at the taking of Burgoyn, in 1777. He had 
been at Newbury and Royalton the preceding summer, on parole 
of honor, left the latter place with several others under pretence 
of going to survey lands in the northern part of this State, and 
went directly to the enemy. He was doubtless the first instigator 
of those awful depredations which were the bitter fruits of this 
expedition, and ought to stamp his name with infamy and dis- 
grace. 

On their way thither, 'tis said, they came across several men 
from Newbury, who were engaged in hunting, near the place 
where Montpelier Village now stands, and made them prisoners. 
They made known their object to these hunters, and enquired of 
them whether an armed force was stationed at Newbury. Know- 
ing the defenceless state of that town, and hoping they should 
be able to induce the Indians to relinquish their object and return 
to Canada, they told them that such an armed garrison was kept 
at Newbury, as would render it extremely dangerous for them to 
approach. Thus artfully dissembling by ambiguity of expres- 
sion, the true condition of their fellow townsmen, and like Rahab 
the harlot, saved their father's house from destruction. 

Unwilling, however, that their expedition should prove 
wholly fruitless, they turned their course to Royalton. No argu- 
ments which the prisoners could adduce, were sufficient to per- 
suade them from that determination. 

Following up Onion River as far as the mouth of Ste- 
vens' branch, which empties into the river at Montpelier, they 
steered their course through Barre, at that time called Wilders- 
burgh; proceeded up Gaol branch, which forms a part of Stevens' 
branch, and travelled over the mountains, through Orange and 
Washington; thence down the first branch of White River, 
through Chelsea and Tunbridge to Royalton. They laid there in 
encampment at Tunbridge, not far distant from Royalton, dur- 
ing the Sabbath, the day preceding their attack upon the latter 
place, for the purpose of concerting measures, to carry into effect 



120 History op Royalton, Vermont 

their atrocious and malignant designs. Here were matured those 
diabolical seeds of depredation and cruelty, from which sprang 
bitterness, sorrow, and death ! 

As they entered the town before daylight appeared, darkness 
covered their approach, and they were not discovered till IMonday 
morning, at dawn of day, when they entered the house of Mr. 
John Hutchinson, who resided not far from the line, separating 
Eoyalton from Tunbridge. He was totally ignorant of their ap- 
proach, and wholly unsuspicious of danger, till they burst the 
door upon him. 

Here they took Mr. John Hutchinson, and Abijah Hutchin- 
son his brother, prisoners, and plundered the hoiise ; crossed the 
first branch, and went to the house of Mr. Robert Havens, who 
lived at a small distance from Mr. Hutchinson's. Mr. Havens 
had gone out into his pasture in pursuit of his sheep ; and having 
ascended a hill about forty rods from his house, hearing his neigh- 
bor Hutchinson's dog bark, halted, and stood in pensive silence. 
Here he listened with deep anxiety to know the extent of the evil 
he feared. But alas ! he little expected to find a herd of savage 
men. It was his only fear that some voracious animal was among 
his sheep, which so disturbed the watchful dog. While he lis- 
tened in silence, with his thoughts suspended, he heard a noise, 
as of sheep or cattle running, with full speed, through the water. 
Casting his eye to the west, towards his own dwelling, he beheld 
a company of Indians, just entering the door! Seeing his 
own danger, he immediately laid down under a log, and hid him- 
self from their sight. But he could not hide sorrow from his 
mind. Here he wept ! Tears trickling down his withered cheeks, 
bespoke the anguish of his soul, while he thought upon the dis- 
tress of his family. With groanings unutterable he lay awhile; 
heard the piercing shrieks of his beloved wife, and saw his sons 
escaping for their lives. 

Bath'd in tears the hoary sage 

In sorrow lay conceal'd; while death 

In frightful form, stood thick around him, 

With bow-bent readiness, and arrows dip'd 

In venom, promiscuous flying. 

Vigilance with his years had fled, 

And hope was almost out of sight; 

Safety quite gone, and far beyond his reach. 

Laden with the weight of years, decriped and infirm, he 
was sensible if he appeared in sight, it would prove his death. 
He therefore resolved not to move until a favorable opportunity 
presented. His son, Daniel Havens, and Thomas Pember, were 
in the house, and made their appearance at the door, a little 
before the Indians came up. Beholding the foe but few rods 
distant, they run for their lives. Daniel Havens made his escape 



History of Royai.ton, Vermont 121 

b}' throwing himself over a hedge fence, down the bank of the 
branch, and crawling under a log ; although a large number of the 
Indians passed directly over it, in pursuit of him. Who can tell 
the fears that agitated his bosom, while these savage pursuers 
stepped upon the log under which he lay ! And who can tell the 
joys he felt, when he saw them pass off, leaving him in safety! 
A quick transition from painful fear, and iminent danger, to 
joyful peace and calm retirement. 

They pursued Thomas Pember, till they came so near as to 
throw a spear at him, which pierced his body, and put an end 
to his existence. He run some time, however, after he was 
wounded, till by loss of blood, he fainted, fell, and was unable 
to proceed farther. The savage monsters came up, several times 
thrust a spear through his body, took off his scalp, and left him, 
food for worms ! While they were tearing his scalp from his 
head, how did his dying groans pierce the skies and call on Him, 
who holds the scales of justice, to mark their cruelty, and avenge 
his blood! 

He had spent the night previous, at the house of Mr. Ha- 
vens, engaged in amorous conversation with a daughter of Mr. 
Havens, who was his choice companion, the intended partner of 
his life. 



-What jealous cares 



Hang on his parting soul to think his love 
Expos'd to wild oppression and a herd 
Of savage men:" while himself lay 
With his eyes uplifted, fainting, doom'd 
To wait, and feel the fatal blow. 

By imagination we view the fair survivor, surrounded by 
the savage tribe, whose frightful aspect threatened ruin; her 
soul o'erwhelmed with fear, and stung with grief, bereft of her 
dearest friend. Hear her exclaiming, with sorrowful accents, in 
the language of the Poet: 

"You sacred mourners of a nobler mould, 
Born for a friend whose dear embraces hold 
Beyond all nature's ties; you that have known 
Two happy souls made intimately one, 
And felt the parting stroke; 'tis you must feel 
The smart, the twinges, and the racks, I feel; 
This soul of mine, that dreadful wound has borne] 
Off from its side its dearest half is torn, f- 

The rest lies bleeding, and but lives to mourn." J 

They made the house of Mr. Havens their rallying point, or 
post of observation, and stationed a part of their company there 
to guard their baggage, and make preparations for retreat, when 
they had completed their work of destruction. Like the mes- 
senger of death, silent and merciless, they were scarcely seen till 
felt. Or if seen, filled the mind with terror, nor often afforded 



122 History of Royalton, Vermont 

opportunity for escape. Moving with violent steps, they pro- 
ceeded down the first branch to its mouth, while a number armed 
v;ith spears, led the van, and were followed by others, armed 
with muskets and scalping knives. The former they called run- 
ners, who were directed to kill all those who should be overtaken 
in an attempt to escape, while the latter were denominated gun- 
ners, took charge of the prisoners, and scalped those who were 
killed. 

They had not proceeded far before a young man by the name 
of Elias Button, being ignorant of their approach, made his 
appearance in the road, but a few rods from them. Espying 
his danger, he turned and ran with the greatest possible speed 
in his power, to escape their cruel hands. The savage tribe pur- 
sued him with their usual agility; soon overtook the trembling 
youth ; pierced his body with their spears ; took off his scalp, and 
left him weltering in his gore! Young, vigorous, and healthy, 
and blest with the brightest hopes of long life, and good days; 
he was overtaken by the merciless stroke of death, without having 
a minutes warning. Innocence and bravery were no shield, nor 
did activity secure him a safe retreat. 

That they might be enabled to fall upon the inhabitants, 
unawares, and thereby secure a greater number of prisoners, as 
well as procure a greater quantity of plunder, they kept pro- 
found silence till they arrived at the mouth of the branch. 

After killing Pember and Button, and taking such plunder 
as most pleased their fancy, they proceeded to the house of Jo- 
seph Kneeland, who resided about half a mile distant from the 
house of Mr. Havens. Here they found Messrs. Simeon Belknap, 
Giles Gibbs, and Jonathan Brown, together with Joseph Knee- 
land and his aged father, all of whom they made prisoners. They 
then went to the house of Mr. Elias Curtis, where they took Mi:. 
Curtis, John Kent and Peter Mason. Mrs. Curtis had just 
waked from the slumbers of the night, and was about dressing 
herself as she sat upon her bed, when the savage monsters en- 
tered the door, and one of them instantly flew at her with a large 
knife in his hand, and seized her by the neck, apparently intend- 
ing to cut her throat. While in the very attitude of inflicting 
the fatal wound, the murderous wretch discovered a string of 
gold beads around her neck, which attracted his attention and 
prevented the dreadful stroke of death. Thus his avidity for 
gold allayed his thirst for human blood. His raging passions 
were suddenly cooled ; curiosity restrained his vengeance, and 
spared the life of the frightened object of his cruelty. He had 
put the knife to her throat, and eternity seemed open to her view, 
but instead of taking her life, he only took her beads, and left 
her rejoicing at her deliverance. The barbarous looks of the 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 123 

wicked crew bespoke their malignant designs, and caused hor- 
ror and dismay to fill the minds of all who beheld them. But 
alas ! who can tell what horror filled the bosom of this trembling 
woman ! What fearful pangs were made to pierce her soul ! Be- 
hold the tawny wretch, with countenance wild, and awful grim- 
aces, standing by her bedside, holding her by the throat, with one 
hand, and the weapon of death in the other! See, standing 
around her a crowd of brutal savages, the sons of violence ; foul 
tormentors. In vain do I attempt to paint the scene. Nor will 
1 pretend to describe the feelings of a kind and tender mother, 
who, reposing in the arms of sleep, with her infant at her bosom, 
is roused from her slumbers by the approach of a tribe of savage 
Indians, at her bedside. 

"No dangers seen; no fear to raise a sigh; 

No dangers fear'd; and yet was ruin nigh. 

Dark was the night, and scarce a trembling breeze 

Was heard to whisper through the neighboring trees, 

When to sleep's arms the household was withdrawn, 

To rest in safety till the morrow's dawn; 

The morrow dawns and blushes at the sight 

Of bloody scenes, that shun detecting light; 

Urg'd by a nameless thirst for human prey, 

A savage band approach'd where beauty lay; 

Where innocence, and youth, and age reclin'd 

In sleep, refreshing as the southern wind. 

The sire, though bending with a load of years, 

To save his daughter — every danger dares; 

By some rough hand this ancient hero dies 

The trembling mother for her husband sighs; 

Sighs and entreats to spare her infant's life, 

Her sighs they hear, and spare him — with the knife. 

Pleas'd with the charm of beauty drench'd in tears, 

The savage tribe to gloomy desarts bears 

The weeping mother, void of all defence, 

Save what she hoped from Heav'n and innocence." 

To prevent an alarm from being sounded abroad, they com- 
manded the prisoners to keep silence, on pain of death. While 
the affiicted inhabitants beheld their property wasted, and their 
lives exposed to the arrows of death, it caused their hearts to 
swell with grief. But they were debarred the privilege of mak- 
ing known their sufiferings to their nearest friends, or even to 
pour out their cries of distress, while surrounded by the savage 
band, whose malevolent appearance could not fail to spread fear 
and distress in every bosom. They plundered every house they 
found till they arrived at the mouth of the branch. Here the 
commander, a British officer, took his stand with a small party 
of Indians, while some went up, and others down, on each side 
of the river, to complete the work of destruction. They had 
already taken several horses, which some of them rode, to facili- 
tate their march and enable them to overtake those who attempted 



124 History of Royalton, Vermont 

to make their escape. Frightened at the horrible appearance of 
their riders, who were in no way qualified to manage them, the 
horses served rather to impede than hasten their progress. 

Instigated by "the powers of darkness;" fired with rage; 
eager to obtain that booty which they acquired by the pillage 
of houses; and fearful at the same time, that they should them- 
selves fall a prey to the American forces, they pursued their 
ravages with infuriated zeal, and violence and horror attended 
their movement. 

"Uproar, revenge, and rage, and hate appear 

In all their murderous forms; and flame and blood, 

And sweat, and dust array the broad campaign 

In horror; hasty feet, and sparkling eyes. 

And all the savage passions of the soul, 

Engage in the warm business of the day." 

Gen. Elias Stevens, who resided in the first house on the 
river above the mouth of the branch, had gone down the river 
about two miles, and was engaged at work with his oxen and 
cart. While busily employed in loading his cart, casting his eye 
up the river, he beheld a man approaching, bare-headed, with 
his horse upon the run ; who, seeing Gen. Stevens, cried out ' ' for 
God's sake, turn out your oxen, for the Indians are at the mill." 
Gen. Stevens hastened to unyoke his oxen, turned them out, and 
immediately mounted his horse, and started to return to his 
family, filled with fearful apprehensions for the fate of his be- 
loved wife, and tender offspring ! He had left them in apparent 
safety, reposing in the arms of sleep. Having proceeded on his 
return, about half way home, he met Capt. Joseph Parkhurst, 
who informed him that the Indians were but a few rods distant, 
in swift pursuit down the river, and that unless he returned 
immediately he would inevitably fall into their hands. 

Apprized of his danger, he turned, and accompanied the 
Captain down the river. Conjugal and paternal affection alone 
can suggest to the imagination of the reader, what were the feel- 
ings of Gen. Stevens, when compelled for his own safety, to leave 
the wife of his bosom, and their little ones, to the mercy of a 
savage foe ! What pains did he feel when he found himself 
deprived of all possible means to afford them relief ! Nor could 
he expect a more favorable event, than to find them all sacrificed 
at the shrine of savage barbarity! Who, not totally devoid of 
sympathy, can refrain to drop a tear, as he reflects upon those 
painful emotions, which agitated the General's breast, when he 
was forced to turn his back upon his beloved family, while thus 
exposed to danger ! Indeed, it was his only source of consolation, 
that he might be able to afford assistance to his defenceless neigh- 
bors. And as they soon came to the house of Deacon Daniel 



History of Royalton, Veemont 125 

Rix, he there found opportunity to lend the hand of pity. Gen. 
Stevens took Mrs. Rix and two or three children with him upon 
his horse; Capt. Parkhurst took Mrs. Benton, and several chil- 
dren upon his horse with him, and they all rode off as fast as 
possible, accompanied by Deacon Rix and several others on foot, 
till they arrived at the place where the General first received 
the alarm. Filled with anxiety for his family, and not having 
seen any Indians, Gen. Stevens, here concluded again to return, 
hoping he should be able to reach home in time to secure his 
household from danger, before the Indians arrived. Leaving 
Mrs. Rix and children in the care of a Mr. Burroughs, he started 
for home and had proceeded about half a mile, when he discov- 
ered the Indians in the road ahead of him, but a few rods dis- 
tant. He quickly turned about ; hastened his retreat ; soon over- 
took the company he had left, and entreated them immediately 
to leave the road and take to the woods to prevent being taken. 
Those who were on foot jumped over the fence, hastened to the 
woods, out of sight of the Indians, where they remained in safety, 
undiscovered by the savage foe, who kept the road in pursuit of 
Gen. Stevens. He passed down the road about half a mile, and 
came to the house of Mr. Tilly Parkhurst, his father in law. 
Seeing his sister engaged in milking by the barn, he "told her 
to leave her cow immediately or the Indians would have her," 
and left her to secure her own retreat. They were now in plain 
sight, not more than eighty or an hundred rods off. The road 
was full of them, running like blood-hounds. The General rode 
to the house, told them to run for their lives, and proceeded to 
warn others who lived contiguous. By this time the way was 
filled with men, women and children, and a large body of Indians 
in open view, but just behind them. The savage tribe now began 
to make the surrounding wilderness re-echo with their frightful 
yells. Frightened and alarmed for their safety, children clung 
to their parents, and half distracted mothers, filled with fearful 
apprehensions of approaching destruction, were heard to make 
the air resound with their cries of distress ! Gen. Stevens en- 
deavored to get into the woods, out of sight of the Indians. Fear 
had usurped the power of reason, and wisdom's voice was 
drowned in the torrent of distraction. There was no time for 
argument. All was at stake. The enemy hard by, and fast ap- 
proaching. Defenceless mothers, with helpless infants in their 
arms, fleeing for their lives ! Despair was spread before them, 
while the roaring flood of destruction, seemed rolling behind 
them ! Few could be persuaded to go into the woods, and most 
of them kept the road till they arrived at the house of Capt. E, 
Parkhurst, in Sharon. Here they halted a moment to take 
breath, hoping they should not be pursued any farther. The 



126 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Indians being taken up in plundering the houses, had now fallen 
considerably in the rear. But the unhappy victims of distress, 
had not long been here, when the cruel pursuers again appeared 
in sight. 

Screaming and crying now witnessed the horrors of that 
dreadful scene. Groans and tears bespoke the feelings of a heart 
agitated with fear, and swollen with grief! There was no time 
to be lost. While they waited, they waited for destruction. 
Children hanging to their mother's clothes; mothers enquiring 
what they should do, and calling for assistance; floods of tears, 
and piercing shrieks, all presented to view a most painful scene. 
Seeing the Indians approaching with hedious yells, that thrilled 
the heart of every one. Gen. Stevens put his mother and sister 
upon his own horse; Capt. Joseph Parkhurst put Mrs. Rix and 
three of her children upon another horse, without a bridle, and 
ordered them to hasten their flight. There yet remained the wife 
of Capt. E. Parkhurst, who stood in the most critical situation, 
in which a woman can be placed; begging and crying for help; 
surrounded by six small children, clinging to her clothes, and 
pleading with her for protection; Alas! how awful was the 
spectacle, how affecting the scene! To see a woman in this de- 
plorable condition, pleading for succor, when none can help ; 
when safety and support had fled; and dangers rushing upon 
her ! a heart not devoid of sympathy, could not fail to weep ! 
Conscious of her wretched situation; feeling for her dear chil- 
dren; being told there was no probability for her escape; gath- 
ering her little ones around her she wept in bitterness of soul; 
tears of pity ran down her cheeks, while she waited the approach 
of the savage tribe to inflict upon her, whatever malice could 
invent, or inhumanity devise ! 

Her husband, to whom she fain would have looked for pro- 
tection was gone from home, when all her woes fell upon her! 
Well might she say. "Therefore are my loins filled with pain; 
pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that 
travaileth," "my heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me; the 
night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me." While 
Mrs. Parkhurst saw her friends and neighbors fleeing from her; 
and beheld the Indians approaching with impetuous step ; her 
bosom throbed with anguish; horror seized her soul; and death! 
immediate death, both to her and her children, "stood thick 
around her." threatening to thrust his dagger into her aching 
heart. There was no time to decide on the priority of claims to 
pity, or the demands of justice. Those who were nearest at hand 
first received assistance; not however, without regard to that 
affection which arises from consanguinity or matrimonial con- 



History op Eoyalton, Vermont 127 

nexion. And these relations not only unite the hearts, but con- 
nect the hands in scenes of distress. 

At the time Gen. Stevens put his mother and his sister upon 
his horse, the Indians were not eight rods from him. They, 
in company with Mrs. Rix and her children, rode off as fast as 
possible. The General followed with several others on foot. Part 
of the Indians pursued them, while others entered the house, 
and plundered it of its furniture. They took her eldest son from 
her, then ordered her. with the rest of the children, to leave the 
house. She accordingly repaired into the fields back of the house, 
with five of her children, and remained in safety till they had 
left the place. Soon after Gen. Stevens started, his dog came 
in his way, and caused him to stumble and fall; which so re- 
tarded his progress that he was obliged to flee to the woods for 
safety, leaving the women and children to make the best of their 
retreat. The Indians pursued down the road after them, with 
frightful yells, and soon overtook those who were on foot. They 
took Gardner Rix, son of Deacon Rix, a boy about fourteen years 
old, just at the heels of his mother's horse; while she was com- 
pelled to witness the painful sight. Alas ! what distress and 
horror filled her bosom, when she, with three of her children, no 
less dear than herself, fleeing from the savage foe, mounted upon 
a horse, snorting with fear, having nothing but a pocket handker- 
chief in his mouth for a bridle, saw her wearied son, faint for 
want of breath, fall a captive to this barbarous crew! Cruel 
fate ! The trembling youth, overwhelmed with fear, and bathed 
in tears, was now torn from his tender parents, and compelled 
to roam the wilderness to unknown regions ! Nor was the dis- 
consolate mother, with her other little ones, left in a much more 
safe condition. 

Exposed, and expecting every step to fall to the ground, 
which, if it proved not their death, would leave them a prey to 
the savage monsters ! No tongue can tell the pains she felt, nor 
pen describe the horrors of her soul! To behold her little son, 
while fleeing for his life, fall into the hands of these sons of 
cruelty, what kind and tender mother, would not feel her heart 
to bleed ! 

May we not listen to the voice of imagination, and hear her 
say: 

"Oh! infinite distress! such raging grief 
Should command pity, and despair relief, 

Passion, methinks, should rise from all my groans. 
Give sense to rocks, and sympathy to stones." 

The Indians pursued the women and children as far as the 
house of Mr. Benedict, the distance of about a mile. They ef- 
fected their escape, though surroimded with dangers, and pur- 



128 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

sued with impetuous and clamorous steps. Here they discovered 
Mr. Benedict on the opposite side of a stream called broad-brook, 
which ran near the house. They beckoned to have him come over 
to them. Choosing, however, not to hazard the consequences of 
yielding obedience to their request; he turned and ran a short 
distance and hid himself under a log. He had not long been 
in this situation, when these blood-thirsty wretches, came, and 
stood upon the same log, and were heard by him to exclaim in 
angry tone, "if they could find him, he should feel the toma- 
hawk." 

After standing upon the log some time, and endeavoring 
to espy the concealed, trembling object of their pursuit; they 
left him and returned to the house. Ah! what joy filled his 
bosom, when he saw these messengers of death pass away leaving 
him in safety! How must his heart have glowed with grati- 
tude towards the "Great Preserver of men," at this unexpected 
deliverance from the most iminent danger. 

His joys, however, were not unmingled with sorrow, as the 
fell destroyers were still at his house, committing ravages and 
wasting his property. But no man can be supposed to put his 
property in competition with his life. 

The Indians pursued down the river about forty rods far- 
ther, where they made a young man, by the name of Avery, 
prisoner, and then concluded to return. 

While they w^ere at the house of Tilly Parkhurst, aforemen- 
tioned, which was about six miles from the place they entered 
Royalton, his son, Phineas Parkhurst, who had been to alarm 
the people on the east side of the river, just as he entered the 
stream on his return, discovered the Indians at his father's door. 
Finding himself in danger, he immediately turned to go back, 
and the Indians just at this time happened to see him, and fired 
upon him. This was the first gun they fired after they entered 
the town. The ball entered his back, went through his body, 
came out under his ribs, and lodged in the skin. Notwithstand- 
ing the wound, he was, however, able to ride, and continued his 
retreat to Lebanon, in the State of New-Hampshire, the distance 
of about sixteen miles, with very little stop, supporting the ball 
between his fingers. He now resides in that town, and sustains 
the character of a useful physician, and an industrious, inde- 
pendent farmer. 

That party of Indians, which went down on the east side of 
the river, extended their ravages as far as the house of Capt. 
Gilbert in Sharon, where a public house is now kept, by Capt. 
Dana. Here they took a nephew of Capt. Gilbert, by the name 
of Nathaniel Gilbert, a boy about fifteen years of age. They 
now resolved to return, and commenced that waste of property, 



History op Royalton, Vermont 129 

which tracked their progress. As they retraced their steps, they 
set fire to all the buildings they found, of every description. 
They spread desolation and distress wherever they went. Houses 
filled with furniture, and family supplies for the winter; barns 
stored with the fruits of industry, and fields stocked with herds 
of cattle, were all laid waste. 

They shot and killed fourteen fat oxen in one yard; which, 
in consequence of the inhabitants being dispersed, were wholly 
lost. Cows, sheep, and hogs ; and indeed every creature designed 
by the God of nature, to supply the wants of man, which came 
within their sight, fell a prey to these dreadful spoilers. Parents 
torn from their children ; husbands separated from their wives ; 
and children snatched from their parents, presented to view an 
indiscribable scene of wretchedness and distress. Some were 
driven from their once peaceful habitations, into the adjacent 
wilderness for safety; there to wait the destruction of their 
property; stung with the painful reflection that their friends, 
perhaps a kind father, and an affectionate brother, were made 
captives, and compelled to travel with a tawny herd of savage 
men, into the wild regions of the north; to be delivered into the 
hands of enemies, and undergo the fatigues and dangers of a 
wretched captivity: Or what was scarcely more to be deplored, 
learn with pain that they had fallen the unhappy victims, to the 
relentless fury of the savage tribe, and were weltering in their 
gore, where there was no eye to pity, or friendly hand to admin- 
ister relief! 

The third party of Indians, who went up the river, first 
came to the house of Gen. Stevens. Daniel Havens, whose escape 
I have mentioned, went directly there, and warned the family 
of their danger. Trembling with fear, he only stepped into the 

house, told them that "the Indians were as thick as the D 1 

at their house," and turned and went directly out, leaving the 
family to secure their own retreat. 

Mrs. Stevens and the family were in bed, excepting her hus- 
band, who, as before stated, had gone down the river, about two 
miles from home. She immedately arose from her bed, flung 
some loose clothes over her; took up her child, and had scarcely 
got to the fire, when a large body of Indians rushed in at the 
door. 

They immediately ransacked the house in search of men ; and 
then took the beds and bedding, carried them out of doors, cut 
open the bed-ticks, and threw the feathers into the air. This 
made them sport enough. Nor did they fail to manifest their 
infernal gratification by their tartarean shouts, and disingenu- 
ous conduct. 



130 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Mrs. Stevens entreated them to let her have some clothes 
for herself and child; but her entreaties were in vain. They 
were deaf to the calls of the needy ; and disregarded the demands 
of justice. Her cries reached their ears, but nothing could excite 
one single glow of sympathy. Her destitute and suffering condi- 
tion was plain before their eyes, but they were blind to objects 
of compassion. Alas! what bitterness of soul; what anguish; 
what heart rending pangs of fear, distressed her tender bosom! 
Surrounded by these pitiless, terrific monsters in human shape, 
with her little offspring in her arms, whose piercing shrieks and 
tender age called for compassion; exposed to the raging fire of 
savage jealousy, unquenchable by a mother's tears; anxious for 
the safety, and mourning the absence of her bosom friend, the 
husband of her youth ; it is beyond the powers of the imagination 
to conceive, or language to express the sorrows of her heart ! 

At one moment securely reposing in the arms of sleep, with 
her darling infant at her breast; the next, amid a savage crew, 
whose wicked hands were employed in spreading desolation and 
mischief ; whose mortal rage, exposed her to the arrows of death ! 
After plundering the house, they told Mrs. Stevens, to "begone 
or they would burn." She had been afraid to make any attempt 
to escape; but now gladly embraced the opportunity. She has- 
tened into the adjacent wilderness carrying her child, where she 
tarried till the Indians had left the town. 

"Strangers to want! can ye, presumptuous say, 
No clouds shall rise to overcast your day? 
Time past hath prov'd how fleeting riches are, 
Time future to this truth may witness bear; 
By means no human wisdom can foresee, 
Or power prevent, a sudden change may be; 
War in its route may plunder all your store 
And leave you friendless, desolate and poor." 

Noyes. 

A boy by the name of Daniel Waller, about fourteen years 
old, who lived with Gen. Stevens, set out immediately to go to 
the General, and give him the information. He had proceeded 
about half a mile, when he met the Indians, was taken prisoner, 
and carried to Canada. 

They left the house and barn of Gen. Stevens in flames, and 
proceeded up the river as far as Mr. Durkee's, where they took 
two of his boys prisoners, Adan and Andrew, and carried the 
former to Canada, who died there in prison. 

Seeing a smoke arise above the trees in the woods adjacent, 
the hostile invaders directed their course to the spot, where they 
found a young man by the name of Prince Haskell, busily en- 
gaged in chopping for the commencement of a settlement. Has- 
kell heard a rustling among the leaves behind him, and turning 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 131 

around beheld two Indians, but a few feet from him. One stood 
with his gun pointed directly at him, and the other in the atti- 
tude of throwing a tomahawk. Finding he had no chance to 
escape, he delivered himself up a prisoner, and was also carried 
to Canada. He returned in about one year, after enduring the 
most extreme sufferings, in his wanderings through the wilder- 
ness, on his way home. 

A Mr. Chafee, who lived at the house of Mr. Hendee, started 
early in the morning to go to the house of Mr. Elias Curtis to 
get his horse shod. On his way he saw Mr. John Kent ahead 
of him, who was upon the same business. Wishing to put in his 
claim before Mr. Chafee, he rode very fast, and arrived at the 
house first. He had scarcely dismounted from his horse, when 
the Indians came out of the house, took him by the hair of his 
head, and pulled him over backwards. Seeing this, Mr. Chafee 
immediately dismounted, jumped behind the shop, hastened away, 
keeping such a direction as would cause the shop to hide his re- 
treat. Thus he kept out of sight of the Indians, effected his 
escape, and returned to the house of Mr. Hendee. On receiving 
the alarm given by Mr. Chafee, Mr. Hendee directed his wife to 
take her little boy about seven years old, and her little daughter, 
who was still younger, and hasten to one of their neighbors for 
safety, while he should go to Bethel, the town west of Royalton, 
and give the alarm at the fort. 

Mrs. Hendee had not proceeded far, when she was met by 
several Indians upon the run, who took her little boy from her. 
Feeling anxious for the fate of her child, she enquired what they 
were going to do with him. They replied that they should make 
a soldier of him; and then hastened away, pulling him along by 
the hand, leaving the weeping mother with her little daughter, 
to witness the scene, and hear the piercing shrieks of her darling 
son. 

This leads me to notice one instance of female heroism, 
blended with benevolence, displayed by Mrs. Hendee, whose name 
deserves ever to be held in remembrance by every friend of hu- 
manity. 

She was now separated from her husband, and placed in the 
midst of a savage crew, who were committing the most horrid 
depredations, and destroying every kind of property that fell 
within their grasp. Defenceless, and exposed to the shafts of 
envy, or the rage of a company of despicable tories and brutal 
savages, the afflicted mother, robbed of her only son, proceeded 
down the river, with her tender little daughter hanging to her 
clothes, screaming with fear, pleading with her mother to keep 
awav the Indians ! 



132 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

In this condition, possessing uncommon resolution, and great 
presence of mind, she determined again to get possession of her 
son. As she passed down the river, she met several tories who 
were with the Indians, of whom she continued to inquire what 
they intended to do with the children they had taken, and re- 
ceived an answer that they should kill them. Still determined 
not to part with her son, she passed on, and soon discovered a 
large body of Indians, stationed on the opposite side of the river. 
Wishing to find the commanding officer, and supposing him to be 
there, she set out to cross the river, and just as she arrived at 
the bank, an old Indian stepped ashore. He could not talk Eng- 
lish, but requested by signs to know where she was going. She 
signified that she was going to cross, when he, supposing she 
intended to deliver herself up to them as a prisoner, kindly 
offered to carry her and her child across on his back; but she 
refused to be carried. He then insisted upon carrying her child, 
to which she consented. The little girl cried, and said, "she 
didn't want to ride the old Indian." She was however per- 
suaded to ride the old Indian, and they all set out to ford the 
river. 

Having proceeded about half way across, they came to 
deeper and swifter water, and the old Indian, patting the mother 
upon the shoulder, gave her to understand that if she would tarry 
upon a rock near them, which was not covered with water, till 
he had carried her child over, he would return and carry her also. 
She therefore stopped, and sat upon the rock till he had carried 
her daughter and set it upon the opposite shore; when he re- 
turned and took her upon his back, lugged her over, and safely 
landed her with her child. 

Supported by a consciousness of the justice of her cause, 
braving every danger and hazarding the most dreadful conse- 
quences, not excepting her own life and that of her children, she 
now sat out to accomplish her object. 

She hastened to the Commanding Officer, and boldly in- 
quired of him what he intended to do with her child. He told 
her that it was contrary to orders to injure women or children. 
' ' Such boys as should be taken, he said, would be trained for sol- 
diers, and would not be hurt." 

You know said she, in reply, that these little ones cannot 
endure the fatigues of a march through the vast extent of wilder- 
ness, which you are calculating to pass. And when their trem- 
bling limbs shall fail to support their feeble bodies, and they can 
no longer go, the tomahawk and the scalping knife will be the 
only relief you will afford them ! Instead of falling into a 
mother's arms, and receiving a mother's tender care, you will 



History of Royalton, Vermont 133 

yield them into the arms of death, and earth must be their pil- 
low, where the howling wilderness shall be their only shelter — 
truly a shelter, from a mother's tears, but not from the jaws of 
wild beasts, nor a parent's grief. And give me leave to tell you, 
added she, were you possessed of a parent's love — could you feel 
the anguish of a mother's heart, at the loss of her "first born," 
her darling son, torn from her bosom, by the wicked hands of 
savage men, no entreaties would be required to obtain the release 
of my dear child ! 

Horton replied that the Indians were an ungovernable race, 
and would not be persuaded to give up anything they should see 
fit to take. 

You are their commander, continued she, and they must 
and will obey you. The curse will fall upon you, for whatever 
crime they may commit, and all the innocent blood they shall 
here shed, will be found in your skirts "when the secrets of 
men's hearts shall be made known;" and it will then cry for 
vengeance on your head ! 

Melted into tears at this generous display of maternal af- 
fection, the infamous destroyer felt a relenting in his bosom, 
bowed his head under the weight of this powerful eloquence and 
simple boldness of the brave heroine : and assured her that he 
would deliver her child up, when the Indians arrived with him. 
The party who took him had not yet returned. When he arrived, 
Horton, with much difficulty, prevailed on the Indians to de- 
liver him up. After she had gained possession of him, she set 
out, leading him and her little girl, by the hand, and hastened 
away with speed, while the mingled sensations of fear, joy and 
gratitude, filled her bosom. She had not gone more than ten 
rods, when Horton followed, and told her to go back, and stay 
till the scouting parties had returned, lest they should again take 
her boy from her. She accordingly returned and tarried with 
the Indians till they all arrived and started for Canada. While 
she was there, several of her neighbor's children, about the same 
age of her own, were brought there as captives. Possessing 
benevolence equal to her courage, she now made suit for them, 
and, by her warm and affectionate entreaties, succeeded in pro- 
curing their release. While she waited for their departure, sit- 
ting upon a pile of boards, with the little objects of charity 
around her, holding fast to her clothes, with their cheeks wet 
with tears, an old Indian came and took her son by the hand 
and endeavored to get him away. She refused to let him go, 
and held him fast by the other hand, till the savage monster, vio- 
lently waved his cvitlass over her head, and the piercing shrieks 
of her beloved child filled the air. This excited the rage of the 
barbarous crew, so much as to endanger her own, and the life of 



134 History op Royalton, Vermont 

the children around her, and compelled her to yield him into 
his hands. She again made known her grievance to Horton, 
when, after considerable altercation with the Indians, he obtained 
her son and delivered him to her a second time ; though he might 
be said to "fear not God, nor regard man." Thus, like the 
importunate widow who "troubled the unjust judge," this young 
woman obtained the release of nine small boys from a wretched 
captivity, which doubtless would have proved their death! She 
led eight of them awaj^, together with her daughter, all hanging 
to her own clothes, and to each other, mutually rejoicing at their 
deliverance. The other, whose name was Andrew Durkee, whom 
the Indians had carried to the house of Mr. Havens, was there 
released according to the agreement of Horton with IMrs. Hen- 
dee, and sent back, on account of his lameness. 

Being told that the great bone in his leg had been taken 
out, in consequence of a fever sore, an old Indian examined it, 
and cried out "no boon! No go!" and giving him a blanket 
and a hatchet, sent him back. 

Mrs. Hendee carried two of the children across the river 
on her back, one at a time, and the others waded through the 
water, with their arms around each other's neck. After cross- 
ing the river, she traveled about three miles with them, and 
encamped for the night, "gathering them around her as a hen 
gathereth her chickens under her wings." The names of the 
children who were indebted to her for their release from the 
savage tribe, were Michael Hendee, Roswell Parkhurst, son of 
Capt. Ebenezer Parkhurst, Andrew and Sheldon Durkee, Joseph 
Rix, Rufus and Fish, Nathaniel Evans, and Daniel Dow- 
ner. The latter received such an affright from the horrid crew, 
that he was ever afterwards unable to take care of himself, 
wholly unfit for business: and lived for many years, wandering 
from place to place, a solemn, tho' silent witness of the distress 
and horror of that dreadful scene. 

Mrs. Hendee, now (1818) lives in Sharon, where the author 
visited her, and received the foregoing statement of this noble 
exploit from her own mouth. It is also corroborated by several 
gentlemen now living, who were eye witnesses. 

She has buried her first- and second husband ; and now lives 
a widow, by the name of Moshier. Her days are almost gone. 
May her declining years be crowned with the reward due to her 
youthful deeds of benevolence. She has faced the most awful 
dangers, for the good of mankind, and rescued many from the 
jaws of death! 

In view of the exceeding riches of that mercy which has 
protected her through such scenes of danger, may she devote 
her life to the service of the Mighty God, and, at last, find a 



History op Royalton, Vermont 135 

happy seat at the right hand of Him, "who gave himself a ran- 
som for all." And thus let the children, who are indebted to 
her bravery and benevolence, for their lives, "rise up and call 
her blessed." Gratitude forbids their silence. For, to maternal 
affection and female heroism alone, under God, they owe their 
deliverance from savage cruelty. The boldest hero of the other 
sex, could never have effected what she accomplished. His ap- 
proach to the savage tribe to intercede in behalf of those de- 
fenceless children, most surely would have brought upon himself 
a long and wretched captivity, and perhaps even death itself! 

The Indians having accomplished their nefarious designs, 
returned to the house of Mr. Havens, with their prisoners, and 
the plunder of houses which they had devoted to destruction. 
Here was the place where they had commenced their ravages. 
The old man, as before observed, having concealed himself under 
a log, at the time he espied the Indians in the morning, while 
hunting for his sheep, still remained in sorrowful silence undis- 
covered. He had considered it unsafe to move, as a party of 
the crew had continued there during the day, and had twice come 
and stood upon the log, under which he lay, without finding him. 

After collecing their plunder together, and distributing it 
among them, they burnt the house and barn of I\Ir. Havens, and 
started for Canada. It was now about two o'clock in the after- 
noon. They carried off twenty-six prisoners from Royalton, who 
were all delivered up to the British, as prisoners of war. 

They all obtained their release and returned in about one 
year, excepting Adan Durkee, who died in camp at Montreal. 

Twenty one dwelling houses, and sixteen good new barns, 
filled with hay and grain, the hard earnings of industrious young 
farmers, were here laid in ashes, by the impious crew. They 
killed about one hundred and fifty head of neat cattle, and all 
the sheep and swine they found. Hogs, in their pens, and cattle 
tied in their stalls, were burnt alive. They destroyed all the 
household furniture, except what they carried with them. They 
burnt the house of Mr. John Hutchinson, and giving his wife a 
hatchet, and a flint, together with a quarter of mutton, told her 
"to go and cook for her men." This, they said to aggravate 
her feelings, and remind her of her forlorn condition. 

Women and children were left entirely destitute of food, 
and every kind of article necessary for the comforts of life; 
almost naked, and without a shelter. Wandering from place to 
place, they beheld their cattle rolling in their blood, groaning in 
the agonies of death; and saw their houses laid in ruins. Dis- 
consolate mothers and weeping orphans, were left to wander 
through the dreadful waste, and lament the loss of their nearest 
friends, comfortless and forlorn. 



136 History of Royalton, Vermont 

The Indians took away about thirty horses, which were how- 
ever of little use to them, but rather served to hinder their prog- 
ress. Their baggage was composed of almost every article com- 
monly found among farmers; such as axes, and hoes, pots, ket- 
tles, shovels and tongs, sickles, scythes, and chains; old side 
saddles, and bed-ticks emptied of their feathers, warming pans, 
plates and looking-glasses, and indeed nearly all kinds of arti- 
cles, necessary for the various avocations of life. 

On their return, they crossed the hills, in Tunbridge. lying 
west of first branch, and proceeded to Randolph, where they 
encamped for the first night, near the second branch, a distance 
of about ten miles. They had. however, previously dispatched 
old Mr. Kneeland, a prisoner whom they considered would be of 
the least service to them, with letters to the militia, stating that, 
"if they were not followed, the prisoners should be used well — 
but should they be pursued, every one of them would be put to 
death." 

The alarm had by this time spread thro' the adjacent towns, 
and the scattering, undisciplined militia, shouldered their mus- 
kets, and hastened to pursue them. They collected at the house 
of Mr. Evans in Randolph, about two miles south of the encamp- 
ment of the Indians. Here they formed a company, consisting 
of about three hundred in number, and made choice of Col. John 
House, of Hanover, N. H., for their commander. They supposed 
the Indians had gone to Brookfield. about ten miles from that 
place, up the second branch. With this expectation they took 
up their march about twelve o'clock at night, hoping they should 
be able to reach Brookfield, before light, and inake them prison- 
ers. They had scarcely started, when the American front guard, 
to their utter surprise, were fired upon by the rear guard of the 
enemy. Several fires w^ere exchanged, and one of the Americans 

wounded, when Col. H , through cowardice, or want of skill, 

commanded them to halt, and cease firing. He then ordered 
them to make stand, and kept them in suspense till the Indians 
had made their escape. To hasten their fiight, the savage tribe 
were compelled to leave at their encampment a considerable 
quantity of their plunder; nearly all of the horses, and made 
good their retreat. 

Here they killed two of their prisoners, by the name of 
Joseph Kneeland, and Giles Gibbs. The former was found dead, 
with his scalp taken off, and the latter with a tomahawk in his 
head. 

At day light, Col. H courageously entered the deserted 

camp, and took possession of the spoil, but alas, the enemy were 
gone, he knew not where ! Urged by his brave soldiers, who were 
disgusted at his conduct, he proceeded up the second branch as 



History of Royalton, Vermont 137 

far as Brookfield in pursuit of the enemy, and not finding them, 
disbanded his men and returned. 

Had Col. H possessed courage and skill adequate to the 

duties of his station, he might have defeated the enemy, it is 
thought, without the least difficulty, and made them all pris- 
oners. His number was equal to that of the enemy, well armed 
with muskets and furnished with ammunition. The enemy, 
though furnished with muskets, had little ammunition, and were 
cumbered with the weight of much guilt, and a load of plunder. 
They had encamped upon a spot of ground which gave the 
Americans all the advantage, and their only safety rested in their 
flight. The American force consisted of undisciplined militia, 
who promiscuously assembled from different quarters, but were 
full of courage, animated by the principles of justice, and de- 
termined to obtain redress for the injuries they had received 
from the barbarous crew. 

Many of them likewise had friends and connexions, then in 
possession of the Indians, to obtain whose freedom, they were 
stimulated to action. But alas ! their determination failed, their 
hopes were blasted ! They were forced to relinquish their ob- 
ject, and suffer their friends to pass on, and endure a wretched 

captivity. They however forced the Indians to leave the 

stream, and take their course over the hills, between the second 
and third branch, which brought them directly, and unexpect- 
edly, to the house of Zadock Steele, whom they made prisoner, 
and took to Canada. 

To his "captivity and sufferings," as related by himself, in 
the following pages, the reader is referred for a further account 
of the expedition of the Indians, and its dreadful consequences. 



CHAPTER XII. 



The Burning of Royalton. 
with new facts and traditions. 

The inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants were in con- 
stant danger of invasion by the British with their blood-thirsty 
redskins. As has been said, the frontier was kept quite con- 
stantl}^ guarded, but this guard was not sufficiently large to pre- 
vent incursions of small bodies of the enemy, who, favored by 
the dense forests, and entirely familiar with their ground, slipped 
in from Canada, took the settlers unawares, accomplished their 
purpose of capture or destruction, and fled back to their covert 
in Canada, generally without loss to themselves. They avoided 
places where fortifications were built, unless they knew that no 
force was in possession. 

The raid on Barnard. August 9, 1780, had added new anxiety 
to the already agitated minds of the settlers in Royalton and 
vicinity, but the building of forts at Barnard and Bethel seemed 
to offer protection. The fort at Royalton, which now, since the 
settlement of Bethel, was no longer on the extreme frontier, had 
probably been removed to furnish material for Fort Fortitude. 
For some reason the inhabitants were looking for the approach 
of the enemy from that direction, though now it is generally 
understood that the old Indian trails led northward in that direc- 
tion, and their southern route was oftener by way of the First 
Branch of White river. So few remains of Indians have ever 
been found in the town, that it seems quite certain it was never 
occupied as a hunting ground by them, only as a camping place 
on their migrations to and from Canada. Tradition says one of 
their camping grounds was at the mouth of the First Branch. 

There seem to have been two routes very generally used by 
the Indians in their migrations ; one by the St. Law^rence and 
connecting streams to Lake Champlain, down the lake to the 
mouth of the AVinooski, following that river as far as practicable, 
then striking a branch of White river, down this river to the Con- 
necticut, and so on to the Sound. Another route was to paddle 
from the lake up the Otter Creek, then by carry to Black river, 
thence to the Connecticut river. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 139 

Today this region of Vermont in which is Royalton, with its 
denuded hills, open roads, telegraph and telephone facilities, and 
automobiles, would offer little chance to a horde of savages for 
an onslaught without warning. The thick forests of 1780, the 
sparse settlements, and slow communication, made the raid of 
Oct. 16, 1780, possible and terribly destructive. 

The motive for this attack has been variously given. The 
murder of General Gordon was no doubt the prime one. No ex- 
cuse seems to have ever been offered for that dastardly deed, 
though a proper apology might, perhaps, have saved the colon- 
ists much suffering. "All is fair in love and war" was a dis- 
carded watchword with honorable rivals and foes even in those 
days. That the British bitterly resented this act cannot surprise 
any right-thinking person, but it does not excuse such deeds as 
the destruction of Royalton, and the employment as soldiers of 
those who were known to be ungovernable and savage. Yet if 
we stop to think what the verdict upon General Sherman 's march 
to the sea would have been, had the Confederates won, there will 
be some hesitancy in a wholesale denunciation of the British in 
their methods of warfare. 

As an illustration of the feeling of the British over the 
death of Gen. Gordon, the substance of a petition of John Powell 
and Nehemiah Lovewell to the General Assembly in 1796 is given. 
They asked reimbursement for debt incurred in December, 1777, 
when they had been sent to Canada as a Flag of Truce. On 
account of the affront the British commander had received by 
the death of General Gordon, they were not received as a flag, 
but imprisoned twelve months. To save themselves from perish- 
ing, they had drawn on Col. Bedel for fifty pounds, which was 
not protested, though he did not honor it. After his death these 
men were sued, and obliged to pay forty pounds. The Assembly 
did not grant their prayer, on the ground that the matter be- 
longed to the United States. 

The route that the Indians took is probably given nearly 
correct in Steele 's ' ' Narrative. ' ' By application to the Archivist 
at Ottawa some further information has been obtained, which is 
now given to the public for the first time. In response to the 
first inquiry a memorandum was sent : 

"In re Lieutenant Houghton, who destroyed Royalton, Vermont, in 
1780. 

Richard Houghton, (not Horton) was a lieutenant in the 53rd 
Regiment of Foot when the War of the Revolution broke out and he 
came over to America. He was removed from the Light Infantry and 
appointed a Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs at Caughnewaga. 
This post he kept until 1777, when having been severely wounded be- 
fore the lines of Ticonderoga, he was rendered, for a time, incapable 
to continue his service. In a petition dated November 1782, in which 
he asks for a promotion to Captaincy, he recalls his services. Amongst 



140 History of Royalton, Vermont 

other things he says that he purchased an Ensigncy in 1768 and his 
Lieutenancy in 1771. 

Herewith is an analysis of several documents concerning him and 
his expeditions to Vermont during the War, which are to be found in 
the Archives. 

F. J. Audet. 
Division of Manuscripts, 

January 14th., 1908." 

From this it will be seen that the leader has been wrongly 
named, due doubtless to the similarity of sound in pronuncia- 
tion. The analysis sent with the memorandum included all there 
was found in the records of Ottawa relating to Lieut. Houghton. 
Some of them are not pertinent to our subject, but a few dealing 
with events prior to October 16, 1780, are given, to show that the 
"scout" sent to Royalton was not an isolated case, but work that 
the Lieutenant was expected to do. 

"St. Regis, June 12, 1779. 
Lieut. Richard Houghton 

to Lieut. Col. Campbell. 
Reports having landed at Pine Ridge nine miles from Fort Stan- 
wix and sent La Motte and thirty Indians as a scouting party with 
orders to get within firing distance of the Fort. Having received 
La Motte's report Lieut. Houghton joined him. They kill eight men 
and take seven prisoners from whom they get some valuable informa- 
tion." 

"Montreal, March 30, 1780. 
Lieut. Richard Houghton to Captain Mathews. 

The Indian scouts sent out under Mr. Bluercy have returned. Mr. 
Bluercy surprised the port at Skinesburgh capturing prisoners and de- 
stroying houses and cattle." 

"Montreal, April 3, 1780. 
Lieut. Richard Houghton 

to Captain Mathews. 
The scouts sent out from Oswegatchue in February under Captain 
Robertson have returned. They were joined by a party of Mohawks 
and the joint scouts struck the settlements below Fort Harkimer on 
the Mohawk River and took some prisoners. There is a scout out from 
Carleton Island consisting of fourteen soldiers and fifty Indians. Mr. 
Crawford of the Indian Department and Mr. Cleyies (?) of the 34th 
Regiment are with the scout and had orders to strike at Conisburg(?)." 

An analysis of the scout at Royalton was sent also, and on a 
second application to the Archivist the full accounts which fol- 
low were promptly forwarded. The first is the letter of Lieut. 
Houghton to General Haldimand. 

"Montreal 26 of October 1780. 
Sir, 

Colonel Campbell being very busy has desired me to inform of 
what was done by my scout. — 

I was discovered several times on my march by some hunters and 
two small scouts of Whitcombs' from Cohos which obliged me to alter 
my course & struck upon White River about eighteen miles from where 
it emptys itself in Connecticut River the Name of the place Royal 
Town, I burned twenty eight dwelling Houses, thirty two Barns full 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 141 

of grain and one new barn not quite finislied, one Saw and one Gris 
Mill, killed all the black Cattle, sheep, Piggs &c of which there was a 
great quantity, there was but very little hay. We burned close to a 
Stocaded Port wherein there was a Captain and 60 men but they could 
not turn out after us. — 

I marched from the settlements that evening and decamped in the 
wood about two o'clock in the morning one of my out Posts was at- 
tacked and a little after our Camp — we were ready to receive them & 
had some brisk firing for a few minutes untill they retired a little 
they intended to surround us, I heard their officers giving them direc- 
tions upon which we retreated with almost all our packs, but most of 
our provisions we were forced to leave behind it being cooking at the 
time they attacked us. — I had but one Indian wounded What mischief 
we done them I cant say as they were too strong for us to look for 
scalps, but as they came on in great numbers & we had the advantage 
of the moon should suppose we killed a good many of them. 

I beg you will lay this before his Excellency. 

I have the honor to be 
Your most obedt. 
Humb. Servant 

Richard Houghton 
Indn Residt 
P. S. 

I got 32 Prisoners & 4 scalps 
the Country was alarmed by Whitcomb 
the day before I got there — " 

From this letter no other motive appears for the attack 
than the ones that led to sending out other scouts, but their pilot 
may have had special reasons for leading them to Royalton which 
Lieut. Houghton would not be called upon to mention in an offi- 
cial report. The purpose of all these scouts seems to have been 
to weaken their enemy by destroying supplies and taking pris- 
oners, and they killed those resisting whenever they could. Then, 
too, such incursions would tend to intimidate the weaker colon- 
ists, and make them willing to seek the protection guaranteed 
under English rule. But the men of Vermont were not of 
the weaker sort, though through the subtle negotiations of Allen 
and Warner, the authorities in Canada were led to believe that 
they would at a favorable time announce their allegiance to the 
British crown. This movement of Lieut. Houghton does not 
seem to have been ordered by any superior authority, indeed, it 
was felt to have been a mistake, as is shown by the following, for 
which we are also indebted to the Archivist at Ottawa, the Hon. 
Arthur G. Doughty. 

"Quebec 9th November 1780 
Sir 

I am commanded by His Excellency General Haldimand to signify 
to you his desire that you will not send or permit any scouts to go out 
to the Eastward of the Hudson's River or to any Port which can be 
considered belonging to the State of Vermont until further orders Lieut 
Houghton acted for the best; but it was very unfortunate that he 
changed his Route, or appeared at all in that Quarter, as they have 



142 History of Royalton, Vermont 

made proposals for an Exchange of Prisoners, which His Excellency- 
has paid some attention to — 

I am &c 

(signed) N Matthews — 
Lieut Col Campbell" 

There was also received from the Archivist the "Memorial" 
of Lieut. Houghton, in which he gives an account of his military 
service. This will, no doubt, be of interest to those who would 
like to know something more of the man who commanded the 
force attacking Royalton, and who capitulated to the eloquent 
entreaties of the heroic Mrs. Handy. 

"To His Excellency Frederick Haldimand Esq. General and Com- 
mander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in the Province of Quebec and 
Frontiers thereof &c. &c. &c. 

The Memorial of Lieutenant Richard Houghton of the Fifty-third 
Regiment of Foot 
Humbly Sheweth 

That your memoralist purchased an Ensigncy in the said Regi- 
ment in August 1768, and a Lieutenancy in April 1771, and both Com- 
missions at very advanced prices — 

That during the Campaign 1776 your memorialist was removed by 
order of His Excellency General Carleton from the Light Infantry to 
do duty with the Indians, and that by the particular desire of Lieu- 
tenant General Burgoyne and Brigadier Eraser, he continued in the 
same department during the campaign following of the year 1777. 

That your memorialist in the course of that year received two 
severe wounds before the lines of Ticonderoga that rendered him in- 
capable of serving during the remainder of that campaign which cir- 
cumstance alone prevented his getting a captain lieutenancy and com- 
pany in the year 1778. — Since that period your memorialist has had 
the mortification to see ten junior oflBcers get ranks over him without 
purchase. — 

Your memorialist declined very flattering offers of promotion in 
Europe, least they might recal him from a scene where he hopes for 
active employment, has thereby incurred the displeasure of some of 
his nearest relations and best friends. — 

But he begs leave to assure your Excellency that he wishes to 
serve in his present Employ in the Indian department or in any other 
situation where you may think him usefull tho' he declares he did not 
at first accept of his Indian office, nor has he since retained it from 
consideration of any additional Pay he receives by it, and as he flat- 
ters himself that his Endeavors to give satisfaction have not met with 
the disapprobation of your Excellency, or his Superiors in the Depart- 
ment. He is encouraged to submit to your Excellency the mortifying 
situation in which he finds himself at present from the many Provin- 
cial officers he sees promoted over him particularly Captain Crawford 
of the King's Royal Regiment of New York who was but very lately 
an Ensign in the same Corps, and an inferior officer to him in the 
Indian Department. 

Your memorialist humbly hopes that your Excellency will conceive 
his feelings better than he can express them and Prays that you will 
be pleased to grant him Rank of Captain to prevent your memorialist 
being on the above disagreeable situation. 

Your memorialist begs leave to add that his mentioning Captain 
Crawford's name does not proceed from envy of that officers promotion 



History of Royalton, Vermont 143 

(whose merit is acknowledged by all who are acquainted with him) 
but to illustrate his own case. 

Which is humbly submitted" 

Nothing further has been learned regarding Lieut. Hough- 
ton. Among the prisoners from Burgoyne's army who were 
quartered at East Windsor, Conn., was Lieut. Houghton, com- 
mander of Canada troops, attended by two servants. At Lafay- 
ette 's suggestion they were employed in planting trees by the 
highwaj^s. It is possible this was the same man, as he was with 
Burgoyne at Ticonderoga, where he says he was wounded. As 
late as 1784 he was still Lieutenant, occupying the same position, 
so one can infer that he did not get his captaincy. Possibly it 
was due to his imwarranted attack on Royalton. 

The further facts which will be given relating to the raid 
have been obtained from I\Irs. Huldah Morgan, a grand-daughter 
of Lorenza (Havens) Love joy. from Mrs. Coit Parkhurst, a 
grand-daughter of Daniel Havens, from Eugene Rolfe, born in 
Tunbridge, who secured his information from Daniel Kelsey, who 
in 1783 lived on the lot north of Robert Havens, and from Ben- 
jamin Cushman. whose father, Capt. Solomon Cushman, com- 
manded the Norwich troops that pursued the Indians towards 
Brookfield, and from James Kenworthy. In addition use is made 
of the narratives of Simeon Belknap and of George Avery, both 
of whom were taken prisoners, and of reminiscences and anec- 
dotes that have been handed down from generation to genera- 
tion, and of such data as appears trustworthy, that were spoken 
or published on the occasions of the Centennial of the burning 
of Royalton and the Dedication of the monument. 

The Indians had intended to make the attack on Sunday, 
when they supposed many would be absent from their homes at- 
tending divine service. No service was held that Sunday, and 
they remained quietly in their camping place over the brow of 
the hill west of the First Branch, nearly opposite and in the rear 
of the house of Robert Havens. One must remember that the 
road along the branch at first ran along the west side of the 
stream, from what is now South Tunbridge down to the saw and 
grist mills generally known as the Pierce mills, also that a bridle 
path extended from Peter Button's around the hill west of the 
Chester Dodge place and Arunah Woodward 's to the branch road 
just below Elias Curtis' and north of the Ransom Reynolds 
bridge. 

The Indians had singly done some reconnoitering during 
Sunday. Mrs. John Hutchinson had gone Sunday to get some 
hemlock for a broom. She passed over a cleared space and stood 
on a log to reach the branches. An Indian told her the next 
day that he was hiding there, and could have touched her dress. 



144 History of Royalton, Vermont 

"When asked what he would have done, if they had discovered 
him, "Killed you, of course," he answered. According to INIr. 
Rolfe, the Indians left their encampment in two detachments, 
one going directly down the slope to John Hutchinson's, and the 
other to the house of his brother Abijah, who lived beyond him 
in the direction of Tunbridge Market. A descendant of Heze- 
kiah Hutchinson says that John Hutchinson had charge of the 
powder for the town of Tunbridge. When he saw the Indians 
lie took the powder and ran into the woods to hide it, and his 
house was burned while he was away, but he was taken prisoner. 
Mrs. Hutchinson, who was in bed, was not harmed. She had a 
babe about two months old, and after she had found a horse that 
had escaped destruction, she mounted with her babe and started 
for Connecticut. 

This party of Indians next crossed the branch and went to 
the house of Robert Havens. He was located nearly opposite 
John Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson 's house was on the other side 
of the road from where the house now is on the "Wells" place. 
It was near the foot of the sand terrace over which the highway 
loads to the "Rowell neighborhood." 

Mr. Havens' family consisted of himself, wife, two sons, 
Joseph and Daniel, and a daughter, Lorenza. All three children 
were expecting soon to be married. Daniel had lot 42 and his 
father lot 37 Dutch Allotment. He had a house and barn on his 
lot at the place now Imown as the Ward place. Joseph was 
building at the mouth of the First Branch, on the site of the 
old Gilbert tavern. Lorenza was engaged to Thomas Pember of 
Randolph, and they were only waiting for his father to arrive, 
who was on his way from Connecticut, and then they were to 
solemnize their marriage. Thomas Pember and his brother Sam- 
uel were in the habit of coming to Royalton every week to have 
their washing and cooking done for them. Thej' boarded with 
the Kneelands, who, according to the Havens tradition, were liv- 
ing in the house of Daniel Havens while they were building their 
own. Mrs. Havens had old fashioned consumj)tion, and she had 
been more than unusually ill that Saturday night preceding the 
attack. A tradition outside of the family says that a merry party 
had gathered at the house of Mr. Havens that Saturday night. 
Some of them were to leave very soon for their Connecticut 
homes to spend the winter and bring their brides back with them 
in the spring. 

The Kneeland house seems to have been located on 42 Dutch, 
on the east side of the road near the bridge at the Ward place. 
It is quite likely that Daniel Havens had sold them a part of 
his lot, and that when the family was so broken up and scattered 




■ Mf CT M E^ tSi^*. - 



THE GUi.LV (iX HILL-.SIIjK. rKMHER'S I'LACE OF DEATH. 




"K, i^ 





MORGAN MILT.. lUH/r 17S1. 

John Hutchinsou place, numbered 1. Site of Rol)ert Havens' house, 

numberefl 4. Lower right-hand corner, where .Toseph Kneeland 

was tal\en prisoner. Button Cemetery, numbered 5. 



History op Royalton, Vermont 145 

the land came back into his hands, and as the land records were 
destroyed, no evidence of this transfer is found. 

The sons of Robert Havens had neglected to shut up the 
sheep that Saturday night as usual, and he was anxious about 
them, fearing the wolves would destroy them. He rose early in 
the morning of the 16th of October and went on to the hill east 
of the house in search of his property. He called to Daniel and 
told him to come out and assist him as soon as it was light enough 
to see. Daniel arose earlier than usual and went over to his 
house and called out Thomas Pember, telling him to hurry. 
Pember came out with his shoes on down at the heels. While 
they were talking they saw some one moving, and passing around 
the corner of the barn to see more distinctly, they came upon a 
body of Indians. Daniel ran in one direction down stream, and 
Pember in another, across the meadow and swamp towards the 
hills. Pember was a fleet runner, and would perhaps have es- 
caped, had not a spear pierced him. He ran a considerable dis- 
tance after being wounded, but finally fell, and was overtaken 
and cruelly dispatched and scalped. He had a double crown, 
and the Indians were very joyful over the double bounty which 
they would secure. Daniel Havens threw himself over the bank 
of the branch, and secreted himself under a log on the west side 
of the stream near the north end of the bridge as it now is. 

These Indians then joined their company at the house of 
Mr. Havens. The two women were alone in the house. Lorenza 
heard a noise and, thinking her mother wanted something, she 
arose and went to her in her night robe. The Indians carried 
her mother outdoors, and put her husband's hat and shoes on 
her, and got a quilt and wrapped around her. Lorenza asked 
the olfieer for some clothing, and he got a quilt, red on one side 
and green on the other, and told her to put it on with the green 
side out, or the Indians would take it away from her. She saw 
an Indian have one of her shoes, and a second one the other shoe. 
She snatched one, but the Indian shook his tomahawk over her, 
and the officer said it was the buckle that the Indian wanted, so 
she took off the buckles and got her shoes. She saw the Indians 
shaking the double crowned scalp of her lover, but did not know 
it was his, supposing they had killed two persons. 

Robert Havens heard the dog of John Hutchinson bark and 
thought it was wolves, but looking back he saw the Indians at 
his house. He secreted himself, not under a log, but in the hol- 
low of an uprooted tree. He was not a very old man at that time, 
only sixty-two. and lived twenty -five years after that trying time. 
As a frontier man for years, he knew the Indians would seek the 
men, and as he was unarmed, there was nothing to do but keep 

10 



146 History of Royalton, Vermont 

under cover, which he did until the Indians left, after their day 
of pillage. 

The party of Indians that went to the house of Abijah 
Hutchinson found him in bed. In his memoir published by his 
grandson, K. M. Hutchinson, in 1843, he says that a sturdy In- 
dian seized him by the throat, and brandishing a tomahawk over 
him, ordered him to dress at once, then bound him with a strong 
cord. It is said that from the house of Abijah Hutchinson the 
house of Peter Button could be seen. ]\Ir. Button had taken a 
load of grain on his shoulder and was going along the bridle path 
to carry it to the mill. He was seen by the Indians, who gave 
pursuit, and he turned down the ravine and was there overtaken, 
killed and scalped. The Indians had now killed two and taken 
two prisoners. They made the Havens place their rendezvous, 
and leaving a party there pushed on to the house where the 
Kneelands were. Some think they were living at the time in 
their own house and not in the house of Daniel Havens. At any 
rate it was here they found Samuel Pember, Simeon Belknap. 
Edward Kneeland, Sr., Joseph Kneeland, and Edward Kneeland, 
Jr. Simeon Belknap was on his way from Randolph, where he 
had settled, to his old home in Connecticut. These five were 
taken prisoners, with Giles Gibbs and Jonathan Brown. If there 
were two detachments, they probably came together where the 
bridle path joins the main road, and went on to the home of 
Elias Curtis, who lived near the Pierce mills, probably either 
v/here John Slack lived later, or above the furniture factory. It 
is not possible to say just where the house was located, although 
it is known what land he owned. 

Mr. Curtis does not seem to have been warned, which makes 
it probable that he lived on the east side of the branch, for Dan- 
iel Havens went down on the west side of it, and would have been 
likely to call to him. Mr. Curtis had a blacksmith shop near his 
house, and it was to his shop that Mr. Chafee and John Kent 
were going to get their horses shod, and there that John Kent 
was taken prisoner as he dismounted. The Indians had been so 
quiet and swift in their movements, that their presence was not 
known, until Daniel Havens had reached the home of Elias Ste- 
vens. From the stray morsels of information picked up here 
and there, it would appear that Daniel stopped at Mr. Morgan's, 
the miller, who delayed long enough to throw a chest down the 
sand bank, then took his wife and child and escaped to the woods. 
Mr. Curtis was not so fortunate, having received no warning. 
He was a brother-in-law of John Hutchinson, having married 
Sarah Hutchinson. Mrs. Curtis was in bed, and it is not strange 
if she thought the Indian who brandished his tomahawk over her 
was intending to kill her. Considering their treatment of the 



History of Royalton, Vermont 147 

women during the day, and the fact that they often swung toma- 
hawks to frighten or secure their end, it is more likely that he 
did this to make her give up her beads. The thread was cut or 
broken, and the beads rolled off, and she retained them, and they 
are religiously preserved by a great-grand-daughter living in 
Seattle. At the house of Mr. Curtis three prisoners were taken, 
himself, John Kent, and Peter Mason. 

When Daniel Havens reached the house of Elias Stevens, 
he found Mrs. Stevens in bed. "You had better get up," he 
called out. "The Indians are thick as the devil at our house, 
and Avill be along here." As he hurried out of the back door 
to reach the river on his errand of warning, the red-skins entered 
the front door. The house of INIr. Stevens on the place now 
known as the Buck place was on the meadow on the other side 
of the road from its present location. Daniel found a log canoe 
and paddled across the river, and on reaching the other side and 
looking back, he saw Indians on the bank which he had .just left. 
He went down the river on the west side. He went to the house 
of Dea. Daniel Rix, and the other houses on the road until he 
came to the mouth of Broad Brook, when he went up the brook 
to the house of William Lovejoy, who had married his oldest 
sister, and was living in Sharon. They all went into the woods. 
Daniel later went back in sight of his own house, and after the 
Indians had left, the family got together and went to the home 
of William Lovejoy. It is said that there were more women in 
the Lovejoy house that night than there were floor boards. 

Lieut. Stevens owned a lot down the river, w^hat is now 
called the Howard place. He had arisen early and with his oxen 
had gone down to this farm to get a load of pumpkins. He also 
had a horse with him and his dog. There is a good deal of con- 
tradiction regarding the doings of Lieut. Stevens on this day. 
One who claims to have heard the story from his mouth, says 
that when he was told the Indians were coming, he hitched 
his oxen in the brush near the William Goff house, now the Wal- 
ter Webster place, and started for home. As he was running 
his dog got in his way and tripped him. He heard the Indians 
coming and turned to flee, was again tripped by his dog and had 
to take to the woods. This would throw out the whole story of 
his service in helping others to escape. According to the tradi- 
tion that has come down in the Rix family Mrs. Rix mounted her 
own horse, and used for a bridle a neck scarf, as she did not have 
time to get the bridle from the lower barn, some distance from 
the house. Some critics of Gen. Stevens, who thought he took 
too much credit to himself in giving his account of the raid to 
Zadock Steele, have said for publication that he ran to Barnard 
and staid several days. The Vermont Revolutionary Rolls dis- 



148 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

proves this. He was engaged with others in Capt. Parkhurst's 
Company. The charge would be unnoticed had it not already 
been made public. 

When the Indians reached the mouth of the branch, where 
Joseph Havens was erecting a house, they set fire to the building, 
but it would not burn, the timbers were so green. Joseph was 
v;ith them as a prisoner, or else was captured there. It is not 
certain where he was taken. When he saw them firing his house, 

he cried out, " you! Cut it down." They tried to do 

so, but gave it up. That building was taken down afterwards, 
and taken to the Robert Havens farm and erected into a house 
for the family, but not on the same site on which the first build- 
ing had stood. At the mouth of the branch the savages divided, 
one party went down the river on the east side, another on the 
west side, and a third went up the river on the east side. There 
was no road then on the west side beyond the Handy fordway, 
near Capt. Joseph Parkhurst's. 

The party going down on the west side had to ford the river. 
The red men must have known where the old fort fordway was, 
and perhaps crossed there. If so, some of them went up the 
river as far as the Handy fordway, and it was probably these 
Indians whom Mrs. Handy met. The main body went down the 
river, and would first come to the house of Elisha Kent, where 
Lester Corwin now lives. Mr. Kent thought his wife too feeble 
to walk to Sharon, and they went to the house of their nearest 
neighbor, Daniel Rix, and took two of the Rik girls with them 
into the woods, according to the Kent tradition. Mrs. Rix fled 
as before stated. The Rix family say that Mr. Rix was in Con- 
necticut at this time, and of course could not assist in the escape 
of his family. Pretty good evidence that he was not in Royalton 
is the fact, that he was neither in Capt. Parkhurst's company 
nor that of Daniel Gilbert, when he pursued the enemy, and it is 
most improbable that he failed to shoulder his gun and march 
with the rest, if he were in town. A mere handful of the older 
men were left at night to gather up what remained of their once 
happy homes. 

Mrs. Rix had a young babe, Jerusha, less than two months 
old, and six other children, the eldest, Susan, then sixteen years 
old, the next. Garner, eleven years old. It is hardly likely that 
she could take six children on her horse, so it seems quite prob- 
able that the Kent tradition is correct, and the two girls went 
with the Kents to a hiding place in the woods. The settlers knew 
it was the men and boys whom the savages would capture. Little 
Dan was then five years old, and as he saw the old white horse 
led to the door, he thought the family was going to meeting, and 
clapping his hands, exclaimed, "Danie dot on his meetin' toat. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 149 

Danie doin' to ride on old Whitey's back." Mrs. Rix ordered 
Garner to hide the old Bible or take it with him. He hid it 
in a hollow log. and it was the only thing saved from the house 
except the clothing on their backs. Garner had to follow as well 
as he could the flying heels ^f ' ' old Whitey, ' ' but he was not 
swift enough, and the Indians caught him. He had a little club 
and he showed fight. When Mrs. Handy begged for his release, 
his captor said, ' ' No, No ! Big heap fight in that boy. He make 
brave Injun warrior." The ten-year-old Joseph was snatched 
from the arms of the agonized mother, who was forced to ride on 
with only three of her brood of seven children, not knowing what 
would become of the others. In all likelihood they would have 
taken her horse from her, had it been a young and valuable one. 

The next family below Mr. Rix was that of Medad Benton, 
who all escaped, but whose house was burnt. As far as can be 
judged, this family consisted of Medad, now about fifty, his wife 
and four or five children. His only son Jonathan was now seven- 
teen, old enough to carry a gun and fight for his country. The 
youngest child had her sixth birthday the Saturday before. Me- 
dad 's name is in the list of soldiers belonging to Capt. Joseph 
Parkhurst's company. This list, however, is not strictly to be 
relied upon. Rufus Rude is named as one of this company, but 
he died the year before. It is possible that he had a son of the 
same name, but there is no proof of this. 

Below Mr. Benton was the land of Nathan Morgan. There 
is nothing to show that he had a house or a family. He may 
have lived with his father, Isaac. He also was in Capt. Park- 
hurst's company. 

The lot of Elias Stevens was below that of Mr. Morgan. If 
there was a house on it which was occupied by a family, the fact 
is not known. ]\Ir. Stevens was here at work as has before been 
stated. Hurrying on in their fiendish attack the Indians next 
came to the house of Tilly Parkhurst, what is known as the Wil- 
liams place. The family had been warned as stated by Mr. 
Steele. Mr. Parkhurst was about seventy years old, and did not 
join in the pursuit of the savages. He had four children, Molly, 
then sixteen, being an only daughter. She is said to have been 
milking when Lieut. Stevens warned her. She was his half 
sister, Mr. Parkhurst having married the widowed mother of 
Lieut. Stevens. Her brother Phineas was on the other side of 
the river doing duty in warning the people. The family, in- 
cluding two yomiger boys, escaped. 

The woods held a considerable number of the terrorized set- 
tlers, and the road was filled with many others fleeing in the 
direction of Sharon. The house next in the course of the savages 
was that of Ebenezer Parkhurst, probably near the Quimby place. 



150 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Mr. Parkhurst was attending the session of the Legislature at 
Bennington, as a representative from Sharon. On the minutes 
of the Journal of the House, October 21st, is this record : ' ' Capt. 
Ebenezer Parkhurst desired leave to return home on account of 
the invasion of the enemy — Granted." News traveled slowly in 
those days, yet it seems strange that it should have been four 
days before he heard of the raid, especially as the militia turned 
out for miles around. Owing to the absence of her husband and 
the fright of her fleeing neighbors and friends, Mrs. Parkhurst 
was left to take care of herself and children as best she could. 
She was the daughter of Reuben Spalding of Sharon. She had 
good reason to fear the Indians, for her mother when a child in 
Connecticut had witnessed a Sabbath Day massacre of all the 
children of the settlement, who had not succeeded in making 
their escape. Mrs. Parkhurst had six children at this time, the 
oldest but ten, and the youngest fourteen months old. Her 
daughter Polly was born on the 8th of the following January. 
Roswell, whom the Indians captured, was not quite seven. The 
rest of the family were allowed to go unharmed. 

The next place was Samuel Benedict's, who lived not far 
from the cemetery at the mouth of Broad brook, perhaps near 
the Chilson residence, as a broad brook ran near his house. The 
story of the destruction of the Benedict home has been written 
by Joel Blackmer, a son of Miriam Benedict, who married a 
Blackmer. Miriam was the oldest child of Samuel Benedict, and 
nearly five years old at the time of the raid. The dreadful scenes 
she witnessed were indelibly stamped in her memory. Her story 
is given in Mr. Blackmer 's words, as it was told to him by his 
mother. 

"When it was told at her father's that the Indians were coming, 
she and her little brothers and sisters ran out and hid by the bank of 
the White river. This was in the morning and both her parents were 
gone from home. Soon after the Indians came to the house, her father 
was about returning, and was observed by them. They beckoned to 
him to come to them, but perceiving that their dress was different 
from the English, and mistrusting that they were Indians, he stepped 
out one side the road and secreted himself behind a log. 

While he was thus concealed, but imperfectly, strange as it may 
seem, an Indian actually came and stood up on the very log behind 
which her father lay, and the Indian's shadow was seen by him. The 
Indian stood a few moments, when another one was heard to exclaim, 
'Up the hill he runs like the Devil!' upon which he left the log and 
ran up the hill. Mr. Benedict remained still in his hiding place. 

While the Indians were pillaging the house, Mrs. Benedict who had 
rode away that morning on horseback, returned. As she rode up to 
the door an Indian from the other side of the house presented him- 
self with a gun in his hand and pointed it at her at first. He then 
laid down his gun and approached her with a hatchet, shaking it and 
saying to her, 'Off! Off!' She complied and the Indian took the horse. 
She went into the house then and found two others there gathering up 




GROUI' OF SUFFEREItS. OCT. IG. 1780. 



Mrs. Jei'usha (Rix) Hutchinson. 

Mrs. Liucv (Pierce) Parkhurst, 
Wife of Dr. Parkhurst. 



George Avery. 
Taken prisoner in Sharon. 

Fhineas Parkhurst. M. D. 
Wounded by a shot from the Indians. 
Rode to Lebanon. N. H.. giving the 
alarm. He was then nineteen years of 
age. 




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/f ; iOh©f>0<>G>OC 



^^^1^^^^ J^-i/,lfay^Manag 



►Ck;C>«0«©<'€->0«0>0*«'? 



GROTP OF RELICS. 
For explanation see topic, "Relics." 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 151 

articles of clothing, &c. in the house to carry away. Soon they stepped 
to the door, upon which she cut her gold beads from her neck, and kept 
them in her hand, thus securing them from the savages. The Indians 
seemed to be in great haste. They took what they could easily carry 
or find, and, leaving the house unburnt, they departed. 

Here was joy in the midst of sorrow! Their house was plundered, 
and that in a new country, and the winter just approaching. Yet the 
family by a remarkable Providence were permitted to remain together 
and mutually console each other in this season of distress." 

A short distance below Mr. Benedict's was the shanty of 
George Avery. Mr. Avery wrote an account of his early life 
and capture by the Indians. A part of his narrative is given 
here. His picture will be found with the group of "Sufferers." 
The manuscript was loaned by a great-great-granddaughter, 
Mrs. S. L. Clark of Plainfield, N. H. 

"I was 21 years old Jany 23rd day AD 1780. I had left my parents 
care and theire good rules and admonitions; I was an unsteady youth 
and leaving strict discipline seemed to be set more at liberty from its 
yoke. This was in the time of the Revolutionary war that separated 
the American provinces from Great Britan. I was a soldier stationed 
at Milford, Connecticut that winter. The next summer in august I 
was in Sharon Vt clearing land intending to be a farmer. A giddy 
youth with vain expectations to be something in the world. I come- 
pare myself to the words of the poet. Through all the follies of the 
mind, he smells and snuffs the empty wind. 

I was too regardless of the Sabbath, lived a careless loose life with 
other comerads of the same cast which I resided with occupied in the 
same way. One Sabbath forgitting the day of the week, we wear at 
work, at husking corn. An old lady passed by us with solemn coun- 
tenance agoing to meeting. She never chid us, but I began to think 
there was something wrong, and told my mates, I guessed it was Sab- 
bath day. Why they replied. My reply was, The old lady had on her 
Sabbath day mouth; It was my rudeness alltho I had strong convic- 
tions of our carelessness forgitting the Sabbath. 

That night following I slept with my comerads on the floor of the 
shantee. I dreamed I was beset by serpents the most hideous and 
numerous that I ever saw, and awoke in the horrible fright; but my 
fears soon vanished, and I was soone asleep again, and dreamed of 
being besett by Indians and as frightfully awakened as before — But 
haveing no faith in dreams, my fears soone vanished, it was now broad 
daylight. That morning I went to a neighbor for our bread, while my 
mates cooked breakfast When I returned I met my companions af- 
frighted running to the woods, but I did not apprehend so much danger 
as they did from Indians. I thought of going to the camp and save 
my cloaths I made light of it, and told them I would get my break- 
fast first — I went and got my cloaths and hid them. I but tasted the 
breakfast. I saw others flying for safety, and spoke to one. He said 
some had turned to go and fight the Indians. I thought of going a 
very short distance from us and I should know if they had. But turn- 
ing a few rods I was surprised by the sight of two Indians very near 
me. The foremost one with tomohok in hand we were face to face 
suddenly borth stopped He waved his hand Come Come I answered 
the Indian Come and took to my heeles and ran for escape followed 
the road on the River bank but a little Jumped into the bushes on 
its bank out of his sight and made for foarding the River the two fol- 



152 History of Royalton, Vermont 

lowed me the tommahok one caught me in the back of the collar of 
my cloaths and gave me a few blows with his instrument and a few 
greeting words How How (that is Run Run) Here I was as really 
affrighted as I was in my dreams but a few hours before (But the 
dreams did not here occur to my mind) The two Indians stripped me 
of my outside garments I being lame, at that time, They took me by 
each arm and I ran between them, to return to theire company which 
they left that were destroying Horses and cattle and had taken pris- 
oners They had killed two of the inhabitants in pursuing them viz 
pember and Button. They spent the chief part of the day in burning 
and killing property. — 

The night they encamped near the place of theire distruction. This 
first encampment was in Randolph Woods the 16th of Octr 1780 About 
350 Indians and 26 prisoners. The Indians made fiers and shelters of 
Hemlock boughs to encamp by for the night as many as 20 or more. 
The prisoners had different masters at different camps. The prisoners 
were striped of outer garments by their masters and collected at the 
chief officer's encampment. We stood huddled together the fier between 
us and the officer An Indian came to a prisoner took him by the hand 
to lead him off. The head officer told the prisoner to go with him and 
hede fare well; A prisner nearby me whispers me, I believe he will in 
another world — I asked why — He replied He had contenental cloth and 
was a soldier when taken By this I was frightened. Then others 
were led off, in the same way — I think my turn might be about the 
6th or 7th Judge reader my feelings if you can, for I am not able 
to express them in any other way but by confusion in thoughts, like 
one to die violently. I expect I became quite fantick. When I was 
led a short distance through woods to the camp where the Indians were 
cooking all looked calm and peaceable to my view and astonishment 
The silly phantick thought struck my mind Theyl fat me before they 
kill me. Soone however they brought a strong belt to bind me aimed 
it at my body to put it around me, then took me to a booth (or shelter) 
I was laid down under it feet to the fier Stakes drove down in the 
ground each side of me, my belt tied to them stakes Thus I was staked 
to the ground: To look up there was long Indian Knives fastned to 
the boughs. This condition looked frightful — but I had gone through 
the greatest. Still here is no Safety. 

They gave me here of their supper but I cannot tell the relish of 
it that night, after supper 4 Indians lay on my belt that tied me to 
the stakes two upon each side of me so that I could not move but that 
they all would feele the belt move When I looked at the fier there 
was the guard an Indian Smoking In the morning The Vermont 
Melisha routed them They fired on the Indian out guard The Indians 
in confusion and rage onstaked theire prisoners My belt was taken 
and put round my neck and tied to a sapplin another I see bound to a 
tree while they packed up. Theire eyes looked like wildfier. One 
uttered to his prisoner bumby bumby (as tho death at hand) After 
ready to march I was loosed from the Sapplin loaded with a pack and 
led by the halter on my neck and my leader with tommahok in hand 
and to follow after my file leader Each master of a prisoner (as I 
understood afterward) had orders to kill his prisoner if closely per- 
sued and then they could take their flight from their enemies in the 
woods In this case no one could predict the result; life and death is 
set before us 

Here must follow a multitude of thoughts which none can know 
but by experience Many vain wishes I had in this unreconseiled state 
that I were nothing so that they could not torment my body Then 



History of Royalton, Vermont 153 

again, Why is it thus with me, is the reasonable enquiry (It seemed 
according to the circumstances when I was talien I might have got 
out of the way) Now my dreams rushed to my mind. This made me 
feele that I had to do with my Maker God. I felt in His hand a guilty 
sinner. I compared myself like unto a bullock unaccustomed to the 
yoak. Such feelings I never had before in my life brought to my view; 
my sins roled over me like the waves of the sea, roling after each other 
untill I was overwhelmed, it seemed He told me all ever I did. I felt 
the evil of my life, and the Divine Justice of providence I was still 
as to a murmur against God I was soone calmed in mind. I saw 
they wei'e overruled by God the Indians could do no more than they 
were permitted to do. They could do no more than a Wise and good 
disposer pleased I seemed to feele that calmness to think that were 
the Indians permitted to kill I could look them in the face calmly The 
words in Isaiah came to my mind He was led as sheap to the slaugh- 
ter and as a lamb dumb before his shearer was dumb so opened he not 
his mouth. As I was literally so led; I have thought on my tryals 
sence it might be the occasion of these blessed words of coming to 
mind. My mind in this tryal was calm I was silent as to a murmur. 
I opened not my mouth My soul was stilled it was God that did it. 

But who can give peace, and still the murmor of an unreconciled 
mind, but God; under such tryals of mind and providence? (But 1 
have enough to complain of myself as a sinner against Divine goodness 
which provokes chastisement) 

I had at this time the Holy Bible and Watts Hymn Book in my 
bosom, that we used to read and meditate in our Joui'ney, which I took 
from a house that the Indians burned The Indians would take this 
from my bosom to see what I had got and return them. In one of our 
stops, in reading the 38th psalm as applicable in part to our case, it 
drew many tears from sum of us — These books was read by us on our 
Journey to Cannada and consoling to use when prisoners We had no 
where to look but to God in our troubles But as sinners we have still 
that body of sin that provokes chastisement and causes grief to the soul 
which we hope will mortify the deeds of the Body to die unto sin to 

live unto God I have digressed from the Historical part 

of my work to show the exercises of the mind in such tryals and the 
goodness of God in them is more than I can express. I now return 
to the Indian history: 

I traveled with them 5 days Taken by them on monday Octr 16th 
we came to Lake Shamplan on friday 20th at Colchester and crossed 
over in Battowse to the Grand lie that day. (They had killed two of 
the inhabitants in persuing them viz Button and Pember Allso in the 
camp the first night they killed two of theire prisoners viz Kneeland 
and Gibs) Nothing further transpired thus far that is very interest- 
ing to relate. We went down the Lake from the Grand He, to the 
He o Noin Saturday 21st tarried there that night for refreshment by 
victuals & rum Sabbath 22 we arrived at St Johns Cannada, where was 
more Rum, that day and a market for theire plunder. I was dressed 
drolely I had on an Indian blanket with my head poked through a hole 
in its middle, hanging over my body, with a high peaked cap on my 
head, my face painted with red streaks, being smoked over theire fiers 
looked very much like an Indian, being sett at a parsel of their plun- 
dered goods. The refugees at St Johns came to the parsel that I was 
set at to buy, looking at me one of them says to his mate, is that an 
Indian; his mate replied no, his hair is not Indian (Thus look and se 
Indian captives) The Indians this day (Sabbath) take up there march 
for thire Home Cahnawaga, many of them very drunk and often those 



154 History of Royalton, Vermont 

loaded down with theire plundered goods would sowsed down in mud 
as road was much soaked by the snows melting of at this time. Some 
of those loaded drunken Indians in this plight were three days trav- 
eling 25 milds 

I was taken by my Master Indian to Cahnawaga at his home we 
arrived on monday or tuesday from St Johns. I tarried there at my 
keepers two or more days when all the party or the scout of Indians 
came in. Then the Sachem Fooumo came to my quarters, and took me 
to the centre of Village, Where the Indians and Squaws gathered around 
I was on a seat at the Chiefs feet, He making a Speach over me to his 
audience I sat in suspence (not knowing his language or designs I 
had fears as might be to run the gauntlet or some evil But my sus- 
pence soone ended. I was led off by an Indian lad bye past the Specta- 
tors to the door of a house and meet by Squaws with a Blanket & hat, 
and Water and soap to wash; and found that was the place of my 
residence Theire I found another young man a prisoner to them I 
enquired of him if he understood the meaning of this last manover 
I had passed through. He said he did. He had experienced the same 
We were both of us (by this Seremony) adopted into that family to 
fill the places of two Indians which had recently died there and we 
made up theire loss. I enquired of him how he knew. He answered 
the Indian interperter Tracy told him. But what I saw afterward 
v/hich was more affecting. That they displayed the Scalps of our pris- 
oners (those they killed) in the same seremony. 

I lived with them something 6 or 7 M^eeks perhaps untill my owner 
belonging to another tribe came for me, and took me to Montreall to 
take his bounty for me I was dressed decently to follow him by two 
old squaws; as soon as I was sold and Delivered to the Brittish a 
prisoner I was stripped to the shirt by my former Indian owner — 
I was taken thence to the guard house allmost naked they covered 
me with an old thin blanket coat in the cold season of the last of Novr 
keept under guard naught to eat for 2 or more days before I had 
orders for rations, from thence I was taken to grants Hand near the 
City a Rany night followed the prisoners was in tents then in cold 
winter weather We prisoners had no tent pitched for the night we 
roled ourselves in the tent cloth for a cold weet night — I never drew 
rations on the Island I complained to the officer of prisners of lame- 
ness, and carried from thence to the Hospital half starved the next 
day, being shifted without orders for provision (from place to place). 
I was allmost starved. I was lame when I was taken with a scorfioul- 
ous humor in my legg A surgeon and phisian tended the Hospital 
they were kind to me, especially the Doctor When I got better of the 
sore leg the phicisian ment to take me to his House to serve him I 
was borth very dirty and naked 

from thence I was conducted in such a plight in a cold winter day 
to the commesarys, (by the Orderly man of the hospital) for cloathing, 
and got none from thence to the Doctors, lef there for the night chilled 
with cold fatigued and sick — hardly able to rise next morning I was 
called upon by the Doctor examined by Him, and sent back to the 
Hospital a mild to travill in a cold N Wester I went directly there 
and took my place in the Bunk; I was soone senseless of all that 
passed. The time was lost to me, for a space and deranged views and 
thoughts followed When I had come to reason or sense of feeling I 
had acute pain in the head, my eyes seemed as if theyd be thumpped 
out in this case the Doctor ordered half of my head shaved the left 
side Three blister plasters were applied on my head neck and back 
that on head and neck never blistered — and the back one scarce a blis- 



History op Royalton, Vermont 155 

ter. When I had got to know mj'self I was amasiated to a Skilleton 
When I got cloaths to put on my overalls looked like tongs in them 
my ear to see through my nose and face peaked and dirty and lowsy 
as if one ded all as they lay in the Bunk — I used to bake the rags of 
my shirt on the stove when I had got so much strength, better to kill 
lice off. Through the mercy of God I recovered from this distress; 
and when better of it I was amasiated to a scalaton — and in recovering 
in this weak condition I had to take hard fare. 

I write now that was done about 65 years ago in the year 1781 
feb; Now July 20, 1846 And now what shall I render to the Lord for 
His astonishing goodness I will take the cup &c what stupid hardness 
must it be not to notice the Divine hand The Doctor still showing 
his kindness to me (he did not need me as a water to himself) but he 
sought for places for my abode where I was needed, (to my relief from 
confinement) He had two places in view for me, One was to live with 
a Jewess in Montreal, the other, to live with a Jew at Barkey (as I 
might choose) This Jew was a merchant 45 mild distant; I put it to 
the Doctor to choose for me. He thought it best to go to Barkey in 
the country away from the city — The refugees aften quarraled and 
complined of the prisoners at liberty in the city and got them into 
prison again. I went by his choice. The Jew was a country trader 
with but very little learning but of strong memory and head to cast up 
accounts without the use of figures or writing. He had and did employ 
frenchmen to make up his accounts. Very shortly after I went there 
I kept his accounts. (When the Doctor chose this place for me to live 
I told him I should loose of being exchanged being so far from 
other prisoners or of writing to my parents; he answered that could 
be accomedated by writing to Mr Jones the Provost-master at Montreal) 
When I went to live with the Jew my clothing was but poor an old 
blanket loose coat, the rag of a shirt that I burned the lice from and 
overalls that I can describe I drew also a shirt with my overalls; 
and a prisoner died and I had his old shoes when I went with the Jew 
to live A shirt was the first I most needed, and the first thing I was 
supplied with from him, and that was made from ozinbrigs (coarse 
wrapping cloth) washed in cold water and dried for me to put on by 
an old matroon the Jews housekeeper; when I put this shirt on the 
meanest I ever wore except the old dirty lousy ragged one, it daunted 
my Spirits; otherwise I had better fare, and when better acquainted 
he needed my assistance to keep his accounts and in his store. 

He married a wife soon after I went there to live; She was a Jew- 
ess. His family before was the old french woman & twin children 
he had by a squaw when a trader with the Indians which he was 
obliged to leave in Upper Cannada. But after he married I fared better 
for cloathing by her means I was dressed descent I tarried with them 
until the next August. The Jew left home for Quebeck while gone I 
wrote to Mr Jones informing him where I was, and to know if there 
was any exchange of prisoners, or that I could write to my parents. 
I wanted the benefit of it. Mr Jones wrote immediately to the Jew 
to send me to Montreal, and then I was exchanged and to be sent home. 
This letter came when Mr Lions the Jew returned from Quebeck, and 
I was absent from home, on an errand. When I returned in the even- 
ing The Jew enquired of me what I had been about while he was gone 
to Quebeck Why I answered. He responded I have received a Letter 
from Mr Jones at Montreall and I dont know what they are going to 
do with you it may to put to Jaile (He could not read the letter at all, 
neither his wife so as to understand it) He wanted me to read it to 
them. I took it and looked it through, and then read to them, gladly, 



156 History of Royalton, Vermont 

that I was exchanged to go home and that he must send me directly 
to Montreall Then says he what shall we do, for you have kept my 
books while here You and Mrs Lyons must sett up all night and she 
must write over the head of each mans account his name in Hebrew 
characters, for she did not know how to write english or french well 
enough, and we spent the night in this way. 

The next morning I sett out for Montreall arrived there the next 
day, when I came to Mr Jones; I was told I might have been at home 
by this time. That I was exchanged by name and 17 others, and that 
they had gone in a carteele home and that I had to wait there untill 
another carteele of prisoners might go. He told me I could draw pro- 
visions (and have my liberty) and be bileted with prisoners that were 
on parole untill I could go. So I lived with others drew my provisions 
weakly and worke out as I pleased. I thus employed myself to gain 
something to cloathe and to spare to the poor sick prisoners in the 
hospitial that I before suffered in. The next June a carteele of pris- 
oners came into the state and I with the rest and was landed at the 
head of Lake Shamplane, at what is now Whitehall N York. From 
thence I traveled on foot to Windsor Connecticut to my Sisters and 
was gladly and surprisingly welcomed for they knew nothing but that 
I was dead and scalped untill they saw me. (for by mistake my name 
had been returned, and published as dead) I tarried at Windsor 
through that summer, and wrote to my parents in Truro Mass. I 
worked and bought me hors to go Home; on the first of Sept following 
I sett out for Truro and arrived in the neighborhood of my fathers; 
and Sent a neighbor to notify my parents that I was come, that theire 
lost had arrived, not to shock them too suddenly. My mother and 
sister had gathered themselves in a roome to meete me. Soon I met 
them in that roome, at the sight of me my mother left the roome. 
Judge Reader If you can of her emotions off mind and ours I feele 
the emotions now when writing My father was absent from home at 
this time, but had heard of my arrival before he came home that even- 
ing with his mind more composed." 

The sufferings in captivity which JMr. Avery in his old age 
recounted cannot but awaken sympathy in the minds of all who 
read them, yet they were not so great as the trials of some others 
which Mr. Steele has narrated in his account of the raid. Let 
us return to the events of that day. 

Phineas Parkhurst, son of Tilly, had staid at the home of 
an acquaintance on the east side of the river the Sunday night 
before the raid. The name of this family is not known to his 
descendants, but according to their tradition the family was at 
breakfast when they saw the Indians, and Phineas at once took 
the wife and daughter of his host on horseback, crossed the First 
Branch and rode down the east side of the river to a place of 
safety. He then returned and had reached the fordway oppo- 
site his father's hoitse just as the Indians made their appearance 
at the house. He was about to cross when he discovered the In- 
dians, and he turned his horse to flee. A shot from an Indian 
pierced his body and seriously wounded him, bitt the ball re- 
mained in a cul de sac beneath the skin. The mother saw her 
boy, saw the blood burst from the wound as he galloped away 



History of Royalton, Vermont 157 

clown stream, one hand clutching the ball. In after days in 
recounting the experiences of the day she was wont to exclaim, 
' ' Phinnie wounded ! blood a running ! Oh, dear ! I on a strad- 
dle without any saddle, and a pocket handkerchief for a bridle, 
Oh, dear!" Her brave boy pursued his course dowTi the river 
through Sharon, giving the alarm as he went, on to Stephen 
Tilden's tavern in Hartford, where a minute later his signal was 
answered by the alarm gun to call the militia together. A mile 
or so farther on he crossed White river, then the Connecticut by 
Robinson's ferry, and at last his long exhausting ride was over, 
and the skillful surgeon, Dr. Gates of Lebanon, was working over 
the wounded, fainting youth. Brave heart ! So long as the 
name of Royalton shall live, so long as she has a son or daughter 
to feel a thrill of pride in her history, so long will the heroic 
deed of Phineas Parkhurst be recalled with loving gratitude and 
admiration. 

The party that went down on the east side of the river may 
have come first, after Joseph Haven's place, to the house of 
Nathaniel Morse, near what has been known as Onionville. (As 
this term is objectionable alike to the people living in that vicin- 
ity and the tow^n in general, the place hereafter will be spoken 
of in this History as Havensville, an appropriate name, as the 
Havens families lived there or near there many years, and the 
Havens cemetery is located there.) The Morse family had been 
warned, probably by Phineas Parkhurst, and Mrs. Morse was 
fleeing on horseback with her daughter Abigail in her arms, when 
the Indians captured them, seated them on a log, and swung their 
tomahawks over them, but left them to destroy their house and 
barn and seven fat oxen among their stock. Three silver but- 
tons that Mrs. Morse had on when she was overtaken are now in 
the possession of her great-granddaughter, i\Irs. Adelia ]\I. Car- 
penter Taplin of Middlesex. Mr. Morse did duty in Capt. Jo- 
seph Parkhurst 's company. 

Below the INIorses on the John F. Shepard farm lived the 
Revolutionary war-horse, Jeremiah Trescott. His family went 
into the woods back of the house and secreted themselves. Jere- 
miah followed the brook near by until he, too, was safely hid. 
Here in his hiding place he saw the Indians enter, pillage, and 
burn his house and destroy his property. He saw them, also, on 
their return, and as an Indian heavily laden with plunder lagged 
behind, the old martial impulse drew his gun to his shoulder for 
a shot, but the hitherto trusty weapon failed him, and did not 
go off. In lowering it to see what was the matter, it wa.s acci- 
dentally fired. The Indian looked up, grunted, ' ' Ugh ! ' ' and ran 
swiftly on. That is said to be the only gun fired by the inhab- 
itants that day. Another tradition varying somewhat from this, 



158 History of Royalton, Vermont 

which John P. Shepard took from the lips of Mary (Trescott) 
Baker, a grand-daughter of Jeremiah Trescott, is that the Indians 
went down on the west side of the river, crossed to the east side 
near the mouth of Broad Brook, and burned and pillaged as they 
went back. The granite boulders beside which the Trescott 
women lay were on the Simon Shepard farm. They staid there 
until the "evening. Mr. Shepard writes, ' ' They found the Shep- 
ard family had gone, so they went to the house and got in and 
lighted a light and built a fire, and got something to eat, and 
staid there in the house that night. Trescott hid in the alder 
and willow bushes, in what is now the mill pond, and saw them 
burn his house and destroy his stock, but did not dare to make 
a move until they were all gone, as he supposed, when one Indian 
alone came along loaded with plunder. Trescott fired at him, 
and he dropped his load and ran. The house which they burned 
stood some ten or twelve rods southeast of the present house, and 
the road came up east of the house, not between the house and 
river as it does now. The location of the house and some of the 
road can still be seen." According to Dr. Alden C. Latham, 
Sarah, the daughter of Jeremiah, was an unfortunate, who could 
talk very little. Her defect was attributed to fright and ex- 
posure at the time of the raid. 

Daniel Gilbert, who first settled in Sharon, and resided part 
of the time in Royalton and part of the time in Sharon, was 
living in Royalton on the Dana- West farm when the Indians came 
to town. He built there a comfortable log house and outbuild- 
ings, had a yoke of oxen and a large stock of other animals. In 
the morning, while the family were at breakfast, townsmen came 
into the yard to notify him that the Indians were coming, and 
he was called to take command of the Company of which he was 
captain, and to aid in repelling the savages. Mrs. Gilbert 
brushed the dishes and the provisions from the table into her 
apron, and with the hired girl started to find a place of safety 
in the woods. The girl had a new bonnet of which she was quite 
proud. She was naturally anxious about it. She said to Mrs. 
Gilbert, "What shall I do with my bonnet — put it on the tees- 
ter?" by which she meant the covered part of a high posted cur- 
tained bedstead. Mrs. Gilbert replied, ' ' No, child, put it on your 
head. The Indians will burn the house." They found a place 
in the woods commanding a view of the house, where they re- 
mained unmolested, and watched the proceedings of the enemy. 
Mrs. Gilbert saw them take out her feather beds, rip them open, 
and throw the feathers in the air, dancing and hooting. They 
butchered the cattle, and when there was no more mischief they 
could do, they set fire to the house, and Mrs. Gilbert from her 
hiding place watched her home go up in smoke. 



History op Royalton, Vermont 159 

At Capt. Gilbert's his nephew, Nathaniel, was taken pris- 
oner. The story of his capture and release was related in 1910 
by Mr. Henry C. Gilbert of Randolph, grandson of Nathaniel. 
Nathaniel's father was dead, and he had come from Connecticut 
with his uncle. According to this account the family were 
warned by a man on horseback, perhaps Phineas Parkhurst. 
Capt. Gilbert sent Nathaniel to warn a neighbor over the hill 
beyond them. While he was away the Captain saddled two 
horses ready for flight to the fort at No. 4, Charlestown, N. H.. 
but it would seem that the family were not able to avail them- 
selves of this means of escape, before the Captain had to leave, 
and the Indians were upon them. When Nathaniel returned, he 
saw the horses at the door, but nothing suspicious. He went into 
the house, and first noticed feathers on the floor. While look- 
ing at them an Indian came out from another room and gave the 
usual grimt, "Ugh!" but did not take much notice of the boy. 
Nathaniel, terrified, turned about and started to go back over 
the hill. He went through a hollow, and when he looked again 
toward the house, he saw at one corner of it the same red-skin 
that showed himself inside. The Indian beckoned to him, and 
called out, "Come back!" This only added to his fear, and he 
was about to increase his speed, when he saw another savage at 
another corner of the house, who stood with his gun pointed at 
him. The gun was persuasive, and he went back. They tied 
him with a string to a nail under the looking glass. 

In their camp that night they tied his hands behind him, 
and secured him to a small tree near where Joseph Kneeland was 
tied. He saw an Indian advance upon Kneeland, swinging his 
tomahawk, and could avoid seeing the brute scalp his quivering 
victim only by closing his eyes. He was in a state of terror, 
v/hen the Indian came toward him. The savage examined his 
fastenings and went off. Later Nathaniel asked him why he 
killed Kneeland, and he answered, "Broad shoulders, straight 
leg, and keen eye, and me know never could get him to Canada." 

In Canada Nathaniel was adopted by a squaw, and when he 
had the choice of staying with the Indians or enlisting in the 
British army, he chose the latter. Mr. H. C. Gilbert has Nathan- 
iel's original discharge, a copy of which will be found in the gene- 
alogy of the family. After his discharge he went on foot to 
Connecticut. His mother had married a man who had two grown 
daughters. When he went to his mother's house, he asked her 
if she could keep a traveller. The girls heard him. and called 
their mother to them and said, "Don't keep him. He wears the 
British uniform, and will kill us all before morning." Not car- 
ing to make himself known that night, he went to a neighbor's 



160 History of Royalton, Vermont 

and staid, and told them who he was. The next morning, when 
he appeared at his home, his mother recognized him. 

He could not in all his after years free his mind from the 
bloody scenes which he had witnessed. Even after he had chil- 
dren of his own, he sometimes sprang from his bed in his sleep, 
crying out, "The Indians are coming!" Once he sprang into a 
tub of water, which chanced to be on the tioor, in which the 
clothes had been put to soak for the next day's washing. When 
he died he left an injunction to his family, which is still observed 
by this generation, never to send a man hungry away from the 
door. 

Simon Shepard lived just across the Royalton line in the 
edge of Sharon. When warned the family left everything* and 
went tw^o or three miles below Sharon village to Mr. INfarsh's, 
and staid there that night. Mr. Shepard went back in the even- 
ing to see if the Indians had burned his house, and seeing the 
light of the Trescott women concluded the Indians were there, 
and did not dare go to the house. He went back to Mr. Marsh's 
and reported that the Indians were still there, but had not burned 
his house. 

The family of Josiah Wheeler participated in the panic of 
this day. Mr. Wheeler was a resident of Sharon in 1778. He 
does not appear in Royalton town meeting records until 1782. 
In that year he bought land in town. From Sharon town records 
it would seem that he lived on the river. If so, he was so far 
down stream that the Indians did not reach his dwelling. If 
in Royalton, a possible location would be lot 25 or 26 Dutch, far 
enough back from the river to escape destruction. The Indians 
did not go back on the hills. When Mr. Wheeler heard of the 
attack of the savages, he placed his wife and four-days-old baby 
on one horse, his sister and eldest son on another, and followed 
on foot. With a narrow escape they reached the settlements on 
the Connecticut river. Their property was not destroyed. The 
Indians did not go down on the east side of the river much, if 
any, below Capt. Gilbert's, and that was the last house which 
they burned. 

Another family whose exact residence has not been ascer- 
tained, is the Downer family. Mrs. J. B. Bacon of Chelsea, a 
great-granddaughter of Ephraim Downer, has furnished some 
facts connected with this family, as has also Mrs. A. Olsen of 
Tucson, Arizona, another descendant, being the granddaughter 
of Sally Downer. Mrs. Bacon states, "My great-grandfather, 
Ephraim Downer, was a widower with three small children, Eph- 
raim, Daniel, and Sally. The two boys were at home, but Sally, 
who was a wee tot, was cared for in the family of Tilly Park- 
hurst, a fellow-townsman. Early on the morning of the burning 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 161 

of Royalton, my (great) -grandfather, who was a carpenter, was 
in a loft over the shed looking over some lumber, when the Indians 
suddenly sprang upon him. They dragged the two boys from their 
beds, frightening the yoimgest so that he never recovered from 
the shock, and died not long afterward. All three were taken 
captive and started for Canada. The youngest boy was one of 
the children whom the heroine, Mrs. Hendee, recovered, but the 
others were taken to Canada and there spent their lives." Mrs. 
Bacon is of the opinion that Ephraim Downer lived in the vicin- 
ity of South Royalton. If so, he may possibly have lived near 
the mills, and so have been one of the first to suffer from the 
savages. 

The party of Indians that went up the river on the east side 
came first to the house of Elias Stevens. Mrs. Stevens is said 
to have had a struggle with an Indian in a vain attempt to save 
her feather bed. Many of the women displayed great courage 
and presence of mind when they were so suddenly attacked by 
the savages. David Waller, the son of Israel Waller, who was 
then living in the western part of the town, was working for 
Lieut. Stevens. He was captured by the Indians, taken to Can- 
ada, sold to a Frenchman, and dressed in livery. He returned 
to Royalton, when there was an exchange of prisoners. Mrs. 
Stevens had two small children at this time, the elder not three 
years old. Her condition must have been sad indeed. She w^as 
surrounded by Indians, who made the Stevens meadow their ren- 
dezvous. The people above her would flee north, and those below 
had probably fled south before she could reach any of them. The 
Indians allowed her to seek safety in the woods. Lieut. Stevens ' 
name is found in Capt. Parkhurst's Company, which is thought 
to have done duty at home, as they drew no mileage. The Wal- 
ler boy, who might have given her some aid, was taken prisoner, 
but no doubt she was kindly cared for as soon as the scattered 
settlers dared to return to their desolate homes. 

Ebenezer Brewster of Dresden, a non-resident, owned the 
land along the river from the land of Lieut. Stevens to what is 
now the upper part of Royalton village. This strip was prob- 
ably unsettled. A Mr. Evans, whether John or Cotton cannot 
be positively affirmed, is said to have lived in 1780 not far from 
Royalton village. It is known that John Evans lived in Royal- 
ton before 1780. Mrs. Coit Parkhurst, in recounting the events 
of the day twenty-five or more years ago stated that Nathaniel 
Evans was taken prisoner in Royalton, but was supposed to have 
lived in Randolph. There is no proof so far as know^n, that Cot- 
ton lived here so early as 1780. It is believed by the descendants 
of Nathaniel that he was the son of Cotton. There is a tradition 
that he put his face in a log fence and thought he was safe. He 

11 



162 History of Royalton, Vermont 

was but seven years old. He lived to marry and have children, 
and his only son Charles was one of the victims in an Indian 
massacre in Texas. The Evans family must have been warned. 
Mrs. Evans is said to have taken her silver, tied it in an apron, 
and hid it in a well, and then to have hidden herself and her 
children in the woods. John Evans was in Capt. Joseph Park- 
hurst's company. 

Timothy Durkee had been in town about a year, located on 
the lot later known as the Rix place, not far from the North 
Royalton cemetery. They destroyed everything here except a 
small barn, which was too green to burn. This served as a house 
for the family for the winter, and it is in part still standing on 
the same place, but on the other side of the road. A cut of it is 
shown in this History. Two sons of Mr. Durkee were taken pris- 
oners, Andrew and Adan. Andrew was released, but Adan was 
taken to Canada and died there in prison. 

Benjamin Parkhurst lived a short distance above Lieut. 
Durkee, about one hundred rods up the river from the Gifford 
house, which was burned a few years ago. The house was sur- 
rounded by trees, and the Indians did not see it. The family 
were warned, and Mrs. Parkhurst tied up a sheet full of articles, 
and her husband carried them into a swamp opposite their house, 
then he took his two little girls over and his wife, and came back 
for a Mrs. Leazer, a neighbor weighing 200 pounds. He waded 
the river at each load, and carried over provisions and his gun. 
They staid there through the night, but the Indians came no 
farther than the Second Branch bridge, which was only a tree 
felled across the stream. The next spring Mr. Parkhurst found 
a blanket and a tomahawk near the spot where the Gifford barn 
once stood. The next day Mr. Parkhurst took his family back 
home, and the morning after the father of Mrs. Parkhurst came 
to visit her from Connecticut. From Mr. Parkhurst 's obituary 
printed in 1843, the following is taken: "The savages were 
every moment expected at Mr. P 's. He told his family to remain 
vi^here they were, and he would defend them as long as he had 
s breath of life; but the enemy not appearing, he removed his 
family across the river and concealed them in a thick swamp, 
where they remained till the next day. It has been thought, 
and with much probability, that his house was spared through 
the influence of a man, known to have been with the Indians, who 
not long before had staid a fortnight at Mr. P's, and shared 
freely in the kindness and hospitality of the family. Mr. Park- 
hurst was very active and very generous in relieving the suffer- 
ers on that distressing occasion. He had just harvested a fine 
crop of grain, amounting to 300 bushels of wheat and corn, which 
was liberally distributed among his neighbors; to some it was 



History op Royalton, Vermont 163 

lent; from others almost anything was received in pay. None 
were asked over a moderate price, and only ten dollars in cash 
were received for the whole, and that from a man who was abund- 
antly able to pay money. The day on which the soldiers 

returned who had been in pursuit of the Indians, they called 
at Mr. Parkhurst's for refreshment, and were bountifully sup- 
plied. The next morning the family found that they had given 
away all their flour and meal, without any forethought, and the 
mill was burnt, and they were obliged to subsist for a little time 
without bread. About that time the inhabitants were in constant 
fear of the Indians. Mr. Parkhurst labored in his field armed, 
ready for an attack at any moment. His wife could not go out 
for water without carrying one child in her arms, and the other 
clinging to her clothes, and not knowing but the enemy would be 
upon her before she returned. The children would even rise in 
their sleep and hide under their parents' bed, and find themselves 
there on awakening. Mr. P. with others watched on patrol. He 
and another man, on one occasion, gave a false alarm, which 
spread through the settlement; but the supposed enemy proved 
to be hunters, accoutred so as to give them the appearance of 
Indians." 

Lieut. Houghton in his report says that they burned close 
to a stockaded post. This, of course, was Fort Fortitude at 
Bethel, which was four or more miles from the mouth of the 
Second Branch. It could hardly be said to be close to North 
Royalton, except in comparison with the distance the enemy were 
from their Canadian home. It made his undertaking seem a lit- 
tle more daring thus to report it. Prince Haskell was not taken 
prisoner at this time. He was captured August 9, 1780, when a 
party of twenty-one Indians made a raid on Barnard, and with 
other prisoners, Thomas M. Wright and Timothy Newton, was 
carried to Canada, where he was kept in confinement until the 
autumn of 1781, when he was exchanged. 

If the Indians at the mouth of the First Branch crossed at 
the old fort fordway to go down on the west side of the river, 
they would miss two or more dwellings north of that fordway. 
It seems likely that they knew this, and sent a small number 
north on the west side. They would come first to the house of 
Joseph Parkhurst, probably not very far from the present South 
Royalton. They did not find him at home, for he had galloped 
down the river to give the alarm, to aid others in escaping, and 
no doubt to give directions for gathering his company of militia 
for pursuit, for Mr. Avery in his narrative says that with the 
word of warning came notice that some had turned to follow the 
enemy. It would have been foolhardiness for a mere handful of 
men to attack a body of 300 or more Indians. The date of Capt. 



164 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Parkhurst's first marriage has not been ascertained, but his first 
child was born nearly three years after the raid, and it may be 
that he had no family at this time. That was also probably true 
of Lieut. Calvin Parkhurst, who may have lived with Joseph, 
or on his own land farther up stream. Lieut. Calvin was mar- 
ried Nov. 9, 1780. He was in Bennington at the time of the raid 
as a representative from Royalton, and a similar record is found 
on the Journal of the House as is found in the case of Capt. 
Ebenezer Parkhurst. Both were given leave of absence to re- 
turn home on account of the invasion of the enemy. 

The definite location of the ' ' Handy f ordway, ' ' one rod above 
Stevens bridge, locates the Handy lot as the place where Milo 
Dewey formerly lived, where Miss Jessie Benson, a great-grand- 
daughter of the first settler now resides. A plausible explanation 
of this being a part of the Handy lot is, that the line of the lot 
on the east then ran or was supposed to run straight up to the 
river, touching the river near the Stevens bridge, and not as 
shown on the original chart of the town. When Robert Handy 
sold this lot, N. E. 22 Large Allotment, in 1781, the boundary 
began on "the Banck of White River and on the corner of Lent 
Calvin Parkhursts Lot West Side thence up Said River to the 
Lore End of the large Island operset Conll Ebnzer Brusters Lot 
thence Back from Said River to contain one hundred and teen 
acers." This was ten acres more than he had as original grantee. 
Some years afterwards Lieut. Calvin Parkhurst obtained posses- 
sion of this lot. 

Mr. Steele says that Mr. Handy, when warned by Mr. Chaf ee, 
told his wife to take the children and seek one of the neighbors. 
They could have had little expectation that the savages would 
be upon them so quickly, for it is said that Mrs. Handy had gone 
but a short distance when she met Indians on the run, who took 
away her seven-year-old boy, Michael. When the Indian told 
her he would make a soldier of him, she spiritedly replied, "A 
good deal you will. The tomahawk is all you will give him. I will 
follow you to Canada before I will give up my boy." Accord- 
ing to a tradition of the descendants of Lucretia, the little daugh- 
ter who was some years younger than Michael, Mrs. Handy rec- 
ognized among the Indians one whom they had fed and kindly 
treated at one time, and it was he who carried her over the river, 
and who interceded in her behalf in the release of the children. 

Mrs. Handy is said to have been about 27 years of age at 
this time, and from a description of her as she appeared in old 
age, there is no doubt that she was a young woman of attractive 
personality. Young Lieut. Houghton could not withstand the 
charm of the agonized mother, beautiful in the strength and cour- 
age of her mother-love, and his better nature was awakened by 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



165 



her unselfish and fearless pleading for her neighbors' children. 
This surrender to the higher dictates of his conscience, and the 
kind act of the Indian in aiding Mrs. Handy across the river, 
are almost the only touches that relieve the brutal savagery of 
the events of this day. One cannot easily picture the joy of each 
household, scattered here and there, as she restored to the sor- 
rowing parents their children, or they received word that their 
loved ones were safe through the heroism of this noble woman. 
There was one, Daniel Downer, motherless, and now fatherless, 
for his father was taken to Canada, for whom no parents' arms 
were outstretched in loving welcome. It is not strange that he 
pined, and never afterward knew the gladness of protected and 
tenderly nurtured childhood. 




Mrs. Hannah Handy's Spool Holdee. 



It would seem that the memory of Mrs. Handy 's deed would 
be kept green in the hearts of those benefited thereby, and that 
some suitable recognition of her merit would have been given ere 
this by them or their descendants. She sleeps today in an un- 
known grave. Tradition says that she did receive a brooch or 
medal in honor of her heroism, but patient and long inquiry fails 
to verify it, or find any trace of its existence. Tradition also 
says that she was buried in the old cemetery in the lower part 
of Sharon village, on the supposition that she died in Sharon. 



166 History of Royalton, Vermont 

She married for her second husband Gideon Mosher, and lived 
in Sharon. Mr. Mosher died about 1818. Her daughter Luere- 
tia had married David Barnhart of Hoosick Falls, who was a 
man of considerable property, and she went to live with this 
daughter some time after the death of Mr. Mosher, which oc- 
curred evidently at the home of his son-in-law, James Carpenter 
of Sharon. 

Mr. IMosher had children by his first wife, but none by Mrs. 
Handy, so far as can be learned. The descendants of Lucretia 
are sure that ' ' Granny Mosher, ' ' as she was affectionately called, 
died in Hoosick Falls. Whether she was buried there or brought 
to Sharon they do not know, and no records can be found that 
throw any light on the subject. Some lasting monument to her 
memory should be reared, and as her resting place is unknown 
and likely to remain so, no more fitting place for a monument 
can be found than in the vicinity of South Royalton, where her 
imperishable deed was performed. But one article is known to 
exist that belonged to her, and an outline of it is shown on page 
165. It is a spool-holder and is the property of Miss Belle 
Gregory of Sandgate, a great-granddaughter of Mrs. Hannah 
(Hunter) Handy -Mosher. It may be asked why a change has 
been made from "Hendee" to Handy. The reason is that they 
wrote their name Handy, and their descendants continue to so 
write it, in distinction from another branch which has adopted 
the form, "Hendee." Further particulars regarding the Handy 
family will be found in the genealogical part of this book. 

Considerable difference of opinion has existed regarding the 
place where Mrs. Handj^ forded the river. Though not very im- 
portant, it may be well to give some evidence as to the exact 
locality. If she lived at the Milo Dewey place she was near the 
Handy fordway, and came away from it down the river. The 
next fordway was the old fort fordway eighty rods below the 
mouth of the First Branch. The Indians were gathered on the 
Stevens meadow as has always been supposed, about half way 
between the two fordways. One can ford the river here, and 
that is the place which Dr. Daniel L. Burnett assigned in an 
article of his printed in the Inter-State Journal of October, 1903. 
His authority was Edward Rix, who stated that his father, who 
was brother of Joseph Rix, one of the children rescued, often 
told him that the place where Mrs. Handy crossed the river with 
the children was at the head of the island near the Nathan H. 
Hale house, straight across to the Stevens meadow, now owned 
by Herbert L. Pierce. Mrs. Coit Parkhurst understood that it 
was below Martin Skinner's, which would make it the Handy 
fordway. If Mr. Steele has given her course correctly, then she 
probably crossed with her daughter midway between the two 



History of Koyalton^ Vermont 167 

fordways, but when she returned with the children, she would be 
likely to seek a safer and easier fordway, and the Handy fordway 
was not far from the Stevens meadow. 

Two other families suffered from the raid, that of David 
Fish and the Widow Rude. It cannot be stated where either 
was living at this time. Rufus Fish, one of the boys captured, 
was a son of David Fish, and probably the other boy named Fish 
was his brother, perhaps Nathan or John. Joseph had a lot in 
54 Town Plot, and the boys may have been there. Their father 
had 18 T. P. under the Vermont charter as a part of his holding, 
which would not be very far from Joseph's lot, on the line of 
the Indians' course to North Royalton. The will of Mr. Rufus 
Rude, who died in 1779, was burned by the Indians, but there is 
no clue to the residence of his widow, unless she was living with 
Lieut. Stevens, who married one of her daughters. Mr. Rude 
willed the bulk of his property to Lieut. Stevens. 

Early in the afternoon the savages retraced their way to the 
rendezvous at Mr. Havens' house, which they did not burn until 
they had gathered their plunder together and were ready to 
retreat, which was about 2 p. m. After they had left, the 
Havens family got together again at night. Daniel had gone back 
to the vicinity of his home. It was a sad reunion — their three 
homes destroyed, one son a prisoner, the betrothed of the daugh- 
ter killed, the mother a confirmed invalid. As an illustration 
of the atrocious nature of the savages, it may be related that one 
of them ripped open a heifer that strayed into the yard from the 
woods, and left her dragging her entrails on the ground. A 
pig that crawled out of a haystack some days after, and the sheep 
on the hill that Mr. Havens was searching for, were all that the 
family had left to them for winter provisions. 

A few hours after the departure of the enemy, the militia 
and minute men began to gather. Capt. Gilbert collected his 
company of 18, mostly Sharon men, as will be seen by reference 
to the list connected with ' ' Revolutionary Affairs. ' ' First on the 
ground would be Capt. Joseph Parkhurst's Company, seven of 
v/hom had near and dear relatives in the hands of the cruel sav- 
ages, and more than half of whom had had their own homes de- 
stroyed. From Pomfret soon came Lieut. Bartholemew Durkee 's 
Company of 36 men, three of whom had become footsore and 
were sent back. Pomfret did not hesitate to send on her militia, 
though her own inhabitants were terrified and left their homes 
for the woods, or for some secluded dwelling where numbers 
gathered for greater security. John Throop, the Captain of this 
company, was in Bennington, a member of the State Council. 
Thetford sent her militia, who on their way called on Dr. Asa 
Burton to pray for them, which he did. They reached Royalton 



168 History of Royalton, Vermont 

at daylight the next day, and pursued the enemy. From Hart- 
land came Elias Weld's Company of 66 men, among the number 
Jeremiah Rust and Timothy Banister. From Woodstock came 
John Hawkins' Company oi* jNIinute men. From Barnard fort 
went Capt. Benjamin Cox's Company of 24 men. Capt. Joshua 
Hazen was sent with a full company by Col. Peter Olcott. Capt. 
John Marcy's Company from Windsor marched in the Alarm 
with 29 men. Major Elkanah Day of Westminster started out 
the 17th with a large company. 

From New Hampshire town accounts the following was 
taken: Hanover, ''To their pay Roll on alarms to Royalton, 
Newbury, &g. £131.19.5"; Cornish, "To Capt. Solomon Chase's 
Roll to Royalton in 1780, £60.15.9"; Rindge, "To account on 
alarm at Royalton, 1780, £38.18.9"; Fitzwilliam, "To a pay Roll 
to Royalton, 1780, £5.11.6"; Temple, "Gershom Drewry's Roll 
at Royalton Alarm, £8.18.6"; Canaan, "To Lieut. Jones' Roll 
at Royalton Alarm, £28.10.7"; Lempster, "To their account go- 
ing on alarm at Royalton, £8.10.2"; Alstead, "To Lieut. Waldo's 
Roll to Royalton, £27.14"; Chesterfield's account was £37.14.1, 
Marlow's, £34.1.5, Unity's £4.12, Ackworth's £23.2.4. In War- 
ner records it is stated that they sent 8 men to Royalton serving 
five days on town cost, £5.10. This is a good indication of the 
general alarm for miles below Royalton, and of the generous 
assistance furnished by near and distant towns. 

Soon after leaving the Havens rendezvous the Indians steered 
their course from the First to the Second Branch, striking Ran- 
dolph at the southeast corner, where they camped for the night 
on the land of Simeon Belknap, one of the prisoners. This farm 
is now owned by George E. Brigham. In going up the Branch 
the site of the encampment may be found across a little stream 
at the left, at the foot of Sprague Hill. The farm came down 
to Mr. Brigham through Moses, brother of Simeon Belknap. His 
daughter, Mrs. Susan Miles, lived on that part of the farm, and 
from her Mr. Brigham had the site located. On their line of 
march the Indians had captured Experience Davis, the first set- 
tler in Randolph, William Evans, John Parks, Moses Pearsons, 
and Timothy Miles. 

The militia which had gathered at Royalton chose Col. House 
as commander, and followed the Indians by the route the savages 
had taken, the First Branch, then crossed to the Second, coming 
unexpectedly upon their camp early in the morning, where 
a brisk skirmish followed. Mr. Steele himself says that the In- 
dians had orders to kill all the prisoners if sharply pressed by 
the Americans, yet he severely criticises Col. House for refrain- 
ing to do this. All the evidence goes to show that a victory for 
the militia would have been gained at the expense of the lives 



History of Royalton, Vermont 169 

of the twenty-six or more prisoners, thirty-two, according to 
Lieut. Houghton's report. What would have been gained? The 
Indians would mostly have escaped, as an ambuscade, through 
the vigilance of the enemy's sentinels, was impossible. They 
would have shown the Indians that their incursions could not be 
carried on without greater risk to themselves than formerly, but 
the politic negotiations with Gen. Haldimand put a stop to these 
depredations. Most of the plunder came back into the hands of 
the Americans. It was not pusillanimity, but humane considera- 
tions and wisdom that actuated Col. House. The message sent 
by Edward Kneeland, and the familiarity of Col. House and the 
other officers with Indian vindictiveness were enough to deter 
them from making an attack. The sight of the scalpless head of 
young Kneeland and the mutilated body of another victim, when 
they entered the deserted camp, ought to have silenced the 
charges of cowardice made at the time, and which have been kept 
up more or less ever since. 

The force that left Barnard under Lieut. Green went first 
to Bethel fort, then struck out for the heights of land in Mid- 
dlesex, where they were joined by other militia from Middlesex, 
now Randolph. They failed to find the enemy. An account of 
their march has come down to us through Jonathan Carpenter. 
He was a Revolutionary soldier, who came to Pomfret from 
Rehoboth, Mass. He went on a tour of inspection from Guilford 
to Royalton, then chose Pomfret, went back and bought 100 acres 
of land. He kept a diary, which by some fortunate circumstance 
came into the hands of Robert A. Perkins, Editor, who gave it 
to the public. It was printed in 1898 in the Carpenter Gene- 
alogy, by Amos Bugbee Carpenter. From it is selected his ac- 
count of the events connected with the destruction of Royalton. 

Carpenter enlisted August 15th, 1780, in Capt. Benjamin 
Cox's Company of Rangers, stationed at Fort Defiance, Barnard. 

"Oct. 16. This morning we were alarm'd by inteligence that the 
enemy were burning and Plundering at Royalton and it was supposed 
that ye woods were full of them I went out on a scout round ye north 
part of Barnard about 10 miles & in again but Discovered nothing, 
by this time some of ye inhabitants had come into the garrison, and 
a Party went to meet the enemy (or at Least to look for them) 

at about twelve o'clock at Night I went out in a Party of 11 men 
with Lieut. Green, with 4 days provisions we marched (by night) to 
bethel fort from whence upwards of 100 men had just gone under Capt. 
Safford to Royalton — ye 17 from thence we marched to Col Woodwards 
at Middlesex about 15 miles from Barnard fort and 8 from Bethel fort, 
(it snowed almost all day) there we were joined by 19 more & sot 
of toward the hight of Land in hopes of coming across our main boddy, 
& coming to a house in Middlesex burning which we judged to have 
been fired by the enemy about 4 hours — we took their (trail) and fol- 
lowed into Brookfleld & finding our men did not follow we encamped 
that night, but ye Middlesex men returned back, but ye next morning 



170 History op Royalton, Vermont 

ye 18th, we followed on about 4 miles further onto ye heighth of Land 
& finding we should not be joined by more men & our Party but 14 
which we thought to smal a number to ingage whom we judged to be 
300 by ye path they made which was very easy to follow in ye night — 
we left ye chase & returned that day to coll. Woodward (back again) 
having march'd over as fine level a tract of Land as I have seen in 
this Country, we went thro Brookfield Dearfield & into Northfleld 
(light timber'd with maple Beach Birch &c, at Coll Woodwards we 
heard that the Enemy had burnt and Destroy'd Royalton, & some houses 
in Sharon & Middlesex &c and have taken off upwards of 20 prisoners 
and killed 7. Notwithstanding they were fired upon by ye advance 
guard of upwards of 400 men, which indeed put them to great Confu- 
sion but they killed 2 prisoners & flew while the Cowardly Colo House 
v/as forming his men, hooting with a mock pretence of having a field 
fight with Indians in the Bush, which gave them time to get off (they 
were commanded by one Colo Peters a tory. 

Oct. ye 19. we i-eturned home in Peace, some moveing oft over 
Connect. River, and our savage Enemy gone with flying Coulers into 
Canada which is a poor story for a Whig to tell. 

ye 20th, We hear that the aforesaid enemy were attached for 
Cowas after Major Whitcom, &c., but find their mistake, took it into 
their heads to Plague us." 

The Pay Eoll of Capt. Jesse Safford's Company throws no 
light on their part in the pursuit of the enemy. Carpenter says 
he left Fort Defiance at midnight, marched to Fort Fortitude, 
and found that Capt. Safford with his men had just gone to 
Royalton. Robert Handy had early in the morning gone to 
Bethel fort to notify them of the attack. If "just" means what 
it usually does, the Bethel company did not start out until after 
Col. House had reached and attacked the Indians, for Steele 
says that House reached the Evans lot about midnight. The men 
from Fort Defiance under Lieut. Elias Keyes were more prompt, 
and joined the militia at Royalton which went up the First 
Branch. The division under Lieut. Green starting much later 
showed commendable courage in carrying their pursuit of the 
enemy farther than any other force. Information of the raid 
reached Dresden probably through the news carried by Phineas 
Parkhurst. The following circular was sent out from there: 

"Dresden, Oct. 16 (11 o'clock) 1780. 
This may inform by the last express that there is a large party 
of the enemy have burnt Capt. Ebenezer Parkhurst's house and taken 
his family. 

Assistance is desired. 

I am yr 

humble servt 

Ebenr Brewster." 

Dresden and Hanover furnished about 50 militia under 
Capt. Samuel McClure and Capt. John House, afterwards Col- 
onel House. The companies that participated in the attack on 
the Indians appear to have come from Fort Defiance, Dresden, 
Hanover, Windsor, Hartford, Sharon, Pomfret, and perhaps Nor- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 171 

wich. Capt. Joseph Parkhurst's Company apparently did duty 
at home in protecting and providing for the inhabitants, and 
several other companies marched to Royalton, and no doubt aided 
in furnishing temporary shelter and provisions. The following 
bill found in manuscript in the office of the Secretary of State 
shows what some of the provisions were for the militia: 

"Taken from Joseph Parkhurst for the benefit of Militia &c in the 
Alarm at Royalton in Octr last 

Six quarts & pint rum @ 9/ £0.14.0 

one hundred and thirty eight pounds flour neat wt @ 15/ pr 112 lb 
£0.18.5 Total £1.13.1 

Certified by order of the Select Men this 6th day Feby 1781 

pr 

Abel Curtis T Clerk." 

Lebanon town records of Nov. 9, 1780, show a vote to pay 
their proportion of thirteen gallons of rum delivered to the sol- 
diers ' ' when passing thro in the late alarm. ' ' 

There were few settlers in Randolph in 1780. The town was 
not yet chartered. Experience Davis had been the pioneer, tak- 
ing his own choice of land and as much of it as he chose. His 
farm was on the line of march of the Indians, and, taken by sur- 
prise, he had to yield. He was kept a prisoner two years. Ran- 
dolph is indebted to him for a bequest of all his land for the 
benefit of the common schools, and the town placed a monument 
at his grave in East Bethel, commemorating this gift from an 
"honest man and friend of humanity." 

Timothy Miles, another Randolph prisoner, went to the east 
part of the town on the 16th of October. Mrs. Miles was warned, 
and took some blankets and her two children, got them to sleep 
and secreted them under a bank. She then crept cautiously back 
to the house and peeped in, and saw a man that in the dark she 
took to be an Indian, so she returned to her hiding place. The 
next morning she discovered her husband in the doorway, whom 
she had mistaken for an Indian. He went again to the east part 
of the town, and that day the Indians caught him. She started 
on foot for her father's in Dresden. When she reached North 
Royalton she was perplexed at seeing no means of crossing the 
river, but soon a horse feeding near by caught her eye, and she 
quickly made a bridle of her garters and secured the horse, guid- 
ing him across the stream by the improvised bridle. At Sharon 
she was too ill to go farther, and word was sent to her father, 
who came for her. Soon after reaching her old home she gave 
birth to a son, which she named Timothy. He died at the age 
of seventeen, always having appeared strangely, and lacking in 
intelligence. She remained in delicate health until her husband 
was restored to her, when they returned to Randolph. Steele in 
his narrative makes no mention of the capture of Miles. The 



172 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

facts here given were furnished by Eugene E. Rolfe, and taken 
from Volume II of the Vermont Historical Magazine. 

Julius Converse Green is now living on the Evans lot in Ran- 
dolph. He has some of the charred corn which was found several 
years ago when a cellar was dug on the place, and which is a 
memento of the burning of the old log hut. The story of the 
immersion of Mrs. William Evans in the stream has been denied, 
but Mr. Green vouches for its accuracy, as it has come down to 
him. The tradition is that Mrs. Evans was a little too careless 
of her personal appearance even for an Indian, and they took 
her down to the water and gave her a thorough bath. Edward 
Evans had gone to Royalton to mill in the morning, and hearing 
of the Indian attack, he had dropped his load and hurried back 
as fast as he could go, but reached home only to see the last logs 
of his house burning away. 

Hiram A. Huse related that Mrs. Benedict staid that night 
beside Mrs. Miles. He asserted that it was she and not Mrs. Evans 
who was immersed. In the morning her husband discovered her 
in her sad plight, her skirts covered with frost. With open arms 
and tearful eyes he advanced and embraced the conglomerate 
mass which she had now become, exclaiming, "My dear, be thee 
alive?" Mrs. Miles said she could scarcely keep from laughing, 
terrified and suffering as she was. He had ignominiously taken 
his dog and fled to the woods, leaving the fat, unwieldy wife to 
look out for herself. 

Samuel Pember, one of the prisoners taken in Royalton, had 
been clearing land in Randolph for a home, and as usual had 
come to Royalton to have his washing, baking, and ironing done 
for the week, as did also his brother Thomas. This accounts for 
their being at Mr. Kneeland's on the morning of October 16th. 
J. Read Pember, Esq., of Woodstock, says that the Indians en- 
camped on the land that Pember had taken. Fearing an attack 
the Indians bound Pember to a tree, and others also, stationed 
an Indian with raised tomahawk as a sentinel over him, informed 
them all, if attacked they should be instantly killed. The next 
day Pember was given in charge of another Indian with the in- 
junction to "keep him well and keep him close, koz him got 
round straight leg, stiff whisker and squaw at home." Mr. 
Pember related after his return from captivity, that there was 
another prisoner whom the Indians used to send off away from 
camp for water, milk, etc., and gave him many chances to escape, 
but he always returned and came to camp whistling or singing, 
when the Indians would laugh among themselves, and tapping 
their foreheads, would say, "him some fool in here, him one 
fool." 



History of Royalton, Vermont 173 

From family traditions it seems that Edward Kneeland, 
father of Joseph, had come to Royalton and begun clearing a 
lot, and building a house for his son Joseph, who had married 
in 1778. A granddaughter of Daniel Havens, and a granddaugh- 
ter of Lorenza Havens Lovejoy stated more than twenty-five years 
ago that the Kneelands were living in the house of Daniel Havens 
at the time Royalton was destroyed. If so, they probably had 
their own house nearly ready for occupancy, as Daniel was soon 
to be married. The brother of Joseph, Edward, Jr., was taken 
prisoner also. He was then thirteen years old. From that 
branch of the family it is learned that Edward was retained by 
the Indians for two or more years, that he traveled with them 
from the source to the mouth of the Connecticut river and back 
again, was sold to a Frenchman who had often seen and admired 
him, and wished to adopt him as his own son, but as he desired 
to return to his own people he was allowed to do so. His father 
was dead, his home burned, and his mother not to be found. He 
v^andered down into IMassachusetts, and at last found his mother 
in Hadley. He settled there in 1788, and married Elizabeth 
Peck of Rehoboth. He retained many of his Indian character- 
istics to the day of his death. According to the tradition in his 
family, Joseph was killed because he persisted in asking for 
clothing for his younger brother, who was taken from bed with 
little to protect him from the keen October air. 

At the Hutchinson house the Indians indulged in a frolic. 
They sawed off one leg of a table, so as to let it down, and then 
jumped on it, hooting and laughing. After Mr. Hutchinson re- 
turned, the leg was replaced and the table used many years. 
That leg is still preserved in the family of Daniel Bliss, and can 
be seen in one of the cuts of relics. Mrs. Hutchinson was al- 
lowed to talk with her husband before he was taken away, and 
he told her to get word to Lieut. Stevens or some others that, if 
they could collect 200 men, they could attack the Indians success- 
fully. After his departure Mrs. Hutchinson mounted a horse 
that had escaped in the jungle, and took the trail for Connecticut, 
with her two-year old Rebecca in her arms. There her husband 
found her on his return a year later. He enlisted there for three 
months, and at expiration of the time returned to Tunbridge 
and built another log house. 

Mrs. Benjamin Parkhurst went to Norwich with her father 
on his return from his visit to her, and she remained there that 
winter, though their house was not destroyed. 

A Hartford man came to William Lovejoy 's the next day 
after the raid, and said he could take one back with him. Lo- 
renza Havens went with him, riding on his horse. When he 
reached home he found his child dying, and she remained there 



174 History of Royalton, Vermont 

for some time, then went to Norwich, where her sister Hannah 
lived, who married Daniel Baldwin. Her brother Joseph re- 
turned from his captivity Sep. 27, 1781, and most of the other 
prisoners were exchanged in about one year, except Adan Durkee, 
who died in captivity. 

The majority of the settlers in Royalton remained and made 
the best of their sad fortune. Assistance from outside was ren- 
dered and provisions came in. Temporary homes were built. 
The mill was burned, and a bee was made for rebuilding it, but 
it was some time before it was available for preparing lumber. 
Daniel Havens carted boards from the George Cowdery place on 
his back to his lot, and put up a house and was married Nov. 
30th of that year. The deprivation and suffering of that winter 
never has been written and never can be. Neighbors shared their 
last loaf of bread with each other, and to make the meal go as 
far as possible in satisfying the cries of their children, it was 
made into gruel. Some of these heroic souls sleep uncared for 
in our cemeteries today, and this generation enjoys the fruits of 
their self-sacrifice. 

Reasons have been sought why the Indians selected Royalton 
for attack. It had been a frontier town, headquarters for the 
militia, had had a fort, but was now defenceless, was a thriving 
farming town, and a place familiar to the Indians and tories in 
the company making the attack. These would seem sufficient 
reasons, without seeking a personally vindictive motive. Such, 
however, have been sought and given. One offered by Dr. Alden 
C. Latham is quoted. 

"In the spring of 1780 as Mr. Robert Havens was making maple 
sugar in the woods, in Royalton, a stranger tired and nearly starved 
came to his boiling place and stated that he was lost and had been 
wandering for a long time without food. Mr. Havens gave him the 
remains of his dinner, asked him some questions and advised him to 
go into a corner (where he had provided straw for himself to rest upon 
when he had to boil late at night) and get some sleep. This he did, 
and as soon as he slept Mr. Havens called Daniel Havens, his son, and 
told him to go to the house, take a horse and go for Capt. E. Parkhurst 
who was an officer of the peace and lived in the first house in Sharon, 
just below Dr. John Manchester's. He came and the man was ques- 
tioned; stated that he had travelled through Canada and did not know 
where he was or where he was going. 'I think,' said Capt. P. 'that 
your business is such that we must look you over,' and thereupon he 
searched him, found papers secreted in his boots, took him prisoner, 
and sent him to Albany, the capital of the country under York claims, 
where the man was executed as a spy. While Mr. Havens lay hidden 
on the day of the burning of Royalton, he heard men come and stand 
on the log in which he was, and say in effect, that if they could find 
old Havens and Capt. Parkhurst, it would be worth more to them than 
all the plunder and all the other prisoners. Is not this the secret cause 
of the attack on Royalton? Was it not done to revenge the death of 
that British spy?" 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 175 

There is no record yet found in the New York archives 
verifying the death of this spy. No one of the three grand- 
children of Kobert Havens now living has any clear remembrance 
of such an incident. Huldah Morgan, a granddaughter of Lo- 
renza Havens Lovejoy, related in 1880 that at one time a hungry 
Indian came to the house of Eobert Havens, who fed him, took 
his gun from him and sent him away, and presumably he died, 
as he was half starved. When the Indians were ransacking the 
house of Mr. Havens they found this gun, and began a great 
chattering. These may be two incidents, or versions of the same 
one, both perhaps differing from the real facts. Dr. Latham 
took great pains to get all possible information regarding the 
burning of Royalton, and seems to have been satisfied that this 
was authentic. 

Not till the generation which had participated in the tragedy 
of October 16th, 1780, had passed away was any effort made to 
live over again the events connected with that day. During the 
Civil War the Royalton Soldiers' Aid Society in its efforts to 
raise money to send to the boys in blue planned an entertainment 
commemorative of the Indian raid, to be given April 1, 1863. 
A band gave its services, and a program of seventeen numbers 
was prepared, the chief feature of which was to be a dramatiza- 
tion of scenes from this eventful day in the history of the town. 
There were eight scenes, three of which are preserved, the pos- 
session of Miss Gertrude Denison. The characters, as was be- 
fitting, were mostly women, boys and Indians, who enacted the 
horrors of savage attack, using the words as given in Steele's 
narrative. Mesdames Downer, Hutchinson, and Belknap ap- 
peared on the stage, though, according to the Downer family 
record, Mrs. Downer was dead at the time of the raid, and Simeon 
Belknap was not married until three years afterwards, but then, 
who wants to be true to facts in a drama? Mrs. Hendee and 
Lieut. Horton of course were present, and her eloquent pleading 
no doubt drew tears from the patriotic and admiring audience. 
As a sample of the drama, which netted a nice sum, there being 
no expense in staging it, Scene 1 is given. 

"Scene 1. 
Early morning — Mistress of house and young lady preparing for 
breakfast. Children with uncombed hair. Suddenly a man puts his 
head in at the door and exclaims, 

'The Indians are coming!' 
Women and children cry 'Oh!' and run about. The Indian war 
whoop is heard, and immediately afterward several Indians rush in. 
Great consternation. Children try to hide. Indians seize all the valu- 
ables they can find and while they are dragging off the boys, 
(Curtain Falls.)" 

When the centennial anniversary of the burning of Roy- 
alton approached, the town voted to observe it. There was a 



176 History of Royalton, Veemont 

little hitch in the preparations for it. owing to the fact that the 
exercises could not be held in both villages, but as South Roy- 
alton was better adapted to entertaining guests, that place was 
chosen for holding the celebration. A committee of arrangement 
was selected, composed of Mr. and Mrs. D. C. Jones, Mr. and 
Mrs. J. 0. Belknap. Mr. and Mrs. M. J. Sargent, Mr. A. H. Lamb, 
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Manchester, and ]\Irs. D. W. Lovejoy. 

The day was ushered in by the firing of cannon. A collec- 
tion of rare relics had been gathered, and were exhibited in the 
vacant store of A. N. King. INIr. Asa Perrin furnished thirty- 
six articles and W. W. Culver nearly the same number. There 
was a chair which had belonged to Gen. Stevens, a horn from the 
first ox killed in town, the first flax wheel brought into Royalton, 
once the property of Loreuza Havens, shoe buckles, pocket book 
and coin taken from the body of the murdered Pember, the 
bosom pin that ]\Irs. John Hutchinson put in her mouth to save 
it from the Indians, a piece of the quilt which the savages gave 
Mrs. Elias Curtis to protect her from the cold, and other articles 
to the number of 270, many of them of great value. All day 
long the room was thronged when no special event was going on 
outside, and the old lady spinning flax in one corner was a great 
curiosity to the young people. 

At ten every one was alert to see the street parade, headed 
by Marshal D. C. Jones and his aides, ]\I. J. Sargent and C. H. 
Woodard. In succession came the South Royalton cornet band, 
the drum corps. Home Militia Guards commanded by Capt. A. H. 
Lamb, the President of the day, Hon. C. M. Lamb and aid. clergy- 
men, speakers and invited guests, gentlemen on horseback in 
holiday attire, and one young lady, INIiss Mary Durkee — great- 
granddaughter of Lieut. Timothy Durkee — wearing dress and 
bonnet a century old, and seventeen wagons containing ancient 
and modern agricultural and household implements under the 
charge of E. F. Parkhurst, all provided with appropriate ban- 
ners. The costumes of cavaliers and gentlemen of .ye olden time 
were very elegant. The procession started from the hotel and 
passed several times around the common, and then left the arti- 
cles there on exhibition. 

At noon more than twenty of the nearest descendants of the 
sufferers were entertained at dinner at the hotel, and about 300 
who took part in the exercises of the day were served in Tar- 
bell's hall. The people of the village also entertained a large 
number of guests. 

At one o'clock the president of the day called the multitude 
to order from the balcony of the hotel, and Rev. S. K. B. Per- 
kins offered prayer. Hon. D. C. Denison then addressed the 
people for an hour on the settlement of the country, and of Ver- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 17Y 

mont and Royalton in particular, closing with a prophecy of the 
glory and prosperity of our nation. Col. Samuel E. Pingree 
followed in an eloquent address, in which he paid a fitting tribute 
to the heroism of Mrs. Handy. Rev. S. K. B. Perkins was the 
third speaker, whose account of some of the early settlers was 
interrupted by the sudden appearance of the Indians on the hill 
in front of the hotel. A log hut was standing on the hill, and 
from out this hut rushed the terrified mother, who mounted 
a horse and rode towards the woods followed by the screaming 
children. A feather bed was tossed out by the savages, and 
emptied of its contents amid their exultant yells. Windows were 
destroyed and everything else the house contained, then it was 
fired. As soon as the flames rose up the savages became furious, 
running about the building and throwing burning brands upon 
the roof. Soon they gathered the captured children together 
and began a war dance around them. The firing of guns at their 
left instantly hushed their hooting, and leaving the children they 
retreated to the right among the hills and made a stand. A body 
of militia approached on the left, and below another body was 
held in reserve. The red-skins were surrounded and driven into 
camp, and after a hundred years, if Jonathan Carpenter had 
been living, he would have had a good ' ' story for a Whig to tell. ' ' 
This part of the program was admirably carried out by Edwin 

F. Smith. 

There were present of the nearest descendants of the suf- 
ferers Daniel and Pearl Belknap, Mrs. Marion Weston and Mrs. 
Lydia Beard, children of Simeon Belknap, Mrs. Hannah Curtis, 
daughter of Mrs. Lorenza (Havens) Love joy, and Mrs. Huldah 
Cushman, granddaughter of the same, William Smith, grandson 
of Zadock Steele, Mrs. Samuel Pingree, granddaughter of the 
same, and Judge William Steele and D. Z. Steele, nephews of the 
same, and Edward Rix, grandson of Daniel Rix. In the village 
at the time were Mrs. Louisa M. Lamb, Mrs. Emily R. Morse, and 
Mrs. Laura Foster, children of Jerusha Rix, the daughter of 
Daniel Rix. 

It was estimated that 4,000 were present on this occasion, 
A fourth of a century after this centennial it came into the 
heart of one of Royalton 's loyal and distinguished sons, Daniel 

G. Wild of Brooklyn, N. Y., to contribute toward the perpetua- 
tion of the memory of this saddest day in the history of the town. 
The thought fruited in the form of a gift of $200 placed in the 
hands of the Woman 's club of Royalton, for the purpose of secur- 
ing the erection of a monument at some suitable place in the 
town. The club accepted the commission with enthusiasm, and 
proceeded to carry out the wishes of the donor. The site se- 
lected for the monument was the small village "Green" on the 

12 



178 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

west side of the main street in Royalton, and directly facing what 
is known as Bridge street. The monument was made from Barre 
granite, and the work was entrusted to W. V. Soper of South 
Royalton. The inscription on one side is shown in the cut. The 
reverse side has the following: 

commemorating 

The Burning op 

Royalton 

BY 

Indians 
Oct. 16, 1780. 

The monument as it stands is six feet high, three and one-half 
feet wide, and two feet thick. 

Wednesday, May 23, 1906, was selected as the date for the 
unveiling of the monument, which has come to be called the 
' * Indian Monument. ' ' The program was arranged by the Wom- 
an 's club, which made Mrs. Charles W. Joiner President of the 
day, an oifice which she very admirably filled. A platform was 
erected near the monument, where the exercises began in the 
presence of about 700 people, with a prayer by Rev. Joel F. 
Whitney. A poem written by Col. C. W. Scarff of Burlington 
was recited by Miss Katharine Dewey, and then the monument 
was unveiled by four children. Max Bliss, David Wild, Helen 
and Gertrude Dewey. Max Bliss is a great-great-grandson of 
John Hutchinson, David Wild a great-great-grandson of Garner 
Rix, and the Dewey children are great-great-granddaughters of 
the same man. 

After the unveiling, the rest of the program was carried out 
in the Congregational church. Here prayer was offered by Rev. 
E. E. Wells, the 33d Psalm was read by the Rev. Sherman Good- 
v/in, and a solo was finely rendered by Mrs. Perley S. Belknap. 
The audience then gave their attention to the orator of the day. 
Rev. William Skinner Hazen, D. D., of Beverly, Mass., a grand- 
son of Rev. Azel Washburn, one of the first pastors of Royalton. 
His address was an interesting resume of the events of Oct. 16, 
1780. Of especial interest was his account of the story of the cap- 
ture of Garner Rix, as it was told by Dea. Rix when an old man. 
An excerpt is given with the suggestion that some margin must be 
allowed for statements regarding a fort so near them, and the 
presence of men in the company when the Indians surrounded 
the fugitives. A seven-year-old child could hardly be expected 
to remember accurately the details of such a frightful time. 

"From different sources I have gathered the following facts which 
I will give mostly in the language of Grandpa Rix in his talks with 
the children. 'As we hurried on,' he says, 'we encountered dozens of 
men, women and children who had fled from their homes terror stricken, 
seeking some place of safety. Some fled to the mountains, others to 




MONUMENT COMMEMORATING THE BURNING OF ROYALTON. OCT. 16. 1780. 
Presented to the Town by Daniel G. Wild. 




(3^-^^^ /J-lO*~^ 



yd-^^Mr^a 



History of Royalton, Vermont 179 

the woods, while larger numbers kept the road, following down the 
river road towards the fort, some four or five miles distant. We trav- 
elled on with all possible speed, but were not within a mile of the fort 
when the terrible war whoop of the savages resounded in our ears. 
On they came yelling and shouting and hideous in their fantastic dress 
and war paint. In a few minutes they have overtaken and surrounded 
us, a little company of defenceless men, women and children. My little 
brother, Joe, and myself were torn from mother notwithstanding her 
piteous pleadings and entreaties. I had a stout club in my hand with 
which I tried to defend myself, determined to sell my liberty as dear 
as possible, but that was quickly wrested from me. We were securely 
bound and marched back to the place where the captain of the band 
awaited the coming of the raiding party. Oh, the scenes of that ter- 
rible day, dear children, seem burned on my memory, and even today, 
I can hardly think of them with any degree of composure.' Then de- 
scribing the efforts of Mrs. Hendee to secure the release of the boys of 
which we have already spoken, Mr. Rix says, 'I could never describe 
to you the utter despair which took possession of me when I found 
Mrs. Hendee's efforts for my release were in vain. My disappoi-ntment 
and grief were too deep for tears, and to be torn from my parents in 
this cruel manner seemed worse than death. It was a long march 
through the wilderness and with other prisoners I was taken to Mon- 
treal.' 

He was loaded with heavy packs which he carried as long as he 
could and then fell under them. He said if he had been told that 
he would be killed, he could not have carried the burden farther. When 
his Indian keeper took in the situation, the boy was relieved of a part 
of his burden. But to continue the narrative in Mr. Rix's own words, 
'A kind-hearted French lady saw me and became interested in my be- 
half, and, at length, succeeded in obtaining my release from the Indians. 
She took me to her home and treated me with the utmost kindness, 
and at last was instrumental in sending me home. In parting she made 
me a present of a gold guinea.' 'Did you spend it on the way home. 
Grandpa?' 'No, but I will tell you, children, how I did spend that 
guinea. A few Sabbaths after I reached home, a young minister came 
to preach for us. The price of his services was a guinea a Sunday. 
As father was treasurer of the society, the duty of paying the minister 
devolved on him, but there was no money in the treasury. I went to 
the little box in which I kept my small treasures and brought the guinea 
to father to pay the minister.' 'That is a noble-hearted boy,' said my 
father, 'but you shall never lose anything by this, my son.' 

Mr. Rix describes his reception on reaching home in this inter- 
esting manner. 'One Sabbath morning in October, the family were at 
breakfast, when suddenly the door opened and I bounded into the room 
and was clasped in my parents' arms. "Bless the Lord, oh my soul!" 
exclaimed my father. "We have trusted in Thee and Thou hast brought 
it to pass, that Thou hast restored to us our dear son, blessed be Thy 
holy name!" My dear little brothers and sisters crowded around me 
almost wild with joy, as my mother said, "I think this is the happiest 
day of all our lives.' " 

After the address a prayer written by Prof. William Rix of 
TJtica, N. Y., was read by Rev. Levi Wild. Mr. Rix is a grand- 
son, and Mr. Wild a great-grandson of Garner Rix. 

The next number of the program was an original poem by 
Rev. J. Newton Perrin of Sanbornton, N. H. Mr. Perrin is a 
great-grandson of Garner Rix. The poem follows. 



180 History op Royalton, Vermont 



The Burning of Royalton. 

The cabin of the pioneer, 

Dotting White River lands, had come 
To where, with mingled hope and fear, 

Was christened soon fair Royalton. 

Royalton, our Royalton, 

Mother of loving children thou: 
Of whom the many have passed on; 

While these thy wings are nesting now; 
Others claim heritage in thee 

From where'er winds of heaven blow. 
Still cherishing the dear roof-tree 

Though by strange waters they may sow. 

The settlers, beating measures true 

Against the woody giants, clear 
The virgin soil till not a few 

Wide farms and tillages appear. 
Sleek sheep and cattle graze the slopes 

Of rounded hills; and oft are found 
Barns that are tested to their copes, 

For peace and plenty here abound. 
Sounds of blithe industry and cheer 

Float from the dwellings. At the mill 
The old stone swirls to noisy gear, 

Led by the streamlet from the hill. 
The calm-eyed oxen press the yoke. 

Their burdens slowly gaining ground, 
While hoof of horse with rapid stroke 

Awakes betimes the echoes round. 
And children play about the home, 

Nor share their guardians' alarms. 
The maiden deftly plies the loom. 

The mother holds the babe in arms. 

Dread war! The crimes done in thy name 

Pierce to the skies, nor die away! 
And blood and woe have cried, "For shame!" 

Since men first fought in ancient day. 
A Briton's blood the border stains; 

Revenge no golden rule may know; 
England her red men fierce retains; 

And settlements must be laid low! 
Yet all is fair in war forsooth? 

Then is much foul which men call fair. 
As when on happy hearths the sleuth 

Steals suddenly and unaware! 
Filling primeval water-ways 

Down from the wigwams of the north, 
A cruel, sullen horde forays 

To ruin homes of noble worth! 

October as a glad surprise 

Floods the far-famed Green Mountain state. 
Then hills bouquets toss to the skies. 

With autumn's coloring replete. 



History op Royalton, Vermont 181 



A peaceful Sabbath day, begun 

In rest and worship, had its fill. 
And at the nightfall dropped the sun 

Behind his well-accustomed hill. 
The sturdy farm folk are awake 

By the first glint the dawn affords. 
And some the morning meal partake, 

And some have gone to fields and woods, — 
When, as a herd let loose from hell, 

The Redcoats' troop of Copperskins, 
With knife and noose and torch and yell 

And gun and tomahawk, begins 
Wild havoc homestead haunts among! 

Falls the forged bolt as from clear sky! 
Who stays behind meets captive thong; 

Who turns to flee, if seen, must die. 
And those there were of tender years. 

And women left alone that morn. 
Who rose to weep most bitter tears. 

And find their loved ones from them torn! 

Alas the day! Around the hearth 

When grandsires told it to the young. 
All hushed would be the cry of mirth, 

And children to their mothers clung. 
The dreadful scourge had passed full soon: 

But on those dimly burning pyres 
Hopes of the desolate consume; 

While hapless husbands, lovers, sires. 
Sons, brothers, in captivity 

Or death are held. "O Lord how long?" 
Vengeance belongeth unto Thee! 

And mercy doth to Thee belong! 
Oh, silence, smoke, and sacrifice! 

Yet suffering captives shall retrace 
The trail, homes on these ruins rise. 

And industry here throb apace. 
But never will the dead return! 

Nor life be as it was before. 
For howe'er much may memory spurn 

Her tragic guest, he's at the door! 

Vicarious fathers, in those days 

Ye dared life for the race unborn! 
And heartily we speak your praise; 

The cup of eulogy we turn. 
Fadeless exemplars! Hero band! 

Strong and unconquerable were ye, 
Upspringing to possess the land 

When crushed by sad adversity! 
And, daughters of this vicinage. 

By whose good auspices we meet, 
What high ideals in that age. 

Of womanhood both brave and sweet 
Adown the vista we can see! 

Those annals never shall be told 
Without a meed to Dame Hendee 

And heroines of dauntless mold! 



182 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Ah, Royalton, old Royalton, 

The stately centuries glide by! 
Yet hearts will never cease to turn 

Back to the dire calamity 
Which tried thee as the gold is tried, 

Nor in the furnace found thee dross, 
But of true worth and purified — 

That crucible thy lustrous cross! 

Following the poem were short speeches by Gov. Charles J. 
Bell, Judge Hiram R. Steele of Brooklyn, N. Y., a grandson of 
Zadock Steele, and Ex-Gov. S. E. Pingree of Hartford. The 
singing of America and the benediction by Rev. C. E. Beals 
closed the literary program. Close to the church stands the fine 
old, colonial house of the Denisons, and there a reception was 
given by Mrs. Clara Denison McClellan, assisted by Mrs. Henry 
W. Button, president of the Woman's club, Mrs. Levi Wild, Mrs. 
G. A. Laird, Mrs. R. B. Galusha, Mrs. A. W. Lyman, Miss Ger- 
trude M. Denison, Miss Alice Chase Denison, Mrs. P. S. Belknap, 
and Miss C. L. Stickney. 

A souvenir of the day was issued in the form of a collection 
of the papers presented on the program, a sketch of the life of 
Dr. Phineas Parkhurst, an account of Lafayette's visit to the 
town, and various other articles connected with the history of 
the town. This was handsomely printed in pamphlet form and 
also in cloth binding, the clever work of Miss Ivah Dunklee of 
Weymouth, Mass. 

Among the notables present on the occasion were Gov. and 
Mrs. C. J. Bell, Col. C. W. Scarff, Judge and Mrs. Hiram R. 
Steele, Ex-Gov. and Mrs. S. E. Pingree, Mrs. John H. DeGraff 
of Amsterdam, N. Y., Gardner Cox, M. D., of Holyoke, Mass., 
Mrs. A. D. Tiffany, Mr. and Mrs. G. F. Hendee of Pittsford. 

Lieut. Houghton in his report stated that he took thirty-two 
prisoners. If he included the four killed in this number, that 
would leave twenty-eight who were taken to Canada. Steele does 
not give the names of all the prisoners, and included Prince 
Haskell who was at that time a prisoner in Canada. The boy 
Daniel Waller, spoken of as being at Gen. Stevens', was probably 
David Waller. Other persons who are known to have been cap- 
tured and are not mentioned by Mr. Steele are Edward Knee- 
land, Jr., Ephraim Downer, Sen., Ephraim Downer, Jr., and 
William Evans and Timothy Miles of Randolph. 

In the application for pension by Cotton Daniel Evans he 
states that at the burning of Royalton he was taken prisoner, 
carried to Montreal, and kept in King's prison thirteen months 
and three days, when he was exchanged. This adds one more 
to the list of prisoners. He was in Royalton March, 1782, 




MRS. FRANCES (MERRILL) JOINER, 
President of the Woman's Club, Royalton Village. 



CHAPTER XIII. 



History of the Charters 

AND 

Sketches of New York Grantees. 

As was usual in land grants, most of the men to whom New 
York granted Royalton were mere figure-heads, whose names were 
added to make the required number of grantees. On July 12, 
1768, "subscribers" named in the petition to the King for a 
grant of 1000 acres for each in Royalton, stated that the names 
of each of them were made use of in trust only, to and for the 
proper use and behoof of William Livingston, Esq., of New 
York, his heirs and assigns and such persons as he should nomi- 
nate and appoint their heirs and assigns forever, and they agreed 
tc claim no part of the land when granted, and at the request 
of Livingston to convey to him and his heirs all their rights in 
said land, Livingston saving them free from all expense by rea- 
son of the use of their names in the petition. It was signed by 
William Sorrel alone. 

John Kelly took the initiative, and on Nov. 15, 1769, by pay- 
ing £50 to each he secured the shares of Robert Hyslop, Elias 
Nixon, Isaac Heron, John McKenney, and Ganet Roorback. 
Three days later William Smith, Jr., secured the shares of Eliza- 
beth Livingston, John W. Smith, Samuel Smith, Ganet Noel, and 
John Brown, by paying only ten shillings to each. Four days 
after this Livingston began to look after his own interests, and 
purchased from William Sorrel, Gilbert Ash, and John Robinson 
their shares, paying only five shillings for each. November 24th 
he and his wife Susannah deeded her share to Gerard Banker for 
ten shillings, and on the 30th Banker deeded her share and his 
own to Livingston for ten shillings. On Dec. 6, Whitehead Hicks 
paid £5 each for the shares of Gilbert Hicks, John Woods, 
Thomas Hicks, John Brevort, and Elias Brevort. 

An outside party now appeared. Goldsbrow Banyar bought 
for £50 each the shares of John D. Crimshier, Francis Child, 
James Moran, Isaac Myer, John Lewis, and Samuel Boyer, and 
the 30,000 acres were now equally divided among Livingston, 



184 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Smith, Kelly, Hieks, and Banyar. The next step was to divide 
and allot the land. This was done under date of Aug. 9, 1771. 
Three allotments were made, the Dutch, Town Plot, and Large 
Allotment, consisting respectively of forty-six, forty-one, and 
fifty-nine lots. They then proceeded to draw by ballot. Each 
drew 29 lots except Whitehead Hicks. The records show that 
Livingston and Banyar both drew Lot 49 L. A., which must be 
a mistake. It was drawn by Livingston, and Banyar probably 
drew fifty-nine. In the individual deeds the lots of Banyar do 
not entirely agree with those named in the deed of partition. 
The list of holdings follows, and the number of acres in each lot, 
according to the first survey, which, however, did not prove to 
be correct in every case. 

Livingston drew Dutch lots, Nos. 7-100 acres, 14-100, 15-72, 34-100, 
36-76, 38-100, 42-145, 44-100, 45-100; Town Plot lots, Nos. 8-100 acres, 
13-127, 18-100, 24-100, 28-100, 30-160, 35-128i/o, 52 not given, but 400 or 
more acres; Large Allotment lots, Nos. 30-566 acres, 31-300, 33-300. 
35-300, 36-300, 37-300, 39-300, 40-300, 49-300, 51-428, 53-299, 55-301 acres, 
making a total for him of 6102 1/> acres. Banyar drew Dutch lots, Nos. 
1-100 acres, 6-100, 13-100, 21-113, 23-100, 26-127, 28-100, 29-100, 43-100; 
Town Plot lots, Nos. 4-100, 15-100, 21-132, 23-100, 27-100, 29-104, 34-128^2, 
54-416; Large Allotment lots, Nos. 8-300, 28-300, 29-300, 32-300, 34-334V:., 
38-244, 41-300, 45-300, 46-300, 49-300, 56-302, 57-3031/2, making his total 
5604 acres. Hicks drew Dutch lots, Nos. 2-100, 8-137, 9-112, 10-100, 
18-100, 30-100, 37-137, 39-100; Town Plot lots, Nos. 2-100, 16-100, 17-100, 
19-100, 20-151, 31-128 V*, 36-1281/2; Large Allotment lots, Nos. 1-405 and 
an island, 2-300, 3-300, 4-300, 5-435 and two islands, 6-300, 7-300, 12-300, 
13-300, 21-300, 42-315, 50-300 acres, making 5547 acres in all. Smith 
drew Dutch lots, Nos. 3-100 acres, 4-100, 11-100, 16-117, 19-100, 24-100, 
27-127, 31-104, 40-100 acres; Town Plot lots, Nos. 3-100, 5-146, 7-135, 
9-100, 11-100, 25-100, 32-1281/., 37.1281/. acres; Large Allotment lots, Nos. 
9-300, 10-288 and an island, 11-300, 16-325 and an island, 17-300, 18-300, 
25-300, 26-497 and an island, 43-300, 47-300, 48-300, 52-298 acres, in all, 
5694 acres besides the islands. Kelly drew Dutch lots, Nos. 5-100 acres, 
12-100, 17-100, 20-100, 22-122, 25-100, 32-132, 33-100, 41-107, 46-309 acres; 
Town Plot lots, Nos. 1-90 acres, 6-135, 12-95, 14-100, 22-100, 26-100, 
33-I281/2, 38-135, 53-360 acres; Large Allotment lots, Nos. 14-300, 15-300, 
19-300, 20-300, 22-407, 23-300, 24-300, 27-300, 44-300, 54-300 acres, a total 
of 5620 and one half besides the islands. Banyar had two islands in 
34 L. A. 

Only a few records have been found of the transfer of these 
lands to other persons by the New York grantees. In the County 
Clerk's office in Chelsea is an old book of deeds of Gloucester 
county. In this is found a mortgage by Daniel IMcAlpine, Cap- 
tain in his Majesty's 60th Regt. of Foot, on Lot No. 12 in Roy- 
alton, probably in Town Plot. This is dated Oct. 10, 1774. In 
the same book is a record of the deed of 37 Dutch from Hicks 
to Eleazer Davis of Hanover, also of 11 Town Plot from Smith, 
and 10 L. A. from Smith, 42 Dutch from Livingston, 53 Town 
Plot from Kelly. These transfers are dated July 10, 1773. Eben- 
ezer Brewster of Preston, Conn., bought of John Kelly, on Dec. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 186 

12, 1774, 41 and 46 Dutch. Eobert Havens bought of Eleazer 
Davis of Hanover 37 and 42 Dutch on Jan. 14, 1774, and Joseph 
Parkhurst bought 126 acres in 16 L. A. of William Smith, Dec. 
24, 1774, and Isaac Morgan bought of Whitehead Hicks 211 acres 
in 5 L. A., and 100 acres in 1 L. A. on Dec. 14, 1775. William 
Livingston sold Elias Curtis 34 Dutch, May 28, 1777. 

The Declaration of Independence resulted in nullifying 
many grants made to sympathizers with the home government, 
and the New York proprietors were no exception. It is npt 
likely that any one of them realized much from the sale of land 
in Royalton. 

It is not known when the town was organized. That it was 
later than March, 1772, is evident from the Sharon records. At 
their meeting March 10, 1772, they voted that Robert and Joseph 
Havens should be voters at that meeting. It will be recalled that 
the Havens family had removed to Royalton in 1771. It was 
later ascertained that their meeting was illegal, because they had 
chosen, "some person or persons in the township of Royalton to 
serve as officer or officers in the town of Sharon for the year 
ensuing, which town of Royalton is granted and pattented under 
New York the Great Seal of the Province aforesaid which pro- 
ceeding in sd meeting with the Inhabitants of said Royalton 
voting in said meeting makes Sd Meeting Illegal and is Null and 
void in Law there is an act of this province that the inhab- 
itants of the townships that are not incorporated shall meet on 
the 1st Tuesday in April to choose officers." A meeting was 
warned for April 7th. Before and after this year Sharon had 
her town meetings for the election of officers in March. 

It would seem certain from this action that the organiza- 
tion of Royalton took place between 1772 and 1777. In this lat- 
ter year the town voted in favor of the new State, making their 
action known to the convention at Westminster through a letter. 
In a petition of Comfort Sever 's dated 1777 he speaks of the 
"town clerk" of Royalton, but does not name him. It is doubt- 
ful if there were settlers enough before 1776 to effect an organiza- 
tion, unless the town was organized by the original grantees in 
New York. In the case of the settlement of Sharon, the proprie- 
tors met and elected their officers in Plainfield, Conn., for some 
years, until the town had a fair number of settlers. 

Royalton was not represented by a delegate in any of the 
conventions of the state prior to 1778. Joseph Parkhurst was 
our first representative to the Assembly in October, 1778, and his 
action in that Assembly has already been noted. The sentiments 
of the minority in that body were very detrimental to the inter- 
ests of the new state, which was struggling to maintain her ex- 
istence against so many claims, and the attacks of the British 



186 History of Royalton, Vermont 

and Indians. She needed money. In Royalton were many acres 
of land held by non-residents under the New York charter. The 
inhabitants were indifferent to the welfare of the state, the lead- 
ers thought. Numerous applicants were clamoring for grants, 
some of whom petitioned for the township of Royalton. Eliakim 
Spooner and Danforth Keyes were the most persistent or the 
most influential. It is likely that they had made proposals to the 
citizens of the town to join with them in their petition, for the 
next town meeting, which was held June 28, 1779, recites that 
they voted against joining with Messrs. Spooner and Keyes in 
their petition for a grant of Royalton. Some of the citizens of 
Royalton had been fully alive to their danger. Comfort Sever 
was one of them. His petition is on file in the office of the Sec- 
retary of State at Montpelier, and shows his foresight. The fol- 
lowing is a copy: 

"The Petition of Comfort Sever of Royalton in said State — 
Humbly sheweth 

That he removed with his family to said Royalton last March and 
settled on the hundred acre Lot No. 11 in the Town Plot on the north 
side of White River near the Second branch, in expectation of having 
a conveyance of it from Wm Smith Esq late of New York, and of the 
ninety acre lot No 12 adjoining south on the aforementioned Lot of 
G. Banyar Esq of the State of New York. 

That your Petitioner has laid out considerable labor thereon to 
put them in a situation for improvement. That the said Wm Smith 
(owner of the first mentioned Lot) is lately gone to the Enemy, and 
that the last mentioned Lot (it appears) was sold to one Capt. McAlpine 
an oflScer in the British service, on which account is apprehended the 
disposal of those Lots will belong to the honorable General Assembly 
of this State 

Your petitioner therefore humbly prays That this honorable As- 
sembly will be pleased to pass a resolve whereby your Petitioner may 
become (owner?) of the Lots before mentioned at a reasonable price, 
whenever they shall see fit to dispose of them, or otherwise secure your 
petitioner (so far as the Assembly may be concerned therein) from 
any injury he may be exposed to sustain on account of his settlement 
and improvement on said lots as before mentioned 

And your Petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray &c. 

Comfort Sever 
Royalton Oct 1 1778" 

The confiscation of tory land was ordered in 1777, and se- 
vere action taken with regard to tories, so that Mr. Sever had 
good reason to suppose that his petition would be favorably con- 
sidered. No action, however, seems to have been taken on it, 
when, on Oct. 26, 1779, Ethan Allen, chairman of the committee 
appointed by the Assembly to consider claims to land, reported 
favorably on granting to Col. Keyes and his associates the tract 
of land called Royalton. The result of their report is seen in 
the following extract from Vol. II of Governor and Council, 
page 13: "Whereas the Assembly have Resolved to Grant to 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 187 

Mr John Payne & his associates the Township of Bethel 

And to Col. Danforth Keyes and others his associates the tract 

of Land called Royalton Resolved that his Excelency the 

Governor & Council be desired to carry the above Resolves into 
Execution." Provision was made that real settlers should not 
be disturbed if they paid their share of costs, and each was to 
have 100 acres. The next day the Assembly set the price of 
Royalton at $2.00 an acre to be paid by the proprietors. 

There is no indication in the town records of any meeting 
being held to act in this critical period of the town's history. 
If the charter should be issued to Keyes and his associates, dis- 
putes and ejectments similar to the disturbances with the New 
Yorkers would be likely to result. There is no town meeting 
record between July 12 and Dec. 15 of this year, but some action 
was taken either by the selectmen or the inhabitants, for the fol- 
lowing petition is recorded in the office of the Secretary of State : 

"To his Excellency the Governor and the honorable Council of the 
State of Vt — The remonstrance and petition of the Inhabitants and 

owners of lands in the township of Royalton That persons to the 

amount of sixty-one in number have within the term of about seven 
years last past purchased and become possessed of Lots of Land in said 
Royalton that about fifty of these persons are now inhabitants thereof 
and forming settlements in the town," and it goes on to say that they 
have been to expense of roads to give access to the town, that they 
have built mills etc. "This being the case it is with great astonish- 
ment and surprise they understand of late that the Hon'ble General 
Assembly at their last session have ordered a charter of said township 
to be made out to a list of grantees in which the names of many of the 
owners and inhabitants are omitted and without ever calling on them 
to appear and shew reason why it ought not to be done The Inhab- 
itants have good reason to apprehend that the Assembly have been in- 
fluenced by undue representations thereto or they would not have 
ordered the grant without notice to the public and particularly to the 
Inhabitants as is usual in such cases in the New England States." 
They say the only knowledge they have comes from vague reports, and 
ask that no action be taken until they can be heard at the next session, 
"or otherwise secure your petitioners those lands which they have pur- 
chased or otherwise rendered valuable at their own expense." 
Signed "Royalton Nov 6 1779 Comfort Sever Agent." 

The Governor and Council considered this petition Nov. 12, 
and appointed as a committee Hon. Benjamin Emmons, John 
Throop, Samuel Robinson, and Capt. Edmund Hodges, any three 
of whom were empowered to act, to go immediately to Royalton, 
inquire how many settlers were actually on the premises, when 
they entered, how many had made actual improvements and were 
not on the premises, and to inquire into any other matters of 
grievance, and report as soon as might be. Their evidence was 
to be under oath. Subsequently Jonathan Fassett was named 
in place of Samuel Robinson. The committee had not made their 
visit evidently, Jan. 13, 1780, for on that date a meeting was 



188 History op Royalton, Vermont 

held, and it was voted to postpone the matter respecting paying 
the money or incorporation fees for the town until a hearing 
could be had from the committee. Comfort Sever was chosen as 
agent to treat with the Governor and Council respecting the 
claim of the town to non-residents' property. This honorable 
body on Jan. 26, at Manchester, took the following action: 

"The Proprietors of the Township of Royalton having laid before 
this Council the dispute between them with respect to granting such 
said Township to the Inhabitants thereof, & a number of non-residents, 
who by a resolution of the Council of the 24 December last was to 
appear this day & receive the Charter of Incorporation & pay the Grant- 
ing fees — but as it appears the Inhabitants of said Town did (not?) 
fully understand the Intentions of the Resolution aforesaid — Therefore 
Resolved to postpone the Making out the Charter of Incorporation of 
said Town until the Next Session of Assembly in March Next. 

Attest Joseph Fay, Secy." 

On March 14 the petition of Comfort Sever & Company was 
called up, and a committee of two appointed to confer with the 
Governor and Coimcil, who soon made a verbal report. It was 
called up again in the afternoon and ordered to lie on the table. 
Finally, Mar. 16, it was "Resolved, that a resolution of this 
Assembly passed the last session directing the Governor and 
Council to make out a charter of the township of Royalton be 
and hereby is repealed by the consent of the parties concerned." 

The committee appointed to take into consideration the peti- 
tion of Sever and Company, brought in the following : 

"That it is our opinion that a grant issue to the present inhab- 
itants of the township of Royalton as specified in the petition of Com- 
fort Sever and Company. And to the end that equal justice be done to 
all parties concerned as non-resident petitioners for said town do 
earnestly recommend that said non-resident petitioners respectively 
have an equivalent for their respective shares in some vacant lands in 
this state granted them as soon as may be. 
All which is humbly submitted 

Ira Allen for the Committe" 

The report was accepted, and the Assembly 

"Resolved that there be and hereby is granted unto Capt. Sever 
and Company being sixty-one in number a township of land, as speci- 
fied in their petition, by the name of Royalton lying and being in this 
state containing about 24,000 acres And the Governor and Council are 
hereby requested to make out a charter of the aforesaid township of 
Royalton and ascertain the bounds unto the said Comfort Sever and 
Company upon such conditions, limitations restrictions and reserva- 
tions as they shall judge necessary for the benefit of this state. 

Resolved That the Governor and Council be and they are hereby 
requested to direct the Surveyor General to issue out an order of sur- 
vey for a township of land to Eliakim Spooner, Danforth Keyes and 
Company to whom was granted the township of Royalton the last 
session of Assembly— as an equivalent for said grant provided that 
there be sixty in number of such proprietors." Col. Keyes and his 
associates received the town of Hardwick. 



History of Rotalton, Vermont 189 

The governor's attention was quite fully occupied with 
guarding the frontiers and provisioning the militia during the 
next few months, and before he had made out the charter and the 
fees were ready, the terrible calamity, known as the Burning of 
Royalton, had almost destroyed the young settlement, and left 
the inhabitants in no condition to pay anew for their lands. The 
town records are silent from Mar. 6, 1780, to Mar. 20, 1781. 
Three meetings are recorded in the year 1781, with not a single 
reference to their disaster, and none to the chartering of the 
town. It is certain a petition was prepared, for the following 
records are found in the Journal of the Assembly for 1781. On 
Feb. 12, 1781, a petition signed by a number of suffering pro- 
prietors of Royalton praying for relief was referred to a com- 
mittee of five, and they reported next day. The Assembly "Re- 
solved that Comfort Sever and Joel Marsh Esquires and Mr. 
Wm Humphrey be and they are hereby appointed a committee 
for the purpose mentioned in the report." The report itself was 
not found. The day following this the Assembly 

"Resolved that so much of the petition as prays that the suffering 
Proprietors of Royalton be discharged from their granting fees that 
is due to this state be granted, and Resolved that a committee of three 
be appointed to make inquiry and report who are the sufferers that 
ought to be released from paying the granting fees as aforesaid." 

This committee must have been prompt and active, for the 
same day the legislature passed the following: 

"Whereas a Number of the Inhabitants of the Town of Royalton 
have suffered greatly by the late ravages of the Enemy in that Town, 
by which Misfortune they are so reduced as to be unable to pay their 
charter fees, Due for the grant of said Town: And whereas this As- 
sembly view them as Persons worthy the compassion & benevolence of 
this Legislature: 

Therefore resolved that the said sufferers (viz) Timothy Durkee, 
Heman Durkee, Aden Durkee, Timothy Durkee, Jr., David Fisk, (Fish), 
Joseph Fisk (Fish), David Brewster, Zebulon Lyon, Elias Stevens, 
Robert Handy, Calvin Parkhurst, James Cooper, Joseph Parkhurst, 
Elisha Kent, Daniel Rix, John Hibbard, Joseph Johnson Rix, Medad- 
Benton, Jonathan Benton, Nathan Morgan, John Billings, Benjamin Day, 
Israel Wallow (Waller), Tilley Parkhurst, Phineas Parkhurst, Jabez 
Parkhurst, Ebenezer Parkhurst, Daniel Gilbert, Simon Shepherd, Jere- 
miah Trescott, Nathaniel Morse, Joseph Havens, Widow Sarah Rude, 
Isaac Morgan, Elias Curtis, Robert Havens, Daniel Havens, John Evans, 
Martin Tullar, Garner Rix." - - - - 

On the back of the manuscript it is stated that these suffer- 
ers were discharged of their dues, which statement is erased and 
' ' re-considered ' ' written. The Assembly reconsidered this action 
on Feb. 22, and instead of discharging the proprietors from pay- 
ing their charter fees, they postponed the payment of them five 
years. The Governor and Council further resolved that the fees 
for the remaining proprietors should be postponed until the fol- 
lowing April. The charter was finally made out Dec. 20, 1781. 



190 History of Royalton, Vermont 

For the action of the proprietors regarding charter fees the 
reader is referred to Chapter III. 

A sketch of the five men who expected to control the settle- 
ment of Royalton under the New York charter may not be unin- 
teresting. From "Halsey's New York Frontier" and other 
sources we learn that Goldsbrow Banyar was bom in London. 
England, that he came to New York City in 1737 or 1738. In 
1746 he was deputy secretary of state, registrar of the Colonial 
Court of Chancery in 1755, an officer of the Prerogative Court in 
1753, 1756, and 1769. When the Revolutionary War broke out, 
he retired to a place on the Hudson river. He was a tory, and 
his name appears in a list of suspected persons, Jan. 15, 1776. 
He seems to have remained unmolested at his home. Red Bank, 
later called Rhinebeck. As an example of his discretion, it is 
related that a British officer was sent to him for advice. Banyar 
sent him away with a sealed letter, which was found to read, 
"Banyar knows nothing." At the close of the war he lived in 
Albany. He grew blind in his old age, and was led about the 
streets by a colored servant. He died Nov. 15, 1815, at the age 
of ninety-one. It is said of him, "He preserved his character 
from reproach on the other side of the water, and his lands from 
confiscation on this." By the terms of his will the name Golds- 
borough must survive with the ownership of the property, and 
though he died childless, today there exists on the premises an 
opulent gentleman of this name. He claimed more than six 
townships, and asked for more yet. When the $30,000 which 
Vermont paid to New York was divided, he received more than 
one fourth of it. In 1786 there were granted him 5000 acres in 
New York, perhaps as an equivalent for what he had lost in the 
N. H. Grants. The original grantees under New York did not 
submit without protest to the re-chartering of their town. A 
"caveat" was entered by Mr. Banyar, who gives a history of the 
grant, and petitions the Vermont Assembly in relation thereto. 
An extract from the petition follows. 

"The subscriber Goldsboro Banyar being a proprietor and owner of 
certain Letts of land in the above described township of Royalton 
doth hereby in behalf of himself and the other proprietors thereof enter 
a caveat against granting the whole or any part of the said township 
to Capt. Comfort Sever and Company or other persons under the state 
of Vermont or against fixing the Seal of the said State to any Letters 
patent or Charter for the same Township until the Subscriber is heard 
by himself or counsel 

Bennington, 22 June 1781 G Banyar" 

In 1788 Solomon Cushman. tax collector, sold parts of fifty 
or more lots to satisfy the two penny tax which was delinquent. 
On Nov. 28 he stated that he had received from Goldsbrow Ban- 
yar the sum needed for freeing a considerable number of these 



History of Royalton, Vermont 191 

lots. The following record made by the town clerk relates to 

this sale: 

"Royalton 29th November 1788 Sir. 

On examining of Solomon Cushman's Records I find that Lot No. 
four was sold the Twenty second Day of the Month I desire you will 
mark that Number on your Records so that it may be known that the 
Redemtion money is not paid on that Lot I have mark (four) in this 
way in the receipt let it be done on your records the same way then 
they will both be alike 
Abel Stevens Town Clerk 

In Royalton J V Benthey (?) 

Attorney To 
Goldsbrow Banyar 
Town Clerk's office Royalton Jan 9th 1789 
Recorded and Examined 

Attest Abel Stevens Clerk" 

Whitehead Hicks was mayor of New York City in 1778. He 
owned many lots in Hertford, now Hartland. On Mar. 24, 1778, 
the Assembly of Vermont declared the land forfeit, and gave 
William Gallup liberty to dispose of it. They claimed to be act- 
ing according to the advice of Congress in making immediate 
sale of the enemies' land, so we must conclude that Hicks was a 
tory, less discreet and cautious than Banyar. In 1778 William 
Gallup as Commissioner of Sales reported more than 1000 acres 
of land sold which belonged to Whitehead Hicks. 

John Kelly was an attorney. He appears to have been very 
energetic in pushing his claims, and seems to have kept the good 
will of Vermonters. It is quite probable that he visited the 
region. Sharon and Royalton, soon after the grant of Royalton. 
In a deposition of his made Mar. 6, 1771, he stated that Robert 
Havens of Sharon showed him a petition received from Benjamin 
Bellows, Jr., son of a N. H. magistrate at Walpole, and which 
had been circulated in favor of annexation to N. H., and only 
eight or nine names were on it, and Havens said they were the 
only ones in Sharon that would sign it. If he had a personal 
interview with Havens, that may account for the fact that Rob- 
ert Havens was the first one to settle in Royalton. In a petition 
for land, 1787, Kelly said he owned 111 rights. In March Ver- 
mont granted him 69,000 acres. He succeeded in getting his 
rights under N. Y. confirmed in some instances, and permission 
to locate on unchartered land as an equivalent for losses in others, 
a good indication of the high esteem in which he was held by 
the ruling powers. The following year he interested himself in 
the welfare of Vermont, and wrote to Gov. Chittenden to know 
on what terms the Grants would come into the Union, saying 
there were friends of Vermont who would gladly serve the inter- 
ests of the state. He suggested that Congress exonerate Ver- 
mont from paying taxes of the War, and if claimants to land 
which had not been chartered would accept of wild land to the 



192 History op Royalton, Vermont 

west, that Vermont might be satisfied, and that Col. Hamilton to 
whom he had proposed this, thought such a settlement could be 
effected. He certainly was either a good friend to Vermont, or 
led her leaders to think so, for Nov. 5, 1792, he obtained another 
grant, this time one of 12,000 acres joining land granted him in 
1791 near Jay and Newport. He was an attorney for Ambas- 
sador Jay, and successfully conducted cases in which Jay had 
claims to land. 

William Livingston, LL. D., was born in Albany, 1723. He 
graduated at Yale in 1741. He was Governor of N. J. from 
1776 to 1790. He was a patriot, and was elected to the Con- 
tinental Congress of 1774, and was a delegate to the Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1787. He was a jurist, legislator, magis- 
trate, and an author of several legal and political treatises. He 
died in 1790. He apparently was the leader in first petitioning 
for the grant of Royalton, which in 1766 was named Loyalton. 
In 1769 he and Hicks petitioned for leave to insert names in the 
schedule annexed in the letters patent for this tract. He had a 
manor, in which Abel Curtis, the agent of Bethel, found William 
Smith a prisoner, and Mr. Banyar visiting him, and where he 
negotiated for the two tiers of lots belonging to the western part 
of Royalton. 

William Smith was a member of the New York Council for 
h considerable time. On Oct. 20, 1769, the Council had advised 
the practical violation of the King's order forbidding further 
grants, and it was the next month that Royalton was granted. 
He became a tory, and the Council of Safety ordered him to the 
Manor of Livingston, June. 1777. He escaped being included 
under an attainder act through the powerful influence of the 
Livingston family, with which he was connected by marriage, so 
he received a share of the $30,000 indemnity paid by Vermont, 
about one sixth what Banyar received. He was a distinguished 
judge of New York, and his legal advice was sought in the dis- 
cussion of the Haldimand correspondence. He afterguards be- 
came Chief Justice of Canada, and died there in 1793. 

It will be seen from these sketches that political discord 
probably reigned in the meetings of the New York proprietors, 
and that some of them must have been too busy in looking after 
their own personal safety to give much time to their infant child 
here in the Vermont wilderness. Royalton may well feel proud 
of the high social and intellectual standing of these first owners 
of the soil, though, possibly, no one of them ever set foot on the 
grant of Nov. 13, 1769. They employed Thomas Valentine to 
survey the town. 



CHAPTER XIV. 



Ecclesiastical History. 

the first church. 

It is noteworthy that one of the first things the pioneers of 
New England considered in establishing settlements, was the 
provision for supplying their spiritual needs. The settlers of 
Royalton could hardly have numbered one hundred, all told, 
when they gave their attention to the matter of stated preaching. 
In its earliest days Royalton was closely associated with 
Sharon in religious, as well as in civic matters. It is in Sharon 
records that we find the first steps taken to secure a minister for 
the two towns. The inhabitants of Sharon and Royalton met 
in Sharon Feb. 11, 1777. Joel Marsh was chosen moderator, and 
Benjamin Spalding clerk. They vote, 

"that the Towns of Sharon and Royalton will unite to have a gospel 
minister Setled amongst them and to be in conjunction or union in 
order to Support the gospel amongst them for and Dureing the term of 
Ten years from and after this meeting. 

Voted that they will hold Publick worship in two Places in the 
following manner Namely for Sharon on the Roade Between Mr. Rosel 
Morgans grist mill and the Dwelling House of Mr. Joseph Parkhurst 
Near the Second Bridge on Quallion Brook about 20 Rods below sd 
Bridge and at Royalton in the Crotch of the Roads Near the foart, and 
that the Preaching Shall be held in Each Town and in Each Place as 
stated in Proportion to what each Town Pays. 

Voted that the Towns of Sharon and Royalton will Support the 
gospel Ministry amongst them by a Rate made on the Poles and Reat- 
able Estates of the inhabitants in Each Town. 

Voted that Joel Marsh Esqr Lieunt Medad Benton and Benjn Spald- 
ing Ensign Isaac Morgan Shall be a Comtee to treat with the Reverend 
Mr. Judson to Preach in sd Towns on Probation. 

Voted that the aforesd comtee Shall Set up warnings for meetings 
for the future. 

test Benjn Spalding for sd meeting." 

A few days later this other record was entered : 

"At a meeting of the Inhabitants of the Towns of Sharon and Roy- 
alton Leagueally Warned and held in sd Sharon February the 20th A D 
1777. 

Then Lieutenant Medad Benton was chosen moderator for sd meet- 
ing 

then Benjn Spalding Chosen Clark 

13 



194 History op Royalton, Vermont 

then Voted to Chuse a Comtee to ask the advice of the neighboring 
ministers to git a Candidate to preach on Probation and voted that 
Mr Benjn Spalding Lieutnt Medad Benton and Mr Daniel Gilbert Shall 
be a Comtee for the Purpos aforesd and for sd Comtee to make a Return 
to sd meeting." 

The meeting adjourned to Mar. 18. At this meeting a com- 
mittee was appointed to take a list of the polls and ratable estates 
of the two towns. The rate was to amount to £50 legal money. 
Benj. Spalding, Daniel Gilbert from Sharon, Elias Curtis and 
Benjamin Parkhurst from Royalton were the committee to make 
a rate. 

This action probably proved unsatisfactory, for on May 20, 
1777, it was voted to raise money by subscription, and Benjamin 
Spalding, Joel Marsh, and Tilly Parkhurst were chosen to re- 
ceive the money, and hire a minister on probation. It has not 
been ascertained whether the two towns did really employ the 
same minister or not. The Rev. I\Ir. Judson mentioned was, 
doubtless, Andrew Judson, a graduate of Dartmouth in 1775. 
He was born in Stratford, Conn., 1748, and was a missionary. 
He may have preached in one or both towns while engaged in this 
work. It is not probable that he was secured "on probation," 
since he was pastor in Eastford, Conn., 1778-1804, dying in the 
latter year. 

The arrangement made was likely to prove unsatisfactory, 
as the amount of service in each town would vary according to 
the sum each town paid, and as Sharon had been settled several 
years before Royalton, her population would have been greater 
at this time. The compact must have been dissolved before Aug. 
26, 1778, the earliest record of the Royalton church which has 
been preserved. That record comprises only the following : "At 
a Church meeting in Royalton, August the 26, 1778, at the house 
of Lieut Joseph Parkhurst 

I Chose Rufus Rude Moderator and Clerk" 

On the 19th of October of the same year the Royalton church 
voted to give Rev. Asa Burton a call, and in case he declined, to 
"apply to the Presbetry for their advice and assistance to get a 
minister." No record is found of the organization of the Roy- 
alton church. Dr. Drake states that some old residents affirmed 
that it was organized in the fall of 1777. If so, it would leave 
scant time between the last union meeting of the two towns, the 
canvass provided for, and the organization of the Royalton 
church. Is it possible that the meeting in Sharon, Feb. 11, 1777, 
was really the time the old residents had in mind? 

Sharon seems to have had a resident missionary in 1778. 
Under date of Aug. 20, 1781, they gave a deed of 100 acres to 
Mr. Thomas Kendall, preacher and missionary, as he had resided 
in Sharon three years. That may partly account for the separa- 



History op Royalton, Vermont 195 

tion of the two towns in church matters. It is not unlikely that 
Mr. Kendall may have occasionally preached in Royalton, before 
the town secured a supply. This missionary may have been the 
Thomas Kendall who graduated from Dartmouth in 1774, was 
pastor in Foxboro, Mass., from 1786 to 1800, chaplain in the War 
of 1812, and who died in Lebanon, N. Y., in 1836. 

]\Irs. Lorenza Havens Lovejoy is authority for the statement 
that the first sermon preached in town was in the house of her 
father, Robert Havens, who was then living on the George Cow- 
dery place, the Irving Barrows place at present. The date is not 
known. The preacher was Rev. Elisha Kent, whose son Elisha, 
it is said, came to Royalton in 1772. Rev. Elisha Kent died July, 
1776. His visit to his son, who lived where his grandson Archi- 
bald lived later, and where Lester Corwin resides today, was 
between 1773 and 1776. Probably it was not earlier than 1774. 
He was born in 1704, so that he was about seventy at this time. 
To Mrs. Lovejoy 's youthful eyes he was "an old man." 

He was very fleshy and somewhat infirm, and preached sit- 
ting in "the great chair." It is told of him that in the midst 
of his sermon he stopped and said to Mrs. Havens, "Madam, 
your pot is getting dry." He was not so lost in his discourse, 
that he did not have an eye on the savory meat that the good 
wife was "potting down" for his dinner, when the long sermon 
should be ended. We can imagine the company gathered in the 
little log house in the forest, the kindly Benjamin Parkhurst and 
wife, who had found their way on horseback along a trail that 
could have been only partially cleared at this time; Isaac Mor- 
gan and wife, who had waded the river, if it were summer, or 
crossed on the ice if in winter; Elisha Kent, Jr., and his whole 
family, for John and Elisha third, then striplings, would wish 
to hear "grandfather" preach, and perhaps Joseph Moss, a babe 
in arms, helped in the music too. From Sharon Ebenezer Park- 
hurst and family would be sure to be on hand. The people of 
Sharon had had no settled minister as yet. If the sermon of this 
graduate of Yale, preached in the wilderness to the heroic souls 
gathered in that rude home had been preserved, how it would be 
prized by present and coming generations of Royalton ! 

A careful examination of Sharon records reveals that no 
pastor was called by the town till ten years from the time of the 
compact. On July 9, 1788, they voted to give Lathrop Thomp- 
son, candidate, a call to settle as a minister in their town. Mr. 
Thompson, who had graduated from Dartmouth in 1786, ac- 
cepted and remained with them five years. He then went to 
South Britain, Conn., in 1799 to Chelsea, Vt., in 1810 to Southold, 
Long Island, where he remained sixteen years. He returned to 
Chelsea and died there July 19, 1843. 



196 History of Royalton, Vermont 

From Hartland records of May 10, 1779, it is gleaned that 
the town voted not to call Mr. Tullar to the work of the ministry 
"at present," but they agreed to hire "Rev. ]\Iartin Tullar" ten 
Sabbaths more. They voted to meet the first three Sabbaths at 
Dr. Spooner's barn, the next two at Col. Lyman's barn, and so 
on. He was to have twenty shillings a Sunday. How long he 
staid there is not made clear, but in December, 1780, they called 
another minister, without first paying for service already re- 
ceived, it would seem. As late as March 14, 1786, they appointed 
p. committee to settle with Mr. Tullar, and any arrearages were 
to be made up from the town treasury. It is more than prob- 
able that this was the same man who was called by Royalton in 
December, 1779, who was present and accepted the call, and who. 
Dr. Drake says, went back to Connecticut and was prevented 
from returning to Royalton by the disaster of 1780. 

Sunday services must have been more or less regularly held 
before a pastor was settled. At the March meeting in 1779, Mr. 
Kent and Comfort Sever were chosen "thythingmen," Mr. Kent 
and Mr. "Wallow" were appointed to read the Psalm, and Mr. 
Hebard and Mr. Day to serve as "coresters. " A ministerial 
committee was chosen, made up of Comfort Sever, Rufus Rude, 
Lieut. Benton, Tilly Parkhurst, and Esquire Morgan. In July 
Comfort Sever, Medad Benton, and Esquire Morgan were chosen 
a committee to procure 100 acres for the first settled minister. 
In the New York charter no provision was made for the first set- 
tled minister, and it would be necessary for the town to offer as 
good inducements as were offered by towns chartered by New- 
Hampshire. Such provision was made in the Vermont charter. 
No large salary could be offered to any candidate. The salary 
of Mr. Tullar when first called was to be £50 the first year, in- 
creased with the list until it reached a maximum of £85. 

Less than a year after the Indian raid, Sep. 4, 1781, they 
voted to apply to the President of Dartmouth for a ministerial 
supply, and to ask him to ascertain if Dr. "Witecor" was dis- 
charged. This was perhaps Dr. Nathaniel Whittaker, who had 
received the honorary degree of D. D. from Dartmouth in 1780, 
and who had preached in Norwich. He was a graduate of Prince- 
ton. Whether President Wheelock sent them a supply or not 
is not recorded. It may be that Mr. Ripley was sent, and so the 
church had an opportimity to become acquainted with him be- 
fore it voted to give him a call. 

Both the town and the church voted on Aug. 8, 1782, to call 
Mr. Ripley, and a committee was chosen to make proposals of 
salary. At the same time the town voted to raise fifty bushels 
of wheat to defray expenses of preaching. Nothing more is told 
us of Mr. Ripley, and we can only conjecture that he may have 



History of Royalton, Vermont 197 

been Sylvanus Ripley, who was connected with Dartmouth as 
tutor and pastor of the college church, and who died in Hanover 
in 1787. Mr. Azel Washburn studied theology with him while in 
Dartmouth. Mr. Ripley was not secured. 

Every call thus far had been unsuccessful. The induce- 
ments which they could offer were not tempting, but there were 
many devoted men in those early days who counted salary of lit- 
tle account, if they were sure of a livelihood, esteeming it a privi- 
lege to carry the Gospel into the frontier towns. 

The next call extended to Rev. John Searle on Aug. 12, 1783. 
by both church and town, was accepted. They agreed to build 
him a house twenty-eight feet square, one story high, finished 
outside, to furnish two rooms, build a chimney, dig and finish a 
cellar. They also agreed to give him thirty acres of land south 
of Mr. Rix's lot, abutting on White river, and 100 acres belong- 
ing to the first minister's right. They agreed to give him £55 
the first year, and to rise with the list to £80. For his present 
support they were to furnish twelve score of pork, fifty-two bush- 
els of wheat, and 400 pounds of beef. At a subsequent meeting 
they provided for wagons and teamster to transport Mr. Searle 's 
goods to Royalton. Mr. Searle was to give a deed of the remain- 
der of the land that belonged to the first minister's right. It is 
understood that he came from Stoneham, Mass. Quoting from 
Dr. Drake : ' ' Mr. Searl was a poor boy, sought out by Jonathan 
Edwards, and encouraged to seek an education, and after gradu- 
ating he studied theology with Mr. Edwards. He was a chaplain 
for a considerable time in the army of the Revolution. Oct. 21, 
1783, the town 'voted to raise a tax on the list of 1783, of eighty 
bushels of wheat for the use of Mr. Searl. ' The church and town 
both voted to have the installation Nov. 19, and the church se- 
lected and called six ministers on the council, viz. : Mr. Bur- 
roughs of Dresden, (now Hanover), Mr. Hutchinson of Pomfret, 
Mr. Ripley, Mr. Potter of Lebanon, Mr. Fuller of Vershire, and 
Mr. Potter of Norwich. Tradition says that Mr. Potter, of Leb- 
anon, preached the sermon. Pastorates in those days were long, 
and installations were great events, and drew large assemblies. 
Councils at such times were honored by being duly escorted in 
procession, with bands of music, to and from chvirch, and sumptu- 
ously dined at a hotel. This being the first event of the kind in 
town, it was of absorbing interest." There was no meeting- 
house at this time and no hotel, as such. The ordinary program 
must have been somewhat changed. At a later installation it 
is stated that the council was to meet at Zebulon Lyon's, and as 
town business had already gravitated there, it is reasonable to 
suppose that this first council held its meeting in his house. If 
not there, possibly at Mr. Durkee's, whose barn might furnish 



198 History of Royalton, Vermont 

aecommodatioBs, in case the weather should prove too cold for 
outdoor exercises. The day selected for the "re-installing" of 
Mr. Searle was Nov. 19, 1783. 

The day before this event, the proposals made to Mr. Searle 
were recorded as follows: 
"Royalton 18th Nov 1783 

Relation to ye Proposals made by ye town to ye Revd Mr. 
Searle for his Support among them It being Expressed in the Vote of 
the Town that they give Such a particular Sum to ye Revd Mr John 
Searle During the continuance of his Pastoral Relation to them The 
town Signified to the Counsel to which also ye Revd Mr Searle con- 
sented that ye vote be considered and understood with this Limitation 
(viz) that the Sum voted be paid in full to the sd Mr Searle During 
ye time of his Executing ye office and Duties of a Pastor among them — 
after which time, should he live and have Pastoral Relation continue 
ye town are Not held to continue the same Support in full but ingage 
to do that which is Right and Christian like in the matter in the opinion 

of disinterested and Proper Judges John Searle 

Signed in presence of the council 

Isaiah Potter - - Scribe" 

It will be noted here, that it was the town and not the 
church that entered into an agreement with Mr. Searle. He 
appears to have expressed a wish to build his own house, and 
at a later meeting it was agreed to furnish the material for it, 
and whatever it cost above the estimated cost of a house twenty- 
eight feet square was to be deducted from his salary. On Jan. 
6, 1784, they proceeded to divide the town into five districts from 
which to collect materials for Mr. Searle 's house. The first dis- 
trict was "east" of the river from Sharon to the First Branch 
and to Tunbridge, Joseph Havens, collector; the second, all be- 
tween the First Branch and Second Branch, Timothy Durkee, 
collector; the third, all between the Second Branch and Bethel 
and Tunbridge lines. Comfort Sever, collector; the fourth was 
south of the river from Bethel line to the center of the town and 
to Barnard line, Samuel Clapp, collector; the fifth was south of 
the river from the center of the town to Sharon and Barnard 
lines, including Mr. Joiner, Lieut. Stevens, collector. On the 
26th instant they voted to raise £100 to build Mr. Searle 's house. 

Mr. Searle was about sixty-three when he assumed the pas- 
torate of the Royalton church. He graduated from Yale in 1745. 
In Yale's biographical sketches it is said that he preached the 
funeral sermon of Rev. Jonathan Parsons of Newburyport, 
Mass., who was a firm friend of Whitefield. It was in Mr. Par- 
sons ' house that Whitefield died suddenly, and at his own request 
was buried under Mr. Parsons' pulpit. Rev. Searle had before 
that preached the funeral discourse of Mrs. Parsons, which was 
thought worthy of publication. He seems to have been a most 
estimable man, of more than ordinary ability, but his health 
failed, and some of his parishioners were not over-considerate 



History of Royalton, Vermont 199 

of his physical disability. The agreement of 1783 showed a 
truly Christian spirit, which was not so apparent at the close of 
his 'ministrations. He was dismissed June 21, 1787, and died 
July 5th following, after a pastorate of less than four years. He 
is buried in the South Royalton Cemetery, and his tombstone 
bears this stanza: 

"Here lonely sleeps the clay, the spirit fled; 

And from this monument man's doom is read; 

All nature bows at the Almighty rod. 

Prepare ye living then to meet your God." 

Mr. Searle's death had probably been expected. The town 
had neglected to give him a deed of the thirty acres agreed upon, 
or to take from him a release of the 200 acres of the first minis- 
ter's right. On March 14, 1787, they instructed the selectmen 
to attend to this matter. They did so, giving Mr. Searle a deed 
April 8, and taking his release May 8. 

Five days after his death a town meeting was held, at which 
they voted to "hier preaching constantly if to be obtained." 
The committee chosen were to hire a candidate that there was a 
probability of settling, and if "Non Such can be had without 
Trobel that they hier one that is Not Likely will be Settled with 
us: Not exceding six Sabbaths and that they Ingage Not more 
than one pound four shillings per Sabbath to be paid in Prod- 
uce." 

The committee appear to have secured Mr. Benjamin Chap- 
man, probably the one who graduated at Dartmouth with an 
A. M. degree in 1784, was pastor at Granby, Mass., 1790-97, and 
died in 1804. A vote on Aug. 27, 1787, instructed the minis- 
terial committee to hire Mr. Chapman for eight or nine Sab- 
baths more on probation. They were rather slow in judging of 
Mr. Chapman's acceptability, but by the 6th of November the 
church had decided to call "Mr. Benjamin Chapman, Jr." Seven 
days later the town took similar action, and sent a committee of 
solid men. Comfort Sever, Calvin Parkhurst, John Kimball, and 
Zebulon Lyon, to propose that they pay a debt of £30, and £100 
to be paid in wheat at five shillings a bushel or neat stock equal 
thereto to be paid in one year after ordination, his salary to 
begin at £55, and rise with the list to £80 a year. If he chose 
he could have the tovsm land of 200 acres and one after division, 
instead of the £100. Perhaps he was not attracted by the pros- 
pect of a winter's preaching in Mr. Lyon's surmner house, or he 
may have had a better call elsewhere; at any rate, he did not 
accept. 

At the town meeting. Mar. 18, 1788, Dea. Daniel Rix, Eben- 
ezer Dewey, and Dea. David Fish were chosen a committee to 
supply the pulpit. This committee secured Azel Washburn on 
probation, and on the 16th of the following April the inhab- 



200 History of Royalton, Vermont 

itants met to see if he should be employed longer, and chose a 
committee to make proposals to him. At the same time it was 
voted to exchange the town's land of 200 acres for a lot suitable 
for a minister to live on, and the ministerial committee would 
not proceed until the committee that was to effect the exchange 
had reported. At the end of eight days the exchange of the 
town's land with Zebulon Lyon for forty acres below the meeting 
house was consummated. Part of this forty acres was in the 
Brewster lot, 46 Dutch, and part in the Lyon lot, 54 T. P., on 
v/hich lot Mr. Lyon had his house. 

The committee that pitched the ministerial land did as was 
done in other towns, selected the lots that no one else was anx- 
ious to acquire. The 200 acres in the western part of 40 L. A. 
would offer little inducement to a minister. In addition to the 
forty acres, which was well located. Mr. Washburn was offered 
eleven and one half acres which public spirited individuals had 
contributed as an inducement and as a bonus to a minister, also 
they agreed to clear seven acres fit to sow,' and build a house 40 
by 16 and finish it in one year from ordination, the whole esti- 
mated at £300. He was to have a salary of £45 the first year, 
changed soon to £55, which was to rise with the list to £75; 
twenty-five cords of wood were to be drawn to his door yearly, 
but the wood was not to be his until he began to have a family. 
The dimensions of the house were changed to 20 by 30 feet. This 
call was rather flattering for that time, and it has not been here- 
tofore understood why Mr. Washburn declined it, as he did, the 
church, which had also called him, receiving his declination on 
June 21. It has recently been ascertained that the reason of 
this non-acceptance was that Mr. Washburn had not completed 
his theological studies, and wished to go to Newburyport, Mass., 
to study with Dr. Spring. 

On the 14th of the following August the town voted that 
the ministerial committee be directed to supply the pulpit as 
soon as convenient. The warning for the meeting for Nov. 20, 
contained this article : "To see if they will renew ye call which 
they formerly gave to Mr. Washburn." No action on this is 
recorded, but they voted "the ministerial committee apply to 
Mr. Harris to preach in this town on probation for settlement." 
Again on Dec. 19, the committee was directed "to apply to Mr. 
Harris to continue to suply ye pulpit by way of probation." 
This Mr. Harris may have been Walter Harris, who graduated 
at Dartmouth in 1787, receiving the degree of A. M. and D. D. 
in 1826. He served in the Revolutionary army, was pastor at 
Dunbarton, N. H., 1789-1830, and died Dec. 24, 1843. Mr. Har- 
ris soon left them, and on the 16th of January a special meeting 
was called, and the committee were instructed to "send to Mr. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 201 

Harris to return & Preach again in this Town." They did not 
expect him for some time evidently, as they voted to have the 
committee apply to Mr. Lyman of Lebanon to supply the pulpit 
through the winter. An Elijah Lyman, born in Lebanon, Conn., 
was a class-mate of Mr. Harris, and he may have been the one 
referred to. He preached in Brookfield in 1789, and died in 
1828. 

Ever after Mr. Washburn had preached on probation there 
seems to have been a strong desire on the part of some for his 
return as a settled pastor. A meeting was called by petition on 
the 23d of March, 1789, when they voted to renew the call to him, 
had a letter prepared, and sent it by "express," a special mes- 
senger. There was some doubt as to the legality of this action 
in calling Mr. Washburn, and another petition brought the people 
together on Aug. 18, when they confirmed the doings of the pre- 
vious meeting. He was present, accepted the call, and the coun- 
cil for the ordination was provided for by electing Esquire Sever, 
Dea. Rix, Dea. Fish, Captain Kimball, and Esquire Dewey a 
committee of arrangements. If there were any discontented ones, 
they were not in evidence, for the vote was unanimous. The 
church had extended a call the same day on which the town took 
action, and the two acted in harmony in planning for the or- 
dination. The church appointed the third Wednesday of August 
as a day of fasting and prayer, and voted that the council should 
meet at the house of Zebulon Lyon. The ordination was set for 
Sep. 2nd. 

From Dr. Drake it is learned that Dr. Spring was the 
preacher on this occasion. The vast concourse of people gath- 
ered on the intervale above the brick house now occupied by 
Mr. Joy. A platform was erected for the council. It was prob- 
ably the most imposing ordination ever seen in Royalton. It is 
safe to say that every one in town who could be present, was 
there, and a large attendance from adjoining towns swelled the 
numbers. 

Some business items connected with the event may be of in- 
terest. Zebulon Lyon was, no doubt, the "express," as on De- 
cember 25th he was allowed £6.12 for eleven days' service in 
going after Mr. Washburn, and he was allowed £4.7.6 for board- 
ing him thirteen weeks. Mr. Washburn, then, began preaching 
the last of May, for which service he received £16.16. From this 
time onward the town seems to have taken no part in calling a 
minister. They paid for this ordination £11.10.2. 

Mr. Washburn was a young, unmarried man, who had been 
granted an A. M. degree by Dartmouth in 1786, and was elected 
to Phi Beta Kappa. With the bright promise of his youth, and 
high scholarship combined with the true missionary spirit, it 



202 History of Royalton, Vermont 

seemed that the church, after so many trials, was at last war- 
ranted in looking forward to a steady and fruitful pastorate. 
So it proved for a time, but a lung trouble soon manifested itself, 
and Mr. Washburn was advised to take a horseback journey into 
New York, where he visited an old classmate of his. He pur- 
chased some land in Granville, N. Y.. and sent for his family. 
He had married Miss Sally Skinner, the step-daughter of Zebu- 
Ion Lyon. He preached in the vicinity of his new home as he 
was able, until his return to Vermont. His family lived in Roy- 
alton village, and he acted as itinerant missionary for the New 
England and New York Conferences. He preached more or less 
until 1840, though subject at times to mental aberration. He 
was warmly welcomed in the pioneer homes, and often contrib- 
uted of his means to their comfort. He maintained a heroic 
struggle against mental disease, and did good service in his Mas- 
ter's cause. The record of his sons and grandsons, which will 
be found in the genealogical part of this book, is a remarkable 
one. 

Mr. Washburn's dismissal occurred Aug. 31, 1791, but he 
filled the Royalton pulpit occasionally, when he was in town and 
the church was without a pastor. There are no records to supply 
the interim between his dismissal and the second call of Rev. 
Martin Tullar, who accepted the call and was installed Nov. 27, 
1793. There is in existence the original call, which follows: 

"At a legal adjourned meeting of the first society of Royalton 
holden on the 25th day of Sept. 1793 st voted to give the Rev. Mr. 
Martin Tuller fifty five pounds the first year one quarter part in money 
the other in wheat at 4/ pr bushel and then to rise annually five pounds 
until it amounts to eighty pounds and that to be his annual support 
in the work of the ministry 

We likewise engage to find the said Mr. Tuller twenty five cords 
of fire wood yearly so long as he shall continue to be our minister with 
a proviso that the said Mr. Tuller shall find the wood on his own land 
so long as is convenient for him to have the wood got off of his land 
and then the society to find said wood, and said wood to be got on the 
first Monday of January annually. — 

2nd — Voted to give the said Mr. Tuller the society land and house 
as a settlement said land estimated at fifty one acres and an half. We 
further agree to move Mr. Tuller's family and effects from Derby to 
this place with a proviso of his finding the money to bear the expense. 

The affirmative vote 40 the negative 1 

Test Benjn Parkhurst 
Clerk protem" 
Mr. Tullar had been preaching in Derby, Conn., for about 
ten years. He was connected with the Joiner family by mar- 
riage, William Joiner having married his sister Paulina for his 
first wife. His father, John Tullar, had five sons and two daugh- 
ters. He is said to have given his sons a choice of $2000 or a 
college education. Two, Martin and David, chose the college 
education. David was a minister located for a time in Wood- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 203 

stock. John and each of his sons were within an inch of being 
six feet tall. We can picture Mr. Tullar as he came to his in- 
stallation, erect, with a pleasing countenance, dressed as usual 
in short clothes and knee buckles, "a real gentleman of the old 
school. ' ' 

He had graduated at Yale in 1777, and by nature and edu- 
cation seemed well prepared to lead the church forward in ma- 
terial and spiritual growth. He was not only a good speaker, 
but he had literary and executive ability. He received the hon- 
orary degree of A. M. from Dartmouth in 1798, and was trustee 
of Middlebury college from 1805 until his death in 1813. He 
was active in originating the General Convention of Vermont, 
and was its first preacher at Rockingham. In the Windsor 
Gazette of June 8, 1802, is the following: 

"Just published and for sale at this oflBce 
price 40 cents 
A System of Family Duty containing the duty of husbands to 
wards their wives. The properties of a duti 

ful, virtuous wife. The duty of Parents in 
training up their Children, and the duty of 
Children towards their parents, with addres 
ses to each character. 

By Rev. Martin Tuller, A. M. 
Subscribers are desired to call either on the Author 
or at this oflBce and take their books." 

Perhaps some one who reads this will recall seeing a copy 
of this work. 

While Mr. Tullar was a pastor in Royalton he buried his first 
wife under most pathetic circumstances. She was buried with 
her new-born twins, one on either arm. He married for his 
second wife a niece of Mrs. Judson, the mother of Adoniram 
Judson, the missionary. When a young lady, she had a home 
with a wealthy uncle. Her bridal trousseau was a gift from him, 
ordered from England. Mrs. Brown, of LaCrosse, Wis., a de- 
scendant, writes, "I have heard my mother describe some of the 
dresses, which were so magnificent, that I have often wondered 
if they did not cause a little commotion among some of the good 
people in her husband's parish. 

Another gift to her from this uncle was a handsome solid 
mahogany bookcase and secretary combined. It was made for 
her at a cost of $300. It stands over seven feet high, and is a 
very ingenious and unique piece of mechanism, containing twenty- 
four drawers, large and small, together with numerous pigeon 
holes and places of concealment for valuables, which the most 
accomplished burglar never would have dreamed of. 

It was at this desk that Rev. Tuller did all of his writing 
after their marriage, and it was very highly valued by them 
both." 



204 History of Royalton, Vermont 

This little touch of home life makes the people of that far 
off time seem a bit more real. The desk spoken of was willed to 
Nabby, daughter of Mr.Tullar, by his first wife, who afterwards 
married Henry Whitney. Mr. Tullar's step-son. Mrs. Abby 
Whitney Brown is their child. Mrs. Brown is an authoress of 
considerable reputation. Some reminiscences from her pen will 
be found in the Tullar genealog:y. 

For twenty years Mr. Tullar ministered to the Royalton 
church with great acceptance. He was called to his reward sud- 
denly in the pulpit, and died almost immediately from a stroke 
of apoplexy, Oct. 1, 1813. 

The records are silent regarding the ministers who may have 
supplied the pulpit from 1813 to the time when the church 
called Mr. Halping. Rev. Bascom of Sharon was chosen mod- 
erator ex-officio at their first meeting after Mr. Tullar's death. 
He may have preached for them occasionally, and Rev. Joel Davis 
of Barnard, and other neighboring clergymen. Disturbances in 
the church broke out almost immediately after the death of Mr. 
Tullar, and the records deal chiefly with matters of discipline, 
but they must have had preaching some of the time, as members 
were received into the church. From another source it is learned 
that Job Sedgewick Swift, a licentiate, preached for the church 
more or less in 1815 and 1816. He probably supplied only on 
Sundays, as in the business meetings and councils held during 
that time his name is not mentioned, and the ordinances of bap- 
tism recorded are by other hands. He graduated from Andover 
Theo. Sem. in 1815. He was a preacher, teacher, business man, 
and planter in Georgia for many years, dying in Dalton, G-a., 
June 30, 1859, unmarried. 

Rev. Ebenezer Halping was ordained and installed Oct. 21, 
1818. Eight towns were represented by pastors and delegates, 
and five other ministers were present. Rev. Jacob Allen of Tun- 
bridge preached the sermon. Dr. Drake says: "Mr. Halping 
was a native of Norwich, Conn., a young man, having studied 
theology with Rev. Mr. Sage of Westminster, who recommended 
him to the people of Royalton. But he did not long satisfy them, 
nor please their tastes, and his pastorate was short for that day. 
He was dismissed Feb. 27, 1822. It should be added that Mr. 
Halping was dismissed at his own request. While in Royalton 
he was married to Maria Terry of this town, the service being 
performed by Rev. Samuel Bascom of Sharon, on Oct. 19, 1819. 
A daughter, Rachel Denison, was baptized here in the church in 
1824. His pastorate does not seem to have been fruitless, as 
there were added to the chiirch twenty-one members during the 
time of his service. He afterwards became a Baptist, and died 



History of Royalton, Vermont 205 

on board a steamboat on the Ohio river in 1849, at the age of 
fifty-seven. 

After Mr. Halping left, the pulpit was supplied by differ- 
ent ones for about a year, among them being Rev. Azel Wash- 
burn, Rev. Jacob Allen of Tunbridge, and Rev. A. Nicholds, 
probably of Braintree. 

Mr. Joseph Torrey of Salem, Mass., had been preaching some 
Sabbaths for the church, when it voted, Feb. 18, 1823. to ask 
him to continue his labors to the amount of fourteen weeks from 
the time he began preaching for them. He was formally called 
Mar. 28, 1824. Five churches were represented in the council 
for ordination, Aug. 25, and Rev. Austin Hazen and Rev. Eben- 
ezer Halping were also present. The sermon was preached by 
Rev. Silas McKeen of Bradford, and Mr. Halping offered the con- 
eluding prayer. 

Mr. Torrey was a graduate of Dartmouth in 1816, receiving 
the A. M. degree, was in Andover Theo. Sem. in 1819, and re- 
ceived the degree of D. D. from Harvard in 1850. He was born 
in Rowley, Mass., Feb. 2, 1797. He gave great satisfaction in 
his pastoral efforts, and the outlook for the church was again 
bright. Such talent, however, could not be hidden, and the com- 
paratively young University of Vermont called him to another 
field of work. He was dismissed June 27, 1827, and that year 
began his professional duties in the University, teaching Greek 
and Latin until 1842, and Moral and Intellectual Philosophy 
from 1842 to 1867. In 1862 he was elected President, serving 
with distinction until 1866. He died in Burlington, Nov. 26, 
1867. One son of his, Joseph, was also a Congregational minis- 
ter, receiving the D. D. degree, and another, John Paine, gradu- 
ated from the U. V. M. with an A. M. degree. He was a teacher, 
and died in Beverly, Mass., in 1863. One of Pres. Torrey 's 
daughters married a Professor in the U. V. M. 

On May 26, 1828, the church gave a call to Rev. Asahel C. 
Washburn, who had probably been preaching for them, as he 
was present and accepted the call. The installation was set for 
June 11, and an unusually large council was invited, embracing 
the towns of Windsor, Woodstock, Barnard, Brandon, Braintree, 
Randolph, Montpelier, Chelsea, Sharon, Bradford, and Barre. 
President Bates of Middlebury college preached the sermon. The 
next record is in the handwriting and with the signature of the 
pastor, and is characteristic of a man who does much and says 
little. It is simply this : "Wednesday June 11, 1828 Rev. A. C. 
Washburn was regularly constituted the Pastor of this Church 
agreeable to arrangements made on the 25th ult. " From Miss 
Alice Grant of Royalton, a niece of Mr. Washburn's wife, fur- 
ther information has been obtained regarding the occasion, and 



206 History of RoYxVlton, Vermont 

the life history of Mr. Washburn. To his intimate friends he 
wrote, "The procession was escorted across the common from 
the Academy to the church by a fife and drum, and from the 
church to the tavern to have dinner. There was some wine on 
the table, enough to make every one drunk, but it was all re- 
moved before the blessing was asked." That was probably the 
first public function in Royalton, where such a pointed rebuke 
was given to the custom of indulging in the use of stimulants. 

Asahel Cornwall Washburn was the son of Asahel and Dolly 
(Hamilton) Washburn. He was born in Leicester, Mass., Dec. 
20, 1800. He prepared for college in the Montpelier academy, 
and graduated from Middlebury College in 1825. He kept a 
family school in Washington, D. C, for two years, and studied 
theology at the same time with Rev. Reuben Post, D. D. He was 
licensed to preach in 1827. He was pastor in Roj^alton, 1828- 
36. More members were added to the church during his minis- 
trations than in any other like period of time. In July, 1835, 
after a series of protracted meetings, in which the evangelist. 
Rev. Jedediah Burchard, assisted, no less than 101 persons were 
received into the church, one only by letter. Of this number 
fifty-nine were baptized. 

Mr. Washburn was profoundly religious, and deeply inter- 
ested in the spiritual welfare of his people. 

He married Miss Emma Grant of Bloomfield, Conn., Sep. 
24, 1828. From this union two children were born in Royalton, 
Emma Grant, born Apr. 3, 1831, and Wadsworth Grant, born 
Aug. 15, 1836. Emma was characterized by unusual seriousness 
and interest in spiritual things. She was converted in Royalton 
during one of her father 's revivals. At the age of eleven she had 
a severe attack of measles, which undermined her health, and in- 
directly was the cause of her early death while at Mt. Holyoke 
Seminary, May 24, 1848. She was very solicitous for the salva- 
tion of her schoolmates, and as an aid in this direction, her father 
published a small book containing a sketch of her beautiful life. 
As an illustration of her deep sense of obligation to her Creator, 
he relates that when a mere child, being very thirsty from play, 
she asked for a drink of water, and before she had hardly taken 
the cup from her lips, she said, "Tank God for good warm cold 
water!" Wadsworth was killed at the battle of Antietam, Sep- 
tember, 1862. Another child, Gertrude, was born in Connecticut. 

Mr. Washburn removed from Royalton to Suffield, Conn., 
where he remained until 1851. He then became Connecticut 
Agent for the American Bible Society, serving until 1860. In 
1868 he removed to Syracuse, N. Y. For seven years he was 
chaplain of Onondaga County Penitentiary. He and his wife 
were devoted members of Plymouth church, in the parlors of 



History of Royalton, Vermont 207 

which their golden wedding was celebrated Sep. 24, 1878, an 
anniversary in which the church as a whole, and other friends 
participated. In his remarks at that time he said he had preached 
over 6000 sermons, married 300 couples, and attended about 1000 
funerals. His theology was so healthy that it had never needed 
doctoring. He died suddenly. Mar. 23, 1883. 

The church seems to have had some difficulty in devising 
ways and means for the support of preaching after Mr. Wash- 
burn went away. One plan was to adopt the old compact, pro- 
vided they could get eighty male members over twenty-one to 
sign it. They did not depend in those days on the "Ladies' 
Aid," suppers, et cetera, for the raising of the necessary funds. 
Whether the omission was due to chivalric motives, or a distrust 
of woman's ability, no female signed the compact. It did not 
work, and they cut the number eighty down to sixty, and secured 
this number of names. Having provided for a minister's salary, 
they were ready to call a minister. This they did Mar. 18, 1837, 
extending a call to Mr. Archibald Fleming. He had been preach- 
ing for them. He was a Scotchman, a graduate of Glasgow, 
received the A. M. degree from the U. V. M. in 1828, was or- 
dained in 1832, preached in Whitehall, N. Y., 1832-38, was uni- 
versity lecturer. New York constable, and author of several sci- 
entific and religious works, evidently a man of great versatility. 
The church left the naming of the salary to the Society, and it 
entrusted the matter to Dea. Salmon Joiner. Elisha Wild, and 
Forest Adams. The result is not recorded, but it failed, as is 
evident from the action of the church on May 30, in calling Rev. 
C. B. Drake, who had been preaching for them in his vacation. 

Rev. Cyrus Bryant Drake, son of Asaph and Louisa (Beld- 
ing) Drake, was born in Weybridge, Aug. 18, 1812. He pre- 
pared for college in the Addison County Grammar School, gradu- 
ated from Middlebury College in 1834, and from And. Theo. 
Sem. in 1837. His youth had been free from the contaminating 
touch of evil, and he had joined the church at Weybridge at the 
age of seventeen. He came to the church at Royalton with no 
shadows on his past, a remarkably pure, upright man. His in- 
stallation occurred Oct. 12, when Dr. Thomas Abbott Merrill of 
Middlebury preached the sermon. Eight churches were repre- 
sented, Middlebury, Rochester, Bethel, Barnard, Brookfield, Chel- 
sea, Sharon, and Lebanon, N. H. The council took their usual 
dinner at the hotel, kept by Samuel Blodgett. They were es- 
corted to dinner by Darius Dewey. 

Dr. Drake is the only pastor that Royalton has ever had, 
whose whole life service was spent here. He was of an affection- 
ate disposition, and soon won the hearts of his parishioners, but 
not always their heads. He had opposition to overcome from 



208 History of Royalton, Vermont 

the beginning, troubles within the church, and evil without, but 
he had the happy and somewhat rare faculty of keeping his 
own course, and still retaining the esteem of his opponents. He 
soon reached a foremost place in the clerical circles of Vermont. 
His sound scholarship and talent as an orator and preacher were 
recognized by his alma mater, of which institution he served 
as an honored trustee from 1859 until his death. From it he 
received the degrees of A. M. and D. D. Though qualified to 
command a high salary in larger places, his genuine missionary 
spirit and strong attachment to his people kept him in Royalton. 

He married, Oct. 6, 1840, Maria Louisa, daughter of Fred- 
erick Smith of Strafford, by whom he had one child, Louisa Bry- 
ant, born June 15, 1843, now married to Rollin Shaw of Wey- 
bridge, and living there. She has no children. 

Their home was saddened by the failing health of Dr. Drake. 
A severe bronchial affection led him to resign in 1846, but the 
council refused to dismiss him, and advised rest. His pulpit 
was then supplied by Rev. T. S. Hubbard and Rev. Aaron Pease. 
Mr. Hubbard had been a classmate of Dr. Drake's, and had been 
preaching in Stockbridge, and went to Chelsea from Royalton. 
He had been ordained at Stockbridge in June, 1839, as a mis- 
sionary, expecting to go to a foreign country. Mr. Aaron Gay- 
lord Pease graduated from the U. V. M. in 1837, was ordained in 
1842, had been preaching in Poultney, and went to Waterbury 
in 1847, where he preached six years. He was in Ro.yalton in 
the spring months of 1847. 

The Society voted a vacation of ten months for their be- 
loved pastor. During this time he acted as secretary of the Ver- 
mont Domestic Missionary Society. In his centennial address 
he says of this connection: "I was strongly urged to continue 
as secretary, Mr. Lewis Delano of Hardwick offering a liberal 
sum annually toward the salary, if I would continue to fill the 
office. But I was morally bound to decline, to be true to my 
church, and to the council which had already refused to dismiss 
me." In these words one can see his keen sense of moral recti- 
tude. From time to time Dr. Drake had to lay aside his pastoral 
duties, and rest. The church continued his salary when the sus- 
pension was short, which shows their strong attachment to him, 
for it was a constant struggle to raise the necessary salary for 
the support of preaching. 

On the seventeenth anniversary of his ordination the church 
met, and took a retrospective view of the changes and the work 
accomplished. In the fall of 1857 Dr. Drake had to suspend 
labor once more, and the church was ministered to by Rev. Ezra 
Hoyt Byington, who took an A. M. degree from the U. V. M. 
in 1852, and a D. D. degree from And. Theo. Sem. in 1890. He 



History of Royalton, Vermont 209 

was ordained in 1859, then preaching at Windsor. He was a 
learned man of pleasing address, a fluent speaker, teacher, and 
an author of some note. He was born in Hinesburgh in 1828, 
and died in Newton, Mass., in 1901. Rev. Israel Hall Levings 
preached several months, as stated by Dr. Drake, following ]\Ir. 
Byington. He was a self-made man, had worked his way through 
the U. V. M., graduated from And. Theo. Sem. in 1851, and was 
ordained in 1858. His birthplace was Fairfax, and he died in 
Madrid, N. Y., July 20, 1871, at the age of fifty-three. 

In the latter part of 1863 Dr. Drake was again unable to 
continue his labors. Mr. W. I. P. Morrison seems to have 
preached some in the summer of 1864. Rev. James Clay Hough- 
ton supplied in 1865, and perhaps, in a part of 1864 and 1866. 
He was born in Sutton in 1810, and died in Montpelier in 1880. 
The records of the Society and of the treasurer seem to indicate 
that Dr. Drake received some salary during the time when he 
was unable to preach, and supplied the pulpit. On July 9, 1864, 
the Society voted him leave of absence until Jan. 1. 1865, and 
again on Mar. 8, 1865, they granted him leave of absence, and 
agreed to supply the pulpit themselves. He had tendered his 
resignation in 1862, which had not been accepted. 

The church was very fortunate in securing the services of 
the sturdy, scholarly Dr. James Caldwell for four and one-half 
of the nine years that Dr. Drake was incapacitated for ministerial 
effort. He had been preaching about a year when the Society 
on Jan. 5, 1869, passed the following resolution: "Resolved, 
That we recognize the Rev. James Caldwell as a faithful Gospel 
Preacher possessing in an eminent degree those qualifications 
which render him an acceptable Christian teacher and spiritual 
guide, 

Therefore, Resolved, That we request the Committee of the 
first Congl. Society to secure his services for the year ensuing." 

Dr. Caldwell had been preceded for a short time by Rev. 
George Byington. Dr. Caldwell was a Scotchman, a graduate of 
Glasgow. He was honored by Middlebury with a D. D. degree 
in 1871, while laboring in Royalton. He preached later in Post 
Mills. He died in 1885. He was somewhat eccentric, and spoke 
with a slight brogue. He was well liked, for he preached vigor- 
ous sermons, and handled sin without gloves. His gestures par- 
took of early day power, and some timid ones trembled for the 
dearly loved old Bible when his clenched fist came down hard 
upon it. Notwithstanding his impassioned manner, he was gen- 
tle of nature, and almost as helpless as a child in caring for his 
personal needs. In argument he was no mean antagonist. As 
a man his life was above reproach, and his personality was so 



14 



210 History op Royalton, Vermont 

marked, that his sermons and himself will long be remembered 
by those who listened to him. 

Dr. Drake was so far recovered the first of the year 1872, 
as to be able to resume again his pastoral duties. In spite of 
his long continued periods of illness, the church clung to him, 
and would not let him go, though he resigned again in 1871. No 
doubt some of his illness may be attributed to overwork. He 
did not spare himself. He was in great demand at marriages 
and funerals. One writer of an article printed about the time 
of his death saj^s, ' ' The sick man welcomed his coming as bring- 
ing a healing Ijalm to his spirit and helping him to forget the 
infirmities of the flesh. The young saw in him the realization 
of true godliness and drew from his example inspiration to well 
doing; and the little child climbed upon his knee, and looking 
into the light of his clear eye, felt that he had found a true 

friend. He was universally esteemed by his brethren in the 

ministry, and many a young minister received from him encour- 
agement, advice, and a higher ideal of what it is to be a true 
minister of Jesus Christ." 

At the time of the Centennial of the church. Dr. Drake gave 
an admirable address, covering in a succinct manner the whole 
history of the church. He spoke of his love for the people, and 
said he had thought he would resign at that time, but left it with 
them. As an evidence of his affection he gave the church $1000 
as a nucleus of a fund, which was soon increased to $5000, Hon. 
Frederick Billings of Woodstock also giving $1000. In these 
touching words he introduced his purpose of making the gift 
alluded to : " The Savior having loved his own, loved them unto 
the end. I feel that w^hatever diversities the future may bring 
I shall love you 'to the end.' " His closing words were, " 'The 
grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.' Yes, beloved, 
whenever you think of me, while memory lasts, let these words 
be ever flowing from my lips, conveying an electric current of 
love and prayer, streaming from my heart to yours, speeding by 
way of the throne of God. - - * The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ 
be with you all. Amen.' " 

At a meeting of the church soon after this a set of resolu- 
tions was adopted expressive of the love and gratitude of its 
members for Dr. Drake 's faithful service and loving care of them. 
Dr. Drake, like Rev. Martin Tullar, was stricken in the pul- 
pit. He tried to preach April 14, 1878, but was so unwell that 
he had to leave. It was forty-one years that day since he 
preached his first sermon in Royalton. He grew worse and died 
the following Sunday, April 21st. Dr. James Caldwell preached 
the funeral sermon the next Wednesday, and President Hurlbert 
of Middlebury made the address. Fifteen clergymen were pres- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 211 

ent. Thus passed away one of earth's noblemen, a man, who 
more than any other had given tone and character to the social, 
civic, domestic, and religious life of the town, and whose influ- 
ence will live, not only in Royalton, but throughout every state 
in the Union. 

Dr. Drake was buried in the cemetery at North Royalton, 
beside his wife, who had died Nov. 6, 1870. The church received 
from the County Conference held in Woodstock in June, a set 
of resolutions as follows: 

"Resolved, That in the death of the Rev. Cyrus B. Drake, this Con- 
ference of Congregational pastors and churches recognizes the fact that 
God has come near and removed one from among us who was eminent 
as a Christian, a scholar, a pastor, and a friend; who was lovely in 
life, wise in counsel, and whose influence for good will long continue 
among the churches, and throughout our State. 

Resolved, That we hereby express our heartfelt sympathy with the 
church in Royalton in this bereavement, and pray that it may be di- 
vinely guided in its effort to secure another pastor, and to maintain 
the institutions of the Gospel. 

Resolved, That we also send words of sympathy to the daughter 
of the deceased, commending her to Him who can care for her more 
tenderly than any earthly friend, and guide her in the way heaven- 
ward." 

After the death of Dr. Drake the pulpit was supplied by 
several clergymen, among them Rev. Mr. Plummer of Maine, 
Rev. S. W. Dike of Randolph, Rev. S. K. B. Perkins of South 
Royalton, and a theological student, Mr. Root. In the fall the 
church at South Royalton proposed that the two churches unite 
in the support of the Gospel, and the Society had taken favorable 
action, when they were notified that the offer was withdrawn. 
On Nov. 29th the church voted to hire Rev. Samuel W. Dike for 
a year if he could be secured. Mr. Dike accepted their offer and 
moved to Royalton in April, 1879. He was born in Thompson, 
Conn., Feb. 13, 1839, graduated with high honors at Williams 
college in 1863, studied theology two years at East Windsor Hill, 
Conn., and graduated from And. Theo. Sem. in 1866. He was 
acting pastor and pastor at West Randolph from Jan. 1, 1867, 
until near the close of 1877. 

Dr. Drake had been in the habit of calling on him for special 
service for some years, so that he was no stranger to the people. 
He lived in Royalton until April, 1887, when he moved to Au- 
burndale, Mass. He was installed as pastor at Royalton Apr. 
21, 1880. The council was composed of pastors and delegates 
from eleven towns. The sermon was preached by Pres. Buckham 
of the U. V. M. 

Mr. Dike strove to stimulate an interest in missions, especi- 
ally in the young people, who prepared maps and studied the 
history of the more recent mission fields. His work as the origi- 



212 History of Royalton, Vermont 

nator of the Home Department of the Sunday School will be 
found under that head. While he was pastor he wrote consid- 
erable on the Divorce Question, including his Boston IMonday 
Lecture, which immediately brought him and his work into wide 
notice, and led to his dismission to become the Secretary of the 
New England Divorce Reform League, which after one other 
change became the National League for the Protection of the 
Family. Some of the other of Mr. Dike's important papers on 
the Divorce Question were written while he was living in Roy- 
alton, as well as the series of articles in the Andover Review, 
which opened the discussion of the Religious Problem of the 
Country Town. He proposed and helped shape the famous Fair- 
banks' investigation of the condition of 44 towns in Vermont, 
etc. 

At his own request he was dismissed Aug. 22, 1882. The 
council expressed its estimate of his services by saying, "We 
heartily commend Bro. Dike as an able, diligent, faithful and 
discreet minister of the Gospel." The church had previously 
put on record its testimony in the following words: "We can 
but express our great regret at the cause that impels his depart- 
ure, and at our prospective loss of the service of him who has 
endeared himself to us by his Christian instruction and kindly 
eare of this flock in the few short years he has been with us." 

For five years longer he maintained his home in Royalton, 
and his subsequent work has been largely the development of the 
ideas and plans which he formed here. While his home was here 
he became a member and contributor of papers to one or more 
of the Social Science Associations of the country, and began lec- 
turing in seminaries and colleges. He received the degree of 
LL. D. from Williams College in 1888. 

It would seem that Rev. William Denison Smith of South 
Royalton filled the pulpit after the resignation of Dr. Dike, by 
informal action. June 29, 1883, the committee was instructed to 
take measures to secure him another year. 

In the interim after the resignation of Mr. Smith and before 
union with the Bethel church in hiring a minister. Rev. Herbert 
Marston Andrews, A. M., supplied the pulpit. He was a gradu- 
ate of Union Theo. Sem. in 1879, of Dartmouth in 1876. He 
later became a missionary to Jamua Mission, Allahabad, North- 
west Prov., India. 

On Oct. 10, 1884, it was voted to unite with the Bethel 
church in the ordination of Elisha Smith Fiske, and the services 
took place in the Royalton church Oct. 22, 1884. When this 
connection was severed is not recorded in the minutes, but Jan. 
1, 1886, another pastor was serving. Mr. Fiske was born in Shel- 
burne, Mass., April 11, 1853. He was connected for a time with 



History of Royalton, Vermont 213 

Williams College, but did not graduate; graduated from Yale 
Divinity School in 1883. He preached at Bethel from June 1, 
3884, to June 1, 1887. He preached in Waitsfield 1887-1897. 
Since that time his health has not been sufficient for a pastorate, 
and he is living in Montpelier, engaged in insurance business, 
and preaches occasionally. 

Albert Ira Button began preaching for the church in the 
fall of 1885. He was installed as pastor Sep. 1 of that year, and 
dismissed Sep. 26, 1887, on account of ill health. His relations 
with the church had been pleasant, and his labor had been faith- 
ful and devoted. He was born in Stowe, Aug. 5, 1831. He 
graduated from Middlebury College in 1858, studied two years 
at Hartford Theo. Sem., and graduated from And. Theo. Sem. 
in 1863. He was ordained over the church in Shirley, Mass., in 
1863, where he remained six years. He served the East Long- 
meadow church sixteen years, then removed to Minnesota, from 
v'hich state he came to Royalton. When he left Royalton he as- 
sumed charge of a Ministers' Home in So. Framingham, Mass., 
where he died suddenly, Feb. 13, 1892. 

Rev. Solomon Paine Giddings preached for some months 
after Mr. Button left. He was born in Poultney, Bee. 2, 1812; 
graduated from Middlebury College in 1838 ; studied at Yale 
1839-41, and at Lane Theo. Sem. in 1842. He was ordained as an 
evangelist at Poultney, Sep. 28, 1842, and did home missionary 
work in Tennessee for a time. He preached at several places in 
Vermont and Massachusetts prior to 1863, when he took a clerk- 
ship in one of the departments at Washington, D. C, where he 
was residing at last accounts. 

Rev. Levi Wild has supplied the Royalton pulpit at different 
times, when a stated supply has been lacking. His record will 
be found in the history of the Wild family. 

Rev. Hiram Quintillian Ward began preaching for the 
church in 1889, and continued until June 1, 1892. He was born 
in Banville, March 15, 1857 ; graduated at Dartmouth, 1883, from 
Chicago Theological Seminary, 1887. He was ordained June 30, 
1887. at Pecatonica, 111., where he was preaching. After leav- 
ing Royalton he preached in Canaan, N. Y., a short time, then 
became Principal of Glenwood Collegiate Institute, Metawan, 
N. J. Later he was Professor of Mathematics and Physics in 
Lake Charles College, La., from which he sent an appeal for the 
institution to the Royalton church. He was pastor at Orford, 
N. H., 1905, and at last accounts was stationed in Brookfield. 

Rev. James Ramage, the pastor of the South Royalton Con- 
gregational church, filled the pulpit from July, 1892, to July, 
1893. The church continued its connection with the South Roy- 
alton church through the pastorate of Rev. Henry M. Goddard, 



214 History of Royalton, Vermont 

from Oct., 1893, to May, 1899. When Rev. Wilfred E. Mann 
was secured at South Royalton, he acted as pastor for the church 
from June, 1899, to Jan., 1902. 

In this year the church found itself able to engage the serv- 
ices of Rev. Joel F. Whitney, a returned missionary, who had 
settled in the village. He w^as born Mar. 30, 1843, in Wadhams 
Mills, N. Y. ; graduated from Barre Academy 1864, from Middle- 
bury College, 1868, from Andover Theo. Sem., 1871. He mar- 
ried May 3, 1871, Louisa Marette Bailey, born June 4, 1844, and 
was ordained on the same day. They served as missionaries ten 
years in Micronesia under the A. B. C. F. M. He returned in 
1881 and has had pastorates in Wadhams Mills, N. Y.. Wolcott, 
St. Johnsbury East, Jamaica, and Marshfield, Vt., and Coventry- 
ville, N. Y., and other New York towns. He came to Royalton 
1902, and preached for the church three years. Mr. and Mrs. 
Whitney have been very active in all the social and educational 
enterprises of the little village. Mrs. Whitney is a graduate of 
Mt. Holyoke, and is a writer of some reputation. She has pub- 
lished one book, "Goldie's Inheritance." Their two older chil- 
dren were born in Micronesia: John Russell, born Oct. 31, 1874, 
died Oct. 19, 1897; entered Middlebury College, '95. Edward 
Fisk, born Aug. 29, 1877, living at home unmarried. Their only 
daughter, Mary Etta, was born June 15, 1882. She has inher- 
ited considerable literary and artistic talent. 

June 11, 1905, Rev. Charles E. Beals began his labors for 
the church. He was a student completing his college course at 
Dartmouth. He M^as born in East Bridgewater, Mass., June 24, 
1877. He graduated from the high school in that town in 1894, 
and from Bangor Theo. Sem. in 1909. He took his A. B. degree 
from Dartmouth in 1907, with Phi Beta Kappa rank. He re- 
ceived the Story prize in philosophy. He was ordained in Roy- 
alton, June 28, 1906. Ten churches were represented. The ser- 
mon was preached by Rev. C. A. Beckwith, D. D. On July 17, 
1907, he married Anna M. Bourne of Bangor. He closed his 
labors in Royalton Sep. 15, 1907. He taught in Bangor Semi- 
nary 1907-08 and took post-graduate work, receiving the degree 
of B. D. in 1908. He has since been pastor of churches in Hallo- 
well and Eastport, Maine. He has one daughter, Mary Antoin- 
ette, born June 14, 1908. Mr. Beals won the hearts of his Roy- 
alton parishioners by his sincere piety and kindly interest in 
their welfare, and his scholarly and convincing sermons satisfied 
the taste of the most critical. The church parted with him with 
great regret. 

Rev. Willis Sparhawk, clergyman and lecturer from Ran- 
dolph, supplied the pulpit the next four months, then Thomas 



History of Royalton, Vermont 215 

N. Ross of Northfield was hired for a short time. Mr. Ross is 
now a student in Bangor Seminary. 

Again the church secured a Dartmouth student, Rev. Henry 
N. Pfeiffer. Mr. Pfeiffer was born July 3, 1876, in Philadel- 
phia, Pa.; graduated from New York University, 1899, from 
Oberlin College, 1906, from Dartmouth, 1909. He was pastor of 
churches in Middletown, N. Y., and Meriden, N. H., before com- 
ing to Royalton. Mr. Pfeiffer is a man of unusual talent and 
indefatigable energy, and at the end of a year he was called to 
a wider field. He is now pastor of the First Presbyterian church, 
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, N. Y, 

His successor was Rev. Newell Carroll Maynard, another 
Dartmouth student. He was born in Marshfield, Me., Nov, 26, 
1880. He was a graduate of Bucksport Seminary in 1902, of 
Bangor Theo. Sem. in 1907, and of Dartmouth in 1910. He be- 
gan to preach at the age of nineteen, while in the preparatory 
school at Bucksport. He was pastor of churches at China and 
N. Palermo, Me., 1903-05, at Milford, Me., 1905-06, at Lincoln, 
Me., 1907, and assistant minister at Eliot Church, Newton, Mass., 
1908. He was ordained at Newton, Mass., June 28, 1907. The 
church prospered under the able ministrations of Mr. Maynard, 
and was loth to release him at the end of his year. 

The work of the Dartmouth students has been so satisfac- 
tory that still another was hired in 1910, Rev. John Lemley 
Holden. Mr. Holden was born July 9, 1887; graduated from 
Bangor Seminary, 1910. He was ordained in Royalton, Aug. 9, 
1910. Dr. Eugene W. Lyman, Professor at Bangor, preached, 
and Dr. Merrill gave the ordaining prayer. Mr. Holden 's home 
is Ticonderoga, N. Y. 

Asa Perrin, Sen., kept a diary for many years. These dia- 
ries have been mostly preserved. Those dealing with the church 
date from 1785 to 1810. He jotted down each Sunday the name 
of the preacher, or the reader of a sermon, if there was no preach- 
er, and the text. Asa Perrin 's name, whether Senior or Junior 
is not stated, is in the list of those who were members of the 
First Congregational Church in 1793, when Mr. Tullar was in- 
stalled. Asa, Sen., seems to have attended the Baptist church 
occasionally, and it is not easy to determine in all cases whether 
it was the Baptist or Congregational meeting of which he gives 
an account, but the data which follows is thought to belong only 
to the history of the Congregational church. 

The places of meeting, aside from the meeting-house, are 
given by him as Zebulon Lyon's, the schoolhouse in his district, 
the "red schoolhouse" near Mr. Sever 's, Mr. Durkee's, Esquire 
Dewey's, Mr. Hibbard's when Mr. Tullar preached, Capt. Bil- 
lings's, Sally Perrin 's barn, Lyon's barn, Capt. Kimball's, school- 



216 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

house in the village, Esquire Tullar's, Capt. Burbank's, Nathan- 
iel Morse's, Mr. Dunham's, Daniel Havens', Esquire Rix's, the 
academy, and Mr. Bloss', which list indicates an effort to have 
preaching in all parts of the town, when no meeting-house ex- 
isted suitable for holding Sunday services. Some of these meet- 
ings were held in the evening, and the services were preaching, 
a lecture, or reading of sermons by laymen. 

Some of the readers mentioned are Esquire Sever and Dr. 
Samuel D. Searle, both of whom often read when there was no 
pastor or when Mr. Tullar was absent on his father's frequent 
vacations to see his father, to attend conventions, and confer- 
ences, and to "get him a wife," besides enforced vacations when 
he was ill or lame. Other readers were Capt. Kimball, Pitcher 
Tucker, Mr. Dutton, Silas Williams, Mr. Chapin, the academy 
principal, Greenfield Perrin, and "Smith the school master," 
possibly an academy principal, whose record has not been found. 

Mr. Perrin 's diaries show that Rev. and Dr. Abial Jones 
preached occasionally, also Mr. Brainard and Mr. Thompson. 
He states that on Oct. 11, 1795, Mr. Tullar sang Psalm 134, and 
then dismissed them, probably on account of ill health. His 
diaries are chiefly devoted to facts regarding Sunday services, 
baptisms, councils, persons "cried" and married, and family 
records, but they are well worth the reading by any one inter- 
ested in such matters. 

An attempt was made to learn what natives of Royalton be- 
came ministers. Those who will be named are, doubtless, only a 
part of the number that might be ascertained with more ample 
time and facilities. Further records of these sons of Royalton 
will be found in the genealogical half of this volume. 

Lyman Daniel Ames, born Aug. 21, 1812. Baptist minister 
in Royalton and other Vermont towns. Died in Randolph, Jan, 
22, 1879. 

Enoch Cleveland, son of Bethabra, born Aug. 16, 1823, be- 
came a minister of the Christian denomination, preaching in 
Hyde Park, Sutton, and other places. The date of his death is 
not known, but it was before August, 1896. 

Nathaniel Wright Dewey, son of Rodolphus, born Jan. 1, 
1810, graduated at Dartmouth as divinity student, 1837, and died 
Jan. 11, 1839, at Lane Theo. Sem., unmarried. 

Lewis Francis, son of John, born Sept. 14, 1836, graduated 
at the U. V. M. in 1856, and at Andover Theo. Sem. in 1860. He 
received the degree of D. D. from Rutgers in 1898. At present 
he is Pastor Emeritus of Kent Street Reformed Church, Brook- 
lyn, N. Y. 

John Perrin, son of Greenfield, born March 8, 1803, died 
Aug. 3, 1896. He was a Methodist minister. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 217 

Henry Safford, son of Jacob, born Oct. 8, 1793, graduated 
at Dartmouth, 1817, at Princeton Theo. Sem., 1820. He was a 
missionary, and died Oct. 8, 1870, at Greensboro, Ga. 

DeForest Safford, son of Truman Hopson, born Mar. 17, 
1840, was in Harvard University one and one-half years, then 
enlisted in the Union army. He graduated from Union Theo. 
Sem. in 1869, and preached in various places in Vermont and 
New Hampshire. He has been located in Peterboro, N. H., since 
1892, pastor of the Baptist church. 

N. Fay Smith, son of Henry Christopher, and grandson of 
Stillman F., born Feb. 6, 1866; graduated from Moody Bible 
Institute, Chicago, 1893 ; pastor of E, Northfield, Mass., Congre- 
gational church since 1903. 

Royal Washburn, son of Rev. Azel, born Dec. 6, 1797, gradu- 
ated from the U. V. M., 1820, from Andover Theo. Sem., 1824, 
and died at Amherst, Mass., Jan. 1, 1833. He was a Congrega- 
tional minister. 

Levi Wild, son of John, born June 29, 1859, graduated at 
Dartmouth, 1883, at Union Theo. Sem., 1886. He held several 
pastorates, and at present is living in Royalton, caring for his 
aged father. 

Stephen Eastman Root, born Oct. 18, 1834, began preaching 
at the age of sixteen. He was educated in Hillsdale College, 
Mich., and held pastorates in Maine towns. He was a Baptist 
minister, but later became a physician, and practiced in Roches- 
ter, N. H. 

Cyrus Tracy Tucker, born Dec. 2, 1818, worked his way 
through college, and began his first pastorate at Marshfield, 
Mass., when thirty years of age. He removed to Wisconsin. 



CHAPTER XV. 



The Growth and Polity of the First Congregational 

Church. 

The First Congregational Church of Royalton was the 
fifteenth formed in Vermont. If it was organized in 1777, it 
probably had a very small membership, and there is no means 
of ascertaining who the members were. There may have been 
residents in town who left before the first record of membership 
was made in 1782, who were, possibly, charter members of the 
church. 

The earliest recorded date is found in a little unbound 
pamphlet four by six inches, containing four leaves. On the 
second page is found the record of a meeting Aug. 26, 1778, 
at the house of Lieut. Joseph Parkhurst. Lieut. Parkhurst was 
one of the earliest settlers here. His first land record shows 
that he owned 176 acres comprising the north part of the present 
village of South Royalton. Where his house stood cannot be 
affirmed, but probably not far from the Lyman Benson house 
of later days. Rufus Rude Avas the moderator and clerk at this 
meeting, and it is safe to assume that he and his wife were mem- 
bers, also Judith Parkhurst, mother of Joseph, and Sarah Rude, 
daughter of Rufus, who married Elias Stevens. 

In another pamphlet of eight leaves is recorded the meeting 
of June 2, 1782, "Lord's Day," when "the Church Solemly 
Renewed Covenant viz. ' ' : Israel Waller, Timothy Durkee, Com- 
fort Sever, Judith Parkhurst, Sarah Rude, Anna Durkee, Anna 
Waller, Sarah Stevens. This is the first meeting recorded after 
the Indian raid. Of these eight, it is known that Comfort Sever 
came to town in 1778, and it is quite certain that Israel Waller 
and Timothy Durkee, whose wife was Anna, did not come to 
Royalton until after 1777. At the time the church renewed 
covenant, eighteen others joined it in "solemn covenant," one 
of whom, Anna Kent, was baptized. They were William Joiner, 
Daniel Rix, David Fish, Zebulon Lyon, John Evans, Edward 
Spear, Joseph Waller, Rebecca Rix, Anna Kent, Paulina Joiner, 
Sybil Fish, John Hutchinson, Elionor Lyon, Luther Skinner, 
John Hutchins, Polly Kent, Lucy Durkee, Lydia Durfee. It is 
reasonable to suppose that some were unable to be present, who 



History of Royalton, Vermont 219 

would rightfully belong in the list with the eight old members. 
On Nov. 4, 1787, there were received by letter Dea. Ebenezer 
Dewey, and his wife, Christian Dewey, Ebenezer Dewey, Jr., 
Temperance Dewey, and Mrs. Temperance Kilburn, also John 
and Jerusha Kimball, Joseph Pierce, ^Irs. Susannah Pierce, 
wife of Jedediah, and Ruth Pierce, her daughter. 

The membership was increased Mar. 22, 1789, by the ad- 
dition of Elisha Kent, Isaac Skinner, Harvey Skinner, Jared 
Kimball, Apollos Dewey, William Prince (Pierce?), David 
Dewey, Garner Rix, John Searle, Daniel Rix, Jr., Bethesda 
Havens, (wife of Daniel), Sally Searle, (wife of Dr. Samuel D. 
Searle), Zaviah Burton, Sintha Kimball, Rebecca Rix, Sally 
Skinner, Roxalana Perrin. On the 26th of the next month the 
following united with the church: Samuel D. Searle, John 
Warner, William Waterman, Elias Kingsley, Elisha Kent, Jr., 
Nathan Kimball, Squire Howe, Alexander Brown, James Searle, 
Polly Safford, Lois Pierce. On June 21, Mary Morse, (probably 
the wife of Nathaniel), and Priscilla Pierce united with the 
church, and on Sep. 20, Jemima Kinney, John Kimball, Eliza- 
beth Tullar, Rachel Dewey, Mary Allen, Mary Morgan. On 
July 5th Richard Kimball and Susanna Kimball united, and 
on Sep. 20, Jemima Kinney. Between this last date and the date 
oi the installation of the Rev. Martin Tullar, Nov. 27, 1793, there 
is no record of admissions. There is, however, a list of the mem- 
bers at the time of Mr. Tullar 's installation. There were then 
67 members. The new members were, Azel Washburn, Amasa 
Dutton, Nathaniel Pierce, Darius Dewey, Asa Perrin, Capt. 
Abijah Burbank, Richard Bloss, Lucy Bloss, Silas Williams, 
Samuel Clapp, Daniel Tullar, John Kimball, Jr., Hepzibah Ba- 
con, Nancy Shepard, Aaron Brown, Azubah Brown, Jedediah 
Pierce. The annual additions were small for the next eight 
years. On June 19, 1794, they were Mrs. Mary Tullar and Mrs. 
Sarah Benton ; on the 29th, Nathan Stone, Ebenezer Dewey, Jr., 
and Jerusha Dewey ; on July 23, Nathan Page, and Ruth Buck- 
land; on June 14, 1795, Joseph and Priscilla Dutton; on July 
5, Samuel and Mary Bills; on July 10, 1796, Lot and Polly 
Baker; on July 15, Thankful Storrs; on Aug. 28, Rodolphus 
Dewey; on Nov. 13, Mrs. Deborah Coy; on Sep. 3, 1797, Mrs. 
Hannah Stevens; on Feb. 5, 1798, Samuel Dutton; on Dec. 16, 
William and Esther Hawes; on June 8, 1800, Alexander Wood- 
worth; on June 20, 1801, Peter Whitney and wife. 

In the spring of 1802 there had been an awakening, and on 
May 2, Gideon Crandall, Ashbel Buckland, Joseph Kirbee, Kiles 
Paul, Alexander McKenstry, Mary Burbank, Bathsheba Bur- 
bank, Hannah Page, and Levina Paul, were added to the church. 
John Storrs had joined on Feb. 7, and Mrs. Martha Kirbee was 



220 History of Royalton, Vermont 

admitted July 18, making eleven additions in this year. For 
the next eight years the additions would scarcely balance the 
dismissions and losses by death. On July 10, 1803, Esther 
Crandall united; on April 15, 1804, Mrs. Charlotte Tullar; on 
June 17, Mrs. Eleanor Lovejoy ; on Aug. 19, Walter Chapin ; on 
Feb. 16, 1806, Storrs Hall; on Dec. 21, Sarah Green; on June 
7, 1807, Charlotte Whitney ; on July 5, Lucretia Olcott ; on June 
19, 1808, Jotham Dyer ; on July 10, James and Eunice Morrill ; on 
Dec. 11, Lydia Dewey and Susannah Pierce; on June 25, 1809, 
Polly Bacon and Nabby Tullar ; on Aug. 20, Eliphalet Davis ; on 
Mar. 25, 1810, Temperance Skinner; on Sep. 23, Jedida 
(Jedediah?) Seabury; on Dec. 16, Jareb Bacon. 

The first rich harvest of the church was in 1810, under the 
ministration of Rev. Martin Tullar. On Dec. 16, twenty-six 
united on profession of faith. Twenty-five united at different 
times during the next year. Unfortunate dissensions arose in 
the church about this time and continued for several years. 
There was no settled pastor for a time after Mr. Tullar 's death, 
and the church received few additions. After Mr. Halping 
was called, it began to increase in numbers. On Aug. 29, 1819, 
twelve united, and during his pastorate the membership was 
increased by thirty-one. In 1826, when Mr. Torrey was the 
minister, 52 were received into the church, one of whom was the 
Hon. Jacob Oollamer. The year previous Oel Billings, the 
father of the Hon. Frederick Billings, had been admitted, and 
also John Francis, Esq., the lawyer. 

It was while Rev. A. C. Washburn was pastor that the 
church nearly, it not quite, doubled its membership. He was 
a believer in revivals, and had fears for a church without these 
seasons of spiritual regeneration. In the fall and winter of 
1831 an extensive revival brought a large number into the fold 
of the church. On Jan. 1, 1832, forty-nine were admitted, of 
whom twenty-seven were baptized. The next great revival was 
in 1835. in the busiest time of the year. On July 10th of that 
year forty-two joined the church, of whom twenty-five were 
baptized, and two days later fifty were added, of whom thirty 
were baptized. What a sensation such an occurrence would 
cause in a country town today ! In the list of names are found 
many of those who were then, and ever afterward, among the 
most reliable, intelligent, and worthy citizens of the town. Dur- 
ing the eight and more years that Mr. Washburn was pastor 
here, the whole number added to the church was 254. Dr. 
Drake states that some of these were residents of other towns, 
drawn here to hear Mr. Burchard, and that later they took let- 
ters to other churches. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 221 

Dr. Drake's pastorate was so broken that it is not easy to 
determine the fruits of his labors as regards the increase in 
membership. There was an awakening in the spring of 1842, 
which resulted, May 1st, in adding the names of forty-two per- 
sons to the membership list, eighteen of whom were baptized, 
and during the year twenty-two others were added. Again in 
the spring of 1875 there was a large increase in the membership 
of the church, thirty-two uniting on May 21. Of this number, 
six are residents of the town today, and active members of the 
same church. One of them, Seymour Culver, has served as 
deacon for twenty-four years. Another, Elba Corbin, has also 
been deacon for eighteen years. Mrs. Emma G. Bement, now 
Mrs. Seymour Culver, served for a long period of years as or- 
ganist for the church, faithful and regular in attendance, and 
is still teaching in the primary department of Sunday school. 
Still another was Levi Wild, who became a Congregationalist 
minister, preaching with great acceptance, until his health com- 
pelled him to relinquish his labors. He is now a tower of 
strength in the church of his forefathers. Mrs. Elba Corbin, 
who sang in the choir and was organist for several years, and 
Miss Lucy Wild make up the six now resident in town. 

Since the death of Dr. Drake there have been no large ad- 
ditions to the church at any one time. For several years it lost 
by death and removal more than it gained. Perhaps the great- 
est diminution occurred while Dr. Dike was pastor. During 
the four years of his pastorate no less than sixty members of 
the congregation moved away or died, and less than a dozen 
persons took their places. In these later years families have 
been growing smaller and smaller, and the schools as well as 
the churches have suffered a like diminution in the number of 
their members. No new names were added to the church roll 
in 1898. In 1909 twelve new members were enrolled. The orig- 
inal membership was eight according to the record of 1782. 
Wlien ]\Ir. Tullar assumed the pastorate it was sixty-six. Under 
Mr. Torrey it reached 109, and in 1838, under Rev. A. C. Wash- 
burn it had grown to 314. Just half a century later it had 
fallen to seventy-four, in 1907 to forty-nine. The membership 
today is eighty, twenty-three of these males. Eleven were added 
to the church in 1910. 

It would be unjust to compare present figures with those 
of the time when this was the only church in town. It had 
been in existence less than fifteen years when the Baptist So- 
ciety was organized. The Legislature in 1783 passed an act 
commonly called the " i\Iinisterial Act," which enabled towns 
to erect houses of worship and support ministers of the Gospel. 
This placed the authority in the hands of the town, when called 
on to act by seven of the freeholders. It provided, also, for 



222 History of Royalton, Vermont 

non-support by any tax-payer who should bring a certificate 
from specified persons, stating that the bearer belonged to a 
different persuasion from the one to which the majority 
belonged. If residents of Royalton presented such certificates 
before the organization of another Society in town, they are not 
recorded. Jedediah Cleveland had one dated 1789, but it was 
not recorded until 1792. From 1791 to 1795 twelve of these 
certificates are on record, one person belonging to the Church of 
England, one, Timothy Durkee, to the Protestant Episcopal 
Church of Bethel. Mr. and Mrs. Durkee had not found the 
Congregational church conducive to their sanctification, and 
had objected to some of the articles embodied in a platform 
which seems to have been draw^n up Aug. 12, 1789. They were 
labored with for some time, but finally he joined this church in 
Bethel, and three months later the church in Royalton excom- 
municated him with the usual formula, ' ' Let him be unto thee as 
a heathen and a publican." Those giving the other ten cer- 
tificates averred that they were of the Baptist persuasion. 

By later legislative enactment it was only necessary to say 
that a person did not agree with the majority in religious sen- 
timent, to be excused from supporting the church which the ma- 
jority supported. From 1801 to 1806 forty-one such certificates 
were filed, two, Thomas Bingham and David Rugg, stating that 
they were Universalists, and one, Godfrey Richardson, that he 
was a communicant of the Church of England. Of course, there 
was a loophole here for the escape from all responsibility in sup- 
porting the preaching of the Gospel, and the church suffered 
somewhat on this account. On the other hand it would be more 
favorably regarded by the minority, since support by them was 
now voluntary. 

It seems probable that several years before there was a 
formal organization of the Methodist church, there were meet- 
ings held, which would tend to draw from the membership of the 
Congregational church. About 1834 a particular form for dis- 
missal to the Methodist church was adopted, but soon a more 
liberal spirit was manifested. It was difficult for the "Mother" 
church to see the necessity for another religious organization in 
town, and some friction arose at first, which happily disappeared 
as time went on, and the older residents realized that new gen- 
erations had new ideas and new aims, and that, as there was 
no longer any need for strenuous exertion in obtaining a liveli- 
hood, so the later generations had come to desire less effort in 
securing their spiritual food. A ride of from three to five 
miles was more burdensome to them, than the plodding over 
fallen trees and stony paths had been to their fathers and 
mothers. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 223 

The most trying ordeal was to come when the Congrega- 
tional church at South Royalton was proposed. On Jan. 11, 
1868, the church considered a letter missive signed by W. C. 
Smith, M. S. Adams, and J. B. Durkee of South Royalton, ask- 
ing the propriety of organizing a Congregational church at that 
place. Deacon Daniel Rix was appointed a delegate, and in- 
structed ' ' to use his influence against the organization of a Second 
Congregational Church in town." Loving his people, as Dr. 
Drake did, it is easy to understand his reluctance in consenting 
to any separation of the members of his flock. In his centennial 
address he thus refers to that time: "No mortal can tell how 
sad it made me, when a new village became inevitable, and pros- 
pective separation, commercial and religious, loomed up. I 

utter not a syllable of blame, but allow an old man to mourn 
over the loss of half his former parish, every farmhouse of which 
was endeared to him by touching associations." Dr. Drake 
was too kindly a man, too great-hearted, too true a Christian 
not to give the right hand of fellowship to the new church when 
it was once established, and the old and the new have lived side 
by side, as it were, in amity, often working together in the em- 
ployment of one pastor, when circumstances required it. 

Two votes passed by the church in 1788 are worthy of men- 
tion. One passed January 9th was, "Voted that this Church 
Do view frolicking fidling and Dancing or allowing of it in any 
of their houses to be a violation of the gospel Rule and a breach 
of Church Covenant in any of its members, and this Church Do 
bear testimony against the same and without gospel Satisfac- 
tion each and every transgressor shall be Debarred Church Priv- 
ileges." The other was passed April 16: "Voted that the 
Power of Discipline is in the Church only and Not in a Counsel." 
Could there be a greater contrast? By the first they strictly 
prohibit liberty of conscience in their members, and by the other, 
stoutly maintain their liberty of action in spite of councils. 

It was the policy of the early church to look closely after 
non-attendants, and to encourage the observance of the Sabbath. 
The various auxiliaries of the church also have always received 
prayerful attention. The Sabbath School dates back to 1818, 
when the Rev. Joseph Tracy, D. D., then principal of Royalton 
Academy, effected an organization. It was held at nine o'clock 
on Sabbath mornings in the academy on the common opposite 
the church. Only children and youth attended it, and they 
marched in procession from the academy to the meeting-house, 
and when the first one set foot in the church, the last was leaving 
the academy. ' ' They had children in those days, and they went 
to the house of God," says Dr. Drake. If any separate records 
of the Sabbath School were kept, they are not known to exist 



224 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

today. The first church record relating to it is dated Feb. 9, 
1840, when the church resolved itself into "The Royalton Sab- 
bath School Society," and adopted a constitution, which pro- 
vided for visiting families, procuring teachers, furnishing books, 
and assisting the Superintendent. 

There was a movement in 1876 toward widening the in- 
fluence of the Sunday School. Dr. Drake had in his early pas- 
torate held meetings in the outlying districts of the tovrn. He 
had come into close sympathy with the people all over the town, 
and understood their limitations and needs. This year a com- 
mittee was appointed composed of John Wild and Isaac Skinner 
to confer with a committee from the South Royalton church, to 
see if it was advisable to organize Sabbath Schools in the out 
districts of the town. If these were to be independent of each 
other and the parent church, that would be an idea differing 
from that of Dr. Duncan, who, in 1880, started the Home Class 
Sunday School, which was practically a sub-Sunday School like 
sub-libraries. The Home Department of the Sunday School had 
its origin in Royalton. While Dr. Dike was living here late in 
1884 he conceived the idea of the Home Department, suggested 
it in the Vermont Chronicle of January 9, 1885, and to the Con- 
gregational S. S. and Publishing Society a little later, and with 
the hearty co-operation of the Rev. Elisha S. Fiske, his successor, 
and of the Royalton people, the first Home Department of the 
thousands that have since come into being was organized, and 
speedily grew to a membership of sixty. Unfortunately, Mr. 
Fiske 's successor did not see his way to continue it, and it was 
permitted for some years to drop into disuse. In this way 
it missed a fame similar to that of the first Christian Endeavor 
Society in Portland, Maine. 

In 1855 the Sunday School had a July 4th celebration, with 
tables of entertainment, a band of music, and addresses. Some 
neighboring schools joined with them. In more recent years 
these picnics occur almost yearly. The present Sunday School 
under the able leadership of Mrs. George Laird has an excellent 
record for comparatively large and regular attendance, and from 
its ranks a goodly number have been added to the church. 
Deacon John Wild served long and faithfully as its superin- 
tendent, until the weight of years compelled him to resign. For 
several years it has maintained a thriving Home Department 
under the care of Rev. Levi Wild. 

The church has been progressive, and bold in its stand for 
the right. It early discouraged civil suits between members, 
and strove to have disputes settled through the good offices of 
the church. It was foremost in the advocacy of temperance, 
and made a vigorous campaign against the habitual use of in- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 225 

toxicants as early as 1827. During its first decade it disciplined 
its members for intoxication, but looked with a lenient eye upon 
a moderate use of alcoholic beverages. It was members of the 
church who drew up the first temperance pledge ever circulated 
in the town, and one of its deacons made a house to house can- 
vass with it, and is said to have made the first temperance ad- 
dress ever heard in town. It was a long stride from the time 
v.hen a respected pastor is said to have become dozy over his cups, 
to the time when tippling came to be considered disreputable. 

Fifteen years before the slaveholders fired their guns at 
Fort Sumter the church recorded, "Resolved that we will hear 
our minister or any whom we shall see fit to invite to address 
us on the subject of slavery on the Sabbath once or twice a 
year," A lively sentiment in opposition to this blot upon our 
nation's fame was awakened in the town, and several families 
lent their aid to the operation of the "Underground Railroad." 
A number of bondmen and women found their way to Canada 
through the kind offices of citizens of Royalton, acting, as they 
thought, in accord with righteousness. 

There are three precious, old, worn pamphlets of the orig- 
inal records of the church, dating from August 26, 1778, to 
March 27, 1790, with many omissions between dates. There is 
no entry from December 30, 1779, to June 2, 1782. The three 
entries in the years 1778 and 1779 were probably entered after 
the reorganization of the church in 1782. One of these pamph- 
lets contains the "Four Rules," "Confession of Faith," and 
"Covenant" of the church. These are here given exactly as 
they stand on the original record: 

"To open the way for the advancement of Christ Church in this 
town, and for the satisfaction of those who desire to Join us being 
friendly to the same Cause, we hereby Declare it to be our view 

1 That the Visible Church of Christ in a town is a body made 
up of Visible Christians in that town united together in solemn 
Covenant to walk together in all the ordinances of the Lord as De- 
ciples and followers of Christ 

2 That Christian fruit Contained in Love to God good will to men, 
manifested by an answerable Life and Conversation is the Proper 
ground of Christian Charity and what we Look upon as the Requisite 
Qualification for our fellowship one with another, in the ordinances 
of Christ house. 

3 That the manner of admitting members into the Church untill 
such time as we shall have a gospel minister settled among us shall 
be by such Persons manifesting their Desire to join to the Church 
to the moderator of the Church, the moderator then to Notify the 
Church of their Desire, and the Church to appoint such time as they 
shall think Convenient to meet together for a free Christian Confer- 
ence with such Person or Persons that they may obtain mutual satis- 
faction of his meetness for a member of their Community. 

That a Perticular Relation of Experiences is not to be made a 
term, but fruit evidential of real Christianity to be viewed as sufficient. 

15 



226 History of Royalton, Vermont 

4 that the following Confession of faith and Covenant which we 
adopt and will make use of in future Practice shall be Propounded 
to them by some neighboring Minister or the moderator of the Church 
in a Publick assembly for Divine worship in this Place, to which they 
giving their Assent shall be Received as members of this Church. 

THE CONFESSION OF FAITH 

1 you believe there is one god and but one subsisting in three 
Persons Father son holy Ghost by whom the world with all its In- 
habitants was made 

2 You believe the scriptures of the old and New testament to 
be Divine Revelation from God a Pure system of Doctrine which we 
are bound to believe and a perfect Rule of Practice according to which 
we are bound to walk. 

3 you believe that god made Man originally upright in his own 
Image — 

4 you believe that our first Parents fell into a state of sin and 
that all their Posterity Come into the world in a state of Total De- 
pravity and Ruin 

5 You believe the Necessity of Regeneration of being born of 
the Spirit and becoming holy in order to see the Kingdom of God. 

6 you believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God that he Came 
into the world Died to Save Sinners and Rose again for our Justifyca- 
tion 

7 you believe that god according to the Dictates of his infinite 
wisdom has Elected Some to Everlasting Life and Leaves others to 
work out their own Damnation by Sin — 

9 you believe the Resurrection of the Dead and Eternal Judg- 
ment that Christ will at the Last Day appear in glory with his holy 
Angels gather all Nations before him will Judge and Reward Every- 
one in that Day according to their works the wicked he will send 
away into Everlasting Punishment and Receive the Righteous into 
Life Eternal 

THE COVENANT 

You do now so far as you do know your own heart in the Presence 
of god angels as men give up yourself and your all to god in an Ever- 
lasting Covenant, most heartily takeing god to be your god his word 
to be your Direction, his Law for your guide and Rule, his son Jesus 
Christ for your mediator and Saviour, and the holy Ghost for your 
sanctifier 

You solemnly engage to walk in all his ordinances as becomes a 
Deciple and Follower of Christ to sanctify his Sabbaths Reverence his 
Sanctuaries, attend and Join in his Worship from time to time as he 
in his Providence Shall give you opportunity Maintain the worship 
of God in your family at all Proper seasons especially morning and 
evening. Counsel and instruct your Children and all who are under 
you to keep the way of the Lord. 

You solemnly Covenant to walk in Fellowship with this Church 
in the fear of god and as an Heir of the grace of Life, to Live in Love 
as Christ himself hath Loved you and behave in all Respects towards 
your Brethren and towards all mankind as Becometh a real Christian 
and Saint, this you Covenant with God and this Church" 

The foregoing is undated, but is immediately followed by 
the renewal of covenant of the eight members on June 2, 1782. 
When this was copied into the first bound book of records it 
was headed, "Aug. 12, 1783," but there is no record of the 



History of Royalton, Vermont 227 

church taking any such action on that date. It held a meeting 
of that date for the calling of Mr. Searle. 

The Confession of Faith does not differ materially from 
that of other orthodox churches of the day. Its rigidity of 
doctrine probably kept many out of the church, but it was 
modified from time to time as more liberal and intelligent ideas 
prevailed. 

From 1795 onward for half a century the church was 
struggling against the "new lights." A few of its members 
were especially active in entering complaints against offending 
brothers and sisters, who had so far fallen from grace and sound 
orthodoxy, as to believe in the final redemption of all men. 
Heretics, they were sometimes called. If the offending mem- 
ber persisted in his belief after he had been labored with by a 
committee, and had been cited to appear before the church, and 
letters of admonition had been sent him, either a council was 
called or he was excommunicated. 

Some of the best Christians were thus turned out in the 
cold, and in one or two instances of suspension, died while there 
was a ban on them. Weak sisters whose sharp tongues had led 
them astray, were called to account by a zealous deacon, and re- 
quired to confess and bury the hatchet. Wo betide the man 
who tried to save a penny by working on Sunday. Good old 
Deacon Joseph Parkhurst was complained of, because he had 
driven his cattle on the Sabbath Day. With tears in his eyes 
he confessed that he had started out on Saturday with some cat- 
tle, and not being able to reach his destination, and not feeling 
that he could be to the expense of staying .over Sunday, he had 
driven on. He asked their forgiveness, which was granted. 

The effort, which was apparently genuine in most cases of 
discipline, to secure the reform of the individual, and not his 
punishment simply, and the spirit of love generally manifested 
toward an offender, are worthy of all commendation. The fol- 
lowing excerpt from Dr. Drake's address, relating to some 
troublesome cases of discipline in the early church, will give the 
reader a better idea of the church problems of that day than 
the writer can possibly give. 

"The church has asked aid of councils in maintaining its 
discipline three times in the century. The first case was a long 
difference between two brethren, which the church itself settled 
in 1799, after the trouble of a council, by passing a resolution 
of mutual confession, forgiveness and love. The second case 
was passed upon by two councils, one in 1815, on which was 
Rev. Lemuel Haynes, the widely known colored preacher, and 
another in 1817, on which was Dr. Merrill of Middlebury. It 
related to the orthodoxy of one of the deacons. He was new 



228 History op Royalton, Vermont 

school, while the majority of the church were old school, in 
theology. The difference was like that involved in the trials 
of Dr. Lyman Beecher and Albert Barnes before the General 
Assembly of the Presbyterian church, but unlike in results, the 
latter produced disruption, while the former by forbearance 
led to harmony, and the good deacon was in full fellowship up 
to his death. 

The third case was when the church, having given its ver- 
dict on a trial, afterwards the major part of them became con- 
vinced that it had judged wrongly, that it should not have ac- 
quitted the accused. Then the question was, should the case 
be retried. To do it, would be contrary to the general judicial 
rule. And so it was not done, but many of the members per- 
sisted in confessing that they voted wrongly when the case was 
tried; and then a resolution was passed by a strong majority, 
that their decision at the time of the trial was wrong. In 1860 
a council decided that such cases should not be retried. But 
some thought, and still think, that while this is general, it should 
not be the universal rule. And probably the case in hand was 
an exception, where a mere rule should not have kept the church 
from correcting a confessed and obvious wrong." 

The church reached out a helping hand to the needy of its 
flock. In 1800 it voted that "the Church will hold an annual 
meeting, at which the necessities of any needy brothers shall be 
considered & their needs supplied by the Church, according to 
their judgment & direction, by an equality on the whole body, 
according to what they possess, regulated by their annual list." 

Some changes in the observances of the church are noted by 
Dr. Drake. "In December, 1842, the time of the monthly con- 
cert was changed by vote of the church, from Monday to Sab- 
bath evening. The church also voted May, 1842, to maintain 
bi-weekly a meeting for prayer and business, and it was regularly 
held for nearly thirty-five years, but it was changed, January, 
1877, to a monthly meeting. In the summer of 1875, it was 
voted by the church to suspend the afternoon meeting on the 
Sabbath until otherwise ordered, and it has been since sus- 
pended." For many years a weekly prayer meeting has been 
held. Since college students have Ijeen supplying the pulpit, 
the prayer meeting is held on Sabbath evening, and the mid- 
week meeting is conducted by the Christian Endeavor Society. 

The Congregational church has always stood for simple 
forms of service. The earliest deacons were elected, and be- 
gan their service, so far as can be learned, without any cere- 
mony. Their office was an important one, more so then than 
now, for when the church failed of a pastor, it was their duty 
to lead in the church service and to preside at church meetings. 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 



229 



To give greater sanctity to the office it was voted July 1, 1806, 
that their deacons should be ordained, and October 21st was set 
as the day for this purpose. A council was called almost as 
large as for the installation of a pastor. The council met, but 
the rite was not performed ' ' on account of doubts in ye minds of 
some of ye council respecting the rite. ' ' Nothing more is heard 
of ordaining deacons until 1833. Rev. A. C. Washburn secured 
a set of resolutions emphasizing the need of prayerful selection 
of deacons, their duties, their fitness to act as leaders, and the 
necessity of their being ordained. The next deacons elected 
were Joseph Parkhurst and John S. Storrs, who were ordained 
August 30, with Dea. Joiner and Dea. Kinney. 

The following table shows the deacons who have held office 
since the organization of the church so far as records indicate : 
Israel "Waller, elected 1783 ; joined the Baptists about 1791. 



3^ Daniel Rix, 




1787- 


resigned 1815 


David Fish, 




1788 


died 1795. 


Daniel Tullar, 




1795 


died 1833. 


Ebenezer Dewey, 




1795; 


died 1820. 


Rodolphus Dewey, 




1815 


died 1839. 


Jacob Safford, 




1815 


died 1829. 


Salmon Joiner, 




1829 


died 1854. 


Jonathan Kinney, 




1829 


died 1851. 


Joseph Parkhurst, 




1833 


removed 1840. 


John S. Storrs, 




1833 • 


removed 1842 


Sylvanus Bates, 




1842- 


removed 1845. 


Archibald Kent, 




1842 


died 1849. 


Rodolphus K. Dewey, 




1849 


died 1864. 


Simeon Nott, 




1855 


removed 1860. 


Asahel Clark, 




1860 


died 1884. 


Daniel Rix, Jr., 




1860 


died 1877. 


John Wild, 




1878- 


living. 


Seymour Culver, 




1886 


living. 


Elba A. Corbin, 




1892; 


living. 


Henry W. Dutton, 




1910 


living. 



At the annual meeting in January, 1901, three deaconesses 
were chosen, Mrs. George Laird, Mrs. Seymour Culver, Mrs. 
Henry W. Dutton, who held the office until 1908, when Mrs. 
Joel F. Whitney, Mrs. Luke Kendall, and Mrs. Levi Wild were 
elected. For 1911 the deaconesses are Mrs. George Waterman, 
Miss Mary Whitney, and Mrs. E. S. Kendall. 

The mission spirit of the church was stimulated in the 
1830 's by the preaching of Rev. A. C. Washburn and by the 
consecration of one of its members to mission work in a foreign 
field. At the Centennial Hon. Frederick Billings referred to 
this event in the history of the church in the following words: 



230 History op Royalton, Vermont 

"I was only eight years old when, in 1831, David Belden Lyman, 
a young man just out of Andover, going to the then far-off, far- 
off Sandwich Islands, and in search of a wife, appeared here 
and proposed to one of the deacon's daughters. Sarah Joiner. 
What a commotion there was in the church ! To go to those 
far-off islands, associated with Capt. Cook and Cannibals, was 
to depart never to return, and, so solemn was the question, the 
church came together and discussed and prayed over it before 
Mr. Lyman gained his suit. She was my school teacher and had 
to discipline me because, no doubt, I was a mischievous boy, 
and so I was in favor of her accepting Mr. Lyman, and prayed 
in my young heart to the Lord, that she might go, and, when 
she got there, that the Cannibals would eat her up ! Dear, good 
Mrs. Lyman ! That I ever should have had such a wish for 
her! But I trust that she long since forgave me, for she sent 
loving messages to me when I lived in California." Some ac- 
count of the work of Mrs. Lyman and her husband will be found 
in the family record of the Joiners. 

For many years the mission collections have been divided 
among several missionary organizations. In 1882 the benevolent 
collections amounted to $483.15. Since 1880 the church hag 
contributed for benevolent purposes over $1,200. For a coun- 
try church with a membership averaging not over seventy this 
is a very good showing. The Sarah Skinner Memorial Society 
is the "Woman's missionary organization of the church. It 
was formed soon after the death of Miss Sarah Skinner in 1888, 
and was named to honor the memory of this beloved member 
of the church, who was interested in everything pertaining to 
the missionary cause. The work of the society has been along 
the lines employed by similar organizations. Several barrels 
of clothing have been sent to missions, meetings have been held 
for mission study, and no inconsiderable sum of money has been 
sent from year to year to the Vermont Branch of the Woman's 
Board and the Vermont Woman's Home Missionary Union. 

From 1889 to 1898 a Ladies' Aid Society was actively at 
work in the church. Under the auspices of this society enter- 
tainments and socials were held. When the church was re- 
paired in 1890 the society furnished new carpets for church and 
vestry. Later it bought an organ for the vestry, gave sub- 
stantial aid to the choir, and contributed toward the support 
of preaching. In 1898 the work of this society was transferred 
to the social committee of the Y. P. S. C. E. 

A Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor was or- 
ganized Dec. 7, 1885, through the efforts of Rev. A. I. Dutton 
and his wife. For two years the work of the society was ac- 
tively carried on, and then it was discontinued until Nov. 27, 



History of Royalton, Vermont 231 

1891, from which date meetings were regularly held until 
August of the following year, when the society ceased to exist. 
A new society was organized Oct. 5, 1894, which has continued 
its work without interruption to the present time. Several 
members of the church have been received from the society, it 
has been active in home benevolence, in giving aid to the Sun- 
day School, and in the social life of the community. It has 
contributed to both home and foreign missions, to the support 
of preaching, and very largely to the expense of repairing the 
church in 1905-6. 

Dr. Drake is authority for the statement that on Feb. 6, 
1793, the church "voted that the deacons purchase two tankards, 
six pint cups, two platters, one basin. Voted Amasa Button be 
a committee for the purpose of collecting grain to pay for the 
above vessels, in Dea. Rix's absence." This communion set 
was used by the church until March, 1874, when a new set was 
purchased, which was discarded about nine years ago for indi- 
vidual service. One of the original pint cups is shown in a cut 
of relics. The two communion plates now in use were presented 
to the church by Mrs. William Rix, June 23, 1901. In 1892, 
Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Kenney presented the church with a com- 
munion table, and Miss Alice Denison with a Bible, in memory 
of her mother, Mrs. Eliza Skinner Denison. In 1895 Mrs. Ly- 
man S. Hayes gave a set of pulpit chairs, and Mrs. William Rix 
a pair of hanging lamps. 

From the beginning considerable attention was paid to 
music in their church services. Choristers were elected annually 
in the town meetings in the early days. Later, after the town 
ceased to hire the minister, this matter was left to some officer 
of the church. Mr. Hebard and Mr. Day are the first recorded 
"coresters. " Alden Noble is said to have led the choir, and 
Mrs. Eliza Skinner Denison, and in more recent years D. C. 
Woodward, and Henry Dutton, also E. A. Thacher, and Mrs. 
Greorge Laird. It was a considerable period of years between 
the time when the church condemned using a fiddle in the home 
and the day when bass viols and flutes were heard in their serv- 
ices. Martin Skinner played the bass viol for many years. 
Asahel Nash was chorister and singing master in early days. 

The date of the purchase of the first melodeon has not been 
ascertained, but it was not far from 1860. In 1862 an organ 
was obtained on trial, and set up on a platform over some of the 
pews, there to remain until they decided to buy it. What the 
effect of the music was when the organ was perched on its tem- 
porary scaffolding, organ to the rear of them, choir in front of 
them, as they stood facing the gallery, can only be imagined. 
The first organ was played by Miss Maria Skinner, daughter of 



232 History op Royalton, Vermont 

William Skinner. Mrs. D. C. Woodward, Mrs. Emma Corbin, 
and Mrs. Emma Bement Culver have been organists for con- 
siderable periods of time. The present organist is Miss Mary 
Whitney. 

Although singing schools had been held from time to time, 
the church took the initiative in 1850, and again in 1853. Dur- 
ing all the years of its existence it does not seem to have lacked 
for the necessary talent to make its regular services attractive 
and inspiring through songs of praise rendered by a faithful and 
excellent choir. 

After the town ceased to have a part in the calling and 
paying of the pastor, the Society looked after the financial con- 
dition of the church. Their early records, if any were kept 
separate from those of the church, have been lost. In 1858, 
May 29, the society, called The First Congregational Society 
in Royalton, was organized and a constitution adopted. It 
seems to have been resuscitated in 1863, and again in 1879. 
After the creation of the fund of $5,000. greater responsibility 
rested upon it, and new regulations regarding loans were made. 
A majority of the trustees decide in the making of loans. The 
fund has been reduced somewhat through unfortunate invest- 
ments, but it has proved, and still proves, a valuable aid in the 
support of preaching. Mrs. Henry W. Button has been the sec- 
retary of the society since 1902. 

The Royalton Parsonage Association was organized April 
9, 1856. The next day the trustees, Daniel Rix, Martin T. Skin- 
ner, and Calvin Skinner, bought of Darius Skinner the Dr. 
Richard Bloss residence for use as a parsonage. Dr. Drake 
occupied it for sixteen years. The trustees by the vote 
of the shareholders sold the property, Nov. 9, 1872, to Mrs. 
Katherine Rix Skinner. These shareholders were obtained 
by the efforts of Mr. Rix and Martin Skinner, who went around 
with subscription papers. Some of the known shareholders 
were George Bradstreet, Stillman Smith, Franklin Joiner, 
Messrs. Burbank and Harvey, also Asahel Clark, and Heman 
Durkee. In Mr. Durkee's will he bequeathed his shares to the 
Congregational Society, to be expended annually for "preach- 
ing of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." If the parsonage 
was sold the avails were to be divided between the children of 
his daughter Emily. The church has had no parsonage since 
the sale of this one. , 

royalton association. 

The date of the organization of the Royalton Association of 
ministers, the place, and circumstances attending such organ- 
ization, have not been learned. The first mention of it thus 



History of Royalton, Vermont 233 

far found is in the minutes of a convention made up of dele- 
gates from the ' ' Several Bodies of Ministers in the State of Ver- 
mont, convened by circular letter at the house of President 
Wheelock, August 27, 1795." There were present Messrs. Job 
Swift, Samuel Whiting, Lyman Potter, Asa Burton and Martin 
Tullar, This convention planned for future general state con- 
ventions, set the first meeting at Rockingham on the third Tues- 
day of the next June, and left the choice of a preacher to the 
* ' Royalton Association. ' ' 

This record makes it certain that the Royalton Association 
was in existence at this time, and still another record proves 
that it had had, at least, one meeting before this. In the Royal- 
ton church records, under date of Sep. 9, 1795, it appears that 
the church chose three deacons to attend the next meeting of 
the Royalton Association, and ask their advice in a case of dis- 
cipline. The church possesses records of the doings of the 
Association from 1803 to 1810 inclusive. As Mr. Tullar was in- 
strumental in the organization of a General Convention for 
Vermont, it is not unlikely that it was through his agency that 
the Royalton Association was formed, and, perhaps, soon after 
coming to Royalton in 1793. 

It was customary to have a public lecture at their meet- 
ings, and to discuss questions of doctrine and polity, and to 
assign a text for members to write upon and read at the next 
meeting. Remarks were made upon these sermons, perhaps in 
the nature of criticism. Later the sessions extended over two 
days, and candidates were examined for the ministry, and min- 
isters already ordained were given a standing on request. The 
attendance upon these gatherings varied greatly. The meet- 
ings were usually held three times a year, in the first months, 
June, and in the fall. On Oct. 18, 1803, the Association met 
at the house of Rev. Martin Tullar in Royalton. Four min- 
isters were present, Joseph Bowman of Barnard, IMr. Tullar, 
Lathrop Thompson of Chelsea, and Elijah Lyman of Brookfield. 
Rev. Samuel Cheever of Hartland being present was invited 
to sit with them. They discussed the filling of vacancies and 
other matters. 

The meeting in June, 1804. was at Hartland, at Mr. 
Cheever 's house. The same persons were present. They de- 
cided that each member should spend one Sabbath the ensuing 
season with one week before and after, by consent of their re- 
spective people, in missionary labor. Delegates to the conven- 
tion to be held in Royalton the next September were appointed. 
In Feb., 1805, they met at the house of Zacharia Perrin in Ber- 
lin. Three candidates were present. Mr. Thompson was voted 
a letter of recommendation with a view to his becoming a mis- 



234 History of Royalton, Vermont 

sionary. In June they met at Waitsfield, at the house of Rev. 
"William Salisbury. Two candidates, Messrs. Waldo and Nichols 
were present. They met next in Brookfield, at the "dedication 
of the new meeting-house." In October, 1806, they met again 
in Royalton, when Samuel Bascomb of Sharon, and Nathan 
Waldo of Williamstown were received as members. 

Though the membership was small, the Association was 
progressive. When it met in Brookfield, Feb. 10, 1807, they 
voted to send a committee of two to attend the next meeting of 
the Orange Association, to confer with them regarding the estab- 
lishment of a religious periodical work, also the formation of a 
missionary society. In October they met in Waitsfield. Only 
Messrs. Waldo and Salisbury were present. Mr. Waldo 
preached to Mr. Salisbury sitting comfortably in his own home 
as scribe, then moderator Waldo and the scribe arranged for 
the next meeting. There was a large attendance at the meet- 
ing in Randolph, June, 1808. Rev. Azel Washburn, Walter 
Chapin, Chester Wright, and Amos Bingham were candidates. 
Mr. Tullar, one of the delegates to the Convention at Windsor 
in September, was desired to invite the Convention to meet at 
his home the next year, and to make out a bill of expense, which 
the Association would pay. In 1809 they decided the order of 
the meetings should be Barre, Berlin, Braintree, Rochester, 
Barnard, Sharon, Royalton, Randolph, Brookfield, Williamstown. 
At one of their sessions in 1809 they adjourned to meet at five 
o'clock in the morning, a sure proof that they were not slothful 
in business. 

In 1824 members came from the towns of Pittsfield, Brook- 
field, Berlin, Randolph, Sharon, Montpelier, Braintree, Waits- 
field, Rochester, Barre, and Cabot. In 1867 thirteen towns were 
represented. As years went on, new associations were formed, 
the railroad was built, and for other reasons, the interest in this 
particular association seems to have dwindled. When Rev. Joel 
F. Whitney came to Royalton in 1902, he made an effort to 
enliven the Association and increase its membership, but was 
met with indifference explained, no doubt, by good and suf- 
ficient reasons. He states that, finally, in 1906 the membership 
had fallen to six, three of these non-residents, and two of them 
aged men unable to attend and take part in the meetings. A 
change was decided upon for these reasons: "The changes so 
frequent, the inconvenience of getting together by rail without 
loss of time, and the lack of enthusiastic support led to the 
merging of the Association with the White River." This was 
done in 1906. 

It seems a pity that an Association so venerable, and that 
might be productive of so much good, though shorn of some of 
its powers and responsibilities, should die through lack of inter- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 235 

est, and its name after a century and more of existence, should 
disappear from the records of the General Convention. 

officers of the church and society. 

The present officers of the church not already named are. 
Clerk and Treasurer, Mrs. Emma Bement Culver; Chorister, 
Mrs. Clara Dyer Harvey; Assistant, George Waterman; Benevo- 
lence Committee, Rev. Levi Wild and Mrs. Culver; Executive 
Committee of the Society, Rev. Levi Wild, Chairman, Edward 
A. Daniels, and Mrs. E. S. Kendall; Treasurer, Dea. Elba Cor- 
bin ; Collector, George Waterman. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



The First Meeting-House. 

Reference has already been made to the fact that Sabbath 
services in town were held for a number of years in private 
dwellings or barns. With the increase in population some dif- 
ferent arrangement was demanded. The matter came up at a 
Freeman's meeting on Dec. 30, 1779. It must have been either 
formally or informally discussed before this. This meeting 
contains only the terse record, "Voted to have the meeting 
house stand on Lieut Stevens lot on the river road above his 
house." Lieut. Stevens then lived on what in later years has 
been known as the "Buck" place, now owned by Mr. Pierce. 
The terrible disaster of 1780 must have rendered naught any 
effort that may have been made to erect a house there. They 
still had in view this location, Mar. 20, 1781, when they voted to 
set up stocks and sign post at the "meeting house building 
spot." 

The next month was to change all their plans as to location. 
On April 3, 1781, Capt. Ebenezer Brewster of Dresden (a part 
of Hanover), gave to the town of Royalton a portion of lot 46 
Dutch, which he then owned. This was to be used for a meet- 
ing-house lot and for other purposes. The deed of conveyance 
is given in the chapter relating to "Town Property." At that 
time Dresden considered itself an independent town forming a 
part of the New Hampshire Grants, and Capt. Brewster prob- 
ably realized the advantage it would be to him to have on his 
land a center of attraction like a meeting-house. Be that as it 
may,_ his deed was one meriting the thanks of all citizens of 
Royalton, past, present, and future. It had the effect of de- 
ciding where the first village should begin to grow. At the time 
it was determined to build a house on the lot of Lieut. Stevens, 
he was probably the most influential man in the settlement, and 
no doubt would offer good inducements to have the meeting- 
house located near him. Capt. Brewster had the advantage of 
location, his land being very near the exact center of the town. 

The inhabitants of Royalton had a hard struggle to make 
a living and to start afresh after their homes were burned. There 
were bridges to build, the salary of a minister to raise, and a 



History of Royalton, Vermont 237 

house to be provided for him. It is not strange, then, that 
nothing is said of a meeting-house again until Jan. 6, 1784. At 
this meeting they "Voted and Excepted of Leut Lyons Pro- 
posals to Build a house 30 by 28 feet for the use of the town 
for the term of ten years & Sd Lyons to have a Good Deed of 
one quarter of an Acre of Land of the meeting house Lott North 
of the Road & a Spot of ground to Set Sd house on and Sd Lyon 
to Be Released Paying town taxes two years From Jany 6th 
1784 to Jany 6th 1786." 

These fathers of the town did not seem to consider whether 
by the terms of Capt. Brewster's deed, they had the right to 
deed a part of the land to an individual or not. They wanted 
a meeting-house, they had been wanting one for years, and here 
was a chance to get it, and to have it without any great effort 
on their part, so they accepted Lieut. Lyon's offer. They chose 
Mr. John Hibbard, Capt. Joseph Parkhurst, and Lieut. Elias 
Stevens a committee to give Lieut. Lyon a deed of this one fourth 
acre, and to take a bond of him to build the house as he had 
offered to do. In their surprise and enthusiasm over this gen- 
erous offer they lost sight of the fact, that there was already 
recorded the action of the town in locating the meeting-house 
on Elias Stevens' land. It was not even mentioned at a sub- 
sequent meeting on Jan. 26, but some one soon woke from this 
state of intoxication over the prospect of having a meeting-house. 

When they gathered again. Feb. 16, 1784, the meeting was 
devoted almost wholly to the subject of a meeting-house. They 
met at Lieut. Lyon's, and first "recoled" the vote of 1779 
establishing the house on Mr. Stevens' land, and then estab- 
lished it on "Coll Ebenezer Brewsters Lott Neare the Center 
of the Town on the west side of the River." They did not yet 
appear to have come into possession of the Brewster deed, for 
they chose Comfort Sever to take a deed of Col. Brewster of the 
land on which to set the house. For some reason they voted 
that Lieut. Lyon build a house 18 by 40 feet, instead of 30 by 
28 feet as originally proposed, giving a little less floor space, 
but probably better suited to their needs. 

Lieut. Lyon must have had materials already on hand, and 
have found abundant assistance, for in the following June, 
when they met at his house to discuss bridges, it is recorded that 
they adjourned to the meeting-house and finished their busi- 
ness. We can imagine the satisfaction and pride that they 
must have felt, after gathering so long in private dwellings, as 
they entered a real meeting-house once more, and one that they 
might call their own. It could not have been fully completed, 
but they would not be in a critical mood, and they needed no 
very warm protection on a June day. Their March meeting, 



238 History of Royalton, Vermont 

1785, was held in the meeting-house, and all others until Feb. 
5, 1787, when for some reason they adjourned to Isaac Skin- 
ner's. 

In November of that year there is evidence that the long- 
desired house was not meeting expectations. They chose a com- 
mittee of three to "Settel with Zebn (they do not say Lieut, this 
time) Lyon consarning the meeting house that It may be made 
comfortable to meet in." As they sat or stood around with the 
November winds chattering to them through the cracks, with 
their hands in their pockets to keep them warm, we can fancy 
that the gratitude which they once felt towards Lieut. Lyon 
was fast congealing. 

In the succeeding two years the house evidently did not im- 
prove as a winter residence, and the dissatisfaction of the voters 
had been on the increase. They no doubt expressed to Lieut. 
Lyon their discontent, but he might with propriety have said 
to them, "All I got out of it was two years' taxes. What did 
you expect, anyway? Go ahead, and build one yourselves, if 
you can do any better." David Fish, Bradford Kinney, Com- 
fort Sever, Ebenezer Dewey, Asa Clark, Daniel Rix, John Kim^ 
ball, Benjamin Day, and Elias Stevens finally petitioned for a 
meeting, and they gathered again on the glad day of the year, 
December 25th. They met at the meeting-house, but adjourned 
for fifteen minutes to meet again at Mr. Lyon's. The rest of 
the meeting was no doubt warm enough. They voted to build 
a meeting-house, if a subscription could be raised sufficient to 
"set up ye frame by ye first Day of Nov next & then ye floors 
to be cut into pews and sold at publick vandue to ye highest 
bidders and that whatever any one subscribes shall be taken out 
of the bid." They voted that the building should be fifty-six 
feet in length and forty in width, with a porch at each end. 
They chose Col. Stevens, Doctor Allen, Calvin Parkhurst, Mr. 
Curtis, Mr. Williams, Capt. Burbank, and Esquire Dewey a 
committee to collect what sum they could by subscription. This 
meeting was adjourned to Feb. 1, 1790, when the report of the 
committee must have been encouraging, as they chose Col. Elias 
Stevens, Col. Calvin Parkhurst, and Capt. Daniel Clapp for a 
committee to build the meeting-house. It seems quite proper 
that the church militant should have selected three military men 
for this important office. The committee which had been chosen 
to solicit subscriptions were instructed to call on the sub- 
scribers and take notes and deliver to the building committee, 
which would lead one to infer that the greater part of the new 
church was to be built on paper security. Probably their 
obligations were met at harvest time, if not before. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 239 

At an adjourned meeting Aug. 6, 1790, originally called 
by petition to discuss the building of the meeting-house that 
year and the pastor's house, the only action taken was to elect 
Zebulon Lyon and Dea. Daniel Rix an addition to the building 
committee. They adjourned to the 12th, on which date no 
action whatever is recorded relating to the meeting-house. They 
did provide for building their pastor's house, which was, prob- 
ably, all that they felt they could do in one year. 

It will be observed that in choosing committees for the 
church building Zebulon Lyon, who was one of the most prom- 
inent men in town matters, had been left out in the cold, per- 
haps because they had suffered too much from the cold in his 
meeting-house. But somehow the new meeting-house did not 
materialize. The frame was to be up and covered by Novem- 
ber, 1789. In the fall of 1790 they were still discussing whether 
or no they should build that year. It is not to be supposed that 
Mr. Lyon would subscribe very liberally, if at all. Perhaps 
others followed his example. At any rate, by August, 1790, 
it was deemed expedient to add him and Dea. Daniel Rix to the 
building committee. 

The committee now went ahead, and no other action by 
the town was needed, so we find no further mention of this new 
meeting-house in the town records. No records of the Society 
have been found earlier, than about the middle of the last cen- 
tury. In the probate records at Woodstock pertaining to the 
settlement of Calvin Parkhurst's estate, the administrators had 
a claim of £12 on the committee of Royalton for building and 
furnishing the meeting-house. This was dated Dec. 9, 1791, 
so it is quite certain that the house was built or completed in 
1791, as it could scarcely have been built in 1790 after the meet- 
ing in August. To strengthen this assumption there is found 
the town record of the selectmen in 1835. They had investigated 
the condition of the public lands, and the right of the town in 
the meeting-house. They say that no appropriation was ever 
made by the town, that in the year 1791 the town clerk warned 
a meeting of the First Congregational Society, to see about the 
building of a meeting-house, and from that time the Society took 
upon itself to build and eomplece the house. The probate 
record referred to shows that a committee of the town was 
chargeable for debt to Calvin Parkhurst deceased. No such 
item is found in the town record of that year, and why the town 
clerk should have called a meeting of the Society is not easily 
explained, unless he chanced to be also the clerk of the Society. 
This does not seem likely, since his name is not found anywhere 
on the church books. An examination of the church records 
fails to show any action in building a meeting-house. Such 



240 History of Royalton, Vermont , 

action would be entered in the Society records, which are lost. 
The selectmen who made the report may have secured informa- 
tion from some persons then living, who remembered how the 
church was built, but two things are quite certain, that the 
church was built by subscription, and mostly, if not wholly, in 
1791. 

In view of the fact that the town used the meeting-house 
for holding its meetings, it was voted in 1823 to spend $200 in 
repairing the building. As new people came to town, and those 
who had helped to build the house had died or moved away, 
some question arose as to whether the town had any right in the 
building, and in 1835 a committee was appointed to investigate 
the right of the inhabitants in the house, and it was this com- 
mittee of selectmen whose report has already been noted. 

In fixing the form and location of Lieut. Lyon's meeting- 
house, and also that of 1791, dependence has rested mainly on 
tradition. Dr. Drake in his centennial address said that the 
first building stood just "this side of the passenger depot." 
When he spoke those words he was standing in the Congre- 
gational church in Royalton village, and that meant that the 
first church stood very nearly where the freight depot stands, 
about opposite the old Dr. Lyman residence. No doubt some 
one was living who was able to satisfy him on this point. The 
church built in 1790-91 stood about where the present one 
stands, only nearer the road. The road, however, had two 
courses, one running through the present yard of the Old Deni- 
son House, and the other some distance below at the foot of the 
incline. 

From Asa Perrin's diary it is learned that the first meet- 
ing in the new church was held July 10, 1791. It is said that 
there was never any real dedicatory service, that Deacon Joiner 
stood on the gilded dome and made a dedicatory prayer. Mr. 
Perrin says that Lyman Potter preached from ]\Iatthew 22 :4 in 
the forenoon, and from Colossians 3 :14 in the afternoon. Mr. 
Potter was a graduate of Yale, and was probably located at 
Norwich at this time. Mr. Perrin has preserved the order of 
service. 

The meeting-house of Mr. Lyon was doubtless a very simple 
structure, not more than one story in height. It was probably 
framed, as other framed houses are known to have been erected 
in town before this time. No one has been found who recalls 
ever having heard it described. There is so much contradictory 
evidence as to the way the new building stood, that it is impos- 
sible to say just what its position was. In deeds mention is 
made of a north porch and a south porch, and once of a south- 
west porch, and of pews north and south of a broad aisle. This 



History of Royalton, Vermont 241 

would indicate that the side of the church stood next to the 
street, with a broad entrance there, and perhaps the porches 
were at the ends in front, with entrances from each. ]\Irs. Eliza 
Denison Jameson was positive that the building stood just as 
the present one does, with the end next to the road. When the 
repairs were made in 1823 it is probable that some changes were 
made, and it may be that one or both porches were removed. 
Those now living who remember the building were very young 
when it was burned in 1839. Very few can minutely describe 
a building with which they are daily familiar, to say nothing 
of going back to early childhood for mental pictures. All agree 
that the building was two stories high, that it had two porches, 
a cupola over one, that it had a bell and a gilded dome with 
a spire tipped with a ball. 

In the interior box pews with doors were arranged on three 
sides of the room, with seats on three sides of the pews. Pews 
or slips were set also in the center. It had the usual high pulpit 
with sounding board, and a communion table was in front of it 
hung on hinges, so as to be out of the way when not in use. 
The seat of the deacons was in front of this communion seat. 
By the arrangement of seats in the pews some sat with their 
backs to the minister, and roguish boys would have to keep an 
eye on the tythingman, if they would not be taken off guard. 
If wary, they could bump heads with their neighbors sitting 
backs to them in the pew behind. The gallery ran around three 
sides of the church, and had three rows of seats, elevated one 
above the other. The seat of the singers was in front, facing the 
pulpit, which faced the street. The backs of the square pews 
on the main floor were finished with turned spindles. These 
spindles had a habit of turning with a squeaky noise, which one 
■who remembers it, says "gave a naughty child great pleasure." 

Mrs. Jameson in describing the interior wrote in October, 
1909, "All was unpainted, I am sure. I cannot remember any 
heat but of footstoves. From a seat in a gallery pew, where my 
mother used to sit, just behind and above the singers' seats, 
just opposite the pulpit, I recollect seeing distinctly the Rev. 
Daniel Wild giving the right hand of fellowship to the young 
minister. Rev. Cyrus B. Drake on the occasion of his ordination 

as pastor of the Congregational church The entrance of the 

meeting-house was opposite the entrance of the old academy, on 
the other side of the common. There was quite a slope beyond 
the road — now smoothed away — and steps were cut in the 
gravelly earth, and a kind of walk existed from one entrance to 
the other." 

It is to be regretted that the church kept no record of the 
sale of the pew ground. It would be very interesting to know 

16 



242 History op Royalton, Vermont 

who the original owners were, though not of so much importance 
as it would be if the house were still in existence. It is likely 
that a few of the most "forehanded" bid off considerable space, 
to aid in raising money to finish the building, or with an eye 
to future gain. The earliest recorded sale of floor space is Jan. 
11, 1794, when Samuel D. Searle sold to Daniel Gilbert two pew 
grounds, Nos. 14 and 29, for £40. He states that he bid them 
off at vendue. The lower floor seems to have had a broad aisle 
extending from the front door to the deacons' seat in front of 
the pulpit, and to have had north and south alleys leading from 
the north and south porches to the broad aisle. The same num- 
bers seem to have been given to seats on the left of the aisles 
as to those on the right. The highest number observed is forty- 
one. The entrances into the gallery were from the two porches. 

No deeds from the officials of the church to pew-holders have 
been found. A few of the records that give some idea of the 
seating of the church, and a picture of the worshippers, as they 
sat drinking in the sound orthodoxy of the early pastors follows. 

In 1796 Zebulon Lyon sold Nathaniel Morse No. 10, lower 
floor, "on the right as you go in from the north porch." Dr. Silas 
Allen was original owner of a wall pew in the gallery, facing 
the pulpit. Peter Mills was also original owner of a gallery 
pew, which he sold to Levi Mower. Jacob Safford was the first 
owner of Nos. 22 and 24. lower floor. In 1805 John C. Waller 
sold one half of No. 5, and Daniel Havens sold No. 2 at the left. 
Elkanah Stevens had No. 26 at the left. Cotton Evans owned 
No. 35 in the "southeast corner," and sold it in 1812. Godfrey 
Richardson had one half of No. 7, and sold it in 1816, and the 
same year Ebenezer Dewey sold Stafford Smith one half of No. 
38. Salmon Joiner, in 1824, sold one half of No. 25, lower, 
"south of the broad aisle." When Jedediah Pierce sold No. 
40 in 1826, he stated that he had occupied it for years. Samuel 
Clapp the same year sold one-half of Xo. 37. saying it joined Staf- 
ford Smith and John Hutchinson, "on the alley from the S. W. 
porch to the broad aisle." In 1815 Amasa Dutton sold one half 
of No. 31. lower. Partridge and Lincoln had one half of No. 
20 in the gallery, "the north pew in the body adjoining the alley 
from the north porch into the front seat." In 1829 Moses Cut- 
ter sold No. 26. joining a pew owned and occupied by Jacob 
Collamer. 

This meeting-house satisfied the needs of the people until 
1837. On the first of February of that year a committee was 
appointed by the church "to take into consideration the ex- 
pediency of building a new Meetinghouse or repairing the old." 
This committee reported Mar. 1st that it was not expedient to 
remove or repair the building. About two years later they de- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 243 

cided to build a new church, and sold the old building to the 
town for $125. No record of this action is found on the church 
books. 

In October and November of that year nine orders were 
drawn by the selectmen for removal of the town house, amount- 
ing in all to two hundred dollars. There appears to have been 
considerable gratuitous service rendered in the removal of the 
old church to the other side of the common. George Harvey 
recalls that as a boy of eleven he went with his father and a 
yoke of oxen to aid in this undertaking. The hill between the 
church and the old academy was steeper then than it is now, and 
it had first to be leveled down. The evidence of this rather steep 
incline still remains in front of the Denison house. The poor 
old church was first shorn of its glory, the gilded dome and ball, 
the cupola itself being removed before it started on its migra- 
tion. The long string of oxen was brought up and hitched 
to the undergirding, the boys' halloos drowning the men's calls 
to the patient beasts, the decrepit old structure trembled a mo- 
ment loath to leave, almost preferring to drop then and there, 
but life was dear, and after a moment of hesitancy it resignedly 
started on its travel eastward. Little by little it was prodded 
on, until finally it stood on the northeast corner of the common 
near the old academy. A "sorry spectacle" indeed, crowded 
into a small space, out of harmony with its surroundings. It 
had not long to mourn over departed days, for in the spring 
of 1840 a stray spark from the near-by forge of Bela Hall lighted 
upon its dry covering, and with a glad cry of release, the worn- 
out, mourning edifice yielded up its life to the ravaging flames. 
One correspondent writes, "This fire was incidentally the cause 
of the death of Eleanor Skinner, who joined the young people 
at that fire in a line to the river to help pass buckets of water. 
She took a cold from which she never recovered. She was mar- 
ried to George Rix April 28, 1840. went immediately to the 
South, and died there June 16, 1841." 

The building of the new church went on, and it is recorded 
under date of Mar. 18, 1840, "New Meeting House was this 
day dedicated to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost." The first 
change of any importance in this building was the moving of 
the singers' seats from the gallery, which was on the end next 
to the street, to the main floor near the pulpit. This was in 
1869. Minor repairs were made from time to time, but in 1906 
the inside of the church was thoroughly renovated, and the 
steeple repaired, the whole costing about $1212. It was re- 
dedicated in 1907. 

Provision for building sheds was made Mar. 14, 1797 in 
town meeting, when it was "Voted to choose a committee of 



244 History of Royalton, Vermont 

three to direct the mode of Building sheds by the meeting house 
& direct the places where each Person that has a desire to build 
a shed shall build." This seems to imply that each was to 
build his own shed. In 1802, a committee of three was chosen 
to " fix on a place for horse sheds. ' ' If these sheds are the ones 
standing today, they are over a century old, and they certainly 
looked decrepit enough for that age, until very recently. 
Dilapidated, dry as tinder, for years they have been a blot upon 
the fair appearance of the church lot, and a menace to the build- 
ing itself, having caught fire now and then from sparks flying 
from the railway engines. In 1910 a new metal roof was placed 
on the sheds, to the great satisfaction of all concerned. 




FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, ROYALTON. 




TOWN CLERK'S OFFICE, ROYALTON. 




RAILROAD BRIDGE, ROYALTOX. 











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RAILROAD DEPOT, ROYALTOX. 



CHAPTER XVII. 



Roads. 



The Indians, who had been in the habit of following the 
First Branch to "White river, and then passing down the river 
to the Connecticut, must have made some sort of a trail, before 
white men reached the wild region now known as Royalton. If, 
as is asserted by some, they had a summer camp at North Royal- 
ton, and then went on up the Second Branch in their migrations 
to Canada, there would naturally be a trail along these streams. 
The white settler would at first avoid these trails for his high- 
way, on account of greater exposure to the foe, so we may sup- 
pose that all the roads of the first settlers were made through 
unbroken forests. There was no machine for pulling stumps, 
and there were too many of these headless trunks to make it an 
easy matter to get rid of them by burning. Possibly they were 
split or sawed close to the ground in some cases. 

Whatever the method of making highways, concerted effort 
would be needed. Roads were a necessity, and some one must 
be responsible for their making and maintenance. The first 
recorded action of this nature is found under date of Mar. 23, 
1779, when Nathan Morgan, Joseph Havens, Esquire Morgan, 
probably Isaac, and Benjamin Parkhurst were chosen surveyors. 
Mr. Parkhurst was at North Royalton, Nathan Morgan down the 
river on the Barnard side toward Sharon, Mr. Havens at the 
Phineas Pierce place as later known, and Isaac Morgan at the 
Mills. There was, then, a road up the First Branch to Tun- 
bridge, one from Sharon on the south or west side of the river 
as far as the fordway at the "Handy lot," doubtless, and one 
on the Tunbridge side from Sharon to the Second Branch, at 
least. John Hibbard was living in town then toward Bethel, 
but may have had only a bridle-path to the main road. Bethel 
was as yet a wilderness, a prospective town with a covetous eye 
on the western part of Royalton. 

At the next March meeting the same number of surveyors 
was chosen, showing that settlements did not yet require new 
roads. Lieut. Durkee, Daniel Havens, and Lieut. Parkhurst 
were the surveyors that year. In September, 1781, they voted 
that each man should work four days on the highways, and 



246 History of Royalton, Vermont 

elected five surveyors, John Billings, living not far from John 
Hibbard, looking after the road in their direction. Bethel was 
now chartered, and settlers were coming in, which necessitated 
the extension of roads leading to that town. 

At a meeting of the selectmen June 25, 1782, they divided 
the town into eight highway districts; first, from the (river?) to 
the Second Branch ; second, from the Second Branch to the First 
Branch; third, from Sharon line to the fordway at the "hendy 
lot," probably just north of Stevens bridge; fourth, from Sharon 
on the north side of the river to the First Branch; fifth, from 
White river up the First Branch to Tunbridge line; sixth, from 
Bethel line on the south side of the river to Lieut. Durkee's 
fordway; seventh, from Bethel line down the Second Branch to 
Esquire Sever 's; eighth, from Barnard line to Lieut. Durkee's 
fordway. By means of the map these divisions can easily be 
traced. Esquire Sever was in II Town Plot, and Lieut. Durkee 
in the southeastern part of 53 Town Plot. As nearly as can 
be judged, Benjamin Parkhurst was surveyor for the first dis- 
trict, Lieut. Durkee for the second, Joseph Parkhurst for the 
third, Josiah Wheeler for the fourth, Huckens Storrs for the 
fifth, Samuel Clapp for the sixth, Godfrey Eichardson for the 
seventh, and Lieut. Wilber for the eighth. Benjamin Wilber 
and Aaron were in town about this time. Benjamin owned no 
land then, as the records show. He was an ensign in 1780 in 
Capt. Benjamin Cox's Company of Barnard. This company 
followed the Indians to Brookfield Oct. 16, 1780. Aaron in 
1783 bought M. 25 Large Allotment. 

In 1783 the selectmen were instructed to raise a tax for re- 
pairing roads as they should judge best. The width of the 
roads was decided upon at a January meeting of the next year, 
when they voted that they should be two rods wide. They 
changed this to three rods in the March meeting following. At a 
proprietors' meeting held Aug. 19, 1783, it was voted that each 
proprietor should give five acres out of every hundred for pub- 
lie highways. The first recorded survey of highways took 
place May 24, 1783. No survey of the road to Tunbridge is 
found. As the pages of records are loose, badly torn and worn, 
it may be that some of the surveys have been lost. It is not 
thought best to give them in full, for lack of space and of inter- 
est to the general reader. 

The survey of the river road on the north side began on the 
Bethel line. The number specifying the distance of the starting 
point from the river is torn off. The first mile ended with 
John Hibbard 's house, the second mile tree was near the tan 
yard at North Royalton, 200 rods from the bridge over the Sec- 
ond Branch, the third mile ended with Heraan Durkee's house, 



History of Royalton, Vermont 247 

the fourth mile with "Sargents' house," the fifth at the bridge 
place, the sixth at the old fort fordway, the seventh at Nathaniel 
Morse's house, and the eighth on Sharon line about forty rods 
from the river. 

On the south side of the river the survey began where the 
Sharon line crosses the stream, and the first mile ended south 
of Lieut. Benton's; the second one was in Joseph Parkhurst's 
field, then the road extended 208 rods to the river, and across 
to the third mile tree at the fordway on the Brewster lot. This 
makes the river road on the south side end with this fordway. 

The third survey began up the Second Branch on Bethel 
line at the northwest corner of the Hutchins lot, and crossed 
the branch one mile and twenty-three rods from the Bethel line. 
It then followed the branch on the west side, joining the river 
road at Esquire Sever 's, two miles and thirty-six rods from 
where it crossed the stream. This is the original Second Branch 
road. 

The fourth survey began on Bethel line at Daniel Tullar's 
lot, and extended through lots 38 and 34 Large Allotment, 
winding dowTi a valley to the river at the "head of Dr. Allen's 
island." This road terminated at the old fordway near John 
Marshall's in later days. 

In 1785 it was decided to make an alteration in the road 
between the mouth of the Second Branch and Bethel line, and 
a committee was appointed to see if it was advisable to alter 
the road from Storrs' mills up the First Branch. This com- 
mittee reported Aug. 24th in favor of changing from the west 
to the east side of the First Branch, which report was accepted. 
The survey was to go through the land of Mr. Storrs and Mr. 
Curtis. At this time there was a road extending from the First 
Branch to Brookfield. 

The following year at the March meeting it was voted to 
extend the district for roads up the river on the south side as far 
as Capt. Clapp's lot, and they chose eleven surveyors, increased 
to thirteen in 1787. In 1787 Calvin Parkhurst was given leave to 
hang a gate for the summer ' ' at the croch of Eoad at His House 
& leading to the "White river." Mr. Parkhurst had bought the 
west 100 acres in 10 L. A., and this may refer to the "croch" 
at the old fort fordway, or, if he were living on 16 L. A., it might 
refer to the bend at the Handy fordway, which is the more 
probable, as there would be less travel on the south side of the 
river. 

In June, 1787 a road was laid out from Jesse Dunham's 
in Barnard line to Bethel line, probably the road seen on the 
1869 map, passing by H. Dunham's and J. Robinson's in the 
southwestern part of the town. Before Nov. 14th of that year 



248 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

a road had been laid from the house of John Hibbard to that 
of his son John, Jr., as on that date it was decided to which dis- 
trict this road should belong. This year they voted to lay out 
a sum not to exceed £10 on the roads, said sum to be taken from 
the penny tax granted by the Assembly at Bennington. Before 
1788 a road was laid out leading by Silas Williams' to Barnard. 

In 1792 the selectmen were thus instructed: "to proceed 
immediately and authenticate such roads in town as they think 
proper where they find they are not laid out according to Law, ' ' 
and it was voted that the selectmen lay out the river roads four 
rods wide, if there was sufficient land in the lots. The next year 
twenty surveyors were chosen. 

In accordance with the foregoing vote, a survey of the river 
road on the south side was made. No special difference between 
this and the survey of 1783 is observed. It ran past Gen. 
Stevens' house to "Pierce's" barn, by Daniel Rix's to the bank 
of the river by the "Great Bridge." The river road on the 
north side was also surveyed. It began on Bethel line 100 rods 
north of the river, onward to the bank of the river, about twenty 
rods above the fordway to Mr. Finney's, then to within ten rods 
of the Second Branch bridge, on past Isaac Morgan's, Nathaniel 
Morse's, Jeremiah Trescott's, to Sharon line. These river roads 
were now laid out four rods wide. 

A road was laid out from Squire Cleveland's to Nathaniel 
Perrin's, a distance for nearly two miles, April 16, 1793, and the 
next day another was laid out from Bethel line, beginning twen- 
ty rods from Thomas Anderson's (30 T. P.) onward to the river, 
the east side of the Second Branch bridge by Benjamin Park- 
hurst's. This was over three miles in length. 

The first recorded survey of the road to Tunbridge is dated 
May 25, 1793. It began about three rods north from the lower 
side of the south end of the bridge at the mouth of the First 
Branch, running thirty-three rods to about two rods south of 
the southerly corner of Capt. "Gilbert's red house," then 156 
rods to where the road turns down to the grist mill ("Here a 
road turns down to the Grist mill running from ye last station 
N 11 W 9 rods to the southwest corner of ye Grist mill"), then 
317 rods to the bank of the branch, on the bank of the branch 
fifty-four rods, diverging from the branch for ninety-six rods, 
then on the branch 18 rods, then sixty-nine rods to Tunbridge 
line, the road to be three rods wide. On the same day a new 
road was laid from "Gilbert's red house nigh ye mouth of the 
first branch of white river toward Nat. Morses &c — Beginning 
two rods from the red house at ye root of a pine stump which 
is ye corner of a road going up ye branch to Tunbridge — thence 
S 34 E 34 rods thence S 52 E 26 rods into the old road." 



History op Royalton, Vermont 249 

In July of this year a road was laid out, which began the 
west side of the road from Lieut. Benton's to Nathaniel Pierce's, 
south of Jonathan Benton's comer, then 150 rods to Samuel 
Curtis', thence 283 rods to Experience Trescott's, then 158 rods 
to a road on the south side, then 92 rods to a road on the north 
side, then 154 rods to a road by Ebenezer Parkhurst's, then 98 
rods to the south bank of White river. This was a hill road 
which ran by the houses on the hill in the rear of the Oliver 
Curtis and George Cowdery houses, and on to the Salmon 
Joiner hill farm, and by the Harvey houses, considerably dif- 
ferent from the present course of the road, and probably reached 
the bank of the river at a fordway in the village. The present 
road from South Royalton to Broad Brook runs over a part of 
this survey, and traces of the unused portion can still be seen. 

The same year another road was laid out beginning in 
Barnard line near Joseph Bowman's barn (probably W. 25 
L. A.) extending to Luther Fairbanks' blacksmith shop, on to 
the river near Abel Stevens' (N. 30 L. A.). A road was also 
surveyed near the "red sehoolhouse" to Bethel line near Capt. 
Kinney's in 32 Town Plot. 

A Broad Brook road was surveyed in 1794 from Barnard 
line near Benjamin Morgan's (4 L. A.) onward to Sharon line 
near William Lovejoy's, afterwards the Isaac Parkhurst place. 
Morgan lived where Ichabod Davis resided later. This road is 
said to have run by the Carlos Miller place, past Calvin Goff's 
and Joseph Cole's, running between the A. J. B. Robinson and 
Albert Snow houses. 

A road three miles in length was laid out the same year 
beginning at a road near Silas Williams', and extending to the 
east bank of White river, then on the bank of the river 316 rods 
to the east end of the "Great Bridge at Mr. Deweys." This 
seems to be the road across 26 and 22 Large Allotment. On the 
same day, Dec. 4, 1794, a road was laid out over two miles long 
from the Broad Brook road near Storrs Hall, probably the 
Lovejoy place, extending to Nathaniel Reed's, who owned land 
in M. 18 Large Allotment. That would give the hill road by 
the Thomas Davis and the Franklin Joiner places. A new sur- 
vey of this same road seems to have been made in 1799, starting 
south of Experience Trescott's barn and extending to Broad 
Brook road. 

In 1795 a survey was made, starting about fifty rods from 
the northeast of 5 T. P., and extending across the First Branch 
to the road on the east side. This same year a new road 
was constructed up the Second Branch. The survey was 
made from the land of Amasa Dutton, extending one and one 
third miles into the highway on the north side of the river. 



250 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

There seems to have been some objection to paying the charges 
for this road. At a December meeting they first voted not to 
raise a tax to pay for the same, then re-considered and voted to 
pay the selectmen's bill at three shillings a day, amounting to 
£ 11. 16. 0., and to pay £ 1. 12. 0. for rum. 

In 1800 a road was laid out from Nehemiah Leavitt's on 
Broad Brook to the road leading from Experience Trescott's to 
Amos Robinson's, the Lovejoy place. This is the road from the 
Horace Royce place by the Phineas Goff and Heman Durkee 
places. Another road was surveyed beginning a few rods south 
of Jedediah Pierce's on the west side of the road, and extending 
to Mr. Tullar's house, about three fourths of a mile, probably 
from the Gee farm or the one beyond it, to the Cloud place. 

The next year a new road was established on the north side 
of the river between "landlord Dickenson's and the meeting 
house," running sixty-five rods to the southeast bank of the 
river, then 120 rods to the old road northeast of Ebenezer Park- 
hurst, then on the old road a few rods, then S. 87° W. 54 rods, 
thence S. 51° W. 30 rods to the old road. Twenty-two sur- 
veyors were elected this year. It would seem as if that force 
ought to be sufficient for keeping the highways in good repair, 
but such did not prove to be the case. In 1806, when they had 
only one less, they found it necessary to elect an agent, Jacob 
Smith, to defend a suit brought against the town for keeping 
bad roads. Said case was to be tried at the County court in 
Woodstock. 

In 1799 guide posts were erected according to law, but there 
was, doubtless, some laxity in carrying out the requirement, 
as the selectmen received instructions again the next year to con- 
form to the law. 

The General Assembly in October, 1804, appointed John 
French, Benjamin Clapp, and Stafford Smith a committee to 
lay out a road from White river in Royalton by Randolph meet- 
ing-house to the turnpike of Elijah Paine in Williamstown. 
The road in Royalton began on the east line of Bethel, east 
of the Second Branch on Daniel Kinney 's meadow, six rods east 
of the branch, and extended to a point five rods west of the west 
end of the bridge that crossed the Second Branch near Benjamin 
Parkhurst's. Mr. Parkhurst was allowed $65.65 as damages on 
account of the road passing through his interval. The surveyor 
was Richard Kimball. 

The selectmen of Tunbridge made a new survey of the 
road along the First Branch in 1815, and that necessitated a 
new survey in Royalton. This survey extended a distance of 
about one and one fourth miles. A road was surveyed in 1819 
from Asahel Cheney's, who was then the owner of the Capt. 



History op Royalton, Vermont 251 

Gilbert stand. It began one rod east of his house, then ran 
N. 28° E. 70 rods, then N. 23° E. 20 rods, then N. 17° E. 17 and 
one half rods, then N. 10° E. 24 rods to the old road. 

In 1820 a road was laid, beginning on Pomfret line, south 
of Timothy Cheedle's house where the Pomfret road strikes 
the Royalton line, and extended over two miles to a road from 
Amos Robinson's grist mill across the brook to his saw mill. 
These mills were below Horace Royce's on a brook emptying 
into Broad Brook. Mr. Cheedle was located in southeast 4 
Large Allotment. What was called the Johnson Hill road was 
laid out in 1823. It began at a road leading from Peter 
"Wheelock's by Amos Bosworth's to White river, and extended 
to the Broad Brook road four rods west of Luther Hunting's, 
later the Benjamin Day place. 

The road commissioners were called out in 1828 to lay a 
road from the northeast corner of Barnard, down Broad Brook 
to Sharon. Those receiving pay for damages were George 
Gerry, Philip Royce, Jr., Eastman Royce, Ira Packard, Lucinda 
Packard, Silas Packard, Widow Packard, David A. Adams, 
Arunah Clark, Wright Clark, and Jonathan Leavitt. The dam- 
ages were assessed at $47.42, of which simi Royalton was to pay 
$25.00, and to have the road open in two years. There is nothing 
to prove that Broad Brook was especially avaricious in the mat- 
ter of getting roads, but it remains a fact, that in September 
of this same year the commissioners were again called out to 
lay a road from Royalton village to Broad Brook, then up said 
brook to the "harbor" in Barnard, and on towards Woodstock, 
until it should intersect the Royalton and Woodstock Turnpike, 
It began in the village on the White River Turnpike, then went 
across the bridge and onward over the Joiner hill to the road 
by Robinson's mills. Those receiving damages were Zebina 
Curtis, Ebenezer Parkhurst, Daniel Rix, Salmon Joiner, Jabez 
Hinkley, Jonathan Leavitt, and Paul Clark. One of the com- 
missioners was Daniel Rix. The damages and commissioners' 
bill amounted to $224.60, w^hich the town was to pay and open 
the road in two years. This survey is called the "County road" 
by the selectmen, when they give their orders two years later. 
Their orders amounted to $801.91 the entire expense of the road. 
The county road, then, ran along Broad Brook, over the Joiner 
hill to Royalton village. Jeremiah Gay seems to have had the 
contract for building. 

The survey from Barnard to Sharon, and the one for the 
county road would run over the same ground along Broad Brook, 
and we find the same people receiving damages. It is not 
strange, then, that in 1829 a petition of David H. Parks and 
others was considered, and the road commissioners threw up 



252 History of Royalton, Vermont 

the survey from Barnard to Sharon from a point in Packard's 
land to Sharon line. They had been asked to set aside the 
whole of the survey, and on the same date were petitioned to 
alter it. An alteration was granted from Sharon line to Mr. 
Clark's, and a change was also made from a point in Packard's 
land to a point east of Jonathan Leavitt. 

After the railroad came into Eoyalton, Daniel Tarbell, Jr., 
made strenuous efforts to get a bridge across White river at 
South Royalton, and a survey made connecting the village-to-be 
with the Chelsea road. A station at South Royalton was con- 
tingent on the building of the bridge. Mr. Tarbell met with 
strong opposition. He himself says that he was supported by 
Lyman Benson, Phineas Pierce, and Cyrus Safford, and the busi- 
ness men of Chelsea and Tunbridge, and opposed by the vil- 
lages of Royalton and Sharon, both of which wished to retain 
their trade and prestige. He appealed to the selectmen and 
to the road commissioners to lay out a road and build a bridge 
without avail. He and his supporters secured the bridge by 
subscription, then he petitioned for a Court's Committee, which 
was granted by the Orange County Supreme Court. This com- 
mittee made a survey in October, 1849. It followed the old 
road most of the way, varying in some places to avoid steep 
hills. These variations were near Oel Cleveland's, Tyler Bur- 
bank's, and David F. Slafter's. Mr. Cleveland was awarded 
as damage $7, Mr. Slafter $125, Phineas Pierce $65, Lyman 
Benson $100, and to Phineas Pierce, Lyman Benson, Cyrus Saf- 
ford, Orison Foster, and Benjamin H. Cushman ''to be held 
either in their own right solely or as well for themselves as also 
in trust for the other contributors towards the Bridge leaving 
that matter to be adjusted by those claiming an interest accord- 
ing to their respective rights the sum of $4000." 

The committee considered that the bridge was likely to be 
of equal benefit to Royalton, Tunbridge, and Chelsea, and that 
they ' ' ought to contribute in equal proportions towards the orig- 
inal costs and expenses of the same as well as the future main- 
tenance of the bridge." They proposed that in lieu of liability 
for future maintenance of the bridge, Tunbridge and Chelsea 
should pay $450 each to Royalton, and the assessments for the 
two towns were based on this proposition. Chelsea was to pay 
Royalton $2542.50, and Tunbridge, $1227.25. They said in case 
the Court should decide that the bridge had been dedicated 
to public use in such a sense that no damage should be assessed, 
then Chelsea should pay to Royalton $1103.08. and to Tunbridge 
$106.09. They estimated the* bridge at $4000, and the whole 
expense for damages and building in Royalton at $5174.50, in 
Tunbridge $1527.50, in Chelsea $212.25. The cost of laying out 



History of Royalton, Vermont 253 

and surveying, $498.72, was apportioned equally to the three 
towns. 

It was not to be expected that all three towns would be 
satisfied with the report of the commissioners, Edwin Hutchin- 
son, Bliss N. Davis, and Timothy P. Redfield. The matter was 
continued from term to term until December, 1850. The Court 
then decided that the bridge belonged to the subscribers, and 
reduced the assessment on it one half, which was to be paid to 
the committee that built the bridge by April 1, 1851. Mr. Tar- 
bell in his published autobiography says the bridge cost $3600, 
and that he lost $800 on it. The Court also set aside the prop- 
osition of the committee relating to the future support of the 
bridge, and ordered that "the three towns remain liable to & 
for said support in the proportion fixed by the commissioners 
until such proportion shall be varied by proper authority. ' ' The 
petition had asked for a survey to Broad Brook, and this was 
rejected, and a deduction on account of that survey was ordered 
made from the costs. The road was to be open for travel Oct. 
1, 1852. It was laid three rods wide except from Pierce's tavern 
to the depot, which part was to be four rods in width. 

Many changes had taken place in the roads before this time. 
Only a few of them can be noted. In 1827 the First Branch 
road was changed, beginning twenty-six rods from Pierce's mills 
down the road forty-two rods to the old road. The next year 
the road was altered by Capt. Rix's, beginning sixty -four rods 
from his saw mill, extending eighty-nine rods to the old road, 
and the old part was set to Ebenezer Parkhurst. The road 
above Royalton village was changed in 1854. It was to begin 
fourteen rods north of Simeon Nott's (James Henry place), 
and extend across the railroad, and across Calvin Skinner's land 
and Oramel Sawyer's (the Jacob Cady place), to Parkhurst 
Barrett's. An open road leading from Polydore Williams' land 
through Ebenezer Day's farm to the road leading from the 
Royalton and Woodstock Turnpike was made into a pent road 
in September, 1827, At a later date, 1860, the Johnson Hill 
road was discontinued. The road by the Washington Leonard 
place near Barnard line was changed in 1862 by road com- 
missioners, so as to avoid keeping in repair two bridges close to- 
gether. By this new survey the road ran in the rear of Mr. 
Leonard's house. 

After the dissolution of the Randolph Turnpike Company, 
the selectmen in ]\Iarch, 1835, set off that road and the road 
leading from it to the wTst side of the Second Branch into a 
district by themselves, called No. 23. About this time Jacob 
Fox began his efforts to get a new bridge at North Royalton, 
and to have the old turnpike road changed. The town did not 



254 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

even consider such a change in town meeting, so far as records 
show, but Mr. Fox kept busy. The first intimation that some 
progress had been made is found in the warning for a meeting, 
dated Nov. 4, 1835, which has this clause: "To see what order 
the to\^Ti will take respecting the new road lately laid out up the 
2d Branch of White Kiver by the Courts Committee." The 
article was passed over. They evidently did not intend to act 
unless compelled to do so. In the warning for a meeting on 
May 17, 1836. one article reads: "to see if the town will take 
measures to make the new road laid out by a courts committee 
and confirmed by the supreme court at its last session at Chel- 
sea, up the 2d branch of White river." They had paid little 
regard to the Court's Committee, and were not to be awed into 
obedience even by the Supreme Court itself, as the following 

action will show : 

"Voted 1st That a committee of three be appointed to ascertain if 
the Town is legally obliged to make the road supposed to have been 
ordered by a committee appointed for that purpose by the Supreme 
Court and the report of said committee accepted by said Court at their 
session in the County of Orange last March Term said road leading 
from Fox's tavern in said Royalton up the Second branch and then 
through Bethel and Randolph 

2d If in the opinion of said committee the Town is obliged to 
make said Road then that said committee be authorized and directed 
to cause the same to be made, by selling the making thereof either 
all together, or in sections, either at private sale or publick auction, 
as said committee may judge expedient. 

3d That said committee be instructed that, when disposing of 
the making of said road, it be a condition precedent to the receiving 
of any pay by those who may take it to make, that it be accepted 
by the authority legally empowered to accept the same." 

Garner Rix, Elisha Rix, and Harry Bingham were chosen 
a committee for the above purpose. 

Of course the road had to be built. A special meeting was 
called for July 9, 1836, to instruct further the building com- 
mittee regarding the connection of the new survey with the old 
road near Jonathan Kinney's. The survey extended from Ben- 
jamin Parkhurst's to the road north of Amasa Button's. By 
this survey two bridges were to be built, one of them by Wight's 
mills. The road was to be completed by July 1, 1837. 

The damages assessed by the Court's Committee were not 
satisfactory, and the persons interested agreed with the town 
on May 17th, in the selection of a committee of reference. From 
the selectmen's orders it is learned that the road was built in 
sections, fifteen at least, and that John Brooks, Oliver and John 
Warren, and Jedediah Cleveland were the workmen. The 
amount of damages for which orders were issued was $618.50, 
and the bill for building was $619.65. This, probably, does not 
include the whole expense, as items for lumber do not state for 
which bridge they were used. This road was one of the most 



History of Royalton, Vermont 255 

expensive which the town was called upon to build, and it must 
have been a rather heavy burden for the tax-payers, consider- 
ing they were compelled to erect the Fox bridge about the same 
time. At the March meeting in 1837 the selectmen were di- 
rected to change the survey, and lay a road "across the neck 
of a pond on Jonathan Kinney's land." It is said that the old 
branch road ran farther north, over the hills down by the pres- 
ent George Taggart place. 

In 1852 a road was laid out, beginning eighty-six and one 
half feet from Rufus Kendrick's, and extending forty rods 
across the railroad to the gate in Daniel Tarbell's pasture. This 
seems to be a survey of what is now called North street in South 
Royalton. 

In 1868 a petition was before the Court of Windsor county 
asking for a road to be laid from South Royalton over the hill, 
connecting with the road from Royalton village to East Barnard 
near the Broad Brook schoolhouse. The voters at their March 
meeting instructed the selectmen to oppose the building of it. 
Those in favor of the road did not let the matter rest here. A 
hearing was held at Woodard's hotel April 27th, at which time 
the petitioners and their counsel, Charles M. Lamb and Stephen 
M. Pingree, Esquires, were heard, also the selectmen with their 
counsel, D. C. Denison and Henry H. Denison, Esquires. The 
hearing continued three days. After an examination of the 
premises and both sides had been heard, the commissioners de- 
cided that a pent road should be laid from South Royalton vil- 
lage to connect with the Joiner road to Broad Brook. It be- 
gan at the tavern barn in South Royalton. Gates were to be 
erected on the lines dividing the land, to be kept closed from 
April 1st to November 15th. The survey states that "said line 
of Road above described runs nearly in the course of an old 
road partly worked from a point where the above described line 
strikes the land of D. B. King through the entire length." 

The commissioners advised the continuation of the road to 
the center of the highway three and one half rods from the 
northwest corner of the brick schoolhouse on Broad Brook, and 
the cutting down and grading of "Clay Hill." The survey 
ran a little east of the old road. The selectmen were asked 
to make this an open road, and they granted the petition after 
a hearing in August. 1870. They assessed the damages at $13.56. 
The making of this road drew heavily on the tax-payers, and 
that year 100 cents on the dollar was voted. The road was 
legally opened March 16, 1871. 

In 1878 the selectmen were requested to widen what is 
now called Chelsea street. The stores on the Park side of the 
street had lately been burned. The selectmen ordered a side- 



256 History of Royalton, Vermont 

walk three and one half feet in width to be built, and that no 
hitching posts should be allowed on either side of the street. 
They were also petitioned to lay out a road in the rear of the 
burnt stores, and they did so, extending a road four rods wide 
across the Park. The owners of the land through which the 
road passed were to receive damages as follows: Lawrence 
Brainard, $383.33, Lewis Dickerman, $100, Aaron N. King, 
$58.33. The road was to be completed and open for the public 
Nov. 15, 1878. A protest served to nullify this action. 

In 1883 a road was laid out in South Royalton from Isaac 
Northrop 's across the land of James Cloud and Lyman C. 
Tower, and across the railroad to the Sharon road. This is 
what is now named South street. 

In 1903 Bethel had to lay out a road to the lands of the 
Woodbury Granite Company in Bethel, and Royalton had to 
lay out a road to accommodate the Bethel Electric Light & 
Power Company, and the lands of these two companies were 
contiguous and near the line between the two towns. On June 
20th the two towns entered into the following agreement: 
"Whereas a highway on said line between said towns from 
said main highway to the lands of the Central Vermont Rail- 
road opposite the lands of the sd Granite Company & near lands 
of the Electric Light Co. would fill & meet all the requirements 
of the two said companies for a highway. & whereas it is im- 
practicable because of the position of the land to lay out and 
maintain a highway on sd town line — sd towns in accordance 
with Sec. 3335 of Vermont Statutes, agree to lay out and main- 
tain a highway near sd town line in the town of Bethel running 
from the main highway to the lands of the C. V. R. R." Royalton 
agreed to pay $200 towards the road, and Bethel agreed to main- 
tain it for fifty years, if the Electric Co. or its successors or as- 
signs should need it for so long a time, and to save Royalton 
harmless from all claims for damages, costs, or expenses. The 
Electric Light & Power Co. agreed not to make any further 
request of Royalton for any highway for the same period of 
time. 

There are several railroad crossings in Royalton, some of 
which are very dangerous. The C. V. R. R. Company petitioned 
the Railroad Commissioners of the State of Vermont in 1908 for 
an underpass near the residence of Patrick IMcGuinness. A 
hearing was held at Royalton. April 16, 1908, when commis- 
sioners John W. Redmond, Eli H. Porter, and S. Hollister 
Jackson, and the clerk, Rufus W. Spear were present. C. W. 
Witters appeared as attorney for the railroad, Tarbell & Whithara 
for Royalton. and E. R. Buck, State's Attorney for Windsor 
County and the State of Vermont was also present. The pe- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 257 

tition was granted June 20, of that year. The railroad was 
ordered to build the underpass 495 feet north of the grade cross- 
ing. The dimensions, manner of construction, drainage, and 
grading of the road were specified. It was to be twelve feet 
high and twenty feet wide. The highway was to be three rods 
wide, the roadway twenty feet wide. The underpass was to be 
completed Nov. 15, 1908, to the satisfaction of the Board. Royal- 
ton was to pay 10%. the State 25%, and the Railroad 75%) of 
the expense. The total cost was $5330.24, of which sum Royalton 
had to pay $533.02. The road was accepted, but the crossing is 
quite as dangerous as before, not from the risk of railroad ac- 
cidents, but because the turn is so abrupt that autos cannot be 
seen until close at hand. 

The highway districts were abolished in 1892, when by 
legislative enactment road commissioners were to be elected 
by each town. The next year Selden S. Brooks was elected 
road commissioner for Royalton. A road machine had been 
purchased a year or two before. The highway bills for repairs 
now increased considerably, but the expense was offset in a 
measure by the money drawn from the State. The following 
year George Ellis was elected to the office of road commissioner, 
and held it by re-election until 1900, when C. C. Southworth 
was chosen. In 1899 the highway expenses were $2335.79. The 
increase in expense was due in large degree to the making of per- 
manent roads, small portions being made in different parts of 
the town each year. The succeeding commissioners have been 
Samuel L. Slack, 1902-05, John A. Button, 1905-07. C. C. South- 
worth, 1907-08, A. N. Merrill, 1908-. 

In 1907 the town voted to lay out $300 additional, and thus 
take advantage of the law passed in 1906 encouraging the build- 
ing of permanent state roads. There were built in 1908, 2491/^ 
rods of state road, at an expense of $1218.02. The entire bill 
for highways that year was $3915.83. There were received 
from the State $917.94. 

There are about ninety-one miles of public highway in town, 
not counting pent roads. The roads are probably in better con- 
dition than they ever were before. The two main roads on 
either side of the river and the Chelsea road are much fre- 
quented hy autos, and no more beautiful drives can be found 
anywhere, than in following the sinuous courses of the river 
and the two branches, with their green islands and tree- 
bordered banks, and letting the eye delight in the forest-crowned 
hills that feed these lovely streams. There is an auto station 
at South Royalton near the new iron bridge, and the hotels at 
either village welcome the weary and hungry traveler, and 
send him on his way with pleasant recollections of the beauti- 
ful, old historic town. 
17 



258 History of Royalton, Vermont 

By the establishment of turnpike companies towns were re- 
lieved from excessive taxation for the purpose of building roads, 
and from the care and responsibility of the main roads of the 
town. By a system of tolls it was expected that the traveling 
public would pay the expense of construction and maintenance, 
and bring to the companies a good return for the money in- 
vested. There is no doubt but that they did prove a blessing to 
the towns for a while, but it is a question if they proved very 
productive to the corporations. In some cases the turnpikes 
were not kept in proper repair, there was more or less quarreling 
over toll exactions, and the people came to realize after a time 
that they were really paying for the roads themselves, and they 
might as well have the oversight of them. 

The year 1800 was a prolific one for the birth of turnpikes. 
It was now five years since the first suggestion of a turnpike, 
according to the Hon. E. P. Walton, came from Sherburn Hale 
of Rockingham, who petitioned the Assembly to have the exclu- 
sive right to build a road in Rockingham and receive toll for 
passengers like ferrymen. 

On Oct. 13, 1800. the Assembly considered a petition from 
Joel Marsh, Elias Stevens, and George Dana "praying that the 
Legislature will pass an act granting to them and their asso- 
ciates the exclusive privilege of making a Turnpike Road from 
the mouth, and on the northerly side of White River as near said 
River as may be, through Hartford, a corner of Pomfret and 
Sharon, to the mouth of the second branch in White River in 
Royalton, being about twenty one miles. ' ' The bill was referred 
to a committee, of which Jacob Smith was a member. This com- 
mittee reported that it ought to pass, and it received the ap- 
proval of the governor and council Nov. 1, 1800. Elias Stevens 
and Elias Curtis were appointed a committee by the company, 
to survey the road. They completed the survey to Sharon 
Nov. 11. The survey in Royalton began at the old Sharon line 
fortj^-seven rods from the center of the road by George Dana's 
horse sheds, and extended to the bank of the river, passing 
Capt. Gilbert's house two miles from Sharon line, running on 
to Isaac Morgan's. 148 rods, then 122 rods to Flint's potash 
works, then 68 rods to the lower end of Cotton Evans' meadow, 
then 258 rods to the south side of the meeting-house, then 211 
rods to Capt. Skinner's house, then 341 rods to Benjamin Park- 
hurst's house. 

Two gates were allowed, which were to be open when no one 
was attending them. One of these gates was on Sharon line. 
The corporation was liable for damages on account of defective 
roads or bridges. Commutation was allowed by paying a cer- 
tain sum monthly or yearly. At each gate were to be sign 



History of Royalton, Vermont 259 

boards with the rates of toll, and if a stingy man tried to avoid 
the toll by driving around the gate, he was to be fined. Toll 
was not exacted of those going to or from public worship, or to 
or from any grist or saw mill, or on military duty, or on ordi- 
nary domestic duties. Accounts were to be laid before the 
Supreme Court every fifteen years, and when expenses and in- 
terest at the rate of twelve per cent were paid, the Court had 
power to dissolve the corporation, and vest the property of the 
road in the State. 

Royalton seems generally to have had very peaceable rela- 
tions with this corporation for fifty odd years. This harmony 
was doubtless due to the fact, that there were no bridges to 
maintain. The selectmen drew an order in favor of Daniel 
Woodward for $30, on Aug. 20, 1844, "it being the sum he paid 
the road commissioners for sitting on the subject of White River 
turnpike this month, as per order of court." This would in- 
dicate that there was a little breeze of discord at that time. Fifty 
years is long enough to change the personnel of any organiza- 
tion, and the conditions under which it was formed. Many of 
the turnpike corporations had ceased to exist before 1850, and 
it is very likely that toll had ceased to be exacted rigidly in the 
later years of their existence. On Jan. 1, 1852, the White River 
Turnpike Company met at Sharon and voted, that when Hart- 
ford. Sharon, and Royalton or their agents should pay $30, or 
any one of the towns should pay $10, they should be entitled 
to the turnpike road in such town. George Lyman was chosen 
agent to close and finish up the business with the power of di- 
rector. 

There had been some tentative negotiations before this, for 
a special meeting was called Sep. 2, 1851. when it was voted to 
take the turnpike "on the same principles that the towns of 
Hartford & Sharon have by paying the nominal sum of ten dol- 
lars, and instruct the selectmen to repair the same and divide 
it into Highway Districts." George Lyman as agent for the 
corporation receipted for the ten dollars received at the hand 
of Forest Adams, selectman, March 24, 1852, and this turnpike 
was a thing of the past in Royalton. 

The petition of Charles Marsh and Levi Mower and their 
associates for a turnpike from Woodstock Court House to the 
meeting-house in Royalton was granted Nov. 6, 1800. The con- 
ditions of this turnpike were almost identical with those of the 
preceding. A part of the toll rates were "for every four- 
wheeled pleasure carriage drawn by one beast, thirty cents — 
for each wagon or cart drawn by two beasts, fifteen cents — ^for 
each sled or sleigh drawn by two beasts, twelve cents — for all 
horses, mules, or neat cattle led or driven, besides those in teams 
or carriages, one cent each. 



260 History op Ro\alton, Vermont 

By some strange oversight the survey of this turnpike is 
not recorded in Royalton. The subsequent alterations are 
found. The turnpike entered Royalton in 25 Large Allotment, 
and ran through lots 25, 24, 28, 27, 26, 30, and across the bridge 
at "Foxville" a little farther down stream than the present 
bridge. 

Other members of the corporation not named were Jacob 
Smith, William Leverett, Zebulon Lyon, and Stephen Jacob. 
The first meeting was to be held at Joel Dickenson's in Royalton 
on the second Mondaj^ of December, 1800. Three years were 
allowed for completing the road to the acceptance of the judges 
of the County Court. Two toll gates were allowed, and the 
company could erect others, but not exact additional toll. 

To placate Pomfret and Woodstock, which towns did not 
take kindly to the turnpike, considerable favoritism was allowed 
at the toll gate near Daniel Dana's in Woodstock. In the 
course of events David Bosworth in 1838 was appointed gate 
keeper. The gate had been open a part of the time before his 
advent, but Mr. Bosworth was going to live up to the law in let- 
ter and spirit, and seemed to think that "domestic concerns" 
had been given too broad an interpretation. Accordingly, he 
exacted toll of every one. Naturally, this course created a stir 
and opposition. Mr. Dana in his History of Woodstock says, 
"On one side was a powerful party consisting of the town of 
Woodstock and the people living adjacent thereto, and on the 
other side was a powerful party, consisting of David Bosworth. ' ' 
And Mr. Bosworth won out, setting up the toll gate when the 
authorities tore it down, and continuing placidly to exact toll 
with impartiality. 

There was a good deal of dissatisfaction in Royalton re- 
garding this turnpike, and the condition of the bridge over the 
river which it was to support. The road does not seem to have 
been a paying investment, and it was not kept in proper repair, 
the bridge becoming really unsafe. The company tried to avoid 
responsibility by changing its route and crossing the bridge at 
the center of the town. Their right to do this was questioned, 
but finally at a meeting Sep. 9, 1830, the town voted, "That if 
the Royalton & Woodstock Turnpike company will lay out & 
support their road across the bridge over White River near 
Royalton Meeting house & support sd Bridge as part of sd 
turnpike the town of Royalton will pay the sum of twenty 
five Dollars annually for the term of twenty years to said com- 
pany towards the support of sd Bridge." On the 13th of the 
same month Edwin Edgerton as sole director of said company 
accepted the proposition, and became bound to support the 
bridge. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 261 

A legislative act of 1839 made it within the power of the 
supreme court and county courts to take the turnpikes whenever 
the public good required them for public highways. The pe- 
tition of Titus Hutchinson and ninety-nine others for a free 
road from the house of Jacob Fox, ' ' crossing the bridge over the 
river and coming on the present Turnpike road as much of the 
way as shall be necessary, laying out new routes by some of the 
steep hills, laying the same through a part of Royalton, Barnard, 
Pomfret and Woodstock to the Court House Common in Wood- 
stock," came up in the May term of court at Woodstock in 
1841. The petitioners were represented by Titus Hutchinson, 
and the Turnpike Company by Tracy & Converse, Royalton by 
the Hon. J. S. Marcy. The company asked that the petition be 
dismissed, on the ground that the road was to run over the 
whole route of the turnpike, but they were overruled, and ex- 
ceptions were taken. A committee was appointed to lay out a 
road, if they should think the public good required it. They did 
so, their report was accepted at the November term, exceptions 
■were taken, the report was recommitted, and ordered to be 
brought in at the next term. The petitioners were allowed to 
amend their petition so that the road should begin at the meet- 
ing-house, as it stood in 1800. 

The company made a list of eighteen objections, the chief 
being, that the report showed no need of a new highway, that 
the legislative act under which the commissioners acted was void 
and unconstitutional, the damages too small, there was no serv- 
ice of said petition, and no notice to appear in court, all of 
which were overruled, and the road ordered to be open by May 
1, 1842. The turnpike died hard, but it was dead. 

The lack of a recorded survey of this turnpike may, per- 
haps, be explained by a reference to Zebulon Lyon's letter in 
reply to an inquiry in 1810 of the Surveyor General regarding 
the accuracy of maps and surveys. Mr. Lyon wrote that the 
turnpike in almost every instance was the same as the old road, 
except straightened where there were short brooks. The old 
road was laid out in 1793, and the places then mentioned were 
Joseph Bowman's, Luther Fairbanks', and Abel Stevens'. 
When the turnpike took the risk of the center bridge, a new 
survey was made. Beginning at the foot of the hill south of 
David Williams', it ran 122 rods to Williams' line, 200 rods to 
the gulf, 110 rods to the Ross house, 96 rods to the Rix bridge, 
84 rods to the Rix road, 66 rods to E. Parkhurst's land, 31 rods 
to the schoolhouse, into the county road, and so on to the meet- 
ing-house in Royalton village. In 1838, after the town had 
built a bridge at "Foxville." a new survey began at the same 
place as before, extending 236 rods to a point opposite E. Rix's 



262 History of Royalton, Vermont 

barn, 76 rods to the top of the hill, 214 rods to the bridge, 
across it, then 26 rods to the White River Turnpike. Of 
course from this time the town would not pay the $25 yearly 
agreed upon for the support of the center bridge, as the com- 
pany had turned back to its old route. 

The Center Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1800, 
Nov. 4, extending from Middlebury to the courthouse in Wood- 
stock, and also a road was to leave "the aforesaid road at the 
most convenient place, and to extend to the mouth of the sec- 
ond branch of the White River in the town of Royalton." One 
gate was to be allowed on the extension to Royalton. The 
Royalton and Woodstock Turnpike seems to have served the 
purpose of this extension. The Center company had a survey 
made of the White River branch Nov. 8, 1806. It began a few 
rods east of the Second Branch where the White River and 
Randolph turnpikes met, and extended up the river as the old 
road ran to Samuel Wheeler's, past Joseph Bowman's, the 
houses of John Bliss and Thomas Bacon, crossing the road at 
the last point, then on to Bethel line. Jesse Williams was the 
surveyor. This gave an extension towards West Bethel. 

Leonard Farewell was a prominent member of the Randolph 
Turnpike Company. He had to wait a year before he suc- 
ceeded in obtaining a charter. The road was incorporated 
Nov. 8, 1805. The Legislature appointed Elias Stevens, Cor- 
nelius Lynde, and Nathaniel Wheatley as commissioners to lay 
out the road. The survey was made on the 20th of the same 
month. It began at the north end of the White River Turn- 
pike, five rods south of Jacob Fox's, near the mouth of the 
Second Branch, and extended to Bethel line, then on through 
Bethel and into Randolph. Daniel Paine was the surveyor. It 
seems to have followed the old road up the Second Branch, with 
one exception. John Kimball was the only one receiving any 
damages, and he was to have $35 if the old road was discon- 
tinued, otherwise, $60. 

The following attested by Leonard Farewell, clerk of the 
Randolph Turnpike Company, is recorded in the town records 
under date of Nov. 30, 1833: "At a meeting of all the pro- 
prietors & owners of the Randolph Turnpike holden at the house 
of Jacob Fox in Royalton in the County of Windsor on the 
18th day of November 1833 voted unanimously by the pro- 
prietors of sd Turnpike that they from this time surrender up 
their charter of incorporation & surrender up sd Road to the 
public agreeable to an act of the Legislature of the State of 
Vermont Passed on the sixth day of November 1833." 

The fordways in Royalton were an important part of its 
road system for twenty or more years. It is very likely that the 






Alsop Latbam, 

1799-1878. 

William H. Safford, 
1822-1890. 



Mrs. Sally (Cole) Latham, 
1795-1891. 

Alden Craft Latham, M. D., 

1828-1908. 




GROUP OF RESIDENTS EIGHTY YEARS OLD OR OVER. 

Mrs. Sarah (Houston) Haynes. 

Mrs. Pliebe Carson (Durkeej Latham. 

Mrs. Mary Jane (Gee) Davis. 

Ira Cur.iss. 
Miss Lucy Skinner. 
Mrs. Maria E. (Clapp) Mc-Cul lough. 
Rufus Bailey (Moud 
Mrs. Betsey (Curtis) Davis. 



ienjamln Franklin Bosworth. 

ienjamln Cole Latham. 

\lrs. Betsey Bates (Poole) Pike. 

benezer Wlnslow. 

Mrs. Sarah (Waterman) Phelps. 

Mrs. Abble Taylor (Bancroft) Danforth 

Mrs. .lennette S. (Lyman) Bigelow. 

Mrs. Hannah (Curtis) Benson. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 263 

Indians in their journeys up and down the river had already 
left a trail indicating some of them. Perhaps the one used by 
the first settler, Robert Havens, was one later spoken of in 1792 
as leading from Nathaniel Morse's to Daniel Rix's. It was 259 
rods south of the mouth of the First Branch. 

The first mention of any fordway in the records is that of 
the "old fort fordway" in 1781, when the pound was located 
west of it. It must have been used as early as the building of 
the fort in 1776. It is still an available fordway for the town. 
It was surveyed on the south side of the river in 1797. on the 
line between Elisha Kent, Jr., and Joseph Safford. It was sur- 
veyed on the north side in 1829. It was discontinued Jan. 15, 
1849, on condition that, if the public convenience required it at 
any time, the selectmen were to have the right to open it, and 
the town would not be liable for damages to those owning the 
premises. The last time that it was re-opened was during the 
building of the new iron bridge at South Royalton. 

The Durkee fordway and the Handy fordway are referred 
to in 1782. What seems to be the former was surveyed in 1795. 
It began on the line between Isaac Skinner's and Jacob Saf- 
ford 's, on the road from Daniel Clapp's to Darius Dewey's, run- 
ning to the south bank of the river, across it into the road by 
the meeting-house. This is generally called the "Rix ford- 
way." It must have been used from the earliest days, as it 
was not far from this fordway that Benjamin Parkhurst settled. 
The Handy fordway is described as being one rod above Stevens 
bridge. One might think this received its name from the 
heroine, Mrs. Hendee, but it is referred to as at the * ' hendy lot. ' ' 
It is impossible to connect this lot with any land belonging to 
Robert Handy. He may have lived near the Milo Dewey place 
before the land was allotted under the Vermont charter, as 
Robert Havens lived on the George Cowdery place. Perhaps 
they took "squatters' rights," as so many others did in those 
days. 

One other fordway is mentioned as early as 1792, then called 
a fordway to Pinney's, which is probably the same as the one 
near John Marshall's, now the home of Mrs. John Hinkley. A 
fordway still earlier mentioned was connected with a second, 
the two lying at opposite ends of an island. These are named 
first in a deed of 1787, given by Calvin Parkhurst, when he sold 
a four-acre island located between a fordway called "Shorts 
intervail fordway" and the one leading from Zebulon Lyon's 
to John Kent's. The course of the river and the islands in it 
have changed so much that it is difficult to verify the places 
mentioned, but this island seems to have been partly in the rear 
of the common in Royalton village, extending above the preseni 



264 History of Royalton, Vermont 

bridge. No trace of "Short" has been found, and it may have 
been a nickname, or he may have rented land. This island ap- 
pears to have come into the possession of Dr. Denison. The 
Lyman fordway referred to so frequently may have been the 
upper one of these two, which is thought to be the one near Mr. 
George Joy's in the village. There was surely one fordway, at 
least, leading to the center of the town, as Mr. Lamb, in re- 
porting on places for building a bridge refers to it. 

Another fordway of which little, if any, mention is made 
in deeds and surveys, is the one where Tilly Parkhurst lived at 
the time of the Indian raid, and where his son, Phineas, was shot 
by the Indians, when he attempted to cross White river. This 
has later been known as the James Williams fordway. The 
Williams farm is now owned by Mrs. Delia H. Tenney. 

It is not likely that the town would survey and maintain 
any considerable number of fordways. That did not prevent 
the use of what might be called private fordways, of which, no 
doubt, there were several, and of which no record has been 
found. 

Elias Lyman, a merchant at Hartford, was a middleman 
for the transmission to Boston by boat of farm products for 
the surrounding towns. White river empties into the Con- 
necticut at Hartford, and it occurred to some enterprising heads 
in Royalton that it would be a good thing to have water com- 
munication with the Connecticut river, and thus increase facili- 
ties of transportation. Accordingly, the legislature in October, 
1796, was petitioned by Elkanah Stevens, Daniel Gilbert, and 
Jacob Smith, all of Royalton, for a grant to them of the ex- 
clusive privilege of locking White river from its mouth as far 
as the meeting-house in Royalton. The petition was referred 
to a joint committee, and allowed to lie until the next session 
in February, when it was favorably considered by the Assembly, 
but the Governor and Council decided it should be put over until 
the following session. The petition was granted and the bill 
concurred in, Nov. 1, 1797. A part of the bill reads as follows : 

"It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State 
of Vermont. That Elkanah Stevens, Daniel Gilbert, Jacob 
Smith and their associates, be and they hereby are formed into, 
constituted and made a body politic and corporate, by the name 
of 'The Company for Locking White River,' and they and their 
successors, and such other persons as shall be hereafter admitted 
members of said company, shall be, and continue a body politic 
and corporate, by the same name forever. And the said com- 
pany shall have the exclusive privilege of erecting and con- 
tinuing locks on White river in the State of Vermont, in such 
places as they think necessary, from the mouth of white river 



History of Royalton, Vermont 265 

up said stream, as far as Royalton meeting house, under the fol- 
lowing limitations and restrictions." 

The company was to forfeit all rights if the work was not 
completed in ten years. Toll for loaded boats was to be twenty 
cents a ton, and the same for every thousand feet of boards and 
timber. How much work was ever done on this system of lock- 
ing, and, if completed, how long it was operative, has not been 
learned. Mr. Stevens became involved, and it may be that the 
enterprise was abandoned, but it shows the wide-awake spirit of 
the men who were working for the upbuilding of the town. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



Bridges. 



It is likely that some small bridges were built by individuals 
before the Indian raid. If the construction of any of the larger 
bridges was discussed, it would have appeared in the records of 
the proprietors, which were burned in that catastrophe. The 
Connecticut Courant was for a time the paper patronized by 
Vermonters for their advertisements. In it Vermont advertised 
at one time a State lottery, and through it she sent out her 
"Appeal to the World." In this same paper Comfort Sever, 
Justice of the Peace, on July 11, 1780, three months before the 
raid, gave notice of a proprietors' meeting to be holden at the 
house of Lieut. Elias "Stephens" on the second Tuesday of 
September at 1 o'clock, to choose officers and "to see if the 
proprietors will build a bridge across the first branch." What- 
ever their action was, the project was delayed for nearly two 
years. 

The first bridges to be built in town were over the smaller 
streams. The river was fordable in various places, and the ex- 
pense of a bridge across it was too heavy for the comparatively 
few settlers previous to 1784. So we find that the earliest men- 
tion of bridges, dated Mar. 21, 1782, dealt with the building of 
the smaller bridges. This was the day of their regular town 
meeting, and it was voted to raise two pence on the acre on all 
the land in the town except public land and the undivided land 
for the use of building three bridges, one half to be paid Oct. 
1, 1782, and the other half to be paid Oct. 1, 1783. The money 
was to be paid to the committee or collector in hard money or 
labor. Benjamin Parkhurst, John Hibbard, Lieut. Durkee, Mr. 
Rix, Lieut. Parkhurst, and Lieut. Stevens were the comanittee 
to see that the bridges were built. Elias Curtis did not wait for 
the committee to act, but erected a bridge at his own lot. per- 
haps near where the second bridge is, over the First Branch 
above Pierce's Mills. He owned 34 and 39 Dutch. The voters 
met again August 8th to see about hiring a minister, and at this 
time they voted to relinquish the taxes of Mr. Curtis for build- 
ing this bridge on his lot. They also chose Huckens Storrs, 



History of Royalton, Vermont 267 

Robert Havens and Joseph Havens a committee to build the 
bridge or oversee the work at the mills of Mr. Storrs. 

The three bridges were not completed Mar. 27, 1783, when 
it was voted to accept the report of the committee, and their 
amounts for building the three bridges, the total being £135. 
The committee was to stand good and finish the bridges. On 
Christmas day of that year the committee were instructed to 
add to their accounts the labor done in raising the bridges, and 
on June 19, 1784, a committee of three, all of whom were on 
the building committee, were chosen to adjust the accounts of 
the building committee. It found that the town was in debt 
£22. 19. This was to be raised on "the Poles and Raitable 
Estates. ' ' 

On Jan. 6, 1784, the committee that had built the three 
bridges, except Mr. Durkee, was chosen to draw up a subscrip- 
tion paper to see what could be obtained towards building a 
bridge across White river. It would seem that the efforts of 
this committee were not very fruitful. It must be remembered 
that the town was erecting a house for the minister, and laying 
out new roads, and had just built three bridges, probably over 
the two branches. The town records do not show it, but the 
selectmen chosen in 1783 petitioned the Legislature Feb. 28, 
1784, for permission to raise the money for the proposed bridge 
by lottery. Lotteries were so common for building roads and 
bridges, that they were scarcely thought of then as wrong in 
principle or harmful in practice. Yet they had to conform to 
law, and be legalized by legislative enactment. The following 
bill was passed March 2, 1784: 

"That the Selectmen of the town of Royalton, in Windsor County, 
which shall be chosen in the present year, have liberty to raise by 
way of lottery, a sum not exceeding one hundred and forty pounds, 
for the purpose of building a bridge over White River in said town, 
abooit twenty rods below a place commonly known by the name of 
the Handy Fordway, under such regulations as the authority in said 
town shall direct; they the Selectmen giving sufficient bonds to said 
authority for the faithful performance of their trust. And, that it 
be understood that this State are in no wise accountable for the same." 

The bridge place had been selected some time before, as 
the road surveys of May 24, 1783, refer to the "bridge place." 
This site was not far from the site first selected for a meeting 
house, and had the advantage of rocky projections on either side 
of the river, making the stream narrow at that point, and fur- 
nishing a solid foundation for the abutments. 

The next notice of the bridge is dated Aug. 9, 1785, when 
it was voted that the tickets of the Royalton bridge lottery so- 
called that remained unsold at the close of the drawing of the 
lottery should be at the "risque" of the town. And again on 



268 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Nov. 29th Elias Curtis, Lieut. Lyon, and Major Calvin Park- 
hurst were chosen a committee to take charge of all the tickets 
that should remain unsold at day of drawing, for use of the 
town. How successful this lottery was, we shall probably never 
know, but it is quite evident that it did not net the necessary 
amount for building the bridge, for on April 17, 1786, it was 
voted to try to raise the remainder of the money for building 
the bridge over "White river by subscription, and if the whole 
of the money that the managers of the lottery were bound to pay 
for said bridge more than was already raised could not be raised 
by subscription in six months, then the subscription was to be 
null and void, and the same was to be raised on the polls and 
ratable estates of the inhabitants of the town to be paid in wheat 
at six shillings a bushel by the first day of November, 1787. On 
Mar. 16th previously, the proprietors had voted "That the 
proprietors will give all the money that is in the hand of the 
Perdential Comitt for the use of Building or help building a 
Bridge over white River in Royalton near the handy fordway 
and that the Manargers of Royalton Lottry give Bond to sd 
Committee for their faithfull performance in Laying out the 
money on sd Bridg. " Lieut. Lyon, Deacon Fish, and Benja- 
min Day were chosen a committee "to call on the Perdential 
Commt for the money that is in their hands, and the perdential 
Comtt are Ordered to Deliver it to the Above Comt and the 
sd Lion fish and Day are Ordered to Delivered to the Manergers 
of Royalton Lottry and take Bonds of sd Manergers for the 
same that it shall be Laid out on sd Bridg that is Mentioned 
in the second vote of this Meeting." Not enough funds were 
yet collected, and the next September the town voted to pay to 
the managers of the lottery the grain collected for the men for 
raising the large bridge over White river to the amount of 195 
days' work. They chose John Hibbard, Esquire Curtis, and 
Elias Stevens a committee to examine Mr. Wilcox's accounts in 
regard to said bridge, and make report to the town. 

No one can say when work on the bridge began or when it 
ended. It probably began some time before all the money was 
raised, and was not ended Feb. 5, 1787, when a committee was 
chosen to consult the managers of the lottery to see what sum to 
petition the General Assembly for as a land tax for the use of 
building the "Great bridge." The Governor and Council con- 
curred, Feb. 21, 1787, in passing a bill granting Royalton a two 
pence land tax for finishing the bridge over White river. There 
were many who failed to pay their taxes for bridges, and es- 
pecially for the one over the river, and their land was sold to 
meet the requirement. Though the fathers seem not to have 
told their sons, nor the sons their sons, when the bridge was 



History op Royalton, Vermont 269 

finished, they did hand down a tradition of an incident connected 
with its completion that gave name to the bridge, by which name 
it will probably always be known. 

It is said that one Stevens was anxious for the honor of 
carrying the first load over the bridge after its completion, and 
he used the strongest and most persuasive inducement to se- 
cure his end. He promised to give a barrel of rum for the priv- 
ilege, which was granted. When they had gathered to celebrate 
the event towards which they had been working for three or 
more years, he swung a buxom lass on his back and trotted over 
to the other side of the river. As the story goes, the head of the 
barrel went in, and the cheers went up as the rum went down, 
and to this day the old bridge is called Stevens bridge. It is 
difficult to think of the dignified Gen. Elias Stevens serving as 
a donkey for a giggling girl, and there was only one other 
Stevens in town so far as is known, and that was Esquire 
Stevens, the Abel Stevens, who was the first town clerk, but 
then, even the staidest men have done some grotesque things 
under excitement and the added stimulus of whiskey. 

Though the location of the bridge had its advantages of 
narrowness and solidity, these were more than offset by the 
obstruction that was pretty sure to follow a freshet or the break- 
ing up of the ice in spring, when the swirling mass would ram 
against the primitive abutments, which in all likelihood were 
made of logs. It occasions no surprise, then, to read that on 
Aug. 18, 17&9, the selectmen were instructed to repair the 
abutments of the "Great bridge." The bridge over the Second 
Branch had required repairing in 1788, and again in 1790, 
June 20th, the selectmen were directed to repair this bridge, 
and also the one over the ' ' main River in ye easyest & best man- 
ner for ye good of ye town," and to dispose of the bridge over 
the mill pond in the best manner for the good of the town. It 
must have been rather discouraging to see for the third time the 
object of their care and pride tottering on its foundations, and 
timber by timber go sailing down stream. Yet again they 
turned courageously to its repair on September 20, 1791, and 
chose a committee to repair the "great bridge, and to dispose 
of the plank to the best advantage." Once more the town 
records must be supplemented by facts found elsewhere. The 
legislative committee on petitions reported Oct. 24, 1791, that 
the following petition ought to be granted: 

"To the Honbl Genl Assembly of the State of Vermont Now sit- 
ting 

the petition of the Inhabitants of Royalton in the County of Wind- 
sor Humbly Sheweth that the bridge over white river in the sd Town 
of Royalton is so far out of repair that it is rendered impassable and 
that the repairing the same would be very difBcult unless the Ex- 
pens or some part thereof could ( — ?) in the Pattronag of the Publick & 



270 History op Royalton, Vermont 

that the sd bridge being on the great Road from the eastern part of 
this State & New Hampshire to the Northern Part of the State into 
Canada & that the sd White River being impassable at certain seasons 
of the year, Your Petitioners therefor pray their case may be taken 
under your wise consideration & either by a Lottery or in Some other 
way your Petitioners may be Enabled to Raise the Sum of one hundred 
& fifty pounds to be laid out in repairing sd bridge in such a way and 
under such regulations as your Honors Shall think may be safe & 
Expedient & as your Petitioners in duty bound shall ever pray 

Calvin Parkhurst." 

The bill was passed and approved by the Governor on the 28th 

of October, except the amount is then stated to be one hundred pounds. 

In a torn piece of paper filed with Spooner's Vermont Journal in the 

"Williams library, Woodstock, the following was found: 

"Drawing of Royalton Great 

Bridge Lottery 

The Publick are informed that the drawing of Royalton Great 
Bridge Lottery will commence on the 11th of September next, at my 
house in Royalton. 

Sam. Searle, Manager. 

Aug. 14, 1792." 

This suggested that a search for the files of the Vermont 
Journal might reveal more of the history of the bridge lottery. 
A remarkably full and well-arranged collection of Vermont 
newspapers in the State Library gave the opportunity desired. 
The following additional information was derived from this 
source. 

"Royalton Lottery. 
For raising One Hundred and Fifty Pounds for the purpose of 
repairing the Great Bridge in Royalton, on the great road leading 
from New Hampshire to Canada, &c., granted by the General Assembly 
of this State, at their present session in Windsor — consisting of 2200 
Tickets at One Dollar each — 713 of which are benefit tickets drawing 
prizes of the following value, viz. 

1 prize of 100 Dollars, is 100 

1 50 50 

2 25 50 
4 10 40 

25 4 100 

680 2 1360 

2200 Dollars in Tickets 
1700 Paid out in Prizes 

500 to make Repairs as above 
Cash or Wheat at 3s per bushel, or Neat Stock at cash value 
(where a large number of Tickets are purchased) will be received in 
payment for Tickets; as also Notes for the same, to either of the 

managers. Prizes to be paid in like manner, in 20 days from the 

completion of the drawing of the said Lottery. 

As the design of this Lottery is to promote the good of the public, 
and the sale of the Tickets, as to price and payment, being adapted to 
the lowest circumstances, as well as to that of the most opulent, with 
about two blanks to a prize; and especially with the prospect of obtain- 
ing several valuable prizes, it cannot be doubted but all persons whose 
local circumstances do admit, will wish to become adventurers con- 
sequently a speedy sale of the tickets may be expected, on which the 



History op Royalton, Vermont 271 

drawing will commence — a list of prizes made out and published in 
the Vermont Journal in due time. Those persons who do not apply 
to either of the Managers to receive their prizes within six months 
after publishing the same, will be deemed as generously giving them 
to the undertaking 

Samuel D. Searle ^ 
Zebulon Lyon > Managers 

Benjamin Parkhurst ) 
Nov. 1, 1791" 

This notice was made out three days after the grant of the 
lottery. The sale of tickets went on with sufficient rapidity, 
so that the drawing was set for Sep. 11th of the next year, as 
already stated. Before that time another notice was inserted 
in the Vermont Journal to this effect : 

"The Managers of the Royalton Great Bridge Lottery request all 
those who have receipted Tickets to dispose of them as fast as possible 
— and make returns to them in five weeks from this date, as the 
drawing will probably commence as soon as conveniently may be after 

that time. Those who have not purchased, are invited to become 

adventurers. 

Samuel Searle, Manager. 

Royalton, July 4, 1792" 

A quite careful scrutiny of the files of the Vermont Jour- 
nal for the rest of the year, 1792, failed to show any list of those 
drawing prizes. The litigation which followed may have ren- 
dered the list uncertain, yet it would seem that the method of 
notifying successful "adventurers" was to be through the news- 
paper, and not by private message. The first notice of the draw- 
ing was in the issue of August 20, and the one seen in Wood- 
stock was in the issue of September 3, 1792. 

Through the courtesy of Mr. Walter E. Perkins of Pomfret, 
a cut of one of the tickets of this lottery is shown in this book 
in connection with other relics. Who had the ticket is not 
known, or whether it was a "fortinet" ticket or not. Dr. Searle 
says in his advertisement that a few tickets are left, and can be 
had if applied for immediately. The office of manager was no 
sinecure. The justice courts of Hon. John Throop of Pomfret 
show that considerable litigation arose after the drawing. Some- 
times the managers were the plaintiffs and again the defendants, 
but it is noticeable that the managers generally lost whichever 
position they held. The trouble seems to have been in con- 
nection with prize tickets. One case only is quoted: 

"State of Vermont | Roialton January 21st AD 1793 at a Justice 

Windsor ss j Court held on sd Day Present John Throop 

Justice a Peace for sd County cause brought by Samuel D Serls of 
sd Roialton a maniger of Roialton grate Bridge lottery vs Timothy 
hibard of Bethel in the county aforesd on a note of hand the cause 
being called the Defendant defends Pleads and says that the Plff 
writ (?) ought to abate and be dismit for two Resons first because 



272 History of Royalton, Vermont 

that Asa Child Did not return (?) on the writ where the Defendant 
lived Secondly the writ was not served agreeable to the law of the 
State but against the law passed October 1792 repeling the Depurt- 
aging for the serving of writs which took place December last Past 
by order of the Legislature of this State and the Defendant desires 
liberty to alter his Plea and the Defend Prays for Judgment the De- 
fendant for himselfe this court is adjourned to thursday the 24 Day of 
Instan January at the Dwelling house of John Throop in Pomfret in 
the county aforesd at one of the clock afternoon then the court will 
Declare Judgment and the Parties are to take notice accordingly 

John Throop Justice a Peace." 

In this suit the defendant won his case. It was declared 
that he held a "fortinet ticket," and he got a balance of six 
shillings. The records in these cases reveal that Zebulon Lyon 
and Benjamin Parkhurst were co-laborers with Dr. Searle in 
the management of the lottery. 

It is not easy to determine whether the bridge was put in 
thorough repair, "re-built," at this time or not. In May a 
committee was chosen to repair the bridge for the "time being." 
In October of that year, 1792, it was voted to raise a tax of 
fifteen pounds in cash and another tax of fifty-two pounds in 
wheat at five shillings a bushel to be paid by the first day of 
November, "to pay such contract as ye Town have entered 
into. ' ' There is no record of any other undertaking that would 
require this outlay, but they reconsidered the vote. If the 
bridge was rebuilt, it lasted but a short time. At an adjourned 
meeting at the house of Elkanah Stevens Oct. 20, 1795, it was 
decided to take some measure for re-building "ye Great bridge 
in this Town." Elkanah Stevens, Daniel Gilbert, Abel Stevens, 
and Luther Fairbanks were chosen to view ' ' ye place for building 
sd bridge at ye mouth of ye first branch and where ye bridge now 
stands & make an estimate of ye cost of building at each place 
& make report at ye next adjourned meeting." The commit- 
tee reported Nov. 7th that in their opinion a bridge at the mouth 
of the First Branch might be built for £400, and a bridge where 
it then stood for £200. On Dec. 8, they voted to build the 
bridge where the old one stood, and chose a committee to see 
what could be raised by subscription. Evidently this committee 
succeeded in an encouraging degree, for Feb. 16, 1796, they 
chose Elias Stevens, Abel Stevens, and Daniel Tullar to rebuild 
"ye great bridge or ye bridge over white river in sd Town where 
ye old bridge now stands in ye easiest & best manner for ye 
good of ye Town." John Flint was later chosen in Mr. Tul- 
lar 's place, and Luther Fairbanks and Zebulon Lyon added to 
the committee. 

On December 6th the bridge seems to have been completed. 
They met at Elisha Bartholemew's and voted to dismiss the ar- 
ticle in the warning to see if the town would raise a tax to de- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 273 

fray the expense of building the bridge, but the selectmen were 
instructed to draw on the town treasury in favor of Elkanah 
Stevens for what should appear to be due towards the build- 
ing of the bridge after deducting as much of the subscriptions 
as were thought to be collectable, which seems very much like 
trying to draw water from a dry well. In less than two years 
there was another call for a new bridge, but it was not built at 
that place. Recapitulating the history of the Stevens bridge, 
it may be assuifled that it was first built in 1787, chiefly by lot- 
tery; that it had to be repaired within two years; that it was 
repaired in 1790; that it was rebuilt in 1792, again by lottery, 
that it was necessary to re-build in 1795, and this time the 
money was raised by subscription chiefly, and Elkanah Stevens 
either took the contract or furnished the balance needed to pay 
for it ; that repeated disasters to the bridge led to the choice of 
another place. 

Before following the history of the new bridge, the bridges 
over the two branches claim attention. They too had proved 
elusive, slipping away in part or in whole without warning In 
September, 1796, a committee was chosen to estimate the cost 
of re-building the bridge over the mouth of the First Branch. 
As no previous mention of this bridge is found, it is prettv con- 
clusive evidence that it was one of the three bridges first built 
in town. A few days after this meeting it was voted to build 
the bridge and raise a tax of three pence on a pound for t)ie 
purpose. In 1797 the bridge over the Second Branch needed 
re-building, and the selectmen were directed to call on Daniel J^ 
Rix, Elisha Bartholemew, and Ezra Benjamin for highway work 
that could be spared out of their districts and use it in re-build- 
ing this bridge, which was "nigh the mouth." 

It is probable that the "Great bridge" was only repaired, 
when it was said to be re-built, and like the old lady's stocking, 
which she "footed up" one year, and gave a new leg the next, 
it was not thought of as a really new bridge. In a deed of 1798 
it is spoken of as "Stevens bridge." 

On May 28, 1799, Daniel Clapp, Jacob Smith, John Billings, 
Isaac Skinner, and Elias Stevens were chosen a committee to see 
what was to be done about building a bridge over White river. 
This committee reported June 25th, that they employed Mr. 
Lamb of Montpelier for the purpose of inspecting the different 
places "in contemplation for building bridges," and he said he 
would build the bridge at Mr. Walbridge's for $1000, but would 
not warrant the same for that sum, that there would be no 
essential difference between that spot and the place against Mr. 
Wheeler's, that he would build a bridge below the fordway 
leading to the center of the town for a thousand dollars and 

18 



274 History op Royalton, Vermont 

warrant the same for ten years, that the expense of building 
several rods above the fordway would not vary much from the 
expense below. Mr. Lamb made no particular offer as to the old 
place, as he said others had offered to build a bridge there 
cheaper than he could do. As to the place by Capt. Gilbert's. 
Mr. Lamb stated it would cost more at that place than at either 
of the places mentioned before, as the distance across the river 
would be greater. 

They accepted the report, and voted to take some measures to 
build a bridge "near ye center of ye Town," and to build it by 
subscription, and to appropriate all the money which "shall re- 
main due from ye Town of Ellington after paying costs of 
prosecuting the suit against Ellington for the purpose of build- 
ing a bridge in ye center of the Town," conditioned on the 
sum subscribed combined with the balance from Ellington being 
sufficient, and that the bridge be built in eighteen months. Jacob 
Smith, Zabad Curtis, Zebulon Lyon, Gardner Rix, and Elias 
Stevens were a committee to procure subscriptions, and when 
enough were procured they were empowered to employ some 
person to build the bridge. The voters kept an eagle eye on 
their committee, and in the warning for a meeting in March, 
1800, they proposed to call on this committee to make report of 
their doings, and "if they have not pursued the votes of the 
Town with respect to that matter then to reconsider sd Votes." 
Their suspicions seem to have vanished before the meeting, and 
they did not call on the committee. On November 18th they 
voted to accept the bond which the bridge committee took of 
Leonard Lamb for the building of the bridge. 

Mr. Lamb, then, was the architect. No repairs of any amount 
were called for on this structure for some years. In 1809, $250 
were laid out on it in repairs. Two decades had not passed 
before there was need of a new bridge. Perhaps this was the 
bridge which played a trick on Dr. Denison, Senior. He was 
coming home one night from a Broad Brook trip. During his 
absence the north abutment of the bridge tipped over, and a sec- 
tion of the bridge fell down. The faithful old horse went on 
and trotted down the steep incline, tipping the Doctor into the 
river. He gathered up his saddle bags and walked home, while his 
horse followed the river bank and the lane by the schoolhouse, 
both reaching home at the same time. A meeting was called by 
petition for Dec. '22, 1818. A motion to raise $2000 for build- 
ing a bridge was lost, likewise one for raising $1000, but they 
chose a committee to make a draft of a bridge, to calculate the 
probable expense, to circulate a subscription paper, and to re- 
port later. On Feb. 2, 1819, it was voted to give $400 toward 
building a bridge where it then stood, provided it should be built 



History of Royalton, Vermont 275 

on two stone piers, and a stone "buttment" on the west shore 
were put in agreeable to the draft of the committee. The money 
was not to be applied to this purpose, until after the bridge was 
in every way "completed and finished, for the space of four 
months, and then and not till then the treasurer is authorized 
to pay over the above sum of $400." Therefore, we may con- 
clude that the bridge was completed the middle of December, 
1819, when Garner Rix was given three orders amounting to 
$400 for the building of the bridge. 

A change in location did not remove the necessity for fre- 
quent repairs on the bridge. The turbulent river had a habit 
of responding in a destructive way to freshets, and so we find 
in a warning for a meeting Feb. 12, 1824, this clause: "To 
see whether the town will raise money to repair or rebuild the 
bridges in town which have been destroyed by the late f reset." 
At an adjourned meeting, Mar. 15th, it was voted that the sum 
of $400 be paid out of the town treasury to the order of the se- 
lectmen towards building a bridge across White river near 
Royalton village, "provided a sufficient number of men will 
advance their highway taxes to be credited to them for succeed- 
ing years to build said bridge to the acceptance of the select- 
men." Jan. 1, 1825, Amos Robinson, contractor, received four 
one hundred dollar orders through Jacob Collamer, agent, for 
building the bridge across White river in the village, and it 
may be supposed that the balance was credited on the highway 
bills. 

The town does not seem to have been called upon for much 
outlay on the village bridge from this time until the Royal- 
ton and Woodstock Turnpike Company assumed its risk, and the 
town obligated itself to pay yearly the sum of twenty-five dol- 
lars to said company. The bridge was in need of extensive re- 
pairs by 1838. as the Turnpike company seem to have been lax 
in fulfilling their contract. The town met on December 18th of 
that year to consider the repairing of the bridge, and instructed 
the selectmen to act on their contract with the Turnpike com- 
pany, and repair the bridge if they thought best. The select- 
men were also directed to act on a resolution of Samuel Blodgett, 
which directed them to pay the company the annual sum of $25 
due September 14th for keeping the bridge in repair, and also 
the sum due in September, 1833, with interest thereon, which 
had not been paid. 

It was noted under the subject of roads that the Turnpike 
company turned their road back to the bridge at North Royalton, 
after the town had built a new bridge there, and thus shirked 
their responsibility for keeping the village bridge in repair. 
They could claim that the town on its part had not fulfilled its 



276 History of Royalton, Vermont 

contract to make annual payments, and to take the wind out of 
their sails, this proposition to proffer the deferred payments 
was doubtless made. On Mar. 4, 1839, it w^as voted that the 
selectmen be directed to see if the Woodstock Turnpike Com- 
pany had a right to turn their road across the bridge near Jacob 
Fox's. The next May a committee was appointed to repair the 
bridge by rebuilding two reaches and repairing the other, and 
the abutments and piers, and the selectmen were to furnish 
the funds. The committee reported in December that the work 
had been done at a cost of $587.70 by Jabez Lyman, Jr. and 
Daniel Rix, 2nd, they being the lowest bidders. John Francis 
was appointed as agent, who, after obtaining legal advice, if it 
was thought advisable, was to prosecute the claims of the town 
against the Royalton and Woodstock Turnpike Company. What 
the result was is not known, but Mar. 8, 1841, a vote was taken 
to repair the bridge, provided the Turnpike company neglected 
to do it, which looks as if the town still had a claim on the com- 
pany. An abutment was built that year costing $359.04. When 
the turnpike became a free road in 1842, of course the town 
became responsible henceforth for all its bridges. 

When the Royalton and Woodstock Turnpike Company 
was incorporated in 1800, its route in Royalton was over a road 
already laid, but it came to the river at North Royalton where 
there was no bridge, only a fordway. It is understood that 
the company built the tirst bridge there, probably very soon 
after incorporation, and that it was near Jacob Fox's. As has 
been seen, the bridge like the town bridges suffered from the 
erratic action of the stream, though it may have been some- 
what more substantial, and have needed less repairs. When 
the company turned their road over the hills by the Bradstreet 
place and down to the village bridge, this bridge at North Royal- 
ton was in all probability unsafe for travel, and the fordway 
not far from it would have to furnish the means of crossing 
there. Jacob Fox had land on both sides of the river, and he 
and others as well, no doubt, chafed over this inconvenience. 

Those in favor of a bridge at North Royalton secured the in- 
sertion of an article in the warning of Feb. 23, 1831, "to see if 
the Town will vote to raise money to build a bridge across White 
River near Mr. Fox's." This article was dismissed at an ad- 
journed meeting, March 8th, and the selectmen were directed 
to take individual security of the Turnpike company as further 
security against loss by risk of the village bridge. Mr. Fox was 
not accustomed to submission, and called out the road com- 
missioners to change the road survey up the Second Branch and 
to order a bridge built near him. The commission rejected 
his petition regarding the road, but ordered a good permanent 



History op Royalton, Vermont 277 

bridge to be erected across the river, on the place where the last 
bridge stood near Mr. Fox's tavern, and gave the following di- 
rections: "The abutment on the westerly side is to be built 
with stone, & the earth to be dug out under that part of the 
abutment nearest the water several feet deep, & if the earth 
should prove sandy when excavated, to place good timbers at 
the bottom of sd excavation for a foundation to build sd abut- 
ment on — a double trussel to be erected in or near the center 
of sd River, whose bed piece is to be about sixty feet long, and 
good & sufficient braces extending from sd trussel both up & 
down sd River, sd trussel and braces to be planked on both sides 
& filled with stones — both abutments to be of equal height and 
to be raised from one to two feet higher than the one now is 
which stands on the easterly side of sd River, the timber part 
or frame of sd Bridge to be eighteen feet wide, if the easterly 
abutment will admit, all of which is hereby ordered to be built 
by sd town of Royalton & completed on or before the first day of 
December in the yjar of our Lord 1832." 

The town decided on Nov. 30th to have the selectmen enter 
an appeal. A committee was chosen to examine the ground 
for a bridge and to solicit subscriptions therefor, to ascertain 
the expense of an arched bridge, and to report the first Tues- 
day in January. They met on that date and adjourned sine 
die. At the March meeting, 1832, they "Resolved that the town 
appoint an agent to prosecute the appeal which is entered from 
the decision of the Road commissioners order for building a 
bridge across White River near Jacob Foxes, & also to negotiate 
with the Royalton & Woodstock Turnpike corporation to give 
up their right in the bridge across sd River in Royalton Village 
by paying them a reasonable stipulated consideration for their 
repairs of sd Bridge, & for making a road to the old turnpike 
at Williams' meadow, & sd corporation take the responsibility 
of building a bridge near sd Foxes. & report his doings to the 
next meeting." Their agent, Jacob Collamer, reported Sep. 
4, 1832, but the report is not recorded. He was probably un- 
successful, as they voted that the moderator should appoint a 
committee of three to nominate a committee of five to * ' ascertain 
what will be the cost of a plank arch bridge there (at Jacob 
Fox's) & to take such further measures in relation thereto as 
they shall think proper, but not to build a bridge until they 
make report to the town." 

This committee made its report at an adjourned meeting, 
Nov. 13, 1832, and they then voted that Jacob Collamer con- 
tinue his agency in defending the town from building a bridge 
across White river near Mr. Fox's. At their March meeting, 
1833, the voters refused to consider the question of further 



278 History of Royalton, Vermont 

action in the Fox bridge matter. They met again May 7, in re- 
sponse to a petition asking if the town would build or assist 
to build a bridge where the last turnpike bridge stood near 
Jacob Fox's. Daniel Rix, Jireh Tucker, and Elisha Rix were 
appointed a committee to confer with the corporation of the 
Royalton and Woodstock Turnpike Company in relation to this 
bridge matter. The result of this conference is not given, 
but they voted to adopt a Resolution of Nathaniel Sprague, as 
follows : 

"If Jacob Fox will Imild or will procure to be built & completed 
by the first day of March A. D., 1834, to the acceptance of the select- 
men of Royalton a bridge after the form of Towne's patent with only 
one span at the place near J. Foxes tavern in sd Royalton which was 
designated by the Courts Committee in August 1832, to be not less than 
25 feet wide, to be roofed, & shingled, & covered on the sides, & of 
suflBcient height, two pathways, to be made and finished in all re- 
spects in a substantial and perfect manner, & with good & suitable 
materials, and the stonework to wit, the abutments to be good and 
substantial & to be to the acceptance of sd selectmen, then the town 
will assign over to the sd Fox all the subscriptions which have been 
raised running to sd Royalton to aid in building said bridge & will 
raise & pay to sd Fox the sum of fourteen hundred dollars to be paid 
one half at the acceptance of the bridge by said Selectmen, & the other 
half in one year after sd acceptance, the approaches to sd bridge to 
be made so as to be good passing to & from sd bridge with carriages & 
teams sd Fox on accepting the conditions of the above resolution shall 
give bonds to the Selectmen for the faithful performance of the same 
according to its conditions." 

Mr. Fox accepted the conditions and built the bridge in 

1833. It does not seem to have been accepted that year. On 
September 3, the selectmen were directed to secure the abut- 
ment on the east side from washing out, and on January 16, 

1834, a meeting was held to consider the Fox bridge. The 
warning reads, "Whereas the Bridge across White River near 
Jacob Foxes has failed & is in such a bad condition as requires 
early & expensive repairs, therefore," etc. The bridge had 
probably been accepted at this time, and may have failed by 
reason of a freshet. On January 24th Mr. Fox received from 
the selectmen two one-hundred-dollar orders for the bridge, on 
the 4th of March an order for two hundred dollars and another 
for three hundred dollars. On January 29th of the next year 
he was paid $400, and March 13th $300, so that he was paid 
according to contract. 

When the voters met Jan. 16th, 1834, Lawyer Francis 
presented the following resolution which was adopted: "Re- 
solved that a committee of 4 be appointed in conjunction with 
the selectmen with power if they think it expedient to take 
down the bridge across White River at Jacob Foxes & secure it 
by piling the same on the bank of the River, provided in their 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 279 

opinion the town will come under no liability in so doing — 
unless the sd committee shall in their opinion think the sd 
bridge can be repaired substantially for the sum of three hun- 
dred dollars, in which case the sd committee are authorized to 
lay out that sum." John Marshall, Edwin Pierce, Calvin 
Parkhurst, and Harry Bingham were chosen for the committee. 
Nathaniel Sprague then offered the following resolution, which 
was adopted: "Resolved that the foregoing committee be in- 
structed to report at the next town meeting (in case the com- 
mittee take down the bridge) the mode or modes of repairing 
the same, & the expence of each mode & of rebuilding the same. ' ' 
On March 3d the selectmen were empowered to make what dis- 
position they pleased of the timber and materials saved of the 
bridge near Jacob Fox's, and to report at next March meeting, 
so the bridge was probably taken down. On the 13th of the 
month the selectman were again petitioned to call a meeting by 
Jacob Fox and seven others to take action on building a bridge 
across the river at Jacob Fox's. The bridge was down, but the 
question would not stay down. They voted 70 to 57 to take 
no action. 

Both Mr. Fox and the town were pretty well occupied with 
the new road up the Second Branch in 1835, and the bridge was 
allowed to rest for a short time. The town had seemed to be 
invariably worsted when pitted against a Court's Committee, 
but failure did not intimidate, and so Mar. 7, 1836, they chose 
John Francis, Daniel Rix, and Stephen Freeman to oppose the 
building of the bridge near Jacob Fox's. The futility of op- 
position became apparent before May 17th of that year, when at 
a special meeting, they voted 65 to 47 to dismiss the committee 
appointed to defend the bridge case. It was then moved that 
an agent be appointed to see at the next County Court to the 
taxing of the costs of the hearing before the commissioners, and 
also to the ordering of the time for the building of the bridge. 
When the attorneys for the petitioners assured them that no 
more costs and no earlier time than that set by the Committee, 
would be asked for, the motion was lost, and quiet reigned once 
more. 

The Court's Committee had ordered the bridge to be built 
"the next season." The voters met November 8th and ap- 
pointed T. H. Safford, Stephen Freeman, and John Marshall 
to ascertain for what sum a bridge could be built, and to su- 
perintend the building, if the bridge was built. Garner Rix 
and Harry Bingham were added to this committee on Dec. 6th, 
with instructions to fix upon a plan for the bridge, and to sell 
the building of it in all its parts to the lowest bidder at public 
auction January 1, 1837. The bridge was to be built by Dec. 



280 History of Royalton, Vermont 

1, of that year, and be accepted by the committee before pay- 
ment should be made. The committee could dispose of the 
building by private sale within six days after the auction, if 
deemed best. Mr. Fox had on his side now such able men as 
Dr. Richard Bloss, Daniel Woodward, and the lawyer, A. C. 
Noble. When they met again Jan. 28, 1837, the committee was 
authorized to proceed and build the bridge, and was limited in 
the expense to $1600, this to include all the expense except the 
approaches to and from the bridge. The committee was em- 
powered to borrow $1000 of the trustees of the surplus revenue, 
who were authorized to lend the same at six per cent interest. 
The building committee reported September 5th that the bridge 
was built, and at a cost of about $1566.69, which report was ac- 
cepted, and once more Mr. Fox and the town had a bridge over 
the river at North Royalton. Horace Childs was the architect, 
and received on April 5, 1838, $182.56 for patent fee on the 
bridge "built by him." 

Again in 1866 the bridge needed rebuilding, and seventy- 
five cents on a dollar was voted for this purpose at a special 
meeting in August. No record has been found of the cost of 
the bridge, but it is said to have been built by the same archi- 
tects that built the last bridge at the center of the town. The 
selectmen were instructed to build it "after the plan of the 
Bridge across White River in Royalton Center Village." This 
bridge erected in 1866 has stood the test of freshets and other 
wear, and is still in good condition. 

In the town meeting of 1852 an article was inserted "to 
see what measures the Town will take with regard to the River 
Bridge." It was passed over, and no record has been found 
showing that the town authorized the bridge to be built there 
that year, yet one was built, and the selectmen drew orders that 
year for the payment of it. Samuel P. Thrasher built the two 
abutments, and James Tasker probably did the wood work, be- 
ing paid at one time $1400. The whole expense as reported in 
town meeting, 1853, was $3550. This was a covered truss 
bridge, thoroughly built, and stands today, and bids fair to last 
another half century, barring some unusual river disturbance. 

As soon as Daniel Tarbell, Jr. determined that there should 
be a village at South Royalton, he worked indefatigably for a 
bridge across the river at that point. To continue crossing by 
the fordway was not to be thought of, and to compel people to 
go to Royalton village to cross the river there, where a center 
of business was well established, was to defeat his own purpose. 
A bridge South Royalton must have, and a bridge it was going 
to have. The selectmen were not responsive to his appeals, 
neither was the Road Committee, so one Sunday Mr. Tarbell 



History op Royalton, Vermont 281 

drove to Timbridge, and sought out his old neighbor, but young 
friend, Lewis Dickerman, a man of means and influence. He 
persuaded him that, if he signed his name to a subscription pa- 
per, promising $1000, with the help of a few others like Lyman 
Benson, Phineas Pierce, and Cyrus Safford, the bridge was a 
sure thing, and they would never have to pay a red cent of their 
subscriptions, and so it proved. 

Lyman Benson took the contract for the south abutment, 
and Orison Foster of Tunbridge for the north one, and Cyrus 
Safford did the wood work. The bridge was built and completed 
in 1848. Two gates were set up and John Parker was installed 
as gate keeper. The public would rather pay a few cents toll, 
than to drive two miles, then back two miles just to get across 
the river, though some were so indignant over the building of 
the bridge, that they did this very thing for some time. 

When the road was laid out from Chelsea to South Royal- 
ton a little later, the Court's Committee assessed the bridge at 
$4000, but the Court changed the damages and cut down the 
bridge to $2000, and the three towns of Royalton, Tunbridge, 
and Chelsea were to share equally in maintaining the bridge. 
In March, 1853, the selectmen report an order given for $2000, 
and acknowledge receipt from Tunbridge and Chelsea for 
$1536.41. The two towns continued to contribute to the sup- 
port of the bridge for a time, then Mr. Dickerman, who was 
selectman in Tunbridge, thought his town ought to pay less, and 
quietly got a bill through the Legislature by which means the 
share of Tunbridge was cut down to one fourth. Time went 
on, and Mr. Dickerman was sent to the Legislature as represen- 
tative from Tunbridge. He was then instrumental in having 
a bill passed which made it incumbent upon towns that were 
able to maintain their own bridges to do so, and from that date 
Royalton has had to pay her own bridge bills. Daniel Tarbell 
in his autobiography states that the bridge cost $3600. It was 
subsequently made free by a subscription of $1800. 

In 1903 the town voted to build a new bridge at South 
Royalton. It was decided to have an iron bridge, and the con- 
tract was let to the United Construction Company of Albany, 
N. Y., for the sum of $6750. The abutments were put in by 
A. S. Douglass, at an expense of $4903.30. The survey was made 
by R. R. Harris, to whom was paid ninety dollars. The new 
bridge when complete cost $12281.96, and is a credit to the 
town. 

The branch bridges have required considerable expenditure. 
The bridges over the Second Branch were repaired or rebuilt in 
1805, 1824, and 1833, and at other times. The expense of the 
bridge at the last date was $537. The bridges over the First 



282 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Branch are the more numerous. Two of them lead to houses 
off from the main road, the Sanborn and the Ward places. In 
all, the town maintains five bridges across the First Branch. 
In earlier years some of these were built by those living near, 
in consideration of having their taxes remitted for a period of 
years. The one near Pierce 's mills has been the most expensive. 
It has needed rather frequent repairs, and was rebuilt in 1846 
at a cost of $300. Three bridges are supported over the Second 
Branch, and two of some size over Broad Brook, besides numer- 
ous smaller ones in different parts of the town. More thorough 
work in recent years, and fewer destructive freshets have 
lessened the cost of maintaining the bridges in town. Although 
this expense has probably been second only to the cost of her 
public schools, Royalton would not part with her lovely, fitful 
streams for the sake of being relieved of this burden. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



Educational Matters. 

The intelligence and enterprise of any community can be 
gauged by the interest shown in the education of its youth. No 
doubt, if the earliest records had not been destroyed, there 
would be ample evidence to prove that proper provision was 
early made for the instruction of the children of the infant 
town of Eoyalton. There is a tradition that Benjamin Park- 
hurst taught the three R's in his own log house, long before a 
school building was provided. It is quite probable that some 
one was found in two or three sections of the town, who was 
deemed capable of gathering the children of that vicinity in a 
home convenient to all, and of teaching the subjects common in 
the schools of that day. The children in the southeast part of 
the town were first taught by Lydia Richards, in the house of 
Capt. Ebenezer Parkhurst, who lived on the river below the 
mouth of Broad Brook, in Sharon. 

The first preserved record relating to schools is dated the 
third Tuesday of November, 1782. The town at that time was 
divided into three school districts, the first, from Sharon line 
on "both sides of the river to Josiah Wheeler's," and on the 
south side, from Sharon line to the Handy lot at the fordway. 
At that time ^Ir. Wheeler owned all of 25 Dutch and three 
fourths of 26 Dutch. By the help of deeds the "Handy ford- 
way" is quite defiLaitely located. It connected the banks of W. 
17 Large Allotment and 46 Dutch. An editor's note on 
"Steele's Narrative," published fifty or more years ago, locates 
Mr. Handy on W. 16 L. A., but when the new charter was 
granted in 1781, Robert Handy had N. E. 22 Large Allotment. 
The eastern line of this last lot may have run down the river 
farther than is indicated on the "Original Deed of Partition." 

The second district extended from the Brewster lot to ' ' said 
Wheeler's." and up the Branch. The Brewster lot was 46 
Dutch. The third district extended from Lieut. Lyon's, prob- 
ably the east side of 54 T. P., to Bethel on both sides of the 
river. No very sharp lines needed to be drawn in those days, 
with settlers few and scattered. In which district Mr. Wheeler 
was is not stated, the division in both eases where he is men- 
tioned, being to his lot. 



284 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Something more was needed to provide the young men and 
women nearing their majority with means of culture, and we 
find that, at this same meeting, Lieut. Stevens, John Hibbard, 
and Lieut. Calvin Parkhurst were chosen a committee to draw 
up a subscription paper in order to promote a "greamory" 
school. As grammar schools were established by authority of 
the General Assembly, it may be that thus early efforts were 
made to induce the Assembly to locate the first Windsor County 
Grammar School in Royalton. We know from other sources, 
that there was academical instruction in Royalton, before the 
establishment of Royalton Academy in 1807. A separate chap- 
ter is devoted to that old institution. 

By the year 1786 the population had so increased, that it 
was voted to set off the inhabitants on the south side of the river 
as far down as Esquire Stevens' lot into a district, and those 
on the north side of the river as far as Huckens Storrs' lot into 
another. Pupils now would not have to cross the river in going 
to and from school, which must have been difficult and even 
dangerous, if fordways were used, or required considerable ex- 
tra travel if the Stevens bridge was crossed. Huckens Storrs 
owned the Mill Lot, 35 Dutch, and the Stevens lot was prob- 
ably what has lately been known as the Howard place in E, 5, 
Large Allotment. 

In 1792 a district was set off including Dutch lots, 5, 6, 13. 
14-21. Thomas Bingham now owned 13, John Warner, 5, 
Jedediah Pierce, 19, and William Waterman, 20. The north- 
west part of the town was divided into two school districts 
by a committee chosen in 1794. The first of these two began 
at the northwest corner of Royalton, and included lots in Town 
Plot, numbered 30-35, the parts of 18 and 26 above the Second 
Branch, and lots 13-16, all of 10 above the Branch, and 1 to 9 
inclusive. Asa Perrin was then owner of 18, Luther Skinner 
of 17, and Nathaniel Perrin of 10 Town Plot. 

The same day Elias Stevens, Abel Stevens, and John Bill- 
ings were chosen to divide the town into school districts and to 
number them. This committee reported Jan. 13, 1795, and 
with this division the more stable existence of the districts be- 
gins. 

District Number One included lots 1, 5, 10, 16, all of 11 
except a portion owned by Experience Trescott, the east third 
of 12, and north half of 6 Large Allotment. Number Two com- 
prised the district set off in 1792. Number Three was made up 
of Dutch lots 1-4, 9-18, 22-24. Number Four included the 
Dutch lots 27-40, 42-44. Number Five was composed of lots 
2-4, 7-9, 13-15, and the south half of 6 Large Allotment. The 
Center District, which must have had much the largest number 



History op Royalton, Vermont 285 

of residents, was made up of Dutch lots 41, 45, 46, and 54 Town 
Plot. The two districts set off in the northwest part of the 
town in 1794 were now numbered Six and Seven respectively. 

Number Eight comprised lots 17-19, parts of 11 and 12 not 
included in the first district, 22, 23, and the N. E. corner of 26 
Large Allotment. Number Nine lay on both sides of the river, 
including lot 30, and the part of 26 L. A. not included in Dis- 
trict Eight, and on the north side of the river in Town Plot, 
the west part of 53, 4, 11, 12, the southwest corner of 10, parts 
of 18 and 26 south of the Branch, and lots 19, 20, 27-29, 36-38. 
District Ten was the smallest of all, made up of lots 34, 35, 38, and 
all of 39 L. A., except the south half of the west third. District 
Eleven was composed of lots 32, 33, 36, 37, 40, 41, and the part 
of 39 L. A. not included in Number Ten. Number Twelve in- 
eluded lots 20, 21, 24, 25, 28, 29 L. A., and also Joseph Kirbee's 
and David Rugg's farms, which seem to have been in 31 L. A. 

Several unimportant changes took place in the boundaries 
of the districts previous to 1803. At the March meeting of 
that year two new districts were provided for. Number Thir- 
teen was to have lots 31, 27, 26 L. A., except what Daniel Gil- 
^.bert owned, and the farms of Benjamin Clark, Daniel Clapp, 
Daniel Rix, and Silas Williams in lot 30 L. A. District Four- 
teen embraced the whole of the Simpson lot. 

At nearly every town meeting some one would ask to be 
divorced from the district where he had belonged, and to be 
united with some other. Occasionally a man in some district 
became so influential as to give his name to it, and the number 
was superfluous. It must have tickled the pride of such an one 
to have the town vote to set off Mr. Jones to Capt. Doe 's district. 
The town finally grew weary of continual changes, and turned 
a cold shoulder to petitions to be "set off," and for a new 
division into districts. 

In 1808 a trustee was chosen for each district. Elias 
Stevens for No. 1, William Pierce for No. 2, Ebenezer Dewey 
for No. 3, Nathaniel Evans, No. 4, Benjamin Packard, No. 5, 
Jared Kimball, No. 6, Joseph Pierce, No. 7, Ebenezer Parkhurst, 
No. 8, Joseph Bowman, No. 9, Benjamin Day, No. 10, Thomas 
Wheat, No. 11, Stephen Freeman, No. 12, Silas Williams, No. 
13. An act was passed Oct. 31, 1797, providing for dividing 
towns into school districts, and saying, "the inhabitants of such 
towns shall appoint one or more judicious person or persons, in 
each district, who, in conjunction with the selectmen of such 
town, shall be and continue the trustees of the several schools 
in such towns, till others are or shall be appointed." If the 
town had taken action in accordance with this provision pre- 
vious to 1808, the records seem to be silent regarding it. Some 



286 History of Royalton, Vermont 

of the districts had failed to organize properly, and in 1805 
and 1806 such districts were warned by the selectmen to meet 
and organize by the election of the proper officers. 

In 1816 a committee was appointed to set off a school dis- 
trict in the Samuel Metcalf neighborhood. The committee rec- 
ommended that there be set off all the tract of land that had 
not been set off or annexed to any other school district, also 
comprehending the farm of Dolly Smith, and the Buck farm on 
which James Riggs was living, and that the district be called 
the fifteenth. This new district, which may not have included 
more than a half dozen families, had twenty-nine "scholars." 
District sixteen was made out of twelve and five by taking all 
the people on the east side of Lyman brook, all on Lot 15 and on 
the middle and west of Lot 14 Large Allotment, and Amos Bos- 
worth was chosen trustee. 

In 1829 the seventeenth district was established, beginning 
on the turnpike at Baldwin Russell's, (then apparently living 
in 26 Dutch), and extending up the turnpike to Calvin Skin- 
ner's, with Isaac Morgan in the center, on what has lately been 
known as the Buck farm in 41 Dutch, and running up the north 
road to Abraham Hoit's farm, the Grammar School lot. This 
district perfected its organization at Phineas Pierce's. Daniel 
Morgan was chosen clerk, and Phineas Pierce, Daniel Morgan, 
and Thomas B. Russell were the first committee. For the next 
decade and more the boundaries of the districts continued to 
shift. In some cases the petitioners were allowed to send where 
they pleased, by furnishing a certificate that they had sent 
somewhere. Each district was a little republic by itself, and 
did not always submit tamely to the will of the majority as 
expressed in town meeting. 

With the erection of the fifteenth district, the fourteenth 
appears to have languished, and in 1844 the Center District 
ceased to be known by its old name, and was called the Four- 
teenth. The town passed the following resolution at its March 
meeting of that year: "Resolved — that the 14th School Dis- 
trict have the privilege, at their own risk in relation to any fu- 
ture action of the Town, to Erect a School House on S. E. cor- 
ner of the Common as near the Pound as that will allow, mean- 
ing between the Pound and Mr. Sprague's buildings." 

"Voted that the Center School District be requested to move 
their School House off the Common as soon as convenient. ' ' Both 
of these votes evidently refer to the same district, under the old 
and the new name. 

The last district, the eighteenth, had its birth in the middle 
of the nineteenth century, at a December meeting, when it was 
voted that all the land in District No. 1 north of the line of the 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 287 

Kent farm so-called, should constitute a separate district. That 
was the beginning of the South Royalton Graded school district. 
This period was the high water mark of the district system. 
Soon some districts showed a surprising decrease in the num- 
ber of pupils, while others had more children than their small 
buildings could accommodate. Part of seventeen was set off 
and called fifteen in 1850. Two years later the two were united. 
This did not prove satisfactory, and the next year a new dis- 
trict was formed from seventeen and four, and named fifteen, 
extending to Tunbridge line. 

Only a few of the records of the early school districts have 
been found, although diligent search has been made for them. 
District No. 2 has the earliest preserved records. The first 
recorded meeting was April 6, 1798. Benjamin Cole was Mod- 
erator, William Pierce, Clerk, Thomas Bingham and Benjamin 
Cole, Committee, Daniel Havens, Treasurer. They voted to 
raise $133.33 to build a schoolhouse, payable in neat stock or in 
wheat. They voted to set the building as near the crotch of the 
road on Daniel Havens ' land as might be convenient. The house 
was to be 20 by 23 feet. March 28, 1799, they met and accepted 
the schoolhouse. This house either proved unsatisfactory or 
was destroyed. On Jan. 1, 1813, they voted to build a brick 
schoolhouse twenty feet square, and to raise money by tax 
on polls and ratable estates. Thomas Trescott was chosen a 
committee to build the house. There was a delay in the matter. 
On April 13, 1814, they met at Daniel Havens', and voted to 
unite with District No. 3, and to accept the report of the com- 
mittee appointed to set the schoolhouse, and chose a committee 
to draft a petition to lay before the town. The town does not 
seem to have acted on the petition, and the next month they 
met and voted to build a brick house 18 feet square with a por- 
tico of wood on the outside. The house was built and accepted 
in December. This probably served them until 1854 or 1855. 
"We find them voting on Jan. 30, 1855, to build a schoolhouse 
on the site of the old one and to raise $150 for this purpose. 
They got into a tangle about the location and voted not to build 
that year, but Dec. 18, they "Voted to locate the schoolhouse 
on a side of the rode from whare the old won was burnt," and 
May 30, 1856 they accepted the building. 

For many years no mention is made of a summer school, 
and the winter term extended over three or four months. 
The records between 1799 and 1811 were lost, so it cannot be 
stated how they supported their schools, but in 1811 they ap- 
propriated the public money for that purpose, and voted to pay 
the remainder of the expense according to the number of days 
each man sent to the school. They voted to find half a cord 



288 History of Royalton, Vermont 

(running cord?) of wood to the scholar, the committee to find 
the rest if needed. From 1811 to 1824 they supported the 
school by subscription, except the public money drawn. From 
1821 onward they had two terms of school varying in length 
from five to seven months. Like the other districts they had a 
separate meeting for each term of school. In 1891 the commit- 
tee were instructed "to hire out the summer term at South 
Royalton," if they could. In 1893 they voted to unite with 
South Royalton, by a vote of 13 to 6, and the South Royalton 
District voted to receive them, and that closed the existence of 
District No. 2. 

The names of the early teachers have not been learned. In 
1851 Abbie Stevens and Mary Wheeler were the teachers, in 
1853 Frank Fay and Augusta Perry, in 1855 Mary Dewey and 
Ruth S. Cowdery, in 1857 Levi Baker, in 1859 Darwin Boyd, 
and in 1859-60 Maria M. Calder, George A. Bingham, and Ellen 
Hackett. 

The following petition to the General Assembly is of inter- 
est in connection with the history of this district : 

"Gentlemen Legislators. We your petitioners, turn our faces 
towards you and make our complaints, and we state to you with much 
assurance, that a good schoolhouse, well located for the convenience 
of all our district (except one family, which is an extreme case) 
would have been built and finished by the 15th day of June last 
according to vote of the district — we should have been benefited by a 
summer school, and been in readiness for a winter school, also been 
entitled to our share of the public money, if it had not been for the 
opposition of the above named law (law of 1852). Our children are 
the sufferers, not one of them have had the privilege of a school for 
almost a whole year — having had our school house destroyed by fire 
in the beginning of last winter." 

They asked for a repeal of the law. This law gave the 
minority right of appeal to the selectmen in case of disagreement 
in locating a school building, and the decision of the selectmen 
was to be final. 

The records of District No. 13 date back to Oct. 12, 1803. 
The voters were warned to meet at the house of Mr. Williams 
to act on the following articles: 1st to organize and form into 
a regular society; 2nd to choose all necessary society officers; 
3d to do any other business thought proper when met. Nathan 
Page presided as selectman. Daniel Rix, Jr. was elected Clerk, 
Silas Williams, Benjamin Clark, Levi Parker, Committee, Da- 
vid Maynard, Collector. The next month they voted to build 
a schoolhouse 16 by 20 feet, and to set it in the southeast cor- 
ner of Mr. Williams's field northeast of his house. They voted 
to give Daniel Rix $125 for building it. In May the next year 
they voted to have a school that summer, and to raise $11 to 
pay the expense, and to give Sarah Flynn five shillings and six 
pence per week. The house was accepted in October. In 1805 



History of Royalton, Vermont 289 

they voted to have ' ' a woman school three months the winter en- 
sueing," and a tax of $12 paid for the summer school and one 
of $16 paid for the winter term. David Williams served as 
clerk the greater part of the time from 1811 to 1847. A new 
schoolhouse was built by Mr. Hatch and accepted Dec. 23, 1832. 
This building was soon in need of repairs, and in 1851 they 
voted to build a new house, and Charles Clapp bid off the con- 
tract for $195. The old house was sold at auction to Oscar 
Henry. Some of the residents of the district named between 
1806 and 1823 were Eliphalet Davis, Zacharia Waldo, Ephraim 
Barnes, Levi Parker, Royal Spaulding, Howe Wheeler, Poly- 
dore Williams, Richard Smith, David Bosworth, and Luther 
Bowman. The last meeting was held March 28, 1893. 

The records of District No. 5 begin with the year 1827. In 
March of that year the selectmen were requested by Amos Rob- 
inson and son Amos, Silas Packard, Wright Clark and Luther 
Hunting to call a meeting for the purpose of organizing the dis- 
trict. It is hardly to be supposed that the district had never 
been organized, and this action may have been due to taking off 
a part of the district to form No. 16. The meeting was opened 
on the 12th by the first selectman. One week later Isaac Park- 
hurst was chosen committee and collector, and they voted a 
school of five months in the summer and four in the winter. This 
district was one of the largest and most progressive. It had 
annual meetings much earlier than most of the others, more 
months of schooling in a year, supported the school by taxation, 
and has always had one of the best school buildings in town. 
In 1828 they had a writing school for a month, and in 1830 
mention is also made of such a school. In 1834 the school was 
so large that they considered the advisability of having two 
schools. In 1850 they appointed Job Bennett, Hiram Hinkley, 
William Leonard a committee, one of whom was to visit the 
school every two weeks. They believed in supervision. The 
boarding around system was practically abandoned in 1865. 
There are many who will remember the old brick building, with 
its rows of seats facing each other, and its great box stove, al- 
ways red hot on cold winter mornings. Perhaps it was seventy 
years or more ago that Giles Allen taught the Broad Brook 
school, as it was called. He was a great rhymester. One 
day there was to be a ball at Sharon. A number of teams with 
ball-goers, for a lark, stopped in front of the schoolhouse. Allen 
took his pupils to the door and gave them the following rhyme: 

"Here are twenty boys that are full of noise, 

With horses from the stall; 
Here are twenty girls with bows and curls, 

That are going to the ball." 

19 



290 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Other teachers were Lucian Hewitt of Pomfret, Laura J. 
Wood, 1854, Norman Follett, 1855-6, Sarah Fish, 1858; from 
1859 to 1861, Bradley Moore, Jeanette Rix, Gardner Cox, 
Annette Wolcott, Caroline Aspinwall ; from 1863 to 1870, Emma 
Leonard, Oscar Allen, Emma Gordon, Osborn Ashley, Martha 
F. Pettingill, Evelyn M. Wood. D. W. Lovejoy, Laura Foster, 
C. W. Slack. The old brick building was replaced in 1883 with 
a new one of wood. 

District No. 1, one of the three oldest districts in the town, 
has no records previous to 1831. when Joseph Parkhurst, Cyrus 
Safford, and Willis Kinsman petition for a meeting. The usual 
procedure was to petition for a meeting before each term of 
school. They were having two terms in the year. In 1836 
William Harvey was the petitioner, and Dr. Ingraham served as 
moderator. The committee was instructed to secure Miss 
Woodward of Chelsea or Miss Skinner of Royalton for the win- 
ter term. In 1840 Lyman Benson and Archibald Kent were 
chosen a committee to visit the school, and see if it was ex- 
pedient to continue singing in the school, so we may infer that 
some pedagogue in advance of her time was taking the time for 
music that she ought to have employed in teaching the three R 's. 
The next year the committee was instructed to hire Oel Buck, 
if he could be had. The work of the committee seems to have 
been all done for him beforehand, by the wise heads of the dis- 
trict. They paid $1.00 a term for building fires, and Jonas 
Flint got the dollar in 1842. 

The railroad surveyors, when they ran the road through 
the town, paid no attention to a little obstruction like a school- 
house, and so the road was surveyed right through the school 
building. It had to be moved, and as it was an old building, 
now was a good time to erect a new one. The location of the 
site and the plan for the new house were left to Cyrus Safford, 
Cyrus Hartshorn, and Oliver Curtiss. The last two with John 
Manchester were the building committee. They placed the 
house on Joseph Lee's land. Cyrus Safford bought the old 
house and shed, and took the contract for the new one at $189, 
and was to have the building ready for the winter term, 
1847. With the growth of South Royalton the little schoolhouse 
began to be crowded, and the budding village desired a school 
of its own in 1850. so they voted to pay South Royalton 
$25, if they supported a school of their own. As the village 
school increased and offered better and better facilities, they 
found it was near enough to dispense with a separate school, 
and after 1884 no more records are found. 

The records of District No. 6 date from 1846 to 1893. In 
1846 they voted to move the schoolhouse on to the west point of 



History of Royalton, Vermont 291 

Amasa Dutton's land, and then to repair it. Two or three 
meetings followed, in which they voted and rescinded alternate- 
ly, but finally they voted quite extensive repairs inside and out. 
Miss E. J. Perham taught in 1855-56, also Miss S. D. Shipman. 
Between 1872 and 1881 the question of building came up re- 
peatedly, but no harmony of action could be secured. The se- 
lectmen were called out, who located the house and ordered it 
built, which was done in 1882. Mrs. Henry W. Button was one 
of the teachers in this district. 

The records of District No. 10 begin with the year 1857, 
when David Tolles was moderator and John Williams clerk. The 
length of their school year for a period of years varied from 
ten weeks to eight months. In 1884 they voted to arrange for 
schooling pupils at some common or high school. The school 
building was in need of repairs, but efforts to put it in good con- 
dition were voted down. In 1892 they transported their pupils 
to Bethel, and when they disbanded as a district they had money 
in the treasury. 

The first record of District No. 11 is dated March 30, 1880, 
when they "Voted to procure a new book to keep the records 
in place of the one burnt," so all the early history of this dis- 
trict is probably lost. 

In lieu of the records of District No. 9, which have not been 
obtained, an extract from a letter of Jacob Fox, Jr., written 
from Big Rock, 111., about 1860, is given. 

"I recall with distinctness my early school days, when clad in home- 
spun I trudged the pleasant river road, and ofttimes the river's pebbly 
edge, to the old red schoolhouse, where, under the mild sway of 
Lucy Backus, Zabad Mosher, and Harvey Carpenter I first learned 
my a-b-abs and my c-a-t-cat &c. Oh glorious old school house! how 
often have I thought of thee, and of the many happy hours passed 
within thy portals! Thou wast so modest in thy attire, and so unpre- 
tending, boasting no adornments, but conscious of thy merits, thou 
didst deserve a better fate. Old friend, farewell! Pardon this apostro- 
phe to the friend of my better days, for whenever the old schoolhouse 
comes up in my memory, it seems as though I was young again. And 
no wonder, for I do not believe that in the whole State of Vermont 
there existed at that time a school district containing so much native 
talent, such indomitable perseverance, as did congregate in that dear 
old red edifice. And then what strife for superiority, and what won- 
ders were accomplished in incredibly short periods of time. For 
besides Sister Betsey & you & I & Dear Louisa, was not Lucretia 
Bowman & Melissa Hibbard & Eliza Dewey & Henry Billings and Cal- 
vin Bliss with one arm and a moiety of another, were they not of that 
same class that received the rudiments of their education in the dear 
old fabric? And then what spelling schools with their usual accom- 
paniments, such as sliding on the ice and speaking pieces. I remem- 
ber how, Hope L. Dana being teacher, the Sharonians used to come up 
and participate, and George Dana was wont to rehearse the fable of 
the spider and the fly. I remember how one cold wintry morning us 
children all had a cry in the comer of the old chimney because Sister 
Betsey thought she had frozen her thumb. I remember when the 



292 History op Kotalton, Vermont 

lurid flames shot from the roof of our Alma Mater and involved in 
one common ruin our books and summer's tuition. Then it was I 
think I made my first acquaintance with the walls of the Royalton 
Academy, situated at the upper end of the village, where I think 
Eunice Backus dispensed books and birch very freely, and as became 
one of her dignified mien, and thus ended my scholastic course in the 
old red house." 

Coming back to the town records we find a new schooLhouse 
was built in No. 4 in 1853, when the selectmen were called out 
to locate the building. Number 17 retained its boundaries 
scarcely two years in succession, and finally, in 1872, on petition 
of its inhabitants it was dissolved, and part of it set to Number 
14 at Royalton village, and the rest to Number 18 at South 
Royalton. Then began the decay of the old schoolhouse, dear 
to the hearts of many of its former occupants, until it presented 
the appearance seen in the cut of schoolhouses, and soon it was 
removed as an offense on the highway. The same year District 
18 was enlarged by the addition of Number 8. 

In 1876 Number 17 had lost its organization, and petitioned 
the selectmen for relief, who appointed the proper officers. In 
1853 the South Royalton district purchased of William C. Flint 
the lot of land which it still owns and uses as school grounds. 
November 1st of the same year Number 13 leased of Silas R. 
Williams a lot of land for its schoolhouse. In 1856 Number 4 
obtained its lot of James A. Slack, and Number 2 bought a site 
of Harvey Reynolds. The following year Number 10 secured 
from David Tolles land for a school building. In 1893 Number 
18 bought an addition to its lot, and again in 1909. In 1910 
another addition was made to the ball ground in the rear of the 
schoolhouse. 

The first recorded mention of a schoolhouse is Mar. 18, 1788, 
when the voters of the town evidently found the meeting-house 
too cold for comfort, and ad.journed to the "Sentre School 
house," but it would seem that their quarters there were not 
satisfactory, for they again adjourned for ten minutes to meet 
again at the meeting-house. In 1792 the town voted to buy that 
part of the meeting-house lot that had been sold to Lieut. Lyon, 
and the building "nigh ye meeting house formerly occupied as 
a school house and commonly known by ye name of ye Sentre 
School house." Probably this was the first schoolhouse of the 
Center District, and the first in town. From the records of 
1798, Elisha Durfee seems to have bought this house and to have 
received a bond for a deed. The town voted that, if anybody ap- 
peared with the bond and secured the town for balance due, he 
should have a deed of the house. Whether Elkanah Stevens and 
Isaac Skinner appeared with the bond or not, cannot be stated, 
but the next year they sold this house to Jacob Smith for $90. 



History of Rotalton, Vermont 293 

In 1802 the town gave leave to build a schoolhouse 20 by 
40 feet, with a cupola in front twelve feet square, on the meet- 
ing-house Green, "provided it should be set as far back in the 
rear as the make of the land would admit, ' ' and it was ' ' to stand 
there no longer than it is kept for the use of schooling, and if 
the Proprietors should put anybody into sd building to live or 
carry on any kind of business their right of keeping the build- 
ing on the ground aforesaid shall be forfeited." The work of 
sticking the stake was entrusted to three deacons, Billings, Tul- 
lar, and Rix. 

In 1844 a new schoolhouse was erected on the common near 
the pound. It was not to exceed $350 in cost exclusive of the 
old house. This was repaired in 1852. In 1878 the warning 
contained a clause to see if they would build a new schoolhouse. 

Comfort Sever was a man who was greatly interested in 
education. It is not unlikely that he himself employed some of 
his time, especially in the winter months, in teaching. In 
1809 reference is made in a deed to Sever 's school, and the red 
schoolhouse. He owned Lots 11 and 12 Town Plot, and the 
"red school house" may have stood where the present house 
stands in District No. 9, and it was no doubt the same building 
that Jacob Fox says was burned. In 1792 Ebenezer Fitch sold 
one ninth part of " Sever 's school house," which may indicate 
that the house was not built by taxation, but by subscription, 
to which Mr. Sever, who was well off in worldly goods, may 
have contributed much the largest share. District No. 5 bought 
land in 1826 of Arunah Clark, for a schoolhouse site. In 1828 
Greenfield Perrin deeded fifteen rods of land to District No. 
7 for a schoolhouse. In 1831 Isaac Morgan sold land for a 
schoolhouse to District No. 17. 

The earliest schools were supported mainly by voluntary 
subscription, then by the districts voting a tax. In the year 
1800 an effort was made to have the town vote a tax to main- 
tain schools. No action was taken at the first meeting, and at 
an adjourned meeting they voted not to raise a tax. In 1811 
a small appropriation for the support of schools was made by 
the town. The school law of 1797, before referred to, gave the 
districts power to raise money by subscription or taxation, and 
also gave the town power to raise money for school purposes, 
which money was to be divided equally according to the num- 
ber of children in each district between the ages of four and 
eighteen. The law seemed to leave the matter of maintaining 
a school with the district, but, if it failed to do so for a year, it 
forfeited all right to a share of the public money. In Novem- 
laer, 1810, an act was passed making it the duty of the select- 
men in the organized towns of the state to assess a tax of one 



294 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

cent on a dollar on the list of polls and ratable estates of the in- 
habitants, for the purpose of schooling, which assessment was 
increased to two cents on a dollar in 1824. 

Subsequent legislation, influenced by recommendations from 
the governors of the state and superintendents of schools, and 
by requests from the best and most progressive portion of the 
teaching force of the state, has continually tended towards cen- 
tralization. This tendency, and the great decrease in the size 
of families have caused a gradual abolition of school districts, 
and the throwing of the support of the public schools into the 
hands of the town and state. 

Vermont's share of the surplus revenue, which the United 
States government loaned to the several states in 1836, was 
$669,086.79. This money was apportioned to the several towns 
of the state according to the population, based on the census 
of 1830. On December 21st, 1836, the town chose Oramel Saw- 
yer, John Marshall, and Thomas Rust as trustees of this pros- 
pective money, and they were instructed to loan it on good se- 
curity, not more than $500 to any one person, nor less than $100. 
If all was not applied for within fifteen days, the trustees were 
to loan at their discretion. It does not seem to have been loaned 
in that time, for January 28, 1837, the selectmen were author- 
ized to borrow $1000 at six per cent, interest. The trustees re- 
ported at their March meeting, 1839, that they received the first 
installment at Woodstock Bank, Feb. 13, 1837, amounting to 
$1506.34, a similar sum on April 14, and a third installment on 
July 5th. The interest which had accrued Feb. 16, 1838, was 
$219.95. The rest of this money, aside from what the town bor- 
rowed, was loaned to individuals in sums of $100 each, and notes 
were taken on demand, with responsible names thereon. 

Another source of income is the Huntington fund. This 
came through the will of Arunah Huntington, who was born 
in Roxbury, Feb. 23, 1794, and died in Brantford, Province of 
Ontario, Jan. 10, 1877. It is said that he lived at one time with 
his uncle Downer, supposed to have lived in Sharon, that he 
worked at tanning leather, shoe making, and teaching school, 
by which means he gathered together enough to start a small 
shoe business in Brantford. By judicious management he 
amassed a fortune of over $200,000. The will was contested for 
six years, but Vermont, the legatee, finally won the suit. By the 
terms of the will the State could use the gift as it deemed best, 
but it was recommended, that the profits should be annually di- 
vided among the counties for the benefit of common or district 
schools. The Legislature acted upon the bequest in 1884, re- 
quiring the treasurer to apportion annually the interest on the 
fund, to the towns and gores in proportion to the inhabitants. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 295 

The towns were to apportion the sum received to the school dis- 
tricts as other public money was divided, but a district had to 
maintain a school twenty-four weeks the preceding year in order 
to claim a share in the division. The first division was made in 
March, 1886, and Royalton received her share, probably, but 
the fimd was not included in the town report as a separate item 
until 1891, when $54.61 were reported, and about the same sum 
yearly, until the fund became a part of the permanent school 
fund. 

In 1902 a reserve fund was set apart from the state school 
tax, for the purpose of equalizing taxation and school ad- 
vantages in the state. The rest of the tax was to be divided 
among the cities and towns according to the number of legal 
schools maintained. Those benefited by this reserve fund had 
to raise at least fifty cents on a dollar of their grand list for 
school purposes exclusive of buildings. In 1904 this act was 
amended by increasing the fund to $45,000. The same year 
a permanent fund was created by setting apart the $240,000 
which the national government had paid into the treasury of 
Vermont in settlement of war claims. This was to be the 
nucleus of a permanent fund. In 1906 the Huntington fund 
was added to it and the United States deposit money which the 
state had loaned to the towns. The trustees of public money in 
each town were to collect and pay into the state treasury before 
Dec. 31, 1907, the money apportioned to it, unless the money 
had been loaned the town, in which case the town was to pay in- 
terest until such time as the money should be returned. From 
this permanent fund $15,000 were reserved, to be divided in the 
same way and under the same conditions as the $45,000 reserve 
fund. 

In 1906 the Legislature set aside $20,000 for aiding towns 
that furnish transportation and board to resident pupils in at- 
tendance upon elementary schools, limited and apportioned ac- 
cording to the sum expended by said towns for school pur- 
poses. The same year a law was passed providing for re-im- 
bursing such towns as should have paid tuition for higher in- 
struction of its pupils, conditioned and apportioned according 
to amount spent for school purposes and for such higher tuition. 

The first record of the number of children in town is found 
in 1809. At that time District No. One had 46 children, No. Two, 
27, No. Three, 26, No. Four, 73, No. Five, 39, No. Six, 59, No. 
Seven, 51, No. Eight, 25, No. Nine, 65, No. Ten, 33, No. Eleven, 
77, No. Twelve, 62, No. Thirteen, 37, No. Fourteen, the Center 
School, 85, total, 705. In 1811 No. Four crowds close on the 
Center School with 81 children, but in 1814 the Center has 
reached 109. The largest number recorded, 740, was in 1817, 



296 History op Royalton, Vermont 

these being children between four and eighteen years of age. 
From that time the number ahnost continuously decreases. In 
1847 it was 594, No. Nine having the largest number, 66. 

In 1831 the report of the number of the children included 
the names of the clerks as follows: No. 1, Oliver Curtis, clerk, 
had 30 ; No. 2, G. Bingham, 36 ; No. 3, R. K. Dewey, 23 ; No. 4, 
William Woodworth, 43; No. 5, A. J. B. Robinson, 52; No. 6, 
J. Richardson, 52 ; No. 7, T. Rust, 22 ; No. 8, D. Rix, 27 ; No. 9, 
Andrew Backus, 72 ; No. 10, M. Tullar, 22 ; No. 11, T. Wheat, 
28; No. 12, 0. WiUes, 44; No. 13, J. Waldo, 32; No. 14, J. 
Sprague, 79; No. 16, J. Johnson, 17, No. 17, D. Morgan, 37. 

In the report of 1858 the names of the families in each dis- 
trict and the children attending school are given. The follow- 
ing heads of families each had six children of school age : John 
Hinkley, Jesse Button, Chauncey Tenney, Aurin Luce, Elisha 
Howard, Mrs. E. Denison. The two districts having the largest 
number of pupils were No. 14 with 68, and No. 4 with 54 chil- 
dren. 

The amount of school money divided among the districts 
has not been found prior to 1837. There were then 628 chil- 
dren in seventeen districts, and the total sum divided was 
$507.68. The next year there was reported from the state school 
tax $440.22, from land rentals, $52, and from interest on the 
surplus revenue, $201. 

The town system of schools was a plant of slow growth in 
Vermont. The towns were, as a rule, reluctant to adopt it. It 
was voted on in Royalton several times between 1872 and 1893, 
but with large majorities opposed to adoption. A law was 
passed in 1892 abolishing the district system, and the towns had 
no choice. The number of schools in town under this new sys- 
tem has greatly decreased, so that now there are but six, exclu- 
sive of the town High School and Academy, and the South 
Royalton Graded School. The number of children of school age 
is now 294. 

In the division of public money, the income from the per- 
manent school fund and the state school tax are apportioned ac- 
cording to the number of legal schools. A legal school is one 
maintained at least twenty-eight weeks in a year, with an aver- 
age daily attendance of not less than six pupils, taught by a duly 
qualified teacher, whose register has been kept according to law. 
The division of all other public school money is based on attend- 
ance. In 1909 the town received for school purposes the fol- 
lowing amount of public money : Land rent, $15.85 ; for trans- 
portation, $234.24; tuition reimbursement, $55.50; permanent 
school fund, $100.59 ; state school tax, $343.32 ; from $45,000 re- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 297 

serve fund, $108.09; from $15,000 reserve fund, $36.11; total, 
$893.70. 

The South Royalton Graded School District received in 1909 
on the $15,000 reserve fund, $134.59; on the $45,000 reserve 
fund, $403.58 ; transportation, $103.31 ; state school tax, $245.23 ; 
permanent school fund, $71.85; land rent, $28.15; total, $986.71. 

The amount of money received from town taxes for school 
purposes was $2,322.61, which with the public money and $200 
of the Academy fund made the sum of $5,631.89 available to 
the town for conducting its system of schools, during the school 
year, 1909-10. 

The South Royalton Graded School was not established 
without a struggle. Its nucleus was District Eighteen. This 
district had maintained two schools in a two-story building most 
of the time from 1875 to 1892. The superior advantages offered 
by these schools attracted pupils from other districts, but it 
was the policy of the controlling officers to discourage the at- 
tendance of tuition pupils, because it would necessitate more 
room and more teachers, and they were not quite ready for en- 
largement. 

In 1882 the two schools were graded, and a primitive course 
of study was adopted. The committee chosen to prepare this 
course was composed of Rev. S. K. B. Perkins, Superintendent 
of Schools, M. J. Sargent, Prudential Committee, and Mrs. D. W. 
Lovejoy, Principal of the two schools. This course outlined the 
studies to be pursued for five years in the primary department, 
and for five years in the grammar department. Drawing was 
introduced and practical subjects emphasized. 

In 1883 the school building was repaired, and the next 
year tuition pupils were admitted. The school increased in 
numbers, and it soon became evident that more commodious 
quarters would have to be provided. This was not done until 
1892. 

On petition a meeting was called for March 30, 1892, to 
see if the district would vote to establish a graded school. When 
met, it was unanimously voted to establish a graded school of 
four or more departments with three or more grades. The 
prudential committee, J. B. Durkee, A. P. Skinner, and J. H. 
Hewitt, with the clerk, M. J. Sargent, were constituted a board 
to establish such a school, and to prepare plans for reconstruct- 
ing the old building or erecting a new one, and to choose a lo- 
cation. The board was instructed to use all reasonable effort 
to induce Districts One and Two to unite with Eighteen. 

The board canvassed Districts One, Two, and Four, ascer- 
tained the grand list of the three districts, learned that a good 
majority were in favor of the union, and also ascertained the 



298 History op Koyalton, Vermont 

cost of different lots suitable for the location of a building. They 
reported at an adjourned meeting, when it was voted to pro- 
cure a lot of John Mudgett, and to raise 100 cents on a dollar 
for purchasing the land and for building a schoolhouse. The 
board resigned, and Henry Manchester, John Mudgett, Chester 
Pierce, Joel Phelps, and W. V. Soper were elected a building 
committee. 

The movement seemed now well under w^ay, and to be pro- 
gressing favorably, but an opposing element was at work. This 
was manifested at the next meeting, when a motion was made 
to rescind the vote to establish a graded school. This was lost, the 
vote standing 23 to 47. A motion to instruct the building com- 
mittee to buy the land was lost by a small majority. At a sub- 
sequent meeting it was voted to rescind all action relating to the 
matter of providing for a graded school, except the establish- 
ment of such a school. They then voted to hold a meeting prop- 
erly warned for voting to receive Districts One, Two, Three, and 
Four. These districts with the exception of No. 3 had already 
voted to unite with the South Eoyalton district. 

There seems to have been some question as to the legality 
of some of the proceedings, but finally they were organized as 
a graded school district, and elected J. B. Durkee 1st Committee, 
Charles Black, 2nd, Charles West, 3d, Ira Spaulding, 4th, and 
G. W. Ward, 5th. Nothing more was done about a building or 
lot, except to appoint a committee to examine informally the 
locations for a school building. At a meeeting on April 17, 
various motions looking toward providing a building were lost, 
then they voted to appoint a building committee of five to build 
a house on the present site with the addition of the Mudgett 
land, not to exceed $6,000. They voted to raise a tax of fifty 
cents on a dollar and bond the district for the rest, and left dis- 
cretionary powers in the hands of the building committee. 

It looked as if something would really materialize now, but 
almost at once a petition signed by fifty or more voters was out, 
asking for another meeting to rescind everything voted, except 
the establishment of a graded school. When met, they voted to 
pass over the article relating to rescinding, and then adjourned. 
The building committee went forward and bought the Mudgett 
land to enlarge the original school lot of one fourth of an acre 
bought in 1853. The expense of the land and completed build- 
ing was $6,495.54. Four schools were opened in the new build- 
ing, but an increase in attendance necessitated an outlay the 
next year of several hundred dollars. The debt incurred by 
the district yearly decreased until 1900, when new heating and 
ventilating apparatus was put in, costing over one thousand 
dollars. The attendance in the high school has been so large the 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 299 

past few years that the space which was ample in 1900 is now 
too small, and more room is demanded. The building is a credit 
to the village, well equipped for physical, chemical, and commer- 
cial departments, as compared with the average high school of 
Vermont. 

The first principal of the graded school was Edward Sher- 
man Miller, a native of Ryegate, and a graduate of Dartmouth 
in 1893, who later taught in Lancaster, N. H. He had charge 
of the high and grammar departments in one school. The 
spring term had an enrollment of 45 students, the intermediate 
of 27, with Miss Maud M. Kendall, teacher, and the primary, 36 
pupils, with Miss Ella C. Latham, teacher. The next year the 
grammar school had a separate room, and was taught by Miss 
E. R. Pratt. 

In 1895 William Cyprian Hopkins, Jr., was secured as prin- 
cipal. He was born in Hannibal, Mo., 1869 ; graduated at the 
U. V. M., in 1894 with an A. B. degree; principal of Waterbury 
schools 1894-95. He remained at South Royalton two years. 
The enrollment in the high school had not reached forty. From 
South Royalton Mr. Hopkins went to Wenosha, Wis., where he 
was superintendent of schools two years. He then spent one 
year in study in the University of Chicago, and later was in- 
structor in history in Princeton-Yale school, Chicago, and was 
employed in the Shattuck school, Faribault, Minn. 

Mr. Hopkins sent out the first graduating class in 1897. 
From the Latin-Scientific Course were graduated Sfa May Ward, 
and Cecilia Wynn ; from the English Course, Clara Elvira Da- 
vis, Ha May Dutton, Luna May Leavitt, Edith Nellie Skinner. 
Pupils attended the high school that year from six different 
towns, not including Royalton. 

Mr. Hopkins was succeeded by Frank Kilburn Graves. Mr. 
Graves was born in Waterbury, Sep. 28, 1862. He was the son 
of Levi J. and Analyse (Kilburn) Graves. He graduated from 
the U. V. M. in 1886, with A. B. degree. He was principal of 
high school, Essex, N. Y., 1886-88; at Granville, N. Y., 1888-90; 
at S wanton, Vt.. 1890-93; principal of Burr and Burton Sem- 
inary, Manchester, 1893-94; at South Royalton, 1896-1901; 
Enosburg Falls, 1901-02; teacher in Berea College, Berea, Ky., 
1903-04; teacher in Sterling, Conn., 1904-07; at present Superin- 
tendent of Schools for the towns of Elmore, Morristown, and 
Stowe. He married June 14, 1887, Miss Eva E. Wyman of Wa- 
terbury, and has three children, Mildred W., Osborne H., and 
Harold F. Graves. 

The enrollment in the high school at South Royalton was 
twenty-seven when he took charge of it, and sixty when he left. 
In 1898 ten were graduated, in 1899, seven, in 1900, six, in 



300 History of Royalton, Vermont 

1901, two. In the fall term of 1900 an assistant was hired for 
the high school, Miss Amy L. Kibby. Teaching school with 
Principal Graves was something more than hearing lessons. He 
aimed to improve the tone of the schools, and to foster a healthy 
moral as well as intellectual growth in his students. 

In 1902 Arthur R. Butler became principal of the graded 
schools. He remained two years. There was quite a decrease 
in the attendance, perhaps partly due to increase in the rates of 
tuition. Mrs. Harriet Seymour, a graduate of Mount Holyoke, 
was secured as assistant. Twelve students were graduated that 
year. 

Mr. Butler was succeeded by Julius V. Sturtevant, a native 
of New Haven and a graduate of Middlebury in 1885. He had 
taught in various towns in Vermont, including Essex Junction, 
Stowe, and Cambridge. He married Lucy Ellen Batchelder, 
Mar. 11, 1891. He was in South Royalton one year, when he 
went, as principal of Royalton Academy, to the other village, 
where he remained one year. He then went as principal to Con- 
cord, and at present is located in Underhill. 

The attendance in the graded school was smaller than usual, 
but it sent out a graduating class of eleven in 1904. Miss Fannie 
Eastman was his assistant a part of the year. 

A new period of growth and prosperity began with 1905, 
when John Edward Stetson became principal of the graded 
schools. He was born in Hanover, Mass., Sep. 10, 1878, the son 
of William H. and Delia F. (Carey) Stetson. He graduated 
from Middlebury in 1900; principal of grammar school, Man- 
chester Center, 1900; principal of grammar school, Bennington, 
1901 ; principal of high school, and superintendent, Wilmington, 
N. H., 1901-05; at South Royalton, 1905-07; principal of high 
school, Springfield, 1907 to present time. He married July 31, 
1907, Miss Minnie E. Blodgett of Randolph Center, daughter 
of Loren and Luthena (Marsh) Blodgett, who had been very 
successful as a primary teacher in the South Royalton schools. 

There were seven to graduate in 1905 and two in 1906. Six 
received diplomas in the following year. The entering classes 
were now much larger, and assured larger senior classes in the 
future. The enrollment in 1907 was over sixty. Mr. Stetson 
was universally popular, a good instructor, a worthy example 
for his students to imitate, and the district was loath to part 
with his services. 

In 1907 Earle E. Wilson was engaged as principal of the 
graded schools. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1903, 
and took an A. M. degree from Dartmouth in 1909. The state 
course of study took the place of the former courses, and re- 
quired the employment of three teachers in the high school to 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 301 

maintain its standing as a school of the first grade. Miss Edith 
Chaffee was engaged as the third teacher. In 1908 a class of 
six was graduated. That fall sixty-seven students were enrolled 
in the high school, coming from eleven different towns. One 
half of the list was from Koyalton. In 1909 the graduating class 
numbered an even dozen, only five of whom were from Koyalton, 
and one from the village of South Koyalton. 

The fall term of 1909 opened with an enrollment of eighty 
students, a senior class of fourteen and a freshman class of 
twenty-eight. Of the seniors, eight were from Koyalton, and 
six of these from South Koyalton village. The school in 1909 
took quite a prominent place in athletic contests, winning sev- 
eral fine prizes. Mr. Wilson labored faithfully for the best 
interests of the school, and secured the largest enrollment in its 
history. Courses in shorthand, typewriting, and elementary 
agriculture were introduced. Five new standard typewriters 
were purchased. Mr. Wilson was elected District Superinten- 
dent for the towns of Koyalton, Bethel, and Tunbridge in 1910, 
and severed his connection with the South Koyalton schools. 
James Monohan is the present principal of the high school. 

Several teachers in the grades have served for considerable 
periods of time. Miss Ella Latham, a graduate of the Kandolph 
Normal, taught with marked success in the primary department 
from 1893 to 1901, when ill health compelled her to resign. 
She did not recover, and her death was sincerely mourned by 
pupils and patrons. Miss Jennie B. Godfrey taught in the 
grammar school, 1895-1901. Miss Minnie E. Blodgett served in 
the primary department, 1901-07. It was chiefly through her 
instrumentality that drawing, painting, and other manual work 
received its first strong impetus in the grades. Miss Hattie Fay 
taught 1905-09. Miss Jessie Benson, a Kandolph graduate, be- 
gan teaching in the lower grades in 1904, and is still faithfully 
working in the second primary. She was assistant in the Koyal- 
ton High School and Academy for several years, and has been 
very successful in her department. Miss Emma B. Kowell, now 
Mrs. Arthur A. Abbott, taught in the grammar room from 
1906 to 1910. 

The other present teachers are Miss Marion Wynne, and 
Miss Viola M. Fenton in the grades. Miss Mary Story, A. B., a 
graduate of Boston University in 1909, and Miss Isabel D. Mc- 
Clare, A. B., a graduate from the same class, both teachers in 
the high school. 

The total enrollment in the graded school in 1910 was 170, 
of which number seventy-six were in the high school, and of this 
seventy-six, forty-three were tuition pupils. 



302 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

It would be interesting to know who were the earliest teach- 
ers in town, but unfortunately there are no means of ascertain- 
ing their names. Those who might remember have long ago 
passed away. Benjamin Parkhurst and Comfort Sever have 
already been mentioned as possible pedagogues, and Lydia 
Richards as one well authenticated. Zebulon Lyon had a step- 
daughter, Sally Skinner, who was quite a remarkable girl, even 
in those days, when girls assumed heavy responsibilities much 
younger than they do today. She was six years old when she 
came to town with her new step-father, who seems to have been 
duly proud of her. ' ' My Sally is as old as most girls of twenty 
years," he is quoted as saying, when she was twelve years of 
age. At that age she was hired to teach the village school, in a 
log house, no doubt, and she taught it with success. When a 
rainy day in haying or harvest came the large boys all struck 
a bee line for "Sally's School." She later said that she dreaded 
to see a cloud all that summer, for she had to look up into the 
faces of all those tall boys and teach them to spell and to figure, 
and that the earth is round like a ball. Sally must have been 
a winsome lass, for the Rev. Azel Washburn, whose wife she be- 
came, fell in love with her almost at first sight. Her summer 
term of school, when she was twelve, was taught in 1787. 

Several early teachers have already been incidentally re- 
ferred to. Some of those mentioned later in the records as hav- 
ing been examined in Algebra, Arithmetic, Geography, Grammar, 
Reading, Writing and Orthography and licensed to teach in any 
district in the town, were Hiram C. Young, 1846, Helen E. Wil- 
liams, Lucia A. Peabody, Frances Pember, Mary M. Pierce, 
Elizabeth M. Blodgett, George A. Bingham, Stephen H. Pierce, 
Egbert Woodward, George W. Burgett, Andrew C. Hebard, H. 
Latham, G. S. Shepard, Abbie S. Stevens, Eliza Robinson, James 
Davis, and Lucian Hewitt, in 1850 and 1851. 

Lucian Hewitt was a resident of Pomfret, a farmer, who 
taught school winters. He was a tall, broad-shouldered man, 
firm in discipline, yet kindly withal, and was in great demand 
in districts where the discipline had been lax. It was the 
writer's good fortune to attend one of his schools, and it is 
recalled that he once told some of his pupils, that he taught 
the first term of school in the new schoolhouse on Broad Brook, 
and he told the pupils the first day that there must not be so 
much as a scratch of a pin to deface the new desks, and he 
ended the term with the building entirely uninjured. At that 
time there were over fifty pupils in the district, and Mr. Hewitt 
was justly proud of his battle with the ever-present jackknife, 
itching to start a sliver on the unpainted desk of the idle boy. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 303 

He has a daughter, Mrs. Albert Merrill, the youngest child of 
the family, who is now living in this town. 

Miss Hattie Pike taught in the upper department of the 
South Royalton school, and her sister Edna in the primarj'- school 
for several years. No teachers in this school ever gave better 
satisfaction. They were greatly beloved by their pupils, and 
when Mark J. Sargent persuaded Miss Hattie to take a smaller 
school for life, and Ransom D. Grain was equally successful in 
enticing away Miss Edna, long and loud were the lamentations. 
The writer recalls that at the wedding of Miss Hattie, after the 
ceremony she slipped out to the lawn to greet the bevy of chil- 
dren, who had gathered to take in as much of the nuptials as 
possible, seeing they could not prevent them. When Miss Edna 
took the train on her bridal tour, a few pupils had obtained per- 
mission to go to the station to bid her good-by. The others hear- 
ing of it, indignantly exclaimed, "We are as much related to 
Edna Pike as they are." and so they all got a furlough, which 
they gleefully enjoyed, as the train was late. Miss Alice 
Brownell is another teacher, who has taught many years in the 
district schools of the town and in Royalton village. 

From the diaries of Asa Perrin the early teachers of dis- 
trict. No. 7, were ascertained. They were as follows: sum- 
mer terms, Anna Ellsworth, 1796, Polly Waller, 1797, 
Anna Whitnev, 1798, Eunice Metcalf, 1799. Polly Hibbard, 

1800, Elizabeth H , 1801, Chanlot F , 1802, 

Charles Eraser, 1803, Polly Peak, 1804, Sally Kelsey, 1805, Polly 
Bacon, 1806, Sally Kelsey. 1807, Fanny Skinner. 1808, Fanny 
Parkhurst. 1809, Phebe Adams. 1810-li; winter, Samuel Hib- 
bard, 1800-02, John Fish. 1802-03. Bateman, 1803-04, 1809- 
10, Cellic, 1805-06, 1810-11, Enoch Green. 1806-09, 1811- 
12. On Feb. 22, 1795. he says they held services in the "new 
schoolhouse, " but whether this was in their own district or in 
the village, cannot be stated. On Nov. 12, 1794, he noted the 
funeral of "schoolmaster Hunting's wife" at the "red school- 
house. ' ' 

Supervision of schools was of a very primitive nature for 
the first half century of the town's existence. Some member 
of the school district was occasionally assigned this duty, or, as 
has been noted, the trustees of the town, who dealt mostly with 
the financial side of school matters, were to have control of the 
schools. The only specific power, however, delegated to them 
was the power to appoint and remove school-masters. 

In 1827 a law w^as passed providing for the election of from 
three to seven superintendents, whose duty it was to look after 
the schools themselves. The next year the town chose Jacob 
Collamer, Harry Bingham, and Daniel Rix as a committee to 



304 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

nominate seven for superintending school committee. These 
seven were Nathaniel Sprague, John Francis, Gideon Bingham, 
Jonathan Kinney, Jr., Wyman Spooner, Rev. Mr. Buck, and 
Michael Flynn, representing the law, the ministry, the press, 
and the farming interests. Surely the schools ought to have 
taken a great stride forward with so large and well-equipped 
board of supervisors. 

The next year Rev. Mr. Kimball took the place of Mr. Buck, 
A. C. Noble of Lawyer Francis, and Rev. A. C. Washburn of 
Wyman Spooner. The following year Jo Adam Denison took 
the place of Mr. Kimball, and in 1832 John Francis is found on 
the list and Gideon Bingham has disappeared from it. In 1831 
the town voted that the superintending school committee should 
report the condition of all the schools, showing a commendable 
interest in the cause of education. As no report is found, it 
may be supposed that they failed to do so, at any rate in 1833 
they had a house cleaning, and four new members were elected, 
Jacob Collamer, John Billings, Truman Safford, Calvin Skinner, 
Jr. 

From this date until 1846 the records are silent regarding 
the supervision of schools, when Dudley C. Denison, Samuel 
W. Slade, and Cyrus B. Drake were elected, and served also the 
next year, except Dr. Drake, who was elected with Calvin Skin- 
ner the following year. They had begun to think of having 
only one superintendent, but rejected the idea. In 1849 Wil- 
liam H. Safford and Thomas Atwood served, and Mr. Safford 
was elected alone the two succeeding years. From this date to 
1858 those serving in successive years were George A. Bingham, 
C. G. Bumham, S. R. Williams, Hiram Latham, Edgar A. Max- 
ham, Clark Shipman. Edward Conant served two years, and 
was followed by Dr. Drake, and he by J. I. Gilbert. 

Dr. Drake's report in 1861 was of such excellence that it 
called out a vote of thanks, and an order to have it spread on the 
records of the town (which does not seem to have been done), 
and to have it printed in such papers of the state as would print 
it free of charge, and 1000 copies were to be printed in pamphlet 
form. If this was done, some one ought to have a copy in ex- 
istence today. This was a precedent, so the next year Supt. 
Gilbert's report was ordered to be printed in the Vermont Jour- 
nal, and 500 or 1000 copies to be circulated in town. 

The succeeding superintendents in order were Dr. Drake, 
who resigned, and Rev. M. C. Henderson was appointed, elected 
1867-68, when he resigned, and Henry H. Denison was ap- 
pointed, Daniel W. Fox, E. F. Wright, and E. A. Thacher. 

Mr. Thacher 's school report for his first year, 1872, was 
ordered printed and 100 copies circulated in the several districts. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 305 

He continued to serve as superintendent with great acceptance 
until 1881, and taught winters much of the time. His work for 
the educational interests of the town is worthy of especial men- 
tion. In 1874 the town passed the following resolution: 
"Resolved that the thanks of the town be manifested to E. A. 
Thacher, Superintendent of Common Schools for his impartial 
and thorough report of the condition of the schools in town the 
past year." 

In 1881 Rev. S. K. B. Perkins was elected superintendent, 
and was also placed on the text-book committee. He took an 
active interest in the schools, and w^as helpful with suggestions 
as well as with kindly criticism. He was re-elected in 1882, but 
resigned, and Dr. A. B. Bisbee was appointed in his place, and 
elected in 1883, followed in 1884 by Mr. Thacher. 

The first woman superintendent was Mrs. Evelyn M. Love- 
joy, elected in 1885, and followed the next year by Dr. Clayton 
P. House, who served two years. Dr. I. P. Dana succeeded him 
and held the office three years. He was elected in 1890 a mem- 
ber of the County Board of Education. This board superseded 
the town superintendent. In 1891 Dr. Dana was elected super- 
intendent, followed the next year by Rev. James Ramage. In 
1893 the town by law was compelled to adopt the town system 
of schools, and directors were elected, who appointed the super- 
intendent. Mrs. E. Lee Stearns was called by them to the of- 
fice. She had taught in the Academy, and her ability was well 
known. That she had high ideals regarding the kind and quality 
of instruction that should be given in the public schools is shown 
by the following extract from her report of that year: "The 
parents do not perceive a fault which it must be confessed does 
exist in greater or less degree in nearly every teacher's work. 
They proceed as if education were a mere accumulation of facts 
in the mind of the child, with little training by which he may 
apply his knowledge or acquire the practical mental discipline 
which would fit him for business. Neither do the teachers 
sufficiently realize their duty to make a moral impression upon 
their pupils. 

Both the necessity and the difficulty of their work arises 
from the same cause — the absence of morality, thrift and culture 
in the homes. A teacher's efforts in this direction are liable to 
be misunderstood and even resisted by the parents, because they 
do not see that it is of infinitely greater importance that their 
child should learn honesty, diligence, self-reliance, good manners, 
and the ability to reason intelligently, than that he should memo- 
rize a list of names, dates and rules, with no power of assimilating 
or using his knowledge, and no stability of character on which 
to stand in the world. ' ' 
20 



306 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

Mrs. Stearns held the office of superintendent until 1900, 
v/ith the exception of one year, 1896-97. That year Prin. 
Charles L. Curtis was elected to the office. That was the year 
that a change was effected in the school in the academy. The 
following is an extract from his report for the year, in which 
this change is explained and defended: "Upon the urgent re- 
quest of your superintendent and many citizens of this town, 
it was decided to unite with the trustees of the academy, to 
abolish the school on the common, and in the so-called Russell 
district, and to establish a central graded school in the academy 
building, to be taught by three teachers and to comprise four 
grades, primary, intermediate, grammar and high. 

By this step the necessity of dividing the old village school 
and hiring an extra teacher, of extensive repairs there and at 
the Russell school, was eradicated ; and, to allay the cost of trans- 
portation of the (then) eight pupils of the Russell school, these 
savings, added to the academy fund, and the considerable amount 
paid for tuition at the academy, were presented. 

The result has been largely satisfactory to scholars and 
parents interested, at a very slight additional cost to the town. 
The town now has a graded school prepared in all de- 
partments to accommodate any number of pupils that can be 
expected, at no additional cost, and furnishing a thorough course 
to an}' pupil in our town district, free of all cost. This obviates 
entirely the necessity of our bearing the expenses of any pupils 
in the schools of our adjacent towns." 

In 1900 Prin. Fannie Eastman was elected by the board 
of directors as superintendent. She held the office until 1904. 
Miss Eastman was very energetic, and worked hard to bring the 
schools up to a high standard in all fundamental subjects. A 
number of her own graduates from the academy were among 
the teachers, whom she inspired to their best efforts. She was 
succeeded by Mrs. Frances M. Joiner, who held the office until 
her death in the summer of 1907. Mrs. Joiner's great contribu- 
tion to the schools was the enforcement of the compulsory at- 
tendance law. She realized how much the schools had suffered 
by irregular attendance, and she had the courage to carry out 
the provisions of the law regardless of the effect upon her own 
fortunes. Her sympathy with the young children won the 
hearts of the pupils, and the teachers found her helpful and 
inspiring. 

Mrs. Joiner was succeeded by Mrs. Laura P. Allen. Mrs. 
Allen aimed to grade all the rural schools, so that the pupils 
finishing the course in these schools could enter the town high 
school or the high school at South Royalton without loss of time. 
She also tried to stimulate the pupils by an interchange of work. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 307 

Efforts were made looking toward the union of this town 
with some of the other towns in employing a superintendent, 
who should give his whole time to the work of supervision, as 
the law now provides. No agreement was at first reached, but 
the day came when this plan was successfully carried out. Our 
small iiigh schools with a limited teaching force make such de- 
mands upon their principals, that they have scant time to super- 
vise the work of the grades. As the law now stands, it requires 
but a small additional expense to secure expert supervision and 
relieve the high school principals. In 1910 the towns of Roy- 
alton, Bethel, and Tunbridge united and engaged Earle E. 
Wilson as district superintendent. 

The first board of school directors elected under the tovm 
system of schools was composed of George Ellis, Norman W. 
Sewall, and John F. Shepard. Those since elected are George 
A. Laird, George K. Taggart. Charles F. Waldo, Dr. William L. 
Paine, George H. Harvey, Jr., Henry W. Button, Fred A. Mayo, 
Arthiu" T. Davis, ]\Irs. Frances M. Joiner, Pearl B. Dewey, Rev. 
Levi Wild, Fred E. Allen, Glenn T. Dewey. 

Comparatively few of the teachers employed taught in town 
more than a year or two, the great majority but a term or two. 
Miss Jessie Benson, whose work has been noticed already, taught 
several years in the district schools, two or more years in Roy- 
alton academy, and two years in the South Royalton schools 
before 1893. Miss Jennie Miller taught several years on Broad 
Brook, District No. 5, and in other parts of the town. She was 
a graduate of the Randolph Normal, and a very successful 
teacher. Mrs. Evelyn M. Lovejoy was employed a year or more 
in the district schools, five years in the South Royalton schools, 
and four years in Royalton academy. 

The only districts in which schools are maintained outside 
of the two villages are Five, Six, Nine, and Eleven. Districts 
One, Two, Three. Four, and Seventeen are now a part of dis- 
trict Eighteen. The town still owns the school buildings, except 
the one in district Eight, which is owned by John Wild, Jr. 

The following table shows the residents of Royalton as seen 
on the chart of school districts, 1869, and opposite each name 
the present owner or tenant, the original owner of the lot where 
the house was located, and the lot. In case the owner did not 
settle on the land or clear it, an attempt has been made to ascer- 
tain who was the first one to do this. In determining this reli- 
ance has been placed on the deeds of land, the grand list of the 
town, and traditions that have come down to the present owners. 
It cannot be claimed that the result is correct in every case. 
The names of such persons are printed in italics. Any one who 
has tried to hunt down old deeds knows how elusive are the 



308 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 



links. Land was at first sold by naming the number of the lot 
and its location, but after a score of years the land had been so 
divided and sub-divided, that this custom gradually died out, and 
many early deeds are very blind, unless one chances to know 
where old residents lived. For the first twenty-five years land 
changed hands frequently, and was often sold for taxes. Men 
are found selling the same lot two and three times, and also sell- 
ing land, where there is no record of its ever coming into their 
possession, all of which makes the tracing of deeds extremely 
difficult. 



Name 
Abbott, C. 

Adams, G. W. 
Adams, A. 
Adams, J. 



Dist. 



Pres. Owner 



11 Adeline Burnett ) 
Robert Burnett ) 
2 Chas. Woodbury 
9 Chas. Hinkley 

17 Elisha Beedle 



Adams, M. B. 12 Clarence E. Rand 



Allen, H. P. 
Ashley, W. A. 

Atherton, Miss 

Austin, L. 

Bailey, J. W. 

Baker, Lot 

Ballon, E. 

Ballon, H. 

Barnes, G. 

Barnes, G. 

Barron, M. O. 
Barrows, N. 

Barrett, P. 
Bartlett 
Bartlett, O. N. 

Beedle, H. 
Belding, J. 

Belknap, C. 
Belknap, M. H. 
Bennett, H. 
Bennett, J. 
Bennett, J. G. 



8 Jessie Benson 
14 F. E. Cloud 

8 ( Mrs. R. Harvey 
\ G. H. Rogers, ten. 

6 Lorenzo Tenney 

7 Geo. Taggart 
2 A. J. Eaton 
6 Mrs. M. M. White 
6 Abandoned 

16 Geo. Russ 

16 ^ Francis Russell 
I Guy Rand, tenant 
5 Ira Curtiss 
5 Clarence Taylor 

14 Mrs. E. Taylor, 

1 H. J. Roundy Est. 

4 \ Clarence Burke 
I House burned 

2 O. E. Greene 
11 Mrs. A. A. Allen 

9 Arthur Stoughton 

9 Myron Vesper 

14 T. J. Thornton 

5 Hugh G. Green 
5 D. L. Parkhurst 



Orig. Owner 

Benj. Parkhurst , 
Benj. Emerson ' 
Nath. Morse 
John HIbbard 
Eben. Brewster 
Isaac Morgan | 
Jere. Trescott ! 
Jona. Woolley 
Calvin Parkhurst 
Eben. Brewster 
Rev. M. Tullar 
Rev. M. Tullar 
Daniel Lyman 
John Safford 
Daniel Rix 
Reub. Parkhurst 
Nath. Perrin 
Nath. Morse 
Abra. Waterman 
John Safford 
Richard Bloss 
Sam. Clapp 
Reuben Bloss 
Zeb. Lyon 
Elijah Barnes 
William Jones 
Abra. Graves 
Eben. Parkhurst 
Elias Stevens 
Jo. Boyden 
Zeb. Lyon 
Elisha Kent 
Daniel Rix 
Joseph Rix 
Nath. Morse 
Adan Durkee 
Jona. Bowen 
Timothy Durkee 
Timothy Durkee 
Timothy Durkee 
Eben. Parkhurst 
Eben. Parkhurst 



Lot 



M.41 L.A. 

21 Dutch 
28 T.P. 

46 Dutch 



M.24 L.A. 
W.16 L.A. 
46 Dutch 

N.18 L.A. 

34 T.P. 
10 T.P. 

20 Dutch 
24 T.P. 
23 T.P. 

E.20 L.A. 

M.20 L.A. 

E.2 L.A. 

E.8 L.A. 

W.46D 
10 L.A. 

38 Dutch 

21 Dutch 

M.86 L.A. 

S.53 T.P. 
S.53 T.P. 
S.53 T.P. 
W.2 L.A. 
W.2 L.A. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



309 



Name Dist. Pres. Owner Orig. Owner 

Benson, William 5 Arthur T. Davis Eben. Parkhurst 



Bingham.Mrs.M.L. 2 Harry Bingham 
Blake, Mrs. 18 W. B. Gould 



Blake, H. 

Bliss, Mrs. 
Bliss, C. W. 

Bliss, J. H. 

Blossom, 0. 

Bowen, D. 

Boyd D. 

Boyd, R. 

Bradstreet, G. W. 

Brick Kiln 

Brooks, A. 
Broughton, L. 

Broughton, F. D. 
Brownell, S. E. 

Buck, J. H. 
Burbank, L. 

Burbank, 0. A. 

Burgess, A. B. 
Burnham, A. K. 
Button, A. 
Button, J. 

Buzzell, C. 

Childs, Dr. A. B. 
Cilley, L. 
Clark, Mrs. 
Clark, C. 
Clark, C. D. 
Clapp, C. 



4 F. B. Nelson 

4 Mary J. Dearborn 
9 Dan. W. Bliss 

9 H. M. Barrett 

11 f A. E. Perkins 
I Vacant 

11 Rev. E. F. Felton 

12 D. Boyd 

13 W. A. LaRock \ 
R. Rogers, ten. j 

8 K. C. Woodward 

4 I E. Woodward 
\ W.Woodward,ten. 

9 L. Edmunds 
4 A. N. Merrill 



Atros Robinson 
Tilly Parkhurst 
Thos. Bingham 
Jo. Parkhurst 

Daniel Rix 
Joseph Rix 
Daniel Havens 
John Hibbard 
J. Hutchinson 
John Hibbard 
/. Hutchinson 
Israel Waller 
A. Banister 
E. Kent. Jr. 
Oideon Horton 
Nath. Morse 
N. Carpenter 

Sam. Clapp 

Martin Tullar 
Daniel Lyman 
Daniel Rix 
Joseph Rix 
J. Hibbard, Jr. 
Ziba Hoyt 



4 Mrs. W. G. Patten Elias Curtis 



5 A. J. Taylor 
Arthur Davis 

17 H. L. Pierce 
7 Frank Davis 

3 Geo. Andrews 
C. Andrews 
17 G. Northrop 

6 Frank Brooks 

7 Clinton Smith 

2 Henry Pierce 

3 H. J. Sampson 



13 B. A. Shattuck 

17 Mrs. H. Morse 

11 Mark Stiles 

13 A. M. Waldo 

11 E. D. Hickey 

13 N. Sewall Est. 



) John Wilcox 
) Simeon Child 
Elias Stevens 
Stephen Billings 
Benj. Button 

|. Eben. Dewey 

Benj. Dutton 
John Kimball 
David Fish 
Daniel Rix 
Nath. Morse 
Daniel Gilbert 
J. Parkhurst 
/. d R. Coy 
P. Parkhurst 
Nathan Morgan 
Elias Stevens 
J. Richardson 
Jed. Hide 
J. Huntington 
Josiah Wheeler 
Silas Williams 
W. Blackmer 
Kiles Paul 
Heman Durkee 
Abel Stevens 



Lot 
I W.2 L.A. 

[ 13 Dutch 
M.16 L.A. 

f 38 Dutch 

42 Dutch 

^ 29 T.P. 

> 29 T.P. 

^ W.39L.A. 

• E.39 L.A. 

' W.25 L.A. 

W.27 L.A. 

■ N.18 L.A. 

38 Dutch 

27 T.P. 

fGr. Sch. 

\ Simpson 

34 Dutch 

W.7 L.A. 

41 Dutch 

2 T.P. 

4 Dutch 

Sch.52 T.P. 
26 T.P. 
22 T.P. 

26 Dutch 
17 Dutch 

N.26 L.A. 

Simpson 
E.40 L.A. 
M.31 L.A. 
E.37 L.A. 
E.30 L.A. 



310 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



Name Dist. 

Cloud, E. B. 

Cobum, Mrs. 

Colburn, C. 
Colby, Mrs. 
Collins, B. H. 

Cooledge, Mrs. 
Corbin, F. 

Cowdery, G. L. 
Crandall, G. T. 
Crandall, T. 

Crandall, R. D. 
Crow, D. 
Culver, S. 
Curtiss, Ira 
Curtiss, O. S. 
Curtiss, O. 
Daly, P. 
Davis, D. 

Davis, G. W. 

Davis, I. 

Davis, I. A. 

Davis, I. A. 

Davis, J. 
Davis, N. G. 

Davis, T. S. 

Davis, Mrs. 

Day, 

Day, A. 
Day, B. 

Densmore, A. A. 

Dewey, D. 

Dewey, G. 
Dodge, D. 

Doubleday, S. H. 

Doyle, J. 



Pres. Owner 
2 R. F. Roberts 

2 John Shirlock 

2 H. Goodwin 
17 J. B. Dukett 

16 f Mrs. L. J. Leazer 
( Abandoned 

14 Mrs. M. J. Willard 
9 G. W. Gilman 

1 I. G. Barrows 

17 G. L. Bingham 
4 Mrs. R. Blake 

4 J. R. Powell 

18 Mrs. A. English 
14 S. Culver 

5 W. W. Burke 
1 Mrs. O. S. Curtiss 

1 Mrs. O. S. Curtiss 
9 Mrs. E. A. Rich 

11 Frank Church 

12 Geo. E. Howe 
11 W. S. Gilchrist 

5 Glenn Cox 

5 ^ Fred E. Allen 

\ Vacant 
9 J. A. Perley 
9 Alfaretta Wilson 

5 H. G. Whitney 

6 H. L. Field 

10 E. W. Bigelow 

10 Mrs. J. French 
5 L. E. Holt 

5 f Sylvester Snow 
I I. D. Adams 
18 f E. W. Smith 

\ Mrs. Maxham, ten. 
18 C. C. Southworth 
4 f D. Dodge Est. 
I A. Eaton, ten. 

3 \ Adelard Rodier 
I Helen Rodier 

2 C. M. Wiley 



Orig. Owner 

Medad Benton 
Josiah Wheeler 
Daniel Rix 
Nath. Morse 
Nath. Morse 
Ziba Hoyt 

Jed. Hide 
Zebulon Lyon 
John Stevens 
Abel Stevens 
Nathan Morgan 
Joseph Havens 
Joseph Havens 
G. d J. Crandall 
Sam. Metcalf 
Jo. Parkhurst 
Zeb. Lyon 
Neh. Leavitt 
Medad Benton 
Medad Benton 
Benj. Parkhurst 
John Gillett 
Abijah Bnrbank 
Jed. Hide 
Jabez Horton 
Rev. John Searle 
Jona. A. Boiven 
Reub. Parkhurst 
E. Taylor 
Joseph Havens 
Elnathan Taylor 
John Billings 
P. Parkhurst 
Isaac Skinner 
John Hibbard, Jr. 
Amos Robinson 
T. Parkhurst 
Josh. Hutchins 
J. Parkhurst 
Isaac Pinney 
Benj. Day 
John Kimball 
-/. P. Tucker 
R. Parkhurst 
E. Taylor 

Cal. Parkhurst 
Cal. Parkhurst 
Nath. Alger 
Eben. Woodward 
William Jones 
Sam. Howe 
Israel Waller 
Daniel Park 



Lot 



( 26 Dutch 

j 26 Dutch 

21 Dutch 

(Gr. Sch. 

\ Simpson 

W.20 L.A. 

S.46 D. 

I W.30L.A. 

M.5L.A. 
36 Dutch 

I 44 Dutch 

Simpson 

M.16 L.A. 

S.46 D. 

W.3 L.A. 

W.5 L.A. 

W.5 L.A. 

4T.P. 

] W.36 L.A. 



M.28 L.A. 
W.40 L.A. 



W.4 L.A. 

M.4 L.A. 
20 T.P. 

N.26 L.A. 



M.7 L.A. 

31 T.P. 

E.34 L.A. 
M.34 L.A. 

E.8 L.A. 
W.4 L.A. 

W.16 L.A. 
W.16 L.A. 

33 Dutch 
9 Dutch 
6 Dutch 



History op Royalton, Vermont 



311 



Dist. Pres. Oicner 

3 Mrs. N. Martin 

11 5 N. E. Fairchilds 
I Abandoned 

5 j Elmer Stoddard 
( Abandoned 

6 H. W. Button 

9 George Ellis 

4 Mrs. H. Button 



Name 
Brew, S. C. 

Bunham, H. 

Burkee, Mrs. R. 

Button, B. H. 

Ellis, E. 

Emery, J. 

English, J. 

Ensworth, Carr & 17 H. C. Sargent 

Fales, J. 

Fairbanks, L 

Fairbanks,L.& A.B.ll W. R. Brock 



9 Bestroyed 



6 J Horace White 
I W. H. Young, ten 
12 C. J. Waldo 



Farnham, C. 

Fay, C. 
Fish, L. S. 

Flint, B. 

Foster, Mrs. J. 

Foster, L. 
Fowler, A. 

Fowler, J. 



17 Mrs. A. Thurston 

9 Mrs.A.F.Hinkley 

13 W. H. Taylor 

17 Geo. Brown 

4 J. B. Bukett 

4 J. M. Cook 

6 Hiram Benson 

6 J. H. Buck, 



Freeman, H. N. 12 Lee Waldo 
Freeman, H. N, 16 W. J. Adams 



Gage, H. 

Gee, E. 
Gifford, H. 
Gifford, Mrs. 
Gleason, P. 
Golf, H. 

Goff, P. 

Goss, H. 
Green, J. 

Griffith, R. S. M. 
Hartwell, F. 
Harvey, G. H. 



6 H. F. Gage 

7 William Skinner 
9 A. Woodworth 

5 E. B. Burke 

9 Mrs. J. Beedle 

5 J. A. Hertle 

5 J. R. Rousseau 

9 H. C. Morse 

7 Fayette Green 

3 L. B. Mcintosh 

14 C. H. Luce 

8 G. H. Harvey 



Orig. Owner 

Joseph Fish 
Abra. Waterman 
Wm. Blackmer 
Nathan Paige 
Jo. Parkhurst 
Walter Waldo 
Johnson Safford 
Nathan Kimball 
John Hibbard, Jr. 
Jed. Cleveland 
Baniel Rix 
Gideon Crandall 
Timothy Burkee 
Ziba Hoyt 

John Kimball 
J. Kimball, Jr. 
Isaac Morgan 
Sylvanus Willes 
E. Kent, Jr. 
Oideon Horton 
Eben. Brewster 
Isaac Morgan 
Comfort Sever 
Isaac Morgan 
Levi Parker 
John Kent 
Isaac Morgan 
Ziba Hoyt 

Elias Curtis 
John House 
G. Richardson 
T. Parkhurst 
Josh. Hutchins 
Benj. Bay, Jr. 
Stephen Freeman 
Joel Marsh 
Peter Wheelock 
Joel Marsh 
Thos. Anderson 
Heman Burkee 
Benj. Parkhurst 
Geo. Lamphere 
Benj. Parkhurst 
John Kimball 
J. P. Tucker 
Elias Stevens 
John Kent 
Benj. Parkhurst 
Nathan Fish 
William Bolles 
Eben. Bewey 
Timothy Burkee 
Luther Skinner 
Eliph. Lyman 



Lot 




43 Butch 

S.53 T.P. 
^Gr. Sch. 
I Simpson 

I 35 T.P. 

M.29 L.A. 

E.39 L.A. 

46 Butch 
12 T.P. 
j M.27 L.A. 

I 45 Butch 

f Gr. Sch. 
I Simpson 
35 Butch 




30 T.P. 

N.53 T.P. 

4 T.P. 

E.3 L.A. 

4 T.P. 

E.8 L.A. 

E.6L.A. 

4 T.P. 

15 T.P. 

12 Butch 
S.53 T.P. 

M.18 L.A. 



312 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



Name Dist. 

Harvey, G. H. 

Harvey, W. 

Haynes, G. 

Henry, J. G. 

Henry, J. G. 
Henry O. 

Hinkley, J. M. 

Holmes, P. 

Horton, Z. 

Howard, E. 

Howard, H. E. 

Howard, H. E. 

Howe, M. G. 

Howe, S. 

Howland, N. D. 

Howland & Yeaton 
Hunter, H. 
Hutchinson, J. 
Ingraham, S. 

Johnson, C. H. 

Joiner, F. 

Joiner, M. T. 

Kegwin, J. H. 

King. 
Lane, J. 
Lasell, C. 

Leavitt, V. B. 

Leonard, W. 

Lesure, J. A. 

Lewis, Mrs. 



Pres. Owner 



12 George Russ 

8 j Susan Harvey 
I Vacant 

2 Charles Haynes 

13 F. E. Fowler 

14 P. S. McGinness 

12 Rufus Howe 

13 J. M. Hinkley 
12 W. T. Deming 

5 Mrs. L. D. Allen 
12 Cora Compton 

1 I Mrs. H.E.Howard 
] Edith Howard 

12 \ Rufus Howe 

\ Abandoned 
16 B. A. Shattuck 

3 Josiah Frost 
5 N. D. Howland 

5 N. D. Howland 

4 Charles Adams 

2 W. W. Rockwell 

9 F. D. Merrill 

5 C. E. Pitkin Est. 

8 f William Skinner 
( S. F. Frary, ten. 

S\m. a. Daniels 
( E. A. Daniels 

9 E. A. Davis 

7 Selden Brooks 
10 Forest Southard 

4 F. C. Moulton 

5 Fred E. Allen 
5 Elmer Stoddard 

3 I Joseph Smith 
I C.H.Robinson,ten. 

10 ( E. A. Strout & Co. 
I E. S. Putnam, ten. 



Orig. Owner 

Martin TuUar 
Elijah Barnes 
Martin Tullar 
Daniel Lyman 
Benj. Day, Jr. 
Benj. Cole 
Garner Rix 
Isaac ^kinner 
Joseph Fish 
John Hibbard 
Paul Palmer 
P. Parkhurst 
Nathan Morgan 
Nathan Morgan 
Aaron Wilbur 
Joseph Havens 
Abel Perrin 
Jo. Parkhurst 
Aaron Wilbur 

Elias Stevens 
Jere. Trescott 
Jona. Woolley 
Benj. Day 
Jo. Johnson 
William Jones 
Sam. Howe 
Eben. Parkhurst 
Nehe. Leavitt 
As above 
Elias Curtis 
Josiah Wheeler 
John Stevens 
Abel Stevens 
Eben. Parkhurst 
N. Leavitt 
Jere. Trescott 
E. Trescott 
P. Parkhurst 
Isaac Skinner 
James Hibbard 
Thos. Bacon 
Elisha Kent 
Daniel Tullar 
James Riggs 
John O. Riggs 
Joseph Havens 
Abel Perrin 
Jo. Parkhurst 
Walter Waldo 

Eben Church 

Israel Waller 



Lot 
M.21 L.A. 

N.18 L.A. 

14 Dutch 

M.26 L.A. 
W.54 T.P. 
W.24 L.A. 

N.26 L.A. 

M.25 L.A. 

M.4 L.A. 

M.25 L.A. 

W.l L.A. 
M.24 L.A. 

E.14 L.A. 

9 Dutch 

W.2 L.A. 

39 Dutch 

25 Dutch 

W.2 L.A. 

M.12 L.A. 

E.30 L.A. 

M.26 L.A. 

W.38 T.P. 

10 L.A. 
W.38 L.A. 
Simpson 
College 

M.4 L.A. 
W.6 L.A. 

3 Dutch 
W.39 L.A. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



313 



Name Dist. 

Lovejoy, C. D. 

Luce, A. 

Luce, A. 

Lyman, D. 
Lyman, J. 

Manchester, Dr. J. 
Manchester, H. 
McCullough, J. 
McCullough, J. 
Mcintosh, J. 

Mcintosh, J. 
McQuade, A.& Fac. 
Metcalf, J. M. 
Miller, C. 

Miller, S. 

Moxley, S. 

Moxley, S. 
Packard, E. 

Page, Mrs. 

Perrin, A. & I. 

Perrin, L. 
Pierce, I. 
Pierce, P. & P. D. 
Pierce, P. & P. D. 

Pierce, P. & P. D. 
Pinney, F. 

Pinney, F. 

Plaisted, A. 
Pixley, A. B. 
Ray, A. 

Ray, C. 

Reynolds, H. 

Reynolds, J. A. 

Reynolds, R, 

Rix, D. 



Pres. Owner 



5 M. H. Lovejoy 

8 John Wild, Jr. 
16 Mrs.E.E.Clogston 

9 J. Waterman 

16 Mrs. S. Litchfield 

1 W. M. Hoyt 

1 Thomas Wynn 
10 J.J.Carney Mfg.Co 
10 J.J.Carney Mfg.Co 

6 A. Stoughton 

6 House burned 

17 Alfred Vezina 

4 E. C. Martin 

5 Fred E. Allen 

8 Mrs. K. T. Gifford 

3fC. A. Smith 
\ G. C. Reed, ten. 

6 C. S. Moxley 
17 Robert Fee 

6 I George Slack 
( Vacant 

7 Mrs. F. Green 

8 William Skinner 
4 J. B. Goodrich 

4 Percival Fur Co. 
4f J. M. Kibby 

I Abbott & Doyle 
17 J. B. Goodrich 

10 T. E. Mead 

11 Aurice Perkins 

5 Wallace Burke 

7 Dom Blake 

12 A. M. Waldo 

12 Mary Krigbaum 

2 F. R. Ainsworth 

1 1 George Button 

\ W. Farnham, ten. 
4 C. H. Taft 

8 Pearl Dewey 



Orig. Owner 

Robert Havens \ 
Amos Robinson j 
Robert Handy \ 
Ehen. Parkhurst \ 
Adan Durkee \ 
8am. Metcalf, Jr. J 
John Billings 
William Joiner ) 
Horace M. Case j 
Tilly Parkhurst 
Tilly Parkhurst 
Daniel Tullar 
Sam. Clapp 
John Safford | 

Nicholas Trask j 
As above 
Reuben Bloss 
Samuel Metcalf 
Joseph Havens | 
Abel Pen-in j 

William Joiner ) 
Oarner Rix \ 

Joseph Fish | 

Eben. Dewey j 

David Fish 
John Kent | 

Isaac Morgan j 
John Safford ) 

Perley Bloss \ 

Daniel Tullar \ 
G. Perrin \ 

Robert Handy 
Elias Curtis 
Elias Curtis 



Elias Curtis 
Joseph Havens 
J. Parkhurst 
Isaac Pinney 
Daniel Gilbert 
Theodore Howe 
N. Leavitt 
Elisha Kent 
Elisha Kent 
Aaron Wilbur 
Jo. Parkhurst 
Aaron Wilbur 
Nath. Morse 
Daniel Havens 

Elias Stevens 
Daniel Rix ) 

Gideon Crandall \ 
Robert Handy 
Cal. Parkhurst 
Gamer Rix 



Lot 
E.7 L.A. 

N.22 L.A. 

E.19 L.A. 

20 T.P. 

M.15 L.A. 

E.l L.A. 

E.l L.A. 

38 L.A. 

M.39 L.A. 

N.34 T.P. 

52 T.P. 
Simpson 

M.4 L.A. 

M.19 L.A. 

11 Dutch 

22 T.P. 

45 Dutch 

25 T.P. 

7 T.P. 

N.22 L.A. 
35 Dutch 

34 Dutch 

35 Dutch 

36 Dutch 

E.34 L.A. 

E.33 L.A. 

W.3 L.A. 
10 L.A. 




1 



W.l L.A. 
43 Dutch 

E.22 L.A. 
M.22 L.A. 



314 



/< 



(y 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



Rix, G. & W. 
Robinson, A. J. 

Robinson, J. 

Robinson, J. 
Root, S. 

Royce, A. 

Russ, I. 

Russ, I. 
Russ, J. 
Russ, N. 

Sampson, W. M. 

Sewall, P. G. 

Shepard, J. 
Shepard, J. 

Shipman, H. 

Shirlock, Wm. 

Simmons, H. 

Simmons, S. 
Skinner, C. 
Skinner, L. 

Skinner, M. T. 

Slack, J. 

Slack, J. 
Slack, W. J. 

Smith, Mrs. C. 
Smith, J. 
Snow, Albert 

Snow, Arunah 

Stevens, E. P. 

Stevens, F. 

Stiles, F. 

Story, S. 
Stoughton, W. 



Bist. 



Pres. Owner 



14 Mrs.K.R.Skinner 
B. 5 W. S. Allen 

11 f Lucius E. Hill 
I House burned 
11 G.& F.Tuckerman 
2 Mrs. I. H. Eaton 

5 H. L. Brownell 

7 Mrs. H. S. Dennett 

7 Henry Morse 
7 Hiram Russ 
7 Mrs. N. Martin 



13 



B. H. Copeland 



J. F. Shepard 
2 Thomas Russ 
Adams 
S. Oaks, ten. 
6 Ethel Simonds 



If. 



2 Frank Shirlock 

4 \ A. Waterman 
I House burned 

7 Will Davis 
14 Fred Durkee 

8 f N. I. Hale 
I C. Hale, ten. 

17 H. W. Hubbard 

4 C. E. Spaulding 

4 C. Seymour 

6 George Slack 

7 W. E. Webster 

9 Loren Holt 

5 Will Allen 

5 N. D. Howland 
5 Roy W. Allen 

11 ( Frank Rhoades 
I Abandoned 

12 I. G. Wheat 

1 Mrs. D. E. Tenney 
4 Clarence Burke 



Orig. Owner 

Timothy Durkee 

John Kimball | 

J. P. Tucker \ 

Adan Durkee \ 

Jona. Bowen y 
As above 

Daniel Gilbert | 

Jed. Pierce ( 

E. Parkhurst { 

N. Leavitt ( 

William Jones { 

Jere. Russ } 
As above 
As above 
As above 

William Jones | 

Samuel Hoioe ^ 

John House \ 

Levi Parker \ 
Jere. Trescott 

Elias Curtis 

John Kimball | 

J. Kimball, Jr. ( 

Simon Shepard ) 

Squire Howe ^ 

Daniel Rix \ 

Joseph Rix ] 
Heman Durkee 
David Brewster 

William Joiner | 

Asa Lyman \ 

Eben. Brewster | 

Calvin Skinner I 

A. Schellinger \ 

Hez. Baker \ 
Elias Curtis 

John Safford | 

Richard Bloss j 
Nathan Morgan 
Comfort Sever 

John Kimball 7 

J. P. Tucker \ 

E. Parkhurst | 

2V. Leavitt ( 

Sam. Benedict \ 

E. Taylor \ 

Reub. Parkhurst 1 

Cal. Fairbanks \ 

David Fish { 

Tim. Banister J 
Tilly Parkhurst 

Daniel Rix | 

Joseph Rix ( 



Lot 
S.53 T.P. 
E.8 L.A. 

M.36 L.A. 
M.36 L.A. 
19 Dutch 

W.2 L.A. 

8 T.P. 

8 T.P. 
8 T.P. 
8 T.P. 

9 Dutch 

E.27 L.A. 
15 Dutch 

35 Dutch 
35 T.P. 

7 Dutch 

38 Dutch 

N.53 T.P. 
M.54 L.A. 

W.17 L.A. 

46 Dutch 

Simpson 
College 
35 Dutch 

24 T.P. 

M.5 L.A. 
11 T.P. 

E.8 L.A. 
W.2 L.A. 

E.4 L.A. 

E.41 L.A. 

W.29 L.A. 

E.l L.A. 

38 Dutch 



History of Royalton, Vermont 



315 



Name Dist. 

Tenney, C. B. 

Tenney, H. 
Thacher, E. 

ToUes, D. 
Townsend, A. 

Tucker, L. T. 

Vesper, T. & W. 

Vesper, W. 

Vesper, W. 
Vial, C. & W. 
Waldo, Miss 
Waldo, C. 

Waldo, D. 

Waldo, J. 

Waldo, M. 

Waldo, W. 
Waldo, W. 

Ward, G. H. 

Waterman, W. 

West, C. & G. 

Wheeler, M. 

Whitney, Z. 

Whitney, L. C. 

Wild, J. 

Wilkins, C. 

Wild, E. 

Williams, P. 
Williams, S. R. 

Woodward, A. K. 

Woodward, E. 
Woodward, R. K. 



Pres. Owner 
2 Hattie Fay 

2 Mrs. A. J. Noyes 
13 Mrs. H. S. Lamson 

10 F. B. Oilman 
9 Edna C. King 

17 f E. C. Martin 

\ Vacant 
13 George Howe 

9 House destroyed 

9 House burned 

4 G. W. Ward 

9 House destroyed 

11 N. E. Fairchilds 

13 T. Waldo 

13 J. H. Waldo 

13 (Mrs. N. Sewall 

I Mrs. R. R. Sykes 
13 T. Waldo 
13 (Mrs. N. Sewall 
(Mrs. R. R. Sykes 
D. L. Parkhurst 
Vacant 
J. G. Taylor 



F. Ainsworth 
F. B. Southworth 
Mrs. A. Johnston 



7 f Will Hunt 
\ J. G. Button 

13 F. Russell 

2 H. Stewart 

8 Rev. L. Wild 

6 Ethan Jones 
13 5 N. Prescott 
I R. W. Prescott 
4 E. Woodward 

4 Luman Dings 
4 ( K. C. Woodward 
I House burned 



Orig. Owner 

Daniel Rix 
Nath. Morse 
As above 
Heman Durkee 
Abel Stevens 
Daniel TuUar 
James Hibbard 
Thos. Bacon 
John Kent 
Isaac Morgan 
John Gillett 
David Maynard 
P. Parkhurst 
Isaac Skinner 
Timothy Durkee 
Daniel Havens 
P. Parkhurst 
Wm. Blackmer 
Jesse Dunham 
Heman Durkee 
Abel Stevens 
Sam. Clapp 
David Rugg 
Elias Stevens 
Pierce Paige 
Heman Durkee 
John Wilcox 
Zach. Waldo 
E. Parkhurst 
N. Leavitt 
A. Schellinger 
Hez. Baker 
Simon Shepard 
Squire Howe 
James Hibbard 
Thomas Bacon 
Standish Day 
Cyril Green 
Garner Rix 
W. Anderson 
Garner Rix 
Isaac Skinner 
Nath. Morse 
Abra. Waterman 
John Safford 
Jacob Safford 
David Fish 
Johnson SaiTord 
Jacob Safford 
Elias Stevens 
Jo. Dutton 
Elias Curtis 
Nath. Alger 
E. Woodward 



Lot 

26 Dutch 
26 Dutch 
E.30 L.A. 

38 L.A. 

38 T.P. 

45 Dutch 
W.31 L.A. 

W.26 L.A. 

53 T.P. 
42 Dutch 
W.26 L.A. 

W.33 L.A. 

E.30 L.A. 

W.27 L.A. 

W.28 L.A. 
E.30 L.A. 
E.35 L.A. 

W.2 L.A. 

Simpson 
College 

8 Dutch 
W.38 T.P. 

21 T.P. 
14 T.P. 

M.26 L.A. 
20 Dutch 

W.22 L.A. 

22 T.P. 
S.26 L.A. 

28 Dutch 
34 Dutch 
33 Dutch 



316 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 



'Name 
Woodworth, G. 

Yeaton, R. 

Young, G. S. 

H. C. & A. S. 
Yuran, S. 



Dist. 
6 



Pres. Owner 
Mrs. J. Mills 



5 R. Yeaton 



16 
17 



F. Russell 

Mrs.M.E. Sinclair 



Orig. Owner 

Johnson Safford 
Nathan Kimball 
Eben. Parkhurst 
A. Robinson 
William Jones 
Abra. Graves 
E. Brewster 
Cotton Evans 



Lot 

33 T.P. 

W.2 L.A. 

M.20 L.A. 

46 Dutch 



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5 5 




CHAPTER XX. 



RoYALTON Academy. 

No one in looking over the old records of the town can fail 
to admire the perseverance, and appreciation of the higher things 
of life, that the early residents of Royalton manifested. No 
matter if they could not spell, if some of the most active and 
energetic citizens could not even write their own names, they 
meant to furnish their children with the opportunities which 
they had lacked. So we find as early as Nov. 19, 1782, that the 
town at a special meeting appointed Lieut. Stevens, John Hib- 
bard, and Lieut. Calvin Parkhurst, a committee to draw a sub- 
scription paper in order to promote a ' ' greamary ' ' school. They 
had not yet recovered from the devastation of 1780, but they 
would not neglect the education of their youth. No doubt it 
was the few, as it always is, who were most anxious to promote 
the higher interests of the town, and in this work, we may be 
sure, our old friend, Zebulon Lyon, was one of the prime movers. 

If this movement was for the purpose of securing an act of 
the Legislature establishing a County Grammar school in Roy- 
alton, it must have failed, as Norwich secured the school by 
legislative action, June 14, 1785. It is more probable that the 
intent was simply to obtain advanced instruction for the young 
men and maidens of the town. Who the early instructors were 
in this school we do not know. It is possible that some citizen 
of the town served in this way. Norwich had to resort to a lot- 
tery to carry on her school. Probably we shall never know the 
struggles of the infant town to maintain its "greamary" school 
during the next twenty years. 

At the March meeting in 1802 the town was called on to act 
on the question, whether it would allow an academy on the com- 
mon or not, and the vote recorded is, "Voted not to suffer an 
academy to be set up on the meeting house Green." It does 
not follow that the sentiment was inimical to an academy, but 
rather that they were jealous of the rights which they had in 
the "Green," and were fearful of violating the conditions on 
which the common had been given to the town. At any rate, 
they had their academy somewhere, for the records of ]\Iiddle- 



318 History of Royalton, Vermont 

bury college show, that, in the year 1803-4, Walter Chapin was 
principal of Royalton Academy. 

He had just graduated, and was twenty-four years old, hav- 
ing been born Jan. 15, 1779, in West Springfield, Mass., the son 
of Austin and Bathsheba (Cooper) Chapin. He united with 
the church in Royalton, Aug. 19, 1804. From his work in the 
academy he went to Middlebury college as tutor for a year. He 
studied theology with Rev. Martin Tullar, probably during the 
year that he was principal of the academy. He acted as mis- 
sionary for a time, then settled as pastor of the Congregational 
church in Woodstock, where he died July 22, 1827. He married 
Hannah Moshier, Mar. 7, 1813, by whom he had eight children. 
If the salary of the principal depended on the tuition of 
students, it could not have been very tempting to a college 
graduate. The town, however, already had one or more lawyers 
of repute, well qualified to instruct law students, and its clergy- 
men, also, were equally well fitted to instruct in theology. Few 
men in those days made teaching a profession. It was rather a 
stepping stone to some other profession, and so the academy 
was able to draw men of brilliant parts, and of sterling worth, 
to teach within its walls, who were glad of the opportunity of 
earning something while they fitted for their life work. 

When the town was chartered by Vermont, one right had 
been set apart for the use of county grammar schools. The 
legislature on Oct. 27, 1795, passed an act to enable selectmen 
to lease the county grammar school lands. In 1806 this article 
was inserted in the warning for the March meeting: "To see 
if the town will appropriate the school lands in said Town to 
the support of a grammar school in the Scenter District in said 
Town. ' ' They voted " No " on this question. The ' ' school lands ' ' 
may have been meant to include all the school lands, and not 
the grammar school lands alone. Be that as it may, the next 
year the town obtained from the legislature a charter, establish- 
ing a county grammar school by name of Royalton Academy. 
The act was passed Nov. 11, 1807, and reads as follows: 
"Nov. 11, 1807. An Act establishing a County Grammar School at 
Royalton, in the county of Windsor. 

Sec. 1. It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State 
of Vermont, That there be, and hereby is a County Grammar School 
instituted and established in such place, in the township of Royalton 
in the county of Windsor, as the trustees herein named shall think 
most convenient for the purpose, to be known and designated, by the 
name and style of Royalton Academy. 

Sec. 2. And it is hereby further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, 
That the Rev. Martin Tullar, the Rev. Samuel Bascom, Zebulon Lyon, 
Jacob Smith, Joseph Fessenden, Daniel Rix, Jun., Thomas FYeeman,\ ^X 
Jun., Nehemiah Noble, and Rodolphus Dewey, and their successors, ■^ 
shall at all times hereafter form and constitute the board of trustees, 
for the said institution, and be known by the name and style of Royal- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 319 

ton Academy: And the said trustees and their successors in oflBce, are 
hereby declared, constituted, ordained and appointed, a body corporate 
and politic, to all intents, in name and fact; shall have full power to 
take by gift, grant, purchase or devise, any estate, either real or per- 
sonal, for the use of said Academy, and are hereby fully empowered to 
hold, and lease the lands lying in the town of Royalton, and the sec- 
ond division lot in Rochester, in the county of Windsor, granted for 
the use and benefit of County Grammar Schools, and by themselves or 
their attornies, to institute, maintain, and defend any suit or suits 
which may or shall be sued, prosecuted or impleaded, either in law or 
equity, for the recovery, or defence of any of the rights, or property of 
said Academy as they shall find necessary. Provided, That whenever 
any other grammar school or schools, may be incorporated in said 
county, the net proceeds or avails of said lands, shall be subject to 
such division, among all the grammar schools in said county, as any 
future legislature shall direct. 

Sec. 3. And it is hereby further enacted, That the first meeting 
of said trustees shall be holden at the house of David Waller, in 
Royalton, aforesaid, on the first Monday of January next. And the 
said trustees, when met, (a majority of whom shall constitute a 
quorum) may appoint a president, and other necessary ofl5cers of said 
corporation, which president and other officers, shall thereafter be 
elected on the first Monday of January annually, agree upon the 
manner of warning future meetings of the corporation, determine the 
manner of filling future vacancies, which may happen by the removal, 
resignation or death of trustees, and transact such business, and agree 
upon and enact such rules and bye-laws, as they shall judge necessary, 
for the well being, ordering and governing the affairs of said corpora- 
tion. Provided, that such rules and bye-laws, shall not be contrary 
to the constitution, and laws of this State. 

Passed Nov. 11, 1807. A true copy. 

Attest — Thomas Leverett, Sec'y." 

Who tlie principals of the academy were from 1804 to 1810 
has not been ascertained. In the latter year Grant Powers was 
engaged. He had graduated from Dartmouth that year. In 
the " Washingtonian " printed at Windsor, under date of Sep. 3, 
1810, he informs the public, that the academy will be opened 
on the 17th inst. under the care of John Wild, whom he has 
obtained to teach until his health shall be restored, which he 
liopes will be in a few weeks. Tuition was set at $2.00 per quar- 
ter, and no student was to be admitted until he had paid four 
shillings in advance. 

Mr. Powers was born May 31, 1784, in Hollis, N. H. He 
became pastor of a church in Haverhill in 1815, and two years 
later he married Eliza H. Hopkins of Thetford. He removed 
to Goshen, Conn., in 1829, and died Apr. 10, 1841. He was the 

author of "Historical Sketches in the Coos Country," a 

work of much interest and value to historians. This was pub- 
lished the year he died, and is now quite rare. 

Mr. Powers was succeeded by David Pierce. He was the 
son of David Pierce, and was born Mar. 26, 1786, in Southboro, 
Mass. He had fitted for college at Randolph Academy, and 



320 History of Eoyalton, Vermont 

graduated at Dartmouth in 1811. He was Principal of Eoyal- 
ton Academy the year following, 1811-12. He then went to 
Woodstock to study law with Charles Marsh. He taught there 
while studying, and was admitted to the bar in 1816. He began 
practice in Woodstock in 1823. He married Euth Downer of 
Sharon, and had four children. After her death he married 
Mary S. Gardner of Brighton, Mass. In 1836 he was chosen 
Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He died Aug. 16, 1872, 
an honored citizen. 

The next principal of whom there is any record was Ee- 
membrance Chamberlain, a son of Eemembrance and Elizabeth 
(Elliott) Chamberlain. He was born in Newbury, Dec. 2, 1789. 
He graduated from Middlebury in 1814. A letter from him 
dated Cavendish, June 12, 1815, and addressed to Col. Stafford 
Smith, says: "I shall be in Eoyalton to begin school the fourth 
]\Ionday in August. It was mutually agreed when the bargain 
was stated that, if after a fair trial, the school should not be 
profitable, I should be released from my engagements." The 
school seems at this time to have been in an unpromising condi- 
tion. How well he succeeded is not known, but he was in Prince- 
ton Theo. Sem. in 1816, so that his term of service could not have 
been more than one year. 

According to tradition Zebulon Lyon furnished the building 
for the use of the academy, but it was not conveyed to the Cor- 
poration until Mar. 14, 1815. Its location is described as being 
on the north side of White Eiver Turnpike road, a few rods west 
of where Dr. Henry Ingersoll lived. Permission was given to 
move the building on to the common, if they saw fit. The condi- 
tions of the gift were, that a school should be kept nine months 
in a year or eighteen months in two successive years, and it was 
not to be a "Woman's school nor a common District School." 
The building was probably moved, as a subscription was circu- 
lated for that purpose, dated June 20, 1815. This shows $66.00 
raised in money and $6.20 given in work. S. D. and P. Graves 
lead off with $20, followed by Stafford Smith, Lorraine Terry, 
Moses Cutter, John ^Marshall, I. C. Weymouth, William Snow, 
Henry Ingersoll, Luther Blodgett, Orlando Cutter, Eben. Park- 
hurst. Jr., J. D. Throop, Charles P. Eeed, Abijah Speed, Solomon 
Wheeler, Eben. Speed, William Eeed, Eben. Pierce, and J. Ly- 
man. 

July 19, 1816, the committee hired William Arms Chapin 
for one year. He was to provide wood for the school, and his 
own board, and to receive $100 and the tuition of pupils at $2 
per quarter, the trustees to guarantee board and accommodations 
to all who should apply. Mr. Chapin had just taken an A. M. 
degree from Dartmouth. He was born in Newport, N. H., Mar. 




.M. i:. CIintCH, SOUTH ROVALTOX. 




KOYALTON ACADEMV, CHARTERED 1S07. 
BUILT AS AN M. E. CHURCH IN 1839. 





III. 1 1 S(ll(M»LIIOl-SE IX DISTUICT 17. 
SOUTH UOVALTON GRADED SCHOOL BUILDING. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 321 

1, 1791. He taught in the academy only one year, and later 
entered the ministry. He died at Greensboro, Nov. 27, 1850. 

Joseph Tracy," Jr., wrote from Hartford to Col. Stafford 
Smith, under date of Apr. 15, 1817, "I intend to see you by the 
first of next week. If you are anxious for a school and suited 
with the candidate, I think we shall have no difficulty in making 
a contract." Rufus Nutting of Randolph, a week before, had 
written of Mr. Tracy to Col. Smith, "I know him to be one of 
the best linguists and classical scholars in general who have been 
this number of years at Dartmouth college. His moral char- 
acter is unblemished ; — and I doubt not, that if you offer him g, 
sufficient consideration to induce him to tarry with you, you will 
find him to be— not a fine gentleman, nor a showy pedagogue, 
but a useful instructor." 

An unusual interest attaches to Mr. Tracy, for he not only 
taught successfully, but won one of Royalton's fair maidens, Elea- 
nor, daughter of Rev. Azel Washburn. He studied law with Jacob 
Collamer, and theology with Rev. Asa Burton of Thetford. He 
preached six years at West Fairlee and Post Mills, then he was 
chosen by the Vermont State Convention as editor of the Ver- 
mont Chronicle, which position he held for six years. He then 
exchanged with his brother, E. C. Tracy, and became editor of 
the Boston Recorder, and later, of the New York Observer. His 
last and main work was that of Secretary of the Mass. Coloniza- 
tion Society. 

He took an A. M. degree from Dartmouth, and was elected 
to the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity. In 1859 the U. V. M. con- 
ferred upon him the degree of D. D. Dr. Tracy was a writer 
as well, and published several works, among them, "The Great 
Awakening," "The History of Missions of the American Board," 
and ' ' The Half Century Memorial of the American Colonization 
Society." In 1858 he was constituted a director of this society 
at Washington. At his funeral it was said of him in relation 
to colonization work, "His judgment was very much depended 
on by his associates, and his constructive mind was of great 
service in founding the College at Liberia, and carrying it into 
successful operation. ' ' 

It was fortunate for the academy, that in its early years it 
had such strong, true, talented men as instructors, even though 
changes were frequent. Dr. Tracy remained two years. 

During his incumbency the prospects for the academy grew 
brighter. We know from the Hon. Jacob Collamer 's eulogy upon 
Zebulon Lyon, that Mr. Lyon was untiring in his efforts to place 
the academy upon a sure footing. On April 21, 1817, he deeded 
to the Royalton Academy Corporation No. 64 in the Second Di- 
vision and No. 22 in the Third Division of Pomfret lands. The 



21 



322 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

rents were to be used for the free tuition of young men of piety 
and ability, proposing to fit for the ministry, who should bring 
a note of recommendation from the Royalton Association of Min- 
isters. If not enough applicants should take advantage of the 
fund, it was to be used for the general benefit of said institution. 
The next year Mr. Lj^on conveyed to the same Corporation 100 
acres in W. 14 L. A., with like conditions as in his deed of Pom- 
fret land. It may be stated here that Daniel Francis is the only 
applicant on record as having taken advantage of the generosity 
of ]\Ir. Lyon. He presented a certificate, as required, from the 
Royalton Association of Ministers. Feb. 9. 1820. testifying to his 
fitness for studying for the ministry. 

In the fall of 1817 a special effort was made to secure sub- 
scriptions for enlarging the funds of the academy. The sub- 
scribers agreed to pay (annually) the sums affixed to their names, 
"so long as the said Grammar School shall be kept in operation, 
or so long as the subscriber or subscribers shall live within one 
mile of the Academy where it now stands on the common." The 
preceding year Col. Stafford Smith had given a note of $100 
to the academy, the interest to be annually for the use of the 
school so long as it should be in operation nine months in a year. 

The trustees of the academy in Oct.. 1817. paid to Jacob 
Collamer $23 for going to Norwich and to ]\Iontpelier. arguing 
before the legislature, and drawing a petition for lands. The 
Journal of the House of Representatives shows that the petition 
was presented. The legislature passed an act Oct. 30 of that 
year, ordering rents of all lands in Bethel granted for support 
of a grammar school to be appropriated to the use and benefit 
"of the county grammar school in Royalton. in said county, 
known by the name of Royalton Academy." Thus by the earnest 
efforts of the friends of the institution the prospects for its 
future growth were greatly enhanced. 

The next principal was John D. "Willard. who was hired to 
teach one year for $350. The trustees agreed to board him "with 
a separate room, wood, washing, and candles." He was to have 
two vacations in the year, not to exceed four weeks in the whole. 
There is nothing to show that ]\Ir. "Willard remained longer than 
the year. He was a graduate of Dartmouth in 1819. from which 
he received the degree of A. M.. and in 1860. of LL. D. He was 
born in Lancaster. X. H.. Nov. 4. 1799 : tutor from 1822 to 1823. 
He was a lawyer, and doubtless prosecuted his law studies while 
in Royalton. He became Judge of the Court of Common Pleas 
in New York. He died Oct. 16. 1864. Troy. X. Y. 

If Mr. Willard taught the academy a second year, then the 
next incumbent was George King Pomroy. Little is known of 
him, except that he graduated from Dartmouth in 1822. He 



History of Royalton, Vermont 323 

probably began his work in Royalton that fall. He was born 
in Boston, Mass., in 1804. He was a divinity student, and died 
young, at the age of twenty-two. 

The next preceptor was Nathaniel Sprague, who studied 
both law and theology, and whose service extended from 1823 
to 1831, longer than that of any other teacher of the academy. 
A sketch of his life is found in the chapter on churches. The 
numerous receipts he gave for small sums of money, w'ould indi- 
cate that the funds at the disposal of the trustees were not large. 

The oldest catalogue of the academy known to be in exist- 
ence is dated 1830. It is a small four-leaved pamphlet, printed 
at Woodstock, by Haskell and Prescott, at the office of the 
Working Man's Gazette. The trustees at that time were Rev. 
Samuel Bascomb, President, Gen. John Francis, Rev. Austin 
Hazen, Hon. Titus Hutchinson, Dr. Joseph A. Denison, Oel Bil- 
lings, Secretary, Rev. A. C. Washburn, George Lyman, Treas- 
urer, and Elisha Rix, Esq. Nathaniel Sprague, A. M., was prin- 
cipal. There were twenty-seven gentlemen students: Albert 
and E. H. Billings, Ashbel Buckland, Jr., Solomon Crandall, 
N. W. Dewey, George Francis, R. H. French, Joseph R. Jones, 
Thomas C. Ken worthy, A. C. Partridge, Horace Parkhurst, Har- 
rison Smith, John Waldo, Luther Wheeler, all from Royalton, 
and J. M. Love.joy, Austin Marsh, David Mower, Jr., Chester 
Parkhurst, and Daniel Parkhurst from Sharon, John Cilley from 
Tunbridge, C. G. Eastman from Fryeburg, Me., S. W. Hall from 
Rochester, Matthias Joslyn from Waitsfield, Jeremiah Pratt from 
Barnard, and Sawyer S. Stone from Hartford. Of the "ladies," 
there were Emeline H. Adams, Jane Blodgett, Amanda J. Deni- 
son, Emily Durkee, Frances J. A. Fox, Louisa M. Fox, Jerusha 
H. Jones, Melissa Joyner, Acenath B. Osborn, Abigail M. Parish, 
Almira Partridge, Susan W. Pierce, Charity P. Runell, Eliza 
Rix, Charlotte Smith, Laura Washburn, Amanda L. Woodworth, 
all from Royalton, and Lavina Allen from Fayston. The list of 
boarding places shows that over thirty families either sent their 
own children or took roomers. The price of board per week, 
room rent and washing included, was from $1.25 to $1.50. Tui- 
tion, $2 per quarter. The catalogue announces that "A Lyceum 
has been established in town, and means are in train to obtain 
an extensive apparatus, of which, by the fundamental articles of 
the Lyceum, the Academy is to have the free use in the course 
of its public instruction." 

William Scales, who succeeded Mr. Sprague, seems to have 
taught before graduation at Middlebury in 1832. He receipts 
for services in 1831. As he was born Sep. 28, 1805, and so 
twenty-six when he graduated, it is reasonable to infer that he 
paid his own way through college, by teaching at intervals, and 



324 History of Royalton, Vermont 

that he did not remain in Royalton longer than six months. He 
graduated at Andover in 1837, and became pastor of a Con- 
gregational church in Lyndon the same year. He preached in 
various places, but returned to Lyndon in 1855, where he died 
Jan. 24, 1864. He left a family.' 

Nathaniel Ogden Preston followed Mr. Scales. He was born 
in Rupert, Dec. 22, 1804. He graduated from Middlebury in 
1831, and began his work as Principal of the academy that year, 
remaining one year or more. He studied theology with Bishop 
Hopkins, and preached as an Episcopal clergyman in several 
states prior to 1862, when he went to Topeka, Kansas, and served 
there as rector and Principal of the Topeka Female Sem. He 
became Professor of English Literature in the Kansas State Ag- 
ricultural College at Manhattan in 1864, where he died Feb. 14, 
1866. 

From receipts given for salary it would seem that Mr. Pres- 
ton was serving the academy a part, at least, of 1833. His suc- 
cessor was Edward Joseph Hallock, who graduated from Middle- 
bury in 1833, and who is said to have fitted for college in Roy- 
alton. Up to this time there is no evidence that more than one 
teacher was employed, though it is probable that some assistance 
was required. During the year that Mr. Hallock served, mention 
is made of a Miss Robbins as assistant teacher. Mr. Hallock 
graduated from And. Theo. Sem. in 1837. He went to Castleton 
the next year to supply the Congregational pulpit for a few 
months, and accepted the position of Principal of Castleton Sem- 
inary, which was then in a dying condition. He put new life 
into it, and built up a fine school, over which he presided for 
nineteen years. He was twice married and had three children. 
He died in St. Louis, Mo., Sep. 11, 1866. 

James Clark, a graduate of Dartmouth with an A. M. de- 
gree in 1834, took the principal's chair vacated by Mr. Hallock. 
Little is known of him or his work. Unlike his predecessors he 
appears to have chosen teaching as his profession, and he gave 
a longer term of service than it had been the fortune of the acad- 
emy to secure since Mr. Sprague's incumbency. He probably 
left some time in 1836 to go South, as his death occurred in 
Savannah, Ga., July 31, 1837. 

Timothy Green Brainard was preceptor for one term only. 
He had studied at Middlebury, but took his degree from Yale 
in 1830. He became a clergyman. He died in 1894. 

It was probably in 1835 that a new bell was put into the 
academy. Amos Bosworth acknowledged receipt of $1.99, Apr. 
28, 1836, for freighting the old bell to Boston and bringing back 
the new one. When the old bell was hung is not known, or why 
it was necessary to procure a new one at this time. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 325 

The new bell welcomed David Chanceford Robbins, another 
son of Middlebury, a graduate of 1835. He was born in Wards- 
boro, Nov. 24, 1812. He taught in Royalton one year only, 1836- 
37, when he entered And. Theo. Sem., where he was licentiate 
and librarian from 1841 to 1848. He was Professor of Greek 
and Latin in Middlebury, 1848-66, and Professor of Greek and 
German, 1866-72. He received the degree of A. M. in 1838, and 
of D. D. in 1882. He died in Newton Highlands, Mass., Nov., 
1882. 

Erasmus Irving Carpenter was his successor, a graduate of 
the U. V. M. in 1837. He served in 1837 and 1838, probably 
one year or more. He studied for the ministry, and preached in 
Lancaster, N. H., Barre, and Berlin previous to 1869, when he 
became Secretary of the Vermont Bible Society. In 1874 he 
went as pastor to Swanzey, N. H., w^here he died, Feb. 10, 1877. 

There are many still living who remember the next incum- 
bent, Sylvanus Bates, who was a Randolph boy. He remained 
longer than most of the principals had done, and like Joseph 
Tracy, he took for a helpmeet one of the daughters of the town, 
Mary Ann Fox, whom he married in 1840. He closed his work 
with the academy in 1845, having had a full attendance and a 
fine class of students. He graduated from Middlebury in 1837. 
He was Professor in Oglethorpe University, Ga., seven years, and 
Principal of a bovs' school in Macon, Ga., 1853-83. He died 
there. May 28, 1883. 

It was while Mr. Bates was principal that the academy 
burned. It stood near the old church which had been moved 
to the common, and which burned in the spring of 1840. Though 
the academy students fought bravely to save their building, their 
efforts were fruitless, and with sad hearts they saw its walls go 
crashing to the ground, enveloped in flame. The new church 
was so far advanced that it furnished temporary quarters for 
the continuance of the school. Mr. Bates showed his public 
spirit and self-sacrifice in the interest of education, by subscrib- 
ing from his meager salary over $33 towards the building of a 
new academy. The account of the building of the combined 
town house and academy, so that the school occupied its new 
quarters in October, 1840, is given in the record of town build- 
ings. 

Joseph Green Stevens Hitchcock was next called to fill the 
vacancy in the academy. He had taught a year after his gradu- 
ation from Middlebury in 1844. He was preparing for the medi- 
cal profession while here. He was a Massachusetts man, and 
graduate of Harvard Medical College in 1850. He was here but 
a year, 1845-46. He was, later, Examining Surgeon, U. S. Pen- 



326 History of Royalton, Vermont 

sion Office, and Counselor of the Massachusetts Medical Society. 
He died in Boston, Aug. 24, 1891. 

The trustees now engaged a man who had prepared for col- 
lege in Royalton Academy, Levi Parsons Sawyer, born in Stock- 
bridge, Nov. 11, 1819. He taught one year, 1846-47. He re- 
ceived the degrees of A. B. and A. M. from Middlebury, and 
taught several years. He graduated from the INIedical Depart- 
ment of Dartmouth, 1854, and practiced medicine in Nashua, 
N. H., where he died Apr. 29, 1868. 

John Russell Herrick is the first of the earlier principals of 
the academy known to be living. He was born in Milton, May 
12, 1822 ; graduated from the U. V. M., 1847, and elected to the 
Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was principal of the academy, 
1847-49 ; a theological student at Andover 1849-51, at Auburn 
the next year, where he graduated ; pastor at IMalone, N. Y., 1854- 
67 ; Professor of Theology, Bangor. Me., 1867-73 ; pastor at South 
Hadley, Mass., 1874-78 ; President of Pacific University, Oregon, 
1880-83, and of the University of South Dakota, 1885-87. He 
married May 12, 1856, Harriet Emily BrowTiell, who died in 
1899. He has two children. Mary, for twenty years teacher of 
English in Hyde Park High School, Chicago, and John, in busi- 
ness at Elgin, 111. He received the honorary degree of D. D. 
from Union in 1867, and S. T. D. from the U. V. M. the same 
year. His address is 5407 Greenwood Avenue, Chicago. 

As the attendance at the academy increased, the difficulty of 
finding suitable places for the students to room and board also 
increased. The need of a boarding house was seriously felt, and 
in 1848 an effort was made to secure a building for this purpose, 
but was not successful. There was not another Zebulon Lyon 
to step forward and contribute to meet the need, and the future 
of the institution was materially changed by this lack of proper 
homes for the young people away from parental care. 

Another graduate of the U. V. M. followed Mr. Herrick, 
John Quincy Adams Fellows, who took his A. M. degree in 1847. 
He was born in Topsham, Apr. 3, 1825. He served in 1849-50. 
He went to New Orleans from Royalton, and received the degree 
of LL. B. from the University of Louisiana. He was a lawyer, 
and was employed as counsel for Myra Gaines in the slaughter 
house cases. He retired from practice in 1895. 

James Edwin Marsh, who held an A. B. degree from Wes- 
leyan University in 1846, and an A. M. degree in 1855, next 
served as principal. He was a Massachusetts man, born in Hol- 
liston, Apr. 19, 1822. He taught one year. He received an 
M. D. degree from Dartmouth in 1855. He was Acting Assistant 
Surgeon, U. S. A., 1862-64. He was a druggist in Roxbury, 
Mass. He died July 7, 1859. 



History of Eotalton, Vermont 327 

Samuel Perrin Coburn had charge of the academy two quar- 
ters in 1851-52. He was born in Fairlee, Apr. 27, 1824. He 
took an A. M. degree from Dartmouth in 1849. He was a teacher 
and farmer. He died June 25, 1896. 

For one quarter only Samuel Ward Boardman taught the 
academy. He had graduated from Middlebury in 1851. He 
was born in Pittsford, Aug. 31, 1830. He came from And. Theo. 
Sem. to Royalton, and returned there to finish his year. He is 
still living, and writes how much he enjoyed his short stay in 
the academy, and recalls that, at the end of the term, he was 
presented with "The Poets and Poetry of America," in which 
were the names of some of the students, D. G. Wild, G. Gibson, 
E. Maxham, and Albert Downer. He says the attendance was 
not large during his short term of service. He taught in Castle- 
ton Seminary, where he had prepared for college. He has served 
as pastor in several states, was Professor of Rhetoric and Eng- 
lish Literature and of Intellectual Philosophy at Middlebury, 
1859-61 ; President of Maryville College, 1889-1901, and is Pro- 
fessor Emeritus in the same college. He received the degree of 
D. D. from Hamilton College, 1870, and LL. D. from Middlebury, 
1890. His address is 17 Washington Place, Bloomfield, N. J. 

The catalogue of Royalton Academy for 1852-53 shows that 
C. G. Burnham, A. M., was Principal, S. 0. Burnham, Assistant, 
Miss A. Tenney, Teacher of French and Drawing in the winter 
term, and Miss A. H. Burnham, Preceptress and Teacher of 
French and Drawing, spring and summer terms. Dr. C. B. 
Drake was President of the Board of Trustees, and in a short ad- 
dress to the public at the end of the catalogue he says, "They 
are determined to do all in their power to make the Institution 
one of the best in Vermont," that they find it necessary to pro- 
vide a new building, and hope to have it ready in the spring. 
This hope was not realized so early. 

Mr. Charles Guilford Burnham closed his work in the sum- 
mer of 1853. He was not a young man, having been born in 
1803. Teaching was his profession. He died June 26, 1866, in 
Montgomery, Ala. 

The academy was at high tide during the two years and 
one quarter, when Edward Payson Stone had charge of it. Fol- 
lowing Mr. Burnham, he enlarged the corps of instructors to 
nine, one of them being J. E. Weeks, A. B., teacher of mathe- 
matics and natural science, and one, Mons. Benjamin Ethier, 
teacher of French; others were "Prof." T. H. Atwood, teacher 
of vocal music, ]\Iiss Ellen M. Baxter, teacher of instrumental 
music, Mr. W. W. Culver, teacher of drawing and painting, Mr. 
S. L. Lyman, teacher of penmanship. Miss Martha E. Stone and 
Mr, W. R. Shipman, assistant pupils. There were sixty-five 



328 History op Royalton, Vermont 

males and seventy females enrolled as students. The price of 
tuition had been raised. The course of study included Latin, 
Greek, French, German, Logic, Trigonometry, oNIental and Moral 
Science, Astronomy, Chemistry, Botany, Geology, Zoology, and 
various other subjects. Dr. Drake in the catalogue says of Prin. 
Stone, "He has happily inspired the scholars with the feeling 
that study was their business and good behavior their choice and 
pleasure. Street hootings and night dissipations have not dis- 
turbed the community," from which one may infer, that such 
a commendable state of sobriety on the part of the students was 
rare enough to be noteworthy. 

One principal, writing of a period not far removed from 
this time, recalled that, at the close of one term, he asked the 
pupils to meet at the academy. They supposed they were to 
have the usual morning devotions, and some of the boys, just 
for fun, thought they could add interest to the occasion by put- 
ting a hen into the drawer where he kept the Bible. He dis- 
covered the feathers, and to the disappointment of not a few, 
the Bible reading was omitted, and there was no sudden ascen- 
sion of a scared hen. 

The health of Mr. Stone became impaired through an attack 
of typhoid fever, and he went to North Carolina to recuperate, 
where he taught for a time, and then studied for the ministry. 
He was chaplain of the 6th Regt., Vt. Vols., 1861-63. He served 
as agent for the A. H. M. S. at Boston, 1865-69, was later ap- 
pointed General Missionary for the Society, residing at Lapeer, 
Mich. He has buried two waives, and is now living with a sister 
in Rutland. He has published a number of sermons and essays. 
Writing especially of Royalton Academy, he says, "When I waa 
at Royalton, most of the students came from country homes, near 
or distant, at a cost of severe labor and economy for themselves 
and their parents, and brothers and sisters. Their time at the 
academy was precious, and their ideal of education was high. 
In physical health, strength, and enjoyment they certainly 
equaled the schools of to-day, but no one talked of them as a col- 
lection of fine animals, a few known by their muscle, and all 
by their yell. Some of them became famous teachers in other 
schools and colleges. On a visit to Vermont I attended a State 
Convention of representatives of the churches of a certain de- 
nomination, and the presiding officer, with the clerk and other 
ministers prominent in the meeting, came to me, saying that 
they were my students at Royalton, and then told of several of 
their schoolmates who were noted ministers of various denomina- 
tions, and of many eminent in other callings. ' ' 

Two other assistants of Prin. Stone not before mentioned 
were Martin Luther Mead, A. B., later a physician and member 



History op Royalton, Vermont 329 

of Phi Beta Kappa, and Alonzo Taylor Deming, A. B., who 
studied for the ministry. He may have served as principal for 
a short time after Mr. Stone left. He married Betsey Ann 
Tucker in 1856, by whom he had several children. He died in 
Glyndon, Minn.. Aug. 17, 1872. 

Plans for a new academy had been going on. and the build- 
ing committee had been instructed to have the building ready 
for occupancy before the middle of July, 1854. Subscriptions 
had been received amounting to $815.52. These ranged all the 
way from $200, given by Chester Baxter, to $2. William Skin- 
ner gave $100, Daniel Rix, M. B. Reynolds, R. W. Francis, and 
E. B. Chase each gave $50. The cost of a building spot was 
$500. The Methodist meeting-house had been purchased and 
repaired, and is the present academy, standing in the same place. 
For a while after the completion of repairs, the school was so 
large that both the old and the new building were used for 
recitations. A creditable library had been built up, and today 
there are books in it donated by Zebulon Lyon and Stafford 
Smith, trustees of the institution. The best men and women of 
the community were enthusiastic in their support of the school. 

The first quarter in 1856 was taught by Ezra Hoyt Bying- 
ton, a graduate with A. M. degree from the U. V. M. in 1852. 
He began preaching in 1859. He was librarian for the N. E. 
Hist.-Gen. Soc. in 1891, and has published several works dealing 
with religious subjects. 

Edward Conant next took charge of the academy. He bore 
no college degree. It is not the degree, however, that counts, 
but the man, and Mr. Conant was every inch a man. He came 
of good parentage, the son of Seth and Melvina (Perkins) Con- 
ant, and was born in Pomfret, May 10, 1829. He had two years 
in Dartmouth, then in the fall of 1854 became principal of Wood- 
stock, Conn., Academy. He came to Royalton in the summer 
of 1856. He found the school in a prosperous condition. He 
specialized in the direction of normal methods, and issued his 
catalogue under the name of the "Normal Institute." He be- 
lieved that there was a loud call for a better preparation for 
teaching, that the rural schools required attention, as well as 
the demands of the colleges in fitting students for their work. 
It is noticeable that not one of his faculty bore a degree, except 
Dr. Samuel Danforth, who was employed as a lecturer. Mr. 
Conant says in his catalogue of 1857, in speaking of the Institute, 
"It loves to mark in its pupils, not the passage through many 
books, but the growing power of thought, and therefore it adopts 
for its motto, 'make haste slowly.' " The summary of students 
shows that there were sixty-four males and sixty-eight females. 
There were students from twenty-one towns and four states. 



330 History op Royalton, Vermont 

Mr. Conant was an innovator, and innovators do not always 
find strong enough support to carry out their ideas. He would 
have liked to establish a normal school, it is said, in place of the 
old academy, but was unable to realize his purpose. He con- 
tinued his work successfully until 1859, when he went to the 
Burlington High School, and in 1861 to the Orange County 
Grammar School at Randolph. His labor and success in build- 
ing up a normal school there are too well known to the people 
of Vermont and to the educators of the country, to need further 
mention. He received the honorary degree of A. M. from Mid- 
dlebury in 1866. He was State Superintendent, 1874-81, when 
he became principal of the Normal at Johnson, returning to the 
Normal at Randolph in 1884, which position he held until his 
sudden death, Jan. 5, 1903. 

He had held various honorary positions in the educational 
organizations of the country, and was the author of several edu- 
cational works. About a year before his death the alumni of 
the Randolph Normal showed their love for him and appreciation 
of his labors as an instructor, by presenting him with a purse 
containing several hundred dollars. 

He married, May 10, 1858, Miss Cynthia Taggart, one of his 
assistants in the academy at Royalton. He had four children, 
Frank Herbert, Seth Edward, Nell Florence, and Grace Lucia. 
]\Irs. Conant survived her husband but a few years. The two 
daughters live in the old home at Randolph, where they have a 
studio. Some of their pictures are found in this History. 

John Ingersoll Gilbert followed Mr. Conant. He had just 
taken his A. M. degree from the U. V. M. He was born at Pitts- 
ford, Oct. 11, 1837. The school was in a flourishing condition 
during his stay of two years. One of his assistants was his sis- 
ter, now Mrs. S. G. Thorndike of Pittsford. She writes with 
great pleasure of the love and respect universally accorded her 
brother, while he was principal of the academy. After he left 
Royalton he was principal of the academy at Malone, N. Y. He 
then studied law and practiced in the same place. He married in 
1870 Katherine Fessenden of New York City. He was a mem- 
ber of the legislature of New York, 1876-78. He was recognized 
as one of its ablest members, and was made chairman of im- 
portant committees. His influence for the right was strong. A 
member of the Assembly who had received threatening letters 
if he did not vote Yes on a certain measure, once asked Mr. 
Gilbert's advice. His reply was, "If you think it is wrong to 
vote Yes, put down your slate and pencil and vote No. ' ' When 
the time came for voting, the member arose with flushed face, 
struck the desk and said, ' ' This is between God and the Devil. I 
vote No." Mr. Gilbert once said, "They talk about temptations 




PRINCIPALS OF KOYALTON ACADKMY 



Joseph Tracy, Jr. 
Sylvanus Bates. 



John Ru.s.sell Herrick. 



Samuel Ward Boardman. 
Edward Joseph Hallock. 



John Insersoll Gilbert. 



Edward Conant. 




rillNCIPALS OF ROYALTON ACADEMY. 

Charles Noyes Chase. William B. Herrick. 

Mrs. Kvc'lyii M. Lovejoy. Mrs. Ellen Lee Stearns. 

Charle.s Ij. Curti.ss. 

Siilnov Mimsoii Harris. Misi^ Fannie Eastman. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 331 

at Albany. I was never tempted by any one. When a man's 
position is known to be beyond the reach of corruption, there 
are no more temptations at Albany, than there are in a Sunday 
school. ' ' 

He held responsible positions on the Malone board of edu- 
cation, was trustee of the Potsdam Normal school, and president 
of the board of trustees for the Northern Institution for Deaf 
Mutes. 

A certain young man met Mr. Gilbert at a banquet in New 
York city, and said to him, "I have always thought of you as 
embodied conscience, and when I have had important questions 
before me, I have sometimes asked myself whether or not you 
v\'ould approve my decisions and actions. I have tried to do 
what you Avould consider right, and I think I have done it." 
That young man was Theodore Roosevelt. 

There is not space to speak at length of his work as state 
senator, his successful advocacy of important measures, or of 
his connection as chairman of the executive committee of the 
Lake Mohawk Conference, dealing with the subject of interna- 
tional arbitration. He received the degree of LL. D. from the 
U. V. M. in 1889. He died at Malone, N. Y.. Dec. 19, 1904. 
There survive him his wife and daughter, Lucia Fessenden Gil- 
bert, residing at Malone. 

The annual and semi-annual "exhibitions" were a marked 
feature of the academy for many years. They were more in the 
nature of commencement exercises, having a salutatory and vale- 
dictory. Two programs, at least, have been preserved, one of 
November, 1846, and the other of November, 1860. The exer- 
cises began at seven o'clock, and were extremely lengthy, requir- 
ing, it would seem, three hours or more to complete. A large 
number of vocal and instrumental numbers were given. T. H. 
Atwood was valedictorian in 1846, and L. F. Emery in 1860. 
The orations were of a classical nature, or dealt with modern 
political subjects. The "Ladies' Paper" gave the feminine por- 
tion of the school an opportunity to air their erudition, or to 
make sly hits at the foibles of the other sex. As a good prepara- 
tion for these more pretentious affairs, lyceums were quite regu- 
larly held, even so late as 1890, and furnished a stimulating 
recreation, not only to the students, but to other members of the 
community. The old "Lyceum," an independent organization, 
in 1834 had sold all its apparatus to the academy for $24, and 
dissolved. 

George Sylvester Morris, born at Norwich, Nov. 16, 1840, 
was the next principal, coming from Dartmouth, where he gradu- 
ated in 1861. He enlisted from Norwich the next year in Co. K, 
16th Vt. Vols. Dr. Gardner Cox, a student of his, and in the 



332 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

same regiment, thus writes of him : ' ' Morris was a noble fellow, 
clean-cut, honorable, high-minded, scholarly, gentlemanly to the 
core. He was in the army with me, same regiment. I had at- 
tended the academy only the fall before, and so had Frank Bow- 
man of Barnard. Morris was so pleased to find his scholars 
with him, that he proposed that we have a Shakespeare club, 
and he secured several copies of Hamlet in paper covers. As I 
was orderly sergeant, and had a right to keep my light burning 
after the rest were all out, we used to meet at my tent, and have 
readings. Bowman, Cyrus Aikens, and the Lillie boys made up 
the club. We went over many plays of Shakespeare, but I re- 
membered Hamlet much the best. We felt we owed a good deal 
to Morris." 

After his return from the war, Mr. IMorris taught Greek and 
mathematics one year at Dartmouth, then entered Union Theo. 
Sem. He afterwards spent several years in Europe. In 1870 
he was made Professor of Modern Languages in the University 
of Michigan, holding the same position nine years. He lectured 
on Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, 1878-84. He was 
called to the chair of Ethics, History of Philosophy and Logic 
in the University of Michigan, in 1881, and placed at the head 
of the Department of Philosophy in 1883, which position he held 
imtil his death, Mar. 23, 1889. His writings were numerous 
and profound, and attracted wide attention. In 1876 he mar- 
ried Victoria Celle of New York, by whom he had two children. 

Charles Noyes Chase, a graduate of Dartmouth in 1862, 
came the same year to take charge of the academy. He was then 
twenty-three, and had married Miss Mary M. Tuttle. He was 
born in West Newbury, Mass. He spent two years in service as 
principal of the academy, and had a flourishing school. He says 
of that time, that those two years "were spent delightfully in 
the beautiful village of Royalton, justly noted for the refinement 
and culture of its residents. ' ' After leaving Royalton Mr. Chase 
was city missionary one year in Washington, D. C, then for 
four years in the Post Office Department. 

On the opening of Atlanta University in 1869, he became 
Professor of Greek, which position he held until 1888. He was 
absent from the University seven years. He was sent to Africa 
by the A. M. A. to inspect the missions there. He returned in 
1895 as Dean and Professor of Mathematics, but later became 
Professor of Latin. Prof. W. E. DeBois, in an address on the 
growth and work of Atlanta University, uttered the following 
eulogy on Prof. Chase: "We have one of the most successful 
Latin teachers in the South, a man not only learned in method, 
but of great and peculiar personal infiuence. " And again, 
"There sounds within those halls today the voice of a white- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 333 

haired man, who, thirty-five years ago, sacrificed a government 
position and a good salary, and brought his young wife down 
to live with black people. Not all the money that you and yours 
could give for a hundred years would do half as much to con- 
vince dark and outcast millions of the South that they have 
some friends in this world, as the sacrifice of such lives as these 
to the cause." 

Mrs. Chase died, and he married for a second wife, Helen E. 
Walsh. He has a daughter, Mrs. Edward Kirkland, living at 
Bellows Falls. 

Erastus Franklin Bullard, the successor of Mr. Chase, was 
born in Jay, N. Y., May 15, 1840. He graduated from U. V. M. 
in 1864, and soon after assumed the principalship of the acad- 
emy, which he held for two years. The attendance had been 
somewhat affected by the war, and the withdrawal from this and 
neighboring to^Tis of so many young men. From Royalton 
Mr. Bullard went to Keeseville, N. Y., where he was school 
commissioner for several years, and superintendent of schools 
until 1874. He removed to Jacksonville, 111., in 1875, to accept 
the position of President of Jacksonville Female Academy. Later 
he added to it a Conservatory of Music, and School of Art. He 
resigned in 1901 on account of ill health, and died in October 
of that year. His widow resides at 3 Duncan Place, Jackson- 
ville. 

E. C. Starr was a graduate of Yale in 1866. He was prin- 
cipal of the academy 1866-67. He became a Congregational 
minister, and has been preaching in Cornwall, Conn., for sev- 
eral years. 

Robert E. DeForest. another graduate of Yale, who took his 
A. B. degree in 1867. came to Royalton and had charge of the 
academy, 1867-68. For further particulars, see the sketch of 
the Marcy family. 

Graduates fresh from college continued to try their wings 
for a year in the academy. Albert Darwin Whitney was the next 
one to preside over the school. He was born in Moira, N. Y., 
Dec. 12, 1841, and graduated from Middlebury in 1868. He left 
Royalton in 1869. He has taught in various places in Rhode 
Island, Iowa, Vermont, and New York. He married in 1869, 
and has three children. His address is Wappingers Falls. N. Y. 

Another graduate of Middlebury followed Mr. Whitney, 
Patrick Francis Burke, who remained one year. He taught in 
several places until 1886, when he was appointed Superintendent 
and Special Disbursing Agent of the U. S. Indian Industrial 
School, Albuquerque, New Mexico, remaining there three years. 
He was then appointed superintendent of public schools and of 
the academy at Port Henry, N. Y. He married in 1880, and has 
two children. 



334 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Mr, Burke was succeeded by Eugene Franklin Wright, a 
graduate of Middlebury in 1871, the year in which he came to 
Royalton. He was then twenty-nine. He had served in the 
Civil War as a private in Co. K, 2nd Regt., Vt. Vols., from 1861 
to 1864. He was one of the foremost in the organization of the 
Orville Bixby Post at So. Royalton. He studied for the ministry 
and preached for a short time, then entered Chicago Theo. Sem. 
in 1876. He preached in various places in Illinois prior to 1900, 
when he became editor and proprietor of the "Lexington Unit." 
He married (1) Mrs. Ellen M. Marsh, and (2) Susan S. Stone. 
He has three children. 

The only facts at hand of the next incumbent, Joseph Paul 
Otis, are that he graduated from Dartmouth in 1872, that his 
native town was Sheffield, that he became a lawyer and practiced 
at West Burke. 

Some important events connected with the history of the 
academy took place between 1855 and 1875. The land on which 
the M. E. church stood was not deeded at the time the building 
was purchased, but was conveyed to the Corporation by William 
Skinner in 1857. The right which the Corporation had in the 
town house was sold to the town June 6, 1866. The building 
was in need of repairs in 1867, and the friends of the institution 
came to its aid. The trustees passed the following resolution, 
Jan. 13, 1868: "Resolved by the Board of Trustees of Royalton 
Academy that the thanks of Royalton Academy are hereby ex- 
tended to those who have so kindly aided the institution in its 
need, and especially to Hon. Frederick Billings for his liberal 
and generous donation for the purpose of repairing the buildings 
of the institution." Mr. Billings had donated $200 to the in- 
stitution where he had received a part of his education, and in 
which he had a lively interest. The academy received a most 
gratifying bequest in 1872 from Mrs. Eliza (Skinner) Denison. 
She left by will $500 to be invested and the income appropriated 
to the use of the academy. This act was to "express her appre- 
ciation of the work of the institution, in which her sons had pre- 
pared for college, and her daughters had been trained." 

For a few months in 1874 Hiram Beach Sibley was employed 
as principal of the academy. He was a graduate of U. V. M., 
and returned there to study medicine. He took his M. D. de- 
gree in 1875. He died Sep. 20, 1876, at Colchester. 

The school was no longer in the prime condition in which 
it was under the group of principals of whom Mr. Conant was 
the center, but it still had vitality and a fair attendance. 

Frederick Rustedt took his A. B. degree from the U. V. M. 
in 1874, and began teaching in the academy in the fall of that 
year. He was born in England, Jan. 24, 1850. He studied law 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 335 

and was admitted to the bar in 1878. He went to Pueblo, Col., 
in 1882. He was brother to Henrv E., who was State's Attorney, 
1880-82. 

During the school year 1876-77, for the second time, a man 
was employed who was not a college graduate, Sidney IMunson 
Harris. He had had, however, about four years of college train- 
ing in Middlebury. He graduated from the Northwestern Uni- 
versity in 1880. He became a preacher, but has spent most of 
his life in farming in Vergennes. He says of the school at the 
time he was principal, that it was at a very low ebb, and there 
was no regular course of study. But one student was taking 
Latin and Greek. Though the numbers were few, mischief was 
not lacking. Mr. Harris had a habit of having his hands in his 
overcoat pockets when on the street. One morning when he set 
out for school, he found his pockets sewed up, and looking up 
quickly to some of the windows, he saw several heads dodging 
back out of sight. 

Dr. Kobert Hamilton Paddock was born Feb. 18, 1814, the 
son of John and Lucy (Vaughan) Paddock of Pomfret. He 
graduated from Yale with B. A. degree in 1837. He took an 
M. D. degree in 1843 from Castleton Medical College, and from 
Berks. Med. Inst, in 1844, where he became Professor of Anat- 
omy and Physiology, and later, Professor of Anatomy and Chem- 
istry at Starling Medical College. He married and had one or 
more children. He was sixty-three years old when he came to 
take charge of Royalton Academy in 1877, where he remained 
one year. He lived for a time in Bethel. 

The successor of Dr. Paddock was M. N. Root, who remained 
in charge of the academy but one year. No information has 
been obtained regarding him, except that he became a minister, 
and was highly respected. Rev. Levi Wild was at this time fit- 
ting for college at the academy, and recalls some characteristics 
of Mr. Root. He was very precise, and being invited at one 
time to tea at five o'clock, and chancing to reach the house ahead 
of time, he remained leaning against the dooryard fence until 
the exact minute. 

The academy had a very small patronage when William B. 
Herrick assumed the management of it in 1879. There were 
then but ten students. There was no regular course of study, 
and no diplomas were granted during the three years that he 
was principal. The school increased in numbers, so that at the 
end of his service there were between thirty and forty students. 
Mr. Herrick was born in Hartland, Conn., Apr. 5, 1855 ; gradu- 
ated from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., in 1879; 
taught two years as principal of the Union Free School at Rock- 
ville Center, L. I. He was then given a position in Fisk Teach- 



336 History of RoYiM^TON, Vermont 

ers' Agency as manager of the home ofSce in Boston, in which 
office he has given general satisfaction to all parties, and has 
helped to improve the condition of rural schools by the selection 
of competent teachers. 

Now there was to be an innovation in the employment of 
principals. Heretofore the trustees had depended almost en- 
tirely upon young men just graduated from college. Women 
had been considered sufficiently cultured and capable to be as- 
sistants, and teachers in country schools, but a man was thought 
to be a necessity for the governing and executive power of fitting 
schools. It was the good fortune of the competent, refined, and 
scholarly Mrs. Ellen Francis (Lee), wife of David Clark Stearns, 
tf prove that women, too, could successfully conduct a secondary 
school. Mrs. Stearns did not seek the position, bvit she main- 
tained the attendance of the years just preceding, and added 
somewhat to it. There was still no course of study and no 
graduations. A further account of INIrs. Stearns will be found 
later on, as she has the distinction, also, of being the first prin- 
cipal to serve a second time, after leaving the academy. Her 
term of service was from 1882 to 1884. 

The next incumbent was Mrs. Mary Evelyn (Wood) Love- 
joy, widow of Daniel Webster Lovejoy, M. D., of So. Royalton. 
Mrs. Lovejoy had been a student at the academy in 1864, gradu- 
ated from both courses in the Randolph Normal in 1867-68, and 
had just spent one year in Wellesley College. She found the 
school in good condition. She introduced again a course of study, 
which provided for a shorter Teachers' Course, as well as the 
regular academic courses. Her assistants during the two years 
of her principalship, 1884-86, were Mrs. Marcia Terry and Mrs. 
]\Iinnie House, both normal graduates, and graduates of Mont- 
pelier Sem., and Miss Mary Dewey, a normal graduate, and Miss 
Inez Culver. The school increased in numbers, and at the end 
of the two years three students graduated from the Teachers' 
Course, Miss Celia Marsh of Sharon. Miss Jessie Mudgett of 
Tunbridge, and Miss Nellie Foster of So. Royalton, all of whom 
became successful teachers. In 1886 Mrs. Lovejoy served the 
town as superintendent of schools. Her further record will be 
given later, as she, also, was elected principal a second time. 

The work of the academy was ably continued by Frank J. 
Metcalf, a graduate of Boston University, with an A. B. degree 
in 1886. He was born Apr. 4, 1865, in Ashland, Mass., the son 
of John C. and Sarah A. (Metcalf) Metcalf. He adopted the 
course of study already in use. During his year he secured, by 
solicitation, sufficient funds to purchase a fine set of encyclo- 
pedias for the school. After leaving Royalton he taught two 
years in Granville, Texas, one in Ogden, Utah, and two in the 



History of Royalton, Vermont 337 

academy at Leicester, Mass. He went to Washington, D. C, in 
1893, and has ever since been employed in the Adjutant Gen- 
eral's Office. He was in the old Ford Theatre not far from the 
place where Lincoln sat when he was assassinated, when the floors 
collapsed, June, 1893, and was one of the 100 clerks injured. 
He published in 1891 a Biographical Record of the High School 
in Ashland, Mass. He married Aug. 7, 1895, Virginia E. Cla- 
baugh. 

Nothing has been learned regarding the next principal, J. W. 
Spencer, except that he was the son of Presiding Elder Spencer, 
a ]\Iethodist minister, and that he is not living. He remained 
only one year, 1887-88. 

In 1888 Miss Celia Sherman was engaged to take charge of 
the academy, which was unusually fortunate in retaining her 
services for five years. She was a constant student as well as 
teacher, and in 1894 secured a Ph. D. degree from Plattsburg 
College, Mo., having done the necessary work by correspondence. 
No course of study was followed during her term of service, and 
there were no graduations. Miss Sherman is now in Manchester, 
N. H., engaged in giving private instruction in music, and in 
languages, in which she is especially proficient. 

The academy was taught in 1893-95 by Herbert Sedgewick 
Martyn, born Sep. 21, 1871, Hartford, Conn., son of Rev. San- 
ford S. and Frances (Cummings) Martyn. He graduated from 
Dartmouth in 1893, and from Baltimore Medical College, 1898. 
He had a course of study, but no class graduated. He has been 
practicing medicine in Cuttingsville about ten years. He was 
married in 1906 to Mary A. Parker of Rutland, and has one son. 
He has acted as superintendent of schools and is now school di- 
rector. 

Charles L. Curtis was the next incumbent, a graduate of 
Colby University. He did post-graduate work at Bowdoin one 
year, was in And. Theo. Sem. and Harvard University four years. 
He was finely prepared for his work, and teaching with him was 
a profession. He introduced full courses of study, English, 
Classical, and College Preparatory. Mrs. Stearns was secured 
as assistant, and the school was again in a thriving condition, 
with full attendance. Mr. Curtis followed the example of some 
of his predecessors, and married a Royalton girl, Miss Annie 
Morse, daughter of Dr. James INIorse. He left Royalton in 1897 
after two years of service, and became the principal of the high 
school in Lancaster, N. H., and superintendent of schools there, 
remaining two years, when he went to Newport. N. H., as super- 
vising principal of the schools there, including Richards High 
School. He was principal of the high school in Orange, Mass., 
1901-4, and then was called to a similar position in Andover, 

22 



338 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

Mass. He was manager of Winnepesaukee Summer School one 
year. He left Andover in 1910 to assume the direction of schools 
in Mattapan, Mass. 

Mrs. Stearns, who was principal, 1882-84, was elected town 
superintendent in 1889, and continued to serve in this capacity 
with the exception of one year, until 1900. She was president 
of Royalton Woman's Club three years. She was again called 
to take charge of the academy after the resignation of Mr. Curtis, 
and presided with her usual ability and success. She paid the 
tuition of her students taking Greek under Prin. Graves of South 
Royalton, who also took her classes in physics. Her interest in 
the institution has been and is of the liveliest kind. Her present 
address is W. Concord, N. H. 

Miss Mary H. Dow, a graduate of a Maine college, suc- 
ceeded Mrs. Stearns in 1898 and taught one year. Inquiries 
for further data have not been answered. She is said to have 
taken her degree from Colby College. 

Miss Fanny Eastman became the principal of the academy 
in 1899, holding the position for five years. Miss Eastman was 
bom in Barnet, Feb. 26, 1872, fitted for college at Bradford 
academy, and graduated from the U. V. M. in 1896 with the 
degree of A. B. She followed the courses of study already in use 
in the academy, and sent out six graduates during her connec- 
tion with the school, five of whom became teachers. She was 
superintendent of schools three years, and knowing the lack of 
well-prepared teachers for the rural schools, she specialized along 
that line in her instruction of academy students. She continues 
to teach, and was for a time employed in Thetford Academy as 
teacher of French and English. She was eminently successful 
in her work, but already the establishment of good high schools 
in Bethel and South Royalton had begun to lessen the patronage 
of the academ3^ 

The trustees of the academy deemed it best in 1896 to dele- 
gate temporarily the power of hiring teachers to the town board 
of directors, who established a town high school in connection 
with the academy, which was supported in part by academy 
funds, and in part by school taxation. The selection of teach- 
ers now rested with the school directors of the town. 

Miss Evelyn Waterbury. the next principal of the academy, 
was born in Saugerties, N. Y., July 17, 1882. She graduated 
from the high school there in 1900, and from Syracuse Univer- 
sity with the degree of Ph. B. in 1904. She taught the academy 
one year, 1904-05. The attendance was small, and no assistants 
were employed. She has since taught Latin and German in Free- 
port, L. I., High School. Miss Waterbury was well prepared 
for her work, and was much liked by her students. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 339 

Miss Waterbury was succeeded by Julius V. Sturtevant, who 
came from the South Royalton schools, and whose record will be 
found in connection with them. He remained in the academy 
one year, 1905-06. 

In 1906 Mrs. Lovejoy, who had been principal of the acad- 
emy twenty years before, again accepted the same position. She 
had been selected to wTite the History of Royalton, and it was 
understood that all available time would be devoted to that pur- 
pose. On leaving the academy in 1886 she went to South Da- 
kota, was principal of the Aberdeen high school 1886-91, super- 
intendent of Aberdeen city schools 1891-94, graduated from the 
University of Chicago with A. B. degree and Phi Beta Kappa 
rank in 1897, critic teacher in the St. Cloud, Minn., Normal 1897- 
99, in the University of Berlin, the winter of 1899-1900, teacher 
in the grammar and high schools of Helena, Montana, 1902-06. 
She has been a contributor to numerous educational and other 
periodicals, and has published one novel, "Dandelion." 

There was a small increase in membership during her two 
years of service in the academy. A new course of study was in- 
troduced in 1906 suited to local conditions, but the next year the 
school was required to conform to the state course of study, and 
as but one assistant was employed, the academy was limited to 
a three years' course. Miss Elizabeth Moore, a normal gradu- 
ate from Maine, and Miss Edith M, Grant, a Randolph Normal 
graduate, were capable assistants during the two years. In 1907 
one graduate from the old course was sent out. Miss Jessie Rus- 
sell. In 1908 it was planned to have a modest re-union of such 
former students as could conveniently be present. There were 
three graduates, Miss Katharine Elizabeth Dewey, Miss Mary 
Etta Whitney, and Frank George Spaulding. Each had a part 
on the program. Rev. DeForest Safford, a native of the town, 
was present and gave an excellent address, and Judge William 
H. Bliss, also a native and former student of the academy, read 
a fine original poem. The exercises were held in the Congrega- 
tional church, which was filled with friends and old-time stu- 
dents. After the exercises the company repaired to the academy, 
where responses to toasts were given by Hon. Nelson L. Boyden 
of Randolph Center, a former student and assistant teacher, Mr. 
Daniel H. Woodward of Randolph, and Mr. Martin S. Adams 
of South Royalton, both former students, and Mrs. Stearns, a 
former principal. After this part of the program was over, re- 
freshments were served, which had been furnished by ladies of 
the village and vicinity. This ended what, possibly, is the last 
graduation from a full course of the old academy, unless friends 
rally to its support. 



34:0 History of Royalton, Vermont 

One of the graduates, Miss Dewey, whose entire preparation 
had been in the academy, entered the University of Vermont in 
the fall of 1909, by examination, and won the prize for the best 
Latin paper. She continues to stand close to, if not quite at, 
the head of her classes. Another academy student now in the 
U. V. M. is Miss Mary Winslow. who had three years at the acad- 
emy, and took her fourth year in the Randolph high school. She, 
also, is maintaining a high standing in college. Recent legis- 
lation has been rather inimical to the continued existence of small 
academies in the state, but there yet seems to be room for institu- 
tions which are not bound by rigid courses of study, but which 
can adjust their courses to meet the needs of the communities 
where they are located. 

Mrs. Lovejoy was followed by Miss Bessie Lewis of Ran- 
dolph. She graduated from the high school in Randolph and 
from the U. V. M. She taught the year before coming to Roy- 
alton. Her work was very acceptable, and the school made good 
progress, though the attendance of those doing academic work 
was small and no graduates were sent out. Miss Lewis resigned 
her position in November, 1909, and her place was temporarily 
filled by Mrs. Charles Seymour, for many years assistant in the 
South Royalton high school. The spring term of this school year 
was taught by Miss Margaret Little, a graduate of Smith Col- 
lege in 1908. The present school year Miss Marion V. Morse, a 
graduate of Mt. Holyoke in 1909, has been employed as principal. 
She is having marked success. Miss Cecilia M. Wynne has been 
the assistant for two years. She is a graduate of the S. Royal- 
ton high school. At Christmas time the pupils in the eighth and 
ninth grades wrote on "The Adventures of Santa Claus," and 
the two senior classes dramatized the same. This drama was 
admirably written and finely presented before a large audience. 
Though the old academy has had its wings clipped, it is still able 
to make a good showing beside the more modern institutions of 
learning of the same grade. 

Only a few of the many students who have in part or in 
"whole fitted for college in Royalton Academy, and have since 
occupied important positions of trust and usefulness, can be no- 
ticed. 

Harvey Freegrace Leavitt, a Hartford student, born in 1796, 
belongs in the list. He entered Dartmouth in 1812, and gradu- 
ated from Yale in 1816. He first studied and practiced law, then 
began preparing for the ministry in 1828. Tn 1861 he had 
charge of a female seminary in Middlebury. He was for many 
years one of the directors of the Vermont Domestic Missionary 
Society. In 1839 he was chosen a member of the Corporation 
of Middlebury College, from which he received the honorary de- 



History of Royalton, Vermont 341 

gree of A. M. in 1857. Through his efforts provision was made 
for widows and orphans of deceased ministers. 

The life and work of Prof. William R. Shipman, a student 
and assistant teacher at the academy, is noted elsewhere, as is 
also the record of Truman Henry Safford, the famous mathema- 
tician. Nearer home we may note Judge William Henry Bliss, 
late Judge of Probate at Middlebury, and Nelson Boyden, Esq., 
of Randolph Center, student and assistant teacher in the acad- 
emy. 

No family can present so remarkable a record of distin- 
guished persons fitting at the academy as the Denison family, 
which includes the names of Dudley C., Joseph Adams, George 
Stanton, Franklin, Henry, Charles, John Henry, and James, 
whose distinguished careers are chronicled in the genealogy of 
the Denison family. 

The brilliant record of Salmon P. Chase as senator, Secre- 
tary of the U. S. Treasury, and Chief Justice of the United States 
is too well known to need repeating. In a biography of him 
written by Robert B. Warden, is found a charming bit of reminis- 
cences of academy days, which is quoted for the benefit of any 
interested. The biography was printed in 1864 at Cincinnati, 
Ohio. 

"Towards Spring it was determined that I should go to Royalton 
in Vermont, where my former instructor, Mr. Sprague was preceptor 
of the academy. 

It must have been early in 1824, perhaps in February or March, 
that I went to Royalton, and was received in the family of Dr. Denison, 
whose wife was the bishop's sister and our favorite aunt. The doctor 
occupied a very respectable and comfortable mansion in the north- 
eastern part of the village, with a garden on the northern side, just 
beyond which stood the Congregational Church. In front of the house 
was the road — the main village street — across which, situate in an 
open space in a sort of public square, stood the Academy. Behind the 
Academy and skirting the village, from north to south, or north-west 
to south-east, ran the little, clear, sparkling stream, called Whitewater 
River. Behind the house rose the hills, among which a peak called 
the pinnacle, was very conspicuous, and a favorable resort of the boys 
and girls who attended the Academy. Among the girls, there was 
one — bom somewhere south — gentle, pretty, and intelligent, who quite 
won my heart. Walks with her, sometimes to the top of the pinnacle, 
whence I guarded her descent with solicitous care; visits to the house 
of some neighbor friend, varied by a row in a skiff in the Whitewater, 
were my chief outdoor pleasure. Indoors I learned to play chess 
with my cousin Jo Denison, who, for a while, was at home from col- 
lege — the University of Vermont — for vacation. It has since been in 
my power to make one of his sons Collector of New Orleans. Of chess 
I was very fond, and it came near disturbing my progress in study. 
But after all, study was my chief occupation. I wished to enter the 
Junior Class at Dartmouth at the approaching commencement, and was 
obliged to read a great deal to make up the difference between the 
scanty proficiency at Cincinnati as sophomore, and the catalogue re- 
quirements for a junior at Dartmouth. But I did read a great deal. 



342 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

reciting to Mr. Sprague, and reading for the most part, during reading 
and study hours, at my desk in the common study and recitation room. 
I did not read thoroughly, — nor was my preceptor very well qualified to 
criticise my recitations. He generally took what I gave him as I 
gave it, and let it pass. How much I have since regretted the extremely 
loose way in which all my education went on." 

On the face of it this does not seem very complimentary to 
Mr. Sprague and the academy, but perhaps young Chase's work 
was more nearly perfect than he seemed to think. On another 
page of the biography the following is found : 

"The great event of my stay at Royalton was the marriage of 
my sister Jane to Doctor Skinner. At the same time Gracia Parkhurst, 
one of her friends, was married to Dr. Bloss. Two fine girls they were, 
and their lovers were promising young men, just commencing the 
practice of their profession. The double wedding took place in the 
little Episcopal church at Bethel, whither we went in such vehicles 
as the country afforded; and then there was the wedding party at aunt 
Denison's, and the fun and the jollity, and the rich happiness that 
usually attend such occasions. My cousin Jo and I officiated as waiters; 
for servants were unknown and help scarce." 

Otto Smith Hoyt, perhaps a nephew of Jacob Smith, became 
a clergyman, trustee of the U. V. M. and of Middlebury College, 
and agent of the American Educational Society. 

James Andrus Blinn Stone, born 1810, was a Baptist clergy- 
man, Professor in Newton Theo. Sem., President of Kalamazoo 
College, editor and publisher of the "Telegraph," and author 
of many theological works. 

Azel Washburn Wild, son of Daniel and Huldah (Wash- 
burn) Wild, born 1836, became a Congregational minister, and 
author of several Congregational histories. 

Edward Payson Wild, brother of Azel, was also a Congrega- 
tional minister. 

Henry Hobart Vail, a Pomfret student, is Chairman of the 
Board of Directors of the American Book Company, and trustee 
of Middlebury College. 

David Haskell Adams, born 1835, became a Baptist clergy- 
man. 

Robert Safford Hale, born in Chelsea, 1822, was a Member 
of Congress, Counsel for the U. S. Treasury, regent of the Uni- 
versity of New York, and held other important positions. 

William Collamer, born in Royalton, 1824, was a lawyer, and 
state senator. 

William Skinner Hazen, born 1836, was a Congregational 
minister. 

The fine records of Frederick V. and Henry S. Marcj', and 
Daniel Harvey will be found in their respective family histories. 

In connection with academic history it seems proper to give 
a list of college men and women who are natives of Royalton, 
and also of other residents, not natives, who have been more or 



History of Royalton, Vermont 343 

less closely identified with the life of Royalton. Non-graduates 
will be recognized by the years placed after their names, indi- 
cating the length of time they pursued collegiate courses. Names 
of those not natives, or not known to be such, are printed in 
italics. Many in this list were prepared in whole or in part 
for their college work in Royalton Academy. The college records 
of principals of schools in town, lawyers, doctors, and clergy- 
men, are given in connection with these respective professions, 
and are not repeated in this list, except when they are natives of 
Royalton. The list is as full as the means at hand could make 
it, but no doubt names will be missed that ought to be added. 
In that case, the reader may be assured that they were not inten- 
tionally omitted. 

ROYALTON 'S COLLEGE RECORD. 

Ainsworth, Oeorge W. — A. B. — 1905 — U. V. M. 

Allen, Horace P. — 1837, one year — Norwich University; cadet at West 

Point; business, town clerk. 
Ashley, Lester — A. B. — 1907 — Dartmouth — teacher, clerk. 
Belknap, Philip 0. — 1910, student — Nor. Univ. 
Belknap, William Orlando — 1884-86 — Nor. Univ. — merchant. 
Billings, Frederick— A. M.— 1844— U. V. M.— LL. D.— 1890— lawyer, 

banker, railroad president. 
Bingham, Daniel Havens — 1821-24 — Nor. Univ. — teacher, editor. 
Bliss, Calvin Parkhurst — A. B., A. M. — 1836 — Middlebury Coll. — Teacher 

and farmer. 
Bliss, William Henry— A. B.— 1871— U. V. M.— Judge of Probate. 
Bloss, Richard — M. D. — 1823 — Dart. — physician. 
Bosworth, Stephen — 1836-38 — Nor. Univ. — business. 
Boyd, Loring P. — A. B. — 1860 — Dart. — lawyer, journalist. 
Bradstreet, George Pierce — A. B.— 1871, A. M.— 1874 — U. V. M. — lawyer. 
Brownson, Orestes Augustus — LL. D. honorary — 1846 — Nor. Univ. — 

pastor, editor, author. 
Buck, Oel Alfred — A. M. — 1842 — Nor. Univ. — professor — in gov't em- 
ploy. 
Burnett, Mrs. Grace Martin — 1886, one year — N. E. Conserv. of Music. 
Carrington, Albert — A. B. — 1833 — Dartmouth — ^joined the Mormons. 
Collamer,William B.— A. B.— 1844— U. V. M.— lawyer. 
Culver, Theron C— 1909, student— Mid. Coll. 
Cushing, Edward Hopkins — A. B. — 1850 — Dart. — journalist. 
Cutter, Charles — 1822 — Nor. Univ. — merchant. 
Danforth. Williarn Burke — A. B. — 1871 — Dart., Yale Divinity School — 

1874 — clergyman. 
Davis, Kathrina — A. B. — 1901 — Wellesley — teacher. 
Davis, Leroy H. — 1907 — Nor. Univ. — electrical engineer. 
Denison, Dudley Chase — A. M. — 1840 — U. V. M. — lawyer, statesman. 
Denison, Franklin— LL. B.— 1866 — Harvard,- A. M.— 1868— lawyer. 
Denison, Charles— A. B.— 1867— Williams— M. D.— 1869— U. V. M.— 

doctor. 
Denison, George Stanton — A. B. — 1854 — U. V. M. — lawyer. 
Denison, Joseph Dudley — A. M. — 1868 — U. V. M. — lawyer. 
Denison, John Henry — A. B. — 1877 — U. V. M. — lawyer. 
Dewey, Katharine E. — 1909, student— U. V. M. 



344 History of Royalton, Vermont 

Dewey, Nathaniel Wright — A. B. — 1837 — Dart. — clergyman. 

Dudley. Daniel Bliss — A. M. — 1856 — Dart. — LL.B. — Albany Law School 
—1862— lawyer. 

Dunham, James H.— 1820 (?) -23— U. V. M. 

Dutton, George— A. M.— 1855— Dart.— M. D.— 1861— Nat. Med Coll.— 
teacher and physician. 

Ellis, Oliver Justin — M. D. — 1905 — Univ. of Maryland — physician. 

Fay, George Washington — M. D. — 1848 — Dart. — physician and land 
agent. 

Fish, Harold D.— A. B. — 1907— Dart. — clerk. 

Follett, Ammi Ward — M. D. — 1882 — Dart. — physician. 

Fox, Charles— 1842-43— Nor. Univ. 

Fox, Jacob — 1820-22— Nor. Univ.— farmer. 

Francis, George W. — A. B. — 1836 — U. V. M. — merchant. 

Francis, Lewis— A. B.— 1856— U. V. M.— A. M.— 1863— D. D.— 1898— 
Rutgers — clergyman. 

Freeman, Edmund A. — 1910, student — Dart. 

Freeman, Charles W. — 1910, student — Northwestern Univ. 

Goodrich, Julian 0. — 1907 — student — Nor. Univ. 

Harvey, William Francis— A. M.— 1864— Dart.— M. D.— 1868— George- 
town Med. Coll. — physician. 

Harvey, Daniel Bliss — LL. B. — 1854 — Albany Law School — lawyer, pro- 
fessor. 

Hewitt, Ernest J.— A. B.— 1897— Tufts^-merchant. 

Hewitt, Winfred H. — 1905-10 — N. E. Conserv. of Musio— teacher of 
music in college. 

Latham, Alden C— M. D. 

Lewis, Sarah — 1908 — student — Mid. Coll. 

Lathrop, Glenn Edward — A. B. — 1884 — Mid. Coll. — banker. 

Lovejoy, Daniel Webster — M. D. — Dart. — physician. 

Lyman, George Briggs — 1843-46 — Nor. Univ. — merchant. 

Lyman, Elias — 1844-46 — Nor. Univ. — business. 

Marcy, Henry Sullivan — 1856 — Dart. — business, railroad president. 

Marcy, Frederick Vose — A. B. — 1852 — Dart. — lawyer. 

Metcalf, Ernest B. — 1901 — Albany Business Coll. 

Metcalf, John W. — 1854-56— Nor. Univ.— farmer. 

Morse, Fred J.— M. D.— 1892 (?)— Baltimore, Md., Coll.— physician. 

Noble, James Jacob — A. M. — 1855 — U. V. M. — teacher and lawyer. 

Noble, William— A. B.— 1810— U. V. M.— A. M.— 1820— lawyer. 

Page, Alfred — M. D. Yale Med. Coll. — physician. 

Pierce, Caleb— M. D.— 1842 — Castleton Med. Coll.— honorary M. D.— 
1872 — Dart. — physician. 

Pierce, Albigence — M. D. 

Reynolds, Roland W.— 1897— Nor. Univ. 

Rix, Lyman Lewis — A. B. — 1827 — Dart. — farmer. 

Rix, William — 1834, one year — honorary A. M. — 1843 — U. V. M. — mer- 
chant. 

Rix, Levi— M. D. 

Root, Stephen Eastman — Hillsdale Coll., Mich. — Baptist minister. 

Safford, Henry— A. B.— 1817— Dart— 1820— Princeton Theo. Sem.— 
clergyman and missionary. 

Safford, DeForest— 1861-62— Harvard— 1869— Newton Theo. Sem.— 
editor, teacher, Baptist pastor. 

Sargent, Mrs. Erva Martin — 1886 — N. E. Conserv. of Music. 

Shepard, Burton M. — 1907 — Nor. Univ. 

Shepard, George S.— 1847-48— Nor. Univ. 

Sherburne, Mary Ann Burbank — M. D. — 1900 — College of Osteopathy, 
Kirksville, Mo. — physician. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 345 

SMpman, WilUam R.—A. B.— Mid. Coll.— A. M.— D. D.— 1882— St. 
Lawrence Coll.— LL. D.— 1899— Tufts— 1900— Mid. Coll.— profes- 
sor, Universalist clergyman. 

Skinner, Calvin— 1836-38— U. V. M.— M. D.— 1841— Dart.— physician 
and surgeon. 

Skinner, Daniel H.— A. B.— 1816— Mid. Coll.— A. M.— 1820— Dart.— 
physician. 

Skinner, Leon Anson — 1896 — Nor. Univ. — merchant. 

Smith, Douglass — A. B. — 1841 — Dart. — lawyer. 

Soper, Ralph C— A. B., C. E.— 1902— Dart.— civil engineer. 

Storrs, Hiram — A. M. — 1793 — Dart. — lawyer. 

Tucker, Jireh, Jr. — Madison Univ., Hamilton, N. Y. — clergyman. 

Tucker, Cyrus (College not known) clergyman. 

Tullar, Daniel — A. B. — 1840 — Nor. Univ. — civil engineer, lawyer. 

Washburn, Royal— A. M.— 1820— U. V. M.— 1824— And. Theo. Sem.— 
Congregational clergyman. 

Wild, Daniel G.— A. B.— 1857— Dart.— lawyer. 

Wild, Levi— A. B.—1883—Dart.— 1886— Union Theo. Sem.— pastor and 
farmer. 

Williams, Lottie Julia— 1879-80— U. V. M.— teacher. 

Winslow, Mary E. — 1909, student— U. V. M. 

Woodward, Walter Carleton — B. L. — 1899 — Dart. — surgeon. 



CHAPTER XXI. 



Matters Relating to Town Meetings, 
town officers. 

It would be interesting to know how the first town meetings 
were warned, whether notice was put on a private house, on a 
tree, or announced from house to house by a carrier. They are 
declared to be "legally warned" before the town actually ac- 
knowledged the authority of the new state, before there was any 
public building, or any store, so far as is known. Not even sign 
posts had then been provided. The General Assembly in March, 
1778, had passed an act regulating the method of holding town 
meetings, and the term "legally warned," as used in December, 
1778, and March, 1779, doubtless had reference to the require- 
ments of that act. 

The officers chosen at the first town meeting, so far as 
records show, were a moderator, town clerk, three selectmen, a 
treasurer, constable, four surveyors, two listers, a collector, two 
grand jurymen, two tythingmen, a sealer of weights and meas- 
ures, two to read the Psalms, two choristers, and five to act as 
ministerial committee. A part of these were merely church offi-. 
cers, leaving nine dealing with purely town business. 

Justices of Peace were authorized by act of the Assembly 
at Bennington, June 17, 1778. Comfort Sever was the first 
justice, chosen at a Freeman's meeting Dec. 30, 1779. 

The next year additional officers were elected, a leather 
sealer, a brander of horses, and a pound keeper. Several offices 
necessary then have become extinct. The tythingman's duties 
Vv'ere multiple, and accompanied at times with disagreeable fea- 
tures. He was not chosen on the principle that ' ' it takes a rogue 
to catch a rogue, ' ' but was usually selected from the most austere 
and dignified members of the church. Armed with his black 
staff, two feet long, tipped at one end with brass or pewter three 
inches in length, as the badge of his office, he was well calculated 
to strike terror into the hearts of mischievous boys, who might 
take a fancy to bump heads at they sat back to back in the square 
pews, or who were inclined to make fun of the parson's wig, as 
he went patiently on with his long-winded prayer. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 347 

The duty of keeping refractory youngsters in order was 
only one of his laborious duties. He was, also, to look after 
Sabbath breakers, and the profane youth or man, and to hale him 
before the proper court for trial. It was his business, too, to 
inspect licensed houses. He was a most useful member of soci- 
ety, though not always well beloved. 

In old Connecticut he did not have the privilege of declining 
the honor of an election without paying a fine of forty shillings. 
It is told of one official who was annoyed by the shouts of Metho- 
dist brethren, whose religious ardor could not be restrained even 
by the threatened pain of the metal-tipped staff, that with sore 
heads they all began praying for the tythingmen, and thus they 
conquered, and were allowed to continue their shouts of ' ' Glory ! ' ' 

The chorister was selected with quite as much reference to 
his sonorous voice as to his ability to read music. His voice must 
be strong enough to overcome any squeaky discords from the 
toothless aged, or any profane interpolations of youngsters, 
whom the tythingman failed to notice. He had to be one who 
could lead the entire congregation on to "Zion's Hill," and put 
them in a proper mood for the long sermon, so that the tired 
farmer and his wife would not fall asleep before the sixthly was 
reached. 

In the days when fences were scarce, and an ambitious 
animal could easily pierce through the primitive hedgeways, it 
was necessary for each owner of stock to have some mark that 
would distinguish his property. Just as the almost limitless 
ranches of the West make the branding of horses and cattle a 
necessity to-day, so in the earliest days in Vermont, branding 
was resorted to as a seal of ownership. That it might be done 
decently and with authority, so that no two owners should quar- 
rel, because both had the same mark, a "brander of horses" was 
annually chosen. The ears of cattle were cropped and pierced, 
and each had his own "ear mark" recorded. Isaac Morgan's 
was a ''crop of the Right Eare & Sowlers (swallow's) Taile in 
the Left"; Daniel Havens' was a "Round Whole in the offe 
Eare"; Daniel Rix's, "a Crop of the End of the Right Ear"; 
David Bowen's, "a round hole in ye right Ear and a slit from 
ye same to ye end of ye Ear." 

Hog haywards were chosen first in 1783. It is probable that 
for some years, swine were making their investigations and root- 
ing around quite free from restraint, and that sometimes they 
were even given shelter in the log houses. As their numbers 
increased, and more land came to be cultivated, they could no 
longer be allowed free range in the neighborhood, and for lack 
of suitable places of confinement, hog haywards were elected to 
look after them, and see that they did not trespass. 



348 History of Koyalton, Vermont 

The demand for fence viewers was answered first in 1784, 
when Benjamin Day, Benjamin Parkhurst, Daniel Rix, Lieut. 
Medad Benton, Daniel Tullar, and Comfort Sever were chosen 
for this office. 

The selectmen were requested to settle with the treasurer 
in 1790. and report at some future meeting. Their report, per- 
haps, had been given direct to the voters at the annual meeting 
before that time, or no report may have been made. There was 
evidently some laxity on the part of town officers, which the 
voters intended to remedy. At the town meeting 1791, the 
selectmen were requested to give "immediately" a report of the 
last year's proceedings. The report is not recorded, but that it 
was satisfactory is evidenced from the fact, that the same men 
were again elected. 

At a September meeting of that year, a committee was 
chosen "to call on ye Selectmen for ye year 1786 for a settle- 
ment for ye Land tax & if they decline to settle to apply to ye 
County Court to call them to settlement." Notwithstanding 
this drastic action by the town, the report was not forthcoming, 
and in May, 1792, another committee composed of entirely differ- 
ent men was chosen for the same purpose. This committee 
proved efficient, and at an adjourned meeting, June 6, it offered 
the following report: 

"To ye Inhabitants of Royalton in town meeting met. Your committe 
that was chose to make a settlement with ye Selectmen for ye Year 
1786 concerning ye Land tax report that on a final settlement with Sd 
Selectmen they find due to ye Town Twenty one Pounds seventeen 
Shillings & eight pence. 

Benjamin Parkhurst for Comtee." 

The report was accepted, and the selectmen of 1792 were 
instructed to take obligations from the selectmen of 1786 for 
what was due on the land tax, and give a discharge for the same. 

The 1786 selectmen were either refractory or unable to pay 
the sum due the town, and the matter came up again in 1796. 
In the warning for a special meeting called for December 6, one 
article read, "To call on ye Selectmen of 1786 for a settlement 
of the then land tax," and it was voted, "To appoint a Com- 
mittee to call on ye Selectmen for the Year 1786 for a Settle- 
ment & if any money is in their hands sd Committee are directed 
to pay the same into ye Town Treasury," and furthermore the 
same committee was instructed ' ' to call on all former Committees 
& all Selectmen since the year 1786 who have had concern with 
money matters & make a complete settlement with them & if 
anything shall be found due sd Committee to receive the same 
and pay it into the Town Treasury." This committee had the 
astute lawyer, Jacob Smith, on it, and after this date nothing 
more is heard of the land tax of 1786. 



History of Royalton, Vermont 349 

Petit jurors were first elected in 1788, when six men were 
chosen for that purpose. The number varied from time to time, 
reaching thirteen in 1798. The first record of town officers 
taking the oath is in 1793. 

In 1801 a committee was chosen to settle "with the overseer 
of the Poor & Town Treasurer." No overseer was elected in 
1801, nor previous to that time, so far as records show. If such 
an office existed, it was probably appointive. In 1807 they voted 
to elect overseers of the poor, and Jacob Smith, Elias Stevens, 
and Daniel Tullar were chosen. Mr. Stevens was excused and 
Isaac Skinner chosen in his place. The next year it was for- 
mally voted to choose three overseers, but in 1809 they were 
chosen like other officers without first voting to have them. 

This year they elected "auditors." Heretofore the select- 
men or a committee chosen at the end of the year were empow- 
ered to look over the treasurer's account and report. The audi- 
tors of this year had the same duty. The next year these audi- 
tors were to examine, also, the accounts against the town. Ad- 
journment was necessary to give time to look over these accounts. 
For some years auditors were chosen for special work, and other 
committees for other accounts, and the usual adjournment took 
place, sometimes for shorter, sometimes for longer time. 

In 1822 a committee was elected to settle with both over- 
seers and treasurer, and they did not adjourn as usual, but dis- 
solved, and the reports were acted on at the next INIarch meeting. 
Some accounts were brought in and allowed or disallowed by 
vote. Two committees had been chosen in 1821 to audit a part 
of the accounts for the "ensuing" year. Gradually they were 
coming to see the advisability of accounts being audited before 
the meeting was held. 

Eight town meetings were held in 1834. They began the 
series early, issuing the warning for the first one on January 
third. This meeting was necessitated by reason of the failure 
of the Fox bridge, so-called. Three Freemen's meetings were 
held, one in March, when the Council of Censors was chosen, and 
two in the fall for election of a Congressman and state officers. 

The following year it was resolved that all accounts must 
be presented to the selectmen before coming to the voters or be 
rejected. Just how the list had been taken previous to 1835 is 
not stated, but that year it was voted, that the listers were to 
begin April 1, by going to the house of each one liable, and take 
his or her list of personal property. In 1837, instead of choos- 
ing a committee to settle with the treasurer, as formerly, he was 
directed to give a report at the next meeting. 

About 1832 a committee, whose appointment is not recorded, 
and whose report is not dated, reported that they had examined 



350 History of Royalton, Vermont 

and compared the books of the treasurer and overseer of the 
poor from 1827 to 1831, and found that they agreed with the 
orders on the books of the selectmen. That year the selectmen 
were directed to put in collection within six months after due, 
all rents, notes, and demands due to the town. The taxpayers 
were growing more critical in the examination of accounts, but 
did not yet entrust the matter wholly to auditors. In 1835 the 
report of the auditors on the treasurer's account was ordered 
back for a new examination. Two years later, the treasurer 
was directed to settle all bills with the collectors of more than 
two years' standing, and was empowered to begin suits against 
delinquents. 

In 1836 trustees of the surplus revenue were elected for the 
first time, providing for the care of the share which should come 
to the town by act of the legislature November 17 of that year. 
This was done at a special meeting called for that purpose in 
December. After that the trustees were chosen at the March 
meeting with other town officers. 

From time to time an agent had been chosen by the town to 
look after special cases in which lawsuits were threatened. In 
1841 Daniel Woodward was chosen regularly like other town 
officers. He was to attend to any cases that might arise involv- 
ing litigation. He continued to serve until 1857, when Daniel 
L. Lyman was elected. 

Tythingmen and hog haywards were last elected in 1839. 
From 1845 onward auditors were elected in the regular course, 
without their specific duties being named, and the appointment 
of other committees for the examination of accounts was omitted. 
Reports, however, of selectmen, and trustees of the surplus 
revenue were given orally in town meeting. 

In 1846 it was voted that the selectmen nominate three per- 
sons to serve as superintendents of common schools, and Dudley 
C. Denison, Samuel W. Slade, and Cyrus B. Drake were chosen 
for this duty, which was the beginning of this specific office. As 
early as Oct. 22, 1782, the law had provided for the appointment 
of trustees in each town for the general superintendence of 
schools, but the matter of supervision had very generally been 
left to each school district. 

In 1824 a law was passed requiring selectmen to appoint one 
or more surveyors of wood, whose duty it should be to measure 
wood, receiving therefor four cents a cord or load. It is not to 
be supposed that the town found no necessity for such an officer 
before 1870, but that is the first date when any record is found 
of such appointment. In that year the residents of Royalton 
village secured by petition the appointment of Chauncey Wolcott 
and Henry Doubleday for one year. In 1906 the offices of pound 



History of Koyalton, Vermont 351 

keeper, surveyors of wood, and inspector of lumber became ap- 
pointive in the selectmen. A tree warden was also provided for, 
and Amos J. Eaton was the first appointee. In 1904 he was 
appointed fish and game warden. 

By the laws of 1892 road commissioners, school directors, 
and health officers were to be provided. The first health officer 
in Koyalton was Dr. William H. Gerrish. ' Dr. W. L. Paine acted 
as such officer for a time, and Dr. E. J. Fish served for a term 
of years. The present officer is Marvin H. Hazen. Though 
health officers are not elected, they are local officers. 

In 1896 trustees of the public library were first elected. By 
rotation in office, one lister, one selectman, one school director 
only are elected each year, serving three years, and one trustee 
of the public library is elected yearly, serving five years. 

Although a legislative act of 1870 provided for truant offi- 
cers, Koyalton does not seem to have had any until 1893, when 
the South Koyalton Graded School had one appointed. James 
M. Whitney has been the truant officer for several years. 

The town officers elected in March, 1910, were as follows: 
Moderator, Ernest J. Hewitt ; clerk, William Skinner ; selectman, 
James M. Hinckley — the other selectmen are Hiram Kuss and 
George L. Dutton ; treasurer, Arthur Whitham ; overseer of the 
poor, Charles E. Black; constable, James M. Whitney; col- 
lector, the treasurer; lister, Amos J. Eaton — the other listers 
are Walter E. Webster and D. W. Bliss; auditors, J. 0. Belknap, 
George K. Taggart, E. J. Hewitt; trustee of public money, George 
A. Laird ; town grand juror, Amos J. Eaton ; road commissioner, 
Albert Merrill ; school director, Fred Allen ; A. G. Whitham was 
later appointed deputy town clerk, with authority to file deeds, 
mortgages, and other papers for the accommodation of the peo- 
ple in the south part of the town. 

PLACE OF TOWN MEETINGS. 

There are records of ten town meetings before the Indian 
raid, in none of which is there any mention of the place where 
they were held. An adjournment was taken to the house of 
Isaac Morgan, Aug. 23, 1779, and another to the house of Daniel 
Kix, Dec. 30, 1779. At the first meeting after the raid, March 
20, 1781, an adjournment was at once taken to Comfort Sever 's 
dwelling house. The houses that had been hastily put up were 
probably not suitable for town meeting purposes. Mr. Sever 
lived near the schoolhouse in District Nine, and his house es- 
caped destruction. The next meeting the same month was at 
Lieut. Durkee's. It is understood that he fitted up his barn 
as best he could for a winter residence, and it would be more 



352 History op Royalton, Vermont 

commodious than the majority of the houses, so we find the 
meeting there again in December. 

In September of that year they had met at Lieut. Park- 
hurst's and voted to have future meetings at Mr. Lyon's. In 
January of the next year, however, a meeting was held at David 
Fish's. In November, 1782, when they divided the town into 
school districts, they are found at Zebulon Lyon's, but the ad- 
journed meeting was at Lieut. Durkee's. The numerous meet- 
ings between this one and the one of March 30, 1785, were all 
held at Mr. Lyon's. How well Mrs. Lyon enjoyed this inter- 
ruption of her home life is not recorded. Mr. Lyon soon pro- 
posed to build a meeting-house to be used for town purposes 
for ten years, as explained in another place, and on the date 
last named the voters gathered there in the new building. 

Here they convened from time to time, as they did Feb. 5, 
1787. At this time they chose a moderator, and at once ad- 
journed to the house of Isaac Skinner, presumably, because the 
meeting-house was not comfortable. The Proprietors held sep- 
arate meetings occasionally on the same day and at the same 
place as the town meetings. They met at Timothy Durkee's, 
Calvin and Joseph Parkhurst's, and Zebulon Lyon's, and, after 
the meeting-house was built, in that building. In December, 
1789, the town meeting was adjourned to the house of Lieut. 
Lyon, and in March following, to the "scenter school house." 
Through the warm weather, the several meetings were held in 
the meeting-house, but the March meeting of 1792 was warned 
to meet at Isaac Skinner's. The day was doubtless a mild one, 
for they adjourned to the meeting-house. 

There was a new meeting-house now, and this served as the 
place for the town meetings, apparently a satisfactory one, until 
the meeting of October 20, 1795, when they adjourned for fif- 
teen minutes to Elkanah Stevens' house, where, for some reason, 
perhaps a domestic one, they adjourned again to the schoolhouse. 
On December 8th they tried the meeting-house again. Whether 
it was too cold, or jMajor and Mrs. Curtis had decided to have 
a housewarming that day cannot be asserted, but it is recorded 
that they met and adjourned to the "new house" of Major Cur- 
tis. This was, no doubt, Zabad Curtis, who had bought several 
acres in Royalton village, and built himself a hoiise there. 

The next year two adjournments were taken to private 
dwellings, one to the house of Elkanah Stevens, who had a store 
and hotel in the village, and another to the house of Elisha 
Bartholemew. There are few records found of Mr. Barthole- 
rnew. He may not have lived in the village, as an adjournment 
of half an hour was taken. 



History op Royalton, Vermont 353 

This was the last meeting in a private house. The voters 
continued to meet in the meeting-house, until it was purchased 
by the town, and removed to the lower side of the common, and 
became the "town house." At their first meeting in the town 
house, which was, probably, not repaired sufficiently for such a 
purpose, they adjourned to the academy, and after the town 
house was burned, the meetings were held in the schoolhouse, 
imtil the present town building was erected. 

MANNER OF CONDUCTING TOWN MEETINGS. 

Little can be directly learned from our early records of the 
method of warning and conducting town meetings. The act of 
the General Assembly passed Feb. 28, 1797, made an annual 
meeting obligatory some day in the month of March, and a no- 
tice was to be set up "on the sign post, or at such other place 

or places as have been or may hereafter be agreed upon 

at least twelve days before the time mentioned in such notifica- 
tion, warning all the freeholders and other inhabitants of such 
town, qualified to vote in town meeting, to meet at such time and 
place." That the meeting might be properly conducted, all 
persons were required to be silent at the desire of the moderator, 
or pay a fine of one dollar, and a further fine of $3.00, if they 
persisted in remaining after a request to withdraw had been 
made. This act specified the officers to be elected, and directed 
the election of a committee of not less than three to audit ac- 
counts of the overseer of the poor for the preceding year, also 
one for auditing the account of the treasurer. 

The method of choosing the town officers was to be by bal- 
lot or such other method as the voters should agree upon. The 
number and nominations for grand and petit jurors was to be 
agreed upon between the selectmen, constable or constables, and 
magistrates of the town present, and the election was to be by 
the voters. Compensation to officers of the town was left to 
the will of the inhabitants. Every officer was to be duly sworn, 
and a record was to be made by the town clerk. Any person 
not exempted by law from serving was required to accept an 
office to which he was chosen, and to take the oath prescribed 
after notification, or else pay a fine not exceeding thirteen dol- 
lars, unless he could make it appear that he ought to be excused. 

In the town meeting March 21, 1791, the following vote was 
passed: "Voted That for ye future every man have liberty to 
cover his head at town meetings except when they address ye 
moderator." What would these men, who, doubtless, compelled 
by cold to pass this vote contrary to their ideas of what was re- 
spectful on the occasion, think of some of our state legislatures, 
23 



354 History op Koyalton, Vermont 

where the members sit with feet on the table, read and talk, and 
fill the air with tobacco smoke, while a session is in progress, 
and the galleries are occupied by ladies? 

In accordance with the liberty of choice granted by law, at 
the March meeting, 1799, it was voted to elect the town clerk, 
selectmen, treasurer, listers, and constables by each "mention- 
ing to the Town Clerk the name of the person he would have to 
fill each office & that all ye other Town officers be chosen by 
nomination. ' ' This custom was followed for several years. Some- 
times they would vote to elect by "going round," and after 
electing one officer in that way, they would reconsider the mo- 
tion. Nominations were frequently made by a committee chosen 
for the purpose. Sometimes they elected by "handy vote," 
which was probably a showing of hands. There were two ways 
of "going round," one, to name their choice orally, and the 
other, to vote by ballot. 

The practice of not voting a tax at the March meeting, thus 
necessitating an extra meeting for that purpose, and another 
custom of having adjourned meetings to hear reports of the 
auditors and committees appointed to examine accounts, do not 
seem to have been due to lack of foresight on the part of the 
voters of the town, but rather to the provisions of the law gov- 
erning town meetings in those years. 

The town did not seem inclined at first to grant compensa- 
tion to town officers. Perhaps there was too much rivalry, and 
there were enough who would gladly take the office without pay. 
Gradually the custom grew up of paying the selectmen and list- 
ers, and later, other officers. Occasionally this custom was broken 
by a vote not to pay certain officers. Selectmen were first paid 
in 1794. 

There is not much doubt that there was considerable laxity 
in conducting town business in the earliest days, but this soon 
ceased with new legislation, and longer experience, and a more 
careful scrutiny of accounts by the proper authorities and by 
the voters themselves. 

It was not much, if any, before 1846 that the custom of 
having reports printed and circulated was adopted. These first 
reports were on single, rather large, sheets of paper printed on 
one side, giving the matter usually brought before the voters for 
approval or rejection. There were then regular auditors. About 
1850 the single sheet was folded and sewed, and a small pamphlet 
was issued, which custom has continued to the present time, only 
for many years the report has had a proper cover. 

The following resolution was adopted in March, 1853 : 

"Resolved that the Selectmen of Royalton and their successors in 
office are hereby directed to make out a true statement of all the ex- 
penses of said town, stating the items thereof, & procure the printing 



History of Royalton, Vermont 355 

of at least five hundred copies & lodge the same with the Town Clerk 
of said Town on or before the 25th day of February annually & the 
Town Clerk when called on shall deliver to each legal voter in said 
town one copy of said Report free from charge." 

The selectmen were evidently remiss in carrying out this 
resolution. At the next March meeting another resolution was 

passed, which was: 

"Resolved, That the Selectmen of the town of Royalton be required 
to furnish at the Freeman's Meeting in September next that printed 
Report of the items of the Expenses of the town which it was their 
duty to have furnished on the 7th of March, 1854." 

The voters had spoken and the report was furnished. 

A different moderator was chosen at nearly every meeting 
for the first few years, but later one person served for a longer 
period, either by successive elections or at intervals. The town 
has not lacked talent fitted for such service, and has seemed 
inclined to pass the honor around. Among those who acted as 
moderator many times are Elias Stevens, Jacob Smith, Daniel 
, Rix, Jr., Elisha Rix, Charles M. Lamb, and Dudley C. Denison. 
Mr. Denison was voted $50.00 in 1899, in recognition of his long 
and faithful service to the town in this capacity. 

town records. 

It is probable that the records of the earliest meetings were 
kept on loose sheets of paper, and in consequence were lost. If 
Comfort Sever had the custody of some of the records, as most 
likely he did have, then that fact will account for the preserva- 
tion of considerable material from the general destruction of 
October 16, 1780. His house was beyond the range of the In- 
dian devastation of that day. The Charter was required by law 
to be recorded in the first pages of the Proprietors' book, and 
that book is a regularly bound volume. The earliest land rec- 
ords of the town, though sewed together, are without a cover, 
and perhaps never had one. The same is true of the first family 
records. 

In 1793 a committee was chosen to examine the town rec- 
ords and see if they were kept in a regular manner, and in 1798 
another committee was elected to examine the Proprietors' rec- 
ords, to see if they stood regular. At a meeting held on the 
second Tuesday of April, 1803, John Billings, Zebulon Lyon, and 
Jacob Smith were chosen a committee "to purchase a book and 
agree with the Town Clerk to record therein all the deeds that 
are not now recorded in a bound volume. ' ' This committee paid 
the clerk seventeen cents for recording each deed, and his bill 
was $43.83, making 257 or 258 deeds not before recorded. The 
book cost $2.50. This was probably Book A of land deeds. These 



356 History op Royalton, Vermont 

records had not been separated from the family records before 
this time. 

Again in 1806 a committee was chosen to examine the rec- 
ords and report their condition. The report, which was to have 
been given at the next March meeting, is not found. 

In the negotiations between the proprietors of Bethel and 
Comfort Sever in relation to the two tiers of land taken from 
Royalton, it is stated that Mr. Sever had received a letter from 
the "town clerk of Royalton" in 1777, which letter was on file 
in Bethel records. That indicates that town officers were regu- 
larly elected as early as 1777, and probably before that time. 

The first recorded clerk for the town was Comfort Sever, 
who served from 1779 to 1788. He was followed by Abel Stev- 
ens, who held the office from 1788 until 1805. Both Mr. Sever 
and Mr. Stevens held their offices until removal from town. Their 
hand-writing is legible, but both, as well as Elias Stevens, who 
was the Proprietors' clerk, had a tendency to overcapitalize, and 
their records lack the order and beauty that characterize the 
work of the next town clerk, Jacob Safford. A sample page of 
his penmanship is shown in one of the cuts. He served from 
1805 to 1829. The last record that he made was the boundary 
of Royalton village. He had been absent for two meetings, but 
had evidently transcribed the records of the clerk pro tern. He 
did not relinquish his task until illness compelled him to do so. 
The village boundary was recorded March 20, 1829, and on the 
25th of April, at an adjourned meeting, this resolution was 
I)assed : 

"Resolved, that the Town now proceed to the election of a Town 
Clerk for the year ensuing to fill the vacancy occasioned by the 
much regretted death of Jacob Safford who has so long and faith- 
fully performed the duties of that office to the public's satisfaction." 

Dr. Richard Bloss was elected to the vacancy, and held the 
office until 1839. He was re-elected, but was excused at his own 
request, and Calvin Skinner 2nd was chosen in his place. Mr. 
Skinner has the honor of having served longer than any other 
incumbent, his period of service continuing until 1875. He was 
then seventy-one years of age, and had been clerk thirty-six 
years. 

Horace P. Allen was elected clerk in 1875, and held the 
position until his death in 1894.' "While he was clerk he em- 
ployed some of his spare time in a careful examination of the 
older records, and made extracts with a view of using them in a 
future history of the town. Some of this matter was kindly 
turned over for use in this book, by his son, Parkhurst P. Allen 
of Boston. 

William Skinner was appointed in 1894 to fill the vacancy 
caused by the death of Mr. Allen. He held the office until 



History of Eoyalton, Vermont 357 

March, 1909, when he declined to serve longer, and "William F. 
Harvey was elected. Mr. Harvey removed from town the next 
fall, and the selectmen prevailed upon Mr. Skinner to take the 
office until the next March meeting, when he was unanimously 
re-elected. 

The records of the town will compare favorably with those 
of other Vermont towns in general, as regards legibility, pen- 
manship, spelling, and neat, systematic arrangement. The earli- 
est unbound sheets are badly mutilated and faded, and steps 
should be taken to have them preserved from further decay. 
The lack of an index for family records from the earliest date 
to the present time is one that should be soon remedied, as the 
necessity for consulting such records is constantly increasing. 

T0V7N BY-LAW^S. 

There is frequent reference after 1800 to the by-laws of 
the town, but none was put on record until 1835, when the clerk 
was instructed to make a record of the revised by-laws. They 
refer to the restraining of stock from running at large, and were 
in accord with an act passed by the Assembly Feb. 28, 1797. 
They are as follows : 

"It is hereby enacted by the inhabitants of the town of Royalton 
in legal March meeting assembled, that no horses colts or any horse 
kind or any sheep or mules or swine shall be suffered to run at large 
on the common, or highways within the town of Royalton, and if any 
horses, colts, or any horse kind or any sheep, swine or mules shall 
be suffered to run at large or be found out of the inclosure of the 
owner or keeper thereof, any person being an inhabitant of sd town 
may take up and empound the same, and all the proceedings in rela- 
tion to the same, as to the duty of the pound keeper, the mode of notice 
and relief, shall be agreeable to the provisions of an act relating to 
pounds, estrays, and stolen goods, passed May 2, 1797." 

The following is the list of selectmen who have served the 
town from 1779 to 1911, with the exception of the year 1789, 
the record of which is lost: 

Isaac Morgan, 1779; Timothy Durkee, 1779; Comfort Sever, 1779- 
^'85, 1790-92; Daniel Rix, 1780-82; Medad Benton, 1780; Lieut. Calvin 
Parkhurst, 1781-86; Zebulon Lyon, 1783; Silas Williams, 1784-86 
1790-91, 1801; Elias Stevens, 1784-85, 1787-88, 1792-95, 1798-1802, 1813-17 
Daniel Tullar, 1784-85, 1806-07; David Fish, 1786; Abel Stevens, 1787 
1792, 1802; Benj. Parkhurst, 1787-88; Daniel Clapp, 1790-91; Thos 
Bingham, 1793; Luther Fairbanks, 1793; Isaac Skinner, 1794-98, 1800 
1805-07, 1813-16; Nathan Paige, 1794, 1803-05; Benj. Day, Jr., 1795; Elka 
nah Stevens, 1796-97; John Billings, 1797-98, 1800-02, 1804; John Flint 
1799, 1803; Samuel Curtiss, 1799-1804; Rodolphus Dewey, 1803, 1808 
12, 1817-18; Jacob Smith, 1805-14; Daniel Rix, Jr., 1808-12, 1814-17, 1833 
Nathan Safford, 1818; Stephen Freeman, 1818-22, 1824; Elisha Rix 
1819-22, 1827-28, 1842-43; Darius Horton, 1819; Nathan Kimball, 1820'"*- 
1825-26; Jacob CoUamer, 1821-22; Asa Dewey, 1823; Harry Bingham 
1823-26, 1828-29, 1834, 1845, 1847-48; William Pierce, 1823; Oel Billings 



358 History of Royalton, Vermont 

1824-26; Oliver Willes, 1827, 1830; Jonathan Kinney, 1827, 1833, 1845; 
Thomas Russ, 1828-29, 1841-42; Calvin Parkhurst, 1829-31; Gideon Bing- 
ham, 1830; Nath. Sprague, 1831; David Wheelock, 1831, 1835-36; John 
Francis, 1832-33; John Billings, Jr., 1832; Jireh Tucker, 1832; John 
Marshall, 1834, 1844; Jona. Kinney, Jr., 1834; Truman H. Safford, 1835-37; 
Phineas Pierce, 1835; John Coy, 1836-38; Oramel Sawyer, 1837-38; 
Elisha Wild, 1838-39; Luther Howe, 1839; Job Bennett, 1839, 1858-59; 
Daniel Woodward, 1840; Coit Parkhurst, 1840, 1843; Charles Clapp, 
1840-41; Lyman Benson, 1841-42; Forest Adams, 1843-45, 1849, 1852; 
Levi Rix, 1844; John L. Bowman, 1846; Harvey Shipman, 1846-48; 
Edwin Pierce, 1846; Cyrus Hartshorn, 1847-50, 1852-54; George W. 
Bradstreet, 1849; Austin Brooks, 1850; Thomas Fay, 1850-52, 1861-62; 
L P. Morgan, 1851; James Davis, 1851; Horatio Freeman, 1853; Heman 
Durkee, 1853-54; Ira Belding, 1854-57; James Davis, 1855, 1863-65; 
Ebenezer Atwood, 1855-57, 1863; William Skinner, Sen., 1856; H. P. 
Allen, 1857-60; Charles W. Bliss, 1858-59; John B. Durkee, 1860-61, 
1883-85, 1897; George A. Bingham, 1860; Isaac S. Shepard, 1861-62; 
Martin T. Skinner, 1862-64, 1884-86; George S. Beedy, 1865-66; 
Charles D. Lovejoy, 1865-67, 1881-82; Eli S. Hackett, 1866-68; Charles 
A. Lyman, 1867-69, 1879-81; Charles Fay, 1868-71, 1882; Phineas D. 
Pierce, 1869-70; William Benson, 1870; Eben Winslow, 1871-73, 1880-82; 
J. W. Bailey, 1871-73; Charles West, 1873-75; Edson Bixby, 1874-78; 
H. T. GifEord, 1876; John A. Slack, 1876; William Skinner, Jr., 1877-79; 
John F. Shepard, 1879; Joseph W. Waldo, 1882-84; S. C. Drew, 1883; 
Selden S. Brooks, 1885-87, 1899-1900; John H. Hewitt, 1886-88; Calvin 
P. Goff, 1887-89; Norman W. Sewall, 1888-90, 1898; Charles B. Vial, 
1889-91; George Ellis, 1890-92; Marillo M. Whipple, 1891-93; J. O. Bel- 
knap, 1892-94; James M. Hinkley, 1893-95, 1909-11; Daniel W. Bliss, 1894- 
96; Harry A. Bingham, 1895-96; John A. Button, 1896-98, 1901; C. C. 
Southworth, 1897-99; Elmer E. Doyle, 1900-05; George K. Taggart, 1901- 
03; Walter E. Webster, 1902-04; Hiram C. Benson, 1904-07; Charles E. 
Black, 1905-07; G. D. Harrington, 1906-08; Hiram E. Russ, 1907-11; 
George L. Dutton, 1908-11. 

Royalton's town representatives in the General Assembly 
have been as follows: 

1778, Joseph Parkhurst; 1779, none; 1780, Calvin Parkhurst; 1781, 
Comfort Sever; 1782, Calvin Parkhurst; 1783, Elias Stevens; 1784, Silas 
Williams; 1785, Elias Stevens; 1786, Calvin Parkhurst; 1787, Eliaa 
Stevens; 1788-89, Calvin Parkhurst; 1790, Daniel Tullar; 1791-95, Elias 
Stevens; 1796, Abel Stevens; 1797, Dr. Silas Allen; 1798, Jacob Smith; 
1799, Elias Stevens; 1800, .lacob Smith; 1801, Abel Stevens; 1802-03, 
Elias Stevens; 1804-05, Nathan Paige; 1806, Elias Stevens; 1807- 
12, Jacob Smith; 1813-14, Rodolphus Dewey; 1815, Daniel Rix, Jr.; 1816, 
Elias Stevens; 1817, Daniel Rix, Jr.; 1818, Rodolphus Dewey; 1819, 
Moses Cutter; 1820, Rodolphus Dewey; 1821-22, Jacob Collamer; 1823- 
24, Rodolphus Dewey; 1825, Oel Billings; 1826, Nathan Kimball; 1827, 
Jacob Collamer; 1828-29, Harry Bingham; 1830, Jacob Collamer; 1831, 
William Woodworth; 1832, Calvin Parkhurst; 1833, Nathaniel Sprague; 
1834, Samuel Selden; 1835-37, Oramel Sawyer; 1838-39, David 
Wheelock; 1840-41, Truman H. Safford; 1842-43, John L. Bowman; 
1844, Harry Bingham; 1845, John L. Bowman; 1846-47, Romanzo 
Walker; 1848, James Davis; 1849, Daniel Woodward; 1850-51, John 
Coy; 1852, Azro D. Hutchins; 1853, Rufus Kendrick; 1854-55, Daniel 
L. Lyman; 1856-57, Ebenezer Atwood; 1858-59, Minot Wheeler; 1860- 
62, Dudley C. Denison; 1863-64, John S. Marcy; 1865-66, Martin T. 
Skinner; 1867, Henry H. Denison; 1868-69, William Goff; 1870-71, Dr. 
Cyrus E. Drake; 1872-73, Edward Foster; 1874-75, Ebenezer Winslow; 



History of Royalton, Vermont 359 

1876-77, Martin T. Skinner; 1878-79, Martin S. Adams; 1880-81, Charles 
West; 1882-83, none. After thirty -eight ballots an adjournment was 
taken sine die. 1884-85, George Ellis; 1886-87, John F. Shepard; 1888- 
89, William Skinner; 1890-91, William C. Smith; 1892-93, Charles A. 
Lyman; 1894-95, Anson P. Skinner; 1896-97, D. C. Stearns; 1898-99, 
John H. Hewitt; 1900-01, Norman W. Sewall; 1902-03, Dr. Edgar J. 
Fish; 1904-05, R. B. Galusha; 1906-07, Dr. D. L. Burnett; 1908-09, John 
B^ Goodrich; 1910-11, George Ellis. 
\ y/^ Royalton has had as town treasurers Comfort Sever, 1779-80; 
jC Daniel Rix, 1781-84; Zebulon Lyon, 1785-89, 1799; Isaac Skinner, 1790- 
r 93; Elkanah Stevens, 1794-95; Jacob Smith, 1796-98, 1800-14; Moses 

Cutter, 1815-27; Nathaniel Sprague, 1828, 1834; Oramel Sawyer, 1830-33; 
Curtis Fowler, 1834-36; Joseph A. Denison, Jr., 1837-47; Forest Adams, 
1848-70; A. W. Kenney, 1871-73; Ebenezer Winslow, 1874-1909; A. G. 
Whitham, 1909-. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



The Town's Poor. 

If, in the earliest history of the town, there were needy- 
people in it, they seem to have been eared for without formal 
action by the inhabitants. It was customary in those days to 
"warn out of town" those who were likely to become charges, 
and thus lessen the number of paupers. The first record of 
this sort is dated Mar. 13, 1783, when constable Zebulon Lyon 
performed this duty, and again on the 17th, and the third time 
on the 22nd of the same month, acting under the instructions of 
the selectmen. 

The first person for whom the town paid recorded bills was 
Abial Craw of Ellington, Conn. On Oct. 20, 1795, the town 
voted to those caring for INIr. Craw in his lameness a sum not 
exceeding nine pounds. This necessity of caring for Mr. Craw 
led to a suit with the town of Ellington, Conn., which appears 
to have refused to pay the bills incurred by Royalton, amount- 
ing to £94.6.4. This must have been a long and expensive case. 
Zebulon Lyon was first employed by the town as their agent, 
then Daniel Gilbert. Mr. Gilbert was invited on May 28, 1799, 
to come into a special town meeting and report on the Craw case. 
It ought to have been a favorable report, as his bill for the serv- 
ice rendered was $78.67. The report was not recorded. From 
subsequent incidental references it would seem that the town 
won its suit. 

Private individuals and the selectmen cared for transients 
and trusted to the town to reimburse them. In 1802 the ac- 
counts against the town for the care of the poor brought in by 
individuals, including doctors, was $76.47. One death was re- 
ported, that of Mr. Herrick. The church realized its obligations 
to its unfortunate fellow man, and in 1800, Nov. 11, it voted to 
look after the poor, all sharing according to their list. 

It was in the March meeting of 1805 that the town followed 
the example of other towns, and voted to set up the poor to the 
lowest bidder. To us of the present day such a custom seems 
most revolting and cruel. There was one argument in its favor, 
and that was that it was cheaper. If it is said that it gave a 



History of Royalton, Vermont 361 

chance to relatives to care for their friends for a small remuner- 
ation, when, otherwise, their means would not allow of assuming 
this burden, the facts show that in most cases the poor were not 
bid off by their relatives, and they were not sure of staying in 
a place more than one year at a time. 

The first sale in this town took place on the third Tuesday 
in April, 1805. Think of the unfortunate ones in their poverty- 
stricken condition, anxiously waiting to learn where their lot 
would be cast for the next twelve-month! The moderator of 
the meeting was the "vendue master." Perhaps bidders were 
slow, loath to be responsible for the new step. The auctioneer 
himself bid off Elnathan Taylor and wife for the sum of $58, 
except in case of sickness. Mr. Taylor's daughter, Lois, went to 
Daniel Rix for the sum of $3, and we must conclude that she 
was able to nearly earn her support. Isaac Skinner took James 
Haven and wife for the sum of $7. Here are seven persons 
known to have been town charges that year. The following year 
the same course was adopted. The poor of the previous year 
had new homes. There were two sisters who were separated. It 
was stipulated that the poor were to be returned as well 
"cloathed" as when received, and the bidder was to be entitled 
to their services. One good feature of this course is that due 
care seems to have been used in knowing that those who made 
bids were responsible, worthy citizens, and that the indigent 
people under their charge would receive good care. Some who 
have traditions