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Full text of "The history of Vermont; with descriptions, physical and topographical"

NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES 



3 3433 07954306 6 






i 



Cheoked 
May 19^3 



THE 



HISTOEY OF VERMONT 



WITH 



DESCRIPTIONS, 
PHYSICAL AND TOPOGRAPHICAL, 



BY 

REV. HOSEA BECKLEY, A. M. 



BRATTLEBORO : 

GEORGE H. SALISBURY, 

1846. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by 

George H. Salisbury, 

in the Clerk's office of the District Court for the District of Vermont. 



( 



MERRIAM AND MIRICK, PRINTERS, 
GREENFIELD, MASS. 



PUBLISHER'S NOTE. 



The Rev. Hose a Beckley, for many years a distinguished 
clergyman of this state, was the author of the following work, 
which he had nearly prepared for the press, some two years 
since, and had obtained a large list of subscribers for the book, 
when he was suddenly arrested by deaths— leaving no other patri- 
mony to his bereaved family but this work in manuscript, upon 
which he had bestowed years of labor, and which is now pub- 
lished for the benefit of his widow. 

The work is given entire as it was left by Mr. Beckley, the 
publisher not deeming himself authorized to alter the manuscript 
from the condition in which it was left by the author. 

The only thing done, except copying for the press, has been 
in one or two instances, to bring the narrative down to the close 
of the last year ; and to arrange the chapters in the order, in 
which the subjects treated of in them seemed to require, as they 
were left by Mr. Beckley, owing probably to his sudden demise, 
without being numbered, or placed in their proper order. 

GEO. H. SALISBURY. 

Brattleboro, March 7, 1846. 



PREFACE 



In offering the following work to the public, an apology 
perhaps is due from the author. 

Dr. Williams's History of Vermont is good, but fifty 
years have elapsed since its publication. Great changes 
have since taken place ; and some things relative to its 
early settlement were omitted by him, deeming them too 
well known, perhaps, even to incur the danger of being 
forgotten. Others were omitted by him, as if more proper 
for the statute book, and secretary and town clerk's office, 
than for common libraries. But the late changes in the 
manner of detailing historical events, have proved that 
many facts and transactions, long buried in the lumber 
rooms of records, are highly interesting to readers in 
general. Besides, this work has become scarce, and diffi- 
cult to be obtained. It is an able work on the " natural 
and civil history" of the state ; and the writer has relied 
on him as the best authority, relative to the difficulties in 
the way of its being admitted into the union. 

A work has recently been published by the Rev. Zadock 
Thompson, bringing the narrative of events down to this 
time, combining the details of history and the statistics of 
a gazetteer. It is a meritorious work, and well deserving 
of patronage. And the writer here acknowledges with 
pleasure, valuable hints derived from it, especially the 
historical part first printed in a small volume. This late 
publication is voluminous and expensive ; and on that 
account many, it is apprehended, will think themselves 
unable to avail themselves of it, who would wish to own a 
work giving some general description of the state. 



Vi PREFACE. 

This then is the apology for the following volume, occu- 
pying ground left between Dr. Williams and Mr. Thomp- 
son, infringing on neither, but taking a way of its own, 
differing from both. It wishes their works a prosperous 
course; and only asks the privilege of sliding around 
among the hills, defiles, and valleys of Vermont, visiting 
now and then the neighboring states, where its predeces- 
sors, either on account of age, or more bulky dimensions 
might meet with obstructions. 

It declines being called a compilation, because it is a 
work essentially original. Transcriptions are credited to 
the authors from whom they are taken ; or by marks of 
quotation. To one of the judges of the supreme court, 
the writer here acknowledges his indebtedness for several 
pages of valuable communications. Endeavoring to con- 
sult the best authority, he has generally, for the sake of 
brevity, preferred abridging and translating to copying. 
But this composes but a small part of the work ; the great 
body of " the descriptions" being from personal observa- 
tion and reflection. 

They claim in their behalf truth and conformity to fact ; 
but not exemption from mistakes ; for what w^ork of this 
nature can plead undeviating accuracy. They disclaim an 
intermixture of reality and fiction. A medium they would 
hold between the dryness of mere statistics, and the light- 
ness of the journalist, selecting the most important circum- 
stances, and combining the connexion and attractiveness of 
history without its formality and minuteness. 

May the volume meet with a kind reception in this cold 
world, to which it is reluctantly, and not without ill fore- 
boding, dismissed to take its chance with other similar 
adventurers. With a Roman poet the author would rather 
see it wearing the marks of hard usage, than snugly 
perched upon the shelf for ornament, or food for worms 
and moths. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 



Introduction, addressed to the youth of Vermont. — Tlie natural 
conduct of children, often deviated from in youth and middle 
age. — The natural order to be pursued by them in the pursuit 
of knowledge. — The examination of things around them, and 
the scenery of their own State, claim their first attention. — The 
peculiar circumstances of their state in its establishment. — Its 
early history. — Its early fathers and magistrates subjects of 
study to them and veneration. — Its remembrance of the founders 
of their state, and gratitude for the blessings and privileges 
left them to be cultivated. — Past records of their state place 
before them the strongest incentives to mental cultivation. — 
The diffusion of knowledge, to the fear and love of God. — 
To preserve and enhance their heritage ; cherish the love of 
liberty. — Imbibe manly sentiments, and exhibit a manly deport- 
ment, cultivate physical energy and mental independence. — 
They place before them motives of the strongest kind to pre- 
serve hardihood of character. — To keep possession of and not 
desert the hills cleared by their fathers. To render their state 
reputable and honorable in the view of other communities. 
— To cherish and encourage literature and literary men, and 
those of their own countries, rather than those of foreign coun- 
tries 17 

CHAPTER 11. 

General description of the state. — Its name. — Surface.— Exterior 
appearance. — Its shape, and boundaries. — Road from Brattle- 
boro to Albany. — Scenery near Bennington and Manchester. — 
Former and present stage route across the mountain. — Road on 
the banks of the Battenkill, through Arlington. — Deceptive 
appearance of the distant prospects. — Variegated appearance 
in Rutland county and Addison. — Chimney Point. — The coun- 
try along Lake Champlahi to Burlington and St. Albans. — 



y\\[ CONTENTS. 

Franklin County. — Prospect from Westford. — Soil on the Con- 
necticut river. — On the hills and vallies east side ; and on the 
west side of the mountain. — How enriched. — Interval.— Hills. — 
Soil near Rutland, Middlebury and other places. — Gardens and 
productions of Burlington. — Franklin county compared with 
other counties. — Crops produced, how abundantly. — Agricul- 
tural fair at Sheldon. — Cattle, beef and pork. — Dairies. — Butter, 
Cheese. — How put up for market. — Wool. — Extensive flocks. 
— How kept. — Honey Bee. — Patent Hive. — Sugar ... 45 



CHAPTER HI. 

First settlement. — Remains of forts. — Claimed by Massachusetts, 
and New Hampshire. — Limits. — Orders of the crown to the 
Governor of New Hampshire to take direction of its settle- 
ment. — Wentworth's grant for the settlement of Bennington. — 
Previous commencement by the French on Champlain. — Claimed 
by New York. — Collision and violence threatened. — Courts in- 
terrupted. — Systematic opposition to the claims of New York, 
headed by Ethan Allen. — His character, associated with Seth 
Warner. — Deputation to Great Britain. — Royal interdict, dis- 
regarded by New York. — Measures to arrest Allen and his 
associates. — The progress of things hastened by the home 
government. — Under sanction of the first Congress, the royal 
courts interrupted. — Court house at Westminster seized, blood- 
shed and death. — Excitement. — Battle of Lexington. — War of 
the Revolution. — Contest suspended between New York and 
these settlers. — Their singular position, without regular govern- 
ment. — Convention. — Constitution adopted. — Petition to Con- 
gress. — Claiming independence. — Opposed by New York. — 
Perplexing to Congress. — Their evasive and dilatory policy. — 
Leave given to withdraw their petition. — Burgoyne on their 
frontier. — Their independence admitted by New Hampshire. — 
Proposed state in the valley of the Connecticut. — Claimed by 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York at the same 
time. — Disturbances in the southeastern section. — The decision 
of the question claimed by Congress 65 



CHAPTER IV. 

Rendered persevering by circumstances. — The justice of their 
cause. — Spirited reply to Congress. — Claiming the same 
grounds as did Congress with the mother country. — Appeal of 
Gov. Chittenden and his council. — Intimations of terms with 



CONTENTS. vjj 

Great Britain. — Their justification. — Abandoned by the Union. 

— A frontier district. — A powerful enemy on their border. — 
Self-preservation led them to this. — Their last resort. — New 
York and New Hampshire persisting. — Vermont claimed juris- 
diction over a part of their territory. — This measure favorable. 
— Strengthened their hands and encouraged to renew to Con- 
gress their petition. — The enemy's proposals ; communicated to 
Congress by E. Allen. — His celebrated appeal. — Their only 
overt act. — Exchange of prisoners. — This offer of the British 
known to a few only. — Interrupted letter of Lord Germain. — 
The eyes of Congress opened by it. — Washington. — Commu- 
nication to Gov. Chittenden. — Delegates sent to Philadelphia. — 
Action of Congress. — Their repeated deferring of the subject. 
— Vermont raised troops to defend herself. — Censured by 
Congress. — Influenced by New York. — Censures and threats 
repelled 80 

CHAPTER V. 

Vermont little affected by the strong resolves of congress. — 
Peace with Great Britain. — Placed Vermont in new circum- 
stances. — Favorable. — Taking the place of spectator to the other 
colonies. — Encouraging the settlement of her lands. — Reforming 
evils.— Relieved from some evils of the other states. — The state 
of the country improving, she again seeks alliance with it. — 
Intrinsic difficulties. — The question where the Capital of the 
nation should be, produces an alteration in New York towards 
her. — Commissioners appointed by New York. — Terms of recon- 
ciliation proposed. — Controversy ended. — Her admission into the 
Union. — Remarks on this controversy. — Its moderation. — The 
subject manifested. — Worthy of Imitation. — The instance, one, 
of bloodshed. — Family connexions of him killed ... 94 

CHAPTER VI. 

Constitution adopted. — Features of its government. — Representa- 
tives. — Governor and council. — How chosen. — Council of 
censors. — Its power and objects. — The government demo- 
cratic. — Original counties. — Judicial department. — Salaries of 
public officers, and compensation of the general assembly, and 
others in authority — Contrast between the early and present 
times. — Reflections on the first courts and the changes in 
them, and the place of holding them. — Customs of first set- 
tlers. — Choosing elevated situations. — Inconvenient often. — 



^ CONTENTS. 

Alterations and improvements. — Changes. — Their evils. — 
Benefits 105 

CHAPTER VII. 

In Windham county such changes seen. — Black mountain. — Road 
on West river. — Cascade. — ^Defile. — Newfane hill. — Its former 
appearance. — Deserted state. — Contrast. — Judges and Lawyers. 
— New county seat. — Fayetteville. — Changes. — Their advan- 
tages. — Evils. — Uplands. — Their use. — Northern positions and 
exposure. — A family burnt in Newfane. — Hardy occupiers of 
exposed northern positions. — Hardihood a general trait. — Con- 
tributing to it, their early troubles. — Their aversion to effemi- 
nacy. — Illustrated by examples. — The character of the first 
settlers. — Settled principally from Connecticut. — Reproaches 
answered. — Testimony of Hillhouse to this trait of character 

120 

CHAPTER Vm. 

Character of its inhabitants continued. — Hardy. — Their position. — 
Climate and employments unite in making them so. — Bo- 
dilystructure. — Exercise. — Exceptions. — Dissipation. — Diet. — 
Wrong management, — Frankness another trait. — Enterprising. 
— Seen in the improvements. — In new sources of profit. — ^In 
their vallies, rivers, lakes ; quarries ; factories ; potatoes. — 
Starch factories. — Found over the union in responsible trusts. — 
Intelligent. — Comparative number who cannot read or write. — 
Jurymen. — A comparison. — Prejudices. — Apology for speaking 
of them by comparison. — Formerly stigmatized. — Unfounded 
as persons. — Griswold and Lyon. — Rencountre between them. — 
How treated in Connecticut. — Its influence. — Hospitality. — 
Southern. — In Vermont to strangers 134 



CHAPTER IX. 

Character continued. — Originality. — Illustrated. — Baptist clergy- 
man. — Constable. — The taking down a house of Divine wor- 
ship. — Building another. — Prosecution. — Court of experi- 
ence. — The bible cited as authoritiy. — The sign of the Green 
mountain tavern. — Singular punishment inflicted. — An instance 
of mischief making. — The false alarm. — Its consequences. — 
Breaking roads after drifting snow storms. — Assault and 
battery. — A lawsuit. — Freemen's meeting. — Town meeting. — 
The Vermont originality seen. — Freedom of their elections. — 



CONTENTS. j^J 

Extending- to all classes. — Clergymen not excluded. — Baptist 
clergymen in several instances governors. — Anecdote of one. — 
A singular character 149 

CHAPTER X. 

Characteristics of Vermonters closed. — Some deductions from the 
foregoing. — Too often subservient to selfish office-seekers. — 
Discouraged sometimes under difficulties. — Want of perseve- 
rance in carrying to the end promising beginnings. — Family 
rivalries. — Their consequences. — Winter employments and 
recreations. — Friendly annual visiting. — Social intercourse 161 

CHAPTER XL 

Changes in the executive department, from 1797 to 1842. — Changes 
in parties. — Governors. — Their characters. — Incidents under 
their administrations. — English and French party. — How origi- 
nated. — Difficulties with France and the general government. — 
1816, cold summer. — A railer at Providence. — Free-masonry 
becomes a political question. — Excitement. — No choice of 
governor by the people. — Many trials in the House. — Anti- 
masonry in politics succeeds. — Arrival in Vermont of the Mar- 
quis de La Fayette. — Proceedings at Windsor. — Some character 
of him. — From 1842 looking back, and reflections on the list of 
chief magistrates. — The variety in their characters, pursuits, 
and religious belief. — The abolition of capital punishment 167 

CHAPTER XH. 

Senate of Vermont. — How constituted. — Members. — Their age. 
— Its operation and results. — New organization in the courts. 
— Changes in the Superior court. — Chief Justices. — Remarks 
on annual appointments of Judges. — United States senators of 
Vermont. — Their character. — Character of that body. — Popu- 
lation. — Rapid increase. — Additional towns. — Changes of fifty 
years in the exterior. — Surface. — Buildings. — Cultivation. — 
Retrospection. — Contrast 182 

CHAPTER XITL 

Villages. — Increase of their numbers. — Growth. — Exemplified. — 
Brattleboro. — Contrast of thirty or forty years. — Its situation. — 
Public buildings. — View of it from the burying-ground. — 
Typographic Co. — Early settlers. — First bridge over the Con- 
necticut. — Members of congress. — Its first clergyman. — Dum- 



Xll 



CONTENTS. 



merston. — Putney. — Westminster. — Some account of it. — Its 
part in the early history of the state. — Members of congress. — 
Rev. Lemuel Haynes. — Monument. — Bellows Falls. — Contrast 
between it and Westminster. — Curiosity of the falls. — Crossing 
the mountain. — Bennington. — Some particulars of it. — Its early 
history. — Antiquity. — Head quarters. — Its founders. — Centre. 
— Burying-ground. — East village. — Furnace. — Hinsdale vil- 
lage. — General improvement and prosperity. — Pleasantness. — 
Gov. Tichener 191 

CHAPTER XIV. 

Further account of villages. — Manchester. — Its situation and ap- 
pearance. — Burr seminary. — Marble quarries. — Factories. — 
Quality, and abundance. — Market for it. — Supposed murder. — 
Castleton. — Road to Rutland. — Clarendon springs. — Walling- 
ford. — East Rutland. — Its common. — Judge Williams. — Wood- 
stock. — Its situation. — Judge Hutchinson. — Charles Marsh. — 
Windsor. — Springfield. — Its appearance. — Self-taught mecha- 
nic. — A curiosity. — Derby. — Danville. — Montpelier. — Its situ- 
ation. — Population. — Associations of its name. — State house. 
— Particular description of it. — Middlebury. — Its exterior. — 
Vergennes. — Decline. — Its prosperity. — Villages of less ex- 
tent. — Their number. — The first class. — In order relative to 
Montpelier. — Viewed at once. — Retrospection. — Contrast. — 
Reflections 207 

CHAPTER XV. 

Military exploits and measures in and near Vermont. — Names of 
leaders, and places of fame. — Discovery of North America and 
settlement in Canada. — Lake Champlam. — Lake George. — 
Iroquois Indians.— Strife between the English and French. — 
Col. Schuyler. — Attack on Deerfield. — Capture of Quebec— 
Abercrombie. — Wolf. — His character. — Settlement at Crown 
Point. — Chimney Point. — Surprise of Bridgman's fort. — Cap- 
ture of Mrs. Howe and other women. — Attack on Royalton. — 
Brandon. — The justification of Vermont, thus exposed, in 
admittinsr overtures from the English 221 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Warlike movements in Windham. — Adherents of New York. — 
Guilford. — Ethan Allen's proclamation. — General Bradley.— 
Instrumentality in quelling the disturbances. — Arnold.— Strife 
between him and Allen.— Campaign against Ticonderoga 



CONTENTS. ^JJJ 

planned in Connecticut.— Capt. Phelps exploring the enemy's 
works. — Ethan Allen a prisoner. — At Halifax. — At Cork. — 
On Long- Island. — In New York. — The old jail. — Prisoners in 
it. — Capt. Travis. — Maj. Van Zandt. — Col. Allen crying for 
quarters.— His death. — His grave and epitaph. — Col. Seth 
Warner. — His burial place 234 

CHAPTER XVII. 

War events continued. — Contest for the supremacy on the lake. — 
The Americans defeated. — Gallant conduct of Waterbury and 
Arnold. — Arrival, and progress of Burgoyne. — Excitement. — 
Mounts Defiance, Hope, Independence. — Cannon mounted by 
the British on Defiance, — Reflections on the past events. — The 
battle of Hubbardston. — Gen. Eraser, — Battle of Bennington. — 
Gen. Stark. — His policy at that battle as related by Col. Hum- 
phrey. — Letter to Gov. Trumbull of Connecticut. — The war of 
1812. — Generals Hampton and Wilkinson. — The army of the 
North. — The invasion of New York from Canada. — The naval 
battle on Champlain. — Its effects, and impression on the coun- 
try. — Commodores McDonough and Downie .... 246 

CHAPTER XVm. 

Readiness of the government to foster public benevolent Institu- 
tions. — Asylum of deaf and dumb at Hartford. — Asylum for 
the insane at Brattleboro. — Mrs. Marsh, its founder. — Dr. 
Rockwell, superintendent. — Its location and scenery around it. — 
Buildings. — Patients. — Success. — An object worthy of public 
patronage, — Provision for the indigent insane. — Causes increas- 
ing of this malady. — Other ways of sujffering. — By flood and 
cold. — Inundations of 1828-30. — Catastrophe at New Haven. — 
A man perished by cold near the summit of the mountain. — 
A man, wife and infant impeded by the drifting snow. — Over- 
taken by night in an uninhabited part of the road. — Their suffer- 
ings. — Death of the wife, — Sudden changes in the weather. — 
Great contrast. — Cold days. — The freezing of a rum drinker. — 
The circumstances. — His body long buried under the snow 256 

CHAPTER XIX. 

Literature. — Colleges. — Vermont university. — Presidents. — Dan- 
iel Haskell. — Middlebury College. — Presidents. — Academies 
and high schools. — Primary schools. — Improvements. — Literary » 
men. — Authors. — Daniel Chipman. — Royal Tyler. — Martin 



Xjy CONTENTS. 

Field. — Wilbur Fisk. — Jeremiah Evarts. — William Chamber- 
lain 269 

CHAPTER XX. 

Literature and learned men continued. — The learned professions. — 
Clergymen. — Difficulties encountered by them in the early set- 
tlements. — Their characters. — Names of some of them. — The 
fruit of their labors. — Dr. Burton. — His authorship.— Lemuel 
Haynes. — Bunker Gay. — i\.ttornies at law. — Of some who are 
dead, their character.— Civilians and statesmen. — Courts. — Their 
appearance. — Dispatch in business. — Physicians. — Difficulties 
in their way in the first settlement of the state. — Their charac- 
ter. — Medical college at Castleton. — Vermont poets. — Self- 
taught one. — Putney hill.— Stanzas of poetry made by a bard 
living at its foot 282 



CHAPTER XXL 

Religion. — The three principal denominations. — Congregational- 
ists. — Some account of them. — Baptists. — Their peculiarities. — 
Anecdote of an Elder. — Methodists. — Their rules and support 
of preachers. — Episcopalians. — Universalists. — Unitarians 293 

CHAPTER XXH. 

Miscellaneous . — Birds . — Partridge . — Quail . — S no w-bird . — Wild 
pigeons.— Their abundance formerly. — Swallows. — Their varie- 
ties. — Swallow trees at Middlebury and Bridport. — The Bobo- 
link. — Robin. — Quadrupeds, wild. — Wolf. — Bear. — Squirrel, 
Gray and other kinds. — Fox. 

Dendrology. — Evergreen trees. — Hardwood trees — Sugar maple. 
— Its beauty. — Changes in its foliage. — The beech. — The beau- 
tiful form and appearance of trees. — The spruce. — The elm. — 
Trees mentioned by ancient writers. — Homer. — Virgil. — In the 
sacred Scriptures. — Classical and venerable. — The Wellington 
tree. — Various shapes of the elm. — Two in Berlin, Ct. — Con- 
trasted. — A venerable pine 301 

CHAPTER XXTIL 

Vermont well watered. — Water power. — Little subject to drought. 
— Torrents. — Floods in the spring. — Devastations by water. — On 
the banks of the Connecticut. — Passage between cakes of ice. 
Droughts. — Rivers. — Otter creek. — Onion. — Lamoille. — West 
river. — Valley through which it passes. — Its channel in sum- 



CONTENTS. j^ 

mer. — In the spring- and in floods. — Snow in different seasons 
and places. — Travel over drifts. — Snow bridges. — Seasons of 
plunging and slumping. — Funerals, and tombs for winter accom- 
modations. — The winter of 1842-3 remarkable. —March and 
April. — A great flood. — Its ravages. — Prevalence of the ery- 
sipelas in some parts of the state. — A season of suffering. — 
A young man perishing in the snow near Windsor . . . 318 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Earliest records. —State papers. — Council of Safety. — Its origin 
lost. — How chosen. — Its jurisdiction and power. — Tories. — 
Their families. — Examples from the records of the governor 
and council. — The first public execution. — Excitement. — Anec- 
dote of Ethan Allen. — Treason, how defined. — Journal of the 
House of Representatives. — First constitution. — Some of its 
principles. — The custom of giving titles. — Origin of the supe- 
rior court. — The judges. — How chosen. — Its early proceedings. 
— Places of holding the general assembly 331 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Crossing the mountain in 1843. — Newfane Hill.— Stratton con- 
vention of 1840. — Scene among the mountains. — Sunderland. 
— House built by Ethan Allen. — Birth place of Jeremiah 
Evarts. — Manchester. — Session of the court there. — Going to 
College. — Manchester mountain. — Spruce timber. — Peru turn- 
pike. — Prospect. — School children. — Their salutations. — Ches- 
ter. — Convention of presbyterian and congregational ministers. 
— Tract society. — Morning prayer meeting. — Narrative of the 
state of religion. — Sabbath School Union. — Rev. Mr. Munger. 
— Hindoo girl. — Indians. — Puritans. — Temperance. — Education 
society.— Domestic Missions. — Lord's supper. — Crossing the 
mountain to Bennington in 1843. — Marlboro. — Wilmmgton. — 
Bennington furnace. — Reflections 346 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

Improvements in manners and morals. — Dandyism. — Mutual 
sympathy. — First settlers characterized by a distinguished tra- 
veler. — Early prejudices against evangelical doctrines and their 
advocates. — Law repealed relative to local societies. — Ministers 
of the gospel set afloat. — Their trials. — A sceptic preparing 
his own tomb. — Lock and key on a coffin. — Green mountain 
Farrier. — Roughness of deportment wearing away. — Evidence 



XVI 



CONTENTS. 



of it. — Manner of its progress. — Urbane and pol.^.— a manners. 
— Increasing respect for religion. — In the young especially. — 
Disturbance of public worship at New Haven, Ct. — Capital 
punishment.— Crimes. — Profaneness.— Gambling. — Other vices. 
— Temperance 362 

CHAPTER XXVII. 

Spirit of innovation. — Changes not always improvements. — 
Evils. — Multiplying out of proportion. — Churches. — Changing 
the site often and building new ones. — Slightly built. — Sanctity 
of time. — The proper materials for building them. — Stone 
and brick. — Frequent changes in the pastoral relation.— 
Consequences. — Contrast between the clerical and other 
professions. — Neglect of grave-yards. — North burying-ground 
in Hartford, Ct. and new one in New Haven. — Their location 
proper near churches.— Their influence on the living. — West- 
minster Abbey. — Lord Nelson. — Incentives and examples 
placed before Vermonters. — Conclusion 377 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 



CHAPTER I. 



Introduction, addressed to the youth of Vermont. — The natural 
conduct of children, often deviated from in youth and middle 
age. — The natural order to be pursued by them in the pursuit 
of knowledge. — The examination of things around them, and 
the scenery of their own State, claim their first attention. — The 
peculiar circumstances of their state in its establishment. — Its 
early history. — Its early fathers and magistrates subjects of 
study to them and veneration. — Its remembrance of the 
founders of their state, and gratitude for the blessings and privi- 
leges left them to be cultivated. — Past records of their state place 
before them the strongest incentives to mental cultivation. — 
The diffusion of knowledge, to the fear and love of God. — 
To preserve and enhance their heritage ; cherish the love of 
liberty, — Imbibe manly sentiments, and exhibit a manly deport- 
ment, cultivate physical energy and mental independence. — 
They place before them motives of the strongest kind to pre- 
serve hardihood of character. — To keep possession of and not 
desert the hills cleared by their fathers. — To render their state 
reputable and honorable in the view of other communities. — 
To cherish and encourage literature and literary men, and those 
of their own countries, rather than those of foreign countries. 

Children seek an acquaintance first with the things 
immediately around them. They look at the candle 
2 



18 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

which gives them light, — the fire which warms them, 
and the vessel from which they receive their food and 
drink. Domestic animals early attract their attention ; 
the dog, the cat, the barn-yard fowls ; the crowing of 
the cock, the lowing of the kine, and the bleating of the 
flocks. Their parents, and all the members of the 
family interest them ; and they imperceptibly become 
familiar with their looks and gestures, and the tones of 
their voices. As they increase in years and stature, they 
extend their views to objects more distant ; to the green 
hills and vallies around them ; to the woodland and 
forests. The singing of the birds, and whistling of the 
wind catch their ears, and fill their minds. They look 
attentively at the lofty house ; and at the spires and 
turrets, which adorn churches. They begin to eye with 
emotion the distant horizon ; the blue hills which limit 
their sight ; the setting sun ; the rising moon and twink- 
ling stars. 

This is natural ; and by such gradations their views are 
imperceptibly extended, and their minds enlarged. The 
contrary would be unnatural. That is, it would be a 
transgression of order, for them to close their eyes and 
stop their ears on the objects, and to the sounds near 
and around them ; and strive to look first at things far 
distant: to view the mountain prospect, and scan the 
wonders of the sky ; to measure the other bodies of the 
solar system before taking a view of the one on which 
they were born ; and listen to the murmurs and thunders 
of heaven, before heeding the songs of their mothers ; 
and understanding the accents and motions of their 
fathers and kindred. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 19 

Equally natural and becoming would it be for the 
youth of a community to become acquainted first with 
the history of their native State ; the time and circum- 
stances of its settlement ; by whom, and the difficulties 
encountered and overcome in doing it. They should 
take pleasure in making themselves acquainted with the 
progress in subduing the forests, and rendering the soil 
feasible and productive, with the increase of its popula- 
tion ; and the improvements in the arts and sciences. 
The melioration of society in manners and morals ; in 
accommodations and refinements, in morality and religion, 
should not be overlooked by them. With important 
early events, either of a physical or moral nature ; either 
of a civil or military character, they should be familiar. 
With the features of its primitive government ; the 
changes and modifications through which it may have 
passed, with the principal legal requisitions and prohi- 
bitions, and of the character of its chief magistrates they 
should not be ignorant. The leading traits of character 
in its inhabitants, their predecessors ; their virtues and 
chief excellencies and ruling passions, not omitting their 
foibles and defects, as incentives to amendment, should 
be looked out and well scanned by them. 

Having done this, they may extend their researches 
and inquiries to other states, and to the nation. A 
general knowledge of the history of the states composing 
this great Republic, and of the republic itself as a whole 
is an object very desirable ; and the youtji of Vermont 
should feel emulous to acquire it. Indeed they need 
not stop here, but circumstances permitting, can continue 



20 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

their researches, till a general comprehensive view of 
the world be gained by them. With the aid of science 
they can look at the other planets of the solar system, 
and at the heavenly bodies, '' which rule by day, and 
give light by night." This would be the natural course 
of things. But should they shut their eyes on the 
objects immediately before them, and neglect to examine 
the records of their own state, and monuments on which 
are written the names and deeds of their progenitors ; 
and cultivate an acquaintance first with the events of 
other states and nations ; the transactions of other gene- 
rations and deeds of past ages and remote antiquity ; 
and with regions separated from them by seas and 
oceans, their course would be preposterous and unnatural. 
But this doing violence to nature and congruity, is often 
witnessed : many neglecting what is of easy access and 
most valuable, for that which is difficult and remote, and 
less useful when reached. In estimating the value and 
excellence of a thing, many are prone to inquire first, if 
it is of foreign production, from what quarter brought, 
and at what expense and hazard ! Whatever is of 
native growth and production, they hastily conclude to 
be of little value and neglect to examine ; and turn their 
pursuit after that which is far distant, and associated 
with names of greater celebrity. This is somewhat 
characteristic of Americans ; particularly as it regards 
the productions of the mind, works of literature and 
science. In some measure also, it is the case relative 
to history. The history of other countries and ages 
must be read first, and our own historians and writers 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 21 

last, and reluctantly, as we submit to wear home-spun 
clothes when we can afford no other. This anti-patriolic 
spirit will, it is hoped, be of short duration ; and coun- 
teracted, especially by the youth of the green mountain 
state. 

What would you say of a man placed providentially 
in the midst of beautiful scenery, but who should close 
his eyes upon it, and fatigue himself in vain to find 
better views and landscapes in some far distant and 
unknown regions ? Who from a hasty glance at what 
was around him, should conclude that the Maker of 
these things had done better in some other place ; and 
therefore pay no regard to what he saw, till he had made 
thorough search for something more excellent, some- 
where to be seen ? Who should neglect to gaze at the 
lofty mountains and beautiful vales before him ; overlook 
the rivers and streams, flowing majestically along their 
channels, or dashing down in torrents from the neighbor- 
ing hills ; blink at the variegated hues of the forest ; 
and stop his ears against the music of birds flitting 
through woodlands and across his path ? Who should 
spend his early and best days in search for more elevated 
mountains ; mightier rivers, more pleasant meadows and 
vallies ; and sweeter notes from nature's songsters in 
some other parts of the earth ? Would he not seem to 
'you infatuated ; running counter to the order of nature, 
and making himself anxious to little purpose, seek- 
ing far for that which was near and within his 
reach ? 

Would it not be equally incongruous for you to neg- 



22 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

lect and undervalue the rural scenery of your native 
state ; its variegated, endlessly diversified views and pros- 
pects, its majestic mountains and beautiful rivers, and its 
forests cheered with the notes of their own songsters ; 
and seek an acquaintance with familiar things in other 
countries, or study first the writings of foreigners, and 
those, whose opportunities have enabled them to write 
of far distant places from personal knowledge ? 

The peculiar circumstances attending the establishment 
of Vermont, as an independent state, claim the early 
attention, and should excite the interest and curiosity of 
her children. 

The acquisition of American Independence is a noble 
and perpetual theme for the orator and patriot. Ver- 
mont state sovereignty was an achievement little less 
glorious ; and ought by her citizens to be viewed as 
such, and cherished by her latest posterity as an honor- 
able distinction. She can show on her banner what no 
other state in the union can : not only freedom from 
oppression in common with her sister states ; but the 
badge of her own Independence, established against the 
conflicting claims of neighboring Republics, and the 
long interference and interdiction of the national coun- 
cils. Vermont is indeed small compared with the whole 
Union, and the measures which resulted in her maintain- 
ing a place in the Republic ; and the circumstances 
attending them may be forgotten, or unknown by the 
citizens generally of the nation. Their interest in them 
was always comparatively small, and has been growing 
less and less since the settlement of the difficulties. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 23 

Her success, or failure in her struggles for justice periled 
the welfare of few, compared with the issue of the war 
of the Revolution. But the principle was the same, and 
numbers can never effect the principles of right and 
justice. In common with their countrymen, Vermonters 
rejoice in freedom from foreign tyranny as a nation ; and 
for the smiles of Providence on their own cause in ren- 
dering them a free and sovereign state. This fact, then, 
that of her individual State-Independence should be 
kept in perpetual memory. Her youth should be emulous 
to make themselves early and well acquainted with the 
singular complexion of their origin and being ; the 
manner of their gaining a name and standing on a 
level with the other republics which form this great 
empire. 

It is always an Interesting inquiry relative to any state, 
nation or important enterprise, what was the character of 
its origin 1 What was the cause which gave rise to it ; 
what circumstances had a controlling influence on its 
subsequent destiny ? Battles the most bloody, and 
events the most important have resulted from trifling 
incidents that the hand of God in them might be more 
visible. The wife of Marshal Ney in a thoughtless 
moment was reproached by the wives of the ancient 
Bourbon peers of France as upstart nobility. She com- 
plained of it to her husband. He vowed revenge. He 
prepared the way for the return of Napoleon from Elba ; 
and this led to the flight of the Bourbons : and the re- 
ascending of the throne of France by the exile ; the 
mustering of a powerful army, and the celebrated battle 



24 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

of Waterloo ; the dethroning of Bonaparte and confine- 
ment on St. Helena ; the condemnation of Ney, and 
his being shot down by a file of his own men, and his 
wife distracted. The most loathsome reptile must be 
the instrument of our parents' fall : and the eating of the 
forbidden tree the origin of the knowledge of good and 
evil, and of the overwhelming ills which have deluged 
the earth. The flooded, ruined, depopulated earth was 
to be re-peopled with man, animal, and insects of 
every kind, from an ark prepared by Noah. The hollow, 
defective trunk of an oak in Hartford, was the place of 
deposit for the Royal Charter of Connecticut liberty, 
and which thus escaped the searching eye of tyranny, 
to blot out the articles of her rights and privileges. The 
cupidity of a Dutch Sea Captain led to the settlement 
of New England ; being bribed to land the pilgrims from 
Holland at a point northeast from that stipulated ; 
leaving the mouth of the Hudson for the Hollanders to 
occupy. Thus in causes apparently trivial, the founda- 
tion was laid for New England's greatness and glory. 
A hardy, intelligent, and enterprising people, and 
many of them devoted to the fear of the Lord, sprung 
from the small band of persecuted pilgrims, who came 
from England by the way of Holland, and more than 
two hundred years ago commenced the settlement of 
New England. 

The cupidity of a few land-jobbers over-persuading 
the government of New York to give permission to 
demand of the first settlers of this territory, either to 
re-purchase, or quit their farms, gave rise to Vermont as 



HISTORY OF VERMO NT. 25 

a separate, independent jurisdiction. The first is a 
matter of curiosity to all ; and ought to be especially so 
to the youth of this state, and not only of interest and 
curiosity to them, but they should regard it as a duty to 
make themselves familiar with the long train of events 
which followed this unhappy effort to annul the New 
Hampshire grants ; the measures taken ; the parties con- 
cerned ; and the difficulties and the evils encountered 
and suffered. 

They should also cultivate an affectionate remem- 
brance and veneration of the early patriots of their 
native state. In common with their fellow youth 
throughout the union, Washington and the signers of 
the Declaration of Independence should hold the first 
place in their hearts. But to give them this place, some 
knowledge of them is necessary : their names, residence, 
distinctive characters, and their public deeds. A gene- 
ral knowledge of these pioneers of our country's liberty 
every youth ought to have. So also with regard to 
those, who stood forward, the champions of Vermont 
Independence ; and by self denial and perseverance ; 
by forbearance and wisdom, with the divine blessing on 
their efforts succeeded in securing it. Their children, 
descendants, ought to cherish a remembrance of these 
men for their deeds and patriotic virtues. They can 
indeed find none among them who signed the Declara- 
tion of July 4th, '76, because they were not then known 
and acknowledged as a state. But they will find 
among them those, who signed the declaration of the 
independence of their own state, claiming the same 



26 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

privileges and rights as those enjoyed by the rest of the 
Union. These are the men to be venerated by you not 
less than those, who proclaimed separation from the 
mother country, and ordained a government of their 
own. To do this you must have some knowledge of 
them, and their deeds ; some account of their origin, 
and characters, and of the incidents through which they 
passed. Grecian youth, even of the present day, hold 
in affectionate remembrance Leonidus, who with his 
three hundred companions fell for his country at the 
straits of Thermo polae ; and the Jews still venerate 
David, who slew the boasting Goliah the defier of Israel 
and the blasphemer of Israel's God. Those then who 
enlisted their powers of body and mind, and periled 
every thing dear to them to ward off oppression, and 
shed their blood in defence of freedom and justice ; that 
the country you occupy, the hills, vallies and mountains 
now trod by the feet of freemen, should not be parti- 
tio7ied, and their farms taken from them, ought not to be 
forgotten by you. You ought not suffer their names to 
sink into oblivion. But you should feel emulous to 
perpetuate them, and be able to inform the inquiring 
traveler or foreigner, whence came the Allens, the 
Chittendens, the Chipmans, the Fays, the Bradleys, 
the Robinsons, and others ; where they lived ; what the 
manly sentiments and resolves which fell from their 
pens ; the deeds of their hands, and where are their 
sepulchres. 

Important transactions and events of a public nature 
in which they and their associates bore a part, should be 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 27 

interesting to you. Incidents, which in themselves 
might seem trivial, yet as illustrating their characters, 
become attractive and should be preserved. A new 
fact relative to them ; or public action of theirs ; or 
patriotic, manly sentiment uttered by them ; or a single 
instance of personal sacrifice for the cause of justice and 
human right, sought out by you and reserved from 
the rust of time, and accumulations of subsequent 
events, would be more valuable than volumes of future 
story. 

You ought also to be grateful for the heritage left 
you by these pioneers who have gone to their rest. 
Youth of Vermont ! Young men of the Green Moun- 
tains ! have you not abundant reasons for gratitude in 
view of the inheritance handed down to you by their 
labors and sacrifices 1 You inhabit a goodly land, rich 
and productive, ample ; affording room for a great people. 
You have a land of green hills and vallies ; a land of 
endless variety ; the home of farmers and artisans ; 
abounding in flocks and herds, and in the noble horse ; 
the nursery of a hardy race, the birth-place of freemen ; 
a soil subdued by the hands of the owners ; a country 
of schools and sanctuaries. Preserve it as a precious 
boon made ready to your hand by the virtue, hardi- 
hood, endurance and wisdom of your fathers, grateful 
that so rich a portion has been meted out to you. Your 
form of government ; your constitution and laws ; your 
courts of justice and rights of suffrage, are they not 
perpetual blessings which should interest the affections of 
your hearts ; and inspire you with a grateful sense of the 



28 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Divine smiles, which have given you so goodly a heritage, 
and made you to differ from so many youth of the 
human family ? Where is the people to whom a greater 
portion of worldly happiness falls, than to you? In 
what place do the youth go forth to the ordinary em- 
ployments of life with less anxiety, more cheerfulness, 
and a stronger feeling of security ? Where is the frame- 
work of society more sound ; and will you not see that 
the structure shall be carried forward with correspond- 
ing strength, comeliness and durability ? Holding the 
medium between overbearing wealth, and abject, servile 
poverty, you are comparatively a community of equals ; 
and thus free from the envies and strifes engendered in 
places of great relative inequalities. The fruits of your 
industry and enterprise are your own ; and you feel 
little apprehensions of being made the victims of rapine 
and violence, or of oppression and fraud. 

Are not your blessings signal ; and will you not honor 
the instruments through whom you enjoy them, by 
estimating their value, and making of them a wise and 
grateful use? Do they not involve strong obligations 
on your part, to preserve these distinguished favoi*s 
unimpaired ? 

Surely you cannot deny these obligations. They are 
as evident as the sun at noon-day ; and it is hoped you 
feel no desire to evade them ; and never will manifest a 
disposition to disown them, or lessen their force. 

A strong motive to the discharge of these obligations, 
will be a correct understanding of past facts as seen in 
the records of history ; and history too of the Provi- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 29 

dencee; of the past, which through the alternations of 
hope and fear, of despondency and confidence, enabled 
your forefathers, in the face of many difficulties, and 
powerful opposition, to secure you the privilege of being 
called Vermonters, " Green Mountain Boys." You 
should read and ponder the narrative of sober realities, 
not fictions, which the first generation of your state 
experienced in conflict with several powerful states, her 
neighbors, and with the national government ; brandish- 
ing if not the weapons of war, the instruments of argu- 
ment and law, and justice, affixing now and then to 
their measures the ^' Beech SeaV These events and 
facts should be known and retained by you as a matter 
of history, and belonging to your own state, a distinctive, 
verdant badge of her coat of arms. You should engage 
in this business of tracing your way back to the early 
footsteps of your Commonwealth, not with a view of 
uncovering the embers of strife, and reviving contention 
long since hushed in peace. Of the facts you may pos- 
sess yourselves, without imbibing prejudices against the 
parties. You are thus invited to turn your attention to 
this subject, that you may gain a knowledge of these 
things relative to the early settlement of your state and the 
establishment of a distinct government, to be ignorant 
of which would not be reputable, especially to Ver- 
monters. 

Thus the knowledge of the price at which your bles- 
sings and privileges have been obtained, should operate 
as a motive to appreciate them duly, and to do all in 
your power to preserve them and to extend them to the 



30 HISTORY OF VERMONT, 

generations that shall come after you. Let your coun- 
try — let your native state be as dear to you as life itself. 
You will thus be solicitous to exert all your powers, 
that her standard of excellence may rise higher and 
higher. 

You may do this by mental cultivation, by storing 
your mind with useful knowledge ; diligently improving 
your leisure hours, and all favorable opportunities to 
become qualified for the parts, which may fall to you in 
the drama of life. A small portion of time separated 
daily to salutary reading and study, will gradually and 
in a few years furnish you with a fund of knowledge 
and information, which may prepare you for the most 
important trusts and employments of society. By the 
acquisition of learning and science then, and advance- 
ment in the liberal arts, you may extend the name and 
praise of your state ; and secure for it a glory more 
durable than that of arms and victory. 

The general diffusion of knowledge in a state will be 
followed with warmer attachments to her institutions and 
privileges. This will be effected by your efforts ; the 
united efforts of the young ; by the union of mind with 
mind ; the generous collision of intellect with intellect, 
thus eliciting the fire of energetic thought, and the force 
of eloquent expression. Such means will increase your 
love to your state ; and have a tendency to lead you to 
measures and deeds, rendering it reputable and honor- 
able in the eyes of the people. 

A community is made more truly honorable by science 
and learning, than by the deeds of war and extent of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 31 

her dominions ; or by the ostentation of ^^'ealth and 
luxury. This is evinced by the histories of all past 
nations. They are remembered with more veneration 
for the men of learning and useful knowledge, to whom 
they gave birth, than for their heroes or even magistrates. 
The honor of giving birth to Homer has been claimed 
by several cities ; but what city or province has con- 
tended for the honor of producing Alexander or Caesar ? 
Relative to the first Alexander, the only contention 
about his birth, was whether he was the son of Philip, 
or of Jupiter in the form of a serpent, which was said 
to have been seen in his mother's bed-chamber. Is the 
birth-place of Napoleon an object of more curiosity, 
than that of Shakespeare, or John Milton, the author of 
Paradise Lost. 

If then even a few literary men have procured lasting 
renown to their country, how great the honor of the 
land, whose entire youthful population should be well 
educated ? This is a glory left, it is hoped, to our 
country, and your beloved state ; the glory of the dis- 
trict school system, and the public provision for the 
instruction of all, the children of the poor as well as of 
the rich. 

In this way also, by your united efforts in the pursuit 
of learning, you may be instrumental in the formation of 
a national literature. Foreigners have reproached us 
with making up a patch-work of letters, borrowed from 
various sources and destitute of national traits. Before 
pleading guilty to this charge, the question [what consti- 
tutes a national literature?] ought first to be decided. 



3^ HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

If it be a literature corresponding with the civil and 
religious institutions of a country, and producing an 
enthusiastic attachment to them, have we not such a 
literature ? Is it not guided yet by the same spirit, 
which moved the pen of Dwight and others during the 
Revolution in the patriotic writings and songs, which 
animated the soul, and strengthened the arm of the 
soldier in that glorious struggle for liberty and indepen- 
dence ? The battle field and council chamber of that 
period are consecrated spots, to which the youth of our 
country turn with enthusiasm ; and a succinct record of 
the events, which marked those times of trial, and the 
parts taken in the contest by the several states, would 
aid in inspiring the youthful mind with veneration for the 
heroes and statesmen of our Independence. The his- 
tories and writings which duly delineate the past events 
of our country, and of the state to which we belong ; 
and give a correct account of our government and laws, 
our liberties and religious institutions, the manners, cus- 
toms, and characters of the people, inspiring a strong 
love of our native land, are conv^ersant with national 
literature. It is absurd to call any other national, but 
the literature which has reference to our country's 
institutions ; the character and pursuits of its inhabi- 
tants ; the nature of its government and laws, its religion, 
and the transactions which have resulted from its con- 
nexion with other nations of the earth. 

But by the fear and love of God, you must seek 
above all things else, to perpetuate and extend the praise 
of your state ; thus rendering stable her blessings and 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 33 

institutions. " Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin 
is a reproach to any people." " Wisdom is the pearl 
of great price ; and the fear of the Lord is the begin- 
ning of wisdom, and to depart from evil is understand- 
ing." Attentively study the bible. Its literature, as 
such, excels that of every other book in the world. It 
stands unrivaled in sublimity and beauty ; in tenderness ; 
in narrative and in poetry. Milton read it daily and 
drank deeply of its spirit. Hence it was in a measure 
that he produced an Epic Poem, which according to 
Johnson '' is the second in the world only because it 
was not the first." Let it be made one of your classics ; 
a book not to be read only ; but studied and recited, 
and explained by teachers in its comparative literary 
excellences. You may thus have a strong hope, not 
only of promoting genuine learning and sound morals, 
but the honor of your state. What is far more impor- 
tant, you may have hope that the Spirit will accompany 
the word and inspire that knowledge, which will stand 
by you at the judgment when the secrets of all hearts 
will be revealed : that Spirit to whom Milton devoutly 
prayed — 

" Thou, O spirit, that dost prefer 
Before all temples th' upright heart and pure, 
Instruct me, for thou know'st ; 

* * # * What in me is dark, 
Illumine : 

That I may assert eternal Providence 
And justify the ways of God to men." 

You are not qualified for the duties of life till your 
3 



34 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

minds are imbued with the fear and love of God. You 
are not prepared for its vicissitudes without them. These 
are your only security for your persevering fidelity to the 
trust confided to you ; the only assurance that your 
whole course will reflect credit on your native state ; 
sustain and increase her reputation in the Republic. 
They are the only safeguard of your own reputation, 
and perseverance to the end in well doing. 

This goodly heritage you may preserve, and increase 
the praise of your state by the cultivation of manly 
sentiments. Such were the sentiments pre-eminently 
of your early predecessors. A good example in this 
respect have they left you ; noble sentiments animated 
their bosoms, and were breathed forth in their words and 
actions. Imitate their example, and let the same spirit 
of freedom and independence inspire your hearts and 
govern your conducts. The children of freemen in a 
sense somewhat peculiar, a corresponding obligation rests 
on you to maintain the character untarnished. Discrimi- 
nate between genuine freedom and licentiousness. The 
reign of salutary law, is . the reign of circumscribed 
liberty. Submit to such restraint, for without it, liberty 
loses her safeoruard ; and havino: little or no assurance 
of security in your rights and enjoyments, you would 
be only nominally free. You would draw towards the 
borders of slavery. Cultivate then a knowledge of the 
true principles of liberty ; the rights of man, and frown 
on tyranny in all its forms ; the usurpation of power 
and oppression. Assert and maintain the claims of 
justice and equity. Free in your spirits as the moun- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. ' 35 

tain air you breathe, your sentiments will be manly, and 
lead to manly conduct. You will not cower before the 
menacing eye of the tyrant ; but bid defiance to his 
denunciations, and rise superior to the intimidations and 
the feelings of servitude. 

This feeling of freedom will also guard you against 
the servile influence, growing too often from the love of 
money ; the absorbing pursuit of the times. Great is 
the homage claimed by overgrown wealth ; and its attend- 
ant power, and advantages, and ostentations hold many 
minds in obsequiousness. They control in a measure 
public opinion, and establish a kind'of tyranny to which 
you may find it difficult not to succumb. But to yield 
entirely to its sway is debasing, and an .impediment to 
mental culture and independence. While then you duly 
estimate the use of money, and encourage the acquisi- 
tion of a competence ; be not awe-struck at its tinsel 
flattery, and bow not to Mammon, ^' the least erected 
spirit that fell from heaven." There are other things 
more excellent ; and which cannot be purchased with 
silver and gold ; a mind endowed with a free and manly 
spirit ; well cultivated, and a heart stayed by the anchor 
of faith. 

Equally inconsistent with such a character would be 
yielding to effeminacy and the allurements of ease and 
pleasure. The youth of Vermont should be the last to 
be captivated with the blandishments of refinement and 
self-indulgence ; the last to relinquish an elastic, hardy 
temperament. The example of your predecessors for- 
bids such a retrograde ; the whole line of the mountain 



36 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

population forbids it ; your own situation and comfort 
forbid it. The fathers of your state scorned the syren 
song of indolence and self-enjoynaent. Supineness and 
ease marked not their course. They cowered not before 
the mountain tempest, or the whirlwind of political com- 
motion, or the storm of war. Shall the blessings and 
privileges thus secured to you, be lost or perverted by 
the want of self-denial or vigilance ? Will you suffer 
your comparatively favorable circumstances to enervate 
your energy and resolution and make you a puny race, 
afraid to ascend and overlook the summits of your moun- 
tains ; turn your backs upon the winds that roar among 
your forests ; and cover your faces and hide from the 
driving snow storm ? Shall the healthful, blooming 
complexion once so common on your hills and along 
your rivers and vallies, become pale and wan like the 
victims of the ague and fever on the fens and marshes 
of the south and west ? You will feel keenly the vigors 
of your northern climate, in proportion as you render 
your bodies tender and delicate by wrong training and 
nursing. Through mistaken notions of gentility and 
exquisite appearance you may become too susceptible, 
and. shiVer before the keen winds of the north, which 
would only fan the early fathers and mothers of your 
state. 

Cultivate then physical energy ; bodily health, for 
mental vigor and elasticity depend much on this. At 
any rate, the mind cannot be long and profitably 
exercised, unless the faculties of the body are in a 
healthful tone. As dwarfs and pigmies are formed by 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 37 

early subjecting the bodily frame to narrow, straitened 
chests and boxes ; so the mind by yielding to the pres- 
sure of tyranny, to the love of money, the arrogance of 
ostentatious, overbearing wealth, and the fascinations of 
ease and pleasure, may be reduced to Lilliputian dimen- 
sions. In such circumstances you would find yourselves 
illy prepared for the changes of a Vermont winter ; and 
in some of its sudden gales might lose your foot-hold. 
By the union then of mental and bodily resoluteness 
and vigor, you may with the Divine blessing, pass your 
time pleasantly, and not only keep the vantage ground 
given you, but rise higher. 

In this way you would be qualified, and feel disposed 
to keep the possession of the hills cleared and made 
ready to your hands by those who have gone before you. 
In this the writer uses not figurative language ; but it is 
true to the letter, that many of the hilly and exposed 
parts of Vermont, as it is related in the sequel, are in 
danger after having been subdued, fenced, and occupied 
by buildings and cultivators, of being deserted, and going 
back to a state of nature, regained by the bear and 
wolf. Have you not observed one and another of your 
acquaintance retreating from elevated, windy positions 
into the lowlands ; and taking shelter in the vallies and 
cavities; behind projecting mounds and clumps of trees ? 
Have you not seen and known one building after another 
taken down and rebuilt in a more retired, quiet place ? 
Now is there not somewhat of retrograde in this ? May 
it not go too far? But you will say, may we not choose 
our own situation, and meliorate our circumstances ? 



38 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Must we live on ground so exposed, that both hands 
sometimes are scarcely enough to keep our heads cover- 
ed, because our fathers, lived there before us ? Was it 
not enough that they encountered the winds of these 
unprotected ridges for half a century till their heads 
were assimilated to the frosts and snows around them ? 
Do we not hear it said by one and another, and our 
elders too, " I have lived on this hill long enough ?" 
" I mean to move down to the foot of it." — " The snow 
drifts have burrowed me up here often enough ; I intend 
going to a warmer country." " Must we stay, till all 
leave us but such as are unable to make good their 
retreat." 

Choice of situation in which to live, is indeed free to 
all in itself considered ; and exchange of place is often 
desirable and advantageous ; and many mutations have 
been happily made. The writer could not but admire 
the filial affection of the young man, who had made 
provision to move his aged father to the flat, at the foot 
of the lofty bleak hill, on which he had long toiled and 
buffeted the storm of many a winter. But age had 
now crippled him, and he could do little more than listen 
to the howling of the tempest and look at the drifting 
snow. The son was disappointed in his intentions ; for 
death removed the father to another world, before he 
had time to carry them into execution. In relating it, 
he was grieved that his purpose had been frustrated. 

Motives like these would surely justify you in doing 
what you can to accommodate the aged and infirm, in 
retired and quiet situations, many of which are to be of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 39 

found in your own state. But frequent as they are, 
they are insufficient to contain all, young and old. All 
cannot live upon the banks of the rivers ; or in the 
ravines and openings between the mountains ; or in the 
village, and centre of business. Some must dwell on 
the sides and summits of the hills. As well might all 
pursue similar employments, as claim like situations as 
places of residence. Agriculture is your principal pur- 
suit ; and the hills often present superior advantages to 
the farmer. If these are to be deserted, where will be 
your means of sustaining the increasing inhabitants of 
the Green Mountains ? In the beauty and grandeur of 
prospects, the advantage is almost exclusively on your 
side as occupiers of these overlooking elevations. They 
furnish summer abodes most delightful ; and enjoying 
the cool and reviving breezes undulatinf]f around the 
uplands and hill tops, you may commiserate those pent 
up between the hills, sweltering under the scorching rays 
of mid-summer's sun. Do not these advantages in a 
measure compensate for the inconveniences of winter ; 
and reconcile you to a hill residence even if it shall 
have a northern bleak exposure ? Surely you must feel 
reluctant at relinquishing entirely the high ground occu- 
pied by your fathers ; and give up conquests made upon 
the dominions of the forests. The pride of ancestry, 
and the fear of deterioration, one would think must not 
only stimulate you to keep the ground already wrested 
from nature ; but to make further inroads upon her terri- 
tories. Raise still higher the standard of subjugation ; 
and let the rays of the sun into some other yet untouched 



40 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

" contiguity of shade." " Green Mountain Boys," de- 
scendants of those, who held fast the '' New Hampshire 
grants," surrendering the cleared hills back to the beasts 
of the forest ; and chased by the catamount, wolf and 
bear to the rivers, into the lowlands and cavities of the 
mountains ! Instead of following the eagle to the " clefts 
of the rock," turned back by the hootings of the screech- 
owl ! The stranger, perhaps the friend of your father, 
from a distant state, calls on you, at your residence on 
the flat, or in the valley ; perhaps a traveler from abroad. 
He eyes with silent emotion the neighboring eminence. 
He wishes to ascend it and view the surrounding scenery. 
Your hospitable reception of him, gives him confidence 
to ask you to accompany him. You cannot refuse, but 
conceal your aversion to the eftbrt. He admires the 
prospect, but observes the marks of former residences ; 
footsteps of an old settlement ; evidences that the hill 
top on which he stands had been trod by human feet 
before in the ordinary pursuits of life. 

In answer to his inquiries, you have to confess the 
truth ; that your predecessors cleared that hill and lived 
and died upon it ; living to a good old age, robust and 
hale. But say you " we could not stand it. It was too. 
cold, windy and snowy. We had to give it up and go 
down to the flat, and valley, shielded by the surrounding 
hills from the piercing northern blasts. We are more tender 
and delicate than our fathers and mothers. We cannot 
endure such hardships as they encountered." A compli- 
ment this indeed would be to them ; but a confession 
from you, one would think accompanied with blushing. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 41 

The following stanzas taken from the KnicJcerhoclcer^ 
may not be inappropriate in this place. 



''THE HILLS." 

' The hills !— the " everlasting hills !" 

How peerlessly they rise, 
Like Earth's gigantic sentinels 

Discoursing in the skies. 
Hail ! Nature's storm-proof fortresses, 

By freedom's children trod; 
Hail ! ye invulnerable walls. 

The masonfjr of God ! 

When the dismantled pyramids 

Shall blend with desert dust, 
When every temple made with hands 

Is faithless to its trust, 
Ye shall not stoop your Titan crests. 

Magnificent as now ! 
Till your Almighty Architect 

In thunder bids you bow ! 

I love the torrents, strong and fierce, 

That to the plain ye fling, 
Which gentle flowers drink at their goal. 

And eagles at their spring ; 
And when arrested at their speed 

By winter's wand of frost. 
The brilliant and fantastic forms 

In which their waves are tossed. 

Glorious ye are, when noon's fierce beams 

Your naked summits smite. 
As o'er ye day's great lamp hangs pois'd 

In cloudless chrysolite ; 



42 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Glorious, when o'er ye sunset clouds 

Like broidered curtains lie : 
Sublime, when, through dim -moonlight, looms 

Your special majesty. 

I love your iron-sinewed race — 

Have shared their rugged fare — 
The thresholds of whose eyrie homes 

Look out on boundless air : 
Bold hunters, who from highest clififs 

The wild goat's trophies bring. 
And crest their bonnets with the plumes 

Of your atrial king ! 

I love the mountain maidens — 

Their step's elastic spring 
Is light as if some viewless bird 

Upbuoyed them with its wing ; 
Theirs is the wild, unfettered grace 

That art hath never spoiled, 
And theirs the healthful purity 

That fashion hath not coiled. 

Mountains ! I dwell not with ye now, 

To climb ye and rejoice — 
And round me boometh, as I write 

A crowded city's voice ; 
But oft in watches of the night, 

When sleep the turmoil stills. 
My spirit seems to walk abVoad 

Among ye, mighty hills ! 



Cherishing such an attachment to your native state ; 
its founders and institutions, you will encourage the 
literary and scientific productions of your countrymen, 
rather than those of foreigners. Works of merit you will of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 43 

course honor, from what quarter soever coming. But you 
will not surely approve every thing of this kind because 
it is foreign, nor reject it because it is American: other 
things being equal, the latter should claim your prefer- 
ence. Even agricultural societies in awarding pre- 
miums, give a preference to animals of a native growth 
and pure American breed. Why not do so with regard to 
mental productions? Would it not be patriotic ; and a 
merited frown on those publishers, who are flooding the 
country with foreign reprints at a rate so cheap as to 
discourage native writers? Well may we be reproached 
for the want of a national literature, so long as our 
Belle-lettres, and works of science and history come 
principally from abroad. Being reprinted here without 
the purchasing of the copyright, wealthy and indepen- 
dent book establishments can afford them cheaper than 
they could similar works of our own countrymen. 
For the authors must of course be paid something for 
their labor, and the publication made out from manu- 
scripts. These reprints will continue to inundate the 
reading world, so long as they are demanded and wel- 
comed by the public. 

If your school books for improvement in reading are 
filled with selections of foreign composition, will not the 
rising generation be imbued with a foreign, rather than a 
national literature ? Is it not time that the taste and 
habit in this respect were corrected? If we have no 
writings suitable for schools, let it be known and 
confessed, and the aid of foreigners humbly craved. 

Besides if your school books are always, as they now 



44 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

are, to be mere compilations ; consisting of as many 
different subjects as chapters, what permanent effect can 
they have on children and youth ? They may improve 
in enunciation by the use of them ; and is not this all ? 
But if works on some connected and important subject, 
one of an historical narrative were placed in their hands, 
they might be treasuring valuable information while 
making improvement in reading. They might be laying 
up facts relative to their own country, of which they 
should not be ignorant. 

Lend your influence and example then to patronize 
meritorious scholars of your state and nation. Let the 
books read in your primary schools, be those which 
describe things around you ; events and historical facts, 
worthy of remembrance. Let them be such as will 
inspire the young with a love of their own country ; 
and furnish them with the outlines of its history ; the 
features of its government and institutions. See that 
they are such as will imperceptibly imprint on their 
minds, the very knowledge which will be wanted in 
subsequent life ; and while in the pursuit of elementary 
studies, furnish them with facts and illustrations not 
easily forgotten. If the following pages should be found 
conducive to this ; a suitable reading book for schools ; 
the design of the writer will be accomplished ; ' and 
therefore while bespeaking their candor, and favorable 
regard as far as deserved, it affectionately dedicates 
itself to the youth of Vermont. 



45 



CHAPTER II. 

General description of the state. — Its name. — Surface. — Exterior 
appearance. — Its shape, and boundaries. — Road from Brattle- 
boro to Albany. — Scenery near Bennington and Manchester. — 
Former and present stage route across the mountain. — Road on 
the banks of the Battenkill, through Arlington. — Deceptive 
appearance of the distant prospects. — A^ariegated appearance 
in Rutland county and Addison. — Chimney Point. — The coun- 
try along Lake Champlain to Burlington and St. Albans. — 
Franklin County. — Prospect from Westford. — Soil on the Con- 
necticut river. — On the hills and vallies east side ; and on the 
west side of the mountain . — How enriched . — Interval. — Hills. — 
Soil near Rutland, Middlebury and other places. — Gardens and 
productions of Burlington. — Franklin county compared with 
other counties. — Crops produced, how abundantly. — Agricul- 
tural fair at Sheldon. — Cattle, beef and pork. — Dairies. — Butter, 
Cheese. — How put up for market. — Wool. — Extensive flocks. 
— How kept. — Honey Bee. — Patent Hive. — Sugar. 

Vermont was the last settled of the New England 
States ; and admitted into the Union not till after the 
Revolutionary war. It is divided by the Green Moun- 
tains, which run from north east to south west, its 
whole length ; the eastern border being washed by the 
Connecticut river, and the greater part of the western 
by Lake Champlain. 

Its name is descriptive of the mountain which passes 



46 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

through it, and was probably suggested by the evergreens 
which adorn it. It is composed of two words, which 
signify verdant and mountain. No state is more appro- 
priately named. No one in the Union has more beauti- 
ful and sublime mountain scenery. It presents many 
interesting and magnificent prospects. 

That portion of it, which is situated on the east side 
of the mountain is uneven and hilly, especially in the 
south eastern part, the interval on the Connecticut being 
narrow. In the northern part, the surface is less un- 
even ; the margin on the river wide, affording rich 
meadows and arable land, which are highly cultivated, 
and divided into beautiful farms. 

It presents on the map a figure of four unequal sides. 
The eastern line follows the winding and irregular course 
of the Connecticut, and is somewhat the longer side ; 
being about one hundred and ninety miles. The northern 
line is that which separates it from Canada, and is more 
regular, running from north east to south west, and is 
about ninety miles long. The western border is also 
very irregular, particularly that part washed by the waters 
of Champlain, which indents it with numerous bays, 
coves and inlets, forming beautiful Islands ; and a large 
one called Grand Isle, and which of itself makes a 
county. The southern part of this line, separating it 
from New York, is more regular. On the south it is 
divided from Massachusetts by a comparatively straight 
line of about forty miles in length. 

The southern part of the state is very uneven, the 
hills approaching to the very bank of the Connecticut, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 47 

and almost to the line of New York. For a number of 
years, the stage road from Brattleboro to Albany went 
directly over the highest ridges, and in many places is 
fearfully steep. The route is now more circuitous and 
less arduous, following the course of streams, winding 
round the hills, and leading you unexpectedly by a 
gentle declivity into Bennington or Manchester, if you 
wish to visit Saratoga Springs. If the present route is 
less difficult and laborious, a desirable relief to the 
horse, it affords fewer points of extensive and beautiful 
prospects to the traveler. The original direction of the 
road for twenty miles was mostly through the forest, 
over steep hills, and through deep vallies, with here and 
there a clearing, and a dwelling with its hospitable sign, 
surmounted by a rudely carved mountaineer, brandishing 
in the whistling wind, some implement of husbandry. 
On its summit, the lofty beeches and birches, bear the 
initials of many a traveler, which now like many other 
records of this world, are overgrown with moss, and will 
soon become illegible. Buj this route presents very 
extensive and interesting prospects to the east, south, 
and particularly to the west. 

From the summit near Bennington the prospect at a 
clear rising sun is majestic beyond description. The 
rays of the sun lead your view distinctly to, and even 
beyond the Helderberg, some forty miles beyond the 
Hudson, and down that river below the Catskill moun- 
tains. The mind is filled and elated with the contem- 
plation, and an early ride of ten or fifteen miles to reach 
this point with the rising sun, is richly rewarded by the 



48 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

pleasure of the scene. It is one calculated to impress 
the mind with reverential and grateful thoughts of God, 
and through his works let it run up to his throne in 
thanksgiving and praise. 

In passing this twenty miles of steep hills, and deep 
vallies, the stage required no more time than in going 
over the same distance on a level road. The time lost 
in going slowly up the steeps, was regained in going 
rapidly down the declivities. So rapid was the descent, 
that one needed steady nerves to abide it ; and yet no 
instance of being upset on this most difficult place of 
crossing the Green Mountains has been known, while on 
the level road from Bennington to Troy it has often 
been overturned. This mountain turnpike had become 
so proverbial, that a gentleman from Boston, passing it 
with his horse and chaise, said, " that if he had found 
it no more than perpendicular, he would have been 
satisfied ; but coming to the places where it leaned the 
other way, it was hard scratching,^^ But this is now 
one of the deserted ways of this world, and the new 
way runs a more easy course, and none need hesitate 
encountering it. 

The scenery around Manchester is delightful ; and 
to a stranger, very impressive. Indeed on visiting it for 
the first time, one is surprised that the inhabitants are 
apparently so unconscious of the unusual delineations of 
nature with which they are surrounded. One sees not 
how they can pursue their ordinary occupations and 
keep their eyes from becoming fixed on the interesting 
scenes, which the Spring, and Summer and Autumn 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 49 

present them. But Winter too, has its attractions in her 
snows and frosts which cover these lofty eminences, 
rendering them in appearance still more elevated and 
grand, overhanging the shrubbery and evergreens with 
their white drapery. 

In the sultry season of July and August, the traveler, 
returning from Saratoga Springs, crossing the Hudson 
near the battleground at Stillwater ; and passing through 
Unionville, has a delightful entrance into Vermont. The 
road running on the banks of Battenkill, and it seems 
difficult for art, having ample means at command, to 
contrive a route more engaging, or better calculated to 
please and animate the mind through the medium, of the 
eye. The interchange of sun and shade ; of gentle 
rising hills ; and of pleasant vallies ; of water flowing 
smoothly along in one place ; and in another, murmuring 
over the rocks and precipices, becomes more and more 
interesting as you leave the borders of New York. In 
passing through Arlington, the road on the margin of 
the river is nearly level, but skirted by gradually ascend- 
ing hills and mountains ; and in the sultry sun of Au- 
gust, the scenery around you will animate and cheer 
you, leaving impressions on your mind not easily effaced. 
You will remember a ride through Arlington during the 
fiery reign of Sirius, as long as you live. In some 
places the ascent from the stream and road seem so 
gradual and regular, that one would think them the 
work of art; in another, so abrupt and disjointed and 
irregular are the eminences and ridges, that the spectator 
regards them as the works of nature in one of her wild- 



50 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

est freaks. Here you see a gradual mounting up into 
the atmosphere at an angle of 45°, and as regular as the 
roof of a building. Then again you behold ragged, 
conical mounds running up into the upper regions, sepa- 
rated from one another by deep ravines, and dark gulfs. 
On the one hand, hills are covered with evergreens, 
intermingled with beech and maple ; on the other, the 
bold cliffs of granite and limestone glisten in the sun. 
These prominences shoot up before and around each 
other without the least regard to courtesy or deference ; 
for the more lofty and bulky ones obtrude their bodies 
athwart the smaller, raising their menacing heads above 
them, intercepting the rays of the sun, and casting them 
into the shade. But this uncourtliness of nature affords 
not the less enjoyment to the spectator, for it gives him 
a pleasing interchange of light and shade, as far as the 
eye can reach, and constantly varying as the sun appears 
to move from east to west. Now and then your eye 
lights upon a vast, deep, circular concavity ; one half of 
it bright with the sun's rays, and the other dark by the 
shade of the interposing trees and rocks. 

The traveler moves leisurely forward on a compara- 
tively smooth and level road, running alternately both 
sides of the Battenkill, the scenery on either hand 
'beguiling his fatigue, and the heat of the summer sun. 

The prospects around are enchanting, but somewhat 
•delusive like those of human life to the inexperienced 
youth. He sees before him a represantation of the 
difference between anticipation and reality ; between 
Viewing objects in the distance, and actually approaching 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 51 

theni. For should the traveler undertake to ascend 
these eminences, which skirt his way, and seem so gently- 
rising and so uniform, he would find how deceitful is 
the appearance. Steep and arduous will he find the 
ascent, which seems so gradual and easy of access ; rug- 
ged and broken too, instead of smooth and continuous. 
His way will be often unexpectedly entangled by under- 
brush and briars ; obstructed by ravines and fallen trees, 
and projecting rocks. The circular cavities, which 
appear to exclude the burning rays of the sun, inviting 
him to the cool, shady retreat to rest his limbs, he may 
find the lurking places of wild beasts, and the venomous 
reptiles. Such is the difference between human life in 
the prospect and in the sober reality ; and many a youth 
has experienced it in his contact with scenes and events 
of meridian and declining life. 

But such reflections improved, enable the civic trav- 
eler to hold on his way rejoicing ; and looking forward 
to the end of his pilgrimage when he shall see no more 
as through a glass darJcly, but as face to face. 

He is grateful for a sight now and then of the beauty 
and grandeur of the world which God has made ; and 
waits with patience for the prospects and landscapes of 
that better country ; that heavenly inheritance, which is 
incorruptible, undefiled, and fadeth not away. 

As you proceed through Dorsett and Paulett, simi- 
lar high ridges and deep broad vallies attract your atten- 
tion. Your eye is riveted ; and your mind can ascend 
in gratitude and reverence to the Maker of this world 
with all its varied beauty and magnificence. Indeed 



52 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

the west side of the mountain is more bold and striking 
than the eastern, especially in Bennington county and 
the south part of Rutland. 

Leaving this interesting region, as you go north, you 
approach the head of Champlain. The scenery now 
somewhat changes, but continues to inspire the mind 
with pleasing and elevating sensations. Deep ravines, 
or rather gulfs, in many places make their way from the 
sides of the mountain to the borders of the Lake. They 
seem like passages for the waters which fill its bed, and 
once gushed out, as it were, from the fountains, which 
abound in the everlasting hills of this state. 

Passing through Rutland you enter Addison county ; 
and taking the road on the borders of the Lake, you have 
delightful views on either hand. On your right, the 
distant mountains, with their diversified appearance 
of hills and vallies, of pines and firs, and maple and 
beech, with all their various intermingling forest trees 
and shrubbery. On your left, the surface of the Lake 
presents itself to you in a great variety of shapes and 
dimensions, winding its way between this and the state 
of New York. Its waters alternately expanding and 
contracting ; widening in one place as far as the eye 
can reach ; and in another apparently narrow enough 
for a rifle to throw a ball over it, you are presented with 
its endlessly diversified shores, and numerous islands, 
which dot its surface. — Many of these have traditionary 
and significant names ; and the various points and pro- 
jections ; and inlets and bays are known distinctly to the 
mariner and steam boat captain, as the mile stones of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. §g 

the turnpike to the mail carrier ; or the Railroad Depot 
to the conductors of the cars. 

Going in this direction you reach the town of Addi- 
son ; and on the shore a bold irregular projection, called 
Chimney Point ; a brick tenement with its hospitable 
sign, an interesting spot on which to pass a rainy day. 
The opposite shore is classic ground ; and the sun 
coming out of the clouds, you can almost see the remains 
of the forts of Crown Point. This is a spot to run the 
mind into sober and salutary contemplation ; and delay 
the traveler a day or two, to visit the opposite shore ; and 
look at the works of martial bands long since disbanded 
and motionless in the grave. 

The late Dr. Griffin, a short time before his death, spent 
several days here unattended, viewing the scenery, and 
the mementos of past and interesting events and trans- 
actions. This significant Point and the opposite shore, 
have been honored also by the footsteps and pen of Dr, 
Dwight. 

Pursuing your course northward, you enter Chittenden 
county ; and enjoy the pictured scenery of Charlotte, 
and other places, keeping your eye on the waters of 
Champlain, enlivened by the passing and repassing of 
sail boats ; and of the dark, smoking steamer. You are 
now drawing near Burlington bay, the road curving 
round this beautiful basin, so to speak, of water, and 
leading you abruptly and unexpectedly to the brow of 
the hill overlooking the pleasant town of Burlington ; 
one of the most pleasant in New England. It is about 



54 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

a mile square, situated on a declivity, descending gradu- 
ally to the shore of the Lake, westward. The view of 
the Lake from the summit of this declivity is very im- 
pressive. With the advantage of the morning sun, the 
naked eye can see the shores, and white buildings of 
Keysville, twenty miles distant, and almost to the place 
of M'Donough's victory over the British fleet near 
Plattsburg. 

Leaving Burlington, you soon come within the limits 
of Franklin county, which borders on Canada. The 
prospect south and west from the town of Westford, is 
one of the finest, even in this state ; abounding as it does, 
in situations the most enchanting and romantic. Bur- 
lington, fourteen miles distant, and a large portion of the 
Lake, appear to the naked eye from the elevation in the 
south part of this town [Westford] ; and the expanse 
beyond to the horizon fills the mind with emotions 
bordering on the sublime. You are fixed in the contem- 
plation ; and reluctantly leave the ground, affording such 
a display of unusual beauty and grandeur. But your 
way is to St. Albans, the principal town in this county. 
You find it situated on a level plat; and the ground 
around it even, excepting a gradual slope four miles to 
the Lake shore. The view of Champlain from it, is far 
less distinct and commanding than at Burlington. But 
the place is pleasant ; the main street long, regular, 
broad, and the buildings on it compact. Instead of a 
stinted, frozen village, which its Hyperborean situation 
would lead you to apprehend, you might think yourself 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 55 

in the main street of some large place or city. But 
having passed through this street, you have seen most of 
the village. 

Shelden and Enosburgh are towns in this part of the 
state, which afford great variety of appearance, many 
interesting points of view, and much attractive scenery. 
Missisquai river passes through this county. — Its cur- 
rent, and banks and adjacent meadows and hills are ob- 
jects of much curiosity to the traveler. Indeed one is 
ready to give the preference to this northern county, to 
any one in the state, in an agricultural point of view. 
The land is warm and rich ; and as early in producing 
many crops, and more so than the southern part. 

The land in Vermont, taken together, is good. In 
some parts it is rich and very productive. On the east 
side of the mountain, bordering immediately the Con- 
necticut, the soil is either a loam, or alluvial. At a dis- 
tance from the river, particularly in the south eastern 
part, it becomes what is called hard-pan. But this is a 
soil deep and strong, retaining long the manure applied 
to it. Extensive intervals, affording beautiful and pro- 
ductive farms, are found in Putney, Windsor, Newbury, 
Bradford, and other places. The vallies and hollows 
interspersed among the mountains and hills, are gene- 
rally very fertile, and of easy cultivation. The soil is 
a vegetable mould ; and kept in good heart, by the 
wash of the surrounding hills. Indeed nature seems to 
have provided a kind of compensation to this state for 
this inland position. The low lands are constantly more 
or less watered and enriched from the neiffhborino: emi- 



56 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

nences and ridges. Leaves falling annually and decay- 
ing, and trees broken down by storms, or yielding to 
age, decomposing, form a mould, which being washed 
down by the rains, and the dissolving of the snow in the 
spring, affords a yearly coat of good manure. In the 
absence of floodings by large rivers, this is no inconsider- 
able annual recruiting of the soil. 

On the west side of the mountain the soil in many 
places is argillaceous ; in others a mixture of clay and 
loam, particularly in Bennington, Rutland, and Addison 
counties. Here in the spring, and after heavy rains, the 
traveling is bad, particularly on what is called the Lake 
road. But the soil is very rich and productive. Fine 
tracts of land are seen in Rutland, Middlebury, Shore- 
ham, Bridport, Addison, Vergennes, and other places. 
In Chittenden county the soil is more loamy ; and in 
some parts of it sandy. But on the banks on Onion 
river is found some first rate land. In Burlington the 
soil is warm and early, producing most kinds of vegeta- 
bles and fruits that grow and come to maturity in any 
part of New England. In the village itself, the soil is 
somewhat various, but generally of a dark rich color, 
mellow and very productive, resembling that of Weth- 
ersfield, Ct. Going there in autumn you may see, 
and the writer has witnessed it more than once, the 
gardens full of the richest kinds of vegetables for the 
table ; and flowers to light the eye and regale the 
senses ; and the fruit trees bending with the pressure of 
the choicest fruit. You will see cauliflowers, and Lima 
beans growing to as great perfection as in New Haven, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 57 

Ct. ; and melons like those of Long Island. The 
apples, so large, and of such flavor ; the peach and pear 
and plum, so sound and full and delicious, you will find, 
that you may almost forget your northern position, and 
think yourself as far south as Newport, R. I. 

Franklin is the last county in this direction, but not 
the least fertile of soil. On the contrary for the pur- 
poses of agriculture, it is probably the best in the state. 
The soil is a mixture of loam, and marl, and clay slightly, 
forming ground pleasant to till ; and yielding rich and 
abundant crops. Excellent farms are found in St. 
Albans, Swanton, Shelden, Enosburg, and Montgomery. 
Indeed no town here can be named without them ; and 
the great business of the inhabitants of this county is 
agriculture ; and what is connected immediately with 
it. The writer witnessed at a fair in Shelden, October, 
1838, a collection of horned cattle, and other domestic 
animals, and many specimens of home manufacture, and 
productions of the soil, which would do no discredit to 
the most favored parts of New England. 

With regard to rocks and stones, aside from numerous 
ridges and mounds, and caverns of the Green Mountains 
strictly, which, to the end of time never will be tilled ; 
it may be said that no more are found generally through- 
out the state than are wanted for fences, and building ; 
and other similar purposes. They impede tillage but in 
very few places. 

The land on the Connecticut, and for several miles 
back, produces large crops of corn ; and thence to the 
summitof the mountain, potatoes and oats in abundance; 



58 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and summer wheat moderately. Far less winter wheat 
is raised now than formerly, in the whole eastern range 
of the state. Considerable winter wheat is raised on the 
west side of the mountain where corn and the other 
grains grow luxuriantly. The grass crops are abundant 
in almost every part of the state. No country produces 
grass more abundantly or of a better quality of hay than 
Vermont. Thus it is, and by their fine grazing upland 
pastures ; and esculent roots, that the farmers are ena- 
bled to fatten so much beef and pork, which is one great 
source, perhaps the principal one, of their sustenance and 
profit. These are of good quality, and do not come be- 
hind, in market, those of other states. Their' beef in 
Boston generally has the preference. 

Butter and cheese also are sources of income to the 
husbandmen. Great quantities of both go to the New 
York market by water conveyance and thence to the 
south. This is a business pursued extensively on both 
sides of the mountain ; and to Boston is carried gene- 
rally what is made in the eastern, and some of that in 
the western part of the state. But the largest dairies are 
found south of the mountain, particularly in Addison, 
Chittenden and Franklin counties ; and the cheese- 
mongers from New York make their appearance in those 
quarters in the Autumn with more smiling countenances 
than the Yorkers formerly did ; claiming farms and tene- 
ments, which would not come at their bidding. You 
will see at this season, great quantities of these articles, 
carried from every part of these counties, and from 
Lamoille, in casks made on purpose. The casks for the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 59 

chees-3 resemble somewhat the cider barrel, but of less 
dimensions ; and more tapering at the ends. The largest 
cheeses are placed in the centre, and those of less cir- 
cumference gradually each way to the ends ; and thus in 
a close, compact state, they are easily handled and pre- 
served from damage in carrying them to the remote parts 
of the country. 

Some of the dairy establishments in these counties are 
extensive ; forty, fifty, and sometimes sixty cows being 
kept by one farmer ; with great conveniences for the 
business, every thing connected with them, neat, cleanly 
and in good order. The articles of this kind going from 
these places, are of excellent flavor ; and being stamped^ 
find a favorable reception wherever they go. 

The rearing of sheep, and wool growing, as it is called, 
is also an increasing business and affording at times no 
small income and profit. Great facilities exist here for 
the keeping of large flocks of this useful animal. The 
grass growing on the elevated places, is the very food 
on which they best thrive ; and much land may be thus 
possessed, which could not be in any other way. It is 
inaccessible to man for the purposes of culture, plowing 
and sowing. For if the owners occasionally and par- 
tially ascend them so as to call their flocks into the lower 
parts, for the purpose of salting them, it is as much as 
can be expected. Having in the spring surmounted 
their wall fence with branches of the hemlock, so handy 
and effectual to enclose them safely in their own pre- 
cincts, they permit them to ramble at leisure over the 
precipices and high lands, till the winter drives them to 



60 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

seek quarters in the barn-yard. If the winters should 
be hard and long, a thing not unknown in these regions, 
these boughs of the hemlock, and the tender branches 
of other trees, help to prolong the forage, sometimes 
scanty and failing ; the former of which affords the sheep 
occasionally a welcome and nourishing sustenance. If 
spring sometimes comes late, it comes doubly dear to 
man and beast ; and the long lowing of the herds and 
bleating of the flocks around their stalls and folds, wel- 
come " the time of the singing of birds and the voice of 
the turtle." 

Some flocks of several hundreds, and in a few in- 
stances of thousands, are owned by individuals ; and those 
yielding fine and substantial w^ool. Such large flocks 
are found, it is believed, more often on the east side of 
the mountain. Wool growing however is much attend- 
ed to on the other side ; and if its price should be estab- 
lished at a fair rate, it would become a source of great 
and increasing income to the state. For the income and 
prosperity of individuals, is the wealth of the community, 
of whom it is composed. 

The honey bee is not forgotten by many judicious 
farmers ; whole yards and orchards are sometimes adorn- 
ed with Weeks's patent hive, w^ith its brass rings and 
knobs ; its slides and drawers ; with lock and key, so 
contrived that honey may be taken out any time with- 
out destroying the busy makers of it. Since the inven- 
tion of that hive considerable quantities of excellent 
honey are carried to market ; and it commands a quick 
sale ; so clear and transparent the comb, and so rich its 



HISTORY OF VERMO NT. 61 

flavor. The enterprising inventor still lives and resides 
in Salisbury. In 1838, the writer had the pleasure of 
seeing his Apiary ; some twenty or thirty beautiful patent 
hives of his own construction, neatly ornamented ; and 
placed singly over a surface of two or three acres, and 
under fruit, or ornamental shade trees. The appearance 
was beautiful. Nor was the eye alone gratified ; but 
substantial profit derived to the owner ; and in melting 
strains regaled the taste of his visitors and customers. 
It was a sight to be coveted by the Mantuan Bard, who 
so sweetly sung the praises of bees ; their habits and 
customs and wars ; their position and judicious manage- 
ment. But he would have seen, if not additional traits 
and political science in these mimic nations, the triumph 
of modern, and Yankee invention in constructing their 
habitations, and dispossessing them hloodlessly of the 
labors of their hands. The example of this enterprising 
man is extensively followed in this vicinity. Indeed the 
procuring of honey by the multiplication of bees is be- 
coming more and more a business throughout the state ; 
particularly, the north western part. The flavor of the 
honey here made is mellow and delicious. Nothing can 
be more palatable. The flower of buck wheat has not 
yet become so accessible to the bees as to injure their 
honey by giving it an unpleasant, heated taste. The 
sweet extracted from clover is doubtlessly the most deli- 
cious ; and a second crop might be raised so as to accom- 
modate the honeybee the latter part of the season ; and 
at the same time to promote agricultural improvements. 



62 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

The flowers and foliage of the various forest trees afford 
ample room for this far traveling, and inquisitive little 
busy body. That he finds sources of storing his cells in 
the forest, is evident from his so often visiting them, and 
finding there his home. 

From the Knickerbocker. 
THE BEES OF ST. SIMONS. 

For several years the bees have deposited their honey in the tower of the 
Church on Saint Simon's Island, off the coast of Georgia. The Rector, Rev. 
Mr. Walker, has regularly sold the honey, and sent the proceeds to the Mis- 
eionary Funds. 

There lies far in the bosom of the seas, 

An Island fair ; 
All summer long the patient little bees 

Are busy there. 

The honey which they gather in their rounds, 

Buzzing from flower to flower. 
They hoard it in a quaint bee hive they 've found 

In the old church tower. 

Their store is taken every year, nor do 

The bees complain ; 
They know that God will send, next spring, a new 

Supply again. 

The produce of their careful gatherings goes " 

To men in lands abroad. 
Who preach <' glad tidings of great joy" to those 

Who know not God. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 63 

Like Jonathan, when panting he did roam 

The hungry waste, 
How was he quickened when an honey comb 

He did but taste ; 

So to those weary laborers on lone shores, 

This humble hive supplies 
The luscious droppings of its annual stores 

To light their eyes. 

Poor Christian ! e'en in such small flock as these, 

A lesson see I 
Doth God take such good care for tiny bees, 
Yet none for thee ? 

Then say not Little-Faith, thou hast no power 

To gather honey too ; 
All round thee bloom the flowers, and every flower 

Is filled with dew. 



The making of sugar, also, from the maple so abundant 
in this state, is a business of considerable extent. It is 
becoming more and more an object with the farmers 
here not only to supply themselves with this article of 
domestic use and comfort, but a portion to spare to their 
neighbors. The expense of fuel to boil away the sap 
has prevented many from engaging in this business. 
But the sheet iron boilers lately invented and now exten- 
sively used, have in a measure, removed this objection ; 
and, in future, the beautiful maple trees of Vermont will 
be better husbanded and less carelessly reduced to ashes. 
This suci^ar is becominoj better and better manufactured ; 
and when made in the best manner must take the prece- 



64 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

dence of all common brown sugars in use. The maple 
molasses is decidedly the best flavored. 

As early as 1794, according to Dr. Williams, was 
made in Cavendish, by eighty-three families, 14,080 
pounds of maple sugar. 

It is now stated on good authority ; (the census of 
the United States) ; " that next to Louisiana, the state 
of Vermont is the greatest sugar-producing state in the 
Union ! The amount of maple sugar produced in 1840, 
was over 2,559 tons, being over 17| pounds to each in- 
habitant, allowing a population of 291,948. At five 
cents a pound this is worth $253,963 20. This quan- 
tity is far below that produced this year, (1842,) and 
it may be safely estimated, that the sugar produced this 
season, will, at the low price of five cents a pound, be 
worth a million of dollars." 



65 



CHAPTER III. 

First settlement. — Remains of forts. — Claimed by Massachusetts, 
and New Hampshire. — Limits. — Orders of the crown to the 
Governor of New Hampshire to take direction of its settle- 
ment. — Wentworth's grant for the settlement of Bennington. — 
Previous commencement by the French on Champlain. — Claimed 
by New York. — Collision and violence threatened. — Courts in- 
terrupted. — Systematic opposition to the claims of New York, 
headed* by Ethan Allen. — His character, associated with Seth 
Warner. — Deputation to Great Britain. — Royal interdict, dis- 
regarded by New York. — Measures to arrest Allen and his 
associates. — The progress of things hastened by the home 
government.— Under sanction of the first Congress, the royal 
courts interrupted. — Court house at Westminster seized, blood- 
shed and death. — Excitement. — Battle of Lexington. — War of 
the Revolution. — Contest suspended between New York and 
these settlers. — Their singular position, without regular govern- 
ment. — Convention. — Constitution adopted. — Petition to Con- 
gress. — Claiming independence. — Opposed by New York. — 
Perplexing to Congress. — Their evasive and dilatory policy. — 
Leave given to withdraw their petition. — Burgoyne on their 
frontier. — Their independence admitted by New Hampshire. — 
Proposed state in the valley of the Connecticut.— Claimed by 
Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York at the same 
time. — Disturbances in the southeastern section. — The decision 
of the question claimed by Congress. 

In that portion of the United States called Vermont, 
settlements were commenced in the south eastern part 
5 



66 HISTORY OF VERM Ox\T. 

on Connecticut river, about a mile below Brattleboro. 
A fort was erected, which was called Dummer ; from 
which the town of Dummerston probably derived its 
name. Remains of this fortification are yet visible. It 
was built, and the clearing of the ground in the vicinity 
undertaken by the government of Massachusetts, in 1724. 
But the claim of this state to this territory was soon con- 
tested by New Hampshire, whose government insisted 
that her jurisdiction went as far west as that of her sister 
state ; that is, within twenty miles of the river Hudson. 
This was the boundary between Massachusetts and New 
York, as determined in the reign of George H. 1740. 
Indeed by the orders of the home government, the 
Governor of New Hampshire was authorized to take 
charge of this fortification. His name was Benning 
Wentworth. He soon after, in 1749, caused a township 
to be settled on the west side of the mountain, which is 
now Bennington. Under his dictation many other town- 
ships were surveyed and settled, not only on the west 
side of the Connecticut ; but westward within twenty 
miles of the Hudson, and along the shores of Lake 
Champlain. A fort at Crown Point had been previously 
built by the French from Montreal ; and a settlement 
commenced on the opposite side of the Lake, as early 
as 1631. 

The title to these lands was disputed by the govern- 
ment of New York, which claimed the whole of this 
territory, even to the Connecticut, by a previous grant 
from the Crown of Great Britain. She claimed not only 
jurisdiction, but the right of making void the doings of 



HISTORY OFVER.^IO NT. 6 t 

New Hampshire ; and turning off the clearers of the 
ground and cultivators of the soil. This produced very 
unhappy consequences. New York established courts 
of justice over the disputed district ; and decisions were 
obtained in favor of the new claimants. But it was 
almost impossible to execute them. Opposition, violence 
and bloodshed threatened the confusion and ruin of this 
hardy and enterprising population. In many instances, 
the proceedings of the courts were interrupted and the 
doors closed. 

No serious opposition would have been made to the 
government of New York if the title to their lands had 
been acknowledged. It was a mistake that such a policy 
was not pursued. Cupidity it is feared was the strong 
motive, controlling tl?e considerations of prudence and 
experience, and in the end defeating its own object. 
New Hampshire, it seems, had as good a right to make 
the grants, which she did, as New York. Indeed her 
right was more plausible. 

Having paid a fair price for their farms ; erected 
dwellings for their families, and made improvements on 
their lands, these husbandmen could not brook the idea 
of purchasing them a second time, or being driven from 
them. The authorities of New York might have fore- 
seen that resistance and conflict would result from per- 
severance in executing ejectments. Had they been con- 
firmed in their possessions as they expected ; and had 
reason to expect from the language in which the New 
York claim was first announced, Vermont as an inde- 
pendent Sovereignty might never have existed. 



68 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

But Providence, who directs infinitely better than the 
utmost sagacity and wisdom of man, called from retire- 
ment men of the stamp required by the times. Among 
others was conspicuous Ethan Allen, who took a decided 
stand against the encroachments of New York. He 
was a man of athletic frame ; and of mind naturally 
vigorous and energetic. Rough indeed, like the face of 
nature around him, but a friend to the oppressed ; bid- 
ding defiance to the oppressor and tyrant ; resolute and 
•unyielding in his purposes. He had looked at the 
threatening posture, which affairs were assuming ; and 
deliberately made up his mind in favor of the claimants, 
under New Hampshire. He offered himself to their 
service ; and they accepted him as a leader ; and a more 
suitable one they could not have selected. In his plain, 
unadorned style, he wrote and disseminated pamphlets 
on the injustice and cupidity of the New York measures. 
Without mental culture he expressed his sentiments and 
feelings in bold, severe, not to say rough language ; but 
it was in a manner suited to the undisciplined minds, to 
whom it was addressed ; and best calculated to have an 
abiding influence on them. — He was frank and open- 
hearted, scorning meanness, resorting to the spilling of 
blood when all other expedients failed. His energetic 
writings produced a powerful efi^ect on his fellow-suf- 
ferers of the mountain regions. He soon found in Seth 
Warner a suitable coadjutor ; whose calmness and deli- 
beration and forecast came in opportunely to temper his 
vehemence, and impetuosity. Equally hostile to the 
measures of New York, they soon organized a syste- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 69 

matic opposition to them. Being beset by an officer as 
a rioter, Warner acted on the defensive, and soon brouo-ht 
the assailant to his feet, but took not his life. 

So serious and critical was the state of things at this 
period, that Samuel Robinson, James Brackenbridge, and 
a Mr. Hawley were sent to England to lay the matter 
before the king. In 1763, an interdict was sent to the 
Governor of New York, " to stay all legal proceedings 
on the disputed ground till his majesty's farther pleasure 
shall be known concerning the same. The authorities 
of New York did not yield obedience to this order ; but 
pursued their former course of turning the possessors 
from their tenements. The state of things soon became 
as bad as it was, if not worse, than before this royal in- 
terposition. Indeed a hasty, not to say oppressive law 
was passed by New York, " requiring submission to 
their orders in seventy days on penalty of death !" and 
offering fifty pounds for the heads of Ethan Allen, Seth 
Warner, and six others. This placed them under the 
ban of proscription. 

It led to a general meeting by delegates of the inha- 
bitants on the west side of the mountain, who passed 
spirited resolutions, and adopted measures of self-defence. 
If the tone taken was a high one, they thought that cir- 
cumstances required it ; and that the measure of their 
sufferings and indignities was full, and called for the 
language of menace. They yet confined their opposi- 
tion to the grievance of being deprived of their lands. 
In all civil and criminal transactions, they were willing 
that the laws of New York should prevail. The pro- 



70 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

scribed ones, however, took higher grounds, and said 
publicly ; " we will kill and destroy any person, or per- 
sons whomsoever, that shall presume to be accessory, or 
aiding in taking any of us." 

The oppressive acts of the home government, about 
this time, relative to the American Colonies, increased 
the difficulties attending this controversy. The first 
Congress, called by the colonies sanctioned the resist- 
ance of court edicts when inconsistent with the freedom 
and rights of the people. The royal courts thus met 
with much interruption and delay in their business. 
The court house in Westminster on the day of the 
court's opening, was found occupied by a number of 
men, who prevented the judges and their attendants 
from taking their seats. The sheriff and his associates, 
however, took with them soldiers, and in the dead of 
niffht went ao^ain to the house ; and durinor the contest 
at the doors, the men within were fired upon by the 
soldiers. William French, a young man belonging to 
Brattleboro, was killed on the spot ; and several others 
wounded. This rash act irritated the people very much ; 
and a large assemblage soon after convened at West- 
minster, and under a high state of excitement, as might 
be expected, passed indignant resolutions ; and even 
arrested some of the court party, and caused them to be 
imprisoned at Northampton, Mass. 

The mind shudders at the thought of what might have 
been the consequences of this state of affairs between 
New York and this people. For as a body they were 
arrayed against her; and the horrors of civil war seemed 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 71 

inevitable. But Providence interposed, and turned 
aside the impending evil by calling both parties to look 
at a common enemy, to unite their efforts to oppose 
him. 

The 19th of April, 1775, came; and the bloodshed 
at Lexington aroused the Americans, and called away 
their attention from minor difficulties to the all-absorbing 
question of war with the mother country, and indepen- 
dence from her oppressive yoke. The bold spirit of 
Allen, with Warner and others, now suspended his 
pursuit of the Yorkers ; and sought contact with the 
British regulars. As early as May, he raised a body of 
men in this insulated district, and surrounded the Eng- 
lish fortresses at Crown Point and Ticonderoga ; and, as 
it is said, " in the name of God almighty, and by 
authority of the Continental congress," demanded their 
surrendry. He accompanied Montgomery to St. Johns 
and Montreal ; was taken and held a prisoner a long 
time, enduring much hardship and suffering. Warner 
eno-aged with all his heart in this strugde and had the 
command offered him by congress of a regiment to be 
raised on this territory. 

This people now presented a singular spectacle. New 
York had relinquished, or rather relaxed her hold on 
them ; and New Hampshire withdrawn her jurisdiction 
from them ; and they were left, each one, to do what 
seemed right in his own eyes. 

The whole tract from the north line of Massachusetts, 
west of Connecticut river to the borders of Canada ; 
and from the west bank of that river to Champlain, and 



72 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

within twenty miles of the Hudson on the south west, 
was without any form of civil government. The whole 
country at the same time was engaged in a war with 
Great Britain ; and its inhabitants termed rebels. They 
had confidence in one another ; but distrusted their 
neighbors, those especially, who wished them to pay 
tioice for their lands ; or give them up with all their 
improvements to strangers, and seek another home. For 
a considerable period they lived in this state of pure 
democracy, or rather of untrammeled nature. But there 
was no cfomplaint of treachery and violence and murder, 
and rapine and conflagration among them. They seemed 
to follow the suggestions of conscience, and the principles 
of justice and equity derived from education and habit; 
and especially from the word of God. The persecutions 
which they suffered, or thought they suffered externally ; 
or from beyond their own limits, made them more 
attached to their hills and vallies, and the more love to 
each other. By tacit consent they submitted to the 
directions of the aged and experienced ; and to a kind 
of government by common acquiescence. Their magis- 
trates were such only in name ; being unable " to show 
by what authority they did those things." 

Let the question be repeated, what outbreaking dis- 
orders took place among themselves in this state of 
interregnum or rather of no rule ? Can history present a 
similar example of so large a body of people without a 
form of government, and going on so long, and with so 
little internal jealousy, and so few flagrant disorders? 
It was like a school forsaken of their proper teacher ; 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 73 

and the attention of the one, who had usurped his place, 
and was disannulling his doings, being called off by 
some great and menacing evil, and which called for the 
undivided exercise of his mind, and exertion of his body. 
They keep each one his place ; and follow the cause to 
which they had been accustomed ; and gladly and 
kindly condescend to teach each other, and patiently 
endure some inconvenience in consideration of enjoying 
a respite from the ferule and rod of the usurper. 

But it is not meant by these remarks that such a state 
of things could be safely trusted for any considerable 
period. The evils of anarchy would soon show their 
name Legion. Nor is it intended that civil government 
is not indispensable ; and a good one an inestimable 
blessing. Far be the thought of conveying any such 
sentiment. As far be the thought that a school would 
long go on profitably and happily without the govern- 
ment of a lawful teacher ; or even after having obtained 
a temporary relief from the perplexities of arbitrary and 
contradictory rules. 

So this people themselves viewed the subject ; and 
took early means to shun the vortex, to which the 
current of affairs was rapidly hurrying them. They 
place before Congress their situation ; express their 
readiness to take a part in the war against Great Britain, 
and bear their proportion of the expense. They ask to 
be called upon as the inhabitants of the New Hampshire 
grants, and not as under the jurisdiction of New York. 
A decisive answer to this petition was waved by Con- 
gress ; but the communication served to wake up the 



74 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

slumbering jealousy of New York ; and a revival of the 
controversy was threatened. This condition of things 
induced the more resolute and determined of the inhabi- 
tants of this province to attempt the establishment of a 
government. They took measures to hold, and suc- 
ceeded in holding a convention of fifty-one delegates 
at Dorsettj July 24th, 1776. In January, 1777, another 
was called and assembled at Westminster, consisting of 
delegates from both the east and west side of the moun- 
tain. Here it was resolved to form themselves into a 
distinct state, to be called New Connecticut, alias Ver- 
mont; discarding all connexion with New York; and 
all who favored her claims. The principles of the con- 
stitution were to be equally free and democratic with 
those of the other states of the Union. 

Of this their intention to become a free and indepen- 
dent state, they respectfully advised Congress in a 
suitable manifesto, and a petition that they might be 
received into the number of the states, and on equal 
grounds. Thomas Crittenden, Heman Allen, and Reu- 
ben Jones were the bearers of this petition. This was 
the right step, and taken at the right time. They had 
the same right to assume a place among the other states 
that Congress, in behalf of the nation, had among the 
nations of the earth. New Hampshire, their rightful 
parent, had deserted them; and New York in their 
opinion interloped into a relation, which they could not 
acknowledge. It was becoming in them to let the gene- 
ral government know their object, and to ask their 
interposition in their behalf. Freedom from oppression 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 75 

and the sweets of liberty were the watchword throughout 
these colonies ; and it would have been too invidious to 
deny these borders on the green mountains the opportu- 
nity of urging their claims to such a blessing. 

It was a perplexing question to Congress to know 
what to do for, or say to them. They did not wish to 
disaffect New York ; a powerful state, and exerting great 
influence in the councils of the nation. The contest 
with Great Britain called for the united strength of the 
country. Hence their cautious, evasive and delaying 
policy relative to these petitioners. New York remon- 
strated in strong language against their independence ; 
claimed them as a part of their state, and represented 
them as in a state of rebellion against lawful authority. 
They seemed desirous to prejudice Congress against the 
leaders in those measures, particularly Col. Warner, 
whose commission they would have taken from him, and 
that of the officers under him. 

This state of things in this province attracted atten- 
tion more or less in the whole country, and called forth 
the sympathy of many in their behalf. Addresses were 
sent them by distinguished individuals in various places. 
In this way they were assured that many leading men 
in Congress were friendly to their cause. These public 
communications sent to them, but increased the more 
opposition in the government of New York. The one 
from Philadelphia signed by Thomas Young, particu- 
larly attracted their attention, and was commented upon 
severely before Congress. So determined and persever- 



T6 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

ing appeared this state, that the national councils were 
induced to yield to their solicitations ; and give leave to 
Vermont to withdraw their petition ; and directed them 
to submit to their claimants. But they still adhered to 
their resolution of being an independent state, and 
imputed the proceedings of Congress on this subject to 
the influence of New York. 

About this time Burgoyne made his appearance on 
the northern border, producing great consternation in the 
towns on the west side of the mountain. The provincial 
government of Vermont made application to New 
Hampshire for assistance, which was readily granted ; 
and a communication addressed to Ira Allen, Secretary 
of State, recognizing them as an independent community. 
This was noble ; and encouraged them to hope that it 
would operate as an inducement to other states to 
acknowledge their independence. But it prepared the 
way for new difficulties ; for New Hampshire herself 
revived her slumbering claim to this territory. Indeed 
the project soon came up of having a state organized in 
the Connecticut river valley, consisting of the eastern 
part of Vermont and the western of New Hampshire. 
So far was this measure pursued that sixteen towns ori 
the east side of the river were represented in convention 
at Cornish, N. H., Dec. 9th, 1778. This plan was frus- 
trated by the prudence and seasonable action of the 
Vermont government ; withdrawing, as they did, all 
connexion with it, and making known immediately this 
resolution to the New Hampshire authorities. But this 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 77 

very generous deed of the Green Mountaineers was not 
met with a corresponding spirit on the part of her 
neighbor. For she soon after set up her claim to this 
whole territory ; and even urged it before Congress ; 
New York at the same time renewing her demands so 
often made. So simultaneous were these movements on 
the part of these two states, that the yankee trait of 
conjecture was awakened in the Vermonters ; and they 
began to think that a scheme was plotting between the 
granite boys and their Dutch neighbors, to divide their 
territory between them, making the summit of the moun- 
tain the line of division. 

Here Massachusetts, who had been 'a silent spectator, 
interposed, and urged her claim to this disputed ground. 
She found it not difficult to make out a plausible story 
in her behalf, especially as the boundary between her 
and New York had never been fixed. These mountain- 
eers then found their claim to these lands confronted by 
those of three others. New York, Massachusetts, and 
New Hampshire. The shades of uncertainty and doubt 
seemed to thicken around them. 

The measures of New York in the southern part of 
the state, now Windham county, were assuming a dis- 
play of military coercion, a body of five hundred men, 
beino; in readiness to execute the orders of the court. 
But the freemen of this county, as a body, were not the 
men to be easily intimidated; or to give up their rights 
at the brandishing of the sword, or the array of bay- 
onets. Col. E. Allen at the head of a body of -Ver- 



78 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

monters soon captured the commanding officer of this 
force and his associates, and dispersed their men. 
Clinton, the governor of New York, soon brought the 
affair before the councils of the nation and demanded 
their interposition. Commissioners were appointed to 
visit the ground ; and two out of the five designated, 
one of whom was Dr, Witherspoon, went to Benning- 
ton. But their efforts to effect a settlement were 
ineffectual. 

Congress now began to see that this business required 
their attention in earnest. 

They asked the parties. New York, New Hampshire, 
and Massachusetts, who were for appropriating, or dis- 
membering this district, to submit the dispute to their deci- 
sion, and suspend enforcing there the execution of their 
laws. They recommended it to the people, who styled 
themselves Vermonters, not to molest the adherents to 
either of the other states in peacebly pursuing their 
respective callings and duties. The critical position of 
the colonies relative to the mother country was the 
cause of this undecided, dilatory, congressional policy. 
The course recommended was impracticable, especially 
on the ground in dispute. It was like establishing four 
distinct, independent jurisdictions in the same territory, 
and over the same people. The Vermonter, the Yorker, 
the adherent to Massachusetts and that of the granite 
state might be found neighbors locally ; but were for- 
eigners and sojourners in their political sympathies and 
relations. It might have been more t\mn Ishmaeliiish ; 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 79 

for not only every man's hand would have been against 
all around him ; and all around against him ; but against 
one another at the same time. The assumptions of 
New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts not 
only clashed with each other, but each and all three 
with those of Vermont. 



80 



CHAPTER IV. 

Rendered persevering by circumstances. — The justice of their 
cause. — Spirited reply to Congress. — Claiming the same 
grounds as did Congress with the mother country. — Appeal of 
Gov. Chittenden and his council. — Intimations of terais with 
Great Britain. — Their justification. — Abandoned by the Union. 
— A frontier district. — A powerful enemy on their border. — 
Self-preservation led them to this. — Their last resort. — New 
York and New Hampshire persisting. — Vermont claimed juris- 
diction over a part of their territory. — This measure favorable. 
— Strengthened their hands and encouraged to renew to Con- 
gress their petition. — The enemy's proposals ; communicated to 
Congress by E. Allen. — His celebrated appeal. — Their only 
overt act. — ^Exchange of prisoners. — This offer of the British 
known to a few only. — Interrupted letter of Lord Germain. — 
The eyes of Congress opened by it. — Washington. — Commu- 
nication to Gov. Chittenden. — Delegates sent to Philadelphia. — 
Action of Congress. — Their repeated deferring of the subject. 
— Vermont raised troops to defend herself. — Censured by 
Congress. — Influenced by New York. — Censures and threats 
repelled. 



In their strun^g^le for a standinor amon^ the states, this 
people experienced more sympathy from the Bay State 
than any of her neighbors. Her claim to jurisdiction 
over them seemed to be brought forward, more to loosen 
the hold of other claimants, than to cherish any serious 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 81 

hopes of having it admitted. But the consciousness of 
being engaged in a righteous cause, the cause of free- 
dom, that in which their country was engaged, animated 
and inspired them with invincible fortitude to persevere 
till the objects of their own were secured. Men of the 
right spirit were constantly making their appearance in 
public as the exigencies of the times required. 

It is said truly, that the American Revolution, was " a 
time which tried men's souls." It may be said also, as 
a general truth, that times of great perplexity and dan- 
ger, are those which so form and discipline the souls of 
men as to enable them to hear trials. The trying and 
searching Providences of God bring to light the hidden 
resources of the mind. While they expose those, who 
have nothing but the appearance of virtue ; courageous 
only when dangers are distant, and the self-dependent ; 
they reveal the hidden strength of the soul well disci- 
plined, and trusting in the arm of Omnipotence. Long 
familiarity with difficulties and dangers in securing praise- 
worthy objects, gives to men sometimes an elevation of 
character as unexpectedly extraordinary. 

The rough exterior of the Province now under con- 
sideration ; and which has well been termed the Swit- 
zerland of America, has served perhaps to give its popu- 
lation a corresponding external deportment. The windy 
storm and tempest of these mountains ; and familiarity 
with their snows and frosts ; and bodily efforts necessary 
to clear and subdue their soil and secure the means of 
sustenance may, perhaps, have impressed them with pro- 
portional strength and elasticity of character. The cir- 
6 



82 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

cumstances of the times, through which they were now 
passing, were such as to produce a similar influence in 
the formation of their minds. They may have helped 
to give them strength; and fertility in finding expedients, 
and perseverance equal to the unusual scenes, which 
they were called to experience. 

A spirited and able reply was made to this counsel 
and direction of congress, written, it is said, by the 
Hon. Stephen R. Bradley, of Westminster ; and subse- 
quently, long a United States' senator from Vermont. 
In this reply, and it was an appeal to the world, the 
same ground is taken as that by the colonies in their 
separation from the mother country : " That the state 
of Vermont was not represented in congress, and could 
not submit to resolutions passed without their consent, 
or even knowledge ; and put every thing that was valu- 
able to them at stake ; that they were, and ever had been, 
ready to bear their proportion of the burden and expense 
of the war with Great Britain, from its first commence- 
ment, whenever they were admitted into the union with 
the other states : But they were not so lost to all sense 
and honor, that after four years war with Britain, in 
which they had expended so much blood and treasure, 
that they should now give up every thing worth fighting 
sbr, the right of making their own laws, and choosing 
their own form of government, to the arbitrament 
and determination of any man or body of men under 
heaven." 

Congress still delayed acting definitely on this subject ; 
perplexed as they were by its bearing on their struggle 



HISTORYOFVERMOXT. 83 

for independence; The resolutions passed by them of 
one delay after another, called forth an energetic appeal 
from Gov. Chittenden and his council, in which they felt 
constrained to give the matter a more serious turn, and, 
to the national councils, somewhat unexpected as well as 
alarming. Among other things, they say, ^^ That Ver- 
mont being a free and independent state, had denied the 
authority of congress to judge of their jurisdiction ; that 
as they were not included in the thirteen states, if neces- 
sitated to it, they are at liberty to offer, or except terms 
of cessation of hostilities with Great Britain without the 
approbation of any other man, or body of men ; for an 
priviso. that neither congress, nor the legislatures of those 
states, which they represent will support Vermont in her 
independence, but devote her to the usurped government 
of any other power, she had not the most distant motive 
to continue hostilities with Great Britain, and maintain 
an important frontier for the benefit of the United States, 
and for no other reward than the ungrateful one of being 
enslaved by them : but from a principle of virtue, and 
close attachment to the cause of liberty, they were 
induced once more to offer union with the United States 
of America, of which congress were the legal represen- 
tative body." This was in a letter to congress, July 
25th, 1780, and signed by Gov. Chittenden. It was 
taking bold, and perhaps some will say, doubtful ground. 
In their very critical circumstances, the question here 
comes up, were they not justifiable in making use of the 
most efficient argument, to obtain, as they viewed it, their 



84 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

rights? — The government of Great Britain was disowned 
over the whole union ; the Vermonters had bought and 
paid for the soil on which they lived, of those, who, by 
the English government had been authorized to take 
possession of it. They were now required to purchase 
it a second time and pay for their own improvements, or 
desert them at the option of those claiming the land 
under New York. The right to their soil was a question 
never submitted by them to congress. They claimed it 
on the same grounds as did the other states. The right 
to the soil, in their circumstances, gave a right to a gov- 
ernment of their own choice. In their circumstances ; that 
is, not being represented in congress, they took no part in 
the declaration of independence; and consequently were 
at liberty to choose their allies ; to say with whom they 
would connect themselves, the better to secure the objects 
of their organization, * liberty and the pursuit of happi- 
ness.' They had hitherto acted with the colonies in 
opposition to the demands of the British government ; 
and they now merely intimated that they might if the 
course of things was not changed, be under the necessity 
of conciliating the friendship of a foreign power. They 
might be driven to this as the least of two evils. Would 
it have been inconsistent with honor and integrity, to 
avail themselves of such a motive on the councils of the 
nation ? Congress must see that they could do this ; 
and that their reasons for doing it might be justified by 
the world ; and the doing it by an alliance defensive and 
offensive might have a serious influence on the issue of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 85 

the contest, in which they were engaged. Had they 
been represented in that body, and pledged their sacred 
honor to be faithful to their fellow states, come what 
might ; and then gone over to the enemy through fear, 
or mercenary motives ; or to escape hardships and dan- 
gers, being a border state, and more exposed to the 
inroads of the enemy ; or if they had been corrupted 
by gold, and betrayed the confidence reposed in them, 
the case would have been different. But in their cir- 
cumstances had they actually placed themselves under 
the protection of the British, according to their intima- 
tions, would impartial history have justified them ? But 
this they did not do ; and no evidence exists that they 
ever made any direct and serious advances of this nature 
to the English cabinet. The most then that can be 
made out against these isolated mountaineers is, that they 
used this as their strongest argument to open the eyes of 
congress ; to let them see the sword, which Providence 
had placed in their hands as an inducement to award 
them justice. 

They did not resort to this alternative as the sequel 
shows ; but they took their full share in the war of the 
Revolution. ^' The Green Mountain Boys," were dis- 
tinguished as brave, faithful soldiers. They shed their 
blood freely at Hubbardton, Bennington, Crown Point, 
Stillwater, Saratoga, and many other places. The lead- 
ing officers of the army of independence have borne 
honorable testimony to their bravery and good conduct. 
The record of their deeds is in the history of their 
country. Ethan Allen, as it has been stated in another 



86 , HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

place, suffered long imprisonment, being taken jeoparding 
his life on the high places of duty and danger. 

As further evidence that they did not wish, unless 
absolutely necessary, to defend themselves behind British 
cannon, might be named, their readiness to try other 
expedients ; and to wait patiently the result of their 
measures. Although this was the most likely motive to 
have influence with congress; yet with New Hampshire 
and New York it might have little, or no effect to recon- 
cile them to their independence as a state. Indeed they 
became more clamorous ; and urged with redoubled zeal 
their respective claims in the hall of congress. 

But Vermont now met them in their own way. On 
application, the government entered into negotiation 
with the western towns of New Hampshire, bordering 
on the Connecticut ; and the adjacent part of New York, 
bordering on the Hudson. She indeed extended her 
claim over most of New Hampshire ; and a considerable 
tract in New York. In the winter of 1781, thirty-five 
towns in the former state ; and ten or twelve districts in 
the latter placed themselves under her government for 
protection against British aggressions. The claim to 
these towns was set up, but the actual government over 
them was for the present delayed. 

This measure had the effect to reconcile all parties 
within the limits of Vermont ; the adherents of New 
York, and of New Hampshire ; and even those friendly 
to the mother country. Indeed it served to strengthen 
the hands of the Vermonters very much. It was to 
them the harbinger of a brighter day. The war had 



# 
HISTORY OF VERMONT. 87 

been so long waged with the usurpers, that they had 
learned from their enemies ; and with their weapons 
turned the tide of success in their favor. 

This favorable change in their circumstances gave 
them fresh courage in their application to the Continental 
congress. 

Some of the leading men in this state did indeed 
receive proposals of terms from British officers and adhe- 
rents, making them flattering offers to unite the state 
under the auspices of the English crown. But it is not 
known that these offers were accepted ; or, even in a 
single instance, encouraged. They were indeed unan- 
swered ; and this might perhaps be construed as a tacit 
encouragement of such advances. But no obligations 
were imposed on those, who received such communica- 
tions, to answer them ; and repel any further approaches 
of this kind. They were justified in silently discovering 
how good terms might be expected if an alliance should 
become necessary. The fact that these propositions and 
advances were made known to the United States govern- 
ment, is evidence of the honest intentions of the leading 
men in this district. The sincere desire was to become 
a part of the nation, who had declared themselves free 
and independent. They were willing to follow their 
standard, on no other terms but as making one of the 
stars on its banners. Thus E. Allen, enclosing the 
letters received from British officers, to congress ; and 
stating to them the circumstances of their reception, uses 
this language : " I am confident that congress will not 
dispute my sincere attachment to the cause of my coun- 



bo HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

try; though I do not hesitate to say, I am fully grounded 
in opinion, that Vermont has an indubitable right to agree 
on terms of cessation of hostilities with Great Britain, 
provided the United States persist in rejecting her appli- 
cation for a union with them. For Vermont of all 
people would be most miserable were she obliged to 
defend the independence of the united, claiming states, 
and they at the same time at full liberty to overturn and 
ruin the independence of Vermont. I am persuaded 
when congress consider the circumstances of this state, 
they will be more surprised that I have transmitted to 
them the enclosed letters, than that I have kept them in 
custody so long ; for I am as resolutely determined to 
defend the independence of Vermont as congress are, that 
of the United States ; and rather than fail will retire 
with the hardy Green Mountain Boys into the desolate 
caverns of the mountains, and wage war with human 
nature at large." 

The only overt act on the part of Vermont with the 
British authorities, separate from the national councils, 
was, a proposition for exchange of prisoners, taken at 
Royalton in the spring of 1780. Col. Ira Allen repaired 
to Canada, and managed the business of making the 
exchange. He succeeded in obtaining favorable terms; 
for the king's officers now had high expectations of secur- 
ing the state in their favor. This hope was kept on the 
increase by policy and circumlocution. While the direct 
question was evaded the advances were seemingly 
admitted for consideration, and without any definite 
pledge being given. In this way the wary negotiator 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 89 

secured Vermont from invasion by the English troops ; 
and thus turned away many evils, which its inhabitants 
might otherwise have suffered. This was diplomatic 
policy ; and is regarded justifiable by the practice and 
usages of national intercourse. But it will hardly bear 
examination on the principles of strict morahty. It was 
raising expectations, it may be said, with an intention 
under certain hoped for circumstances of not fulfilling. 
This in ordinary intercourse of individuals, is at variance 
with the principles of honesty and truth. But if one is 
overcredulous, and takes for granted too much, neither 
morality, nor honor requires that such gratuitous assump- 
tions should be fulfilled. Nor would it seem wrong for 
one to avail himself of advantages which might flow 
from incredulousness and unfounded expectations. How 
far this was the case with the British authorities in 
Canada and the agents of Vermont, the impartial and 
uninterested spectator, and examiner must decide. Cer- 
tainly the agency of Vermont had a right to demand 
fime for the full consideration of a question of such 
importance ; and to enjoy the advantages incident to 
this period of examination. On the other hand, the 
acquisition of Vermont as a British Province, was an 
object very desirable to the magistrates of Canada, and 
the officers of the army. They thus might have become 
the dupes of their own strong desires, and magnified the 
grounds of their hopes. 

Eight individuals only in Vermont, it is said, knew the 
particulars of this proposal by the British authorities of 
Canada ; and Cornwallis surrendering about this time, 



90 HISTO^RY OF VERMONT. 

the further consideration of it was suspended. Thus 
eight men, husbandmen, Vermonters, were successful in 
gaining the ascendency over the artful policy, and wily, 
gold corrupting efforts of the English to win the state to 
their interest. To such a game, so long, and against 
such antagonists, and so successfully ended, no ordinary 
talents must have been brought. The dwellers on these 
mountains and in these vallies have much cause to hold 
them in honorable remembrance. 

About this time, a letter of Lord George Germain, 
minister of state for the American department, to Sir 
Henry Clinton, fell into the hands of the Americans ; 
and was published and which served very much the 
cause of Vermont. It convinced congress that some- 
thing must be done in their behalf; for in that letter the 
plan of the campaign in the spring was portrayed. The 
upper parts of the Hudson and Connecticut rivers were 
to be seized, and the communication between Albany 
and the Mohawk country was to be cut off. The lead- 
ing members in congress, and men throughout the 
country were anxious that this long controversy should, 
if possible, be settled. 

Washington himself saw the dangers with which it 
was fraught ; and wrote Gov. Chittenden to know what 
were the real wishes and intentions of the Vermonters. 
Being assured that they were strongly attached to the 
cause of their country, on condition of making a com- 
ponent part of it, he intimated to the Governor that on 
condition, and only on that condition, of relinquishing 
claims to all lands east of Connecticut river, and con- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 91 

fining her limits west by the waters of the Champlain, 
and within twenty miles of the Hudson, could Vermont 
have any hope of attaining her wishes. Respecting 
highly the character of Washington, his advice was 
received kindly and maturely weighed. It was at length, 
after much reluctance on the part of the towns border- 
ing on the banks of the Connecticut, complied with ; and 
the limits of the state confined to the old jurisdictional 
lines. It was now thought that the way was clear for 
their reception into the union. 

Delegates were accordingly chosen, and commissioned 
by the Governor ; and repaired to Philadelphia as rep- 
resentatives to complete the business of being recognized 
as a free and sovereign state. The subject coming 
before congress, the committee appointed for the pur- 
pose, reported favorably; and presented a resolution, 
distinctly granting their request. But the house, on 
motion, three different days being named, refused to 
appoint a time for acting on that report. Thus were 
overshadowed the prospects of this community. They 
had been encouraged to believe that these protracted 
difficulties were drawing to a close. In accordance with 
this requirement of congress, they had reduced their 
strength ; and were exposed to the inroads of the ene- 
my ; and with little prospect of aid from the general 
government. This conduct on the part of congress 
was flagrantly inconsistent ; and little savoring of good 
faith ; and not respectful toward their illustrious 
leader. The Vermonters were a little chagrined that 
the leaders of their government should have been cir- 



92 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

cumvented and become the victims of a congressional 
stratagem. But their sober second thought was that of 
indignation ; and a fixed purpose to ask no more favors 
in that quarter. 

In this condition of things the state found it neces- 
sary to raise troops by detachments from the towns, to 
defend their own frontiers, now deserted by the conti- 
nental army. In doing this, some opposition was mani- 
fested in Windham county, through the New York in- 
fluence, which was restrained by a military interposition. 
Little or no blood was shed ; but several individuals 
were banished, and others fined. This occasioned the 
New York authorities to carry up a complaint to con- 
gress ; who were induced, after considerable agitation of 
the subject, to pass severe censures on the conduct of 
Vermont. The banished persons were required to be 
recalled ; and amends made for all the loss sustained by 
them ; and other individuals of fines and confiscations ; 
and this on penalty of being coerced to it by the power 
(military,) of the United States. The^e censures and 
threats were met and answered by the Governor and 
council in a cool, augmentative manner, but resolute and 
determined. If menace in return was not resorted to, 
somewhat of defiance was indirectly used. In this 
answer we find the following language : " That the 
state would appeal to the justice of his excellency, Gen. 
Washington ; and as the General, and most of the in- 
habitants of the contiguous states were in favor of the 
independence of Vermont, it would be more prudent to 
refer the settlement of the dispute to the states of New 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 93 

York and Vermont, than to embroil the confederacy 
with it. But supposing congress had judicial authority 
to control the internal police of the state, the state had 
a right to be heard in its defence ; that the proceedings 
of congress were wholly unjustifiable upon their own 
principles ; and that coming to a decision of so impor- 
tant a matter, ex parte, and without any notice to the 
state was illegal and contrary to the law of nature and 



94 



CHAPTER V. 

Vermont little affected by the strong resolves of congress. — 
Peace with Great Britain. — Placed Averment in new circum- 
stances. — Favorable. — Taking the place of spectator to the other 
colonies. — Encouraging the settlement of her lands. — Reforming 
evils. — Relieved from some evils of the other states. — The state 
of the country improving, she again seeks alliance with it. — 
Intrinsic difficulties. — The question where the Capital of the 
nation should be, produces an alteration in New York towards 
her. — Commissioners appointed by New York. — Terms of recon- 
ciliation proposed. — Controversy ended. — Her admission into the 
Union. — Remarks on this controversy. — Its moderation. — The 
subject manifested. — Worthy of Imitation. — The instance, one, 
of bloodshed. — Family connexions of him killed. 

The measures of the general government, especially 
their menacing resolves, had very little effect to awe the 
Vermonters into submission. They were viewed by 
them as the result more or less of the influence exerted 
in the national councils by New York ; and the peculiar 
posture of public affairs relative to Great Britain. But 
the war was now drawing to a close. About this time, 
January, 1783, the preliminaries of peace were signed. 
The prospects of the whole country now brightened, 
giving a new and sudden and favorable turn to the rela- 
tions of Vermont with the other states. Beino^ refused 



HISTORY OF VERMONT, 95 

admittance as one of the component parts of the union ; 
she could not of course be taxed for the expenses of 
the war. She was relieved from this and other burdens, 
to which the colonies were liable. The independence 
of the country was indeed acknowledged ; but the bond 
of union between the states was frail and inadequate. 
The jurisdiction of congress was undefined ; and their 
authority little more than advisory and nominal. The 
paper currency failing, the debts of the nation and of 
individuals, already burdensome, became now almost 
insupportable. 

In such circumstances of the country, Vermont was 
not very solicitous to become a partner in a confederation 
by whom her application had been so long delayed and 
neglected. She chose to avail herself of past experi- 
ence to strengthen her own government ; and reform her 
internal policy ; and take measures to remedy evils ; and 
to encourage immigration, and the settlement of her 
unoccupied lands. She chose for the present to take the 
position of spectator ; and watch the course of events, 
and govern herself as Providence might indicate the 
path of duty and safety. She had valuable lands at 
disposal ; and her present condition and prospects being 
by Divine interposition more favorable in some respects 
than those of any of her neighbors ; her population was 
rapidly increasing by respectable and enterprizing citizens 
from the New England states. 

But the present constitution of the United States was 
sbon adopted ; and the smiles of Providence seemed to 



96 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

attend the efforts made to lay the foundation of a perma- 
nent and flourishing republic. Measures were taken to 
sustain the credit of the nation ; and to administer equal 
justice and privileges to all its constituent parts. This 
state of things was calculated to revive the desires of 
Vermont to become a copartner in this confederacy. 
But New York, her old and steadfast enemy, stood in 
the way. Intrinsic difficulties indeed attended this 
controversy and delayed a reconciliation. While under 
the crown of Britain, the government of New York 
had granted to her citizens lands in this district ; but 
Vermont had always strenuously denied these grants. 
The government of New York subsequently to the 
independence of the country, could not feel the obliga- 
tion to remunerate the individuals for losses occasioned 
by an authority which no longer existed. 

But a rivalry soon after arose between the city of 
New York and Philadelphia, relative to the seat of gov- 
ernment. This question was to be decided by southern 
and northern votes. The influence of the south prepon- 
derated ; and Philadelphia was selected as the head 
quarters of the Federal government. That part of 
Virginia called Kentucky, was expected also soon to 
increase the influence of the south by being formed into 
a state. To counteract this, the New England States 
expressed a strong wish that Vermont might be admitted 
into the union ; and New York saw that it had been 
good policy to have had the aid of her votes in deciding 
on the place for the seat of government. To have her 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 97 

help in future, she thought it best to abandon the claim, 
which she had lost all hope of compelling her neighbors 
of the hill country to acknowledge. 

Accordingly, in July, 1789, New York appointed 
commissioners with full powers to treat with those of 
Vermont ; and to withdraw her claims and acknowledge 
her independence. In October, of the next year, these 
commissioners " declared the consent of the legislature of 
New York that the state of Vermont be admitted into 
the union of the United States of America ; and that 
immediately upon such admission, all claims of jurisdic- 
tion of the state of New York shall cease, and thence- 
forth the perpetual boundary line between the two states 
shall be as was then holden by the state of Vermont ; 
that is, the west line of the most western towns, which 
had been granted by New Hampshire, and the middle 
channel of Lake Champlain." Thirty thousand dollars 
were to be paid New York as a compensation to indi- 
viduals, who, purchasing under her former authority had 
lost their lands. Thus happily ended this controversy, 
which had perplexed the two states and congress for 
twenty-six years. 

The way now seemed prepared for Vermont becom- 
ing a member of the Federal union. The question was 
agitated among the people ; and some opposition being 
manifested, it was thought advisable to call a convention 
which met at Bennington, January 6, 1791 ; and after 
having discussed the question two or three days, passed 
the vote in the affirmative, with only two nays out of 
one hundred and seven members. Nathaniel Chipman 
7 



98 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and Lewis R. Roberts, Esqrs. were charged with the 
accomplishment of the business in behalf of the state at 
Philadelphia. The act of admission passed in congress 
unanimously, February 18, 1791. 

The example exhibited by the parties to this contro- 
versy, and the whole United States, were directly or 
indirectly concerned in it, of moderation and forbear- 
ance, cannot be too highly commended. It ought to be 
often looked at and pondered well by the members of 
the separate local jurisdictions of this great common- 
wealth. In all their clashing interests and occasional 
irritation, they should remember those far more difficult 
and trying times and their favorable termination. The 
soothing and healing influence of time and delay ; of 
wisdom and prudence in the leading actors in this poli- 
tical drama were remarkably manifested. If applied in 
the removal and healing of internal, local evils in the 
nation, they will always be found lenient and efficacious. 
Surely the lapse of time should not render the sisterhood 
of the states less but more enduring ; the family attach- 
ment stronger and stronger. This with the light of his- 
tory, and the warning of experience which accompany 
it, should serve to awaken vigilance to guard against 
baneful antipathies and divisions. These should be our 
safe-guard in all the vicissitudes of political manoeuver- 
ing and strife, bearing the ships of state over the waves 
of popular agitation, rescuing her from the insidious 
rocks and quicksands of office-seeking and secret combi- 
nations. In all the tumults of the times through which 
Vermont passed till she became a member of the union, 



niSTORYOF VERMONT. 99 

only one man was killed on the spot. This took place 
at Westminster, in 1775, as it has been previously stated. 
His name was William French, of Brattleboro ; where 
and in Dummerston, branches of his family have since 
resided in respectable standing ; and from which several 
enterprising individuals have gone forth into the union ; 
and one a missionary under the American Board to Asia. 
Prodigal of their own in defence of their rights against 
the oppression of Britain, they were sparing of each 
others blood in their internal variances ; and seemed 
anxious to avoid the horrors of civil war ; and the fear- 
ful consequences of commencing such a tragedy. A 
few instances of executive collision and retaliatory im- 
prisonment of civil officers took place. 

Chesterfield, N. H., as a town joined Vermont, but a 
number of families adhered to their own state. In 
serving a civil process, in 1781, the Vermont constable 
was resisted by the officer of New Hampshire, and the 
latter Imprisoned. The posse comitatus was raised, and 
the officer liberated by orders of the New Hampshire 
governor. Three agents were then despatched to Exe- 
ter by the Governor of Vermont to bring the affair to a 
settlement. 

In 1784, the Secretary of Vermont was seized and 
imprisoned while pursuing the calls of duty in the city 
of New York, in consequence of his official relation to 
the state, to which he belonged. In retaliation, the 
general assembly of the state, ordered lands to be sold 
belonging to citizens of New York, to raise money to 



100 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

indemnify the secretary for damages sustained by his 
imprisonment and delay. 

These are specimens of the kind of warfare carried 
on by these parties ; and of the state of society at that 
perplexing period. In such circumstances the rapid 
settlement of the district could not be expected ; and 
this may account for the slow progress made for several 
years in the arts, and in agricultural improvements ; in 
education, and in manners ; and in securing religious 
instruction and privileges. 

But this period of uncertainty and fluctuation was a 
school in which to acquire political knowledge ; and to 
make proficiency in the science of man and of human 
government. It led the people to a thorough acquaint- 
ance with the early settlement of the country. They 
had motives for examining the records of grants by the 
crown of England to the colonies, and to individual 
proprietors. To examine the foundation of their own 
claims and those of their opponents, to the lands in 
question, they had the strongest inducements. To study 
the rights of man, and the principles of civil liberty, 
and the different forms of government, their peculiar, 
circumstances particularly called them. They have 
proved themselves apt to learn in these branches of 
science ; and proficients in the study of the laws and 
usao-es which prevail between different nations and 
states. Many of the leading and early statesmen of 
this commonwealth were distinguished for deep research 
and penetration ; and for political sagacity and diplo- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 101 

matic dexterity. They found themselves amply ade- 
quate to enter the lists with the most distinguished offi- 
cers and secretaries of the British government ; men 
well versed mfinesst and dissimulation. Although they 
did not adopt the maxim, and act accordingly, of Talley- 
rand, the French Diplomatist, of " several reigns," *' that 
language was given man to conceal his thoughts," they 
gave evidence of their philological skill ; and the ability 
to hunt out the subterfuges of cunning and equivocation. 

Proof of this is seen in their management of the often 
repeated and artfully pressed propositions by the British 
authorities, to induce them to become a province of that 
empire. Considered in all its bearings and relations, it 
was one of the most distinguished political games, so to 
speak, and adroitly managed on the part of the moun- 
taineers on record. That the stratagem was kept up so 
long, in a kind of running skirmish from one part to 
another ; and from one mountain citadel to another ; 
through many a valley and defile ; without exhausting 
the patience of their pursuers, was wonderful. That 
the eyes of these were not opened to see the hopeless 
chase on which they had been set, and their indigna- 
tion aroused before the opportunity of gratifying it was 
gone, is matter of thankfulness to Divine Providence, 
who interposed and sheathed the sword before the hope 
of succeeding had been relinquished. 

So also in their intercourse with congress, their com- 
munications will bear examination. Some of them are 
as sound and able state papers as any of the kind in our 
country. The ground taken by them is defended with 



lOSf 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 



ability ; the principles assumed sustained and illustrated 
with unanswerable arguments. It is no disparagement 
to the national councils, to say, that in this correspond- 
ence, the side taken by this state does not suffer, but 
decidedly gains by the comparison. 

This appears particularly in the answer by Gov. Chit- 
tenden and his council to what are called the menacing 
resolves of congress. The principles involved in them 
are scanned with great care and candor ; and answered 
with skill and irrefragable argument. It is done also 
with respectful deference. The forbearance and deli- 
cacy with which those resolutions are answered, smart- 
ing as they must under their lashing severity, evince a 
nobleness of mind, and consciousness of the rectitude of 
their cause. As easily may be overthrown the solid hills 
of their state, as are broken the chain of reasoning by 
which their rights are fortified. 

These things also served to give a character to this 
whole population. By the things suffered, they became 
habituated to look at public measures and examine for 
themselves their tendency. Having to make their way 
amid clashing interests ; and the mazes of contradictory 
laws, and different penalties for transgression, it became 
them to be circumspect, and vigilant in all their move- 
ments. For the Vermonter, strictly so, might have on 
his right hand, a Yorker with his written rules for his 
guidance ; and on his left, his neighbor might be of the 
granite state, with his code of laws differing from both. 
Would it be strange then, that this whole people "should 
be more or less versed in jurisprudence ; the forms and 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 103 

customs of courts, and the glorious uncertainty of the 
law 1 " The condition of things around them was such 
as to make them cautious and somewhat distrustful. 
They became slow to believe on mere assertion and 
report ; but took time to reflect and weigh the reasons 
on both sides, before taking their stand. The laws of 
New York ; those of New Hampshire, and of Massa- 
chusetts, they had occasion to examine, and speak of 
them often as of their own. The proceedings of con- 
gress, as they were intimately concerned in them, did 
not escape their notice ; but came under their critical 
examination. In this way, they became well acquainted 
with public affairs ; and were led to take more interest 
in them than perhaps the people of any other state. 
Being more often called directly or indirectly into courts 
of justice than was customary in other circumstances, they 
perhaps insensibly contracted the habit of going as specta- 
tors to the sessions of their courts, when not personally 
concerned. This practice is more or less still continued ; 
and the Vermont courts are more fully attended from 
the neighboring towns by persons not drawn by the 
compulsory arm of the law, than is usual in other places. 
They go and with fixed attention give heed to all the 
variety of proceedings there witnessed ; the charge to 
the jury, the examinations of the witnesses ; the plead- 
ings, the verdict and the judgment. Retiring they make 
their remarks and criticisms on the bench, and bar ; and 
talk over the affairs of their neighbors, who may have 
been so unhappy as to have been brought under a pub- 
lic legal scrutiny. The early difficulties protracted as 



104 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

they were, of this people, then, gave them an investi- 
gating turn of mind ; interested in public alSairs, ready 
to avail themselves of the means of knowing what those 
intrusted with their rights were doing. 

This is still characteristic of Vermonters. The 
Press receives as much encouragement comparatively 
among them, perhaps, as from the inhabitants of any state 
m the union. Most of the families take and read at 
least one newspaper. From their infancy they have been 
schooled in the principles of a representative, free 
government. They know their rights, and study the 
best means of preserving them. While watchful of 
their own liberties and privileges, they respect the rights 
of others ; and would be the last to trample on the 
defenceless, or connive at oppression. Such they were 
in a measure made by early circumstances ; and reflec- 
tion and habit have more or less kept them so. 



105 



CHAPTER VI. 

Constitution adopted. — Features of its government. — Representa- 
tives. — Governor and council. — How chosen. — Council of 
censors. — Its power and objects. — The government demo- 
cratic. — Original counties. — Judicial department. — Salaries of 
public officers, and compensation of the general assembly, and 
others in authority. — Contrast between the early and present 
times. — Reflections on the first courts and the changes in 
them, and the place of holding them. — Customs of first set- 
tlers. — Choosing elevated situations. — Inconvenient often. — 
Alterations and improvements. — Changes. — Their evils. — 
Benefits. 

The government of Vermont, like all those of the 
other states, is representative. The constitution was 
established in 1778; remodeled in 1786, and 1792. 
The house of assembly consists of delegates, one from 
each town, chosen annually on the first Tuesday of 
September. 

This assembly hold one session only, yearly, com- 
mencing on the second Thursday of October. It is 
styled, the general assembly of Vermont. " They have 
power to choose their own officers ; propose bills and enact 
them into laws ; may expel members, but not for causes 
known to their constituents antecedent to their election ; 
impeach state criminals ; grant charters of incorporation ; 



106 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

constitute towns, buroughs, cities, counties ; in conjunc- 
tion with the council, they are annually to elect judges 
of the supreme, county and probate courts, sheriffs and 
justices of the peace ; and also with the council may 
elect major generals, and brigadier generals, as often as 
there shall be occasion. They have all power necessary 
for the legislature of a free and sovereign state ; but 
have no power to add to, alter, abolish, or infringe any 
part of the constitution. 

" The supreme executive power is vested in a governor, 
lieutenant governor, and a council of twelve persons, 
chosen by the freemen, at the same time they choose 
their representatives. The governor, lieutenant gov- 
ernor, and council are to commission all officers ; prepare 
such business as may appear to them necessary to lay 
before the general assembly. They are to sit as judges 
to hear and determine on impeachment, taking to their 
assistance for advice only, the judges of the supreme 
court. They have power to grant pardons and remit 
fines in all cases whatsoever, except in treason and murder, 
to which they have power to grant reprieves ; but not 
to pardon until after the end of the next session of the 
general assembly, and in cases of impeachment, in which 
there is no remission or mitigation of punishment, but by 
act of legislation. They may also lay embargoes, or 
prohibit the importation of any commodity for any time 
not exceeding thirty days in the recess of the house 
only. 

"The governor is captain-general, and commander- 
in-chief of the forces of the state ; but shall not com- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 107 

mand in person except advised thereto by the council, 
and then only so long as they shall approve ; and the 
lieutenant governor, by virtue of his ofSce, is lieutenant 
general of all the forces of the state."* 

The governor and council had no negative on the 
proceedings of the house ; but the power of suspending 
bills for one year. Bills are presented to them by the 
house for their approval, or amendment; proposing 
amendments in writing for the consideration of the house, 
if they are not adopted, they are postponed till the next 
session. 

The Vermont constitution has one feature somewhat 
dissimilar to those of all the other states. It is the 
provision for a council of censors, once in seven years. 
Its duty is, to review the measures of government during 
that period, and see if its provisions have been main- 
tained. This body have power to pass censures on any 
measures deemed by them unconstitutional and illegal ; 
and recommend to the subsequent legislature, their 
repeal, or modification. They have power to order 
impeachment of defaulters ; to pass judgment, if in their 
opinion the laws have not been duly executed and the 
public money has been misapplied. They hold their 
office one year ; are to be chosen the last Wednesday 
in March and meet in June following first Wednesday. 
It consists of thirteen members, chosen by the freemen 
of the state. They have power to call a convention 

* Williams's History. 



103 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

within two years after their session ; to consider and 
recommend alterations in the constitution. 

After what has been said relative to the early state of 
affairs in this commonwealth it will be easily seen, that 
at the beginning, its government approached very near 
a pure democracy. They met by towns, and made 
laws ; or rather adopted rules of conduct. They then 
held mass conventions ; and passed resolutions ; and 
recommended measures for the general good. They 
next met by representatives most contiguous. After 
awhile, delegates from all the settlements one side of the 
mountain come together ; and finally from all parts of 
the grants in general assembly. 

If the government is not now as democratic as that of 
any one in the union, surely it was so in the beginning. 
As the state of things improved, and circumstances 
seemed to require it, the powers of the house of repre- 
sentatives were enlarged ; and the frame of government 
braced and strengthened. Thus the council of censors 
afford a very convenient medium of making such 
improvements in the government as the increase of 
population, and advancement in arts and refinement 
seemed to require. The progress of government in the 
alteration of laws, and in making of new ones ought to 
keep pace with the meliorations of society, and the 
multiplicity of human pursuits ; and the increase of 
human enterprise. Without some such agent or inter- 
posing power as is this council, such advantages could 
not be gained but at the hazard of convulsions, or even 
a revolution. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

The number of counties originally was eleven. 



Windham, 
Windsor, 
Orange, 
Caledonia, 

Essex, 
Orleans, 



East of the 
mountain. 



109 



Bennington, 

Rutland, 

Addison, 

Chittenden, 

Franklin, 



West of the 
mountain. 



Three counties have since been constituted, Grand Isle, 
in Lake Champlain ; Lamoille, and Washington. The 
latter is situated on the mountain near the centre of the 
state ; in which is Montpelier, the capital and seat of 
government. 

The judicature of Vermont consisted originally of 
justices of the peace, county courts, the supreme court, 
and a court of chancery. The justices in the several 
towns are appointed by the general assembly, being pre- 
viously nominated in county convention. County nomi- 
nations are merely advisory, the representatives of each 
county, during the session of the general assembly, 
meeting by themselves, select by ballot such persons as 
the majority wish to have fill the respective offices in 



110 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

their county ; such as judges, justices, sheriffs, and 
judges of probate. These being reported to the legisla- 
ture, are generally confirmed, a usage and custom of 
legislation, expeditious ; and generally safe as it is cer- 
tainly democratic. It is really submitting to the people 
of the several counties the choice of theii* own officers. 

The county courts consisted of three judges, as did 
also the supreme court for several years in the early 
days of this commonwealth. These, as well as justices, 
sheriffs, and probate judges, are chosen annually by joint 
ballot of the two houses of assembly. Justices of the 
peace have cognizance of minor offences ; and civil 
questions to a certain extent, and amount of property 
specified by law ; the right of appeal in most cases, 
being reserved to those against whom judgment is 
passed. Causes of greater magnitude and involving 
higher pecuniary liabilities come before the county 
courts. Most actions of a civil nature In which the 
rights of property are concerned must be commenced 
in the county court. The supreme court decides on 
such causes as are carried up from the county courts: 
and such as come within its own jurisdiction ; as capital 
offences, involving the loss of life, and severe punish- 
ments ; and on crimes and misdemeanors, the forfeitures 
of which go Into the state treasury. 

The court of chancery was composed of the judges 
of the supreme court, and held in the same manner as 
to time and place as was that court. Its business was 
to decide legal questions without a jury, and rectify 
errors, which may have occurred in previous decisions 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. HI 

and in the lower courts. It is now what is understood 
by the law term of the supreme court, of which more 
will be said, in treating of the new organization of the 
Vermont courts. 

The governor's salary and those of other executive 
officers in the early period of this republic were small. 
Indeed the whole expense of government for one year, 
October 1791, to October 1792, according to Dr. 
Williams, was only ten thousand seven hundred and 
fifty dollars. This sum divided by the number of 
inhabitants at that period, which was about eighty-six 
thousand, gives ninepence for each individual. One 
eighth of a dollar for each individual in Vermont, paid 
the whole annual expense of her government fifty-one 
years since. 

The original yearly salary of the governor, was five 
hundred dollars. The compensation of lieutenant gov- 
ernor was ^2,50 a day for attending the council over 
which he presided. The compensation of councilors 
was $1,17; that of representatives ,$1,00 per day. 
The secretary of state had $2,00 a day while attending 
the general assembly. The chief justice received four 
dollars and a half a day while on the circuit ; and the 
assistant judges three dollars and two thirds. These 
were indeed days of economy and republican simplicity! 
There was no need of retrenchment then, or rather 
retrenchment was impossible, as salaries and outgoes 
were at the lowest point; at the starting point ! Justice 
was as well administered then perhaps as now ; and the 
community as contented and tranquil and prosperous. 



113 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

The judges could ride the chcuits of the state over hills 
and through the valleys, in plain, equestrian style ; and 
find means from their small income to sustain themselves 
and families in a manner becoming their station. Per- 
forming their duties faithfully, without fear or favor, 
they were regarded with as much respect and veneration, 
perhaps, by their fellow citizens as those whose stipends 
may have been ten fold greater; and their equipage 
increased proportionally in splendor and magnificence. 
In the sultry heat of August, the writer saw a judge of 
the supreme court in this state, on the bench in a cool, 
calico morning gown ; and this convenient dress, though 
plain, impeded not his readiness of mind ; or the recti- 
tude of his decisions ; and was consistent with purity of 
motive as the costly robes of official dignity. 

But those who then occupied the high places of 
judgment in this commonwealth have descended to the 
grave ; and many of the plain lowly seats of justice, in 
which they gave sentence after hearing the complaint 
and defence eloquently made have disappeared, leaving 
scarcely a vestige of their having been. The lofty and 
commanding eminences where some of them stood, have 
been deserted for situations less exposed to the "windy 
storm and tempest." Many of those whose feet once 
stood on these slippery places, seeking justice, have 
finished their search here and gone to find it, or receive 
mercy, in another world. Prouder halls of justice have 
arisen in more mild and protected situations. In level, 
winding vales, loftier edifices have reared their domes, 
surmounted with the balance of even handed justice. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 113 

But ali:hough her seat may, in many instances, have been 
changed from the hill to the adjacent valley, it is not 
intended that justice, herself, has been driven from the 
high places of Vermont, to the sequestered, hiding places 
among her mountains. On the contrary, it is hoped, 
that her footsteps have taken deep hold in her soil, like 
the eagle that dwelleth in the clefts of the rock ; and 
that her sceptre, like the rod of Aaron, will blossom 
with perpetual verdure. 

In this connexion it may be well, perhaps, to remark, 
that the first settlers of this state seemed inclined to 
select for the centre of their towns, the highest situations. 
This has been the case also, more or less, with the early 
settlement of other mountainous districts. Indeed it is 
a common trait in man, that he needs do a work once, 
in order to know how to do it in the best manner. He 
wants the advantages of seeing where he was mistaken ; 
and where, doing differently, he might have done better. 
They are like children in this, as in some other respects, 
who think their way best, until trial convinces them to 
the contrary. But youth should keep in mind, that they 
have the very privilege and advantage, which the first 
settlers of a country need, but cannot enjoy. They have 
this in the experience and counsel of their parents and 
elders, who have been over that part of the journey of 
life on which they are entering. In going into a wilder- 
ness it is difficult to judge of the most eligible and safe 
situations. Those who do it are under the necessity of 
planting themselves down somewhere, and clearing up 
8 



114 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

a spot around them before they can make their observa- 
tions to much advantage. 

It is not strange then, in a dense, dark forest, that they 
should select an eminence, from which they may extend 
their view, and mark the local and relative bearings of 
the circumjacent country. Especially may we suppose, 
that a situation upon which the cheering sun would look 
in his morning and evening visitations, would be chosen. 
For the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is to 
behold the sun. In the solitude of an extended wilder- 
ness, that the eminences overlooking the scenery around, 
should be lighted upon first, was natural. Thus it was 
in the settlement of this state ; the elevations and swells 
were first cleared, and a foothold established on them. 
These also, were more suitable for immediate cultivation, 
the avails of which they needed as the means of sub- 
sistence. For in the interior especially, that is, interior 
as regards the rivers and lakes, the low lands needed 
draining before they could be cultivated to much advan- 
tage. 

The first roads also, were laid out under similar 
impressions and mistakes. They were run so as to 
enable the neighborhoods to hold intercourse as directly 
as possible ; and also to reach the centre of the town 
and county, and public buildings and mills in the most 
direct route. Thus they were opened and constructed, 
in many instances, over the steep ascent and ridges ; 
and then descending into the deep vallies, apparently for 
the pleasure of mounting the corresponding hill. The 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 115 

travel of a few miles was but alternate ascending and 
descending, like the mariner over the ridges and across 
the troughs of the highly swollen sea. 

But as the inhabitants increased, and the lands became 
more cleared, these injudicious locations and inconvenient 
routes of roads, were more and more apparent. They 
began to see the difficulties, to which the present local 
arrangements subjected them ; and how a different pro- 
cedure might have afforded them many facilities, and 
much enhanced their enjoyments. Even the first winter, 
after having planted himself down and felled the trees 
for a small circuit ; and erected a log dwelling, was 
enough to show many a first settler his mistake in choos- 
ing the site of his home. For this choice was generally 
made, and the first blow struck in the spring, or summer, 
or during the mild sun of autumn. But the cold, 
piercing winds came ; and the drifting snow, raking and 
sifting through his frail and hasty tenement, led him 
to look out for a lower situation, and more secured from 
the northwester, by an interposing hill, or clump of 
trees, or a south sloping exposure to the sun. 

This original and frequent practice of choosing 
elevated spots for settlement, increased the hardships of 
the occupiers, more or less unavoidable in a new coun- 
try ; especially, one so uneven and hard to be subdued, 
and severe in its winters as Vermont. It placed them 
of course some distance from mill seats, and obliged 
them often to carry up steep and long hills, their breadstuffs 
and other necessaries of livino^. One of the first settlers 



]16 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

in a town on the Connecticut, and who subsequently 
held offices of high trust, more than once, as he informed 
the writer, carried on his back two bushels of meal two 
or three miles, and most of the way up arduous hills. 
This was done by him too, in the dead of winter, going 
on the surface of the pathless snow with snow-shoes. 
The love of family ; of wife and children, nerved him to 
the task, and made him forget the toil in the gratification 
of seeing their wants supplied. In some instances, their 
fuel, after a few years clearing and burning over the 
ground, was to be hauled up hill to their' houses ; and 
to the centre of their towns ; and whither to market to 
pay the merchant's bill, or to furnish the pastor with his 
yearly supply. Then the weekly toiling up these steeps, 
year after year, in compliance with the benign command 
of inspiration : " Forsake not the assembling yourselves 
together on the Sabbath ;" and with the frequent calls of 
business and duty, was a heavy tax on the physical 
powers of both man and beast. 

Is it strange then, that such things should cause 
exterior changes in many parts of this state. As expe- 
rience has taught how to benefit by past errors and 
defects, this observing people have been led to avail 
themselves of its lessons. Attached, as is natural, to 
the place of their early footsteps ; ,and the ways so often 
walked ; and to the dwellings so familiar ; and the 
sanctuary visited so frequent; and the hall of justice, 
associated with many an interesting and impressive 
transaction, and even the prison-house looked at as a 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 117 

beacon of salutary warning, they have consented (reluct- 
antly indeed) to let go their hold on them ; and in other 
directions and places, seek anew objects dear to their 
hearts. Thus in many parts of the state the centre of 
business has changed. The hills have been deserted ; 
and the public buildings erected in vallies and on the 
margin of rivers. Even on single farms the buildings 
have been removed from the higher to the lower parts ; 
a position being thus secured not only less exposed to 
wintry winds; but to which their fruits and products 
flow with much less toil. 

Many also of the first roads have been given up and 
new ones opened ; running not over the almost inacces- 
sible heights ; but curving round the hills, and winding 
along the vallies and on the banks of the streams. 
Delightful situations are thus presented for dwelling 
houses, which are being rapidly occupied with neat 
farmer-like establishments. These routes render the 
traveling in this state, particularly in the summer sea- 
son, exhilarating, and, to the valetudinarian, salutary. 
Not a district of the state, not a county, or even a town 
without some of these alterations for the better ; and 
presenting some attracting views, or objects of interest- 
ing contemplations, if not of curiosity. 

These remarks do indeed apply more particularly to 
the parts first settled. For those portions more recently 
occupied have been with the advantages of previous 
experience. The new townships being settled often 
by families removing from the older settlements, were, 



118 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

in most instances, judiciously laid out in the first place ; 
and thus avoiding the necessity of losing much of their 
labor, before making their circumstances conform to their 
wishes. 

These facts relative to the early settlement and subse- 
quent alterations in various portions of the state, show 
us the limited foresight of man ; and the slow and often 
painful process in securing the objects of human enter- 
prise. If this was exemplified more often here, than in 
some other parts of the union ; it was owing to intrinsic 
difficulties, and not to any particular deficiency, or dis- 
cernment and forecast in the men, to whose lot it fell to 
layout the ground-work of political society in this moun- 
tain district. 

It is yet one of the instances of melancholy imper- 
fection in man, that so much of what he does, is to be 
undone ; that so much of what he has accomplished is 
to be deserted, and something else to take its place. 
Vermont indeed shows many proofs of this, in the 
deserted settlements on many of its hills and eminences, 
and buildings taken down and removed. Many such 
situations here, built and modeled with skill and taste ; 
and where was once heard the busy hum of business ; 
and all the enjoyments of life were participated, have 
disappeared and become wastes, as if no human foot- 
steps had been near them. Many roads built with great 
effort and expense ; and often traveled over by all 
classes in the various pursuits of life, have been discon- 
tinued, deserted ; the turnpike abandoned ; it gates and 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 119 

toll-houses broken down, and in ruins ; overgrown with 
underbrush, places once well known, but soon to lie for- 
ever forgotten. 



120 



CHAPTER VII. 

In Windham county such changes seen. — Black mountain. — Road 
on West river. — Cascade. — Defile. — Newfane hill. — Its former 
appearance. — Deserted state. — Contrast. — Judges and Lawyers. 
— New county seat. — Fayetteville. — Changes. — Their advan- 
tages. — Evils. — Uplands. — Their use. — Northern positions and 
exposure. — A family burnt in Newfane. — Hardy occupiers of 
exposed northern positions. — Hardihood a general trait. — Con- 
tributing to it, their early troubles. — Their aversion to effemi- 
nacy. — Illustrated by examples. — The character of the first 
settlers. — Settled principally from Connecticut. — Reproaches 
answered. — Testimony of Hillhouse to this trait of character. 

This course of things is seen, among other places in 
Windham county. Newfane has long been the shire town. 
In the early period of the jurisdiction proper of Vermont, 
and for several years, the courts were held alternately at 
Westminster and Marlboro. It is about fourteen miles 
from Brattleboro ; and the road runs along the right 
bank of West river. Passing by several interval farms 
near the mouth of that river ; rich by being overflowed ; 
in a high state of cultivation ; and presenting a fine 
appearance, you come into the neighborhood of Black 
mountain, in Dummerston, on the left bank. The river 
washes the base of this mountain, which rises from the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 121 

water almost perpendicularly several hundred feet, and 
opens to the south in the form of a ^ horse shoe,' and 
thus the cavity has borne the appellation, time immemo- 
rial, ' the shoe of the mountain,^ Its appearance as you 
pass along on the opposite bank, is bold and majestic ; 
granite rocks piled one upon another ; with evergreens 
and stinted shrubbery but poorly covering its surface, 
give it a dark and sombre hue. It seems like one of 
nature's castles ; from which writers of fiction have tried 
to copy ; and make the strong hold of some fair one to 
be hunted out and carried off by her lover, some knight 
errant. But the river is too fleet to admit of escape by 
water craft, his prize being let down poetically from the 
lofty eminence ; and success if at all, must come by the 
way of 'the heel.' 

But it serves a more substantial purpose, abounding 
as it does in durable and everlasting, so to speak, mate- 
rials for the purposes of building, and fences and canal 
locks. It stands yet proof against the purpose of the 
energetic Hillhouse of Connecticut, who, with DeWitt 
Clinton, making his exploring tour, to extend the New 
Haven and Northampton canal to Vermont, said " he 
wanted to prepare the way for the removal of Black 
mountain to New Orleans." On the other hand also, 
opposite this, skirting the road, is a corresponding hill 
of less altitude, somewhat cleared and improved as graz- 
ing ground, and remarkable for a beautiful cascade ; a 
small stream of water rushing from its summit, and 
descending over the rocks and precipices ; and threaten- 
ing to dash into the traveler's face, glides under his feet 



122 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

through an aqueduct into the river. So lightly does it 
make its way, and so hard its bed, that little, or no 
channel has it cut, but seems to dart down upon the 
surface, its waters foaming and glittering in the fall- 
ing rays of the sun, it becomes a striking and pleasing 
spectacle. 

Passing along to the northwest part of the town, you 
come to the narrow defile, made by the river on the 
north ; and an almost inaccessible mound on the south, 
leaving only a very narrow passway, which by one of 
the leaders in the early difficulties of this state, was 
called " the valley of the shadow of deaths So steep 
and high is the hill ; and the road so narrow, that for 
two or three months of the winter, the rays of the sun 
scarcely fall upon you for a mile, any part of the day. 
This luminary so bountiful of his beams, and exhaustless, 
deals them out here so sparingly, and lets you have light 
by measure of small dimensions. 

You now leave the river ; and after going three miles 
on ascending ground, come to the former seat of the 
county, a lofty, conical summit, overlooking not a small 
part of the surrounding country. Here was once the 
strong hold, the citadel of justice and judgment for Wind- 
ham county. Here once stood the court-house and jail ; 
surrounded by hotels, and stores ; and mechanic's shops ; 
attorney's offices, and neat, hospitable dwellings. Here 
stood also, the sanctuary on the very pinnacle ; and near 
it the county academy and parsonage house. But 
these are now gone ; the court-house, the jail, the mer- 
chants' establishments, the business shops; the hotel; 



HISTORY OF VERMO NT. 123 

the commodious houses and the house of God itself; and 
you see a mere desolation and waste compared with what 
it once was. The academic building stands, but 
deserted, dilapidated; the old tavern stand is there ; but 
no longer clustered with the shivering crowds of Decem- 
ber court. The winds whistle unheeded ; the northern 
blast finds few dwellings there to rack ; and fewer occu- 
pants to waken from their midnight slumbers, clinging to 
their bed posts. The clear ice can glisten in the wintry- 
sun unmolested by calks and ashes ; and without wit- 
nessing the prostration of many a human frame ; and the 
falling of "justice in the streets." 

No longer do crowds repair hither to enjoy the beauties 
and refreshing breezes of this spot, as they used to do, 
at the June and August courts. Its surface pressed by 
the feet of the substantial yeomanry of the country ; and 
fashionable visitants ; the supreme judges of Vermont, 
and members of the bar with their wives often ; and 
various other spectators, in the sultry month of August, 
enjoying the delightful scenery and cooling winds from 
the neighboring hills, is felt by them no longer. Here 
as the sun was declining, the business of the day finished, 
in the shade of their houses, on the green grass, were 
often tea parties, indulging in social conversation ; in 
glee and merriment. The stern, inflexible judge, and 
eloquent lawyer relaxed their brows ; and related many 
a transaction of past times ; gave and received many a 
stroke of wit and humor. Here once stood a Robinson, 
a Tyler and a Harrington, of the supreme court ; and a 
Knowlton and a Duncan of the county. Here in elo- 



\^ HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

quent strains were as advocates, a Bradley, an Elliot, 
Blake, Stark, Hall, Hunt, Field and others, whose 
tongues are silent, and who heed not the changes that 
have come over this hill of justice. Others live, orna- 
ments of their profession, who can recall to mind past 
scenes here witnessed, " like the music of carol^ pleasant 
hut mournful to the souU^ 

But this was a desertion of choice, and not necessity ; ' 
not to a condition of less, but more eligibility, if to a 
lower station ; not to one less protected and safe, but of 
more easy access. In a northeasterly direction, two miles 
down the declivity in a beautiful vale, you find the 
county seat revived Phoenix-like, much improved. Seve- 
ral of the most valuable buildings were taken down and 
rebuilt on this ground, and retain almost their former 
appearance. 

The public buildings have indeed been much enlarged 
and are of more elegant structure. Two neat houses of 
worship ; and other public buildings, with many elegant 
private dwelling houses ; stores, offices, and shops of 
mechanics, cluster round the public edifices, and form a 
beautiful situation protected by adjacent hills from the 
piercing winds of winter. In the summer, its fertile, 
well cultivated fields ; and its level even surface, and 
spacious common on which you can plant your foot with 
the horizon and stand perpendicularly to it without 
bracing, you find one of the pleasantest villages in Ver- 
mont. You thus become not only reconciled, but pleased 
with the change. In Fayetteville you have a fair speci- 
men of the villao^es which now abound in this state in 



II I S T O R Y O F V E R M O N T . 1 25 

the sequestered vallies, and on the margins of rivers, 
rendered by their relative situations more convenient and 
pleasant even in winter, than those of states several 
degrees south of it, but of surface more level. 

These facts and statements have been so particularly 
stated and made, as affording illustrations and specimens 
both of the scenery with which one is presented in 
traveling over the state ; and also of the alterations, 
which have taken place since its early settlement. 
These have been greater in some parts than in others ; 
the greatest where the ground was first cleared ; and is 
the most uneven. In the northern part of the state, the 
surface on both sides of the mountain being more level, 
inconvenient and exposed, beginnings have not been so 
frequent. The mountain also in the northern section is 
not so high and precipitous. 

Some evils and inconveniences have resulted from 
these changes, and suspension of original purposes. 
The centre of business has often fallen on the borders 
and not in the middle of towns ; the local limits of 
religious parishes have been blended and lost. Members 
of churches have sometimes been separated from their 
brethren ; and long habits of association sundered. 
Houses of worship have been abandoned ; and expense 
incurred in building others ; in some instances the pasto- 
ral relation dissolved. You will see too, many houses of 
divine worship, on lonely and deserted hills, unoccupied, 
or used for some other purpose. 

Bift the convenience and comfort of the inhabitants 
and even the value of property have been increased 



126 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and enhanced greatly by them. They have generally 
been judicious, leading to immediate and permanent 
advantages. One great benefit by them, is the securing 
of numerous situations of water privileges. Numerous 
mill seats both for breadstufFs and the sawing of lumber, 
and situations for manufacturing establishments, have 
been discovered and occupied. The hills and moun- 
tainous parts, though in many instances abandoned as 
places of residence, are by no means useless, but serve 
as sheep pastures, for which, they are excellent, and for 
young cattle. To this use of them the farmers are 
more or less resorting. Dwelling themselves on the flats 
and in the vallies and near the streams, they plow the more 
feasible portions of their farms, and let these useful, 
nimble animals overrun and clip the steep sides of the 
hill ; and they return their owners the increase, and 
profitable clippings to their shearers. Thus the facility 
of milling is great compared with what it once was ; and 
the spectacle of a wind-mill, formerly not unfrequent, is 
now rarely visible ; one such structure in Vermont the 
writer has seen, but the place that knew it, knows it 
no more, and only retains the name of wind-mill hill. 

It cannot be avoided, however, that many settlements 
and establishments should have a northern and a west- 
ern situation and exposure. So innumerable are the 
hills ; and so diversified their shapes and dimensions ; 
circular, conical, and angular, from the lowest to the 
highest form of the term, it cannot be expected that 
habitations should be found only in the vallies. Clearing 
the south and east side of the hills ; and forming settle- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 127 

ments there, and erecting houses, is not all that could be 
expected. It is not all that is actually done. Some 
excellent land has a northern inclination, and is occupied 
and cleared into productive farms. The owners must 
place their dwellings on the sides of the north ; with no 
intervening object to break off the wind at a distance 
often of many miles. They have the opportunity 
indeed of founding them on a rock ; and giving them a 
broad foundation ; an unambitious elevation ; digging 
deep and laying it strong, and building compact, they do 
not very often find them subverted by the descending 
rains and falling winds. The impression on them is 
startling at times, so sudden are the changes, and power- 
ful blasts from the northwest. So penetrating and 
inquisitive is the wind, that the utmost care and circum- 
spection cannot prevent its making its way through the 
crevices into the most retired apartments. Shivering 
with the cold, the occupants find the application of more 
clothing to their persons convenient and comfortable. 
For sometimes, when the cold is most severe, and the wind 
highest, the fire on the hearths cannot be safely increas- 
ed in proportion. It might be driven into their rooms 
in contact with the facing and woodwork around the 
fire place. Painful experience has taught them more 
danger is to be apprehended by fire in such positions, than: 
by the winds overthrowing their buildings. Disasters in 
this way have taken place. 

In the early settlement of Newfane, a log tenement 
in a northern exposure was consumed by fire, and the 
whole family, eight in number, perished with it. As the 



128 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

family retired to rest, the fire was plentifully supplied 
with wood, as a defence against the severity of the 
weather ; and the flame was blown probably into the 
room kindling the combustible matter within its reach. 
Thus by the smoke, their slumbers were rendered 
heavier and heavier, till they slept the sleep of death. 
The morning came, and the smouldering ruins and the 
naked bones revealed to the neighbors, the painful 
calamity. At the funeral for the burial of these bones, 
the theme of the pioneer pastor's discourse was : ^'Suppose 
ye, that they were sinners above all men, because they 
suffered such things ! " 

But even in these western and northern positions, the 
occupiers can often contrive somewhat to ward off the 
intruding winds and storms. In the construction of their 
buildings ; in the high breast works ; and breakers ; and 
outposts they have exhibited genuine traits of yankee 
invention, to keep at bay the elements warring around 
them. Thus they can employ their indoor hours in quiet 
and calm reading and conversation, secure against the 
furious onsets without ; and smiling at the snow driving 
against their window casements. 

But when the worst comes, the green mountain boys 
will not turn their backs, but be found at their posts 
facing the enemy. They soon become habituated to 
these vanguard posts, so to speak ; these hyperborean 
positions. The husbandmen occupying these prominent 
situations are among the most respectable ; and of in- 
dependent secular circumstances of any in the state. 
They are hale and robust ; no dough-faces ; nor Doe- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 129 

faces : but can bear the motion of the air when the 
mercury in the thermometer is far below zero. Their 
faces become tough by exposure ; and they can breast 
the driving snow storm ; and at the call of duty go 
where man can go amid the strife of the elements. In 
short they become conformed to their circumstances ; 
and manifest some of the most praise-worthy traits in 
the human character. 

Having thus alluded to a characteristic of this portion 
of the Vermonters, it may be said here in addition, that 
it is somewhat descriptive of the whole population. 
Several circumstances may have contributed to this. 

The circumstances in which the state was originally 
settled may have had influence. These have been 
before explained ; the protracted controversies with New 
York, and New Hampshire ; and with the continental 
congress. These trials had an influence in strengthening 
their minds ; their resolutions and even their physical 
powers. They rendered them watchful ; and circum- 
spect ; and although sparing of blood, they had some- 
times to exercise their courage and even bodily powers. 
Their titles to their farms were sealed by the seal, called 
'' the Beech SealJ^ In allusion to this emblem, they 
sometimes had to renew their titles to their farms by 
applying anew the seal ; that is, the beech rod to the 
backs of those, who came upon their premises with a 
writ of ejectment. They used various kinds of missives 
to keep off whom they could not but view as intruders ; 
and though they were not fatal in their application, they 
were often serious, and at any rate, served to nerve the 
9 



130 • HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

arm which sent them. In some cases even the house- 
wives dashed hot water out at the windows upon suspi- 
cious claimants about the premises. Honorable scars of 
this kind, by here and there an advocate of the Yorkers, 
were worn long after the difficulties ceased — a memento 
to their neighbors of past warfare. Thus then this 
people were formed originally to an energy of character, 
which is retained, more or less, to the present time. 

Then again they seem to have an aversion, a strong 
loathing to effeminacy ; a withered, pale, sickly, shady 
growth, to deprecate ; and shudder at the thought of 
falling into it. Their soil, they think, is uncongenial 
to dandyism, and will not sustain such a class of oc- 
cupants. 

The writer knew a sober farmer, who returning from 
Boston, whither he had been with the surplus produce 
of his farm, to provide stores for the year, fell as he was 
walking beside his team, and he knew not how, broke 
one of his legs. Being detained a week or two, by the 
way, it was the most mortifying part of his disaster, he 
said, " to tell his host and attendants, that he belonged 
to Vermont; as they must think it strange, that any one 
should be reared so in the shade and cellar as to have 
his bones snap like a 'pipe-stem^ One of the first 
settlers of a * river town,' he also knew, of whom it was 
said, that scorning effeminacy, he was ashamed to be 
seen wearing a new beaver hat, until " it had lain in the 
barn-yard two or three nights." 

The character of the first settlers themselves may have 
had an influence in forminsf and continuinor this trait. 



HISTORY OF VERiMONT. ^ 131 

The original inhabitants of the state were mostly from 
the New England states. The south eastern part, was 
taken possession of by emigrants from Massachusetts ; 
and many of them were from the county of Worcester. 
Many families and adventurers came from Connecticut, 
and took up their residence in various parts of the state ; 
in Bennington county, particularly in the town of Paw- 
let ; in Addison county ; and in Windsor and Orange. 
Indeed the great body of the early settlers came from 
Connecticut ; among whom was the Allen family, and 
several of her governors. Thus in the first formation 
of its government, it was styled New Connecticut, other- 
wise Vermont. But New Hampshire and Rhode Island 
furnished some of the original inhabitants. A few fami- 
lies of Dutch descent, as their names indicate, settled in 
the western part of the state, particularly in Bennington 
and its vicinity. 

The first explorers and occupiers of this district were 
themselves hardy. For few, but bold and daring men ; 
capable of enduring hardships, could at that period, be 
induced to go to Vermont. It was then thought a more 
daring undertaking to go to the new state, or Vermont 
state, as it was named, than a journey now is to Illinois ; 
or beyond the Mississippi. It is indeed true, that some 
who wish to speak reproachfully of this state, say, " that 
it was settled by fugitives from justice, and abettors of 
Shay's rebellion." But it is not believed that more 
persons of this description removed to this state, than is 
common now to new countries, particularly those em- 
barrassed with debt. Of the adherents to Shay's, not 



132 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

more came to this state, than probably went to New 
Hampshire, or New York. Some, who did come, it is 
well known, proved good inhabitants. Through inex- 
perience and misrepresentation, they were perhaps be- 
guiled into an action which on reflection, their judgment 
disapproved ; and the fact had, probably a salutary in- 
fluence on them through life. Surely it is no reproach, 
but an honor to a man to repudiate his errors and faults, 
when convinced of them. Those embarrassed with 
pecuniary liabilities have been so, in many instances, 
without crime ; as many at that period became so with- 
out the loss of character for honesty. Surely fewer 
came branded with crimes, than were found in many 
other states ; or than now go from the older to new 
settlements. Adventurers indeed came ; but such as were 
made of stern and enduring temperament, and not easily 
discouraged at difficulties. If all that is alleged should 
be granted, it would still be true, that they were men 
not given to inglorious ease and supineness ; but of a 
bold, go-ahead character. It must then even be admit- 
ted, that the first generation of this flourishing state were 
men capable of enduring trials and encountering diffi- 
culties ; that its primitive materials were far less dis- 
cordant than those of Imperial Rome, mistress of the 
world. 

This original trait of character has been infused more 
or less into all classes ; and handed down to the present 
generation. They are still a hardy people. They carry 
evidence of it in their appearance ; and of this trait in 
a measure the tender sex partakes. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 133 

Of this, the lamented Hillhouse bore testimony, who, 
in his tour, to which reference has been made, going to 
a house in Guilford to borrow an axe to clear away 
bushes, which obstructed his survey, was told by the 
woman, " that the axe was so dull he could not use it, 
and that her husband was gone ; but if he would hold 
it on, she could turn the grind-stone." " If such are 
the women of Vermont," said he, " there is no difficulty 
in extendins: the canal into it." 



134 



CHAPTER VIII. 

» Character of its inhabitants continued. — Hardy. — Their position. — 
Climate and employments unite in making them so. — Bo- 
dily structure. — Exercise. — Exceptions. — Dissipation. — Diet. — 
Wrong- management. — Frankness another trait. — Enterprising. 
— Seen in the improvements. — In new sources of profit. — In 
their vallies, rivers, lakes ; quarries ; factories ; potatoes. — 
Starch factories. — Found over the union in responsible trusts. — 
Intelligent. — Comparative number who cannot read or write. — 
Jurymen. — A comparison. — Prejudices. — Apology for speaking 
of them by comparison. — Formerly stigmatized. — Unfounded 
as persons. — Griswold and Lyon. — Rencountre between them. — 
How treated in Connecticut. — Its influence-. — Hospitality. — 

Southern. — In Vermont to strangers. 

■ 

The liorthern position of this people ; their climate 
and employments have also contributed to the formation 
, of this characteristic trait. Familiarity with the bracing 
winds of their mountains and protracted winters have, 
given a healthful color to their countenances ; and served 
to render their bodily structure compact and firm. 
Going up and down the ridges and uplands of their 
mountains in the discharge of duty ; or in the pursuit of 
game, or in rambles for curiosity, and prospective views : 
or in making scientific researches in natural history, or 
geology or mineralogy, serves to give elasticity and vigor 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 135 

to their limbs. In this way they become capable of 
making great bodily efforts, and enduring much fatigue. 
In some instances, athletic, robust, and somewhat ele- 
vated bodily structures are seen like that of Ethan Allen, 
which made his English captors doubt the strength of 
their prisons to hold him. Three or four of such frames 
a little more than ordinary, happened to go in company 
from the same town, with porl: and 'poultry to Boston. 
The attention of the Bostonians was arrested at their 
formidable appearance ; and after buying their 'notions,^ 
wanted to know if they were not the biggest men in 
Vermont? "No," said they, "compared with some 
there, we are babies." 

Their ordinary employments also unite in rendering 
them hardy. They are mostly husbandmen. Culti- 
vating the soil is the great business of Vermonters. 
Much was done formerly in lumbering; and to some 
extent, this is now a business pursued by them. The 
pines bordering on the Connecticut are becoming scarce ; 
and the making of shingles, sawing of boards, and haul- 
ino; of loojs, are beinor confined to the interior. There is 
indeed a boundless source of hemlock and spruce, in 
working of which many are engaged. 

These are employments, which strengthen the physical 
faculties. In subduing the soil, naturally tough and 
stuborn at first, particularly on the hills, and in the 
southern parts of the state, bodily efforts, and mental 
resources are necessary. In converting the lumber of 
their mountains into articles for transportation and sale, 
and forwarding them to market, by sledding, carting, 



136 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

rafting and boating, energy, resolution and perseverance' 
are requisite. The making of sugar from the maple; a 
business pursued to a considerable extent in the spring, 
is laborious, and calls into exercise mental and bodily- 
resources ; and aids in stren^thenino; the human consti- 
tution. 

These things have contributed to make the inhabitants 
of Vermont, and to keep them a hardy population. 
Generally speaking, they have this one important part of 
temporal happiness, the union of bodily and mental 
elasticity and vigor ; ^' sound minds in sound bodies." 
Generally, for it would be strange if there were no 
exceptions ; none afflicted with feeble constitutions ; 
none rendered inactive and irresolute by wrong treatment 
in their youth ; and by self-indulgence and dissipation ; 
none unable through the want of exercise and fortitude 
and self-denial to ascend the high ridges and lofty 
mountains by which they are surrounded. Vice and 
intemperance have disabled many, otherwise hale and 
strong in mind, and benevolent of heart ; making thein 
cower and shiver beneath an October breeze, who once 
could face unmoved the tempest and drifting snows of 
mid-winter. What is meant to be said, is, that although 
Vermont is not a soil and climate which produces natu- 
rally dwarfs and 'pigmies, in either body or mind ; it is 
not denied that sometimes those of dwarfish dimensions 
are found among its inhabitants. Distant may be the 
day, and never arrive, when the vices and luxuries of 
older, or more spontaneous districts, shall render them a 
degenerate and sickly race ; effeminate and irresolute. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 137 

Another trait of character in the Vermonters, h frank- 
ness. In their deportment at honie, and abroad ; in 
their intercourse with one another, and with stranfjers, 
you generally find them open and explicit. If they 
cannot carry their purposes without equivocation and 
duplicity, they feel better satisfied with failure than suc- 
cess by such unworthy means. This, it is believed, has 
been found true, more or less by strangers, who have 
resided temporarily among them. They would scorn to 
take the advantage of the ignorance of such, and make 
them the dupes of their artifice. Should residents 
among them of this description be imposed upon by 
some unworthy individuals, they would find ready and 
warm advocates to redress their wrongs. Vermont is a 
poor place for deceivers and imposters to find favor when 
their true characters are once known. This open-heart- 
edness may indeed encourage the approaches of villains, 
w^ho may for a while conceal their purposes, and be suc- 
cessful. But when once understood ; and they will 
sooner or later come in contact with such as are not slow 
to understand, retributive justice will follow them with 
no doubtful pace. When accosted by travelers civilly 
and directly, they will answer directly and with corres- 
ponding seriousness. But if they have reason to believe 
that no serious object is in view by the parlance, they 
will be found at home in such manoeuvering. They will 
be ready at indistinctness and circumlocution, to the 
heart's content of any who wish to make the trial. 

Thus they disclose their minds unreservedly, relative 
to their public agents, and the measures of government ; 



133 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and without reserve, say of " all who act in the public 
eye, or speak to the public ear," what they think. 
What they approve, they do it cordially ; and as heartily, 
what they disapprove. This* is also done face to face, 
and not clandestinely by detraction and insinuation. 
In short, it is a frankness, which is warm-hearted ; and 
not cold and distant ; but often making those who come 
within its influence either cordial friends, or cordial ene- 
mies. This is the state of the case as it is often, and 
the lines of distinction are clear as the noon-day sun. 
There is no possibility of blending them. 

They are also enterprising. This is implied in what 
has already been said in the alterations and improve- 
ments in their public roads, and buildings ; and on their 
farms, draining their lowlands ; filling up the vallies, and 
leveling down the hills. These are not the works of • 
those, who are satisfied to endure evils rather than exer- 
cise self-denial and fortitude in removing them, and 
trying the means of melioration. Not content with 
securing or even enhancing their present privileges, they 
are constantly seeking new means of improvement, new 
sources of gain ; and of enjoyment. New vallies are 
explored by the husbandmen among the mountains, 
made rich by the decomposition of vegetable matter, 
washed down from the surrounding hills by the rains of 
centuries. Inventions are constantly making to facilitate 
the clearing of land, and eradicating the stumps and 
roots from the soil ; and rendering the surface smooth 
and easy to pass and repass upon it. Their swamps and 
sloughs, before neglected, and esteemed nuisances, are 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 139 

now becoming invaluable as furnishing exhaustless 
sources of manure for their uplands. To more valuable 
purposes are turned their streams and ponds of water, as 
means of irrigating their meadows in times of drought. 
Thus the products of their farms in some instances are 
doubled. The rivers, creeks, bays, and inlets of 
their lakes are traced and explored with untiring zeal 
for water power; and new places for mill-seats, fac- 
tories and machine shops of various descriptions. 

Thus extensive establishments of this kind are becom- 
ing more and more flourishing by the enterprise of 
individuals and companies. These you may see particu- 
larly at Springfield, Perkinsville, Bennington, Brattleboro., 
Middlebury, Winooski, Manchester, Bellows Falls, and 
other places. New uses are sought and made of their 
woodlands and forests ; making them sources of profit 
by transporting fuel to the neighboring villages, and 
factories and shops ; and timber and lumber for the 
puposes of building, and furniture, and implements of 
husbandry ; and for machinery. Increased attention is 
also paying to the quarries, and beds of granite, marble 
and free stone, and lime and slate ; and additional 
profits derived from them by the more frequent use made 
in buildings and fences. Even the caverns and bowels 
of the mountains are more and more ' ransacked ' for 
sources of gain ; and in some instances, perhaps, " for 
treasures better hid." Thus there are extensive beds of 
iron ore at Bennington and Plymouth, where furnaces 
have kept their livid fires kindled day and night for 
years in succession. In Somerset and Chittenden are 



140 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

also extensive mines ; at the latter place also are mines 
of manganese, used much in book establishments ; and 
of a better quality than is often found. But in visiting 
the mines in Chittenden, the excavations and works 
connected with them, your attention will be unavoidably 
attracted by the extensive and majestic prospects at the 
south, which are here presented to you. 

In ways similar to these, is Vermont shown to be an 
enterprising state ; and this is becoming more and more 
a trait in her character. This is seen also in the con- 
stant improvements made here in agriculture. This, as 
a science, both in theory and practice, is better under- 
stood than in many of her sister states. The farmers 
are much in the habit of reading agricultural publica- 
tions ; and willing to make experiments in husbandry. 
They plow and hoe but little ground, but do it well, 
and have good crops. They obtain more by the acre, 
it is believed, than the farmers of Connecticut, and 
some other states, where the custom is to plow and hoe 
double the quantity of ground. They are attentive to 
their seed grains ; selecting and exchanging them to the 
best advantage in securing good crops ; and is of the 
first quality : introducing from abroad often the most 
approved kinds. In their potatoes, which in variety 
and richness and abundance are unrivaled, they are con- 
stantly making trials to improve and perfect the yield. 
This is a product of their farms more and more used as 
food for both man and beast. Indeed several starch 
factories in the north part of the state, work up vast 
quantities of them ; and thus encourage the enterprising 



HISTORY OF VERMO N T. 141 

spirit of the neighboring farmers. In some seasons, 
thousands and tens of thousands of bushels, are trans- 
ported to New York ; and other cities farther south, 
through the water conveyances of lakes, canals and 
rivers. Loads, after loads ; team after team from the 
interior and eastern parts of Chittenden and Franklin 
counties, crowding to the landing places at Burlington, 
St. Albans, and other lake ports, you may see, as you 
travel through this delightful region, during a mild autum- 
nal Indian summer. 

Further proof of this, is in the fact, that so many of 
her sons and daughters are scattered more or less over 
the union, engaged in the various pursuits of life. In 
mechanic arts, in husbandry; in mercantile pursuits; in 
the. various professions; in engineering and surveying, 
you will find employed enterprising Vermonters success- 
fully, one or more in almost every town and district of 
this extensive country. Their character for this active, 
business spirit, secures them employment wherever they 
go ; and they do not often betray the confidence 
reposed in them. 

The people in Vermont are intelligent. This is 
another characteristic trait. It is indeed true by the last 
census, that the number of those who cannot read is 
comparatively greater than of some other states, particu- 
larly Connecticut. But this is owing probably to the 
disadvantages of schooling in the early settlement of the 
state. So unsettled and disturbed the condition of thin^^s 
then was, that the district system did not for sometime 
acquire much regularity. But it is not believed that of 



142 HISTORY O F VERMONT. 

those under sixteen years, there are more here who 
cannot read, than in the same number in any section in 
the country. The schools are now under good regula- 
tions ; as much spirit and animation and interest mani- 
fested by the scholars ; and the instruction is as thorough, 
and extending to as many branches. The annual 
duration of the district schools may be less than in some 
other commonwealths ; but it is not believed that the 
scholars, as a body, in the elementary branches, will be 
found behind those of the same age and class in whatever 
direction you go. 

But the ability to read ; and the habit and love of 
reading to acquire knowledge and information are two 
distinct things. The extensive school funds possessed 
by some states ; the number of local districts, and com- 
parative easy access to them, summer and winter, may 
have happily conferred the ability to read and write on 
the entire population. But unhappily, this is as far as 
some go in these places. They make little, or no use 
of this ability, farther than to be able to prove that they 
have not lost it by reading in large letters the commission 
of the officer taking the census. Such there are, more 
or less, in all communities. But the inhabitants of this 
state generally, seem to avail themselves of this privilege 
conferred upon them in childhood. They are thus 
distinguished for general information ; extending their 
knowledge beyond the mountains, which surround them ; 
and often limiting to a narrow compass their prospect. 
They seem emulous to enlarge their views of things, 
and to extend them over the globe, to know what the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 143 

world at large is doing, and to keep up with the times. 
While their first attention and efforts are directed to the 
duties of their several callings and employments, they 
do not neglect to acquaint themselves with the condition 
of their fellow men in different parts of the world. 
They employ their leisure moments in acquiring a gene- 
ral acquaintance with science and literature, and with 
the history of the world. In conversation you will find 
them ready on subjects of common interest and concern. 
You will often be delighted, as well as surprised, at the 
knowledge discovered by many, in ordinary occupations 
of life, on various topics, history, biography, chemistry, 
belle-lettres, geography and national policy. 

From such citizens to select an enlightened and inde- 
pendent jury for any cause, one well versed in the forms 
and ceremonies of courts of justice, would not be a diffi- 
cult task. The Vermont tribunals would not suffer in 
this, nor in any other respect, be it said with due defe- 
rence, in comparison with her sister states. To such 
hands, the interests, the property and lives of her citi- 
zens may be safely entrusted. The writer once witness- 
ed a jury in Connecticut being charged by a district 
judge of the United States court, keep their seats, till 
told by the judge himself to ' rise.^ That a Vermont 
jury would have waited till thus instructed, or admon- 
ished, he does not believe ; but is confident that the 
judge rising and addressing, " gentlemen of the jury," 
would have been instantly followed by a simultaneous 
rising, on the part of those receiving the charge. These 
things are not named for invidious comparisons. Far 



144 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

be it from such design. That state was named, because 
it is called, and deservedly so, ' the Athens of the union,* 
and if Vermont comes nearly even sides with her in 
intelligence, she will not in this respect fall behind the 
other states: It is too, to counteract the prejudices and 
hasty assumptions prevailing in some parts unfavorable 
to Vermont ; that it is a place ' fit only for bears and 
owls ;' and that its inhabitants shun the light, and are 
buried in ignorance; and, as to all improvements in 
civilization and the refinements of society, bound fast in 
the frosts of apathy. The writer has opportunity of 
knowing somewhat of both Connecticut and Vermont ; 
and, loving as the apple of the eye, and venerating the 
institutions and habits and customs of the former ; in 
justice to the latter, he is constrained to say, that in 
D-eneral information and intelligence she is in advance 
of her ; and in the stale of society, not much in the 
rear. 

Here, lest it should be thought by some that some- 
what of the foregoing has the appearance of a defence 
and encomium, it may be said, that such is the design, 
so far as to repel unfounded aspersions and unprovoked 
attacks ; and to commend where commendation is de- 
served. It is fashionable in many places, to stigmatize 
Vermont, as ' the land of HemlocJcs,^ and her people as 
a cold, phlegmatic, frost-bitten race, half civilized and 
half barbarian. The writer remembers seeing when very 
young, printed caricatures of the rencountre in congress 
between Roger Griswold of Connecticut, and Matthew 
Lyon of Vermont, at the expense of the latter, of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 145 

course, as he was probably most in fault. But that was 
not enough ; Vermont itself must be caricatured as a 
land of bears, wolves and catamounts ; that is, settled 
by a people, resembling these animals in their temper, 
and manners and customs. Prints of this kind were 
about that time, and in consequence truly of that affray, 
circulated in Connecticut ; and even found their way 
into her schools, leading the young to imbibe strong pre- 
judices against the state thus portrayed. Thus, as they 
increased in years, they increased m antipathy towards 
the new state ; and seemed to look suspiciously at the 
green mountains north of the bay state. They felt 
some as a worthy clergyman did, who lived long and 
died at the foot of the mountain in that state : He was 
willing to settle in any place where the Providence of 
God might call him, " if it might not he in Vermont.'*^ 
But if that same Providence, contrary to their wishes 
sent them to that land of ' fugitives ;' they perchance 
began to let go their hasty, early impressions. On a 
thorough acquaintance with them, they saw not why the 
great body of Vermonters should be stigmatized ; be- 
cause Roger Griswold threw upon Matthew Lyon, the 
reproach of the wooden sivord ; and because the latter 
should spit in his face for it ; and because the former 
belabored his shoulders with the hickory, in the hall of 
congress. 

But from that time, strong prejudices have been 

retained in many parts of our land against this state ; 

and editors of newspapers now, if they wish to amuse 

their readers with a tale of outlandish manners and 

10 



146 K I S T O R Y O F V E R M O \ T . 

occurrences, would be very likely to make Vermont the 
seat of the drama, and Vermonters leading actors in it. 
It is then to counteract these mistakes and. antipathies, 
that the foreoroinoj remarks have taken a turn, which 
might be perverted without, and with it, may perhaps 
by some, this explanation. A long and intimate ac- 
quaintance with them, and personal knowledge of facts 
on the ground, authorize, it is thought, what has been 
said in their favor. It is regretted that it had not been 
done by an abler hand, and in a better manner. It will 
only be added in this digression, that hickory grows in 
Vermont too, as well as in the land of steady habits ; 
and New York; and not hemlock alone ; but Beech and 
maple ; hard maple ; rock maple ; curled maple ; an 
article when wrought and polished, as comely and beau- 
tiful, as it is tough and enduring, and that the ' king of 
birds' sometimes hovers around their tops, and lights 
upon their trunks, and the cliffs of her mountains. 

In further proof of the intelligence of Vermonters, it 
may be said, that the district schools receive a certain 
sum from the government of the state ; (a cent on a 
dollar of the grand list ;) on condition of each district 
raising an equal amount ; and keeping a school in 
operation so many months of the year. By this public 
provision, a healthful tone is given to common educa- 
tion ; and most of the children and youth are brought 
within its influence ; and they seem to prize the privi- 
lege put into their hands more than some others, pro- 
vided with more ample funds. It is believed that Ver- 
mont has furnished her proportion of good teachers of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 147 

primary schools ; and that they stand on vantage ground 
at the west and south, whither many of them go, hoth 
male and female. 

Hospitality is another trait in the character of the 
green mountains. The writer has resided at the south ; 
and known somewhat of the manners and customs of 
the Marylanders, bordering on Virginia, famed for its 
hospitality. Report speaks short of the truth with 
regard to the cordial welcome and entertainment of 
those, who, with credentials clear, go among them at 
the calls of duty, and for the purposes of information. 
The sparse population of farmers and planters on the 
banks of the rivers and creeks, isolated from one another, 
knowing little of taverns and hotels, except in their 
villages, open their doors with great kindness to the stran- 
ger and wayward traveler. They make him feel at 
home ; and urge his stay as long as suits his conve- 
nience ; and if he should happen to be an associate for- 
merly at school, the tarrying must be measured not by 
days, but by weeks. In traveling in Vermont, he has 
been reminded of those kindly customs, by meeting some- 
what similar tokens of good will in faces never before 
seen. Convenient public houses indeed abound in the 
vallies on the hill roads of Vermont ; and therefore the 
reasons to the same extent for the rites of private hospi- 
tality here, as at the south, do not exist. But if night 
overtake you in some sequestered spot, short of the vil- 
lage inn, and you enter the first dwelling, perchance 
you will witness the kindly countenances, and hear the 
unaffected salutation, ^' Take a chair, friend," — " Tarry 



148 HISTORY OF VERMONT 

with US to night, you shall be made welcome." A plen- 
tiful repast, the produce of your host's farm ; with the 
clear honeycomb from the drawer of Weeks's patent 
hive refreshes your spirit. If an honest heart shines in 
your countenance, it well bespeak for you confidence 
and kindness in every part of the state ; but not less 
warm will be the reception as you go north over the 
hills and through the vallies of Lamoille, Franklin and 
Caledonia. It may be blunt and abrupt at times ; but 
the hospitality will be unaffected, and most of those, 
who, as visitors have traveled up and down its hills, will 
speak well of Vermont kindness to strangers ; and with 
pleasure, remember instances of it felt. 



149 



CHAPTER IX. 

Character continued. — Originality. — Illustrated. — Baptist clergy- 
man. — Constable. — The taking down a house of Divine wor- 
ship. — Building another. — Prosecution. — Court of experi- 
ence. — The bible cited as authoritiy. — The sign of the Green 
mountain tavern. — Singular punishment inflicted. — An instance 
of mischief making. — The false alarm. — Its consequences. — 
Breaking roads after drifting snow storms. — Assault and 
battery. — A lawsuit. — Freemen's meeting. — Town meeting. — 
The Vermont originality seen. — Freedom of their elections. — 
Extending to all classes. — Clergymen not excluded. — Baptist 
clergymen in several instances governors. — Anecdote of one. — 
A singular character. 

Somewhat of originality is also found in the character 
of the Vermonters. They have in a measure, their own 
way of doing things. They are not mere copyists, 
inquiring, what are the customs and practices of the bay 
state, and in Connecticut, or New York, her neighbor, 
and now the empire state, and making them the rule of 
their conduct. While they claim the right to transact 
their concerns in their own way, adopt their own customs 
and manner of address and intercommunication ; wear 
their own habiliments, and in their own style, they yield 
to others the same freedom. They will not trouble 
themselves greatly about the costume, or the visage, or 



150 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

broken accents of strangers and foreigners, whom Provi- 
dence may throw in their way ; nor put themselves to 
great inconvenience to view all the particulars of their 
mode of appearance so different from others. Unsparing 
to singularity, for the sake of singularity, they are not 
ashamed to be seen going to Boston in caps made of their 
own mountain fur ; in striped woolens manufactured in 
their own dwellings ; in vehicles constructed by them- 
selves ; and drawn by horses of their own raising. Num- 
bers going in company, as farmers often did, to market, 
before railroads were so frequent, they were known by the 
way as Vermonters. Their appearance made known the 
place of their sojourn before " any sound escaped from 
their faces." But all doubts would vanish, hearing as 
the dwellers by the way might, "flunk and flumux,^^ and 
other similar idiomatic expressions, descriptive of their 
aversion to " backing out and eating up their own 
words." 

The writer knew a venerable baptist clergyman, 
who having scruples against receiving wages from his 
flock, fed i;hem gratuitously with spiritual food, and his 
own family with the produce of his farm with temporal ; 
go to Boston late in the season, with three yoke of oxen 
drawing on runners a kind of arlc of his own construc- 
tion, loaded with dressed hogs of no puny dimensions. 
The spectacle was no every day's one. The snow 
leaving him unexpectedly, iiis triple yoke carried him 
through the mud safely home in his own way ' spite the 
gaze and wonderment' of bay state boys. A constable also 
of early times, he knew on a cold November's morning, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 151 

go two or three miles, bareheaded, on some hasty, catch- 
pole errand, doing the business in his own way. 

Two or three individuals, disaffected with the ecclesi- 
astical society in a town on the Connecticut, who had 
taken down their house of worship and built another in a 
different place, sued for damages. They caused the 
writ to be served on one of the deacons, as he was 
going with his brethren to dedicate the new house ; and 
on the other, as he was leaving it at the close of the 
services. This was their way of commencing opera- 
tions, and maintaining the rights of minorities. This 
business was decided on the ground by a reference ; in 
which was spent a leisurely winter's week of some 
concern to the parties, and of curiosity and entertain- 
ment of the spectators from that and the neighboring 
towns. It was a time for searching for old records, and 
the bringing to light important documents of the long 
past, which might else have gone to the irrecoverable. 
The place of deposit was required whenever slips of 
yellow smoky manuscripts were produced ; and messen- 
gers sent back to the garret of a first settler, Vhence 
they brought an old bee-hive, and emptied its various 
contents before the court, and the eager eyes of the 
assembly. But a certain record could not be found after 
the utmost scrutiny ; and one too, which proved the 
hinge of the whole case, another proof of the neglect of 
giving beginnings a fixed habitation. 

But one of the counsel for the defence, somewhat deaf, 
venerable in a green November of life, with a full 
round eye, and of undiminished keenness, walking up 



152 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and down the hall, seemed little noticing what was going 
forward. He was observed however, occasionally turning 
over the leaves of another ancient Book of records, and 
one not duly and often enough relied on as authority in such 
cases. It was evident to a close observer, that some 
scheme was on foot in his mind. So it came out. For 
in his defence, making out the prosecution, an insidious 
and vexatious case, he opened the Bible, for illustration 
and authority. He cited the guileful and malicious 
invitation of Sanballat and Tobiah to Nehemiah to 
meet them in the ^ plain of Ono, ' and hold parlance 
with them ; commenting with great force and propriety 
on that interesting portion of sacred history. Making it 
an apt and striking illustration of the case before the 
public, the effect was powerful. He showed clearly that 
it was an attempt like that of old, to impede and 
obstruct the work of the Lord. But when he named 

the two leading prosecutors, and said that this, 

is Sanballat; and this is Tobiah, the effect 

was irresistable ; thus affixing to their names a cognomen, 
a menTorial of the transaction as easily washed out as 
the spots of the leopard. 

In the early days of this state, the sign of the Green 
Mountain Tavern, at Bennington was significant, and 
characteristic of the times. It was a catamount's skin 
stuffed, and sitting upon the sign-post, twenty feet from 
the ground with large teeth grinning towards New 
York ! To keep company for two hours with this 
representation, a gentleman of Arlington was compelled, 
being raised in an arm chair, suspended by a rope. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 153 

This was the sentence of the committee of safety, 
before whom he had been brought, charged with favoring 
New York, and persuading the people to resist the laws 
of Vermont. This sentence was executed, to the no 
small amusement of a large concourse of people, and 
was undoubtedly corrective in its influence. 

In their ordinary intercouse, as well as in their civil 
and religious transactions, they often manifest this spirit 
of independence. Stopping not to inquire ' what others 
will say,^ as to the manner and wherefore of doing their 
own business, they do it to suit themselves chiefly, 
taking care, as they ought, to do it rightly and from right 
motives. Keeping clear of trespassing on the rights of 
others, they claim to themselves exemption from being 
called to an account why their fancy and taste may 
happen to run in this or that particular direction. When 
called upon to give an account of themselves in such 
circumstances, as they sometimes are by those who 
exalt themselves into the chair of universal inspectioUj 
they take the liberty of doing it, if at all, in a way 
suiting their own humor. 

This turn of mind may sometimes lead to the indul- 
gence in amusement and stratagems, which assume a 
serious aspect. But it is with good temper, and not 
through a spirit of mischief making for the sake of it. 
As early as 1780, several individuals of a party, survey- 
ing land in Brookline, Windham county, took it into 
their heads to mimic the Indian war-whoop. Their 
effort was so successful, that the good people of Athens, 
a neighboring town, hearing it, and supposing it real, 



154 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

gave the alarm, the Indians are coming ! and it set the 
whole county in an uproar. To increase the alarm and 
apprehension, the farmers in Newfane unconsciously 
contributed, by setting fire the same day to heaps of 
brush and bushes, the time being favorable, as a storm 
appeared to be gathering. The flames from these, loom- 
ing up in the darkness of the night, carried clear convic- 
tion to the inhabitants of the neighboring towns, of 
houses and barns burning. They fled from all directions 
towards Brattleboro and fort Dummer. A severe snow 
storm coming on, increased the difficulties of flight. 
Orders were immediately sent by Col. Sergeant, of 
Brattleboro for the militia of the neighboring towns to 
assemble forthwith, as the Indians were laying waste the 
country. The troops marched with alacrity towards 
the lurid lights, but found in the deserted towns nothing 
but snow to impede their progress. The cause of the 
alarm being soon known, they returned to their quarters 
without the loss of a man. The fugitives, with a sig- 
nificant look at each other, prepared to return to their 
homes, each in his own way, ruminating with mixed 
emotions on the war sport of their own kindred, and 
^the great effect from' so 'small a cause flowing.' 

It was the custom, before the temperance reformation, 
for the taverners and merchants, to treat with strong 
drink, those, who with teams, plows and shovels, vol- 
unteered to open the roads after a severe, drifting snow 
storm. Collisions, as was natural from the influence of 
ardent spirits, sometimes took place. An athletic, sinewy- 
rm smith, for assaulting rather heavily one of his com- 



UISTORY OF VERMONT. 155 

panions at the inn after a bout through the snow drifts, 
was arraigned before a justice of the peace. He made 
his own defence, appearing before the court, in his 
uniform light infantry coat ; either through a whim of 
his own, or because he had no other ; and drawing in 
close order the rows of bullet buttons, he began by 
asking leave of the justice to speak ; and a chew of 
tobacco. Being accommodated by him in both, and 
taking the leaf and holding it up, and looking at it, * this,' 
he said, ^ is what you call cow-yard.'' Then hiding a 
bulky portion of it in the spare room of his mouth, he 
began his plea. " May it please the court, this man," 
(naming the plaintiff) " in the sport of pitching one 
another into the snow-banks, as we were breakinor roads. 
got mad; and not only insulted me, but knocked me 
down with a sled stake. Recovering myself, and regain- 
ing the tavern, I thought but little of it at first. But as 
I began to get warm, I thought more and more of it ; 
and the more I thought of it, the madder I grew. 
Keeping my eye upon him, and availing myself of a 
good chance, I let drive at him, and knocked him down 
with my fist ; and, may it please your honor, I think it 
was no more than justice to him." But the justice, guid- 
ed by his oath, fined him a dollar or two. In arrest of 
judgment, the defendant dislodging his borrowed quid 
into the fire, said, " I appeal to the court of heaven." 

The freemen's meeting in September, and the town 
meetings in March, are days of great interest, and some- 
times of high excitement to Vermonters. On these 



156 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

occasions of choosino: iheir state and town officers, the 
freemen are mostly together in their respective towns, 
and this originality of character is exhibited in a variety 
of ways. The feelings of freedom and independence 
spontaneously burst forth on these occasions, in ebulitions 
more commonly of . wit and merriment, than of wrath 
and indignation. Party spirit indeed sometimes rises so 
high, as to produce bitter altercations on the spot, drawing 
most of the voters in a town to the sides, partaking in a 
measure of the spirit of the leaders. But more com- 
monly the apparent wrath and fury are confined princi- 
pally to the expectants of office and their immediate 
connexions and abettors. The great body of each party 
are not so absorbed in the contest as to interrupt their 
sociability and good humor, and love of glee and fun. 
The character of Vermont freemen you may see undis- 
guised at these meetings. In free remark on the candi- 
dates for office ; on the past management of the public 
concerns ; and on the presiding officer ; and the 
^ speech-making ' of the aspirants to popular favor often 
affords matter of amusement and cause of seh^-denial to 
the uninterested bystanders ; so original and sudden and 
unexpected their turns and flights of humor and imagi- 
nation. 

These assemblies are more orderly and tranquil since 
the prevalence of the temperance reformation ; but give 
not less evidence, or fewer specimens of this original 
way of doing things, and of commenting on what others 
say and do. Indeed they now afford matter for enter- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 157 

tainment and instruction without so much annoyance of 
profaneness, and idle, driveling talk ; without so much 
dross intermixed with the original, sterling ore. 

In selecting their officers and public functionaries, they 
take their own way ; choosing them from all classes and 
occupations. In other words, as they own no privileged 
orders, by their free constitution ; so they would dis- 
franchise no class on account of his calling or profession, 
provided it be a lawful and useful one. This is more 
than can be said of every state in the union ; for in some 
of them, clergymen are constitutionally excluded from all 
civil officrs ; that so, they are by law ineligible, and 
thus disfranchised. This is done merely on account of 
their employment ; and is directly in the face of the 
national constitution. However proper in practice ; and 
how little soever objection there might be to public senti- 
ment excluding them ; it is wrong and oppressive in 
principle. 

Thus the constitution of Vermont makes no such 
distinction ; but opens the door of office to all classes, 
and excludes not him even whose office it is to place 
highest the freedom of the truth ; and the glorious liberty 
of the sons of God. Not only this, Vermonters have 
been in the habit of carrying out in practice this prin- 
ciple ; and clergymen have often been members of the 
general assembly. In several instances, baptist clergy- 
men, (a respectable and extensive denomination of 
christians, the baptists are in this state,) have been 
chosen to the highest office, that of governor. The 
same freedom of remark, by which their performances in 



158 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

the pulpit were scrutinized by some of their wayward, 
eccentric hearers, has pursued them when exalted to the 
chair of state. Of one it is said, who in the ministra- 
tions of the sanctuary, being much assisted at times, and 
impressed, was in the habit at the close of his sermon, to 
request his favorite tune "Mear" to be sung: on the 
delivery of his first speech as governor, at Montpelier, a 
wag in the gallery, in accordance as he supposed with 
his excellency's feelings, exclaimed, " sing Mear." 

As a warning against the waywardness sometimes of 
this spirit of independence and originality ; and its 
dangers when not restrained within proper bounds, a few 
particulars in the life of one Vermonter will be here 
given. — He lived in a town on the Connecticut, was a 
man of strong mind, but destitute of mental culture ; 
and under the agitating influence of master passions, of 
which he was assisted to gain the ascendency before he 
died. But he took his own way in living and dying. 

In the walls of his cellar (for avarice was one of the 
passions of his soul), he was in the habit of secreting 
considerable sums of money, in gold and silver. Once 
he hired men to take down a part of his cellar wall ; 
and stood by them while they did it, to be sure of 
seeing when they might fall upon the treasure, which he 
knew he had deposited there, but had forgotten the 
exact spot. Sums of money in different places were 
found after his death, which he secreted, and as is sup- 
posed, forgot himself where he had placed them. 

To mortify and perplex his family, (for licentiousness 
was another of his strong passions), seemed to be an 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 159 

object near his heart ; and he manifested great ingenuity 
in devising the means to do it. He would sometimes 
rise from his bed in the night, and roll himself in the 
mud, and covering himself with dirt, in that state return 
to his couch. Instead of washing himself in pure water, 
like other people, he would for a considerable period in 
succession, wash himself in fish brine. 

Every body in the vicinity knew well his unlawful 
and cruel treatment of his family ; and his unwarranta- 
ble deportment. But no one seemed willing to incur 
his displeasure by resisting his wayward and cruel course. 
Nobody appeared to come forward, and, by bringing him 
to justice, hazard the lash of his tongue, and his means 
of hurting his foes. The selectmen of the town once 
waited on him, with the design of takinij measures to 
restrain his cruel conduct, and '■ bind him over to good 
behavior.' But after spending most of the day in distant 
and various conversation, separated doing nothing, except 
it might be that one of them borrowing money of him, 
and the others, signing their names with his as security. 

This was his state when the temperance reformation 
commenced ; for the love of strong drink was an addi- 
tional passion, to which he was a victim. The watch- 
word of total abstinence seemed to arouse him, and 
inspire him with faint hopes of life, like the shouts of 
victory in the ears of the prostrate and dying soldier, 
surrounded by heaps of dead and wounded companions. 
He at length adopted it. But he was like the weather- 
beaten mariner, and the righted hull over which the 
sea had often made a clear breach. The return of 



160 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

serenity left him leisure to look back on what he had 
escaped ; the storms and whirlwinds ; the shoals and 
quicksands, through and near which he had run his 
course. UnHke the man awaked by a sudden clap of 
thunder from a profound reverie, the stillness after the 
tempest, seemed to open his eyes to the dangers over 
which he had been walking blindfold. The point of 
safety, after the indulgence of strong passions, was to 
him that of sinking down exhausted. Nature sometimes 
gives way and death follows, when the occasion for mak- 
ing arduous struggles under the pressure of warring 
elements, or the pursuit of venomous serpents, is 
removed. 

Thus having reached the shore after such a shipwreck, 
he was unable to walk or stand. Gathering himself up 
once for all, he rose from his bed in the stillness of night, 
and went to his barn ; and, on a ladder, mounted to 
what is called the great-beam, and with a nail-hammer 
beat out his own brains, and fell upon a scaffold ; and 
from that to the floor. In this situation he was found 
with blood and brains upon the floor ; and the hammer 
by his side with hair, and gore and brains sticking to it ; 
with marks also upon the scaffold, where he struck in 
falling from the beam. Living a few days, he employed 
them, in relating and expressing contrition for what he 
had done ; and, cherishing a hope of reconciliation with 
God and man, ^ his last end was peace J 



161 



CHAPTER X. 

Characteristics of Vermonters closed. — Some deductions from the 
foregoing. — Too often subservient to selfish office-seekers. — 
Discouraged sometimes under difficulties. — Want of perseve- 
rance in carrying to the end promising beginnings. — Family 
rivalries. — Their consequences. — Winter employments and 
recreations. — Friendly annual visiting. — Social intercourse. 

In closing the characteristics of Vermonters, it should 
be added, that ihe foregoing remarks are to be under- 
stood, not only in a general sense, but with some coun- 
tervailing deductions. 

The industrious farmers and mechanics are sometimes 
too easily rendered subservient to the designs and arti- 
fices of demagogues and office-seekers. They are the 
stamina of a commonwealth ; and have the power to 
appoint the makers of the laws, and the administrators 
of justice ; and doing it understandingly, conscientiously, 
and without bias, the result would generally be safe and 
salutary. But instead of being always guided by the 
light of experience, and the dictates of plain, common 
sense, they too often follow the counsels of the cunning 
and ambitious and aspiring. Dazzled by "^he fascina- 
tions of brilliant parts ; and the professions of disinter- 
11 



162 HISTORY OP VERMONT. 

ested concern for their welfare, they are often made the 
dupes of flattering words, " swallowing without pause 
or choice, the total grist, unsifted, husks and all." 

Too easily discouraged, they often give up the direc- 
tion of affairs to those who make the greatest bluster, 
and the show of unyielding and everlasting opposition ; 
and for the sake of peace, often a false one, permit 
things to go on in a wayward course, contrary to their 
own convictions. The ample means to arrest wrong 
measures, and remedy evils and cripple the arm of the 
oppressor, they are sometimes deterred from using, 
through fear of making difficulty and stirring up oppo- 
sition. Even in this state of bold, energetic, indepen- 
dent actors, in times which tried men^s souls ; some are 
found of timid, Lilliputian spirits, who, in emergencies, 
so afraid of doing wrong, have not the- courage to do 
right. 

A wide contrast between beginnings and results, is^ 
also sometimes here witnessed. Objects of public utility 
and importance find approving hearts among the Ver- 
monters. With such union and cordiality do they enter 
upon the pursuits of praise-worthy undertakings, that 
the most favorable results are anticipated. But zeal 
and ardor in some instances grow cold ; and the pursuit 
is suspended or followed up languidly. Promising be- 
ginnings are too often left unfinished, and for the want 
of perseverance and a patient continuance in well doing, 
desirable objects lost, or much delayed. The work of 
preparation *and planning is to be repeated, or antici- 
pated good relinquished. New enterprises and ways of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 163 

securing important ends are set on foot and pursued ; 
and the old ones left to find new abettors, or to fall 
midway, like too many works of human device and 
wisdom. 

The harmony of society is also sometimes broken by 
secret, local feuds, which foment for a time, and then 
break out into lingering, incurable ulcers. These are so 
managed now and then, as to attract kindred matter from 
various parts ; and thus affect more or less, the entire 
social body. They have arisen from time immemorial 
wounds inflicted ; and kept alive by unskillful treatment ; 
and rendered rancorous by the hasty prescriptions of 
quacks ; in other words, from insults and wrongs real or 
fancied, received, and more or less aggravated by the 
Highland chieftains, to whose care they have fallen. 
Unlike the border wars of England and Scotland, of 
Walter Scott, they are internal strifes between leaders of 
rival families. Each has his circle of kindred, engaging 
cordially in his interests ; and each attaching to his 
party all whom persuasion can win or power compel. 
This system of clan-warfare has led to separate, oppos- 
ing encampments, so to speak, in the same town ; from 
which the arrows of bitter words and other missiles have 
been interchanged, sometimes to the annoyance and at 
others the amusement of the passengers and spectators. 
But war it has been, if not to the hilt ; yes to the hands ; 
if not open, yet secret, persevering and unyielding ; a 
war of carnal weapons ; and if not of death ; yet some- 
times of bloody deeds, and lasting scars. It has been 



164 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

a war, as in most cases of actual warfare, of alternate 
victory and defeat on either side ; a war, if not period- 
ical, yet more obstinate at some particular seasons ; and 
affording many memorials of past achievements and dis- 
comfitures ; and much matter for conversation to survi- 
vors and posterity ; and presenting many a battle field 
for retrospection and caution. In a word, petty divisions 
and strifes have too often lessened the enjoyments of 
social intercourse ; and rendered those residing in the 
same vicinity, comparative strangers to one another. 
But these jars to the harmony of the social system are, 
it is believed, becoming less and less felt ; and time will 
by degrees wear out the impressions made by them. 

These things to the contrary ; and what state of 
society is perfect in this world I The habits of this 
people in their domestic intercourse are interesting ; and 
instances of them will be remembered with pleasure, by 
all who have been familiar with them. They have not 
yet forgotten the friendly and warm attachment created 
by common difficulties, and evils encountered in a new 
and wilderness country ; and left as they were to estab- 
lish their own independence in the face of formidable 
opposition. 

As winter closes in upon them, as is the case generally 
in December, they kill their pork and beef for the year. 
Part of it, especially the latter, they put in snow, placing 
it in a cool part of their dwellings, to keep it to use fresh 
as occasion may require. In this state it will keep in 
good order through the changes of the winter till spring. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 165 

In the course of the winter, in earnest the farmers 
procure fuel for the year ; thrash out their grain and dis- 
pose of their surplus produce. The fruits of the dairy 
are also disposed of, and the heavy articles of family 
consumption procured for the season. As they used to 
say, it was laying in stores for the year. One costly item 
in this bill of expense is omitted since the glorious era 
of temperance. The balance after this ; and paying off 
hired help, the bills of merchants, physicians and the 
salary of the minister, is laid aside for the calls of the 
unknown future, the purposes of education and improve- 
ments on their premises. 

They are now prepared for the whistling winds and 
drifting snows of February. They can enjoy the pleasures 
of a comfortable fireside, employing their time in select 
reading and conversation, unconscious of the desolations 
abroad, (' Iliemo informis.') 

As the ' heart of winter hrealcs ; ' and the sunny, last 
days of February come, the neighbors, in the circuit of 
three or four miles, begin to make and pay each other the 
friendly, annual visit. Families, husband, wife and little 
ones, in sleighs or on sleds, meet several other families 
at an appointed place, and spend the afternoon and 
evening in social converse. The flow of friendship and 
good humor, enlivens the eye and cheers the heart. 
Freedom of speech is indulged ; the recent events if 
interested are reviewed ; and remarks made in frankness 
without the fear of treachery. The innocent joke goes 
round, and the brow of care, and the wrinkles of anxiety 



166 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

are smoothed. Then comes the hospitable repast ; the 
grafted apples ; specimens of the beef preserved in snow ; 
the choice uncostly viands ; and the evening closing in 
harmony and sober hilarity. 



167 



CHAPTER XL 

Changes in the executive department, from 1797 to 1842. — Changes 
in parties. — Governors. — Their characters. — Incidents under 
their administrations. — English and French party. — How origi- 
nated. — Difficulties with France and the general government. — 
1816, cold summer. — A railer at Providence. — Free-masonry 
becomes a political question. — Excitement. — No choice of 
governor by the people. — Many trials in the House. — Anti- 
masonry in politics succeeds. — Arrival in Vermont of the Mar- 
quis de La Fayette. — Proceedings at Windsor.^Some character 
of him.— ^From 1842 looking back, and reflections on the list of 
chief magistrates. — The variety in their characters, pursuits, 
and religious belief. — The abolition of capital punishment. 

In giving the history of Vermont from the period of 
its being received into the union, to this time, 1842, the 
object will be to give briefly the changes in the executive 
and judicial departments ; the most important measures 
adopted by the government ; the increase of population ; 
the progress made in towns and villages ; and with con- 
veniences and refinements of society. This part of the 
work will be attempted in a general succinct manner, 
both that the patience of the reader may be relieved, 
and because some of the topics have been incidentally 
illustrated in giving the character of the inhabitants. 
The military transactions also, it is intended, are to be 



168 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

arranged in a part by itself; being presented in one point 
of view. 

In 1797, Thomas Chittenden died. He had been the 
governor of the state from its first organization ; and was 
highly respected and much beloved. While he lived, 
little was said or known here comparatively of opposing 
political parties. Their own struggle for a separate, 
independent existence had kept the inhabitants united. 
But when this question was decided in their favor, and 
the rod, as it were, no longer suspended in a menacing 
attitude over their heads, they began, like the other states 
to find ground of discord among themselves. They 
were soon split into two great political parties, called 
federal and republican ; general terms, which leave 
doubtful the grounds of this division. The origin of 
these names was the adoption of the United States con- 
stitution, by which the separate states became united in 
one general, or federal government. Those friendly to 
this union or league, were called federalists ; and those 
opposed to it, democrats, believing that too much power 
was taken by it out of the people's hands. They after- 
wards took to themselves the appellation Republican. 
• Subsequently the republicans bestowed on the federalists 
the title of British partisans, and they in turn were 
complimented as the French party. The French nation 
had thrown off the shackles of royalty, and proclaimed 
liberty and equality ; " the republic one and indivisible.'* 
They then in this country, who in addition to the obli- 
gations which they deservedly cherished towards that 
nation for their noble interposition in our behalf against 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 169 

the encroachments of Britain, and regarding the federal 
compact as leaning too much towards monarchy and 
aristocracy, might very naturally incur the suspicion of 
undue bias and influence. The strenuous advocates for 
the provisions of the constitution might also as easily 
and naturally fall under the odium of undue admiration 
of the English form of government. Both were proba- 
bly misjudged ; and misjudged and wronged each other, 
equally seeking the best good of their country ; but dif- 
fering as to the means of accomplishing it. But these 
were terms of reproach and created no little acrimony 
in the country. 

It reached Vermont ; and on the death of Gov. Chit- 
tenden, there was no choice of governor by the people. 
Isaac Tichener, of Bennington, was subsequently chosen 
by the general assembly. He was a man of talents ; 
and distinguished personal accomplishments ; and set the 
example of opening the business of the assembly by a 
formal speech, 1797 ; and subsequently characterized 
as " the governor's speech." 

In 1798, Tichener was re-elected. This year a colli- 
sion took place between the national government and 
that of France. The tone of the French Directory 
was insolent ; requiring this country to take side with 
them in the war with England. President Adams firmly 
resisted their demands, and a kind of retaliatory war on 
the ocean was the consequence. The legislature of 
Vermont sustained the president in a warm and patriotic 
address ; which was very gratifying to him as appeared 
from his reply. 



170 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

The question of foreigners being candidates for the 
high office of government was discussed this year ; and 
an amendment to the constitution proposed by Massa- 
chusetts, excluding from the presidency, senate and house 
of representatives, all who were not of this country when 
its independence was declared. But it met with opposi- 
tion at the south ; and could not pass the test. 

In 1799, Tichener was re-elected governor. This 
year decided against them the claims of certain tribes of 
Indians then in Canada ; and who once resided on the 
banks of the rivers and in the vallies of Vermont. They 
had made repeated application for remuneration for losses 
sustained in leaving them. Their state, as is that of all 
the tribes now, more or less, was pitiable. But they 
had voluntarily left their lands and tenements at the 
solicitation of the British ; and taken arms with them 
against these colonies. Their redress, then, if sought in 
the right place, would seem requiring to be so from those 
whose cause they had espoused. 

In this year also, the doctrines of nullification were 
broached in Virginia and Kentucky. Resolutions were 
passed, which carried out in practice, would approach 
the confines of South Carolina state-right principles. 
These were in consequence of certain laws in congress ; 
such as the sedition and alien acts which were unpopu- 
lar in that quarter. But Vermont formally disowned 
these principles ; and acknowledged the paramount 
authority of congress in such cases. 

Mr. Tichener was successively re-elected the nine 
following years, making twelve years without interrup- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 171 

don ; evidence of his popularity ; especially with his party. 
He is said to have been a man of unusually statesman- 
like qualifications ; gentlemanly and courteous in his 
demeanor. As a senator in congress he was highly 
respected, and supported well the reputation of the state 
which he represented. He was a native of New Jersey ; 
of tall and commanding figure ; the initials of his name 
were once to be seen carved high on one of the beeches 
on the summit of the green mountains, by the way side 
of the now abandoned turnpike. 

In 1 809, the republican party succeeded and chose 
Jonas Galusha, of Shaftsbury, governor ; a baptist clergy- 
man of good standing; and of strong mind, and wise 
by observation and experience. He was re-elected the 
three following years in succession. Nothing worthy 
of particular record took place in Vermont during this 
period. The course of events and civil transactions 
moved placidly along in the channels marked out for it 
by the current of Divine Providence. 

In 1813, there was no choice by the people. In the 
assembly the parties were exactly balanced between 
Galusha and Martin Chittenden^ son of the first governor ; 
and of the same political sentiments. The latter was 
finally elected ; and also the six following years without 
interruption. The military events which took place in 
and near this state under his administration, are recorded 
in another place. The summer of 1816 was remarka- 
bly cold ; and corn in this and the other New England 
states was cut off by frost. It was a gloomy season ; 
snow and frost in June, and drying winds shortening 



172 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

much the crop of hay. It was so cold about the tenth 
or twelfth of September, that the water in ponds and 
rivers froze to some thickness. The following year, 
(1817,) was cold, but not so destructive to the fruits of 
the earth. The apprehensions of worldly men were 
excited ; and the fall crops were somewhat shortened. 
An impious railer at Divine Providence, a hill-side 
dweller, placed his bible in his corn-field in an October 
evening threatening frost. It came, and cut down his 
corn ; and he with an oath, committed his bible to the 
flames ; as if the leather, and paper, and ink, and 
materials in which its sacred truths were encased, would 
change the course of nature, and the operation of the 
elements. 

In 1820, Richard Skinner, of Manchester, was chosen 
governor; a man in the profession of the law, and 
distinguished as a jurist and advocate. He was re-elected 
the two years next following after which he declined 
being a candidate. The measures proposed by him 
were judicious, and his administration popular. He 
was born in Litchfield, Ct. 

In 1823, C. P. Van Ness, of Burlington, was placed 
in the gubernatorial chair. The chief magistrates of 
this state previous to Mr. Van Ness are dead ; and 
their characters and deeds belong to history. This 
gentleman has subsequently to his retirement from the 
appointments which were conferred upon him in Vermont, 
been sent by the national councils to Spain, as ambassa- 
dor, at which court he represented this government 
several years. The two next years he was re-elected ; 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 173 

the first of which (1824) was distinguished for the jour- 
ney of the Marquis de La Fayette through the country. 
He entered Windsor in this state on the fourth of July, 
the day of our nation's independence, in securing which 
he had been no little subservient, some forty or fifty years 
previous. He was met and made welcome by the gov- 
ernor ; and a large concourse of Vermonters ; and 
memorable were the proceedings of that day ; the long 
procession of freemen and their children ; the remnant 
of revolutionary soldiers ; the Divine goodness acknowl- 
edged and blessing sought; the nation^ s guest ; the 
congratulatory address, and reply ; the right hand given 
and received between long parted comrades and fellow 
sufferers. The coincidence of circumstances must have 
rendered it an interesting spectacle. The recollections 
of events long since transpired ; the intermediate scenes 
witnessed ; the recognizing of countenances once familiar, 
but now changed ; inquiries after the dead and the mis- 
sing ; the blithesome appearance of the youth and children 
born on the soil, made free and consecrated to freedom 
by the blood of their forefathers, conspired to excite 
emotions of gratitude and sympathy not easily effaced. 

The Marquis was deeply affected ; and manifested 
much sensibility. Indeed the whole period of his visit 
to this country must have been a source of much enjoy- 
ment and absorbing reflection. To retrace the footsteps 
of youth after a long, intervening absence, is always 
inconceivably attractive and impressive to the sensitive 
mind. How intense then must have been his sensations. 



174 HISTORY OF VERMOx\T. 

enjoying this privilege as he did in such peculiar cir- 
cumstances ! 

He has been called the martyr of liberty. So far 
as sacrificing his youthful ease and prospects ; so far as 
he subsequently exercised self'denial and disinterested 
zeal and effort, and suffered much in her cause, and that 
of humanity, the appellation may be proper. But he 
fell not untimely and midway in his career ; but in a 
green flourishing fullness of years and honors; in the 
very lap, so to speak, of freedom herself. May he not 
be called an example of the final triumph of virtue. 
Thus illustrating the truth and equity of a superintending 
Providence ! 

The struggles and clouds under which good men often 
make their way through this world, failing to accomplish 
the important purposes at which they aim ; seeing the 
guilty go unpunished, and the innocent suffer, have led 
many to doubt the reality of a Divine Providence. 
They have looked upon this world as a mystery, in 
which fraud and oppression more often prevail than 
integrity and philanthropy. Thus Moreau, a celebrated 
French marshal, said when dying of his wounds, at the 
battle of Dresden, both legs being shot off by a cannon 
ball, " the scoundrel Bonaparte is always lucky." 

But La Fayette, having enlisted in the cause of 
sound, rational liberty in his early days, he undertook 
after the close of the war of independence, to reform 
the encroachments and abuses of the French govern- 
ment. His benevolent plans and counsels exciting the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 175 

jealousy of the Bourbon court, were rejected, and the 
volcanic eruption which overspread Europe took place. 
He was driven into exile, and wandered over the conti- 
nent of Europe in obscurity and much misery. When 
the mighty arm of Napoleon swayed the sceptre of 
France, he was hunted down with still greater vigilance 
and perseverance. He was missing ; no where to be 
seen or heard of for a number of years in succession. 
His family and friends supposed that he had indeed 
fallen a martyr to liberty. The cruelties inflicted on 
him, incarcerated as he was in the heart of Germany, 
were great, and his sufferings intense. But his spirit 
was unbroken ; and after the downfall of the Emperor 
of the French, his fetters were knocked off, and he 
emerged from his prison ; and in the hands of Divine 
Providence, was eminently instrumental in the establish- 
ing of the present comparatively free government in that 
country; the Citizen King; the House of Peers; and 
the House of Deputies. Thus the desires of his heart 
were accomplished ; the guarded liberty of his country. 
Having united this land of his early footsteps and love ; 
and seen the healthful operation for half a century, of 
a free government, he returned to his beloved France 
and quietly died in the bosom of his family, admired 
and honored by the world. Here is an example of 
virtue, after long delay, and much eclipsed, shining 
brightly at last ; in the end triumphant. He had seen 
too, the mighty man of war, long successful, rising to an 
eagle-eminence, fallen suddenly and low, dashed upon 
a rock in the ocean, an example of retributive justice, 



176 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

sure, though sometimes lingering, the end of guilty, 
blood-stained ambition. 

Gen. Isaac Fletcher, late member of congress from 
the fifth district, being adjutant and inspector general 
of the Vermont militia at the time, '^ was in attendance 
upon his Excellency, C. P. Van Ness, during the visit 
of La Fayette, and was by that worthy patriot made 
the dispenser of his bounty, by which the aged Gen. 
Barton was relieved from his imprisonment for debt in 
the common jail in Danville." So characteristic is this 
deed of the Marquis, exemplifying the benevolence of 
his disposition toward a fellow soldier in distress, that 
it deserves being recorded, although the occasion for it 
might seem to reflect on the slumbering sympathy of 
somebody ; and if that of the state, she has made 
amends by abolishing subsequently imprisonment for 
debt. 

In 1826, and 7, Ezra Butler, a baptist clergyman, 
was governor of Vermont, who discharged the duties of 
this responsible trust to the satisfaction of those who 
deputed him to it ; with honor to himself, and without 
justly incurring reproach from any. 

Samuel C. Crafts was elected governor in 1828, and 
the following year. He originated from Derby in Con- 
necticut. During his administration Gen. Jackson was 
chosen President of the United States ; taking the chair 
March 4th, 1829. The vote of this state was given 
for John Q. Adams. The Masonic question also about 
this time became much agitated in this state. It had 
previously been discussed with warmth in the western 



HISTORYOF VERMONT. 177 

part of New York. It had become a political question 
in consequence of the supposed murder of a man by the 
name of Morgan, who had revealed and published the 
arcana of his fraternity. He was said to have been 
taken forcibly and carried into Canada, and put to 
death in the most cruel manner. This was in the north- 
western part of New York. This was denied by ma- 
sons ; and much was published on both sides ; and in 
some places a very great excitement produced. The 
oaths were published, which, it was said, candidates 
must take on becoming members of the brotherhood ; 
and which were alleged to be incompatible with the 
rights and privileges of those not belonging to it ; and 
dangerous to the community. It is certain that the 
subject took strong hold of the feelings of many Ver- 
monters. 

In 1830, three gubernatorial candidates were started ; 
Crafts, called the national republican, and masonic. 
Palmer, the anti-masonic ; and Meach, the administration 
candidate. The first had 13,486 votes; the second 
10,925; and the last 6,285. After thirty-two ballot- 
ings in the general assembly. Crafts was chosen. The 
next year, 1831, the same three candidates were in the 
field ; and after nine trials in the house, for there was 
no choice by the people, William A. Palmer, of Dan- 
ville, the anti-masonic candidate was chosen by a 
majority of one vote. 

In 1832, no choice of governor was made by the 
people. Palmer was re-elected in the assembly at the 
forty-third trial. These things show the state of feeling 
12 



178 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

in Vermont in consequence of the masonic agitation. 
The enemies to this institution were persevering in their 
opposition to it ; and many of its lodges were about 
this time disbanded ; particularly the grand lodge of 
the state of Vermont. In the presidential contest which 
took place this year, this state had her anti-masonic 
candidate ; and gave her vote for William Wirt, 
standing before the union, alone and single-handed. 
Setting aside all party considerations, looking only at 
the man; his character and qualifications. Vermont 
need not blush to the end of time for that vote, solitary 
as it was. 

This year a vote was passed to build a new state- 
house at Montpelier; appropriating thirty thousand 
dollars for the purpose. A more particular account of it 
will be given hereafter. 

The two subsequent years, Palmer was re-elected 
governor; that is in 1833-4. In 1835, no governor 
was chosen ; but Silas H. Jennison, of Shoreham, being 
electea lieutenant governor, was the acting chief magis- 
trate. He was successively re-elected to this the highest 
office in the state, till 1840. In the national canvass 
for president which took place when Mr. Van Burenw2LS 
successful, the vote of this state was given for Henry 
Clay ; and in the one of 1840, for William H. Har- 
rison, 

The successor of Jennison was Charles Paine, who 
still, 1842, occupies the Vermont chair of state. In 
1843, John Mattocks, of Peacham, was elected gov- 
ernor. Declining a re-election in 1844, William Slade, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 179 

of Middlebury, was chosen governor, and at this time, 
1846, occupies the gubernatorial chair. 

In looking back on this line of supreme executive 
officers and their administrations, we see much to admire 
and venerate in them ; and somewhat of the way and 
manner of Vermont freemen. In that line few weak, 
or dim, or uncertain points are seen, or deviations. It is 
clear and distinct ; direct and full. They adhered to 
the course pointed out to them in the chart under which 
the direction of the political ship was entrusted to them. 
By the Divine blessing on their skill and experience in 
the nautical science of state, she has been carried safely 
over the fluctuating and treacherous sea of civil and 
military life. Through their agency and the orderly 
conduct of the ship's company, she has been kept from 
foundering in the storm and tempest ; from being strand- 
ed by the sudden changes of wind and current ; from 
the dangers of the calm, and the inroads of worms and 
other vermin, lying in ordinary, or in the dry dock, A 
large portion of this band of state pilots have ceased 
struggling with the waves of political commotion, and 
gone to the award of the Great Pilot, whose word can 
silence the winds and still the tumults of the ocean. 
May the survivors, and those who shall follow ; and 
may the line continue unbroken, so finish their course as 
to enter the peaceful haven of eternity. 

You see among them, men of almost all occupations 
and professions in life ; and of great variety in their 
mental culture, and habits of study. Thus you will 
find the governor of Vermont, at one time a farmer ; 



180 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

unaided by a high state of discipline ; but of plain, 
sound, common sense ; at another, the eloquent lawyer, 
well versed in letters and science ; at one time, the 
merchant, or mechanic, or physician ; at another a clergy^ 
man. You see them also of almost all religious deno- 
minations ; the congregationalist, the baptist, the me- 
thodist, and the universalist. Of the latter class is Jen- 
nison, who held this office several years. Meach is a 
raethodist, and was placed in the gubernatorial canvass ; 
if none of that branch of the church have been actually 
called to the chair of state. This variety is seen and 
perhaps more extensively in those raised to the second 
post of honor in the state, that of lieutenant governors. 

These facts are proof that Vermont freemen confer 
their honors in their own way ; without respect of per- 
sons ; as it regards occupation, employment, pursuit, 
profession, or religious belief. 

At the session of the general assembly this year, 
October, 1842, the question of abolishing capital punish- 
ment came up ; and after a full discussion, the law 
requiring death for certain crimes was repealed. Per- 
petual confinement now, solitary ; and more or less rigid 
and gloomy according to the aggravations of crime, is 
the highest punishment which the courts can inflict on 
the murderer. The infliction of death in certain cases 
is reserved for the governor, according to his discretion. 

This is an experiment in which Vermont takes the 
lead, no other state having yet assumed this ground. 
It is a question lately much discussed ; and is in agita- 
tion in several legislative assemblies. It is surely a 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 181 

deviation from the law of the Jews, ordained and sanc- 
tioned by the Supreme Lawgiver. Time will test its 
expediency. The murderer, as the law was, had hope 
of escaping detection. This was his only chance of 
escape. Now the chance is doubled ; for to the hope 
of escaping conviction, is added that sooner or later, of 
escaping from the dungeon of solitary confinement. 



182 



CHAPTER XII. 

Senate of Vermont. — How constituted. — Members. — Their age. 
— Its operation and results. — New organization in the courts. 
— Changes in the Superior court. — Chief Justices. — Remarks 
on annual appointments of Judges. — United States senators of 
Vermont. — Their character. — Character of that body. — Popu- 
lation. — Rapid increase. — Additional towns. — Changes of fifty 
years in the exterior. — Surface. — Buildings. — Cultivation. — 
Retrospection. — Contrast. 

The constitution of Vermont was so amended in 
January, 1836, as to substitute in the place of "the 
Council," a Senate. It consists of thirty members, cho- 
sen annually, and each one having arrived at least to the 
age of thirty years. Each county is entitled to one sen- 
ator ; and after that, to additional members in propor- 
tion to its inhabitants. The first apportionment was : for 
Windham county, three ; Rutland, three ; Windsor, 
four ; Addison, three ; Orange, three ; Washington, 
two; Chittenden, two; Caledonia, two; Franklin, 
three ; Orleans, one ; Essex, one ; Grand Isle, one ; 
Lamoille, two. 

A new apportionment is to be made after each census 
taken of the United States. It possesses the same 
power to regulate and control its members as is enjoyed 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 183 

by the house of representatives. The trial of its mem- 
bers by impeachment is conferred on them. Every bill 
must pass both senate and house of representatives, and 
be signed by the governor. But if a bill be returned, it 
requires only the re-passing of it by a majority of both 
houses to become a law. 

The following statements are from one high in office 
in the state, and enjoying the best means of knowing 
the facts and the operation of that body. " The first 
senate was elected in September, 1834, and organized 
in October of that year, David M. Camp, being the 
first president by virtue of his office, being lieutenant 
governor. He continued to hold that office till October, 
1841, when he was succeeded by Waitstill R. Ranney. 
Lieut, governor Ranney was succeeded in 1843, by the 
Hon. Horace Eaton, who yet, 1846, retains that office. 
The entire body of the senate has been changed almost 
every two years ; and it has happened that many more 
young men have found their way into that body than 
could have been reasonably anticipated. The average 
ages of the senators, notwithstandino: the constitutional 
requisition, that no one shall be less than thirty years, 
has, since the erection of that body, been less than that 
of the members of the house of representatives. There 
is a proposition now pending, to amend the constitution 
so as to require their term of office to be three years, 
one third of the number being elected annually. — It 
is questionable whether it will be ratified. If so, it 
will tend to give permanency and importance to the 
body." 



184 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Relative to the alterations in the judicial department, 
the same writer remarks : " Our present judiciary system 
came into operation in October, 1825. The first court 
consisted of Richard Skinner, chief justice ; Samuel 
Prentiss, Titus Hutchinson and Stephen Royce, Jr. 
assistant justices. Since that time, chief justice Skinner 
has been succeeded by Charles K. Williams, who is the 
present (1846) chief justice. Samuel Prentiss was 
made chief justice on the retirement of chief justice 
Skinner ; and on his retirement, Titus Hutchinson was 
called to that office, who was succeeded in 1839 by the 
present chief justice. Those persons who have held the 
office of assistant justices since the present system came 
in force, and have retired, are Bates Turner, Ephraim 
Paddock, Nicholas Baylies, Samuel S. Phelps, John 
Mattocks. The present assistant justices, (1842,) are 
Stephen Royce, Jacob Collamer, Isaac F. Redfield, 
Milo L. Bennett. In 1846, are Stephen Royce, Isaac 
F. Redfield, Milo L. Bennett, Daniel Kellogg. 

The system has approved itself to the satisfaction of 
most of our people. It is a plan which imposes great 
labor on the court, but operates better under our plan of 
annual elections, I think, than any other." 

Nothing more need be added to what has been said in 
another part of this work respecting the high standing of 
the courts of justice in Vermont. For more than thirty 
years the writer has enjoyed the privilege of ojscasionally 
witnessing their proceedings ; and a great one, as a 
spectator, he has esteemed it. What then must be the 
sensations of those, who have had their dearest rights 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 185 

and enjoyments, attacked and periled by the lawless, 
here protected ; and the oppressor restrained and rebuked. 
It is difficult to separate the able and upright judge from 
the philanthropist ; the friend and lover of his fellow 
man. Of such a justice, and judge, Job has given a 
description, for strength and beauty unrivaled. " I 
delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him 
that had none to help him. The blessing of him that 
was ready to perish came upon me, and I caused the 
widow's heart to sing for joy. I put on righteousness, 
and it clothed me ; my judgment was as a robe and a 
diadem. I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the 
lame. I was a father to the poor ; and the cause which 
I knew not, I searched out ; and I brake the jaws of the 
wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth." 

To the names of United States senators already given 
may be added those of Smith, Seymour, Chase and 
Swift, in whose hands the interests and honor of the 
state and nation were safe, and advanced. The present 
occupants of that distinguished and responsible post are 
Samuel Prentiss and Samuel S. Phelps. In 1846, 
Samuel S. Phelps and William Upham. To speak 
particularly of their claims to the respect and honor of 
the country would be premature and improper, as their 
course is yet to be finished ; and at a day, it is hoped, 
not soon to come. But to say that their standing in that 
body is high, as was that of their predecessors would be 
as just as it is reputable to themselves and the state, 
which they represent. 

For Americans look with pleasure and feelings, so to 



186 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

speak, of self-gratulation to the senate of the United 
States. The scenes witnessed in it ; the character of 
its members ; the wisdom manifested ; the talents and 
acquirements exhibited ; the eloquence heard and the 
vehemence of debate and discussion displayed have 
rendered it a favorite branch of our government ; an 
object of veneration and cherished regard to the great 
body of our citizens. In a civil and national point of 
view, they regard it as the pride and glory of their land : 
and to reach it by meritorious qualifications is the height 
of ambition, and the summit of political distinction. 

Nothing in the annals of Carthagenian and Roman 
history is examined with more interest than the deeds 
done in their senate chambers ; the measure of high 
purpose there originated and matured ; the breathings 
of patriotism ; the beating pulse of liberty and independ- 
ence ; the defiance of tyranny and the resistance of 
oppression, and the blood-shed of proud usurpers. These 
also have the advantage which time long passed sheds 
around the deeds and men of antiquity, by increasing 
the interest and veneration which we feel for them. 
But time is also tending her softening and sacred influence 
to enshrine in our hearts, the place where stood the lead- 
ing actors in the drama of a nation's struggle for being 
and freedom. Soon three score years and ten will count 
their days since the period, which paved the way for 
that senate chamber, which has always been filled with 
the strong minds o( the nation; but latterly has rivaled 
if not eclipsed, in her Clay, and Webster, and Calhoun, 
and others, the best days of Grecian and Roman and 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 187 

Britain's oratory. No small credit then to Vermont 
that her senators have sustained the high standing of 
that august body, and tarnished not the evergreens, 
which, so to speak, adorn the coat of arms of their own 
state. The light of Christianity ; its elevating and 
restraining and warming influence now give a charm and 
pathos to senatorial eloquence and the proceedings of 
legislative assemblies, which the ancients did not enjoy. 
It is indeed to be lamented that its rules and spirit do 
not have a more extensive and general conservative effect 
and sway in such places ! 

The population of Vermont has increased rapidly. 
From 1790 to 1800, the increase was sixty-nine thousand ; 
the number at the former period hekng about eighty-five 
and at the latter one hundred and fifty-four thousand. 
In 1840, the inhabitants numbered 291,948 ; being an 
increase in fifty years of 206,532 ; far greater than that 
of any other of the New England States except Maine. 
It is almost five times faster progress in this way than that 
made by her flourishing neighbors of the granite state 
from whom she purchased her lands. The number of 
inhabitants in the latter in 1790 was 141,899; and now 
is 284,754 ; making a difference of only 42,855 in fifty 
years. Looking at the census of the United States, you 
see the difference in the population of Connecticut, the 
same period, only 71,807 ; about one third of that of 
Vermont. These facts speak favorably in behalf of her 
soil and institutions and general prosperity ; and of the 
good report she is gaining in the estimation of her sister 
states and neighbors. 



188 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Within this period many new townships have been 
granted and settled ; and some large towns divided into 
two. From seventy, the number of towns has run up 
to about two hundred and fifty. 

In looking back from 1842 to 1790, the eye sees 
many marks of improvement and general, progressive 
prosperity. The dark forest has given way, and let in 
the rays of the sun. The reign of the wilderness has 
been turned back from the rivers and vallies and lakes 
to the mountains. The dead trunks '' with singed tops,'' 
standing frequent on the lawn or hill-side, like the naked 
masts of ships and water craft at anchor have disappeared 
in many parts ; and are fast going out of sight. The 
stumps and far spreading roots, have been drawn up and 
the surface smoothed over. The eye is no more pained 
at the sight of the lofty sugar maple, girdled dind wither- 
ing in the sun ; or of fallen timber and logs of the first 
growth ; decaying, and disfiguring your prospect ; imped- 
ing and turning aside your feet. The underbrush and 
the windfalls are cleared away ; and the hillocks leveled 
down, and cavities filled. The plow and the roller ; 
the scythe and the sickle have followed the axe and the 
fire. Undulating the surface is of course ; and often 
gradually rising into large swells, but now made smooth 
by the hand of man ; it presents the fruits of cultivation 
and industry, beautiful to the eye, and cheering to the 
heart. Where growled the bear and howled the wolf 
and gnashed the catamount, are seen the gambols of 
domestic flocks and herds. The sugar orchard, and 
wood-lot, near the premises, sufficient for fuel and the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 189 

purposes of buildings, and fences being reserved, all else 
around wears the appearance of old settlements. Orna- 
mented trees; the mountain ash and fir are beginning to 
adorn the front yards ; and the elm and spruce the road- 
side ; and the public greens and squares of villages. 
You see the signs of youth and vigor approaching 
maturity ; the improvements of time without his rust and 
the inroads of his envious tooth. 

So it is in a measure with regard to their buildings, 
and the improvements of their villages. The log and 
hasty tenement^ of early days ; the hovels and barracks 
for the wintering of their herds and flocks have given 
place to neat, substantial, convenient, well-finished 
houses and barns. The Vermonters manifest good taste 
in their dwellings, and arrangements around their premises ; 
shaping them for use, rather than for appearance ; 
making them correspond with place and climate, and 
their own circumstances. They finish as far as they go, 
if in a plain, yet, a manner strong and comfortable. 

Perhaps the burlesque picture of a young married 
New Englander's beginning life in a huge unfinished 
"shell" of a house, published by some merry writer at 
the south, was a hint wisely improved by them. Cer- 
tain it is, that you seldom see over-grown, half-finished 
tenements among them. Simplicity and symmetry 
characterize their domestic establishments. A large 
house with one side of the roof running almost down to 
the ground, and the other stopping at the garret floor 
of the second story, would be as great a novelty in 
Vermont, as an ancient Connecticut sleighj which is 



190 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

sometimes seen straying up country, attracting a crowd 
around it at the inn. 

Such is the contrast between the appearance of things 
in this respect in this state now, and in the days of its 
early settlement. It is great and striking. It has been 
the result of time; and the judicious persevering efforts 
of its inhabitants. The Divine blessing has been 
eminently bestowed on this people, preserving them 
comparatively from the ravages of war, the devastations 
of fires, and the visitations of epidemic, and mortal 
distempers. 

This difference is seen fully by those only whose 
memory can go back to the days of Gov. Chittenden 
and his compatriots. Some such survive ; but their 
number is small. It is a privilege to hear them point 
out the great changes which have taken place ; but 
one that cannot long be enjoyed. They have been 
gradual, but imperceptible, like the ravages of time ; 
and seen after stated intervals, and to the best advantage 
after a lapse of half a century. It is then like a prospect 
from the summit of the green mountains, impressive 
and absorbing. 



191 



CHAPTER XIII. 

Villages. — Increase of their numbers. — Growth. — Exemplified. — 
Brattleboro. — Contrast of thirty or forty years. — Its situation. — 
Public buildings. — View of it from the burying ground. — 
Typographic Co. — Early settlers. — First bridge over the Con- 
necticut. — Members of congress. — Its first clergyman. — Dum- 
merston. — Putney. — Westminster. — Some account of it. — Its 
part in the early history of the state. — Members of congress. — 
Rev. Lemuel Haynes. — Monument. — Bellows Falls. — Contrast 
between it and Westminster. — Curiosity of the falls. — Crossing 
the mountain. — Bennington. — Some particulars of it. — Its early 
history. — Antiquity. — Head quarters. — Its founders. — Centre. 
— Burying-ground. — East village. — Furnace. — Hinsdale vil- 
lage. — General improvement and prosperity. — Pleasantness. — 
Gov. Tichener. 

In the multiplication and growth of villages, changes 
and improvements are visible and striking. Their 
number has been greatly augmented in the lapse of 
fifty or sixty years. Hamlets and small clusters of 
buildings were all that could then be seen in the most 
favored portions of the state. Now neat, thriving villa- 
ges, and groups of buildings are interspersed its whole 
length and breadth, along the margin of its rivers and 
streams ; in many a valley and on some of its hill-sides 
and tops. In those which were commenced at that period, 



192 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

the increase and alterations in many instances have been 
such, that little resemblance now can be traced back to 
their origin. 

As an exemplification of this remark, Brattle- 
boro might be named. The writer remembers when 
one tavern; a plain, upright, ordinary dwelling ; two 
stores ; a printing office, here and there a mechanic 
shop, and a few houses along the level flat, now the 
principal street, were the most that could be seen, or 
made of it, as to its exterior. Now one splendid stage- 
tavern, and two ample hotels ; about fifteen stores ; four 
houses of public Divine worship ; one bank, a high 
school ; extensive printing establishment ; numerous 
machine shops and factories are found in it. The main 
street has been thickly set with houses, some of them 
highly elegant and tasteful. The current of business 
flowing south to ^ the creek ;' along its banks and up the 
adjacent hill, has crowded the uneven ground so com- 
pactly with buildings that they appear at a distance to 
be thrown one upon another, like the lime stone rocks 
sometimes seen on the sides of the green mountains. 
But this irregularity renders the appearance not less, 
but more interesting. Southerly and westerly also its limits 
have been extended far with tenements in close order ; 
and on the rising ground toward West Brattleboro, 
making a fine appearance, having doubled ten times, 
perhaps, the space occupied thirty-five years since, 
and twenty times the number of buildings, and propor- 
tionally its population. 

Having thus named this village for the illustration of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 193 

a remark relative to the villages of the state generally, 
it may be permitted, it is hoped, here to add, that the 
best view of it at one glance is from the burying ground, 
on the summit of the hill south. The main travel used 
formerly to go directly by it ; but improvements have 
turned it to the right. If then you would enjoy the en- 
chanting prospect from it ; so highly commended by 
Professor Silliman, in his tour to Canada, you must 
ascend the hill. It is a consecrated spot, and you will 
be richly repaid for the toil ; and in self-communion 
amid the mementos of your predecessors to eternity, 
and emblems of mortality, your spirit may be benefited. 
The next most eligible direction from which to view it, 
is the New Hampshire side of the river, as you come 
down the stage road from Chesterfield. Indeed here is 
presented the most comprehensive view of it, if less 
distinct, not the less attractive ; mellowed, and enriched, 
so to speak, by the distance and by its alternate coming 
to and going from your eyes, as you pass the hills and 
valhes ; the openings and thickets of West mountain 
river road. If along this sequestered route, your ride 
should be in November, after the frost had changed the 
leafy honors of the forest, into ten thousand various 
hues and tinges of color, inimitable to art and indiscri- 
bable ; contrasting with the hum of business and busy 
abodes of men, the beautiful and significant scenery 
around you must interest your feelings, if not penetrate 
your heart. 

The approach to this village by the three great roads 
13 



194 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

on the Vermont side ; north, south and west, is so over- 
shadowed by hills and woodlands, and windings of the 
road, that it breaks upon your view at once. The 
stranger from the south especially, might begin to think 
he had missed his way. He saw no suburbs, and no 
appearance of the expected village, till his doubts were 
removed by the white spire of the church running up 
alone amid the green foliage, and glittering in the sun, a 
harbinger of rest to the weary, and pointing homeward 
the pilgrim. 

Brattleboro has not the advantage of overlooking the 
surrounding country, and of extensive prospects enjoyed 
by elevated situations. Between it and Burlington the 
contrast in this respect is almost perfect. Both afford 
the highest pleasure in contemplation ; but in a different 
way. This is the great secret of the unfailing enjoy- 
ment experienced in visiting such regions as Vermont ; 
the almost endless variety and contrariety of scenery ; 
ever varying and diversified prospects. If one place 
more than another is better adapted to satisfy Cowper's 
character of man, it is such a district : 

" Various that the mind 
Of desultory man, studious of change, 
And pleased with novelty, may be indulged." 

Burlington has been described in another place as 
unrivaled in its prospects, elevated and majestic. Brat- 
tleboro in the other transverse extreme of the state, is 
almost concealed by the surrounding mountains and hills, 



HISTORYOFVERMONT. 195 

in a sequestered, winding valley, lying in part on the very 
bank of the Connecticut ; beautiful and far-famed river, 
of which it has been said in poetry, 

** Nor drinks the sea a lovelier wave than thine." 

Leaving that bank, it winds it way up one upland ridge 
and level after another, and between the hills and the 
creek passing through it, it spreads over a surface of 
almost boundless variety of shapes and picturesque as- 
pects. On its northwest border, runs along toward the 
very centre, a beautiful white oak ridge, whose trees 
afford a cool retreat from the heat of summer ; and a 
protection from the blasts of winter. West mountain 
overhangs the opposite bank of the river; an impressive 
spectacle as the night-fall throws her shades, and as the 
moon sheds her mellowed light around it. These and 
many other similar things, which need seeing to be enjoy- 
ed ; the walks and scenery up and down the Connecticut, 
and the contiguous West river, render it a place pecu- 
liarly attractive. Such is the testimony, it is believed, 
of candid travelers who visit it. 

Its situation is also favorable in a business point of 
view, being facile of approach to the surrounding coun- 
try, heavy articles of produce flowing easily down the 
valley of West river ; and the adjoining, fertile hills. 
Much profitable intercourse comes readily to it along 
both banks, and on the surface of the river. It is thus 
a business, flourishing place ; presaging still greater 
future prosperity and distinction ; and affords a speci- 



196 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

men, not inadequate at any rate, of the first class of 
Vermont villages. The inhabitants also furnish a fair 
sample, as in other respects, so of the enterprise and 
resources found in them. 

Here justice requires a passing notice of the printing 
establishment in this place. Its most extensive opera- 
tions were under the direction and supervision of four 
individuals of this village ; two by the name of Fessen- 
den, father and son ; and two by that of Holbrook, 
brothers. Their works were extensive, complicated, 
and costly. They manufactured their own paper ; and 
by steam engines when in drouth, water failed them ; 
worked their printing presses by water, and had their own 
bindery. They projected the works to be published, 
selected their own writers and compilers, and took their 
own way in the publication and sale of them. The 
founts of type and stereotype ; of plates and engravings, 
emblems and maps were devised and looked up by 
themselves. They chose their own artists, mechanics and 
laborers. In short, their works were on a scale more 
extensive, and important in their effects and results than 
those of any other similar establishment in the country. 
Their publications are of the first order ; standard works, 
heavy and expensive. 

The most extensive of their works is the Comprehen- 
sive Commentary on the Holy Scriptures ; edited by 
William Jenks, D. D. ; compiled principally from 
Henry, Scott, and Doddridge ; consisting of six volumes, 
including the supplement, of about eight hundred pages 
each, large royal octavo, of closely printed matter ; 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 197 

with plates and engravings. The original plan of pub- 
lishing it was one volume a year by subscription. Be- 
fore this plan was wholly effected, a company was incor- 
porated by act of legislature, called " The Brattleboro 
Typographic Company." This was accomplished in a 
measure through the instrumentality of John C. Hol- 
brook, who was the first president of the company. In 
this way, the contemplated work has been happily 
completed. 

The other large works published at this establishment 
are the Polyglott Bible ; and the Encyclopaedia of 
Religious Knowledge, and Bush's Scripture Illustrations. 
These all are of the same sized page with the Commen- 
tary ; the first two containing about thirteen hundred 
closely printed pages, each with many plates and engrav- 
ings. The Encyclopaedia was projected by the above 
named gentleman ; and as a book of reference, contain- 
ing a measureless source of useful knowledge, and 
religious biography, is unrivaled, and more popular as a 
religious work, with the exception of the Bible, than any 
one perhaps in the world. As an assistant in Sabbath 
schools, to teachers and scholars, it is beyond all price ; 
and the want of something like it, experienced by the 
publisher, in preparing himself for his class, suggested 
the plan of the work. But under the pressure of their 
heavy and complicated undertakings, embarrassed in 
their operations by the changes and difficulties of the 
times, he with his companions failed in their means and 
resources. His is the consolation however, of failing in 
a good cause. It is moreover true that they failed in an 



198 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

enterprise, in which every one cannot ; nay, in which 
few can fail; for few can project and mature and carry 
through, for they have seen them through ; operations 
requiring such comprehensive vigor of mind, and perse- 
verance and devotion of heart. On whatever current of 
life, then, their bark may have been subsequently tossed, 
whatever inroads sickness and death may have made in 
the domestic sanctuary, they may reflect that their labors, 
by the Divine blessing, may long confer gifts, which 
cannot he purchased with money. It is no small com- 
mendation, that Professor Silliman should say, as he did 
to the writer, " that the mechanical execution of their 
works was an honor to their country." Improvements 
even, in this department have since been made, and are 
still making. 

A substantial bridge here connects Vermont with New 
Hampshire. In the early construction of bridges over 
the Connecticut, the completion of one was thought a 
feat, as it was, of sufficient importance for a public meet- 
ing upon it as a kind of trial, if no more, of its strength 
and examination of its workmanship. This example 
was followed here when the first bridge, some fifty or 
sixty years ago was erected ; and a distinguished barrister 
of the village was requested to deliver an oration on the 
occasion. He made preparation and had so well pos- 
sessed himself of his subject as he thought that he 
omitted to take with him his manuscript. The villagers, 
and the inhabitants from the neighborhood assembled. 
A new cart, decorated, was drawn by a pair of sturdy 
oxen to the centre of the bridge as the speaker's plat- 



I HISTORY OF VERMONT. 199 

form. The orator mounted the cart. All was silence 
and expectation. But whether from the sight of the water 
far below him, or some other cause, and what, is unknown, 
and probably like other similar occurrences, will remain 
unaccountable, he seemed to hesitate, stammer ; lose his 
self-possession and recollection. The oxen becoming 
somewhat restive added to his embarrassment. After 
two or three abortive attempts to get under-way, with, 
" gentlemen, hem 1 fellow citizens ! — hem ! — hem 1 
twenty years ago, hem ! just twenty years ago — these 
two — two empires, pointing to New Hampshire and 
Vermont ; states he could not think of. — By this time, 
some wag cried out, ^ she cracks,^ which produced as 
much confusion to compare small things with great, as 
the celebrated panic at Waterloo, sauve qui pent ; save 
himself who can ; and the orator was said to have been 
among the first to clear himself from the bridge. When 
reminded of that transaction by his brethren of the bar. 
his only answer was ; " All I know about it is, I had a 
good oration, but could not remember a word of it^ 

Rev. Abner Reeve was the first minister of the town 
of Brattleboro, whose house of worship was two miles 
west of the river. He was from Connecticut, and the 
father of the celebrated judge Reeve, of Litchfield, in that 
state. Sargent, Arms, Church, Stewart, and Knight, 
are among the names of the first settlers. James Elliott, 
John Noyes, and Jonathan Hunt, while inhabitants of 
the town, were representatives in congress from this state. 
They are dead ; the latter of whom died at Washington, 



200 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

but his body was brought home for burial. Tyler, 
Knowlton, and Knight, were judges of the superior court. 
Going up the river in this county, in Dummerston, 
you find Kathan and Miller; in Putney, Sabin and 
Keyes ; in Westminster, Bradley, Spooner, and Richards, 
among the names of the first settlers in those towns. 
The last named place was one of the most conspicuous 
in the early history of the state ; and must have made 
rapid progress in population and improvements. Indeed 
for those fond of agricultural and rural pursuits, free from 
the noise and bustle of factories ; the whirl of machinery ; 
the grating of files and saws, few situations can be found 
more eligible and delightful. It has no water privileges ; 
but is a town almost exclusively of farmers. The land on 
the river is level and fertile, easy of cultivation. The 
main street, more than a mile long, broad and pleasant, 
crossed midway by a steep ridge, dividing the village into 
two plats, upper and lower, is adorned at considerable 
intervals between, with neat, comely residences. It 
has furnished three members of congress, the elder and 
younger Bradley, and Mark Richards, the last two of 
whom survive ; the last at a great age, having been hon- 
ored also with the lieutenancy of the state. Of senator 
Bradley, past events have called elsewhere for a more 
particular account. He was a native of Connecticut, as 
also lieutenant Gov. Richards. A plain tomb stone stands 
in the grave yard here, commemorative of the death of 
William French, the circumstances of which have been 
before narrated. The following is a literal copy of the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 201 

inscription ; given as a specimen of such early epitaphs, 
and as showing the spirit of the times. 

In Memory of 
WILLIAM FRENCH, 

Son to Mr. Nathaniel French, 

who was shot at Westminster, 

March y"- 13th, 1775, 

by the hands of Cruel Ministerial tools of 

Georg y^ 3d, in the Court-house, 

at a 11 a clock at night, 

in the • 

22d year of his age. 

Here William French his Body lies 
For murder his blood for Vengeance cries 
King Georg the third his Tory crew 
tha with a bawl his head Shot threw 
For Liberty & his Country's Good 
he Lost his Life his Dearest blood 

At the meeting of the general convention of ministers 
in this place, 1813, Rev. Lemuel Hai/nes, the colored 
preacher of Vermont, a very worthy, able, and devoted 
servant of Christ, was present and treated with great 
kindness by Gen. Bradley, who entertained him at his 
house and attended his ministration of the word with 
pleasure, and respect. 

Bellows Falls has had a rapid growth but healthful ; 
being now of the first class of Vermont villages. It 
will be visited by every traveler to these parts, and 
whose attention will be long riveted, and curiosity 
awakened by the operations of nature and the pictured, 



202 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

sublime scenery contiguous. It is but four miles from 
Westminster ; to which, in exterior, it is a perfect con- 
trast. If then the quiet, still pursuits ; and uniformity, 
and sameness of the latter, should cloy and make the 
spirits flag, and the eyes drowsy, a short ride north will 
kindle up the one, and raise the tone of the other. A 
ramble of an hour or two at the foot and around the 
borders of the cataract ; amid the dashings, and whirling 
and foaming, and roaring of the waters, sprinkled by the 
spray and mist, and regaled by the distant views of coun- 
try seats, of uplands and mountains, of forest and orna- 
mental trees; and beginning to become somewhat exaVedl 
by the harsh grating of machinery, and the discordant 
hum of a busy, crowded centre, you may cherish anew 
some such peaceful retreat as you had left. Among the 
curiosities witnessed at this spot are the circular cavities 
worn in the rocks by the incessant whirl given to pebbles 
by the agitation of the water. They are smooth and 
regular, as metal castings of pots and kettles ; and of 
all dimensions from the smallest article of this sort on a 
rotary, up to cauldrons large enough* to cook in for 
all the Hessians taken at the battle of Bennington. 

Crossing the mountain from this place, whether by 
Saxton village and Grafton, or Chester and Windham, 
your route beside rivers and rivulets ; by hill and dale ; 
through openings and shades will occupy your eyes and 
mind, and refresh your spirits. Passing through Man- 
chester and Shaftsbury, you will soon find yourself at 

* See record of the Council of Safety, Chapter xiv. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 203 

the ancient head quarters of the state. The coincidence 
of several things render Bennington the most interesting 
spot of the green mountains. The date of its organiza- 
tion is the earliest. The celebrated battle and victory, 
which bears its name ; its frontier and exposed position 
in the early difficulties with New York ; and unflinching 
loyalty to the cause of the New Hampshire grants, 
amid the strong temptations whether of flattery or 
menace ; its bearing the date of many of the first acts 
of civil and military authority ; those of " the council 
of safety" particularly ; the superiority of its growth 
and population ; the venerable names of its founders, 
and which stand conspicuously in the annals of our state 
and country; and the monumental gvound fast hy the 
house of God, comely to the eye ; and impressive in 
its aspects and associations, and the adjacent prospects, 
all unite to give it a commanding and irresistible influence 
on our hearts. Feelings of patriotism are revived ; 
veneration and sympathy inspired for those long gone 
and yielding life at the calls of duty ; reflections on the 
far past, crowd thick in the mind ; imagination goes 
back to 1749, and paints ^' the vast contiguity of shade ;" 
which overhung these hills and valleys ; and the judg- 
ment tries to estimate the difference between the state 
of things then, and the present ; and to mark the changes 
and improvements of ninety-three years, and retrace the 
footsteps of Divine Providence. 

Bennington centre, situated on and near a moderate 
eminence, extensive and circular ; ornamented with trees 
and public buildings, contains many elegant and costly 



204 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

individual establishments, and confimands interesting 
views in every direction. But East Bennington, having 
the advantage of abundant water power, is a place of 
far greater business. At the very foot of the green 
mountains at one of its highest elevations and boldest 
aspects, it is shielded fron:i the easterly piercing winds of 
spring, has increased rapidly within a few years ; and 
the great objects of human pursuit are sought in nume- 
rous channels. 

^ Bennington furnace' is about a mile from this village, 
in a northeasterly direction ; a very extensive iron 
establishment, employing several hundred hands, and 
affording much employment and income to the surround- 
ing inhabitants by transporting the pig and castings to 
Troy, and other places on the Hudson. The two 
buildings in which the perpetual fires are kept, are large, 
four story, and brick. The roaring, and white, livid 
color of the flames, and the sooty appearance of the 
attendants; and the surrounding heaps of coal, and 
masses of iron and ore, and machinery, and utensils, 
remind one of the black Erebus of the ancients. Since 
the temperance reformation ; as none but temperance 
men are employed ; the fires burn much more regularly 
and safely. The overseeing of the establishment is 
now not half so laborious as when intoxicating drinks 
were used. 

Hinsdale Ville, another village in this town, two miles 
west of the centre, is a flourishing manufacturing place. 
Numerous establishments of cotton and woolen fabrics 
were in active operation a few years since, with a cluster 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 205 

of neat dwellings near them in a beautiful vale on the 
banks of a romantic stream. These, and the compact, 
rich, and well cultivated farms, with six or seven houses 
for public, divine worship, academies and other public 
buildings render it a delightful place of residence ; 
furnishing a boundless source of refined enjoyment to 
those fond of the beauties of nature, and works of art. 
The hunter found game in the woods and fields, and the 
angler trout in the streams. Of such sports and 
exercises, Gov. Tichener was fond even in extreme old 
age, after his retirement from public business, going in 
his carriage, often with his fishing utensils several miles 
to the sides of the mountains, and leaving it, when 
nearer approach to the stream was obstructed. In this 
way helping to beguile the infirmities and loneliness of 
age, and sharpen his relish for social intercouse, he fin- 
ished life's span calmly in the society of a younger 
generation. 

Time, and other causes have happily very much 
softened, if not worn off the asperity, which was for- 
merly here felt towards their neighbors, the Yorkers. 
Frequent and constant intercourse between the Benning- 
tonians, and Albanians and Trojans, have produced 
mutual feelings of respect and confidence. Indeed they 
seem somewhat tinged in their manners and habits with 
those of the descendants of the Knickerbockers, a 
characteristic improvement rather than the contrary. 
This is seen also more or less along the western line and 
borders of the Lake. It is a spirit, so to speak, more 



206 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

simple, and less formal in social, ordinary intercourse ; 
and not so ready on the looTc out for treachery and 
informers. It may include also a little more of the 
steam power, in business pursuits and recreations. 



207 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Further account of villages. — Manchester. — Its situation and ap- 
pearance. — Burr seminary. — Marble quarries. — Factories. — 
Quality, and abundance. — Market for it. — Supposed murder. — 
Castleton. — Road to Rutland. — Clarendon springs. — Walling- 
ford. — East Rutland. — Its common. — Judge Williams. — Wood- 
stock. — Its situation. — Judge Hutchinson. — Charles Marsh. — 
Windsor. — Springfield. — Its appearance. — Self-taught mecha- 
nic. — A curiosity. — Derby. — Danville. — Montpelier. — Its situ- 
ation. — Population. — Associations of its name. — State house. 
— Particular description of it. — Middlebury. — Its exterior. — 
Vergennes. — Decline. — Its prosperity. — Villages of less ex- 
tent. — Their number. — The first class. — In order relative to 
Montpelier,— Viewed at once. — Retrospection. — Contrast. — 
Reflections. 

Some account has, in the first chapter, been given of 
Manchester. Situated in the cavity of the surrounding 
mountains, it has been called, " The Punch BowV^ 
The principal street is wide and extends nearly a mile ; 
lined with well built houses, and adorned with rows of 
shade trees. The view of it, in descending the moun- 
tain from Winhall, is clear and striking for several miles 
before reaching it. Burr seminary, situated in the rear 
of the main street on a gently rising eminence, appears 
to good advantage ; and has delightful prospects of the 



208 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

majestic mountains in front ; and to the right and left. 
The academic building is large and commodious ; ad- 
joining which are several neat dwellings for the prin- 
cipal, and teachers, and assistants. It was founded and 
endowed by a citizen of this place, whose name it bears, 
and is a flourishing institution. East Manchester is a 
flourishing, manufacturing village, three miles distant at 
the foot of the mountain, on the stage road to the Con- 
necticut river. 

Here the light colored dust and sharp pointed stones 
of the path, begin to remind you of the marble quarries 
in the vicinity ; and point your eyes to the factories, in 
which by hands and instruments and machinery and 
water power, the bars and fragments are wrought and 
polished for monumental records of the dead. 

White marble, clear and fine grained, is found abun- 
dantly in the vicinity of Manchester, including several 
neighboring towns. The manufacturing of it into tomb 
stones, and other articles of use and ornament, is a busi- 
ness of considerable extent, and no small income. The 
quarries in Dorset have been regarded as the first in 
point of quality and abundance. But new beds of it 
are discovered from time to time ; and the mountains 
and hills in this and other sections of the state, are 
thought to contain an exhaustless store of it, some of 
which may rival the most admired specimens of foreign 
countries. It is transported to the other side of the 
mountain and to neighboring states ; and, in the winter, 
sleighs are often seen loaded with the melancholy freight, 
for sale to bereaved mourners. But those who dig; and 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 209 

who polish, and who transport it, find the sudden need 
sometimes of their own wares where so ready a market is 
opened by the painful necessity of others. For those whose 
adamantine Iiearts can rob the widow and the fatherless, 
will not be moved to pity and forbearance by marble 
mementos of death, and white gateways into the grave.* 

Another village of the first class in this vicinity is 
Castleton ; distinguished for its regularity, and the rich- 
ness of its soil ; and its ample common and public 
walks. Na'ture seems to have opened through the moun- 
tains a romantic passage from it to Rutland ; the road 
running most of the way along a narrow defile on the 
banks of a stream. 

Rutland has three villages, which may be denomi- 
nated East and West and Middle Rutland. At the 



* Recently one of these subtle roamers entered into the house 
of a widow who was absent at a sick neighbor's ; but whose art- 
less children he beguiled by showing them money ; thus leading 
them to do the same, and disclosing the few dollars of their 
mother ; a sum small, but great in their view. As they left for 
school, he left, but marked the way of their placing the nail over 
the latch, stealthily returned and rifled the drawer so artlessly 
opened to his sight. He then wound himself into the confidence 
of a youth, and mounted his wagon by his side, carrying from 
this region a load of marble slabs to a neighboring state, and col- 
lecting debts of his 'father's former customers ; leading him un- 
suspectingly to disclose his business and his money. He was 
missing, murdered by this callous hearted wretch ; and his father 
was searching for his body to record the melancholy tale on one 
of these monuments, which in carrying them to others he found 
occasion for himself. 

14 



210 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

West village, you are within three miles of Clarendon 
springs ; waters of increasing celebrity for their efficacy 
in cutaneous disorders especially. In a winding recess 
among the hills you will find a large brick establishment 
for the accommodation of visitors, with several other 
minor boarding houses. Here if time permitted, you 
might be conducted to Wallingford, the next town south, 
lying along a valley the most magnificient ; and contain- 
ing rich and beautiful farms. The hills on either hand 
being so high that you would think in ascending, the 
top, and in descending, the bottom, would never come. 
If named after Wallingford in Connecticut, rich and 
pleasant as it is, it would not suffer in the comparison, 
dissimilar as it is in exterior. But duty calls us to East 
Rutland, famed in the early history of the state ; and 
since, as the occasional seat of government. The spa- 
cious common, enclosed by a neat railing, adds much to 
the beauty of the place ; which by its external situation 
overhung, as it were, by Killington peak ; by the rich- 
ness of its soil ; by the taste and elegance exhibited in 
many of its buildings, is surpassed by few villages in 
New England. Among the edifices of individuals, 
stands distinguished that of the late Robert Temple. 
Chief Justice Williams also, a native of this place, of 
whose father honorable mention is made by Dr. Dwight 
in his journal, has here an elegant seat. He unites in 
divine worship with the Episcopal church, which to- 
gether with three other flourishing churches, congrega- 
tional, baptist and methodlst, share between them chiefly 
this christain community. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 211 

A ride of twenty-eight miles across the mountain 
will bring you to Woodstock, the shire town of Windsor 
county. The streams running through and near it afford 
considerable interval, rich, handsome land. The village 
itself, if visited first, you would think could not in 
appearance be surpassed. Few villages in Vermont are 
more populous and compact or better planned and 
built ; or whose business advantages more judiciously 
occupied and improved. The churches, congregational, 
episcopal, baptist, methodist, and universalist, are neat, 
well-finished edifices. The public green in the south 
part of the place, in shape and surface, and intersecting 
walks and shrubbery, and fence, will catch the eye of 
the traveler, and strongly attract his attention. Titus 
Hutchinson, a former chief justice of the state resides in 
this place. Hon. Charles Marsh, once from the green 
mountain state a representative in congress, has his resi- 
dence near the village, on an eminence commanding: an 
extensive view of it and beautiful and variegated land- 
scapes in the vicinity. 

The roads running from this place pass through a 
fertile tract of land in every direction ; and to Windsor, 
you go in the neighborhood of Ascutney, a lofty, 
irregular fragment, cut off by some operation of nature 
from the main mountain range, and left on the bank of 
the Connecticut, as a way-mark, it would seem, for 
those who travel its borders. In Windsor you will see 
in the large elms, and other shade trees which adorn it ; 
in the garden and door-yard arrangements and orna- 
ments; and in its general appearance, evidences of a 



212 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

mature, long established village. In the pleasantness 
and compactness of its centre, and the rich alluvial land 
on the river, it suffers not in comparison with the 
admired and celebrated town in Connecticut, whose name 
it bears. 

In our curiosity to look at the north-east part of the 
state, Siningfield was in danger of being passed unno- 
ticed, so huddled together as it is, in a deep ravine, and 
overhung by steep hills. It may be called the Birming' 
ham of Vermont. A gulph runs through the centre of 
it, or rather it is built on the sides and ridges and cliffs 
of a gulph, at the bottom of which runs a strong perma- 
nent current of water, which with dams and falls and 
the art of man, furnishes abundant situations for factories, 
and machinery and machine shops of every description. 
For the variety and extent of these establishments, it 
stands first in the state. The bridge connecting the two 
sides of this gulph in the centre of business, is a spot of 
little less interest, and attraction than that of Bellows 
Falls. It is over a profound chasm, the sides of which 
are regular walls, in some places, like the work of 
masonry, and through which and over rocks and falls, 
dashes a foaming current of water. From this point as 
a centre, the village appears in the form of a beautiful 
amphitheatre. The ridges and rows of houses with here 
and there steps of ascent cut in the ground, mounting 
on either hand to the summit of the corresponding hills, 
and buildings above and below crowded thickly to* the 
very verge of this deep and narrow water passage, and 
seen at a distance, give it a circular appearance. It takes 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 213 

the shape of some vast concave filled with seats, rising 
one above another, of spectators intent on some 
fascinating spectacle, or exhibition in the centre. One 
of the most ingenious, self-taught mechanics, Verniont- 
born resides in this place. His name is Porter , whose 
improvements on the machinery for cutting and setting 
card teeth, is matter of curiosity, affording samples of 
curious workmanship, and sought after from distant parts 
of our country. 

Of the three towns, whose names follow, the follow- 
ing particulars are given in the language of another. 
"Derby is one of the most fertile townships of land in 
the state. There is not a single lot of land in the whole 
town, that is not occupied for farming purposes. The 
village at the centre of the town extends from Clyde 
river along a single street northerly more than a mile. 
It contains about fifty houses, and two hundred and fifty 
or three hundred inhabitants. In the village there are 
two meeting-houses, a congregational and baptist ; an 
extensive seminary for academical instruction of both 
sexes, which is under the control of the baptist associa- 
tion ; five stores, extensive mills and manufactories. 
The collector's ofTice for this port of entry is kept at 
this place ; and the post oflice which bears the name of 
the town. There are two other post offices in the town, 
one at Derby Line, and one at West Derby. At Derby 
Line there is a flourishing village and an episcopal 
church under the rectorship of Rev. Norman W, 
Camp." 

" Danville is a flourishing village ; has a court house 



214 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and jail ; an academy, a congregational, methodist and 
baptist meeting house. The population of the village, 
and the amount of business may be about the same as at 
Derby. It has a bank also. It is a good township of 
land, and more extensive than Derby ; and was settled 
somewhat earlier." 

" The village of MontpeUer^ including a small portion 
of Berlin, which lies on the opposite side of the river, 
cannot number less than two thousand ; it is said, some- 
what more. Its population is rapidly increasing. The 
public buildings, except the state house, are not remarka- 
able. There are two cono^refjational churches, and one 
methodist ; a court house, jail and an academy. 

It was a happy suggestion, however it may have 
originated, that of selecting this spot as the capital of 
Vermont, and of giving it the name which it bears. Its 
central position, a level surface on the summit of the 
Green Mountains at a point where it is of comparative 
easy access ; the richness of the soil in the vicinity ; 
and the landscape and scenery; and its business advan- 
tages render it not only a suitable place for the seat of 
government, but of great allurement to the traveler and 
spectator. The name is characteristic, and significant; 
and venerable also for its associations with the eminence 
in France, of great antiquity and notoriety, and from 
which it is derived. In this way also, it may bear a 
complimentary allusion to that ancient ally in the revo- 
lutionary struggle. It will be 'perpetual, it is hoped, on 
the mountains which uphold it; and as unfading as the 
foliage, which adorns them. Here stands the Vermont 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 215 

State House ; its foundation an excavation of a solid 
rock ; and its superstructure, of noble and comely pro- 
portions, corresponding with the place ; its purpose and 
uses, and the people over whom its lofty dome unfurls 
the banner of freedom and justice and equal laws. 

The following description of this house was published 
in the American Magazine of Useful Knowledge, vol. 
3d, March, 1837. It is somewhat minute and technical ; 
but does not admit of abridgment ; and to many this 
particularity may render it more interesting. 

'' The building is in the form of a cross, showing in 
front a centre seventy-two feet broad, and two wings, 
each extending thirty-nine feet, making, the whole length 
150 feet. The centre, (including the portico of eighteen 
feet) is 100 feet deep, and the wings (of which the 
front of each stands 20 feet back of that of the portico) 
are fifty feet deep. The centre is ornamented with a 
portico, extending its whole width, consisting of six 
granite columns, six feet in diameter at the base, four feet 
eight inches at the top, and thirty-six feet high, support- 
ing a massive entablature and a pediment of classic 
proportion. The tympanum of which is intended to be 
ornamented with the arms of the state in basso relievo 
having a cistern at the ridge and eaves. The whole is 
crowned with a dome of elegant proportions, rising 
thirty-six feet above the ridge, and making the whole 
height from ground to top of the dome 100 feet. The 
order of architecture used on the outside is the purest 
doric, made to conform to the arrangement necessary in 
the building. The wings are distinguished by antae at 



216 IIISTORY^OF VERMONT. 

the corners, which are surmounted by an entablature and 
balustrade, of bold and simple parts, continued quite 
around without openings or breaks ; the wings to the 
top of the balustrade are forty-six feet high, the exterior 
walls and portico are of a beautifully colored dark 
granite, quarried about nine miles from the state house, 
in the town of Barre, and wrought in a very superior 
manner. The roof and dome are covered with copper. 
The interior is entered in front from the portico, through 
a door eight feet wide, opening into an entrance hall 
thirty-two by thirty-eight feet, fourteen feet high, the 
ceiling of which is supported by six granite columns, 
eiorhteen inches in diameter at the base, of the Grecian 
Ionic order, and is paneled after the manner of the 
ceilings in the porticos of ancient temples. — There are 
three other entrances, one from each end of the house, 
through doors five feet wide, into passages ten feet wide, 
which communicate with the entrance hall by corridors 
eight feet wide, and are in the rear of the centre, six 
feet wide, opening into a passage twelve feet wide, 
leading to the entrance hall. In the lower story 
is a room twenty by sixteen feet, for the secretary 
of state, with a fire proof safe ten by sixteen feet, for 
records ; adjoining a room for state's treasurer, fourteen 
by twenty-two feet, with a fire proof vault, a room for 
the auditor of accounts of the same size, twelve rooms 
for legislative committees — six of them very large and 
spacious, and two rooms for furnaces to heat the principal 
halls and rooms in the second story. From the entrance 
hall there are two stair cases, leading to the second or 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 217 

principal story-^one being on the right hand and the 
other on the left as you enter from the portico. These 
land in the circular halls or landings, twenty feet in 
diameter, from which there are communications with the 
rooms adjoining — and a flight of stairs to the gallery 
of the representatives' hall and the senate chamber, and 
also to committee rooms in the third story. From these 
landings you pass into the vestibule of the representa- 
tives' hall, eighteen by thirty-six feet and eighteen feet 
high, — the ceiling paneled after the Grecian style, and 
the whole room finished in a very neat and elegant 
manner, having niches for statues and panels for paint- 
ings ; from this you enter the representatives' hall through 
a door five feet wide and ten feet high. — This hall is 
sixty-seven feet in length, by fifty-seven in width and 
thirty-one feet high. It is unequaled in simplicity and 
elegance of design, as well as for convenience in doing 
business. For the ease with which a person can speak 
and readily be heard, this room is not surpassed by any 
of its size. 

The senate chamber is forty-four feet in length by 
thirty in width, and twenty-two feet high, of an oval form, 
and finished in the Ionic order of architecture. It is a 
most elegant and symmetrical specimen of architecture, 
uniting in an eminent degree the '^ useful and ornamental." 
This is entered from the east landing. 

From the west landing you enter the governor's room, 
twenty by twenty-two feet, eighteen feet high, through 
an ante-room, about fifteen feet square. Adjoining the 
ante-room is also a room for the office of the governor's 



218 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

secretary of civil and military affairs. From this same 
landing too you enter the library. It is a room thirty- 
six by eighteen feet, and twenty feet high, having a 
gallery and shelves capable of holding 10,000 volumes. 
Ammi B. Young, of Boston, is the architect who designed 
and constructed the building. The building cost about 
$140,000." 

Middlebury and Vergennes are villages also of the 
first class. Some account of the former has been ^iven 
in connection with that of the college bearing the name. 
The ground on which it stands is more irregular, perhaps, 
than that of any other in the state ; and affords a great 
variety of views and prospects, and business privileges 
and sites for factories and mechanic establishments. 
Hon. William Slade, and senator Phelps have here their 
residences ; and the state of religious society and social 
and literary enjoyments is high and inviting. 

Vergennes is the only place, which has reached the 
dignity of an incorporated city ; alone in the interior 
enjoying the advantages of a sea port ; that of being 
visited by shipping. Its increase and progress did not 
keep pace with its early promise. But the opening of 
the canal from Troy to Whitehall, has had a favorable 
influence on its prospects. It is pleasantly situated on 
the right bank of Otter Creek ; and its compactness ; 
its stone stores and the distant sounds of business at the 
water side, give it a city-like aspect and presage its 
prosperity and growth. 

But time would fail, to tell of all the villages in the 
state J the number of places coming within the appella- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 



219 



tion, being perhaps from five to seven hundred. Some 
of them too approach very near, if not to the limits of 
those particularly named ; and afford points of view, and 
objects of contemplation of great interest and attractive- 
ness. But the reader must visit them ; or wait another 
opportunity ; or avail himself of a more skilful guide to 
lead him along their highways, and green walks and 
shady retreats. 

Beginning then at the north end of the state ; and tak- 
ing the villages of the first class as particularly named ; 
and in order to the right and left of Montpelier, they 
will stand thus : — 



St. Albans, 

Burlington, 

Vergennes, 

Middlebury, 

Rutland, 

Castleton, 

Manchester, 

Bennington, 



> Montpelier. 



Derby, 

Danville, 

Woodstock, 

Windsor, 

Springfield, 

Bellows Falls, 

Brattleboro. 



Now if one like the lawgiver of Israel, who from 
Pisgah viewed the length and breadth of Canaan, from 
the highest point of the green mountains, could at once 
view more than the half thousand villages up and down the 
state, the privilege would be great and the spectacle ani- 
mating. If he could go back nearly a century when all this 
region was a dense wilderness except here and there a 
bald peak of granite or lime stone ; and mark the present 



220 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

contrast of the white dotted openings of towns and settle- 
ments and hamlets and villages, the changes would seem 
great and impressive. Or if like Charron of old, assisted 
by Mercury in viewing the curiosities of this upper world 
with poetic license, ^' piling Pelion upon Ossa ;" and 
gifted with far distant vision of minute objects even to 
the " hard wax" in the ear, he could see the inhabit- 
ants of these villages, like bees from their hives, in their 
various pursuits ; some in courts of justice ; others culti- 
vating the ground ; some in merchandise ; others on 
military parade grounds with the instruments of death ; 
some sailing upon the rivers and lakes, or endowed with 
the power of quick hearing, could hear their conversation 
in the field and in the house, like him who heard not a 
word about his boat, he might lament to hear so little 
said of death, yet he could not but admire the flocks 
and herds on ten thousand hills, and works of man ; the 
traces and progress of human skill and industry. 



221 



CHAPTER XV. 

Military exploits and measures in and near Vermont. — Names of 
leaders, and places of fame. — Discovery of North America and 
settlement in Canada. — Lake Champlain. — Lake George. — 
Iroquois Indians. — Strife between the English and French. •^- 
Col. Schuyler. — Attack on Deerfield. — Capture of Quebec. — 
Abercrombie. — Wolf. — His character. — Settlement at Crown 
Point. — Chimney Point. — Surprise of Bridgman's fort. — Cap- 
ture of Mrs. Howe and other women. — Attack on Royalton. — . 
Brandon. — The justification of Vermont, thus exposed, in 
admitting overtures from the English. 

Vermont is classic ground, the theatre of warlike 
operations, whose soil has often witnessed the passing 
and re-passing of armies, the munitions of war, and 
the shedding of blood. On her western and northern 
frontier, the din of arms, and the savage yell and the 
war-whoop have been often heard. Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point ; Montreal and Quebec ; Stillwater and 
Saratog^a and Plattsburo; have been seats of distinojuished 
military operations. They are fields of renown, retain- 
ing the footsteps of leaders and generals, whose names 
stand high on the pages of history and the record of 
fame. They indeed exhibit colors faint and indistinct 
compared with some sanguinary fields in Europe, and of 



222 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

ancient times. But they are places where European 
noblemen and names of much repute have led warriors 
of the old countries to the conflict ; and by their deeds 
and deaths giving them a deathless name. Lord Howe ; 
generals Amherst, Abercrombie and Wolf; and their 
associates and their actions and achievements have ren- 
dered the region contiguous to Vermont known to fame. 

On her very soil also, and the waters of Champlain, 
Allen and Stark and McDonough ; and in her immediate 
vicinity, Burgoyne, Baume, Gates and Montgomery, 
have more recently added to the interest which is felt 
in human exploits and glory. Hubbardston> Bennington 
and Bemis Heights ; Saratoga and Plattsburgh and the 
Champlain waters near Burlington are consecrated spots, 
to which the patriotic youths of Vermont, and of our 
country burn with enthusiasm. As time recedes from 
the period of their renown, they become more and more 
places of curiosity and veneration, at the mention of 
which patriotism will be enkindled and a love of country 
increased. The plains of Marathon and Platea, and 
the straits of Thermopolae will as soon be forgotten as 
they and the leaders on those fields of glory be driven 
into oblivion by the progress of time and the revolution 
of ages. 

The French made the first settlement in North 
America, 1534. James Cartier entered the gulph which 
he named, and the river St. Lawrence, in honor of the 
day, (it being St. Lawrence.) on which they were 
discovered. The navigator who followed him was 
Samuel Champlain, who in 1608, with a small fleet 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 223 

sailed up the St. Lawrence to a place called by the 
Indians Quebec, where he made a clearing and built a 
town. 

The next year, at the suggestion of the Indians he 
made an exploring tour ^south in search of lakes. 
Ascending the river now called Sorel, he came to the 
lake which bears his name. Thence he went to the 
lake now called George, which he named St. Sacrament. 
On the shores of the latter lake he encountered the 
Iroquois, a powerful tribe of Indians. It was here that 
the natives of North America were permitted, (or 
doomed shall it be said ?) to hear for the first time the 
report of a musket. Great was the impression made on 
them ; and it disposed them favorably towards their 
white (pale) European visitors. This was a powerful 
confederacy of different tribes of Indians ; and long 
before and subsequently waged bloody wars with the 
tribes in the vicinity of Quebec, to which place fifty 
of their scalps were now carried. 

Thus as early as 1609, discoveries and the foot steps 
of civilized men were made in the vicinity of Ver- 
mont. A considerable period did indeed elapse, (more 
than a century,) before these pa^rts were permanently 
settled. They were, however, the theatre of bloody wars 
between the French and their Indian allies on the one 
side, and the Iroquois and their associates on the other. 
In 1664 the Dutch settlement at New Amsterdam 
became an English province, after which, the territory 
now called Vermont was often passed and re-passed in 
various directions by English and French troops, and 



224 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

their Indian allies in the wars of Canada, and their 
ravages along the shores of the lakes and rivers. The 
English thought themselves justified in the part which 
they took in them, as the French held forts and were 
constantly making settlements on the shores of Lake 
Champlain within the limits by them claimed. On the 
other hand, the French founded their right to this 
district on the ground of discovery and occupation. 
It was contended again by the English that mere discov- 
ery gave no sufficient title without actual occupation ; 
and that it was deserted when Massachusetts and New 
York extended their jurisdiction over it, under the 
direction and sanction of the British crown. But the 
question, as in most such cases at that period, was 
finally decided by the sword. It was a long and 
arduous struggle ; and victory and defeat were alternately 
experienced by each nation. 

It was the settled conviction of the English government, 
particularly in that of their colonies, that these perplex- 
ing wars of inroads and rapine, would never cease so 
long as Canada belonged to the French. Two expedi- 
tions were accordingly planned against it ; one under 
Sir William Phips against Quebec ; and which was 
given up on account of the season being so far 
advanced. The other under John Winthrop was unsuc- 
cessful. 

Col. Schuyler of New York distinguished himself 
about this period on the part of the English ; making a 
successful onset on the French settlements near the 
banks of the Sorel, destroying about three hundred of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 225 

the enemy. Two or three years after this, in 1695, 
several hundreds, French and Indians, invaded the 
country of the Mohawks ; but were promptly met by 
Schuyler and two hundred volunteers, and driven back 
with loss into Canada. 

The Indian attack on Deerfield, (Mass.) and its 
circumstances and consequences are well known, being 
on the records of our country's history. But the route 
pursued by these Indians may not be so familiar. It is 
said, on good credit, that in 1704, about three hundred 
Indians under De Rauville, went up Lake Champlain 
to the mouth of Onion river, and crossed over to the 
Connecticut ; and going on ice, reached the neighbor- 
hood of Deerfield, on the 29th of February. Con- 
cealing themselves till the dead of night, the guard being 
dispersed, and the inhabitants in a sound sleep, they 
fell upon the town in different parts at the same time ; 
and made indiscriminate slaughter of old and young; 
of male and female, setting fire to the buildings and 
rending the air with their yells and warhoops. Forty- 
seven were slain, and the remainder of the inhabitants 
carried away prisoners. Their bloody track on their 
return, was along the rivers and vallies, and over the 
hills of Vermont, the whole course of which they 
marked, so to speak, with acts of barbarity. For they 
dispatched with the tomahawk and scalping knife, the 
exhausted female and helpless child ; the sick man, and 
all, who through infirmity were unable to keep pace 
with them. The monuments of death in peculiar 
circumstances are yet found at unequal intervals the 
15 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

whole route of this melancholy incursion. That they 
should undertake such a journey of two or three hundred 
miles in the winter, for the sake of plunder and murder, 
and making prisoners, is no very flattering evidence of 
Indian kindness and mercy ; but is proof strong, of the 
barbarity of the civilized man who led them ; and his 
name has been given, that it may go down to posterity 
with an everlasting stigma. It is melancholy proof of 
the mutual cruelties and depredations of the times ; the 
inhuman custom of both English and French of insti- 
gating the savage to the most revolting deeds of inhu- 
manity. 

But as these events took place most of them, before 
many settlements had been made in Vermont, it is not 
necessary in a history of this state, particularly to relate 
them. This is the case especially in relation to the wars 
between France and England, previous to the reduction 
of Canada. It is sufficient to say, in general terms, that 
Amherst J Abercrombie, and Wolf, were the principal 
leaders on the part of the English ; and that Crown 
Point, Ticonderoga, and Montreal and Quebec are the 
places where the greatest military feats were performed. 
Wolf was so happy as to give the finishing stroke to 
their eflx)rts on the part of Great Britain. The impor- 
tant battle which decided this contest took place, 13th 
of September, 1759. This was an arduous enterprise ; 
and the British ministry knew that the greatest military 
talents were requisite in accomplishing it. No small 
honor was it then to Wolf, that he should have been 
selected for this difficult service. He was in the morn- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 227 

ing of life ; and his example of self-devotion to his coun- 
try, has probably fired many a soldier to follow him in 
the high places of the field, in behalf of his country. 
His lieutenants in that enterprise were Moniton, Towns- 
hend, and Murray, sons of noblemen ; and, like their 
leaders in the flower of youth. " They were students in 
the art of war ; and though young in years, old in ex- 
perience."* 

The taking of such a city ; so well defended by nature 
and art ; so strongly garrisoned ; and under the direc- 
tion of an able general ; the taking of which being fol- 
lowed with so important consequences, has made the 
name of the general who fell in doing it, dear to the 
British nation. Few generals have ever won so un- 
divided applause at so early an age ; or fallen in the 
field of battle more sincerely lamented. Few names 
stand on the pages of history, in a light better adapted 
to win and retain the favor of succeeding ages as long 
as talents, and bravery, and accomplishments and 
generosity and love of country, shall be admired and 
venerated. 

In 1731, the French made a lodgment in what is now 
Addison ; near what has since been named Chimney 
Point, and opposite Crown Point. A point of land 
projects into the lake here on both sides, rendering the 
channel narrow, and affording a favorable spot for forts 
and redouts ; and great facilities for intercepting the 
passage of an enemy up and down its waters. This 

* Trumbull. 



228 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

celebrated ground then was settled from the Vermont 
side of the lake ; and nanaed St. Frederick. It is now 
a place of great interest and curiosity to the traveler. 
That part of Addison where the settlement was com- 
menced, is, as it has been said in another place, a 
delightful and enchanting spot. Let the reader go and 
see for himself. 

In the frontier towns, during the wars between France 
and England, for the supremacy in Canada, much em- 
barrassment and suffering was experienced. The in- 
habitants had to leave their homes, or were massacred, 
or kept themselves protected by forts, and by going m 
bodies armed. Two or three irruptions were made on 
the inhabitants and fortresses of Vernon. Three men 
by the names of Howe, Grout, and Gaffield, returning 
from their labor in the field, were surprised and fired 
upon by the Indians. The first was killed on the spot ; 
the last lost his life in attempting to swim the river. 
Grout was uninjured and escaped. Their families were 
in Bridgman's fort, their wives and eleven children, who 
were made prisoners, the fort having been taken. This 
was in July, 1755. These unhappy persons were taken 
to Canada ; and saw much hardship, and many a gloomy 
day before the time of their redemption came. 

Some suitable and permanent memorial, (if there is 
none,) ought to be secured, pointing out the place of 
this fort ; and that of Dummer ; and descriptive of 
these events, and the early scenes there witnessed. If 
the spot of the first grave in that neighborhood could be 
certainly fixed upon, it would be an object of interest 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 229 

and curiosity, as it would probably be that of the first 
burial in the state. If none is there, surely a suitable 
monument, with a brief record, should be erected. 

The same may be said of the ground in Newfane, 
(the shire town of Windham county,) where a small 
company of white men were attacked by a large party 
of Indians, and part of them killed. This was in 1756. 
The number in the company is said to have been twenty, 
going from Charlestown, N. H., to Hoosic, under the 
direction of Capt. Melvin. The conflict was severe ; 
but ended in the discomfiture of the whites, the survivors 
retreating to fort Dummer. The captain returning the 
next day to the place, found no enemy, but buried the 
dead. This is said to have been " in the southerly part 
of Newfane, then uninhabited." Does any one know 
the exact spot ; the number slain, and their names ? Is 
there any memorial of this event ? Such ought to be 
consecrated places. There are many such in our land ; 
but going fast into oblivion for want of timely me- 
mentos ; and some of them probably have gone beyond 
the reach of human scrutiny and curiosity. Is such 
neglect kind to the memory of those who periled their 
lives in the early settlement of our country, that we 
their posterity might have a goodly inheritance^ sitting 
under our own vines and Jig trees, having none to hurt 
or make afraid. 

Since penning the above the writer has been informed 
that tradition is, that Capt. Melvin was attacked by the 
Indians near the branch bridge at the mouth of a stream 
running from Dover and emptying into West river in the 



230 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

southeast part of Newfane. A son of Judge Knowl- 
ton, residing there, once observed a stranger, thought- 
fully examining the ground near this bridge. After 
being accosted, the stranger informed him, that he once 
was engaged in battle with the Indians near this spot. 
Although the surface had been cleared of trees, yet from 
the junction of the streams, he was confident the conflict 
took place near where they stood, which was a short 
distance north of the bridge. 

It is to be regretted that Mr. Knowlton was not more 
particular in his inquiries relative to that event. But 
the facts thus derived from one of the parties are, that 
an attack was then made ; that several of Melvin's men 
were killed ; that he retreated to fort Dummer ; and 
that returning next day with additional men, buried his 
slain near the spot on the left bank of the branch, on 
land now owned by Aaron Robinson, the very graves 
being, as is supposed, yet visible. 

There is also a tradition, that at another time a scout- 
ing party from fort Dummer, having shot salmon with 
their guns in a deep hole near the mouth of this branch 
of West river, while engaged in broiling them for a 
repast, were attacked by the Indians, attracted by the 
report of their muskets. Two of their number were so 
badly wounded that they died ; one of them by the name 
of Allen, near the pond in the northeastern part of Marl- 
boro ; and which bears his name ; the other on " New- 
fane hill " near the old court house. 

.Further up West river in what is now Jamaica, 
three men were fired upon by sculking Indians. One 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 231 

of them was killed ; another shot through the body, 
and rendered unable to walk. He importuned his sur- 
viving and uninjured companion not to leave him. So 
great was his anxiety, as was natural, to have him stay 
by him, that his associate had not a heart to break from him 
openly ; but stole from him guilefully ; under a pretence 
that he would return to him after a short absence. He 
went to the fort on the Connecticut, and taking with 
him several men, did return ; but only to perform the 
melancholy office of burying his body. Life had left it. 

With regard to the attack on Royalton by the Indians, 
the above inquiries are answered, as it appears in Thom- 
son's history of Vermont. A minute account is given 
of this depredation. The names of those, whose houses 
were burnt are given ; and also of the slain and captured. 
It was in 1780. The town contained three hundred 
inhabitants. Two persons were killed, Thomas Pem- 
ber, and Elias Button. The number of prisoners made 
by them was twenty-five ; more than twenty houses, 
and as many barns were burnt ; and most of the flocks 
and herds falling in their way, were slaughtered. 

The object of this expedition was to capture a lieu- 
tenant Whitcomb ; who, a few years previous, had killed 
and robbed of his sword and watch, a British general 
by the name of Gordan. This was the pretence ; but it 
was not established as a fact ; that of the robbery. The 
party was led on by Horton, a British lieutenant ; and 
they expected to surprise their object of pursuit at 
Newbury on the Connecticut. But learning from 
hunters whom they fell in with near Winooski, that 



232 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

the inhabitants of that town, expecting an assault, had 
taken measures to repel it, they turned their course to 
Royalton. Recovering from the consternation, the 
remaining inhabitants of the place, and others collected 
from neighboring towns organized under a man by the 
name of House to pursue the depredators. Guided by 
a few marked trees in the darkness of the night ; 
" amidst logs, and rocks and hills with which the wilder- 
ness abounded, as they were passing over a stream, 
which was crossed upon a large log, they were fired 
upon by the enemy's rear guard, and one man was 
wounded." Coming up with their camp the Indians 
sent an aged prisoner, threatening to put to instant death 
all their prisoners, if an attack was made upon them. 
Hosee and his party hesitated and delayed so long in 
consequence of this message, that the enemy escaped 
with impunity. 

In 1776, the frontier towns of this state on the north ; 
or rather those served as places of frontier military posts ; 
were Castleton and Pittsford on the west side of the 
mountain ; Barnard, Corinth, Newbury, and Peacham, 
on the east. Two or three years afterwards, two men 
were killed in Brandon, and several persons made 
prisoners by the Indians. In 1780, two more were made 
prisoners in Barnard and carried into Canada. 

These are specimens of Indian massacres and depre- 
dations in these difficult times in the history of Vermont. 
Many other occurrences of similar character took place ; 
and some undoubtedly, of which unhappily no record 
has been preserved. But it is owing to the hopes of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 233 

the British government that this district might be disen- 
gaged from the union, as it has been related in another 
part of this work, that so few Indian inroads and cruel- 
ties were experienced. Their situation as a frontier 
state, bordering on the lake, at command of the enemy, 
afforded facilities to commit the greatest depredations 
and perpetrate deeds of barbarity. In this condition 
they were left unprotected by the continental congress. 
It is evident that the savages were not only not instigated 
by the English against this defenceless region, but that 
they were restrained by them. It was indeed through 
selfish motives on the part of Great Britain, as too much 
evidence exists of " letting loose their hell-hounds of 
war^' on other portions of our country. 

Should this people then ; the Vermonters, left in such 
perilous circumstances, be condemned for resorting to 
the strongest arguments to open the eyes of their coun- 
trymen, to do them justice ? Were they wrong in 
suffering the British to expect what they hoped would 
not be realized. 



234 



CHAPTER XVI. 

Warlike movements in Windham. — Adherents of New York. — 
Guilford. — Ethan Allen's proclamation. — General Bradley.—. 
Instrumentality in quelling the disturbances. — Arnold. — Strife 
between him and Allen. — Campaign against Ticonderoga 
planned in Connecticut. — Capt. Phelps exploring the enemy's 
works. — Ethan Allen a prisoner. — At Halifax. — At Cork. — 
On Long Island. — In New York. — The old jail. — Prisoners in 
it. — Capt. Travis. — Maj. Van Zandt. — Col. Allen crying for 
quarters.— His death. — His grave and epitaph. — Col. Seth 
Warner. — His burial place. 

The greatest demonstrations of battle and bloodshed 
in the controversy with New York, were made in Wind- 
ham county. Guilford, containing a population then of 
three thousand inhabitants was the strong hold of the 
York party ; a majority of the inhabitants inclining to 
that side of the question. In this and some other towns, 
in their civil officers, each party had its distinct organi- 
zation. Collisions ensued ; and sometimes conflicts not 
without bloodshed. Such a state of things was extremely- 
unhappy and perplexing; social intercourse between 
neighbors ; and even between branches of the same 
families was in a measure at an end. So trying was it 
to the leaders on the side of the New Hampshire grants, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 235 

that they became impatient ; particularly Ethan Allen, 
who had the county assigned him as his province. 
Crossing the mountain from Bennington with one 
hundred soldiers, he issued his proclamation. " I, Ethan 
Allen, declare that unless the people of Guilford peace- 
ably submit to the laws of Vermont, the town shall be 
made as desolate as were the cities of Sodom and 
Gomorrah." This manifesto being followed by corres- 
ponding action, the blocks before the wheels of govern- 
ment were removed. But the winter following witnessed 
similar obstructions, the wrath of this Green Mountain 
Achilles, being defied, or forgotten. The Guilford boys, 
dissentient from the adherents of Vermont, attacked and 
fired into the inn at Brattleboro, kept by Josiah Arms ; 
the head quarters of General Farnsworth ; and wounded 
Major Boyden and a traveler, sojourning there for the 
night. Constable Waters, the object of their pursuit, 
voluntarily surrendering himself, was carried into Massa- 
chusetts. But he was soon released by the Vermonters 
and returned hogie. It was not till Col. S. R. Bradley, 
at the head of two hundred men, ordered out by the 
general assembly, repaired to the ground ; and scouring 
that corner of the state, taking some prisoners, and 
driving others beyond the line, that the Vermont juris- 
diction became established and peace restored in that 
quarter. 

With regard to military events on and near the soil of 
Vermont, they may be related in few words. Most of 
them are too well known to need recapitulation. The 
enterprise and intrepidity and bluntness of Ethan Allen 



236 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

will never be forgotten as long as patriotism shall be 
honored as a virtue. The character of Arnold, who 
engaged in behalf of his country, the moment he heard 
of the battle of Lexington ; and was associated with 
Allen in the meditated attack on Ticonderoga, appears 
so far interesting. We cannot but regret that he had 
not fallen in subsequent hfe, into different circumstances. 
Most sincerely must every patriot wish that he had stood 
fast for his country in spite of every neglect and mis- 
usage, if such he received. The strife between him and 
Allen for the precedence in going into the fort, is truly 
chivalrous and romantic. 

The thought and plan of rescuing those positions, 
(Crown Point and Ticonderoga,) at the commencement 
of the revolutionary war, originated in Connecticut. 
This is clearly established in " the historical collection" 
lately published by Royal Hinmany recently Connec- 
ticut secretary of state. Several gentlemen repaired to 
Vermont from that state ; the expenses of the expedition 
were advanced by individual responsibility ; and finally 
liquidated by the authority of Connecticut. Names are 
there given of persons and places ; acts and records ; 
definite sums granted, and for specified objects. Among 
other things of interest related on this subject, the fol- 
lowing account is given of the part in these transactions 
taken by Capt. Noah Phelps, of Simsbury in that state. 
" He was selected to proceed to the fort, examine its 
situation and condition ; and make report to his asso- 
ciates. He proceeded from the southern part of Lake 
Champlain in a boat, and stopped for the night at a 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 237 

tavern near the fort. The officers of the garrison occu- 
pied a room adjoining that in which he slept, for a sup- 
per party ; and as usual on such occasions, protracted 
their entertainment to a very late hour. They spoke of 
the commotion in the colonies and the condition of their 
fort. Very early in the morning, Capt. Phelps gained 
admission into the fort for the purpose of being shaved. 
While retiring through it, the commandant walked with 
him, and conversed about the rebels, their movements, 
and their objects. Capt. Phelps seeing a portion of the 
wall of the fort in a dilapidated condition, remarked that 
it would afford but a feeble defence against the rebels if 
they should attack it. The commandant replied " yes, 
but that is not our greatest misfortune, for all our powder 
is damaged ; and before we can use it, we are obliged to 
sift and dry it." He left the fort, and soon after pro- 
ceeded to the lake shore, and employed a boatman to 
transport him in a small boat down the lake. He enter- 
ed the boat in plain view from the fort and under her 
guns. He had not proceeded a great distance before 
he urged the boatman to exert himself, and terminate 
the voyage as soon as possible. The boatman requested 
Capt. Phelps to take an oar and assist; this was de- 
clined — being in full view of the fort, by replying that 
he was not a boatman. After rounding a point of land, 
projecting into the lake and intercepting the view from 
the fort, he proposed taking the oar, and did so. Being 
a strong and active man, he excited the surprise of the 
boatman by the velocity of the boat, who with an oath 
replied, you have seen a boat before now, sir. This 



238 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

circumstance, at the time, excited the boatman's suspi- 
cion that his passenger was not a loyal subject, but fear 
of superior strength prevented an attempt to carry him 
back to the fort, as he told Capt. Phelps after the sur- 
render. Capt. Phelps reached his place of destination, 
met his associates, and told them what he had dis- 
covered." 

Arnold and some other gentlemen came and met 
Allen at Castleton. The number collected for this 
enterprise was two hundred and seventy, of whom two 
hundred and thirty were green mountain boys. But 
Allen landed near the fort with only eighty-three men ; 
and as the night was far advanced, he determined to 
make the assault before the rest of the men arrived. 
After a sharp contest in words between him and Arnold, 
which should go first, it was decided by their attendants 
that they should go abreast, but Allen on the right. 
The sequel is well known, and has been related in 
another place. Col. Warner soon came up, and had 
the honor of capturing Crown Point. A most impor- 
tant object was thus secured early ; the enemy being 
dispossessed of their forts situated within the colonies. 
In the language of the above named historian, (Hin- 
man,) " The cannon, small arms, and ball contained in 
it, rendered this achievement more important in the 
success of the revolutionary war than posterity can 
appreciate." 

The plan concerted between Allen and Brown for 
the assault on Montreal, would also probably have been 
successful, if the latter had kept his engagement and 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 239 

performed his part of the service. The manly courage 
of Allen in keeping his position with a handful of men ; 
and on the enemy's ground, in the sight of a powerful 
force, cannot but command admiration. The confine- 
ment of him and the survivors in irons was cowardly 
and inhuman. 

But this same Gen. Carlton, who treated Allen so 
basely, was afterwards chastised in a measure for it by 
Col. Warner, who gave him battle after having crossed 
the St. Lawrence, and drove him back with considerable 
loss. 

The failure of the American arms in Canada about 
this time, changed the seat of war ; and no event of a 
warlike nature took place in, or near Vermont, till 
Burgoyne made his appearance on the northern frontier. 

Here it may be proper to suspend the narrative of 
military events, and look for a moment at Col. E. Allen. 
We left him prisoner, taken near Montreal and put in 
irons. That his successes in the early season of the 
revolutionary war prepared the way for the capture of 
Burgoyne cannot be denied. Here one cannot but 
regret that he was so soon taken and held so long a 
prisoner. His services would have been inestimable in 
the warfare on the borders of Champlain. No man in 
the union could have been more at home in this region ; 
or more devoted to the cause of his country. 

The first information concerning him after being 
taken, was from Halifax. Letters were received from 
him by the general assembly of Connecticut. The 
following records on the subject are transcribed from 



240 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

• 

Hinman's work on the part taken by that state in the 
war of the revolution. "The assembly appointed a 
committee, October, 1776, to examine the subject matter 
of the letters, &,c., who reported that Col. Allen, with 
about eighteen others, natives or inhabitants of this 
state, had been captured in the service of the United 
States, near Montreal, in the province of Quebec, on 
the 25th day of September, 1775, by a party of armed 
men of the King of Great Britain, and appeared to 
have suffered great hardships during their captivity ; 
and were then confined, in a suffering condition in the 
common jail in Halifax." They also reported, that " Levi 
Allen of Salisbury, a brother of Col. Allen, was about 
attempting to visit his brother in Halifax, and advised 
the assembly to send by said Levi Allen £60 lawful 
money to the prisoners, as yart 'payment of their wages 
due from the state, for their relief. Also to request the 
governor to write to Gen. Washington, or the continental 
congress, (or both,) and strongly recommend and 
earnestly request such seasonable and friendly interposi- 
tion as would be most likely to procure a speedy 
exchange of prisoners." Then follow the names of 
the persons taken with Allen, and the places of their 
residence. Conclusive evidence is here afforded of the 
part taken by Connecticut in the seasonable seizure of 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point. 

We hear from him next in Cork, Ireland. Letters 
were sent by individuals there friendly to the American 
cause, giving an account of the kindness shown him in 
that place, and of his sufferings on his passage from 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 241 

Quebec. " His treatment on board the Salway,^^ says 
one of the letters, " was far different from the barbarous 
and cruel usage he experienced in his passage from 
Quebec, being there hand-cuffed, and ironed in the most 
dreary part of the vessel, and basely insulted with cruel 
and unmanly reflections by some of the officers of the 
ship, whom he challenged at Cornwall without obtaining 
satisfaction. I enclose you a rough copy of his answer 
to our letter to him. Should he have permission to 
come on shore, he will be entertained by some of the 
first gentlemen of this city." 

^' Gentlemen, I received your generous present this 
day with a joyful heart. Thanks to God, there are still 
the feelings of humanity in the worthy citizens of Cork, 
towards those of your bone and flesh, who, through 
misfortune from the present broils in the empire are 
needy prisoners." 

Dated, Cove, January 24, 1776. 

He was not long detained in Great Britain, it seems, 
as we hear from him on Long Island the April following. 
Whether he had been sent to this country for the purpose 
of being exchanged ; or for the better confining of him 
here in jail and prison ships, is left to conjecture. Certain 
it is, that he was a prisoner in and near New York, a 
considerable period. He seemed to scorn the thought 
of being a prisoner on parole ; to stand an idle spectator 
of his country's wrongs, and the blood flowing of his 
countrymen. Thus it is stated in the above named 
history : '' A letter was received, dated Long Island, 
April 30, 1777, signed by E. Allen, and directed to the 
16 



242 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

general assembly or committee of war, of this state, 
(Connecticut,) in which he stated he did not distrust the 
wisdom of the country, that an exchange of prisoners 
had not taken place, and that those who had the 
management of the affair, undoubtedly had their political 
reasons for the delay ; that the mode of existence as a 
prisoner, though it was irksome was not deplorable, by 
reason of hope ; and the officers on parole seemed to 
him, as mere ciphers, exempted from danger and honor ; 
and though man was never easy, that it was painful to a 
generous and enterprising mind, to be debarred in 
sharing the glories that would be revealed during the 
campaign. He stated that General Washington had 
written to Gen. Howe upon the subject of his exchange, 
and had styled him colonel instead of lieutenant colonel ; 
he also acknowledged the receipt of £35, which he 
received by his brother Levi Allen, in which letter he 
urges his exchange as a prisoner of warJ^ 

He was afterwards confined in the jail in the city of 
New York, occupied by the enemy. This jail subse- 
quently bore the name of the old jail. It was taken 
down several years since ; and the following anecdote 
relative to Allen and other prisoners there confined, was 
related and published in " the New Yorlc Mirror,'^ by 
John Pintard, Esq. of that place; and who seemed to 
have been personally acquainted with the circumstances ; 
and who till his death occupied a high standing in society. 
Of his talents as a writer the reader can judge. Capt. 
Travis, a Virginian privateer, and Maj. Van Zandt 
were confined, with Col. Allen, who slept together in 



HISTORY OF VERMOXT. 243 

one cell on planks. '' After a trial with mellowed hearts 
they turned in each man on his own plank. Col. Allen 
and Capt. Travis were accustomed to banter each other 
on the superiority of the Green Mountain Boys, and 
Virginia BucksJcins. It so happened on this occasion 
that Major Van ^andt was the middle man between 
Allen and Travis, who from words fell to blows about 
the prowess of their respective countrymen ; and between 
them almost kneaded to a jelly the Major's fat sides. 
Travis feeling the blows of Allen's enormous fists, 
accustomed to fell oaks and split rails, falling on him like 
sledge-hammers, and his dead lights almost stove in, 
sprung with the agility of a deer across the Major ; and 
planting his knees in Allen's bread basket, twisted his 
fore fingers in the colonel's locks, and began in the true 
Virginian back-woods style with his thumbs to gouge 
out his peepers. The colonel with his stentorian voice, 
to save his eyes, cried out for quarters, ceding the palm 
of victory to Capt. Travis. Major Van Zandt, indeed 
all the prisoners chimed in full chorus. The unusual 
uproar soon called in sergeant Keef, with a file of his 
myrmidons to quell the riot ; and the hall was cleared 
by locking up its inmates to fight it out, as he said, in 
the dungeons. Next morning Capt. Cunningham 
paraded the whole squad, half naked as they were, to 
learn the particulars. Irishman-like, dearly fond of a 
row, regarding the black ring that encircled Allen's eyes, 
and Travis's battered sconce, with a broad laugh dis- 
missed them to their hall, with an injunction not to 
quarrel over their cups in future." Capt. Cunningham, 



244 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

an Irishman, was provost to this prison ; Keef was a 
subaltern under him, also an Irishman, who, different 
from many of his countrymen, was elated by a little 
brief authority ; and was insolent in his demeanor towards 
these unhappy prisoners. So closely were they packed, 
(on the sam.e authority,*) that it was customary for them 
to turn on their planks by word of command, right and 
left. 

Melancholy is the reflection that such men should be 
brought into such circumstances ; and compelled to 
submit to such indignities ! That they should have been 
made prisoners is no more than might be expected as 
one of the chances of war. But that they should have 
been treated so harshly and cruelly and insultingly, as 
prisoners of war, and of respectable, not to say high 
standing, is what ought not to have been apprehended 
in the eighteenth century, and by the authorities of a 
christian nation, and claiming the precedence in civil and 
military courtesy. ^^ Half naked f^ sleeping upon 
planks ; crowded so closely as to be unable to turn only as 
by platoons by word of command ; and at the mercy of a 
petty, unfeeling, rough subaltern, surely are humiliating 
particulars in the lives of freemen, not to say in that of 
the hero of Ticonderoga ! That the latter in such a 
predicament should vindicate the character and claims of 
his associates of the mountain state, surely is evidence 
that her rights and prosperity were dearer to him than 
life itself. Surely the fact must penetrate every real 

* Pintard. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 245 

Vermonter with the deepest sympathy, and cherish in 
his bosom unfading remembrance of devotion to her 
honor so signal and affecting. If, according to Homer, 
the servile day takes away half of virtue, may we not 
fear that this submission extorted by physical force, 
broke down the constitution of Allen, and shortened his 
days. This domineering over his generous spirit, though 
indomitable and unyielding as the adamant, might yet 
prey upon it, and compel his bodily system to yield to 
the oppression of brute power. Thus he felt in the 
meridian of life ; and was not permitted to see established 
the independence of his country, and the admission of 
his beloved Vermont into the union. " In the grave- 
yard of Burlington are the remains of the old hero. A 
neat iron railing surrounds the Allen family, with a plain 
slab stone at the head of the general, on which are 
engraved these words," 

''The corporeal part of Gen. Ethan Allen rests 
beneath this stone the 12th day of February, 1779, aged 
50 years. His spirit tried the mercies of his God, in 
whom he believed and strongly trusted." 

" After the close of the war, Col. Seth Warner," the 
companion of Allen, " returned to his farm in Roxbury " 
(Connecticut) ''on which he remained until his death. 
He was interred at Roxbury over whose remains was 
erected a marble table on which is inscribed a short 
history of his valorous deeds in the revolution." 



246 



CHAPTER XVII. 

War events continued. — Contest for the supremacy on the lake. — 
The Americans defeated. — Gallant conduct of Waterbury and 
Arnold. — Arrival, and progress of Burgoyne. — Excitement. — 
Mounts Defiance, Hope, Independence. — Cannon mounted by 
the British on Defiance. — Reflections on the past events. — The 
battle of Hubbardston. — Gen. Fraser. — Battle of Bennington. — 
Gen. Stark. — His policy at that battle as related by Col. Hum- 
phrey. — Letter to Gov. Trumbull of Connecticut. — The war of 
1812. — Generals Hampton and Wilkinson. — The army of the 
North. — The invasion of New York from Canada. — The naval 
battle on Champlain. — Its eflfects, and impression on the coun- 
try. — Commodores McDonough and Downie. 

In 1776, a severe contest took place for the command 
of Lake Champlain. The British ministry saw the im- 
portance of securing the supremacy on that water com- 
munication ; and sent over from England water craft 
with skillful mariners to effect their designs. Arnold 
and Waterbury were the principal actors on the side of 
the colonies ; and they nobly defended that important 
water passvvay. Their boats were far inferior to those 
of the enemy ; but managed to the best advantage. 
The following account of that conflict was given at the 
time in the Connecticut Courant, as it appears in Hin- 
man's history. " At the naval action on Lake Cham- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 247 

plain on the 11th day of October, 1776, when the 
American fleet was defeated ; and left in a shattered 
and ruined condition, by the superior force of the British 
in ships, guns and men ; though the action lasted five 
hours within musket shot of each other, only one galley, 
sloop Enterprise, two small schooners, and one gondola, 
escaped ; the remainder of the fleet was taken and 
burnt. Gen. Arnold fought in the galley Congress, as 
long as possible, then ran her ashore, burnt her, and 
escaped by land to Ticonderoga, with a loss of twenty 
men. Gen. Waterbury, in the Washington galley, fought 
till the galley was sinking under him, and was obliged 
to strike to the enemy." These officers were both from 
Connecticut. Waterbury had only one lieutenant, and 
a captain of marines unwounded. What remained were 
run on shore at the mouth of Otter creek, the remains 
of which were recently, if not now visible. 

On the 6th of May, Burgoyne reached Quebec, and 
took command of the British army destined for the inva- 
sion of America. It consisted of between seven and 
eight thousand regular troops, British and German ; 
with skillful and experienced officers to assist him. He 
divided his army, advanced up the lake with one division 
on either side, the fleet and boats accompanying them 
in the centre. 

Three lofty, conical mountains near Ticonderoga have 
received significant names and become celebrated places 
from the warlike deeds which they witnessed at this 
period. They are called, mounts Independence, Hope, 
and Defiance; the first on the Vermont side, and the 



243 HISTORY OF VERiMONT. 

two last on the New York side of the lake. Surely that 
on the Vermont side is appropriately named ; she has a 
right to claim the appellation of Independence, both on 
account of her peculiar early position, and her freedom 
in common with her sister states. They are all three 
of them specimens of the majestic scenery abounding in 
this vicinity. Mount Defiance may have answered the 
import of its name for a short time. The British did in- 
deed manifest great energy and perseverance in convey- 
ing by night cannon to the summit of this mountain, 
commanding the fort and whole territory around for 
some distance. It was a grand spectacle. The Yan- 
kees were out mancEUvered, in thinking it a labor beyond 
the imagination of the courtly, and as they supposed 
delicate Burgoyne. The question was discussed whe- 
ther they should take possession of that commanding 
eminence. The principal reason, which decided them 
against it was ; the improbahilify that the British would 
even conceiv^e the idea of mounting it with cannon. 
Great was their surprise and even consternation, when 
they rose in the morning, and saw the engines of death 
over their heads, ready to pour destruction down upon 
them. For that aerial position gave the British the 
complete command over the American fortress, and on 
both sides of the lake in the vicinity. 

The reflection that these lofty and majestic hills, some 
seventy years ago, felt the pressure of heavy ordnance, 
rending the air with their deadly discharges ; and wit- 
nessed the array of opposing armies with all their ap- 
pendages and accompaniments, fills the mind with emo- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 249 

tions of solemnity, impressed deeply with the changes 
of time, the frustration of worldly plans, and the vanity 
of human glory. Looking at these steep and rugged 
and elevated mountains, covered with evergreens and 
trees of various descriptions, the mind tries to imagine 
how this rural and sublime scenery was heightened and 
rendered more impressive by " the pomp and circum- 
stance of war." It looks at the pageantry of European 
warfare, suddenly removed to the wilderness and wilds of 
one of the most sequestered spots in America; the ranks 
of bayonets gleaming through the underbrush ; the hel- 
met and nodding plume, contrasting with the foliage and 
flowers of the forest. It goes back to those parade 
grounds on nature's castles, and views the evolutions and 
manoeuvres of regiments and divisions, and the scarlet 
colored uniforms, and seems to hear the spirit-stirring 
sounds of martial instruments ; the orders of chiefs and 
chieftains ; and the shouts of victors. But all this show 
of power and splendor ; of youth and courage ; of dar- 
ing and defiance ; the roar of musketry and thunder of 
cannon has passed away like a vision of the night, and 
a tale that is told. Nature pursues her way as usual, as 
if no such occurrences had ever been there ; the beasts 
rove and the birds wino: their flight over those hills and 
through those shades, unconscious of events long since 
passed ; the deadly strife of man with his brother man ; 
the dying youth of high and noble standing far from 
parents and friends. The occupiers of the vallies, and 
passers on the waters of the lake, pursue their callings 
and paSs by the consecrated high lands as if the sons of 



250 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

another generation, and a far distant land had never 
visited them ; in many instances finding their graves in 
these lonely recesses of the earth. 

The Americans abode not a shower of artillery from 
mount Defiance. The very next night they left entrench- 
ments and retreated to Whitehall at the head of the 
lake. The rear guard under Col. Warner, was over- 
taken at Hubbardston by Gen. Fraser. A severe con- 
flict ensued. Cols. Francis and Hale were with Warner, 
but the former was soon killed, and the latter run away. 
But Col. Warner ordered a charge with his usual deter- 
mination ; and success for a time accompanied his efforts ; 
but was at last overcome by numbers and compelled to 
retreat. This was the battle of Hubbardston on Ver- 
mont soil, and fought by Vermont men ; and against one 
of the best generals in the British army. Fraser after- 
wards found his grave at Saratoga. 

To the bravery and fidelity of Vermonters, Burgoyne 
himself bore honorable testimony. His language is, 
" the Hampshire grants in particular, a country unpeopled 
and almost unknown in the last war, now abounds in the 
most active and most rebellious race on the continent ; 
and hangs like a gathering storm on my left." 

The next warlike feat in Vermont was at Bennington ; 
and Bennington battle stands fair and with honor in the 
history of the revolution. It prepared the way for the 
capture of Burgoyne and his army. It was a victory 
of no small consequence. The British General had 
despatched Baume with a yart of his army to take by 
surprise the military stores collected at Bennington. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 251 

His vanguard of Indians was met ; and, being beaten, 
fell back upon the main body, which after a few day's 
manceuvering were brought to action, and defeated with 
great loss. Baume himself, a German officer of great 
merit, survived but a short time the wounds received in 
the battle. 

Col. Breyman, another German officer, soon after the 
action, coming up with a reinforcement, was met by Col. 
Warner with his regiment of Vermonters, who had also 
now arrived. Another conflict ensued, severe and 
bloody. But it was decided before dark in favor of the 
Americans. This was the 16th of August, 1777 ; and 
the ground is about six miles from the centre of Benning- 
ton, near a branch of the Hoosic river. 

Of Gen. Stark, Humphrey, one of Washington's aids, 
in his life of Putnam, remarks : " He will be recognized 
as the hero of Bennington, but it is not generally known 
that he employed an ingenious and successful expedient 
to strike a panic into the enemy and assist him in achiev- 
ing the glorious victory. He had one iron cannon, but 
neither powder sufficient to employ it, nor balls ; he 
ordered an officer, however, to charge it, who objected, 
the want of balls ; " no matter," said the General, '' load 
it with blank cartridge, and let the discharge be the 
signal for all the troops to rush on the enemy." " The 
Hessians were panic struck at the thundering report ; 
his troops rushed on with loud huzzas, and the victory 
was complete." 

"The following is a letter sent by express to Gov. 



252 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Trumbull," (Ct.) ''dated" ''In Council of Safety, 
Bennington, August 16th, 1777. Brig. Gen. Stark, of 
New Hampshire, with his brigade, together with the 
militia, two companies of rangers, raised by this state, 
with part of Col. Simon's regiment of militia, are now 
in action with a number of the enemy's troops, assembled 
near this place, which for some time has been very 
severe. We have in possession, taken from the enemy 
this day, four brass field pieces, ordnance, stores, &;c., 
and this minute five hundred prisoners have arrived. 
We have taken the ground, although fortified by entrench- 
ments. They were reinforced, made a second stand, 
and still continue the action. The loss on each side 
is doubtless considerable — number not known. 

P. S. The second action took place about a mile from 
the first ; many of the enemy were killed ; took two 
hundred more prisoners ; being in all seven hundred ; 
and in all five pieces." 

HINMAN. 

In the war with Great Britain of 1812, a few military 
events may be cursorily reviewed in a history of Ver- 
mont. Some transactions of a military character passed 
in and near her limits. The naval engagement particu- 
larly on Lake Champlain near Plattsburg, was one of 
the most decisive and important American victories of 
that war. It revived the spirits of the people throughout 
the country, who, by mortifying disasters and failures, 
had become dissatisfied and querulous. The efibrts by 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 253 

our armies and general^ on land had, previous to this 
event, heen mostly unsuccessful. The army of the 
North, as it was called, assembled at Burlington under 
the command of Gen. TVade Hampton, had done little 
or nothing toward the invasion of Canada. Its object 
was to enter Canada by the lake. It made an attempt, 
but was driven back; and Hampton, desirous of escap- 
ing from his windy position, left the frontiers, and went 
south to his home and warmer climate. 

Gen. Wilkinson took the place of Hampton, and 
made some two or three proclamations, that appeared 
well on paper. Bat they were not followed up with 
very decisive advantages by action. 

Gov. Chittenden withdrew a brigade of militia, who 
had been drafted and taken to Plattsburg. This was in 
consequence of a difference of opinion on the constitu- 
tionality (and the same collision took place between 
some other of the New Endand states and the greneral 
government ;) of giving up the militia to United States 
officers to be employed out of the state. In such 
circumstances of embarrassment, the governor of Canada 
was threatening the invasion of New York and Vermont 
with a large army. His naval force on the lake was 
superior to that of the Americans under Com. Mc- 
Donough. His design was to make a simultaneous 
onset by land and water. 

In September, of 1814, Gov. Provost entered the 
northern part of New York with 14,000 men ; and 
moved towards Plattsburg, where McDonough lay at 



254 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

anchor with his fleet. The alarm spread rapidly through 
Vermont ; and the green mountain boys repaired in 
great numbers to Burhngton ; and crossed the lake to 
the immediate scene of action. They sustained their 
character for bravery and discipline ; and under Gen. 
Strong, as volunteers, were of great service in repelling, 
the assailants. 

The action on the lake between McDonough and 
Downie, was severe and bloody. It was in plain view 
of Plattsburg, and the adjacent towns, the cannonading 
being distinctly heard at Burlington. The British fought 
with unyielding perseverance; and gave up not until 
every vestige of hope disappeared. Commodore Downie 
was slain with three lieutenants, and eighty others, and 
one hundred and ten wounded. The slain on our part 
was fifty; and the wounded, fifty-eight. 

The conduct of McDonough in all his services on 
the lake, and at the mouth of Otter creek, gained him 
great respect and favor with the whole country. The 
people of Vermont and New York especially expressed 
obligations to him, and bestowed on him distinguished 
honors. He was a man of plain, unaffected manners ; 
modest and retiring ; and of great moral worth. His quick 
discernment and his fortitude were heightened by his 
filial fear of God, which in his last days made him 
lament the horrors and disavow the practice of war. 
Indeed soon after his splendid victory, he expressed a 
wish that the expense of the ball given in his honor by 
his fellow citizens of Middletown, Ct., had been 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 255 

bestowed on those made widows and orphans by it. 
This was noble ; and it was commendable in Vermont, 
honoring and rewarding him, as she did with a vote of 
thanks, and a farm at Cumberland Head, in full view of 
his glorious scene of action. 



256 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

Readiness of the government to foster public benevolent Institu- 
tions.— Asylum of deaf and dumb at Hartford. — Asylum for 
the insane at Brattleboro. — Mrs. Marsh, its founder. — Dr. 
Rockwell, superintendent. — Its location and scenery around it. — 
Buildings. — Patients. — Success. — An object worthy of public 
patronage. — Provision for the indigent insane. — Causes increas- 
ing of this malady. — Other w^ays of suffering. — By flood and 
cold. — Inundations of 1828-30. — Catastrophe at New Haven. — 
A man perished by cold near the summit of the mountain. — 
A man, wife and infant impeded by the drifting snow. — Over- 
taken by night in an uninhabited part of the road. — Their suffer- 
ings. — Death of the wife. — Sudden changes in the weather. — 
Great contrast. — Cold days. — The freezing of a rum drinker. — 
The circumstances. — His body long buried under the snow. 

The state has manifested a commendable spirit in 
encouraging and fostering humane and benevolent institu- 
tions. The asylum for the education of the deaf and 
dumb, established at Hartford, Ct. and originally under 
the care of the Rev. Thomas H. Gualladet, was pat- 
ronized by the Vermont legislature. They voted the 
institution, under certain conditions, two thousand dollars 
annually. They continue to pay that sum ; and many 
of her unhappy youth, in this respect, have there been 
taught the rudiments of education ; and made acquainted 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 257 

with the principles of the gospel ; in some instances 
giving evidence of having experienced its benign and 
saving influences. They have all been thus rendered 
capable in a measure of transacting ordinary business, 
and participating in human pursuits, and enjoying the 
pleasures of society. Great credit is due the gentleman 
above named for his disinterested zeal in preparing him- 
self for the oversight of this establishment ; and for his 
self-denial and judicious and successful efforts to render 
it eminently useful ; and an honor to our country. He 
has proved himself the fast friend of an extensive class 
of sufferers. Nor is it without praiseworthiness in the 
government, that they so early and promptly seconded 
the benevolence and sympathy of those who or^inated 
and matured this plan of doing good. Nor does it speak 
less in their favor that they have for more than a quarter 
of a century remained steadfast in the work to which 
they so readily set their hands. 

An institution was founded in this state several years 
since, by an act of the general assembly, called the 
Vermont Asylum for the Insane ; established at Brat- 
tleboro. 

A benevolent lady of Hinsdale, New Hampshire, by 
the name of Marsh, gave rise to it by bequeathing ten 
thousand dollars for the founding of it, on certain 
conditions ; one of which was that it should be located 
in or near Brattleboro, she being a native of Vernon in 
this state. 

It is under the superintendence of Dr. William H. 
17 



258 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Rockwell, a gentleman well qualified for the responsible 
station, and its arduous duties. 

The elegant seat of the late Joseph Fessenden, was 
purchased by the trustees, and fitted up for the reception 
of patients. It stands about a quarter of a mile from 
the village on a beautiful upland flat, connected with 
alluvial meadows near the mouth of West river. It has 
a farm attached to it of about fifty acres of good land ; 
on which the male patients in the right stages of their 
disorder, labor for exercise and recreation. A large 
flower and fruit garden, arranged by the late owner, 
with much taste, in various figures and departments, has 
been even improved under the direction of the superin- 
tendent* It has thus become a very attractive spot ; 
and is well calculated to sooth the feelings, and beguile 
the maladies of the afflicted inmates of the houses 
contiguous. In the rear of the original building, is a 
spherical mound, regular by nature, and adorned by art 
with circular walks, and beautiful shrubbery ; and on its 
summit a reservoir of water. Farther in the rear still, 
is a park ; a high woodland ridge of oaks. These 
afford delightful retreats for the stricken deer ; to shun 
the inquisitive gaze of those, ^ whose heads never ache,' 
and whose hearts feel little for the miseries of others. 
The scenery around and the attentions of sympathizing 
attendants, must have an healing influence on theirs, the 
worst of human maladies. Surely it would be dlflicult 
to find a spot, better designed in its exterior to aid 
moral and medicinal and professional means of effecting 
a cure than this. 



HISTORY OF VERiMONT. 259 

So soon and deservedly went forth a good report of 
the operations of this institution, that an additional 
building became necessary. Accordingly on application, 
the government of the state granted money for the 
purpose. A large and commodious brick building has 
been erected on the opposite side of the road, fronting 
south, consisting of a centre dome, and two wings, resem- 
bling somewhat the 'Connecticut Retreat,' at Hartford. 
The legislature of Vermont have done honor to the 
state in so readily and bountifully patronizing this insti- 
tution ; and their grants have, it is believed, received the 
cordial approbation of the people, the late provision 
made of two thousand dollars annually, expressly for 
the benefit of the indigent insane persons of the state, 
is a noble example of paternal care for this neglected 
class of sufferers. History ought to record such acts 
of public beneficence and liberality in the cause of 
humanity. 

To restore to themselves and their friends, and the 
enjoyments of social intercourse, the wanderers from 
reason's guide, bewildered in frenzy's maze, are wortliy 
objects in christian communities of legislative provision. 
If the causes of this malady increase as the objects of 
human enterprise, and incentives to mental improvement 
and means of social enjoyment multiply, surely they 
ought to be followed by counteracting influences, and 
corresponding remedial provisions. Institutions of this 
kind, multiplying as they are in our land, make an era 
in the history of philanthropy, and christian enterprise. 
This state is going forward in this cause, if not as fast 



260 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

as any of her sister states, she is outrunning some of her 
neighbors. 

As all are liable to visitations of this kind, all should 
manifest sympathy in behalf of the sufferers, and a 
readiness to forward the means of their relief. He who 
formed the mind, can change it, and suspend the 
operation of its faculties. He it is that makes us to 
differ ; confirming to one the exercise of reason, and 
taking it from another. 

You have seen a clump of green flourishing trees, 
clustering around the dwelling of the husbandman, like 
children round the fireside of their home, affording 
ornament and shade. You saw them yesterday, and 
there was no difference in them. They alike lifted 
their heads to the winds, and the sunbeams. To day 
one of them is despoiled of its grace and foliage. It 
stands, but how changed ! It stands a naked trunk. 
The fire of heaven has been there ; the lightning chain 
has hit it, and shivered and stript it of its branches, and 
strewed them around in wild confusion ; leaving but a 
solitary bough, scorched and withering with the heat. 
It stands, but different — changed ; and seems to say to 
its fellows, who maketh you to differ 1 You may have 
seen the family circle yesterday, rejoicing in health and 
unbroken vigor, the children comforting their parents, 
standing around, their crown and ornament. A simi- 
larity of features marks and groups a family likeness. To 
day one of them may be but a faint resemblance of 
what he was yesterday. He stands, but how changed 1 
The fire of frenzy has been there, burning the stays 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 261 

and props of the soul ; confusing and intermingling her 
faculties till she parts anchor into a shoreless, and 
unknown sea. He stands, but a difference has been 
made. He seems to look at his kindred, and in accents 
which might shiver the heart of Pharaoh, to say, who 
maJceth thee to differ] His associates he views, and 
seems to address the same piercing interrogatory to 
them. Surely his brethren ; his fellows and companions, 
while reflecting on the change, may bring home the 
question, who maketh thee to differ 1 

" As when heaven's fire 
Hath scath'd the forest oaks, or mountain pines, 
"With singed top their stately growth, though bare, 
Stands on the blasted heath." 

The number of patients in this asylum is about two 
hundred ; and the recoveries from insanity, are as many 
comparatively as those of any establishment in the coun- 
try. It is melancholy to witness the wreck of mind in 
many promising individuals, who were visited in this 
way before the benefits of these institutions were ex- 
perienced. You may see those wbo once belonged to 
the first class in talents and acquirements ; scattered up 
and down the country, hopeless wrecks. The writer 
has in mind two of this description, who received some 
thirty years since, the honors of Yale college. You 
may see them perchance, in a pleasant town on the 
Connecticut, at the close of day, by cross roads, with 
heads uncovered, watching the setting sun ; unconscious 
of the light of reason long gone down in their darkened 



\ 

262 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

minds, shrouded in their ruins. If you accost them, 
they may, in the language of the poet : 

" Turn a scornful eye, 
Shake their proud head, and deign you no reply." 

The sympathy and liberality of the inhabitants have 
been awakened and called upon now and then by more 
than usual personal suffering, and devastations of pro- 
perty by flood, and cold, and casualties. The autumn 
of 1828, and also that of 1830, were remarkable for 
the destruction of lives and property by sudden inunda- 
tions. The writer having occasion in the former of 
those years, to go from the southeastern part of the 
state to Burlington, immediately after the rain ceased, 
witnessed the destruction of bridges, and factories, and 
the fruits of the earth. The havoc in many places was 
fearful. The inhabitants of the village from which he 
started, were called from their beds in the dead of night, 
to witness the sweeping away of their property. They 
could do little more than witness it. The pouring down 
of water from the clouds in torrents ; the roaring of the 
river and neighboring streams, the rapid passing and re- 
passing of lighted lanterns amid the thick darkness ; 
and the interminojlins of human voices in earnest and 
animated devises and efforts to help one another, and 
to rescue factories, and mills and their contents from the 
overwhelming element, formed a night scene of sleep- 
less anxiety. But it was one experienced that night, 
more or less the whole length and breadth of the state. 
The morning disclosed the ravages made. Groups of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 263 

countenances were seen here and there marked with 
care and solicitude ; some in deep consultation on what 
was to be done ; and others with their teams and imple- 
ments seemed resolved to do something ; and forthwith 
commenced making repairs. Some were ready to aid 
the traveler on his way amid the ruins with which his 
course was beset ; in crossing the swollen, and bridgeless 
streams; in avoiding the avalanches; or slides of masses 
of matter ; with rocks and trees from the hills and 
mountains into the path ; pointing out the crossway to 
be taken ; the hills to be ascended, the field to be enter- 
ed, and the circuitous route pursued. When he seemed 
brought to a stand, his way foreclosed ; the bridge gone ; 
the river rapid with rocky bottom and steep banks, 
others were found ready to stem the current, and draw 
his vehicle through it, ride his horse over and con- 
duct him across upon a plank. Thus escaping safely 
to land, by the divine favor he accomplished his journey 
as contemplated and intended, while others may have 
turned back or suspended their course for the waters to 
subside. But he could not but recall to mind incidents 
in the life of the apostle to the Gentiles ; " in perils by 
water ; in perils by landJ' 

But the floods of 1830, were still more disastrous, 
particularly in the loss of lives. Among other places, a 
small village in New Haven, suffered severely in this 
way. It was a cluster of factories and mills, with dwell- 
ing houses situated on a branch of Otter creek, which 
affords great water privileges, with falls and high, rocky 
banks ; so much so that they were deemed perfectly 



264 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

safe ; and the buildings were placed upon this very 
verge ; and in some instances from one to the other, that 
is, over the chasm. But they were suddenly and unex- 
pectedly swept away in the night with a tremendous 
crash and uproar. Great was the consternation and 
terror of that night. The roar and resistless power of 
the water, the falling and dashing of the buildings one 
upon another; the sudden transition from tranquility and 
security to the most appalling and inevitable danger ; 
the cries of distress and despair ; and the shrieks of the 
drowning and helpless, together formed a scene to be 
comprehended by those only who witnessed it. Four- 
teen were awakened from sleep in circumstances the 
most fearful ; and hurried into the sleep of death ; four- 
teen individuals in a small village containing from one 
to two hundred inhabitants. How great the breach ! 
How many hearts bled at the sudden separation and its 
circumstances ! So great was the disaster, that the civil 
authority issued circulars very properly in behalf of the 
surviving sufferers, and collections were cheerfully taken 
up in many of the religious congregations of the state. 

Soon after the road from Brattleboro to Bennington 
was opened as a turnpike, a man crossing the mountain 
perished by frost ; and was found near the summit. A 
tree is marked at the foot of which he expired ; and 
many a traveler has since left the initials of his name 
carved on it and the adjacent trees. 

Since then a man by the name of Blake, with his 
wife and infant, crossing the mountain from Manchester, 
was impeded by the drifting snow. The path was so 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 265 

blocked up that his horse, struggling slowly awhile, at 
length gave out, and night overtook them with no dwell- 
ing in sight. To avoid perishing in the cold, piercing 
wind, the only alternative seemed to him to go forward 
himself, and find help to rescue them from their perilous 
condition. But his wife remonstrated against it; fearing 
that fatigue and discouragement, and cold might over- 
come him, and he sink down exhausted ; and she and 
her child lose even his assistance. She finally consented 
to his going forward, but not beyond the hearing of each 
other's voices. Their voices often responded to each 
other in melancholy tones, but fainter and fainter till his 
no longer reached her ears. He made the woods resound 
with the cry of distress, but no human voice answered 
the signal. That cry indeed fell upon the ears of one, 
who was returning from his barn about the time of 
retiring to rest ; and who yet could sleep till morning 
before he sought the cause. But not so with the wife 
of the traveler ; for she rose with her child and followed 
the footsteps of her husband, whose voice she could no 
more hear. She went till fatigued ; and could carry no 
longer her precious burden, but enfolding the httle one 
in the thickest clothing about her, deposited it carefully 
in the snow bank. To overtake her husband she made 
her last, but feeble effort. She went but a short dis- 
tance before nature gave way and she breathed her last ; 
her heart reaching forward, so to speak, toward her hus- 
band, and drawn back to her child, unable to reach 
either of them. The husband unable to catch a glifnpse 
of light, or obtain an answer to his calls, the chillness 



266 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

of death coming over him, lay down in the snow ; but 
lingered till he was found in the morning, frost-bitten 
and crippled for life. Retracing his track, the man who 
heard the night before the lamentation of the traveler, 
whose feet had stumbled on the dark mountains, found 
the stiffened corpse of his wife, and guided by faint 
footsteps he finds the child. It had slept sweetly and 
soundly amid the desolations of that wintry night ; and 
smiled, as it was uncovered, and its eyes met the light 
of morning, unconscious of the throbbing anguish of 
which it had been the occasion. 

It is a matter of thankfulness that so few lives are 
lost by the severely cold winter weather, which some- 
times prevails in this state. It is generally the case, 
that when the air is most frosty ; when the mercury in 
the thermometer is lowest, the atmosphere is tranquil. 
If it were not ; if it were strongly agitated with winds 
at the same time, it would be danorerous to be lonoj 
exposed to it. But as it is, so biting is the cold some 
days, that the Inhabitants keep as much within doors as 
possible. The most robust, and resolute sometimes find 
it difficult to stand before this enemy ; and exhibit 
evidence of his inroads upon their persons. Some days 
gain the appellation of being pre-eminently cold ; such 
as the cold Friday ; the cold Sabbath ; and retain this 
distinction a long time. One of this description of 
thirty years' standing is still remembered as the cold 
Friday ; a very sudden and great change taking place 
in th*e weather from the moderate and mild the night 
previous to the intensely cold and windy ; and many 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 267 

being frozen in their hands, or feet, or faces, who were 
out doors only a few minutes, particularly school children. 

These sudden changes fronn calm to boisterous weather 
render traveling uncertain and precarious, the snow 
drifting into the roads and rendering them impassable 
for days in succession. Saturday may be serene ; the 
sleighing good, the paths being well trod ; but Sabbath 
may find them full of snow, driven in and crowded so 
closely, as to prevent, most of the congregation from 
leaving their own premises. Thus in the hilly and 
mountainous towns, it sometimes so happens that 
churches find within them no worshippers on the Sabbath. 
Access is cut off even to those, who long for the courts 
of the Lord. 

But the rum-drinker would make trial of buffeting the 
driving snow, to gratify his appetite, when none else was 
found to incur the danger. His life was sometimes the 
price of his temerity. A melancholy instance of this 
occurred a few years^since in a town in this state at the 
foot of the green mountain.* A man on the Sabbath 
went three miles, and purchased a jug of rum of a 
retailer of this poison. It was in the early part of the 
winter, but the snow was uncommonly deep for the time. 
It was one of those days, of which many such come up 
in a Vermont winter, when the air is thick and dark, so 
to speak, with flying, whirling snow, not so much from 
the clouds, as by the setting in motion of that already on 
the ground. He undertook to return home in the face 

* Wardsboro. 



268 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

of such fearful impediments ; through the pathless snow- 
banks, bewildered by the flakes thickly driving into his 
face, but more so by the fumes from his jug. He toiled, 
but made slow progress of course. As he proceeded 
his strength decreased, both by his struggling efforts, and 
by the action of his treacherous companion. He fell and 
rose many a time ; but rising with more and more diffi- 
culty. Night overtakes him as he draws toward his 
home. Darkness, uncertainty, the benumbing cold, the 
howling tempest without, and the raging torrent within, 
throw in his way obstacles no longer to be surmounted. 
He falls for the last tinie. He had almost reached his 
habitation ; he lacks hut little of it ; and this lacking 
only a little, seems the bitterest ingredient in his cup of 
sorrow ; and it drifts, and drifts over him months in suc- 
cession. The search for him by his neighbors and 
townsmen is given over. He is buried deep beneath 
the surface ; and bleaches, and bleaches in the snow, till 
the return of spring gradually wastes it, and his body 
appears above it like a drowned man rising to the surface. 
The moans of his dog call his friends to the spot to 
behold the melancholy spectacle. The jug was under 
his arm, hugged closely, so to speak, to his heart. His 
face had become pale by the action of the sun and snow, 
and the rum-stains were washed from his cheek. But-— 
we can no longer follow him. 



269 



CHAPTER XIX. 

Literature . — Colleges. — Vermont university. — Presidents. — Dan- 
iel Haskell. — Middlebury College. — Presidents. — Academies 
and high schools. — Primary schools. — Improvements. — Literary 
men. — Authors. — Daniel Chipman. — Royal Tyler. — Martin 
Field.— Wilbur Fisk.— Jeremiah Evarts.— William Chamber- 
lain. 

The government and citizens of Vermont have mani- 
fested a laudable spirit relative to literature and science. 
Two colleges are established in this state ; one at 
Middlebury, and the other at Burlington, called the 
* Vermont University.' The latter is more particularly 
the foster child of the government ; being founded, 
(1791) and liberally endowed by legislative enactments. 
The buildings are situated on the eminence a little east 
of the village and make a very handsome appearance. 
Their situation is pleasant, commanding a very extensive 
view of the lake and the adjacent country. For a 
summer's residence to students, it is difficult to imagine 
one more inviting. The academic groves of Plato may 
have the advantage of remote antiquity ; and of the 
charms of eloquence, and the romance of descriptioa 
associated with them. But here you have the matter of 



270 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

fact, and sober reality ; present, visible and palpable ; 
the elegant buildings, the beautiful yard ; the ornamental 
trees and shrubbery with prospects before you to fill your 
mind with elevating sensations. 

This institution has struggled with difficulties, rising 
and falling till you would have apprehended that it had 
fallen for the last time. The number of 'students for a 
long time was inconsiderable. Its operation was sus- 
pended in the late war with England, and the buildings 
occupied by soldiery and the instruments of war. Under 
the presidency of Daniel Haskell it was rising fast into 
notice ; but sunk as fast when his sudden indisposition 
left him midway his course of usefulness and honor. 

At Yale in the days of Dwight, the writer knew him, 
amiable, gifted, elevated, the scholar and the christian ; 
and in subsequent life fulfilling the early promise of 
eminent usefulness. 

This university had interruptions in another of its 
heads ; but of a different kind ; and not now to be par- 
ticularized. But to counterbalance these obstructions, 
Austin, and Marsh and Wheeler are more than sufficient. 
The first two of these have been presidents, and the last 
now presides with great success over that institution. It 
is prosperous and flourishing, promising to become what 
the Edinburgh university is to the ' north country ' of 
Great Britain, a light shining for around, clear and safe. 

Middlebury college, founded in 1800, has been 
endowed and sustained chiefly by private liberality and 
munificence. The buildings are pleasant and well 
protected by the surrounding hills from the cold of the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT.- 271 

north. It has been, and still is a flourishing institution, 
having sent forth a great number of good scholars to 
occupy the responsible stations in our land. It is 
remarkable that the first three presidents of this college 
are still living. They maintain a high standing in 
society. Davis and Bates, by their indefatigable labors 
raised high the character of this institution ; and, in the 
cause of letters have done much ; and in that of pure 
religion more, rendering their names dear to the christian 
public. The fourth president is the Rev. Dr. Labaree, 
who now occupies the chair with indications of success 
and usefulness. The officers and teachers of this 
college have been distinguished for their high literary 
attainments ; and for their systematic and successful 
course of instruction,; and raised to elevated standing its 
scientific and religious character. Its graduates have 
reflected honor on the management and discipline by 
which they have been furnished to the various duties and 
posts, to which ihey may have been called. 

Acadeniies also have been established in various parts 
of the state ; and the government have always mani- 
fested a readiness to foster them. In the early days of 
this commonwealth, one academy at least in each county, 
received the patronage of the government, and a 
charter of incorporation. But as the population 
increased and private means, these seminaries have been 
greatly multiplied. You will find one, or a high school 
in almost every town and village. 

This system of education ; that is, by academies and 
high schools, is now in a measure self-supported and 



272 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

conducted. It leans not on the government; but the 
government in a sense, on that. For connected with 
christian principles, it furnishes a solid foundation for 
the political fabric with substantial columns and pillars 
to support and ornament the superstructure. Private 
munificence has endowed some of these institutions ; 
individual enterprise put others in operation ; and 
associations and temporary efforts have brought more 
of them into a sphere of greater or less usefulness. 
It may be found soon, if not experienced already, that 
these schools are becoming too numerous to command 
the best teachers, and insure the highest objects of 
education. It is undesirable to have them of short 
duration ; coming up in the day, and, so to speak, disap- 
pearing in the night. But in many*piaces, you will find 
very flourishing and well regulated and useful seminaries 
of this description. 

Of the common school system of instruction, some- 
what has been said in another part of this work. It is 
matter of rejoicing that efforts are now making to im- 
prove it. Conventions have been held in different parts 
of the state on the subject ; and a spirit of inquiry into 
the existing evils and defects in primary schools and 
instruction ; and for the proper remedies and means of 
improvement, is prevalent. The Normal school-regula- 
tions have received much attention ; and excellent 
lectures on the principles and benefits of elementary 
instruction in that way, have been given by several 
gentlemen, whose benevolent services are highly com- 
mendable. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 273 

As it regards literary men among them, the green 
mountain boys, if they have slender grounds for boast- 
ing, have no cause for shame. Few comparatively have 
leisure and means to engage in literary and scientific 
pursuits as the business of life. But some individuals 
have emerged from the mountains and woods of Ver- 
mont, who have entered the field of letters, and suc- 
cessfully cultivated a portion of it. 

Nathaniel Chipman, well known in the early history 
of this state, as a distinguished advocate, and stedfast 
friend of her rights, was also a classical scholar. He 
was well versed in the literature of the ancients. On 
the question, " Had the ancients the knowledge and use 
of glass ? " the writer remembers his published quotation 
from Aristophanes's Comedy of the clouds, in proof of 
the affirmative. It was the devise of one of Socrates's 
pupils for evading his bond. " Between the clock and 
the sun, (the court being in the open air,) I would 
stand," said he, ''and with my burning glass melt the 
letters ; (made of wax,) so that he could not read it ;" 
this might have been diamond, it may be said ; it was 
certainly a transparent substance, drawing like the glass 
lens, the rays of the sun to a focus. At any rate, it is 
evidence, and not the only evidence of his familiar 
acquaintance with the Greek writers in their own lan- 
guage. His character, that of an excellent scholar, 
though poor in worldly wealth, of great usefulness and 
moral worth, was given him by his contemporaries. 

Royal Tyler, also, though not a native of the state, 
yet strictly a Vermonter, as most of his days were spent 
18 



274 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

here, was a literary man. His ^ Algerine Captive^ is one 
of the best works of the kind, (fictitious,) which our 
country has produced ; and is evidence of great inven- 
tion and versatiHty of talents in the writer. He was 
one of the most frequent and able contributors to the 
Port Folio ; a periodical of high standing, established 
at Philadelphia, under the direction of the celebrated 
Dennie. He was long a judge of the supreme court ; 
and several years chief justice. Several of his charges 
to juries and condemned criminals were published ; 
and are specimens of elegant composition as well as 
evidence of his professional knowledge. He was a man 
of ready wit, and great facetiousness ; so innate was his 
vein of humor, that in his last days, under the painful 
and melancholy inroads of a cancer, scintillations from 
it occasionally burst forth. His pen was often applied 
to correct and polish manuscripts designed for the press. 
Wilbur Fisk, a native of Brattleboro, was distinguished 
for science and literature. His course was short, but 
brilliant and salutary ; and his death too early for the 
cause of letters, virtue and religion. He was persuaded 
to act as pioneer in the commencement of operations in 
a Wesleyan college at Middletown, Ct. He was the first 
president of that institution ; and his efforts and superior 
literary qualifications gave it a favorable outset ; winning 
fast the public attention and patronage. His instructions 
and example were instrumental of great good in this 
way, raising the standard of education, and giving it a 
high rank among similar institutions in New England. 
It was rising rapidly in the estimation of the surrounding 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 275 

country when his death in the meridian of life cast a 
shade over its prospects. In the pulpit he was eloquent ; 
an ornament to the church at large ; standing at the 
head of his own denomination in the graces and power 
of oratory. He published a journal of his tour in 
Europe ; which with other occasional publications of 
his hav^e placed him high as a writer. His biography in 
full by one of his fellow teachers is expected soon from 
the press. The character of the first president of the 
Wesleyan college reflects no discredit to the state of his 
nativity, being a star of no dim lustre in the constellation 
of New England college-departed presidents. 

Martin Field, a lawyer of Newfane, was a gentleman 
of high scientific attainments ; particularly in chemistry 
and mineralogy, and geology. The circumstances in 
which he made this proficiency and his manner of pur- 
suing them were somewhat remarkable. At the time of 
his college education, these branches were not taught 
systematically in but few if any American colleges. Of 
course he graduated, almost entirely ignorant of them. 
But when subsequently called to educate his two sons 
at Middlebury, these sciences were professionally taught ; 
and they became adepts in them. Hearing these studies 
mentioned often by his sons at vacations and seeing their 
engagedness in them, excited his curiosity to examine 
them even at his period of life. The result was that he 
went far in advance of them ; and became very distin- 
guished for his attention to these interesting and profitable 
sciences. Not satisfied with a theoretical examination 
of them, he more especially carried out practically his 



Q76 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

knowledge. His subsequent life even to old age, what 
leisure he could find from domestic cares and the labors 
of his profession, was devoted to these pursuits. It 
was matter of admiration to see with what interest and 
pleasure he endured fatigue, and severe and patient 
exercise in collecting minerals, and entomological spe- 
cimens. 

With his hammer and picks he explored the hills and 
vallies in every direction ; and made more geological 
surveys ; and discovered a greater variety of rare min- 
erals than perhaps any other man in Vermont. Large 
pieces of ore, and other substances found in places 
inaccessible to his carriage, he would carry some distance 
by personal effort. 

In this way he collected a cabinet of choice specimens 
in these sciences ; not only of what the mountains and 
the fields of this state have hitherto afforded, such as it is 
in the curiosities of nature ; but made valuable additions 
from various and far distant parts of the earth. He 
devoted a building of two large rooms to this collection ; 
and it is still in the state in which it was when he died ; 
a place of great interest to the connoisseurs in these 
branches. Indeed the different articles, and the variety 
is almost endless, are arranged and labelled with such 
order and distinctness ; with such neatness and taste ; 
so striking the symmetry and beauty of the whole appear- 
ance, that it is an object of general attraction and 
curiosity. No one can be so indifferent to these things 
as not to spend pleasantly an hour or two in viewing 
them. No cabinet of minerals and entomological speci- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 277 

mens equals this in Vermont ; certainly none collected 
by individual enterprise ; and Gen. Field has deserved 
well of his state in the cause of science, as he gained 
credit and honor to himself in this way as well as the 
profession to which he belonged. He was a subscriber 
from the commencement of it, to Silliman's journal of 
science; and was a frequent contributor to its pages, 
having furnished several valuable articles for that excel- 
lent periodical. 

James Marsh, D. D.,who recently died, a professor of 
natural and moral philosophy in the Vermont Univer- 
sity at Burlington, was highly distinguished for science 
and literature. He was several years president of that 
institution ; and gave good satisfaction, it is believed, to 
the public and to the students. But his modesty and 
love of study induced him to relinquish so conspicuous 
and responsible a post, and take the more retired one 
of a professor; being enabled thus to follow his favorite 
pursuit to better advantage. He was a close and inde- 
fatigable student ; and one of the best scholars accord- 
ing to his age, not only in Vermont, but in New Eng- 
land. He excelled perhaps in metaphysics. But the 
whole circle of science was more or less traversed by 
him. His strong mind and rich mental acquisitions 
were devoted especially to the cause of virtue and reli- 
gion. He was a great admirer of Coleridge ; and did 
more perhaps, than any other man in the country has 
done, to exhibit his claims and merits as a scholar and 
able writer ; and to call the attention of the American 
public to his works. He republished some of his best 



278 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

writings ; especially his " Aids to Reflection," accom- 
panying it with an extensive and learned and critical 
introduction written by himself. 

Jeremiah Evarts, a native of Sunderland in this state, 
was a man of elevated character as a scholar ; as well 
as a philanthropist and christian. He indeed spent 
most of his days in Connecticut and Massachusetts ; 
being a long time editor of the Christian Panoplist ; 
and afterwards secretary of the American Board of 
Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and editor of the 
Missionary Herald. He was an extraordinary man ; an 
energetic and powerful mind in a slender, feeble bodily 
frame. Few men, it might perhaps be added, not any 
in our country have left at his age more indelible ves- 
tiges of a great good man than he has. With the whole 
circle of literature and science he was familiar. Discri- 
minating, and acute in his examination of every subject 
that came before him, no fallacy or subterfuge escaped 
his penetrating eye. As a writer he was strong, clear, 
impressive, and methodical ; accurate and interesting. 
But the boldness of his conceptions often arrest the 
mind, producing strong emotion, and leading captive the 
will and fixing fast the purpose. He seemed to have 
commenced study in his youth with the fixed purpose 
of he'ing prepa?'ed for usefulness and of being useful. 

On the blank page of his classic books at college, 
(Yale,) the phrase from Horace, the writer has seen, 

"Nil sine magno 
Vita labore dedit mortalibus." 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 279 

" Life gives nothing without great labor to mortals." 
On this principle he commenced life ; a life of incessant 
labor ; the Vigor of his mind, and the consuming desires 
of his heart to do good, exhausted at mid-day the slender 
powers of his body. But he accomplished much in a 
short time ; wrote and published much as editor of the 
Panoplist and Herald, which if collected and bound 
would make several volumes. Some of it, of course 
would be temporary and local ; but every page would 
bear the impress of a strong hand. 

Mr. Evarts wrote a long series of papers, signed Wil- 
liam Penn ; and which were published originally in the 
National Intelligencer ; papers in behalf of the natives 
of this country. They appeared during the early part 
of President Jackson's administration ; and were copied 
into almost all the standard prints in the country. This 
fact is evidence of the respect with which they were 
received ; and the strong, commanding spirit which per- 
vaded them. Having studied the law and being ad- 
mitted to the bar, (although he soon relinquished the 
practice on account of his health,) he was enabled to 
examine professionally, the grounds and claims by which 
the Indians within our territory were entitled to the 
lands, which they occupied. He thus placed their case 
in a clear and strong view. Certainly these papers ex- 
hibit the author to us as a man of letters ; a learned 
civilian ; a close reasoner ; candid ; independent, fear- 
less and philanthropic. They are an everlasting monu- 
ment of his talents, scholarship and benevolence. 

But the most masterly production of his pen, is the 



280 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

conclusion of a report to the " American Board," written 
by him sev^eral years before his death ; and since pub- 
lished in a pamphlet form. It is a paper well worthy 
the attentive perusal of every patriot as well as christian. 
He takes the reader with him fifty or a hundred years in 
advance ; and, as it were, from some lofty eminence 
points out the state of our country on a supposition that 
the increase of its population goes on its present ratio, 
but the means of restraint and moral and religious 
culture, remain, first stationary; or secondly, become 
less ; or thirdly, keep pace with the augmentation of its 
inhabitants and the progress of society. The conse- 
quences and the aspect of affairs in each of these 
contingencies are described and illustrated with the hand 
of a master, and with intense interest. Indeed few 
human productions contain in so small a compass, more 
passages of the sublime, than are found in this. This is 
saying much. But appeal is made to fact. Let the 
reader peruse it. Let the claims of this writer be 
examined with a spirit of candor, and it will be found 
that this tribute is underwrought ; and that not only 
Vermont, but the nation may boast of Jeremiah Evarts 
as one of her noblest sons. 

Others might be named as examples of literary and 
scientific distinction. William Chamberlain, ' Greek 
Professor' in Dartmouth college, who was a native of 
Vermont ; and died at twenty-five years of age, lived 
long enough only to let us know in some measure what 
the cause of letters and virtue lost by his early death. 

Many living scholars and writers are found in the state, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 281 

whom to characterize particularly, might be improper 
and indelicate. To say that some of them are of the 
very first class would be no more than justice. 



282 



CHAPTER XX. 

Literature and learned men continued. — The learned professions. — 
Clergymen. — Difficulties encountered by them in the early set- 
tlements. — Their characters. — Names of some of them. — The 
fruit of their labors. — Dr. Burton. — His authorship. — ^Lemuel 
Haynes. — Bunker Gay. — Attornies at law. — Of some who are 
dead, their character.— Civilians and statesmen. — Courts. — Their 
appearance. — Dispatch in business. — Physicians. — Difficulties 
in their way in the first settlement of the state. — Their charac- 
ter. — Medical college at Castleton. — Vermont poets. — Self- 
taught one. — Putney hill. — Stanzas of poetry made by a bard 
living at its foot. 

The learned professions, as they are termed, stand 
comparatively well in this state. They who came here 
as pioneers in the cause of the gospel, were men gene- 
rally of great moral excellence, and self-denial. They 
were of the right stamp ; and founded churches on the 
right principles, digging deep and laying strong the foun- 
dation guided by the unerring word of prophecy. The 
hardships incident to a new and rough country, and cold 
climate, they endured in common with their parishioners. 
They were under the necessity of dividing their time 
between study and parochial duties on the one hand ; 
and secular calling's on the other. To the field in the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 283 

summer and woods in winter, they were compelled more 
or less to go ; and often to endure privations ; and the 
dangers of fording rivers and traversing the wilderness, 
to fulfil the many and distant calls for ministerial service. 
They often had to receive ordination in the open air ; or 
under the shade of the forest trees, and celebrate the 
ordinances of the gospel on the Sabbath in dwelling 
houses, and in barns. 

But these were days of union and brotherly love ; and 
praise and prayer ascending amid these wilds of nature^ 
entered no less acceptably the ears of Him, who " pre- 
ferreth to all temples, the upright and pure." 

The truths of the gospel were circulated in their 
native simplicity and power; and these truths found 
reverential hearers. For among the early settlers of 
Vermont were Bible, Sabbath-loving men, and church- 
going ; respecting the heralds of the cross for their works' 
sake. This is evident from the records of some of their 
public proceedings, and acts of the rulers in those times. 
The language of reverence to God and his word is seen 
in many of their political acts and resolutions. The 
first meeting of the general assembly was opened by 
Divine worship, and a sermon by the Rev. Mr. Powers, 
of Windsor; in favor of paying whom, a resolution was 
passed, permitting any, who pleased, to contribute. A 
committee was appointed to receive those contributions, 
who reported the sum contributed, ten pounds lawful 
money ; which was ordered to be paid over to him. 
This gentleman and Mr. Dewey, of Bennington, are the 
.first clergymen named in the journal of the general 



284 ■ HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

assembly, officiating as such in the earliest proceedings 
of that body. The latter was requested by a vote to 
open with prayer the daily sessions of the assembly at 
their June meeting at Bennington, 1778. The vote is 
in these words : " voted that the Rev. Mr. Dewey be 
presented with the compliments of this house, to desire 
hitn to pray with this assembly, at the opening in the 
morning, for this session." In these records the christian 
names of these clergymen are not given. In addition 
to these, may be named Jackson, of Dorset ; Burton, of 
Thetford ; Worcester, of Peacham ; Lyman, of Marlboro ; 
Goodhue, of Putney ; Tufts, of Wardsboro ; Reeve, of 
Brattleboro ; Kent, of Benson ; Lyon, of North-Hero ; 
and Gay, of Vernon ; as fathers in the churches of Ver- 
mont. Bushnel, of Cornwall, although living, ought 
not to be omitted. Others were associated with them 
who endured hardships in those times of self-denial and 
difficulty. Their names appear to advantage in the 
history of the progress of divine truth ; and the estab- 
lishment of gospel ordinances and the diffusion of light 
and love. In a double sense was it true, that they were 
breakers up of the fallow ground, and sowers of the seed. 
They cleared away the ground with their hands for the 
meat that perishes ; and the moral wastes, for the meat 
that endureth to everlasting life. Of Lyon and Gay, it 
ought, perhaps, to be said, that the former was one of 
the representatives in congress from this state from 1815 
to 1817 ; and that the latter wrote and published a par- 
ticular account of the attack by the Indians on fort 
Bridgman, and its melancholy consequences. Painful 



HISTORY OF VERMONT, 285 

incidents relative to the captives are given, particularly 
Mrs. Howe and her children, some of which may be 
seen in the graphic style of Col. Humphrey in his life 
of Putnam. 

The indefatigable labors of these men, and their 
successors have produced a salutary influence on the 
religious and moral aspect of Vermont. In these 
romantic wilds, they were blessed in their efforts to 
transplant branches from the tree of life, more verdant 
and perennial than her evergreens. They have taken 
deep root, and yielded much precious fruit. The result 
of their labors and judicious culture is seen in the neat 
houses of divine worship, which abound in these vallies 
and on these hills ; and in the sobriety, and christian 
exemplariness, and warm devotion of many of its inhabi- 
tants. Pure Christianity, and sound morals have thus a 
foothold here, presaging better times ; times, it is hoped, 
when all these shall be hills of Z'ion, and mountains of 
Israel. 

The moral and religious feelings and habits and acts 
of this people, is the brightest trait in their character. 
In this respect much indeed remains to be done ; many 
• crooked paths to be made straight and rough places 
smooth.' But many heralds of divine messages and 
knowledge have ' run to and fro' these hills and vallies 
and on these mountains, publishing peace and salvation, 
carrying glad tidings of good. Many of them have 
finished their course, and their bodies in the congrega- 
tion of the dead, fill ' the narrow house' beside those of 
their brethren and fellow travelers to eternity. Some 



286 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

have gone to other fields and new scenes, ' bound in the 
spirit, not knowing what shall befall them, counting not 
their lives dear to themselves, that they may finish their 
course with joy.' Many remain, and others are coming 
forward to fill the breaches and mount the walls of de- 
fence against the inroads of vice and irreverence. Gird- 
ed with the armor of light may they long continue to be 
polished shafts in the quiver of the Lord, till this whole 
state become ^ a mountain of holiness and a dwelling 
place of righteousness.' 

Dr. Burton published several theological works, which 
rendered him well known and somewhat distinguished 
throughout New England. His writings certainly exhi- 
bited him as a man of clear thought and discrimination, 
as well as of mental cultivation and ardent piety. He 
was somewhat original in some of his religious views ; 
particularly with regard to the faculties of the soul ; 
dividing it into three parts ; the understanding ; the 
heart, or affections ; and the taste. 

Lemuel Haynes, so well known in this part of the 
United States, as a black preacher, labored in the minis- 
try chiefly in this state, though he died at Granville, a 
border town of New York. He has left specimens of 
his original and ingenious mind, particularly that short 
and celebrated sermon, " Universal salvation an ancient 
doctrine." He has also left, under his own hand, an 
account of the reappearance of the man, by the name 
of Russel Colvin, supposed to have been murdered ; and 
the conviction, and sentence, and final rescue of his 
supposed murderers. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 287 

The writer has named, in another place, several dis- 
tinguished cowri5eZ/or5 at law, who had finished an honor- 
able, earthly course ; and whose eloquence he had wit- 
nessed often in the southern part of the state. Fame 
and true report have given a high character of others in 
the middle and northern sections ; and such names as 
Spooner, Skinner, Mallory, and Chipman, and Smith, 
and Chase, and others might be added, who have run 
an honorable career in this profession. Their standing 
was distinguished for legal science and powers of elo- 
quence at the bar ; on the bench ; and in the national 
councils. Indeed the early circumstances of this com- 
monwealth led almost as a matter of course to the sene- 
ral diffusion of the common principles of law. Farmers 
needed to have some insight into them, to know when 
they were going safely in buying and selling land ; per- 
plexed as they once were by contradictory clalm^ and 
titles. The science of law has been studied with great 
care by the professional student ; and the bar and bench 
of Vermont have been, and still are an ornament to the 
state. It is not believed that any other so large a por- 
tion of the union, takes precedence in this respect. 
Many now live, whom to name might be indecorous ; 
but to hear unfolded the mazes of an intricate course and 
make it clear, would be a privilege. Clear in head ; 
courteous ; scorning meanness ; studious of high charac- 
ter as men ; of easy address, and strong in reasoning, 
you may find many such here. It would be strange if 
all were of this description. 

A stranger will find as much to approve and admire in 



388 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

a Vermont court house ; in its order and stillness ; the 
dispatch of business ; the eloquence heard from the bar ; 
and the discrimination and solemnity witnessed from 
the bench ; the intelligence of the jury, and the becom- 
ing deportment of the spectators, as in similar circum- 
stances in most places where he may travel. 

In the councils of the nation, Vermont has been 
reputably, and even ably represented. Bold, energetic 
and fearless, the voice of freedom and independence has 
been put forth on the floor of congress by many a green 
mountain representative. Some of them have been 
conspicuous actors in the political drama of our country, 
and honored the high stations of trust to which they 
were called. To quail in the hour of trial and danger ; 
or be swerved from duty by menace and denunciation ; 
or hoodwinked by bribery and flattery, was not their 
turn of mind, or habit of action. The spirit of Ethan 
Allen and his associates, in this respect, yet animates 
many, who are now the elite of the civil and political 
corps of the state. 

Of that extraordinary man, a native of Vermont has 
furnished the writer the following anecdote. " The 
British government through one of its officers in the coun- 
try, offered to givejiim any quantity of land he desired, 
besides conferring on him a high military command, and 
the title of Duke of Vermont, if he would forsake the 
rebels, and exert his influence in favor of the royal 
cause." To these proposals, Allen replied, " Tell 
your master that his offers make me think of one that 
I have read of in an old Book, made by a certain per- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 289 

sonage to Jesus Christ ; that he would give him all the 
Kingdoms of the world if he would only worship him, 
when the old rascal knew that he did not own a foot of 
land on earth, any more than King George does in 
Vermont." 

The regular bred physicians of Vermont have sus- 
tained a good reputation, doing credit to their profession ; 
and reflecting honor on the medical art. The practical 
part of their profession, laborious in almost any place, is 
particularly so in this region of so uneven surface, and 
so cold and snowy in its winters. 

This was the case especially with the pioneers in this 
employment. To go at all seasons of the year ; and at 
all times of day and night ; and in all directions ; through 
the wilderness ; over roads almost impassable ; and ford- 
ing rivers ; through snow and rain storms, during the 
first twenty or thirty years after breaking ground here, 
was no trifling business. It required great self-denial 
and devotedness to the care of the sick and afilicted. 
Thus they became strong in body ; familiar with extremes 
and hardships ; of iron nerves, capable of standing frost, 
and bearing heat. It was interesting to hear them 
recount the scenes encountered in fulfilling the calls of 
their profession ; the hardships endured, and their nar- 
row escapes from danger. But they maintained good 
humor and great cheerfulness to the very last ; and their 
fund of anecdote, and quaint way often of narrative, 
were enlivening and cheering to the valetudinarian and 
hypochondriac. 

In Castleton is a medical college, which has sustained 
19 



290 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

a high reputation. Courses of lectures on the difFerent 
branches of the heahng art are given by able and experi- 
enced professors ; and ample opportunities and prepara- 
tions are furnished and made to enable the pupils, 
respectable in numbers, to employ their time to the best 
advantage. 

If Vermont has not yet produced any very celebrated 
poets ; who have proved themselves such by some mas- 
terly and extensive work of imagination in harmonious 
and splendid versification, she is not without sons and 
daughters of the lyre, whose notes have resounded amid 
her hills and valleys. ^ Green mountain hards' is not a 
mere flourish of words. Such have been ; such still 
are; self-taught; retired, and distrustful; yielding with 
reluctance their sweetly flowing strains to the public 
gaze. The writer has known some such, imbued with 
the true spirit of poetry ; sought them out ; and solicited 
and sometimes obtained specimens of their pens for the 
public journals. One such lived and died on Putney 
West-hill; who spoke many pieces of original and 
interesting poetry ; but committed very little to writing. 
The writer rode some fifteen or twenty miles to pen 
down a few particular stanzas from the lips of his grand- 
son, who was known to have repeated them often with 
other similar effusions. But his lips had been sealed in 
death a few days previous ; and the opportunity of 
giving them a fixed visible being was forever gone. 
For his son, a venerable pilgrim sojourner on that hill, 
ninety-two years of age, could awaken no traces of them 
in his memory. Another admonition was this of the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. jj§^ 

wisdom of doing quickly what you have to do ; and of 
going without delay to him from whose lips you would 
rescue words and things from oblivion. If you linger, 
he may die before you reach him, or you may fall before 
he meets you. 

The importance also is seen impressively in the light 
of such facts, of committing to writing whatever is 
worthy of being remembered. For if it be true, as said 
the Roman poet, * vox missa nescit reverti,^ a word sent 
forth from the lips ' knows not the way back ;' it is also 
true ; if you keep no record of it ; have no controling 
rein upon it, you may not know where to find it, however 
much you might wish to show it the way of return. 

But the ride was not wholly lost ; for another oppor- 
tunity was afforded him of viewing the surrounding 
country from the summit of this hill. 

The view from this eminence is rich and variegated 
and majestic. Few portions are more enchanting. As 
you face the south, you have on your right the narrow 
and deep valley of West river ; and on your left the 
somewhat broader one of the Connecticut, some two 
thousand feet below you. Then the whole compass of 
the horizon to a great extent opens to your view, except- 
ing a few degrees on the north being intercepted by a 
clump of trees. A large portion of the southwest part 
of New Hampshire ; and the northwestern of Massachu- 
setts ; and the southern section of Vermont is before 
you. From the Connecticut valley, your eye goes over 
hill and dale ; clearings and woodlands ; villages, and 
hamlets and cottages, till it reaches the summit of 



292 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Monadnock, and thence north on the blue highlands 
towards the White Hills. The silvery surface of the 
Connecticut, below Brattleboro, distant ten or fifteen 
miles, and the irregular and broken ridges of southern 
Vermont, and Franklin county in Massachusetts, come in 
sight ; and the summit of the green mountains far to 
the north, with their endless variety of shapes ; with the 
haystack and saddle back, and the Stratton cliffs ; limits 
your view on the right, but fixes your attention in silent 
admiration. 



293 



CHAPTER XXI. 

Religion. — The three principal denominations. — Congregational- 
ists. — Some account of them. — Baptists. — Their peculiarities. — 

. Anecdote of an Elder. — Methodists. — Their rules and support 
of preachers . — Episcopalians . — Universalists . — Unitarians . 

The three largest denominations of christians in Ver- 
mont, are the Congregational, Baptist, and Methodist. 
These do not greatly vary from each other in point of 
numbers. 

The early churches were formed principally by Congre- 
gationalists. By this is intended the very first churches 
organized ; though mention is made, in the early records, 
of a baptist clergyman officiating in the religious services 
at a session of the general assembly. As the leaders in 
reducing this rough surface, and rougher political exterior, 
to a comparative smoothness and regularity and orders 
were mostly from Connecticut ; so were the early heralds 
of the cross. They were sent by the missionary society 
of that state; and Bushnell, and Mills and Hallock and 
Williston, and others of this denomination came early, 
extending the borders of that kingdom, which is not of 
this world. Their labors were blessed ; and the rules 
of that kingdom clearly stated and explained ; and the 
qualifications of citizenship pointed out, and the securing 



294 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

of the inheritance recommended and urged. Many, 
who were aliens and foreigners, have, it is hoped, become 
fellow-citizens of this commonwealth, whose verdure 
shall be as perpetual as that of the tree of life, Th6 
doctrines taught were those of the Bible as explained 
by " the assembly's catechism." The system of church 
government of this denomination is in their apprehension 
that of the church militant as established by Christ and 
his apostles ; the pastor moderator ; and the male mem- 
bers as a body, voters. 

Each church is independent in its jurisdiction and in 
matters of discipline. Their decision is final with regard 
to its members, whose walk is inconsistent with the rules 
of Christ ; unless the church should be consociated ; 
that is, connected with several other churches on certain 
conditions; relinquishing its right of deciding without 
appeal ; and giving an aggrieved member the privilege 
of appealing to the " Committee of Consociation^^ 
Candidates for admission into the church are examined 
by the pastor, generally assisted by a committee, but 
often before the whole body, any of whom may propose 
what questions they please. Assent is given to " the 
articles of faith " adopted by the church, and to the 
covenant. 

The pastors and ministers have, for their mutual 
improvement and benefit, formed themselves into associa- 
tions, consisting of ten or twelve members most con- 
veniently situated, who meet two or three times annually. 
Delegates from these bodies meet annually on the second 
Tuesday in September, in convention ; called " The 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 295 

General Convention of Presbyterian and Congregational 
ministers of Vermont." To this convention reports are 
made from the several district associations ; of the num- 
ber of members added ; the alterations in the pastoral 
and other relations ; and of the state of religion and 
morals. Most of the benevolent societies hold their 
anniversaries during its sessions. The preaching of 
sermons and addresses by representatives from abroad 
with other exercises and transactions of this body, render 
it a season of great interest and benefit to those, who 
love the gates of Zion. The present number of com- 
municants in this branch of the church in Vermont is 
about twenty thousand. 

The baptists have many large and flourishing churches 
in this state. Indeed for a long time this has been a 
strong denomination of christians ; and as before inti- 
mated, has furnished a member of distinguished civilians. 
This, as well as the methodist branch of the church, have 
been more in the habit of placing their preachers in civil 
offices and trusts, perhaps, than that of the congrega- 
tional. So true is this, that a considerable portion of 
the members of the general assembly at some sessions, 
has been composed of baptist and methodist clergymen; 
more especially of the former. Men of strong powers 
of mind naturally ; and of original turn of thinking and 
expressing their thoughts and conscientious opinions. 
The public interests have been safe in their hands. If 
they manifested less culture and polish in some instances ; 
and the gift of parlance than do others, they may have 
been as expeditious and safe in action. Their purpose 



296 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

taken, and they did it circumspectly, they were not easily 
moved from it. Knowing how to say less and think 
more and act steadfastly and independently, they 
exhibited an example, which others in high places might 
follow to advantage. It is an important part of know- 
ledge to know what one can, and what he cannot do, and 
of wisdom, not to try that for which he is unqualified. 

Thus one of these worthy elders, who was more in 
the habit while a member, of Iceeping his seat, than of 
his standing on his feet, on some important measure in 
which the house was nearly balanced, sent word to his 
constituents that he would wear out one pair of breeches, 
before, with his permission it should go contrary to his 
convictions of right. It might be well, perhaps, if in 
legislative halls in other and more exposed places, 
some of the members were in this habit ; that of wear- 
ing their breeches more, and their lungs less. Their 
constituents would more readily defray the expense of 
repairing the former, than suffer the inroads made by 
the latter, on the harmony and good feeling of the 
country. 

The baptists differ from the congregationalists in 
sentiment, only on the subject of baptism : its subjects 
and the mode. Their form of church government is 
the same. Those of this denomination in this state, 
are principally what are called close communion baptists. 
Believing baptism an indispensable pre-requisite to 
intercommunion by participating the sacred emblems ; 
and that immersion is the only way of rightly perform- 
ing this ordinance, they think it a duty to decline going 



HISTORY OF VERMONT, 297 

to the Lord's table with all, who do not enter 
through this door into the fold. In their associations the 
churches are represented by lay delegates in connexion 
with clerical. A good degree of harmony exists between 
them and the other denominations ; meeting together 
as they often do ; and assisting in the expense of the 
institutions of the gospel, where they live intermixed 
and in too weak a state to do it separately. They are 
the most numerous in the north part of the state, 
exhibiting a kind, liberal, and christian spirit towards 
strangers of other evangelical churches. Their preju- 
dices gradually wearing away against education, and 
literary accomplishments in their preachers, they have 
under their direction, flourishing academies in Towns- 
hend, Brandon and Derby, in which the languages and 
sciences and other college branches are taught, and 
good scholarship often adorns the ministrations of the 
word, rendering it more efficacious. Elder Leland of 
Chester, who presided several sessions as speaker in the 
house of representatives ; and with great readiness and 
acceptance ; and was subsequently lieutenant governor, 
sustained the character of an able and eloquent preacher. 
They have for a number of years sustained in the state 
a religious newspaper, published at Brandon, called the 
Telegraph. 

The denomination of christians struck out by John 
Wesley, claims a numerous and respectable class in 
Vermont. They have some resemblance in their church 
government and their doctrines, to the episcopal church 
from which they originally sprung. They have their 



298 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

bishops and presiding elders ; their circuit and local 
preachers. Their sentiments correspond somewhat, 
relative to the native depravity of the heart, and the 
nature of regeneration. The government of the church 
is in both in the clergy. 

The presiding elder has the churches of a certain 
district (defined) assigned him to visit quarterly ; and 
the circuit preachers have smaller portions of ground to 
go over weekly, or in a longer period according to their 
extent. These preachers are removed to new circuits 
once in two years ; and their salaries are paid from a 
fund under the direction of " the conference ; " and is 
one hundred dollars for himself, and if married the same 
sum for his wife, and a certain amount for each child. 
When the fund enables the conference to make full 
allowance to the preachers, they are better provided for, 
than those of any other denomination. The provision 
made for the support of superannuated and disabled 
preachers is worthy of high commendation. In short, 
many things in the methodist internal policy are 
admirable. 

The episcopal is a large and flourishing church ; and 
Vermont constitutes one diocese, over which a bishop pre- 
sides. Her faith is the protestant ; her thirty-nine articles 
being strictly evangelical and orthodox. She denies all 
ordination but that by her bishops ; of course, preachers 
of all other denominations, in her estimation, are inter- 
lopers, climbing up some other way. She seems to be 
lengthening her cords and strengthening her stakes in 
Vermont, embracing some of the most respectable part 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 299^ 

of her inhabitants. Indeed in point of respectabihty 
and fashion, if not of numbers, she probably deems 
herself as holding comparatively the first rank, if the 
terms rank and fashion may be used in speaking of 
religion and our relations to God, before whom we are 
in a sense all on a level, and " less than the small dust 
of the balance." There is something impressive and 
affecting in the services of the church of England, 
especially her funeral services ; venerable in her great 
crowd of witnesses ; whose names adorn the pages of 
her history, and in the moss covered and ivy clad 
towers and temples of the "fast anchored isle." May 
the branch transplanted to the hills and vallies of Ver- 
mont, pruned of useless and hurtful incumbrances, 
be as perennial as her fountains, and as perpetual in the 
flourishing of righteousness in her paths, as the verdure 
of her " mountain pines." — An Episcopal Theological 
school was planned and set in operation at Burlington, 
under the superintendence of Bishop Hopkins, promis- 
ing usefulness. 

Not an inconsiderable number of individuals, profess 
the faith of the final salvation of all men. They have 
a number of houses of worship up and down the state ; 
and preachers to unfold their doctrines ; and in some 
instances to administer the ordinances of baptism and 
the Lord's supper. The infinite benevolence of God is 
their bulwark against the apprehension of endless pun- 
ishment. 

Unitarian churches are found, one at Burlington, 
and another at Brattleboro ; and no where else in 



300 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

Vermont ; unless there may be a small one at Vernon, 
and one at Windsor. The denial of the three-fold 
distinction of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy- 
Ghost, is the principal peculiarity in their faith. 



301 



CHAPTER XXII. 

Miscellaneous . — Birds . — Partridge . — Quail . — S no w-bird . — W ild 
pig-eons.— Their abundance formerly. — Swallows. — Their varie- 
ties. — Swallow trees at Middlebury and Bridport. — The Bobo- 
link. — Robin. — Quadrupeds, wild, — Wolf. — Bear. — Squirrel, 
Gray and other kinds. — Fox. 

Dendrology. — Evergreen trees. — Hardwood trees — Sugar maple. 
— Its beauty. — Changes in its foliage. — The beech. — The beau- 
tiful form and appearance of trees. — The spruce. — The elm. — 
Trees mentioned by ancient writers. — Homer. — Virgil. — In the 
sacred Scriptures. — Classical and venerable. — The Wellington 
tree. — Various shapes of the elm. — Two in Berlin, Ct. — Con- 
trasted. — A venerable pine. 

Most of the birds found in the United States are met 
with in Vermont. The black-bird is not seen so often 
as in Connecticut, and places farther south. The part- 
ridge is more abundant here than in almost any other 
state. The mountains and forests afford them not only- 
food plentifully, but more ample range to escape the 
pursuit of their enemies, and evade the snare of the 
fowler. This bird, so untamable ; and whose young 
so instinctively and even as soon as clear of its shell 
avoids human footsteps, and the voice and face of man ; 
and whose flesh is so rich and delicate, is a rare inhabit- 



302 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

ant of the southern states. It goes there by the name 
of pheasant ; and what we call the quail takes the name 
of partridge. 

The quail of Connecticut, and the southern part of 
Massachusetts, is rarely if ever seen in Vermont. Dur- 
ing a residence of thirty years in this state, the writer 
has not heard the notes of this beautiful bird, so familiar 
to his ears in early days. The long and severe winters 
experienced, probably forbid its sojourn here, and it 
seems to prefer spending its summers where the winters 
are mild enough to give it a chance of seeing the return 
of spring. The winters are so severe sometimes even 
in Connecticut, as to make fearful havoc among them ; 
driving them in search of food to farm yards, where 
they too often meet with cold hospitality ; and huddled 
together in the hedges and under the fences, become 
the sport and prey of school-boys in that highly civilized 
state. 

This season, 1843, and since writing the above, the 
author heard for the first time in this state, the notes of 
the quail. It was in the vicinity of the south village in 
Chester. His ears could hardly be persuaded that it 
was real, until the well known sounds of " more wet I" 
" more wet !" became too distinct to admit of doubt. 

Welcome his approach to the vallies of this state, and 
margins of its rivulets ; and long may he sojourn among 
its husbandmen. If driven from Connecticut and Mas- 
sachusetts, by incessant inroads upon his retreats ; if 
resolved to venture among the Vermonters, and try the 
perils of the green mountains, may his reception from 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 303 

the reapers and cradlers of their harvest fields be hos- 
pitable. 

But how this quiet, home-loving bird survived the 
long, and severe, and snowy winter just ended, seems 
mysterious. Indeed wonderful is the contrast between 
the present summer and the past winter, each being 
almost unprecedented in its appearance. Vegetation 
now is remarkably luxuriant ; the forests are more ver- 
dant than usual ; and animated by a greater number 
and variety of songsters ; and an impulse seems to have 
been given to the liveliness and loveliness of nature ; 
and an increase to her power of enchantment and regal- 
ing of the senses. 

Described as an enemy to emigration, his aversion it 
would seem, is giving way, compelled by persecution to 
leave the sunny meadows settled by the Pilgrims, and 
take up his abode with their descendants in the moun- 
tain state. In these glens and sequestered regions, may 
he continue to whistle unseen and unmolested, cheeriner 
the laborer in the field, and secure not only against the 
mimic voice of the Ethiopian, but the snares and mus- 
kets of the pale faced boy, and hunter. 

But the snow-bird seems to love Vermont above all 
other parts of New England. You may see large flocks 
of them a short time before a snow storm ; and some- 
times in the midst of a driving northeaster, they come 
near buildings ; and appear to revel in the dreary deso- 
lations around them. It is a small bird, of a light gray ; 
and sometimes almost white ; nimble and lighting on 
the fences and tops of the weeds and corn stalks, rising 



304 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

above the snow, heedless of the whistling wind and the 
biting frost. They seem little disturbed by the approach 
of man, regarding them rather as friends and neighbors 
than otherwise. The Vermonters in turn give them a 
kind reception, paying little attention to their flocking, 
flirting gambols, permitting them to pursue their course, 
thinking their little bodies, fat as they are, unworthy of 
powder and shot. They die some other way than by 
the hands of man, for they are small game for the 
green mountain boys ; and rather privileged by them 
too, as their only winged winter visiter during the reign 
of snow; happy and cheerful, but disappearing in the 
spring, and evading the utmost search of human eye. 

In the early settlement of the state, wild pigeons 
were wonderfully plenty. So few are now found in the 
forests and on the mountains, that the account given by 
first settlers of their numbers and multiplication seems 
almost incredible. 

The surveyor, Richard Hazen, who run the line 
between Massachusetts and this state in 1741, gave this 
account of the appearances which he met with to the 
westward of Connecticut river. " For three miles 
together, the pigeons' nests were so thick, that fiv^e 
hundred might have been told on the beech trees at one 
time ; and could they have been counted on the hem- 
locks as well, I doubt not but five thousand might have 
been found at one turn round."* 

" The following account was given me," says Dr. Wil- 

* Williams. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 305 

Hams, " by one of the earliest settlers of Clarendon." 
" The number of pigeons was immense. Twenty-five 
nests were frequently to be found on one beech tree. 
The earth was covered with those trees ; and with hem- 
locks, thus loaded with the nests of pigeons. For an 
hundred acres together, the ground was covered with 
their dung to the depth of two inches. Their noise in 
the evening was extremely troublesome ; and so great 
that the traveler, where their nests were thick, could 
not get any sleep. ^ About an hour after sunrise, they 
rose in such numbers as to darken the air.' When the 
young pigeons are grown to considerable bigness, before 
they can readily fly, it was common for the settlers to 
cut down the trees, and gather a horse load in a few 
minutes." 

The progress of civilization and refinement ; and the 
clearing of the hills and vallies have much lessened the 
number of these birds, or driven them to other regions. 

Three or four species of the swallow are found in this 
part of the country ; the chimney swallow ; the barn, 
the ground, and the martin. The latter is the largest, 
and builds its nests under the eaves of barns and sheds ; 
seventy, and even a hundred are sometimes counted on 
the buildings of a single farmer. The ground swallow 
is the smallest ; and burrows into sand banks and the 
banks of rivers two or three feet, and there forms its 
nests. 

The swallow is a social and musical little bird ; and 
its gyrations and evolutions over a level meadow in hay- 
20 



306 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

season, twittering and chirping, would afford a gratifying 
spectacle, if he were not somewhat insulting to the hay- 
maker, foretelling with too much truth the forthcoming 
rain ; gracefully curving and rolling from side to side ; 
now in a straight line ; now turnincr at angles of various 
degrees,- darting by within arm's length of the laborer. 

The house, or chimney swallow is found, it is said, 
sometimes to take up its winter residence in hollow trees. 
Two of these swallow trees are particularly noticed by 
Dr. Williams ; one at Middlebury, and the other at 
Bridport. They were large, hollow and decayed elms. 
Relative to the one at the former place, he had the in- 
formation from a man, who lived within twenty rods of 
it. His language is : " About the first of May, the 
swallows came out of it in large numbers about the mid- 
dle of the day, and soon returned. As the weather 
grew warmer they came out in the morning with a loud 
noise or roar ; and were soon dispersed. About half an 
hour before sundown, they returned in millions, circu- 
lating and circling two or three times round the tree ; 
and then descending like a stream, into a hole sixty feet 
from the ground. It was customary for persons in the 
vicinity to visit this tree, to observe the motions of these 
birds ; and when any person disturbed their operations 
by striking violently against the tree with their axes, the 
swallows would rush out in millions, and with a great 
noise. In November, 1791, the top of the tree was 
blown down twenty feet below where the swallows 
entered. They have since disappeared. Upon cutting 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 307 

down the remainder an immense quantity of excrements, 
quills and feathers were found ; but no appearance of 
any nests." 

Relative to the one at Bridport, the language of a 
man who lived near it, is : " The swallows were first ob- 
served to come out of the tree in the spring, about the 
lime the leaves began to appear on the trees. From 
that season they came out in the morning, about half an 
hour after sunrise. They rushed out, like a stream, as 
big as the hole in the tree would admit ; and ascended 
in a perpendicular line until they were in height above 
the adjacent trees ; then assumed a circular motion, per- 
forming their revolutions two or three times ; but always 
(every time,) in a larger circle ; and then disappeared 
in every direction. A little before sundown, they return- 
ed in immense numbers, forming several circular motions, 
and then descending like a stream into the hole whence 
they came out in the morning. About the middle of 
September, they were seen entering the tree for the last 
time. These birds were all of the species called the 
house, or chimney swallow. The hole in the tree at 
which they entered was about forty feet from the ground, 
and nine inches in diameter. The swallows made their 
first appearance in the spring ; and last appearance in 
the autumn in the vicinity of this tree, and the neighbor- 
ing inhabitants had no doubt but that they continued in 
it during the winter." 

From these interesting facts, it is probable that the 
house swallow in this part of our country sojourns 
generally during winter in hollow trees. There is 



308 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

evidence also that the ground swallow passes his winter 
quarters at the bottom of lakes, rivers and ponds. 

The above named historian places the bobolink among 
the birds of Vermont. But its notes, it is believed, are 
rarely heard now in the meadows and fields. 

The blue bird, the wren, the phebe, and robin, are 
the earliest summer birds of Vermont ; and the welcome 
harbingers of the return of spring. If they come to 
stay^ and let their notes be heard day after day by the 
first of April, it is as much as the most ardent looker 
out for bare hills and vallies ; and to feel the balmy 
gales can anticipate, or flatter himself with being visited 
and greeted by such familiar and long absent acquaint- 
ance. If they alight upon his dwelling, and by their 
melody rouse him from his morning slumbers, how 
delightful the sounds ! How animating the reflection 
thus raised that the reign of winter is closing ; and that 
the free going to the fields is to be again enjoyed. 

The howl of the wolf, once so familiar on these hills, 
is fast dying away ; and his prowling footsteps disappear- 
ing from the sheep-fold and barn-yard ; and the wasting 
of the cornfields by the growling bear now almost 
unknown. Many were the depredations committed by 
these ancient occupiers of the dark caverns of the green 
mountains, on the premises of the pioneer settlers. Here 
and there one lingers and by pinching hunger driven 
to madness, comes down to the cultivated fields and 
takes a peep at the threshhold of the husbandman. But 
the unexpected uproar created by his presumption puts him 
to flight with the precipitancy of the timid deer. A thou- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 309 

sand dogs and as many men and boys with guns give 
him chase, and surrounding his retreat, analyze his lurking 
place, examining step by step every nook and corner, 
and subterfuge till he can no longer elude the search ; 
but stands forth in clear demonstration. The writer saw 
the skins of two or three bears thus pursued and killed 
in Ludlow, in the fall of 1841. In short the time 
will soon come when in Vermont wolves, bears, and 
deer will ^ be among the things that were, but now have 
passed away.' 

The fox and weasel and different kinds of squirrels 
continue to occupy their ground here, and make inroads 
on the labors of the husbandman ; the two first often 
visiting nightly his premises and making prey of such 
barn-yard animals as they can master. But the frequent 
hunting-matches of the young men and boys are gradu- 
ally diminishing their number and rendering them less 
bold in their depredations. The beautiful grayer, to use 
a hunter's phrase, is still often seen by the way side, 
playing his pranks, leaping from branch to branch, and 
from tree to tree, with his broad tail curved over his 
back ; his acorn-like eye looking sharply, and uttering 
squeaking sounds as if he would frighten the traveler. 
Cowper's description of this little forester comes into the 
mind of everyone who has read it, whenever the display 
of his features and nimble sportiveness are witnessed. 
But pursued unrelentingly by the sportsman, he has 
become comparatively scarce and coy ; being no more 
seen on the ridge and roof of the barn, or house of the 
farmer. Even the robin once so plenty and tame, and 



310 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

familiar about the orchards and dwelhngs, delighting the 
ear with his inimitable notes, and the eyes with his 
brilliant plumage, has become unfrequent and shy, 
retreating beyond the range and noise of the rifle, and 
the hands of the children of civilization and humanity. 
In some instances leaving the rural villages, and the 
premises of the husbandman, so dear to him, he seeks 
protection from the wary, licensed fowler in the crowded 
city with more humane and liberal regulations.* 

The dendrology ; or technical description of the trees 
of Vermont, was not designed, nor will it be attempted 
in this work. In addition to what has been said on this 
subject, a few pages only will be added relative to the 
most common trees of the state. Evergreens are more 
or less the trees of the mountain range dividing the state ; 
and they are found to some extent, intermixed with 
other trees in all the towns. Pine, hemlock, spruce, fir 
and hacmatack with all their varieties. The greatest 
measure of a pine given by Dr. Williams is six feet 
diameter, and two hundred and seventy in height. It 
would be difficult to find many of this class now in Ver- 
mont. Indeed the first growth of pines is mostly gone. 
Some provident farmers have preserved a few such for 
their own use ; old standards ; first settlers ; noble trees, 
towering far above their fellows of the forest. Hemlock 

* At the dawn of a pleasant morning in April, the writer was 
surprised at the songs of robins on the houses in Hartford, Ct. 
which he had in vain listened for in the surrounding- country. 
The cause was the high fine by the city authorities for killing 
that bird. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 311 

trees grow faster than pine ; and such quantities are 
found as to preclude the fear of their faihng. For 
frames of buildings and other substantial purposes they 
furnish materials as valuable as the pine. 

The maple, and beech, and birch with all their dif- 
ferent kinds are the principal hard-wood trees of the 
state. Chestnut, and oak, and walnut, and ash, and elm 
in their common varieties, are found chiefly on the banks 
of the rivers, and on the lake shore. The red cedar is 
not very often seen ; but the white cedar grows abun- 
dantly in the northwest part of the state ; and is much 
used for fences, being straight grained, and freely rifting. 

The sugar maple is the glory of the Vermont forests, 
so rich and beautiful in their great variety of trees and 
shrubbery, and to the different heights to which they 
grow, and shapes which they assume. The color of 
their bark and lines and tinges of their foliage are almost 
endless in their diversities. The form of the maple and 
the intenseness of its foliage, the first to bud and leave 
out in the spring, and the first to fade in autumn, renders 
it a pleasing object of contemplation in itself. But the 
increasing use made of it for suojar and molasses, must 
greatly enhance its value and comeliness in the eyes of 
the Vermonters, on whose soil it stands pre-eminent and 
most frequent. 

Pre-eminent and most frequent, this is true as a state ; 
although in some parts of New York, particularly the 
high-lands of Schoharie county, this noble tree is found 
in magnitude and height and frequency equal to any 
part of this state. Such significant names of neighbor- 



312 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

hoods and villages are found there as sap-bush-hill , and 
sap-hollow, where and on dutch-hill, the writer has seen 
as noble specimens of this tree as those given by Dr. 
WilHams in the early periods of green mountain history ; 
five feet in diameter and from one to two hundred feet 
high. 

The changes witnessed in the foliage of this tree are 
striking and admonitory, not to say melancholy. Its 
beautiful green becoming indigent, somewhat faded, 
approaches the brown ; and before the close of the 
month, you may see here and there sprigs and branches 
of pale purple, indicative of the drawing to a close of 
the year, the end of life, and the winter of death. As 
the season advances, the days shortening, these purple 
syots, so to speak, become deeper and larger, contrasting 
with the green and brown, and forming a picture, which 
mocks the art of the painter to copy. Sometimes you 
may see the extremities of the branches tinged with a 
deep red, having the appearance, at a distance, of fire 
without the smoke, like Moseses bush burning but not 
consuming. Looking at a large collection of maples 
under this invisible and mysterious process of change ; 
at some of the sugar orchards, or long line of such trees 
by the roadside, sometimes witnessed in this state, must 
arrest you to pleasing if not to sober and salutary reflec- 
tions. 

Forest trees are among the most beautiful objects of 
nature. They have so been viewed in all ages of the 
world. Hence the frequent allusions to them by writers 
of various descriptions. By ancient writers especially 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 



31^ 



they have been so often and in such ch'cumstances 
named, that certain species of them may be regarded as 
classical. Homer goes often to the forests for images 
and illustrations ; comparing the armies mustering round 
Troy, to the leaves of the trees in the spring, and the 
cutting off of nations and armies, to their falling in the 
autumn ; the falling of a renowned warrior in battle, 
to the uprooting and overturning of a mountain oak or 
pine. It was near a beech tree that the contest was 
most violent on the plains of Troy ; and to which Ajax 
and his associates pursued Hector and his followers. 
Mentioned in such circumstances ; and as a limit to 
which the Greeks carried their triumphs and set bounds 
to their enemies ; it becomes an object interesting in 
itself. The beech is also mentioned by Virgil, as are 
the oak, and elm, and ash. The Book of Inspiration 
speaks often of trees ; and many kinds are named ; but 
most frequently, the locust and cypress, and the cedars 
of Lebanon. The latter being very durable and solid, 
is made an emblem of imm.ortality. The locust tree is 
cultivated in Vermont ; and in some parts is found in 
abundance. 

In modern times, also, the most celebrated spot in 
Europe, in a military point of view, and to be classic 
ground in all future time, had its tree, the Wellington 
tree, marking his post in the carnage of battle, being 
scathed and perforated with balls. But it is no longer 
that tree. It has been cut down ; and a royal chair 
made of it for the sovereign of England. But it was 



314 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

bad taste which led to this metamorphosis and transpo- 
sition. Better had it been to have suffered to stand on 
the spot where it gained its name, an object of curiosity 
and veneration to the visitor of that field, as long as the 
soil made rich by the blood of the brave might nourish 
its roots. It is to be regretted that the kind of tree, 
thus designated, has not been preserved. Of what kind 
was the tree near which Wellington took his stand in 
front of his army at Waterloo and gave his orders ? 

In traveling through Vermont, over her hills and 
mountains, and by the margin of her rivers, the eye is 
delighted with the beauty and variety of shapes, which 
different trees take. You will see the spruce and fir 
often going up by a gradual diminishing of its branches 
to a point, an almost perfect cone. Then again you 
will see them bulging; that is, the boughs increasing 
gradually upwards half-way, and thence decreasing to 
the top, taking the form of a circular oblong, and seeming 
like the work of art. The branches and twigs of these 
trees and their kindred hemlocks and pine are sometimes 
so closely interwoven that at a distance they appear a solid 
impervious mass, standing frequent on the snow clad hills, 
like green pointed spires and turrets on the white summit 
and towers of some magnificent edifice. Near trees of 
such symmetry and comely proportions, you may see 
those of great irregularity ; and yet by the contrast and 
variety increasing the interest of the scene and landscape. 
You may see the huge hemlock with disconnected 
branches and broken tops ; the stately birch with here 
and there a stinted bough, and crowded out of its upright 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 315 

posture by some shock or infringing of its neighbor 
felled by the axeman. 

Sometimes you see this diversity in trees of the same 
species. The elm here stands erect and shoots up high 
without branches, its summit only being surmounted by 
a few, gracefully curving and pendant in the form of an 
umbrella. By its side stands another, or rather leans ; 
its body short and making a sharp angle with the 
surface ; its branches low and thick, and far spreading. 
Near this a third sends forth from a short but erect 
trunk, a score of slender, graceful branches, running up 
to a great height and gradually diverging like an 
inverted cone. 

In Berlin, Ct. near the first tavern site on the old New 
Haven and Hartford road stand two venerable elms, 
whose branches have waved in the winds of two centu- 
ries, but very dissimilar in their form and appearance. 
The body of one of them is short ; between five and 
six feet through, containing buried under its surface some 
two dozen bridle hooks for the weary horse of the 
traveler, or of the tavern lounger ; but remarkable par- 
ticularly for its enormous top under the pressure of 
which it stands inclined. It consists (the top) of twelve 
or fifteen huge branches, fantastically interwoven, 
crossing, wooino- and shunning each other in such 
various ways as to bewilder the eye to trace them, 
letting down their low boughs almost to the ground, and 
covering an area of about eight rods in diameter. It is 
an object of curiosity to the now and then singular 
traveler in this good old way in which his fathers walk- 



316 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

ed ; long since deserted for the turnpike, and that now 
for the cars of the railroad, hurrying the dozing, nod- 
ding through swamps and gulfs ; and over cow- 
traps, and quagmires, entertained by whizzing, boiling 
water, the nose and eyes being accommodated with 
smoke and embers. 

The other is remarkable for the symmetry and comeli- 
ness of its parts ; and the beauty of its appearance as a 
whole, and its lofty height ; its stock being erect ; and 
limbs commencing near the ground and shooting up 
circularly to a great height ; gradually spreading and 
then converging to a point. 

Near them also once stood a majestic pine, such as 
is rarely seen even now in the green mountains, or in 
the granite state, planted for ornament, and having 
weathered the storms of nearly two centuries ; the 
admiration of the stranger passenger, affording ample 
room for a score of blackbirds in its lofty branches to 
build their nests within the sight, but beyond the tres- 
passing hand of the truant school boy, it fell at last a 
prey to the tyrant alcohol. Cut down and converted 
into building materials, it went to repair the buildings of 
the rum-drinking and prescribing physician for his 
ineffectual, and even aggravating efforts to repair the 
rum-broken constitution and health of the owner, his 
patient ! What then would that pestilential destroyer 
spare ? Shade and ornamental tree, it is hoped now in 
the prevalence of temperance, you will no longer be 
subverted by the stream, " whose waves of torrent fire 
inflame with rage." 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 317 

The beech is perhaps more abundant in Vermont than 
any other tree. It grows fast and becomes a large and 
often a beautiful tree ; but as timber, rots soon if 
exposed to the weather. As it regards the United 
States, this tree seems to be a lover of a northern, cold 
climate ; being seen not very often as far south as Con- 
necticut, and less frequent in lower latitudes. It is 
found in every nook and corner of the state ; and the 
same may be said of New Hampshire ; but not of any 
other entire state, being confined to the northern and 
hilly portions of Massachusetts and New York. But it 
was found, it seems, in Italy, in what abundance, Virgil 
has not informed us, although he has so described it as 
to leave little doubt of its identity even with that 
growing on the green mountains (potulae) with wide 
spreading branches. 



318 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

Vermont well watered. — Water power. — Little subject to drought. 
— Torrents. — Floods in the spring. — Devastations by water. — On 
the banks of the Connecticut. — Passage between cakes of ice. 
Droughts. — Rivers. — Otter creek, — Onion. — Lamoille. — "West 
river. — Valley through w^hich it passes. — Its channel in sum- 
mer. — In the spring and in floods. — Snow in diiferent seasons 
and places. — Travel over drifts. — Snow bridges. — Seasons of 
plunging and slumping. — Funerals, and tombs for winter accom- 
modations. — The winter of 1842-3 remarkable. —March and 
April. — A great flood. — Its ravages. — Prevalence of the ery- 
sipelas in some parts of the state. — A season of suflering. — 
A young man perishing in the snow near Windsor. 

Vermont is well watered. The innumerable foun- 
tains in her mountains and hills send forth streams and 
rivulets and rivers in almost every direction, affording 
water power and the means of irrigating the soil. It is 
thus less subject to the diminution of its crops by the 
influence of droughts. The channels of the streams 
and rivers are filled in the spring as the snow dissolves 
and the water descends from the mountains. Innumera- 
ble are the torrents rushing down from the mountains as 
the warm sun of April, and the showers overcome the 
frost, and accumulated snows of almost half a year. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 319 

The sound of many and sometimes mighty waters is 
heard a great distance, and the travelers way is fore- 
closed. 

The bridges are swept away, and the vallies and 
causeways filled with water and large fragments of ice. 
Many a cascade is thus presented him ; on either hand 
water falls foaming and sparkling as the rays of the sun 
fall upon them. The scene around him is often impres- 
sive, fixing his eyes attentively, and absorbing the soul. 
But this breaking up of winter, and the commencement 
of spring, with their attendant circumstances of deep 
toned sounds to the ear, and beauty and grandeur to the 
eye, are of short duration. For such uproar of the 
elements ; so violent is it at times, nature could not 
long endure ; and man could less abide its protracted 
continuance. The dwellers on the banks of the Con- 
necticut are sometimes overtaken suddenly by green 
mountain visitors, coming without ceremony ; but with 
urgent demands, and requiring immediate attention. 
The rains and warm gales washing down, and scouring 
the sides of the mountains, innumerable streams carry 
each its signals of victory in uprooted evergreens ; in 
lofty pines, and spruce ; and beech and maples ; and 
timbers and plank ; the subversion of man ; and art and 
labor. These crowd their way through the numerous 
outlets into the Connecticut ; and with masses and 
fragments of ice ; with spreading, and deepening and 
fast rising flood arrest the ears and eyes of those sojourn- 
ing along its margin, even through the land of its name. 
Corresponding work also for their hands and feet they 



320 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

will require, that a suitable reception may be given 
them ; that cellars and stores, and chambers, and streets 
may be cleared for a temporary residence with their old 
acquaintance and neighbors. 

The power exhibited sometimes, in breaking up fast- 
frozen rivers by a sudden thaw and heavy rain is aston- 
ishing. An example of it was witnessed in 1840. It 
took place in January, after three or four weeks of 
severe cold weather ; the streams in Vermont and its 
vicinity were overspread with a thick and hard crust of 
ice. In forty-eight hours after the rain commenced, this 
solid, impenetrable crust was broken into fragments like 
window glass before the explosion of a magazine of gun- 
powder. The rise of the water was so rapid ; and its 
pressure so irresistible, that the ice-bound channels were 
cleared of their incumbrance. Innumerable masses of 
ice were driven violently upon the banks, prostrating 
trees and shrubbery, and impeding the road. These 
fragments were wedged in the narrow places of the 
river ; and forced so closely together as to make a dam, 
and impede the water, causing it to overflow. 

The Connecticut exhibited a singular appearance after 
the water had somewhat subsided. A sudden change in 
the weather taking place ; the high winds and severe 
cold sunk the current almost as rapidly as it rose. Hav- 
ing occasion to go some eighty or ninety miles on its 
banks in March following, the writer witnessed the as- 
pect of things after the strife of the waters had ceased. 
A crust of ice marked the rising and falling of the 
water as distinctly as the ridge of cream does the space 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 321 

between the full and waning milk vessel. The saplings 
and underbrush were prostrated ; and large trees scath- 
ed, some of them being forced far out of their perpen- 
dicular position. In some places its surface presented 
the appearance of a level plat recently cleared ; trees, 
logs, and bushes, and roots were strewed in every direc- 
tion. The masses of ice were wedged and frozen to- 
gether like granite blocks cemented. They were of 
every dimension and in all positions ; some lying level ; 
others edgewise, and some at greater or less angles of 
inclination. Logs and pieces of timber were made 
fast between cakes of ice, some partly imbedded, lying 
on the surface ; others obliquely set on end in various 
ways. 

In one place for nearly a mile, the road was filled 
several feet high with solid masses of ice, which required 
much labor and expense to remove them. A narrow 
passway being cleared, it was like going through a cave 
with walls on either hand of transparent marble blocks. 

But the reign of spring torrents in Vermont is of 
short duration. As summer advances, the warm sun 
dries up many of the sources of the flood waters ; and 
reveals the channels of many a temporary stream. Even 
drouths are sometimes so severe as to give a brown sun- 
burnt hue to the hills of the evergreen state. But these 
are not very extensive and of serious duration. So many 
are the fountains, and permanent rivers and streams ; so 
well adapted to retain moisture is the soil, that the sub- 
stantial crops less often fail on this account than in many 
other states. Travelers passing through other places in 
21 



322 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

time of drouth, and dust, and the absence of green grass 
and herbage, have often admired the unexpected verdure 
meeting the eyes as they approached the banks of Ver- 
mont rivers, and adjacent hills and vallies. 

Of the rivers in this state, about thirty-five run into 
the Connecticut ; and twenty-five westerly into Lake 
Champlain. Otter creek, Onion and Missisque, are the 
largest. 

Otter creek is ninety miles long ; and has considerable 
falls at Rutland, Pittsford, Mlddlebury and Vergennes. 
But generally its current, so level its route, is slow and 
slucrorish like the creeks at the south and west. So long 
is it after heavy rains before it rises toward its mouth, 
that you begin to think that the waters have found a 
new direction ; and that it will escape the threatened 
flow and overflow. But its channel at last fills and 
deepens and spreads, and the turbid waters rush with 
impetuosity over the falls in its course after the other 
rivers, those especially on the east side of the mountain 
have subsided and become peaceful. 

Onion is a fine river and passes through a rich and 
beautiful part of the state. It was along the delightful 
banks of this river, that the Indians from Canada, passed 
and repassed in making their murderous inroads upon the 
first settlers on the Connecticut. One of its branches 
rises within ten miles of that river (Connecticut) and 
uniting with another at Washington, it flows in a north- 
westerly direction seventy -five miles and empties into 
Champlain a little north of Burlington. Its channel for 
fifteen rods near its mouth is a solid rock ; being at this 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 323 

place fifty rods wide and seventy feet deep. Considerable 
falls are found in this river ; those at Waterbury espe- 
cially are romantic. Lofty ranges of mountains crowd 
the channel into a narrow compass ; and an enormous, 
shapeless rock has, in some past time been precipitated ; 
and forms a bridge under which the whole river runs. 
But so unshapen is it ; and so steep and ragged the 
cliffs on either side, that no use can be made of it. You 
may stand upon it; and view the wild and sublime 
scenery around, and hear the rushing of the waters. 

Lamoille is perhaps as beautiful a river as can be 
found in the state. Its current is gentle and tranquil 
for almost its whole course of seventy-five miles. It 
passes through a rich and delightful region. It is remarka- 
ble that two rivers of the size of Onion and Lamoille 
should be discharged within five miles of each other. 

The rivers on the east side of the mountain are com- 
paratively small. One of the largest is West river ; the 
Indian name of which was Wantastiquet. Its length is 
about forty miles ; and it passes through a romantic val- 
ley, some account of which has been given from its 
mouth in Brattleboro to Newfane. A ride along its 
banks, through Townshend, Jamaica and Londonderry, 
till its stream disappears is delightful ; affording a great 
variety of views and prospects. Several excellent farms 
are found on its margin, particularly in Newfane and 
Townshend. Its bed in many places is rocky ; and in 
midsummer the water fleet and scant. But in the spring- 
freshet and times of high floods, its current is rapid and 
strong ; laughing, so to speak, at the effort of man to 



324 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

resist its force, and urge their frail bark upwards against 
its waves. Some of the dwellers on its borders have 
been called to try its strength, who have sunk beneath 
its surface, and been borne by its resistless tide into the 
ocean of eternity. 

The quantity of snow by which these streams are 
swollen in the spring varies in different winters ; and is 
greater in some parts of the state than in others. The 
summit of the mountain and its sides for several miles 
down are generally covered from the first of December 
till the first of May. But it is not uncommon, to see 
from the highlands near the Connecticut, snow-banks 
some twenty miles west as late as the middle of June. 
Snow storms are more frequent on the eastern side of the 
mountain than on the western ; and it is often good 
wheeling on this, while sleighs are running on that side. 
The same is true in a measure, with regard to the towns 
on the Connecticut, and those at the foot of the moun- 
tain. In the latter, winter may reign with ruthless sway, 
while in the former autumn struggles to keep, or spring 
to gain her mild dominion. Leaving the third tier of 
towns from the river amid whirling snow and unflinching 
frost ; not even an icicle formed by the meridian sun at 
the eaves of the south side of buildings ; and going 
directly east to the first range of towns, and you see the 
difference of the same day, in the bare spots and the 
snow thawed and running in the road. The writer once 
went from a river town about the tenth of April, to a 
singins concert in one at the foot of the mountain, fifteen 
miles distant, with good wheeling to begin his ride, he 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 325 

found sleighing at the end of it ; and a passage shoveled 
through the snow for the choir to walk in procession to 
the church. 

On some roads the travel for weeks and even months 
is on the top of drifts six or seven feet high. You will 
here sometimes see frequent way-marks placed to guide 
you when fresh accumulations of snow shall have covered 
your track. These drifts are made by hard winds in the 
first place ; and by passing over them often with horses 
and teams, and by the action of thawing and freezing, 
are rendered more and more safe. 

But this bridge of crusted snow is narrow, and a slight 
deviation at either hand will give the passenger a plunge ; 
that is, his horse will sink and flounder, and sometimes 
must be unojeared before he can gain a foothold. As 
the warm weather and rains of spring weaken this crust, 
these become treacherous, not to say dangerous passways. 
What are here called times of slumping and plunging 
now come ; and disasters sometimes follow ; and if some 
of the frailer craft navisatin^ these straits should be 
foundered and wrecked, it would not be strange. Ped- 
lars, from the lower states, eager to renew their business, 
and reach the new state in season, sometimes run their 
carts aground in these snow-banks ; and after many vain 
struojdes ; and some fretting ; and severe reflections on 
the tardiness of the inhabitants in rendering the roads 
passable for spring travel, apply for help to lighten their 
wares over these impediments. 

When sickness and death, in such seasons invade the 
dwellings, as they do, remote from the main road, the 



326 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

aid of a whole neighborhood is sometimes needed. It 
is cheerfully given. Some twenty or thirty men dig a 
passage to the house of mourning ; and for half a mile 
your way may be like going down into the sides of the 
grave. 

In this northern region you sometimes see by the road- 
side a tomb ; a public tomb ; in which the dead of the 
winter are placed; and removed to the grave-yard in the 
spring; so difficult is it at times to reach those conse- 
crated spots during the reign of snow and winds. 

Vegetation is rapid after these snow drifts are dis- 
solved ; and where they linger till the last of May 
near the barns of farmers, by the last of June you may 
sometimes find grass fit for the scythe. 

The winter of 1842-3, was remarkable throughout 
the country for the quantity of snow and the continuance 
of the cold. The northern position of Vermont would 
of course make her a partaker of these visitations. 
She felt their impressions, through all her borders, not a 
hill or valley escaping. The snow was four feet deep 
at Brattleboro, the first week in April ; and in the 
mountain towns from five to seven. The sleighing 
continued about six months. March was unprecedently 
cold ; the mercury in the thermometer going down often 
several degrees below zero. A young man, who had 
been to visit a sick acquaintance, returning was impeded 
by the drifting snow ; and after long struggling in the 
accumulating banks sunk down exhausted, and perished 
within two miles of Windsor. The appearance over 
the state the whole of this month, and nearly half of 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 327 

April was that of mid winter. The sun made little 
impression upon the vast masses of snow ; the wind 
being fearfully high most of the time, driving it into 
enormous banks, and rendering the roads almost impas- 
sable. Teams meeting on the mountains passed each 
other with difficulty, the drivers having to scoop out with 
shovels a place in the snow in which to turn out. The 
rivers were encrusted with thick ice early in December ; 
but a thaw in January, broke up and cleared it out. 
Early in February, they were again frozen and remained 
so till the middle of April. At this time a warm rain 
coming, dissolved the snow so rapidly as to produce in 
the Connecticut a very great flood. Indeed the water 
rose at Northampton, Springfield and Hartford, as high 
within a few inches as it did in March 1801, when was 
experienced the greatest freshet since 1692, and has 
been called the " Jefferson flood," leaving even monthly 
date, and perhaps commemorative of the event, with his 
taking the presidential chair. The expanse of water 
in the vicinity of the above named places was vast, 
producing confusion and consternation. Between Hart- 
ford and East Hartford was one unbroken sheet of 
water four miles wide. The lower parts of the city 
were completely inundated ; and much property dam- 
aged, and much swept away. 

In the Springfield Gazette of April 19th it is said : 
"The rise of water commenced on Friday last, and 
continued gradually until about 8 o'clock A. M., yester- 
day, at which time it had attained as we are informed, 
within about four inches of the Jefferson flood mark ; 



328 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

the great mass of water having been supplied from the 
mountain rivulets of Vermont and New Hampshire. 
The meadows opposite this town, so far as the sight 
extends, are a perfect sea of waters, extending north 
beyond the railroad embankments to the elevated ground 
near the centre of West Springfield, and south to the 
banks of the Agawam. The road for nearly a mile 
from the west end of Springfield bridge is impassable, 
except by boats." 

The Northampton Gazette of the same date thus 
commences an account of the catastrophe. " We are in 
the midst of a flood ; such as has no parallel within the 
range of forty-two years, if it has in any period within 
the memory of any man now living. Maple and Fruit 
streets are covered with water ; all the houses are inac- 
cessible, except by boats and horses and carriages." 
Then follow particulars of individual sufferers ; of one 
we are sorry to see it added : *' Col. Dickinson, our 
eminent Washingtonian, has more cold water than his 
most ardent desires could crave. The water is within a 
few inches of the floor of his house at the lower part of 
Maple street. He has been obliged to remove all his 
animals. 

These worthy and watchful journalists were appre- 
hensive, one would think, that all the subterranean 
springs of the green mountains and granite states were 
let loose to deluge the dwellers on the banks of the 
Connecticut. But surely the immense snowy fleece on 
the green mountains must have been taken off in some 
way. It could not be worn through sum.mer, and 



HISTORY OFVER MO NT. 329 

what outlet so natural ; or prospect of disposal so 
favorable as down the valley of the Connecticut ? But 
being buried during the winter in these upper regions, 
they think that their acquaintance in those lower, would 
like perhaps, to hear from them in the spring. They 
would not willingly suffer their old companions to take 
such hasty leave of them, and intrude so uncerimoni- 
ously into the premises of others. But if such 
spring-tides must come and overflow the dams and locks, 
and give their early customers, the favorite fish of the 
old Connecticut, an opportunity of again exploring its 
sources and branches, they think themselves justified in 
taking advantage of such rain falls. They think it no 
more than a return for the pines, and timber, and lumber 
washed away from them, and crowded into the posses- 
sion of the river-borderers below. There with plenty of 
ice for their summer consumption, they continue to send 
down the river, though long since precluded a share in 
the fisheries of its waters ; and their nets hung drying 
and rotting upon its banks. 

This winter was also memorable in this state for the 
prevalence of erysipelas. It commenced its ravages in 
the northern parts ; and in many towns proved mortal. 
Many valuable members of society fell victims to it. 
The increase of cold aggravated this disorder, and 
rendered it more virulent, augmenting the number of 
cases. A complaint this is, one would think, the very 
last to attack the inhabitants of such northern regions, 
and especially in so extremely a cold season. "But 
God's ways are not man's." His messengers and pre- 



330 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

cursors of death are habituated to all climates and 
seasons ; have no local and separate jurisdiction ; but 
intermingling and promiscuously doing their work. The 
shivering ague lays his cold hands on the dwellers under 
a southern sun ; and the scorching rays of the torrid 
zone cannot warm the blood and give color to the face 
of his victims. Fever and cataneous inflammation seek 
their prey among the inhabitants of the north ; selecting 
for their season of sojourn a winter of the greatest 
severity, heating the blood and burning the bodies of 
those surrounded by the snows of Canada and the green 
mountains, laughing at the cooling influence of frost 
and ice. 

These things combined ; the protracted coldness ; the 
deluge, so to speak, of snow, the high and piercing north 
wnnds, weeks in succession, the obstructions in the way 
of procuring fuel ; and of going from house to house, 
together with the inroads of this appalling disorder, 
rendered it a season of suffering and dismay. But by 
the blessing of God, this sickness went off with the 
return of spring ; and the hills and vallies were again 
clothed in cheerful green, and enlivened by the music of 
the groves. 



331 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Earliest records. —State papers. — Council of Safety. — Its origin 
lost. — How chosen. — Its jurisdiction and power. — Tories. — 
Their families. — Examples from the records of the governor 
and council. — The first public execution. — Excitement. — Anec- 
dote of Ethan Allen. — Treason, how defined, — Journal of the 
House of Representatives. — First constitution. — Some of its 
principles, — The custom of giving titles. — Origin of the supe- 
rior court. — The judges. — How chosen. — Its early proceedings. 
— Places of holding the general assembly. 

According to " the Vermont State Papers," compiled 
by His Excellency William Slade, now (1846,) governor 
of the state, the first form of government was a Council 
of Safety. The origin of this council is lost ; the efforts 
of the above named gentleman to find any record of its 
commencement being unavailing. It is much to be 
regretted that this desirable document cannot be recover- 
ed. The journal of this body commences August 15, 
1777, the day previous to Bennington battle. From that 
time till the 17th of June, 1778, extracts are given from 
that journal ; a curious document. The presidents and 
secretaries are named, but who composed the council, 
and how elected, it does not appear. Bennington is 
the only place named at which their proceedings are 
dated, although many of the acts by them have no place 



332 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

specified, but the day of the month and the year signed 
by order of the council, sometimes by the president, and 
at others by the secretary, or deputy secretary. It does 
not appear that they had stated times of meeting, but 
met as occasion required. Its jurisdiction, judging from 
its doings and acts, was very general and extensive ; 
civil, judicial, legislative, military, advisory, supplicatory, 
dictatorial, minatory and final. There seemed to be no 
appeal from it. Its object was, what its name indicates, 
safely to keep the people of Vermont from the encroach- 
ments of her external enemies, and from injuries, one from 
another. Its head quarters were in a frontier town as a 
bulwark against the incursions of New York, as well as 
those of the British army. The form of its first act, 
extant, is as follows : 

"STATE OF VERMONT. 

Bennington — In Council of Safety, 
August 15th, 1777. 

Sir : You are hereby desired to forward to this place, 
by express, all the lead you can possibly collect in your 
vicinity ; as it is expected every minute, an action will 
commence between our troops and the enemies within 
four or five miles of this place, and the lead will be 
positively wanted. 

By order of the Council, 

PAUL SPOONER, D. Sec'y, 

The chairman of the Committee 
of Safety, Williamstown." 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 333 

This must have been Williamstown, Mass. Commit- 
tees of safety it seems, were common in these times of 
trial ; and the practice of Massachusetts, and other New 
England states, probably suggested to the people of 
Vermont this mode of government. 

The distinguished compiler of the work above-named 
has done good service in the cause of the early history 
of our country, in publishing so much of this journal. 
They who wish to see the early and original mode of 
doing business in the state, both civil and military, are 
referred to that work. A few more specimens are here 
transcribed. 

" In Council, ) 
Oct. 8, 1777. 5 

Gentlemen: This council earnestly recommend to 
the town of Bennington, to warn a town meeting, to fill 
up the committee of safety for said town. 
By order of Council, 

JOSEPH FAY, Sec'y. 
To the Selectmen of Bennington." 

Here some light is thrown on this unique body of 
legislators. The members were chosen by the freemen 
of the town. The selectmen called meetings to fill va- 
cancies. Towns then were entitled to a certain number. 
But what that number was, — how many towns were 
represented, and what the names of the members of this 
council at any given session, are questions too late 



334 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

to ask? Are any individuals of that council now 
living ? 

" In Council of Safety, ) 
Bennington, Aug. 12, 1777. J 
To Capt. Joseph Fassett, 

Sir: You are hereby requested to take a potash 
kettle, for the Hessian troops to cook in. Give your 
receipt for the same, and bring the same to the meeting 
house in this place. 

By order of Council, 

IRA ALLEN, Sec'yJ' 

" In Council of Safety, 
Aug. 21, 1777. 
To Capt. Joseph Farnsworth, 

Commissary, Bennington. 
Sir: If you please to give Lieut. Benjamin Cham- 
berlain and three men with him, three day's provision, as 
they are bold volunteers, this council will settle with you 
for the same. 

By order of Council, 

IRA ALLEN, Sec'y.'' 

" In Council of Safety, 
SOth Sept. nil. 

* is permitted to return home, and remain on his 

father's home farm ; (and if found off to expect thirty- 
nine lashes of the Beech Seal) until further orders from 
this council." 

* Name suppressed. 



history of vermont. 335 

" In Council of Safety, 
Sep. S, 1777. 

Whereas complaint has been made to this council 
against you for disposing of cattle and horses belonging 
to this state, you are therefore hereby summoned to 
appear before this council, to answer the complaint 
immediately. ** 

Per Order, 

THOMAS CHITTENDEN, President:' 

" ^ is permitted to go to Arlington, to see his wife 

as she is sick, and return again in thirty-six hours." 

" In Council of Safety, ) 
I9th Sep. 1777. 5 
To Capt. William Fitch, 

Sir : Whereas Mr. Timothy Mead has, some days 
past, made application to this council, to take thirteen 
sheep out of the tory flock in Arlington, in lieu of that 
number which he lost — this council positively orders 
that none be delivered until further evidence can be had. 
I am. Sir, your humble servant, 

By order of Council, 

JOSEPH FAY, Secy 

" To Capt. Nathan Smith, 

Sir : You are hereby required to march, with the men 
under your command, to Paulet, on horsehackj where 

* Name suppressed. 



336 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

you will apply to Col. Simonds for a horse load of flour 
to each man and horse. You will furnish bags sufficient 
for such purpose. 

By order of Council, 

THOMAS CHITTENDEN, President:' 

'' Mary Reynolds is permitted to send for her gray 
horse, and keep him in her possession until further orders 
from this council. 

By order of Council, 

JOSEPH FAY, ^S'ec'y." 

Those called tories in the war of the revolution some- 
times went over to the enemy, leaving their families 
behind them. Their wives as was natural, made appli- 
cation to the Council of Safety for leave to join their 
husbands. It seems that they were frequently accom- 
modated under certain restrictions. Of tories, grades 
existed, as we find x\\q first class often referred to ; but 
what was the ground of this distinction does not ap- 
pear. 

" In Council, ) 
Bennington, Jan. 28. ) 

This day passed an order and directed the same to 
Capt. Samuel Robinson, overseer of tories; or either of 
his assistants, to take under their direction and imme- 
diately employ * and enter him in i\\QU first class, 

* Name suppressed. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 337 

agreeable to the direction of the committee of Cla- 
rendon. 

THOMAS CHITTElNDExN, Presidents 



"In Council, 

Bennington, March, 1778 

Mrs. * is permitted to carry with her two feather 

beds and bedding for the same, five pewter plates, two 
platters, two baisins ; one V pot ; one tea kettle ; one 
small brass skillet ; the bedding to consist of three cover- 
lids, one bed quilt, four blankets and eight sheets ; — one 
chest, her wearing apparel, and her children's ; and 
knives and forks. 

By order, 

THOMAS CHITTENDEN, Prest:' 



Mr. Slade has also given specimens of the doings of 
the Governor and council after the adoption 13th March, 
1778, of the constitution. It is an interesting record ; 
but our limits will not admit of but a few examples. 
They are dated at Arlington, the residence of the 
Governor, having removed from Williston, on account 
of its greater exposure to the depredations of the 
enemy. This situation is represented as very delight- 
ful ; and it is easily credited as many such are seen in 
that town. 

* Name suppressed. 
22 



338 history of vermont. 

" In Council, 
Arlington, Mih April, 1778 

To Abraham Mathison, Pownal. 

Whereas, it has been represented to this council by 
Austin Sealy, that you have taken from him a cow and 
calf, which is either the property of this State, or his 
son ; this is therefore to request and order you to deliver 
the cow and calf to said Sealy, or appear before this 
council to give the reason why you withhold said cow 
and calf, forthwith. 

By order of Governor and Council, 

MATTHEW LYON, D. Sec^y^ 

" Whereas, it has been represented to this council that 

the wife of late of Manchester, (now in arms 

with the enemy,) is very turbulent and troublesome, 
where she now is, and refuses to obey orders ; — 



To Stephen Washburn, 

Sir : You are hereby commanded to take said woman 
and her children and transport and guard them to some 
convenient place on the east side of Lake Cham plain, 
where she can go to the enemy in order to get to her 
husband. — 

By order of Governor and Council, 

M. LYON, B. Sec'yr 
<'In Council, ) 
June bih, 1778. > 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 339 

Col. Samuel Herrick, 

Sir: Yours of this day's date have received. In 
answer thereto would inform you that Redding did peti- 
tion the General Assembly of this state for a rehearing, 
inasmuch as he was tried by a jury of six men only. 
The members of the assembly not being come so fully 
before the time of his execution, so as to determine the 
matter ; therefore the council have reprieved said Redding 
from being executed until Thursday next, two o'clock in 
the afternoon. This council do not doubt in the least, 
but that the said Redding will have justice done him, to 
the satisfaction of the public. 

By order of Governor and Council, 

THOMAS CHANDLER, Jr. Prest:' 

The execution of the unhappy Redding named above, 
is thus detailed in a note by Mr. Slade. 

*' The curiosity which, not much to the honor of 
human nature, has ever been manifested on such occa- 
sions, was on this greatly heightened by the fact, that a 
public execution had never been witnessed in Vermont. 
To this curiosity was added the strong feeling of indig- 
nation which such a crime was calculated to excite at 
that period. Under the influence of these feelings a 
vast multitude assembled to witness the execution. In 
the meantime the learned council had discovered an 
important defect in the proceedings. Redding had been 
tried by a jury of six only ; and it was very unfortunately 



340 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

discovered that this was contrary to the common law of 
Great Britain, which required the verdict of twelve. 
Application was immediately made to the Governor and 
council for a reprieve, until a new trial could be had. 
The reprieve was granted at the moment the anxious 
throng were collecting to witness the execution. 

But with such a multitude, and on such an occasion, 
it was in vain to reason or talk of the rights of English- 
men. They had all pronounced the culprit guilty, and 
were not in a condition to understand upon what princi- 
ples the verdict of the whole community could be set 
aside with so little ceremony. While they were agitated 
with mingled emotions of disappointment and indigna- 
tion, Ethan Allen, suddenly pressing through the 
crowd, ascended a stump and waiving his hat, exclaimed : 
* Attention the whole ! ' and proceeded to announce the 
reasons which produced the reprieve ; advised the multi- 
tude to depart peaceably to their habitations and return 
on the day fixed for the execution in the act of the 
Governor and council; adding with an oath, "you shall 
see somebody hung at all events, for if Redding is not 
hung, I will be hung myself." 

Upon this assurance the uproar ceased and the mul- 
titude dispersed. 

The foregoing anecdote has been often related to the 
editor by those who were eye witnesses of the scene ; 
and accords too well with the spirit of the times, and 
the well known character of Ethan Allen, to leave a 
doubt of its authenticity. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 341 

The crime for which he was condemned and which 
was familiarly known in these times by the phrase 
"enemical conduct against the United States," was 
treasonable practice towards the country. Those guilty 
of it belonged to the first class of tories ; they, who 
not only did not act with their country but with the 
enemy. 

Mr. Slade has also given specimens of the original 
proceedings of the general assembly, and the superior 
court of Vermont. The first session at Windsor com- 
menced March 12th, 1778 ; and the introductory par- 
agraph in the journal reads thus: "The representatives 
of the freemen of the several towns in the state met at 
the court house in Windsor agreeable to the constitution 
and formed themselves into a house.'^ 

The roll of representatives is not given ; and it is 
said, the names of those, who composed the body, 
cannot be ascertained. Capt. Joseph Bowker was 
chosen speaker; and Major Thomas Chandler, clerk* 
After the body was thus organized, Divine service was 
attended, and a sermon preached (by the Rev. Mr. 
Powers) from these words : " And Jesus came and 
spake unto them, saying, all power is given unto me in 
heaven and on earth." 

The votes for governor, deputy governor, twelve 
councilors and other officers were given on the first 
Tuesday of the month, (September,) by direction of a 
convention of delegates from all the towns, called by 
the council of safety. This convention formed the 



342 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

written constitution of the state ; and which is to be 
seen in compilations so often alluded to,, as originally 
adopted. It is worthy of perusal and re-perusal for the 
sound political principles and salutary sentiments con- 
tained in it. It is too long to be transcribed into this 
work ; and yet one or two paragraphs cannot be 
omitted. If they contain principles too often departed 
from, a speedy return and a steadfast adherence to them 
cannot be too strongly desired. The spirit of freedom 
manifested will remain, it is hoped, till the everlasting 
hills of Vermont shall, so to speak, become as level as a 
western prairie. 

They begin by "confessing the goodness of the great 
Governor of the universe, who alone knows to what 
degree of earthly happiness mankind may attain by 
perfecting the acts of government." 

Section seventh, chapter second, contains an important 
principle and rule, not always recognized and followed. 

"The house of representatives of the freemen of 
this state shall consist of persons most noted for their 
wisdom and virtue, to be chosen by the freemen of 
every town in this state respectively," 

Section 8th. — " The members of the house of 
representatives shall be chosen annually, by ballot, by 
the freemen of this state on the first Tuesday of 
September, forever, and shall meet on the second 
Thursday of the succeeding October ; and shall be 
styled the general assembly of the representatives of 
the freemen of Vermont." 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 343 

The first notice of a superior court seen, is dated 
October 21, 1778, in the journal of the general 
assembly. 

"Resolved, That there be a superior court appointed 
in this state, consisting of five judges." 

The appointment was by resolution ; adopted as it is 
presumed by hand vote, and not by ballot. The record is : 
" Resolved, that the Hon. Moses Robinson, Esq. be, and 
he is hereby appointed chief judge of the superior 
court ; and Maj. John Shepherdson, second ; John 
Fassett, Jun. third ; Maj. Thomas Chandler, fourth ; 
and John Throop, Esq. fifth ; judges of said court. 

*' Resolved, That the superior court do not sit 
longer, at one sittings than one week. 

In these times of war and controversy ; of military 
and civil proceedings intermingled, a very common 
custom prevailed of prefixing, and affixing titles to 
names. Indeed this was customary throughout the 
country. In Connecticut the records of early times 
give military titles in their civil and legislative transac- 
tions, as low as sergeant. Lieutenant is the lowest seen in 
the journals of this state; but from that upward they 
are plentifully interspersed. In the roll of the house of 
representatives in one instance counting seventy, you 
will see Mr. prefixed to names only seventeen times. 
The remaining fifty-three names, have some foregoing, 
or consequent titles, honorary or professional. Thus 
you will see ; " Voted, that Capt. Thomas Rowley, 
Nathaniel Robinson, Esq., and Col. Jacob Kent, be a 



344 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

committee to prepare a bill for the purpose of prevent- 
ing some individuals, catching all the fish that pass and 
re-pass up and down White river, so called." 

" Resolved, That the wages of councilors and repre- 
sentatives for the present session be seven shillings per 
day, and a horse one shilling per mile." 

The number of judges of the superior court, was 
originally, as it appears by the above resolution, five. It 
subsequently was three ; and then again five, as at the 
present time. The county courts have been remodeled ; 
and somewhat changed from the original arrangement. 
They are now constituted of one superior court judge, 
and two assistant judges of each county. All the 
judicial officers are yet chosen annually ; a practice 
liable to serious objections, as it has a tendency to render 
judges less independent, and more subservient to the 
ascendant political party. The subject has of late 
been before the public in various forms ; and it is thought 
the time is near, when a law will be adopted to have 
the judges of the superior court at least hold their 
office seven years, if not during good behavior. 

The general assembly had no fixed place of meeting 
for a number of years after the adoption of the 
constitution. Thus we find by the record of their 
proceedings, the sessions alternately on the east and west 
side of the mountain ; and at several different places. 
Bennington, Rutland, Middlebury and Burlington, on the 
west side ; Westminster, Windsor, Woodstock, New- 
bury, and Danville on the east, are named in the 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 345 

journal as places of holding the general court. Rut- 
land and Windsor for a number of years shared between 
them the alternate meetings of that body. At length it 
was decided to make Montpelier the seat of govern- 
ment ; and this, since 1812, has been the capital of 
Vermont. 



346 



CHAPTER XXV. 

Crossing the mountain in 1843. — Newfane Hill. — Stratton con- 
vention of 1840. — Scene among the mountains. — Sunderland. 
— House built by Ethan Allen. — Birth place of Jeremiah 
Evarts. — Manchester. — Session of the court there. — Going to 
College. — Manchester mountain. — Spruce timber. — Peru turn- 
pike. — Prospect. — School children. — Their salutations.— Ches- 
ter. — Convention of presbyterian and congregational ministers. 
— Tract society. — Morning prayer meeting. — Narrative of the 
state of rehgion. — Sabbath School Union. — Rev. Mr. Munger. 
— Hindoo girl. — Indians. — Puritans. — Temperance. — Education 
society.— Domestic Missions. — Lord's supper. — Crossing the 
monntain to Bennington in 1843. — Marlboro. — Wilmington. — 
Bennington furnace. — Reflections. 

" Crossing the mountain," in June, 1843, from Brat- 
tleboro to Manchester, the writer viewed again the de- 
serted, desolate, ancient county seat of Windham, " New- 
fane Hill." Passing through Wardsboro centre, another 
eminence of early settlement, but beginning to be de- 
serted for the vallies and flats, its house of divine wor- 
ship standing unoccupied, and two others built as its 
substitute. Near the summit of the mountain you come 
to the ground trod by the feet of the thousands, marshal- 
ed under political banners, in the presidential campaign 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 347 

of 1840. The log-cabin stands yet, near which stood 
Daniel TVehster, having before him the substantial part 
of one political party, middle aged fathers, and even 
some gray with years, and young men dwellers in the 
vallies and on the hills of Bennington and Windham 
counties. The lofty, conical peaks of Stratton, and the 
distant variegated views here to be enjoyed, probably 
induced many to take a part in this political drama, as 
well as the celebrity of the orator, and the excitement 
of the occasion. Surely the grandeur and beauties of 
nature around must have softened the asperities of party 
strife. 

Descendants of the Knickerbockers met green moun- 
tain boys ; and they eyed each other with more friendly 
countenances than once marked the intercourse of their 
fathers ; and Albanians and Trojans came to see the 
country once expected as a frontier bulwark of the 
'' Empire State." 

Leaving this spot you soon enter Sunderland, the 
road running on the bank of the Roaring Branchy 
through a narrow and irregular channel. On each hand 
the mountains rise bold and majestic, to a great height, 
almost perpendicularly, and taking the irregular and 
winding course of the stream. On the left bank espe- 
cially, the towering summit seems struggling and almost 
succeeding to hide from the traveler the ascending June 
sun. The sides of these mountains on each hand are 
covered with trees risin^r one above another ; and the 
foliage is now tender and rapidly growing. The pre- 



846 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

vailing color of the whole forest is green of course ; but 
the shades are endless and indlscrlbable. The spruce, 
and fir, and hemlock of a deep, dark green, form the 
ground work, which is filled up with various hues, that 
distinguish, with slight difference, some thirty or forty- 
kinds of trees with all their distinctive sorts. The 
leaves, some in a forming ; some half, and others in a 
formed state, diversify the scene, interspersed more or 
less with dead, leafless, and branchless trunks ; some 
broken midway ; and here and there one like a naked 
mast towering above its fellows, flourishing in life and 
vigor, a watch tower, for the hawk or eagle from which 
to descry and seize his prey. The tops and branches 
of the lofty beech and birch standing opposite sides of 
the stream, their roots weakened by the united action of 
wind and water, inclining, often become entangled mid- 
way, bracing each other and forming an arch over the 
water. The way in one instance, was directly under 
the menacing top of a large maple, its foothold being 
loosened by the recent heavy rains, prone and almost 
parallel with the horizon, it seemed ready to fall and 
impede the traveler, or crush him under its weight. 
But this danger escaped, he passed down the declivities, 
his way skirted by the flowers and blossoms of the 
forest, fresh and fragrant of beautiful tints, the colors of 
nature. 

The putting forth of the foliage in the spring at the 
base of these steep and high ridges is several days 
in advance of its summit. While the former is putting 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 349 

on the dress of summer ; the latter at the actual dis" 
tance of no more than a thousand feet exhibits the 
nakedness of winter; and your eye can mark the daily 
progress of ascending life, and the re-assuming of the 
vernal drapery. 

The notes of the various birds which visit these 
woodlands were heard on either side. It would be 
strange not to heed them, wending your way alone amid 
these works of God, who made these tenants of the 
air to cheer-the wilderness with their songs, " hymning 
his praise." They seemed conscious of the shortness 
of the summer here, and were in earnest to accomplish 
the work assigned them. The snows of October had 
but just left these highlands, and the iiitenseness of June 
vegetation, and the kindly rays of the sun rendered 
them full of animation. Some of them were sending 
forth tune after tune, and song after song ; but no two 
of them alike. Others again were heard in notes 
similar but with shades of difference. One was heard, 
whose tones were singular and new to the writer ; 
peculiarly distinct and striking ; and repeated at intervals 
with undeviating exactness. 

Reaching the banks of the Battenkill, the western 
border of Sunderland, a strip of land level and thickly 
settled, he found himself in the house built originally 
by Ethan Allen ; now a public house ; saw the office of 
the first treasurer of the state, on the opposite side of 
the road, now used for a corn barn, and was in sight of 
the house in which was born Jeremiah Evarts. The 



350 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

father of the present keeper of the inn, was his 
early school-fellow. Although this town is mostly- 
unsettled and in its native state, mountainous and 
irregular, this distinguished son of Vermont began his 
eartlily pilgrimage in one of Its most pleasant and 
romantic vallies on the banks of the Battenkill. Nur- 
tured in the bosom of its parent state, his soul was 
alive to the beauties and wonders of nature as seen in 
these sequestered regions where he drew his breath, 
but more so to those of redemption. After nobly 
running the race set before him, his " path being as the 
shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect 
day," at the other extremity of the union on the banks 
of the Savannah, he finished his course with joy, cheered 
by " wonderful " views of coming glory. 

At Manchester, the county court was in session, 
attended as usual, by grand and petit juries ; anxious 
clients and witnesses, and company-loving spectators. 
The strength of Bennington bar was here ; active, 
faithful, vigilant, sharpsighted, eloquent lawyers ; thor- 
ough business men. In one of the offices attached to 
the court-house, an early settler was relating to some of 
his associates, incidents of his boyhood. He was 
relating the discussion of his parents relative to his 
future course in life ; the arguments in favor of agricul- 
tural pursuits as placed before his ardent mind by his 
father; and those of learning by his mother. It was 
not in the style of Lucian^s dream, and yet one might 
be reminded of the consultation of his friends on a 



HISTORY OF VERiMO NT. 351 

similar subject ; and of the marks from the club, for he 
claimed to have more scars than any other man in 
Vermont could show.* His mother he said, was for 
having him go to college ; and 'follow learning for a 



* At a family consultation, it was decided that Lucian, 
yet a boy, on account of his father's slender means, should 
learn some art, and follow some handicraft ; and he was 
placed accordingly with his uncle to work at statuary. With 
chisel and mallet he went reluctantly to the employment; 
but inadvertently let fall and broke a block of marble, 
which had been given him for sculpture. His uncle was en- 
raged at him for it, and with a club lying near, inflicted on him 
an unexpected blow, which brought tears from him as the first 
fruit of his trade. At this he run away ; and whimpering, with 
his eyes fall of tears, went directly to his mother with a bitter 
complaint against her brother, insinuating, that the violence suf- 
fered was the result of his uncle's envy at his early promise of 
excelling him in his art. His mother was indignant of course ; 
and let fly a volly of heavy epithets at her absent brother. Retir- 
ing to bed, sobbing and intent on what had happened, he at 
length fell asleep ; and in his dream, saw two female figures 
approach him, one representing ' Labor'' and the other ' Learn- 
ing.'' Each of them was appropriately attired ; and urged on 
his choice in the most winning manner, her claims to his confi- 
dence ; persuading him to become her follower ; and as is usual, 
endeavoring to secure him by undervaluing and discrediting each 
others persons and pursuits. While the latter was speaking, and 
before she had finished her argument, he signified to her that his 
choice was made, and his purpose taken to become her follower; 
especially as he remembered the cane, and the wounds inflicted 
as the result of yesterday's employment with her opponent ; and 
in some way, he seemsd not to know how, become a distinguished 
follower in her train. 



352 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

livelihoods^ representing to my wakeful imagination the 
advantages of such a course ; " white hands ; silk 
gloves and stockings ; fine clothes, honor, being a 
gentleman ; a doctor, or lawyer, or minister with a 
horse and carriage." His father on the other hand 
urged the claims of farming pursuits, '' a farm with a 
hundred and twenty dollars ; raising calves and colts ; 
good crops of grass and grain ; flocks and herds, butter 
and cheese." His mind was long ruminating on these 
two courses, ^ going to college, or to work on a farm.' 
The gloves, pleading law, preaching, and renown on the 
one hand, and the colts and calves on the other, filled 
his imagination and divided his mind. Entering on 
the latter course, he pursued it till it was too late 
to return like Lucian to the former. But in after life 
occurrences often reminded him of the opportunity of 
taking in early life a different course ; and sometimes 
made him regret that he had not done it. When he 
sometimes witnessed, he said, a preacher in the pulpit 
bothered, making hard work of it, hesitating and stam- 
mering, and running on bare ground ; then he wished 
he had gone to college, and made a preacher ; he 
would have taken hold, and hoed out his row for 
him. 

When he saw a lawyer at the bar, finding it difficult 
to make it go ; handling book after book, and looking 
in vain whether at home or abroad for the right author- 
ity ; or a physician perspiring over a limb to be ampu- 
tated, mangling the flesh and missing the arteries, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 353 

running his instruments nnisdirected ; then said he 
to himself, O that I had gone to college ; I might have 
helped them and putting them in the right way hoed 
out their row for them. 

Manchester mountain west of this village, is the 
third in altitude in the state ; a most magnificent 
spectacle. It is often ascended by parties ; from whose 
summit the white hills in New Hampshire are visible to 
the naked eye. 

The green mountain range on the east, marked with 
numerous slides, made for the purpose of letting down 
spruce timber to the banks of the Battenkill, which 
flows here near its base. These slides, or inclined 
planes are made with care. If left in a rough uneven 
state, the logs sliding down with great force, striking 
rocks, rebound violently, and are thrown across the 
track stopping the progress of the logs following them, 
and requiring great labor to remove them. 

These logs are marked and thrown loose into the 
river, and go down without much trouble where the 
channel is no more than full. But when the water 
overflows the banks, many of them stray from the 
current over the meadows and lodge among the bushes, 
requiring time and labor to And and tow them back. 
Drawing near the mills in the state of New York where 
they are sawed, they are separated, each owner collect- 
ing those bearing his mark, passes them under a boom, 
thrown across the river for the purpose, and secures 
them by the shore. This business is a source of con- 
23 



354 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

siderable income to the dwellers on the banks of this 
river in Vermont, especially where it runs so near the 
mountain, that its timber may be launched from its side, 
so to speak, upon its very surface. 

Returning to the east side of the mountain by the 
Peru turnpike, a delightful prospect in a southeasterly 
direction is afforded. A vast concave opens before you, 
and your eye runs over the tops of the forest trees ; 
along the fields and vallies rescued from the wilderness 
by the progress of settlement, ascends with the 
gradually rising of the distant hills ; extending its 
scrutiny over the Connecticut till its sight is limited 
by the far distant uplands of New Hampshire. 

In company with several ministerial brethren, going 
to the annual, representative meeting of the churches in 
the state ; passing a school house, pleasing remembrances 
of the land of *' steady habits," were called up by the 
parading by the roadside of some thirty little girls to 
drop their respectful courtesy, enjoying the bi-daily 
license of these miniature kingdoms, ' the girls may go 
out,^ proving to the passing stranger, they had not yet 
lost their manners^ even in these sequestered wilds of 
nature. Their eyes and ears were arrested by the 
coming of half a dozen carriages in succession, and their 
line was formed in one order ; the larger ones at the 
head and the smaller ones at the foot. The salutation 
commenced at the head and went down the line like 
the running fire of a military company ; each repeating 
it for each carriage, and some of them repeating it two 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 355 

or three times to be sure of being noticed. May this 
comely custom be perpetual as the fountains and 
evergreens of this region ; and even make its way 
back to the land whence it came ; and where it has 
become, there is reason to fear, almost extinct. To see 
exemplified then, one distinctive, and not unmeaning 
trait of Connecticut early manners, the traveler must 
ascend the green mountains. Retreating as it is, we 
fear from the shores to the lake and banks of the river, 
washing its eastern border to the highlands and citadels 
of nature, may its influence be conservative on the 
vaulting spirit of the age, too often seen in the rising 
generation. 

Reaching the village of Chester, situated in a delight- 
ful valley, protected by the surrounding hills ; the main 
street wide and adorned with shady trees ; with two 
houses of public worship ; an academy flourishing and 
well sustained ; the soil rich, and some farming estab- 
lishments seen in the vicinity of uncommon excellence 
and productiveness, the church bell summoned us to 
the house of God. It was the annual meeting of " the 
Congregational and Presbyterian ministers," held now 
for the first time on the third Tuesday of June, changed 
from the second Tuesday in September. Its business 
was opened by an appropriate and able sermon from 
the president of Middlebury college : " Honor the Lord 
with thy substance." The convention appeared unusu- 
ally full ; delegates and visiting brethren from several 



356 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

associations and New Hampshire, to the aggregate of 
about one hundred and fifty clergymen being present. 

In the evening was held the anniversary of the Tract 
Society. Resolutions on the sanctification of the Sab- 
bath were passed ; an interesting communication being 
read from an eminent physician in England, setting 
forth the benefits of resting one day in seven as it 
regards health. 

The second day of the convention was commenced 
by a prayer meeting at five o'clock A. M., at the 
church. At nine o'clock a public meeting was held ; 
and " the narrative of the state of religion" throughout 
the state was given. Reports also on the same subject 
throughout the union and from parts of Canada, were 
made. The rise and progress ; and prospects of 
MiUerism were alluded to in several of these communi- 
cations. 

At eleven o'clock was held the anniversary of the 
Foreign Missionary Society. The meeting was address- 
ed by Mr. Green one of the secretaries of the Board ; 
and by others. The wants and claims of this society 
were urged in an eloquent manner. 

The Sabbath School Union, auxiliary to that of 
Massachusetts, was held at half past one P. M. It 
was an interesting meeting ; schools from several neigh- 
boring towns were present ; the scholars coming in 
wagons ; business wagons ; Dutch wagons, drawn in 
some instances by four horses, loaded down with boys 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 357 

and girls, twenty or thirty in one ; forming a procession 
at the academy, and following a band of music with 
their teachers and banner inscribed, " Feed my Lambs," 
filled the lower part of the house, five or six hundred 
in number, and presented an animating spectacle. 

The Secretary's report was replete with interesting 
facts and details ; the progress made during the year ; 
the number of teachers and pupils; the amount of 
money contributed by the children, and hopeful con- 
versions in the schools. The whole number of scholars 
organized in the different Sabbath schools in the state 
was estimated at fifteen thousand. The attention of 
the children was kept up by the manner of communica- 
tion pursued by the speaker ; enlivened especially at 
the sight of an Hindoo girl, seven years old, brought 
from Asia by the Rev. Mr. Hunger, a missionary of 
the ^ Board.' Her countenance is intelligent ; and she 
understands English, as is evident from her turning her 
head, and showing the whites of her eyes as the speaker 
alluded to the ' heathen child present.' She was a found- 
ling, having fallen into the hands of a benevolent Eng- 
lish lady, who provided for its maintenance in the 
family of Mr. Munger. Returning to England to see 
her own children, having furnished the means needed 
during her short Intended absence, she died leaving this 
little outcast in the hands of tills missionary with whom 
she had remained five years. On account of his wife's 
health, coming back to his native land, he brought her 
with him. She begins to feel that she is an object of 



358 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

curiosity and sympathy, and therefore to give her guar- 
dians some trouble to keep her in her proper place. 
Indeed this is the rock against which the ship Reforma- 
tion is in danger of impugning and retarding, to say no 
more ; children not 'keeping their propter place. 

It was then with pleasure that the speakers on this 
occasion were heard alluding to the training of the 
ancient Greek and Roman youth ; and even to the 
customs of the native Indians in this respect ; the means 
used to give them physical energy, hardihood, and manli- 
ness of conduct ; and habits of due subordination. 
Surely means must be taken to guard against effeminacy, 
and too great forwardness in youth, elated somewhat by 
the attentions paid them at Sabbath school and Temper- 
ance celebrations. Nothing but early restraints and 
Divine grace will secure them against the flattering 
attentions thus shown them. They may be in danger 
of overleaping their province, becoming vain and losing 
the goodly puritan customs, and of disregarding the 
Scriptural directions of rendering subordinate respect to 
superiors, and to all their dues. 

Invaluable blessings have resulted from Sabbath 
schools ; and these public exhibitions by the pupils and 
their teachers are calculated to forward and secure the 
objects of this institution. The suggestions of " The 
cold water army,^' with its banners and devises and 
accompaniments, was a happy thought, and a merciful 
Divine interposition in favor of temperance. It has 
formed an era in the celebration by her children of our 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 359 

country's birth-day which encourages us to hope for 
great and permanent blessings. The name of the man 
who was the instrument of thus leading the way in mar- 
shaling '^ the host " of the rising generation for the con- 
flict with the powers of alcohol, ought to be known and 
held in grateful remembrance. But evils sometimes 
lurh in the neighborhood of great blessings. 

To guide safely and happily the operations of this 
rising and increasing army, the coming up of sobriety's 
last reserve, and the world's life guard ; to see that 
" every one does his duty," and keeps his place and 
obeys orders, requires untiring vigilance, and circumspec- 
tion and wisdom. It is the mustering of the Waterloo 
battle of sentiment ; and demonstrations point to the 
great valley of the west as the field of decision. 

In the evening ^ the North Western Branch ' of the 
Education Society held its anniversary. Allusion was 
made by Mr. Nash, in his address, as agent of this 
society, to Dr. E. Porter, late president of Andover 
Theological Institution, who had called the Education, 
the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Societies a three- 
fold cord io draw in the millenial car ; and as having 
bequeathed to the first named of these institutions one 
third of his property, fifteen thousand dollars. 

The third and last day of this assembly, was com- 
menced like the second with an early prayer meeting. 
The anniversary of the state Domestic Missionary 
Society was attended at half past ten o'clock A. M. 
The first speaker, to give variety to the exercises for a 



360 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

moment, struck into a vein of irony and humor. 
" There is " said he, " no romance in domestic missions. 
All about them is matter of fact and sober reality. If 
one of the laborers in this great department of christian 
enterprise rises in these great and genteel assemblies, a 
bald headed man, perhaps, his hands hard, his dress and 
manner plain, he may meet with little favor and sympa- 
thy compared with him, who has been over the mighty 
deep to far distant places, and bearing names of sounding 
notoriety. The imagination lends her aid to give color- 
ing and zest to his representations ; and heighten them 
in proportion to the remoteness of the scene and the 
unknown language and strange dress of the actors. 
Sympathy and liberality seem to be in accordance with 
the distance at which the objects of charity are placed, 
and the hopelessness of reaching them. But to show 
compassion towards those suffering so near to us, that we 
can hear their groans and see their tears, would be too 
vulfjar and savor too little of the romantic." If he had 
stopped here it would have been well enough, for contrast 
and variety. But when he added : " if money were to 
be raised to convert the man in the moon, if there be one 
there, he was ready to believe the enterprise would 
secure the greatest number of abettors," it seemed to be 
over action and in bad taste. 

In the afternoon these interesting solemnities were 
closed by the administration of the "Lord's supper." 
An excellent action sermon on the tests of true conver- 
sion, preceded the ministration of the sacred symbols, 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 361 

delivered by the Rev. Mr. Plumb, of Paulet. It was 
a fitting and becoming conclusion of the very interesting 
business transactions ; and reports of secretaries of 
benevolent societies; and resolutions adopted and 
addresses made, which marked this annual meeting of 
Zion's heralds, giving an impulse to religion and virtue. 
By public meetings, in the above sketch, such are 
intended as are of general interest in distinction to the 
business transactions of this body ; and not that any of 
its sessions were with ' closed doors.' It is here inserted 
as a sample of what is generally done at the anniversa- 
ries of this and similar associations of our country ; and 
as an answer to the inquiries sometimes made, ' what is 
the object of these ministers gathering together in this 
way from all quarters ? ' And also to remove the grounds 
of suspicion, now and then whispered in times of politi- 
cal party excitement, that they are cabals plotting harm 
to the state. 



362 



CHAPTER XXVL 

Improvements in manners and morals. — Dandyism. — Mutual 
sympathy. — First settlers characterized by a distinguished tra- 
veler. — Early prejudices against evangelical doctrines and their 
advocates. — Law repealed relative to local societies. — Ministers 
of the gospel set afloat. — Their trials. — A sceptic preparing 
his own tomb. — Lock and key on a coffin. — Green mountain 
Farrier. — Roughness of deportment wearing away. — Evidence 
of it. — Manner of its progress. — Urbane and polished manners. 
— Increasing respect for religion. — In the young especially. — 
Disturbance of public worship at New Haven, Ct. — Capital 
punishment .—Crimes . — Profaneness .—Gambling . — Other vices . 
— Temperance. 

To trace the progress and improvements in manners 
and morals ; in the elegancies and refinements of society, 
is a task still more difficult and delicate. — For although 
the prevalence of dandyism ; the enrobing, so to speak, 
of man's muscular limbs, and the adorning of the male 
features in woman's attire, and with female embellish- 
ments is to be deprecated ; although a pale sickly sen- 
timentalism ; and a shrinking, shrieking sensitiveness, 
and a spindling delicacy of form, are to be dreaded as 
inconsonant with the roudi exterior of this world's sur- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 363 

face, yet an unaffected sympathy, and inoffensive way 
of manifesting it, are desirable and do much to mitigate 
the ills and lighten the burdens of life. Whatever in- 
creases human happiness, and multiplies the means of 
innocent enjoyment may be encouraged and cultivated. 
But the mental and physical faculties, should be pro- 
portionably and correspondingly fostered ; and strength- 
ened and polished. One part should not be cherished 
to the injury and ruin of another ; one affection may 
not be kindled into a fluctuating flame, while another 
equally important to the system lies buried in the ashes. 
We should be neither all feeling, nor all apathy ; 
all heart nor mind ; but mind and heart united, 
mutually strengthening, and controling and aiding each 
other. 

As the body should be exercised and braced to a 
tone for all the changes of a green mountain winter, 
so the soul by a suitable discipline should be fortified 
to meet the vicissitudes of joy and sorrow; and go 
safely through ' this vale of tears.' Its powers should 
be consumed neither by the anguish of feelings and 
apprehension ; nor by ecstasy of anticipation and 
fruition. 

On this point the golden rule of the gospel, and the 
apostolic direction of rejoicing with those that rejoice, 
and weeping with those that weep ; in patience possess- 
ing your souls ; and in honor preferring one another ; 
give safe and infallible counsel. 

It has been said not only by respectable, but by high 



364 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

authority, that " the first settlers of Vermont were 
mostly universalists and infidels.'^ The statement was 
somewhat startling ; and viewed at first as severe ; and 
gained admittance reluctantly. For it would seem to 
carry with it the impression that morals were low, and 
manners uncultivated. One of the chief magistrates in 
late years, as it has been said, is a universalist. But 
the same was true not many years since, if any prece- 
dent was required, of Connecticut, if not in her supreme 
executive ; yet in him holding the second office. The 
early governors of Vermont were congregationalists, or 
baptists. Time was, it will be granted, when prejudice 
to a considerable extent was here indulged against what 
are called evangelical sentiments, and those whose duty 
it was to illustrate and enforce them. Their relations 
to congregations as pastors, was fluctuating and often of 
short duration ; and their temporal support sometimes 
short and inadequate. In allusion to this and as a. fore- 
warning, one of the early fathers, in the south part of 
the state, called to preach at the ordination of a younger 
brother took this text : " Death in the potJ' The 
dread was so great now and then, of the union of church 
and state ; of any thing like a religious establishment, 
that the law of the state on which the settlement of 
gospel ministers was based and their salaries secured to 
them, was forthwith repealed, and they ^ set afloat.* 
Their frail bark was indeed at the mercy of wind and 
wave ; and as the one did not always ^ blow softly ;' 
nor the other roll gently, they had to ' let her drive,' 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 365 

and reach what haven soever she might. In this pre- 
dicament, they had in some cases, to meet the taunts of 
some, who seemed to regard their feelings as they would 
those of a marble statue, and the apathy of others from 
whom they expected better things. " We've got 'em 
now ; if they won't comply with our terms, we can 
try some other herbJ^ Bitter herbs of this sort grew 
in Vermont rather too plentifully some seasons.* But 
the soil has been subdued, and meliorated ; and more 
wholesome plants cultivated. The seed and the fruit 
have been improved. The support of the gospel is a 
free will offering, and what was dreaded as a frown has 
proved perhaps a favor. 

Examples of daring scoffers were indeed found on 
these hills and vallies. One of this description in a 
town on the lake-side of the mountain, had his tomb 
(cut out of the solid rock) prepared under his own eye ; 
for said he " I don't want the dirt and gravel rattling 
down into my eyes at the resurrection ; at the shaking 
of the earth and the opening of the graves." Strange 
concern this in a sceptic for the safety of his body after 

* As an illustration, the writer was informed by a pioneer 
clergyman, that a brother minister of his in a neighboring town 
being dangerously sick, his wife visited him with whom she 
found his deacon ; and while his good deacon was praying for 
him, and his wife weeping by the bed-side ; some of the rude 
parishioners, returning home from the tavern, run their horses 
past the house exclaiming: " The old priest is dying and we 
are glad." 



366 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

death ! In some quarters it will seem awful as it is ; 
and unprecedented. But is it any more so than that of 
the man worth half a million, who died recently not a 
thousand miles from Dutch Point on the Connecticut ; 
and whose body by his direction was buried in a 
mahogany coffin, and that enclosed in one of oak plank, to 
which was fitted a strong lock and key ; the key to be 
kept at his calling ; ah ! the key. What disposal he 
ordered of that is not so well understood ? 

It is no small evidence of the truth and excellence of 
the gospel, that inveterate hostility to it is so often 
accompanied with some obliquity of the intellect, or 
temper ; or bluntness of the moral sense. Indeed these 
sometimes give rise to it. For it has been known not 
to come up ; or at any rate not to display its bitterness 
till one or more of these faculties had received a provi- 
dential jar. Some casualty ; as a sudden blow, or fall 
on the head ; or failure of an organ of perception, and 
sensation has entirely changed, their views, and feelings 
and habits, relative to the sacred doctrines and duties, 
and institutions. 

A first settler on the Connecticut side of the state, 
and who may be called the green mountain farrier^ 
lived almost a century ; and had often traveled its hills 
and vallies, and much in the neighboring states. He 
was tall and commanding in his figure ; v/ore a broad- 
brim ; and in summer a white linen frock, running down 
to his boots and spurs ; his hair cued down in eel, and 
hands in deer skin, and tin trumpet belted to his side, 



HISTORY OF VfiRMONT. 367 

which sounding loud and long, a terror to colts, 
announced to the villagers his arrival and readiness for 
business. Thus accoutred like Van Twiller the trum- 
peter, and mounted on a prime Vermont bred steed, 
with saddle bags, large and well stuffed with surgical 
instruments, and various other necessary articles of 
professional use and personal convenience, he had faced 
many a storm, encountered struggles often, seen much 
services ; won many laurels ; rescued not seldom from 
suffering and threatening death, and raised to their feet 
fallen quadrupeds not a few. In the winter his buffalo 
robe was the skin of a bullock, '' tanned with the hair 
on ; " with the tail and hind quarters suspended 
from the back part of his sleigh. But he has twanged 
his trumpet for the last time, and his like you will not 
again soon see. 

Exemplary in the observance of religious duties the 
former part of his life, a sudden and unconscionable 
change in this respect came over him, and clave to him 
with increasing tenacity the last half century of his 
days. Towards evangelical doctrines and institutions, 
he seemed to feel an increasing, and scoffing repug- 
nance, seldom if ever going on the Sabbath to the 
ordinary ministrations of the word. On funeral occa- 
sions, he was indeed, sometimes seen in the sanctuary 
with God's people on the Sabbath, accompanying his 
wife, a devoted, unaffected christian. But on these 
occasions he used often to so and return from the house 



368 history' OF Vermont. 

of God, wearing on his head a large three cornered, 
cocked beaver ; the only poll^ thus surmounted in such 
circumstances ever seen by the writer in the green 
mountain state. Being visited by the minister of the 
place and his partner by the invitation of his wife, he 
treated them hospitably. But at the supper table, 
without waiting for the customary blessing craved, or 
requesting it done, took his seat with his head covered ; 
and persisting to wear his low crowned rimer ; and his 
mortified wife reminding him of the impropriety, the 
only answer, or relief obtained by her, was, '' my hat 
is paid for." The above particulars came under 
the eye and personal observation of the writer himself. 
But for the truth of the reports, relative to some 
wonderful cures performed by him in his early practice ; 
such as mending the broken backs of an ox with an axe 
helve, and which afterwards went to Boston under the 
yoke, he does not vouch. 

But such roughness of exterior deportment and man- 
ners are gradually wearing away. Civility and gentle- 
manly manners are keeping pace with improvements in 
Vermont villages and dwellings, and in the face of the 
country. A kindly feeling is felt for, and a respectful 
reception given to them who demean themselves circum- 
spectly and consistently, in the various professions. To 
find what in cities goes by the name of genteel and 
fashionable society, is not impossible even in Vermont. 
You may find those whose manners are easy and grace- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 369 

ful, and who understand the etiquette of polished 
society and can go through the ceremonies, in good 
style of social intercourse in all its relations. 

In the early settlement of the state, as in other simi- 
lar circumstances, their immediate wants were the subject 
of conversation when neighbors met. They had little 
or no leisure to meet in mixed parties for the purpose 
of social conversation ; to indulge in free expression 
and interchange of sentiments on topics of general 
interest ; and such as the spur of the occasion might 
suggest. Their manners then like their external circum- 
stances were plain and straightened. But as they 
obtained relief and freedom from the '^ bayonet of sharp 
necessity," they found leisure for the pleasures and 
benefits of social intercourse. As they tasted the sweets 
of confidential and mutual unbosoming of feelings and 
opinions ; their attachment to such sources of enjoyment 
increased. Suavity of manners then would be cultivated 
with mutual emulation for the happiness derived from 
good society. 

Thus the Vermonters have made some advances from 
the rustic in manners towards the civil ; and from the 
civil towards the elegant ; and from the elegant towards 
the urbane and polished. You see evidence of this in 
the furniture of their dwellings ; their wardrobes and 
their parlor accommodations. The gourd, so to speak, 
has given place to the brown earthen pitcher ; and this 
to the plain white glazed, and this again to porcelain 
24 



370 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and china. In the place of the hemlock floor, has 
come the spruce and white pine ; to the husk foot-brush 
has been added the rag and homespun carpet ; to this 
the Brussels ; and to the Brussels, the Turkish. The 
tripod has been followed by the splintered and flag bottom- 
ed ; and these again by the spring cushioned chair and sofa, 
on which for indolence and apathy to stretch their limbs. 
The bedstead of curled maple, native growth^ and pol- 
ished, they have added to the matress and hammock. 
Where they might once have been seen dining over a 
barrel head, a board placed across it ; or on a rough four- 
legged stool ; you may find them at a polished cherry, or 
mahogany, rolling table. 

The circular cupboard may yet occupy and fill up 
one corner of their best apartment ; but near it stands 
the splended side-board furnished with silver spoons and 
plate, where once were used pewter and wooden dishes, 
the trencher. 

You may see evidence of it in their neat and tasteful 
equipage and accommodations for pleasure riding and 
journeying. The barouche and buggy ; the light and pol- 
ished wagon and coach drawn by elegantly harnessed Ver- 
mont-raised horses, transport here and there those, who 
might once have strode the haltered, raw-bone, bare- 
backed beast ; or jolted along in the ox, or dobbin 
horse-cart. In the winter they glide swiftly along in 
varnished and beautiful sleighs, where their fathers and 
mothers might have been proud of a jumper, or a pung ; 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 371 

and instead of buffalo robes and the dressed bear skin, 
glad to defend their limbs by a blanket or sheet. 

You may see it also, in the increasing (it it believed) 
respect for the teachers of religion and the institutions 
of the gospel by all classes, and particularly the rising 
generation. The expense necessary to the maintenance 
of divine worship and religious order and instruction, 
is no longer regarded as a necessary evil ; and thus a 
burden, but as a privilege and blessing, so rich the fruits 
in this way produced. The order of worship and 
the decorum belongins^ to the house of God, are more 
generally observed by the youth than formerly ; and 
this is a characteristic of this class which betokens 
much good. It is owing probably in some degree to 
the influence of Sabbath schools. 

The serious disturbance of religious worship either on 
the Sabbath, or other day, or in the evening, is not 
a common occurrence, but a rare one in this state ; and 
the children of the green mountains will not come 
behind their neighbors in becoming deportment in such 
places and on such occasions.* The internal appear- 
ance of churches ; the construction and finish of 



* Sabbath evening recently, the writer attended a very 
crowded and interesting missionary meeting in one of the 
churches in New Haven, Ct. where Mar Yohannan the Nestorian 
bishop from Persia, and his interpreter. Rev. J, Perkins were 
present. While one of the pastors was giving the annual report of 



372 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

the buildings themselves in modern and good style, 
render inviting the Sabbath exercises and appropriate 
employments of that day. The personal aspect of the 

the monies collected in the several congregational churches, the 
audience was thrown into a panic by a sudden and tremendous 
out-cry at and near the doors ; as if some terrible danger was 
imminent. The house was scarcely restrained and quieted 
by being reminded by the speaker that it was only a repetition of 
what took place the Sabbath evening previous, a false and 
disorderly alarm. Whether it was the belchings of envious 
venom at the happiness within from the throat of Beelzebub 
himself; or the woolfish bowlings around the barriers of the 
flock ; or the mischief making of idle, disorderly boys, to enjoy a 
fright, the stranger was at a loss. For it seemed each. It was 
certainly a specimen of ill manners, not often surpassed or 
equalled in Vermont. Indeed were all the hears and catamounts 
and wolves now left in the dens and caverns of the mountains 
congregated around some lonely church on some one of her 
deserted hills, and should put forth their loudest and most dis- 
cordant notes, they could hardly produce such an uproar. This 
fact ought not to detract from the general pre-eminent character 
of that community for civility and urbane manners. It would be 
difficult to find in the union another place more distinguished for 
the general prevalence of unaffected piety ; for the richness of 
the means of grace and christian liberality. Few spots have 
greater attractions to detain the weary pilgrim a Sabbath, or two, 
to strengthen his faith and cheer his spirits on his way to the 
celestial city. 

According to the report above alluded to, more than six 
thousand dollars were contributed for the single object of Foieign 
missions, by the congregational churches in that place during the 
year ending in October, 1842. 



HISTORY OF VERiMONT. 373 

attendants on divine worship is not the least pleasing 
aspect of a Vermont Sabbath. It is interesting to 
strangers, as it often has been to those who have 
witnessed it, to see so large a proportion of the wor- 
shipers, youth and children ; and of such complexion 
and neatness of exterior as to leave favorable im- 
pressions of the internal regulations of families. Such 
would be found the fact on visiting the domestic sanctu- 
ary ; marking the progressive advancement of manners 
and morals in this state. Nor will woman's manage- 
ment and example ; gentleness of conduct, comeliness 
of attire and manner of presiding at the fire-side and 
table, be found inefficacious in rendering this meliora- 
tion apparent and striking. Much has been effected in 
this way by intercourse with the right class of society in 
other states ; and by the influence of many enlightened 
and exemplary travelers and temporary sojourners 
on these hills and in these vallies. Much salutary 
efficacy also has been put forth by Vermont mothers 
in rendering her sons strong, and " her daughters 
'polished after the similitude of a palaceJ^ 

In common with others, this state has shared in the 
benign results of the Temperance enterprise. It has 
been productive of great, incidental, or collateral good ; 
particularly to the rising generation. Some amuse- 
ments, which if not sinful in themselves, lead to that 
which is, have been discontinued, or rendered less 
common. Card playing; gambling, and the using 



374 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

of the name of God in vain ; unseasonable and 
nocturnal carousals, and mischief doing, less often 
annoy and offend the eye and ear of good breeding 
and morals. Many evils and blemishes of this kind 
still exist ; and call for untiring exertions to render 
complete the temperance reformation, on which much 
depends both in morals and religion. 

Some evidence of the morals of a people may 
be derived from the capital punishments inflicted, and 
the number of state convicts, or those confined in the 
state prison. Few comparatively have died in 
Vermont, under the hand of the public executioner. 
The same is true also with regard to those confined 
in the prison at Windsor. Crimes are indeed multiply- 
ing ; and convictions becoming more common, as the 
population increases, and as foreigners of little or 
no character here take up their abode. During a 
residence of about thirty years in the county of 
Windham, no one was publicly executed ; and no one 
ever was ; and the same is true of other counties. Petty 
pilfering and marauding are not common ; at least 
they have not hitherto been frequent ; dwellings are 
left unlocked over night without anxiety for the safety 
of their contents. A distinguished foreigner, having 
taken up his abode in the state for life, writing to 
his friends in England, could hardly gain credit, that 
his doors stood with impunity unlocked nights, for years 
in succession. 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 375 

Morals then have gradually meliorated here ; and the 
elegancies and refinements of society advanced rapidly 
enough. Going faster, the danger would be that of fall- 
ing into effeminacy ; and a shrinking from the trials of 
life. 

But the crowning glory of the state is the cheering 
prospect that the principles of the gospel, and that 
righteousness which exalteth a nation, are gradually per- 
vading all classes of the community. The leaven of 
righteousness and virtue is penetrating the mass. The 
good seed sown, and sowing, is springing up, and will, 
bearing in some parts thirty, in others sixty ; and in most 
favored spots an hundred fold. What then was predic- 
tion in the late Dr. Dwight, relative to this state has in a 
measure become reality ; the distinguished individual 
whose caustic language is quoted near the beginning of 
this chapter ; and with whose words on her future des- 
tiny, uttered some fifty or sixty years ago, shall be 
closed. 

" Upon the whole, the state of Vermont, from the 
richness of its soil, the variety and richness of its pro- 
ductions ; the salubrity of its climate ; the rapid increase 
of its population ; the hardihood, industry, and enterprise 
of its inhabitants ; the melioration which they have 
begun; and the more extensive improvements rationally 
promised by the influence of New England institutions 
on the present and succeeding generations ; cannot but 
be regarded as one important nursery of the human race ; 



376 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

and as a country where a great mass of happiness and 
virtue may he fairly expected in future ages. Many of 
the evils which I have mentioned, will naturally furnish 
their own cure. Others the wisdom and moderation of 
enlightened men will in all probability remove. 



377 



CHAPTER XXVII. 

Spirit of innovation. — Changes not always improvements. — 
Evils. — Multiplying out of proportion. — Churches. — Changing 
the site often and building new ones. — Slightly built. — Sanctity 
of time. — The proper materials for building them. — Stone 
and brick. — Frequent changes in the pastoral relation. — 
Consequences. — Contrast between the clerical and other 
professions. — Neglect of grave yards, — North burying ground 
in Hartford, Ct. and new one in New Haven. — Their location 
proper near churches.— Their influence on the living. — West- 
minster Abbey. — Lord Nelson. — Incentives and examples 
placed before Vermonters. — Conclusion. 

A FEW additional remarks may, perhaps, be allowed 
on the spirit of change, or innovation. Allusion to this 
has been made in another place, as seen in secular 
interests. It is a spirit prevalent in Vermont ; owing 
in some measure probably to the circumstances in which 
its early settlement took place ; and also to her uneven 
and rough surface. Thus it may have been imper- 
ceptibly led into the department of virtue and religion. 
What was improvement and going forward in the 
one case, may in the other become deterioration, and 



378 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

retrograding. For change and improvement ought 
not to be blended. Their import is not necessarily 
synonymous ; as every one knows that the former is 
alteration ; and may be to that which is worse as well 
as to what is better. But improvement means always 
progress in a more excellent way, toward what is 
more valuable and permanent. Of the improvements 
made in this state in various commendable ways, 
the writer has endeavored to speak with candor and 
fidelity. He ought also if it be true that sometimes 
changes are seen without melioration, to do it with 
the same freedom and impartiality. 

Multiplying houses of Divine worship beyond what 
is necessary to accommodate a community, is a change 
without an improvement. It was not so formerly. 
Time was when these sacred tabernacles were com- 
paratively less numerous, and yet there was room. 
Comparatively, that is, they have more than kept pace 
with the increase of the population. It was more 
pleasant when all went together up to the house of 
God. It was an animating spectacle to see it full 
of attentive listeners to divine instruction. More 
union prevailed ; and sojourners together on these 
hills and along these rivers and vallies appeared more 
like brethren of the same family. The face of society 
in this respect was sound and healthful ; but now 
disfigured with spots and blemishes. Divisions with 
real differences indeed prevail ; but imaginary ones 
more with mere shades of variation, and shadowy 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 379 

grounds for separation one from another. Many of 
these houses are only 'partially filled on the Sabbath ; 
and some of them stand desolate and unoccupied. 
Being so common ; and in some instances unfrequented 
and deserted, they are liable to become a bye-word 
and hissing, thus diminishing the respect and veneration 
which ought to be cherished towards " the gates of 
heaven." 

It may be said, perhaps, that difference of opinion is 
the cause of these supernumerary temples of Zion. But 
that it is chiefly a difference of religious opinion ; of 
faith is doubtful ; or rather reason is to fear that some- 
what else produces this spirit of change. They are 
monuments in some instances, there is ground to appre- 
hend, of super-abundant self-esteem and self-will, which 
if a hasty temper had not cherished in an evil hour, 
might never have been erected. At any rate they 
afford facilities for continuing and increasing the evils 
of a trifling difference in religious faith ; and throw 
obstacles in the way of adjustment of minor difficulties ; 
becoming not only habitations for the bird of night ; 
but refuges for the screech owls of mankind. In the 
prevalence of local jealousies, or a malignant spirit they 
have become marks now and then, there is reason to 
suspect, for the torch of the nightly incendiary. 

Nothing here is intended against the rights of con- 
science, and the liberty of each denomination to have 
its own place of worship. But it would be more pro- 



380 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

motive of the peace and prosperity of the community, 
if so many various routes were not taken to reach the 
same point, — the Kingdom of heaven. These different 
ways of seeking the same object seem to be increasing ; 
and the condition of things in this respect in this com- 
monwealth, is so changed, that the contrast is forbidding 
and unpromising. It is also difficult to comprehend 
what necessity there is for such an alteration ; why 
the people may not see eye to eye, and go together 
to the place where their fathers went to keep holy 
time. It is melancholy to see in the centre of some 
farming towns, sparsely settled, almost as many churches 
as dwelling houses, and the spirit of rivalry between 
the different societies each to gain the ascendency to 
his side over the other. The number of religious 
teachers enlarges as the hearers in each separate con- 
gregation compared with the whole assembled as for- 
merly in one place diminish. The expense augments 
accordingly ; or rather the compensation rendered, is 
so divided, — is divided and subdivided between these 
public teachers that it becomes inadequate to their sup- 
port. The consequence is that the means of grace 
are less rich and affluent than they otherwise might 
be, and the people themselves become in the end losers. 
The conditions then of a happy society, a happy village^ 
as given by Dr. Belknap in his history of New Hamp- 
shire, remain still ; and are as particularly applicable 
to Vermont, where agriculture is the principal employ- 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 381 

ment ; " one meeting house, (in the centre,) one clergy- 
man, one physician, one merchant, one lawyer (if any) 
and one tavern only." 

Changing the site and form of churches may also 
sometimes be a change without improvement. Some- 
times : for it cannot be denied but that such changes 
are often and desirable. But the spirit of pulling down 
and building over ; if not of remodeling may be too 
far extended. It was a remark of a systematic and 
sagacious merchant : " This world is old enough to have 
shelves for every thing to have its own place and be 
in it." So it is time one would think to do things right 
first, without the necessity and mortification of undoing 
what has but just been done, and doing it over again. 
The instructions of the past, and the records of expe- 
rience are, in most cases, sufficient to secure this to 
attentive and wise observers. This is so much " the 
fashion of this world that passeth away," that is, to 
do and undo, that it seems desirable to find one depart- 
ment in the pursuits of beings of immortal spirits, an 
exception. Where should it be looked for, if not in 
those connected with scenes and employments, which 
are never to end ? Should not then the utmost per- 
manency and durability be given to the medium and 
instrumentalities through which these everlasting interests 
are to be reached ? 

Thus it seems becoming and appropriate that 
churches, which are emphatically styled in the sacred 
volume, '' the gate of heaven," should be built in the 



382 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

first place with a view particularly to their permanency. 
The materials should be of the most durable kind, and 
put together in the best manner. Hence the practice 
in many places of building them with brick and stone ; 
a practice very commendable and which ought to be 
encouraged. Were it universally prevalent, or even 
generally, the evil alluded to, that of changing the place 
and building over, would not so often exist. For 
few would think of removing, or pulling down stone 
churches. 

Other public buildings ; such as exchanges ; prisons, 
hotels, court and state houses, are often and very 
properly built of the most solid and durable granite 
and marble. Such is the case with the Vermont state 
house at Montpelier, as it has been described in another 
place. Shall the courts of the Lord's house be built of 
less permanent and substantial materials ; of stones less 
wrought and polished ? Edifices which point to ever- 
lasting habitations, and a city that hath foundations^ 
deserve, if any, to be founded on a rock, and to have 
their superstructure of the cedars of Lebanon, and 
the stones of the mountain, capable of resisting long the 
ravages of time. But how ^ew in Vermont thus 
lay the foundations and adorn and beautify with comely 
stones these palaces of the Most High ? Having the 
means in great abundance in her mountains of granite 
and quarries of marble, and other precious substances, 
she is compelled to see most of her sanctuaries of common 
and perishable materials; and put together often by 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 383 

the lowest bidder, and in a light and superficial manner. 
Thus after the winds and storms of a few years, she 
has to endure the mortification of witnessing too many 
of them either dilapidated, or deserted, or demolished ; 
and built anew; and handled over with as little 
ceremony as the most common buildings, and reverence 
for them In danger of being in a measure lost. The 
means of preserving any memorial of the spot where 
they stood ; and of their structure, she will soon look 
for in vain. But others coming up, Hydra-like, in new 
numbers out of proportion, her ears are stunned with 
the noise of the undertakers and lumber dealers, as 
if engaged in the barter and traffic of works of ordinary 
interest. 

Many exceptions to this remark are indeed to be 
found in this state. A number of churches are built 
of stone and brick. Indeed Episcopal houses of 
worship are generally thus constructed ; and in a manner 
of outward and internal appearance calculated to 
impress the mind with reverence and respect for the 
objects to which they are devoted. 

To the American, a stranger in England, one of the 
first objects of curiosity shall it be said, or of interest 
and minute examination, an object too, worth a voy- 
age across the Atlantic, if consistent with duty, must be 
the churches of several centuries standing ; and of in- 
destructible materials ; and adorned with evergreen, and 
covered with moss, indicative of their age, and per- 
manency, and of the everlasting purpose of their erec- 



384 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

tion. Can the eye behold them ; look at them atten- 
tively, without serious and salutary impressions being 
made on the heart ? The sanctity of time, so to speak, 
is stamped on them ; and on the long line of the 
generations which have worshiped the God of heaven 
in these sacred enclosures, and passing away one after 
another like a vision of the night, crowd into the im- 
agination, and affect the heart with the solemnities of 
death and eternity. 

But, say some, the business of taking down churches 
and building new ones, keeps the subject of religion 
before the minds of the people ; and thus promotes the 
cause of virtue and morality, by producing a salutary 
excitement. Excitement is generally the consequence 
of such a course of things ; but it is not sure always to 
be salutary. Unpleasant feelings and unhappy divisions 
are too often engendered. This is an evil so generally 
following the business of changing the site, and of 
building a new house of worship, and demolishing the 
old ; and apt to take such deep root, that wisdom and 
prudence recommend a recourse to it only when it can- 
not consistently be avoided. 

This too would be losing the veneration and interest 
which time imparts to such consecrated edifices. If 
every ten or twenty years a change of place, and either 
a new house, or a thorough transformation of the old 
one must be the process of keeping alive religion, then 
it is no longer to receive incidental aid by the lapse of 
ages, and the stability of the good old way ; but by 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 385 

novelty and flustration. But is not interest in some 
events and objects often heightened by antiquity ? In 
other words, are there no events and objects to which 
time adds sanctity ? Transactions of yesterday, or 
even those within the period of several years, are 
often viewed in a light different from those far back 
in the gray of departed years. Even the same events 
seem to acquire additional zest as time recedes from 
and leaves them far off; as flavor is added to condi- 
ments, and to the fruit of the grape by preservation. 
But this may be the case more particularly of objects 
seen by the eye. Who does not look at the oak, or 
pine, which has felt the suns and winds of centuries 
with more interest and emotion, than at the tender sap- 
ling springing up by its side ? 

Events too, interesting in themselves ; and important 
in their consequences acquire additional influence over 
the mind, as the period in which they took place 
recedes from us. Do not the writings of Homer and 
Virgil ; of Cicero and Demosthenes gain somewhat on 
the mind by their antiquity ? Intrinsic excellence has 
preserved them and handed them down to us. But 
the long lapse of years since they were penned, sheds 
additional lustre and sacredness around them. We 
examine with more and more interest, the marble busts, 
which are said to represent the bodily features, which 
long since were animated with those gifted minds. 
Much more do the writings of Moses and the prophets ; 
of Jesus Christ and his apostles, acquire weight and 
25 



386 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

influence by the lapse of time. Being stamped with 
inspiration, and conveying eternal truth, in which our 
souls are deeply concerned, the sublimity of their lan- 
guage is heightened by the period of its date. We 
go back in our thoughts to the beginning, when God 
created the heavens and the earth. In imagination we 
strive to light on the period in past time, when " the 
morning stars sang together and all the sons of God 
shouted for joy." 

So also, the place where God has recorded his name 
acquires additional veneration by the great number 
of years since its foundation and corner stones were 
laid. If centuries have passed from its dedication 
to Divine worship, the eye looks at it with admiration ; 
and the worshiper is inspired with stronger emotions of 
love and godly fear by past associations ; and by 
the knowledge of interesting transactions often repeated 
within those sacred walls. He recalls to mind the 
great cloud of witnesses going before ; whose feet 
had so often passed and re-passed those entrances into 
the courts of the Lord. The innumerable songs 
of praise, and voices of prayer there sent upward ; the 
sacred symbols of baptismal rites so long and so 
often displayed and celebrated, conspire to admonish 
him to " take off his shoes from his feet for the place 
whereon he stands is holy ground.'^ 

A French writer has recorded the impressions made 
on the minds of a ship's company, returning to Paris ; 
and after an absence of several years, coming in 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 387 

sight of objects with which they had previously beea 
familiar. The seamen were so elated when they 
beheld the scenery on the banks of the Seine, and 
the places where they were born ; and the churches 
where they had been instructed, that they were unable 
to keep their posts and manage the ship. " There 
is the church," said one, " where I was baptized," and 
" there" said another, " the one in which I vowed 
to the Lord ;" pointing to the spires and towers of the 
sacred edifice. Beholding their friends on the shore 
waiting to welcome their return, they became insensible 
to every thing immediately around them and pertaining 
to their vessel ; and the captain had to call a pilot from 
the shore to work her to her moorings. 

These and such like things, show us that time 
and place, to which some say they have no particular 
attachment ; have yet much to do with our associations ; 
our purest pleasures and severest sorrows. Many- 
objects become doubly interesting and revered as 
time has stamped on them his mighty revolutions of 
years and ages and centuries. Places also on which 
our eyes first opened, and our feet were set, which 
impressed their lineaments on our young hearts, hold, so 
to speak, the mainspring of our affections through life. 
How desirable then that these way-marks through this 
vale of tears, these gateways into eternity, be uniform 
and stable; maintaining their position amid the changes 
around them in a measure unchanged ; that the youth 
born and nursed in them ; and by Divine Providence 



388 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

far removed from them during the vigor and busy- 
pursuits of manhood, may in the decHne of life, return- 
ing, find them where and what he left them. 

* ' His wandering past 
Return and die at home at last." 



Changes thus made in them every few years with 
rude and hasty hands, rendering them more unstable 
and short-lived than ordinary dwelling houses, is an 
evil; detracting from the sacredness of their design 
and use. Vermont surely has a poor apology into this 
evil, abounding as she does in the most suitable materials 
for the bulwarks of Zion ; encampments for the church 
militant ; whose defence is the Rock of ages, and 
Captain of salvation. But are the outward strength 
and comeliness and stability of her palaces for the 
Lord of Hosts, in accordance with such ample 
facilities ? 

Here it might be mentioned as another evil, the 
too frequent change in the heralds of salvation. Time 
was when it was different in this respect ; when 
the pastoral relation was deemed more sacred, because 
less often dissolved, and for causes more serious and 
urgent. Ordination services were once in Vermont occa- 
sions of interest to all classes. The places where they 
were solemnized, if churches, were filled to overflowing ; 
and if beneath the shade of forest trees, great was 
the circle of interested spectators. But now little 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 389 

interest is felt in such solemnities beyond the parties 
immediately concerned. They go off still and silently, 
like the death of some poor and obscure man, whose 
fall is from an elevation so slight, and attended with 
so little noise as scarcely to be perceived by his nearest 
neighbor. Their commonness is the reason ; too great 
familiarity, breeding as it sometimes does, indifference ; 
and indifference disrespect, not to say contempt. 

The same is true also more or less of the pastoral rela- 
tion ; frequent changes lessen veneration and respect for 
it. The tendency to such innovations seems strong and 
increasing in this state as well as in others. It is 
fostered too by the love of novelty, if not of extrava- 
gance ; thus encouraging a spirit of unnatural show 
and excitement. The sacred enclosures of the Lord's 
vineyard become in some instances a sort of race-ground 
in which the swift-footed and loudest-tongued and 
the versatile youth become the most successful competi- 
tors. Manner and impulse are more regarded than 
matter, and consistency and perseverance. This impor- 
tant connection, that of a spiritual watchman with a 
church and people ; and which formerly was dissolved, 
in ordinary cases, only by the death of the former, is 
now sundered very often after a few years, and some- 
times months. In short those who officiate in this 
profession, (clerical,) seem doomed to become early 
superannuated ; much sooner than in the other pro- 
fessions. It is so viewed by public opinion ; and some 
of the leading brethren in the church lend their 



390 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

influence to cherish this sentiment. The lawyer and 
physician ; the magistrate and statesman are considered 
most capable of being useful, having reached the 
autumn of life, ripe in knowledge and experience, their 
gray heads an ornament to them, and emblematical 
of wisdom. But it is not so with the herald of the 
cross ; the autumn of his days, far from being the 
maturity of his life and his usefulness, is deemed the 
chilling, benumbing winter of his barrenness and 
unprofitableness. It is high time for him to retire ; or 
to go to the west, and let some young man who has 
been there return and take his place. Thus many find 
themselves unemployed, and with no means, or very 
slender ones to sustain them in the evening of life ; 
reproached perhaps because they are not what they 
once were in the Master's household ; and even by 
those who have mainly contributed to render them what 
they now are. In this way the world's coldness and 
disrespect fall on the ministry of reconciliation ; and 
injury results to the best of all causes. But there is 
no disposition to extend remarks in this particular. 
The good sense of enlightened Vermonters will, it is 
presumed, seeing the evil, lead them to the right mea- 
sures to remedy it. 

Another evil owing to neglect rather than innovation, 
is the little attention paid to public cemeteries or 
burial places of the dead. This is an evil not peculiar 
to Vermont, but certainly prevalent enough here for 
animadversion. She is behind Connecticut in this 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 391 

respect, particularly Hartford and New Haven, in which 
are grave-yards of unrivaled interest. Nothing can 
be more pleasant to the eye of the traveler as he passes 
by, than the north burying-ground in the former place, 
more pleasant and beautiful; that is, more becoming 
and appropriate to its object ; the dwelling place of 
the dead. The white fence, neat and comely in front ; 
with a fine hedge of hawthorn within; the convex 
shape of the ground ; divided into distinct family apart- 
ments and named; the marble and stone monuments 
and tombs of various dimensions and figures in thick 
but regular array ; the emblematical evergreen trees 
and weeping willows and beautiful shrubbery ; the 
verdant mounds and hillocks ; the graveled walks and 
pathways, render it as a whole an object of contempla- 
tion very attractive. The eye lingers upon it, and reluc- 
tantly lets go her hold. Expense has not been spared 
in ornamenting it ; but thousands of dollars have been 
expended by an individual to adorn and beautify his 
family enclosure. Great taste is certainly displayed in 
the exterior of this hallowed spot ; but what is more 
interesting to the stranger, a tender regard is betokened 
for departed friends, and solicitude to cherish a remem- 
brance of their virtues. 

The neiv burying-ground in New Haven is known 
by report through the country, and many a traveler 
and stranger has visited and lingered around its sacred 
walks, eyeing the records of the mighty dead, and 
reflecting on their deeds. The place, the plan and the 



392 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

family lots enclosed by railing, were the selections, 
device and work of the late Senator Hillhouse of that 
place, and to him belongs the honor of laying out 
burial grounds into regular and distinct apartments, 
this being the first so arranged it is believed in Connec- 
ticut. It has recently been enclosed by a wall and 
high iron railing in part of nearly eight hundred feet in 
extent, and at a cost of about fourteen thousand dollars. 
It is now a spot of great interest ; an example of the 
manner of laying out grave-yards. You cannot pass 
it without a strong desire to enter within its enclosures ; 
and having turned aside to visit it you will know not 
when to leave it. 

These places of depositing the remains of man, are 
thus noticed as examples and incentives to others, par- 
ticularly Vermonters, to go and do likewise. They mark 
the progress somewhat of taste and refinement. The 
promiscuous manner in which the dead are huddled 
together generally ; and of course their monuments par- 
taking of the same confusion, are unpleasant and forbid- 
ding. Many such grounds of interment are seen even 
in the vicinity of Hartford and New Haven, the tomb- 
stones being put up without pedestals, the ground freez- 
ing and thawing, have been turned from their upright 
position into angles of various inclination. The appear- 
ance is disagreeable, not to say painful. But in Ver- 
mont where suitable stones for foot-blocks and founda- 
tions may so easily be obtained, no such disfiguring of 
these places need here be seen. Indeed it is not the 



/ 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 393 

case ; grave-stones are seldom seen crowded from an 
erect position. But the usual irregularity exists in the 
manner of burying the dead ; and great improvements 
may be made in the appearance of their sepulchres ; 
in their location and external adornment. It is desira- 
ble that these melancholy depositories be contiguous, 
when convenient, to the house of God. They both 
speak a common language to the living, silent but signifi- 
cant and impressive. 

They mutually illustrate and confirm each other's 
Instructions and warnings ; the vanity of worldly 
pleasures, and end of human schemes, preparation for 
death, and the resurrection and judgment. The monumen- 
tal records may with profit be committed by those, who 
attend the services of the sanctuary. They will thus 
remind them of the way by which the temple not made 
by hands, must be entered. They stand as witnesses 
before the whole conojreffation of the truth of one 
important part of the preacher's message ; and afford 
him at hand, illustration and proof as strong and clear 
as holy writ of man's depravity and helplessness ; and 
the justice of his sentence of condemnation. 

Some worshiping assemblies in Vermont are thus 
closely connected with these silent, but emphatic repre- 
sentatives of the assembly of the dead ; and the 
windows of their churches open upon the narrow houses 
appointed for all the living. This is the case particu- 
larly at Bennington centre, and West-Westminster, 
Chester, and other places. 



394 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

It becomes weak and dying man to show respect 
to the memory of those, who have acted well their 
part in the drama of human life ; and to mark the 
spot where fell his predecessor, as he would hope for the 
same from those who follow him. The watchword 
of Nelson to his comrades on going into action often 
was " Remember Westminster Abbey 1" The departed 
worthies of England had there placed the memorials of 
their deeds in splendid style ; and the hope of having 
a monument in such society, impressed her officers and 
soldiers with invincible courage and perseverance to 
deserve well of their country. 

This hope cheered not the soldier only, not the 
naval commander alone ; nor the statesman, but 
the scholar, the author, and the man of scientific 
pursuits. In company with princes and generals, and 
admirals, you may find the graves and monuments 
of Addison, and Shakespeare, and Johnson, and 
Goldsmith, and Newton, and Herschel. 

A spirit then, it is hoped, will be waked up in 
Vermonters ; a spirit to repair, to speak in this 
manner, the habitations of the dead ; to erect and 
strengthen the leaning and falling tomb-stones ; to 
take up and cement the broken ones ; and remove 
the moss and retrace the inscriptions. You must 
do quickly what you thus do ; for some marble 
inscriptions will soon be illegible ; and that prostrate 
stone ; that stone broken midway will soon sink 
below the surface. You may soon be unable to 



HISTORY OF VERMONT. 395 

tell your inquiring child and the traveler, where 
lie the first settlers of your state and town ; and 
where was the first grave. Names may be con- 
spicuous in the history of your state, exciting the 
interest and sympathy of the foreigner, but whose 
curiosity you may soon be unable to satisfy. You may 
not be able to point him to the place where 
recline their bones. 

Many facts respecting the early settlement of 
your state and town are going fast beyond your 
reach. The fugitive papers which contain their record 
are disappearing ; the aged and early settlers will 
soon one after another be unable to tell what they 
have seen and known themselves ; and what has 
been told them by their fathers. These may be 
facts interesting and instructive to the young and 
to posterity. Many scraps of biography describing 
originality and traits of character, are now floating, 
as it were, on the current of time, and will soon forever 
disappear. Who feel more interested in giving stability 
to such things than you ? Who possess better means 
of doing it ? 

These suggestions in the conclusion of this work are 
respectfully offered to your consideration by the writer, 
who has known somewhat of Vermont ; her sublime 
and beautiful scenery ; somewhat of the general intel- 
ligence and enterprise ; the hospitality and urbanity of 
her inhabitants. With all her faults she has many 
things still to command his love ; and, how remote so- 



396 HISTORY OF VERMONT. 

ever the Providence of God may call him from her, he 
cannot cease to remember the birth-place of his children ; 
and the burying-place of one of them ; and, when 
called upon, defend her in some respects, in compa- 
rison with any other state in the union. Now his 
parting aspiration for them and every reader who has 
patiently continued with him to the end, is, that their 
course may secure them the Divine protection and 
favor; and that they may hereafter be filled with joy 
and rejoicing in viewing the works of him, who said 
in the beginning, ^ let there he light,^ and in survey- 
ing from the heights of heaven the landscapes of 
eternity. 



END. 



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