Skip to main content
LIST MAR 1 5 1923
A Sketch of the Life of
Captain ofw H>atoage,
FIRST SETTLER IN
SHEFFORD COUNTY. 1792
ALSO THE EARLY HISTORY OF
^t, 3f$fyn'8 Cfjurcf)
WEST SHEFFORD. QUE.
By M. O. VAUDRY, M.A. (McGill)
Part of a Paper prepared for the Meeting
in Toronto, March, 1921, of the United
Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada
"Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations;
father and he will shew thee, thy elders and they will tell thee' Deut 32-7.
There ought to be in every family a book called the "Golden Book of Records",
Reading this, each individual could see as in a mirror, his own family with its mem-
ories of the past.
There is true enjoyment in striving to discover facts relating to the lives of
the early pioneers, and to make known the bonds of relationship which unite the
present families to their ancestors, and to each other.
Montaigne said, "what a delight it would be to me to have some one relate
the manners, the look, the countenance, the every day thought and the fdrtuneS
of my ancestors." We also would be glad to know of the deeds of our ancestors.
They have faithfully served their God and country, and have been by their every
day acts, the honour of our family. They now rest from their labours and their
works do follow them.
Captain John Savage
John Savage ST., the subject of this sketch, was born in 1740, and came of a
wealthy and influential family in the North of Ireland. With his brothers James
and Edward he settled near New Concord and Spencertown, not far from the Hud-
son River, in the state of New York. This part of the country had been settled only
a few years previous by immigrants from the New England States although a few
Hollanders had visited the vicinity about the year 1700.
This section of New York has produced a number of famous men and women,
Samuel J. Tilden, Martin Van Buren, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the Rev. Ti-
mothy Woodbridge, D. D. nephew of the famous Jonathan Edwards, who for many
years had charge of the old Presbyterian Church in Spencertown which was first
organized as the "Proprietor's Meeting House," Congregational in 1771. A list
of names of the early settlers in this locality includes Palmer, Pratt, Savage, Beebe,
Cady, Eaton, Lovejoy, Mather, (descendants of the famous clergymen Increase
and Cotton Mather).
Here the subject of our paper met and married Ann Pratt, eldest daughter of
Elisha Pratt, deacon of the Proprietor's Meeting House. The latter had come
from Connecticut to Spencertown where he peaceably purchased a large tract of
land from the Indians. The identical farm is still owned by a member of the family,
Mr. Wm. Hawley a New York millionaire, whose mother Frances Rhoda Pratt
was great great grand-daughter of Elisha Pratt.
In the early days, the eastern part of Chatham County where Spencertown
is situated, was the domain of Patroon Van Rensselaer, but no special effort was
made to define his claims and many came in and purchased land from the Mohican
Indians. A controversy arose in regard to the titles without reaching any satis-
factory results; therefore on May 15, 1774, a petition was prepared to be submitted
to King George III, asking him to recognize the claims of the settlers who had
peacefully and unhindered settled upon their lands. Hon. James Savage (brother
of Capt. Savage) and Nathaniel Culver were sent to England to secure a Royal
Grant to the settlers to confirm their titles to the land, but owing to the growing
disaffection existing between the Colonies and the Royal Government they were
unsuccessful in their mission and the titles were not secured until some years after
the Revolution. The above mentioned James Savage was appointed Justice of
the Peace in 1792, Commissioner of Education in 1795, and member of the Assem-
bly from 1790 to 1800.
In 1791 an Uncle, Edward Savage was elected Senator for the Eastern District
of New York State. In 1781 another relative, William Savage, and sixteen othi
persons were "appointed informing officers whose duty it was to stop people travel-
ing on the Sabbath and to take notice of all breaches of the Peace.'
Among Mrs. Savage's relatives we find that hep eldest brother, Elisha Pratt
Jr. was admitted to practice as attorney on Jan. 13th., 1787. Her second brother,
David Pratt was a Colonel in the American army at the time of the Revolution,
and was one of the Judges for the trial of ten men committed for the murder o
Sheriff Cornelius Hogeboom in Feb. 1792.
Like his father Deacon Elisha Pratt, he was always very active in everything
pertaining to the Church. Her youngest brother Joel Pratt was a Captain in t
American Rebel forces. Two nephews also occupied distinguished positions tl
Hon Azariah Pratt was chosen Member of the Assembly m 1820, and Erasti
Pratt was Justice of the Peace and City Clerk for Hudson, a nearby town for many
One of the saddest aspects of the Revolution was the division in families;
parents and children ranged against each other as the tide ^ *^ J^Jj*^
and higher, brother fighting against brother in bitter warfare,
favoured the Revolutionists with the exception of two sisters, Ann, who married
Captain Savage, and Lydia, the wife of Roswell Spauldmg.
Of the Savages, those who remained loyal to the King were Capt. Savage,
with his son John Jr.;the Captain's younger brother Edward Savage with his three
sons, James, John and Peter; and another nephew Abraham Savage.
In the History of Columbia County N.Y. we find the following paragraphs
"A memorable Special meeting was held June 24, 1776, when the inhabitants
declared themselves independent. The question being put, whether the said dis-
trict chooses to have the United American Colonies independent of Great Britain,
voted unanimously in the affirmative."
At the end of the Revolution as much bitterness was shown in Spencertown
and Chatham, a town about four miles distant, as elsewhere. We find in the old
records that on May 6, 1783, "The inhabitants voted to confiscate the property
of the Tories (as the loyal British were termed) and not allow them residence in
Captain Savage owned a large tract of land near Spencertown, which includes
the fine farms now owned by William Clark, E. D. Tracey and C. Dunlap. The
large wooden house in colonial style still stands and is occupied by Mr. Tracey.
One day while ploughing in his field with oxen, some men, including two of hiB
brothers-in-law came to secure his signature to a declaration of Revolution. He
flatly refused, and in consequence was called a "rebel," his cattle seized and him-
self put in prison.
Mr. C. Thomas in his history of Shefford, page 13, gives a copy of the petition
sent by Capt. Savage in 1792 to Alured Clark, Major General Commander in Chief
of His Majesty's forces in Canada. Among other things he says of himself that he
"took an early and active part in the late rebellion and served as lieutenant in a corps
raised by Governor Trypn for His Majesty's service, being made prisoner by the
rebels and refusing to join them, he was committed to Albany jail from whence he
escaped and joined the army at New York, with which he served until taken a pri- ,
soner a second time and closely confined in irons in Kingston jail. He was very
serviceable to the scouts sent out from this province by Governor Haldimand.
In part of a journal of Captain Savage's adventures during the Revolution.
He states that inMay 1775 he was chosen (by the rebels) to command a company
in behalf of Congress and to sign a paper called the Association. He refused and
was sent to Albany jail charged with being a Tory and drinking King George's
health. After being committed to the fort he was released and obliged to give
bonds for five hundred pounds. Later he had between twenty and thirty able
men with him, the most of them supported at his own expense, and these he was
to hold in readiness to take either to New York or Canada. In October, 1776, he
was captured by the rebels (Americans) and sentenced to be sent in irons to Semes-
bury Mines but on the way he was rescued by Lieut. Sharp who had raised a party
of men for that purpose. From Great Barrington he set out for Canada with a
party of twenty four men which he commanded.
It was necessary for him to change his course anH he then went to Waterbury,
Conn., and joined with Capt. Heycock. From there he went to New York city
and was given command of a company under Col. Tenning.
Having been sent out with despatches for the British, he was taken prisoner
by the rebels, his legs chained under a horse and driven in that condition to the
Barracks at Fishkill, N.Y. (on two former occasions he had eluded his captors and
afterwards they took extra precautions).
At Fishkill he was ironed hands and feet and kept two weeks. From there in
January, 1777, he was sent to Kingston jail and kept in irons hand and feet for ten
months. From Kingston, N.Y., he was sent to the jail in Hartford, Conn., still in
irons. Managing to free one of his hands he knocked one of the sentries down,
the other prisoners joined him and all made their escape. Before they reached
their friends they were obliged to hide in a swamp and suffered every hardship
Again taken prisoner, a rope was placed around his neck in order to hane him
at once but being a very witty man he made some remark which pleased his captors
so much they put him in prison instead.
He spent in all four years in jail, supported entirely at his own expense V
soon as peace was made, he fled north with his family by way of Lake Champlain.
booklare f ofinte?
BILL OF EXPENSE
found in one of his old not*
At Lem Warner's
At Badcock, At Arlington .........
At Barret .-. . . .................
Left Wherjogik and got ......
To Castle Town ..... . .............. ......
Left Castle Town .........................
At Burlington down the east bay 5 miles .....
On Lake Champlain .......................
At Saint Johns .................... , ......
At Saint Johns ...........................
Set out from Saint Johns ..................
Got to Dutchmans Point, got 19 miles that day
Left Dutchmans Point .....................
Got to Potton Point .......................
Got to D. Filo's farm ......................
Got within 5 miles ........................
Got to Castle Town .......................
Got to Pollet and paid my account ..........
Set out from Crown Point with our cattle. Parsons and Smith
came through the woods.
A passport from Sir Frederick Haldimand reads as follows:
Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of Quebec and Terri-
tories thereon depending, etc.,, General and Commander and Chief of His
Majesty's forces in said Province, and the frontiers thereof etc., etc., etc.,
To all officers civil and Military whom it may concern.,
Permit the Bearer hereof, Mr. John Savage and his brother Edward Savage.
to pass from hence to Crown Point and to bring his family and effects to the Loyal
Block House to stay without let or hindrance until further orders ......
This Passport to be in force until the purpose of it shall be accomplished.
Given at Quebec 22nd. Aug. 1783.
By His Excellency's Command,
Also a letter addressed to him at Dutchman's point from the Captain command-
ing the fort at Isle aux-Noix in the Richelieu River, dated Nov. 3 1783, stating that,
"by direction of the commander in chief, the commanding officers at Dutchman's,
Point are directed to give you any assistance you may want in bringing your cattle
to this province." Captain Savage settled at Caldwell's Manor, not far from Cla-
renceville near Lake Champlain in 1784. Henry Caldwell of Belmont, near Que-
bec, on September 2, 1784, appointed Captain Savage as his attorney at Caldwell's
Manor to grant permission to people to settle there.
Again in 1792, name Henry Caldwell certified that Mr. John Savage, Captain
of Militia under Dorchester for Caldwell Manor, within the jurisdiction of the
King's posts was particularly recommended to him by Col. Mat hews, then secre-
tary to (lorn-nil Haldimancl, as a staunch friend of the Government, who had several
times risked his life during the war. That during the rebellion he had suffered much
in his person and property, for which, owing to some informality in the time and mode
of his application, he had received no compensation. Also that Caldwell had known
Captain Savage for upwards of ten years (or since 1782.)
In 1792 that part of ( 'aid well's Manor on which Captain Savage's farm was
situated was claimed by the Americans and Col. Allen attempted to remove him
for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the American States. On which account
in 1792 he petitioned the Lieut. Governor of Canada, Alured Clark, to grant him
the Township of Shefford. He obtained this the same year as appears by a Minute
in Council dated Aug. 4, 1792. By it sixty-four thousand six hundred acres of
land were granted to him, and his associates.
The original parchment of the Shefford Letters Patent or grant is now in the
Museum of the Brome County Historical Society, Knowlton, Que.
Among other certificates accompanying his petition is one dated February
16, 1786, and signed by Col. David Pratt, Col. Asa Waterman and several other
officers stating that "Captain Savage left his home and family in pursuit of means
for the British Government's support. In all his prosecutions and confinements
he was supported at his own expense. Those who were acquainted with the steps
he took were not a little apprehensive that his undaunted conduct would be the
occasion of his losing his life. This loyalty was manifested by his coming out of
New York with recruiting orders to levy men for the King's service. The discovery
of this brought on him almost every severity short of death.
Also the following bill of losses
Account of losses sustained by John Savage during the late unhappy dissension
in America Viz.,
DATE . s. d.
Feb. 7 1776 To cash paid to defray the expense of a Con-
tinental Guard when a prisoner with them. . 6
Aug. 1777 To three cows taken by the States 16
Expense in Fishkill Barracks and money tak-
en from me 24
From Fishkill to Kingston jail 145
From Kingston to Hartford, to Windsor and
from thence to Noridge 146
For the loss of my crops in 1777 100
Thirty-six journeys to the Commissioners. ... 31
New York Currency. /468
In 1788 Captain Savage was appointed "Captain in the Militia of the Circle
of St. Johns" by Commission signed by Lord Dorchester, Governor of Canada.
A second commission dated 1805 signed by Sir Robert Shore Milnes appointed
"John Savage Esq., Captain in the Township of Shefford of the 2nd Batt. of Militia
of which Sir John Johnson, Baronet, is Colonel."
In 1804 he received a Commission signed by Sir James Henry Craig appointing
"Captain John Savage the first Justice of the Peace for the Trial of Causes in the
Townships of Potton, Bolton, Granby, Shefford and Stukely."
On March 8, 1824, when Captain Savage was eighty-four years of age a certi-
ficate was granted him signed by the Earl of Dalhousie testifying that "on account
of age and infirmities and as a mark of regard for past conduct, permission was
granted him to retire from the service with all the privileges attached thereunto."
Captain Savage held command of the 2nd., Batt. in the Frontier Light Infan-
try, which was formed of two companies drawn from the six Battalions of Town-
ship Mihtia. General Order 13 Aug. 1813 attached them to the Canadian Volti-
geurs, of which corps they became Nos. 9 and 10 Companies, by General Order
10th. June 1814 This corps served from May 1813 to its disbandment March 24th
1815. Captain Savage with the other officers received the Prince Regent's Land
grant for services during the war of 1812-15.
Following is a copy of the original "Annual Roll of Captain John Savage's
Company commanded in March 1813.
69 John Savage, Captain. 40 John Savage, Jr. Lieut.
45 John E. Savage. 41 John Allen, Sargeant.
LIST t OF PRIVATES
26 Elias Bell.
32 Samuel Bell.
31 Oilman Graves.
39 Hezekiah Wood.
28 Abraham Griggs.
38 Simon Door.
42 Anthony Cutler.
50 Truman Tuttle.
60 Peter Vanallen.
24 Herbert Vanallen.
42 Seth Alexander.
40 Jacob Alard.
17 Joseph Plumby Savage.
50 Joseph Parce.
36 Henry Door.
28 John Lay.
67 Edward Savage.
30 Richard Peleg.
18 Wheeler Richardson.
52 Alexander Douglas.
20 Antoine Allaire.
24 George Bell.
44 Edward Graves.
27 Dudley Hayes.
32 Simon Griggs.
21 David Savage.
41 Abraham Savage.
42 Theddeus Tuttle.
29 Abraham Cole.
30 Peter Vanallen, Jr.
21 Gilbert Vanallen.
32 Arbe Alexander.
36 Joel Alexander.
34 John Clark.
18 Joel Spaulding.
50 Charles Allen.
61 James Young.
68 William Bell.
72 James Berry.
59 John Spaulding.
28 John Berry.
25 Lewis Sherbner.
19 Alfred Nash.
A list of the names of the Militia in the Township of Granby with their age.
Bet. 40 &50
Bet. 40 & 50
Bet. 50 & 60
Bet. 30 & 40
Bet. 20 & 30
Bet. 40 & 50
Bet. 20 &30
John Horner, Jr.
Thomas A. Willis.
Bet. 20 & 30 J9seph Kent.
17 Simpson H. Alexander.
Bet. 20 & 30 John Camber.
20 John Sweat, Jr.
40 Roswell Spaulding.
19 Cyrus Alexander, Jr.
18 Henry Savage.
During the first couple of years the supplies were procured at a place now call-
ed Philipsburg, within a short distance from Missisquoi Bay, (part of the Champlain
Lake) 43 miles distant from West Shefford. This road passes through Farnham,
Dunham, St. Armand, etc., and together with the other main roads in the Township
was first opened by Capt. Savage. He had pioneered the way compass in one hand
to keep straight on his course, axe in the other to mark the trees which were to
indicate the way to be taken; followed by men who cut down the trees and cleared
away the underbrush to make way for the sleds which were laden with household
goods and provisions, while the family brought up the rear.
On account of the continued persecution of Col. Ethan Allen, Captain Savage
was obliged, hurriedly, one night inearlv winter 1792 to leave his farm in that part
of Caldwell Manor, which was newly claimed by the Americans and make his way
to ShefTord with hi- family on an ox sled, in order to be within British lines and
safety. Necwjsity compelled him to locate in ShefTord before the Letters Patent
were issued. Thus it oceured that he and his family were the only white people
isolated and alone that first winter in the unbroken forests of Sheftord.
Beside the stream near the village of West ShefTord may be seen a pile of stones
that marks the spot where he built the "Dutch" back of his first cabin made of
rough logs with a roof of hemlock bark.
Captain Savage was obliged to be away from home one night before the door
was put up, and the family had only a blanket fastened over the doorway to keep
out the cold. A bear endeavoured to enter and the only way Mrs. Savage saved
herself and family was by keeping a good fire and presenting a piece of burning
wood to his nose when ever he tried to make his way in. t Thus they watched all
night and with the return of day the bear departed.
Captain Savage brought with him thirty head of cattle, but on account of the
intense cold and lack of fodder all died except three. My great grandmother,
Anna Savage Allen and her sisters cut down evergreens and endeavoured to save
the cattle by feeding them the "browse" or foliage, but of no avail. The story of
that first dreadful winter was repeated about the fireside for many years. . It is a
pity that no written record was kept.
I shall not dwell at length on the hardships and trials endured by these pion-
eers, the story of all the U. E. Loyalists is similar. Our Canadian Histories usually
devote a chapter to their privations and early struggles.
Tlie following is an extract from an account kept by Captain Savage during
his efforts to obtain the grant of the Township of ShefTord.
To journey to Quebec to obtain the Warrant of Survey for the Township of
June 5 1792 97 days 48 10
to To my expenses 23 15
Sept. To exploring 10 days 2 10
To cash expended I
Oct. 20 To exploring for a road with one Hand, three weeks
myself 10 10
Paid the Hand with me 1 10
To cash expended 1 10
Nov. 15 To cutting the road with 6 men, from St. John to
4 weeks each @ 40 shillings month 12
To myself 28 days 14
Provisions and money expended 4
May To cutting the road from Sutton to ShefTord, 16 m.. 16
Feb. 17913 To going to St. Johns and Chambly to obtain in-
structions for the survey of the Township
Three times with David Davis 58 days 29
To Mr. Tuttler's charge for bringing the instructions
from Chambly to Missisquoi 12
To pay the Surveyor's expense from Chambly to
To cash paid John Clark, Deputy Surveyor for 92
Paid seven men for three months and two days 43
To expenses of fetching from Chambly and Missis-
quoi Bay to ShefTord. . . . 100
To my attendance at Missisquoi Bay to meet the ap-
plicant* and attending on the Land Board 80
To journey to Quebec at the time Wm. Grant peti-
tioned for the Township of Shefford 40 days 20
To cash expended 9 12
To cash paid Vandervelden and other expenses 18 5
To my attendance four times at Missisquoi Bay to
meet the Committee 15
Paid Jesse Pennoyer for my part of his journey to
Quebec 1 IQ
To cash paid to Samuel Willard towards his journey
to Quebec 6 5
To cutting roads through Shefford 10
June 24 To my attendance 4 days at Missisquoi Bay to meet
the Committee 2 -^-
To my expenses 1
July 20 To journey to Quebec 20 days 10
To my expenses 13 5
To paid Jesse Pennoyer and Patrick Conroy for go-
ing to Shefford twelve days 6
To their expenses 1 1Q
To Richard Powers going to Montreal to carry
papers, 2 days 1 5
To his expenses 1 5
Paid to Mr. Coffin 1 8
Paid John Clark for making out the returns 5 days. 2 10
PUBLIC ARCHIVES OF CANADA. S. SERIES.
To His Excellency, the Right Honorable Guy Lord Dorchester, Captain Gen-
eral and Commander in Chief of the Provinces of Upper and Lower Canada, Nova-
Scotia and New Brunswick.
The Petition of John Savage, Captain of Militia of the Township of Shefford.
That your Petitioner is informed some person (Wm. Grant,) of Montreal has
applied for the Township of Shefford, a tract for which your said petitioner stands
recommended to your Lordship, to have for himself a Grant of twelve hundred acres
therein and his Associates a share which was to be determined on the return of the
Survey thereof. He begs leave to state;
That on the 18th. August, 1792, a warrant of survey for running the outlines
of Shefford issued in his favor, which was executed; by the erroneous course of the
adjoining lines that operation was by the Surveyor General declared totally useless.
On the 30th. September he obtained, agreeable to his desire, a letter from the
Surveyor General, covering instructions to Mr. John Clark Deputy Surveyor, for
subdividing that Township with two schemes for laying apart the reserves for the
Crown and Clergy, leaving it to your petitioner's choice to adopt either of them.
He made election of the mode expressed by the annexed diagram, and caused the
field work there to be executed, strictly conformable thereto, at his own and sole
expense, after correcting the errors formerly committed in running the outlines of
the adjoining Townships.
In December 1793, he forwarded his List of forty eight associates, thirty-two
of which were approved on the 17th, January then ensuing by the Honorable
Council, and admitted to take the Oaths, without precluding the other sixteen
to produce proof of their fitness to become settlers in this province.
Your Lordships petitioner having thus, (even prior to the advertisements from
the Council-office published in the Quebec Gazette to the end of limiting leaders to a
certain time for complying with certain rules) gone through the several stages pre-
vious to the issuing of the patent, he now only awaits to be made acquainted with,
what share it may please your Lordship to allow to his associates, when he will, with-
out loss of time, produce a sufficient number of fit persons to cover the remainder of
In the meantime he conceived himself in a regular channel of application un-
willing to render himself troublesome by a premature demand of a grant, he thought
that immediate industry, towards rescuing the tract in question from a state of
wilderness, would be perfectly consistent with the views of Government and strength-
en his pretentious to those lands. Impressed with these Ideas, and relying with
implicit confidence on the Faith, Justice, and liberalty of Government, he devoted
the whole of his time to the settling his Associates, building of a Mill, cutting of
roads and similar costly improvements.
In his own behalf he entreats your Lordship's permission to say that, during
the late American contest, no man more cheerfully abandoned his property, sacr,-
ficed for years his liberty or exposed his life to evident danger on secret service.
in % support of the Royal cause than your petitioner, who has never before solicited
or* any ways obtained the smallest reward from Government for his Services, which
he is ready, independent of the annexed certificates, to substantiate by undeniable
Your petitioner therefore humbly prays that it may please your Lordship, in
reward of his past services and his industry of bringing thirty Loyal Settlers to the
Township of Stafford to confirm him the property thereof, and to grant to his Asso-
ciates twelve hundred acres each therein, as an encouragement to continue his im-
provements, and as in duty bound he will ever pray.
In the "Haldimand Papers' 1 Class A. There is a petition from "U E. Loyalists"
dated July 14th, 1783 and among the names of those who signed we find that of
Captain John Savage.
In the Public Archives of Canada we have the return of the Original Associa-
tes for the Township of Shefford. Of the forty-one names the following are special-
ly designated as Loyalists: Captain John Savage, leader; Richard Allen, James,
John and Peter Savage, nephews of Captain Savage; William Bell, who served
29 years in His Majesty's army, and his three sons, John, Samuel and Elias Bell.
Some of the descendants of the last named still live near West Shefford.
Malcolm McFarlane, John Katzback (or Rnatchback) John Mock, Sr., John
Mock, Jr., and Joseph Mock are designated as "Loyal Subjects".
All the early settlers were not Loyalists, but the above list will show many
exceptions. Through ignorance of the order in Council many have assumed that
an early land grant was an effective title to the distinction.
Public Archives of Canada, Series S. Return of Original Settlers in 1800.
List of the first settlers in Shefford, together with date when they "went on
the lot" assigned to them:
1792 Captain John Savage, the leader 1793 John Savage, Jr.
1793 John Allen. 1795 Hezekiah Wood.
1799 John Griggs. 1799 Richard Powers.
1799 William Powers. 1795 Richard Allen.
1799 Peter Savage. 1799 John E. Savage.
1 799 J ames Savage . 1 793 Ezekiel Lewis .
1799 Thomas Wood. 1797 Anthony Cutler.
1795 Isaac Kinneson. 1796 Solomon Kinneson.
1798 Malcolm MacFarlane. 1796 Peter Hayes.
1796 Edward Graves. 1799 Henry Powers.
1796 Alexander Douglass. 1797 Silas Lewis.
1796 James Bell. 1794 John Mock.
1797 Timothy Hoskins. 1796 William Moffit.
1799 Stephen Steveborough. 1794 Thaddeus Tuttle.
1794 Isaac Lawrence. 1794 Isaac Lawrence, Jr.
1794 Elijah Lawrence. 1795 James Berry.
1794 Abraham Kinneson. 1796 John Spaulding.
1793 John Katzbock (Knatzback or 1794 John Mock, Jr.
Catchpaw). 1794 Joseph Mock.
1795 William Bell. 1795 John Bell.
1795 Samuel Bell. 1793 Elias Bell.
A paper prepared in 1900 for the District of Bedford Historical Society, states:
"The leader of the Associates in Shefford Township was Captain John Savage,
from the Hudson Valley (Spencertown, N. Y.) He made his first visit to Shefford
in 1792, having come to Canada by way of Lake Champlain in 1783, The early
history of Shefford is the history of the Savage family. It was the dominant family
in its early settlement and even up to the middle of the century but only a few
are now left there. It is perfectly clear that the first settlers in the Townships as a
whole, were not the old Loyalists, yet a few stubborn men pitched their tents in the
Seigniories. The Ontario lists of Loyalists containing many Eastern Townships
names is procurable but there was unfortunately no special list for Quebec.
Captain Savage's only son, John Savage, Jr., settled and named Savage's Mills,
in North Shefford. Only two of his grandchildren, both now quite aged still reside
on the home farm, namely Mr. John Savage and his sister. Other families in
Shefford bearing the name of Savage are descended from the Captain's nephews,
sons of Edward Savage.
Personally Captain Savage was a large powerful man, of great courage and quick
wit, just and kind in his dealings and unassuming character. He was the chief
magistrate in the district and in that capacity settled many disputes. On one
occasion his grandson, Abraham Allen, had a suit against a man named Alexander
who was to have made a cart for him but failed to fulfil his obligation. The circums-
stantial evidence was in favour of the man although he was really in the wrong.
The captain decided against his grandson "for" said he "I must decide accord-
ing to the proofs brought forward."
Mrs. Savage was a small gentle lady, but very active witness the fact that
the clothes in those days had to be woven on hand looms from yarn spun on the old
fashioned wheel, and we can readily understand that idle moments for the mother
were few and far between. She was very religious and interested in serious subjects.
One of her favorite hymns began thus:
Hail ye sighing sons of sorrow
View with me th' autumnal gloom
Learn from thence your fate tomorrow,
Dead, perhaps laid in the tomb.
See all nature fading, dying
Silent, all things seem to mourn
Life from vegetation flying
Brings to mind the mouldering urn.
Fast my sun of life's declining
I must sleep in death's dark night
But my hope pure and refining
Rests in future life and light.
Anne Savage, the eldest daughter of Captain Cavage, greatly resembled her mother
in every way, being small and active, with blue eyes and light hair, Her husband
John Allen Sen. was over six feet in height, a quiet home loving, peaceable man,
their ten children all lived to a good age, five over eighty years each. Their's was
the first frame house built in the Township and they also were the first family to
own an iron stove.
John Allen's father was supposed to have been murdered, and his body put
in Lake Champlain by two strangers who were seen in the vicinity,
widow and family suffered many hardships from poor crops, and the depredations
of bears and wolves.
John Allen, Jr., eldest son of John Allen and Anne Savage was the first white
child born in Shefford. The second, Abraham, when only six years of age was sent
through a piece of woods on an errand to a neighbour's house. On the way home
he was followed by what he supposed was a large black dog but on nearer approach
the animal showed strange antics and grimaces. It approached on its hind feet
and rose to seize him, but having heard that a bold human countenance would keep
a wild beast in check, he looked the animal in the eyes and prayed for help retreat-
ing at the same time. He continued in this way until he came so near home the
animal left him. Members of the family at once hastened to the woods, tracked
the bear and killed it.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, WEST SHEFFORD
From the date of Captain Savage's settlement in Shefford until the opening
of St. John's Church, all religious services as well as legal transactions ana trials
were held in his home.
Whenever Bishop Stewart intended to hold a service within a radius of forty
miles, he notified Captain Savage. In those days people cheerfully braved the dan-
gers of a toilsome journey of many miles over rough roads and through woods in
order to attend Church. Privileges were more appreciated when many difficulties
had to be overcome.
From a large number of letters the following few are selected.
St. Armand, Jan. 10/1809.
I am happy to inform you that it is intended that Divine Service should be
performed in our new Church for the first Sunday the 29th., of this month, I hope
that you and as many of your neighbours as can conveniently come will attend, Ser-
vice will begin about eleven o'clock. I shall continue at Hoyck's some time longer,
where we shall be happy to see you and Mrs. Savage.
Yours very sincerely,
C. STEWART 1
Dunham, 27th., Oct. 1818.
I send this line to you to inform you that I request Public notice may be given
of my intention to perform Divine Worship at your house (God willing) on Monday
next, the 2nd., November, at the hour of eleven O'clock in the forenoon, and to
administer the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at that time. Please to notify all
those who have children to be baptized of this appointment.
And you will oblige,
CHAS. O. COTTON.
Forwarded by Captain John Church.
Hatley, Dec. 26/1818.
Captain John Savage,
The Duke of Richmond has appointed Mr. Henry Caldwell, and his secretary,
LA. Col. Ready to visit these Townships to enquire into our grievances (re-Clergv
Reserves) and they propose going as far as Stanstead. I expect them about the
nrst week in January, but I shall send a messenger to you on purpose to inform you
of their approach or arrival that you may meet Mr. Caldwell here or in Stanstead.
Hatley, April 2nd., 1818.
I have requested Mr. Lalanne (a notary) to confer with you on the subject of
building a Church. It must be a work which will require considerable time to ac-
complish, but the sooner we begin operations the better. I wish you would as soon
as convenient after you have made up your mind as to the donation you will give
to the Church, appear before Messrs. Lalanne and the Rev. James Reid and give
your assurance as to the quantity of land and so forth, that you will give I wish
you to lay the foundation stone. Give my best regards to Mrs. Savage and believe
Captain Savage then eighty years of age acceded to Bishop Stewart's request
and Mr. Lalanne the notary drew up a statement of the lots he would give for the
Church. The notary made a mistake and wrote down two more lots than Captain
Savage intended, including his homestead. The blunder was discovered just in
time, and several letters passed between the Captain, Bishop Stewart and Mr.
Lalanne before the sale advertised for disposing of the lots. As it was one thousand
acres or five lots were sold for the Church instead of the eight hundred acres he
first intended giving. This land was sold for one dollar per acre being therefore
equivalent to one thousand dollars. He also gave another hundred of improved
land worth three dollars per acre to the Bishop as well as an extra $200.00 to pur-
chase a stove and other necessaries, making a total of $1,500.00 before the Church
was built. It will be seen later that he actually gave much more before the building
was completed, and shouldered nearly the whole cost. Three old papers go to prove
this fact, the first two are tenders for building the Church. One from John Wandby
of Dunham, dated Jan., 20th., 1820 offering to complete the Church for $1,600.00
after the foundation was laid; the second from John Roberts dated at Shefford 1820
willing to perform the same work for $1,750.00.
The tenders were refused and Captain Savage appears to have had the over-
sight of the building operations himmself, for we find in his old account book and
daily journal for 1820 some interesting items.
March 1st., 1820.
Dudley Hayes three cords and half of stove wood at $7.00 per cord. He got
the timber where the church is to be built for $60.00. Ten cords of stone delivered
at the place.
June 20tb., Mr. Tonny begun at the Church with three men.
June 22nd. Wood, \\V1N. Lawrence his son and himself worked.
July 6th. Raised the Church. They said Mr. Wells promised them 100
dollars when the church was raised.
July 20th. John Tonny came to board the church.
Sept. 7th. Tenny, his son, Wells and Brown raised the steeple.
Oct. 21st. John Allen Jr., Abraham Allen, John Clark, Richard Allen worked
at the church.
Oct. 25th. Finished the outside.
While the Church was in process of construction the builders Messrs Tenny
and Wells stopped four months with Captain and Mrs. Savage.
The mason who laid the foundation was a man named Reed, while Hezekiah
Wood hewed the timbers. Boards were furnished by John E. Savage. Nails by
John Church and J. Baker, Paint, oil, etc., by Mr. Kemp who also cashed a bill on
Messrs Blackwood and Co. Mr. Graves the blacksmith worked. There were
also expenses sending for a diamond and cutting glass. All the above and many
more items amounting to ,197 were paid by Captain Savage.
The outside of the church was clapboarded. The inside of the walls framed
and paneled as high as the pews round about, the sides above the paneling, the ceil
ing and under the gallery, plastered. The pews mounted, panels raised, the in
side of the pews framed, with flat panels. 10 windows, with circular tops. 2x6
Panel doors, raised and mounted and mouldings round all the windows and doors.
A further statement of the money expended by Captain Savage on the church
ends as follows "John Savage paid for the Church ,478. 17s. 6d. or over two thou-
The following is the first allotment of pews.
No. 3 John Allen
No. 5 Isaac Lawrence.
No. 7 Dr. Stewart (Samuel Gale)
No. 8 Edward Graves
No. 9 Dr. Stewart
No. 10 Simon Griggs
No. 11 Robert Todd
No. 12 Alfred Nash
No. 13 Captain Savage
No. 14 Captain Savage
No. 15 Captain Savage
No. 16 Seth Alexander
No. 17 Sheldon Wells
No. 18 John E. Savage
No. 19 George Bell
No. 21 Dudley Hayes
No. 22 Thomas Wood
No. 23 John Savage, Jr.
No. 25 John Ketchapa
A letter from Bishop Stewart to Captain Savage written at Frost Village in
1822, states that he is glad to learn from Rev. Mr. Whitwell that the pews in West
Shefford Church sold well and asks that two pews may be given him for the Church
building fund in place of fifty more acres of land which Captain Savage had pro-
This last request was complied with on Nov., 9, 1822.
An old subscription paper dated July 17, 1819, contains the following names
of those who would contribute "currency or labour to build a Church at West Shef-
ford near the now dwelling house of Captain John Savage." It is the only record
of any assistance received by Captain Savage for the Church building.
John Bell 3
Dudley Hayes 7 10
John Katchapa 3
Peter Hayes 2
Abraham Allen 2 10
Hezekiah Wood 5
Ezekial Lewis 2
Israel Banks 15
Ammi R. R. Butler 2
Or about $125.00.
The following is an account of the organization of the first Sunday School.
"At a meeting of the inhabitants of West Shefford and East Far nh ami held
on Monday Evening, March llth 1822 in the house of Mr. Hezekiah Wood, it was
resolved to establish a Church Sunday School, when the following persons gave
in their names as teachers.
J. W. Clark Hez. Wood
Chester Cooley Dudley Hayes
Dervilla Lawrence Silas Craig
Isaac Lawrence . Alphonse Wells
Mrs. Elizabeth Lawrence Mrs. Mary Cooley
Miss Laura Lawrence Miss Lovina Wood
COMMITTEE FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL
Dervilla Lawrence Vice-President
Hezekiah Wood Treasurer
J. W. Clark Secretary
Alfred Nash Thomas Wood
Peter Wood Alphonso Wells
A list of books received of Rev. Mr. Whitwell for the use of the Sunday School.
2 containing the Church Catechism.
12 of Catechistical instruction.
1 Sheet of Hymns.
5 of Instructive Tales.
The Sunday School pupils made good progress as shown by the following Met
of May 7th.
Henry Hayes, Catechism 5 pages
Joshua Clark, Catechism 11 pages
Erastus Lawrence, Catechism 11 pages
John Clark Catechism 10 pages
Laura Lawrence, James Chap. 3
First John Chap. 1
Hulda Cowee, Catechism 16 pages
Sarah Wood, Catechism 2 pages
Harriet Wood, Catechism 5 pages
Frances Hayes, Catechism 5 pages
Anna Clark, Catechism 12 pages
As the years passed softening the bitter feelings of Revolutionary times, many
friendly letters passed between Captain Savage and Mrs. Savage's relatives in Spen-
certown, N. Y. The following is one from Erastus Pratt a nephew of Mrs. Savage
to Captain Savage, written at Spencertown.
June 26, 1819.
Captain John Savage,
My Dear Sir:
Mr. Ehenezer Kcelcr has just called on me. He says he was lately with you
in Shefford. I was glad to hear you were recovering your health and that our Aunt
was so comfortable in her old age. You have both almost done with this world. I
should be extremely glad to see you once more. I think you ought to come once
more to this country. You have a great many friends and relatives here. Pray
try to come and see them.
My father (Col. David Pratt) now over eighty years of age is very smart*
active and hearty. We heard from Captain Joel Pratt lately, he was well, but
lonesome since he lost his wife. My family are well, your friends all well here.
I am Dear Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
Following is a copy of a letter written to Erastus Pratt when Captain Savage
was eighty years of age.
Shefford, March 5, 1820
Mr. Krastus Pratt,
I received your letter by the hand of Mr. Whatly and happy to hear from you
and our friends in that part of the world, hoping that we all may be prepared for that
journey we must shortly take.
I was telling Rev. Dr. Stewart what my intention was if I had Justice done
me at Quebec. I thought to have had a Church built in this place. He asked me
what land I would give, I told him eight hundred acres. He said he would give me
credit on Church one dollar per acre. I have a number in this place and no place
for the*n to meet on the Sabbath. It is to be built within twenty rods of my house,
(>od willing. \Vhat I have left will enable me to settle with all my friends and give
every man his just due. If I should get a house built I and my family can meet
in and learn thoir duty to their God and their neighbour. I have five sons-in-law
and one son, and they have large families, forty seven living children born in this
I am so infirm that I cannot walk over my floor without a staff in my hand.
I don't think that I shall ever see Montreal again. The rest of all our friends are
in good health at present.
Remember me to all my friends. Your old Aunt wishes to be remembered
to her brother.
I remain j'our ever well wisher and assured friend,
My hand shakes, I can't write.
The following prayers written in the trembling hand of the Captain over a
hundred years ago are found with several others. They are at least an indication
of the writer's thoughts and aspiration.
No. 1. Be gracious, O most merciful God, to the whole race of mankind*
1'ity the deplorable state of those that know Thee not, and have never heard of
Thy name. Reform the wicked and impenitent and let all that name the name of
Christ depart from iniquity.
And now O God, relying firmly on Thy gracious promises, I commend into
Thy hands myself and all that Thou hast given or blessed me with, My soul and
body and all my relations keep us from all evil, Lead us into all good, carry us safe-
ly through the dangers and temptations of this wicked world to that place of ever-
lasting rest and peace which Thou hast prepared for those that Die in the Lord,
through the merits of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour, in
whose words I sum up and recommend the wants of all mankind, together with
my own, Saying, Our Father."
And now O Lord, that we are about to lie down upon our beds of rest, may we
be always ready, that we may never die in such a state as we should fear to die in,
but that whether we live we may live unto the Lord, or whether we die we may be
Thine, through Jesus Christ our Lord on whose Most Holy Name and most pre-
vailing word we further call upon Thee, Saying, Our Father."
No. 2. "May the good Spirit of God dispose me unto and assist me in His
service, The Lord give us all a true and lively sense of our wants and of His mercy
and presence, that we may serve Him with our hearts as well as with our bodies,
and that our prayer may be heard for the Sake of His son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the cemetery at West Shefford stand four very old grave stones in a row
bearing the following inscriptions:
Captain John Savage Sen., d. September 27 1826, aged 85 years. He was
the first settler and Leader of this Township and the chief instigator of Building
Ann Pratt wife of Captain Savage, d. June 8, 1822 aged 81 years.
Anna Savage, daughter of John and Ann Savage, consort of John Allen Sen.,
d. October 26, 1841 aged 67 y. 6 m. 9 d.
John Allen Sen., d. April 1, 1842. aged 74 years.
Now I beneath the cold earth am sleeping
Life's affliction o'er
Is there for me any eye weeping
That I am no more
Is there any heart still memory keeping
Of heretofore ?
Mrs. Savage died three years before her husband and was greatly missed by
him. Their daughter, Lydia Savage had married Hezekiah Wood of West Shefford
and with her the aged couple spent their last days. The youngest daughter,
Olive Savage married Augustus Garlick, son of Rev. Reuben Garhck, M. D., who
died in 1805 and was the first clergyman in Shefford.
Some of the early settlers were buried on their own farms, and since the latter
have been sold to strangers the old graves in many instances have been ploughed
over and forgotten. The majority however sleep near the Captain and his brave
wife at West Shefford.
The old wooden Church was pulled down in 1882 to make way for a modern
brick structure. The papers from the corner stone of the old Church as well
bell and baptismal font were removed to the new Church. The cemetery sti
remains a perpetual memorial to these two pioneers m the former wilds
We who in our comfortable homes reap the fruits of their toils and hardships, .
can never realize how much we owe to them, and in the words of the inscription on
John Allen's tombstone, may there ever be many "hearts still memory keeping o
A list of the children and grand children of Captain John Savage and his wife
Ann Pratt, together with the names of their respective husbands and wives,
last survivor died about the end of the last century.
1. Lieut. John Savage, Jr. Magdalen Mock.
2. Lydia Savage Hczckiah Wood
3. Anna Savage Sergeant John Allen
4. Rhoda Savage John Clark
5. Mary (Polly) Savage Silas Lewis
6. Olive Savage Augustus Garlick
7. Amanda Savage
8. Annie Savage Jedediah Clark Spencer
9. Hannah Savage James Fitchett
10. John Edward Savage Berintha Hoskins
11. Abraham Henry Savage Mary Todd
12. Elias Pratt Savage Adeline Lewis
13. Elizabeth Savage Lieut. Col. Benjamin Savage
14. Charles Mock Savage Mary Ferguson
15. Elizabeth Wood Dudley Hayes
16. Annie Wood Simon Todd
17. Lydia Wood Roswell Cutler
IS. Mary (Polly) Wood Silas Craig
19. Thomas Wood Miriam Cowee
20. Peter Wood Mary Cooley
21. Joel Wood Elizabeth Cooley
22. Lovina Wood John Livingstone
23. John Wood Elizabeth Clark
24. Harriet Wood Joshua Clark
25. John Allen Mary Cooley
26. Olive Allen Aaron Craig
27. Margaret Allen Samuel Geer
28. Annie Allen
29. William Allen
30. Richard Allen Comfort Allard
31. Abraham Allen Comfort Gage
32. Charles Allen
33. Daniel Allen
34. John Clark
35. James Clark
36. Annie Clark John Butler
37. Elizabeth Clark John Wood
38. Amasa Lewis Hannah Knowlton
39. Silas Lewis Annie Stevens
40. Stewart Lewis
41. Martha Lewis Mr. Temple
42. Diana Lewis
43. Harriet Lewis Amasa Knowlton
44. Laura Lewis Samuel Porter
45. Salome Garlic-k William Clark
46. Melissa Garlick James Todd
47. Annie Garlick Mr. Boylen
48. William Garlick
49. Philemon Garlick
50. Reuben Garlick
Descendants of Edward Savage younger brother of Captain John Savage
1. James Savage
2. Peter Savage 1774-1839 Ruth Hayes (daughter of Jacob Hayes)
3. Capt. John Edward Savage 1778-1856 Lucy Kilborn
SON OF JAMES SAVAGE
4. David Savage Lucretia Hayes
CHILDREN OF DAVID SAVAGE
5. James C. Savage b. 1819 Miss Blampin
6. Ruth Savage 1821
7. Jacob Savage 1823
8. David Savage 1825
9. Dennis Savage 1827 Miss Blampin
10. Harriet Savage 1829 Mr. Shute
11. William Savage 1831
12. George W. Savage 1834
13. Lucretia Savage 1837
14. Daniel Savage 1839
CHILDREN OF PETER SAVAGE
15. Edward Savage 1810 (died young)
16. Mary Savage 17 Sarah Savage
18. Elizabeth Savage 19. Rosetta Savage
20. Lucretia Savage 21. Harriet Savage
22. Peter W. Savage 23. James H. Savage
24. Edward H. Savage 25. Sophronia Savage Francis Geer
CHILDREN OF CAPT. JOHN EDWARD SAVAGE
26. Lieut. Col. Benjamin Savage Elizabeth Savage
27. Joseph Savage Sophronia Shepard
28. John Alexander Savage Margaret Todd
29. Daniel R. Savage Caroline Camber
30. Almira Savage Fred Goodwill
31. Matilda Savage John Dixon
32. Mary Savage James Roach
33. Lucy Savage Charles Howk
All new Settlers were required to take the oath and subscribe to the Declar-
ation required. Among Captain Savage's papers is the following list of names for
Shefford from 1795 to 1818. The name of Edward Roberts from Ireland does not
appear on this list as he came later in 1822.
OATH OF ALLEGIANCE
I, A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful and bear true
allegiance to His Majesty King George, and him will defend to the utmost of my
power, against all traitorous conspiracies, and attempts whatsoever, which shall
be made against his Person, Crown and Dignity. And I will do my utmost endea-
vour, to disclose and make known to His Majesty, His Heirs and Successors, all
treasons and traitorous conspiracies and attempts which I shall know to be a-
gainst him or any of them; And all this I do swear, without any equivocation
mental evasion, or secret reservation, and renouncing all pardons and dispensations
from any power or person whomsoever to the contrary.
So help me God.
46 True Tuttle
52 Thaddeus Tuttle
49 Anthony Cutler
41 Jonathan Herrick
30 Oilman Graves
41 John Hell
36 Robert Todd
50 Simon Doore
27 Josiah Doore
39 John Clark
22 David Savage
41 Seth Alexander
58 Alexander Douglass
28 Jeremiah Fort in
33 Alvin Griggs
31 Roswell Spaulding
20 Simon Todd
15 James Hayes
17 John Allen, Jr.
10 Abraham Allen
29 Hezekiah Lawrence
16 Anthony Cutler, Jr.
21 Anthony Alaire
H7 Cyrus Alexander
42 John Savage, Jr.
15 Lieucratus Lawrence
15 Derias Hirrington
HI Edward Doore
Richard Wells, Jr.
Thomas Craig, Jr.
Dudley Church, Jr.
John M chard
44 John Allen
46 John Katchapa
20 Darvilla Lawrence
41 Edward Graves
37 Peter Savage
30 S. Kinneson
38 Samuel Bell
29 Dudley Haves
31 Peter Vanalane
31 John Berry
16 George Bell
16 Joshua Alexander
52 Daniel Lewis
23 Chester Cooley
20 John Bell, Jr.
30 Nathaniel Herrick
18 Joel Spaulding
15 Rodney Lewis
15 John Griggs
23 Calvin Goddard
17 Roswell Cutler
27 Lewis Sangray
46 Joseph Parce
28 Townsend Wells
47 Samuel Lawrence
39 Lott Herrington
20 Daniel C. White
43 Hezekiah Wood
George H. Craig
University of Toronto
Acme Library Card Pocket
Under Pat. "Ref. Index File"
Made by LIBRARY BUREAU