"Pike River enters the township from Canada, and, after taking a circuit of several miles, and affording here some of the finest mill sites in the country, returns again to Canada . . . This township was granted to William Goodrich, Barzilla Hudson, Charles Dibble, and their associates, March 13, 1780, and was chartered by the name of Berkshire June 22, 1781.  The settlement of this town was commenced in 1792 by Job Barber, Stephen Royce, Daniel Adams, Jonathan Carpenter and Phinehas Heath, moved their families here in 1793, and from this time the settlement advanced with considerable rapidity.  Elihu M., son of Stephen Royce, was born in 1793, and was the first child born in town.  The town was organized in 1794, and David Nutting was first town clerk." 

Gazetteer of Vermont, Hayward, 1840
 



HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF
BERKSHIRE

By Hon. Stephen Royce

      The township of Berkshire was a State grant of A. D, 1780. It was chartered to contain six miles square, or 23,040 acres; but by a gross error in locating the east boundary, it actually extends about seven miles on the south line, and about six and a half miles on the north line, -- thus including over 2000 acres beyond its proper quantity as given by the charter. It is bounded E. by Richford, S. by Enosburgh, W by Franklin, and N. by the S. line of Canada. Missisquoi River passes through the S. E, portion of Berkshire, where it receives the waters of Trout River, a small stream from the Green Mountain. Pike river has its origin at the N, line of this town, and by a circuit of several miles, acquires sufficient volume at the village of West Berkshire to furnish valuable water power. All the eastern portion of Berkshire is dependent, but without serious inconvenience, upon mills and other water-works on Missisque river in Richford and Enosburgh, and on Trout river in Montgomery. From the beds of the streams before mentioned, and those of their numerous little tributaries- the town rises into elevated swells or hills, But these are rarely so abrupt as to prevent ordinary cultivation, and where they are so the land is still well adapted to pasturage; indeed the soil throughout the town is almost invariably strong and productive. This might be inferred from the timber with which it was originally covered, it having been mostly hard wood, in which the sugar maple was predominant. The town is not known to contain any valuable mineral ores, except those of iron. These in the rock form, and of rich quality, are probably inexhaustible; and a small amount of swamp or bog-ore is also known to exist in the valley of Missisquoi River, There is, so far as known, neither marble nor any variety of lime-rock, or roofing-slate, nor granite, except of coarse and inferior quality. -- In 1789 the town was surveyed and allotted into three divisions by Col. (afterwards Judge) David FAY, of Bennington; the lots in the first and second division being mapped as 100-acre lots, and those in the third or east division 140-acre lots. These were distributed to the Charter proprietors by a regular draft. But there was great inaccuracy in the surveys, and there is consequently great inequality in the lots.

      The first permanent resident in Berkshire was Job L. BARBER. He settled upon the west bank of Missisquoi River, and with his wife and one child, lived through the summer of A. D. 1792, upon what is now the farm lately occupied, enlarged and improved by William C. BROWN. During the same season, two other improvements were commenced preparatory to permanent settlement, -- one by Daniel ADAMS, about one and a fourth mile S. W. from the great Pike Ricer, where the village of West Berkshire has since arisen, and the other by Stephen ROYCE on the west bank of Missisque River, a mile below BARBER's beginning. As winter approached, BARBER, with his family, retreated temporarily among the few inhabitants of Huntsburgh (now Franklin), but returned the next spring, soon after said ADAMS and ROYCE had removed with their families to their respective places of future residence. Thus there were three families in town from the latter part of April, A. D. 1793. Two of them were near enough to each other to be neighbors, but from them to the only other family a distance of 7 miles, neither a tree had been felled nor a bush cut, except what was necessary in opening a rough unwrought road.

      From Mr. ADAMS' place it was 5 miles farther to the first inhabitant. In other directions the distances to human habitations were still greater, -- down the river it was 5 miles to the first inhabitants in Sheldon; to the east it was 30 miles to those in Craftsbury, and up the river there was none to its source, nor any in that direction nearer than the French settlements in the interior of Canada,

      In A. D. 1793, and the year following, a few additional inhabitants arrived, among whom were Capt. Phineas HEATH and Capt. David NUTTING, Revolutionary officers. They were in humble circumstances and with large families; but possessing good natural talents, and improved by their associations and experience in military service, were interesting men, and added much to the little society of Missisquoi River valley in which they settled. About this time Mr. Jonathan CARPENTER, a man of shrewdness and strong common sense, moved into the town and began a farm on the high land rising westerly from Missisque River, and a little to the N. E. of the present residences of William SAMPSON and Gilman PRATT. James ADAMS also established himself nearly three miles farther to the N. W. and about one mile and a half N. of the present Berkshire Centre. Settlements now began to increase rapidly, end within 10 years every considerable portion of the town had become dotted with new openings and log houses.

      The town was organized in A: D. 1795 or '96, and began to be annually represented in the State Legislature. From that time onward it has kept pace with the neighboring towns in population and improvements, -- leading some, and surpassed by none, except where more available water-power, or the meeting of important thoroughfares, have afforded them greater facilities for the growth of villages. Berkshire being almost exclusively a farming town, the population has a natural limit, at least, while emigration to unoccupied regions, and fresh lands remains practicable without serious difficulty or burdensome expense. For the last 30 years the number of permanent residents in town has ranged over 1500, and now doubtless approaches quite nearly 3000.

      As all parts of the town are now settled, the aggregate length of highways is necessarily great, the bridges to be supported are numerous, including two covered bridges across Missisquoi River which are large and expensive. Moreover, school-houses have long been built and sustained, and teachers employed and paid, in the many districts into which the town has been subdivided. The original log-cabins have long since disappeared; and of the dwellings which have succeeded them, while none are gorgeous and expensive, and but few exhibit superior taste, nearly all are respectable in size and structure, and fit to be abodes of comfort and contentment. These facts should be accepted as proof of no small thrift and advancement, though they may have been gradual.

      It has been said that the history of a country is substantially that of its leading men. And if the remark is justly applicable to a state or nation, it must be quite as much so to the little community of a town -- even an obscure agricultural town like Berkshire. I shall therefore proceed to mention some who, by themselves or descendants, contributed above the average of settlers to the early growth and character of the town. In doing so it will be convenient to group them, in part, as families and classes.


THE JEWETT FAMILY

     Mr. Elam JEWETT, an elderly man from Weybridge or New Haven, in Addison Co., was one of the first who came into town with means and strength to make himself and family at once felt as important accessions to the infant settlement. He arrived about A. D. 1795, accompanied by two sons, and was followed soon after by two others. -They were all industrious and sensible men of unquestioned integrity. The oldest, Elam JEWETT, jr, was an active and efficient man in conducting the business of the town -- filling, in succession, most of the town offices, discharging that of a magistrate, and occasionally serving as representative in the State Legislature. Capt. Jared JEWETT was eminently an upright, humane and firm man, but more domestic and less aspiring, as were also, the two other sons first mentioned.


THE RUBLEE FAMILY

     Four brothers -- Hiram, Andrew, Francis, and John B. RUBLEE -- settled in Berkshire shout the same time, and not long after the arrival of Mr. JEWETT, Deacon Hiram RUBLEE, in every sense an excellent man, established himself as a farmer on the main north and mouth road, about three-fourths of a mile north of the present Berkshire Centre, where be continued to reside till his death.* Capt. Andrew RUBLEE made for himself a farm on Pike River; the same which was afterwards known as the Chaffee farm, and is ranked among the most convenient, productive and valuable in Berkshire. The Captain moved to Canada many years ago, and is now dead.


[He is represented in town by only one of his several sons; the rest having sought other locations. But this one, (a merchant at East Berkshire,) by capacity intelligence and character, is quite competent, along to sustain the family name untarnished. He was long a judicious magistrate, has been town representative and state senator, and is now postmaster.]

     Mr. Francis RUBLEE became a prosperous farmer in the northern border of the town, but removed to the West about 20 years since, and there died. The last of the brothers named settled a little east of what is now West Berkshire village, and for some years was an efficient town officer in the capacity of Constable and Collector. He died in rather early life. Of these brothers there are numerous descendants in the State and elsewhere, but few in Berkshire.


THE SAMSON FAMILY

      Deacon William SAMSON, from Cornwall, Vt., not far from A. D. 1800, settled on the highland north-westerly from Missisquoi river, occupying the ground where his grandson, William SAMSON, and Gilman PRATT now live. His brother, Thomas SAMSON and Jonathan SAMSON, soon followed him, and became his neighbor on either side. They were all industrious, thrifty farmers, and at the same time men of devoted piety. William and Thomas died within a few years after their settlement in Berkshire, while they were in the vigor of middle life, and in the midst of their good influence and usefulness. Of the many sons left by the former, two (William and Titus) became physicians of much promise, but died young, when useful and successful careers were just opening to their view. Only the descendants of his late son, Darwin SAMSON, remain in town; but several other branches of the family reside in neighboring towns.  Thomas left a family of daughters, who, as wives and mothers, have illustrated the pure principles in which they were nurtured and brought up. Jonathan, after years of earnest, and in good measure successful efforts to disseminate and establish principles of pure and undefiled religion, exchanged his property in Berkshire, for a residence in the far West, where he is reported to have ended his earthly labors.


THE STONE FAMILY

      Soon after A. D. 1800, five brothers of this name -- John, Samuel, Benjamin, George W. and James STONE -- from the western part of New Hampshire, became fixed residents of Berkshire. The oldest, and first here named, settled in the central or western portion of the town, but the others all established themselves along the borders of Missisquoi River. They were men of industry and enterprise, and materially strengthened the young and yet feeble community among which they came to associate. Of these brothers, the more conspicuous were John, who bore the name of Elder STONE, from the fact that he often officiated as a Baptist preacher, and George W. who had passed through part of a collegiate course of education. The former was a plain, sensible and solid man, whose teachings, example and influence were uniformly good. The latter strongly illustrated the fertility, variety and flexibility of Yankee genius. He was ready at all things, a prompt and rapid, but impartial justice of the peace, and a busy and active merchant, in which business -- to complete the illustration -- he failed. Benjamin was destined to be proudly represented in the talents and worth of his numerous family.


THE CHAFFEE FAMILY

      As early as A. D. 1803 or '04, the town became strongly reinforced by the arrival of Mr. Comfort CHAFFEE, from Clarendon, Vt. Resettled in the N. W. part of the town, on the road leading north from the present W. Berkshire village, and soon had a handsome and productive farm, with good bullrings. For several years he kept a tavern, which was the quiet and safe retreat of the traveler. Most of his sons were then minors, but in due time they were active and energetic men, settling as permanent inhabitants of the town. Nearly all of them became substantial farmers, at the same time participating actively and usefully in the offices and business of the town. One was long a proprietor and conductor in the works on Pike River falls at West Berkshire, especially the excellent grist-mill which was run there; whilst another, in addition to the management of his fine and valuable farm on that stream, was a successful merchant and discharged the duties of a magistrate.  Jasper CHAFFEE, Esq., the person here alluded to, has lately deceased, after having lived several years in comparative retirement, enjoying the comforts of a highly respectable old age. In short, the town of Berkshire is not a little indebted to the energy and perseverance of the CHAFFEEs for her advance in wealth and improvement -- although, contrasted with the progress of communities more centrally and fortunately located, that advance has been moderate and limited.


CLERGYMEN

      The first resident minister in Berkshire was the Rev. John Barnet. He was of the Presbyterian or Congregational order, and came from the south-eastern part of New York. He was a taciturn and reserved man, but a sound scholar and a man of unquestioned piety. His object in coming to Berkshire was not to pursue his profession -- though he preached on special occasions -- but to train his two young sons to the business of farming. With that-view, he bought out Capt. NUTTING, and conducted what was afterwards long and widely known as the WILLOUGHBY farm on Missisquoi River. He was a wise and judicious man, but of plain and simple habits, and appeared to loathe all show of ostentation. His wife was a sister of the great Judge Ambrose SPENCER, of New York and was an accomplished, interesting and superior woman. After a stay of three or four years, Mr. BARNET sold to Dr. Amherst WILLOUGHBY, and after residing a year or two in Sheldon, returned to his former residence in New York.

      The Rev. Mr. RICHARDS, quite an aged gentleman from New Hampshire, followed his two sons into the neighborhood of East Berkshire, and began the farm on the east side of Missisquoi River, which was afterwards long occupied, improved and enlarged by Benjamin STONE. He often preached in the neighborhood until incapacitated by age and infirmity.

      About A. D. 1807, the Rev. Mr. WARE a minister of the Baptist denomination, became the first settled minister in Berkshire, claiming, however, but a portion of the right of land to which the town charter entitled him. He was a man of no eminent distinction, and remained in town but a few years. -- Rev. William GALUSHA, also of the Baptist order, and a man of modest, unpretending worth, was long a resident in the north western portion of the town, and preached on special occasions.


THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

      The Episcopal Church in East Berkshire, was erected in 1823, and was soon duly consecrated by Bishop GRISWOLD, Then, and for a few years previously, the membership of that faith was relatively large. As early as A. D. 1821, or '22, the parish had a resident rector, the Rev. Jordon GRAY, who, in April, A. D. 1823, met a premature and greatly lamented death by drowning in Trout River. After the church edifice was prepared for religious services, a long succession of rectors officiated in it, dividing their labors between the parishes of East Berkshire and Montgomery. The first one permanently engaged for the parishes, after the death of Mr. GRAY, was the Rev. Richard PECK, who remained several years, and finally died in Sheldon. The Rev. Louis MCDONALD, from Middlebury, next followed, and after a service of two or three years gave place to the Rev. Mr. OBEAR, who labored in the parishes for a period somewhat longer, and until failing health compelled him to go South.

      Next came the Rev. Mr. CULL who fixed his residence in Montgomery, while officiating in both parishes, as his predecessors had done. He labored as rector for about two years, and was succeeded by the Rev. Ezekiel H. SAYLES. His labors in the parishes were continued longer than those of any other rector before or after him -- extending from the summer of A. D. 1843, till after 1850. There was then a vacancy of a year or more which was temporarily supplied by the Rev. Moore BINGHAM. After his admission to orders in the Episcopal ministry, Mr. BINGHAM had already supplied some vacancies occurring in the Berkshire parish, particularly that preceding the arrival of Mr. CULL. His principal labors, however, had been in the town of Hampton, New York. Having returned to East Berkshire -- the place where his youth and early manhood had been passed -- he purchased and carried on the farm begun by Mr. Job L. BARBER, as before mentioned. The farm being finally disposed of, he removed to the far West, where he soon died.

      In A. D. 1852 the Rev. John A. Fitch became rector of the parishes. He stayed about two years, and was succeeded by the Rev. Richard F. CADLE, who remained one year. There was then a vacancy for about six months, when the parishes were supplied by the 

      Rev, Albert H. BAILEY. He continued his valuable labors till June, A. D. 1860, when, in consequence of the death of his excellent wife, ho was compelled to remove his family of young children to their relatives in Rutland County. In Oct. of that year the rectorship of the parishes was assumed by the

      Rev. Joel CLAPP, D. D. This venerable divine, a native of Montgomery, after long and distant service in various States, now returned to close the clerical labors of his life in the field where, more than 40 years before, they were commenced. The mutual and fond hope was cherished on his part and that of the parishes, that long years of pleasant usefulness were still before him. But before the first half year of his rectorship had elapsed, when on a visit to friends in Claremont, New Hampshire, he suddenly sickened and died there. His death was no less a shock than a surprise and grief to his parishioners. Another vacancy of about 6 months intervened, when the rectorship was filled by the Rev. Ezra JONES. 

      Rev. Ezra JONES -- This gentleman, a New Englander by birth and education, came to Berkshire from Sumpter, S. C., where he had preached some 2 years, but was obliged to come north on account of his Union principles, -- the Rebellion having already culminated in open and gigantic war. He labored in the parishes 2 years, when he removed to Michigan.

      All the reverend gentlemen here named were competent and faithful pastors, as they were also acceptable preachers. More than this might with much justice be said of some, but the invidious attempt to contrast their respective talents, learning and professional qualifications will not be undertaken.

      A vacancy of more than 6 months again occurred, which in the Berkshire parish was much relieved by the timely and very satisfactory ministrations of the Rev. Charles FAY, D. D., of St. Albans, From about the first of June, A. D. 1864, the charge of the two parishes has been held by the present able and much esteemed rector, Rev. Frederick A. WADLEIGH.

      While the events thus briefly sketched have been transpiring in relation to the Episcopal church on the west side of the river, devoted and faithful clergymen in a somewhat long succession, have diligently labored in sustaining and advancing the interests of The Congregational Church on the east side.


CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH

      The first of those permanently employed was the Rev. Phineas BAILEY. He began his ministry there about 1823, and officiated till 1832. Next came the Rev. E. W. KELLOGG, who labored in the parish 3 years. He was then succeeded by the Rev. Mr. BIRGE, who remained 2 years, and was followed by the Rev. John GLEED, an English man, who continued his clerical labors 3 years, when the Rev. Preston TAYLOR assumed the pastorate, and filled it with distinction for 3 years. Rev. Mr. BAILEY was then recalled to the field of his early ministrations, and continued a devoted service therefor seven additional years. The Rev. Waters WARREN, from Ludlow, Vt., was the next minister of the parish, and discharged the duties of a faithful pastor 4 years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Elam J. COMINGS, a native of Berkshire, and a grandson of the first Mr. JEWETT already mentioned. After an irreproachable service of 3 years, Mr. COMINGS terminated his parochial labors at East Berkshire, when a vacancy of several months occurred. For most of the last 2 years the present pastor, the Rev E, W. HATCH, has tilled the pulpit and performed his other ministerial functions in a manner to give universal satisfaction, so far as the writer is informed, and to afford promise of much and lasting usefulness.

      The House Of Worship At The Centre was built, and has been occupied, as a Union House, -- the denominations contributing to its erection and maintenance, holding services therein alternately in proportion to their respective contributions. The Universalists, the Baptists and the Methodists are supposed to be the principal and perhaps the only proprietors, No order has yet had a settled or permanently resident minister connected with the worship of that house.

      The House At West Berkshire village has always been known as a Methodist chapel, but how exclusively it has been devoted to the worship of that order is unknown to the writer. The Methodists in the eastern section of the town hold their ordinary worship in school-houses, but funeral and such like occasions they have been freely admitted into the other churches.


PHYSICIANS

      The first regular physician who settled in Berkshire, was Dr. Amherst WILLOUGHBY. He had practiced in Western New York a few years, and came to East Berkshire in the spring of 1798, succeeding the Rev. Mr. BARNET in the possession and ownership of an interval farm on Missisquoi river. As the population of the town and surrounding region was then small, he found time to devote considerable attention to the cultivation and improvement of his inviting farm. And though the duties of his profession were promptly and thoroughly attended to, he manifested a strong predilection for farming, in which his paramount interest soon centered. In about 3 years he surrendered his professional labors to Dr. Elijah LITTLEFIELD, and engaged ill mercantile business at East Berkshire in connection with the management of his farm. His wife's brother, Solomon BINGHAM, Esq., became his partner in the mercantile business, and William BARBER, Esq., of Enosburgh, afterwards joined the firm. The business soon became so extended that a branch was established at Richford, where Dr. WILLOUGHBY himself resided for a few years, leaving the store and farm at East Berkshire in the temporary charge of his partner BINGHAM. This mercantile enterprise did not result in marked success, though no absolute bankruptcy or failure followed it. After some 10 years Dr. WILLOUGHBY resumed the control of his favorite East Berkshire farm, and concentrated his energies to enlarge and improve it. This he successfully continued, until age and comparative affluence induced him to entrust its further care and management to tenants. Dr. WILLOUGHBY was as good a specimen of the unadulterated Anglo Saxon as ever lived in Berkshire. True to his convictions, rigid and unbending in his purposes, firm and outspoken in defense of what he deemed the right, he was not a man to catch the ordinary breezes of popular favor, though he twice represented the town in the State legislature, and was a justice of the peace as long as he chose to hold and execute the office. In early life he was an avowed disbeliever in revealed religion; but he afterwards declared his full faith in Christianity, and for a long course of years was not only an unflinching professor and communicant in the Episcopal church, but, so far as such a nature was capable, a meek and humble follower of the cross. Having no children, and but few needy relatives, he left the bulk of his estate to religious and charitable purposes. His widow, Hannah WILLOUGHBY, survived him a few years. Her brother, above named, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and, doubtless through his instruction and encouragement in her youth, she acquired literary tastes and accomplishments above the average of women in her day. She was a model housewife, and being of a social temperament she did much to enliven and refine the society in which she moved.

      DR. LITTLEFIELD, the immediate successor of Dr. WILLOUGHBY in medical practice, settled on the east side of Missisquoi river, near the present residence of Mr. Dolphus PAUL. He remained in town nearly 10 years, and was a judicious, successful and popular physician. In 1806 and 1809 he represented the town in the State legislature. He went from Berkshire to Manchester, and died there many years ago. About the time of Dr. LITTLEFIELD's arrival in town, Dr. Benjamin B. SEABLE from Sheldon, settled at West Berkshire, about three-fourths of a mile north of the present village. He was said not to have passed through the regular course of medical instruction, and never claimed, as I think, to have received a diploma, but by natural sagacity, observation and experience, and doubtless by considerable reading, he made himself a useful and acceptable physician. His practice was somewhat extensive; and while he was able to continue it, not a few, both near and distant, preferred his treatment to that of other physicians. He educated one of his sons to his own profession; and he (Dr. Sheldon SEARLE, now deceased), was long recognized as a physician of approved learning and skill.

      Next came Dr. Wm. C. ELLSWORTH, who also settled at West Berkshire, not far from 1810. He was a regularly bred physician, and of decided promise from the outset. The public expectation was not disappointed, and for full 50 years Dr. ELLSWORTH held high rank among the able and scientific of his profession. In addition to a flattering patronage in his special vocation, he soon received substantial tokens of favor as a public man. He went often to the legislature as town representative, and held, till recently, the office of jusice of the peace, from a date almost beyond the reach of living memory. Not ambitious for extensive wealth, he was satisfied with an ample competency-and this he secured and retained from an early day. Dr. ELLSWORTH has but recently gone to his rest, closing a useful life of about 90 years. One of his sons was bred a physician, but resides at the West ; another, bred to the law, still lives at West Berkshire, Since Dr. ELLSWORTH became incapacitated by age and infirmity, the profession has been filled at West Berkshire by Dr. Sherman GOODRICH. At East Berkshire the vacancy caused by the removal of Dr. LITTLEFIELD, in the autumn of 1811, was soon after supplied by young Dr. Samuel L'HOMEDIIEU, who manifested every indication of much usefulness, But after a brief period of successful and increasing practice, he died of one of the malignant fevers which attended and outlasted the war of 1812. In a year or two after this lamented event, Dr. Samuel S. BUTLER established himself at East Berkshire. Like his contemporary Dr. ELLSWORTH, he at once secured general confidence and patronage. And marrying the estimable widow of Dr. L'HOMEDIEU, he became fully settled in an extensive, profitable and useful practice which, for half a century, has rendered his name familiar and highly respected through a wide extent of country. He educated to his own profession a son of Dr. L'HOMEDIEU, who is a man of wealth and distinction, but whose home is not in Vermont. He did the same by two of his own sons, one of whom became eminent, but died as he was approaching middle life, and the other did not live to enter fully upon his intended professional course. Dr. BUTLER yet lives, but he, like the writer of these notes, more properly belongs to an age and generation that have passed. Other physicians, as Dr. Friend M. HALL, John PAGE, Caleb N. BURLISON, and G. M. HULBERT, also practiced for short periods, at East Berkshire, but not to the serious interruption of Dr. BUTLER. Indeed, the two last named acted in a business connection with him. Dr. Oscar F. FASSETT commenced practice at East Berkshire some 15 years ago, and by his assiduity, skill and success, has raised himself to high estimation and rank in his profession. Ho has lately transferred his residence to St. Albans, where, if life and health are spared him, he will doubtless attain still higher degrees of professional standing and reputation. Dr. Chapman C. SMITH, of Richford, followed Dr. FASSETT in a successful practice, but after about 2 years and a half returned to Richford. The present practitioner, Dr. C. C. WOODWORTH, is a native of Berkshire, who gives fair promise for the future.


LAWYERS

      The first of that profession who settled in Berkshire was Solomon BINGHAM, Esq., a man of towering height, of commanding presence, and great power of voice. He has been mentioned as a mercantile partner of Dr. WILLOUGHBY, and was at the same time a practicing lawyer, well grounded in all the more familiar principles of haw, and a man of decided strength as a reasoner and debater. And with the further advantage of a good classical education, he might doubtless have gained an enviable distinction at the bar, had he not chosen to practice his profession in back towns, and comparatively obscure locations. He was so generally regarded throughout the community as a man of superior ability, that he was finally promoted to the office of chief judge of Franklin County Court. About 50 years ago he heft the State, and settled within the border of Canada. He did not, however, secure the standing and influence in that country to which his talents and acquirements entitled him. One of Judge BINGHAM's sons became an Episcopal clergyman, and has been already noticed. His youngest son, Solomon BINGHAM, jr., a native of Berkshire, was in all respects a worthy and promising youth, and became an accomplished printer in the office of Col. Jeduthan SPOONER at St. Albans. But like very many others at the time, he became most deeply interested in the Greek cause, as that people awoke from their national slumber of 2000 years. And his enthusiasm for the immediate restoration of Greece to her ancient splendor induced him to take a printing press and go out to that country, about the time that Lord Byron sacrificed his life there to the like enthusiasm. But though Greece was permitted to assume the attitude of an independent nation, yet, with the Ottoman power on one side, and the despotisms of Russia and Austria on the other, she could by no means be allowed to set up and maintain a government with any large infusion of popular rights and influence,-such a government as would be calculated to excite and cherish that rapid development of talent and genius which was so fondly looked for by her champions and sympathizers. By cold and suspicious foreign diplomacy she was manipulated into a small and obscure kingdom, and of course required to move in the old and deep-worn ruts of monarchy as existing in the adjacent portions of eastern Europe. Overwhelmed with chagrin and disappointment, and finding the climate destructive to his health, young BINGHAM managed to got back to this country, wrecked in fortune and constitution, and after a few years died, a victim to ill-judged and overstrained efforts to hasten the amelioration and advancement of society among a distant race.

      Stephen ROYCE, Jr. also practiced law at East Berkshire for two years, in A. D. 1809, '10, '11. In the beginning of 1823 Joseph SMITH, Esq., from Washington County, opened a law-office at East Berkshire, and for almost 20 years did a lucrative business. He was at different times town representative in the State legislature, and a judge of Franklin County Court. He also held, for a few years, a responsible position as a deputy-collector of customs under the general government, at the important point of Island Pond. For a long period he superintended the management of his large and profitable farm in Richford, though continuing to reside in East Berkshire. He has lately disposed of all his real estate in both towns, and is now strictly a gentleman of leisure, in a vigorous old age.

      About A. D. 1838, Thomas CHILD, JR., Esq., commenced practice as a lawyer at East Berkshire, as the successor of Judge SMITH, whose time had become much engrossed by his own property and affairs. Mr. CHILD conducted the business with ability and success for some six or seven years, with good prospects of increasing reputation and distinction, when ill health determined him to change his employment and location. He accordingly left the professional business with Homer E. ROYCE, Esq., his previous partner, and removed to the city of New York. There he succeeded well in certain branches of trade, was once elected to Congress from that city, and now lives in style and affluence on Staten Island.

      In the hands of Mr. ROYCE the business continued to increase, involving him in almost constant labors and consultations in his office, or in attendance upon justice courts, audits, references and the like; or before the county and supreme courts at their sessions within the county. In the meantime he had been two years State's attorney, twice a representative to the legislature, and three years a member to the State senate. At the end of about 10 years he became a member of Congress from the third district, thereupon suspending the practice of his profession, which has not yet been resumed. He served in Congress for two terms or four years; and has been town representative for one year more, recently.

      Waldo BRIGHAM, Esq., continued business in Mr. ROYCE's office for four or five years, establishing a character for sound judgment and strict integrity, and then removed to the county of Lamoille. He has there become more widely known as a legislator and politician.

      At West Berkshire, Jasper RAND, Esq. opened the first law office more than 20 years ago. He was at once recognized as a young gentleman of ability, industry and integrity, and steadily grew in public estimation; so that for a long time he has ranked among the prominent men of the county. On becoming a resident of St. Albans, he was succeeded in business at West Berkshire by his son-in-law, M. J. HILL, Esq.

      It remains to speak of some as individuals merely; who, though not grouped in numerous families, nor connected with any profession, yet contributed above the average of inhabitants to the growth or character of the town.

      But in the meantime it should be noted that the original and first settler, Joe L. BARBER, before mentioned, though a man of courage, great industry and personal endurance, did not succeed in establishing that pleasant and lasting home for himself and family, nor in acquiring that generous competency which bad been fondly anticipated. He passed through a hard and laborious life; and in old age was dependent upon his pension as a Revolutionary soldier, as the means of keeping him from actual want. He finally died full of years and infirmities, within some two miles of the spot where he had made the first permanent impress of civilization in the town of Berkshire.

      Capt. HEATH died when little turned of 50. A daughter of his married a son of Mr. Jonathan CARPENTER already mentioned; and from that union a somewhat numerous and very respectable race has sprung. One of the sons, Orson CARPENTER, Esq., though beginning life as a boot and shoemaker, attracted such notice for his business capacity that he was soon taken into the executive department of the county, in which he held for several years the office of deputy sheriff, and as many or more, that of high sheriff of Franklin County; discharging all his duties with ability, fidelity, and to public satisfaction. Within the last few years he died at East Berkshire, leaving a worthy and interesting family of daughters.

      Another son of Mr. CARPENTER, and the oldest son of Capt. HEATH, passed their lives from early manhood in Richford, and their memories deserve honorable notice in the history of that town.

      Capt. NUTTING lived till nearly 60. His oldest son, David R. NUTTING, was the only member of his family who remained permanently in Berkshire. He was a man of more than ordinary ability, but, his mind being wholly undisciplined by early culture, he indulged in some peculiarities and eccentricities of opinion. He was a self-taught carpenter, bridge builder and surveyor. Was for some years an energetic and widely known custom-house officer, had a strong proclivity to the management and discussion of controversies before justice courts and arbitrations, and was probably the most able and prominent pettifogger in the county. His residence was at West Berkshire, and for a time he was a large proprietor in the water privileges there on Pike river, and of course exercised much influence upon the business of that rising village. He died of consumption in A. D. 1823, and, in accordance with his dying injunction he lies buried in the apex of a steep and cone-like gravelly hillock a little south of the present residence of Asahel DEMING, Esq. Mr. NUTTING left two sons, both of whom adopted the legal profession. The elder, L. H. NUTTING, Esq., was fast rising to marked distinction when, like his father, he sank in consumption. The younger son also died soon after, of the same disease.

      A little before A. D. 1800 CHESTER WELD, from western New Hampshire, settled on the Centre north and south road in Berkshire, near the line of Enosburgh. He was universally esteemed a very valuable citizen; repeatedly town representative, a sensible and conscientious magistrate; and for several years held the office of town clerk, proprietors' clerk, collector of one or more land taxes, and such like trusts which especially required honesty and truth in the inner man. Some of his descendants still live in town, and are respectable and useful citizens. His estimable wife was a COMINGS, and two of her brothers, Samuel and Andrew COMINGS, soon followed from New Hampshire and became permanent settlers in Berkshire. Samuel was a domestic man and a thrifty farmer. He is represented in town by a son who is a more prominent man and equally a successful farmer. Andrew was a man of much energy in business, and after clearing up one farm, established himself in a more eligible location upon Trout river. He became a magistrate, took a lively interest in the civil and religious affairs of his town and neighborhood, and was a leading citizen He left four highly respectable and prosperous sons-a worthy clergyman being of the number. -- Only one of them remains in town, living on the paternal homestead, which lies both in Berkshire and Enosburgh.

      Abel JOHNSON, Esq. is chiefly remembered as the pioneer and founder of works on the great falls of Pike river at West Berkshire. He built mills there as early as A. D. 1800, was a justice of the peace, and represented she town in the legislature held at Burlington m A. D. 1802. From his beginning, that village has risen to its present growth in business, wealth and population.

      David BREWER, from Tinmouth, was among the early settlers. He began the farm on Missisquoi river where that stream enters Berkshire from Richford, and on which those much esteemed people, Mr. Samuel B. S. MARVIN and his family, now reside. Mr. BREWER was long an active and useful town officer, chiefly as first constable and collector, and was afterwards for many years an efficient and trustworthy deputy sheriff, being widely known and respected in that capacity. He finally removed to Enosburgh where he died, leaving behind him several sons and daughters, all much respected and valuable people. One of his sons has represented that town in the legislature, and is among its most exemplary, wealthy and leading citizens.

      Asa SYKES was a brother-in-law of Mr. BREWER, and settled next below him on the river. His forte was persistent, earnest and judiciously directed industry as a farmer. Of course, he soon secured for himself an ample competence. At the same time he was a liberal, public-spirited and pious man. One of his sons owns and has much improved, the large paternal homestead, and another owns and skillfully conducts a farm adjoining. They are among the prosperous and solid men of the town as well in moral influence as in property.

      Nathan HAMILTON from Tinmouth soon followed BREWER and SYKES, and settled near, but not on the river. He came as a tanner and boot and shoe-maker, but soon combined farming with those trades, and by gradual purchases acquired a tract of desirable land embracing several hundred acres. His sterling sense and capacity were early discovered, and made available for the public benefit. He was long a magistrate, held about all the town offices he would consent to fill, and at different times through a period of nearly 30 years was town representative in the State legislature. He died a few years since, and his fair possessions were divided among several daughters.

      Hon. Martin D. FOLLETT live just within the border of Enosburgh, but his business and neighborhood associations were almost wholly with the south-east part of Berkshire and the north-west part of Montgomery, More than 60 years ago he began the beautiful interval farm on Trout river, which, with additions, is now owned by the wealthy Harding ALLEN. Esq. A social, kind, pleasant and agreeable man, patient under privations, Mr. FOLLETT was remarkably fitted to mitigate the hardships and smooth the asperities incident to the settlement of a new country. His uprightness and sound judgment brought him much into requisition as the pacificator of disputes and contortions, as also in the settlement of estates of deceased persons, and generally, where such qualities existing in an eminent degree are sought and appealed to. He was often a town representative in the legislature, and his well appreciated worth finally advanced him to the dignity of a county court judge.

      A son of Judge FOLLETT settled in Berkshire on the east side of Missisquoi river, upon the high' land overlooking the valley of that stream. He, too, was a much esteemed and valuable citizen, and once represented the town in the legislature. Several years since, he removed to the far West.

      Next below Henry FOLLETT, Esq., the gentleman last spoken of, lived his father-in-law Mr. Ezekiel POND. He was a quiet, industrious and sensible man, and became remarkable for his longevity, being 85 years old at the time of his death. His posterity fitly represent the Revolutionary patriarch who is gone. A worthy son of ample means, and some promising grandsons occupy the extensive interval and up-land homestead which be left.

      As in the case of Judge FOLLETT, also in those of Deacon Samuel TODD and Mr. John PERLY, very early settlers. Their farms were within the limits of Enosburgh, but in proximity with East Berkshire, overlooking the valley of the river for a long distance. They were resolute, efficient farmers, and opened wide improvements which greatly help to render the view of the Enosburgh hills so attractive from the East Berkshire valley. The numerous and robust sons and grandsons of. Mr. PERLY have added materially to the agricultural and manufacturing wealth and products of their section, While Deacon TODD was a pillar in the Congregational Church on the east aide of the river, several of Mr. PERLY's sons were and still are, pillars in Calvary Church, on the west side.

      Dolphus PAUL came early into the vicinity of East Berkshire as a blacksmith. He first settled in the north border of Enosburgh, but after a few years he moved down into the valley, and made for himself a fine farm on Trout river. With this and the earnings of his shop which was kept in operation, he soon became a man of property and influence- He finally changed his residence to the village on the West side of Missisquoi river where he ended his days. One of the prominent characteristics of Mr. PAUL was the accuracy of his judgment in matters relating to property and business. He seemed rarely, if ever, to be disappointed in his calculations, though they might be long and slow in their accomplishment. All his operations were evidently guided by a far-seeing sagacious mind. And he was not less marked for the constancy and firmness with which he adhered to any course taken from principle and a sense of duty. This was illustrated by his active and unremitted efforts for the well being of Calvary Church, in whose concern he was first officer (senior warden) for many years, and of which he and his highly meritorious consort were exemplary and almost life-long members. Beside some interesting daughters he left one son, who has evidently inherited the shrewdness and capacity of his father, and is probably destined to surpass him in wealth and distinction.

     The next two notices are copied from a manuscript history of Calvary Church by a lady.
      Augustus CRAMPTON, "At an early day Mr. Augustus CRAMPTON became a resident here. He afterwards became a magistrate and bore the name of Esq. CRAMPTON. Coming from the ministry of Rev. Bethuel CHITTENDEN in Tinmouth, Vt., and perhaps imbued with something of his spirit, we find him enrolled as a member of the Episcopal Society at its beginning, subsequently communicant, and for many years an officer in the church. He was a substantial, sensible and consistent man in all things, and was greatly respected. He died in 1835.
      David COBURN. Among those most worthy of memory is Mr. David COBURN, born in New Hampshire, he came to Berkshire when a young man, and by his sterling integrity and worth as well as by his warm attachment to the church, and zeal in advancing her interests, won a name and a place that will not soon perish. He too was an efficient officer in the church for 21 years. In 1842, his earthly career closed. Only four hours intervened between his death and that of his estimable wife. One grave received them, and deeply were they mourned."

      Mr. COBURN, though beginning with nothing, and dying when scarcely past middle life, had managed by honest industry, sound judgment and due economy, to accumulate a property which afforded a handsome little portion for each of his children. Two sons and three daughters remain with us, to quicken and preserve the remembrance of their excellent parents.

      Robert ANDERSON should also be remembered among the venerable and useful men who have lived and died in Berkshire. He settled on Trout river about 50 years ago; and if not himself a farmer above the average class, he raised a somewhat numerous family, who have essentially helped to advance as well the material prosperity, as the refinement and religious tone of the society in which they have lived. Three sons and one daughter yet remain inhabitants of the town.
      John M. WOODWORTH, Esq., who settled on the original and main road about one and a half mile South of Berkshire Centre, at an early day, and who became a magistrate and was a leading citizen, left four sons, two of them twins -- named George Washington and Alexander Hamilton -- who all settled in town, and are among its intelligent, thrifty and prosperous farmers. They add much as well to the resources as to the solid and stable character of our limited community.
      Oliver AUSTIN was a very early settler on the west side of the central road, and opposite the present farm of Mr. Orson THAYER. He was succeeded in his somewhat spacious possessions by his two sons, Oliver and Raymond AUSTIN, who made of the same two good farms, and respectively owned, occupied and improved them through their lives. They were conspicuous and influential men. Some of the posterity and name are still prosperous and worthy farmers in town.
      Penuel LEAVENS, Esq, settled a short distance south of the Centre about 50 years ago, and soon became a man of marked prominence and a leading citizen. he filled most of the important town offices, was a magistrate, and repeatedly represented the town in the legislature. His two sons have ably represented him, uniformly evincing that strength of character which distinguished their father. One has long been a magistrate, at the same time most acceptably filling the responsible office of town clerk, and the other an able town officer in different capacities, and occasionally town representative and State senator.
      Harvey CLARK is a name long to be had in respectful remembrance in the town of Berkshire. His servie as a town clerk (which office he held for an age) were deemed so invaluable, that he steadily received the annual appointment, without serious opposition, through all the bitter party-strifes and political changes by which the town was agitated. -- He also for many years discharged the duties of a magistrate, and several times represented the town in the legislature. But one of his sons remains in town, and he is a sensible, competent business man and valuable citizen.
      John LEWIS, Esq. was an early settler at the Centre, and was long an inspector and receiver of customs under the general government. Promising descendants of his are living in the town and county, and one or more at the West.
     Mr. Aaron CHAPLIN should be named among those who co-operated efficiently in the settlement of Berkshire. He commenced, cleared up, and brought to its present high state of improvement, the handsome and desirable farm now owned and occupied by Mr. Nelson AUSTIN. His family was mostly composed of daughters, who have all become intelligent, useful and much esteemed matrons.
      Cromwell BOWEN, Esq., long the intelligent, attentive and pleasant landlord at the Corners, a little north of the Centre, and his son Harrison BOWEN, a merchant there, were in all respects useful and valuable citizens. They have been dead for 20 years or more.
      Elijah SHAW, Esq. was quite an early settler in the N. W. corner of the town. He was greatly respected as a magistrate and a citizen, and was for a few years town representative in the legislature. None of his sons have been residents in town for a long period, though some other descendants are still here.
      Robert NOBLE was among the first who settled in the N. W. part of the town. He must have commenced his farm at the parting of the road from West Berkshire to Frelighsburgh (Canada) and East Franklin, before the close of the-last century. Active, enterprising, and an accurate judge of property, he was a prosperous and independent farmer almost from the start as well as at all times a kind, generous and just man-such a man as any community would greatly regret to lose. He reached a great age, having been dead but a few years. His posterity are also prosperous, as well in property as in character and influence. As Robert NOBLE was the prominent and efficient agent in subduing the N. W. corner of the town, 
      Reuben ROUNDS was emphatically such in the N. E. corner. Strong in mind and muscle, strong and persevering in purpose, he entered that wild section of the town nearly 60 years ago, and by dint of hard blows diminished the forest, and soon brought into cultivation extensive and fair fields -- thus opening to settlement one of the handsomest farming tracts in town. That region has now long been covered by inviting terms. He raised a numerous family of willing and powerful workers. Though by no terms a boastful man, Mr. ROUNDS once incidentally remarked, in presence of the writer, that he thought he might safely pit himself and his sons, for a day's work on a farm, against any other man and his sons (the Mormons were then but little known.) And being asked what force he could bring to such a trial, he replied that he was less than 60 years old, and could still do as large a single day's work as he ever could; and that he should lead out 10 eons, any one of whom could do at least as much as he himself could. This useful man died within the last few years at the West.


HON. STEPHEN BOYCE AND FAMILY.
By Mrs. B. H. SMALLEY

      This history of Berkshire required for its entire completion but a biographical sketch of the writer's own family, -- left by him with his characteristic modesty, to form the last of those-notices, and some account, which be intended to add, of the destructive fire in the spring of 1868, that laid the village of East Berkshire in ruins. The able pen which contributed that history to this point, is laid aside forever, and it remains for other hands to finish what his own -- had Divine Providence permitted -- would have accomplished in a far more appropriate and perfect manner.

      It is a touching incident, that the latest effort of his long and useful life was devoted to preparing this record of his beloved town of Berkshire.

      Stephen ROYCE, the father of him whose name has been in a great measure identified with the judicial and civil history of Vermont in later years, was born in Cornwall, Conn., July 8, 1764. His father, Major Stephen ROYCE, was an officer in the army of the Revolution, and came from Cornwall to Tinmouth, Vt., in 1774. He was-one of the delegates from Tinmouth to the Convention which met at Cephas KENT's in Dorset, in July, 1774, to declare Vermont a free and independent State. Stephen ROYCE, the subject of this notice, served in the same army; but in what capacity, or for how long a period, it is impossible now to determine. On Dec. 8, 1785, he married Minerva, daughter of Hon. Ebenezer MARVIN (who was also an officer in the Revolutionary army), at Tinmouth, Vt., where they resided until 1791, when they removed to the new town of Huntsburgh (now Franklin), in Franklin Co.

      In 1792, Stephen ROYCE began a clearing on his farm in Berkshire, the third one that was commenced in the town; he made a small opening in the forest and erected a log-house on the bank of Missisquoi river, into which he removed his family on the 25th of April, 1793. The route from Franklin to Berkshire, indicated by marked trees, lay through an unbroken forest. Their few household goods were transported on ox-sleds, and Mrs. ROYCE rode the entire distance of 16 miles on horseback, carrying her son Stephen, then in his 6th year, behind her on the same horse. For several years after they settled in Berkshire, they were compelled to send 20 miles to mill and to procure necessary household supplies. It is hardly possible for the descendants of those hardy pioneers who conquered our stubborn primeval forests, and effected the first settlement in bleak and unpromising regions, to estimate the privations and hardships attending the process.

      In 1799 Mr. ROYCE erected a frame-house -the first that was built in the town-in which he resided until his death, and which has been the home of his oldest son, the honored and lamented Stephen ROYCE, until his death on the 11th of November, 1868, All the men in Berkshire and from three of the adjoining towns, were occupied two days in raising the frame of this house. For many years it was almost the only place, in that part of the county, where the weary hunter or traveler could obtain comfortable shelter, refreshment and rest. These were always accorded in the spirit of frank hospitality which characterized the early settlers in Northern Vermont; and the custom thus early established, has not been permitted to become obsolete in this instance, but has happily lingered with the old family mansion, in most agreeable freshness, down to the present time. In this house, also, public worship was held at intervals, until the town was so far advanced as to provide other places for that purpose.

      Stephen ROYCE was very active in promoting, and mainly instrumental in procuring the organization of the town of Berkshire, in 1794. He was the first representative to the General Assembly from that place in 1796. In subsequent years he frequently represented Berkshire in the State legislature. He held nearly all the offices in the gift of the town, by repeated elections, and was always active and faithful in the discharge of all duties pertaining to them. His real in advancing every scheme for the public weal of his State or town, is still held in grateful remembrance; while his heart and hand were ever open to the appeals of misfortune.

      His perceptions of right and wrong were so quick and discriminating as to appear more like intuitions, than the mature deductions of thought and reason, and they were supported and made effective by the aid of the most invincible moral courage. If a popular hue and cry was raised in support of any project which he deemed subversive of the public good, he never hesitated to face it boldly, opposing reason to clamor, and, if this failed, overwhelming and vanquishing his opponents with an onslaught of ridicule and satire. On the other hand, when a good cause was urged with such intemperate zeal as to endanger success, he could wield an influence on the side of moderate measures, that was potent in sustaining the equilibrium necessary to insure its triumph. He never followed the multitude or was led by them, but he bravely and constantly followed what he believed to be the right. This is tantamount to saying that he was not a politician of the modern stamp-and it is true; but his course secured the respect and confidence of all, and the men are rare who have so many friends and so few enemies. In political opinion, he was a moderate Federalist of the early times, -- in later days, a Whig.

      Of Stephen Royce it maybe truly said, that he was one of the representative men of the times. Possessed of a strong and vigorous intellect, untiring energy, and an integrity of character and firmness of purpose, that, disdaining all subterfuge marched directly and openly to the point he had in view. Remarkable for his fund of ready wit, the pungency of which, as has been said, often assisted in the discomfiture of big opponents in debate, while its playfulness formed the great charm of his social circle, he was -- taken all in all -- a man of no ordinary mark.

      Nor was he deficient in culture. Though the means furnished for this, in the times and circumstances of his early years, were meager indeed compared with those of our days, yet with the aid of big singularly retentive memory, and diligent use of his scanty opportunities, he succeeded in making himself-for all practical purposes -- an eminently well educated man. Few men of our day have a wider knowledge of English literature, or are more familiar with the works of English poets -- from which he could repeat pages. His quotations from Shakespeare are well remembered as strikingly forcible and apt, while his use of the English language, "unmixed and undiluted," was marvelously effective and powerful.

      Stephen and Minerva ROYCE had three sons and three daughters, who attained maturity. Only one of them, Mrs. Mary H. HULL, now survives. Stephen ROYCE died at Berkshire, July 13, 1833, aged 69 years.

      It would be a richer benefit than the possession of golden mines or untold treasures to the good people of Vermont, if they could be persuaded to pause in their wild career of speculation, their headlong scramble after wealth, and call to mind deliberately and thoughtfully the examples of their fathers. He would be their best benefactor indeed, who could win the present and rising generation to cherish grateful recollections of the spirit of sacrifice that gave efficacy and success to the struggle for American Independence, and-when that act of the drama closed in the achievement of a nation's liberty -- went forth with the successful actors into new scenes, animating them to subdue the wilderness regions of the country they had helped to liberate; to create homes in the boundless solitudes, and to plant society upon the eternal basis of justice and right. Such memories could not fail of awakening earnest desires to light a small taper, at least, of true patriotism at the blazing lamp of our fathers.

      But a more tender chord in our hearts vibrates with thrilling power to the reflection, that our mothers bore their full share of the, burdens imposed by the exigencies of those rough and troublous times. Deeper emotions are stirred as we recall what they encountered in their devotion to their country, their husbands and their little ones. The unflinching fortitude with which they encouraged their nearest and dearest to perseverance in the great conflict, and nerved their own gentle womanly hearts to hush the utterance of yearning anxieties, to face the terrors of impending perils, and to endure with patient cheerfulness the toils, the hardships, and the privations of their lot, with desire for no other guerdon than the modest one-that the deeds of their husbands might secure a nation's applause and gratitude, and cause them to he "known in the gates as they sat among the elders of the land."

      All this, and the fact that to their heroic domestic virtues we owe as large a share of the blessings we now enjoy, as to the more public efforts of our fathers, should never be forgotten.

      Among the distinguished women of our State, few have borne a more noble part than the subject of this notice

     Mrs. Minerva ROYCE was born in Sharon, Conn., Feb. 9th, 1766. She was therefore in her 11th year when the Declaration of Independence was made. Her father, Ebenezer MARVIN, was active in advancing preparations for the approaching struggle, and contributed largely from his own private means towards the prosecution of the contest. The excited state of the public mind, and the constant agitation and discussion of questions of great and solemn import, to which the young Minerva was an attentive and intelligent listener, awakened prematurely, as it were, the energies of her powerful mind. While yet but a child in years, she had seized with the clear and comprehensive grasp of a mature and intellectual woman, the full merits and bearings of those questions, and had formed earnest conceptions of the claims her country held to the best exertions of all. Her father was a physician, and early in his professional career had removed his family from Sharon to Stillwater, N. Y. When the war of the Revolution broke out he joined the movement at once -- first as captain of a volunteer company -- raised and fitted out at his own expense -- to aid Ethan ALLEN and Benedict ARNOLD at Ticonderoga, and afterwards as surgeon in the continental army. He was untiring in his devotion to the duties of this latter position, in which his wife assisted him with enthusiastic zeal, often calling in the aid of her young daughter to supply the deficiency of older nurses.

      During the day and night of the last battle of Stillwater (Saratoga), Oct. 7, 1777, the house in which he attended the wounded soldiers was so near the scene of action, that he did not dare to expose his wife and daughter to the flying bullets. A trap door in the floor of the room in which he officiated, opened into the cellar, where he placed them. There they prepared lint and bandages through the day and night, passing them up to him through the floor by the hands of a soldier in attendance. On the morning of the 8th -- the day after the battle-Mrs. ROYCE's oldest and favorite brother Ebenezer MARVIN was born.

      As it might he necessary for the American troops (after the defeat of Burgoyne on the 7th) to move on suddenly to some other point, it was judged best to send the women and children to Connecticut for safety from strolling parties of hostile Indians. Accordingly Mrs. MARVIN, with her infant of a few days on a pillow in her lap, and her eldest daughter, Minerva, behind her on the same horse (her younger daughter, afterwards Mrs. SQUIER of Bennington, being placed under the care of a neighbor in the company) joined the party on horseback, and proceeded, under escort of a few soldiers, through the wilderness by marked trees to Connecticut. The journey was not accomplished without great perils from wild beasts; and straggling hostile Indians, who threatened, but were not in sufficient numbers to venture an attack. The fall rains were prevailing, and, after being drenched through the day, they had to "camp out" in the woods at night. It is difficult to form an adequate conception of all the fatigues and discomforts to which they were exposed.

      As has been mentioned in the notice of Stephen ROYCE, he married Minerva MARVIN in Dec., 1785, at Tinmouth, Vt., her father having removed to that place in 1781. In 1791 Mr. ROYCE removed to Franklin, and subsequently in 1793 settled in Berkshire.

      The startling events transpiring around her early life, and the trying scenes through which she passed, undoubtedly left an indelible impression upon the mind and character of this gifted woman. To the influence of these she may perhaps have been indebted, in some measure, for the acquirement of a thoroughly disciplined and chastened spirit, which controlled all her thoughts, words and actions, and imparted a dignified calmness to her manner. The tender benevolence of her heart illuminated her countenance, and was expressed in deeds of kindness to all around her. In conversation upon grave subjects her language was clear, logical and forcible, exercising a wonderful power over her auditors. An indescribable charm was thrown over her more familiar communications, by her remarkable talent for delineating character, and depicting incident, combined with a wealth of genial quiet humor, and a quick sense of the ludicrous and grotesque. Her piety was unpretending, hut warm and sincere, manifested more by her works than by words.

      From a manuscript history of Calvary Church, East Berkshire, from which extracts have already been made in the history of Berkshire, we take the following: 

"One previously mentioned, Mrs. Minerva ROYCE, is warmly remembered. Not only was she the first to suggest and promote the formation of an Episcopal society, but for several years the was the only communicant of the church here -- having received confirmation at the hands of Bishop Mountain in 1812. In 1781 her father, as has been stated, removed to Tinmouth, Vt. There the subject of this notice received her first knowledge of the Episcopal church under the ministry of Rev. Bethuel CHITTENDEN. In future years her clear, strong, logical mind found ample scope in the interesting field of church history, from its treasures enriching many an inquirer, especially in the infancy of the church in Berkshire."

     Mr. and Mrs. ROYCE had, at a very early day, chosen a site for a church edifice; and when, in 1831, the work of building was commenced by the Episcopal society, a donation of a highly valuable lot containing two acres was made by Mrs. ROYCE. It was completed and consecrated by Bishop GRISWOLD in 1823.

      In the history before referred to, we find it spoken of thus: "It is a very plain, unpretending structure, nor has it ever been rebuilt or thoroughly repaired, yet within its walls are garnered memories dear and sacred to many hearts." And of Mrs. Royce: "Long was she permitted to sit under the shadow of the vine she had assisted to plant, and no one more sincerely rejoiced in its growth and prosperity."

      Her declining years were soothed and cheered by the attentions of her son Stephen, who made Berkshire his home after his father's death, and of her grandchildren, one of whom -- the orphan daughter of her son Elihu -- devoted herself especially to the care of her grand mother -- relieving her, for some years previous to her death, from all household cares, and exerting herself to make her home cheerful and pleasant, with the same gentle assiduity that has marked her attentions to her uncle in later years. Thus attended by the grateful devotion and respect of her family and friends, this beloved and distinguished woman passed serenely down the vale of years, and departed on the 24th of November, 1851, in the 86th year of her age.


HON. STEPHEN ROYCE.

      Stephen Royce, born at Tinmouth, Vt., Aug. 12, 1787, removed with his parents to the then wilderness-town, of Huntsburgh (Franklin), March, 1791, and again from Huntsburgh to the adjoining, and still newer town of Berkshire, April 25, 1793.

      In the history of that town the fact has been mentioned, that at this time only two other permanent settlements had been made in town. One the previous year, on a farm immediately north of Stephen ROYCE's, by Job L. BARBER, and one by Daniel ADAMS, about 11 mile S. W. of the present village of West Berkshire.

      No school was organized in Berkshire during the boyhood of Stephen ROYCE, and his only opportunities for mental culture, aside from parental instruction, previous to 1800, were obtained by resorting during a part of two or three winters, to schools established in towns of earlier settlement in the county. With such a parentage as his, however, his home-culture was not meagre or of slight utility. His father's talent for imparting information and making it interesting, was remarkable, and exercised to the utmost in every interval of leisure he could snatch from numerous and pressing occupations, for the benefit of his son and he has often been heard to say of his mother, that she was unwearied in her exertions to supply the deficiencies of their position in this respect, by imparting the rudiments of knowledge. There can be no doubt that their united efforts served to awaken in his young mind a thirst for further acquirements, together with desires and aspirations which were destined to find their fruition in the eminence of his future attainments.

      During the year 1800 he was placed to attend a common school in his native town, Tinmouth. Such was the rapidity of his improvement here, that during the following year he entered upon an academical course of study at Middlebury, under the tuition of Chester WRIGHT, subsequently a clergyman of considerable note. Owing to the ill health of his father, it became necessary for him to spend the summer of 1802 in laboring upon the farm is Berkshire. His parents united their strenuous efforts to the utmost extent of their means, to aid him in acquiring an education, and were ready to make any personal sacrifice to that end.

      In the winter of 1802-03 he returned to Middlebury, and during the latter year entered the college there; but he was again called back to the farm for some months, and could not resume his studies until December, 1803, when he started on foot from Berkshire for Middlebury, carrying, as on a previous occasion, a package of furs, which he had secured with great toil and care from the wilderness surrounding his home, and with the avails of which he purchased the books necessary for his collegiate course.

      He was one of those men of strong native capacity, who never despond, though encountering impediments at every step, but by force of intellectual power overcome difficulties valiantly, and vanquish obstacles with ever-increasing success. The strongest evidence that can be given of his perseverance, zeal and industry as a student, is the fact that notwithstanding these interruptions, and other very discouraging circumstances; he graduated with his class in 1807. That class is said to have contained more eminent men, in proportion to their number, than a single class in any American college can boast. He taught a large district school in Sheldon the winter after he left college, the only instance in which he was engaged in teaching he also prosecuted study of the law during that winter with his wonted energy, in the office of his uncle Ebenezer MARVIN, jr. In 1809 he was admitted to practice as an attorney in the county court, He then commenced business in Berkshire, and for 2 years was occupied in attending justice courts in that and adjacent towns, end in such other professional employments as that new and retired section of the country afforded. At the expiration of 2 years he returned to Sheldon, and practiced there a year with his favorite uncle, E. MARVIN. At the close of that year, his uncle removed to St, Albans, the shire town of the county, and 3 years later left Vermont, and settled in St. Lawrence county, N. Y, Mr. ROYCE remained in Sheldon 5 subsequent years, his business steadily increasing and improving in character and importance, during his 6 years of practice in that town. While residing in Sheldon; he was admitted to the bar of the Supreme court of the State, and to that of the circuit and district courts of the United States. In the first he practiced regularly and successfully as the terms cease round, and in the others occasionally. In 1815 and 1816 he was elected to represent the town of Sheldon in the State legislature; was also chosen State's Attorney for the county of Franklin, and bald the office 2 years, when he declined it in favor of a competent and worthy successor.

      In 1817 Mr. ROYCE removed to St. Albans, Here he pursued his profession with increasing diligence and success until the autumn of 1825, when he was elected a judge of the Supreme Court. The town of St. Albans had chosen him as their representative to the legislature in 1822, 1823 and 1824: and also as a delegate to the State Constitutional Convention in 1823. He held the office of judge during 1825 and 1826, and declining a reelection in the fall of 1827, returned to the practice of his profession until the fall of 1829, when he again accepted the appointment of judge, which he held by successive elections up to 1352, a period of 23 years, during the last 6 years of which he was chief justice of the Court. In 1852 he closed his judicial labors by declining to be again elected Judge. Without any political effort on his own part, or that of his friends, be was elected governor of Vermont for the years 1854 and 1855, since, which time he has held no official position.

      The marked ability, firmness and impartiality with which he held the scales of justice; the mildness, urbanity and courtesy, which characterized his intercourse with his associates at the bar and on the bench, will cause his memory to be held in affectionate veneration, as long as justice, integrity, sincerity and truth are respected by the people of Vermont.

      The public career and services of this great and good man, have now been briefly and imperfectly sketched. It remains to present a picture of the rare excellencies which distinguished his domestic and private life -- a far more difficult task! So delicate, modest and hidden, yet so exquisitely perfect, was his exercise of all domestic virtues, sympathies and courtesies, that it seems like intruding upon holy ground to lift the sacred veil, in the shadow of which he delighted to rest, even for the purpose of presenting to our State and to the world, an example as rare as it is noble and edifying. It may be said of him, that the principles of benevolence and veneration were those which governed all the relations of his whole life, but this will not convey an idea of the thousand invisible channels through which they flowed to enrich, to relieve, to comfort and to bless, not only his own, but all who came within the reach of their fertilizing influence. Nor will it portray-what indeed it is impossible adequately to describe-that touching filial devotion, that tender reverence, that knightly courtesy, which from his earliest years characterized all his conduct as a son. It will not reveal the wealth of fraternal affection, hidden from all but those upon whom it was bestowed, of which his heart was the golden mine. Neither will it tell of his quick and active sympathies with all human woes, of the countless deeds of kindness and charity, of which his left hand was never permitted to know what his right hand performed, and the sum of which is entered upon the records of that High Court alone, which will decree his great and eternal reward.

      Judge ROYCE was never married, After the death of his father in 1833, at the request of his widowed mother, he made his home with her in Berkshire, when not absent on official duty. A considerable portion of the year 1831, and the summer and autumn of 1832, he passed in the family of B. H. Smalley, of St. Albans, whose mother-in-law was the widow of his uncle E. MARVIN who resided with her son-in-law. During these two years his health was so very infirm as to cause the most serious apprehensions among his friends for the result. In the summer of 1832 -- the season of the first appearance of cholera in America-he was ill for many weeks with a lingering nervous fever, which was greatly aggravated by his distress at the ravages of this fearful scourge in the country, and his sympathy with the sufferers.

      At the close of his official course in 1855, Judge ROYCE retired to his paternal home, and passed the remainder of his life in the calm seclusion most congenial to his retiring tastes and habits, receiving the devoted attentions of his nephew, Hon. Homer E. ROYCE who resided near by, and of his niece, the sister of that gentleman, and taking a pleasure scarcely short of delight, in the daily visits of his nephew's intelligent and beautiful children. Here he exercised the most cordial hospitality, and entertained his friends in a delightfully genial though simple style.

      The treasures of information, the fund of anecdote and personal adventure, and especially the amusing and comical scenes in and about courts (in which his experience has been so wide and varied), with timid, bashful and frightened witnesses; with raw and inexperienced jurors; with men unaccustomed to chancery proceedings, and wild with horror at the charges preferred against them in a bill in equity, and with "the profession" in all its phases, -- garnered in his retentive memory, were here unlocked and produced for the entertainment of his guests arrayed in his own inimitable garb of quiet humor.

      At the period of his retirement from public life he was in the full possession of his intellectual powers. It is seldom, indeed, that a man who has shared so largely and so long in public honors can, in the unimpaired vigor and energy of his mental abilities, lay aside all the distinctions of worldly renown like a garment, and retire with the grace and contentment which characterized this great man to another sphere, widely different., but not less useful, though hidden from the world. In truth the garment was always irksome to his modest and retiring nature, and he was never so entirely himself as when finally relieved from its embarrassing weight.

      While Rev. Dr. BAILEY was rector of Berkshire, Judge ROYCE received confirmation at the hands of Bishop Hopkins in Calvary church, and was ever after an honored and active member of that society. He was for some years a member of the vestry, and took a deep interest in all the affairs of the church. As the infirmities of age gathered around him, his nephew Hon. Homer E. ROYCE, assumed the charge of his business. Thus relieved from all worldly cares, he passed his declining years in the enjoyment of better than worldly aspirations. Occasionally, after his retirement, he visited his friends and relatives in St. Albans, Swanton and Highgate, and these were always seasons of unalloyed enjoyment and social delight to them all.

      In January, 1868, soon after the death of Bishop HOPKINS, Hon. Norman WILLIAMS, and Hon. Samuel ADAMS of Grand Isle, we passed some days with him, prolonging our visit beyond the time we had fixed, at his urgent invitation. He spoke of the departure of these, and several other leading men in the State, whom he had long known, and of himself as standing almost alone among the graves of his associates, with deep emotion and solemnity.

      Though glimpses of his former self were revealed at intervals, and gleams of his own peculiar light would flash upon us, yet we could not divest ourselves of the sad consciousness that the shadow of the pall was gathering over that noble intellect, not to benumb or enervate, but to hush its powers into preparation for the great change that was stealing on apace.

      Our last visit was made in company with Judge ALDIS -- American Consul at Nice -- while he was in Vermont in the summer of 1868- We reached the gate of his residence on the morning of a beautiful day in August, and while Mr. S. stopped to give some directions about the horses, Judge ALDIS and I slowly ascended the hill, on the summit of which the old family mansion stands. As we were approaching, our venerated friend came out and stood under the old elm in front of the house, his tall form slightly inclined towards us, and his hand extended with his own peculiar gesture of cordial welcome, the singular significance of which will never be forgotten by those familiar with him. My companion stopped me a moment exclaiming,

     "What a striking picture! That venerable grand old man, his white locks waving gently; in the summer breeze, the benevolence of his heart beaming like a ray from heaven on his face, the old tree with its drooping branches forming a frame as it were to the tableau, the old house in the back ground-what a noble picture!" It was, indeed, one that will never fade from my memory.
I passed two days with him at that time, during a portion of which my husband and Judge ALDIS were absent at Richford.* 
 


*It was a singular and noticeable physical peculiarly of Judge ROYCE that during his long life, and accustomed to use his eyes early and late in reading and writting as he was, he never had occasion to use glasses or any aid to his eyesight. At the time of our Last visit, I noticed that he was reading books in fine print, and newspapers, in the evening as well as in the daytime, without the slightest apparent effort or difficulty.

      He was feeble and had to depend much upon the use of tonics, remarking to me that their effect was but a temporary support -- when it failed the end would be near at hand. He recalled many interesting reminiscences of my father and other members of the family, retracing vividly many scenes of the past of which I had retained but an indistinct remembrance, and alluding to friends and relatives in a tone of deep affection and respect.

      I noticed that when speaking of the destructive fire by which the village of East Berkshire was laid in ashes the previous spring, he was more agitated than I had ever seen him. He spoke with trembling solemnity and earnestness, and scorned to regard it as an irreparable calamity; was especially moved when speaking of the ruinous losses sustained by individuals, -- of the destruction of the church edifice, so dear to his mother and to himself, alluding to the touching fact that the bell "tolled its own knell;" of the singular preservation of his own and nephew's house from the devouring element, adding, as if in soliloquy, "It was a great wonder, almost a miracle, that no lives were lost or serious personal injury sustained. We have great reason to be thankful for that!" Noticing the emotion awakened by allusion to the distressing scenes of the fire, I could not but attribute much of the debility under which he was then suffering to the great excitement attending them. It was a fearful invasion upon the even tenor of his peaceful and quiet life, and although he maintained his usual composure throughout so entirely that the family were surprised at his calmness, yet I cannot doubt that the distress he experienced contributed somewhat towards hastening the event we so deeply deplore. He continued to decline gradually from that time, suffering but little except from extreme debility, until the great change came, that released a spirit as noble as any that ever animated and guided to the perfect performance of every duty pertaining to earth, or lifted the hopes and aspirations of its possessor from this "earthly tabernacle" to the one "not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." It was fitting that the departure of such a spirit should be thus tranquil, and the hearts which mourn in the shadow of a bereavement that can never be supplied, in the presence of a vacancy that can never again be filled, should recall gratefully the tints of that gentle sunset, and repose with him in the bosom of that "peace which passeth all understanding." 

      Aluding to the circumstances attending the compilation of Judge ROYCe's history of Berkshire in a letter to me, the writer, to whom, as well as to her brother, Hon. H. E. ROYCE, I am indebted for much aid in collecting materials for the foregoing sketches of the family -- adds: "Only four days before the fire my uncle kept the 75th anniversary of the removal of his parents to this farm, and ever after the two events seemed to be associated in his mind. It was his intention in completing the history of the town, to give some particulars of the calamity that has desolated our little village. That intention I will now endeavor to carry out by a brief account of the event."

      On Apr., 29, 1868, at 5 o'clock, p. m., the fire broke out from the roof in the attic of the hotel in that pleasant village, well-known for many years in all parts of the county as the "Brick House." The wind was blowing a gale, and the fire spread with such amazing and hopeless rapidity, through the ranges of wooden structures on both sides of the street, that before midnight 36 buildings, including Calvary Church, were reduced to ashes. The street was so wide that hopes were entertained for a time that the fire might be prevented from reaching the west side, and goods, furniture, &c. -- taken hurriedly from the burning buildings on the east side of the street-were piled up all along the opposite side: these were in part consumed in the rapid progress of the devouring element. The means at command for arresting that progress were entirely insufficient. Especially was the scanty supply of water, in consequence of the long previous drouth, a most discouraging circumstance. The inhabitants made superhuman exertions, without which -- though unavailing as to the business part of the town -- it is not probable a building could have been preserved in the village on the west side of the river. There was no insurance on the Episcopal church, and the loss was a desolating blow to that little parish. The rector, Rev. Mr. WADLEIGH, was absent at the time, and it was supposed his house must be destroyed. -- While some were draping it in drenched carpets, others were hastily conveying its contents to a place of safety, and his valuable library consisting of 1200 volumes wise scattered about the fields and somewhat injured. His house wag saved, but the damages he sustained were very considerable.

      The whole loss by the fire was estimated to be over $18,000 beyond the amount covered by insurances. It was a heavy blow to the business prospects of so small a place, but its favorable location furnishes good reasons for the hope now entertained that it may before many years recover from the calamity. Some of the greatest sufferers by the fire have set themselves about repairing its ravages with an energy and courage that commends their zeal and enterprise to the imitation of others.


IN MEMORIAM
Address of B. H. SMALLEY, Esq.

Delivered in the Franklin County Supreme. Court, at a meeting of the Bar in St. Albans, Jan. 19, 1869-after the customary Resolutions.

MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT :

      Since the last session of this Court in Franklin County, it has pleased an all-wise Providence to take from our midst a distinguished member of the Bar and Bench; one of the most noble among those who have ever defended the cause of right at the one, or administered justice from the other.

      The Hon. Stephen ROYCE died at his residence in Berkshire, on the 11th of Nov. last, and I appear before your Honors, at the request of the Bar of Franklin County, to present to the Court the resolutions of the Bar, expressing their veneration and respect for the memory of the late Chief Justice of this Court., and ask to have them enrolled in the archives of the same, as a proper tribute to the memory of a great and good man.

      It is not my purpose on this occasion to enter into a minute biographical sketch of the deceased; that belongs to the page of history among the worthies of Vermont.

      Stephen ROYCE was born in Vermont, in 1787, admitted to the bar in Franklin County in 1809, was a practicing lawyer in Franklin and adjoining Counties 20 years; 25 years one of the Judges of' this Court; 2 years Governor of the State, and retired to private life in 1855.

      It was his singular good fortune to have passed 74 pears of his life during the palmy days of the Republic, an era which will land forth on the page of history as the brightest and happiest period that God's Providence has ever vouchsafed to any nation, with whose history we are acquainted.

      I deem myself fortunate in having been familiarly acquainted with him from 1818 to the time of his death. 1 studied my profession in the same building where he kept his office, and after I was admitted to the bar in 1820, I occupied an office in the same building with him, until he was placed on the Bench of the Supreme Court. While he was on the Bench, he was a member of my family several years, when he was not absent on official duty. I mention these circumstances to show that I had abundant opportunities of forming a just estimate of the public and private character of the deceased, if I had sufficient capacity to do so.

      That character, public and private, has become the property of the Nation in general, and of Vermont in particular; and it is well to set forth its virtues as the proud heritage of our State, and an example to the rising generation. 

      In all his relations in life he was guided and controlled by the highest principles of moral rectitude. Not that rectitude which is said to make a man "honest within the statute." It had a larger scope, a more solid basis, than any mere human law, in his own strong, intuitive sense of justice.

      In his personal transactions, where there was any doubtful matter, he always gave the benefit of the doubt to his opponent, more anxious to do entire justice to all others, than to exact it from them for himself,

      In person he was tall and erect, with a vigorous and well proportioned physical frame, of a commanding presence, and a serene, majesty of manner which was singularly effective while he was on the bench, in suppressing and controlling all stormy ebullitions of excitement at the bar, during the most heated debates. His face was noble, expressive, and strongly marked. The gleam of his mild gray eyes illuminated countenance, and revealed every emotion whether grave or gay that was passing within, moving the looker-on, by a sort of magnetic influence, to sympathize with him. Always neat in his personal attire, he was never over-dressed but preserved the medium which characterized his well balanced nature in every other respect. In manners, always courteous and polite, he presented a gentlemanly deportment and appearance which were not the result of any artificial training in the customs of polished society, but emanations from his innate benevolence of feeling towards the whole human family.

      He was economical and unostentatious in his tastes and habits; moderate in all charges for professional services, and acquired a very handsome fortune untainted with over-reaching, oppression or usury; while hie exercised through life the most generous liberality in support of religion, and of every public charity; and the appeals of the unfortunate never failed of opening his heart to sympathy, and his hand for, their relief.

      Though possessing an ample real estate, the demands upon his purse were often so numerous and pressing, as to compel him to ask indulgence and delay at the hands of his creditors, but no Shylock ever presumed to ask an usurious consideration for such delay; even the greedy thirst for gold was subdued by his presence.

      At the bar he was with and of a race of intellectual and professional giants. His compeers were such men as ALDIS, SWIFT, TURNER and WETMORE, of Franklin County; FARRAND, VAN NESS and ALLEN, of Chittenden; EDMUNDS, PHELPS and Bates, of Addison; WILLIAMS, of Rutland; BRADLEY of Windham; MARSH and HUBBARD of Windsor; PRENTISS AND UPHAM of Washington; MATTOCKS and BELL, of Caledonia, and CUSHMAN, of Essex County. Intellectually and professionally he was the equal of any among them.

      As a lawyer practicing the highest duties of his profession by protecting the weak and resisting the strong, he adopted at an early period of his professional career, some rules for the government of his own conduct, which may not be unworthy of consideration by the young gentlemen of the profession by whom I am now surrounded, and to which I beg leave to call their attention.

      The first rule he established for himself was that hie would never be retained in the defense or prosecution of any suit that he believed to be unjust or unfounded; and if he should unconsciously be retained in such, that he would compel his client to settle it, or abandon the case as soon as he discovered its character. The second rule was that he would never refuse to be retained on account of the applicant's poverty, if he was well satisfied that the claim for defense or prosecution was meritorious, though he might never receive any compensation for his services. This latter rule brought to his office a multitude of applicants. to whom litigation became a necessity, growing out of the disturbed state of our land titles, and the confusion occasioned by the war of 1812. To these be never turned a deaf ear, but examined their cases with laborious care and great skill, and if found just, he would advance the money to pay court, jury and witness fees, and prosecute the claim or defense with more apparent vigor and energy, than he usually bestowed upon the cases of his wealthy clients. As a jury advocate ho was the equal of any at the bar. He had the capacity of so stating the case to the jury that the simple statement was often more effective than the most elaborate argument of his opponents In analyzing and presenting the evidence to the jury, his quick eye and keen perceptions enabled him to detect distinctions and shades of difference that often escaped the notice of his opponents, and served to expose a dishonest witness, and to frustrate the most cunningly devised schemes of fraud. His manner was pleasing, grave and serious; his language strong, measured and temperate, not designed to amuse by sallies of wit, or to startle by paradoxes, but to instruct and convince. His premises were well considered and sustained by the evidence, his conclusions, logical and usually irresistible. Invariably considerate and courteous to the parties, witnesses, bar and bench, he never lost his self-possession, though it would sometimes be discerned by the flash of his countenance that he was highly excited; and many of his arguments on such occasions would compare favorably with the most splendid efforts of forensic eloquence at the American Bar.

      As attorney for the government, he never allowed the innocent to be convicted, and the guilty rarely escaped.

      In discussing questions of law before the court, he rarely read books, and did not often refer to cases. He was not ambitious of the reputation of a "case-scavenger," but acted upon well settled general principles, and by logical and wall reasoned arguments drawn from those principles, endeavored to bring the case before the court within their scope.

      Notwithstanding the high reputation which he sustained among his brethren at the bar, it is in his judicial capacity that his character has become most widely known, and that his services have been and will continue to be, the most beneficial to his State and Country.

      His singular modesty and diffidence sometimes produced a hesitation in forming and expressing his legal opinions, that was attributed by less acute minds to the want of an apprehension of the importance and difficulties of the questions before him. It was because he did comprehend those difficulties in all their bearings, that he paused and doubted. He usually looked much farther and more clearly into them, than those who were prepared to express a dogmatic opinion the moment the questions were stated. To such an extent were these doubts sometimes expressed, that his brethren on the bench frequently named him the "Doubter," after Lord Eldon.

      In presiding at Nisi Prius, he usually made the result of the trial square with the substantial justice and equity of the case. Not that he bent or moulded the rules of law to any supposed equity, but he made such an application of general rules and principles to the ease before him, as usually produced an equitable result. He had no ambition to exhibit the majesty of the law by working injustice is individual cases. He never intimated an opinion to the jury, as to the weight of evidence before them; but would, in his charge, so present the case to their consideration, that they would naturally arrive at the result which ho desired. His capacity to do this was superior to that of any Judge to whom I ever listened. Sheer pettifogging and ad captandum arguments were at a discount in his Court; for he had the last discussion before the jury, and such matters were quietly, but effectually laid out of the case.

      When presiding at a jury trial he would riot allow the witnesses to be interrupted for the purpose of giving counsel an opportunity to write down all the witness said; and never, himself, interrupted the witness, in giving his testimony in chief, in order to write out every word. When the witness was through he would sometimes ask him to repeat what he had said on a particular point if he thought his notes were not sufficiently full to enable him to state the testimony substantially.  He adopted the opinion that jurors had the power of memory to a reasonable extent; and, inasmuch as they could not have the minutes of the Court or counsel to aid them, it was more important for them to hear and understand the witness, than it was that the Court or counsel should write down all that was said -- that, if the witness was frequently interrupted, he would not understand himself, and if he did not, there was small chance of his being understood by the jury.

      To the younger members of the profession, especially if a little timid and embarrassed, he was always polite, kind and encouraging, and would never allow them to be thrust aside by their more impudent and overbearing brethren. If they made mistakes in their papers or pleadings, he would not permit their clients to be injured thereby, if be could prevent it, but furnished them with suitable and necessary suggestions, to assist them in placing their papers in proper order before the Court. This kindness and consideration on his part was, I am happy to say, duly appreciated by the profession, and he has left more warm personal friends than any member of the bar or bench with whom I have ever been acquainted.

      As Chancellor, in hearing cases on the equity side of the Court, he exhibited marked ability and skill in analyzing and properly appreciating the relative force and importance of the evidence before him, and would draw correct conclusions from conflicting statements with great acuteness. Though he usually formed an opinion on the merits of the controversy at the bearing, he always gave the evidence and the law of the ease a careful revision before he pronounced a decree, and in so doing would often detect facts and circumstances which had escaped the notice of counsel at the bar, and which would sometimes entirely change his opinion upon the merits of the case. He was profoundly learned in the principles of equity and common law, though he never ostentatiously exhibited that learning. His extreme modesty and want of self-confidence often deterred him from expressing legal opinions very emphatically, while, as to himself, he entertained no doubt on the subject agitated.

      Some men have read more books-few have profited so much by their reading. He aimed to make himself master of the author he read, and the ideas of that author, if adopted, were incorporated into his own mind, as to become, as is it were, a part of himself. When he expressed legal opinions, he gave his own thoughts, not merely the sayings and doings of others. His written opinions will be received as authorities upon legal questions, and appreciated as the most perfect specimens of judicial literature. In delivering opinions, he said all that was necessary for deciding the case before him, and nothing more. His written opinions never degenerated into essays upon the law at large and he was careful to confine his language to the matter before the Court. He stated the legal principles applicable to the case, and seldom referred for authority to books. In that respect he resembled the late Chief Justice CHIPMAN, and Chief Justice MARSHALL, two distinguished jurists for whom he had a high respect

      It has been said of him that he did not perform his judicial duties properly by sending his written opinions to the reporter, in all the cases upon which he had pronounced the decision of the Court. That he did not do so is undoubtedly true, but he withheld them from the highest sense of official duty. After his opinion was delivered in court, when he reviewed the case to prepare it for the reporter, if he was not satisfied that it was correctly decided, he would not report it; alleging as a reason, that it was sufficient grief to him to have assented to a possibly erroneous decision, and thereby done in justice to an individual, without sending it out to the world as a precedent, whereby greater injury might be wrought in the future, than had been in the past. He refused, also, to report that class of cases in which no new principle was involved, or no new application of an old principle, and had been repeatedly decided and reported in our own State Reports; entertaining the opinion that legal principles were not barred by the statute of limitations, and that it was not necessary to re-affirm them every: year, to prevent their becoming obsolete.

      On account of these omissions in reporting cases, the Legislature retained a portion of his salary for some time.

      His firmness in this matter demonstrated perfectly the character of the man. No legislative power could move him, upon any pecuniary consideration, to perform what he deemed a foolish or unjust act.

      He retired from public and professional life with his intellectual powers unimpaired, and had an opportunity to review the past and contemplate the future.

      His declining years passed serenely in the home of his childhood, surrounded by his relatives, who, with affectionate solicitude, repaid the care he had bestowed on their childhood.

      The shades of the invisible world have taken from our view a great and good man. May the rising generation profit by his example, and imitate his virtues.
 

"Tread lightly on his ashes, ye men of genius, for he was your kinsman. Weed clean his grave, ye men of goodness, for he was your brother."

      Elihu Marvin ROYCE was the first child horn in the new settlement of Berkshire, July 19, 1793. He married Sophronia PARKER, daughter of Rev. James Parker -- long and -widely, known as a Congregational minister in northern Vermont -- at Enosburgh, Oct. 20, 1816. He had one son and two daughters. The oldest daughter, a beautiful and intelligent girl, died in her 16th year. His son, Hon. Homer E. ROYCE, has been a lawyer in Berkshire for some years, and is mentioned in the notice of the lawyers of that place. The youngest daughter, Ednah M., resided with her grandmother, Mrs. ROYCE, for some years previous to her death, and has taken charge of Judge ROYCE's household ever since that event. Elihu M. ROYCE filled many of the town offices most acceptably, and was considered a very skillful and competent manager of the town business. His talents were of a high order, and gave promise of eminent success in the future. It was but the promise, for he was cut down in the full vigor of his young manhood by a fever, which proved fatal within a week after the attack, on the 17th of March, 1826, before he had completed his 33d year.

      He possessed a full share of the genial and social qualities for which his family was distinguished, and which made him a most agreeable companion and friend. But it was in his home circle that these attributes of his character were displayed most perfectly, throwing a charm around it that fascinated all who came within its influence, and the memory of which lingered long in the hearts not only of his own family but of his neighbors and friends.

      Rodney C. ROYCE -- born in Berkshire, July 28, 1800 -- studied law with his brother Stephen, at St. Albans; was admitted to the bar in 1822; practiced law first in Pownal about 2 years; then removed to Rutland, where he married Miss Betsey M. STRONG, oldest daughter of Hon. Moses STRONG, of Rutland, and had one son and three daughters. His oldest and youngest daughters died in infancy. The other daughter, Mrs. MORSE, resides in Rutland. His son, Moses S. ROYCE, was graduated at the University of Vermont in 1843. Soon after he left college he went to Nashville, Tenn., where he studied theology under Bishop Otey, and was ordained an Episcopal clergyman. He married a southern lady and resides in Tennessee. Rodney C. ROYCE died at Rutland, May 8, 1836, aged 36 years. No delineation of his character is attempted, here, inasmuch as it more properly belongs to the history of Rutland, where he was long a conspicuous member of the bar as well as an esteemed and beloved citizen.
 
 

"The Vermont Historical  Gazetteer: 
A Magazine Embracing A History of Each Town, 
Civil, Ecclesiastical, Biographical and Military."
Volume II, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille & Orange Counties.
Including Also The Natural History of Chittenden County.
Edited and Published by Miss Abby, Maria Hemenway. 
Burlington, VT. 1871.
Page 109-132.

Transcribed by Karima Allison 2004