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650 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

King's Bench, at Montreal, where he now lives retired and respected.

Mr. Gale possessed an intellect of more than ordinary strength, and his writings were always pregnant with thought, and lucid in expression. In disposition, he was amiable and forgiving; in manners, polished and gentlemanly; in character, ingenuous, honorable, and conscientious.*

 

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JOHN GROUT

 

THE second son and third child of John Grout, who was the father of fourteen children, was born at Lunenburgh, Massachusetts, on the 13th of June, 1731. There he probably resided until he was thirty-five or thirty-six years old. The first intimation relative to any intention on the part of Grout to remove from Lunenburgh, is found in a letter signed by one James Putnam, dated at Worcester, Mass., September 3d, 1766, and written, as would appear from its contents, to some person resident on the New Hampshire Grants. In this letter Putnam says: "Grout is desirous of settling in that part of the world where you live," and, in reference to his qualifications, adds, "he seems to have a peculiar natural talent for doing business at law and in courts." Grout did not change his abode immediately, for by a receipt dated April 22d, 1768, it appears that he was at that time, at Lunenburgh. It is probable that he soon after removed to the "Grants," and this opinion is strengthened by the fact, that he was at Charlestown, New Hampshire, in the following August. Before leaving the home of his nativity, he had married, and in the rapid increase of his family, had already shown a laudable desire to emulate his father. His advent was not hailed at Windsor, the place he had chosen for his new

 

* Journal of N. Y. Prov. Cong., i. 339, 340, 343, 347, 365, 627, 629, 630, 639: ii. 119, 120, 178, 179, 183, 184. Am. Arch., Fourth Series, vol. v. cols. 341, 355, 390, 865-867, 991. Letter from the Rev. Canon Micajah Townsend, dated Clarenceville, C. E., July 1st, 1856.

REDUCED CIRCUMSTANCES OF JOHN GROUT. 651

 

abode, with that enthusiasm which is so grateful to the volunュtary exile. On the contrary, the inhabitants of the little town regarded his coming as an unfortunate occurrence. Scarcely was he settled, when Nathan Stone, the justice of the peace, received a notice from Zedekiah Stone and Joseph Wait, the overseers of the poor, in which they stated that complaint had been made to them "by the principal inhabitants" of Windsor, that "John Grout and his wife, and family of five or six chilュdren" who had lately arrived, were "likely to become chargeュable to the town." On this account, and to gratify the pauper-hating people of Windsor, the overseers prayed that a warrant might be issued for the removal of said Grout and his family.

Their prayer was granted, and Benjamin Wait and Ezra Gilュbert were authorized to command the immediate exodus of the penniless lawyer and his dependents. Information of the course which the town authorities intended to pursue having been given to Grout, he, on the 22d of April, 1769, endeavored to obtain a stay of proceedings from the officers who had been sent to remove him. To this end, he gave a written promise, that if permitted to remain a few days longer, he would, at the end of the specified time, be ready with his family, "at nine of the clock in the forenoon" at his "dwelling-house in Windsor," "to be carried out of town." In case this request should be granted, he declared "on honor, and as a lawyer," that no harm should come of it, either to the town or its officers. It is probable that the days of grace were given, and it would also appear that when these had passed, he had made some arrangements for reュmaining in Windsor. He was there on the 27th of May followュing, and from a deposition made on the 31st of the same month, by Simeon Olcott, an officer of that town, it seemed that there was at that time, "not any copy of a warrant of any kind" in his hands against Grout, issued at the instance of Windsor people. On the 5th of June following, Elijah Grout, a younger brother, testified to a similar statement. Grout next appeared at Chester, of which place he was a resident in February, 1770. The events previously recorded, in which he had acted so prominent a part, happened during the summer of that year, and probaュbly afforded sufficient exercise for the restless disposition of the unfortunate Grout.* About this period his son, "a lad of thirteen years of age," ran away from the paternal roof, and the

 

* Sec ante, pp. 161-168.

652 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

notice of this event which Grout published in the papers, and requested "all printers on the continent" to copy, was headed in staring capitals "Stop Thief! Stop Thief!" Notwithstanding the disrepute in which he was held by many, he obtained some business, and it appears on the 8th of March, 1771, he supplanted Thomas Chandler, one of the most influential men in Chester, as the attorney and land agent of Cornelius Vandenbergh, of the city of New York.

Grout endeavored to obtain an impartial execution of the laws relative to the cutting of ship-timber, and was diligent in informing John Wentworth, the surveyor-general, of the shortcomings of his deputies. His zeal does not appear to have met with the reward it deserved. In a bond dated the 17th of April, 1773, given to Daniel Whipple, the sheriff of Cumberland county, Grout, in answer to a citation, agreed to appear in the city of New York on the third Tuesday of that month, to "answer to Richard Morris in a plea of trespass." From accompanying circumstances, it would seem that the trespass with which he was charged was the destruction of his Majesty's masting trees. He was not unfrequently sent with dispatches to distant places, and was always careful to execute his commissions with fidelity. On the occasion of a riot in Putney, early in the year 1772, he bore the intelligence of the disturbance to the city of New York. In the letter which he carried on this occasion to Governor Tryon, dated the 29th of January, Judge Lord, the writer, after detailing a narrative of the tumult, referred to Grout in these words: "I have yet to crave your Excellency's patience and leave to recommend to your Excellency's favour Mr. John Grout, attorney-at-law, who hath suffered much by persons enemical to this government, and to him, on account of his firm attachment to it, and endeavours to maintain good order and justice therein. Truth itself obliges me to say, that his practice as an attorney in this county, has always entitled him to the good opinion of the court and the best gentlemen in the county, as I apprehend, although riotous persons and parties, friends to New Hampshire and eneュmies to good order, have given him much trouble, which he has borne with great magnanimity, and strove in a legal and dispassionate way to overcome. Your Excellency, being perュfectly humane, will delight in protecting him." This extract represents Grout in a different aspect from that in which he has previously appeared. He was, it would seem, a warm sup‑

UNSTEADY SENTIMENTS OF GROUT. 653

 

porter of the claims of New York to the "Grants," and on this account was shabbily treated by those who adhered to the New Hampshire faction. An unhappy disposition, and a turn for pettifogging, were not the best equipments with which to meet this opposition, and yet these were the weapons which Grout appears to have brought to the combat.

Previous to the commencement of the Revolution, Grout expressed sentiments in opposition to the acts of the British ministry, and at a meeting held in Chester on the 10th of October, 1774, was chosen by the patriotic citizens of that town a memュber of a committee, who were directed to join with the general committee of Cumberland county, in preparing a report conュdemnatory of the late acts of Parliament, to be sent to the New York committee of correspondence. His patriotism appears, however, to have been of short duration. A letter attributed to him, written from the "South-east part of Cheshire county, March 10th, 1775," contains the most violent and obscene expressions relative to the "damned Whigs." Still, his views cannot be determined by this production, for, although the first impression which one would derive from its perusal, is that the writer, whoever he might have been, was a vile blackguard, destitute of principle, and unscrupulous in the expression of his opinions, yet a more careful examination suggests the idea that the communication might have been intended as an allegorical declaration of sentiments in favor of a revolutionary movement. This notion is supported by the closing paragraphs of the letter, which are in these words:

"Be assured, Sir, that our Honored Master Beelzebub waited upon me yesterday, and Commanded me to write to you and Inform you, that it is his Royal will and pleasure, that you play Hell with the Court that shall set at Westminster next week.

"From your Friend and Brother,

"Apollyon.

"To the Faithful and Dearly beloved

"Dr. Jones 覧覧

"P.S. Please to read this Epistle to all the Faithful Breュthren and salute them, Charles Phelps and Doctor Harvey in particular, with a kiss of love."

Three days after the date of this letter, the courts were broken up at Westminster, and on that occasion, Dr. Reuben Jones, of Rockingham, and Dr. Solomon Harvey, of Dummerston, were prominent leaders among the Whigs.

654 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

On the 12th of April, 1775, Grout, who had been imprisoned for debt, received "his liberty" from Benjamin Archer, under-keeper of the jail at Westminster. Previous to this, he had satisfied certain judgments which had been obtained against him. His escape from this Scylla of confinement did not enable him to avoid the Charybdis of the people's hate. Having been denounced by John Chandler, and Thomas Chandler Jr., of Chester, as an enemy to his country, he, according to his own stateュments, was threatened by some with death, and by others with tortures "at the hands of the Green Mountain Boys." In this emergency, he declared his innocence of the crime charged against him, and wrote to Col. John Hazeltine, the chairman of the Cumberland county committee of correspondence, and to the chairman of the Walpole committee of inspection, for protection. He also made known his situation to the Rev. Samuel Whiting, of Chester, and begged him to use his influence "with these mad people," and thus save the county from becoming "an Aceldama or field of blood." In the latter part of the month of May, while confined to his bed by a fever, a party of men entered his dwelling, headed by Thomas Chandler Jr., and endeavored to drag him out of doors, but were prevented by the efforts and entreaties of his wife and his "good neighbours." On the following morning they renewed the attempt, and, having taken him about half a mile from his house, threatened to strangle him, but were induced to desist from executing this design. Having, through the efforts of his friends, regained his liberty, he claimed protection from the county committee. The chairman of that body thereupon ordered Chandler to desist from all attempts to injure Grout, which order Chandler promised to obey.

Though freed in this manner, from the annoyances to which his suspicious conduct had subjected him, he could not resist the temptation of disturbing the peace of the county. To effect this end, he commenced an epistolary attack upon the chairman of the committee of correspondence, Col. John Hazeltine. In a letter to this gentleman written from the "County of Hampshire, Province of Masstts. July 10th, 1775," Grout accused him of presiding over the deliberations of a body of men whose acts were tyrannical, and whose conduct was contrary to every principle of right. He further declared, that it was for this cause "that a great many of the best people in the county of Cumberland who are substantial friends to

"MEMORIAL AND PETITION." 655

 

the Liberties of the people and the Sacred Rights of Mankind, and who are even willing to seal their Love of their Country with their Blood in Defence of it, Groan under the weight of the Oppressions of that Lawless Banditti of men, who having first put a stop to the Course of Civil Justice under the assumed name of sons of Liberty, are destroying not only the Semblance, but even the substance and shadow of Liberty itself." In this style he continued through a long communication, to abuse the officers of Cumberland county, who in this time of emergency were directing their best efforts to secure to the people their rights, and to defend them from the machinations of Loyalists and Tories.

Later in the year, he addressed a "Memorial and Petition" to the "men that are assembled at Westminster in the County of Cumberland, who call themselves a County Congress." In this remarkable production he accused the representatives of the people of usurpation and oppression; pictured their temporary government as a despotism; and branded their chairman as a tyrant. After detailing a few instances, in which they had been obliged for the good of the community, to exercise dictatorial powers, he continued in this strain: "You proceeded on other business equally Infamous and Rascally, and then, like the Rump Parliament, adjourned yourselves. But your Sovereign, Col. Hazeltine, thinking good to call you toュgether before the time you was adjourned to, did do it, and you met on the 15th of August Last, and Proceeded to business. And why should you not? The King, by the Constitution, has a Right to call, adjourn, prorogue and dissolve parliaments. King HAZELTINE did Right in calling you together before the Time you had adjourned yourself to. This was to Let you Know he was your King, and it was no more than duty to Obey your Prince. Indeed, it must be confessed it was a rascally Trick in you ever to adjourn yourselves, for that was an Infringement of your King Hazeltine's Prerogative, for the King by his Prerogative has the sole Right of adjourning Parliaュments." The closing paragraphs of this memorial, although abounding in bombast and fustian, are sufficiently curious to warrant their presentation in this connection. "As for myself," wrote this conceited but witty poltroon, "I belong to another order of men, who will neither Joyn with you, nor Oppose you. For why should I run with the Wind? Surely, if I should, it will outrun me. Or why should I fight with the wind? Surely,

656 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT

 

there is not so much substance in the Skull of it, as that I could beat its Brains out with a Beetle. Surely, I will content myself with bearing your Blow, and will Say, Whoo-Raugh, Whoo-Raugh to your mighty Rushing. After a mighty wind comes a calm.

"Your petitioner most humbly prays, that you would be graciously pleased to annihilate yourselves, and Return into your Primitive Nothingness, unless the Good People of the County shall please to employ you about something.

"But, oh, mighty Chaos, if you will not condescend to grant this petition, I have another to make, which I beg of you not to deny me, which is this, that your almighty Nothingships would be pleased to Honour your Petitioner, who heartily Despises you, by making him first General and Commander-in-Chief of all your despisers, that so he may be at the head of nine-tenths of the good people of this county. And your Petiュtioner as in Duty bound shall ever pray."

In the fall of the same year, he was brought before the comュmittee of Chester, on a charge which had been preferred against him of speaking disrespectfully of the Continental Congress and the county committee. A quarrel having arisen among the members in respect to the manner in which the trial should be conducted, Grout refused to make any defence, and remained wholly inactive during the proceedings. By a portion of the committee, he was adjudged to be an enemy to his country. From this decision he appealed to the county committee. The subject came before them on the 29th of Noュvember, but they refused to sustain the appeal, and ordered him to withdraw it. At another meeting held on the 24th of July, 1776, a complaint was exhibited by John Chandler against Grout. The members being unwilling to act upon it, referred it, at first, to the Chester committee, but by a subsequent vote recalled the reference and resolved to receive Grout's answer at their session in the following November. On the 8th of that month, a complaint against Thomas Chandler, Jr., was preュsented by Grout, to the county committee, accusing him of malュtreatment. "After maturely deliberating upon the case," the committee ordered Chandler to pay to Grout "the sum of Six Pence, York Currency." The costs of the investigation were divided equally between them, and both were "Reprimanded by the Chairman in presence of the whole Board." Grout suffered on other occasions from the patriotism or maliciousness

TRAGIC FATE. 657

 

of the Chandlers, and through their influence and that of others connected with them, he was taken prisoner at Charlesュtown, New Hampshire, on the 27th of December, 1776. On the 2d of June, 1777, he was a resident of Chester, but soon after removed to Montreal, where he assumed his true character, that of a British subject, and is said to have become "a distinguished lawyer."*

He resided in Canada during the remainder of the war, and probably for several years after its close. His end was as tragic as his life had been turbulent and unhappy. With a large sum of money in his possession, which he had collected for some person residing in one of the states, he left Canada for the purpose of conveying it to the owner, and was never afterwards heard of. For a long time it was supposed that he had been drowned in crossing Lake Champlain. Many years after his sudden disappearance, a man was convicted of some crime punishable by death. Previous to his execution he acknowledged his guilt, and, in detailing the dark transactions of his life, confessed that he had murdered John Grout for the purpose of obtaining the money which he carried. He also described the place where he had buried the body. A search having been instituted, human bones were found at the spot he had designated.

Hilkiah Grout, whose name has occurred in these pages, was a brother of John, and was born at Lunenburgh, Massachusetts, on the 23d of July, 1728. He lived for many years on the banks of Black river in the town of Weathersfield, in Windsor county, Vermont, and there died, leaving a large family of children. Some of these were born previous to the time when his wife and some of her family were carried captive to Canada. Others were born after her return from bondage.

Elijah Grout, another brother, born at Lunenburgh, Massaュchusetts, passed the greater part of his life, and died, at Charlesュtown, New Hampshire.

Jonathan Grout, born also at Lunenburgh, a third brother of John, resided at Petersham, Massachusetts. He obtained the

 

* By an act of the General Assembly of Vermont, passed in February, 1779, those persons who had voluntarily left that state, or any one of the United States, and "joined the enemies thereof," were forbidden to return to Vermont. Accompanying this act were the names of one hundred and eight persons to whom its provisions particularly referred. In the list appeared the name of John Grout of Chester. Acts and Laws Gen. Ass. Vt., Feb., 1779, p. 72. Slade's Vt. State Papers, pp. 355, 356.

 

42

658 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

charter of Lunenburgh, a town in Essex county, Vermont, and owned nearly all the territory comprised within its limits.*

 

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LOT HALL

 

WAS born at Yarmouth, in Barnstable county, Massachusetts, in the year 1757. Of his youthful days little is known. It is certain, however, that he enjoyed all the advantages of a good school education, and that he diligently improved whatever opportunities were offered him of obtaining information. At the commencement of the revoluュtionary war, he warmly espoused the cause of the, colonies, and eagerly awaited the hour that should see him engaged in the service of his country.

In accordance with a resolution of Congress, passed on the 18th of July, 1775, recommending to each colony, to provide for the protection of its harbors and navigation, "by armed vessels, or otherwise," South Carolina endeavored to render her maritime position more, secure. On the 16th of January, 1776, the delegates from South Carolina informed Congress that their colony, "being in want of seamen, had given orders to offer high wages to such as would engage" in her service, and desired the advice of Congress on the subject. The committee to whom the matter was referred, reported on the 19th, recommending to Captain Robert Cockran who had been sent from South Caュrolina to obtain seamen, to offer to each able-bodied seaman, who would enter the service of that colony, wages at the rate of $8 per month, an immediate bounty of $9, and upon reaching South Carolina, a further bounty of $5. The captain was commended to the favor of Washington, who, on the 30th of Jaュnuary, promised to "give him every assistance" within his power.

In the month of May following, young Hall procured enlisting orders from Elijah Freeman Payne, who was then the lieu-

 

* MS. Records, Cumberland Co. Com. Safety. Grout's MS. Letters. Letters from Harry Hale, Esq., of Chelsea, Vt., December 1st and 17th, 1852. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 758, 759, 766.

 

NAVAL SUCCESS. 659

 

tenant of a twenty-gun ship lying at Charleston, South Caroュlina, commanded by Captain Cockran. This ship, which was called the Randolph, had been fitted out by South Carolina, as a part of her proportion of the continental navy, and in accordance with the recommendations of Congress, which had been adopted on the 18th of July, 1775. Payne had promised Hall a lieutenancy in the marine department, provided the latter should enlist fifteen men and transport them to Providence, Rhode Island. Entering upon his task with energy, and determined to win the station which had been offered him, Hall in a short time enlisted twenty-nine men and a boy, residents of Barnュstable county, and having procured a schooner, commanded by Capt. Samuel Gray, conveyed his recruits to the place apュpointed. He then went to Stonington, Connecticut, where he purchased six small cannon of Joseph Dennison, and returning to Providence obtained a schooner of about fifty tons burthen, belonging to Clark and Nightingale, and, with his men, sailed for Stonington, to take on board the cannon. Becoming conュvinced by this short trip, that the schooner would not carry sail sufficient to render her serviceable, either in giving chase, or in conducting a retreat, he procured another at Stonington named the Eagle. This vessel was immediately fitted out with provisions and warlike stores, and in her Captain Payne and Lieutenant Hall put to sea, in the month of June, with the intention of making a cruising passage to Charleston, where they and their men were to join the Randolph.

The commencement of the expedition was attended with success. Three prizes were taken the Venus, George Collas, master, on the 23d of August; the Caledonia, Alexander McュKinlay, master, on the 30th of August; and another vessel the name of which is not known. These were manned with seaュmen from the crew of the Eagle, and the little fleet set sail for the port of Boston, where the Venus, under the charge of Wait Rathburn, prize-master, arrived on the 20th of September, and the Caledonia, under the charge of Nathaniel Thompson, prize-master, on the 23d of the same month. As the Eagle was conュvoying in the third prize, she (the Eagle) fell in with and captured the ship Spears, from the bay of Honduras bound for Glasgow, Scotland. The Spears being short of provisions, it was deemed advisable to increase her supplies, and to transfer to her all the prisoners on board of both the Eagle and the prize then under convoy. This was accordingly, done, and by

660 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

the direction of Captain Payne, Lieutenant Hall, as prize-masュter, took the command of the Spears, with orders to keep comュpany with the Eagle. For this purpose he was furnished with private signals, by the help of which he was enabled to pursue the prescribed course for ten days, when the vessels were sepaュrated "by a hard gale of wind and foggy weather." Captain Payne, in the Eagle, succeeded in reaching Boston, and on his arrival delivered to the proper authorities Captain Lamont of the Spears, whom he had taken prisoner.

Soon after the Spears separated from the Eagle, the prisoners on board the former vessel mutinied. Lieutenant Hall's men were so few in number that they were unable to quell the disュturbance, and, on the 13th of September, he was deprived of the command of the ship. The mutineers then held a long consultation, and agreed to make for Newfoundland for the purpose of procuring provisions. On reaching the Banks, they fell in with a brig from Falmouth, England, and from her captain, who was of course friendly to the cause of Great Britain, they obtained supplies. From Newfoundland they set sail for Glasgow. On arriving at that port, on the 13th of October, Lieutenant Hall was taken into custody by the authorities of the city, and confined in prison. Having learned that the Mayor of Glasgow was a free-mason, Lieutenant Hall informed him by letter that he was a member of that brotherhood, and craved his assistance. He soon after was visited by the mayor in person, who obtained for him an extension of the liberties of the prison to a circuit of two miles; provided him with clothes and writing materials; and invited him to dine at his mansion. From this gentleman Lieutenant Hall received many favors which tended to lessen the tedium of durance, and be ever after retained the profoundest sentiments of gratitude and esteem towards his noble benefactor.

On the fifth of April, 1777, Captain Lamont of the Spears arrived at Glasgow, and Lieutenant Hall was discharged from imprisonment, but no provision was made to enable him to procure a passage home. Finding a vessel belonging to an American citizen and engaged in the revenue service, he emュbarked on board of her, and at the Isle of Man, and at White-haven also, endeavored to obtain a passage either to France or the West Indies, but was unsuccessful. Returning to Scotland, he took passage to Ireland, where, according to his own declaraュtion, he "found the people very kind and civil, as well as warmly

UNSUCCESSFUL APPLICATION TO CONGRESS. 661

 

attached to the American cause." Having revealed to them his circumstances and condition, they provided for him "in a genteel manner" until the following August, when he sailed in the ship Glorious Memory for the West Indies, and arrived at Barbadoes in October. Thence he took passage for Antigua, and from that port sailed to St. Eustatia. Here he met with Captain Hinson of the Duke of Grafton, on board of which vessel he sailed for Virginia. When within Capes Charles and Henry, the Duke of Grafton was captured on the 28th of December by the St. Albans, a British man-of war of sixty-four guns, commanded by Robert Onslow, then lying in Hampton road, and Lieutenant Hall was again made prisoner. During the time of this second captivity, which lasted but ten days, his sufferings on board the St. Albans were "everything that British insolence and cruelty could inflict, short of actual violence." Through the interposition of Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia, Lieutenant Hall was exchanged, and having been provided by his Excellency with a horse and money, set out on his journey home.

On reaching Pennsylvania, his money being exhausted, he presented a memorial to Congress on the 23d of January, 1778, in which he recounted the scenes through which he had passed during the eighteen months preceding, and asked either for a situation on a continental vessel, or means sufficient to enable him to reach Boston. The subject was referred to the marine committee, but no record of their report appears on the pages of the Journals of Congress. By the assistance of his friends, and his "utmost exertions," he reached Barnstable on the 22d of February following. For these services he afterwards endeavored to obtain the "pay allowed by the then naval establishment to officers of his rank," but failed to receive the well-earned reward. Many years after his death, Congress recognized the justice of the claim he had presented, and awarded to his descendants a portion of that remuneration which he should have received for his valuable services in behalf of his country.

On returning from captivity, Mr. Hall commenced the study of law at Barnstable, in the office of Shearjashub Bourne. Here, it is supposed, he remained until the latter part of the year 1782, when he removed to Vermont. At Bennington, where he at first took up his abode, he remained but a short time. In the year 1783 he was at Westminster, as appears by

662 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

an entry in the records of the Council of Vermont, dated on the 18th of October in that year at Westminster, and signed by him as secretary pro tempore. On the 13th of February, 1786, he was married in Boston, by the Rev. John Clark, to Mary Homer, of that place.* He afterwards purchased a dwelling on the flat, in the north part of Westminster, and by diligent attention to his profession, obtained a good practice and an honorable reputation. He was chosen to represent the town in which he resided, in the General Assembly, at the sessions in 1789, 1791, 1792, and 1808. With Paul Brigham, Samuel Hitchcock, and Lemuel Chipman, he was appointed a presidential elector by the General Assembly, at their session in 1792, and, with his colleagues, cast the vote of the state for George Washュington and John Adams. By an act of the General Assembly, passed on the 1st of November, 1800, incorporating Middleュbury college, he was constituted a fellow of that institution, and served in that capacity until the time of his death. In 1799 he was a member of the Council of Censors, and for seven years from 1794 to 1801 was a judge of the Supreme court of the state.

While holding this latter position, he discharged the duties of his office with great fidelity and credit. A charge delivered by him to the grand jurors of Windham county, at a session of the Supreme court, held at Newfane in the year 1798, was described in the "Farmer's Museum," a celebrated newspaper of that period, as a production "replete with sound principles and the very essence of federalism," and "honourable to its author as a politician, as a scholar, and as an ardent federalist." "At this juncture," observed the editor of the same journal, "we conceive that charges of such a complexion, coming from the grave authority of a judge, are eminently impressive, convincing, and useful." At a session of the Supreme court held in Windham county, during the month of August, 1800, Judge Hall again charged the grand jury in an able and eloquent

 

* At the time of her marriage, Miss Homer, who was an orphan, was only fifュteen years of age. Under the title of A True Story," a very romantic account of the circumstances attending her courtship and marriage appeared in the "Herald of Freedom," in December, 1789. In this narrative, Ophelia represents Miss Homer; Lysander, Mr. Hall; and Alphonso a disappointed lover. The "True Story" was copied into the "Barnstable Journal" in August, 1829, and was reprinted in the "Troy Daily Post" on the 21st of February, 1845. Mrs. Hall outlived her husband many years, and died on the 21st of February, 1843, aged seventy-two years.

ELOQUENT EULOGY ON WASHINGTON. 663

 

manner. His address on this occasion was subsequently pubュlished at their request. In the course of his remarks, he adュverted to the character of Washington, whose death had lately occurred, in these words:

"Our Our country has sustained an irreparable loss by the death of this greatest and best of men. To bestow on him the epithet of great, would be but common praise. His name alone exュpresses enough. The simple name of WASHINGTON will be remembered with veneration and respect by posterity, when all the titles of human greatness and distinction have sunk beneath the stroke of time. All our orators and poets have vied with each other to do justice to his merit, and sacred and profane history have been ransacked to find his equal. When the parallel has been drawn between him and Moses or Solomon in sacred history, or between him and the greatest characters, both ancient and modern, that profane history can boast, they appear but diminished spectres His deserved fame eclipses every other name . . . . . . . . . . .

"His character in private as well as public life, is without a blemish. He seems to have possessed every accomplishment which makes a man either amiable or estimable. His sentiュments of religion were noble and elevated. His regard for Christianity was evidenced by a respectful attendance on its instituted forms of worship, and by treating with equal candor and indulgence all denominations, without preferring one to the other. His gentle and amiable disposition endeared him to his private friends. His graceful manners engaged him the affections of all orders of the people. He was one of the most accomplished men of the age, and possessed all the great qualiュties both of body and mind, natural and acquired, which could fit him for the high station to which he attained. The affability of his address encouraged those who might be overawed by the sense of his dignity and wisdom. Though he often indulged his facetious humor, he knew how to temper it with discreュtion, and ever kept at a distance from all indecent familiarities with those about him. He loved and practised the virtues of domestic life, which seldom hold their residence among the great. He was chaste and temperate, enjoying without excess the social pleasures of the table. All his titles of greatness were adorned, by the tender name of a faithful husband and an indulgent parent, for, though childless himself, he embraced as his own the children of his brother and sister, and the ex‑

664 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

pressions of his regard were extended to the most distant and obscure branches of his numerous kindred. His familiar friends were judiciously selected. He respected the good and the virtuous, who with the innocent were rewarded by his judicious liberality, while the more diffusive circle of his benevolence was circumscribed only by the limits of the human race.

"When not engaged in war, he cultivated the arts of peace. That he delighted in farming, is evident from his following the plough in his native soil, and from the great improvements he made in every branch of agriculture. That he wished to be useful in ordinary life, was evidenced by his acting as a member of assembly, a magistrate, and sitting as a common juror in a court of justice, in the county where he resided. Washington was not stimulated by avarice, fired by ambition, nor did he thirst for conquest. It should ever be remembered that he was never engaged in any offensive war. His whole military career is rendered more glorious and resplendent, when it is considered that he always fought in defence of his country. His mild disposition was ever respected by the good and virtuous, while the vigor of his character struck terror into the degenerate and guilty. No more lives were sacrificed under his comュmand, than the fate of war rendered inevitable. Although he always considered the exercise of strict justice as the most important duty of his official life, yet the exercise of mercy was his most delightful employment. Should his enemies doubt this, I call on them to read, if they can, without emotion, his letter to Captain Asgill, containing the pleasing yet unexpected tidings of his enlargement from what he had long dreaded as a dismal confinement.

Heaven seems to have sent him upon earth, to serve at once as an example of that perfection of which human nature is capable, and of that happiness it may enjoy in private life and at the same time, to have liberally endowed him with those public virtues, which sometimes raise human nature above itself. In short, nothing seems wanting to grace the perfection of his character. He sustained adversity with firmness, and prosperity with moderation. The power and sublimity of his genius transcended the fame of C誑ar, and his consummate wisdom and prudence, that of Augustus. His superiority in peace, as well as in war, has been acknowledged by all, and even his enemies have confessed, with a sigh, his great and shining accomplishments, and that he loved his country and

JUDGE HALL'S CHARACTER. 665

 

deserved the empire of the world. Though we cannot expect to reach the transcendent height of his public honors and miliュtary glory, yet with respect to the exercise of his private and domestic virtues, we may in some measure be imitators of him. Let us, then, copy his bright example. Let us live and act as he advises, and in this way shall we more convincingly eviュdence our regard for his memory, than we should, were we daily to repair to his sepulchre, and bedew with tears of sincere regret, that stupendous monument of our country's salvation."

While attending the General Assembly, during their session at Montpelier, in the autumn of 1808, Judge Hall was seized with a violent catarrhal affection which assumed an incurable form, and caused his death on the 17th of May, 1809. In his "Descriptive Sketch" of Vermont, published in 1797, Dr. John A. Graham observes of Mr. Hall: He "is one of the judges of the Supreme court, which office he fills in such a manner as to reflect honour, even on so important a station. His memory is so wonderfully tenacious, as to make him master of every subject he reads or hears, and to enable him to recapitulate them without the slightest hesitation or previous study." As a friend, Mr. Hall was constant, confiding, and generous. As a citizen, patriotic, public-spirited, and liberal. As a husband, obliging, affectionate, and gentle. He was ever ready to assist the poor in their misery, and the afflicted in their suffering. Nothing aroused more fully his resentment than the oppression of the weak by the strong.* His legal abilities were of a high order, and were well suited to the times in which, and the peoュple among whom he lived. While on the bench, his opinions were prepared with deliberation, and his decisions were ever based in justice and right. His fund of anecdote was great, and a memory of surpassingly retentive powers enabled him to call up on any occasion, incidents illustrative of whatever topic might be under consideration. This remarkable faculty, com‑

 

* An instance of his readiness to espouse the cause of the oppressed was seen in the attempt which he made at a meeting of the "church of Christ" in Westュminster, held on the 27th of May, 1795 to defend Mrs. Bethiah Holton, a member of that church, against whom he thought an undue severity was being exerュcised, on account of her avowal of the belief "that all mankind will finally be restored to the Divine favor through the sufferings, death, and atonement of Christ." An account of the proceedings on this occasion, and a report of Judge Hall's remarks, were published in the "Farmer's Weekly Museum," on the 2d of June, and the 7th of July, 1795, and in the "Rural Magazine: or Vermont Repoュsitory," for June, 1795.

666 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

bined with an extensive experience of men and things, and an affable disposition, rendered his conversation not only agreeable but instructive. Though dying in the fifty-third year of his age, his life was an active one, and his personal and political influence was felt and acknowledged in the community in which he resided.*

 

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THOMAS JOHNSON.

 

IN the year 1762, Thomas Johnson, then in the twenty-first year of his age, removed from Hampstead, New Hampshire, to Newbury on the New Hampshire Grants. In the service of Col. Jacob Bayley he was entrusted with the care of that gentleman's lands, which were situated on the west side of the Connecticut, and were subsequently comprised within the limits of Newbury. The charter of Newbury was granted by Benning Wentworth, on the 18th of March, 1763, and in the same year Mr. Johnson became a resident of the town, and there purchased lands. At this time there was no road in any direction leading from Newbury, and bread-stuffs and all artiュcles of furniture, agriculture, and consumption, were brought on horseback from the head waters of the Merrimac, or in boats from Charlestown, eighty miles below. The new settlement rapidly increased in population, and its rich acres were soon converted into well-cultivated farms. In the summer of 1775, Mr. Johnson, who then owned large tracts of land, and had become a. successful merchant, built for the accommodation of himself and family, a large house, which is still standing, and which even at this day, is one of the best and most spacious dwellings in the town.

At the commencement of the Revolution, the inhabitants of Newbury, who were nearly all Whigs, held a town meeting,

 

* Journals Am. Cong., ed. 1823, i. 119, 238, 240. Sparks's Writings of Washュington, 270. Almon's Remembrancer, ii. 353: iii. 130: iv. 264, 317. House, Documents of 26th Cong., 1st session, No. 58. Deming's Cat. of Vt. Officers, pasュsim. Thomas's (Mass.) Spy, Dec. 13th, 1792, No. 1028. Farmers' Weekly Muュseum, or New Hampshire and Vermont Journal, Walpole, N.H., Sept. 3d, 1798. Farmers' Museum, or Literary Gazette, Walpole, N. H., August 18th and 25th, 1800. Graham's Vt., p. 111. Beckley's Hist. Vt., p. 124. Acts and Laws Vt. 1800, pp. 36-40. Ante, p. 453.

SERVICES OF THOMAS JOHNSON. 667

 

and in the most deliberate manner declared themselves indeュpendent of Great Britain, and entered the declaration in the records of the town. During the latter part of March and the early part of. April, 1776, Mr. Johnson traced out on foot, through an unbroken wilderness and the melting snows of spring, a path for a military road from Newbury to St. John's. His journal of the survey was sent to General Washington. The object of this examination was to ascertain a practicable and short route for the invasion of Canada. Several other explorations of a similar character were made at this period, but circumstances never afterwards favored an expedition which was so strongly desired, so long contemplated, and once actually organized under La Fayette. In the year 1777, Mr. Johnson at that time holding a captain's commission, raised and took the command of a company, which served under General Lincoln, whose head-quarters were at Manchester. With this distinguished officer, Captain Johnson was for some time connected as aid-de-camp. In September of the same year, General Lincoln sent five hundred men, of whom Captain Johnson's company formed a part, to reconnoitre Ticonderoga and Mount Independence. The former post was taken, and the latter was besieged for several days.

In a letter to his wife, dated the 12th of September, 1777, in camp, near Mount Independence, Captain Johnson observed: "I have had little sleep these three nights, for the roaring of cannon and the cracking of guns are continually in our ears. I must say that I felt ugly when I first heard the firing. I have had but few chances of firing my gun at the enemy. When I fired the first time, they gave me three for one. The cannonュballs and the grape-shot rattle like hail-stones, but they don't kill men. I don't feel any more concerned here, than I did at home in my business." Of the prisoners taken at Crown Point during this expedition, one hundred were placed in the charge of Captain Johnson, who conducted them to Charlestown, New Hampshire, where he delivered them to a continental officer, who led them into country quarters. Captain Johnson then returned to Newbury, where he was actively employed for the next four years in improving his estate. During this period he was honored by the Assembly of New York with a lieutenant-colonel's commission in the militia. On account of his participation in the transactions at Ticonderoga, Colonel Johnson was narrowly watched by the British, who sought to take him.

668 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

The method of his capture on the morning of the 8th of March, 1781, while at Peacham, and the treatment he received during his detention in Canada, have been already detailed.* On the 5th of October following, he was released on parole of honor, having first pledged his faith to General Haldimand in a written agreement, that, until he should be "legally exchanged," he would "not do or say anything contrary to his Majesty's interest or government," and would "repair to whatever place his Excellency or any other, his Majesty's commander-in-chief in America," should designate. This parole was the cause of great trouble and anxiety to him during the year 1782. He sometimes received visits from spies, with whom, on account of his peculiar relations with the enemy, he was obliged to hold communication. A knowledge of an intercourse of this nature subjected him to suspicion as a traitor, and rendered his situation very unpleasant. To free himself from an imputation so galling to his honor and patriotism, he communicated to General Washington all the information he had obtained during his captivity, concerning the designs of the British; detailed to him the measures he had taken to gain his liberty revealed to him his motives for adopting the course he had pursued since his return from Canada; enclosed him a copy of the agreement he had made with General Haldimand and prayed that some means might be taken to effect his exchange, and restore him to perfect freedom.

Furnished with letters of introduction from the Hon. Meshech Weare, President of New Hampshire, and Nathaniel Peabody, a respected citizen of that state, Colonel Johnson visited Geneュral Washington in the latter part of the year 1782. The result of this interview is not known. It is certain, however, that the conduct of Colonel Johnson met with the full approbation of General Washington. Fearing that he should be recalled to Canada, Colonel Johnson absented himself from home, and did not return until after the 20th of January, 1783, the date of the declaration of peace. On one occasion, and while subjected to his parole, he was informed that the British had laid a plan to capture his friend and neighbor, Gen. Jacob Bayley. At the risk of his own life and liberty, he forewarned the General of his danger, and enabled him to escape it. Among the gentleュmen with whom he was in correspondence, and for whom he

 

* See ante, pp. 404-408.

JOSEPH KELLOGG. 669

 

procured intelligence concerning the British, was Capt. Ebeneュzer Webster, of Salisbury, New Hampshire, the father of Daniel Webster, who in the year 1782 commanded the militia raised for the protection of the northern frontiers, and was stationed for a time at Newbury.

The patriotism of Colonel Johnson, though subjected to many severe trials, was ever pure and perfect, and his worth and inュtegrity were undoubted. He possessed the entire confidence of his fellow-townsmen, and represented them in the General Assembly of Vermont, during the years 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1795, 1797, 1799, 1800, and 1801. He was born in Haverュhill, Massachusetts, on the 22d of March, 1732, O. S., and died at Newbury on the 4th of January, 1819, at the age of seventy-seven years. His father was John Johnson, who was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts, on the 15th of November, 1711. His great-great-grandfather was William Johnson, who in the year 1634 or 1635 was one of the founders and proprieュtors of Charlestown, Massachusetts, and who emigrated from Herne Hill, in the county of Kent, England. Edward Johnson, a brother of William, was a proprietor and founder of Woburn, Massachusetts, and was the author of a quaint history of the colony, which has now become a rare work.*

 

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JOSEPH KELLOGG.

 

WHEN the town of Deerfield was destroyed by the Indians, on the 29th of February, 1703, Joseph Kellogg, then a lad of twelve, with his brother Martin Jr., and his sisters Joanna and Rebecca, was taken captive and carried to Canada. Here he remained with the Indians a year, and was then delivered to the French, with whom lie spent the ten years succeeding. During this time he travelled with traders, and by participating in their negotiations, not only acquired the French language, but the tongues of all the tribes of Indians with which the French were engaged in traffic. Of the dialect of the Mohawks his knowledge was especially thorough. In this manner, to use

 

* MSS. in the possession of the Johnson family. Powers's Hist. Sketches of the Coos Country, pp. 48, 180, 181, 194-221. Deming's Cat, of Vt. Officers, passim, Graham's Descriptive Sketch of Vt., p. 149.