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710                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

many of the lawyers at the bar had never heard him address a jury. At the period referred to, the disease of which he died — a cancer on the left side of the nose, near the eye — caused him to wear a patch of black silk on his face, which did not tend to improve his appearance. The case was one of impor­tance, involving the property of his client, a certain Mr. Richardson. The opposing counsel, in presenting their pleas, made frequent reflections upon the ex-chief-justice, declaring that his faculties were failing, that he had a disease about him, and that he had been turned from the bench for incapacity. During the delivery of these sentiments Judge Tyler sat within the bar, taking no notes, and apparently entirely oblivious of what was passing around him. When the time came for him to address the jury, he rose in his place, and turning his back upon the twelve men whose minds he was desirous of influencing, called out to his client:— "Richardson! come here!" Richardson started up in great astonishment, and made his way through the crowded court-room to the railing within which the lawyers sat. "Richardson!" said Judge Tyler, turning to that individual, who was exceedingly surprised at the oddity of the proceedings, "go home! There is no use of your staying here! I thought you had a case, a good case! " He then went on, with his back to the jury and judge, to tell his client all the strong points of his case, making it very plain, or, at least, making it appear, that Richardson had been basely abused by the lawyers on the other side. "But," said he in conclusion, "I was mistaken in supposing you had any rights that could be maintained. It appears you have no case because my faculties are failing, and, what is worse, you have no case at all, because I have this patch on my nose. Go home! Go home! I can't be expected to say a word to the jury under such circum­stances!" With these words Judge Tyler sat down. The op­posing counsel were dumbfoundered at this mode of attack, but the jury were only out long enough to make up for Richardson a most satisfactory verdict.

Social in his disposition and possessing a mind well stored with information derived both from books and their prototypes, men, he was the delight of all who knew him, and was the lead­ing spirit on those occasions when the witty, the learned, and the wise were assembled. To high mental ability there was joined in his character an uncommonly benevolent and friendly disposition, which gained him the love and respect of many

 

 

                       BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ROYALL TYLER.            711

 

attached friends. As a judge he was conscientious, clear-minded, and just, both by a natural sense of right and an extensive knowledge of precedents. His humanity, though naturally unbounded, was so guided as to produce the most beneficial results. As a citizen, he was public-spirited and liberal; as a neighbor, thoughtful and unobtrusive; as a husband, kind and attentive. His widow still survives him, in the enjoyment of all her mental faculties, though advanced in the octogenarian rank. The remains of Judge Tyler repose in the burial-ground at Brattleborough. A white marble stone, which marks the place of his sepulture, bears upon its face the following inscription:

 

ROYALL TYLER

Reip. V. Mont. Cur. Sup. Jurid.

Princ.

MORTEM OBIIT

Die XVI. Aug. Anno Domini

MDCCCXXVI.

Etatis Suæ

LXVIII.

Uxor et liberi

ejus

Hoc saxum ponendum

Curaverunt.

 

As a contributor to the early literature of this country, Judge Tyler deserves to be held in honorable remembrance. The annexed account of his writings, is taken from that most valuable and tasteful work, the "Cyclopædia of American Literature."

"Royall Tyler was a wit, a poet, and a chief justice. His life certainly deserves to be narrated with more particularity than it has yet received. His writings, too, should be collected and placed in an accessible form. American literature cannot be charged with poverty, while it has such valuables uninvested, in its forgotten repositories." . . . . . In the year 1786 while at New York, for the purpose of conducting some negotiations connected with the suppression of the Shays rebellion, "a comedy which he had written during his military service was produced on the stage. It was entitled 'The Contrast,' and has the distinction of being the first stage production in which the Yankee dialect and story-telling since so familiar in the parts written

 

 

712                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

for Hackett, Hill, and others, was employed. It was more than that. It was the first American play which was ever acted on a regular stage by an established company of comedians. It was played at the old John Street Theatre in New York, under the management of Hallam and Henry, April 16th, 1786.* Its success was such as to induce the author to produce a second, entitled 'May Day, or New York in an Uproar,' for the benefit of the actor Wignell in the May following.

"The Country Jonathan, in the 'Contrast,' on a visit to town, drops into the theatre with the expectation of seeing 'a hocus-pocus man,' and sits out a performance of the 'School for Scandal' without any notion that he has visited a play-house. On being asked if he saw the man with his tricks: 'Why, I vow,' says he, 'as I was looking out for him, they lifted up a great green cloth, and let us look right into the next neighbor's house.' 'Have you a good many houses in New York made in that ere way ?' he asks; and is told, not many. To an inquiry whether he saw the family, and how he liked them, he replies: 'Why, I vow, they were pretty much like other families. There was a poor, good-natured curse of a husband, and a sad rantipole of a wife.' At the close, he asks for his money, as he has not had the show. 'The dogs a bit of a sight have I seen,' he says, 'unless you call listening to people's private business a sight.'

"Tyler not long after gained considerable reputation by his contributions to that very pleasant newspaper and miscellany, one of the very best of its kind ever published in this country, the 'Farmer's Weekly Museum,' published at Walpole in New Hampshire, by Isaiah Thomas and David Carlisle. When Dennie became its editor, Tyler was called in to assist him with his contributions 'from the shop of Messrs. Colon and Spondee,' an amusing melange of light verse, and entertaining social and political squibs, which he had already opened in the journals, the 'Eagle' at Hanover, the 'Federal Orrery' at Boston, and the 'Tablet.'

"Tyler also published a series of papers with the title, 'An Author's Evenings,' in the 'Port Folio' for 1801, and subsequently. A liberal collection of the 'Colon and Spondee' pa­pers is included in a volume published by Thomas and Thomas

 

* He gave the copyright to the principal actor in the piece, Wignell, who pub­lished it by subscription.

 

 

                       BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF ROYALL TYLER.            713

 

at Walpole in 1801, entitled 'The Spirit of the Farmer's Mu­seum, and Lay Preacher's Gazette.' His facility in verse in these compositions was remarkable. He had great command of versification and an abundant fund of impromptu humor. His 'Colon and Spondee' articles are divided between federal politics, attacks on French democracy, the Della Cruscan lite­rature, and the fashionable frivolities of the day. The para­graphs in prose show the author's wit, taste in literature, and strongly marked opinions of the federal school in politics.

"In 1797, he wrote a comedy in three acts, 'The Georgia Spec, or Land in the Moon,' in ridicule of a speculating mania for wild Yazoo lands. It was repeatedly performed in Boston with success. He wrote some other dramatic productions, but none of them have been published.

"In 1797, appeared from the press of David Carlisle, at Wal­pole, in two volumes, his 'Algerine Captive, or the Life and Adventures of Updike Underhill: Six Years a Prisoner among the Algerines.' It is dedicated to the poet Humphreys. This work is said to have been mistaken by an English critic for a narrative of actual adventure. It is a fictitious book of me­moirs, in which the author ventilates his opinions on various topics of American society, paints the horrors of the slave-trade, and the now almost incomprehensible grievances which the European and American powers for a long time endured from the assumptions of the Algerines. In the close of the work, there are some sketches of Mahometanism. The book is written in short chapters, with spirit and neatness of style. There is quite enough of ingenuity in the thought, coupled with the descriptions of the manners of the times, to redeem this work from the neglect into which it has fallen. Though printed in, at least, a second American edition, it is now exceedingly scarce.

"In 1799, he composed a Fourth of July ode for the public celebration of the day at Windsor, Vermont, and a convivial song for the same occasion. He was frequently called upon for these services, and for the occasional prologues in vogue at charitable and other theatrical benefits.

"In 1804, we notice Tyler as a contributor of verses to the 'Columbian Sentinel.' In 1809, he published two volumes of 'Reports of Cases in the Supreme Court of Vermont.' He still continued to write for the journals, in the Port Folio, and in other quarters. Some of his latest productions appeared in the 'New England Galaxy.' In 1800, he was a contributor to

 

 

714                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

Buckingham's monthly periodical, 'The Polyanthus,' of the papers entitled 'Trash,' and a number of fugitive poetical pieces, and again, on the revival of the publication in 1812."

Though the writings of Judge Tyler are but little known at the present day, yet his ability has been warmly eulogized by those best acquainted with his scattered productions. "Tyler's contributions to the Farmer's Museum," observes the Hon. J. T. Buckingham, "were numerous, and, if collected, would fill several volumes. He wrote rapidly, and could vary his style 'from grave to gay, from lively to severe,' as easily as he could draw on his glove. Most of the articles, purporting to be 'from the Shop of Messrs. Colon and Spondee,' were written by him; the poetical pieces, I believe, are all of his composition. These he generally threw off with a dash of the pen, seldom taking any pains to revise them. They are noted for inaccuracy of rhymes — a defect which he thought hardly worthy of his atten­tion, — but they are remarkable for sprightliness of thought and expression, and an easy flow of language. They embraced topics of all sorts, local and general, temporary and permanent, and were well charged with wit and humor. The complexion of the political articles was purely federal." The remarks of the Rev. Hosea Beckley respecting the literary efforts of Judge Tyler, though a little adulatory, are worthy of notice. "His Algerine Captive is one of the best works of the kind which our country has produced, and is evidence of great invention and versatility of talents in the writer. Several of his charges to juries and condemned criminals were published, and are specimens of elegant composition, as well as evidence of his professional knowledge. He was a man of ready wit and great facetiousness. So innate was his vein of humor, that in his last days, under the painful and melancholy inroads of a cancer, scintillations from his happy genius would occasionally burst forth. His pen was often applied to correct and polish manu­scripts designed for the press."*

The limits of this sketch will not allow of the introduction of

 

* Harv. Coll. Triennial Catalogue. Yale Coll. Triennial Catalogue. Thomp­son's Vt., Part II. pp. 149, 150. Deming's Catalogue Vt. Officers, passim. Ira Allen's Hist. Vt., p. 248. Beckley's Hist. Vt., p. 274. Cyclopædia of Am. Lit., by E. A. and G. L. Duyckinck, 415-420. Dunlap's Hist. Am. Theatre, London ed., 1833, pp. 135-141. Monthly Anthology, Boston, ix. 344-347. Buckingham's Specimens of Newspaper Literature, i. 161, 162; ii. 177, 197, 199-210, 226. The Spirit of the Farmer's Museum and Lay Preacher's Gazette, Walpole, N. II., 1801, passim.

 

 

                         TREATMENT OF SLAVES ON BOARD SHIP.              715

 

but one extract from his writings. That selected is a chapter from the Algerine Captive. The author, in this instance, appears as a surgeon on board of a slaver. The title of the chap­ter is —

"TREATMENT OF THE SLAVES ON BOARD THE SHIP. — Of one hundred and fifty Africans, we rejected seventeen, as not merchantable. While I was doubting which to lament most, those who were about being precipitated into all the miseries of an American slavery, or those whom we had rejected, as too wretched for slaves, Captain Russell was congratulating the slave contractors upon the immense good luck they had, in not suffering more by this lot of human creatures. I understood that, what from wounds received by some of these miserable creatures at their capture, or in their violent struggles for liberty, or attempts at suicide; with the fatigue of a long journey, partly over the burning sands of a sultry climate, it was usual to estimate the loss in the passage to the sea-shore, at twenty-five per cent.

"No sooner was the purchase completed, than these wretched Africans were transported in herds aboard the ship, and immediately precipitated between decks, where a strong chain, attached to a staple in the lower deck, was riveted to the bar, before described; and then the men were chained in pairs, and also handcuffed, and two sailors with cutlasses guarded every twenty: while the women and children were tied together in pairs with ropes, and obliged to supply the men with provisions, and the slush bucket; or, if the young women were released, it was only to gratify the brutal lust of the sailors: for, though I cannot say I ever was witness to an actual rape, yet the fre­quent shrieks of these forlorn females in the berths of the sea­men, left me little charity to doubt of the repeated commission of that degrading crime. The eve after we had received the slaves on board, all hands were piped on deck, and ordered to assist in manufacturing and knotting cat-o'-nine-tails, the application of which, I was informed, was always necessary to bring the slaves to their appetite. The night after they came on board, was spent by these wretched people in sobbings, groans, tears, and the most heart-rending bursts of sorrow and despair. The next morning, all was still. Surprised by this unexpected silence, I almost hoped that Providence, in pity to these her miserable children, had permitted some kindly suffocation to put a period to their anguish. It was neither novel nor unex‑

 

 

716                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

pected to the ship's crew. It is only the dumb fit come on,' cried every one; 'we will cure them.' After breakfast, the whole ship's crew went between decks, and carried with them the provisions for the slaves, which they one and all refused to eat. A more affecting group of misery was never seen. These injured Africans, preferring death to slavery, or perhaps buoyed above the fear of dissolution by their religion, which taught them to look with an eye of faith to a country beyond the grave, where they should again meet the friends and relatives, from whose endearments they had been torn, and where no fiend should torment, or Christian thirst for gold, had, wanting other means, resolved to starve themselves, and every eye lowered the fixed resolve of this deadly intent. In vain were the men beaten. They refused to taste one mouthful; and, I believe, would have died under the operation, if the ingenious cruelty of the clerk, Randolph, had not suggested the plan of whipping the women and children in sight of the men; assuring the men they should be tormented until all had eaten. What the tor­ments, exercised on the bodies of these brave Africans, failed to produce, the feelings of nature effected. The negro, who could undauntedly expire under the anguish of the lash, could not view the agonies of his wife, child, or his mother; and, though repeatedly encouraged by these female sufferers, un­moved by their torments, to persevere unto death; yet, though the man dared to die, the father relented, and in a few hours, they all ate their provisions, mingled with their tears.

"Our slave dealers being unable to fulfil their contract, unless we tarried three weeks longer, our captain concluded to remove to some other market. We accordingly weighed anchor, and steered for Benin, and anchored in the river Formosa, where we took in one hundred and fifteen more slaves. The same process in the purchase was pursued here; and, though I frequently assured the captain, as a physician, that it was impracticable to stow fifty more persons between decks, without endangering health and life, the whole hundred and fifteen were thrust with the rest, between decks. The stagnant confined air of this infernal hole, rendered more deleterious by the stench of the fæces, and violent perspiration of such a crowd, occasioned putrid diseases; and even while in the mouth of the Formosa, it was usual to throw one or two Negro corpses over every day. It was in vain I remonstrated to the captain. In vain I enforced the necessity of more commodious berths, and a more free influx

 

 

                         TREATMENT OF SLAVES ON BOARD SHIP.              717

 

of air for the slaves. In vain I represented, that these miserable people had been used to the vegetable diet and pure air of a country life; that at home they were remarkable for cleanli­ness of person, the very rites of their religion consisting almost entirely in frequent ablutions. The captain was, by this time, prejudiced against me. He observed that he did not doubt my skill, and would be bound by my advice, as to the health of those on board his ship, when he found I was actuated by the interest of the owners; but, he feared, that I was now moved by some Yankee nonsense about humanity.

"Randolph, the clerk, blamed me in plain terms. He said he had made seven African voyages, and with as good surgeons as I was; and that it was their common practice, when an infec­tious disorder prevailed among the slaves, to make critical search for all those who had the slightest symptoms of it, or whose habits of body inclined them to it; to tie them up and cast them over the ship's side together, and thus, at one dash, to purify the ship. 'What signifies,' added he, 'the lives of the black devils ? They love to die. You cannot please them better than by chucking them into the water.'

"When we stood out to sea, the rolling of the vessel brought on the sea-sickness, which increased the filth. The weather being rough, we were obliged to close some of the ports which ventilated the space between decks; and death raged dreadfully among the slaves. Above, two thirds were diseased. It was affecting to observe the ghastly smile on the countenance of the dying African, as if rejoicing to escape the cruelty of his oppres­sors. I noticed one man, who gathered all his strength, and, in one last effort, spoke with great emphasis, and expired. I understood by the linguist, that, with his dying breath, he invited his wife, and a boy and girl to follow him quickly, and slake their thirst with him at the cool streams of their Great Father, beyond the reach of the wild white beasts. The captain was now alarmed for the success of his voyage; and upon my urging the necessity of landing the slaves, he ordered the ship about, and we anchored near an uninhabited part of the gold coast, I conjecture not far from Cape St. Paul.

"Tents were erected on the shore, and the sick landed. Under my direction they recovered surprisingly. It was affecting to see the effect gentle usage had upon these hitherto sullen, obstinate people. As I had the sole direction of the hospital, they looked on me as the source of this sudden transition from the

 

 

718                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

filth and rigor of the ship, to the cleanliness and kindness of the shore. Their gratitude was excessive. When they reco­vered so far as to walk out, happy was he, who could, by picking a few berries, gathering the wild fruits of the country, or doing any menial services, manifest his affection for me. Our linguist has told me, he has often heard them behind the bushes, pray­ing to their God for my prosperity, and asking him with earn­estness, why he put my good black soul into a white body. In twelve days all the convalescents were returned to the ship, except five who staid with me on shore, and were to be taken on board the next day."*

 

 

——————————

 

 

 

SAMUEL WELLS.

 

WITH the history of Cumberland county, the name of Col. Samuel Wells is closely connected. He was the son of Jonathan Wells and Mary, his second wife, and was born at Deerfield, Massachusetts, on the 9th of September, 1730. He had three brothers, Jonathan, David and Oliver, and two sisters, Mary and Rebecca. He married Hannah Sheldon, and in July, 1762, settled in Brattleborough on a farm of six hundred acres, situated about a mile north of the East village. Here was born his family of thirteen children, two of whom died in infancy. The remaining five sons and six daughters, all, with the exception of one daughter, married in Brattleborough. A grant of twelve hundred acres of land in Canada having been made to each of them by the Crown, as a compensation for the losses which Colonel Wells had suffered during the Revolution on account of his adherence to the King, they all removed thither between the years 1798 and 1802. The daughters were married to Samuel Gale, Ephraim Nash, Micah Townsend, Jonathan Gorton, Nathaniel Church, and Ephraim Stimpson. None of Col. Wells's children, bearing his name, were ever prominent men, nor yet of his sons-in-law, with the exception of Samuel Gale, who married Rebecca, his first daughter, and Micah Townsend, who married his third daughter.

 

* The Algerine Captive, ed. 1797, i. 195-204.

 

 

                                                  SAMUEL WELLS.                                       719

 

At the time of his removal to Brattleborough, the population of that portion of the New Hampshire Grants, was small and sparse, and many of the pioneers of civilization were contented when they were so fortunate as to secure a roof for shelter and food to sustain life. The condition of Colonel Wells was, how­ever, superior to that of most of the early settlers of Vermont, and the influence of his character and position was for many years extensively acknowledged. Upon the establishment of Cumberland county by the government of New York, he was appointed a judge of the Inferior court of Common Pleas, a justice of the peace, and was authorized by a dedimus potestatem commission, to swear all who should take office in the county. The commissions issued in conformity with these appointments, were all dated the 17th of July, 1766, and he served under them until the authority from which they were derived ceased to be acknowledged by the people. During the same period he was the chief military man in the southern part of the county. When, in answer to the petition of the inhabitants of this dis­trict, the Council of New York, by an order dated the 23d of December, 1772, authorized them to choose two representatives to the General Assembly, Samuel Wells and Crean Brush were returned, and took their seats in the latter body on the 2d of February, 1773. As a memento of this election there is still preserved a note, written to Colonel Wells by John Bolton, who was probably a successful wire-puller, dated at "Westminster, June the 11th, 1773." It is to be regretted that the items covered by the word "Nesesares" were not stated. The note is in these words:

"Sir: I have paid unto Jont. Safford nine Shillings and Six pence Lawful money of the Bay Province, for Nesesares the People of Halifax had when they Come to Lextion if you wold be so good as to pay ye same to Mr. Whipple ye Bearer by next thursday so as he may bring it to me, you will much oblige your Humble Servt."

At the time of the "Massacre" at Westminster in 1775, Co­lonel Wells, although one of the court judges, was in attend­ance upon the General Assembly at New York, and was not aware of the circumstances connected with the development and results of the affray, until the arrival of the messengers who had been dispatched with the tidings. In connection with his colleague Brush, he is supposed to have been instrumental in preparing the depositions which were signed by the messen‑

 

 

720                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

gers and presented to the Assembly, containing an account of the "Massacre" favorable to the action of the Crown adhe­rents, and condemnatory of the conduct of the Whigs. In the same year, during the recess of the Assembly, "he joined the ministerial members in a letter to General Gage at Boston," and seldom failed to evince a loyal disposition, even after po­licy had dictated an opposite course of action. On suspicion of having been engaged in an attempt to introduce arms into Cumberland county in behalf of Great Britain, for the purpose of reinstating and maintaining the administration of justice therein, he was examined before the New York committee of safety on the 12th of September, 1775, during the recess of the, Provincial Congress, but he was dismissed, nothing having been proved against him. Though opposed to the American cause, he had sufficient skill and influence to preserve his pro­perty from confiscation, but was not able wholly to escape the odium which attached to a Loyalist, or the punishments which a profession of this nature so often incurred. From the records of the committee of safety for Cumberland county, it appears that Lieut. Leonard Spaulding, a most patriotic member from Dummerston, allowed his enmity towards Colonel Wells to manifest itself, on one occasion, in a most improper manner. The incident referred to was noticed by the committee in their proceedings on the 25th of July, 1776, and in order to wipe out the disgrace which had been cast upon them by the unwarranted act of the fiery Dummerstonian, they resolved "that Lieutenant Spaulding make suitable Confession to this Committee for his Conduct in Taking Colo. Wells by military force; that mode of proceeding Being Contrary to the minds of this Committee, and also a Violation of a Certain Resolve formerly passed by this Committee." To this resolution is appended the following note:— "Mr. Spaulding Comply'd with the above Vote by his making proper Confession, &c." In the New York Gazette under date of June 23d, 1777, it is stated that "Judge Wells of Brattleborough had been lately confined to his farm and otherwise ill-treated," and it is known that, for a long time, permission was granted to any one to shoot him, should he be found beyond the bounds of his acres.

His devotion to the interests of the mother country, though it did not lead him to avow openly the principles of a Loyalist, was sufficiently strong to enlist his services in a private manner in her behalf. During the period in which the British agents

 

 

                            REVOLUTIONARY LETTER-CARRYING.                  721

 

in Canada were endeavoring to negotiate an alliance with the principal men in Vermont, for the purpose of reducing that state to the condition of a Crown province, his efforts were directed in behalf of this end. In a letter to General Frederick Haldimand, dated at New York, May 8th, 1781, and written, it is supposed, by Beverly Robinson, notice is taken of the willingness of Wells to promote the interests of Great Britain. "Colonel Wells of Brattleborough," said this writer, "has sent his son-in-law* with verbal information that throws great light upon the conduct of Vermont. We take him to be a friend, and he says by this messenger that you know him to be so. Is it true? He offers his services for a monthly interchange of letters between Canada and the coast of Connecticut, where we are to find a friend to give and receive dispatches. Do you approve of this confidence?"

That the offer of Wells was ultimately accepted, and that he and Luke Knowlton of Newfane, lent their aid to advance the interests of Great Britain, is proved by the following facts. In the month of April, 1782, Christopher Osgood of Brattleborough, a housewright by occupation, was hired by Knowlton to carry a letter to William Smith of the city of New York, who had formerly been chief justice of the province. The letter, it was supposed, was from General Haldimand, and was brought from Canada to Newfane by Solomon Ball. Osgood received from Knowlton twenty-eight dollars for this service, and on his return early in June, received from Smith an undirected letter, with verbal orders to deliver it to Knowlton and a reward of thirty guineas for his trouble. In the month of August follow­ing Shadrach Ball arrived at Brattleborough with another letter from Canada directed to Smith. Osgood was on this occasion employed by Wells, who gave him five pounds to take the let­ter to New York. After remaining a few days in that city, he set out on his return, being the bearer of a letter without direc­tion from the British secretary Morgan, which he had orders to deliver to Wells. For this last service he was rewarded with fifty guineas. Of the information communicated he was igno­rant, but was commanded to destroy the letters in the event of his capture.

The fact that an embassy of this character had been estab‑

 

* Samuel Gale is probably referred to. His associates were among the British military, and his sympathies openly and wholly with royalty.

 

46

 

 

722                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

lished becoming known to the authorities of Rhode Island, measures were immediately taken to end it. In the latter part of October, or early in November, the sheriff of that state ar­rived in Brattleborough, arrested Christopher Osgood and carried him to Providence. Here on the 13th of November, at a session of the court of assize and general jail delivery, he was brought before the Hon. Paul Mumford, chief justice of the Superior court of judicature, and upon examination detailed the facts above stated. The "Information of Christopher Osgood" was on the 19th, sent by the Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island to Congress, accompanied by a letter from that official. These documents, "containing evidence" as was then stated, "that some of the leaders in Vermont, and particularly Luke Knowlton, who had been deputed in the year 1780 to Con­gress as agent for that party opposed to its independence, but who had since changed sides, had been intriguing with the enemy in New York" — these documents were read in Congress on the 25th, and were referred to Samuel Osgood, Daniel Carroll, and John Rutledge.

In acting upon their report, which was presented on the 27th, Congress, by a resolution passed in secret session, directed the commander-in-chief "to take immediate measures for apprehending and securing Luke Knowlton of Newfane, and Samuel Wells of Brattleborough, both of the district of country common­ly called the New Hampshire Grants, west of Connecticut river, and such others within the district aforesaid as there may be good reason to apprehend have been concerned with the said Knowlton and Wells in a dangerous correspondence and intercourse with the enemy." Permission was also granted to the commander-in-chief to notify to those "exercising authority in the district aforesaid" the grounds upon which the arrest was demanded. At the same time, the subject of the independence of Vermont was discussed, and representatives from a number of the states declared their views on the subject.

On the 3d of December, the same topic was again brought for­ward, and the opinion was openly expressed that the leaders of Vermont were "perfidious men." In order to warn the northern states of the dangers to which they were exposed by the machinations of internal foes, Congress resolved, in secret session, to furnish a copy of Christopher Osgood's declaration to the "supreme executives of the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York." The charges

 

 

                              FLIGHT OF WELLS AND KNOWLTON.                   723

 

contained in his "information," implicating as they did, certain citizens of each of these states in "treasonable practices," ren­dered this course necessary for the safety of all. Pursuant to the resolution of the 27th of November, an officer was sent into Vermont to arrest Wells and Knowlton, but they had been pre­viously informed that such an attempt would be made, and had left the state before the officer arrived. An account of this proceeding was sent to Congress by General Washington, together with the report of the officer who had been sent to make the arrest. From the representation of the latter, it appeared on the statement of Israel Smith of Brattleborough, "that Knowlton and Wells had received a letter from Jonathan Arnold, Esquire, at Congress, part of which was made public, which informed them that affairs in Congress were unfavorable to them, and would have them to look out for themselves." The subject was again considered on the 27th of January, 1783, and Mr. Arnold, who was present when the papers were read, expressed his surprise at the declarations which they contained respecting himself; denied that he had ever held any correspondence with either Knowlton or Wells and requested a copy of the above charge. In this request he was indulged without opposition, "but it was generally considered," Mr. Madison ob­serves, "notwithstanding his denial of the correspondence, that he had, at least at second hand, conveyed the intelligence to Vermont." A similiar opinion was entertained by Governor Clinton. In a letter to Colonel Floyd, dated the 6th of February, 1783, he said: — "Wells and Knowlton have both fled the country, and there is strong reason to suspect they had notice of the measures which were taken for their apprehension, from a quarter too, where secrecy should have been observed. A letter from a member of Congress to a person in that quarter, is said to have given them the alarm." As to the design of Wells in this affair, there can be but little doubt that he aimed to reduce Vermont to a Crown dependency. Of the conduct of Knowlton, it is a fair inference that he was influenced by Wells to engage temporarily in advancing the views of that stern old Loyalist. His subsequent conduct, however, proved his hearty adherence to the American cause, and his true devotion to the best interests of Vermont.*

 

* There is reason for supposing, that Wells, while engaged in behalf of the British in the transactions detailed in the text, was regarded by the principal

 

 

724                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

Colonel Wells maintained his principles as a Loyalist firmly to the last. The opening sentence of his will, which was executed on the 28th of October, 1784, was in these words: "In the name of God, Amen, I, Samuel Wells of Brattleborough, formerly in the county of Cumberland, in the province of New York, but now the territory called and known by the name of the state of Vermont, do make my last. will and testament in manner and form following," etc. Micah Townsend, his son-in-law, being one of the heirs and administrators under the will, and at the same time probate judge of the district of Marl­borough, which district included Brattleborough, the General Assembly, by an act passed on the 21st of October, 1786, per­mitted the probate judge of the district of Westminster to administer on the will, "as fully and as amply as if the said Samuel Wells had died in the district of Westminster." Wells died deeply insolvent, his estate being valued at £1577 6s. d., and his debts amounting to £5880 2s. 7½d. Among his creditors were Abraham Lot, Goldsbrow Banyar, William Wickham, the Hon. William Smith, Stephen Greenleaf, the estate of Crean Brush, and the estate of Josiah Willard.*

 

men of Vermont as friendly to their interests, and that he was admitted to their counsels. This opinion is supported by the following extract from Ira Allen's History of Vermont, in which an account is given of the flight of Wells.

"In January, 1783, the late Colonel Samuel Wells of Brattleborough, being engaged in transmitting letters from Canada to New York, one of his packets was intercepted, and fell into the hands of some of the officers of the Continental troops. In consequence of which, a captain, with a company from Albany, was dispatched to seize the Colonel, who, on being informed of this circumstance, left his house to take shelter in Canada. In his flight he put up at Captain Otly's, at Bromley, in the Green Mountains. While at supper, the [Albany] captain and his men came to the house, and put up for the night. Notwithstanding Colonel Wells was fully apprised of the captain's business, yet, reflecting that there was no dwelling at hand to which he could escape, and that such an attempt, besides, might awaken suspicions in the captain who was about to retire to rest, the Colonel went to bed, and remained there till his pursuers set out to Brattleborough, in hopes to find him there. Colonel Wells proceeded to Sunderland, to consult with General [Ethan] and Colonel [Ira] Allen, who advised him to set out for New York about twelve o'clock at night. A sleigh was accordingly provided for that purpose, which was brought to General Allen's door at the appointed hour, Colonel Wells set out in it, and having pursued his instructions, in the course of a few nights he arrived at New York in safety." p. 245.

 

* Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 696-699. Journal N. Y. Prov. Cong., i. 145. Madison Papers, i. 206, 209-212, 281, 282. Secret Journal of the Acts and Proceedings of Congress, i. 245, 246. Deposition of Elijah Prouty, Jan. 31st, 1783. George Clin­ton Papers, in office Sec. State N. Y., vol. xvii. doe. 4926. Probate Records of Windham Co. Journals Gen. Ass. Vt., Oct., 1786, pp. 56, 59. Journal Ass. N. J.,

 

 

                                                DANIEL WHIPPLE.                                     725

 

The firmness with which he adhered to the cause of royalty during the struggles of the Revolution, subjected him, as has been shown, to many annoyances and losses, and led him to engage privately in attempts to advance the interests of the mother country. Still he was an intelligent, wealthy, and influential gentleman, and was much esteemed and beloved in his private character. Three years after the peace of '83, he died in Brattleborough. A plain, white marble head-stone in the old burying ground, marks the spot where his mortal remains repose, and bears the following inscription:—

 

In Memory of Col° Samuel Wells of this town, a Judge of

Cumberland County Court, and a Member of the Assembly

of the Province of New York, who departed this life the 6th

of Augt 1786, the 55th year of his age.

His friends, the stranger and the poor have lost

A kind companion and a generous host:

When he fell — the statesman fell,

And left the world his worth to tell.

 

_______________

 

 

DANIEL WHIPPLE.

 

DANIEL WHIPPLE of Brattleborough was appointed on the 17th of April, 1770, by commission from the colonial government of New York, to the shrievalty of Cumberland county, in the place of John Arms resigned, and held that position until the latter part of the year 1772. Of his honesty and ability different views were entertained by the judges presiding in the courts within his bailiwick. In a letter to Governor Tryon, dated the 6th of February, 1772, Judge Thomas Chandler stated that Whipple's conduct in striving to apprehend a party of rioters who had created much disturbance at Windsor, had led "His late Excellency the Earl of Dunmore, and the Honorable His Majesty's Council," to grant him a township of land as a reward for his services. Whipple presented this communication to Governor Tryon, but it does not appear that his application for

 

1782, p. 10. Journal Council N. J., 1782, p. 7. MS. Letter from Rev. Canon Micajah Townsend, dated July 1st, 1856. See ante, pp. 485, 503, 504.

 

 

726                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

a patent of the grant was allowed. On the 10th of October following, Samuel Wells and Noah Sabin, associate judges with Chandler, represented to Governor Tryon the unfitness of Whipple for his place. They accused him of charging and receiving mileage fees, when by law he was entitled to none; of remissness and negligence in the execution of his office, mani­fested by committing "almost the whole care thereof" to depu­ties ill-chosen and unfit for the trust; of exacting exorbitant and unlawful fees; and of refusing to receive prisoners into custody who had been taken on execution. Conduct like this they declared to be "totally subversive of the authority of the civil magistracy" in the county, and "highly prejudicial and displeasing to the well disposed inhabitants" therein residing. These statements were confirmed by Crean Brush, clerk of the county, and Whipple was soon after dismissed from office. He was succeeded by William Paterson, who was afterwards conspicuous at the "Westminster Massacre." The time of his death is not known, but the letters of administration taken out by Mary Whipple, administratrix upon his estate, were dated at New York on the 15th of April, 1775.*

 

_______________

 

JOSIAH WILLARD.

 

COL. JOSIAH WILLARD, the commander at Fort Dummer from 1740 to 1750, was the son of Henry Willard, who married Dor­cas Cutler of Lancaster, Massachusetts. At this place he was born about the year 1693, and here he married Hannah Wilder. He was among the first settlers — a founder in fact — of Lunenburgh, in the present county of Worcester, Massachusetts, for a long time a frontier town. His grandfather Major Simon Wil­lard, who came to this country as early as 1655, was one of the first settlers of Concord, Massachusetts, and was "highly dis­tinguished both as a civil and military character." His uncle, the Rev. Samuel Willard, was for a time vice-president of Harvard College. Colonel Willard died on the 8th of Decem­ber, 1750. He bore the character of a faithful and intelligent public officer, and was without reproach in the relations of pri­vate and domestic life.

 

* N. Y. Colonial MSS., in office Sec. State N. Y., vol. xcix.

 

 

                                              JOSIAH WILLARD JR.                                   727

 

JOSIAH WILLARD JR.

 

JOSIAH WILLARD JR., a son of the former, was born in January, 1716, and married Hannah Hubbard of Groton. For several years he was intrusted with the charge of a garrison at Ashue­lot (now Keene), New Hampshire, and in 1749 removed to Winchester in that province. On the death of his father he was promoted to the station he had held. Notice of this ap­pointment was conveyed to the son by another Josiah Willard, a cousin, who for thirty-nine years was secretary of the pro­vince of Massachusetts by a royal commission. "I heartily join with you and your family," wrote the secretary in his let­ter dated the 18th of December, 1750, "in your Mourning for the Death of your Father, esteeming it a great publick loss. His Honor, the Lieutenant-Governor, has been pleased to ap­point you to succeed him in the command of Fort Dummer, as will appear by the enclosed commission." With the office he also received the title which his father had borne. He was a member of the Assembly of the province of New Hampshire, and possessed great influence among the inhabitants on the "Grants." He died at Winchester in 1786, at which place the death of his widow occurred in August, 1791. The following notice of his death appeared in one of the gazettes of that pe­riod:— "Winchester, November 19th, 1786. This day departed this life, in sure hope of a glorious immortality, in the seventy-second year of his age, to the great loss of his family and friends, as well as the public in general, Josiah Willard, Esqr., an affectionate husband, a tender parent, a faithful friend, and a generous benefactor."*

 

* N. Y. Colonial MSS., Dunmore, Tryon, in office Sec. State N. Y., January 30th, 1771, vol. xcvii. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 675. MS. Letter from Joseph Wil­lard, Esq., of Boston. Worcester Magazine, 1786.

 

 

728                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

 

WILLIAM WILLIAMS.

 

IN the year 1769, Capt. William Williams moved from Northborough, Massachusetts, with his family, and settled in the town of Marlbo­rough, Vermont. He was very active in promoting the inte­rests of the new settlement, and through his instrumentality Capt. Nathaniel Whitney and his brothers, Samuel and Jonas from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, were induced to visit the place. Pleased with the locality, they purchased lands, be­came residents, and were always regarded as the most useful and influential citizens of Marlborough. To Capt. Williams is ascribed the credit of having erected the first framed building in the town. It was a barn, and was built on the farm subse­quently owned by Simeon Adams.

Previous to his removal to Vermont, Capt. Williams had been engaged in the service of the colonies in the war which terminated with the peace of Paris, signed on the 10th of Feb­ruary, 1763. At the commencement of the war of the Revolu­tion he early became interested in behalf of the American cause, and acknowledging the jurisdiction of New York over the New Hampshire Grants, was elected a delegate to the first Provincial Congress of that state, which commenced its session on the 22d of May, 1775. He was returned to the same position during the sessions which commenced on the 6th of December, 1775, and on the 14th of May, 1776. Desirous of aiding in the cause which he had embraced, he, on the 9th of June, 1775, in connection with Benjamin Wait and Joab Hoi­sington, offered his services to the Provincial Congress, promising, in case they should be accepted, to use his utmost endeavors to "raise a regiment of good, active, enterprising soldiers." The object of these patriots, as stated by themselves, was to form in Cumberland county a body of minute-men, who would be "duly prepared at the least notice . . . . . . . . . . to keep under proper subjection, regulars, Roman Catholics, and the savages at the northward; as also, to be ready at all times, to defend our rights and privileges against ministerial tyranny and oppression."

 

 

 

                                              WILLIAM WILLIAMS.                                    729

 

Of the appreciation in which he was held as a soldier, an opinion may be formed from the following passage, taken from a letter written by Ethan Allen and Seth Warner to Eliphalet Dyer and Silas Dean, dated at Philadelphia, July 4th, 1775. "Capt. William Williams, who served in that rank in the ranging service with honour during the last war, and since has been a major of militia in Cumberland county, is desirous to join the battalion of Green Mountain Boys in rank of major, and complete a full regiment and though the Green Mountain Boys are fully satisfied by the present arrangement, neverthe­less, if the exigency of war shall render it expedient to make us a complete regiment, this gentleman will on notice, be at your Honours' service. His connections with many old rangers and marksmen, with his military abilities in such a department, would render him conspicuous, and very agreeable to our corps."

At the commencement of the campaign of 1777, efforts were made to place the northern frontier in a state of defence, and to accomplish in part this purpose, General Schuyler was em­powered, by a resolution of the New York Provincial Congress, to dispatch one-fifth part of the militia of Cumberland county to reinforce the garrison at Ticonderoga. In reply to the requi­sition made upon Colonel Williams, in consequence of this resolve, he stated, in a letter dated the 13th of April, 1777, that the inhabitants were unwilling to serve in the battalions of the state of New York, but were ready to act as the militia of the New Hampshire Grants, or of a new state. Although it does not appear that he was present at the evacuation of Ticonderoga, which, soon after took place, yet he distinguished himself at the head of a regiment in the battle of Bennington, on the 16th of August following, and shared in the glory of the victory which crowned the efforts of that day.

He did not long continue a resident of Marlborough. In 1777 he was a citizen of Wilmington, and during the years that followed, frequently changed the place of his abode. Having at last settled in the province of Lower Canada, he continued to reside there until the time of his decease, in 1823, the same year in which occurred the death of his wife. As an officer, he was brave, energetic, skilful, and humane: as a citizen, enterprising, active, and progressive: as a neighbor, kind, polite, and attentive. The elegance and symmetry of his form were as perfect as his manners were agreeable. He was held in

 

  

730                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

high estimation by the inhabitants of the various towns in which he dwelt at different times, and though of a wandering disposition, could easily accommodate himself to any circumstances in which he might be placed.*

 

 

AZARIAH WRIGHT,

 

WHO bore a prominent part in the proceedings connected with the "Westminster Massacre," was noted for the boldness of his nature, and the eccentricity of his conduct. Of the time and place of his birth, and of the period at which he removed to Vermont, nothing is known. In the old French war, he served as a frontier soldier in Capt. John Burk's company of rangers, and was stationed at Hinsdale's Fort in 1757. Peculiarly fitted for the rough life of a pioneer, he delighted to act in those scenes which tended fully to develop his capacity to overcome the obstacles of an unknown wilder­ness, and never failed to exhibit an energy and a perseverance which commanded success. As early as the year 1770, he was the captain of a militia company at Westminster, and, owing to the precision with which, as a soldier, he had been taught to obey, became a most strict disciplinarian, and trained his men with all the severity and rigor of a martinet. Of the part which he performed in the affray which occurred at Westmin­ster on the 13th of March, 1775, an account has been already given. During the winter of 1776, he went to Quebec with twelve men, but of his exploits on this occasion, no record has been preserved.

Being a staunch supporter of the cause of the colonies, he regarded with suspicion those who had rendered themselves liable to the charge of Toryism, and did not fail to express his views of them in the plainest terms. In the month of September, 1779, Thomas Chandler Jr., of Chester, was chosen to represent that town in the General Assembly of Vermont, and

 

* MS. Hist. of Marlborough, by Rev. E. H. Newton. Journal N. Y. Prov. Cong., i. 800 ; ii. 61, 431.

 

                                               AZARIAH WRIGHT.                                    731

 

in the following October was elected speaker of the House. Regarding Chandler as an unfit person for these positions, Wright determined to obtain his removal. To effect this end, he addressed two letters to the Governor and Council during the session of the Legislature, dated March 14th, 1780, in which, in uncouth language, he blindly expressed his views as to the character of Chandler. The first letter was in these words:—

"To his Excellency Governor in Chief, Left Governor and prudent Council of Freemen with Greeting, I send, not forgeting the Independent State of Vermont. Fortitude Good Manners Honisty resolution makes a Free people, being not thoughtless of the fountain from whence, &c. Now Gentlemen I beg assistance as one Mr. Pompee of Chester has Borrowed of me the value of Six or Eight Silver Dollars in horse tackling which when required to return the Chief Speaker his Agent Thomas Chandler Esqr answers for him in wrighting. Not Gentlemen that I should grieve myself for the loss of 6 or 8 Dollars, but with and, &c., that said Esqr Chandler should be Chief Speaker for the black Ethiopian not for Whites. if your Honours Can do any thing I should remain your most obedient

                                                    "Azariah Wright.

"put Law in force sift the House."

The offence charged in this letter seems to have been that Thomas Chandler Jr., while speaker, had appeared as an attor­ney in behalf of Pompey Brakkee, a negro.* The other note was as follows:

"Great is amarica, there terror starts all Yourope, Exolted be Varmount tho Little May be head, and ware the Crown of gustus, ferfull am I of that, while Deceit is att head, Not to condemn the whole, nor gustify any only by marit, it is amazing that People that have ben led to the Slaughter by Deceit Should trust the same man for there Counceller, thomas Chandler Esqr I ment, who wrote to Incurrige the ferse Soons of Liberty to assembel att Westminster, Declaring he new his farthers mind, and by Deceit we lost two brave herooes these are to Remind Deceit and Shun Destruction To the Exclet Governers and Councle from your most obedent                                                            Azariah Wright.

"Westminster March the — 14 — 1780."

The contents of these notes soon became publicly known, and, singular as it may seem, Chandler was in consequence "brought

 

* See ante, p. 331, note.

 

 

732                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

into great discredit" among the representatives, and lost his seat as speaker. He immediately commenced a suit against Wright for libel, and laid his damages at £10,000 lawful money. On the trial which occurred in the month of June following, Wright pleaded not guilty, and the case having gone before a jury, the plaintiff obtained judgment for £3 damages besides costs. Within twenty-four hours after the decision was rendered, the case was reviewed. At an adjourned session of the court, held in August, Chandler obtained judgment against the defendant for the sum of £6, lawful money, damages, and £216, lawful money, costs of suit. Execution having been granted upon the property of Wright, it was satisfied in October, by the payment of eight hundred and six continental dollars.

But the peculiarities of his disposition were not displayed in libellous publications alone. According to a complaint presented by his wife, Miriam, it appears that on the evening of the 6th of December, 1780, he did "violently assault and beat her;" and that on the 11th of the same month, he did put her "in fear of her life and safety," by "taking his sword and other weapons dangerous," and brandishing them over her in a threatening manner. On being brought before the justices he was declared guilty of "a high breach of the peace," and was recognized in the sum of £500 lawful money, to appear before the county court at their next session. Of the proceedings on this occasion there is no record, but it may be reasonably supposed, that influences were exerted to induce him to exercise his pugilistic propensities in a more praiseworthy manner.

Captain Wright, or as he was familiarly called "Uncle 'Riah," was an Ethan Allen on a smaller scale. He was bold, rough, independent and outspoken. The singular recklessness of his character was often manifested in acts, as thoughtless as they were strange. When the Rev. Joseph Bullen was first settled at Westminster, Uncle 'Riah, who was a church member in good standing, adhered strongly to the cause of the Rev. Mr. Goodell whose evil conduct had induced him to depart secretly from the town.* His antipathy to Mr. Bullen was as great as his friendship to Mr. Goodell was strong. So far did he carry his dislike to the former, as to administer to him a tweak of the nose, a cuff on the cheek, and "many other enormities," for which he was prosecuted, fined, and put under bonds to keep

 

* See ante, p. 211, note.

 

 

                        EXCOMMUNICATION OF CAPTAIN WRIGHT.             733

 

the peace. Notwithstanding these punishments, he committed another assault upon Mr. Bullen, in consequence of which the church resolved to excommunicate their rebellious member. On the Sunday appointed for this purpose, Uncle 'Riah made his appearance at church, duly equipped with his trusty "Queen's Arms," with which he paced the aisle during the whole of the time of service. As the exercises were closing, Mr. Bullen drew forth the letter of excommunication, and as he did so Uncle 'Riah stopped in his military march and faced him. As the paper was being opened, Uncle 'Riah brought the gun to his shoulder. The minister began to read. "Make ready!" shouted the captain, suiting the action to the order. Mr. Bullen, though intimidated, proceeded with the reading, but had enunciated only a few words, when Uncle 'Riah said and did, "Take aim." Penetrated with a thrilling fear, that any further attempt on his part to publish the pro­scription, might put an untimely period not only to the present proceedings but to his own preaching, the minister passed the offensive order to John Sessions, his eldest deacon. Scarcely had the deacon commenced to read, when Captain Wright, with threatening look, brought his piece to bear upon him. "All things are lawful but some things are not expedient," remarked Deacon Sessions to Parson Bullen, in the language of St. Paul, and returned the paper to his reverence. A consultation was then held among the spiritual officers of the church, which resulted in a decision favorable to a stay of pro­ceedings. Thereupon the letter of excommunication was folded up, the benediction was pronounced, and Uncle 'Riah marched home in triumph.*

 

* This story is detailed in a different form and with numerous embellishments, by Dr. John Andrew Graham, in his "Descriptive Sketch of the present state of Vermont," published at London, in 1797. According to his account, which is in a measure apocryphal, Captain Wright was "a man more sinned against than sinning." The version given by the credulous doctor is as follows :—

 

"Before we take leave of Westminster, it may not be unworthy of remark, that the second Protestant church in the state was built at this place. I shall also add an anecdote of an honest farmer (one of the original settlers), which happened at Westminster, and which will serve to show the fanatical spirit which then prevailed — so contrary to that liberal toleration now prevalent over America, and which so happily unites every denomination of Christians in the bond of charity and love. But to my story.

"The farmer in question was a plain, pious man, regular in the discharge of his duty, both to God and his neighbor; but unluckily he happened to live near one with whom he was not inclined to cultivate either civil or friendly terms. This troublesome personage was no other than a Monstrous over-grown he-bear, that

 

 

734                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

Tradition has preserved the shadowy outline of other events, in which the wayward old captain bore a part. Enough, how­ever, has been said to set forth the character of the man. He was the representative of a class, whose services as pioneers in the settlement of a new country are always of the highest im­portance, and whose indomitable perseverance and courage, when rightly directed, are sure to lead to eminence in the more daring pursuits of life.*

 

descended from the mountains trod down and destroyed the corn-fields, and carried off whatever he laid his paws upon. The plundered sufferer watched him in vain, the ferocious and cunning animal ever finding methods to elude his utmost vigilance. At last it had learned its cue so thoroughly, as only to com­mit its depredations on the Lord's day, when it knew, from experience, the coast was clear. Wearied out with these oft-repeated trespasses, the good man resolved on the next Sunday to stay in his fields, where with his gun he concealed himself. The bear came according to custom. He fired and shot it dead. The explosion threw the whole congregation (for it was about the hour of people's assembling to worship) into consternation. The cause was inquired into, and as soon as the pastor, deacon and elders became acquainted with it, they called a special meet­ing of the church, and cited their offending brother before them, to show cause, if any he had, why he should not be excommunicated out of Christ's church, for this daring and unexampled impiety. In vain did he urge from the Scriptures themselves that it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath day. He pleaded before judges determined to condemn him, and the righteous parson, elders and church, una voce, agreed to drive him out from amongst them as polluted and accursed. Accordingly he was enjoined (as is customary on such occasions) on the next Sunday to attend his excommunication, in the church. He did attend, but not entirely satisfied with the justice of the sentence, and too much of a soldier to be scandalized in so public a manner for any action which he conceived to be his duty, he resolved to have recourse to stratagem. He therefore went to the appointment with his gun loaded with a brace of balls, his sword and cartridge-box by his side, and his knapsack on his back with six days, provision in it. Service was about half over when he entered the sanctuary in this martial array. He marched leisurely into a corner and took his position. As soon as the bene­diction was ended, the holy parson began the excommunication, but scarcely had he pronounced the words, "Offending brother," when the honest old veteran cocked and levelled his weapon of destruction, at the same time crying out with a loud voice, "Proceed if you dare; proceed, and you are a dead man." At this unexpected attack, the astonished clergyman shrunk behind his desk, and his opponent with great deliberation recovered his arms. Some moments elapsed be­fore the parson had courage to peep from behind his ecclesiastical battery. On finding the old hero had come to a rest, he tremblingly reached the order to his eldest deacon, desiring him to read it. The deacon, with stammering accents and eyes staring wild affright, began as he was commanded; but no sooner had he done so, than the devoted victim again levelled his piece, and more vehemently than before exclaimed, "Desist and march. I will not live with shame. Desist and march, I say, or you are all dead men." Little need had he to repeat his threats. The man of God leaped from the desk and escaped. The deacon, elders, and congregation followed in equal trepidation. The greatest confusion prevailed. The women with shrieks and cries sought their homes, and the victor was left undisturbed master of the field, and of the church, too, the doors of which he calmly locked, put the keys in his pocket, and sent them, with his respects, to the pastor. He then marched home with all the honors of war, lived fourteen years afterwards, and died a brother in full communion." pp. 111-115.

 

* MS. Court Papers. Vermont Republican, Friday, February 9th, 1855.