CORNWALL. 23

 

 

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HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CORNWALL.

 

 

BY REV. LYMAN MATTHEWS.

 

"They braved the savage in his native wilds;

They bade defiance to the wintry blast,

Smiled at the toils and perils of their way,

And onward came."

 

IN the contest between New York and New Hampshire, respecting jurisdiction in Vermont, the "proprietors" of Cornwall acknowledged the authority of the latter province. This is evident from the Charter under which they derived a title to their lands, preserved among the proprietors' records, bearing date Nov. 3, 1761. The claims of New York appear not to have been urged with much earnestness, for several years, as previous to 1764, no less than one hundred and thirty-eight townships received charters from Gov. Wentworth. The occupancy and improvement of these townships seem to have awakened within the New York claimants a new estimate of the value of the lands, and to have so far stimulated their cupidity as to call forth earnest and perseュvering efforts to establish and maintain their juュrisdiction. To which of the governments they should render allegiance, would have been comparatively a matter of indifference, if the titles to their lands had remained unquestioned. But the declaration of New York, that the New Hampュshire charters were void, and the settlers should either quit their possessions or repurchase from New York claimants, was met with determined resistance, as unjust. And the settlers, believing neither of the contending governments had the ability, even if disposed, to protect them in the enjoyment of their rights, declared themselves independent of both, and resolved to manage their own affairs in their own way.

The grantees of the charter of Cornwall are sixty-five, including several females, and they were mostly, perhaps wholly, residents of Litchュfield Co., Conn. Owing to the destruction of their records previous to 1778, the original assignment of rights cannot be determined with precision.**

The charter "is to contain, by admeasureュment, above 25,000 A., which tract is to contain something more than 6 m. sq., and no more," and originally embraced all that part of Middleュbury which lies west of Otter Creek, which tract was, with consent of the parties, annexed to Midュdlebury by the Legislature, in 1796.

The first settlements were made in 1774, in that part of the township annexed to Middleュbury. The settlers were Asa Blodget, Jas. Bently, Jas. Bently, Jr., Thos. Bently, Jos. Throop, Theoph. Allen, Wm. Douglass, and

 

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* Now Mrs J. B. Cook, of Monkton.

**A curious error is observable in the boundaries as prescribed by the charter, which it will be imposュsible to notice in this brief sketch, but which will be brought to view in a more minute history of the town, which it is hoped may be ready for publication at a period not very remote.

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Sam'l Benton. About the same time, Eldad Andrus, Ethan Andrus, Aaron Scott, Nathan Foot, Sam'l Blodget, and Eben'r Stebbins made "pitches." None of these names are found among those indorsed upon the charter, from which we infer they purchased the right of ocュcupying their lands from original proprietors. Indeed, their surveys specify certain "original rights," upon which the titles to their pitchers claim to be based. Several of these persons, among whom were Asa Blodget, Sam'l Blodget, his son, and Eldad Andrus were taken prisoners by the Indians, but after suffering much hardュship, and many threats of violence and death, succeeded in reaching their families. An interュesting incident is related in connection with the story of Mr. Andrus's captivity, as follows:

After having cut down his young apple trees, and in other ways annoyed his family, the Indians took away a mare and colt, the only animals of the horse kind in his possession, and by the family they were regarded as lost. After the lapse of two or three years, however, the old mare reュturned with her colt, now well grown, with another in company which mated it well, and they made Mr. A. a team for years.

After the surrender of Ticonderoga to the British, the settlers of Cornwall and the adjacent country became still more exposed to marauding parties of Indians and British soldiers; and the inhabitants deemed it prudent to retire from their farms to their former homes, in Connecticut, or Massachusetts, or to the southern portions of Vermont, where most of them remained until the relations between Britain and America assumed a more peaceful aspect. In 1783, as soon as the news of peace reached this country, several famュilies returned, and in 1784, a very large accession to the number of settlers arrived, and made their selection of farms. This year the town was orュganized, and from this period the emigration to Cornwall increased with so great rapidity, that in 1800, only sixteen years later, the dwellings had become as numerous, and the population as great as in 1840, when it was 1,163; greater than in 1850, and as great, probably, as it will appear in the census of 1860. Of the early settlers, many lived to a very advanced age, several beュyond 90 years; and one, the mother of Eldad Andrus, to the extreme age of 106 years.

Is it asked, why has the population of Cornュwall remained stationary as to numbers for more than half a century? The pulpits of our land, the halls of legislation, the courts of justice, the chairs of editorial and literary labor, the seminaュries of instruction, the chambers of sickness, the marts of trade, the railroad and telegraph offices, the homes of agriculture dotting the broad prairies of the West, the agencies of benevolence, and the abodes of missionary toil in pagan lands, can answer the interrogatory. For in all these posiュtions the sons of Cornwall have been, and in most of them may now be found discharging their several responsibilities with a measure of energy and fidelity, in most cases, creditaュble to themselves, and honorable to the town which gave them birth, and nurtured their early years.

Our history, in this respect, must resemble that of many other towns in this Commonwealth. But there is, perhaps, no arrogance in the asュsumption, that the character of the early settlers of the town contributed in a somewhat unusual degree to this result. A large proportion of them possessed qualities which prepared them to be pioneers in a new settlement; qualities which, transmitted to their children through parental exュample and instruction, led those children to aspire after usefulness, or honors, or pecuniary gains in new field, of labor.

Like the Pilgrim Fathers, it was the first care of the early settlers of Cornwall to provide for the worship of God, and the education of their children. Before any roads were opened, they designated three dwellings in those parts of the town which would best accommodate their reliュgious assemblies, and to these they resorted, on foot, from Sabbath to Sabbath, guided by "blazed" trees. In July, 1785, only one year after the organization of the town, the Congregational church was formed, and the year followュing, Rev. Thomas Tolman was ordained as its pastor. In consequence of a change in his reュligious sentiments, he was dismissed in 1790. Several years following, the church, though desュtitute of a pastor, sustained religious worship, maintained its discipline, and enjoyed a vigorous growth. In February, 1797, Rev. Benj. Woosュter was settled as pastor, and sustained this relaュtion till January, 1802.

In May, the following year, Rev. Jedediah Bushnell was installed. This year, also, the Congregational meeting house was erected, the services of Mr. Bushnell's installation having been conducted, it is said, upon the unfinished timbers of the frame. Under the ministry of Mr. Bushnell, widely known as Father Bushnell, this church enjoyed its greatest prosperity, and was repeatedly favored with seasons of powerful religious revival. In the language of Father Bushnell, "The church was stable as the surュrounding hills, each member being able to give a reason of the hope that was in him." Few minュisters have held a pastoral charge in Vermont, whose influence has been more marked, or whose memory is cherished with more reverence and affection. His pre-eminent success as a pastor is attributable not more to his ardent piety and deュvotion to his chosen work, than to his wisdom, his fearlessness, and his scrupulous honesty. Human character seemed open to his view, which fact enabled him to give to his counsels and reproofs the directness of Nathan's reproof to David. In respect to his ordinary dealings, his people someュtimes said, "Mr. Bushnell is very precise." But no man charged him with dishonesty. In this

CORNWALL. 25

particular he was above suspicion. The very narrow limits prescribed to this article, forbid us to dwell minutely upon a character which might well be presented as a model to those in the sacred office. The language of Cowper has rarely been more appropriate.

 

"simple, grave, sincere,

In doctrine uncorrupt, in language plain,

And plain in manner; decent, solemn, chaste,

And natural in gesture; much impressed

Himself, as conscious of his awful charge.

And anxious mainly that the fleck he feeds

May feel it too; affectionate in look,

And tender in address, as well becomes

A messenger of grace to guilty men."

 

After a ministry of 33 years, Mr. Bushnell was dismissed, in 1836, but continued to supply the pulpit until the following year, when Rev. Lamson Miner was ordained, whose pastorate was of only two years' continuance, in consequence of the failure of his health. He was succeeded by Rev. Jacob Scales, who in 1843, also reュquested a dismission. The ministry of S. W. Magill, installed in 1844, was also very brief, owing to the failure of his health. Subsequently, the Rev. G. W. Noyes and Rev. J. A. Bent were pastors for a few years, the latter having been released from his charge on account of the state of his health. In August, 1858, the present pastor, Rev. A. A. Baker, was installed.

In 1807, another meeting-house was erected in West Cornwall, and occupied by the Baptist Church, over which the Rev. Nathan Green was installed in 1809. He continued in office till 1824. From that date till 1841, the pulpit was occupied by stated. and occasional supplies, when a Free church was organized, composed chiefly of members of the Baptist and Congregational churches. Since its organization, this church has enjoyed, for more or less protracted periods, the labors of several different pastors. At about the same date as the organization of the Free church, a Methodist church was established, which also erected a house of worship.

The number of school-districts is seven. All possess good schoolhouses; those recently erectュed are neat and commodious structures. The influence of these seats of primary instruction is obvious in the character of the professional men. To their influence may, perhaps, also be traced the origin of a Literary Society, established as early as 1804 or '5, denominated "The Young Gentlemen's Society," which numbered among its founders and early friends, the late Gov. Slade, Frederic Ford, M. D., Hon. Ashley Samュson, Hon. Dorastus Wooster, Rev. Reuben Post, D. D., Levi Tilden, Esq., and others who have gone to their reward, besides many others who are still spared to finish the work which is given them to do. The society was modelled after the Philomathesian Society, of Middlebury College, and was kindred in its character and aims.

The active members, called ordinary members, were young men, while older men were elected honorary members, with the expectation that they would occasionally participate in the exercises of the Society; and otherwise give it their counteュnance and support. The meetings were held weekly, on Thursday evening, from September to March, and punctuality of attendance was seュcured by a system of fines rigidly imposed, and as rigidly collected, unless there was rendered satisfactory reason for absence. The Society colュlected a library of several hundred volumes, judiciously selected.

Another organization, called the "Lane Liュbrary Association," has been formed in town during the last year, in consequence of a legacy left for this purpose by Gilbert C. Lane, of Cornュwall, a young man of much promise, who died near the close of 1858. The condition of this legacy required that the people of the town should raise an additional sum specified, for the same object. This sum has been raised, and nearly 400 volumes have already been purchased, a portion of the funds leaving been reserved for future use. By agreement between the Lane Association and the Young Gentlemen's Society, both libraries come under the management of the new Association, and thus united, present to the town an invaluable source of improvement.

With the advantage of well-conducted schools, and the various incitements to intellectual culture furnished by the society above described, it is not difficult to assign a reason for the fact, that nearly 50 young men from Cornwall have passed through a collegiate course, while many others, by a more restricted course of study, have preュpared themselves for the learned professions, and other vocations in which they are now successュfully employed.

The pursuits of the people have been almost exclusively agricultural. The soil, easy of culュtivation, possesses a degree of fertility which amply repays the toil of the husbandman. Of late years, however, sheep husbandry has been gaining a precedence. The raising of wool for the manufacturer, and of sheep for the butcher, has proved remunerative, while the rearing of the finest grades of sheep for the western and southern markets, in which many of our farmers have engaged, has been highly profitable. The constant influx of purchasers from every quarter of our country, even from Texas and California, sufficiently indicates that amateurs in this branch of trade find Cornwall and the vicinity the best locality in which to make their selections. Thouュsands of valuable sheep have been scattered over the wide West by our citizens, and several are at present engaged in a direct trade in this species of property with the wool growers on the coast of the Pacific, an enterprise which we hope may prove profitable to those who sell and those who buy.

The surface of this township is pleasantly diュversified with hill and dale, having in the eastern part an extensive swamp, which abounds in ex‑

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cellent timber, and which, when reclaimed, forms the most valuable meadow. In the west part of the town, bordering on Lemon Fair River, there is a broad expanse of alluvial land, extending several miles, and, like the valley of the Nile, possessing exhaustless fertility, in consequence of annual or more frequent inundations. Marble and slate exist, which probably might be quarュried with profit, and in West Cornwall, there is an extensive quarry of dark blue limestone, known in this region as the "Peck quarry," from its owner's name. This stone comes from its native bed with a surface so perfect as to render needless the chisel of the mason.

There are, also, several mineral springs in town, which possess considerable medicinal propュerties. One is sufficiently impregnated with iron to prove useful as a tonic. Two others are powュerfully cathartic, and one in the south part of the town is said to produce much the effect on salt rheum, and other cutaneous affections, as the waters of Clarendon.

 

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.*

 

With moistened eye,

We read of faith and purest charity,

In statesman, priest, and humble citizen.

Oh, could we copy their mild virtues, then

What joy to live, what blessedness to die!"

 

SEVERAL of the earliest emigrants to Cornュwall had, before their arrival, exhibited their patriotism by the endurance of toils and hardュships in the service of their country during the Revolutionary war. Two, at least, of their number, had continued in that service until the exertions of themselves and their compatriots were crowned with victory, and independence, and peace. These results secured, they gladly laid aside the implements of strife, and assumed those of quiet and productive industry. They wielded the axe in subduing the forest, and in providing homes for those they loved, with no less energy and effectiveness than they had wielded the musket in defence of invaded rights.

 

SAMUEL INGRAHAM

was born in Washington, Mass. With the spirit which animated every patriotic bosom at that period, he joined the army when only 16 years of age, in response to the first call for volunteers, after the massacre at Lexington. The company to which he belonged was stationed on one of the eminences in the vicinity of Charlestown, during the battle of Bunker Hill. Though panting, as he used to say, to take part with their comrades, they were not ordered into action. His company remained in the vicinity of Boston until the evacuation of the city by the British, after which they were employed in different localities, as their services were needed. Mr. Ingraham was in the service during the war, and when, at last, he was honorably discharged, received, as the writer has heard him remark "the balance then due for his services, in contiュnental currency, so nearly worthless that, at the first place on his way homeward, where he could procure any food to satisfy the cravings of hunュger, he paid $16 of his hard earnings two months' pay for two pounds of green cheese." Though Mr. Ingraham enjoyed but slight advantages for early education, his natural endowments were superior. Possessing quick discernment, wonderful retentiveness of memory, and an insatiable thirst for knowledge, he acュquired extensive general intelligence; was often called to fill town offices; was a safe adviser; peculiarly social and amiable in all his relaュtions; and lived and died an honest man, and humble Christian.

 

DANIEL FOOT

came to Cornwall from Watertown, Conn., the year before the commencement of the Revoluュtionary war, but having been driven off by the Indians, he enlisted in the army early in the conュtest, and became connected with a company of mounted Rangers, which was often employed in extremely perilous service. He appears to have been a fearless man; fond of adventure, and always ready to encounter any danger to which his duty as a soldier exposed him. He used to relate that, on one occasion, after a severe skirュmish, in which his companions were killed, or captured, or dispersed, he was reduced to the necessity of cooking his moccasins for food, supュplying their place with others made from a part of his blanket. Being in the vicinity of Ticonュderoga, when it was surrendered to Burgoyne, he and one of his comrades were despatched to warn the settlers of Cornwall of their danger, and aid them in escaping to a place of safety. After the war, Mr. Foot returned to his adopted home, and became a permanent resident, emュployed during a life, protacted to extreme age, in the peaceful pursuits of husbandry.

 

WILLIAM SLADE, ESQ.,

sometimes called Col. Slade, from having been a militia officer, came from Washington, Conn., in 1786. He was a man of strong mental powers, and great energy and decision. From his first residence in Cornwall, he bore a very active part in town affairs, and was always regarded by his fellow-citizens as qualified to fill any place in which his services might be required. The precise length of time he was connected with the army cannot now be ascertained, but it is known that he was one of the unfortunate prisoners on board the notorious Jersey Prison ship, and that

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* The writer deems it proper to remark, that these sketches have been hastily prepared by his pen, beュcause the gentleman from whom they were expected was unable to supply them. They present a few of many names, equally deserving of grateful remembrance, all which the writer hopes may soon be preュsented to the people of Cornwall, with more adequate delineation.

 

CORNWALL. 27

by an iron constitution he was sustained through indescribable sufferings, which proved fatal to most of his companions. He was for several years sheriff of Addison county. He was an active politician, was an especially stanch supporter of the opinions and measures of Madiュson, in respect to the war of 1812. He was known as a man of public spirit, and more capaュble than most men of forming an impartial judgment, in cases where his own interests were involved. He died in 1826, aged 73.

 

HON. JOEL LINSLEY

was born in Woodbury, Conn., and came to Cornwall among the earliest settlers. He was formed, by nature, to exert a controlling influュence in any community in which he might reside. He was appointed town clerk at the organization of the town in 1784, and held that office much of the time till near the close of his life. He repュresented the town several years in the State legュislature; was assistant judge, and afterward chief judge of the County Court. In every office, his duties were discharged with marked ability, and to universal acceptance. Few men enjoy, with keener relish, the pleasures of social interュcourse. Possessing an inexhaustible fund of anecdote and humor, and unusual conversational powers, he was the life of every circle with which he associated. The aged and the young alike found him an agreeable companion. To the unfortunate, he was a sympathizing friend; to virtuous indigence, a cheerful benefactor; and of any judicious scheme of benevolent effort, a munificent patron.

 

DEA. JEREMIAH BINGHAM

was born in Norwich, Conn., in 1748. He first removed to Bennington, and resided till 1784, when he came with his family to Cornwall. It is not known to his children to what extent he was engaged in military service. They know only that he was connected with the quarterュmaster's department of the garrison at Ticondeュroga, at the time of its surrender to Burgoyne. In this school he perhaps received the training which secured to him the systematic habits for which he was distinguished. He was, withal, a man of indomitable energy and, perseverance, as well as inflexible moral and religious principle. The writer recollects having been present at a meeting of the church, in which they were attendュing to the discipline of a son of Dea. Bingham. They were about proceeding to the final act of excommunication. They were slow to act, through deference to the father's feelings. Perュceiving their hesitation, and understanding its meaning, the venerable man rose, his face sufュfused with tears, and when the emotions which had choked his utterance allowed him to speak, he said, "Brethren, I love my children, I supュpose, as well as you love yours; but if I do not love my Saviour better than I love my children, I am not worthy to be called his follower. Go on, brethren, and do your duty."

Dea. Bingham was chosen first deacon of the Congregational church, soon after its organization, and continued to discharge the duties of the office until extreme age induced him to desire a succesュsor. He was a model of promptness in supporting the gospel at home, and of liberality in conferュring his benefactions on every meritorious object of Christian charity. He was, in a word, a happy illustration of the truth, "There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth." Having previュously done for his family what he deemed proper, he left at his decease a considerable estate, to be distributed, by the directions of his will, for beュnevolent purposes.

Dea. Bingham was very fond of expressing his thoughts in writing, especially in rhyme, and his favorite poetry assumed the acrostic form. Of these poems, he has left enough to constitute a considerable volume. After a life of constant activity and usefulness, "he came to his grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season."

 

"Of no distemper, of no blast he died,

But fell like autumn fruit that mellowed long:

E'en wondered at, because he dropped no sooner;

Fate seemed to wind him up for fourscore years;

Yet freshly ran he on twelve winters more,

Till, like a clock worn out with beating time,

The wheels of weary life, at last, stood still."

 

His tombstone marks 93 years.

 

DEA. DANIEL SAMSON

came very early to Cornwall, and was, for many years, a colleague with Dea. Bingham in the deaconship. Though an equally efficient officer of the church, he was, in temperament, dissimilar. The former was excitable, while Dea. Samson was always mild. Like the "beloved disciple," his leading characteristic was affection. As a panacea for every jar and every difficulty, he would exュhort his brethren to "love one another." He was easily moved to tears, and his tender entreaties, accompanied with tears, we may not doubt, soothed many a ruffled spirit, and hushed many a strife among brethren, which might otherwise have grown to formidable proportions. Possessing sound judgment, he was always a safe counsellor, as well as a most discreet memュber and officer of the church. Several years before his decease, Dea. Samson removed from Cornwall with his youngest son, and resided with him in Barre, N. Y., until he died in 1842, aged 84 years.

To the preceding sketches of the fathers we add notices of a few of the sons of Cornwall, who have served their generation with distinュguished usefulness, and gone to their reward.

 

HON. WILLIAM SLADE.

son of Wm. Slade, above mentioned, was born in Cornwall in 1786. At the age of 17 he entered

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Middlebury College, where he maintained a high standing with compeers, several of whom have since become distinguished in professional life. After he graduated he studied law and commenced practice, in Middlebury, in 1810. But legal practice appears to have had for him very slight attractions. In 1814, '15, and '16, he edited a political paper in Middlebury, called the "Colュumbian Patriot." While in this employment, he was appointed Secretary of State, and soon after called to various other civil offices. Inュdeed, it probably would not be exaggeration to say, that between 1816 and '46, he held a greater variety of civil tracts, in this State, and under our national government, than have ever been held by any other native of Vermont. His last political service was rendered in 1844-46, as govュernor of this Commonwealth. From this period to the time of his decease, he was Cor. Secretary and Gen. Agent of the Board of National Popuュlar Education. He possessed versatility of charュacter, which prepared him to fill these numerous and varied offices with credit to himself and with benefit to his country. Whatever the post assigned him, he always appeared equal to its demands. In his labors as editor and compiler, he exhibited sound judgment and discrimination. In his speeches while a member of Congress, he showed himself a fearless, as well as an able defender of the right, when arbitrary power menaced its subversion.

As Secretary of the Board of Education, Gov. Slade found his most congenial employment. Here his benevolence had full scope. As companies of female teachers were, from time to time, prepared for their chosen vocation, he accompanied them, with all a father's solicitude, to their several fields of labor; saw them properly located, and inducted into their work of enlightュening and training the minds and hearts of the rising myriads of the West. In this, as a loved employment, he continued even after the destroyer had marked him as a victim. To this he clung with a grasp which was relaxed only by death. The crowning excellence of Gov. Slade's character was his ardent piety, which was best known to those most familiar with his daily walk.

 

"His care was fixed

To fill his odorous lamp with deeds of light,

And hope that reaps not shame."

 

The decease of Gov. Slade occurred in Midュdlebury, his place of residence, in 1859.

 

HON. ASHLEY SAMSON,

son of Dea. Samson above mentioned, was born in Cornwall, and graduated at Middlebury CoIュlege, with the class of 1812. He was an early member of the "Young Gentlemen's Society of Cornwall," and much devoted to its interests. He chose the legal profession, and passed through a thorough course of preparatory training. After a year or two of practice in Pittsford, N. Y., he removed to Rochester, where he prosecuted his professional labors until 1827, when he was apュpointed first judge of the court of that county, an office to which he was repeatedly called in subsequent years. He also served as a member of the State legislature.

Judge Samson possessed peculiar qualifications for the discharge of judicial functions; was too discriminating to be deluded by sophistry; too honest to exhibit undue favor. Like his venerュable father, simple, amiable, and ever actuated by obvious Christian principle in the performance of duty, he lived to serve others rather than himself, and by his will, devoted a considerable estate almost wholly to benevolent purposes.

 

REV. REUBEN POST, D. D.,

was born in Cornwall in 1792. He finished his collegiate course in 1814; and after a year spent in teaching, passed through the usual course in the Theological Seminary at Princeton in 1818, and became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in the city of Washington, where he conュtinued until 1836, officiating also, a considerable part of the time, as chaplain to Congress. Havュing resigned his charge in Washington, he reュmoved in 1836 to Charleston, S. C., and was installed pastor of a church in that city, with which he remained till his decease in 1857.

To the class of 1812, belonged also,

 

JOSEPH R. ANDRUS,

born in Cornwall in 1791. After receiving his degree at Middlebury, he spent some time as a resident graduate at Yale College. His theological studies he pursued partly at Andover and partly with Bishop Griswold of R. I., from whom he received Episcopal ordination. He labored for a few years In different localities; his heart, meanwhile, being deeply interested in the cause of African colonization. To this cause he at length devoted his life, and sailed for Africa early in 1821, as the first agent of the American Colonization Society, accompanied by a colony of negroes. He fell a victim to the climate, July 28, 1821, only a few months after his arrival. While living, Mr. Andrus was held in high esteem for his Christian virtues. And his voluntary sacrifice of himself for the welfare of benighted Africa, will cause his name to be held in remembrance as one of her most earnest friends. When the gospel shall terminate her savage strifes, and stay the traffic in the blood of her children, shall illumine her now dark abodes, and transform them into safe, and quiet, and peaceful homes; when the dwellers on her plains and in her vales shall sing in unison, the peans of thanksgiving to the Lamb that was slain for their redemption, then shall the name of Joュseph R. Andrus be repeated with admiration, and gratitude, and love.

CORNWALL. 29

PARAGRAPHS FROM THE ANNUAL EDUCATIONAL REPORTS OF HON. WM. SLADE.

 

EDUCATION is the true and proper and harmoュnious development of all the faculties of the huュman soul, the conscience, the heart, and the understanding. What is man worth, without a conscience sensitively alive to the distinction beュtween right and wrong? And what, without a heart, trained promptly to obey the voice of God thus speaking within him? Shall we bestow years of labor in sharpening the intellect, leavュing the conscience to blindness, and the heart to hardness, and call it education? And yet this is what thousands on thousands are doing with their children!

 

If the training of the intellect alone were the whole of education, it would be difficult to show that woman is not, even for this, superior to the other sex. But when the heart of a child is to be reached, and its conscience made sensitive, when its waywardness is to be restrained, its pasュsions subdued, its confidence enlisted, and its feet led in the right way, it needs no argument to prove that woman possesses, in her gentle manュner, her tender sympathies, her look of kindness, her calm patience, and her characteristic love of childhood, a special and peculiar adaptedness for this delicate and difficult work.

 

It was well said by Dr. Rush, that "mothers and schoolmasters plant the seeds of nearly all the good and evil in the world." It is fearful to think that a generation of human beings are, at this moment, under their training for an endless future of good or of evil; that the invisible handwriting of every day will be brought out and made legible, when exposed to the action of future trial. It is a thought that should go to every heart, awakening to strong and enduring effort the patriotism which is worse than wasted in political strife, and the religion that evaporates in unavailing controversy about "questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, railings, evil surmisings, and perverse disputings of men."

The people of this nation must be educated, all educated, rightly and truly educated. The strength of our institutions is in the consciences and hearts of the people. To neglect conscience and heart education, is to give ourselves over to inevitable ruin. The well-known examples of the downfall and extinction of nations, in which science flourished, and the arts were carried to the highest perfection, but in which the conュscience and the heart were left to darkness and debasement, men being "given over to a reprobate mind," and "filled with all unrighteousュness," are warnings to us, of fearful and terrific import. Free schools, an open Bible, and moral training are to be our sheet-anchor, in the gathering storm.

 

JOEL H. LINSLEY, D. D.

born in Cornwall, in 1790; graduated at Midュdlebury College, 1811; taught in Windsor till 1812; read law till 1813; was tutor in Middleュbury College till 1815; finished reading law, and practised till 1821; read theology over one year; from thence was a Southern missionary about one year; after which, Congregational pastor in Hartford, Conn. 8 years; of Park Street church, Boston, Mass. 3 years; President of Marietta College, O., 10 years; since which he has been pastor of the 2d Congregational church in Greenュwich, Conn. The extract below is from an adュdress delivered on occasion of his inauguration to the presidency of Marietta College, O.

"Another objection of a very grave, and cerュtainly of a very extraordinary character, is preュferred against our Collegiate Institutions. By some, they are declared to be aristocratic in their constitution and tendencies.

"Of all the charges that have ever been brought against these institutions, this, I apprehend, has the least foundation in truth. It may, indeed, be valid, to a certain extent, when alleged against some of the foreign universities, whose privileges are costly, and confined, also, to certain favored classes; but what possible application can it have to the colleges of this country; and above all, to those in the West? They are open alike to all; and their honors are within the reach of all, the humblest as well as the highest. The most indigent youth in the comュmunity, if he is blessed with a sound head, and a resolute heart, may possess himself of their best advantages, and highest rewards; and he may find in our own community, citizens, whom that community delights to honor, who have, by their own example, illustrated the truth of what I state. At this moment, you shall take the cenュsus of Western Colleges, and a majority of their students will be found to be the sons of parents who are able to afford them very little pecuniary aid. The proportion of indigent young men, in these institutions, is as great, and I believe greater, than in our primary schools. With what shadow of candor or truth, then, are our colleges described as aristocratic? So far are they from deserving this reproach, that it would not be difficult to show that their influence is emiュnently of an opposite character. Look at a sinュgle fact. Probably eight tenths of the members of our general Congress are men who have enュjoyed the advantages of a liberal education. Now, I venture the assertion not without some knowledge of the facts in the case that three fourths of the whole number of such, will be found, upon investigation, to have had their origin in families by no means distinguished, either by birth or fortune. They are, for the most part, the sons of farmers and mechanics, or of proュfessional men of very moderate property; and they are indebted, for their present elevated posi‑

30 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

tion in society, chiefly to the fact here insisted on, the peculiarly accessible character, and popuュlar bearing of our higher seminaries of learning.

"Our colleges, then, as at present organized, are eminently anti-aristocratic institutions. They well deserve to be called the 'People's Colleges.' To a great extent, their endowment is contributed by the wealthier classes; but, when endowed, their privileges are for the equal benefit of all classes. If there existed but two or three colleges in the country, or even if there were none, the rich could still liberally educate their children; but what would become of the poor? They could not meet the expense. Our colleges, then, on the ground of their republican plan and tenュdencies, may fairly claim the favor and the patュronage of the whole community."

 

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TO E.

 

BY CHARLES LINSLEY.

 

A native of Cornwall, now residing at Rutland; for about 30 years First Justice. A brother of Rev. Joel H. Linsley.

 

THE songs of summer bird, have come,

And spring is seen on field and tree,

And yet there is for me no home,

While I'm so far away from thee.

 

Stern winter's robe is laid aside,

And gushing springs swell o'er the lea,

But thou'rt no longer by my side,

Yet still I ever think of thee.

 

The peach-tree blooms with beauteous flowers,

And sweetly hums the honey-bee;

But slow and tedious pass the hours,

While I'm so far away from thee.

 

The choicest flowers of spring I'd give,

My precious ones again to see,

For cold and cheerless 'tis to live,

So far away from them and thee.

 

DANVILLE, Ky. 1852.

 

VISIT TO THE INTERIOR OF A COAL-MINE. REFLECTION.

 

BETHANY, BROOK Co. Va. June, 1858.

 

The sun hung low in the west at the close of a day of rare beauty, even for luxuriant June. The air was a tremulous golden haze, in which the sunbeams melted and floated. They wreathed the hill-tops with a halo of glory; rested lovingly upon the verdant meadows, and in the depths of the silent woods came quivering, glancing, sparkュling down, looking through the leafy canopy like myriads of stars in an emerald sky. The landュscape itself was not remarkable, except for the charm lent it by the light and its shadows. It possessed the usual characteristics of an old Virュginia country scene; broad fields of wheat, oats, and corn, interspersed by neglected commons covュered by straw-stacks, russet and green, and dotted with clamps of sassafras and locust saplings; rambling rail fences stretched in every direction at all possible and imaginable angles; now and then a brown or white farmhouse, with its village of stables and cabins, and the never-failing girdle of forests circling, bounding all.

At a short distance on the east and north rose several coal-hills, or, as they are termed here, coal-banks. Curiosity to explore one of these great natural stone-houses impelled us in their direcュtion. We soon approached the entrance (at the base of the hill) of one of the largest, where the Deity in his beneficence, when the earth was young, stored away vast quantities of this material so necessary to the wants of the teeming milュlions that shall inhabit the earth through the vista of ages nestled in the womb of futurity.

The colliers had ended their week's labors, and laid up their tools to rest until six o'clock of Monday morning. They had left an hour earlier than was customary on other days than Saturday.

We introduced ourselves to this vast reservoir of material for human comfort and advancement, and asked permission to walk in and explore its inner temples. We were answered through the mute lips of darkness and silence. She had closed her labors for the week, and was now wrapt in seeming meditation, preparatory to the rest of the coming Sabbath. It seemed almost sacrilege to disturb the quiet of her solemn worュship. It appeared very proper to give the coal-bank over to sleep, like a laboring man after his toil. It is very impressive to stand a few yards in from the entrance, and feel the hush of human voices, and picks and bars, and note the solitude of one of those sleeping caverns. The thought that a mountain of earth, its rocks and trees, might chance cave in upon you, makes the intruder walk forward with cautious pace. But curiosity gained the mastery of fear, and we stepped boldly onュward. With a match from our pocket, we lit a lamp attached to one of the many pillars of coal which are left as so many sentinels to guard life all through the vast interior. It expelled the darkness about us, and sent its benevolent rays far in advance to cheer our darkened pathway. The murky columns of coal stationed at irreguュlar distances throughout this mammoth vault, and charged with the heavy task of supporting a mountain upon their shoulders, looked sadly tired. They are moody fellows, standing pensive and siュlent, but disposed to endure, with much forbearュance, their terrible back-load. We had left our taper several yards in the rear, and were groping again in the dark. With a fresh lucifer we lit up another lamp to join the first, in its good work of sending darkness into exile. By the aid of a cane we felt our way onward, determined to see more of this subterranean world. By lighting up the lamps along our route we soon made the end of our tour, and arrived at the vast deposit of glittering coal which lies packed and stored away in limitless quantities, awaiting the wants of our race. We now stretched out vision backward, that, if possible, we might see the place of our ingress. Nought was to be seen but here and there a feeble lamp struggling stoutly with the

CORNWALL. 31

damp and thick darkness. Being nearly one fourth of a mile from the entrance, and nearly the like distance below the surface, taking a diュrect line upward, we could but feel that we were now occupying a retired situation in life. We naturally gave ourself up to reflection. We sat upon a smooth, hard lump of coal, and converted the place into a cloister. We whispered in the ear of Solitude, and solicited her communings. We talked with Silence and shared her mysterious presence. There are some thoughts that will no more come upon the soul among rude sounds and harsh labors, than dews will fall at mid-day.

A deep sense of the goodness of the Creator in constructing these vast laboratories, that will, through all time to come, pour forth their treasュures to enhance the happiness of man, takes posュsession of the whole soul, and makes impressions that no time can efface. Here was the great moュtive power for diffusing comfort and happiness throughout the vast circles of human society, from the blazing hearth-fire of the lone widow in her cabin of logs, up to the marbled grate of the wealthiest merchant or minister of state in the land. Here was the hidden spring that puts in motion the floating palaces and carpeted walks between the continents; that impels an amount of machinery of greater horse-power than feeds at the crib of all the civilized nations of the earth; that drives thousands of thundering enュgines with their winding dragon-tail of cars, freighted with life and hope, and is the great guarantee for the realization of the brightest hopes of the votaries of science.

Our flickering lamps admonished us to seek communion with the outer world. Accordingly, we walked slowly forward, retracing our steps and extinguishing the lights that marked our enュtrance and subsequent progress. We soon stood exhumed upon the greensward. The sun had disappeared, the birds had ceased their carolュling and gone to their bedchambers, the cows had lain themselves away for the night, and were quietly chewing their cuds. The watch-dogs were baying at the moon, which was now up and dressed in her borrowed but queenly robes, the stars stood out on the sky, and the falling dews spoke a word of admonition to cut short our lingerings. We accordingly sought our quarters and retired, musing on the things that had been as a bath to the soul, and introduced it to a fuller conviction of the Great Unseen; and that in the midst of these treasures we should adopt the spirit of a child in his father's house, and know that the secret springs of joy which they open, are touched of God.

S. B. ROCKWELL.

 

CORNWALL, Vt.,

NOW "SPRINGSIDE," Middlebury, Vt.

 

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THE SONG OF OUR HOME.

 

WE mingle in the heated strife,

The manly toils and burdens bear.

But when our fleeting life is low,

When sigh our aching hearts for rest,

When cold, unfriendly winds do blow,

And still our souls remain unblest,

We gather round that old loved spot,

Where oft we've passed the gala day,

And, each within our fated lot,

We while our dying hours away.

Though birds enchanting music lend,

Though flowers around us sweetly bloom;

Though zephyrs each soft errands send

Still threat'ning clouds hang o'er with gloom;

And naught at length enchants our eyes,

Nor skies, nor earth, where'er we roam;

Our weary feet impulsive rise,

And beat their lengthened pathway home.

Thus, too, our heavenly Father calls

Our wayworn souls to realms on high;

To dwell within those shining walls,

Where weariness and death shall die.

Though up and down these grassy hills,

Our feet long time with joy have trod,

There is a joy our soul still fills,

And calls our spirits borne to God.

For darkness on these hills will fall,

Death's shadows thick will surely come;

Oh! may we hear our Father's call,

"My child, 'tis night, and now come home."

 

MRS. MARY ROCKWELL.

 

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TO MATTIE.

 

THERE are tones that will haunt us, though lonely

Our path be o'er mountain and sea;

There are looks that will part from us only

When memory ceases to be;

There are friends whom the heart prizes dearly,

Who faint by the wayside at last;

There are tokens we cherish so nearly,

That perish like dreams of the past.

 

There are volumes unwritten we treasure,

And clasp in a fondest embrace;

There's affection the world may not measure,

That finds in our own heart a place.

Our lives may not ever find places

Of beautiful sunshine and flowers;

But is there no friendship which traces

Deep lines of true feeling like ours?

 

E. SUMMERS DANA.