BY REV. F. A. WADLEIGH.
ARLINGTON, lying not far from the middle of Bennington County, is so rough and uneven that but a small portion of the town is fitted for arable purposes. A narrow strip of fertile land lies on the banks of the Battenkill,* which passes through the town by a south-westerly and westerly course. There is a somewhat wider strip on the east, between the Green Mountains and what may be called the Equinox range.
The Red Mountain, and the West Mountain, occupy by far the greater part of the town. These present a rugged barrier, almost impassable except by a gap, through which the river passes, apparently made by the rupture of the rocky strata, caused by the primitive upheaval of the mountains. The passage made the mountains slope more gently, and the valley widens until, near the line of the State of New York, it gets beyond the mountain system altogether.
The broken fragments of slate and limestone, which lie on all sides of these two mountains, have given origin to many sinkholes or natural wells; the greater part of which have now become choked, but several remain open.
* Battenkill is said to be a Dutch work signifying fertilizing stream.
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Thus, two thirds of the distance from the river to the top of the Red Mountain, a natural well is now found which has been explored by a lead and line, for the distance of 170 or 180 feet, without finding a bottom. There is another, not as well known, at a much higher elevation on the West Mountain, opposite. The cave, mentioned by Thompson, in the N. E. corner of the town, is of a similar character; its entrance being at its side, near the bottom. It has been explored with torches, by climbing to the height of 75 or 80 feet without finding its top, and found to be a narrow well.
There is also a tide spring, the ebb and flow of which are distinctly marked; and several blowing springs, one, of which it is said, will extinguish a candle at a considerable distance.
The disintegrated slate and subjacent limestone, mingling with the drift and loam at the base of the mountains, have formed a rich soil, originally covered with maples, beech, butternut, and elm. The mountain sides are covered with chestnut, hickory, black and white birch, and several species of oak. A sandy tract at their base on the east, was formerly covered with white pine.
The limestone of this town, is for the most part, too silicious to be in demand. — There are however, several valuable marble quarries.
In the Fauna and Flora of so small a district, very little may be expected that is peculiar. Deer were plenty forty or fifty years ago, and in their track, wolves invariably followed. The remains of beaver dams, prove that their curious builders once belonged to this part of the State. Bears are even now troublesome. The rattlesnake has always found a congenial home among the rocks of the Red Mountain.
The Tulip Tree belongs, perhaps to this town. A fine specimen, more than 60 feet in height, on the farm of Zadook Hard, was blown down in the Spring of 1860. The cotton wood, after a long absence, is re-appearing on the line of the Railroad.
The town of Arlington was chartered in the usual form by Gov. Wentworth, July 28, 1761, of the Grantees, very few ever resided in the town. Their rights were for the most part in the hands of some half a dozen persons who sold to settlers and speculators for the benefit of those concerned.
A request having been made to Samuel Robinson, Esq., one of his majesty's justices of the peace for the province of New Hampshire by the owners of more than one sixteenth part of the rights and shares of land in the township of Arlington, a proprietors meeting was called by him, Sept. 10, 1762, to be holdenin Pownal, at the house of Isaac Vernernum, Oct. 22, 1762. At the meeting held on that and the following days, John Searl was appointed Moderator, and Isaac Searl, John Searl, William Searl, Stephen Davis, and Simon Burton; a committee "to lay out the township of Arlington, and part thereof into lots, that is, two lots to each Proprietor's right, one of one acre, and one of one hundred acres." Gideon Searl and Ebenezer Wallis were appointed "to attend the said committee to make camps, take care of horses and cook." Chose Isaac Searl proprietor's collector and treasurer, "Voted to raise four dollars on each Proprietors right to defray the charges of laying out the town and the first two divisions, on the first and second division, and to clear roads." Richard Stratton, Ebenezer Wallis and John Searl, chosen assessors.
At a meeting held Dec. 21, of the same year, at the same place, William Searl, Simon Burton and Stephen Davis, were appointed "to lay out and clear roads in the town."
At this meeting "the committee and surveyor, Samuel Robinson, Jr., who were employed in laying out the town and first and second division; made their report and returns to the meeting; which were accepted. Draft was made for the second division of 100 acres." *
The next meeting of the Proprietors was held by adjournment in Arlington, June 1, 1763, at the house of William Searl, a log dwelling, situated a little to the north of the present beautiful mansion of Sylvester Deming, Esq. At this meeting "Voted to give a bounty to the first ten settlers that settle in this town in one year; that is six pounds to the first, five pounds ten shillings to the second, and decreasing ten shillings to each of the ten, which will be one pound ten shillings to the tenth settler."
The two subsequent adjourned meetings on the 19th of Oct., and the 2d of Nov., were devoted to the settling of the expense hitherto incurred. It was then provided that warnings for future meetings be put up by the Clerk; one in Arlington, one in Bennington, and one in West Hoosick.
Inasmuch as the settlement now for the first appears to have acquired an independant and permanent existence, let us pause and consider its general appearance.
A few hardy pioneers had overcome the obstacles presented by an unbroken wilderness. A rude road North and South, had been constructed, passable for an ox team. The town
* There is no record of the first division of one acre to each Proprietor. There was a first division of 100 acres, a second of 50 acres, a third of 10 acres, and a fifth of 50 acres.
was covered with a dense forest. In a small clearing North of the present Arlington village, where perhaps the trees were not originally quite so thick, were a few log houses inhabited by the Searls' and their families. Dr. Simon Burton's house was on the road to Shaftsbury, near the present dwelling of Jonas Holden. Ebenezer Wallis lived on the place now occupied by Mrs. Bosworth and her daughters. A brother, or brothers, of Ebenezer Wallis lived near the North line of Shaftsbury. A family by the name of Peck, had a house a little north of the place formerly occupied by Nathaniel Canfield. Of the first company who came into the town, these appear to have been the only permanent settlers. The others were either discouraged by the prospect of hardship and privations, or they were merely land speculators, who after locating their claims, went elsewhere.
In the Spring of the next year 1764, the infant settlement was re-inforced by a number of families from Newtown, Ct., viz: Capt. Jehiel Hawley, and his brothers; Abel, Josiah and Gideon. Phineas Hurd, Isaac Bisco, Samuel Adams, Ebenezer Leonard, Zacheus Mallory, Thomas Peck, James Frume, and others. Remember Baker, from Roxbury, Ct., joined then, with the hope of making his trade, that of a millwright, mutually advantagous.*
At a Proprietors meeting May, 16, 1764, (the first after the arrival of Capt. Hawley) we find the following record:
"1. Chose Capt. Jehiel Hawley, Moderator
"2. Voted that the Proprietors will give fifty acres of land to any man who will set up a Grist-Mill on a stream about East from Simon Burton's dwelling house and about one hundred rods distant, if said Mill be up and fit to grind by the first day of Nov. 1765. The Proprietors vote to let the fifty acres for encouragement, be the land lying east of Simon Burton's, No. 55, said land containing the said stream, and running to Sunderland line, and the remainder of the fifty acres to be laid on undivided land adjoining divided land, and further voted, to give the Mill-place and all the appurtenances and profit that may arise or thereto belonging."
This offer of the Proprietors was accepted by Remember Baker who built, after some delay, a Grist-Mill and Saw-Mill very near the place where the Grist-Mill at East Arlington now stands. At the same meeting it was ''voted that Jehiel Hawley have the care of the public rights."
From 1765 to 1780, the following persons mostly from Newtown and New Milford, Ct., moved into the town: Austin Seele, David Watkins, George Outman, Daniel Outman, Caleb Dayton, Josiah Dayton, Eliakim Stoddard, Zadok Hard, James Hard, David Crofut, Capt. John Gray, Lemuel Buck, David Buck, Daniel Burritt, Andrew Burritt, Israel Burritt, George Mitchell, Pitman Benedict, Nathan Canfield, Israel Canfield, and others. The inhabitants of this town purchased their land in good faith, as under New Hampshire, with the intention of providing permanent homes for themselves and their families. They found themselves straitened in Connecticut. In the new state they would have room for the exercise of whatever agricultural skill they possessed, and for expansion.
There were indeed some who came into the town for the purpose of taking up land on speculation. Their names are found on the record of many of our towns, but inasmuch as their stay was short, and when they removed, they left no permanent impress behind them, it seems scarcely proper to encumber this sketch with any particular account of them. Some of these persons, indeed, were men of high moral and public worth, men who have acquired a distinction which the people of the State and of the country will not allow to be forgotten. An account of them and of their deeds will undoubtedly be found in the history of the towns which have a better right to share their high renown.
Desiring to make a permanent settlement for their families, we have seen that the first business of the settlers in the Spring of 1764, was to provide for the erection of a Grist and Saw Mill. Their crops were then got in. In the Summer the Proprietors got together and voted that the roads, which were scarcely passable for teams, should be cleared and made, the N. and S. road, 4 rods, and all others 3 rode wide. The next summer, the mills not having been built as was expected, to quiet dissatisfaction Capt. Hawley gave bond that a Grist Mill should be set up by a given time.
Certain proprietors named in the charter, residing in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, being dissatisfied with the taxes laid for the purpose of defraying the expenses of surveying the town and making public improvements, Capt. Samuel Adams went to Boston, for the purpose of explaining matters and satisfying the complainants. Not succeeding in his mission as well as was anticipated, Capt. Hawley was, in the Autumn of 1765, appointed "agent to go to Boston, and elsewhere if he think proper, on the Proprietors business." Capt. Hawley fulfilled his
* Baker's Mother was Tamar Warner, an Aunt of Col. Seth Warner. Remember Baker and Ethan Allen, were also first cousins. Josiah Hawley's wife was a sister of Col. Seth Warner.
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mission satisfactorily, purchasing the right of the disaffected, when necessary.
The same disposition to remove every source of future trouble may be seen in the appointment Dec. 3d, 1767 of Capt. Hawley, "Proprietor's Agent to go to Stockbridge to treat with the Indians concerning our land."
Of the nature of this Indian claim we have no knowledge: tradition only relates that there were Indians residing near the N. W. corner of the town, who may have been connected with those at Stockbridge.
The settlers were actively engaged in securing the necessaries of life; in laying out and improving the lands they had purchased. Some of them were sending for their wives and younger children, prudently left in Ct. for a season. Some were sending for their brothers and sisters, their friends and neighbors. Not a doubt appears to have passed over the minds of any of them as to the validity of their land title. When by a decision of the crown, July 20, 1764, the territory was adjudged to be under the jurisdiction of New York, the settlers were apparently content; supposing that the "great seal" of a royal Governor was a sufficient guaranty that their titles would not he disturbed. If their estates were secure, and they had been compelled to choose between the two jurisdictions, it is probable that nearly every one, who had material interests at stake, would have preferred to remain under New York. The more influential of the early inhabitants of Arlington were men who appreciated the advantages of living under law. They from the first disliked the attempt to govern a people by means of armed bands, authorized by "committees of safety." Baker, indeed, was their own townsman, and had the full confidence of the settlers, and the two Warners of Bennington were connected by marriage with the Hawleys of this town. These were Allen's captains and were regarded in no other light than as friends. Yet the powers entrusted to these men were so great, that prudent men might well doubt whereunto they would grow. While however they were employed in the removal of New York intruders, there were no complaints. When Remember Baker was arrested, at his house in East Arlington, on 22d March, 1772, by Justice Munroe, (who lived in what is now called West Shaftsbury,) several of the inhabitants of Arlington turned out and assisted in his rescue. The account taken from the Connecticut Courant by DePuy, written by Ethan Allen is so characteristic that it will bear a repetition in this place.
"This wicked, inhuman, most barbarous, infamous, cruel, villainous and thievish act was perpetrated, committed and carried into execution by one John Munro, a reputed Justice of the Peace living near that place, with a number of ruffians, his neighbors — who, after a Lord's day congratulation in plotting this wicked and horrid design, surprised the said Baker in his said dwelling house, about the first appearance of morning light, on the said 22d day of March, and, after making an attempt to discharge their fire-arms through the said Baker's house, and finding their fire-arms missing fire, said Munro, with his attendants, did with axes forcibly break and enter the said Baker's house and with weapons of death, spread destruction round the room, cutting with sword and bruising with fire-arms and clubs men women and children, swearing by ——* he would have Baker dead or alive, and that he would burn the house, Baker, Wife and Children and all the effects, and to compass and bring this villainous scheme into execution did with his own wicked and rebellious hand convey fire from the hearth in the said house to a cupboard in the room, it being the most convenient place to answer his intentions, when all on a sudden, as quick as a flash, a Judas spirit, that of gain and plunder, overbalanced his wicked noddle. This being agreed on, he instantly thrust his sword at Mrs. Baker with an intention to have ended, at that instant, her life (as he has since confessed,) when her right arm, near her elbow joint, for that time, happily preserved her from the intended murder. Others in the meantime, his attendants, were mauling, beating and bruising his children. Mr. Baker having at that time posted himself in his Chamber for the better security of himself, family and effects, finding their malice, oaths and imprecations principally levelled at his person, thought most proper to leave his chamber, thinking thereby to draw the murderers after him and so give his family in their wounded circumstances a better opportunity to save themselves from impending ruin and utter destruction, accordingly burst a board from the gable end of the house and leaped out of the window he had by that means made, when part of the ruffians, by the said Justice's command, were ordered (after firing on said Baker, and saying three times successively ————— him he is dead,) to set on him a large spiteful, wilful, and very malicious dog, educated and brought up agreeable to their own forms and customs, who being like these other servants of the devil at that time all obedience, seized the said Baker, and being instantly joined by these his cruel partners bound and pinioned him so fast that he was unable to use or make even the least resistance in defence of himself, his unhappy wounded wife, or his poor helpless distressed children.
"And not being as yet satisfied with their own unlawful proceedings, and their thirst for blood not being quenched, the better to enhance and increase their horrid crime and procure a full charge of human blood, to quench their unnatural thirst, did convey the said Baker to the carriage in which he rode, where in his confined state, the said John did with his attendants, Tomahawk, cut and slash in spots, that their eyes might see a life languish out by degrees in drawing of blood, while they did with a —— —— at almost every breath laugh him in the face, to express their satisfaction in his agonizing groans. "In this awful and lamentable situation, almost on the verge of eternity, by means of the bruises, cuts and great effusion of blood, said Baker with a voice according to his strength, called for his clothes, as be was yet naked from his bed, who was denied them by the said Justice, which after several strokes with his naked sword over said Baker's naked face and eyes,
* The oaths are omitted.
and breaking the same in three pieces and gave him this reflection, that —— —— him, he would cloath him as a —— —— traitor; which aggravating threat gave them a new life to their beloved revenge. Thus they continued him in his naked journey, for the space of four miles and a half, with many cruel words, and hard blows stopping his breath with handkerchiefs till almost sufficated, lest he should apply to some person for relief.
"The said Justice and attendants had taken what of the effects belonged to the house, he and they thought worthy their present affrighted notice; although they would in probability have been more faithful in the prosecution of self and worldly gain, had they not have feared a surprise in so unchristian an act. They pursued their journey with severe words and cruel threats as though resolved to take a full swing and make an ample feast of human cruelty until pursued by three persons loyal and faithful subjects to the Crown of Great Britain, whose banner they mean evermore to live and die under and after inquiring for the preservation of the life of said Baker, were immediately fired on by several of Munro's party and robbed of what interest he had with him, to the value of forty dollars, as a fresh sip and recruit to their hellish demand. These distressing tidings being soon spread on the premises, incensed the innocent inhabitants, and for the preservation of Baker, his family and their own persons families and effects, some of them did pursue the said carriage about thirty miles, and when said John with his attendants, being savage like, conscience struck and condemned, run and hid themselves so private that it is not known by his or their acquaintances where they have been ever since; leaving the said Baker with very little remains of life, unable to fight for himself, who willingly in his capacity accepted of mercy which he had been so long a stranger to.
"The foregoing contains but a very short, though true account of the barbarous conduct of the said John towards the said Baker and family, and such conduct exercised by a pretended civil magistrate rather must be dishonorable a reproach, shame, disgrace &c., on the laws, restrictions, regulations, peace, manners, good order and economy, both of the Laws of God and Man. The above and much more can be attested with good authority as many worthy persons were eye witnesses of the said tragedy. The robbery has since been confessed by the said Justice and he has promised to make amends."
In the account communicated by this savage Justice Munro, to the Governor of New York the names of those who rescued Baker are as follows: (See Doc. Hist. N. Y. Vol. 4.) Joseph Bradley, Lemuel Bradley, Jesse Sawyer, Isaac Vernernum, Abel Castle, Jr., Curtis Hawley,* Elisha Sherman, Philo Hurlbut, Abijah Hurd, Ebenezer Wallis, John Whiston, Austin Seela, Justice Sherwood, Caleb Henderson. To these, tradition adds several others.
From the following letter (Doc. Hist. N. Y. Vol. 4, p. 800.) it appears that the people of Arlington, jealous, perhaps of the growing influence of Bennington, had united with those who wished to have the County Court held at Skenesborongh.
MANCHESTER, Oct. 21, 1772.
SIR: The different inhabitants from the Township under New Hampshire had a meeting here by their Proprietors, and have come to a resolution of sending me as their agent to society matters relative to the old Grants &c. By the general sense and wishes of the people I find them desirous that the County Court should be held at Skenesborough; it being beyond dispute the best situation for trade &c., some designing people of Bennington that attempt to lead have over awed many that would be glad to present a petition; but as this method of a letter may have the same weight with his Excellency Governor Tryon; I therefore as their agent sign this,
TO COL. PHILIP SKENE,
FOR HIS EXCELLENCY GOV. TRYON.
From a letter of Esq. Munro, to Gov. Tryon dated Nov. 24, 1772, it appears that John Searl of Arlington, and Comfort Carpenter of Shaftsbury, were convicted as counterfeiters, both by the possession of coining apparatus, and by their own confession. They had been arrested by Munro, but in consequence of the unpopularity of the Justice, were suffered by his aids to escape.
On the 25th day of Nov. 1773, Jacob Marsh on his return from New York, to his place of abode at Socialboro, (Clarendon) was stopped by Capt. Seth Warner and Remember Baker, and tried at the public house kept by Abel Hawley, in that part of' Arlington now called Water St. The following affidavit from the 4th Vol. of the Doc. Hist. of N. Y. needs no explanation.
"Charlotte County, ss., Jacob Marsh, of Charlotte County, Esq., one of his Majesty's Justices to keep the peace in said county assigned, being duly sworn on the Holy Evangelists deposeth and saith that on Thursday the twenty-fifth day of November last past as he the deponent was on a journey returning from the City of New York to his place of abode in Socialborough in the said County of Charlotte, he was met by one Philip Perry, near the house of Abel Hawley, in Arlington. That said Philip Perry had a gun which he held up and cocked and ordered the deponent to stand and not go farther and threatened to shoot the deponent if he went farther. That the said Philip Perry then called to his associates who were in the house of the said Abel Hawley and told them that he had taken a prisoner. That a number of men came out of the said house and ordered the deponent into the said house. That the deponent believes that the number of men there assembled were upwards of thirty. That many of the persons there assembled alledged that they had heavy crimes to alledge against the defendent, and that Seth Warner and Remember Baker, (who are Captains of the Mobb) appointed three persons to sit as Judges and try the deponent. That they appointed Samuel Tubbs, Nath'l Spencer, and the said Philip Perry to be the deponents Judges. That when the said Judges were appointed they went into a room by themselves and being placed on a bench the deponent was brought before them under a guard of armed men. That Seth Warner then accused the deponent with having purchased lands under title derived by and under his Majesty's grant under the great seal and jurisdiction of this Colony of New York and of discouraging settlers from settling in the said Colony
* The names of those front Arlington are in Italics.
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or Province under titles derived by the New Hampshire Grants, and farther accused the deponent with having accepted the commission of a Justice of the peace in the said County of Charlotte and of having quallified and acted as a Justice of the peace in pursuance thereof. That Remember Baker then charged the deponent with the same offences as he called them, and farther charged other deponents with having reproved him for damning the Governor of the Province of New York its Government and Laws and threatening to proceed as a Magistrate against him the said Baker for swearing and blasphemy. That the said Baker farther alledged that the deponent should be adjudged by the said Judges to be whipped for having acted in his office as a Magistrate after he had been forewarned and forbidden so to do by him the said Remember Baker. That he the deponent was then ordered to make his defence which, when he had done he was removed from before the said appointed Judges, and kept under a Guard until he was called to hear judgment. That the deponent was then charged and directed by the judgment of the said Judges which was in writing and read to him by the said Seth Warner, in their presence and by their order, to the following effect, "Not to encourage any Settlement by persons settling under the Titles derived under the Government of New York, but to discourage such settlement; not to discourage any persons Settling under Titles derived from grants made by the Government of New Hampshire, and not to act as a Justice of the peace by virtue of any commission under the Government of New York upon the pain of having his house burned and reduced to ashes, and his person punished at their pleasure." That the said Judges and the Mob associates then consented to dismiss the deponent and gave him a certificate a due copy whereof is in the word and figuring following, viz:
Arlington, Nov. 26, A. D. 1773. These may Sertify that Jacob Marsh hath been Examined, had on fair trial. So that our mob shall not meddle farther with him as long as he behaves. Sartified by us his Judges, to wit:
TESTE, SAMUEL TUBS,
Ct. SETH WARNER,
That the said Remember Baker who had frequently insisted to have the deponent adjudged to be whipped when the deponent was dismissed threatened him, cursed him, and promised to punish him the deponent if he should ever meet him and have an opportunity. That when the deponent arrived at his own house he found that the same Mob or company had been to his house in his absence and taken off the roof of his house, and that he the deponent was informed and verily believes that only the interposition of some of his friends prevented them from burning the roof of the house after it was taken off; That they destroyed several bushels of corn, split a number of boards, and did him some other damages. That he the deponent has been informed that John Smith and Peleg Sunderland (both of Socialborough) were the Captains or Leaders of the Mob, who had been at his house, and Benjamin Cooley and one Silvanus Brown, their Lieutenants, or next in command and mischief and that the company then with them amounted to forty or fifty armed men. And the deponent further saith that he verily believes that if he should act in his office of a Justice of the peace in the said county of Charlotte, that his effects and property would be destroyed by the said Mob or some of them as far as would be in their power; and that his life would be in danger, and farther the deponent saith not.
Sworn this sixth day of December, 1773, Before me
JOHN MCKESSON, Not. Pub."
In 1774, Dr. Samuel Adams of this town, a man who held his lands under a title from New Hampshire and had acted officially under the authority of New Hampshire as late as Nov. 25, 1773, exasperated his neighbors by advising them to re-purchase their lands from New York. He was arrested and carried "to the Green Mountain Tavern at Bennington, where the committee heard his defence and then ordered him to be tied in an armed chair and hoisted up to the sign (a catamount skin, stuffed sitting upon the sign post, twenty five feet from the ground, with large teeth, grinning towards New York,) and there to hang two hours, in sight of the people, as a punishment merited by his enmity to the rights and liberties of the inhabitants of the New Hampshire grants. The judgment was executed to the no small merriment of a large concourse of people. The Doctor was let down, and dismissed by the committee, with an admonition to go and sin no more." *
Jan. 26, 1775, Benjamin Hough of Durham (Clarendon) a Baptist minister who had just obtained a justice commission from New York, was arrested, and four days afterwards, tied by Ethan Allen, to an apple tree in front of his house in Sunderland, and whipped, in pursuance of a sentence of the "committee of safety" then in session at Sunderland. The act was witnessed by many of the inhabitants of Arlington with approbation; two, at least, of the executioners of the sentence viz:— Abel Benedict and John Sawyer, being inhabitants of this town.
Enough has been given to show both the temper of the times and the fact that up to this period no division of sentiment in regard to matters of public policy had taken place.
It was high time that something should be done to appease the growing storm. As early as Oct. 21, 1772, at a meeting of deputies of Bennington and the adjacent towns, held at Manchester, Jehiel Hawley and James Breckenridge, were appointed their agent to repair at once to London for the purpose of soliciting a confirmation of the New Hampshire Grants.
Hawley was chosen on account of his being a large proprietor, a prudent man, and one who was favorable to remaining under the jurisdiction of New York. The fact moreover that he and the people represented by him were for the most part decidedly at‑
*Allen's History, from Slade's State Paper.
tached to the church of England, may have had its weight.
The New Hampshire charters contained a clause, reserving "One whole share for the Incorporated society for propagating the Gospel in foreign parts. One whole share for a Glebe for the Church of England as by law established. One share for the first settled minister of the Gospel, and one share for the benefit of a school."*
When therefore it was proposed to annul the New Hampshire charters it was represented, among other dissuasives, that the church of England would thereby suffer serious detriment. Samuel Robinson of Bennington, for himself and others, and the "society for the propagation of the Gospel in foreign parts," presented together their respective petitions relating to this matter to "the Lords of the committee of council for Plantation affairs' which resulted in the following important order.
ORDER OF THE KING IN COUNCIL.
Forbidding the Governor of New York to make grants of any lands already patented by New Hampshire, at the court at St. James, the 24th day of July, 1767. Present.
The Kings' most Excellent Majesty.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Earl of Shelburne,
Lord Chancellor, Viscount Talmouth,
Duke of Queensbury, Viscount Barrington
Duke of Ancarter, Viscount Clare,
Lord Chamberlain, Bishop of Lendor,
Earl of Litchfield, Secretary Conway,
Earl of Bristol, Hans Stanley, Esq.
Whereas there was this day read at the Board, a Report from the Rt. Hon, the Lord of the committee of council for plantation affairs, dated the 30th of last month in the words following, viz:
"Your Majesty having been pleased to refer unto this committee the humble Petition of the Incorporated Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, setting forth among other things, that Benning Wentworth, Esquire, Governor of New Hampshire, in New England, made several grants of large tracts of land lying on the west side of Connecticut River, which were incorporated into above one hundred Townships, and several shares were reserved in each of the said grants to the petitioners for a Glebe for the Church of England, and for the benefit of a School. That the Government of New York, having claimed the said land and the jurisdiction thereof, granted great part of those lands without reserving any share for the above mentioned Public uses; and therefore the Petitioners Pray that the grants made by the Government of New Hampshire maybe ratified and conformed a rude order made thereupon as to your Majesty should seem meet — and your Majesty having been otherwise pleased to refer unto this committee the humble petition of Samuel Robinson of Bennington, in North America, on behalf of himself and more than one thousand other Grantees of Lands on the west side of Connecticut River, under certain grants issued by the said Governor of New Hampshire. Setting forth amongst other things that the said Governor made grants to the petitioners of several tracts of land lying as aforesaid on the western side of the Connecticut River, which were incorporated into above one hundred Townships and supposed to lie within the Government of New Hampshire, whereupon the petitioners expended large sums of money in settling and cultivating the same. That on the 20th of July, 1764, the said lands having been declared by your Majesty to lie within the Government of New York, the Lieutenant Governor of that Province, made grants of part of the said Lands included within the petitioners grants, which being of infinite prejudice to them; they therefore most humbly pray (amongst other things) that their said several grants made by Governor Wentworth, may be ratified and confirmed under your Majesty's Royal Order. The Lords of the committee in obedience to your Majesty's said Order of Reference, have taken the said petitions into their consideration, together with a Report made by Lords Commissoners for Trade and Plantations upon the former of the said petitions, and so thereupon agree humbly to report as their opinion to your Majesty, that the most positive orders should be immediately sent to the Governor of New York to desist from making any grants whatsoever of any part of these lands until your Majesty's further pleasure shall be known."
His Majesty taking the said Report into consideration was pleased with the advice of his Privy Council to approve thereof, and doth hereby strictly charge, require and command that the Governor or Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Province of New York for the time being, do not (upon pain of his Majesty's highest displeasure) presume to make any grants whatever of any part of the lands described in the said Report, until his Majesty's further pleasure shall be known concerning the same.
W. SHARPE. **
Hawley, who as lay reader, had from the first, sustained the services of the Church of England, in his own house, was popularly believed to be desirous of obtaining for himself holy orders, or of bringing back with him an ordained minister.
It was natural therefore to hope that he would aid in gaining a powerful interest in behalf of the settlers. What success attended this mission of himself and brethren it does not appear. The order of the King was little regarded. The Gen. assembly of New York, offered a bounty of 50 pounds for the apprehension of either of the leaders in resistance. This was answered by a series of resolutions of a "general meeting of the committees for the several townships on the west side of the Green Mountains," held by adjournment at the house of Jehiel Hawley on the 3d Wednesday of March, 1774. These resolutions counseling resistance with the entire proceedings of the meeting, may be found in Slades State Papers, pp. 38-42. Up to this date the people of this town were substantially one, a common danger compelled all classes to unite in repelling it.
This union was soon to be succeeded by the most bitter discord. The people began to talk of Independence. On the 4th day of July, 1776, Congress published to the world the
** Hist. New York, Vol. 4, p. 609.
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memorable declaration of American Independence,
On the 24th, a convention of delegates from the different towns of Vermont, west of the Green Mountains met at Dorset to confer upon this and other subjects. No report of the proceedings has been published. From the record of an adjourned meeting at the same place, held Sept. 25, it appears that the difficulty with New York was the principal subject of interest. On the 15 of Jan. 1777, the convention met again at Westminster, eighteen towns were represented. The Hampshire grants were declared to be "a free and independent jurisdiction or state." It may be significant that Arlington was not represented in either of these conventions. Her leading men were not prepared for measures so decisive. They were not politicians, not one of them seems even to have been smitten with a desire for political distinction. They sought not a State in which they and their sons might be Governors or Military Commanders. They sought good farms and the "increase which is by the strength of the ox." They had suffered much from New York, but it would have been difficult for them to specify wherein the King had harmed them. The King had given them their farms for a nominal price, had provided reasonably for their religions and secular instruction. In the words of one of them who suffered the loss of all things for his loyalty "They did not think it right to rebel against a King who had done them no harm." They were ready enough to express it as their opinion that colonies, so far from the Mother Country, ought sometime, and would be independent. But was this the time? If the present government were shaken off, where was the power of reorganization! "Committees of safety" had been accepted as an ugly necessity. If the only forms of law, known by them were rejected, the prospect was that these committees would be continued for an indefinite period. Is it strange that men with property and families should hesitate? Yet there were, in number perhaps, one half of the inhabitants to whom a revolution would be grateful. There were those who, in the troubles of the times, had neglected their own private affairs and were now in embarassed circumstances. Habits in a measure forced upon them had unfitted some for quiet occupation. These, of course, were ready for any change by which something favorable might turn up. There were a few who took a comprehensive view of the whole subject and, from truly patriotic motives, were ready to risk every thing for the great principles of political freedom. Unfortunately these were not the men of property and influence.
The leading men of the new State, were indignant, and there was reason for indignation. A British Army, of more than seven thousand men, was on the way from the north. Its progress was slow, but so much the better calculated to spread alarm. Tories began to declare themselves, in proportion to the nearness of its approach. Names of men, known or suspected of Toryism, were spoken, who lived in all parts of the State. The "council of safety" met frequently and the town of Arlington received special attention.
Isaac Bisco,* a son in law of Jehiel Hawley, was an avowed loyalist, who boldly counselled submission to the invader. To avoid arrest, he took Burgoyne's protection and fled to Canada. Being Town Clerk, he made a bundle of the town records and buried them, covered with a brass kettle, in the hill N. E. of his house in East Arlington. Tradition asserts that he buried also gold and silver coin, and plate within the precincts of the East Village. His other effects were immediately taken by the authority of the committee of safety. After the peace, his son came to reclaim the buried treasure, but from that day to this, neither guineas nor records have been seen.
As Burgoyne's army approached, the excitement increased. Companies of men in arms on both sides, were scouring the country in search of recruits and provisions. The houses and fields of suspected tories were mercilessly plundered. Even clothes lines were stripped and the most necessary articles of furniture carried off. Every contrivance was resorted to for concealment. Cattle were driven to the mountains. Family tubs of beef and pork were buried in the earth. Even the less perishable articles of furniture were disposed of in a similar manner.
It is related that the wife of Andrew Hawley, well known in these parts as "Aunt Ann" was surprised by a party under Capt. Gideon Ormsby, while filling her oven for baking. Two soldiers were left to wait until the bread was baked and then to bring it away. As soon as the coast was clear, Aunt Ann ordered the strangers to go about their business and arming herself with a broom-stick, actually drove them from the premises. In the ignoable retreat one of the soldiers, stung to the quick with shame and resentment, turned and discharged his musket at the brave woman. She was just entering the door with her infant in
* The order of the following narrative may not be correct, owing to the difficulty of fixing dates to accounts in a measure traditional.
her arms, afterwards the wife of Samuel Baker, when the bullet passed over her head and lodged over the door. The bullet was carefully cut out by one of her sons and kept for a long time by the family as a memento. — Those who knew "Aunt Ann" will be certain that she did not soon forget Capt. Ormsby.
SAMUEL ADAMS, about this time, or a little earlier, formed a company of tories, gathered from Arlington, Manchester, Sandgate and perhaps, some other places for the purpose of co-operating with Burgoyne, and for resenting what most of the settlers regarded as nothing better than robbery. Their place of rendezvous was at Abel Hawley's tavern, which, strange as it may appear, was used by the other party for a similar purpose. It is probable that Adams' company were guilty of sometimes making reprisals upon the opponents, although the writer has not yet been able to obtain intelligence of any. He was under the direction of Burgoyne; but precisely what he was doing is difficult of ascertainment.
The settlers were soon startled by the abduction of PHINEAS HURD, another son in law of Jehiel Hawley. Hurd owned one of the best farms in town and was reputed to be one of the most wealthy. He was, however, a loyalist and had some difficulty with one of his neighbors, a Captain under the order of the Committee of Safety. On a certain occasion in company with Benj. Eastman of this town, he went to Sandgate and persuaded its inhabitants to deliver up their arms, that they might be in no condition either to fight or to make resistance. The tradition is that the arms were deposited in some convenient place and that people from "down river" went and got them. For this Hurd and Eastman was arrested and reported to Gen. Lincoln. Eastman took the oath of allegiance to the United States, was released, Hurd got away, it is not known how. One night, some time after, he was called up, by some one at his door who wished to see him. As soon as Hurd appeared he was arrested and carried off without even permission to speak with his family. He was, however, permitted to call up Israel Burritt, who lived not far off, and ask him to go over in the morning and tell Mrs. Hurd that he was suddenly called away and that it was uncertain when he would return.
Phineas Hurd was never heard of after. Some supposed that he never left Arlington. The general opinion was, that he was imprisoned in a vessel near the mouth of the North River, which was burnt, with its prisoners, not long after. Melancholy as was this perhaps justifiable act, what followed certainly wasnot justifiable. Mrs. Hurd, with a family of twelve children the eldest of whom was only eighteen years, was not long left to mourn unmolested the loss of her husband. In a few days her house was entered by those claiming to act by authority, and stripped of every thing. Even the tin cup containing medicine for her children sick with the measles, was emptied and carried off. Their linen was taken from the line, and provision from the cupboard. Three times was this poor widow subjected to such a visitation. On one occasion the company, disappointed and maddened at not finding anything to carry away, beat her with their muskets from room to room and so abused her that she carried the marks of their cruel treatment to her grave.
The estate of Phineas Hurd was declared to be confiscated and advertised for sale, but to the honor of humanity, it found no purchaser. His oldest son, indeed, threatened death to any person who should venture to take possession, but his threats could not have been formidable. Oct. 12th, 1778, the General Assembly of Vermont, on petition, granted to the widow Anna Hurd, the use of her late husband's farm, during their pleasure. This put an end to further annoyance.
After the battle of Hubbardton, Col. Warner and his men came south, to Manchester, where they stopped for a time. It was probably during this progress that another tragedy occurred worthy of record. Men were sent out as usual for provisions. Col Lyon with a company, of whom David Mallory was one, started for the purpose of taking cattle from the Tories. Samuel Adams collected a company for resistance. As Mallory had been a member of his family, (having studied medicine with him,) he warned him of the probable consequences. Hard words passed and they separated to execute their respective intentions. Col. Lyon's company collected quite a drove of cattle and were driving them up from "down river," or W. Arlington. Opposite the present residence of Solomon Gowey is an island on which Adams and his men were concealed. As soon as Mallory appeared, Adams showing himself ordered him to stop. A threat was the only reply. Adams coolly said that in case himself was shot, there were men ready who would instantly riddle him. Upon this Mallory raised his piece but, not being quick enough, was instantly shot down by Adams. Just then a horn was heard calling laborers to dinner. This was taken as a signal for the gathering of the Tories. Lyons' men fled, the cattle returned to their owners, and the wounded man, abandoned by friends and foes, with difficulty got to the road side. He was taken up by one passing by and
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carried to the house of Ebenezer Leonard where after a few hours he died. Adams fled to Canada where his descendants still live.
Jehiel Hawley was known from the first to be a loyalist. His high moral worth, peaceful manners, and characteristic prudence long secured him from molestation. His age was such that there was little danger of his going to the enemy, moreover he was not, and could not well be a fighting man at all. Almost any pleasant Sunday morning during the past ten years, the inhabitants, which he had for the most part gathered around him, might have been seen collecting at his house for the purpose of joining with him in the Prayers of the Church, and listening to a discourse written by some of her divines. Not a few of them had been baptised in Connecticut, and all hoped to see a church by the side of their church yard, and a church minister in occupancy of the glebe already given and surveyed for the purpose. When they prayed for the "King's Majesty" all were compelled to feel that Hawley at least was thoroughly in earnest. When therefore he was compelled to speak, he spoke for the crown and justified those who contended for it. His children and the children of his brothers were first deprived of their all, and several of them were compelled to flee to Canada. He himself, from time to time, received anonymous letters, threatening midnight assassination, and there were circumstances which satisfied him that the writers would not shrink from making their words good. Yielding to necessity, he abandoned his entire worldly wealth, took Burgoyne's protection; started for Canada and died on Lake Champlain of dysentery, Nov. 2, 1777, aged 66. He was buried on the shore of the lake in Shelburne. Thus died one of whom it may be said that his enemies could find no fault in him, save that while he "feared" and served "God," he also "honored the King."
The town was now in a critical position. At the Battle of Bennington, Arlington men were arrayed against each other. One at least was killed in the ranks of the enemy, Abel Benedict, very much regretted by the Americans, for they remembered that he had been with them under Montgomery. Among those surrendered by Burgoyne at Saratoga, were some five or six from Arlington. The men of the town were and had been, from the first in correspondence with the enemy. To make the matter worse, Congress had refused to admit the new State to the Union. The hopes of the loyalists were rising. It was necessary that the town should be subdued.
At this juncture, Thomas Chittenden, Matthew Lyon and John Fassett Jr. moved into the town and took possession of confiscated property. Capt. Fassett took Bisco's house; Thomas Chittenden Capt Hawley's; Col. Lyon, the one opposite, now west of the Rail Road Depot. Between Chittenden's and Lyon's a vault was dug and walled up with plank and timber, to be used as a jail. Ethan Allen was the neighbor of Fassett, and Ira Allen was at Sunderland, three miles distant. Everything being ready the council erected its judgment seat, and woe was to the Tory who was summoned to its presence. Upon the adoption of a State Constitution and the election of Chittenden as Governor, the council of Safety, was merged in the Governor and Council, and acquired a legal form.
It was a sad day to the people of Arlington when Jehiel Hawley left the settlement, mainly of his own planting, to seek safety in Canada. It moved the indignation of those who dared not express their feelings when they saw Thomas Chittenden housed in the mansion which Hawley had with so much labor prepared for his own family. For some time a guard was kept over the house, a precaution probably altogether unnecessary.
It were to little purpose to enter into a detail of the proceedings of the Governor and Council while at Arlington. It is enough to say that the Commissioners of Sequestration were not idle. There was little, if any resistance. Their foes were completly disheartened by the turn which events had taken. In fact nearly every active loyalist was already in Canada, or on his way thither. Those who remained were and had been pre-eminently men of peace, willing to be satisfied with any sacrifice which promised a return to the reign of law and order. Soon circumstances arose which really gave Governor Chittenden a place in the affections of the people. So great had been the disorders of the times and so many men had left the county that fields were unharvested, and there was imminent danger of famine. The Governor took upon himself the task of visiting, from time to time, every family and taking an account of the provisions on hand. Under his oversight, and by his impartial and disinterested counsel, distribution was so made that, although all were pinched, none perished.
Governor Chittenden and his associates after a short time, sold their property acquired here and removed. Families which have proved truly invaluable, took their place.
The declaration of peace, and the recognition of the State by Congress was hailed with a satisfaction absolutely universal. Since that time it is not too much to say, the inhabitants of this town have not been excelled in patriotism. They love yet, however, submis-
sion to the laws rather than their contentions. Who will say that it should not be recorded to their praise ?
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
The religious sentiments of the men who first settled in Arlington are not known. Of the immigrants from Newtown and New Milford, Ct., nearly all were either of no religion of members of the Church of England. Those from Newtown, had belonged to the congregation of the Rev. John Beach, who from a Congregationalist had become a Churchman in 1732, carrying a large proportion of his former congregation with him. From a letter of his, dated Oct. 1743, he says that his people were fined, both for using the book of Common Prayer and for not attending Independent worship. Under this persecution it was natural that men of no religion always disposed to rebel against the 'standing order' lent the Church of England the aid of their sympathy. Mr. Beach's congregation grew strong, so that in 1762, he reported no less than 300 communicants out of 1000 church people. Yet it was not pleasant to live under laws which made their form of worship unlawful. With the twofold object therefore, of improving their fortunes and securing the privilege of worshiping God in peace, a considerable number in 1764 left their native State for the "Grants."
Jehiel Hawley built the first framed house an the settlement at Arlington, and in that house, from Sunday to Sunday the people from all parts of the town assembled for public worship. Capt. Hawley read the service of the Church of England and a sermon.
The immigration from New Milford originated under similar circumstances. Under the ministrations of a converted Congregationalist a congregation was gathered of those who preferred the Church of England, about the time of Mr. Beach's conversion.
The ministers of Newtown and New Milford felt a very deep interest in the little church at Arlington, which was regarded as in some sense a branch of their own. Ministers from these churches and from those of Great Barrington and Lanesboro, Mass. which were also offshoots from the church in New Milford, were employed from time to time, to visit Arlington, for the purpose of administering the sacraments and of affording counsel. The writer has met with persons baptised here by the Rev. Gideon Bostwick of Great Barrington, and by the Rev. Daniel Burhans, of Lanesboro.
The difficulties of the times delayed the building of a Church, and the settlement of a minister. The public rights set apart by the charter of the town were believed to be sufficient to constitute an ample endowment for the church, provided that anything like fairness were used in selecting the lots. To Capt. Hawley therefore, the care of selecting, and protecting these rights was entrusted.
In 1765, the proprietors of the town, by vote, set apart a central lot of about 14 acres, three of which should be for a church yard and public green, the remainder as a portion of the glebe, evidently intending it as a place for a church and minister's residence. This it is said, was confiscated and sold with the exception of a single acre reserved for the burial of the dead.
In 1784, the inhabitants resolved to settle a minister and build a church. Having been excluded from the public ground set apart for the purpose, the timber cut from a glebe lot was drawn to a place about half way between East and West Arlington. A conference with Gov. Chittenden however, and the counsel of Lemuel Buck, Esq., who lived as far distant as any person, led to the reconsideration of their intention; and it was voted to build the church by a stake, set up by the Governor, south of the Church yard. The Rev. James Nichols, a clergyman from Ct. of more than ordinary parts, was employed, and the services of the church, which for some time had been very irregular, were resumed at private houses. Although two shillings on the pound were levied for building the church, such was the poverty of the inhabitants at the time that the building was not completed. It was used however, after one year.
In 1787, the church was represented in the Convention of the Prot. Ep. Church at Straford, Ct. by Nathan Canfield, Esq., who was appointed as their delegate.
June 4, 1788. The Rev. Mr. Nichols, having by his intemperate habits lost the respect of his people, was dismissed. He was succeeded in 1792 by the Rev. Russell Catlin, who was also dismissed after a few years.
Dec. 31, 1802, at a meeting of the Episcopal Society of the town of Arlington duly called David Matteson, Sylvester Deming and Zadok Hard were appointed a committee to finish the church; and then means provided by subscription. At the same time the people of West Arlington associated themselves together for the purpose of building a church, lour miles distant "down river." The two churches were speedily completed and set apart for public worship. The East Church was a free Church and was called Bethel: the pews of the West Church were sold to individual pro‑
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prietors. This was called Bethesda. The building of the two churches was the occasion of no division. Both remained under the care of the same religions society, half the officers of which were chosen from those living "down river."
The Rev. Abraham Brownson was then settled over the parish and ministered at Bethel and Bethesda, alternately. This arrangement continued until about 1827, when for want of support, stated Sunday services at Bethesda Church were suspended.
The Rev. Mr. Brownson continued to be the minister of this Church for 23 years, until March 1826. He performed a vast amount of labor not only in Arlington but in Sandgate and Manchester where he labored as he had opportunity. His successors have been as follows:
The Rev. Joseph H. Coit, from 1826 to 1828; Rev. James Tappan, from 1828 to 1829; Rev. William S. Perkins, from 1829 to 1833; Rev. Luman Foot, from 1833 to —; Rev. John Grigg, from 1837 to 1838; Rev. Anson B. Hard, from 1838 to 1844; Rev. Frederick A. Wadleigh from 1844.
In 1829, Bethel Church was taken down in pursuance of a vote of the society, and the present stone church built immediately after at an expense of $10,000, of which Sylvester Deming, Esq. generously contributed at least one third. It was consecrated in 1831, and is called St. James' Church.
In 1838, the old "Chittenden House" was purchased for a parsonage. This was taken down in the Spring of 1845, and a more convenient one built by the parish.
The number of communicants belonging to this church has not greatly varied. In 1820, when the population of the town was 1,354, there were 92 communicants. In 1860, with a population of 1,148, there are 130, of whom 18 are non-resident.
In addition to the Protestant Episcopal Church, there are in this town two congregations connected with the Methodist Episcopal Church, with an aggregate membership of 80 or 100; a Congregational Church with about 30 members; a small congregation of "Disciples" and twenty-five or thirty families of Roman Catholics, numbering about 130 persons. In 1813, a Baptist Church was organized here, which in 1820 numbered more than 80 members. It was disbanded in 1843.*
I have nothing of value touching the biography of our clergy and have not succeeded in obtaining specimens of their composition. The Rev. Eli H. Canfield, D. D. rector of Christ Church, Brooklyn and the Rev. Fletcher J. Hawley D. D. rector of Trinity Church, New Orleans, Anson B. Hard, rector of St. Paul's Church, Chester, Pa., are natives of this town. The Rev. Jared Sparks LL. D. labored as a carpenter in this town during the years 1803-4, but was no more than a transient person.
Samuel Hawley, Sen. came from England in 1666, and settled in Stafford Ct. He had two sons, (daughters unknown,) Samuel and Ephraim.** Ephraim left ten sons and two daughters. Of these, Abel, Gideon, Jehiel, Josiah and perhaps others came to Arlington in 1764, taking their parents with them.
Abel married first a person whose name is unknown. Their children were Peter, Mary (who married Eliakim Stoddard,) James, Agur and Abel. Abel married Mary Folsom, he was a loyalist and died in Canada. His farm in Sunderland, 300 acres, was confiscated and his wife and children forcibly turned into the street. Abel Sen's. second wife was Bethiah Curtis. Their children were Sarah, Esther, Prudence and Clara. Abel Hawley Sen. and his wife Bethiah, were held in high regard for their devoted piety. It was remarked that he was the only person who could safely reprove Col. Ethan Allen's impiety. Once when Allen had been thus reproved, he replied "whether I am right or not uncle Abel, one thing is certain that you are exactly."
Josiah married Hannah, eldest sister of Col. Seth Warner. Their children were Amos, Gideon, Lemuel, Rhoda and Silence.
Jehiel Hawley who may be regarded as the founder of the town, married first — Dunning, second, Abra Hubbel. Their children were Andrew, Curtis, Abijah, Jeptha, Mary, Ruth, and Anna. Jehiel Hawley was a man of great conscientionsness and fervent piety. — Had he not been tainted with devotion to his king, he would have been ranked among the honored in our history.
Andrew Hawley and Ann Hard left children, viz: Eli, Philo, Zadok, Adoniaram, Jehiel, Sarah Ann, Polly, Andrew and Lucy. Eli, married widow McGeer, whose maiden name was Mary Jeffers. He and Daniel Crofut of this town were employed by the British
* If a definite account of these churches are prepared for our work hereafter, we shall be happy to give them place in the supplementary number. — Ed.
[** We much regret the want of space obliges us to suppress in part the systematic and interesting geneological tables of this family, (and others) especially as the historian has been at commendable pains in his research on this point, correcting in some instances the valuable tables in Cothrens History of ancient Woodbury, (to which ho acknowledges indebtedness,) by information obtained from living members of the family. — Ed.]
as Spies from the beginning of the war until peace was concluded. After Congress refused the application of Vermont to be admitted to the, Union as a State it is said that they were emloyed by Gov. Chittenden also.* Polly married Giles, son of Gov. Chittenden.
John Baker, born Dec. 24, 1681, came to Woodbury Ct. from New London, and died in 1750. His children were John, Ephraim, Mary, Remember, Sarah, Elijah and Elisha. Mary married Joseph Allen, March 11, 1736-7, father of Col. Ethan Allen. Remember married Tamar Warner, aunt of Col. Seth Warner. He was killed by accident and left two or three children. Mindwell who married Peleg Stene of Lenox Mass. and afterwards removed to Arlington; and Remember. There was, it is believed another sister, Desire, of whom we have no certain information.
The second Remember married April 3, 1760, Desire Hurlbert, daughter of Consider Hurlbert and Patience Hawley. At the age of 18, he served in an expedition against Canada. He came to Arlington, in 1764, was much respected and very serviceable to the settlement. His arrest by John Munro, Esq. of Shaftsbury and subsequent rescue are well known. In the commencement of the revolution he entered the army again. In Montgomery's operations against St. John's, Canada, he was sent forward to reconnoitre the position of the enemy. When within a few miles of St. John's, he secreted his boat with the intention of marching through the woods. He had scarcely left the boat when a party of Indians took possession of it. He called upon them to return it. Hard words passed when one of the Indians fired and shot him through the head. The Indians, who appeared to have had an old grudge against him then cut off his head and put it on a pole. The Americans gave them a guinea to take it down that they might bury it. Thus died Capt. Remember Baker, at the early age of 35.
He left one son Ozi, who married Lucy, daughter of Capt. James Hard, and left Electa, who died single at White Creek, N. Y., very much respected; Nancy who married Yates, a successful teacher at the South Lorane, who married — Barnes; — Remember — a lawyer in the State of New York, and Luther. By a second wife Hetty Darling,** he left a daughter Rhoda. Ozi Baker was Town Clerk, for some years. He was a man of promising abilities and very useful as a surveyor of lands. Unfortunately however, falling into irregular habits he soon dissipated an ample inheritance, went into the army, served in the last war and died in the service in circumstance of extreme destitution.
The other Baker families of Arlington are descendants of the second John Baker mentioned.
ELIAKIM STODDARD, ESQ.
Eliakim Stoddard, born Dec. 11, 1749, was the son of Eliakim Stoddard, and Mary Curtis, and the grandson of the Rev. Anthony Stoddard, settled minister in Woodbury, Ct. Having become attached to the Church of England, he left Connecticut at the early age of 16, and accompanied the Hawleys to their new home in the wilderness. He was perhaps the best educated of the early settlers and a great share of the Justices' business in town was done by him. In the building of the first church edifice and the settlement of a minister his labors were indefatigable. He married Mary, daughter of Abel Hawley. They left no children. For some reason Esq. Stoddard became dissatisfied and went to Canada. Some years after, he returned to Arlington, broken down by a paralytic affection, aged 52 years.
*David Crofut returned to Arlington soon after the peace; and Eli Hawley somewhat later. They were accustomed to relate many a tale of hardships endured on the mountains. and hairbreadth escape from pursuers. Crofut was once saved by a woman who opened a trap door in the room where she was spinning for his descent. Then carelessly covering it with a rug, she placed her wheel upon it and continued her work. His pursuers soon arrived, but deceived by her answer and the general appearance of things went away without a search. He was afterward captured by a party of soldiers who delivered him over to their commander at Bennington, who in the night released him to the great disgust of his captors.
Eli Hawley on his way from New York to Canada with important dispatches once met Col. Brownson in the vicinity of Lanesboro, Mass. His life did not seem very secure just then; but the friendly greeting "How do yon do Zadok," dispelled his alarm. Zadok was the name of a brother who much resembled him.
He often pointed out the "Raven Rock" as the place where he had an interview by night with Gov. Chittenden. Hawley fairly believed to the day of his death that the leaders of the Green Mountain Boys, were determined that Vermont should be a British Province rather than a part of New York, in case Congress should compel the alternative. His belief probably shows how completely all the agents of the British were deceived.
** His marriage was in this wise. Ozi was under certain legal restraint for the non-fulfilment of certain legal obligation when he dispatched the following laconic letter:
"Hetty come to Ozi." Ozi could not go to Hetty, so Hetty went to Ozi, and became at once Hetty Baker.
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According to a tradition, carefully transmitted there was in London at the time of the great plague, a family by the name of 'Hard.' All perished but James, a lad 14 years of age, who was by the public authorities apprenticed to the celebrated Capt. Kidd, whom he served in various capacities for seven years. (This was before Kidd became a pirate.) Being then free; James Hard came to Strafford Conn., then to Newtown, where he married a woman by the name of Tomlinson and died at the age of 107 years.
From the above circumstance, the Hards were, for several generations called "Kiddy."
James Hard left two sons, Joseph and James — and several daughters — James the younger, was an opulent farmer of Newtown, Me. married Hannah Kimberley. They had 11 children, Zadok the youngest came to Arlington in 1768. Ann who married Andrew Hawley, came perhaps, a year or two earlier. Capt. James, the oldest, married Hester Booth and came a few years later. Capt. James Hard was a devoted loyalist.
Zadok Hard, Esq., brother of Capt. James, was a loyalist in principle, but actively employed on his farm, gave very little occasion for complaint. It was said that he secreted and fed the loyalists who fled to him for shelter. For this, and perhaps other kindred offences, he was several times arrested and heavily fined. He seems to have had a habit of assisting the needy, as many well authenticated anecdotes show.
On a certain occasion, a negro who had run away from his master, fled to the house of Zadok Hard for protection, and was not betrayed. On another occasion, twenty-five famished American soldiers, were fed at Esq. Hard's house, on Mrs. Hards express invitation. It is certain that no needy person ever left the house unrelieved. He married first, Chloe Nobles of Brookfield, Conn. Their children were Hannah, Lemira, Belus, Chloe, Lucy, Noble, Polly, Zadok, Jesse, Sylvanus, and Sarah.
Nathan Canfield, Esq., married first, Lois, eldest daughter of Capt. James Hard, and moved to Arlington about 1768. Their children were Enos, Parthena, Orilla and Anna. By a second wife Betsey Burton, his children were Albert, Nathan, Cyrus, Samuel, Anson, Orlando, Galen and Betsy.
In the troubles of the times, Esq. Canfield, a man of great sagacity and prudence retained in a great degree the confidence of both parties. His connections, and his sympathies were probably in favor of the loyalists. Yet to the end he enjoyed the friendship of Allen, Warner, Baker and the other leaders. On one occasion when a man from Sunderland raised his gun to shoot him Col. Allen rushed between them for his protection. He was sometimes arrested and fined, but succeeded in preserving himself from material harm. He represented the town in 1786. He died April 16, 1809, in his 70th year.
Israel Canfield, who is supposed to have been a cousin of Nathan, married Mary Sacket, and came to Arlington from Conn., about the same time. Their children were Sacket, John, Nathaniel and Anson Bassett.
Israel Canfield was in the American service, but his wife was a most active loyalist. It is said that important messages between the British in Canada and their friends in this region passed through her hands. "Aunt Ann" Hawley, the bolder of the two, carried food to her son Eli, while to Molly Sacket, as she was called, a more quiet woman, was entrusted the duty of transmitting his messages. She died June 18, 1817, in her 75th year. — Her husband followed March 20, 1817, aged 97. Professing religion at the advanced age of 83, he was nevertheless regarded as an exemplary christian. His strictness in observing the Sabbath, and other religious duty, was specially marked.
John Gray was a captain in the English naval service. He came to Kent, Conn., not far from 1760, and followed the Hawleys with whom he had become acquainted, to Arlington, about 1768. He married first a woman of whom we have no certain knowledge, who left one son, John; second, Mary Morgan; their children were Mary, Caleb, Dominicus, Jordan, David, Thomas and Sarah. Capt. Gray was a churchman, his politics not known. He died Nov. 28, 1806, in his 80th year, Two of the sons of Dominicus became ministers of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Rev. Jordon Gray was minister of St. Matthew Church, Sandgate, and afterward had charge of one or two parishes, in the north part of the state. The Rev. Nelson Gray was eight years rector of Christ church, Georgetown, D. C
Col. Ethan Allen, lived in Arlington the greater part of three or four successive years. The town was represented by him in 1778, in connection with Thomas Chittenden and John Fassett, Jr, Notices of his life will undoubtly be found in the sketches from other towns; yet inasmuch as his first wife, Mary Brown,
son is less known, and her, remains and those of her two children lie in the church yard of this town, it may be proper to add a few notices of her family.
Richard Brownson, an original settler of Farmington, Conn., had sons among whom was Cornelius, born 1648, and died in 1732. His children were Cornelius, Elisabeth, Abraham, Stephen, Timothy, John and Amos. Cornelius, Jr., who lived in Southbury, married Abigail Jackson of Lebanon. They left ten children, eight of whom early made a profession of religion and united with the Congregational church. Mary Brownson, their other child, was married to Col. Ethan Allen, June 23, 1762, by the Rev. Daniel Brinsmade of Judea Parish, Woodbury, for which service Allen paid the fee of four shillings, from which we may infer that the future hero of Vermont was not in very opulent circumstances. Their children were Joseph E. Lorraine, Lucy, Mary Ann and Parmelia. — Joseph E., died when 11 years old, and was buried in the Arlington churchyard. While Col. Allen was a captive in England, with a spirit chafed by the insults of his country's enemies, his desolate wife was enabled to recall the instructions of her youth, made a profession of religion and had her children baptised. She died in Sunderland about 1784, of consumption, and was buried in Arlington. No stone was ever erected to her memory and the fact of her burial here rests upon the remembered statement of Dr. Ebenezer Hitchcock of Sunderland, who assisted in carrying the body to the church yard, a distance of three miles.*
It was of Lorraine that the following anecdote appeared in the public papers. Being sick and likely to die, her mother being gone before her, she anxiously inquired of her father "Whose faith shall I embrace, yours or that of my mother's." The trembling father walked the room in great agitation, and then replied, "That of your another." The story has been denied by some of the Allen family, but the Brownson family, some of whom were with the dying girl, affirm that it is substantially true. There is nothing at all improbable in the story, and yet perhaps more has been mode of the anecdote than the facts would warrant.
Lorriane had much of her fathers disposition and shared in his skepticism. She sometimes even made sport of dying. One day she asked Col. Matthew Lyon who was very fond of her, if he had any messages to send to his friends in the old country, for she expected to go, by the way of Cork. She said many strange things during her last sickness, and the question put to her father and his answer probably indicate a somewhat similar state of mind in both.
Lucy, who married — Hitchcock, was a pious woman. Of Parmelia, the writer has no information. The Brownsons of Sunderland and Arlington, are descended from Timothy, a brother of Cornelius, Jr., and came from Salisbury, Conn.
[THE STATE SEAL. — Henry Stevens, Esq., the State Antequarian, gives the following account of the origin of the seal of Vermont. "I had heard that the Vermont coat of arms originated in Arlington and stopped there to obtain reliable authority for the story, some years since as I was returning from a visit to Bennington. I had in my pocket the guard-roll of Governor Chittenden; an old man was pointed out to me (Mr. Deming, I believe was his name,) as one of this Company. I joined him, introduced myself and walked down with him to his house. It was summer, a warm day, about noon, and we sat down in the porch before the door, where some vines grew, and it was cool, to have a chat. I asked him if he was one of Chittenden's guard. He was proud as a peacock to be asked. I showed him the roll, there was his name, and he informed me that he was the only man of the Company then living. I asked where he boarded at the time, "at the Governor's," he replied, "I was a young man and so boarded with him. We had plenty to eat and drink, a good place it was." Said I, do you remember anything of the drinking cup? "Yes, they were of horn." Had any of them any mark or marks on them? "Yes, the seal of our State was first engraved on one of them. I have drank out of it many a time. An English Lieutenant, who used to secretly bring letters to the Governor, was there one time, "sparking" the Governor's hired girl, he stopped several days, and taking a view from the west window of the Governor's residence, of a wheat field some two acres in the distance, beyond which was a knoll with one solitary pine upon its top, he engraved it upon this cup. The field was fenced off from a level space intervening between the house, within this space he put "the cow" with her head reached over the fence for the grain. The Governor's drinking cups were made from the horn of an ox, and bottomed with wood. First was cut off a cup from the lower end of the horn that measured half a pint, next a gill cup, then a third cup which was a "glass."
The engraved cup attracted the notice of Ira Allen, who adopted its device for our State seal; only when he took hold of it he brought the cow over the fence into the midst of the grain — bundles on either side, so when she had eaten one stack the other was ready." Mr. Steven's meanwhile, kindly showed unto us several variations of this device, adopted from time to time, on old State proclamations &c., in his possesion. — Ed.]
* On this point see, Sunderland chapter. —Ed.