238 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
BY G. B. BACON, ESQ.
Sunderland, a post town, of 23,040 acres, 6 miles E. of the New York line, was chartered July 30, 1761, to Isaac Searls of West Hoosic, Mass., and 63 others.
The 1st proprietors meeting was held at the house of Asa Alger in Pownal, (N. H.) July 7, 1763; Isaac Searls, Moderator; Geo.
Gardner, Clerk;— the 2nd, July 11th, (same month) — Sam'1 Robinson, Treasurer, Isaac Searls, Collector, and Messrs. Sam'l Robinson Esq., Geo. Gardner and Isaac Searls a committee to run the Town lines; the 3rd, May, 15, 1764, Sam'l Robinson Moderator, Jabez Warner Proprietor's Clerk; the 4th, on the 16th of May at the house of Dr. Simon Burton in Arlington; the 5th, Nov. 20th, met at, the house of Jabez Warren in Sunderland; the 6th met Nov. 28th, at the same place, — Jedediah Hurd, Gideon Warren and Timothy Brownson a committee to settle with Collector, — superintend allotments and survey and lay out and clear highways; the 7th met Oct. 8th, — Isaac Hill, Moderator; Gideon Warren Clerk, and chose agent to represent proprietors in N. Y. claims at Boston — voted first settlers privilege of culling pine timber for first buildings. The first division consisting of 66 one-acre lots, was surveyed by Samuel Robinson of Bennington, and completed August 20, 1765. The 2nd division, 50-acre lots, (one to each grantee) was surveyed also by Samuel Robinson, who was the owner of several rights. This allotment and survey was completed June 10, 1765.
The first permanent settlement was commenced in 1766, by Gen. Gideon Brownson, from Salisbury, and Col. Timothy Brownson (who was elected Assistant Judge of the Co. Court in 1779,) from New Framingham, Ct. Joseph Bradley, Amos Chipman, Abner and Chas. Everts, Abner Hill, and Reuben Webb, all, except Chipman from Guilford Ct. Soon after they received large accessions from Connecticut and Massachusetts, viz.: Avrill, Brownson, Bradley, Davis, Cobin, Everts, Graves, Hill, Hoit, Hicks, Comstock, Taylor and others. The town was organized in 1796. Gen. Gideon Brownson, first Town Clerk; Joseph Bradley, Representative to the first Legislature, and Col. Timothy Brownson one of the first Councillors. The largest portion of the town is mountainous. The Battenkill river passes through the N. W. part, in a S. W. direction. On this stream are some excellent alluvial flats, overflown, spring and fall, which renders them the most valuable of any in the County. Roaring Branch, so called from its velocity, originates in several large ponds in the eastern part of the town, and running westerly unites with the Battenkill in Arlington. Upon this stream are 9 mills and 2 large Edge Tool Manufactories, giving employment to some 30 or 40 hands. Mill and Lye brooks rise in the N. E. part of the town, the former running northwesterly into the Battenkill. Upon this stream are also 9 mills, machine and wooden ware shops. A stream heading in Glastenbury passesthrough the S. W. part of the town, upon which are several mills and wooden ware shops. The soil in the feasible part of the town, consists of alluvion, loam and marl. Near the foot of the Green Mountains the sulphate of iron is found in considerable quantities, and on the west side, long since, a vein of lead ore was discovered in granular limestone, which, upon being worked and analyzed, was found to yield 60 or 70 per cent pure lead and some 3 per cent silver. This mine, though worked to some extent, was soon found unprofitable and consequently abandoned. The town rapidly increased in population from its first settlement, and as early as 1790 contained a larger number of inhabitants than at present. From the commencement of the Revolution no people in Vermont had espoused the cause of their country with greater zeal or sustained it with more resolution; and no town in the State, then settled, contained a less number of loyalists in proportion to her numbers. But two instances of confiscation of property for treasonable conduct occurred. A company from this town, commanded by Capt THOMAS COMSTOCK, participated in the battle of Bennington. Comstock was killed in the first engagement. The command then devolving upon Lieut. Eli Brownson (afterwards a Colonel of militia,) were again led on to battle and to victory. Messrs. Cobin and Allen were also among the slain.
Sunderland was for some time the residence of Gen ETHAN ALLEN, and his brother IRA ALLEN. Ethan Allen erected a dwelling house on the north side of the Battenkill. This house remained upon its old site as late as 1845, when it was taken down. The remains of a daughter of General Allen rests in the north Cemetery, some 80 rods south from his old residence. (The cemetery land was deeded to the town by Ira Allen, and was part and parcel of his farm.) It was in this town where Benjamin Hough, holding a Justice's commission under the colony of New York, was brought before a Committee of Safety, tried, convicted and received the following sentence: "That the prisoner be taken from the bar of this Committee of Safety, and be tied to a tree and there on his back receive two hundred stripes; his back being dressed he should depart out of the district and on return without special leave of the Convention to suffer death.'' This sentence was executed May 30, 1775.
Ira Allen built a dwelling house and barn upon his farm. His office-building stood upon its old site until about 1845, when it was removed a few rods farther east and converted into a granery, now owned by Eben. H. Graves
240 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
REV. CHAUNCEY LEE, the first settled minister, was installed over the Congregational church in 1786 and dismissed in 1795. Previously ministers were hired for stated periods and stipulated prices, to be paid in wheat at 4s. 6d. per bushel. The Rev. Mr. Hatch, and others, were so retained. Soon after Mr. Lee's arrival the Rev. Jacob Sherwin emigrated from Ashfield Ct., and remained until his death, Jan. 7, 1803.
The first merchant was a Mr Simmonds. He was succeeded by Rev. Aaron Collins, J. Lockwood, and William White, who removed to Vergennes about 1808. The first physician was Dr. Woods. From the records, which have been well preserved, it appears that but one of the original grantees ever settled in town, — one Abijah Prince, a colored man, who remained through life. His wife attain-to the advanced age of 112 years. The last of the children, Drucilla, died Nov. 21, 1854, supposed to be aged 100 or more years. Of the longevity of the early settlers, but little is known. Col. Eli Brownson died Mar. 28, 1830, aged 82; Abner Everts, Mar. 15, 1796, aged 66; Abner Hill, Dec. 20, 1801, aged 76; Capt Simeon Hicks, of the American Revolution, in January 1855, aged 99 years 5 months and 5 days. The record also shows that the inhabitants of this town were classed into from three to five clases during the Revolution, for the purpose of furnishing, one soldier to each class.
The first grist-mill was built by Samuel Payne in the north part of the town. The proprietors also gave a 50-acre lot (called the mill-lot,) to Remember Baker, in the S. W. part of the town to encourage the building of a grist and saw mill. The former was built near the west line of the town in Arlington, and the latter a few rods east upon the lot granted by the original grantees, where the mills are at present standing.
About three fourths of the inhabitants are engaged in agriculture, the balance in the manufacture of lumber, wooden ware, edge tools and trade. There are but one store and hotel. The store is near the former residence of Ethan Allen, about three fourths of a mile north of the W. Vt. Rail-road; the hotel is upon the the old Stratton Turnpike southwesterly, upon the Green Mountains. There are some five or six persons residing in town aged about 80 years. Gideon Brownson, son of Col. Timothy Brownson, aged 72 years, is the only surviving son of any of the first settlers.
CAPT. COMSTOCK appeared at the battle of Bennington barefooted. On being asked why he so appeared, replied that he would kill the first Hessian that fell in his way, and possess himself of his shoes. He soon found an opportunity, killed a Hessian; but found his shoes too small; shortly after he succeeded in killing a second, and while in the act of placing his feet in the shoes of his unfortunate and fallen enemy a ball struck him, and he fell to rise no more; upon which a soldier of his company by the name of Benjamin Griffis, remarked to Lieut. Brownson, that Cobin had lost his shoes. Upon another occasion, the battle still raging and men falling on either side, Griffis, (no doubt moved by self interest, he having previously lost his better half,) remarked to Lieut. Brownson that widows would be plenty after the battle.
ELDAD TAYLOR, residing upon a farm near the Roaring Branch, had two daughter 7 and 4 years of age, who had wandered into the woods, on the 31st of May, 1780. Not returning and night about setting in, the parents, fearing they had fallen a prey to the wild beasts then infesting the forests, with the aid of a few neighbors commenced a search which was continued through the night, and the next day, joined by large numbers from this and adjacent towns, was prosecuted until mid-afternoon of the third day; when worn out by fatigue and despairing of finding the lost wanderers alive, the men had collected together with the view of returning to their home; but among them was Ethan Allen. He mounted a stump and when all eyes were fixed upon him, in a manner peculiar to himself, pointed first to the father and then to the mother of the lost children, now petrified with grief, and admonished each individual present, and especially those who were parents, to make the case of these parents his own, and then say whether they could go contentedly to their homes without making one further effort to save those dear little ones who were probably now alive, but perishing with hunger, and spending their last strength in crying to father and mother to give them food. As he spake, his gaint frame was agitated, and tears rolled down his cheeks; and in the assembly of several hundred men, but few eyes were dry; whereupon all manifested a willingness to return. The search being renewed, before night of the same day, the lost children were found, and restored in safety to the arms of the distracted parents. It appeared that the first night they laid down at the foot of a large tree, and the second they spent upon a large rock, and were found almost famished for the want of food.
VERMONT HISTORCAL MAGAZINE.
Names, ages, and place of residence of the members of the Regimental Band. 2nd Regiment Vermont Volunteers, recruited at Bennington by F. M. Crossett, and in service at Washington City, July 1, 1861.
Name. Age. Residence.
F. M. Crossett, Capt. 27 S Bennington.
Abel, D. O. 21 S Hoosic Falls,
Cotton, W. H. 24 S Hoosic Falls.
Childs, B. F. 18 S Wilmington.
Chapman, J. D. 19 S Hoosic Falls.
Cross, D. H. 25 S Bennington.
Fiske, George 23 M Hoosic Falls.
Foster, Gustavus 22 S Jacksonville.
Holbrook, R. C. 24 S Jacksonville.
Hutchins, T. A. 27 M Bennington.
Kehoe, John 30 M Bennington.
Lottridge, J. H. 20 S Hoosic Falls.
Moon, Richard 33 M Bennington.
Monroe, Gordon 25 M Cohoes.
Marsh, George 29 M Bennington.
Marsh, Chauncey 22 S Hoosic Falls.
Norton, Edward 2nd 28 M Bennington.
Peters, M. V. 22 S Hoosic Falls.
Phelps, Wm. 27 S Hoosic Falls.
Puffer, W. W. 24 M Bennington.
Puffer, Norman 15 S Bennington.
Shaw, W. D. 22 S Hoosic Falls.
White, Charles 23 S Hoosic Falls.
Warren, C. H. 22 S Jacksonville.
Price, Jack, Servant, 20 S Bennington.
The letter M opposite a name signifies married. The letter S, single.
I hereby certify that the above is a correct list of the members of the Regimental Band, 2nd Reg's Vermont V. M.
F. M. CROSSETT, Capt.
TO SUPPRESS THE REBELLION OF 1861.
Early in May, 1861, James H. Walbridge was appointed recruiting officer, and he enlisted a full company of volunteers for three years, who were mustered into the service of the State the 14th of that month — being the first company of three years' men raised in the State.
From this company Sergeant Guilford S. Ladd of Bennington was appointed Adjutant of the Regiment, and consequently his name does not appear in the following list of the company.
Company A. 2nd Regiment
Names, ages and places of Residence of members of Company A. Second Regiment Vermont Volunteers, in service at Washington City, July 1, 1861.
CAPTAIN, AGE. Residence.
James H. Walbridge, S* 34 Bennington.
1st Newton Stone, S 23 "
2nd Wm. H. Cady, S 24 "
1st Ed. W. Appleton, S 23 "
2nd Cha's M. Bliss. S 34 Woodford.
3rd Eugene O. Cole, S 27 Shaftsbury.
4th John P. Harwood, S 27 Bennington.
5th Otis V. Estes, S 25 "
1st Augustus J. Robbins, S 21 Grafton.
2nd John M. Reay, S 19 Bennington.
3rd Giles J. Burgess, f † 20 "
4th Warren M. Wyman, S 20 Manchester.
5th Ja's A. N. Williams, S 22 Bennington.
6th William Secor, S 21 "
7th Edwin R. Welch, f 25 Pownal.
8th William E. Murphy, S 28 Bennington.
Lucius Norton, S 24 "
Horace Gates S 21 Shaftsbury
Alfred Ladd, 42 Dorset.
Alsop, Joseph S 35 Bennington.
Barrows, Waldo S 19 Dorset.
Benjamin, George W. S 21 Woodford.
Blake, Frederick H. S 24 Bennington.
Bond, William H. S 21 Danby.
Bradford, Nelson C. S 23 Bennington.
Brown, Amos J. S 18 Stamford.
Bryant, Berton B. S 21 Readsboro.
Carpenter, Lucius S 18 Winooski.
Dempsey, Thomas S 24 Bennington.
Downs, Andrew J. S 21 "
Draper, Jerome f 24 Shaftsbury.
Dunn, Charles f 29 Bennington.
Dunn, Myron f 25 Shaftsbury
Edwards, Abiather P. S 20 Whitingham.
Fergusen, Myron S. f 20 Bennington,
Fox, John B. S 19 Shaftsbury
Gage, William C. S 18 Bennington.
Gilmore, Joseph L. S 20 "
Goldsmith, Fletcher B. S 22 Dorset
Goldsmith, Orsamus B. S 20 Pownal
Goodenough, Alonzo S 22 Readsboro
Grace, Edward f 27 Bennington.
Griffin, Edward S 23 "
Harrington, Hiram H. S 23 Dorset.
Harris, Charles C. S 20 Bennington,
Harris, Henry S 19 "
Harwood, H. Martyn S 28 "
Hathaway, Thomas S. S 22 "
Hicks, James S 25 Manchester
HIll, Charles H. S 21 "
Hill, Horace S. S 20 Dorset.
Holbrook, Selah H. S 20 Whitingham.
Holden, Henry S 22 Bennington.
Holden, Orin A. f 32 "
Hurlbut, Jeremiah S 23 "
Hurley, Cornelius S 18 "
Kelley, Charles f 24 "
Mattison, Alonzo S 22 Shaftsbury.
Mead, Ezra L. f 21 Underhill
Morrison, George S 21 Sunderland.
Morrissy, Thomas S 26 Bennington.
Niles, Johnson W. S 25 Pownal.
Norton, Henry D. S 21 Bennington.
Noyes, Andrew J. S 18 "
Percy, Hiland S 18 "
Powers, John f 32 Shaftsbury.
Robinson, James L. S 22 Dorset.
Sanborn, Melvin W. S 18 Bennington.
Sears, William H. S 20 "
Shippee, James H. S 22 Wilmington.
Smith, Chandler T. S 21 Bennington.
Smith, Francis E. S 31 "
Stafford, Albert S 25 Pownal.
Stone, Pratt S 26 Readsboro.
Taylor, Frank. L. S 18 Essex.
Towsley, Leander M. f 22 Shaftsbury.
Towsley, Linus M. S 18 Bennington.
Tracy, Nathan J. f 27 Sunderland
Tyler, George E. S 22 Readsboro.
Westcott, Solomon H. S 33 Manchester.
Wilcox, Jabez F. f 38 Pownal
Wood, Louis S 26 Readsboro.
Wyman, Abel T. f 23 Dorset.
* The letter "S" is placed opposite the names of those men who are unmarried.
† The Letter "f" is placed opposite the names of those who have families.
Note. Capt. Walbridge is great-grandson of Gen. Ebenezer Walbridge, who served as Adjutant in the battle of Bennington, and of whom a biographical sketch is given at page 172.