254 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
FROM AN ENGLISH GEOGRAPHY IN 1808. — We find Bennington, according to an English geographer, whose work was published in 1808, the capital of the following State:—
"The State of Vermont is a vast country, situated east of New Hampshire, south of Massachusetts, and west of New York. It is one hundred and fifty-five miles in length, and sixty in breadth. The capital of tho State is Bennington.
"The Allens are the chiefs, or head men, of the country. It is governed by its own laws, independent of Congress and the States. Hitherto, it has been an object of contention between the States of New York and New Hampshire. The people had for a long time no other name than Green Mountain Boys, which they Gallicized into Verdmont, and afterwards corrupted into the easier pronunciation of Vermont."
From the National Baptist Register, printed at Hanover, N. H., April 20, 1796, preface signed Meredith Association, found in the library of Rev. B. D. Ames, Methodist Clergyman of Brandon, we transcribe the following Baptist statistics for Bennington County, in the years 1794 and 1795.
RHODE ISLAND GENERAL MEETING.
County of Bennington. Third Church vacant, 20 members.
Bennington County. Manchester Church, Beriah Kelley pastor (an itinerant and member of Stillwater Church, N. Y.), 80 members; Benjamin Vaughan candidate.
Pownal First Church, Caleb Nichols, pastor; 105 members; Francis Bennet, candidate. — Shaftsbury First Church, Ephraim Downer, pastor; 24 members. Shaftsbury Second Church, vacant; 45 members. Shaftsbury Fourth Church, Caleb Blood, pastor; 160 members. 19 churches belonging to this Association, in 7 different Counties in New York State, and 11 churches in the Counties of Berkshire and Hampshire, Mass. Total number of members in this Association, 3,071. Calvinistic, Close Communion, Seventh-Day Baptists, Non-Associate Churches — Pownal second Church, 33 members.
From the above it will be seen that the old Shaftsbury churches were not without honor, giving, as they did, the name to an Association that stretched over into New York, and down into Massachusetts so far as to embrace 9 Counties, and 30 churches outside of Vermont.
BENNINGTON SCENERY IN "GEOLOGICAL REPORTS."
Hitchcock's and Hagar's Geological Reports, which, by the way, is not only a work of much scientific value, but much pictorial interest, also has some fine views of Bennington scenery, among which are views of Dorset (or Aeolus) mountain, in Dorset, and Mount Equinox, in Manchester. Manchester, indeed, is particularly noticed; first, the artificial lake, or trout-pond, covering an area of 10 acres, belonging to the handsome grounds of the Equinox House, — the fashionable and charming resort of numerous city visitors. This lake is a beautiful sheet of clear water, with a well-sanded bottom, and fenced by an iron network that effectually prevents all escape of the ample stockage of trout furnished for the amusement of visitors at the house.
The merry angling to-day has not, however, the tithe of the attraction of a natural curiosity somewhat over a mile away. The great "Rocking Stone" of 35 tons' weight (weighed by Hager, with instruments), newly discovered. Mr. Hager tells us no one in town but a rather eccentric lad had ever observed this curiosity. He, learning Mr. H. was in town, and the object of his visit, told of a large rock of which he knew, which rocked whenever the wind blew, and directed Mr. H. and his party to the spot, and Mr. H. had its photograph taken for the "Reports." Let us go up while they are taking the picture; unobserved we step in by the side of the photographer (we ought to have his name likewise). At first, we only see the great rough rock keeping exact poise, oscillating slowly back and forth; anon figures of men steal in. There is Mr. Orvis, standing upon its top; at its foot, on the left, Hager, and a son of Dr. Spring, of New York, on the right. Mr. Orvis, the enterprising proprietor of the Equinox House, stands upon the apex of the rock, very erect. It is a good day for him, who so well understands how to tax the beauties and wonders of surrounding nature for self-recompense, and give back rich and rare enjoyments for his guests. He already, in prospective, evidently discerns the student from many lands, and lovers of the curious generally, fresh from a delectable breakfast at the house, going up in crowds to see the "Orvis Rock." But our Geologist, Hager, stands in scientific survey — reaching out one hand — "We have found you!" "We have you!" "You belong to Vermont Geology now!" "See, I can move it with but the touch of my finger!" Spring cannot claim quite the self, town, or State appropriation. He stands considering the wonder which has rocked in the cradle of the winds, and literally trembled with every morning and evening breeze for centuries, abstractly calculating, perhaps, the nicety of its poise, the hidden axis upon which it turns. The picture is finished and complete; remarkable for full, clear delineation, — the hill-side around, the form and position of the rock, the very mosses developed thereon, even the leaves upon the trees, and features of the men, brought out with life-like fidelity.
GENERAL ITEMS. 255
Ah, Mr. Orvis, we who get a peep into the geological book, need scarce take a journey to Manchester for a sight of your curious "rocking-stone."
LONG RESIDENCE. — John C. Richardson, who lately deceased in Manchester, had resided in that town 80 years, arriving on an open sled in the winter of 1780. He was nearly 85 years old at the time of his death. It is seldom we hear of so continued a residence in one place. — Bennington Banner.
The teachers of Bennington county presented a beautiful silver goblet to Mr. J. S. Adams, Secretary of the Vermont Board of Education, as a testimonial of the high regard with which they received his lectures before the Institute of that place during the past winter. — Bennington Banner.
There is a report that Haswell, the first Bennington printer, issued in his paper at one time a notice that he would insert the name of the girl in his paper, and the number of knots she might spin, who could spin the most yarn between "sun and sun." Says the rumor that comes to us: A girl in Arlington won the race, and the printer afterwards married the Arlington spinner. Is the anecdote authentic ? H. A.
[Where can a fair specimen of Haswell's poetry be obtained? — ED.]
I have heard an anecdote of Ethan Allen and the Falls of Bolton that I much wish for, but cannot recall. Can any reader of the Quarterly furnish it through that channel ?
Where can a copy of Thomas Green Fessenden's "Ladies' Monitor" be found?
CORRECTIONS RECEIVED FOR ADDISON COUNTY, No. 1.
FROM HON. J. S. STRONG.
Page 4, 2d col. line 18, for "Massachusetts," read Manchester.
Page 5, 2d col., line 4, read, (the settlers) fled in earnest.
FROM HON. SAMUEL SWIFT, OF MIDDLEBURY.
"1761. 68 shares were not granted to 62 grantees. Better to say, 'The township was divided into 68 shares; for the grantees, 62.' "
1773. This may be sufficient for a history so much abridged; but James Owen, Samuel Bentley, Jona. Chipman, and Eleazar Slasson commenced clearing, preparatory to a settlement.
1774. Samuel Bentley should be mentioned as a settler, unless mentioned the year before. Bill Thayer also settled this year. Philip Foot, and Eber Evarts, settled in 1775.
1778. The only event mentioned under this date, which took place that year, was "the general destruction of property, and capture of prisoners along the borders of the lakes." The retreat of the settlers from the county, when they buried their effects, and hastily fled, was in 1776 or 1777, (a mooted question,) the latter part of June or fore part of July. The log schoolhouse was built, and the first school was kept by Miss Keep (not Heep) before the retreat. The statement of Olive Torrance was rather carelessly drawn up by Mr. Battell, as I imagine, but I could not correct, nor could he. There are some apparent inconsistencies. But if two year-old children are "infants," I do not see the inconsistency mentioned in your note. Torrance and Bentley came in 1774, and each might have had children two years old, Bentley's being born first. But the inconsistency is, that there was only one infant on board, and Mrs. Bentley had one and Mrs. Torrance another, — unless Mrs. Torrance carried Mrs. Bentley's when met. There is another inconsistency in Mrs. Torrance's statement, as to dates, which does not appear in your abridgment.
On page 52, 2d line from bottom, for "Dr. Smith" read "Dr. Swift."
On page 53, 7th line from top, for "1796 " for date of 2d jail, read "1811."
On the same page, 14th line from top, instead of "John Seymour built the first store in the place this year," read, "About the year 1793, Jabez Rogers, Jr. built the first store in this place." I have no correct date of the time of the building. The land was purchased for the store in 1789, but I had understood that Rogers built it, and he came in 1793.
On page 52, under date 1788, instead of "Judge Painter put in operation the first gristmill," read, "In 1785, Daniel Foot put in operation the first gristmill on the west side of the creek, and Judge Painter another on the east side in 1788."
On page 53, under date of 1811, for "36 or 38 rents per yard," read "6 or 8 cents per yard."
On the same page, under date 1808, instead of "upon a rock projecting over the creek about 30 feet from the falls below," read, "on a rock projecting into the creek about 30 feet up stream from the falls."
On page 52, under date of 1786, instead of "the village was organized," read, "the town was organized."
On page 54, date 1859, relating to the villages, instead of "district" read "county," — that is, Addison County.
On page 55, in relation to Prof. Adams, instead of "India," read "West Indies," where he spent one winter.
On 56th page, 2d column, for organization of
256 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Congregational Church, read 1790 instead of 1789.
In the biography of Judge Painter, on page 58, toward the close, instead "of the village he was one of the original trustees," read "college," instead of "village."
On page 53, last paragraph, the statetment is so indefinite that I would alter as follows: "In April, 1814, during the war of 1812, Col. Sumner, under an order from the Governor, called out his regiment, of which three companies belonged to Middlebury, to protect the fleet, which Commodore McDonough was then preparing in the creek at Vergennes." "Early in September of that year, the report was circulated that the British had invaded our territory, and were approaching Plattsburgh, which produced a general rally through this State," instead of the first sentence, and "Sept, 6th or 9th, 1814," in the 2d. In the next paragraph, instead of "Gen Warren, during the war, rose to the rank of major," "In selecting the officers to govern the volunteers in the battle of 11th September, Gen. Warren was chosen to act as major." He was not in the war, except at the Plattsburgh battle. He occupied a higher rank than major in the militia before that time.
On page 52, instead of the date "1784 or 1785," read "1774 or 1775."
In the history of the Congregational Society, which I had not before looked at, I see you call the name of the first settled minister, Burett, the name is Barrett. The histories of the other societies I have not looked at. The facts and dates I am not so familiar with.
FROM P. BATTELL, ESQ., OF MIDDLEBURY,
A. CO. HIS. SOC. SECRETARY.
"Some slight errors exist, I believe, in the print of No. 1. I recollect Bridley should be Gridley. This change of your G. occurs probably more than once more.
In the song on Mr. Barber, in the Salisbury sketch, "blow," as it occurs in the second verse given, should read "glow." In the notice of him, the name of his wife should be not "Nancy," but Lucy.
In the cemetery article, also, "mountain-head," not "mountain."
Middlebury sketch. A comma only should occur after "the voices of the virtues of friends they are," and the next word should begin with a small H.; after "soul" another comma should be inserted. After "reform," a few sentences below, the pause should be a period.
Mr. Gridley's name occurs on page 57. On page 50, "Heep" should be "Keep" for the first school-mistress. The date heading this paragraph should be 1777. As to Miss Keep and the flight, Miss Torrance describes, on Burgoyne's invasion.
The taking of prisoners by Indians and tories, all along shore, occurred in 1778. To make the statements tally with fact, the date being altered, the second sentence might commence. Perhaps the change of date is enough.
FROM REV. BERNICE D. AMES, OF BRANDON.
"I will give a few corrections of the Addison No. of the Quarterly. If they are too late for the second No., please put them on file for some subsequent No.
Errors pointed out by my father, A. Ames, a native of Shoreham. "The first is the allusion made to Jonathan Willson, improperly spelled Williston. He was not a prominent man, nor did he ever hold any office higher than surveyor of highways. William Willson, brother of Jonathan, was a more prominent man, and he attained, in early manhood, the honor of being selectman. Dr. John Wilson, of another family. Ebenezer Atwood I knew well, but never knew any Amos Atwood. Benjamin Healey, not Harly.
Jonas and Leonard Marsh, Richard Carrique, not Carrigue, and Timothy, not Thomas Goodale.
For my own errata, the most important is concerning the religion of* Gov. Henry Olin. I have investigated the subject thoroughly, and cannot find the slightest proof that he was ever a Methodist, but much that he died as he lived, an unconverted man, if not an infidel. If you look at Weeks again, you will see that he does not say that Gov. O. was a Methodist, though he might lead a stranger to infer that he was, as he did you.
I add a few minor corrections.
On page 44, read John G. Perry for John L. Perry.
On page 57, for Cyprian H. Bridley read Cyprian H. Gridley, in two places.
On page 67, for Rev. H. H. Stowell, read Rev. A. H. Stowell.
On page 67, for Stephen Haights, read S. Haight.
On page 81, for 81, the age of Dr. Asa Post, read 91.
On page 65, for J. P. Hewley Henshaw, read J. P. Kewley Henshaw.
On page 115, for Stansteed read Stanstead.
FROM JAMES EDMUNDS, OF HAMILTON, N. Y.
. . . "I have lately seen the Addison County No. of your magazine. I find in it notices of Stephen Olin (my father's cousin-german), and of his father, Henry Olin, the son of Justin (not "Justice") Olin and Sarah Dwinelle (not Dwinnel). I am much pleased with the notices, and in fact with your plan for a magazine."
* [Not "Governor Henry Olin," but Lieutenant-Governor Henry Olin, we believe. — ED. ]
GENERAL ITEMS. 257
FROM A REVIEW OR CRITICISM PUBLISHED IN THE MIDDLEBURY REGISTER BY REV. BENJAMIN LARRABEE, OF COLUMBUS, MISS.
The plan of the Gazetteer is quite unique, and has very decided merits. While from its very nature it is necessarily wanting in the dignity, the fulness, the unity, the chronological order, the connection of parts, the systematic development and completeness of a full-fledged history, it undoubtedly has many other valuable characteristics which entitle it to be called, what the editress has seen fit to designate it, a "Historical Magazine."
One of the most striking features of the work is the great number and variety of contributors to its pages. Not only has each town its own separate historian, but, in the brief biographical notices, many other ready pens are brought into service. The number is still further increased by the fact that the historical sketches of the different churches are generally furnished by their own members. To complete and enrich the whole, choice selections are made from the literary productions of the most gifted sons and daughters of each town. These often possess great merit, and would be worthy of a place in any encyclopædia of English literature.
The division of labor effected by this plan of the Gazetteer, is an important point. Each contribution is restricted to a definite and limited field of investigation and remark. If only men of fair talents, good information, and unfaltering fidelity to their trust, be selected for this service, they can produce a particular history of the several towns of Vermont, of much greater value to its own citizens and their posterity, than could be written by any one man, however industrious and able. . . .
To the future historian of our State, it will be, if faithfully and well done, an inestimable treasure. Every man in the State should subscribe for it, and be ready to aid the editress in rendering it a perfect production of the kind.
There is, however, one very serious blemish for which the publisher, or some one else, is culpable. . . . In the brief history of Shoreham there are no less than seventeen errors in the orthography of proper names.* . . . In a town like Shoreham, which, according to this same history, is "noted for superior horses," it could not take a friend of the publisher many horses to get all the needed information . . But I have said much more on this point than I intended. My main object was to call attention to the publication, as one happily conceived and worthily begun. To a son or daughter of Vermont, it is a most grateful offering, presenting, as it does, in the framing of early and memorable history scenes, so many lively portraitures of our older sires. To me it was peculiarly welcome. After long absence in a distant region, absorbed, meanwhile, in questions of personal, family, and social interest, and well-nigh buried in the rubbish of life's imperfect results I had escaped for awhile, and, after eight or ten days of locomotive noise and dust, came steaming down upon the fair, familiar surface of Lake Champlain. Passing by Mt. Independence on my right, Mt. Defiance on my left, and, a little further on, the fortress of old Ticonderoga, whose crumbling battlements and yearly diminishing walls so aptly symbolize the fate of every man's and every people's name and deeds, my memory began to stir about in corners but dreamily lighted, and to open windows whose shutters had long been closed. The associations of boyhood come trooping by, but time had thinned their ranks, and broken the links that bound them together. I looked out upon the Green Mountains, whose uneven profile had seemed to my infant eyes the limit of creation; and upon the sloping landscape, varied by glistening steeple, waving grain, full-leaved woods, and, more refreshing than all to one from near the tropics, the dark, cool green of pasture and meadow. Dear old Vermont! How kindly and invitingly, as we neared the shore, did she seem to reach out to me my own loved Larrabee's Point, where "long, long ago," in amphibious pastime, I fished and rowed, and waded and swam, and skated, by turns. Quickly avail-
[*The history of Shoreham is a digest of the manuscript history of Rev. Mr. Goodhue, for some 23 years a resident of the town, but now located in Wisconsin. We found at Shoreham a valuable and interesting accumulation of facts, but not a work ready for press, and too much in detail for our purpose. Upon application to the authorities of the town, they kindly consented to our taking, or employing any suitable individual to take, a digest of the same for our work. By advice there, we engaged a clergyman in the village to prepare the same; and depended with all good confidence upon this engagement until after our work was in press. At length compelled to revisit Shoreham in order to obtain their historic chapter, we went by cars from our Windsor County home to Middlebury, and from thence, one severely cold, stormy winter day, by stage, out yet 12 miles distant to Shoreham. As the stage went and came but semi-weekly, and we did not happen to have the offer of any of those superior horses" to which our reviewer facetiously alludes to convey us back to M. in case we missed the stage-day, and moreover, as this extra travelling fee consumed a $5.00 beside our expense of keeping there, and we happened at this time to be rather short, both in time and the purse, it seemed rather expedient, upon the whole, that we should make our condensation and copy with all possible dispatch, and so as to meet the stage day. However, we carefully read the whole Mss., and believe we gave a fair summary of every item of interest. To us, many of the proper names were not legible, but in all cases of doubt we referred to Shoreham authority present, and presume we got them mostly correct; but still, unfortunately for this chapter, our printers neglected to send us revised proofs, and put the work into stereotype with several what we know to be typographical errors uncorrected. Thus we have "Lemon Falls" for "Lemon Fair," &c. — ED.]
258 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
ing myself of this proffered hospitality, I landed; and, feeding as I went upon thronging reminiscences, took my way up the familiar road to the old home. There there was a greeting, an embrace, and a swelling up of tears of joy. Father and mother were yet alive, and a long absent son returned. Quick were the interchanges of personal history, and careful the scrutinizing into each other's faces. But conversation gradually subsided into reflection, and reflection into sleep.
The days sped on, and the visit continued. Many pleasant memories had been revived, and enjoyed afresh. But how thickly the dust of years had settled upon the olden time. The wrinkled Revolutionary faces that I used to meet in childhood had disappeared. The stories that the gray-haired men were accustomed to tell of Allen, Putman, Warner, Smith, Moore, and other heroes of the cradle-days of Green Mountain independence, were too dim to be recalled. The contents of my father's memory, and the records of all the family Bibles in the neighborhood, left me in sorry deficiencies in names, as well as the incidents and characters, of early Vermont history. I turned to look for old books and papers, and, while searching, a gentlemanly and intelligent clergyman came into my father's parlor, and exhibited to me a copy of the work under review. He was agent for it. After a momentary glance at its contents, I subscribed. It saved me all further search. It brought me face to face with the period and the people that were about to be lost altogether from my mind.
Whoever has been long absent from his native Green Mountain State, will need, upon his return, no better reminiscent than the Vermont Historical Magazine.
HISTORIC ROOMS, CHICAGO,
August 27, 1860.
TO MISS A. MARIA HEMENWAY.
MADAM: In this Society's behalf, I have the honor to return you their grateful acknowledgments for the "Vermont Quarterly Gazetteer," No. 1, July 4, 1860, obligingly transmitted for this Society's collections.
Dr. James, of Iowa, had been so kind to forward to me recently a notice of your valuable publication, in a newspaper, which has rendered the brief inspection I have been able to give very gratifying and satisfactory. The conception of such a work is peculiarly felicitous; and should it be carried out conformably to its apparent design, it will constitute a most valuable addition to our historical literature, and be especially honorable to the State of Vermont. That it should be edited by a lady will enhance much its interest. The State of Vermont has, in many particulars, won an honored place in the constellation of our great Federal Republic, and well merits to be better known in the details of its local history you are so successfully collecting.
Will you please permit me to add that it will give me much pleasure to requite your kind attention, by the return of any documents of the West which may possess any interest to you.
With my personal thanks for the favor you have done us, and the best wishes for the success of your deserving enterprise,
I am very respectfully, Madam,
Your ob't serv't,
WILLIAM BARRY, Sec'y.
WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA,
December 14, 1860.
DEAR MISS HEMENWAY: A friend in this place has recently indulged me with the privilege of perusing number one of your valuable historical magazine, entitled the "Vermont Quarterly Gazetteer." The subjects treated of in that periodical are so exactly to my taste that I sympathize entirely with your pursuits; and, although I am now an aged man, (in my 70th year,) and cannot expect more than a very brief opportunity for profiting by your literary labors, I have concluded to subscribe for the Gazetteer for the ensuing year, and herewith inclose a gold dollar, which I understand to be the price of the year's subscription.
It is exceedingly gratifying to me to witness such a production by a lady of the Green Mountains, — a region where the Star of Republican Freedom never sets, — and although I never saw, and can never expect to see, your gallant State, I do, nevertheless, cherish in my Pennsylvania home, a profound regard for all that belongs to Vermont, and to her romantic history. More than forty years ago I had the honor, as a member of Congress, to know the Vermonters then in that body. They may all, perhaps, have passed away, but I shall ever recollect, with unfeigned pleasure and pride, their sterling integrity as men and as patriots.
You will have the goodness, I trust, to ascribe the freedom of these passing remarks to the characteristic garrulity of age, and to believe me, very respectfully, your most obed't,
MISS ABBY MARIA HEMENWAY,
FROM DR. EDWIN JAMES, OF BURLINGTON, IOWA.
. . . . Is Vermont such a beauty spot? or has it passed through the hands of a skilful laundress? Remember, . . . . making history is solemn work; we should do it as unto God . . . .