BY REV. THOMAS GOODWILLIE.
BARNET lies on the Connecticut River, at the bend where the river, coming from the northeast, turns and runs south. It is opposite Monroe (formerly Lyman), Grafton Co., N. H., in N. lat. 44° 18' and E. lon. 4° 55' and is 35 miles E. from Montpelier, 65 miles N. from Windsor, and 50 N. from Dartmouth College at Hanover N. H. It is bounded N. E. by Waterford and St. Johnsbury; S. E. by Connecticut River, which separates it from New Hampshire; S. by Ryegate; and N. W. by Peacham and Danville. It contains 25,524 acres, and according to the census of 1860, 2,002 inhabitants, which gives 50 persons to the square mile.
On the Connecticut and Passumpsic rivers are extensive intervales. The rest of the town is uneven and in some parts elevated. The town is well watered and the soil very productive. Harvey's lake in the southwest part of the town is nearly a mile and a half long and more than a half mile wide near the middle, and has a surface of more than three hundred acres. Ross's Pond, near the centre of the town, one third of a mile long and a quarter of a mile wide, covers about fifty acres. Moor's Pond, near the centre of the town, covers about twenty acres. All the
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streams of the town empty into the Connecticut. A stream from Ryegate enters Harvey's Lake at the south end, and Stevens's River issues from the north end of the lake, runs in a southeasterly direction and empties into Connecticut River about two and half miles from the southeast corner of the town. About one hundred and fifty rods from its mouth it falls eighty feet in twenty rods, and presents a grand view when the waters are high. A stream from Peacham enters it near the lake and another considerable stream from the same town enters it about four miles from its mouth. A small stream issues out of Ross's Pond and runs through Moor's Pond and enters the Connecticut a quarter of a mile below the Passumpsic. Joes River issues from Joes Pond in Danville, and runs in a southeasterly direction through the town and enters the Passumpsic about a mile and a half from its mouth. It is the largest stream in Barnet except the Passumpsic, and is also called Merrit's River, because John Merrit owned land near its mouth. Enerick Brook, coming from Danville, enters the Passumpsic about a mile above the mouth of Joes River.
The Passumpsic, the longest and largest river in the county, comes from St. Johnsbury through a corner of Waterford, and enters the town on the northeast part, and gradually turns and runs south and empties into the Connecticut River about two miles and a half from the northeast corner of the town. Major Rogers and his rangers came down this river from Canada in his expedition to punish the St. Francis tribe of Indians in October, 1759, and being disappointed in not receiving provisions when they came to the Connecticut River, a number of them died of starvation and fatigue, as related in the preceding history of the county.
Thompson's Gazetteer of Vermont, edition of 1824, says, "Maj. Rogers, with one hundred and fifty-six men, came to the mouth of the Passumpsic, discovered fire on the round island, made a raft and passed over to it, but, to their surprise and mortification, found no provisions had been left. The men, already reduced to a state of starvation, were so disheartened at this discovery that thirty-six of them died before the next day. An Indian was cut to pieces and divided among the survivors. David Woods, who has recently lived in this town, was one of Rogers's sergeants, and stated the above account to be correct." This account is incorrect in some important particulars. Rogers's journal and the histories of the expedition show that the soldiers and prisoners, all told, did not amount to that number, besides all the survivors were not then and there present, and that it is highly improbable that so great a number as thirty-six died in eighteen hours. Peter Lervey, one of Rogers's men, who lived in this town a short time before his death, about 1817, and who made no mention of the party eating human flesh, said that some of the men died on the Passumpsic before they came to its mouth, and others on the Connecticut River below its mouth. Human bones have been discovered in the meadows on the Passumpsic above its mouth and on the Connecticut above the Barnet depot. The story of David Woods, that "an Indian was cut to pieces and divided among the survivors" has been diligently investigated. Neither the histories of the time nor Rogers's journal mention such a circumstance, so repulsive to the refined feelings of civilized society. The story has been traced up to David Woods, who lived in an adjoining town, as the sole witness, and application has been made to living persons who knew "the man and his manner." One of these persons, who was for many years president of the Historical Society of Vermont, writes, "I have heard Woods say that he was with Rogers, and was one of his sergeants, and that they camped near the mouth of the Passumpsic, and that night snow fell several inches deep, and that a negro soldier died that night and was cut up in the morning and divided among the soldiers, and he had one hand for his share, on which, with a small trout, after being cooked, he made a very good breakfast. After breakfast, in going down the river they discovered fire on the round island opposite its mouth, and that Rogers and one man passed over to the island. Rogers became satisfied that men had been there with provisions but had left. On his return to his men a consultation was had and each soldier was told to take care of himself."
Another person writes, "Joseph Woods told me, and I think he said his father told him, that about the time the rangers expected to die of starvation, the men cast lots to see who should be killed to furnish food so that they might not all die, and that one was killed and eaten." Another person has assured the writer that he heard David Woods say that he had "eaten a piece of an Indian."
Now all these stories can be reconciled upon the improbable supposition that Rogers's party killed one living man, a soldier; and ate three dead men, a white man, a negro, and an Indian. If Rogers and his men did these things, they had the hearts of hyenas, destitute of all good feelings and refined sentiments. Rather than attribute such horrible deeds to them, it would be far more reasonable to, believe that the criminal who could boast that he "stood the pillory like a gentleman," was not a man of honor and integrity. Whatever this one witness, and perhaps some few others like him, may have done, it is safe to assert that there is no proof that Rogers and his men, as a party, killed or ate any man, white, black, or red. It is gratifying that this investigation has dispelled the cloud that has for so long time obscured, in some degree, the glory of the heroic Rogers and his brave men, who fearlessly went hundreds of miles through the woods into the enemy's country performed exploits and endured the tortures of
famine and fatigue to punish the horrid barbarities long practised by the savages of Canada, and so save the families of the frontier settlements of New England from murder, plunder, and arson.
A man by the name of Barnes lived in Barnet a short time, at an early period, who belonged to Rogers's party, and said that the silver image weighing ten pounds, which they took from the chapel in St. Francis, was hid on the way in a crevice of a rock, and covered with leaves. He said also that they took from the chapel two gold candlesticks, which they hid in the woods, under the root of a tree, near the Canada line, and that he went back after some years and searched for them, but could not find where he hid them. It is said that this part of his story was confirmed by a report in the newspaper, about 1816, that two gold candlesticks, worth $1,000, were found in the woods in Hatley, C. E., which lay in Rogers's way.
The first Geological Report of Vermont says, that beds of shell marl are found in Barnet. The second report on that subject says, "Barnet lies on the Connecticut River, in the calcarcomica slate region. A considerable range of clay slate is found near the river. A range of granite passes through the west part of the town. The soil in the Passumpsic and Connecticut valleys is alluvial and river deposit of good quality. In the westerly part the limestone is rapidly decomposing and uniting with the drift and makes an excellent soil. The town, although considerably broken, has an excellent soil for grazing. Many valuable cattle and some horses are sent to market annually, and large quantities of excellent butter. Deposits of muck are numerous, and considerable quantities of marl are found in several places, from which a good quality of lime has been manufactured. The agricultural products of the town are abundant and of a good quality. Besides, many beef cattle and some horses and sheep are sent to market. The Scotch were early noted for making good butter."
Almost every farmer keeps a dairy, and some of them make more than a ton of butter in a season, It brings the highest price in the market. One who has travelled extensively in Europe and America, thinks that the butter made in this part of our country is the best in the world.
For many years after the settlement of the town by the Scotch, they manufactured large quantities of oatmeal, which is a healthy and nutritive kind of food. Dr. Johnson, who had a powerful prejudice against the Scotch, defined oatmeal as the food of men in Scotland and of horses in England. Upon which a Scotch nobleman exclaimed, "Where will he find such men and such horses?" Oatmeal was highly serviceable to the first settlers, and was furnished to the surrounding towns to the Canada line and even beyond it. In one of the years of scarcity of provisions, a man from a distant town came to Barnet, and having obtained a sufficient supply of oatmeal for his famishing family, expressed his gladness and gratitude by exclaiming, "Blessed be the Scotch, for they invented oatmeal!"
It was the first town settled and the second chartered in the country; Ryegate, lying on the Connecticut River, south of it, receiving its charter but eight days before. The charter is dated September 16, 1763, and was granted under the British crown by Benning Wentworth governor of the province of New Hampshire. It is in the common form of the New Hampshire charters. It calls the town "Barnet," which it describes and bounds as follows, viz:—
"Beginning at the northwesterly corner of Ryegate, thence south sixty-eight degrees east by Ryegate to the southeasterly corner thereof, being a tree standing on the hanks of the westerly side of Connecticut River, thence up said river as that tends so far as to make six miles on a straight line, thence turning off and running north twenty-eight degrees west so far that a straight line drawn from that period to the northwesterly corner of Ryegate, the bounds begun at, shall include the contents of six miles square or 23,040 acres and no more, out of which an allowance is to be made for highways and unimprovable lands by rocks, ponds, mountains, and rivers, one thousand and forty acres free, according to the plan and survey thereof made by our said governor's order and returned to the secretary's office and hereto annexed."
The plan delineated in the charter gives three sides of the town. The line on Ryegate is marked six and one fourth miles. The length of the northeast line is not given. The Connecticut River is delineated as the southeast side. A part of the Passumpsic is sketched on which the word "falls" is written, not far from its mouth. But the town is actually larger than described in the charter, which limits it to 36 square miles. As surveyed and returned to the State office of Vermont, it contains 25,524 acres, which is almost 40 square miles.
The south line along Ryegate is 6 and one half miles, being a quarter of a mile more than is mentioned in the charter. The distance from the southeast to the northeast corner, in a straight line (through New Hampshire), is more than 6 miles, the length prescribed in the charter. The northeast line, along Waterford and St. Johnsbury, is 5 miles and 52 rods, and the northwest line, along Peacham and Danville, is 10 miles and 228 rods. By the charter, the town is incorporated, and its inhabitants enfranchised; and so soon as there were fifty families settled in town it should have the privilege of holding two fairs annually, and a market opened and held one or more days each week. The first meeting for the choice of town officers was to he held on the first Tuesday of Oct., 1764, and to be notified by Simeon Stevens, who was appointed its moderator, and that the annual meeting thereafter should be always held in March. The grant of lands to the proprietors was on the following
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conditions, viz: that every grantee should cultivate five acres of land within the term of five years for every fifty acres of land owned, and to continue afterwards additional cultivation on penalty of forfeiture; that all pine trees fit for masts should be preserved for the royal navy; that before the division of the town a lot near the centre of the town should be divided into acres, one of which should belong to each grantee, and that each grantee should pay to the governor and his successor, one ear of Indian corn annually, for ten years, if demanded, and after that period one shilling, proclamation money, for every 100 acres owned, to be paid annually, forever. The town was to be divided equally into seventy-three shares. A lot of 500 acres was laid off on the Connecticut River, in the northeast corner of the town as "the governor's lot," which was to be two shares; and one share for the society propagating the gospel in foreign parts; one share for a glebe for the Church of England; one share for the first settled minister, and one share for schools, were granted forever. Sixty-seven grantees are named in the charter, which is signed by Benning Wentworth, governor and commander, and attested by T. Atkinson, Jr., Secretary. The American Revolution swept away the conditions of the charter, but the United States government confirmed all such grants.
It is not known when the town was organized, and the first meeting was held according to the charter. In Willard Stevens's collection of documents, were found some loose papers, worn and torn, containing some brief minutes of town meetings held during the revolutionary war. The following is a summary of these minutes, which are in the handwriting of Stevens Rider:
"Sept. 8, 1778. Alexander Harvey chosen Representative to the General Assembly, and entrusted with the votes (for Governor, Lieut. Governor, and Councillors) and all powers necessary, agreeable to the Constitution." Signed "Stevens Rider, T. Clerk." "Dec. 3, 1779. The town took into consideration the votes, and chose Thomas Smith constable to collect what was demanded of the town: voted Walter Brock and Peter Lang to settle the wages of the boys that were hired for this town, and they brought in that they should have eight bushels of wheat a month." "March 13, 1781. Chose Jacob Hall, moderator; Stevens Rider, town clerk; Alexander Harvey, justice of the peace for this town; Peter Lang, John Waddell, Walter Brock, select men."
Other town officers were chosen, but the mice have gnawed off a part of the paper.
"Voted that every man work six days on said road, or pay a fine of one dollar for every day he is missing without sufficient reason." "Voted, if any man let his hogs run out so as to hurt any of his neighbor's interest, the owner of the hogs should make it good to his neighbor." "May 14, 1781. Voted to raise two able-bodied men to guard the frontiers of this place and others, according to the orders Col. Johnston sent, in part of five men we had to raise according to orders that came to this town. Voted a committee to raise one man for this town, as reasonably as they can, and the town agrees to it, by a vote of this meeting, for guarding the frontiers." "Voted Jacob Hall, James Gilchrist, and Peter Lang, a committee to write letters to Col. Beedel and Col. Johnston." "Voted Jacob Hall, captain; Daniel Hall, lieutenant."
Then follows a list of the men who have no guns, 15 in number.
"Sept. 8, 1781. Took into consideration a (despatch from) Major Childs. Voted, the major part, not to do any thing as to the last year's provisions — not to raise any at all." "Voted to raise 750 weight as to this year, to turn to the store for troops at Peacham." "Voted James Cross and Wallet Brock a committee to speak to Major Childs concerning the provisions." "Voted Jacob Hall, Mr. Stuart, Mr. Gilchrist, and Peter Lang, to write a letter to Major Childs concerning getting last year's provisions. Chose two assessors; chose Mr. Harvey for a representative."
"Oct. 2, 1781. Chose Walter Brock a lister, with James Cross, chosen a lister before, and likewise carried in to the listers their ratable estate."
At a meeting having no date, Alexander Harvey was chosen a representative to the General Assembly that sat at Charlestown, N. H., Oct. 11, 1781. These are certainly not the regular town records which the writer is assured Stevens Rider said, after the revolutionary war, were lost! The State records show that town meetings were regularly held to choose Col. Harvey a delegate to the three conventions of 1777, and a representative to the legislature, from its first meeting, March 12, 1778, till the town meeting, March, 1783, which therefore was not the first town meeting at which the town was organized, as has been asserted in some histories of the town.
The regular town records begin "March 18, 1783. At a meeting of the freemen of this town, legally warned at the house of Robert Twaddell, made choice of the following gentlemen for one year: Alexander Harvey, president, and Walter Brock, clerk; James Gilchrist, Thomas Smith, Bartholomew Somers, selectmen; James Orr and Stevens Rider, constables; James Cross, treasurer; James Stuart and Peter Sylvester, listers; John McLaren and Jacob Hall, collectors; James Gilchrist, grand juror; Peter Lang, Robert Brock, tythingmen; James Stuart, sealer of weights and measures; Alexander Thompson, William Rider, Archibald Harvey, road surveyors; Elijah Hall, George Garland, fence surveyors. John Shaw declined to be a selectman.
WALTER BROCK, Town Clerk"
TOWN CLERKS OF BARNET.
Walter Brock..................................................................... 1783 to 1787.
Walter Stuart.................................................................... 1787 to 1806.
David Goodwillie............................................................... 1807 to 1827.
John Shaw........................................................................ 1827 to 1852.
Austin O. Hubbard........................................................... 1852 to 1855.
Jonathan D. Abbott.......................................................... 1855 to 1859.
Thomas Goodwillie............................................................ 1859 to 1861.
But though the meeting held March 18, 1783, was not the first town meeting at which the town was organized, as has been asserted, yet a list of all the freemen of the town seems to have been commenced the next year, and is recorded at the beginning of the first volume, as follows, viz:—
"Barnet, January 29, 1784. Now and formerly the persons mentioned took the freeman's oath: Peter Sylvester, Samuel Perie, James Cross, Alexander Thompson, Stevens Rider, Elijah Hall, Walter Brock, James Stuart, Samuel Stevens, John Merrit, James Orr, Daniel McFarlane, Jacob Stall, Bartholomew Somers, James Gilchrist, Alexander Harvey, William Tice, Hugh Ross, John McFarlane, Robert Twaddell, William Stevenson, John McLaren, Ezekiel Manchester, Robert Somers, John Waddell, Robert McFarlane, John Ross, Andrew Lackie, Archibald Harvey, Peter Lang, Cloud Stuart, Walter Stuart, Daniel Hall, Thomas Smith, George Garland. Jan. 29, 1784. The following gentlemen took the freeman's oath in as far as it agrees with the word of God: John Waddell, Hugh Ross, John McFarlane, John McLaren, Ezekiel Manchester, Robert Somers, Andrew Lackie, Archibald Harvey, Cloud Stuart, Walter Stuart, George Garland. Barnet, March 11, 1785. The following persons took the freeman's oath: John Robertson, Wm. Robertson, Moses Hall, Levi Hall, Robert Blair, James Buchanan, William Maxwell, Isaac Brown, Elijah Hall, Jr., Simon Perie. April 6, 1785. John Youngman, William Warden, Hugh Gammell. August 27, 1785. Joseph Bonet. Sept. 5. John McIndoe, John Hindman. 1787. John Gilkenson. May 1, John Goddard. Sept 4, 1788. Enos Stevens. March 11. John Rankins, William Gilfillan, Sen., John McNabb, James McLaren, Andrew Lang. Feb. 2, 1789. Alexander McIlroy (Roy), Samuel Huston. March 10. Thomas Hazeltine, Phineas Aimes, Phineas Thurston, Oliver Stevens, Ephraim Pierce, Moses Cross, Job Abbott, Levi Sylvester. 1790, Feb. 4. Aaron Wesson, Dr. Stevens, John Mitchell, John Stevens, Timothy Hazeltine, Cloud Somers, John Galbraith. Sept. 24. Joseph Hazeltine. Dec. 7. Thomas Gilfillan, William Innes, John WaddeIl, Jr., and Wm. Lang."
March 4, 1770, the first settlement in the town and county was made. The first settlers were Daniel, Jacob, and Elijah Hall, three brothers, and Jonathan Fowler. The first house in the town and county was built by the Halls at the foot of the Falls on Stevens River, and on its north side. The three brothers, and probably Jonathan Fowler, received gratuitously from the proprietors 100 acres each to encourage them to settle the town. Daniel Hail's lot was the farm where Cloud and Robert Somers first settled. Jacob Hall's lot included the meadows north of Stevens River, and Elijah Hall's lot was north of Rider's Farm. Jonathan Fowler probably settled first on the north end of the McIndoe Plain, and then in the S. W. part of the town, near Aaron and Peter Wesson's house, in the Harvey tract. Sarah, daughter of Elijah Hall, was the first child born in the town and county. She was married Dec. 27, 1787, to James McLaren, in the 17th year of her age. She was a member of the Associate Presbyterian Church of Barnet, and died at an advanced age. Barnet Fowler, son of Jonathan Fowler, wasthe first male child born in Barnet, and probably in the county. The Fowler family moved to Shipton, C. E. about 1810. The writer possesses documents signed by Jonathan Fowler, Sept. 3, 1791, and by Barnet Fowler, March 12, 1799.
Daniel Hall's wife was the first person who died in town after its settlement. She was buried in the graveyard at Stevens Village. She was the mother of Dr. Abiathar Wright, who was a physician in the town. Jacob Hall had but one son, Moses, to whom he sold his farm, but they afterwards moved to Shipton, C. E. Daniel Hall moved to St. Johnsbury, thence to Lyndon, and thence to Burke, where he died, having been an early settler in four towns in this county.
The town from the very first took an active part in the declaration of the independence of the State of Vermont, and the formation of its constitution and government. Alexander Harvey represented the town in the three conventions in 1777, which declared the State independent, and formed a constitution, and organized a government.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE TOWN IN THE LEGISLATURE OF VERMONT.
Alexander Harvey 1778 to 1788.
James Cross 1789 to 1794.
Enos Stevens 1795 to 1796.
Walter Brock 1797 to 1800.
James McLaren 1801 to 1803.
John Barchop 1804.
David Goodwillie 1805.
William Strobridge 1806.
Enos Stevens 1807.
John Duncan 1808 to 1811.
Adam Duncan 1812 - 1813.
Alexander Gilchrist 1814 to 1816.
Henry Oakes 1817 - 1818.
William Gilkerson 1819 to 1823.
Walter Harvey 1824 - 1825.
Henry Stevens 1826 - 1827.
Hugh Somers 1828.
Walter Harvey 1829.
William Gilkerson 1830 to 1831.
Cloud Harvey 1832 to 1833.
William Shearer 1834.
Hugh Somers 1835.
William Shearer 1836.
Walter Harvey 1837 to 1839.
James Gilchrist 1840 - 1841.
William Lackie 1842 - 1843.
Walter Harvey 1844.
Lloyd Kimball 1845 - 1846.
Obed S. Hatch 1847.
John Harvey 1848.
Bartholomew Gilkerson 1849 - 1850.
Obed S. Hatch 1851.
James K. Renick 1852.
Robert Harvey 1853 - 1854.
(No choice) 1855.
276 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Alexander Johnston 1856 to 1857.
Jonathan D. Abbott 1858 to 1859.
William Warden 1860.
First justices of the peace appointed by the State were Walter Brock and James Gilchrist. Walter Harvey was a justice 36, Silas Harvey 33, William Shearer 29, Hugh Somers 23, and James Gilchrist, Jr. 17 years.
Enos and Willard Stevens, of Charlestown, N. H., "chief proprietors of the township of Barnet, make a contract, July 11, 1770, with Col. John Hurd of Haverhill, N. H., to build at the falls on Stevens's River in Barnet, a sawmill the ensuing fall, if convenient, otherwise by the first of July, 1771, and a gristmill within six months after that time, both to be kept in good repair during five years, the dangers of war and the enemy excepted." The saw and gristmill irons were to be furnished on the spot by E. & W. Stevens, and Col. Hurd was to have for his encouragement one hundred acres of land for a mill lot, bounded one hundred rods on Connecticut River, running hack half a mile, and including the falls on Stevens's River. According to contract, the irons were furnished and Col. Hurd built the first mills in the town and county, and received for his reward a title to the mill-lot, on which he built a house and barn, and cleared twenty acres of land, and otherwise encouraged the settlement of the town. But by consent of E. and W. Stevens, Elijah Hall had previously pitched on a part of said lot when he first settled the town, March 4, 1770, and had cleared a part of it and built a house on it. For his improvements Col. Hurd gave Elijah Hall $50, and E. and W. Stevens gave him one hundred acres in a different part of the town for his quitclaim. August 14, 1774, Col. Hurd sold the land and mills to Willard Stevens.
Joseph Hutchins, of Haverhill, N. H., engaged by contract to come to Barnet and pitch a lot and begin to improve it, in the summer of 1770, but he did not receive a deed till 1780. Col. Hurd, who built the mills at the falls on Stevens's River, 1771, seems to have continued his residence in town some years.
Thomas Smith receives a deed from Enos and Willard Stevens in 1775, and Stevens Rider was in town May 5, 1776, when Willard Stevens, one of the principal proprietors of the town, writes to him "several disappointments have prevented my not being in Barnet the winter past. This spring I intended to have moved up with my family. For several reasons I cannot move up till June. I send up my brother Solomon in order to assist Thomas Smith in getting in some spring grain. I intend to be up about the middle of May." He came and settled in town, but when the revolutionary war commenced he left it, and Elijah King, who married his sister Mary, came. They resided in town till death. Archibald McLaughlin, a Scotchman, receives a deed, 1776, for lots in the southeast corner of Harvey's tract.
According to the proprietors' records, at a meeting of the proprietors, held at Walter Brock's, in Barnet, August 23, 1785, which seems to be the first meeting held for some years, an inquiry for the charter was made when it was found that it had been "carried out of the United States." The document before the writer is a copy of the charter, taken June 24, 1788, from the third volume of the book of charters in the State office of New Hampshire, and attested by Joseph Pearson, Secretary. The document is worn into eight pieces.
The records of the proprietors previous to August 23, 1785, are lost. Were these missing records "carried out of the United States" along with the charter?
According to a contract, found among Enos Stevens's papers, dated April, 1770, Joseph Hutchins of Haverhill, N. H., engages to improve some part of the lands in Barnet within the term of four or six months, and to pitch and work "either one of the fifty acre lots of upland or one of the meadow lots surveyed and laid out in said township." Enos Stevens engages to deed to him "within three months three fifty acre lots of upland and three intervale lots of land as they are now surveyed and laid out in said township." No plan of this survey has been found and no reference to it is made in the record. This survey may have been entered on the plan of 1774, but that part of the chart is worn off and lost. We next read of the survey of the east part of the town.
From the existing proprietors' records, with a few accompanying papers, we learn when the town was surveyed into lots, and how they were divided to the proprietors or grantees, and the cost of procuring the charter and the surveys and division of the town. In 1773, the east part of the town was surveyed by Caleb Willard, and in 1774, the survey into large lots was completed. Among the papers of Enos Stevens was found a part of a chart of the town on a small scale. The other part, nearly one half, being worn off and lost. It is marked "a plan of Barnet, 1774," most probably in the handwriting of Solomon Stevens, surveyor. Samuel Stevens presented an account, dated Charlestown, August 18, 1785, to the proprietors at their meeting, August 23, 1785, of which we give a summary.
"July, 1762, to expense of procuring a charter, £219." This was probably dated before the charter, to include the survey of the town limits, as ordered by Gov. Wentworth, and described and delineated in the charter. Elijah King and others surveyed the charter limits of the towns immediately above Wells River in 1762 or 1763. "October, 1773, to survey of the east part of the town by Caleb Willard, £50." "June, 1774, to surveying the town into lots of one hundred acres each, £139."
These sums, together with the interest to August 13, 1785, amount to £886, for the costs of chartering and surveying the town. He charges "October, 1770, for one hundred acres given to Col. Hurd as an encouragement to build mills £50." "To mill-irons delivered there, £30." "To ten lots of land given to divers persons, as an encouragement to settle in said town, at £10 each, £100." These sums, with interest to the date of the account, amounted to £355. The sum total was £1,241. The proprietors voted to rectify and allow Samuel Stevens's account, and also voted to raise a tax of £17 on each original right, which was to be paid in silver or gold, at the rate in silver of 6s. 8d. per oz., which tax was for paying the proprietors' debts. Samuel Stevens was appointed to collect this tax, in doing which he sold at vendue in Springfield, February 27, 1786, forty-six original rights, including Benning Wentworth's two shares, to Enos Stevens. The proprietors also at their meeting, August 23, 1785, "voted to accept and establish the survey formerly made by Solomon Stevens, according to the plan by him made, and that said plan be lodged in the proprietors' clerk's office for reference. Among the proprietors' papers is a chart of the town on a scale of 60 chains to an inch, on the face of which is inscribed "A contracted copy of the plan of Barnet, taken from a plan called a true copy of the plan of the division of Barnet, accepted by the proprietors in their meeting, August, 1785, and attested by James Whitelaw, surveyor."
In the proprietors' records this plan, of which this is a contracted copy, is called "Whitelaw's plan," and agrees with the survey of the lots according to the plan of 1774, which, however, did not contain a survey of the small, irregular lots on the Connecticut River, and on the south line of the town called the "after division lots," as they were divided after the partition of the large lots to equalize the shares of the proprietors in quantity and quality.
It appears from Gen. Whitelaw's field-book that he surveyed the town lines of Barnet, in 1784, and found at the northeast corner of the town a pine-tree standing on the bank of the Connecticut River, marked "1770," which was probably done by the New York surveyors when they surveyed "Dunmore." From these facts it appears that General Whitelaw surveyed the whole town and made a complete chart of it and presented it to the proprietors at their meeting August 23, 1785, which was accepted by them, and by which the whole town was divided among them.
The writer has seen four charts of Barnet, on a scale of 30 chains to the inch, all of which were made by him. They are all soiled, worn or torn. One of these, found among the papers of Enos Stevens, attested by Gen. Whitelaw, and dated 1785, is most probably the one accepted by the proprietors, and by which the town was ultimately divided among them, which division seems to have been nearly completed in 1785, when the proprietors' records terminate, but it would appear probable that the after division lots were not all pitched so late as 1802.
The names of the proprietors are entered on all Whitelaw's maps in the lots which they pitched. Since the survey the magnetic variation of the compass needle has increased nearly two degrees westward.
Most of the town was surveyed into lots of 100 acres each. The side lines of the lots are 160 rods, and run parallel with the N. E. side of the town, which runs N. 28 deg. W., and the end lines of the lots are 100 rods, nearly of a mile, and run parallel with the N. W. line of the town, which runs N. 48 deg. E. The lots are therefore not quite rectangular. The lots along Peacham and Danville were made to consist of 287 acres. The small and irregularly formed lots were on the Ryegate line, end along Connecticut River, at the S. E. and N. E. corners of the town.
There were 366 acres to each proprietor's right, for which he had three 100-acre lots, and such a small lot, "after division lot," as equalized the rights or shares in quantity and quality. The proprietors voted lots for public uses, according to the charter; but no part near the centre of the town was surveyed into acre-lots, that each proprietor might have one, as required by the charter. The full division of the large lots of the town to the proprietors, was finally settled and completed about 1787. The proprietors voted, Nov. 28, 1787, that "Enos Stevens, for and in consideration of his rebuilding the mills on Stevens River in Barnet, have the exclusive privilege of pitching the after division of the lands belonging to ten rights or shares." "Dec. 12, 1787, voted that lot No. 160 be for the clerk (Walter Brock), and he to pay Mr. Whitelaw, and find a book, and transfer the whole." This division of the town to the proprietors was called "the original survey" or "Grand Division of Barnet."
Nov. 8, 1774, John Clark and Alexander Harvey bought of Samuel Stevens, one of the chief owners of Barnet, 7000 acres of land in the S. W. part of the town, which was to be laid off in one body on the Peacham line, and received a bond for a deed, when the sum of £408 6s. 8d. was paid, and guaranteeing-peaceable possession, in the mean time. The price per acre was 14d., or about '25. This tract occupies the S. W. part of the town, of which it is more than one fourth part, thus described: Beginning at the S. W. corner of the town, its boundary line ran along the Peacham line 5 miles to a large beach-tree marked A. H, J. W, A. T, 1776; thence, turning a right angle, it runs S. 42 deg. past the Presbyterian meeting-house, near the centre of the town, 2 miles, 188 rods, and 95 links, to a small hemlock marked A. H, I. W, 1776, on the top of the hill north of John Gil‑
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fillan's house; thence, turning a right angle, it ran S. 48 deg., W. in a direction parallel with the Peacham line, about 3 miles, 112 rods, and 32 links, to a great hemlock marked A. H, I .W, 1776; thence, turning an obtuse angle, it ran along the Ryegate town line, N. 68 deg. W. about 3 miles, to the place of beginning; the whole containing 7,000 acres, which was deeded by Willard Stevens to Alexander Harvey, March 10, 1781. Gen. Whitelaw surveyed the Harvey Tract in 1776. It is divided into 5 ranges running parallel with the Peacham line. The lots contain 50 acres each, and are rectangular, long, and narrow, and are numbered separately in each range, beginning at the Ryegate line. Their whole number is 135.
The present town clerk, by a late vote of the town, made a double index of all the land records from 1783 to the present time. The index-book is a royal folio of 500 pages, made for such a purpose. The index occupies more than 300 pages, with blank leaves under each letter for future use. It consists of a descending index, by which land titles can be traced down to the present time, and an ascending index, by which the title can be traced up to the grantees in the charter. To facilitate the process, the years in which the deeds were recorded are entered by the clerk in the double index, to make which every page of the land records, amounting to several thousand, was examined, so that, if a deed is recorded, it can be easily and quickly found, and, if it is not in the index, it is certainly known that it has not been recorded. It is believed Barnet is the first town in Vermont that has made such an index, which saves much time and trouble, and gives certain and satisfactory information in searching the records.
During the Revolutionary War, and for some years after it, the town held its meetings at John McLaren's, but more frequently at Robert Twaddell's, whose houses were near the centre of the town. June 1, 1786, the proprietors pitched lots 87, 38. and 39 for the first settled minister of the gospel, according to the charter of the town. In 1785 or 1786, 4 acres in the N. W. corner of lot 87 were cleared, each quarter of the town clearing an acre. On this a meeting house was raised. Dec. 18, 1788, the town voted to raise money by subscription towards finishing the meeting-house. "Jan. 15, 1789. Thirty one persons declare their intention of having the meeting-house for a place of public worship." "Oct. 9. Town resolves that the house should be finished by subscription." Dec. 30, 1791. Town votes that the meeting-house was town property, and subject to town rules. Jan. 19, 1792. The town votes to constitute and appoint the meeting-house for public worship of God. Feb. 1, 1792. The lower part of the house having been finished, the pews, 28 in number, were sold at vendue, under certain regulations, for about £300, one tenth part to be paid in money, and the rest in wheat, at 5s. per bushel. July 5, 1795. The galleries were finished, and the pews were sold, in a similar manner, for about £110, which was to be paid for the expense of finishing the house. Jan. 14, 1799. The town votes that a sum not exceeding $120 of the money due for the sale of seats be applied to purchase stoves for the house. They were not, however, procured till about 1810; still, the meeting on Sabbath was well attended in the winter, all being warmly clothed, and the women having foot-stoves, as they were called. In 1829, the year before the demise of Rev. David Goodwillie, the first meeting-house was removed, and, on the same site, a large brick church edifice, with a steeple, was built at a cost of nearly $5,000. This edifice was accidentally burnt in February, 1849, and the congregation erected and finished the present elegant and commodious house of public worship, all ready for use, in 5 months after the former one was burnt, and the cost of erection was promptly paid.
The Revolutionary soldiers were Thomas Hazeltine, a pensioner, John Bonett, a pensioner, Daniel Hall, Caleb Stiles, John Woods, William Strobridge, a pensioner, Amasa Grout, and William Tice. The following Scotchmen also served in the Revolutionary War: Archibald Harvey, a pensioner, who was at the taking of Quebec: Thomas Clark, who emigrated to this country in 1774. He enlisted at Hanover, N. H., and served in Col. Cilley's regiment He was in the battle of Saratoga, and was so badly wounded that he was taken to the hospital in Albany. When recovered, and on his way to rejoin the army, he was seized with fever and ague, and hired a man for $200 to take his place in the army, which sum he lost, as the Continental money was so depreciated in value. He settled in Barnet in 1792 or 1793, but, some years before his death, removed to the S. E. corner of Peacham. He was an intelligent man, and a member of the Associate Presbyterian Church of Barnet, William Johnston, a staff officer and a pensioner, was at the battles of Germantown, Monmouth, and Brandywine. He saw Gen. Putnam plunge down the frightful precipice, and escape, and witnessed Maj. Andre's execution, when, he said, the American officers wept. On one occasion, he was engaged in taking some British soldiers captive, one of whom was Alexander Emsley, who settled in Barnet and married his widow.
Upon the first call for Revolutionary soldiers in 1777, Bartholomew Somers, John McLaren, and James Orr, all of whom settled early in town, near the centre, went to Saratoga at the time of Burgoyne's surrender. They were all members of the same church. Mr. McLaren's potatoes were not dug till the next spring, when they were found to be fresh and good, as the
snow, which fell early, and was deep all winter, preserved them. Thus Providence favored the brave and patriotic.
In 1782, the State ordered a force of 300 men to be raised from all the towns in the State, except the towns on Connecticut River, above Barnet, the number to be raised according to the town lists. Jacob Hall was chosen captain of the militia of Barnet, 1779.
John Galbraith, a Scotchman, came to Barnet and bought 300 acres on the Passumpsic, at tho mouth of Enerick Brook, from Enos Stevens, in 1776, intending to return to Scotland and send his sons to improve the lands, but the war prevented his return, and he built a house and lived alone. Indians often called upon him; sometimes in greater number than he thought safe; but as he was kind to them they did him no harm. Rev. Thomas Clark, of Salem, N. Y., Rev. Robert Annan, of Boston, John Galbraith, and come others, most of whom were Scotchmen, obtained a grant from New York, which lay on the Passumpsic, including Burke and parts adjacent, being about 9 miles long and 6 broad, and which they called Bamf. John Galbraith received $99 81 as his share of the $30,000 paid by this State to New York to quitclaim Vermont. He went to Canada to return to Scotland, and was seized as a spy and shipped, with Jonathan Elkins of Peacham and others, to England, where he was acquitted and set free, having got a free passage. He went home to Scotland, and, after the Revolution, his sons came and occupied his lands.
Archibald McLaughlan, another Scotchman, bought land in the southeast corner of the Harvey Tract, in 1776, from Col. Harvey. Two Scotchmen, William Stevenson and James Cross, settled in town in 1776, and took lots in Harvey's tract, on Stevens's River. They lived alone in a house for a number of years. Coming home at one time in the dusk of the evening from the mill at Newbury, with grists on their backs, when about a mile from their house, they found a bear sitting in the path. Mr. Stevenson, who was considerably ahead, while his hound engaged the bear, got an opportunity to strike it across the eyes with a cudgel of a staff that he carried, which broke its nose and stunned it in some measure; still Bruin gave fight to him and his dog; but Stevenson, watching a good opportunity, struck it across the small of the back and continued the blows till he beat the bear to death. He was a strong and courageous man, and told the writer that he did not know the nature of the beast he killed, and never thought he was in any danger till he examined the bear's great paws after death. He carried it home, while Mr. Cross, who came up during the fight and broke a fine staff over the beast, carried the two grists. James Gilchrist, Esq., a Scotchman, about the year 1777, settled on the plain at McIndoe's Falls. At an early period he was elected to important offices in town, in which his influence was long felt. His wife had a very vigorous mind, good judgment, and memory. She was noted for her extensive religious knowledge and piety, and was a member of the Associate Congregation of Barnet for about 40 years. She rode on horseback to Mr. Goodwillie's church, and so regular and constant was her attendance, that one day, when too feeble to attend, her horse, from long use, jumped out of the pasture one Sabbath morning, went with the neighbors to meeting, stood at the horse-block, where it used to be tied till the evening, and then went home; all this without bridle, saddle, or rider. She died in 1828, aged 95 years.
When on her deathbed she thanked her aged pastor for the precious truths of the gospel site had heard him so long preach, and kissed the young pastor's hand, saying to him, "I esteem your office higher than that of the kings of the earth." She and Mrs. Twaddel, though nearly 99 years of age, could repeat correctly the Westminster shorter catechism, besides many psalms and other parts of the Bible.
John McCulloch, a very intelligent, judicious, and religious man, and long an elder of the Associate congregation, had a son, who died lately, about 53 years of age, who had a very remarkable memory. He was well acquainted with the Bible, and could repeat more chapters after twice or thrice reading them than the teacher in the Sabbath school had time to hear. Often his memory has been tried by opening the Bible at many different parts; and reading a passage, he would promptly tell the book, the chapter, and almost always the very verse read. He was not so exact, however, as to the verse as the celebrated blind Alick of Stirling, Scotland, whom the writer has seen and tried his memory. However, his memory was most remarkable for the date of events. He could tell promptly the year, the day of the month, the day of the week, and what kind of a day it was on which the event happened. He could tell who he had heard preach, from the text, the psalm, and the tune to which the psalm was sung. The writer has tested his memory in different ways, not only by the Bible, but by records, through a course of nearly 50 years, and found it correct. February can have five Sabbaths only when it begins and ends on that day, which can occur only once in 28 years. The writer once suddenly asked when had February five Sabbaths in it? "In 1824," he promptly replied. When will it have five again was the next question, as promptly answered, "In 1852." Indeed, he was a living almanac, and so used by the family and others. His father one day was speaking of an event the date of which he did not recollect. His son was fixing the fire and not appearing to be taking notice of the conversation, when his father, according to his custom, said, "John, when was it?" He instantly replied, "Six years ago last Saturday." He was well read in commentaries on the
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Bible and other religious books, and, moreover, had some talent for poetry. He composed an elegy in which he eulogized his aged minister, whose death he lamented, and also wrote a humorous and satirical song on the vices and follies of an unworthy individual. The latter, with other humorous songs, he used to sing, being very fond of music and somewhat of a proficient therein.
In 1788, the town voted to fine absentees from town meetings $1 00.
Until some years after the Revolutionary War the only way of access to the town was by the Hazen road, running through the west part of it.
At an early period a road was made, beginning at the Hazen road, on the north side of Harvey's Mountain, and proceeding by the north end of Harvey's Lake and the centre of the town, and terminated at the mouth of Joes River, and was afterwards extended up the Passumpsic River to St. Johnsbury. No road from Wells River was made up the Connecticut River till some years after the Revolutionary War.
The Passumpsic Turnpike Company was incorporated in 1805. The first mile from Joes Brook down the Passumpsic was made in 1807, and the next season it was made to Ryegate line, when the Legislature granted the privilege of taking half toll. Afterwards the road was extended to Wells River. It is said to have cost $26,000. Alterations in Barnet and Ryegate, extending in the whole to about seven miles, were subsequently made, costing more than $7,000, of which nearly $4,000 were paid by Barnet, Ryegate, and Newbury. A committee appointed by the County Court prized the turnpike at $4,000, which was paid by the towns and it became a free road.
Dr. Phineas Stevens, brother of Enos Stevens, was the first physician in town. William Shaw was the first merchant, having a store at Stevens's Falls. Thomas Dennison was probably the first lawyer who lived in town.
Mr. Wilson, a Revolutionary soldier, who had lost an arm in battle, was the first school-teacher, and taught between Stevens's and McIndoe's Falls. The log schoolhouse stood near where William Harvey now lives. William Shearer, senior, taught school at an early period near Ross's Pond. William Johnston, who served in the American army, came to town about 1790, and for a few years taught a school on the rising ground around which the public road runs, near the northwest corner of Harvey's Lake. In 1801 he moved near to the centre of the town and taught school near the Presbyterian church.
He was a good teacher, and his handwriting was very plain, neat, and regular. He kept school more than 20 years in town, and many of the youth of Barnet, great and small, were taught by him. The writer possesses documents containing the signature of Jonathan Fowler, who was one of the four men who first settled the town and county, written May 1, 1787; the signature of Barnet Fowler, his son, the first-born male in the town and county, written March 12, 1799; and a school-bill, "Jonathan Fowler to William Johnston, Dr., to one quarter's school-rate for your son Barnet, commencing November 19, 1792, $2 00."
April 1, 1788, the town is divided into four districts, according to the following description: "1st, north of Thomas Smith's Falls into Passumpsic; 2d, south of Thomas Smith's Falls to Stevens's River; 3d, south of Stevens's River to Peacham line; 4th, Great River." Now there are 18 school districts and 20 schools in town, besides a flourishing academy at McIndoe's Falls.
The spotted fever prevailed in town in 1811, and was very fatal. It returned in 1818. The typhus fever prevailed in 1815, '16, and '17, and proved fatal in many cases.
There are 4 villages, 4 post-offices, and 7 churches in town.
BARNET VILLAGE, situated at the Falls on Stevens's River, contains a large number of houses and inhabitants. Here are the Barnet post-office, an inn, a gristmill, a sawmill, two woollen factories, and two stores, the town house, and a Union church, a fine building with steeple and bell.
MCINDOE'S FALLS is situated in the S. E. corner of the town, at McIndoe's Falls, on Connecticut River, so called because John McIndoe early settled and owned land at the Falls, on which are great lumber mills. The village is beautifully situated on an extensive plain, and contains a large number of houses and inhabitants. Here are the McIndoe's Falls post-office, an inn, two stores, a carriage factory, the Methodist chapel, the Congregational church, a fine building, with steeple and bell, and the McIndoe's Falls Academy, a large, elegant, and commodious edifice, finely situated.
PASSUMPSIC VILLAGE, situated at the north part of the town, on the Passumpsic River, at Kendall's Falls; at which are mills and factories. It contains the Passumpsic post-office, the Baptist chapel, two stores, an inn, and a considerable number of houses.
WEST BARNET, situated on Stevens's River, near the north end of Harvey's Lake, contains the West Barnet post-office, a neat Union church, a store, grist and sawmill.
There is a Union meeting-house in the southwestern part of the town.
POPULATION AND WEALTH OF BARNET.
The Scotchmen were generally very robust men and retained their strength to an advanced age. Many of them lived till 90 and some to 95 years of age. Robt. Twaddell's wife was nearly 99, and Claud Stuart 100 years and 4 months when they died. In February, 1774, Gen. Whitelaw writes that there were 15 families in Barnet, and in August of the same year, when Col. Harvey viewed
the town to buy land for the Scotch company, he writes in his journal, August 27, that there were six or seven settlers on the river and a few in the other parts of the town.
In all Whitelaw's charts, the names of the grantees are inserted in the lots they drew, but few of the original proprietors ever settled the lands granted to them by the charter. Rev. Thomas Beveridge, who visited the town in the summer of 1789, writes that there were then 40 Scotch families in town.
In the collection of papers belonging to Rev. David Goodwillie, was found an accurately drawn map of the town, made by him about the time he came to settle, in September, 1790. In this chart all the names of the actual settlers, about 90 in number, are inserted in the lots on which they settled. From this map it appears that at that time the most of the inhabitants of the town were settled on the lots near the central parts of the town, and between these and the Peacham line, with a considerable number in the southwest part of the town. The meadow lands along the Connecticut River, from Ryegate to the Passumpsic River, were settled, and there were a few settlers between that river and Waterford. In the north and southeast parts of the town there were no inhabitants.
In 1786, the first grand list recorded gives, polls, 57, $5,816; 1790, the grand list gives, polls, 93, $13,142; 1860, the grand list gives, polls, 362, $70,213.
Population in 1791 was 477; in 1800, 860; in 1810, 1,301; in 1820, 1,488; in 1830, 1,707; in 1840, 2,000; in 1850, 2,522; in 1860, 2,002.
ENOS STEVENS, ESQ., AND FAMILY.
ENOS STEVENS, ESQ., was born October 2, 1739. There is a tradition in his father's family that the town was called Barnet from the circumstance that his great-grandfather, who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1685, came from Barnet in England, which is a market town 11 miles north-northwest from London, and is situated in a parish of the same name. "It stands on a height, and has a church, built in 1400, a grammar school founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1573, and some well-endowed almshouses. An obelisk near the town commemorates a battle fought there between the York and Lancaster armies in 1471, when the latter was totally defeated, and their leader, the great Earl of Warwick was killed. Its population in 1851 was 2,380." His uncle, SAMUEL STEVEN'S, was employed by a land company to explore the country, from White River to the heads of the Onion and Lamoille rivers, to find out the best lands for settlement. This he did in 1760. His father, CAPT. PHINEAS STEVENS, in 1747, with 30 men, bravely defended the fort at Charlestown, N. H., against 400 French and Indians, whose assault was carried on in different ways for three days. He repelled them without the loss of a man, while the loss of the enemy was considerable. His father and some members of the family procured signers to the petition to Gov. Wentworth, who granted the charter of the town. They in most instances procured deeds of acquittance from the petitioners, as proprietors, giving from a few shillings to a few pounds for a share of 360 acres, so that he and his three elder brothers, SAMUEL, WILLARD, and SIMON, became chief proprietors of the town. His younger brother, SOLOMON, was a land surveyor, and surveyed Barnet in 1774.
He took the side of the British in the war of the Revolution. His father and brothers had been honored by commissions from the governors of the British provinces of New Hampshire and New York, and like many others, no doubt, he thought that the powerful crown of Great Britain would soon crush the infant American Republic. In his journal he writes: "Charlestown, N. H., May 2, 1777. Set out for New York; left my all for the sake of my king and my country." In New York, he joined a volunteer company appointed by the British Commander to guard on the coast, but it does not appear that he was ever engaged in battle. He, with six others, Sept. 30, 1782, received a commission from "his excellency, the commander-in-chief," to go to Nova Scotia "to take charge of the provisions, arms, and ammunition sent by the commander-in-chief for the use of refugees going with them to settle in that country, and divide the same among them." He bought land and settled in Digby, Nova Scotia, where he resided till 1785. After the war of independence, he applied to the British government for indemnity for "loyalty losses, and services," but it is not probable that be was indemnified for his losses, as his lands in Barnet were not confiscated. In his journal he writes: "Feb. 25, 1785. Came to Charlestown; found all my friends well; seven years and ten months since I left this town." He came to Barnet, and was present at a meeting of the proprietors, August 23, 1785, and drew his shares in the town when the first division took place. After this, he sold his possessions in Nova Scotia, and came to Barnet to reside. He purchased the lands owned by his brothers, and obtained vendue-titles to others; so that he owned the greater part of the town. He encouraged the early settlement of the town by giving lots to the first settlers. He engaged Col. Hurd to build grist and sawmills on the Falls, at the mouth of Stevens River, and afterwards purchased them, and they were called Stevens Mills. It is said that it was one of his brothers who built the gristmill at the outlet of Harvey's Lake, which was long owned by Robert Brock, and near which Walter Brock afterwards built a sawmill, and these were called "Brock's Mills," which were the first built in town after Stevens Mills. To Barnet Fowler, son of Jonathan Fowler, the first male child born in Barnet, he gave a lot of land in the N. E. part of the town,
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and the name of Barnet Fowler is written near Harvey Fowler in Whitelaw's chart of the town. Sept. 4, 1787, he was admitted to take the freeman's oath. For many years he was a magistrate, and represented the town in the Legislature in 1795, 1796, and 1807. In 1798, he was appointed by the government one of the commissioners to take the census in this part of Vermont. His brother, Willard Stevens, moved to Barnet in 1776, but soon returned to Charlestown, and, immediately after, Elijah King, who married Mary Stevens, the sister of Enos Stevens, moved to Barnet, where they lived till their death.
He was married March 4, 1791, to Sophia Grout, of Charlestown. They had 10 children, most of whom died before adult age; only three now survive. Henry Stevens, Esq., the eldest, was born Dec. 13, 1791. He has transacted much business in town, and has been elected to different town offices, and represented Barnet in the Legislature in 1826 and 1827. For many years he has been collecting files of newspapers, pamphlets, and written documents, to illustrate the history of the Town and State, many of which he sold to the State for $4,000. He was for many years President of the HISTORICAL SOCIETY of VERMONT. His present collection consists of 3,485 bound volumes, about 6,500 pamphlets, about 400 volumes of newspapers, and probably 20,000 letters, bearing date from 1726 to 1854. He has the old field-books of all town lines surveyed by James Whitelaw, Esq., surveyor-general, and his deputies. His son Enos graduated at Middlebury College. His son Henry, after being engaged by the government in different offices in Washington, graduated at Yale College, and went to London, and was employed in purchasing rare and valuable books for several American gentlemen, and in 1846 he was employed by the Trustees of the British Museum to make up a catalogue of American works not found in the library of that institution, and was then appointed to furnish these works, and a complete set of the public documents of each one of the United States, and a complete set of all documents published by Congress, and all such books as contain the general literature of each State.
He became, about 1848, agent for the Smithsonian Institution, and is still extensively engaged in the exchange of books between the institutions of England and America.
His son George graduated at West Point, 1843, and was appointed second lieutenant in 1844, and joined the army at Fort Joseph, commanded by Gen. Taylor, but was not long afterwards accidentally drowned.
COL. ALEXANDER HARVEY AND FAMILY.
COL. ALEXANDER HARVEY was born in May, 1747, in the parish of Gargunoch, Stirlingshire, Scotland. His credentials represent him as "descended from creditable and honest parents; that he had an education suitable to his station, and that he was, in his conduct and behavior, in every respect virtuous, obliging, and modest." Mr. Harvey and John Clark were the agents of a company of farmers in the shires of Perth and Stirling, appointed to search out and purchase a large tract of land in America for the company to settle. He left his father's house May 9, 1774, and they sailed for America, and landed in New York, July 22, in company with John Galbraith, Thomas Clark, and others, who came to Barnet. The agents proceeded by Albany to examine lands near Schenectady, but the quantity for sale was not sufficient. They proceeded by Ballstown, Saratoga, and Salem, to Cambridge, N. Y., but, not obtaining their object, crossed the Green Mountains, and came by Charlestown, Hanover, and Newbury, to Ryegate, one half of which Gen. Whitelaw had purchased from Dr. Witherspoon, and examined the other half of the town, as they were instructed by the directors. They then came to Barnet, where they arrived August 27, in company with Solomon Stevens, the brother of Samuel Stevens, both of whom were proprietors of the town. The next day, they went and examined 7,000 acres of land in the S. W. part of the town, attended by Mr. Stevens and a guide. In Col. Harvey's journal (now before the writer), he says "there are six or seven settlers in the township on the river, and a few in the back parts of the town," They offered Mr. Stevens one shilling sterling per acre, but he asked 18 pence, and gave them a letter to his brother in New York, "with whom they might treat at large." Returning by Albany to New York, they went by Philadelphia, and examined lands on the Susquehanna and Schuylkill rivers, and then returned to New York, where they arrived in October, 1774. They offered Samuel Stevens one shilling an acre, but he demanded 16 pence. But, Nov. 8, they "agree with Mr. Stevens to pay 14 pence sterling for each acre of 7,000 acres of land in Barnet, lying on the Peacham line, to extend 5 miles on said line, and to pay one half of the money in November, 1775, and the other to be paid them, or to bear interest for such time as it remained unpaid." His journal, under date of Nov. 23, 1784, says: "Accordingly, received a bond of Samuel Stevens of £1,600, 6s. 6d, sterling, that we were to receive a complete deed for 7,000 acres of land in Barnet, with a covenant of warrantee deed to pay and receive at Nov. 1775; at the same time, we granted a bond to said Mr. Stevens, of equal sum, to fulfil the promises on our part. The bond was sealed on both parts, and signed and delivered before two witnesses." Having made out an account of their proceedings to send to the company, John Clark sailed for Scotland, Dec. 11, 1774, and took the record with him.
The whole sum they agreed to pay was £408,
6s 8d., which was ultimately paid, and the receipt for payment is recorded in the town books, and Col. Harvey received deeds from Samuel, Willard, and Enos Stevens for the 7,000 acres purchased.
Having bought some tools and furniture, and hired some persons to work for the company, he, in company with Claud Stuart, Robert Brock, John Scot, John McLaren, and Robert Bentley, sailed from New York, March 23, 1775, and came by New Haven to Hartford, Ct. Having bought provisions at these places, Mr. Harvey left Mr. Stuart with Mr. Bentley to assist him in bringing the "lumber up the river in boats, and he, with the rest of the company, came a foot by Charlestown, Newbury, and Ryegate to Barnet, where they arrived March 21, 1775. His journal says they "came along Peacham line two and a half miles, struck across the breadth, came to the pond, camped all night near the pond, and cleared some part of the ground." The next day they returned to Ryegate, "the snow being too thick to work, and then to Newbury, where they bought wheat, beef, and pork, and hired a horse to carry their provisions to Barnet; returned through Ryegate, where they tarried some days, and bought sugar and other articles, and, in company with John McLaren and Robert Brook, returned to their camp in Barnet, May 3; and on the 4th, built another camp; on the 5th, viewed a proper place for improvements, and on the 6th, cut down and burnt up wood; on the 7th, Claud Stuart, John Scot, and Robert Bentley, arrived, after a long and bad passage up the Connecticut River to Newbury.
They cleared some land, sowed some grain, and planted some potatoes and beans. They prepared logs and raised a house, June 11th, with "the assistance of Mr. Whitelaw and four men from Ryegate." In July, he went to New York "to draw money to carry on the work, and to receive letters from the company," and on the way back he bought a cow of Col. Bellows. In October he sowed some wheat, and Peter Sylvester and Mr. Kimball harrowed it in with their oxen. On the 28th of October he "raised another house for two dwellers," which was completed in November, and which was inhabited by Robert McFarlane. "About the 13th of the month, snow came on so as to continue." "November 14, cut a road to Stevens Mills." During the year 1775, he received authority from the Directors of the Company in Scotland to increase his purchase of land to 12,000 acres. He purchased a number of lots in other parts of Barnet, but the Revolutionary war commencing the next year, impeded the operations of the Company, and the emigration of its members from Scotland.
The site where he first camped, and built his first house is on the farm of Jeremiah Abbott, and situated a few rods above the stone house built by William Bachop. Afterwards, he built a house of hewn logs on the Hazen Road, in which his son Claud lived before he built a new house. In 1796, however, he sold his farm on the north side of Harvey's Mountain, and moved down the Hazen Road, and lived on the south side of the mountain, where William McPhee now lives, and where he died, Dec. 14, 1809, aged 62 years. He was a man of good abilities, widely known, and highly honored; a member of the State Conventions of 1777, and of all the sessions of the Legislature, from the first session in 1778 till 1788, and a member of the Council of Censors, 1791. He was Associate Judge of Orleans County from 1781 to 1794, and long and early honored with office by the town of Barnet. The Legislature appointed him one of the trustees of the County Academy, and he was president of the board of trustees till his death. The Government also appointed him to build a fort on the Onion or Lamoille River, which he declined. He and Gen. Whitelaw were attorneys appointed by Dr. Witherspoon, for the sale of lands which he owned in Ryegate, Newbury, and Walden.
He possessed a public spirit, was generous and facetious, and exerted himself for the good of the Town, County, and State, having taken an active part in declaring the State independent, and forming its constitution and government. He was chosen colonel of the regiment formed in this part of the country.
As a proof of his "good will and favor to Mr. and Mrs. Goodwillie," he gave them a donation of some acres of land adjoining their own.
Jonathan Fowler, one of the first four men who settled in the town, named one of his sons for him, and the colonel gave him a lot of land situated in the northeast part of the town, and Harvey Fowler is entered in all Whitelaw's charts of Barnet.
On one occasion during the Revolutionary War, when soldiers were drafted in Barnet, the lot fell on George Gibson, a man of small stature, who said he would join the army, adding, "Who knows but I may be the means of establishing the independence of the United States?" Col. Harvey observed that he never knew a means so small to produce an effect so great. A member of the Legislature, who was a great hero and patriot, boasting of his mother and six brothers, triumphantly asked the company if ever they heard of such a mother having seven such sons. Col. Harvey replied he had read of a woman who had seven just such sons, and what was very remarkable, they were all born at one birth! "Who was she?" asked the hero. "Mary Magdalene," replied the colonel, "who, was delivered of seven devils all at once!"
He was married, by the Rev. Peter Powers, October 5, 1751, to Jennet Brock, a daughter of Walter Brock, Esq., of Barnet, and who was born in Scotland, October 10, 1767. They had
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16 children, three of whom died when young. Eight sons and five daughters were married, most of whom lived in Barnet, of whom two sons and two daughters are now deceased. His son, Hon. Walter Harvey, was 36 years a justice of the peace, a member of the executive council in 1835, and a representative of the town in 1824, 1825, 1829, 1837, 1838, 1839, and 1844, and was associate judge of the county in 1850.
His son, Hon. Robert Harvey, was member of the State Senate in 1838 and 1839, associate judge of the county in 1848 and 1849, and member of the council of censors in 1834 and 1835, and a representative of the town in 1853 and 1854. His son, Claud Harvey, Esq., was representative of the town in 1832 and 1833. His name-son, Alexander Harvey, Esq., is married to a granddaughter of Gen. Stark, the hero of Bennington, and was high sheriff of the county in 1843. His son, Peter Harvey, Esq., was the friend and associate of Daniel Webster, and is mentioned in his life. Col. Harvey's descendants are numerous. His widow was married, by Rev. David Goodwillie, to Gen. Whitelaw, of Ryegate, August 29, 1815, and died, Dec. 28, 1854, aged 89 years.
It is not known at what period the Presbyterian churches of Barnet and Ryegate — chiefly composed of emigrants from Scotland — were formed, but they were organized previous to 1779, a number of years before any other church was formed in the county. Before, during, and after the Revolutionary War, several Scotch clergymen came and preached to them occasionally, and sometimes administered baptism.
The company of Perth and Stirling, whose agent was Col. Harvey, agreed to buy a large tract of land in America, in order to settle together, and have a settled minister among them, thus taking forethought for their spiritual as well as temporal interests. Harvey's tract in Barnet was purchased for them in the close of 1774, and began to be settled by them early in 1775, but the Revolutionary War checked the emigration. However, some Scotch families from Ryegate moved into town towards the close of the war, after which it was rapidly settled in different parts by emigrants from various parts of Scotland. Gen. Whitelaw, who was the agent of the Scotch Company in Ryegate, on his way thither in 1773, called on Rev. Thomas Clark, a Scotch clergyman belonging to the Associate Presbyterian Church, and settled in Salem, Washington County, N. Y., and Col. Harvey, agent of the Scotch company that settled in Barnet, on his way to town in 1774, called also upon him. To this clergyman John Gray, of Ryegate, travelled on foot 140 miles, to obtain his services. He gave them a favorable answer, April 8, 1775, and came and preached some time in Barnet and Ryegate in the latter part of the summer of that year. He revisited these towns two or three times during the Revolutionary War. Dr. Witherspoon, president of Princeton College, N. J., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a member of Congress, who owned lands in Ryegate, Newbury, and Walden, and whose son was settled in the north part of Ryegate, visited this part of the country three times, first, probably in 1775. In 1782, he preached in Ryegate and Barnet, and baptized Col. Harvey's oldest child. He returned in 1786, to this part of the county. Rev. Hugh White, a Scotch clergyman, preached in Ryegate at the end of 1775. Rev. Peter Powers, English Presbyterian clergyman, settled in Newbury from 1765 to 1784; preached occasionally in Ryegate, and provably in Barnet, during that period.
The proceedings of the town and church of Barnet to obtain a settled minister, are recorded at length in the town records, from which the history of the settlement of the first minister in the town and county is taken.
Jan. 29, 1784. The town "voted unanimously to choose the Presbyterian form of religious worship, founded on the word of God as expressed in the confession of faith, catechisms, longer and shorter, with the form of church government agreed upon by the Assembly of divines at Westminster, and practised by the church of Scotland." August 17, 1784. The town "voted lot No. 87, for a meeting-house and glebe; also, voted to apply to the Scotch Presbytery for a minister."
The Scotch Presbytery here mentioned was The Associate Reformed Presbytery of Londonderry, N. H., formed there Feb. 13, 1783, to which Rev. Robert Annan, of Boston, Rev. David Annan, of Peterboro', N. H., and Rev. John Huston, of Bedford, N. H., belonged. Rev. Robert Annan preached in these towns in 1784, and returned next year. Rev. David Annan preached in Barnet and Ryegate in 1785. The first leaf of the church records of Barnet is lost. The third page begins with August 27, 1786. Rev. John Huston was present with the session of Barnet, at an election of elders, August 31, 1786, when the record says "a petition was drawn up by the elders of Barnet and Ryegate, and preferred to the Associate (Reformed) Presbytery, to sit at Peterboro', Sept. 27, 1786, earnestly desiring one of their number might be sent to preach, visit, and catechise the two congregations, and ordain elders at Barnet." Accordingly the Presbytery appointed Mr. Huston for that purpose. In pursuance thereof, Mr. Huston came in October following, and visited and catechised the greater part of both congregations. He remained till May, 1787, preaching in Barnet and Ryegate, and returned November, 1788.
Previous to 1787, the emigrants from Scotland made an unsuccessful attempt to obtain Rev. Walter Galbraith, from Scotland, for their minis‑
ter. In that year the town voted to apply to the Associate Synod, of Scotland, and sent a petition to that Synod, desiring a minister to be sent to them, and promising him a salary and the payment of expense of his passage to this country, and settlement among them. Funds were raised for that purpose. In 1787, before receiving an answer to their petition, the town voted to raise funds for the support of the gospel among them, and authorized the committee, with the elders, to employ such preachers as they could procure, agreeing with them in religious sentiments. In the beginning of 1789, information was received from Scotland that the Associate Synod in that country had sent three preachers to the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, and directed them to apply to that Presbytery for a preacher to become their minister. The town having voted to make application as directed, in June, 1789, William Stevenson went to Cambridge, N. Y., and had an interview with Rev. Thomas Beveridge, a minister and member of the Presbytery of Pennsylvania, and having obtained the information desired, he wrote a letter to the Rev. David Goodwillie, a minister and member of the same Presbytery, then at New York City, informing him that "the congregation of Barnet would be exceedingly glad of a visit" from him, and referring him to certain information contained in an enclosed letter from Mr. Beveridge, who writes that the people in Barnet had made application to the Synod in Scotland, and that they had been directed to apply to the Presbytery of Pennsylvania for a hearing of Mr. Goodwillie; that there were about 40 Scotch families in Barnet, with a number in Ryegate; that some of the emigrants from Scotland in Barnet, had heard Mr. Goodwillie in their native country, and would be well pleased to have him settled in Barnet, as their minister; and that Mr. Stevenson had made application to obtain sermon for Barnet. In consequence of this information and application Mr. Beveridge came and preached in Barnet Sabbaths July 26, and August 2, add baptized several children; one of these was Walter, son of Col. Harvey. The session, in conjunction with the committee of the town, then petitioned the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania "for supply of sermon, and particularly a hearing of the Rev. David Goodwillie."
In consequence of this petition, Mr. Goodwillie came to Barnet in the latter part of November the same year, and remained preaching in Barnet, and occasionally in Ryegate, till the latter part of February, 1790, during which time he administered baptism, observed a public fast, Jan. 7, 1790, and occasionally preached in Ryegate.
Feb. 4, 1790. The town "voted to apply to the Presbytery of Pennsylvania for a minister, forty for and seven against it. Voted £70 a year as a salary for said minister, and to augment it £1 a year till it amount to £80 lawful, to be paid in wheat at 5s. a bushel, and stock and other produce to be conformed to the wheat. Voted to raise £60 lawful, for a settlement for said minister, £20 of which to be paid a year, and the whole to be paid in three years, to be paid in wheat, stock, and produce, the same as the yearly salary. Voted to raise £22, to be paid in wheat at 5s. a bushel to pay the present supply of sermon. Voted that the committee formerly appointed by the town to procure sermons, be requested to apply to the Presbytery of Pennsylvania for a minister.
The few who voted against this application wished to obtain a minister from the Established Church of Scotland, but did not afterwards oppose the settlement and ministrations of Mr. Goodwillie. The elders of the church and committee of town, Feb. 15, 1790, petition the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania "to appoint one of their number to preside in the election and call of one to be the stated minister of this town and congregation, and a supply of sermon in the mean time."
The town records, July 5, 1790, say "The committee appointed by the town, Feb. 4, last, for the purpose of applying to the reverend, the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, for a moderation of a call agreeable to the vote of that day, for procuring a settled minister, having petitioned said Presbytery for one of their number to moderate in the election of a minister, said Presbytery having granted the petition by appointing the Rev. Thomas Beveridge, of Cambridge, N. Y., for the purpose mentioned in the petition, and Mr. Beveridge, having, agreeable to appointment, come to this town, and declared his instructions to said committee, and the public being duly notified by intimation from the pulpit, on two Sabbaths before the day appointed for the moderation, agreeable to the rule of the church in such cases, and the people being met at the meeting-house this day for the aforesaid purpose, after sermon by the reverend, the moderator, proceeded, by calling for a nomination, when the Rev. Mr. David Goodwillie being nominated by one of the elders, and upon the question being put, 'Do the people of this town make choice of the Rev. David Goodwillie for their minister?' when there appeared upwards of forty for the affirmative; and the question, 'Who are against the Rev. David Goodwillie?' being put three several times, and none appearing, the moderator was pleased to declare the Rev. David Goodwillie duly elected, and a call to the said Mr. Goodwillie to take the ministerial charge of this congregation presented and duly subscribed, in the presence of the moderator and witnesses, the tenor whereof, is as follows, viz:—
We, the subscribers, elders, trustees, and other members of the Associate Congregation of Barnet, in the State of Vermont, who have acceded to the Lord's cause as professed and maintained by the
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Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, taking into our serious consideration the great loss we suffer through the want of a fixed gospel ministry among us, and being fully satisfied that the great Head of the Church has bestowed on you, the Reverend Mr. Goodwillie, a minister of the gospel, and member of the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, those gifts and ministerial endowments which, with the exercise of them, will, through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, be profitable for our edification, — we therefore call and beseech you to take the oversight of this congregation, to labor in it and watch over it as that part of Christ's flock under your immediate charge; and we promise that, according to what is required in the Holy Scriptures, we will conscientiously endeavor to give a ready obedience to the Lord's message delivered by you, and to aid and support you in his work. And we hereby desire and entreat this Reverend Presbytery, under whose inspection we are, and to whom we present this our call, to sustain the same, and take the ordinary steps, with all due expedition, to have the said Mr. Goodwillie settled among us. In testimony whereof we have subscribed this our call at our church in Barnet, on the fifth day of July, A. D. 1790, before these witnesses, Jonathan Elkins, Jacob Guy, and Ephraim Foster, all of Peacham.
William Gilkerson, Andrew Lang, Wm. Warden, Alexander Gilchrist, James Orr, John McCallum, Ezekiel Manchester, John McIndoe, Robert McIndoe, James Gilchrist, John Waddel, Bartholomew Somers, James Ferguson, Archibald McLaughlin, John McNabb, James Warden, William Innis, Alexander Lang, John Gilkerson, David Moor, Alexander Thompson, Samuel Huston, Edward Pollard, Hugh Ross, William Maxwell, William Lang, John Gilkerson, John Ross, William Shaw, Thomas Gilfillan, John McLaren, Geo. Garland, Bartholomew Somers, William Warden, Caleb Stiles, Noah Halladay, William Gilfillan, Jr., William Hindman, John Galbraith, Cloud Somers, James McLaren, Andrew Lackie, Elijah Hall, Jr., John Robertson, John Shaw, Jr., William Gilfillan, Sen., Robert Laird, Robert Blair.
Robert Twaddel, Elders.
James Cross, Trustees.
Jacob Guy, Witnesses.
The above subscriptions, in number fifty-seven, are attested to be genuine.
THOMAS BEVERIDGE, Minister.
Barnet, July 5, 1790. We, the subscribers, belonging to the town of Ryegate, in the State of Vermont, though we cannot join in the call given to the Reverend Mr. David Goodwillie by the people of Barnet, not being within the bounds of that congregation, yet, as we expect some part of Mr. Goodwillie's labors will be among us, do hereby testify our concurrence with our brethren in the said call, and our readiness to join with them in endeavoring to aid and support the said Mr. Goodwillie in the Lord's work.
John Gray, William Nelson, Jr., William Craig, Andrew Brock, Alexander Miller, James Henderson, William Nelson, James McKinley, John Wallace, James Nelson, Hugh Gardner, William Craig.
Barnet, July 5, 1790. The petition of the elders and trustees belonging to the town of Barnet, humbly showeth — That whereas the congregation have given a call to Reverend Mr. Goodwillie, we entreat that the Presbytery proceed as quickly as possible to forward his settlement among us, and that, until this is done, he may be appointed to supply this place with sermon, and we hereby appoint Mr. Beveridge as our commissioner to give the Presbytery what further information may be judged necessary, and that the Lord may direct you in this and all other matters, is, and through grace shall be, the prayer of your petitioners.
James Gilchrist, John Hindman, John Shaw, William Stevenson, James Cross, Robert Twaddel, William Shearer, John Waddel, Archibald Stuart.
New York, Oct. 21, 1790. Which day and place the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania met, and was constituted with prayer by Mr. Beveridge, the moderator. Present: Messrs. William Marshall, James Clarkson, John Anderson, Archibald White, ministers, and Andrew Wright from New York, and Thomas Cummings from Cambridge, ruling elders. The moderator, acting as commissioner for the congregation of Barnet, in the State of Vermont, presented a call given by that congregation to the Rev. David Goodwillie, and also gave an account of his conduct in fulfilling the appointment laid upon him at last meeting to moderate in said call. The Presbytery having been satisfied as to the minister's maintenance in that congregation, the question being put, "Approve of Mr. Beveridge's conduct or not?" it was carried unanimously, "Approve." Presbytery then proceeded to the consideration of the aforesaid call, and a member having been employed in prayer for the Lord's blessing and direction in this important matter, the question was put, "Sustain or not the call given by the congregation of Barnet to the Rev. Mr. Goodwillie?" The roll being called, it was carried unanimously, "Sustain." Wherefore the Presbytery did, and hereby do, sustain the call given to the Rev. Mr. Goodwillie by the congregation of Barnet. And in consequence of this determination, and in answer to a petition from the said congregation, presented also by the moderator, the Presbytery appoint this call to be presented to Mr. Goodwillie, and that, upon his acceptance of the same, he be admitted to that pastoral charge, according to the rules of the church, on the eighth day of February next. The Presbytery further appoint Mr. Beveridge to preside in said admission, and Mr. Anderson to preach after it.
Barnet, at the house of James Cross, Feb. 8 (1791), forenoon, which day and place the Presbytery being met, according to appointment of last meeting, and constituted with prayer by Mr. Beveridge, moderator. Present: Messrs. Goodwillie and Anderson, ministers, and James Small from Cambridge, and John Shaw from Barnet, ruling elders. The minutes of the last meeting having been read, relating to the call from the congregation of Barnet, and containing an appointment of this interim meeting, the call was presented to Mr. Goodwillie, and he having accepted it, an edict having been served first on the preceding Sabbath and at the opening of this meeting, the Presbytery, after waiting a considerable time, and finding no objection offered, proceeded to the admission of Mr. Goodwillie to the pastoral charge of the congregation of Barnet. Public worship being then begun in the same place, and a sermon preached by the moderator from 1 Cor. iii. 7, on these words, "God giveth the increase," the questions in the formula for ministers, excepting the seventh, were put to Mr. Goodwillie, and he was admitted, according to the usual form, as minister of the aforesaid congregation; and after a charge given by
the moderator to the minister, elders, and people, the public work of the day was concluded by Mr. Anderson with a sermon from Acts xxvi. 22. "Having obtained help of God, I continue unto this day witnessing.” The public assembly being dismissed, the Presbytery closed with prayer.
A true copy. Certified by
WILLIAM MARSHALL, Moderator.
[This account may he considered by many long, as indeed it is; but it takes up and fully explains the Scotch Presbyterian mode of settlement of pastors, etc., a part of our ecclesiastical State history, heretofore quite untouched, and which will not need be again described at length in any town. — Ed.]
After the settlement of the minister, for the period of 12 or 15 years the church of Barnet had trials arising from dissensions among a few individuals, and one or two difficult and doubtful cases of discipline, in consequence of which a few individuals left the congregation. But even during this period the church continued to flourish, the number of its members being increased more than threefold. Though the country was new and money scarce, the congregation contributed liberally every year for the payment of the incidental expenses. After this time of trial the church continued to flourish in greater peace and purity. From the foundation of this church to this time, every year, quarterly meetings of the pastor, elders, and deacons, for prayer and praise and the government of the church, have been regularly held.
Every year two public fasts were kept, one relating to the congregation, and the other to the sins and troubles of the nation and the world. Indeed, the influence of true religion has been so long and so much felt that there are probably few places in the country where the sanctuary has been more generally and punctually attended and the sacred Sabbath better observed. This church, from the beginning to this time, has contributed liberally to the funds of the Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly, to which they are subject, for the purpose of supporting and extending the cause of Christ. Their minister's salary was augmented to £80, which was raised generally by a town tax, but sometimes by voluntary subscriptions, when almost every tax-payer in the town subscribed liberally. In 1805, the pastoral relation between the minister and town was dissolved by mutual consent. In the same year the town chose the minister to represent them in the State Legislature. In that year also the Presbyterian Society of Barnet was incorporated by the Legislature, which paid the minister's salary as long as he lived.
The members of the church of Barnet, in full communion when the sacrament of the Lord's Supper was first dispensed in Caledonia County, September 25, 1791, were 46; in '92, 68; in '96, 91; in '97, 97; in '98, 111; in 1802, 117; in '13, 140; in '23, 182; and in '30, when Mr. Goodwillie died, more than 200. During his ministry in Barnet more than 400 persons were enrolled as members, besides probably more than 150 in Ryegate, under his pastoral care from 1790 to 1822.
Since the present pastor's ordination and settlement as his father's assistant and successor, September 27, 1826, more than 250 persons have become members of this church. In 1840, however, the congregation was divided, and Rev. James McArthur ministered to one part at Stevens's Village, one half of his time, from 1846 to '57. The whole numbers of members at present belonging to the United Presbyterian Church in Barnet is about 200, besides some who reside in adjacent towns.
Nine persons connected with the Associate Congregation of Barnet have become ministers of the gospel, viz: Rev. D. Chassell, D.D., who graduated at Dartmouth College in 1810; Rev. Peter Shaw, Rev. Robert Shaw, Rev. Thomas Goodwillie, and Rev. David Goodwillie, the sons of the pastor, who graduated in Dartmouth College in 1820; Rev. William Galbraith, a son of one of the elders, who graduated at Union College, N. Y., and settled as a minister of the Associate Church in Freeport, Pa.; Rev. Thomas Gilkerson, who graduated at Jefferson College, Pa., became a minister of the Associate Church, and settled in Conemaugh, Pa.; Rev. William C. Somers, who graduated at Union College, N. Y., and is now settled as the pastor of the United Presbyterian Congregation of Hobart, N. Y.; and Rev. Robert Samuel, who graduated at Dartmouth College in 1856.
Mr. Gilkerson's father is now one of the elders of the church in which he has held office about 50 years. He was the first person who subscribed Mr. Goodwillie's call in 1790, and has been long in office in the town, being a magistrate for many years and representing the town seven times in the Legislature of the State.
The Associate Presbyterian Congregations of Barnet and Ryegate belonged to the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania from the time that these congregations applied to that Presbytery for a minister till May 21, 1801, when the Associate Synod of North America was organized, when they were included in the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge, N. Y., then formed. To this Presbytery they belonged till July 10, 1840, and the Associate Presbytery of Vermont, including all the ministers and congregations in Vermont belonging to the Synod, was constituted at Barnet by Rev. Thomas Goodwillie, senior minister according to the decree of the Associate Synod. The Presbytery of Vermont has belonged, since May, 1858, to the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, then formed by the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed Synods.
REV. DAVID GOODWILLIE, AND FAMILY.
REV. DAVID GOODWILLiE was born in Tanshall, in the parish of Kinglassie, Fifeshire, Scotland. The mansion in which he was born stands
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a little south of the highway between Leslie, on the Leven River, and the church of Kinglassie, and distant from each place about half a mile. It commands an extensive prospect, Edinburgh, 15 miles to the south, being seen in a clear day. Here the good-natured Goodwillie family (as their neighbors called them) dwelt for five successive generations for more than 150 years. His great-grandfather lived in times of persecution, and encountered the opposition of the curate. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were "smiths" by trade. His grandfather,* David Goodwillie, was baptized October 15, 1665, and died November 7, 1745, aged 80 years. He was a member of the Established Church of Scotland and a ruling elder in the parish of Kinglassie, and was buried in its churchyard. He was married to Elizabeth Dewar, who died November 10, 1739, aged 65 years. They had four children, who survived them, — two sons, David and James, and two daughters, Christian and Elizabeth. They were possessed of considerable property in land and "movables." Their youngest son, James Goodwillie, inherited the " movables."
He was a member of the Established Church of Scotland, and a ruling elder in the Parish of Kinglassie, whose minister was Mr. Currie, who at first decidedly favored the cause of the Erskines and others who seceded from the Established Church of Scotland on account of grave errors in doctrine and practice, which the General Assembly of that church refused to condemn and correct; but who afterwards strenuously opposed by his writings the secession or Associated Church of Scotland, which cause his ruling elder espoused as the cause of God, and therefore left the Established Church and joined the Associate Church and became a member of the Associate Congregation of Abernethy, 12 miles distant from his residence. But when the Associate Congregation of Leslie was organized, he became a member and elder, and so continued till his death. He was widely known and highly esteemed as an intelligent and pious man. His letters to his children show that he exercised himself unto godliness and entertained a deep concern that the glory of God should be promoted in his own and their spiritual and eternal welfare. He was married to Mary Davidson, December 26, 1748, who was a helpmeet to him in things both temporal and spiritual. They had eight children, four sons and four daughters, three of whom died young. The parents were diligent in "bringing up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and had the satisfaction of seeing their surviving children become members of the church, and hearing one son preach the everlasting gospel.
The father died of dropsy, which for a long time affected one of his lower limbs. One day, when rather worse than usual, he called all the family together and prayed with them, after which he told the children that he had taken solemn baptismal vows for them, which, as he had received help from God, he had endeavored to fulfil by his instructions and example, and then solemnly warned them that if they did not live a life of faith and holiness the blame would rest upon themselves. He was born in 1709, and died on the Sabbath day, January 6, 1782, aged 73 years, and was buried in the churchyard of Kinglassie. Two or three days before his death, while lying still on his bed, he broke out in a rapture, saying he was full of the joy of the Holy Spirit, and inquired when the Sabbath would come, expressing "a desire to depart and be with Christ." His son, having been appointed to preach at a distant place the Sabbath his father died, on the Saturday before his departure, called the family together, and having sung Psalm xxiii. and prayed, took his farewell.
Extract from a letter of Rev. David Goodwillie to his brother in America, written at this time. . . . "Our father finished his pilgrimage on earth on the sixth of January last. He died a peaceful death at 8 o'clock on Sabbath morning, in the presence of our mother, brother, and sisters, and was buried on Tuesday, the eighth, in the family burial-place. His senses remained to the last. Great patience, Christian resignation, and other religious exercises were manifest during the whole of his last affliction, which lasted for about three weeks. Thus, my dear brother, has the Lord of life been pleased to remove from the troubles of this vain world, and, as we confidently hope, taken to the full enjoyment of himself forever, one of the best of parents, who, in a careful manner, gave us Christian instruction, and guided us by his good example. Our loss is great, but his gain by this happy change is far greater. Blessed be the God of grace and consolation, we are not left to mourn as those who have no hope. "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace." "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."
Let this lead us to take faith's view of him who died for us, and to a firm confidence in the everlasting Father for the supply of all our wants, spiritual and temporal. Let us be concerned to be ready to enter into the joy of oar Lord, for we know not how soon we may be called to go hence. Let us live by faith in "Christ who died and rose again." How full of consolation are the following subjects on which I have lately been led to meditate! Rom. viii. 18. "For I reckon that the suffer‑
* We are aware this part of the sketch is not strictly Vermont history, yet we have such an accurate history of this old Scotch settlement, reversing the order and running from the present backward into the past, that it is much like an inclination felt when standing at the lower end of a picture gallery, to let our eye sweep up through the vista as far as our unbroken vision may extend. — Ed.
ings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Phil. i. 21. "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." 2 Tim. i. 10. "Jesus Christ hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel."
REV. DAVID GOODWILLIE was the first-born of his father's family, and was baptized Dec. 31, 1749, by Rev. John Erskine, son of Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, who was the first minister of the Associate Presbyterian Congregation of Leslie, to which the family belonged.
His eldest sister, Elizabeth, was born in 1753, and married to James Blythe, an elder of the Associate Congregation of Abernethy, Sept. 1, 1775, and died in 1836.
His brother Joseph, born April 3, 1751, emigrated to America about the year 1773, and died in Barnet, Feb. 24, 1808.
His sister Christian, born July 26, 1758, was married to William Coventrie, a member of the Associate Congregation of Abernethy, where she died Feb. 14, 1806.
His brother James, born July 16, 1760, was married, had a large family, and lived to old age. His mother died in Leslie, Scotland, June 25, 1806, at an advanced age, and was buried in the churchyard of Kinglassie. She was a Christian mother indeed, and took a deep interest in the temporal and spiritual welfare of her children. She survived her husband 24 years, and was separated, 18 years before her death, from her firstborn, for whom she entertained a high esteem and strong attachment, and he proved his filial affection and regard by contributing liberally to her support as long as she lived, though his salary was not large, and his family increasing.
It is probable that Mr. Goodwillie was engaged at manual labor till about 18 years of age, when he began to study, with a view to the sacred ministry, and prosecuted his academical education at Alloa, and finished it at the University of Edinburgh. He studied theology under Professor Moncrief, at Alloa, where the Theological Seminary of the Associate Synod was established. For support when prosecuting his studies he successfully engaged in teaching, and taught at Ryelaw near Leslie, and Easter Fertile, near Capar, in Fifeshire.
After he had passed through the usual course of academical and theological studies, the Associate Synod recommended him to be taken on trial for license. His trials having proved satisfactory, he was licensed to preach the everlasting gospel by the Associate Presbytery of Kirkcaldy in the beginning of October, 1778. The next month he went to Ireland, where he remained preaching to the congregations of the Associate Church in that country for nearly a year, when he returned to Scotland. In September, 1785, he went to the north of England, where he continued more than a year, preaching in Westmoreland and Cumberland. The rest of the time till his emigration to America, he was employed in preaching in the different Presbyteries of the Associate Church in Scotland. He kept a list of all the times and places when and where he officiated, and the texts of Scripture on which he preached at these times and places, from which it appears that he was diligent in fulfilling the appointments of the Associate Synod in sending him to the different Presbyteries, and of these Presbyteries in sending him to preach to the congregations under their jurisdiction. His acquaintance and correspondence with the ministers and preachers of the Associate Synod of Scotland, were extensive.
In consequence of application for preachers, made by the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania to the Associate Synod in Scotland, and a petition from the church and town of Barnet, preferred to that synod, to send them a preacher, that Synod recommended him and the Rev. A. White to go to the assistance of that Presbytery. With this recommendation he complied. Taking a sorrowful farewell of his mother, sisters, brother, and many friends, both lay and clerical, he sailed from Greenock, March 15, 1788, in company with Rev. A. White, two other gentlemen, and five ladies as cabin passengers. After a passage of 51 days, he arrived at New York the fifth of May following, where he remained preaching till the last week of the month, when he went to Philadelphia, Pa., to meet with the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania.
He was an important and seasonable acquisition to that Presbytery, as urgent calls for preachers were numerous and increasing. That he might be qualified to exercise all the functions of a minister of the gospel in the newly organized congregations in which he should be called to labor, the Presbytery determined to ordain him at an early period, and assigned him subjects for trials for ordination. According to appointment of Presbytery, he preached in June, in Oxford and Rocky Creek, Pa., in August in Rockbridge Co., Va., and in September and October, in Mill Creek, Franklin, Rocky Creek, and other places in Pennsylvania, and attended the Presbytery of Pennsylvania, at Pequea, Oct. 1, 1788. His trials for ordination having proved satisfactory, he was ordained by the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, at Philadelphia, Pa., Oct. 31, 1788, in the hall of the University of Pennsylvania. Rev. Thomas Beveridge presided, and preached from 2 Cor. iv. 1. "Therefore, seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not." Immediately after which he delivered the charge to him. The sermon and charge were soon printed. Rev. John Anderson, D. D., was ordained by the Presbytery in the afternoon of the same day, Rev. William Marshall presided, and preached on the occasion. After this, Mr. Goodwillie went to New York, where he dispensed the Lord's Supper. In No‑
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vember he arrived in Cambridge, N. Y., where he labored during the winter, preaching occasionally in Argyle and other places in the vicinity. In April, 1789, he returned to New York and Philadelphia, where he attended a meeting of the Presbytery, and then went to Carlisle, where he labored the most of May and June, occasionally preaching in Pequea and other congregations in that part of Pennsylvania, and assisting Mr. Clarkson at his communion on the 24th of May. Returning to Philadelphia, he assisted Mr. Marshall at a dispensation of that holy ordinance, June 21st. On the next Sabbath he preached in New York, where he continued to labor till September, when he went to Cambridge, where, according to the appointment of Presbytery, he presided at the installation of Rev. Thomas Beveridge, and delivered to him the pastoral charge. From Cambridge, probably after the meeting of' the Presbytery there, Oct. 1, 1789, he returned to New York, where he attended a meeting of Presbytery, Oct. 19, with Messrs. Marshall, Beveridge, Anderson, and White. His call to Barnet, and settlement there, in 1781, we have already related in the ecclesiastical record of Barnet.
During these transactions in Barnet Mr. Goodwillie went back to New York, where he was April 10, 1790, and proceeded to Philadelphia, where he assisted Mr. Marshall at the communion, April 25. In May he probably preached in the vacant congregations west of Philadelphia, as we find he was at Marsh Creek, where he married his friend and companion, Rev. A. White to Margaret Kerr, May 27, 1790. In the first part of June he visited Alexandria and Fredericksburg, Va., and returned to Philadelphia, where he was married to Miss Beatrice Henderson, July 7, 1790. They went to New York before the end of that month, and proceeded to Barnet, where they arrived about the 12th of September, 1790. They lodged at first at John Hindman's for a few days, after which they resided, till the close of 1791, with John Ross, who lived near the south end of Ross Pond.
The charter of the town gave one share or right of land to the first settled minister of the gospel. As he was the first settled in the town and county, he obtained this right, which consisted of 340 acres of land, situated in three different parts of the town. A lot of 100 acres lay nearly a mile southeast of the centre of the town, four acres of which, on the northwest corner of the lot, were cleared when he moved into town. He gave to "the Presbyterian Society of Barnet," two acres on the northeast corner of which were the meeting-house and graveyard. 200 acres lay about a mile southeast from the centre of the town. Another lot of forty acres of inferior land lay on a hill east of the Passumpsic, above the falls near the month of the river. In order to obtain a better site for building, he purchased a piece of land on the northwest line of the first-mentioned lot, on which he erected a large frame house, into which he moved, Dec. 20, 1791.
For about 12 or 16 years after he settled in Barnet, he had two difficult and doubtful cases of discipline, but his faith, patience, and perseverance finally triumphed over all discouragements. Mr. Beveridge, that "good servant of Jesus Christ," who had similar trials, writes to him at different times.
"VERY DEAR SIR: Let us not be discouraged with trials and temptations, but let us consider them as means by which the Lord fits instruments for his service. I feel in some measure the afflictions of my brethren. Let us be cheerful under them." "We must set our faces to the storm. If we faithfully serve the Lord, suffering for him, and with him, we shall reign with him. In a little while all these things which cause us grief and pain in this world shall be to us no more. I hope if we attend to our Master's service, he will not leave us without evidences, both of his fatherly care in providing for our wants, and of his gracious presence with us in his service. The more cheerful we are in his work, all things will go the better with us."
In 1804, a communication written by a clergyman of another denomination, and residing in an adjoining State, was published, in which the congregation of Barnet was said to be "a worldly sanctuary," and "no church of Christ," This occasioned a correspondence, which is still preserved, and which manifests that while Mr. Goodwillie was a man able to defend the right, he was still the Christian, full of candor, charity, and meekness. Indeed, he used arguments, drawn from reason and revelation, so powerfully, and applied the facts in the case so forcibly, that the calumniator of the congregation of Barnet was constrained to confess that "they were a body of Christians highly and generally respected."
Clergymen of another denomination, who, both in their discourses and publications, opposed the government of the United States as no ordinance of God, both from the pulpit and press, traduced Mr. Goodwillie as a traitor to the church of Scotland. But he was a firm friend of civil and religious liberty, and held fast the standards of the church of Scotland, as founded on the word of God. While he was a student in his native country, he favored the cause of the United States, then nobly struggling for their independence. Moreover, he never belonged to the Established Church of Scotland, but to the Associate Church, which, both in Scotland and America, testified against the errors of the Established Church, but held fast "the reformation principles of the Church of Scotland." Yet notwithstanding these aspersions, he continued to prosper in his ministerial labors till death dissolved the pastoral relation to his congregation, which he left in a prosperous condition; and it is remarkable that the congregations of all those, clergymen who misrepresented him and his congregation, rejected them long before their
death. Here it may also be proper to add that he observed through life the rule "to speak evil of no man." When he was defamed he made no defence, following a more excellent and effectual way; "when he was reviled, he reviled not again, but committed himself to Him who judgeth righteously," and obeyed the inspired injunction, "with well-doing put to silence the ignorance of foolish men."
During this long period of trial he did not labor in vain, for, as it has been before stated, the communicants numbered threefold more than at his settlement; and after this there were annual accessions till his death, when there were more than 200 living members. The whole number enrolled under his ministry in Barnet was more than 400.
When the call for him was executed in Barnet, July 5, 1790, it will be remembered that 12 members from the congregation of Ryegate attended and signed a paper of adherence to the call, expecting to receive a portion of his labors. That congregation received a sixth part of pastoral services till the autumn of 1822, when they obtained a settled minister. The records of that church were lost, but it is supposed that more than 150 members were admitted during that time, as the congregation was so strong that they gave a preacher a call in 1809, who accepted one from another congregation, and in 1814 gave another preacher a call, who had some thoughts of accepting it, but was also settled in another congregation. So that during his ministry for about 40 years in Barnet, and 32 in Ryegate, nearly 600 persons were enrolled members of these two congregations. During the whole of his ministry, even to old age, he was diligent, not only in preaching on the Sabbath, and visiting the sick, but every year paid a pastoral visit to the families of the congregations of both Barnet and Ryegate, and publicly catechised the parents and children in meetings in different parts of these two towns. The number of his baptisms of infants and adults amounts to several hundred. Once he baptized a child of the fifth generation, all living. When he was town-minister of Barnet he made a pastoral visit every year to every family in town. On one occasion a woman, the head of the household, refused to receive him as a minister. When departing, he turned round at the door of her house, and wiping his feet on the floor, said to her, "Christ commanded them whom he 'sent to preach the kingdom of God' in any house or city to 'shake off the very dust of their feet for a testimony against them who would not receive them nor hear their words,' and to depart saying, 'notwithstanding, be ye sure of this, the kingdom of God is come near to you.' " But the truth and grace of God soon prevailed, for what was said and done had such an effect that the woman soon professed her faith in Christ, and he baptized her and her children, and she continued till her death an exemplary member of his church. His list of marriages amounts to nearly 200. In answer to petitions sent from Canada, for preaching, the Presbytery appointed him to go on a mission to the petitioners. He left home Jan. 18, 1798, and went more than 150 miles beyond Montreal, and preached to them a few Sabbaths, and returned Feb. 24, having travelled nearly 600 miles in the winter. During this prolonged period of trial he was called in God's gracious providence to endure two grievous losses, one of a public and the other of a domestic nature, — the death of his well-beloved brother, Mr. Beveridge, with whom he was most intimately associated in the ministry, and the death of two of his own children, which mournful events took place in his own house nearly at the same time. The sacrament of the Lord's Supper was dispensed to the congregation of Barnet the First Day, being the first Sabbath of July, 1798. Mr. Beveridge came to assist on that occasion. Coming through Ryegate he took a drink of water, which sickened him and issued in dysentery. Though much indisposed when he arrived in Barnet, he preached on Saturday before the communion. On the Sabbath his disease had increased to such a degree that he was obliged to sit while he served two tables, and after the sacred ordinance was dispensed he preached an excellent and very affecting sermon from John xvii. 11: "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee." This was his last appearance in public; and though conflicting with a mortal malady, his talents and piety seemed to shine with uncommon lustre, while he addressed the people with all the fervor of a dying man. He was unable to attend public worship on the thanksgiving on Monday. It was not till three weeks after this that he died, and all hopes of his recovery were not lost till the evening before his death. During these three weeks he was chiefly employed in prayer and reading the Scriptures; and when unable to read he employed one of the elders who waited on him, to read such passages of the Bible as he pointed out, on which he frequently made observations as they went along. William Gilkerson, of Barnet, was sent to inform his family and congregation of his sickness, and they immediately sent James Small and Robert Oliver, two of the elders, to him.
The disease extended to Mr. Goodwillie's family, and two of his children died on Saturday, July 7th, the anniversary of their parents' marriage. The children were laid in one grave. Mr. Goodwillie himself, ere the third Sabbath of the month, was seized with the same disorder, which prevailed and proved very mortal in the town at that time. But such was Mrs. Goodwillie's exemplary prudence and tenderness, that notwithstanding Mr. Beveridge was the means of bringing the disorder into the family, of which two of her children died, she was unremitting in kindness to him; and though an affectionate
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mother, never shed a tear in his sight, for fear of hurting his sensibility. On the third Sabbath a number of people gathered to the house where the two distressed ministers lay. Mr. Beveridge's heart was so touched with compassion towards them, who were, at that time, like sheep without a shepherd, that he insisted on being permitted to preach to them. Notwithstanding the entreaty of his friends, who still had some hopes of his recovery, he roused himself once more and sat up in the bed, around which the people gathered, and after praise and prayer, preached a well-connected and very practical sermon from Psalm xxxi. 23, "Oh love the Lord, all ye his saints!" This discourse was delivered with great fervor of spirit, and in the application he did, in a very pathetic manner, exhort the people of Barnet to study peace among themselves, and to continue steadfast in their religious profession; warned them of the danger of apostasy, and said that if any of them should continue their contentions, which he had before endeavored to remove, he would be a witness against them in the day of judgment. He preached about an hour, and, after prayer and praise, dismissed the congregation. This exertion was far too great for his strength. In the evening he grew worse, the fever increased, and before midnight all hopes of his recovery were lost. He was fully sensible of his situation, and continued in this state till near the dawn of day, when the storm was changed into a calm. To the astonishment of his attendants, he sat up in bed and said, "I am a dying man, and dying fast; as to bodily pain, I am free of it. It is well that I am not afraid to die."
Mr. Goodwillie was then called up from his bed of sickness. When he and his family were come into the room, Mr. Beveridge said he would pray with them once more before he died; and then stretching forth his hands and speaking as fully and distinctly and with as much composure as when in perfect health, addressed the throne of grace, praying for the church of Christ in general and the Associate Church in particular; for his own congregation (in Cambridge, N. Y.) ; especially for the rising generation; for his brethren in the ministry, Mr. Marshall in Philadelphia and Mr. Goodwillie by name, that they might be supported under the trials they had met with in their congregations and families; and for those who had so faithfully attended him during his illness; and then, having commended his soul into the hand of God who gave it, concluded his pathetic and heart-melting prayer with these words: "The prayers of Thomas Beveridge are now ended."
After this he addressed the company around him and exhorted Mr. Goodwillie, who was a tender-hearted man and an affectionate father, not to give way to excessive grief for the loss of his children, as he would find their death among the things that were working together for good; thanked him and Mrs. Goodwillie for their kindness shown to him in his illness, and desired him, when he wrote to Mr. Marshall in Philadelphia, to inform him that he had not forgotten him in his last moments. He then addressed others in the company, according to the various trials they had passed through, — in which he discovered the most perfect recollection. After which he lay down and desired two persons to sit by him, one on each side, and requested the rest of the company to withdraw. In the forenoon he lay perfectly at ease; in the afternoon, grew worse and took little notice of any person, but called Mr. Goodwillie and asked him if he knew what time the Son of Man would come. He replied that he thought about 10 o'clock the ensuing night, or at furthest at midnight; to which Mr. Beveridge replied, "I know now," after which he lay still.
In the evening he seemed to revive, and as distinctly as from the pulpit, repeated twice that remarkable passage, "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." After this he gradually sank, and about 10 o'clock expired, without a struggle, a sigh, or groan. He lies buried in the churchyard at Barnet, in Mr. Goodwillie's burial-place, where his congregation erected a monument, with an appropriate inscription, which contains the original Hebrew of the passage, "I know that my Redeemer liveth."
The death of this eminent servant of Christ was deeply felt by Mr. and Mrs. Goodwillie, as he, was their intimate friend, and as there were at that time so many urgent calls in the Associate Church for such sound, able, and faithful ministers. Mrs. Goodwillie, who was "a mother in Israel" indeed, expressed her pious public spirit on this mournful occasion by saying, that her loss by the death of her two children in one day was not to be compared to the loss of the church by the death of Mr. Beveridge. One of Mr. Goodwillie's elders said that he would have willingly died in Mr. Beveridge's stead had it been the will of God to spare him to preach the gospel.
Mr. Oliver, after he returned home to Cambridge, writes, after describing the saddening effect of the news of Mr. Beveridge's death on his wife and congregation, "We all join with her in our most sincere acknowledgments to you and Mrs. Goodwillie for your great care and kindness to the deceased and to us. We are anxious to hear of your recovery and Mary's, and how it fares with Mrs. Goodwillie after so much toil and trouble both in body and mind." Mr. Marshall, who was ministering to the bereaved congregation at that time, writes: "My salutations to you, who are like Joseph, separated from your ministerial brethren. Remember me in a particular manner
to your dear yoke-fellow, whose praise is in this church for her many gifts and graces."
Mr. and Mrs. Goodwillie, in 1802, were called to lament their loss by the death of Rev. William Marshall, of Philadelphia, another eminent minister of the Associate Church, and their kind and faithful friend, highly esteemed and well-beloved.
On account of the distance from his residence to the places where the Synod and Presbyteries of Pennsylvania and Cambridge met, Mr. Goodwillie was not frequently present, which was regretted by both himself and his brethren. He wished to attend to the duties of a Presbyter, and they wished to have his counsel and advice, as well as to enjoy his company, to encourage and cheer them in the duties and difficulties of the ministry. He was present at the meeting of the Associate Synod in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1803, when he was chosen moderator; in 1804, 1807, 1809, and in 1824, when he was appointed to preach the Synod sermon in the absence of the moderator.
So highly was he esteemed for his wisdom and understanding of the doctrine and order of the church of Christ that the Synod appointed him to make "a book of church government and discipline," which, after a few amendments and additions, was enacted by the Synod as "a standing rule," and which is still in force.
In his large collection of papers were found more than 1,000 letters, preserved to this time. The most of these were written by ministers of the Associate Church, both in Scotland and America, with some of whom the correspondence was maintained till death. We find letters from Rev. Adam Gibb, Rev. John Jamieson, D.D., and also from Alexander Pringle, D.D., with whom he corresponded till his death. We also find letters from Rev. William Marshall, Rev. Thomas Beveridge, Rev. John Anderson, D.D., with whom he corresponded till their death; Rev. A. White, Rev. Francis Pringle, Rev. Thomas Hamilton, Rev. John Banks, D.D., and most of the other ministers of the Associate Church in this country at an early period. From one of these clergymen he received nearly 300 letters in about 20 years. The letters of very many of his correspondents show that the writers were men of superior intelligence and piety, and many quotations might be made from them to show their high esteem of Mr. Goodwillie. They refer to his company and conversation as having been so agreeable and edifying, and thank him for his letters, as giving them so much pleasure and profit, that they desire a continuance of his correspondence and the enjoyment of his company.
Mr. Goodwillie seemed, indeed, well qualified for the station and relations in the church in which a gracious Providence had placed him. His mental endowments were suited to his circumstances, and were highly acceptable and advantageous to the people among whom he labored. From his knowledge of human nature, he accurately discerned the characters of men, and estimated and treated them according to their real worth; and was generally regarded by them to be "a very knowing man;" moreover, he was known to he amiable, peaceful, and contented; hence he was frequently consulted by all classes, and, as a blessed peacemaker, through his influence many difficulties were settled.
It was his custom on the Sabbath forenoon to expound the Scriptures. In this way he expounded all the New and most of the books of the Old Testament, — drawing inferences and observations, both doctrinal and practical, from the passages expounded. His sermons were sound and solid, well arranged, and full of the doctrines and duties of religion; and many of his people became eminent for their faith, holiness, and good works. In the pulpit he was grave and solemn, calm and deliberate in delivery, — a minister of the word who did not aspire after popular applause "with the enticing words of man's wisdom," but who, rather with great plainness of speech, preached the glorious and everlasting gospel of Christ crucified; while so deeply did his own soul experience the gracious power of the precious truths he taught that he often shed tears while delivering them to others.
His last discourse was preached in the new brick meeting-house, Sabbath, July 18, 1830, from Hebrews, respecting the sojourning of Israel in the wilderness for forty years, and the use to which the apostle applies it. "There remaineth, therefore, a rest for the people of God. Let us therefore labor to enter into that rest." The people observed, afterwards, that the discourse was remarkable, and he was himself deeply affected in delivering it, as he had been nearly 40 years settled in Barnet, and anticipated that his end was drawing near. A diary, kept by his son and assistant in the ministry, contains a particular account of his last sickness and death. On Thursday following, he seemed to be overcome by the heat of the weather, which was very oppressive, accompanied with debility and symptoms of cough and congestion of the lungs. For more than a week he was often delirious, and unable to converse much, but manifested during his sickness, by being often observed to be engaged in prayer and repeating parts of the Scriptures, that his thoughts were occupied with the things of God. After this, he grew worse, and died in the evening of the 12th day of his sickness. In the morning of that day, he became quite sensible; was aware that he had been delirious, and inquired how long it was since he was taken ill; how it came upon him; how long it was since the Lord's Supper had been dispensed, and how often he had preached since. He directed his executor to divide his library between his two sons in the ministry. After lying quiet for some time, apparently meditating, he looked up in the face of his son, to whom he had formerly observed that he would soon be
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left alone in his ministry, and said, in a calm but firm tone of voice, "It appears that God, in his providence, is about to put a period to my life and labors, and take me to himself. I acknowledge his goodness to me and my family and connections. Tell my absent children and relatives that I pray for every one of them, and desire that they walk in the ways of the Lord, and that they pray for each other, and especially for those who have been bereaved by death. This affliction has come on me suddenly, and has left me little time for reflection, but it is the will of the Lord, and we should submit to it with cheerful readiness. I acknowledge God's goodness to me and the church." He then exhorted his three children present "to walk by faith." Afterwards, he spoke of his being devoted to God, and acknowledged his unworthiness, but expressed his confidence in the manifold mercy of God in Christ. In the afternoon, the delirum returned, and the difficulty of breathing increased, till 6 o'clock, August 2, 1830, when he departed in peace, in the 81st year of his age, having preached the gospel nearly 52 years.
His funeral was attended by a large concourse of people, many of whom were from Ryegate and other towns around Barnet. Several clergymen belonging to adjacent towns were also present. Rev. Wm. Pringle, whose ordination and settlement in Ryegate he had lately attended, and to whom he gave the pastoral charge, read the 19th Psalm, with prayer; and he was interred beside his deceased wife and children and fellow-laborer, Mr. Beveridge. A monument was soon erected near the graves of Mr. and Mrs. Goodwillie, with appropriate inscriptions. The following Sabbath, Rev. Mr. Pringle preached to a large audience an excellent sermon, suited to the solemn occasion, from Psalm cxlii. 5. "I cried unto thee, O Lord; I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living." His death was considered a public loss; even his acquaintance who survive still revere and cherish his memory, which is blessed.
When he was settled in Barnet, the county was new. Except a clergyman of another denomination settled about 20 miles south of him, there was not another settled minister of any denomination within 60 miles in any other direction. This solitary state continued for 9 years.
In 1798, he procured sheet iron, and got his brother, who followed his father's occupation, and had moved his family from Nova Scotia to Barnet in 1793, in order to enjoy his ministry, to make him a stove, which for a long time was the first used in this part of the country, and considered a great curiosity and comfort. About the year 1812, he procured from the State of New York a four-wheeled vehicle, which was for some years the first carriage owned and used in Barnet.
In stature he was about 5 feet 10 inches; had a robust frame, and inclined to be corpulent in the decline of life. In his habits he was temperate and regular, and enjoyed generally good health. Thus he was enabled to endure without complaint the fatigue of travelling and the inclemency the weather at all seasons, as well as the arduous labors of his ministry for so many years. In the last years of his life, he became deaf to a considerable degree, but his eyesight remained good, so that he could read till the last.
He brought from Scotland a good library, mostly composed of theological works, which were much damaged by the carelessness of those who transported them up the Connecticut River, permitting them to get wet. At home, he kept close to the study-room adjoining his library, continuing his labors till midnight, — a practice maintained till near his death.
In 1805, as before mentioned, his relation of pastor to the town was dissolved with mutual consent, the law of the State under which he was settled having been essentially modified, But his fellow-citizens soon gave him proofs, which continued through life, of their high esteem, as well as their confidence in his ability and integrity, in electing him to three responsible offices. In the autumn of the same year, he was chosen to represent the town in the legislature, which held its session from Oct. 5 to Nov. 8, 1805, at Danville, 7 miles from his residence.
He always returned home on Saturday, and preached to his congregation on the Sabbath. In the same year, the Presbyterian Society of Barnet was incorporated, which paid his salary till his death. In 1807 he was chosen town clerk, and was annually re-elected by the town to that office till 1827, when he declined re-election.
The mail was first extended to Barnet in 1808. It was a weekly mail, and ran through the centre of the town. He was appointed the first postmaster in Barnet, and was continued in that office till 1818, when the route was changed to the Connecticut River.
His talents for business were great. He was a ready writer, and wrote a good hand, and his transactions were methodical and exact. His residence, being near the centre of the town, was convenient for the inhabitants, and the duties of these offices were light and quickly discharged, and did not interfere with his pastoral duties, which he diligently discharged with punctuality.
He labored both publicly and privately till an academy was established in the county, at Peacham, five miles from his residence, and some years before any other clergyman was settled in the county. By the charter he was appointed a trustee, which office he held till 1827, when he resigned, and the Board of Trustees passed a vote of "thanks to him for his long and faithful services." He attended all their annual meetings during this period, and was the President of the Board for many years; and annually chosen one of the examiners, and punctually attended. The
pupils long remembered their examinations by the venerable minister of Barnet, who was esteemed the most learned member of the Board of Trustees. Long after his death, the 50th anniversary of the institution was celebrated, being attended by great numbers of its former pupils, from different parts of the United States and Canada. The jubilee lasted for two days. The late Chief Justice of Vermont delivered an oration, and a distinguished lawyer from Massachusetts, one of the early pupils, in his speech, eulogized Mr. Goodwillie for his talents, erudition, and piety. James Orr, a member of his congregation in Barnet, gave the County Academy $1,000 as a donation.
He was charitable, hospitable, generous; but modest and humble, and did not let his left hand know what his right hand gave to support the poor and spread the gospel. He was a life member of the Bible Society. He possessed great equanimity and fortitude, — was not uplifted by prosperity or cast down by adversity; but rather inherited and cultivated through life a peculiarly cheerful disposition, insomuch that it was remarked by the most intelligent of his people, that he appeared most cheerful in preaching when under trouble, whether of a public or domestic nature. He was esteemed a judicious man, and a faithful, affectionate friend. His brethren in the ministry sought his counsel and company, and the regret was mutual that they were settled so far apart. Rev. John Anderson, D.D., who was ordained with him in Philadelphia, and who officiated at his installation in Barnet, was a friend very highly esteemed and beloved for his superior talents, learning, and piety, with whom Mr. Goodwillie continued to correspond till the death of Mr. A., not four months before his own, which event deeply affected him as long as he lived.
Rev. Andrew Heron, D.D., who was many years clerk of the Associate Synod, writes to one of Mr. Goodwillie's sons with respect to his "venerated father's life and character." "I never heard him preach, but spent some days in his hospitable mansion, in 1814, when he was considerably advanced in life. His kindness and hospitality were unbounded. I was delighted and edified with his society and conversation. He had a rich fund of anecdotes, and a pleasing manner of telling them. I have often heard the fathers of the Associate Church, now dead, express their confidence in him and their regard for him. I have often heard my aunt, who emigrated in the same ship, tell how much she and the rest of the cabin passengers were indebted to his constant pleasantries and liveliness of manner, making the voyage to seem short and agreeable."
Besides his inexhaustible fund of good anecdotes and a good way of relating them, his sallies were ready, pertinent, forcible; and the quick wit of his replies produced sudden bursts of great laughter. When a little child, he wandered from home, and, when returning, was met by his mother searching for him. Fearing chastisement. he fell down on his knees before her, held up his hands, and said, "All obedience, mother." Such submission satisfied the mother. When a member of the Legislature of Vermont, his replies to the arguments of an opponent were so forcible and facetious, that the whole house was convulsed with laughter, at the opponent's expense, who had the magnanimity not to resent it. One Saturday evening, a young, reckless member moved "that the Legislature adjourn till to-morrow morning," which so shocked the moral sense of the house, that many members turned their eyes on the Scotch minister as a sign for him to defend the sacred Sabbath. He rose and said, "I second the motion," which greatly astonished the house; but he continued, "I second the motion, not because I approve of it, but to have the right to call for the yeas and nays, which I accordingly do, for I wish it to be known who in this house are the friends and who the foes of the Sabbath." The mover immediately withdrew the motion, knowing his name would be recorded in the journal and published in the newspapers as an enemy to the Lord's day, which would give him rather a killing notoriety. More than 40 years since, he attended commencement of Dartmouth College, after which he called on Dr. Shurtleff, one of the professors, who loved sprightly conversation as well as himself. While they were engaged in talking, Mr. A., a graduate, entered the room and took the scat of another graduate who had just gone out. Mr. Goodwillie, having been so earnestly engaged in conversation that he did not perceive the change, said, "I liked Mr. A.'s speech very well." The doctor said, "I am glad to hear it, and will introduce you to him." Turning to Mr. A., Mr. Goodwillie remarked, immediately after the introduction, "I liked your speech very well; but perhaps it was not so deep as some of the others." Thus he saved himself in some degree from the impropriety of praising a person in his presence. Dr. Shurtleff spoke highly of his public spirit and generosity. One morning at the breakfast table, with a few witty words spoken occasionally as he was eating, he kept a brother clergyman laughing so heartily that he could not get time to eat or drink, which he constantly urged him to do.
MRS. GOODWILLIE was born in Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland, Jan. 24, 1761. David Henderson, her father, widely known for his great zeal and piety, was a member of the Associate Church. He, at first, belonged to the congregation of Ceres, 14 miles distant, but when the Associate Congregation of Kirkcaldy was organized, about 1750, he became a member and was chosen an elder, which office he held till his death, in 1775. It was his custom to rise early in the morning and engage till breakfast in
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reading the Scriptures, self-examination, meditation, and prayer, and continued "instant in prayer" through the day. He was a merchant, and it was his custom, when he had placed the goods on the counter, while his customers were examining what to buy, to turn his back upon them and his face to the wall, and engage in prayer.
Her mother was a daughter of William Gardner of Cupar, Fifeshire, who joined the Associate Church and became a member of the congregation of Abernethy, 14 miles distant, but after the congregation of Ceres, in the neighborhood of Cupar, was organised, became a member and continued to adorn his profession till his death in 1772, aged 90 years. He had two children, daughters, one of whom was married to John Culbert, a merchant in Cupar, who had 14 children, one of whom was Rev. John Culbert, a minister of the Associate Synod, who was in France at the time of the Revolution, lost all his property, and narrowly escaped with his life; and who was acquainted and corresponded with the eminent Rev. John Newton, of London, whose narrative he had printed in Scotland in 1783. He died in 1825.
Margaret Gardner, the youngest daughter, was married in 1744 to David Henderson. They had 7 children. The youngest was Mrs. Goodwillie, whose mother, noted for piety, died when she was but a little child, and her father when she was but 14; but his religious instructions and example had made a powerful and permanent impression, and having been afterward more thoroughly instructed in the word of God, she joined the congregation of Kirkcaldy.
She emigrated to America with Mr. Goodwillie in 1788, and resided two years with her brother, David. Henderson, of Fredericksburg, Va., who came to America before the Revolutionary War, in which he suffered great losses, and enlisted in a company commanded by Capt. Washington, a brother of Gen. Washington, with whose mother he was acquainted. Mr. Henderson was a godly and generous man; for many years a member and ruling elder of the Presbyterian church of Fredericksburg, Va., and died in 1837. Among his many acts of generosity was a liberal donation, continued for many years, for the education of two of his sister's sons for the sacred ministry.
Miss Henderson was married to Mr. Goodwillie July 7, 1790, by Rev. William Marshall, in his own house in Philadelphia, Pa., and he held her in high esteem during life and made "honorable mention" of her in his life of Mr. Beveridge. To one who had always been accustomed to a city life, the change to live in a country newly settled was great; but she submitted to discomforts cheerfully, that she might be instrumental for the spiritual interests of those among whom she came to dwell. Ever very much concerned that she might be helpful to a man of God in promoting the success of his ministry, she was indeed a great helpmeet to her husband, in things spiritual as well as temporal. So deep an interest did they naturally take in the prosperity of the church, that it was their usual practice to set apart days for fasting, humiliation, and prayer, which they observed in the family, for the peace and prosperity of the congregation, as well as the spiritual interests of the family. She had a female prayer-meeting which met in their house, and was an active member of a female society still existing in the congregation, for the purpose of contributing to Bible and missionary societies, and the support of young men studying with a view to the sacred ministry. Her friends who had the best opportunity of knowing her character and habits, represent her as conscientiously careful in discharging all personal and domestic duties, much devoted to prayer and perusal of the Word of God, and greatly enriched with religious experience. She was a faithful and affectionate Christian mother. When her husband was gone from home, she observed family worship; and so fervent were her prayers for her family and the church, that frequently the floor where she bowed down on her knees to pray was wet with her tears. And it appears that when she came to die she was well "exercised unto godliness;" yet her humility was so great that she now esteemed herself "to be nothing," and lamented that she had not lived a more useful life. But her faith in the gracious promises remained firm, and she had a desire to depart, and repeatedly prayed., "O Lord Jesus, come quickly!" When dying, her aged husband kissed her, and said, "I resign you to God from whom I received you." She died Feb. 4, 1827, aged 66 years, three years and a half before her husband. A great concourse of people followed her to the grave.
In concluding this history of Barnet, the writer would observe that he obtained materials so abundant that it would require a volume to contain a full history of the town. His chief work has been to examine, select, arrange, and condense. Besides the use of the town and church records and papers, and the extensive collections of letters, papers, journals, and charts belonging to the late Rev. David Goodwillie, he is indebted to Hon. Walter Harvey for the letters, papers, journal, and chart of his father, Col. Harvey; to Henry Stevens, Esq., for important maps and documents, and to Willard Stevens, Esq., for the papers, letters, lists, journal, and charts of his father, Enos Stevens, Esq.
Barnet, March 4, 1801.
MR. AND MRS. GOODWILLIE'S FAMILY.
BY REV. ANDREW HERON, D.D.
They had 8 children, four sons and four daughters; of whom one daughter and three
sons are now living. One of the sons has been long and intimately connected with the church and town of Barnet.
MARY GOODWILLIE was born Oct. 2, 1792. She was dangerously sick when her brother and sister died, and Mr. Beveridge joined in prayer with the elders that she might be recovered. She lived to become the wife of his successor in his congregation. She was educated at the Caledonia County Academy, and married by her father Sept. 28, 1810, to Rev. Alexander Bullions, D.D., pastor of the Associate Congregation of Cambridge. Rev. P. Bullions, D. D., in the life of her eminent and excellent husband, says "she was a woman of uncommon worth and loveliness; meek, unassuming, patient under many afflictions; of sincere, unaffected piety, and beloved by all who knew her. She was the mother of 6 children, whom she endeavored to train up to fear and serve the Lord, commending them with much and fervent prayer to Him who gave them. She died in the full assurance of faith, Jan. 4, 1830." Her eldest daughter, a superior woman, was married to the Rev. Wm. Pringle, pastor of the Associate Congregation of Ryegate. Her eldest son, Rev. David G. Bullions, graduated at Union College, N.Y.; became a minister of the Associate Church, and was settled as his father's assistant and successor. The other son graduated at Union College, and became a celebrated physician, having studied his profession in Europe and America.
MILDRED GOODWILLIE, born Aug. 1, 1798, was educated in Caledonia County Academy, and married by her father, July 11, 1817, to Rev. John Donaldson, pastor of the Associate Congregation of Florida, N. Y., but afterwards settled in Scroggsfield, Ohio, where she died in 183—, greatly lamented. She deserves the good character given to Mrs. Bullions, whom she greatly resembled. She had 7 children, five of whom are living.
THOMAS GOODWILLIE, born Sept. 27, 1800, and DAVID GOODWILLIE, born Aug. 28, 1802. These two sons in 1813 went to Cambridge, N. Y., and studied under Dr. Bullions, and attended some time the Cambridge Academy, under Dr. Chassell. Returning home in the spring of 1817, they attended the Caledonia County Academy for a short time, and then entered Dartmouth College, where they graduated August, 1820. Having become members of the Associate Church a few years before, they were admitted by the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge, and commenced the study of theology in the beginning of 1821, at the Eastern Theological Seminary of the Associate Church in Philadelphia. Dr. Banks, the professor under whom they studied, was eminent for his knowledge of theology and profound acquaintance with the Greek, but especially the Hebrew language, which made him an able critic and expositor of the Holy Scriptures. He represented them to their parents as "bearing a good character, and making excellent progress;" and the Presbytery of Cambridge, before the appointed time for the study of theology had elapsed, recommended them to the Synod to be licensed, and the Synod suspended the rule, and ordered this Presbytery to take them on trials for this end. These trials having proved satisfactory, the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge licensed them at Ryegate, Sept. 29, 1823. Their hoary-headed father was the moderator of the Presbytery at that time, and from his great knowledge and experience, with tears flowing fast, gave them suitable and sage council with respect to the duties and difficulties of the "good work" in which they were engaging. Claiming their right which was accorded to them by the Synod, they returned to the Theological Seminary, and studied another term.
Leaving Philadelphia early in the spring of 1824, in fulfilling the Synod's appointments to preach, they went to South Carolina, then into Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio, and returned to Philadelphia the next spring. On their way South, their first interview with their uncle, who had so long and liberally supported them in prosecuting their studies, was very gratifying, and he was highly pleased with their company and conversation, but his greatest pleasure was to hear his nephews preach the gospel of Christ, which was dear to his own soul.
Dr. Banks, the professor, writes to their "venerable father," "with much satisfaction," that his two sons were "excellent young men, who gave great attention to their studies, in which they made excellent progress;" that they preached several times in Philadelphia, and "were very acceptable to the people, among whom they left a savory remembrance of their character and abilities." The aged and venerable Dr. Anderson writes to their father, "Feb. 18, 1825: I have had much satisfaction in being visited by your two sons. They both preached to our people with much acceptance. I hope the Lord will bless them, and make them a blessing to his people." They returned home to Barnet, and assisted their father in July, 1825, in dispensing the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. So well pleased and profited were the people of their father's congregation with their ministrations that they immediately applied to the Presbytery for a moderation of a call, and on the 26th day of October, 1825, they gave Rev. Thomas Goodwillie a unanimous call to be assistant pastor and successor to his father. The aged pastor still being able to officiate, and preachers being few, and the vacant congregations many, his son continued to fulfil the appointments of Synod. Having passed satisfactory trials for ordination, he was ordained and settled as pastor of the Associate Congregation of Barnet by the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge, Sept. 27, 1826, before a
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large audience, many of whom came from surrounding towns. The aged father, with many tears, gave the pastoral charge to his son.
Soon after his settlement, the Legislature elected him to preach before the Governor, Council, and General Assembly, at the opening of the Legislature the next year. Accordingly, he preached at Montpelier, October 11, 1827, before the Legislature, and a vast audience of attentive listeners, and gave appropriate addresses to the Governor, Council, and General Assembly. The Legislature voted him thanks for the "eloquent and able" sermon, and requested a copy for publication, and elected him their chaplain for the session. His sermon was immediately published at the expense of the State, and gratuitously distributed to all its towns. Rev. Ashbel Green, D.D., of Philadelphia, editor of "The Christian Advocate," in noticing its publication, says:—
"It is a sensible and faithful sermon, on a text manifestly appropriate to the occasion, — Prov. xiv. 34: 'Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.' We know not whether it be more creditable to the author of this discourse that he had the fidelity to deliver it, or to the Legislature of the State of Vermont that they had the good sense and piety to request its publication. We wish that such a sermon were addressed to every State Legislature, and to our congress, too, at the commencement of each of their sessions."
The sermon was afterwards reprinted. By appointment of the Presbytery to which he belonged, he went on a mission to Upper Canada in 1827. In consequence of a petition from Lower Canada, he went and preached in several towns on the St. Francis River, in 1829. While he was officiating as chaplain to the Legislature, and absent on these missions, his father officiated in the congregation in Barnet.
A few weeks after his father died, he left Barnet on account of ill-health, and for a year travelled in the Southern and Western States. In 1831 he went to the south of France, and proceeded to Sicily, and went as far as Syracuse. From thence he proceeded to Naples; visited Herculaneum and Pompeii; ascended Mt. Vesuvius, and entered the crater of this volcano; then journeyed to Rome, and saw the vast remains of antiquity, and the works of the fine arts. By Florence and Milan, he went over the Alps, by the Mt. Simplon road, to Geneva, where he saw the library of Calvin. Thence he travelled to the north of Europe; visited Scotland, and returned in 1833, with his health so far recovered as to resume his labors in the congregation of Barnet, where he has continued to labor to the present time; and his congregation has expressed their high appreciation of his character and services, and their sympathy with him in his trials, both public and domestic.
He was clerk of the Associate Synod (of the North) from 1841 to 1854, when the Synods united, except in 1852, when he was chosen moderator. After preaching at the opening of the Synod the next year, which is the duty of the moderator, the Synod, without precedent, voted him "thanks for his very excellent sermon." He was again chosen moderator of the Associate Synod in 1859. He has long been a life member of the American Bible Society.
In 1827, when his father resigned his seat in the board of trustees of the Caledonia County Academy, he was immediately chosen a trustee, to fill his place, which he still continues to occupy, and has been one of the examiners, and, most of the time, president of the board. In 1827, also, when his father declined a re-election as town clerk, he was chosen to that office, which he then declined; but, in 1859, was reelected to the office, which was urged upon him, and he accepted, and has been since annually re-elected.
He was married, April 11, 1833, and has four children living, — three sons and a daughter, — besides a daughter who died in 1850, in the thirteenth year of her age, remarkable for her intelligence and piety. The two oldest sons have graduated at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery, and settled in their profession in Philadelphia, Pa. The eldest son is one of the faculty of that college, and for some years has given great satisfaction in discharging the duties of his office, and has also become a good writer on some parts of his profession. The youngest son (who bears his father's name) is a student in Dartmouth College, preparing for the Christian ministry.
Rev. DAVID GOODWILLIE, Jr., received a call from Xenia and Sugar Creek, O.; but accepted one from the united congregations of Poland, Liberty, and Deer Creek, and was ordained and settled by the Associate Presbytery of Ohio at Deer Creek, Lawrence Co., Pa., April 26, 1826, and ever since has been a laborious minister, and his ministry has been blessed with great success. His congregations increased so much that each one desired to have a greater share of his labors, but feared the loss of the valued labors of their highly-esteemed pastor, in a division of his pastoral charge. But his labors still increased to such a degree that he was at length constrained to ask the Presbytery for a division, which was granted, and Deer Creek was disjoined in the beginning of 1833. After the union of the Associate and Associate Reformed churches, he was disjoined from Poland in April, 1859, that it might unite with another congregation in the vicinity, and he now continues his ministrations in Liberty, Trumbull Co., Pa. The number of church members enrolled under his pastoral care in Deer Creek, in 7 years, was 104; in Poland, in 33 years, 303, and in Liberty, in 35 years, extending to the present time (1861) 253, making a total of 660. For a number of years he was president of the board of trustees of Westminster College, Pa. He was
married April 20, 1826. His children were three sons and three daughters, of whom two sons and two daughters survive. His firstborn, Rev. David Henderson Goodwillie, graduated at Jefferson College, Pa.; studied theology in the seminary of the Associate Church, and was licensed to preach by the Associate Presbytery of Shenango, Sept. 2, 1853, and about the same time he was elected by the board of trustees of Westminster College, the professor of natural philosophy and chemistry, and continued to fill that office successfully, till he resigned, in December, 1854. He was ordained and settled in the Associate congregation of Stamford in Canada, four miles from Niagara Falls, Sept. 27, 1855, where he still continues.
April 11, 1861. A. H.
REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
BY REV. JOHN BOLE, OF RYEGATE.
The Reformed Presbyterian Congregation, of Barnet, in connection with the General Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, was originally a branch of the Ryegate congregation of the same denomination. The congregation was organized in 1851, under the pastorate of Rev. Robert A. Hill, who demitted his charge in 1852. And in 1853, the Rev. John Bole was ordained pastor of the congregations of Ryegate and Barnet. In little more than a year after his organization, Mr. Bole demitted the charge of the Barnet congregation. Since then, this congregation has remained a vacancy under the care of the Northern Presbytery of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in connection with the General Synod. The congregation numbers about 20 members.
THE REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CONGREGATION (OLD SCHOOL) OF BARNET.
BY REV. JAMES BEATTIE.
This congregation was organized in 1840, the year that Rev. James Milligan was disjoined from Ryegate. It then consisted of about ten members. It was in a short time increased by the accession of members of the Ryegate congregation, who resided in that vicinity. It united with Ryegate, in 1844, in giving Rev. James M. Beattie a call, when there were 25 members, in regular standing. Mr. Beattie, who continues to be their pastor, preaches alternately to the two congregations, the two meeting-houses being five miles distant from each other. In this congregation there is a flourishing Sabbath school. The people contribute liberally to the different schemes of the church. By very liberal exertions they have recently repaired the meeting-house, which is in the southwest part of the town. Since the settlement of the present pastor there have been 48 additions. There are at present 58 communicants.
BY REV. M. B. BRADFORD.
Nov. 21, 1816. A congregational church was organized by Rev. Samuel Goddard, then of Concord, Vt., composed of members in part of Barnet, and in part of Lyman, N. H. It was called the "Congregational Church of Barnet and Lyman." This church was small, but continued, with various degrees of prosperity, about 12 years. It appears to have been sound in the faith, and to have exerted a good influence. It was organized with 20 members, and during its continuance, received into its fellowship about 100 persons. It never had a settled pastor. Most of its members have fallen asleep. A few remain to the present time.
In October, 1829, the first Congregational Church in Barnet was formed. It consisted of three members, viz: James Gildchrist, Willard, and J. F. Skinner. After the church was organized, the Rev. A. Govan was constituted the pastor.
During the 30 years of the existence of this church, 238 members were received by letter and profession; 111 dismissed, and 25 have died. The large number of dismissions is owing to the fact that on Sept. 10, 1858, forty-three were dismissed for the purpose of being organized into a church at Stevens Village, the first church having built a meeting-house, and established its centre at McIndoes Falls. This church has been blessed with many pastors, but only two of them have been settled. Rev. Mr. Govan continued as pastor from 1829 to September, 1832. Rev. Noah Cressey was employed a part of the time until 1835, when Rev. Joseph B. White began his labors with this church. After him, Rev. E. I. Carpenter, Rev. T. E. Ranney, and Rev. A. O. Hubbard were employed successively. Mr. Hubbard continued his connection with the church some six years. After him, Rev. E. H. Caswell was acting pastor about three years. In 1854, Rev. E. Cleaveland began to preach to this church, and continued two years. March 5, 1856, Rev. B. F. Ray was ordained, and dismissed Aug. 30, 1859. In December following, Rev. M. B. Bradford, the present pastor, commenced his labors.
This church is now situated near the border of the town, and is made up in part by members from Ryegate, Vt., and from Munroe and Bath, in N. H., who find it convenient to attend worship at McIndoes Falls.
BY REV. A. H. HOUSE.
Barnet, originally settled by Scotch Presbyterians, had no other religious organization for several years. Prior to 1811, there was a small Baptist Church, called "Barnet and Ryegate Church" to which Elder Bailey — still remembered with Christian love — ministered for some
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time. (For twenty-four years before he became Baptist, he had been a Congregationalist; but, believing it his duty to be baptized by immersion, submitted to the rite, and united with the Baptist Church at Danville.) He was a laborious minister, and often blessed with revivals. The time of his death I do not know. Nor do I deem it a matter of importance. He lived a Christian, — best record that can be made of any man, — and died, I doubt not, in the faith. The Baptist Church in Passumpsic Village, in the north part of Barnet, was formed in 1811; but its place of worship has always been in Barnet Village, and its members have belonged to different towns, principally St. Johnsbury, Waterford, Danville, Ryegate, and Groton. At one time there was in Groton quite a branch of the Passumpsic Church, which was subsequently organized into an independent church. The records of the church at Passumpsic are in such a state I cannot state positively the number of members when organized. As near as I can ascertain, however, there were some eight or ten. The whole number received into the church was 508; baptized, 333; present number (Nov. 1, 1861), 74. This church has had ten pastors, viz: Silas Davidson, George B. Ide, D. D., now of Springfield, Mass., J. Merriam, B. Burrows, Levi Smith, John Ide, N. W. Smith, A. Boardman, and A. H. House. The average length of the pastoral relation, nearly 5 years; the first pastor 19 years and 3 months, the last pastor now in his 7th year. The church has licensed and ordained six ministers, some of whom are in heaven, and some occupying important places in the church militant. The average number of baptisms per year, during the history of the church, is six and a fraction. The church has been blessed with a number of precious revivals. In 1816, thirty-five were baptized; in 1828, forty-eight; in 1831, fifty-eight; in 1833, twenty; and in 1839, sixty-three. While some of these have turned backward, many, we trust, will be saved in the day of Christ. There were several years, in which every year more or less were baptized. There has been, however, no general revival since 1839. During the ministrations of the first pastor, dependence, under God, was placed on the ordinary means of grace, and God did not disappoint the expectations of his people. But since his day, more dependence has been placed on extraordinary, — on exciting measures, and we have been shown, what the writer has always believed, that such a course is not wise. If the Lord does not renew his work, this church, which has done so much for the truth, which has been so honorable among her sister churches, which for a long time was a model church for its discipline and benevolence, which has always been blessed with good men for its deacons, for whose welfare the Clarks, the Woods, the Parks, and the Browns have toiled so much, will soon become extinct! Elders Davidson, Merriam, Ide, and Green have gone home. The rest of the pastors who have served this church are still in the field. I regret I am not able to give a short sketch of the life of Elder Merriam, who is remembered with so much affection by all who sat under his ministry while pastor of the church in this place. I would also speak of Elder J. Ide, did I not expect a sketch of his honorable and useful life would he furnished with the history of Coventry, where he labored many years, and where he was ordained to the work of the ministry. I will close this meagre sketch of our church — which is perhaps already too long — with a brief notice of its first pastor, Elder Silas Davidson, who was born in Pomfret, Ct., November, 1766. He came to Vermont in 1779. He united with the Baptist Church in Hartland, in 1795. In 1798, he moved to Waterford, and soon began ministerial labors there, and was instrumental in gathering a small church in that town, which, after a few years, was blended with the church at Passumpsic, with which he himself united in 1811, and was ordained its pastor, July 1, 1812, and for 19 years and 3 months after, he honorably sustained that relation; faithfully preaching Christ as the only hope of the guilty. He dwelt among his people, and, at his own request, was dismissed. Few men have been more useful. He was a Baptist from principle, — sound in the faith, — unswerving to the last; but a lover of all who loved the Lord Jesus. While he possessed not the advantages of an early education, his sermons were eminently acceptable to those whose minds were better cultivated, for he studied the Book quoted, with great accuracy, the Book, and the BOOK was his guide through life. He was, moreover, a true friend of education; and all the benevolent associations of the day had his prayers and sincere co-operation. Indeed, a devout man and an excellent counsellor, few churches have been better instructed in their duty than this, of which he was so long pastor; and no man did more for the association to which he belonged, for which he was moderator six times, clerk twelve times, and preached its introductory sermon four times. Three of his sons entered the ministry, though but one lived to be ordained, and these all went before him to rest. He died in clear hope of eternal life, at his residence in Waterford, May 16, 1842, aged 76. His memory "esto perpetua."
EXTRACTS FROM AN ADDRESS BEFORE THE CALEDONIA COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY, AT THE ANNUAL FAlR HELD AT ST. JOHNSBURY PLAIN, OCT. 2, 1845.
BY HENRY STEVENS, ESQ.
By turning to the census of this State, A. D. 1790, 1800, 1810, it will be found that at each census which was taken at those periods, the
people of Vermont possessed more sheep according to their population than any other State. Our household manufactures amounted to much more, according to our population, than any other State. The census shows that the inhabitants of the town of Danville manufactured 26,907 yards of linen cloth, 1,214 yards of cotton, and 16,128 yards of woollen cloth; Peacham, 13,608 yards of linen, 2,119 of cotton, and 9,824 yards of woollen cloth; St. Johnsbury, 16,505 of linen, 1,179 cotton, 9,431 woollen; Barnet, 5,535 yards linen, 319 cotton, 10,830 of woollen cloth. Caledonia County, at that period, contained 23 towns, population 18,740; number of sheep, 34,587; woollen cloth manufactured, more than 7 yards to each person. All kinds of cloth of household manufacture averaged more than 19 yards to each inhabitant. The whole quantity manufactured in this county, in 1810, was 360,516 yards. The number of females over 15 years of age was 4,485; therefore, they manufactured more than 80 yards of cloth each. There were 1,419 looms. The average quantity of cloth wove in each was more than 254 yards. The estimated value of household manufactures for each female over 15 years of age, in 1810, was more than $40.
Again, since Vermont was admitted into the Federal Union, her delegates in Congress have been the fast and firm friends in favor of encouraging industry, and promoting domestic manufactures. As a people, we have, from the time our fathers declared the New Hampshire Grants a free and independent State, 15th January, A.D. 1777, pursued this policy. It was the pursuing of this policy that enabled our fathers to meet the expenses of the Revolutionary War, to redeem the then paper issues at par, and the only State that ever did redeem their paper issues were at a discount of $10 for one. Not a single bill of purchase of woollen blankets or woollen garments, out of the State, for our brave soldiers during the Revolutionary War, has yet been discovered.
Our mothers manufactured cloth for garments, and blankets for their husbands and sons, when at home, or in the field of action. Our mothers would say to their husbands and sons, on their leaving for the army, "My dear, if anything should happen that you do not return, you will direct that my blanket be sent back."
Soon after the close of the Revolutionary War, our country was flooded with goods of the manufacture of foreign countries, which soon drained the country of most of the solid coin. Paper currency, State and government securities became nearly worthless. Tender laws and appraisement laws became the order of the day throughout the Union. The General Assembly of this State, as early as 1786, passed a law, saying that for the encouragement of domestic manufactures, the owner of sheep should be credited on his list two shillings for every pound of wool shorn, and one shilling for every yard of linen or tow cloth manufactured. This policy soon caused the balance of trade to become in favor of the State, — paper issues redeemed, private debts paid, and the State Treasurer soon reported a balance in the treasury of $14,000 in silver and gold . . . . . .
We may with propriety speak of the patriotism and heroic acts of Chittenden, Allen, and Warner, and others of our citizens, in the cabinet, and in the field of action. We also must remember that at that period our mothers and sisters were cultivating the fields, harvesting the crops, and, by hand, manufacturing for their household. That spirit of enterprise and perseverance on the part of our mothers yet runs in the veins of many of those who are termed the better half. Their workmanship, exhibited to us this day, is sufficient to satisfy us that they are yet willing to contribute their proportion in rendering old Caledonia independent of our sister States, or foreign Countries . . . . .
Vermont can raise as fine wool as any section of the world. Our mountains furnish pasturage of the best kind, and roll down their thousand streams to aid us in its manufacture. Our State abounds with ores, and with forests for the miners and colliers, ample for the manufacture of iron in all its varieties, and equal to the calls of the State consumption, and ultimately, for export.
Our Country and our State should follow up the mode of policy which is pursued by the greatest manufacturing interest in the world. We should sit on our wool-sacks, in order to encourage the wool-grower. We should give bounties, and grant prohibitions until the branches of our manufacturing rise to an equal level with other orders graduated to the wants they supply.
No governor of this State has at any time, in his message to the General Assembly, put forth any sentiments other than in favor of industry, economy, and the protection of the agricultural, mechanical, and manufacturing interest. You may take a candle, and search the archives of every State in this Union, and you will find no better lessons of wisdom in favor of the great and leading intererest of the State and of this Union, than are recorded in the archives of the Green Mountain State. I hope the time will come when every freeman will be furnished with the annual messages of our past governors, the answers on the part of the Assembly, and reports of committees relating to the agricultural, mechanical, manufacturing, and other leading interests of our State and Country.
Shall we who love to laud the deeds of our ancestors, and who live by the result of their toil, be content with less intelligence, or less patriotism? A STATE EXISTS IN ITS HISTORY. Take away the memory of the past, and what remains? A name, and only a name. Take away the example and the recorded wisdom of the past, and what ray of light would be
302 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
left for our guidance? What could we do but grope in darkness and inexperience, and wander in the maze of perpetual childhood? If we are bound to respect the claims of posterity, we likewise owe a debt to our ancestors.