BY REV. J. TORREY.
HARDWICK is the most westerly town of Caledonia County, lying 21 miles north-east of Montpelier, and 73 north of Windsor. The surface of the township is pleasantly diversified with swells and vales, but no part of it mountainous. The Lamoille River enters the town very near the north-east corner, and, after running a course of about 10 miles, affording, together with its tributaries, several excellent mill-privileges, it makes its exit a little north of the southwest corner of the town. The timber is a mixture of maple, birch, hemlock, spruce, etc. The maple-groves are remarkably fine. The rocks are granite, gray limestone, slate, and quartz, with fine specimens of rock crystals. The soil is rich and fertile well adapted for grazing purposes. The south-eastern part of the town is on the western declivity of the eastern range of the Green Mountains. The north-western part has a southern inclination. Along the banks of the river, and extending for half a mile or so back from either side, are table-lands. In the southern part of the town is a mineral spring. It has been found to be efficacious in cutaneous diseases, and was formerly a place of considerable resort.
1779. Gen. Hazen came to Peacham with a part of his regiment, for the purpose, as he said, of completing the road commenced by Gen. Bailey, in 1776, that an army might be sent through for the reduction of Canada. Hazen cut, cleared, and made a passable road for 50 miles above Peacham, through the towns of Cabot, Walden, Hardwick, Greensboro', Craftsbury, Albany, and Lowell, and erected several block-houses. This road, called to this day the Hazen road, was the inlet to Hardwick in its early days, and a great benefit to the early settlers.
1780. The town of Hardwick, containing 23,040 acres, was granted Nov. 7, 1780, and chartered Aug. 19, 1781, to Danforth Keyes, and his associates.
Shortly after this, Peter Page, a native of Swansey, N. H., in the employ of Governor Robinson, one of the proprietors of the town, came to Hardwick with a man by the name of Safford. The first trees were felled by him in the commencement of a clearing near the centre of the town, on what is now the French farm. These two men brought their provisions on their backs from Cabot, 8 miles. When their first supply was exhausted, Page volunteered to go for more. On his return, — being overtaken by the rain, and thoroughly wet, — he comforted himself with the thought that when he reached the camp he should find a good fire to warm and dry himself withal; but when he drew near and saw no smoke, and nearer still and found Safford asleep, and the fire entirely out, he sat down and vented his feelings after the manner of children. There was no alternative but to go back to Cabot after fire. Page thought he could stay in Hardwick no longer, but was prevailed upon by Safford to stay until two acres or more were cleared, when both left, discouraged.
THE SETTLERS OF HARDWICK.
1792. In a certain "ciphering book," containing the names of the first settlers, Mark Norris made this record of himself: "I drove the first sleigh through the woods from Deweysburgh to Greensborough that ever was drove through by man, to my knowing, which was on the 4th of Jan. 1792. I moved into Hardwick, the first that ever moved in to settle the town, on the 13th day of March, 1792." Mr. Norris seems to have forgotten to record the important fact that he brought his wife with him. He was a mason by trade, and yet seemed to possess the faculty of turning his hand to various kinds of work; was possessed of energy, intelligence, and
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good judgment. He was afterwards much engaged in the public business of the town; was at different times representative, treasurer, and a preacher of the gospel.
Toward the close of March, Nathaniel Norris, a cousin of Mark, moved, with his wife, into town. He also was a mason — a good workman, but very moderate in all his movements. It is said he was never seen to run, and yet he felled his acre of trees daily for six successive days.
About the same time, March, 1792, Peter Page — the same who had a few years before left Hardwick, discouraged — took heart and returned. He built himself a rude log shanty, about three-quarters of a mile south-east of the present village of East Hardwick, and then went to bring his family. His shanty was full half a mile from the Hazen road, and the snow was deep; however, when he had moved his family and goods as near as he could by the road, he put on his snow-shoes, put his wife and three children (the youngest of whom was put in a bread-trough) on a hand-sled, drew them to their new home, and then returned for his goods. They lived a year in their rude hovel without floor or chimney, building their fire at one side, and leaving a hole in the roof for the smoke to escape. Mr. Page's wardrobe, during that winter, is said to have consisted of one pair of tow pantaloons, one tow frock, tow shirts, woollen socks, and a woollen vest. He brought all the provisions for himself and family on his back, either from Peacham, 20 miles distant, or from Cabot, 8 miles. This family afterwards suffered much from poverty. Their only cow strayed; when Mr. P. found her, ten miles from home, she had been away so long she gave no milk. The man who had kept her awhile demanded pay, and his only woollen garment, the vest, was all he could give to redeem his cow. Water gruel was substituted for milk, and was sometimes their only sustenance. The father and mother took this cheerfully themselves, but the substitution of water gruel for milk for their little babe caused them sore grief. Mr. Page was an eccentric man, and yet he was considered a Christian; loved to study his Bible, and what few religious books he had, and was a man of much meditation and prayer. He died Dec. 1852, aged 83.
John Page, the babe that rode into Hardwick in a bread-trough, afterwards removed to Westmore. He died in Montpelier in 1835, while representing his town in the Vermont Legislature.
The following year, 1793, three more families were added to the settlement — those of TIMOTHY HASTINGS and JAMES SINCLAIR, who, with an aged father, came in Feb., and that of DAVID NORRIS, a cousin of Mark Norris, in June. Old Mr. Sinclair, who emigrated from Scotland, settled in New Market, N. H., fought in the battle of Bunker Hill, and afterwards came, with his son, to Hardwick, died shortly after his arrival. A log was dug out for his coffin, and a slab, split from another log, was nailed on or pinned on for the cover. He was buried near a spring of water not far from the Hazen road, but his remains were afterward exhumed and deposited in the Hazen Road Cemetery. Mr. Hastings soon after moved to Hyde Park.
The remaining settlers had a serious time of it. They were living at a distance of from one to three miles from each other, finding their way by means of blazed trees. Mark Norris lived near where Mr. Orrin Kellogg now lives. Nathaniel lived near where Mr. Ward Norris now lives, and David, near where Mr. J. L. Pope now lives.
In the Spring of 1793, these cousins supplied themselves with provisions sufficient, as they supposed, to last them through their Spring's work, when they were expecting to return to Peacham for a while. They had no such thing as a team or even a hoe to work with; but with their axes they hewed out wooden hoe-blades from maple chips, hardened them in the fire, and took saplings for handles. With these they hoed in, on Nathaniel's ground, two acres of wheat; but Saturday night came, when they had sowed only one acre, and they found they had only provisions enough to last them one day longer. What should they do? Neither of them were professors of religion, but they had been trained to keep the Sabbath day. However, they now held a council, concluded that it was a "work of necessity," and hoed in the second and last acre on the Sabbath. "We shall see," said Mark and David, "whether this acre will not yield as well as the other." But Nathaniel was troubled in conscience. Reaping time came; the proceeds of the two acres were stacked separately, and the time for comparing drew near. But the comparison was never made. The stack which came of the Sabbath day's work took fire from a clearing near by, and every straw and kernel was burned.
These cousins were usually in the habit of religiously observing the Sabbath day. On the first Sabbath after they came into town they held a religious meeting, and ever afterwards this practice was kept up.
1794. During this year there were added the families of Daniel Chase, Elijah True, Stephen Adams, Gideon Sabin, James Bundy, Israel Sanborne, and Elisha Sabin. Mr. Chase was a deacon in the Baptist Church. He was afterwards ordained an Elder of the Free-Will Baptist Church in 1810. He moved, in 1816, to Pennsylvania, where he continued to preach until his death. Mrs. Gideon Sabin has rendered herself illustrious by giving birth to 26 children; and surely Gideon himself deserves to be remembered if he found food, as we presume he did, for such a family, poor as he was. Mr.
Sanborne was a kind and public-spirited man, and was blessed with a family of 14 children, the third of whom, Mr. William Sanborne, now lives in Hardwick. Elisha Sabin was a hunter, led a wild life, and allowed his children to go barefooted through the winter.
1795. On the 31st of March, in this year, the town was organized. The first town-meeting was held at the house of Mark Norris. Paul Spooner was chosen the first Town Clerk, and also the first Representative.
Among the items of interest respecting these days, which we have gathered, is the fact that these men were obliged to go 40 miles to mill — Newburg being the nearest town where there was a grist-mill. We also learn of certain cases in which what was called wild justice was administered to offending citizens, the executive and judicial functions being combined in the person of a certain strong man with a whip.
In the fall of 1795, Elder Amos Tuttle, the first minister of the town, moved in. His son, Capt. David Tuttle, says, "There was not a cart in town; but in the following spring, two carts were constructed out of my father's wagon." He also says, "My father and I took $44 of my mother's 'savings' — money which came safely to Hardwick, sewed up in a bed — and went to Ryegate to purchase a cow; but when we got her home, she proved almost worthless. My father killed her for beef, and my mother learned to make bean-porridge, so we had a plenty of that instead of milk."
Between the time of Elder Tuttle's settlement as pastor of the church and town, and the year 1800, many families moved into Hardwick. Among them were several of Puritan descent, whose influence for good is, no doubt, felt to this day.
In 1796, Mr. David Philbrook and wife moved in. Mrs. Philbrook died in August, 1860, 100 years of age.
In 1797, the first public-house in town, a log building, at Hardwick Street, on the Hazen road, was opened by Col. Alpha Warner. In the same year, Capt. J. C. Bridgeman made the first settlement at South Hardwick. Also, Aug. 29th, of the same year, Mr. Samuel Stevens was the first settler at East Hardwick, thence and for some time afterwards called Stevensville, or Stevens' Mills. Mr. Stevens and his wife ate their first meal in Hardwick over a chest which contained about all their earthly possessions. He soon erected a saw-mill on the north side of the river, and in 1800 he also built a grist-mill near by.
In 1798, Thomas Fuller came to settle in Hardwick, with his wife and children. For six months he, with a family of eleven, occupied a log house, 24 feet square, with Mr. Wm. Cheever, whose family also numbered eleven. There was a stone fire-place in the centre of the house, and a hollow log for a chimney.
Samuel French moved in in 1799. His son Daniel (now Dea. French), then aged 18 years, says, "We moved from Hardwick, Mass., to our namesake in Vermont, where we arrived the 4th of March. The last of March the snow lay 4 feet deep on a level, but the weather was mild, and we prepared for sugaring; but there came two feet more of snow, and not a tree was tapped until the 15th of April. We gathered our buckets the 15th of May. Snow-banks were visible the 9th of June. Vegetation came forward very rapidly, hut not sufficiently so to save our crops. Many of them were much injured by the early frosts."
1812. Mr. and Mrs. Elisha Swett came to Hardwick; they lived together 80 years. Mr. S. died Nov. 1859, aged 96, and Mrs. S. died Feb. 1860, aged 98.
1816. About this time there were many emigrations from Hardwick to what was then called "the West;" but few went farther than the Genesee Valley. During this year, the inhabitants of Hardwick suffered much from the snow and frost. A heavy snow began to fall on the 7th of June, and continued to fall until the 9th. The sheep had just been sheared, and had to be covered again with their fleeces; but there was little or no hay for them or for the cattle, and many of them died. The forest-leaves were all killed, and the woods went in mourning through the summer. Rye sold for 3 dollars per bushel.
From an early day the people of Hardwick have manifested considerable interest in the cause of education.
1799. The town was divided into four school districts, called respectively the Hazen Road, Centre, middle, and eastern districts. The middle district was between the centre and East Hardwick, and the Eastern was on the east side of the river. The first school meeting was held in the Middle district; voted to have a two months' school, and to raise a tax on the grand list for its support. The first teacher was Anna Hill. The first part of this term she taught in a log barn, owned by Israel Sanborne; the remainder of the time in different log houses — the family occupying one room, and she the only remaining one. This was in the summer of 1800.
1800. March. It was voted by the town to sell the land appropriated by the proprietors of the town for the benefit of an English school. The land was sold the following year. From the fund thus raised a small dividend has been paid annually to each school district, according to the number of scholars. The whole number of scholars at that time was 85.
1801. Flavel Bailey, from Peacham, was hired to teach a six months' school in the middle district.
1802. The first school-house was built in the middle district, by Martin Fuller, for $165. This
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money was raised by a tax on the grand list, and was paid principally in cattle and grain.
1815. We find the town divided at this date into 9 districts, containing 339 scholars.
1821. The first select school in town was kept two terms by Miss Deborah Worcester, from Hollis, N. H., at the Centre.
1842. The first select school at East Hardwick was taught by Miss A. Stevens, a graduate of Cazenovia Seminary, N. Y.
1855. The town contains 12 school districts, and 382 scholars.
1860. By the efforts of the people of South Hardwick an Academy building, over the Town Hall, has been completed. In Nov., 1860, this Academy obtained a charter from the Vermont Legislature. Its prospects are bright. Principal, A. J. Sanborne; lady teachers, Miss L. Sinclair and Miss Bundy.
During the fall of this year measures were taken to establish the select school at East Hardwick on a permanent basis.
Of college graduates and of professional men Hardwick has raised a fair proportion.
There are four villages in town. The oldest, called the Street or Hazen Road, is situated on high land, near the north line of the town. The first settlement was made in 1793. This was formerly a place of considerable business, but time has wrought such changes by deaths or removals, that it has now become a quiet little place, with hardly a vestige of its former activity.
The second village in age is East Hardwick, situated on the Lamoille River, in the eastern part of the town. The first settlement was made by Mr. Samuel Stevens, in 1797. This is at present a place of considerable business.
The third village is South Hardwick, which is also situated on the Lamoille, in the south-west part of the town. The first settler was Capt. J. C. Bridgman, in the year 1797. This is also a place of considerable business. It contains the Town Hall.
"Mackville," the fourth village in town, is situated one mile south of South Hardwick, on a branch of the Lamoille River. This small stream affords excellent water-privileges, which at present are occupied by a saw-mill, corn-mill, etc. A large building has been erected the past year, designed for a woollen factory.
The commencement of this place was about the year 1831, by the building of a saw-mill by Mr. George P. Fish. Mr. Elisha Mack built the first dwelling-house in 1834; but before he was ready to move with his family to this anticipated earthly home, death removed him to his eternal home. His eldest son, Resolved Mack, with his widowed mother, brothers and sisters, came to this new home; but eventually the family were scattered. Mr. R. Mack retained the place, and was married, in 1838, to Miss Mary Bancroft. These families were the first settlers, and the village has been named for them.
There are now some dwelling-houses and public buildings in process of building — a Free-Will Baptist church and a large and commodious school-house.
This place has experienced a great loss in the removal by death, in February, of the present year (1861), of their first settler, Mr. Resolved Mack. He was kind and companionable in his family, a very worthy citizen, and an efficient member of the Methodist church. In the midst of usefulness he was called; but calmly and cheerfully met the call.
I. BAPTIST CHURCH.
BY REV. E. EVANS.
On Nov. 18th, 1795, the members of the Danville Baptist Church who were residents of Hardwick, wishing to form themselves into a Baptist Church, for the purpose of enjoying church -privileges among themselves ; and having obtained permission of that church to be constituted into a church by themselves, a Baptist Church wen organized on Thursday, Dec. 17, 1795. Rev. Amos Tuttle received a call to be. come their pastor, and was called to ordination June 16, 1796. The records of this church are lost, therefore nothing further of its history can be ascertained. Its visibility has become extinct.
Subsequent to this, there was a Baptist Church organized in Greensboro' ; but as a majority of its members resided in Hardwick, it was deemed expedient to form a church in East Hardwick. In 1831, a Baptist Church was organized, consisting of 25 members. ELDER MARVIN GROW, a good man, and one whose preaching talent was very acceptable to the brethren, became their pastor. He continued his pastoral labors with them about 6 years, and becoming infirm and indisposed, requested and obtained his dismission.
He was succeeded by REV. AARON ANGIER, whose faithful and devoted labors were in a very remarkable manner owned and blessed of God. During his pastorate, A. D. 1840, a meeting-house was built, and 92 added to the church by baptism and by letter. The church, at this time, was one of the most flourishing Baptist churches in northern Vermont, numbering 150 members. He closed his pastorate, much to the regret of the church, and went west and died.
[From Mrs. Mary Spofford, eldest daughter of Rev. Mr. Angier, we have the following additional items : " My father remained a little more than four years in Hardwick ; from there he removed to Middlebury, where he remained two years, and published a paper called the Vermont Observer. After which he resided in Poultney a year ; then in Ludlow a year, where he was associate and leading editor of a paper,
named the Genius of Liberty — the first paper published in Ludlow; when he again removed to Cavendish, where he sojourned two years, and in the spring of 1850 went to Cato, Cayuga Co., N. Y., where he lived three years, and then accepted an agency for the Bible Union, and moved his family to Elbridge, N. Y. This, however, he retained but one year, and in 1854 became the pastor of the Baptist Church in Lamoille, Ill., where he lived but four months, when he died, the 3d of Sept., 1854, in the 48th year of his age. His family reside there still.]
REV. JONATHAN R. GREEN, an earnest and stirring preacher, who was laboring with the church in Hanover, N. H., received a call to become pastor of the Baptist Church in Hardwick. He accepted the call, and commenced his labors; but, contrary to the expectation and wish of the church and society, he tarried with them but one year, and then returned to the people of his former charge.
ELDER NATHAN DENNISON, a zealous, enterprising, and devoted servant of his Master, next became their pastor. His unwearied efforts were blessed in the conversion of many, and the church was prospering under his administration, when some difficulty arising between two brethren, which they would not settle themselves, it was brought into the church; and, as is too frequently the case, each had his friends, and party spirit soon became manifest. There could be no settlement of the difficulty effected; but the state of things rather grew worse and worse. The church divided. A part went off and worshipped in the school-house, and a part worshipped in the meeting-house. This state of things continued till Rev. Mr. Jones, agent of the Convention, came into town, and induced them to come together again, and organize anew into one church.
Elder Dennison left them after a pastorate of five years, with a constitution, naturally strong and robust, broken down and enfeebled by grief. ELDER SAMUEL SMITH, of Pen Yan, N. Y., was their next pastor; a good man, who, though he commenced his labors under the most discouraging circumstances, yet accomplished some good. He remained three years, and returned to N. Y.
ELDER E. EVANS, of Lunenburg, then received and accepted a call to become their pastor. He commenced his labors under circumstances by no means encouraging; but the church seems to be improving; the members appear to be more united. He has been with them three, and has commenced upon his fourth year. During his stay among them, they have expended something in fixing the inside of the meeting-house; paid $130 for an organ, and laid out about $1000 in building a parsonage, which is now occupied by their pastor.
The means of grace are well attended. The church numbers now 77.
BY REV. C. S. SMITH.
II. The Congregational Church in Hardwick was organized July 29, 1803, at the house of Mr. Thomas Fuller. There were present, as an organizing council, Rev. Leonard Worcester, of Peacham, and Rev. John Fitch, of Danville, with their delegates. The new church consisted of 7 male members; 9 females were received to membership two days afterwards.
These first members were from New Braintree, Hardwick, and Westminster, Mass.; from Sanbornton, Hanover, and Tamworth, N. H.; and one from Newbury, Vt. Bro. Thomas Fuller was chosen first deacon. Rev. L. Worcester was standing moderator of the church for some years. For about three years after their organization, the church attended upon the ministrations of Elder Amos Tuttle, who in 1796 had been settled as minister of the town, and pastor of the Calv. Bapt. Church. In the year 1806, however, he was, at his own request, dismissed; and from this time until 1810, the church had no stated preaching. They met regularly for worship, however, at dwelling-houses, and received occasional ministrations of the word and of the sacraments from Mr. Worcester, of Peacham, and Mr. Hobart, of Berlin.
During the years 1809 and 1810 several missionaries visited them. Those whose names appear upon the church records, are Jonathan Hovey, Seth Payson, D. D., Solomon Morgan, ——— Leland, James Parker, and J. Waters. A powerful revival followed the labors of the last two of these men. About 60 persons were added to the church during this and the following year. Some of these were men of the first ability and business talent in town.
The church now felt itself sufficiently strengthened to support a pastor, and in the fall of 1810, extended a call to Mr. Nathaniel Rawson. He accepted, and was ordained and installed pastor of the church, Feb. 13, 1811. The public services were held in a barn, on the farm then owned by Captain Hatch. During the summers of 1812 and 1813, Mr. Rawson met a company of children at his house every Friday, to hear them recite portions of Scripture. This prepared the way for the Sabbath Schools, which were established a year or two later in the several districts in town.
In 1817, Mr. R. resigned the pastorate of the church, and during the three following years the church was in a divided state.
Mr. J. N. Loomis, a graduate of Middlebury College and Andover Seminary, was ordained and installed pastor of the church, Jan. 3, 1822. The services were held in an unfinished meeting-house, just erected by Mr. Samuel French, half a mile east of the centre of the town; but as Mr. French declined selling this house to the church, they after much perplexity in regard to a location, decided to build a house of worship upon
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the hill near the four corners. The meetinghouse was built, but the location failed to give entire satisfaction, and the consequence was a division of the church with the advice of a mutual council.
Accordingly, a new church, called the Second Cong. Church, was organized March 2, 1825. Mr. Loomis, whose counsels were of great value to the church during the period of erecting their house of worship, and the separation that followed, continued his labors until the last of January, 1830, when, on account of the feeble state of his health, he was dismissed.
On the 25th of Sept. 1833, Rev. Robert Page, a graduate of Bowdoin College and of Andover, was installed pastor. He continued his relation until June, 1835, when he was dismissed at his own request.
In July, 1836, the church extended a call to Rev. Chester Wright. He commenced preaching to them soon after, and was installed pastor of the church June 15, 1837. He continued his labors until the beginning of the year 1840, when, his health failing, he removed to Montpelier, still retaining his pastoral relation; but he died shortly afterwards in Montpelier, — April, 1840.
Rev. Austin O. Hubbard, a graduate of Yale and Princeton, was installed July 7, 1840, and was dismissed, at his own request, May 1, 1843.
From this date until 1846, the church were without a settled pastor, when they united in giving a call to Rev. Joseph Underwood, a graduate of Bangor. He accepted, and was installed on the 18th of Dec. of the same year. During his pastorate, which continued nearly 12 years, the condition of the church and society became much improved.
In the year 1851, the old meeting-house upon the hill was torn down, and a new one erected, with great unanimity, at East Hardwick.
Several persons who had been members of the second church, when that ceased to exist, joined this. Since 1851, there has been a healthy increase of the church and congregation. The Sabbath School embraces nearly three-fourths of the entire congregation.
In Jan. 1858, Mr. Underwood, on account of the impaired state of his health, resigned his pastorate, and was dismissed, Feb. 2d.
Rev. Henry Hazen, a graduate of Dartmouth and Andover, preached one year, as stated supply, commencing Oct., 1858. In March, 1860, the church and society united in extending a cell to Mr. Joseph Torrey, Jr., a graduate of Burlington College and of Andover, to become their pastor. He was ordained and installed May 30, 1860, and is the present pastor.
The whole number of members since the organization of the church is 436. Of these, about 278 have joined by profession, and 158 by letter. The present number of members is 127. Average attendance on Sabbath about 165. Number of families represented about 70.
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
BY REV. A. C. SMITH.
Prior to the year 1803, there had been no Methodist preaching in the town of Hardwick. But during this year, the Rev. LEWIS BATES commenced his labors in this town as a Methodist preacher, and a few persons connected themselves with a society in an adjoining town, which stood connected with what was then called Danville Circuit.
In June, 1809, the Rev. NATHANIEL STEARNS formed a society in Hardwick, and was still attached to the Danville Circuit, which at this time embraced nearly all of Caledonia, Orleans, and Essex Counties. Peter Page was appointed the first class-leader, and Nathaniel Norris the first steward.
Nathaniel Norris, for several years, had been a member of, and an ordained deacon in, the Freewill Baptist Church previous to 1809, when he became one of the memorable fourteen who formed the first society. He received a license as an exhorter in the M. E. Church, bearing date July 14, 1810, and signed by David Kilburn and Benjamin R. Hoyt, who were the first circuit preachers in this town after the formation of the society.
Jan. 7, 8, 1816, the society held their first quarterly meeting in Hardwick.
For several years, the society prospered, and increased gradually until 1823, when John Ward Norris was appointed class-leader, at the age of 19, at which time the society numbered 60 members.
Several following years, the society did not increase very extensively, and they were compelled to hold their meetings in dwelling or school houses for the want of ability to build a church edifice.
In 1846, Hardwick was connected with Craftsbury, and the Rev. GEORGE PUTNAM and the Rev. O. S. MORRIS appointed circuit preachers. At the first quarterly conference, a vote was taken to divide the labors of the circuit, by which the said Morris was to labor at Hardwick, and the said Putnam at Craftsbury.
Rev. O. S. Morris remained at Hardwick two years, during which time, through his efforts, and the concurring efforts of the society and friends, a good church edifice was erected, finished, and dedicated, at the smith village, which has now become the centre of the town business by the erection of a new town hall during the last summer, and probably one of the best in the State.
The church at that time numbered 65 members. Since 1847, the desk has been supplied as follows;
1848, from the local ministry; 1849, by Rev.
A. L. Cooper; 1850, left to be supplied; 1851-2 by Rev. J. Whitney; 1853-4, by Rev. James S. Spinny; 1855-6, by Rev. L. Hill; 1857-8, by Rev. E. Pettingill; 1859-60, by Rev. A. C. Smith. The present membership, including probationers, numbers 103.
FREE-WILL BAPTIST CHURCH.
FROM A LETTER OF A. M. AMSDEN.
There are quite a number of this denomination in the south and west part of the town; those of the south belong to the Malden Church, and the west, till last June, to the Wolcott. This church is now called "Wolcott and Hardwick Church." The whole number is 26. They have had for 6 or 7 years a very flourishing Sabbath School of 35 to 48; also a good library.
The pastor, ELDER CUMMINGS, died last summer. Since then they have had no pastor, but preaching three-fourths of the time by various individuals. The school-house is their place of worship.
BY REV. J. TORREY.
During the year 1837, a small band of fanatics, who called themselves "New Lights," commenced a brief career in Hardwick. Their leader had been a professed Universalist, but his mind having become discomposed, and, as some thought, partially deranged, he professed to be inspired from on high, and was not long in enlisting several followers.
Great numbers were drawn together to see and hear their strange doings, and soon they began to hold their meetings in the South Meeting House. (This meeting house was built in the year 1820, by Samuel French. The motto, "Liberty of Conscience," inscribed on its front, expressed the design of its builder that it should be open to all, to hold such religious meetings as they pleased.) No more than 6 or 8 persons took very active parts; still, they were countenanced and encouraged by large numbers from this and neighboring towns, who preferred to spend their Sabbaths at the Hardwick Theatre, rather than to engage in a rational religious worship. Sabbath after Sabbath, for several months, that large house was crowded with spectators. The "drollery" of these meetings consisted of jumping, swinging the arms, rolling on the floor, frightful yelling, barking in imitation of dogs, foxes, etc. Their leader professed to have had it revealed to him that men should not shave; they accordingly suffered their beards to grow for several months, until it was revealed to another that they must all be shaved, and it was done. It was believed that the seeds of these extravagances had been sowing for a long time in connection with the notion that the fourth commandment is not obligatory under the gospel dispensation, — that much of the religion of regular evangelical churches is composed of hypocrisy or of human tradition, and that special revelations in regard to duty, and in regard to future events, are communicated to individuals now by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. The meetings were usually opened, after a season of sitting in silence, by the utterance of some text of scripture in a loud scream. A large portion of what was said consisted of texts of scripture. Much was also said by way of denunciation of ministers and churches, charging them with tradition, superstition, hypocrisy, etc.
The irregularity and disorder of these meetings was much increased by the attempt of a young man, who thought himself called to preach, to occupy the desk on the Sabbath, in the very midst of the scenes enacted on the floor. The men with beards shouted and screamed, and the man in the pulpit exerted all the power of his lungs for hours together, to overpower the tumultuous noise below, and to gain the attention of the people.
But the career of these fanatics was short. Rev. Chester Wright, at that time pastor of the Cong. Church in Hardwick, believing that such services were calculated to bring the religion of the gospel into contempt, and to sow broadcast over this town and region the seeds of infidelity, resolved to make an effort to withstand such influence. He accordingly gave notice that on the first Sabbath in May he expected to preach with some reference to the proceedings at the South Meeting House during the past year, and invited a large audience.
Some of the most distinguished of the fanatics were present on the occasion of the delivery of these sermons, and in the midst of the forenoon services one of them interrupted the preacher by a tremendous yell, which he seemed resolved to continue. He was, however, immediately ordered into custody by a magistrate, and the services were continued and closed as usual.
In these sermons, Mr. Wright aimed to show that the fundamental error of those who believed themselves, or others, to be moved by the Spirit of God, to practise the extravagances in question, was this; That the Spirit of God reveals to men truths, and inculcates duties contrary to, or above and beyond, what may be learned from the Holy Scriptures.
The influence of this strange movement was very deeply felt by the Church of Hardwick. Some of the effects were only temporary, but some were of long duration. One of the leaders hung himself not very long after the excitement ceased.
Notwithstanding the feelings of sadness and regret with which the Christian now calls to mind these scenes, he yet desires to erect a monument to their memory, that so future pilgrims may say, "It is true, Christian did here meet with Apollyon, with whom he had also a sore combat," and that they, like Christiana and her children, may see a pillar with this inscription upon it, "Let Christian's slips before he came hither, and
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the battles that he met with in this place, be a warning to those that come after."
ELDER AMOS TUTTLE.
The following sketch will be found to contain facts of great interest, and of historical importance, presenting as they do a vivid picture of the labors, trials, and hardships of the early settlers of the town. The facts are furnished by Capt. David Tuttle of South Hardwick, the oldest son of the Elder.
Amos Tuttle was born in Southbury, Ct., Oct. 31, 1761, was married to Rachel T. Jones, June 16, 1782, lost a large property soon after his marriage through the rascality of a man in high life, and in 1788 engaged in the boot and shoe business in the town of Washington, Ct. He was at that time a noted infidel, and strong in argument; but soon, although there was no religious excitement in the neighborhood, his attention became powerfully attracted to the subject of personal religion. He began to attend worship in an adjoining town, New Preston; experienced a change of heart, and connected himself with the Baptist Church in New Preston, of which Rev. Isaac Root was the pastor. Soon after this, he prepared himself to preach the gospel, and was settled over a church in the town of Litchfield, Ct.
Rev. Mr. Root moved about this time to Danville, Vt., and was settled over the first Baptist Church in that town. Returning to Connecticut for a visit, he called upon Mr. Tuttle, and gave him such a description of the beauty and fertility of Northern Vermont, that, notwithstanding the urgent invitation of another friend calling him to Western New York, Mr. Tuttle concluded to visit Vermont the next season. Accordingly, in June, 1794, he came to Danville, and thence to Walden, Hardwick, Greensboro', and Craftsbury, became acquainted with the inhabitants, and found that a church could be organized from the four last towns, the majority of the members living in Hardwick. A church was formed. Mr. Tuttle was called to settle as minister of the town and church, and he accepted.
In the month of Oct. 1795, he started with his family from Litchfield for Hardwick. Such a journey was in those days a great undertaking. They were fifteen days on the way, but meeting with no more serious accident than the breaking of the wagon, they arrived at Gilman's, in Walden, during the night of the 31st of October, in the midst of a hard rain-storm. Beds were soon taken from the wagon and placed on the floor of the little bark-covered log house, and our cold, tired immigrants lay down to rest. There was not a pane of glass about the house, and so no sign of day appeared until the door was opened in the morning. Then day appeared indeed, and with it, to the great surprise of all, appeared a white mantle of snow, covering the ground with a depth of at least 15 inches. A messenger was sent to Hardwick, requesting the friends of the family to send teams to bring them on their journey. Three sleds, with wild steers, were sent. Two of them were loaded with the goods, and the third was fitted up with boxes for seats, and with plenty of straw, to carry the sick, disheartened, and weeping mother and children. Mr. David Tuttle, who was then a boy, says, "As we reached the bottom of the awful hill by which the Hazen road descends to the Lamoille River, the sleds stopped that the bridge might be repaired. I saw my mother, brother, and little sisters all in tears, and shall never forget the expression of anguish with which my mother said, 'Dear husband, where are you taking me? I shall die, and what will become of the children?' It sobered me for the rest of that day, and brings tears to my eyes now in my old age, as I relate it."
They turned off from the Hazen road near the place where L. H. Delano, Esq., now resides, followed a narrow sled-path which wound through the woods, crossed the Tuttle brook at a place above where the road now crosses, ascended the steep bank by doubling the teams, and passed through a burnt slash to the house of Mark Morris.
The journey being thus safely over, the next care of our pioneer pastor was to find a house for his family. There was an empty log shanty to be had, but it was much out of repair. Mr. Tuttle was strong and healthy however, and, with the aid of his friends, he succeeded, by the middle of November, in making it habitable. There were, to be sure, neither windows nor cupboards nor chimney, and the hut itself was only 12 feet by 15, but he cut some holes through the logs and pasted oiled paper over them for windows, and the smoke found its own way upwards.
A successful hunt on snow-shoes on the West Hill, in which three moose were killed by his party, provided the family with meat for a time. He was so fortunate, also, as to procure a bushel of salt of a peddler by paying five dollars in cash. The price of salt seems to have risen higher still, or else money must have become scarce, for the next year he paid six bushels of wheat for one of salt, and this in preference to paying three dollars cash.
After thus providing these "creature comforts," the next question seems to have been how to get about his parish. His gumption soon found the way. A "Tom-pung," as he called it, was hewed out and put together with wooden pins and rods, and the pieces of rope which had been used as binders on the journey he made into a kind of harness, sufficient at least to fasten the horse to the pung, and to guide him through the woods.
The town of Hardwick was organized March 31, 1795. In April, 1796, the town met and
voted to unite with the Baptist Church in settling Mr. Tuttle as minister of the town. He was installed in June following. The people being poor, it was agreed that he should receive no salary during the first four years! By a provision of the town charter, however, he was entitled to draw three lots of land, as the first minister of the town. One of these lots he sold for a little money and a little wheat, to be paid in four annual instalments.
Soon after his installation, Mr. Tuttle went to work to clear a piece of land and build himself a log house. By the middle of November, he completed his work, and in just one year from the time the family had first huddled themselves into the little hut, they moved into the largest and best log house in town, 32 feet by 15.
The Sabbath worship was held in this house during the winter months, and in barns in different parts of the town during the sumner. But the sorest trials of this servant of God were yet to come. They were of quite a different nature from any that he had ever before experienced, nor can they be related, — for time and language would fail. Unlearned and ignorant men sowed seeds of disaffection and vanity in the church, and the little flock was divided. Only a few firm friends stayed by their pastor, and tried to comfort and strengthen him. He still continued to preach in town, and as there were Congregational church members in Hardwick, it was thought best to organize a Congregational church, and to employ Mr. Tuttle as their pastor. For three years he ministered to them, at the expiration of which time he was urged to accept a call from the Baptist Church in Fairfax, Vt. A meeting of the Congregational brethren was called, and it was concluded to consent to his departure.
During the same year, he was settled as the first minister in Fairfax, and received the portion of land granted to him ex officio. He did not retain possession of it, however, but gave it for the benefit of the town district schools. For a time, he labored here with great acceptance; but sorrow was again on his track. An Old and New School controversy arose in the church, a schism occurred, some of the most prominent men moved out of town, and Mr. Tuttle, finding that his usefulness there was at an end, requested a dismission, which was granted in 1811.
Resolving to devote himself to the work of a missionary, he visited most of the towns in Vermont, and many of the townships bordering on the line in Canada. During this time he made his home in Hardwick; but he afterwards removed again to Fairfax, where his daughters wore married and settled. He remained at Fairfax until the death of his wife, when he finally returned to Hardwick to spend the remainder of his days with his son, in the very house which his own hands had built in the vigor and strength of manhood. He lived after his return to his old home about two years, preached his last sermon at the funeral of a son of Col. Warner, soon after which he was prostrated by a painful disease, and died a lingering but peaceful death, February, 1833, aged 72 years. His body was buried in the Hazen Road Cemetery, where he had attended the first burial ever made there. On that occasion he had remarked to those present, that, in all probability, his own body would moulder to dust in that ground, A short time before his death his two sons were expecting to carry his remains to Fairfax and deposit them near those of his wife; but their father said that although this seemed pleasing to him at first view, yet the travelling was so bad and the distance so great, that it was his preference to be buried at the Hazen Road Cemetery. And so his prophecy came true.
Dea. Elnathan Strong was born in Chatham, Ct., March 25, 1787. He was the son of Rev. Cyprian Strong, who was for many years a minister of the gospel in Chatham. He left home when quite young, and lived with a relative in Windsor, Vt. He afterwards removed to Danville, where he abode until the year 1808, when he removed to Hardwick. About two years after coming to this town, he united himself with the Congregational Church. He was married to Jane Chamberlain, Oct. 17, 1820. Was chosen deacon of the church in the year 1826, which office he continued to hold until his death, which occurred June 19, 1843.
In a discourse preached on the occasion of his death, the Rev. O. A. Hubbard says: "I should shrink from anything like mere eulogium in regard to any individual, and certainly in regard to one, a leading trait of whose character was modesty, and of whom it is well known that he rather shunned observation than sought it. Deacon Strong possessed a native discrimination of mind, and an accuracy of judgment, that fall to the lot of exceedingly few. Scarcely ever have I seen the individual that would investigate a complex subject with greater readiness, or pronouce, in regard to it, a more correct decision; for while he was quick of apprehension, he was careful and deliberate in arriving at his conclusions. Although in early life his opportunities for education had been quite limited, yet he was, at least, in the practical sense of that word, a close and accurate scholar."
Deacon Strong was especially distinguished in regard to the extent and accuracy of his knowledge of the Bible. He also possessed a peculiar power of illustrating scripture truth, which fitted him to fill with great acceptance the place of a teacher in the Sabbath School, and made his presence always welcome in the conference meeting.
He was a man of marked integrity and uprightness. His prevailing tone of Christian character
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was that of a meek, spiritual, and consistent disciple; never giving utterance to common-place or cant expressions in regard to feeling, exercises, etc.; but exhibiting a heart softened, humbled, and elevated by the Divine grace, directed to the extension of the church and the salvation of the world, — one of those men whose religion seems to consist in being and doing, and that heartily and liberally. His home was always open to the servants of God, and they loved to linger there. Favored by Providence with large means, he exemplified much of the principle, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." His memory will long be cherished by all who knew him, and especially by the members of the church, of which he was the father, the counsellor, and the almoner.
BY MISS STEVENS,
And wife emigrated from Lee, N. H., to Hardwick, in 1794. They were a valuable addition to the new settlement. He was first town treasurer; which office, with others, he held many years. A benevolent regard for others was a characteristic of Mr. and Mrs. Sanborn. Their log barn was often occupied as a school-room, and their house for a church and town hall; and at one time, when the people had been exposed to the small pox, was thrown open for a pest house. Families in need of a temporary home till they could build, were kindly received here. They were both church-members. As an illustration of the Christian character of Mr. S., we may be allowed to offer the following anecdote. There existed a little difference between him and a neighbor in regard to a road. The neighbor called to see about it. Mr. S. was at the barn. Going out to the barn, he did not see him, but heard the voice of prayer. Mr. S. was imploring a blessing upon each neighbor by name. The one present was not omitted. Never afterward did the latter doubt the honesty of his neighbor S. In a word, his was in every way a noble nature. But, "Our fathers, where are they? "
DEA. THOMAS FULLER
Was a native of Cape Cod, and early left an orphan. At the age of 16 he went to Hardwick, Mass., where some years after he married Lydia, daughter of Colonel Page, and in 1798 removed to Hardwick, Vt. He was of Puritan descent, and strictly carried out their principles in the training of his family, and matters pertaining to the church and society generally.
His public spirit and capability to serve the town gave him frequent offices and the confidence of the people. He aided in the organization of the first Congregational Church, and was elected its first deacon, which office he held till his death, in 1823.
FROM A BIOGRAPHY BY REV. CHESTER WRIGHT.
Son of Capt. Simeon Stevens, an officer in the army of the Revolution, was a native of Newbury. Early bereft of father and mother, the promise to the orphan was verified to him; for in the midst of corrupt examples, compelled to hear profanity, exposed to all the allurements of vice, he yet never defiled his lips with an oath, or followed the multitude to do evil. He was apprenticed to a man who required various kinds of service, and who, contrary to agreement, gave him few opportunities for mental improvement, a deprivation he deeply lamented during his life. In his minority he gave proof of his native strength of mind, enterprise, and rare business talents for which he was afterwards distinguished.
In 1798, he came to Hardwick, and, with a small patrimony left him by his father, together with his own gains, he purchased a wild lot, erected a log house, and, the same year, was married to Miss Puah Mellen, of Holliston, Mass. They were the first settlers of the flourishing village East Hardwick, formerly called Stevens's Village. He built the first mills in town, a saw-mill in 1798, and a grist-mill in 1800, and prosecuted various branches of business; was remarkable for his promptness in making contracts, for the energy with which he carried forward whatever he undertook, and his strict integrity in all his dealings. For 21 years he was town treasurer; was one of the first in the temperance reform, practising abstinence from all intoxicating drinks, and requiring the same of all in his employ. He gave land on which to build a store on condition that it should be a temperance one. The carrying out of these temperance principles exerted a moral influence that is still felt in the village. "Mr. and Mrs. S. manifested a deep interest, also, in the cause of education. They were, moreover, noted for hospitality. Ministers, friends generally, and the travellers, as well, seeking entertainment, always found a welcome. Both members of the Congregational Church, they manifested their piety by their willingness to support the gospel, and by their regard for the requirements of God. They lived happy and died happy, and their memory is blesssed.
FROM A BIOGRAPHY BY REV. C. WRIGHT.
SIMEON H. STEVENS,
"Third son of the foregoing, was a young man of much promise; a graduate ( ) at the University of Vermont; conducted for a season the Craftsbury Seminary; and commenced the study of theology in the Bangor (M. E.) Theological Seminary. In consequence, however, of falling health, he was obliged to abandon all anticipations in reference to the ministry. He, nevertheless, was married about this time to Miss M. A. Young, daughter of Hon. Augustus Young, and settled upon a farm in his native town. But
with returning health, desiring a wider field in which to labor for the good of his fellow-men, he removed to Johnson, and became Principal of the Lamoille Co. Grammar School. A year had not elapsed, when he was suddenly removed by death. His remains were interred in Hardwick. It was remarked upon the occasion of his funeral that the large audience were all mourners."
Settled from Massachusetts in 1798. A worthy and efficient man in the town and the church.
Born in Hoosich, Mass., came to Hardwick, Vt., about 1800. He married Tabitha Dow, a sister of the far-famed Lorenzo Dow, a woman of talent, and agreeable and lady-like. "He was considered a man of talent, especially in public speaking." He was one of Nature's noblest sons, but was peculiar in his religious feelings; yet it was true of him that he entertained no sectarian views. Sectional variances delayed the building of a church for worship, and he was led to feel a special order from heaven to build a house for the Lord. This he did almost wholly unaided in 1820, which was the first church-building in town to be occupied by all denominations. He never would sell or deed it to any sect; the Congregational Church made repeated efforts to purchase it. Although it is conceded that his motive to furnish the town with a church was good, yet the result was, contrary to his expectations, deleterious to the town. The inscription, "Liberty of Conscience," gave all a right of occupancy; but finally it was used in a way foreign to the worship of God, and the intent of the builder. He was repeatedly urged to serve the town in a public capacity; though a philanthropic man, he always despised office. On once being asked to run as a candidate for representative, he declared "he would not go if elected." He was very kind in his family, a good neighbor and citizen. He died in 1848, aged 69 years.
DR. AMASA MORSE
Was the first physician in Hardwick. He came into town with his family in 1800, and continued in practice until his death. "He was a very kind and feeling man, and a good family physician." He died in 1820, aged 46 years. His wife survived him nearly 40 years — an active woman, who energetically met the wants of a large family. She was a very shrewd but useful woman in community, and a professing Christian. She died in 1859, in the 82d year of her age.
CAPT. JOHN C. BRIDGEMAN,
From Coventry, Conn., to Hardwick, the first settler in the south part of the town, served the town in different ways. Was a very kind man to his friends, and in his family.
And wife came into Hardwick with their son, Joel Whipple, and family, in 1804, from New Braintree. He was a very jovial man, much given to anecdote, but firm in principle, and a very industrious, economical, and useful citizen. In his last sickness his prayer was especially for the welfare of the church. He died in 1823, aged 81. His wife, Mrs. Whipple, was a woman of superior mind, and a mother in Israel, beloved by all, young and old. She possessed a great fund of cheerfulness, and was often very shrewd. A fanatical minister once called, and said, "You sometimes entertain ministers." "Yes, if they have a recommendation." "And what would you say at one from heaven?" — "Go straight back, 'tis a poor country here for such a man!" When a widow, an aged man asked her to become his wife. In answer, "Why, Mr. B., we are nothing but old children. You have one foot in the grave, the other will be there soon. You had better go home, read your Bible, and prepare to die, than to be here on such an errand!"
She was very industrious; some of her last work was spinning linen for a web. She warped it, forgot to tie the leases, and, as she took it from the bars, a gust of wind blew the whole into an irrecoverable snarl. "And is this the great Babylon I have built? a just rebuke to my pride and vanity!" She was a friend to the sick and needy, and such was her great disinterestedness and every-day piety, she was a fit counsellor for all. The last years of her life she made her friends a yearly visit. She always chose to walk. People, sick or well, ever gave her a cheerful welcome. "Grandma is coming," has been echoed from many a child's glad heart. The words of wisdom and instruction which were dropped from her lips are as golden treasures in the memory of those who knew her. The last visit she made was in December. She walked half a mile to see a sick man. The effort was too much, and proved the occasion of her death. Her last audible prayer was, "Clothe me in the righteousness of Christ, and may I, in the morning of the resurrection, rise in the image of my Saviour!" She died Dec. 1833, aged 89.
DEA. JOEL WHIPPLE
Inherited the ready wit of his mother, and the firmness of his father. Was very active in town business, and in promoting schools. He was elected deacon of the Congregational Church in 1821, which office he held till his death, in 1827. During this time, the church was subjected to severe trials, and a division, caused by the locating a house of worship.
He gave liberally, and was firm and persevering in his efforts to accomplish the work of building a house for the Lord. The brethren were nerved on to action by his cheerful. hopeful spirit; the pastor encouraged; religion' honored by his love to God, to the church, and his fellow‑
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man, and in the promotion of peace and harmony, for which he was especially distinguished.
MRS. MARTHA WHIPPLE,
His wife, was a woman of great refinement, meek, and Christ-like. She, and also her husband, joined in singing praises to God in his house till their death. The tones of her voice were sweet and melodious. She died in 1836, aged 54 years.
FRANCIS P. WHIPPLE,
Their oldest son, a graduate of Middlebury College, and principal of an academy in Granville, N. Y., died in 1830, aged 25. He was intending to enter the ministry.
Their third son, two years in Amherst College, was taken sick, and obliged to leave. Having partially recovered, he engaged in teaching in Medway, Mass. He taught but a short time, however, before he went to his uncle Levi Whipple's, in Putman, Ohio, where he died of consumption in 1835, aged 26 years.
He, too, had decided to be a minister. He was a very devoted, useful Christian; unassuming, pleasing in his ways, and had the love and esteem of all who knew him.
The youngest son and brother, commenced a preparatory course of study, with the ministry in view, but relinquished his cherished wishes to live with and care for his widowed mother; but the angel of death claimed yet another. He died in 1832, aged 21.
REV. J. B. HARDWICK NORRIS,
Son of Deacon Nathaniel Norris, the second man who came, with his family, to settle in Hardwick, was the first child born in town (1792), and named HARDWICK in honor thereof. In early life he became a preacher and member of the Vermont Methodist Conference; and, notwithstanding the accumulating care of a large family, was an itinerant for many years — for more than forty a faithful minister of the gospel. January, 1861, he left the vineyard of toil for the banqueting house above.
COL. ALPHA WARNER.
BY A. J. HYDE, M. D.
COLONEL WARNER was born in Hardwick, Mass., Dec. 1770, and removed to Hardwick, Vt., 1796, following the old military road to Canada, opened through the wilderness by Col. Hazen. Soon after he came here, he was married to Miss Lydia Cobb, of Hardwick, Mass.
As the old sign shows, bearing the date of 1797, he, this year, opened a house of entertainment on the Hazen Road, and presided in the capacity of host for nearly 60 years. This house was one of. the most noted in Vermont, and many a traveller would ride a little later or go a little further to get to "Warner's." In 1816, he had the misfortune to lose, by death, the companion of his early years. In 1818, he was married again to Mrs. Anna Burton, whose death preceded his but a short time. He went West in 1853, and died Jan. 1854, at Chillicothe, Ohio, in the 84th year of his age.
Col. Warner was one of the principal men by whose influence the name of the town was called after "Old Hardwick, Mass." He was one of the early representatives of the town in the State Legislature. A member of the church, he continued in his Christian profession up to his death. He was a very public-spirited man, always favored improvements, especially of roads.
He was considered a man of good judgment upon matters of every-day life. This father of the town had the gratification to witness repeated rewards of his usefulness and public generosity, the waving grains take the place of the wilderness, the town teem with life and activity, the thoroughfares busy with the hurried traveller, and society flourish under the nurture of truth and virtue.
[We are also indebted to Dr. Hyde for helping gather and copy other historical material, both in and near this section. — ED.]
EXTRACT OF A LETTER.
FROM MISS STEVENS.
Mr. David Tuttle, son of Rev. Amos Tuttle, the first minister of Hardwick, who has lived in town longer than any other person now living, says we are mistaken in one item of history — that is, of the first burial of an adult in town. In the history, we have written of a Mr. Sinclair, an aged man, that he died in 1796, and was buried in a log dug out, etc. Mr. Tuttle says he was 13 years old; remembers well of his death, funeral, and burial. His father attended or heard the exercises. He says his coffin was made of pure boards, and painted black. Still Mr. Sinclair, a great-grandchild of the one in question, claims that he was interred in a log, as described. He says, his mother was at the funeral, etc. In Greensboro', two miles away, there was a good saw-mill; with means at hand, we can hardly suppose so rude a coffin would have been preferred.
Mr. Tuttle says, before the town was settled but after the clearing made by Messrs. Safford and Page, a Mr. Safford, the one who worked with Mr. Page, or a man by the same name, was moving with his family through Hardwick to Cambridge. They encamped for the night in the hut built by Peter Page. He was taken with bilious colic, and died; and Mr. Tuttle says, Mr. Safford's son told him that they were obliged to dig out a bass log to bury him in. He was interred near the stopping-place. This,
perhaps, gave rise to the story of Mr. Sinclair's being buried in such a coffin.
THOUGHTS OF THE PRESENT, AND REMINISCENCES OF THE PAST.
I am an old man, seventy-eight to-day. I am the only person living in this town that was living in it at the time it was organized. I have seen its growth for the last sixty-six years; have shared in its trials, prosperity, and honors, and have now retired from business with little capital, except a middling clear conscience, excellent health for one of my age, many friends, and not an enemy that I know. If I have any, we never meet; so I am pleasantly situated at the present, and visit my friends often, in which I take great satisfaction.
I meet citizens of this town, with their splendid equipage, on a good smooth road, where I, sixty odd years ago, found my way through then a dense forest, by blazed trees. Not long since, I was on an eminence where, in by-gone days, I followed my sable line. Then I could see but a few rods into the great woods; now, from that stand-point, I can see many splendid farms and residences, and even look in upon adjoining towns. I stood for a time enjoying the beautiful prospect, contrasting it with the past, when thoughts crossed my mind of the great West; and I said, What is this, compared with that I have seen there? Here, it has taken over half a century to bring about this change. There, I have seen on the shores of the great lakes, and on the banks of the Father of Waters, villages grow up in a few months larger than this town owns at the present. But soon my thoughts were again on the landscape before me, and I said, mentally, though this has been a slow work compared with some of young America for a few years past, yet it has been sure. The splendid farms and residences that I see here, the occupants own, and have money to let; whereas those I have seen grow up so rapidly at the West, some capitalist living East holds a mortgage for much more than they can be sold for in these hard times. Although I admire those Western States, — believing they are destined to be the heart of the greatest republic on earth. — I am compelled to say, Vermont is a good little State to live in, after all that is done and said. The Vermonters have ever done their own work and thinking, and will continue to for a long time to come, I am confident.
Ladies and gentlemen, citizens of the town of Hardwick, Caledonia County, and State of Vermont, I wish you all the prosperity and happiness that belongs to a correct and virtuous community.
South Hardwick, Feb. 20, 1861.
[We thank most cordially this Hardwick father for his contribution. How many other towns will send, for our Literary Department, a tribute from their oldest man living? When old men talk, we love to listen. — ED.]
I AM PASSING THROUGH THE VALLEY.
Miss Jane Ann Porter, born in East Hardwick, in 1832, died December, 1855. The following lines were written three weeks before her death:—
I am passing through the valley
Called by mortals dark and drear;
Where the dread death-angel reigneth,
Striking stoutest hearts with fear.
Round me rolls the rapid river,
And the breaking waves dash high;
But they shall not overwhelm me,
For my Saviour still is nigh.
One strong arm around me circles,
While the other points above —
And he whispers to my spirit
Words of holy peace and love.
Ah! this valley, dark and lonely,
Is not dark and lone to me;
For the Star of Bethlehem gleaming
Through the rippled clouds I see.
Brighter yet it grows, and brighter,
Till the shadows disappear;
And the shore of life eternal
Rises to my vision clear.
Forms of loveliness excelling
All I've ever seen before,
Wait to welcome me to glory,
When my pilgrimage is o'er.
THE LIFE OF A MISSIONARY.
BY MRS. E. S. INGALLS.
Many long years since, I can just perceive in the distance a ruddy youth of beautiful countenance, full of animation, of kindly disposition, dearly beloved by all his friends, full of zeal for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, ready to triumph over filial, fraternal, and social affections, to go far hence among the aborigines of the Western wilds.
Distances were not then shortened to the extent that they now are. It was a long, long way over hill and dale, terminating at last in literally a howling wilderness, with no other road than an Indian trail, where the wolves played well their part.
This young missionary was among the pioneers to the Cherokee nation, therefore subjected to all tho privations incident to a first expedition. He at once fixed his habitation among the red man's wigwams, where the forest was not only to be felled, but the wild man tamed. At the very commencement he reared the standard of Immanuel, and to the nations around told the story of Jesus. Faster than his means would allow, he would have collected the youth and children into schools.
That knowledge might be diffused the whole length and breadth of the nation, he often itinerated. More than once on the excursions was he compelled to subsist on the productions of nature, without any material modification of art to render his dish palatable. In a letter to his friends he remarked, "I often make my breakfast
336 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
of a water-melon, and my dinner and supper on cucumbers and green corn.
"All day have I rode in the rain, swam deep creeks, and at night laid down in my drenched clothes on the ground, and slept quietly, uninjured by exposure. So you see I have great reason to praise God for a good constitution."
In process of time other missionaries were sent to the Cherokee nation, among whom some whole families, that the nations might have a sample of good order and industry to awake their dormant energies. From one of these families this missionary selected a companion. This was the first Christian marriage celebrated in the Cherokee nation, therefore publicly solemnized in the presence of many natives, who soon learned the propriety of the institution.
A single instance out of thousands will show that they were mutual sharers of trials of no ordinary kind. Once when they were journeying on horseback from one station to another, the distance of 50 miles or more, the sable curtains of night encircled them while they were still in the midst of a dense forest, the rain descending in torrents. There was no alternative but to remain through the night. The first effort to obtain fire, doubtless by friction, forced the whole apparatus from his grasp, while the darkness rendered the search for it wholly unavailing. A shelter composed of their saddles and a few barks was all a tender female and helpless infant had to shield them a whole night from the pelting storm. The little one, notwithstanding all the defence its mother could afford, was so completely drenched as to wear marks of its green cap until its hair was of sufficient length to be cropped from its head.
While on a visit to his friends in Hardwick, relating some of the various scenes through which he had passed, his friends inquired "Why he did not mention in his public addresses some of the many trials he had to encounter on missionary ground?" "I should blush to hold up to public gaze my trials, while the goodness and mercy of my Heavenly Father have followed me all my days," he replied. Very true, indeed; praise might well dwell upon his tongue.
He did not spend his strength for naught. In the course of a few years, the entire aspect of the nation was changed. "Instead of comfortless wigwams," he wrote, "I now find good framed or brick houses; instead of sleeping on the ground, I now repose on feather beds; instead of partaking my scanty meal with my fingers, I now find good, wholesome food placed on a neatly-furnished table; and, what is far better, instead of the heathen, the blind worshippers of the 'Great Spirit,' I now find a well-organized community, the meek and humble followers of Christ Jesus, — not that it is true of the whole nation, but a good proportion."
Here I would gladly leave the Cherokee nation, and the devoted missionary, quietly and faithfully pursuing his labors of love; but the white man coveted the highly productive land of the Indians, who, after long and grievous abuses, were removed from their cherished homes, to the uncultivated regions of the "far West," where thousands, victims to the change, found an early grave.
The missionary, after laboring more than 20 years with the Indians, was employed by the Home Missionary Society to labor in Illinois. But he has gone to his reward. He died 1841, while attending the Presbytery at Alton, Ill.
His name was REV. WM. CHAMBERLAIN, a native of Bradford, Vt. He passed several years in Hardwick, where he was converted, and sent forth to the missionary work.
While visiting his friends in Vermont in 1835, an uncle inquired if he had made any provision for his future support? "Certainly." "Where?" "In Heaven," was the emphatic reply. "I commit all to the care of my Heavenly Father." Subsequent events proved his faith genuine, and the gracious promises immutable. On his return, provision was made for the education of two of his daughters. Mr. Fanshaw, of N. Y., well known as the printer and agent of the American Tract Society. educated one; a lady in Brooklyn, another. When the faithful missionary was called suddenly away, aid was immediately proffered. Rev. S. Worcester, of Salem, Mass., whose father was the first Secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions, and died at Brainard, Cherokee Nation, at the house of Mr. C., who closed his eyes, and committed dust to dust, claimed the privilege of educating one; all the others were kindly educated by benevolent individuals.