590                              VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.








Among the professional men who located in Burlington in the earlier period of its history, Judge Samuel Hitchcock bore a prominent part. He was so conspicuous for ripe scholarship and zealous promotion of the prosperity of his adopted state, as well as his devotion to the University of Vermont, and the other interests of Burlington, that a notice of him seems indispensable to a work professedly designed to commemorate the lives and public services of Vermont's earliest benefactors.

Samuel Hitchcock, the fourth son of Noah and Mary Hitchcock, and grandson of David Hitchcock, one of the original settlers of the town of Brimfield, Hampshire county, Mass., was born in Brimfield, March 23, 1755. He fitted for college with the Rev. James Bridgham, a graduate of Harvard university, in 1726. Mr. Bridgham was pastor of the Congregational church in Brimfield, from January 29, 1736, until he died, September 17, 1776, aged 69; and took great pains with the classical education of Samuel Hitchcock, who was graduated at Harvard university, in 1777, the next year after his excellent teacher and benefactor, Mr. Bridgham, died. After his graduation he read law at Brookfield, Worcester county, Mass., with the late Hon. Jedediah Foster, and was, probably, admitted to the practice of the law at Worcester.

About 1786, Samuel Hitchcock removed to Burlington, Vermont, where he commenced the practice of his profession, and boarded at the well known tavern* kept by Capt. Gideon King. He was the first state's attorney appointed in Chittenden county, and held the office from 1787 to 1790, inclusive, when he was succeeded by the Hon. William Chase Harrington. Mr. Harrington, it is worthy of remark, was continued in office as state's attorney until 1812 — the longest tenure of such an office, probably, in the state.

Samuel Hitchcock was chosen representative from the town of Burlington, soon after its organization. He represented the town in 1789, 90, 91, 92, and 93, and was succeeded by William Coit, a brother-in-law of Levi Allen, and a graduate of Yale college in the class of 1761. He was a member of the Convention of Delegates of the People of the State of Vermont, held at Bennington, January 10th, 1791, to ratify the constitution of the United States, which had been submitted by an act of the Vermont Legislature, passed October 27, 1790. This ratification "was agreed to and signed by one hundred and five and dissented to by four."

The charter of the University of Vermont, which was granted by the General Assembly, November 3, 1791, is said to have been drafted by Samuel Hitchcock, while the main features of it were furnished by another alumnus of Harvard university — the Rev. Samuel Williams, D. D. of Rutland‡. Samuel Hitchcock was elected one of the trustees of the university from the start, and continued to hold that office until his death. He was secretary of the corporation from 1791 to 1800, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Daniel Clarke Sanders, D. D., president of the university. Dr. Wheeler, in his Historical Discourse says that the creative mind of Dr. Samuel Williams, and the reflective and profound mind of Judge Hitchcock, had worked for the University of Vermont, and in it. The two last were graduates from Harvard university, who, together with Dr. Sanders, brought the habits and experimental knowledge of that venerable institution to aid in the practical workings of the university, and to give it distinctness and precision of outline."

He was elected attorney general of the state of Vermont, under the act of October, 1790, and was succeeded in 1793, by the Hon. Daniel Buck of Norwich. Samuel Hitchcock and Lemuel Chipman of Pawlet, were the presidential electors at large from Vermont, at the second presidential election, in 1793. Lot Hall of Westminster, and Paul Brigham of Norwich, were their colleagues in the first electoral college in Vermont, and all were appointed by the legislature, in 1792, and


* Vide page 462.

† See Vermont State papers, pp. 194, 5.

‡ Vide American Quarterly Register, vol. XIII, p. 395, and the instructive "Historical Discourse," pronounced by the late Rev. John Wheeler, D. D., on the occasion of the semi-centennial anniversary of the University of Vermont, August 1, 1854, p. 7.

§ Ibid, pp. 14, 15.




                                                     BURLINGTON.                                          591


they cast the vote of Vermont at Windsor, for George Washington and John Adams.

In 1797, the second general revision of the laws was completed by a committee consisting of Roswell Hopkins of Vergennes, Richard Whitney of Brattleboro', Nathaniel Chipman of Tinmouth, and Samuel Hitchcock. The statutes so reported, were adopted and printed in 1798, in one octavo volume of 622 pages with an appendix of 206 pages.

Samuel Hitchcock was judge of the District Court of the United States for the district of Vermont, and judge of the Circuit Court of the second circuit of the United States, receiving his appointment from president John Adams, and going out of that office when the Judiciary Act was repealed.

Judge Hitchcock was married May 26, 1789, to Lucy Caroline Allen,* second daughter of Gen. Ethan Allen. This marriage is the first one recorded in the town records of Burlington. For six or seven years after his marriage he continued to reside in Burlington, and then removed to Vergennes, where he lived until 1806, when he returned to Burlington to reside. Soon after the death of Gen. Washington, he was invited by the citizens of Vergennes to pronounce his eulogy; with which invitation he cordially complied. This eulogy is probably preserved in manuscript Judge Hitchcock died at Burlington, November 30th, 1813, aged 58 years. He had been Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, from 1797 to 1800 inclusive, and was buried with imposing masonic ceremony.

Judge Hitchcock's scholarship was of a superior order, and as a lawyer he ranked among the foremost in New England. He was endowed with a large measure of benevolence and admirable social qualities. As a conversationist he was unrivaled for humor and brilliant repartee. His personal appearance was dignified and commanding. He had a light complexion and sharp blue eyes, and to a handsome person of medium size and height, he added polished manners and a pleasing address.

In the old grave yard at Burlington are the following inscriptions upon tombstones, which are here reproduced as not devoid of historical interest.

"Heman A. Hitchcock died at Vergennes, Vt., 28th of September, 1802, aged 2 years."

"Samuel Hitchcock, (Jr.?) died 29th of August, 1806, aged 8 years."

"Mary Ann Hitchcock, wife of Dr. J. S. W. Parkin, died at Selma, Alabama, September 16th, 1825, aged 27 years."

"Caroline P. Hitchcock died at Coosada, Alabama, 9th of September, 1822, aged 17 years."

"Major George P. Peters, U. S. A., died at Fort Gadsden, Florida, November 28, 1819, aged 30 years; and Lorraine A., his wife, and eldest daughter of Samuel and Lucy C. Hitchcock, died 22d April, 1815, aged 25 years."

"Hon. Samuel Hitchcock died November 20, 1813, aged 58 years. This monument is erected by Henry Hitchcock, of Alabama."

"Mrs. Lucy Caroline, widow of the Hon. Samuel Hitchcock, and daughter of General Ethan Allen, died August 27th, 1842, aged 74 years."

Mary Ann, whose decease is above mentioned, and whose husband still survives, left one son — William W. Parkin, Esq., a China merchant of the highest respectability and prosperity. Dr. Parkin is now living in New York city. He married a second wife, by whom he has one son and five daughters.

Major George P. Peters, whose death is recorded above, was a cadet in December, 1807, and while commanding his company at the battle of Tippecanoe, 7th November, 1811, was distinguished for bravery, and was wounded. He was again wounded at Maguago, 9th August, 1812, and became subsequently assistant adjutant general, with the rank of major.

Besides the widow and three daughters, whose decease is above noted, Judge Hitchcock left three sons — Henry, Ethan Allen, and Samuel.

Of Henry Hitchcock, a suitable memoir, from the ready pen of an early and life-long friend, is given in other pages of this magazine. Of Ethan Allen Hitchcock, now a major general of Volunteers, (the only son of Judge Hitchcock now living) a recent biographical sketch has appeared in the New American Cyclopedia, published by D. Appleton & Co. of New York. A more complete notice may be prepared for this work, of this distinguished military and literary character, when the history of Vergennes, the place of his nativity, is published herein.

Samuel Hitchcock, the youngest son, born at Burlington in 1808, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1822, and subsequently became brevet second lieutenant of Infantry, when, in a moment of affectionate yielding to the earnest wishes of his mother, who felt, in advancing years, that


* See ante, p. 135, and p. — .

† Henry F. Brown, Esq. of Brimfield, Mass., communicates the fact that Ebenezer Hitchcock, Esq. of Brimfield, Mass., a nephew of Judge Hitchcock, who lived with him a few years in Vergennes, had a copy a short time since.




592                              VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.


she could not spare more than one son to the army, he resigned, 19th December. 1827. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar, both in Alabama and Missouri. His tastes, however lay in another direction, and he lived and died a student. In 1843, he received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from the University of Vermont, and subsequently spent several years in Europe. About this time he completed a very perfect translation from the Latin original of Spinoza's Ethics, one of the most wonderful examples of speculative writing in existence. He died at sea, of consumption, August 1, 1851, while on his return passage to the United States, and his remains were committed to the deep. He was a gentleman of highly cultivated mind and manners, and inherited his father's remarkable conversational powers. He was never married. At the time of his death he was in the 44th year of his age.







Stephen Russell was born at Alford, Ct., Jan. 28, 1765. At the age of 15, being determined to participate in the war of the revolution then waging, his brother, opposed to his enlistment, shut him up in a chamber. He escaped, however, enlisted for three years, and served during the war. The winter after leaving the army he attended school. Paper and slates were unknown to that school. The boys and girls did their ciphering on birch bark; and thus he received his education. Feb. 12, 1800, he married to Mary Sharpe, at Pomfret, Connecticut, and came the same year to reside in Burlington, Vermont. He first lived for a number of years on the site now occupied by the house built by the late Hon. Timothy Follet. He was among the first settlers of the town, and helped open the road from his house to the Court House square; and there were but few dwellings in town at the time. He held a number of town offices, as collector, constable, &c.; all of which he discharged with fidelity. From the village he removed to a farm, one mile and a half from the Court House square, where he lived some 20 years, when he sold part of his farm, built a new house half a mile to the north, and lived there till his decease, March 5, 1847; being aged 82 years, one month and five days. His treasures were not in this world, but that which is to come. It was not known as he had an enemy in the world. It was the privilege of the writer to be with him in his last illness, and to be able to record that he  died in the full assurance of a blessed immortality.*







Col. Ozias Buell, though not one of the very earliest inhabitants of Burlington, was one of the most influential in establishing its present moral and religious character. He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, 8th April, 1769, and died in Burlington 5th August, 1832, aged 63. After receiving in his youth a thorough business education, under the care of his uncle, Mr. Julius Deming of Litchfield, he first established himself in Kent, Connecticut, where he remained ten or twelve years; and from thence removed here in 1804. Being a man of great energy of character, and possessing active business talents, the opening of a new state, like Vermont, offered attractions to his enterprising mind which were encouraged by his brother-in-law, Moses Catlin, who preceded him several years. Liberal, kind and benevolent in his disposition, be advocated and contributed to every good cause that promised to promote the prosperity of the place. At this time there was no house of worship or church organization. Rallying about him the more serious of the people, a Congregational church was soon organized at the house of Moses Catlin in 1805. This house is that afterwards owned and long occupied by Samuel Hickok, and stands on the west side of Court House square, at the corner of St. Paul and Main streets. Col. Buell was the leading spirit and contributor in the erection of the first house of worship in 1812. He was, however, ably seconded by Wm. C. Harrington, Esq., at that time the leading lawyer of Chittenden county bar. Col. Buell was also for 21 years treasurer of the University of Vermont, whose interests he steadily pursued, making no charge for his services. His title of colonel was derived from his having held that office in the continental militia, while resident at Kent. Possessing a fine personal appearance, and being a good horseman, in days when riding on horseback was common, his appearance on public occasions added greatly to the display. It is said that when the first bell was to be raised on the church newly erected, Commodore McDonough, the hero of Lake Champlain, whose vessel was at the time at the wharf, volunteered the services of his men, and superintended the operation in person.


* Mr. Russell left several sons, of whom the writer of the above sketch is one. — Ed.




                                                     BURLINGTON.                                          593


Col. Buell was conspicuous in the crowd, when one of the sailors whispered to his comrade, — "I say, Jack, that man has never seen many 'Banyan days.' " These Banyan days are days of short allowance on ship board.

The Calvinistic church and society will hold Col. Buell, as a member and benefactor, in lasting remembrance. His hospitable home was ever open, and was the resort of all ministers of the gospel.







Moses Catlin, one of the first inhabitants of Burlington, was born in Litchfield, Conn., in 1770. He married early in life, Miss Lucinda Allen, daughter of Capt. Heyman Allen (a brother of General Ethan's), who died from a wound he received at the battle of Bennington. Miss Allen inherited from her father a large fortune; the land lying between Vergennes and Highgate, was part of this inheritance, and Mr. and Mrs. Catlin decided to remove to the township of Burlington and make it their future home. A journey in those days, of that length, was accomplished with much difficulty, but Miss Allen possessed much of the energy and intrepidity of her father's family, and nothing daunted, performed it on horse-back, much of the way, being still but a bridle path. They found the beauty of the locality such that there was no reason to repent them of their undertaking, and they soon made for themselves a home in this new and wild country.

The first house built by Mr. Catlin was upon the Court House square. where they remained several years (it afterwards became the residence of the late Mr. Samuel Hickok), but Mrs. Catlin, being a great lover of the beautiful in nature, desired a residence where she could look on the beautiful blue waters of Champlain. Mr. Catlin then built upon the College Green, the residence now of Mr. Dana Allen. But Mrs. Catlin was not quite content, and she chose an eminence back of the college, the view from which can scarcely be surpassed. She begged of Mr. Catlin at that time to climb a tree and see if Champlain's blue waters could be seen. The height to which he climbed enabled him to behold a most beautiful panorama spread out before him. The lake with its cluster of distant islands, hills and dales, through which the Winooski river wandered to its outlet in Champlain, and the whole enclosed in a perfect amphitheatre of mountains. They decided then to make this their home, and Mr. Catlin enjoyed for many years the varied landscapes, discovering each year some new beauty that enhanced the value of the enchanting view. Many will remember, with pleasure, the pleasant reunions on the fourth of July in this enchanting spot, and the kind and cordial greeting with which Mr. Catlin welcomed the young ladies of the seminary, the professors and students of the university, and the principal inhabitants of the town. It is now the residence of his nephew, H. W. Catlin, Esq.; and some of the original pines are still standing, grouped upon the lawn, ever fresh and green through the snows and frosts of winter or the balmy airs of summer. To one unaccustomed to mountain scenery, those eastern hills with the sun just risen, the view is most glorious. Mrs. Catlin was a woman of perfect uprightness of character and exemplified the Christian in her every day walk. It was under her roof the first Calvinistic Congregational church was formed in Burlington. Mr. C. was a man universally esteemed and well respected. He possessed a great fund of anecdote, and his friendly greetings were always accompanied by a certain humor that played upon the mirthfulness of all. The mills and manufactories, which he erected at Winooski falls, gave the first impetus to the flourishing little city, and was the means of subsistence for many families for a long number of years. In his domestic relations he was most kind and gentle; he was also a man of active benevolence; having no children of his own, he adopted three orphans, one of whom died early in life, receiving from Mrs. Catlin and himself, all the care and attention of an own child. He was a cheerful and liberal contributor to all benevolent, objects; was associated with his brother in-law, Col. Ozias Buell, in the erection of the first church edifice in Burlington; though at that time not a professor of religion, his place was never vacant in the church of worship, except under extraordinary circumstances. His Christian character developed itself at a late period of life, and shone brighter and brighter as he approached the limit of life. In his last sickness, while his mind was wandering with the effect of disease, his voice was often heard explaining some passage of scripture, or raised in prayer, until the lamp of life gently expired in the year 1842, at the age of 72.




A younger brother of Moses, was also born in Litchfield in 1782, and while a young




594                              VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.


man, emigrated to Burlington. He married Miss Melinda Wadhams (a half sister of Mrs. Moses Catlin), a woman who in every relation of life — as wife, mother, member of society, and the Christian church of which she was a bright ornament, fulfilled the high order of her being in a manner most worthily. An obituary notice of her death in the Burlington Free Press of that date, says: "Seldom does death by a single stroke, afflict so many hearts, disappoint so many hopes, or take from the walks of private life, an individual charged with such peculiar responsibilities. Seldom does he take from among us one whose example was so bright, whose preparation was so mature, or whose existence seemed so necessary to the happiness of others. As a neighbor, a Christian, a wife, a mother, she was a rare example of excellence. All who knew her, will feel that it is not the language of mere eulogy when we say that she filled all these relations with peculiar dignity, kindness and grace. All who have ever dwelt by her as a neighbor, will remember with gratitude, her generous kindness, her deep sympathy in their afflictions, her prompt and efficient aid in trouble, and her safe counsels in the hour of perplexity."

She died in 1843, at the age of 45. Mr. Catlin was a man of liberal mind and public spirit, ever ready to cooperate in anything that would tend to the advancement of learning or improvement and beauty of the town. The University of Vermont, in which he took a deep interest, found in him, in its time of need, one ever willing to contribute for its advancement and prosperity. His business interests were intimately connected with his brother Moses's, in the manufactories at Winooski, and the poor of that place will have occasion to remember for life the kindness received from the two brothers, who first settled and started into life the little city of Winooski. Mr Catlin died in 1853, at the age of 72.







John Howard, late of Burlington, Vermont, who died 24th February, 1854, aged 84 years, as well as his brothers, William and Robert, was born at Providence, Rhode Island. Wm. went to Ohio and settled as a farmer among the Indians, who were then generally hostile to the whites, and then it was that he found an occasion for putting into requisition the principles and practice of his great progenitor, Roger Williams, which was to treat them
kindly, and in consequence of so doing greatly ameliorated the condition of himself and other new comers into the neighborhood. He was over six feet in height, with a full commanding voice. The Indians called him their great friend, and gave him protection instead of trouble. Robert left for England, and as no letters were received he was supposed to have been lost.

Their father was William Howard of London, England, whose ship and all on board were lost, being burned by lightning in a storm at sea, as was so reported by another ship in sight. He was said to have been of large stature and an energetic, gentlemanly man of good repute. His being lost just at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, when the troubles of the country were such, no attempt was made to trace or look up his relatives, from whom, in his life-time, on return voyages, he brought many valuable presents for his family, and some of the keepsakes are still retained by its members. He was married to Patience Dyer of Providence, Rhode Island, whose father was Samuel Dyer, the son of Charles and Mary Dyer, who settled on Cabbage Neck, in the year 1712; and whose mother was Patience Williams, before her marriage, who was the great-grand-daughter of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, in 1637, and was a woman of great energy and determination of character. The house is still standing where most of the children of Samuel and Patience Dyer were born, on the place known as the Rodney Dyer farm, Cabbage Neck.

The widow of William Howard, the mother of John, William, and Robert Howard, was again married to Josiah Foster by whom there were four children, of whom three are living; and among their descendants are the families of Esek Saunders and brothers of Saundersfield, and Mrs. Patience Howard Whitin of Whitinville, Mass. Her latter days were passed in the family of her son John Howard, and she died, aged 83 years, November 14th, 1832.

The wife of the late John Howard, who is still living, 18th April, 1862, at an age of 88 years, is in good health, and, to a remarkable degree, retains her faculties. She was Hannah Earl, born at Dartmouth (called by Indians Ponyganset, and is now Westport), Mass., at Coxet river, six miles from the ocean. Her father was Joshua Earl, the son of Oliver Earl, whose vessels were in the East India and China trade, at which time it took a year and a half to make the out and home voyage. He went from Newport to New York, and after remaining there seven years,




                                                     BURLINGTON.                                          595


returned to Newport, and then to Swanzey, where he died at an advanced age. Her mother was Alice Sherman, whose father was Job Sherman, whose wife was Ama Gardner. His father was Preserved Sherman, who was the son of Philip Sherman, who settled at Portsmouth, Rhode Island, in 1637 (where he had a grant of two hundred acres of land from the town, dated December 10th, 1639), and died in March 1686.

She had an Aunt Sherman, the mother of the late Benjamin Sherman of Peru, New York, who attained the age of 104 years, and in the last few years of her life was amused with articles suited to the gratification of children, and, as is frequent in extreme old age, it was that when on a visit to see her, she at first thought the new woman, as she called her, was a stranger, and did not give her any attention, but on the following day, when it was explained to her that it was her neice, Hannah Earl, her recollection came to her, when she began to caress her, and exclaim: "Hannah! Hannah!" and afterwards knew her, and was greatly pleased with her company.

Her father, aged 70 years, and her mother 68, died at their residence in Westport, within a week of each other, during a very fatal prevailing epidemic that was thought to have come into the neighborhood by the army.

The children of John Howard and Hannah Earl, are: Sion Earl, married to Hannah Vail, daughter of Aaron Vail of White Creek, New York; whose wife was Mary Raleigh, the daughter of Edmond Raleigh of Wales, who settled in Cambridge, N. Y., and whose family, with others, had to flee for their lives from the Indians, and from those more dreaded than Indians — the Hessians.* The second son was Daniel Dyer, married to Delia Carpenter of Hoosick, N. Y., daughter of the late Col. John Carpenter, whose father was from the Nine Partners, Dutchess county, N. Y., and settled at Pittstown, eight miles from the North river, and lived there before the making of wagon roads in that place, and at a time of great scarcity of provisions; and sturgeon, that then went by the name of "Albany Beef," were drawn from the river by a horse and chain, for a distance of ten and more miles, into the country, and the famine was so severe that the potatoes were dug up for food, and the parings thereof were again planted as seed. The third son was Sidney Smith, who died, aged 33 years, June 30th, 1839. The other children are: Hannah Louisa, John Purple, and Catherine Maria. The latter is married to Amos C. Spear, druggist, Burlington, Vt. And there are two grand-daughters; Fanny, daughter of Daniel, was married to Dr. Theodore S. Evans, formerly of Philadelphia, Pa., now of Paris, France; and Julia Hannah Howard, daughter of Catherine Maria.

And thus after a lapse of one hundred and sixty years, the course of events is such that, by the marriage of the late John Howard to Hannah Earl, in 1797, their children are the direct descendants of Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, and also of Philip Sherman, and Dyer, and Earl, his associates.

John Howard was on board the steamboat Phoenix on Lake Champlain when it was burned, on the night of the 3d September, 1819. There he rendered very great assistance indeed to the passengers, and at the same time had in charge a package of money belonging to the Bank of Burlington, for exchange with the Montreal Bank, and afterwards the following resolution and award was presented to him by the Bank of Burlington.

At a meeting of the Directors of the Bank of Burlington, on the 16th September, 1819. Present — C. P. Van Ness, the President, Wm. White, Ozias Buell, Luther Loomis, Samuel Hickok.

Resolved, That the Cashier do, and he is hereby authorized and required to present to Mr. John Howard, the sum of one hundred dollars for and on behalf of the President, Directors, and Company of this institution, as a testimony of the obligation they feel themselves under for his unyielding exertions at the time, and after the conflagration of the late steam boat Phoenix, in preserving that portion of their property — eight thousand five hundred dollars — committed to his care (under all its various circumstances of exposure), from destruction and loss.

The following in an extract from a notice in the Burlington Free Press:

"We are called upon to record the death of one of our oldest and most respectable citizens — John Howard, aged 84 years. His death, as already announced, occurred on Friday, the 24th February, 1854. He leaves an aged widow with whom he has lived in the peaceful and uninterrupted enjoyment of the marriage state for over fifty-five years, also three sons — Mr. Sion E. Howard, merchant of this town, Daniel and John P. How-


* Hessians are troops belonging to the country of Heese Cassel, in Germany, They have been frequently hired by Great Britain. Particularly in the war of American Independence, when they were sold at £40 sterling a head; £9 of which was to be repaid if they returned alive.




596                              VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.


ard, late of the Irving House, New York, and two daughters; the sons last named were in Europe at the commencement of the last illness of their father, and on receiving intelligence of the same, they hastened their return and had the satisfaction to be present at the period of his death. During a long residence in Burlington, Mr. Howard was found ever ready by his counsel, advice, and purse to contribute to its prosperity, as well as to the happiness of all around him and his demise, even at his advanced age, leaves a gloom upon many who were familiarly and intimately acquainted with him."

And now, as a condensed obituary Masonic address was made and published, by the late most worshipful brother, Philip C. Tucker, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, which is herewith printed, any further notice of his general character as a citizen is omitted. And the address thus says:

"Within a week after the sudden death of our brother Pratt, we were called to mourn the loss of our aged brother John Howard, of Washington Lodge, No. 3, at Burlington. Brother Howard was extensively known as the landlord of one of the best and most popular hotels in Burlington for many years, and was the father of Daniel D., and John P. Howard, formerly of the Irving House, in the city of New York, and Sion E. Howard, a well known merchant in Burlington. He was born at Providence, Rhode Island, and was in early life deprived of his father, who was lost at sea. He was placed in the care of an uncle, and while a youth made several voyages at sea. He afterwards resided at Pittstown, New York, whence he removed to Schaghticoke Point, and was in mercantile business about six years. From thence he returned to Pittstown and established himself as a tavern keeper; after following which for six years longer, he removed to the town of Addison, Vermont, and became a farmer upon a beautiful farm on the bank of Lake Champlain. (It was the original Case farm, lately Crane's, and adjoining the Gen. Strong place.) In 1812 he gave up farming, exchanged his farm for a hotel in Burlington, and removed there to renew his business of hotel keeping, which he pursued constantly for the next thirty-five years. He retired from active business about seven years before his decease, and remained in retirement until his death, which occurred on the 24th day of February, 1854, when he had attained the ripe age of 84 years. He was among the survivors of the steamer Phœnix, which was burnt on Lake Champlain, 3d September, 1819, and his exertions in arousing the passengers, and aiding their escape, on that occasion, has been highly commended. He was, himself, saved upon a plank, after having been several hours in the water. Brother Howard was popular as a landlord, and was very long an active business man and valuable citizen. He took a strong interest in every thing promotive of the welfare of Burlington, and was ever ready to aid in all things to advance its business and prosperity. He bore a long painful illness with exemplary patience and resignation. Having early joined the masonic ranks, he remained always true, worthy, and faithful; and his brethren, presided over by our past Grand master Haswell, consigned his remains to the grave, with brotherly love, esteem, and affection."




Late of Burlington, was descended from a family of that name who were among the first settlers of Andover, Mass., where several branches of the family now reside.

His father, Benjamin Johnson, was a grandson of Capt. Timothy Johnson of Andover, who, in 1677, at the head of a corps of mounted men, had several successful encounters with the Indians. Capt. Johnson at that time was the largest land owner in Andover.

Benjamin Johnson married Elizabeth Boardman of Preston, Conn., and soon after removed from Andover to Canterbury, N. H., where their son John was born, Dec. 2, 1771. Benjamin Johnson was a farmer, and like most of the farmers of New England of his day served in the army during the war for independence. At the battle of Bennington, under Gen. Stark, he distinguished himself by his bravery and received the commendation of that officer.

He sustained an irreproachable character throughout life, and died at the advanced age of 88, his sight continuing unimpaired to the last.

His son John, at the age of 19, concluded to seek his fortune in the direction in which so many of the young men of eastern New England, were then moving. He went, in 1790, to the northwest part of Vermont, residing for short periods in different places, until finally in 1808, he located in Burlington on Lake Champlain. He was twice married, viz: in 1799, to Rachel Ferry of Granby, Mass., and in 1807, to Lurinda Smith of Richmond, Vt. His second wife is still living




                                                     BURLINGTON.                                          597


in the 81st year of her age. Of his children, four now survive, two by his first, and two by his second wife.

John Johnson soon after he emigrated to Vermont, entered upon the business of a land surveyor, which became his principal occupation for a number of years, during which period he made surveys and resurveys of many townships, and parts of townships, in the northern portion of the state. The business of making land surveys in that part of the country, at that period, was of a peculiarly arduous character. The country was without roads, unsettled, hilly, the surface covered with a dense forest, in which the snows lay at a great depth late in the season. In conducting these surveys, it was his practice to encamp with his party, wherever night overtook him. The town of Westmore, in which Willoughby lake is situated, was surveyed by him in the months of February and March, 1800, when the snow was five or six feet in depth on the level.

Mr. Johnson was in stature a little under the medium height. His frame was compact and sinewy, and he possessed great activity and energy of mind and body. He was appointed in 1812, surveyor-general of Vermont, and from his high reputation as a surveyor, was selected by the commissioners, under the treaty of Ghent, to superintend the surveys on the part of the United States, of our northeastern boundary. This work he undertook in 1817, in which year, in conjunction with Col. Bouchette, the English surveyor, he traced the due north line from the head of the St. Croix river, in the eastern part of Maine, to the St. John's river. In 1818, he pursued this line, in conjunction with Col. Odell, on the part of the English commission, to the highlands designated in the treaty, and explored the country lying to the west of the due north line, the geography of which, up to that period, was unknown.

In this stage of the proceedings, the English commission objected to carrying the due north line across the St. John's river, and the surveys were interrupted, and in 1819 or 1820, Mr. Johnson's final report was made. The surveys were not resumed again until some years after, when the government directed a line to be run with more care than was possible in a first exploration, but it differed so little from the line as originally traced by Mr. Johnson, that the latter was adopted in the treaty of 1842, as the boundary to the St. John's river, from whence by a most liberal concession on the part of the United States government, it was permitted to follow the channel of that river for some distance west, before again seeking the highlands.

Mr. Johnson, after concluding this service, was again elected surveyor-general of Vermont. During his life, he filled at various times, several offices of public trust. In the last war with England, his intimate knowledge of the topography of northern Vermont and New York, enabled him to furnish valuable information to the military department, which was suitably acknowledged, but for which he received no compensation.

The army on that frontier, was at times obliged to make forced demands upon the citizens for transportation, forage, &c. Mr. Johnson was one of a commission appointed by the government to examine into and adjust these claims, a position to which he was elected, because of the universal esteem in which he was held for his probity, and his many excellent qualities as a man and a citizen. His character for uprightness caused him to be made the umpire in the settlement of many disputed questions, which were thus closed without the expense and delay of a trial before the regular constituted courts. In the division and settlement of estates, his services were almost constantly in requisition,

In addition to his skill and knowledge as a land surveyor, Mr. Johnson possessed a degree of mathematical and mechanical knowledge, seldom attained by those whose education, like his, was mainly the result of his own unaided efforts. Possessing a mind of a high order, he investigated carefully and closely, and his conclusions upon all subjects, were remarkably free from prejudice or any improper bias. His manuscripts on the subjects of carpentry, bridge building, hydraulics, &c., show great care in the collection of facts, and great mechanical skill and judgment in the arrangement of plans. But few mechanical structures of any magnitude, were erected in northwestern Vermont, the plans for which did not emanate from him or receive his sanction. In 1815, he gave the plans for the structure, at that time the largest of the kind in that section of the country, which was placed over the frame of the large government vessel, then in an unfinished state at Sackett's Harbor. In the planning and erection of bridges, of dams, and mills, he had no superior, and many improvements so called, since patented by others, in other parts of the country, may still be seen in structures planned by him in northern Vermont.




598                              VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.


To the subject of saw mills, and of flouring mills, he gave particular attention, and it was through his agency, with one or two others mainly, that the flouring or grain mills of northern Vermont and western New York of that day, were rendered superior to all others.

In 1822, Mr. Johnson was a partner in the first establishment erected in the Ausable valley, New York, for the manufacture of chain cables, and for several years thereafter, he was interested in the iron manufacture in that valley. The manuscripts left by him on the subject of grist mills, saw mills, fulling mills, oil mills, rolling mills, forges, &c., contain an amount of practical information, which could only have been acquired by great industry and careful observation. The celebrated Oliver Evans, in a visit to Vermont to collect dues for the use of some of his improvements in machinery, was surprised and delighted to find in Mr. J. so great a proficient and adept in the branches in which himself had acquired so much fame.

Mr. Johnson usually had with him several young men, whose object was to qualify themselves as land surveyors and mechanics, many of whom, subsequently, became prominent as such, in other parts of the country. These young men ever retained for him the greatest respect and regard. Among them we may mention one whose letters are filled with the most grateful recollections, the late Hon. Lucius Lyon of Michigan.

Mr. Johnson was early impressed with the truth that theoretical knowledge in any department of science, was only chiefly valuable as it contributed to the general prosperity, and he saw with pain, the little effort made by scientific men of his day, to render science practical, and the great reluctance of practical men to admit that anything of value in their profession could be learned, outside of the field or the workshop. To these latter, he particularly addressed himself, and was greatly instrumental in elevating the character of the several mechanical professions, by convincing them that a knowledge of general principles and theories was important, and that in addition to a man's own experience very much that was valuable of the recorded experience and observations of others, could only be learned by reading and study. In his efforts in this direction, he was eminently successful, and of the many young men who received instruction from him, all became deeply impressed with the importance of the great benefits of study and reading to ensure success in the callings they had chosen.

Nothwithstanding the large amount of valuable practical knowledge acquired by Mr. Johnson in the useful arts, and the many improvements and valuable suggestions made by him, he never sought to benefit himself by letters patent, as others might have done under similar circumstances. His knowledge and his labors were freely bestowed for the public benefit. His son, Edwin F. Johnson, whose standing as a civil engineer for the last twenty-five years, has been among the first of his profession, is indebted, as we have heard him say, for the success which has attended his labors, in no small degree to the knowledge and instruction derived in the house of his father on those subjects immediately connected with his profession.

Mr. Johnson died suddenly of erysipelas fever, on the 30th day of April, A. D. 1842, at the age of 71, having at that age been engaged but a few days previous in the settlement and division of an estate in the town of Williston. During life he sustained the character of a good citizen, and a kind parent and husband.

For the poor and suffering, his sympathies were easily excited, and he was charitable in the Christian sense of the word. He was also hospitable, his house being at all times a home for his friends, who were numerous. If he possessed a weakness, it was in being too generous and too regardless of himself, thus limiting his means and compelling to undue exertions in the last years of his life. His polities were of the Jeffersonian school, but he took no very active part in political affairs, although he never neglected his duties as a citizen, and never hesitated to give his opinions freely upon men and measures.

He understood human nature, however, too well, not to perceive how easily it is swayed by partizan or sectarian influences, and this made him forbearing in his judgment of others, and careful to avoid exposure to such undue influences upon himself. In conversation he had the very happy faculty of making himself agreeable to all. He was not, as has been intimated, what would be termed, a learned man. Yet his reading was extensive, and among his most intimate friends were those who ranked high for their scientific attainments; and when Mr. Johnson died, Vermont lost a citizen whose acquaintance was so extensive, and the regard in which he was held so high, that few men




                                                     BURLINGTON.                                          599


in the section of the country where he lived, have passed from the stage of life more generally lamented.






Samuel Hickok came to Burlington, where he spent 57 years of his life, at as early a period in its history as A. D. 1792. He was born in Sheffield, Berkshire co., Mass., Sept. 4, 1774, and died in Burlington, June 4, 1849, in the 75th year of his age. As the name Hickok is unusual, its derivation is the more interesting. According to one of the family, who seems to be a little quizzical as to ancestry, the name first occurs in the Book of Chronicles, where it is spelt Hukok and Hukkok. As it is there the name of a place it becomes doubtful whether the Hickoks were Jews or Canaanites. It being, however, the name of a place the family at that early period seems to have been so far distinguished as to have given name to a city. But, according to Dr. L. P. Hickok, who presides over Union College, Hickok is a diminutire from Hicks, which some will account the more probable derivation. It is gratifying to know that little Hicks, in the person of his descendants, has risen to some distinction in the world, showing in them a state of progression upwards; progress so commonly happening downwards. Samuel was 18 years of age when he came to Burlington, accompanying his elder brother thither from Lansingburgh, N. Y., to which place the family had removed, and where his father and grandfather now lie buried. The site of Burlington was then a forest. The two or three buildings were at the lake shore. No wharf existed. Goods, brought in sloops from Whitehall, were landed in scows, or, if casks of liquor or molasses, were thrown overboard and floated ashore. William Hickok, the elder, opened a store in a small wooden structure, which stood on the bank where now the Lake House accommodates its patrons. Samuel was clerk. In the short space of three years William was drowned while skating. He and a companion glided into an opening in the ice about midway between the store and Shelburne point, both of them perishing. Samuel succeeded to the business. At that day lumbering to Quebec, the purchase of wheat, grown on new lands and forwarding it by sleigh to Troy; and the gathering of pot and pearl ashes, were the three leading branches of business. As customers came in from the East the tendency of dealers was up town to meet them, Mr. Hickok began to think of going up higher and concluded to build on Main street, where his second store was soon erected on the site of the present house of Daniel Roberts, Esq., amidst the pines and also the jeers of people for going so far off. He soon built the large square house, yet standing on the corner above the store, where his three oldest children were born. Burlington increasing in population and business, in a few years he built the three story brick store on the west side of the Court House square, and fixed his permanent residence at the corner across from the American Hotel where he spent his remaining years. His third store and residence were at an early day ornaments to the town, and would be now, except for the changes of style and progress of decay. Some of the earlier buildings of Burlington show in both taste and wealth equal to the later. This store is believed to be the oldest building of brick in town. Samuel Hickok was one of nature's noblemen. Though living after the stirring times of the revolution and of the New York controversy, he mingled with the actors in those scenes and with them pursued in generous rivalry, the arts of peace. The Chittendens and Allens were his neighbors and friends, and he was worthy of their companionship. With others he joined in the settlement of one of the two first ministers; the two being settled within a week of each other, the controversy respecting ministerial lands having been settled by an amicable divison. On this occasion he was one of three to build and present to the minister a two story brick dwelling house, at a cost of $2,500. With increase of wealth Mr. Hickok continued his liberality. Every worthy object had his countenance and support. Among others the University of Vermont received repeated liberal subscriptions to its funds. When its first buildings were erected he was a contributor. When after the fire it was rebuilt, he was one of the most liberal. At every stage of its progress during his life he was the constant friend of the institution. So of other public objects and institutions. At his death he was one of the deacons of the Calvinistic Congregational church, as for 17 years previous.