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                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       733

 

 

 

CHARLOTTE.

 

BY REV, BERNICE D. AMES.

 

Charlotte is situated in tho S. W. corner of Chittenden Co., bounded N. by Shelburne, E. by Hinesburgh, S. by Ferrisburgh and Monkton in Addison Co., and W. by Lake Champlain. The name was sometimes written in early records Charlotta.

The charter was granted June 24th, 1762, by Benning Wentworth, Governor of New Hampshire, to Benjamin Ferris and 64 oth­ers.* All meetings of the proprietors before

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* [We hereby credit Henry Stevens, antiquarian, for the following list of grantees of Charlotte — Ed.]

 

Benjamin Ferris, Jonathan Aiken, Benj. Ferris, Jr., Josiah Akin, Daniel Wing, Lot Tripp, David Akin, Jr., Tim Dakin, John Cromwell, John Hoag Meriti, John Hoag the 2d, John Wing, Reed Ferris, Zebulon Ferris, Wing Kelley, Nehemiah Merrit, Abraham Thomas, Anthony Tripp, Elias Palmer, David Palmer, Samuel Coe, George Soule, Elijah Doty, Peter Palmer, Josiah Bull, Josiah Bull, Jr., John Hitchcock, John Brownson, Jona. Dow, Enoch Hoag, Steward Southgate, Nathaniel Porter, Jr., Jedediah Dow, Robert Southgate, John Southgate, Daniel Merritt, Nehemiah Merrit, Jr., Stephen Noble, Dobson Wheeler, Samuel Brown, Joshua Dillaplain, William Field, Isaac Martin, John Lawrence, John Burling, John Franklin, Thomas Franklin, Jr., Samuel Franklin, James Franklin, Isaac Corsa, Elijah West, Robert Caswell, Joseph Ferris, Joseph Ferris, Jr., David Ferris, Daniel Chase, Patrick Thatcher, Thomas Darling, the Hon. John Temple, Lieutenant Govenor, Theodore Atkinson, Esq., Mark Hunking Wentworth, Esq., John Nelson, Esq., George Frost, Esq.

"KNOW YE that I, Abel White of Putney in the County of Windham and State of Vermont, for the con­sideration of fifty pounds of Lawful money, received to my full satisfaction of Ethan Allen of Sunderland in the County of Bennington and State of Vermont, Do give, grant, Bargain, sell and confirm unto the said Ethan Allen, his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract or parcel of land situated, lying and being in Charlotte in the County of Addison and State of Vermont, being and containing the equal half both in quantity and quality of certain two hundred acres of land which was the first Division of the original right of Joseph Ferris, Number 24, for 50 lbs. July 10,1787."

The same, — David Aiken, jr., of Fredericksburgh, in Dutchess County, New York, original grantee, to Heman Allen of Salisbury, Connecticut, Feb., 1777, for 14 lbs. George Soule, (original grantee) of Coling's Precinct, Dutchess County, New York, to Ira Allen of Colchester, Feb. 2, 1774, for 20 lbs.

Josiah Bull Jr., of Bateman's Precinct, Dutchess Co., N. Y., to Zimry† Allen of Salisbury, Ct., Dec. 1773, for 4 lbs.

Benjamin Ferris of Quaker Hill, in Collin's Precinct, N. Y., to Ethan Allen (first granted to Robert Tripp, original grantee) Dec. 13, 1773, tor 4 lbs.

Peter Palmer of Charlotta Precinct, in Dutchess Co., N.Y,. to Zimry Allen of Salisbury, Ct., Dec. 20, 1773, for 5 lbs.

John Bronson of Kent, Ct., original grantee, to Ethan Allen, Dec. 21, 1773, for 11 lbs.

Elijah Doty of Quaker Hill, in the Precinct of Pollyon, N. Y., original grantee, to Ethan Allen, Dec. 13, 1773, for 9 lbs.

Josiah Aiken of Quaker Hill, N. Y., original grantee, to Ethan Allen, Dec. 13, 1773, for 3 lbs. 6s.

Partridge Thatcher, of New Milford, Ct., original grantee, to Ira Allen for 130 lbs. Dec, 23, 1783.

Ira Allen of Sunderland, bound unto Darius Tupper of Bennington for 90 lbs., or 100 acres of land a quit claim deed as Tupper may choose to be laid out on the original right of Thos. Darling, John Hitchcock, Joseph Ferris, John Franklin, David Aiken, Jr., Tim Darkin, and Wm. Field.

Ira Allen to Urial Parsons on Charlotte north line (touching Isaac Varnum's and Tabor's) to pay 12s. per

 

† Zimri.

 

 

 

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the Revolution were held on the "oblong," in Dutchess Co., N. Y., and at New Milford, Ct. It is inferred that most of the proprietors lived in those places. None of the original proprietors are known to have settled in town, although children of some of them did.

At the proprietors' meeting held May 18th, 1765, the last before the Revolution, a vote was passed to give 100 acres of land from each right for settling the town, but no one was to come on without an order from the committee of the proprietors chosen for the purpose. There is no record that any such order was ever given, or that any one attempted to avail himself of the offer by making a settlement.

"The first attempt to settle this town was made by Derick Webb. He first began in March, 1766, but soon left. He came in again in March, 1777, but left in May following. No permanent settlement was made till 1784, when Derick Webb and Elijah Woolcot moved in and were followed by others."†

Webb was a German. There is a family tradition that during one of Webb's temporary residences here during the Revolution, he took his children out to what is now Hill's Bay to see the Lake. A party of Indians came around a point and took them prisoners. At Webb's earnest entreaty however they set the children ashore, but took him to Canada, where he was detained three or four months. About the same time, when Mrs. Webb was left alone, the Indians visited her log cabin, removed her from the house, ripped open her feather bed and scattered the contents, and were about to set the house on fire. She entreated them not to burn her house and leave her shelterless, as she was already left alone. They replied they must set the house on fire, according to their orders, but would then leave, and she might put it out if she could. So they did, and retired, and she extinguished the fire. It is most likely the settlement of Webb was commenced in the west part of the town, near the settlement of the Piersons in Shelburne, where Col. Thomas Sawyer made his gallant and victorious fight. It was not until many years afterwards that he settled on the farm near the Railroad Station, where it is generally supposed he began his first settlement.

There is also a slight claim that James Hill was the first settler in town. His wife, a daughter of Gov. Thos. Chittenden, is said to have often declared that "she was for three months the handsomest woman in town, for the very good reason that she was the only one." It is very probable that Hill and several others, as Dr. James Towner, Jno. Hill, Solomon Squier, Moses Fall, and Daniel Hosford, moved into town in 1784, the same year in which Webb and Woolcott came; several of them were certainly here in 1785.

Immigration into this part of the state was very rapid after the close of the Revolution. The writer has been informed by the late Mrs. Gage, of Ferrisburgh, mother of Hon. Zuriel Walker and daughter of Zuriel Tupper, one of the first settlers in Ferrisburgh, that as soon as her father got a log house built he opened a tavern, the floor of which she had often seen covered with lodgers who were traveling to this part of the state to examine lands, make settlements, &c.

The settlement progressed so that the town was organized March 13, 1787, and when the first complete census of the state was taken in 1791, contained 635 inhabitants — the most populous town not only in Chittenden county, but also in the north half of the state now embraced in the 8 northern counties.

Most of the settlers were from Massachusetts and Connecticut, and brought with them the intelligence and thrift which have

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acre, 120 bushels of wheat at 5s. per bushel, Feb. 23, 1792.

Ira Allen to Brooks of Charlotte — said Brooks that part of the original right of Partridge Thatcher which joins the Governor's lot, 22 lbs. 10s., (not signed.)

Ethan Allen to Josiah Grant, Jr., Sept. 26, 1774, for 27 lbs. 100 acres of land in Charlotte.

Ira Allen to Ephraim Stone, May 29, 1773, (part of lot 100) about 170 acres for 85 lbs. worth of good neat cattle.

Ira Allen for 110 lbs. to Daniel Hough of Charlotte, May 23, 1786.

David Ferris of Queensbury, N. Y., for 78 lbs. to Ira Allen all his right in Charlotte except 100 acres, which is deeded by Zebulon Ferris to Ethan Allen, Ferris being original grantee, June 17, 1796.

Roswell Hopkins of Bennington for 50 lbs. to Ira Allen, June 16, 1796.

Zebulon Ferris of the Oblong Dutchess Co., N. Y., for one shilling to his son David Ferris all that one full share of right in Charlotte, except 100 acres, already granted to Ethan Allen, 1778, 6th month, 1st day.

Ira Allen and Joseph Simonds, both of the County of Chittenden, that part of the right of Partridge Thatcher in Charlotte about 170 acres, Dec. 12, 1770.

Daniel Hanford of Charlotte to Ira Allen for 105 lbs. Aug. 20, 1777, for original right of Zebulon Ferris." ["Any amount" not to speak closely, of similar papers in relation to a large share of the towns in the State, original grantees' papers, &c., especially the Allen deed papers &c. from grantees may be found in the extensive collection of our chief Vermont antiquarian, Mr. Stevens, — Ed.]

 

* From article Charlotte, signed by J. T. and I. W. — probably James Towner and Isaac Webb,— in Thompson's Gazetteer, of 1824.

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       735

 

always characterized the people of those states.

The difficulties the first settlers had to surmount in removing from those states to this part of Vermont were greater than are now encountered in a removal from New England to the Mississippi valley. Many made the best of their way to the southern extremity of Lake Champlain and came to Charlotte in boats. Others came by land on horseback, determining their course for the last part of the distance by blazed trees. Gen. Hezekiah Barnes and his wife came to Charlotte in this way, each of them bringing two children, one on the horse behind and one before. After settling in their wild homes they were at first obliged to go to Whitehall to mill, and afterwards to Vergennes.

The writer has been informed by Stoddard Martin, Esq., of North Ferrisburgh, who came into Charlotte with his parents in March, 1787, and who is the best living authority with reference to the early settlement of the town, that the first wagon which he ever saw was the one with which Mr. Wheelock, of Rutland, carried the mail through the town from Rutland to Burlington.

In the spring of 1790 there was a great scarcity of provisions, amounting almost to a famine. Squire Martin says the settlers built a batteau with which Reuben Martin and others went to Whitehall for grain. They were obliged to go on to the Walloomscoik where they succeeded in buying corn and wheat. Squire M. says that his family got reduced to oatmeal bread before his father returned. The batteau, from the use to which it was applied, was named the johnny-cake boat.

At the first settlement of the town bears, deer and other wild animals, were common. Bucks, with their stately antlers, were often seen passing across the fields. Numerous traces of beavers remain. An intervale east of Mutton Hill is still called the beaver meadow. On a small stream in the east part of the town are several beaver dams remaining. The writer has seen two of them on the farm of Mr. Myron Hosford. They are, in several respects, monuments of the wonderful mechanical skill of those interesting animals. Bears were sometimes an annoyance. One was surrounded by the inhabitants and killed on Mutton Hill as late as 1812 or '13. The following adventure is related by Mrs. E. H. Wheeler, of Charlotte, as told to her by her grandfather, Moses Yale, one of the first settlers: Soon after he came to town he had occasion to be absent from home for several days, probably to go to Whitehall to mill. One night, during his absence, his wife heard the pig squeal. She took the musket and went out. It being very dark she could see nothing, but she fired in the direction of the noise, and the next morning, some two or three rods from the pig pen, bruin lay dead!

The superior adaptation of the town to agricultural purposes was one cause of its rapid settlement. The almost exclusive devotion of the people to this pursuit accounts for the fact that the population has remained about stationary for nearly 60 years. The early settlers were speedily remunerated for their labors; wealth flowed in upon them, and comfortable homes rapidly arose. As early as 1806 the grand list was $31,961. Only 10 towns in the state surpassed this. Even Burlington did not equal it in its grand list until 1824.

 

VILLAGES. — As might he inferred no considerable village has been built in town. The largest, called Charlotte Corners, is near the R. R. station, and contains a Methodist church, seminary building, store, &c. A smaller village is Baptist Corners, three miles east, containing a Baptist and a Catholic church, store, &c.

Charlotte has always suffered the misfortune of having a ridge of hills run through the town, separating the eastern and Western sections, preventing the building of a village in the center. The effect has been a separation of interest, mutual jealousy, and want of harmony between the two sections, prejudicial to the best interests of the town.

For many years after the first settlement it was very unhealthy in the S. W. portion of the town fever and aguo and bilious fever were common. Ague and fever, however, did not generally affect one for more than a year or two, and was very rarely fatal. These diseases long since ceased to prevail here. Typhus fever first made its appearance about the year 1803, and those who had been previously considered excellent physicians could not manage it. Dr. Marsh, of Hinesburgh, said that about one-third of the cases were fatal. The malignant

 

 

 

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epidemic of 1813 also raged fearfully here, carrying off about 70 inhabitants, among whom were numbers of the prominent citizen; such as Rev. Abel Newell, Gen. Hezekiah Barnes, and Dr. James Towner.

Some cases of remarkable longevity have occurred. Mrs. Christiana Siple was born July 19, 1766, and will consequently be 100 years old in July, 1866. Elisha Bartlett, an early settler, removed to Georgia, Vt., where he died over 100 years and 9 months old. He was able to walk every day for 100 years.

 

CASUALTIES. — Some distressing accidents have occurred. Near the beginning of the present century the house of Francis Breckenridge, which stood on the spot now occupied by Noble Root's residence, was burnt down with two of his adopted children in it. Mr. and Mrs. Breckenridge were spending the evening at the house of a neighbor, Dr. Hough, and the children were in the chamber in bed. The children who thus lost their lives were John Trotter, a nephew of Mr. Breckenridge, aged about 10 years, and Fannie Stone, a daughter of Jacob Stone.

A few years since a Mr. Quinlan and one of his children lost their lives by the burning of the house in which they lived. Another of his children died soon after from its burns.

In the fall of 1803 a young man named Hastings Soper had occasion to descend into a well, in that part of the town called Law Corners. It contained carbonic acid gas, commonly called the "damps," by which he was overcome and fell lifeless to the bottom. His father then attempted to descend and also fell to the bottom, but was rescued before life was extinct.

 

CRIME. — Very few heinous crimes are known to have occurred in town. Many years ago Samuel Naramore mysteriously disappeared and was supposed to have been murdered by William and Samuel Pierson and Hugh Clyd. Naramore was employed to labor for the Piersons, and was likely to be a witness against two sons of one of the Piersons for some misdemeanor which they had committed. To prevent this was supposed to be the reason for the murder. Naramore was induced to go by night to the Pierson place with Clyd on the false pretense that his wife, who was there, was very ill. He was never heard of again. Although the court failed to convict them, they were convicted at the bar of public opinion, and long since left the country, and, it is said, became vagabonds.

Before the state prison was built this town, like many others, had its whipping post and stocks. They stood at Charlotte Corners, in front of the present residence of Dr. John Strong. A transient person on one occasion stole a cow from Capt. James Hill, for which he was tried before Daniel W. Griswold, Esq., and sentenced to receive nine lashes and pay the costs. The whipping was inflicted by constable Clark. All remitted their fees to the poor culprit except Griswold, who required him to cut wood for his. Griswold allowed him to lodge on his kitchen floor at night. The next morning it appeared that the incorrigible rascal had decamped during the night, taking with him a new pair of boots which belonged to Griswold.

 

MILITARY AFFAIRS. — During the war of 1812-15, and previous, the military spirit was rife in Charlotte. It was probably not surpassed, if equaled, by any town in the state. There were no less than five military companies in the town, viz.: two of infantry, one of light infantry, one of cavalry and one of artillery. The last two, however, were partly made up of men from other towns, as Hinesburgh and Shelburne. In the year 1810 the citizens whose names are subjoined held the offices indicated, viz.: Hezekiah Barnes, Maj or General; John Newell, Brigadier General; Oliver Hubbell, Quartermaster Sergeant; Nathaniel Nowell, Captain of Cavalry; Sheldon Wheeler, Captain; Tim Read and Wm. Pease, Lieutenants; and Peter Wheeler, Ensign of Artillery. Ithiel Stone, Captain; David H. Griswold, Lieutenant; and Israel B. Perry, Ensign of Light Infantry. Lyman Yale, Captain; Caleb Chapell, Lieutenant; and Andrew Barton, Ensign of Infantry, Co. 2. Joseph Barnes, Captain; Hez. Barnes, Jr., Lieutenant; and Elijah Gray, Ensign of Infantry, Co. 6. What other town in the state could show such an array? The people of Charlotte evidently believed in the motto, "In time of peace prepare for war."

As might be expected from its situation and the character of its inhabitants, this town had some connection with the war of 1812-15. Teams were impressed to carry men and military stores from Plattsburgh to

 

 

 

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Sackett's Harbor, detachments of militia were repeatedly ordered to Burlington and further north; large numbers volunteered to withstand the advancing British army in September, 1814, and were present at the battle of Plattsburgh, and the whole town were thrown into a fever of excitement by the passage of the British flotilla up the lake to attack Fort Cassin at the mouth of Otter Creek, and its return. As they passed McNeil's, Mr. Charles McNeil with his family and many other spectators were on the high bank in front of Mr. McNeil's house. One of the small vessels, which was inside of Sloop island and within hailing distance of the shore, was observed to be making preparations to fire. Mr. McNiel called to the captain and asked if he was about to fire on unarmed and defenceless people, to which question no attention was paid. McNeil then directed his family and neighbors to lie down, which they did. A charge consisting of 12 two-pound balls was fired. The hight of the bank and the proximity of the vessel to the shore compelled the British gunner to aim so high as to carry the balls over McNeil's house, although they grazed the top of the bank and cut off a small poplar over the heads of the prostrate spectators. The balls were found in his meadow at the next haying. Two other charges were fired, one of which went through his horse barn. The drunken commander, being put under arrest by the commander of the flotilla, excused his brutal assault upon women and children on the pretence that he saw soldiers in uniform on the bank. On the return from Fort Cassin several hundred people were collected on Thompson's Point. One brave Yankee, Wilson Williams, had a gun with which he attacked the British fleet. A few charges of shot were returned, which rattled among the trees over the heads of the scared multitude, which very speedily dispersed.

The following is a list — probably incomplete — of the Revolutionary soldiers who became residents of the town, namely: David Hubbell, Joseph Simonds, Lamberton Clark, Asa Naramore, Elisha Pulford, Samuel Andrews, Ezra Wormwood, Skiff Morgan, Samuel Hadlock, Israel Sheldon, Phineas Lake, Levi Coggswell, James Hill, Newton Russell and Daniel Hosford. The following from Charlotte enlisted in the war of 1812-45: Holmes Hoyt, Robert Cockle, Abraham Smith, Abel Gibbs and Uriah Higgins. Rollin Barton, who enlisted in the Burlington company of the 2d Vermont Regiment, was the first citizen of the town who volunteered for the suppression of the great pro-slavery rebellion of 1861.

 

TEMPERANCE, Intemperance was a terrible scourge to this town, as was to have been expected — for the reason that the town was cursed with three distilleries and blest with as extensive and fruitful orchards as any portion of the state. It also contained about a dozen taverns, all floodgates of rum and ruin. The lives of numbers of the prominent citizens were marred and their deaths enveloped in gloom by this destructive vice. But when the temperance reformation commenced, influential men in the town rallied to its support and carried it forward to triumphant success.

When the question of "license" or "no license" was submitted to the popular vote in 185-, Charlotte was claimed as the banner town for its "no license" majority. Perhaps no town has less trouble with violations of the prohibitory liquor laws.

 

EDUCATION. The town was divided into nine school districts in 1791. The present number is fifteen. Charlotte Female Seminary commenced May 1, 1835, although the edifice was not built until the year following. Hon. Luther Stone, M. D., was its principal founder. In 1840 it was transferred to the Methodist Episcopal Society. It had a successful career for a few years, but finally yielded to the pressure of its unfavorable location. A select school has however been maintained in the seminary building nearly every year until the present time (1861.)

A valuable circulating library was established at Charlotte Corners many years since. Unfortunately, not being suitably replenished, it fell into neglect and became extinct.

The following is nearly a perfect list of the names of college graduates from Charlotte, viz:

From the University of Vermont: — Wheeler Barnes, 1804; Justus P. Wheeler, 1804; Oliver Hubbell, 1805; George Newell, 1812; James Towner, 1823; Oliver S. Powell, 1830; Orville Gould Wheeler, 1837; Aaron Gay‑

 

 

 

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lord Pease, 1837; Calvin Pease, 1838; John Kasson, 1842; George M. Hill, 1850.

From Middleburry College:— Jacob Noble Loomis, 1817; Joseph Hurlbut, 1822; Samuel Hurlbut, 1839; Charles Williams Seaton, 1857; John K. Williams, 1860; Gilbert Wheeler.

 

 

THE SOCIETY OF FRIENDS IN ADDISON AND CHITTENDEN COUNTIES.

 

BY HENRY MILES, OF MONKTON, ADDISON COUNTY.

 

The small body of Christian professors in Addison County, passing under the name of Friends or Quakers have already been concisely noticed in the first number of this Gazetteer. Their number not being large in any part of the State when Thompson's Vermont was published, will account for their being passed by without any notice in that publication. And now (1864), they numbering even less than then (1842), there might seem to be no more need of speaking of them than formerly; but as the religious principles professed by them are essentially Christian in character, and consequently of vital importance in every community calling itself Christian, some further account of the Society may be allowable in this Magazine.

It is not to be supposed that a theological essay would be in place here, yet, when attempting to give even a concise account of a class of religious professors, it seems difficult to avoid saying a word in relation to the profession that distinguishes them.

 

*        *        *        *        *

 

In the time of King Charles I, in which George Fox, William Penn, Robert Barclay, and many other earnest men were conspicuous actors, they were not clamoring for a new religion, but in search of the "pearl" of Christianity that seemed buried deep under the form of a verbal, and, in many cases, an extravagant profession. They were seeking that "treasure hid in the field," in which they were themselves sojourners; and overawed by the responsibilities that lay at the door of every one that should set at naught that "treasure," they bid such to "tremble at the word of the Lord" On that account they were called, in scorn, "Quakers."

 

*        *        *        *        *

 

The earnest, and as some say, "the terrible" preaching of George Fox drew around him many that indorsed his sentiments, and that probably long before any organized society was formed. And when an organization was proposed, we have no account of any formal creed, much less of any peculiar dress being required of its members, other than what can be gathered from the New Testament, as required of all Christian believers. And for nearly one hundred years the Society remained in that simple state, each individual enjoying its privileges without restriction from other members.

In some particulars the society of Friends has taken up a position almost peculiar to itself: against war and oaths the society has, from its rise to the present time, uniformly maintained a decided opposition; and if some individual members have swerved from this, and if the whole body has seemed sensible of its position under present national emergency, still it must be acknowledged that, collectively, there has been no lowering the standard to which it adheres: "Thou shalt not kill;" "Swear not at all." These religious scruples and those in relation to marriages have been officially acknowledged and provided for by the Legislature of the State.

Thus far we have been speaking of the society of Friends, chiefly as it has existed in England. As the seed was sown in America in an early day by George Fox and some of his co-laborers, more especially by Wm. Penn in the settlement of Pennsylvania, and as frequent intercourse and correspondence was kept up between the several branches of the society on either side of the ocean, we may infer there has been a good degree of uniformity of practice as there has been, till the last half century, of belief, each branch agreeing in all matters of difference on points of religious doctrine to refer for decision to the Holy Scriptures. But as biblical commentaries and criticisms have materially increased within that period, as might be expected, the more extensive and attentive readers in the society have accepted or rejected, with some firmness, enough of the different liberal or conservative renderings or revisions of those writings to bring about one great and some lesser divisions among those under the name of Friends, particularly in America.

We turn now to the history of the society of Friends in Vermont. The book of Records to which the writer of this article has had access (which is in the hands of William Dean of N. Ferrisburgh) is believed to be the

 

 

 

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original one used of the opening of the first preparative meeting for Discipline in Vermont, north of Danby. The first entry reads:

 

"At a preparative meeting held at Danby ye 17th of 12th month 1792, Received a minute from the monthly meeting Respecting a meeting being settled at Ferrisburgh which is as follows: 'At a Quarterly meeting held at the Ninepartners, the 14th and 15th of 11th month 1792, the request respecting the establishing a meeting for worship and a Preparative meeting at Ferrisburgh under consideration thereon is united and established. This meeting directs that their meeting for worship be held on first and fifth days of the week and their Preparative meeting to be held on the second fifth day in each month.

Extracted from the minutes, by Aaron Hill, Clerk."

"Agreeable to the above directions we have now met and opened a Preparative meeting at Ferrisburgh the 10th of the first month 1793. This meeting appoints David Corbin Clerk for one year."

 

In looking over the " answers to the queries," a record of which was made every quarter, and comparing them with similar records made at the present day, there appears very little variation in the language of the two; and we may reasonably infer that there was then the same want of faithful attendance of meetings for worship and discipline of individuals as there is now, and similar cases of delinquency; so that although the present generation have many social and civil privileges to which their predecessors of the last century were strangers, it is hard to determine whether the tone of religious life has been strengthened or impaired by the enjoyment of those privileges. One thing seems evident, their records show a care to state their case plainly, even though it be at the expense of what some may consider a reputation for discernment: for instance, in answering the query, "Are Friends clear of attending places of diversion?" one answer reads: "Clear of the several parts of this query as far as appears, excepting the attendance of a thanksgiving be a place of diversion."

One may feel inclined to smile at such simplicity, but it must be remembered that the pioneers who in the last century were clearing the ground ready for the academy and the college of the present made no pretension to scholarship, and yet they showed an esteem for it by recording their "care over such poor friends' children as do not so freely partake of learning as we could wish." And if another class may feel inclined to undervalue them on account of their general lack of worldly riches, such may be reminded that from the first the discipline of the Society required a strict observance of the rule involved in the query: "Are Friends just in their dealings, and punctual in fulfilling their engagements?" To which the record says "Mostly clear in paying our just debts, and where it is otherwise care is taken."

Among the earliest Friends settled in this part of Vermont who labored in the diffusion of the Gospel, was Joseph Hoag, of Charlotte, whose noted "Vision" has been published in several periodicals, and attracted much attention. Although the vision was witnessed more than sixty years ago, it does not appear to have been committed to writing till about forty years after that time. This fact would impair its value but for the remarkable fulfillment of some parts of its predictions in the occurrence of the present civil war, and its originating in slavery.

Joseph Hoag possessed good intellectual abilities, but very limited literary attainments; earnest, courageous, and having a free use of words he was well qualified, thus far, for a preacher among the pioneers of the forest, and doubtless filled his place there, in the divine economy; and if the seed sown through his instrumentality has germinated and sprung up in plants very unlike the sower, — if those plants have, under the training of Methodism or Congregationalism, or any other religious influence, blossomed in brighter colors, or borne fruit of more spicy flavor than the Quaker tree, the sectarian may repine, while the true Christian will rejoice at witnessing another evidence that Divine Truth cannot be confined within the narrow limits of a sect.

And now, in drawing this imperfect sketch to a conclusion, what has been said by a late writer, who takes his observations within the Society, and was intended to apply chiefly to its present status in England, may with a little change be fitly used as a summary here:

"By those who measure them ]the Friends] by their traditional observances, it must in fairness be remembered that all traditions are necessarily an aftergrowth. They are one of the signs of age, but not an evidence of life. Half a century of persecution, another half century of comparative ease and lukewarmness; then half a century of disciplinary laws, and a like period of worldly applause and prosperity, have now passed

 

 

 

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over them; each epoch telling somewhat upon the original structure, and each leaving some of its lichens and parasites upon the trunk, and its human graftings upon their branches. Nevertheless, if the roots be sound, and the tree be animated by the living sap, these accumulations will die away when their special purpose has been accomplished." And believing with William Penn, that

 

"The humble, meek, merciful, just, pious, and devout souls are everywhere of one religion, and when death has taken off the mask, they will know one another, though the divers liveries they wear here make them strangers."

 

JOSEPH HOAG'S VISION, — copied from a paper in the hands of his daughter, Jemima Knowles, of Monkton, which was taken from the original manuscript, and is believed to be substantially correct:

 

"About the year 1803, in the 8th or 9th month, was one day alone in the field, and observed the sun shone clear, but a mist eclipsed its brightness. As I reflected upon the singularity of the event, my mind was struck into a silence the most solemn I ever remember to have experienced; for it seemed as if all my faculties were laid low and unusually brought into deep silence. I said to myself, what can all this mean? I do not recollect ever before to have been sensible of such feelings, and I heard a voice from heaven saying:

" 'This which thou seest, which dims the brightness of the sun, is a sign of present and coming times. I took the forefathers of this country from a land of oppression; I planted them here among the people of the forest; I sustained them and, while they were humble, I blessed them and fed them and they became a numerous people; but now they have become proud and lifted up, and have forgotten me who nourished and protected them in the wilderness, and are running into every abomination and evil practice of which the old countries are guilty, and I have taken quietude from the land and suffered a dividing spirit to come among them. Lift up thine eyes and behold!

"And I saw them dividing in great heat. This division began in the church on points of doctrine. It commenced in the Presbyterian society, and went through the various religious denominations, and in its progress and close its effects were nearly the same; those who dissented went off with high heads and taunting language, and those who kept to their original sentiments appeared exercised and sorrowful, and when the dividing spirit entered the society of Friends, it raged in as high a degree as any I had before discovered. As before, those who separated went off with lofty looks and censuring language. Those that kept to their ancient principles retired by themselves. It next appeared in the lodges of Free Masons and broke out like a volcano, inasmuch as it set the country in an uproar for a length of time; then it entered politics in the United States, and did not stop until it produced a civil war, and abundance of human blood was shed in the course of the contest. The Southern States lost their power, and slavery was annihilated from their borders. Then a monarchial power arose and took the government of the States, established national religion, and made all the people tributary to support its expenses; I saw them take property from Friends to a large amount. I was amazed at beholding all this, and I heard a voice proclaim: 'This power shall not always stand, but with it I will chastise my church until they return unto the faithfulness of their fathers. Thou seest what is coming on thy native land for her iniquities, and the blood of Africa, the remembrance of which has come up before me. This vision is yet for many days.'

"I had no idea of writing it for many years, until it became such a burden that, for my own relief, I have written it.

                                               JOSEPH HOAG."

 

 

CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.

 

BY REV. C. M. SEATON.

 

The Congregational church in Charlotte, Vt., was organized January 3d, 1792. At first it consisted of but four members, viz: John Moses Yale, Daniel Hosford, Jr., and Joseph Simonds.

After being duly declared a regular church of Christ, and having received the right hand of fellowship, they assembled by mutual agreement at the dwelling-house of Daniel Hosford, Jr., on the aforesaid 3d of January, and passed the following votes:

1. That John Hill serve as Moderator.

2. That D. Hosford, Jr., serve as Clerk pro tem.

3. That the church will give Daniel O. Gillet an invitation to take the pastoral oversight and care of this church, according to the order of the Gospel.

4. That D. Hosford, Jr., be a committee to present to D. O. Gillet the above-mentioned call.

                                         JOHN HILL, Moderator.

 

Mr. Gillet accepted this call and was by an ecclesiastical council ordained the first pastor of this church; and continued such until the year 1799, when he was dismissed, and soon after deposed from the gospel ministry.

During his ministry the accessions to the church were quite numerous, a general degree of religious prosperity was enjoyed, and the little church, consisting at first of but 4 members, became a flourishing branch of the gospel church.

From this period for about eight years, the

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       741

 

church remained destitute of a pastor, and dwindled in numbers until at the commencement of the year 1807, it was reduced to 11 members. About this time a revival of religion took place, and in the course of the year 49 united with the church.

Toward the close of this year, Truman Baldwin, a licentiate of the Southern Association of Hampshire County, Mass., was ordained the pastor of this church, and exercised the pastoral office until March 21, 1815, when he was dismissed.

After this, the church was destitute of preaching, except occasionally, until the latter part of the year 1816, when they were supplied by Rev. Dr. Austin, President of Vermont University.

During the two and a half years of which they were destitute of a pastor, 54 persons were received into the church.

On the 15th Oct., 1817, Rev. Calvin Yale was ordained the pastor of this church and continued such until the 5th March, 1833, when he was dismissed.

During the winter of 1833-4, the Rev. F. B. Reed labored with the church as stated supply.

On the 25th Sept, 1834, the Rev. Wm. Eaton was installed pastor of this church, and continued such until dismissed by ecclesiastical council Jan. 12th, 1837.

On the 12th July, 1837, the Rev. E. W. Goodman was installed pastor of the church, and was dismissed Oct. 15, 1845.

Oct. 21, 1846, Mr. Joel S. Bingham, who had for some time previous supplied the desk, was ordained and installed pastor of the church.

On the 18th of Nov. 1851, the pastoral relation existing between the Rev. J. S. Bingham and the Congregational church and society in this place was, by an ecclesiastical council called to consider the subject, dissolved.

The present pastor, Rev. C. M. Seaton, preached his first sermon to this people Dec. 21, 1851. On the 1st of Jan., 1852, his regular labors as stated supply commenced, in which capacity he continued to serve them for two and a half years.

On the 6th July, 1854, a mutual council was convened, by which he was regularly installed pastor of the church.

The little church, thus commenced in weakness, with a membership of only four persons, has not only been continued in existence but has enjoyed a good degree of prosperity, having sometimes had on her roll 150 names as members in regular standing.

The whole number that have been received into the communion of this church cannot now be precisely stated, as a portion of the early records have been lost.

Many seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord have been enjoyed, and it is hoped that through her instrumentality and prayers many souls have been gathered into the fold of Christ, for which she would this day unite with God's people in rendering thanksgiving and praise to God.

 

 

PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.*

 

Transient parochial organizations of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the County of Chittenden, as reported to the annual Conventions of the Diocese and recorded in the journals:

 

                                     CHARLOTTE.

1808, represented in Convention by Zaccheus Towner.

1809, represented in Convention by Zaccheus Towner.

1819, represented in Convention by Gideon Prindle.

1820, represented in Convention by John Cobb.

In 1811, the Rev. Parker Adams, of Middlebury, reported that he had officiated seven months in this place, in connection with Middlebury and Vergennes.

 

                                         ESSEX.†

1808, represented in Convention by Dr. John Perigo.

 

                                      WILLISTON*.

1808, represented in. Convention by Daniel Goodrich.

 

                                         MILTON.

"Trinity Church" was organized in the winter of 1831-2, by the Rev. Geo. T. Chapman, of Burlington, who occasionally visited them.

May, 1832, represented in Convention by Samuel R. Crane and Warren R. Hoxie.

May, 1834, represented in Convention by Samuel R. Crane.

—————

* Items not furnished by the respective towns, from Rev. G. H. Bailey, who has under preparation a history of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Vermont — Ed.

† The Rev. Reuben Garlic, M. D., is said to have officiated here alternately with his parish at Jericho from 1796 till the beginning of 1803.

 

 

 

742                         VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

At the time of this Convention the Rev. Charles Fay had officiated here a portion of the time for nearly a year, and reported 20 communicants.

The parish was subsequently stricken off from the conventional list of parishes; but was readmitted in 1842, with a new organization styled "Immanuel Church," the Rev. S. B. Bostwick officiating alternately here and at Jericho. His services were continued till the spring of 1844. He reported 9 communicants in the fall of 1843.

 

                                                HINESBURGH.*

1790, represented in Convention by Andrew Burritt.

                                                      A. H. B.

 

 

METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.

 

The first Methodist society in western Vermont was formed in 1798. Probably the Methodist itinerants, Lorenzo Dow and Joseph Mitchell, commenced preaching in Charlotte the same year. No society however was formed for several years. Major Jonathan Breckenridge was the first resident Methodist, and for half a century was a main pillar in the church. He was converted in the summer of 1801, and the same year or the next, the first society was formed by Rev. Ebenezer Washburne, of which Major Breckenridge was appointed leader. The first members were Maj. Breckenridge and his wife, Joseph Simonds and his wife, and Mrs. Marble. Charlotte then belonged to Vergennes circuit, embracing the north half of Addison County, and the south half of Chittenden. In 1808, its name was changed from Vergennes to Charlotte circuit. In 1827, Charlotte with Shelburne and North Ferrisburgh became a separate circuit. Since 1838 Charlotte has been a station, and unfortunately the Methodist churches in Charlotte and the adjacent towns are so located that nearly half the Methodists living in Charlotte belong to churches in other towns.

In 1819, Charlotte became the residence of the presiding elder of Champlain district. John B. Stratton, Buel Goodsell, Lewis Pease, and Tobias Spicer, D. D., resided here in succession as presiding elders until the district parsonage was burnt in 1830. By this accident the families of Dr. Spicer and Rev. Mr. Hazelton, one of the circuit preachers, were deprived not only of the house but of all its contents.

The following list of the preachers and number of members of Charlotte circuit and station is compiled from the minutes of the Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Until 1801 the circuit probably embraced all of Western Vermont. In 1801 Brandon circuit was set off from it. It was at first called Vergennes circuit, but in 1808 it was called Charlotte, a name which has ever since maintained its place in the list of the circuits and stations of the church.

The ministers whose names are marked with a dagger resided in Charlotte.

 

Year.        Members.     PREACHERS.

1798          186            Joseph Mitchell, Abner Wood.

1799          274            Joseph Mitchell, Joseph Sawyer.

1800          343            Henry Ryan, Robert Dyer.

1801          173            Henry Ryan.

1802          187            Elijah Chichester.

1803          228            William Anson.

1804          271            James M. Smith.

1805          240            Samuel Cochran.

1806          243            Samuel Draper.

1807          326            Dexter Bates.

1808          306            Andrew McKain.

1809          326            Andrew McKain, Marvin Richardson.

1810          400            Stephen Sornburger, A. Scholefield.

1811          396            Thomas Madden, Gilbert Lyon.

1812          338            Thomas Madden, John Haskins.

1813          337            Justus Byington,† Wm. Ross.

1814          385            David Lewis.

1815          397            David Lewis, Nicholas White.

1816          389            Jacob Beeman, Gilbert Lyon.

1817          431            Jacob Beeman, Gilbert Lyon.

1818          441            Nicholas White, Seymour Landon.

1819          507            Nicholas White, T. Benedict, C. Silliman.

1820          472            Almon Dunbar, Harvey DeWolf,

1821          481            James Youngs, Samuel Covel.

1822          559            Buel Goodsell,† Lucius Baldwin.

1823          587            James Covel,† Cyrus Prindle,

1824          635            James Covel,† Levi C. Filley.

1825          479            Noah Levings, D. D.,† Joshua Poor.

1826          502            Noah Levings, D. D.,† Cyrus Meeker.

1827          523            Benjamin Griffin,† P. Chamberlin. Here Charlotte charge seems first to have been embraced within the limits of the town.

1828            76            Benjamin Griffin.†

1829            83            Truman Seymour.

1830            83            Here the circuit was enlarged again and called Monkton and Charlotte. Preachers, T. Seymour, A. Hazelton,† E. E. Griswold.

1831          487            Reuben Westcott, Joseph Ayres, C. R. Morris.

1832          519            Joseph Eames.†

1833          214            Here the station begins to be called Charlotte and Shelburne from the towns which it embraced. Peter C. Oakley, preacher.

1834          206            Peter C. Oakley, James Gobbett.†

1835          188            J. D. Marshall, William Griffin. D. D.†

1836          300            Zebulon Phillips, Charles DeVol.

1837          308            Here the charge becomes simply Charlotte. Benjamin Marvin,† preacher.

1838          137            Josiah F. Chamberlin.†

1839            35            Anthony C. Rice.†

1840            55            Anthony C. Rice.†

184              53            William F. Hurd.†

1842            76            William F. Hurd.†

1843            90            Berea O. Meeker.†

1844            75            Berea O. Meeker.†

1845            61            Milton H. Stewart.†

1846            48            Arunah Lyon.†

1847            46            Arunah Lyon.†

1848            45            H. C. H. Dudley.†

1849            46            Hiram Dunn.†

1850            40            George S. Gold.†

1851            41            George S. Gold.†

—————

* The widow of Rev. Russel Catlin relates that Mr. C. removed to Hinesburgh in 1796, where and at Charlotte he officiated alternately for 7 years.

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       743

 

1852    42        Albert Champlin.†

1853    44        William W. Atwater.

1854    40        Edward N. Howe.†

1855    40        Stephen Stiles.†

1856    45        Stephen Stiles.†

1857    44        McKendree Petty.

1858    45        Bernice D. Ames.

1859    46        Bernice D. Ames.

 

The first church edifice was of wood, commenced in 1819, and completed in 1823. In 1837 it was burnt down with the parsonage, which stood on the same ground where the district parsonage was burnt seven years before. The present brick church was built in 1840.

The church has been visited with interesting revivals in the winter of 1835-6, that of 1842-3, that of 1861-2, and at other times. Camp Meetings have been held in Charlotte in or near each of the following years, viz: 1805, '06, '07, '19, '28, '34 and '61. A Sunday School has been maintained for many years with more or less efficiency and regularity.

 

 

THE BAPTIST CHURCH.

 

Elder Ephraim Sawyer was doubtless the first Baptist minister who ever preached in town. The church was organized May 6, 1807, under the supervision of a council, called by the Baptist church of Monkton, by the request of certain members of said church living in Charlotte, who were dismissed by mutual consent to form said church. The council consisted of delegates from New Haven, Cornwall, Panton and Bridport; Elder H. Green, moderator, and Elder C. Andrews, clerk. It consisted of 19 members, who adopted articles of faith and covenant, as fellowshiped by the Baptists in those days. During the same season 19 more were added by baptism and by letter. The ensuing October this church united with the Vermont Baptists which convened at Bridport — Messrs. Gibbs and Hosford being delegates: A Gibbs its first deacon, and U. Palmer, clerk. Elder Nathan Dana was settled as pastor in 1808; membership this year, 47. In 1809 Elder Dana was dismissed as pastor. In 1810 Elisha Starkweather was ordained as pastor, which relation he sustained several years. Being a high Calvinist, he was instrumental in the expulsion of many of the members for defective doctrine; and before Elder John Howard was settled as pastor in 1817, the membership was diminished nearly one half. Then a brighter day began to dawn. Elder Arnold was pastor from 1821 to 1823. About this time Elder J. A. Dodge commenced his labors with the church, and continued them for many years when the church was not otherwise supplied. In 1825 Alanson L. Covill was lieensed to preach. 1826 is marked with a revival and accession of 13 members, among whom was Amos Clark. In 1828, D. Tucker was chosen deacon. In 1831, Elder E. Mott became pastor and was dismissed the next year. There was a season of revival during his term. In 1834 the church united with the Addison Co. Baptist Association. In 1836 M. D. Millen was called to preach to the church half of the time. This was a year of interest, as several were added to the church by baptism, and Dea. Milo Fuller from the Keeseville church was received. In 1837 Elder M. Flint accepted of the pastorate, which he held till 1841. In 1838 Charles D. Fuller was licensed to preach. In Feb., 1842, Dea. Amos Clark died, having served his Master and the Church faithfully for 17 years. Elder J. Ten Brooke was called to serve the church as pastor this year, which was one of prosperity; Homer Clark was ordained deacon. About 40 were added during the administration of Elder Ten Brooke, which closed in 1845. Rev. J. M. Driver was pastor until 1850, when he was succeeded by Rev. Lyman Smith, who remained till 1855. Elder E. W. Allen was pastor from 1856 to 1857.

The first church edifice was erected in 1808, the second and present one in 1840. Repairs and improvements were made in 1856 to the amount of $700. The church is of brick; is very neat and pleasant, and furnished with a handsome spire and good bell.

 

FRIENDS. — Some of the original proprietors of the town were Friends or Quakers, and from the first settlement there have generally been a few families of that order in town. They have been chiefly confined to the S. E. part and have mostly belonged to the Monkton preparative meeting. Until recently their meeting-house has been in Monkton, but now they have built one in Charlotte. Charlotte has furnished quite a number of preachers of this order who have traveled extensively, preeminent among whom was Joseph Hoag, a volume of whose writings has been published.*

—————

* See "Society of Friends," &c., by Friend Henry Miles already included. — Ed.

 

 

 

744                         VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

 

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH.

 

Extract of a letter from L. DeGœsbriand, D. D., Catholic Bishop of Burlington.

 

"The Catholics of Charlotte having no place to meet in, had no regular attendance until the summer of 1858. They used to attend mass at Burlington and Vergennes, and received an occasional visit from the priests of Burlington. I think that Rev. Jer. O'Callaghan used to visit the Catholics of Charlotte as early as the year 1835. During the summer of 1858, the Sanford place at the Baptist Corners was bought for the use of the congregation in that neighborhood, and ever since they have had divine service once in the month on a Sunday, a part of the house having been converted into a temporary chapel. In the winter of 1858-9 the Quaker meeting-house in Starksboro' was bought and drawn to the Baptist Corners. An addition has been made to the building, and also preparations commenced to build a spire on it. The building is 38 feet by 30, with a gallery. The altar is made of marbleized slate and white marble from Mr. Hyde's slate works at Hydeville, and is a very fine piece of work. On the first of November, 1859, a part of the lot was consecrated for a burying-ground. The number of communicants who worship at this place is about 500."

 

PRINCIPAL OFFICERS.

 

The following is a list of the citizens of the town who have held the most important civil offices, with the number of elections of each and the year of the first.

 

       CHIEF JUSTICES OF COUNTY COURT.

 

Zadock Wheeler,                    5           1815

 

   ASSISTANT JUSTICES OF COUNTY COURT.

 

John McNeil,                          3           1789

Hezekiah Barnes,                   2           1809

Zadock Wheeler,                    1           1814

Nathaniel Newell,                   4           1825

Aaron L. Beach,                     2           1851

Elanson H. Wheeler,              2           1860

 

                         COUNTY CLERK.

William Noble,                        6           1837

 

                     JUDGE OF PROBATE.

John McNeil,                          3           1787

 

MEMBERS OF CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTIONS.

 

John McNeil,                          2           1791

Nathaniel Newell,                   3           1814

Lyman Yale,                           1           1836

Everett Rich,                          1           1843

Joel S. Bingham,                    1           1850

 

                             SENATORS.

 

Luther Stone,                         2           1843

Elanson H. Wheeler,              2           1854

                TOWN REPRESENTATIVES.

 

John McNeil,                          6           1788

Daniel Hosford, jr.,                 1           1791

David Hubbell,                       2           1794

John Thorp,                           1           1797

Hezekiah Barnes,                   6           1798

Nathaniel Newell,                  13          1800

Samuel Rich,                          1           1803

Ezra Meech,                           2           1805

Zadock Wheeler,                    3           1813

Ithiel Stone,                            1           1819

Jeremiah Barton,                   3           1822

William Noble,                        2           1826

William Pease,                        3           1829

Myron Powell,                         2           1832

Noble Lovely,                          2           1834

Pitt E. Hewitt,                         2           1836

Samuel H. Barnes,                 2           1838

Aaron L. Beach,                     2           1840

Burke Leavenworth,              2           1842

William R. Pease,                   2           1844

Abner Squier,                         2           1846

Elanson H. Wheeler,              1           1848

John Sherman,                      2           1849

Midas Prindle,                        2           1851

Charles B. Cooke,                  2           1853

Benjamin Beers,                    2           1855

Joel Stone,                             2           1857

Daniel C. Lake,                      2           1859

Peter V. Higbee,                      2           1861

Heman H. Newell,                   2           1863

Peter E. Pease,                       1           1865

 

PROFESSIONAL MEN WHO HAVE ORIGINATED IN CHARLOTTE.

 

Clergymen: — Eben W. Dorman, Geo. W. Renslow, Jacob N. Loomis, Salmon Hurlbut, Joseph Hurlbut, James Towner, Oliver S. Powell, Orin Woodward, Orville G. Wheeler, Gilbert Wheeler, Samuel Hurlbut, Aaron G. Pease, Calvin Pease, D. D., Vincent Hall, Congregationalists. Jonathan Breckenridge, Ammi Fuller, Justus Byington, Myron Breckenridge, Wm. Richards, Hiram Breckenridge, Geo. W. Breckenridge, James Piper, Samuel Hurlbut 3d, Abner Squier, Doren B. Harding, Harris F. Tucker, Methodists. Alanson L. Covill, Isaac Hosford, Charles D. Fuller, Baptists.

Attorneys:— Wheeler Barnes, Oliver Hubbell, Charles H. Wheeler, David B. McNeil, Charles D. Kasson, John A. Kasson, John McNeil, Jr.

Physicians:— Daniel Hough, Jonas F. Packard, Sylvanus Humphrey, Harmon Hurlbut, William P. Russell, William Towner, Curtis Lowry, Amos S. Jones.

 

 

BIOGRAPHICAL.

 

Several distinguished men who have resided in Charlotte may be mentioned, who

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       745

 

will perhaps be more appropriately noticed at length in the histories of towns with which they have been more indentified. Dr. Jonas Fay spent a few years in this town, but was more generally known as a resident of Bennington. Hon. Ezra Meech, who was best known as a citizen of Shelburne, resided several years here, and twice represented the town in the legislature. Hon. David A. Smalley, judge of the U. S. District Court for the district of Vermont, spent several of his boyhood years here.

 

REV. ABEL NEWELL,

prominent among the early settlers of the town, was a native of Connecticut. He graduated at Yale College in 1751, and was the valedictorian of his class. He was for many years pastor of the Cong. Church in Goshen, Ct., from which place he came to Charlotte. In the early history of the town he was employed, in accordance with a vote of the town meeting, to preach to the town. He died, an octogenarian, of the fearful epidemic of 1812-13. He left five sons, residents of the town, some of whom occupied very prominent positions in the community, and his descendants are still numerous in this and the adjacent towns.

 

HON. NATHANIEL NEWELL, son of the preceding, was for many years a leading citizen and representative for 13 years — a longer time than any other man. He was also a judge of the county court. In religion he was a decided Methodist.

 

HON. JOHN MCNEIL,

although said to have been a loyalist during the Revolution, on account of which he lost property by confiscation in the town of Tinmouth, was a leading man among the early settlers. He was the first town clerk and the first representative. About the year 1790 he established the celebrated ferry across Lake Champlain to Essex, N. Y., which has ever since borne his name. The immense travel from western Vermont to northern New York mostly crossed the lake at this ferry until the building of the railroad, which established new lines of travel.

 

MAJ. JONATHAN BRECKENRIDGE

was from Bennington. He was the first Methodist in town, the leader of the first class, a local preacher, and a main pillar of the church as long as he lived, as well as an esteemed and prominent citizen. Among his posterity in the ministry and laity of the church of his choice is Rev. George W. Breckenridge, a prominent minister in Ohio.

 

JOSEPH HOAG,

from Dutchess Co., N. Y., was an early settler of the town. He was a leading member and preacher of the society of Friends. He traveled extensively on preaching tours in Canada, Nova Scotia, and nearly every state in the Union. He was the seer of the remarkable vision in which the dissensions in church and state, which slavery has caused in our country, were so correctly foreshadowed. It has been extensively published in the papers. Nearly all of his sons and daughters have been preachers among the Friends. His journal has been published in a duodecimo volume of 370 pages. He died Nov. 21, 1846, aged 84 years.*

 

GEN. HEZEKIAH BARNES,

as well as his father and two brothers was prominent among the early settlers. He, for many years, kept a hotel by the spring at the center of the town, which was known over the state. He was a political rival of Judge Nat. Newell, and represented the town more years than any other man except him. He was also Major General of militia, and judge of the county court. He was another victim to the epidemic of 1812-13.

 

HON. JEREDIAH HOSFORD was born and reared in Charlotte. He emigrated to western New York, where he rose to distinction among his brother farmers, and was elected to Congress. He is the father of the celebrated Professor Eben Hosford — or Horsford, as he writes the name, — of Harvard University.

 

HON. JOHN A. KASSON is one of the most distinguished men that Charlotte has produced. He graduated at the University of Vermont in 1842, practiced law for a time in New Bedford, Mass., and subsequently settled in Iowa. He was a member of the Chicago Convention of 1860, by which President Lincoln was nominated. Under his administration Mr. Kasson was appointed First Assistant Paymaster General, which office he filled with great ability. He resigned this office in 1862, and was elected a Representative in Congress, of which he is still a leading member.

—————

* See further biography of Joseph Hoag, in Henry Miles' paper already referred to. — Ed.

 

 

 

746                         VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

Zadock Wheeler was a man of such natural and acquired abilities that he attained and filled with honor the office of Chief Judge of the County Court.

Ammi Fuller had the honor of furnishing his own house as a preaching place for the apostolic bishop Asbury, and in his will he generously devised real estate to the value of $5,000 to the Methodist Episcopal Church in the town.

Rev. Orville G. Wheeler, a native of Charlotte, has represented Grand Isle County in the State Senate, and has published several sermons, and a volume of poetry entitled "My Jewsharp."

Rev. Samuel Hurlbut, an able and devout minister, pastor of the Cong. Church in New Haven, was a native of this town.

 

 

ELDER EPHRAIM SAWYER.

 

BY REV. S. H. TUPPER.

 

To revive and perpetuate the memory of a worthy man, who spent a long life in the possession of the confidence and esteem of a large circle of acquaintance, I record a few reminisences of Elder Ephraim Sawyer. Of his ancestors, the place of his nativity and the time of his birth, I know nothing, having forgotten, if I was ever informed; but of the man and his character I had about 25 years personal acquaintance. He was a large, robust and laborious man, always engaged in manual labor when not attending his appointments as a preacher.

Soon after the Revolutionary war, in which he proved his patriotism by fighting for his country, he married and settled in Connecticut; and about 10 years after he moved to Charlotte, which was then mostly a wilderness. At this time he had three children — Ephraim, Jr., Betsey and Naomi. He was an ordained minister when he came to Vermont, and when the wants of his family would permit, he was constantly preaching. There was no Baptist church in this vicinity, and but few others, and they were small and some of them very exclusive, so much so that Methodist preachers were denied the use of a school-house; even Bishop Asbury found no better shelter than a cider mill. Hence Mr. Sawyer often preached in private houses. There were no meeting-houses in the county for many years after this period. The first erected in Burlington was built in 1812, in Charlotte a few years sooner, in Middlebury in 1808, and in Vergennes not sooner than 1825 or '30. Hence school-houses and dwelling-houses were mainly occupied for religious meetings the first generation after the settlement of the principal towns in north-western Vermont.

 

Mr. Sawyer was of a more catholic spirit than the clergy of his day. He never cried procul, procul este profani to members of other churches, though often treated as a heathen and reprobate. He was no polemic preacher. Though he rejected the popular dogmas of the day, "the common people heard him gladly." He was a man of good natural abilities, but not enriched by science and literature. Books were scarce and he too poor to buy; hence he borrowed no rhetorical figures to recommend the truths of the Gospel or win public applause. But his weight of character carried more conviction of truth than scholastic, high-sounding words. If public approbation and winning souls to Christ constitutes popularity with the mass of the people, he was one of the most popular preachers of his day. The respect and confidence of the people is the sine qua non of a preacher's success. — Most men venerate the preacher who is "affectionate in look and tender in address, whose doctrine and whose life coincident exhibit lucid proof that he is honest in the sacred cause." This is the secret of Mr. Sawyer's popularity. No public teacher courted it less, and few attained so great a share. For a full view of his character. I would apply to him the description Paul gives of a bishop — 1 Tim. iii. 7.

In the forepart of this century Mr. Sawyer moved into Addison County, where he located his family mostly the remainder of his life. During the first decade after his settlement in Charlotte, he depended mainly on his daily labor for the support of his family. The country being new and the settlers few and not wealthy, Mr. Sawyer received but little for his ministerial services, and nothing but as presents.

Wages were low as late as 1805, — men worked in June (as I remember) for 37½ cents a day, which was the price of corn. Mr. Sawyer walked one day 8 miles to do a day's work, and at night took his pay in

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       747

 

grain and carried it home on his back. This was about 1798, when the roads were new and bad. Soon after moving into Addison County, I think in 1805, he preached one year in the school-district in which I lived, for which he received about $100. The weekdays he spent in making lime and clearing land. He cleared several acres of heavy- timbered land (after chopped), and received only the ashes for his labor. None will wonder he was always poor.

I know of no other place where he preached as long as one year; he was an itinerant preacher — traveled through several states, I think as far south as Rhode Island.

He planted and built up many churches in Addison County, some of them soon became able to support a minister. Though his zeal was not as ardent as some, he was always ready to sing and pray, and preach too by night and by day.

I pass over many interesting incidents in his life, and close these general remarks by speaking of my last interview with him. He was then living in about two hours ride of me. I had heard he was sick, went to see him, found him quite ill. After spending sometime, being about to leave, he asked me to stop, saying he felt as if he should like to pray. Among other petitions he prayed the Lord to reward me for my favors to him (though already well paid for the little supply for his family I made, by his grateful thanks); he was especially anxious that I might be converted and made to know the bliss of pardon and the peace of God that passeth understanding, of which I then knew nothing.

To the few of Mr. Sawyer's old friends who yet remain this brief sketch will appear very imperfect; but of his last days I can give no account. He must have been aged about 75 years when he laid down the cross and received the crown. I think he ended his days about 1830, but where I know not. Our last meeting and his farewell prayer will be one of the last I shall forget. He was what some would call nature's nobleman; but nature never made a man like Mr. Sawyer, who rendered to Cζsar the things that are Cζsar's, and to God the things that are God's. The memory of the righteous is blest.

March, 1864.

 

A RHYMING LETTER,

 

FROM REV. S. H. TUPPER.*

 

Miss H ——— ,

Your history of our mountain State,

Altho' commenced some years too late,

Will still afford, when 'tis complete,

To thoughtful men a mental treat.

The first decade post (17)61,

When settlements were but begun,

Will furnish facts, tho' some are lost,

That richly pay the trifling cost.

Our vet'ran fathers earned a name,

Well worthy of historic fame;

While they the sturdy forest fell'd,

By martial might their foes expell'd.

Our foes are barb'rous as were theirs,

They fought with powder and with prayers;

Our arms and prayers, if duly joined,

Will conquer all our foes combined.

But speedy victory to win,

We must renounce our nation's sin;

Then God will stay his chast'ning hand,

And bless with peace our favored land.

February 18,1862.

 

 

THE DIM TRADITIONS.

 

BY PETER E. PEASE.

 

Extract from a Poem read before an Association of Teachers at Charlotte, June, 1862.

 

Faintly gleam the dim traditions

Handed to us from the past,

And I almost grudge the moments

As they hasten on so fast—

Separating off the present.

With its gross luxurious ways,

Far and faster from the old-time

And those self-denying days,

When our parents and our grandsires

Fought, and delved with might and main,

For the generations coming,

Richest blessings to obtain,

Not for them but their successors,

Else their labor had been vain.

Fainter, dimmer grow the outlines,

And the witnesses are few

Who can tell the wondrous stories

Like romances running through,

When the woodman's axe

First sounded on the borders of our lake,

And the wolf and deer retreated

To the mountain and the brake.

I have three of them for neighbors,—

On the north, and south and east,

Waymarks they whose tales I ponder—

From the greatest to the least.

                                                            .                                                                       .            .           .                                                                        .                                                                       .

One saw Stark engage the reg'lars,

Wandered awe-struck 'mid his men,

Crossed the highway back and forward,

—————

*Our aged and venerable friend has also a representation in Ferrisburgh, — see No, I, p. 35. But for many years he has been so identified with Charlotte, and is so ready and able, moreover, to furnish many curious and important facts in the early history of both towns, that we recognize with pleasure the claim he has to appear among the board of writers in each of the two towns. — Ed.

 

 

 

743                         VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

When the troops poured through the glen;

Saw and knew th' misguided parents

Who sent their sons to tory ranks,

Hoping thus to be victorious,

And to gain King George's thanks,—

Saw the buttons from his waistcoat,

Taken from him as he lay

Bleeding, mangled, senseless, dying

At the close of that dark day;

Heard the mingled curse and railing

Of his townsmen when they knew

He had sold his life so cheaply

And had gained his wages due;

Saw the horror of his parents

When they knew the buttons well;

And the sad and fearful vengeance

That so swiftly on them fell,

As their neighbors scorned and shunned them,

Left them to their sorrows sore,

And with hearts of grief and anger,

Turned them from them evermore.

He a slim and active sergeant,

Served at Plattsburgh and the lines,

Jacob Collamer his ensign,—

Swanton trusted their long nines.

Oft with patriot ardor burning,

Have I heard him tell the tale,

How, though he was no great lawyer,

Yet his tactics did not fail:

He could order out his cannon,

Bring his company "to line,"

Make as bold and graceful movements

As that great man of our time,—

Collamer, now in the Senate,

Well has earned a noble name.

Sergeant Sherman, by the creek-side,

Lives unaltered, still the same;

Shows his sleek and well-trained horses,

With the very best of swine,

Still exhibiting each season

Wondrous specimens of kine;

Yet with valor still undaunted

Keeps his eye upon the times,

And the duty of allegiance

To his hearers still defines.

 

     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

 

Brave old man, we love thy spirit,

And though soon thou must depart,

As we stand around thy death-bed,

May thy teachings touch our heart.

Old 'Squire Sherman soon shall leave us,

May the State he loved so long

Keep the liberties he fought for,

Ever growing fresh and strong.

 

Widow Prindle, wise old lady,

Full of signs and quaint conceits,

Link between the past and present,

Genial, warm, her pure heart beats,—

Slight and frail her worn-out body,

Once so fairy-like and gay,

And though eye and ear are weary,

Memory still delights to stray

O'er the path her feet have traveled

Through her long eventful way,

Looting naught of worth or beauty

Said or done in that rude day.

How when yet a tender infant

She, her father, mother, maid,

Leaving home and friends at Skeensboro'

Foundation here for fortune laid.

Landed from a scow or long-boat,

On the shore of McNeil's bay,

In an empty lumberer's cabin

Left by father, on his way

To meet his man and stock of cattle

Coming up along the shore;

How they sought to find dame Tupper,

Mark'd trees leading to her door,

Wandered long, till maid aweary

Sat her down and sorely wept;

And that mother, frail and tender,

Saw her feet no path had kept,

Gathered up her tangled dress-skirt,

On her hip her babe she took,

And her steps again retracing

Swiftly over tree and brook,

After miles of headlong racing

Finds the shanty whence she went,

And in thankful adoration

Then her knee in prayer she bent;

Spent the night in that rude cabin,

Sweetly slept till dawn of day,

And arose refreshed and stronger,

For the duty in her way.

How she thought 'twas supernatural

Strength God gave that tender one,

All unused to scenes of danger,

Weak and sick, and all alone.

Would to God we who come after

Knew wherein our great strength lay,

And would learn a moral lesson

From the events of that first day.

Good dame Prindle, may she linger

Long to bless her numerous seed,

Hallowing the air she breathes in,

While she seeks in every need

Sweet communion with her bible

And her prayer-book every day,

Tempting others still to follow

While she gently leads the way.

When her young eyes first had vision

Of the hill-sides where we dwell,

Half a dozen pioneer men

Was the number she will tell,

Who, forsaking home and kindred,

Made this wilderness their home,

Breaking up the deep dark forest,

Tempting others still to come,

'Till the rich and varied beauty,

'Twixt the mountain and the shore

Opened up to eye of mortals,

Stirs the bosom evermore.

Then the other, puritanic,

Bold old father Leavenworth,

Nourished in his early childhood

In that garden of the earth

Where the early settlers gathered.

On the Susquehannah's banks,

Women, children left unguarded,

Men, all in the rebel ranks.

Thence with old head on his shoulders,

In the ninth year of his age,

Rudely driven by the Indians,

In their sanguinary rage,—

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       749

 

Thrice that day with mates and mother,

Rushed he through the surging stream,

Frantic, driven back and forward

By the Indian warrior's scream.

Early trained to care and hardship,

Eighty-two years now have gone

Since that startling tocsin sounded

At the early break of dawn,

And that brave old man still greets us,

With his welcome word of cheer

And his timely voice of warning

Gathered from experience dear.

From the land of steady habits,

With his handicraft he came—

Wheelwright, joiner, honest miller.

Carpenter to hew and frame,

Cast his lot with her he loved best,

In this new and busy land,

Trusting God and fearing no man,

Aided by his own right hand.

In his full and fearless vigor,

Strong of hand and clear of head,

Struggling now with heavy burdens,

Working for his daily bread,

Still he upward looked, and onward

Truth and duty led his way,

Laying broad and sure foundations

Where old age might rest and pray.

Kindly now the old man lingers,

Sheltered from all earthly need,

Like the Patriarch in Psalm

Blessed with a goodly seed,

While his children, and their children

And one generation more,

Thriving rest beneath his shadow,

All upon one household floor,

And whole scores in other circles,

From the river to the sea,

Freely share an old man's blessing,

Resting thus from passion free.

How I've sat and loved and listened,

Learning meekly at his feet,

Heard his words of holy courage,

Felt his prayers a savor sweet,

'Till my heart has throbbed and melted,

And my cheeks were wet with tears,

And my soul from earth uplifted,

Triumphed void of mortal fears.

 

•     •     •     •     •     •

 

Change to him was only progress,

Wisely planned without a flaw,

In life's ever-shifting drama

In its order to withdraw,

Swift succeeded by its fellow

In the ceaseless round of time

Only yet another segment

In the wheel of God sublime.

Ah! right well we heed the lesson—

All things earthly pass away.

He, too, soon must make his exit

Final 'till the judgment day.

When his loved and sainted partner,

To the silent grave we bore,

Said the old man in his sorrow:

She has only gone before,

Gentle Lucy, uncomplaining,

Well has held her journey on,

Now gone at the Master's bidding

To the kingdom she had won."

Long years after, Charlotte followed

To the glorious spirit-land,

And the household bowed in sorrow,

To the Almighty's chastening hand.

"I shall be exceeding lonely,"

Trembling, sad the old man said,

"Never daughter nourished father,

Watched and tended, nursed and fed,

With a heart that never faltered,

And a hand unwearied,

Better than the good one vanished

From the search of mortal ken,

Resting 'neath the coffin lid,—

Very faithful she hath been."

Thus with tones of deepest sorrow,

Spake the old man of the dead,

Only waiting for the morrow,

Soon to follow where they led.

 

Ah! methinks these links of earth-scenes,

Here and there before us thrown,

Preach a loud and solemn lesson,

Each should strive to make his own,—

Tell of duty and of danger,

Point to faith in God above,

Show how each should serve his neighbor,

Teach the power that rests in love,

Warn us of the transient nature

Of all sublunary things,

Learn us that from generous motive

Only worthy action springs.

 

•     •     •     •     •     •

 

Would we profit by the lesson,

In this time of sorest need,

When what they so nobly founded

Yields at last to human greed—

We must emulate the spirit

Of those leaders in our land,

Else those glorious foundations

Shall to us be only sand.

 

Not the power of marv'Ious wisdom,

But the thoughts that underlay

All the hopes and aspirations

Of the patriots of that day—

Laying broad and sure foundations

For the service of the race,—

Building churches, paying teachers,

Constituting in each place

The machinery of a nation,

Social, Civil, and Divine,

Earning there a place and honor

All unequaled yet in time.

 

 

THE OLD SCHOOL-HOUSE.

 

BY DELLA L. HOSFORD.

 

I remember, I remember,

The cot where I was born

HOOD.

 

I remember, I remember,

The school-house by the wood,

Which many years through summer's bloom,

And winter's blasts had stood;

It was not built in modern style

Of bright bricks, and within

All varnished o'er so neat and smooth,

To mar it were a sin.

 

 

 

750                         VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

Oh! no, full liberty had we

Each tiny blade to wield,

And carve whatever quaint device

Our fruitful brains might yield,

On desk, or seat, or ought beside

Grasped by a truant hand,

Which clearly proved our right to claim

Our birth in Yankee land.

 

I remember, I remember,

Full many a teacher there,

And those who on each summer's morn

Invoked the God of prayer

To shield and bless us from above;

And oft in accents mild

Besought his pardon and his love

For every wayward child.

 

But many years since then have passed,

And sires and matrons too,

Now bear the names of those who then

Our childish errors knew;

The grave can tell of some who there

Have found no transient rest,

While others still claim as a home

The broad, unbounded west.

I remember, I remember,

The playmates of those years,

When life appeared all fair and bright,

With nought to cause us tears;

But childhood's fair unclouded sun,

Though in a later hour,

Has dried the sparkling founts of joy,

And scorched each fairy flower.

 

A change came o'er that fair young group,

The children youth became,

And many sought the way to wealth,

And others longed for fame;

But the fairest and the loveliest

Embarked for that far shore

Where sorrow, suffering, pain and death,

Shall trouble never more.

 

——————

 

A REVERIE.

 

The sun has set 'neath yonder western hills,

And twilight, like a spirit, stealthy creeps along

O'er the fair summer face of earth.

No cloud Skims lightly o'er the azure vault, or dims

The glory of yon evening star. All, all

Is peace and quiet. How I love to muse,

At such an hour as this, on days long past,

The golden days of childhood. How they rise

Before me as some dream of fairy land,

Far, far away. But yesterday, it seems,

I was a joyous, happy child, playing

'Neath the old elm that spread a graceful shade

For children wearied with their many tasks,

Conned in the old school-house hard by.

How free and wild our laughter! Then our hearts

Knew not of woe or grief; but later years

Have taught us that our way shall never be

That path of sunshine which to our young eyes

Gleamed in the far-off future. Such were we,

Yet now how changed! Why doth the heart grow old?

And withered, wrinkled age become a true

And faithful index of the inner soul

Whose hopes are fled, love withered, joys gone by?

The playmates of those years, where are they now?

Ask autumn's wind if, in his hither course,

He passed their dwellings. He perhaps may tell,

If any, of some who went forth from us,

Whose names sound strangely in those dear old haunts

They loved so well. How many memories cling

Around that cherished spot where thistles now

In wild luxuriance wave. They only mark

The place where once we gathered daily. But

'Tis past     •     •     •     •     •     •

From yonder tower I hear the chime

Of the old iron monitor, that e'er

For many years hath summoned worshipers

On Sabbath morn there to assemble; now

It minds me of a distant scene. The days

Of childhood past, a youth I see myself

Seeking the paths of knowledge. How I loved

The summons of the bell, that called each morn

So many willing feet to turn their steps

To yonder hall.* How oft and earnestly

We listened to instruction's words and loved

Its precepts. And how oft at eventide

We gathered in that same old hall, where mind

Grappled with mind in keen debate, and gave

Fair promise for the future. There we first

Met many friends, who now dwell in our hearts

Enshrined, and bound by fond affection's links

Which we trust ne'er will sever. Laugh ye may

Who will, at youthful friendship — ye whose hearts

Have changed earth's purest joys for bitterness,

Who scorn the gushing warmth of love and joy,

That unrestrained bursts forth in life's young morn.

This too has passed. But though in life no more

May childhood's days or youth's bright hopes be ours

Yet may the pure affections of the heart,

Unstained, untainted, and preserved for those

Who in our earlier years shared in them, keep

Us from the foul misanthropy that casts

A blight so widely fatal o'er our world.

                                                      D. L. H.

 

—————

 

SUNSET ON CHAMPLAIN.

 

MRS. JENNIE L. LEAVENWORTH.

 

Emerging from its veil of misty clouds

The glorious sun in regal splendor bursts,

And over all the lower world a flood

Of crimson light effulgent sheds. See how

Its lingering rays, with fitful light, dance o'er

The waves so blue, that sparkling rise to meet

The welcome visitant with mirthful smiles,

And from him woo one fond, one last salute,

Before the shades of night shall gather round,

And darkness shroud the beautiful in gloom.

Look, how it leaps upon this eastern shore,

And tips with flashing beams the heavenward spire —

How in the pearly drops, that from each twig

Suspended hang, a mimic rainbow sets.

We pause a moment to admire, — and, lo,

It hath passed on, o'er hill, and dale, and wood;

—————

[* The old academy ruin — scarce a ruin yet, but untenanted, unused, sort of unsphered, whose four walls and upright roof and belfry yet stand; but many a broken pane or half shivered windows look down from the brow of the hill whereon it stands with that silent complaint old and rejected buildings always assume. We always see it when we go by. — Ed.]

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       751

 

On mossy bank the nodding flower hath kissed

And left an impress there so beautiful

That one might deem in Eden's bowers it grew.

The leaves with Crimson rare and gold hath fringed,

And now, with crystal fountain dallying,

Smiles at his own glad image mirrored there,

'Till, wearied with its wild fantastic play,

To rest retires upon the eastern mount,

Gently, as child within its mother's arms,

Slumbers enwraped in folds of twilight gray.

 

—————

 

 

OBSERVATION TO A WHAIL.*

 

Dug up in Sharlot, Vt., and now on exerbishon at the stait Hous.

 

BY MISS JULIA PEPPER, a poess.†

 

Big Reptile! Did you expect

To rub out your foot tracks by

The trail of your Ab Domen,

So that Hager couldn't find you?

Ef so, your'e sold — Great Blubber!

He knew your hand ritin, soon's

He see it! Better not jump'd

Outer the ark, quite

So much in a hurry.

P'raps your's ridin on an Ice Burg

And stopt to warm to Branden

By a Lignite fire,

Or may be

You considered Lake Shamplane

Was the Pacific Oshun! Great

Setashus Mammallia, Aint

You took in? Mounted on

Paddles how'd you expect to travil

I sh'd like to now, on the Clay

Called Plisterseen? Gess you

Felt some like a fish out er water

Throw'd up by Joner on to

Dry Land. Ichthyosorrus,

Farwel.

 

—————

 

 

EVER CHANGING.

 

BY MRS. CORNELIA A. VAN VLIET.

 

Ever changing, ever changing,

Intermingling light and shade,

Sunlight creeping, shadows deep'ning,

In the dreary, gloomy shade,

Flitting oft before the vision,

Dark'ning shadows trembling come,

Flit before you, pass quite o'er you,

In a moment and are gone.

 

Ever changing, ever changing,

Brighest hues of sunset glow,

Brightly painting, rainbow tinting,

O'er the verdant landscape throw

Softest shades of mellow sunlight,

Crimson tint and golden rays,

Mingling often, as they soften,

Into twilight's gathering haze.

 

Ever changing, ever changing,

Is the pathway which we tread;

All our pleasures, all our treasures,

Flit like shadows in the glade.

Fleeting, flying, earthly pleasures

Vanish when within our grasp.

Nothing lasting, briefly passing,

Yet how eagerly we clasp!

 

Ever changing, ever changing,

Are the fleeting scenes of earth,

Blooming vernal and eternal,

All the joys of heavenly birth.

Ah! my soul, now gather courage;

Hope can dissipate thy gloom,

Hope can borrow for to-morrow,

Light to cheer beyond the tomb.

 

—————

 

 

SELECTIONS FROM REV. O. G. WHEELER.

 

The principal writer, however, of or from this town is the Rev. Orville Gould Wheeler, a native of Charlotte, now a resident of South Hero, this State. A volume of his poems, 12mo. 312 pp., bearing date 1860, was printed by Bishop & Tracy, Windsor. Vt. The book opens with a "Semi Centennial" poem delivered before the associated Alumni of the University of Vermont, Aug. 1, 1854, and is followed by a variety or shorter miscellaneous poems. To our mind the finest page in the "Semi Centennial," after speaking of the changes of fifty years, is the following:

 

But some things, Brothers, little change:

That silver Lake is all the same,

And lofty mountain range

Unaltered since the white man came

And shared its solitude

With Indian rude,

 

The sky displays as bright a blue

As smiled upon the forest green,

And just such stars did e'er bestrew

That bending arch, as now are seen

In clusters sown,

Or all alone

In gentle radiance glowing,

Their limpid light forever flowing.

 

And truth, though old,

Grows never gray;

The ages fold

The young to-day

With unresisted arms,

But lend no brighter charms

To that which perfect came from old Eternity,

And never while Jehovah is, can changed be.

 

Which is followed by his most appropriate tribute to "MARSH." This is already enshrined in the well-known Poets and Poetry of Vermont, or we could not forbear to enshrine it here, as also his tribute to the DESERTED

—————

* See the Appendix to Thompson's Vermont, of 1853, for a full account, pp. 15 to 20. The skeleton is now mounted and on exhibition in the State Cabinet at Montpelier. We do not usually regard this style, and this, moreover, we understand to be a production of Montpelier rather than Charlotte; however, whoever has seen the whale can but rather appreciate the "Great Blubber," and if Charlotte surrender Montpelier her whale to keep. Montpelier may well afford Charlotte her apostrophe. An appropriate notice of this fossil skeleton will appear in an after-chapter upon the geology and natural history of Chittenden county — by Rev. J. B. Perry.

† A young lady of Montpelier, we have been told. — Ed.

 

 

 

752                         VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

HOME, than which nothing could be more appropriate for Charlotte and her corner for her poet-son. Thus we rather embellish the but little bed we can possibly allow in our historical garden for flowers with briefer extracts as we run along through the volume, and from several poems.

 

My darling little Effogene,

How came your eyes to be so blue?

Say, came their color from the sky,

Or did an angel look at you?

How came your lips to he so red?

What flower lent its rosy hue?

And when you kissed it, did it die

And give its fragrance all to you?

 

Be kind, my Boy!

Be good to every living thing,

To kindred and to strangers too;

A bounteous fragrance round thee fling.

Be kind, my Boy!

 

Play, my Boy!

Let boys and girls be thy delight;

In genial mirthfulness excel;

And even when thy locks are white,

Do not seal up the living well.

Play, my Boy!

 

Work, my Boy!

This life demands unceasing toil;

Jehovah works, and angels too;

Be not afraid thy hands to soil;

What God commands fail not to do.

Work, my Boy!

 

And pray, my Boy!

The Son of God was wont to pray;

And thou hast need of constant prayer, 

That Heaven may thy spirit stay,

And keep thy soul from every snare.

Oh, pray, my Boy.

 

And here is one so pleasant we cannot refrain from giving the whole.

 

HOW DID HE LOOK WHEN HE WAS YOUNG?

 

I asked my aged Mother how

My Father looked when he was young;

She loving glances toward me flung,

And answered, "Just as he does now."

 

But Mother, dear, that cannot be:

His form is bent, his locks are white,

His step is trembling, once so light.

"My son, he looks the same to me."

 

But, Mother, he had raven hair,

Like mine that seems to please you so,

Or was it always like the snow?

"The blackest locks he used to wear."

 

His cheek, was it not smooth and round,

And had he not a sunny brow,

As smooth, you say, as mine is now?

"A fairer forehead ne'er was found."

 

And had he not a forth erect,

A firm, elastic, bounding gait,

With a blithe fairy for his mate?

"My son, your words are all correct."

 

And did he always look so grave.

And always have that quiet way,

So solemn, thoughtful, never gay?

"His smiles? like ripples on the wave."

 

Then Mother, tell me frankly how

My Father looked at twenty-three

But still she archly smiled on me,

And answered, "Just as he does now."

 

I left a kiss upon her cheek,

And treasured up her sweet reply;

I saw the love-light in her eye,

And could no other answer seek.

 

They had grown old, — together old.

They had not marked the slow decay,

Or noticed on their loving way,

The change that time and care had told.

 

My Father's sight was never dim,—

Though furrows deep on Mother's face,

Of dimples had assumed the place,

Yet they were dimples still to him.

 

My Mother had a deep blue eye,

And age could not its sweetness veil;

But Father's changes did she fail to see,

And o'er them vainly sigh.

 

Turning from the social to the fields:

 

The verdant hills are turning brown,

And sear's the greenest vale;

Chill snows the mountain summits crown;

The harvest field is pale.

 

The jolly blackbirds sprinkle round

Their little silver showers;

No truer socialists are found

In bright Utopian bowers.

 

The squirrels revel 'mong the trees,

And chatter all the day;

The never tired honey bees,

No busier than they.

 

The whinnering coons, like human thieves,

Asleep at early morn,

Now nightly steal among the sheaves,

Or 'mid the standing corn.

 

I love our Autumn's bright array,

Its swiftly changing views:

The birches yellow, the beeches gray,

The maple's crimson hues.

 

No gloomy shadows cast their frown

Upon the cushioned ground;

How gently floats the leaflet down,

How soft its rustling sound.

 

And last, to Nature, and beyond:

 

The sun does not too quickly sweep away

The shadows of the night, but paints the east

With lovely heralds of approaching day,

And slowly is the welcome light increased.

The evening gently leads its silent hours,

Revealing one by one its jewels rare;

Nor does the rose-bush blaze at once with flowers,

And in a moment all its blushes wear.

 

 

 

                                                  CHARLOTTE.                                                       753

 

And such methinks eternity must be,

A sweet unfolding of unfading joys:

Not all of Heaven doth the spirit see,

When death at first the shadowy curtain draws.

Though no one but the Infinite can bear

The boundless whole of Heaven's blessedness,

'Tis not presumption vain to even dare

To hope its richest treasures to possess.

As loftier heights we gain, there will appear

Some brighter glory still to lure us on.

 

 

CAPT. PRESERVED WHEELER*

 

(BY REV. S. H. TUPPER,)

 

Was born in Lanesborough, Berkshire Co., Mass., June 9, 1769. His father, Peter Wheeler, was a native of Woodbury, Ct. He married a Miss Martin, and soon after, with several others, removed to the Wyoming valley, Penn. Preserved was nine years old at the memorable massacre that desolated eight townships in that inviting valley, on the 3d day of July, 1778, when Butler and Brandt, with a thousand tories and Indians, met the remnant of the patriots of that thriving settlement (most of the men being, in the army of Washington), three hundred and fifty in number, and slew all but sixteen. They had previously taken all the forts but one, and butchered all the women and children who had fled to the forts for safety. Peter Wheeler fell in the general slaughter. When the inmates of the remaining fort received the news of the fatal battle, they hastily left the fort, when three men and sixty women and children fled into the wilderness; making but little provisions for their sustenance besides driving some cows with them for the sake of their milk, but these they lost the first night. Mrs. Wheeler had three sons, Preserved, Sheldon and Reuben.

The first night they lay in a swamp;— the next day they ascended a mountain, from which these forlorn widows and orphans beheld the conflagration of their homes, fields of grain and final ruin of all they possessed. In this state of destitution and sorrow, they wandered sixty miles before they found a settlement, and all the time suffering not only with fatigue but for want of food and water, and with constant fear of being discovered by their merciless foes.

The inhabitants they first found were too few and poor to supply so many with food. Mrs. Wheeler labored some weeks in hay and harvest fields to pay for her children's food, which was of the coarsest kind. The people were Dutch, and fed on sour milk, which Preserved said he and his brothers could not eat. In passing through New Jersey they met with some of our troops, who kindly supplied them with such necessaries as they possessed. After wandering 300 miles they reached their former home, soon after which Mrs. Wheeler gave birth to another son, which she named Peter Wheeler.

Preserved let himself to a man who was a tanner and shoemaker, and lived with him until he learned his trade. In July, 1790, he married Esther, daughter of Jacob Bacon, of Lanesborough, who disinherited her for marrying against his consent. The next winter Mr. Wheeler moved to Charlotte, Chittenden Co., Vt., where he purchased a small place, and, as soon as his means enabled him, built a small tannery, and took his brother Sheldon as apprentice. The country being new he labored under many disadvantages unknown at the present day; but by diligence and prudence during eight years he acquired a small property. As a specimen of diligence and punctuality, he worked all night occasionally (so he told me), rather than disappoint a customer. In 1799 he sold his place to his brother (on which a son of his now resides), and moved to Newhaven, Addison Co., Vt., where he purchased a farm and established his trade. During the next eight years he improved and stocked his farm, built a tannery, barns, and a large house — with prospect of soon paying the many demands against him. But during the next three successive years his misfortunes and afflictions were such as might have discouraged a man of less indomitable spirit of perseverance. He lost the most of his cattle by a hoof disease — a number of his family were long confined with fever — by breaking a leg he was laid by one summer — his shop was burned with more than a thousand dollars of property, most of it in leather fit for market; by which several misfortunes he was unable to liquidate demands against him as he expected. Still, to crown his misfortune he lost his wife, Sept. 24, 1809; a most estimable woman — a help­meet indeed. She left two daughters and six sons, the youngest an infant.

Instead of sinking under his afflictions he persevered with all diligence to retrieve his fortune. In 1811 he married Polly McNiel, a widow, who had two sons , and by whom he had two sons and three daughters, making the number of his children thirteen. When about 50 years of age Mr. Wheeler made profession of religion, and since that time most of his children have become members of churches. His last wife, a very worthy woman, died Nov. 1855, aged 77. — Mr. Wheeler died March 15, 1856. He had buried three daughters and one son; his six oldest sons still live — one in Burlington, one on the old homestead, four in Illinois, three of whom live in Chicago. He left thirty-nine grand-children, and several great-grandchildren. Mr. Wheeler's children were all married before his death, except a daughter who died some years before. Having the habits and spirit of their parents, they prosper in business — are worth from ten to fifty and one hundred thousand dollars each.

He is remembered with respect by a large circle of friends, and by none more than by those who knew him best.

Feb. 2, 1864.

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* Before published in Mr. Miliken's Vermont Record.