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with this society, who have illustrated the annals and doctrines of Congregationalism, was the late Mr. William Scott, a native of Hull, England. He removed with his family to Colchester about the year 1821. His early education was quite limited; but early in his Christian life he formed a systematic plan of studying the Bible and comparing scripture with scripture. He committed to memory large portions, especially such parts as related to doctrines and Christian experience, and, being a very good speaker, he rendered important and acceptable aid to the deacons for many years as a sort of lay preacher. He was often very happy in his expositions. His instructions, though addressed generally to the church, made good and lasting impressions on many outside. Mr. Scott died some five years since in a good old age, leaving to the church and his children the rich legacy of an exemplary Christian life.*
* There are three other churches in Colchester. A second Congregational church was formed at Winooski, in Colchester, in 1837. The germ of this was a colony from the first church in Burlington. This church is still small, it has a good house of worship and Rev. J. D. Kingsbury is the present acting pastor. There are also a Baptist and a Methodist church in Colchester.†
† To this Baptist and this Methodist Church we have applied repeated times for their history, but have not as yet received any response. They are the first churches in any town in the state, we think, to whom we have made direct application and failed to procure at least their statistics from which to make up a record. We leave further account of the same for a supplementary chapter, for which we have already some material. — Ed.
BY L. C. BUTLER, M. D.
The town of Essex was among the grants made by His Excellency Benning, Wentworth, of New Hampshire. The document, the tenure upon which all the lands in the town were originally held, is dated June 7, 1763, and bears the impress of royalty, "George the Third by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith," &c. After describing the boundaries of the town and enumerating sundry reservations, it is declared to "be incorporated into a township by the name of Essex."
The reservations mentioned are the Governor's right, 500 acres; for the incorporated society for the propagation of the gospel in foreign lands, 330 acres; glebe for the Church of England, 330 acres; for the first settled minister of the gospel, 330 acres; and for the benefit of schools in said town, 330 acres.
The town was divided into 72 shares of 330 acres each. The grantees were "Edward Burling, Elijah Gedney, Joseph Drake, Stephen Fowler, Edward Agar, Francis Panton, Theophilus Anthony, Petrus Byvanck, John Bogert, Jr., James Bogert, Jr., Nicholas I. Bogert, Willet Taylor, John Taylor, John J. Bogert, Cornelius J. Bogert, Peter I. Bogert, Henry I. Bogert, John N. Bogert, John Jas. Bogert, Jacobus Bogert, Nicholas N. Bogert, Jacobus N. Bogert, Thomas Fisher, John Drake, Joseph Tompkins, John Herton, Jos. Hunt, Stephen Hicks, Thomas Hicks, Whitehead Hicks, Stephen Van Wyck, Thos. Burling, Wm. Elsworth, Wm. Elsworth, Jr., Wm. Stymas, Derick Lefferts, Abram Lefferts, Jr., Charles Tillinghast, Wm. Wiley, George Hogerwout, Nicholus Anderson, Cornelius Degroot, Bernardus Swartwout, Abram Lefferts, Michael Hillegas, Samuel Hillegas, Michael Jennings, John J. Jennings, Christ. Stymas, Jr., Abram Lynson, James Murray, John Lawrence, John Haydock, Walter Burling, Edward Burling, Jr., Nich. H. Bogart, Matt. Wolf Bogart, Samuel Averill, Hon. Wm. Temple, John Nelson, Theop. Atkinson, Jr., Andrew Wiggins, Esqs., Jos. Wright," none of whom probably ever set foot upon the soil thus parcelled out; for the first settlement of which history or tradition gives us any account was not made till 1783. In the spring of that year Samuel Smith settled upon the farm now occupied by Erastus Whitcomb; William Smith upon the farm above; Jonathan Winchell upon the Stanton farm; Dubartis Willard upon the Weeks farm, and David Hall upon that now occupied by Luther Blood. These were the first settlers, and were from Massachusetts.
Not a road was laid out. The town was then one unbroken forest, save where the rude tornado had leveled the giant pines to the ground; and marked trees were the only guide to the adventurous traveler or the hardy pioneer emigrant. Upon the southern border the noble Winooski — up and down its placid bosom not a dyke or dam obstructing its free passage — flowed in solitary grandeur, depositing the rich alluvial mould that form the beautiful and fertile intervales skirting the river. Here the red man of the forest paddled his bark canoe in quest of game or
pleasure. In some happy vale, upon its banks perhaps, he lighted his council fire or reared his rude wigwam, and in the euphonious name which it now bears — Winooski — has perpetuated the memory of his race.
Upon the banks of this river, just within the limits of the town, Samuel Smith and his associates, mentioned above, made the first settlement, putting up the first log house, felling the first tree, and planting the first grain. At a later period, upon the borders of Brown's river, Joel Woodworth settled on the farm now occupied by Joshua Whitcomb, and kept what is believed to have been the first "tavern" in town. Farther down the same stream Timothy Bliss, Abel Castle, Jas. Pelton, Dea. Samuel Bradley, Dea. Ingraham, Jonathan Bixby, Nathan and Jabez Woodworth, James Keeler and James Gates were among the first settlers in the east part of the town, occupying the fertile intervales that border that river. On the west side of the same stream, on the road now leading to the center of the town, Stephen Butler and Caleb Olds settled. Dea. Daniel Morgan settled a little north of Dea. Watkins, on the opposite side of the road, Capt. Morgan Noble on the Case farm, Col. Stephen Noble on the Herrick farm. Ezra Woodworth and Mr. Bryant still farther north. Col. Noble kept a store in the same house, since occupied by Mr. Herrick, at a very early day. In the north and west portions of the town Samuel Griffin, Averill Noble, Ezra Slater, Jonathan Chipman, Branscom Perrigo (afterwards burned to death in the shanty of a lumbering company in the northern part of New York), David, George and Zuriel Tyler. Benton Buck, Ezra Baker, Henry Slater were among the first settlers. South from Page's Corner, so called, Capt. Simon Tubbs, the Bassets, David Kellogg (sometime deacon of the Congregational church), Asahel Nash, Dea. Samuel Buell, Esquire Knickerbocker (at whose house a Universalist minister, Rev. Mr. Babbit, was ordained), were the early settlers. At what was afterwards known as Butler's Corner, from the fact of men by that name doing business there, Justin Day and Calvin Beard first settled. At this corner the town voted in 1800 to erect a sign post and a pair of stocks. The first was a place for putting up notices, warrants, &c., the other was a device for the punishment of offenders. Summary justice was thus meted out to criminals, and a more humiliating retribution could not be inflicted; for in the stocks they were subject to the gaze and jeer and laugh of the passer by. Punishment was also sometimes inflicted by the cat-o-nine-tails; but these relics have long since passed away.
On the farm now occupied by Horatio and Charles Day, David Day settled and built the house now occupied by them. "Uncle David," as he was familiarly called, was a soldier of the Revolution, a sergeant under Lafayette in the company armed, equiped and commanded by him. He was ardently attached to both Washington and Lafayette, and his eye would Bash and his resentment quickly show itself when any imputation was cast upon the honesty, integrity or patriotism of either. The sword he carried, and which is still kept as an invaluable relic in the family, was presented to him by the latter. When Lafayette visited Burlington, in 1824, "Uncle David," taking the sword which had done good service in the cause of his country, went to see his old commander. At first Lafayette did not recognize him, but when he held up before him the sword, now like himself almost gone, as he said (the hilt and a portion of the blade remaining only), Lafayette at once recognized the old hero, and both wept like children. The thoughts crowding that moment let no pen write. In the Eternal House their pure spirits have long since met in joyful recognition.
Further on Mr. Freeman settled where Walter now lives. Abraham Stevens on the farm, at a later period owned by Byron Stevens, one of his sons. Mr. Stevens was once the proprietor of 700 acres of land in a body, comprising nearly the whole of what is now known as Essex Junction. He was an industrious, enterprising man, and much respected in town. The square and compass upon his tombstone indicate that he was a member of the Masonic fraternity, and was buried with the honors of that ancient and honorable institution.
The first settlement at Page's Corner (so called from Col. Samuel Page by whose industry and enterprise it was built up and made a place of considerable business) was made by James Blin, and afterwards John and Stephen Reed. John Reed kept tavern at an early day on the spot where Mr. Grow
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now lives, and after him Curtis Holgate on the corner nearly opposite (on the east) of Col. Page's present residence. Mr. Holgate soon sold out, went to Burlington and bought the South wharf. Mr. Samuel Farrar continued the tavern, and was for a time postmaster. In a part of this house, last occupied by Adonijah Brooks, the first store in town was kept by one Bazzel Stewart in 1795. Here also the first post-office in town was established, and Mr. Ralph Rice was the first P. M., appointed by Hon. Gideon Granger. Not choosing to serve as such (an example not likely to be followed in the present age), he sent in his resignation, and Samuel Farrar was appointed in his stead. In a few years, however, the post-office died out. The population was sparce and the expense of transporting the mail once a week on horseback was not met by the receipts. For nearly 20 years there was no office in town. In 1825 or '26 the post-office was reestablished at Butler's Corner, and Roswell Butler was appointed postmaster. His compensation for the year 1826 was $9.96. Albert Stevens, Truman Powell and David Tyler afterwards succeeded to the office until 1838 or '39, when it was removed to the center of the town, and Irad C. Day appointed P. M. His successors were B. B. Butler, T. R. Fletcher, Lorin Tyler, Jesse Carpenter, Reuben Ferguson, A. M. Butler, H. E. Butler.
Mr. Ralph Rice, mentioned above, was one of the first merchants in town, and was largely engaged in making potash, which he marketed in Montreal. It is said that at one time he took $1300 in gold for that commodity. He sold "calico" from 25 to 50 cents per yard; Bohea tea at $1.25; India cotton, a slazy, stiff, course cloth, from ,60 to ,75 per yard, and other articles in proportion. Afterwards Walter Tyler kept store in a building a little south of Col. Page's. His stock in trade was quite small. When a customer once proposed to buy a couple dozen buttons, his reply was, "I don't wholesale." The same store was afterwards occupied by the Duntons, and now by Alanson Bliss. Between the Duntons and Perrigos a feud had arisen, from some cause, and it is related that upon one occasion when the Duntons had displayed their wares, including gingerbread, in the most tempting manner to catch the gaze and the coppers of the "trainers" and their attendants, one of the Perrigos passed by carrying a pail of water, not quite as pure as the snow-flake, which he unceremoniously dashed upon their wares. Assuming an air and attitude of defiance, he exclaimed, "Now come on with your Duntons!" The expected encounter did not take place; but this expression became a by-word, used even to the present day.
Almost the entire business of the town was for a long time transacted at this Corner. The town meetings were held here and at the meeting-house alternately from 1805 to 1813, when they were permanently located at tho Center. "June trainings" were also held here, which became occasions of drinking, carousing and wrestling. Indeed, the "ring of wrestle" was an indispensable accompaniment of the "trainings," and to be the "bully of the town" was esteemed an honor greatly to be desired. In the time of "the embargo" Page's Corner was the scene of many interesting smuggling scenes, and the Brooks tavern was thought to be the "headquarters" of the "smugglers." Custom-house officers were on the alert, and various were the devices resorted to in order to elude their vigilance. Sometimes they were sent in a wrong direction; sometimes conducted to a remote part of the aforesaid tavern, whilst the smuggled goods were spirited away to the woods, and sometimes they were lucky enough to seize some small article as a reward for their assiduity. On removing a barn, many years afterwards, a large roll of velvet was found, which the lapse of time had nearly destroyed. At one period there were two public houses in active operation, kept, one by Col. Page and the other by Mr. Brooks. At this date there is none.
The first building erected at the center of the town stood on the south-east corner of the common, and was built by Samuel Pelton. Mr. Pelton also erected a saw-mill a, few rods west of where the mill now stands. Alder brook (so called from the superabundance of alders growing along its banks) was then a very small stream, quite shallow, emptying into Brown's river. This stream Mr. Pelton diverted from its natural course, carrying the water in a plank floom to his saw mill. In the great freshet of 1830, this little brook became a mighty stream, cut for itself a new channel, deep and broad, and forced its way along over all opposing obstacles till it mingled its waters with the Wi‑
nooski, many miles away from its original mouth.
The second house erected at the Center, was the one occupied by Joel Woodworth as a tavern, at an early day, and stood on the north side of the common, upon the spot now the location of Brown's tavern. This house was a remarkable one for those days, being made of pine logs nicely hewn and set up endwise. Here it was again used as a public house and kept for many years by Stephen Butler, and after him by his son, B. B. Butler. This house is still in existence, though, like the philosopher's knife, little is left to distinguish it but the pine logs. At a later date a handsome front was erected, and during the war of 1812, previous to and after, this house was a noted place of resort. Its spacious hall was occupied for singing-schools, under Mr. Morgan and Harry Chittenden; for an occasional dance, and by the Masonic fraternity. For many years these were the only buildings at the Center: The "four acres," laid out for a "common," were reft of the pine trees which thickly covered it;* but the huge stumps were still left, and all around was yet a forest. Between the Center and Butler's Corner, up to 1807 or '08, there was not a house, save one then occupied by Hezekiah Day. The site of Warren Williams' house and store was then covered with a noble growth of pines. The road to Butler's Corner ran south of the burial ground and of the Methodist church. The "swamp road" (so called from its locality) was a mere foot path through which the people from the north part of the town came to meeting on horseback, with a lady upon the pillion, or on foot. The road to Page's Corner ran east of Alder brook, largely increasing the distance to that locality from a "bee line," but accommodating the settlers. South of the Center there was no house till you reached the Winooski, in one direction, and Brown's river in the other; and the whole distance was thickly covered with huge pine trees, which the timber mania of later years swept off as with the besom of destruction. The "reservation" mentioned in the original grant was disregarded, the lumber‑men having no particular regard for "His royal Highness," nor yet for "Our royal navy." And yet it is not remembered that any man became wealthy who engaged as principal in the lumbering business.
ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN.
The town was organized, not on the day mentioned in the charter,** but March 22, 1786. The meeting was held at the house of Dr. Elkanah Billings, which stood on the farm afterwards occupied by Samuel Messenger. Dubartis, or "Barty" Willard, as he was familiarly called, was the first moderator. Dr. Billings was chosen town clerk. "Barty" Willard, Justin Day and Joel Woodworth, selectmen. Samuel Smith, town treasurer. Abraham Stevens, constable. Solomon Stanton, Dr. Billings and Samuel Bradley, surveyors of highways.† In '87 Samuel Bradley was chosen town clerk, Joel Woodworth, treasurer, and Justin Day, constable. Samuel Bradley held the office of town clerk 5 years, Nathan Castle 16 years, Richard Lamson 4 years, Samuel Farrar 2 years, Andrew Morgan 11 years, T. R. Fletcher 1 year, Amasa Bryant 30 years, and then followed the present incumbent, Warren Williams. In 1788 Stephen Noble and Capt. McNall were elected "tything men," an office nearly answering to city police, whose duty it was to take care of the rude and ungovernable boys at church and other public meetings. This office was continued to with in a few years past. The constables were, successively, from 1787 to 1860, as follows:
In 1788, Stephen Noble; '89, Dubartis Willard ; '90, '91, Stephen Noble; '92, '93, Orringe Smith; '94, '95, Abel Castle; '96, Stephen Lawrence; '97, Simon Tubbs and Elias Bliss; '98, Robert Spelman; '99, Nathan Woodworth; 1800, David Tyler; 1801—6, Stephen Butler ; 1807-8 ——— ——— ; 1809-13, Richard Lamson; 1811-16, Jonathan Woodworth; 1817-21, B. B. Butler; 1822, Wait Tubbs and Myron Slater; 1823, Simon Tubbs, Jr.; 1824-28, Wm. A. Butler;
* The growth of the pines on this "common" was enormous, and the work of clearing it was done by "bees," as it was termed, in which the people of the town generally participated. Huge piles of lop were made and burned, and some of the stumps were buried, that being the only practicable way of getting them out of sight.
** The day named in the charter was the 13th of July next after its date. John Bogert, Jr. was to call the meeting and to be moderator.
† The only vote passed at this meeting was "to raise seventy pounds lawful money for the purpose of repairing roads in said town, to be wrought out on said roads at six shillings a day for each man who works in the month of September, and four shillings a day for each man who works in the month of October, and three shillings a day for each yoke of oxen."
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1829-34, David Kellogg; 1835. F. W. Joyner; 1836-8, ——— ——— ; 1839, '40, Luther M. Bates; 1841-53, Alanson Bliss; 1854-6, Geo. Shaw; 1857-60, Oscar F. Tuttle.
The Treasurers for the same period were: Justin Day, Samuel Bradley, Samuel Buell, David Tyler, Richard Samson, John F. Aubery, Stephen Butler, Samuel Slater, Ira Barney.
The first representative to the General Assembly was Dubartis Willard.* "Barty" was an odd genius, full of fun and frolic, and somewhat notorious for witty sayings and repartees. On his way to the assembly (then a journey of more importance and longer duration than now — made sometimes on foot, sometimes on horseback, and seldom by post-coach) he stopped at the house of Gov. Thomas Chittenden over night. The Governor, well acquainted with Barty, — addressing him very familiarly, — inquired, "Well, Barty, where are you going?" "To the Assembly, your honor," was the reply. "What! you going to the Assembly?" quizzed the Governor. "Yes, your honor," said Barty, "I am representative from the town of Essex." "Well, well," said the Governor, "in new countries, when they can't get iron wedges, they have to use wooden ones." "Yes, yes," rejoined Barty quick as thought, "and when they can't get good iron-bound beetles to drive them with, they have to use bass-wood mauls." The Governor enjoyed the joke with so much "gusto," he oftentimes repeated it in after days. Tired, hungry and weary he once entered the house of a widow lady whose Christian name was Mary, and, on being urged, promised an epitaph for a meal, and — to quicken her pace in getting it ready — began:
"Here lies Mary, long and straight,
Just arrived at heaven's gate."
Mary was mightily pleased, and set before him the best the house afforded. After satisfying his appetite with the savory meats, he concluded the epitaph
"Here lies Mary, long and straight,
Just arrived at heaven's gate;
There came an angel with a club
And knocked her back to Beelzebub."
He wisely closed the door upon his retreating footsteps, it is said, as he repeated the last line, or Barty might not have made another "epitaph."
Sitting in a store one day, a crowd having collected around him, as was usual, and having perhaps "imbibed" a trifle of his favorite beverage, the merchant asked him why he wore that shocking bad hat. "Simply because I am unable to purchase a new one," said he. "If you'll make a rhyme on the old one, without stopping to think," said the merchant, "I'll give you the best hat in my store." No sooner said than done. Throwing his old hat on the floor, he began:
"There lies my old hat,**
And pray what of that?
'Tis as good as the rest of my raiment;
If I buy me a better,
You'll make me your debtor,
And send me to jail for the payment."
Barty carried off the hat, saying, "it was a poor head that couldn't take care of itself."
Barty lived in this town but a few years. The last record we find of him is in 1789, when he was elected first constable. He afterwards moved to Burlington, where he died.† One of his verses on a somewhat notoriously slippery fellow by the name of Crane, whose tavern Barty used to frequent in Burlington, is as follows:
"It is beneath the poet's rule
To make a rhyme on knave or fool,
But yet on you it may be done,
Since knave and fool are both in one."
Many other specimens of his peculiar genius might be given, but these will suffice.‡ Like the clown at court Barty acted his part well, no doubt, and made the weary, lonesome hours of the first winter of the early settlers pass away more pleasantly, enlivened and shortened by his merry jokes and rhymes.
Timothy Bliss, Esq., and Capt. Simon Tubbs were also among the first representatives of the town to the General Assembly.
The town meetings were held sometimes in
* No record of his election as representative can be found. The fact stated is based upon the recollections of individuals.
** An epigram very similar to this has also been credited to Thos. Rowley, of, Shoreham. — Ed.
† Barty came from Sheffield, Mass. We have been informed he was a "minute man" during the war, "and was off in a minute after the war — I owed too many debts," he used to say. — Ed.
‡ We are indebted to the late Hon. H. Munsell, of Bristol, for the following anecdote of Barty at Montpelier: "There were some where he boarded pretty particular about their morning bitters: calling on Barty one morning at breakfast, they demanded a treat or a verse, and Barty, as money was rather short, promptly improvised:
"Our fathers, they were much like goats,
First washed their eyes and then their throats;
But we their sons have grown more wise,
First wash our throats and then our eyes." — Ed.
houses and sometimes in barns, in different parts of the town, as convenience dictated, until the concentration of business at the Center and the erection of suitable buildings compelled their location there.
The settlement of the town was not rapid. At the organization there were probably 25 families. Such was the requirement in the charter. The population in 1791 was 354 ; in 1800, 729 ; in 1860, 1947. In 1794, the first election of governor, 48 votes were cast. In 1795, 51 ; in '96, 50 ; in '97, 68 ; in '98, 62 ; in '99, 55; in 1800, 75; in 1801, 66; in 1800, 236.
In 1788 the town tax "to pay town charges" was three pence on the pound, to be paid in wheat ; in '91 it was five pence ; in '97, three cents. In 1794 the town voted £10 to procure a stock of ammunition. In April, 1796, the first school district of which there is any town record was formed, and embraced all the north-east part of the town, or that portion of it north of the original mouth of Alder brook. The school-house stood near where James Gates then lived. This was the second school-house in town. The first school-house, tradition informs us, was located on Brown's river, near Jericho, though the precise spot is not remembered. The first school was taught in 1788, by John Finch, an Englishman, who is said to have been a fit representative of the sour-visaged master immortalized in Cowper's rhyme. These were log houses, not very inviting outside perhaps, and not exceedingly so within, it may be. But there many of our townsmen acquired their whole "education," from "Dilworth and Webster," with a little sprinkling of "arithmetic" from "Adams or Pike." At a later period the town was divided into 4 districts, then into 6 ; and, as the population increased, new facilities were required, and schools and school houses multiplied till, at the present day, there are 16 districts, though not as many schools in active operation. The scanty means of education enjoyed in 1796 have been multiplied till, at this day, no child has any excuse for remaining in ignorance. In 1830 a large stone school-house was erected at the Center, and, by private enterprise, was finished in the upper story for an academy, and was occupied as such for several years. In 1854 and '55 the present handsome and commodious buildings of the Chittenden county institute were erected, and a school opened in August, 1855. Since this date the buildings belonging to this Institute have been thoroughly remodeled. Under the name of Essex Academy the institution is now in a flourishing condition, as, in part, a boarding school, under the management of Asa Sanderson as principal.
In 1794 a committee was appointed by the town to take measures to clear the ground sequestered for the purpose of burying the dead. The east portion of it was first cleared and was most used. The first bodies deposited here were those of Mr. Isaac Noble, who was buried close under the elm tree, and a daughter of Capt. Morgan Noble. The monuments erected at an early day were wrought from the common slate of the town, and the letters were rudely cut. Some of those stones still stand, their letters so nearly effaced by the hand of time as to be scarcely legible. The great majority, however, of those who were buried at an early day have neither stone or mound to mark their resting place, and lie so closely packed as to render it difficult to open a new grave without disturbing human bones. A few years since the boundaries of the grounds were enlarged. Here many of the first settlers of the town lie buried side by side with their children, and there are few families in town that are not represented in that hallowed place.
The burial place at the Junction was opened at a later day. The first person buried here was an elderly man by the name of Story, and it is said that Dr. Spellman offered a young man a rifle if be would rap three times on his grave and report Mr. Story's name. The offer was not accepted.
The first male child born in town was Eli Smith. He was born Nov. 19, 1784, and died March 31, 1858. The first female child was Frances Hall, born Aug. 23, 1783.
The first marriage recorded as taking place in town was that of Asa Town and Mabel Andrews. They were married by Nathan Castle, Esq., June 11, 1795. The second was that of Dan Griffin and Catharine Merriam, by Martin Powell, Esq. The first birth recorded was that of Alvin Basset, May 25, 1793, and the first deaths those of Remember and Ruth Tubbs, March 21, 1788.
The oldest person now living (March, 1861,) is Job Bates, Esq., who is 93 years of age. In 1830 Mr. Knickerbocker died at the age of 100 years.
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The first physician was Elkanah Billings. Dr. Garlick and Dr. Spellman succeeded him, the latter of whom settled at Essex Junction, and built a house on the spot now occupied by David Tyler's hotel. He is spoken of as an excellent physician, though sceptical in his religious sentiments. Drs. Pearly Warner, Truman Powell and John Perrigo were afterwards successively located at Page's Corner. Still later Dr. Mason Mead began practice also at Page's Corner, and afterwards located himself precisely at the geographical center of the town, from whence, in advanced age, he moved to Plattsburgh, N. Y., where he died. Dr. J. W. Emery, Dr. Simon Tubbs and Dr. Marcus Swain were scientific practitioners and worthy citizens. Succeeding these were Drs. H. N. Curtis, John Work and L. C. Butler, all of whom are dead, or residents of other localities save the last named.
Save an occasional epidemic—such as scarlatina, typhoid fever, or erysipelas—this town was probably as healthy as any of the surrounding towns. The early settlers were a hardy race of men, and were perhaps less exposed to temptations, or opportunities for excess, than the people of this day. They had fewer luxuries of life, and, in consequence, less of the "ills" that afflict. They were inured to hardship and fatigue, to hunger and cold. In 1789 there was a great scarcity of provisions, in consequence of the corn crop of that year being entirely cut off by a flood. Many families suffered greatly and were reduced to the severest extremity. Some almost starved.
The Revolutionary soldiers who lived and died in town were Samuel Bradley, Stephen Butler, David Day, Gideon Curtis, Wm. Ingraham, Jonathan Bixby and Thomas Chipman, the first four of whom were pensioners. Samuel Bradley was in the battle of Bennington. The powder-horn which he used on that occasion is now in possession of his descendants. Its capacity was three-fourths of a pound. At the commencement of the battle it was well filled; at the close, it was all gone, having been consumed in charges for his rifle during the day. He was distinguished for his courage and coolness in the hour of battle, and it is related of him that, as the battle began, a young man stationed near him became frightened, lost his self-control, and started to run from the field. He was met by Mr. Bradley, with the remark, "Stop, sir, face about and do your duty like a man!" This reassured the young man and, after a moment's pause, he replied, "I will," and fought bravely to the close of the engagement. Mr. Bradley was the first captain of the militia in town, and served in that capacity five years. He was subsequently chosen deacon of the Congregational church, which office he held until his death, June 30, 1834. He was eminently pious and exemplary, and regarded as, a peacemaker by all who knew him.
Stephen Butler enlisted at the age of 19, being then a resident of Litchfield county, Conn., and served till the peace of '83. All of them were true patriots and lovers of their country.
The liberally educated men, natives of this town, are as follows: Samuel Buell, who died soon after he completed his collegiate studies, and when about to enter upon his preparation for the ministry in 1819; Irad C. Day, an eminent lawyer in town for many years and afterwards at Muscatine, Iowa, where he died; Franklin Butler, John E. Hamilton, Sanford Halbert, who are distinguished ministers of the gospel, and Milton R. Tyler, all of whom are graduates of the University of Vermont. In addition to these, several residents of the town, not natives, are also graduates of the same college: Silas C. Freeman, of the class of 1820; John B. Herrick, pastor of the Presbyterian church at Malone, N. Y.; George E. Herrick, now a missionary of the American Board in Turkey.
In 1824, and for several years following, "no small stir" was made among that class of people in town most noted for their credulity and superstitious notions, by the assertion that, in a certain locality in the eastern part of the town, large quantities of gold and silver coin lay buried. The story runs thus: Many years previous to the settlement of this state a company of Spaniards came from Canada with a vast amount of silver and gold, and encamped on Camel's Hump, where they manufactured it into Spanish coin. Portions of this rich treasure were thought to have been buried from time to time along the route. In confirmation of this theory it was alledged that crucibles or vessels for melting the precious metals had been found near the Hump; that there were marked trees, extending from the latter place to Essex and thence northward toward Canada, evidently
indicating the route taken by the rich Spaniards ; and that an old Spaniard had died somewhere—who, as a dying bequest, divulged the secret to some confidential friend that a vast amount of money was buried in this town. Under such a combination of circumstances, who could entertain a doubt? A few faithful friends, to whom the wonderful secret was communicated, were gathered together. Shovels, pick-axes and ironbars were brought into requisition, and under the lead of their juggling doctor who carried in his hat the mystical stone in which he could see the precise locality and enormous quantity of the concealed precious metals, or held nicely poised upon his fore-finger the charmed stick which was certain to become mightily agitated and decline from its horizontal position at the presence of gold or silver, they went forth "in silence and in fear." With "lanterns dimly burning" they gathered round the spot indicated by the mystic stone and the charmed stick and commenced the toils which were to be so soon rewarded with the sight of the precious coin. With all the energy of desperation and of fascination they labored on from day to day till at length their eyes were feasted with a sight of the hidden treasure. But alas for poor human nature ! The involuntary outburst of joy, as the goal of their ambition was now within their grasp,. broke the charm, and the "chest of gold" disappeared forever from their view in the solid earth beneath. Several large holes in the vicinity still remain as monuments of their credulity and folly.
The face of the town is diversified. The northern and eastern portions are hilly, though not mountainous. The southern, central and western are more nearly level, sinking in some parts to a swamp, soft and wet. There are no mountains or natural ponds in town. On the southern border the Winooski river forms the boundary line. The eastern portion of the town is watered by Brown's river and its small tributaries. This river passes through the town in a north-easterly direction — rising, one branch of it in Jericho, and the other in Underhill. It is extremely tortuous in its windings, running many miles around to make one in length. It was so called from a man by the name of Brown, it is supposed. In its passage through this town it affords not a single fall sufficient to turn a water-wheel or make a valuable mill privilege, though both are found above and below. It empties into Lamoille river in Fairfax. Alder brook, of which mention is made before, runs through the center of the town, and several other smaller streams are found in other parts. On the borders of the Winooski and Brown's rivers the soil is a rich alluvial mould ; in the southern and south-western portions it is sandy ; in the northern and north-western, there is more of the clay formation with rich deposits of muck in certain localities ; in the eastern and north-eastern, it is a sandy loam with occasional croppings out of clay. In general the soil is rich and exceedingly productive. There is scarcely an acre but what may be cultivated. In the western part of the town is a large swamp in which cranberries grow spontaneously, and from which large quantities are gathered and sent to market every year. Some portions of the swamp are now cultivated, making the crop more valuable. The greater portion of the town is well adapted for grazing purposes, and the attention of the farmers is hence directed to growing stock and the products of the dairy, as well as of the farm in general. Large quantities of butter and cheese are exported every year, and these perhaps are the leading products of the town.
The greater portion of the early settlers of the town came from Connecticut and Massachusetts, and had been taught in their native homes to reverence religion and its institutions. Hence among their earliest proceedings, after organizing themselves into a body politic, we find them "voting" upon themselves a tax for the "support of preaching." This was missionary ground. The Connecticut missionary society sent into the state Revs. Jedediah Bushnell, Gillet, Publius V. Bogue, Prentiss, Joseph Marshall, and Samuel Wooster, all of whom visited and preached in this town from time to time. Rev. Mr. Marshall is remembered as an eccentric genius, and Rev. Mr. Wooster as a bold, fearless defender of the truth, and both as very pious men. On one occasion it is related that the former, alluding to the peculiar abruptness of the latter, made the following graphic prayer with reference to Bro.
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Wooster "O Lord, thou knowest his imperfections, thou knowest that he will take a beetle to knock a fly off a man's nose when a feather would do a great deal better." Lorenzo Dow was also among the early preachers of the town. But this occasional preaching was not sufficient. The people desired a pastor to dispense the word of life to them from week to week, to live and grow up with them. With this purpose in view, a town meeting was legally warned and holden, July 6, 1795, of which Samuel, afterwards Dea. Buell, was moderator. At this meeting it was " voted to hire preaching in said town on probation for settlement," and "to raise the sum of thirty pounds lawful money to be paid into the treasury on or before the first day of May next, for the above purpose." Timothy Bliss, Esq., and Joshua Basset were the committee to hire the minister. On the same day they appointed Martin Powell of Westford, Stephen Pearl of Burlington, and Noah Chittenden of Jericho, a committee to stick a stake on a spot of ground whereon to build a meeting-house in said town. In 1796 a similar vote in regard to preaching was passed, and the "meetings were to be held one-half of the time at Samuel Buell's and the other half at Dea. Morgan's. In 1797 the town " voted to hire Rev. Mr. Prentiss to preach in said town for the term of three months," &c.; and, after rescinding the vote passed in '95 raining " thirty pounds lawful money" to support preaching, it was " voted to raise sixty dollars in money and forty dollars worth of wheat, or the value thereof in money at 66 cents per bushel, to be raised on the list of '96, and to be paid on the first day of October next, for the same purpose."
About this time the legislature passed an act authorizing voluntary associations to be formed in each town for the support of the gospel. By the terms of this act every legal voter of such town was considered to be of the religious opinion of the majority in such society, and was required, after one year's residence in town, to pay taxes for the support of the gospel to such society ; unless he should procure a certificate, signed by the minister, deacon, elder, moderator or clerk of the church or congregation to which he belonged, stating that he actually did contribute to the same object in such church or parish. This certificate was to be recorded in the town clerk's office. Many of these certificates, mainly from those who were connected with the Episcopal church, we find recorded in a book for that purpose. Every legal voter, therefore, whether belonging to the church nominally or not, was nevertheless required to pay a tax annually for the support of religious institutions.
In September, 1797, a committee was appointed for the purpose of forming an ecclesiastical society in town. This was done in town meeting, but no record appears of any report. In December, 1798, Capt. Samuel Bradley and Ezra Slater, Esq., were appointed a committee to lay out a tax of $100, voted by the town, according to law, for the purpose of hiring preaching on probation. This tax was to be made up on the list of 1798, and was payable in neat cattle and grain, at the market price, within a year from the first of January next.
Thus from year to year the early settlers of the town supported among them the institutions of the gospel. Each voter contributed, not according to his own avarice or caprice, nor yet when he pleased to do so, but according as the Lord had prospered him. Church and state were so far united. The town, in meeting warned for that purpose, voted the tax, hired the minister and paid his salary from the town treasury.
Upon the election of Jefferson in 1800, the law above referred to wag repealed, " the better to promote harmony and good order in civil society." The vote above referred to is the last we find on the town record in regard to preaching. The church formed a little more than a year previous and the ecclesiastical society afterwards organized, took the matter into their own hands.
ORGANIZATION OP THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
Oct. 3, 1797, witnessed an event in the history of the town of which not a soul is left to tell the tale. I refer to the organization of the Congregational church, which was the first and for many years the only church in town. Rev. Alexander Gillet, ef Torrington, Conn., Rev. Publius V. Bogue, of Winchester, Conn., missionaries, and Rev. Ebenezer Kingsbury, of Jericho, were the ministers present. The first members of the church were Daniel Morgan, Timothy Bliss, Joshua Basset, Morgan Noble, David Kellogg, Samuel Bradley, Samuel Buell and
Stephen Butler, males; Zerviah Bliss, Eleanor Kellogg and Rachael Buell, females. A feeble band it would seem to human view, but strong in faith. Stern and unyielding in their religious integrity, men of prayer and Christian activity, their bright example is left to their posterity. The subsequent history of the church will be given as we proceed.
In 1800 the subject of building a meeting-house was taken up in town meeting, a committee, consisting of Jonathan Chipman, Samuel Smith, Abram Stevens, Timothy Bliss, and Samuel Buell, were appointed to draw and circulate subscriptions for that purpose and to designate the spot. In September, of that year, the town voted to build a meeting-house within 20 rods of the spot designated by the above committee. The "spot" thus indicated was intended to be precisely in the geographical center of the town, and was on the little knoll just north of the house now occupied by Oscar F. Tuttle, on the opposite side of Alder brook. Some difference of opinion, however, in regard to the location, arose, when another committee was appointed, and there the matter ends, so far as the town was concerned.
In January, 1802, the subject was again agitated, and David Kellogg, Simon Tubbs, Samuel Griffin appointed a committee to "stick the stake and lay out the green whereon to erect said house." This committee happily agreed upon the present location, and, in August of the same year, the "common," consisting of four acres, was surveyed out and divided into four parts, for the purpose of "clearing it." And now came "the tug of war." The ground thus designated was densely covered with pines of large growth, a portion of which had been, not long previous, leveled by a furious tornado. It was no small undertaking to rid the "four acres" of this cumbrous burden. It was done by a "bee," as it was then termed. The inhabitants of the town generally turned out. Huge piles of logs were thrown up, standing thick as hay cocks in a fruitful clover field. Save what was used in erecting the house, the huge mass was committed to the flames. But the stumps were still left, and one of these, a huge monster, was honored with a burial many feet under ground, by the boys, who desired to act a part in the great clearance drama their fathers were enacting. Of the toil and labor which that beautiful common cost, the men of this generation have but little conception.
In the spring of 1803 the meeting-house was built nearly upon the same ground now occupied by the brick one. Timothy Bliss, Esq. was the superintendent, and Billy Bliss the master-workman in its erection. It was 40 by 50 feet, a plain building, having neither portico or cupola. It had three entrances on as many sides ; the high-backed square pews in style at that day ; a gallery on three sides, with the same high-backed pews, which afforded a hiding place for roguish boys ; and the high pulpit, with the deacon's seat underneath. Here the people of the town assembled from sabbath to sabbath to listen to the word of life ; sitting in the winter without any fire, stoves not being in vogue as now. For many years it was the only place of meeting in town.
THE ECCLESIASTICAL SOCIETY.
On the first day of April, of the same year, in town meeting duly warned and held at Samuel Griffin's house, the first Ecclesiastical Congregational society was formed in accordance with the law of the state. Sixty names, including all the prominent and influential men in town, are attached to the articles there proposed and unanimously agreed upon as the basis of the organization which exists to this day. Timothy Bliss and Samuel Buell were appointed a committee to hire a minister to preach on probation for settlement. July 26, the society voted to raise $100 for that purpose, one-half in cattle or grain and one-half in money, to be assessed on the list of 1802 ; and in January, following, voted to give Rev. Jedediah Bushnell a call to settle for half the time, and "for encouragement voted to give thirty-five pound salary, to rise with the list of the society till it amounted to forty pounds and there stop." But Mr. Bushnell was never settled, probably owing to the circumstance now to be related.
THE FIRST SETTLED MINISTER.
In March, 1803, occurred the memorable union between the Baptist and Congregational societies, by which the Rev. David Hurlbut, a Baptist clergyman, became the first settled minister of Essex. In the charter of the town, it will be recollected, a reservation of 330 acres of land was made for the first settled minister. To secure possession
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of it was therefore a matter of some importance, and especially since the seeds of Universalism, sown here at an early day by some of the settlers, had grown as the population increased, till at length a preacher of that faith, by the name of Babbit, was actually located in town. Perhaps some spirit was exhibited in enforcing the respective claims. Some assert that a house was placed on the ministerial reservation by one society and taken possession of by the other. Whether this or any other of the traditions given are true or not, it suffices to say that the Congregationalists, having no minister of their own peculiar faith, made proposals to the Baptist society and Rev. David Hurlbut to unite and settle him over the joint societies. They were accepted and he was accordingly ordained, March 25, 1803, only a few hours earlier, however, than the time appointed for the ordination of Mr. Babbit. The lands were thus retained by the joint societies and equitably divided between them. The union lasted about one year, when each church again resumed its independent action.
On the 21st day of August, 1805, Rev. Asaph Morgan was ordained pastor of the Congregational church. Rev. Asa Burton, D. D., of Thetford, preached the sermon. Mr. Morgan was pastor of the church about 23 years ; was dismissed June 25, 1828, and died at St. Albans, Oct. 5, 1828, at the age of 55 years. His remains were brought to Essex for interment, and the "faithful pastor and able divine" sleeps with the people to whom he was so ardently attached, and among whom he spent his entire ministry. During his pastorate 178 were added to the church, 79 of whom were received as the fruits of the memorable revival of 1821-2.
Rev. Amasa Stuart succeeded him, and was ordained Oct. 15, 1829, and dismissed Feb. 14, 1832. During his ministry a revival occurred in 1830-1, as the results of which 69 were admitted to the communion of the church. In 1833-4 an extensive revival occurred, under the Rev. John L. Edgerton as "stated supply," and 45 were added. In 1839-40, as the result of protracted meetings held by Rev. William Miller and Rev. Sherman Kellogg, with Rev. B. B. Cutler as stated supply, 16 were received into the church. On the 23d of December, 1841, Rev. Daniel Warren was installed pastor, and during his ministry 18 were added. He was dismissed Aug. 18, 1846. Rev. John D. Sands succeeded him, being installed Nov. 1, 1848, and dismissed April 9, 1856. During his connection with the church 31 were added. Since the latter date the church has had no pastor.
From the organization of the church to the present time 553 persons have been connected with it, of whom probably 150 are still living. The deacons of the church have been successively Samuel Buell, Otis Kellogg, Samuel Bradley, David Hamilton, Alvin J. Watkins, Samuel Douglas. The present pleasant house of worship was built in the year 1839-40, and was dedicated in 1840. Rev. James Dougherty preached the dedication sermon. The Rev. John Adams was "stated supply" of the church for six months after.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
was organized Nov. 5, 1801, as a branch of the Westford Baptist church, with five members, and the first meeting for business was held on the same day. Elder Thomas Brown was moderator, and Levi Farnsworth, clerk. The first additions were William Ingraham, wife and daughter, Nov. 14, 1801. Jan. 16, 1802, the Branch took the name of the Baptist church of Christ in Essex. Their first pastor was Elder David Hurlbut, as before related. Their second, was Ephraim Butler. During his pastorate there were some revivals. Elder David Boynton was the third pastor. His labors were quite successful. Ten were baptized by him at one baptismal season. Thomas Ravlin was the fourth ; he was dismissed from the church Dec. 18, 18l9. During the great revival of 1821, although the church had no settled pastor, it shared richly in that spiritual outpouring and received 30 additions by baptism. Their fifth pastor was Robert Hastings the sixth, Chester Ingraham, who was licensed to preach Oct. 29, 1823, and ordained as an evangelist May 6, 1828. During the 18 years of his pastorate several revivals occurred, especially in 1829-30, and in 1839, when 50 were added to the church, 42 by baptism and 8 by letter. On the 2d of June, 1839, previous to communion, he gave the right hand of fellowship to 35, and on one baptismal occasion 15, and on another, 21 were baptised. The next pastor was Lyman Smith, whose labors were attended by a revival and the addition of 41 to the church. In 1842, 137 members were
returned to the association. From 1843 to 1845, M. G. Hodge was pastor ; from 1847 to 1852, Isaiah Huntly, who is an excellent man and an acceptable minister. From 1852 to near 1854, S. S. Kingsley was pastor, and from 1856 to 1858, Jacob Gray, under whose ministry a revival occurred, as the fruits of which 34 were added to the church by baptism and several by letter. In April, 1858, Lyman Smith commenced his second pastorate over the church; but at the end of two years was compelled to resign on account of ill health, much to the regret of both church and community.
The whole number that have united with the church since its organization is about 320 ; present number, 119. The first deacon was Mr. Ingraham ; 2d, Nathaniel Blood ; 3d, Peter Hobart, all of whom are dead. The present deacons are John Andrews, Stephen Curtis and Artemas A. Ingraham. In 1827 the first meeting-house was finished and in April, 1839, it was destroyed by fire. The present house was immediately erected upon the same spot and dedicated Aug. 12, 1840.
[The foregoing facts are taken from a sketch furnished by Rev. Chester Ingraham.]
During the early settlement of the town there was occasionally preaching by Methodist itinerants who were passing through the town to the regions beyond. The first preacher of this persuasion was a Mr. Mitchell. The first and only sermon he delivered was in the house then owned by Dea. Kellogg. He was cordially received by the members of the Congregational church, as was every evangelical preacher ; but his attack upon their characteristic doctrine did not please them, and they sent him forward on his journey. Many years after this Peter Vanesst and Lorenzo Dow visited this region — men whose names, with the early Methodists, were as ointment poured forth. But their followers were few, and those, like sheep without a shepherd, were soon scattered ; yet there remained here and there one as landmarks to guide us back to "the times that tried men's souls." For a long period of time Mr. Henry Collins (familiarly called "Uncle Henry"), was the only Methodist in town. Yet he lived to see a flourishing society, and died Aug. 25, 1860, at the advanced age of 87 years. He was highly esteemed as a Christian citizen.
It was not, however, until 1829 that a society was organized. In December, of that year, the first class was formed, numbering 17 persons and embracing some of the best families in town. There is no record of their names, but among them are embraced the following: Henry Collins and wife, Amasa Bryant and wife, J. D. Berry and wife, Reuben Barrett and wife, George Whitney (since a preacher—his wife, with several others, joined four weeks later), Ira Tubbs and wife, Amasa Mansfield and wife, and Peter Dorset who was appointed leader.
This class formed the nucleus of the church and together with some 30 others, who soon afterwards joined it, was the fruit of a gracious revival that commenced the autumn previous at Hubbel's Falls, now known as Essex Junction. This revival commenced under the labors of Bro. John Adams, a licensed exhorter, who with his praying wife and hired man, Peter Dorset, above named, began meetings for prayer and exhortation in their "own hired house." The place soon proved "too straight" for them and they moved their meetings to the school-house near by. From thence the work spread through Essex and several adjoining towns. Hundreds were converted, many of whom have died in faith and "rest from their labors," while many others still live to bless the world and the churches they then joined, and are now fathers and mothers in Israel.
Against continued opposition the society prospered, and in 1833 became a prominent appointment, giving name to the circuit with which it was connected. In order to place the society on equal standing with other denominations in town, it was determined to build a chapel ; but, owing to various hindrances, the work was not commenced till 1839. In that year the present "beautiful house" was built by Joseph Fairfield, Lorin Tyler and Geo. Whitney, and cost, with fixtures and grounds, nearly $2000. Upon the completion of the house, they very generously deeded it to the society, after having received from them about one-half the cost. Essex is now (1861) a station, owns a parsonage and lot, and enjoys the entire pastoral labors of its minister. It is fully equal, in point of numbers and respectability, to the other denominations in town.
Of the "natives" of Essex a few have become distinguished in the world as lawyers,
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physicians and ministers of the gospel. In the war of 1812 Essex furnished a number of men who as volunteers were in the battle of Plattsburgh—Cols. GEORGE TYLER and SAMUEL PAGE were conspicuous as officers in the battle.
In that battle Col. GEORGE TYLER commanded a portion of the Vermont militia, under Gen. Strong. They were encamped near Salmon river, awaiting orders to march to the scene of action. The order soon came and they took up the line of march in quick time. Observing some delay and flagging in one company, Gen. Strong rode up to Col. Tyler, and with some spirit accosted him. "Why all this delay?" Col. Tyler replied, "I've got a d—d coward on my left." "March on and leave him then," was the stern reply of the General, as he rode away to another portion of the field.
Col. SAMUEL PAGE was one of the company which was stationed at Swanton in 1808, to guard the frontier and prevent violations of the Embargo Act. This place was the head-quarters of the army, from whence squads or scouting parties were sent out in various directions, to intercept smugglers and seize contraband property. On one of these excursions, while at Windmill Point, Ensign Page, in command of a squad of nine, discovered a boat load of potash in full sail for Canada. He ordered them to "heave to" or he should "fire into them." They did so and surrendered their valuable cargo. The news of the capture soon spread. Threats of recapture were freely made, and 60 men were ready to carry that threat into execution ; but the little squad determined, if attacked, to sell their lives as dearly as possible, and prepared themselves for the expected encounter. Happily for them, orders came to sail the vessel into Burlington, and the test of their bravery was thus saved. In 1812 Col. Page was one of the first to volunteer in defence of his country, and suffered much in the cold storm that succeeded the battle of Plattsburgh. In common with his fellow soldiers who survived that battle long enough, he has been gratefully remembered by his country.
Col. JOHN PARKER, a resident of Essex, was in the battle of Lundy's Lane, under Gen. Scott.
REV. ASAPH MORGAN.
The following brief sketch of the life and character of Rev. Asaph Morgan is furnished, in part, by Rev. Simeon Parmelee, who for 20 years was his cotemporary:
Mr. Morgan was born in Springfield, Mass., in 1773. Of his early life or his parentage but little is known, save that he followed some mechanical employment for a livelihood. He was not a graduate of any college, and had no more than an ordinary education, a fact which was no small trial to him in his ministerial career. He studied divinity with Dr. Burton of Thetford, and began his public life with the church in Essex, where he was ordained in 1805.* In the winter of 1806—7 Mr. Morgan made a missionary tour through Orleans county in this state. Among those with whom he conversed privately upon personal religion, was a man who was in sentiment a Universalist. His first effort was to convince him of the error of Universalism, and the result was (to use the man's own language) that "he painted Universalism in so dark a shade that I never liked its color afterwards." The man afterwards became an acceptable and successful minister of the gospel.
As a writer Mr. Morgan was chaste, terse and comprehensive. His sermons were rich in thought and eminently practical, written generally, however, in a short-hand of his own-invention, to which he left no key. The only writings of his published is a reply to the pastoral letter of the Vermont Baptist Association, which strongly enforced the doctrine of close communion.
In his delivery Mr. Morgan was easy, but not fascinating, and seldom made a gesture while speaking. His voice was not strong, but pleasant. He was tall in stature, of a dark complexion, and very sedate countenance. He never trifled, nor allowed himself or his brethren to jest. He was social, when any subject of interest was introduced, but indisposed to talk about nothing. His lips were always guarded. His conversation and public performances always sparkled with gems drawn from the word of truth. He was eminently sound in the faith, firmly believing and preaching all the fundamental
* Just previous to his ordination he was sent on a missionary tour into Pennsylvania and Delaware and spent some months in Wilksbarre and vicinity. It was while on this tour that he received the call to become pastor of the church in Essex. A letter, written whilst in those states, exhibits his ardent devotion to his chosen work, and his strong attachment to the church of his adopted town.
doctrines of the Calvinistic belief. And it was while delivering a series of discourses upon Divine Sovereignty, Election and Decrees, that the powerful and extensive revival of 1821 broke out. The revival began in the summer, was general throughout the town, and characterized by deep solemnity of feeling, thorough conviction and sound conversion. Mr. Morgan continued the series of discourses he had begun, arguing, as he said from the result, that they were approved of God.
His life was filled up with usefulness. He was a humble, devoted minister, an eminently exemplary man, and universally beloved by his people and by the entire community. He was always punctual in all his engagements, and died as he had lived leaving behind him a name which will long be had in remembrance.
There are other individuals of whom it was our intention to give brief sketches, but the material was not furnished to our hands in proper season. In addition to those mentioned above, who have kindly favored us with important facts, embodied in our brief history, we take pleasure in mentioning the name of Alfred Halbert, Esq.
Written on seeing a flower that had been highly prized by a valued and intimate friend, long since dead.
BY L. C. BUTLER, M. D.
Why, ah why love I flowers so well,
And why in their sweetness delight ;
Why bound as it were in a spell,
When these fairy things meet my sight?
They call up the friends of the past
And clothe them with beauty anew—
I see them as when I did last,
Bright fancy recalls them to view.
I call them—they answer me not,
They're gone, never more to appear,
And doubtless these friends I'd forgot
If flowers were not left to me here.
O give me not tombstones to tell
The spot where my body may lay,
Nor toll a sad funeral knell
When my soul from earth flees away,
Let flowers from some lovely dell
Be strewn on my newly-made grave;
Let anguish no bosom e'er swell;
A flower's all the tombstone I crave
If but the sweet mignionett's bloom,
In beauty and excellence rare,
Its fragrance may shed o'er my tomb,
I ask that naught else may be there.
BY MRS. S. B. HERRICK.*
Mother, thou'st not forgot
One genial April morn,
When a sweet babe was brought,
Thy fairest, latest born ;
And close beside thy heart,
Thrilling with new-born joy,
On the low cottage bed,
They laid thy dealing boy.
Mother, the angels stood
Beside that cottage bed,
And saw thy gentle hand
Laid on his tiny head;
And heard thy earnest prayer,
Wafted to heaven away—
"Father, this precious child
I consecrate to Thee."
Mother, thy watchful care,
Hath seen that bud expend
Into an opening flower,
Beneath that Guiding Hand,
To whom thy earliest prayer
And in its blossoming,
He asketh it of thee.
Mother, God help thee now;
Thine eye is dim with age,
And many a sorrow stands
Recorded on life's page;
Two little ones have passed
From thy embrace away;
And one in riper years,
Not e'en thy love could stay.
Mother, God help thee now,
He calls thy youngest born,
The one that came to thee
On that sweet April morn—
Not to the "Land of Rest,"
But to a life of toil,
Of suffering, and perchance
Death, on a foreign soil.
Mother, God help thee now,
And give thee grace to bear
This trial of thy faith,
In answer to thy prayer.
And from thy inmost soul
Enable thee to say,
"Father, Thy will be done,"
"Child, speed thee on thy way."
Go, in the bright, fresh dawn,
Of early manhood, go !
While the sweet glow of health
Mantles on cheek and brow;
And thy strong arm is nerved
For the great work of life ;
And thy firm heart beats high
With courage, for the strife.
Go, may the Gospel light
Irradiate thy way,
And many a darkened soul
Awake beneath its ray,
And many a jewel shine
In the Redeemer's crown,
Whom lustre shell give light
And radiance to thine own,
Go, and a Mother's prayer
Shall ever follow thee,
And fresh as in life's morn,
A Mother's love shall be,
Till from the east and west
God's chosen ones shall come;
And in those mansions blest
Find an eternal home.
* A native of Essex, now a resident of Rockford, Ill.