NATURAL HISTORY.                                           1051


longed to the different regiments of Vermont volunteers, as follows:


3d Reg't, Co. B. — Moody Evans. Co. D.— Albert H. Thomas, Lester Smith—died Jan. 17, 1863,—Henry W. Sterns—died Jan. 21, 1863,—Augustus B. Jones—died May 25, '64, of wounds,—Chas. A. Story, Robert Suitor.— Co. I.—Benj. W. Isham—died Dec. 15, 1862,— William Brooks. A. J. Shaw.

4th Reg't, Co. G.—Alonzo H. Bell—died Jan. 1, 1862.—Horace B. Houston, Wesley I. Houston—died May 17, 1862,

8th Reg't, Co. K.—Charles H. Farnham —died Sept. 4, 1862,—Melvin Wilson. H. M. Lund.

9th Reg't, Co. F.—Hollis M. Emerson, Moses Emerson, Fredom D. Prescott.

11th Reg't, Co. A.—Ira Lee, Orisan L. Farnham.

Vt. Artillery.—Abial Cheney.


Besides these one man procured a substitute, a non-resident, and two others paid commutation. Of this number, six have died from sickness, and one from wounds received in battle, and have thus been called to lay all, even life itself, upon the altar of our country, and thus become a portion of that costly oblation which she has so willingly offered.— They died, not on the field of battle made gory by the blood of thousands of thousands of their fallen comrades—not amid the roar of thundering cannon as their awful death-tones hushed, as it were, for a moment, the shrieks and groans of the dying, only to add new horror to the scene—not amid the accla­mations of contending armies, as they rush to victory and glory, but they are none the less honored. They have done what they could to perpetuate those liberties and blessings, for which our fathers bled and died. They have done what they could to defend our homes, our friends, our sacred altars, and our government—the best upon which the sun ever shone—from tyranny and blood-stained oppression; from a power whose poisonous fangs were seeking to sever the very life-strings of its existence; and their graves are in southern climes—their precise locations doubtless soon to be lost by time's onward march; yet their memories will long be fondly cherished at home.—May, 1867.







Essex county lies east of Caledonia and Orleans, bordering for upwards of 65 miles upon the meandering folds of the Connecti­cut river. Its area is about 620 square miles, and a large share of the county is covered with a dense growth of forest trees—mostly spruce, yet pine and hemlock, together with the sugar maple,, birch and beech, give an ever-varying appearance to the forests, and furnish lumber in abundance and variety. The larger portion of the inhabitants live near the streams, and the majority live in or near the Connecticut river valley. In Con­cord and Lunenburgh, however, the towns are generally settled, yet the part lying back from the river and off from the large brooks is little but a wilderness. For so small a sec­tion of country there is greater difference in climate than is general in this latitude. The direction of the wind and the lay of the land, doubtless are the main rouses; yet difference in soil, and the amount of water in the vicini­ty, of course makes sonic difference in vegeta­tion. The proximity of the highest portion of the White Mountain range, on which snow lies for at least nine months out of the year, gives a coolness to the atmosphere which must have its effect upon the climate. The valley of the Connecticut is frequently some two or three weeks earlier than some of the interior portions, yet as a general thing the frosts on the streams prevent the growth of anything that cannot be raised in among the hills of the interior townships. I have how­ever seen the maple buds on the Connecticut bursting into loaves, when the snow in the dense forests of spruce and hemlock, in Granby, East Haven and Ferdinand, would lie in sufficient depth to make quite a freshet of the streams, and the buds of the maple in those localities could hardly be said to have swollen.

Of the geology of Essex little can be said. In our recent state survey very little was done in this county, and we find a sort of general description to suffice in that recently published work. In the southern portion of the county the prevailing rock is talcose slate, with granite bowlders. The elate is, however, very irregular in stratification, being inter­sected with dikes, much broken in surface and putting on many varieties of appearance. In the southern portion of Concord there is dike of magnesian limestone, that is traceable in a straight line nearly three miles, varying from 2 to 6 feet wide. There is also in Con­cord, on the farm owned by Wm. Darling, quite a deposit of iron and copper pyrites, also



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some traces of iron ore. In the northern and middle part of the town, there are considera­ble deposits of limestone; yet not sufficiently pure for the manufacture of lime, and proba­bly belong to this same talcose formation. On Miles' Mountain are several caves in this rock—some of them quite small, and some possessing considerable size. When I visited the locality, after examining several holes which I felt hardly willing to venture into— yet, by throwing in stones and sounding them, I presume they led to quite sizable cavities in the mountain. I at length de­scended into the one most commonly visited and found it a rough, unshapely room, vary­ing from three to eight feet in height, and perhaps 20 to 30 feet in diameter; neither square, nor round, but possessing as many corners as would suit any admirer of angles. There were small stalactites hanging from the rock overhead—some of the longest about three inches—which by dint of perseverance I pounded off, so as to bring away some very fair specimens. There were two or three apertures leading out of this apartment which were hardly large enough to admit a man, yet I was told that some one had crawled into one of them for some distance and found it to increase in size, but I could learn noth­ing definite of its termination. I was told by my guide, however, that he had explored a much larger cave higher up the mountain, but as it was near night I could not visit it, and can give no definite description of it; but from the locality presume it is similar to the one described. There is also, in the northern part of Lunenburgh, a cave in the same form­ation, nearly like the one I have described, only perhaps not so large, and one much larger than either in Maidstone. The lime­stone in this section has been analyzed, and I give the analysis;—Silicia, 40.5; carbonate of lime and magnesia, 51.5; oxyd of iron and loss, 8.

The surface-stones in this county are most of them granite, and I think the western part of Lunenburgh contains as many of them as any section of cultivated land in the state. There are some stones occasionally met with that form subjects of speculation to geologists, —for instance, near Lunenburgh Corner is a surface-stone of Labrador feldspar that seems isolated hundreds of miles from its parent mass. The northern part of the county in general formation is granite and syenite; there are not as many surface-stones as in the southern portion, yet the soil is no more pro­ductive. There is a deposit of copper pyrites about three miles from Island Pond, in Brighton. It now promises to be of value, and has been purchased with the intention of working it. (See Hist. Brighton). There are several mineral springs, but the only ones of any note are the springs on the bank of the Connecticut at Brunswick. At this place there are several in the immediate vicinity of each other, yet all possessing a slight differ­erence in their waters. They are chalybeate and are considered very efficacious in curing cutaneous diseases, and are fast rising in pop­ularity. The temperature of the water is about 45° and does not much vary in summer or winter, neither does it vary in wet or dry seasons, but remains uniform in quantity and quality throughout the year. There is prob­ably no section better watered by springs than this county; the broken condition of its strata and the consideration that there is little mineral existing here that is soluble in water, renders the springs pure and cold, and many of them preserve nearly the same annual temperature. In digging wells, they find water at a depth of from 12 to 30 feet, and except in limestone localities it is pure. A. Mr. Simonds, of Lunenburgh, thinking he would sink his well deeper than usual so as to have his water surely permanent, drilled through the talcose rock; but the water in­stead of coming in, run out, so that he had to stop it up and be content with the water above the bed-rock; there has however always been a good supply of water in his well.




As there has been few meteorological ob­servations made in this section except by myself—and those do not extend back quite fifteen years—it will be impossible to give a very perfect history of our climate during the first settlement of this section; yet it is not probable that there was any great difference from the 15 years last past. The winds in this county are modified by the mountains and valleys. In Concord the prevailing wind is from the north-west, in Lunenburgh from the west; and in the other towns on the Connecticut, the wind almost always blows up or down the river; and in those towns that lay back from the river it appears to be northerly or north-westerly. Perhaps it would be rea‑



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sonably correct to say that the wind as above mentioned blew as much from those points as from all others. In relation to the tempera­ture of the atmosphere the warmest localities in the summer are generally the coldest in the winter. These are of course the valleys which in the summer do not receive the breezes that strike the hills; and in the win­ter as our coldest nights are still, the cold atmosphere from its natural gravity settles into them, so it is the valleys that have the greatest extremes of temperature.

The following tables are reduced from observations made by me at Lunenburgh, lat. 44° 28´ north, and Ion. 71° 41´ west, at an elevation of 1124 feet above tide water, and 324 feet above the level of the Connecticut river against this place. I think from my locality, that the observations obtained are nearly what would be an average for the county. This table contains the mean height of the thermometer for 16 years, together with the annual fall of water,—snow includ­ed,—allowing 10 inches of snow for one inch of water, which I have found to be on an average a very correct estimate:

The following tables show the average height of the barometer, together with the maximum and minimum height of both bar­ometer and thermometer, and the depth of rain and snow in inches and hundredths, for 1860, '61, '62, and '63. It will be noticed that 1861 was a very wet season, and the oth­ers rather dry, so we have a sample of near the extremes, and 1860 and 1861 together come near the average in many points, and will be a fair representation of our climate:



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Another very important point—though un­til recently much neglected—is the amount of vapor in the atmosphere, or the amount of saturation. I give the result of four years observations, the pressure in fractions of an inch corresponding and the height of mercury in the barometer, and the relative humidi­ty by letting 100 represent as much moisture as the air can contain, and the figures given so many parts of 100. I also add to those tables the number of days on which snow or rain fell, and the number of clear days—by clear I mean beautifully sunny—although very small patches of clouds may be seen, but not enough to obscure the sun:



These tables express the state of our atmos­phere much better than I can otherwise point it out, and would be in itself sufficient to show the general outline of our climate. In the following table I give the amount of snow that has fallen during ten successive winters —being from 1854 to 1864. This was meas­ured after each storm, and though it was sometimes not as accurate as I could wish, on account of the winds making drifts of it, yet I consider it as a whole a near approximation to the truth. Of course at no one time was it all on the ground, yet by comparison with the other tables you can judge that at many times it has been deep; and those that have traveled our winter roads can testify that it was generally badly drifted.





I shall now give such remarkable changes and occurrences in the atmospheric phenomena as have sufficiently stamped their impress on the minds of the early settlers to be remembered, and from them may be gathered an idea of the great changes that are liable at any time to occur, and yet do occur but seldom:



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Oct. 9th, 1804, brought with its dawn a great snow storm. The weather had been cloudy and extremely cold for the season for a number of days; and on the morn of this day it commenced snowing, and continued almost without intermission until full 20 inches of snow had fallen.

The year 1807 was remarkable for the great amount of snow and steady cold weather. There was on the last day of March a great snow storm accompanied with a very high wind—such a wind as is seldom known. It blocked the roads so that they were not passable for some days. On the first day of May the snow would average in the woods 4 1/3 feet deep, and the weather cold and for­bidding—yet warm days soon came and crops came forth with great rapidity, and it is sel­dom that a better harvest is gathered than in that year. In 1815 we also find a great amount of snow, and May 22d the snow fell 8 inches and was followed by cold nights and pleasant days; and it is said that there was then the greatest run of maple sap on record.

The year 1816 is perhaps noted throughout the county as the coldest year, and the north­ern portion of Vt. was not exempt. Al­though the thermometer was unknown here at that time, and no one can tell how cold it was, yet every one remembers that it was colder than any winter before or since expe­rienced. On the 8th of June snow fell to the depth of 5 inches, and it froze so hard that all the leaves in the forest were killed, and vegetation was apparently ruined. This freeze was followed by great drouth—so much so that the crops did not recover from the freeze, and new-sown ones perished; and it seemed as though a famine was coming up­on the land; but there was a small late har­vest, yet many suffered very much, and corn was of almost fabulous value. In 1817— June 1st —the ground froze to the depth of one inch, and snow fell nearly an inch deep; vegetation however recovered and there was an average yield to the husbandman. The year 1819 was very remarkable for peculiar phenomena. It has been styled the dark year, from the great number of dark days during the year. The darkest day was Nov, 9th, and it was so dark that people had to light candles to eat dinner and also to do their accustomed work about house. During the afternoon stars were visible through the breaks in the clouds, and the ensuing evening was so dark, that it seemed as though the darkness could be felt,—there was no shade of light about it; and if darkness can be total, it might be said to have been total dark­ness. This was doubtless caused by thick dense clouds covering the heavens in many layers and of peculiar density. Some have attributed it to smoke, but that must be im­possible, as stars could not then be seen; and if the testimony of creditable individuals is to be taken, during a breakage in the clouds in the afternoon stars were visible. Oct. 12th of this year there was a very great display of the aurora borealis. It was very brilliant in color and intensity of light, as fine print could be read by it, and it covered the whole heavens.

The year 1820 was a very forward spring, with a great growth of vegetation — consequently a bountiful harvest. In 1821 there were several hail-storms, which though limited in extent yet different storms damaged more or less almost every locality. At Concord, June 27th, the hail cut down vegetation generally, damaged windows, and on the whole was very severe. Crops however somewhat recovered from its effects. In 1824, May 25th, there was a very severe frost and freeze, but as there came on fine warm weather after it vegetation recovered, and it did little harm only to fruit trees.

1828 will be ever remembered as a warm year. Many ponds and rivers were not closed by ice during the ensuing winter, and in July and August there was probably as warm days as were ever here experienced, and they were continued and warm through the night as well as through the day. It was rather dry, but crops were generally good. The 25th of January, 1837, is remarkable for the greatest display of the aurora ever witnessed in this section. It commenced ear­ly in the evening and continued through the whole night with a brilliancy which has been unequaled by any other display. It over­spread the heavens with almost every tint of color, and with a tremulous rapid motion changed continually. It appeared to arise from the north and pass over towards the south, as the general expression is, and only closed as the light of the coming day obscured it. In 1842 we have a series of storms such as per­haps this county has never experienced in other years. About the first of July com­menced a great rain storm which swelled the



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streams to a height seldom known, and great damage to mills, roads, &c., was the conse­quence. There was also in this month a tornado in the town of Victory, which was a rare thing for this section. The wind came over a hill, or perhaps more properly a mountain, sweeping every impediment before it. At first its path was only a few rods wide, but it gradually increased in width and force. Its track was a forest, and it leveled and tore up all the trees for the distance of near two miles, and a few rods to half mile in breadth, it then came to a small river and upon its banks seemed to lose its fury. Many of the trees were carried along with the wind and left in piles near the river. The noise of this tornado was heard for miles around, and some supposed it an earthquake from its peculiar sound unlike the sound of a storm. There was also a great hail-storm in Lunenburgh this month that entirely ruined the crops upon which it fell, but was of limited extent. Capt. King was the greatest sufferer, as his farm was in the heaviest part of the storm. In 1843 there was a light hay crop, and in the spring of 1844 a very great scarcity of hay. The spring was very backward and snow deep. March 15th, there was one of our great winter storms of snow and wind which was very severe. April 6th, snow would av­erage four feet deep and the spring was cold. There was also a great amount of sickness, mostly among women, and called erysipelas. It was very fatal. In 1856, June 30th, there was a great hail-storm, the greatest damage being in Concord, yet more or less rain and hail fell throughout the entire county, and the showers of rain and hail were continued until July 3d, when the weather became cooler and the hail ceased. In Concord the farm of Dan­iel Barker was in the hardest part of the storm, and his crops entirely ruined, his fruit trees killed and his buildings much damaged. Thousands of forest trees were also killed, and many so damaged and bruised that the marks of the storm may be seen on them as long as they stand, making lasting mementoes of the great size of the hail stones, and the terriffic violence of the storm. Few were lucky enough to escape without damage from this series of hail-storms, yet in many the damage was slight. The hail fell in showers of a few minutes duration, and came at all hours of the day and night. Some of the largest hail-stones fell on the night of the 2d July, in Lunenburgh, about 2 o'clock A. M., but being unaccompanied by wind did little damage. The winter of 1861 and '62 were remarkable for the great depth of snow. It fell so deep that fences were entirely covered, so their situation could not in many cases be seen, and many buildings were broken down. March 18th, the snow lay from 5 to 6 feet on the ground, and the weather was cold for the season. The first of April the snow would average three feet deep, and the track on the roads was nearly as high as the tops of the fences, and traveling was very difficult. There was snow enough for sleighing until the 18th, when the roads in many places were bare. Ice was not out of the ponds until into May. The oldest inhabitants do not remember so much snow in one winter.

The winter of 1863 and '64 was very mild. There was a limited amount of snow, yet sleighing was very good all winter, The ice cleared out of the Connecticut on the 2d of April.




For convenience of reference I will take the towns in alphabetical order in the description of their waters.

Averill, though wild and broken in scenery, and a forest, contains embedded in its valleys some of the most beautiful ponds in the county. Great Averill Pond, so called, is situated in the extreme north corner of the town, and a small part of the pond extends over into Norton. It is about 1½ miles long, and from three-fourths to one mile in width. Its waters are clear and cold. Little Averill Pond is about 1½ miles due south of the former, is nearly round—perhaps three-fourths of a mile in diameter. It is the main head of Averill stream which runs north through Great Averill Pond, thence north-west into Canada. Little Leach Pond is also in this town, but is hardly deserving of notice.

Bloomfield is watered by East Branch and Nulhegan rivers. Black Branch also runs through the western part. Their course is due south. A small stream called Mill Brook also flows from this town into the Connecti­cut; and Clough's Brook runs through its north-eastern corner. There are no ponds worthy of notice.

Brunswick contains three small ponds known as Cranberry Pond, North Pond and South Pond. The Nulhegan passes through



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the northern part into Bloomfield, where it runs nearly parallel with the state line to the Connecticut. This town also has the usual amount of small streams.

Brighton,—this town is more generally known under the name of Island Pond, as the village takes its name from a pond by that name situated near the center of the town. This pond is so called from its containing a beautiful island situated about half a mile from, its north-eastern shore. This pond is about 2½ miles long by 1 or 1½ miles wide; in many places it has low sandy shores and is perhaps the most beautiful in scenery and location of any pond in the county. There are also three other small ponds in town, viz: Spectacle, Nulhegan and Mud Ponds. Nulhegan Pond is situated in the south-east­ern part, from which the Nulhegan River flows. The small streams that form the Clyde are several of them wholly within this town.

Concord contains many brooks, and Moose River runs through the western part. There are also two ponds of note. Hall's Pond, which is near the Corners, is a beautiful sheet of water about one mile long by half a mile wide. Its shores are low and sandy, and it is fed mostly by springs, one of which is so large as to toss a boat about in a still day, although there is quite a depth of water. Its waters are uncommonly cold. Several toma­hawks and arrow points have been found upon its shores, showing that it used to be a fishing ground for the aborigines. I have some specimens of them that equal any I ever saw for finish and quality. Hall's Brook rises in this pond and empties into the Connecticut. Miles' Pond, situated a little north of the center of the town, is about two miles long by three-fourths of a mile wide. It has generally abrupt shores and is prob­ably very deep. Miles' Stream flows from this pond to the Connecticut. There are also several large sized brooks in this town.

Canaan contains a part of Big Leach Pond, but the larger portion of it is in Canada. Numerous brooks flow into the Connecticut, but no streams of large size.

East Haven is a mountainous township, but contains no sizable ponds. Moose River takes its rise in this town.

Ferdinand is little known in its interior. There are three or four reported ponds, but the largest as best known is New Discovered Pond, so called, near its south-western border. It is about one mile long by one-half mile broad. Great quantities of trout are taken from this pond, which make fishing excur­sions to this wilderness place quite frequent. The Nulhegan passes through the northern part. There is the usual number of small streams.

Granby contains three small ponds—Cow Mountain and Mud Pond, and a small name­less pond in the northern part. Several of the tributaries of Moose River rise in this town.

Guildhall is destitute of ponds; although numerous small brooks thread through the town there are none hardly large enough for mill streams.

Lunenburgh contains Neal's Pond which is situated about one mile north of the village, being about one mile long by half a mile wide. It is shallow and very rocky, and its shores low and in some places sandy. There are also several streams in town, some of which are large enough for mill streams.

Lemington contains no ponds, but the usual number of brooks, which flow through its valleys to the Connecticut,

Lewis is as yet a wilderness. It contains a sizable pond in its northern part, and several small streams, but little is known of them.

Norton contains the larger part of Norton Pond, but a portion of it lies in Warren's Gore. It is also joined by Middle Pond, and further south by Round Pond, both in War­ren's Gore. A small stream rises in those ponds and runs north into Canada.

Victory is watered by Moose River and its branches, and contains no ponds of note.

It can be seen from the foregoing that Essex County is well watered, and can boast as great purity in its ponds and streams as any section of the state.




As regards the mountains of Essex, though numerous, they are not on the magnificent scale which many portions of our state ex­hibit; though ragged and steep, many times, they do not tower to a great height. Miles mountain, in Concord, is perhaps as high as any in the county, and measures but 2650 feet above tide water The county, though generally hilly, does not possess the immense precipices or precipitous ravines of many sections of our state. It is true its strata is bent and broken so as to cause an infinite



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number of springs, most of which are pure and cold, yet little of the land is unfit for pastures of the best quality, as the soil is strong and productive. Island Pond is the most elevated village, and Lunenburgh Corners the next. I add a list of such places as the height above tide water has been taken with any degree of accuracy: Island Pond, 1250 feet; Lunenburgh Corners, 1144 feet; Concord Corners, 1095 feet; head of 15-mile falls, at Lunenburgh, 890 feet; Guildhall Falls, 893 feet; mouth of the Nulhegan, 962 feet.




The following are the names of the quad­rupeds of Essex county, given in the order of their description, which, though not minute, is composed of such mention of their habits or peculiarities as I have thought interesting:


Ruminating Animals.—Moose or elk, deer.

Carniverous Animals.—Black bear, fox, lynx, skunk, martin or sable, bat, wolf, raccoon, otter, mink, weasel, moles.

Gnawing Animals.—Beaver, hedgehog, squirrels, Norway rat, woodchuck, rabbit, muskrat, mouse.




The elk, in this county called moose, from the Indian name "moosoa," is occasionally seen in our forests. Its head is large and long, having the muzzle and under lip covered with short hairs which are very projecting and flexible, and serve to direct to the mouth the shoots and twigs which are its food. The eyes are small and inexpressive; the ears are large and open; the neck is short and power­ful, surmounted with a coarse mane; the body is stout; the legs disproportionally long, and his steps straggling and awkward. The horns are of an enormous size, sometimes weighing 80 pounds. Its general color is fawn-brown, and they shed their horns about the month of February in each year. The moose advances in a shuffling kind of trot, while his hoofs, striking against each other, make a noise which can be heard at some distance. In the winter it lives in the most densely wooded sections of highland, and in the summer frequents the swamps and low­land. Being timid, it is seldom seen. The last one killed was on the railroad in Brighton—being run upon by a train of cars in 1858 (see Hist. Brighton). The heft of the moose varies according to its age. It is supposed not to reach its growth in less than 15 years. Some have been killed, if reports are correct, weighing 1400 pounds. This animal is easily tamed, becomes docile and even affectionate towards its keeper; but possesses a wariness and distrust of strangers not easily overcome.




This creature, if we regard the elegance of his form, the flexibility of his limbs, his branching horns and the lightness of his motions, is superior to any other animal in our forests. It is very timid and shy, and, possessing a keen sense of hearing and smell­ing, it is difficult to get within gun shot of them. In years past there has been several curious instances of their capture or death, among which are the following:


In 1843 Dr. Sargent, of Lunenburgh, while riding one night about one-half mile from the village, heard a noise at the side of the road, and getting out of his carriage to see what it was, he found a deer entangled between some rails in the fence, in trying to get through it, where he was held fast. The Doctor had no weapon but his lancet, and finally bled him to death with that,

In 1855 a youngster, while bathing in the Connecticut above Guildhall Falls, saw a young deer trying to swim away from some dogs. The young man finally caught him, and he was so tired that he conducted him home without difficulty, where he kept him for a time and then sold him to the manager of a menagerie. Several others have been killed in a singular manner, and the hunting of them is considered rare sport. They are fast decreasing in numbers.




This animal is still quite common in some localities, doing some damage; yet it has frequently to bear blame that should rest on dogs. Its color is a shining black; the hair long, but not curled, gives him a peculiar shaggy appearance. His feet are large and long and possessed of great strength. Unlike other animals of this section, it has the power to arise upon its hind feet and even to walk upon them alone, though clumsily. The bear is naturally timid, yet when thoroughly aroused will fight to the last. Of late, when a bear is seen, the people generally turn out


* in their classification, &c., I have followed Thomp­son, whose classification is a good one.



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in large numbers, and frequently are success­ful in his capture. Numerous bear-hunts are within the memory of all. I will only men­tion one or two of them:


In 1815 a bear was caught in Concord, in a steel trap, and in trying to drive him to the house he pulled his foot out of the trap and jumped directly over one David Morse, knocking him down. Quick as thought Mrs. James Morse, of Concord, struck the bear on the head with the trap, killing him at one blow.

In 1843 there was a bear-hunt in Lunen­burgh, and after the ring was nearly closed up the bear tried to escape by breaking through it, and Newell Howe, to stop him, caught hold of or jumped upon him, and the bear turned, catching Hoye by the leg, inflicting a severe wound. Mr. H. would doubtless have fared hard, but help was at hand and the bear was soon killed.




The wolf—formerly numerous—is now very scarce, and perhaps at this time there are none within the limits of the county. In 1837 and 1838 wolves seem to have been very plenty, and hardly an owner of sheep or young cattle escaped their partial destruction by this hated enemy. The last year named, a hunter, by the name of French, killed and captured a great number, and since that time they have not been so notorious in their boldness, and have gradually disappeared.




The color of this animal, in its most usual state, is a dull reddish fawn, of various degrees of intensity. In some it has a strong tendency to black, and, in fine, some are nearly jet-black, but they are rare, and sup­posed by many to be a different species, yet, I believe, have been seen in this county. The female, on whom devolves the entire care of the young, breeds in April. The young are frequently taken alive, but cannot well be tamed. I have tried to tame them, and though they recognize the hand that feeds and caresses, they will never show the affection of a dog or tolerate caresses from a stranger; and as they possess deep cunning and treachery, you will frequently, when least expecting it, be rewarded by a bite. A full grown fox, when made captive, exhibits the utmost impatience of restraint, tries every means to regain his freedom; and, if he does not succeed, becomes dejected and spiritless, and soon dies. The fox, when contented, lies down twisted in a curve with his tail coiled around his nose, and sleeps profoundly. Their senses are acute; they are sly and cautious, exceedingly cunning and patient, cleanly and retired. While young, they are full of vivacity and playfulness; when older, they are apt and cunning beyond comparison. Their liberty is dearer than life or limb, and they have been known to gnaw off a foot caught in a trap to escape, and to refuse food and die in captivity rather than submit to restraint.




The raccoon possesses somewhat the looks of the fox, but the habits of the bear. Its color is a dusky grey, with a row of black and dirty-white alternate, but more strongly marked on the tail. It is said that it is extremely fond of sweetened liquor—more especially brandy —and will get so drunk that it cannot escape, and can be easily killed.

They are very fond of green corn, and fre­quently congregate in great numbers in a cornfield, and are also destructive to poultry, and sometimes destroy vegetables in gardens. They are frequently captured alive, and when young can be somewhat domesticated; but there is such an amount of treachery in their natures that they cannot be depended upon. They leave one thing peculiar, and that is they will frequently dip their food in water while eating—sometimes between every mouthful. They also drink by lapping, or like a horse in swallows.




The Lynx is now very scarce, yet a few are usually caught every winter. I know little of its habits, only that it is very timid and is seldom seen unless caught in a trap.




This reddish, glossy-brown animal is much prized for its fur. Voracious, subtle, active and bold, it is notorious for its devastations among the fish, in our ponds and streams,— like them he is perfectly at home in the wa­ter, swimming at any depth with the utmost velocity. When it descrys its victim it never loses sight of him until he is devoured.


"Where rages not oppression? where, alas;

Is innocence secure? Rapine and spoil



                                                        NATURAL HISTORY.                                           1061


Haunt even the lowest deeps,—seas have their sharks;

Rivers and ponds inclose the ravenous pike,—

He in his turn becomes a prey; on him

The amphibious otter feasts."


The last one I know of having been taken in the county, was caught at Maidstone lake on the first of Jan. 1863. Some fishermen set their hooks in about 12 feet of water for longe, and when they took them up found an otter had swallowed their baits and was fast caught by the hooks. He of course made a valuable prize. Otters have sometimes been tamed so as to catch fish and bring them out to their owners; and when so domesticated have sold in England for almost fabulous prices.




The skunk is too well known to need any description, as it lives among us in reality —frequently selecting villages for its place of residence, and too often making itself promi­nent by its odor. They are destructive to eggs and young fowls, yet render important service in gardens by freeing them from bugs and insects that are even more troublesome than himself, but less disagreeable.




This little animal is quite common in this county. They live upon the banks of streams, and their food is frogs, small fishes, and fish spawns;—since their fur has become so valuable they have been sought after by almost every one, yet it has become so wary of the hunter that they do not render it extinct. It is so active in water that it will dive at the flash of a gun, which renders it almost im­possible to shoot it in the water. It is easily tamed and fond of caresses, yet, like a cat, its good nature is not always to be depended upon. A good mink skin is now worth from four to five and one half dollars.




This animal is fast decreasing in numbers, yet some are still annually taken. Its food is the young of birds and mice and sometimes even hares and partridges. It will ascend trees in search of birds' nests or to escape when pursued It is a quick-motioned sprightly animal, not easily tamed, but capable of some docility.



you hardly see him before he is gone. They feed on young rats and mice, also eat eggs and sometimes kill fowls. They are easily tamed, full of fun and frolic, and anxious to examine everything that is new to them.

The weasel is brown or black in summer, and white in winter; he is a spry fellow, and




This small creature—flying into houses by night, and a constant accompaniment of all pleasant summer evenings out doors—seldom seen by day, lies torpid through the winter suspended by one foot from some cavern or a cleft of rock, and seems to hold in its hab­its a stillness and ancient superstition which we can hardly divest ourselves of. In past ages they have seldom been mentioned un­less in connection with some magic spell. In Macbeth the witches put in their boiling cauldron—


"Fillet of a fenny snake,

In the cauldron boil and bake,

Egg of newt and toe of frog,

Wool of bat and tongue of dog."


But it is for us to divest them of all super­stition and believe them what they are—a winged mouse, in appearance at least. Their structure is peculiar,—their teeth are like those of a dog; their wings are so peculiar in shape and texture that they must be ex­amined to be understood; and no one ever examines one without having a vivid im­pression of their appearance through life.




We here step upon a curiosity so small as to be almost spurned, yet so busy as to show themselves much in advance of their size. Their habits are partially unknown. The common mole constructs long and intricate galleries in the ground through which it trav­erses in search of food, and is seldom seen on the surface. Of all this family the star-nosed mole is the most peculiar. Its habits are supposed to be similar to the other, yet not so much is known of them. They are usual­ly found upon meadow-land around old logs or fences and old houses. Their color is a little darker than the other kinds, and their fur is of the finest quality. Their nose is long and tapering, being ended by a wheel-shaped protuberance which has twenty points. The use of this appendage is un­known, but it is supposed to aid in some way its passage through the soil. They are sel­dom seen, as they venture forth only in the night.



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This peculiar animal, varying in color from from a beautiful white in winter to its summer dress of reddish brown, is here very numerous in low swampy lands and second growth skirting-clearings, and was formerly so throughout the state. But as the country becomes more thickly settled, its numerous enemies, increased by men and dogs, prey to such an extent upon them that they fast diminish They are destroyed in great num­bers by eagles, hawks and owls, as well as by all the carnivorous beasts of the forest. When pursued by dogs, at first they seem to pay no great attention to it as they are so fleet as to easily keep out of their way; but after becoming wearied and doubling many times upon their tracks they will crawl into some hole in a stone wall or hollow log where they frequently become an easy prey. There are two species however, one being much more liable to take the apparent advantage of a hiding place than the other; though in many respects they are much alike. Their young are the most timid and defenceless of all quadrupeds; being at an early age com­pelled to take care of themselves, they are frequently met with in fields so young as to be easily caught. In fine, their principal defense is the mercy of their enemies. They subsist upon clover and succulent herbs in summer, and upon bark and buds in the winter. When pursued they will frequently leap 20 feet at a time, thus confusing the dog that is unused to them, and showing their great agility. They, although now quite plenty, are on the decrease.




This sprightly denizen of the forest is full of fun and frolic, and almost as quick in motion as a bird. They possess an agility in leaping and climbing which excels all other animals Although the different kinds are similar in their food and many of their habits, yet their disposition widely differs. The gray squirrel, though the largest, is possessed of more timidity than others; they delight in the highest trees, and it is rather difficult to get a fair shot at them with a gun, as they are always on the opposite side. The red squirrel is the next in size, and possesses a great amount of daring, which we might call spunk. I have taken many of them and kept them alive for the Zoological Gardens of J. A. Cutting, of Boston, and have therefore had a chance to study their character. There is a great variety of disposition among them, some being very pleasant and almost tame from the first, and others being the most revengeful and quarrelsome possible. At one time I put 12 in a cage together, and the next morning there was but one alive—they having fought until the most wily and revengeful had won the day. I found it would seldom do to put more than two together, and then they would often fight. They fought very much like dogs, and gen­erally killed each other by a bite in the throat.

The striped squirrel or chipmunk, as he is generally called, is more often seen, and exists in greater numbers than all others. He is timid, spry, and will often dodge a stone or stick when one really believes it quite impossible. They burrow in the ground, and when they dig their burrows they carry off the dirt in their cheek-pouches, dropping it some distance from the hole—never allow­ing any in their immediate vicinity. These burrows are often intricate, and frequently connect with each other, and almost always have two or more openings. They lay up their store of nuts and seeds, and, retiring to their burrows in winter, are seldom seen from the 15th of November to the 1st of April.

The flying squirrel is frequently met with, yet is much more seldom seen than any other species. As its habits are nocturnal, it seldom leaves its nest in the day-time. Though called a flying squirrel, in reality it cannot fly, but has the power of spreading its body out in such a manner, as it were, to form a parachute, which enables them to sail along, having to gain their impulse from a leap. They will ascend high on one tree and then leaping from that will sail towards another tree at a considerable distance, which they will reach before striking the ground, although they generally alight low on the trunk—this they ascend and perform the like feat again, usually being able to escape pursuit. I have frequently kept them in cages, and they soon become very tame—are mild in disposition, easily reared, yet timid with strangers. As they are approached, if afraid they will roll their tails over their faces, and seem to think they are hid from view. They are not so wild by nature and are more easily tamed than the other species. When tame they are



                                                        NATURAL HISTORY.                                           1063


very docile, and although not fond of being handled are willing to have their backs stroked carefully, and seem to enjoy being noticed. They sleep during the day; but when night comes they begin their frolics, which only end with daylight, I raised at one time four young, and found them very playful—turning somersaults by the half hour at a time so fast as to look like a wheel. They are not quarrelsome, but generally very kind and docile. They, like the gray and red squirrel, live in hollow trees, while the striped burrow in the ground.




The muskrat, so called from their strong musky odor, are very plenty on our streams, sometimes doing serious injury to mill-dams. Like the beaver they are excellent swimmers, and build dwellings of mud; but they lay up no food for winter—living upon roots and grasses that grow on the edge of the stream.




This, which is the common rat in and about our buildings, was an original native of India, from whence it was brought to Europe, and from Norway it passed in lumber ships to England, and from thence to the United States at the commencement of the revolu­tion, and gradually extended itself over the continent.




The common mouse of the country, like the rat, did not exist here at the first settlement of the county, but was brought from Europe in vessels of merchandise. They are beautiful little creatures, yet regarded by every one with disgust. The jumping mouse may be met with in almost every grain field; they are very active, sometimes clearing five or six feet at a jump. In structure it resembles the kangaroo. They lie dormant during the winter, and are seldom out in the spring before the 1st of July.

The meadow-mouse is the common remise of the fields, and lives in the winter on grass­roots, and is many times very destructive to the coming grass crop. They are not so active as the other kinds, neither are they so well proportioned in shape. They are occasionally nearly all destroyed by a cold, icy winter; and are never very troublesome, unless we have three or four mild winters in succession, with a great depth of snow and the ground not much frozen.




This animal is well known in all parts of the state, and in dry and sandy localities is often very plenty; and, from its great love of clover, beans, &c., is an annoyance to farmers —sometimes to full half the value of their bean and clover crop. Their holes are usually under a stump, log or stone, and frequently are extensive and contain six or eight members in a family. They are easily trapped, but it is difficult to fully overcome their depredations. During the winter they stop up their hole to exclude the cold air and remain like a bear in a sleeping or dormant state. They are easily domesticated, and as such are cleanly, playful and fond of atten­tions from those with whom they are ac­quainted, but wary of strangers.




This intelligent animal is nearly extinct, yet the last one heard of was taken in Essex Co. a few years since. Their work is on all our streams, and so extensive that it shows they were once very numerous. Many of their dams still exist, showing their excelleni. construction. Their location is always the best possible. In some sections the remains of their habitations are still visible.




This peculiar creature is still quite plenty in this county. They are solitary and slug­gish. Their principal defense being in the sharp spines or quills which grow among their hair in all parts of their body, but much more plentiful on their back. When attacked they will put their head between their legs and, rolled up in a ball, are a formidable foe to a dog or fox, and it requires heavy blows to dispatch them. They are easily tamed, and though not an agreeable pet, love to be petted. Some suppose they have the power to throw their quills, but such is not the case. They bristle them up, and when the points enter the lips of a dog or any other substance they are more easily disengaged from the hedgehog than from that substance, owing to the point being barbed with little indentures—all tending to prevent its extraction. Their food is entirely vege­table.






Birds of this order have powerful claws and hooked bills. They pursue and destroy small quadrupeds and all other birds. Some



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in the following list are not very plenty, yet all are seen in this county: Bald eagle, golden eagle, fish hawk, large-footed hawk, broad-winged hawk, slate-colored hawk, gos­hawk, marsh hawk, coopers hawk, red-tailed hawk, pigeon hawk, screech owl, hawk owl, snowy owl, great-horned owl, short-eared owl, cinereous owl, barred owl, saw-whet, barn owl.




In this class their food is mostly insects and carrion, yet they will many of them eat grain and fruits when hard pressed by hunger. They have generally a robust, medium-sized bill—sharp on the edges—upper mandible more or less convex, and notched at the point; feet with four toes—three before and one behind; wings of medium length, quill feathers terminating in a point. They live, for the most part, in companies or flocks, and are monogamous. The greater part of them build their nests on trees, but some of the species build upon the ground or upon rocks. Some of the following list are seldom seen, yet sometimes visit our county. Many of them are very numerous: Meadow lark, Baltimore oriole, red-winged blackbird, cow blackbird, bob-o-link, crow blackbird, rusty blackbird, common crow, raven, blue jay, Canada jay, chickadee, Hudson Bay titmouse, cedar bird.




This class lives on insects alone in the sum­mer, and on berries mostly in the winter. The bill is either short or of moderate length. It is straight, rounded or awl-shaped. The upper mandible is curved and notched towards the point, most commonly having at the base some stiff hairs directed forward. The feet have three toes before and one behind, all on the same level. The outer toe is partially united to the middle one. Their voices are generally melodious, yet some make but few sounds. They may be enumerated as fol­lows: Butcher bird, kingbird, phoebee, wood pewee, summer warbler, spotted warbler, Nashville warbler, black-throated green war­bler, small pewee, spotted flycatcher, yel­low-throated vireo, white-eyed vireo, red- eyed vireo, solitary vireo, brown thrush, cat bird, robin, Wilson's thrush, New York thrush, golden-crowned thrush, hermit thrush, yellow-crowned warbler, yellow-red poll war­bler, pine-creeping warbler, cerulean warbler, blackburn warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, black-throated warbler, Maryland yellow- throat warbler, worm-eating warbler, black and white creeper, ruby-crowned wren, fiery-crowned wren, house wren, winter wren, wood wren, blue-bird, brown lark.




The birds in this order live on seeds; have a strong, short, thick, and more or less conic bill which extends back upon the front part of the head. The ridge upon the upper inaudible is usually somewhat flattened, and both portions of the bill are usually without the notches before described. The feet have three toes before and one behind. The birds spend the summer in pairs, but in autumn they assemble in large flocks and migrate southerly. The names are: Snow bunting, bay-winged bunting, Savannah bunting, song sparrow, snow-bird, pine linnet, ferruginous finch, white-throat finch, white-crown finch, arctic ground finch, tree sparrow, chipping sparrow, field sparrow, swamp sparrow, gold­finch, towhe ground finch, purple linnet, pine crossbeak, common croosbill, white-winged croosbill.




This order, called " Zygodactyli," or yoked-toed, have always two toes in front and two behind, yet one of the back toes is many times reversible. The form of the bill is various, but in general more or less arched and hooked. Their named are as follows: Yellow-bill cuckoo, black-bill cuckoo, gold-wing woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, downy woodpecker, arctic three-toed woodpecker.




This class of birds have a long, slender, somewhat arched and awl-shaped bill —gener­ally wedge-shaped at the end. The feet have four toes—three before and one behind; the back toe always longer than the front ones; the nails are long and curved, and for that reason they can run on the side of trees, and act somewhat like woodpeckers, and from their resemblance are sometimes called so. There is another peculiarity about them: when caught they feign death (especially the humming bird) until a chance for their escape presents, when they are up and gone. The following are their names, though some are rare: White-breast nuthatch, brown creeper,



                                                           COUNTY ITEMS.                                              1065


red-bellied nuthatch, ruby-throat humming bird.




We have but one bird of this order, and that is the belted kingfisher. He has a sharp- pointed bill, short legs and small feet. The female and male are nearly the same in color, being black above and white beneath. They build their nests like bank-swallows.




The birds belonging to this tribe have short bills, curved downwards slightly; long legs; three toes before and one behind, which is often reversible; nails hooked and wings long. They feed on insects which they catch on the wing. They all migrate to warmer countries during the winter, and never bury themselves, as some suppose, in the mud. What gave rise to that foolish idea I am at a loss to determine. Their names are as fol­lows: Purple martin, barn swallow, cliff swal­low, white-bellied swallow, bank swallow, chimney swallow, whip-poor-will, night-hawk.




Of the pigeon tribe we have but one vari­ety, and that is the passenger pigeon. Some years this bird is very plenty, and then again few will be seen. They generally keep in flocks, yet sometimes a few will seem to make a locality their home and raise their young in seclusion. They are fast diminishing in numbers.




This class of birds contribute more to man than any other. They have a short, convex bill, and the female is always less brilliant in plumage than the male. Their feet and legs are stout, and their wings small in proportion to their bodies. To this class our domestic fowls belong. Their names are: Quail, par­tridge, spruce partridge.




In this order the bill varies in form, but is usually long and frequently straight. The legs are long and generally destitute of feathers for quite a distance above the knees. Their toes are long and slender, and they are more or less nocturnal in their habits. They live along the shores of lakes, ponds and rivers, and feed upon fish , reptiles and insects. They may be enumerated as follows; Plover, crane, great blue heron, green heron, common snipe, coot, night-heron, solitary tattler, spotted tattler, woodcock.




This order consists wholly of water-birds. The toes of this species are more or less con­nected by a web, and they are seldom seen at a great distance from the water unless upon the wing. Their names are as follows: Gull, Canadian goose, wood duck, mallard, dusky duck, blue-winged teal, loon,




Of this class of animal existence Essex County cannot boast. We have a usual sup­ply of frogs and two or three kinds of harm­less serpents, but they are few in number and small in size. These animals have cold red blood, with a dry skin, either naked or covered with scales, and in many species periodically renewed. The temperature of the body is usually the same as the medium in which they move, but they become torpid, and apparently without life, when the temper­ature is below freezing. We have one of the tortoise tribe, generally known as the painted tortoise, but they are not very abundant.




Fishes we have in abundance, yet we have not so large a variety as in some sections. The pickerel, longe, perch and brook trout are the most numerous, and, although some­what decreasing in numbers, may yet be considered quite plenteous. We have almost all the varieties usual in the state, yet some are rare and seldom seen.







MISS HEMENWAY:—In accordance with your request and my promise, I have scribbled off the foregoing his­torical sketch of Major Whitcomb. It is substantially as he related it to me in watching with him in his last sickness, and may be relied upon as strictly true. I have not been able to learn his first name. If yon deem it of great importance. I think Cummings Whit­comb, a relative of his, residing at Island Pond, Vt. could furnish you his name, &c. You of course will make use of just so much or little of it as you please.

Respectfully yours,

                                                          DAVID GOODALL.

St. Johnsbury East, Feb. 11, 1863.


Major Whitcomb was the most prominent pioneer trapper and hunter of Essex county, often spending months at a time in the wil­derness, subsisting upon game, and falling in frequently with Indians and camping and hunting with them, always taking pains to conciliate them and secure their friendship. At one time he found an Indian in early winter alone, nearly starved, his gun-lock



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having broken, and took him to his camp and fed him and kept him there three weeks, and trapped with him and divided furs, and gave him food to last him home.

Whitcomb served under Putnam in the old French war, was in several fights, and taken prisoner by the Indians and carried to Quebec. He often wrestled, ran and shot at a mark with the Indians; but always managed to let them beat him, as it would have given great offence to beat them. After Ticonderoga was taken by Allen, Whitcomb hastened there and served as a scout. The commander of the fort received a circular from Gen. Wash­ington, saying that he wished to retaliate upon the British officers for the wanton butch­eries and massacres of women and children by the British Indians; and, to accomplish it, offered any American soldier who would go into Canada and waylay and shoot a British general, a major's commission and pay in the American army, and a captain's commission for a colonel, &c., &c. Whitcomb and two others volunteered to go and try. One man deserted before reaching the line. Whitcomb and his companion pursued their way to near Three Rivers, and ascertained that a brigade of British soldiers and some Indians were about to move towards the line in a few days, and the route they would go. Whitcomb selected a place of ambush, and made all ready. The night before the British were to move Whitcomb's companion, alarmed by their dangerous position, deserted and went over to the enemy and informed them of Whitcomb's plans and intentions Whitcomb was greatly annoyed and vexed, but had no thought of losing his major's com­mission. He moved nearer to the British camp, fixing upon a new place for his ambus­cade where a small river made a turn and came near the road—a deep, narrow ravine running back from the river some distance. His position was at the root of a large tree blown down, the top reaching into the ravine, and the root affording cover and port-holes to fire through. This was about 15 rods from the road on the right side, and the river on the left side, and commanded a good view of the road in the direction the enemy would come. The ground to the river was covered with a thick growth of small trees, and briers and alders in the ravine. About 2 o'clock P. M. the British column came in sight and slowly passed. Several mounted officers passed, but none whom grade seemed high enough. Then came in sight an officer mounted upon a splendid white steed, richly dressed, with a broad red silk sash around his waist, and a long white plume in his hat, with several staff officers near by and Indian scouts in the road, Whitcomb thought he would do, and when he came within 50 rods took deliberate aim and fired. He saw the officer throw his hands up and reel back, and quickly hid tinder the root. The Indians in the road near by saw the smoke of his gun and dashed into the woods after him, and sup­posing he would run back did not stop to look for him there, but hurried on and crossed the log within 20 feet of him. As soon as they had passed, Whitcomb crawled rapidly along side of the log into the ravine, and down that under the bridge into the river and up it in the water under the thick alders, accasionally coming upon the land for a rod or two, and crossing over and back. He had got about half a mile when he heard the blood hounds boo on his track; but all his arrangements had been made to baffle and elude them, and he succeeded in delaying them so much that he gained upon them until dark, when he took a smaller stream, running out of his direct route, and waded in that a mile, then left it and traveled all night and the next day without stopping, keeping in the woods.

The officer shot was General Gordon, and he died in half an hour. At the time Whit­comb shot him all his provision consisted of about half a pint of parched corn, and that was all the food he had for four days. On the fifth day he crossed the line into Vermont, nearly starved and his shoes entirely worn out. In all this time he had not kindled a fire or dared to shoot game, lest the smoke and report of his gun should indicate his whereabouts to the pursuing Indians; but necessity, which knows no law, compelled him to act. He did not dare go to any house, fearing tories; but finding a yoke of oxen feeding in a pasture, he shot one through the head and quickly cut out as much steak as he needed, and skin enough for a pair of moccasins and run into a deep swamp, kindled a fire, half roasted some steak and eat it upon the run, again fearing the smoke would betray him. The next morning he had gone about a mile only when he came upon an Indian camp, where several had



                                                           COUNTY ITEMS.                                              1067


stopped over night, the fire not being out. He turned and traveled east half a day and then turned south and hurried on until he arrived at Royalton, Vt., where he went into a house and asked for food and rest.

The British had offered a thousand crowns for his head, and two thousand crowns for him delivered at any British post alive, and the Indians pursued and hunted for him along the lake to the very walls of Ticonderoga. After some little time had elapsed, Whitcomb joined a small frontier guard stationed at Lancaster, N. H., in a block-house; feeling secure, he occasionally went out hunting. One day, when out alone, he was suddenly seized from behind, disarmed and bound by five Indians, and hurried off into Canada and down the St. Francis river. Night came on dark; when within 20 miles of a Britsh post, at the mouth of the river, where the Indians were to give him up and take the reward, they camped upon an island. Whit­comb's feet and hands were securely tied to a stake and otherwise bound, and in addition he was bound to two Indians, one sleeping each side close to him; escape seemed impos­sible. Whitcomb recognised in one of his captors the Indian whom he had years before found alone nearly famished and fed and sup­plied with food, and had by look and gesture tried to make the Indian know him, but entirely failed to gain any sign of recognition. Death seemed inevitable and hope departed, but yet he slept. About 2 o'clock A. M., Whitcomb was awakened by gentle taps on the mouth to indicate silence, and then the fingers passed to his eyes and found them open. His bonds were all carefully cut. He was directed, by motion of the hand, to arise and follow, which he cautiously did to the river. The Indian whom he had formerly aided when starving, turned to him and handed him his gun, powder horn, ball-pouch, knife and a bag of parched corn, reminding Whitcomb of his former kindness to him, said, "I now pay you—go, go." Whitcomb slipped into a canoe and cast it off and pushed out into the river. The Indian gave him the farewell salute, by motion, and turned back to the camp. Whitcomb quickly pushed hack to the shore and cut a hole in the bot­tom of each remaining canoe and pushed them off into the stream, resumed his own canoe and crossed immediately to the shore, then cut a hole in his canoe and pushed it off and ran for life. About 4 o'clock he heard the Indians' distant whoop of alarm, and soon after the whoop of disappointment and anger when they found all their canoes gone. Whitcomb pushed on with all his energy, day and night, until safe—not stopping until he reached Massachusetts, the home of early childhood, where he remained during the war. In due time he received his major's commission and pay, and in his old age received a major's pension. His good friend, the Indian, he never saw or heard of after their night parting on the island.








This is the most north-easterly town in Essex county, and in Vermont. Its latitude is 41° 57´, and longitude 5° 22´, and it con­tains over 29 square miles, or about 18,700 acres. It is bounded north by Hereford in Canada, east by Connecticut river and south­west by Lemington and Averill. It lies oppo­site Stewartstown, N. H. It has two post offices, Canaan and South Canaan. It was chartered by Vermont to John Wheeler and others, Feb. 25, 1782, but had previously been granted to Jonathan and Arad Hunt and William Williams. The town of Norfolk, which was chartered to Beaaleel Woodward Feb. 27, 1782, has been annexed to Canaan, both being small townships leave Canaan still smaller than most towns in the state, as above shown. It was first settled by Silas Sargent, John Hugh and Hubbard Spencer, who moved their families into Canaan in 1785. As a frontier town it was subject to considerable disturbance in the war of 1812 with Great Britain. It was in this town that one Beach was shot by John Dennett, an officer of customs. And much feeling was shown in the different broils attendant on the collection of revenue, and the prevention of contraband articles of war being smug­gled to the enemy. (See County Chapter.) The religious denominations are Congrega­tionalists, Baptists and Methodists. This town is watered by Leech's stream, Willard's brook, &c., which afford good mill privileges. The former is about two rods wide at its junction with the Connecticut, and flows from Leed's pond, which is partly in Canada. There are some fine meadows on the Con­necticut, and much good land in other por­tions of the town. Its population in 1860



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was 408. The first justice was Elias Gates, chosen in 1798.

The most remarkable fact however about this town is, that no one in town can be induced to write its history—which accounts for this short sketch.

[We visited the town at the same time that we visited the other towns in the county generally, and engaged writers for the re­spective towns. At this time we engaged George W. Hartshorn, of the same town, to write the history. He made no objection, but consented apparently with pleasure. We have repeatedly notified him when we would want the paper, which, without any given reason or excuse, he has failed to send in to us up to this date—April, 1867—and, for this reason, we have referred Canaan to the end of the county.—Ed.]






                                                          Date of

Names.                               Age.      Enlistment.               Co.    Regt.   Remarks.

Beach, Mortimer                                                                Unaccounted for.

Colby, Thomas              23      Dec, 10, 1862.       F       3     Dropped Jan. 26, 1863.

Farron, Thomas             18      Aug. 10, 1861.       E       3     Discharged Sept. 30, 1862.

Gamsby, George W.       22      July 3, '61.            H       3     Musician; discharged Dec. 28, 1862.

Harriman, William W.     27      Aug. 15, '62.          D       3     Trans. to Invalid Corps Sept. 1, 1863.

Kemp, Stephen L.          27      Aug. 15, '62.          E       3     Died June 4, 1864.

Lemphere, Edward        25      Nov. 10, '61.            do.          Died May 20, 1864.

Laughton, James           41      Dec. 10, '61.            do.          Dropped Jan. 20, 1863.

Laughton, Lewis            24      Jan. 7, '62.              do.          Discharged Feb. 16, 1863.

Pierce, Abel                  25      Aug. 22, '62.           do.          Died Dec. 23, 1864.

Robinson, John             22      Feb. 16, '65.                  17    Mustered out June 28, 1865.

Rosseau, Joseph           26      Sept. 1, '62.           E       3     Not accounted for.

Stuart, William C.          20      July 5, '61.              do.          Mustered out July 27, 1864.

Weeks, John                 22      June 1, '61.             do.          Killed at Wilderness, May 5, 1864.

Willard, Lucius H.         19      Feb. 16, '65.                  17    Mustered out June 28, 1865.





Baker, Francis              20      Dec. 7, '63.            I       3     Died June 7, 1864, of wounds received

                                                                                           in action.

Barrett, C. W.               19      Dec. 8, '63.             do.          Mustered out June 24, 1865.

Cable, Samuel               18      Dec. 12, '63.            do.          Mustered out July 11, 1865.

Ingalls, Nathaniel G.       34      Dec, 10, '63,          H    Cav.   Not accounted for.

Lathrop, Allison             18      Dec. 14, '63.          G       3     Transferred to Co. I July 5, 1865;

                                                                                       transferred to Co. G July 20, 1864;

                                                                                       discharged Sept. 13, 1864.

Danforth, Eugene M.                                         Cav'y.         Volunteer for one year.

Gamsby, James M.        31      Nov. 21, '61.          B       3     Re-enlisted Dec. 21, 1863; transferred

                                                                                           from Co. B to Co. E.

Chamberlain, Ruel                                             Cav'y.

Clark, George W.           37      Oct. 1, 1864.          F       7     Mustered out July 14, 1865.




Alexander, William,        18      Sept. 15, '62.         E      15    Died Dec. 17, 1862.

Baker, Warren H.          22           do.                    do.          Mustered out Aug. 5, 1863.

Barnet, William W.         42           do.                    do.          Sergeant; mustered out Aug. 5, 1863.

Bishop, Hersey M.         18           do.                    do.          Died Jan. 29, 1863.

Cranmore, Joseph E.     44           do.                    do.          Mustered out Aug. 5, 1863,

Dillon, William               34           do.                    do.               do.

Lamphere, Albion          18           do.                    do.               do.

Owen, Hiram T.             27           do.                    do,               do.

Rowell, Ransom             29           do.                    do.          Discharged April 8, 1863.

Young, Winthrop           44           do.                    do.          Mustered out Aug. 5, 1863.


DRAFTED AND PAID $300,00 COMMUTATION.—F. S. Brown, Thomas Colby, John Gould, Reuben H. Gould, Albert Luther.




                                                           COUNTY ITEMS.                                              1069






There were but very few settlements here during Revolutionary times, but there have been several residents of the town who were RevolutIonary pensioners; and others who would have been, had they lived until the time when pensions were granted. During the war of 1812, Seth Cushman was an offi­cer, and stationed on the frontier of Canada, and three men were drafted from Guildhall, viz: Henry Cheney, —— Phelps and John Dodge. Mr. D. procured a substitute, in the person of a Mr. Frazier.

Of the best and most active militia officers, resident in Guildhall, were Adjutant, afterward Brigadier Gen., Seth Cushman; Capt.—subse­quently Colonel—Henry Hall; Capt.—then Major—Caleb Amy; and Capt. William Amy.

In 1844 when the Militia of the State were disbanded, Milton Cutler was Capt. of the Guildhall company, and B. B. Waid 1st Lieut. There were no enlistments from this town for the Mexican War.

The following is a list of those who have enlisted in the army of the Union to put down the Rebellion of 186: James M. Cut­ler, Aaron R. Wheeler, Joseph W. Sanderson, Geo. D. Bates, Chas. Stone, Chas. W. Bart­lett, J. Benway, Timothy Grannis, Chas. Bea­ton, Geo. A. Ford, Nelson Palmer, Henry Sanderson, Edward Grannis, Chas. W. Joy, Abner Bailey, John Cook, Simon Stone, Geo. Gage, James R. Simmes, William Drew, James E. Webb, Wilbur F. Ball, Joseph T. Bemis, Samuel Hannox, Benjamin F Hicks. John Beaton, and Ashbel C. Meacham, Sept. 1862.





Wesley P. Carrol;* Hollis Coe, deserter; Eli R. Horeford,* shot; A. W. Hudson; J. M. Hudson,* died at Andersonville; L. N. Hudson;* S. S. Hudson; Henry McMiller; Robert Murray; Wm. Murray; N. S. Powers; Alanson White;* Elam White, shot; Wm. Dawland; Charles E. Morgan, deserted; John L. Horsford, lost a leg; Lewis B. Cook, shot.




Charles Canfield, Wm. A. Eggleston, Chas. Moultraup, Geo. W. Humphrey, Eli R. Hors­ford.




William M. Smith.




O. T. Walter.


Re-enlisted are marked thus *. There was not any bounty paid to a man from East Haven. We furnished ten men for other towns. Respectfully yours, L. C. HUDSON.







Lient. Geo. O. Ford re-enlisted Jan. 4, 1864, at New Orleans; received a Captain's com­mission the same month—was furloughed and came to Vermont during the winter; returned to his regiment, and in July, 1864, was trans­ferred to the Department of Virginia; par­ticipated in defensive and offensive opera­tions about Washington in the Shenandoah Valley, &c.; was in the battle of Winchester, Sept. 19, '64,—Fisher's Hill, Sept. 22—Cedar Creek, Oct. 19; was shot through both legs in the early part of the fight, retreated with his regiment rather than be prisoner a second time; was furloughed, and during the winter of 1864 and '65 was honorably discharged.

Ethan P. Shores re-enlisted Jan. 4, '64; was furloughed and came to Vermont with Capt. Ford; was transferred with his regiment to Virginia; promoted to Sergeant September, 1864; was in all the marches and battles of his regiment, including Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek; was in the thickest of the fight at Cedar Creek, twice rescued the company colors when the color-bearers were shot down, and bore the colors during the afternoon, bringing them off the field of carnage unhurt; discharged with his com­pany, June 28, '65.

Paschal P. Shores re-enlisted with his broth­er Ethan; came to Vermont with him; was not uniformly healthy; was always prompt to obey orders, whether to march or fight, when able. On the morning of Oct. 19, 1864, when the rebels surprised and drove Gen. Wright's army, he was shot through the left lung; after the rebels were driven back he was found on the battle-field, about nine in the evening, but lived only two or three hours.

Joseph W. Gleason enlisted Nov. 30, 1863, Battery B, 11th Vt.; health soon failed him was in the hospital and furloughed most of the time until his discharge for permanent disability, May 29, 1865. Has not regained his health.



1070                                   VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.


Benjamin C. Gleason, Nov. 27, 1863, Bat­tery B, 11th regiment; always ready for any service; was a soldier of all work; was discharged Aug. 29, 1865, unharmed, except the "shakes."

Henry O. Matthews enlisted for one year Aug. 23, 1864, Co. A, 11th regiment; fought with company through thick and thin; helped pursue Lee's retreating army; came out of the service mind and well; discharged about July 7, 1865.

Wm. H. Griffin enlisted Sept. 1, 1864, for one year, Co. A, 11th Vt; did not reach his company, for want of transportation, until about the 1st of October; was wounded at the battle of Cedar Creek in left arm and right side; arm taken off between elbow and wrist; was in the hospital at Winchester, W. Va., Baltimore, Md., and Montpelier, Vt., most of the fall and winter; discharged disabled for life.

Edmond Hix enlisted Jan. 1, 1864, in 2d Vt. Battery; was at Port Hudson, La., dur­ing the remaining part of the war; entered the service strong and healthy; was discharged with the Battery, Aug. 1865, sick and emaciated; lingered along with fever, chills and resultant diseases, and died April 25, 1866.

Of those who went into the U. S. service on Granby's quota were B. McDaniel, Geo. O. (1st and 2d enlistment) and Alonzo L. Ford, George W., Ethan P. and Paschal P. Shores, Otis E. Griffin, Solon D. Buzzell, R. I.. Boyce (1st enlistment), John W. Boyce, H. C. Matthews (town bounty of $600), Perrie Plackett colored cook for Co. K, 8th Vt., and David R. Bruce (of Burke, enlisted under the rule of first in diligence first in right) for $350.00 bounty—a surplus of one over all calls. Matthews and Bruce only had town bounties from Granby. J. W. and B. C, Gleason, E. P. and P. P. Shores (2d enlistment) for St. Johnsbury; R. T. Boyce (3d enlist­ment) and J. W. Buzzell (9 months) for Lyndon; J. M. Boyce, Barre; Wm. H. Griffin, Concord, and E. Hix for Pawlett. Granby had neither runaways or deserters— all "true blue."




Page 628, column 1, line 37—for prompted, read promoted.

        659     "       2    "  15    " isle La Mothe, read Isle La Mott.

        660     "       1    "  17    " a yacht or sail-vessel, read he found a yacht.

        681     "       1    "  43    " and them took its place, read another took its place.

        682     "       2    "  35    " until 1821, read in 1821.

        684     "       2    "  49    " New York Canal Line, read New York Canada Line.

        688     "       2    "  17    " by giving to them, read by receiving from them.

        692     "       1    "  42    " to sink the engine, read to use the engine.

        693     "       1    "  53    " 1849, read 1859.

        696     "       2    "  47    " to arrest, read to await.

        699     "       1    "  21    insert President after elected.

        701     "       1    "  48    for L. W. Tupper, read L. H. Tupper.

        703     "       2    "  6      " Lucuzthm, read Lumsden.

        703     "       2    "  7      " Glascow, read Glasgow.

        806     "       1    "  33    " unbounded, read undoubted.

        807     "       2    "  26    " 86, read 90.

        1015    "       1    "  7      insert the following names: Edgar Stoddard, Harvey Chamberlin, Addison Harris, H. M. Harvey, Toussaint Brunell, Wm. Willey, Irving Davis.


NOTE.—We have moreover on file several historical papers of considerable information for the counties embraced in this volume, and others engaged which it is deemed expedient to reserve for a more general and complete Appendix for the entire work, among which we may mention a paper on the First Settler of Middlebury; Gen. Whitelaw, the first General Surveyor of the State, by Rev. Thomas Goodwillie; Antiquarian Relics, from Henry Stevens, of Barnet; Military Records, from the counties published before the late rebellion or its con­clusion; and Additional Biographies—especially of deceased historians and contributors— among which will appear Governor Fairbanks, Rev. Lyman Matthews, ——— ——— ————, etc., etc.—Ed.