178 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
One moment brief he lingered,
For the scene was strangely fair
'Neath the soft and dreamy radiance
Of the star-lit summer air.
"The soul must grieve at parting,"
Spake the visitant unseen,
"But the bowers of heaven are brighter,
In their fresh and fadeless green."
A gentle child was lisping
Its low-voiced evening prayer,
Nor dreamed that a viewless watcher
Stood smiling on him there.
But hushed were the tones of music,
And drooped the bright young head,
As up to the gates of heaven
Two bright-winged angels sped.
SOLDIERS RECORD FOR CRAFTSBURY.
BY GEORGE F. SPRAGUE.
The Adjutant-General credited this town with 6 men as our share, whose enlistment papers did not embrace their residence. These 6 men counted upon our quota, but have nothing to do with our military history of men really furnished.
Whole number of men furnished by the town during the war, exclusive of the 6 men mentioned, and including 8 men who paid commutation, 128. Of these there were, 9 mo's men, 8; for 1 year, 21; for 3 years, 99—total, 128. Of these there were killed in action, 5; died of wounds, 6; of disease, 15; in Reb. prisons, 5; of accident, 1. Total loss by death (every fourth man)—32; desertion, 2; besides Taylor N. Flanders, reported as deserter. I am informed that he was from Canada; was promoted sergeant; went home on furlough; became insane; could not return—and was well spoken of by the soldiers, I hope he was not really a deserter, and have not put him down as such.
Of the 128 men furnished by and credited to the town, 16 were not citizens nor residents, and but one of them died.
The report embraces the names of 17 men who resided in, or were well known citizens previously, and enlisted for and were credited to other localities: of these — died of disease, 3; wounds, 1; in reb. prison, 1; killed in action, 1; making 6 of that class lost.
The town was credited with 11 re-enlistments; 8. of these were from this town—3 from other localities.
Recapitulation—whole number of men credited, 134; of these were not credited by name, 6; paid commutation, 8; re-enlisted, 8,— total, 22; individual men enlisted 112; died 32; an actual loss of precisely 2 in 7; left, 80; deserted, 3; leaving to be discharged, 77.
The 134 men was the exact number of men required or assessed to the town.
Again, of the 112 individual men furnished, 16 at least were from other localities, not having resided at all in town; which leaves 96 towns-men, and of those there died 31—a loss of almost every third man; and if to the 96 men we add the 17 credited to other localities, we have 113; add the loss—6, out of the 17—makes 37, being a little more than one in every three men.
The expenses of the town for the support of the war were as follows, viz. aggregate amount of bounties paid to volunteers by the town, $13,268.00; expenses enlisting recruits, $69.40; subsistence of recruits, $19.67; transportation of recruits, $17.20; for further expenses of same nature as above, $90.15; aggregate amount of expenses paid by town, $13,464.42,
In addition to the above the selectmen incurred additional expense in transporting recruits, amounting to $14.25, which the adjutant general of U. S. allowed and paid.
There was also raised by subscription in 1862, the sum of $161.50 and paid as bounties to 8 volunteers, for 9 mo's service, and the further sum of $875.00 was subscribed to aid in procuring recruits, of which sum I understood about $650.00 was collected and paid out. Which added to town bounties and recruiting expenses, makes an aggregate of $14,275.92.
The town bounties and expenses, excepting about $900.00, were raised between July, 1864, and March, 1865, on grand-lists of about $4,000.00—exact amount of grand-list, not remembered. Bounties were paid as follows;
8 men $625.00 each, $ 5,000.00
7 " 624.00 " 4,368.00
6 " 500.00 " 9,000.00
3 " 300.00 " 900.00
Total, $ 13,268.00
[The early history of this town promised almost two years since, not having, at this date (the compositor being now ready for the manuscripts), come to hand, we can only give here such papers, relating to this town, as have come in already from others than the general historian, and must defer the more complete chapter expected till the
Appendix for the County—or the department of county Papers and Items, that either come in too late for a first place in the respective towns, or are otherwise reserved for such summary.—Ed.]
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN DERBY.
BY HON. E. A. STEWART.
There was no public worship in town for several years after it was settled. About the year 1799, Timothy Hinman instituted public religious services in his own house. He kept a hotel on the site of the house now occupied by Z. W. Niles, and the meetings were held in his bar-room. He came to Derby from Connecticut, where the Sabbath was sacredly observed as a day of rest and worship; and though not a professor of religion himself, he was always careful of the morals of the town, and thus transferred into the then wilderness the observances to which he was accustomed in his earlier days. For several years—and it is thought till the church was organized—he used to read two sermons, generally, on each Sunday; and as the congregation increased, the services were held during the summer months in his barn, which stood on the opposite side of the road from his house. The singing was generally done by his wife, and a Mr. True, a Baptist deacon, used to lead in prayer, when present.
The Congregational church was organized August 9, 1807, in a log-house owned and occupied by Freeman Vining, and which stood on the farm now owned by Lawrence and Hollis Moran. They worshipped for several years in the barn now owned by Sumner Frost, and then in a school-house near the center of the town, until the first meetinghouse was built in 1820. The church was gathered and organized by Elijah Lyman, a missionary from Brookfield, in this State, and consisted of 16 members living in Derby, Morgan, Newport and Stanstead, P. Q., whose names are as follows: James Bangs and wife, Elisha Lyman and wife, James Greenleaf and wife, Freeman Vining, Luther Chapin, Eliezer Jones and wife, Christopher Bartlett, Nathan Wilcox, Sarah Benham, Phebe Hinman and Luther Newcomb and wife. Elisha Lyman was chosen its first deacon.
The church was not supplied with regular preaching till the summer of 1810, when the Luther Leland was ordained pastor, who held this relation till his death, Nov. 9, 1822. From 1822 to 1827 the pulpit was supplied with preaching the most of the time by Rev. Lyman Case of Coventry, and Rev. Samuel Marsh, of Danville, and by ministers of other denominations, it being a union meeting house, and the church having no regular pastor. During the 5 months that Mr. Marsh labored here, there was a revival of religion, and more than 50 persons were converted, of whom 47 united with this church. In the Fall of 1826, the Rev. Samuel C. Bradford commenced preaching here, and, June 21, 1827, was installed as pastor for the term of 3 years; but he was dismissed by council at the end of the second year. Though without regular preaching, the church shared in the great revival of 1831, and 57 persons united therewith. In October, 1832, the Rev. James Robertson, from the north of Scotland, became acting pastor, and continued till May, 1836. The Rev. E. B. Baxter, of Brownington, preached 3 or 4 months in 1837. The Rev. Stephen M. Wheelock was acting pastor from 1838 to 1840, and the Rev. Wm. Claggett from 1840 to 1843. From 1843 to 1848 there was no regular preaching. The Rev. C. W. Piper preached a few months in 1848—9, and Rev. Ebenezer Cutler during the summer of 1849. In the Fall of 1849, the Rev. Orpheus T. Lanphear was ordained pastor, and held the relation till the Spring of 1855, when he was dismissed. During his pastorate 55 persons were added to the church. The Rev. E. M. Kellogg supplied the pulpit a few months the first part of 1856. In August, 1856, the Rev. John Fraser became acting pastor, and continued till the summer of 1863.
In 1858 the church enjoyed a revival, and as the fruits thereof 45 persons united therewith—nearly doubling the membership. The Rev. B. M. Frink was acting pastor 2 years, commencing August, 1863, and the Rev. Jas. P. Stone 2 years, commencing in October, 1865. The first of April, 1868, the Rev. John Rogers, the pastor of the Congregational church, Stanstead, P. Q., was engaged to supply the pulpit every Sabbath in the forenoon, and he is at present (May, 1869,) the acting pastor.
John G. Chandler was clerk of the church from 1829 to 1842, and Orem Newcomb from 1844 to 1849. Nathan S. Benham was chosen deacon in 1839, and Daniel Kelley in 1857, and they are the present deacons.— William Verback was also deacon for many years.
A Congregational society was formed in
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1819, and it still keeps up its organization.—Nehemiah Colby was its clerk till 1828: D. M. Camp from 1828 to '38, and Orem Newcomb from 1838 to '51. In 1819—20 the first house of public worship in town was erected at a cost of $3300. It was a union meetinghouse—the Congregationalists, Baptists and other denominations uniting in its erection. There were 52 shares in the house, corresponding to the 52 weeks in the year, and each shareholder had the disposal of the house as many Sabbaths in the year as he owned shares. Father Sutherland preached the dedicatory sermon. This house stood a few rods south and west of the site of the present school-house in district No. 4. It was used as a house of public worship till 1849, when a more commodious house was erected by the congregational society, about a quarter of a mile south of the old site. Before the new house was dedicated, services appropriate to taking leave of the old church were held. Rev. Ebenezer Cutler preached the sermon, of which the following is an extract:
"Here the reverend Leland closed his ministerial life. * * * His ardent devotion, his pious mien, his uniform and manifest godliness, are still fresh in the remembrance of of many who once inquired at his lips as the oracle of God."
"Then followed the reverends Marsh and Bradford, who took hold of the hard doctrines of the bible, such as decrees, reprobation and election, and defended them with a Puritan partiality and zeal. Next came the sharp-cutting, practical Scotchman—that giant in the scriptures, Father Robertson.—Then followed Wheelock, Claggett, Piper and your pastor elect. And as I learn by those who have always been on the ground to judge, there is probably not a meeting-house in the State which has been graced by so great a proportion of able ministers as this. * * * Here, also, the Methodists have held their quarterly meetings, before they had a place of worship. Here, likewise, in the Baptist order, have ministered in holy things, Elders Starkweather, Gilford, Cheney and Ide.— Surely this house is a monument to that unanimity of feeling which should always adorn a union house of worship. Let it be a lasting and endeared monument to generations to come, of the Christian brotherhood of their ancestors."
The temperance question has been a disturbing element in this as in many other churches. An advanced position was taken by the church on this subject at a comparatively early day. In the fore part of 1831, Hon. D M. Camp, chairman of a committee appointed to consider a communication from the temperance society then existing in Derby, introduced the following resolution at a regular meeting of the church, to wit:
"Resolved, That in the opinion of this church the ordinary traffic in spiritous liquors and the use of them as a common beverage, are inconsistent with Christian duty, and contrary to the laws of God, and hereafter shall be punishable the same as other crimes of equal magnitude."
This resolution was adopted by a vote of 13 to 7. At a subsequent meeting, when a number of the friends of the resolution were absent, a motion was made to rescind the vote adopting the resolution, which was carried by a vote of 11 to 8. The record goes on to say, "From which decision brother D. M. Camp, in behalf of himself and such others of the minority as should see fit to unite with him, appealed, and moved that the church agree with them in the selection of a mutual council to whom the whole might be submitted for advice, and that a committee of three be appointed to act in behalf of the church, which was carried." A council was duly convened, which sustained the resolution. Among its members I find the names of Amariah Chandler of Hardwick, and A. L. Twilight of Brownington.
About 10 years later a similar resolution was introduced by Jacob Bates, and readily adopted.
In 1842, Mr. Camp also introduced, at church meeting, the following resolutions in regard to slavery, and they were unanimously adopted:
"Whereas the sin of holding our fellowmen in bondage, as exhibited in the Southern States, is now generally acknowledged and deplored by all well informed Christians, and also that the guilt of participation attaches to them so far as they fail to bear decided testimony against it:—and whereas, in conformity with the principle involved in the command, 'Thou shalt not suffer sin upon thy neighbor;' every Christian becomes to a certain extent the keeper of every brother Christian, and is bound, faithfully but kindly, to tell him of his faults; therefore,
Resolved, That professing Christians who hold their fellow-men in such bondage incur the guilt of violating the law of God—and however in some ages of the world this may have been winked at, all men in this country have now the means of full information, and though they may be ignorant, are entirely without excuse.
Resolved, That while we respect and love our brethren, Christian charity does not re‑
quire, nor Christian faithfulness permit to cover over or palliate their faults.
Resolved, That this church cannot hold in fellowship those who practice, excuse or tolerate the sin of slavery, nor justify them in coming to the table of the Lord—pretending to obey His commands: and if such profess to be ministers of the gospel we cannot admit them to our pulpit as Christian teachers. Resolved, That we hold it to be the duty of bodies of associated ministers and private Christians of all denominations in the free States and elsewhere, kindly, but faithfully, to admonish those of the slave States—clearly to point out their danger, and urge them to repentance."
Very nearly 400 persons have thus far been received into this church, and the present membership is about 80.
Rev. George Ingersoll Bard, now pastor of the Congregational church, Dunbarton, N. H., is a child of this church. He is a son of Simeon I. Bard, M. D.; and a native of Francis-town, N. H.; but his parents moved into Derby when he was a mere boy. George was early converted, and joined the church in 1850. After a long course of thorough study, and a graduation at the University of Vermont, and Andover Theological Seminary, he was ordained as a Christian minister, at Waterford in this State, where he remained pastor for several years. Though left without any means from his parents, his studious habits and persistent energy, with a small amount of aid from this church and other friends, enabled him to prosecute his studies with success, and to fit himself for great usefulness. He is a most thorough and proficient scholar, a talented and useful minister, and an earnest and devoted Christian.
In 1839, the Danville Baptist Association, composed of Baptist churches in Caledonia and Orleans counties, and a part of the eastern townships of Canada, feeling the need of an institution for the education, especially of young men for ministerial and other professional duties, chose a committee to locate such an institution under their care and direction.
This committee, after visiting Irasburgh, Barton, Greensboro, Hardwick and Walden, fixed upon Derby Centre as the most eligible location.
The late Benjamin Hinman and Lemuel Richmond, M. D., members of the Baptist society in Derby, gave, each, an acre of ground, and suitable buildings were erected, by the inhabitants, the following summer—Col. Chester Carpenter defraying nearly half the expense. At a meeting of the Association holden at Burke, June, 1840, the school was called the "Derby Literary and Theological Institute," and trustees appointed, viz.: J. M. Morrill, L. P. Parks, John Hawes, Rev. Lewis Fisher, Rev. Rufus Godding, Enoch Thomas, Rev. Silas Davidson, John Bellows, Rev. Jonathan Baldwin, Jonathan Lawrence, Rev. Aaron Angier, Luman Bronson, Rev. Silas Grow, Rev. Horace Hovey, Isaac Denison, Thomas Baldwin, E. L. Clark, Rev. S. B. Rider, Dustin Grow, Rev. Noah Nichols, Chester Carpenter, Hon. D. M. Camp, Lemuel Richmond, Orem Newcombe, David Blanchard, Israel Ide, M. Cushing, Rev. Edward Mitchell, Isaac Ives, Enos Alger, Rev. N. H. Downs, W. Rexford, Joel Dagget, Rev. A. H. House and Joseph Ide.
Executive committee: Col. Chester Carpenter, Rev. Noah Nichols and Dr. Lemuel Richmond.
The next September the school was opened. Heman Lincoln, A. B. of Boston, a graduate of Brown University, Providence; R. I., now D. D. and professor of church history, Newton Theol. Inst'n, principal, and Miss E. Appleton of New Hampton, (now the wife of John Ives, M. D., New York city,) preceptress. The school numbered 147, among whom were several who were fitting for college, and have since become efficient members of the pulpit, the bar and the medical department.
In the years 1841—42, Alvah Hovey, (now D. D.. and president of, and professor in Newton Theol. Ins.,) and Miss Sarah Ayer of New Hampton were principals. On the death of Miss Ayer, Miss Juliett Little, also of New Hampton, late wife of the Rev. N. Clark, succeeded as preceptress.
In 1843, Austin Norcross, A. B., of Brown University (now pastor of the Baptist church, Albany, Vt.) was engaged as principal, with Miss Ann A. Nichols of New Hampton, (afterwards Mrs. Austin Norcross,) preceptress, and remained in charge for the next 8 years, —students ranging from 100 to 150 per term.
During the first few years the Baptist Association, at its annual meetings and through its agents appointed for the purpose, viz. Revs. Jonathan Baldwin, N. H. Downs and Aaron Angier, contributed generously towards its support: but being unable under its title of Theo. Institution to procure a charter which would
182 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
entitle it to a share of the Grammar School funds, the trustees, in 1845, at a meeting holden in Derby decided to substitute the name of "Derby Academy."
In 1851, the services of Frederick Mott, A. B., of Brown University, (now an attorney in Iowa) and Miss Emma Dean of New Hampton, (since the late Mrs. F. Mott) were procured as principals who remained 3 years.
During this time the success of the school had more than equaled the expectations of its most sanguine friends. Perhaps no term passed without the hopeful conversion of several members of the school.
Among the many who prepared here to enter a collegiate course, several of whom entered one and two years in advance, and have since distinguished themselves in their several professions, honorable mention should be made of the following who became clergymen, viz. Marvin Hodge, D.D., Janesville, Wis.; Moses Bixby, missionary to Burmah; Charles S. Morse and Zenas Goss, deceased, missionaries to Turkey; W. W. Niles, Prof of Languages, Trinity College, Hartford, Ct.; J. C. Hyde, Philadelphia; Nathan Dennison, (deceased) Mendota, Ill.; Charles Willey, N. H.; Isaac Waldron, Horace Hovey, Lowell, Vt.; B. F. Morse, Thompson, Ct.; Clark E. Ferrin, Hinesburgh, and J. G. Lorimer, Derby; Leavett Bartlett, John Kimball.
Of those who have become lawyers: Hon. Benj. H. Steele, St. Johnsbury, Hugh Buchanan, Ga., Edgar Bullock, Montreal, P. Q., Alonzo Bartlett, (deceased) Kansas; Maj. Amasa Bartlett, (deceased) Irasburgh; Enoch Bartlett, (deceased) Coventry; Ossian Ray, Lancaster, N. H.; George and Charles Robinson, Ga.; L. H. Bisbee, Newport, Vt.; Jerry Dickerman, Derby; B. F. D. Carpenter, Charleston; Alonzo Bates, Charleston.
And Physicians: George Hinman, Holland; Simeon Corey, Craftsbury; Cephas Adams, Island Pond; John Buchanan, Georgia; John Ives, New York City, and John Masta,) deceased.)
Nor would we fail to mention John Graham, LL. D., president of St. Francis College, Richmond; P. Q. L. L. Greenleaf, Chicago, Ill.; Paschal Bates, (deceased); Edwin Bates, Charleston, S. C.; Alva Godding; D. M. Camp, editor of the Newport Express, Newport, and N. W. Bingham, Esq. known for his poetical talent.
But while the friends of the Institution felt to take courage, there had been a growing jealousy on the part of some prominent members of other religious societies in the vicinity, who used strenuous efforts to convert the Academy into a union school, and at last succeeded in electing officers in equal numbers from the three societies—Baptist, Congregationalist and Methodist, near the close of Mr. Mott's term of service, the school being under the especial care of no one in particular, diminished in numbers and standing; thus giving one more proof of the truthfulness of the homely adage: "What is every body's business is nobody's."
A number of different teachers have had charge of the school, with some success; among others, Mr. J. Hill of U. V. M., (now attorney at St. Albans,) and Miss Jane Bates, afterwards Mrs. M. I. Hill, (deceased) as also John Young, A. B., of Middletown college, Ct., D. J. Pierce, of Fairfax Seminary, and George A. Bacon of Brown University.
During the past 2 years, through the indefatigable exertions of Hon. J. L. Edwards of Derby, and others, $8,000 have been raised by the people of Derby, aided by Aaron Wilbur of Savannah, Ga., John Lindsey of New York City, and Edwin Bates of Charleston, S. C., natives of Derby—and a now commodious academy building has been erected, which, with the other buildings connected, will furnish as good accommodations as can be found within the limits of the State.
The school is now in charge of Joseph Jackson, Jr., A. B. of Brown University, principal —Miss Hattie E. Guy and Miss Lucy M. Gillis, preceptresses—Miss Sarah W. Pease, music teacher: and it is now confidently believed the school will rise to its former highs standing.
Its present trustees are, Hon. J. L. Edwards, J. E. Dickerman, E. Jenne, L. Holt, J. Kelley, D. P. Willey, I. Frost, L. Richmond, M. D., M. Carpenter, C. Carpenter, Jr., J. Dailey, J. Ward, L. Page, 2d, J. C. Jenne, J. Bates, 2d—Pres't J. E. Dickerman—Sec. and Trea'r J. Bates, 2d—Ex. Com. E. Jenne, J. Kelley and I. Holt
BY HON. B. H. STEELE.
Benjamin Hinman was a plain, honest man, of pure life, simple habits and few words. He was one of the first settlers of Derby, and for more than half a century a leading business man and prominent citizen of the town. Though be lived to old age and was surrounded by persons upon whom he had conferred obligations, he never learned to talk of himself. On this account, perhaps, it is singe‑
larly difficult to obtain the materials out of Which to write even a brief sketch of the leading events of his life. Of the pioneers from Connecticut, who, in 1791, pushed their explorations to the frontier wilderness of Magog, he was the youngest, and lived longest to witness the growth of the settlement, of which they then laid the foundation. Born in Southbury, Ct., Aug. 12, 1773, he was, when he first crossed the Clyde river near Arnold's mills, 18 years of age. At his death, Nov. 26, 1856, he had resided in Derby for a period of nearly 65 years. During this time the unbroken forest of 1791, had become a thrifty town, the foremost of the County in grand list and population.
Though less conspicuous than his elder kinsman, Judge Timothy Hinman, in the early history in the town, and less marked than others in its later development, there was no one man who aided so far as he in both. As an extensive land owner, and as agent of other proprietors of large tracts of land, he was from the first brought into business relations with such as came to settle upon lands in Derby and Salem and, to some extent, in the surrounding towns. These business connections uniformly merged into the closer relations of friendship and confidence. No settler found him grasping or disposed to over-reach. None who were industrious and prudent failed to receive from him, when needed, encouragement and support. None paid him more than lawful interest, and not a man among them was driven from the land he had bought because unable to meet his payments. His house was the first temporary home of many of the early settlers, and was always hospitably open and used for their entertainment. In manner he was in many respects eccentric, but always natural. He had no patience with pretension of any kind, and his own life was the embodiment of transparent truth and honesty. His scrupulous fairness and frankness in business transactions became proverbial.
His first service, in Vermont, was in the capacity of cook for the company which was engaged in building the road from Greensboro to Derby Line. It was in this capacity that he carried through the dense forest, from Derby Landing to John Morrill's, one end of a pole on which was hung half a barrel of pork, the first brought into town. Late in the Fall of 1791, he returned to Connecticut, and that Winter taught a district school for £1 6s per month, and "board around." The next Spring he went again to Vermont and made his pitch in Derby, upon the original right of his father, Aaron Hinman. From that time he called "Magog" his home, though for some years he passed his Winters teaching school in Connecticut. These journeys to and from Connecticut, were usually performed, both ways on foot, but sometimes by a boat down the Connecticut river. In 1794, he assisted in building the "strong mill," the first saw-mill in Derby. During this season, his grandfather, Col. Benjamin Hinman was engaged with others in exploring lands in the vicinity of Derby. in the Fall Benjamin set out for Connecticut in company with Mr. Leavenworth the master workman of the mill. His grandfather was soon to follow but Leavenworth delayed awhile at St. Johnsbury to do a job of mill-work, and passed off his young companion as a journeyman. The Col. reached Connecticut, and not finding his grandson, great fears were for awhile entertained that he was lost. He endured manfully and with a quiet relish the toils and privations of pioneer life. For some time he lived in a small camp, doing all his own "housework," but during some of the earlier years his bread was made for him by Mrs. Benham, the mother of Dea. Stoddard Benham. About 1798, he commenced to clear up the farm upon which Dana A. Locke now resides, at first living in his camp, but subsequently with other bachelor settlers boarding with Isaac Severens who had married Abigail Dean of Grafton, N. H. Mrs. Severens frequently mentioned her sister Lydia, whom she had left in Grafton, and who is said to have been at this time a person of unusual beauty, a fine singer and in other respects attractive. Several of these boarders without each other's knowledge, begged of Mrs. Severens letters of introduction to her fair sister with a view to calling at Grafton on their way to Connecticut. Mr. Hinman was so fortunate as to be the first to start home in the Fall, and as the roads had then been partially made, performed the journey on horseback. After three days journey he presented himself at the house of Mr. Dean in the full garb of a frontiersman, his hair carefully braided in a long cue and neatly tied with a leather string and his horse loaded down with furs he was transporting to Connecticut for sale.
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The lively girl of 18 who was honored by this unexpected visit, was not entirely charmed with her visitor in his frontier outfit, which added nothing to the attractiveness of one who at the best was never remarkable for graces of person or address. But his worth which, was as substantial as it was modest, and his unaffected frankness of manner, gradually won her regard, and after numerous visits and the usual tribulations which disturb the current of all true love, they were, on the 13th of March, 1806, married. Immediately after their marriage at Grafton, they started on horseback for Derby—and commenced their married life in a small log-house a little west of the present residence of Dana A. Locke. Mrs. Hinman proved in every way equal to her new duties. By her vigilant frugality, industry and affectionate devotion to her husband and his interests, she contributed her full share to their success in life, while her kindness to the poor, and her active sympathy with misfortune, and her hospitality during a life which was spared to old age have left behind her a memory which will long be lovingly cherished. In 1810, they removed to a small house near the Sweatland dam, and Mr. Hinman commenced the construction of the house at Derby Center, into which they removed in 1816, and made a more permanent home. This house is now occupied by Mrs. Aaron Hinman the widow of their eldest son. From 1840, to 1854, they lived in the house now occupied by Mrs. Orville Burton, and from that time resided with their children.
Though quiet and unobtrusive, Benjamin Hinman was a man of decided opinions, sound judgment and great self-reliance. He was an extensive reader and well informed, not only upon the political questions of the hour, but also in general history and biography, and was particularly familiar with the Scriptures. In politics he was a Federalist while that party existed, and from an "Administration man" during the presidency of John Quincy Adams became a Whig when the new party was formed. He survived this party to which he was deeply attached, just long enough to cast his last vote for John C. Fremont in 1856.
He did not court public attention, but from his own townsmen received frequent proofs of their regard and confidence. In 1821, '22, '23, '24, '27, '28 and 2 years at a later date, he represented the town in the State Legislature. He was selectman 15 years, commencing in 1812; trustee of the surplus fund 13 consecutive years, commencing in 1838; 4 years town clerk, and during nearly all his business life a magistrate, and served from time to time on most of the committees to whom any important business of the town was intrusted. Though close and economical with himself and his family, he contributed liberally, and sometimes beyond his means, to objects of public enterprise and improvement, as well as to objects of private benevolence. He rendered substantial aid in founding the academy and erecting the church and public buildings of which the village of Derby Center is justly proud. As a business man, also, he did much to advance the prosperity of that village. The grist and saw-mills at the upper dam were built and re-built by him, and he was also at the same time the owner of a half-interest in the tannery and woolen factory upon the same falls. These mills, together with his farming and his dealing with settlers in Derby and neighboring towns, who usually bought their land on time and paid in small installments and often in stock, grain, fur or some article other than money, would with most men have been to make life laborious and anxious. But "Uncle Ben," as he was familiarly called, was seldom in haste and had very little comprehension of what is termed the "worry of business." He seemed to have an abiding faith that everything would turn out right in the end. Good fortune and ill fortune were alike ineffectual to disturb his equanimity. While others worried he read his newspaper and was quite contented to let things take their natural course. He seldom pressed parties who owed him, but consulted their convenience quite as much as his own as to the time of payment. The note for the purchase money of one of the best farms in Derby, he allowed to run until when finally paid it was more than 38 years old. Another note for a farm in Salem was 35 years old when paid, and many had run 30, 25 and 20 years. One man went upon a lot in Holland and after making small payments for a series of years, finally drove to him a pair of oxen to apply on the purchase and desired to take a deed and give a mortgage back for the balance. Upon carefully computing the interest on his previous payments Mr. Hinman informed him that without the oxen, he had already
overpaid for his farm to the amount of $30. The astonished man took his deed and $30 in cash and drove his oxen home to his well-stocked farm and could hardly be persuaded that he owned the whole free of debt to "Uncle Ben."
For some years he had charge of the lands owned by the Lymans, in Troy, N. Y., and also of the lands owned by Nathaniel Bacon of New Haven, Ct. Mr. Bacon finally concluded to sell out his interest in Vermont, and as a reward to his agent for his fidelity let him have the lands at a price considerably less than he had been offered by others. By this means Mr. Hinman was able to sell land in Derby, Salem and Holland at very low prices, and thus greatly facilitate their settlement. The title of nearly all the lands in Salem has at some time been in Benjamin Hinman.
It was in part owing to Mr. Hinman's "easy disposition" that he was able to transact a large business in a new country with very little litigation. He was often selected as umpire to settle the disputes of others, particularly such as related to real estate. He had many friends and but few enemies. He heartily despised all meanness, and extortion, but made no war upon men he disliked, contenting himself merely with thoroughly letting them alone. He was high-minded and suffered no vulgar nor profane expression to escape his lips, but had a genuine democratic contempt for all haughtiness and assumed superiority based upon the accidents of birth and fortune, unaccompanied by personal worth, and was emphatically the poor man's friend. In his haste to relieve distress he often forgot himself. On one occasion in sending supplies of provisions and clothing to a family who had been burned out, he included his son's new overcoat. The son had the pleasure of seeing it worn all winter by one of his schoolmates while he himself went without. He was a regular attendant upon public worship, but never united with any church. He observed the Sabbath with true Connecticut strictness. In this respect he kept the whole law, doing no work, nor letting his man-servant or his maid-servant do any. On one occasion while he was at church his hired man yoked the oxen and went with them to a field near the barn where a large quantity of grain was harvested and dry and exposed to a threatening shower. Mr. Hinman returned from church in season to discover what was being done, and ordered the oxen to he instantly unyoked, declaring that no work should be done on his premises on the Sabbath. In few other respects did he so strictly maintain the rigid outward observances of religion which characterized the home of his childhood. He had a keen relish for harmless fun and anecdote, and occasionally unlocked a treasury of stories which would equally astonish and delight his friends and which he would relate in a manner not likely to be forgotten by his listeners. In person he was short, stout and plain. In his old age his head was covered with an abundance of gray hair, but his step never became feeble nor his general health seriously impaired until a few days before his death. He died at the residence of his son, Harry Hinman, Esq., at Derby Center, Nov. 26, 1856, at the age of 83 years. None of the first, and but few of the early settlers were alive to follow him to the grave. Another generation among whom he had worked and by whom he was loved and honored performed the last sad offices at his burial. Let it be hoped that the memory of the worth, the integrity and the enterprise, not only of Benj. Hinman, but of others, the fathers of the town of Derby, may for many years to come be felt in the lives and the spirit of their descendants and the people of the town which owes to them in no small measure its character and prosperity.
NOTE OF THE LINEAL AMERICAN ANCESTORS
OF BENJ. HINMAN, OF DERBY.
1. Serg't Edward Hinman,—of the lifeguard of King Charles I. of England, came to this country before 1650, and located at Stamford, Ct.; married Hannah, daughter of Francis Stiles, of Windsor, Ct. She died in 1677. He, with Stiles, was the principal purchaser of that part of Pomperaug now Southbury. Ct. He died at Stratford, Ct. Nov. 26, 1681. All the Hinman s of Connecticut and Vermont are his descendants.
2. Benjamin Hinman,—3d son of Serg't Edward and Hannah (Stiles) Hinman, born in 1662, married Elizabeth Lamb, July 12, 1684; lived at Southbury, Ct. and died there in 1727.
3. Benjamin Hinman, —3d son of Benj. and Elizabeth (Lamb) Hinman, born April, 1692; married, Dec. 18, 1718. Sarah Sherman a descendant of Hon Sam'l. Sherman of Stratford and a sister of Roger Sherman's father. He and his wife died in May 1827 at Southbury, Ct.
4. Col. Benjamin, Hinman,—son of Benj. and Sarah (Sherman) Hinman, born 1720;
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married Molly, daughter of Francis Stiles, a relative of President Stiles. He died at Southbury, March 22, 1810, and his wife Dec. 25, 1810. He served as early as 1751 against the French in Canada, as quartermaster of the 13th, Ct. Reg't, and subsequently served with great credit as Col. both in the French and the Revolutionary wars. After the surrender of Ticonderoga to Col. Ethan Allen, Col. Hinman was ordered to that post and had command of the garrison for some time. There were thirteen commissioned officers by the name of Hinman from the town of Southbury in the Revolutionary army. Col. Benjamin was a land-surveyor, and in 1794 was in Derby, Vt. and vicinity, exploring lands with the original proprietor. He was a member of the General Assembly of Connecticut 27 sessions. His children were Aaron, Sherman and Col. Joel, father of Judge Joel, the present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut, and also father of the late Jason Hinman, Esq., of Holland, Vt.
5. Aaron Hinman, Esq.,—eldest son of Col. Benj. and Molly (Stiles) Hinman, born at Southbury, Ct., in 1746; married Ruth, daughter of his kinsman, Capt. Timothy Hinman, Oct. 22, 1772. He died at Southbury, May 30, 1820, and his wife July 20, 1821. He was one of the original proprietors of Derby, Vt.
6. Benjamin Hinman of Derby,—eldest son of Aaron and Ruth Hinman, the subject of the foregoing sketch, was born at Southbury, Ct., Aug. 12, 1773; married Lydia Dean, daughter of Isaac Dean of Grafton, N. H., March 13, 1806. She was born at Taunton, Mass., Jan. 15, 1786, and died at Derby, Vt., July 22, 1865. He died at Derby, Vt., Nov. 26, 1856.
NOTE OF DESCENDANTS OF BENJAMIN HINMAN OF DERBY.—Children as follows, viz.,(1) Major Aaron born, Feb. 24, 1808; married Nancy, daughter of Maj. Rufus Stewart; lived at Derby and died there, Oct. 16, 1854. His widow and family still reside at Derby Centre. (2) Ruth Emm: born Oct. 9, 1809; married Sept. 14, 1826, Dr. Lemuel Richmond; still residing at Derby Line. (3) Mary, born Aug. 14, 1812; married Sanford Steele of Stanstead, in Canada, Dec. 14, 1835. He died Sept. 4, 1856. She resides at Newport, Vt. (4) Harry Sherman, born May 28, 1818; married Urania, daughter of Judge William Hinman of Connecticut, Oct. 24, 1842. He lived in Derby until after the death of his parents, when he removed to Boston, Mass., and is one of the firm of Hinman &Co., in that city.
Grandchildren as follows, viz. (1) children of Aaron, viz. Jane E., wife of Maj. Lewis H. Bisbee of Newport, Vt.; Harriet, wife of Maj. Josiah Grant, Jr., of Island Pond, Vt.; Mary and Benjamin. (2) Children of Ruth Emm (Hinman) Richmond, viz. Jane A., wife of Lemuel C. Richmond of Barnard, Vt.; Mary, wife of Otis Hinman of Hinman & Co. Boston, Mass. (3) Children of Mary (Hinman) Steele viz. Benj. Hinman, who married Mattie Sumner of Hartland, Vt.; and Lydia Maria and Hiram Roswell and Sanford Henry and Mary Ellen, who died Aug. 18 1856. (4) The children of Harry, viz. Selina and William.
Great-grandchildren—viz.: Willis Hinman Richmond, born, Aug. 5, 1852; Robin Lemuel Richmond, born Nov. 10, 1858; Mary Hinman Steele, born April 23, 1863; Hattie Bisbee, born Aug. 17, 1867; Otis Richmond Hinman, born July 16, 1868.
BY HON. E. A. STEWART.
Mr. Nathaniel Kelley, the oldest man in town, died on Saturday, Aug. 21, 1869, at the age of 93 years and 1 month. He died with no disease; but the machinery of his life had literally and naturally worn out. He retained his senses to the last, and showed by his frequent expressions of trust and confidence his belief in the precepts of the Christian faith. The following is taken from a short account of his life published 6 months previous to his death:
"Nathaniel Kelley, now living and in vigorous health is as old as the government, having been born on the 22d day of July, 1776. His native place was Norwich, Ct. At the age of 17 years, in 1793, he came to St. Johnsbury, where he resided most of the time till he came to Derby some 15 years ago. He has a distinct recollection of a quarrel among the Indians at Norwich, because some of them desired to enlist in the Revolutionary army; and of a brilliant lighting up of the place in honor of a great victory by the patriots, and of the disbandment of the army at the close of the Revolutionary war. He was among the first settlers of St. Johnsbury, and assisted in building the first school-house and meeting-house in that town. During a greater part of his residence there, he lived on the farm now owned by Charles Starks. A year or two after he came there, he helped move Richard Packard, Nathaniel Daggett and one Davies from St. Johnsbury to Newport. They came through Barton, Brownington, Salem and Derby, then mostly a wilderness, and crossed Memphremagog Lake, near Indian Point in bark canoes. Martin Adams came into Newport the year before and had erected a log-house. According to the customs of those times, liquor was dealt out as one of the necessaries of life, and Mr. Kelley's account of this his first experience with the ardent was as amusing to the writer as the whiskey was disastrous to him.
About 35 years ago, he went West—which was then Ohio—with a view of settling there, but becoming disgusted with the mud, chills and heterogeneousness of the population, he returned to Vermont in about a year. He received a grant of 2000 acres of land in Albany, in Orleans County, but being obliged to commence suits to eject the squatters; between the lawyers and the squatters, his real estate proved more fanciful than real, and resulted in money out-of-pocket, besides a world of vexation. He never held any official positions. He was once offered a captains' commission, but declined, preferring, to use his own expression, 'a good farrow cow' to the honors. He voted for Jefferson, and has voted at every presidential election since, except the last.
He was married Jan. 23, 1807, to sally Coe, by whom he had 11 children, all living except one. His wife died a year ago, they having lived together 61 years. He had 30 grand-children and 9 great-grand-children. About the year 1820, he made a profession of religion and united with the Congregational Church at St. Johnsbury. He is now able to read common newspapers without the aid of glasses."
BY O. T. LANPHEAR OF BEVERLY, MASS.
Orem Newcomb, the oldest son of Dr. Luther and Milla Conant Newcomb, was born in Derby Dec. 6, 1800. Dr. Newcomb was the first physician settled in the town, with a practice which in the new settlement of the country, gave him the ride over the most of Orleans County, and sometimes beyond it. His gentleness of disposition, patience under trials, faithfulness and kindness to every class of patients, and hardships in following his profession owing to the new state of the country, called forth the sympathy and admiration of all who knew him. Skillful in practice, he had medical students some of whom rose to great eminence in the profession, among whom Dr. Colby, who settled in Stanstead C. E. deserves special mention.
In the absence of those facilities for schools which are had at present, the education of Orem with the exception of a term or two at the County Grammar School at Peacham, was obtained for the most part under the private instruction of his father, together with that of his mother, who was a person of considerable culture.
When hardly large enough to it in the saddle he began to assist his father by carrying medicine to his patients, in different directions, to the distance of sometimes 20 and even 30 miles.
Mr. Newcomb in after-life spoke sometimes with regret of his lack of early training in books and at schools. Greater advantages of this sort would undoubtedly have given a fuller development to his faculties, and have raised him in some respects to a higher sphere of usefulness; but with all his disadvantages there were few men better educated, if by education is meant the leading forth of the mind and heart to a clear understanding of men and things.
When it became necessary that he should decide upon some business for life, he chose that of a merchant, and after the regular apprenticeship as a clerk, opened a store in partnership with two other gentlemen at Derby Center. Finding after a time that the confinement of the store was unfavorable to his health, which was never very firm, he withdrew his connection from mercantile business, and entered upon more active occupations. From this time his services were in constant request upon almost every form of public and private business requiring sound judgment and tact as well as delicacy of management. Causes of litigation were referred to his arbritration for settlement instead of being carried to the courts. Land damages consequent upon the construction and improvement of public ways and railroads were referred to him for assesment and his services as administrator were sought in the settlement of estates involving nice points of law, requiring tact and judgment in the business details. He was for more than 17 years assesor of the town valuation in making out the tax list, and town clerk for nearly the same period. He was the orphan's guardian, the trustee of public and private funds, an agent of pensions, and called to almost every form of public as well as private service.
After all, the traits of character which distinguished Mr. Newcomb, more than all others, were brought out in the development of his christian life. Though his life had been unexceptionable as to the strictest observance of outward morality, yet apparently he had no marked convictions of the necessity of a spiritual interest in Christ until
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he had entered upon his 31st year. This conviction was awakened during a protracted meeting at Derby at which the late Rev. Ora Pearson of Peacham was present, and whom Mr. Newcomb always spoke of afterwards as his spiritual father. He was so drawn toward Mr. Pearson that he followed him to Irasburgh where he had gone to attend a meeting similar to that held at Derby, hoping through him to get light and relief under his convictions. Disappointed on finding that Mr. Pearson had left Irasburg, he sought another friend, who he knew had been at the meeting, but without success. With the feeling that he was shut out from all human help he turned his course homewards, looking up to God his Saviour as his only light and help, and soon found peace in believing.
Mr. Newcomb united with the Congregational Church at Derby Center, July 29, 1832. For more than 22 years he kept the covenant then taken, "henceforth denying all ungodliness, and every worldly lust; living soberly, righteously and godly before the world." He interested himself in every instrumentality that promised to extend the knowledge of the gospel, and build up the kingdom of Christ. He was especially a friend of the Bible and Tract Societies, and of the American Board for Foreign Missions. He corresponded with several of the missionaries in the foreign field. He loved to watch the progress at the Sandwich Islands, and always had some fact relative to that mission with which to enliven the monthly concert. He had a cabinet of minerals and other curiosities sent to him from the Islands, and the windows of one of his rooms were curtained with cloth of native manufacture. When the mission to Micronesia was in contemplation, he said one day to his pastor, "I am about ready at my advanced age to go out as a missionary, to that now mission. I sincerely regret that my mind did not turn to this subject in early life, so as to have devoted myself to this good work." But though he did not go in person, he could go by his sympathy and prayers. The poor student fitting for the ministry and for missions, was encouraged by his kind words, and by such material aid as he could give.
Though it in easy to give in detail the many points of interest in Mr. Newcomb's character as they appeared to the public and to his friends, yet in another respect his would he one of the most difficult biographies to write on account of the harmony and even balance of all his faculties. Had there been less harmony, and had this balance been broken here and there; had his good points appeared as prominent eccentricities with corresponding depressions as defects between them, then it would require but a stroke of the pen to number the good traits, and count the defects, and with that the biography would be done. But his character was to the thoughtful observer more like the smooth surface of a perfect sphere with all points of it flowing into smooth outline. His mind was remarkable for its judicial power. He knew men, and could detect their worth and their foibles almost at sight. He could thread his way through the most intricate web of conflicting evidence with its perplexity of circumstances, so as to put the tangled lines in order and come to a just judgment through a fair balancing of testimony. And yet there was none of that cold sense of superiority and haughty reserve, commonly associated with this order of mind. He rather used this faculty as if led to it by a high sense of honor and love of duty. It was his enthusiasm of trying to do right, in which there appeared all the meekness and tenderness of a child.
He had that faculty, so rare even in great men, silence. On first acquaintance it might sometimes have appeared like pride; he was always so calm and self possessed; but further acquaintance would show his silence was modesty. He listened with the greatest deference to the conversation of others, showing afterwards in a few words, when appealed to, that he had mastered the whole subjects and often throwing upon it some fresh light as the result of his own reflections. In ordinary conversation his words were neither rapid nor flowing; but when the occasion required it and he felt the pressure of duty, few men could speak with more authority or rise to a more commanding pitch of eloquence. But he never rose to speak in public except in such an emergency, and where there was some principle of right or duty at stake. Then, though one of the most modest men, he stood up the most fearless and uncompromising advocate of the right. Nothing could intimidate him. In the expression of his eye, his tones of voice, and gesture there was a majesty before which
falsehood and meanness must quail. He never conversed about the private affairs of other people. He thoroughly hated all gossip, and every approach to it, which may have been one reason why every one trusted him with their private wants in order to solicit his counsel.
He sometimes gave counsel unasked, when he thought he could be of service to persons or parties, but it was given in the most unobtrusive manner. If he knew of parties at variance or of persons pursuing a course dangerous to their good name, or to the public morals, he would give some word of caution in the strictest privacy, or send a letter full of warning in such well turned phrase as not to carry any impression of assumption on his part. No mention of any such act ever escaped his lips, no minute or letter ever revealing it, was ever found among his papers, nor would it ever have been known but for the expressions of gratitude from those who had received benefit from such counsel.
In all his intercourse with men, Mr. Newcomb was cautious never to wound any person's self-respect. When this had been done, he considered that there was little hope that any council however wise, would he beneficial. He loved to throw out suggestions, and to have people take them as though they had risen in their own thoughts, and follow them as if a part of their own wisdom; so thoroughly free was he from all vanity in respect to his own influence. On this account it has been justly said that, "it seemed given to him to say the right things at the right time; never showy nor forward, but quietly moving along, diffusing comfort and courage to the sorrowful and the destitute." It was a touching scene after Mr. Newcomb's death when a widow in tears said to his bereaved companion, "you are worse off than we, for you have no Mr. Newcomb to go to, as we had."
There are so many touching incidents in the memories of the good man, the pen knows not where to stop; but present limits forbid further detail. He sleeps quietly in the town where he was born and which was the scene of all his earthly labors.
Mr. Newcomb died Oct. 12, 1854, of typhoid dysentery, which prevailed at that time in the community, and in many instances proved fatal. His youngest child had been taken with this disease on Wednesday, on account of which he was called home from business abroad. Reaching home on Saturday, the child died early the next morning. The forenoon of that Sabbath Mr. Newcomb spent with the sick and the dying in the neighborhood, with his characteristic forgetfulness of self, seeking comfort for his own grief only as he might be the means of bearing comfort to others in affliction. The next Tuesday he was attacked by the same disease and died after an illness of 9 days. He seemed literally, to vanish out of sight, leaving behind him the solemn impression of the value of religion both in life and death.
Letters of condolence were written to the bereaved widow and family, from the wide circle of friends who had known the deceased, among whom were many eminent in professional life, as well as distinguished men of business. The funeral sermon was preached on the Sabbath following, by Rev. Mr. Lanphear, at that time pastor of the church of which Mr Newcomb was a member, from the first verse of the twelfth Psalm: "Help, Lord; for the godly man ceaseth."
HON. PORTUS BAXTER.
BY MRS. MARY CLEMER AMES.
Hon. Portus Baxter, son of Hon. William Baxter, a man of preeminent influence in his day, was born in Brownington, Vt., Dec. 4, 1806. Amid the lovely lakes and picturesque mountains of northern Vermont, he very early received those profound impressions of natural beauty, and that passionate love for his native State, which formed so marked a trait of his character in mature years. This portion of his education coming to him through a boy's acute and eager senses as he "drove the plough a field" or followed the cattle up and down those hill-sheltered valleys, gave a charm to his nature which never left ft.
He fitted for college at the Norwich Military Academy and entered the University of Vermont in 1823. He left at the close of his junior year to enter at once upon the active duties of life. There are temperaments which rebound naturally from books, from all abstract and obstruse forms of knowledge. They rarely accept wisdom at second-hand; they receive it direct from nature, from contact with men, and from the experiences of human life. Such was the temperament of Portus Baxter. Though he did full justice to the advantages of a liberal education, and to the day of his death
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kept pace with contemporaneous literature, his supreme strength was in action, and reached its complete manifestation in his contact with men. The death of his father, leaving the administration of a large estate to devolve upon him, filled his life with responsibility and labor, at the beginning of manhood.
In the year 1828, he settled in Derby Line Vt., a portion of the State at that time so newly settled as to demand of its inhabitants the best traits of the pioneer. Here he entered upon mercantile pursuits, and extensive farming, and to the day of his death remained one of the model farmers of Orleans County. "Thank God I am a farmer!" Those who heard him utter these words in the electric speech which he delivered on the Reciprocity Treaty, in the House of Representatives, 1864, will never forget the fervor of his tones, nor doubt the enthusiasm which he felt for his chosen profession.
In the year 1832, he was married to Ellen Janette Harris, daughter of Judge Harris of Strafford, Vt. It is impossible for one who knew him to give even the barest outline of his life, without saying what this marriage was to his intellect and heart. After 36 years personal union of love and labor, and sorrow, shared together, this husband looked into the face of his wife, with an admiration, a devotion, a chivalric love, which over-flowed with all the enthusiasm and romance of youth. Time and grief had left their inevitable traces on her beautiful face, and yet she was more beautiful in his eyes than when she won him first in the surpassing lowliness of her youth. Revering all true womanhood, she was to him the supreme woman of the world. Many, in age, love with more than the depth of youth, but few, with its enthusiasm. But the love of this husband and wife bore daily witness not only to the depth and fidelity of their affections, but to the youth of their hearts, and the perfect marriage of their blended. lives.
Mr. Baxter was a patriotic politician. The science of government, the administration of public affairs were to him passions. But with the keenest interest in politics, and the shrewdest foresight in their management, he sought none of their personal prizes for himself. He was self-distrusting to diffidence of his own fitness to fill the higher positions of power. His enthusiasm was for other men, in whom his faith was a religion. It was the passion of his life to serve and advance his friends. He had a boundless belief in individuals, an unerring instinct to discover the right man for the right place. He possessed all the mental characteristics of a leader. More, he possessed the temperament of a leader, the spontaneous, irresistible force of feeling which moves and controls the emotions and actions of men. And this, through no secret or occult power. It was the contagion of sympathy and of enthusiasm, which he imparted till he imbued other minds with somewhat of the ardor of his own. He was conscious of this power. He felt a keen delight in its possession. It is a proof of the nobility of his nature, that he did not use it for his own personal advancement. He loved the power because he could use it for others. To put the best men in the best places he thought a high service to render his country. Possessing such characteristics in so remarkable a degree, it is not strange that from 1840 till 1860 he exerted a greater influence upon the politics of his State, than any other man in Vermont. No man could be made Governor, no man could be elected to any important office whatever, without his endorsement and support. And this powerful personal influence was not confined to his own State; it extended across the "Line" and was felt in the polities of Canada, at least through Stanstead County.
The thousands of travelers who every Summer follow the Connecticut River, and Passumpsic, Railroad along the loveliest of American valleys from Springfield to Newport Vt., and now even further on, to meet the Grand Trunk railroad of Canada, can realize all that they would have missed had that railroad never been built. Many and many a year before the cry of the steam horse had broken the silence of these hills, Mr. Baxter, in his own carriage, following the windings of these rivers along these peaceful valleys, foresaw all that we see to-day. To see with his own eyes a railroad running through the Connecticut valley was one of his earliest and most powerful enthusiasms. For its accomplishment he spared neither money, time, nor labor. Month after month he called meetings, gathered subscriptions, and at one time spoke, fifteen nights in succession in behalf of this great enterprise. Few indeed of the multitudes who feast their eyes on the exquisite scenery which greets them at every mile of their passage, or who, bless the pleasant trains which bear them so rapidly from the weariness of the city, to the refreshment and health of the summer lakes and hills, know how much of all this they owe to the zeal and labors of a man, whose name perhaps they may have never heard.
Second only to the personal love which he bore his native State, was Mr. Baxter's unbounded faith in and admiration of the West. Visiting Chicago in 1836 while a mere village, he prophesied for it all the future greatness which is a reality to-day. More than one man of wealth in the West, who to-day gazes upon his thousands of fruitful acres, upon overflowing barns and upon a happy home, looks back to the time, not many years gone, when the "money to start with" which he carried in his pocket, and the "God speed you" that he carried in his heart, both the gifts of Portus Baxter, made the only capital wherewith the young man could begin the world. Mr. Baxter's large nature out-ran all sectional boundaries. His country was his whole country. In the largest sense he was an American. Yet, after every extended journey he returned to gaze with an added tenderness upon the hills of home. It was love of birthplace, devotion to the land-marks which were interwoven with all the memories of boyhood, the heart-life of youth, and the activities of manhood. It was the enthusiasm which spurns dead levels and springs spontaneously to the strength of the hills. This enthusiasm makes the Vermonter feel that of all others on earth the verde-monts are the delectable mountains: It seems as if no other human eye could have taken in so broad a reach of landscape with such an enthusiastic loving gaze as did his, while he stretched it toward the lovely meadows of Derby, toward Memphremagog, toward old Owl's head and grand Jay Peak beyond. The writer of this record, can never forget the first impression of this scene, nor the image of this man, nor the tones of his voice, as he said; "Where did you ever see such a country?" and "Look at those mountains!"
Mr. Baxter was an enthusiastic Henry Clay whig. It is easy to understand how the greathearted, fervent Kentuckian, with his magnetic eloquence and wide patriotism, should possess so powerful a charm to the equally fervent and great-hearted Vermonter. During the existence of the Whig party Mr. Baxter was a frequent delegate to its national Conventions, and in 1848 was the only delegate from New-England 'who advocated the nomination of General Taylor from the beginning. Though he was tendered nominations, year after year, Mr. Baxter refused to be a candidate for the legislature, and was never a member of either branch of the General Assembly. In 1852-3 he was placed at the head of the electoral ticket and voted for General Scott. He was also elector in 1856-7 and voted for Fremont. After declining two nominations for Congress, he accepted the Republican nomination for the third District of Vermont, and was elected to the thirty-seventh, thirty-eighth, and thirty-ninth, congresses by overwhelming majorities. He commenced his Congressional career with the ominous special session of the thirty-seventh congress, and during his successive terms served on the committees on elections, on agriculture and on the special committee on expenditures of the navy department. His public position in Washington gave to Mr. Baxter the best opportunity of his life. The exigencies of war, the patriotism, the heroism of the hour, the incessant strain upon every faculty of the mind, every sympathy of the heart, roused every noble quality of his nature into its utmost activity. He found no time to write speeches nor time to seek ease and comfort in his own distant home. He spent all his energy and all his time in the service of his constituents, and in administering to the wants of soldiers. No soldier ever saw his face that did not know him to be his friend. How he used his personal influence to secure the rights of men who had fought, been maimed, or lost their lives for their country, how he used it to encourage the unfortunate, to assist the struggling, the disappointed, the weary, the heart-broken, how many on this side and on the other side of the pale of life might tell! In the midst of battles, of the dying and the dead, he proved how utterly he was the representative of the people, especially of the people of that northern State whose love of liberty and hatred of tyranny is as strong as the strength of their own mighty hills.
No one who bore the weary load of life in Washington through the battles of the Wilderness—who heard the rattle of the ever-rolling ambulance, who watched over the dying and the dead, can ever make life seem just what it was before. It was during the ghastly days of the summer of 1864 that Mr. Baxter went to Fredericksburg. He went brave and strong to succor the wounded—to take personal care of the soldiers of Vermont. When the crisis was past, and he returned to Washington, those who saw him go away could scarcely recognize the man, so emaciated—so worn was he with watching and grief—so utterly had he entered into and shared the life and sufferings of our soldiers. Every consideration of personal ease and comfort were given up by Mr. Baxter and his unselfish wife.
Congress adjourned. The tired members hastened to the mountains and the sea; but
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through all that sickly summer this husband and wife remained faithful at their post, looking after the missing, nursing the wounded, caring for the dead, till they themselves were prostrated, and sickness, only, made an interval in their labors.
Mr. Baxter's magnetic and winning presence, combined with his utter earnestness, made him a positive power in the various government departments. Here all his individual forces came into play, and gave him great influence with men in power. It was in such contact that he gained the friendship of the great war Secretary, who, in this man's death, lost a friend whose faith never faltered, and whose love was never shaken by the utmost test or trial. His admiration of Edwin M. Stanton could be measured only by his never-ceasing devotion. "It was very hard for me to refuse him anything that he asked" said another head of a department, since his death. It was hard because he was always so thoroughly in earnest, so sincere in his convictions that what he asked was just and right. The most precious memory which we can trace for his name is that he was ever the friend of all who suffered or who were oppressed. No member of Congress had more perfect faith in the future of the African race. No matter what his color or condition, he recognized in every man, a man and a brother. With such a nature it was not strange that many of his most devoted friends were among the lowly, and among little children. The enkindling smile, sufficient In itself to make his face remarkable, shone with its gentlest radiance while looking into the face of a child.
In personal appearance he was one of the noblest looking men in Congress. Six feet in hight of commanding proportions with a face singularly expressive, every feature radiating thought and emotion, with a noble carriage, the step and smile of youth, with the quick word of kindness, and the hearty hand-grasp he carried in his very presence a personal charm which was irresistible. The house of Representatives is a great crucible into which many local great men drop to be lost. Their individuality fused into the mass around them is powerless to make a sign or to leave an impress. Potent indeed is the power of personality which as such can make itself felt and acknowledged amid so many conflIctIng and overpowering elements of human character. Yet in Congress the power of Mr. Baxter was personal. He was not a speechmaker. He did not blazon his name on great "Bills," or astounding "Measures." And yet in his private speech, all alive with eloquence, in his personal influence, in his intercourse with his fellow members, on his committees, and in his seat in Congress, he was always a positive power. And we doubt if ever a man came to Washington who was beloved by more personal friends.
But as we enumerate his public acts, his personal virtues, we are conscious all the time that the finest essence of his nature escapes us. Like the more silent and subtle forces of nature it evades all palpable sight or sound, while it is yet more potent than either. Those are rare men and women whose human personality is the highest expression of their being. In mere scholastic learning, in literary efflorescence we do not find it: but in their character—in what they are. Such a man was Portus Baxter. To portray his nature in its ultimate influence, we must search for it as it reacts and is reproduced in the lives of other men and women, must trace it in the laws of events, in deeds done and undone. For the utmost test of all mental or moral life is character. The flower of all thought, the fruit of all feeling is character. As a man thinketh, so is he. We may record acts but the finest effluence of a high nature like the subtlest expression of the face evades all embodiment; an exquisite perfume, it cannot be caught nor imprisoned In words.
It was in Washington, March 4,1868, that the final summons came. There had been many warnings—yet how utterly unlocked for was the messenger at last. The following paragraph written by the writer of this sketch at the time of his death, expresses perhaps as fully as words can what the death of such a man was to those who loved him. It is perfectly natural to connect the idea of death with some persons, who dream that they live, but who in this living world are always more dead than alive. But Mr. Baxter though often attacked by disease, suggested only the thought of irrepressible, exhaustless life. Such was the youth of his heart, such his enthusiastic interest in every thing which concerned humanity, that even now that he has passed beyond our sight, it is impossible to think of him as indifferent to the affairs of this world. Every pulse of his heart beat with Congress in these portentious days. On Tuesday night he said: "It seems as if I must see the country through this great struggle." In half an hour he had closed his eyes in that sleep, from which he awakened In the eternities.
The life just with us, that cared for us, that quickened us to all generous thoughts, that inspired in us a devotion for all truth, a zeal for all nobility of deed, this life so bounteous, so vivid, so real, could not go out with that expiring breath! Where is it? We search the illimitable spaces; we question the darkness, the silence, we turn with eager quest to the words of inspiration, and the answer is: "not afar off." He loved to live. He was in love with this green earth," and none the less that he believed and trusted in God. Thus we say, Farewell, beloved friend, and yet not farewell! You have gone outside of our vision, yet we cannot believe that you have gone far away; or that you have ceased to care for us. We cannot believe that when the Spring renews its marvels, when its delicious days come, whose balsams we believed were to be your healing, that you will not know it, that the trees about the capitol whose budding brought joy through so many Springs will again leaf and blossom and you have no knowledge of their bloom; that the wayside grass, the early flowers will flush into life and you be unmindful of their loveliness. You, who never saw human suffering without the impulse and effort to alleviate, now that your consciousness and sympathy have became exalted and perfect, cannot feel less for the creatures whom you love, nor be less in the universe of God, than one of His ministering ones. Love and sorrow! mightiest forces of the soul, before which every purpose of the mind, every effort of the brain sinks in paralysis, to these time brings only spiritual consolations. "I give my angels charge concerning thee," is the assurance of inspiration. Thus we utter no farewells, O, thou steadfast friend! with those who love thee, with those whom thou lovest thou wilt abide a helper and a friend till in the apocalypse of the final change, we shall behold thee again face to face, and join thee in the ascending life, to falter or to fail, to sin or to suffer no more forever.
An immense concourse of people attended the obsequies of Mr. Baxter, at his private residence in Washington. Men, the most distinguished in the nation—heads of Government, members of both houses of Congress, mingled with the unknown and the poor, all mourning alike the loss of their friend. Among the flowers of Spring piled high upon the sacred casket which enclosed his form, none wore so precious to the hearts of his bereaved family, as the cross of blossoms representing the 6th Corps badge laid there by the soldiers of Vermont, then in Washington.
The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Dr. Sunderland, pastor of the first Presbyterian Church, Washington, and Rev. Dr. Sawyer, pastor of Universalist Church, New Jersey. Dr. Sunderland, who had become acquainted with and had learned to love Mr. Baxter during his residence in Washington—before the close of his sermon uttered this eloquent personal tribute to the memory of his friend:
"There are others who will dwell on his virtues and record for the admiration of after-times the fidelities of his life. Suffice it now for me to say, that my more intimate acquaintance with my departed friend commenced in the days when we were watching together by the bedside of the late lamented Senator Solomon Foote, and mingled in the affecting scenes of that most remarkable experience, where not only our own native Vermont, but the whole Country between the seas was filled with mourning. It was then that I began more especially to notice his deep fountain of sympathy, his true brother's heart, the modesty of real nobility, the simplicity o' genuine friendship and all those qualities which so fondly endeared him to his friends. Since that day I have had occasion to know him more thoroughly. Temperate in all things, affable and gentle, considerate of the feelings of others, he was yet firm and immovable in his convictions, and of the most benignant, magnanimous, and forbearing dispositions. Seldom could he be stung to rashness, and never could he keep the fire of resentment long! It is true, that in religions sentiment, and faith upon certain points of doctrine, we might not think alike, but, without regard to this, he would not see a fellow-man in trouble, wrongfully, without lending him a helping hand. I shall not soon forget with what generous proffers he came, among the foremost, to my assistance in a time of the greatest personal trial during my ministry in Washington, nor how faithfully he redeemed his promises. It seemed to me that he had fully appreciated the trial of our parting with the lamented Senator who had been to me as a father to a son, and that he was resolved in part, at least, to supply the place—and he did supply it. Oh, departed friend, how truly I can testify the greatness and gratefulness of thy friendships! Should it ever be permitted us to meet in yonder spheres I am sure I should know at once the love-sign of that great heart, and thou wouldest smile again in all the wonted brightness of thine exalted nature. Farewell then, earnest, faithful, noble friend! Fare well sacred ashes of the departed. They will lay them tenderly down
194 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
in the last slumber, and by and by they will gather them to repose under the long shadows of our venerated native hills, and by the murmuring streams that pour their ceaseless dirge in commemoration of the dead; there may the morning of the resurrection find them, and the trump of the eternal jubilee quicken them to life."
born in Holliston, Mass., Oct. 31, 1781; fitted for college with Rev. Timothy Dickenson, of that place; was preceptor of an academy in Guildhall, some time; read theology with Rev. Asa Burton, D. D., of Thetford; was pastor of the Congregational church in Derby from 1810 till his death, Nov 9, 1822. He preached half the time in Stanstead, Canada, 1810—12; for several years was the only Congregational minister in Orleans County and performed a large amount of missionary labor in its various towns."—Pearson's Middlebury College Catalogue.
"Original Prose and Poetry, embracing a variety of novel and political subjects; by N. Boynton, of Derby, Vermont; published by N. Boynton, 1856."
A small 12 mo. of 253 pages:
A copy of this work came to us through the mail, we acknowledged its receipt, and made some further inquiries in a biographical direction, of the author, but never received any other communication. We have been informed, however, by the by, that the authorship printing, binding and publication was all by a young man learning the printer's trade, a native or resident of Derby. This humble work is interesting, at least, to the antiquarian, as the first book of poetry produced by Orleans County.
We will give a liberal extract from the pages, which is the fairest review that can be bestowed on any work, et verbatim.—Ed.
"THE BANKS OF CLYDE."
Who wandered on the banks of Clyde,
When childhood cast it's robe of green
Along the murm'ring water's side,
Will hail the hours that long have been
Swept noiselessly adown the tide.
Those halcyon days so oft return,
As memory leads the glowing mind
Back to the scenes of youth, and burn
Brighter than cloudless morn behind,
Bringing new glories in their turn.
When near the ruggid mountain step,
The rolling stone or caving earth,
The thoughtless laugh, unconscious lep,
Begetting newer joys to birth
Where none but moarners came to weep.
Or when the distant cataract's fall
Broke pleasantly upon the ear,
Converting silvan music all
To one melodeous concert dear,
With naught among the shades to fear.
To grace uncultivated lawns,
Slow wound the silent waters round;
At evening or when morning dawned,
To cheer the twilight with her song,
The night bird in the forest roamed.
Then welcome faces sought the grove.
The maiden with her flowing hair,
The graceful youth with eyes to love,
And the young bride or happy pair,
All found a glad reception there.
But years of penitence have fled,
Adversity has decked the tomb,
Thousands have mingled with the dead,
Thousands have awoke to bloom,
And moulder with their common head.
THE RICH AND POOR MAN'S SON.
The rich man's son inherits land,
And piles of brick and stones of gold,
And tender flesh that fears the cold,
Nor dares to wear a garment old;
A heritage it seems to me,
One would not care to hold in fee.
The rich man's son inherits cares,
The bank may break, the factory burn,
Some breath may burst his bubble shares
And soft white hands would scarcely earn
A living that would suit his turn;
A heritage it seems to me,
One would not care to hold in fee.
What does the poor man's son inherit?
Stout mussles and a sinewy heart,
A hardy frame, and hardier spirit;
King of two hands, he does his part
In every useful toil and art;
A heritage, it seems to me,
One would not wish to hold in fee.
What does the poor man's son inherit?
Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things,
A rank adjudged by toil-worn merit,
Content that from enjoyment springs;
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.
What does the poor man's son inherit?
A patience learned by being poor;
Courage, if sorrow comes, to hear it;
A fellow feeling that is sure
To make the outcast bless his door:
A heritage, it seems to me,
A king might wish to hold in fee.
Oh, rich man's son, there is a toil
That with all others level stands,
Large clarity doth never soil,
But only whitens soft white hands—
This is the best crop from thy lands—
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being rich to hold in fee.
Oh poor man's son, scorn not thy state!
There is worse weariness than thine—
In being merely rich and great;
Work only makes the soul to shine,
And makes work fragrant and benign
A heritage, it seems to me,
Worth being poor to hold in fee.
Both heirs to come six feet of sod,
Are equal in the earth at last—
Both children of the same dear God,
Prove title to your heirship vast,
By record of a well-filled past
A heritage, it seems to me,
Well worth one to hold in fee,
[See Poems by Jus. Russell Lowell, pp. 198—201—Ed.]
BREATHINGS FROM THE SOUTH.
BY SUSAN E. PIERCE,
(A native of Derby residing in the West.)
I am far from my own green mountain home,
From my loved ones far away;
And the memory of those by-gone hours
Is with me the live-long day.
When the sunlight fades in the crimson West,
When his last bright beam is gone,
Oh! its then, 'tis then, I fain would rest
In my own Green Mountain home.
This Southern clime is warm and bright,
Its flowers are rich and fair;
But better the North with its snow-clad hills
Than the South with its balmy air,
These grand old woods, these pleasant groves,
Are bright in their golden hue,
But give me my home with its fresh green fields,
So rich in the sparkling dew.
Kind ones are clustered around me now,
And friendly hearts are near,
And dearly I prize their kindly love,
But it checks not the rising tear:
I dream of my mother,s gentle tone,
Of the light in my father's eye,
Oh! sadly I pine for the dear ones all,
Who in spirit are over nigh.
THE TOWSNSHIP AND EARLY SETTLERS.
BY REV. SIDNEY K. B. PERKINS, A. M.
The town of Glover, Orleans County, Vermont, is a well-watered and productive section of country; and affords to the lover of nature a great variety of beautiful scenery, woodland, hill and dale, with here and there a clear streamlet or larger body of water.
It embraces 36 square miles, and is situated 40 miles N. E. from Montpelier; bounded N. by Barton, E. by Sheffield, S. by Wheelock and Greensboro and W. by Craftsbury and Albany.
In this town the Barton river has its rise, and within its limits are found branches of the Passumpsic, Lamoille and Black rivers.
The ponds—such as Stone's, Parker's and one or two others, would in some counties, where the like are not so numerous, be honored with the name of lakes.
Thompson's Gazetteer of Vermont gives the name of Mountain to Black hill, which is situated in the south part of the town.
Glover derives its name from Gen. John Glover, who resided in his early childhood and previous to his death in Marblehead, Mass. His birthplace was Salem, Mass., a town, (now city) adjoining. He was the son of Jonathan and Tabitha B. Glover; born in 1732 and died in 1797, aged 65 years.
His military office was that of Brigadier General and he served under Gen. Washington in the war of the Revolution, He went first as private in the volunteer service, enlisted in Marblehead, and passed through all the grades of military office up to the above mentioned, all of which he discharged with honor and distinction. He was held in high esteem by his commander-in-chief and by all other officers civil and military, and by all ranks of men with whom he came in contact. He had the honor of conducting Burgoyne's army after the defeat of that proud general, through the States, and to Boston and Charlestown. He has been honored by his descendants in his native town and a few years ago they erected a monnment over his grave, in the ancient cemetery of Marblehead. The inhabitants of Essex county, Mass., also regard his memory as worthy of preservation. During the late civil war, they named a camp-ground "Camp Glover;" they have a regiment which has been named "Glover Guards" and have made efforts to perpetuate his name in many other ways.
The land now embraced in the town, which we have said was named for him, was granted to him by Congress, as a reward for his distinguished military services. The grant was made in 1781, June 27th, and the charter was given to the General and his associates, Nov. 20th 1783.
The settlement of this township was commenced in 1798. and advanced very slowly for several years, and in the year 1800, there were only 38 persons in town. In 1807, there were about 70 families, numbering probably in all as many as 250 individuals.
It is to be regretted that the earliest records of the town are lost, but it is our purpose so far as we may be able to give some sketches of