VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY.

 

 

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WASHINGTON COUNTY INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.

 

 

BY G. N. BRIGHAM, M. D.

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY was incorporated Nov. 1, 1810, by act of the Legislature, and organized Dec. 1, 1811, with Montpelier as the shire town, taking from the county of Caledonia, Montpelier, Plainfield, Calais, and Marshfield; from Orange, Barre, Berlin, and Northfield; from Chittenden, Stowe, Waterbury, Duxbury, Fayston, Waitsfield, Moretown, Middlesex, and Worcester, and was called Jefferson County until 1814, when, the Federal party coming into power, it was changed to Washington. It is about 34 miles from north to south, and 31 from east to west, between lat. 44ー 1' and 44ー 32', and long. 4ー 10', east from Washington; bounded N. by Lamoille and Caledonia Counties; E. by Caledonia and Orange Counties; S. by Orange and Addison Counties, and W. by Addison and Chittenden Counties. There has been added to it, Roxbury from Orange County, in 1820, Elmore from Orleans, in 1821, Warren from Addison, in 1829, Woodbury from Caledonia, in 1835, and Cabot from Caledonia, in 1855.

On the organization of Lamoille County, in 1836, Stowe and Elmore were set off to that County, leaving 17 towns; by the division of Montpelier into Montpelier and East Montpelier, and the addition of Cabot, the County again had its 19 towns. The County has also two gores, Goshen and Harris, east of Plainfield and Marshfield. Some of the towns on the west side, upon the ridge of the Green Mountains, are hilly and almost inaccessible even for timber, though but a small tract can be called waste land.

The surface of the County is somewhat broken, but still it may be classed one of the best agricultural counties in the State. The original inhabitants were Abenaqui Indians, a family of the Algonquin tribe. From their language comes the name of its principal river, which is said to mean the land of leeks, or onions, and was first written Winoosque, or, as some insist, [Mr. Trumbull,] Winoos-ki, two words signifying land and leek. There are occasional relics of this ancient people found within this County, and the valley of the Winooski was the great highway through which they made their incursions upon the inhabitants on the Connecticut river in its early settlements, and through which they went and returned in that raid in which Royalton was burned.

In the State Cabinet is a stone hatchet found in Waitsfield. About 2 miles below Montpelier village, on what was once known as "the Collins Farm," now owned by a Mr. Nelson, 40 rods north of the railroad-track, and some 12 rods east of the road leading by Erastus Camp's saw-mill and house, is found what is evidently the remains of an Indian mound. It is rectangular in form, and some 40 to 50 feet across. It has at present an elevation of some 6 feet. It has been lowered by the present owner of the land some 15 inches, and a Mr. John Agila says he helped plow and scrape it down many years ago at least 5 feet. Capt. H. Nelson Taplin, who is 70 years of age, saw it when a boy of ten, and thinks its sides had an an‑

 

 

 

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gle of about 60 degrees. Mr. Nelson found an Indian tomahawk, a spear-head, and a relic, showing considerable mechanical skill, which we are unable to name, some few rods south of the mound, while plowing his meadow. The mound is situated at the opening of a narrow, glen-like passage running back among the hills, and is flanked by two opposing bluffs, the one on the west being the most elevated. It seems to have been set in a natural niche, admirably chosen for its picturesqueness and beauty. In front is a level piece of land bordering the Winooski, nearly a half-mile wide, and 1ス mile long. The soil is light and loamy, exceedingly well adapted to the growing of their maize. Traces of Indian pottery have also been found on the lands here described, and also on one of the lake-made plateaus above the village. An Indian arrow-head has been found on the high land in the rear of the mound; and some 4 miles below, opposite to where Mad River empties into Winooski, on the Farrar meadow, was plowed up a stone-gouge, a spear-head, and a stone-axe, all evidently of aboriginal origin, which are deposited in the cabinet at the State House. The axe is of horn stone of the best quality, with a fine edge. The spear-heads are made of chert, a species of flint, but not the gun-flint; one finely preserved. Fracturing stone for these Indian implements is said to be an art, and usually done by old men who are disabled from hunting.

See page 196, 2d Vol. of Champlain's History: Upon the Champlain. He says "I saw on the east side very high mountains," &c. [See also Addison for the same, Vol. I. this work.] There is no doubt the mountains here spoken of were Mansfield and Camel's Hump, and the Winooski the waters by which they were able to go close to the mountains in their canoes.

East of Montpelier, 1ス mile, there is a large block of limestone which was obviously shaped by human hands, and so closely resembles the Indian monuments for graves, to be seen in the illustrations, by Schoolcraft, as to leave little doubt that it was originally erected as a tombstone, or other memorial of some great aboriginal event The whole valley was probably at one time here and there studded with wigwams, and by hunting, fishing, and growing of the maize, for many generations, the families of the red man subsisted here, making a part of that traditional glory belonging to the once far-famed and powerful tribe known as the Algonquins. Some of the tribe of St. Francis Indians, a family of the Algonquins, have lived around the eastern border, or within the limits of this County until their families were extinct. Among these were Capt. John and Joe. Capt. John was with a party of Indians attached to the American army when Bourgoyne was captured. [See Newbury, Vol. II.] Old Joe used to make frequent visits to Montpelier, stopping for a few days with a family living in an old log house, a little out of the village on the east side of Worcester Branch. There he used to run bullets from lead ore found by him on land a little west of what is now called Wright's Mills. A young man of this family once went in company with Capt. Joe and cut a block from the vein of very pure lead, which was afterwards purchased by Hon. Daniel Baldwin, and melted. Mr. Baldwin offered a considerable sum to be shown the spot. It was hunted for, but the lands in the mean time having been cleared, the place could not be identified. It was just out of Montpelier village, in this same vicinity, that a novel system of telegraphing was invented in the earliest settlement of the County. The mother of a family of five children, fearing they would get lost in going after the cows in the woods, used to send the oldest forward, enjoining him not to go beyond the call of the next, who would follow, and so of the rest, until all were in line, she herself sending forward word, and getting answers from the scouring party, until the cows were brought in.

In 1760, Samuel Stevens was employed by a land-company to explore the middle and eastern portions of the New Hampshire grants, and, with a few others, began at the mouth of White River and proceeded up the Connecticut till they came to

 

 

 

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Newbury. Then finding the head waters of the Winooski river, followed it down to its mouth at Lake Champlain. This was three years before the survey of any lands within the limits of the County. In 1763, a party interested in the Wentworth Grants came to Waterbury and began runュning the boundaries of our western towns. In the time of the Revolutionary War what was called the Hazen road was cut through from Peacham towards Canada line, which ran across Cabot, now in Washington Co. The line seems to have been run through in 1774, and several companies of Col. Bedel's regiment went on snow-shoes over the line to Canada, in 1776. Hazen made a road for 50 miles above Peacham, going through the towns of Cabot, Walden, Hardwick, Greensboro, and out to Lowell, which has been of great service to the inhabitants since in northュeastern and northern Vermont.

Under the charter King Charles gave to the Duke of York, the State of New York claimed to the Conn. River and north to New France. The old Dutch county of Albany, (sometimes called the unlimited county of Albany) included by this claim, all of the present territory of Vermont. A county by the State of New York was constituted in 1766 nearly identical to the present counties of Windham and Windsor, called Cumberland, and in March 1770, another county by the name of Gloucester, comprising all the territory north of Cumberland Co., east of the Green Mountains, and Kingsland, now Washington in Orange County was made the county seat, and the first proper session of the court held at Newbury. By old maps it would appear this county included most, if not all of the present territory of Washington County. A part of the townships in this county had been previously run out in the interest of those purchasing patents of Gov. Benning Wentworth. Waterbury and Duxbury were chartered in 1763; Stowe, Berlin, Worcester, Middlesex and Moretown about the same time. The more eastern towns do not seem to have been chartered till some years later, and upon the maps then representing Gloucester County is found a tract by the name of Kilby, which appears to have embraced the town of Montpelier and all, or portions of some of the eastern towns, which at one time was attempted to be run out in the interest of New York claimants. In the summer of 1773, we find that a Mr. S. Gale, with a number of men, was employed in surveying this County in the interests of the land jobbers of New York. Ira Allen with three men started from the block fort on Onion River in pursuit of them. He traversed the towns of Waterbury, Middlesex, and on up to the fabulous shire-town of Kingsland in Gloucester County, and down on the east side of the mountains to Moretown (now Bradford.) Obtaining information of the surveyor's destination and buying spirits and provisions, they went again in pursuit; discovered his line and by that tracked them to the north-east corner of the old town of Montpelier. Probably from the description of the ground where they encamped when like to be overtaken, they were on the Town-meadow beyond Lightning Ridge. They seem to have made a precipitate retreat on the approach of Allen's party. Allen reached the block fort in 16 days from the time he set out. We do not learn of any later attempts on the part of the Yorkers to survey lands within our County limits. New York finding it inconvenient to establish jurisdiction over so large a territory as Albany, where for a long time all writs of ejectment, executions, &c., issued from and were made returnable to, constituted, by act of assembly May 12, 1772, a new county on the west side of the mountain by the name of Charlotte, which included all the old territory of the County of Albany on the west side of the mountain north of the towns of Arlington and Sunderland to Canada line. Thus did the State of New York look after us in the time of our earliest settlements. Whether any part of Washington County had it then been inhabited, for it was not till 9 years later, would have been returnable to Charlotte County Court at Skeenesboro, now Whitehall, is a matter of dispute; as it is not quite certain which range of the moun‑

 

 

 

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tains was followed. By the line made when they divided the State into two counties, one east and one west of the mountains, the west towns of Washington County would have been so returnable. But the jurisdiction of New York, with right to annul contracts for land obtained by charter from the king's governor, was not acceptable to the settlers, who soon began to cast about for some way to carry on municipal regulations more in harmony with their feelings.

Gloucester Co. disappeared at the first session of the Vermont Legislature, 1778. The State was divided into two counties by the range of the Green Mountains; that on the east side being called Cumberland; on the West side Bennington; and Washington Co. was divided very nearly in the center, north and south. This date is nearly three years before Thomas Meade, the first settler of the County of Washington, made his pitch in the town of Middlesex. We were only two years included in Bennington Co., when by the formation of the new County of Rutland we entered therein, and so remained during the existence of the old Rutland Co. 4 years and 8 months, in which time Middlesex and Waterbury began to be settled. When Addison Co. was formed, we entered into a new County existence with old Addison Co., and so remained with Addison two years, until Chittenden Co. was formed, for which a part of our western towns were taken, and remained with this County many years. By the act at Westminster of the new Vermont, constituting Cumberland County to embrace all the territory east of the Green Mountains, the east part of the County was first included within its limits; afterward, when Orange County was organized it was therein included, and some towns were retained in its jurisdiction until the organization of Jefferson County in 1811. The settlers travelled by marked trees, carried their corn on their backs, or more frequently drove an ox, with a bag of grain balanced across his neck, (many miles distant,) to find a mill to get it ground. Women and children often went to their new homes on rackets, the husband and father coming in the year before and making his pitch, clearing two or three acres of land, and rolling up the old fashioned log house. Some came in, it is true, in stronger force and with more means, as Col. Jacob Davis, of Montpelier.

 

Nearly 60 townships had been granted by Gov, Wentworth before the organization of Vermont in 1778, and several of our western towns were among the N. H. grants. After the organization of the State, the Legislature took the power of making grants into its own hands, and both for the revenue and encouraging the further settlement of the State, proceeded rapidly to dispose of its lands. The process of procuring these grants seems to have been very simple, and followed with quick dispatch.

 

A company of resident and non-resident men got up a petition to the Legislature for the charter or grant of a township, specifying the locality. The appointment of a standing committee to act upon such petition followed, and if the committee's report was favorable, which was usually the case, a simple resolution for making the grant was passed. Then the Governor, on the payment of the required fees, issued the charter. Our eastern townships, not having been laid out in the Benning-Wentworth grants, received their charters in this manner from the Legislature of Vermont, and were run out mainly by James Whitelaw, Surveyor-general of the State. After obtaining a charter, a proprietor's meeting was called by a justice of the peace or other authorized person, in the following form:

 

"Whereas application hath been made to me by more than one-sixteenth part of the proprietors of 覧, in this State, to warn a meeting of said proprietors; these are, therefore, to warn the proprietors of said Township to meet at the house of 覧 Esq., Innholder, in 覧 , on (here follows the day, the time of day and month) to act on the following articles, to wit: 1. To choose a Moderator. 2. A Proprietor's Clerk. 3. A Treasurer. 4. To see what the Proprietors will do respecting a Division of said Township, and to transact

 

 

 

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what other business as shall be thought necessary when met." (Signed)

Justice Peace.

 

In laying out Caledonia Co. there were run two gores in the S. W. corner, Goshen and Harris, which have been set to this County with the towns set off from that County to Washington Co. Goshen Gore, bounded N. by Marshfield and a part of Harris Gore, E. by Harris Gore, S. by Orange, and W. by Plainfield, contains 2,828 acres, mostly covered with excellent timber, greatly enhanced in value by the Montpelier and Wells River railroad. Some 50 persons probably are residing within its limits. Harris Gore contains 6,020 acres; runs to a point on the N., bounded W. and N. W. by Goshen Gore and Marshfield, E. by Groton, and S. by Orange. It was granted Feb. 25, 1781, and chartered to Edward Harris, Oct. 30, 1801. This tract of land is also well-timbered for the most part, though somewhat mountainous and difficult of access. In 1840 it had 16 inhabitants, and has received but very few additions since. Gunner's branch rises in this gore, passes through Goshen Gore, and unites with Stevens' branch in Barre. The area of the gores, added to the several townships gives us, nearly as can be ascertained, 396,233 acres, a large proportion of which is excellent for grazing and most of the cereals, and the balance the finest of timber lands, except the little crowning of the summits of different spurs of the Green Mountain range. Money was scarce, and trade was carried on mostly in neat stock, grain and salts of lye.

Wood ashes were a long time legal tender to the merchant, who sold his goods to the woodsman, and the merchant paid his bills at Montreal and Boston in black salts. The common price of wheat was 67 cents per bushel, best yoke of oxen $40, best cows $25, best horses $50, and salts of lye $4 to $5 per cwt.

For goods which the laborers paid for in these articles the merchant usually obtained fifty per cent of profit; among them price current rock-salt, $3 per bushel, common $2.50; sugar, brown 17 to 20 cents per pound, loaf 42 cents; W. I. molasses $1.17 per gallon; green tea $2.00 per pound; broadcloth $5 to $10 per yard.

And still, with these prices for imported necessaries, and the low price of their products, the settlers, by their frugal habits and industry, got on very well on the road to competency.

As our County began to be settled immediately succeeding the heroic epoch of the State, the military system was an important feature of its early history. Every township enrolled all of its able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 45, and companies were formed with commissioned and non-commissioned officers, who were required to give them one annual drill at least in the month of June. The annual "June training" was a day of jollity for old and young; a regular carnival of fun and masquerade, as well as parade a display of the cocked hat, gorgeous epaulette and bright cockade; day of salutes, waking up of officers; which wake up was a rousing volley from the under officers and privates, sometimes taking the door off its hinges, to be followed with a treat, marching and countermarching, drinking, toasting and sham fights; a day opened with the obstreperous clamor of the Sergeant's call, and followed with the shriek of the fife and the noise of the drums. The roads leading out of the village where this annual inspection and drill was to take place were filled with old and young, on foot and horseback, in carriages of all patterns, from the "one-horse-shay" to the poor apology of a kanuck two-wheeled turnout, and all crowding on in the grotesque and fun-seeking tide, to enjoy the great military frolic, called an inspection and drill, or, in common parlance, June training. Yankee Doodle, fizzle-pop-bang, and the mock capture of the Red Coats, were all there. June training was an institution, and the militia, so stigmatizingly called the "Old Flood Wood," figured very conspicuously in the history of the county at not a very remote day. This, with "Election Day" of the old style, must now be considered as fairly laid on the shelf, and belong only to history.

In 1805 a turnpike was chartered from

 

 

 

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Burlington Court-House, to pass on or near the Winooski to the north end of Elijah Paine's turnpike in Montpelier. The Corporators were Daniel Hurlburt, Thaddeus Tuttle, Salmon Miller, John Johnson, Martin Chittenden, Jacob Spafford, Charles Bulkley and David Wing, jr.; corporate title, "The Winooski Turnpike Company." The road was opened to the public in 1808, the spring before the first session of the Assembly in the new State House at Montpelier. Gov. Martin Chittenden rendered such aid in its construction and was so largely interested in it, it was at one time called the Chittenden Turnpike. Later the stock was mostly, or all, purchased by Thomas and Hezekiah Reed of Montpelier, who were its owners at the time it was bought up for the road-bed, where it could be thus used, of the Vt. Cen. R. R. This old road, with fine coaches and swift horses, was for a long time one of the most popular thoroughfares in New England. Particularly when the stage lines were in the hands of Mahlon Cottrill, the road was patronized largely at home and from abroad. Its tollgates and numerous taverns along the line are remembered by many: land-marks gradually lost in the progress of the century.

This turnpike with that of Gov. Paine, running south from Montpelier, was the through line of the country from the Lake and Canada to Boston, over which passed an immense tonnage and very brisk lighter travel, and to which the County road in the northeast part of the County was quite a tributary.

In 1824 John Quincy Adams sent a topographical party into the State, to make surveys with reference to the construction of canals. Hon. Daniel Baldwin, a merchant of Montpelier, received the appointment on the commission, and consequently interested himself in the public works of the State. While holding this appointment, he received a communication from Elkanah Watson, that it was better to look for routes of railways than canals, as it was prophecied the railroad system would soon supersede the canal. Mr. Baldwin conceived the idea of a rail transit from this point to the foot of navigation through the State, over much of the route now traversed by the Ogdensburgh and Vermont Central roads, but down the Gulf through Williamstown, instead of over the summit at Roxbury and down to White River proposing to connect with the Lowell and Boston road then being projected toward the Conn. River valley. This he laid before the merchants of Boston as early as 1827, in his business visits, and in meetings later held for devising better communications with the North and West. In 1832, Boston merchants and others interested, held a meeting to consider the feasibility of this route, at which Mr. Parish of Ogdensburgh presided. In 1833, a charter was granted by the Legislature for a road by rail through Central Vermont. Governor Paine was an able manager among the corporators and was instrumental in pushing the road forward and diverting its proposed route to its present line.

The railroad changed much of the local and all the through travel from the turnpike to the rail.

 

CONTEST FOR THE STATE HOUSE.

 

The first contest for the location of the State House was in 1805. In 1792, Caleedonia County was incorporated, but it does not appear that the county was fully organized until 1796 or '97, when David Wing, Jr., was elected one of its Judges. Mr. Wing was a resident of Montpelier, and, so far as we know, the first Judge upon the bench elected within the present limits of Washington County. Mr. Wing was Secretary of State in 1803. The County of Washington was incorporated in 1810, and Dec. 1, 1811, the Legislature having elected in October the Court and County officers it was fully organized. Ezra Butler was chief judge; Salva Collins and Bradford Kinne, associate judges; John Peck, sheriff; Timothy Merrill, State's Attorney; and David Harrington, judge of probate: George Rich, County clerk; J. Y. Vail, register of probate. The Court held its sessions in the Council

 

 

 

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Chamber in the first State House, until the year 1818, when a new wooden Court House was built adjoining the State House grounds, that was used until 1843, when a brick building was erected, which was burned down during the November term of the Court, the same year. In the summer of 1844, the present commodious and elegant brick edifice was erected. During the October session of the Legislature of 1805, holden at Danville, an act was passed establishing the permanent seat of the Legislature at Montpelier. The location of this place so near the geographical center of the State, no doubt, had more than anything else to do with the decision. It will he remembered the old line between Bennington and Cumberland Counties, made by the first legislative body of the people, was only about a mile below the village, while dividing the State from north to south. It is the nearest to the center of any proper convening point. Still, in this, as in other controversies, Montpelier and the County were not without their able managers and advocates. David Wing, a man of great affability of manners and highly respected in the State, was Secretary of State, and the Hon. Cyrus Ware, a profound debater and a great wit, was representative of the town. At the next sessions, one at Middlebury and the other at Woodstock, there was an attempt to effect a change in location, but neither proved successful. Thus in 1807, four years before its organization, Washington County finds the Capital of the State within its limits, which has had much to do with its history and prosperity as a County. The beginning of a period so important to the County deserves something more important than a passing notice. We transcribe a copy of the legislative action:

 

An act establishing the permanent seat of the Legislature in Montpelier.

 

Sec. 1. It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont, that Elijah Paine, Ezra Butler and James Whitelaw be, and they are hereby, appointed a committee to fix upon a place in the town of Montpelier for the erection of buildings for the accommodation of the Legislature of the State, and to prepare a plan for such buildings.

Sec. 2. And it is hereby further enュacted: that if the town of Montpelier, or other individual persons, shall before the first day of September, which will be A. D. 1808, erect such buildings on the place designated by the aforesaid committee for their acceptance, and shall compensate said committee for their services, and also conュvey to the State of Vermont the property of said buildings and the land whereon they shall stand, and lodge the deed of conveyance, duly executed, in the Secretary of State's office; then and in that case said buildings shall become the permanent seat of the Legislature for holding all their sesュsions.

Sec. 3. Provided nevertheless, and it is hereby further enacted: that if any future Legislature shall cease to hold their sesュsions in said town of Montpelier, those persons that shall erect said building and convey the property of the same and of the land aforesaid, shall be entitled to receive from the treasury of this State the full value of the same, as it shall be then fairly appraised.

Passed November 7, 1805.

A true copy.

Attest. DAVID WING, Jun., Secretary.

 

The committee appointed by the Legisュlature located the buildings of the new Capitol on grounds a little S. E. of where the present State buildings now stand, and the Assembly in October, 1808, there met and held its session, since which time Montpelier has been the permanent seat of the Legislature. The old State House becoming somewhat dilapidated and insufficient for the growth of the State, in 1832, the Legislature passed a second act to establish the Capitol at Montpelier, and pledging the erection of a new building, provided Montpelier would pay into the Treasury of the State $15,000, one-half within one year and the other half in two years from the passage of the act. The proposition was accepted, and Lebbeus Egerton, Supt., and Ammi B. Young, architect, commenced the work in the following spring. A spur of rock was blasted from the hill in rear of the old buildings to a level desired, and making room for a driveway at cost of $10,000, but giving a foundation of solid rock. The elegant granite edifice, with its capacious dome,

 

 

 

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massive arch, and classical columns, so light, so unique, might almost be taken as a model of art. Good judges have doubted if its equal as a work of art was to be found anywhere else in the country. It was built of the Barre granite cost $132,077,22. Unfortunately it was accidentally destroyed by fire Jan. 6, 1857, when came the memorable contest. A special session called by the Governor, met in the old Brick Church in Montpelier, Feb. 18th following, to adopt measures for rebuilding or removing the State House. For parliamentary ability and adroitness in management, as well as the display of wit and eloquence, this session stands the rival of any House of Representatives of Vermont, or any other State. We can give by a few passaュges from the records a faint, and but a faint idea of the warmth, tact, wit and logic in the statement of arguments which moved in this controversy, the vacillating tides of feeling and opinion.

Mr. Bradley, in reply to the idea of entertaining the pecuniary condition, or putting up at auction the State House, said, "I, for one, do not feel like raising a revenue from a loan of our institutions, taking a town in our grasp, as I would take half a lemon, squeezing it dry, and then throwing away the rind and trying another." Replying to Mr. Stacy, of Burlington, he goes on to say, "the able representative of that town has told us, and truly, no doubt, of their wealth, their break-water, their custom-house, their steamers smoking in from all directions, their railroads built and to be built, their monument of the glorious Allen, whose dust is mingled with the earth of their town; and I could not help regretting that the Giver of all good had not offered them one more boon the blessing of content."

In Mr. Dorr's concluding remarks he added, "the capitol was located at Montpelier as a measure of peace. It was to build up from a divided, a united and homogeneous people. Fifty years of peace have been the product of this act of wisdom. I am for going down to no Jerusalem on the East or the West." If Mr. Dorr was the Nestor of that debate, with every quality of a parliamentarian and advocate, learning, wit, satire, humor and subtle logic, as his argument everywhere shows, still the satirist and wit of that very remarkable assemblage of men was Moses E. Cheney, of Barnard. Alluding to a remark made by the member from Georgia where a town library was offered as a reason for removal, Mr. Cheney says "Mr. Chairman, why don't some of the friends of removal say that the Representatives and Senators might pursue a brief legislative collegiate course of study at the Vermont University during their sessions? Mr. Chairman, they say that Esq. Edmunds, the counsel for Burlington, talked to us an hour, and very little to his credit as a man of talents. Sir, do people expect a man to work miracles? Those of us who were Representatives in 1855, saw too much of his ability to be made now to swallow these third house insinuations that Mr. Edmunds isn't much. We remember how he made us believe gas was cheaper than oil to light the State House with, when the contrary was the truth, and I am bold to say he would have made us believe that Burlington was the best place for the Capitol if we hadn't known all about it ourselves. But, Sir, the State of Vermont isn't so large but every man in it knows very nearly from his own observation where the middle is. Gas, Sir, many of us know little about. Mr. Chairman, the gentleman from Westford is much concerned about the morals of Montpelier. He says the fires of hell are here! Sir, I had heard of a heaven below, and of a hell upon airth, and I must own that when the gentleman was depicting the flames which seemed to be curling around us, my eye at the same instant catching a glance at his fiendish look, his horrific glare, for a moment I quailed, and inwardly exclaimed, I am in hell, for there stands Beelzebub. Mr. Chairman, during last Fall's session, occupying my old seat No. 190, which has since dissolved in smoke, with little to do but to gaze at the costly gas chandelier, which has since melted with fervent heat, I sometimes amused myself with reflections upon various members of the house;

 

 

 

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and, Sir, among them I discovered a Daniel Webster, a John C. Calhoun, a Henry Clay and a Patrick Henry. The gentleman from Castleton, (Mr. Spencer,) being out a few minutes since, I had almost hoped he would remain out until I had paid him a few compliments which might appear fulsome in his presence. But, Sir, it is not uncommon here in Committee of the whole, where wide debate is admissible, for gentlemen to go very wide into praises of our most distinguished members. Sir, I would then beg leave to say that the gentleman from Castleton is my Daniel Webster, and I have seen new and striking resemblances between these two men during the present session, which have confirmed me in the belief of their similarity. For instance, it was said by Dr. Wheeler, in a eulogy pronounced upon Mr. Webster, that whenever Webster attempted to argue a bad cause he always broke down; never otherwise. Well, Sir, the gentleman from Castleton fails in every effort lie makes during this session. He is arguing a bad cause, and, like Webster, having no knack at it, he breaks down. In this respect we see how exactly like Webster he is. Mr. Webster was accused in his latter clays of being bought up. But it was not true. Well, it is surmised by some that the gentleman from Castleton is bought up; but it is not true. I do not believe a word of it. The great Moses Stuart預s a fearless, good man should have done蓉ndertook to make out that Webster acted from the best of motives; but it was all of no use. There were enough who pretended they knew Webster had long been closeted with Calhoun. Mr Webster had a great Moses to expound for him, but it didn't do any good. Mr. Spencer has a little Moses to apologize for him, but I fear it will be entirely useless." This is but a brief synopsis of Mr. Cheney's method of satire, which convulsed the whole assembly for an hour. Comparing the claims of Barnard, as contrasted with some other towns that had put in he plea of fine prospects and healthy locations, Mr. Cheney goes on to say: " Is Barnard a whit behind any in these respects? Why, as to health, the people of Barnard seldom think of dying, and the children say they will never die. Some old men have lived till they were tired all out with life, and have died on purpose; having told their old yarns over until the taste was all out of them, they said they had lived ever so far beyond all the promises, and they crammed up by declaring they 'would not live alway,' and got up a contrivance for quitting the world and got off somehow." In a second speech, in reply to some strictures made by the gentleman from Westford on his previous speech, he gives this inimitable touch of satire: "Sir, those who say that my Webster and Henry are unworthy the names, not only admit that my Clay and Calhoun are good, but that my devil is perfect." The speech of Mr. Cheney, whose profession had been that of a singing-master, may well take rank with the wit and satire of Curran and Sheridan. He is a genuine native specimen, with all the benefit of Barnard hills. Mr. Merrill, the member from Montpelier, a descendant of the Fassetts, of Bennington, distinguished himself as a parliamentarian. The final result of the long, keen contest was an act making an appropriation of $40,000 for re-building the State House on its old site in Montpelier.

 

SPIRIT OF 1812.

 

A second war was opened with England. Party spirit in politics ran high through the country. Our State and the Capital had its share in the excitement attending these contests. The Democrats thought our nation to have been injured and grossly insulted by Great Britain, and were staunch advocates of the war, the Federals, believing the war wholly unnecessary, as bitterly opposed and denounced it. The Democrats in ascendency in the State, had a pretty decided majority in the County. And as the administration was appealing to the country to be sustained, the friends of Mr. Madison thought it important some demonstration should be made at the Capital of the State. They called a war-meeting at the State House, and industriously circulated the notice. This

 

 

 

10 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

was in February, and the inhabitants poured in from the surrounding towns, and the neighboring districts, filling the highways with footmen, horsemen, and loads in single and double sleighs, to the place appointed for the meeting, as it was also understood that the Federal party would be there to prevent the passage of any resolutions encouraging Congress to a declaration of war. When the house had become densely packed, one of the committee was sent to call on Rev. Chester Wright, the settled minister at Montpelier, and invite him to open the meeting with prayer. He shortly returned, and informed his friends that on account of conscientious scruples, Mr. Wright declined the invitation. A low burst of indignation followed. The next moment were heard calls for "Uncle Ziba! Uncle Ziba! !" Instantly a committee man mounted the platform, and cried aloud, "Is the Rev. Ziba Woodworth present? If so, he is respectfully invited to come forward and open this meeting with prayer." Mr. Woodworth, who had a stiff leg, occasioned from wounds received at Fort Griswold, came forward, stumping through the crowd to the platform. Hastily drawing a chair before him, he dropped down upon one knee, and, throwing out the whole of the other leg with a jerk, raised his sharp voice, peculiarly emotional, in the invited invocation. After a very brief address, in the manner of a prayer, he entered into the political spirit of the meeting, showering a torrent of blessings on our rulers for their wisdom, patriotism and fearless stand in resisting the aggressions of British tyranny; then he began to ask God's pity on the blindness of the enemies of the war, and enemies of our blessed country, and His forgiveness of their treasonable dereliction of patriotic duty, and still more treasonable opposition to the wise measures of our God-appointed rulers, in such language as involved the rebuke of a scorching satire. At this stage of the prayer, Judge Ware, a prominent war Democrat of the town, who was a noted wag as well as a hot politician, standing by the platform and within reach of the excited speaker, reached over, and sharply punching his extended leg, in a low, eager, half-whispered tone, exclaimed, "That is right! give it to 'em, give it to 'em, Uncle Ziba!" And it is said that he did give it to 'em in a manner which very likely never had a parallel in the shape of a prayer. The Democrats opened the meeting with a very zealous speech for the administration, which was often interrupted by applause. Mr. Baylies, an astute lawyer and of commanding talents as a speaker, proceeded in his reply, and, having to his own satisfaction proved the fallacy of the position of his rival, commenced a general attack upon Mr. Madison and his advisers at Washington. He had not proceeded far, however, when old Matthew Wallace, of Berlin, a tall, resolute man, leaped suddenly to his feet, and, in a voice which seemed to be the tocsin of war, exclaimed, "Can't stand that! can't stand that, Mr. Chairman ! anything in reason, but, by heavens, sir," his eye flashing and fist raised, "I sha'nt sit here to listen to out‑right treason!" Mr. Baylies, before he got through, was hissed and coughed down. Resolutions supporting the administration were read, and passed with a tremendous acclamation.

The chairman of the meeting in the early part of the day was Hon. Ezra Butler one of the oldest settlers of the County, who was a Democrat. Finding the meeting likely to be controlled by the Federal party, at this time so well organized into what was called the Washington Societies, he resigned, and the Federals elected Hon. Charles Bulkley, a most bitter opponent of the war. But when the convention was thoroughly represented from the surrounding towns coming in, the war party was found to be in such majority they had everything their own way, and Esquire Bulkley, as Chairman of the convention, saw his name signed to the war resolutions so triumphantly passed, and thus was made to give his sanction to what he had intended, with his friends, to defeat. The war was heartily supported by a large majority of the County, and patriotic volunteers were not wanting to defend the country's

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY. 11

 

honor. When the news of Prevost's army invading the State reached our inhabitants, it was but a grand rallying-cry from the Border, which was responded to by almost every able-bodied man shouldering his musket and marching for the front. They flocked from the hills and the glens, swanning down the Winooski, the same patriotism firing them that characterized the Green Mountain Boys in the days of Allen and Warner. An example to illustrate may be given in the person of Capt. Timothy Hubbard, who, when the news of the invasion of Plattsburg, N. Y., by the British, reached Montpelier, in September, 1814, sallied out cane in hand into the streets, summoning a drummer and a fifer to his side, one of them being a hired man, and marching the streets all day beating up volunteers to start forthwith to the scene of action. And such were his appeals, and such the heat of patriotism in the community, that before night nearly or quite two thirds of the male population were enlisted, and ready to march on the following morning, which they did, they reaching Plattsburg in season to take place in the line of battle. Capt. Campbell, often known as "old Captain Blue," from Waitsfield and vicinity, summoned with the same alacrity the war spirits of Mad River. Other towns with equal right offer their muster-rolls to vindicate their claim to equal honors.

There are a few individuals so prominent in the affairs of the State and nation, born or residing more or less in this County, it seems fitting their names and services should be noticed here. And first among these stands Gen. Benjamin Wait, a distinguished revolutionary veteran and associate of Ethan Allen and the men who made the heroic epoch of Vermont. where will be in Waitsfield, this volume, a notice of Gen. Wait.]

 

JOHN CLOUD,

a long-time resident of this County, was in many engagements in the Revolutionary War; in his last battle, while leading a retreat and firing back, he was shot through the thigh, which had to be amputated.

 

WILLIAM PHEN

also an old resident, was in the campaigns of the Duke of Wellington.

[We reserve a sketch of Col. John Taplin for Berlin, and notice of other eminent men here introduced, for the towns to which they more specially belong. Ed.]

Conspicuously identified with the growth of the County or connected with its internal improvements were

 

JUDGE ELIJAH PAINE,

living on the borders of the County in Williamstown. [See vol. II, page 1150. Ed.] and his son,

 

GOV. CHARLES PAINE,

who passed most of his life in the County, a man of exceeding active, practical mind and indomitable will. In addition to running a large manufacturing establishment he did more than all others toward securing our present railroad facilities.

 

HORACE HOLLISTER

built most of the old County road, going north from Montpelier through Calais.

 

MAHLON COTTRILL,

the long-time popular landlord of the Pavilion, was proprietor of several lines of stage in the County, and at one time was more largely connected with the public travel in this vicinity than any other person before or since. One of his lines was over the great thoroughfare from Boston to Burlington and Montreal via Montpelier, with coaches drawn by from four to six superb horses, and the finest stage equipments ever known in New England. Thompson relates a wonderful feat of a driver by the name of Blaisdell, performed on this road, which was the difficult and dangerous task of leaping from his seat on the coach-box on to, and over the near wheel-horse to the ground, and seizing the pole which had just dropped with a cant to run off a precipice 60 feet deep, the wheel being within a yard of the edge, and, holding also to the neck-yoke, guidng a heavy load of passengers safely to the foot of the hill. The rock, which is a mile and a half south of Waterbury street, on the

 

 

 

12 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

Moretown side of Winooski river, has since been known as Blaisdell's Rock.

 

WILLIAM UPHAM

was a most remarkable advocate before a jury, and his speeches in the United States Senate were very highly complimented by Daniel Webster.

 

SAMUEL PRENTISS,

as a jurist, said Chancellor Kent in speaking of him, "Judge Story, the only man to be thought of in comparison, is certainly a very learned and able man, but I cannot help regarding Judge Prentiss as the best jurist in New England." He was also held in high estimation in the Senate of the United States.

 

 

PUBLIC MORALS AND EDUCATION,

a very active interest in, sprang up in the County about the time of its organization, the leader of which was Rev. Chester Wright; and which under the influence of James H. Langdon extended also to trade. In addition to a new impetus in the common district-schools, sabbath-schools were organized, libraries purchased and lyceums formed; the effect of which was felt in all parts of the County, and in 1858, the Union School at the Capital was put in operation, which has really revolutionized the old manner of teaching. Hon. Roderick Richardson superintended the erection of the building, and was chairman of the committee-men. The example was followed by other towns. Academies and seminaries made their appearance; one at Barre, under the auspices of the New England Universalist societies, and one at Montpelier, under the auspices of the Vermont Methodist Conference, and one at Waterbury, under the management of the Baptist denomination.

The County has also been very creditably represented in the number and character of its authors and publications, as well as many able articles from its pens entering into the journalism of different parts of the country.

"The Indian Captive," by Horace Steele, was published in Montpelier in 1812; "Baylies Index," in 3 vols., by Hon. Nicholas Baylies, in 1814; Judge Baylies published beside a book on Free-agency in 1821. "The Battle of Plattsburgh," a poem in pamphlet, by Samuel Woodworth, in 1815: "The Gift," 16 mo., a small poetic book, by Miss Sophia Watrous, of Northfield, published at Montpelier in 184o. The Rev. F. W. Shelton, formerly Rector of the Episcopal Church in Montpelier, has published at different times "Salander and the Dragon," "The Rector of Bardolph, "Chrystaline," "Up the River," and "Peeps from a Belfry," which have given the author a wide and pleasant reputation. Here was also the long-time home at Montpelier of Charles G. Eastman, one of the few American poets complimented with notice by the Edinburgh critics. Here was published his book, some 200 pages, of very fine lyrical and descriptive verse.

The native birdlike melody of some of Eastman's songs has rarely been equalled in our country. An excellent painter of nature, he reflects with much felicity the living features of the rural life of the Green Mountain land. [A full notice of Eastman and his poems will be found in his native Barnard, Windsor Co.]

Daniel P. Thompson held the most prolific pen of any man born or ever residing in the County, the novelist of Vermont, whose hooks have run through fifty editions. [For full notice of, see Berlin.]

There have also been published in Montpelier, The Astronomical Discourses of Thomas Chalmers in 1819, Thomas Cook's Universal Letter-writer, in 1816; James Dean's Vermont Gazetteer, in 1808; Life of Benjamin Franklin, in 1809; Religious Courtship, 1814, The Accident, or Henry and Julia, by Wm. Perrin, 1815; Peter the Great, 1811; Infantry Exercise, 1820; Thompson's Vermont Gazetteer, 1824 and 1840; "A Thanksgiving Discourse," by John Gridley, wherein was given a condensed history of Montpelier, in 1843; "A Geographical Poem" of the County, by Ithamer Smith, some years ago; "A History of the 13th Regiment," in journal form, by Edwin Palmer, Esq., of Waterbury, in 1866; in 1870, "The Harvest Moon and other Poems," by G. N. Brigham, M. D. [See Fayston.]

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY. 13

 

Other several noted authors have had a temporary residence within the County. Samuel Hopkins, author of an Ecclesiastical History in relation to the Seceders and the Puritans; John S. C. Abbott, and the Hon. Isaac F. Redfield, a long-time resident at Montpelier, and for 25 years a member of the Supreme Court of Vermont, and nearly 10 years its Chief Justice, whose more recently published work, called a "Practical Treatise on the Law of Railways," has become a standard work, and given Mr. Redfield, at home and abroad rank with the first of American and English jurists.

The County has sustained within the last fifty years two, and much of the time five, weekly journals, which have been ably conducted for what is known as the country newspaper, the "Vermont Watchman," the "Free Press," which was changed to the "Vermont Patriot," and more recently to the "Argus and Patriot," the "Voice of Freedom," now the "Green Mountain Freeman," the "Christian Messenger," and the "Christian Repository."

 

CENSORS:

Ezra Butler, 1806; J. Y. Vail, 1820; Jos. Reed, 1834; H. C. Reed, 1841; H. F. Janes, 1848; Wm. W. Wells, 1855; Jos, Prentiss, 1862; Chas. Reed, 1869; T. P. Redfield, 1869.

 

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTORS:

Ezra Butler in 1804, '20, '28, '32; Dr. Edward Lamb, 1836; Jos. Reed, 1840.

 

UNITED STATES SENATORS:

Samuel Prentiss, 1831-42; William Upham, 1843-53; Matt. Carpenter, Senator from Wisconsin, born in this County.

 

REPRESENTATIVES TO CONGRESS:

Ezra Butler, 1813-15; H. F. Janes, 1835-37; Paul Dillingham, 1843-47; L. B. Peck, 1847-51; E. P. Walton, 1857-63; C. W. Willard, 1869-73. A son of Judge Rice, of Waitsfield, has also been a territorial Representative, and we have furnished District Judge, Samuel Prentiss; and one District Clerk, Edw. H. Prentiss; and two District Attorneys, Lucius B. Peck and B. F. Fifield.

S. B. Colby received the appointment of first register in the office of the secretary of the treasury under Abraham Lincoln.

Ezra Butler was Governor from 1826 to '28; Chas. Paine from 1841 to '43; Paul Dillingham, Lieut. Governor in 1862, '3, '4, and Governor in 1865 to '67. Gov. Dillingham was also Lieut. Governor for 3 years preceding his election to the chief magistracy.

D. M. Camp and Geo. N. Dale were long-time residents of the County; the former being Lieut. Governor from 1836 to '41. and the other being the present incumbent of that office (1869).

The office of State treasurer has chiefly been held by individuals of the County since the location of the State House here. H. F. Janes, John Spaulding, E. P. Jewett, Geo. Howes, H. M. Bates and John A. Page being the persons receiving at different times the election to that office to 1869.

The office of Secretary of State has also been held by County residents: David Wing, Jr., Timothy Merrill, C. L. Knapp, F. F. Merrill, D. P. Thompson, C. W. Willard, Geo. W. Bailey, Jr., and Geo. Nichols. Mr. Nichols also was chosen president of the last Constitutional Convention.

Major Charles H. Joyce, the present Speaker of the House of Representatives, was a long time resident of this County. Timothy Merrill, O. H. Smith, F. F. Merrill, G. R. Thompson, have been severally elected to the position of clerk of the House. David Wing, Jr., of Montpelier, was assistant judge of Caledonia Co. in 1800, and first judge from 1803 to 1805; Chas. Bulkley, [judge and Ezra Butler, see Berlin and Waterbury]; Cyrus Ware of Montpelier was chief judge of Caledonia Co. Court in 1808. The judges of Washington County Court have been Ezra Butler in 1811-'12; Chas. Bulkley, 1813; Dennison Smith, 1814; Ezra Butler, 1815 to '18, when Jno. Peck presided for one year; Ezra Butler from 1819 to '25. Of the judges of the State supreme and circuit courts Samuel Prentiss, Nicholas Baylies, Isaac F. Redfield, Asahel Peck, and

 

 

 

14 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

Timothy P. Redfield, are or have been residents of this County. The first Representatives from this County were Sam'l Harris from Middlesex and Jacob Davis from Montpelier, who took seats in the assembly held at Bennington, Jan. 10, 1791. Ezra Butler was Councillor from 1809 to '13, and from 1815 to '26; Nicholas Baylies in 1814; George Worthington from 1826 to '30; Henry F. Janes from 1830 to '35; Milton Brown, 1835.

 

STATE SENATORS.

In 1836, by a change in the constitution a Senate was substituted for the Council, to which we sent first Arunah Waterman and Newell Kinsman two years, and after: Jos. A. Curtis and Israel Goodwin, 1838, '39; O. W. Butler, 1840; Nathaniel Eaton, 1840, '41; Paul Dillingham, 1841, '42, '61 , Wooster Sprague, '42, '43; Jacob Scott, '43, 44; Roderick Richardson, '44, '45; O. H. Smith, '45, '46; Moses Robinson, '46, '47; Nath'l Bancroft, '47, '48; Wm. Carpenter, '48, '49; Asaph Town, '49, '50; Leonard Keith, '50, '51; C. G. Eastman, '51, '52; Royal Wheeler, '52, '53; Jos. Moody, '53, '54; Horace Hollister and James Green. '54, '55; John Gregory and F. A. Wright, '56-'7; Joseph Poland and Enoch Putnam, '58-'9; Calvin Fullerton, '60-1; C. W. Willard, '60, '61; Roderick Richardson, Addison Peck and P. D. Bradford, '62, '63; Chas. Reed, '64, '65, '66; Denslow Upham, '64, '65; M. P. Wallace, '64; Wm. W. Henry, '65, '66, '67; J. H. Orcutt, '66, '68; Chas. Dewey, '67, '68, '69; C. H. Heath, '68, '69, '70; J. H. Hastings, '70; Heman Carpenter, '70, '71, '72, '71; Clark King, '72, '73, '74, '75; Eliakim P. Walton, '74, '75, '76, '77; Ira Richardson, '76, '77; W. P. Dillingham, '78, '79, '80, '81; Albert Dwinell, '78, '79, '80, '81.

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY RECORD IN THE REBELLION OF 1861.

 

If in men's minds were doubt whether there were those who could uphold the honor of their sires in the generation of to-day, the illusion dispelled with the answer to the call for men to defend the country's flag; yeoman and clerk and professional man, with the sound of the fife and drum, all moving on, like a sudden blast from the north to the terrible storming of the ramparts and charge of the battle-field, proved more than words can blazon the heroism still in the race a soul-working principle profound in the Vermonter, which needed but a spark to fan it into a blaze of patriotism. War meetings were held, union leagues formed, liberal bounties paid to men, and the families of those in the field cared for. Our heroes and martyrs did well; where shines the lustre of so glorious an epoch, we still feel all of our old State pride when we look on our war-soiled banners, and hear recited the later deeds of our sons. Our dead are on most of the battle-fields from Bull Run to Apomattox; individual deeds they have achieved which will not suffer in comparison with the martial prowess of any time. Instance our old Vt. 2d detached as a reserve to the 26th New Jersey, ordered to carry the heights of Mary's Hill. Our Col. Joyce, who had won the cognomen of Murat in the regiment, had the command. The Jersey boys, meeting tornadoes of lead and iron rained from the battlements above, surging back, "Forward, Vermont Brigade," cried the gallant Joyce, and our gallant 2d :

 

"Then came our gallant Second up,

And passed them on the run:"

"Vermont might well he proud that day

For every martial son."

 

"St. Mary's Heights were won."

 

Sergeant Bennett, a soldier of intrepid daring, was the first to mount the parapets; as he sprang over the breast-work, a rebel officer met him, sabre in hand, and aimed a blow, he dexterously parried with his musket, and pressed to close quarters by several soldiers joining the officer, clubbed his musket in a twinkling, exclaiming. "I'll clean you out of here!" levelled them all to the earth; the next instant fell, pierced by a dozen bullets, and expired at once.

During the battle of the Wilderness, after forcing the rebels from strong entrenchments and capturing and holding them a half mile in front of the main line,

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY. 15

 

the Vt. 2d were asked if they could hold their position until supports could be brought up. "Send us ammunition and provisions and we can hold it six months if you want." Besides the battle of Bull Run, the second regiment, in which our County had two companies, was in the battles of Lee's Mills, Apr. 15, 1862; Williamsburgh, May 5; Golding's Farm, June 26; Savage Station, June 29; White Oak Swamp, June 30; Malvern Hill, July 1; South Mountain, Sept. 14; Antietam, Sept. 17; Fredericksburgh, Dec. 13; Mayre's Heights, May 3, 1863; Sailor's Heights, May 4; Fredericksburgh, June 5; Gettysburgh, July 3; Funckstown, July 10; Rappahannock, Nov. 7; Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864; Spottsylvania, May 10, 12, 14 and 18; Cold Harbor, June 1-12; Petersburgh, June 18; Charlestown, Aug. 21; Opequan, Sept. 19; Fisher's Hill, Sept. 21; Mount Jackson, Sept. 24; Cedar Creek, Oct. 19; Petersburgh, March 25, 1865; Petersburgh, April 2; Sailor's Run, April 6, and after Bull Run, five additional regiments participated in these battles, to which also they would add a few other engagements, and in all our County found itself; represented in the 6th Regiment by two companies. In the Seventh Regiment, at the siege of Vicksburgh, Baton Rouge, Gonzales Station, Spanish Fort and Whistler. In the Eighth Regiment at Cotton, Bisland, Siege of Port Hudson, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Newton. In the Ninth Regiment, at Harper's Ferry, Newport Barracks, Chapin's Farm, Fair Oaks. In the Tenth Regiment, at Orange Grove, Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Tolopotomy, Cold Harbor, Weldon Railroad. Monocacy, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Petersburgh Mar 25 and Apr 2, 1865, and Sailor's Creek. In the Eleventh Regiment, at Spottsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburgh June 8, '64, Weldon Railroad, Washington, Charlestown, Opequan, Winchester, Fisher's Hill, Cedar Creek, Petersburgh, Mar. 25, 27, and Apr. 2, 1865, and in the Thirteenth at Gettysburgh, July 2 and 3, 1863; Seventeenth Regiment, at the battles of the Wilderness, May 6 to 9, 1864; Spottsylvania, 12 to 15 and May 18, 1864; North Anna, Tolopotomy, Bethesda Church, Petersburgh June 17, and the mine July 30, 1864, Weldon Railroad, Poplar Grove Church, Hatcher's Run, Petersburgh April 2, 1865.

In the First Regiment Cavalry, in the battles of Mount Jackson, Fort Republic, Middletown, Winchester May 25, 1862, Surry Court House, Culpepper Court House July 10, '62, Orange Court House, Kelley's Ford, Waterloo Bridge, Bull Run, Ashby's Gap, Broad Run, Greenwich, Hanover, Huntersville, Gettysburgh, Monterey, Lightersville, Hagerstown July 6, 1863, Boonsboro, Hagerstown July 13, 1863, Falling Waters, Port Conway Aug. 26, '63 and Sept. 1, '63, Culpepper Court House Sept. 13, '63, Somerville Ford, Racoon Ford, Falmouth, James City, Brandy Station, Gainesville, Buckland Mills, Morton's Ford, Mechanicsville, Piping Tree, Craig's Church, Spottsylvania, Yellow Tavern, Meadow Bridge, Hanover Court House, Ashland, Hawe's Shop, Bottom Bridge, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, Ream's Station, June 23, Nottaway Court House, Keysville, Roanoke Station, Stony Creek, June 28 and 29, 1864, Ream's Station, June 29, '64, Ridley's Shop, Winchester Aug. 17, 1864. Summit Point, Charlestown, Kearneysville. Opequan, Front Royal, Mooney's Grade, Milford, Waynesboro Sept. 28, '64, Columbia Furnace, Tom's Brook, Cedar Creek Oct. 13, 1864, Cedar Creek Oct. to, '64, Middle Road, Middle and Back Road, Lacy's Springs, Wayesboro Mar. 2, 1865, Five Forks, Namozine Church, Appomattox Station Apr. 8, '65, and Appomattox Court House April 9, 1865.

Gen. Wm. Wells enlisted from Waterbury.

In all of the given Regiments the County had commissioned officers as high as captain. It also furnished men to the 1st, 2d and 3d Batteries of Light Artillery. Of commissioned officers there have been killed in battle and died from wounds, twelve from the County: Lieuts. A. M. Nevins, of Moretown, David B. Davenport, of Roxbury; Major Richard B. Cran‑

 

 

 

16 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

dall, of Berlin; of wounds received at Lee's Mills, Apr. 16, 1862, David B. Davenport, of Roxbury; of wounds at Lee's Mills, April 16, '62, Major Richard B. Crandall and Lieut. A. J. Davis, of Berlin; Captain Luther Ainsworth, of Waitsfield; Major Edwin Dillingham, Lieut. J. E. Henry, Capt. Lucian D. Thompson, of Waterbury; Capt. Edward Hall and Lieut. A. K. Cooper, of Worcester; Lieut. W. E. Martin, of Barre; Lieut. Ezra Stetson, of Montpelier; Lieut. Isaac G. Putnam, of East Montpelier; Lieut. Luther B. Scott and Adjutant Abel Morrill, of Cabot. [Of whom further account will be piven in their respective towns in this volume.]

 

Chas. H. Anson, of Montpelier, was brevetted Captain for gallantry in the assault on Petersburgh, April 2, 1865.

This County furnished for the war 44 captains, 5 adjutants, 7 quarter-masters, 10 majors, 7 lieut. colonels, 4 colonels and generals.

Grand list of the towns in the County; town-bounties paid and number of men raised by each town:

 

 

TOWNS. Men. Grand List. Bounty.

Barre 161 $7,375.17 36,500.64

Berlin 144 4,674.26 31,399.54

Cabot. 174 4,177.52 6,376.22

Calais 98 4,500.85 26,095.23

Duxbury 152 2,145.68 9,940.00

E. Montpelier 74 5,292.36 12,808.83

Fayston 121 1,221.32 16,840.25

Marshfield 150 2,636.56 13,952.20

Middlesex 338 3,229 20 20,882.42

Montpelier 146 11,972.79 24,585.65

Moretown 351 2,954.80 19,830.00

Northfield 94 8,002.20 32,664.84

Plainfield 113 2,250.34 15,598.52

Roxbury 104 2,227.10 200.00

Waitsfield 110 3,267.84 10,671.17

Warren 236 2,560.20 13,438.88

Waterbury 99 7,729.22 23,766.26

Woodbury 84 1,965.59 22.50

Worcester 1,637.01 5,245.95

Total 2965 79,519.95 320,826.00

 

 

Col. Randall's statement of the

 

BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG:

 

"The 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th Vermont Regiments constituted Stannard's Brigade, and were attached to the First or Reynolds' corps at the battle of Gettysburg. This brigade arrived on the field at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the first day, and took position in the rear of Cemetery Hill, in the rear of the main line of battle, where they remained through the night, and through the fore part of the next day. At about noon of the second day the fighting in our front and to our left was quite animated, Generals Sickles and Hancock being at our left. At about 2 o'clock in the afternoon I was ordered to advance my regiment to the front, and somewhat to the left, and took a position some thirty rods in advance of the rest of our brigade, where I held my regiment in column by divisions at rest until about 4 or 5 o'clock in the afternoon. At this time the battle was raging at our left, in front of Hancock's corps, with much violence, and many stragglers were passing to the rear. The balance of Stannard's brigade were lying in their original position. At about this time an officer came riding from the front directly towards where my regiment lay, very fast. As he approached the spot he halted, and asked me what regiment that was. I told him it was the 13th Vermont, of Stannard's brigade. He asked where Stannard and the rest of the brigade were. I pointed out the brigade, some 30 rods in my rear, and also the spot where Stannard and his staff were, a little way in the rear of the brigade. He then said to me will your regiment fight ? I told him they were comparatively new troops, but that I thought I could rely on them. He then said, " I am Gen. Doubleday, and now command the first corps." He also told me he had just come from Gen. Hancock, that that officer was hard pressed, and he was afraid unless he had help very quick he would lose his artillery, or some of it. He ordered me to take my regiment, or what I had of it, proceed in the direction from which he came, and report to Gen. Hancock, and act as he directed, but before I started he said, "Colonel, introduce me to your regiment." I turned with him to the regiment, and said,

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY. 17

 

"Boys, this is General Doubleday, our corps commander." He then said, substantially, as follows : "Men of Vermont ! the troops from your State have thus far in this war earned an enviable reputation. I understand that you are comparatively inexperienced in battle, but you are about to be led in by your Colonel. Much will be expected of you, and I hope you will nobly
uphold the honor of your State. To-day is the great day that determines whether Jeff. Davis or Abraham Lincoln controls this government. You will now follow your Colonel." I then led them in the direction indicated by him, at a double quick, and before reaching the crest or high land in our front, I left the regiment in charge of Major. J. J. Boynton and Adjutant James S. Peck, and rode myself forward to find Gen. Hancock, and see in advance where my regiment could aid him most. As I came on top of the high ground or crest between the cemetery and Little Round Top, I met Gen. Hancock, who was vigorously rallying and encouraging his shattered ranks, many of whom were still fighting valiantly, to hold on and contest the ground inch by inch. I accosted him and told him my regiment was close at hand, and that Gen. Doubleday ordered me up to his assistance. He appeared much gratified, and said to me that the rebels had just taken a battery from him. He pointed out to me the direction in which they had gone with it, and asked me if I could retake it ? I replied to him that I thought I could. He said, "go in, then." By this time my regiment was coming up; I took charge of them, and put them in position to deploy from column into line of battle parallel to his main line, and in front of his somewhat disorganized troops. Gen. Hancock sat near me on his horse, and watched the movement narュrowly. I gave the order to deploy, and rode in front of my companies to watch the movement and see that each company came promptly on to the line. This was under a sharp fire from the enemy, and my men were falling on all sides by this time. As I saw my last company come on the line, I inclined towards the center of the regiュment and gave the order to forward. Just as I did this my horse was shot dead unュder me, and fell, catching me by my right foot under him. The regiment for a moment supposed I was killed, but the horse was rolled off from me by the men as they came up, who soon saw that I was not hurt, and they followed me as I went on foot. At this moment a body of rebel troops, probably a brigade, was deploying from the bushy ground to our left directly in front of us. This I did not see until my horse fell, when I got a view of them under the smoke and dust, as it was lifted. About that time we got a volley from them. I saw the situation was a critical one for us, and that promptness was our chance; and I gave the order to charge upon them, thinking to surprise and overpower them before they reloaded. My men responded to the call most admirably. Before the rebels had time to reload or put themselves in an attitude of defence we were upon them. They threw down their arms and laid low, and we passed over them without much opposition. Here we witnessed one of many acts of treachery which the rebels exhibited at times. As we passed over them as they lay like yarded sheep, a rebel officer rose on his elbow and discharged his pistol at Major Boynton, the charge just brushing the Major's ear-locks. This piece of perfidy was instantly avenged by half a dozen of our men pinning the rebel to the earth with their bayonets. We passed on, and in about 30 rods overtook the detachment of rebel troops in charge of the captured guns, four in number, of the U. S. Regular Artillery. Captain Lonergan, of Co. A. of my regiment, (
Burlington) and myself about simultaneously, I think, came up with the guns overtaken. The rebels appeared very much surprised to see us, but after a flourish or two of sabres and a little emュphatic language they surrendered all the guns to us, and we passed them to the rear. All this time I think Gen. Hancock was watching our movements, and when my horse fell he was so near to me that

 

 

 

18 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

when I got up and left the horse I heard him direct one of his men to keep guard over my saddle and straps on my horse. When afterward I came back the guard, saddle, and straps, were gone, but I afterwards found my saddle. Our men from whom the guns had been taken followed them up, took their guns, and returned with them to our lines. My regiment was now within about 50 rods, as I should judge, of the Emmetsburgh road, and I determined to push forward and gain that road, unless I met with formidable resistance, as I did not. I reached the road, my right resting at a small farm house, which I suppose is called the Peter Rogers house. Here we halted, and I directed Adjutant Peck to go back and apprise Gen. Hancock of our position, and get his orders. About this time Capt. Lonergan came to where I was, much excited, and informed me that the house above mentioned was full of rebels. I immediately went with him to the house, and sure enough it was. I ordered them to throw out their arms and surrender, which they all did; there were eighty-three of them, including officers. While this was going on, the rebel sharp-shooters and skirmishュers were keeping up a sharp fire at my men, which they were returning, and at about this time they ran out two twelve pound brass field pieces at our left on the line of the road, and commenced to fire upon us. At this I directed the attention of two of my companies to them. They soon cleared the pieces of horses and men, and then charged upon them, capturing both of the guns, which we brought off. Adjutant Peek having returned with word from Gen. Hancock to keep my flanks well protected, and return when I had done what I thought I could. Seeing no more game in the bush, we retired to the Union lines, amid much cheering from the troops who had witnessed to some extent our opュerations. I have seen some account of this affair in which it is said that in this movement the 14th regiment led the advance, followed by the 16th, and that afterwards the 13th regiment came up. Now the truth is the 13th were in a position to be first, having been in advance of the other regiments, and did lead. They were no doubt well in the fight before even Gen. Stannard knew of the movement, as I took my order for this advance from Gen. Doubleday, who had then not seen Gen. Stannard.

I do not wish to detract one jot from what any other regiment may have done at this or any other battle, but must not allow my regiment to be misrepresented, either through ignorance or design."

F. V. RANDALL.

 

The brilliant achievements of our nine months' men, the 13th regiment under Colonel Randall at the battle of Gettysュburgh, from the magnitude and imporュtance of the battle, and the circumstance that such bravery was displayed by men for the first time under fire, deserves someュthing of detailed account. Our statement of the part taken in the 2d day's fight is in Col. Randall's own language. The 3d day's part, we collect from published acュcounts given at the time, from both rebel and union officers and correspondents on the field.

In the third and last day's struggle for the victory in this greatest of modern battles, our Regiment of thirteen months' men, never before under fire, did more than honor to the County and State葉hey proved to the world that the thinking bayュonet is immeasurably superior to that of any other; that an educated citizen soldiery, fired by patriotism and a sense of duty, would stand fire of an enemy equal with vetュeran corps, provided they were well officered, and for such disapproved the need of standing armies.

After the previous day's service, illustriュous in the annals of war, as a dash made by inexperienced troops, they joined the 2d Vt. Brigade and slept upon their arms. Friday, the third day of this great battle, a simultaneous cannonade was opened upon our right and left at daybreak Longstreet commanding the batteries firing upon the left where was our Brigade, from an advantageous ridge he had gained in the afternoon of the previous day. Ewell commanded the right, which seems to

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY. 19

 

have been really the point selected for the chief attack in the morning upon our lines. The cannonade lasted only for a short time, when on the right one of the most obstinate and terrible infantry duels took place known in the history of fire arms. Says an eye-witness, "for six hours庸rom 5 till 11 o'clock葉he musketry rolled on those hill-sides in one incessant crash. For six hours, from other portions of our lines, we watched the white smoke-clouds curling up through the tree-tops and wondered what the issue would be. At 11, Geary had driven the enemy back over the breastwork into the valley below." In the left centre, before Longstreet's batteries, was the ad Vermont Brigade. General Stannard in command, in which was our 13th Regiment engaged in their first battle庸or although they had made such a brilliant dash the day before, it could hardュly be considered of the nature of a pitched battle, and had not proved that they would stand a withering fire or a charge. They were in General Doubleday's Division. Col. Randall tells me that Gen. Doubleュday very skeptically inquired "Colonel, will your men stand fire?" "I think they will," Col. Randall replied. We will inュtroduce the language of another who was present on the field, to speak for our 13th Regiment. "The troops of Gen. Doubleday's Division were disposed in three parallel lines of battle. There were two reasons for this show of strength: first, the comparatively level and open nature of the ground at that point invited assault; secュond, our Division and Corps Generals disュtrusted the ability of the nine months troops to withstand a charge. It was owned they did well the night before, when their prompt presence apparently saved the day in that part of the field, but it was known預nd it was about all that was known about them in the Army of the Potomac葉hat they were nine months men, their term of service just expiring, and that they had had no previous experience under fire. They were expected to break at the first earnest onset of the enemy, and a double line of battle was placed behind them,窯uite a needless precaution it was found." Col. Randall's Regiment of nine months men was advanced a little forward and to the left of the main line of the 2d Corps, where they threw up a few rails for protection, and lay low, the brow of the hill also affording a slight protection from the shells. A few men were wounded here in the short morning cannonade, which was followed by a long lull in the storm of battle at this point, meanwhile the vortex of the storm clung to the right, where it raged till 11 o'clock, as we have seen. A little picket skirmishing was all there was in the vicinity of our 13th until the grand assault was heralded by the almost simultaneous burst of 150 guns from the enemy in front. This gave a little opportunity to strengthen the breastwork of rails, which was done some two or three feet with rails scattered upon the ground which was considerable protection to the men when flat upon the ground, and proved much needed before night.

The silence for two hours had been alュmost oppressive along the whole left, although the din of arms roared terribly enough away to the right. At ten minutes before 10 o'clock the signal gun was fired, the top of the low ridge in front almost instantly opened with a storm of shell, round shot and spherical case容ven grape thickening the angry tempest. All this against that breastwork of rails, the cannonade ceased on the rebel side soon after 3 o'clock, the last two hours being rapid firing from this battery of 150 guns, concentrated from every angle upon our left centre, when followed the grand charge. It was not thought possible by the rebel generals that there could be any Union line left to resist a charge after such a cannonade. Now commenced to move in close compact lines, in the finest of order, 17,000 of the picked troops of the Confederacy. On they came at common time, closing up as fast as our cannon opened a gap with that fearful hurtle of iron hail. The assaulting force had a front of about 1,000 yards moving in double column, with supports in the rear extending beyond either flank in front. The advance was across a broad stretch of open meadow,

 

 

 

20 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

something over a mile in length, and varying from a half mile to nearly a mile in width between the confronting ridges, where thus far the battle had raged.

 

The long gray confederate lines, preceded by their skirmishers, have reached the low ground, half the distance between the confronting armies, when the Vermont regiments which are in advance of the main line are ordered up into line to receive the enemy. The enemy's right at first seemed aiming directly upon our 13th and 14th regiments, and they were preparing to give them a volley, to be followed by a charge, when an unexpected movement of the enemy offered the opportunity of a brilliant display of military tactics and prowess, which our Colonels and commanding officers did not fail to take advantage of. As the 13th and 14th rose to deliver their fire, the rebel force in front changed direction by its flank, and marched to the north across their front some 60 rods, when again fronting it, came in upon the line of the 2d Corps to the right of these regiments. Upon the commencement of this movement, the two regiments opened fire upon them by battalion, and continued it by file at about 6o rods with great effect.

 

At the time the rebel charging lines fronted and advanced, after this side movement, they swung partly to the rear and right, where they seemed to become massed, presenting from the position of the Vermont Brigade a column massed by regiments. Thus in position they, with a wild yell, heard above the din of our playing batteries, came in on the charge. The shock of the charge was truly terrible, and it was resisted with a terrible obstinacy. They reach our lines, and the rebel Gen. Armistead is shot down with a hand on one of our guns. They even pierce the line in the terrible struggle, but the opportunity for a flanking movement is discovered by the commanding officers of the Vermont Brigade, a movement already participated in to a certain extent by Col. Randall, of the 13th, and the 13th and 16th were ordered out upon the enemies' flank, Col. Randall already well under way.

They marched some 60 rods parallel to the main line, then changing front, their line swung out at nearly right angles upon the right of the rebel column, still resolutely struggling to force our lines. As we have said. the 13th led, which marched by the right flank, and approached very close upon the enemies' flank, when they changed front forward on the first company, under a scattering fire from the enemies' flank. There was but an instant of time before a rapid fire ran down the line of the regiment, at scarcely more than half pistol range. The effect was instantaneous and destructive beyond calculation. The rebel lines withered away as stubble before the flame. To help complete the havoc and scoop up the prisoners, the 16th were soon seen taking up a position upon the 13th's left. Some 15 rounds were fired by Col. Randall's regiment at this short range, raking the enemy through and through by this fire upon his flank. The 16th also gave him about half as many rounds, every bullet probably taking effect, and many passing through two or three rebel bodies. The rebels broke and fled in all directions, the larger portion of their centre and right dropping their arms and rushing into our lines, surrendering themselves as prisoners. Such was the result of that great charge made by the flower of Southern chivalry (and braver men never went to death), and such the brilliant record made by a regiment of men never under fire before洋en who nine months before were in their shops, behind their counters, and in their farmers' suits, engaged in the pursuits of peace. And Washington County has the honor of sending the commanding officer of this regiment as well as two companies in it, whose singular rare fortune it was to have such an opportunity to distinguish themselves, and whose singularly good fortune it was to so brilliantly fill a record so illustrious by improving its opportunity. The loss of the 13th was 8 killed, 89 wounded, and 26 missing. Men need not "doubt if the warp of gold " be yet in the stock descended from the compatriots of Ethan Allen. The Richmond Sentinel says of the

 

 

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY. 21

 

flanking attack, "As Kemper's Brigade moved up it swung around to the left, and was exposed to the front and flanking fire of the Federals, which was very fatal." Another account in the same paper says: "A flanking party of the enemy, marching in column by regiments, was thrown out from the enemy's left on our extreme right, and by an enfilading fire forced the retirement of our troops." The Richmond Enquirer gives a similar account, to which we may add the testimony of the correspondent of the London Times, who details the movements of the flanking column and speaks of Gen. Longstreet's order sent by Major Latrobe relating thereto, which was never received, as Latrobe's horse was shot under him, all making the issue of the battle turn on this point. It was one of the most memorable battles in history, equalling the carnage of Waterloo and surpassing all others of this generation until we come to the great battles in the campaign of the Franco-Prussian war. The aggregate casualties of the armies fell not much short of 8,000 killed and 35,500 wounded. 5000 rebel dead were buried on or near the field. 7,600 wounded were left in our hands, and 13,621 prisoners were taken. It is not a little singular that our own County seems by the good fortunes of the hour, and the bravery and talent shown by its men, none of them ever under fire before, except their Colonel, to have supplied the pivotal points on two days of this great battle's issue.

Paul Dillingham, of Waterbury, filled the office of Chief Magistracy of the State for more than half the period of the war. He served both the County and State with signal ability. Earnest in suppressing the rebellion, he was prompt to act in filling the several quotas called for by the Government. Zealous in the Union cause, word by and act, he encouraged his fellow citizens to withhold no sacrifice, while he also gave two sons to the country's service, one of whom remains with its dead.

 

NATURAL HISTORY.

 

The County abounds in water-privileges and numerous cold springs, which add greatly to the value of its lands for dairying purposes, as well as its excellent quality of grass. The Winooski, the largest river in the State, rises in the towns of Walden and Peacham, in Caledonia Co., its two head branches uniting in Marshfield, from whence it flows through the whole width of this County and thence through Chittenden Co. into Lake Champlain. It drains an area of about 1,000 square miles. After the junction of the two head branches in Marshfield, we have for its tributaries : Kingsbury's Branch, coming in on the west side of Plainfield Village, Stevens' Branch, coming in 2 miles above Montpelier village, from Barre, the Worcester Branch, uniting at Montpelier village, Dog River 1 mile below, Mad River 1 mile below Middlesex village, and Waterbury River, 2 miles below Waterbury village. There are many brooks beside, in the County, of considerable size and several ponds of varying sizes. Of ponds, the town of Woodbury alone has no less than 9, and the water-power of the County is greatly increased by its ponds which are natural reservoirs.

The geological formation of the County is for the most part talcose slate; mica, hornblend and limestone are found in considerable quantities; argillaceous slate in the southern towns, felspar and quartz, with mica, in the eastern; steatite and iron ore in the town of Warren. Stalactite and asbestos have also been found in smaller quantities in different localities, as well as gold.

Camel's Hump, which lies upon the western border of the County, is only a few feet below the Chin, the highest peak in the Green Mountain range, a bold landmark seen in nearly all parts of the County. Bald Mountain, rising from the spur to the east of Mad River is also a noticeable peak nearly in the corner of the town lines of Waitsfield and Northfield. A spur or range broken off from the Hog-Backs in Middlesex, at what is called the "Narrows." The Winooski seems to have channeled a gateway of a few feet in width down some 80 or 90 feet in the rock, leaving abrupt and precipitous sides crowned

 

 

 

22 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.

 

with overhanging pines. Before this cut there must have been a lake of some miles in length, extending up the river and some of its tributaries above. The Marshfield Falls are also noticeable, where the main branch of the Winooski is said to fall 500 feet in 30 rods.

Benjamin's Falls, near the outlet of Berlin Pond, which are exceedingly picturesque and beautiful, have become a place of frequent resort.

The talc, slate, mica and limestone, mixed and pulverized, are the best and among the most durable of soils. The intervale on Dog, Mad and Winooski Rivers is very fine, though in much of the length of these streams the valleys are narrow. Scarcely inferior to the meadow lands along the rivers are many of the hill farms. Pasturage is even better here, and the hay of better quality, if falling off a little in quantity. The soil is excellent also for corn and oats in the valleys, and besides well adapted to wheat-growing on the uplands. Asa dairy County it has few equals.

In 1841, there was a severe tornado in the towns of Fayston and Waitsfield. It commenced on the heights of the land in the middle of the town of Fayston, and had a S. E. direction, spending its force against the sides of a mountain in the town of Waitsfield, where it leveled some 20 or 30 acres of heavy woodland in a body. As it moved down from the highlands into the valley of Mill Brook, the scene of the storm was said by those who observed from the hill range above the cloud, to be sublime beyond description. One rolling sea of fire with perpetual thunders, crashed and roared as it swept through, as it seemed almost at their very feet. A more general tornado visited the County in 1866, which had a N. E. course, doing much damage in nearly all the towns. The gust that did most of the damage did not last more than a minute or a minute and a half, yet barns were carried from their foundations with cattle, horses, and all to be mixed in one common ruin; houses were unroofed, chimneys blown down, woodlands leveled, and all movable things put in motion, Some of our towns had forty or fifty barns destroyed; one or two valuable horses were killed, and several head of horned cattle. A few persons were seriously injured, though we do not know of any one being killed. Some of the barns were among the very best in the County, valued at two or three thousand dollars. The County has been visited by a number of freshets since its organization, the most notable of which was in 1830, which occasioned the memorable slide upon the eastern slope of the Green Mountains, and by which the County lost most of its bridges and a large share of its mills; several lives were lost. In that of 1869, nearly as destructive, the little village of Plainfield suffered to the amount of $20,000. Half of Montpelier village was under water, several streets in Northfield, and there was a general destruction of bridges and mills throughout the County; also railroad trains were delayed for days.

Deer and the black bear were found very plenty in the first of the settlement, and occasionally the American monsal, or moose. The bear still contests the rights of civilization, rather too successfully for our sheep pastures at times. Fish, also, particularly that favorite, the speckled or brook trout, abounded in our streams.

This county is no doubt among the best localities of the world for trout raising. The spruce partridge and wood-pigeon were considerably hunted for game in former times, and partridge is yet sought by the sportsman with some success. The American panther, or catamount, which figured in our first coat of arms, was occasionally seen, one of which had a bloody fray with a bear just out the precincts of Montpelier village, near the sand-bottom bridge, if we credit the story of Joel Frizzle, an old trapper, who claims to have been an eye witness, and wolves were quite numerous. The Hon. Daniel Baldwin when a lad was chased by a pack while traveling the road on Dog River between Northfield and Montpelier one night after dark, and only saved himself by the dexterity with which he handled a fire-brand.

The cold season of 1816, I have been told by those living at the time, the snow

 

 

 

BARRE. 23

 

fell a foot deep here the eighth of June. The trees full in leaf looked after the freeze as if a fire had over-ran the woods. Many were broken by the weight of the snow, and the apple crop was spoiled, and hardly enough corn raised for seed; but the cereals and the wheat gave abundant harvest, and there was no famine.

Champlain, on the Lake that took his name, saw mountains to the east covered with snow the 4th of July, 1609. Our winters have considerably shortened since the settlement of the country, and our snow-fall and rain-fall no doubt diminished.

We are aware of our incompleteness in this chapter. We have invited the members of the Bar and clerks of the County Court to add whatever may be of interest in that direction, receiving some encouragement it would be clone. The social societies of the County are so much of the nature of those already given by others, we have not thought their interest with the repetition, desirable.

Montpelier, 1869.

 

 

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧

 

 

BARRE.

 

 

BY HON CARLOS CARPENTER.

 

BARRE is situated in the S. E. part of Washington Co., lat, 44ー 11', long. 4ー 31', bounded N. by East Montpelier and Plainfield, E. by Orange, S. by Williamstown and Washington, W. by Berlin, contains 19,900 acres, and was chartered Nov. 6, 1780, to William Williams and 66 others by the name of Wildersburgh, and organized under that name Mar. 11, 1793: Joseph Dwight, first town clerk; Joseph Sherman, Joseph Dwight, Nathan Harrington, selectmen; Jonas Nichols, treasurer; Job Adams, constable; Isaac S. Thompson, Apollos Hale, Elias Cheney listers. The name of the town was soon after changed. At a town meeting holden Sept. 3, 1793,

Voted, that the man that will give the most towards building a meeting-house in said town, shall name the town, and the town will petition the Legislature for that name. The name of the town vendued and bid off by Ezekiel Dodge Wheeler, for 62」 lawful money, he being the highest bidder, and said Wheeler named the town Barre.

 

At the same meeting,

Voted, to recommend Lt. Benj. Walker to serve as justice of peace.

 

At the March meeting in 1794, the town

Voted, to vendue the collectorship to the person who will collect the taxes for the least premium, and the collectorship was vendued to Joel Shurtliff, and he is to give the town three pence, three farthings on the pound for the privilege of collecting all the town taxes.

 

At a town meeting holden June 23, 1794, the town

Voted, to choose a committee of three to procure a preacher of the Gospel. By vote, chose Benj. Walker, Esq., Apollos Hale and Samuel D. Cooke, committee.

 

The town at an early day evinced a desire to look after the moral, social and religious interests of the people that should come among them to settle on the lands, and clear them up to make a thriving community.

The settlement was commenced about 1788, by Samuel Rogers and John Goldsbury, who came into town with their families. Soon after, a number of families came in, and from 1790, the town became rapidly settled by emigrants from Massachusetts and New Hampshire. It was first represented in the General Assembly in 1793, by Nathan Harrington. The town lies 6 miles easterly from Montpelier.

The Vt. Cent. R. R. extended its line to Barre in 1875. The first passenger train carried students and those attending Goddard Seminary Commencement exercises, July 1, 1875, since which passenger and freight trains have run regularly. L. F. Aldrich, first station agent, appointed in August, 1875, served till June 1, 1878; E. K. Williams, from June 1 to July 8, 1878; and M. C. Kinson, appointed July 20, 1878, is present station agent.

Thos. W. Bailey has been passenger conductor since the road was opened, and Dexter Moody baggage-master; engineers, James Bowers, Robert Gregg, David Daniels, and present engineer, Albert Caswell. The cars have never but once been