MONTPELIER. Pages 251-574
BY HON. ELIAKIM P. WALTON.
From the first Vermont grant of the town of Montpelier, Oct. 21, 1780, to Jan. 1, 1849, the territory known by that name embraced the present towns of MONTPELIER and EAST MONTPELIER; hence this paper will for that period give the history of the two existing towns under the original name, and of the present town of Montpelier from the last named date.
The original town was located on the longest river which has both its origin and embouchure within the State—the Winooski. In a map published at New Haven, Conn., about 1779, this river was called, "R. a in Moelle, French or Wenusoo also Oniain R." The first name was given by Champlain in 1609, to the next principal river north, now called Lamoille, and it was erroneously applied to the Winooski on the map referred to; French, or Onion, river was the name given in early New Hampshire charters of towns located on the river, and "Wenusoo" and ''Oniain" were the erroneous readings by the draftsman or engraver, for the genuine and beautiful Winooski, and the equally genuine but strong-flavored Onion, which suggests rather the richness of the broad meadows on either bank than the exceeding beauty of the mingled landscape of water, meads and magnificent mountains.
The town was located in latitude 44° 17' north, and longitude 4° 25' east from the capitol at Washington, and about 10 miles north-east from the exact geographical centre of the State, which is near the west line of Northfield, in the mountain between Northfield and Waitsfield. Four important branches embouch in the town or on its border: Dog river from the south, Stevens's Branch from the south-cast and Kingsbury's Branch and North Branch from the north, while the Winooski itself enters near the north-eastern, and runs to the south-western, corner of the town. Dog river gave the passage for the Vermont Central railroad through the mountains to the third branch of White river, which has its source at the same level as that of Dog river; Stevens's Branch has the same source in one of its branches as the second branch of White river, which cuts through the eastern mountain range by the famous "Gulf" in Williamstown, and a branch of Stevens's, from Barre, gives easy access to the valley of Wait's river. The northern branches of the Winooski give eligible passes to the upper valleys of Wells and Lamoille rivers, and North Branch gives an easy and almost a perfectly straight pass into the valley of the Lamoille, opposite Wild Branch, which cuts through to a branch of Black river, and thus opens a clear way to Lake Memphremagog at Newport. This location of the town, so central and so easily accessible to the surrounding country in every direction, probably had an important influence in making it the political capital of the State, as it certainly has had upon the thrift of its business men. These facts also indicate that in the future, as ability shall be given, the village of Montpelier will become the centre for the intersection of at least five railroad lines, running in the river valleys above named, making it ultimately as accessible by rail as it has been by the ordinary highways. The Central railroad now opens two of these valleys to Montpelier; in the third, the Montpelier and Wells River railroad is now in operation; in the fourth, the managers of the Central road contemplate the laying of a track, and in that event the valley of the North Branch to the Lamoille will alone remain to be occupied. A survey for a railroad there has been made, and the route is proved to be feasible.
The earliest known grant of any part of the territory, on which the township was located, was made by Cadwallader Colden, Lieutenant and acting Governor of the then royal Province of New York, June 13, 1770, under the name of "Newbrook," which was a grant to Jacobus Van Zant. On a map of Vermont, and of parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, published at New Haven, Conn., when the inhabitants of Vermont held their lands "by the triple title of
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honest purchase, of Industry in Settling. and now lately that of conquest," the last phrase indicating about 1779 as the date—this New York township seems to have embraced Montpelier eastward from a short distance west of the mouth of North Branch, near the spot on which the State Capitol stands, with parts of Barre, Plainfield and Berlin.*
On the 25th of June, 1770, still another small portion of Montpelier, on the Eastern border of the town, was granted, by the same authority, under the name of "Kingsborough," to John Morin Scott, who was subseqnently a delegate from New York in the Continental Congress; and on the 3d of July, 1771, John Murray, Earl of Dunmore, and then Governor of New York, granted yet another portion, under the name of "Kilby," to William McAdams. According to the map referred to, this grant covered all but a very narrow gore between the New Hampshire grant of Middlesex and the preceding New York grants of Kingsborough and Newbrook. HON. HILAND HALL has suggested that Newbrook embraced Waterbury and vicinity, Kingsborough, Montpelier and vicinity, and Kilby, Middlesex and vicinity;† but the New Haven map very correctly marks all the towns granted by New Hampshire on the North side of the Winooski, from Colchester to Middlesex, both included, with the names they now bear, except Belton for Bolton, and an omission of the corner of Richmond, which is included in Jericho. Immediately adjoining and East of Middlesex is "Kilby," just where Montpelier belongs. The only difficulty in the case is that "Kilby" contained 30,000 acres, or 6,930 more than Montpelier, which would make "Kilby" cover a part of the present towns of Plainfield and Marshfield, with the whole of Montpelier; but, on the other hand, in that case, the junctions of North Branch and Stevens's Branch with the Winooski should be in "Kilby" on the map, whereas they are in "Newbrook." The writer has conjectured that "Kilby" in fact embraced part of the territory laid down on the map as Middlesex, and that Montpelier was covered by parts of "Kilby," "Newbrook" and "Kingsborough," which would bring Berlin very near its correct place on the map, where it is in fact quite erroneously placed in relation to Middlesex. These statements are of some interest as belonging to the history of the town, yet they are of no possible importance, since the grantees of New York appear never to have availed themselves of their grants, though an attempt was made to survey this region in 1773, by Samuel Gale, which was prevented by Ira Allen.**
The names of the New York grantees do not appear in the list of persons who received compensation for their lands out of the $30,000 paid by Vermont to New York as a settlement of the long and bitter controversy for title and jurisdiction. The three New York grants were therefore dormant, or had lapsed for want of compliance with prescribed conditons, when, in 1780, a petition was filed in the office of the Secretary of State of Vermont, by Timothy Bigelow, Jacob Davis, Jacob Davis, Jr., Thos. Davis, and others, asking for a grant of unappropriated land. This was at the most critical period in the history of Vermont, when New York and New Hampshire were both claiming jurisdiction of the State, and Congress seemed so strongly bent upon sacrificing it to one of the claiming States, or dividing it between both, that the agents of Vermont in Congress withdrew, and indignantly refused further to attend, though invited to do so.††
* The explanation on the map brings out so strongly the Vermont spirit of those days, that it is worth copying entire, as follows:
"The Townships or Grants East of Lake CHAMPLAIN are laid down as granted by the State of NEW HAMPSHIRE, Except those that are marked Y Which were granted by the State of NEW YORK on unlocated ground, where they do not interfere with the Hampshire Grants; the Spurious New York grants that interfere with the older ones are marked with dotted lines, and as they are mostly granted to Officers in the Regular army except a few which have the name of WALLIS, KEMP. and some such other favourites of these Princes of Land Jobbers MOORE, DUNMORE, COLDEN, and TRYON, Stamped on them, it was not thought worth while to note them: Especially as the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont now hold them by the triple title of honest purchase, of Industry in Settling, and now lately that of Conquest."—Map facing page 530 in Vol. 4, of Documentary History of New York.
† Vermont Historical Society Collections, Vol. I, pp. 154,155,156.
** Vt. Historical Society Collections, Vol. I, p. 356, where Allen states explicitly that Gale's camp was "near the northeast corner of the [then] present town of Montpelier."
†† Same, Vol. II, pages 31-34.
At this period, two-thirds of the State were occupied by the scouts of the British army and the Green Mountain Boys,* and the British far exceeded the Vermonters in the number of men and in military supplies. In fact, on the very day when the General Assembly authorized the grant of Montpelier, Major Carleton with a British force was at Ticonderoga, just returned from a successful raid on North-eastern New York, in which he had captured Forts Ann and George, and destroyed nearly all the farm-houses and barns in the towns of Kingsborough and Queensborough.†
It was at this critical time that Vermont was forced to rely on policy rather than arms for protection, and the negotiation with Gen. Frederick Haldimand, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in Canada, was then instituted. In these desperate circumstances, one of the greatest difficulties was the want of money with which to supply and pay the little army of the infant Statea State which was not only relying solely on its own resources for its own defense, but actually had furnished and was in part supporting Col. Seth Warner's regiment in the Continental army, then and while in service used for the protection of Vermont's most dangerous enemy—New York. For the extraordinary expenses of military defense, the taxes upon a people just entered upon the primeval forests, and having hardly cleared enough to afford a scanty support even in peaceful times, would not suffice; and necessarily, therefore, the State Government relied upon the sale of its wild lands, and of the confiscated estates of enemies, for a fund to meet extraordinary expenses. An essential point of course was, to find purchasers who could make ready pay in specie, or its equivalent, and thus supply the pressing needs of the government. Accordingly we find, on the Assembly journal of the 14th of October, 1780, the following entry:
Resolved, that a Committee of five, to join a Committee from the Council, be appointed to take into consideration the situation of ungranted lands within this State which can be settled, and the several petitions filed in the Secretary's office praying for grants of unlocated lands, and report their opinion what lands can be granted and what persons will most conduce to the welfare of this State to have such grants.
The members chosen by ballot are, Mr. Samuel Robinson, Mr. [Edward] Harris, Col. [John] Strong, Mr. [Ebenezer] Curtiss, and Mr. [Joshua] Webb.**
This Committee was deemed so important that on the 17th of October, 1780, the Assembly added to it four members, to wit: Mr. [Matthew] Lyon, Mr. [Benjamin] Whipple, Mr. [Thomas] Porter, and Mr. [Major Thomas] Murdock.†† The members of this Committee were selected from the then most important towns in the State, to wit: Bennington, Halifax, Dorset, Windsor, Rockingham, Arlington, Rutland, Tinmouth and Norwich; and the Council completed the Committee by adding leading men of the time, all noted in Vermont history, to wit: Ira Allen, John Fassett, (Jr.,) Jonas Fay and Paul Spooner.‡
The grant of the township of MONTPELIERa name given by Col. Jacob Davis—was, in this emergency, the first one recommended by the Committee and the first one authorized by the General Assembly.
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
Saturday Oct. 21st, 1780.
The committee appointed to take into consideration the ungranted lands in this State, and the several Pitches on file in the Secretary's office, &c., brought in the following report, viz:
"That, in our opinion, the following tract of land, viz: lying east of and adjoining Middlesex, on Onion river, and partly north of Berlin, containing 23040 acres, be granted by the Assembly unto Col. Timothy Bigelow and Company, by the name of MONTPELIER."
Signed, PAUL SPOONER, Chairman.
The aforesaid report was read and accepted, and
Resolved, That there be and hereby is granted unto Col. Timothy Bigelow and company, being sixty in number, a township of land, by the name of MONTPELIER,
* In October, 1780, the month in which the grant of Montpelier was asked, a British party passed through that town, on their way to attack Royaton.—See B. H. Hall's Eastern Vermont, p 383.
† Vt. Hist. Soc. Coll., Vol. II. pages 36, 41 44, 66-69.
** Ms. Assembly Journal, 1775-1784, p. 128
†† Same Assembly Journal, p. 130.
‡ Ms. Journals of Council, 1778 to 1780, p. 313.
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situate and lying in this State, bounded as follows, viz: lying east of and adjoining Middlesex, on Onion river, and partly north of Berlin, containing 23040 acres: And the Governor and Council are hereby requested to issue a Grant or Charter of incorporation of said township of Montpelier, under such restrictions, reservations, and for such considerations, as they shall judge best for the benefit of the State.*
Saturday, 21st Oct., 1780.
The Governor and Council, to whom was referred the stating the fees for the grant of land made this day, by the General Assembly of this State, having had the same under their consideratiou, have stated the fees aforesaid at four hundred and eighty pounds for the sd. land, being one township by the name of MONTPELIER, in hard money, or an equivalent in Continental Currency, to be paid by Col. Timothy Bigelow or his attorney, on the execution of the Charter of Incorporation, on or before the 20th day of January next.
Attest, JOSEPH FAY, Secy.
Although the sole condition of the grant was the payment of £480, in specie or an equivalent in Continental Currency, by the 20th of January 1781, the first charter was not granted until the 14th of August of that year, when a very imperfect charter was drawn—probably by Thomas Tolman, one of the grantees and Deputy Secretary of the Governor and Counciland executed by Governor Chittenden. In this charter no boundaries were given to the town; the customary five rights reserved for edutional and religious purposes were not inserted, but were referred to as in the charter of the town of Ripton; and two onerous conditions were imposed, to wit: first, that within 3 years after the circumstances of the then existing war would permit, 5 acres of land should be planted or cultivated, a house at least 18 feet square on the floor be erected, and one family settled, on each respective Right, on penalty of forfeiture of the land; and, second, reserving all Pine Timber suitable for a Navy to the use and benefit of the Freemen of the State. As this is not the charter of the town, another having been substituted for it, and granted to the original and a few other grantees, in 1804, it is omitted in this paper, and the reader is referred for a copy to Hon. Daniel P. Thompson's History of Montpelier, published in 1860, pp. 21 and 22.
Notwithstanding the imperfection of the charter of 1781, the proprietors proceeded to allot and organize the town under it, beginning with a warning dated June 11, 1784, which was less than three years from the date of the original charter, and fourteen months after the close of the Revolutionary War, by Gen. Washington's proclamation of Apr. 19, 1783. Before noticing the proprietors and the record of their meetings, it is best to give a list of the proprietors, which is embraced in the perfected and now actual charter of the town, that was authorized by a special act of the General Assembly, passed Feb. 1, 1804, and executed on the 6th of the same month.
THE CHARTER OF MONTPELIER.
The Governor of the State of Vermont, to all People to whom these Presents shall come,
Whereas, the Legislature of the State of Vermont, at their adjourned session, holden at Windsor, on the first day of February A. D. 1804, was pleased to pass an act entitled an act authorizing the Goverernor of this State to issue a new charter of Montpelier,—
Now, therefore, Know Ye, that I, Isaac Tichenor, Governor within and over said State, and in the name, and by the authority of the same, and in pursuance of, and by virtue of the act aforesaid, Do, by these presents, give and grant the tract of land hereafter described and bounded, unto Timothy Bigelow, and to the several persons hereafter named, his associates, in equal shares, viz:
Ebenezer Waters, Ebenezer Upham, Elisha Wales, Elisha Smith Wales, Joel Frizzle, Bethuel Washburn, John Washburn, Elijah Rood, Thomas Chittenden, George Foot, Elisha Smith, Jedediah Strong, James Prescott, Jacob Brown, Gideon Ormsbee, James Mead, John W. Dana, Timothy Brownson, Gideon Horton, Matthew Lyon, Samuel Horsford, Ithamer Horsford, William Smith, Jacob Spear, Jonas Galusha, Mary Galusha, Noah Smith, Moses Robinson, Moses Robinson, Jun., John Fassett, Jun., Jonas Fay, Abiathar Waldo, Thomas Tolman, Timothy Stanley, Joseph Dagget, Ira Allen, Lyman Hitchcock, James Gamble, Alanson Doug‑
* Ms. Assembly Journal, 1778—1784 p. 138.
† Ms. Journals of Council, 1778 to 1780, p. 315.
lass, Adam Martin, the heirs of Isaac Nash, Jonathan Brace, Howell Woodbridge, James Brace, Henry Walbridge, Jun., Joseph Fay, William Goodrich, Sybil Goodrich, Thomas Matterson, Amos Waters, David Galusha, Jacob Davis, Ephraim Starkweather, Shubael Peck, Jacob Davis, Jun., Thomas Davis, John Ramsdell, Issacher Reed, Isaac G. Lansingh, Ebenezer Davis, Asa Davis, Levi Davis, Ebenezer Stone, and Samuel Allen,—
Which, together with the five following Rights, reserved to the several public uses, in manner following, include the whole of said tract or township, to wit: One Right for the use of a Seminary or College, one Right for the use of County Grammar Schools in said State, lands to the amount of one Right to be and remain for the settlement of a Minister or Ministers of the Gospel in said Township forever, lands to the amount of one Right for the support of the social worship of God in said Township, and lands to the amount of one Right for the support of an English School or Schools in said Township,—which said two Rights for the use of a Seminary or College, and for the use of County Grammar Schools, as aforesaid, and the Improvements, Rents, Interests and Profits arising therefrom, shall be under the control, order, direction and disposal of the General Assembly of said State forever.
And the proprietors of said Township are hereby authorized and empowered to locate said two Rights justly and equitably, or quantity for quantity, in such parts of said Township as they, or their committee, shall judge will least incommode the general settlement of said Tract or Township.
And the said proprietors are further empowered to locate the lands aforesaid, amounting to three Rights, assigned for the settlement of a Minister or Ministers, for their support, and for the use and support of English Schools, in such, and in so many places, as they, or their committee, shall judge will best accommodate the inhabitants of said Township when the same shall be fully settled and improved, laying the same equitably, or quantity for quantity,—which said lands, amounting to the three Rights last mentioned, when located as aforesaid, shall, together with the Improvements, Rights, Rents, Profits, Dues and Interests, remain inalienably appropriated to the uses and purposes for which they are respectively assigned, and be under the charge, direction and disposal of the inhabitants of said Township forever.
Which tract of land, hereby given and granted as aforesaid, is bounded and described as follows, to wit:
Beginning at a Basswood Tree on the North Bank of Onion River marked MIDDLESEX CORNER, JULY, 13, 1785; thence North 36° East, six miles to a Beech Tree marked MONTPELIER CORNER, JUNE 14, 1786; thence South 54° East, six miles and a half, to a Maple Straddle marked MONTPELIER CORNER, JUNE 17, 1786; thence South 36° West, five miles and five chains, to a Basswood Tree in Barre North line, marked JUNE 19, 1786; thence North 67° West, one mile and sixty seven chains, to Onion River: thence down said river as it tends to the first bound.
And that the same be, and hereby is incorporated into a TOWNSHIP by the name of MONTPELIER.
And the inhabitants that do, or shall hereafter, inhabit said Township, are declared to be enfranchised, and entitled to all the privileges aud immunities that the inhabitants of other towns within this State do, and ought, by the laws and Constitution thereof, to exercise and enjoy.
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said granted premises, as above expressed, with all the privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging, unto them and their respective heirs and assigns forever.
In testimony whereof I have caused these letters to be made patent, and the seal of our State to be hereunto affixed.
Given under my hand at Windsor, this 6th day of February, A. D. 1804, and of the Independence of the United States the twenty-eighth.
By His Excellency's command,
DAVID WING, JR., Secretary of State.
It will be observed that the boundaries are stated; that all conditions are omitted, the town then being fully organized and well settled, having a population of about 1000; and that the list of grantees and proprietors numbers 65 persons instead of the original 60. The additional names are the five first following that of Timothy Bigelow. It appears from the record of a proprietors' meeting, held in January 1787, that Joel Frizzle (one of the additional five) owned the original right of James Gamble, and his pitch was confirmed to him. Probably the other four became proprietors in the same way—by purchasing original rights. The explanation of retaining in the new charter the names of original grantees who had sold their rights to the five new grantees in that case is, that it was done out of abundant caution, to make the title of the purchasers unquestionable. The original charter is not now to be found,
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and probably it was destroyed on the issuing of the new charter, in which case it was fit that the five persons then holding original rights by purchase should have their names recorded in what was thereafter to be the charter of the town. The town record indicates that the copy of the original charter has been cut out, and the new charter substituted for it.
THE ORIGINAL PROPIETORS OF MONTPELIER.
The list of grantees is remarkable for the number of the influential men of the State embraced in it, to wit: Thomas Chittenden, Governor; Moses Robinson, Judge of the Supreme Court, Governor, and U. S. Senator; Jonas Galusha, Judge of Supreme Court, and Governor; Ira Allen, State Treasurer, Surveyor-General, Agent to Congress, and the man of all sorts of work in surveying, road-making, financiering, and State politics at home, and in sharp statesmanship and diplomacy abroad; Jonas and Joseph Fay, Secretaries, and Thomas Tolman, Deputy Secretary, and all authors of State papers, the firstnamed Judge of the Supreme Court, and the first two, agents to Congress, and employed in the Haldimand correspondence; Matthew Lyon, Clerk of the General Assembly, Member of Congress, and an energetic and heroic man in politics and business enterprises; and John Fassett, Jr., and Noah Smith, the first a Councillor, and both Judges of the Supreme Court. With such proprietors, residing in Western Vermont, and most of them remote from Montpelier, it is not surprising that a deep interest was felt in the town, and a powerful influence exerted for its early prosperity in quarters where naturally it would receive little sympathy or favor.
THE "FOUNDER" OF THE TOWN.
The first grantee of Montpelier, who in the Pedigree of the Lawrence family of Massachusetts is styled "Founder of the town of Montpelier, Vermont," was Col. TIMOTHY BIGELOW, of Worcester, Mass., born August 12, 1739. He was a distinguished officer in the American War for Independence; a Major under Gen. Arnold in the expedition against Quebec, in 1775-6;* Commander of the 15th Continental Regiment at the capture of Burgoyne and other battles; and a Member of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts in 1774 and 1775. Washington said, when reviewing Col. B.'s soldiers,—"This is discipline indeed." His son Timothy was one of the most distinguished lawyers of Massachusetts, for thirty years a member of one or the other branch of the Legislature, and speaker of the House for eleven years; and his grand-daughter Katharine, daughter of the second Timothy Bigelow; married the late Abbott Lawrence, LL. D., Representative in Congress, and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Court of St. James.† The "founder" of Montpelier died May 31, 1790, ten months before the town was organized, and doubtless his rights to lands in the town all passed to other persons previous to the organization, the deeds of which will probably be found in the records in the Orange County Clerk's office. The author of the pedigree of the Lawrence family of course had the tradition that Timothy Bigelow was the founder of the town, and perhaps full and authentic testimony to the fact.
The writer of this paper can only conjecture the ground on which the chief honor, as founder, should be conceded to Col. Bigelow; but the conjecture is so reasonably founded as to leave no doubt of its accuracy. The original petition of Timothy Bigelow and others for the grant bore the names of at least three of the Davises who were, with Joel Frizzle, the first settlers in the town; and the Davises were all from Worcester County, Mass., of which Timothy Bigelow was a resident.
* Arnold's field officers were Lieut. Col. Christopher Greene, (the hero of Red Bank, on the Delaware,) Lieut. Col. Roger Enos, [afterwards General Commanding in Vermont, under the authority of the State,] and Majors [Return J.] Meigs, [of Connecticut, afterwards of Ohio, and father of the Governor of Ohio, and U. S. Posmaster General of that name,] and [TIMOTHY] BIGELOW.—Lossing's Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution, Vol. 1, p. 190. Lossing records that on the expedition, Maj. Bigelow ascended a high mountain, then covered with snow, hoping to gain a sight of Quebec; for which feat the name "Mount Bigelow" was given to it, and is still retained.
† New England Genealogical Register, Vol. 10, 1856, facing page 287. Blake's Biographical Dictionary states that the second Timothy Bigelow above named during a practice of 32 years, "argued not less than 15,000 cases." A later biographer reduced the number to 10,000, His death at 54 is not surprising.
At the session in Oct. 1779, the legislature of Vermont established a form of town charters, and appointed Ira Allen to visit sundry states to further the interests of the State.* The Vermont Ms. State Papers contain many petitions for lands granted in 1779, made on a uniform printed form, which was most probably furnished by Allen (then Surveyor-General;) and many petitions in 1779 and 1780, of land companies formed in Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire, and in some cases of officers and men in the continental army. These, it is most reasonable to presume, were among the fruits of Allen's mission, which clearly was to make an interest for Vermont in as many states as possible, and also in the army.
The conjecture then is, that Col. Bigelow was the head of one of these land companies, as Gen. William Prescott, of Massachusetts, certainly was of another. Gen. Prescott was with Col. Bigelow at the capture of Burgoyne, and their residences in Massachusetts were in the same region—the one at Groton and the other at Worcester. At the head of such a company, Col. Bigelow would have been the most active and influential man in forming it, and by his influence, and possibly by his aid, the Davises were enlisted, who were the foremost men at work upon the ground; and their associates, most of them from Worcester and Plymouth Counties, Mass., were by the same influence led to become settlers. Certain it is that many of the early settlers were from that part of Massachusetts. To this day a Montpelier man cannot visit Worcester, Rochester, New Bedford, Yarmouth, and Edgartown, without finding in each town names that were familiar in Montpelier sixty years agosuch as Davis, Clark, Stevens, Burgess, Hatch, Bennett, Hammett, and Nye. The writer is confident that the original petition for the grant, could it be found, would prove that the company was chiefly composed of Massachusetts men, such as Col. Bigelow would most fitly head, and so make him justly entitled to the credit his descendants have claimed for him.
On application of more than one sixteenth of the proprietors, a warning was issued June 11, 1784, for the first proprietors' meeting, "at the house of Eliakim Stoddard, Esq., inn-holder, in Arlington, [Bennington county,] on Tuesday the 17th day of August [then] next, at 9 of the clock in the forenoon," for the purpose of choosing moderator, proprietors' clerk, and treasurer, and to see what the proprietors would do respecting a division of the township. A meeting was holden accordingly, composed of Gov. Thomas Chittenden, Hon. Timothy Brownson, Maj. Gideon Ormsby, Jonas Galusha, and Thomas Tolman, esquires, and Mesrrs Joseph Daggett and John Ramsdell—who acted for themselves, and for others by power of attorney. Of these seven persons a majority were men of the highest worth and influence in the State: Governors Chittenden and Galusha; Timothy Brownson, President of the Board of War, and Councillor from 1778 to 1795, and "one of the most trusted and confidential advisers of Gov. Chittenden during the whole period of his perilous and successful administration;"** Maj. Gideon Ormsbee, who was then and for many years a representative of Manchester in the General Assembly, and Thomas Tolman, Deputy Secretary to the Governor and Council. The officers elected by the meeting were: Gideon Ormsbee, moderator; Thos. Tolman, clerk; and Jonas Galusha, treasurer. It was voted to lay out a first division of lands in the town, in lots of 150 acres each, and a committee of six was appointed for the purpose, to wit: Thomas Tolman, Samuel Horsford, Gideon Ormsbee, Jonas Galusha, Joseph Daggett, and Samuel Beachall but Mr. Beach being proprietors, and he was the surveyor.
The meeting adjourned to the first Monday in April, 1785, but there was no meeting at that time, and, under a new warning, the next meeting was at Arling‑
* Vt. Hist. Coll., vol. I, p. 405.
** Hiland Hall's Early History of Vermont, p.458.
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ton, Jan. 11, 1786, of which Col. Timothy Brownson was moderator. The appointment of Mr. Tolman as clerk and the order for the first division were ratified, providing that 5 acres should be added to each lot or right, as an allowance for highways, and that the division should be laid out in good form and as near to the centre of the town as might be. Col. Jacob Davis offered to complete the survey for £1 3s. 10d. per right, and this was accepted. A new committee for laying out the division was then appointed, consisting of Col. Jacob Davis, Ebenezer Waters, (or, on his failure, Caleb Ammadon,) Samuel Horsford, Col. Samuel Robinson, and Capt. Abiather Waldo.
By adjournment, the next meeting was held at the house of the clerk, Thomas Tolman, in Arlington, Jan. 9, 1787. In the absence of Col. Brownson, Col. Jacob Davis was appointed moderator. The members of the committee to lay out the first division, who were present, were sworn before Gov. Chittenden to a faithful discharge of their trust, and then submitted a return, plan and survey-bill of the division, which was accepted and ordered to be recorded. A "draft," or drawing by lot, was then made, in the presence of the meeting, as the law required, and a lot or right in the first division was in that way assigned to each proprietor. Accounts were allowed, £77 9s. to Col. Jacob Davis for laying out the division—£5 to Thomas Tolman for clerk's feesand 15s. to the collector for expense of advertising the first tax. A tax on each proprietor's right, of £1 5s. was then laid, out of the proceeds of which treasurer Galusha was directed to pay the above accounts. Joseph Daggett was appointed collector, and was directed to collect the tax in time for a vendue sale of lands, in default of payment on any right, on the 2d Tuesday of the succeeding June. It was represented to this meeting that Joel Frizzel had become an actual settler, and had made his "pitch" as owner of the right of James Gamble; whereupon it was voted that his pitch be granted and confirmed to him on the right of Gamble, and a lot of 103 acres, (the three as an allowance for highways,) was thus allowed to him, and located on the Winooski, at the S. W. corner of the town, adjoining Middlesex, subsequently known for many years as the John Walton farm, and now owned by Col. Elisha P. Jewett, and known as the Jewett farm. It was also voted to lay out a second division of lands but excluding pine lands, to contain 66 lots, excluding the rights of James Gamble, (provided for in Frizzel's pitch,) Jacob Davis, Jacob Davis, Jr., and Thomas Davis, who, in lieu of rights to be drawn, were allowed to select two lots of 186 acres each, within the second division, convenient for a saw-mill and a grist-mill. It was then voted to make a third division, called the "Pine Pitch Division," lying between Frizzel's pitch and the second division, being the land reserved in the second division, and this was to be divided into 70 equal lots. This division was small, 17 acres and ½, or ¼ of an acre to the proprietor of each right. It was on the hill west of Green Mount Cemetery, and Thompson stated, on the authority of the late Simeon Dewey, Esq., who sawed the greatest part of the pine on this division, that the trees were of the most splendid northern sort, not excelled elsewhere in Vermont, or in New Hampshire, or even Maine. The condition of the first charter, then existing, as to pine suitable for a navy, received an interpretation most liberal to the proprietors of the town, many of whom sold their right to Col. Davis, and most of the lumber unquestionably went into vessels that were securely anchored on dry land. The State was not a loser by this appropriation, however, since the pines from that hill sheltered many a man who had served his State and country on sea and land in the revolutionary struggle, and who gave sons and grandsons to serve them in the war of 1812 and in the last and greatest struggle of all. Col. Davis was employed to survey these two divisions on the same terms as for the first division; and Ebenezer Waters, surveyor, Col. Jacob Davis, Parley Davis, Nathan Waldo and Joel Frizzel were appointed a com‑
mittee to lay them out. After other formal business, the meeting adjourned to the second Tuesday of the next June, at the house of Capt. Elisha Wales, in Arlington.
June 11, 1787, the proprietors met persuant to adjournment, Col. Timothy Brownson in the chair. Ebenezer Waters, Col. Jacob Davis, and Nathan Waldo, of the committee to lay out the second and third divisions were sworn, and then submitted their report, which was accepted by a unanimous vote. A drawing was then made, "the same being done deliberately, correctly, and in open meeting," by surveyor Waters, so as to allot the land in the second and third divisions equally to each proprietor. On the 12th, the accounts for surveys, &c., were allowed and a tax voted; Col. Jacob Davis and Parley Davis were appointed a committee to lay out and make the necessary highways; and the meeting adjourned to the second Tuesday in January, 1788. On the same day, June 12, 1787, a vendue sale of proprietors' lots took place for non-payment of taxes, and the sales were recorded, and rules for redemption adopted. About half of the original proprietors' rights to the first division were sold, and mainly to Col. Jacob Davis, and the proprietors' clerk, Thomas Tolman.
The meeting at Arlington in January, 1788, extended the time for completing roads until the succeeding June; assessed a. tax of 3s. per right for making roads; allowed the accounts of its officers, and adjourned to the first Wednesday of June following, at the house of Jonas Galusha, in Shaftsbury.
June 4, 1788, the proprietors met according to adjournment; accepted the report of the committee appointed to make roads; allowed their accounts, and assessed an additional tax of 19s. per right for the coastruction of roads.
The next proprietors' meeting was held, on due warning, at Montpelier, Aug. 28, 1792, of which Clark Stevens was moderator, and David Wing, Jr., clerk—both of Montpelier. The meeting ordered the fourth and last division of lands to be made under the direction of Col. Jacob Davis, and adjourned to the second Tuesday of May, 1793, at the house of Col. Jacob Davis, in Montpelier.
May 14, 1793, the proprietors met as per adjournment, when the fourth division was accepted and allotted in 70 equal parts. After allowing the accounts for the same, the meeting adjourned, to meet at the (public) house of David Wing, Jr., in Montpelier, on the 14th of May, 1795.
The adjourned meeting assembled at the time named; "and there appearing no business before the meeting, Voted, that this meeting be dissolved." This was the last meeting of the proprietors, the land all having been allotted, and the town passed by formal organization under a legal town government.
According to his agreement with the proprietors, made in January, 1786, Col. Jacob Davis with a surveying party entered the town that year, and surveyed and laid out the first division of lands, his report having been made in January, 1787; but this service did not technically amount to "a settlement," although Col. Davis then undoubtedly determined to settle in the town. In the spring of the same year, 1786, previous to the survey of the first division, Joel Frizzel entered upon the southwest corner lot of the town, on the farm formerly of John Walton, and now of Col. E. P. Jewett, cleared a small part of it, planted corn, erected a small log-house, and resided in it with his wife, a French woman. "This," said Zadock Thompson, " was the first family in town."* In the later edition, he qualified this, by calling it "the first attempt to settle," adding that "the first permanent clearing and settlement was not made till the spring after"— that is, the spring of 1787. Daniel P. Thompson concurred with this last statement, giving the Davises the honor of first "permanent settlement," and characterizing Frizzel as an occasional sojourner, in his calling as trapper and hunter, in this part of the wilderness, who "squatted on the banks of the river, in the south-west
* Vermont Gazetteer, 1824.
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corner of the township." The Davises need no honor at the expense of Frizzel. They certainly were the leading men in point of everything but the mere date of settlement. Frizzel was officially recognized as a settler; his pitch was confirmed to him; the charter recognized him as an original proprietor in the right of James Gamble; and in Jan. 1787, the proprietors appointed him as one of the committee to lay out the second and third divisions. D. P. Thompson conceded that he may have remained "a year or two longer" after the laying out of these divisions, which would give him a residence in the town of about 5 years. The writer does not hesitate to say, on these grounds, that Joel Frizzel was the first actual settler, dating from the spring of 1786. In a year, however, he was followed by much more enterprising, energetic and valuable men, though without their families until 1788.
May 3, 1787, Col. Jacob Davis, with his cousin Parley Davis, and a hired man, left his family in Brookfield, taking one horse; and as large a quantity of provisions as could be carried, and on that day reached the house of Seth Putnam, in Middlesex, whose farm joined the lot in Montpelier which Frizzel then occupied. On the 4th, Col. Davis and party cut a bridleroad from Putnam's along the bank of the Winooski to a hunter's camp in Montpelier, on the ground now occupied by Washington County jail, nearly in the centre of Montpelier village. The hunter's hut was a very good one, well roofed, and walled on three sides, and was used until, in 8 or 10 days, a substantial log-house, 32 by 16 feet, was constructed and occupied. At this time two sons of Col. Davis had reached the camp, Jacob, junior, aged 19, and Thomas, aged 15 years. The party immediately made an onslaught on the magnificent maple forest then standing, and cleared the land now bounded by Court street on the North, North Branch on the East, the Winooski on the South, and the State House and depot grounds on the West. This was the first occupancy of Montpelier village with an intention to settle permanently. This land was cleared in time to plant it with corn, of which a good crop was realized; and early in June, Col. Davis left to attend the proprietors' meeting at Arlington on the 11th, and Parley Davis proceeded to survey and locate on a lot of about 300 acres at the centre of the town, which became his home for a long and honorable life.
The work of clearing the land was continued during the summer, and embraced most of the meadow land between the hills and the Winooski as far west as the knoll on which the Parson Wright house stands, now occupied by the widow of the first pastor's son, the late Jonathan Edwards Wright. This included the meadow land south of State House hill and west of North Branch, being nearly 50 acres. Thompson stated, on the authority of surviving contemporaries, that Col. Davis alone felled, trimmed out and cut into logging lengths, an acre of forest of average growth per day, and continued at this rate for several successive days. There was time then in that season for other work, and it was vigorously used. Col. and Parley Davis having been appointed in June, a committee to lay out and construct necessary roads, this work was entered upon at once. The first road constructed was from the Union House bridge, now the entrance to School street, skirting the hill nearly on the present line of Court and High streets to the Winooski at the Parson Wright place, and then following the river, substantially as the highway still does, to Middlesex line. The second road cut out by the Davises was in Berlin, being the present road from near the crest of Berlin passing on the east side through the Andrew Cummings farm to the Winooski, and then following the river to the Gas works, where the stream was fordable, except in high water. This intersected a road, or more properly path, which had been opened through Berlin to the mouth of Dog river, and thus made a shorter route from the older eastern towns to Montpelier. Over this road, in fact, most of the early settlers in Montpelier came. The food of the sturdy foresters during the summer and autumn of 1787, was
mainly of the fish of the streams and the game of the woods; but these were of the best. The streams were full of trout, some of them weighing 5 pounds; and the woods with wild game, such as moose, bears in abundance, deer, partridges, etc., and these, with the few condiments brought in by the party, vegetables and corn of the summer's growth, and a little flour from the older settlements, furnished bills of fare tempting even to gourmands, and were amply sufficient for the pioneers of the settlement. All their work that year was preparatory for settlement. The log-house was not furnished with cellar, floor, oven and chimney until autumn, and then, having secured the fruits of the first harvest, Col. Davis returned with his sons to Brookfield, to prepare his family for moving into the new town and the new house with the first sufficient fall of snow.
The family consisted of Col. Davis and wife, two sons, and four daughters, The sons have already been named. The daughters were Rebecca, who became wife of Hon. Cornelius Lynde of Williamstown; Hannah, wife of Hon. David Wing, Jr., of Montpelier, Secretary of State; Polly, wife of Capt. Thomas West of Montpelier; and Lucy, wife of Capt. Timothy Hubbard of Montpelier. Another daughter was born in Montpelier.
Near the close of December, 1787, Col, Davis dispatched his sons Jacob and Thomas, with their sisters Rebecca and Polly— all that could be carried at once—to Montpelier, intending to complete the removal of the family by a second journey of the team, with which Jacob Davis returned to Brookfield. But a series of heavy snowstorms made the journey impracticable; and thus the lad Thomas and the two girls were the only tenants of the new homestead until March. "Not another human face," said Thompson, "made its appearance at this lonely, snow-hedged and forest-girt cabin." Most welcome then was the advent of the remainder of the family in March, 1788.
The summer work of 1788 comprised the tilling of the ground previously cleared; the clearing of the remainder of the meadow to the Parson Wright place, and part of that east of North Branch, now occupied by Main Street; extending the clearing on the west side to the falls on which now stand the works of Lane, Pitkin & Brock; and the erection of the first dam and sawmill on those falls.
During the next summer, 1789, Col. Davis erected the first grist-mill on the falls of North Branch; and thus preparations were made to tempt new settlers with facilities for the erection of dwellings and converting the crops of corn and grain in the neighborhood into breadstuffs.
Sept. 22, the first birth in town occurred, being that of Clarissa Davis, youngest daughter of Col. Jacob Davis, and wife of Hon. George Worthington of Montpelier.
Col. Davis employed all the men whose services could be commanded, his house of course being head quarters, and moreover serving as hotel for all visitors. A larger house was a necessity; and therefore, in the summer of 1790, the Colonel erected a large house, of two stories, with four spacious rooms in each story, and an attic that served on occasions as a welcome dormitory. This was the first completed frame house in Montpelier. After Col. Davis left it, this dwelling became the first County jail-house, and was such until 1858, when it was removed to another part of Elm Street, where it is still used as a dwelling-house. A frame for a house had been erected a few days before Col. Davis's, but the house was not completed so soon as his. It was on the hill one mile northeast of the village, and was long known as the Silloway house, though it was built by James Hawkins, the first blacksmith in Montpelier, and finished in 1791. About the same time Hawkins also built the third frame house, in which the first store was opened by Dr. Frye, in 1791. This house stood until 1873, and was the first dwelling-house on the west side of Main Street, nearest to the Arch Bridge. These were quickly succeeded, all built by the energetic Hawkins, by the first Union House, which was the hotel kept by Houghton,
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Tufts, Cottrill (before taking the Pavilion,) Lamb, Mann, and others in our remembrance, and was burnt in 1835; and the Cadwell house, near the junction of Main and State Streets, once the finest residence in the village, and the favorite boarding-place of governors and other dignitaries, the wreck of which still stands, to the regret of many who would have so eligible a location for business purposes worthily improved.
The first wagon was brought into town in 1789, from Vergennes, by Thomas Davis, who had to cut much of his way from Williston to Montpelier, and scale "Rock Bridge," in Moretown, by an ingenious piece of engineering, which is fully described by Thompson.
The first notable stranger in Montpelier was Prince Edward of England, Duke of Kent, son of George III. and father of Queen Victoria. He was the guest of Col. Davis for a night in the winter of 1790–'91, coming with an armed retinue of 20 men, to defend him from violence, and serve as "tasters" to try his food and save him from poison. Col. Davis so far assured the prince of personal safety, that he consented to dismiss most of his attendants, who returned to Montreal, and the prince continued his journey to Boston in a more modest and sensible style.*
The first male child born in town was James, son of Solomon Dodge, April 5, 1790. The first marriage recorded is that of Jacob Davis Jr. of Montpelier and Caty Taplin of Berlin, the ceremony being performed by the father of the bride, John Taplin Esq., Oct. 3, 1791.
The first school was kept in a log house on the river near Middlesex line, by Jacob Davis, jr., and continued from about 1789 to 1791. In 1791 a school was kept in the village, in Col. Davis' house, by David Wing, jr., who was subsequently Secretary of State; and in 1794, the town was divided into six districts, and schools were regularly maintained thereafter.
The first tavern was built for Col. Davis on Main street, in 1793. It was the original "Union House," on the site of the Unitarian church. This tavern was burnt in 1835, rebuilt and again burnt in 1859, and the third Union house was erected on its present site. The second tavern, known as the "Hutchins Tavern," and afterwards the "Shepard Tavern," was built about 1800, opposite the entrance of Barre to Main street. The "Pavilion" was built in preparation for the Legislature in 1808; it was probably the finest hotel in the State then, and indeed for many years, and had a high reputation, specially under THOMAS DAVIS, and MAHLON COTTRILL.
The first physician was Spaulding Pierce, in 1790; the first lawyer, Charles Buckley, 1797; the first minister, Ziba Woodworth, free will Baptist, and one of the first settlers; and the first mechanics were Col. Larned Lamb, carpenter and mill-wright— James Hawkins, blacksmith, David Tolman, clothier, Paul Knapp, brick-maker.
The first thanksgiving day observed in the town was Dec. 1, 1791. The first social ball occurred at the house of Col. Davis, on the evening of the next day, Dec. 2; and that was succeeded immediately by the first death noted in the record of the town—thus:
"Theophilus Wilson Brooks, drowned Dec. 3d, 1791."
In fact, however, his death was accompanied by that of his betrothed, Miss Betsey Hobart, daughter of Capt. James Hobart, one of the first settlers of Berlin. An account of this unusually sorrowful event, written two days after and printed in a New York City newspaper, Dec. 31, 1791, has recently come into the possession of The Vermont Historical Society. It is as follows:
Extract of a letter from Montpelier, (Vt.) dated December 5, 1791.
A melancholy accident took place here last Saturday morning, of which the following is an account: On Friday, the 2d instant, being the day after Thanksgiving in this State, the young people in this neighborhood assembled to spend the evening in dancing. Amongst others, two young gentlemen from this town waited on two Misses Hobart, of Berlin, on the other side of Onion river. After having spent the greater part of the night in merriment,
* Thompson's Montpelier, p. 53.
they parted about two o'clock in the morning. The above-mentioned couples having to cross the river in a canoe, they four, (together with the ferryman,) imprudently got in all at once, and had not got far from the shore before the canoe overset; but by the exertions of the ferryman, they righted her, and he, together with a Mr. Putnam, one of the young gentlemen, and one of the girls, got in; but in helping the other girl in, they unfortunately overset the second time. They then endeavored for the shore. Mr. Putnam, at the danger of his life, swam ashore with the younger Miss Hobart under his arm; but were both of them so far chilled as to be unable to stand, having swam more than forty rods, as the water was high and the current swift, before they reached the shore. The ferryman got ashore by the help of the canoe; the other couple perished in the water. The young gentleman drowned is Mr. Theophilus Wilson Brooks, son of Deacon Brooks, of Ashford, Connecticut, a valuable young man, aged 25. The young woman is a daughter of Capt. Hobart, of Berlin, an amiable young woman, about twenty years of age. The body of the young woman was found about a mile below, yesterday morning. Mr. Brooks is not yet found.
In this connection, the vital statistics of the town in its earliest years may as well be stated. From the settlement of the first family in the spring of 1786 to the summer of 1799—more than 13 years—the number of deaths recorded was 16. Of these, 3 were accidental, and 9 of diseases incident to infants and children; and of the 4 remaining, adult cases, 2 were of consumption, 1 of fever, and 1 of a disease unknown. The number of births in the same period is stated by Thompson at 130. The population in 1791 was 113, and in 1800, 890—Thompson's estimated average for the whole time, 400. The rate of deaths was therefore less than 1¼ per annum, and the percentage fivesixteenths of 1 per cent. per 100 of population. The registration report states the percentage of deaths in the whole State to population, in 1858, to be 1.14, which is more than three times greater than in Montpelier for the first 13 years. The rate of births in Montpelier was 1 to every 40 persons; whereas in the State, in 1858, the rate was only 1 to every 49 persons. The difference between the town and the State in the proportion of births to deaths is most remarkable; in the town the births being more than eight times the number of deaths, while in the State, the number of births, in 1858, was less than twice the number of deaths. It certainly must be conceded that Montpelier was, at the start, a remarkably fruitful and healthy town. This is presumed to be true of nearly all Vermont towns at the first settlementof all that were not exposed, by their location, to peculiar malarial influences. Few but hardy and energetic men and women would brave the perils and hardships of frontier life, and the labor of converting pathless forests into habitable, traversable and tillable fields; and such people are proof against most diseases.
Thompson stated other striking facts as to the health of the village of Montpelier, in his chapter on epidemics, which we quote nearly in full. The records of Rev. Mr. Wright, noted by Thompson, were undoubtedly more complete than the town records. The good parson was, from religious principle, as well as from strong sympathy, a visitor to the bedside of all the sick and dying, and his parish then included the entire village.
FROM D. P. THOMPSON'S HISTORY.
Endemics we have none. From first to last no diseases have made their appearance in town which could be discovered to be peculiar to the place, or to have been generated by any standing local causes. Of epidemics, Montpelier has had its share, but still a light share compared, as we believe, with a majority of the towns in the State, only four deserving the name having occurred from the first settlement of the town to the present day.
The first of these was the dysentery, which fatally prevailed throughout the town, in common with most other towns in Vermont, during the summer and fall of 1802. The victims in Montpelier were: Mrs. Sophia Watrous, wife of Erastus Watrous, Esq.; Erastus Hubbard, a younger brother of Timothy Hubbard; John Wiggins, another young man, and a considerable number of children.
The second epidemic was the typhus fever, which prevailed to a considerable
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extent in the summer season of 1806, and proved fatal to Montpelier's favorite and most honored citizen, David Wing, Jr., then Secretary of State. Luther Mosely, Esq., another valued citizen, also fell a victim to the same disease, together with a young man by the name of Cutler, a girl by the name of Goodale, and several others.
The third epidemic visiting the town was that fearful disease known by the name of spotted fever, which, to the general alarm of the inhabitants, suddenly made its appearance in the village in the winter of 1811. The first victim was Sibyl Brown, a bright and beautiful daughter of Amasa Brown, of the age of nine years, who, on Saturday, Jan. 2d, was in school, on the evening of that day sliding with her mates on the ice, and the next morning a corpse. The wife of Aaron Griswold, and the first wife of Jonathan Shepard, were next, and as suddenly destroyed by this terrible epidemic, which struck and swept over the village, to which it was mostly confined, like the blast of the simoom, and was gone. There were over 70 cases in this village, and, strange to tell, but three deaths of the disease, which at the same time was nearly decimating the then 400 inhabitants of Moretown, and sweeping off 60 or 70 of the 2,000 inhabitants of Woodstock. The chief remedy relied on here was the prompt use of the hot bath, made of a hasty decoction of hemlock boughs; and the pine-board bathing vessel, made in the shape of a coffin, was daily seen, during the height of the disease, in the streets, borne on the shoulders of men, rapidly moving from house to house, to serve in turn the multiplying victims. So strange and unexpected were the attacks, and so sudden and terrible were often the fatal terminations of the disease, that it was likened to the Plague of the Old World. Some of its types, indeed, so closely resembled the Plague, as well to justify men in deeming them one and the same disorder. A bright red spot, attended with acute pain in some instances, appeared in one of the limbs of the unwarned victim, and, like the old Plague spot, spread, struck to the vitals and caused his death in a few hours. In other instances, a sort of congestion of the blood, or silent paralysis of all the functions of the life, stole unawares over the system of the patient, his pulse faltered and nearly stopped, even before he dreamed of the approach of the insidious destroyer. The late worthy Dr. James Spalding once told us, that he was the student of an eminent physician, in Alstead, N. H., when the epidemic visited that place, that he frequently went the rounds with his instructor in his visits to his patients, and that on one of these occasions they made a friendly call on a family in supposed good health, when the master of the house congratulated himself on the prospect that he and his young family were about to escape the disease which had been cutting down so many others. Something, however, in the appearance of one or two of the apparently healthy group of children present attracting the attention of the old Doctor, he fell to examining their pulses, when in two of them he found the pulse so feeble as to be scarcely perceptible; but keeping his apprehensions to himself, he made some general prescriptions for all the children, and left, hoping his fears would not be realized. Within three days both of those children were buried in one grave. The physicians who had charge of these cases in Montpelier were Dr. Lamb, Dr. N. B. Spalding, Dr. Woodbury, and Dr. Lewis, of Moretown. Volumes have been written on the causes of this and similar epidemics, and yet to this day the subject is involved in clouds of mystery.
The fourth epidemic followed soon after the last, and in some instances, assumed some of its peculiar types. This occurred in the winter of 1813, and was here generally called the typhus fever, though it partook more of the characteristics of peripneumony, or lung fever, being the same disease which first broke out the fall before, among the U. S. troops at Burlington, and by the following mid-winter had become a destructive epidemic in nearly every town in the State, carrying off, according to the statistics of Dr. Gallup, more than 6,000 persons, or one to every 40 of its whole population. In this whole town, during the year 1813, the number of deaths—most of which were of this disease—was 78, among which were those of Capt. N. Doty, R. Wakefield, C. Hamblin and others, in the prime of life. This great number of deaths in one year was, beyond all comparison, greater than ever occurred before, or has ever occurred since, it is believed, in proportion to the population, which was then about 2,000; while the average number of deaths in town per year, about that period, was, as near as can now be ascertained, but a little over 20, and of course but little more than one death in 100. In the village, according to records left by the Rev. Chester Wright, the average number of deaths for the five years preceding 1813 was but four per year, which must have been considerably less than one to too yearly. This seems to be confirmed by another record left by Mr. Wright, of the number of deaths occurring
each year in the village for the 14 years succeeding 1816, by which it appears that the average number of deaths in the village, during that whole period, was but 10 yearly, while the population during the lastnamed period increased from nearly 1,000 in 1816 to nearly 2,000 in 1830; so that the rate of mortality during the whole 19 years, of which we have given the approximate statistics, was, with the exception of 1814, always greatly less than one to every 100 inhabitants; all going to confirm what we have before stated respecting the peculiar healthiness of the location of our town, and especially of our village, from the earliest times to the present day.
Notices of Proprietors' Meetings, of taxes, and of Sales of lands for Taxes in Montpelier—Compiled by HENRY STEVENS, Senior, from files of the [Windsor] VERMONT JOURNAL and the [Bennington] VERMONT GAZETTE.*
ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN.
March 4, 1791, Jacob Davis, Clark Stevens and Jonathan Cutler presented a petition to John Taplin, of Berlin, a justice of the peace for the County of Orange, praying that a warrant might be issued for calling a meeting of the inhabitants to organize the town. Though this petition was not legal, (having the signatures of only three freeholders, while the statute required four,) Justice Taplin took no notice of the defect, but issued a warrant "to Clark Stevens, one of the principal inhabitants of Montpelier," requiring him to warn a meeting of the freeholders and other inhabitants of the town, to meet at the house of Jacob Davis on Tuesday, the 29th day of March, 1791, at 9 o'clock in the morning, to choose a moderator, clerk, selectmen, treasurer, and all other town officers, and to see if said town will choose some proper person to remove the proprietors' records into the town. This warrant was dated March 8, 1791, and on the same day Mr. Stevens posted his warning in accordance with the warrant and the statute. Pursuant to the warning a meeting was holden, of which the following is the record:
FIRST TOWN MEETING.
At a town meeting of the inhabitants of Montpelier, legally warned and met at the dwelling-house of Col. Jacob Davis, in said Montpelier, on the 29th day of March, 1791,—
Proceeded to choose a Moderator, &c. &c.
1st, Voted, and chose Col. Jacob Davis Moderator to govern said meeting.
2nd, Voted, and chose Ziba Woodworth Town Clerk.
3d, Voted, and chose James Hawkins 1st Select Man.
4th, Voted, and chose James Taggart 2d Select Man.
5th, Voted, and chose Hiram Peck 3d Select Man.
6th, Voted, and chose Jonathan Cutler Town Treasurer.
7th, Voted, and chose Parley Davis Constable and Collector.
8th, Voted, and chose Josiah Hurlburt Highway Surveyor.
9th, Voted, and chose Benj. I. Wheeler Highway Surveyor.
10th, Voted, and chose Solomon Dodge Highway Surveyor.
11th Voted, and chose Col. Jacob Davis Lister.
12th, Voted, and chose Benj. I. Wheeler Lister.
13th, Voted, and chose Clark Stevens Lister.
14th, Voted, and chose Col. Jacob Davis Fence Viewer.
15th, Voted to adjourn said meeting till the 1st Tuesday of September.
The aforementioned officers were duly sworn and affirmed to the faithful discharge of their respective offices, before John Taplin, Justice of the Peace for said County.
ZIBA WOODWORTH, Town Clerk.
* It will be observed that these legal notices cover a much larger amount of taxes than that given in the preceding text. Compilations like the above, for many towns, may be found in the State Library, at the end of an old volume of the Windsor Journal.
Proprietors to meet Aug 17, 1784 No. 48 No. 55
Ditto, Sept 12, 1785, [not holden,] — 114
Ditto, Sept 26, 1785, [not holden,] 108 117
Ditto, 2d Wednesday of Jan 1786, 118 122
Taxed 25s 8d per right. Jan 9, '87. 184 190
Proprietors to meet 2d Tuesday of June, 1787, 193 203
Sale of lands for the tax of 25s 8d, June 12, 1787, 196 203
Taxed £19s 4d by the proprietors, June 12, 1787, 207 212
Lands to be sold for said tax, Oct. 16, 1787, 210 222
Lands to be sold for town tax, Jan 3, 1788, 226 234
Taxed 19s 6d per right by the proprietors [June, '88,] 258 Vol. 6, No. 5
Lands to be sold for said tax last Wednesday of Oct, 1788, 269 " 6, " 16
Taxed £27 14s 5d for the general survey, 276 " 6, " 24
Lands to be sold for do. Feb 16, '89, 284 [no sales.]
Two penny tax to be paid in labor, May, June and July, '89, 290 Vol. 6, " 40
Lands to be sold for the general survey tax, March 16, 1789, 289 " 6, " 34
Lands to be sold for the 2 penny tax, June 23, 1791, 403 " 8, " 49
Proprietors to meet Aug 28, 1792, 465
266 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
On the record is the following list of voters who took part in the organization of the town, to which we have added, whenever possible, the region from which these original freemen of the town came.
Benjamin I. Wheeler, Rehoboth, Mass.; David Parsons, Oxford, now Charlton, Mass.; Parley Davis; Oxford, now Charlton, Mass.; Ebenezer Dodge, Peterborough, N. H.; Solomon Dodge, Peterborough, N, H.; Nathaniel Peck, Royalston, Mass.; David Wing, Rochester, Mass.; Lemuel Brooks, Ashford, Ct.; Clark Stevens, Rochester, Mass.; Jonathan Snow, Rochester, Mass.; Hiram Peck, Royalston Mass.; James Hawkins, James Taggart, John Templeton; Elisha Cummins, born in Sutton, Mass.; Jonathan Cutler, Charles McCloud; Col. Jacob Davis, Oxford, now Charlton, Mass.; Isaac Putnam; Nathaniel Davis, Oxford, now Charlton, Mass.; Ziba Woodworth, Bozrah, Conn.; Jerathmel [B.] Wheeler, Rehoboth, Mass.; Smith Stevens, Rochester, Mass.; Charles Stevens, Rochester, Mass.; Edmund Doty; Duncan Young, a Scotchman, from Burgoyne's army; Freeman West, New Bedford, Mass.
The name of Josiah Hurlburt appears in the list of town officers elected, and it is presumed he was a citizen of lawful age. Jacob Davis, Jr., was also of age and a citizen at that time. Thompson states that David Wing Jr. and Larned Lamb were then Freemen of the town, and suggests that they may have been absent on the day of the meeting. This would make the whole number known to be freemen of the town at the organization, 30. The total population, by the census taken that year, was 113, which was small for the number of voters; but doubtless several who acted in town meeting had not then brought their families into town.
These names indicate, as the fact was, that on the organization of the town, settlements had been made in every quarter of it, on the hills and in the river valleys. Even now the farms of these men are easily recognized, and many are owned by the descendants of the original settlers. The early occupancy of the town so generally was doubtless due to the provision in the original charter, which required "that each proprietor, his heirs or assigns, shall plant or cultivate 5 acres of land, and build an house at least 18 feet square on the floor, or have one family settled on each respective right, within the term of 3 years after the circumstances of the war will admit of a settlement with safety, on penalty of the forfeiture of each respective right, or share of land, in said township, not so improved or settled."
HABITS AND CHARACTER OF THE FIRST SETTLERS.
FROM D. P. THOMPSON.
Among the whole list of the 27 freemen who joined in its organization we find but one or two who did not become, not only the permanent residents of the town, but the permanent owners of the farms they first purchased and improved for their homes. And in looking, now, over that ever to be honored roll of men, then all farmers, consisting of the Wheelers, the Davises, the Templetons, the Putnams, the Stevenses, the Cumminses, etc., and then glancing over the town, we can scarcely find one of the original homesteads of all those thus settling which is not still in the possession of some one of their descendants. This fact alone speaks volumes in praise of the original inhabitants of the town. It speaks in such praise, because it presupposes and proves the existence, in them, of that invaluable combination of traits of character which can alone ensure full success in building up an abidingly thrifty town, and a wellordered and respectable community—the resolution and physical endurance necessary for subduing the forests, the frugality and economy in living required for retaining and increasing the amount of their hard earnings, and the foresight and general capacity for business indispensable for the successful management of their acquisitions.
That the first inhabitants of Montpelier were generally men of great physical powers, resolution and stability of purpose, and that they applied their energies of body and mind to the best effect, in clearing up and improving their township, may be well enough seen in the pictures we have already drawn of the first years of the settlement, but more certainly so in the noble results of their exertions, which, after 20 years, stood developed in their individual thrift, in their aggregate wealth and pecuniary independence.
But those results were not brought about by hard labor alone. Strict frugality in living lent its scarcely less important aid in the work. Nature has but few wants;
and these settlers and their families seem to have been well content to put up with her real requirements. The ambition for display in dress, equippage and costly buildings was a forbidden, and an almost unknown, passion among them. And all expectations of making property without work, or of living on credit, were ideas which were still more scouted. They dressed comfortably but very plainly, wearing, for the 12 or 15 years of the settlement at least, scarcely anything but what was the product of their own looms and spinning-wheels. With these implements, so necessary for the times, nearly every household was supplied. The girls spun, and the mothers wove, from their own wool, the flannels to be dressed or pressed for their best winter wear, and from their own flax the neat linen checks for their gowns and aprons for summer. Then the females of that day made their health, their husbands' or fathers' wealth, and established enduring habits of industry for themselves, as they were passing along in their daily routine of household employments. And who does not see how much better it would in reality be for the health, constitutions and habits of the females of the present day, if they were compelled to resort to the same way of clothing them selves and their families. Foreign manufactured goods were scarcely used at all for clothing during the first dozen years of the settlement. The wives who came into town with their husbands might have brought with them, perhaps, their calico gowns; and it was known that "Marm Davis," as that pattern of housewives, the help-meet of Col. Davis, was called, had brought with her a silk gown—the one, it is believed, in which she was married; but it is not known that there were any others. The first silk dress that was ever purchased and brought into Montpelier for one of its lady residents was one obtained for the wife of Judge David Wing, and was first worn by her at a meeting late in 1803.
"I well remember when that first silk gown made its appearance," recently said an aged lady cotemporary of the favored possessor of the rare garment, to us while making enquires about such matters. "It was a meeting held in one of Col. Davis' new barns. Hannah, that is Mrs. Wing, came in with it on, and made quite a sensation among us, but being so good a woman, and putting on no airs about it, we did not go to envying her. We thought it extravagant, to be sure; but as her husband had just been elected Secretary of State, and might wish to take her abroad with him, we concluded at length that the purchase might be perhaps, after all, quite a pardonable act."
Ribbons and laces were not worn nor possessed by the women; and the wearing of bonnets, which are thought to require trimmings made of such materials, was scarcely more frequent. Instead of bonnets, they generally wore for head-dress when going abroad, the more substantial, but no less neat and tasteful, small fur hats, which were then already being manufactured in several of the older towns in the State. And it was not till a merchant had established himself in town that any innovation was made in these simple kinds of female attire. Then, for the first time, calico gowns became common—the best qualities of which cost 75 cents per yard, but of so strong and substantial a fabric that one of them would outwear two, or even three of most of those of the present, day.
The men dressed as plain, or plainer. Tow cloth for summer, and striped undressed woolens for winter, were the standing materials of their ordinary apparel. For public occasions, however, most of them managed to obtain one dress each, made of homespun woolen, colored and dressed cloth, which, as they used them, were generally good for their lifetimes. The first "go-to-meeting" dresses of the boys were also, of course, domestic manufacture, and generally of fustian. A new fustian coat was a great thing in the eyes of a boy of fourteen in those days.
But as their days of gallantry approached, their ambition sometimes soared to a new India cotton shirt, which then cost 62 cents per yard, though now not a fourth of that amount. The men wore fur caps or felt hats for every-day use, but some of them, fur hats on public occasions; and a few of the wealthier class, especially if they became what was called public characters, bought themselves beaver hats, which stood in about the same relation among the outfits of the men as did silk gowns among those of the women, such hats at that time costing $30 each. But this was not so very bad economy as might be supposed, after all, since one of the clear beaver hats of that day would not only wear through the lifetime of the owner, but the lifetime of such of his sons as had the luck to inherit it.
The ordinary articles of family food were corn and wheat bread, potatoes, peas, beans and garden vegetables, pork, fish and wild game. Sweet-cake, as it was called, was rarely made, and pastry was almost wholly unknown. Indeed, we have been unable to learn that a pie of any kind was ever seen on a table in town till nearly
268 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
a dozen years after it was first settled. About that time, however, one of the elder daughters of Col. Davis, on noticing some fine pumpkins that were brought to the house during the harvesting, conceived the ambitious idea of making a mess of pumpkin pies, and obtaining at last the reluctant consent of her mother to let her make the experiment, she made a batch which took to a charm with the whole family and the several visitors invited to partake of the novel repast. After this, pumpkin pies became a staple of the tea-table on all extra occasions.
Laboring men who, in felling the forest, logging, or boiling salts, as the first state of making potashes and pearls was called, often went considerable distances from their homes to work, generally took their dinners along with them into the woods, leaving the women to take care of the cattle and everything requiring attention about home. These dinners generally consisted of baked or stewed pork and beans, and not unfrequently of only bread and raw salt pork. Colonel Davis always used to recommend to his laborers to eat their pork raw or without any kind of cooking, contending that it was more healthy when eaten in that way than in any other. Some of the new hands that had been hired in by the Colonel at last, however, rebelled against the practice. Among the latter was Lemuel Brooks, the afterwards well-known Captain Brooks, who assured his fellow-laborers one day, after they had been making their dinners on raw pork, that he was determined to set his wits to work and see if he could not, by the next noon, get up a more christianlike dinner. Accordingly he came on the next morning with gun and ammunition, and just before noon stepped off into the neighboring thickets, and shot two or three brace of partridges, which, in their chosen localities, were as plenty as hens about a farm-house. And having speedily plucked and dressed the birds, he suspended them by the legs over a fire struck and built for the purpose, with a thick slice of pork made to hang directly above each, so that the salt gravy should drip upon or into them, and moisten and season them while cooking. As soon as he had thus prepared his meal, he hallooed to the men, and in his usual jovial and humorous manner, bid them come in and partake of his "new invented dinner of parched partridges." And parched partridges thenceforward became a favorite meal among the woodmen of the settlement.
The out-door work, at the period of which we have been speaking, was by no means all performed by the male inhabitants. Wives and daughters considered it no disparagement to go out to work in the fields, or even into the forest, whenever the occasion required it at their hands. They boiled salts and made maple sugar at times in the woods, and often in busy seasons, worked with their husbands, fathers or brothers, in making hay, harvesting grain, husking corn and digging potatoes in the field. The wives and daughters of the rich and poor alike cheerfully engaged in all these out-door employments, when the work, for want of the necessary male help or other circumstances, seemed to invite their assistance. Even Colonel Davis, whose family was regarded as standing in the first position in society, could be seen leading his bevy of beautiful daughters into his fields to pull flax.
But frugality in modes of dress, the supplies of the table, and other domestic arrangements for saving expenses and living within their means, did not constitute the whole of their system of economy. Their provident forecast taught them the evils of debt. For they felt that under the depressing influence of that sort of slavery, they could never enjoy that feeling of proud independence which they carefully cherished, and which constituted the best part of their happiness. They rightly appreciated, also, the bad moral tendencies of that evil, than which scarcely nothing more silently and surely tends, with its numberless temptations, to do what we otherwise would not do, to debase our best feelings and convictions as men, and undermine our best civic virtues as freemen. Our first settlers, therefore, carefully avoided it, making their calculations far ahead so to live, so to purchase, and so to enlarge their plans of improvement, as to keep out of debt, and often foregoing the most tempting of bargains rather than increase it.
To enable the reader to estimate cost of living and the profits of farming, as well as to appreciate the frugality of settlers, it will be well to note a few of the prevailing prices of labor, stock and other products of the day, as well as those of the few necessary articles which the settlers were compelled to import for their use and consumption in living, or in pursuing their ordinary avocations.
PRICES OF LABOR, STOCK, EXPORTED AND IMPORTED ARTICLES.
The wages of the best class of laborers were $9.00 per month, and 42 to 50 cents for casual day's work.
The common price of wheat was 67 cts. per bushel; Indian corn, 50; oats, 25;
potatoes, 25; best yoke of oxen, $40.00; best horses, $50; best cows, $25; salts of lye, $4 to $5 per cwt.; pork, in dressed hogs, $4 to $6; beef, averaging $4.
Of articles imported, the prices were: For rock salt, $3 per bushel; common, $2.50; loaf sugar, 42 cts. per lb.; brown, 17 to 20 cts.; common W. I. molasses, $1.17 per gallon; green tea, $2 per lb.; poorest Bohea, 50 cts. per lb.; nutmegs, 12 cts. each; ginger, 34 cts. per lb.; pepper, 75; iron shovels, $1.50 each; broad-cloth, $8 to $10 per yd.; E. I. cotton cloth, 62 cts.; calico, 50 to 75 cts.; W. I. rum, $2 per gallon; dry salt fish, 11 cts. per lb.
And yet, with these extremely low prices for their products, and enormously high ones for their imported necessaries, the settlers, such was their industry and frugality, steadily progressed along the way to independence and wealth. But though the openings in the forest, rapidly increasing in extent and number, the more and more highly cultivated fields, the better and better filled barns, and the constantly multiplying stock of the barnyards, made their yearly progress in thrift clearly obvious to all, yet the ratio of that progress can be accurately estimated only from the financial statistics of the town. And for this purpose we subjoin the several grand lists of the town from its organization for the next succeeding fifteen years, or to and including 1807, all taken yearly and on the same plan.
GRAND LISTS OF MONTPELIER FROM 1792 TO 1806, INCLUSIVE.
1792, $2,141.67; 1793, $3,075.00; 1794, $4,531.67; 1795, $5,705.83; 1796, $7,660; 1797, $9,794.18.; 1798, $10,963.93; 1799, $14,538.75; 1800, $15,390.93; 1801, $16,979.77; 1802, $17,437.13; 1803, $18,126.99; 1804, $19,310.91; 1805, $22,920.55; 1806, $25,883.80.
The increase of the population of the town, in the meanwhile, will be seen by the different enumerations of the U. S. Census, the whole of which, as we may not find a more convenient place for them, we will also here insert.
CENSUS OF THE TOWN.—By the first enumeration, 1791, 113; in 1800, 890; 1810, 1,877; 1820, 2,308; 1830, 2,985; 1840, 3,725; 1850, Montpelier, 2,310, East Montpelier, 1,448, united, 3,758; 1860, Montpelier, 2,411, East Montpelier, 1,328, united, 3,739; 1870, Montpelier, 3,023, East Montpelier, 1,130, united, 4,153; 1880, Montpelier, 3,219, East Montpelier , 972, united, 4,191.
This statement shows a steady increase except in 1860, '70 and '80, when East Montpelier lost materially. From 1840 to 1860 the old town as a whole was nearly stationary, while the present town, or the old village, has constantly increased.
PART II. HISTORY SUBSEQUENT TO THE ORGANIZATION OF THE TOWN.
The strictly civil history of the town from its organization is that of every town in Vermonta record of town meetings, of roads laid, school districts established, taxes voted, cemeteries provided, and lists made of persons warned out of town that they might not become chargeable to it as paupers;* of elections, national, state and town, and of annual reports and returns required; of intentions of marriage, marriages, births and deaths—very incomplete. These fill volumes, and are of no use but for occasional reference, and instead of these it is deemed best to give condensed statements, under different heads, of what has served to make the town, and most to mark its history, mainly outside of its official records.
Votes for President from 1828 to 1880.†
1828, John Quincy Adams, (National Republican,) 185; Andrew Jackson, (Democratic,) 171.
1832,‡ Andrew Jackson, (Democratic,) 284; Henry Clay, (Nat. Repub.) 163; Wm. Wirt, (anti-Masonic,) 70.
1836, Martin Van Buren, (Democratic,) 311; Wm. Henry Harrison, (Whig,) 246.
1840, Martin Van Buren, (Democratic,) 348; Wm. Henry Harrison, Whig,) 340; scattering 5.
1844, James K. Polk, (Democratic,) 348; Henry Clay, (Whig,) 250; James G. Birney, (Abolition,) 55.
1848,§ Zachary Taylor, (Whig,) 405;
* These lists contain the names of the wealthiest as well as of the poorest citizens, with their families, irrespective of character, color or condition, and were intended to embrace every person who at the time had not become legally chargeable to the town in case aid or support should be needed.
† The first recorded vote is that of 1828, the presidential electors having been previously elected by the General Assembly.
‡ There is no record of presidential vote, and the votes given above were for State officers that year, being the nearest approximation to the presidential vote.
§ At all of the elections thus marked [§], members and officers of the Legislature voted in Montpelier.
270 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Lewis Cass, (Democratic,) 333; Martin Van Buren, (Free-Soil,) 249.
After the Division of the Town.
1852, Winfield Scott, (Whig,) 388; Franklin Pierce, (Democratic,) 222; John P. Hale, (Abolition,) 171.
1856,§ John C. Freemont, (Republican,) 726; James Buchanan, (Democratic,) 198; scattering, 1.
1860,§ Abraham Lincoln, (Republican,) 541; Stephen A. Douglass, (Democratic,) 180; Edward Everett, (Conservative,) 3; John C. Breckenridge, (proslavery Dem.) 2.
1864,§ Abraham Lincoln, (Republican,) 664; Geo. B. McClellan, (Democratic,) 157.
1868, Ulysses S. Grant, (Republican,) 416; Horatio Seymour, (Democratic,) 148.
1872, Ulysses S. Grant, (Republican,) 496; Horace Greeley, (Liberal,) 223; Charles O'Connor, (Democrat,) 3.
1876,§ Rutherford B. Hayes, (Republican,) 577; Samuel J. Tilden, (Democrat,) 423.
1880, James A. Garfield, (Republican,) 651; W. S. Hancock, (Democrat,) 382; scattering, 2.
In ten of the above elections the majority of votes cast in Montpelier was for the candidate elected; in one instance the plurality was for the candidate elected; in one instance the plurality and in two instances the majority was for candidates who were not elected. In 10 elections out of 14, therefore, the preference of Montpelier has coincided with that of the nation; four times on the Democratic side, and six times on the Republican side.
Votes for Governor from 1792 to 1880.
1792, Thomas Chittenden 24.
1793, Thomas Chittenden 23, Samuel Hitchcock 2, Parley Davis 1.
1794, Thomas Chittenden 26, Elijah Paine 25, Nathaniel Niles 1.
1795, Thomas Chittenden 27, Isaac Tichenor 19.
1796, Isaac Tichenor 24; Thos. Chittenden 17, Paul Brigham 1.
1797, Elijah Paine 22, Samuel Hitchcock 6, David Wing, Jr., 3, Lewis R. Morris 1.
1798-99, Unanimous for Isaac Tichenor, the votes being 47 and 64.
1800, Isaac Tichenor 59, Paul Brigham 2, Edward Lamb 1.
1801, Isaac Tichenor 51, Paul Brigham 1, Israel Smith 1.
1802, Isaac Tichenor 49, Israel Smith 13, Joseph Wing 1.
1803, Isaac Tichenor 59, Jonathan Robinson 12.
1804, Isaac Tichenor 65, Jona. Robinson 28, Lewis R. Morris 2, Jonas Galusha 1.
1805, Isaac Tichenor 69, Jona. Robinson 16, Israel Smith 1.
1806, Isaac Tichenor 58, Israel Smith 23. James Fisk 1.
1807, Isaac Tichenor 68, Israel Smith 21.
1808, Isaac Tichenor 117, Israel Smith 109; Wm. Chamberlain 2.
1809, Jonas Galusha 155, Isaac Tichenor 112, Paul Brigham 4, Charles Marsh and Edward Lamb 1 each.
1810, Jonas Galusha 147, Isaac Tichenor 107, Paul Brigham, Elijah Paine and James Fisk 1 each.
1811, Jonas Galusha 150, Martin Chittenden 103, Paul Brigham 2, Wm. Chamberlain and Benjamin Swan 1 each.
1812, Jonas Galusha 163, Martin Chittenden 147, Paul Brigham 2, Timothy Merrill and Salvin Collins 1 each.
1813, Jonas Galusha 172, Martin Chittenden 150, Paul Brigham and William Chamberlain 2 each, Chauncey Langdon 1.
1814, Jonas Galusha 163, Martin Chittenden 156, Wm. Chamberlain and Edward Lamb 1 each.
1815, Martin Chittenden 175, Jonas Galusha 171, Paul Brigham and Nahum Kelton 1 each.
1816, Jonas Galusha none, Sam'l. Strong none; number of votes not recorded.
1817, Jonas Galusha 147, Isaac Tichenor 72.
1818-'19, Jonas Galusha 155, Charles Marsh 1; same each year.
1820, unanimous for Richard Skinner; 191 votes cast.
1821-'22, Richard Skinner 172, Dudley Chase 2; same both years.
1823, Cornelius P. Van Ness 145.
1824, Cornelius P. Van Ness 126, Samuel C. Crafts 1.
1825, Cornelius P. Van Ness 227, Samuel C. Crafts 5, Wm. A Griswold 1.
1826, Ezra Butler 189, Lemuel Whitney 56, Joel Doolittle 2, Samuel C. Crafts 1.
1827, Ezra Butler 359; opposition vote not published; no town record.
1828, Samuel C. Crafts 187, Joel Doolittle 2.
1829, Samuel C. Crafts 190, Joel Doolittle 74, Heman Allen 11, Chauncey Langdon 2, Ira Allen and Silas Crafts 1 each.
1830, Samuel C. Crafts 181, Ezra Meach 172, Wm. A. Palmer 37.
1831, Ezra Meach 234, Heman Allen 141, Wm. A. Palmer 77, Samuel C. Crafts 1.
1832, Ezra Meach 284, Samuel C. Crafts 163, Wm. A. Palmer 70.
1833, John Roberts 216, Wm. A. Palmer 193, Ezra Meach 114, Horatio Seymour 18, James Bell 3, D. A. A. Buck 1.
1831, Wm. C. Bradley 347. Wm. A. Palmer 154, Horatio Seymour 118, Samuel C. Crafts 1.
1835, Wm. C. Bradley 302, Charles Paine 115, Wm. A. Palmer 52, Wm. A. Griswold and Dudley Chase 1 each.
1836, Wm. C. Bradley 375, Silas H. Jennison 281, Wm. Slade 1.
1837, Wm. C. Bradley 346, Silas H. Jennison 292.
1838, Wm. C. Bradley 388, Silas H. Jennison 305.
1839, Nathan Smilie 405, Silas H. Jennison 340, Timothy Goodale 3, Lyman Fitch 1.
1840, Paul Dillingham, Jr., 428, Silas H. Jennison 386, Solomon Sias 5, scattering 3.
1841, Nathan Smilie 445, Charles Paine 261, Titus Hutchinson 43, Samuel C. Crafts and H. F. James 1 each.
1842, Nathan Smilie 430, Charles Paine 272, Charles K. Williams 22, C. B. Williams 1.
1843, Daniel Kellogg 404, John Mattocks 248, Charles K. Williams 26.
1844, Daniel Kellogg 420, Wm. Slade 318, Wm. R. Shafter 70, scattering 1.
1845, Daniel Kellogg 382, Wm. Slade 238, Wm. R. Shafter 83, scattering 2.
1846, John Smith 385, Horace Eaton 269, Lawrence Brainerd 99, Heman Allen 2.
1847, Paul Dillingham, Jr., 366, Horace Eaton 255, Lawrence Brainerd 100, Daniel Kellogg 4, Jedediah H. Harris 1.
1848, Paul Dillingham, Jr., 376, Carlos Coolidge 258, Oscar L. Shafter 118.
After the Division of the Town.
1849, Carlos Coolidge 248, Horatio Needham 248.
1850, Charles K. Williams 259, Lucius B. Peck 236, John Roberts 12.
1851, Charles K. Williams 238, Timothy P. Redfield 223, John S. Robinson 14.
1852, Erastus Fairbanks 242, John S. Robinson 125, Lawrence Brainerd 89.
1853, Erastus Fairbanks 220, John S. Robinson 173, Lawrence Brainerd 68, Stephen Royce 1.
1854. Stephen Royce 248. Merritt Clark 165, Lawrence Brainerd 9, Wm. C. Kittredge 1.
1855, Stephen Royce 378, Merritt Clark 144, Wm. R. Shafter 3.
1856, Ryland Fletcher 284, Henry Keyes 155, scattering 4.
1857, Ryland Fletcher 197, Henry Keyes 100, scattering 2.
1858, Hiland Hall 236, Henry Keyes 124, Wm. R. Shafter 3, Philip C. Tucker 1.
1859, Hiland Hall 265, John G. Saxe 123.
1860, Erastus Fairbanks 326, John G. Saxe 140, Robert Harvey 4.
1861, Andrew Tracy 199, Frederick Holbrook 146, Wm. R. Shafter 2, Hiram Atkins 1.
1862, Frederick Holbrook 173, Paul Dillingham 19, B. H. Smalley 6, Levi Underwood 5, scattering 4.
1863, John G. Smith 318, Timothy P. Redfield 67.
1864, John G. Smith 399, T. P. Redfield 97, scattering 1.
1865, Paul Dillingham 268, Charles N. Davenport 90.
1866, Paul Dillingham 327, Charles N. Davenport 125.
1867, John B. Page 288, John L. Edwards 112, B. B. Smalley 1.
1868, John B. Page 457, John L. Edwards 175.
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1869, Peter T. Washburn 301, Homer W. Heaton 138.
1870, John W. Stewart 322, Homer W. Heaton 167.
1872, Julius Converse 424, Abram B. Gardner 265.
1874, Asahel Peck 301, W. H. H. Bingham 297.
1876, Horace Fairbanks 503, W. H. H. Bingham 369, scattering 1.
1878, Redfield Proctor 378, W. H. H. Bingham 258, scattering 37.
1880, Roswell Farnham 540, E. J. Phelps 290, scattering 1.
From the above record it appears that the town was Federal in politics from its organisation until 1809, the year after the election of Mr. Madison as President: that in 1809 and until 1815 the Republicans of the Jeffersonian school were in the majority; and that in 1815, the Federalists obtained a small majority. The vote of 1816 is not to be found in the town records, and search has been made for it in the office of the Secretary of State, but without finding it. The representative elected in that year was a Jeffersonian Republican, and in 1817 the town was of the same politics by a vote of two to one. From that period there was no serious division in State politics for 12 years. It was "the era of good feeling," following the successful close of the war of 1812 with Great Britain, and the people of the town were, with rare exceptions, substantially unanimous. On the election of Gen. Jackson, a new organization of two political parties was made—known as the National Republican and the Democratic partiesand each was composed of men gathered from the old Federal and Republican ranks. These were speedily followed by the anti-masonic party, and the votes from 1830 to 1835 inclusive, reveal the existence of the three parties in Montpelier, and also that the Democratic party was in the ascendancy. In 1836 and until 1841, there were but two parties, Democratic and Whig, the latter being in the minority. In 1841, the antislavery party was developed, and three organized parties were in existence until the division of the town January 1, 1849: but in all this period the Democratic party was ascendant, and in fact elected the town officers in every year after 1830 until 1849. On the governor vote in 1848, the old town was exactly balanced between the Democrats on the one side and the Whigs and Anti-Slavery men on the other.
AFTER THE DIVISION OF THE TOWN.
In 1849, the number of parties was again reduced to two, by a fusion of the Democrats and Anti-Slavery men into what was called the Freesoil party, and the town was exactly tied on the vote for Governor, but it elected the first Whig representative in the person of the late Jackson A. Vail, Esq., a lawyer and legislator of great ability. From that period until the formation of the Republican party in 1854, the Whigs uniformly prevailed, as the Republicans have done since 1854, the election of Marcus D. Gilman excepted.
TOWN REPRESENTATIVES FROM 1792 to 1882.
1792 to 1796, 5 years, Jacob Davis; 1797, 8, 1800, 01, 4 yrs., David Wing, Jr.; 1799, 1802, Parley Davis; 1803, 10, Joseph Woodworth; 1804, 14, 15, Edward Lamb 1803 to 1809, Cyrus Ware; 1811, 12, Timothy Merrill; 1813, Joseph Howes, after which for some years he was in the military service of the United States; 1816,17, 18, 20, 29, Nahum Kelton; 1819, George Worthington; 1821, 22, 23, 26, Araunah Waterman; 1824, 5, Samuel Prentiss; 1827, 8, 30, William Upham; 1831, 32, 33, Azel Spalding; 1834, 5, Wm. Billings; 1836, 7, Lucius B. Peck; 1838, 9, Royal Wheeler; 1840, 41, Horatio N. Baylies; 1842, 3, Addison Peck; 1844, 5, Jeremiah T. Marston; 1846, 7, Charles Clark; 1848, Homer W. Heaton.
REPRESENTATIVES AFTER THE DIVISION OF THE TOWN.
1849, 50, Jackson A. Vail; 1851, 2, Hezekiah H. Reed; 1853, Eliakim P. Walton, recorded as E. P. Walton Jr.; 1854, Abijah Keith; 1855, Elisha P. Jewett; 1856, 7, Ferrand F. Merrill; 1858, 59, George W. Collamer; 1860, 61, George C. Shepard; 1862, 3, Charles Reed; 1864, 5, Whitman G. Ferrin; 1866, 7, Joel Fos‑
ter, Jr.; 1868, 9, James R. Langdon; 1870, 71, Joseph Poland; 1872, 3, Perley P. Pitkin; 1874, 5, Marcus D. Gilman; 1876, 7, Charles T. Sabin; 1878, 79, Hiram A. Huse; 1880, 81, B. F. Fifield,—the six last for biennial sessions.
CITIZENS OF MONTPELIER WHO HAVE HELD CIVIL OFFICES IN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Electors of President and Vice-President—1836, Edward Lamb; 1840, Joseph Reed; 1852, Ezekiel P. Walton; 1872, Elisha P. Jewett. Augustine Clark and Wm. P. Briggs also held this office, but previous to their residence in Montpelier.
Senators in Congress—Samuel Prentiss, 1831 to 42, 11 years; William Upham, 1843 to 53, 10 years.
Members of Congress—Lucius B. Peck, 1847 to 51, 4 years; Eliakim P. Walton, 1857 to 63, 6 years; Charles W. Willard, 1869 to 75, 6 years.
U. S. District Judge—Samue] Prentiss, 1842 to 56, 14 years.
U. S. District Attorneys—Lucius B. Peck, 1853 to 57; B. Franklin Fifield, 1869 to 1881.
United States Marshal—George W. Barker, 1835 to 37.
Clerk of U. S. Circuit and District Courts—Edward H. Prentiss, 1842 to 59, 17 years.
Register of the U. S. Treasury—Stoddard B. Colby, appointed in 1866, and died while in office.
Post-Office Department—Charles Lyman was appointed clerk in the Dead Letter Office in 1861, and is now in that department; also Miss Emma Camp.
Treasury Department and General Land Office—Henry Howes.
Agents for Paying Pensions—Azel Spalding, Thomas Reed, Jr., George Howes, Stephen Thomas. The office was removed to New Hampshire while Gen. Thomas was incumbent.
Collector of Internal Revenue—Joseph Poland, Sept. 1862 to Mar. 69; C. S. Dana, Mar. 1869 to 81; J. C. Stearns, from July 1, 1881.
In this list might be included the roll of postmasters, sundry inspectors in the revenue department, and the names of a few who have been employed in subordinate offices at Washington, but a correct list is impracticable.
CITIZENS OF MONTPELIER WHO HAVE HELD CIVIL OFFICES IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT.
Members of the Council of Censors—Nicholas Baylies, 1813; Joshua Y. Vail, 1820; Ezekiel P. Walton, 1827; Joseph Reed, 1834; Hezekiah H. Reed, 1841; Joseph A. Prentiss, 1862; Charles Reed, 1869.
Members of Constitutional Conventions— Jacob Davis, 1793; Joseph Howes, 1814; Darius Boyden, 1822; Stephen Foster, 1828; Nahum Kelton, 1836; Jeremiah T. Marston, 1843, 1850; Oramel H. Smith, I857; Eliakim P. Walton, 1870.
Councillors previous to the State Senate in 1836—Nicholas Baylies, 1814 to 15; George Worthington, 1827 to 31.
State Senators— Araunah Waterman, 1836-8; Wooster Sprague, 1842, 4; Oramel H. Smith, 1845, 7; Charles G. Eastman, 1851, 3; Joseph Poland, 1858, 60; Charles W. Willard, 1860, 62; Roderick Richardson, 1862, 64; Charles Reed, 1864, 7; Charles Dewey, 1867, 70; Eliakim P. Walton, 1874 to 1878.
State Treasurers—Augustine Clark, 1833 to 37; John Spalding, 1841 to 46; Elisha P. Jewett, 1846; George Howes, 1847 to 53; John A. Page, 1853; and again elected in 1866, and is still in office.
Secretaries of State—David Wing, Jr., 1802 to 6; Timothy Merrill, 1831 to 36; Chauncey L. Knapp, 1836 to 41; James McM. Shafter, 1842 to 49; Ferrand F. Merrill, 1849 to 53; Daniel P. Thompson, 1853 to 55; Charles W. Willard, 1855 to 57; Geo. W. Bailey, Jr., 1861 to 65.
Secretary of Governor and Council— George B. Manser, 1832 to 36.
Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs— George B. Manser, 1836 to 41.
Clerks of House of Representatives— Timothy Merrill, 1822 to 31; Oramel H. Smith, pro tem., 1835; Ferrand F. Merrill, 1838 to 49; George R. Thompson, 1856 to 58.
274 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Judges of the Supreme Court—Samuel Prentiss, 1825 to 29, and chief justice one year; Nicholas Baylies, 1831 to 33; Isaac F. Redfield. 1836 to 59, 24 years, and chief justice 8 years; Asahel Peck, circuit court 1851 to 56, Supreme Court, 1860 to 72, 13 years; Timothy P. Redfield, 1872, and is in office.
Judges of Me County Court—David Wing, Jr., Caledonia County Court, 1797-1807, 10 years; Cyrus Ware, chief judge of Caledonia County, 1808 to 11; Salvin Collins, Jefferson (now Washington) County, 1811, 12; Joseph Howes, 1810 to 27; Shubael Wheeler, 1827 to 31; John Spalding, 1840; Daniel Baldwin, 1846 to 8.
State's Attorneys—Timothy Merrill, 1811 to 13, 1815 to 22, 9 years; Nicholas Baylies, 1813, 14, 25; Wm. Upham, 1829; Azel Spalding, 1830 to 35; Homer W. Heaton, 1839, 41, 60, 61; Oramel H. Smith, 1842, 43, 44; Charles Reed, 1847-8; Stoddard B. Colby, 1850, 51; Ferrand F. Merrill, 1854-56; Clarence H. Pitkin, 1880, and is now in office.
Judges of Probate Court—David Harrington, 1811, 1812; Salvin Collins, 1815 to 1820; Jeduthan Loomis, 1820 to 1830; Joseph Reed, 1830 to 1833; Rawsel R. Keith, 1833 to 1836; Daniel P. Thompson, 1837, 38, 39; George Worthington, 1840; Azel Spalding, 1842 to 45; Jacob Scott, 1850, 51; Joseph Poland, 1852, 53; Nelson A. chase, 1854, 55; Timothy R. Merrill, 1860 to 70.
Clerks of Supreme and County Courts—George Rich, 1811 to 19, and clerk of the Supreme Court only, 1819, 20; Joshua Y. Vail, clerk of County Court, 1819, 20, and of both courts, 1821 to 39, 18 years; Stillman Churchill, 1839 to 44; Daniel P. Thompson, 1844, 45; Jackson A. Vail, 1849; Shubael Wheeler, 1846 to 9, 50 to 58, 11 years; Luther Newcomb, 1858 to 77, 19 years; Melville E. Smilie, from 1877, and still in office.
High Sheriffs—George Worthington, 1814; Rawsel R. Keith, 1825 to 32; Isaiah Silver, 1840; Andrew A. Sweet, 1841, 42; George W. Barker, 1843 to 46; Addison Peck, 1846, 47; Joseph W. Howes, 1849; I. W. Brown, 1871; John L. Tuttle, 1877, and still in office.
From the peculiar location of Montpelier village, in a basin into which all the main roads converged through river valleys from the north and the south, the east and the west, it has from the beginning, been an important business place, tempting to merchants and professional men, and repaying good endeavors with abundant success. Not long before his death, the late venerable Arthur Bostwick, of Jericho, informed the writer that in his early career as a business man, Montpelier, instead of h is nearer neighbor Burlington, was the place where he purchased his goods, thus showing that Montpelier merchants found customers even in the valley of Lake Champlain, as they did also through the central part of the State, and north to Canada line. Burlington had the advantage in trade for all articles brought by water from Canada, but not until 1830, after the construction of the Champlain canal, did the population of Burlington, which is assumed as a measure of business for the purpose of this comparison, exceed that of Montpelier. This is the more remarkable in view of the fact that Burlington is by five or six years the older town, and at the outset in 1791 had a population nearly three times as large as Montpelier. The population of the two towns from 1791 to 1840 was as follows:
Burlington 1791, 332; 1800, 815; 1810, 1690; 1820, 2111; 1830, 3226; 1840, 4271.
Montpelier, 1791, 113; 1800, 890; 1810, 1877; 1820, 2308; 1830, 2985; 1840, 3725.
From 1791 to 1820 the advance of Montpelier was the most rapid; but since the opening of the Champlain canal, and the railroads, and more recently, by the superior energy and wisdom of Burlington in establishing manufactures on a large scale, the "Queen City" has far outstripped not only Montpelier but all of her neighbors except Rutland.
Lest the above tribute to the enterprise and sagacity of Burlington be taken as a censure of Montpelier, it is necessary to
recall the fact that in the early history of the town, and for several years, her business men were as enterprising, and even as daring, in respect to manufactures as to merchandize. It was the misfortune, however, of the most considerable enterprises to be baulked by fire or flood, and of others by changes in modes of manufactureas of hats, ready made clothing, and machine-made boots and shoes and household furniture, until at last capitalists were dissuaded from every adventure of the kind, and have turned their surplus capital into investments in real estate abroad, United States bonds, in banking and insurance companies at home. For capitalists merely, this is perhaps the most prudent course; but for the town, for its growth in population and business, it is unfortunate. The earliest necessities of the settlers of the town and vicinity were saw-mills, for lumber to construct their dwellings, and gristmills to prepare materials for food for man and beast. These were first provided on the falls of the North Branch, and were burnt in March, 1826. Mills of each sort were also erected on the falls of the Winooski, and the grist-mill owned by Col. James H. Langdon was destroyed by a flood, Mar. 25, 1826. This mill was rebuilt by Col. Langdon, and was subsequently enlarged by his son, James R. Langdon, into a flouring mill of the first class, with a capacity for 250 barrels per day. A profitable busness was done in this mill for several years, but it passed into the hands of the Montpelier Manufacturing Company and is now used for other purposes. The saw-mill on the same falls was burnt in Oct. 1834, was rebuilt, and is now used by the same company. A fourth grist-mill, erected by James R. Langdon, is now owned and run by Mr. E. W. Bailey.
The superabundance of the production of grain in early days led to another species of manufacture, which would hardly be tolerated in these days. In 1805, a distillery of spirituous liquors was established, and was run for a few years, when it was converted into a manufactory of earthen ware, which was continued until stone and tin ware superseded earthen. In 1824, another distillery was started, to use up surplus grain in store; but in 2 years the grain was disposed of and the still was abandoned.
Another necessity from the beginning was tanneries of leather, and the first was established early in the present century by Elijah Witherell and Silas Cobb, which has been succeeded by others. Thomas Dodge, an apprentice to Witherell, stole his indentures of apprenticeship, left his employer, and started a small establishment, in which Dodge struggled a while, and gave up the business for shoemaking. Still another large tannery was established in later years, and is now successfully run by Peck & Johonnott, and Peck & Cummings are in the same business.
The clothing-mill, as it was called, or mill for wool-carding, fulling, dyeing and dressing cloth, was another necessity when the frugal and industrious housewives were obliged to spin and weave their own wool. Of these there were two, which were continued until home-made cloth gave way to the handsomer productions of the power-looms.
The most useful and promising undertaking, by way of manufactures, was by Sylvanus Baldwin, in the erection of a cotton mill in 1810. From a memorial to Congress in 1832, signed by the distinguished Secretary of the Treasury, Albert Gallatin, it appears that "as early as the year 1810, there were, north of the Potomac, 50 mills for spinning cotton in operation, and 25 more that went into operation the ensuing year. The weaving business had commenced, but was not so far advanced." Baldwin's cotton mill at Montpelier was therefore among the first fifty in the country, and moreover it was among the few that had attained the dignity of weaving cotton yarn into sheetings and shirtings. This was 5 years before the first power-loom in America was set in motion, (in 1815,) at Waltham, Mass. Having established this mill, Mr. Baldwin joined with Elisha Town in the invention and construction of a loom for spinning flax and silk by water-power, with a model of which he went to Europe, in
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the hope of winning a handsome premium offered for such a machine by the first Napoleon. This enterprise failed through the mischances of war. In Mr. Baldwin's absence, the mill was run successfully by his brother, Hon. Daniel Baldwin, on whose authority this account is given. On the return of the owner, the cotton-mill was sold to David Harrington, and in December, 1813, it was destroyed by fire. The first and the last owner were then crippled in means, and this enterprise was perforce abandoned.
At a later date a similar enterprise was undertaken by Araunah Waterman and Seth Parsons, about 1820, who erected a large and wellappointed woolen factory for its day. It was operated for a time, but that, too, was burned, Mar. 22, 1826, with the loss of the life of Robert Patterson, one of the operators, and nearly fatal injury to Araunah Waterman and Joel Mead. A second woolen factory was built in 1837-8, by Col. H. N. Baylies, which ultimately was converted into lumber-works by A. W. Wilder & Co. Still another woolen factory was built and operated at West Montpelier at a recent date, and this was burned.
Among the early manufacturing establishments was an oil-mill, built by Col. Larned Lamb, which in 1810 was converted into the beforenamed cotton-mill, and burned. Another was erected subsequently by Enos Styles, of Middlesex, and Hubbard & Jewett, of Montpelier, which was also burned in October, 1834.
Of paper-mills there have been three. One by Silas Burbank, which was burned; one by Samuel Goss and John Reed, which was also burned; and a third on the Burbank site, which was operated by Silas Goddard & Brothers, Augustus Goss and George W. Cobb, E. P. Walton & Sons, and last by A. M. & D. P. Squires. The water of the Winooski was seriously injured for the use of paper-makers, by an extraordinary flood in 1830, which cut into high clay-banks in Barre, that now contribute clay to the stream with every rain. On this account, as well as the unreliability of water-power, the manufacture of paper was abandoned.
Another early and widely-known manufacturing establishment was that of Erastus Watrous and George Worthington, hatters. They were succeeded by Luman & Norman Rublee, who continued in the business until the advent of silk hats put an end to the old mode of manufacture.
Still another old etablishment, (1816,) having customers in two-thirds of the State, was the boot and shoe manufactory of Silas C. French and Nehemiah Harvey, which was continued for a long series of years.
The making of saddles, harnesses and trunks was commenced by Oliver Goss in 1804. Henry Y. Barnes followed in 1817, who continued for many years. There have been several others in this line of business.
Among the earliest experiments on a small scale was the manufacture of cut nails from hoop-iron, by Joshua Markham. Small as was the business compared with that of modern nail factories, Markham's nails were greatly used and highly appreciated, bringing 16 cents per pound.
Another iron manufacture was that of large screws for mills, and all other purposes requiring strong screws. This business was prosecuted many years in Montpelier by Ellis Nye, who ultimately went into the employ of the late Joshua Thwing, of Barre, iron-founder and millwright.
49 years ago, (1832,) an iron-foundry was established by Alfred Wainwright, which was continued by sundry successors until it came into the possession of Lane, Pitkin & Brock, and is now a part of their works used in the very extensive business of manufacturing saw-mill and other machinery.
The manufacture of mill, factory and other machinery has been prosecuted by Araunah Waterman; Wooster Sprague, whose works were burned in October, 1834; and by Medad Wright, at West Montpelier, who with his son still continues in the business.
Among the manufacturers of household furniture were Thomas Reed, Sr.; C. & J.
Wood; James Howland; Anson Davis; Lyman Briggs, Samuel W. Abbott & Co.; Emery & Brown, and Abbott & Emery. This is another business which has been materially changed, from the complete manufacture from the lumber, to simply upholstering and other finish of articles manufactured elsewhere, in which E. N. Scovill is now engaged.
The manufacture of tin-ware, and the sale of stoves, hardware, agricultural implements, etc., in connection therewith in several instances, has long been an important business. In this class are to be reckoned Chester W. Houghton, and his son William; Zenas Wood; E. A. Webb & Co.; Zenas & Charles Wood; Andrew A. Sweet; Erastus Hubbard; Dennison Dewey; Braman & Tilden; E. Scribner, Jr.; Barrows & Peck; Bancroft & Spear, and Geo. M. Scribner.
Without allusion to the mechanical trades, such as are common throughout the State, the early history of Montpelier in manufactures may well be concluded by mentioning an extraordinary enterprise for Vermont—the only instanceand that is, boring through 850 feet of solid rock, (except occasional interstices,) in an endeavor to find salt water and start the manufacture of salt. The experiment was apparently countenanced by the geological formations in the neighborhood, and about 60 citizens of the town furnished funds for the work, which was prosecuted nearly 10 years and a half, at an expense of $2,100. The intention was to bore a well to the depth of 1,000 feet, but when 850 feet had been reached, the drill by some accident became fastened so firmly that no available power could start it. But for this accident, the depth designed would have been reached, and doubtless a much lower depth, as men would not have been wanting to carry on the work for the fun of it. The attempt was certainly creditable for the good intentions and enterprise of those engaged in it, and it did not damage their reputation for prudence. They had no very high expectations, and encouraged none in others, as they might easily have done. They swindled nobody in the manner of the oil and mining corporations of a later day. They spent their own money, and were respected rather than ridiculed for the biggest bore in Vermont.
The later important manufactures of Montpelier comprise machinery, by Medad Wright & Son, West Montpelier; sawmill and other machinery, water-wheels and castings, and also brick, by Lane, Pitkin & Brocka very extensive, rapidly growing and prosperous business carriages and sleighs for children, and other business in iron and lumber by the Montpelier Manufacturing Company; and last, lumber in the Pioneer Manufacturing Co's. works, by Edwin Lane.
LIST OF ATTORNEYS.
D. P. THOMPSON'S LIST TO AUGUST, 1810.
Charles Bulkley, Cyrus Ware, Samuel Prentiss, Nicholas Baylies, William Upham, Timothy Merrill, J. Y. Vail, Jeduthan Loomis, James Lynde, Thomas Reed, Azro Loomis, Roswell H. Knapp, H. H. Reed, L. B. Peck, J. P. Miller, D. P. Thompson, O. H. Smith, C. J. Keith, Azel Spalding, S. B. Prentiss, Nicholas Baylies, Jr., Geo. B. Manser, F. F. Merrill, J. T. Marston, Isaac F. Redfield, H. W. Heaton, John H. Prentiss, Charles Reed, Wm. K. Upham, J. A. Vail, Stillman Churchill, R. S. Bouchett, Geo. W. Reed, A. W. Tenney, Charles W. Prentiss, Timothy P. Redfield, Luther Newcomb, Joseph A. Prentiss, Stoddard B. Colby, C. W. Willard, Wm. P. Briggs, B. F. Fifield, W. G. Ferrin, Geo. W. Bailey, Jr., C. J. Gleason.
Additions from Aug. 1860 to 1881.
Samuel Wells, Joseph A. Wing, Nelson A. Taylor, C. D. Swasey, Albert Clarke, Rodney Lund, C. D. Harvey, F. V. Randall, Asahel Peck, James S. Peck, Melville E. Smilie, Luther L. Durant, Geo. W. Wing, Arthur Culver, J. O. Livingston, Clarence H. Pitkin, C. W. Porter, H. K. Field, H. A. Huse, C. H. Heath, C. S. Pitkin, H. G. Dewing, Hiram Carleton, S. C. Shurtleff, Henry Oviatt, John E. Harris, T. R. Gordon, Rush P. Barrett, J. K. Kinney, O D. Clark, G. B. Clifford, H. W. Kemp, John G. Wing.
278 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
PRACTICING PHYSICIANS TO 1872.
D. P. THOMPSON'S LIST TO 1860.
Pierce Spalding, Philip Vincent, Edward Lamb, Stephen Peabody, Jacob P. Vargeson, Sylvester Day, Samuel Prentiss, Phineas Woodbury, Nathan B. Spalding, Nathaniel C. King, James Spalding, Eleazer Hamblin, Julius Y. Dewey, Benjamin Walton, Hart Smith, Seth Field, Azel Holmes, F. W. Adams, Zebulon P. Burnham, Charles Clark, Daniel Corliss, Milo P. Burnham; Sumner Putnam, East Montpelier, removed to Montpelier; Thos. C. Taplin homoeopathist; J. M. Gregory, dentist; Ralph Kilbourn, dentist; M. Newton, and Brockway & Hawley, dentists, O. P. Forbush, dentist; Orrin Smith, C. M. Rublee, E. Paine; G. N. Brigham, homoeopathist; C. B. Chandler, W. H. H. Richardson, James Templeton, G. H. Loomis, F. A. McDowell, M. M. Marsh, C. M. Chandler.
Additions from August, 1860 to 1881.
Lucy A. Cooke, clairvoyant; A. B. Hawley, dentist; Charles E. Davis, dentist; John M. Comegys, dentist; H. L. Richardson; J. M. Templeton, botanic; A. Denio, eclectic; R. W. Hill, cancers; Mrs. L. M. Smith, botanic; D. G. Kemp, Geo. W. Nichols, J. E. Macomber, G. P. Greeley; C. H. Plumley, practical reformer; N. W. & R. G. Gilbert, dentists; J. B. Woodward; H. C. Brigham, homœopathist; C. R. Pell, dentist, and succeeded by H. G. Williams.
MERCHANTS AND TRADERS.
D. P. THOMPSON'S LIST TO AUGUST, 1860.
1794—Col. Joseph Hutchins.
1796—Col. J. & W. Hutchins.
1799—Hubbard & Cadwell.
1802—W. L Cadwell; Col. D. Robbins, east part of town; Robbins & Freeman.
1803—Hubbard & Wing, Langdon & Forbes.
1807—Timothy & Roger Hubbard, Jas. H. Langdon, Uriah H. Orvis, Dunbar & Bradford.
1808—Chester W. Houghton, Josiah Parks.
1809—John Crosby, drugs, etc.
1810—L. Q. C. Bowles, Walton & Goss, booksellers, etc.; French & Dodge, shoes.
1811—J. F. Dodge, Langdon & Barnard.
1814—C. Hubbard & J. Spalding, D. Baldwin & Co., Austin Arms, Emerson & Wilkins, Luther Bugbee, Charles Storey.
1815—Wright & Sibley, books, etc.
1816—E. P. Walton & Geo. S. Walton, books, etc.; French & Harvey, shoes.
1818—Sylvester Larabee; E. P. Walton, books, etc.; H. Y. Barnes, harness and saddlery.
1821—John Barnard, Langdon & Spalding, Chester Hubbard, Barnard & Dutton, W. I. Cadwell & Son.
1822—C. Hubbard & E. P. Jewett, Roger Hubbard.
1823—Dutton & Baylies, W. W. Cadwell.
1824—Hubbard & Kimball, T. M. Taylor, Warren Swift, Langdon, Spalding & Co., Otis Standish.
1825—Baldwin, Hutchins & Co., Cadwell & Goldsbory, Taylor & Prentiss; Dodge & Standish, drugs, etc.
1826—Wiggins & Seeley; Geo. W. Hill, books, etc.
1827—Luther Cross, Joseph Wiggins, Goss & Wiggins.
1828—Luther Cross & Co., Hubbard, Jewett & Co., Spalding, Storrs & Co., Baylies & Hutchins.
1829—N. Harvey, shoes.
1830—Baldwin & Prentiss.
1831—Charles Lyman; I. S. & G. Town. jewelry, etc.; W. W. Cadwell, Hart & Riker; J. M. & B. H. Snow, harnesses; E. H. Prentiss, drugs.
1832—W. & M. P. Hutchins.
1833—Emerson, Lamb & Co., Snow, Bancroft & Co., Snow & Bancroft, A. C. Pierce & Co., Silver & Pierce, Standish D. Barnes, G. W. Ware, Baldwin & Scott.
1834—Jewett & Howes, Burbank & Hubbard, Baylies & Hart, Ebenezer Colburn; S. B. Flint, saddlery and harness; Hutchins & Wright; Wm. Clark, books, etc.
1835—H. N. Baylies & Co.; Harvey & Harran, shoes; John & Charles Spalding, Silver, Pierce & Co., Silas Burbank & Co., Ira Day, Wm. A. Prentiss.
1836—Jewett, Howes & Co., Emerson & Russell, Baylies & Storrs.
1837—Bancroft & Riker, C. & L. L. Lamb, C. Alexander.
1838—Spalding & Foster, Langdon & Wright; Town & Witherell, jewelry; John S. Abbott, clocks, etc.
1839—Baylies & Goss; S. P. Redfield, drugs; J. T. Marston, E. P. Walton & Sons, books, etc.; Storrs & Langdon.
1840—Charles Spalding, Silver, Lamb & Co.; Harran & Dodge, boots and shoes.
1841—H. N. Baylies, Jewett & Howes, Baldwin, Scott & Co., Lyman & King, J. H. Ramsdell; Cross, Hyde & bakers.
1842—Cross, Day & Co., Benjamin Day & Co., French & Bancroft, Ellis, Wilder & Co.; Clark & Collins, drugs.
1843—Silas C. French, boots and shoes.
1844—Augustus Haven, Zenas Wood, stoves and tin; Webb, Bancroft & Co.; J. Booth, hats; Moses & Rich, No. Montpelier; J. Huntington, East Montpelier.
1845—Z. & C. Wood, stoves and tin; J. T. Marston, books, etc.; Wm. T. Burnham, hats, etc.; Samuel Abbott, jewelry; N. C. King, No. Montpelier.
1846—Bancroft & Riker, J. W. Howes, L. & A. A. Cross, Erastus Hubbard.
1848—Loomis & Camp; Hyde, Dodge & Co., hardware; E. C. Holmes; Witherell & Mead, jewelers; Eastman & Danforth, books, etc.; A. A. Sweet, tin and stoves; Alfred Scott, hats.
1849—Keith & Barker; S. K. Collins, Redfield & Grannis, drugs.
1850—Scott & Field, Geo. P. Riker, Bancroft & Holmes; Abbott & Emery, John Wood, James Howland, cabinet work; L. M. Wood, R. R. Riker, clothing and tailoring.
1851—Hubbard & Blake, stoves.
1852—Peck & Lewis; Ballou & Burnham, books, etc.; R. W. Hyde, T. C. Barrows, iron and hardware.
1853—Lyman & King.
1854—Keith & Barker, Ellis & Bancroft, Gustavus Hubbard, Walker & White, Wilder, Scott & Co.; Smith & Pierce, Dr. B. O. Tyler, drugs; Geo. L. Kinsman, hats; N. C. Bacon; Emery & Brown, crockery and furniture; Wm. P. Badger, W. W. Cadwell, hats; Phinney & Mead, jewelers; S. M. Walton, book-bindery; C. G. Eastman, Ballou & Loveland, books and stationery; Wm. McCollum.
1855—C. W. Storrs, John S. Barker, H. S. Loomis, Peck & Bailey, Union Store, Fuller & Smith, Jacob Scott; Oliver & Helmer, hardware; French & Sanborn, H. B. Witt, clothing; Fred E. Smith, Collins & Pierce, drugs, Keith & Peck, leather dealers.
1856—W. Corliss, E. Montpelier; Chas. Sibley, No. Montpelier; Palmer & Storrs; Burbank & Langdon, flour; Hyde & Foster, hardware; A. C. Field, clothing.
1857—Ellis & Hatch, Livingston & Salmon; James G. French, clothing; S. C. Woolson, merchant tailor; Storrs & Fuller, W. I. goods and groceries.
1858—J. P. Dewey; J. S. Lee, clothing; L. F. Pierce, drugs; D. K. Bennett, guns and pistols; Mercantile Union, I. H. P. Rowell, agent; C. & S. E. Robinson; Adams Kellogg, E. Dewey, hats and clothing; Emery & Field, crockery and furniture; Wm. Storrs; Herrick & Page, shoes; A. A. Mead, jewelry; T. C. Phinney, jewelry, changed to bookstore.
1859—E. C. Lewis; S. S. Boyce, books, etc; S. Abbott, jewelry; Field & Watson, M. P. Courser, A. L. Carlton; J. R. Langdon, flour; J. C. Emery, crockery and furniture; E. Gunnison, shoes; Bailey & Brothers, Palmer & Stetson, Wooster Sprague.
1860—Eli Marsh, Wm. B. Burbank, J. W. Ellis & Co.; Jacob Smith, clothing; Deming & Brooks.
Additions from Aug. 1860.
1860—George Watson; Fisher & Stratton, silver-platers, etc.; Braman & Tilden; Dennison Dewey, stoves, glass and tinware.
1861—Geo. W. Scott & Co., Ellis & Foster, Calvin Robinson, S. E. Robinson; M. C. Parkinson, watches, etc.; Chas. H. Cross, bakery and confectionery; J. V. Babcock & Co., furniture; D. T. Knapp, Roger Bulkley, harnesses, etc.
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1862—C. W. Storrs; Geo. W. Wilder, books, etc.; E. Bickford, J. C. Page, boots and shoes; L. F. Pierce & Co., drugs.
1863—N. P. Brooks, dry goods and hardware; Wm. F. McClure, groceries; N. K. Brown, drugs; Barnes & Johnson, J. Lease, harnesses, etc.
1864—Nichols & French, clothing; J. A. Taft & Co., George Jacobs, Daniel Scribner, flour and groceries; Kellogg & Adams, hats and clothing; J. P. Dewey, flour, grain and nails; H. & C. Fullerton, boots and shoes; Wood, Bixby & Co., druggists; S. Freeman, jewelry, etc.; Wm. F. Braman, hardware, etc.; Charles Cross & Son, bakers and confectioners; E. Scribner, Jr., stoves and tin-ware; Dennis Lane, saw-mill machinery.
1865—L. W. Smith; Jacob Smith & Son, furniture; A. D. Arms & Co., D. Neveux, W. I. goods; E. R. Skinner, staple and fancy goods, wholesale; Blanchard, Peck and Johonnott, leather; Wm. F. Braman & Co., hardware; John W. Clark, wagons and sleighs.
1866—Martin & Simonds; Geo. Nichols, ready-made clothing; Carleton & Co., W. I. goods; Mark French, preserved fruits; J. E. Smith & Co., stationery and fancy goods; J. Bodell, boots and shoes; Bixby & Co., druggists; Redfield & Crooks, drugs; Lane, Pitkin & Brock, iron-founders and machinists; E. N. Scovell, furniture; Henry Cobb, marble monuments, etc.
1867—New York Dry Goods Store; Emery & Carleton, crockery and carpetings; H. E. Fifield & Co., flour and W. I. goods; L. L. Tanner, boots and shoes; W. F Braman, hardware, etc.; J. V. Babcock, drugs, etc.; Ira S. Town, watches and jewelry; Peck & Johonnott, leather; C. Spear, gas and water fixtures.
1868—B. Benjamin & Co.; W. E. Adams, hats and clothing; Denison Taft & Son, flour, etc.; B. M. Chaffee, boots and shoes; Lamb & Peck, hardware, etc,; Putnam & Co., N. K. Brown & Co., drugs; Flanders & Kinson, platers, etc.
1869—A. C. Dewey & Co., flour, lime, plaster, etc.; J. C. Emery, crockery, carpetings, etc.; Philbrick Brothers, W. L goods, etc.; Barrows & Peck, hardware, etc.; Babcock & Cutler, drugs, etc.; W. A. Boutelle & Wife, dry goods and millinery; Blanchard, Keith & Peck, leather, etc.; A. L. Carleton, dry goods; Hinckley & Best; C. F. Fullerton, boots and shoes; S. S. Towner, millinery and fancy goods; Farwell Brothers, clothing; T. H. Corry & Co., W. L goods; J. W. Page, teas, coffee, spices and tobacco, wholesale; T. C. Phinney, books, stationery, fancy goods and homœopathic medicines; Hiram Atkins, staple stationery; Medad Wright & Son, lumber and machinery, West Montpelier; W. H. Barnes, harnesses, etc.; Cobb & Cummins, marble monuments; Stimson & Co., patent door springs.
1870—Calvin Robinson & Co.; Bailey & Park, Storrs & Jones, W. L goods, etc.; Carlos Bancroft & Son, W. I. goods, iron, etc.; W. L. Washburn & Co., T. J. Hunt, W. F. Waterman & Co., W. L goods and groceries; Spear & Bancroft, tin-ware, stoves, etc.; Woodward & Blakely, druggists; D. McDonald, furniture, carpetings, etc.; E. Hatch, boots and shoes; E. Spinney, fresh and salt fish, etc.; G. P. Foster, coal and wood; D. Taft and Son, lumber; Kimball & Hewett, monuments, etc.; J. W. Paine, A. Allen, cigars.
1871—C. Blakely, drugs, etc.; Scovill & Lyon, furniture, etc.; Jacobs Brothers, flour and W. I. goods; C. E. Winch & Co., W. I. goods and groceries; Thomas McGee, sewing-machines; Fisher, Colton & Kinson, platers, etc.; J. O'Grady, boots and shoes; N. C. Bacon, auction store; J. Bruce, harnesses and carriage trimmings; Soper & Lord, cloths and merchant tailors; T. A. Dewing, boots and shoes.
1872—George Jacobs, flour, W. I. goods, etc.; Smith Brothers, coal; L. W. Jones, provisions, W. I. goods, etc.; Geo. M. Scribner, stoves and tin-ware; F. C. Gilman, wagons and sleighs; B. T. Soper & Co., cloths and merchant tailors; A. G. Stone, watches and jewelry; Crosby & Taplin, dry goods; Redfield & Bascom, drugs, etc.
1873—Montpelier Manufacturing Company, children's carriages, etc.; Hatch & Farnsworth, boots and shoes; C. E. Hosford, clothing, etc.; Crosby & Taplin, dry
goods; Babcock & Cutler, drugs, etc.; A. Luce & Son, groceries; V. Konsalik, watches, etc.
1874—J. D. Clogston, tinware; Putnam & Marvin, groceries, crockery and glass.
1875—E. P. Towner, boots and shoes; Fuller & Howe, dry goods; Mrs. A. L. Carlton, dry goods; Bascom & Dewey, Wilson & Co., drugs, etc.; C. H. Heaton, groceries.
1876—A. & A. Johonnott, leather; N. P. Brooks & Son, house finishing tools and fixtures, glass, sash, blinds, doors, etc.; E. H. Towne, merchant tailor; C. P. Pitkin, coal and wood; H. C. Webster, dry goods; Lyon & Daley, furniture, etc.; A. J. Braley, groceries; C. H. Keene, watches and jewelry.
1877—Fred Blanchard, tin-ware, etc.; C. W. Selinas, harnesses, etc.; Henry Cobb, marble monuments; Kimball & Carter and H. C. Cross, granite monuments; S. C. & H. H. Woolson, merchant tailors; Chase & Edgcombe, boots and shoes; A. H. Bailey, Smith Brothers, dry goods; Orange Fifield, flour, groceries, etc.; Washburn & Co., millinery.
1878—Sabin Manufacturing Co., doorsprings; Miss M. L. Page, millinery; Henry Lowe & Son, teas and fine groceries.
1879—C. W. Skinner, watches, jewelry, etc.; A. J. Howe, dry goods.
1880—Sumner Kimball, granite monuments; C. H. Shipman, C. E. Stow, boots and shoes; Blanchard Brothers, flour, iron and hardware; W. W. Park, flour and groceries; E. W. Bailey & Co., flour and feed; Montpelier Carriage Co., children's carriages.
1881—C. A. Best, millinery and dry goods; D. W. Temple, dry goods; J. A. Murray, W. I. goods and groceries; H. E. Slayton, books and stationery; E. R. Meader, millinery and sewing-machines; Geo. E. Wheeler, marble monuments.
When not otherwise indicated, the persons named were dealers in goods of the usual variety to be found in country stores until about 1851, and after that date in dry goods. The list is necessarily imperfect previous to 1860, and since that it might have been swelled to double its length by the insertion of the names of persons engaged in business not included generally in the preceding list. Notably is a long line of dealers in family groceries and provisions, several with restaurants connected, and some doing a large business in fruits. The list is made from the Vermont Registers, and hence the true dates should be a year behind those given as a general rule.
BANKS AND INSURANCE COMPANIES.
The Bank of Montpelier was chartered in 1825, and organized in 1826, with a capital of $50,000. The first president was Hon. Elijah Paine, of Williamstown, and his successors under the charter and re-charters were James H. Langdon, Timothy Hubbard, John Spalding, Thomas Reed, Jr., Rawsel R. Keith, E. P. Jewett, and George C. Shepard. This bank was re-chartered in 1840, with a capital of $75,000, and still again in 1853, with a capital of $100,000. The cashiers were Thomas Reed, Jr., Charles R. Cleaves, George Howes, Geo. B. Reed and Chas. A. Reed. This bank was succeded in 1865 by the Montpelier National Bank, organized under the national banking law, with a capital of $300,000, whose officers from its organization have been James K. Langdon, president, George C. Shepard, vice-president, and Chas. A. Reed, cashier, until 1881, when E. D. Blackwell succeded Mr. Reed. The capital is now, 1881, $360,000.
The Vermont Bank was chartered in 1848, and organized in 1849, with a capital of $100,000. The presidents were Hezekiah H. Reed, George W. Collamer, Homer W. Heaton, E. H. Prentiss and Roderick Richardson; and its cashier, John A. Page. This bank continued until the First National Bank of Montpelier was organized in 1865, under the national banking law, the president of which has been John A. Page; and the cashiers, R. J. Richardson, L. F. Richardson, J. C. Taplin and J. C. Houghton.
The State Bank was organized in 1858, under the general banking law of Vermont,
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with a capital of $100,000, held mainly by stockholders in the old bank of Montpelier. Its officers were James R. Langdon, president, and George B. Reed, cashier. Business was continued but a few years.
To the banks in Montpelier one compliment is due—they always have been perfectly sound and reliable, without any exception.
Latest organized is the Montpelier Savings Bank and Trust Company, chartered in 1870, organized in May, 1871, and commenced business Aug. 1, 1871. Its officers are Homer W. Heaton. president; Whitman G. Ferrin, treasurer, succeeded by A. W. Ferrin. July 1, 1880, there were 1685 depositors, deposits $346,284.33, and surplus $31,060.11.
The Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Company
was incorporated in 1827, organized in March, 1828, and is now in the 54th year of successful and beneficent operation. The first President was Hon. Chapin Keith of Barre, and his successors were Hon. Israel P. Dana of Danville, and Hon. John Spalding of Montpelier—the terms of these three covering the first 13 years of the company. In 1841, Hon. Daniel Baldwin of Montpelier consented to take the office, and he was re-elected at every annual election until 1874,—31 years. He was succeeded by James T. Thurston and Hon. W. H. H. Bingham. Hon. Joshua Y. Vail was the first permanent Secretary, and held the ounce until 1850, who was succeeded by Hon. Charles Dewey, who served until 1871, when Mr. James T. Sabin was elected, who is the present Secretary. The treasurers until 1842 were Hon. George Worthington, Hon. Oramel H. Smith, Calvin Jay Keith, Esq., Hon. Homer W. Heaton and Harry Vail. In 1842, James T. Thurston was appointed and he was succeeded by O. J. Vail and H. N. Taplin, Jr. In this Company property for insurance is divided into five classes, with rates of insurance varying in proportion to the hazrrd of each class, and the theory of the company is to make the property insured in each class bear the losses of its own. Theoretically, therefore, this Company has five distinct mutual insurance companies under one management; and distinct accounts of the five different classes have been kept for many years, to enable the directors to assign to each the proper rates of insurance. The theory of the company is probably due to abundant caution in respect to the classes which are occasionally exposed to sweeping fires, from which isolated property is always exempt. It is an exception which proves the wisdom of the rule. The whole number of policies issued from March 31, 1828, to Aug. 1, 1881, was 219, 841: of this number 190,428 have expired or been canceled, leaving in force, at the last date, 29,413. The whole amount insured has been $237,333,504, of which the amount canceled or expired is $200,430,697—leaving the amount insured Aug. 1, 1881, $36,902,807. The whole amount of premium notes taken is $21,456,983.09, of which the sum of $18,810,474.93 has expired or been canceled, leaving in force, as a fund for the payment of losses and expenses, Aug. 1, 1881, $2,646,508.16. The whole cash receipts of the Company have amounted to $3,653,940.38, and the whole amount paid for losses and expenses, (including a new and permanent office,) $3,643,289.08—leaving a balance in the treasury, Aug. 1, 1881, of $10,651.30. Chargeable upon this surplus are unadjusted claims for losses estimated at $4,383.30. The total amount of assessments made in 54 years is 178¼ per cent., or, on the average, 3 and 1-3 per cent. per annum of the premium notes. This result indicates that the premium notes have on the average constituted a fund, legally collectable if necessary, more than five times greater than the size of the losses and expenses, and so proves the safety, against any possible contingency, of insurance in institutions managed on the rules of this company.
The Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company
was incorporated and organized in November, 1849, its first president being Hon. Azel Spalding, then of Montpelier. His successors have been Hon. William
Howes, of Montpelier, Hon. George W. Bailey, of Middlesex, Hon. William L. Sowles, of Swanton, and P. P. Pitkin, of Montpelier, the present incumbent. Hon. Joseph Poland, of Montpelier, has been the secretary since the organization. Samuel Wells was treasurer until his death, and was succeeded by Geo. W. Leslie. As its name implies, the purpose of this Company is to insure only farmers' property, and other property of like kind as to hazard—in theory corresponding with the first or least hazardous class of the Vermont Mutual before described. The main difference between the two companies is, that the Vermont Mutual first ascertains its losses and expenses from month to month, assesses the premium notes to pay them, and collects (annually) these assessments; while the Farmers' Company requires payment by the insured in advance, of a sum estimated to be sufficient to meet the losses and expenses during the life of the policy, which in that Company is 5 years. As ample security, however, to the insured against loss, each member of the Farmers' Company, (as in the other Company,) is required to give a premium note, which is assessable or legally collectable in case of necessity.
The National Life Insurance Company
was incorporated in November, 1848, with an authorized capital of $100,000. This was reduced to $50,000, by an amendment of the charter in 1849, and the Company was located at Montpelier. Benjamin Balch made an unsuccessful attempt to organize the institution in 1849, and, early in 1850, it was organized by others, with Hon. Wm. C. Kittredge, of Fairhaven, as president, and Roger S. Howard, Esq., of Thetford, as secretary. These gentlemen resigned after brief service, when Dr. Julius Y. Dewey, of Montpelier, was appointed president, which office he held until his death, when he was succeeded by his son, Hon. Charles Dewey. James T. Thurston, Esq., of Montpelier, served awhile as secretary, when Geo. W. Reed, of Montpelier, was appointed, and has since held the office. The financial affairs of the institution are managed by a board of trustees, and not by a treasurer. The whole amount of risks, Oct. 1, 1880, was $8,623,156. The assets of the Company are invested in U. S. and State bonds, bank stock and notes amply secured by mortgage, the par value of which on the 1st of Oct. 1880, was $2,253,837.07. This institution has been prudently and very successfully managed, and bears a high reputation among those who are familiar with this class of insuranee companies.
The position of Montpelier as State capital from 1808, and County seat from 1811, has contributed much to the growth of the population and business of the town, and given it a prominence in the political, judicial, religious and social affairs of the State which otherwise it could not have attained, and an influence from the strongest and best men of the town, which has always been wisely used. The names of Wright and Lord in the churches, of Prentiss and Baylies and Loomis in all judicial circles, of Thomas Reed, Jr., among bankers, and of the senior E. P. Walton in the editorial and political fieldnot to mention the living—were known and respected throughout the State, and their influence is still felt through a great number in Vermont and elsewhere, who profited by their excellent teachings and examples.
Previous to 1808, there had been 46 sessions of the General Assembly in 14 different towns; 23 sessions in the eastern side of the State, in or near the valley of Connecticut river; 22 on the western side, 11 of which were in Bennington County, and 11 in or near the valley of Lake Champlain, and one session in the north-eastern part. These locations at extreme points from a common centre entailed hardships of access, alternately on the one side of the Green Mountains and the other, and many inconveniences and evils in future years which then were hardly considered. Among these was the impossibility of preserving complete records of public and official doings, and files of State papers; because of which, the early civil and political history
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of the State, so far as official records and papers are concerned, is at best but fragmentary, and much of that which has since been obtained consists of the fragments gathered by the late Henry Stevens, Sr., in the attics of deceased state officers, judges and legislators, and among the rags of the paper-mills. These were purchased, indexed and bound at considerable expense to the State. To remedy the inconveniences of a State without a capital, and the frequent disputes between rival towns for the compliment of a legislative session, the General Assembly of 1805 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 this State," and on condition that the town of Montpelier should erect the buildings and convey them to the State, with the land whereon they shall stand, declared that "said buildings shall become the permanent seat of the legislature for holding all their sessions."* In the debate of 1857, on the State house question, the late Dorr J. Bradley, of Brattleboro, gave a tradition as to the act of 1805, which doubtless came from his father, the late Hon. Wm. C. Bradley, in these words:
But the gentleman from Westford has accused those of the House who oppose moving to Burlington, of sectional prejudice. I have wondered that this subject was not earlier mentioned in the debate, but I did not expect it would come from the quarter it does. The question is a sectional question; it was a sectional question before the gentleman from Westford, or any other member of this House, was born; and it was to allay that sectional jealousy that the Capitol was located here. Our ancestors settled on the eastern and western borders of the then-called New Hampshire Grants, and the common dispute with New York united them in interest and in action. They were not, however, so blind as not to see that the great natural feature of their territory must be respected. For a long time, this great range of mountain, through their centre, prevented their having any Capitol. Each year, however, the disputes for the locality of the next session became too tiresome, and they resorted to an expedient. They did not call for "centralizing" some point in their periphery. They knew enough to know they could not. They sought what was then a little hamlet among the mountains, but on neither side of them. It was selected because it was on neither side. A division of the range left it a perfect geographical puzzle to decide on which side it should be classed. How many a heart among those wise old men rejoiced that the mountains, for which the State had been named, the mountains, heretofore a curse, were to he henceforth a blessing. These mountains, into which, and not over which, our law-makers were to travel, were to become the centre about which the affections of all might cluster. They were careful not to wound the pride of either side. Their governors were alternately selected from each The senators to Congress, being only two, were always taken one from each side. . . . . .
Mr. Chairman, the Capitol was located here as a measure of peace. It was to build us up from a divided, into a united and homogeneous people. Fifty years of peace have been the product of this act of wisdom! Our old worthies were right. They set that puzzle to their children on purpose; they knew what they were about; their children understood them. Shall we, their grand-children, affect ignorance of their intention? Shall we discard all those lessons of wisdom, to find a place where some tourist may go with a sketchbook, or some artist with a pallet? Above all, which idea is sectional, that of preserving this peace of half a century, or that of violating its provisions? I, for one, am a kind of Samaritan on this subject. "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain;" not bowing themselves to the Adirondacks across the Lake, nor to the White Hills from St. Johnsbury; but this mountain—the Green Mountain range; and I am for going down to no Jerusalem on the east or the west.
The act making Montpelier the capital of the State was passed Nov. 8, 1805, and on the 25th of the next month, the town, in legally warned town meeting, appointed a committee to receive subscriptions and donations, and to superintend the erection of the buildings at the expense of the subscribers, the town as a corporation not to be liable for the buildings or the expenses of the committee. The town then had a population of about 1200 only, and a grand list of less than $23,000, and the heaviest part of the task rested naturally upon the
* Vermont Capitol, 1857. p. 204. Succeeding pages in that volume give other official papers, and various facts connected with the first and second State houses.
village, which then had probably less than half of the population and property; and moreover money of any sort was exceedingly rare. Subscriptions were promptly made, but they were payable "in labor or materials when reasonably called for;" "such articles of materials and produce" as the subscribers chose; and "in grain, neat cattle, provisions, or goods at such times as we [the subscribers] shall particularly specify." Some materials, specially nails and glass, required cash, and cash had to be provided. Sept. 2, 1806, the town voted almost unanimously to petition the Legislature to grant a tax of four cents per acre on all the land of the town, [which would raise about $800,] to be expended in completing the State-House; but nothing appears to have been done, and the time was near [Sept. 1, 1808,] when the work was to be completed. Therefore, May 12, 1808, the town voted a tax of 4 cents on the dollar of the list of 1807, [which, would raise about $1000,] two-thirds payable in grain and provisions, and one-third in specie or current bank bills, or orders from the building committee, or receipts or orders from the architect and constructor, Deacon Sylvanus Baldwin.
The constable began to collect this tax, when he was met by the objection, from a shrewd farmer, that by the constitution of the State a town had not the power to tax its inhabitants for the purpose of building a State-house. The judges and lawyers were then consulted, and lo! the judgment of the farmer was unanimously affirmed. This was a predicament very unwelcome to the people, most of whom were willing to pay the tax; yet it was a serious predicament, because the constable dared not attempt to collect a tax which might afterwards be repudiated, and thus the burden be cast upon himself. In this emergency two projects were suggested; one being the selection of a collector who had no property, and the other a minor as collector, on the presumption that he would not be suable. The latter course was adopted, and the tax-bill was put into the hand of Hon. Daniel Baldwin, brother of Sylvanus. He collected the tax, even the constitutionally scrupulous farmer paying his proportion with his townsmen. The original subscriptions, the tax, and other donations, amounted to from $8000 to $9000, which was the cost of the house exclusive of the land—20 rods by 16, which was given by Thomas Davis.
THE FIRST STATE-HOUSE
was constructed of wood. 50 by 70 feet on the ground; 36 feet high to the roof, septangularshaped in front, and otherwise square. About 20 feet of the front was in three floors—the first being the vestibule to the hall of the House of Representatives, which was 50 feet square, and rose to the height of the first two stories front; the second floor gave entrance to the gallery of the House; and the third floor, covering the vestibules and hall of the House, was occupied by the room of the Governor and Council, into which an audienceroom for spectators opened, and by committeeroomsone of them named Jefferson Hall, and famous as the scene of political caucuses. The roof was surmounted by a modest cupola, in which was the finest-toned bell the town has ever had. The building was plainly furnished, warmed with stoves, and lighted with tallow candles—the hall of the House with a chandelier so striking in its proportions and so brilliant in its effect as to be a marked exception to the plainness of everything else, and to incur the censure, as a piece of "foolery," of one of the wisest of the old legislators—Henry Olin. This house was used until 1836, when it was succeeded by
THE SECOND STATE-HOUSE.
This was authorized by act of Nov. 8, 1832, on condition that Montpelier should pay $15 ,000 towards its construction. This sum was paid, and $3000 more for additional land. The second house was beautiful and substantiala perfect specimen (the dome excepted,) of Grecian architectureand the finest Capitol of its day in New England, if not in the country. The grounds, including fence, terrace and approaches, were the same as now; and as the building was in form the same as the present, a Greek cross, differ‑
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ing little in dimensions, (but more in the roof and dome,) a particular description is not necessary.* The whole cost, (the Davis land excepted,) of this house and grounds was $132,077.23. This Capitol was used until Jan. 5, 1857, when, through a lack of due caution both in erecting and managing the heating apparatus, the woodwork of the interior took fire, and all the wood-work was destroyed, and the walls of granite and brick were badly damaged.
THE THIRD STATE-HOUSE
was authorized by act of Feb. 27, 1857, which appropriated $40,000 on condition that the inhabitants of Montpelier should give good and sufficient security to pay into the treasury a sum equal to the whole cost of the work. This security was given in a bond in the sum of $100,000. At the session of 1858, no appropriation was made by the State, and the work was carried on to completion by funds advanced by citizens of Montpelier, leaving bills for the furniture and some other debts outstanding to the amount of $34,000 in 1859, which sum the State then assumed, and the cost of construction was reported in 1859, as being "within $150,000." The first appropriation by the State, Feb. 1857, was $40,000; the second, Nov. 1857, was $30,000, and whatever should be paid by Montpelier on the bond required by the first named act—the amount then paid being $42,000; and the State in 1859 appropriated the further sum of $34,000—making in all $146,000. The contributions of Montpelier to the three houses have amounted to about $71,000, exclusive of interest and the land originally deeded by Thomas Davis, which now, if it was private property, would be the most valuable land in the town. Every part of the building, which is ever heated or artifically lighted, is fire-proof, the materials being granite, brick, iron and marble; and the roof and dome, which can hardly ever be exposed to fire unless by lightning, are covered with copper and connected by copper conductors running to the ground drains. The style of architecture is the same as that of the second capitol, but the furniture, upholstery, gas fixtures, and heating apparatus (by steam) are far superior. The central building is 72 feet 8 inches in height, surmounted by a dome and cupola 56 ft. 9 in. in ht.—extreme ht. to base of the statue representing Agriculture, which caps the cupola, 129 feet 5 inches. The length of the central building is, for the portico 18 feet and the side walls 95 feet 8 inches—in all 113 feet 8 inches; and the breadth is 72 feet 8 inches. The wings are each 52 feet in length, making the extreme length of both, including the width of the central building, 176 feet 8 inches. The width of each wing is 50 feet 8 inches, and the height 47 feet 8 inches, with cornices reaching to 8 feet below that of the central building, giving to the whole pile the shape of the Greek cross. By the enlargement of the building, opportunity was given for great improvements in its value and convenience for public business. The State Library has been materially enlarged and improved, specially in law, history, and general literature, until it has come to be indispensable to judges, lawyers, and literary men for books of reference, and the number of volumes has largely outgrown the room. A fine State Cabinet of mineralogy and natural history has been formed, and it receives additions annually. The battle-flags of the Vermont troops in the war for the Union are carefully preserved, with the portraits of many of her officers; and within the State Department and the room assigned to the Vermont Historical Society all the fragments of the early history of the State that are attainable are gathered and safely kept. On the whole, the glory of the latter house greatly exceeds that of the former.
From the settlement of the town until 1797 it was in the County of Orange. In 1795, the town voted unanimously to petition the Legislature to be set off to the County of Chittenden, and failed to succeed, but was annexed to the County of Caledonia in 1797, and there remained until the County of Jefferson was organized Dec. 1, 1811, with Montpelier as the county town. The
* For a good description see [Zadock] Thompson's Vermont [Civil History,] pages 131-2.
name of the County was changed to Washington in 1814. The first court house was erected in 1818, on the west side of the State House groundsa wooden building, which now adjoins the Catholic church, and is occupied by its priest. The second house, of brick, was erected on the corner of State and Elm streets in 1843, and was burned the same year. The third, a brick building, enlarged in 1879, partly burned in 1880, and re-finished in Aug. 1880, was erected on the same site in 1844. The first jail-house was the dwelling-house of the first settler in the village—Jacob Davis. It was given to the County by Thomas Davis, son of Jacob, and was converted into a jail and residence for the jailor. The changes in this building, to adapt it to its purposes, were made at the expense of citizens of Montpelier. In 1832, the County rebuilt the jail part of this building, and gave back half of the building to the original donor, who then needed this act of justice. In 1857, the County substituted the present substantial and handsome building for the old one, and paid Mr. Davis for his interest in the property. In this connection a fact is added to correct the perhaps general impression that the State-House and other public buildings are sources of wealth to the citizens of the town, especially the hotel-keepers. Mr. Davis gave bountifully of his property to the State and County, doubtless hoping to regain all his gifts and more, by the increased patronage he would receive in his hotel. That hotel was the finest of its day, at least in the State, and was, as it has almost ever since been, the one most favored. Mr. Davis was himself an industrious, temperate and laborious man, and had the aid of sons and daughters born in his house; and yet he would have died a poor man, entirely dependent upon his children, hut for the remnant of his early patrimony which was restored in his old age by the County.
The first building serving as a public house was Col. Jacob Davis' residence on Elm street, afterwards the jail-house, and still serving for dwellings on another part of the same street. The first hotel in the town and county, built specially for the purpose, was built by Col. Jacob Davis, about 1793—the Union House, on the site of the present Unitarian church. It was of wood, and was burned in 1835. Another hotel of brick was erected on the same site, and that also was burned in 1859, and was succeeded by the present Union House, standing on the opposite corner of Main and Court streets. The second hotel built was the Hutchins tavern, longer known as the Shepard tavern, a wooden building, which stood on Main, opposite Barre street; it was burned. The third hotel erected was the Pavilion, by Thomas Davis, in 1807-8, a brick building. For its day it was one of the best hotels in New England, adorned with mouldings, carved wood-work, and fresco painting excelled only in modern times. Mahlon Cottrill enlarged the building to about double its original dimensions. This building was succeeded by the present building, erected by Theron O. Bailey, which is one of the most perfect hotels in New England. The third hotel erected was by Obadiah Eaton in 1810, on ground now occupied by the Central Vermont railroad for depot purposes. This building was moved to Elm street, and is now occupied as a dwelling-house. The fourth hotel was of brick, on the south side of State street. and a few doors west of Main street, which was kept for many years by Rufus Campbell, Hugh Gourley, William Rogers and others, and was then converted into stores. It was erected about 1824. The fifth was the Eagle hotel, on State street, enlarged and changed into the present American house. The sixth was the brick dwelling-house on State street erected by Henry Y. Barnes, and changed into a temperance hotel. For many years it was known as Burnham's hotel. and is now known as the Bishop house. This comprises the list of hotels in the present town of Montpelier. In the part of the old town which is now East Montpelier, the writer remembers five taverns, some of which were not without fame in their day. For a time there was a hotel in the
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present limits of Montpelier, but not in the village, known as the Coffee House. It was on the farm two miles from the State-House, and on the road to Barre. The farm was originally owned by Jacob Davis, Jr., and is still known as the Coffee House.
The town records show action by the town in respect to the gospel fund and to preaching at different times, commencing March 16, 1795, but not much fruit. About that time the first Methodist class was formed. [See History of Methodist church, by Methodist contributors.] From 1791, Clark Stevens, Friend or Quaker, was a resident of East Montpelier, and was joined by others of the same persuasion, when religious meetings were held; in 1803, a society was regularly organized, and shortly after a house for their meetings was erected. In 1804, regular religious meetings were established in the village for services in "singing and reading of sermons" when destitute of preaching. The first record of regular preaching, in what is now Montpelier, was by Rev. Clark Brown, of Brimfield, Mass. In 1805, he was employed by the town to preach for one year; but he did not succeed in that profession, and in 1806, left it and started a newspaper. In 1807, a Mr. Hovey was employed as preacher, but left the same year.
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
In the winter of 1808, Rev. Chester Wright spent a few Sabbaths, and Apr. 12, thereafter, 83 leading citizens of the village formed "The First Congregational Society in Montpelier." July 20, 1808, "THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH" was formed, consisting of 17 members. Mr. Wright was then employed as stated preacher, and continued as such until Aug. 16, 1809, when he was made the permanent pastor of the church. The number of the members of this church reported in June, 1872, was 440, of whom 155 were then nonresidents who had not taken letters of dismission or formally changed their relation. The whole number admitted to this church has been near 1200, thus showing that the removals by emigration and death have been about 900. The meetings were usually held in the State- House, sometimes in the Academy building until 1820, when what has been commonly known as "the brick church" was erected, at a cost of about $8,000. The present elegant and substantial building, called "Bethany Church," which was dedicated Oct. 15, 1868, occupies the site of the old church. The value of Bethany church was reported to the last General Convention to be $70,000; but including the land and organ, and the cost of the construction of the building, the sum should be about $6,000 greater. The following is a list of the pastors of the First Congregational Church of Montpelier:
Aug. 16, 1809, to Dec. 22, 1830, Chester Wright; Oct. 26, 1831, to April 19, 1835. Samuel Hopkins; Aug. 25, 1836, to July, 15, 1840, Buel W. Smith; Dec. 15, 1841, to Dec. 9, 1846, John Gridley; Sept. 27, 1847, to 1878, W. H. Lord; 1878 to the present time, J. H. Hincks.
SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, OR FREE CHURCH.
This church was organized in 1835, consisting mainly of members of the First Congregational church. For a few years, under the ministration of Rev. Sherman Kellogg, if prospered, but afterwards declined, and about the year 1848, was abandoned, a part of the members returning to the First Church, and others joining the Methodist church. The pastors and ministers of this church were; 1835 to 1842, Sherman Kellogg; 1842 to 1844, Joab Seeley; 1845 to 1847, E. J. Comings. This church and society erected and used the building on State street, which is now the Village Hall.
FREE WILL BAPTIST CHURCH.
Elder Ziba Woodworth, (see biographical sketch in East Montpelier,) was a citizen of the town at its organization, and on its record is a certificate of his good standing in the Baptist church prior to his residence here. From about 1800, Mr. Woodworth was in the habit of exhorting
as occasion offered, and in 1806, he was ordained, and preached from 1806 to 1826. Philip Wheeler is named in Walton's Register as a Baptist preacher in 1815-16, and again from 1823 to 1825, and also Samuel Parker from 1827 to 1832. A church was organized in 1830, says D. P. Thompson, which would be in the ministry of Mr. Parker. In 1870, the church and society commenced the construction of a handsome church edifice on School street, which has since been completed. The clerical list, so far as it is attainable, is as follows, beginning with the organization of the church in 1830: 1830-32, Samuel Parker; 1840, — Keniston; 1841-43, Zebina Young; 1849,— Jackson; 1866-8, N. P. Foster; 1869-71, William Fitz; 1872-78, N. Newton Glazier; 1879 to the present time, H. A. Rogers.
UNIVERSALIST CHURCHES OR SOCIETIES.
In an account of the religious condition of the town previous to 1811, the late Rev. Chester Wright stated that previous to 1800, there had rarely been any preaching except by the Methodists; that the increased population from 1800 was divided into various sects, the largest number professing Universalism. A society of this sect was formed in the village, (now Montpelier,) in 1831; one had been formed earlier at the centre of the old town, and shared the meeting-house there with other denominations, and at a later date a third was formed in East Montpelier, and erected a house of worship in East Montpelier village, which has been maintained ever since, and is now a handsome structure. The following list of Universalist preachers in Montpelier has been gathered from Walton's Register:
1833. John M. Currier; 1834, John M. Austin; 1835, B. H. Fuller, J. Wright; 1836, J. Wright; 1837-8, John Gregory; 1839, J. Wright, J. Boyden; 1840 to 1866, Eli Ballou; 1867-70, J. O. Skinner; 1871, E. Ballou.
UNITARIAN CHURCH AND SOCIETY.
There had been occasionally missionary efforts for this denomination, but no stated preaching and permanent organization until after the coming of Rev. C. A. Allen in 1865. A church and society has been formed, consisting of Universalists and Unitarians, and a handsome church edifice has been erected on the corner of Main and School streets, called "The Church of the Messiah." The list of ministers embraces but two names: Rev. Chas. A. Allen began his labors in Montpelier in 1864, and remained here 5 years, receiving leave of absence for a year in 1869, and resigning his charge before that leave had expired. Rev. J. Edward Wright became pastor in 1869, and is now (1881) in charge.
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH.
In 1842, a church of this denomination was organized, consisting in part of members dismissed by request from the first Congregational church, among them being the first rector. A small church edifice was immediately built, and in 1867-8, another elegant one on State street, near the centre of the village, which superseded the first. It is called "Christ Church." The list of rectors is as follows:
1843-49, George B. Manser; 1850-53, E. F. Putnam; 1854-65, F. W. Shelton; 1866-8, D. C. Roberts; 1869-70, Wm. J. Harris; 1871-79, A. Hull; 1880 and since, H. F. Hill. [An additional paper is promised by the rector, Rev. Mr. Hill.—Ed.]
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
No record is found of regular ministrations according to the forms of the Catholic church for any considerable period previous to 1850, but there had been frequent visitations before that date, notably by "Father O'Callaghan," of Burlington.
The old court house was first converted to the uses of a church, and was again converted into the priest's residence, when a convenient brick edifice had been erected near the State House, now known as "St. Augustine." The congregation is the largest in the town, being gathered from Montpelier and neighboring towns. The clerical list is as follows, gathered from Walton's Register:
1850-53, Hector Drolette; 1861-63, Z. Druon; 1864-81, J. M. P. Duglue, in whose
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absence Father Savoie officiated. [An additional paper will be given hereafter.— Ed.]
LITERARY INSTITUTIONS, NEWSPAPERS, &C.
The history of the common schoolsat least until the establishment of a graded school by the union of all the districts in the village—is that of every other town of like population, and need not be given, Preliminary to a notice of the chartered literary institutions in their order, four societies designed to supplement the formal schools are worthy of notice.
LIBRARIES AND DEBATING SOCIETIES.
The first was a Circulating Library, of about 200 vols., established in 1794, and located in the centre of the old town, probably under the care of the late Parley Davis. One feature was the exclusion of all novels as well as all religious books, thus limiting the selection of books to works of history, travels, biography, the sciences, philosophy, agriculture, mechanics, and such poetry as was admissible under the rule; and the second was the establishment of a similar library in the village, Feb. 28, 1814, which was not quite so exclusive in character. Both libraries existed for many years, and were undoubtedly useful to all who were disposed to profit by them. The third was a literary society formed about 1807, for theme writing and debate, called "The Franklin Society," of which the apprentices in the printingoffices and other mechanical trades were the members. Its rules required gentlemanly language and deportment; and one who was an originator of the society, (the late Gen. Ezekiel P. Walton,) informed the writer that all the members became intelligent, valuable and influential citizens, except one alone, who was expelled for profanity. Another society, with the same name, existed in 1828. A similar but small society was in existence some few years, dating also from about 1828, and with like results; at least three of the members became editors, two of them Members of Congress at the same time, and another a judge of the superior court of one of the large Western States.* The fourth was
"THE MONTPELIER LYCEUM,"
formed Nov. 18, 1829, which was continued for several years. Its design was "mutual improvement in useful knowledge," and the means were, by addresses, lectures, essays, reports upon assigned topics, and oral debate upon selected questions. The members were not only the young people of both sexes from the schools, but also professional men, merchants and mechanics of all ages. The lad in his teens met his minister, his teacher, his doctor, or the judges and lawyers of the village, in public debate, and all were encouraged to take part in the exercises. The fruits were indeed "improvement in useful knowledge," and the art of imparting knowledge; making good writers and keen debaters, sharpening the intellectual powers, educating in all the members a taste for whatever is excellent and useful in literature and science, and inspiring a zeal for personal and public improvement. Its first president, and probably its originator, was the well-beloved principal of Washington County Grammar School for 12 years—the late Rev. Jonathan C. Southmayd.
WASHINGTON COUNTY GRAMMAR SCHOOL.
Nov. 7, 1810, Montpelier Academy was incorporated, the name being changed in 1813 to Washington County Grammar School, and endowed with the rents of the Grammar School lands. The first academy building was of wood, 44 by 36 feet on the ground, and two stories in height. It was located on what is now the triangle on Main at the intersection of Spring street, near the "Academy bridge." This building was burned in 1822, when a more commodious brick building was erected, which was used until it was superseded by the larger and still more commodious Union School building, erected at the head of
* Three of the graduates from Gen. Walton's printingoffice were serving in Congress at the same time in 1857-'59—two as Members or the House from Massachusetts and Vermont, and a third, hailing from a Western State, in the postoffice of the House, and afterward in the Clerks' Department, and as Paymaster in the Army in the Rebellion war. Two ether graduates from that office became clergymen of good reputation.
School street in 1858-9. The principal instructors of the Academy and Grammar School, until its union with the Graded School, were: James Whorter, James Dean,* Joseph Sill, Benton Pixley,† Ira Hill, Thomas Heald, Justus W. French,‡ Seneca White, Heman Rood, John Stevens, Jonathan C. Southmayd, J. B. Eastman. Augustus A. Wood.|| Aaron G. Pease,§ Calvin Pease,¶ J. H. Morse, M. Colburn, Geo. N. Clark,** Davis Strong, Horace Herrick, J. E. Goodrich, Charles Kent and C. R. Ballard. Others were temporarily employed, and among them was the late Hon. Joshua Y. Vail, in the early years of the school, and Robert Hale in the later; and in the interim between the destruction of the first academy building and the completion of the second, the want of an academy was measurably supplied by a classical school under a Mr. Sherard. For many years, dating from the preceptorship of Mr. Southmayd, Washington County Grammar School was, among others of its day, of the very highest reputation in the State, sending out as teachers, clergymen, lawyers, physicians and public men, a long roll to the high honor of the institution and its instructors.
MONTPELIER UNION GRADED SCHOOL.
Prompted in part by a bequest of $1,000 by Hezekiah H. Reed, land was purchased amply sufficient for school purposes for many generations, and a school-house erected at a cost of $19,000, when, under the general statute and special acts passed in 1858-9, the four school-districts in the village were united into one Union School district. The special acts gave full powers in respect to the course of study, and with a union of Washington County Grammar School with the district, a course was adopted embracing all studies necessary, from the primary to the highest grades required tor admission to colleges and the highest institutions for the education of females. Thus was formed a Union and Graded School, which has endeared itself to children and parents, and is an honor and a source of just pride to the town. The principals have been: 1859-61, M. M. Marsh; 1862-71, Daniel D. Gorham; 1872-74, C. W. Westgate; 1875-77, J. E. Miller; 1878-9, A. W. Blair; 1880, W. W. Prescott; 1881, H. R. Brackett.
NEWSPAPERS AND AUTHORS.
The first newspaper established in Montpelier was The Vermont Precursor, by Clark Brown, in November, 1806. Mr. Brown had not been fortunate as a preacher, having failed in a few months, and he was little more fortunate as publisher, since he sold his paper in less than a year to Samuel Goss, the first proprietor of The Watchman, which was afterwards, from January, 1826, the Vermont Watchman & Slate Gazette, and from Dec. 13, 1836, and still is, the Vermont Watchman & State Journal; and the oldest newspaper in Montpelier. The real germ of the Watchman, however, was not the Precursor, but the Green Mountain Patriot, established at Peacham, Feb. 1798, by Samuel Goss and Amos Farley, and discontinued in March, 1807, the year in which Mr. Goss moved his office to Montpelier. The editors of the Watchman have been Samuel Goss, Ezekiel P. Walton, E. P. Walton Jr., [so known to the public, the true name being Eliakim P. Walton,] Joseph & J. Monroe Poland. The period of Mr. Goss was from 1807 to 1810; of Mr. Walton senior until about 1830, after which his brother Joseph S. Walton assisted for awhile, and E. P. Walton Jr until Sept. 1853; the latter was editor and proprietor until Jan. 16, 1868, and editor until Mar. 1868; and from March 1868, the Messrs. Poland were in charge until J. M. Poland retired. During the 40 years of service by Walton, senior, the business of book-publishing and selling was connected with the
* Afterward Professor of Mathematics in the University of Vermont. [See vol. I, Burlington Paper on the University by Prof Clark—Ed.]
† Clergyman in Williamstown and missionary among the Western Indians.
‡ Clergyman in Vermont, New York and New Jersey.
|| Clergyman in New York.
§ Clergyman in Vermont.
¶ Professor and President of University of Vermont, who died while pastor of a Presbyterian church at Rochester, N. Y. [See biography of, by brother of President Pease, vol. I, this work—Ed.]
** Professor in University of Vermont, and now clergyman and Secretary of the American Board for Foreign Missions. [See Paper by him on V. V. M., vol. I, Vt. Hist. Gaz.—Ed.]
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newspaper, and for several years after his sons had become of age, the business was greatly enlarged by uniting under one management the newspaper, job and book-printing, paper-making, book-binding, and bookselling, making one of the most important business establishments in the town, and furnishing support to a greater number of families than any other at the time.
The next newspaper in point of time was The Freeman's Press, by Derick Sibley, or Wright & Sibley. The germ of that paper was, it is supposed, The Weekly Wanderer, commenced at Randolph in Jan. 1801, by Sereno Wright, and discontinued in 1811; or possibly was removed to Montpelier and re-issued as "The Freeman's Press." In D. P. Thompson's list of business men, however, the names of Wright & Sibley do not appear until 1815. They may have come earlier, and probably did, as Rev. John Gridley's History fixes the date "about 1813." The latter was the Jeffersonian Republican as the Watchman was the Federal organ, until "the era of good feeling" came to Montpelier in 1818, when Jonas Galusha received all the votes of Montpelier except one. The "Press" was discontinued about that time—possibly before 1817, leaving "the Watchman" sole occupant in the field. Mr. Sibley removed to Rochester, N. Y., where he was highly esteemed, and a son of his—possibly a native of Montpelier,—has been one of the most successful men of this country in telegraph companies.
The next newspaper in the order of time was the "Vermont Patriot & State Gazette," established Jan. 17, 1826, by George Washington Hill & Company. It was intended to be the organ of the Jackson party (since called Democratic) in Vermont, as was Isaac Hill's "Patriot" in New Hampshire. The "Vermont Patriot" was continued for some years by its founders; from 1834 by Geo. W. Hill and William Clark; from 1839 by Jeremiah T. Marston; from 1848 by Eastman & Danforth; from 1854 by C. G. Eastman, and the administrator of his estate, from whom the paper passed to E. M. Brown, and shortly after was merged in the present "Argus and Patriot," published and edited by Hiram Atkins. The dates given above, except as to the birth of the "Patriot," have been taken from D. P. Thompson's list of business men, and may not be entirely accurate, though it is believed they are nearly so. Mr. Hill did not possess the editorial tact of his distinguished brother, and employed others to do the chief editorial work, and most prominent among the several so employed were Horace Steele and Hugh Moore—Steele, the author of "The Indian Captive," (omitted from Zadock Thompson's list of Vermont books,) and Moore a poet of no mean rank. Both Marston and Eastman were able editors, and Eastman was the sweetest of Vermont poets.
"The State Journal" was established Nov. 1, 1831, by Knapp & Jewett—Chauncey L. Knapp, a graduate from the Watchman office, and Elam R. Jewett. The "Journal" was continued until December 1836, as the organ of the Anti-Masonic party, and was then merged in the "Watchman." Mr. Knapp was the chief editor, and after filling State offices in Vermont and Massachusetts, and serving four years in Congress for the Lowell, Mass., district—1855-59,—he is now in harness again as editor of a daily newspaper in Lowell. Mr. Jewett was for a long time connected with the Commercial Advertiser of Buffalo, N. Y., and has retired from the newspaper business with an ample fortune, but is yet engaged in a lucrative business kindred to "the art of arts."
The Voice of Freedom was established in January 1839, by Allen & Poland, with C. L. Knapp editor, an antislavery newspaper, which was continued until 1842, and then removed to Brandon, It was succeeded in 1844, at Montpelier, by the "Green Mountain Freeman," by Joseph Poland, which is now published by Herbert R. Wheelock. The editors have been Joseph Poland, Jacob Scott, Daniel P. Thompson, Sidney S. Boyce, Charles W. Willard, J. W. Wheelock, H. R. Wheelock, and H. A. Huse. [See paper later.]
The "Christian Repository," organ of
the Universalist denomination, was started in Woodstock as "The Universalist Watchman" in 1829, by William Bell, and removed to Montpelier about 1836, and its title changed. For most of the period of its publication in Montpelier. Eli Ballou was the editor and he was also publisher, under the firms of Ballou & Loveland, and Ballou & Son. It was merged in a Boston paper in 1870, having been edited for the three preceding years by J. O. Skinner.
The "Christian Messenger," [see account of by Rev. J. R. Bartlett.]
The Vermont Farmer was commenced in Montpelier in 1879, by L. P. Thayer, and removed to Northfield in 1881.
For The Vermont Chronicle, now published here, see Windsor, next volume.
For about 40 years a daily paper has been issued from the "Watchman" office during the sessions of the General Assembly. It was originated for the convenience only of members of the Legislature and persons having business before it, and at first was a small sheet of one or two pages, containing an abstract of daily proceedings. Soon it grew into a small newspaper of four pages, and contained an abstract of debates as well as of proceedings, and was in demand for more general circulation. It became at last a daily paper of medium size, or equal to the original weekly "Watchman," and was entitled "Walton's Daily Journal," to distinguish it from his weekly newspaper. From the outbreak of the rebellion in the spring of 1861, until July, 1868, it was continued regularly as a daily paper—with two editions each day for most of that period— and was supplied by correspondents in several of the Vermont regiments with valuable materials for Vermont's history in the War, much of which is yet to be preserved in a more convenient form. Daily papers have occasionally been issued daring the Legislative sessions from the "Patriot" and "Argus" office, and also from the "Freeman" office, and from the latter a daily, was published during the war.
A regular visitor into more Vermont households than have received the Montpelier newspapers altogether, is "Walton's Vermont Register." It was started by E. P. Walton, Sr., and his brother, George S. Walton, in 1817, the first number, (being the Register for 1818,) having been printed and published in the closing months of that year. From that date until the present time it has been annually issued, and although it has not increased much in superficial dimensions, and is still a convenient hand-book, it has increased in matter as fast as the professional and other business of the State has increased. The second number of the Register, (for 1819,) was published by E. P. Walton, Sr., Geo. S. having deceased, and the publication was continued by him and his sons until 1853, when the publication was commenced by E. P. Walton, Jr., the present Eliakim P. Walton. In a few years the proprietorship was given by him to Samuel M. Walton, and by him it was transferred to the Claremont Manufacturing Co. in 1867, their first issue having been the number for 1868, and in 1881 to the White River Paper Co. From 1817, or the origin of the Register, until now, the editors have been E. P. Walton, Sr., and E. P. Walton, Jr.—so it ever has been, and still is, "Walton's Vermont Register." For several years the blanks in the calendar pages were filled with guess-work as to the weather, and the writer of these pages exercised his ingenuity in filling in that sort of matter when a boy—a confession which suggests the utter folly of the fashion. It was the general fashion in almanacs, however, and for the credit of Walton's it must be said, that nobody could be harmed by a prognostication of "rain or snow" in April, or of "unsteady weather, flying clouds; we seldom fail of having a cold north-easterly storm this month"—all of which is the weather wisdom for May, 1820. The three last months of that year were suffered to go to press without any weather at all, but it is a fact that the weather went on according to its will, without the slightest respect to the Almanac maker, or the hopes or fears of those who relied upon him. This folly was abandoned finally, and a page was inserted from year to year containing a
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weather table, which was originally framed by the astronomer Herschel, and corrected by observations made by the Rev. Dr. Adam Clarke. It is obvious, however, that any scheme, constructed by observations on another continent, and with a different climate from ours, cannot be reliable here; probably not as reliable as the judgment of persons who will themselves carefully observe the connection of fair or foul weather with the direction of the wind, and watch the thermometer and barometer—or better still, the daily announcements from the weather office at Washington; which, by the way, take no notice of the moon as an element in forecasting the weather. The time came to relieve "Walton's Register" from this useless matter, and it was gladly improved.
Among the papers temporarily published at Montpelier were "The Temperance Star," published in 1841-2 by the Vermont Temperance Society, and edited by Geo. B. Manser; "The Harrisonian," a campaign paper issued in 1840, from the Watchman office, and edited by E. P. Walton, Jr.; "The Reformed Drunkard," in 1842, by F. A. McDowell, changed to "The Reformer," and discontinued; and a monthly literary and religious magazine in 1838, called "The Green Mountain Emporium," by John Milton Stearns, which was removed to Middlebury and discontinued.
The newspapers continued at this date, 1881, are "The Vermont Watchman and State Journal," (Republican,) by Joseph Poland; "Argus and Patriot," (Democratic,) by Hiram Atkins; "The Green Mountain Freeman," (Republican,) and "The Christian Messenger," (Methodist Episcopal,) by H. R. Wheelock.
Of books printed and published at Montpelier a formidable list could be made by including legislative journals, statute books, Supreme Court and other reports, school books, sermons, pamphlets, almanacs and registers. The titles of many of these may be found in the catalogue of the Vermont State Library, and their omission here is excusable. Of the books noticeable are the following; Valedictory Address of George Washington, 1812, an edition of which, thanks to the Washington Benevolent Societies, saved the Watchman office from passing into the hands of a sheriff; Indian Captive, or the Burning of Royalton, by Horace Steele, 12 mo., 1812; Digested Index of law reports, by Nicholas Baylies, 1814, 3 vols. octavo, 1512 pages; On Free Agency, by Nicholas Baylies, 1820, 12 mo. 216 pages; Gazetteer of Vermont, by Zadock Thompson, 1824, 12 mo. 312 pages; English Grammar, by Rufus Nutting, 1826, 12 mo. 136 pages; May Martin, by D. P. Thompson, 16 mo. 1835, edition after edition of which has been printed in America and in England; and The Green Mountain Boys, 1839, by D. P. Thompson, 2 vols. 12 mo. 536 pages; The Gift, 1841, Poems, by Sophia Watrous [Bemis,] 24 mo. 172 pages; Theological Criticism, Poetical Scraps, and Dogmas of Infidelity, 1843, by F. W. Adams, M. D., 12 mo. 240 pages; Poems, by Charles G Eastman, 1848, 12 mo. 208 pages, of which a new and enlarged edition, with a memoir, has been recently painted; The Capital of Vermont, journal of proceedings and debates of the special session of the General Assembly, February, 1857, with an appendix and engravings—8 vo. 300 pages, 1857; History of the Town of Montpelier, by Daniel P. Thompson, 1860, octavo, 312 pages; The Second Brigade, or Camp Life, by a Volunteer, [E. F. Palmer,] 16mo. 224 pages, 1864; Adjutant General's Reports, octavo, 1862, 110 pages— 1863, 106 pages—1864, 958 pages —1865, 762 pages—1866, 368 pages—all embracing an official history, by Hon. Peter T. Washburn, of the part taken by Vermont in the War of the Rebellion; Steps to Heaven, by Rev. F. S. Bliss, 12 mo., 1868, 184 pages; Collections of the Vermont Historical Society, octavo, vol. I, 1870, 508 pages—vol. II, 1871, 530 pages; The Family Physician, &c., by Dr. Leonard Thresher, 8 vo. 1871, 406 pages; and the Governor and Council, embracing journals of the Council of Safety and Governor and Council, early historical documents and biographical notices, edited by Eliakim P. Walton, 8 vols., published 1873-1881.
Of citizens of Montpelier the number who have been authors is not large, but their works are voluminous. The list in the order of time embraces Horace Steele, historical, vol.; Nicholas Baylies, law and metaphysics, 4 vols.; Samuel Woodworth, pamphlet poem on the battle of Plattsburgh; Sophia Watrous, poems; 1 vol.; Rev. F. W. Shelton, tales and miscellaneous papers, 5 vols., previous to his removal from town; D. P. Thompson, historical novels and history, 10 vols; F. W. Adams, theology and poetry, 1 vol.; C. G. Eastman, poems, 1 volume; in all, 24 volumes.
Several who were once residents of Montpelier became authors after their removal; among whom are Rev Samuel Hopkins, (pastor of the first Congregational church,) author of two historical volumes on the Puritans in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; Rev. John S. C. Abbott, (who temporarily supplied the desk of the same church,) author of numerous historical, religious and miscellaneous books; Hon. Isaac F. Redfield, author of several elaborate and valuable law books; Hugh Moore, author of a memoir of Ethan Allen, and Zadock Thompson. author of the Gazetteer and History of Vermont, 2 volumes, and of other works. This list might probably be extended. The published orations, addresses, sermons, speeches, and other pamphlets, the work of Montpelier men, combined, would make several volumes; and in such volumes the names of Goss, Prentiss, Merrill, Wright, Gridley, Upham, Walton, [senior and junior,] Peck, Pease, [Aaron and Calvin,] Gridley, Willard, Lord, and many others, would appear as authors. Taken all together, therefore, the literary history and character of the town has been highly creditable.
The first military company was organized in 1794, consisting of 72 men, many of whom had served in the Revolutionary War. The late Gen. Parley Davis was the first captain. From that date Montpelier, in common with other towns, maintained the military organizations required by law; and of these a history is not necessary. Military matters of special interest will be noted.
Minute Men in 1794.
A special town meeting, July 21, 1794, voted
That this town will ensure to the Minute Men, now enlisted from this town, the wages, while in actual service, that the Governor and Council of this State have promised to recommend the Legislature to ensure them; provided that Congress nor said Legislature do not do it.
It seems, then, that the town had, upon the requisition of the Governor and Council, furnished its quota of minute men for an expected emergency, and patriotically guaranteed payment to them while in actual service. D. P. Thompson conjectured that there was then no danger of war, foreign or Indian, and that the whisky insurrection in Pennsylvania was the source of the possible emergency. Mr. Thompson's conjecture was materially erroneous, and implied a suspicion of the fidelity of the people of Vermont to law and order, which was never entertained. Quotas of troops, to quell the insurrection in Western Pennsylvania in 1794, were required from four neighboring States only. A fierce war was waged in the summer of 1794 by the Indians, on the North-western frontier, with whom Wayne, Scott, and others were contending; but no minute men were required in Vermont to meet danger from any Indian war. The danger was from Great Britain, and the emergency apprehended for Vermont was an attack from Canada on her Northern frontiers. Great Britain had interfered with American commerce; Congress had debated a proposition for sequestrating the debts due from American to British citizens, and resolved on non-intercourse with Great Britain. An army of 80,000 men was authorized at that period if emergencies should require it. The vote of this town shows that the Governor and Council had met in a special session, between the regular sessions of Oct. 1793 and '94, and required the raising of minute men—of course in response to instructions from the National Governmentand yet the writer of this paper has searched