MONTPELIER. Pages 251-574
350 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Capt. William W. Hutchins, son of the late William Hutchins of this town, when the rebellion broke out resided in Prescott, Wis. He relinquished a good business, and enlisted as a private in the 6th Wisconsin, and received promotions to Captain. While gallantly leading his Company at the battle near Ream's Station, Va., Aug. 19, 1864, he was killed. He was a brave soldier and a good officer.
We give below an account of a very remarkable military expedition under the command of Lieut. W. F. Cross, son of the late Timothy Cross, of Montpelier, which took place on the 21st of December, 1863, in Dakota Territory.
He was ordered to march with twelve men a distance of forty miles, to destroy a camp of Sioux Indians. The thermometer stood at 35º below zero. It was so cold that the party could not ride, and they were therefore compelled to march twenty‑five miles in that Arctic weather. They broke up the camp, killing the Indians, (we are sorry to add and scalping, though that is the fashion in such wars,) and returned without the loss of a man, though two horses gave out and were left on the road. On the return march, the thermometer was 24º below zero. The party was absent 39 hours, and in that time marched 80 miles, most of the way on foot, on snowy ground, and in weather never exceeded for severity in any military expedition, unless it was in Napoleon's Russian campaign.
There has been one soldiers' reunion in town, and several officers' reunions.
All hall these reunions! the whole soul expands
With this greeting of hearts and this clasping of hands;
The heroes who stood 'midst the carnage and roar,
And the red stream of battle, in council once more.
Then raise the loud shout, the sweet hymn of the free,
Let it swell on the breeze o'er the mountain and sea;
For our old battle banner, tho' riddled and worn,
Not a single bright star from its glory is torn.
BY THOS. H. CAVE.
AURORA LODGE, No. 9, F. & A. M., was chartered Oct. 14, 1796, the petition for which was signed by Moses Hubbard, Benjamin Waite, and others.
The hall first occupied we have been unable to ascertain; but in 1805-6 the meetings were held in a room over Geo. B. R. Gove's store, (the building now occupied by Fisher & Colton,) on Main street. Then from 1809 to 1822, they had a hall in the old Academy building. About the first of January, 1822, this was destroyed by fire. January 7th of that year, they assembled at Reuben Lamb's mansion-room, so called; and from Feb. 4 of the same year held their meetings in the Pavilion hotel, then kept by Thomas Davis, until they occupied their new hall. The corner stone of this hall was laid Aug. 8, 1822, with masonic ceremonies, the oration being delivered by Erastus Watrous. The Lodge held their first meeting in their new hall Oct. 7, 1822. This building stood at the corner of School and Main streets, on the site now occupied by Bethany church. (See engraving above.)
Among the members of the Lodge we find the names of many prominent citizens of this and adjoining towns:
Sylvester Day, Rev. Benj. Chatterton
Levi Pitkin, Lovell Kelton,
Nathan Doty, Salmon Washburn,
Thos. Reed, Sen'r, Silas Burbank,
Samuel Prentiss, Jr., Elijah Witherell,
Parley Davis, Chester Nye,
Charles Bulkley, Jacob Miller,
Erastus Watrous, Col. Samuel Fifield,
David Wing, Jr., Denison Smith,
Cyrus Ware, Hezekiah H. Reed,
Cornelius Lynde, Roger G. Bulkley,
Timothy Hubbard, Joseph Wiggins,
Geo. Worthington, Gen. Gusta. Loomis,
Seth Putnam, L. Q. C. Bowles.
Chapin Keith, Isaiah Silver,
Richard Holden, Harry Richardson,
James Fiske, Perrin B. Fisk,
Col. Cyrus Johnson, Israel Dewey,
Lamed Lamb, Otis Standish,
Eliakim D. Persons, Jona. Wallace,
Lemuel Farwell, Diah Richardson,
Wyllis I. Cadwell, Thomas Reed, Jr.,
Apollos Hall, Nat. C. King,
Joseph Wing, Sylvanus Ripley,
Isaac Putnam, R. R. Keith,
Thomas Wallace, Nathl. Bancroft,
Salvin Collins, Barzillai Davenport,
Silas W. Cobb, Walter Little,
James Deane, M. T. C. Wing,
Amasa Bancroft, H. N. Baylies,
Sylvanus Baldwin, Parrot Blaisdell,
Abel Knapp, Daniel H. Dewey,
Jeduthan Loomis, Roswell H. Knapp,
Jonah Parks, Nelson A. Chase,
John Spalding, Mark Goss,
Dr. James Spalding, Norman Rublee,
R. Bailey, John Goldsbury,
O. H. Smith, Joseph S. Walton,
Gamaliel Washburn, Geo. W. Hill,
Ches'r W. Houghton, Dr. Charles Clark,
Joseph Howes, Dr. John Winslow,
Daniel Baldwin, Joel Winch,
Samuel Goss, Maj. John Poor.
The Lodge flourished until the time of the great anti—masonic wave in 1834. We find among the documents preserved the following notice, which was published at the time in the Vermont Watchman:
A meeting of all the masons in Washington County is hereby notified to be holden at the hall in Montpelier, on Friday, the 19th day of September inst., at 1 o'clock, P. M., for the purpose of taking under consideration the unhappy and divided state of community on the subject of Freemasonry. It is desirable that the views and feelings of every mason in the County should be fully represented and expressed upon that occasion. This notice is the result of a very extensive consultation among masons, and is given at their request.
Montpelier, 10th of Sept., 1834.
We, the undersigned, do cordially approve of the above notice, and request that
the same should be published in all the papers in this County.
Montpelier, 10 September, 1834.
H. H. Reed, Saml. Goss,
Luman Rublee, Simeon L. Post,
R. R. Keith, Oramel H. Smith,
Isaiah Silver, Alonzo Pearce,
Israel Dewey, S. C. French,
William Mann, N. Jewett,
H. N. Baylies, Nathl. Bancroft,
H. Richardson, Jos. Howes,
G. W. Barker, Jason Carpenter,
Ira Owen, Lovel Kelton.
In accordance with said notice, the members met at Masonic hall. We copy from the records:
At a special communication of Aurora Lodge No. 9, duly summoned and holden at Mason's Hall, in Montpelier, on Friday, the 19th day of September, A. L. 5834.
Number of brethren present, about sixty.
On motion, the following resolutions were passed and adopted by said Lodge, viz:
Resolved and voted, That the trustees, or the survivors of them, who hold the title to the Masonic Hall in trust for the use of Aurora Lodge, No. 9, (reference being had to the deed of trust,) be, and are hereby directed to sell said Hall, and all right this Lodge may have therein, and also to sell all and singular the personal property belonging to said Lodge, and make all collections of dues to said Lodge (if any) as soon as may be, and to the best advantage, and from the avails of such sales and collections to pay all sums due from said Lodge; the same to be ascertained and certified by Jeduthan Loomis, who is hereby appointed a committee for that purpose; and the balance of such avails to pay and deliver to the Treasurer of the Washington County Grammar School, for the use and disposal of the trustees of said Grammar School, to whom the same is hereby presented as a donation from this Lodge for the purpose of education; and a copy of this vote shall be their sufficient warrant for the same.
Resolved and voted, That until a sale of the Masonic Hall shall be made and completed, full leave and license is hereby given, and the Lodge does hereby approve of all kinds of assemblies being held in this Lodge room, under the direction and control of the trustees aforesaid of said Hall.
Resolved and voted, That Aurora Lodge, No. 9, be now dissolved, and closed forever.
Attest, HEZEKIAH H. REED,
Sec'y pro tem.
352 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
KING SOLOMON ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER, No. 5,—Commenced working under a dispensation granted Oct. 7, 1809, and chartered Jan. 3, 1810.
Charter Members—Charles Bulkley, Erastus Watrous, Joseph Freeman, Solomon Miller, Nathan Doty, Sherman Minot, Denison Smith, Sylvanus Baldwin, and Cabot W. Hyde.
Jan. 18, 1810,—The first board of officers were elected, as follows: Charles Bulkley, High Priest; Erastus Watrous, King; Joseph Freeman, Scribe; Joseph Howes, Treasurer; Jeduthan Loomis, Secretary; Solomon Miller, Captain of the Host; Nathan Doty, Principal Sojourner; Phineas Woodbury, Royal Arch Captain; Sylvanus Baldwin, Master of 3d Veil; Denison Smith, Master of 2d Veil; George Worthington, Master of 1st Veil; Nathan Jewett, Tyler.
The Chapter held its meetings in the hall occupied by Aurora Lodge. Many of the masons mentioned in the list of the Lodge were members of this body. We give the names of a few not given there who took their degrees in, and were members of, this Chapter:
Hiram Steele, Asa Partridge, Jona. Briggs of Marshfield, Isaac Fletcher of Lyndon, Jacob Davis of Randolph, Matthias Haines of Cabot, Gov. Samuel C. Crafts of Craftsbury, N. R. Sawyer of Hydepark, J. Stearns of Chelsea, Seth G. Bigelow of Brookfield, Z. P. Burnham, Gov. Julius Converse (then) of Randolph, J. K. Parish of Randolph, D. Azro A. Buck of Chelsea; and many others might be given did space permit.
We copy from the Chapter Records:
Oct. 20, 1816.—Voted, That the treasurer pay out of the funds of the Chapter to the treasurer of the Vermont Bible Society the sum of thirty dollars.
Dec. 4, 1816.—Voted, To appropriate ten dollars for the benefit of schools in the Western States.
Whether the Chapter formally surrendered its charter or not, we have no means of knowing, but at the time of the dissolution of the Lodge it is probable that it was forfeited, as we find no record of meetings after that time.
MONTPELIER COUNCIL OF ROYAL AND SELECT MASTERS.—Organized Jan. 3, 1818, by Jeremy L. Cross, with Lucius O. C. Bowles as T. L G. M., Nathan Jewett as D. I. G. M., and Daniel Baldwin as P. C. We can find no further record of their proceedings other than that they existed until the breaking up of Masonry in 1834, though they did not surrender their charter until the revival of Masonry in this State about the year 1850 or '51, when by so doing they received a new one.
AURORA LODGE, NO. 22, F. & A. M.— Chartered Jan. 9, 1851.
Charter Members.—Harry Richardson, John Poor, Walter Little, Diah Richardson, Ira S. Town, Henry Crane, Otis Peck, Shubael Wheeler, T. C. Taplin, Levi Boutwell, Gamaliel Washburn.
The first meeting was held in the office of Dr. T. C. Taplin, Feb. 5, 1850, for the purpose of drawing up a petition for a charter.
The first election of officers occurred March 25, 1851, at which time the following list was chosen: T. C. Taplin, W. M.; Levi Boutwell, S. W.; John Poor, J. W.; A. A. Cross, Sec'y; Ira S. Town, Treas.; Gamaliel Washburn, S. D.; Diah Richardson, J. D.; Henry Crane, Tyler.
The first hall occupied by the Lodge was in the third story (over the Vermont Bank,) of the building now owned by L. B. Huntington, on State Street. They remained here until Nov. 13, 1859, when they removed into the new block, built for S. S. Boyce, afterwards owned by Fred E. Smith. This they occupied until it was destroyed in Montpelier's first great fire, March 12, 1875. Meetings were then held in the American House, owned by Chester Clark, a prominent member of the Order, until the completion of Union Block, where a spacious hall and ante-rooms were fitted up especially for the use of the Masonic bodies. The first meeting was held in the new hall Dec. 13, 1875, which they now occupy.
List of Past Masters—T. C. Taplin, 1850; Gamaliel Washburn, 1851-54, 1856;
John C. Emery, 1855, 1857-59, 1861-63, 1878-79; John W. Clark, 1860; Denison Dewey, 1864; Jas. S. Peck, 1869-71; J. W. F. Washburn, 1872-74; J. Austin Paine, 1875-76; Truman C. Phinney, 1865-68. 1880, and now in office.
List of officers, elected April 11, 1881—T. C. Phinney, W. M.; Geo. W. Wing, S. W.; J. W. F. Washburn, J. W.; Jas. C. Houghton, Treas.; Thos. H. Cave, Sec'y; Stephen R. Colby, S. D.; Fred. W. Morse, J. D.; Chas. C. Ramsdell, S. S.; G. Blair, J. S.; C. C. Dudley, Chaplain; A. F. Humphrey, Marshal; W. A. Briggs, Organist; Isaac M. Wright, Tyler.
No. of members, 167. Regular communications, Monday evening of week in which the moon fulls. Annual, April communication.
KING SOLOMON ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER, No. 7.—Chartered Aug. 14, 1851.
Charter Members John Poor, Levi Boutwell, Appleton Fitch, David Leach, Walter Little, Simeon Eggleston, Harry Richardson, Gamaliel Washburn, Joel Winch.
The Chapter commenced its labors under a dispensation dated Jan. 9, 1851, and on April 8 conferred the R. A. degree upon Henry Crane, Geo. S. Johnson, and Joel Winch, Jr.
The first election of officers occurred Dec. 27th. 1851, with the following result:
John Poor, High Priest; T. C. Taplin, King; Silas C. French, Scribe; J. E. Badger, Sec'y; Levi Boutwell, Treas.; Gamaliel Washburn, Captain of the Host; Harry Richardson, Principal Sojourner; Geo. S. Johnson, Royal Arch Captain; M. O. Persons, Master of 3d Veil; Joel Winch, Jr., Master of 2d Veil; J. P. W. Vincent, Master of 1st Veil; Henry Crane, Tyler.
The Chapter has held its meetings in connection with Aurora Lodge continously since its organization, sharing with it in the expenses of rent.
Past High Priests—John Poor, T. C. Taplin, Gamaliel Washburn, Levi Boutwell, C. N. Carpenter, Eli Ballou, Fred. E. Smith, John W. Clark, J. W. F Washburn, James S. Peck.
Officers elected April 14, 1881—Geo. W. Wing, H. P.; Truman C. Phinney, K.; Geo. Atkins, S.; Thos. H. Cave, Sec'y; Jas. C. Houghton, Treas.; J. W. F. WashBurn, C. of H.; C. Blakely, P. S.; Thos. L. Wood, R. A. C.; Geo. L. Lane, M. 3d V.; Geo. Blair, M. 2d V.; Henry W. Drew, M. 1st V.; Chas. W. Guernsey, Daniel S Wheatley, Stewards; Rev. Howard F. Hill, Chaplain; Wm. A. Briggs, Organist; Isaac M. Wright, Tyler.
No. of members, 112. Stated Convocations, Thursday evening of week in which the moon fulls. Annual, April convocation.
MONTPELIER COUNCIL, No. 4, ROYAL AND SELECT MASTERS Chartered Aug. 10, 1855.
The first meeting was held June 30, 1853,—working under the old charter,— with the following officers: John Poor, Th. Ill. G. M.; T. C. Taplin, R. Ill. G. M.; Samuel L. Adams, Ill. G. M.; Otis Peck, Prin. Cond.; Joel Winch, Capt. of G.; Harry Richardson, Marshal; Gamaliel Washburn, Recorder; Simeon Eggleston, Tyler.
They held meetings until Feb. 1, 1855, conferring the degrees on a number of companions. Having complied with a resolution of the Grand Council, surrendering their old charter, and requesting a new one, the same was granted them, dated Aug. 10, 1855.
First board of officers elected.—T. C. Taplin. Th. Ill. G. M.; Samuel E. Adams, R. Ill. G. M.; David Roberts, Ill. G. M.; Wm. P. Badger, Treas.; John E. Badger, Recorder; Gamaliel Washburn, Prin. Cond.; John W. Hobart, Capt. of the G.; Wm. Rogers, Marshal; Henry Crane, Tyler.
Past Illustrious Masters—John Poor, one year; T. C. Taplin, nine years; Gamaliel Washburn, four years; Truman C. Phinney, who received his eleventh election April 14th. 1881.
Board of officers elected April 14, 1881.—Truman C. Phinney, Th. Ill. M.; Fred. E. Smith, D. M.; John W. Clark, P. C. of the W.; Jas. C. Houghton, Treas.;
354 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Thos. H. Cave, Recorder; Geo. W. Wing, Capt. of the G.; J. W. F. Washburn, Cond. of the C.; Rev. H. F. Hill, Chaplain; W. A. Briggs, Marshal; Thos. L. Wood, Steward; Isaac M. Wright, Sentinel.
The Council occupies the same hall in connection with the Lodge and Chapter.
No. of members, 70. Regular Assemblies, Thursday evening in which the moon fulls. Annual in April.
MOUNT ZION COMMANDERY, No. 9, KNIGHTS TEMPLAR.—Date of charter, March 20, 1873. Charter members, Jonathan L. Mack, Henry D. Bean, Frank H. Bascom, G. V. C. Eastman, J. Monroe Poland, Jas. W. Brock, Emory Town, C. E. Abbott, A. McGilvary.
First Board of Officers. J. L. Mack, Eminent Commander; H. D. Bean, Generalissimo; F. H. Bascom, Captain General; G. V. C. Eastman, Prelate; C. E. Abbott, Senior Warden; A. McGilvary, Junior Warden; Joel Winch, Treasurer; J. M. Poland, Recorder; E. Town, Standard Bearer; L. Bart, Cross, Sword Bearer; G. W. Tilden, Warder.
Officers Elected Dec. 1880.—J. L. Mack, E. C.; Geo. W. Wing, Generalissimo; Henry Ferris, Capt. Gen.; C. Blakely, Prelate; J. S. Batchelder, S. W.; W. A. Briggs, J. W.; J, C. Houghton, Treas.; Geo. Atkins, Recorder; E. L. White, St. B.; J. C. Cady, Sw. B.; J. W. F. Washburn, Warder; George Blair, 1st Capt. G.; J. Henry Jackson, ad Capt. G.; M. Manning, 3d Capt. G.; A. McGilvary, Commissary; D. S. Wheatley, Sentinel.
Jonathan L. Mack has been Eminent Commander since the organization.
Stated Conclaves, first Thursday in each month; No. of members, 58.
GAMALIEL LODGE OF PERFECTION, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.—Dispensation granted Dec. 15th, 1874; chartered Aug. 18th, 1875; constituted Sept. 16th, 1875.
First Board of Officers.—F. H. Bascom, 32°, T. P. Grand Master; A. C. Dewey, 32°, Deputy Grand Master; J. W. F. Washburn, 32°, V. S. Grand Warden; M. T. McNeely, 32°, V. J. Grand Warden; A. N. Pearson, 32°, Grand Orator; M. O. Pingree, 32°, Grand Keeper of the Seals; H. S. Smith, 32°, Grand Treasurer; C. H. Heaton, 32°, Grand Secretary; S. R. Colby, 32°, G. M. of Ceremonies; C. C. Church, 16°, Grand Hospitaler; H. Patterson, 14°, Grand Capt. of the G.; J. A. Paine, 14°, Grand Organist; C. Clark, 14°, Grand Tyler; H. W. Lyford, 14°, Grand Chaplain.
Board of Officers, 1881.—Rev. Howard F. Hill, 32°, T. P. Gr. Master; S. R. Colby, 32°, D. Gr. Master; William A. Briggs, 16°, S. Gr. Warden; Geo. W. White, 16°, J. Gr. Warden; Ed. R. Morse, 16°, Gr. Orator; C. H. Heaton, 32°, Gr. Secretary; H. W. Lyford, 14°, Gr. K. of Seals; H. C. Bartlett, 32°, Gr. M. of Cer.; H. D. Bean, 14°, Gr. Hospitaler; Henry Lowe, 16°, Gr. Capt. of the G.; J. W. F. Washburn, 32°, Gr. Organist; I. M. Wright, 16°, Gr. Tyler.
Regular meetings, Tuesday evening of week in which the moon fulls.
Place of meeting, Masonic Hall.
MOUNT CALVARY COUNCIL OF PRINCES OF JERUSALEM, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.—Chartered Sept. 20, 1880.
Board of Officers, 1881.—F. H. Bascom, 32°, M. E. S. P. G. M.; J. W. F. Washburn, 32°, G. H. P. D. G. M.; Chas. H. Heaton, 32°, M. E. S. C. W.; Geo. W. Wing, 16°, M. E. J. G. W.; S. R. Colby, 32°, Val. Gr. Treas.; Wm. A. Briggs, 16°, V. G. S. K. of S. & A.; Rev. H. F. Hill, 32°, V. G. M. of Cer.; H. S. Smith, 32°, Val. Gr. Almoner; F. F. Fletcher, 16°, V. Gr. M. of Ent.; Henry Lowe, 16°, Gr. Tyler.
Regular meetings, Tuesday evening of week in which the moon fulls, at Masonic Hall.
ST. HELENA CONCLAVE.—May 1, 1875, Frank H. Bascom, 32°, D. D. Intendant General, instituted at Masonic Headquarters, Montpelier, the above named conclave of the "Imperial, Ecclesiastical and Military" Order of the Red Cross of Rome and Constantine, the Invincible Order of Knights of the Holy Sepulchre and the
Holy Order of St. John the Evangelist. The following officers were elected:
Frank H. Bascom, 32°, Montpelier, Most Puissant Sovereign; J. W.F. Washburn, 32°, Montpelier, Viceroy; George W. Tilden, Barre, Senior General; E. A. Newcomb, Waterbury, Junior General; J. H. Jackson, Barre, High Prelate; Albert Dewey, 32°, Montpelier, Recorder; Geo. W. Wing, Montpelier, Treasurer; Horace W. Lyford, Warren, Prefect; H. O. Hatch, Barre, Standard Bearer; D. A. Gray, Waterbury, Herald; John C. Cave, 14°, Montpelier, Sentinel.
This Chivalric and Christian Order was founded A. D. 313, by Constantine, the Great Roman Emperor. It is the Ancient Knighthood of Europe, and is the most ancient body of Christian Masonry known. It is conferred upon Knights Templar only in America, and is the one plus ultra of York Rite Masonry, being conferred upon a select few only.
Oct. 3, 1876, Frank H. Bascom, of Montpelier, was appointed Deputy for Vermont, to institute Mt. Sinai Temple of the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. It is conferred only on Knights Templars and 32° and 33° of the A. & A. Rite.
Geo. O. Tyler, 33°, of Burlington, was elected 1st Grand Potentate, and Charles H. Heaton, 32°, of Montpelier, Grand Recorder. The present Grand Potentate is A. C. Dewey, 32°, and F. H. Bascom, 32, Grand Recorder.
KNIGHTS OF HONOR.
CAPITAL LODGE, No. 917.—Organized Feb. 26, 1878. Charter members, J. W. Clark, R. J. Coffey, Orrin Daley, C. H. Farnsworth, Thos. Marvin, H. M. Pierce, Geo. W. Parmenter, T. C. Phinney, Geo. L. Story, D. S. Wheatley, J. B. Woodward, Chas. Wells.
Regular meetings, first and third Wednesday evenings in each month.
Hall in Sabin's Block, Main Street; membership, 44.
VERMONT LODGE, No. 2, was instituted May 15, 1845; the charter was granted April 26, of that year. The charter members were Rev. Eli Ballou, Thos. Poole, James W. Bigelow, Lorenzo Dow, Wm. H. Cottrrill.
In 1852 it suspended, and was revived under its present charter, July 24, 1873
Charter Members.—A. T. Keith, C. T. Summers, A. D. Lane, Chas. F. Collins, Marble Russell, Geo. Reed, T. C. Barrows, G. B. Dodge, O. T. Dodge, L. M. Washburn, A. N. Pearson.
The first officers were, A. T. Keith, N. G.; A. N. Pearson, V. G.; A. D. Lane, Secretary
The following board of officers were elected July 1, I881:
W. D. Reid, N. G.; A. W. Ferrin, V. G.; H. C. Webster, Rec. Sec'y.; C. F. Collins, Per Sec'y.; D. W. Dudley, Treas.; C. T. Summers, R. S. N. G.; Henry Whitcomb, L. S. N. G.; C. W. Guernsey, R. S. V. G.; A. Clark, L. S. V. G.; C. E. Wood, Warden; J. H. Jackson, Conductor; H. E. Slayton, Inside Guard; Chas. O. Foster, Outside Guard; Charles Ferrin, R. S. S.; Orville Dewey, L. S. S.; Rev. H. F. Hill, Chaplain.
Hall in Post Office Block, State Street.
BROOKS POST, No. 13, GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC, was instituted April 28, 1873.
Charter Members.—P. P. Pitkin, F. V. Randall, J. S. Peck, J. W. Clark, J. O. Livingston, F. E. Smith, Geo. S. Robinson, C. B. Wilson, J. M. Poland, N. N. Glazier, A. C. Brown, H. C. Lull, O. Daley, A. G. Bean and Elihu Snow.
Present Officers.—W. F. Waterman, Commander; W. E. Lawson, Senior Vice Commander; N. C. Peck, Junior Vice Commander; H. L. Averill, Adjutant; H. M. Pierce, Quarter Master; Geo. W. Colby, Surgeon; Chas. A. Sanders, Chaplain; W. W. Noyes, Officer of the day; J. J. Young, Officer of the Guard; C. E. Stowe, Q. M. Sergeant.
The Post meets the first and third
356 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Tuesday evenings in the month at their Hall, on South Main Street.
The Post, in a financial point of view, is even with the world. It has assisted many deserving soldiers and their families. It has always observed the memorial services on Decoration Day in a manner highly commendable; and has been assisted materially by the citizens of the Capital on that day. It has done many deeds of charity, and still has that work to perform, and should receive the aid of all good citizens.
ST. JOHN BAPTIST BENEVOLENT SOCIETY.—Incorporated Nov. 23, 1872.
The object of the Saint John Baptist Society of Montpelier is to render aid to the members in sickness, and, by the spirit of Christian association, to encourage the practice of the social virtues, and revive among them the sentiments of their nationality. To accomplish this end, as honorable as it is useful, the members agree to hold frequent meetings, and to make regular contributions to form a reserve fund by means of which, in accordance with the conditions expressed in the rules of the society, each member will be entitled to a daily but temporary assistance.
Charter Members.—Mitchell Sweet, Eugene Laviolette, John C. White, Joseph N. Goron, Cyprien Peltier, Dieu D. Neveaux, Peter St. Rock, Alexander Campbell, John Rock, John Doucette, Alexander Campbell, Jr., John Jangraw, Ferd La Croix, Seraphine Neveaux, Alexander Jangraw, Humphrey Campbell, John Gagnon, Jesse Cayhue, Louis Greenwood, Frank Greenwood, Frank Lucie, Louis Rodney, David Brown, Leonard Mailhote, Peter Gay, Jerry Gay. Frank Lanier, Marcus Louiselle, Corliss Desaulniers, Edward Rattell.
Present Officers, 1881.—President, Alphonso Shorey; Vice Pres't, Paul Terico; Secretary, Mitchell Sweet; Treasurer, Seraphine Neveaux; Marshal, Louis Rodney.
MEMBERS OF WASHINGTON COUNTY BAR.
BY JOSEPH A. WING, ESQ.
The following are now residents at Montpelier:
HOMER W. HEATON, admitted to the Bar in Washington Co., November term, 1835; now aged 70.
JOSEPH A. WING, admitted to the Bar April term, 1836, and in 1881 is 71 years of age; practiced in Plainfield till June, 1858, and since that time has practiced law at Montpelier.
LUTHER L. DURANT, aged 54 years, was, admitted to the Bar in Washington County, November term, 1850. Commenced at Waitsfield, June, 1852, went to Waterbury in 1855, and came to Montpelier, Nov. 1866.
CARLISLE J. GLEASON, admitted to the Bar in Washington County, September term, 1858.
WHITMAN G. FERRIN, aged 64 years, admitted to the Bar in Lamoille County, 1843, June term; moved to Montpelier in 1859.
TIMOTHY P. REDFIELD, aged 67 years, admitted to the Bar in Orleans County, June term, 1838 ; practiced in that county till 1848, when he removed to Montpelier. He was elected Judge of the Supreme Court by the Legislature at the October session, 1870, and has been Judge of said Court till the present time.
JOSIAH O. LIVINGSTON, admitted in Lamoille, May term, 1861; was in the Army as Adjutant of the 9th Regiment; moved to Montpelier in 1872.
STEPHEN C. SHURTLEFF, aged 43 years, admitted to the Bar in Washington Co. March term, 1863; commenced at Plainfield in October, and came to Montpelier, September, 1876.
C. H. HEATH, aged 52 years, admitted to the Bar in Lamoille County, Dec. 7. 1850; removed to Plainfield in 1859, and from there to Montpelier in 1872.
THOMAS J. DEAVITT, admitted to the Bar in 1867; practiced in Moretown, and moved to Montpelier in 1873.
HIRAM A. HUSE, a graduate of Albany Law School in May, 1867; admitted in Orange County, removed to Montpelier in 1873, and was appointed State Librarian in 1873.
BENJAMIN F. FIFIELD, aged 49 years, admitted to the Bar in Washington Co. in 1859.
HIRAM CARLETON, aged 43 years, admitted to the Bar of Washington County at the September term, 1865; commenced the practice of law at Waitsfield, in May, 1866, and moved from there to Montpelier in December, 1875.
MELVILLE E. SMILIE, aged 37 years, admitted to the Bar in Washington County, March term, 1866. He began practice at Waterbury in 1867, and removed to Montpelier in 1875; was appointed County Clerk in 1876, and has continued clerk to the present time.
GEORGE W. WING, aged 38 years, admitted to the Bar of Washington County, March term, 1868.
TRUMAN R. GORDON, aged 30 years, admitted to the Bar in Washington Co. September term, 1877; commenced practice in Montpelier in 1878.
HENRY K. FIELD, aged 35 years, was admitted to Windham County Court, Sept. term, 1871; removed to Montpelier in 1872.
CHARLES W. PORTER, aged 32 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington County, Sept. term, 1874.
CLARENCE H. PITKIN, aged 32 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington County, March term, 1872. He is the present State's Attorney of the County.
WILLIAM A. LORD, aged 32 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington Co. March term, 1876.
RUSH P. BARRETT, aged 26 years, admitted to the Bar of Windsor County, Dec. 7, 1878; removed to Montpelier in May, 1881.
HARRY G. DEWING, aged 29, admitted to the Bar of Washington County, Sept. term, 1875.
HARLAN W. KEMP, aged 23 years, admitted to the Bar of Washington County, Sept. 7, 1880.
JAMES S. PECK, aged 41 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington County, Sept. 7, 1866; now Postmaster of Montpelier.
OSMAN D. CLARK, aged 26 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington Co. March term, 1879.
JOHN G. WING, aged 22 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington County, Sept. term, 1880.
FRANK W. TUTTLE, aged 21 years, was admitted to the Bar of Washington Co. at the March term, 1881.
HENRY OVIATT, aged 33 years, admitted to Washington County Bar, March term, 1875; the present short hand reporter of the Court.
There are many members of the Bar of Washington County who were once residents of Montpelier, who are now living in other States, who are honorable members of the profession, among whom are Hon. Samuel B. Prentiss, of Cleveland, Ohio; Joseph A. Prentiss, of Winona, Minn.; C. W. Prentiss, of Cleveland, Ohio, and Chauncey W. Town, of New York city; J. P. C. Cousin, of Milwaukee; Daniel G. Thompson, of New York city; Azel Spalding, of Kansas; Chester W. Merrill, of Cincinnati; Rodney Lund, of Boston; N. A. Taylor, of Council Bluffs, Iowa; Stillman Churchill, of Chicago; Jeremiah T. Marston, of Madison, Wis.
From the formation of the County of Washington, the bar of the Comity was noted for men of learning and talent, who have passed away by death. Of those who have died who lived in Montpelier, or had their offices in Montpelier, are the following, many of whom should have more than a passing notice: Charles Bulkley, Cyrus Ware, Samuel Prentiss, Wm. Upham, Nicholas Baylies, Jeduthan Loomis, Azro Loomis, Lucius B. Peck, Stoddard B. Colby, Oramel H. Smith, Wm. P. Briggs, Jackson A. Vail, William H. Upham, Jonathan P. Miller, D. P. Thompson, George
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R. Thompson, Calvin J. Keith, Samuel B. Prentiss, C. W. Willard, Charles Reed, Charles F. Smith, Ferrand F. Merrill, Timothy Merrill, Thomas Reed, Hezekiah H. Reed, Joshua Y. Vail, J. T. Marston, George B. Manser, Samuel Wells, George W. Bailey, Jr., Samuel W. Chandler.
C. D. Swazey, C. D. Harvey, R. S. Boutwell, were in Montpelier in 1865, whether living or not I cannot tell.
[NOTE.—Judge Bulkley is noticed in Berlin and in these pages as the first postmaster in Montpelier, and the first lawyer. We have been told he was a strong man, of fine talent, and that the house is still standing on Berlin side in which he lived, which is all we have been able to learn about him. We would be pleased to learn more, as also of any and all mentioned, of whom we have not full notice among our biographies to yet follow, which embrace at least twenty or more of the above names.—ED.]
VERMONT BAR ASSOCIATION.
This association was formed Oct. 22, 1878, at Montpelier, and organized by the appointment of the following officers:
President, Edward J. Phelps, Burlington; Vice Presidents, G. W. Harmon, Bennington, Wheelock G. Veazey, Rutland, William E. Johnson, Woodstock, Guy C. Noble, St. Albans, Wm. P. Dillingham, Waterbury; Secretary, Hiram F. Stevens, St. Albans; Treasurer, Wm. G. Shaw, Burlington.
The association numbered about 100 members, and was chartered by the Legislature of 1878, approved Nov. 14, 1878, and duly organized under the charter by the election of the officers above named for one year. At the first annual meeting, at Montpelier, Oct. 28, 1879, the following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President, L. P. Poland, of St. Johnsbury; Vice Presidents, George W. Harmon, Bennington, Roswell Farnham, Bradford, John L. Edwards, Newport; Secretary, Clarence H. Pitkin, Montpelier; Treasurer, Wm. G. Shaw, Burlington.
The 2d annual meeting of the association was held on the 4th Tuesday in October, 1880, when the following officers were appointed:
President, Walter C. Dunton, Rutland; Vice Presidents, Warren C. French, Woodstock, John Prout, Rutland, Guy C. Noble, St. Albans; Secretary, Clarence H. Pitkin, Montpelier; Treasurer, Wm. G. Shaw, Burlington.
The 3d annual meeting was held on Tuesday, Oct. 25th, 1881, when the following officers were elected:
President, Daniel Roberts, Burlington; Vice Presidents, Geo. W. Harmon, Bennington, John L. Edwards, Newport, Roswell Farnham, Bradford; Secretary, Clarence H. Pitkin, Montpelier; Treasurer, Chas. W. Porter, Montpelier; Managers, Daniel Roberts, Burlington, W. P. Dillingham, Waterbury, John W. Rowell, Randolph, O. E. Butterfield, Wilmington, Henry C. Ide, St. Johnsbury.
The association is in a prosperous condition, with about 120 members, from all parts of the State, and is of great benefit to the legal profession in the State.
THE MEDICAL MEN OF MONTPELIER.
BY SUMNER PUTNAM. M. D.
Physicians who have lived and practiced in Montpelier within my remembrance or since 1828:
Dr. EDWARD LAMB was the leading physician in this town for over 40 years. He died at the age of 74, in 1845.
Dr. JAMES SPALDING, who died in 1858 at the age of 66, was the chief surgeon here for many years.
Dr. J. Y. DEWEY had a full practice here from 1825 to 1850, when he became interested in life insurance, and discontinued practice. He died in 1877.
As these men reached the zenith of their fame, Dr. F. W. ADAMS of Barton succeeded them, and being a whole team in himself soon acquired fame. If reports were true, he neither feared man, nor the God of his fathers, but was really a kindhearted man, a good physician and surgeon. He died in 1859 or 60.
Dr. Z. P. BURNHAM practiced here a few years, but about 1840 moved to Lowell, Mass.
Dr. EZRA PAINE was a practitioner here from 1859 to 73, when he moved to Boston, where he now resides.
In 1849, Dr. CHAS. CLARK moved into Montpelier, and had a large practice in the village and surrounding country until 1865, when his health failed. He died in 1874 at the age of 74 years.
Dr. C. M. RUBLEE born in town; died in town 1870. [See sketch in the biographies.]
About 1850, Dr. ORRIN SMITH of Berlin moved here, and practiced until 1856, when he went to Chicago. and has since died. I have heard many of his former patrons speak of him with respect.
Dr. C. B. CHANDLER came from Tunbridge in 1856; died in 1867. He was respected by all who knew him. [See sketch in biographies.]
About 1850, Dr. T. C. TAPLIN practiced homœopathy, and adhered to high dilutions, too.
Then followed Dr. G. N. BRIGHAM, homoeopathist, who did not always give infinitesimals, and moved to Michigan in 1875.
Dr. B. O. TYLER, I think, moved from Worcester to this place and became engaged mostly in selling drugs. He died May 20, 1878, at an advanced age.
Dr. W. H. H. RICHARDSON moved here about 1858, from E. Montpelier, and practiced successfully till 1867, when he moved to Winona, Minn., to continue practice, and engaged, somewhat, in real estate speculations, but in a few years died suddenly of apoplexy in the prime of life.
Since the days of Lamb, Spalding, and Dewey, up to the dates of those at present here, two or three other physicians have practiced here, for a short time, viz:—Dr. G. H. LOOMIS, Dr. W. AZEL HOLMES, Dr. F. A. MCDOWELL, Dr. M. M. MARSH, and Dr. J. H. JACKSON. Dr. H. L. RICHARDSON practiced here in 1866, and Dr. MULLIGAN about 1858 or '59; the latter of whom died here soon after beginning practice.
Of the physicians at present in practice here, Dr. C. M. CHANDLER, son of C. B. Chandler, came here in 1860, but went south as surgeon during the war, and finally settled in practice here in the fall of 1865.
Dr. S. PUTNAM, now the oldest physician in town, came here in the spring of 1865, and desiring to establish himself honorably, and crowd no one, purchased the residence and "good will" of the late Dr. Chas. Clark, the latter of which purchases he was not fortunate enough to retain, if indeed, he ever received it at all.
The same year, 1865, Dr. J. E. MACOMBER, a native of East Montpelier, moved to this place from Worcester.
In 1866, Dr. D. G. KEMP succeeded Dr. W. H. H. Richardson in practice.
Dr. J. B. WOODWARD came, I think, from Kansas to this place, about 1870, having formerly practiced in Waterbury, this county. He engaged at first in the drug trade but soon came into practice, which he pursued with avidity until the fall of 1879, when in consequence of a slight wound of the finger, received during a surgical operation, cellulites and septicæmia supervened, sadly terminating in death.
About 1876, Dr. H. G. BRIGHAM, homœopathist, succeeded his father G. N. Brigham in practice.
The Eclectic School of Medicine, so called, (Thompsonians formerly) have been represented here since about 1864 by Dr. J. M. TEMPLETON, and latterly also, by Dr. H. E. TEMPLETON.
For more than thirty years Madame LUCY A. COOKE has been consulted here as a clairvoyant physician, her patrons coming from all parts of the country.
In the spring of 1880, Dr. W. D. REID, from Canada West, opened an office here, and about the same time Dr. GEO. E. MALOY began practice in Montpelier. Oct. 29, 1881.
O. P. Forbush, for some years here; Richard Newton, partner with Forbush; Alfred Clark; H. T. Whitney; G. E. Hunt opened an office here Oct., 1879.
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LORENZO DOW, IN THIS COUNTY.
Chief among the early missionaries in Washington County and in Montpelier, was LORENZO DOW, a Methodist preacher; not a conference preacher, exactly, but one whose circuit extended all over Vermont, the Canadas, the South, Ireland, Scotland, and wherever he chose to go; who came and went as the "wind that bloweth wherever it listeth." A true, genuine methodist though he never preached any other doctrine. The pioneer of methodism in Washington County; but a man who must be his own leader, who could never restrain himself to circuit rules. He had joined the Methodist conference in his youth, had been appointed to a circuit; it could not hold him; remonstrated with, reappointed, shot off on a fervent tangent. Conference dropped him, could not keep a man it could neither rule or guide. Every minister seemed against him—Calvinistic divine, regular Methodist circuit preacher as well,—decried by all, he prevailed. He thickened his appointments, the multitude hung on the words from his lips, his oddities attracted, his eccentricities were his great charm. He was called "Crazy Dow," which name seemed to please him very well. From his home in Connecticut, he had his yearly line of preaching places all up through into Canada. On his annual visit to Vermont, he always visited this County. We hear of him before he enters at Danville; when entered, in Cabot, Calais, Plainfield, Barre and always at Montpelier. At the close of a first visit to Montpelier, as narrated to me a few years since, by an old gentleman, now dead, who was present, and his devoted admirer, Dow said at parting with his audience "One year from this day, I will again preach here." The people after he left laughed at his giving out an appointment so far ahead and at his supposing that he would keep it. The year came round, no one remembered it, but, lo! in a year to the day and hour, Dow appeared to fulfil his engagement; his first salutation to the crowd, gathering around him, "Crazy Dow is with you once again!" He preached as I never heard any one but him; for three hours he held his large audience so still you could have heard a pin drop on the floor, said our narrator, and at the end of his sermon, gave out another appointment for a year from the day. People rather looked for him the next year. As he left in the morning and kept to the hour as well as day before, he was expected in the morning
again, and not appearing some said he would not come, others that he would be here before night, and others that because a crazy man had taken the freak to keep an appointment once, there was no reason to look for him to do so again. His appearance in the afternoon put an end to the growing anxiety. On he came, about mid-afternoon, accompanied by Peggy. He was not married when he came before, or did not bring his wife with him. They both were dressed in plain, homespun, woolen garments, a long cloak of plain woolen cloth reaching to their feet, wooden shoes on their feet, and both wore large brimmed chip hats, just alike, and each carried a staff or walking-stick. They journeyed upon horseback, but dismounted without the village, and walked up the street to the place for the meeting, followed by the crowd. Dow excused his being late, that his companion could not travel as fast as he could, and declined an invitation to dinner, although neither he or his companion had dined that day. It was getting late for his meeting; he would not take any refreshments till after he had preached a long sermon, nor suffer his wife to. Dow mounted the platform, and seating himself in the chair, sat for some moments silently, gazing intently at his audience, and then suddenly arising upon his feet, at a signal from him, Peggy, who was seated with the audience, arose to her feet—clad in her long cloak and hat, stood gravely waiting. Said Dow, "This woman with me is Peggy Dow. I have brought her with me that she may teach the women subservience to their husbands." To Peggy, "Stand still!" Peggy stood very still. "Be seated!" Peggy sat down. Dow commenced his sermon, preaching with his cloak and hat on. Dow always wore his hat when he preached, and as he never shaved, had a very long beard, that added to his conspicuous and distinguished appearance. Peggy, a simple and amiable woman, was a good help to Dow. She greatly delighted in class and prayer-meetings, and was a very good singer. "Peggy Dow's Hymn Book"—See Gilman's Bibliotheca, p. 315,—was printed at Montpelier. Here it was probably first used in the meetings of those early days. Long after Peggy's death, the hymn book was used by Dow. A gentleman in Montpelier has one now that was given to him or to his wife by Dow. The State Historical Library has a copy. Lorenzo Dow had opposition, however, to meet at Montpelier, as well as elsewhere. It was this,
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perhaps, made Montpelier a favorite preaching place. Opposition gave an attraction to a place. He counted upon it to succeed. lt was ladder and platform to him. That churches or clergy combined against him, but added to his popularity. One year some good church ladies of this village, loving quiet and orderly ways, took the matter in hand, and in the school-house where the meetings were held put in a quilt. A party of ladies were at work when Dow arrived. Not a word he said to the ladies' blockade. A moment he stood in the open door, in his uncouth long garment and unshorn awfulness, looking majestically upon the equally silent and suddenly abashed ladies, when, turning from the door, springing upon a woodpile in the yard, he commenced preaching. Long before he ended, a crowd packed the yard around him, and every woman in the school-house was seen at the windows and at the door. It had been utterly impossible for them to restrain their curiosity, and listening, had become so magnetized by the marvelous man, they took out the unfinished quilt, and surrendered the school-house for the evening. Dow said when he saw the ladies there, he made up his mind he should be present at the shaking of that quilt, and he was.
Again he preached on the wood-pile at the door of the old Court House, closed against him, and drew out, it is said, all the audience of a "four days' meeting," that had been got up just as he was coming, but five. Hearing Dow's voice without, at first one man stole out, then another and another. In vain the minister paused in the midst of his sermon to look reproof, and continued his discourse. Another left, now a whole seat at once. The minister finished his sermon, but at the end only five persons were left in the house—himself, the two other ministers seated beside him, and the two deacons.
He kept the people awake while with them, and in his absence they heard of him: now in Georgia, among the plantations South, having splendid success. He was to preach under a large tree. A man could sit among the branches perfectly concealed by the thick foliage. The evening before, Dow came to the spot with a negro, a good trumpet blower. Standing under the tree, Dow thus instructed him: He should come before any one in the morning, and hide in the tree overhead, and remain breathlessly still till Dow in his preaching should call out the third time Gabriel!" and then blow his trumpet. The morning opened, to a vast dark assembly. Lorenzo preached on the "Judgment Day,"—a tremendous sermon,—and when he had wrought the crowd up to its highest pitch,—pausing, out again, still more loud and terrific" But you don't believe it! If I were to tell you that Gabriel—will sound his trumpet—before we leave this spot—you would not believe me! The earth may open beneath your feet, and you tumble into hell, before you will believe! This trumpet may sound this very day!" The audience became strangely excited. "Gabriel may sound his trumpet at any time now." Gazing intently up—''Methinks I see him! Methinks I hear his trumpet now! Gabriel will———" A quick trumpet peal overhead; a startled negro crowd, eyes rolling in their sockets; a blast more loud,— groanings, falling upon their knees, black terror developed,—shriller and shriller the invisible trumpet; confusion, flight, clutchings to each other, some praying, others fainting. With the loudest blast, the negro, trumpet in hand, leaped in his excitement from the tree into the sprawling crowd, mistaken for Gabriel. Dow took advantage of the confusion to leave. He afterwards called it a trial of the power of of imagination.
Finding on the fresh leaves of our early history the tracks of this eccentric Dow "everywhere," we had thought to trace out some account of his labors here and elsewhere from his published journal, but learning that a first nephew of his was still living, we will do better, and introduce to you, with his faithful and graphic memorial paper, Mr. LEWIS J. BRIDGMAN, of New York, a son of Vermont, Biographist of his famous uncle, Lorenzo Dow.
The following sketch of the Life and Times of the celebrated LORENZO DOW, and his first wife, PEGGY DOW, is compiled from some of their own writings, but principally is original matter, known to no one outside of the author,
LEWIS JOSEPH BRIDGMAN.
NOTE TO THE READER.—Having been requested to write a brief sketch of the life of the eccentric Lorenzo Dow, for publication in the history of Vermont, I comply with the pressing request, yet at this busy season of commercial business, I can scarcely find the time to do justice to so distinguished a character as the subject of this brief memoir. I know of whom I write. His eccentricities of character may have sometimes made him the subject of ridicule and jest, still he possessed talents of a very high order, that on many occasions in forensic discourses have discomfitted his opponents, and drawn from them the warmest congratulations. He possessed in a remarkable degree the idiosyncrasies of the Dow race; but all his oddities possessed a point often bordering on the satirical. Like his father before him, he was gifted with a great amount of "handy change," as he used to denominate wit. His memory was also remarkable, bordering on the marvelous. The memory of Lorenzo being as strong as it is reported, was nevertheless eclipsed by his father, Humphrey Bean Dow, which was so retentive, that by hearing any one verse read in any part of the Bible, he would readily repeat the next; as incredible as this may appear, he was often put to the test in the presence of the family, when I have been an interested spectator, and I never remember of any omission.
I recollect well when I was a boy, Uncle Lorenzo came to visit his sister, (my
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mother,) while we were living in Hardwick, Vt. One day at dinner we had a new pitcher, made to commemorate some of the events of the war of 1812-14 with Great Britain. Upon one side of the pitcher was a spread eagle in gilt, with a wreath running around the eagle of chain-work, and in each link of the chain, there being 21 links, were the names of our generals who fought during the war. Gen. Brown's name stood at the top. Uncle took up the pitcher, and told the number of battles Gen. Brown had fought, the number of men he had in each action, the killed, wounded and missing; those who fought against him, the number of men killed and taken prisoners; so with each general until he had gone through with the entire number. Then turning the pitcher around to the reverse side, there was a picture of a gilt ship under full sail, with the names of the commodores or post captains who took part in the same war, Commodore Rogers' name standing at the top. Uncle gave also the number of naval battles, when and where fought, the number of ships he commanded in each, number of men, how many lost, and how many prisoners he took, and the minute history and details of each commander. The time taken in relating the battles was some two hours and a half.
was born of Puritan parents, in Coventry, Tolland Co., Ct., October 18th, 1777. His parents were born in the same town, from English ancestors. Ulysses, the oldest of the family, studied medicine, but finally devoted his time to teaching in an academy in New London, Ct. He taught the classics, astronomy, surveying, and navigation. He taught the latter to many of the post captains in our young navy. The next in the family was Ethelinda Dow, my mother, who subsequently married Joseph Bridgman, then living in Coventry. Subsequently my parents moved to Hardwick, Vt., where my brother, Rev. Augustus Leroy, and Christiania and the writer of this article were born. The next daughter in my grandfather's family was Orrilana, who while visiting my mother in Hardwick, became acquainted with Mr. Fish, and married him there. The next daughter, Merya, married the son of Gov. Huntington, of Connecticut, and settled first in Georgia. The next was Lorenzo, and the youngest was Tabitha, who. while on a visit to her sisters in Hardwick, became acquainted with Capt. Samuel French, of that town, and married him. These three sisters marrying in that town, were among the first families to settle in that new country, and their descendants have filled offices of trust and profit in various departments of government and state. The only son of the author of this sketch is pastor of a large and flourishing church in Albany, N. Y., and is the youngest man who ever had the title of Doctor of Divinity conferred on him this country.
In younger life, Lorenzo was possessed of a very weak and tender constitution which prevented him from joining in those athletic sports which have a tendency to bring health and strength to the young. His mind at a very early age became religiously impressed with the thoughts of God and the works of Creation; and the questions he would ask his parents, showed characteristics far beyond his years. A little later, while laboring, in more mature years, under that harrassing disease the asthma, he showed a resignation that was surprising in one so young. He tells us in his autobiography that at the age of 12 years, his hopes of worldly pleasure was greatly blasted by a sudden illness occasioned by overheating himself with hard labor, and drinking cold water while in that state, that in subsequent years, would almost take his breath, from the most excruciating pains. About this time his mind became greatly exercised on the subject of his salvation. One night he dreamed that he saw the prophet Nathan in a large assembly of people, prophesying many things. I got an opportunity, (he says) to ask him how long I should live? The prophet answered, until you are two and twenty. This dream was so imprinted upon his mind, that it caused many serious and painful hours at intervals.
When about 13 years and upward, he tells us he was much impressed by the death of John Wesley (1791.) He dreamed that he saw Wesley, who asked him if he ever prayed, he said no, and soon after he met Wesley a second time, who asked him the same question again, and he answered no, when Wesley said you must, and disappeared. In the same dream, Wesley came once more, and asked the same question, he told him that he had prayed, then said Wesley, "be faithful until death." This dream so impressed him, that he broke off from his old companions and began a course of secret prayer which lasted through life. Subsequently his feelings were so aroused by the doctrine of unconditional reprobation and particular election, he became nearly deranged.
About this time the Methodists came into Coventry and began preaching, and he went to hear them. On one occasion, the preacher took for his text "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?"
[Here follows a page of a sermon on hell and its pungent effect on a mind laboring under "election,"—we omit. We do not give sermons and the statements seem sufficient.—ED.]
It nearly drove him to commit sutcide. The idea that filled his mind was that there was no mercy for him. He at last threw himself on the ground, and cried to the Lord, "I submit; I yield! If there be mercy in heaven for me, let me know it; and if not, let me go down to hell, and know the worst of my case. As these words flowed from my heart," he writies, "I saw the Mediator step in, as it were, between justice and my soul, and these words applied to my soul with great power, 'Son, thy sins, which are many, are forgiven thee; thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.' "
From this time on his happiness was complete. Many trials and doubts and conflicting emotions possessed him; still his firm confidence in the God of hosts carried him triumphantly through all his after tribulations.
In the "exemplified experience," at this time, his brother-in-law, Mr. Fish, was so interested that he became a seeker of Christ. Lorenzo often said his greatest desire to live was to obtain a higher degree of holiness here, that he might be happier hereafter. He was a believer to a certain extent in dreams; he had many, some of which were exact forerunners of what soon after came to pass. A remarkable one occurred as follows: he dreamed he was in a strange house. "As I sat by the fire, a messenger came in and said, 'there are three ministers come from England, and in a few minutes will pass by this way.' I followed him out, and he disappeared. I ran over a woodpile, and jumped upon a log, to have a fair view of them. Presently three men came over a hill from the west towards me; the foremost dismounted; the other two, one of whom was on a white horse, the other on a reddish one, both with the three horses disappeared. I said to the first, 'Who are you?' He replied, 'John Wesley,' and walked towards the east. He turned round and looked me in the face, and said 'God has called you to preach the gospel. You have been a long time between hope and fear, but there is a dispensation of the gospel committed to you. Woe unto you if you preach not the gospel.' "
His mind having been previously drawn towards a preacher's life, this singular dream decided the contest, and he entered the ministry. He was placed upon a circuit extending into New Hampshire, then a wilderness. Wherever he preached souls were converted. His circuit was enlarged into the State of Vermont. As he became more known, invitations flowed in upon him from all parts.
His health was very often broken down on account of the disease brought upon him while a boy, and resulted in the asthma to that extent that he either sat up whole nights or slept on the floor.
He never took a collection for preaching, but sometimes received gifts from individuals. His preaching took hold upon the careless, the blasphemer, and all in a
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remarkable manner. Revivals succeeded revivals all over the territory where he Preached.
In the town of Brandon, Vt., a rich merchant with his niece came some distance to hear him preach, but when they saw how plain the young man looked, their first thought was to go home, but concluded to stay and see the thing out, as they had taken so much pains to get there. After the sermon their consciences appeared to be touched, and they were constrained to cry for mercy. In that place 25 others came out and joined the church. The people said, "Lorenzo has done some good, by turning the mind of the blasphemer, from collecting his debts, to religion, and so we are kept out of jail."
His great success was in visiting from house to house, and in making personal appeals to individuals. On many occasions he made appointments for preaching 6 months and even 18 months ahead, and always fulfilled them to the minute, even if he had to ride a horse to death to reach the place in time, as it has been the case more than once.
In Vermont, in passing through a dense woods one slay to fill an appointment, he saw two men chopping wood. He mounted on a large stump, and said "Crazy Dow will preach from this stump 6 months from to day, at 2 o'clock, P. M." Six months from that time an immense audience was assembled, and Dow in going to the place saw a man in great distress looking for something. Dow enquired what the matter was. The man replied that he was poor, and that some one had stolen his axe, and that he felt the loss very much. Lorenzo told him if he would go to the meeting he would find his axe. Before getting to the place of service, Dow picked up a stone and put it in his pocket. After the delivery of a powerful sermon, Dow said—"There is a man here who has had his axe stolen, and the thief is here in this audience, and I am going to throw this stone right to his head,"—drawing back his hand as though in the act of throwing the stone. One man ducked his head. Dow went up to him and said—"You have got this man's axe!" And so he had, and went and brought it and gave it to him.
Not to weary the reader, I will give but one more incident here, (of which scores could be authenticated,) to show the remarkable success with which his efforts were blessed. In one of his meetings again in Vt., (Wallingford,) Dow was introduced to a man by the name of Solomon Moon, who cavilled at every thing of a religious aspect. Having delivered some religious counsel, with the solemn request that he should seriously reflect upon it, Dow left him to his own reflections. A few days after, in another part of the circuit, some 40 miles from his home, Solomon Moon stood up in the lovefeast, and declared how he was caught in a promise, and to ease his mind was necessitated to fulfil it, and within three days found the reality of what he had doubted; and besought others not to be afraid of promising to serve God. Said he—"I bless the day that ever I saw the face of Brother Dow." It was curiosity, as he testified, which first induced him to come out to hear the man who was called Crazy Dow. In this lovefeast the cry began again, and continued within two hours of the setting sun.
About this time he felt it his duty to visit Ireland, and without money or any of the necessaries for a voyage across the Atlantic. Money and all necessary conveniences were furnished from friends, many sending gifts of whom he had never heard before. Providence in a very special manner on this, and other similar occasions, bountifully supplied his wants.
While in Ireland the Lord blessed his preaching to hundreds of souls. He crossed the ocean 14 times, and traveled extensively through Ireland, England, Scotland, and even to the Continent. On one of his visits to Dublin, he caught the small pox the natural way, and was so far gone with it that it became necessary to sew sheets around him to keep the skin from falling off. For many days his case was pronounced hopeless, but the same merciful Providence that watched over him at all times brought him through safely.
While staying with the great Dr. Paul Johnson, of Dublin, this sickness took place, and while there, his only child was born. In remembrance of the Doctor and his wife, Dow named my youngest sister after the Doctor's Wife, "Letitia Johnson" Bridgman, and the youngest son of Mrs. Fish, "Paul Johnson" Fish, after the Doctor. The last voyage made, on his return to America, he brought home many works relating to the Quakers or Friends, and some rare histories relating to the Court of St. James, which are now out of print. I recollect well when the books were brought home to our house in Hebron, Ct., there being 2,200 volumes.
Dow lays down a few words for reflections, viz.: The "pleasure" of the Lord was the moving cause of creation, love was the moving cause of redemption, and faith is the instrumental cause of salvation; but sin, man's own act, is the cause of his damnation.
The glory of God our object, the will of God our law, his spirit our guide, and the Bible our rule, that Heaven may be our end. Hence we must watch and pray, endure to the end to receive the crown of life, where there is pleasure without pain forever more.
PEGGY HOAKUM DOW,
the first wife of Lorenzo, was born in Granville, Mass., 1780, of parents who were strangers to God, although her father was a member of the church of England, and her mother had been raised by parents of the Presbyterian order. Her mother died when she was 5 months old, leaving behind 2 sons and 4 daughters. "My eldest sister married," says Peggy, "when I was 6 years old, and she prevailed on my father to give me to her, which accordingly he did, and I was carried into the State of New York, and saw his face no more!"
Peggy, at a very early age, had serious religious impressions, which lasted for some years, and at last eventuated in a bright Christian hope. But the vicissitudes and changes she passed through in a life so young, caused her to look to her Heavenly Father for help more than otherwise she might have done. But her whole soul was of a religious cast; her whole mind was filled with the love of her Saviour. She says in one of her letters, "My brother-in-law . . . . embraced religion, and we were a happy family, . . . three in number. . . . The preachers made our house their home, and it was my delight to wait on them." She formed a little class of seven persons, and in their meetings for prayer and praise it was a heaven on earth to their souls.
About this time camp-meetings began to be introduced into that part of the country, attended by the conversion of many souls. Says Peggy, in her writings, "there was one about 30 miles from where I then lived, and my brother-in-law attended it, where he met with Lorenzo Dow, on his way to Canada, and invited him home to preach at our preaching-house, and sent on the appointment a day or two beforehand, so as to give publicity; and as he was a singular character, we were very anxious to see and hear him. The day arrived, he came, and the house was crowded, and we had a good time. I was very much afraid of him, as I had heard such strange things about him. My brother-in-law invited him to our house, and after several days he came, and little did I think that he had any thoughts of marrying, and in particular that he should make any proposition of the kind to me, but so it was." In conversation with her sister, he enquired how long Peggy had been a Christian, what the character of her company was, and whether she had ever manifested a desire to marry a minister. He was answered satisfactorily. Soon after, meeting Peggy, Lorenzo asked her if she would accept such an object as him. She went directly out of the room and made no reply. "As it was the first time he had spoken to me," she writes, "I was very much surprised." The next evening the conversation was renewed, when Peggy gave her consent to marry him, and travel with him when it was necessary. They were married Sept. 4th. The next morning Lorenzo started off on a preaching tour to New Orleans, in ful‑
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filment of a chain of appointments given out six months before, and Peggy never saw him again for 18 months; this chain of appointments was over 4,000 miles.
For many years after, she was his constant traveling companion. She traveled with him through every state and territory in the United States, and through the British Dominions, sharing in his fatigue, sleeping on the ground in the wilderness, with the open canopy of heaven for a roof, or lodging in the cane-brakes of the South when no house could be reached. All this suffering and deprivation she joyfully submitted to, believing it was the Lord's will. It seemed that the burning desire of her heart was to know exactly what the Lord would have her do.
Peggy writes, May 20, 1814, they were at Hoboken, a delightful spot of the earth, upon the Jersey side of the river opposite New York, where from the window of the room we occupy we have a grand view of the city. On the other hand the Jersey side presents to view, decorated with all the charms of spring, green trees and shady groves.
In June following, the deep trials and conflicts through which she passed began to tell sadly upon her health.
PEGGY'S LAST LETTER TO HER HUSBAND.
Dear Lorenzo:—I take my pen again to converse with you, this being the only way we communicate our thoughts to each other, when separated by rivers and mountains, and I esteem it a precious privilege. I have much cause to adore the beneficent hand of Providence for his mercy to usward, although we have our trials, yet he mixes mercy with them. He has of late given me some tokens for good—my heart has been enabled to rejoice in his love in a considerable degree. At a meeting a few nights ago, where Methodists and Presbyterians were united, and there was a union in my heart to all the dear children of my Master, I have felt more strength to say in my heart, "the will of the Lord be done." I think yesterday, my desire to God was, if it would be more for His glory for you to return in a few weeks, you might; if not, so let it be. Go, my Lorenzo, the way you are assured the Lord calls, and if we meet no more in this vale of tears, may God prepare us to meet in the realms of peace, to range the blest fields on the banks of the river, and sing hallelujah forever and ever.
I am very sure if I reach safe the destined port, I shall have cause to sing. I trust the Lord who has called you to leave all, will give you a rich reward; in this world, precious souls, and in the world to come a crown of glory. I have seen Bro. Tarbox since his return; nothing has taken place anew. You have been accustomed to similar treatment. May you have patience and true philanthropy of heart; that is most desirable. You cannot conclude from what I have written, that I would not rejoice to see you return, if it would be consistent with the will of God; but I would desire, above all things, not to be found fighting against him. Your father is as well as we May expect considering his infirmities.
My clear Lorenzo, I bid adieu once more. May the Lord return you to your poor Peggy again. I have written five times before this. PEGGY DOW.
JAN. 22, 1818.
My uncle was in Europe, expecting to make an extended tour, but by peculiar feelings of his own, and premonitions from friends in Europe in relation to his wife's health, he returned to America one year sooner than he had made arrangements for when leaving. Peggy had attended a writing-school in his absence, taken a heavy cold, and it had settled on her lungs. She traveled some with her husband after his return, but while in Providence, R. I., he found her one morning in her room weeping; enquiring the cause, after some hesitation she replied, "The consumption is a flattering disease; but I shall return back to Hebron, and tell Father Dow that I have come back to die with him!"
She requested her husband not to leave her till she had got better or worse, which request she had never made before under any circumstances. In September they returned to Hebron. They never parted but twice after Lorenzo's return from Europe; once for a night, and once while on business for five days in Boston.
She continued to decline until December, when one night she woke up and enquired the day of the month, and being informed, said she was bound by the month of January; she counted every day until the year expired, and then almost every
hour until the morning of the fifth, when she asked her husband if he had been to bespeak a coffin for her. She was answered in the negative. In the evening she asked if he had called in the neighbors. " I answered no," he has recorded, "but Bro. Page and wife came in, which seemed refreshing to her, in whose company she had spent many hours." At 2 o'clock that night she requested to have the family called up, which being done, she failed very fast. Being asked if she felt any pain, she replied, "no." As she was dying, Lorenzo held her in his arms, and said, "Lord, thou gavest her to me! I have held her only as a lent favor for fifteen years, and now I resign her back to Thee until we meet again beyond the swelling flood!" She replied with a hearty "Amen," and soon expired.
By Lorenzo's request she was laid out in the bombazine dress she wore the last time she went to church, and with woolen blankets in the coffin, and was buried 7 feet in depth in the cemetery at Burrows hill, Hebron, Ct.
She possessed exquisite sensibility, but affection and condescension. The writer was then a boy, but remembers the circumstances well.
The following was put upon her tombstone :
SHARED THE VICISSITUDES OF LORENZO.
And died January 6th, 1820.
Three months after the decease of his first wife, Lorenzo married his second wife in Montville, Ct., who proved to be the very opposite of his ''Peggy" in temperament, social qualities, and, in short, everything that goes to make a lady of refinement. Politeness and amiability were wanting in his second wife. Gifted with talents of a high order, educated in the best schools of the country, still she proved that with the highest talents, a person can be a fool.
Lorenzo now at this age began to feel the effects of his severe labors and deprivations. His health began to give way, the asthma troubled him more than formerly, and his sufferings from that, and a tumor growing in his side, were at times so painful that it prevented sleep for whole nights together; and during the spasms, his only rest was in standing upright. He now in view of settling his worldly affairs, paid off all obligations on the farm in Montville, it being heavily mortgaged when it came into his hands, through his wife's friends. It consisted of 500 acres, and commanded a large stream of water, on which he had built mills and factories of various kinds, and which were in successful operation. He now felt that after his large house and farm buildings were all finished in splendid order, he and his wife could enjoy themselves; and proposed taking a trip to New Orleans, where he had been a number of times before. Once his expenses were paid both ways by the Freemasons; he having taken all the degrees then known in this country; and much of his time was devoted to lecturing in lodges for the "good and welfare of the Order." They left in their private carriage with horses and driver. He had had a man to go on some time before them to make appointments for his preaching. Arriving in Georgetown, D. C., he was taken sick. While he lay in distress, he signed a will, giving to her all real and personal property, together with his present money, some $3000.00, which, had he been in his right mind, she never would have received a dollar of. His disease was short, but painful in the extreme, his end hastened by the bursting of the tumor. He died Feb. 2, 1834, aged 56 years. His funeral was attended by a large concourse of sympathizing friends, some of the principal families of Georgetown and Washington, and many thousand Freemasons, as he was buried under the Order of that body. The whole was a solemn and very imposing ceremony.
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There has fallen one of the mighty men of his time; one, who has been the means in the hands of God of the conversion of thousands upon thousands, in this country and in Europe; and whose name will go down the ages as a good and wise man, when those who have waded through fields of blood and carnage to obtain a throne, will be lost in the vortex of revolution.
Owing to the condemnation of Holmead's burial ground in Washington as in the way of sanitary reform, the remains of the dead buried therein had to be removed, and among them those of Lorenzo Dow, the eccentric missionary of the last generation. A Masonic Lodge in Connecticut, his native State, endeavored to secure the privilege of reinterring the remains of their brother in the craft with due ceremonial. The Methodist clergy of Baltimore also took steps to honor the Preacher, but the District clergy got ready first, and reburied Dow on Friday in the Rock Creek Cemetery, in a lot given by the banker Corcoran, who admired him as a "prophet" in life.
The old tomb at Holmead's bore on a stone slab the following singular inscription, the last lines of which were dictated by himself:
THE REPOSITORY OF
Who was born in Coventry, Conn.,
Oct 18, 1777,
DIED FEB'Y 2, 1834,
A Christian is the highest style of man.
He is a slave to no sect; takes no
private road; but looks through
nature up to nature's God.
The removal of this slab revealed the remains. The skeleton was all preserved, the long snowy beard lay in life-like naturalness upon the breast bone, beneath which the vest was in good preservation, and fully buttoned. The right sleeve of the coat was in good condition and the greater part of the pants. The mahogany coffin had almost entirely crumbled, the largest portion not being over 18 inches long.
The last words on record, known of Lorenzo's writing, are:
"We must soon part; therefore, as I take leave of you, my request is, to lay aside prejudice, sacrifice SIN; sink into the will of God, take him for your protector and guide, by attention to the sweet influence of his spirit on the mind, that you may be useful in your day to your fellow-mortals here; and as an inward and spiritual worshiper, ascend to God. Thus it may be well with you here and hereafter.
"Amen. Adieu till we meet beyond this life
["Farewell means to do well."]
Lorenzo Dow had only one child, a daughter, born in Dublin, that died soon after their return to this country, aged five months, and was buried in Georgia.
The following anecdotes in a measure illustrate the eccentricities of Dow, and all, with one or two exceptions, never before having appeared in print. In my youth my uncle spent much of his time in our family, the members of which have passed away, which gives me the opportunity, as being the only one left who was familiar with his habits and life.
In the eastern part of the town of Mansfield, on a lofty eminence known as "Methodist Hill," is an old barn, in which were held the first Methodist meetings in the town, and where Lorenzo Dow is said to have preached his first sermon. That he entered the barn early, and laid down upon one of the long benches, and feigned sleep. Dressed in tow pants, coatless, and shoes minus the stockings, he would naturally be taken for anything but a minister; therefore as the people began to flock together and as the appointed hour was approaching, they began to try to arouse him, telling him there was to be a meeting but the minister had not come. He jumped up, asked what time it was, and being informed it was meeting time, brushed his hair, entered the pulpit and preached a rousing sermon, after which he asked if any one in the room wanted to be
prayed for, "If so," said he, "pray for yourselves!" whereupon he took his hat and left.
While our family were living on the Dow farm in Hebron, my father had charge of the place, and one hot summer's day we were mowing hay in the bog meadow and it was "rather slim picking." My father composed the following lines in the forenoon, and when we came up to dinner, he repeated them to Uncle Lorenzo, who, being of a high spirit, did not for some days speak to father:
In Hebron town there lies a piece of land,
Surrounded by rocks and hills, and on it water stands;
This meadow lays quite low, and is owned by Lorenzo Dow,
And all the grass that on it grows will scarcely keep one cow.
There is here and there a spear, and those are very scarce.
In fact, there is not so much in bulk, as the beard that grows on his face.
Some years before be became so celebrated, he used to travel principally on horseback; and as he had to meet his appointments punctually, no matter what the weather might be, he had to go dressed for all weathers. To do this, he had an oilcloth cloak made something like a bed-quilt, with a hole cut through the middle to put his head through, and the cloak hung in folds around his person, and in a measure protected his horse from the storm. Dressed in this outlandish manner, on one occasion he overtook a heavily loaded team in a stormy day, the driver urging his horses up a steep hill, the roads almost impassable in the deep mud, the driver belaboring the poor beasts with blows and uttering blasphemous oaths, when Lorenzo overtook him. Listening a moment to the man's profanity, he asked him "if he ever prayed?" The driver said no, and would be damned if he ever would. Lorenzo gave him a silver dollar to bind his oath, and made him promise he never would pray, and rode on to the next tavern, about a mile, and put up. In a short time, on came the driver, full gallop, to give the dollar back to the person from whom he had received it, thinking he had sold his soul to the devil, but Lorenzo would not take it back. The thought worked so upon the man, it eventuated in his conversion.
While living in Hebron, there was a Mr. Little, a hatter, a man who was very anxious to quiz people, and endeavor to get the best of them in his jokes. Meeting Mr. Dow in the street one day, after passing the compliments of the morning, Mr. L. said "I would like to ask you a question," Lorenzo replied "Go on." "Can you tell me how many white beans it takes to make a bushel?" Lorenzo fixed his little keen black eyes on him a moment, and replied, "it takes just as many white beans to make a bushel as it does Littles to make a man."
In the same town there lived one of those low, cunning sneaks by the name of Skinner, who, like barnacles, attach themselves to any one who will give them a hearing. Meeting Lorenzo one day, as he (Skinner) was going to the grist-mill with his bags of grain on his horse, he riding on the bags,—stopped his horse, and looking directly into Lorenzo's face, said, "Mr. Dow, there are many of my neighbors who would like to know why you wear your hair and beard so long?" L. turned upon him a withering look, and said, "Mr. Skinner, when I was a boy my father used to send me to the mill, and I used to go right straight to the mill; and when my grist was ground, used to return directly home; never stopped to ask impertinent questions, but always minded my own business. Good-bye, Mr. S.," and immediately turned his back and walked off.
On one occasion he sold a yoke of oxen to Elder Wilcox, a Baptist clergyman, living in Montville, Ct., for the sum of $65. The Elder worked the cattle very hard, and after a while one of the oxen took sick and died, when he came to Mr. D. repeatedly for damages in the loss of the ox. It was satisfactorily proved the ox was well when sold. At last, annoyed by the Elder's insolence, D. threw down his pocketbook, and told him to take out a sum sufficient to pay him. He took $65.00, the same as he gave for both oxen, and the Elder kept the well one. Lorenzo wrote a receipt in this fashion, and made him sign
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it: "Received of L. Dow sixty-five dollars, in full of all demands, from the begining to the end of the world." Thus cutting off any further demands against Dow from Wilcox to any amount.
Dow's first wife was a very tender hearted, amiable, Christian woman; and he used to teaze and annoy her in many ways for sport, while Peggy would take it all to heart and grieve over it. His second wife, a perfect amazon, with a regular tiger-temper, used to rule him with a rod of iron, so much so that Dow had one room finished in his new mansion in Montville expressly for himself, and always carried the key. Over the fireplace he had a gilt hen painted, and over it in large golden letters: "The hen crows here."
It was reported that in consequence of his last wife's mother opposing the match, because Dow was a Methodist in belief and her daughter being a Presbyterian, that it became necessary to be married away from home. The arrangement was made that on a certain evening he was to preach in a school-house, and that Lucy Dolbear, his intended, should be present, and at the conclusion of the discourse, at a certain signal, Lucy should get up. When the sermon was ended and the benediction pronounced, Mr. Dow said, "If there is any one here who would like to marry me, they will manifest it by rising." A negro woman rose up at the same time his intended did. He took Lucy, and went to Elder Whittlesey's, and they were married that night.
There was a story going the rounds of the papers in Vermont of Lorenzo Dow raising the devil. One day while he was at the dinner table at our house in Hardwick, mother asked him about it. Lorenzo replied that the circumstances were as follows: In traveling through the northern part of Vermont, he was belated one night in a blinding snow-storm. He went for the only light he could discover, and found it came from a small log-house. After repeated knockings at the door, a woman opened it. He asked accommodations for the night. She said her husband was gone, and she could not possibly accommodate a stranger. But he plead with so much earnestness, she concluded to take him in. He immediately went to bed, without removing his clothing, in a little corner, separated off from the room where the family lived by a partition of rough boards, with cracks between, covered with paper pasted over, which was torn off in many places, and anything going on in the opposite room could be easily seen. It soon appeared this woman was not alone, but had a paramour. Late in the night on came her husband, drunk, as usual, and demanded admittance, hallooing and cursing at the top of his voice, his wife all the while trying to stop him, but before opening the door, she secreted her pal in a cask of tow in the room. When admitting her husband, she tried to silence him by telling him that Lorenzo Dow was in the other room, and if he was not still he would wake him up. Well, says the husband, I understand he can raise the devil, and now he has got to do it. Notwithstanding all the appeals of his wife, the husband pounded on the door, calling on Dow to come out. At last Dow pretended to be roused out of a sound sleep, (although he had been awake all the time); rubbing his eyes and yawning, he came out. The man insisted on Dow's raising the devil, and would not take no for an answer. Well, if you insist on it, said Dow, I will do it, but when he comes, it will be in a flame of fire, and you must set the doors wide open, so he will have plenty of room. The man opened his door, and Dow, taking the candle, touched the tow in the cask. In an instant the cask was wrapped in flame, and the man inside jumping out, all on fire, ran up the street like the very devil, all of a light blaze, tearing through the snow at the rate of 2:40. The husband was so frightened, for once it made a sober man of him.
When 1 was 9 years old, may parents moved to Connecticut, and Uncle Lorenzo journeyed with us. At one of our stopping places he was called on to preach. It was about 4 P. M. In a few minutes they had in the hotel where we stopped a congrega‑
tion of some 300 persons. In the course of the sermon, he pointed to a young man present, and said, "How came you to steal that sheep, and dress and have it cooked? Do you think it tasted any better than if you had gone to work, earned the money, and paid for it like an honest man?" After the sermon, my sister Christiania asked him what he meant by being so personal, and making such a direct accusation of stealing, when he never was in that town before, and knew no one present; that, having made a charge, if he could not sustain it, would go hard with him. Uncle Lorenzo replied he felt intensely impressed in a very peculiar manner to say what he did, so much so that he could not stop until he had made the charge. It was soon told us by the landlord that two years before, that man stole a sheep, had it cooked, and eaten in his own family. He was sued, but his father settled it so it did not go into court. The reader may analyze this, whether there were any spiritual manifestations.
The next night we put up at another inn, and as my uncle entered the house, he met an old acquaintance, a Deacon in a Congregational church there. The Deacon was in the act of shaving. Seeing our party, he said—"Mr. Dow, do you ever shave?" Uncle L. said, "I shave a Congregational Deacon once in a while."
On the farm that Lorenzo owned in Montville, Ct., there was a dam at the outlet of a large pond. Below on the stream my uncle owned some mills, and below these was a large cotton factory, owned by one of his neighbors, employing a large number of operatives. In the night his neighbor would go and open the gate, and let the water out of the pond to run certain machinery. The next day there was not water enough to run his own mill. The result was L. D. went and had a gate made of boiler-iron, and spiked down so the man of the factory could not open it. He then raised his dam to the height of 25 feet, keeping back the water for months. His neighbor wanted water to run his factory, while Dow closed his mills up for repairs. The result was his neighbor sued him, and beat him. Dow carried up the case to the next court, and got beat there. He then carried the case to the court of last resort, and got beat again. Then Dow took his hired man, and opened the gate. The three months of water accumulated, the pressure upon the gate was immense; the stream poured forth in a torrent. Says Dow to the man, "He wants water; give him more. Hoist the gate higher," and, looking on the rushing stream, said, "my neighbor wants water, and water he shall have. Take the gate out." The impetuous current did more damage to the cotton factory than three months' laying still for the want of water.
This was the basis of that work published by Dow, entitled "Fresh Water Law, or Twenty-nine Reasons why a man cannot control the water on his own land."
Lorenzo Dow was once preaching in the State of Ohio, and having unusual freedom of thought and delivery, the congregation was thrilled with admiration and delight. When the interest was at its height, he suddenly stepped down from the desk, and deliberately walked to another part of the room and pointing his long, sarcastic finger at a person to whom he was a total stranger, and fixing on him his searching eyes, addressed him thus:—"I mean you! Yes, YOU! who ran away from Connecticut between two days to avoid paying your honest debts; and more than this, you persecuted and abused your wife because she was endeavoring to seek religion! Aint you ashamed of yourself?" The poor felow looked as though annihilation would be the highest boon. Dow returned to the desk and resumed the thread of his discourse, and by his wonderful tact and magnetism raised the congregation to the same summit of interest as before. After the benediction was pronounced, the people, who knew nothing of the man's antecedents, instituted searching inquiry into the man's history and found that Dow's charges were true to the very letter.
On another occasion while preaching in a grove, a young man commenced rattling some boards at no great distance from the preacher's stand. The speaker cautioned
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him very mildly at first, but every little while he would renew the mischief. At length Dow cast on him a serious look, remarking:—"Those boards will make your coffin." The young man died in a few weeks, and the carpenter not thinking of Dow's remark made use of the very identical boards. These are but specimens of what occurred along the history of his life.
He was once holding forth in a place in a very powerful manner, and all at once he paused in his discourse, and very deliberately made the remark: "There is a man present, who has been considered a very respectable person, but he is guilty of hugging and kissing another man's wife. Both parties are present. The man has a white feather on his head; and the woman blushes deeply." In an instant a man reached his hand to his head, and Dow pointing to him said, ''Thou art the man." And pointing to the woman, whose cheeks were scarlet, said, "Thou art the woman." Subsequent developments showed that Dow's arrows hit the mark.
At another time, while preaching in Mississippi, some rowdies were thrusting a knife into a beautiful beaver hat of his, at some distance from the stand. He turned to them and addressed them thus:—The laws of society condemn you; the laws of your country condemn you; moreover the laws of God condemn you. The word condemned means damned. 1st. You are villains. 2d. You are condemned villains, that is you are damned villains. 3d. God condemns you by His law; that is He damns you. Hence, you are God damned villains!
THE VERMONT BIBLE SOCIETY
Had its organization at the capital. The first meeting was held at the hall of the Academy, Oct. 28. 1812. Hon. Wm. C. Harrington, mod., Jeduthan Loomis, clerk. Rev. Chester Wright preached the opening sermon, and before the meeting dissolved 88 persons had become members, and $323.75 raised. First Officers: Charles Marsh, pres't, Gen. Abner Forbes, treas., Wm. Page, sec'y.
METHODISM IN MONTPELIER.
BY REV. J. R. BARTLETT.
The history of the Methodist Church in Montpelier extends to the earliest associations of Methodism in Vermont.
Various accounts have been given of the introduction of Methodism into Vermont, some of which are only matters of tradition and probably incorrect. It is now known that the first Methodist preacher sent to Vermont by the authorized voice of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and who accepted and worked under the appointment, was Nicholas Snethen, who at the Conference held at Thompson, Conn., convened Sept. 20, 1796, was "read off" as the appointee to "Vershire circuit."
This was an entirely new field for Methodistic preaching, and Mr. Snethen probably went to his appointment with no definite knowledge of the existence of any Methodist families in Vermont except one in Vershire, one in Bradford, and perhaps a few others in the extended territory which comprised the "circuit."
"Vershire circuit reached," as the records state, "from the towns near the Connecticut river to Montpelier." These boundaries are somewhat indefinite, but were as accurate, perhaps, as any in the early days of Methodism, when bounding the parish of a Methodist preacher.
Jesse Lee, the pioneer of Methodism in New England, was Presiding Elder, and in his journal makes reference to Vershire circuit in these words: "Many of the places where we preached in that circuit were quite new settlements; the houses were very small, and but scattered through the country. The preachers had to encounter many difficulties and to endure many hardships. But one thing which made up for all the difficulties was this, the people were fond of attending meeting by day or by night, and were very kind to the preachers; and best of all was, sinners were awakened, and in a little time some of them became the happy subjects of the favor of God, and were zealously engaged in trying to help forward the work of the Lord as far as they could. Since
then we have prospered considerably in this new part of the country."
The fragmentary records which are the only means of information now extant, give conclusive evidence that Montpelier was thus visited by the early itinerant preachers, and that it immediately became an appointment for stated and regular preaching. It is probable, however, that such preaching was only at intervals of considerable extent in point of time, and that the meetings were small as regards the number in attendance, being held in dwellings, or possibly in school-houses where they existed and could be obtained for the purpose. Arminian theology was then regarded as an interloper, and met with its opposing creeds of Calvinistic dogmas on the one hand and extreme Liberalism on the other, as its vital and untiring disputants.
D. P. Thompson's History of Montpelier speaks of "A great public meeting for a doctrinal debate," held in Montpelier during the summer of 1799, in which a "Rev. Mr. Mitchell, of some other part of the State," appeared "on the part of the Methodists." Doubtless this was Joseph Mitchell, the preacher on the "Vergennes circuit" in that year. Mr. Mitchell was never an appointee on any circuit which included Montpelier, but was a man of untiring energy, great intellectual power and unceasing labors in has calling as a preacher, and it is recorded of him that he traveled at the rate of nearly 6,000 miles a year while on the Vergennes circuit. His appearance in Montpelier at this time would seem to indicate either that he was an occasional visitor and preacher here, although not on his stated circuit, or that he was brought forward to champion the doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church by the friends of the same.
It is not improbable that Montpelier may have been occasionally visited by the preachers of Vergennes circuit, as well as by those of Vershire circuit, of which it was a part, for the early Methodist preacher had a habit of making himself heard, and of feeling very much at home wherever, and under whatever circumstances he could find a congregation, and in view of the common sympathy and purpose among the early preachers, especially, it is presumable that no exclusive right of territory was thought of by any circuit preacher.
Lorenzo Dow, famed for his eccentricities of life and speech, and an able though irregular worker in the early itinerancy, is also known to have been an occasional preacher at Montpelier, but was never an appointee on any circuit which included the town in its jurisdiction. So of others whose names are not in the list of Methodist preachers included in this sketch, but who may be remembered, or perhaps recorded, as having engaged in the work to a greater or less extent.
The preachers who succeeded Mr. Snethen upon Vershire circuit while Montpelier continued within its bounds, were, in 1797, Ralph Williston; in 1798, Joseph Crawford; in 1799, Mr. Crawford again, with Elijah Chichester as his colleague; in 1800, Thomas Dewey; in 1801, Truman Bishop and Thomas Branch; in 1802, Solomon Langdon and Paul Dustin; in 1803, Samuel Draper and Oliver Beale. The dates above given indicate the "Conference year," commencing with the annual session in the summer of the year named, and continuing to the following session. In 1804, the circuit was divided, and Montpelier became a part of the new Barre circuit," which included the following within its jurisdiction: Barre, Plainfield, Middlesex, Montpelier, Northfield, Williamstown, Washington, Berlin, and Orange. It is uncertain whether Moretown and Waitsfield were in the circuit at this time, or were added subsequently; but eventually they were so included, as well as other towns.
There are 257 names upon the oldest list of members now to be found, and which seems to include the entire circuit as it existed in 1804.
Of this number it is difficult to decide how many were residents of Montpelier, as the Montpelier membership is not grouped as in some of the other towns, but it seems to be not more than six or eight.
376 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
There was, however, a "class" organization, and it was represented in the reported "collections" at each quarterly meeting of the circuit, the amounts varying in these early reports from 35 cents to $8.54, the last named being the report on Apr. 19, 1806, at the last quarterly meeting in the Conference year.
July 23, 1808, collections from two classes in Montpelier were reported, indicating that another class was formed about this time, subsequent reports showing the continuation of this arrangement. The first receipt of "public money" reported from Montpelier was at a quarterly meeting held at Plainfield, October 16, 1807, the amount being $1.60. The name of the first class leader was Ansel Patterson, who afterwards removed to Barre, and was eventually expelled from membership.
The number in society as reported to the annual Conference of 1812 was 330 upon the circuit, and of this number 25 were in the two classes in Montpelier, David Harris and Elias Kingsley being the leaders, and having thirteen and twelve in their respective classes, and three "on trial" in the class of Mr. Kingsley. The records are very meagre during these intervening years, but there is evidence of a steady growth in numbers and increase of influence for the church in the community.
Aug. 5, 1820, the quarterly meeting was held in Montpelier, being the first on record as held in this town. It is not certain, however, that quarterly meetings were now held here for the first time, as some of the records in former years are incomplete, and it is obvious that such meetings were held, of which no record is now extant, or at least known to exist. The record of this meeting is very meagre, being only a statement of the time and place and the amount of the collections and disbursements as follows:
Quarterly meetings held at Montpelier, for Barre circuit, August 5, 1820.
Public collection, $8.62.
Paid Ella Dunam expense, 6.00
Squire B. Harskell do. 2.62
This brief record is suggestive, however, of a meeting which was probably one of impressive and solemn interest in the community. A Methodist "quarterly meeting" in 1820 was likely to be an event of great local interest. Barre circuit comprised at this time some twelve or more towns within its bounds, and, in accordance with the custom in these olden times, there would be likely to be in attendance at the quarterly meeting some from every preaching station on the circuit, and a general attendance of the members and friends of the Methodist Church in towns convenient of access to the place of meeting. It is, therefore, probable that this meeting was one of considerable local importance. Mr. Henry Nutt remembers the occasion, and that the meeting was held in the grove at the "Centre," and very largely attended by the people from all adjoining and some other towns.
Rev. Elihu Scott, who is now living in Hampton, N. H., writes:
In June, 1825, I received my first appointment in the New England Conference, on old Barre circuit, Vermont, one of the oldest and best at that time in the State. John Lord was preacher in charge, David Leslie second. E. Scott third; and because we had not help enough, we took on Horace Spaulding for the fourth, (a school teacher and local preacher of good abilities). The following is a list of the towns then embraced in the circuit—a name that meant something in those days—namely: Barre, Montpelier, Calais, Plainfield, Marshfield, Orange, Washington, Williamstown, Brookfield, Randolph, Bethel, Roxbury, Northfield and Berlin. I think we had preaching every Sabbath only in Barre; in a few other places once in two weeks, in others once in four weeks, and in others once in eight weeks. But with lectures, as we then called them—that is, preaching on week days, afternoon or evening, in all our outlying neighborhoods where we had classes, four or five times a week three weeks out of four, summer and winter, in private houses or school-houses, and visiting all our members frequently, we found plenty of hard work to keep us out of idleness and mischief.
Previous to 1826, the Methodists had no church, but during this year one was built by them at the Centre of the town, in which meetings were then held alternately
with services in the old State House in the village. At the first quarterly meeting held in the church, Wilbur Fisk preached upon the theme of "endless misery"—a memorable sermon, which was much discussed in the community.
In 1828, Montpelier was made a station, and thenceforward lost its identity with Barre circuit, but gained one of its own. The appointments of preachers for Barre circuit from its formation to this time, (all of whom were of course regular visitors to Montpelier at stated appointments,) were as follows: In 1804, Oliver Beale; 1805, Elijah Hedding and Daniel Young; 1806, Philip Munger and Jonathan Chaney; 1807, Sam'l Thompson and Eleazer Wells; 1808, Solomon Sias; 1809, Warren Banister and George Gary; 1810, Eliazer Wells and Squire Streeter; 1811, Nathaniel Sternes and John Jewett; 1812, Ebenezer F. Newell and Joseph Dennett; 1813 and '14, David Kilburn, Jason Walker being his colleague in '14; 1815 and '16, Joel Steele, Thomas C. Pierce being a colleague in '16; 1817 and '18, Leonard Frost; 1819, Thomas C. Pierce; 1820, Squire B. Haskell and Ella Dunham; 1821, John F. Adams and Abraham Holway; 1822, J. F. Adams, D. Leslie; 1823, Samuel Norris and Haskell Wheelock; 1824, D. Kilburn, H. Wheelock and A. H. Houghton; 1825, John Lord, D. Leslie and Elihu Scott; 1826, A. D. Merrill and J. Templeton; 1827, J. B. White, E. Jordan and R. L. Harvey.
There had also appeared among the Methodist preachers in the town the following men who had occupied the office of presiding elder upon the district of which Barre circuit was a part: Jesse Lee, George Pickering, Shadrack Bostwick, John Brodhead, Joseph Crawford, Elijah Sabin, Thomas Branch, Eleazer Wells, Joseph A. Merrill, John Lindsley, John G. Dow, Wilbur Fisk.
Among these names that of Wilbur Fisk is not the least prominent, and to the present generation is a household name in memory of a man who made his impress in society as but few men are able to do. The sermon of Mr. Fisk before the Vermont Legislature of 1826 is now preserved, having been printed in pamphlet form. Mr. Fisk has been called the "founder of Methodism in Montpelier," but although his influence was of great value to Methodism in Montpelier, his work was incidental to its history rather than the foundation of it. He was a strong man in the denomination, and doubtless exercised an influence which served in a great measure to dispel the opposition and the prejudices which had met the early efforts of Methodists to secure an acknowledged right to worship God according to the dictates of their consciences, and the preferences of their religious tastes. [For Presiding Elder Fisk, see Windham County vol., (following Washington County papers,) of which County he was a native—Ed.] It is also probable that this growing strength in the society gave encouragement to the local interests to such an extent as to bring about the independent existence of "Montpelier station," and thus secure a resident pastor who could give his entire attention to the interests of the church in Montpelier.
So it came about that at the annual conference, held at Lynn, Mass., (this territory being then comprised in "the New England Conference,") and commencing July 23, 1828, Barre circuit was again divided, (having lost "Brookfield circuit" in 1826,) and "Montpelier station" became an appointment. John Lord was presiding elder of the district, and John G. Dow the stationed preacher.
The first quarterly meeting was held at the church (at the Center) Sept. 20 and 21, 1828. Regular meetings had been held up to this time, but the "quarterly meeting" now convened for the first time on the station, and as there was but one steward under the circuit arrangement, it became necessary to choose others; the completed board was as follows: Stephen Sanborn, Daniel Culver, Samuel Upham, Cyrenus G. Kelton, (Recording Steward,) and Henry Nutt. At a subsequent meeting the board of trustees was increased to five, and then comprised Salvenus Morse, John Stevens, James Arbuckle, Daniel
378 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Culver and Henry Nutt; and the membership was comprised in seven classes, as follows: 1. Henry Nutt leader, 13 members; 2, Elias Wakefield leader, 9 members and two on trial; 3, Cyrenus G. Kelton leader, 16 members; 4, Goodyear Bassett local preacher and leader, 16 members and one on trial; 5, James Arbuckle leader, 7 members and 5 on trial; 6, Daniel W. Fox leader, 20 members; 7, Nathan Howard leader, 13 members; total, 105 members and 8 on trial.
The financial exhibit for this first year is as follows: Collections for this year's avails of subscription papers, $204; private donations, $15; ministerial or public money, $62; quarterly collections, $49; total, $330. Disbursements, Paid Rev. J. G. Dow for traveling expenses, $10; for house rent, $70; fuel, $15; table expences, $85; quarterage, $140; paid Rev. John Lord, P. E., $10; total, $330.
An interesting relic of the time here written of is an original "class paper," now in a good state of preservation, although yellow with age, and carrying an inscription of faded writing, but still very legible, as follows:
Montpelier Class Paper. --- No. 1.
HENRY NUTT, Leader.
JOHN G. DOW, S. P. Rev. JOHN LORD, P. E.
Remember and observe the Quarterly Fast.
Keep yourselves in the love of God.
Made April 15th, 1829.
The original size of the above when folded is 5½ x 2¾ inches, and when unfolded, it is twelve times as large, and contains the names of the members of the class indicated, with lines and spaces to record their state in life, (married, single or widowed,) their state in the church, (full membership or on trial,) and their attendance or non-attendance at class meetings. The church records, although merely incidental of the routine business during the next 6 years, indicate a general state of prosperity and a healthy growth in the membership. John G. Dow was again appointed preacher in charge in 1829, with Eleazer Wells presiding elder. James Templeton was the preacher in '30 and '31; Ezra Sprague, '32; John Currier in '33; (Josiah A. Scarrit, presiding elder,) and Elihu Scott the preacher in '34. At this time there was under agitation a project to build a Methodist church in the village, the meetings having been held in the old Court House up to this time.
The following record is still preserved, apparently upon the original paper where it was written:
MONTPELIER, Feb. 12, 1834.
According to previous notice given, a meeting was called for the purpose of taking into consideration the expediency of building a Methodist meeting-house.
On motion, Hon. Cyrus Ware was called to the chair, and E. H. Washburn was appointed secretary.
On motion, a committee was appointed consisting of three, to be denominated a Methodist meeting-house committee. Luther Cross, Samuel Upham, Jonathan M. Snow, comprise this committee, whose duty it shall be to find a site on which to build said house, and any other business belonging to the subject.
On motion, the meeting was adjourned to meet at the State House, on the 24th instant, at 6 o'clock P. M.
E. H. WASHBURN, Secretary.
Feb. 24, 1834.
Met pursuant to adjournment, Hon. C. Ware in the chair, and J. M. Snow, secretary pro tem.
On motion, the question was tried relative to the site belonging to Mr. Jewett.
On motion, Col. J. P. Miller was added to the committee above raised, and also Mr. James Arbuckle and Mr. Nahum.
On motion, the meeting was adjourned to the 10th of March.
E. H. WASHBURN, Secretary.
March 10th, 1834.
On motion of Hon. C. Ware, Smith Sherman was called to the chair.
On motion, said meeting agreed to build on the Keith site.
On motion, adjourned to meet on the 24th instant.
E. H. WASHBURN, Secretary.
MONTPELIER, March 24, 1834.
Met pursuant to adjournment after reading the notice published in the newspapers. Hon. C. Ware called to the chair. Trustees: Cyrenus Morse, Sam‑
uel Upham, Jr., Christopher C. Wing, A. D. H. Cadwell, James Arbuckle; Methodist meeting-house committee: C. C. Wing, J. M. Snow, Wm. B. Hubbard. 4th. To act on draft for a constitution for said society. Constitution adopted. Plan A, for a meeting-house adopted.
On motion, the meeting was adjourned four weeks. E. H. WASHBURN, Sec.
No further record of this movement is preserved, and the project seems to have waited development for the time being.
The earliest records of the Sunday-school are July, 1835; one superintendent, 5 teachers, 48 scholars; 75 vols. in the library. It seems probable that there was a Sunday-school organization some years earlier, and it is also probable that the organization has been continued ever since.
Aug. 31, 1836, the New Hampshire and Vermont Conference commenced its seventh annual session in Montpelier, under the presidency of Bishop Elijah Hedding. It must have been with peculiar feelings of gratitude to God, that Bishop Hedding now looked upon the assembling of this conference. In 1805, he had been a preacher on Barre circuit, and had occasionally visited and preached in Montpelier.
In 1824, he was elected and ordained Bishop, and in 1830, had presided over the first session of the New Hampshire and Vermont Conference at Barre, and now in the course of his official duties, came to preside over the session to be held in Montpelier. The number of members in the church in Montpelier at this time was 153. The sessions of the conference were held in the "Brick Church," (Congregational.) It is remembered that John Brodhead was also present among other visitors.
Following this conference the building enterprise assumed definite form.
Daniel Baldwin was made chairman of the building committee, and eventually bore the burden of carrying the church to completion. His financial account of receipts and expenditures amounting to $3,176.15, paid into his hands and fully accounted for, was rendered to the stewards under date of 1840.
The deed of the land was given by Rawsel R. Keith to the stewards of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the considation being named as $500, and the lot being described as "situated on the northerly side of the road leading from William Mann's to the State House;" as bounded by lands belonging to Keith and Blaisdell, and the road, having 4 rods width and being 8 rods in length from the road to the rear boundary line. This deed was made and attested Dec. 16, 1836, and recorded Jan. 19, 1837. The deed was given, to quote its language, "upon the especial trust and confidence that they shall erect and build thereon a house or place of religious worship for the use of the members of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Montpelier according to the rules and discipline from time to time may be agreed upon by the ministers and preachers by said church at their general conference in the United States of America," and mentioning further expectation that the property should remain in the control of the said church under its disciplinary rules. Some 33 years later, Nov. 8, 1869, the title was made absolute by the execution of another deed by which for a consideration of $100, Mr. Keith quit-claimed to the stewards of said church all right and title to the same piece of land, indicating that when it became necessary to make a change in the church property, it was found that doubt existed as to the right of the church to dispose of the same under the original title. This illustrates the truth that not only mice but men also sometimes overlook the means of egress, when deeply intent in improving the opportunity of ingress upon a desired possession.
The church was dedicated Nov. 19, 1837, and the sermon preached by Rev. S. Kelley, pastor. In 1838 the church in Montpelier village was made a station by itself, with 99 names upon its roll of membership.
The first quarterly meeting held in the church at Montpelier village was Apr. 7. 1838, and after this time usually occurred at this place. In 1837, Middlesex charge
380 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
was united with Montpelier for the time being, and two preachers were appointed to the work. In 1839, East Montpelier was annexed in like manner, but in each instance the arrangement was only for the current year. During these years and the following there was a steady growth in the membership of the church, with occasional revival of religion. In 1858, the Vermont Annual Conference, (organized in 1844,) held its fourteenth session in Montpelier, Bishop Osman C. Baker presiding. The conference convened May 13th.
In 1866, the 22d session of the Vermont Annual Conference was held in Montpelier, convening April 19, with Bishop Matthew Simpson presiding. This was the centennial year of American Methodism, dating from its introduction in 1766, and great interest attached to the observation of proper demonstrations to commemorate such an occasion of congratulation. On Friday evening, April 20, a "centenary meeting" was held, at which Gov. Dillingham presided, Rev. H. Eastman read a poem suited to the occasion, and Rev. G. C. Bancroft delivered an address. The Sabbath services were particularly interesting, Bishop Simpson preaching at the Congregational Church in the forenoon, and the other services in the several churches being conducted by other visitors and by members of the conference.
Sept. 21, 1868, it was voted by the leaders and stewards' meeting, (official board, improperly so called,) "to build a new house of worship," and the necessary measures were taken in due time to dispose of the church property then held by the society, and to procure the land and erect the church edifice now owned by this society. Like other church enterprises of this character, this involved years of toil and sacrifice on the part of the people, and corresponding labor and sacrifice by the pastors who found their lot cast with this society during the several following years. It is not within the province of this article to relate the details of the effort to erect this new house of worship, but to record its completion for dedication on Nov. 24, 1874, Rev. W. R. Clark, D. D., of the New England Conference, being the preacher of the dedicatory sermon.
Among the material encouragements in the undertaking was the donation of the massive bell by Col. H. C. Nutt, at about $1,500 cost, and which was made a "memorial gift" in the name of two sisters deceased, and whose names are cast in an inscription on the bell, as follows:
FANNY AND ASENATH
H. C. NUTT,
Trinity M. E. Church,
[FANNY W. NUTT was born in Montpelier, March 2d, 1836; united with the Methodist Church in this village in 1854; married Chas. H. Tenney, M. D., Nov. 25, 1862, and died Nov. 8, 1864. Dr. Tenney, who was Assistant Superintendent of the Vt. Insane Asylum, died in Brattleboro, April 27, 1874. Two poems from her pen appear in "The Poets and Poetry of Vermont," one of which attracted very pleasant notice:
THE TWO CROWNS.
Over ocean's deep blue waters,
In a home of royal pride,
Is a darling little baby,
Known throughout the world so wide.
I suppose that he is winning,
Just as other babies are;
Laughing eyes and dimpled shoulders,
Brow as polished marble fair;
Robes of costliest lace and muslin,
Showing forth his baby charms—
Strings of purest diamonds flashing
From his rosy neck and arms.
Tended by a score of servants,
Feeding from a golden bowl—
Worshipped by a mighty nation—
Whence this homage of the whole?
Ah! adown the misty future
They can see that baby brow,
Seamed by many a care-worn furrow—
Not as fresh and fair as now;
Robbed of all the golden ringlets
That his beauty now enhance;
Wearing, as to hide its wrinkles,
The Imperial Crown of France.
'Neath our root-tree fondly nestles
Just the dearest little thing,
That within an earth-home ever
Folded up its tiny wing,
Eyes of blue, and golden tresses
Waving 'round a brow of light,
Looks she like a little cherub
In her flowing robes of white;
With no ornaments we deck her
But the charms that nature gives,
Save a pair of gold on arrows,
Looping up her little sleeves.
At her birth no bells were pealing,
Save the bells of silent joy;
At her feet bows no proud nation
As before the Emperor's boy.
But, I've often heard at twilight
Angel feet come tripping in
Bending o'er her midnight slumbers,
Often angel forms have seen;
And I almost hear them tell her
That a crown of glory bright
Waits to bind our baby's forehead
In the blessed world of light.
The interest in which is not diminished, but rather enhanced, now the fair, dear author sleeps in Green Mount Cemetery, and the pure young Prince has won the martyrdom of the brave by the barbaric Abyssinian spear. Touching sequel of human hope, if we look on one side of the leaf. If we turn the leaf, it may have a very beautiful golden lining.—ED.]
The Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church edifice is a substantial brick structure, of plain exterior, well located upon Main st. Its extreme length upon the outside is feet, with a corresponding width of 60 feet. The ground floor is occupied by a spacious vestibule, and from which a passage 24 feet in length and 10 feet in width, leads to the vestry, 62 x 58 feet, being the largest lecture room in town, while upon the right of the passage from the vestibule is a classroom, 24 feet square, and upon the left two ladies' parlors, each 24 x 12 feet, and connected by folding doors. From the vestibule on each side is a stairway, 5 ft. 5 in. wide, with 20 steps of 7 in. rise, leading to the second floor, on which is the insist audience room, 73 ft. long, 58 ft. wide, and 32 ft. high, and having excellent acoustic properties. The pews are 120 in number, giving 600 sittings, while the gallery over the vestibule will seat 100, making a total seating capacity of 700 in the permanent seats The organ loft, situated back of the pulpit, is 22 ft. wide by 17 ft. depth, and is furnished with a superior instrument, made by Geo. II. Ryder of Boston, and which was purchased by the ladies of the Society. On each side of the organ loft is a room 17 x 13 ft., and intended for the toilet of the preacher and the choir. The audience room is heated by two furnaces, and the vestry by a third, all located in the cellar, while the smaller rooms are provided with stoves for heating purposes.
The following is a complete list of pastors who have been identified with this church since its independent existence, commencing in 1828, and also the names of the presiding elders of Montpelier district, several of whom have resided in this town during their term of office:
1828, John G. Dow, John Lord, Presiding Elder; 1829, John G. Dow, pastor, Eleazer Wells, Presiding Elder; 1830 and '31, James Templeton; 1832, Ezra Sprague; 1833, John Currier, Josiah A. Scarritt, P. E.; '34 and '35, Elihu Scott; '36 and '37, Samuel Kelley, Charles D. Cahoon, P. E.; '38 and '39, Eleazer Smith, Elisha J. Scott, P. E.; '40 and '41, Charles R. Harding; '42, '43, '44, Elisha J. Scott; J. G. Dow, P. E.; '45 and '46, Amasa G. Button, John Currier, P. E. in '46; '47 and '48, Alonzo Webster; '49, S. P. Williams; '50 and '51, S. Chamberlain, A. T. Bullard, P. E.; '52 and '53, Benjamin Walker; '54, Edmund Copeland; '55 and '56, F. D. Hemenway, E. J. Scott, P. E.; '57 and '58, H. P. Cushing, W. J. Kidder, P. E. in '58; '59 and '60, W. D. Malcom; '61 and '62, Isaac McAnn, P. P. Ray, P. E. in '62; '63 and '64, A. L. Cooper; '65 and '66, M. Ludlum, A. L. Cooper, P. E. in '66; '67 and '68, B. Taylor. Mr. Taylor was released in Aug. '68, and Isaac McAnn completed the conference year. 1869, S. Holman; '70, H. W. Worthen, J. A. Sherburn, P. E. in '70; '71 and '72, J. W. C. Coxe. Mr. Coxe was released in
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the fall of '72, and James Morrow supplied the remainder of the conference year. 1873 and '74, H. A. Spencer, I. McAnn, P. E. in '74; '75 and '76, J. M. C. Fulton; '78 and '79, Charles Parkhurst, Church Tabor, P. E. in '78. Mr. Parkhurst was released in the fall of '79, and N. Fellows, of the N. E. Conference, supplied the remainder of the conference year, and was appointed as pastor in '80; '81, D. E. Miller.
The annual statistics of the society as reported to the conference of 1881 are as follows: Members, 234; probationers, 22; local preachers, 2; number in Sunday-school, 200; officers and teachers, 24; probable value of church edifice, $27,000; probable value of parsonage property, $2,000; indebtedness, none; paid for ministerial support, pastor, $1,000; presiding elder, $68; bishops, $12; conference claimants, $25; total, $1,105; current expenses. $275; benevolent collections, $182; total annual financial disbursement, $1,562.
THE VERMONT CHRISTIAN MESSENGER.
BY REV. J. R. BARTLETT.
No certain data is at hand to indicate the birthplace of the Messenger. One informant states that it was started in Newbury in 1846, by Rev. Wm. M. Willets. The first record of it is found in Walton's Vermont Register for 1848, stating that it was published in Montpelier in 1847. In 1853, it was removed to Northfield, and in 1859 again removed to Montpelier, where it has since been published.
During its history it has been published by Rev. Elisha J. Scott, Rev. Alonzo Webster, C. W. Willard (commencing in 1861); J. W. Wheelock (Willard & Wheelock from 1869 to 1874, and then by Mr. Wheelock and his estate to 1879), since which time the present proprietor, Mr. Herbert R. Wheelock, has continued the publication in the office of the "Green Mountain Freeman." Among its editors Rev. Elisha J. Scott, Rev. Alonzo Webster, and Rev. W. D. Malcom, have served the longest terms.
The following memorial sketch of Mr. Scott was published in the Vermont Conference Minutes of the session of 1866:
Rev. Elisha J, Scott was born in Greensboro, Vt., Aug. 11, 1803, and died in Montpelier, Jan. 24, 1866, in his 63d year. Bro. Scott was a son of pious parents, and a father's prayers and a mother's religious instructions were among his earliest and sweetest recollections. The principles of our holy Christianity took a strong hold of his young mind, and at the age of 12 years he gave his heart to the Saviour, and joined the Baptist Church, of which his parents were members. He continued in this Church some 7 years, when the Rev. Wilbur Fisk, of precious memory, was sent to preach in an adjoining town. While listening to his preaching, a change was wrought in his views of Christian doctrine, and ever after in sentiment and sympathy he was a Methodist. He had early convictions that he was sent into the world to be a minister of Jesus, and made preparation to enter upon his life work. He was received on trial in the M. E. Conference in 1828; was ordained Deacon by Bishop Hedding, at Barre, June 27, 1830, and Elder by Bishop Roberts, at Lyndon, Aug. 12, 1832. He filled with great acceptability and usefulness the following appointments, namely: Cabot, Craftsbury, Barton, Brookfield and Chelsea Circuits, Woodstock, Chelsea, Newbury and Barre Stations—all one year each; Montpelier District as Presiding Elder, 4 years; Montpelier Station, 3 years, the third year as Supernumerary. He was then placed on the superannuated list for 9 years, when he was again made effective, and traveled Montpelier District a second term of four years as Presiding Elder. During the last years of this term his health completely failed, and he again took a superannuated relation, which he held during the remainder of his life. During his retirement from the active work of the ministry, he performed much useful labor in supplying on the Sabbath appointments near the place of his residence, as Superintendent of common schools in his county, and as editor of the Messenger. He was for several years Secretary of the Conference, and a delegate to the General Conference, which met at Cincinnati, May, 1836.
[We have among our waifs the following hymn, we clipped from some Montpelier paper at the time—probably the Messenger, composed by him a few days before his death, to be sung at his funeral.—ED.]
THE DYING CHRISTIAN'S ADIEU TO EARTH.
Launched on Death's dark, rolling stream,
Earthly scenes recede from view;
Oh! how trifling all now seem,
As I bid them each adieu.
Pleasant scenes! they could not last—
Morning clouds, and earthly dew,
Soon exhaled—and quickly past,
Ere we thought to say adieu.
Once, to me did they impart
Happiness, short-lived, but true;
Now, as from them all I part,
Cheerfully I say adieu.
Richer joys my soul shall taste,
Joys that are forever new;
To these joys I gladly haste,
Bidding all below adieu.
Objects to my heart most dear,
Friends so loving and so true;
Even those, without a tear,
I can bid my brief adieu.
Short the time that will us part,
Then our union we'll renew,
When heart closely joined to heart,
Ne'er shall breathe the sad adieu.
Farewell! earth, no longer home,
Heaven opens to my view;
O'er hill and vale no more I roam,
Loved scenes! my fond adieu.
Hark! what music do 1 hear?
Sweet the strains—full and new—
How it floods my ravished ear!
World of death: my last adieu.
Rev. Alonzo Webster, D.D., was born in Weston, Jan. 27, 1818; joined the New Hampshire Conference in 1837, and by the division of the same, became a member of the Vermont Conference at its formation in 1844; remained in active service in this Conference 19 years as pastor, and 3 years of service as Presiding Elder, 9 years of which he occupied the editorial chair of the Messenger. In 1856, and again in 1860, he was elected a delegate to the General Conference, and in 1866 was transferred to the South Carolina Conference. In 1869, he received the appointment as Professor in the Baker Theological Institute, first established at Charleston, S. C., but afterward removed to Orangeburg, to become a part of Claflin University, of which Dr. Webster was made President in 1870. In 1874, he resigned this position to accept an appointment as Presiding Elder of Charleston District, and in 1876, and again in 1880, was elected to represent the South Carolina Conference in the General Conference. His present address is Orangeburg, S. C.
Rev. W. D. Malcom assumed the editorial chair in 1867, and continued to occupy the position until April, 1881. He was born in Albany, N. Y., July 3, 1827; in early life worked as a printer; studied at the Newbury Seminary, and joined the Vermont Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1848, since which he has continued in the itinerant work of a Methodist minister with the exception of one year, ('49,) when he located, rejoining in 1850. Of the 33 years of his ministerial life, nearly 8 years have been passed in the office of Presiding Elder, which position he now fills upon the St. Johnsbury District. In 1864, he was a delegate to the General Conference, and for five successive years filled the office of Secretary to the Vermont Annual Conference. He is widely known in Vermont as a genial Christian minister, an able preacher, and a loyal and industrious worker in his Master's vineyard.
The present, (Oct. 1881,) editorial force consists of Rev. J. R. Bartlett, Barre, editor; Rev. W. R. Davenport, Cambridgeport, assistant; Rev. J. O. Sherburn, Rochester, Sunday-school lessons. The Messenger is conducted as a denominational religious newspaper, in the interests of the Methodist Episcopal Church, its editors being pastors in this Church, and members of the Vermont Annual Conference. It is, however, a purely private enterprise, involving the Conference in no financial or moral responsibility, further than its jurisdiction to expect all persons who are members of the Conference to conform to sound doctrines of the Church in their public teachings, and to the rules of the Discipline in their manner of personal conduct. But as it seeks its support, in the main, from the membership of the Methodist Episcopal Church, it is reasonable to expect that it will be loyal and true to the interests of the same, and it is conducted on this basis; while at the same time it seeks to avoid mere sectarianism of the narrow school, and to cultivate a catholic spirit, which while free to express its denominational choice, is yet cordial and friendly to all other Christian churches.
VERMONT METHODIST SEMINARY AND FEMALE COLLEGE.
BY REV. J. A. SHERBURN.
In giving a history of this institution it is necessary to briefly notice those institutions of which this is the legitimate successor. For the first 40 years or so, of the existence of Methodism in this State, it had no schools under its special supervision; not because it did not value scholastic advantages, but because, for the time being, there were other interests to serve it valued more.
Nearly 50 years since, Poultney Academy, under the supervision of the Troy Conference, and Newbury Seminary, under the New Hampshire Conference, were opened for students in the fall of 1834.
N. H. Conference then embraced what now composes the N. H. Conference and that part of Vermont lying east of the Green Mountains, making Newbury comparatively central to the whole territory. The funds for the purchase of lands and the erection of buildings for Newbury Seminary were obtained by subscriptions and collections from the whole Conference. The buildings were good, [see description in History of Newbury, vol. II, pages 951 and 952 of this work,] located on a beautiful plateau overlooking the valley of the Connecticut, and affording a good view of mountain scenery in New Hampshire. The early purpose of the founders of this school was to make it, in part, a manual labor school for young men; for this purpose a farm was purchased, but after a few years' trial the plan was abandoned, and the farm sold.
In connection with Newbury Seminary, there was the Newbury Biblical Institute, having its board of trustees and its own professors. Out of this grew first, the Concord Biblical Institute, Concord, N. H., and finally, the School of Theology of the Boston University. There was, also, in connection with the school, the Female Collegiate Institute, having its separate board of trust, though its teachers were the Seminary teachers as well. Rev. Charles Adams, now D. D., of Washington, D. C., being first principal, and Miss French, now Mrs. Joel Cooper, a widow in Iowa, preceptress. Mr. Adams had worthy successors, Bishop O. C. Baker, D. D., C. T. Hinman, D. D., J. E. King, D. D., and others. Miss French had her successors, women not to be forgotten, none of whom are remembered with greater respect than the late Mrs. C. P. Taplin.
Newbury Seminary early in its history took high rank as a school, and maintained it well through its entire history. Well may "old Newbury" be proud of her alumni, and her alumni be proud of her, as well.
[We here reserve a notice of the Springfield Methodist school, not to forestall the right of a town in a later volume to give the history of its own institutions:]
Springfield Wesleyan Seminary for a time was quite a rival of Newbury, doing good work, but, being comparatively local, was not its equal.
In 1844, the N. H. Conference was divided, leaving that part of it which lay in Vermont, by itself, which was made a separate Conference, called the Vermont Conference.
In 1860, the Burlington and St. Albans District, embracing the greater part of Western Vermont, and belonging to the Troy Conference, were added to the Vt. Conference. which materially changed its geographical center.
Poultney Academy was at one time wholly suspended, and was afterward revived, and passed into private hands. N. H. Conference had built a Seminary for itself, Newbury Seminary needed funds to repair its old buildings or build new ones, and it was found hard to sustain Spingfield Seminary. Under these circumstances, Vt. Conference, under whose patronage Newbury and Springfield were, decided, and the trustees of both schools concurred, to seek a central location and combine the schools, Rev. W. J. Kidder being the prime mover.
The friends of Newbury struggled hard
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to retain the school there, while West Randolph, Northfield, Waterbury and Montpelier competed for it. Montpelier guaranteeing $20,000 to aid the enterprise, it was located there, upon the site occupied formerly by the U. S. Hospital, which with its buildings, was bought for $16,500. The situation is upon a beautiful plateau, 150 rods from the center of Montpelier village, on elevated, dry ground. The view extends from Orange Mountains on the east to Camel's Hump on the west, and from Berlin heights on the south to Worcester on the north. It would be difficult to find a more beautiful location in the State of Vermont for an institution of learning.
Revs. A. G. Button, R. Morgan, I. McAnn and A. Hitchcock were each for a time employed as agents in raising funds for the completion of the Seminary buildings, Noah Granger, agent for raising an endowment fund of $50,000, $30,000 of which is pledged, the income only of which can be used in aid of the school. The school was chartered in 1865, under the name of Vermont Conference Seminary and Female College; but was afterward changed to its present name, "Vermont Methodist Seminary and Female College." Hon. Paul Dillingham was president, A. G. Button, secretary, and Joseph Gould, treasurer of the first board of trust. Rev. A. G. Button and Paul McInstry supervised the remodeling of the buildings in 1868, and the school was opened the same fall.
The Newbury Seminary boarding-house furnishings and school apparatus were removed to this Institution, and the funds resulting from the sale of the Springfield Seminary property was also paid into this Institution.
In the fall of 1868, the school was opened, with a faculty most of whom had recently been teachers in Newbury Seminary, and many of their former pupils came with them. Rev. S. F. Chester having been the last Principal at Newbury, was the first Principal at Montpelier.
The Seminary building, having been erected under the superintendence of Revs. S. Holman and A. G. Button, was opened for use in the fall of 1872, which is thought to be one of the finest academic buildings in New England. The school property, grounds, buildings, etc., are valued at $82,000.
At present there are in the School seven courses of study, as follows:
1. Common English, . 1 year.
2. Business, 2 years.
3. Modern, 3 years.
4. Music. 3 years.
5. College Preparatory, 3 years.
6. Latin Scientific, 4 years.
7. Collegiate, 4 years.
While the scholarship is designed to be thorough, the moral and religious welfare of the students is a prominent feature of this school; and though founded and fostered by the Methodist Church, it gladly welcomes students of all communions, giving to them the privilege of such Church Sabbath service as their parents or guardians may designate.
It is with gratitude that we acknowledge the healthful religious influence which has been manifest since the transfer of the school to Montpelier, though it has hardly reached what was often seen in its palmiest days at Newbury. It has been at Montpelier only about 12 years, and its alumni are already taking rank as educators, ministers, lawyers and business men.
Principals at Montpelier.—Rev. S. F. Chester, A. M., Rev. C. W. Wilder, A. M., Rev. J. C. W. Coxe, A. M., Rev. L. White, A. M., and Rev. J. B. Southworth, the present Principal, who has commenced his sixth year.
Present Board of Trust.—Rev. J. A. Sherburn, president; Rev. A. L. Cooper, secretary; P. H. Hinkley, Esq., treasurer.
By the blessing of God, and the wise, united and persistent efforts of the friends of this school, it is hoped it may live in growing efficiency and usefulness as the years go by, being a blessing not only to the Church which built it and cares for it, but also to the wide, wide world.
CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH PAPERS.
[Compiled from material furnished chiefly by Hon. JOSEPH POLAND, but in which we shall purposely omit the statistics given by Mr. WALTON on page 239, preceding.—ED.]
The first Congregational organization in Montpelier was the Society—83 members —formed in April, 1800, antedating the organization of the Church 3 months and 8 days. It was called the "First Congregational Society of Montpelier." Its first declaration was:
Impressed with the importance of religious institutions to society in general, and to ourselves as men, and taking into consideration the unsettled state of such institutions in this part of the country, and the necessity of uniting in religious opinions and harmony: we do hereby agree and form ourselves into a religious society, by the name of the first Congregational Society in Montpelier, under the following regulations:
1. We pledge ourselves to each other that we will (laying aside all trifling differences) according to our abilities, maintain regular meetings in our Society, and contribute to the support of preaching, and when consistent, to maintaining a regular clergyman in the Society.
2. That no member of this Society shall be compelled to pay any sum or sums for the use of the Society, except such sum as he shall voluntarily subscribe.
3. When any member of the society shall remove to such distance as to render it inconvenient for him to attend our meetings, or shall in conscience think he ought to dissent, he may notify the Clerk thereof, whose duty it shall be to enter the same on record, and such person shall no longer he considered as a member of this Society.
4. We agree to meet at the usual place of holding meetings, in the Academy in Montpelier, on Wednesday, the 27th day of April, instant, at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, for the purpose of organizing said society with proper officers, and transacting any proper business when met.
Dated at Montpelier, this 12th day of April, 1800.
Elisha Town, George Worthington, Joseph Hutchins, Geo. B. R. Gove, Oliver Goss, Thomas Davis, Timothy Hubbard, John Bates, Charles Bulkley, Augustus Bradford, John Hurlbut, Alden Clark, Isaac Freeman, Amasa Brown, Jeduthan Loomis, Stuart Boynton, Willis I. Cadwell, Abel Wilson, Phineas Woodbury, Thomas Reed, Sylvester Day, Nathan Jewett, E. D. Persons, Samuel Prentiss, jun., Urial H. Orvis, Ellis Nye, Joseph Howes, Linus Ellis, William Hutchins, Jeremiah Wilbur, Roswell Beckwith, David Tuthill, M. B. Billings, Jonathan Shepherd, Erastus Watrous, Silas Burbank, Cyrus Ware, Roger Hubbard, Joseph Freeman, Edward Lamb, Nahum Kelton, Lamed Lamb, C. W. Houghton, Josiah Parks, Sylvanus Baldwin, Joseph Wiggins, Abner H. Powers, Abel Crooker, Ebenezer Morse, Enoch Cheney, Mason Johnson, Samuel Goss, David Edwards, Oliver Dewey, John Hunt, Ichabod Peck, Darius Boyden, Levi Pitkin, E. Lewis, Hers. Estabrooks, T. Gaylord, Jude Converse, Theop. Pickering, Archibald Kidd, Joseph Ray, Paul Knapp, Henry Howes, Samuel West, D. Edwards, jun., Jonathan Edwards, Aaron Bass, Charles Hamlin, William Hamlin, Timothy Hatch, Solomon Lewis, Elijah Tyler, John Howes, Joshua Y. Vail, J. H. Langdon, S. W. Cobb, Ebenezer Parker.
April 27th, this Society held its first meeting, and chose Samuel Goss to contract with a clergyman. June 24th, the Society voted to employ Rev. Chester Wright. (See sketch.)
The original members of the Church, organized July the 20th, were:
Amasa Brown, Sylvanus Baldwin, Andrew Dodge, Heraldus Estabrooks, Samuel Goss, Timothy Hatch, Joseph Howes, Solomon Lewis, Sibyl Brown, Bachsheba Burbank, Lydia Davis, Susannah Lewis, Lydia Hatch, Polly Barker, Patty Howes, Rebeckah Persons, Sarah Wiggins.
Relation of Church and Society.— The Society owns and has care of the house,
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by mutual understanding with the Church, provides for and pays the salary of the pastor, and all funds needful for public worship. When the pulpit is vacant, the Church may appoint a committee to act with a committee of the Society, if they choose, or leave it to the committee of the Society to secure a supply. In the settlement of a pastor, the Church take the first step in voting a call; after which the Society are asked to concur with the action of the Church, and a call is given by joint action. The annual meeting of the Society is on the last Monday of December.
At the first communion after, 12 persons more were added to the Church, and Aug. 16th, the day of Mr. Wright's ordination, 15 children were baptized. In the 3 years subsequent to 1812, 30 persons united with the Church; from 1816 to 1820, 142; in 1827, more than 70. In 1830, the last of Mr. Wright's pastorate, the Church was almost daily enlarging.
REV. CHESTER WRIGHT.
Prepared, by particular request, for this work, by his grandson, Rev. J. EDWARD WRIGHT.
Thompson, in his History of Montpelier, having drawn a dark picture of the low moral state into which the town had lapsed at the beginning of the present century, refers to the action of a large portion of the better class of the people who desired a reformation, which resulted in the engagement of a minister and the organization of a church, from which time a marked improvement was seen, and "the village of Montpelier, redeemed and regenerated through the blest instrumentalities of the affectionate and untiring labors of the devoted, self-sacrificing and high-souled Father Wright, at length took its stand among the most moral and orderly communities in the State." Perhaps the writer's enthusiastic admiration led him into exaggeration in ascribing so great a result to the efforts of one man; but, with all due allowance made, Mr. Wright must certainly be ranked among the very first and worthiest of Montpelier's moral benefactors. He was the first pastor of its Congregational Church, and here his ministry continued for more than twenty years. For a large part of that period he was the only pastor in the town. It was his first settlement. It was at a time when the preacher spoke with an official authority which he does not command to-day. And the town itself was then "in the gristle," as it were. Thus it was the very time for moral and religious suasions to tell. His faithful work did tell; and many have there been who would sympathize with the historian's enthusiasm for his subject, even if they could not fully endorse all his language. "Even to this day," said the Rev. W. H. Lord, D. D., in the pulpit which Mr. Wright once occupied, and eighteen years after his decease, "the living power of his ministry is seen and felt in all this community, and his memory is kept in the hearts of many, fresh and sacred—fragrant and perfumed with the savor of a deep, deathless devotion to the cause of his Master. The church, nay, the village of Montpelier, is indebted to him, under God, for many of those principles and sentiments, and generous, hospitable, social traits, and kind brotherly feelings, which have distinguished its society. Underneath all the frivolities and conventionalities of her modern life, there is a strong blessed undercurrent of human sympathies, and effective feelings of social interest and life, which have their source in the influence of his ministry."
The man from whose labors such grand results flowed, was born in Hanover, N. H., Nov. 6, 1776. He was the son of Nathaniel and Jemima (Bartlett) Wright, and the fourth of their eight children.
His father was a farmer, one of the first settlers of Hanover, an estimable man, and a deacon of the Congregational church. His mother, a woman of deep piety, died when he was 8 years old, and his father subsequently married Mary Page, by whom he had three children. In 1815, two years after her death, he was united to Mrs. Martha Conant May.
The subject of this sketch passed his youth on the farm, and intended to follow his father's occupation. He bought a farm in Berkshire, Vt., on attaining his majority, but before working long on it
was led to consider the claims of the Christian ministry, and to change his entire plan of life. He began the necessary course of classical study, finished it, and entered Middlebury College in 1802. He supported himself during his preparatory work and his college course partly by teaching, and graduated, having maintained a fair standing, in 1806, being then 30 years of age. For 2 years he was the preceptor of the Addison County Grammar School, and then he began the study of theology with the Rev. Asa Burton, D. D., of Thetford, Vt. Later, his studies were directed by the Rev. Timothy Dwight, D. D., of New Haven, Conn., and he was licensed to preach in 1808. In June of that year his services were engaged by the newly formed Congregational society in Montpelier, and after 12 months he was invited to settle as their pastor, at a salary of "$350 for the first year, $375 for the second, $400, together with the use of a convenient parsonage, annually, after the second year." His ordination took place Aug. 16, 1809; sermon by the Rev. Asa Burton, D. D., of Thetford; charge by the Rev. Stephen Fuller, of Vershire, and right hand of fellowship by the Rev. Calvin Noble, of Chelsea. His labor in this place having continued more than a score of years, he was dismissed Dec. 22, 1830—a step which seemed inevitable to the council which consented to it, in view of the withdrawal of support by members who were offended by Mr. Wright's course in regard to Free Masonry.
The early years of his ministry were very fruitful to the church and the community generally. "The church received additions at almost every communion till the time of my ordination," he says. The band of seventeen who were constituted a church, July 20, 1808, became seventy by the fall of 1810. "In two short years, the testimony is universal," says the Rev. Dr. Lord, "a great change passed over the society . . . . . In family after family, the worship of the true Jehovah was established, and morning and evening sacrifice was regularly offered in the name of Jesus. Men of unbelieving and skeptical sentiments became impressed and sobered. Young men of dissipated habits became industrious and devout. The streets no longer echoed with ribaldry and profaneness; social life and intercourse were greatly refined and improved; . . . and it seemed as if the placid and beneficent spirit of christianity had descended to hover over and to dwell in a place once so troubled and distracted."
In the 4 years, from 1816 to 1820. 142 persons were received into the church. Indeed, "at no time in the history of Mr. Wright's ministry, was there any remarkable moral sterility. The influences of divine grace and truth were steady and effective. The special times of religious interest were not followed by drought and reaction." And the records show that 428 persons were welcomed to the fellowship of the organization during Mr. Wright's pastorate.
His labors were not limited to his own flock, nor confined within the boundaries of his own parish. His missionary activity was very great, and wherever opportunity offered, he held religious meetings to the limit of his strength, whether in churches, dwellings, school-houses, or barns. He was a leader in the councils of his denomination in the State, and was often sent as a delegate to ecclesiastical gatherings beyond its borders.
Theologically, he was conservative. "New lights" in religious doctrine were to him false lights. But he was in advance of most of his associates in reformatory work. Very early did he enlist against intemperance, endeavoring to stem the evil tide. The cause of the slave readily won his sympathy and his advocacy. The education of the young commanded much of his thought; the great Anti-Masonic controversy aroused his interest. And in all these matters he "conferred not with flesh and blood" as to the course to pursue. He closed his ears against the suggestion of prudential considerations. He only asked, "What is right? What is the path of duty?" and, when conscience gave answer, heeded her voice alone. He may have erred; if so, his was not the error of
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a cool time-server and trimmer, a shrewd calculator for self; it was the error of one whose whole being thrilled with devotion to God and man, of one whose excess was ever on the side of conscientiousness and philanthropy.
As Mr. Wright had, during his pastorate in Montpelier, eked out his small salary by occasionally acting as a tutor, so, after his dismissal, he had for some time charge of the instruction of a class of boys at his house, preaching meanwhile, as opportunity offered, in churches readily accessible from this village. He was regularly engaged for quite a while to fill the pulpit in East Montpelier.
In 1836, he was settled in Hardwick, in this State, remaining there till early in 1840, when failing health led him to return to Montpelier, where he died of consumption, Apr. 16, at his former residence, then occupied by his daughter, Mrs. J. W. Howes. His body was placed in the graveyard on Elm street, but on the opening of Green Mount Cemetery, it was removed thither.
His widow, nee Charlotte Clapp Whitney, of Royalton, survived him 19 years. They were married in April, 1811, and had 6 children, four of whom lived to maturity, and were married— Jonathan Edwards, married Fanny Wyman Houghton, of Montpelier; Charlotte Whitney, married James H. Howe, of Troy, N. Y.; Julia, married Joseph W. Howes, of Montpelier; and Eliza Maria, married Ferrand F. Merrill, of Montpelier. Of these four children, only Mrs. Howes survives at the present date. Descendants of all the others are living, however.
Although Mr. Wright's literary training began late, he was a man of no mean attainments as a scholar, and held high rank among his contemporaries. He was recognized as possessing a sound judgment, and his counsel and advice were often sought.
He was from 1819 till his decease a member of the corporation of Middlebury College. While engaged in teaching, he published an arithmetic entitled, "The Federal Compendium;" and at various times quite a number of his sermons were printed; not only obituary discourses, but also others—as an "Election Sermon" in 1810, a sermon before the Middlebury College Charitable Society in 1814, and in the latter part of his life, two sermons, which he entitled, "The Devil in the Nineteenth Century," and which were called forth by certain extravagances committed, under the name of religion, in Hardwick. [The "New Lights," see account of in vol 1, page 329, of this work.—ED.]
In person, Mr Wright was under the average height, of slight figure, with keen brown eyes. Though described as "apparently deficient in physical powers," he was quick in all his movements, vigorous and energetic in action, and intrepid in the face of danger. Pre-eminent as a pastor, he was persuasive and successful as a preacher, a leader among philanthropists, stainless in private life, and ever alive to the material, as well as the spiritual, interests of the people whose servant he made himself "for Jesus' sake."
J. E. W.
After the close of Mr. Wright's ministry there was an interval of 9 months before the church was supplied with another pastor, and when Mr. Hopkins' 3½ succeeding years' pastorate closed, Rev. Mr. Burchard, the noted revivalist, took the vacant pulpit for a 40 days' protracted meeting, of which, says the Rev. Dr. Lord. in his fiftieth anniversary sermon, "Good was accomplished at a tremendous cost . . . . . Of course, after such an exciting preacher, the church found it difficult to settle down to the regular ministrations of the word, or to find a pastor who would unite their suffrages. For a year thereafter, the society was afflicted with 17 candidates, a sufficient number to have furnished a half dozen superior ministers."
At length a call was given to Rev. Buel W. Smith. who accepted it, and labored here 4 years, as long as his health would permit.
Mr. Gridley was pastor for the next 5 years, during which the only important
event was the dismissal of several members to the Episcopal church, of which says Mr. Lord:
Including one, for a long time a faithful and efficient co-laborer with us, a superintendent of the Sunday-school, and the not infrequent lay reader of sermons to this congregagation; a gentleman of education and piety, who became the first rector of that church in this village. It is not inappropriate to say that while we greet the success and prosperity of that society, and rejoice in its present healthful activity and enlargement, and recognize it, in its methods and ways, as an efficient agent of Christ's Kingdom, we take peculiar satisfaction and pleasure in the remembrance that many of the principles and persons, which have given to it such animation and efficiency, were begotten and nurtured under the shadow of these walls. And it is almost with a maternal sentiment that we contemplate its origin, while with fraternal salutation we bid it to-day God speed in the work in which we are united, of raising this whole community to the level of the Gospel. Mr. Lord succeeded to Rev. Mr. Gridley in the pastorate, of which he says:
I have already, on a former occasion, adverted to the records of my own ministry among you; yet still, the occasion would seem to require some notice of its events. I came here in a time of division and controversy. With the dreams of youth and inexperience, I entered upon the hard toil of the ministry, in a disunited church, divided not in principle, not in vital sentiment, but in local policy and about persons. The records of the church from that day to this are not mere statistics and notes and catalogues to me, but a life, a labor, a struggle, full of fears and apprehensions, and encouragements, and joys and hopes. I will only say that God has blessed an unworthy and feeble ministry, and thank Him for the vast mercies that have followed the course of our relationship, The short period of 11 years has been filled with changes. I preach in the same house, but not to the same audience that listened to my first sermon. There have been 80 removals and 63 deaths in the society; in the church, 70 dismissions and 43 deaths since I began my work with you, a considerable increase in the society and 80 baptisms.
The admissions during Mr. Wright's pastorate, 428; during that of Mr. Hopkins, 48; that of Rev. Buel W. Smith, 137; that of Mr. Gridley, 21; and of Rev. Mr. Lord, 139, to 1876, when the Manual of Bethany Church was published, which included his pastorate, less the last year; making to that date, 1,126 received to membership.
Deacons.— The deacons given in this Manual who have served the church to 1876 are—Sylvanus Baldwin, George Worthington, Salvin Collins, Alfred Pitkin, E. P. Walton, William Howes, Jeduthan Loomis, John Wood, Norman Rublee, Constant W. Storrs, F. F. Merrill, E. P. Walton, Jr., N. P. Brooks, John A. Page, and Joseph Poland.
Church Clerks.— Samuel Goss, 1808; Rev. Chester Wright, 1809 to '30; James Spalding, 1831; Jeduthan Loomis, 1832; Rev. Samuel Hopkins, 1832 to '35; Jeduthan Loomis, 1835; Rev. Buel W. Smith, 1837, '38; Lyman Briggs, 1840, '41; Rev. John Gridley, 1842 to '46; Gustavus H. Loomis, 1846, '47; Rev. W. H. Lord, D. D., 1848 to '75; Mahlon C. Kinson, 1876 to '79; Rev. C. S. Smith, 1880.
This church is Congregational in polity and affiliation, and heartily receives the doctrine and order of Christianity as they are stated, for substance, in the declaration of faith and order made by the Boston Council of the Congregational Churches of the United States in 1865, and adopted by the General Convention of Ministers and Churches of Vermont in 1874.
Resuming our extracts from Mr. Lord's sermon:
This church can now give her invitations with more earnestness and force than ever before. She has a history of 50 years; she has tested the virtue of her everlasting foundations; she has a roll of 924 members, of whom 364 are to-day in her earthly communion, and nearly 300 gone home to that happy harbor,
"Whose gardens and whose goodly walks
Continually are green."
The celestial spirit of peace has never long been absent from this society; joy and peace have been the rule. I seem to hear the voice of her many choirs, all blending this day in grand unison to the glory of God. I seem to catch some strains of the strange melody of all her singers and instruments of music. I listen to the solemn dirge for her dead, the sober grief of her funeral orations, the sobs of her mourners, the songs of her redeemed. Again, in long circles of young men and
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maidens, of strong men and furrowed age, her thousand witnesses for Christ seem to collect, and stand before her altar and repeat her solemn consecration, and sit around the hallowed emblems of her Savior's death. Again, I hear their concluding triumphant acclaim, the sublime doxology to the Triune Jehovah, not one voice wanting in that imagined song. Again, I seem to hear the words of prayer and invitation, and the voices long or lately hushed in death, that used to break the stillness of her conference.
And as the imagination goes into the past, to awake into life its history, and to kindle its scenes, so does it project itself onward, fifty, an hundred years. Then another voice than mine shall address another audience than this, on the centennial birthday of the church. Two or three that joined it at the last communion may hear the discourse. The rest shall have fallen asleep. Another organ shall respond to the fingers of another player; another choir shall chant the same sublime psalm and hymns; these places left of us shall be filled with many more. Eternity will be our residence. May its centennial cycle find us all, if removed from earth, in that City which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.
REV. WILLIAM HAYES LORD, D. D.
BY PRES. BUCKHAM, OF THE VT. UNIVERSITY
From an Address read before the Vt. Historical Society, Oct. 14, 1878.
William H. Lord was the son of Rev. Nathan Lord, President of Dartmouth from 1828, 35 years. William Lord was thus brought at four years old into the midst of a college circle, and brought up under the strong influences of that remarkable man from whom he inherited some of his most characteristic and pronounced opinions. He entered his collegiate course in his sixteenth year, ranked well in all his studies, excelling in language and literature, was a Phi Beta Kappa, delivered the Greek poem at Commencement; graduated (1846) at Andover; but was not a subtle logician. He could state an opinion with clearness and force, and present it with luminous illustration and persuasive appeal, better than he could maintain it in the lists against all corners. Shortly after finishing his studies, he began to preach in Montpelier. He was emphatically a preacher; his diction choice and elegant. He abhorred "stump sermons" and "stump prayers." One of the incidental benefits of attending his ministry was an education in good English. His delivery was pleasing, dignified, with little gesture. That was true in his case, affirmed of almost all orators, the spoken word often produced an effect which the mere reader cannot account for. His preaching was no iteration of commonplace ideas. Christ, as he conceived and preached him, was not the mere leader of a system of truth which could be stated in propositions and soon exhausted, but the source and channel of a new life which flows in upon our old, sin-wasted humanity, reviving, stimulating, glorifying every part of it. The distinguishing merit of his preaching was a rare and happy combination of the intensely evangelical with the broadly human spirit. Those who think only through their feelings, were melted by its tenderness. He received pressing calls from larger places. After refusing one, he said to his congregation, "I love to dwell among my own people; but for this sentiment, perhaps principle, I might have gone a half score of times. . . . I do not easily change my place or opinions. I will not say that I have not been tempted, or that I should not have found satisfaction in other places that might have been mine; but I have preferred to dwell among my own people."
It would not be correct to infer an uninterrupted smoothness. There were occasions of difference, elements of discord, irritation on the part of some of his people, disgust upon his part, such as would have sundered any pastoral relation less firmly cemented. His opinions — the strongly conservative opinions of his father on slavery and the relation of the church to social reform—were distasteful to a portion of his congregation. He did not mix them up in preaching the Gospel, but what he believed, he believed firmly, and he was not a man to trim his creed to the passing gale. Some of these questions are now, thank God, obsolete, and it belongs only to his biographer to insist upon the hold he must have had upon the affections of his people, that amid all the
trials and excitements of the times, no one, or but few at most, ever thought of parting with their admired or beloved pastor, or would have changed him for the most trenchant reformer in the nation.
Dr. Lord's pulpit was in Montpelier, but through the members of the Legislature and others whose duties brought them to the Capital, he reached a large number of the leading men of the State. He was at the time of his death the best known of any minister in the State, and the most widely known out of the State. His presence at councils, his services on public occasions, were highly appreciated. In 1867, his Alma Mater conferred on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He did much editorial work during his last years for the Vermont Chronicle; his articles in the Princeton Review, elaborated with more care probably than anything else from his pen, it would be difficult to match for brilliancy of literary execution in any American magazine.
But how shall I speak of him as a friend? One of the most remarkable things about him was his capacity for friendship. His friends were from all classes of society; from all religious denominations; from all vocations; but all were the select men of their class. One who for many years enjoyed the closest intimacy with him, and whom, among all his friends, I think Mr. Lord would himself have chosen to speak of him on this point, Rev. Frederick W. Shelton, Episcopal clergyman, writes of him:
He was the animæ dimidium meæ—he was the half of my soul. Open-hearted, open-handed, liberal as the day, nothing sordid or narrow-minded entered into the texture of his soul. To know a man as I knew him, is in most cases to dissolve the charm of companionship, yet, I can say of him, he was one of whom I never wearied, whose conversation was always fresh, fruitful, suggestive. He grew in my estimation, and perpetually became a stronger man. An intercourse of 12 years was broken never by the slightest coldness or doubtful act on his part, and I do declare that I could never find in him or with him any fault at all.
If these seem almost romantic expressions of attachment between man and man, I venture they would be endorsed by Eastman, if alive, Gregory Smith, Stewart, Phelps, and a long list of men in whom he inspired a love for himself like that of Jonathan for David.
But in 1868, his system begun to show signs of breaking down. He took a trip to Europe, and partly recovered. He intensely enjoyed it, but far from his family, Bethany church, the hope of a life-time, taking shape in stone and mortar, he could not wait full recovery; took a run through Europe, and hastened home; preached with wonted vigor; saw Bethany church completed—fit memorial, though he knew it not, of his own service for Him in whose honor it was built. He continued for 8 years more to preach to his people; never, they say, with such solemnity and power as these last years, while to the eyes of his friends, visibly breaking down; not so much ageing—his mental powers showed no signs of decay—as giving way to some hidden destroyer. A terrible calamity, resulting in the death of a little daughter, [see accidental deaths, page 332,] was more than his constitution, undermined, could bear. He died, in his 54th year, the 30th of his pastorate, Mar. 18, 1877.
[For a list of Mr. Lord's publications, see Bibliography of Montpelier, on page 316, and a notice of him as a benefactor and President of the Vermont Historical Society.]
Rev. Mr. Lord married, at Andover, Mass., June 1, 1848, Harriet Adams Aiken, daughter of John Aiken, Esq. Mrs. Lord was born in Manchester, Vt. They had 6 children, all born in Montpelier. The family of Dr. Lord, now living, are—Mrs. Lord, tarrying with her aged and infirm mother in Andover, Mass.; William A., a lawyer in Montpelier; Mary E., wife of William R. Burleigh, Esq., resides at Great Falls, N. H.; Sarah A., wife of Rev. M. D. Kneeland, resides at Waterloo, N. Y.; Jane A., wife of George W. Sargent, M. D., resides at Skaneateles, N. Y.; Charles H., student at Great Falls, N. H.
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SABBATH SCHOOL RECORD.
FROM MR. JOSEPH W. HOWES.
Letter of Mr. Howes to Mr. Poland.
MONTREAL, Jan. 7, 1862.
Dear Sir:—In complying with your request for statistics of your Sabbath-school, I have been quite at loss to know what you most desired. Were I to give you the many interesting facts and incidents connected with a superintendency of some 12 years, as a teacher of 5 years, and my childhood and early youth as a scholar, it would require more time than you could devote to read or listen to. Nor could these facts be of deep interest to the majority of the present school. I have, rather, selected some facts connected with its earliest history, which are quite meagre, and some general items to a later date, from which you can select such as you deem desirable. It may not be uninteresting to your church to know to whom they are indebted for such labors of love as performed by the teachers of the Brick Church Sunday-school, many of whom are now reaping the reward of those labors in that land where their works do follow them.
From an Address to the Brick Church
Sunday School, Jan. 1, 1843.
The first effort made in this place for the religions instruction of the youth and children, was by the first pastor, probably in the summer of 1808. The first meetings were held in the hall of the first Academy, built on Main street, on Saturday afternoons. The lessons was the Assembly's Catechism. Questions were proposed by the pastor, who was the only teacher, and the answers repeated by the scholars, and full explanations of the answers. It is said such proficiency was made by many, they were able to repeat all the answers and comprehend their meaning. The few who at first gave attendance, soon had the pleasure of seeing with them most of the youth connected with families of the church. How long this plan was pursued, is not certain. Nothing more definite is known until 1813, when the pastor was accustomed to meet persons of all ages Sunday, at 5 o'clock, P. M., in Jefferson Hall, one of the large rooms in the first State House, used for holding the county and other courts and for religious meetings. The Bible was the subject of study, subjects proposed and answered from Scripture.
In 1816, three Sabbath-schools were organized in the village, conducted by teachers under a supervisory committee. One was held in the school-house, near where the Methodist chapel now stands, conducted by Deacon Worthington, Dr. J. Crosby and Joseph Howes; another in the Academy, conducted by Messrs. Walton, Goss and others; a third, in the dancing-hall of the hotel, kept by Mrs. Hutchins, and afterwards by Jona. Shephard, conducted by Deacon Baldwin, J. Barnard, and, I think, H. Y. Barnes. These schools, held in the morning of the Sabbath, at their close would march with their teachers to the State House, to attend the meeting there. They were discontinued in the winter.
In 1817, there was an increased interest in the Sabbath-school, a revival having called many into the church and schools who were of efficient aid. Each scholar, for every ten verses recited without mistake, received a small blue ticket, with printed verse of Scripture, value one mill; ten of the blue were exchanged for a red one, value one cent. Some learned so many verses, there was not time to hear them all. At close of the summer term this year there was a public examination of all the schools in the old State House, conducted by the pastor, when each class recited some passage of Scripture or a hymn, and the red tickets were all paid for in books.
In the summer of 1819, schools and places were the same, except the third, which was removed to the building once standing opposite the Brick Church, conducted by H. Y. Barnes, Daniel Baldwin and J. Barnard. In this school one or two scholars committed from three to six hundred verses every week. The teachers were surprised how this was done, as they had to labor through the week. "They carried their Bibles into the field with them, and learned while they worked." A school was held a short time in the school-house near the late Samuel Abbott's, Supt. not remembered.
While the schools were well sustained in the village, a number of young men organized schools in the adjacent districts; one in the school-house near Mr. Warren's, in Middlesex; another, in the then Brooks district; one in the (old) center of the town.
In 1820, a church was completed, and here the different schools met, under the supervision of a committee.
In 1821 or '2, through the influence of a Mr. Osgood, of Montreal, whose life was devoted to doing good, the first library was obtained, and a Sunday-school society formed, Rev. C. Wright, president; Joseph Howes, librarian; with a board of managers, and the school was held after the afternoon service, and from this time the school was continued through the winter. The first library, after being well read, was presented to the Sabbath-school in Worcester, and a new one purchased.
Of the next 5 years little can be said. It was a season of great declension in religion. Nov. 1826, Rev. J. C. Southmayd was chosen superintendent, and Jos. Howes, librarian. Mr. Southmayd was the first superintendent of the school, and this the first record of anything concerning this school to be found upon the records of this church.
About this time a precious revival of religion commenced in this place, and continued through the autumn and winter, which gave a new impulse to the school, and many who had before left at the ages of 12 and 14, with the impression they were too old to attend, returned, desiring to learn the way of God more perfectly. Nor were there wanting those ready to engage earnestly in the good work of teaching. Eternity alone can reveal the blessed results of that revival upon this school, this church and this community.
In 1827, there were 25 teachers; 24 in 1828. There was a Bible class for adults, held a short time by the pastor and superintendent on Sabbath evenings, embracing a large number of the congregation; subject, the Epistle of Paul to the Romans.
The earliest record of teachers and scholars I have seen is dated 1831, and were: William Howes, C. W. Storrs, Edward Taplin, Abial P. Atherton, E. P. Walton, Norman Rublee, Samuel Goss, J. W. Howes, J. S. Walton, C. L. Knapp, John Wood, N. D. Dewey, Misses Southmayd, M. A. Washburn, Samantha Washburn, Harriet H. Washburn, R. Emily Washburn, Emily Bradshaw, Sophia Watrous, — Scoville, A. Howes, Frances Hand, Rebecca Hunt, Harriet Walton, Eliza Kimball.
April, 1832, Gen. E. P. Walton, superintendent; the school roll, 170; teachers, 24. An infant class was formed, Miss Eliza Kimball, (Mrs. Field,) teacher, which met at the same hour of the school in the vestry.
The first regular teachers' meetings commenced this year, through the instrumentality of an excellent young man attending our Academy, from Royalton, N. Wright Dewey, who many years since went to his reward.
This year, or about this time, the monthly concert, which has since been so regularly observed, was established. From this time to 1836, no record of the school is to be found; but it is the impression it was well sustained. 1836, Gen. Walton was superintendent; Samuel Goss and J. W. Howes, assistants. Owing to the ill health of Mr. Walton and the resignation of Mr. Goss, the duty devolved upon Mr. Howes.
1837, the teachers were: A. S. Pitkin, Charles Spalding, Geo. P. Walton, Francis Stebbins, E. P. Walton, Jr., J. W. Howes, Mrs. B. W. Smith, Mrs. Oakes, Misses Harriet Wilder, —— Atherton, Lucy Nye, Frances Perrin, Eunice Vail, Augusta Merrill, Eliza Spalding. Mr. Pitkin and Geo. P. Walton, not living. There was an average attendance of 100 scholars, and efforts were made to increase the number. Every family was visited, parents became interested, and 2 or 3 Bible classes formed, one of them being taught by the pastor, Rev. B. W. Smith, who ever took a lively interest in the school. The reports of those who visited at this time were
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very interesting. Many of the scholars were enjoying the Way of Life.
1838, G. B. Mansur was appointed assistant superintendent, which office he held while connected with this church, as well as teacher. It was ascertained during the 11 previous years, 75 members of the school had united with the church, four of them young men, preparing for the ministry. The school resolved to educate a young lad in Ceylon, for which to pay $20 per annum for 5 years, which was done. 22 united with the church this year by profession, to being members of the school.
1839, the total number of scholars was 205; average, 120; conversions, 9; teachers, 25. 1840, total number of scholars, 175; average, 114; teachers, 23; no conversions. 1841, teachers, G. H. Loomis, Jos. Prentiss, G. W. Scott, B. F. Goss, B. B. Dimmock, G. B. Mansur, Misses Harriet Hunt, Mary Vail, Fanny Waterman, Mary Smith, Harriet Doty, Mrs. Elias Hall, Misses Charity Loomis, Emeline Lewis, Nancy Perry, A. Phinney, Eliza M. Wright, Fanny Lewis, Sophia Williams, —— Redfield, Eliza Harvey; scholars, 204; average attendance, 118; 6 conversions. 1842, total number of scholars, 219; average, 129; conversions, 7. 1843 to '48, most of the time attendance good. Numbers of our most promising youth deceased, most having pleasing evidence they had entered into that rest that remaineth. 1843, teachers, Francis C. Keith, Jos. Pitkin, Mrs. Isaac Worcester, Misses R. Burton, M. Camp, Mr. J. H. Morse; 1844, Misses Rebecca Loomis, Eliza B. Rublee, Mr. Ralph Kilbourn, C. W. Badger, John Barker, Misses Harriet Bowen, Clarissa Clark, Mr. Wm. Storrs. Messrs. Morse, Kilbourne, Barker, and Miss Clark, have died.
1848, Mr. Merrill was appointed superintendent, which office he held until 1851. [I am not quite sure of this; it is possible that Dea. Storrs officiated a part of this time.]
1851, resuming the superintendency, I found the school in a prosperous condidition—230 scholars, the largest number ever known, with 31 teachers. The spirit that searcheth hearts was in our midst. Numbers listened, attracted to follow the heavenly voice. My connection with the school ceased in May of this fruitful year.
Sunday-School Superintendents.—Mr. J. W. Howes was succeeded by Mr. F. F. Merrill, whose last year was 1858; Joseph Poland served in 1859, '60, '61; Chas. W. Willard, 1862; H. D. Hopkins, 1863, 1871, inclusive; D. G. Kemp, 1872, '73, '74; A. G. Stone, 1875, '76; Hiram Carlton, 1877 to the present time.
THE DEDICATION OF BETHANY CHURCH,
OCT. 15, 1868.
Exercises:—Organ Voluntary; Invocation, Rev. W. S. Hazen; Scripture, Rev. E. I. Carpenter; Anthem; Prayer, Rev. J. Copeland.
BY REV. JOHN KING LORD, Brother of the Pastor.
When GOD the primal light unsealed,
And bound in spheres its golden bars,
Through all the glowing vault there pealed
The chorus of the morning stars.
When CHRIST was born, those notes again
Rang through the sapphire-sprinkled space;
Judea's hill-sides caught the strain,
And earth gave to Heaven the praise.
And when the promised age of gold
Sees fairer lands and brighter skids
Spring from the ruins of the old,
Still louder shall the anthem rise.
Meanwhile, along these walls where now
Our first glad sacrifice we bring,
That song shall echo till we bow
To sing with angels near the KING.
BY REV. W. H. LORD, D. D., Pastor.
"I will not give sleep to mine eyes, nor slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob."—Psalm 132:4, 5.
This is Solomon's record of the vow of his father David. It was the natural expression of that tender piety, of that devotion to the name and honor of God, which illumines the whole character of the son of Jesse, and which raises him, in spite of his stupendous sins and deep falls, to a sublime height of moral excellence. All other things made way in his mind to the glorious purpose of finding a habitation for God. He was a king, and perils environed his throne. He was a states‑
man, and his people needed the help of a generous government. He was a poet, and the sacred inspiration of his harp thrilled the heart of his nation, as it has of all nations since. He was a warrior, and a councillor, and oft must have longed to lay aside the armor of battle and woo the refreshment of rest. But all other duties, and all other desires, were dwarfed in his fervid soul by one imperious obligation. What were politics, statesmanship, war, letters, nay, his own flesh and blood to him, while God had no worthy habitation in Israel? What was it to him that he could point to a royal palace, and rooms of state, and golden furniture, and Tyrian hangings, while Jehovah had no palace yet built for Him, where He could hold His court and receive the homage of His subjects. While Israel dwelt in tents, they had another for their tabernacle. But when they had an imperial city, and dwelt in ceiled houses, marble and gold were not too rich or beautitul for their shrine. Nothing else was safe unless God's house was built. The temple was the citadel of the nation. David's sword would be sharper, his scepter mightier, his lyre sweeter, if all were reckoned of less import than the task of finding a temple for the Lord. The vow of the king of Israel is of much larger range than its original historical application. We cannot confine our thought to the narrow range of long past Jewish history, when the passage before us has been brightened by the light which falls upon it from Bethlehem and Calvary. This expression says in effect, that within the soul itself, God's presence, honor and truth must first be secured. To find a place for the Lord within the heart, is at once our high privilege and obligation. To enthrone God at the summit of thought; to enshrine Him in the sanctuary of love; to lay open to Him the hidden springs of the will; to detain Him within the chamber of the soul; this is to build for Him a palace more beautiful, more glorious, than any made with stone or decorated with gold; and this is to win from Him a presence of light and power more resplendent than the shekinah of the temple of Jerusalem. The christian soul is the true temple of the Godhead, when it is cleansed by the blood of Christ; when it is filled with the graces of the spirit; when it is enriched with the tracery and ornaments of the divine word. When it is thronged with holy and adoring thoughts, as His servants and courtiers casting their tributes at his feet, then it is brightened with a light and beauty so shining, that God may indeed be said to be glorified in man, and to have found in him His true habitation and rest.
But another application of these words will, I doubt not, have been anticipated by those who are gathered within these walls on this day of high and thankful joy. May we not say that this noble pile itself is the product of a resolution such as was that of the king of Israel. By the permission and love of the Infinite God, we are to-day realizing long cherished hopes —long dreamt dreams. To-day is completed the prayer of years. Difficulties have been surmounted, and results achieved, for which we are indebted to the goodness of God. We behold the end and reward of much sacrifice, of large and genial hearts, of wise and unconquerable wills, of cultivated and solid intelligence. All that could be won by our zeal, and intelligence and devotion has been secured. Our eyes behold that which is in very deed a worthy place for the temple of the Lord—an habitation for the Mighty God of Jacob. David had to bequeath his unrealized intention to his son and successor but the most of us who began to build, have been spared to witness the fulfilment of our hope, and the justification of our wisdom and foresight. And if one who is not a stranger to the impulses and motives which have swayed the minds of those who have labored for this result, may be permitted to interpret the sagacious and generous intelligence which has given this noble structure to our State and our church, I would unhesitatingly say, that to promote our dear Redeemer's glory has been its first, its master motive. To raise a monument, (however unworthy our best must be of Him,) to His glory who died
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for us; to offer at His feet a measure of that wealth which he has placed at our disposal; to thank Him thus visibly, thus palpably, for His grace to us; to make a good foundation for a better work for Him—this was, this is, the object of all. Even if nought else came of this gratitude; even if such thankfulness were refracted upon ourselves in no new blessings, this grateful adoration, this love of the Son of God, is the motive which has found so beautiful, so splendid, an expression in a building, which, from to-day and henceforth, is dedicated to the glory and service of Jesus Christ. If aught else of pride or ostentation mingles with this, may He who deserves all we have, forgive and cleanse the foul unrighteousness.
It is true that since Christ was crucified, the Father seeketh such to worship Him as worship in spirit and truth. Mount Moriah and Mount Gerizim are not essential to worship. He who dwelleth in a temple made without hands, needs not a temple made with hands. The whole earth has now become a house of prayer and the gate of Heaven, for the Son of God hath dwelt in it and consecrated it by His presence. And yet a house of worship does not invade the spirituality of worship. It may rather enhance and intensify it. No more is the closet a place for one Christian, than the church is the place for many Christians. And Christ fills both with His presence, and loves both the dwelling of a beautiful and holy soul, and the habitation of a beautiful and sacred house. He who hath made all things beautiful, loves beautiful things and beautiful places.
Repulsiveness of form is not necessarily united with spirituality of life and purity of faith, and the autonomy of the local church under Christ does not imply that it ought to dwell in a barn. And when the beauty of the temple expresses both the abundance of christian wealth, and the fervor of christian love; when it is the exponent of ability and affection, then I see no reason why God should not love it as He did the tabernacle of old—more than all the dwellings of His people. I see no reason why He should not love to come into it and make the place of His feet glorious.
I have thought it not inappropriate to this occasion, to ask your attention to the uses of the material temple; the moral and spiritual purpose of such a house as that in which we are assembled to-day; and why we should build it, and why we should love it!
1. To begin with its lowest uses, it will be in the first place an intellectual landmark, cultivating the best thought and the best taste.
As it towers in conspicuous beauty high above the surrounding buildings, it is a natural expression in solid stone of an intellectual truth. May we not say that it illustrates, on a small scale, Bishop Butler's argument upon the necessity for a visible church? It is a silent, but most eloquent, preacher of the first and highest of all truths. It embodies and visibly perpetuates the institutions of Christianity. A visible church is a standing memorial of the duty we owe to our Creator, and by the form of religion ever before our eyes, serves to remind us of the reality. And the more impressive and beautiful the form, the more easily will the transition be to the true character and glory of the object of worship. Throughout the civilized world, each of the temples of christendom bears a voiceless but effective testimony for Christ. No thoughtful man ever looks at it from without, even if he never enters it as a worshipper, but he asks himself "What does this building represent? Why is it here? Is it the monument of an extinct sentiment, or of a living conviction? Is it the ornamented sepulcher of religious faith, or the powerful instrument of a springing and advancing life?" Thus the material building suggests a line of thought, backward and forward. It is a history, or a prophecy. Its dim aisles, and vaulted corridors and arched ceilings, its columns hewn into transparent strength, and its roof painted with the colors of the iris, have a message to men which they can but hear. It is a message of warning, or a message of hope.
There is a city of the old world whose
palaces and squares are now falling into the sea, out of which she rose. Never did earthly city have a more beautiful shrine. It was at once a type of the redeemed church of God, and an illuminated scroll of His written word. Neither gold nor crystal was spared in its building, and it was adorned with all manner of precious stones. The skill and the treasures of the East gilded every letter and illumined every page, till "the temple shone from afar like the star of the Magi." And as I walked along the alleys of that strange city, or floated upon its liquid streets, and remembered how she had thrown off all shame and restraint, and had become filled with the madness of the whole earth, the falling frescoes of gold, and the sinking columns of marble of her great cathedral, seemed to utter in the dead ear of Venice, "Know thou that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." Her sin was done in the face of the House of God, burning with the letters of His law. And the building, now shored up from its watery grave by huge timbers, has a history, in which one who sees it, must read both the triumphs and the corruptions of Christianity.
There were no material churches, or scarcely any, in the early ages of persecution. When the church dared to come forth from the catacombs and live in public, she had already triumphed—her places of worship were the symbols of victory. And do they not now speak to our reason and our hearts, and to our imaginations, somewhat as of old? What means the house of christian assembly, but that God delighteth still in the communion of His saints? What means the tapering spire, but that our hopes are beyond the sky to which it points? What means the cross which rises from the eastern porch, but that the atoning blood which flowed on calvary, warrants these hopes in sinners, such as we? What means the declaration traced in the centre of yon orbed window, but that our peace, comfort and salvation are centered in the triune Godhead ? What means the lamb pencilled over organ and choir, but that all our praise is due unto Him who hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his blood? What means that open Bible, translucent with the light of Heaven, and shedding its beams down upon the head of the preacher, save that God's word is the source of His wisdom, and the hiding-place of His power? What mean these inscriptions on the walls, over arch, aisle and door, except, not that Rome has a monopoly of Scripture or of Heaven, but that the Son of God is the impregnable foundation of the Christian Church, and faith in Him the only way of entering His kingdom and glory? And what signify these colors, which cling so fondly to the instructed eye, and bind the very senses to the chariot wheels of celestial meditation, save that God Himself would be worshipped in the beauty of holiness? There are very few of us appreciate the nobleness and sacredness of color. It is not a subordinate beauty. It is not a mere source of sensual pleasure. He who says so, speaks carelessly. What would the world be if the blue were taken from the sky, and the gold from stars and suns. and the silver from the moon, and the verdure from the leaves, and the crimson from the blood of man, and the flush from the cheek, the radiance from the eye, and the whole earth were clothed in an ashen gray? Should we not then know what we owe to color? The fact is, that of all God's gifts to the sight of man, color is the holiest, the most beautiful and divine. The great architect of the world has employed colors in His creation as the accompaniment of all that is purest and most precious. He has laid the foundations of His temple in jasper and sapphire, and garnished its blue dome with stars of light. We shall not worship Him in less holiness, if we worship Him in more beauty than our fathers knew. Even as we gaze upon the outline of the chief buildings which have been reared for Christ, our thoughts must be insensibly affected. In the training of the soul we must subordinate the senses to the service of religion. And the beauty of the church is not a poor teacher, for the eye cannot choose but see, and it will suggest to the imagination, to the heart of