MONTPELIER. Pages 251-574
400 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
many a man, the supremacy, the greatness, the solitary magnificence of God.
There are many tendencies of thought in our day that serve to obscure this primal truth. Men are wont to merge Jehovah in the work of His hands, or to deny the existence of His Son. The great questions which are debated around us, touch not simply the person of Jesus Christ, but the existence of God himself. Skeptical influences are being constantly infiltrated into the thought of society, into the minds of the young, and into the life of the world.
Now this church takes such debated and assailed truths, and a great deal else, for granted. It stands to the minds of the very youth that play and wander under its shadow, in the place of an argument. It represents in a visible, material form the settled faith of the church. It lends new charm to that faith. It tacitly forces the truth of God's majestic separation flow, and infinite superiority to, His creatures, fairly in upon the intelligence of a child. It does more. It forces in upon his conviction, also, the nearness of God to man, and the love which He bears to us.
This is God's house, separate from the whirl of the streets, from the passion of the hour, from the jostle of life. It stands alone among other buildings, unlike them all, more massive, more imposing, more elegant. But its doors are open. The mighty noise of its music swells through its arches. Its floor is moistened by the tears of love and penitence. The King Himself holds court in it, and His worshippers throng His presence, and carry away His bounty. So its silent and melodious eloquence is ever more of man's distance from God, of God's nearness to man. Will God in very deed dwell with man? The temple of prayer answers the question as no argument can. Some of us may remember when our minds were first opening in a world of thought, and groping their way in the twilight toward a deeper and higher knowledge. Into this mental confusion, how would not a material symbol of the truth have helped to introduce the welcome reign of light and order? Tell a child that revealed religion is the highest of all truths, that all other truth leads up to it. or radiates from it, and he will faintly, if at all, guess your meaning. He has not yet climbed high enough to get your idea. But throw your doctrine into a concrete form, so that his eye, and ear and imagination shall be taken captive; let it speak to him from the timbers and beams of the house, from the colors of its walls and ceilings, from the stones of its foundations and structure, from the music of its organ, as well as from the lips of the preacher, and you shall speedily make your way to his thought and to his heart, and give him a lasting form and impress. He may not be conscious of the powers at work upon him, or the result achieved within him. He will receive the moulding influence as the tree drinks in its verdure, as the flower absorbs its loveliest tints from the air and sunlight, but it will form his character and his habit, and give him a lifelong loyalty to the truth he has received. As the years pass over him, and full of good service, with the peace of his God and Savior in his soul, he feels that he is sinking towards his grave, he will look back, perchance, to this church as the first instructor of his immortal spirit. Here was mapped out the truth which came from Heaven, and which can alone redeem a sinful or sustain a dying man. He will then remember how in the home of his youth, when all naked statement of truth would have been lost upon him, there was one building among many, noblest in its proportions, richest in its ornamentation, which pointed to a truth, the knowledge and love of which was life eternal. And his gratitude, multiplied by the gratitude of others, from generation to generation, will justify the wisdom of those builders, who would not suffer their eyes to sleep, nor their eyelids to slumber, nor the temples of their heads to take any rest, until they had found a temple of the Lord, a habitation for the God of Jacob. He, and such as he, till the last stone is not left upon another, will bless those who thus set forth, in language which all could understand, the preciousness, the unap-
proached preciousness of our divine Redeemer's gospel.
2. A second use of the material temple is the culture of reverence. Reverence is not merely a virtue, to find its exercise when we go to church. It ought to be the habit of the soul. Reverence is the recognition of greatness. It is the soul seeing something higher, better, nobler than itself. Woe to him who has no enthusiasm, no passionate love for persons, services or institutions which represent God, and who, therefore, has no reverence; who believes that there is no greatness before which it should be his happiness to lie prostrate, and towards which he may not aspire. Nothing is more certain than the intellectual and moral degradation of him who never feels veneration or love. The sneer which he lavishes on all around, reacts on his own moral life. The insolence which marks his address is traced in every line of his face. He whose motto is "Nil admirari;" who sees no good in what others respect; who never looks through the clear crystal lens of generous appreciation on a beauty or a greatness that is not his own, will sooner or later win the indignation or the compassion of his fellow men.
So deeply did one semi-infidel feel this to be true, that he is said to have declared, that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him for the use of the educator of the human mind. It is only the sight of God which creates reverence. Hence the church alone is the school of reverence. The church of Christ alone brings God home to the human soul. Nature knows not God. For a moment it seems to detect Him in the starry heavens, or in the stormy sea; or in the fragrant freshness of the summer air; or in the calm brilliancy of a perfect landscape. But it only admires. It has no heart for reverence, because it has no heart for adoration. It banishes God behind a system of laws.
But the Gospel, on the other hand, is the religion of Immanuel, God with us. He is with us in His Providence, in His power, in His wisdom, in His love. He is with us in His advent, in His temptation; in His ministry, in His passion; in His resurrection, in His sacraments. Ever since the incarnation, the "tabernacle of God is with men." The Shekinah has rent the veil of the temple, and come forth among us. We know that He is not far from any one of us. We express this knowledge when we speak of Him; when we keep His Word; when we enter the place of His assembly. It is in the visible, material church we learn reverence by precept and example. The silence, which is only broken that man may speak of God, or to God; the adoring attitudes of devout worshippers; the chant which raises the soul above the world; the confession which opens upon it, through flashes of moral light, the true sight of the Most Holy; these things suggest, day by day, year by year, a sympathetic attitude of the spirit. They succeed, at last, in persuading us to bend before Him who is the object and explanation of what is going on around us. They cry out, as if with one voice, to the soul, and the voice does not die away, "Oh, come, let us worship and fall down and kneel before the Lord our Maker." And thus a constant attendant at the church learns an inward habit, which is the safeguard of his intellect, the charm and lustre of his social life, the aroma of his character and intercourse, and the final deliverance and redemption of his soul. Very few lovers of the church and of church-going, find their way down to death. Their path is a shining one. They learn at last the value of the blood of atonement; the glory of the Savior, and a hearty recognition of His supreme beauty. The profound yearnings of the spirit, which bring them within the house of God, are at length satisfied. The message of light and pardon, repeated week by week, is at last heard. Men may murmur about the dullness of the sermon; but for every soul that is alive to the terrible mysteriousness of life and death, and who resorts to the place where it may find God and come even to His seat, there is a freshness and perpetual interest in the Gospel message. He who seeks its repetition will learn the
402 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
secret of its power, and find the peace which it brings. " It was here," some will say, of this very church," "it was here, O my Lord and my God, that I learned to know and love Thee, and found out my own misery, and felt the grace and sweetness of thy pity and thy pardon. It was here I learned the awfulness and blessedness of life, the greatness of eternity." And many a redeemed soul will sing hereafter, "Lord Jesus, in this, Thy temple, I told Thee my sins and my sorrows, was washed in Thy blood, and saw Thy glory face to face."
3. Another use of the material temple, is to assist the culture of the conscience. The moral sense learns and grows by discipline. Ever since Christ drove the money-changers out of the house of prayer, the conscience has had new light upon the sacredness of places of worship and the duties of religion. Doubtless the conscience is roused and trained by association as well as by authority. It is informed and invigorated by every opportunity for good or for evil. There are seasons in every man's life when he finds himself face to face with forms of evil, upon resistance to which his whole eternity depends. For many a falterer this church may strike the trembling balance in his favor. The struggle, of which his soul is the scene, may here be laid bare before the all Holy and Merciful. The temptation to lust, or cruelty, or avarice, or selfishness, or cowardice of soul, may be exorcised, or, at least, lose half its force in the scenes and services of this building. When all has seemed to be lost, and the darkness of sin has well nigh settled down upon the heart, then God here turns himself again, and looks down from Heaven, and beholds and visits in mercy. There are, indeed, those to whose conscience the church says nothing. But with the great majority it is not so. Its services, its ministers, nay, the very lines and beauties of its architecture, are destined to he intertwined with the deep secrets of many a spirit, and to have their place in the checkered history of thought and hope, of fear and passion, of suffering and joy, which will be revealed by the light of another world. And among the spiritual mysteries which will hereafter be known as belonging to these walls, not the least will be their silent contribution to the growth of the moral sense.
4. Nor shall it be without its effect in shaping the aims and unfolding the purposes of many a life. This life it teaches us is not a game of chance, or a decree of fate, the sport of events, or the result of fixed necessity. Each man is instructed by it and in it, that he is to hallow his earthly life by a religious principle. It stands as a perpetual memorial of God and of human responsibility in the very centre and heart of secular business and strife; an unchangeable teacher of man's obligation to make his life a single tribute to God's glory. And this church, in itself, in its services, is destined to have a large influence upon men's purposes in life; is destined to brace their wills to the right, to promote their obedience to the truth, to open their hearts to a larger destiny than would have been possible without it. In the very proportion of its inspiring and impressive beauty, it is to become a helper of our souls in all good. Here our hearts will be opened, and kept open. The very place that is filled with fragrant perfume of the spicery that has been poured on Christ's head, will assist the soul to a better life. Creatures of association as we are, here our wills will be directed and strengthened; here our whole inward life will get a unity and force, which will tell both in time and eternity. Here provision may be made for the dark days that are coming, "for in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His tabernacle; yea, in the secret place of His dwelling shall He hide me, and set me upon a Rock."
In dedicating this church, we do not gratify a mere artistic or æsthetic sentiment. We do not inaugurate a monument, which the economy of common sense, or the demand of Christian love, might deem superfluous. For this church, in all its lofty beauty, is a hymn of praise to the Son of God, and embodies and gives shape to the essential features of the Christian work and life. The ministries
and associations, the very roof and windows, the very tower and buttresses of this building, are destined to mould practically the daily life of those who are here to learn to face the battle of life as men and Christians should face it. And here, too, many a modest flower will catch a Divine inspiration, and blossom into lovely and fragrant beauty, and shed its incense of praise, until it shall be transferred to a more glorious temple, to bloom there lovelier and forever. Such a church, we trust, will do more than promote the intellectual and moral growth of those who worship in it, of the community around it. It will do more than cultivate taste and art. It will open men's hearts to God. It will help them toward Christ. It will teach them the rare graces of Christianity. It is the product of self-denial. It will be its teacher too. This church is no mere offering of that which has cost nothing. It is the gift of love, and love lives by sacrifice. Love is not the desire to have. It is the passion to give. And we trust that this church will be to us a means of grace in this respect, and perpetually teach us that all the best things of life come by our sacrifices, and that our proudest, divinest satisfaction will arise in the future from our most generous offerings to the service, work, and glory of God. This house will show us, so long as it stands, that our best riches, our richest feelings and delights come from our largest gifts to God. Learn we this, if nothing else to-day, that joy comes by giving to Christ. It is more blessed to give than to receive. And thus this building will have manifold influences upon our souls. Hereafter we shall know how these lines of beauty, on which our eyes now rest with tranquil pleasure or curious admiration, have been graven deep in many a memory, and have linked forever many a soul's inmost life with the eye and hand of the Creator.
5. Another use of such a material edifice as this is to render more attractive the system and polity of faith and worship with which it is connected. It will add a charm to the Congregational order and service. There is no reason why the excellent order of our New England fathers should not make all the warm sentiments of our nature tributary to its growth. None, why its beams and timbers should not breathe the very odors of the cedars of Lebanon. None, why its garments should not smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces. It is the church of our fathers, the old homestead and sanctuary of our hearts, full of rich memories, of dear associations, of priceless legacies of faith and hope and patience from those who have left the earthly congregation and gone above the stars. This simple, beautiful and catholic polity is the very daughter of the King. She has trusted so much to her intrinsic and imperial grace as to laugh at outward adorning. She has been so beautiful and glorious within, that her friends have dreamed not of her exterior robing and drapery. But she is all glorious within, and why should not her clothing be of wrought gold. In her places of assembly the saints have sat and worshipped, and why should not her gates be jasper, her walls chalcedony, and her arches and ceilings traced with the colors of the rainbow. Within her sanctuary, millions without number have learned the new song, and why should not the frescoed arches of her roof resound with the anthem of the organ. It will not do altogether to despise the moral uses of material beauty. It will not do for a church to be beneath the intelligence, the taste and the wealth of a community. We may make art our master and we may make it our servant. We have too much abjured it as either. We may now give to it its proper place, as a helper and minister in our great and noble work. The day is past for Israel to dwell in tents or in barns. When she needs to do it, she may, nor will she lose the ark and the covenant and the shekinah. But when she needs not to do it, she must exchange her tabernacle for a temple; for even Christ demands what we can give Him, and He who is worshipped in spirit and in truth, would have the worship of His house conform to our taste and wealth and love. The essence of Puritanism was not hatred of
404 VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
beauty, but love of Christ; and wherever love of Christ may prompt to a more beautiful temple, the spirit of the fathers will linger, and Elijah's robe may fall upon Elisha's shoulders. The prophet of fire may make way for the Prophet of Peace. Our church has fought a noble battle for Christ under a leader nobler than itself; nor need it now be weary of its work, nor fear to adapt its usages and forms to the exigencies of future conflicts. So long as it keeps the old spirit, it may not hesitate to avail itself of new formal attractions.
After Christ had gone into the heavens, and the old temple of Mount Moriah had perished, and the arch of Constantine was built, the temples that had been constructed for the service of divided and local gods were pressed into the service of the One God. Every form and symbol, it was believed, which belonged to the old world, might be claimed as the spoil and heritage of that which succeeded it. But one and another form which had pressed into its service the roughest stone, the richest marble and the rarest art, could as little resist the idolatrous tendencies of the heart as Solomon's temple had done. All came at last to feed the earth-born tastes which they had boasted they could subdue and sanctify.
Then the idea grew up that such temples stifled the Spirit; that art was a dangerous ally of devotion; that the most ugly building was the one that God was most likely to inhabit; that the upright and pure soul was his only true temple. They were very beautiful and true words, and pointed to high truths, just as the towers and minarets of the old temples pointed to them; but they are just as little able to reach and preserve them. Hardness, severity, dogmatism, could hide itself where there seemed to be only the utmost simplicity and barrenness of form. But both were false. Each doctrine is unscriptural and fatal. The one gave religion bound as a captive into the hands of art, and made its services fantastical, sensuous and corrupt. The other gives God's beautiful universe up to the devil, as his rightful possession, and makes him the monopolist of all that attracts and charms our bodily sense. The one bound the invisible under the dominion of the visible. The other tramples the life out of the material and visible. We do wisely, then, as our fathers would have done had they had the warfare of our day on their hands, when we aim to make all that is artistic and all that is beautiful, bring their tributes and lay them at the feet of Christ; we should exclude nothing that makes our polity more attractive and effective. While we do not doubt that its essential glory is the presence of Christ in its service, we shall not be likely to exalt any form of outward beauty above its intrinsic worth.
Nor is our Congregational system unworthy that it should avail itself of all the helps and ministries of beauty. A generous, practical catholicity may well dwell in a palace. A church that does not assume to declare its own organization as commensurate with the Church of God, which allows of diversity of ceremony and unessential form, might well have a royal tabernacle. If we believed in augury and signs, we might easily translate into a happy omen the gentle inclination of obeisance which the cross on yon Roman tower has been making for the year that is past, to Bethany church. For why should not the least denominational, sectarian, exclusive and arrogant of all the churches, receive, like Joseph's sheaf, the homage of all its brethren?
We love this Congregational polity. In it the life takes precedence of the form, and we would irradiate with its life a beautiful form. Nor would we refuse our fellowship to those who have the same spirit, but a narrower and contracted form. We have no Shibboleth to utter. We have no ritualistic bed on which to stretch or shorten the human spirit. We have no old judaistic skins in which to pour the new wine of the Gospel. We give to every church, to every man, the largest possible liberty. In the midst of a sisterhood of Christian denominations, we boast that we are not denominational. We call each Christian brother—we call every living church a sister church. It is not a word fellowship;
we can welcome all to our congregation, to our ordinances, to our table. We love this freedom of church, a freedom to give as well as to receive—to give the hospitality of our pulpits, our sacraments and our charities.
We give an earnest protest against sectarian exclusiveness, and ask only that a man should love our Lord Jesus Christ in order to our communion. We hold ourselves at liberty to love a Pascal and Fenelon, a Tillotson and Beveridge, a Calvin and Luther, a Williams and Wesley. And when we see some good brethren of other churches put into the strait-jacket of their own creeds or ritual, and kept from a hospitality and a charity which Christ requires, and their own hearts intensely desire, by their ecclesiastical order, I rejoice that we are under no such bondage, and under no sad necessity to prove that the blood of the Son of God only runs in the veins of our own denomination. And why should not an unsectarian church, the oldest, most numerous and most independent in New England, by far; rich in members, influence, position and history; rich in the records of the living and in the rolls of her dead; with no necessity of pleading for additions to her numbers with that resistless earnestness with which a hungry man cries for bread, and with a disposition to give bread to all that perish, why should not such a church have suitable dwellings for its sanctuaries? Why should not the garments of such a broad and catholic polity be of Tyrian dyes, and its habitation be fashioned after the similitude of a palace? And we have reason to bless God for the generous Christian enterprise and cultivated Christian taste which are coming to be shown in the members of our faith and order in the erection of their churches.
Finally, a noble material temple, such as this, is prophetic. It suggests and foreshadows a future history. We cannot but have been struck, as we entered it this morning, with a building so simple in its plan, yet so ornate and splendid in its detail; so lavishly decorated, and yet so entirely useful and practical; such a beautiful specimen of the taste and art of our time, and yet so wholly subservient to an end beyond. I should misinterpret the spirit that has raised these walls, if I should bid you mark only the wealth of form and color that meets your eyes, or ask you to contrast it with the primitive models of our puritan architecture. We, at least, who have done something towards raising this temple of God, may feel that its beauties should enrich us with lessons of deeper and more practical value than can attach to anything which can be measured by the eye or sense. Its real interest to us, lies in its future and in its results. To us, and to our children, it may be indeed, for generations, a Bethany; the home of Christ and his friends; a place of wondrous miracles and benedictions; the scene of large growths of spiritual character, that shall rival the cedars of Lebanon or the palm trees of Olivet. It will be a dear household name which shall be embalmed in thoughts and feelings as fragrant as cluster about the old Bethany of the Son of God. The hopes and dreams of the past are crystalized into stone. We shall admire it more and more, love it more and more, as it becomes associated with all that is sacred and tender in our spiritual histories. Slowly but surely it will be the nucleus and habitation of a family of Christ which shall be ever forming, and ever separating and re-forming in the skies. We shall count no cost it has brought, no sacrifice we have made, for we have sown seed here that shall bear successive harvests of light and peace and joy while the world stands. We have broken the alabaster box on the head of our Savior, and who shall say that it shall have no memorial in the future? It will foster a large generosity, and be at once the proof and the helper of beneficence in the cause of Christ. It will witness the vows, the prayers and the tears of our posterity, and its manifest presence will bring them the blessings they seek. To thousands of eyes and imaginations it will sing of the glory of the upper temple; that glory which eye hath not seen, but which the eye shall yet see and be satisfied. It will help our thoughts upward in
406 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
their flights, and earthly architecture will be the symbol to us of the heavenly, the divine pattern of that which is in the kingdom of God. We have laid these stones and spread these arches and traced these colors, not as a show of veneration, not to put our love on exhibition, not to assure men that we believe in Christ, and can prove our faith on so magnificent a scale; but the building itself is a part of our communion with Heaven. It is an invocation of trust. It is a sentence of praise. It is a hymn we sing, a prayer we offer. It stands in a line with the Stone of Bethel, with the Shekinah of the tabernacle, with the temple on Mount Moriah, "with the synagogue of Nazareth, with the upper chamber where the bread from heaven was the food and the blood of Christ was the wine, and with the room at Jerusalem, where the tongues of fire preached at the dedication of Christendom, and the Holy Spirit inaugurated the visible church for the nations."
And if any object that all this richness is needless, we say more, that it prefigures to our dull sense a wider and grander glory than we see. It is a mortal means to an immortal end. It lifts our gross understanding. It images a beauty that transcends it. It is the hinder part of the glory that is inconceivable. It is the gate of Heaven and the vestibule of the Holy of Holies. It signifies more than we can at once receive. It is a stray fragment of the upper temple, a Gloria in Excelsis, amid the loud din and stir of the world around it. And each sweet melody or prolonged harmony of the princely organ is but a foretaste of that music whose wondrous noise fills the wide spaces of Heaven. Here we stand but on the threshold of music. The infinite combinations of the two thousand pipes of this instrument can never be made by the most skillful mortal player. The loftiest art can never compass a tithe of its harmonies. There is no sound without its significance, no organ without its antitype. And when this instrument accompanies the simplest hymn which comes from the lips of childhood, or some grand old hallelujah chant of Asaph, or prayer of David's, or pours forth its melodious strains like the rolling of a river or the rushing of a tide, I know it is a faint, yet but the faintest type of that surging flood of sound which shall fill the heavens when the redeemed and the angels shall open the seven-fold chorus of hallelujahs and harping symphonies. The solemn grandeur, or plaintive melody, or jubilant exultation of its manifold combinations, are a feeble prophecy of what that music will be when the voice of the whole church of God, the twelve-fold chorus of Israel's ransomed, shall join with all the trumpets and harps sounding on the other side, in the unimagined crescendo and glorious dechachord of Eternity. Thus we read the future in the present, and the temple of to-day is a prophecy of that worship and that temple,
"When all the halls of Zion
For aye shall be complete,
And in the land of beauty
All things of beauty meet.
Where tears are ever banished
And smiles have no alloy.
With jasper glow thy bulwarks,
Thy courts with emeralds blaze,
The sardius and the topaz
Unite in thee their rays;
Thine ageless walls are bonded
With amethyst unpriced,
Thy Saints build up Its fabric,
And the Corner Stone is Christ."
And now what wait we for? What remains but that you should perfect your work? If this building is to be all and more than we pray or think; if it is to be the habitation of God and the fountain of nameless blessings to you and to your children to the last generation; if He who dwells in the highest Heavens is to make it His tabernacle, and in very deed dwell with us, and vouchsafe His spiritual presence, power and glory in His temple, I now call upon you to offer to Him this building, and dedicate it to His sole service, and to the honor and praise of His dear Son.
[The keys were here presented, and the building offered for dedication, by D. Taft, Esq.]
Acceptance and Dedication,
By Prof. M. H. Buckham.
We receive this building at your hands. I ask you now to rise and stand upon your feet, as we offer it as our gift to Almighty God, and dedicate it to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. With one accord let us consecrate it to the Master's glory, to Christ and the Church. And as the dedication of the church is vain without the solemn consecration of the worshippers too, I call upon you all to dedicate yourselves to the service of God. To Him may your souls be dedicated. To Him may your bodies be dedicated. To Him may your spirits be dedicated. And that He may graciously accept this solemn act, I call upon you all now to pray.
Benediction, By Rev. L. Tenney.
MISSIONARIES:—Mrs. Sarah Coleman, married Erastus Dean of Salisbury, and went from this Church to the Cherokee Mission about 40 or 50 years since, Mrs. Emeline (Bradshaw) Dodge, and Mrs. Coleman, who married Freder'k Ellsworth. Samuel Mosely from this place went to the Choctaw Mission, and Mrs. Lucinda (Washburn) Wright, who married a missionary not from this State.
ART AND NATURE—VERMONT IN SUMMER.
We have no quarrel with art. It is the province of man's genius. It is the realm of his skill and intelligence. But we have a greater love for nature. It is the province of God's genius, the realm of his infinite intelligence and power. He never paints. He creates. The glory and sweetness and marvels of life are the effects of His handiwork. In perpetual change in harmony with invariable law He finds the secret and hiding of His power. There are some galleries of art that are especially interesting. The Louvre ravishes the inexperienced eye. But the Dresden and Florentine halls never weary the cultivated vision and the instructed taste. Men travel across the sea, time and again, to look upon these triumphs of human genius. There are bright pictures in other galleries worth the price of an European tour to look at but once. The marriage of St. Catherine, and the infant Saviour in the Vatican, haunts the memory like an imperishable dream. A few great paintings in certain salons stand out from all the rest like the face of Denner in the Imperial collection at Vienna; or a few unsurpassed art collections attract the attention of all tourists, like the Academy of St. Luke in Rome. And it is the same in nature. A few regions God has made more beautiful than others. His hand has fashioned some dreams or symbols of heaven in certain landscapes of earth. And we have always thought that the Almighty intended, when He formed the hills of Vermont, and shook out the green drapery of the forests over their sloping shoulders, and made them fall in folds like the robe of a king along their sides, to give us a dim picture of the new creation and the celestial realm. Italy is a land of rarer sunsets and deeper sky, of haunting songs and grander memories; Switzerland is a region of more towering sublimity and unapproachable grandeur, but in all the galleries of God, there is none that so shows the exquisite genius of creative art; the blending of all that is beautiful and attractive, with nothing to terrify the eye; the mingling of much of the material glory, both of the earth and the heavens, with so little to appall the sense. Vermont in summer is the Almighty's noblest gallery of divine art. We never traverse its valleys or climb its hills, in this sweetest of all months; we never lie down on the banks where the wild thyme blows, or under the shade of the balsam or the fir; we never trace the mountain streams and watch for the silver flashes which tempt the silent, gentle angler, who "handles his worm tenderly," to throw his fly; we never penetrate the secret places in the heart of the hills, or watch the pleasant wooing which is always going on in shady places between the rippling waters and the ash, the beech and the willow, which bend to kiss them as they pass, without a grateful sense of the riches of God, and an irrepressible wish to share them with our friends whose sense of beauty is mainly nurtured at human sources.—Rev. Mr. Lord in the Vermont Watchman.
408 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
"THE CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH."
BY REV. J. EDWARD WRIGHT.
It seems appropriate to introduce a sketch of this society, with some account of Unitarian and Universalist work done in Montpelier before 1864. "In an account of the religious condition of the town previous to 1811, the late Rev. Chester Wright stated that previous to 1800, there had rarely been any preaching except by the Methodists; that the increased population from 1800 was divided into various sects, the largest number professing Universalism." Among the prominent men among the first settlers who avowed themselves Universalists were Gen. Pearley Davis and his brother Hezekiah, Capt. Stephen Foster, Mr. Arthur Daggett, Esquire Sibley, and Capt. Isaac Putnam. Rev. Paul Dean, who was the Universalist minister in Barre in 1808, and for some years thereafter, preached occasionally in Montpelier, as did other ministers of that sect from time to time. Universalists participated, under the leadership of Gen. Davis, in building the Union meetinghouse, at the Center of the town, at an early date. Later, they effected a separate organization, and built a substantial brick house of worship at the East village, and later still, the same society, while continuing to use the brick house, built another, of wood, at the North village. "The following list of Universalist preachers in Montpelier, has been gathered from Walton's Register: 1833, John M. Currier; 1834, John M. Austin; 1835, B. H. Fuller, J. Wright; 1836, J. Wright; 1837, '38, John Gregory; 1839, J. Wright, J. Boyden; 1840—'66, Eli Ballou; 1867, '70, J. O. Skinner; 1871, Eli Ballou."
But it is not to be understood that all of these ministers were engaged in preaching in Montpelier during the years set against their names. No doubt all resided here, and some of them preached within the limits of the old town of Montpelier, but some were employed elsewhere.
For some 17 years preceding 1830, little or nothing was done to sustain Universalism in this town; but about the year 1831, a society was organized in what is now Montpelier, prominent in which were such men as Wooster Sprague, (who started the enterprise,) Simeon S. Post, Dr. J. Y. Dewey, Richard W. Hyde, Alfred Wainwright, Araunah Waterman, Mahlon Cot- trill, Edward Brown, Joel Goldsbury, and General Shubael Flint. The Rev. John M. Austin served as pastor of this society for some 3 years, when he was called to Danvers, Mass. The meetings were held in the old State House, near the present Pavilion. After Mr. Austin left, the society had no regular meetings but occasionally a meeting was held by them in the Masonic Hall, the Rev. John E. Palmer of Barre, and the Rev. Russell Streeter, and others, occupying the desk from time to time, until 1840, when Rev. Eli Ballou bought "The Christian Repository," and removed from Stowe to Montpelier to edit and publish it. He preached a part of the time for several months after coming to town, in Masonic Hall, but found himself too much occupied otherwise, to justify his continuing the effort. In 1851, he obtained the assistance of Rev. John S. Lee, (now Prof. in Canton Theological School) a new society, called "The Liberal Christian Church," was organized; and meetings were regularly held for 2 years in the "Free Church," (now "Capital Hall,") the first year by Messrs. Ballou and Lee, alternately, the second year by Mr. Ballou alone. But the discouragements proved too great to be overcome, and another long period of inaction followed.
Very few Unitarian ministers had ever been heard in Montpelier; and only occasionally had an avowed Spiritualist given a lecture, or a "seance." Among the former the Rev G. W. Burnap, D. D., of Baltimore, Md., (whose sister was the mother of our honored townsmen, Charles and George Reed), the Rev. A. A. Livermore of Keene, N. H., the Rev. Chas. Brooks of Hingham, Mass., and the Rev. Mr. Ingersoll of Burlington, preached here at different times.
But in October of 1864, Mr. Charles A. Allen, a graduate of Harvard College in 1858, and of Meadville Theological School
in 1864, began, in the spirit of a missionary, to hold meetings in Montpelier, to which "liberal christians" of whatever denomination, were especially invited. The congregations met first in "Village Hall," but soon permission was obtained,—(not without opposition however),—to occupy the Court House; and for more than a year the meetings were held there. The number who assembled, hardly more than a dozen at first, rapidly increased. A society was formed in Dec. 1864, under the title of "The Montpelier Independent Meeting House Society." In March of the next year Mr. Allen was ordained in the "Brick Church," Rev. R. P. Stebbins, D. D., preaching the sermon. The society soon proceeded to build a house of worship on the north-west corner of Main and School streets, which was dedicated Jan. 25, 1866, under the name of "The Church of the Messiah," Rev. F. Frothingham preaching the sermon. The cost of the site, the building, and the organ was about $20,000.
"The Covenant of Christian Fellowship in the Church of the Messiah," adopted May 19, 1867, reads as follows: "We write our names to this Covenant in the faith and fellowship of Christian disciples; trusting in God our Father in heaven, accepting the Gospel of Christ as our sovereign law, and resolving, by the help of God, to live in honesty and charity with all men, and in Christian faithfulness with one another."
Among those active in the organization of this society were Richard W. Hyde, Col. Levi Boutwell, Hon. W. G. Ferrin, Joel Foster, Jr., Hon. Nelson A. Chase, Hon. Daniel Baldwin, Hon. Charles Reed, George W. Reed, Dr. G. N. Brigham, H. S. Loomis, L. B. Huntington, Rev. Dr. Eli Ballou, Albert Johonnott, George Watson, W. F. Braman, Hon. J. A. Wing, and, in most cases the wives of these gentlemen.
While the society was yet occupying the Court House, they organized a Sunday school, which has been at various dates under the superintendence of the pastors, and Hon. Charles Reed, Hon. N. A. Chase, Messrs. Geo. W. Wing, Joel Foster, Jr., Albert Johonnott, and Fred Blanchard. Its library contains  over 500 bound volumes, besides pamphlets. The teachers and scholars on its roll have together numbered for several years about 140, though the attendance has only occasionally exceeded 100. The number of families connected with the society through some or all of their members is over 200.
Mr. Allen's pastorate continued about 5 years. In the fall of 1869, he obtained leave of absence for a trip to Europe, and the Rev. J. Edward Wright, a native of Montpelier, was engaged to supply his place for a year. While away, Mr. Allen tendered his resignation, which was accepted, and Mr. Wright became the pastor, and yet continues in that position.
The society has never been embarrassed by any considerable debt; and, altho' composite in its membership, comprising Unitarians, Universalists, some Spiritualists, and not a few formerly associated with different "orthodox" denominations, has throughout its existence enjoyed remarkable harmony, and almost uninterrupted prosperity. Too much praise can not be given to Mr. Allen for the hopefulness and zeal with which he, unsummoned, began the enterprise, and for the energy, and tact, and persistence, and untiring activity with which he labored, gathering the people together, uniting them with a common purpose, inspiring them with the conviction that they could build a church, and communicating to them his own spirit of faithfulness and self-sacrificing devotion.
THE CHRISTIAN REPOSITORY.
In 1833 Rev. John M. Austin, then pastor of a Universalist Society in Montpelier village, and Rev. B. H. Fuller, bought "The Universalist Watchman and Christian Repository," of Rev. William Bell, who had published it a few years in Woodstock, and changed the place of publication to Montpelier. Mr. Austin dissolved his connection with the paper in a short time, on his removal to Danvers, Mass., but Mr. Fuller continued the publication two or three years, when he sold half his interest
410 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
to Rev. John Moore of Lebanon, N. H. The paper was removed to Lebanon, and published there a year or two by Messrs. Moore and Fuller. Then, about the year 1838, Rev. Joseph Wright became the proprietor, and Montpelier was again made the place of publication, Rev. John E. Palmer and others co-operating with Mr. Wright in the work.
In January, 1840, Rev. Eli Ballou, then of Stowe, purchased the paper and continued its publication regularly as a weekly journal during 30 years, or until May, 1870, when he sold it to the "Boston Universalist Publishing House," and thus the paper was merged in "The Universalist," known at the present date as "The Christian Leader."
HISTORICAL SKETCH OF CHRIST CHURCH.
BY HIRAM ATKINS, ESQ.
The first confirmation in Montpelier was in 1839, when Bishop Hopkins visited the Capital, and administered that apostolic rite in the meeting-house of the Methodists, to Mrs. S. P. Redfield, Mrs. J. M. Richardson and Hon. Isaac F. Redfield; the first of these being at that time the only person in Montpelier reared in the Church.
In 1840, Christ Church Parish was imperfectly organized, and reported to the Diocesan Convention in September by Mr. George B. Manser, a candidate for holy orders, there being four confirmations that year. In 1841 the first parish meeting was held, and George B. Manser, Isaac F. Redfield, J. Y. Dewey, S. P. Redfield, A. C. Pierce, H. N. Baylies, and Daniel Baldwin, were elected vestrymen. S. P. Redfield served 15 years, until 1858, and Dr. J. Y. Dewey from 1841 until 1871, except from 1866 to '68, when he was at his own request excused from service. During Dr. Dewey's last two years of service he was senior warden.
In 1842 the parish was represented in Diocesan Convention by George B. Manser, a lay delegate. Sept. 21, 1842, Mr. Manser was made a deacon, and took charge of the parish. During this year it was fully organized, and the work of building a church, on the site now occupied by the "Riverside" building, set about, the funds being raised by subscription and sale of pews. Dec. 29, 1842, the church was consecrated, and regular service commenced Jan. 15, 1843. June 7, Mr. Manser was advanced to the priesthood, and became Rector. The Diocesan Convention met in Montpelier, Sept. 20, 1843, and Hon. Isaac F. Redfield represented the parish as lay delegate, being the first regular delegate. In 1845, the first contribution for church work outside was made by the parish—$12.70, the sum not being so important as the spirit of the gift was significant. In 1846 the ladies of the parish raised $100 for a bell.
In 1848, Mr. Manser resigned his charge, the place being temporarily filled by Rev. F. W. Shelton, who officiated for Mr. Manser 8 months, from Oct. 1847, to June, 1848. The following September, Mr. Manser returned, but finally resigned in 1849, and Jan. 18, 1850, the Rev. E. F. Putnam became rector. During this year the bell in the tower of the present church was procured, at a cost of $250. In 1849, Hon. Timothy P. Redfield was elected a vestryman, and has served continuously to the present, having been senior and junior
warden several years, lay delegate to the Diocesan Convention, and lay delegate to represent the Diocese in the General Convention. In 1850, Hon. Charles Dewey was chosen a vestryman, and has held the position almost continuously until the present time, and he is now senior warden. In 1850, the parish had increased in numbers enough to entitle it to two lay delegates in the Diocesan Convention, and Messrs. T. P. Redfield and Chas. Dewey were the first who went there together. This year, Hon. S. B. Colby was chosen one of the vestry, and remained a member of it until the election of 1864, when he was not re-elected, having removed to Washington, D. C., to assume the duties of Register of the Treasury, which position he filled until his decease in 1867.
In 1852, the debt was reported reduced, and extinguished in 1865. The first Sunday in June, 1854, the Rev. E. F. Putnam, who was a much-loved rector of the parish, died at St. Albans, having been compelled by ill health to previously resign his rectorship, and upon the parish records is spread a sincere and warm testimonial of the high esteem and true affection felt for him. Nearly 30 years have elapsed since his departure, but his memory is still green in the hearts of the people then here. The day of Mr. Putnam's decease, Rev. F. W. Shelton became rector, and remained as such until the spring of 1866, when he resigned.
Aug. 3, 1866, Rev. Daniel Crane Roberts was elected rector, and the same month assumed the duties of the position. Mr. Roberts' resignation was accepted May. 8, 1869, and Rev. Wm. J. Harris, D. D., was chosen rector Aug. 30, 1869. Dr. Harris resigned late in 1870, and Rev. Andrew Hull, D. D., was elected rector March 20, 1871. Dr. Hull was rector of the parish until the summer of 1879, when his resignation of May 12, 1879, took effect. Oct. 13, 1879, Rev. Howard Fremont Hill, of Concord, N. H., the present incumbent, was elected rector.
Of the seven rectors, the first three are dead. In the sermon of Dr. Shelton, which follows this sketch, Dr. Manser and Rev. Mr. Putnam are spoken of as their good work deserved, and the memory of Dr. Shelton is delightful to all who knew that good man.
The first recorded baptism is that of Berkeley Baldwin, infant son of Dr. F. W. McDowell, though 12 baptisms had been previously reported. The first recorded marriage is that of Mr. James T. Thurston and Miss Fanny Witherell. The first marriage by Mr. Shelton was that of Mr. Charles Dewey and Miss Betsey Tarbox, May 3, 1848.
Among the earlier vestrymen we find the names of R. S. Howard, afterwards rector at Woodstock, Homer W. Heaton, Esq., C. W. Bancroft, George Langdon, E. P. Scribner and others. But those most closely identified with the parish in this relation are S. P. Redfield, who served from 1843 to '58, and was junior warden in 1844, and senior warden from 1845 to '52; J. W. Ellis, who has been vestryman most of the time since 1845, and many years junior warden or senior warden; Stoddard B. Colby, vestryman in 1848 and junior warden from that time until 1850, and again in '58; and Hon. Roderick Richardson, now of Boston, who was a vestryman and senior warden.
The present vestry consists of Hon. Timothy P. Redfield, Charles Dewey, J. W. Ellis, Fred E. Smith, Hiram Atkins, Edward Dewey, L. P. Gleason, Geo. E. Taplin, and H. N. Taplin, Jr. Mr. I. P. Dana was elected a vestryman in 1879 and re-elected in 1880 and 1881, but is not now a member of the vestry, having resigned when he removed from the Parish.
Mr. Smith, who is now junior warden, was first chosen vestryman in 1864; Mr. Atkins in 1868; Mr. Edward Dewey in 1871; Mr. L. P. Gleason in 1876; Mr. G. E. Taplin in 1876; Mr. Dana and Mr. H. N. Taplin, Jr., in 1879.
Mr. Truman C. Phinney was chosen vestryman in 1853, and held the position till he declined further service; he was also for several years junior warden.
In 1866, the parish voted to erect a new church, and efficient measures were at once taken. Liberal subscriptions were
412 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
made by the leading men of the parish, seconded in their liberality by those less wealthy. The S. B. Colby estate, on State street, opposite the Court House, was secured, and the work commenced. The church was consecrated June 2, 1868. (See introductory view.)
The ground plan includes nave and aisles, chancel, organ chamber and sacristy, the tower being engaged in the northern end of the east aisle. Exterior, 108 by 55 feet; tower and spire, 100 feet; interior—nave, 22 feet wide, separated by two colonnades from the two aisles, each 11 feet wide; chancel 17 feet wide by 23 deep; whole exterior, except roof and clerestory, light-colored Barre and Berlin granite; aisle walls without buttresses; clerestory, timber slatted outside. The north front is the most imposing part of the exterior. The tower is of three stages, a single leaf-door in the lowest, two long, narrow, glazed lights in the second, three equal belfry windows in the third; the belfry stage, a plain square; below, double buttresses at the angles, running into a massive blocking of the wall at the base, which gives an effect of singular strength and solidity. A similar character is given to the buttress on the opposite angle of the north end. The tower is surmounted by a broach spire, crowned with a well-carved finial, all stone to the top. The main doorway is of two leaves, in the middle of the north end, with jamb shafts and mould arch. In the gable is a round window, with three spherical triangles containing three bold trefoils, the interspaces being filled with quatrefoils and smaller openings. The coped gable is covered with a very bold, large, plain cross of stone—the only cross on the exterior. On entering the interior, the effect of loftiness is far in advance of one's expectations from seeing the exterior alone. The nave and aisles are of five bays; the chancel of two; the apparent length of the nave, increased by an arch at the north end, like and opposite the bold and well-marked chancel arch. The columns are four shafts in clusters, with mouldings between, the arches resting on them correspondingly moulded. The aisle windows are single lights in each bay. The chancel arch is well worked; chancel-rail and wainscot, altar—which stands out from the wall—in black walnut; seats in the nave, doors, etc., black ash and black walnut, in their natural tints.
The organ chamber, on the west, opens by a narrow arch in the church, and by a broader one into the nave; the organ is a fine and powerful instrument. The roof is ceiled in three coats, the centre one being the narrowest. The framing of the principals shows within, with braces and spandrils of open tracery; and similar braces run longtitudinally along the purlines, from principal to principal, these timberings adorned with color, the whole ceiling otherwise a light blue. The windows are filled with stained glass, the altar window, the largest, having three lights under a traceried head; the central, widest light, the full-length figure of our Lord blessing the chalice. The evangelistic symbols and other emblems fill the side lights and head of the window; clerestory windows of chancel, nave and northern rose window, pattern glass of rich colors; aisle windows all with borders of colors, each an emblem in the head, otherwise filled with stencilled quarries; font near the sacristy door, Vermont marble.
The architect was J. J. R. Randall, of Rutland; the builder, P. Trow, of Montpelier. The painting was done by N. Osgood Snow, of Montpelier. The marble for the font was the gift of Hon. Pitt W. Hyde, and the beautiful and appropriate design was from the pencil of, and furnished by, Rev. John Henry Hopkins. The cost of the church was over $30,000; the only subscriptions received from outside the parish were: In New York, George Bradshaw, $1,000; M. M. Kellogg, $500; George R. Thompson. $150; E. S. Jaffrey, $75. In Philadelphia, Jay and H. D. Cooke, $400. In Washington City, from Charles Knapp, $200. In Burlington, from V. P. Noyes, $100. No small part of the credit due for the perfectness with which the work was completed belongs of right to Judge Richardson and
his associates of the building committee, Col. Fred E. Smith and the late Carlos Bancroft, Esq. The last of the building debt was extinguished some years since.
In 1843, there were 15 communicants; in 1863, 68; in 1868, 77. The statistics for 1881 show: Families, 86, comprising 266 individuals; individuals not included in families, 30; total, 296; baptisms for the year, 16; confirmations, 6; communicants, 129—males 44, females 85; Sunday-school teachers, 6; pupils, 67.
The following sermon, by Dr. Shelton, preached Sept. 3, 1865, is inserted, as historically valuable in that it shows well what manner of men were the three deceased rectors of this church :
SERMON BY DR. SHELTON, 1865.
"Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine. So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name."
Ps. 80: 14, 18.
A few words will suffice to explain the allusion contained in the above passage. The kingdom of Israel is spoken of under the similitude of a vine which was of God's own planting. It had taken root, and flourished abundantly, put forth its lively shoots, green leaves and blossoms and borne its ripe fruit. But it was subject to vicissitudes, as of wind and weather, and evil elements, sometimes its branches were lopped off, not by the careful pruning hand, but by the act of violence, yet the root was strong, and hearty, full of life blood, ready to spring up with greater vigor than before. The Jewish people were not like some rough, rank offshoot, but chosen of God himself as a peculiar race to whom he would manifest his peculiar favor, they were a choice vine in the wilderness, growing up under the golden sunshine and dews of Heaven.
Under the same similitude Christ alludes to himself. "I am the vine. Ye are the branches." He was the main stock, the root, the source of life, and sustenance and vigor. His disciples every where were but so many parts and members of the same. After the Jewish church had fulfilled its mission, the root still existed, though all the former branches were razed to the ground. The Saviour in his Divine nature was the root of David, even as in his generation, he was according to human genealogy, David's offspring. The primitive christian church, from this implanted ineradicable root sprang up like a tender vine. In its incipient growth, in its subsequent stages, up to the present time, it has been subject to every vicissitude of the outer elements; but the good Father has been the husbandman and has ever watched over it, and he has promised that he will do so with a kindly care. The rank reeds and vegetation of the world have tried to choke it in its dwindled estate, to draw away its sustenance, pressing upon it, overtopping it, and casting it in their baleful shade, but deep down and fixed the vital germ has remained, and only gathered strength. The enemy has sowed tares all around it, hoping if they would not extract the life, that the original plant would be torn up in the effort to exterminate the thick tares. But the mandate went forth to the husbandman to do not that, but the plant could grow and flourish still amid the elements of evil, until the harvest time. Sometimes the sword of violence was applied, or the fires raged so as to destroy apparently nearly every branch, and kidding offshoot, and all which remained above the ground. The destruction thus far was permitted only that the future exuberance, and fruitage, of the vine might be greater. The sword could not lop any closer;—the fire with its devouring breath could not penetrate any deeper. It is the very province of Christ, illustrated by his own brillant career, to bring up life out of death, and a resurrection of glory out of dust and ashes. Now the branches of the original plant are over all the earth, though still liable to be broken off by storms, and to be left bleeding. The church was small among elements which were apparently great; it was weak among those which were apparently mighty. It is elsewhere in scripture likened to the minutest of seeds. "The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his
414 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
field, which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." (Matt. XIII.: 31.)
Every body of believers wherever found, every organized church, every distinct collection of disciples in which Christ's ministry is maintained, to whom His Gospel is preached and His sacraments are administered, may still be likened to a vine, which the great husbandman himself has caused to be planted in such a ground, or in such a locality, and has committed to his servants to watch over it, and however small it may be at the start, however it may be liable to dangers or vicissitudes, however imperfect may be the culture, if it be a true offshoot of Christ, it must flourish, because it draws its life blood from the very source of life. This little body of disciples, this church established in our very midst, which not only professes the pure doctrines, but is named by the very name of Christ, is a vine,—even yet in its incipient growth, but planted by the hand of faith which has already borne some fruit, and under the fostering smiles of the Divine favor, it is hoped and believed that it will do so far more abundantly. It has experienced its struggles, its trials, its changes, its difficulties, its retardments in a soil originally uncongenial to it in some of its inherent characteristics, and to its peculiar form. I propose now to refer to the phases of its history thus far, to look back upon it from its original start, to gather up a few facts and statistics from its scanty memorials, that we may see what have been the dealings of God with it in its hitherto humble career, and what may be its hopes and promise for the future. If such a contemplation, in a sketch however feebly drawn, shall serve to strengthen the bonds of attachment with you who are members of this Church of Christ, to awaken a renewed interest in its welfare, to stimulate your efforts to promote its future growth, to animate your zeal, to confirm your courage, and to keep you ever more firmly knit together in one body, in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of Peace, then whatever may occur to one who has so long ministered imperfectly among you, this labor will not be in vain. And that it may not be, is my humble and sincere prayer.
On the 8th of Sept., in the year of our Lord 1840, a number of inhabitants of this town associated themselves together for the purpose of supporting the ministry of the Gospel and maintaining public worship in conformity with the constitution and canons of the Protestant Episcopal church in the Diocese of Vermont, and they adopted, received, and promised, entire conformity to the aforesaid constitution and canons. The document whereby they thus associated themselves together, is signed by Isaac F. Redfield, Julius Y. Dewey, Geo. B. Manser, H. N. Baylies, J. W. Ellis, Geo. Langdon, C. W. Bancroft, Wm. Upham, Charles Dewey, and some others who, altho' not closely identified with the society, gave it their good will, their influence, and pecuniary support. On Easter Monday, Anno Domini 1841, the church was fully organized under the title and designation of Christ Church and a vestry elected, Geo. B. Manser being senior and Isaac F. Redfield junior warden. Soon after a lot was secured, the present church edifice was erected, and on the 29th day of December, A. D. 1842, it was at the request of the wardens and vestry duly consecrated to the worship of Almighty God, by the Rt. Rev. John Henry Hopkins D. D., Bishop of the Diocese, according to the rites, usages and services of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States, and about that time, or shortly after, the Rev. Geo. B. Manser entered upon his duties as the first Rector. In this connection he continued uninterruptedly until the fall of 1847, being then absent for a few months at the South, acting as assistant Rector to the Rev. Dr. Hanks in the city of New Orleans, and the Rev. F. W. Shelton of the Diocese of New York, who had recently received orders, was invited to supply his place until his return, which occured in the spring or summer of the year following, 1848. On July 16 of the same year, having received a call to another field, Mr. Manser tendered
his resignation to the wardens and vestry, who passed a resolution conveying to him their unfeigned thanks for his faithful care and useful labors,' assuring him at the same time of their friendly confidence and sincere regard.' As I had the happiness of a personal acquaintance with him during my first brief residence in this place, and was for some time a guest under his roof, and after an interval of some years was again frequently associated with him in kindly intercourse, it affords me a melancholy satisfaction in this place to recall your first excellent Rector to remembrance, and to pay to his worth a passing tribute. To a man of his innate modesty and sensibility his position was sufficiently trying in being the first to officiate here, and in entering upon, to him, a strange and untried field. He had heretofore been an active member of the Congregational society, and as a warmly religious man had been identified with the same, and entered zealously into the performance of whatever appeared conducive to the cause of Christ. Educated, moreover, to the profession of the law, he had more or less to do with the conflicting claims of persons in this vicinity. His views with regard to the constitution of the church having undergone a change, and his convictions becoming at last fixed, he voluntarily relinquished a profession which would yield him a much better support, and under such circumstances, entered the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal church, and became your first Rector. His position was more difficult, and the embarrassments wherewith he had to contend were greater than those of any who succeeded him. With what patience he bore his burdens, and with what fidelity he performed his work, can be attested by many who now hear me. They knew well the tenderness of his feelings, his warm sympathies and affections, the rightness of his intentions, the disinterestedness and purity of his heart. They knew where to find him in the dark hour of calamity, and he proved at all times a genial and warm hearted friend. He made worldly sacrifices for the cause of the church, and his name and memory and example are now cherished in grateful remembrance. Shortly after his retirement from this parish, he was called to the Rectorship of St. Peter's church at Bennington, where he likewise performed a good work, modestly pursuing his course, and while yet in the vigor of life with the prospect still of many years of usefulness, he was smitten with disease, and full of faith and hope and joy, expired on the 17th day of November, 1862. Resolutions of affection, regret and of tender sympathy with his family were passed by the vestries of St. Peter's at Bennington, and of Christ Church Montpelier, as well as by the convention of the Diocese, of which he was for many years and up to the time of his decease, the efficient secretary. How long an interval elapsed after the departure of the Rev. Mr. Manser from this parish before the vacancy was supplied does not appear on the records, but the Rev. Edward F. Putnam was as early as June, 1850, acting as its rector, and in this connection he continued to within a few months of his death, which occurred at St. Albans, on the first Sunday in June, 1854. By a singular coincidence, on that same day this church was reopened after an intermission of its regular sevices for some time, and he who now addresses you, entered upon his duties as Rector. Thus the worship of this church was again renewed at the very hour when the soul of this excellent man was entering into the glories of heaven. It was not my happiness to be personally acquainted with him, but with regard to his christian devotion, the warmth of his sympathies and the excellence and amiability of his character, there is but one sentiment among the members of this parish. He was not only a sincere christian, but on principle and conviction a strict and decided churchman. Though, as I have been informed, not brillant as a preacher, he was efficient, active, and zealous in the work of the parish, and his memory likewise will long be gratefully cherished by this people.
For myself, I am but the third rector since the foundation of this parish, both of the former ones having already entered
416 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
into their rest. Nearly the whole of the time which has elapsed since my entering into orders has been passed in your midst. I stand not here at this time to record its varied experience, its phases of personal joy and sorrow. I have shared with you alike in the seasons of pleasure and of bitterness. The friendships which I have formed here will be cherished during my life. I can only regret that I have accomplished so little, but I shall drop a few tears on this vine, and pray that with better tending its branch may be green and vigorous forever.
It may be interesting to you to hear a few statistics, after which I shall suggest what occurs to me as suitable to be said, at your present state of progress, and if I can think of anything which would tend to your future good, will venture to speak boldly.
The early records, as is very apt to be the case in the first struggling origin of a parish, are deficient. They have no doubt been made, but the papers have been lost or mislaid. There are no transcripts of either deaths, baptisms or confirmations, although there must have been many. There are those of marriages only. Consequently, I cannot present the sum total which ought to be rendered. The deficiency as to mere numbers could be supplied, if I had at hand a full file of journals of the Convention, of which several copies for reference ought to be on hand, at least with the rector and wardens. That I have not saved them carefully, is my own fault, which must here be acknowledged. That in accurate business habits I am decidedly deficient, those who have known me as long as you have, will bear me witness,—I have got no head for them.
During the incumbency of the Rev. Mr. Manser, 20 couples were united by him in the bonds of holy matrimony. Deaths, baptisms and confirmations, as I have said, are not recorded.
By the Rev. Mr. Putnam, 9 couples were united in the bonds of holy matrimony, 43 persons were baptized, and during his term of office 17 were confirmed by the Bishop.
During my own rectorship there have been 31 marriages, 67 baptisms, and 50 confirmations.
Thus, altogether, since the foundation of the parish, 60 couples have been married according to the rites of the church. There have been, so far as the records inform us, 107 baptisms and 67 confirmations.
This record I quote, not to rejoice in its fulness, not to glory in the fruits, but simply to tell the truth in its meagreness. Perhaps more work might have been done, and more ought to have been done. These are only the beginnings and first fruits. If only thus few have been baptized and confirmed in the most holy faith, yet these results are not unimportant. God only knows what blessed influences may spring from these few persons if they only lead the rest of their lives according to such a beginning. Not a single rite has been performed of which it is possible for us to estimate the multiplied and diversified influences. What can be more beautiful and impressive than the marriage service according to the ritual of the Episcopal Church? Who can go away without tears from the quiet altar, or fail to feel the holy benediction which is bestowed on the heads of the young couples, and can they, however thoughtless, have ever gone away, and the particular form in which this ceremony was celebrated, according to the church, have had no effect upon their after lives? Will nothing proceed from the acts of those who have brought their children in faith to the baptismal altar; and when you have witnessed the beautiful rite of confirmation, and have heard the patriarchal benediction pronounced therein, have you considered that this, notwithstanding its temporary impressions, was but a mere empty show? Let me tell you that feeble as are the human agencies, little as we can boast, few as are the numerical results which we can show, there is not an act which has been seriously and reverently performed in this church, during these two score years, which will not work with a never-ending, and still widening influence. Those who have kneeled with
you at this altar in times gone by are scattered everywhere. They are thousands of miles away, but they remember what was done here, and they are inspired thereby with pleasant thoughts and sweet affections, and away off in the wide prairie, or some remote wilderness, they go and plant an offshoot of the little vine which they have helped to nurture here; and that too, will grow, and leave out, and blossom, and bear fruit abundantly.
But let us further review our course thus far. This church, in the aggregation of its first members, consisted of a mere nucleus. It was so very small and weak as hardly to excite in the minds of others not attached to it, the apprehension that it would encroach unduly. Those first members were not men of great wealth. The most of them had not been educated or brought up in the Episcopal Church. Collected around them there were a few others who lent countenance and material support. Some came from mere personal regard for those who have in turn administered to you; some from a sentiment of predilection for the mild, genial, liberal and uncensorious spirit of the Episcopal Church; others from a true admiration of her forms of prayer and liturgic worship. They were drawn by all these causes rather than by a particular perception or regard for her apostolic constitution or distinctive principles. It was not a homogeneous society. Many who had a distinct faith of their own, differing in important particulars from our confessed standard of doctrine, very kindly, and with a very liberal spirit, notwithstanding this difference, gave of their means and do to this day. And I take this occasion to say, that if some few of them, not many it is to be hoped, should go out from this fold, where they can find those precise shades of doctrine which they profess to hold, we should be, in turn to them as individuals, well wishers, and rather remember their kind offices in the past than feel inclined to censure them for what they may choose to do, and have a right to do in the future. For myself, they will have my personal esteem and regard. The smallness of your numbers was then the first drawback, but that was precisely the same as attached to the first origin of Christianity itself. Outside of the pale there was, as was to be expected, the usual amount of prejudice and misapprehension on the part of those from whom we differ in constitution and government, rather than in essential Christian doctrine. This might have been greater had not your first rectors been men of placable temper and of good judgment. A rash, zealous, impracticable churchman might have destroyed this new project in the embryo.
In the book of your records there is frequent allusion to a church debt unliquidated, and discussion of means and steps to be taken to wipe it out, for no society can make satisfactory progress with an overhanging debt. Such was the condition of things in 1854, when I first entered upon the duties of rector. Of the remaining matters it is now more difficult and delicate for me to speak, yet you will expect that something should be said. The society was then small; it is so still, for it is yet comparatively in its infancy, and those who have gone before me, as well as myself, have been only pioneers. The best years of my life and the best fruits of my education have been given here, with very imperfect results for the present, but when better men shall come after me, they will reap. The past will not have been in vain. For eleven years I have administered in this parish, and though neither very strong or very robust, have been kept from this desk but one Sunday by sickness. It might be alleged, and no doubt justly, that it might have been possible for me to have advanced the cause of the society with more onset and vigor. You have had the best opportunity, by the longest acquaintance with me, to know those imperfections which are bound up in my very nature. At the same time I trust it will not be considered indelicate if I refer to some of the general principles which I have endeavored to follow out in the direction of this parish. Here there is, we may say, a comparatively fixed population with regard to numbers—not otherwise,
418 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
for our young people are drained off when they might be of service to us, and go to contribute their energies to the development of the mighty West. There is no surplus population as in some teeming, overflowing town, where an active, bustling minister could go forth into the streets and alleys and gather a flock. The ground had been pre-occupied by religious bodies, with their prescriptive limits well defined, and a mere proselyting spirit would, it seems to me, have accomplished little in attempting to cross these bounds, nor have I directly or knowingly interfered with any one's rights, or wounded any in their prepossessions or prejudices. Spasmodic movements of any kind have not been tried, but the quiet, regular routine of the church in the regular administration of the services and sacraments, on all the principal appointed days throughout the year, whether fasts or festivals, has been trusted to work its slow, steady, but ultimately sure, results. With thin numbers, and an inclement season nearly half the year—members of the parish living at far distances— I have not attempted to carry out the cathedral system of the church to any greater extent; firstly, because in a given time I am only capable of accomplishing a given amount of intellectual work, and secondly, because, in my judgment, our present circumstances did not seem to warrant it. While no great stickler for minute forms, nice interpretation, and slavish adherence to rubrics, or to whatever, according to my own common sense, I regard of small moment compared with weightier matters, I have endeavored to conform to the general system of the church in all its essential particulars—but that I should stand up here and assert that I have performed my full duty, God forbid. Outside of official ministrations it has been my endeavor to keep the members of this flock together by the cords of kindly fellowship, in the unity of spirit and in the bonds of peace; to assuage differences and to heal wounds. Of the sacred ties which have connected me to many in a place, where, notwithstanding my mistakes or faults, there has been accorded to me so long an almost unequalled kindly sentiment, I do not propose to speak now. In consequence of new movements, you have reached a phase which will call for the exercise of your best judgment, and I would desire to state correctly the position in which the parish now stands. The church debt, which had been an incubus from the foundation, has been cleared away. There is not, to my knowledge, a cent of it remaining. This is not due to my activities, but to those of others, yet it is a source of gratitude to me that it has been done in my time. You have an organ of the finest tone and most perfect workmanship, and the constancy and effect with which the attractive musical services of the church have been maintained, has been extraordinary for a parish of limited extent and means, and is known and acknowledged throughout the State. In the Capital, where many resort, it is of the utmost importance that the Episcopal services should be rendered as perfectly as means will permit, in all their parts.
With regard to numbers at present, of those directly or indirectly, from principle or from preference, attached to this church, there are more than enough, when fully brought together, to fill all these seats. You have, in fact, sufficient strength for the day and generation—only comparative weakness. The root is firmly implanted in the ground. It cannot be torn up—by the grace of God—no, never. You who have stood by when that germ was sown, may live to rejoice in the luxuriant foliage and fruitage of the vine. But you must give to it a more assiduous culture. There must be more corps d'esprit—above all, more ardent affection for the cause of Christ, as well as for this church of Christ—more perfect co-operation, unity of purpose and brotherly love. Perhaps with even a little interval of flagging despondency, the slow work of years might be undone. Stand together with more decision than you have done before, and you are stronger than you ever have been.
An edifice, strong, substantial, beautiful in architectural proportions, will be built at some time after I am gone. I should have accounted it an honor, had you
chosen to accord it, not to a stranger, but to me, who have spent here the best portion of my life, to see, at least, the incipience of that undertaking. But perhaps at some future day when I shall come here, my eyes may be greeted by the tapering spire, surmounted by the cross, and my ears charmed by the sound of musical chimes on the clear mountain air, upon some golden Sunday or on some festive holiday.
Present or absent, my thoughts shall often recur to these
courts endeared to me,
not only by mournful, but by all pleasing and delightful associations, and I shall hope to join with you in the same prayers which we have repeated to-day, and to have my soul uplifted by the same sacred melodies.
It will be a great trial of my life to part with you, and I trust that I can say with the Psalmist David, when he expressed his joy at being called on to go up to the sanctuary, and when he extolled the Holy City—"Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee."
REV. FREDERICK W. SHELTON, LL. D.
BY H. A. HUSE.
Frederick W. Shelton was born in Jamaica, Long Island, in 1814, and died at Carthage Landing, N. Y., June 20, 1881 . He was the son of Nathan Shelton, an eminent physician. His preparation for college was at the Jamaica Institute, and he graduated from the College of New Jersey, Princeton, and from the General Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1847, and was rector successively in Huntington, L. I.; Fishkill, N. Y.; Montpelier; and Carthage Landing, (Low Point,) Dutchess County, N. Y. He for some months in 1848 officiated in Montpelier in the absence of Mr. Manser, and was rector of Christ Church from 1854 to 1866. Dr. Shelton went from here to Carthage Landing, where he remained rector till his death. His home at Carthage Landing was beautifully situated on the banks of the Hudson, and his situation there was one well suited to a man of thoughtful and genial temperament.
He left a widow and two sons. Mrs. Shelton, who now lives in Carthage Landing, was Rebecca R. S. Conkling, daughter of David S. Conkling, (a brother of Judge Alfred Conkling,) who married Isabella Fletcher, a daughter of Col. Fletcher of the British Army, who was a descendant of Fletcher, the dramatist. Of the six children of Dr. and Mrs. Shelton, four are dead. The two oldest, born in New York city, died of scarlet fever in Montpelier the second year after they came here; a baby 8 months old, also died in Montpelier. The second year after they went to Carthage Lauding, a boy of thirteen died. The two youngest sons are now living, and are in business in Omaha. The older of them graduated at Trinity College, Hartford, in 1879.
Dr. Shelton was a man of marked influence on the parishes of which he had charge, and this, though he had, and none knew it better than he, but little of what is known as executive or business ability in his make-up. His preaching was of the best, and his own life was, in its Christian graces, a model.
Dr. Shelton's writing, whether in sermon or in book, had many charms for all who heard or read. In an article in the "Churchman" of July 23, 1881, is found the following:
One might say that Dr. Shelton's literary faculty amounted almost, if not absolutely, to genius. His invention was fertile and various, his fancy delicate, and his humor ever fresh and delightful. His mind was of the same type with Washington Irving's, although it was marked by a mystical force and tendency, evinced by the romance and allegory it gave birth to, which the elder and greater writer has not exhibited. While a collegian he became a contributor to the Knickerbocker Magazine, then and for many years afterward the chief organ of American periodical literature. Before he came of age, Bartlett & Melford published for him a satire in rhyme entitled, "Trollopiad; or, Travelling Gentleman in America," annotated with sketches of the series of foreign travellers whose flippant descriptions of the land of freedom once provoked the ire of our native writers. Besides many papers buried under the covers of divers magazines, he published "Gold Mania," 1850; "The Use and Abuse of Reason," 1850, and other minor
420 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
works, and "Salander and the Dragon—a romance," 1851; "The Rector of St. Bardolphs," 1853, (second edition. 1856); "Up the River," 1853; "Chrystalline; or, The Heiress of Fall Down Castle—a romance," 1854; "Peeps from the Belfry; or, The Parish Sketch Book," 1855, (second edition, 1856.) Latterly he has spent much time and labor upon a translation of several of the "Dialogues of Plato," and it is believed that his manuscript is ready for the press. It should also be said that his sermons were characteristic compositions, original in thought, brightened often by unconscious strokes of humor and quickened by touches of genuine pathos.
Among the resolutions passed by the clergy present at the funeral of Dr. Shelton, was one in which they said, "we bear our willing and grateful testimony to the delightful personal character of our dear friend, to the exquisite charm of his conversation, to his genial hospitality, to the high principle which singularly distinguished him, and to the sweetness, humility and devotion of his Christian life and walk."
Two weeks after his death, a committee, consisting of Charles Dewey, Fred E. Smith, J. W. Ellis and T. C. Phinney, for the wardens, vestry and parish of Christ Church, said in a letter to Mrs. Shelton, of which a copy is spread upon the parish records:
We remember the loyal service which he did for Christ while Rector in this Parish. We recall how he faithfully ministered the sacraments of life. We think of the instructions which his lips gave and his walk enforced. We review the memory of his presence when joy was warm and fresh in our homes, and when sorrow brooded heavily upon us. We think of him as the genial friend who was with us, and whom we rejoiced to have with us. We call up the past relations which he bore in this community as a man and citizen. And although we have but recently learned the story of his declining health from his own lips, and felt, with him, that his life could not be protracted very long, the news of his going away has come to us to awaken a host of memories which we cannot name, but only suggest. We desire to assure you that at this hour our prayers and thoughts are with you, and that we are only representatives of many in whom the recent tidings have revived many fond recollections of that one who has gone on but a little while before.
From several unpublished poems of Mr. Shelton, which, with the historical sermon, were kindly sent to us by Mrs. Shelton to select from, we give:—
THE SKEPTIC TO HIS SOUL.
"Animula, vagula, blandula,
Hospes comesque corporis,
Qua nunc abibis in loca,
Pallidula, rigida, nudula,
Nec, ut soles, dabis jocos?"
Invisible one! little elf!
Who makest my bosom thy home,
Hid away in the midst of myself,
I have asked thee, like Hadrian of Rome,
Have implored with a passionate cry,
With a tear of affection, a sigh,
Come, tell me a part or the whole,
What is it, what is it to die?
But never a word in reply,
Oh Psyche, may Darling, my Soul!
Say, is it not due to my love,
Thou close-nestling one, winged-dove,
Since thou hast been with me from birth,
Though than camest down from above,
And I am a clod of the earth?
Near, near as my tremulous heart,
Why far, far away as the pole,
Guest of mine that thou wilt not impart,
Nor tell thy poor friend what thou art,
In a voice or as soft as a breath
As it slips from the chill lips of death,
Or loud as the thunders that roll,
While I stand with expectance and wait,
Like a beggar for crumbs at a gate,
Oh Psyche, my Darling, my Soul!
Forever I count thee within
The retreat of thy innermost shrine,
But enwrapt in a body of sin
Shrink as if from a presence divine.
And vain are my struggles to win
What no art of the living e'er stole,
The key of the mystery dread,
And rifle it from thy control.
Thou giv'st it alone to the dead,
As be lies in his cold, narrow bed,
Oh Psyche, my Darling, my Soul!
Thus I con thy enigma, my wife,
One more blind than the Sphinx could propose.
That we, fondly wedded through life,
Should be only acquaint at its close.
Ah! cause of contention and strife!
That thou wilt not breathe in my ear
What is writ on thy mystical scroll,
But keep'st it away from thy dear
As if it were something to fear,
Oh Psyche, my Darling, my Soul!
In the twilight of groves I have stood,
In the shadow of solitudes vast.
Where nothing of earth could intrude,
To question my soul as I would
And wring out the secret at last.
But the night, it is coming on fast,
When thou shalt be winging thy flight
Toward the rivers of crystal that roll
Through the regions of beauty, thy goal;
I shall know what thou knowest, aright,
I shall go where thou goest that night,
Oh Psyche, my Darling, my Soul!
From a Poem entitled "THE SIRENS," delivered before
the Literary Societies of Norwich University, Aug. 17, 1865.
Ye who embark as with the risen sun,
On the rude sea, life's voyage just begun,
Ev'n as the East the rosy day-dawn streaks
With purple light of youth upon your cheeks,
Ponder the story well,
Whatever shore you reach, wherever you may dwell!
When ye approach the realm
Of weird enchantment, steady hold the helm.
For soon the Siren strain
Will visit you again,
Impalpable and fine,
As if it were divine,
Sweet as it was of yore,
Lure you to ruin on the rock-bound coast,
Where all your precious argosy is lost.
Hence ye delusive joys!
Stop, stop your listening ears with wax, my boys!
Or mixed with silvery voices you may hark
The sea dogs bark!
Lo: Sylla and Charybdis on each side
Are yawning wide!
With strong determination bind yourselves,
Nor own the fetters of perfidious elves.
When the wild nymph of Pleasure from her lair
Spreads her white arms and makes her bosom bare,
And beckons as she shakes her flowing locks
To woo, and lure you to the perilous rocks,
Fly from the promise of Elysian joys,
Cling to your oars for life, and pull, my boys!
Where dwells not soul-destroying witchery?
Whither we fly—
To try her subtle arts
On these fond, beating hearts,
With necromantic spell
To lead thro' Error's portals down to hell—
Watching our frail barques as we glide apace,
On to eternal glory or disgrace.
Around her may be amaranthine bloom,
Flowers of loveliest hue and sweet perfume.
And she is sometime beautiful; her wand
Holds, like a goddess, in her milk-white band;
Beams a fond welcome from her starry eyes,
And all the waste is changed to Paradise.
Ye mariners! ye red-lipped, rosy youth,
Oh! list the music of celestial truth;
For Duty is the polar star to guide
To home, to Heaven, in spite of wind or tide.
Should folly tempt you with its base alloys,
Cling to your oars for life, and pull, my boys!
Regard Ulysses in his golden prime,
And reign like him upon a throne sublime.
Even vice may have a face
Of bright, potential charm,
A soft, bewildering grace
To mitigate alarm.
Of flowers she weaves her chain
To bind the victim up,
Love-philtres for the brain
Are mingled in her cup.
She with fleet and gay advances,
Song and viol, mazy dances,
Glancing smiles with each emotion,
Like the sunbeams on the ocean,
Woos you from the path of glory,
Beckoning from her promontory.
Set thro' the flimsy gauze, and spurn her joys,
Cling to your oars for life, and pull, my boys!
Where dwells the craven coward on these hills?
Oft glittering with their diadems of snow,—
The air is fraught with freedom, and the rills
Leap forth, and chant its pæan as they go.
The pulses beat, the heart with rapture thrills
At the all-beautiful, majestic scene,
Mountains on mountains piled, sweet vales between.
It is the clime where stalwart men have birth,
Full-panoplied as from the very earth.
When the war-bugle sounds the first alarms
Peak back to sun-lit peak clamors, to arms! to arms!
Once when the tide of battle raved.
And rolled o'er many a blood-stained wreck,
And the Star-Spangled banner waved
Beneath the old Chapultepec;
When Mexic legions numbered strong,
And gleamed on high their pennon'd spears,
A horseman bore the word along.
Where stood the bold Green-Mountaineers,
"Help from Vermont, upon the right!
Our ranks are reeling and unsteady!"
Then rose the wild shriek of delight
From those who never quailed in fight,
"Aye, aye. VERMONT IS READY!"
Onward they dashed upon the foes,
As loose the mountain torrents break,
And swift the starry banner rose
Above the old Chapultepec.
Then ever let the watchword fly
From rank to rank to rank, from earth to sky,
And Echo catch the glad reply—
Vermont is ready!
SOLDIER BOY TO HIS GREEN MOUNTAIN
Oh, sweet is the breath or the morning
And sparkling the dew on the lawn,
When fresh is the summer's adorning,
And the winter Is over and gone.
But my Mary is purer and sweeter,
And bright as the day-star of Truth,
When waking or dreaming I meet her,
In the light and the freshness of youth.
She has cheered on her soldier to duty,
Though afar from the scenes of his toll,
From her home by the river of beauty,
On the banks of the charming Lamoille.
Oh, sweet is the carol of birdlings,
When the forests are budding in May,
When the bobolink sings in the meadow,
And Robin replies on the spray;
But in silence and gloom of midwinter,
In battle with treason and wrong,
One thought on the face of my Mary
Steals into my heart like a song.
So she cheers on her soldier to duty,
Though afar from the scenes of his toil,
From her home by the river of beauty,
On the banks of the charming Lamoille.
Oh, dear is the home of my childhood,
Each valley, and mountain and lea.
But vain without love is the wild wood,
Without love in the land of the free.
When the flag floats from ocean to ocean,
And the din of the battle is o'er,
I will fly on the wings of devotion.
And part with my Mary no more.
Then she'll welcome her soldier from duty
To her arms from the scenes of his toil,
By her own lov'd river of beauty
On the banks of the charming Lamoille.
422 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
CATHOLIC HISTORY OF MONTPELIER.
Continued from page 289.
Rev. Jeremiah O'Callaghan, a priest of the Diocese of Cork, Ireland, was sent by Bishop Fenwick, of Boston, to Burlington in the month of July, 1830. From this time till 1851, he must have occasionally visited the Catholics of Montpelier, but no records exist of his laboring amongst them. Father O'Callaghan died at Holyoke, Mass., in the year 1861. About the year 1850, Rev. H. Drolet, a Canadian priest, was sent to reside at Montpelier. He lived here till the fall of 1854, when he returned to Canada, where he died. He it was who bought the old Court House, which was used as a church until the erection of the present edifice by Father Druon. After the departure of Father Drolet, the Montpelier Catholic congregation was attended by the Oblate Fathers from Burlington until November, 1856, when Very Rev. Z. Druon became pastor of the Catholic congregation, and officiated here as such until July 15, 1864, when he was replaced by Rev. Joseph Duglue.
+ Louis, Bp. of Burlington,
Rev. Z. Druon, while in charge of this parish, built in 1859 the present church, dedicated to St. Augustine, and purchased a church burying-ground. Father Duglue made some improvement on the church and house for the priest, and built a good school building on a lot adjoining the church, whieh commands a fine view of the village and State House grounds. This institution was given in charge to ladies from St. Joseph's, Barlington, who have a large and flourishing school here.
REV. Z. DRUON, V. G.
O'CALLAGHAN, Rev. JEREMIAH. A Critical Review of Mr. J. K. Converse's Calvinistic Sermon; also, of the Erroneous proposition of Two Innovators, by the Rev. Jeremiah O'Callaghan, R. C. Priest, Burlington, Vt. Burlington: Printed for the Author, 1834. 16 mo. p. 58.
—Usury, Funds and Banks; also, forestalling Traffic and Monopoly; likewise Pew Rent and Grave Tax; together with Burking and Dissecting; as well as the Gallican Liberties, are all repugnant to the Divine and Ecclesiastical Laws and Destructive to Civil Society. To which is prefixed a Narrative of the Author's Controversy with Bishop Coppinger,
and of his sufferings for justice's sake, by the Rev. Jeremiah O'Callaghan, Roman Catholic Priest. Burlington: Printed for the Author, 1834. 8 vo. p. 380.
—The Creation and Offspring of the Protestant Church; also the Vagaries and Heresies of John Henry Hopkins, Protestant Bishop; and of other False Teachers. To which is added a Treatise on the Holy Scriptures, Priesthood and Matrimony. By Jeremiah O'Callaghan, Roman Catholic Priest. Burlington: Printed for the Author, 1837. 12 mo. p. 328.
—Exposure of the Vermont Banking, by the Rev. Jeremiah O'Callaghan, Roman Catholic Priest. Burlington: Free Press Print. 8 vo. p. 32.
—Atheism of Brownson's Review—Unity and Trinity of God—Divinity and Humanity of Christ Jesus—Banks and Paper Money. Burlington, Vt., 1852. R. C. 8 vo. pp. 306, (2.)
—The Hedge round about the Vineyard, Dressed up. 1844. 12 mo. p. 360.
Father O'Callaghan labored at Burlington with much success from 1830 to 1852.
—Gilman's Bibliography of Vt.
The books of Father O'Callaghan, that we have examined, have considerable pith. The attack on Brownson's Review was during his transformation, before he had come up to the Catholic standard. His biography (Brownson's) belongs to our next volume, or Windsor Co.
Between the visits of Reverend Father O'Callaghan and Father Drolet, was the missionary labors of Rev. John Daly for a time, his field reaching from Canada to Brattleboro. We have not learned more of him.
REV. H. DROLET,
the first resident priest at Montpelier, must have come here to reside, we think, as early as 1850, as we learn by a letter of Gen. Clarke, Secretary to the Senate, who was here at the time, that the old Court House that Father Drolet purchased, as the Bishop states, was used as a church in the fall of 1850, and we find Father Drolet, or the General for him—the General took charge of the matter—succeeding in "borrowing ground" of the Legislature for the society to build a vestry on in the rear of the old Court House, then used as a church, (or to the left hand,) the site, we understand, of the present church.
From a letter of Gen. D. W. C. Clarke to his wife, Nov. 3, 1850:
I attended mass at Montpelier, Friday morning, (All Saints,) stealing quietly away from my seat in the Senate Chamber for that purpose. The poor Catholics looked upon me with surprise as I knelt among them, and declined the offer of a "better place." I rather like, you know, to kneel right among the most humble, and God knows I belong there. Mass was celebrated in the new church the Catholics are finishing off, (it was formerly the Court House,) within a dozen rods of the State House. The interior is wholly unfinished, . . . but it did seem to me, like worshipping God "in His holy temple."
Acts of 1850, No. 87—Resolution granting license to a religious society to occupy a piece of the land of the State near the State House:
Resolved, by the Senate and House of Representatives, That the Sergeant-at‑Arms is authorized to permit the Religious Society who are fitting up and repairing the old Court House, on the east side of the public grounds, for the purpose of religious worship, to occupy so much land belonging to the State as may be necessary for the erection of a vestry room in the rear of said building; provided, however, this resolution may be revoked at any time, by joint resolution of the two houses of the Legislature.
The above resolution was adopted Nov. 13, 1850.
The General, and his friends in the Senate and in the House, having got the loan of the land, it eventuated soon after in the purchase of it.
Father Drolet was born in the city of Quebec, Canada, and died in the Parish of St. Jude, Diocese of St. Hyacinth, between the years 1861 and 1863.
Rev. Father B. Maloney and Father Coopman, Oblates, attended Montpelier from Jan. 1856 to Nov. 1856.
REV. ZEPHYRINUS DRUON, V. G.,
was born Mar. 14, 1830, at Vendin le Vieil Pas de Calais, and ordained priest, July 3, 1853, at Beauvais, France. He studied for the priesthood in the Grand Seminary of Arras; came to this country in August, 1850, with Bishop Rappe; continued his theological studies in Cleveland, O., and
424 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
finished them at Paris in the Seminary of St. Sulpice; went back to Cleveland; was curate at the cathedral there 4 months; came to Vermont, January, 1854; was the residing priest of Bennington, 1 year; of East Rutland, 2 years; of Montpelier, 8 or 9 years; finally of St. Albans, 16 years to the present. He was very much honored and esteemed in Montpelier. He has been called, and undoubtedly is, the most scholarly, piquant and solid preacher and writer of the Catholic clergy in the State. He received his appointment as Vicar General in 1864, or at the end of the year 1863.
REV. JOSEPH DUGLUE
was born Sept. 3, 1834, at Carentoir, Morbihan, France. He studied for the priesthood in the Grand Seminary of Vannes, came to this country in September, 1855, with Bishop de Goesbriand, and continued his theological studies in the Grand Seminary at St. Sulpice, at Baltimore, Maryland, and was ordained priest at Burlington, Feb. 4, 1857. He was first sent to Middlebury, then, in 1860, he was called to the cathedral. At the end of the year 1862, he was appointed to Fairfield, where he remained until July, 1864, when he was appointed to Montpelier. In 1877, he went to France, on account of ill health, and was absent one year. On his return, he was sent to Waterbury, where he was three months, when, in January, 1879, he was replaced at Montpelier, where he is now pastor, of whom we may say, to quote the words of a priest, Father McLaughlin, of Brandon, in his silver jubilee discourse, "Father Duglue, the Priest at the Capital, if it would not be savoring of a joke, I should say is a capital Priest."
THE INTERIOR OF ST. AUGUSTINE'S is very plain for a Catholic church. The building is small, and the church will only seat about 950. There are two side aisles, but no centre aisle. The windows have only a partial coloring of red glass in the top. Between the windows, in simple black wood frames, the stations of the cross run along the walls, as in every Catholic chapel—the representative via dolorosa—the path of dolor from Pilate's hall to the Tomb in the Garden. The chancel, too, is poor in art—very poor—only the little side altars in the foreground at the right and left, of the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph; in the main chancel, a very plain wood altar, the figure of St. Augustine in the, wall-niche over behind; two Sacred Heart pictures on the wall beside. The oldest church in christendom is planted on the Capital Hill in almost as poor a state as the Cave at Bethlehem. The religion of Rome has not been long introduced in this county. There are but three other Catholic churches in the whole county, yet. One might expect to find a handsome church at the Capital—a church more suitable to the place—an edifice second to none in the State in magnitude and decoration. Feeling particularly the want thereof on this honorable and beautiful hillside, still the poor congregation go in and out, a look very well content in their faces — a respectable throng every Sunday and holiday. The motherly church adapts herself sweetly to all peoples and all conditions, in the grandeurs of the cathedral, in the poorest mission chapel, ever to the Catholic his true Alma Mater.
The Catholic cemetery of St. Augustine's, which is a little above Main street, in Clay Hill district, the land for which was bought of Thomas Reed and Charles Clark, Dec. 1857, was not deeded or inclosed and blessed by the Bishop until 1860. The first grave made therein was that of Edward Cadieu, a young child of Theophile Cadieu. About an acre adjoining was bought of George Jacobs, Nov. 1879, and blessed by Rev. Joseph Duglue, September 5, 1880.
ST. MICHAEL'S SCHOOL,
of which Father Druon speaks as commanding a fine view upon the hillside, is situated a little to the east of the church of St. Augustine. Outwardly, the ample white building, with a cross on its roof, attracts the eye from the street; within, it is pleasantly and comfortably furnished. Five ladies reside at the institution, and have a school of some over 170 pupils. It has been put down 200. Father Duglue
thinks "it will average 170 daily attendance and some over." The Young Ladies Sodality of B. V. M. of this congregation is always presided over by one of the ladies of St. Michael's, and is the best appearing Sodality of Catholic young ladies that we know of in the State.
We learn since the above was in print that the old Court House was bought of J. Barnard Langdon in 1850; also by a letter of Father Drolet to Bishop Fitzpatrick of Boston, work was first commenced on remodeling the old Court House into a Church, July, 1850.
Moreover that Father Duglue has had the honor to say mass at Barre, Sunday, Nov. 13, 1881, supposed to be the first Catholic service ever held at that place.
THE BAPTIST CHURCH OF MONTPELIER.
FURNISHED BY THE PASTOR.
[The first part of the following Historical Sketch of this church was written by Col. H. D. Hopkins about the time of the dedication of their house of worship, and published in a Montpelier paper Feb. 6, 1873.]
"The church was organized in June, 1865, with 14 members, only five of whom were males. Hon. Joseph Rowell—since deceased—and Philip Hill, Esq., were chosen Deacons pro tem, and the Rev. Rufus Smith, who was agent for the denomination within the State, was chosen Clerk. Mr. Smith also supplied the pulpit of the congregation on the Sabbath — sometimes by occupying it himself, and sometimes by arrangement with other clergymen in the vicinity. The first Sunday services of this young church were in Village Hall.
October, 1865, a call was given to Rev. H. D. Hodge to become pastor, who declined. February following a call was given to Rev. N. P. Foster, M. D., of Burlington, and he accepted, but did not enter upon the pastorate until October of the same year. Up to this time 11 persons were added to the church, four of whom entered by profession of faith. Dr. Foster remained with the church till April, 1869, during which time, as would appear by the results, he labored faithfully and well for the growth of the church and the success of the Redeemer's Kingdom. While he was pastor, 17 persons were added to the church. The little organization of 1865 had in less than four years more than tripled its membership.
The second pastor was Rev. William Fitz, who began his labors in September, 1869. and closed them in November, 1871. He was a faithful minister, a pleasant, companionable man, an able preacher, and was highly esteemed outside the denomination, as well as in. The church received 21 members during his pastorate of a little more than 2 years. The third and present pastor, the Rev. N. Newton Glazier, began his labors in January of last year, and the friends of the Society and congregation can wish them nothing better in the line of human ministries, we are sure, than that he may long remain with them. A young man, a growing and a good man, he seems specially fitted to lead on this people in their work in the world. 9 persons were added to the church in the first year of his ministry This brings a partial history of this organization down to the present time, (Feb., 1873,) 58 members having been added to the 14 who originally united to form it. Two persons—one of them the Hon. Joseph Rowell, one of the founders of this church, and long an ardent friend and supporter of the denomination, — have died from among its members, and by removals it has suffered further depletion, so that its present number is 57. In July, 1869, the church elected as its deacons, E. E. Andrews and E. S. Hibbard. In August of 1865, a Sunday School in connection with the church was organized, over which Mr. Hibbard was chosen Superintendant, and he still holds the office, (Feb., 1873) laboring with true christian zeal to make it successful in its work.
We have stated that this people began worship in Village Hall. Remaining there a few months, they removed to Freeman Hall—the apartment now occupied by the Temple of Honor; and then on the 12th of November, they removed to the Court House. Here they remained till January of 1868, when they were ordered by the Assistant Judges of the County, against the remonstrance of nearly all the lawyers of the County, and many prominent citizens
426 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGA7,INE.
of Montpelier, to vacate the premises, and it was done. Though they had been laboring to the ultimate erection of a place of worship for their use, and were slowly gathering subscriptions for the purpose, it was the action of the court, the sending of them adrift, houseless as they were, which perhaps gave them the nerve necessary for such an undertaking; and consequently they made ready, and on the 23d of March, ground was broken for the foundation of their new and beatiful church edifice. During the summer work upon it was pushed forward with all possible vigor, and in November they were enabled to enter the basement, though at first it lacked windows. It is worthy of mention that from June, 1865, to this time they worshipped in no less than 16 different rooms. It was therefore no wonder if on entering premises they could call their own, though not the most inviting and comfortable, they felt to "thank God and take courage."
The New Church edifice stands at the corner of School and St. Paul streets, fronting on the former. It is of wood, gothic in style, and of good proportions.
It was built from plans and specifications generously furnished to the society without expense by A. M. Burnham, Esq., architect, and speaks well for his good taste as a builder. The size of the main building is 46 by 75 feet, the auditorium is 44 by 61 feet, 26 feet high, with sloping ceilings, and will seat comfortably 400 persons. The choir gallery, which is only slightly elevated and standing in the front end of the building, is finished with heavy rail and balustrades of black walnut. The organ loft, and the recess for the pulpit—the latter in the opposite end of the building—are finished with triple gothic arches and scroll corbets for pendants. The chancel is 10 by 30 feet, and contains robing-room aud baptismal font. It is reached both by stairs leading from the vestry below, and by steps from the auditorium. The basement is 10 feet high, and divided in a most desirable manner into vestibule, classroom, kitchen for sociables, etc. The spire and bell tower are situated in the left hand front corner, and are heavily mounted with gable and offset buttresses and bracketed clock-faces. The handsome spire rises to 140 feet, and on the right hand rises another tower of smaller proportions, finished with double cornice, with buttresses ending in turrets and finials. The entrance to the church is by doors in the towers, the larger 7 by 13 feet. The vestry is reached both by a side door from St. Paul street and by stairs leading down from the vestibule. The basement is finished (externally) with rustic block-work, projecting ten inches from the main building, which forms a pedestal for buttresses to rest upon between the windows of the main auditory. The windows of the auditorium are pointed gothic, with heavy stools aud corbets, and are set with figured glass of extremely pretty pattern. The pews are similar to those of Bethany Church, (of which Col. Hopkins is a loved and honored member,) heavy black walnut frames, with black ash panels. The pulpit, which is little more than a desk for the Bible, is of new design, and is constructed of black and French walnut. The chancel is supplied with three massive chairs, of a style well fitted for the purpose. The walls and ceilings are frescoed in modern Persian arches, laid in colors attractive and beautiful. The slips are cushioned, and a carpet of modern figure and colors covers the floor of the chancel, auditorium and singers' gallery. The cost of the church was about $17,000. It is an ornament to the town, and a credit to the enterprise and self-denial of those by whose labors and calculations it has been reared.
The dedication was on Jan. 29, 1873, at 2 o'clock, in the presence of a crowded and interested audience. First, anthem, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel!" Invocation and reading of Scripture, by Rev. Wm. Fitz, the selection relating chiefly to God's House, its delights and uses; prayer, by Rev. Mr. Morrow, of the Methodist church; "All hail the power of Jesus' name," by choir and congregation; sermon by Rev. Mr. Glazier, pastor; text, "We preach Christ crucified;" an able effort, delivered with much earnestness. After the sermon, chant, "I will lift up
mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help;" prayer of dedication, by Rev. Mr. Smith, of St. Albans, and the benediction. The services seemed to impress all persons present as appropriate and interesting, and must have been especially so to the little company of believers whose earthly temple this house henceforth is to be."
Col. Hopkins, a few weeks later, in another article wrote: "The Baptist church is the only place in town where the building and the organization occupying it bear the same name. It is characteristic of these people, we believe, that they fling their colors to the breeze. Coming to their beautiful church, you are made to feel that you are welcome. Their pastor, Rev. Mr. Glazier, will impress you as a man of character, ability and earnestness. His pulpit efforts will not suffer in comparison with those of older and more notable men.
The audience is at present small, but it is the confident expectation of the few that their numbers shall yearly increase. They are well united and commendably devoted to work."
Mr. Glazier closed his pastorate on the last day of June, 1878, exactly six years and six months from its beginning. During his pastorate fifty-eight members were received into the church, two of them being baptised by Mr. Glazier on the first Sunday after his pastorate closed. He is a man of most lovable and forbearing spirit. His public discourse is rich and spiritual, and Biblical in doctrine. His private conversation is elevating and remarkably entertaining. His departure from his people was like the parting from the old home of a son or a brother. After a lapse of three years, his discourses still linger forcefully in the minds of the people to whom he ministered, and the influence of his sweet temper and godly life abides as a benediction, not only upon his devoted parishioners, but also upon the pastor who succeeds him. He is now the pastor of the strong Baptist church in South Abington, Mass.
Rev. Henry A. Rogers, at present ministering to the church, became its pastor Oct. 3, 1878, ordained by the church to the Gospel ministry, Nov. 7, following. The efforts of the church during the first 3 years of his pastorate have been in the line of more perfect discipline and organization. Distinct departments of church work have been organized in the interest of foreign missions, home missions, the Vermont Baptist State Convention, music, education, parish gatherings, parish visiting, temperance and Sunday-schools.
The Sunday-schools have been a marked feature in the history of the work of the church during this period. The school in the church has been making a gradual gain in numbers, and, we think, in efficiency, under the superintendency of H. B. Woodward, H. J. Andrews and Ives Batchelder, successively, and now of Jas. H. Burpee. The services of the first three of these superintendents were lost to the church by their removal from the vicinity.
A mission school was organized, three miles distant, at Wrightsville, Nov. 27, 1878, S.S. Towner, superintendent. Upon his removal to Lynn, Mass., M. C. Whitney was appointed by the church as superintendent, Sept. 4, 1879. At the annual meeting of the school district in March, 1881, on motion of P. C. Wright, the district passed a vote that their school-house should not be used for the purpose of a Sunday-school. From this time, accordingly, the school was of necessity discontinued.
A second mission Sunday-school was organized in East Montpelier, distant five miles, in the school-house of district No. II, May 4, 1879, Samuel L. Lillie, superintendent. Sept. 4, 1879, he resigned, being about to go away, and George W. Sanders was appointed in his place, and is present superintendent.
A third mission school was begun at Montpelier Center, distant 3 miles, May 25, 1879, F. R. Spalding, superintendent. He also resigned Sept. 4, 1879, to go elsewhere, and Jno. W. Smith was elected by the church to the superintendency, which office he still fills.
It was voted at the district school meeting, Mar. 30, 1880, that the school-house in which the services had been held should
428 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
be closed against them. But a neighbor, Mr. West Ormsbee, who had not before attended the school, opened his commodious hall, and the school immediately doubled in number.
At a called meeting, July 20, 1881, of district No. 6, Montpelier, 2 miles from town, and immediately adjoining the Wrightsville district, by vote of the meeting, their house was put at the disposal of the Baptist pastor for Sunday-school service on Sunday afternoons. Accordingly, a school was organized on the following Sunday, July 24. Mr. E. K. Dexter was subsequently appointed to superintend it. None of these schools has omitted a single session, winter or summer, since they were organized. They are all supplied by the church with circulating libraries, and books from which to learn and sing sacred song.
There have been 33 added to the church during this time. The church has now 97 members, (Oct. 1881,) but only about one-half are resident members, that is, live within 4 or 5 miles of the church. But none of the non-resident members reside in the immediate vicinity of any other regular Baptist church. The whole number of members belonging to the church since its beginning is 155.
HENRY A. ROGERS, Pastor.
ORGANISTS AND MUSICIANS.
BY A. A. HADLEY, Organist.
Among the principal musicians who have been teachers and organists in Montpelier are:
S. B. WHITNEY, teacher and organist in 1862—for about 4 years here—who has since made himself famous in Boston as an organist and conductor.
About this time, or before, was Mr. H. IRVING PROCTOR, who taught successfully, and is now at Des Moines, Iowa.
I think, following Mr. Whitney, was Mr. IRVING EMERSON, who played at the old Brick Church 3 years, and also taught; now located at Hartford, Ct., organist and superintendent of music in public schools.
In 1868, the now famous H. CLARENCE EDDY, from Massachusetts, played the organ at Bethany church for 2½ years; afterwards he studied abroad several years, and is now located in Chicago as director of the Hershey music school, and is considered one of the greatest of living organists.
Following him, at the Bethany church, as organist, was Mr. W. A. BRIGGS, who is a fine organist, and somewhat noted as a composer.
Mr. W. A. WHEATON, who teaches at "Goddard," Barre, beside being a successful teacher, is also organist at the Unitarian church, Montpelier.
Mr. HORACE H. SCRIBNER, who has also taught here several years, is present organist at the Episcopal church, and is liked by all as an accompanist on the organ and piano.
Mr. A. A. HADLEY, who has studied some time at Boston, has charge of the musical department in the "Vermont Conference Seminary and Female College," at Montpelier, and is organist at Trinity M. E. Church, this village.
Mr. ANDREW J. PHILLIPS was chorister several years, ending in 1879, at Bethany church, and teacher of vocal music. He married while here a daughter of Judge Redfield, and has a brother at present here, Mr. Wm. E. Phillips, a photograph artist with Mr. Harlow.
Mr. FRED W. BANCROFT, a resident and native of Montpelier, present chorister at Christ Church, has a good deal of local reputation as a fine tenor singer.
Among the ladies, ELLEN NYE, beside being a good teacher, is the finest pianist in this vicinity.
Mrs. BRIGGS, who sang at the time Mr. Phillips was chorister at Bethany, and for several years, is distinguished as a very fine soprano, and now sings at Boston.
Miss CHENEY, also a very fine soprano, sang several years at the Unitarian church here. She now sings at Burlington.
Among other sopranos are Josie Roleau and Mrs. Wheatley, much liked, and of the altos, Miss Mary Phinney and Miss Clara Dewey deserve special notice.
From Thompson's History of Montpelier.
COLONEL JACOB DAVIS.
Colonel JACOB DAVIS, the first permanent settler of Montpelier, and emphatically the chief of its founders, was born in Oxford, Mass., in 1739. His descendants have preserved no memorials of his youth, and only know he received no advantages of education except from the common schools of the times. In 1754, the part of the town, in which his father's family resided, was set off from Oxford, and incorporated by the name of Charlton. Here he lived until he removed to Vermont. He married Rebecca Davis, of the same town, a second cousin, and an intelligent, amiable and every way estimable young lady. Mr. Davis must have been a man of considerable property and standing in his town; and he probably passed through all the lower grades of military office in the militia of his county, and became widely known as an active patriot in the cause of the American Revolution; for in 1776, we find him acting under a Colonel's commission of one of the regiments of the Massachusetts detached or drafted militia, subject to the call of Congress or the Commander-in-Chief, whenever the occasion might require. How much he was in active service is not known; but the traditions of his family make him to have been with his command in the little army of Washington in the memorable crossing of the Delaware to attack the Hessians at Trenton in December, 1776. He was subsequently under contract to carry, and so did, the United States mail over one of the mail routes in his part of Massachusetts for some years. A few years after there was an old Jew engaged in traffic, who owned a large house, or ware-house, in the neighboring town of Leicester; Colonel Davis, and another gentleman of the vicinity, purchased this building, had it fitted up, and a select high school put in operation. This was the small beginning of the afterwards well known Leicester Academy, founded in 1774; and that Colonel Davis was considered one of its founders is shown by the fact, since his death, his family have received a letter asking for his portrait that it might be placed in the Academy building, with that of the other founders of that institution.
Early in the year 1780, he had turned his attention to the purchase of wild lands in the new State of Vermont; and was among the most active in procuring the granting and chartering of the township, which he caused to be named Montpelier, at the October session of the Legislature of Vermont in that year. From that time to the commencement of the meetings of the proprietors in the winter of 1786, which he attended, Colonel Davis appears to have been energetically engaged in his private business, at Charlton, or in public enterprises, like the one above mentioned. But from this year, and perhaps the year before, he was obviously employed in disposing of his quite handsome property in Massachusetts, and arranging for removal to his newly elected home in Vermont. In the winter of 1787, after having made, during the previous summer and fall, several journeys into the State to attend the meetings of the proprietors, commence the survey of the new township, in which he had secured three rights, or about 1000 acres, and make selection of pitches for the occupation of himself and sons, he removed his family to Brookfield, then the nearest settled town to Montpelier; and early in the following spring, still leaving his wife and daughters at Brookfield, till a comfortable home could be provided for them, he came with his sons and a hired man to make his opening in the dark forests of Montpelier. His career for the next 12 or 15 years, involved, to a remarkable degree, the history of the town.
Near the year 1800, he became involved in several large and vexatious lawsuits, growing out of disputed land titles or the sales of lands he had effected through his agencies under foreign landholders. In one of these, for want of his ability to make legal proof of payments that the distant proprietors had received, a large judgment was obtained in the United States Circuit Court against him, which was con-
430 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
sidered by himself, his family and friends, so unjust that he, with their concurrence, resolved never to pay it. And in pursuance of this determination, he conveyed to his sons and sons-in-law the principal part of his attachable property, and, removing his family to Burlington, so as to be within the limits of Chittenden county jail-yard, invited the service of the execution taken out against him on his own person. Here in Burlington, he led a quiet life for over a dozen years, during which frequent offers of compromises were made him by the plaintiffs in the suit, which he steadily rejected till the winter of 1814, when they made an offer so nearly amounting to a relinquishment of their whole claim, and so virtually involving an admission of its injustice, that he accepted it, and the whole matter in dispute was amicably settled. But before he became prepared to remove, as he was about to do, to his beloved Montpelier, he was attacked by an acute disease which terminated his life April 9, 1814. His remains were brought to Montpelier for interment, and a broad tomb-stone marking the place where they repose may now be found in the old village grave-yard.
In person, Col. Davis was 6 feet high, broad-shouldered, compactly formed and well proportioned, with unusually large bones and muscles. His face was round favored, and handsomely featured, and his whole appearance dignified and commanding. His great physical powers are instanced in his ability to slash an acre of forest land in a day. Let one other suffice. Old Mr. Levi Humphrey, one of the first settlers, who died in this town, August, 1859, aged 93 years, told us, about a fortnight before his death, he well-remembered being one day at Col. Davis' log house, when the latter requested two of his strongest hired men to go into the yard and bring in, for a back-log for their long open fire-place, a cut of green maple 4 feet long or more and nearly 2 feet in diameter. In. compliance, they each took hold of an end, but reported they were unable to bring it in, and were preparing to roll it up to the door with handspikes, when the Colonel, having noticed their failure to take up the log, came out, motioned them aside, and grasping the ends with his long arms, lifted and marched into the house with it, and threw it on to the fire, pleasantly remarking to them as he did so, that "they did not appear to be any great things at log-lifting." But Col. Davis' physical powers were of small account in the comparison with the other strong traits of the man, his enterprise, energy, judgment and far-reaching sagacity; but even they were not all the good qualities of his character; no needy man ever went empty-handed from his door; he ever gave employment of some kind to all who asked for it; and so well he rewarded all his employees, that no reasonable man in the whole settlement was ever heard to complain of the amount of wages he paid, or any unfair conduct in his dealings.
[In addition, Mr. Gilman gives: Charlton, the birth place of Col. Davis, adjoins Leicester on the north. Hon. Emory Washburn, in his history of Leicester, states that the academy in that town, one of the oldest in the state, "owes its foundation to the generosity and public spirit of Col. Jacob Davis, and Col. Ebenezer Crafts, whose munificence was suitably acknowledged in the Act of Incorporation. They purchased the commodious dwelling house, then recently occupied by Aaron Lopez, and its appendages, together with an acre of land, which they conveyed to the Trustees of Leicester Academy, in consideration of the regard they bear to virtue and learning, which they consider greatly conducive to the welfare of the community. The value of this estate was $1716, and was situated directly in front of the present Academy buildings. The liberality of these gentlemen, one of them (Davis) resident of Charlton, and the other (Crafts) of Sturbridge, deserves the gratitude of posterity." Col. Davis owned a valuable estate in Charlton, adjacent to that of his brother, Ebenezer Davis. Col. Nathaniel, Gen. Parley, and Hezekiah Davis, three brothers, early settlers in Montpelier, were sons of Ebenezer Davis of Charlton, and nephews of Col. Jacob Davis, not cousins, as stated by Thompson.]
The efficient help-meet of the energetic man, whose life and character we have but too briefly sketched, was born in Oxford, Mass., in 1743; married about the year 1765, and died Feb. 25, 1823. She lies buried by the side of her husband in this village, where she peacefully passed the last as well as the middle portion of her useful and exemplary life. She early united with the Congregational Church after it was established in this village, and had long been considered a Christian in works, as well as faith, which would have well warranted an earlier public profession of religion. Unusually comely in person, with a sweet smile ever on her lips, kind in disposition, intelligent and discreet, she was the never failing friend of the needy and distressed, the judicious adviser of the young, and the universal object of the love and respect of all classes of the people of the settlement. Of the more than half score of her cotemporaries in this town of whom we have made inquiries respecting her, all most cordially united in affirming, in substance, what we will only quote as the warmly expressed words of one of them; "Mrs. Colonel Davis was one of the best, the very best, women in the whole world!" She was a mother in the early Montpelier Israel, and she has left behind her a name bright with blessed memories.
HON. DAVID WING, JR.,
was born in Rochester, Mass., June 24, 1766; removed with his father and family to Montpelier about 1790, and settled down with them on a farm adjoining what is now known as the old Clark Stevens place, in the east part of the town. He had doubtless received a rather superior common school education, though the educational accomplishments, which he almost at once exhibited after coming into the settlement, were probably mainly the fruits of his native taste and scholarship, which is strikingly conspicuous in all the memorials, social or civil, that he has left behind him. He taught the second school of the town, which was opened, it is believed, in the same year in which he became one of its inhabitants. Within about 2 years after his arrival, he was elected town clerk, and during the next dozen years the offices of town agent, town representative, judge of the county court and secretary of state, seem to have been crowded upon him in regular and rapid succession. As an evidence of his great popularity among his townsmen, maybe cited, that while he was holding the office of side judge, and chief judge of the county court—ten-fold the best office held by any other inhabitant of the town—he was elected the town representative 4 years previous to his election as secretary of state; and not content with that, for the several years during that time, they threw their entire vote for him as state treasurer. Considering the jealousies usually existing among the numbers found in every town who believe themselves qualified for office, and who generally raise a clamor against bestowing an office on a man who is already holding another good office, perhaps nothing could be adduced, which shows so strongly, the personal regard in which David Wing was universally held by his almost idolizing townsmen.
In 1792, he married Hannah, second daughter of Col. Jacob
Davis, a young lady of many personal attractions and much moral excellence.
They had eight children, whose names show the classical tastes of the father, and
estimation in which the different noted personages of history were held by him:
Debby Daphne, Christopher Columbus, Algernon Sidney,
Marcus Tullius Cicero, Maria Theresa, David Davis, Caroline Augusta and Maximus Fabius. The two first daughters died in infancy; the other children arrived at maturity, and took highly respectable positions in society, though only one of them appears to have fully inherited the tastes and native scholarship of their father—the Rev. Marcus T. C. Wing.
In person, Judge Wing was of medium height, of a good form, fine head, shapely features and an animated countenance, all made the more attractive and winning by the dignified affability of his manners. As an instance of the quickness of his per-
432 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
ceptions, his ready business capacities and the versatile character of his talents, several of his yet surviving cotemporaries have named to us the fact, of which they were frequently cognizant, that he would correctly and rapidly draw up any kind of document, report, despatch or legal instrument in writing, and at the same time maintain a connected and lively conversation with those around him.
He was elected secretary of state in the fall of 1802, and while still holding the office, and in the midst of his usefulness and high promise, was suddenly swept away by a malignant fever, Sept. 13, 1806. Rarely has a death occurred in this section of the State which produced so profound a sensation in community, and it was mourned as a great loss, not only to the town but to the whole State.
[MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO WING, son of David Wing, Jr., born Oct. 17, 1798; graduated at Middlebury in the Class of 1820; read medicine in Montpelier, 1820–1821; was teacher in Maryland, 1821–24; studied at the Episcopal Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., 6½ years; was tutor in Kenyon College, O., 1826-29; Rector of an Episcopal church in Boardman, O., 1829—31; editor of the Gambier Observer, and treasurer and general agent of Kenyon College, several years, since which he has been Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the Episcopal Theological Seminary of Ohio at Gambier. He has received the degree of D. D. (1853.)
ELDER ZIBA WOODWORTH,
a man whose character was marked by many peculiar qualities, whose life was checkered by many peculiar events, was born Apr. 1769, in Bozrah, Ct., and was a connection of the gallant Col. Ledyard, who married his aunt, and his two brothers, Joseph and Asahel Woodworth. Ziba, the younger, but 17, became soldiers in Col. Ledyard's regiment; when that revengeful devil incarnate, Benedict Arnold, led the British against New London, and utterly desolated it with fire and sword, Ziba and his brother Asahel were, with their brave uncle in command, in Fort Griswold, on the Groton side of the Thames, Joseph being with another detachment some miles distant, but hastening on to the rescue. While the infamous Arnold was devastating New London, he sent out a detachment of several hundred British troops, under Col. Eyre, to carry Fort Griswold. The resistance of Col. Ledyard was gallant but unavailing. Part of the works were dilapidated, and the British, after being kept at bay about an hour, and suffering the temporary loss of their Colonel, who was badly wounded, and the loss of their second in command, Major Montgomery, who, with many of the soldiers, was killed, poured into the Fort in overwhelming numbers, under the lead of the third officer in rank, the vindictive and brutal Major Broomfield. Col. Ledyard surrendered the Fort, and, while presenting sword, hilt first, to the British commander, was murderously run through the body by his own weapon. Thereupon the British commenced an indiscriminate butchery of the Americans. Among the first, Ziba and his brother Asahel were prostrated—Asahel by a bullet, shattering the bones of his knee; Ziba by a head-wound, which rendered him insensible. They had not yet done enough for the desperately wounded Ziba; one of them made a heavy lunge with a bayonet into his bowels; the wound, though, owing to the strength and thickness of the new tow shirt he had on, not proving mortal, and another struck him senseless with the butt of a musket on the head. The massacre was intended to be universal. [As this account had from the lips of Uncle Ziba in his lifetime appears to violate history, it will be contended by some that he mistook some other British officer there slain for the murderer of Ledyard.] After all had, or were supposed to have, received their death wounds, the British, in their wanton ferocity, dragged out a dozen or so of those who exhibited the most signs of life, piled them into a detached cart, and sent it rolling down a steep bank till it struck a large apple tree, by which it was stove to pieces in the shock, and made a
sudden end of its groaning victims. Most of these particulars were had from the lips of Ziba Woodworth.
After a long, distressing sickness, Ziba recovered, except in the use of his knee, and in a few years, came with his two brothers, and perhaps ocher members of his family, to settle in Montpelier. His first pitch was made on the lot lying about 1 mile east of the village, which he soon sold to James Hawkins, and purchased another on the Branch, about 1½ mile above the village, where he resided till his death, Nov. 27, 1826.
He married and lived some years with his wife in Connecticut, when they were divorced, and soon after coming here, he married Lucy Palmer, from Canaan, N. H. Their children, 5, all but their son John, who is still living, (1860,) died in childhood.
He came into Montpelier about 1790, was present at its organization and its first town clerk. Ever after coming here, he was accounted a religious man of the Free Will Baptist persuasion. In about 1800, he began to exhort in public meetings, and in January, 1806, was licensed and ordained at a quarterly meeting of Free Will Baptists held at Danville. He did not, however, preach statedly anywhere, but mostly confining himself to his farm, divided his spare time between politics and religion, and became as ardent a partisan as he was a Christian.
Elder Woodworth was of small stature, limping in gate, but of wonderfully animated manner, and his heart seemed ever absolutely overflowing with the gushing of benevolenee. Once, learning a poor man from his neighborhood, who had moved to Ohio, had fallen sick and died there, leaving two or three unprotected children, he left his business, journeyed all the way to Ohio, at his own expense, in a single wagon, and brought all the children home with him. And still Uncle Ziba had enough faults to mingle with his virtues, to make him sometime the subject of doubtful remarks among the less charitable of the community. He was quite energetic in all he did or said, and the ardor of his temperament often led him into some extravagance of speech or action. But, take him all in all, he was a man of the kindest of impulses, a hearty friend, a charitable opponent, a good neighbor and a good citizen.
DOCTOR EDWARD LAMB,
born in Leicester, Mass., 1771, had not the advantages of a full public education, but studied at the academy, growing up in that town, in which the classics were beginning to be taught several years, and after that added a respectable knowledge of Latin and Greek, and entered as a medical student with Dr. Fiske of Sturbridge, continuing with him until he had attended a course of medical lectures in Boston and Cambridge, when, at the age of about 24, he removed to Montpelier, where his elder brother, Colonel Larned Lamb, had some years preceded him, and settled in his profession. In 1803 he married Polly Witherell of Montpelier, who died in 1822, leaving no issue. He was constable and collector of the town from 1799, two years; town representative in 1804, 14, 15; and what should be esteemed a still greater honor, was one of the Presidential electors when Gen. Harrison was run in 1836.
Although not much of a public speaker, he acquitted himself well in his public stations, for he was a man of rare good sense, unusually extensive practical information, and had a wonderful memory he had stored with a vast fund of all sorts of knowledge and learning.
We know of but two public performances of his, not connected with the above named offices—one the delivery of an original oration at the first celebration of the fourth of July ever held in Montpelier, in 1806, the other his valuable address on the "Science of Medicine," delivered before the Vermont Medical Society some 15 years later.
But it was in his profession he was best known to the public, and that more favorably and extensively than often falls to the lot of a local physician. His opinions among his professional brethen, in this section of the State, were widely sought and respected. In a knowledge of the
434 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
technicalities of medical science he scarcely had a superior. In all the ordinary diseases, his skill was equal to that of other good physicians—in fevers it was such as to place him with the very ablest practitioners of Vermont. The estimation in which his skill was held, in this respect, by his professional brethren, is sufficiently attested, that during the general and fatal prevalence of malignant fevers in 1813 and 14, he had at one time no less than 14 sick physicians under his immediate care in this part of the State.
During the run of the spotted fever, in this vicinity, Dr. Lamb had the chief care of 70 cases, and lost but three. His practice in his own town, was, at least 40 years, as full as it was successful; while for difficult cases his attendance was sought in all the surrounding country.
He had some unfortunate deficiences. In all his own pecuniary affairs, he was singularly remiss. More than half the time, it is believed, he made no charges for his services at all. He rarely dunned any man; and if he did, it was when he happened to be hard pressed for money to keep up his unusally plain and cheap way of living. Then often he would go to some abundantly responsible customer, owing him honestly, perhaps, $50, ask for $15 or $20, and on receiving it, hand back a receipt, in full of the whole account. In fact, he was our of the most unselfish men in the world, and could not be brought to care any more for money, except for supplying his absolute present wants, than so much dirt beneath his feet. And in all his extensive practice among all classes of community, it probably never once entered his head to make the least distinction between the richest and poorest, in the promptitude and faithfulness of his attendance. And the consequence, while his just and honest earnings would have made him, well managed, worth $50,000, he died worth scarcely one hundredth of that amount. He was everybody's servant, and everybody's friend but his own; and being at last seized with one of the ten thousand fevers he had so successfully managed in others, he at once predicted its end but too correctly, and in a few days passed peacefuly away, Nov. 4, 1845, aged about 74, universally regretted and respected.
Personally, he was of medium height, rather stocky, moderate in his motions, slightly limping in gait in consequence of a fever sore on one of his legs in his youth, and very neglectful in all matters of dress and outward appearance,—all which were at once forgotten, when one confronted his massive and noble head, manly features, pleasant blue eye, and thoughtful, impressive countenance; and socially, he was one of the most kindly and agreeable men, full of instructive remarks, generally aptly illustrated by the fund of piquant and amusing anecdotes which, in the course of his various reading and experience, he had treasured in his remarkable memory.
If ever a people owed a great and unequivocal debt of gratitude to any one man, the people of Montpelier and vicinity rest under such an obligation to Dr. Lamb.
COL. JAMES H. LANGDON,
the successful merchant of Montpelier, was born in Farmington, Conn., Mar. 3, 1783. When a youth he entered the store of Gen. Abner Forbes, then the leading merchant of Windsor, Vt., to acquire a knowledge of the mercantile profession, which he had determined to make the business of his life. And such was the progress he made and the confidence he inspired, and tact and good judgment he displayed in all the details of trade, and more important transactions of business coming within the scope of his action, that his employer, Gen. Forbes, before he reached the age of 21, took him into partnership, and established him at the head of a branch store in the village of Montpelier, in 1803. For the next half dozen years he continued to do business under the firm of Langdon & Forbes when justly believing he had accumulated capital enough and friends enough in this place to warrant the movement, he bought out Gen. Forbes' interest in the store, and thenceforward conducted the business in his own name, and entirely on his own responsibility.
From this time, alone or in company
with different partners, the first and longest continued being the systematic and clearheaded John Barnard, who was prematurely cut down by an acute disease in 1822; and the next, the Hon. John Spalding, still surviving, [since deceased.] From this time, for the next 20 years, Col. Langdon seemed to be wafted forward on one unvaried tide of prosperity and success, and great public benefits grew out of his commercial career, as he was instrumental in reforming the irregularities of trade, which up to his day custom had sanctioned, and in placing it on a just and honorable basis; and while thus conferring untold benefits on his town by what he did, and by the force of his salutary examples, he so conducted his dealings as well to deserve all the remarkable success which attended him. But we need not here enlarge on his noble characteristics as a merchant; we shall rather confine the remainder of our sketch to that which particularly marked him as a man and a citizen, and gave him that strong hold on public feeling, and that high place in the public estimation, which he retained through life.
In 1809, Col. Langdon married Miss Nabby Robbins, of Lexington, Mass., a union from which sprang five children, Amon, who died in childhood, John B., James R., George, and Caira R. Langdon. [John Barnard and George Langdon have died; James Robbins and Caira R., now Mrs. Nicholas, are still living.]
Col. Langdon ever manifested a proper interest, and often took an active part in the public affairs and official business of the town, having at various times filled with acceptance its most important offices. He also entered, and was rapidly promoted, in the military line, till he gained the title by which he is here designated. In the year 1828, having removed over the river to his beautiful meadows within the borders of Berlin, he was elected with unusual unanimity by the people of that town, as their representative in the Legislature; and in the following year re-elected to the office still more unanimously; and by the application of his excellent judgment and great practical knowledge in the business of legislation, he well justified the choice of his constituents. In 1828, he was elected, on the retirement of the Hon. Elijah Paine, the first to hold the office, President of the Bank of Montpelier, which responsible office he continued to hold to the time of his death.
In person, Col. Langdon was well formed, and his features were all shapely and handsome; while his countenance was lighted up by one of the most kindly and winning smiles that ever enlivened the human face. Nor did his countenance belie his heart, inherently sincere, sympathetic and humane. And, while in all the movements and enterprises of public benevolence, his liberality was commensurate with his means, in private charities and individual assistance, he went, as he wished, far beyond what was ever generally made known to the public; for he was extremely averse to making any parade of his benefactions, and his favors were very generally conferred under injunctions of secrecy. And thus it was, that the extent of his private charities and pecuniary assistance to the distressed and those laboring under business embarrassments, were never known except through the irrepressible outgushings of gratitude from the lips of those whom he had relieved.
His lenity and forbearance towards all who were indebted to him were remarkable; and, to the credit of human nature be it said, as remarkable was the gratitude of those thus favored, and their determination that he should never be the loser by the kindness he had conferred. After he had retired from business, expecting to be much absent, he placed his demands, over $100,000, in the charge of a confidential agent, who was an attorney, strictly enjoining him to sue nobody and distress nobody, but use all kindly, and charge him for all the expense and trouble incurred in the collections. And though this great amount of miscellaneous demands remained in the hands of that attorney for nearly three years, and though a large number of the debtors failed during that time, yet in all that period never was a single dollar lost out of the whole col-
436 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
lection. On the eve of their failures, or when they had any fears of failure, the debtors would come privately to the agent, and, with the remark, that "Col. Langdon had been too good to them to be injured," voluntarily placed in his hands the fullest securities they had in their power to offer. Within one week after such transactions, perhaps these debtors would fail; sheriffs would be scouring the country for property, and almost every creditor would suffer loss except Col. Langdon. He, to the wonder of all, was always found secure.
The last characteristic incident of his life occurred when he was on his death bed. Finding his end drawing near, he sent for his attorney, and ordered him to make a life lease to an old revolutionary soldier of the farm he occupied, but of which the Colonel held a mortgage for more than its value. This was the last business transaction of his life. He died Jan. 7, 1831. As he was the idol of the people when he lived, so at his death he was lamented by more friends in the community at large than falls to the lot of but few to have numbered among their real mourners.
HON. JEDUTHAN LOOMIS
was born in Tolland, Conn., Jan. 5, 1779. After receiving a fair academical education, he studied law with Hon. Oramel Hinckley, of Thetford, Vt.; was admitted to the bar there, and came to Montpelier and established himself about 1805.
Mar. 11, 1807, he married Hannah, daughter of Col. and Judge Oramel Hinckley, of Thetford, who died suddenly, Dec. 24, 1813, leaving no issue. Oct. 10, 1814, he married Miss Charity Scott, of Peacham, who died June 13, 1821, leaving 2 sons, Gustavus H., the late Dr. Loomis, and Chauncey. Oct. 8, 1822, he married Miss Sophia Brigham, of Salem, Mass., who died in 1855, leaving Charity,—Mrs. Dana, of Woodstock.—now deceased; Mrs. Joseph Prentiss, of Winona, Minn., and Charles Loomis, Esq., now deceased. Judge Loomis died Nov. 12, 1843.
In 1814, Mr. Loomis was appointed Register of Probate for the District of Washington, but held the office only one year.
In 1820, he was elected the Judge of Probate for this district, and had the unusual honor of receiving ten successive elections, the greatest number of elections of any other man in this County being five, given to the Hon. Salvin Collins.
From 1807, up to his death, there is scarcely a year in which he did not receive, and well and faithfully execute, some one of the trusts or offices of the town. And the last 20 years of his life he was, besides being an efficient friend of the common schools, always a laboring trustee, often the head prudential committee, and always the treasurer, and chief pillar of Wash. Co. Gram. School. In the latter capacity, for which, and for being so long the admitted model Judge of Probate of all this part of the State, he was mostly known to the public abroad.
There was once extant an old book called "The Minute Philosopher." We mention the name, because so suggestive of the character of Judge Loomis. He was a very carefully reasoning man, and carried his philosophy into all the minutia of business. Any of the little trusts or commissions growing out of a town, school district, highway district, or neighborhood or family affairs, which the more ambitious or selfish would disdain to accept, or, if they did, only half execute, he would cheerfully accept, and always execute with the most scrupulous care. Indeed, he seemed to consider it his duty to do everything asked of him, if, in performing it, he thought he could benefit his fellow-men individually, or the public at large. It was so with him in his profession, so in the church of which he was an officer, and it was so everywhere.
Being a tall, dark-complexioned man, of formal manners, with a grave and rather austere countenance, he might be taken by the unacquainted for a man with few sensibilities; but break through the apparent atmosphere of repulsion, and approach him, and you would find him as affectionate as a brother.
Being extremely strict in all moral and
religious observances, and seemingly rather set in his opinions, he might sometimes be taken for a bigot; but get at his real views and feelings, and you would find him absolutely liberal, and willing to make all the allowance for errors which the largest charity might demand.
A man of legal knowledge, ordinary good judgment, and of known good motives, who is willing to perform the duties of every small needful office, as well as great one, and who is ever ready to act the part of adviser, assistant and friend, in adjusting town difficulties and neighborhood dissensions, is always a great blessing to a village community, and such was Judge Jeduthan Loomis. More than will ever be justly appreciated, probably, is Montpelier village indebted to him for his untiring and calf sacrificing exertions to advance her best interests.
HON. TIMOTHY MERRILL.
Emphatically a public man, was born in Farmington, Conn., Mar. 26, 1781, where, having received little more than a common school education, when becoming of age, he shouldered his pack, and travelled on foot to Bennington, Vt., where big older brother, Hon. Orsamus C. Merrill, had some years before established himself in the legal profession. Here he studied law; was admitted to the bar, and commenced practice in partnership with the afterwards noted Robert Temple, in Rutland. But not feeling very well satisfied with his situation, dissolved with Temple in less than a year, and removed to Montpelier in 1809, and established himself alone in his profession. In 1812, he married Clara, daughter of Dr. Fassett, of Bennington. They had 5 children—a son who died in infancy; Ferrand F. Merrill, our late well-known fellow citizen; Edwin S. Merrill, of Winchendon, Mass., formerly postmaster of Montpelier; Clara Augusta, who died in 1842, and Timothy R. Merrill, our present town clerk.
In 1811-'12, Mr. Merrill was the town representative of Montpelier. In 1811, was elected the first State's Attorney of the new County of Jefferson, and in 1815 to the same office, the name of the county being now changed to that of Washington, which office he held through seven successive elections, eight in all; two more than ever received in that office by any other man in the county, Dennison Smith having received but six. In 1815, he was elected Engrossing Clerk of the General Assembly, and received seven successive elections to that office. In 1822, he was elected Clerk of the House of Representatives, and received nine successive elections to that othce. In 1831, be was elected Secretary of State, which office he retained till his death, having received in it five successive elections.
In his profession, Mr. Merrill took a very fair rank, and was sustained by as fair a patronage. But his public employments required too much of his time and attention to permit him to reach the position in his profession to which his admitted talents would have otherwise doubtless raised him. He was ever considered, however, safe legal adviser; and in his appeals to juries, as well as in his addresses to public assemblies, he often warmed up into genuine eloquence, the effect of which was heightened by one of the most clear-toned and melodious voices which it was ever the good fortune of a public man to possess; and yet with such a fair professional business to bring him money, besides his receipts from his public offices, he died worth but little property, and what added pertinency to the fact, his family ever dressed and lived, for their position, with great plainness and frugality; but he never charged anything for advice, though his office was thronged by those seeking it; being naturally a peace man and very conscientious, he would advise three men out of lawsuits where he would one into them. He never charged for his legal services much more than half what was usually charged by other lawyers of the same standing, and what he did charge he would, in any event, often remit a part from, and if his client was unsuccessful, be quite likely to give in nearly the whole of it.
In person, he was below the medium height, but had a fine head, good features
438 VERMONT HISTORICAL. MAGAZINE.
and a very intelligent and prepossessing countenance. He was one of the most affectionate of husbands and fathers, one of the most agreeable of neighbors, and one of the most correct and enlightened of citizens—honored be his memory.
HON. FERRAND F. MERRILL,
son of Hon. Timothy, of whom, to a most singular extent, the public history of the father was the history of the son. Like the father, and for about the same number of years, though at a much younger age, the son was Clerk of the House of Representatives. Like the father, was the son at once transferred from the clerkship to the office of Secretary of State, to be therein retained, we believe, exactly the same number of years during which the former lived to hold the office. Like the father, the son was State's Attorney for Washington County, though, through the altered rules of rotation, not so long; and, like the father, was the son, for the now customary term, the representative of Montpelier in the legislature.
By his education, by his readiness in all matters in form, acquired under his father's trainings, advantages of personal appearance, and great courtesy of manners, he was unusually fitted to do well and appear well in public life, and was an accomplished and popular officer. In the legislature he became a prominent member, and in the difficult position in which found himself placed, in the keenly contested question relative to the removal of the seat of government from Montpelier, he displayed an ability and tact which met the full approval of his constituents, and which, had he consented to be again a candidate, would have ensured him further elections.
In private life he was blameless, in all his social relations much esteemed. In the furtherance of the interests of religion, morals and education, he took a conspicuous part, and, in fine, he began to be looked upon as one of the most capable and useful of our citizens, when he died of apoplexy, May 2, 1859, in the meridian of his usefulness, and when his prospects for professional eminence were the brightest.
HON. ARAUNAH WATERMAN
was born in Norwich, Conn., Nov. 8, 1778. He sprang from good Revolutionary stock, his father having been at first a subaltern officer, and then commissary, in the continental army, and his uncles either officers or soldiers. His advantages for education were 6 months schooling before the age of 12. At about 13, he was apprenticed to a carpenter of his town, and served till 21, working steadily by day, and studying at night by the light of pine knots, to make up the deficiences of his education. Soon after acquiring his trade, was recommended as a master mechanic to Gen, Pinkney, of South Carolina, who was wishing to build somewhat extensively on his several large plantations, was accepted, and the first year devoted himself to the superintendency of erecting the various structures contemplated, among which was a fine summer house on Sullivan's Island, and the next year, having by his capacity and integrity gained the fullest confidence of Gen. Pinkney, who was appointed U. S. Minister to England, was made steward and chief supervisor over all the General's estates. After leaving Gen. Pinkney's employment, he returned to Connecticut, but in 1801 or 1802, came to Vermont with his brothers, the present Judges Joseph and Thomas Waterman, and other brothers and sisters, and with them settled in Johnson. In 1804., be married Rebecca, daughter of Oliver Noyes, of Hydepark, and sister of the Hon. David P. Noyes, by whom he had several children, among whom is the Hon. Vernon W. Waterman, of Morristown. His wife dying in 1812, in something over a year afterward, he married Mehitable Dodge, of New Boston, N. H., now deceased, but long known among us as a most estimable woman, by whom he had 7 children, two of whom, daughters, are still living on the old homestead in Montpelier. After residing in Johnson about a dozen years, engaged in farming, constructing the machinery required about the different mills of that brisk village, and particularly by the carding and clothing works with which he became connected, he removed to Mont‑
pelier about the beginning of 1814, and purchased the farm and a portion of the water privilege, lying on the west bank of the North Branch, above and around the falls, on the borders of this village. Here, besides carrying on his farm, he soon engaged in erecting, improving and carrying on carding and clothing works, and before many years, in connection with Seth Persons, erected and put in operation the comparatively extensive woolen factory, which was burned March, 1826, and at the burning of which he came near losing his life. After this, he mainly employed himself in improving his farm, which, with his house, soon brought considerably within the village by its gradual extension in that direction, he continued to occupy until his death, coming, at the age of 80, to close his unusually varied, active and laborious life, Jan. 31, 1859.
In 1821, '22, '23, '26, Mr. Waterman was elected town representative of Montpelier. When the new State Senate was established, in 1836, Mr. Waterman was triumphantly elected as one of the two first senators of Washington County, and on the following year, as triumphantly re-elected to complete the senatorial term, which, in what is called the Two Year Rule, had been previously adopted. In 1840, he was elected by the legislature to the office of Judge of the County Court, which office, however, being unsought and unexpected by him, he declined to accept. As a representative and senator, he never spoke for the sake of talking, and never except to support some measure which he believed calculated for the public good, or to subserve some cherished political interest; and then his extensive practical knowledge and accurate political information enabled him to speak with effect.
We find Mr. Waterman's name on our town records often associated with the most important of our town offices. But he was not much known in these, because, doubtless, he was almost constantly in higher posts attracting a more general notice. Being esteemed the best surveyor in this section of the country, he was, after our old surveyor, Gen. Davis, began to retire from the field, much employed on difficult surveys of land plots, disputed lines, and laying out of new public roads, and about 1830, when, on the completion of the great canal in New York, the feasibility of canals across this State began to be agitated, he was appointed, under an appropriation from the general government, to conduct a survey for a canal from Burlington up the valley of the Winooski, and over the heights to Wells River, running into the Connecticut. This he accomplished, and, in doing it, was the first man to ascertain the altitude of Montpelier above Lake Champlain, and the altitude of Kettle Pond, on the eastern border of Marshfield, the lowest summit level of the heights between Montpelier and Connecticut river. And in proof of the accuracy of his survey, as imperfect as were his instruments, may be cited the fact, that when the surveys of the Central railroad were perfected, it was found that the engineers, with their greatly more perfect instruments, and their everyway better equipments and means, had made the level of the top of the dam across the river at Montpelier to vary but between 3 and 4 feet from the altitude recorded in Mr. Waterman's survey made a dozen years before.
Mr. Waterman was active in improving our common schools, and for many years one of the most efficient of the trustees of our Academy. And in despite of the multiplicity of his cares, found time to keep himself posted in matters of general science and literature. He was probably the most reliable geologist in Montpelier. In a knowledge of the principles of mechanics and their practical applications, he had few superiors anywhere. His knowledge of history was extensive, and of our national politics singularly ample and accurate. The late Jonathan Southmayd, 12 years preceptor of our Academy, was in the habit of often conferring with Mr. Waterman in the solution of difficult problems in the higher branches of mathematics, mechanics and other sciences, and once remarked, he had never met a man, not educated in a college, who could compare
440 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
with him in the extent of his general and the accuracy of his scientific knowledge.
As a citizen, man and neighbor, his usefulness and practical benevolence were universally admitted, and the assistance he was frequently rendering others, through their bad returns for the favors conferred, kept down to a simple competence what would otherwise have been it handsome property for the inheritance of his family.
Among those of an active life, a man's capacities and character are best accurately measured by what he accomplishes. By this rule, what Mr. Waterman accomplished would place him far above the level of ordinary men. In the first place he made himself—no common achievement where such a man is made, and made under such disadvantages; and then he achieved for himself, for his family and for the public, all that we have related of him. Let all that stand as the simple record of his life.
What cause have his friends to ask for a better monument to his memory?
HON. CYRUS WARE,
son of Jonathan Ware, of Wrentham, Mass., was born May 8, 1769. His father died when he was but 3 years of age, but he continued with his family and attended the common schools of the place till nearly 14, when he went to Hartford, Vt., to learn the blacksmith's trade, in the shop of a Mr. Billings, who had married his sister, and worked faithfully at the trade till 21; and then, with what knowledge he had contrived to pick up by reading during his apprenticeship, he went to studying law with Hon. Charles Marsh, of Woodstock, and after a year or two, went to Royalton and completed the prescribed course of legal studies with Jacob Smith, Esq., and was here admitted to the bar in 1799, and the same year came to Montpelier, and opened an office in this village. His capacities appear to have early attracted the attention of his townsmen; for within about one year after he came into town, we find him figuring in town offices, in some one of which he was retained until the September State election, 1805, when he represented Montpelier in the General Assembly, and did so acceptably acquit himself, his constituents gave him five annual successive elections, a number never exceeded in the case of any Montpelier representative, and never equalled except in the case of Col. Davis. While still representative, he was in 1808 made chief Judge of Caledonia County Court, and received three successive elections, being continued in that office until the organization of the new County of Jefferson, which, on account of his residence within it, made him ineligible to any further elections to the bench of Caledonia County. In addition, he was annually appointed what is called the law and trial justice of the peace for the last forty years of his life, doing, through a large portion of that period, the greater share of the justice business of the place, and making its profits the main means of his livelihood.
There can be no doubt Judge Ware, at the time he was the Judge of the Caledonia County Court and the representative of Montpelier, and for many years afterwards, was one of the most influential men in the State. That his rulings and decisions while judge met the approbation of the bar and the people, is shown by his being annually elected to the bench as long as he was eligible, at the instance of the people of the county where his judicial ministrations were best known. As town representative, he secured to his town, by his talents and skillful management, the location of the seat of government and its untold advantages. The late Hon. John Mattocks, who was an active participant in what was called the "first State House struggle," was afterwards heard by more than one person to declare, however strongly right and policy demanded the location of the seat of government here at the centre of the State, yet so keen was the rivalry for the honor by the older villages of the State, it would never have been conferred on Montpelier, but for the unwearied exertions and exceedingly skillful management of its representative, Judge Ware.
For the last twenty years of his life, through improvidence in his affairs and the growing expenses of a large family, but
not through personal vices, he appears to have sunk into comparative poverty, and into the public neglect that too often accompanies it. But even in his lowest state of poverty, he was the philosopher.
"I hope you don't call me poor," he would say to those who attempted to commiserate him. "I consider it settled that a white child is worth two negro children, which are held at $500 apiece, and as fast as I had children born, I put them down on my inventory at $1,000 each, till my estate reached the handsome amount of $6,000, and, thank Heaven, I have the same property yet on hand."
In structure of mind, thought, words and ways, Judge Ware was probably the most perfectly original character we ever had in Montpelier. And his shrewd observations and quaint and witty sayings were, in his day, more quoted than those of any other man in all this section of the country. Clear, discriminating and patient in investigating all important cases, which he conducted by a silent process of mind, yet the result was generally made known in terms and phrases which nobody else would think of using. His brain was singularly creative, and it seemed to be his greatest recreation to indulge in its half-serious, half-sportive frolics. We have it from a lady of this village, when a small girl, she and her mate used to resort to his house night after night, to hear him improvise an original novel, which, for their gratification, he would begin one evening, take up the next where he left it, and so carry it on, in good keeping, through a succession of hearings, till it was finished, making probably a more instructive and amusing tale than many that have been published.
Judge Ware married Patty, daughter of Gardner Wheeler, Esq., of Barre, May 26, 1803, who survived him. They had 6 children—Gardner W., deceased; Patty Militiah, wife of Samuel Caldwell, of St. Johns, Canada East; Cyrus Leonard, of the vicinity of New York; Henry, of Ohio; George, of parts unknown; Mary, wife of Joel Foster, Jr., and Louisa.
Judge Ware died at Montpelier, Feb. 17, 1849, aged nearly 80.
CAPTAIN TIMOTHY HUBBARD.
To be numbered with those who, by their business capacities and energy of character, contributed most to the wealth and prosperity of Montpelier, were three brothers, Timothy, Roger and Chester Hubbard, who came here before or about the beginning of the present century. They were all enterprising, clear headed men, and, while they remained in trade, successful merchants, especially Chester Hubbard, who confined himself exclusively to trade, and died in 1832, leaving, though then only in middle life, a very handsome property. As the elder more particularly identified himself with the public offices and institutions of the town, and more largely attracted public attention, we have selected him as their representative.
Timothy Hubbard was born near the city of Hartford, Conn., Aug. 17, 1776, lived with his father and worked on a farm till 21, getting all the education he ever had at the common school. After continuing to work on his father's farm, on stipulated wages, probably, about 4 years after he was of age, he came, in 1799, to Montpelier, established himself in trade with Wyllis I. Cadwell, Esq., a connection of the Lymans of Hartford, Conn. and Hartford, Vt. In 1801, he married Lucy, the third daughter of Colonel Jacob Davis, a very estimable woman. In 1803, he dissolved his connection with Mr. Cadwell, and went into partnership in trade with his brother-in-law, the Hon. David Wing. After the death of Judge Wing, in 1806, he associated with him his brother, Roger Hubbard, till about 1816, when he ceased to be any further engaged in mercantile affairs, and employed himself in supervising the cultivation of his different valuable farms in Berlin, and particularly the one on the borders of Montpelier Village, which he soon made his homestead for the remainder of his life.
In 1810, he was elected Captain of the fine military company, called the Governor's Guards, of which Isaac Putnam was the first captain; and though he was taken almost from the ranks, he soon showed himself to be one of the best mili-
442 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
tary officers that ever paraded a company in the streets of Montpelier; and when the news of the invasion of Plattsburgh, in September, 1814, reached Montpelier, he sallied, cane in hand, into the streets, summoned a drummer and fifer to his side, and with them marched the streets all day, beating up volunteers, to start for the scene of action, and before night, he had enlisted three-fourths of his fellow citizens, who chose him Captain by acclamation. Being now at the head of perhaps the largest and best company of all the Vermont Plattsburgh volunteers, with the staunch Joseph Howes for his second in command, he gave his orders for the next day; and at an early hour, the next morning, they were all seen pouring along, in hot haste, for the seat of war, by night were in Burlington, the next day embarking on sloops, crowding all sail for Plattsburgh, but did not arrive in season to take their place in the line of battle.
Captain Hubbard was often chosen to fill town offices, especially if there happened to be pending any financial difficulty, growing out of conflicting interests, which others were unwilling to touch, which he always straightened without fear or favor to clique or party; often at the expense of another election, though when another such difficulty occurred they were all for calling him back again; when in his singularly frank, independent way, he would give them to understand, it was all the same with him, whether they elected him or not, but if they did, they might depend on it, he should not fear to do his duty. And there can be little doubt, had he kept down this marked trait of character, or played even a little of the demagogue, we should have seen him in higher civil offices.
Captain Hubbard was sometimes harsh in rebuking the faults of others, or in defending himself, when he unexpectedly met opposition in the path of what he considered his right and duty; but he seemed to give no lasting offense; for the offended knew as soon as he found himself in the wrong, he would be the first to rectify it. He was liberal to the poor and all educational, religious and benevolent objects. When, in what had been called the Barre street school district, was built a new school house, some twenty years ago, [now some forty,] the Captain bought and caused to be hung in the cupola of this school building, a valuable new bell. And the district thereupon, at a regular meeting, unanimously voted that their school house should thereafter be called "Hubbard Street School House," and the street on which it stood be changed from Barre Street to Hubbard Street. And this is still the only name that can be legitimately applied to it.
Captain Hubbard's business and financial talents, and trustworthiness for all, not excepting even the most important posts, were widely admitted in his day, and can hereafter always be made to appear on public records, the records of the numerous estates, of which he was the efficient administrator, and the records of the Bank of Montpelier which, for years, he skilfully managed in the capacity of its president.
About the age of fifty he reached a point which few wealthy men ever reach, the point when he thought he had property enough, and that he had better be bestowing it where it would do the most good. Accordingly he began giving it to the most needy of the numerous circle of his relatives, and continued the good work, till a full third of his estate had been bestowed on them. His first wife dying in 1839, he married Anner May, who survived him. He died Oct. 28, 1850. He has no descendants.
GENERAL EZEKIEL P. WALTON.
In the incipient stages of the growth of every country village there are nearly always two different personages who occupy the largest space in the thoughts of the people —the Minister and the Editor. And in proportion as these are faithful, intelligent and able, so, to an almost unappreciable extent, will be its moral, social and intellectual advancement. It was the good fortune of Montpelier, for the first twenty years after the place could fairly lay claim to the dignity of a village, to have the right kind of a man for her Minister, and
the right kind of a man for an Editor, in the persons of Chester Wright and Ezekiel P. Walton.
EZEKIEL PARKER WALTON was born in the year 1789, in Canterbury, N. H., in which town his father, George Walton, formerly resided, but from which he at length removed to Peacham, Vt. There was a good academy at Peacham, and young Walton, previous to reaching the age of fifteen, attended it a few terms, studying the ordinary English branches, and completing all the school education he ever received.
There was, at this time, a small newspaper, of Federal politics, published at Peacham by Mr. Samuel Goss, a practical printer and Editor of his own paper, which was called the Green Mountain Patriot. Into this establishment the boy Walton often found his way, and at length began to feel so much interest in the business he saw going on that he offered himself as an apprentice to the trade; and Mr. Goss, as he has recently told us, so liked the looks of the bright little fellow that he concluded to take him in that capacity, and in despite of the opinions of others, who believed that little could ever be made of him. As Mr. Goss had predicted, however, the boy turned out a well behaved, faithful apprentice, and made good proficiency in his trade. After serving three years at his trade in Peacham, he came, in 1807, to Montpelier, with Mr. Goss, who bought out the Vermont Precursor, a paper established here the year previous by Rev. Clark Brown, and changed the name to that of the Vermont Watchman. Here he served out the remainder of his apprenticeship, which expired in 1810; when, being of legal age, he, in company with Mark Goss, a fellow apprentice in the office, bought out Mr. Samuel Goss; and the paper was then, for the next half dozen years, conducted by the firm of Walton & Goss, Mr. Walton discharging the chief duties of editor. In 1816, Mr. Mark Goss went out of the establishment, and Mr. Walton became its sole proprietor and editor, and so continued nearly twenty years; when, as his sons became of age, he took them into partnership, and the business, to which book-selling and paper-making were at length added, was conducted in the name of E. P. Walton & Sons until 1853, during which he wholly gave up the proprietorship of the newspaper to his oldest son, the present Hon. Eliakim Persons Walton.
Though the editorship had been entrusted to this son for many years previous to 1853, General Walton continued to assist in editing and writing for certain departments of the paper, even into the last year of his life.
At an early period he passed rapidly along the line of military promotion till he reached the rank of Major General, when he threw these kinds of honors aside and thought no more of them. Mr. Walton was never an office seeker, nor was office, as much as was due to him as a man and a politician, nor half as much as was due to him from his party, ever bestowed on him. He was, however, several times the candidate of his party for town Representative, but never when that party happened to be in the majority. In 1827, he was elected one of the Council of Censors, and served with credit to himself and electors, among a board of the most distinguished men in the State, Judges B. Turner, D. Kellogg and S. S. Phelps being included among the number. In the Presidential election of 1852, he was elected one of the Electoral College for Vermont, when the vote of the State was thrown for General Scott. In 1854, he was nominated as candidate for the office of Governor of Vermont by a large mass State Convention, and could the people have had their way, would have been triumphantly elected.
But out of an ardent desire to consolidate the political sentiments of the people in one controlling organization, as well as out of high personal regard for the venerable Chief justice, Stephen Royce, who had been previously named for the executive chair by a Convention of the Whig party, General Walton cheerfully yielded his place on the ticket. The name of Judge Royce was substituted by the State Committee, and he was heartily supported by
444 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
the people; and thus was organized the present Republican party of the State. For that organization a large measure of credit is due to Gen. Walton.
We have named the circumstances connected with Mr. Walton's nomination to the office of governor, for the double purpose of showing the remarkable lack of even well-warranted assumptions in the man, and his patriotic readiness to submit to any personal sacrifice which he was led to suppose public good required him to make, as well as of showing how his party, while so generally admitting his qualifications for office, and the merit of his services in their behalf, so strangely overlooked him, when they so often had the power to reward and honor him. That he was ever honorable and just in his treatment towards his political opponents, the writer of this sketch, who was for many years one of them, can, and here does, most cheerfully attest; and the late Araunah Waterman, who was ever a staunch political opponent, was often heard frankly to admit that "General Walton was both an honorable man and an honest politician." That he, in his long, persistent, judicious and able editorial labors, was eminently instrumental in establishing the ascendency of his party and keeping it in power, is a fact too well known to be questioned. Probably, indeed, that man has never lived in Vermont who did so much toward building up the old Whig party of the State, and its successor, the Republican party, which he lived to see become, from the minority in which he found it, one of the most overwhelming majorities ever recorded in the history of party warfare. But while it was his lot to do so, and see all this, it was his lot also to be often compelled, like many another political editor, "to make brick without straw," or, in other words, manufacture great men out of small patterns, who, when made, carried their heads so high as generally to entirely overlook their political creator.
Mr. Walton's style of writing was, for his advantages, unusually correct, and unusually well calculated for enforcing his sentiments and enlisting the sympathy of his readers. During the first years of his residence in Montpelier, he, in company with other young aspirants of the village, got up an association for mutual improvement in knowledge and literature, called the "Franklin Society." In this society, in which theme writing was a leading exercise, he probably made much progress in forming his style, which was evidently modelled on that of Dr. Franklin, so generally the great oracle of the printer boy.
The bon homme of "Poor Richard," however, can never be successfully imitated by a man without a good heart. But Mr. Walton had that heart, and, through the force of finely-blended, emotional and intellectual qualities of his heart, he gradually formed a style of his own, which, with the vein of good common sense that pervaded it, gave him rank with the most pleasing and instructive of our editorial writers. As before intimated, he continued to write for his old paper to the last, and in so doing, besides his instructive articles on farming and domestic economy, he wrote and published in the Watchman, the year before his death, sixteen numbers on the events of the Olden Times in the Valley of the Winooski, over the signature of Oliver Old-School, which deserve to be republished in pamphlet, for public reading and preservation.
In the political world, Gen. Walton was ever a person to be consulted; among men he was always a man; in the church an influential officer; in the social circle a dignified, but a very courteous and kindly companion, and in his family an exemplary husband and father. His integrity, whether in business or politics, appears never to have been doubted, by either friend or foe; his general intellectual capacity was always conceded, and his frank and generous disposition known to the utmost limits of his extensive personal acquaintance.
Apr. 23, 1811, Mr. Walton married Miss Prussia, daughter of Eliakim D. Persons, of Montpelier, by whom he had 8 children—Eliakim P., 6 years in Congress; Harriet Newell, wife of Hon. H. R. Wing, a lawyer of standing at Glen's Falls, N. Y.; George Parker, a very promising young
man, who died at the age of about 24 years, at New Orleans; Nathaniel Porter, for some years the accountant of the firm of E. P. Walton & Sons; Chauncey, now deceased; Samuel M., the book-binder in Montpelier; Ezekiel Dodge, who died at the age of about 25 years, at Philadelphia; and Mary, wife of George Dewey, a merchant of New York city.
In his religious character, Mr. Walton was an earnest, frank, sincere Christian, always warm and generous in the utterance and support of his principles. He combined the wisdom of the serpent, the boldness of the lion and the harmlessness of the dove, in his whole Christian course; was a devoted member and an honorable office bearer in the Congregational church for many years. His piety irradiated his household, his secular cares and his place of business. Everywhere, at all times, he was the admirable type of a Christian gentleman. In the Conference, in the Sabbath-school, in the support of charitable and religious institutions, none surpassed and few equalled him. The young men in his office felt his influence very strongly. Of the many who graduated from his office, and came to fill afterwards, with honor, public stations in the councils of the State and in the halls of Congress, and in the courts of justice, twelve have been members of churches, and two have become useful and respected ministers of the Gospel. And none could bear higher testimony to the invariable and elevated religious character of Mr. Walton than they.
Gen. Walton died Nov. 27, 1855, leaving, as might be expected from one of his liberal views, not much property, indeed, but that "good name " which is better than riches.
MRS. PRUSSIA PERSONS WALTON,
widow of the late Gen. Ezekiel P. Walton, daughter of Eliakim D. Persons, died at her home Saturday, June 22, 1878, aged 86; the oldest resident at her death in the town of Montpelier. The Watchman says:
The long life of this "elect lady," though filled with unusual cares and responsibilities, was nevertheless rendered beautiful by her naturally exuberant spirits, her tender regard for all her fellow-beings, and her unfaltering trust in Him in whom she believed. Her kindly heart and her diligent hands were busy to the fast in works of charity and mercy, and few are the dwellings among us but contain some dainty token of affection wrought by her deft fingers. The blessing of the whole community rested upon her as she exchanged the imperfect joys of earth for the perfect bliss of Heaven.
DR. JAMES SPALDING,
who for 40 years was a successful practicing physician of Montpelier village and vicinity, died at his residence, October, 1866. The following accurate sketch and deserved tribute to his memory appeared in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal: [somewhat condensed.]
"Dr. Spalding was born in Sharon, Vt., Mar. 20, 1792. His father, Dea. Reuben Spalding, was one of the earliest settlers in the State, whose life was not more remarkable for his toils, privations and energy, as a pioneer in a new country, than for his unbending integrity, and for the best qualities of the Old New England Puritanism. James was the third son of 12 children, all of whom reached maturity and were settled in life with families. At the age of seven he received a small wound in the knee joint, which confined him for more than 6 months, attended with extreme suffering. By the skill of Dr. Nathan Smith, of Hanover, the limb was at length healed, leaving the knee partially anchylosed, however, to recover from which required years. While thus confined, probably from estimation of Dr. Smith, which estimation was retained through life, he decided to he a physician and surgeon. He never attended a high school or academy, but he acquired a good common school education, besides storing his mind with much general knowledge and that mental discipline which so highly distinguished him in after life. He commenced study at the age of 17 with Dr. Eber Carpenter, of Alstead, N. H., stipulating the expenses of his education should be defrayed by his practicing one year with the Doctor after he had graduated. He applied himself with uncommon assiduity
446 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
to his medical studies, taking, at the same time, private lessons in Greek and Latin. At 20 years he graduated at the Dartmouth Medical Institution, having heard the lectures from Smith and Perkins.
While a student, his opportunities for practice were very extensive; the spotted fever prevailed generally throughout New England. This epidemic was truly appalling in Alstead and the neighboring towns. Dr. Spalding brought his discriminating mind to the subject with all the close observation of a veteran in the science, and arrived at the same conclusions as to its pathology and treatment as others who stood the most eminent in the profession. His position was very embarrassing, being called the "boy physician," having to meet veterans in the profession for whom he entertained an exalted opinion. Modesty would hardly permit him to differ from them, yet he had so studied this epidemic, in most cases his views and treatment were adopted.
After practicing 2 years in Alstead with Dr. Carpenter, he commenced business in Claremont, but having friends in Montpelier, was induced to remove to this place. Though but a boy, he had seen much practice, and performed many surgical operations, and it required but a short time for him to gain general confidence as a physician, and more especially as a surgeon, which he retained without abatement through life. His fixed purpose was improvement in his profession; he never engaged in any other business or sought any political preferment. Others may have done more under other circumstances, yet by his example, integrity, industry, communications for the medical journals, and dissertations before the County and State Medical Societies, from time to time, it may be said, he added something to the general stock of knowledge in his profession, and that as a surgeon he was successful above most others. His particular trait of mind was a sound judgment, based upon a careful, discriminating examination of all the evidence which gave in each individual case its peculiar characteristic. Well informed in books and the general principles of his profession, having an extensive intercourse with his medical brethren, he was well prepared to impart to others the results of his extensive experience. He was an original thinker, not only in his medical and surgical practice, but in other departments. It was a maxim with him that there should be no guess-work in his profession, more especially in surgery. In consultations, due respect was paid to the opinions of his professional brethren, but still he would suffer his judgment to be influenced only as the evidence in the case affected his own mind, never evading responsibility, and always governed by his own independent conclusions, and for this reason he was much sought for in consultations. He retained through life the confidence and respect of his professional brethren, and while differing from others in his diagnosis and treatment of disease, he succeeded in leaving the confidence of patient and friends in the attending physician unabated, discharging his duty to his patients without injury to the feelings or reputation of any one. It being the settled maxim of his life, that strict integrity is the true and only policy which should govern every man who desires his own interest or that of others, he never sought to appropriate to himself what justly belonged to them.
For more than 40 years he was an active member of the Vermont State Medical Society, and, through it, labored to advance the best interests of the profession he so much loved, and became acquainted with most of the distinguished physicians of the State, among whom he had many personal friends. In 1819, he was elected secretary, which office he held for over 20 years. In 1842, he was chairman of a committee to draft a petition for a geological survey of the State. He was vice president of the Medical Society in 1843, treasurer in 1844, chairman of the committee on the History of the Society in 1845. He read a thesis in 1846, "On Nature as manifested in Disease and Health," which was highly commended. He was elected president in 1846, '7, '8, and delivered a dissertation on "Typhus Fever"
in 1848, which was published by a vote of the society. He was elected a corresponding secretary in 1850, and librarian in 1854, which office he held until his death. He was also a member of the Board of Fellows of the Vermont Academy of Medicine, besides holding many offices connected with science, literature, temperance, etc. But few men in the country have seen such an amount of disease and so carefully observed the peculiarities of the various epidemics occurring for nearly half a century; and it is to be regretted that so little is left on record of his extensive observations and experience both as a physician and surgeon. In private life he was a man of much amenity of manners, of great worth and purity of character, enlarged benevolence and of high-minded purposes in all that goes to make the enlightened Christian and good citizen.
In 1820, he married Miss Eliza Reed, of Montpelier. They raised 6 children—James R., an editor in the city of New York; William C., a distinguished physician of Watertown, Wis.; Martha E., died at 18; Jane, who married Dr. Warner of Weathersfield, Conn.; George B., a clergyman and Doctor of Divinity, of Dover, N. H., and editor of the New Hampshire Journal; and Isabella, wife of Mr. Lounsbury, of Hartford, Ct.
Mrs. Spalding, a woman of many virtues, died in 1854, and about 2 years after, Dr. Spalding married Mrs. Dodd, a daughter of the late Wyllys Lyman, of Hartford, Vt., who died in 1857.
HON. SAMUEL PRENTISS
was born in Stonington, Ct., Mar. 31, 1782; his family, of a pure English and Puritan stock, are traceable as far back as 1318, through official records which show the reputable positions occupied by branches of the family, till they came to New England, where the lineage at once took stock among the best in the colonies. In direct descent he was the 6th from his first American, but English-born, ancestor, Capt. Thomas Prentiss, born in England about 1620, became a resident of Newton, Mass., 1752, was a noted cavalry officer in the King Philip war, and died 1710, leaving Thomas Prentiss, Jr., father of Samuel Prentiss, 1st, father of Samuel, 2d, who was a colonel in the Revolutionary Army, and father of Samuel, 3d, a physician and surgeon in the army, and the father of Judge Samuel Prentiss, of Montpelier. The whole stock of the Prentiss family was good, but this branch was particularly so, both physically and intellectually. Col. Prentiss, of Revolutionary memory, 6 feet high, weighing over 200 pounds, without corpulency, was one of the best built, most muscular men of the times; and the different members of the family descending from him, for the last two or three generations, of which those now living have been cognizant, will be remembered to have been, with a rare uniformity," well-formed, shapely and good-looking, possessing an unusual intellectual capacity and power.
When Samuel was about a year old, he removed with his family, from Stonington, Ct., to Worcester, Mass., and from thence in about 3 years to Northfield, Mass., where his father, Dr. Prentiss, continued the successful practice of his profession in 1818, the son being kept in his earlier boyhood at the common schools, and while yet young, put into classical studies with the Rev. Samuel C. Allen, minister of the town, and at about 19, entered as a law student in the office of Samuel Vose, Esq., of the same town. He did not complete the course of legal studies there, but with that object, passed over into the neighboring village of Brattleboro, and entered the office of John W. Blake, Esq., from whence, Dec. 1802, he was admitted to the bar several months before his majority.
In view of what Mr. Prentiss afterward became, all will understand he studied the elementary principles of the law before his admission to the Bar; but few, perhaps, are aware how close and extensive in the meantime had been his study of the great masters of English literature, how careful the cultivation of his taste, and how much his proficiency in the formation of that style, which subsequently so peculiarly stamped all his mental efforts, whether of writing or speaking, with unvarying strength
448 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
and neatness of expression. We recollect of having once met with a series of literary miscellany written by him, probably when he was a law student, published first in a newspaper in consecutive numbers, and afterwards republished by some one in pamphlet form, which were all alike marked by neatness of style and beauty of sentiment, and which, though only intended, doubtless, for mere off-hand sketches, would have favorably compared with our best magazine literature.
Early in the year 1803, he came into this part of the State, and opened an office in the new, but promising village of Montpelier, which was to be ever after his home, and the central point of the field of the splendid professional success which he was destined to achieve.
His legal attainments, the genius he displayed in developing them, the skill he manifested in the management of his cases, and his peculiarly smooth and happy manner as a speaker, appear almost immediately, after he commenced practice here, to have attracted attention, and given him a distinguished place in the estimation of all the people of the surrounding country as a young man of unusual promise. But he knew better than to repose on laurels of this kind; that not to advance in his profession, was virtually to recede; that he could make no real progress without exploring the great field of jurisprudence, within whose portals he had only just entered; in other words, not without devoting himself to study, careful, close and unremitting; and commenced a course, which, passing beyond the applications of all his own special cases, was as extended as the principles of the law itself, when regarded no less as a science than a system of technicalities, and this course for the next twenty years, while all the time in active employ as a practitioner, he pursued with an assiduity and perseverance rarely ever witnessed among lawyers who, like him, have already reached the higher ranks of their profession.
Such a course of legal research, conducted by a mind of the discrimination and power of analysis, which characterized that of Mr. Prentiss, could not long remain unattended by fruits. We find the legislature of his State, as early as 1822, proffering him, with singular unanimity, a seat as one of the associate justices on the bench of the Supreme Court, which honor he declined, but in 1824 and '25, consented to serve his town as their representative in the General Assembly, and having been triumphantly elected, soon gave unmistakable earnest of those abilities as a legislator and a statesman, which were afterwards so conspicuously displayed in the broader field of the council chamber of the nation. At the session of the legislature of 1822, he was elected first associate justice of the Supreme Court so unanimously, and with so many private solicitations for his acceptance, he did not longer decline a membership in our State tribunal, and went upon the bench, where so scrupulously and ably he executed the duties of his post the next 4 years, that by almost common consent he was elected in 1829, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, and in 1830, a member of the United States' Senate, and was re-elected in 1836 a second term to the Senate, and before his term of service had quite expired was nominated by the President, and without the usual reference of his case to a committee, unanimously confirmed, as the Judge of United States' District Court of this State, in place of Hon. Elijah Paine, then just deceased. This quiet, though highly responsible office, whose duties were to be discharged so near home, he, in his declining health, preferred to a seat on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, which it was more than intimated from high quarters he might soon obtain. He therefore accepted the post, which he continued to hold till his death, Jan. 15, 1857.
Such was the brilliant official career of the Hon. Samuel Prentiss for the last 34 years of his life; he never passed an hour without bearing the responsibilities of some important public trust, and was never removed from one except to be promoted to a higher one, till he had reached the highest but one within the gift of the American
people; and as a senator, he won an enviable and enduring reputation in a body embracing almost all the intellectual giants in that highest period of American statesmanship. Among the beneficent measures, of which he was the originator and successful advocate, was the law, still in force, for the suppression of duelling in the District of Columbia. His speeches in support of that measure have taken rank among the best specimens of senatorial eloquence. His speech against the bankrupt law of 1840 was pronounced by John C. Calhoun to have been the clearest and most unanswerable of any, on a debatable question, which he had heard for years. His stand on this occasion attracted the more public notice, from the fact that he had the independence to contest the passage of the bill, in opposition, with only one exception, to the whole body of his party. And there can be but little doubt that his argument, which was felt to stand still unanswered, had much to do with the repeal of that unfortunate law, a few years afterwards.
Judge Prentiss was obviously held in the highest estimation in the Senate, alike for the purity and worth of his private, and the rare ability of his senatorial character. His equal and confidential relations with Henry Clay and Daniel Webster were at that day well known; while his sterling talents and civic virtues were admitted and admired by all, who, as we were often told at the time, cheerfully joined his more particular associates in conceding him to be the best lawyer in the Senate.
It is in his character as a jurist, however, that Mr. Prentiss will be longest remembered. It is, perhaps, sufficient praise for him to say, that not one of that series of able and lucid decisions, which he had made while on the bench of our Supreme Court, has ever been overruled by any succeeding tribunal in this State, nor, as far as we are apprized, by that of any other, though those decisions are, to this time, being frequently quoted in the courts of probably nearly every State in the Union. With the legal profession, facts of this kind involve probabiy the best evidence of high judicial accomplishment which could possibly be adduced. With those out of that profession, the opinions of other great and learned men respecting the one in question, might be, perhaps, more palpably conclusive. And to meet the understandings of both these classes, therefore, we will close our remarks on this part of our subject by mentioning a curious; legal coincidence, which, while it involved an important decision, was the means of drawing forth a high compliment from the lips of one of the most distinguished of all our American jurists:
Some time during Judge Prentiss' Chief Justiceship of this State, Sir Charles Bell, of the Common Bench of England, made, in an important case, a decision which was wholly new law in that country; and it was afterwards discovered, when the reports of the year, on both sides of the water, were published, that Judge Prentiss had, not only in the same year, but in the same week or fortnight, made, in one of our important suits, precisely the same decision, which was also then new law here, arriving at his conclusion by a process strikingly similar to that of the English justice. This remarkable coincidence, involving the origin of then new, but now well-established points of law, and involving, at the same time, an inference so flattering to our Chief Justice, at once attracted the notice of the celebrated Chancellor Kent, of New York, who, soon after, falling in company with several of our most noted Vermonters, cited this singular instance in compliment to the Vermont Chief Justice, and after remarking that there was no possibility that either the American or English justice could be apprised of the other's views on the point in question, wound up by the voluntary tribute:
"Judge Story, the only man to be thought of in the comparison, is certainly a very learned and able man; but I cannot help regarding Judge Prentiss as the best jurist in New England."
Perhaps there is nothing about which there is more misconception among men generally than in what constitutes; a really great intellect. Most people are prone to
450 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
be looking for some bold and startling thoughts, or some brilliant or learned display of language, in a man, to make good in him their preconceived notions of intellectual greatness. And should they see him lake up a subject in a simple, natural manner, analyze it, reject all the fictitious, retain all the real, arrange the elements, and, thus clearly proceeding, at length reach the only just and safe conclusion of which the case admits, they would, perhaps, feel a sort of disappointment in not having seen any of the imposing mental machinery brought into play, which they supposed would be required to produce the result. Demagogues might indeed make use of such machinery, but a truly great man, never. For it is that very simplicity and clearness of mental operations which can only make an intellect efficient, sate and great. Grasp of thought, penetration and power of analysis, are the expressions generally used in describing a mind of the character of that of Judge Prentiss. But they hardly bring us to a realization of the extremely simple and natural intellectual process, through which he moved on, self-poised, step by step, with so much ease and certainty to the impregnable legal positions where he was content only to rest. And to have fully realized this, we should have listened to one of his plain but luminous decisions, on a case before supposed to be involved in almost insuperable doubts and perplexities—perceived how, at first, he carefully gathered up all that could have any bearing on the subject in hand; how he then began to scatter light upon the seemingly dark and tangled mass; and then, how, segregating all the irrelevant and extraneous, and assorting the rest, he conducted our minds to what at length we could not fail to see to be the truth and reality of the case. That Judge Prentiss possessed, besides his profound knowledge of the law as a science, a finely-balanced and superior intellect is unquestionable; and that it became so, in the exercise of those peculiar traits we have been attempting to describe, need, it appears to us, to be scarcely less doubted.
In person, Judge Prentiss was nearly 6 feet high, well-formed, with an unusually expansive forehead, shapely features and a clear and pleasant countenance, all made the more imposing and agreeable by the affable and courtly bearing of the old school gentleman.
In his domestic system, he was a rigid economist, but ever gave liberally whenever the object conmanded his approbation. Let a single instance suffice for illustration: Some years before his death, his minister lost an only cow; and the fact coming to his ears, he ordered his man to drive, the next morning, one of the cows he then possessed, to the stable of the minister. But strangely enough, the cow selected for the gift died that night. He was not thus to be defeated, however, in his kind purpose; for hearing that the minister had engaged a new cow, at a given price, he at once sent him the amount in money required to pay for it.
Judge Prentiss has gone; but the people of the town, which had the honor to be his home, will cherish his memory as long as they are capable of appreciating true excellence, and be but too proud to tell the stranger that he was one of their townsmen.
At the October session of the United States District Court, following the death of Judge Prentiss, after a suitable annoucement by the district attorney, and the delivery in court of eloquent tributes to the character of the deceased, by the Hon. Solomon Foot, and the Hon. David A. Smalley, the new judge, the following preamble and resolutions were entertained, and ordered to be placed upon the records of the court, as "an enduring evidence of the high veneration in which his memory was held by the Bar":
WHEREAS, the Hon. SAMUEL PRENTISS, late Judge of the District Court of the United States for the District of Vermont, having departed this life within the present year, and the members of this Bar and the officers of this Court entertaining the highest veneration for his memory, the most profound respect for his great ability, learning, experience and uprightness as a Judge, and cherishing for his many public