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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 take 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, safe 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 wherever the object commanded 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
and private virtues the most lively and affectionate recollection, therefore,
Resolved, That his uniformly unostentatious and gentlemanly deportment, his assiduous discharge of his official duties, his high sense of justice, his unbending integrity, and the exalted dignity and purity of his public and private character, furnish the highest evidence of his intrinsic worth, and of his great personal merit.
Resolved, That the District Attorney, as Chairman of this meeting of the Bar, communicate to the family of the deceased a copy of these proceedings, with an assurance of the sincere condolence of the members of the Bar and the officers of this Court, on account of this great and irreparable bereavement.
Resolved, That in behalf of the Bar and the officers of this Court, the Honorable the Presiding Judge thereof be, and he is hereby, respectfully requested to order the foregoing preamble and resolutions to be entered on the minutes of the Court.
MRS. LUCRETIA PRENTISS,
daughter of the late Edward Houghton, Esq., of Northfield, Mass., was born Mar. 6, 1786, and received a good English education for the times. She married Samuel Prentiss, Esq., in 1804, and settled down with him for life in the village of Montpelier. Here she became the mother of 12 children, George Houghton, Samuel Blake, Edward Houghton, John Holmes, Charles Williams, Henry Francis, Frederick James, Theodore, Joseph Addison, Augustus, Lucretia and James Prentiss.
George H. Prentiss died soon after arriving at maturity and settling down in his profession, which, like that of all the rest of the brothers who reached manhood, was that of the law. Augustus, and Lucretia, the only daughter, died in infancy.
The cares, labors and responsibilities of the wife are generally, to a great extent, mingled with those of the husband. Much less than usual, however, were they so in the case of Mrs. Prentice. In consequence of the close occupation of the time of her husband in his crowding legal engagements when at home, and his frequent and long-continued absences from home in the discharge of his professional or official duties, almost the whole care and management of his young and numerous family devolved on her. And those who know what unceasing care and vigilance, and what blending of kindness, discretion and firmness, are required to restrain and check, without loss of influence, and train up with the rightful moral guidance, a family of boys of active temperaments, of fertile intellects and ambitious dispositions, so that they all be brought safely into manhood, will appreciate the delicacy and magnitude of her trust, and be ready to award her the just meed of praise for discharging it, as she confessedly did, with such unusual faithfulness and with such unusual success. Mrs. Prentiss died at Montpelier, June 15, 1855, in her 70th year.
It would be difficult to say too much in praise of the character of this rare woman. She was one of earth's angels. In her domestic and social virtues; in the industry that caused her "to work willingly with her hands;" in "the law of kindness" that prompted her benevolence, and the wisdom that so judiciously and impartially dispensed it; together with all the other of those clustered excellencies that went to constitute the character of the model woman of the wise man—in all these Mrs. Prentiss had scarce a peer among us, scarce a superior anywhere. She did everything for her family, and lived to see her husband become known as he "sat among the Elders of the land," and her nine surviving sons, all of established characters, and presenting an aggregate of capacity and good repute unequalled, perhaps, by that of any other family in the State, and all praising her in their lives. These were her works, but not all her works. The heart-works of the good neighbor, of the good and lowly Christian, and the hand-works that looked to the benefit and elevation of society at large, were by her all done, and all the better done for being performed so unobtrusively, so cheerfully and so unselfishly.
D. P. T.
Oh, many a spirit walks the world unheeded,
That, when its veil of sadness is laid down,
Shall soar aloft with pinions unimpeded,
Wearing its glory like a starry crown.
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THE HON. JOSEPH REED,
Born in Westford, Mass. Mar. 13, 1766, when about 12 years of age left Westford, to live with his uncle in Plymouth, N. H., for about 6 years, receiving only the advantages of a common school education, and at 18 commenced and served a 3 years' apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade, with James Sargeant, of Plymouth, after which he worked one year for his master for $150, and then continued at his trade nearly 5 years in the vicinity, when he relinquished for good his trade and entered the store of Mr. Mower Russell in Plymouth, but soon removed to Thetford, Vt., where in 1803 he opened a store. In June 1804, he married first. He had no children by this marriage. In 1812, he married second, Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. Jacob Burnap D. D. of Merrimac, N. H., by whom he had 2 sons, Charles and George W. In 1814, 15, 16, Mr. Reed was elected town representative of Thetford and received 5 more elections in the next 7 years. In 1818, 19, he was elected one of the Judges of Orange County Court. Having been very successful in trade in Thetford and closed up business there, he removed to Montpelier in 1827. In 1830, 31, 32, he was elected Judge of probate for the district of Washington County, and in 1834, was chosen one of the Council of Censors to revise the constitution of the State, and in 1840, one of the presidential electors who threw the vote of Vermont for General Harrison, and he was county treasurer for almost the last 30 years of his life. His second wife, who shared his cares and his fortunes through nearly the most active period of his life, and who was the mother of his children, died and he married her sister, Miss Lucy Burnap, for his third wife, who dying soon after, he married his fourth wife, Miss Frances M. Cotton, daughter of the Hon. John Cotton of Windsor, who, with a daughter, still survives him.
Judge Reed at his death, Feb. 6, 1859, left a handsome fortune, and, what is far better, a character which his descendants may be proud to contemplate. Of him, his personal peculiarities and general character, it was said, in a tribute from a discriminate source, which appeared in one of our public journals at the time of his death,—"He was a gentleman of the Old School, precise and methodical in his habits; of noble presence and demeanor; honest and sincere in all his dealings; reserved and prudent in his speech, sagacious and comprehensive in his views, of resolute and unflinching perseverance, and wise and ample generosity."
This single sentence finely embodies the whole of his general character, yet some of its peculiar traits may be more definitely told. Among which was beside his unbending integrity his particular and nice conscientiouness. But the way in which Judge Reed effected the most good, and for which, doubtless, he will be the longest, and by the largest number remembered, was assisting indigent, but promising young men in obtaining an education. When, in about middle life, he found he had accumulated a property which afforded a yearly surplus over the economical support of his family, and the probable expense of educating his children, he, as he once told a friend, began to feel it his duty to bestow at least a good portion of that surplus on objects calculated for public good. And distrusting the wisdom of many of the schemes of benevolence in vogue, on which others were bestowing their charities, he for some time cast about him for a system by which to bestow his money so that it might conduce to the most benefit to individuals, and through them to society at large. And he soon settled on loaning to any poor young man, showing promise of usefulness, such sums of money as he should need to carry him through College, without requiring, any security for the payment of the amounts advanced, and leaving the payment a wholly voluntary matter with the beneficiary,. And having made known his intentions, And finding no lack of applications, he at once put his system in practice, and nobly persevered in keeping it up to the last year of his life, and till the number of young men educated through his means amounted to more than twenty, among whom are
to be found some of the most eminent men of the country, ornamenting the learned professions, or adding dignity to the official positions to which their merits have raised them.
Other wealthy men may have been as benevolent, others as patriotic, in bestowing money for temporary purposes, but few can boast of having originated, and so persistently maintained, for so long a peiod, a system of benevolence so wise and noble, of such wide spread, happy influences which have flowed from the one which stands associated with the memory of the late Joseph Reed.
HEZEKIAH HUTCHINS REED,
was born at Hamstead, N. H., May 26, 1795, and came with his father, Captain Thomas Reed, and family to Montpelier in 1804. From 1804 to about 1812, he for the greater part of the time, attended the academy in Montpelier, and made such proficiency, and exhibited promise of so much executive talent, at 16, he sucsessfully taught one of the largest and most forward winter schools in his town, and soon after went to Fort Atkinson, N. Y., and became a clerk in the store of Mr. Gove, while the American Army was wintering there in 1813. When the army retreated southward, he followed it to Plattsburgh, where it took its final stand, and remained with it in the capacity of sutler till the battle of Plattsburgh, September, 1814, at which he was present. The following winter he taught school in Grand Isle County; after which he commenced the study of the law in the office of the Hon. Dan Carpenter of Waterbury; the spring of 1819, was admitted to the Bar, and, during the following summer, went West and settled for practice in Troy, Ohio; remained about 5 years, collected in his earnings, and invested them in flour, which he put on board one of the flat boats of the Ohio, and sailed down to Natches, sold it, and with the proceeds in his pocket, returned on horse-back through Tennessee, Kentucky and Pennsylvania to Philadelphia, and then by other conveyance to his old home in Montpelier, where he went into partnership with his brother, Thomas Reed, Esq., who had already opened a law office in the village. This partnership lasted about 20 years, and was attended throughout with unusual pecuniary success. The Messrs. Reed did a very large business, mostly in collecting and in honorable speculations, acting as advocates in the courts but little more than in the management of their own cases. They invested largely in the stock of the first and second Bank of Montpelier, and bought out nearly all the stock of the old Winooski Turnpike, which they eventually sold out at a good bargain to the Vermont Central Railroad Company. They also became extensive land owners in this and several of the Western States, and their purchases of this character all turned out, in the aggregate, very profitable investments.
Mr. Reed was elected, by general ticket, a member of our Council of Censors in 1841; was one of the delegates of Vermont to the National Convention which nominated Gen. Winfield Scott for President, and was for many years considered one of the most influential politicians in the State. In 1851, 52, he was by a large majority elected representative of Montpelier in the legislature, and on the establishment of the Vermont Bank, in 1849, was chosen its first president and retained in the office till his death.
Mr. Reed was an unusually energetic, stirring business man; but business and money-making were evidently not the only objects of his life. He was ever public spirited, entering into, and often leading in, all enterprises designed for the public good and the social, religious and educational interests of his town, with his usual zeal and energy; and was always quite ready to help on all such movements by liberal subscriptions. He perhaps should be considered the foremost in bringing about our present Union School. He gave $1000 towards the building to be erected on its establishment. He died suddenly, and almost in the prime of his life, of inflammation of the lungs, while on a journey to the West, June 15, 1856, and now
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sleeps in our new Green Mount Cemetery, which he took so much pride in planning and ornamenting.
THE HONORABLE WILLIAM UPHAM,
son of Captain Samuel Upham, was born in Leicester, Mass., Aug. 5, 1792. In 1802, his father and family removed to Vermont, and settled on a farm near the Centre of Montpelier, where, from 10 to about 15 years of age, he worked on the farm, only attending the winter schools of the common school district in which he resided; when he met with an accident, which apparently gave a new turn to his destinies for life:—while engaged about a cider mill, his hand so caught in the machinery, and all the fingers of the right hand, were so crushed that they had to be amputated even with the palm. This, unfitting him for manual labor, led his father to consent to what had before been his wish, the commencement of a course of education, preparatory to the study of the law. Accordingly he attended the old academy, at Montpelier, a few terms, and then, with the late Reverend William Perrin of Berlin for a fellow student, pursued the study of Latin and Greek, about one year, with the Reverend James Hobart of Berlin. In 1808, he entered the office of the Hon. Samuel Prentiss, in Montpelier, as a law student; and, after pursuing his legal studies there about three years, he was admitted to the bar, and soon went into partnership in the practice of the law with the Hon. Nicholas Baylies. After continuing in partnership with Mr. Baylies a few years, he opened an office alone in Montpelier; and from that time, until his election to the United States Senate, he, either alone or with temporary partners, continued in the constant and successful practice of his profession, the business of which was always more than ample enough to require his whole time and attention. For the first thirty years of his professional career, Mr. Upham, with the exception of only one instance, steadily declined the many profers of his friends for his promotion to civil office, though his opportunities for holding such offices included the chance for a seat on the bench of our Supreme Court. The excepted instance was involved in his consent to run as candidate for town representative, in 1827; when, though the majority of his party was a matter of much doubt, he was triumphantly elected. In 1828, he was re-elected, and in 1830, received a third election, serving throug all the three terms to the entire satisfaction of his constituents, and therein exhibiting talents as a public debator which gave him a high position in the Legislature. In the presidential campaign. 1840, he, for the first time, took an active part in politics, and, to use a modern phrase, stumped nearly the whole State, making himself everywhere known to the people by the peculiar traits of his popular eloquence, and he doing efficient political service in favor of the election of General Harrison. In 1841, he was elected to a seat in the United States Senate; and in 1847, was re-elected to the same distinguished office, and died, at Washington, before the completion of his last term, Jan. 14, 1853.
In his professional career, to which the main energies of his life were devoted, he became widely known as one of the best advocates in the State. He was, indeed, what might be called a natural lawyer, and the practice of his profession seemed to amount to almost a passion with him; and, even in his youth, even before he commenced his legal studies, he would often, it was said, leap up from his dreams in his bed, and go to pleading some imaginary law case. And, what he determined to be, that, he became, one of the most successful jury lawyers to be found in any country. Never hesitating for word, and fluent almost beyond example, the style of his speaking was rapid, thoroughly earnest. and often highly impassioned, and so magnetic was that earnestness and seeming confidence in his case, and so skilfully wrought up were his arguments, that bad indeed must have been his side of the question, if he did not command the sympathies and convictions of a good part, if not all, of the jury.
As a statesman it ill befits us to judge
him, while those, who spoke by more authority, and from better opportunities, have so well and fully done so. At the time the customary resolutions, on the occasion of his death, were introduced in Congress, Senator Foot, in his obituary address, said of him:
"His impaired health, for some years past, has restrained him from participating so generally and so actively in the discussions of this body, as his inclination might otherwise have induced him to do, or his ability as a public debator might perhaps have demanded of him. Nevertheless his speeches on several important and exciting public questions, have the peculiar impress of his earnestness, his research, his ability and his patriotic devotion to the best interests of his country. A striking example is furnished of his fidelity to the trust committed to him, and his constant and patient attention to his public duties here, in the fact, which I had from his own mouth, that during the ten years of his service in this body, he never absented himself from the City of Washington for a single day, while Congress was in session, and never failed, while the condition of his health would permit, of daily occupying his seat in the Senate."
Senator Seward said:
"WILLIAM UPHAM was of Vermont: a consistent exponent of her institutions. He was a man of strong and vigorous judgment, which acted always by a process of sound, inductive reasoning, and his compeers here will bear witness that he was equal to the varied and vast responsibilities of the Senatorial trust. He was a plain, unassuming, unostentatious man. He never spoke for display, but always for conviction. He was an honest and just man. He had gotten nothing by fraud or guile; and so he lived without any fear of losing whatever of fortune or position he had attained. No gate was so strong, no lock so fast and firm, as the watch he kept against the approach of corruption, or even undue influence or persuasion. His national policy was the increase of industry, the cultivation of peace, and the patronage of improvement. He adopted his opinions without regard to their popularity, and never stifled his convictions of truth, nor suppressed their utterance, through any fear or favor, or of faction; but he was, on the contrary, consistent and constant
As pilot well expert in perilous wave,
That to a steadfast starre his course hath bent."
Mr. Upham's best known speeches in the Senate are his speech on Three Million Bill, delivered March 1, 1847; on The Ten Regiment Bill, and the Mexican War, delivered Feb. 15, 1848; on the Bill to establish Territorial Governments of Oregon, New Mexico and California, delivered July 28, 1848; on the Compromise Bill, delivered July 1 and 2, 1850.
These were all published in pamphlet form, as well as in all the leading political papers of the day, and at once received the stamp of public approbation as elaborate and able efforts. But besides these, and besides also the numerous written and published reports he made during his Congressional career, as chairman of committee on Revolutionary Claims, on the Post Office and Post Roads, and of other committees, Mr. Upham made many other speeches on various subjects, which, though less extensively circulated perhaps, than those above enumerated, yet received almost equal praise from high quarters.
Of the latter may be cited, as an instance, his speech in opposition to the Tariff bill of 1846; and to show the approbation with which it was received, at the time, among distinguished men, we are permitted to copy a characteristic note from Mr. Webster, which was sent Mr. Upham, the evening after the speech was delivered, and which, after his death, was found among his private papers:
THURSDAY EVE., July 26, 1846.
My Dear Sir:—If you could conveniently call at my house, at eight or nine o'clock in the morning, I should be glad to see you for five minutes. I wish to take down some of your statements respecting the market abroad, for our wool. Following in your track, my work is to compare the value of the foreign and home markets.
Yours truly, DANIEL WEBSTER.
If I had the honor of being a correspondent of Mrs. Upham, I should write
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to her to say, that you had made an excellent speech. The point, of the duty of government to fulfil its pledges, so frequently and solemnly made, was exhibited in a very strong light. D. W.
A friend wrote that the Senator ''was keenly sensible of the dignity of his office, and careful in the discharge of its duties, and from his constancy, industry, and integrity, he was one of the most useful members of the senate."
MRS. SARAH UPHAM.
Sarah Keyes, wife of the Hon. Senator, was born in Ashford, Conn. She was a sister of Mrs. Thomas Brooks of Montpelier, the grandmother of Gen. W. T. Brooks, the distinguished commander of the Vermont Brigade through part of the war of the Rebellion, and while with her sister here, became acquainted with Mr. Upham, with whom, at the early age of 19, she united her destinies for life. Many a public man has been left to regret that he had not a partner who, by her personal attractions, wit and conversational powers, was fitted to sustain herself in the social circles into which his high position brought him. Not so Mr. Upham; his wife, who usually attended him to Washington, readily and gracefully sustained herself among the best society congregated at the National Capital, and was ever, at home or abroad, the cordial, sparkling, intelligent woman, and eminently popular. Each successive season for years, and after her own family had grown up, the young people of Montpelier were indebted to her, more than to any other lady at the Capital, for her inexclusive hospitalities, and efforts that never wearied, to promote their happiness and culture; for the numerous pleasant parties at which, with the approbation of her liberal, warm-souled and congenial husband, she delighted to gather them at her house, within her beautiful home, under her charming influence. Her very presence was refining and a delight. A lady so charitable, magnetic and influential is a great gift to society. Such was Mrs. Upham, as still remembered by numerous friends, and what to her surviving daughters is more precious, and for the example of women more beautiful, she was no less marked and excellent in her every-day life of family duties and cares and affections—the wise and able woman in her own house. The richest fruit must ripen and fall. After her husband died, though of a buoyant disposition, and striving hard to bear her loss with Christian resignation, she soon began to droop, and on the 8th of May, after, 1856, followed him to the grave, mourned by her children and many friends. The portrait of Mrs. Upham in this volume was copied from a painting done shortly after her marriage, while that of the Senator was taken many years later. E. P. W.
WILLIAM KEYES UPHAM,
oldest son of Senator Upham, was born in Montpelier, April 3, 1817, admitted to the bar there, and soon thereafter removed to Ohio, where he gained a large and lucrative practice, and ultimately rose to the head of his profession in that State, ranking, wrote a biographer, "with Chase, Stanton, Corwin, Vinton, John A. Bingham, and others." This statement has been confirmed to the writer of this note by a judge of an Ohio court, in which Mr. Upham practiced. He died Mar. 22, 1865, and a handsome monument was erected to him by the bar of Stark Co., O. E. P. W.
MAJ. CHARLES C. UPHAM,
the second son of Senator Upham, was born in Montpelier, April 3, 1819, and was educated there. In 1852, he entered the U. S. Navy as Paymaster, and by his conduct so far won the confidence of the department that he was assigned to duties of a confidential character. He died suddenly at Montpelier, June 10, 1868. His wife, Mrs. Abbie E. Upham, did not long survive him. E. P. W.
MRS. GEORGE LANGDON,
who was Sarah Sumner, oldest daughter of Senator Upham, was born in Montpelier, and MARY ANNETTE, youngest daughter of Senator Upham, resides with her. Both of these ladies have inherited all the beautiful graces and the remarkable characteristics of their mother, and are favorites as well in the Capitals of Vermont and the Nation, as elsewhere. They are both still living, [1881.] E. P. W.
COL. JONATHAN PECKHAM MILLER
was born in Randolph, Feb. 24, 1797. His father, who died in 1799, had given him to his uncle, Jonathan Peckham, who, dying about 1805, appears to have commended the boy to the care of Capt. John Granger, of the same town, and with that gentleman he resided till 1813, when he went to Woodstock to learn the tanner's trade. He did not remain long there, however, before sickness compelled him to return; and his illness settling into protracted feeble health, he made Mr. Granger's house his home for the next 4 years. But during this time the invasion of Plattsburgh by the British occurring, and Capt. Lebbeus Egerton, of that town, having raised a company of volunteers to go to the rescue, young Miller, sick or well, determined on joining the expedition, which, nevertheless, turned out to be a bloodless one; for the company had not quite time to reach the scene of action before the battle was over, and the enemy had beat a retreat; when they all returned to Randolph, with no other glory than that which arose from this good showing of their patriotic intentions. Whether this incident started in Miller a taste for military affairs, or whether he began to feel farming would prove too tame an occupation for him, is not fully known; but certain it is, as early as 1817, he resolved to change his mode of life, and went to Marblehead, Mass., where a company of United States troops were stationed, and enlisted as a common soldier in the army. He continued in the service about 2 years, being a part of the time stationed on our northern frontier, when, his health again failing, he procured a discharge, and returned to Randolph, where he attended the academy of that town, and soon began to fit for college. After diligently prosecuting his studies here till the summer of 1821, he entered Dartmouth College; but, for some reason, left in the course of a few weeks, and joined a class, of like standing as the one he had been in at Dartmouth, in the University of Vermont. At Burlington College, he steadily pursued his studies, advancing with the rest of his class, to almost the last year of the prescribed course of collegiate requirements, when, May 24, 1824, the college buildings accidentally caught fire and were totally consumed, and with them a portion of the public library and the private books of the students, among which were those of Mr. Miller.
He was now afloat again; but does not appear to have long hesitated in making up his mind upon a course of action for his immediate future. The struggles of Greece for liberty had by this time become the theme of every American fireside, and the appalling woes her people were suffering from the remorseless cruelties of their turbaned oppressors, had already enlisted the sympathies of every American heart that could feel for anything. As might be expected of one of Miller's warm and patriotic nature. his feelings had been among those of the first to be aroused at the recital of these tales of outrage. But heretofore he had been engaged in the accomplishment of the task before him—the completion of his college course. He thought it hardly worth his while now, however, at his age, to enter a new college for this purpose, and, if not, his time was on his own hands. Why, then, should he not go to succor the oppressed, as well as other patriotic Americans who had already sailed for Greece, or were intending shortly to do so? With the question, came the decision.
He knew there was in Boston an association of wealthy and influential gentlemen, styled the Greek Committee, who had been selected to receive and appropriate contributions for the Greek cause, by purchasing needed munitions, or by furnishing the means of transit to those who. without such means, were willing to volunteer their personal services in behalf of the oppressed. But he must first obtain an introduction to them; and for this purpose he went to Gov. Van Ness, at the destruction of whose house by fire, a short time before, he knew he had performed an important and dangerous service in rescuing valuable property from the flames. The Governor, who never forgot a benefit, wrote a letter, not only of introduction, but of warm recommendation of Mr. Miller, to
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the Hon. Thomas L. Winthrop, and the Hon. Edward Everett, the President and Secretary of the Greek Association, who, in their turn, gave him letters to the President and leading members of the Greek Government, at Missolonghi, and furnished him withal, with over $300, to enable him to pay his passage, equip himself with a good personal outfit, and have money left for exigencies that might arise after he had reached his destination; when he, with other American volunteers, sailed for Malta, Aug. 21, 1824. After reaching that place, and spending a few weeks, and at some other of the neighboring islands, he proceeded to the fated Missolonghi, and enquired out the house which Lord Byron, then very late deceased, had made his headquarters, and which had been retained for the ordinary meetings of the members of the government of Western Greece. Here he encountered Dr. Mayer, who was a root of the fighting stock of William Tell, of Switzerland, and had, for several of the last years, been one of the bravest and most useful of the European volunteers in Greece. Mr. Miller presented his credentials to the Doctor, and was promised an early presentation to members of the government. He was also invited to take up his quarters in that house, and having been shown a room where he might take a little of the repose he so much needed, he wrapped his cloak around him, threw himself down on the floor, and was soon asleep. Before long, however, he was awakened by the entrance of a man already widely known through Europe and America. This was Gen. George Jarvis, a son of Benjamin Jarvis, of New York, who held a situation under the U. S. Government in Germany, were the son was born, educated and reared to manhood. He entered the Greek service in 1821, and continued in it through the whole of that memorable struggle, passing through every grade of military office to the rank of brigadier general of Lord Byron's brigade, and seeing, probably, more fighting, and undergoing more suffering and hardship than any one of all the heroes of Greece. He and Mr. Miller appear to have almost at once made the discovery that they were congenial spirits, and a mutual friendship and respect sprang up between them, which soon resulted in Mr. Miller's appointment as one of the General's staff officers, with the rank of colonel in the Greek service.
It is not our purpose to follow Colonel Miller through the various hardships he endured through the next 2 years of that wild and bloody conflict, nor enumerate those feats of arms which seem so to have awakened the admiration of the Greeks, and caused him to be known among them by the peculiar name of The American Dare Devil. Let an instance or too, which we have had from his own lips, serve as a specimen of his many personal risks and escapes, as well as of his individual daring.
On one occasion, when he was stationed in command of a small band of soldiers in a walled garden, a few miles from Napoli, he suddenly discovered the place to be surrounded by a force of some thousand Turkish troops. Knowing that the instant the weakness of his band was discovered they would all be sacrificed on the spot, Col. Miller at once resolved on the desperate expedient of a sally right into the mouth of the lion, and calling on his band to follow at his heels, he dashed out into the midst of the closely investing foe, firing his girdle full of pistols, and slashing about him with his sword as he went, with such fury as to astonish the Turks, who supposing, of course, the garden to be full of Greeks, about to scatter death among them from behind the walls, instantly became panic struck and fled.
Another instance of a similar character occurred in a different part of the peninsula, when Gen. Jarvis and Col. Miller, with a small force, being unexpectedly beset by a large body of Turkish cavalry, were wholly cut off from their companions, and, as their only chance of escaping with life, were compelled to run for a piece of woods at thy top of a hill a fourth of a mile distant. But this only resort came near proving a fatal one. A large squad of the mounted fiends pursued them, and were all within pistol shot, while the woods were yet too far distant to be reached by them.
They supposed there was but a moment more for them in this world; but they resolved that that moment should not be passed unimproved. They suddenly wheeled round, drew up their pieces, and fired directly into the faces of their pursuers, who, in surprise at the strange act, came to a dead halt, and the next instant turned and fled, doubtless believing that they would not take such a stand unless there lay concealed in the borders of the woods a force of their foes, from whom it was their wisdom to escape while they could.
The first of these instances we find in substance related in Post's Visits to Greece and Constantinople in 1827, and also in Dr. Howe's History Greece, and the latter, not before named in history, is doubtless an equally veritable incident.
Besides the many personal encounters and skirmishes with the foes of Greece, of the character of those just described, Col. Miller was an active participant in several important engagements, in which his gallantry appears to have attracted favorable notice. Among these we find one handsomely alluded to in the lately published volume of "Travels in Greece and Russia," by Bayard Taylor:
At the end of the Argive plain is the little village of Miles, where Ypsilanti gained a splendid victory over the troops of Ibrahim Pacha, and Col. Miller greatly distinguished himself.
But the most continuous, the hardest and most important of Col. Miller's military services in Greece were in the terrible twelve months' siege of the ill-fated Missolonghi, one of the most wealthy and populous towns of the Grecian peninsula. We have space only to give a general idea of the character of this siege; and this idea will perhaps be the best given by a letter from Dr. Mayer, of whom we have before spoken, and who was one of the 130 persons perishing in the last defense of the place, written within three days before his death; and in another letter from Colonel Miller himself to Edward Everett, after Missolonghi had fallen, and he had escaped with the remnant of the besieged, as he has described, out of the city, but not out of danger:
DR. MAYER'S LETTER.
The labors which we have undergone, and a wound I have received in the shoulder, which I am in expectation is one which will be my passport to eternity, have prevented me till now from bidding you my last adieus. We are reduced to feed on the most disgusting animals; we are suffering horribly from hunger and thirst. Sickness adds much to the calamities that overwhelm us. More than 1740 of our brothers are dead. More than 100,000 bombs and balls, thrown by the enemy, have destroyed our bastions and our houses. We have been terribly distressed by cold, and we have suffered great want of food. Notwithstanding so many privations, it is a great and noble spectacle to witness the ardor and devotedness of the garrison. A few days more, and these brave men will be angelic spirits, who will accuse before God the indifference of christendom for a cause which is that of religion. All the Albanians who deserted from the standard of Reschid Pacha have now rallied under that of Ibrahim. In the name of all our brave men, among whom are Noto Botzaris, Travellas, Papodia Mautopolas, and myself, whom the government has appointed generals to a body of its troops, I announce to you the resolution, sworn to before Heaven, to defend, foot by foot, the land of Missolonghi, and bury ourselves, without listening to any capitulation, under the ruins of this city. History will render us justice; posterity will weep over our misfortunes. I am proud to think that the blood of a Swiss, of a child of William Tell, is about to mingle with that of the heroes of Greece. May the relation of the siege of Missolonghi, which I have written, survive me. I have made several copies of it. Cause this letter, dear S——, to be inserted in some public journal.
This beautiful and touching letter to a friend has been preserved in the History of Greece. Col. Miller's letter, which was also embodied in the same history, is as follows:
NAPOLI DE ROMANIA,
May 3, 1826.
Honored and Dear Friend:—It is with emotions not to be expressed, that I now attempt to give an account of the fall of Missolongli, and the heartrending situation of ill-fated Greece. Missolonghi fell into the hands of the Turks, eight days since, after a gallant defense of eleven months and a half. When we take into consideration the means of its defense, and the
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overwhelming numbers that approached it by sea and land, there cannot be a doubt but that its resistance rivals anything of the kind either in ancient or modern times. The particulars of its fall are enough to draw tears from the most obdurate and unfeeling heart, and will bring into action the energies of the Christian world, if, indeed, such a world can be said to exist. Pardon me, my dear sir; the agonies of my mind cause the expression; for who can believe, that, in an age like this, if there are Christians, infidels should be allowed to butcher an entire population?
Missolonghi contained over 8,000 inhabitants at the time of its surrender, or rather of its destruction. There were no more than 3,00o capable of bearing arms; the rest were women and children. We were reduced to the last extremity for provisions, having eaten all the mules and horses which were in the place, when the gloomy inhabitants were cheered by the arrival of the Greek fleet; but alas! the gallant Mianlis found the Turkish force too strong for his little squadron. After sustaining considerable loss in three attempts to break through the Turkish fleet, he retired. The inhabitants of Missolonghi were now driven to desperation. They knew of the unhappy fate of those who had been taken at Aurtolico, and of the outrages the Arabs would commit if the place should capitulate. They took a horrid but glorious resolution of blowing into the air their wives, daughters and sons. I call it glorious, because the women desired it; and there was no possible way of preventing the Arabs from committing outrages upon the women and boys, if they once should get them into their power. They all assembled at the old Turkish Seraglio. Their husbands and brothers, after laying a train of powder, embraced them for the last time, then giving them matches, left them to set fire to the train. The men then prepared themselves for cutting their way through the Turkish camp, sword in hand. And out of the 3,000, only 1,000 are said to have escaped.
There is the greatest sorrow here, women beating their breasts, and asking every Frank they meet, "if all the Christian world has forsaken them?" I must close this hasty scrawl, for my heart is too full to write more. I lost all my articles of European clothing at Missolonghi. But this is nothing. If I am happy enough to escape, I shall go to Smyrna.
My regards to Mrs. Everett. I am thankful it is not for her to endure the distress of the fair, but ill-fated daughters of Greece.
I am, dear sir, with due respect, your humble servant, J. P. MILLER.
This was the last of all systematic resistance the poor Greeks were able to make; and they remained in their desolated country, a subdued, but not conquered people, till the Christian nations having been aroused, the naval victory at Navarino secured the independence of their country. But the people, in the meanwhile, were in a starving condition; and Col. Miller, after lingering there till fall, came here to the United States to arouse his countrymen to the work of contributing for supplying of their wants. Arriving here in November, he lectured through most of the Northern and Middle States with that object; but in Feb. 1827, while thus engaged, he was appointed by the N. Y. Greek Committee to the agency of going to Greece and superintending the distribution among the suffering inhabitants of that country of a cargo of provisions that had been already collected for them. He went, was gone about a year, and discharged his duty to the full satisfaction of the friends of Greece here, as the proofs, published with his journal by the Harpers of New York, after his return, abundantly make manifest. The aggregate value of the provisions and clothing distributed by him in Greece was over $75,000. Yet it was found to be well for the beneficiaries that he could act both in the character of almoner and soldier with equal efficiency. For, when he arrived in Greece, he was beset by sharpers and mercenary villains of all kinds, who insolently demanded portions of his cargo in despite all his judicious rules for distribution; and in one instance a scheme was laid to get possession of his whole store, and it would probably have been successful, as well as the less bold attempts of the kind, but for the decisive stand and personal intrepidity of Col. Miller, who, on such occasions, would throw off the character of the almoner as quick as the Quaker did his coat, draw sword and pistols, and drive the lying knaves from his presence.
Among the things which were destined to become permanent remembrancers of Col. Miller's expedition to Greece, was the adoption and education of a Greek
orphan boy, Lucas Miltiades, who, after having received through his childhood and youth from the Colonel all the privileges and affectionate care and kindness which a father could have bestowed, removed West soon after reaching his majority. And Lucas Miltiades Miller has now become, through the advantages thus received, and his own capacity, energy and enterprise, one of the most respected, wealthy and influential citizens of Wisconsin.
Lucas M. was the younger of two brothers brought to this country by Col. Miller and Dr. Russ, the intimate friend of the former, and one of the most cultivated, noble and efficient of all his compatriots in the Greek Revolution.
Another momento was what now should be considered an antiquarian relic of great interest—nothing less than the veritable sword which Lord Bryon wore in his Greek campaign. Lord Bryon gave this sword to a young Greek named Loukas, a Captain in his legion, who afterwards was shot dead in a sortie from the Acropolis at Athens; and being found with his sword knotted to his wrist, was carried into the fortress. When the sword and his clothing were sold for the benefit of his sisters by the English Consul of Poros, who was requested to take charge of the effects of the deceased, Col. Miller, being present at the sale, purchased the sword and brought it home on his second return. He loaned it to a Mr. Castanis, a native Greek lecturer, by whom it was carried back to Greece, and for a long time was supposed to be lost. But when, a few years since, Col. Miller's daughter, who in the meantime had grown to womanhood and married Mr. Abijah Keith, of Montpelier, visited Greece with her husband, and while there receiving the flattering attentions of the many who called on her in manifestation of their gratitude for what her father had once done for them, for their relatives and for their country, she learned the whereabouts of Mr. Castanis and this sword, and soon recovered it. And being at the house of the now celebrated George Finlay, of Athens, known not only as Lord Byron's early British associate in Greece, but as the learned antiquarian, and historian of the different eras of Greece, he at once identified the sword, and gave Mr. and Mrs. Keith the following certificate, which we copy from the original in their possession:
Mr. and Mrs. Keith have just shown me the sword which Col. Miller purchased at Poros, at the sale of the effects of Captain Loukas:—This sword I have seen in Lord Byron's possession, before he gave it to Loukas; and I was present at Poros when it was sold. GEORGE FINLAY.
Athens, 17 January, 1853.
Dr. Russ, who has already been mentioned, and who is still living in New York, will also attest to all the material facts above presented.
The identity of this sword, which has an Asiatic inscription on the blade, with Byron's initial and a crown engraved on the hilt, is thus placed beyond a cavil.
Soon after his second return from Greece, Col. Miller came to Montpelier, and took up his permanent residence, passed through a regular course of legal studies, was admitted to the bar, and opened a law office in the place in company with Nicholas Baylies, Esq.
In June, 1828, he married the daughter of Capt. Jonathan Arms, a capitalist. In 1830, '31 and '33, he was elected the representative of Berlin, within whose borders he was then residing with his father-in-law, Capt. Arms. During the session of the legislature of 1833, Col. Miller introduced the following resolution:
WHEREAS, slavery and the slave trade, as existing in the District of Columbia, are contrary to the broad declaration of our Bill of Rights, which declares that liberty is the inalienable right of all men; and whereas they are a national evil, disgrace and crime, which ought to be abolished; and whereas the power of legislation for that District is with the Congress of these United States, therefore,
Resolved, the Governor and Council concurring herein, that our Senators in Congress be directed, and representatives in Congress be requested, to use their endeavors to effect the abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of Columbia.
This preamble and resolution, which we have copied at large, not only because
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Col. Miller was the mover, but because they constituted the first anti-slavery movement in the legislature of Vermont, were, after lying on the table some weeks, called up by Mr. Miller, earnestly supported by him, and,—that being long before it was good policy for leading politicians to support anti-slavery resolutions,—opposed by Mr. Foot, of Rutland, who moved to dismiss the resolution. The House, however, refused to dismiss it, by 20 majority, but consented to refer it to the next session, when it was finally dismissed by 15 majority.
From about this time, however, Colonel Miller gave his almost undivided attentions and sympathies to the cause of antislavery, lecturing in all parts of the State, and not only bestowing his time and labors, but a large amount of money for its advancement. And it probably is not too much to say that no man ever did as much as Col. Miller, in building up the anti-slavery party of Vermont, and putting it on that onward march and steady increase, which raised it to a power that made it necessary for the dominant party, as a matter of self-preservation, to adopt its principles and take all its members into political fellowship.
In 1840, Col. Miller, one of the two Vermont delegates, attended the World's Anti-Slavery Convention, in London, where he appears to have been much noticed by Daniel O'Connell, Lord Brougham, and other leading men of the kingdom, to whom he had formerly become known by his championship of oppressed Greece. He took a prominent part in the debates of this celebrated convention. And, in glancing over the volume of its proceedings, published the next year in London, we are unable to perceive why his speeches do not honorably compare with the majority of those of the many very able men of whom that body was composed.
As a public speaker, Col. Miller was off-hand, bold and earnest, appearing more solicitous of bringing out his principles with effect, than of draping his thoughts with the graces of oratory. And in his manners in private life, he exhibited the same characteristics by which he was known in all his public actions—a fearless utterance of his opinions, and a straightforward, unstudied frankness, united with a soldierly bearing, which, with the affectedly refined, was considered as approaching the borders of roughness. As a citizen, he was public-spirited, without vices, and benevolent to a proverb. He always had around him half a regiment of the poor, or poor tenants, who came not to pay him rents, but to obtain additional favors; and the fact that both these classes continued to throng him through life is sufficient evidence that they never went away empty handed. He must have given away, during his residence in Montpelier, in private charities, in the furtherance of the anti-slavery cause, and in aidance of educational or benevolent institutions, the largest part of a handsome fortune, receiving in return nothing but the good name he carried to his grave.
He died prematurely, in consequence of an accidental injury to his spine, Feb. 17, 1847, leaving a wife and one child, the daughter to whom we have before alluded, Mrs. Abijah Keith; and he now sleeps on the boldest point of yonder Green Mount Cemetery, beneath the massive, square, rough granite obelisk, so typical, in many respects, of his Roman virtues and strong traits of character.
[Sarah Arms, the widow of Col. Miller, died in Chicago, Dec. 22, 1864, aged 76. Her remains were brought back to Montpelier, and interred in Green Mount Cemetery, by the side of her renowned and honorable husband.]
HON. D. P. THOMPSON.— [For biographical sketch of Mr. Thompson, see Berlin, page 69 of vol. iv, this work.]
GEORGE ROBINSON THOMPSON,
was born at Montpelier, Jan. 3, 1834. He was the oldest son of the late Hon. Daniel P. Thompson. He fitted for college at the Washington County Grammar School, and entered the University in 1849; graduating in 1853. He studied law at Montpelier, and was for two years clerk of the House of Representatives, and
removed in 1856 to New Yolk to practice his profession, where he acquired a good position. Mr. Thompson was a man of fine literary attainments and very social tastes. On the night of Feb. 6, 1871, on his way to Albany to argue a case before the Court of Appeals, he was instantly killed by a disaster to the train at New Hamburgh, N. Y. Mr. Thompson married a daughter of the late Dr. T. C. Taplin, of Montpelier, and left two children.
DANIEL. G. THOMPSON, youngest son of the late Hon. D. P. Thompson, is now practising law in New York city, being the junior member of the legal firm of Jordan, Stiles & Thompson, the senior of which is Hon. Edward Jordan, late Solicitor of the Treasury.
HON. LUCIUS B. PECK,
Lawyer and Member of Congress, and forty years a resident of Montpelier.
ADDRESS OF B. F. FIFIELD, ESQ.,
By request of the Bar, read betiire the assembled Court, — His Honor, Asahel Peck, presiding.
MAY IT PLEASE THE COURT:
On the 28th day of December last, in a neighboring state, amid the friendless associations of a strange city, Hon. LUCIUS B. PECK died of paralysis, in the 65th year of his age. On the 29th his remains were brought to his old home in Montpelier, and on the 30th , at the Pavilion Hotel, they were viewed with sorrow and regret by his old friends and fellow townsmen. On the 31st, at 4 o'clock, P. M., we attended his funeral in a body; we heard pronounced the touching and impressive words of the Episcopal burial service; we listened to the solemn chant of anthems breathing forth in melodious numbers consolation to the living and blessings upon the dead, and as the lingering twilight of the departing year faded away in the west, we silently and mournfully followed the remains of him whom we respected and loved, and deposited them within the cold walls of the tomb.
To-night, in pursuance of a time-honored custom, we meet to testify our respect for our eminent friend, and upon me has been imposed the grateful duty, not to pronounce his euology, but to speak of those qualities of mind and heart which rendered him so popular with the Court, so respected by the public, so dear to us all.
Lucius B. Peck was the son of General John Peck, and was born in October, 1802, at Waterbury, in this county. He lived there until he was nineteen years of age, when, having finished a preparatory course, he was admitted as a cadet to the Academy at West Point, July 1, 1822, where he stayed one year. Although he was studious and scholarly, and took a high rank in his class, he was compelled to resign on account of ill health. His resignation was accepted Aug. 15, 1823. The following year, having regained his health, he entered the office of Hon. Samuel Prentiss as a student-at-law.
From those who were his fellow students, I learn that here he first began to develop those powers of clear discrimination and accurate judgment for which he was afterwards so much distinguished.
After about one year spent in laborious toil under the guiding hand of Judge Prentiss, he went into the office of Hon. Denison Smith of Barre, where he completed his studies and was admitted to the bar in this county at the September term, 1825.
He immediately formed a partnership with Mr. Smith, who, at this time, was advanced in years, and with a large practice. The duties that this connection imposed upon Mr. Peck were arduous, but exceedingly beneficial. He felt these responsibilities and labored like a Hercules to be equal to them. His modesty of manner excited sympathy, and his clearness of mind challenged attention. While the old clients of Mr. Smith at first naturally doubted his untried hand, acquaintance soon begot familiarity, and familiarity confidence, and in a few years, we find Mr. Peck in the full tide of successful practice in Orange and Washington counties.
So great was the confidence of the public, that at this early age, soon after he commenced practice, he was sent to the Legislature as the representative of Barre.
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Though he talked little, he always talked well. His deference to the opinions of others was always marked, and generally he found greater pleasure in being an attentive listener than a noisy debator.
About 1827, Mr. Smith died, and soon afterwards Mr. Peck removed to Montpelier, and continued the practice of law here from that time till the time of his death. From the time Mr. Peck removed to Montpelier his practice was constantly increasing. He began to be generally known over the State; in Orange county, he was engaged in almost every case.
Dillingham, Upham and Collamer also practiced there,—all men of superior ability. Pitted against each other their wits were sharpened and the traces always kept tight. The sharp retort, the fiery sarcasm, the nervous energy of Mr. Upham found their match in the cool, deliberate, mental power of Mr. Peck; they were generally matched against each other.
It should be remembered that courts are not now what they were then. There were no railroads then; local attachments and feelings were stronger than now. The county seat was to the county a center to which all eyes were turned on court day. The hotels were filled, the court-house jammed with an interested and partisan audience, who were keen to sympathize with and applaud any happy hit which came from the lawyer who vindicated the cause in which they happened to believe. Thus emulation was created; each lawyer knew what was expected of him. He stood not in representation of his client alone, but he stood to vindicate a just cause and hurl back all anathemas that trenched upon the rectitude of the intentions of his client, his witnesses and friends. The opposing counsel stood as gladiators, determined to win or die.
Mr. Upham was the senior of Mr. Peck, but he had for him a profound respect; after the battle was over they were the best of friends. They were wholly dissimilar. Mr. Upham was fiery, impetuous and headstrong. Mr. Peck was slow, deliberate and argumentative, but as he proceeded the hearers felt that a strong mental power was operating to instruct the understanding and convince the mind.
Mr. Upham's power lay in his extreme earnestnesss, his biting denunciations, and often his eloquent appeals to the passions or prejudices of his hearers.
Mr. Peck's lay in the candor and fairness of his statement, and the matchless elimination of truth from falsehood.
These very dissimilarities in their characters contributed to make them friends, and the more that each recognized in the other what was wanting in himself.
There was Dillingham, too, the last of them now living, whose emotional countenance and musical voice, notwithstanding the fire of Mr. Upham and the candor of Mr. Peck, were very apt to snatch the verdict from both if he could only get the close of the case.
It was with such men, and amid such surroundings, that Mr. Peck practiced from the time he came to Montpelier down to about 1845. To hold any position of equality with such men, he was obliged to labor incessantly. But this he always did cheerfully, for he loved his profession.
About 1830, he married the daughter of Ira Day, Esq., of Barre, who was then one of the wealthiest and most influential men in the State. For a few years they boarded, and then he went into the house which he continued to occupy up to the time of his wife's death, in 1854. After his marriage, the charms of domestic life added to his happiness, and the years flew swiftly by.
I have it from his own lips that these years from 1830 to 1845 were the pleasantest of his life. And his old friends remember with great pleasure the generous hospitalities which were so gracefully dispensed by him and his accomplished wife during these years. Happy in his home, and successful in his profession, Mr. Peck was content, though still aspiring.
About this time he was retained as general counsel for the Vermont Central Railroad through the influence of Gov. Paine, who had a thorough appreciation of his safe and reliable legal advice, and from that time to the time of his death, he continued their counsel. But though overwhelmed
with professional business, Mr. Peck, after 1845, mingled to some extent in politics. From 1847 to 1851, he represented this district in Congress. While there he formed many valuable acquaintances, and among those of whom he was most accustomed to speak, were Daniel S. Dickinson and Gov. Marcy, for with them in particular, he was on intimate and familiar terms.
His congressional career was satisfactory to his constituents. He was respected and honored by all who knew him, and in all the speeches which he made there is the same precision and accuracy for which he was noted at home. But I think political life was distasteful to him.
He was essentially a man of habit. His profession was the profession of law. He had become habituated to the routine of that kind of labor, and when he stepped into a new arena he felt that he had strayed from home, and I think his mind ever turned from the dissipations of the fashionable life of Washington with fond regret to his quiet home among his friends and the green hills of Vermont. Indeed, he has told me this in substance, many times, and that the greatest mistake of his life was in going to Washington at all. Probably, however, when he resumed the practice of law on his return from Washington in 1852, his reputation received additional lustre by reason of his congressional life. Since 1852, there have been few large suits in the State in which he has not been retained.
Mr. Peck was United States District Attorney under President Pierce, and was once or twice nominated by his party as Governor of this State. From 1859 to his death, he was president of the Vermont & Canada Railroad.
But his fame rests in his professional life. And here it was that he desired to have it rest. It was to this that he bent his energies; here was his ambition, and it cannot be doubted that at last he stood without his peer, princeps inter principes.
Quintilian tells us that a successful lawyer must be a good man. By this I suppose is meant that he must have a character for integrity which will inspire confidence. Mr. Peck had this in a remarkable degree. Everybody believed not only in his ability, but also in his honesty. His word was law. Hence his opinion was sought from far and near. Every client he ever had was sure to return in new emergencies, and, when he again departed, it was with renewed and enlarged confidence.
His kindness and patience in listening to the tedious and almost senseless recital of imaginary wrongs by moneyless clients is also worthy of remark. In the very height of his professional reputation, I doubt if he ever refused to counsel a client, however poor he might be, or however small the controversy, and I need hardly say in this presence that such controversies are sometimes as intricate and difficult of solution as they are petty and insignificant in magnitude.
He was seldom if ever angry—never abusive. I can safely say that I never knew him to speak ill of any person. I do not doubt he had his dislikes, but if he had he kept them to himself. He had no petty jealousy of his brethren at the bar. He never believed it necessary to success that it should be built upon the ruins of his fellows. "With malice toward none and charity for all," his ambition was to rise by his own merit, and give others the same opportunity.
His courtesy, too, to the younger members of the bar has become proverbial. For many years his position has been commanding; his opinion was therefore sought by those younger than himself. Who of us does not remember his forbearance and patience?
Mr. Peck was slow in forming his opinions. Every loop-hole in a question was revolved over and over in his mind before any definite conclusion was announced. A leading though homely maxim with him was, "Be sure you are right, and then go ahead!" He believed in the advice of Polonius to his son:
Of entrance to a quarrel; but, being in,
Bear it, that the opposer may beware of thee.
He was peaceful in his habits, and for many years past has been more inclined to
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advise settlements than to bring suits. His friends were few, but as a general rule very select. These he bound to his heart with hooks of steel. In this connection I cannot refrain from speaking of his reticence. By those who did not know him well, this has been taken for coldness. But it was very far from that.
Mr. Peck was one of the most sensitive men I ever knew; hence he was never obtrusive. His sensibilities were delicate, and his apparent reserve was the result of a retiring modesty, rather than coldness of heart. He was, on the contrary, I confidently affirm, one of the kindest-hearted men I ever knew. If he did a favor, it was quite as apt to be behind your back as to your face. If he bestowed charity it was with no ostentation. If done at all, it was because it was proper and right; not because it might or might not be talked about.
I have already alluded to the force of habit upon him. When once the wheels were in the groove, it was difficult to get him out of it. I remember well when we moved into our new office, about 1860. Many a time have I known him to pass by to the old office, and never discover his error until he had got to the stairway or the door. It was many months before he felt at home in our new quarters, and I believe his old sign never came down from over the old office until within two years.
Mr. Peck never pressed a debtor; I never knew him to dun one, even. But, while he never troubled others, he was always prompt in his engagements, and they were fulfilled with no quibbling, no misunderstandings. In short, he had a homely, old-fashioned honesty, and he was particularly attracted towards one who had the same. His dealings with other members of the bar were of the same character; he was open, frank, straightforward, and he was never found in any different position to-day from what he was yesterday. Hence his word was a bond.
He delighted in the practice of the law, not so much in the contentions of the forum, as in the law as a science. His mind, whether in or out of court, was ever dwelling upon it; he thought of nothing else, cared for nothing else. Here was his heart, and here was he also. He had a mind and temperament peculiarly adapted to the scientific investigation of legal principles. For his mind, being active and strong, gave him great power of analysis, and his temperament being slow and cautious, no conclusion was announced until the analysis was complete. His chief excellence consisted in his power to separate and distinguish things essential from things of circumstance, and here he himself could only be his parallel. His clear discrimination easily penetrated the small clap-trap with which some lawyers attempt to conceal, rather than elucidate the truth, and having a clear understanding himself, he could make it clear to others also.
Mr. Peck was not a man of great general learning, or high scholarly culture; his reading was generally, though not always, confined to the leather-bound volumes of our office; there he revelled in perfect contentment. And as each new volume was issued, he drank from the clear fountains of the law, and renewed again his acquaintance with old and familiar principles as applied to new cases.
He never indulged in satire or sarcasm; at most, it could only be called a pleasantry. His kindness of heart forbid that he should wound the feelings of others.
He never ventured upon flights of imagination or sketches of fancy. He considered them as but small aids in the elucidation of truth, and when these arts were opposed to him, they faded away into the thin air of nothingness as he exposed their worthlessness. For want of these arts it has sometimes been said that he was not a great jury advocate. If by this is meant he was not brilliant in his conceptions, and swift and rapid in that kind of imagery which captivates the fancy and pushes the mind momentarily from its true balance, I agree to it, but if the art of good advocacy consists in convincing the understanding and riveting the mind upon the vital and centralizing points of a case, then, I think, he was a great jury advocate, and his great success in this regard is the best proof of
the truth of it. It should always be remembered that after the advocacy is over, comes the rigid, unbending charge of the court. The minds of the jury quickly regain their equanimity, and return to the pivotal points in the case.
But however this may be, his preeminence in the Supreme Court for more than twenty years has never been questioned. It was remarked by Chief Justice Redfield, many years since, that he was the model lawyer of the State, and one of the most scholarly and appreciative of our present judges has often said that no man helped the court like Mr. Peck. The expression is peculiarly appropriate; for, to help the court implies ability and willingness on his part, and confidence and trust on theirs. When Mr. Peck arose, he stood, not the friend of his client alone, but also the friend of the court. Instantly they would lean forward to catch the measured tones of his voice, as principle after principle was announced, constituting an unbroken chain of logical deduction, never diverging or diffuse, but ever aiming at a given result, and when the conclusion was reached, he always sat down. There was no repetition, no tautology.
His appearance here was always quiet; his style of address conversational. With great deference on his part, he and the court seemed to be conferring together. He was recognized their equal, and he never abused the high compliment. Hence the weight of his character gave great force to his arguments. He was a man of few words, but they were spoken with great precision and measured accuracy.
In recent years I think he has not been accustomed to rely upon cases to any great extent. When a cause was to be argued, his first question was, what is right? and he never would fail to find some legal principle which would adapt itself to his view of the case. He never believed law was a code for the advancement of legalized trickery, but that in its proper administration, it was co-extensive with the highest morality, and productive of the purest justice.
With such a head and such a heart, Mr. Peck practiced for 40 years in the courts of this State. True to his clients, true to the court, loved by the bar and respected by the public, he leaves behind him a reputation whose lustre will illumine these altars of justice so long as the votaries of the law shall study it as a science, or practice it with fidelity. The future law student will find our reports full of the imprints of his masterly mind, and will read with unceasing delight those pages in which legal principles have been so moulded under his guiding hand as to adapt themselves justly to the ever-varying and changing circumstances of life.
The barbarous conception of the poet, that
The evil that men do, lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones,
will find no verification in his case.
His gentleness, his courtesy, and the noble qualities of his heart will be remembered by all of us who are living, and the monuments of his learning, spread all over our jurisprudence, will be remembered by those who come after us.
But, may it please the court, he is gone from us now; his labors are over, his destiny accomplished. Placidly and calmly he has laid off the armor of life. The armor was battered and worn; it had been through many a battle, for he had fought a good fight. Truthfully and appropriately may we apostrophize it,
Bruised pieces go
Ye have been nobly borne!
Mr. Peck, said the Hon. Timothy P. Redfield on this occasion, was the veteran leader of this bar, and for more than a quarter of a century had stood among the foremost of his profession in the State.
He was also a model in courtesy and urbanity in court. He loved and honored, but never, by a professional act, degraded the profession; and his kindness and courtesy were extended alike to his brethren and the court. As a mere lawyer, it is not probable this bar will soon find again so perfect a model.
He was in attendance upon the last session of this court, in his usual health. At
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the General Term of the Supreme Court, in November, he had the responsible care of a large number of important cases, and it was observed that he exhibited. more than his accustomed elasticity and vigor. A few days afterwards, while upon professional business in the city of Lowell, Mass., he was suddenly stricken, and lingered, with the windows of his intellect darkened, until the 28th of December, when the light went out.
[Of the resolutions on his death, passed by the bar, we most admire:]
Resolved, That we respected him for a modesty that never assumed, and a courtesy that never gave offense; we loved him for his honesty; we admired him for his learning; and that in all these characteristics, so happily united, he has left us a rare example.
STODDARD BENHAM COLBY.
BY HON. T. P. REDFIELD.
Stoddard Colby was the second son of Capt. Nehemiah Colby, born at Derby, Orleans County, Jan. 1816.
In 1829, he began fitting for college in the office of the late Judge Redfield, who had then commenced the practice of the law, in the little village of Derby Center, in which Capt. Colby was the chief citizen and actor.
Stoddard was an easy and ready scholar, and acquired language, especially, and its use, with great facility. Judge Redfield, fresh from college attainment, undulled by professional labors, was to young Colby a thorough teacher in the Greek and Latin languages. Colby entered the freshman class of Dartmouth College in the fall of 1832, and, in due course, graduated in the summer of 1836. He was among the few best scholars in the class; was, without question, elected one of the Phi Beta Kappa members from his class, which comprise the best recitation scholars, not exceeding one-third of the whole number in the class. He was a good recitation scholar in all departments; but his special gifts were in the languages; and as a ready writer and debater, he was among the best. After his graduation, he studied law in the office of the late Senator Upham, at Montpelier, and was admitted to the bar in Orleans County, at the December term, 1838, and entered upon the practice of his profession at his old home in Derby Center. He was elected representative from the town of Derby in the year 1841, on the democratic ticket, although a large majority of the voters of Derby were, at that time, Whigs; which shows that personally, Mr. Colby was highly esteemed by the citizens of his native town.
He practiced his profession at Derby with all the success in business that could be expected in the limited sphere in which he necessarily moved in that place. The first case he argued in the County Court was in behalf of his uncle, Dr. Moses F. Colby, in the famous suit, Nelson v. Colby, for malpractice as a surgeon in treating the fracture of the neck of the thigh bone of the plaintiff's wife. The theory of the plaintiff's case was that Dr. Colby had needlessly confined his patient in splints, till her health gave way, and she became insane, in consequence of the treatment, when, in fact, there had been no fracture. The surgeons of the plaintiff claimed that such a fracture could seldom be united, by a bony union, in persons of the patient's age; and if so, with shortened limb, and imperfect motion, and that in Mrs. Nelson's case there was no shortening of the limb; "and perfect symmetry of motion."
Mattocks, Cushman, Bell, and the late Judge Smalley, giants in those days, were all engaged, and took part in the trial, and young Colby opened the argument to the jury, in the defence. By the argument he established a reputation as a good advocate, which followed and adhered to him for more than 20 years of his professional practice in this State. He always used choice and beautiful language; was facile in illustration, and in figures of speech, and ever ready in wit and sarcasm. His client after three jury trials was cast in that first suit; and while the suit was pending on exceptions, and petition for new trial in the Supreme court, Mrs. Nelson died, and it was then ascertained that the limb had been fractured, and the fragments had united in a perfect bony union; and the plaintiff discontinued his case from the docket.
Mr. Colby removed to Montpelier in 1846, and soon after formed a law partnership with the late Lucius B. Peck. The law firm of Peck & Colby was then a leading firm in the important legal business of the State, and continued so till 1863, when it was dissolved, and Mr. Colby was made Register of the Treasury, and removed to Washington. He continued to hold this position in the Treasury until his death, in the fall of 1867. He died at Haverhill, N. H., and was buried in the beautiful cemetery on the highlands, near Haverhill Corner.
Mr. Colby was twice married. His first wife was Miss Harriet E. Proctor, the eldest sister of Gov. Proctor. She perished on the ill-fated steamer, Henry Clay, which was burned on the Hudson River. He afterwards married Miss Ellen Hunt, who survives him. By the first marriage he had four children, two of whom survive; and by the second marriage, two children.
He will be remembered by his intimate friends and acquaintances for his genial wit and fertile resource in conversation, and the rich-garnered treasury of story and anecdote.
But his reputation as a public man must rest, mainly, upon the character won in the varied and various tilts in the legal tournament, during the practice of a quarter of a century at the bar of Vermont. In that tournament, he was conceded to be one of the most brilliant advocates at the bar of his native State. He had no evil habit—no tarnish upon his good name; was for many years a consistent member of the Protestant Episcopal church; and died, seemingly, before his work was finished, at the age of 52.
our most venerable citizen, said the Watchman, in a notice of his death, one who for his age, character, and fidelity as the ruler of his house, well-deserved the title of patriarch, died at Montpelier, Sabbath morning,—Aug. 19, 1866—in his 90th year. He was born in Hollis, N. H., Nov. 1776; served an apprenticeship as printer with Amos Farley and Rev. Leonard Worcester in the office of "Isiah Thomas, the father of printers," at Worcester, Mass., entering the office at the age of 15, and at 21, (says Col. Hopkins in a notice of Mr. Goss in the Boston Journal,) he went to Boston and purchased a second-hand press and other printing materials, to set up business for himself. Setting his face toward Vermont, he arrived with his scanty outfit at Peacham, on the 24th of Jan. 1798, and for want of better accommodations, established his office in a small school-house, a building scarcely large enough, as he used to say, to seat 20 children, and 8 days afterwards, issued the first number of the Green Mountain Patriot, a paper which he edited and published 9 years, in company with Mr. Farley—firm Farley & Goss—when he removed his print-office to Montpelier," [see Walton, page 291,] and commenced the Vermont Watchman. Selling the Watchman in 1810, to the late Gen. E. P. Walton and Mark Goss, (a younger brother,) both of whom were apprentices to Farley & Goss, he engaged in paper-making, which he continued for many years at Montpelier. Ardent in temperament, clear and strong in convictions of duty, everything entered into he prosecuted with energy and zeal. In the church and Sabbath-school no one was more earnest and faithful. We think he has served more years. in the Sabbath school than anybody within our knowledge, unless it was his friend and brother in the church, the late Col. Asahel Washburn. Next best he loved his country, and from youth till he had reached almost a century of years, George Washington was his model of a statesman, with his announcement of whose death in his paper, appeared from his pen:
AN ODE, OCCASIONED BY THE DEATH OF
GEN. GEORGE WASHINGTON,
DEC. 11, 1799.
Why do these mournful accents flow,
Why drops the unavailing tear,
What dire event, what fatal blow,
Which thus excites a pang severe?
In sad responses echoes through the skies.
Columbia's Parent, Friend and Savior dies!
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'Tis true, alas! too true, we mourn
The exit of our Hero Chief;
While on celestial pinions borne
He soars aloft o'er pain and grief;
Yet grateful millions will their loss deplore,
Till time's extinct, and virtue is no more.
In him those charms that bind the heart,
And tranquilize the human mind,
Beam'd sweet effulgence thro' that part,
Which now is to the tomb consign'd.
In scenes of joy, in days of gloomy strife,
Benign and calm the Hero pass'd through life.
No monarch on his shining throne
Can, justly, equal honors claim;
His modest worth resplendent shone,
Unrivall'd on the lists of fame.
Nor lives the man, with grief Columbia cries,
So good, so kind, so temp'rate and so wise.
O, could Columbia's deepest groan,
Re-animate his slumb'ring clay,
No longer would affliction's moan
Pervade a realm so lately gay.
But prayers, nor tears, nor virtuous deeds could save,
Nor magic arts can raise him from the grave.
Then cease to mourn the great mans fate,
Let Heaven's superior will be done;
And future heroes imitate
The matchless deeds of Washington;
Who once our troops to splendid vict'ry led,
Established peace, but now, alas, is dead.
Mr. Goss was a contributor to the Poets and Poetry of Vermont, revised edition.
During the years of the rebellion, his heart was with his country. It was a habit with him to visit the old "Watchman" office, ever to him a an endeared spot, twice a day to get the latest war news. "On one of his last visits, he submitted a patriotic poem," says the editor, "which was to have been published, but he took it back to make some changes in it, doubtless, forgot it we now regret its loss." We think, perhaps, we have found the poem. The following, contributed by his daughter, was among his last, it not his last, poetical efforts:
FUGITIVE'S DIRECTORY — Impromptu.
BY SAMUEL GOSS.
Old Gov. Wise is all in a foam
Because his black cattle to Northern States roam,
And bids us poor Yankees to send them all back,
Without e'en a bloodhound to scent out their track.
But humanity says, no, let them rest here a while,
And their fears of re-capture in slumbers beguile.
But when they revolve to quit the straw as their bed,
Just stuff their old pockets with dried beef and bread,
And bid them go forward alone, in the night,
With the star in the north as their guide and their light,
To degree 45 near the line of the State,
And the beautiful plain of Canada East,
Where prudence suggests a permanent stand,
Quite removed from the lash of the slave-driver's hand.
And here let them test, and effectually prove,
The obvious fact—a pleasant remove.
Samuel Goss was one of the first persons with whom the Editor of the Gazetteer became acquainted in Montpelier. We have of him a special remembrance, and for him—as he was then in his fine, ripe old age—a special reverence. The few last years of his life he suffered much, it is recorded of him, from the infirmities of age, and prayed for patience to wait his change, and went gladly to his rest. He was buried with Masonic honors, from the residence of his son-in-law, Hon. O. H. Smith, in Green Mount Cemetery, in the spot selected by himself, almost side by side with his ancient colleague and pupil, Farley and Walton.
For 60 years he had been a worthy and prominent citizen of the place. "His life has extended over three generations of men," . . said the Rev. Dr. Lord in his funeral discourse, "and he was ever one of the first in all excellent enterprises and institutions, and one of the last to withdraw his hand. He began life for himself in Peacham, about the close of the last century. He established in that place a paper which he published and edited, doing all the work with his own hands for several years. He was a nervous and vigorous prose writer, and often enriched his columns with poetic effusions of no mean merit. When he removed to this town, it was in its infancy. He brought with him his press and his paper, and the developed energies of a confident, earnest, self-reliant Christian man. He conducted his paper, as its early copies will show with a marked ability. He held a sharp and trenchant pen, never forgetful of Christian principles and Christian charity, however, but the faithful index of a clear, acute, active and intense perception. . . . . . Long after he was 70 years of age, he was wont to labor with his hands through the whole day, and in the evening give himself to some Christian work, or while away time with his book or his pen. But however much he was interested in all public affairs, I think he most of all delighted in the welfare and upholding of the church. He was one of the seventeen who organized and constituted the first Congregational
church in this town. He was the first clerk, and its records were kept by his hand and attested by his name. No name, unless it be the pastor's, appears there so often as his. There was no trying duty of his profession he ever sought to avoid, and no fitting and beneficent work he did not eagerly perform. • • • A teacher in the Sabbath-school for 35 years, his name was always fragrant in it like ointment poured forth."
Of the 17 original members of the Congregational church, he was the last survivor but one.
Samuel Goss was the son of John and Catherine (Conant) Goss, the second of 10 children, the eldest being John, Jr. Samuel Goss married, June, 1803, Mary French, born Oct. 1784; children: Wm. A., Benjamin F., Mary, Mary W., Eliza, Samuel P., Lydia French, Lucy A., John, and Samuel French. Mrs. Goss died Oct. 27, 1861. Of the children, only two are living, Mrs. O. H. Smith, of Montpelier, and Samuel F. Goss, of Chicago.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN Goss, son of Samuel, born in Peacham, 1806, brought to Montpelier in 1808, was brought up in this town, and prepared for business in the store of Roger Hubbard, (now deceased.) He went from here to Northfield, and was several years in successful business connection with Gov. Paine; from thence to Waterbury, Brandon and Vergennes, where as elsewhere, he was an energetic man of business, and zealous in benevolent and religious enterprises. He died in Vergennes in 1878. His disease, of the brain, had the peculiarity to bring out vividly, almost to the exclusion of his bodily sufferings, his early boyhood, the lessons of his parents and the Sabbath-school. Hour after hour, he would repeat from the Scriptures and hymns of youth, at the same time recognizing every attention. He was exceedingly courteous and grateful to his attendants during his long 5 months' illness, withal as vivacious and cheerful as in his most fortunate days. It was sad to see mind and body slowly, but surely wasting away, but comforting to see he recognized no sorrow. He was buried in the family lot in Montpelier Green Mount Cemetery.
Mrs. LUCY A. (Goss) COBB, the youngest daughter of Samuel Goss, died in Kalamazoo, Mich., 1879, of whom the local paper speaks as a most estimable woman.
HON. ORAMEL HOPKINS SMITH
was born in Thetford, Oct. 1798, came to Montpelier about 1830; studied law in the office of Judge Prentiss, admitted to the Bar in 1825, and remained in Judge Prentiss' office 2 years after. In his earlier professional years, he repeatedly served as assistant clerk in the House of Representatives; was State's attorney 3 years, ending in 1844; justice of the peace 25 successive years; 40 years a constant attendant upon the services of the Congregational church in this village, and during a quarter of a century led its choir. Of his professional ability, the fact that his name appears in the court records for 25 years preceding 1860, as counsel in nearly all the cases of those days, is conclusive proof.
July, 1860, at White River Junction, arising at midnight in the hotel, without a light, to take a train north, he stumbled against a piece of furniture and fell, striking a wardrobe on the back of his neck. Every physical power from his neck downwards was instantly paralyzed, but his vocal organs and every faculty of the mind remained in active play. To Dr. Dixi Crosby's remark that he had about one chance in one hundred for recovery, he promptly replied, "I'll take that chance!" In the course of a year, his will power and wonderful vitality so far triumphed, he resumed practice in his office as a counsellor, though his right side remained permanently paralyzed, and for 18 years longer, under difficulties that would have appalled a less resolute man, plied his profession with energy and industry. Late at night, the light shining from his office window, on the second door of the building at the corner of Main and State streets, frequently told of the old painstaking faithfulness triumphing over his infirmities.
He was one of the organizers of the
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Montpelier Gaslight Company, and an officer in it several years; his was the second house in Montpelier piped for burning gas. He also in its early days devoted much time to the affairs of the Vermont Central R. R., losing, like many others of the early friends of that road, many thousand dollars. For several of his last years, from age and infirmities, be was not able to attend to business, and died at his home at the ''Riverside," in 1881, in his 83d year. He was the oldest surviving member of the Washington County Bar except Hon. Paul Dillingham, of Waterbury.
He married, in 1830, Mary Warner, daughter of Samuel Goss. They had 4 children: Chas. F., who was graduated at Dartmouth in 1854; studied law in his father's office; removed to Michigan, and died at the age of 31; another son, who died in infancy; and two daughters, both married and live in Montpelier—Ellen J., wife of C. J. Gleason, and Lucy A., wife of Chas. A. Reed.
The widow of Mr. Smith still resides at the "Riverside," Nov. 1881.
Mr. Smith was also an honored member of Aurora Lodge, No. 22, F. & A. M. The following is from the record book of the Lodge:
Bro. Oramel Hophins Smith,
Born in Thetford, Vt., Oct. 16, 1798;
Died at Montpelier, Vt., January 23d, 1881;
Aged 82 yrs., 3 mos, and 4 days.
Affiliated with Aurora Lodge, No. 22, F. & A. M.
Dec. 12, 1853.
Past Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Vt.
Treasurer of Aurora Lodge, No. 22,
From December 4, 1854, to December, 1857.
"Awaiting the sound of the gavel in the East."
[From Obituary in the Vermont Watchman.]
COL. THOMAS REED
was born at Hamstead, N. H., Mar. 29, 1793. He was a son of Capt. Thomas Reed, and came with his father to Montpelier in 1804, where he resided until his decease. He was by profession a lawyer, and at his decease the oldest attorney in the court in this County; though for many years prior to the first stroke of his disease —some five years prior to his death, and from which he never rallied—he had not been an active practitioner at the bar. For the last 20 years, his active labor was mainly as a farmer, a pursuit in which he took much delight, and which he thoroughly understood, as indeed, he understood everything which he undertook to do. During the last 5 years he was an invalid, and for 3 years was withdrawn from all business, the slow progress of his disease undermining a naturally vigorous constitution until April 18, 1864, when another shock of paralysis rendered him unconscious, and he remained in that state until he quietly passed away on the 19th.
For more than 40 years he was one of the leading citizens of our town.
His early life was, in many respects, a severe struggle with adverse circumstances. He held himself not at all obliged to fortune or the favor of any one, for the success he achieved, and he became austere, almost combative in his manner. He despised all shams. Humbugs stood no chance under the severe scrutiny of his eye and the arrows of his searching interrogation. His sagacity was seldom at fault. Few of his ventures failed of returning with profit. He exacted of others what he was always ready to yield to them, equal and exact justice. No deserving charity, no worthy enterprise ever sought his aid in vain. Many hearts have been warmed by unobtrusive gifts from his hand, for which he would not patiently listen to thanks.
He had a capacious intellect. His mind was as stalwart and vigorous as his body, and he never allowed either to become enervated by idleness. His reading was varied and thorough. There were few subjects with which the general scholar is familiar that he had not searched. He never forgot anything of value to him, whether he had found it in books, or in observation, which with him was never superficial, but always critical and complete. He believed what was worth knowing at all was worth knowing well. His learning was accurate and full, his opinions well matured,
deliberate and precise. We have regarded Mr. Reed as mentally one of the strongest men in the State, and if he had early had the advantages of a complete education, and had given his great force of character and strength of will to intellectual pursuits, he would undoubtedly have reached the first rank among the intellects of Vermont, if not of New England.
He was one of the strongest, most honest and most worthy citizens of Montpelier. He belonged to a generation which is now nearly gone, the men whose energy, strong will, business activity, commercial sagacity, integrity and generous enterprise, have made our town what it is. Of his cotemporaries, many have gone before, and few remained to attend at his funeral. Well will it be for us all, if we, like Mr. Reed, do our work well, and leave a fragrant memory to be cherished by those who shall one day take our places.
Addition by E. P. Walton.
The foregoing just tribute to Col. Reed, appeared in the Green Mountain Freeman, and was doubtless from the pen of the late Hon. Daniel P. Thompson. It should be added, that as a banker for many years Col. Reed was at the head of the financiers of the State, an acknowledged authority, from which there was no appeal; and as a writer on political questions, he was caustic in controversy, sure of his facts, and powerful in argument. On the record of the old bank of Montpelier will be found a very able and conclusive argument against the free banking act, which grew out of the party clamor of "Smilie and bank reform"; but the following extracts of a letter to Stephen Foster, Esq., of Derby Line, written Dec. 6, 1855, are given as evidence of Col. Reed's wisdom and prudence as a banker:
"Keep in mind always that if you have good security for all your loans your bank can't fail, nor the stockholders fail to get good dividends.
"When a man comes by other banks to yours for a loan, you may know that he has borrowed as much as he is entitled to from his capital or that he is discredited at home.
"Keep in mind the fact that many men are made great and rich by distance, and you may be sure that if any go by other banks to do business at yours, that they go there because they are obliged to, and not from love.
"If a man asks you for a loan whom you don't know to be responsible, the only safe way is to consider him good for nothing and take security accordingly. Charitable presumption and banking presumption in regard to men are entirely different: the charitable presumption in regard to a man that you don't personally know about, is always that he is good and rich; but the banking presumption is that he is good for nothing —and the cashier who does not act by this rule will first or last, if not constantly, be a loser by his error.
"Have no dealings with a stranger in buying drafts or checks of him unless he can refer you to some responsible man in the neighborhood as to his character.
"Never take a draft of anybody without its being first accepted, unless it is otherwise secured than by the drawer's name— and never do so if you know the drawer to be good, for how do you know be will accept? Many buyers of produce, wool, &c., will often present such drafts, and if the cashier takes them, he has no security but the drawer, and he is often a stranger. Many banks have lost by such carelessness.
"In fine, pay out no money but on security of more than one name—and never regard as security an endorser or undersigner who is connected with the principal as partner, or one who must fail if the principal does.
"Banks, being allowed to take only six per cent, can't afford to lose anything, and therefore it is expected by their customers that perfect security will be required—and if any one objects to this, there is a double reason why you should require it of him. Many men, who are known to be good, think they should not be asked to give security for what they want to borrow—but such can have no difficulty to find security, and they should be required to find it, otherwise you will find it difficult to get
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security of those who are more doubtful, and be subject to the charge of partiality. Security, Security, Security, that is the main thing—and mind always to have the security taken before you let the money go. It is scarcely ever got afterwards."
Mr. Reed was commissioned Colonel of Vermont militia Aug. 11, 1825, by Gov. Van Ness; and honorably discharged June 27, 1827, by Gov. Butler.
The late Daniel Baldwin, shortly before his death, said to the writer of this note, that he regarded Col. Reed as being, intellectually, the strongest man that Montpelier has had. Mr. Reed was certainly pre-eminent in his chosen role as banker, but not superior to many others in other professions. It is doubtless true, however, that if he had adhered to the profession of the law, and limited himself as counsellor in the supreme court and cases in chancery, he would have reached a very high rank. The severity of his manner and speech unfitted him for a jury trial. He always won by honest force, if he did win, and not by suavity or trickery.
CAPT. ISAAC RICKER.
[From information furnished by the family.]
ISAAC RICKER was born in Dover, N. H., Christmas day, 1784. Here his early years were passed, and from Dover he enlisted in the old N. E. 4th Reg. Infantry, U. S. A., in 1811, and was in the service all through "the last war with Great Britain," as the old soldiers of 1812, I have noticed, in speaking of it, almost invariably style the war of 1812, '14, with England. He was under Col. Boyd, and the regiment was called the best in the United States at that time. He was also under Harrison when he took command at Cincinnati. Boyd's regiment was with Gen. Harrison when he won his brightest laurels. Capt. Ricker was there, and led his company in to the battle of Tippecanoe.
His weight being 200 at this time, tall and massive, he was an imposing looking and bold officer.
The Indians surprised them, as is well known, that night. He was in Hull's army when he surrendered at Detroit his brave soldiers to the English, and he, like all the rest of Hull's infamously sacrificed men, suffered more in his imprisonment, following thereupon, than has ever been written. He was 7 years in the United States service, and never got scratch, wound or pension, though his widow, a second wife, has had one for about 2 years past. After the war he was, for about 2 years, a recruiting officer of the U. S. A.
He came to Montpelier in 1817, and settled on the site where is now the residence, store and shop of his son, Rufus Ricker, merchant tailor, State street, just opposite the post-office. He was deputy sheriff of the County and constable some years. Capt. Ricker was a staunch Democrat. "He fought too many years for the whole country to be anything else," says his son.
We were told by an old native citizen of this County, at Burlington, the other day —Mr. Leonard Johonnott—that Captain Ricker and Senator Upham were particular friends; that he always worked enthusiastically and efficiently in any election for Upham. "Why," said his old Barre neighbor, "any history of Montpelier village of 50 years ago, without Capt. Isaac Ricker, would be no history at all." He cared little for town offices, or political honors for himself, but was all alive and energetic for his friends. And yet says one who knew him best in Montpelier, "he was a man who did not usually talk much; he had been under military tactics too long; but a prompt man when he did take hold, and acted with so much integrity as a sheriff, and so kindly, he was uncommonly respected and trusted by those he took into custody."
Captain Ricker married, first, Nancy Dame, of Rochester, N. H. She had 7 children, of whom Rufus R. Ricker, Francis Derancis Ricker and Mrs. Priscilla Holmes, widow of Edwin C. Holmes, are now living here. Another son, George P. Ricker, was for many years engaged in business in town, and died from accident, in August, 1851. His first wife dying, he married, about 1828, Loramie W. Hart, of Burlington, who survived him, and still lives in Montpelier. She had two children:
Harrison Hart Wright, now living in San Francisco, a '49er, one of the pioneers of that State, born in Montpelier; and a son of 12 years, who died of typhus. Capt. Ricker died July 16, 1837, and is buried in Green Mount Cemetery.
was born in Salem, Mass., Nov. 1785: removed to Mount Vernon, N. H., in 1812, where he married, that year, Eleanor Dodge, and they came to Montpelier in 1819, where they resided the remainder of their days. Mr. Needham was a cooper by trade, which vocation he followed through life. He was a man of brain, a great reader, and kept himself thoroughly acquainted with the affairs of the country. Politically, he was a Democrat, an ardent worker and earnest supporter of his party, which was in a majority in town in his day. For 25 years he wielded an influence in town, either at town or State elections, far greater than any other man. He never, however, aspired for office. Repeatedly, he was asked by his party to accept of their nomination of him as their candidate for town representative, which was equivalent to an election, but always refused to accept of it. Of town offices, he was for several years a justice of peace, selectman, and overseer of the poor; the poor being bounteously cared for under his management. He also held the office of first jail commissioner many years. In all of the offices held by him, he was faithful to their trust. He died June 12, 1872, in his 87th year, leaving 2 sons, Algernon Sydney, for many years a sea captain, now residing in Montpelier, and Daniel, residing in Barre. His wife, Eleanor D., died Oct. 9, 1880, in her 93d year. C. B.
THE OLD VILLAGE SEXTON.
[From obituary by Hon. Joseph Poland and Col. H. D. Hopkins.]
AARON BANCROFT was born in Wood End, now within the present limits of Boston, Mass., Feb. 2, 1784. He was one of a family of 12 children, and a son of Samuel Bancroft, who was a brother of the Rev. Dr. Aaron Bancroft, of Worcester, Mass., father of George Bancroft, the historian; being a direct descendant of Thos. Bancroft, a Puritan, who landed in Boston in 1632.
Aaron, the subject of our sketch, was married in 1804, to Anna Foster, of Wood End, and removed to Montpelier in 1813. He began work at his mechanical trade, that of a shoemaker, which he followed uninterruptedly until he was 84 years of age, when, by an accidental fall, he received injuries which disabled him from further service. In 1813, the year he came to town, the old Elm Street Cemetery was opened, and he was soon after made its sexton, the duties of which office he faithfully performed for nearly 50 years, until July, 1857, when the new cemetery, Green Mount, was occupied, having been dedicated the previous year. What a tale of mortality could the old sexton tell:
"Nigh to a grave that was newly made,
Leaned a Sexton old on his earth-worn spade;
His work was done, and he paused to wait
The funeral train through the open gate,
A relic of by-gone days was he,
And his locks were white as the foamy sea;
And these words came from his lips so thin,
'I gather them in, I gather them in.'
"I gather them in for man and boy;
Year after year of grief and joy;
I've builded the houses that lie around
In every nook of this burial ground;
Mother and daughter, father and son,
Come to my solitude, one by one,—
But come they stranger, or come they kin,—
I gather them in, I gather them in.
"Many are with me, but still I'm alone,
I'm king of the dead—and I make my throne
On a monnment slab of marble cold,
And my sceptre of rule is the spade I hold.
Come they from cottage, or come they from hall,
Mankind are my subjects — all, all, all!
Let them loiter in pleasure, or toilfully spin—
I gather them in, I gather them in.
"I gather them in—and their final rest
Is here, down here, in the earth's dark- breast!'
And the Sexton ceased, for the funeral train
Wound mutely o'er that solemn plain;
And I said to my heart, When tints is told,
A mightier voice than that Sexton's old
Will sound o'er the last trump's dreadful din—
'I gather them in, I gather them in!' "
In 1819, when the old brick church was erected, he was made its sexton, in which capacity he officiated for two score of years. In "form and feature" he was the exact representation of his office, gray, bowed, kind, slow-spoken and courteous. In his earlier day, he possessed great physical strength and muscle even up to the
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age of 50; he repeatedly bore off the palm in wrestling matches and foot-races. He was also endowed with a remarkable memory, which he retained to the last. To him we are indebted for the record of the vital statistics of the town, making a list of about a thousand deaths, which he kept for 40 years, until 1857, since which time the Stale law has required the registration of all deaths by the district clerk.
In 1804, Mr. Bancroft and his wife united with the Congregational church, of which they remained faithful members till their death. Mrs. Bancroft died in Oct. 1865, aged 82; and Mr. Bancroft, Mar. 26, 1872, aged 88 years. That he was a sincere Christian, no one ever doubted who knew him, for his daily life gave uniform testimony to the genuineness of his profession. His Bible was his daily food, even upon his dying bed, and he found great comfort in the songs of Zion, which he always clearly loved, until the summons came. Artless and as trustful as a child, faithful to all his trusts, cheerful under the worst trials, a peacemaker everywhere, pure in heart and exemplary in life, Aaron Bancroft may well be said to have lived and died an honest man.
He reared a family of 5 sons and 3 daughters Aaron, Sarah, Henry, Mary, Edward C., Daniel Foster, Eliza and Charles E.; two more died in infancy. All now are deceased but two, Daniel Foster, now residing in New York city, and Mrs. Mary Rogers, in Cabot. The sons all learned various mechanical trades, which they followed through life, all being superior workmen at their several trades.
CAPT. LEMUEL BROOKS,
born in Connecticut in 1767, married Rhoda Barber, of Simsbury, Ct., and came to Montpelier in January, 1798. He was present and cast his vote in the first town meeting held in Montpelier. He first settled in the part now called East Montpelier, where he lived for 40 years, when he removed to Montpelier village, where he died in 1846, during the session of the legislature here, aged 79 years, and was buried in the old Elm Street Cemetery. He is remembered by his descendants as a large man, almost of heroic size, a kind old gentleman, fond of a joke and of his grandchildren. He and his wife lived happily together 48 years. They had no sons, but a family of 5 daughters, four of whom married: Mary, A. Sidney Wing, of Montpelier; Rhoda, General Humphrey; Amanda, another Mr. Humphrey; Fanny, Loomis Palmer.
MRS. RHODA BROOKS.
Rhoda Barber, born in Simsbury, Ct., Nov. 17, 1798, immediately after her marriage with Lemuel Brooks, Jan. 1798, came to Montpelier. There were but two framed houses at that time, and the frame of another, in the old town of Montpelier, comprising the present Montpelier and East Montpelier. The frame was that of the Cadwell house, still standing at the head of State street, that became and continued for many years to be the most spacious and elegant private dwelling in town, and the quarters of successive governors of the State. When Mrs. Brooks first saw the frame, it was surrounded by the stumps and trunks of trees that had been cut down to open a site for the building. Mrs. Brooks went to the farm of her husband, now in East Montpelier, where they remained till their removal to this village in 1838. After the death of Mr. Brooks, she resided with her son-in-law, Loomis Palmer, until her death, Dec. 21, 1873, aged 85 years.
Mrs. Brooks was large and elegant in person, of perhaps the finest English type of beauty; dignified in her manners, genial in her temper, and of great intelligence. Mr. Thompson was largely indebted to her for material for his history of Montpelier. A lady of a well-ordered life, whose Christian faith was illustrated by hospitality and charity; whose end was more than beautiful. Awaking without sickness on the morning of the anniversary of her husband's birth, she calmly told her daughter that she was going, and entered at once upon the way from earth to Heaven.
brother of Lemuel, settled in Montpelier not far from the time that his brother did.
Children of Thomas and Roxa Brooks: Delorma, Lemuel, Keyes, Mary, Melancthon, Sarah, Lorenzo, Joseph, Harriet, Thomas, Roxa.
One after another the now thinly scattered band of our first settlers are all fast passing away. Of the earliest pioneer settlers of Montpelier, Jonathan Shepard went to his long rest July 26, 1863. He was born in Haverhill, Mass., June 31, 1772, and at the age of 21, came to Montpelier, where, for the first two or three years, he was in the employment of the first settler, Col. Jacob Davis, being constantly engaged with others of the Colonel's band of hardy laborers in clearing up the lands now constituting the site of our flourishing village. After a few years, he married a Miss Burdick, of Waitsfield, who died of spotted fever in 1810, and a few years subsequently, he married the widow of Wm. Hutchins, many years since deceased. His first "pitch" was on the lands afterwards known as the Silloway farm, near Henry Nutt's. Soon selling this, however, he purchased the well-known valuable farm lying around the month of Dog river, which he held till a few years ago, when it passed into the hands of his son, George C. Shepard, Esq. While carrying on this farm, he became the occupant of the Hutchins', or Farmers' inn, which, to the very general acceptance of the public, he kept for nearly 30 years.
Mr. Shepard was never known as an office-holder: for, though often offered them, he uniformly declined all offices. He was a man of much decision of character—of great energy, of fine business capacities, and from the first has been among our most active and enterprising citizens, and by these qualities, he accumulated a very handsome property; and what is better, he was an honest man, ever regarding his word as sacred.—Obit.
HON. JOSEPH HOWES AND WIFE.
Joseph Howes, born in Lebanon, Conn., March 28, 1783, died in Montpelier, April 26, 1863. He was descended from one of the early puritans who settled in Plymouth County, Mass. Judge Howes came to Montpelier with his wife in 1808, both remained there during their lives, and both were among the members of the First Congregational church, now commonly known as Bethany church, at its organization in 1810, of which they were ever faithful and highly-honored members. Judge Howes was intelligent, decided and immovable in his religious and political opinions. Beginning as a Jeffersonian Republican, he, with the most of that party in Vermont, supported John Quincy Adams for president in 1824, and after Gen. Jackson's election in 1828, adhered successively to the National Republican, Whig, and the modern Republican parties. He was patriotic, served nearly two years on the frontier as adjutant in the war of 1812–'15, and served so well that a commission in the regular army was offered him, which he declined on account of the pressing needs of his young family. In Sept. 1814, however, he started for Plattsburgh as second lieutenant in the volunteer Montpelier company, a roll of which, in his hand-writing, has been found among his papers. He represented Montpelier in the Legislature of 1813, and while holding that office, left for military service on the frontier; was also a Judge of Washington County Court, 1819 to 1827; and served several years as surveyor of public buildings, his duty being to provide for sweeping, heating and lighting the State House, and furnish stationery for both Houses. His bill for these services in the session of 37 days in 1825 was $68.71, $3 of which only was for his personal service—less than $2 per day for all, which is less than the daily pay now of a page. He was also long engaged in the most responsible town offices,—moderator, selectman, overseer, and magistrate. He was thoroughly conscientious in the discharge of all his public and private duties—severely just as against himself, and severely censorious of all wrong; but he was also generous to those who had wronged him.
PATTY WILDER, daughter of Abel Wilder, of Norwich, and grand-daughter of Lieut. Gov. Elisha Payne, of Lebanon, N. H.,
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was born in 1786, married Judge Howes in 1808, and died January 20, 1871. While her husband was of a severe type, she was gentle, mild, charitable, and these mingled qualities made a household of obedient and affectionate children, of whom there were nine, to wit: William, born April 21, 1809, went to Prescott, Wis., about 30 years ago, became mayor of the town, and was judge of probate for his district several years, and until his death; Almira, widow of Lieut. Gov. David M. Camp, of Derby; Joseph Wilder, born Nov. 5, 1812, was a merchant and sheriff of this county in 1849: [for more, see ante, pages 394—396.] George, born Nov. 14, 1814, was a merchant, cashier of the Bank of Montpelier from 1841 to 1858, and State treasurer 1847 to '53; Sarah Sophia, born July 27, 1817, married E. P. Walton, Jr., June 6, 1836, and died Sept. 3, 1880; Solon, born Aug. 6, 1819, died in early manhood; Martha is widow of Rev. Calvin Pease, Professor and President in the University of Vermont, and at his death pastor of a Presbyterian church in Rochester, N. Y.; Henry, born March 7th, 1826, died in childhood; and last, Henry, born Apr. 30, 1829, was for some years a cashier, and since 1865 has been employed in the National Treasury and Interior Departments.
Judge Howes was a blacksmith, and I have a very fine engraving of the interior of a blacksmith's shop, which I have always called my wife's coat of arms. E. P. W.
DR. JULIUS YEMANS DEWEY.
[Extracts from an obituary by Dr. Sumner Putnam.]
Julius Yemans Dewey was born in Berlin, Aug. 22, 1801; his father, Simeon Dewey, being among the first to settle in that town, coming from Hanover, N. H., nearly l00 years ago. Julius was one of a family of 8 children, and very active when a lad, not only working upon the farm, but traveling about the country, both on foot and on horseback, as an assistant drover. But in his nineteenth summer, one-half day's work, which consisted in loading and pitching 17 loads of hay, determined his choice of a profession, from the fact that for a long time afterward he was sick with pain and inflammation in the hepatic region, from which, however, he finally recovered, and outlived all the members of his father's family. Having acquired a good preliminary education at the Wash. Co. Gram. School, he studied medicine with Dr. Lamb., a celebrated practitioner in those days, resident at Montpelier, and in 1823, received his degree from the medical department of the Vermont University, and commenced practice at Montpelier. In consequence of his activity, intelligence and skill, he soon acquired a large professional business, and June 9, 1825, married Miss Mary Perrin, daughter of Zachariah Perrin, of Berlin. The fruit of this union was 18 years of happy domestic life and 4 children: Chas. and Edward Dewey, of Montpelier, Geo. Dewey, of the U. S. Navy, and Mrs. Dr. Geo. P. Greeley, of Nashua, N. H. Furthermore, these years were crowned with professional and financial success, but all too soon, the faithful wife and mother was called from her earthly home, and the circle thus painfully broken, remained severed about 2 years, when it became restored by a second marriage with Mrs. Susan L. Tarbox, of Randolph, an estimable lady, who brought with her an excellent daughter, now the wife of his oldest son, which arrangement proved very happy in all respects.
Though brought up in a family the heads of which were rigidly Puritan, Dr. Dewey chose the Protestant Episcopal church, in which he was long a faithful office-bearer, a liberal supporter and an influential adviser, especially against the modern fashions which find no countenance except in the Roman churches. In politics, he was ardent and intelligent, and to him, perhaps, quite as much as any other one, is to be ascribed the defeat of the anti-masonic Gov. Palmer in 1835, and the subsequent success of the Whig and Republican parties in Vermont; yet he was never an office-seeker, but acted simply upon his convictions of what was best for the State and the nation.
In 1850, Dr. Dewey, with others, or‑
ganized the National Life Insurance Company of Montpelier, and soon became its president and chief manager, and so remained until his death. Under his auspicious management, in 27 years, the company has acquired a large number of policy-holders, presenting a record of success unequalled, and worthy the confidence and patronage of those who desire at death to doubly ensure, if possible, a legacy to their families. Indeed, amid the financial ruin and distress prevalent, this noble monument of his provident care and industry affords relief to many a worthy debtor, and stands against the invasion of want as a bulwark to many a widowed and orphaned home.
In 1854, being deprived by death of a second wife, at 53 years of age, apparently in the prime of life, and by nature strongly inclined to make the best of life and its blessings, especially the endearments and comforts of home, he fortunately married Mrs. Susan E. Lilley, of Worcester, Mass., a beautiful and excellent woman, who also brought with her a beautiful daughter, now the wife of his second son, and for the last 20 years made his home a paradise, until his final departure shrouds it in mourning, (1876.)
During his last years, his relations as husband, parent and grand-parent were eminently happy. I have heard him remark that few men had been so unfortunate as himself in the loss of excellent wives, and that no man could have been more fortunate in replacing them. He was very strongly attached to home and its endearments—his wife, children and grandchildren, and they always received from him the kindest attention, care and provision; and, in return, he received from them, and carried with him at his departure, their utmost love, confidence and respect.
Dr. Dewey was eminently a strong, self-made man,—a person who thought carefully, intelligently and broadly; consequently, every enterprise to which he put his hands, proved a success. Education, the church, all forms of public welfare— town, state and national, as the foundation and defense of home, social order, progress and wealth, were near and dear to his heart, and always received his cordial support. During a long and active life, his ability and integrity reached and maintained the highest standard. Socially, he was friendly, open and cheerful.
On the 20th of May, 1876, he partook of a hearty dinner, over-exercised, and became much excited in discussion. Immediately, symptoms of disturbed digestion began, and a bad night followed, the pulse soon falling to 28 or 30 per minute. This state continued until the morning of the 29th, at 3:30 o'clock, when, in full consciousness, in the 76th year of his age, the heart instantly ceased to beat, the countenance flushed, soon became full and dusky, efforts at respiration ceased almost immediately, consciousness was gone, and the paleness of death settled over the features.
"Soul, thought, will, ideation—
All, so quickly severed
From their loved abode—
O, who may or e'er can,
The mystery of life,
Of death, illume, unveil,
To the mourning circle
MEDICAL MEN OF MONTPELIER.
BY DR. SUMNER PUTNAM.
FREDERICK W. ADAMS
was born in Pawlet, in 1786, and his literary remains show him to have been educated. He studied medicine with Dr. Oliver Harmon, of Pawlet, attended medical lectures at Dartmouth College, and began practice in Fairfield before he graduated. Remaining there some time, he moved to Cambridge, and from Cambridge to Barton in 1814, and in 1822, returned to Dartmouth, and received his diploma. He continued to practice in Barton and vicinity till 1836, where he acquired great reputation as a physician and surgeon, being called at times a distance of 50 miles to perform capital operations. He was also the first, or one of the first, to call attention to the American hellebore or veratrum viride in practice. In the winter of 1835 and 1836, he attended medical lectures at Philadelphia, with a view of set‑
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tling in Montpelier, which he did in 1836, his name and reputation soon following, if it had not already preceded him.
Located at Montpelier, he was at first shunned by many on account of his reputed skepticism; but being a large, gentlemanly appearing man, of dignified presence, destined to excite attention and command respect or fear anywhere, he soon became a leading practitioner in the town and surrounding country.
Dr. Adams was a man of literary taste, and having long been esteemed an infidel or atheist, he, in 1843, at the request of friends, published a book entitled "Theological Criticism," which entitles him to rank with Paine and Ingersoll in their estimate of the Bible, the church and the clergy. But only as respects these points did his skeptical philosophy seem to touch his heart, as the following may tend to show: When he first came here, a leading church felt it a duty to circulate papers asking its members to sign their names promising not to employ him professionally. After a time, the same men, one a deacon, who circulated the first paper, came to him with a subscription paper to help repair the church, to which appeal he replied, "God forbid that he should so misapply his money. He much preferred to give it to the poor and needy whom he knew."
All of those formerly acquainted with him here, with whom I have conversed, declare the Doctor to have been a very benevolent, generous, honorable, kindhearted man. Says one, "He lived more practical Christianity daily, than any other man in town." When a poor man asked him for his bill, he would say, "How much money have you?" "O, not much!" would be the reply. "How many children have you?" "Four or five," as the case might be "Well, then, you will want all the money you have, and more too; here, take this," handing out five dollars, perhaps. Also, every now and then he would buy a web of calico, cotton cloth, or whatever he thought might be needed, and slyly hand it in at the back door of the poor. On the other hand, of the usurious rich, he would take a good bill, but no more than professional, saying to himself, if I get the money, I shall give some of it to the needy, and that they will not do if they keep it. A lady, whose family physician he had been, said, ''do not have it go into his biography that he was an infidel, for he was not. See the lines he composed on the death of my daughter," handing me the long-preserved lines, full of beautiful sentiment:
O, God! forgive us the distrust
Deep agony hath wrought,
Of dispensation doubtless just,
With hidden mercies fraught.
But when an idol is removed,
Although from earth to Heaven,
Our hearts rebel, that one so loved
Should have been lent, not given.
O, hard, and harder yet to bear
The cross we now sustain;
While memory will not forbear
To ambrotype our pain.
We own that we should be resigned,
And put in God our trust;
Yet human selfishness is blind,
Nor sees that God is just.
Hence, we should solemnly invoke
The Faith too seldom giv'n,
That sees this mercy in the stroke,
A soul transferred to Heaven.
It is said that he and Dr. Shelton, Rector of the Episcopal church in this place at that time, were on particularly good terms, often joking and bantering each other— Shelton often inviting Dr. A. to attend church, while he would as often contemptuously decline to so misspend his time. But Dr. S. having prepared a sermon for him, continued to invite him to church, and at last he came, when the usher seated him well up in front. Dr. S. now took from the drawer his long-prepared sermon, on the text, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God," and delivered from his pulpit a powerful discourse, which Dr. A. seemed to take pretty much to himself, meanwhile, sitting uneasily in his seat, and sweating profusely. The old Doctor had a good mind to be mad, but then he concluded to blow it off.
Dr. Adams was a musician, and also made violins, which are said to have challenged the admiration of Ole Bull. Ole Bull called on him when here, and he and the Doctor had some music.
He was twice married, and a daughter of his now resides in Barton. He died Dec. 17, 1858, of pneumonia, aged 72, with a clear intellect, and when asked if he died as he had lived, answered, "If there is a Christian's God, I am not afraid to trust myself in his hands."
Abridged from memoir in Transactions of the Vermont Medical Society.
DR. C. B. CHANDLER
was born Apr. 24, 1796, at Chester. During his minority, he resided at the home of his father upon the farm, and acquired at the common school and Chester Academy sufficient education to become a successful teacher.
He read medicine with Dr. Bowen, attended lectures at Woodstock, and after, at Brown University, R. I.; where he graduated, and commenced practice in Tunbridge in 1823. About the same time, he married Miss Nancy Atherton, of Baltimore, by whom he had two sons, who are now alive, and one of whom succeeded him in business in this town, and is now in full practice. In 1837, his first wife died. After this he married Miss Amanda Chapman, of Tunbridge, who died in 1841. His third marriage was to Mrs. F. A. C. Harvey, of Cabot, who survived him.
Having practiced his profession successfully 33 years in Tunbridge, he came to Montpelier, and bought out Dr. Orrin Smith, and soon acquired a good practice, showing himself, in the 10 years which he resided here, to be a careful, judicious physician, a good surgeon, a friendly, generous, and strictly honorable man. Without sickness, warning or premonition, he died instantly, Jan. 8, 1867, in his 71st year, while unharnessing his horse after a long ride; it was supposed of apoplexy, as several of the family had died from that cause.
The high estimation in which he was held in every respect may be inferred from the following extract from a daily paper published in Montpelier at the time of his death. "He removed," says the editor of the Freeman, "to Montpelier in 1856, where for his high reputation as a skillful surgeon and physician, and his excellences as a citizen, ever ready and zealous. In every good work, he was highly esteemed. Though far advanced in years, he seemed to be physically and intellectually vigorous, and to the last was actively engaged in his profession. His death is, therefore, a severe loss to his family, to the medical profession, and to the community. They find consolation in the remembrance that his life had been one of great usefulness, founded upon his firm conviction of the genuineness of practical Christianity. In reproachable in all his relations in life, invaluable as a friend, of most excellent example as a citizen, and performing with scrupulous fidelity and with untiring labor every prompting of the warmest and kindest heart, he was in all his life the truest type of the upright, benevolent, beneficent man. Others have left us more noted, perhaps, for talents and high position before the public, but never one more missed and mourned than is, and long will be, this worthy, active, and intelligent Christian physician.
Ever humane and self-sacrificing, he as cheerfully bestowed his professional aid on the poor, when he never asked or expected pay, as on the wealthy and influential; and it has been this noble trait, in addition to his fine social qualities, his entire sincerity and sterling worth as a man, which has so widely endeared him to all classes of people in this region of country. He once told a friend that he wanted no higher fame, and no better reward, than to have it thought and said at his death, that he sincerely endeavored to do all the good he could, and to be a kind and honest man.
DR. C. M. RUBLEE.
Chauncey Moore Rublee, son of Luman and Mrs. Luman (Burbank) Rublee, was born at Montpelier, Nov. 25, 1823. At fourteen, he left the Academy in this place, and became a clerk in the drug store of E. H. Prentiss, and, after 2 years' service, began the study of medicine with Dr. Charles Clark; attended medical lectures, and graduated at Woodstock, after three years' study. In Dec. 1848, he sailed for
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Paris, and writes to his friends of the passage: "We had but two storms, and I assure you I never wish to witness another I wished myself in Vermont. When I saw the noble ship in which I was about to sail, lying at the dock, it did not seem for it to be blown about by the wind, but after getting out to sea, I realized what the wind and waves could do, and then the ship appeared to me as it was—a mere egg-shell dancing upon the water. On reaching Paris, I hired a room, furnished with everything necessary, and a femme, as they are called here, to take care of it; for which I pay $6 per month, and I get my food where I please. I devote considerable of my time at present, to learning to speak French, and am able to talk a little." Again: "In the fore part of the day, I am either at the lying-in hospital with Paul Dubois, or in the surgeons' hospital with Velpeau; in the fever hospital with Louis, or at the venereal hospital with Ricord. Paul Dubois is considered the most able man in his hospital in Paris. I had a letter of introduction to him. He received me very kindly, and offered me any assistance he could render. He speaks English very well."
In the same letter he writes of the Revolution of 1848: "The Frenchmen have accomplished a great work, drove Louis Phillip from his throne, . . . and proclaimed France a Republic, in the presence of 700,000 people." Of the Socialist Insurrection which followed in June, he wrote Aug. 6: "Several pieces of cannon were stationed near the street where I live, and it was one continual roar. After each shot, a load of wounded would be carried by my window. Of 400 in one command, all killed but 30. Next morning I went to the dead house where the killed were deposited before burial—a sad picture—fathers and mothers after their sons, sisters for their brothers, and when they found them, it would seem as if they would die with sorrow."
On returning to Montpelier, he began practice, and soon married Miss Sarah E. Clark, daughter of Dr. Charles Clark. In 1855, he moved to Boston, to engage in city practice, but before long his health began to fail; it never had been strong, and while at Boston he bled at the lungs two or three times, which induced him to return to Montpelier, where he continued to do office business, making a specialty of diseases of the eye and ear, and surgical cases. In the winter of 1860, he spent 3 months in Paris, by which his health was improved.
He had one son, Chas. C. Rublee, M. D. Dr. C. M. Rublee was a clear-headed, energetic, honorable man, a good physician and surgeon, and accumulated property from the practice of his profession, though his body was weak and infirm. He kept office hours 5 years after he was unable to walk any considerable distance, seldom, or never, mentioning his own sufferings and infirmities. During the last month of his life he was confined to his room, his cough becoming worse, prostration rapidly increased, and death came to his relief Jan. 26, 1870.
DR. W. H. H. RICHARDSON,
son of Samuel and Martha Richardson, was born in Orange, Vt., in 1824, and died of cerebral apoplexy, in Winona, Minn., June 5, '74. At an early age, having shown an aptitude for learning, he was fitted for college at Thetford Academy, and entered Dartmouth, where he remained to the end of his junior year; on account of ill health he was obliged to omit the senior year; but left college with a good reputation for scholarship and moral character.
After regaining his health, he commenced the study of medicine in the office of Dr. Taplin, of Corinth, Vt., and attended lectures at Pittsfield, Mass., graduating in 1849. Subsequently, he graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York city, and entered Bellevue Hospital, where he remained one year as house physician.
In Oct. 1850, he married Miss Cynthia P. Stewart, and in 1851, commenced the practice of his profession in East Montpelier, removing to Montpelier in 1856, where for 11 years he enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. By rigid economy and
close attention to business, he acquired a very respectable competence.
In 1866, becoming tired of riding over the adjacent hills at all hours of the day and night, realizing, as only a physician can, the magnitude of the burden as age advances, which many times is a thankless task, he determined to remove to a more densely populated country, and, after traveling through the Western States, he purchased a residence in the beautiful city of Winona, Minn., on the westerly bank of the great Mississippi, where, surrounded by his family, possessed of urbanity and great good sense, he enjoyed the confidence and respect of his neighbors and towns-people and the profession to which he belonged, as well as that of those who sought his counsel and advice.
CAPT. NATHAN JEWETT
was born in Hopkinton, N. H., March 8, 1767, and died in Montpelier Dec. 29, 1861, in his 95th year. About the time Vermont declared her independence, the church in Connecticut, which ruled that State, commenced a persecution of the brethren who preferred the Cambridge Platform, which drove several clergymen and many excellent men into other states. Several of the fugitives came to Vermont and New Hampshire and settled in or near the Connecticut river valley, and among these was the Hon. Elisha Payne, who was very influential in effecting the two unions of New Hampshire towns with Vermont, and for a time held the offices of Lieut. Governor and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Vermont, though residing in what is now Lebanon, N. H.
Capt. Jewett commended himself to Gov. Payne so well that he won the Governor's daughter Ruth, born at Plainfield, Conn., July 9, 1770, and married her Dec. 10, 1793, at Lebanon. From this marriage came the son, whose notice follows, and two daughters who were long ornaments in the society of Montpelier: Julia Jewett, widow first of Chester Hubbard, a successful merchant, and last of Hon. Augustine Clarke, who was State Treasurer; and Eliza S. Jewett, widow of the Hon. William R. Shatter, of Townshend. Mrs. Clarke died June 1, 1881, at the age of 87 years. Mrs. Shafter is still living.
Capt. Jewett came to Montpelier in 1807, and resided there until his death, always highly respected for perfect probity, and generosity beyond his means in behalf of the best interests of the community. I remember him as a well formed man and dignified and gentlemanly in his demeanor — qualities which contributed to his election to the captaincy of the Washington Artillery. This company was specially incorporated as the Governor's guard, consisted of picked men, and was entirely independent of other military organizations. The dignity of a Captaincy in such a company was equal to that of a Major General of the militia. Indeed, on election day the Captain was quite as great in the eyes of the customary crowd as His Excellency the Governor, His Honor the Lieut. Governor, the Honorable Council, and the General Assembly.
COL. ELISHA PAYNE JEWETT
was born in Lebanon, N. H., June 5th, 1801, and married Miss Julia Kellogg Field, daughter of the late Hon. Charles K. Field of Brattleboro, Jan. 15, 1861. He was the only son of Nathan and Ruth Payne Jewett, and he has an only daughter who bears her grand-mother Jewett's name.
Col. Jewett at 15 years was apprenticed to the late Hon. Daniel Baldwin as a clerk in the mercantile business, and after service for six years he engaged in trade for himself successfully, in the firms of Hubbard & Jewett and Jewett, Howes & Co. On retiring from that business he was interested in the construction of a portion of the Vermont Central Railroad, and of the Great Western from Suspension Bridge to Hamilton, Ontario.
Later he engaged in agriculture, purchasing the beautiful farm on the Winooski, in the south-west corner of the town, on which the first settlement was made. He has greatly improved that farm and other lands in his possession. It is however for Col. Jewett's active exertions, by his
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personal influence and very generous contributions for the good of his town, to churches, State houses, and other things touching the interests of his neighbors, that he will long have "a name to live."
His integrity and reputation as a financier are fully attested by the offices he has held. He was a bank director in Montpelier for 42 years; president of the State Bank (Montpelier) 6 years; State Treasurer—1846 and 7, and town representative in 1855. He was also Presidential Elector at large in 1872. Some of the services of Col. Jewett, in getting up the Vermont Central Railroad, have been already noticed in the history of Montpelier, but one incident remains to be recorded. The Vermont Central Railroad never could have been built without a connecting road in New Hampshire, and the dominant party in that State was hostile to railroads. A committee of Central men, of which Col. Jewett was one, was therefore sent to Concord to wait upon the legislature and secure a charter. A scheme was arranged by Franklin Pierce, soon afterwards President, Judge Upham and others, to have charters granted on condition that no railroads should be built except on the consent of a board of commissioners, who of course would be of the dominant party. Col. Jewett therefore ensconced himself at the Democratic head-quarters and soon prevailed upon an influential anti-railroad man to accept the office of commissioner, and the charter was granted. Soon afterwards Col. Jewett assisted in Gov. Paine's flank movement in favor of the Fitchburgh line, when the Railroad Commissioners hastened to approve the charter of the Northern N. H. Railroad Company.
Col. Jewett derives his military title from having been, with Gov. Charles Paine, on the staff of Maj. Gen. Ezekiel P. Walton.
E. P. W.
If intelligent and successful devotion to the highest interests of a community for the best portion of a more than average life entitles one to grateful mention when the record of that community is made up, then surely does the subject of this sketch deserve a no mean place upon the roll of honor of Montpelier.
SAMUEL WELLS was born in Milton, Chittenden County, Vt., Sept. 23, 1822. His father, William Wells, was a respected farmer of that town, and a veteran of the War of 1812, having served five years as a non-commissioned officer. The record says: "He was in the expedition which invaded Canada under Gen. Scott, and participated in the battles of Chippewa, French's Mills, and the siege and capture of Fort Erie. He was also one of the survivors of the memorable charge at Lundy's Lane, under Col. Miller, when two-thirds of the attacking force was cut down."
Samuel was the eldest of seven children, five of whom died in childhood. With no educational advantages in early life but the common schools of that day, these were so prized and utilized as to enable the farmer boy himself to become a successful teacher at the early age of 18. Subsequently he entered the law office of Hon. A. G. Whittemore, of Milton, where he not only completed his course of legal studies, but, better still, became so thoroughly imbued with the high-toned professional practice and honorable business habits of the distinguished gentleman with whom he studied, as to furnish him a model in all his subsequent life. While studying law he also acquired a knowledge of practical surveying, which was of great service to him in after years.
After admission to the bar in Chittenden County, Mr. Wells opened an office in Bakersfield, Franklin County, where he practiced his profession for some two years. During this period he interested himself in the subject of fire insurance, and finally became impressed with the advisability of the farmers of the State effecting insurance by themselves, and thus avoiding liability for the more hazardous classes of fire risks. Accordingly, in October, 1849, he came to Montpelier, and after enlisting other parties, an application was made to the legislature, then in session, for an act to incorporate the Farmers' Fire Insurance Company. The application was
strenuously opposed in various quarters, but finally prevailed, and on the day succeeding its passage the company was organized. At this organization Mr. Wells was chosen Treasurer and also a Director of the company, both of which positions he continued to hold by unanimous annual elections for 28 years, and until the day of his death. With a single exception, there was not another instance of like service in the history of the company. With that exception, not one of the original Directors remained in office, and ten out of the fifteen had long before passed away.
With his company organized, Mr. Wells entered at once upon the discharge of his official duties with all the ardor of his nature, and in an almost incredibly brief period of time the "FARMERS' MUTUAL" became one of the established and honored institutions of the State. It was both the pride and monument of all his after life. Its management led him to visit all sections of the State, and he thus became more generally and favorably known than falls to the lot of most of our public men. Of the three thousand losses which the company sustained prior to his death, he doubtless personally adjusted more than one-half, and no party ever had reason to accuse him of injustice or trickery. Of all the moneys which he recieved and disbursed as treasurer of the company— amounting to nearly a million of dollars— not a single dollar was ever misappropriated to his personal advantage or diverted from its legitimate use.
But fidelity to these public trusts by no means circumscribed or measured the extent and value of his services to the immediate community in which he lived. With a generous spirit, and a ready and skillful hand, he welcomed all the broad and varied duties of the good citizen. His own limited advantages for early education led him to devise liberal things for the youth of later generations. The long and bitter struggle which finally resulted in the establishment of Montpelier's excellent Union School, was inaugurated by Mr. Wells and three or four associates, and the almost endless and delicate labor required to supersede the time-honored district system by the infinitely better plan of union and gradation, with all the legislation needful to render it complete and harmonious, devolved more largely upon him than upon any other one individual. And for several years after the new system was adopted he afforded it the benefit of his aid and counsel as a member of the prudential committee. The same is true of the excellent Fire Department, which has been maintained during the last 25 years. An entire re-organization was effected, improved engines purchased, new companies formed and equipped, and a new departure in discipline and efficiency taken, largely through his instrumentality. For several years he held the responsible position of chief engineer, and was a leading actor in this department long after failing health warned him to desist.
In 1870, in consultation with others, he procured the chartering of the Montpelier Savings Bank and Trust Company, of which he was one of the corporators—an institution now, (1881,) with more than half a million dollars of deposits and capital. In 1874 he obtained the charter of the Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company, with a view of providing insurance in home companies for such classes of property as could not be insured in the Farmers' Company, and which had hitherto been compelled to seek accommodation largely outside of the State. In this company he was an active director until his death.
In 1872 he became impressed with the absolute need of a better water supply for the village, and with such aid as he could command, secured the consideration of the subject at the annual village meeting of that year, which resulted in the appointment of a committee to examine and report upon the desirability of the general project, and the comparative merits of the several sources of supply. Mr. Wells was chairman of that committee, and much time and labor were expended in the examination of localities, analysis of waters, survey of routes, and estimates of the cost
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of material and construction—all of which was submitted in an exhaustive printed report at the annual village meeting of 1873. That report strongly recommended that the supply be taken from Berlin Pond brook, and that the work be undertaken at once; and the reasons given for that recommendation have never been controverted. When the village finally decides to meet this imperative necessity—and it is believed that that time is in the very near future—it will be found that the work is all plainly mapped out in Mr. Wells' report of 1873.
Charters for the Montpelier Manufacturing-Company and also the Pioneer Manufacturing Company, were prepared and their enactment procured by him, the establishment of which have added largely to the population and industrial interests of the town; and if all the benefits anticipated therefrom have not been realized, it is solely because the monied men of the place persistently withheld their pecuniary aid and fostering care. Mr. Wells also actively aided in the work of securing the Wells River railroad, and expended no little time and labor in efforts to secure other, in some respects better, connecting railway lines. He was principally instrumental in the purchase and fitting up of Village Hall, which has ever since not only supplied an essential need, but proved a source of no small profit to the village; also the Town Farm, where our poor, whom we "always have with us," find a comfortable asylum. And while acting as one of the "Fathers of the town," which he did for several years, it is far within the truth to say that more was accomplished by way of opening new streets, improving old ones, extending and repairing sidewalks, providing suitable drainage, and improving the external and sanitary condition of the village, than was ever effected in the same length of time before or since. These, and nameless kindred enterprises, show the creating, shaping and fostering hand of Mr. Wells, and generations yet to come will share the benefits of his generous and self-denying labors. Nor did he shrink from assuming his full proportion of the burdens of these public improvements, for the records of each one will testify to an outlay of time, labor and money which furnish the best possible guaranty of good faith, and which show a degree of liberality entirely disproportioned to his means. And while the more conservative portion of the community looked upon some of his enterprises as visionary and impracticable, time is rapidly demonstrating that his only misfortune was to be but a tithe as far in advance of the times as his critics were in the rear.
Though the general practice of the law was abandoned on coming to Montpelier, Mr. Wells nevertheless retained his connection with the bar, making a specialty of insurance law and practice. He was industrious and thorough in the preparation of his cases, and sought for the solid ground of equity, which he regarded as the very essence of law. Some points of insurance law of the first importance became permanently settled through his instrumentality.
In politics Mr. Wells was an unwavering Democrat, thoroughly imbued with the principles of the schools of Jefferson and Jackson. He was unskilled in the party tactics of modern times, and might well have said, with Addison:
"Believe who will the artful shams—not I."
However, he followed the fortunes of his party, and the esteem in which he was held by his associates is well certified by his having been made at different elections their candidate for Congress, State Treasurer and Presidential elector, and also chosen a member of the State Committee and chairman of the District Committee. He was also made a candidate for various county offices. His party being uniformly in the minority, however, he received no elections to office save such as were conferred by his political opponents; but in such esteem was he held that for many years he was chosen a selectman, town agent and justice of the peace.
The leading traits of Mr. Wells' character were well stated by one of the local papers at the time of his decease:
"Montpelier had no better citizen than Samuel Wells. Honest in all his convic‑
tions and actions; public-spirited and liberal in all projects for the general good; favoring all improvements that promised to enhance the prosperity of the town; very generous in aiding all objects of charity; ever ready to assist those who were trying to assist themselves; careful in forming opinions, and then courageous in avowing and standing by them; a considerate and kind-hearted man, a true friend, an excellent neighbor, an affectionate husband and father, he was one of those whose true worth will be more and more realized as time develops what was lost when he was taken. His proudest monument will be that all are fully justified in speaking well of him, and that he was really an honest man "the noblest work of God." Than this, no higher eulogy can be given any man."
Though not a communicant, Mr. Wells was a habitual attendant and liberal supporter of Bethany church. For many years he served upon its prudential committee, and had the custody, as surveyor, of its church edifice.
In Sept. 1854, Mr. Wells was married to Mary P. Leslie, of Newbury, who, together with two daughters, survives him, a son having died in childhood.
Jan. 31, 1878, before completing his 57th year, Mr. Wells died—prematurely, as the record runs and as the world judges; but
"We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
. . . . . . . . He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best."
Judged by this standard,
"The hand of the reaper
Sought the ears that were hoary."
HON. JOHN SPALDING,
son of Reuben Spalding of Sharon, born 1790, died April 26, 1870, in his 81st year. He came to Montpelier in 1813, and entered into trade for himself, and afterwards was a partner in the firms of Chester Hubbard & Spalding, Langdon & Spalding, Langdon, Spalding & Co., and John & Charles Spalding, retiring from mercantile employments in 1840, after which he spent much of his time in agricultural pursuits. He married a daughter of Hon. Salvin Collins, who bore him two sons and three daughters, John and Eliza now  only surviving. Judge Spalding was a large and good looking man, of a kind disposition, and excessively affectionate to his children. His integrity was undoubted, and so earned for him the responsible offices which he held. He was some time Director and President of the old Bank of Montpelier, and also President of the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Judge of Washington County Court 1840, and State Treasurer 1841 to 1846.
MAJ. RICHARD W. HYDE
was born in Lebanon, N. H., Oct. 11, 1801, died in Montpelier Nov. 13, 1865. He came of good stock, which contributed many good men to this State, Lieut. Elihu Hyde having served as representative for Lebanon in our Legislature 1781, under the second union with New Hampshire towns, and been commissioned as a magistrate. Maj. Hyde came to Montpelier in 1828, and lived there until his death. The following account of his business life, and beautiful tribute to his character, from the pen of the late Hon. C. W. Willard, written in Nov. 1865, will make the best biography of this worthy man.
"Some 35 years ago Major Hyde came to Montpelier and embarked in mercantile business, which he followed without interruption and with well-merited success up to the time of his death—at which time he was senior partner of the firm of Hyde, Foster & Co., a house of the first respectability and prosperity. The gradual but steady success which attended the business life of Mr. Hyde through all those years which brought vicissitudes to perhaps most of his cotemporaries, was the result of no tricks of trade or hazardous speculation; but the legitimate fruit of enlightened judgment and honorable dealing. And his example in this respect, now bequeathed to the junior members of the firm, is a rich legacy in itself, and a sure harbinger of success if properly followed.
"But Mr. Hyde's business habits in no degree rendered him indifferent or narrow- minded in respect to the best interests of our community. No man among us more heartily seconded all enlightened plans to promote the material interests and pros‑
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perity of the town—to improve our schools —to build and support our churches—to meet the calls of general benevolence and charity, and especially to supply the necessities of the poor.
"In his political associations Mr. Hyde was a life-long democrat; but with him democracy meant patriotism, and he refused to follow any banner but the flag of his country. And during the late war no man in the community labored more earnestly or contributed more freely than he to furnish men and means for bearing that loved banner onward to victory and peace. Thank God that he lived to see the desire of his heart granted!
"Mr. Hyde himself was no stranger to bereavement. Death had repeatedly visited his family, and stirred to their very depths the deep fountains of his nature. But his great, loving heart, so susceptible of grief, turned as if by superior attraction to the still greater and more loving heart of the Father of us all; and here he found, not only consolation in his grief, but a firm foundation for his religious creed, in the confident belief that the Infinite God, who desires the salvation of all, will bring them in His own good time and manner to the joys of His heavenly home.
"The home of Mr. Hyde was proverbially the abode of hospitality and good cheer. Here all ages and conditions found a companion and friend. Here the benevolence and geniality of his nature were fully developed, and from this central sun influences of love and good will radiated through all the community. To his beloved family the loss is unspeakable — inconceivable. We offer no word of consolation, for vain is the help of man. The profound respect and sympathy of the community was appropriately manifested on the occasion of the funeral, by the closing of our places of business, and the attendance of a large concourse of people to mingle their tears with the bereaved, and testify their grief that the manly form, the pleasant smile and the cheering voice of our departed friend would be seen and heard among us no more forever.
"As we conveyed the mortal remains of our departed brother to their chosen resting-place in our beautiful Cemetery, toward the close of a pleasant autumn day, with the partially-veiled sun sinking tranquilly to his rest, and committed "earth to earth and dust to dust," commending his spirit to Him who is the Resurrection and the Life,—we could but inwardly exclaim—
"Be thy virtues with the living.
And thy spirit ours."
Maj. Hyde first engaged in the bakery business as junior member in the firm of Cross & Hyde, and this was followed by the large mercantile business above alluded to. He left, surviving, a son, Edward D. Hyde, who has succeeded to his father's business, and two daughters—all borne to him by Sarah L., youngest daughter of the late Jacob F. Dodge of Montpelier.
JAMES T. THURSTON.
BY HON. C. W. WILLARD.
The death of James Tottingham Thurston, long a resident of Montpelier, demands of the public journalist more than the mere mention of his decease; and perhaps here, even more than ordinarily happens with men of equal worth, because he never by any ostentation of virtue seemed to challenge commendation, is it proper that we should recognize the value of a life singularly industrious, honest and temperate, successful in its connection with business interests and public concerns, dear to those who had the pleasure of his friendship, and made happy by the love of those who enjoyed the affection of his home.
Mr. Thurston was the son of Moses Thurston and Hannah Bolton Thurston, and was born in Cambridge, Vt., Feb. 19, 1818. His father was a farmer, and the education of which the son had the benefit at home was only such as a youth of quickness of intellect could obtain in the common schools of the town, at a time when such schools could hardly be called institutions of learning, but only served to give boys an acquaintance with the rudiments of knowledge. He came to Montpelier when he was 15 years of age, living with his brother-in-law, Henry W. Sabin, and serving part of the time as his clerk,
attending for two or three years the district school during the winter months, and possibly a term or two at the academy. His after life, however, served to show how little the fitness for responsible positions and ability to do well everything that a prominent business man and citizen has to do, depends upon the learning of the schools. In 1838, he was employed as clerk in the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Company, where he performed his work so satisfactorily, that in 1842 he was made treasurer of the company. This position he occupied—with the exception of a period of 14 months in 1850-51, when he acted as secretary of the National Life Insurance Company—for 32 years. At the time he was made treasurer, Daniel Baldwin was president of the company, and such men as Joseph Reed, Joseph Howes, John Spalding and George Worthington were active directors. The company then, though well established, was doing a small business in comparison with what it afterwards commanded, and no small share of its subsequent success is due to the faithful and intelligent labors of its treasurer. In 1874, Mr. Thurston was made president, succeeding Mr. Baldwin, who had held the office 34 years. In 1877, he resigned the office on account of his increasing infirmity, which made even its lightest duties a severe tax upon his strength.
Mr. Thurston was, besides his connection with the Fire Insurance Company, a director of the National Life Insurance Company from 1852, until his death, and for nearly the whole time a trusted and continually-consulted member of its financial committee. He was also a director of the First National Bank of Montpelier from its organization, and his acquaintance with men and affairs and his prudent judgment made him a valuable officer. He was at different times clerk, selectman and lister of Montpelier, and latterly for many years a favorite presiding officer in town and public meetings.
In politics Mr. Thurston was, until 1861, a democrat, and associated with such democrats as Paul Dillingham, Daniel Baldwin, Chas. G. Eastman, T. P. Redfield, Charles Reed, John A. Page, Stephen Thomas and W. H. H. Bingham. He was the candidate of that party for state treasurer from 1856 to 1860. Since the commencement of the rebellion in 1861, he has acted and voted with the republican party. He was not, however, either as democrat or republican, a zealous partisan, but always held his opinions of public men and measures subject to his intelligent estimate of their real worth without much respect for their party labels.
Mr. Thurston united with the Congregational church in Montpelier, where he had formerly worshipped, in 1858, was a member of its communion at his decease, and a regular attendant upon its services when his health permitted. His religion was a matter of judgment rather than of emotion, a belief in the present value of an upright life rather than in the saving power of ecstatic states of mind or unreasoning faith in creeds—in short, an intelligent, consistent, exemplary, practical christianity, a christianity that believes the road to Heaven should be traveled not on Sundays alone, but on other days in the week as well.
In 1843, Mr. Thurston was married to Fanny W. Witherell, of Montpelier, who died in 1865, leaving one son, John B. Thurston, now a respected citizen of Montpelier. Afterward, Mr. Thurston married Mrs. Sevira J. Currier, of Montpelier, who survives him. His home was a delight to him and to those under its roof, a place to which he always turned with fondness and longing when away, a home now darkened by the shadow of death.
It may justly be said of Mr. Thurston's life that it was calm and steady, flowing like the current of a river that, between even banks, keeps its quiet course to the sea. He was a conservative rather than a reformer, but conservative more in action than in thought, as often happens with men of a temper seldom stirred by the heats of passion or emotion; but no genuine reform that commended itself to the
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sober judgment ever lacked his sympathy or support. Rev. Mr. Hincks, in remarks at the funeral service, said that Mr. Thurston was not aggressive in his religion; and he might have said with equal justice that he did not belong to the aggressive type of man. He was not of the men who found states and conquer kingdoms, but of the other equally valuable men who hold fast the progress already made, yet never refuse to advance when new ideas open the way. He had a lively sense of humor, a rare appreciation of the ridiculous, was a keen observer of men, enjoyed a good story and told one exceedingly well, and was genial and witty as well as philosophic and thoughtful in conversation. He was quick to see the force of logic, just and intelligent in his estimate of his associates and the men of his time, always giving countenance and aid to every work that met his approval, liberal in contributions to all benevolent objects, ready to aid with his labor and his purse every enterprise that contributed to the growth, the reputation and the influence of his town, faithful to his many friends, and not unjust to his few enemies. He had a judicial temper of mind, that peculiar excellence which commands respect rather in the long run than in moments of excitement and the heat of controversy, that calmness that not seldom frets impatient minds because it does not jump with their conclusions and run with their speed, but which always proves its worth and vindicates itself as time wears on. He loved life, and had joy in living. In his long struggle with disease, he would gladly have welcomed returning health, for the delight he always found in seeing the faces and hearing the voices of his friends, for his love for the sweet pleasures which nature in a hundred ways offered to him, and for the sense of being a part of a living, moving world. Yet he met his death patiently, without vain regrets, mourning most of all that with those he loved so well he should no more from our breezy hills look out on the fair pictures that summer and autumn spread over our mountains and along our valleys, nor hear the "various language" which nature addresses to him who, in love of her, "holds communion with her visible forms."
The writer of this notice cannot forbear adding to this imperfect sketch an expression of his own high esteem for Mr. Thurston, and his sense of personal sorrow at his death. An acquaintance for more than a score of years, much of the time familiar and friendly, had revealed many of his excellent qualities of mind and heart, but three months spent last winter with him in a far-away, sunny valley of the Ozark mountains, and the daily delights of a cordial, frank, confiding companionship, ripened this friendship of so many years into a warm personal attachment that will ever be a treasured memory to him who survives.
From the Resolutions passed by the Vt. Mutual Fire Ins. Co. after his death, we give:
Be it resolved, we deeply feel and mourn the loss of James T. Thurston, our true friend and associate, whose upright deportment, integrity of character, good judgment and usefulness as a citizen endeared him to all, especially to us who knew him so well. May his many virtues be ever cherished by us, and be an example for those that follow him. May we remember in the words so often quoted by him, " 'Tis not all of life to live, nor all of death to die."
And from the resolutions passed by the National Life Insurance Co:
Resolved, that we sincerely mourn and profoundly regret the death of our friend and associate, James T. Thurston, whose quick perception, great caution, sound judgment, unblemished character, and perfect integrity, together with other credit- able qualities of his head and heart, have endeared him to us for many years. His many virtues will be long remembered by us the survivors. "May he rest in peace."
JOSEPH W. WHEELOCK.
[From an article by Hon. CHARLES W. WILLARD in the Green Mountain Freeman of March 1, 1876.]
Joseph Wilson Wheelock, who died at his home in Berlin, Feb. 23, 1876, was born in Eden. His father, Martin Wheelock, had 5 sons and 2 daughters. Joseph had a common school education, and when
about 18 entered the office of the St. Albans Messenger, learned the printer's trade; remained till Aug., 1847; then worked at his trade in the office of the Green Mountain Gazette, at Bradford about 5 years, and came, Feb., 1852, to Montpelier, as foreman into the office of the Green Mountain Freeman, of which the late Hon. D. P. Thompson was proprietor and editor, and remained in charge of that office, as foreman, during the proprietorship of Judge Thompson, and that of S. S. Boyce, and from April, 1861, to Jan., 1869, while Mr. Willard owned the paper. Mr. Boyce, during his ownership of the Freeman, purchased the subscription list, and became the publisher of the Vermont Christian Messenger, and the Messenger has been published at the Freeman office since that time. Jan., 1869, Mr. Wheelock became a half owner of the Freeman and Messenger subscription list and printing establishment, and from that time had the entire management of the business of the office, and the practical management of the papers until Jan., 1873. when he purchased Mr. Willard's remaining interest in the business, and became and remained managing editor and proprietor until his decease.
Mr. Wheelock's active life was in the printing office, and was identified with his craft. Few men have had a busier life, or one into which more work has been crowded. For many years subject to an infirmity which made office work often painful, he never shirked any of the responsibilities of his position, but often insisted, against the remonstrance of his employers on undertaking work that could only be done by giving his own labor at unusual hours. In that respect, he always held his personal comfort subordinate to his devotion to the business in hand. He seemed more solicitous to make his service for others profitable, than to spare himself, and when he became owner of the printing establishment, almost for the first time began to take an occasional rest from the exacting duties of the office; yet never, until compelled to keep away by his final illness, quite surrendered an immediate supervision, as in the former days when, as foreman, no detail of the work escaped his notice, and his hand was ready at the case, at the make-up, or at the press, as the exigency might require.
He seemed to have no ambitions outside of his profession; yet he had, undoubtedly, the aspiration of the true men of his profession to become the owner and manager of an influential newspaper, and he deservedly reached that position. But, unfortunately, his strength was then too much broken by the gathering forces of the disease that he had fought against so stoutly for years, to admit of his doing for the papers he managed, what he would otherwise have done. He appeared to anticipate this, and hesitated as to the purchase of Mr. Willard's half of the paper, because he feared his health was gradually but surely failing him, and finally made the venture rather to establish his sons in business than on his own account. With the valuable acquaintance with public men and public affairs which his long connection with a newspaper at the Capital of the State gave him, and with the higher education as an editor, which an intelligent man gets in a printing office better than anywhere else, Mr. Wheelock was as well fitted to be the manager of a leading Vermont newspaper as any person in the State; but the printing department drew him quite too much away from the editorial room for his own reputation as a writer and editor. While Mr. Willard was editor of the Freeman, Mr. Wheelock wrote many articles for which others got undeserved credit, some of them having been copied as widely and with as much appellation as anything ever written for the Freeman. His style as a writer was clear, graceful in turn of expression, and forcible and potnted enough to leave no doubt of his meaning, a compliment that cannot always be paid to editorials in either country or city newspapers. He had, moreover, what his readers will call to mind, a vein of wit and humor in idea and expression, which made some of his
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descriptive articles highly enjoyable, and established for him a reputation among his contemporaries as one who had few equals and no superiors in that really difficult, yet very popular kind of newspaper writing. If he had devoted himself, as he was often advised, more to editing his paper and less to printing it, he would have achieved a reputation second to that of no editor in the State, and would very likely have prolonged a life in a large degree useful to his friends and to the public.
Mr. Wheelock's residence, for most of the time he was connected with the Freeman, was just on the south side of the Winooski river in Berlin. He was for a long time clerk and treasurer of that town, and represented it two years in the legislature. He was one of the most trusted advisers of the authorities of the town, was ever solicitous for its interests, and, apparently without effort to become so, was influential in all town matters. In the politics of the town and of the county his judgment and advice were always prudent and wise, and were listened to and followed as often and as far as those of any other man. A robust common sense, a quick understanding of men, a plain and direct method of dealing with men and measures, a faithfulness and integrity in his associations which made others believe in him and trust him, were the elements of character which gave him strength with his fellows, and won for him the good name which he enjoyed and merited, but he was almost bashful in his modesty, and was best known for the really strong man he was by his intimates and those who sought his advice. * * * The struggle and the pain, as well as the joy and hope, of life for him are over, while yet he was scarcely past the prime of his years; but he performed each day the duty the day brought with it; and what better epitaph can the longest life win for its close?
Mr. Wheelock married Laura E. Phillips, who survives him, and he leaves two sons and a daughter trained to his own calling. * * *
HON. CHARLES W. WILLARD.
BY H. A. HUSE.
[From the Green Mountain Freeman of Wednesday, June 9, 1880.]
Mr. Willard died Monday night, at twenty-five minutes after twelve. Sunday he was about his room, as he has never failed of being for years, though his hold on life has been so slender, but began failing, and from that time sank rapidly. His mind had all its native clearness till within three or four hours before his death, when he became unconscious.
Charles Wesley Willard was the son of Josiah Willard and Abigail (Carpenter) Willard, and was born in Lyndon, June 18, 1827. He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1851, and soon after leaving college, came to Montpelier, where he studied law in the office of Peek & Colby, and was admitted to the Washington County Bar in 1853. He became a partner of Ferrand F. Merrill for a time after his admission.
In 1855, '56, he was secretary of state, and after that declined a re-election. In 1860, '61, he was a member of the senate for this county. In the latter year, he became editor and proprietor of the Freeman, and so remained until 1873. About 1865, he for a time was in Milwaukee, Wis., in the editorial chair of the Sentinel. And during his later years his pen has not been idle, as some of the leading journals of the country could say. The columns of this paper have also been favored now and then by good doctrine and wise words over his well-known initials.
In 1868, Mr. Willard was elected to congres, and represented this district from Mar. 4, 1869, to Mar. 4, 1875. He was laborious in legislation, as in all things, and his congressional work told on his constitution, and since his retirement he has been in very delicate health. Visits to Colorado and elsewhere failed to reestablish his health. But he was not a man to give up or rust out, and last year he accepted an appointment as one of the commissioners to revise the statutes. Col. Veazey, the other commissioner, having gone upon the bench, the burden of the work fell upon Mr. Willard. He took it,
and the work was done and well done— the copy all prepared, and about three-fourths of it put to press under his supervision—before he was taken away. He liked to work; like any good workman he knew he could do good work, and we rejoice to know that the activities of the past year cheered his last days with the thought and knowledge that he was yet doing a man's work among men.
Of Mr. Willard's home life here in Montpelier, among his neighbors and friends, we need not speak. He was known of his townsmen, and many more had personal knowledge of his straightforward kindness than the casual observer of his reserved ways would ever suspect. He was a member of the Bethany Congregational church. In 1855, he married Miss Emily Doane, daughter of Hezekiah H. Reed. Mrs. Willard has left with her four children: Miss Mary, Ashton R. (who graduated at Dartmouth last year), Eliza May, and Charles Wesley. Mr. Willard leaves a brother, A. J. Willard, of St. Johnsbury, and a sister, Mrs. Hannah Flint, of Concord, N. H., surviving him.
To say the things that should be said of Mr. Willard, we are not able. To say the truth, and not to say that which to those who did not know him might seem to come from affection instead of judgment, from the heart and not from the head, is a hard task. But the people of Vermont, and especially those who for so many years knew through the columns of this paper Mr. Willard's every day thoughts, will make no mistake in this matter. They will know that when it is said he was the "first citizen of the State," the words are words of truth and soberness, and not those of over-zealous friendship.
He had their well-deserved esteem, confidence, and indeed affection. The qualities that gave these to him were not those of the "magnetic" order. He captivated by no studied arts, by no assumed effusiveness of manner, but rather in spite of the total lack of those too common attributes. He was refined, scholarly; in manner as in mind, he was the gentleman.
Mr. Willard had this good judgment of his fellow-citizens, and with it their affection, as any one may find who will go among the people of the State in the villages and on the farms, because of the honesty of his purpose and of his act, because of his fearlessness in maintaining what he thought was right and because of the strength which was in his fearless blow. A private citizen in after years, and holding to life by the lightest thread, he was looked to for counsel by those in the full strength of manhood, and honored by a following of his thought which fails to come to most of those in high places. His later life taught well the lesson that "the post of honor is the private station."
To give even the briefest history of Mr. Willard's work would require much time and labor. To give even what he did while in congress the merest mention would require time and space and study that are not at command. He was a careful legislator, and one whose counsel bore fruit in the halls of legislation when given.
When he spoke, he spoke for effect on legislation, and that, at times, he was overborne was because he stood up against friend and foe when he thought what they wanted was wrong. Had he always thought with his party, had he always consented to costly schemes which fellow-members urged, instead of always standing for what he believed was right, and trying to head off unnecessary appropriations, he might have been more popular in congress—he could not have been more useful. But he did as he did, and he did well. For it is better to have lived as he lived, to leave as he left a good name, that will for many a year be held as the synonym of that which is pure, right and devoid of fear or shadow of turning—a name that represents an ideal manhood—than to have had continuance in or accession of public station. His life was an honor to his State and a good to those who knew him.
in every sense of the word a Vermonter, was born in Bridport in 1797, his life thus dating back almost to the birth of the State. He came to Montpelier in 1826,
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and went into the employ of Watson Jones, who was then running a line of stages between Montpelier and Burlington. At that time the line between Montpelier and Royalton was opened by Ira Day, of Barre, and Samuel Blodgett, of Royalton. Day and Cottrill soon bought out Jones, and together established what became the great central stage route through the State, and the main thoroughfare for travel between Montreal and Boston, and continued such until the advent of railroads in this part of the State. He was an extensive mail contractor, favorably known at the Post-office Department at Washington. While engaged in the stage business, he purchased the Pavilion hotel at Montpelier, which he kept until 1856, when he sold it to Col. Boutwell. Mr. Cottrill then purchased the residence next east of the Pavilion, which he owned at the time of his decease, and where he resided until 1861, when he, in company with other gentlemen, contracted to carry the United States mail from Kansas City to Santa Fe. He was at Kansas City, Mo., in the active superintendence of this line of stages, when he was attacked by a remittant fever, which terminated fatally, Oct. 1864.
He married in 1822, Catherine Couch of Bath, N. H., a lady possessing in a remarkable degree the administrative ability which made her celebrated as a hostess, to which she added a frankness and heartiness of manner, which seemed to have no disguises, to despise pretence, and to be open as the day. She died at Montpelier in 1861.
Mr. Cottrill was a successful man, and a person of superior common sense. Whatever he did, he did well, and had not much patience with one whose work was not done thoroughly and on time, and yet, never hurrying, never appearing anxious or excited—a reticent, self-reliant man.
As host of the Pavilion he was best known, both in and out of the State, far and wide, as the prince of landlords, and whose hotel was the traveler's as well as the sojourner's home. He seemed like a gentleman of the olden time, stately, yet not even cold in aspect, of unruffled temper and wonderful self-possession. He made for the Pavilion a most excellent character, and he got for himself, by his connection with it, a respect wider than the State, and eminently deserved.
In Montpelier he was much esteemed. Almost the whole of his active life was passed here, and he was identified with all the interests which have aided to make the town what it is. His means, which his business sagacity and ability enabled him to accumulate, were spent liberally. He gave generously, but without ostentation, to every deserving charity, and to all benevolent and religious institutions; and he was a ready helper of all public improvements. — Watchman Obituary.
JED. P. C. COTTRILL, son of Mahlon Cottrill, born in Montpelier, graduated at Burlington College in 1857. He now lives in Milwaukee; his profession, the law. Of him the Milwaukee News says, "he confessedly stands among the foremost at the bar of Milwaukee County." And he was "at the 13th annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Free Masons of Wisconsin. June 9. 1874, elected Grand Master." The productions from his pen, in the reports of the committee on foreign correspondence of the Grand Chapter of Wisconsin, are among the ablest and best in American Masonic literature.
The other children of Mr. Cottrill are William, a famous hotel-keeper in the west; George, a lawyer in New York city; Lyman and Charles.
COL. LEVI BOUTWELL
was born in Barre, Feb. 5, 1802. He was early in life thrown upon his own resources, and thus acquired self-reliance, energy and perseverance. Having learned the spinner's trade, he followed it in Hartland and afterwards in Strafford. Then going to Thetford, he bought an interest in a carding and cloth-dressing establishment, the buildings of which were swept away by a great freshet in 1828, leaving him penniless. From 1830 to 1837, he was engaged in mercantile pursuits in West Fairlee. Meeting with poor success he tried hotel
keeping, dial in Lebanon, N. H., later in Chelsea, where he remained 5 years. He came to Montpelier in 1846, and leased the Union House, Which stood on ground now occupied by the Church of the Messiah. Ten years later he became proprietor of the Pavilion, and for about 12 years served as its landlord. Then he rented it to others; but it remained in his possession till his death, March 27, 1874.
His first wife was Miss Jerusha Peabody of Reading, by whom he had three children, two of whom are now living,—Harry Sylvester, and Elizabeth Jane, the wife of Hon. T. R. Merrill. His second wife, married a short time before he came to Montpelier, was Miss Eliza Burbank, a sister of the late Silas Burbank of this place. She is yet living.
For nearly a generation Col. Boutwell was actively and prominently identified with the interests of Montpelier. His position as landlord of the leading hotel brought him into contact with large numbers of influential men; and his physical and mental characteristics were so striking that those who met him once were not likely to forget him. For almost half a century he was connected with the Masonic Order, and he held many positions of honor in that fraternity. From his youth he was an outspoken Universalist, although not trained in that faith; and after having for many years assisted in the maintenance of churches not of his choice, he rejoiced in the opportunity of joining with others in organizing the Church of the Messiah, in Montpelier, of which he continued to be, during the rest of his life, one of its most enthusiastic and generous supporters. Goddard Seminary, in Barre, was largely indebted to his munificence. The Vermont Conference Seminary in Montpelier came in for a share of his benefactions. His hopefulness and energy, and resolution, did much to make the Wells River Railroad an assured fact. He was a man of remarkable force, both mental and physical; he belonged to the class of inspiring men, men who communicate their own strength to others; he was a man "born to command," a fact recognized in his election to the colonelcy of a regiment of militia. In him we saw that paradox in humanity, a young old man, whose three score and twelve years strove in vain to quench the fire of his youth; for, though for a year he had been somewhat enfeebled, still he kept about his business till within some two weeks of his death, and did not take his bed till his last day.
He was a man in whom there was no lukewarmness; he was always either cold or hot, a hearty hater and an ardent lover, a man of impulse, intensity, impetuosity, a man of head-long self-forgetting generosity, a quick-responding friend of the poor and needy, always vulnerable in his sympathies, a hater of cant, and shams, knaveries and deceptions, quick-witted and keen; often coarse of speech, but kind of heart; as one said of him, "made up rough side out;"—a man whose deed was frequentiy better than his word. In truth his word sometimes repelled men. He was often more forcible than polite, and no doubtfulness of mind, or fear of man ever led him to stop the current of his vehement speech till he could substitute a smooth phrase for the rough one that was on his tongue's tip. But those who knew him well discerned the man through the manner, and honored the rugged honesty, the bluff benevolence, the thorough-going truthfulness, the unawed independence, and the deep tenderness, too, which characterized him.
GOV. ASAHEL PECK, A. M., LL. D.
He was descended from Joseph Peck, who was in the twenty-first generation from John Peck of Bolton, Yorkshire county, England. Thus the genealogy of the Pecks has been traced as far back as, and probably farther than, that of any other Vermont family. Joseph Peck, the American ancestor of the subject of our notice, came from Hingham, England, to Hingham, Mass., in 1638. Asahel, third son of Squire Peck and Elizabeth Goddard, was born at Royalston, Mass., in Sept., 1803, and brought by his parents about 1806 to Montpelier, who settled in what is known as East Montpelier. Receiving
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the discipline of a farm until he was of age, the benefit of the common school, and fitting for college at Washington County Grammar School, he entered the University of Vermont, but in his senior term left college for a course of study in the French language in Canada. The incipient eminent judge and governor entered then upon the study of the law with his oldest brother, Nahum Peck, of Hinesburgh. Asahel Peck's name as attorney, at Hinesburgh, appears in Walton's Register for 1833, when he was thirty years of age. In that year he removed to Burlington, where all his professional life was spent. Doubtless his progress at the bar was slow, as he was not a man to push his way, but to honestly win it by merit. Indeed, a characteristic of him is that he was slow in everything, but in the end he was almost always sure to be right, and that he regarded as the only point worth gaining. He was a thorough and patient student, and a conscientious lawyer and judge. Possessing a tenacious memory, he held all that he had secured in years of study, and could instantly bring his great store of learning to bear upon any legal question presented to him. Touching his abilities as a lawyer, we cite an incident that occurred several years ago: The late Rufus Choate, who will be remembered as one of the most eloquent and eminent lawyers of Massachusetts, met Mr. Peck as an antagonist at the trial of an important case, and at its conclusion Mr. Choate was so astonished to find such a lawyer in Vermont, that he went to Mr. Peck and urged him vehemently to remove to Boston, assuring him that he would win fame and fortune. No inducement, however, could move Mr. Peck; having once made up his mind, nothing could change it. Burlington he had selected as the place to practice his profession, and Burlington it must and should be, and was. Of his reputation as a lawyer and judge, an eminent member of the bar declares that no man in New England since Judge Story has equalled Judge Peck in his knowledge of the common law of England and the law of equity. As Governor, we can bear testimony that he was one of the very best that Vermont has ever had—thoroughly independent, prudent in every act, and carefully inspecting the minutest detail of everything presented for his official approval. Mr. Peck was a judge of the Circuit Court from 1851 until it ceased in Dec., 1857, and of the Supreme Court from 1860 until 1874, when, it being understood that he had retired from the bench to a farm in Jericho, to renew the employments of his youth, he was elected Governor for the term 1874-1876. He was never married. Since leaving the executive chair, he has been often employed as counsel in important cases; and doubtless, had his life been spared, would for some years more have shown himself as a grand master of the law. In speaking of the probable action of the Republican state convention of 1874, at which Judge Peck was nominated for Governor, the WATCHMAN spoke of him in the following terms, which his course while in the gubernatorial chair fully vindicates: "The State would be honored by his selection for it. So long as Vermont designates such men as he is for its highest offices, it is not liable to the old Tory reproach against Republican government, which condemned republics not because the people elected their officers, but because they elected unworthy and ignoble men to office.' He would be a worthy successor in the executive chair of Moses Robinson, Galusha, Palmer, Tichenor, Skinner, Williams, Van Ness, Royce and Hall, who were his predecsseors on the bench. His name will evidently harmonize the diverse interests of the Republican party, and will reconcile all differences. It is not merely unobjectionable. It is in every respect honorable and fit to be made. His nomination would be followed by a triumphant election."
Gov. Peck was a citizen of Montpelier 1855 to 1875, and from that time resided on his farm in Jericho, where he died May 18, 1879. E. P. W.
[Inserted by request.]
Hon. E. P. WALTON: Dear Sir—I thank you for the interest you are taking
for the memory of my late brother, Gov. Peck. And withal you will recollect that he had A. M. added or prefixed to his name by the University of Vermont, and LL. D. by Middlebury College, and which is written on his $700 granite monument at Hinesburgh, and whose attachment to the people of Montpelier was never abated or withdrawn.
[From the obituaries in the Argus and the Watchman at the time of his death.]
Mr. Bancroft, who contributed much to make the town of Montpelier everywhere honored and honorable in business and financial circles, was born in Plainfield, this county, Mar. 20, 1809. At three years of age he lost both of his parents, and was brought up by Arthur Daggett of East Montpelier. He went to Massachusetts at 16 years and learned the stone-cutter's trade; worked in the Navy Yard at Charlestown; went to Norfolk, Va. Navy Yard and worked for a time, and returned to Montpelier. He engaged with his brother, Watrous, on the stone work of the second state house, afterward burned. Much of that exceptionally fine work, which was so much admired, was wrought by his hand. After this, he formed a partnership with Geo. P. Ricker, and after the death of Mr. Ricker with E. C. Holmes, terminating after 25 years by the death of Mr. Holmes in 1870. The firm has since been C. Bancroft & Son—Arthur D., the oldest son, being the partner. In 1839, Mr. Bancroft married a daughter of Col. Cyrus Johnson of Berlin, who was the mother of his children, and died Sept. 15, 1856. Feb. 3, 1858, he married Margaret Wallace, widow of John McLean, Esq., of Cabot, and sister of Dr. M. P. Wallace, who survives him. Of his 6 children but one survived, Frederick W.; of the others, but two reached the age of maturity, his daughter Jennie, who married a Mr. Scott and died about two years after her marriage, and his oldest son, Arthur D.
From his youth up, Carlos Bancroft was one of the leaders of the Democratic party here. Besides repeatedly filling various town offices, selectman, &c., he had, for many years, been an acting director and vice-president of the Farmers' Insurance Co., and a director of the Montpelier National Bank; both were benefited largely by his prudent counsel and sound judgment. Though entirely successful in business, he never accumulated a dollar but by honorable dealing. His word was never called in question, and his opinion in matters of business generally put an end to all controversy. He was one of the building committee of Christ Church, where he attended worship. In one word, as a citizen, neighbor, and friend, he was a man of large worth.
He died of the insidious, slow old-fashioned consumption; so insidious that none suspected the familiar face of one so universally known and respected would be so soon removed from our thoroughfares and business places. Monday evening, he retired apparently in his usual health, for the last few months not his former robust health, a state of increasing feebleness, but which did not debar him from attention to his business. Early the next morning, he had a coughing fit in which he ruptured a blood-vessel; hemorrhage ensued and before the physician could be summoned he was dead. Age 67, Oct. 24, 1876.
ARTHUR DAGGETT BANCROFT, son of Carlos, who had all the traits of his father, inherited consumption and died at 37. He was one of the selectmen of the town, much esteemed by his townsmen in life, and left a very handsome estate. He married Juliette, daughter of Algernon S. Camp, formerly of Montpelier, now of Chicago. They had children, who with his widow reside at Montpelier.
WATROUS FAMILY IN MONTPELIER.
Some sixty years ago Erastus Watrous, the hatter, lived on Main street, a very intelligent man, who worked quietly away at his trade many years, died Dec. 16, 1828, aged 54, and was buried in Elm street cemetery.
Mrs. ERASTUS WATROUS was a lady of much natural talent, and handsome personal appearance. At the visit of Gen. Lafayette to Montpelier, in 1825, she was
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selected and made the welcome address to the French general in behalf of the ladies of Montpelier. She died July 4, 1832, aged 40.
CHARLES WATROUS, a son of the hatter, born in Montpelier, graduated at Middlebury in the class of 1817. He read theology in Montpelier for a year after, and then learned the printer's trade of Walton; but soon after went South, where he taught for a short time, and then relinquishing teaching, worked at his trade for short intervals in different States. He at length became deranged, or partially so. While insane, he wrote and published in Troy, N. Y., a book on the craft and dangers of masonry.—For title of his work see Montpelier bibliography by Gilman, page —. Soon after the issue of his book, he returned to Montpelier, where he stayed only a few months, and went to Concord, N. H., where he died, about 1835, by his own hand.
ERASTUS B., son of Erastus, Sen., a stirring character, went to New Mexico and became immensely rich. He is supposed to be still living.
SOPHIA WATROUS, daughter of the hatter, was born in Montpelier, and resided here till her marriage with Mr. Bemis, when she removed to Northfield, where she resided the last twenty years or more of her life. She embraced the Spiritualist belief some years before her death. She and her husband have both been deceased some years, now, and are buried at Northfield. Before her marriage, while she resided at Montpelier, she published a small volume of her poems, which had the honor at least of being the first volume of poems written and published in the county. From Mrs. Sophia Watrous Bemis' little book, "The Gift," and the prettiest lines, we think, she ever wrote, a mortuary poem:
Child of misfortune, few have shared
Such love as was thine own;
And all along thy rayless path
A guiding star, it shone.
Affection changeless in excess
When love and pity meet;
And find on earth a resting place,
A mother's breast the seat.
It asks no aid of outward charms
Nor e'en the light of mind;
It then becomes a holy thing;
But few the pearl can find.
Such love was thine, and earth is poor
The precious gift to buy;
It woke with thy young dawning life
And caught thy dying sigh.
And tender lives thy cherished thought
Within that mother's breast;
Affliction marked thy course on earth,
Heaven guard thy peaceful rest.
The imbecile was her brother. We are told the family were all odd or singular in their ways; yet streaked with talent.
They are all gone and have left no descendants but Erastus B. ED.
HON. GEORGE WORTHINGTON,
a native of Connecticut, came to Montpelier at an early day, married the youngest daughter of Col. Jacob Davis, and engaged in the hatting business with Erastus Watrous. He became a prominent man; was high sheriff in 1814, representative, 1819, councillor, 1827 to 1831, and judge of probate, 1840. Retiring from the hatting business to agriculture, on the farm now largely occupied by State, High and Middlesex streets, and residing in the present dwelling of Charles A. Reed, he was largely employed in the settlement of estates. He was a deacon of the First Congregational [Bethany] church from Feb. 7, 1812, for about half a century, when he removed to Irasburgh, where he died, and also his two sons, John and Hon. George, Jr., who was representative and senator from Orleans County.
REV. ELISHA BROWN,
formerly a member of the New Hampshire Conference, was born in Gloucester, R. I., May 14, 1802, and died in Montpelier, Feb. 1, 1881, in his 79th year. When about ten years old, his father moved to Sutton, Vt., where he lived until he was about thirty years of age. Early converted, in default of any Methodist society in his immediate community, he was for a season a member of the Freewill Baptist communion. His religious views, however, being Methodistic, of the most pronounced type, he subsequently connected himself with the Methodist church, and after spending several years in teaching, entered the
itinerant ministry of that denomination, joining the New Hampshire Conference at a time when it included all the territory of Vermont east of the Green Mountains.
During the earlier period of his ministry he preached at Greensboro, Troy, Westfield, Walden, Cabot and East St. Johnsbury, touching, meantime, the top and bottom of the toils and trials, joys and triumphs, of the itinerancy in very difficult fields at that early day. About forty years ago he moved, with his family, to Newbury, to give his children the benefit of the old Newbury Seminary. During his residence of fifteen years, or more, at that place, he supplied several churches in the vicinity of Newbury, also devoting much time to teaching. In the year 1855 he removed to Montpelier, and for several years supplied churches at East Montpelier, Wright's Mills and Berlin. He was the "stated supply" of the latter charge, indeed, for nine consecutive years, during much of that time occupying, with his venerable mother, the old parsonage, and performing most acceptably all the duties of the pastorate. During the past ten or twelve years he has spent many months, from time to time, in the family of his son-in-law, the writer, and will be well remembered at Monson, Brookfield, Danvers, and especially at Milford—supplying with great acceptance, during the writer's pastorate at the latter place, the adjacent Mendon charge for the space of one year. For the last four or five years of his life, "in age and feebleness extreme," he "halted feebly to the tomb," tenderly cherished and cared for in the home of his son, Col A. C. Brown, Montpelier.
Of the life, gifts and activities of Father Brown, much might be said. He was an instructive, sensible, and sympathetic preacher, and a most successful pastor. Very tall, and large and massive physically, his personal appearance, with his flowing, patriarchal beard, was very impressive. Exemplary in all his walk and and always ready for every good work in the interest of religion and humanity, being particularly ardent and active on temperance lines, he commanded the universal and affectionate esteem of all classes of citizens in the several communities where he labored. No teacher, or preacher, perhaps, was ever more fondly regarded or tenderly remembered. Hence his services to preside at weddings and on funeral occasions were in constant requisition. The aged were wont to seek his companionship, while the young and those in middle life looked to him for counsel; and even little children always had a glad word and a pleasant smile for Father Brown, cheering his last days by gifts of flowers, not more fresh and fragrant than the innocence and love of their sweet young lives that prompted these gifts. He warmly appreciated and very gratefully remembered all the kind and thoughtful attentions of neighbors and friends during his declining years.
Though his life of nearly fourscore years brought to him his full share of burden- bearing, and responsibility, and physical suffering, and sorrow, he never wavered in his convictions, or shrank from any post of duty when clearly presented to him. Not only so, but endowed by nature with a fine vein of humor, his strong religious trust conspired with his very genial temperament to enable him, in the midst of all his troubles and sorrows, to maintain an untroubled serenity and cheerfulness. He was one of the sunniest and most kindly of men. Father B. was a great Bible reader, having, in the course of his life, read the Sacred Volume through scores of times. His favorite text, and one which in his later days he has been often heard, and with great fervor, to repeat, was: "I have been young, and now am old, yet have I never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." — Ps. 37:25.
Over a quarter of a century ago Mr. Brown buried the companion of his youth. Three out of five children survive him. In the weakness of his last days he was constantly "waiting and watching" for the moment that should announce his happy release. Very quietly at last, as if he had laid him down to sleep, he entered into his final rest. Rev. N. Fellows, his pastor, on the occasion of his funeral, which was