THE MILITARY HISTORY
Census of Bennington County,
BY HON. HILAND HALL, LL. D.
THE COUNTY OF BENNINGTON.
BY HON. HILAND HALL.
Notices of the County prior to 1860 are found in Volume I at pages 121 and 250-253.
At page 251 is a table showing the population of each of the towns in the county, at the dates when the census was taken up to and including the census of 1860. — Below is a like table of the population of the same towns by the census of 1860, 1870, 1880, as follows:
Bennington Co. — 1860 — 1870 — 1880.
Arlington, — 1116 — 1636 — 1532,
Bennington, — 4302 — 5760 — 6333,
Dorset, — 2090 — 2195 — 2005,
Glastonbury, — 47 — 119 — 241,
Landgrove, — 320 — 302 — 266,
Manchester, — 1688 — 1897 — 1928,
Peru, — 556.
Pownal, — 1733 — 1705 — 2015,
Readsborough, — 929 — 828 — 745,
Rupert, — 1103 — 1017 — 957,
Sandgate, — 805 — 705 — 681,
Searsburg, — 263 — 235 — 232,
Shaftsbury, — 1937 — 2027 — 1887,
Stamford, — 760 — 633 — 726,
Sunderland, — 567 — 553 — 655,
Winhall, — 741 — 842 — 721,
Woodford, — 379 — 371 — 487.
— 19443 — 21325 — 21947.
By this table it will be seen that the population of the county for the twenty years from 1860 to 1880 has increased from 19,443 to 21,947, being a gain of 2,504 and that in general there has been a slight decrease in the towns which are almost exclusively devoted to agricultural pursuits ; while the gain in numbers has been in those engaged in manufactures and lumbering, viz: in Arlington, Benning‑
6 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
ton, Glastenbury, Manchester, Pownal, Sunderland and Woodford. The large percentage of increase in Glastenbury is attributed to the construction of the Glastenbury railroad of about 9 miles in length from Bennington up into the mountain regions from which lumber and charcoal have been more cheaply transported to the South and East than formerly.
BENNINGTON COUNTY IN
THE WAR FOR
The patrotic ardor which pervaded the North on the fall of Fort Sumpter and the consequent call of the President of April 15th, 1861, for 75,000 volunteers, was as earnest and active in the town and county of Bennington in its determination to suppress the rebellion and preserve the union, as in any part of the country. In Bennington, the flag of the stars and strips, the symbol and representative of love of country and of the Union, was at once suspended across the street and displayed on public buildings and private dwellings.
THE FIRST WAR-MEETING.
A public meeting was held on the evening of the 19th of April, filling the largest hall in town, that was attended and addressed by men of both political parties. During the meeting news came of the massacre, on the morning of that day, of Massachusetts men on their way at the call of the President for the defence of the Capitol, by a mob of Secessionists at Baltimore. The day was recalled as the anniversary of the murdering assult on the Revolutionary patriots by the British at Lexington. The enthusiasm for sustaining the government of the Union was intense.
The Star Spangled Banner was sung and stirring resolutions were unanimously passed to take the most energetic measures to raise men for that purpose. Similar patriotic action was taken by other towns of the County.
The Governor of the state had promptly called an extra session of the Legislature which met on the 23d of April and enacted laws for raising, organizing and equipping as volunteers, or by drafting, if found necessary, such number of regiments as might be required by the General Government; and also made provisions for paying the noncommissioned officers and privates who should enter the service, $7 per month beyond the usual pay allowed by the United States. To met the immediate call of the President, ten companies of already organized militia in different towns of the State were mustered into the service of the United States on the 2d of May, for three months, which constituted the First Vermont Regiment in the War for the Union. The companies were from the following tows, viz:
Company A., Swanton, Franklin Co.
Co. B., Woodstock, Windsor Co.
Co. C., St. Albans, Franklin Co.
Co. D., Bradford, Orange Co.
Co. E., Cavendish, Windsor Co.
Co. F., Northfield, Washington Co.
Co. G., Brandon, Rutland Co.
Co. H., Burlington, Chittenden Co.
Co. I., Middlebury, Addison Co.
Co. K., Rutland, Rutland Co.
The regiment was under the command of Col. J. W. Phelps and consisted of 780 men.
THE SECOND REGIMENT
FOR THREE YEARS SERVICE.
A full company of volunteers for permanent service was speedily recruited in Bennington, a list of the names of which, both officers and men, with the towns from which they came, will be found in the first volume of this Gazetteer at page 259.
This company of which the commissioned officers were: James H. Walbridge, Captain, and Newton Stone and William H. Cady, lieutenants, was the first company raised in the State for the three years service, and accordingly became Company A of the Regiment.
The Regiment was mustered into the U. S. service, June 20, 1861 and continued in the service more than four years, until July 15th, 1865 when the regiment was mustered out.
The term of the men who had first enlisted had expired before that time and their places had been supplied by second enlistments of the same men in part, but largely by new recruits, so that the majority of the men, both officers and privates of which the regiment has been originally composed was probably, from this cause in connection with the various casualties incident to so long a service, no longer members of it.
This remark applies with slowly decreasing effect to the subsequently raised regiments for the three years service.
All the troops hereafter mentioned were for three years, except the 13th and 11th regiments, which were for 9 months only.
The following is a Roster of the FIELD, STAFF AND COMPANY OFFICERS from the County of Bennington of the
SECOND VERMONT REGIMENT
of Volunteers, it being a list of their names, the towns of their residence, their age, the dates, ranks and companies in which they began service, with those of their several promotions and the dates and manner of the termination of their service ; compiled from the Reports of the Adjunt General of the State, Vol. 3 for 1886.
JAMES H. WALBRIDGE
of Bennington, age 31, entered the service as Captain, Co. A, May 14, 1861; Major, May 21, 1862; Lieut. Col. Jan, 8, 1863; Colonel. Feb. 9, 1863; resigned. Apr. 1, 1864.
of Bennington, age 23, entered the service as 1st Lieut., Co. A, May 14, 1861; Capt. Co. I, Jan. 22, 1862: Major, Jan. 8, 1863; Lieut. Col, Feb. 9, 1863; Colonel, Apr 2, 1864; killed at the battle of the Wilderness, Va. May 5, 1864. His remains were brought to Bennington and interred in the old Centre burying-ground, where an appropriate monument is erected to his memory.
GUILFORD S. LADD
of Bennington, age 30, entered the service June 11, 1861, resigned July 17, 1862.
WILLIAM H. CADY
of Bennington, age 24, entered the service as 2d Lieut., Co. A, May 14, 1861; 1st Lieut., Co. A, Jan. 22, 1862; Capt., May 21, 1862; wounded at the Wilderness, Va., May 5, 1864; mustered out of service, June 29, 1864; He died at Bennington, February 24, 1879.
8 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
of Readsboro', aged 26, entered the service as private, Co. A, May 20, 1861 ; Serg't., Nov. 1, 1861 ; 1st Sergt, Oct. 14, 1862 ; wounded, May 3, 1863, re-enlisted, Dec. 21, 1863 ; 1st Lieut., Co. D, June 20, 1864 ; Capt., Dec. 24, 1864 ; resigned, June 9, 1865.
EUGENE O. COLE
of Shaftsbury, age 27, private, Co. A. entered service, May 7, 1861 ; Serg't, June 20, 1861 ; 1st Serg't., Sept. 14. 1861; 2d Lieut. Co. A, May 21, 1862 ; 1st Lieut., Oct. 17, 1862 ; mustered out of service, June 29, 1864. (See Fifth Regiment.)
EDWARD W. APPLETON
of Bennington, age 23, entered the service as private, Co. A, May, 14, 1861 ; 1st Sergt., June 20, 1861 ; 2d Lieut., Co. H, Sept. 12, 1861 ; 1st Lieut., Co. B. Jan. 25, 1862 ; discharged for disability, Sept. 25, 1862.
OTIS V. ESTES
of Bennington, age 25, private, Co. A, May 7, 1861 ; Sergt., June 20, 1861 ; 1st Sergt„ May 21, 1862 ; 2d Lieut., Oct. 17, 1862 ; wounded, May 12. 1864 ; mustered out May 25, 1864.
BURR T. COLE
of Shaftsbury, age 19, private, Co. A, Sept. 15, 1862 ; wounded, May 6, 1864 ; Corporal, December 1, 1864 ; 1st Serg't, Feb. 7, 1865 ; 2d Lieut., June 7, 1865 ; mustered out as 1st Sergt., July 21, 1865.
CHARLES M. BLISS
of Woodford, age 34, entered the service as private, Co. A, May 7, 1861 ; Sergt., June 20, 1861 ; 2d Lieut., Sept. 2, 1861. Honorably discharged, October 4, 1862.
of Bennington, age 36, private, Co. A, Dec. 1, 1863 ; Sergt. Major, Feb. 7, 1865 ; 2d Lieut., June 7, 1865 ; mustered out as Sergt. Major, July 15, 1865.
This Regiment was in 28 engagements.
THE FOURTH REGIMENT.
The three years company A of the 4th regiment was recruited at Bennington, of which John E. Pratt was captain, Abel K. Parsons and Gideon H. Burton, lieutenants. A list of both the officers and men with the towns from which they came will be found in Vol. 1 of this Gazetteer at page 200. This company with the regiment was mustered into service Sept. 20. 1861, and mustered out, July 13, 1865.
ROS'I'ER OF THE FIELD, STAFF AND
JOHN E. PRATT
of Bennington age 20, entered the service as Capt., Co. A, Aug. 27, 1861 ; Major Apr. 30, 1864 ; Lieut. Col., Mar. 14, 1865 ; mustered out July 13, 1865. He died, in Bennington, Oct. 7, 1882.
HENRY T. CUSHMAN
of Bennington, age 18, enlisted as Reg. Qt. M. Sergt., Mar. 1862, commissioned, Jan. 29, 1863 ; mustered out, Sept. 30, 1864.
JOHN H. CUSHMAN
of Bennington, age 32, Quartermaster, Aug. 10, 1861 ; mustered into service, Sept. 21, 1861 ; resigned, Jan'y. 24, 1863 ; died in Bennington, 187__
HOWARD C. CHAPIN
of Readsboro', age 20, private, Co. A, ——— Aug. 13, 1861, Corp.; Sept, 21, 1861, Sergt.; 2d Lieut., Co. B. Aug. 1, 1862 ; 1st Lieut., Co. F,
Apr. 1, 1863 ; Capt., May 5, 1864 ; mustered out, July 13, 1865.
ABEL K. PARSONS
of Bennington, aged 32, 1st Lieut., Aug. 27, 1861; mustered into service, Sept. 21. 1861 ; killed in action at Cold Harbor, Va., June 3, 1864.
GIDEON H. BURTON
of Bennington, aged 23, 2d Lieut., Co. A, Aug. 27, 1861 ; 1st Lieut., July 17, 1862 ; resigned, Feb. 14, 1863.
NATHAN A. SMITH
of Shaftsbury, aged 19, private, Co. A, Sept. 2, 1861 ; Corp., July 31, 1863 ; re-enlisted Dec. 15, 1863 ; wounded May 5, 1864 ; Sergt., Sept. 21, 1864 ; Reg't. Qt. M. Sergt., Feb. 4, 1865 ; 2d Lieut., Feb. 27, 1865 ; mustered out July 13, 1865.
This regiment was in twenty-six engagements.
THE FIFTH REGIMENT.
The three years Company E. of the Fifth Regiment was recruited at Manchester and with the regiment was mustered into service, Sept. 16, 1861; and mustered out, June 29, 1865.
ROSTER OF THE FIELD, STAFF AND
COMPANY OFFICERS FROM
CHARLES P. DUDLEY
of Manchester, age 26, Capt., Co. E, Aug. 30, 1861 ; Major, Oct. 6, 1862 ; Lieut.-Col., May 6, 1864 ; died, May 21, 1864, of wounds received at the battle of the Wilderness, May 10, 1864.
EUGENE O. COLE
of Bennington, age 31, appointed Major, Dec. 26, 1864 ; Brevet Lieut. Col., Apr. 2, 1865, for gallantry in the battle of Petersburgh, Va., Apr. 2, 1865 ; Lieut. Col., June 9, 1864 ; mustered out as Major, June 29,1865.
SAMUEL C. BURNHAM
of Manchester, age 22, 2d Lieut., Co. E, Aug. 30, 1861 ; 1st Lieut., Co. E, July 24, 1862 ; Capt., Oct. 6, 1862 ; resigned Feb. 17, 1863.
GEO. H. SESSIONS
of Manchester, age 21, enlisted in the Vet. Res. Corps, Sept. 16, 1863; transferred into Co. __ May 7, 1864 ; 1st Lieut., Co. I, July 25, 1864; Capt. Co. E, Nov. 10, 1864 ; mustered out, June 29, 1865.
WARREN R. DUNTON
of Dorset, age 22, private, Co. E, Aug. 14, 1861 ; 1st Sergt., Sept. 16, 1861 ; 2d Lieut., Co. F, June 21. 1862 ; transferred to Co. C, July 9, 1862 ; 1st Lieut., Co. B, Nov. 22, 1862 ; honorably discharged, Mar. 31, 1863, for wounds in action at Fredericksburgh, Va., Dec. 14, 1862.
of Manchester, age 28, private, Co. E, Sept. 27, 1861; Corp.; Sergt.; 1st Sergt. ; __ re-enlisted, Dec. 15, 1863; 1st Lieut., Nov. 10, 1864; wounded May 5, 1864. Honorably discharged June 2, 1865, for disability.
JOSHUA A. SHATTUCK
of Winhall, age 19, private Co. E., Dec. 8, 1863; wounded June 3, 1864; Corp. Oct. 21, 1864; Sergt., Dec. 16, 1864; 2d Lieut., June 4, 1865; mustered out of service as Sergt. June 29, 1865.
This regiment was in twenty-five engagements.
FIRST CAVALRY REGIMENT.
The next company that was enlisted in the County of Bennington, was Co. G. of the first Cavalry Regiment, which was mainly recruited at Bennington. The regiment was mustered into the service, Nov. 19, 1861, and mustered out Aug. 9, 1865.
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ROSTER OF FIELD, STAFF AND COMPANY OFFICERS
FROM BENNINGTON COUNTY.
WILLIAM D. COLLINS
of Bennington, age 37, Major, Nov. 1, 1861 ; mustered, Nov. 19, 1861 ; resigned, May 7, 1863.
JAMES A. SHELDON
of Rupert, age 39, Capt., Oct. 18, 1861 ; resigned, Mar. 12, 1862.
ALVAH R. HASWELL
of Bennington, age 19, private, Co. G, Oct. 2, 1861 ; Sergt., Dec. 24, 1862 ; wounded, Sept. 13, 1863 ; re-enlisted Dec. 30, 1863; 1st Lieut., Co. G, Nov. 19, 1864 ; Capt., Co. G, May 9. 1865 ; transferred to Co. E, June 21, 1865, by reason of consolidation of the regiment ; mustered out of service, Aug. 9, 1865.
GEORGE H. BEAN
of Pownal, age 34, 1st Lieut., Co. G, Oct. 18, 1861 ; Capt., Apr. 10, 1862 ; dismissed the service, Apr. 28, 1863.
of Bennington, age 23, private, Co. G, Sept. 26, 1861 ; 1st Sergt., Nov. 19, 1861 ; 1st Lieut., Co. G, Oct. 4, 1862 ; Capt. Co. G, Apr. 28, 1863 ; wounded, May 11, 1864 ; killed in action at Mount Olive, Va., Oct. 9, 1864.
DENNIS M. BLACKMER
of Bennington, age 22, 2d Lieut. Co. G. Oct. 18, 1861 ; 1st Lieut. Apr. 10, 1862 ; resigned, July 18, 1862.
FREDERICK W. COOK.
of Manchester, age 22, private, Co. G, Sept. 28, 1861; Co. Com. Sergt., July 19, 1863 ; re-enlisted, Dec. 30, 1863; 2nd Lieut., Co. G, Nov. 19, 1864 ; 1st Lieut., May 9, 1865 ; mustered. out, June 21, 1865.
This regiment was in seventy-three engagements.
THE SEVENTH REGIMENT.
Few men of the Seventh Regiment were from Bennington. There is a record of only two officers, which is as follows:
ARNOLD P. WAIT
of Dorset, age 26, private, Co. D, Dec. 11, 1861 ; Corp., July 12, 1862; Sergt., Oct. 1, 1862 ; 1st Sergt., May 1, 1863 ; re-enlisted, Feb. 16, 1844 ; 1st Lieut., Feb. 28, 1865. Honorably discharged Aug. 13, 1865, for disability.
of Rupert, age 25, Sergt. Major, Feb. 12, 1862 ; 2nd Lieut., Co. E, Aug. 28, 1862 ; 1st Lieut., Dec. 9, 1862. Dishonorably dismissed the service, Dec. 23, 1864, for habitual intoxication and being a worthless, inefficient officer.
This regiment was in five engagements.
THE EIGHTH REGIMENT.
Of the Eigth Regiment there is a record of only one officer front the County, as follows:
HYMENIUS A. DAVIS
of Landgrove, age 18, private, Co. H, Dec. 23, 1861 ; Corp., Feb. 18, 1862 ; Sergt.; re-enlisted, Jan. 5, 1864 ; 1st Sergt., Apr. 12. 1864 ; 2d Lieut., Mar. 3, 1865 ; mustered out of service, June 28, 1865.
This regiment was in seven engagements.
THE TENTH REGIMENT.
Company E of the Tenth Regiment was recruited at Bennington, of which Madison E. Winslow was the first captain. The regiment was mustered in
service, Sept. 1, 1862 and mustered out June 29, 1865.
ROSTER OF THE OFFICERS FROM
ALONZO B. VALENTINE
of Bennington, age 32, Qt. M., July 31, 1862; promoted
Capt. and Com.
of subsistence U. S. Vols., March 2, 1864; promoted to Brevet Major, June 28, 1865 for meritorious services; left the army on account of the close of the war.
of Pownal, age 26, Co. E, 1st. Lieut. Aug. 7, 1862, appointed Capt. and A A. G. U. S. Vols., December 31, 1864 : Brevet Major, Oct. 19, 1864, for gallantry in every action since May 5, 1864, and particularly at Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19, 1864 ;— now, 1883, in the regular army of the United States with the rank of Major.
of Dorset, age 22, private, Co. C., Aug. 5, 1862, Corp., Sept. 25, 1863; Sergt., July 23, 1864 ; wounded, Oct. 19, 1864; 2d Lieut., Co. C, Dec. 19, 1864; 1st Lieut., Feb. 9, 1865; mustertered out of service, June 22, 1865.
of Arlington, age 21, private, Co. E, July 19, 1862; Corp., Nov. 29, 1862; Sergt., Dec. 27, 1862; 1st Sergt., Dec. 31, 1862; 2d Lieut., June 15, 1865; mustered out as 1st Sergt., June 22, 1865.
This Regiment was in thirteen engagements.
THE SECOND REGIMENT
U. S. SHARP SHOOTERS.
Company H of this Regiment was mustered into the service, Dec. 31, 1861, and mustered out, Dec. 31, 1864. A portion of this company was from Bennington County. The record of the officers from the County is as follows :
of Dorset, age 34, Capt., Co, H, Dec. 24, 1861 ; resigned, Aug. 13, 1862.
of Dorset, age 35, private, Co. H, Nov. 1, 1861; 1st Sergt , Dec. 31, 1861 ; 2d Lieut., Dec. 1, 1862; Capt. May 18, 1864. Honorably discharged, as 2d Lieut., Oct. 17, 1864, for wound received in action before Petersburgh, Va., June 21, 1864.
This Regiment was in 24 engagements.
FIRST BATTERY OF LIGHT ARTILLERY.-THREE YEARS.
This Battery, or at least a portion of it, was recruited at South Shaftsbury ; was mustered into service, Feb. 18, 1862, and mustered out, Aug. 10, 1864. The record of its officers is as follows:
GEORGE W. DUNCAN
of Shaftsbury, age 45, Capt., Jan. 15, 1826 ; resigned, Feb. 11, 1863.
of Shaftsbury, age 23, 2d Lieut., Jan. 15, 1862; 1st Lieut., Feb. 13, 1863; mustered out, Aug. 10, 1864.
of Shaftsbury, age 21, private, Dec. 1, 1861; Qt. M., Sergt., Feb. 18, 1862; 2d Lieut., July 14, 1862; 1st. Lieut., Feb. 14, 1863 ; resigned, Dec. 14, 1863.
This Battery was in 4 engagements.
NINE MONTHS' MEN.
A Brigade of Volunteers for nine months' service under the authority of the United States was raised in Vermont in the fall of 1862, consisting of
12 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Field Regiments, amounting in the whole to 4840 men, the regiments being numbered the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th. These troops served in Virginia until Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania, when they were all marched to Gettysburgh where the 13th, 14th and 16th took part in the battles of the 2d and 3d of July 1863. The other two regiments having been detached from Gen. Stannard's Brigade by Gen. Reynolds "to guard the Corps wagon-train in the rear."
THE TWELTH REGIMENT,—
This Regiment was raised in other parts of the State than in Bennington County; mustered into the service, Oct. 4, 1862, and out, July 14, 1863.
It had but one officer from Bennington County, whose record is as follows:
BENJAMIN F. KETCHUM
of Manchester, age 28, Surgeon, Sept. 19, 1862; mustered in, Oct. 4, 1862; mustered out, July 14, 1863.
Company A of this Regiment was recruited at Bennington, and Company C at Manchester. The Regiment was mustered into service, Oct 21, 1862, and mustered out, July 30, 1868.
ROSTER OF THE FIELD, STAFF AND
FROM BENNINGTON CO.
NATHANIEL B. HALL
of Bennington, age 36, Major, Sept. 25, 1862; mustered out of service, July 30, 1863.
of Manchester, age 23, Adjutant, Oct. 8, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
of Dorset, age 36, Quartermaster, Oct. 8, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
RANSOM O. GORE
of Bennington, age 28, Capt. Co, A, Aug 27, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
JOSIAH B, MUNSON
of Manchester, age 26, Capt., Co. C, Aug. 28, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
WILLIAM H. MUNN
of Shaftsbury, age 24, 1st Lieut., Co. K, Sept. 18, 1862; Capt., Feb. 15, 1863 ; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
EDWARD N. THAYER
of Bennington, age 28, 1st Lieut., Aug. 27, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
NATHAN L, ANDREW
of Arlington, age 33, 1st Lieut., Co. C, Aug. 20, 1862; mustered out of service, July 30, 1863.
of Bennington, age 22, 2d Lieut., Co. A, Aug. 27, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
HENRY D. YOUNG
of Manchester, age 25, 2d Lieut., Co. C, Aug. 28, 1862; mustered out, July 30, 1863.
LEWIS P. FULLER
of Stamford, age 45, 2d Lieut., Co. K, Sept. 18, 1862; resigned, March 9, 1863.
This Regiment was in the battle of Gettysburgh, July 2d and 3d, 1863.
THE SIXTEENTH REGIMENT
No part of this Regiment was recruited in Bennington County. It was mustered into service, Oct. 23, 1862, and out, Aug. 10, 1863. There was but one officer from the County, whose services were as follows:
IRA W. THOMAS
of Readsborough, age 22, 2d Lieut., Co. I, Sept., 20, 1862 ; resigned, Jan, 13 1863.
This Regiment was in the battle of Gettysburgh, July 2d and 3d, 1863.
The 17th Regiment was the latest corps of troops that was raised in the State for the suppression of the rebellion, the men being mustered by companies during the first half of the year 1864. Many of the officers and some of its men had served in the 9 months' regiments. The Regiment was mustered out, July 14, 1865.
THE ROSTER OF OFFICERS FROM
is as follows:
of Bennington, age 23, 2d Lieut., Co. F, Apr. 9 1864; Brevet Capt., July 6, 1864, for gallant and meritorious service in charge near Shand's house, Va.; killed in action, July 30, 1864. Captain's commission dated Nov. 1 1864.
CHARLES A. WATSON
of Dorset, age 19, private, Co. E, Mar. 15, 1864; Sergt., Apr. 12, 1864; wounded, June 26, 1864: 2d Lieut. July 10, 1865 ; mustered out as 1st Sergt., Co. E, July 14, 1865.
This Regiment was in thirteen engagements.
STAFF OFFICERS AT LRAGE.
The two officers named below though not reported by the Adjutant General, are believed to have served as follows:
GEORGE D. HARRINGTON
of Bennington, age __, entered the service as commissary of subsistence, May 3, 1862; promoted to rank of Major, Mar. 13, 1865, and on same date to Lieut., Col., July 24 1865; promoted to the rank of Colonel, – stationed most of the time at Camp Chase, Columbus, Ohio; discharged in the autumn of 1865. He died in Washington City, Mar. 13, 1879.
of Bennington, age 49, entered the service as Commissary of subsistence, with rank of Captain, Nov. 18, 1862; resigned after the close of the war June 1865.
NUMBER OF MEN FROM BENNINGTON COUNTY.
The following is a statement of the number of men furnished by each town of the County in answer to calls for troops from April 1861 to Sept, 30, 1865, and the United States enrollment of each town:
Arlington, 126 enrolled : furnished 129 surplus 3.
Bennington, 344 enrol'd: furnish'd 358 surplus 14.
Dorset, 121 enrolled: furnished 121
Glastenbury, 12 enrolled: furnished 12
Landgrove, 34 enrolled: furnished 34
Manchester, 150 enrol'd: furnish'd 156 surplus 6.
Peru, 43 enrolled: furnished 42 deficient 1.
Pownal, 109 enrolled: furnished 113 surplus 4.
Readsboro, 75 enrolled: furnished 78 surplus 3.
Rupert, 86 enrolled; furnished 92 surplus 6;
Sandgate, 57 enrolled: furnished 60 surplus 3.
Searsburg, 20 enrolled: furnished 20
Shaftsbury, 142 enrol'd: furnish'd 147 surplus 5.
Stamford, 53 enrolled: furnished 53.
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Sunderland, 51 enrolled: furnished 53 surplus 2.
Winhall, 73 enrolled: furnished 76 surplus 3.
Woodford, 29 enrolled: furnished 30 surplus 1.
Total: 1525 enrolled, furnished 1574 surplus 50 deficient 1, .
THE BATTLE OF BENNINGTON.
AUGUST 16, 1777.
BY HON HILAND HALL.
In the following account of the Battle of Bennington, only the leading facts are attempted to be given, numerous interesting and exciting incidents being necessarily omitted.
In order to have a just appreciation of the battle and its consequences, it is necessary to call to mind the condition of country and of the State at the time of its occurrence.
The campaign of 1776 in the Northern department had been disastrous to the American arms. After suffering severe losses our forces had been driven from Canada in great distress, and the enemy by the destruction of the American flotilla had obtained full command of the waters of Lake Champlain. Great numbers of troops were arriving at Quebec from Europe, and a fearful invasion was expected at the opening of the lake in the spring. To meet such an invasion extensive works had been erected at Ticonderoga, on which great reliance was placed. But they were defective in arrangement, and but partially manned, and on the approach of Gen. Burgoyne with a powerful army, Gen. St. Clair found they would be wholly untenable, and felt compelled to abandon them. The rear guard of his retreating army, under the command of Col. Seth Warner, was overtaken the next day, July 7, 1777, at Hubbardton, by a large body of the enemy, and after a brave resistance, during which many were killed and wounded on both sides, was overpowered by numbers and obliged to give way. The greater portion of St. Clair's force succeeded in forming a junction with Gen. Schuyler at Fort Edward, while the remnant of Colonel Warner's regiment, about 140 strong, took post at Manchester.
Burgoyne's army, numbering about 9,000 men was equipped and furnished with every war-like material that wealth and skill could supply, and consisted mostly of British and German veterans, with bodies of Canadians and tories, and a formidable horde of Indians. Its commander expected to make a triumphant march to Albany, there to be met by an army from New York, and thus by obtaining the control of the Hudson River, and cutting off New England from the other states, to complete the conquest of the country for the King. He had already issued a flaming proclamation, threatening destruction to the lives and property of all who should oppose him, but promising protection and security to those who should give him their adhesion, and offering payment "in solid coin" for all provisions that should be brought to his camp. On the 10th of July, having reached Skenesbough, (Whitehall) he issued another proclamation in which he directed "the inhabitants of Castleton, Hubbardton, Rutland, Tinmouth, Pawlet, Wells and Granville, with the neighboring districts; also the districts bordering on White Creek, (Salem) Camden, Cambridge, &c.," to
send ten persons or more from each township to meet Col. Skeene at Castleton on the 15th, who would communicate conditions upon which the persons and properties of the disobedient might yet be spared." The proclamation concluded with the following barbarous threat: "This fail not under the pain of military execution."
To a large portion of the frontier in habitants, Burgoyne's army appeared irresistable. If he should let loose his horde of savages upon them which in his first proclamation he said amounted to thousands, there would seem to be no escape for them. Great numbers from those towns, and some from towns still further to the south, repaired to Col. Skene and taking the oath of allegiance to the Crown, some from choice and some from supposed necessity, received written protections for their security. Of these many took up arms against their country and joined the invading army. But the more patriotic portion of the inhabitants scorning submission to the invaders, abandoned their homes to the mercy of the enemy, and taking with them such of their effects as they were able to transport fled to the south, some stopping in Bennington, but most of them going on to their friends in Berkhire Co. and Connecticut. Berkshire county in the language of a consemporary, 'was burdened with these fugitives.' Nearly all of the territory between Bennington and the route of Burgoyne towards the Hudson and Albany was thus made in effect an enemy's country, and Bennington became a frontier town.
Prior to the Revolution the territory of Vermont was known by the name of The New Hampshire Grants, over which the government of New York claimed jurisdiction and also the title of its lands. This claim was disputed by its inhabitants, who after a long and severe controversy, had by a convention of the deligates held at Westminster on the 17th of January, 1777, declared the territory an independent State. At the time of the evacuation of Ticonderoga by St. Clair a subsequent convention of the new State was in session at Windsor, engaged in the work of framing its new constitution of government ; and the abandonment of that post left the families of many of its members in immediate peril. At the news of this alarming event the constitution was somewhat hurriedly adopted, and having appointed a Council of Safety to manage the affairs of the State until the regular government could be put in operation, the convention adjourned.
The Council of Safety thus constituted met first at Mancheser, but soon adjourned to Bennington, where it continued in permanent session throughout the year, adopting and carrying into effect the most energetic measures for protecting the State against its foreign, as well as its domestic enemies. Pressing messages having been sent to New Hampshire and Massachusetts for aid, such of the militia as could be gathered were called out to strengthen the force of Col. Warner at Manchester, where an attack was apprehended. A permanent force to patrol the frontiers and to guard against any covert outbreak of the tories in their midst, was indispensable; and to provide means for maintaining such a force and to meet their other expenses in defending the State, the Council ordered the property of those of their inhabitants that had joined the enemy to be sequestered
16 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
and sold. A proper fund being thus secured, a regiment of Rangers was organized under the command of Col. Samuel Herrick, which did valuable service to the State and country.
New Hampshire responded nobly to the call of the Vermont Council. The Assembly at once ordered a large portion of their militia to be organized into a brigade and placed under the command of General John Stark. He had served with credit and honor in the previous French war and as Colonel at Bunker Hill, and in Canada, and under Washington at Trenton, and Princeton, but Congress had promoted junior officers over him, and he had resigned his commission and retired from the service, though he retained the same patriotic ardor as before, He was reluctant to be placed under officers he had outranked and there was also at the time a very general distrust in New England of Gen. Schuyler who was in command of the Northern department ; for which reasons General Stark's written instructions were of a discretionary character. He was directed "to repair to Charleston, No. 4 and when the troops were collected there "to take the command of them and march into the State of Vermont, and there act in conjunction with the troops of that State, or any other of the States, or of the United States, or seperatly, as it should appear expedient to him, for the protection of the people or the annoyance of the enemy."
Crossing the Green Mountain from Charleston with the greater part of his command, Stark reached Manchester on the 7th of August, where he met Gen. Lincoln, who had been sent from Stillwater by Gen. Schuyler to conduct his militia to the west bank of the Hudson. Stark communicated his instructions and declined obedience on the ground of the dangerous condition in which it would leave the people of Vermont, and because he believed Burgoyne would be more embarassed in his opertions by his remaining on his left, than by his joining the army in front. But for this refusal of Stark, which was founded on the soundest military view of the state of affairs, Bennington would have been in a measure defenceless, and would, doubtless, have fallen a prey to the enemy.
At Manchester, Stark found that a considerably large body of the enemy which for some time had been at Castleton, threatening Manchester and to cross over to Connecticut River, had marched to the Hudson. He, with his force, passed on to Bennington, where he arrived on the 9th. He was accompanied by Col. Warner, whose continental regiment was left at Manchester under the command of Lieut. Colonel Samuel Safford. At Bennington, Gen. Stark encamped for a few days, collecting information in regard to the position and the designs of the enemy, and consulting with the Council of Safety, and with Col. Warner relative to future operations.
The progress of Burgoyne towards Albany had been so retarded by the natural difficulties of the route, and the obstructions thrown in his way by the Americans, that it was nearly a month after his departure from Ticonderoga before he reached the Hudson River. Here he found himself so deficient in provisions, and also in cattle and carriages for transportation that he was much embarrassed about the means for advancing further. Learning that the articles he most needed had been col‑
lected at Bennington as a convenient depot to supply the American forces, he resolved to seize them for the use of his own army.
For this service Lieut. Col. Baume was selected. Burgoyne in his letter to the English Ministry states the force under his command to have consisted of 200 dismounted dragoons, "Captain Frazer's marksmen, (called, also, Rangers) which were the only British, all the Canadian vlounteers, a party of Provincials, (Col. Peter's corps of tories,) 100 Indians and two light pieces of cannon, the whole detachment amounting to about 500 men." There is no doubt this number is too small by several hundred. The German official accounts give the number of the troops of Baume at 374 instead of 200 ; and of the British, Canadians and Tories, the prisoners taken in the action, amounted to 230, as will be seen hereafter, which would swell Baume's force to over 600, without rckoning those who were killed in battle and the many who escaped by flight. There can be little doubt that the number of men brought into action by Baume exceeded 700, besides his 100 Indians. Col. Skene, at the request of Burgoyne, had accompanied the expedition that the German Commander might have the benifit of his better knowlege of the country and of his supposed influence with its people.
PREPARING FOR THE BATTLE.
Baume set off with his force on the 13th of August, and arrived the same day at Cambridge, 16 miles from Bennington. Early the next morning, he reached Sancoick, a small settlement near the mouth of the White Creek branch of the Walloomsac river, about half a mile below the present village of North Hoosick. Here he found a party of Americans in possession of a mill which they abandond on his approach, and in the mill, on the head of a barrel, he wrote Burgoyne an account of his progress, informing him that "by five prisoners taken here they agree that 1500 to 1800 men are at Bennington, but are supposed to leave at our approach."
They did leave on his approach, but not in the direction he had anticipated. The old mill at Sancoick is still standing and in use by John Burke, the present owner, and is about 8 miles from Bennington.
Gen. Stark on the 13th had received information from scouts that a party of Indians were at Cambridge, and he sent Lieut Col. Gregg of his brigade with 200 men to stop their progress, but during the night, he was advised that a large body of troops with artillery were in the rear of the Indians and that they were advancing towards Bennington. He immediately sent to Manchester for Col. Warner's continental regiment, and also for the neighboring militia to rally to his support.
On the morning of the 14th he assembled his brigade, and in company with Cols. Warner, Williams, Herrick and Brush went out to meet the enemy. He had marched about five miles when he met Gregg on his retreat from Sancoick and the enemy in close pursuit. Stark drew up his men in order of battle, but Baume halted in a commanding position, and the ground occupied by Stark, being unfavorable for a general attack, he fell back about a mile and encamped. His encampment was in the north-west part of Bennington, on the farm formerly owned
by Paul M. Henry, on the Hill, upon which a dwelling has lately been erected by Lewis Northouse, the present proprietor.
The Walloomsac river is a branch of the Hoosick, fordable in most places, having in general a westerly course, but which after passing Stark's encampment runs in a northern direction for half a mile, then westerly for a mile and a half, where it turns suddenly to the south and pursues that course for three-quarters of a mile or more. Here on the west side of the river, Baume halted and made his arrangements for defense. On the top of a thickly wooded hill which rises abruptly three or four hundred feet from the west bank of the stream, he posted the greater part of his Germans under his own immediate command. This position was west of the sudden bend in the stream, and Baume's front to the east was well secured against an attack by the precipitous ascent of the hill on, that side, which impracticable ascent extended from his camp for half a mile along the bank of the river to the bridge at the southern foot of the hill, over which the road from Bennington to Sancoick, and Cambridge passed. On the top of this hill Baume prepared entrenchments of earth and logs to resist attacks from the west and on his flanks.
For the defense of the important pass at the bridge, Baume caused a strong breast-work to be thrown up on the high bank of the river, on which was mounted one of his cannon, in charge of a body of German Grenadiers. Two small breast works were also erected on opposite sides of the road, near the west end of the bridge which were manned by Frazer's marksmen; and the position was still furtherstrengthened by posting all the Canadians in log huts which were standing near the bridge on both sides of the river. This point is where the river is now crossed by the covered railroad bridge, about three miles from North Bennington on the route to Troy.
Baume on his way from the Hudson, and at his encampment had been joined by a considerable number of tories, many of them under the lead of Col. Francis Pfister, a half pay British officer of wealth and extensive influence who occupied an imposing residence erected by him on the west bank of the Hoosick, near what is now known as Hoosick Corners. These with most of Peter's corps of loyalists were posted on a hill east of the stream 40 or 50 rods to the south-east of the bridge.
Here, strong works of defense were erected, known as the "Tory Breastwork," and of which Col. Pfister is understood to have been placed in command. On its right was a sharp ravine and both flanks would have the protection of ball and grape from the cannon at the bridge. The other cannon in charge of German grenadiers, supported by some tories, appears to have been placed further to the west in a cleared field near the road. It was on a hillside which overlooked and commanded the approaches to the bridge and to the tory encampment, and also to the south flank of Baume's encampment. It may have been moved nearer to Baume's position during the engagement. (The several positions of Baume's forces are shown by the plan in Burgoyne's account of his expedition, of which a copy on a reduced scale is given in the "Memorials of a Century by the Rev. Isaac Jennings, and another still smaller is found
in Lossing's Field Book of the Revolulution. The top of the map is west and upon it the tories are designated as "American Volunteers," the British marksmen as "Rangers," the Americans as "Bodies of the enemy." All others except the "Canadians," are Germans, the"Chasseures" being German marksmen. On Burgoyne's map the Walloomsac is called the Hoosick.) The encampments of the two hostile bodies, though little more than two miles apart were entirely hidden from the sight of each other by a heavily wooded, intervening hill.
The force under General Stark was composed of the greater part of his brigade of New Hampshire militia, a small number of Vermont militia from the east side of the mountain, under Col. William Williams, who had been stationed at Manchester, Col. Herrick's corps of Rangers then forming, the State militia from Bennington and its vicinity under Col. Nathaniel Brush, and on the morning of the 16th Stark was joined by Col. Simonds and some militia from Berkshire County (Mass.) His whole force might perhaps have numbered about 1600.
On the night of the 14th after ascertaining the position of the enemy, Stark called a council, consisting of the leading members of the Council of Safety as well as of Cols. Warner and Herrick and other military officers, in which a plan for attacking the enemy was discussed and adopted, and it was agreed that the attack should be made the next morning. But the 15th was so excessively rainy as to prevent any attempt at a general action. Scouts were however sent out some of which were engaged in successful skirmishes.
The morning of the 16th was bright and clear and Stark prepared for the attack in accordance with the plan previously agreed upon. Col. Nichols with 200 of the New Hampshire troops, to which a reinforcement of 100 was afterward added, was detached to make a wide circuit to the north of Baume's post, and come round upon the rear of his left, and Col, Herrick with 300 men, composed of his Rangers and Col. Brush's militia, was to make a like wide southern circuit to the rear of his right, the two parties to meet and make a joint attack upon his entrenchments. Cols. Hubbard and Stickney with 300 men of Stark's brigade, were ordered to the enemy's extreme right. While these three detachments were gaining their assigned positions, the enemy was amused by a threatened attack on his front.
About three o'clock in the afternoon firing was commenced by the party under Nichol's which was the signal for a general assault. It was immediately followed by the detachment under Herrick, and by that of Hubbard and Stickney, while Stark, himself with his reserve of New Hampshire men and the Berkshire and some Vermont miltia, in the face of the enemy's cannon, assailed the Tory breast-work and the pass at the bridge in front. The engagement thus became general and "lasted" says Stark in his report to Gates, "two hours, and was the hottest, I ever saw — it represented one continued clap of thunder." The Indians alarmed at the prospect of being enclosed between the parties of Nichols and Herrick, fled at the beginning of the fight, but Baume with his Germans and all others under his command, having the
20 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
advantage of their position behind entrenchments, which the rain of the 15th had given them ample time to erect and make strong, fought with great resolution and bravery, but they were overpowered by their militia assailants and either fled or surrendered prisoners of war.
The battle being ended and the prisoners sent off to Bennington under a proper guard, the militia dispersed to look over the field and collect plunder, but very soon intelligence was brought that a large, additional force from the British army was approaching, and within the distance of two miles. This body of men was under the command of Col. Breyman and consisted, besides 22 officers of 620 rank and file, all Germans, with two pieces of cannon, which Burgoyne on hearing that the force at Bennington was greater than had been expected, had dispatched to reinforce Baume. The rain of the preceding day and the heaviness of the roads had delayed Breyman's arrival until the victory over the men he had been sent to aid had been accomplished. The victors were however in great confusion, and it appeared difficult to stop the progress of the new enemy. Happily at this juncture, Warner's regiment of about 140 men which had been delayed by the rain, in its march from Manchester, came up fresh under Lieut. Cob Safford and took its position in front, serving as a rallying point for the scattered militia. Breyman advanced with his two brass field pieces up the road with wings of infantry on each side of it, occasionly firing his cannon to clear the way, the Americans slowly retiring before him. When a considerable body of the militia had been collected a stand was made (about 40 or 50 rods east of the present Walloomsac depot) and Breyman's force brought to a halt. Here he was attacked in front and flanks, a most deadly fire being poured into his ranks from a wooded hill on his left. The action was very severe and continued till after sunset, when many of Breyman's men being killed and wounded and his artillery horses shot down, he abandoned his cannon and fled. Gen. Stark pursued his flying forces till the approaching darkness rendered it necessary to draw off his men to prevent their firing upon each other. "With one hour more of daylight," says Stark in his official report, "we should have captured the whole body."
EFFECTS OF THE BATTLE.
Among the trophies of this day's victories, were four brass field pieces, twelve brass drums, 250 sabres, four ammunition wagons, several hundred stand of arms, and 658 prisoners, and 207 were left dead on the field. The whole loss of the enemy could not have been much less than 900 men. Some of the contemporaneous accounts make the number still larger. Of the prisoners, 30 of them were officers, 37 British soldiers, 398 Hessians, 38 Canadians, and 155 tories. Col. Baume was mortally wounded and taken prisoner as was also Col. Pfister, the commander of the tory entrenchment. Both were taken about a mile to a house in the town of Shaftsbury, which a few years ago was still standing opposite the present paper mill of Charles R. Welling, known as 'the Baume house,' in which they both died within a day or two afterwards.
The loss of the Americans in both engagements was about 30 killed and 40 wounded.
This victory, in which undisciplined husbandmen with their hunting guns without bayonets, bravely stormed entrenchments manned by regular troops and defended by cannon, is justly styled by Bancroft as "one of the most briliant and eventful of the war." The loss of the enemy in men and material was severely felt. But the consequences were otherwise still more important. — By inspiring confidence on the one side, and depressing the spirits of the other, the current of succeses was at once turned from the British to the American arms.
The fate of Burgoyne and his army was in effect sealed at Bennington, and his final capture well assured. General Washington, on being informed of the event, considered it as deciding the fate of Burgoyne, and dismissed all anxiety about his invasion. Its effect upon the enemy was most disheartening. — Madame Riedesel, wife of the commanding general of the German troops who accompanied her husband through the campaign, says in her memoirs, that by Baume's failure "the army was prevented from advancing, while the enemy, recovering suddenly from depression, increased their numbers daily." — Burgoyne, himself, though he struggled on for a few weeks longer, was evidently disheartened. Four days after Baume's defeat, after preparing a disspatch to the British minister for the public ear, he wrote him another letter marked Private, dated "Camp near Saratoga, Aug. 20. 1777," in which he gave quite a gloomy account of his affairs, treating the failure of the expedition to Bennington as his great misfortune, in which he says of it, that, "Had I succeeded, I should have formed a junction with St. Leger and been now before Albany." After speaking disparagingly of the tories, he says: "The great bulk of the country is undoubtedly with the Congress," and of the Vermonters, he bitterly adds, "the Hampshire Grants in particular, a country unpeopled and almost unknown in the last war, now abounds in the most active and most rebellious race on the continent, and hangs like a gathering storm on my left."
To General Stark should be assigned the highest meed of praise for the victory; but he was nobly aided by the skill and valor of both his officers and men, and they are all with him entitled to the lasting gratitude of their country. Of his officers, Col. Warner is undoubtedly entitled to special credit. Warner was a colonel in the Continental army, had acquired a high reputation as a military leader, by his services in Canada and at Hubbardton, and he had long been a resident of Bennington and was familiarly acquainted with the ground occupied by the posts of the enemy and their approaches. He was Stark's chief adviser in planning the attack on the enemy, he went into the action by his side and was his active associate in the first engagement, as well as in repelling the attack of Breyman's reinforcement. Dr. Thacher in his contemporary Military Journal says "Stark assisted by Warner matured his plans for the battle." and Stark, himself in his letter to Gates after speaking in the highest terms of the daring bravery of the officers and soldiers under his command says, "Col. Warner's superior skill in the action was of extraordinary service to me." Gordon also in his history speaks highly of the services of Col. Warner and those of Col. Herrick of the Vermont Rangers. Other officers and men deserve notice for their meritorious exertions in gaining
22 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
the victory, but the space allowed for this article will not permit it. There are also numerous interesting incidents connected with the battle that must for the like reason be omitted. It has been only possable to give the leading facts.
General Stark from his arrival at Manchester acted in concert with the Vermont Council of Safety and received their earnest countenance and support in all his movements which were duly appreciated by him as is shown by a publication in the Connecticut "Courant" over his own signature in which he passed on the Council a high eulogium for their patriotic exertions and services.
When the Congress at Philadephia was informed of Gen. Stark's declining to move his force from Manchester to the west side of the Hudson, as before mentioned, a resolve was passed disapproving of it. But after the wisdom of his conduct in that respect had been demonstrated by his victory and its fortunate effect on the campaign, they came tardily to the determination to do him full justice by approving his patriotic services and restoring him to his merited rank in the army.
On the 4th day of October, 1777, Congress unanimously passed the following resolution:
"RESOLVED: That the thanks of Congress be presented to Gen. Stark of The New Hampshire Militia, and the Officers and troops under his command, for their brave and successful attack upon, and signal victory over the Enemy in their lines at Bennington; and that Brigadier Stark be appointed Brigadier General in the Army of the United States."
Two weeks after the passage of this resolution by Congress, on the 17th of October, the event, which Stark's Victory at Bennington had clearly foreshadowed, and made certain, — was accomplished by the surrender of Burgoyne and his army as prisoners of war, to the American forces at Saratoga.
OLD CATAMOUNT TAVERN
AT BENNINGTON, VT.
On the 30th of March 1871, the old "Catamount Tavern" House, — which had long been the most notable relic of early times in the Centre Village of Bennington, Vermont, was burnt to the ground. It had been unoccupied for a short time and the origin of the fire is unknown. The house which was in a tolerable state of preservation, had been built over a hundred years; having been erected by Captain Stephen Fay, a year or two prior to 1770. It was a wooden building, about 44 feet by 34, two stories high, having two high chimneys with high fire-places in each story, besides which, there was a very large fire-place in the cellar or basement, part of which was used as a wash-room, and cook-room as occasion required.
The two chimneys are now standing, (Autumn of 1871) exhibiting their spacious fire-places with heavy, iron cranes in those of the lower story and basement. On the marble mantle of one of the fire-places the words "COUNCIL ROOM," appear, cut there in early times.
On the top of the high sign-post before the front door, was placed the stuffed skin of a catamount, from which came the name of the house, though in early days, it was in accordance with the custom of the time more gen‑
On the top of the high sign-post before the front door, was placed the stuffed skin of a catamount from which came the name of the house, though in early days, it was in accordance with the custom of the time, more generally called Landlord Fay's. — page 22.
The tall sign-post was 25 feet from the ground; the catamount on the top, stood with large teeth grinning towards New York. — page 25.
erally spoken of as "Landlord Fay's."
During the period of the early settlement of the State, the house was a great resort for travelers and emigrants, and it was also widely known as the Head Quarters of the settlers in their contest with the New York land claimants. It was the home of Ethan Allen for several years from 1770, when he first came to the "New Hampshire Grants," as Vermont was then called.
The settlers held their lands under grants from New Hampshire, to which the territory was supposed to belong; but in 1764, the King, by an order in Council placed them under the jurisdiction of New York. Whereupon the Govenor of that Province declared their titles to be void, and regranted their lands to speculators, who recovered judgement in the New York courts against the settlers, and sent their sheriffs and posses to execute them, who were resisted by the occupants and forcibly prevented from obtaining possession. This controversy raged for years, and the settlers appointed committees of safety before whom offenders against the integrity of their titles, styled "Yorkers," were brought for trial. On conviction they were variously punished, sometimes by banishment from the territory, and sometimes by whipping on the naked back, a mode of punishment for crime then in common use throughout the country. The latter punishment in allusion to the great seal of the Govenor of New Hampshire, affixed to their charter titles, and to the instrument with which it was commonly inflicted, the settlers humorously called "the application of the beach seal."
Another mode of punishment was devised for one offender, residing within their own limits: One Dr. Samuel Adams of Arlington, who had held his lands under a New Hampshire charter, suddenly became an open advocate of the New York title, advising his neighbors to purchase it. This tended to weaken the opposition to New York by producing division among the settlers, and he was repeatedly warned to desist from such discourse, but he persisted in his offensive language, and arming himself with pistols and other weapons threatened death to any one who should molest him. What followed is related in the language of a contemporary: The Doctor was soon taken by surprise and carried (15 miles) to the Green Mountain (Landlord Fay's) tavern, at Bennington, where the committee heard his defense, and then ordered him to be tied in an armchair and hoisted up to the sign — (a catamount skin stuffed, sitting upon the sign-post, 25 feet from the ground, with large teeth, looking and grinning toward New York) and there to hang two hours in sight of the people, as a punishment merited by his enmity to the rights and liberty of the inhabitants of the New Hampshire Grants. The judgement was executed to the no small merriment of a large concourse of the people.
The Doctor was let down and dismissed by the committee with an admonition to go and sin no more. The mild and exemplary disgrace had a salutary effect on the Doctor and many others." Dr. Adams, on Burgoyne's invasion, became a violent tory and fled to Canada, from which he never returned.
When Sir Wm. Tryon, Govenor of New York in 1771, issued a proclamation offering a reward of £20 each for the apprehension of Ethan Allen,
26 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Remember Baker, and Robert Cochran for their riotous opposition to the New York government, they retaliated by publishing over their names a counter proclamation offering a reward of £15 for James Duane and £10 for John Kemp, their two leading land-claiming antagonists, styling them "those common disturbers of the public peace," the rewards so made payable on their being brought to "Landlord Fay's at Bennington.
The following is a copy of the proclamation:
£25 REWARD !
Whereas James Duane and John Kemp of New York, have by their menaces and threats greatly disturbed the public peace and repose of the honest peasants of Bennington, and the settlements to the northward, which peasants are now and ever have been in the peace of God and the King, and patriotic and liege subjects of George III. Any person that will apprehend those common disturbers, viz: James Duane, and John Kemp, and bring them to Landlord Fay's at Bennington, shall have £15 reward for James Duane and £ 10 for John Kemp, paid by
Feb'y 5, 1772.
Colonel Ethan Allen was sojourning at the "Catamount Tavern" in the spring of 1775 and from the "Council Room" of that house went forth his order of May 3d, for mustering the Green Mountain Boys for the capture of Ticonderoga, which was effected seven days afterwards "in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress."
In this noted tavern house, sat the Vermont Council of Safery during the trying campaign of 1777, guiding and directing the patriotic exertions of the Green Mountain Boys to stem the torrent of Burgoyne's invasion ; and here also, Stark and Warner, with the aid of the Council, planned the famous attack on Baume's entrenchments, where was won the brilliant victory of Bennington, which turned the current of success from the British to the American arms and was followed in a few weeks [as told in the preceding pages,] by the capture of Burgoyne and his army at Saratoga.
Captain Fay, the proprietor of the house had five sons in the battle of Bennington, one of whom was killed. On being told that one of his sons had fallen in the fight, the venerable patriot through his deep grirf "thanked God that he had a son that was willing to die for his country."
Here in 1778 was tried and condemned one David Redding, a traitor and spy ; and in a field in front of the house a gallows had been erected and a great crowd had assembled to see him executed. But on the morning fixed for the execution, the Govenor and Council granted him a reprieve for one week, for the reason that he had been tried by a jury of six, while by the common law there ought to have been twelve. The multitude, who had as well as the six jurors condemned the traitor, were clamorous at their disapointment, and violence was seriously apprehended, whereupon Col. Ethan Allen, who had just returned from his long English captivity mounted a stump and waving his hat and exclaiming: "Attention, the whole! — proceeded to announce the reasons which produced the reprieve ; advised the multitude to
At this fireside, sat, Ethan Allen, the night before he sent forth his summons for the Green Mountain Boys to muster for the capture of Ticonderoga. page 26.
depart peaceably to their habitations, and to return on the day fixed by the Govenor and Council, adding with an oath., "You shall see somebody hung at all events, for if Redding is not then hung, I will be hung myself!" Upon which the uproar ceased and the crowd dispersed. Redding being again tried and convicted by a jury of twelve was hung on the day to which his reprieve had been granted, in accordance with Allen's prediction.
The children of Captain Fay were numerous and respectable, and several of them have been prominent in the affairs of the State of Vermont. He died in 1781, and the house, not many years afterwards became a private dwelling for two of his sons, in succession, then for a grandson, and then finally for a great-grandson, John Fay, Esq. who died Feb. 25, 1856.
BENNINGTON — HISTORICAL.
ANNALS OF POST-OFFICE, COURT-HOUSE
AND VILLAGE STRIFES IN THE TOWN OF
BENNINGTON FROM 1784 TO 1884.
The old Village of Bennington, like many others in New England was built on high ground. The north and south road through the State passed over it, which in few years became a thorough fare for much travel between Connecticut and western Massachusetts and the new lands to the northward. The summit of the hill at the north end of the village was 100 feet higher than the more level land at the other end. Its two extremities were about three quarters of a mile apart and were hidden from each other by the southern brow of the upper hill, from which there was a steep descent to a slight valley before reaching the other end of the village. That this village had two ends should be borne in mind, as many of the occurrences to be mentioned hereafter will be found to hinge in some degree on that fact. These two ends or parts were in common language distinguished from each other as the "Up-hill" and "Down-hill."
The road from Albany, leading to and across the Green Mountain ran through the lower part of the village, but was very little used until sometime in the present century when it gradually became a through route from Albany to Boston and other places east of the mountains on which road, as well as that to the northward, well patronized stages were run.
was built in the lower part of the village, about 1765, and in 1780, an academy building, called
was erected on the present site of the meeting-house, in which a successful high school was kept until it was burnt in 1803.
In 1781, when a building for
COURT-HOUSE AND JAIL
was required, it had been erected on the summit of the hill near the present residence of A. M. Huling.
In 1783, Anthony Haswell came from Massachusetts and began the publication of the
on the Upper-hill, and for many years it was the only newspaper printed in the State on the west side of the mountain. Its publication was continued weekly, with brief interruptions, nearly all the time by Mr. Haswell or some of his descendants until about 1850 when
30 THE VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
it was discontinued. For a few months in 1797, the paper took the name of the "Tablet of the Times," in 1806, that of the "Epitome of the World," and afterwards from 1808 to 1816, that of the "Green Mountain Farmer," when it resumed its first name, under which it was continued until it ceased to exist, as before stated.
From 1777 to 1791, Vermont exercised full authority in its civil affairs as an independent State, being unacknowledged, both by the other states and the Continental Congress. In 1784, its Legislature passed an act establishing
FIVE POST-OFFICES IN THE STATE,
viz: at Bennington, Rutland, Brattleboro, Windsor aad Newbury, allowing post-riders three pence per mile for travel between Bennington and Brattleboro and two pence on the other routes. They were to account to the postmasters and to be paid from postages and their other receipts. They distributed the Bennington and the Windsor newspapers to their subscribers along the routes they traveled. Under this act
was commissioned postmaster general by Gov. Thomas Chittenden, Mar. 10, 1784, and it is probable that
who was partner of Mr. Haswell in the publication of the Gazette, acted as the Bennington postmaster. He was appointed to that office on the admission of the State into the Union, and held it from Aug. 25, 1791 till 1797, when under the presidency of the elder Adams he was appointed collector of customs for the district of Vermont and he then removed to Burlington. He was succeeded as postmaster by
MICAH J. LYMAN,
father of our late deacon, George Lyman, and held the office from October 1, 1797 till 1808. The post-office was kept in the printing office by Mr. Russell, and by Dr. Lyman in his drug‑store next south the residence of the late John S. Robinson, on the upper hill.
Each section of Bennington Village had its hotels, and merchants' stores, and mechanics' shops ; the two sections not unnaturally came in competition with each other in business and for public favor. Was there ever a village whose two ends did not? This rivalry sometimes produced unpleasant feelings and sharp controversies, and it became not the less active when it was found, during the presidency of John Adams, that the men of the two sections were in general of opposite parties in polities.
UP-HILL AND DOWN HILL POLITICS.
Nearly all of the Down-hill people, among whom were the Dewey's the Swifts and Tichenors, were Federalists, while those of Upper-hill, comprising the Robinsons, the Fays, Haswells and others, were ante-Federalists and friends of Mr. Jefferson, who was soon to become president. They took upon themselves the name of Republicans, disclaiming that of Democrats, which from the excesses that had recently been committed under it during the French Revolution, was unpopular, not to say odious.
The Federalists however dubbed the Republicans with the name of Democrats by way of reproach, and the Republicans retorted by calling them aristocrats and monarchists.
In order to a proper understanding of the various changes that have taken place in our postmasters, and in their
movements from place to place, some preliminary statement of the party relations of the men of the town with the different administrations of the general government, seems necessary. — Mr. Tichenor, a native of New Jersey, whose courtly manners and fascinating conversation had acquired for him the familiar title of the "Jersey sleek," and whose great personal popularity had enabled him to obtain ten successive elections of govenor, up to the year 1808, while the other State officers were generally chosen by the Republicans, and also a majority of the legislature, was the acknowledged leader of the Federalists ; while Jonathan Robinson, who was chief judge of the supreme court from 1801 to 1808, and was then chosen a senator in Congress to fill a vacancy and held the office by another election till 1815, occupied a like leadership of the Repblicans. He and Govenor Tichenor were both able men and shrewd politicians, and each of them exercised an important, and frequently, a controlling influence over their respective parties throughout the State. Judge Robinson being senator during President Madison's administration and having his friendly confidence, had the principal control of his patronage throughout the State, which was quite large during the three years war with England that terminated in 1815.
From 1808 to 1813, the Republicans were generally in a majority in the town, and were able to choose members of that party to the assembly though the elections were often very spirited and close. But during the war with England when the times were hard and taxes high, the Federal candidates were chosen, and at the election in 1813 and 1814 the Federal Govenor and other state officers were also elected. The Legislature of 1814, also chose Govenor Tichenor United States Senator to succeed Judge Robinson.
On the return of peace with England the Federalists, from the alledged unpatriotic conduct of their prominent leaders during the war, became very unpopular. The Federalists, in fact ceased to exist as a national party after 1816, and the old party lines soon became so obliterated in most, if not, all the states, that the period of some eight or ten years from that date has not inappropriately been styled 'The era of good feeling.' Mr. Monroe, who succeeded Mr. Madison, was the only candidate for the presidency for his second term in 1820, and received all the votes of the electors of all the states, with the exception of one vote out of the seven from New Hampshire, which single vote was cast by a crotchety elector for John Quincy Adams. — At the next presidential election in 1824 there were four candidates, all Republicans: John Quincy Adams, Wm. H. Crawford, Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay, when their being no choice by the electors, Mr. Adams was chosen by the House of Representatives. Mr. Adams had been supported by the Republicans of Vermont, including those of Bennington. Prior to the next presidential election most of the friends of Crawford and Jackson united with others in oposition to the administration of Mr. Adams, claiming for themselves the name of the Democratic party and the the supporters of Mr. Adams took for themselves that of the National Republican party, for which a few years afterwards that of the Whig party was substituted. The Democratic party thus formed has continued to the present time. In 1828, Jackson, the candidate
32 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
of that party was elected president over Adams, Vermont choosing electors, who voted again for Adams. The State, and also the town and county were almost unanimous for Adams; but the Gazette, representing most of the old Republicans of Bennington Hill occupied a hesitating position in regard to the two candidates with an evident leaning in favor of Jackson. After his election it gave his administration its active support, and ever afterwards its like support to the Democratic party. In 1832, Jackson was again elected president and in 1836. Martin Van Buren, both by the Democratic party, but in 1840, Gen. Harrison, the Whig candidate, was chosen over Mr. Van Buren.
This statement of the names and political positions of the presidents seems necessary to a proper understanding of the questions arising in regard to the appointments of the several postmasters in the town and the location of the post-offices. From this it will be seen that the old Republicans of the Upper Hill, having been continually in political accord with all the presidents from Jefferson in 1801 to Harrison in 1841, would naturally exercise the control in the selection of postmasters and in determining the places where the office should be kept.
Micah J. Lyman, who was a Federalist, had held the office of Bennington postmaster from 1797 until Nov. 20, 1808, when he was succeeded by Orsamus C. Merrill, a Republican. Mr. Merrill was son-in-law of Senator Robinson and he held the office until he became a Lieut. Colonel in the army in 1813, when William Haswell was appointed his successor. The office had been kept by Mr. Merrill for most of his time in a room south of and adjoining the State Arms tavern, opposite the Court House.
Mr. Haswell held the office over 20 years, from June 6, 1813, to Nov. 1, 1833, keeping it the greatest part of the time at different places on the Hill in the vicinity of the Court House. — During the latter portion of his term of office the increase of other parts of the town had tended to weaken the Upper Hill as its convenient business centre and to favor the claims of the Lower Hill and of the people to the eastward of it.
BENNINGTON BANK — 1828.
In 1828, these claims were partially recognized by the erection of the building for the then recently chartered bank about mid-way between the two ends of the Old Village. The building is still standing on the brow of the Upper Hill over-looking the Down Hill portion and is on the upper corner of the side road that leads towards the northeast part of the town, opposite the house of Gen. David Robinson, now that of his grandson, Geo W. Robinson.
NORTH BENNINGTON POST-OFICE.
During the same year ( 1828, ) a new post-office had been established at North Bennington, which supplied a portion of the north-west part of the town with mail facilities and withdrew some business from the main office.
There had also been growing up for several years a new village
in the valley, from one to two miles east of the old Centre meeting-house, and its people and others living farther to the eastward were beginning to complain that they were required to go
up the steep meeting-house hill and half a mile up another hard hill to obtain their mail matter, when they insisted that more than half the revenue of the office came from them. Mr. Haswell doubtless felt the force of this claim, for in 1830, he had a small building erected on the lower corner of the before mentioned side road, south of and opposite the bank, thus somewhat shortening the distance of travel for the lower hill and the eastern people. In this building, Mr. Haswell kept the office for the remainder of his term, having a young man, Asahel Hyde, since a successful business man at St. Albans, for his intelligent and gentlemanly clerk.
In November 1833, Henry Kellogg succeeded Mr. Haswell as postmaster, and he held the office until the spring of 1841, for over seven years. He continued to keep the office for several years in the same building in which it had been left by Mr. Haswell, where a youth then pursuing his studies, Edwin H. Chapin, was his genial and scholarly clerk, and who was afterwards the Rev. Dr. Chapin, the distinguished pulpit orator, who died in New York City, Dec. 26, 1880, at the age of 66.
EAST BENNINGTON POST-OFFICE.
The efforts of the East Village people to have the post-office brought nearer to them continued to increase with their population, and the mail contractors on the Albany and Brattleboro route complained of the unnecessary delay and hardship of being compelled to drive their stages away from their route up a heavy hill in order to deliver and receive their mails : and by the year 1839, the pressure became too strong to be longer resisted, and the office was removed down the hill to the Scott store where it was kept for the residue of Mr Kellogg's term. Whether this removal was made by special order of the department, or by leave asked by Mr. Kellogg, has not been ascertained.
General Harrison having been elected president over Mr. Van Buren, was inaugurated Mar. 4, 1841, but died the 4th of April, following, being in office but a single mouth, and was succeeded by John Tyler, the Vice President. though the Whigs had been accustomed to declaim against ''the spoils system of removing minor officers on the change of administrations, which had been first put in active operation by the Democrats, on the accession of President Jackson yet they were generally quite willing when opportunity offered to follow the example of their opponents. In accordance with this system, David Love became post-master, May 8, 1841, and held the office until the winter of 1843, when he was succeeded by John C. Haswell. Mr. Love kept the office during his term in the Scott store. There was no objection to Mr. Love or Mr. Kellogg as postmasters, other than that each of them when removed was charged with the offense of belonging to the wrong political party. The practice of changing the minor officers of the government on the access of a new administration, though often condemned as fraught with many great evils has been continued to the present time (Feb. 1883.) An attempt has recently been made by an act of Congress to correct the demoralizing effects of the scramble for office under this "spoils system," and to ensure appointments of the minor officers in the departments at Washington and in other large public offices of the country without reference to their politics, but with sole regard to
34 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
fitness. Whether it will be successful can best be determined by experiment.
Mr. Tyler had not been long in office before he became flattered with the idea that if he should abandon the party that had elected him and oppose its measures, he could by the use of his government patronage, with the aid of the Democrats, form for himself a personal party that would nominate and elect him to the presidency for another term.
The "State Banner," which was founded as a Whig paper and was published in Bennington. (East village) did not follow Tyler in his revolt, but adhered to the mass of the Whigs of whom Henry Clay and others were the prominent leaders. But John C. Haswell, the publisher of the Gazette, in common with other Democratic editors, readily gave him aid in his hostilities to the Whig party, and Mr Haswell by his active efforts with his paper in that direction, so ingratiated himself into the favor of his administration, he had little difficulty in obtaining the office of post-master in the place of Mr. Love, whom he succeeded Feb. 3, 1843.
Soon after he became postmaster, Mr. Haswell found he could obtain a more lucrative position in the general post-office at Washington and went to that city, leaving the Bennington office in the care of Edward Rice, who became post-master, July 12, 1844, and served till Feb. 23, 1847, when he resigned and was succeeded by Mr. Haswell who again became postmaster.
When Mr. Haswell had been first appointed post-master, he had purchased the Hall and Southworth law office, which stood on the side hill just above the residence of the late A. B. Gardner and during his time kept the office there. In the fall of 1841, the new road which entered the Centre Village from the East Village, north of the Truman Squire house, had been opened which made it much easier for travel than the steep, old road by the meeting-house, and rendered the side hill office quite as convenient for the East Village people as the Scott store, and it became still more convenient when Mr. Rice caused the building to be drawn down the hill to the corner of the new road, opposite the Squire house, which he did soon after his appointment.
A few months before Mr. Rice left the post-office, the rivalry between the East Village and the Old Village which had continually been growing warmer, was suddenly brought to a high fever heat. The first Court House which had been built at an early day on the Upper Hill, had been destroyed by fire in May 1809, and a second one that had been erected near the site of the former one was now, Oct. 28, 1846, also burned to the ground.
The East Village had been on a steady increase for quite a number of years, while the Old Village, at the best, could only be said to he at a stand-still. Ten years prior to 1846, four new churches had been organized in the East Village, viz: a Baptist, an Episcopal, a Congregationalist and Methodist, each of which had erected substantial church buildings. New streets were opened and occupied by dwellings, stores, shops, iron foundries and manufacturing and mechanical works of various kinds moved by water-power, until the now village had become more than double in population and business to that of the old. There was also an unmistakable tendency towards a continued increase of the new village and
a decrease of the old. Under these circumstances it was to be expected that an earnest and persistent effort would be made for the erection of the Court House in the New Village. In order to determine the place where the new county buildings should be erected, application was made to the Legislature then in session, and by an act of Nov. 2d, 1846, after providing for a tax for erecting the buildings, Ebenezer N. Briggs of Brandon, Abishai Stoddard of Grafton and Caleb B. Harrington of Middletown were constituted a committee to designate the place where it should be built. The committee met in the town the January following and spent several days there, during which time there was an abundance of button-holing and feasting of the committee and also a public hearing of the claimants in the old Centre meeting-house, which was crowded with anxious listeners, the claims of the East Village being advocated by A. P. Lyman and Wm. Southworth, and that of the Upper, or in default of, that of the Lower Hill by John S. Robinson and Pierpoint Isham. But contrary to the hopes and expectations of the New Village, the majority of the committee against the opinion of Mr. Stoddard, decided in favor of the Old Village and directed that the buildings should be erected to the north of the old meeting-house between the north-west corner of the old burying ground and the house of the late Truman Squire. Thus the Court House was anchored where if not then quite out of place, was sure to be so very soon.
During the period in which J. C. Haswell under his first appointment and Mr. Rice were postmasters, a new office had been provided for the East Village by the name of East Bennington of which Gen. Henry Robinson was appointed postmaster, Jan. 13, 1844, but which was discontinued May 28, 1846, for the alleged reason that it was nearer the main office than the regulations of the department allowed. — He is said to have kept the office a part of the time in a small building near the store of Wills and Fairbanks and a part of the time in that store, now known as the Godfrey store. When Mr. Haswell left Bennington for Washington as above stated, he sold his printing material to one of his brothers and Mr. Bushnell, by whom under the firm of Haswell and Bushnell the Gazette was published until February, 1847, when he returned to Bennington and became the owner again of the printing establishment. On the 23d of that month, he was appointed postmaster as Mr Rice's successor, and very soon after removed the press and Gazette from the Hill to the East Village. Mr. Haswell soon after, either in March or April, supposing that he had authority from Washington through Mr. Brown, the assistant postmaster general, to change the location of the office, caused it to be removed to the East Village. He was the owner of the small building in which it had been kept by Mr Rice on the Squire corner, and had it moved about a mile down the hill and placed on the corner, of Main and South streets, opposite what is now the Putnam house. To effect the removal, the building was placed on timbers, serving as runners and drawn by oxen. It went quite smoothly down the hill about one-third of the way, but when it came to the level ground it dragged hard, so that the team had to be increased to eight or ten yoke of oxen. With these under
36 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
the direction of the famous teamster, Dickerman A. Rider, and his skillful handling of his ox-goad the removal was finally accomplished. The accession of the main post-office, which they had long desired was the occasion of rejoicing to the East Village people, who looked upon it as some compensation for the late denial of their just claim to the site for the new court-house. Bells were rung and hundreds of the inhabitantants turned out to witness and cheer on the removal of the building, the dramatic appearance of which was much heightened by the stopping of the stages at the moving office to deliver and receive their mails, and the receipt and delivery of letters to and from it. The rejoicing, however, was not of long continuance. David Robinson, John S. Robinson, and Benj. F. Fay, representatives of the old Bennington Hill Democracy, a few days after the removal went to Washington to protest against the act, and demanded the return of the post-office to the Hill and the removal of the post-master. On their arrival at Washington, Cave Johnson, the post-master general under President Polk, sent Mr. Haswell a despatch, who immediately repaired to that city where the matter was discussed pro and con in the department with the result that Mr. Haswell should remain as post-master, but that the office should at once be returned from the East to the Hill Village.
The removal of the Gazette by Mr. Haswell to the East Village caused great commotion and strife in the Democracy of the town and county. A new press and type were soon obtained and another paper started on the Hill, which also assumed the name of the Vermont Gazette, each of the two, claiming to be the genuine continuation of the original of the previous century, and each the "Simon pure" representative of the Democratic party. Bitter crimination and recrimination followed. But Mr. Haswell being continued as post-master, all mail matter for both newspapers passed through his hands, and the papers being of the same name, it is not surprising, that controversies should arise in regard to which newspaper some of the letters and packages were intended to be sent. Complaints were made and continued by the publishers of the Hill Gazette that matter designed for them was improperly retained by Mr. Haswell for himself. The natural remedy for the difficulty was for the department to appoint a new postmaster not interested in either paper, which was accordingly done, Jan. 28, 1848, when Henry Kellogg became Mr. Haswell's successor. It seems that Mr. Haswell was not found guilty of dishonest intentions, for he was on the same day appointed postmaster for East Bennington, and he held the office for several months afterwards.
The strife between the two newspapers continued until September 1849, when Messrs. Aiken & Lull, the proprietors, of the Hill paper purchased the establishment of Mr. Haswell who removed to San Francisco, Cal., where he still resides. The Hill Gazette, however, was found to be unprofitable and was discontinued, after a year's father struggle in October 1850.
During this term of Mr. Haswell's postmastership, from May 1847 to January 1848, when Mr. Kellogg became his successor, he occupied the building which had been previously used by his brother William for the post-office, on the corner opposite the old bank. It was now drawn down to the Squire
corner to the place from which the former building had been removed and there again used for the purpose for which it had originally been erected This building was deeded to Sarah, wife of Zenas Jones, Aug. 14, 1849, and by him removed south of the meeting-house and occupied as a dwelling. — Mr. Kellogg after his appointment in January 1848, was post-master until July 1849. This was about a month prior to the sale of the latter building to Mrs. Jones, and it is believed it was occupied by Mr. Kellogg until he ceased to hold the main office and became post-master for Bennington Centre, after which this business was kept in his law-office building.
A few months after the inauguration of General Taylor, who had been elected president by the Whigs in 1848, A. P. Lyman in behalf of the people of the East Village went to Washington, taking with him sworn evidence of the great preponderance in population and business of the East Village over the Old, and of the advantages to the town and vicinity of having the post-office removed there obtained an order making the East Village the location for the Bennington office, and appointing Horace L. White, post-master. Judge Jacob Collamer of Vermont was then post-master general, but it was said he hesitated about acting in the matter, and the evidence was submitted to the personal examination of the President, who promptly directed the change to be made.
Mr. White's commission bore date, July 12th 1849, and he was post-master until after Mr. Pierce became president, when he was succeeded by Truman Huling. Mr. White kept the office in the small building on the corner, east of and opposite the Putnam house.
On the appointment of Mr White and the removal of the main office, the East Village became and has continued to be known as Bennington.
On the removal of the post-office Mr Kellogg was retained as postmaster at the Branch in the Old Village designated as West Bennington, but on application of its inhabitants was two weeks afterwards changed to Bennington Centre by which it has continued to be known since July 27, 1849. He was post-master until succeeded by John Hicks, Dec 16, 1850, and kept it where before stated.
During the period that Mr. Kellogg held the main office at Bennington, Geo. B. Prentice succeeded Mr. Haswell as post-master at East Bennington. His appointment was made, Aug. 17, 1848, and he was post-master until the East Village became Bennington on the appointment of Mr. White when the office was discontinued. He kept the office in the store of Wills & Fairbanks, now the Godfrey store.
Apr. 30, 1853, soon after Mr. Pierce became president, Truman Huling was appointed post-master in place of Mr. White, and continued until April 1857, during which time he kept his post-office at the bookstore of Almon Eddy, in the Adams block, opposite the present Court House.
Apr. 7, 1857, when Mr. Buchanan became president, John R. Gates was appointed post-master and continued until April 1861, keeping the business in a building on Main street, nearly opposite the Methodist church.
Apr. 9, 1861, J. I. C. Cook, who had become publisher of the "Bennington Banner, was appointed post-master
38 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
and held the appointment during the administrations of Lincoln, Johnson and Grant until Apr. 22, 1872, when he was succeeded by Thomas J. Tiffany, still, post-master (1883.) The office was kept by Mr. Cook near the corner of Main and North streets, and also by Mr Tiffany until the spring of 1882, when it was removed to the Free Library building.
AT BENNINGTON CENTRE.
Since the removal of the main post-office to the East Village, the following have been post-masters, viz: Henry Kellogg, as before stated ; John Hicks, Dec. 16, 1850, under the administration of President Taylor, keeping the office in his harness-shop near the Wallomsac house ; Alfred Robinson, Dec. 28, 1853, and Geo. W. Robinson, Mar. 21, 1859, under the administrations of Presidents Pierce and Buchanan, and Charles R. Sanford under that of President Lincoln, April 9, 1861, who is still postmaster (1883), and whose office has been kept in the Sanford store.
AT NORTH BENNINGTON.
The following is a list of the successive postmasters at North Bennington with the dates of their appointments:
Daniel Loomis, Nov. 18, 1828 ;
Charles S. Wright, Oct. 11, 1833:
Wm. E. Hawks, Apr. 1, 1839:
Hiram R. Haswell, Apr. 20, 1855 :
Chas. E. Houghton, Mar. 28, 1856 :
Chas. E. Welling, Jan. 4, 1864 :
Milo C. Huling, Sept. 5, 1866 :
Chas. E. Welling, Sept. 17, 1866:
Chas. M. Colvin, Dec. 20, 1875 : — who still remains postmaster — 1883.
THE BENNINGTON COURT HOUSE.
One other matter connected with the County buildings remains to be stated. The Court House which had been erected in the Old Village, in compliance with the descision of the committee under the act of 1846, and which had been built of brick, had been destroyed by fire on the morning of March 26, 1869. But now the population and business of the new Village of Bennington had increased to four or five times that of the old. It had been connected for years with the outside world by railroad and was the place of the main postoffice. It had become so decidedly the centre of the business of the town and county, the county clerk had found it necessary for the accommodation of the bar and of the public to keep an open office in that village with the current books and papers of the County and Supreme courts. This had been done with the consent of the county judges and it fortunately saved from destruction the most important records of both those courts, and in consequence much less loss and inconvenience was occasioned by the fire than would otherwise have happened. The probate records were in the court-house but were preserved from destruction in its fire proof safe.
No attempt was made to retain the court-house in its former location, but a portion of the people of the County were desirous of having the County buildings in one central place, where all the records should be kept, and all the courts held, instead of at the two ends of the County.
The Legislature, therefore, by act of Nov. 15, 1869 after laying a tax on the County for the expense of erecting proper buildings provided for the submission of the question whether there should be one or two sets of such buildings to the legal voters of the County in their town-meetings to be held on the last Tuesday of the following February. Such of the voters as desired only
one set of buildings were to designate on their ballots the town or village in which they wished them erected. If there should be a majority of the voters for any single place, the buildings were to be erected there, but if otherwise, they were to be placed in the Village of Bennington. By the provisions of the same act a committee consisting of Henry W. Putnam of Bennington, Samuel M. West of Arlington, and Augustus G. Clark of Manchester, were appointed to superintend their erection in conformity to the result of the vote thus provided for. The majority being in favor of the continuance of the two county shires, the committee proceeded to erect the present court-house and jail in Bennington Village, which was done at a cost to the county of 30.000.
The building is of brick, and beside the court room contains the county clerk's office, the probate office and the jail and jailor's residence. Both the county clerk's and the probate office are provided with fire-proof vaults. The jail has seven cells for the confinement of males and one off the residence of the jailor for females.
After the burning of the court-house at the Centre, until the new building was completed, the courts were held in the hall of the Bennington Free Library.
The rivalries and controversies which have been mentioned in the foregoing account are such as would naturally arise among intelligent and order loving people having different, local interests, and there seems no reason to question the sincerity or the integrety of purpose of any of the contending parties. In the midst of the forest it was natural that the first settlement of the town should have been made on high ground and for two generations it was the most suitable place for it. It was a conspicuous and commanding position among the new settlements, and from the character and ability of its inhabitants it soon became conspicuous from a distance.
It was known at New York City as the head quarters of the defenders of the titles under the grants of New Hampshire, as their defiant stronghold against the land jobbing and land robbing government of its colony. To that government it was a "city set on a hill that would not be hid;" and when its lordly Govenor sent his sheriff with hundreds of followers, to take possession for the city speculators of the farms of two of its inhabitants, was found quite ready and able to protect them ; and did in fact with a proper show of resolution and musketry easily persuade the city dignatary with his famed posse comitatus to return hurriedly back to Albany relieved of all inclination to embark again in a similar expedition.
Bennington Hill was alike conspicuous in its resistance to the oppressive measures of the British crown. A few days after the shedding of the first American blood at Lexington, it furnished the commander and was the place of muster for the men of the New Hampshire Grants who on the 10th of May, 1775, captured the fortress of Ticonderoga for the "Continental Congress" and also in the name of a still higher power.
At a later period of the Revolution, the men of Bennington were no less conspicuous in defense of their country when Burgoyne, on his triumphant march toward Albany, sent a large
40 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
body of his veterans to seize Bennington and the public stores gathered there, they were not permitted to cross the threshold of the town, but were met on its borders and most of them captured or slain. The only visit any of them were permitted to make the town was as prisoners of war. This first successful resistance to the invasion inflicted a blow which secured the capture of the Invader and that of his whole army at Saratoga, a few weeks afterwards.
The early inhabitants of the town of which the Old Village was the nucleus and centre, has given to it a history of which the present generation may well be proud. Their recent, earnest exertions to raise a creditable monument to the memory of the brave men from New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts, who together achieved the victory of the 16th of August 1777 a monument which is to have its foundation on the site of the old store-house which was sought to be captured by Burgoyne, and on the summit of the highest, centre hill, overlooking a rich surrounding country, may be taken as an indication that the patriotic deeds of the fathers are not unappreciated by their sons.
But the merits and fame of our early inhabitants, however great, could not secure their work from the powerful effect of progressive changes in the business and employments of men. — founded at a time when agriculture constituted the chief and almost the only business of life. It was found quite inappropriate to a period when a majority of its people became engaged in other pursuits. The streams and the more level land in the valleys furnished water-power and numerous other facilities for manufacturing and its attendant industries, with which the Hill could not long hope to compete. — The substitution of the New Villege for the Old, as its business centre, could not be successfully resisted. — The change was inevitable.
Page 31: read General Harrison was elected by whigs over Van Buren. Omission. — Ed.
BENNINGTON FREE LIBRARY.
In 1865 a Free Library was established in Bennington by the joint action of Seth B. Hunt and Trenor W. Park. — Though full biographies of these respected donors of the library, are expected for this work from other hands, a few words in respect to them is deemed proper here. — Mr. Hunt was born Bennington, February 1811, and died in New York City, April 20, 1880. — Mr Park was born in Woodford, adjoining Bennington, Dec. 8, 1823, and died at sea on his way from New York to the Isthmus of Panama, Dec 13, 1882. Both of them spent their early and much of their later lives in Bennington; both by their own efforts and industry had been successful in business, and both had long been liberal in their contributions to religious, educational and charitable objects.
The donors purchased an unfinished, commodious, brick building, situated in a central place in the village, and fitted it up for the use of the library. — The building is two stories in height, the upper story containing a library room and a reading-room, a large hall for lectures and public meetings with
an entrance room attached, all well provided with tables, shelves and other suitable furniture. The lower story is divided into rooms for offices and stores. The library contained at first about — carefully selected volumes of standard works, and has since, from its annual increase and other sources been largely increased. The original cost of the whole to the donors was about $10.000, of which each shared equally.
The times and conditons on which the library was given are specified in a deed of trust from the donors to Hiland Hall, Benjamin R. Sears, Daniel Mc'Cowen, Thomas J. Tiffany and John V. Hall, which terms and conditions are as follows:
First In order to perpetuate the trust it is provided that in case of the death, resignation, or removal from the town of Bennington, of any one of the trustees the fifth part of the premises conveyed shall revert in the residue of them, which fifth part they are required to convey to such person as they shall name as their associate trustee.
Secondly, The trustees, their survivors and successors are to permit the premises to be occupied and kept for a library for the free use without compensation of the inhabitants of the town of Bennington and its immediate vicinity, and to which a reading room may be attached, and under such regulations for the safe keeping of the books and papers and the proper care and return of such books as may be taken from the library for reading as may from time to time be approved by said trustees."
Thirdly It was provided that the large room on the second floor should "forever be set apart for a public hall and might from time to time be rentedby the trustees for public meetings and lectures and other assemblies of people under such regulations as they might prescribe, and the other parts of the building not suitable for the use of the library and reading room might be rented for such purposes as said trustees might choose, the proceeds of all rents to be appropriated for the payment of taxes, expenses of insurance and proper repairs and improvements and for the care of the library, reading room and building, — the residue to be applied to the increase of the library."
Fourthly "The said trustees may commit the care and management of the library, reading room and building to the Association already formed, for taking charge thereof, or to any other association hereafter to be formed or to individuals in their discretion, and shall have power to resume the charge of the same whenever in their opinion the objects of the trust would thereby he promoted."
Fitfhly The building, furniture and library are to be at all times kept well insured by the trustees and in good repair and may be rebuilt by them in case of destruction by fire."
Sixthly The trustees are so to manage the trust as always to prevent its becoming of a sectarian character, no preference being allowed to one communion, denomination or belief over another, and the said five trustees may execute all their services and perform all their duties by a majority of their number."
It was also further provided in the deed that if the trustees should attempt to divert the property thereby conveyed or the proceeds thereof, from the purposes and objects of the trust or to permit it to be done by others to whom
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they might commit the charge of it, or suffer the property to run to waste and decay, then the deed was to be null and void, and the property and its proceeds was to revert and become invested in the said donors and their heirs the same as if the conveyance had never been made.
A Young Men's Association, such as had been mentioned in the deed of trust, having been organized, the inauguration and formal presentation of the institution took place at a gathering of the inhabitants of the town in the hall of the library building on the evening of the 23d of June 1805 deed of trust, which bore date on that day was publicly read, and interesting and appropriate addresses were made both by Mr. Hunt and Mr. Park on their purposes and expectations in founding the library, to which thankful responses were made by Hiland Hall, in behalf of the trustees, and by the Rev. Wm. S. Apsey, President of The Young Men's Association for their generous and most valuable donation. Other prominent citizens, also, joined with them in expressing the grateful acknowledgements of the inhabitants of the town for the unsolicited liberality of the respected donors.
The number of desirable volumes in the library has continued to increase under the care of the Young Men's Association until the present number exceeds 3000, and the reading room is supplied with such newspapers and periodicals as the needs of those who frequent it seem to require. The means by which the additions to the library have been made are from the rent of the library property and some donations from Mr. Hunt, Mr. Park and others. The latest money donation was from Mr. Park of $1000 for the purchase of new books, which has in part been expended for that purpose, largely to supply the place of books that had become so much worn as to be unfit for further library use, but leaving a portion of it for further expenditure.
BY HENRY D. HALL, ESQ.
The Village of Bennington has changed, perhaps, more than any other part of the town since the notice of it given in the Gazetteer, — Bennington County, No. II, page 136, about twenty-six years since.
Favorably situated with reference to water-power, nearly all of its advantages have been improved and the industries which have developed have quite largely increased its population and material wealth. This is manifested from the number and more extensive mills, shops, dwellings and churches which have been erected within the nearly three decades just passed, and which it is the object of this article to notice to some extent.
It lies in the valley through which run the streams which unite in forming the historic "Walumscoick" river or as it is now called Waloomsac, — the Pownal, the Roaring branch from Woodford and the Furnace brook from Shaftsbury, — the waters of the first two, giving the most available waterpower.
At the south-west, about two miles distant, is Mount Anthony, 2505 feet high; and at the north-east, nearly the
same distance is Bald Mountain, 3125 ft. high, both affording the eye of the inhabitant or visitor by their imposing elevation and beautiful scenery, delight and satisfaction. It has nearly 4000 of the 3000 inhabitants now in the town of Bennington, and has contained since the burning of the Court House in Bennington Centre in 1869, the Court House, County Clerk's office and jail for the Southern Shire of the County.
The Bennington Banner, a weekly newspaper, is published by Charles A. Pierce and is a continuation of the State Banner established by Enoch Davis in 1841. There is a job printing office connected with it the motive power for which as well as for all printing purposes, is supplied by the village waterworks, and also, a book bindery.
The Bennington Reformer, J. H. Livingston, editor and publisher, is a Democratic organ published here and has reached its twelveth volume.
BENNINGTON GRADED SCHOOL.
There was a special act by the legislature of 1870, procured for the "Bennington Graded School District," and the district was organized, Nov. 9, of the same year, and a building of brick of dimensions, adequate and with all the motion improvements in furniture, seats, ventillation etc., was erected in a central part of the village, suitable for the accomodotion of twelve grades of scholars, numbering 500 pupils or more, at cost of about $50.000. It proves well adapted for the purpose for which it was built, and is probably second to none in the State, in all its appointments.
THE HARLEM EXTENSION.
About 1867, a rail-road was constructed from Bennington, south, called the Harlem Extension, to Chatham, N. Y. to connect with the Harlem railroad, making a continuous line from Montreal, Canada to New York. For a while through trains were run to the great convenience of traveling, and of cars carrying milk and produce to New York, thus promoting the interests of the different towns on the line; but after a time a different regime followed, and it is only at intervals that there are accommodating connections to New York. This road was constructed to a large extent, by the issuing of bonds by the several towns on the line, and the endeavor to get rid of paying them has resulted in outside parties, as litigation has progressed and the status of the road in law has changed from time to time, to purchase and control it for a season ; and it is now run as the New York, Rutland and Montreal Railway, having a depot in the village, necessitating the transfer of passengers, baggage and much of the freight, passing through the town, to and from the Bennington and Rutland Railway, and as early called in the Gazetteer, the Western Vermont Rail Road.
THE SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
The second Congregational Church edifice was destroyed by fire, Aug. 11, 1864, and in about a year, a chapel was erected which now constitutes the room for Sabbath school purposes. The main church building was completed in 1773 and is connected to the chapel with a parlor and other rooms for social conveneiences. A parsonage was built in 1883, on the north end of the church grounds of brick, as are also the church and chapel, which fills out the entire block. The pastors since the organization have been Revs. Arctas Loomis.
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C. H. Hubbard, C. B. Hurlbert, E. G. Reed, F. J. Mundy and C. C. Kimball D. D. Dr. Kimball was installed in August 1884.
The present Baptist church is of brick and was erected in 1878, the old church having been taken down to make room for one larger. There is a parsonage connected with it, but is not upon the church grounds. The pastors since the previous notice in the Gazetteer have been Revs. W. S. Apsey, S. K. Dexter, R. M. Luther, G. C. Baldwin, Jr. and Z. Martin.
THE FIRST METHODIST CHURCH
is of stone and has been remodelled and enlarged within a few years, so as to make it a commodious and fine edifice. A parsonage was erected in 1883, on the corner of School and Pleasant streets, which is in keeping with the other church property. The present pastor is Rev. T. C. Potter.
ST. PETER'S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
which is of brick has been recently improved and beautified, answering well the need of this growing society. There has been within a short time a new rectory built upon the church grounds. The rectors have been since Rev. Dr. Manser, Revs. Phillips, Bliss, Jones, Graves and A. J. Barrow.
THE FRENCH CATHOLIC CHURCH
was organized in 1880. This society occupied a room in Noyes block until 1882, when a suitable church of wood was built on School street, where services are regularly held.
There are two National Banks of $100.000 capital, each. The 1st National Bank of Bennington, L. R. Graves, President, Geo. F. Graves, cashier. The Bennington County National Bank, Charles Thatcher, President, Clement S. Cone, cashier.
There have been some new kinds of industries sustained and a considerable increase in some of the kinds which have for a long period been carried on here.
THE BENNINGTON MACHINE WORKS
are the outgrowth of the two moulding furnaces in the lower part of the village, which have been discontinued.
Olin Scott, the present proprietor, erected these works in 1865, consisting of a large foundry and machine shops, where gunpowder and paper machinery of all kinds are a specialty, while other machine work usually done at such establishments is also carried on.
THE KNITTING INTEREST
was characterized in 1861, as "two Knitting Factories, employing fifty hands in and about the mills, and outside the mills 150 more." This branch has developed into much larger proportions, giving employment to more than four times as many now.
H. E. Bradford & Co's hosiery and knitting mill was established in 1858, and is situated on upper Main street. It was destroyed by fire in 1865, and a new one erected soon after. An accident occured at this mill in January 1874, which resulted in the death of nine persons. It was supposed the explosion was the result of the igniting of gas which had generated beneath the building from a leakage in the tank containing gasoline for the lighting of the mill.
Geo. Rockwood & Co's knitting mill is at the east end of the village on Main street, and was erected on or near the site of the Old Oil mill of Rockwood & Colvin.
The old mill for the manufacture of linseed oil and oil meal will be remembered by many as being quite noted, and was before rail-roads were so common, the place where flax seed from this vicinity and neighboring towns in the State of New York was brought and the manufactured oil and meal was taken in large quantities across the mountains into New Hampshire and Massachusetts with teams.
THE VALENTINE KNITTING MILLS.
The knitting mill of A. B. Valentine, one of the largest in town, was burned in the fall of 1882. it was rebuilt in part in 1883. It has been operated by a company of young men, formerly in the employ of Mr. Valentine, who have made a nice class of goods, finding a ready sale in the market. It is situatcd in the heart of the village, a little off of Pleasant street. He converted a building, formerly used by his father, Joel Valentine, as a carding factory, into this knitting mill in 1866, by remodelling and enlarging it, and had made previous to the fire large additions from time to time. At this writing the mill has been wholly rebuilt and enlarged, and in its tower has been placed it first class town clock, giving excellent time to the whole village. Mr. Valentine is now interested in the operation of this mill, and two of the old company, Moore and Puffer, are to prosecute the same line of business in a new mill erected by Mr. Valentine, and leased by them, on the opposite side of the stream. The main building is three stories high upon a foundation at least 100 X 40 ft.
RIBBED KNITTING MACHINE, WORKS.
Tiffany & Cooper came into this village several years since and started business in a small way, in the manufacture of ribbed knitting machines for knitting in a peculiar way, the wristlets and anklets for shirts and drawers. The success of this machine which was followed by another for knitting full fashioned goods, shirts and drawers in a single piece so that when seamed up they will be adapted and fashioned to the form, necessitated the enlargement of their works, and they reaped a rich reward for their industry and enterprise. This firm is now dissolved, its members prosecuting, separately, the manufacture of these machines.
TIFFANY KNITTING MILL, — OF FULL FASHIONED GOODS.
Tiffany Brothers have a mill for knitting the full fashioned goods above mentioned, which has recently been enlarged to keep pace with the demand for their product, in which they also manufacture cut goods.
COOPER'S SPRING NEEDLE MACHINE WORKS.
Charles Cooper has for years been engaged in making machine spring needles, a business, requiring much skill, and is annually placing on the market five or six million; of the different styles required in all kinds of knitting machines. A few years since his son became a partner with the firm name of Chas. Cooper & Son, and added to this business that of knitting full fashioned goods, as well as the cut, and is located on the premises formerly occupied by the paper mills of Geo. Benton & Sons. About two years since, Mr. Cooper purchased the water privilege used by M. G. Remington in the wagon business, and which is centrally located and has erected large buildings in which with the water power supplemented by steam, he carries on the needle and machine business, and additional to the
46 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
product of the mills, the making of full fashioned goods.
SOAP, WHEEL-GOVENORS, BOWL-SHOP, SHODDY-FACTORY, ETC.
Enos Adams and Enos Adams & Co. are engaged in making mineral soap, steam and water wheel govenors, patent mop-sticks, wooden bowls, cotton batting and manufacturing shoddy, — the different kinds of work, giving employment to quite a number of hands.
THE STONE WARE POTTERY.
now owned and operated by Edward Norton and C. Welling Thatcher under the firm name of E. Norton & Co. still retains its reputation for making the first quality of ware, and though burned in 1874, it was immediately rebuilt in more convenient form, and has recently been enlarged.
CARPET-TACKS, — PATENTEE.
Henry W. Putnam purchased the sites of' the Brown and Grover furnaces on North street a number of years since, and has been manufacturing patent bottle fasteners, clothes-wringers and various other articles of light hardware, and more recently has been making large quantities of double pointed tacks for carpets and other purposes. — He is also patentee-manufacturer of the best canning fruit-jar on the market and is largely interested abroad in the manufacture of barbed wire, now so extensively used as fencing material.
THE BENNINGTON WOOLEN MILLS.
in the western part of the village were built by Hunt & Tillinghart in 1865. Seth B. Hunt became the sole owner of them in 1872. In 1874, he sold to S. S. & M. Fisher of New York. The buildings are of brick and cover a large area of' ground and in the business, 300 to 400 hands have been employed. — Owing to the death of Messrs Fisher of New York, the property was sold to Haines & Co. from the East, who operated it for a time, but failed in business and for more than a year, the mills have been idle.
MANY OTHER INDUSTRIES.
There are many other industries, not mentioned here ; among them, wagon-shops, machine-shops, planing-mills, box-factories, ochre, and paper clay works, etc. etc., not because they are unimportant, but for lack of space ; as the mention of all would add too great length to this review.
There are four hotels in this village, giving good and sufficient accommodations to the traveling public. to the usual village boarders, and in the season, for summer visitors ; and in this connection, it is proper to mention two bakeries and four livery stables in the village.
VILLAGE WATER WORKS.
The Village has lately been supplied with pure spring water, which is conveyed in pipes by the Bennington Water Co., to all parts, from a large reservoir, upon high ground about two miles, east, giving sufficient force for its use for fires, and which is made available for drinking and household purposes. A contract has been made with the company in which H. M. Putnam is largely interested, for the use of hydrants in different parts of the village, which will do away with the use of fire engines in most cases, except it may be in the suburbs.
The streets, under a contract with the Bennington Electric Light Co. are to be lighted by electricity and the work for its consummation is being accom‑
plished rapidly, so that the old method of lighting by kerosene will soon be superseded by this more modern one, though as yet not in use in many villages of its size.
The stores and smaller places of trade are upon a scale that calls traffic from adjoining towns, and the erection of pleasant, and in many instances of quite expensive buildings has been on the increase, as the developments of business have added to the wealth of the inhabitants, so that on the whole, the village will compare favorably in general appearance and thrift with other New England villages of its size.
THE PARK GUARDS,
a Military Company, was organized January 1876, named from the late T. W. Park, Esq., who from time to time generously contributed to its aid. The armory and drill room is upon Pottery street.
At the Centennial Celebration, Aug 15th, and 16th, 1877, this Company held the post of honor in the regiment and escorted the President, his Excellency, R. B. Hayes. The Company was at the Celebration of the Battle of Saratoga in October of the same year, in commemoration of the surrender of Burgoyne.
THE FIRE DEPARTMENT
is well organized with efficient officers, and both the engine and hose companies are uniformed and supplied with all necessary equippments for effective service. For years the village has supported a first class steamer, and one other hand-power machine, but the buildings being so largely of wood, at times it has been difficult to completely control the fire fiend.
On the 16th of August 1887, the three hose companies had a prize trial, running 80 rods and couppling the cars to a hydrant, which was witnessed by a large number and specially attracted the attention of the friends of each.
THE OLD BAND.
There was formerly here one of the best instrumental bands in the State, which added much as an attraction and a pleasure to the village; and there has been growing lately a desire to revive the 'band spirit' and reorganize and bring out the present musical talent of the place. It it is hoped the effort may succeed.
NORTH BENNINGTON VLLAGE
Since the sketch of this village was published twenty-six years ago, in the Gazetteer, page 139, there has been some progress in its history, a review of which is the object of this article.
Under the general law of the State, it became an incorporated village in 1867. The two school districts, mostly in the limits of the village, in 1870, took measures to organize
A GRADED SCHOOL
district. A commodious brick building in a central position with ample grounds for school purposes, was erected in 1871, at an expense of about $12.000. It has had the efficient support of the citizens in the supply of teachers &c., and has furnished an excellent school for all within the district, and the higher grade has been patronized more or less by scholars from neighboring districts. About ten years since a contiguous district in the town of Shaftsbury was added to it and the school has now five grades.
The old Academy was sold prior to the erection of the present school building about the year 1870, to
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THE CATHOLIC SOCIETY
who in 1874, under the pastoral care of Rev. Father O'Dwyer, remodelled and enlarged it, making an attractive and commodious church where services are regularly held. Father Prevost is the present officating clergyman.
THE PARK RESIDENCE.
T. W. Park, Esq., who died in Dec. 1882, to whom North Bennington, and in fact the whole town, is indebted for much of its prosperity, built about the year 1865, a fine residence which he occupied during the warm and summer months, on the farm formerly owned by and upon which his father-in-law, Gov. Hiland Hall was born. It is now the summer residence of Gen. J. G. McCullough, who married his eldest daughter.
To give the needed space for grading the grounds of his residence,
THE BAPTIST CHURCH
was moved by Mr. Park to a more desirable location several rods, north, where it was enlarged and neatly fitted up, which with other recent improvements, renders it a very pleasant and inviting house of worship. The first house was dedicated, Dec. 31, 1845, and the first pastor was Rev. Justin A. Smith. The present pastor is Rev. George Shepard. One clerk, Wm. E. Hawks, has served the church since its establishment, and he is also the present senior deacon.
THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
The founding of a Congregational church here was the outgrowth of a Sunday school, held for a year or more in the mill store in the south part of the village. In May 1868, the church was organized of members from the Bennington and Bennington Centre churches, who had either moved into the village or were living near it, with two others on profession of faith. From this time regular services were held in Bank hall and the Sabbath school was discontinued at the mill. The first minister was
REV. LEAVITT BARTLETT
of Coventry, who remained one year. — In October 1869,
REV. H. C. WESTON
of Charleston, Mass. was ordained as pastor, he having been called by the church while yet at the Theological Seminary at Andover. During his pastorate, a church of brick was erected, of modern style and costing about $15.000.
REV. L. C. PARTRIDGE
was called in April 1875, and commenced his ministry, the first sabbath in May. He finished his labors in October 1885.
REV. GEO. R. HEWITT
was installed as pastor, in June 1886.
Mr. Park established a National Bank in 1864, with a capital of half a million, which has always been a well paying institution, but its stock has lately been reduced to $150.000, — which is sufficient for the accommodation of business in this vicinity. The bank building is of brick, the second story being used as a village hall.
During the year 1881, a large and convenient depot was built through the generosity of Mr. Park, the principle owner of the Bennington and Rutland rail-road which receives the attention and commendation of travelers who may stop for a short or longer time at
the station, as well as the admiration of the citizens generally.
The two cotton factories have been enlarged, and unto the water power, the actual quantity of water having decreased as in many other localities, steam has been supplemented so that, by the greater retention of the water and its economical use, their capacity has been more than doubled, and there has until recently been about 80.000 yards of print cloth made per week.*
The capacity of the paper-mill now owned by the Stark Paper Company, which company also has a mill at state line in the edge of Shaftsbury, has been increased so that as against three to four tons of paper, weekly in 1861, it turns out ten to twelve tons per week. Chas. E. Welling, Esq. is the principal stockholder in the company, and both mills when running make from 20 to 25 tons of paper per week.
GLASS GRINDING, — STEREOSCOPES.
Within a few years the grinding of glass by water power for lenses, and the manufacture of stereoscopes has been carried on here quite extensively, the two shops employing from 12 to 15 hands. Three years since a large factory for glass grinding and polishing, and the making of stereoscopes, work boxes, writing desks, &c., was built by H. C. White, upon a water power about a mile south of the village, where from 20 to 25 hands are given employment, and the manufactures of their different shops are shipped far and near throughout this country and many orders have been sent to Australia, South Africa and other foreign countries.
The making of rubber tablets by H. T. Cushman is a growing interest and his contracts in supplying the Dixon Crucible and Pencil Co. of Jersey City with their large line of ink and rubber erasures which are sold all over the country, proves them of the best quality, as no other on the market can compete with those made by the Faber company. Other novelties of small wood work are also manufactured here.
A good and sufficient Lock-up, of stone, of convenient size, with two cells opening into the front room, is centrally located, and is considered by law-abiding citizens as a good investment. It is undoubtedly a terror to evil doers and has its influence to deter from lawlessness.
THE LADIES LIBRARY.
The ladies established a library in 1877, by subscription and the donation of books by interested citizens, which has been maintained with interest to the present time. The organization took the name of "Ladies Circulating Library Association," with an annual membership fee of $1, and has a catalogue of about 250 volumes.
THE BURNING OF THE BURGESS BRIDGE,
spanning the Waloomsac river, 500 ft. long and about 40 ft. high on the Troy and Boston R. R. two miles west, on Thursday, Oct. 15, 1885, resulted in the death of three citizens of this village. The fire engine was taken to the bridge and in trying to pass under the east end, the highway running under it, the bridge fell and killed and burned
* The Vermont mills, only, are being operated at present, and are manufacturing yarn, which is sold and shipped for use in other parts of the country.
50 VERMONT HISTRICAL MAGAZINE.
two, and fatally burned the third. —— There has been no calamity in this neighborhood so appalling and giving such a shock to the whole community for miles around for many years, if indeed, ever.
A large fire occurred a year since, which destroyed much of the business portion of the village and from the effects of which the business of the place has not, as yet, entirely recovered.
BENNINGTON CENTRE VILLAGE.
Bennington Centre has somewhat diminished in population in the last two decades, numbering now about 200 inhabitants.
The building of brick, with the historic name of "State Arms House" so long kept as a tavern, and where the State Militia were annually called for June training upon the Upper Hill, which has for many years been occupied as a residence, is to be taken down to open the grounds contiguous to the Battle Monument.
The Walloomsac House, formerly a 'Hotel' and celebrated as an 'Inn' in days when the large travel between Albany and Troy across the mountain to Brattleboro and the East was done by stages; was kept for years as a boarding house through the summer months. It is now closed, though it is hoped only for a limited time.
There is here a general country store in which is located the post-office, and also, another store where groceries and hardware are kept.
THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.
The old First Congregational Church of Bennington is still energetically and prosperously maintained. The present pastor, Rev. Isaac Jennings* has officiated as such since June 1853, — a long pastorate, and one productive of much good, and has been a continual pleasure to both pastor and people. — The Church is remembered by many who in the activities of life and the pursuit of business, have removed to other parts of the town, or established homes beyond the borders of the State.
After the burning of the Court House in 1869, the descision to build the new one at Bennington, one mile east, was not unexpected, as the County would be better accommodated.
There are quite a number of summer residences, some quite palatial, in or near the village, built by business men of Troy or New York, some of whom are the descendants of old residents.
A VILLAGE IMPROVEMENT SOCIETY
has been lately organized here, which augurs still greater efforts in beautifying the now pleasant village, as well as the care of the cemetery of this historic place.
On the brow of the hill at the north end of the village was situated the
CONTINENTAL STORE HOUSE,
which General Burgoyne with a detachment under Col. Baume was longing to capture on the morning of the 16th of Aug. 1777, and it is near this very spot that the Bennington Battle Monument is being erected.
On the eastern slope and overlooking the larger village of Bennington is the Roman Catholic church of stone,
ST. FRANCIS DE SALES,
with adjoining lands upon which are a fine residence for the parish priest and Catholic school and convent; but a project is now on foot to remove the church
*Rev. Dr Jennings died Aug. 25, 1887.
to Bennington as more convenient for the larger portion of the congregation.
THE SOLDIERS' HOME.
BY HENRY D. HALL, ESQ.
The patriotism of the people of Vermont did not die out with the termination of the rebellion. It has since shown itself in sympathy for the soldier and his family in many ways; often in acts of kindness in a more tangible form than merely the saying "be ye warmed and filled, depart in peace," as well as in substantial encouragement in carrying on their G. A. R. organizations in which there is so much interest, and which have been of such great assistance to many of their comrades. It has now selected a way of showing its interest more fittingly and systematically, in the establishment of a Soldiers' Home for "deserving soldiers and sailors and such of their families as the trustees may deem proper;" — thus giving a practical recognition of the debt of obligation to those now living, who with time great number that gave up their lives, are deserving of lasting gratitude.
The act of incorporation for an institution of this kind was approved with permission to hold property obtained by gift, purchase or otherwise to the amount of $200.000, Nov. 24, 1884, and an appropriation of $10.000 was made for the use of such home by the same legislature.
A committee was appointed to select a suitable place and propositions were made by towns competing for its location, in dflérent parts of the State, but the offer of the "Trenor Park Home for Destitute Children and Women" — for this purpose was accepted and the property made over to the State in the winter of 1886 and 7.
It it beautifully situated on the north side of the Village of Bennington, about one half mile from the Court House and Post office, and in sight of the ground upon which the Battle Monument is being erected. The premises had been purchased by the late Hon. T. W. Park with the idea of making it a "Home for children and old ladies," by setting apart a sufficient endowment fund for the necessary expenses, but whose sudden death occurred before the consummation of his most cherished plans, though he procured the act of incorporation to be passed by the legislature for carrying out this purpose, with the above title a few months before his death.* The home had been used for farming purposes, and in the summer for the accommodation of "fresh air children" from New York until it was made over to the State. (* 1852, — page 40.)
Connected with the institution are about 200 acres of arable land with a main building well and permanently built 50 x 45 feet, three stories high, including the attic which is high and completely finished, with ells and other necessary additions. It was constructed with the modern improvements and the system of sewerage is most perfect. The barns and out-buildings are large and commodious, having been built with wise reference to fitness and convenience. The fountain, which sends a stream of water into the air 198 feet, is supplied by springs from the mountain, with a fall of more than 300 feet and the grove containing a beautiful fish-pond with carriage drives through it adds greatly to the beauty of the level acres, used for meadow and planting land which adjoin it.
The Bennington Banner of August 18th and 25th says:
52 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
"It was fortunate indeed that the muster of State troops and the laying of the corner stone of the monument took place in such close proximity to the Home. These events gave opportunity to the thousands of patriotic people visiting the town to also inspect the Home, the very valuable property and its vast and beautiful surroundings — Few people it is to be presumed, went to Bennington for the purpose of visiting the Home, but when there, few went away without improving their opportunity. Exclamations of favorable surprise were upon every lip.
"The present condition and future prospects of the Home are all that could be desired, and all can join in expressing the opinion that the institution is an honor to the State."
"The Home will be filled gradually to its capacity as fast as the same can be done judiciously, regard being first had to relieve the towns from persons chargeable upon them."
"Considerable has been written and said concerning the establishment of the Home at Bennington, and of the extent of the property and its many conveiencnces, but to be able to understand the whole nothing can take the place of personal observation. The property was formerly the palatial residence of Mr. Seth B. Hunt, a prosperous Bennington manufacturer, who had spared no expense to improve, beautify and adorn it.
'THE SOLDIERS' HOME DELIVERED,
At 11 o'clock, Aug. 16th the formalities attending the dedication of the Vermont Soldiers' Home took place.
The Govenors of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and most of the military geusts, together with the militia officers and many, old soldiers assembled at the Soldiers' Home, where after music, Gen, Wm. Wells. chairman of the board of trustees, called the assemblage to order and introduced Col. Z. M. Mansur, who in behalf of the board, addressed Govenor Ormsbee, and formally delivered the property to the State of Vermont. He gave a history of its acquisition and adaptation and bespoke for it the protecting care of the State.
Govenor Ormsbee accepted for the State the noble gift from the heirs of the late Hon. T. W. Park and the work of the trustees in expending upon it the State's appropriation, and said that so far as his influence could go, it would be given to promote a constant interest in the grateful benevolence thus entered upon.
Senator Edmunds was then called out . . . He praised the site and its beautiful surroundings and expressed his pleasure that Vermont had provided a home for the increasing number of her gallant but unfotunate sons who helped to save the country in its hour of peril and are now with the advance of years finding themselves unable to battle with the hardships of life. He congratulated the veterans and the State upon the good fortune and good management which had attended the founding of the Home and hoped the State would make its capacity equal to the needs that may arise.
Ex Govenor Pingree followed him and spoke of the lively appreciation that loyal Vermont has always had of her heroes. She recognizes, but for them, we should not to-day have a great and free country that is the pride and praise of all people. To them the people owe a debt that never can be paid ; and the least that the public can do is to
see that their sufferings are made as light as possible. This ended the speaking, but in conversation, Govs. Ames and Sawyer spoke of the beauty of the Home and the remarkable economy with which it had been secured and adapted.
It was learned from the trustees that about 50 applications have been made for admission to it, but it will accomdate only 38 residents, and the next legislature will have to be asked for an appropriation for additional quarters.
The veterans and the trustees spoke with equal praise of Superintendent and Mrs. Coffey."
The officers of the Home are Wm. Wells of Burlington, president; P. P. Pitkin of Montpelier, treasurer; C. C. Kinsman of Rutland, secretary; and Capt. R. J. Coffey, surperintendent.
It was prepared for inmates in the spring of 1887, and there were on its delivery, as above, to the State, fifteen veterans availing themselves of its comforts and privileges.
THE NAMES OF THE FIRST FIFTEEN:
George E. Wood, Co. E., 2d Reg. age 60, residence Randolph, admitted, May 18, 1887.
Hobart J. Marr, Co. I, 13th Reg., age 43, residence Bratttleboro, admitted, May 23, 1887.
George C. Chase, Co. E., 3d Reg., age 65, residence Montpelier, admited May 24, 1887,
Increase B. Whitney, Co. A., 4th Reg., age 69, residence Readsboro, admitted May 25, 1887.
William Mattison, Co. I., 2d Reg., age 66, residence Shaftsbury, admitted, May 26, 1887.
John F. Colby, Co. H., 4th Reg., age 72, residence Danville, admitted May 27, 1887.
Chester Derby, Co. A., 7th Reg., age 66, residence Burlington, admitted June 9th, 1887.
Isaac Porter, Co. F., 14th Regiment, age 54, residence, Danby, admitted June 10, 1887.
Wm. M. Deparr, Co. B., 1st Cav. age 55, residence Swanton, admitted, June 23, 1887.
Alphonzo Chapleau, Co. C. 2d Reg., age 44, residence Burlington, admitted July 18, 1887.
Joseph Demar, Co. E., 5th Reg., age 48, residence Manchester, admitted July 20, 1887.
Thomas O'Brien, Co. M., 1st Cav., age 55, residence Barre, admitted, July 21, 1887.
Josiah Haley, Co. A., 14th Regiment, age 73, residence Pownal, admitted, Aug. 1, 1887.
Lewis N. Beeman, Co. I, 6th Reg., age 49, residence Swanton, admitted, Aug. 16, 1887.
There is certainly just reason for satisfaction and pride on the part of the State and gratulation to those who are enjoying and the greater number who may enjoy in the future, the benefits of this humane institution, founded in patriotism and affection.
THE SOLDIER DEAD
IN BENNINGTON CEMETERY.
Capt. W. H. Cady and privates, Nelson C. Bradford, Frederick Hupf, Charles C. Harris; Henry M. Harris, Calvin Hathaway, George B. Plumb, Co. A. 2d Vt. Vols.; Private, Charles Willis, Co. C. 2d Vt. Vol. — Col. John E. Pratt, Maj. J. H. Cushman 4th Vt. Vols.; Sergts. Wm. A. Comar, Alonzo Bigelow, privates Henry G. Loveland, George H. Lillie, I. N. Morton, H. N. Woodworth, Lyman Greenslet, Co. A 4th Vt. Vols.; Priv. O. B. Sprague, Co.
54 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
E. 10th Vt. Vol. — Lieut. E. N. Thayer and privates Charles Godfrey, Reuben Benjamin, George Fradenburg, Co. A 14th Vt. Vol. Private Foster S. Prouty Co. H. 14th Vt. Vol. — Sergeant S. B. Norton, Priv. Albert L. Merchant, Co. F. 17th Vt. Vol. — Private Charles M. Norton, 1st Vt. Battery. — Private A. H. Norton, unassigned recruit. — Priv. Oscar L. Gates, Com. Dep't of Ohio. — Privs. Henry Moulds, Albert Kimball, 2d Vt. Battery. — Priv. N. H. Slade. Co. G. 1st N. H. Cavalry. — Priv. Frank V. Blake, 49 Mass. Vol. — Priv. James Nelson, U. S. Navy — Sergt. Wm. H. Morse, Co. I, 57th N. Y. Vol. — Priv. S. Maurer, Co. A, 149th N. Y. Vol. — Priv. Geo. B. Whitney, Mass. Vol. — Private John Walsh, Co. A, 14th Vt. — Private Edward Norton, 2d Vt. Band. Bugler G. W. Semple, (buried at Warehouse Point, Ct.) Ira Harris, Cavalry. Priv. Olney Fuller, buried at Hoosick Falls, N. Y., Co. C 169th N. Y. Vol. — Privates C. E. Morse, Co. E, 10th Vt. Charles Phillips and Fred. A. Wilder.
IN THE CATHOLIC CEMETERY.
Privates: Charles Wood, U. S. N. — John Grace, Michael W. .Murphy, 2d Vt. Battery; Edward Grace, Ned Griffin, John Dygnam, 2d, Co. A, 2d Vt. Vol.; John Dyngam, 1st, Michael Carrigan, Co. A, 14th Vt. Vol.; Richard Donovan, Michael Ryan, Patrick Howe, Vt. Vols.; T. Dempsey (buried at Albany, N. Y.,) Co. A, 2d Vt. Vol. Edward Gunshannon, 1st Vt. Battery.
IN BENNINGTON CENTRE CEMETERY.
Captain Frank Ray, Company G 1st Vermont Cavalry — privates Daniel M. Russell, E. A. Armstrong, Co. G 1st Vt. Cav. — Col. Newton Stone and privates Edward A. Seldon, John Kehoe, B. S. Potter, Co. A, 2d Vt. Vols. — Privates Bradford S. Downs, Wallace B. Cutting., Co. A, 4th Vt. Vols; Private John H. Crosier, Co. C, 4th Vt. Vol. Privates Fred Ray, M. J. Allen, Frank Fairbrothers, James Atwood, Co. A, 14th Vt. Vols.; Private Edw'd Miller, Co. H. 14th Vt. Vol. — Capt. George Hicks, Co. F, 17th Vt, Vol. — Private Edwin Joy, 1st Vt. Battery — Privates Leander G. Northrop, Surgeon R. H. Green, U. S. Navy; Colonel Henry R. Seldon, U. S. Army. — Private James H. Cowden, 37th Mass. Vol. — Private Charles Dietel, Co. G. 35th N. Y. — Colonel George D. Harrington.
IN THE NORTH BENNINGTON CEMETERY.
Linus M. Towsley, Co. A, 2d Vt. — John Minot, Adelbert A. Towsley, Co. A, 4th Vt — Jesse Bates, 2d Vt. Battery; — N. Bruffee, N. Y. Battery; — Dennis Bowen, Co. E, 21st N. Y. Cav. Lieut. Thos. Hall, 2d N. Y. Vet. Cav. George Coon, Co. K, 30th N. Y. Vol. ; Thomas Lyons, Mass. Vol.
IN HINSDVILLE CEMETERY.
Privates A. P. Howard, G. L. Edgerton, Henry Holmes, Chas. Stewart, Dwight Riddle, 1st Vt. Bat'y ; Lyman Russell, Co. G. 1st Vt. Cavalry ; Private Wales Puffer, 169th N. Y.
IN CHAPEL CEMETERY.
Privates Abel Babcock, Henry Warn, 2d Vt. Battery ; Jesse Potter, 125th N. Y. ; Parley Hill, ——— Downs.
IN TOWSLEY CEMETERY.
Albert Wallins, Co. A, 14th Vt.
Who have delivered Addresses at Bennington on "Decoration Day."
1870: Major N. B. Hall;
1871: Rev. C. H. Hubbard;
1877: Rev. G. G. Jones ;
1878: Hon. W. C. Dunton ;
1880: Rev. R. M. Luther:
1881: M. D. Jump ;
1883: Sergt. Warren Gibbs.
1884: Rev. W. W. Foster, Jr.
1885: Rev. S. M. Williams ;
1886: Gen. Azel Ames;
1887: Rev. Henry Gordon.
BENNINGTON BATTLE MONUMENT.
BY HENRY D. HALL ESQ.
[With selections from Gov. Hall's published papers and the Bennington Banner.]
The importance of the Battle of Bennington as the pivotal event upon which the tide of arms turned in the Revolutionary struggle between the Colonies and the Mother Country, has become more and more apparent as the years have rolled by. The recurring anniversary has been celebrated and the deeds of its actors have been rehearsed to the multitudes gathering to perpetuate the day, by the patriot orator and statesman in language both instructing and inspiring. In addition to its observance as specially for patriotic commemoration of the battle, it has been used as the day for political conventions by the different parties in their strife for governmental control, as well as for religious, temperance and other commendable purposes, and the patriotism exhibited on the memorable 16th of August 1777, has been held up by each as worthy the imitation of every one, and a share in it as the heirloom of all lovers of the glorious instiutions of our country. The celebrating of the one hundredth anniversary of the battle had been advocated for years and as early as August 1875, the veterans of the late rebellion at a reunion at Brattleboro, among them, Col. J. H. Walbridge, ''voted to adjourn to meet in Bennington during the week of August 1877." Maj. J. H. Cushman "in a speech at the Officers Reunion at St Albans, October 14th of the same year, warmly endorsed the project." This action with the interest developed by agitation of the subject by citizens of' Bennington and vicinity soon awakened such enthusiasm with reference to it, that in October a call was made in a village paper for a meeting for the purpose "of forming a
TOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
to aid in preparing for the centennial anniversary of the Battle of Bennington." It was heartily responded to and the "Bennington Historical Society" formed with the following list of officers:
"The president was Hon. Hiland Hall. Among the Vice presidents were the Rev. Isaac Jennings, Seth B. Hunt, Trenor W. Park, Rev. C. H. Hubbard, A. B. Gardner, Henry G. Root, Dr. Benj. F. Morgan, Thos. White, Henry W. Putnam, Hiram Bingham, H. E. Bradford and David F. Squires. The corresponding secretary was Chas. M. Bliss; the recording secretary, Merritt B. Morgan and the treasurer, Daniel McEown. The Board of Directors were A. B. Valentine, A. Robinson, Jas. H. Walbridge, C. E. Dewey, Ew'd Kingsley, A. J. Mattison, J. V. D. S. Merrill, C. R. Sanford, H. T. Cushman, Asapah P. Childs, Geo. A. Wood, Olin Scott, J. Halsey Cushman, George W. Robinson, Milo C. Huling, L. P. Norton, A. C. Hubbell, E. O. Cole, Ed. S. Chandler, L. F. Abbott, William E. Hawks, 2d, O. D. Adams and the president of the society, its past presidents, secretaries and the chairman of all its committes.
The active work of preparation for the celebration and the monument now commenced in earnest. During the winter of 1875—6 this board of direc-
56 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
tors, such members as especially intereested themselves in the work and were in the town during the winter, held weekly meetings in the Court House at Bennington. The president of the society, the even then venerable Gov. Hall, was never present, but he was constantly kept informed of the proceedings; and in consequence he gave the board his most hearty support. — Several of the vice-presidents and other citizens were also deeply interested in the work."
At this time the plans of the society were formed and an interest was soon manifested through the state and in the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, which was an earnest of extended effort to induce the several states as also the general Congress to make appropriations for defraying the expense of' erecting a suitable monument, supplimental to what could be raised by private subscriptions. C. M. Bliss and G. W. Robinson of the society were most active in their exertions in obtaining subscriptions, and in their personal efforts to further the project in other ways, especially Mr. Bliss in his attendance upon the different legislatures and at the Capital at Washington.
By an act of the Vermont Legislature approved November, 28, 1876. The Bennington Battle Monument Association was incorporated "for the purpose of erecting and maintaining a suitable monument commemorative of the achievements of Gen. John Stark and the patriot soldiers of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts at the decisive battle "fought on the 16th of August 1777."
By the same act an appropriation of $15.000 was made payable when full proof could be made that $5.000 had been raised by the Association and was ready for the purpose. This sum was raised in 1880 and paid in to the State treasury, which with the $15.000 paid by the State, was set apart as a fund of the Association in the keeping of the State.
In 1877 the State of Massachusetts appropriated $7.000 in aid of the monument. This appropriation lapsed under the general law of the State and in 1886 it was renewed and increased to $10.000. To prevent further lapse it was funded, the Association adding $5.000, which with the $1000 constituted the Bennington Monument fund of Massachusetts of $15.000.
In 1777, the State of New Hampshire appropriated $5.000 in aid of the monument.
In February 1881, Congress appropriated $40.000 on conditions similar to those of the States."
The first meeting of the Association was held on the 2d Wednesday in January 1877, and the committee on the nomination of officers reported as such: "President, Hon. Horace Fairbanks of St. Johnsbury, vice-president, Hon. Hiland Hall of Bennington, secretary, Charles M. Bliss of Bennington, assistant sec., John T. Shurtleff of Bennington, treasurer, Milo C. Huling of North Bennington," who were duly elected.
At subsequent meetings, by-laws were adopted and other important business transacted; and at another adjourned meeting, Jan. 23, the following board of directors were elected by ballot: A. B. Gardner, A. B. Valentine, Olin Scott, Charles E. Dewey and A . P. Childs.
The work of the Association was for the year 1877, principally to conduct the Celebration of the week of the 16th of
August that year. Notwithstanding the fact that a commission was created, the responsibility for the celebration rested by law, on the Association. The Association, and not the Commission, invited all the geusts, and it looked after the exercises of the special two days celebration, with the care of which it was charged by its charter. The commission appointed an executive committee consisting of Messrs Root, Valentine, Huling, Page and Geo. A. Merrill of Rutland. The Association also appointed a committee consisting of Charles M. Bliss, Isaac Jennings and A. B. Gardner to which E. J. Phelps, when he was elected the president of the Commission was added, to have charge of the literary exercises of the two days."
This observance of the Centennial called together thousands from the country, near and remote, as citizens or officials; various organizations, both civil and military; his Excellancy the President, R. B. Hayes and members of his Cabinet; the Govenors of several States, and other distiuguished personages from this and other States.
"An account of the proceedings of the week of the Centennial is given in a semi official work by the Association, and one by C. S. Forbes of St. Albans, both of which have been published. — The whole expense of the celebration was over $14.000." It was estimated that over thirty thousand persons were in attendance on anniversary day.
Annual and special meetings of the Association were held and important business transacted; but one subject of commanding interest held its place — that of securing a suitable design for the monument.
On Dec. 2, 1884, at a meeting of the directors, held in New York City, thedesign of Prof Weir was by the committee of design reccommended to the board.
The board of directors at this time were Hon. Geo. D. Robinson, govenor of Massachusetts; Hon. Samuel W. Hall, govenor of New Hampshire, Hon. Samuel E. Pingree, govenor of' Vermont, ex-officio members of the board, and Hon. Benj. F. Prescott, ex-govenor of New Hampshire; Hon. Edward J. Phelps, L.L. D., professor of law in Yale college ; Gen. John G. McCullough, Hon. Henry G. Root, Maj. A. B. Valentine, Samuel B. Sanford. Esq., and Rev. Isaac Jennings.
The committee of design at this time were Hon. E. J. Phelps, soon after appointed our minister to England, chairman; Hon. Alexander H. Rice, L. L. D., ex-governor of Massachusetts ; Hon. Benj. F. Prescott. ex-governor of New Hampshire and president of the Association. The author of the design adopted, John F. Weir, professor of painting and design in Yale college, was present at the above meeting — in New York, Dec. 2, 1881, the report of the committee of design was accepted, and a resolution was passed unanimously adopting said design, and also in accordance with the resolution every member of the board, including the Governors of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, ex-officio members, gave their individual vote in writing, and within the time that the meeting was kept open for the purpose, for the Weir design."
This design, which was mainly sculptural and of small dimensions was a great disappointment to the people of Bennington who had contemplated the erection of a structure of magnitude and grandeur properly typifying the historical importance of the
58 THE VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
Bennington victory which in accordance with the historian Bancroft they had always felt to have been "one of the most brilliant and eventful of the war" of the Revolution. The design consisted of five life like bronze statues, in Revolutionary costume, the commanding figure 15 feet in height, standing on the top of a rough granite shaft 20 feet square at the base and 45 feet high, the four other figures being at the corners of the base 8 feet in height. They accordingly looked upon the proposed structure as tending to degrade rather than honor their patriotic ancestors who had helped to achieve the victory.
The opposition to the design of the directors was so strongly manifested at the January meeting, 1885, that the question of its adoption was not moved and its consideration was postponed to the semi annual meeting to be held the following August. Gov. Hall who was spending the winter in Springfield and unable to attend the meeting had written a spirited letter to the treasurer of the Association to be read in the meeting, briefly, but earnestly, protesting against the adoption of the design. It was not found necessary to use the letter at the meeting, but it was published the next day in the Bennington Banner and extensively circulated.
Previous to the August meeting, the Bennington Historical Society took measures through a committee of its members to have a design for a conspicuous monument prepared, and on its approval by a larger advisory committee from the states of Vermont, Msssachusetts and New Hampshire to be presented to the Association for their adoption in lien of that of the board of directors.
Early in June, Gov. Hall addressed an open letter to his fellow members of the Association in which he set forth his objection at considerble length to the design. claiming and insisting it was not only altogether inappropriate, but that it was not in any just sense a compliance with the terms, or spirit of the act of incorporation which declared its purpose to be "for erecting and maintaining a suitable monument commemorative of the achievements of Gen. John Stark and the patriot soldiers of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts at the decisive battle of Bennington fought August 16th, 1777."
The report of the committee of design discarded all existing monuments of magnitude and grandeur, both ancient and modern, including those in this country of Bunker Hill and Washington, as unworthy of being followed, assigning as the reason for such condemnation that they were speechless, and did not tell any story of the event to be commemorated, but left its description to be ascertained from some other source.
To overcome this supposed fault the committee resorted to an alleged story telling power of sculpture in bronze statues that the monument might properly describe the battle, forgeting or overlooking the well known truth that sculpture had no original power of speech, but like painting could illustrate and emphasize to the eye such facts only as were already known, and that without, such previous knowledge sculpture was equally dumb with their condemned monumental shaft.
But the artistic language of the proposed design would be found to give no special account of the battle by
which it could be distinguished from any other Revolutionary engagement.
None of the sculptured figures before mentioned purported to typify any of the officers or soldiers engaged in the battle. That on the top of the monument was not to be a portrait likeness of Gen. Mark, but was only to be a type of "a Revolutionary leader," the other four figures to use the language of the committee were declared "not to be portraits of individuals but types of the time and the event" intended to represent "the farmer and the artizan turning, from their avocations to take up arms to resist invasion, the woman of the time sheltering her child from the coming storm and the minister of religion invoking the divine benediction."
Such a structure might be a fair type of what would occur at any active resistance to invasion, but it would have no special relation to the victory of Bennington, and would be just as applicable to a dozen other revolutionary engagements, whether small or great, successful or othewise as that of Bennington. In all of them there would be seen the Revolutionary leader, the farmer and the artszan turning to take up arms, the woman sheltering her child and the minister invoking the divine blessing. The design thus being merely a type of an ordinary occurance in the war of the Revolution, could not in any sense be considered as commemorative of the achievement of Gen. Stark and his patriot soidiers at the victory of Bennington.
At the meeting in August, a very large number of the members being present the report which had been submitted in January reccommending the smaller design, was withdrawn, and the way made clear for the adoption of the larger and commanding one coinciding with the views of Govenor Hall. The subject was fully canvassed. Senators W. M. Evarts of New York, Justin S. Morrill and Hon. E. P. Walton of Vermont and Prof. A. L. Perry of Massachusetts with others taking part in the discussion; and the larger design reccommended by the committee of the Historical Society was adopted by unanimous vote.
The annual meeting was held the following Jan. 13, (1886) "when the committee styled a 'working committee,' appointed Aug. 12, 1885, consisting of C. M. Bliss, Geo. W. Robinson, M. C. Huling, John V. Hall and J. T. Shurtleff was continued with its same duties and powers.
Early in 1886 the working committee secured the approval of the design by the President of the United States and at length, subsequently, the payment of the appropriation of $40.000 by Congress was effected. The moneys of the three States were released on the basis of the contract with Mr. Ward for a monument 300 feet high.
At a special meeting, Aug. 5, 1886 it was unanimously "Resolved that the monument be located in the centre of the highway on the crest of the hill, as nearly opposite the site of the Continental store house as practicable." also unanimously "Resolved that the working committee raised in 1885 be empowered in co-operation with the board of directors to proceed at once to lay the foundation the of Monument of the design already adopted with full power to make contracts and cause the erection and completion of the monument." At a meeting held Jan. 12, 1887, the working committee, at their request,
60 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
were relieved and full powers given the board of directors of the Association to make contracts and build the monument after the design approved by the Association, and to transact all business relating to matters of the Association
At a meeting held by the directors, April 12, J. V. Hall, president pro tem and Rev. Isaac Jennings, secretary, a building committee consisting of H. G. Root, A. B. Valentine, and Milo C. Huling was appointed, also a finance committee, viz: John G. McCullough, John V. Hall, and J. T. Shurtleff.
The work of these committees was now pushed forward with vigor, and soon a contract was made with Contractor W. H. Ward of Lowell, Mass. for building "a monument not less than 300 feet high and substantially in accordance with the 'Rinn plan' at a cost of $75.000."
By an act of the legislature in 1886, commissioners were appointed to secure the site selected for the monument with proper surroundings by the purchase of lands and the removal of buildings, and in section 6, a sum not to exceed $10.000 was appropriated for this purpose. The report of the commission states that "there is no question but that the acqusition of a part, or all thereof' (ie the 40 acres) is desirable," but owing to expense only about 12 acres were actually reported as now necessary.
At a meeting of the board of directors of the Association, June 4, 1887, it was voted "to invite the citizens of Bennington to meet them at Library hall and join them in arrangements for the celebration of the laying of the corner stone of the monument on the 16th of August next.' It was also voted "that the board of directors extend aninvitation to the Grand Lodge of Free and accepted Masons of Vermont to participate in the laying of the corner stone of the monument." The invitation was accepted by the Grand Lodge and due notice given the board of directors. On June 15th 1887, a formal resolution was passed "inviting the Hon. Benj F. Prescott, Ex-Govenor of New Hampshire and President of the Bennington Battle Monument Association, to act as president of the day on the occasion of laying the corner stone of the monument."
OF THE CORNER STONE OF THE
Tuesday, August 16th 1887 will become historical as the day on which was impressively laid the Corner Stone of the towering Monument for the erection of which so much of thought, money and labor had been bestowed by those who for years had this grand object in view.
The First Brigade, Vermont National Guards, Brig. Gen. W. L. Greenleaf commanding had been in camp upon the grounds attached to the Soldiers Home for several days previous to the 16th, as had also Fuller Battery, Capt. Levi K. Fuller commanding, and had by their daily drill and evolutions called out the praises and encomiums of hundreds who had from day to day come from the town and vicinity to witness them.
We quote from the Bennington Banner:
"The 16th day of August 1777, 1877 and 1888 mark three important and eventful epochs in the history of Bennington. One hundred and ten years
ago the victory won for freedom and against British oppression by the patriotic Benningtonians under Col. Warner and allies from Massachusetts and New Hampshire, all under Gen. John Stark, was most potential in turning the tide of war in favor of the young Republic. The celebration ten years ago of the Centennial of the Battle of Bennington was a most memorable occasion. The laying of the corner stone of the Battle Monument to-day has also been a notable event. The weather was pleasant and fully 30.000 people were in town as spectators of, or participants in, the celebration."
"The day was ushered in by the ringing of bells and a volley from Fuller Battery, encamped here. There were clouds mingled with the sunshine but no rain or other circumstances to mar the comfort of the occasion. — The incoming trains from all directions brought crowds of people into town. The Sir Knights in their showy and symbolic dress, the visiting military, the G. A. R. and the Odd Fellows soon made our streets alive with organised bodies who were to make up the parade of the afternoon. The various deligations were met at the depots and escorted to their respective headquarters which had been provided at the halls of the organizations to which each belonged. The Govenors and their staffs were the geusts of the Association and were entertained at the Putnam. The visiting military companies were the geusts of the citizens of Bennington. They were cordially received and hospitably entertained. As these all came into the town an inkling was obtained of what the afternoon's procession would be like. The evolutions of the Sir Knights, the marching and movements of the 32d Separate Company of the New York National Guard, the fine appearance of the Berkshire Boys (both the cadets and Canton Colfax), together with what could be witnessed of our own uniformed troops and societies, all these seemed to take up the attention of the assembled thousands and kept them in good nature while anticipation was heightened in consequence.
At ten o'clock the formalities of Govenor's Day in Camp Col. Seth Warner occurred. The brigade was reviewed by Govenor Ormsbee, Commander in Chief. In this pleasant duty, he was accompanied by Govenors Sawyer of New Hampshire and Ames of Massachusetts, who had arrived just in time to participate. The three Govenors were attended as they inspected the Brigade by General Greenleaf and his full staff as well as by their own. — This as well as the review took place on the parade ground, the point of observation of the Govenors and geusts being to the east of the Soldiers Home.
Among those invited by Govenor Ormsbee as geusts (25 in all) were Senator Edmunds, Ex-Govenors Holbrook, Fairbanks, Barstow and Pingree of Vermont, State Treasurer Dubois, Secretary of State Porter and Com. E. T. Woodward, representing the Government, and several of our prominent citizens, members of the Monument Association and the Editors of the local papers.
Govenor's Day this year was one of great brilliancy, owing not only to the fine appearance and discipline of the Brigade, but also to the presence of distinguished citizens and the overshadowing importance of what was to follow. The very great improvement in
62 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
the bearing of the Vermont National Guard after a few days in camp was never more noticeable than on this occasion. As the troops passed in review the breast of all Vermonters swelled with pride as they heard the compliments showered upon them by visitors from other States. As the Banner said in the beginning of these historic events: "The Green Mountain Boys of 1887 will take rank with those of 1861 and 1777, although each must pass into renown in their respective spheres."
Precisely at the hour announced the grand procession formed. The Troy Times special places the number in line at 3.500 and the number of Masons in town at 1.000. The Chief Marshall, Col. Hooker, and Gen. Greenleaf had agreed that the head of the column start at one o'clock. Nothing could have been seen in the streets at that hour but a dense mass of people and mounted aids moving here and there.
At camp much the same order of things was apparent. Gen. Greenleaf, Col. Estey and Maj. Bond were cooly issuing their orders and awaiting the signal. When however the lines did move, the streets were cleared as if by magic, and the long and imposing column passed in review of thousands lining both sides of the streets until the site of the monument was reached. There was no delay or break anywhere and the procession was as well seen within a few rods of starting as farther down. It is safe to say that no finer line was ever seen in Vermont. Perhaps, there have been larger numbers, at the Centennial in 1877, for instance, but none more imposing and beautiful. The town presented a holyday appearance, nearly every house and place of business on the line of march and streets upon which the formations were made, being one line of flags and other decorations. On Pleasant street, the residence of Hon. A. B. Valentine, headquarters of Govnor Ormsbee, displayed a large flag tastefully hung in festoons. The waving of plumes, the flashing of swords, the glitter of shoulder straps and gilt accoutrements presented a pleasing spectacle. Time and space will not admit of an itemized report of the other and elaborate decorations."
Col. George W. Hooker, and Staff.
First Regiment Military Band.
First Brigade, V. N. C.
Brig.-Gen. William L. Greenleaf Commanding. (Col. JuIius J. Estey, Commanding First Regiment; Maj. George H. Bond, Commanding ProvisionaI Battallion.
Grand Army of the Republic.
Capt. P. T. Blodgett, Department Commander,
BENNINGTON BATTLE MONUMENT
ASSOCIATION AND COMMITTEE.
His Excellency Ebenezer J. Ormsbee,
Governor of Vermont, and Staff.
Representative of the United States
Government and Staff.
Hon. Benjamin F. Prescott, President of the Day.
Hon John W. Stewart, Orator of the Day.
His Excellency Charles H. Sawyer,
Govenor of New Hampshire and Staff.
His Excellency Oliver Ames, Govenor
of Massachusetts and Staff.
Judges of the Vermont Supreme Court.
Hon. Hoyt H. Wheeler, United States
Visiting Military Organizations.
Other Civic Organizations.
Canton Bennington I. O. O. F.
Capt. Norman M. Puffer, with Invited Chevaliers,
Right Worshipful Thomas S. Miller,
Deputy Grand Marshall.
(Taft Commandery No. 8,
Eminent G. S. Mattison, Commander.)
Eminent John R. Pilling, Grand Capt-General.
Grand Commandery of Vermont.
Right Eminent Delos M. Bacon,
Right Worshipful Harley G. Sheldon,
Grand Lodge of Vermont.
Most Worshipful Wm. Russell Burleigh,
Grand Master of New Hampshire.
Most Worshipful Henry Endicott,
Grand Master of Massachusetts.
Most Worshipful Alfred A. Hall,
Grand Master of Vermont.
Capt. Levi K. Fuller, Commanding.
PRELIMINARY TO THE CEREMONIES.
As the Fuller Battery reached Main street in Bennington Centre, it dashed rapidly up to the site of the old Continentinal storehouse where it unlimbered and fired a salute of thirteen guns, which announced the formal opening of the corner stone exercises. Seated on the speaker's stand around the monument were Ex Govenor B. F. Prescott of New Hampshire, President of the Bennington Battle Association., Gov. Oliver Ames of Massachusetts, Gov. C. H. Sawyer of New Hampshire, and Gov. E. J. Ormsbee, Senator George F. Edmunds, Congressman John W. Stewart, orator of the day, and Congressman William W. Grout. A second stand was occupied by the staffs of the three govenors and such well known Vermonters as Horace Fairbanks, Ex Gov., Samuel E. Pingree, Ex Gov., John L. Barstow, Ex Gov., Frederick Holbrook, Ex Gov., Col. B. B. Smalley, Gen. Wm. Wells, Judge H. H. Powers, Judge J. W. Rowell, Colonel Franklin Fairbanks, State Treasurer Dubois, Secretary of State Porter, Secretary of Finance Page, Gen. P. P. Pitkin, Col. John C. Stearns, Hon. James K. Batchelder, Gen. T. S. Peck, Gen. William H. Gilmore, Col. Albert Clarke, Col. F. S. Stranahan, Col. Wm. A. Crombie, Col. D. K. Hall, Col. S. M. Mansur, Col. R. E. Hathorn, Col. De May, Interstate Commissioner, A. F. Walker, Hon. Warren Gibbs, Honorable Daniel Roberts, Hon. B. D. Harris, Gen. H. K. Ide, and Col. T. C. Fletcher. Upon this stand were also seated the members of the Monument Association's Board of Directors, the Building and special committees.
The platform occupied by the Grand Lodge and Grand Commandry was situated just south of the corner stone. — This stone is 7 feet long, 3 feet wide and 2 feet 7 inches thick and will weigh more than 5 tons. The receptacle within it is 2 feet long, 1 foot wide and 8 inches deep. Within this receptacle was placed a copper box and in the box were placed the articles as read by the Grand Secretary and enumerated be‑
64 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
low. — Another stand had been erected just to the right of the second stand, on the south-east corner and upon this the monument committee had provided ample accommodations for the press, the First Regiment band and the vocalists of Bennington and Berkshire men.
After the discoursing of vocal and instrumental music by the singers and bands and prayer there followed the ceremony in Masonic order, the box within it containing the following:
Holy Bible, Gov. Hall's Early History of Vermont, Rev. Isaac Jennings Memorials of a Century, Rev. Isaac Jennings' Historical Account relating to the Battle Monument, Manuscript copy of the contract for the erection of the monument; Biographical Encyclopedia of the 19th century, Vermont; copies Bennington Banner, newspaper; copies Bennington Reformer, newspaper; other Vermont newspapers, Troy and New York newspapers, Printed laws relating to Monument, Battle of Bennington and Vermont Centennial; Forbes' Vermont Centennial, History of Odd Fellowship, Report of Masonic Grand Lodge of Vermont, 1887; Official programme of laying corner stone, Aug. 16th, 1887; Masonic ceremonies, laying cornerstone, Vermont, Centennial, Memorial Medal, Bank notes of the Banks in Bennington, Copper coins, Brigade order and roster, regimental order from Adjutant General's office for muster of 1887.
Of the above the medal was contributed by Dr. C. P. Thayer of Boston Mass.; copper coins by Thomas S. Miller of St. Albans and Mrs. S. M. Sibley. She also presented the Farmer's Almanac. The History of Odd Fellowship was written by H. L. Stinson and donated for this purpose by Vermont Grand Lodge. Copy of the Banner contained cut of monument and Record History written by Chas. M. Bliss.
The rite being concluded, Most Worshipful Alfrid A. Hall, Grand Master of Vermont in behalf of the order, in an eloquent speech presented the monument to Gov. Ormsbee for the State, as "a tribute of Americans to American valor, and of Vermont to Vermont patriotism."
The address of Gov. E. J. Ormsbee was full of interest, a portion of which was as follows:
"And now, Sir, in the name of the State of Vermont, I receive this work so auspiciously begun, from your hands. I thus receive it, not alone for the State of Vermont, but also for and in behalf of our sister commonwealths, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, who have made such liberal contribution to the cause in memory of their sons who have sealed the cause of freedom and liberty with their blood; and for and in behalf of the General Government which has by more than liberal aid espoused the cause here commemorated, and thereby given to it a National character, and securing to all of her sixty millions of people a common property and interest in this offering to patriotism, this monument to the bravery and heroism of the never to be forgotten Allen, Stark, Warner and their brave and devoted followers.
And I should be remiss in acting my pleasure if not in the performance of my duty, should I fail to here and now, to make an entitled recognition of our obligation to and to pay just tribute of thankfulness to our sister States and the United States, for the interest manifested in and for the material aid furnished to this undertaking and there‑
fore as the Executive of the State of Vermont, and in behalf of her people I tender to them through their honored and honorable representatives, who have so nobly come to us this day to pay further devotion by their presence and to give increased value to the gifts that had preceded them, our warmest thanks.
And having thus accepted the well laid foundation work of this monument to both valor and patriotism, from your hands, I now transfer it to the Bennington Battle Monument Association for completion.
Gentlemen, of the Association; Upon you is now conferred a great responsibility. You are the chosen, trusted, servants of the State upon whom now rests the duty of taking up this work and carrying it on to completion. In the performance of your duties you are not alone the servants of Vermont, but also the custodians and trustees of the General Government, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the State of New Hampshire. The honor and good faith of the State is pledged that this work shall proceed without delay, that it shall be completed as it has been begun, with stability and enduring qualities; this honor and good faith is also, in your keeping. We expect that you will give to this undertaking your individual and collective care and watchfulness and that under your supervision and direction the work will go on from base to apex, until we shall see before us completed and wholly fiinished a structure as your design calls for without blemish or defect and in keeping with the foundation before us. This we have a right to expect. Less than this would grieve and disappoint us. In full trust and confidence I now commit this work to your hands.
The work was accepted by Hon. B. F. Prescott of New Hampshire, on behalf of the Association, from whose address is copied:
Your Excellency:— As President of the Bennington Battle Monument Association and in its behalf, I accept from you, the Chief Magistrate of Vermont, this corner stone with its historic contents, now so well and appropriately laid. In doing this I feel that an important work has been well begun, and that the people of this republic will rejoice to know that an additional honor is to be paid to the patriots of the Revolution, who freely gave their lives for the establishment of the best government on earth.
The Association under the supervision of the chief architect will erect upon this imperishable foundation a monument beautiful and artistic in deign, and massive in structure, which shall in the coming ages mark one of the most important localities in our land; made sacred by the blood and sacrifices of our heroic countrymen.
By the liberality of the States of Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and the general government, which was made possable by the result of this battle, and the generosity of liberal and patriotic citizens, this monument is to be erected.
On that memorable day, August 16th 1777, without pre-arranged plans, in the heat of the battle, amid the groans of the wounded and dying, and over the prostrate forms of their fallen and dead comrades, the self sacrificing patriots of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts helped lay the corner stone of this free and enligtened repub‑
66 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
lic which has stood a century and commands the respect, and has secured the admiration of enlightened mankind, everywhere.
We meet to-day to lay the corner stone to a monument which shall forever commemorate that event, and may it when completed remain as long as the work of man shall endure, and may all who behold it in coming centuries be inspired with increased devotion to their country which confers such inestimable blessings upon its people.
History records the valor of men. — When Leonidas led the Spartan band and held the pass of Thermopylæ against the invading army of Xerxes, in which struggle he sacrificed his own life, and the immortal three hundred under his command expired on the field, he showed no valor, displayed no heroism, loftier than John Stark and the immortal heroes under his command, who checked the march and successfully defeated an invading army upon this territory. Every soldier under him would have yeilded his life had the occasion demanded it.
Our Republic is not ungrateful or unmindful of its obligation to those who established it and those who have defended it; and to you, veterans in the last great struggle in defense of the Constitution and the inseperability of these states, we owe a debt of gratitude we can never repay. You all have however the satisfaction of knowing that you preserved the best government on earth against the blow aimed at its existance. and now, with the largest liberty enjoy the blessings it confers.
This monument will be erected in honor of the mothers as well as of the fathers of the Revolution. When in those eventful and trying times, the wives and mothers in the valley of the Merrimack, and along those beautiful hillsides and upon the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts gave their husbands and sons a parting embrace, and bade them Godspeed to protect their homes against a ruthless and hostile invasion for the purpose of subjugation and booty; — when they placed their infants under the shade trees, while they reaped and harvested the grain, and offered up to God their prayers for the safe return of their loved ones and for the success of their arms, they displayed a heroism unsurpassed in the history of the world. If such do not deserve a monument at the hands of a grateful posterity to perpetuate their memory and patriotism, pray tell who on earth does?
The special exercises of the laying of the corner stone being completed, and music by the band had been enjoyed, the President of the day announced that the last thing prior to the benediction would be to listen to the
ORATION OF EX-GOVENOR STEWART,
the orator of the day. It was quite lengthy, but every sentence teemed with well digested thought, and for the memorable occasion for which it was prepared it was worthy a place in the corner stone, and to be treasured as a most valuable production of one of the honored sons of the State.
The following are extracts
FROM THE ORATION:
"One hundred and ten years ago, this very hour, a little band of hardy pioneers, our fathers, kindred and countrymen were very busy on yonder hillside clearing the track for the on-coming of the great republic. They were men of action; and the time for action had come. Petition for redress, remonstrance against wrong, protest, argu‑
ment, expostulation, had all been tried and had failed, and the question between the colonies and the mother-country had come to the dread arbitrament of war; and on that fateful day England sent her Hessian hirelings, with their tory and savage allies, to lay waste and pillage the peaceful homes which patient thrift and enterprise had made in this beautiful valley.
The brave pioneers met them on the border, nor did they await attack. — Their defense was in attack, and all that long day they confronted the disciplined invaders, and they fought as brave men fight for home and family and country, while in many a home within rifle shot of where we stand there were gathered the mothers, sisters, and wives and children of the defenders, awaiting with beating and anxious hearts the issue of the battle and news of the loved ones who were braving its perils. Who can describe the awful suspense of that day to these families as they listen to the distant roar of the deadly guns? But the night draws on, and the day is won, and so becomes one of the most memorable in American history.'
"From the number of designs submitted by different artists, the directors with entire unanimity and after careful deliberation selected the one designed by Mr. J. P. Rinn of Boston. It is believed that this design meets every required demand. Its realized embodiment, standing upon solid rock, will rise, graceful in outline, massive and majestic in proportion, to the imposing height of 300 feet; its summit commanding a view of the scenes so memorable. So standing, it will commend itself to the eye and judgment of future beholders as a fitting memorial and symbol, both of the great event it is designed to commemorate and the grand and heroic character of the men whose valor on that August day so long ago made possable the victory at Stillwater and the surrender at Saratoga in the succeeding October. And this brings me to notice very briefly the historical significance of the Battle of Bennington and the bearing it had directly upon the fate of Burgoyne's expedition, and more remotely, though not less certainly upon the result of the then pending struggle between the colonies and the mother country. I am not unaware that this is a well-worn theme. The story of the battle, in which so many of the citizens of this county took part is as familiar as a household word. Indeed, 'Bennington Battle' are to them household words.
The story has been oft told by sire to son and by grandsire to wondering grand-children gathered at his knee. It was from these homes about us that so many went out to meet and stay the invader. It is in many of these peaceful homes that their kindred and descendants now live. Here too, annually, as the years since 1777 have flown, the dwellers in this region have gathered and by appropriate ceremonies observed the anniversary of victory and deliverance.
It has been to them almost as sacred as the annual feast of the passover to the Jews. At each recurring anniversary the story has been rehearsed anew. It is a theme fruitful of impassioned oratory and an inspiration to the poet, and it has been embalmed by the historian. What can I say more or other than what has been spoken and written by your own, nay, our own Gov. Hall, whose interest in, and whose knowledge of the early history of this region was unmatched. We miss, indeed, his
68 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
venerable and benignant presence here to-day, a day which more than any other he longed to see; and yet the impress and impulse and inspiration of his spirit has been felt at every step in the progress of this association, and abides with us to-day.
[ For which — the account of the battle of Bennington — see with these papers, in the preceding pages, the account by Govenor Hall.]
"Probably few, if any of those engaged in the battle began to measure the momentous consequences which hung upon its issue. It seemed to them simply a struggle for the capture or retention of a quantity of supplies, and so far important, but the far-reaching consequences of the result could not then be foreseen. Our fathers "builded better than they knew." We estimate the value of their services in the light of subsequent events. But their want of of foreknowledge does not detract in the slightest degree from the moral quality of their action. That lies in their ready, unselfish loyalty to perilous duty, and their prompt response to its call at the risk of life itself.
No race of men ever trod this planet who more than they revered and respected rightful authority, divine and human, and it was the rightness and righteous exercise of authority which commanded their respect and allegiance Its abuse they knew was outside the functions of government, and therefore intolerable."
''In common with other colonists they would have remained in willing allegiance to the English government, had the latter respected and secured to them those natural rights which are the gift of God, and not of governments.
These men saw clearly the true functions of government, and so gave new meaning to the term patriotism. Love of country is instinctive and universal and men have died for country in every age, but in every age until the English revolution, government and country have been convertable terms, and human history is not a history of the people, but almost to our time a continuous record of the follies and crimes and oppressions committed by kings and princes and nobles.
The great teacher and Saviour of the race declared the rights and dignity of the individual man, as man, nineteen centuries ago; but the grand truth was never recognized and formulated by any civil government until more than 1200 years later, the great charter of English liberty was wrung from a reluctant king. For centuries afterward it was practically disregarded, the seed sown in men's hearts slowly germinated and grew and became the tree of liberty under which our fathers gathered and which they watered with their blood."
The heroic life, or heroic death in a just cause, thought apparently hopeless, will sometime bear rich harvest in reconversion into successful heroic action inspired by example. Such was the event and such the character of the actors therein, in reverent memory of which we are met on this anniversary day to perform this initial ceremony.
We begin now the erection of a majestic and enduring memorial which shall in some degree symbolize our conception of an event fraught with so great results, and wrought, too, by an ancestry whose heroic character and achievements must forever challenge our admiration and gratitude.
Let it rise majestic here, girt by these grand mountains, commanding views of unmatched natural beauty and overlooking the graves of the heroic dead. And so may it stand, mute but eloquent a memorial to all coming generations of the Battle of Bennington and of the valor and virtue of the men who crowned the day, whose anniversary we celebrate with glorious victory."
The Benediction by the Rev. Isaac Jennings, D. D.
DECORATION DAY ORATORS
IN NORTH BENNINGTON:
1872: Rev. S. W. Clemons.
1874: Maj. J. H. Cushman.
1876: Hon. Loveland Munson.
1877: Col. J. H. Walbridge.
1879: Capt. E. A. Howe.
1880: Rev. Henry Gordon.
1881; Hon. J. S. Smart.
1882: Capt. J. C. Baker.
1883: Rev. L. C. Partridge,
1884: Hon. J. K. Batcheller.
1885: Rev. George Shepard.
1886: D. K. Simonds, Esq.
1887: Rev. Henry Gordon, (after being at Bennington.)
"SECOND BATTLE OF BENNINGTON
Frontisplate: PROPOSED MONUMENT — Granate — 100 feet high — accessable to top. 12 mo., 96 pp., printed at St. Albans:
Dedicated TO PRESIDENT HAYES.
Illustrations: I. — [Frontisplate.]
II. – Bennington Centennial Grounds.
III — Village of Bennington, 1777.
IV. – Battle Ground of 100 years ago.
V. – The Hero of Bennington, Gen. ,Stark.
VI. – Plan of the Bennington Battle.
The patriotic little book opens: "The conflict on the battle field at Bennington, August 16th, 1777, was prefaced so briefly by the martial note of warning to the patriot "minute-man," that the decisive and glorious victory there achieved seems all the more remarkable and brilliant, while each recurring anniversary adds lustre to the names and fresh laurels to the brows of the heroic dead. * * * Suffice it in this work to preface the history of Vermont's Centennial by a preliminary skirmish at this "outpost" of the Second Battle of Bennington, * * *
"The echoes from the battle fields of Concord, of Lexington and Bunker Hill had died away nearly two years in the past, and the declaration of American Independence had been six months proclaimed at Philadelphia, when the new year 1777, dawned. With it there appeared on the eastern horizon, among the galaxy of States, the star that never sets. Even while all was seeming peace and content on the surface of this royal domain, along the Connecticut and among the green hills of the interior of the New Hampshire Grants, to the shores of the Champlain, in the mid-winter of 1777, when the Frost King — unlike King George of England — was monarch of all he surveyed, there assembled at the snow-bound hamlet of Westminster a convention of brave and hardy pioneers and freemen who declared their independence of Britain's king and laid the foundation for a free and soverign republic to be known as Vermont. And as the advancing summer's sun unbound the icy fetters, and loosed the hold of the Arctic King on the Green Mountain slopes and fertile valleys of the newborn State, so the coming season witnessed the form and sceptre of royalty
70 THE VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE
wave and disappear, while edicts from the King were scorned as chaff. Midsummer came, and the pioneers and patriots of the New Hampshire Grants assembled at Windsor and adopted a constitution for the new republic. — These were the victories of peace, even while the tramp of red coated regulars and the thunders of English artillery were heard within her borders. Six weeks later these same Green Mountain Boys, fresh from the farms and meadows, came down to Bennington with hunting gun and powder-horn, undisciplined and unused to war, to battle for the right to life, and liberty the pursuit of happiness, and in defense of their constitution and new born freedom, against the flower of the English army. It is gratifying to recall the fact that at Bennington, "the flag that waved a hundred years," — the stars and stripes, received its baptism of fire, and was carried to victory for the first time on land. It, was a worthy initiation of the national emblem that to-day is honored the wide world over.
Page 17 : The Bennington Centennial being commemorative of the greatest military achievement of the Green Mountain Boys of the days of Allen and Warner, it was highly appropriate that the descendants in arms of those patriotic sires — the National Guard of Vermont, should muster on this ground made historic on the Centennial anniversary of that battle. Although no clash of arms from contending forces would again resound through this beautiful valley, yet the "pomp and panoply of war" that martialed here as conservators of peace, was in striking contrast to the militia of 1777 that contested royal troops with flint locks, and in home-spun dress. Instead of the midnight call by courier, the martial note of warning came to the National Guard from the printing press in
COL. PECK'S ORDER.
HEAD QUARTERS FIRST REGIMENT,
BURLINGTON, VT. JULY. 16, 1887.
* * * * * *
1. This Regiment will go into camp at Bennington, Vt., on the morning of Saturday, August 11, 1887, for eight (8) days.
2. This camp will be known as Camp Stark. (&c.)
"As the white canopied field of Camp Stark came into view with Mount Anthony's green slopes for a back-ground, the sight was refreshing to the military. An advance guard from each company had pitched the tents and put things in fine order for their comrades, now marching up to camp.
"The ground selected for the military encampments, and for the public exercises to take place on, was exceptionally beautiful in its location, and picturesque in its surrounding scenery. The forum is a fifty-acre field, sloping down from the wooded side of Mount Anthony in billowy ridges toward the valley where lies the village with its white houses like flakes of foam on a sea of green foliage. All around, save to the westward, are the steep slopes of the Green Mountains with dark cloud-shadows floating along their sides. — The grounds are some half a mile from the depot, between the centre and lower villages. — The smooth and lawnlike surface of the meadow, free from either stone or bush, presented a charming scene, bordered by the pretty camps of the National Guard and veteran soldiers, the rows of tents looking as white as snow drifts on the velvet green of the field. To the south of "Camp Ethan Allen" was erected the banquet tent, 410 feet in length by 50 wide. * * * west of the banquet tent
were two pavillions running parallel, 150 feet long and 35 where the veteran soldiers took their meals. * * Headquarter tents for the Presidents and Govenors * * On one side of the field 700 feet of track laid for the accommodation of the train of 18 Pullman cars which conveyed the Govenor, Council and Legislature of Massachusetts."
"His Excellency Horace Fairbanks, Govenor and Commander in Chief, came to Bennington Saturday; his staff came Monday [For names see Forbes, page 24.] The Staff were dressed in a fine, new uniform of black with gold trimming."
THE CENTENNIAL SUNDAY
"was spent in peace and rest at camp. broken only by guard mount in the morning and dress parade at sunset. — Morning and evening prayer was observed by the Chaplin, Rev. D. C. Roberts, at his headquarters, and were continued daily through the muster. In the churches of Bennington the services were of a patriotic Christian character, no less than eight clergymen preaching at once on war and its glories when waged in the cause of freedom. At St. Peter's the First Regiment Chaplin took his text from one of the victorious Psalms; at the Second Congregational, Burgoyne's invasion was hardly veiled by a line from Iasiah; at the First Church, the words of the mild St. John headed a sermon preached under the flaunting flags of all nations; at the Methodist, "Liberty" was the theme; at the Baptist, "He is my fortress," was the text; and so the round of the churches was made by the newly aroused spirit of one hundred years ago. It was a fitting opening of the week of the reminiscent warfare, like the prayer before battle; and with the red, white and blue in flags, and bunting, gracefully draped around the pulpits and depending from ceilings, with boquets of choice flowers adding to the beauty of the decorations, the places of worship seemed to preach eloquent sermons in their very appearance. In the afternoon the Chaplain of the Regiment held a church service in the large banquet tent near the veterans' camp. The Regiment attended in a body. The singing was very fine. The Chaplain preached an eloquent discourse on — "Work and Soldiery." A service of song, or praise meeting was held at the First Congregational Church afterwards, which was largely attended. — The dress parade at six o'clock Sunday evening drew thousands of spectators to the review ground. The scene was a brilliant one to the assembled multitude, as standing at the lower edge of the green slope the National Guard were viewed as they came marching from camp into line, their gray coats and white pants, with banners waving and gun-barrels glistening with their precision of movement making a fine display."
"The first "boys in blue" to arrive were Col. George W. Hooker's Windham County veterans, who came marching up to Camp Ethan Allen with banners flying and bands of music playing. They were brown and dust covered by their march over the mountain. The story of their march was as follows:
The Brattleboro Cornet Band struck up a lively air as they lead Col. Hooker and his splendidly equipped Staff with a portion of the Windham County veterans' battallion Benningtonward from Brattleboro Monday morning, in the presence of a large crowd of Brattleborians. Ladies waved their handkerchiefs, men displayed flags, [etc.]
72 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
The march through Marlboro, Wilmington, Searsburg and Woodford was made the occasion for a perfect ovation to the old veterans. The entire populace, men and women, old and young, turning out en masse to salute and "God speed" the 1861 defenders of firesides and homes."
The Colonel's Staff comprised the first representative men of Windham County: Col. D. D. Wheeler, Gen. W. W. Lynde, Maj. H. R. Chase, Col. N. C. Sawyer, Majors R. M. Gould, B. R. Jenne, [etc. etc., Forbes, p. 26.] — The numerous, distinguished Staff — a fitting front for the brave "old vets," who with perfect step, steady tread and patriots ardor followed their file leaders.
"The fighting boys" of old Windham, in blue shirts, black pants, black hats, headed by their leaders made a fine appearance. The Brattleboro, Rockingham, Vernon, Dummerston, Putney, Newfane, Townshend, Wardsboro, Dover, Londonderry and Wilmington veterans are merged in this grand battallion. They were followed before sundown by other battallions and soon the camp was occupied.
THE CENTENNIAL DAY
OF VERMONT'S INDEPENDENCE
was opened at Bennington, August 15, 1887, at sunrise. The booming of the cannon of Fuller's Battery awoke the echoes among the surrounding hills, and the church bells rang out a peal of ,joy. The uniformed militia of Vermont New Hampshire and Connecticut and the army of veterans in Camp Ethan were early astir, and at half past nine marched to the foot of County St. where the procession was formed under the direction of A. B. Valentine, of' Bennington."
"The duty of escorting the State officials and other civil dignitaries fell to the First Regiment, National Guards of Vermont, a splendid body of men 700 strong. * * Then came the Govenor of this State, the Executive Committee of Bennington Battle Monument Association, the Vermont Centennial Commission and invited geusts in fourteen carriages.
The Second Division was headed by the Putnum Phalanx of Hartford, Ct. in theier picturesque uniform of the Revolutionary period, followed by the New Hampshire troops; Amoskeag veterans, Major Wallace; Portsmouth Heavy Artillery; State Capital Guards of Concord; Hinsdale Guards; Manchester War Veterans, escorting the State officials of New Hampshire: Govenor Prescott, Ex-Govs. Harriman and Smyth ; Gen. Nat Head, the Executive Council and State officers ; Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, State Historian ; Mason W. Tappan, Atty. Gen., Gen. Ira Cross; [etc.] the Legislature of New Hampshire — some 150 members ; and the City Government of Manchester.
The Third Division, under Colonel Hooker of Brattleboro, with an imposing Staff of' mounted officers, was the crowning feature of the procession, composed as it was of the war veterans of Vermont in their everyday attire, rough and ready for duty in the hour of their country's danger. The First Brigade embraced the southern county battalions numbered about 250 men; the second, Col. Butterfield, 300 strong; the Third, Col. Tracy from Rutland and Addison Counties, 125 men ; and the Fourth, made up of the yeomanry of Washington, Orange, Lamoille. Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties, 700 strong; total about 1300 men.
"At 9.30, the procession which had been formed upon the streets near the depot, began the line of march through the beautiful village. Every available seat upon the sidewalks, house-tops and limbs of trees was occupied by spectators. The waving of flags, the huzzas from the crowd, and the hearty welcome poured from old and young were ackowledged by the veterans in oft-repeated cheers for the ladies and patriotic decorations. Along School, Main, Silver, South and other streets, the completed and tasteful displays were almost innumerable. Upon every hand were to be seen flags of all nations, and arches bearing patriotic mottoes. The music from bands playing old-fashioned tunes as the pageant moved along resounded through the sides of the surrounding mountains.
This was the most imposing procession ever seen in Vermont. It was over three miles in length, numberd at a fair estimate 40.000 people, and was witnessed by 25.000 people. The noticeable parts of the procession were the marching of the First Regiment, N. G. of Vermont; the appearance of the Putnam Phalanx, composed of an elderly, solid class of men of Hartford, and the soldierly appearance of the New Hampshire troops and the Vermont veterans. These latter drew cheer after cheer, and the enthusiasm reached its climax when a body of 300 with a banner inscribed "Spunky Lamoille,'' made its appearance. When the veterans passed the triumphal arch, hearty cheers were given. An attractive feature, also, of the procession were the Amoskeag Veterans, who were as enthusiastically cheered by the citizens as were the home troops.
ARRIVAL AT CAMP STARK.
When the head of the column reached the entrance to Camp Stark, an immense throng were there to welcome it. Govenor Fairbanks who occupied a ladeau, drawn by four magnificent horses, was welcomed. The barouche conveying Gen. Banks, Hon. Frothingham, Geo. B. Loring, and Hon. W. H. H. Bingham, was received with loud cheers. Also, the barouche conveying Govenor Connor of Maine and General Cilley."
The Chief Marshall and Staff escorted His Excellency Horace Fairbanks, Vermont's Centennial Govenor and all distinguished geusts to the place assigned them. * * The Orator's tent was nearly filled when the distinguished geusts arrived. * * Hon. Wm. M. Evarts came in advance of the Presidential party, from his Windsor residence ; Govenor Fairbanks; Ex-Govenors Hall, Fletcher, Stewart, Smith ; Senators Edmunds and Morrill; Honerables L. P. Poland, E. W. Stoughton; Govenors Prescott, Connor, Van Zandt; Generals Hawley, Banks and Robinson; with some fifty other prominent men occupied seats on the platform.
Hon. E. J. Phelps, President of the Vermont Centennial Commission and of the day, introduced Rev. Isaac Jennings, who offered the Opening prayer. President Phelps then made an eloquent address to the invited geusts. — He stated that the state of Vermont commemorated the one hundredth anniversary of her birth and the happy and prosperous termination of the first century of her existence as an independent State. To-morrow they would signalize one of the most important victories of the Revolution. To-day was devoted to the victories not less
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renowned — not less fruitful — the victories of peace. (Applause.) To all assembled there, whether as friends or strangers, to the distinguished guests, to all the children of Vermont, from near or far, gathered to honor the centennial birthday of their native land, he was charged to extend a kindly, a courteous, a generous welcome. (Applause.) Richer States might tender more splendid hospitalities, more imposing ceremonies — theirs were plain and simple as befitted the habits of their people. The day was consecrated to the memories of the men who have laid broad and deep foudations of free institutions. Not only were they there to honor the leaders, but the rank and file, who unheralded and unknown, gave to the State the best they had. Without their virtue and patriotism the master spirits would have planned and toiled in vain. That noble race have passed away, and some of their immediate descendants were among their welcome geusts. The speaker, after paying an eloquent tribute to the valor of the sons of Vermont, concluded amid enthusiastic plaudits.
Mrs. Julia C. H. Dorr's fair poem, Vermont, followed the address, finely read by Professor J. W. Churchill of Andover [Mass.] ; then the able orator of the day, Hon. Daniel C. Roberts of Burlington; after which brief addresses were made by Gens. Hawley and Banks ; Ex-Govs. Harriman, Connor, Van Zandt, and others ; letters were read from the Gov. Gen. of Canada, John G. Whittier, Gen. Sheridan, George Wm. Curtis, Rev. Dr. Chapin and others; the literary exercises being intermingled with music by the Band of Winooskie and the Fisherville, (N. H.) Band." Such was the glory of the day of the victories of peace.
EVE BEFORE THE SECOND DAY.
About half past three, the 1st Reg. N. G. Vt., Col. Peck, and the N. H. militia forming a brigade, Gen. J. M. Clough, commanding, marched down from Camp Stark, bands playing, colors flying, and were drawn in line at the depot to receive the President.
At Troy the President was met by Colonel George A. Merrill, Vermont Cen. Com. and Col. Harrington, who went down from Bennington in the morning. At Hoosack Junction, Adj. Gen. Peck greeted the President and in behalf of the Govenor welcomed him to the State. At North Bennington, when the train pulled up at the station there were hundreds of people who came down from distant points back of the railroad to welcome the Chief Magistrate.
At 3.40, the long whistle announced the approach of the train at Bennington. The train stopped in front of the depot. The President stepped out upon the platform accompanied by Govenor Fairbanks and passed to an open barouche drawn by four spirited horses. The troops saluted the President, who rose with uncovered head and acknowledged the greeting. Men cheered, ladies waved their handkerchiefs; the crowds were enthusiastic. Following the President came Mrs. Hayes and Miss Waite, escorted by Cols. Merrill and Harrington ; Atty. Gen. Devens, Secretary McCrary, Postmaster General Key, Mr. Webb C. Hayes and the gentlemen, accompanying the President, all of whom entered carriages in waiting, which fell into line between the Vermont troops and New Hampshire militia. The column moved through River, North and Main streets to Bennengton Centre, and halted at
the residence of Rev. Mr. Tibbets, who entertained the President during his stay in Bennington.
About 9 o' clock, p. m. the President accompanied by Govenor Fairbanks, arrived at the Walloomsac House and in the brilliantly lighted parlors surrounded by a detail of the National Guard, Col. Harrington, Aid, took position to receive the people. The Ransom Guard Band struck up a lively air, outside, the hotel and the impatient visitors from without were admitted. For two hours an almost endless crowd of people, old and young, rich and poor, crippled and infirm, passed before the President, heartily shaking his hand, while from without fireworks could be seen illuminating the heavens in almost every direction." — "Very many private residences were illuminated throughout the town." All was joyance. "It was nearly midnight when the distinguished visitors left for their abodes. Out of thirty thousand visitors that day, ten thousand people slumbered within the precincts of Bennington, while the neighboring towns were full.
MORNING OF THE BATTLE ANNIVERSARY.
"While darkness yet shrouded the historic Village of Bennington, a distinguished party, civic and military, from the old Bay State, arrived by special Pullman train at the Centennial grounds. On the 16th of Aug. 1777, this grand old Commonwealth was also at Bennington, — three hundred of her sturdy, Berkshire mountain patriots "came up" while the Vermonters "came down," — as Sheridan did at Winchester — and drove back the invaders. — Massachusetts has a grateful remembrance of that great victory. Governor Rice sent his representative, Lt. Gov. Knight, with about 200 of the legislature escorted by Boston Cadet Corps, the Governor's Body Guard for more than a hundred years; with their splendid band of 26 pieces.
The thunder of artillery reverberated through the valley of the Waloomsack at sunrise — from the four cannon taken from the British, fired by the Portsmouth artillery. The bells joined their voices . * * * Tibbets Corps of Troy, veteran soldiers, accompanied by Doring's celebrated Band arrived early in the day;" and the Burleigh Corps from Whitehall in time for the grand procession.
"Governor Fairbanks with a retinue of carriages drove from his headquarters on the cetnennial field out to the Mt. Anthony home of the American President. * * On the open grounds which make the pleasant little park between the Waloomsac House and the old burial grounds where heroes and Hessians have slept for a century side by side, Col. Peek's full Regiment of the National Guard of the State were in line, with arms at "present" to receive the Nation's Executive. There can be no better pageant produced in imagination than the march of the military escort accompanied by their distinguished geusts, from the historic street of "Old Bennington Hill" down the hillside highway to the village in the Waloomsac valley where the cavalcade of thousands of soldiers, veterans and citizens were forming. * * — Chief Marshall Valentine "had massed in divisions" five thousand and more soldiers, citizens, bands, batteries and organizations, on foot, mounted and in carriages, who were to form the grandest cavalcade that ever passed through a New England city or village."
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For a minute description of the grand procession, see Forbes' book, pages 47, 45, 46, 47, 48.
"From the depot the procession commenced its triumphal march through Bennington Main street. Over the street the festoonry of every description, triumphant arches, mottoes of welcome and the emblazonment of gorgeous and patriotic display met the marching thousands along its whole length. Nearly every house was decorated; every portico and every verandah was filled with welcoming geusts, scattering boquets and waving handkerchiefs. * * President Hayes rode with Govenor Fairbanks, * * his reception in Vermont, and his ride in the procession partook of the nature of a triumph; enthusiasm ran wild, deafening cheers greeted him in a continuous roll along the entire route. As the day before, the crowd was thickest at the grand arch, the cheers most deafening. * * There were 3000 veterans in line to-day; as each company passed the triumphal arch the people raised their hats. Col. Hooker riding at the head of the Windham County Battalion, and Col. R. V. Randall in command of "Spunky Lamoille" veterans, drew attention second only to the Presidential party. Many officers in the service during the Rebellion were recognized and loudly applauded as they passed by. The Legislature of Vermont and New Hampshire walked the entire distance traversed by the procession which called out many reminisences concerning the men who came on foot to the same spot a hundred years ago.
When the procession arrived at the centennial field it passed in review before the President. The President welcomed the procession, * * he congratulated the State of Vermont upon the felicitous beginning and progress of this centennial occasion. * * *
Mr. Key and Mr. McCrary were introduced by the President and spoke briefly; the President then introduced a grand-daughter and two great-granddaughters of Gen. Stark, and Mr. Evarts introduced Mrs. Hayes; and after were speeches, poems, music and toasts. The venerable Rev. Allen of North Woodstock, Ct., grandson of fighting Parson Allen," opened with prayer and the welcome address was by Govenor Fairbanks, as follows:
"Mr. President, and Ladies and Gentlemen:— It is well, and we are glad that this memorable occasion should be honored by the presence of citizens and the chief executive officers of so many of our States, and especially by the President of the United States and his Cabinet. The heroic deeds of the hundred years ago were not done to achieve the independence or liberty of any one colony or State, but to achieve the liberties of America. Fellow citizens of this great Republic and patriot soldiers, lovers of human rights and liberties, in behalf of the State of Vermont, I bid you a most hearty and cordial welcome to these commemorative services and hallowed associations, well, will it be if from them we catch and carry away in some measure the same patriotic devotion to all freedom which inspired those brilliant heroes on yonder battle field, one hundred years ago."
Gov. Fairbanks was followed by the Orator of the Day, President S. C. Bartlett of Dartmouth College. [For extract see Forbes p. 53, for full address, official record by the Bennington Battle Monument Association.] After
the oration came the poem of Wiliam Cullen Bryant and short speeches by the President and his Cabinet.
THE BANQUET:— Plates laid under a series of tents in form of a Greek cross for 3500 persons: tables loaded with meats, fruits, delicacies ; ornamented with boquets of brilliant flowers, — decorated with flags, — bunting, a huge American ensign over the presidential seat. President and party entered at 3.25: The President escorting Mrs. Gov. Fairbanks, Mrs. Hayes attended by Gov. Van Zandt of Rhode Island; E. J. Phelps, Esq., Pres. Ben. Bat. Monu. Asso., presiding ; receiving, later, from President Hayes the compliment "for dignity, grace, culture and admirable wit, he excelled any presiding officer that he had ever met. The dinner was abundant and enjoyable ; the tables were waited on by young ladies, their badge of office a pretty ribon on which was inscribed "Mollie Stark."
President Phelps lead with a brief opening speech, to the point, and read a letter of Lord Dufferin of Canada, of regret not to be there; a band played an English national anthem.
Mr. Evarts followed Mr. Phelps. — He "closed his speech by referring to the fact that had been brought to the notice of the people by a distinguished writer (Artemas Ward) who had declared himself willing to sacrifice on the altar of his country all of his wife's relations, but John Stark went farther than that for, he declared himself willing to sacrifice his wife's husband." (Laughter.)"
Govenor Prescott of New Hampshire followed, who spoke at length.
"We come," he said, "with full numbers to this centennial occasion."
Then, Hon. W. Stoughton, of New York: "If the men who fought Bennington Battle could have looked forward to this day and seen themselves enthroned in the affections of forty millions of people, they would have felt that all the sacrifices, all the slain, all that went to secure a victory that was dear to them on that field, was well repaid by this day."
Govenor Fairbanks, Senator Edmonds, Postmaster General Key, Atty. General Devens made short speeches.
Mr. Phelps then said in the abscence of the Treasurer of the United States, who was probably like the king in the nursery song, "busy counting out his money," and getting ready for specia payment, he would call upon one who was fit to be treasurer, Senator Justin S. Morrill, and Mr. Morrill responded:
"I have always pitied one who was so unfortunate as not to be born in Vermont, and, especially, those not having a share in Bennington Battle. I trust that we shall all rally to every call as to the sound of the trumpet which calls us to commemorate these virtues of the people of our States."
Speeches were also made by Thomas Allen of St. Louis, Lieut. Gov. Rice of Massachusetts and President Barttlett of Dartmouth College, and letters were read from the Govenor of Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennesee, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Indiania and North Carolina; Gen. Garfield of Ohio and some thirty others. It was past six p.m. when the banquet concluded by the rendering of a volunteer poem entitled "Parson Allen's Ride," by Wallace Bruce of Poughkeepsie.
After the banquet the Boston Corps, Thos. F. Edmunds, commanding, held a dress parade on the review grounds.
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their precision of movement was admired by thousands. As soon as the dusk of night favored, camps Ethan Allen and Stark were illuminated by fires and torchlights, interspersed with thousands of Chinese lanterns, calcium lights, transparencies, etc. etc.; the camps of the veteran, Fuller's Battery, the Estey, Park and Ransom Guard brilliant in the extreme; and Hooker's headquarters was the object of universal admiration. In addition to the 500 Chinese lanterns, pyramsds of light, and display of transparencies. which were the especially admired feature of the camp illuminations. Directly in front of the officers tents and parallel with the color lines, the triangular transparenciences, stretching to the fartherest camp location were the likenesses of Washington, Lincoln, Grant, Hayes, Stark, Ethan Allen, Evarts, Devens, Custar, Sedgewick, Sheridan, Sherman, Generals Baldy, Smith and Brooks.
The evening was a very brilliant one in Bennington Village, every house was thrown open and nearly every house was illuminated with Chinese lanterns, transparencies, and patriotic devices. The midnight hour proclaimed from the church tower did not put a quietus on citizen or soldier. Illuminations and fireworks greeted the early dawn of Friday, as if protesting against the innovation of another day on a great anniversary occasion which had been so proud an one for Vermont; so replete with historic associations, and so fittingly and successfully commemorated for the past twenty-four hours.
During the night and early morning the veterans broke camp, Col. Hooker and his Windham County boys being the first to take up the line of march for "the seat of peace" at Brattleboro.
At Camp Stark the usual routine of duties to 11 a.m. when Fuller's Light Battery was reviewed by the Governor and his Staff who expressed the liveliest satisfation with the Battery. They left for home at noon.
At 2 p. m. took place the annual review and inspection of the First Regiment, the National Guards of Vermont, Col. Peck commanding, by Gov. Fairbanks and his Staff, and the Colonel was highly complimented by the Governor on the increasing excellence the regiment was attaining year after year under his management and control. At the conclusion the Regiment held their daily dress parade before the Governor Friday evening, * * witnessed and loudly applauded by a great concourse of people. Companies F I and G broke camp at an early hour Saturday, so as to hit the morning train to their homes ; and the rest of the regiment left on a special train at 10 a. m.
[Thus far from Forbes. And it is due to the memory of the late Rev. Dr. Chapin of New York, who wrote years since to us that he sometimes felt almost as if he were a Vermonter; that the happiest years of his life were in Vermont, to inscribe here his tribute to Bennington Battle delivered on the steps of old Clio Hall when a student there, Aug. 16, 1837.
BY EDWARD H. CHAPIN.
They came up at the battle's sound,
Stern, iron-hearted men.
They heard it as it thrilled along
The stream-side and the glen;
The dim, old mountains echoed back
That summons, wild and strong
And the greenwood depths were stirred
As with a triumph song.
They came as brave men ever come,
To stand, to fight, to die;
No thought of fear was in the heart,
No quailing in the eye;
If the lip faItered, 'twas with prayer,
Amid those gathering bands,
For the sure rifle kept its poise
In strong, untrembling hands.
They came up at the battle sound
To oId Waloomsack height,
Behind them were their fields of toil
With harvest promise white;
Before them those who sought to wrest
Their hallowed birthright, dear,
While through their ranks went fearlessly
Their leader's words of cheer.
My men there are our Freedom's foes,
And shall they stand or fall?
Ye have your weapons in your hands,
Ye know your duty all;
For we this day will triumph o'er
The minions of the crown,
Or Molly Stark's a widowed one
Ere yonder sun goes down.
One thought of Heaven, one thought of home,
One thought of hearth and shrine,
Then rock-like stood they in their might,
Before the gIitternig line.
A moment, and each keen eye paused
The coming foe to mark,
Then downward to his barrel glanced
And strife was wild and dark.
'Tis sixty years ago; and where
Are those brave yeomen now?
The clods are heavy on the breast,
And dust is on the brow;
A few still linger with dimmed eyes,
And time-bleached locks of gray,
But they are passing one by one,
To their deep rest away.
The triumph of that confIict hour
With them will not depart,
The memory of that old red field
Is fresh within the heart.
'Twill live on very mountain side,
'Twill breathe in every glen,
And linger by the sepulchre
Where sIeep those mighty men:
It needs no monumental-pile
To tell each storied name,
The fair green hills rise proudly up
To consecrate their fame;
True to their trust, Waloomsac long
The rcord bright shall bear
Of those who came up at the battle sound
And fought for freedom there.
A PORTRAIT OF GEN. STARK,
THE HERO OF THE BENNINGTON BATTLE,
which has just come in from Springfield, Mass., from Mr Clogston, from Mr. Eastman, "Sons of Vermont," for the 'Papers of Bennington Battle' in the Gazetteer. Thanks from the little office in Chicago: The Sons of Vermont do not lose their loyalty in the old Bay State, or in the Granate State. Welcome to valor! If any man ever had a right to a picture in Vermont History it is John Stark. — right here where he struck us will we place him, — that brave face in the glow of the Bennington Battle by Street. — See, just over in the midst of Street's Battle.
THE BATTLE OF BENNINGTON.
BY ALFRED B. STREET.
Famous the deeds by our fathers done!
List to the Battle of Bennington!
Stalwart in body and lion in heart,
The heroes that bore in that battle a part.
Oft did my grandsire tell the strife
Till the winter storms with the sounds grew rife.
The wind shrieked wild with tones of fear,
The hail was the musketry smiting my ear.
And the rusty old king's arm seemed to call
From the broad moose antlers against the wall.
'Twas at the close of a summer's day,
(One stormy night, I thus heard him say:)
All through the hours from early morn,
Had I been working in the corn;
And now I watched in the sunset glow
The shadows longer and stronger grow.
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Leagues or forest that hid the day,
Swept from my cabin of logs away.
And naught of tidings e'er touched my ear
From the world lying dimly at distant sphere.
I watched, as I said, by my cabin door,
The sundown creeping the clearing o'er.
A hawk was rounding a pine near by,
Rousing the echoes with hoarsest cry.
A deer was grazing down toward the brink
Of the beaver dam brook for his sunset drink.
My sire was leaving the lot on the hill;
Of threescore and ten, but vigorous still;
The household song of my wife rang free,
Blent with my baby boy's frolic glee.
All was contentment without alloy;
I blessed the dear God in my grateful joy.
What was the figure that just then broke
Out from the shadow of a, skirting oak?
Hurried his footsteps and wild his air.
Surely Hans Boorne was approaching there:
"Rouse thee, John Arnold!" he panted quick,
Swift were his gestures, his breath came thick—
Thick with his haste, and he sank below;
"Rouse thee, John Arnold, the foe, the foe!"
We sat us down in the plumy brake
And he told how Burgoyne had come up the Lake,
Taken old Ti, and with two-fold might
Won Hubbardton's desperate stand-up fight,
And now was coming with bow and spear,
To bring captivity far and near.
As deep I listened my veins grew hot,
And a battle field rushes o'er the sylvan spot
The kine-bell changed to a weapon's clank,
The rows of rye to the serried rank;
And full in the midst was John Arnold's tread,
With no fear in heart, but war's fever instead.
Where sheds blazed reddest his way he took,
And his arm waxed weary with blows he strook.
And I sprang to my foot with a ringing cry,
"Hans Boorne, John Arnold will do or die;"
I took the king's arm, the rust I cleared,
Till its barrel like silver, smooth shining appeared;
And left to my father the rifle, to slay
The venison or panther chance prowling that way.
I clasped to my bosom my boy and wife,
Then pointed my way toward the region of strife.
Three days did I tramp by the moss on the bark,
Three nights did my camp-fire jewel the dark.
At last as the morning was beaming I won
The beautiful meadows of Bennington.
The little Walloomsack rippled alone,
Giving the wilderness song for song;
And hasty trampling of men was there,
The flag of my country high streaming in air.
Old Stark was galloping to and fro,
Wherever he hastened out-burst a glow:
"There stand the red-coats! we'll smite them well
And drive back the hounds to their kennels in hell.
"None but cowards will slink away!
Sons of the brave sires will fight to-day!
For victory's banner shall fly o'er me
Or Molly Stark's a widow, said he."
A shout rolled upward of fierce acclaim;
Each bosom burning with patriot flame,
As blinked in the distance the red-coat ranks
Our torrent of frenzy boiled over its banks;
And we shook with our firing the valley's green lap;
It was like one continuous thunder-clap.
We stormed the heights where the Hessians stood,
And made them red with their rascal blood.
Not a cannon did give us aid
As on us their deadliest batteries played.
We swept the fierce Indian, a yelping pack —
And sneaking Tory as leaves in our track.
We beat them once and then Breyman upbore;
Brave railed the foe and they fought us once more.
But all in vain, for bold Warner too,
Bore up, and for us, and we charged anew.
Bear-skin helmet and plumed cap fell,
Volley met volley, yell mixed with yell.
The musket ball hissed and the rifle ball sang,
And the screech of the cannon ball deafening rang.
I saw through the black smoke the red-coats reel,
And my heart at the brave sight grew harder than steel.
My trusty, old king's arm waxed heavy and hot
And still I poured without stint my shot.
My wife seemed saying "John Arnold, fight on!"
And I heard through the conflict the voice of my son.
Still Stark went galloping up and down,
"Fight, fight the base red-coats, mean slaves of a crown!"
"Fight, fight my brave fellows, said he,
Or Molly, I tell ye, a widow shall be!"
With a shout that shook the sunset sky,
We dashed right on — it was conquer or die.
Where Stark's eye glittered, there withered our foes,
For there fell the might of our fearfulest blows.
The little Waloomsack blushed with red,
And hushed its song, for twas filled with dead.
And when night darkened, the air about,
Shook with our victory's thundering shout.
Cannon and banners, and swords and guns,
And captives were tribute to Freedom's sons.
With the leader of all, bold Baum, who died,
As we rolled the loud cheers in our conquering pride.
Old Stark up-towered among us still,
"And Moll's no widow!" laughed he with a will.
And so, my boy, was the grim fight won,
Such was the Battle of Bennington.
HON. HILAND HALL.
BY HENRY D. HALL, ESQ.
Nathaniel Hall, the father of Hiland Hall, was a quiet, thrifty farmer and his wife, Abigial (Hubbard) Hall, a worthy and true help-meet. The emigrant ancestors of both were English. John Hall of the father and George Hubbard of the mother, after being over 15 years at Boston and Hartford, in 1750 became large landholders, and the first settlers of Middletown, Ct. In the old graveyard there may still be found the tombstones of some of their early descendants.
Nathaniel Hall was deacon of the old Baptist church at Bennington. He and his wife were both worthy and esteemed members of the church and respected members of society.
Dea. Nathaniel Hall came to Bennington in 1779. He was married to Abigail Hubbard at Norfolk, Ct., Oct. 12, 1794. Their children were:
HILAND, the oldest, subject of this sketch.
Phebe, died, 1860, aged 63.
Abigail, died, 1884, aged 85.
Nathaniel, died, 1846, aged 46.
Anna, died, 1869, aged 65.
Laura, died, 1854, aged 48.
Polly, the youngest, died in 1870, aged 62 years; all having married and leaving descendants.
Dea. Nathaniel Hall died in 1849, aged 86 years, and his wife in 1846, aged 78 years.
The early education of HILAND HALL was in the common schools of his neighborhood, and the better part of a three months term, one full at the Academy in Granville, N. Y., which he would probably have rounded out, had he not been sick before the close of the term, the only sickness of his youthful days of which the writer remembers to have heard him speak, though he has heard him tell his children how his good mother, getting her children ready Sunday morning, and he making the excuse of not feeling well to stay at home, would seize the "picra bottle" and a tablespoon, and he would conclude to try to go to church. The sermons were in those days, two on every Sabbath, each at least, an hour or more in length.
The youth of Hiland Hall was spent on his father's farm in Bennington.
The following incident connected with his early schooling is from a memorandum by himself:
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In the adjoining town of Shaftsbury, about a mile from my father's there was a Baptist meeting-house, and also a school-house in which schools were usually kept about three months in the whiter by male teachers, and about as long in summer by females, for instruction in reading, writing and arithmetic, and for years no other branches had been taught. The teachers had generally been taken from the neighborhood, but when I was nine or ten years old, a winter teacher from abroad was employed, who on examining the progress I had made in those branches, told me I was forward enough to study grammar and advised me to do it. I had little idea what he meant by it, but supposed it would be right, and was willing to undertake it. He found another scholar, a girl 15 or 16 years old, who was spending the winter with her uncle, the Baptist minister, who wished also to pursue the study. The teacher said it would be necessary to have a book and gave me a memorandum of the title "Alexander's English Grammar," which was soon obtained at Troy, by my father who was going there with a load of wheat. The grammar was apout the size of Webster's spelling-book and bound in boards like it; and we began the study. That branch of learning was new to the school-children and excited their attention and curiosity, and they went home to their parents full of information about the jargon of hard words that had been rattled off by the teacher and his two learners, such as nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and others that they could not understand. This jumble of unmeaning words it was argued by some of the parents would greatly disturb the studies of the other scholars, and the question was raised, whether such teaching should be allowed in the school. There had been some dissatisfaction in the district at the employment of the stranger in preference to a local teacher who had applied for the place, and he with his friends seized upon this matter as the means of getting rid of a rival. They called a school meeting where the question of allowing grammar to be taught in the school was discussed. The minister with one or two others favored grammar, but the majority was against it, and it was voted that grammar should not be taught in the school, and that the teacher should be dismissed.
It went abroad that it was also voted that no teacher should be employed that understood grammar, but that was not true ; no such vote as that was taken. The truth was disgraceful enough without this needless addition. The whole proceeding was, however, favorable to the progress of instruction in the district. The reaction of feeling by the pressure from without was irresistible. The opponents of grammar, themselves, became ashamed of what they had done, and the next year a teacher who was thought to be well qualified as a grammarian was employed, grammar was taught without objection, and no other ante-grammar outbreak was afterwards heard of."
He read when quite young all the books that he could find or borrow in the vicinity, his preference being for history and biography.
Mr. Hall, early in life, became interested in politics, favoring the Republican party. At eighteen, he was active in the formation of the "Sons of Liberty," a society of the young men of
Bennington for a vigorous prosecution of the war with England — 1812. He was one of the committee to draft the constitution of the Society and took a great interest in its meetings at which political questions were discussed. It continued in active life until after the war.
Among the patriotic acts of this society was the procuring from the ladies of the vicinity 158 pairs of mittens and 42 pairs of socks, which were in Jan. 1814, presented to the 11th Regiment of U. S. soldiers which had been largely recruited in Vermont, and was then stationed at Plattsburg, N. Y.
The Society existed during the war. Its record book, over 60 pages of foolscap size, is well preserved. Its last record is an account of its celebration of the Fourth of July 1815; at which there were an address, procession, dinner and 18 toasts, the number then of the States in the Union.
In 1824, 1828, Mr. Hall voted with the Republican party. In 1828, his party took the name of National Republican, which name was changed afterwards to Whig, to which party Mr. Hall belonged till in 1856, it was merged in the new Republican party, a name under which he begun his political life.
He studied law and was admitted to the Bennington County Bar, December, 1819. He established himself in practice in his native town, which he represented in the Legislature in 1827. He was Clerk of the Supreme and County Court for Bennington County in 1828; was elected the State Attorney for the County in 1829, for which he was re-elected for the next three years.
Of a generous disposition, easily turned aside when collecting his own bills, thinking but little of money for its own sake, but using it freely for the necessary comfort of his family, at this time increasing in numbers ; and by answering calls of the needy and unfortunate, — a distinctive trait of his kindly character, an inability to turn away those who appealed for help, although he hardly knew where the next dollar was to come from; resulting in early becoming involved in his pecuniary relations, and for years living in a home heavily mortgaged, but which he was enabled to clear up in middle life, having never settled a debt at less than 100 cents on a dollar.
And another trait which tended to lessen his yearly income was the conscientious expression to his clients of his opinion of their cases, that prevented or stayed a prosecution that in some hands would have brought return fees, adding much to the income of an attorney; but gave confidence to those for whom he was engaged, as they never had reason to fear he would be tampered with by opposite council, or their cases in any way be jeopardized by him for want of integrity.
And the opinion obtained to quite an extent, that the side he was engaged on would prevail from the inherent justice it was undoubtedly possessed of.
In January 1833, he was chosen a representative in Congress to supply the vacancy occasioned by the death of Hon. Jonathan Hunt, and took his seat the 21st of that month, during the extraordinary excitement growing out of Mr. Calhoun's South Carolina nullification ordinance, and witnessed the failure of that first serious effort at disunion.
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At the same election, Mr. Hall was chosen a member to the 23d Congress, which commenced, December 1834. — The district then comprised the counties of Bennington and Windham with seven towns in Windsor County, viz: Andover, Baltimore, Cavendish, Chester, Ludlow, Springfield and Weston. This district, he represented in Congress for ten successive years, receiving as a National Republican and Whig, five different elections by large majorities. His congressional service terminated, Mar. 3, 1843, he having declined being longer a candidate.
In Congress, Mr. Hall was a working rather than a talking member, but occasionally made political speeches among them one in 1834, against General Jackson's removal of the government deposites from the United States Bank, and another in 1836 in favor of the distribution of the proceeds of the public lands among the states, which measure was in effect consummated at that session in the distribution of surplus revenue, by which nearly $700.000 were received by the State of Vermont and added to the school funds of the towns of the state. Both of these speeches were pamphleted and extensively circulated, and the former was reprinted in New York prior to the succeeding state election as a campaign document.
CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE SERVICE.
But the speaking of Mr. Hall in Congress was in general of a business character, to influence the votes of members on pending questions. His work on committees, first on that of the post office and post-roads, after on revolutionary claims, was onerous and severe, his printed reports covering several volumes of public documents. In 1836, while a member of the post-office, he presented a minority report in opposition to the message of the President and report of the Post-Master-General which had reccommended the enactment of a law making it a penal offence to transmit by mail into any of the Southern states, printed matter against the institution of slavery, termed "incendiary publications." * * * Showing the great difficulty and danger of such legislation, the report of Mr. Hall took the ground that it would be an infringement of the liberty of the press, and a violation of the constitution, which had conferred no power on Congress to look into publications and prescribe what opinions should and what should not he admitted into the mails, or be the subject of mail transmission. The report was signed by Mr. Hall and the Hon. George N. Briggs, afterwards the Governor of Massacusetts, but as the majority of the committee failed to make their report, it did not become a public document. It was however printed in the National Intelligencer at Washington, in New York and other papers.
Mr. Hall's services were especially important in committees and also in debate, in exposing wasteful and extravagant expenditures. While on the postoffice committee, he took an active and prominent part in framing and procuring the passage of the act of July 2d 1836 which made a radical change in the organization of the post-office department and provided an effectual system for the settlement of its complicated accounts by which an alarming series of frauds that had caused a very great drain on the treasury was broken up, and an honest and economical administration of its affairs inaugurated and secured.
MEETING VIRGINIA CONGRESS CLAIMS.
His successful efforts in relation to one class of claims deserves a more particular notice, as well, for the large amount involved, as for the powerful influence and bitter opposition he was obliged to overcome in exposing their unfounded and fraudulent character.
For several years there had been passing through congress with little opposition, numerous claims founded on alleged promises of the legislature of Virginia, or of the Continental Congress, to Virginia officers of the Revolutionary army some of them denominated Commutation Claims, some half pay and some bounty-land claims, but all depending upon similar evidence to sustain them. In satisfaction of these claims there had already been drawn from the treasury over three millions, nearly all of which had been paid for supposed services of deceased Virginia officers, and still, were pending before congress claims to the amount of more than another million, and their number and amount were continually increasing. By a patient and laborious examination of the Revolutionary archieves in the department at Washington, with some information he derived from the public records at Richmond, he became satisfied that the great mass of the claims already paid was unfounded and those that were still pending were, if possable, still more worthless. In order to bring the subject fully before congress, he obtained the appointment of a select committee of which he was made chairman. He prepared a report unfavorable to the claims, which was approved by the committee and presented to the House, Feb. 27, 1839, with the usual motion that it be laid on the table and printed. Contrary to the uniform practice in such cases, the printing the report was vehemently opposed by the Virginia deligation. After obstructing the action of the House during the morning hour of that day, by dilatory motions and debate, they found the members impatient to order the printing under the previous question, upon which, as a last resort, Mr. Wise of Virginia called for the reading of the report, which by strict rule he had a right to require before voting upon it. The reading of the report was commenced and was continued through the morning hours of Feb. 28th and Mar. 1st, within two days of the close of the session, when the pressure of other business prevented its being finished.
Mr. Wise's unexampled hostile call for the reading had its designed effect of smothering the report for that congress.
The next session of Congress, Mr. Hall became a member of the committee of Revolutionary claims, and soon afterward its chairman. Apr. 24, 1840, he made a report from that committee on the bounty land and commutation claims of the Virginians, similar to the one which had been suppressed at the close of the previous congress, which showed by authentic documentary evidence that every one of those allowances was unfounded. The efforts of the Virginians to obtain Revolutionary allowances, especially for officers bounties under an old law of their state, being still continued, Mr. Stanly of North Carolina, June 10, 1842, offered a resolution directing the committee of Revolutionary claims to examine and report on their validity, which resolution he afterward modified by substituting a select committee for that on Revolutionary claims. This was done
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on complaint that Mr. Hall, the chairman of the standing committee, was unreasonably and unjustly prejudiced and would not give the claimants a fair hearing. On the 16th of June, Mr. Hall, having obtained the floor spoke an hour in vindication of his course in regard to the claims, showing by undoubted documentary evidence that they were all, collectively and individually, either wholly fraudulent or clearly unfounded on any Revolutionary service to sustain them; and he closed his remarks by presenting a list of the names of 64 claimants, whose claims amounted to over $200.000, and comprised all of the latest of those claims that had been reccommended for payment by the Executive of Virginia, and were included in the bill then pending in the House.
He said every one of them was bad, and offered to abandon his opposition to the claims if any member would satisfy the House that any single claim was well founded. His remarks were commented upon by many of the Virginians, and among them Messrs. Goggin, Goode and Gilmer, in speeches of an hour each, which were all highly laudatory of the patriotism of Virginians and her Revolutionary heroism, but none of them ventured any attempt to show the validity of a single claim.
The speech of Mr. Gilmer in particular was of an aggressive and extremely personal character towards Mr. Hall, and was Sharply replied to by him, in which his attacks were effectually repelled. Whereupon, Mr. Hall made a further exposure of the claims and showed that Mr. Gilmer, who had been governor of Virginia, had originated them by inducing the legislature of the state to reccommend their payment bycongress when they were well known to be entirely worthless; that he had as agent of the half-pay claimants, whose claims were equally invalid, first presented them to congress, and that he was by a law of the state entitled to one per cent, on all that should be paid by the United States, on which he had already received over $12.000, and was entitled to a like allowance on all future payments. This debate occupied the morning hours of several days, and having the numerous delegation of Virginia on one side and a single member from another state on the other and being in a great degree of a personal character, attracted very general attention. The vindication of Mr. Hall, which was full and complete, and overwhelming to his assailants, was listened to with unusual interest, and was also the subject of general newspaper notice and comment.
Ex-president Adams, who was a member of the House at the time, mentions the debate in his diary as follows:
"June 16th 1842. Stanly moved the appointment of a select committee to investigate the expenditure on account of Virginia Military Bounty land warrants from which sprang up a debate, and Hiland Hall opened a hideous sink of corruption until he was arrested by the expiration of the morning hour.
June 21st. Gilmer growled an hour against Hall for detecting and exposing a multitude of gross frauds perpetrated in the claims relating to the Virginia land warrants.
"June 22d. Goggin scolded an hour against Hiland Hall, and W. O. Goode took the floor to follow him.
June 24th. W. O. Goode followed the Virginia pack against Hall. James Cooper moved the previous question, but withdrew it at the request of Mr. Hall, to give him opportunity to reply to the Virginia vituperation.
June 25th. Hiland Hall took the morning hour to flay Gilmer and the Virginia Military land warrants."
This thorough exposure of these claims, and the marked rebuff of their champions, followed as it soon after was by a full history and condemnation of them in detail in a report by Mr. Stanly's select committee, operated as a final extinguisher of them. — Mr. Hall was a member of the select committee, and the report had by direction of the committee, been prepared and made to the House by him.
* * * * * * * * * *
For an account of the claims and correspondence in full, see report No. 485, second session, 27th Congress. — It is believed there were few or no further allowances by the department.
Mr. Hall was Bank Commissioner of Vermont for four years from 1843, Judge of the Supreme Court for the like period until 1850, when he was appointed Second Comptrollor of the United States Treasury, his duties being to revise and "finally adjust" all accounts with the government of officers and others in the War and Navy departments after they had been stated and passed upon by the second, third and fourth auditors. A claim came before him founded on an expenditure that had been ordered by the head of a department which he thought was illegal, and the question arose whether he had authority to reject it. It was insisted in behalf of the claimant that the Secretary being his superior officer and representing the President, the comptrollor was bound by his approval and had no power to disallow it. In support of this doctrine a labored written argument was presented, and it appeared to be sanctioned by the published opinion of three former attorney generals. On full examination of the statutes Mr. Hall came to the conclusion that judicial authority had been designedly conferred on the accounting officers as a check upon lavish expenditures in the departments, and it was as much their duty to disallow claims not sanctioned by a law, as it was of a court of justice. The question being one of importance, the opinion of the Comptrollor was published in pamphlet and it is understood has since been accepted and followed in the several departments, as a just exposition of the law on the subject, and recently a second edition of the same has been printed for the use of the Departments.
In 1851, at the solicitation of President Fillmore, he accepted the office of Land Commissioner for California, his associates being Gen. James Wilson of New Hampshire and Judge Harry I. Thornton of Alabama. The duties of the commission were to adjust the claims to land under the treaty of Mexico, the titles of the owners as recognized by the Mexican laws having been guaranteed to them by that treaty. Mr. Hall was chairman of the commission and had charge of its funds, which be disbursed for its necessary expenditures which amounted to several hundred thousand dollars; all of which was duly accounted for at the Treasury Department.
The contested land claims brought into full use the fitting qualifications which his habits of thought and investigation through life had developed.
Among the cases brought before this commission many of which were of great importance was the famous Mariposa claim of Gen. J. C. Freemont, involving millions of dollars, and in the adjustment and settlement of which the application of law involved,
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included almost without exception all points that would be liable to arise in the adjucation of similar claims. The opinion of the commissioners was in this case written by Mr. Hall, and the points were so fully and clearly elucidated, that many eminent jurists have written him expressing their admiration of the document.
On the accession of President Pierce, new commissioners were appointed, and Mr, Hall at the solicitation of his son-in-law, Trenor W. Park of the firm of Halleck, Peachy, Billings and Park, then a prominent law firm in San Francisco, remained with them for a time as general adviser, and to assist in the preparation of briefs and other important law papers. In the spring of 1854, he returned to Vermont, and resuming his residence on the farm in Bennington on which he was born, retired from the further practice of his profession.
Mr. Hall was a member of the convention which met at Philadelphia in 1856 and gave the Republican Party a national character, by nominating candidates for the presidency and vice presidency. In 1858 and 1859 he was elected Governor of the State by that party by a large majority.
The Governor in his first message besides calling the attention of the legislature to the local affairs of the State, spoke in decided condemnation of the then recent attempt of the majority of the judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, in furtherance of the wishes of President Bucahnan and his advisers to fasten upon the country by judicial sanction the new and extraordinary doctrine that the constitution itself legalized slavery in the territories and that congress consequently had no power to prevent its introduction. — The language of the message in regard to this assumed action of the court was as follows:
"With a strong habitual reverence for Judicial authority, when exercised with in its appropriate sphere for the determination of individual rights, I confess, I have not a high regard for it, when sought to be extended to political questions. The history of our parent. country furnishes many examples of judges, learned and eminent, whose extra judicial opinions were sought and obtained by the government for the purpose of crushing out the rising spirit of liberty among the people. Indeed for the character of the judicial ermine it is to be lamented, that judges of distinguished legal attainments have often been found giving countenance to oppression and wrong by ingenious and fanciful constructions and that English liberty has been fixed upon its present firm foundations, not by the aid of judicial efforts, but by overcoming them. There is reason to hope that the extrajudicial opinions of the judges in the Dred Scott case, contrary as they are to the plain language of the constitution, to the facts of history and to the dictates of common humanity, will meet the fate which has attended those of the judges of the parent country, and that liberty will be established in spite of them."
In his last message in 1859, he thus announces his determination to retire from further public service:
"In closing this my last annual message, I cannot withhold the expression of my grateful thanks to the freemen of the State for the confidence which they have on all occasions so generously manifested towards me ; and I beg to assure them that in retiring from public life at the end of the present political year, I shall carry with me
the warmest and most heartfelt wishes for the continual prosperity of the State, and for the welfare and happiness of its people."
He, however, consented to act as one of the commissioners to the fruitless "Peace Congress" which on the call of Virginia assembled in Washington in February 1861, on the eve of the Rebellion, and was chairman of the delegation from Vermont.
On the breaking out of the Rebellion in 1861, he felt it his duty to do all in his power to uphold the integrity and unity of the government, and his time, energies and means, to a large extent, were from the first devoted to aid in crushing it.
He at once favored the speedy forwarding of men, and assisted in the formation of companies, volunteering assistance to some families which would be left behind in needy circumstances, drawing the pay; taking care of money coming from or being sent to soldiers, and when bounties were paid, in the placing in the safest manner such money that it should best meet the wants of the enlisting party; all showing a deep interest in the preservation of the Union, the value of which in his estimation was increased, no doubt, by intimate association for a long period in Congress with such statesmen as Webster, Clay, Adams, Giddings, Stevens and a host of others, when the doctrine of nullifiction or disunion was being advocated by Calhoun and his associates, that slavery and state rights might be sustained and perpetuated. His anxiety continued during the war and not until the surrender at Appomattox Court House, did he feel that his or the vigilence of any other man should in the least relax.
One of his sons, Nathaniel B., was Major of the 14th Regiment of Volunteers, and in the Battle of Gettysburg. He sent substitutes for four other sons and himself when the need for men seemed imminent, and the bounty had reached $400. each, besides the State pay and bounty.
In American history, Mr. Hall had a deep interest, and especially in that connected with the territory and State of Vermont.
He was for 6 years from 1859, President of the Vermont Historical Society and was afterwards active in the preparation and the arrangement of materials for the two published volumes of its collection, and in otherwise promoting its usefulness and success. — He has read several papers at meetings of the Society which have been published, among them, one in 1869, in vindication of Col. Ethan Allen as the hero of Ticonderoga, in refutation of an attempt made in the Galaxy Magazine to rob him of that honor.
He has contributed papers to the New York Historical Magazine, to the Vermont Historical Gazetteer, to the Philadelphia Historical Record, and also to the New England Historic Geneological Register. His contribution to the Vermont Gazetteer, made in 1860, being a summary history of his native town, Bennington.
In 1860 he also read before the New York Historical Society a paper showing "Why the inhabitants of Vermont disclaimed the jurisdiction of New York, and established a separate government."
In 1868, his "Early History of Vermont," a work of over 500 pages was published by J. Munsill, Albany, in which the controversy of its early
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inhabitants with New York, and their struggle for the establishment of their state independence, as well as their valuable services in the cause of their common country during the Revolutionary war, are largely treated, and the necessity of their separation from the government of New York, in order to maintain the title to their land and preserve their liberty is very freely shown.
Govenor Hall was very prominent in his exertions to have a suitable celebration of the Battle of Bennington and for the erection of a creditable monument to the heroes of the victory, and in securing for both the favorable action of the state legislature, and also in subsequently promoting their successful accomplishment. A few months before the celebration in 1877, he prepared a clear and full description of the battle with an account of its important consequences which was extensively published in newspapers and pamphlets, a copy of which has a place in the official account of the Centennial Celebration.
The University of Vermont in 1859 confered on him the degree of L. L. D. He was a life member and Vice President for Vermont of the New England Historic Geneological Society, honorary member of the Buffalo and corresponding member of the New York Historical Societies.
THE GOVEROR'S FAMILY.
HILAND HALL of Bennington and DOLLY TUTTLE DAVIS of Rockingham, Vermont were married in 1818.
Children and grandchildren:
M. Carter Hall, born March 7th, 1820, married Sophia B. Deming, Apr. 20, 1844, died, June 15, 1881. His children were Frances Helen, who left a son and daughter; Samuel Baker, who has four sons; and Sophia Deming.
Eliza Davis Hall, born August 29, 1821, married Adin Thayer, Jr., Nov. 29, 1842, died, Aug. 10, 1843.
Henry Davis Hall, born May 5, 1823, married Caroline E. Thatcher, March 24, 1847; his children, Eliza Davis, who has four sons and one daughter; Charles Henry, Caroline T., who has three sons and one daughter; Hiland, who left one son; and William Carrol.
Hiland Hubbard Hall, born Jan. 19, 1825, married Jane A. Waters, Sep. 19, 1849, died, Dec. 9 1851.
Nathaniel B. Hall, born, September 1826, married Martha B. Rouse, Feb. 25, 1850 ; his children: Harriett Bostwick, who has three sons; Hiland; Harry R. who has one daughter; Dolly.
Laura V. Hall, born, Jan. 27, 1828, married Trenor W. Park, December 15, 1846, died, June 21, 1875; her children: Eliza Hall, who has one son and three daughters; Laura H., who has one son and one daughter; and Trenor Luther.
John V. Hall, born, Feb. 10, 1831, married Nelly E. Lyman, Sep. 5, 1860; his children: Florence, who has one daughter; and Edward J. He married 2d, Lucinda R. Holley, Dec. 30, 1880.
Charles Hall, born, Nov. 18, 1832, married Jane E. Cady, September 1856, child. Laura V., who has one daughter; He married, 2d, Mina Phillips; children: Trenor Park, Mary Densy and Charles H.
THE GOLDEN WEDDING
of the HON. MR. & MRS. HILAND HALL was celebrated at North Bennington, October 27, 1868, from 2 to 5, P. M. Golden Wedding Geusts, about three hundred present: An early teacher of
Mr. Hall, aged 85 years; two who were present at the first wedding, respectively aged 73 years, 69 years. — It appears Mr. Hall's was the fourth generation to which successively had been permitted a golden wedding by a kind Providence.
Rev. Isaac Jennings was present, offering a prayer and reading Proverbs the 31st chapter from the 10th verse "with personal reference to Mrs. Hall, the beautiful appropriateness of which was warmly accorded by those present, an illustration of verses 19 and 20, being the scores of socks knit by her from yarn spun by herself and sent in the packages with other comfortable things to the soldiers in front during the war.
The sixtieth anniversary of their wedding came Sunday, October 1878, their ages being respectively 83 and 86. Crowned with another decade of years since the grand anniversary, still more venerable and happy, this precious anniversary was observed by attendance on divine services at the Congegational Church in North Bennington of which Mrs, Hall was a member. A very beautifully arranged basket of flowers was upon the table in front of the pulpit, the gift of very dear friends. At the close of the sermon allusions were made to the unusal length of time they had been permitted to live together, and fitting remarks were made, tending to impress the sacredness of the marriage relation.
The parents of Mrs. Hall, Henry Davis and Mary Tuttle lived together sixty years, less three days.
Mrs. Hall had patriotic blood in her veins. Her father was a Revolutionary hero. He enlisted before he was seventeen into the Revolutionary service. He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill under Colonel Stark, at the line of fence where the enemy were repeatedly repulsed with great loss and also, served at West Point at the time of Arnold's treasonable attempt to surrender it to the enemy; serving in the Revolutionary war over three years.
Mrs. Hall, as a woman, was remarkable for strength of mind and personal beauty, and in company drew attention by her high social qualifications. She enjoyed the confidence and esteem of her neighbors and friends, and richly deserved the approbation she received for her successful management in the raising so large a family, mostly boys, her husband during the formation period of their lives, being so much absent upon public, official business. She never grew old in her feelings, but entered into the sports of her children with a zest which carried them with her in the object in which she considered such pastimes should be indulged in, though a dignity was always maintained in the most familiar recreations which tended to elevate.
The wants of the needy received her attention, and by her benevolence and uniform efforts she did much to enhance the comfort and happiness of others. For nearly fifty years she was an exemplary member of the Congregational church in Bennington, and died confidently trusting in the Christian's hope.
THE NINETIETH BIRTHDAY
(July 20, 1885. )
of the now very venerable Governor was celebrated at the residence of his grand-daughter, Mrs. J. G. McCullough and her husband, Gen'l. McCullough, there being present fifty-one of his descendants, while five more were detained from the pleasant gathering.
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The difference in the ages of the oldest and the youngest was 89 years and 8 months. The Bennington Banner of July 23d says of the occasion:
"None seemed to enjoy themselves more than he whose birthday anniversary was thus celebrated. Although having reached this advanced age, he still retains his bodily health and vigor, with all his mental faculties uninpaired. Congratulations flowed in, in large numbers, in many instances accompanied by floral offerings, a great portion coming from friends at Bennington Centre, where the recipient spent the larger part of his business and public life. These offerings, seemed specially grateful to him, coming as they did from his old neighbors and their descendants. An elegant basket of fruit and flowers from a niece in Boston was specially admired. Tables were spread in the spacious dining-room and hall, and all were seated and entertained with a banquet which did credit to the well-known hospitality of the host and hostess, the venerable Governor presiding at the board, and enlivening it with his humorous remarks. At each plate were cards whereon a skillful and loving hand had sketched in water colors a faithful picture of the old homestead, and its annexes still standing, and upon each card a striking photographic likeness of the common ancestor.
The repast being ended, the Governor addressed his assembled descendants with an interesting talk which will ever be remembered by them, and which brought the sons and grandsons, by blood and marriage, one after another to their feet, in a lively encountre of wit and fun. The evening closed with pleasant chat and social enjoyment, when the geusts departed, every one feeling that it was good to be there, and wishing that the useful and honored life of their beloved ancestor might be long spared to them and to his many friends."
Governor Hall died in Springfield, Mass. at the home of his son, Charles, with whom he was spending the winter, Dec. 18, 1885. He retired, apparently, in usual health on the night of the 17th and was heard in the morning to open the register for more warmth as was the custom, when a fall attracted the attention of the family; on going to the room, he was unable to rise, but gave directions for the caring for himself. He lived about two hours, the machinery of the body seemingly having worn out, he being in his 91st year. His remains were taken to Bennington and interred in the cemetry at Centre Bennington, where he had for years previously, a lot prepared, where his beloved wife and most of his descendants, deceased, have been buried.
H. D. H.
FROM THE BENNINGTON BANNER
of the following week, — after the funeral of Govenor Hall, — omitting generally, what has already been given in the biography.—Ed.
"Within a day or two" of his death, "autograph letters had been received by the family here, and that morning, his grand-daughter in New York, Mrs. Gen. J. G. McCullough, was in receipt of one stating that he expected to be at her house, as usual, on Christmas day. In the postscript, he humorously announced the birth of his 22d great-grand-child." "The day before his death, he visited his son's store" — in Springfield, Mass. — and in the evening he wrote concerning business. On Saturday," the 19th, "his remains were brought to North Bennington. On
Monday morning, the obsequies were attended from the residence of Gen. McCollough ... a large number going over to North Bennington on a special train, and people from all the surrounding towns and from Rutland being present. The Bar of the County attended his funeral in a body; the Rev. Isaac Jennings officiated. The hymns were sung by Mr. and Mrs. N. B. Hall and John V. Hall. The four sons acted as bearers and laid the remains carefully and tenderly away in the confident expectation of a blissful resurrection.
"Henry Clark of Rutland contributes: "In all the relations Gov. Hall has sustained to the country or state he has acquitted himself with credit. — As a judge, he was learned, upright and impartial; as member of the Mexican claims in California, he saved the government millions of dollars . . .
He retired, as he supposed, to his farm in Bennington in 1854. When the Republican party was born, 1854, 1856, Governor Hall's retirement came to a sudden end, and he represented Vermont in the first National Convention of the Republican party, which assembled in Philadelphia in 1850 and placed in nomination its first presidential ticket "Fremont and Dayton." He entered into the campaign with a will and was elected governor of this State in 1858, by the young party which was created to shape the destiny of this Republic during the crucial period of its history. . . In his first message to the State Legislature, it appeared as it had shone before in his public utterances, he had "views" upon the famous Dred Scott case, [page 90,] and was not like many others, afraid to utter them, although a Governor of a state could not officially effect anything other than to create public opinion. This was, moreover, a subject which was shuned by professional politicians." 'Throughout his whole career,' he was:
"Amid the faithless, faithful found,
In times that tried men's souls."
"In the death of this venerable and extraordinary man, Vermont loses one of its most honored in public life and most useful of her citizens. In all that pertained to the history of our State, there was not his equal living: in ability to use these vast stores of research, he had no superior. Having been in public life more than half a centuary, and constantly associated with the leading men of the nation, his school of observation was vast and varied. His early taste for local history was a passion through life, and his ever active and retentive memory made his mind a vast store-house of historic knowledge. He was acknowledged to be among the leading historians in New England.
Men will speak of his death, not as one of unexpected occurrence, nor with the feeling that such events usually inspire. Long has he been a living link between the past and the present, with one foot planted in eternity and one uplifted for a waiting step into the spirit-land, — while they have been glad at the lingering delay they have also waited for it in a kind of willing expectation, till they will go as pilgrims to his tomb with no wailing of broken hopes, but to cast the laurels of perpetual gratitude into his sepulchre."
Governor Hall's "Early History of Vermont" . . is an almost invaluable work. It is and will continue to be in some form the standard text-book of Vermont's early times. The modest preface says: His aim has been to embody facts, and to state them with his views in intelligible language without making any pretensions to literary
96 VERMONT HISTORICAL MAGAZINE.
merit." Some of these "views" were to champion Ethan Allen, and to affirm the national importance of the Battle of Bennington, since conceded by all historians. Governor Hall wrote the record of Bennington in Mrs. Hemenway's Gazetteer of Vermont, and in that work there is a steel engraving of him in his prime. He also wrote for the Bennington Banner a "History of Bennington Battle" which was published during the centennial celebration and which is with contemporary portrait in Vermont's official pamphlet of the centennial. . . A complete collection of his writings would form a valuable work.
Of his manhood's days is said: His life when not on official duty abroad was passed in his Bennington home, the centre of an unostentatious hospitality which embraced the judges and chief men of' the State, as the old-time country living used to do. His associates on the Supreme Bench of Vermont, were Judges: Stephen Royce, Isaac F. Redfield, Milo L. Bennett, Daniel Kellogg, Charles Davis and Luke P. Poland. — The family residence is situated upon the original Hall farm [of Thomas, of Hiland Hall,] and both the present mansion and the former unpretensious cottage have witnessed many notable gatherings ; we mention three: the golden wedding . . . to which all the elderly people in the vicinity were invited; the sixtieth anniversary, and the birthday reunion, July 20th of this, year. [See before.]
The Bennington County Bar held an "In Memoriam" meeting at their Court House on the evening of his death. Several members spoke briefly and feelingly. They voted to attend his funeral as a body and appointed a committee of six to draft resolutions ofrespect to be submitted to a meeting to be held at Manchester, at the call of the Chair, during the June term. The Committee of Resolutions were:— Hon. Tarrant Sibley of Bennington Centre, Hon. A. L. Miner of Manchester, Hon. James K. Batchelder of Arlington, Hon. Loveland Munson of Manchester, Wm. B. Sheldon, Esq. of Bennington, Thos. E. Brownell, Esq of Pownal.
OF THE FUNERAL SERMON
The Rutland Review said:
"Rev. Dr, Jennings, the intimate and long time friend of the deceased, delivered a markedly interesting discourse, reviewing his life, services and character. He briefly sketched his ancestry, the struggles of his youth — noting his public sevices in varied relations — and concluded with touching allusion to the beautiful home life with his children, grand-children and great-grand-children as he sat a patriarch among them. . . . The address was relieved of over-wrought eulogy, it was the simple narrative, descriptive of an eminent man — coming from the heart of an appreciative friend who stood as among the sincerest mourners there. — The eulogy could have come no more fittingly than from the heart and lips of Doct. Jennings, who knew Governor Hall's public and private life so well. At the conclusion of the discourse, a fervent, affectionate, tender prayer was offered."
OF THE BENNINGTON HISTORICAL
DRAFTED BY REV. ISAAC JENNINGS.
READ, AND ACCEPTED, AUG. 30, 1886.
Our duty as appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the loss sustained by this Society in the death of its
President, Ex-Gov. Hiland Hall suggests to us affeectingly at the first a special reference to his rare social characteristics. His intense individuality of judgement and conscience was combined to a remarkable degree with kind and friendly attentions to all. valuing friendship, grateful to others, incessant and unsparing in those things which go far to make up the warm and true relationship of mutual affection, esteem and love.
Secondly. That he was an instructive example to all of tireless and well-directed industry, without which he could not have accomplished all that he did. We direct attention to his unflagging exertions that we may have good reading for our youth, and for our readers in general; to his unwearied labors in arranging and supplying and preserving and perfecting as far as possible our important early local history — so rich in incidents so grand in action, and occupying so commanding a place in the formation and preservation of the National government.
Thirdly. The ethical spirit was a dominating principle in him. It lead him to love the right and the true as he understood it, and to take his position for the same, and to maintain it. In political life, in Congress, and in historical controversies, in the heat of debate, he did indeed shun the bitterness of the time, but he had strong conclusions of his own arrived at by a research which left no stone unturned, no nook or corner uninvestigated ; and he did his duty accordingly. It was admirable and impressive to see his characteristic modesty and childlikeness of spirit, and yet, the indomitable purpose of truth, and duty rising with the occasion, growing more and more tenacious, unyielding and determined. But especially did the responabilities and potentcies of the civil state have a deep-felt power and charm for him. This fitted him so well for civil, public life, and lead him into it and onward and upward in it to the exalted public places of honor and trust in the gift of the State. This fitted him for making history as well as writing it. — We cannot doubt that had he lived in the days of Adams and Jefferson and Richard Henry Lee, he would have been an able and appreciated coadjutor with them in the use of his pen and of his earnest and inflexible voice and judgement in public councils for the cause of American independance ; for he had the sentiment, penetration and the nerve and the heart of fire if need be for the patriot's supreme responsibility.
The duty of these resolutions is to note in the briefest compass, certain controlling elements in the character and life of the distinguished subject of them. We call special attention:
Fourthly, to his historic spirit. Governor Hall was a born historian — and it may be added with still more emphasis, a born Bennington and Vermont historian. In these words we have suggested what was pre-eminently the theme and passion of his studies, of his correspondence and other intercourse with intelligent and scholarly men and publishers and authors; the object of his visits to historical localities; the controlling subject of his thoughts, his researches and his literary life. This drew him to the meeting's of historical bodies, to the libraries of the land where historical information stilted to his purpose could be obtained. It made him the president and remarkably successful chief manager of the Vermont
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Historical Society for so many years. It gave him prestige and authority with historical socities elsewhere; notably, those of Boston, New York, and Washington.
His keen eye saw and his instinctive judgement comprehended the connection between the past, the present and the future; between principles adopted and their effect on the character and life of the community, the commonwealth and the nation for generations and ages to come. With the practised understanding and the patient and persevering interest of the true scholar, he studied the past. He possessed a true and absorbing interest in our leading men; in our solemn public crises; in our heroic undertakings; in our grand achievements; in our serious public questions and controversies and momentous issues.
We have felt justified in classing our illustrious fellow-citizen with the great men of our revolutionary period, who helped and did so much to make our National history. There is another resemblance, as it is marked, to two of them, namely, in that his life was protracted to an extreme old age which was passed in much happiness and comfort. The words used concerning them in this respect could be applied with propriety to the closing years of Governor Hall. Says Mr. Webster, respecting Mr. Jefferson or Mr. Adams. true alike:
"From the time of his final retirement from public life, Mr. Jefferson lived as became a wise man surrounded by his affectionate friends, his ardor in the pursuit of knowledge undiminished. With uncommon health and unbroken spirits he was able to enjoy largely the rational pleasures of life, and to partake of that public prosperity which he had so much contributed to produce.
There was that in them which office did not give and which the relinquishment of office did not and could not take away. In their retirement in the midst of their fellow citizens, they enjoyed as high regard and esteem as when filling the most important places of public trust."
We need not say how beautiful and appropriate these words of Mr. Webster are if taken out of their immediate connection in which he used them and applied to Hiland Hall. This it is that is the sad thought of his death, it has removed one whose long life up to its prime and far beyond was the fitting itself more and more for the invaluable tasks imposed upon it. But we bow without one complaining word to the over-ruling behests of an all wise and all righteous God, and desire humbly to record our gratitude for the remarkable preservation of the faculties of our friend for the bright close of his life's day, whose sun went down at length full orbed and unobscured.
REV. ISAAC JENNINGS.
BY HENRY D. HALL, ESQ.
(Compiled and arranged from notices in the Bennington Banner and other sources.)
The Venerable and most worthy Subject of this biography was born at Trumbull, Fairfield County, Ct., July, 24,1822; while yet a mere lad, he removed to Derby in that State, and there his youth was passed.
He was educated in the old New England manner, — an admirable system by the way, — common school, preparatory and collegiate course, graduating from Yale in the class of 1837. The thoroughness of this education is
apparent in all his future life. In the class of '37 were such men as the Hon. Wm. M. Evarts of New York, Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite of the United States Supreme Court, Hon. Edwards Pierpoint, the late Samuel J. Tilden and others. The fiftieth anniversary of this class this year was an occasion of note in college circles. — Mr. Jennings attended. . . . . . . The thoughtfulness of the pastor for his people appeared even amid the festivities of that occasion. His health was not good; expressions of doubt, as to his ability to endure the fatigue induced him soon after arriving in New Haven, to write the Editor of the Banner that his friends here might know . . that he was feeling well and also to give an outline of what was to be the enjoyments of the commencement week.
As a key-note to Mr. Jennings future career, from the point of his entry upon active life; we copy here some rules of living with an explanatory note from one of his sons:
"The longer I live the more I feel the importance of adhering to the rules I have laid down for myself in relation to such matters:
1st. To hear as little as possable to the prejudice of others.
2d. To believe nothing of the kind till I am absolutely forced to it.
3d. Never to drink in the spirit of one that circulates an ill report.
4th. Always to moderate as far as I can, the unkindness which is expressed against others.
5th. Always believe that if the other side were heard a very different account would be given of the matter."
(The foregoing is a copy of a time-worn newspaper cutting which has been pinned up on one of Mr. Jennings' book cases, in his study, ever since his family can remember; probably for more than twenty years, and the rules there stated have always, it is believed been followed by him and are as characteristic as almost any other thing. – F. B. J.)
With collegiate honors fresh upon him, Mr. Jennings taught school in Washington, Conn. in 1837, '38. He had charge of the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, in 1839, 40. In this school, one of the students was Dr. Timothy Dwight, now the revered President of Yale University. Teaching as a profession was not so much thought of in this country at that day and therefore, Mr. Jennings soon left that calling for his preparation for the Christian ministry, studying theology at New Haven, and Andover, graduating at Andover Theo. Sem. in 1842. — We believe though earnest in his church work, he never lost his interest in schools. In Akron, O. where he commenced his ministry, becoming pastor of the Second Congregational Church of that city, June 14, 1843, the question of better schools was then being agitated. Coming from New England to this then comparatively new Western state, the young and energetic pastor was pained at the low state of the common schools of Ohio. He set about reform, and to his efforts were largely due the good results — the system inaugurated, that of the graded schools, now so common everywhere. In Akron he left so much of an impress upon their system of public education that he has since been styled in the Annual Reports of the Board of Education of that city, "The Father of our schools."
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He was several years superintendent — to the satisfaction of all — of the schools for the town of Bennington. — In his annual report, Apr. 1, 1876, he gives the condition of each school building and the year's progress in every district. As a key-note to his high ideal of a teacher as the main instrumentality for the greatest improvement, we quote:
"The teacher is the main thing, more than school-house, more than wall-maps, globes and other appliances for illustration and other aid, though these are more than the house. Solve the problem of how to teach morality, by the teacher who is selected and employed. Let the teacher be conspicuous and influential in goodness, in refinement and honor, and conscience. How the memory of such teachers abides with us. They are bright spots in the retrospect of our childhood days, and the days of our early youth. There was a power in their intelligence, and goodness and kindness to us that made them to be treasured in our memories, and we ever love to think of them."
Feb. 17, 1847, Mr. Jennings was married to Miss Sophia Day, just prior to his removal to Stamford. Ct., where he had received a flattering call to an important church in his native State. Mrs. Jennings, who survives her husband, was born in Mansfield, O., July 31, 1826, and was married from the home of her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Matthias Day. Mr. Day was a native of New Jersey, his wife, Sophia, a daughter of Judge Loomis of Thetford, Vt. This union of two families was a happy one. In all her husband's life work, Mrs. Jennings has taken a lively interest and rendered most efficient help.
Mr. Jennings was installed in Stamford pastor of the first church where he remained 6 years and came to Bennington. Here the remainder of his life was passed.
His long pastorate in this town forms a beautiful picture of church life, where a people have been lend out and in like a shepherd and his flock, in a typical "hill-side New England parish," as we have heard Mr. Jennings, himself say of other churches and other societies. With repeated opportunities to go to larger fields, and no doubt, with offers of larger financial gains, he steadily refused to leave his people in historic Bennington, prefering to live and die among them. In so doing his life as a minister of the Gospel illustrates the possibilities for good consequent upon a more fixed tenure of the pastoral relation, — with our bustling and changing American life an idea almost blotted out; the true one in our estimation, shown by the exceptions, among which the present is most marked.
He succeeded such pastors as Rev. Drs. Absolom Peters, Daniel A. Clark, and Edward W. Hooker, among whom in culture and influence, he shone with lustre; and had for many years as associates, in the near village of Bennington, Rev. C. H. Hubbard, E. G. Reed and C. B. Halbert, D. D. with whom he ever sustained the most helpful and kindest Christian relations.
Mr. Jennings travelled in Europe in 1859. . . . He returned with fresh vigor and enlarged powers to his life work. As a clergyman he was a model pastor to an eminent degree. It takes a remarkable man to be the loved pastor of a Bennington church for a third of a century, and at its close, to retain the hold he had even then upon his people.
The "Memorials of a centuary" is probably the best known of any of Mr. Jennings writings. It will go down to posterity as a history of Bennington as well as that of the Old First
Church. The pains-taking character of the historian is shown in the large amount of detail in the work. Genealogies are proverbially difficult to obtain, and many errors will invariably creep in, but the great value of the Memorials largely lies in this very characteristic, which is divested of mistakes to a wonderful degree. The sketches of the early settlers therein are written fearlessly and judiciously, and it is to be regretted that a revised edition was not published during the life time of the author.
Mr. Jennings was a frequent contributor to the religious press of his denomination, and a not unknown visitor in the local sanctum. The last writing he did was to prepare "An Abstract of Officials' Acts and Proceedings," of the Battle Monument Association, which was placed in the corner stone.
The people of all this vicinity have gathered in the Old Church to hear anniversary discourses from its pastor.
[One of the most remarkable pulpit efforts of Mr. Jennings was his Centennial Discourse delivered in the Old Church on its one hundredth anniversary, Jan. 4, 1863. The edifice was crowded to its utmost capacity. Singers from the several churches in town, assisted . . and notwithstanding the discourse occupied more than two hours in its delivery, and when one hour had elapsed invitation was given by the speaker for those who might wish to retire from the audience, to do so, not an individual left the house until the conclusion. G. W. R. — ]
HIS RELATIONS TO THE BENNINGTON
From the inception of the enterprise to erect a suitable battle monument, Mr. Jennings took great interest. He was a member of the Association and secretary of the Board of Directors.
HIS LAST PUBLIC ACT.
On the 16th of August, 1887, as the rays of the western sun shone out from cloud-rifts which had threatened rain, facing the east, "the source of light," a solemn stillness came over an immense throng of people as an aged clergyman stepped to the front to pronounce the benidiction which was to close the ceremonies of the laying of the corner stone of the Bennington Battle Monument. The face was a familiar one to many of the thousands who thus paused to receive his last blessing. The picture will be engraved upon the minds of multitudes as they read these lines for it was the last public utterance ere those lips were sealed and the freed spirit sped away to Paradise. The occasion will be memorable . . . . . This benediction closed the ceremonies of a Fraternity which inculcates the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body. All that had preceded the last act had been based upon this fundamental principle of the Christian religion. The halo of the rays of the departing sun was prophetic of the end so soon to come to one of the participators in this historic event. The ground upon which he stood was historic; that upon which the first 16th of August orator stood in 1778. Noah Smith was also a graduate of Yale. He had at that early day predicted that succeeding generations would know of the importance of the conflict of the then previous year, and in coming time would suitably mark the spot.
HIS LAST PASTORAL ACT
was the marriage of one of his flock. September 6, 1853, he married James
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Manning and Jane E. Robinson, his first marriage in Bennington; Aug. 19, 1887, he married Harriet L. Morgan and A. Buel Sibley, his last pastoral act. His first funeral was that of Mrs. Pliny Dewey of Bennington Centre, who died, June 2, 1853, aged 72 years; the last that of Mrs. Benj. R. Sears, July 5, 1887.
THE CHILDREN of the Rev. Isaac Jennings family; six of whom and Mrs. Jennings, survive the death of Mr. Jennings.
Isaac Jr. born in Stamford, Ct., Apr. 30, 1848; graduated at Williams College. 1871; married to Mary E., daughter of Rev. Stephen C. Leonard, D. D. of Rushville, N. Y., Dec. 13, 1871 ; installed pastor of first Presbyterian church, Elmira, N. Y., Dec. 4, 1884.
Walter Loomis, born in Stamford, Ct., July 6, 1850, died in Stamford, Ct. Oct. 16, 1850,
Sophia Day, born in Stamford, Ct., Aug. 4, 1851 ; died in Bennington, Jan. 11, 1861 ; a bright and interesting child whose death was a sad affliction to her parents.
Frederick Beach, an attorney, born in Bennington, Aug. 6, 1854 ; graduated at Williams College, 1872 ; and married to Laura H., daughter of Hon. Trenor W. Park, July 27, 1880.
Matthias Day, born in Bennington, Jan. 8, 1857 ; died in Bennington, Dec. 25, 1860.
Charles Green Rockwood, physician, born in Bennington, Nov. 17, 1859 ; graduated at Harvard College, 1879 ; married to Mary Jeannette, daughter of Hon. A. Gardner, Sept. 8, 1885.
Robert Gould, born in Bennington, Mar. 28,1862.
Philip Burton, born in Bennington, Dec. 7, 1865.
William Bigelow, born in Bennington, July 20, 1871.
THE DEATH OF REV. ISAAC JENNINGS
occurred, Aug. 25, 1887. He was not confined to his bed but a few days before his death, but had been a great sufferer at times for months prior from a stone of large dimensions in the bladder. The stone was removed by Dr. Cabot of Boston, the afternoon before his death. He rallied for about two hours and then sank under it. Thus at the age of 72 years and one month, with the vigor of life scarcely abated — terminating, a ministry of 24 years and three months in the Old First Church — has passed to his eternal rest, one who had endeared himself to the town. . . .
Voice through the press from
BENNINGTON CENTRE, — SEPT. I.
Our Village has been shrouded with gloom the past week, because of the death of the beloved pastor, who has gone in and out before us these many years. He broke for us the bread of life; he baptised our children; he had united our young men and maidens in marriage; he had stood beside the graves of a whole generation, and given to stricken friends such consolation as the gospel of Christ alone furnishes, in the kindest and most sympathetic manner. He had lived a life of singular honesty and purity and Christian fidelity, and become a great factor in the life of the people and possessed the love and confidence of all without regard to age, race or sect. He has gone, his prayers are ended, and all are ready to say: "How is the strong staff broken and the beautiful rod!" Many would be ready to despair if they did not remember how often they had heard him
say: "Let not your heart be troubled."
The funeral was attended Saturday morning, the 26th from the Old First Church which was draped, very tastefully by those that loved him; — the pulpit covered with black cloth looped up with purple asters — in the background the motto in immortelles between the dates 1853 and 1887, covering the period of his ministry, "Faithful unto death." The pulpit chair was trimmed with white flowers sprayed with ferns and surmounted by a beautiful crown. The baptismal font held a flower-anchor and white dove, very beautiful. The choir gallery was also heavily draped.
At 10 o'clock, after prayer at the parsonage by Dr. Pratt, the casket was brought to the church — the five sons of the deceased with the three deacons, bearers. The remains laid in state until 11 o'clock, viewed by a large number of sorrowing friends. At eleven, the mourners seated, the choir sang:
"Cast thy burden on the Lord "
Scripture selections read and a touching prayer by Rev. J. L. Harrington:
"Asleep in Jesus, blessed sleep!
From which none ever wake to weep."
Funeral sermon by Rev. Dr. P. S. Pratt of Dorset, a long-time and loved friend of Mr. Jennings; text, PS. LXVII, VI. The address an able analysis of the character of the deceased and a loving tribute to his memory.
After the sermon, hymn:
"Servant of God, well done!
Rest from thy loved employ."
A beautiful and tender prayer by Rev. Dr. A. B. Lambert of Rupert. — And after the leave-taking of the dear departed he was carried amid the tears of strong men to the cemetery and laid in the grave lined with evergreens and covered with beautiful flowers, there to rest till the dawning of that eternal Sabbath day, when he shall be re-united with the loving ones gone before and with those who shall come after, who are now in the thick of the cares and duties of life.
The committal service at the grave was by Dr. Pratt; the benediction by Rev. Z. Marten of the Baptist church.
Mr. Jennings was the second of the long line of pastors who have ministerd to the First church to be buried here. "Parson Dewey," the first minister, died nearly 100 years ago.
After the death of Mr. Jennings and during the funeral services the flag of the monument was kept at half staff, and the resident members of the Monument Association attended the funeral in a body.
"There are times when with bowed heads and hushed voices we recall the words, "Be still and know that I am God." Such a time has come to the Old First Church. Upon the earth side how dark it is! A broken household a stricken church; hearts often bereaved aching with a new sorrow . . . . . .
We have had a beautiful summer, it is true, there has been extreme heat, but frequent showers kept vegitation as fresh as in spring time, foliage as luxuriant. Several weeks ago, we noticed the approach of autumn. Golden rod threw out its banner along the highway; upon the mountain side an occarional bright leaf whispered its prophecy of the gorgeous beauty which will soon cover them. Our beloved pastor had reached his autumn, but the long, beautiful summer of life had so ripened and mellowed so gently, that even the lambs of his flock did not realize
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that it had past. His smile was so full of sunshine, his words so replete with cheerful hope. Thirty-four years ministry have left an impress upon very many lives and hearts, his work is not ended, though he is absent from us. The example of his earnest life, loving counsel, his tender unfailing sympathy and faithful prayers will linger like a benidiction through coming years. . .
BENNINGTON BATTLE MONUMENT
August 27, A. D. 1887.
Introduced by John V. Hall,
WHEREAS: The Rev. Isaac Jennings has, from the inception of the monument enterprise, been one of' its most active promoters, a member and secretary of the Board of Directors, and was at his decease Vice President of the Association, and has been ever ready to aid by his wise counsels, his large influence, his earnest labors and liberal contributions, in accomplishing the objects of the Association, which efforts on his part have been interrupted only by his death.
Therefore: Resolved that this Board testifies most heartily to the appreciation in which he was ever held by this body, and to the irreparable loss which the Association has sustained in his death; and that it will ever be a pleasant memory to us that his last public utterances were given to the work so dear to him, and which rendered him additionally dear to us; and that by invoking the benediction of Almighty God upon this work and upon the assembled people, he most fittingly closed, at once, the imposing ceremonies at the laying of the monument's corner stone and his own public life.
Resolved: That the Board of Directors and officers of the Association will attend the funeral services in a body.
Resolved: That the foregoing minutes be engrossed and presented to the widow of the deceased, and that copies be furnished to the local papers for publication.
J. G. McCULLOUOGH.
President pro tem.
JOHN V. HALL, Secretary pro tem.
FROM OBITUARY NOTICE
BY REV. C. B. HULBERT, D. D.
[ In the Religious Herald, Hartford, Ct., after a summary of his life. ]
"A pastorate at such, an important centre, and of the oldest church in the State and prolonged for so many years, is itself the highest commendation. — In person, he was short and stout; had a face in which intelligence, amiability, wit and good fellowship contended for the supremacy. In manner and voice, he was gentle, sympathetic and winning. As a preacher, his rank among ministers was high; but at this point in comparison with his extraordinary pastoral service, he suffered. In his personal contact with men and in the homes of his people, he was a power. He was a model husband and father. His home was an ideal one. He filled it with sunshine. . . . . During his pastorate an event occured that gave Mr. Jennings an opportunity to disclose his gifts as a historian. In 1863, his church celebrated its Centennial. The historical discourse given by the Pastor, at the time, overflowed its bounds and soon after appeared in an ample volume, giving the early history of the town and of the celebrated battle. In this important service, Mr. Jennings showed himself an accomplished historian.
It is an interesting and felicitous incident that the last public service of this revered and venerable pastor and historian should have been to pronounce the benediction at the recent service of laying of the corner stone of the towering monument now asscending on the sacred spot. All who have known him as a man and a pastor, all who will read his history in coming time, will recall his character as having in it something of the solidity and beauty of the ponderous shaft with which it is unalterably associated."
[The 100th Anniversary Poem— page 74.]
BY MRS. JULIA C. R. DORR.
O, WOMAN-FORM, majestic, strong and fair,
Sitting enthroned where in upper air
Thy mountain peaks in solemn grandeur rise,
Piercing the splendor of the summer skies,
Vermont our mighty mother crowned to day
In all the glory of thy hundred years,
If thou dost bid me sing, how can I but obey?
What though the lips may tremble, and the verse
That fain would grandly thy grand deeds rehearse
May trip and falter, and the stammering tongue
Leave all unrhymed the rhymes that should be sung?
I can but do thy bidding, as is meet,
Bowing in humble homage at thy feet —
Thy royal feet — and if my words are weak,
O crowned One, 'twas thou didst bid me speak.
Yet what is there to say,
Even on this proud day,
This day of days, that hath not oft been sung?
What song is there to sing
That hath not oft been sung?
What laurel can we bring,
That Ages have not hung
A thousand times above their glorious dead?
What crown to crown the living
Is left us for our giving?
That is not shaped to other brows
That wore it long ago?
Our very vows but echo vows
Breathed centuries ago!
Earth has no choral strain,
No sweeter sad refrain,
No lofty pæn swelling lowland clear,
That Virgil did not know,
Or Dante wandering slow
In mystic trances did not pause to hear,
When gods from high Olympus came
To touch old Homer's lips with flame,
The morning stars together sung
To teach their raptures to his tongue.
For him the lonely ocean moaned
For him the mighty winds intoned
Their deep-voiced chanting, and for him
Sweet flower-bells pealed in forests dim.
From earth and air and sky he caught
The spell of their divinest thought.
While yet it blossomed fresh and new
As Eden's rosebuds wet with dew!
Oh! to have lived when earth was young
With all its melodies unsung!
The dome of Heaven bent nearer then
When gods and angels talked with men, —
When song itself was newly born,
The Incarnation of the Morn!
But now, alas! an thought is old,
All life is but a story told,
And poet-tongues are manifold;
And he is bold who tries to wake
Even for God, or country's sake
In voice, or pen, or lute or lyre
Sparks of the old Promethæn fire!
And yet, — O Earth, thank God! — the soul of song
Is as immortal as the eternal stars!
O, trembling heart, take courage and be strong.
Hark! to a voice from yonder crystal bars:—
"Did the roses blow last June?
Do the stars still rise and set?
And over the crests of the mountains
Are the light clouds floating yet?
Do the rivers run to the sea
With a deep, resistless flow?
Do the little birds sing north and south
As the seasons come and go?
Are the hills as fair as of old?
Are the skies as blue and far?
Have you lost the pomp of the sunset?
Or the light of the evening star?
Has the glory gone from the morning?
Do the wild winds wail no more?
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Is there now no thunder of billows
Beating the storm-lashed shore?
"Is Love a forgotten story?
Is Passion a jester's theme?
Has Valor thrown down its armor?
Is Honor an idle dream?
Is there no pure trust in woman?
No conquering faith in God?
Are there no feet strong to follow
In the paths the martyrs trod?
"Did you find no hero graves
When your violets bloomed last May —
Prouder than those of Marathon,
Or 'old Platea's day?
When your red, white and blue
On the free winds fluttered out,
Were there no strong hearts and voices?
To receive it with a shout?
Oh! let the Earth grow old!
And the burning stars grow cold!
And if you will declare man's story told!
Yet pure as faith is pure,
As sure as death is sure,
As long as love shall live shall song endure!"
When one by one the stately, silent Years
Glide like pale ghosts beyond our yearning sight,
Vainly we stretch our arms to stay their flight
So soon, so swift they pass to endless night!
We hardly learn to name them,
To praise them, or to blame them,
To know their shadowy faces,
Ere we see their empty places!
Only once the glad spring greets them
Only once fair summer meets them ;
Only once the autumn glory
Tells for them its mystic story;
Only once the winter hoary
Weaves for them its robes of light!
Years leave their work half-done; like men, alas!
With sheaves ungathered to their graves they pass,
And are forgotten. What they strive to do
Lives for awhile in memory of a few;
Then over all Oblivion's waters flow
The years are buried in the long ago!
But when a Century dies what room is there for tears?
Rather in Solemn exhaltation let us come,
With roll of drum,
(Not muffled as in woe,)
With blare of bugles and the liquid flow
Of silver clarions and the long appeal
Of the clear trumpets ringing peal on peal,
With clash of bells and hosts in proud array
To pay meet homage to Its burial day!
For its proud work is done. Its name is writ
Where all the ages that come after it
Shall read the eternal letters blazoned high
On the blue dome of the impartial sky.
What ruthless fate can darken its renown,
Or dim the lustre of its starry crown ?
On mountain-peaks of time each century stands alone
And each, for glory or for shame, hath reaped what it hath sown.
But this — the one that gave thee birth
A hundred years ago, O beauteous mother!
This mighty century had a mightier brother,
Who from the watching earth
Passed but last year! Twin-born indeed were they,
For what arc twelve months to the womb of time
Pregnant with ages? — Hand in hand they climbed
With clear, young eyes uplifted to the stars,
With great strong souls that never stopped for bars,
Through storm and darkness up to glorious day!
Each knew the other's need; each in his breast
The subtle tie of closest kin confessed ;
Counted the other's honor as his own;
Nor feared to sit upon a separate throne;
Nor loved each other less when — wondrous fate!
One gave a Nation life, and one a State !
Oh! rude the cradle in which each was rocked,
The infant Nation, and the infant State!
Rough nurses were the centuries that mocked
At mother-kisses and for mother-arms
Gave their young nurselings sudden, harsh alarms,
Quick blows and stern rebuffs. They bade them wait,
Often in cold and hunger, while the feast
was spread for others, and, though last not least,
Gave them sharp swords for playthings, and the din
Of actual battle for the mimic strife
That childhood glories in!
Yet not less they loved them. Spartans they,
Who could not rear a weak, effeminate brood.
Better the forest's awful solitude,
Better the desert spaces where the day
Wanders from dawn to dusk and finds no life.
But over all the tireless years swept on,
Till side by side the centuries grew old,
And the young Nation, great and strong and bold,
Forgot its early struggles in triumphs later won!
It stretched its arms from East to West;
It gathered to its mighty breast
From every clime, from every soil,
The hunted sons of want and toil;
It gave to each a dwelling-place;
It blent them in one common race;
And over all from sea to sea,
Wide flow the banner of the free!
It did not fear the wrath of kings
Nor the dread grip of deadlier things —
Gaunt famine with its ghastly horde,
Dishonor sheathing its foul sword,
Nor faithless friend, nor treacherous blow,
Struck in the dark by stealthy foe;
For over all its wide domain,
From shore to shore, from main to main,
From vale to mountain-top, it saw
The reign of plenty, peace and law!
Thus fared the Nation, prosperous, great and free,
Prophet and herald of the good to be;
And on its humbler way in calm content,
The lesser State, the while, serenely went.
Safe in her mountain fastnesses she dwelt,
Her life's first cares forgot, its woes unfelt,
And thought her bitterest tears had all been shed,
For peace was in her borders and God reigned overhead.
But suddenly, over the hills there came
A cry that rent her with grief and shame
A cry from the Nation in distress,
Stricken down in its mightiness!
With passionate ardor, up she sprang,
And her voice like the peal of a trumpet rang,
What ho! what ho! brave sons of mine,
Strong with the strength of the mountain pine!
To the front of the battle, away! away!
The Nation is bleeding in deadly fray,
The Nation it may be is dying to-day!
On, then, to the rescue, away! away!
Ah! how they answered let the ages tell,
For they shall guard the sacred story well!
Green grows the grass, to-day, on many a battle-field;
War's dread alarms are o'er; its scars are healed;
Its bitter agony has found surcease;
A re-united land clasps hands in peace.
But, oh! ye blessed dead whose graves are strown
From where our forests make perpetual moan,
To those far shores where smiling Southern seas
Give back soft murmurs to the fragrant breeze, —
Oh! ye, who drained for us the bitter cup.
Think ye we can forget what ye have offered up?
The years will come and go, and other centuries die,
And generation after generation lie
Down in the dust; bit long as stars shall shine,
Long as Vermont's green hills shall bear the pine,
As long as Killington shall proudly lift
Its lofty peak above the storm-cloud's rift,
Or Mansfield hail the blue, o'erarching skies,
Or fair Mount Anthony in grandeur rise
So long shall live the deeds that ye have done,
So deathless be the glory ye have won
Not with exultant joy
And pride without alloy,
Did the twin Centuries rejoice when all was o'er.
What though the Nation rose
Triumphant o'er its foes?
What though the State had gained
The meed of faith unstained?
Their mighty hearts remembered the dead that came no more!
Remembered all the losses,
The weary, weary crosses,
Remembered that earth was poorer for the blood that had been shed.
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And knew that it was sadder for the story it had read!
So clasping hands with somewhat saddened mien,
And eyes uplifted to the great Unseen
That rules alike o'er centuries and men,
Onward they walked serenely towards the end!
one reached it last year, Ye remember well,
The wondrous tale there is no need to tell
How the whole world bowed down beside its bier,
Heaping their treasures on its mighty pall
Never had kingliest king such funeral!
Old Asia rose and girding her in haste,
Swept in her jeweled robes across the waste,
And called to Egypt lying prone and hid
Where waits the sphinx beside the pyramid;
Fair Europe came with overflowing hands,
Bearing the riches of her many lands;
Dark Afric, laden with her virgin gold,
Yet laden deeper with her woes untold;
Japan and China in grotesque array,
And all the enchanted islands of Cathay!
To-day the other dies,
It walked in humbler guise,
Nor stood where all men's eyes
Were fixed upon it.
Earth may not pause to lay
A wreath upon its bier,
Nor the world heed to-day
Our dead that lieth here!
Yet well they loved each other —
It and its greater brother.
To loftiest stature grown,
Each earned its own renown;
Each sought of Time a crown,
And each has won it.
But what to us are centuries dead,
And rolling years forever fled,
Compared with thee, O! grand and fair
Vermont — our goddess-mother?
Strong with the strength of thy verdant hills,
Fresh with the freshness of mountain rills,
Pure as the breath of the fragrant pine,
Glad with the gladness of youth divine,
Serenely thou sittest throned to-day
Where the free winds that round thee play
Rejoice in thy waves of sun-bright hair,
O! thou, our glorious mother!
Rejoice in thy beautiful strength and say
Earth holds not such another!
Thou art not old with thy hundred years,
Nor worn with toil, or care, or tears;
But all the glow of the summer-time
Is thine to-day in thy glorious prime!
Thy brow is fair as the winter-snows,
With a stately calm in its still repose;
While the breath of the rose the wild bee sips
Half-mad with joy, cannot eclipse
The marvellous sweetness of thy lips;
And the deepest blue of the laughing skies
Hides in the depths of thy fearless eyes,
Gazing afar over land and sea
Wherever thy wandering children be!
Fold on fold,
Over thy form of grandest mould,
Floweth thy robe of forest green,
Now light, now dark, in its emerald sheen.
Its broidered hem is of wild flowers rare,
With feathery fern-fronds light as air,
Fringing its borders. In thy hair
Sprays of the pink arbutus twine,
And the curling rings of the wild grape-vine;
Thy girdle is of silver streams;
Its clasp with the opaline lustre gleams
Of a lake asleep in the sunset beams;
Floats over all a veil of mist
Pale tinted with rose and amethyst.
Rise up, O! noble mother of brave sons,
Worthy to rank among earth's mightiest ones
And daughters fair and beautiful and good,
Yet wise and strong in loftiest womanhood,
Rise from thy throne, and standing far and high
Outlined against the blue, adoring sky,
Lift up thy voice and stretch thy loving hands
In benidiction o'er the waiting lands!
Take thou, our fealty, at thy feet we bow,
Glad to renew each oft-repeated vow !
No costly gifts we bring to thee, to-day;
No votive wreaths upon thy shrine we lay;
Take thou, our hearts, then! hearts that fain would be
From this day forth, O goddess; worthier thee.
[Space promised Gov. Hall on Bennington doubled, — we suspend — while the large volume of Bennington Town History under the happy auspices of their Historical Society is being finished up — withdraw to NOTES BY THE PATH OF THE GAZETTEER, Vol. II. issued about quarterly — now, therin at the old Gov. Hall farm-house;— with mss. at s'd. quarters: James Breakenridge farm and family; Papers, yet more of the four old governors and their wives that lie 'line in line' in the old Revolutionary grave-yard at Bennington Centre: Robinson, Tichenor, Robinson, Hall; Parson Dewey, etc.
THANKS for portrait of Gen. Stark to Edson C. Eastman, of Concord N. H.