Epaphroditus Peck.

Burlington, Connecticut; online

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Online LibraryEpaphroditus PeckBurlington, Connecticut; → online text (page 1 of 4)
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At the



JUNE 16, 1906.




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Book, вЦ† B%r3


Mr. CJui'irriKfn, Friends and Fellow Cithens of Bm'liixjton :
1 have felt some embarassment and much sense of
incapacity in attempting to prepare and dehver a sketch of
the history of a town of which I have never been myself
a resident. One who has been brought up in a community
has a familiar acquaintance with the locality, with the old
homes and the old families, with the old traditions and
legends, which makes it easy for him to understand the
written materials that he may find, to put them into their
proper place and read much between the lines, and which
will naturally save him from the blunders into which a
stranger may easily fall.

But since your committee thought that they had no one
more available, I was glad to undertake the pleasant task,
'f I am not a son of Burlington, I may at least claim, since
Turlington and Bristol are sister towns, to be a nephew.
\nd I trust that you may see before I am through that I
may well take pride in claiming civic cousinship with many
of the distinguished sons of Burlington.

A local historian need not altogether deplore the fact
that he is thrown upon the manuscript records for most of
his early knowledge. In reading the original acts of the
settlers themselves, recorded in their own language and
handwriting, one comes to realize the hardship of their
conditions, and the rugged resolution of their temper, far
more than he could do by trusting to any later narrative.
The early records of an old New England community are.
refreshing to read after one has, in the reports of some
Home Missionary Society, read the appeals for the evangel-
ization and uplifting of the pioneer West. There \-ou may

read how a community of five hundred people, expectincx
soon to be a city of ten thousand, has two theaters five
dance halls and twenty saloons, and that they will provide
a small room over a saloon and permit their children to
attend Sunday school, if the people of the East will provide
and pay a missionary.

But coming back to our own past, we find a handful of
pioneers, living in log-houses in the forest, voting to establish
schools and to provide for the preaching of the Gospel
laymg upon themselves taxes, to be paid in grain or in labor
if there is no money, to set up these two pillars of the New
England community, and holding divine service in their own
houses and barns until they can provide a humble meetincr.
house. No wonder that from these little towns of New
England have gone out great currents of religious and
intellectual, political and commercial leadership, to make of
the United States the Christian, cultured and free nation
that it is.

Our present information about the first settlement of
Burlington is rather vague and scanty.
^ The settlement of the mother town of Farmington began
in 1640, and it was incorporated in 1645. In 1672 the
General Court fixed the length of Farmington at fifteen
miles from north to south, and its width at eleven miles
westerly from the Hartford line. The town at once laid out
the part of this tract on which settlement had already been
made, four miles and sixty-four rods wide, as "the reserved
land," and the wilderness to the west in six tiers, eleven
miles long and about a mile wide, besides 20, 30 and 40-rod
highways between the tiers, each of which tiers was to be
divided between the proprietors in proportion to their own-
ership of home land. The westerly five tiers of this layout
constitute substantially the present towns of Burlington and
Bristol. The lines of this allotment were not actually run
out upon the land till 1721, and the survey was not com-
pleted till 1728.' Meantime the rough hills of Burlington
and Bristol continued to be known as Farmington West
Woods and the Great Forest. Occasional special grants





were made of small tracts, but none of it was permanenth'
settled till 1727 and 1728, when the settlement of Bristol
beg'an. Burlinijjton was a little later. "A lar

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Online LibraryEpaphroditus PeckBurlington, Connecticut; → online text (page 1 of 4)