Francis Chase.

Gathered sketches from the early history of New Hampshire and Vermont; containing vivid and interesting accounts of a great variety of the adventures of our forefathers online

. (page 1 of 29)
Online LibraryFrancis ChaseGathered sketches from the early history of New Hampshire and Vermont; containing vivid and interesting accounts of a great variety of the adventures of our forefathers → online text (page 1 of 29)
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REPRINTED BY H. E. &, J. W. MOORE, 1831.



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Under the title which is prefixed to the following pages, it is
proposed, should encouragement be given, to publish a series of
numbers or volumes, which shall embrace,

1. Historical Sketches of Indian wars, battles and ex-
ploits ; of the adventures and sufferings of the captives :

2. Topographical Descriptions of towns and places in
New-Hampshire, with their history, civil and ecclesiastical :

3. Biographical Memoirs and Anecdotes of eminent and
remarkable persons in New-Hampshire, or who have had con-
nection with its settlement and history :

4. Statistical Tables ; Tables of Births, Diseases and
Deaths :

5. Meteorological Observations, and facts relating to cli-

And such other interesting matter as may come to hand.

The utility of individual efforts, as well as of associations,
for the purpose of collecting and preserving what remains of
the antiquities and curiosities of a country, cannot be ques-
tioned. Mankind generally are interested in the feelings and
pursuits, the history and moral state of man in different ages.
Hence arises a fondness for even those details, which alone,
may be unworthy of regard, but which in the aggregate form
the most valuable sources from which to learn the exact condi-
tion of a people. And perhaps there is no higher mental
pleasure than that produced in " tracing the footsteps of past
existence, in walking over the ground cultivated by former gen-
erations, in reviewing the records of their deeds, and in exam-
ining the monuments of their industry, wisdom and piety." We
are thus instructed in the powers of human genius, and made
acquainted with all the variety of character elicited in public
trials or private sufferings.


Much has been done in Europe, by the patronage of govern-
ments, and in America, by the enterprize and munificence of in-
dividuals, to collect the antiquities and traditions of each quar-
ter of the globe. It is unnecessary to enumerate the societies
formed with this view since that of Charlemagne in the eighth
century; or to name those great lights in history which have
preserved the knowledge of many centuries, and which now
guide the pilgrim in his wearisome search after the treasures of

Exertions, even the most humble, to collect the scattered
fragments of our history, we believe will not fail to meet the
approbation of every enlightened rnind. Though our great his-
torian, Dr. Belknap, has presented a rich legacy to the people
of this State, there are still left unexplored many sources of in-
formation, to which he had not time to devote his attention. It
is believed that some valuable manuscripts and papers relating
to important historical events, remain in the possession of those,
who, if an opportunity presented for their publication free of
expense, would cheerfully impart them for this purpose, for the
benefit of society. To rescue from the dust and obscurity of
private repositories such important documents, as are liable to
be lost or destroyed, by the indifference or neglect of those in-
to whose hands they may have fallen, will be a primary object
of our attention. Not aspiring to the higher walks of general
science, we shall confine the range of our exertions to the humble
task of collecting cmd preserving whatever may be useful toothers
in relation to the subjects before mentioned ; and we hope in
some measure to succeed in rescuing from oblivion valuable
and important facts, and to contribute a small share to the stock
of historical knowledge respecting our own slate.

Another object is, to excite the attention of those versed in
the unwritten history of our state, to the formation of a society
at the seat of government, embracing the general plan of the


Historical Societies in Massachusetts and New-York.* Tliough
New-Hampshire may be less fruitful in resources than either of
those states, we are certain that very many interesting subjects
deserve a more general inquiry than it is in the power of indi-
viduals to make. No longer ago than in 1750, there were hords
of savages roaming about the different parts of the state ; and so
lateas 1781, their latest depredations were committed in the town
of Shelburne. In almost every town on tiie borders of our great-
er rivers, have been discovered traces of Indian fortifications,
dwellings, implements, or weapons. And the memory of Indian
eruptions is now fresh in the minds of some of our aged
people. These circumstances are favorable, and should invite

Descriptions of the varied natural scenery which our state
presents; of the quality of the soil, and the productions of differ-
ent parts of the State ; of the local advantages, trade and man-
ufactures of particular places — will be generally interesting from
their minuteness and accuracy. With the lives and characters
of eminent and useful men, there are few who do not wish to
be acquainted. To this department of our work we shall devote
much attention — endeavoring, if we publish sketches of per^
sons who are already well known, to give at least some addi-
tional anecdotes of their lives or writings. It must be apparent
to every reflecting mind, that, as the remaining veterans of the
revolution are fast leaving the stage, much of the history of that
eventful period is likely to be lost, which timely e.-.ertions ma/
now preserve. We hope to be able to collect personal accounts
from many of the surviving actors in that stupendous drama.

Should our enterprize be crowned with success, or should
we, with much toil, be enabled to add any thing to the history
and knowledge of our own state, we shall feel satisfied. Pe-
cuniary profits we are not so quixotick as to expect ; nor shall
we, on the other hand, be lavish of labor to our own disadvan-

u*cE7'''^i./^''^''o''''''^^'''^^>' of New-Hampshire was formed
the 2'st May, 1S23, and has now (1831) a respectable colleci
of valuable books and papers.]


tage. If the public, or enlightened individuals, think fit to en-
courage the undertaking, and to contribute what information
they may possess towards furthering our design, we shall pro-
ceed with diligence, and publish in convenient numbers such
Collections as we have already succeeded in procuring, and
whatever of value we may hereafter obtain.

Concord, N, H. January, 1822,



1. Can you give any information concerning the First Settle-
ment oi^ yon: town, or village, by white peo[)ie, and the num-
ber and condition of the first settlers ; the names of the princi-
pal persons : the circumstances attending tiie settlement, and the
Bubsequcnt iiistory of the place ?

2. Are you in possession of any records which will tend to elu-
cidate the Ecclesiastical History of New-Hampshire? Can you
give any information concerning the erection of churches, and
the establishment of congregations '>f the different religious de-
nominations, from the earliest periods of settlement ; the names
of all the ministers who liave had pastoral charges, the dates of
their settlement and removal, whether by death or otherwise ; the
name of the college at which they were educated, the year, and
their literary publications ?

3. When were Schools and other seminaries of learning first in-
stituted in your town ? What have been their numbers at differ-
ent jjcriods since that time? Can any information be had respect-
ing their funds, nnmber of scholars, and general character at dif-
ferent times fiom the first settlement to the present day?

A. 'Wh&n was Xhe^x si printing press established in your town,
and by whom ? When was the first book, pamphlet, or newspa-
per printed ?

5. What are ihc literari/ publications of gentlemen who have
resided in your town ? When and where were they printed, what
form, and what the number of pages they contain ?


6. Have you any public JLihrarics ? If any, when were they
first instituted ; when incorporated, and what is the number of vol-
omes in each ?

7. What are ihcnames of those belonging to your town who
have received a college educationi At what college, and when did
they graduate ?

8. What remarkable laws, customs, or usages, either local or
treneral, at early periods of our colonial establishment, have come
to your knowledge ?

9. Can you furnish des6riptions,dra\vings,or ether communications
concerning mines, mineral ?jirin<^3 , an dent fortiji cations, caverns,
mountains, or any other natural curiosities, together with minute
information concerning the dates of their discovery, or of other
remarkable events respecting them, and in general, every fact
which may throw light on their origin and history.

10. Do you possess any records concerning seasons remarkable
either for the extremes of heat or cold, scarcifrj or plcntj/ ? Can
you communicate bills of mortalit'i/, histories of epidemicks, &c.

1 1. Is it in your power to furnish any information concerning
the Indian tribes which formely inhabited your town or vicinity ;
concerning their number and condition when first visited by the
whites; their trade, disputes, wars, and treaties, either among
themselves, or with the white people ; their character, customs
and general history 1

12. What were the Indian names of the mountains, rivers, lakes,
or other remarkable places in your neighborhood ? And what is
the traditional import of those names ?

13. What were the number and names of those belonging to
your town, who were killed or died in service during the Ameri-
can revolution, and during the late war between this country and
Great Britain ?

1 4. What associaticns have you for religious or literary improve-
ment, or the encouragement of the arts 1


ANDOVER, N. H.— By Jacob B. Moore.

[ The reader cannot expect to find, in the history of so recent
a settlement as that of Andover, much to interest his fancy or im-
prove his mind. It is to the earlier efforts of our pilgrim fathers,
that we must look for examples of heroic piety and perseverance,
amid the dangers which surrounded them, both of famine and
savage war. There is still an inducement to collect the facts in
the early history of even the younger towns, from the reflection
that so much has been lost in the history of the older. Timely
exertions only can preserve for the use of posterity, those particu-
lars concerning events of the present day, which we are all so
anxious to know respecting " times of old." With this view the
writer of the following sketch has endeavored to bring into a
small compass, all the material facts relating to his native town ;
and whether they be valuable or not, his satisfaction rests in hav-
ing rescued from forgetfulness circumstances, which, if not inter-
esting at the present day, may become so to those wlio shall here-
after occupy the lands lately cultivated by our fathers.]

Andover, a post-town in the county of Merrimack, is situat-
ed in latitude 43° 27' north, and is bounded on the north by
New-Chester, east by the Pemigewasset river, a branch of the
Merrimack, which separates the town from Sanbornton ; south
by Salisbury, and west by Wilmot — in length about ten miles
from east to west ; its average width four miles from north to
south — containing 29,883 acres, or nearly forty-six square

[* The town of Franklin was incorporated in January, I §29,
and includes a portion of Andover, lying on the river.]


Pemigeivasset river, which form.s the eastern boundary, ia a
rapid stream, subject to sudden swells from the numerous brooks
and rivulets that wind round almost every hill in the vicinity.*
The Pemigewasset is Ibrdable at several places near Andover
in summer, and even when the waters are high, the fishermen
sometimes cross on the rocks jutting out near the falls. A va-
riety of excellent fish, is annually caught here, though in less
quantities than formerly. Blackivater river, one of the tributary
branches of the Contoocook, is formed by two small streams,
one of which rises in Danbury, and the other issues from pleas-
ant pond in New-London. These branches unite soon after
crossing the west line, and form the Blackwater, so called from
its dark appearance, which passes rapidly through the southwest
part of the town into Salisbury, from thence through Boscaweu
into the north east part of Hopkinton, where it empties into the
Contoocook. This stream affords numerous fish, and many fine

There are si.v ponds in Andover, the largest of which is call-
ed Chance pond, situated in the easterly part of the town, the
outlet of which passes through Salisbury- Village [Franklin] in-
to the Pemigewasset, a little below Webster's falls. This pond
is about two miles in length, differing from one half to fths of a
rnile in width. Loon pond lies near the centre of the town, and
is about one mile in length and three-fourths of a mile in width.
There is an island situated in the easterly part of Loon pond,
which has long been the resort of summer pleasure parties, for-
merly affording a beautiful shade and several kinds of wild
fruits : this island contains three or four acres. The other
ponds are called MitcheWs, Elboiv,Adder and Nether. All of them

[* This river is formed of three principal branches, having
their sources in Peeling, Franconia, and the ungranted lands
south of the White Mountains. These branches unite in Peel-
ing, from whence the main stream passes in a south direction
through Thornton, Campton, between Plymouth and Holderness,
Bridgewater, Bristol, New-Hampton and New-Chester ; and it
unites with the Winnepisiogee river in Franklin ; — the stream
thence takes the name of Merrimack.]


afford many fish, and in some of the connecting streams are
found sahnon trout.

Andover abounds with hills and dales, being in some places
rocky and barren. On the north is a range of mountains, which
divides the town from New-Ciiester. It commences near the
Femigewasset river, and extends westwardly about ten miles to
the intersection of the Grafton and fourth N. H. turnpikes. —
These mountains are called Ragged, from their appearance, be-
ing in all parts broken, and in many places bleak and precipitous.
About two-thirds of the southern side are cleared, and afford
good pasture lands. In some parts, settlements ha^'e been
made, and snug farms formed some way up their sides. These
rural improvements, with the rocky barrier behmd, present from
other eminences a picturesque appearance. A little west of the
centre of the range, a stream of water passes from New-
Chester, on which are situated several mills. In its passage
through a chasm in the monntain, the water tumbles over a
ledge of rocks nearly two hundred feet in the distance of a
hundred rods. When the stream is raised by heavy rains or
melting snows, the prospect is very interesting. From the foot
of these falls the ascent is not difficult on either side the whole
distance up. The highest summit, which is a little west of the
rivulet, by a late calculation, is found to be 1700 feet above the
level of the pond a little south of its base. There are several
caverns in this range of mountains, some of which have been
explored to a considerable distance, containing much rubbish?
decayed leaves, limbs of trees, vegetable mould, bones of ani-
mals, &;c. The dividing line between Andover and New-
Chester, passes over the summit of the Ragged Mountains.

The soil of this town is in many parts very good, producing
excellent wheat, rye and corn, and is in general good for or-
charding, and for other fruits common in this part of the coun-
try. Experiments have frequently been made with trees more
common in a southern latitude, but none have been brought to
maturity, by reason of the severity of the winters. The high-
lands, though hard of cultivation, are exceedingly fertile, and


some of the best farms arc situated on the hills in the westerly
part of the town, and on the southerly side of the Ragged
Mountains. There is some rich interval land stretching along
the Blackwater river ; and on the southern and southwestern
borders of Loon and Chance ponds, are some valuable timber
lands, the natural growth being principally hard pine and spruce
— much of which has been conveyed in rafts down the river to
Boscawen and Concord.* The growth of wood, in the other
parts of the town, is principally oak, beach and sugar-maple. —
Seventy years ago the whole town was a forest, inhabited only
by wild beasts. From its first settlement until within a few years
the inhabitants have animally supplied themselves with sugar
from their own farms ; but the trees now beginning to decay,
and little pains being taken in their preservation, this branch of
domestic economy is almost wholly neglected.

In some parts of the town, near the Ragged Mountains, are
found masses of excellent granite,which has as yet been made
but little use of. There is also every indication of iron ore in
the southerly part of the range. In passing over the ledges, it
has invariably been found that the needle was more or less at-
tracted. Considerable quantities of iron ore have been taken
from the southern borders of Loon pond. Black lead of su-
perior quality has also been frequently found at the foot of the
mountains. These circumstances certainly indicate the exist-
ence of some valuable minerals in this mountainous range, and
should invite the attention of those versed in mineralogical sci-

The woods of Andover, when the proprietors of the tract
first entered upon their lands, were plentifully stocked with game.
Moose, deer, bears, wild-cats, &c. were every day to be seen,
and the settlers were obliged to guard their flocks from their
midnight incursions. Deer were very numerous, and so late as
1783, the town voted a premium of five dollars for every deer
killed by the inhabitants. Beavers, otters, and other quadrupeds,

•The timbers for the Concord Bridge, when it was first built,
were procured near Chance pond.


were also common, and were for a few years a source of profit
to the inhabitants.

The fourth New-Hampshire Turnpike passes through thd
north-western part of Andover and intersects with the^ Grafton
turnpike near the western line. In 1763, there was but one
path cut through the town near the centre, winding round the
pond, and leading back to the Pemigewasset. The lines between
Salisbury* and Andover were perambulated and marked this
year by the selectmen of both towns ; and soon after, the boun-
daries between Andover and New-Chester were establislied in
like manner. The roads through this town are now good, and
the inhabitants are constantly improving them.

Travellers passing over the stage-road through Andover, have
but an imperfect view of its soil. They can indeed see little
but the bleak and barren pile of the Ragged Mountains on the
north, and the darkly wooded sides of the Kearsargc on the west.
There are several convenient dwellings and good farms situar
ted on the turnpike ; also three public houses and the post-office.
And a meeting-house is soon to be erected in that part of the
town.t But the principal settlements, and the oldest and best
cultivated farms are situated in the centre of the town. The
first meeting-house built in conformity with the conditionsof the
grant, was torn down in 1795 — and the present one erected on
the 3d of May, 1796, and dedicated to the service and honor of
the Christian religion, Jan. 5th, 1707. This house is a spacious
and well finished building, but is now decaying, havino- never
been painted. Its cost was about ^2200J. There are now in
the town of Andover about 245 dwelling-houses ; 4 stores ; 4
taverns ; 5 saw-mills ; 3 grist-mills, with double runs of stones

*Originally called Stevens-Town, from the name of one of the

[t Finished and dedicated in 1S24.]

[JThe site of the burial grouad near this church, was present-
ed to the town, March 5, 1805, by Charles Hilton, reserving "one
square rod for the use of Widow Ruth Towle, and six square
rods for himself and family" — the whole coraprisin® ^ of an acre
and 7 rod.«.]


in each ; 2 carding machines ; 2 clothing mills ; 2 bark mills,
and 2 tanneries. The first saw-mill was built in 1767, the
proprietors granting 40/. to the person who built it, together
with the water privilege and site, " on condition that he should
saw all the logs the proprietors should haul to the mill, at the
halves for ten years." The number of inhabitants was in 1775,
179; in 1790,645 ; in 1800, 1133; in 1810, 1259 ; andinlS20,
1G42 — giving for this latter year an average of about seven
persons for each family. The body of inhabitants are indus-
trious farmers, raising ordinarily a surplus with which to furnish
their families the " little necessaries" which common custom or
inclination invite them to procure.

Andover uas granted by the proprietors* of lands purchased
of John Tufton Mason in 1746, to the following perons, viz : —
Edmond Brown, William Swain, Archelaus Lakeman, John Hoyt,
Jolm Brown, Daniel Crarn, Nathan Row, Amos Dwinell, Dan-
iel Sanborn, John Sanborn, Joseph Gove, Benjamin Leavitt,
Nathan Longfellow, David Norton, Walter Williams, Benja-
min Swett, jun. Benjamin Shaw, Benjamin Tilton, Joseph Pres-
cott, Thomas Sillia,! Israel Blake, John Ellis, Daniel Weare,
Nathaniel Healey, Benjamin Sanborn, Robert Miller and To-
bias Lakeman, of Hampton- Falls .

Edward Brown and Jonathan Beck, of Salisbury, Mass,
Samuel Bathrick, of Portsmouth.

Ezekiel V."urthen,Joseph Weare, Samuel Blake, jun. John Chap-
man, Samuel Blake, Nathan Dow, Samuel French, William
Brown Clough, Jesse Prescutt,]' and Ebenezer Loverin, of Ken-

Anthony Emery, John Marston, Simon Marston, Joshua Towie,
Daniel Marston, John Leavitt, Jonathan Leavitt and Nathaniel
Bachelder, of Hampton.

*The names of the original proprietors or grantors of Andover,
were, Theodore Atkinson, Mark H. Wentworth, Richard Wibird,
John Wentworth, George Jaffrey, Samuel Moore, Nathaniel
Meserve, Thomas Packer, Thomas Wallingford, Jotham Odiorne,
Joshua Pierce and John Moffat.

^ So ppelt in the original grant.


Samuel French, Richard Smith, Benjamin Eaton, Joseph
French, Hezekiah Garr and Benjamin French, f/ South-Hampton
and Hampton-Falls.

David Page, David Lowe), Naason Cass and Joseph Raw-
lins, of Exeter.

Jonathan Sanborn, of Kingston ; and Robert Calfe, of Ches-

The boundaries of the grant wore thus described — " Begin-
ning at a great rock on the westerly side of Pemigewasset river,
which rock is the north-easterly bound of a tract of land gran-
ted to Ebenezer Stevens, Jedediah Philbrick and othes, by said
proprietors ; then rnnning \Y. 17° S. 10 miles; then beginning
again at said rock, running up said river so far as to contain four
miles upon a straight line ; thence W. 17° S. 10 miles; thence
on a straight line to the end of the first ten mile line."

The conditions imposed upon the grantees were as follow: —
" That fifteen families be settled upon said tract of land, each
having a house of sixteen feet square at least, or equal there-
to^ and four acres of land cleared and fitted for tillage or mow-
ing upon their respective shares, within four years next after
the granting hereof; and fifteen families more, so settled, with-
in six years from the granting hereof; and thirty families mare
within ten years from the granting hereof. That within eight
years from the granting hereof a meeting-house be built for the
worship of God, and fitted for that purpose for the use of the in-
habitants there ; and that they maintain and support the constant
preaching of the gospel there after the expiration of ten years
from the granting hereof. That all ivhite-pine trees, jit for masting
the royal navy, be and hereby are reserved and granted to his majesty,
his heirs and successors forever for thatpurpose. Provided ahvays,

Online LibraryFrancis ChaseGathered sketches from the early history of New Hampshire and Vermont; containing vivid and interesting accounts of a great variety of the adventures of our forefathers → online text (page 1 of 29)