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NATURAL AND CIVIL



I S T O B Y



or



VERMONT.



BY SAMUEL WILLIAMS, LL. D.

Member of the Meteorological Society in Germany, of TUR

Philosothical Society in Philadelphia, and op thr

Academy or Arts and Sciences in Massachussttj.



IN TWO VOLUMES,



Volume L'



THE SECOND EDITION, CORRECTED ANL)
MUCH ENLARGED.



BURLINGTON, Vt.

PRINTED BY SAMUEL MILLS.
Sold at his Bookstore in Burlington, by Mills and WfilTrj

MlDDLEBURY, IsAIAH ThoMAS, JuN. WORCESTER, ThOMAS

AND Andrews, Boston, Thomas and WHi«>rL,E_4NQ
S. Sawyer ANb Co. Newburyport. ^ • ■ ' ' '. '



1809. .



\-



DISTRICT OF VERMONT, to wit.

BE it remembered, that on the twenty fifth day of Febrtt»

ary, in the thirty third year of the Independence of the

- , _ United States of America, Samuel Mills of Burlington in

V ij. t>. ) fgi^j District, hath deposited in this Office, the title of 3

Book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the

■Words following, to wit :

«' The Natural and Civil History of Vermont. By Samael Williams,

"* LL. D. Member of the Meteorological Society in Germany, of the

"Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and of the academy of arts

••and Sciences in Massachusetts. In two Volumes. Volume I. The

'• second edition, corre<5ted and much enlarged."

In conformity to the adl of the Congress of the United States, en-
titled " an adt for the encouragement of learning, by securing the co-
pics of Maps, Charts and Books, to the authors and proprietors of
such copies, during the times therein mentioned,"

CEPH-VS SMITH, Jun.

Clerk of the Diftiift of Vermont.
A true Copy of Record,

CEPHAS SMITH, Jun. Clerk.




4 * '



TO THE CITIZENS OF THE STATE OS

VERMONT,

THE fOLLOWlNG OBSERVATIONS

ON THEIil

NATURAL AND CIVIL

HISTORY,

ARE HUMBLY INSCRIBED ;

AS A TESTIMONY OF R.ESPECT FOR THEIR

MANY VIRTUES,

AS AN ATTEMPT TO PROMOTE

A MORE PARTICULAR ACQUAINTANCE

WITH THEIR OWN AFFAIRS,

AND WITH THE MOST ARDENT WISHES FOR.

THEIR FURTHER IMPROVEMENT

AND PROSPERITY,

BY THEIR OBEDIENT
AND HUMBLE
SERVANT,

THE AUTHOR

Rutland, July 16, 1,794.



*






PREFACE.



o©©©o



THREE centuries have passed away
gince America was first discovered by Colum-
bus. From that time until now, the affairs of
America have engaged the attention of historians
and philosophers. The natural productions of
this continent, have been one object of general
inquiry. Among the Spanish writers, there are
some good essays on the natural history of the
southern parts of America. In Canada, some of
the physicians and Jesuits were attentive to the
natural productions of that part of the continent i
and have left some valuable pieces on the natural
history of New France. This kind of knowledge
^vas not much attended to, by the first settlers of
the British colonics ; and we" have but few of
their ancient writings, in which it was contem-
plated at all. Obliged to depend upon transient
and partial accounts, the best WTiter upon natural
history, M. de Buffon, has flillen into many mis-
takes respecting the natural productions of A-
merica, which, more accurate observations would
Jiave corrected. The subject instead of being
fully explored, i.s yet a treasure but little ex-
amined.

The Man of America was an object still nnore
curious and important. But the age in which
the first discoveries and settlements were made,
was not enough enlighLcned, to afford either ac-
curate or impartial observations, on the manners,
customs, language, abilities, or state of society,
e^niong the Indians. Prejudiced by their sordid



^ PREFACE.

manners, and enraged by their barbarities, the
men of Europe never looked for any thing good
in such men : And while interest and revenge
joined to destroy that unhappy race, but few
were able to consider their customs or rights
with calmness, or dared to say any thing in their
favor. It is not more than half a century, since
this subject has been properly attended to by
philosophers : And their conclusions have been
of the most opposite and contrary kinds. Some
have with great zeal advanced, that the perfec-
tion of man was to be found in the savage state ;
while others have as warmly contended, that this
was the lowest state of degradation and abase -
ment, to which the human race can possibly be
reduced. Such opposite and contrary systems
make it necessary to examine this part of the
natural history of man, with gre?.t care and im-
partiality ; that we may distinguish what was
valuable in that stage of society, and what was
disadvantageous and degrading.

An object of still higher magnitude and im-
portance, has been presented to our view by the
American Revolution. The first settlers in the
British colonies were left in a great measure by
their sovereigns, to take care of themselves. The
only situation which they could take, while they
were clearing the woods and forming their set-
tlements, was that of equality, industry, and
economy. In such a situation ever}'- thing ten-
ded to produce, and to establish the spirit of
freedom. Their employments, customs, man-
ners, and habits ; their wants, dangers, and in-
terests, were nearly the same ; these, with every
other circuhistance in their situation, operated



fREFACE. T

With a steady and certain tendencj', to preserve
that equality and freedom, which nature had
made. This spirit of freedom was in some de-
gree checked by the customary interpositions of
royal authority : But these were too irregular
and contradictory, to become matters of venera-
tion, to alter the natural feelings of men, or to
change the natural course and tendency of things :
And while the ministers of kings were looking
into their laws and records, to decide what
should be the riy-hts of men in the colonies, na-
ture was establishing a system of freedom in A-
merica, which they could neither comprehend or
discern. The American Revolution explained
the business to the world, and served to confirm
what nature and society had before produced.

Having assumed their rank among the na-
tions of the earth, the states of America now
present to the world a new state of society ;
founded on principles, containing arrangements,
and producing effects, not visible in any nation
before. The uncommon and increasing pros-
perity which has attended it, has ascertained its
spirit and tendency : The people are distinguish-
ed by the spirit of inquiry, industry, economyp
enterprize, and regularity : The government is
dependent upon, but guides, and reverences the
people : And the whole country is rapidly in-
creasing in numbers, extent, wealth, and power.
The highest perfection and felicity, which man
is permitted to hope for in the present life, may
rationally be expected in such a state of society ;
And it becomes of course the object of univer-
- sal inquiry and attention.

To represent the state of things in America



d JPREFACEo

in A proper light, particular accounts of each part
of the federal union seem to be necessary ; and
would answer o^^her valuable purposes. An able
historian, the Reverend Dr. Belknap, has obli-
ged the world with the history of New, Hamp-
shire. The following treatise is designed to
describe the operations of nature and society, iri
the adjacent state of Vermont. This is the
youngest of the states, an inland country, and
now rapidly changing from a vast tract of un-
cultivated wilderness, to numerous and exten-
sive settlements. In this stage of society, in-
dustry and economy seem to produce the great-
est effects, in the shortest periods of time.

The manner in Avhich the work has been ex-
ecuted, I am apprehensive will require much
candour in the reader. In the variety of sub-
jects which have come under contemplation, I
cannot flatter myself, that I have been free from
errors and mistakes : And the reason why sev-
eral of the subjects are so imperfectly consider-
ed, was because I had not the ability or infor-
mation to state them otherwise.

The American war considered with respect
to its causes, operations, or effects, presents to
our vievv some of the most important events^
•which have taken place in modern times : But
neither of these particulars can be comprehend-
ed in the history oi any particular state. To
give such an imperfect view of this subject as
could be properly contained in the history of
Vermont, did not appear eligible. No further
accounts therefore of the war, are inserted, than
what appeared necessary to explain the subject,
which I had more particularly in view.



PREFACE, 9

The controversies which took place between
the states of Vermont, New York, and New
H iinpshire, were of the most dangerous nature ;
and they were agitated for a while, with a vio-
lence greatly unfavorable to the peace and safety
of the whole union. Most of the wars which
have taken, place among mankind, have been
occasioned by disputes respecting territory and
jurisdiction : And however just or proper it
might be for any nation, to give up part of its
territory and dominion to its neighbours, such
a sacrifice was scarcely ever made without com-
pulsion, and force. To have expected New
York would voluntarily give up part of her ter-
ritory, when the decisions of the king, and the
•law were in her favor, was to expect that which
is never done by any sovereign or nation, while
they have power to prevent it. To have ex-
pected the people of Vermont would voluntarily
submit to a government, which set aside their
titles to the lands which they had purchased of"
the crown, and made valuable by their labours
and sufferings, was to look for that, which no
people ever ought to submit to, if it is in their
powiir to avoid it. When the states of New-
York, New Hampshire, and Vermont, had en-
gaged in a controversy of this kind, it was more
agreeable to the course of human affairs to ex-
pect it would produce a civil v/ar, than to look
for so much wisdom and moderatioa among
cither of the contending parties, as to prevent it.

In relating these controversies, I have felt a
constant anxiety, lest I should misrepresent the
proceedings of either of tho^e states. I had not
the interests or the passions which those parties

VOL. I. A



10 PREFACE.'

produced, to guard against ; nor am I appre-
hensive that prejudice has misled me, in rela-
ting any of those matters. But it is not improb-
able that I have not had compleat information in
some particulars, respecting those complicated
controversies ; and may have mistaken the views
of parties, in some of their leading transactions^*
If this should be found to be the case, it will
give me great pleasure to receive such further
information, a§ shall enable me to correct any
mistakes. Those who point out to us our errors,
perform the same friendly office, as those who
help us to new truths.

The most important of all our philosophical
speculations, are those which relate to the histo-
ry of man. In most of the productions of na-
ture, the subject is fixed, and may always be
found and viewed in the same situation. And
hence a steady course of observation, serves to
discover and ascertain the laws by which they
are governed, and the situation they will assume
in other periods of time. It is probable the ac-
tions and affairs of men are subject to as regu-
lar and uniform laws, as other events : And that
the same state of society will produce the same
forms of government, the same manners, cus-
toms, habits, and pursuits, among different na-
tions, in whatever part of the earth they may re-
side. Monarchy, freedom, superstition, truth
and all the general causes which actuate man-
kind, seem every where to bear the same aspect,
to operate with the same kind of influence, and
to produce similar effects ; differing not in their
nature and tendency, but onl}'- in the circum-
stances and degrees, in which they influence dif-



PREFACE. H

ferent nations. But nothing is stationary, noth-
ing that depends upon the social state, is so un-
alterably fixed, but that it will change and vary
with the degradation or improvement of the hu-
man race. And hence, while the nature of man
remains unaltered, the state of society is per-
petually changing, and the men of one age and
country, in many respects appear different from
those of another. And as men themselves are
more or less improved, every thing that consti-
tutes a part of the social state, will bear a differ-
ent appearance among different nations, and in
the same nation in different circumstances, and
in different periods of time. To ascertain what
there is thus peculiar and distinguishing in the
state of society in the Federal Union, to explain
the causes which have led to this state, to mark,
its effect upon human happiness, and to deduce
improvement from the whole, are the most im-
portant objects which civil history can contem-
plate in America : And they are objects, every
W'here more useful to men, than any refinements,
distinctions, or discoveries, merely speculative.
I have wislied to keep such objects in view,
in considering the state of society in this part of
the continent : But it is with difHdence that I
submit the attempt to the view of the public.
The disposition of America is to favor such at-
tempts and publications, as are adapted to pro-
mote any valuable public purpose : But specu-
lative and useless essays cannot much engage
the attention of a people, whose main object is
the prosperity and improvement of their country.
The public sentiment will be a just decision, a-
mong vv'hich of these, the following work ought
to be placed.



ADVERTISEMENT

TO THE

SECOND EDITIONc

THE Booksellers have desired me to
prepare the History of Vermont for another edi-
tion. The favorable reception which the pub-
lic gave to the work, has lead me to wish to
make it more perfect ; and my friends have
suggested that it v^^ould be of use to insert a
more particular account of the Wars^ \\hich
have taken place in this part of the continent.
From the earliest settlement of the English and
French colonies, contests arose, which gave rise
to a course of such events. The passage from
the one country to the other, lay through lake
Champlain. This circumstance rendered this
part of the country the, field of hostile opera-
tions, and bloody campaigns. I have endeavor-
ed to collect an account of these transactions ;
but have not had all the advantages of autlientic
documents and public libraries, to make these
researches so compleat as I wished. In making
these collections, and some necessary additions
to the natural and civil history of the State, the
sizes of the papers increased so much beyond
what I expected, that it was thought best to
publish them in two volumes.

In the narrations, the reader will find a mi-
RUttness '^f dates, facts, and circumstances, not
common in European productions ; and not
very entertaining ia itself. This method was



ADVERTISEMENT, he, 1$

adopted with choice, and by design. Persuaded
that the American com m on wealth is yet in the
early years of its infancy, and unable to compre-
hend to what extent, mcignitude, and dignity it
may arise ; the author of these sheets views the
history of a particular state, rather as a collection
of facts, circurnstances,andrecords, than as acom-
pleat and finished historical production. The more
important the United States shall become in the
future periods of time, of the more importance
it will be to be able to find a minute and au-
thentic account of the facts, proceedings, and
transactions, from whence the grand fabric arose.
To collect and record such facts and proceed-
ings, so far as they relate to this part of the
country, is what 1 have attempted. It gave me
pleasure to find that the first essay was not
viewed in an unfavorable light by the people of
Vermont ;* and I entertain the hope that ^vhat
is now offered to the public, will meet with their
approbation.

July 4, 1807.

f

* Letter from the Speaker of the General Assembly, to the Author of.
the History of Vermont.

Windsor, Oct. 12,1795,
Sir,

THE Representatives of the People entertain a lively sense of
your polite attention, by presenting them your Natural and Civil History^
of Vermont ; and of the service you have rendered your country, by ad-
ding to the republic of letters so valuable a book.

I am directed, Sir, by them to return you their thanks, with their sin-
cere wishes, that your labor in this work, may prove as beneficial to your-
qejf, as it must be useful to your fellow citizens.

lam. Sir, with great respect and esteem,
Your most obedient servant,

J,. R. MOiLRIS, Speaker.
Tfce Rev. Dr. Samuel Williams, L. L= D.



CONTENTS.

ooo©oo
CHAPTER I.

Page. ;

Situation, Boundaries, Area, Soil, and j

Face of the Country. 21 \

CHAPTER n. ;

MouNTAiNs....77z<?zr Direction, Altitude^ J

Tops, Caverns, the origin of Springs and \

Rivers, 26 '

CHAPTER HI. \

Rivers and \^ akes,... The Situation, Chan- \

nets, Intervales, Courses, Depf lis, and Ef \

fects of the Rivers. An account of Lake \

Champ lain, a?id Memphremagog, 39 \

CHAPTER IV. i

Climate 4ji account of the Temperature, ;

Winds, Rain, Snow, and Weather. The ■

change of Climate which has attended the \

cultivation of the Country. 53 1

CHAPTER V. \

Vegetab'le Productions. ..i^ord"^? Trees, '\

Esculent and Medicinal Vegetables. Re~ \

marks on the Magnitude, JVumbtm, Age, \

Evaporation, Emission of Air, Heat, and ■ \

Effects of the Trees, 81 -

CHAPTER VI. \

Native Animals. ..^/z account of the Qua- *

drupeds ; with observations on their Enu- \

meration, Origin, Migration, Species^ '

Magnitude, Disposition, and multiplying ]

Power, The Birds, Fishes, Reptiles, and \

Insects. 98 i



U CONTENTS. :

CHAPTER VIT. ■

Original In habit ants... .The JEmploi/'

ments, Civil Governme?it, Sz/stem of Ifar, \

Education^ Manners, and Customs of the J

Indians ; the Advantages^ and DisadvaU' \

tages of the Savage State. 160 \

CHAPTER VHI. ;

Original l^n abit at^ts.^. .Observations

on the origin of the Indians, their Antiqui- ).

ty, progress of Society:, and tendency to :,

Dissohition. 225 \

CHAPTER IX. I

First Settlements and Wars with i

THE lNDiANS....Di\cove7'ies and settle' i

ments in their country by the French, ■

Origin and progress of War betxveen the \

JVatives and the Europeans. Influence of '\

the Priests. French Expeditions. Pro- \

eeedings of the Governor of JSfew York. j

Destruction of Montreal by the Iroquoise, \
From the year 1535, to 1689. 251

CHAPTER X. I

W An....The f?'st TFar between the English

and French Colonies, assisted by the In- '

dians ; from the year 1689 to 1750. Ef ]
feet of the Revolution in favor of TVil-

liam and Mary. Plans of the French. \

Destruction in New Hampshire, ^ Sche- i

nectady. First attempt to reduce Cana- ;

da. Sentiments of the Indians on that j
occasion. French Expedition against the

Mohawks. Destruction of Deerfeld. Se- j

icoud Expedition against Canada. Pro- j

(feedings of Schuyler. Third attempt tQ \



CONTENTS. 3^7

Page.

reduce Canada, . Proceedings at Osrvego
and Lake Ontario. Buildings and settle-
ment at Fort St. Frederick at Croxvn
Point. Capture of Fort Massachusetts.
Proposed expedition against Croxmi Point.
Attempt upon the Fort at Charlestoxvn. 287
CHAPTER XL

"War Fro7n the year 1750, to 1757.

Conferences at Paris. Measures of the
French. Embassy and defeat of Wash-
ington. Views of the English and Prench
colonies. Congress and plan of Union at
Albany. Council of Generals and Gover-
nors at Alexandria. Expedition and de-
feat of Braddock. Success of Monckton
and Winslow^ in Nova Scotia. Proposed
Expedition to JViaga?'a. Proceedings of
Baron Dieskau at Lake Champlain. Vic-
tory of Johnson at Lake George. Ter-
inination of the campaigns of 1755. Mil-
itary arrangements of the British ministry
in 1756. Capture of Osrvego by Mont-
calm. Inactivity of the Earl of Loudon. 3S^
CHAPTER XH.

Vsl A'R.... Progress and events of the War in
the years 1757 and 1758. Loudon's pre-
parations for the campaign. Montcahn^s
measures with the Lidians. Designs upon
the English. Putnam's account of Webb^s
proceedijigs. Conquest of Fort William
Henry. Savage massacre of the prison-
ers. Reflections on Montcalm's conduct.
Result of the campaign in 1757. Change
gf the British councils and ministry,

VOL. I. B •



X8 CONTENTS.



Page.



Conquest of Loulsbourg. Ahercromhie^s
attempt and defeat at Ticonderoga. Cop- \

ture of fort Frontenac by Bradstreet. i

Of Fort Du Ques7ie by Forbes. Amherst \

assumes the command. 37^ <

CHAPTER XIIL
"V^ Kis.... .Progress and events of the War hi \

the years 1759 and 1760. Plan of the \

campaign for 1159. Conquest of Quebec
by general Wolfe. Capture of Ticonde- :

roga and Crown Point by ge7ieral Am-
herst. Expedition against the Indian
village of St. Francois by major Poge?'s. ■

P7'oceedings on Lake Champlain. Cap-
ture of Niagara by general Johnson. ;

Reflections on the campaign of 1159. \

Measures of Vaudrieul at Montreal^ in '\

1760. Plan and proceedings of general
Amherst. General Murray\s defeat at \

Quebec, and arrival at Montreal. Havi- :

land's arr'rcal at the river St. Laivrence..
Capitulation and surrender of Canada to ]

general Amherst. Reflections oji the \

origin of these Wars. Their ejf ects on I

the mo?'als, Utei'ature^ population, settle- i

menty and political state of the colonies* 4 IS :



CONTENTS. 19

APPENDIX.

Page.

No. I.

An account of the variation of the Magnetic
Needle in the Eastern States o 473

No. II.

Observations 07i the change of climate in Eu-
rope and other places, ,475

No. III.
An account of Frogs dug out of the earth at
Burlington, 479

No. IV.

Observations on the fascinating power of
Serpents, 483

No. V.
A dissertation on the colours of men, parti-
cularly on that of the Indians of America, 493

No. VI.
Garrangula's Speech. Aspecimenof
Indian policy y eloquence, and mamiers. 503

No. VII.
Monument of Lord Viscount Howe, m
Westminster Abbey. 505

No. VIIL
Monument erected to the memory of Gener-
al Wolfe, in Westminster Abbey, 505

■■*No. IX.
Inscription on the tomb of the Marguis De
Montcalm, at Quebec. 50^



THE
NATURAL AND CIVIL

HISTORY OF VERMONT.

CHAPTER I.

Situation f Boundaries ^ Area, Soil, and Fass
of the Country.

THE State of Vermont is situated be-
tween 42 degrees 44 minutes, and 45 degrees
of north latitude ; and between 1 degree 43
minutes, and 3 degrees 2»& minutes of longitude,
east from the meridian of Philadelphia. It is
altogether an inland country ; surrounded by
the States of Newhampshire, Massachusetts,
Newyork, and the Province of Canada. That
part of the State of Vermont which is nearest
to the sea coast, is at the distance of seventy or
eighty miles, from any part of the ocean.

On the south, Vermont is bounded by the
state of Massachusetts. This line is forty one
miles in length, and was a part of the divisional
line between Massachusetts and Newhampshire.
It was derived from the decision of a former
King of Great Britain. On March 5, 1740,
George the second, resolved, " That the nor-
thern boundary of the Province of Massachu-
setts, be a similar curve line, pursuing tlie course
of Merrimack river, at three miles distance, on
the north side thereof, beginning at the Atlantic

C



22 NATURAL AND CIVIL

ocean, and eiidlng at a point due north of Pa-
tuckct falls ; and a htraiffht line drawn thence
due west, until it meets ^vith his Majesty's oth-
er £^overnments." The point three miles north
of Patuclcet falls, was found to be in the town
of Bracut. From that point, the surveyor,
Ricliaxd Hazen, in the months of February and
March, 1741, ran the divisional line between
Ivlassachiisetts and Newhampshire. He was
directed by Mr. Belcher, at that time governor
of both thote provinces, to allow ten degrees
for the westerly -variation of the magnetic nee-
dle. The magnetic \'ariation, at that time and
place, -was not so great, as the surveyor assum-
ed : And when he arrived at Connecticut river,
a distance of fifty five miles, instead of being in
a west line, he had deviated to the north 2 min-
utes 57 seconds of latitude. This error in the
direction of the line, occasions a loss of 59,873
acres to Nevvhampshirc ; and of 133,897 acres



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