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Dunmore himself. Military patents covering fifty-five
thousand, nine hundred and fifty acres were issued by
Governor Dunmore, making a total of five hundred and
eleven thousand, nine hundred acres granted during that
portion of the year 1771 between February 28 and July
8.

During the years 1771 and 1772, Governor Tryon
granted townships, as follows: Durham, thirty-two
thousand acres, in Clarendon and Wallingford; Wind-
ham, thirty-five thousand acres, in Duxbury and vicin-
ity ; Truro, twenty-two thousand acres, in Orange and vi-
cinity ; Penryn, twenty-two thousand acres, in Calais and
vicinity; Norbury, thirty-two thousand acres, in Wor-
cester and vicinity, said to be in reality a grant to Gov-
ernor Tryon himself; Townshend, thirty thousand acres,
in St. Albans and vicinity (a grant to Lord George



THE NEW HAMPSHIRE GRANTS 195

Townshend & Co.); Minto, thirty thousand acres, in
Richmond and vicinity.

Individual grants were made by Governor Tryon of
ten thousand acres in Vernon and Guilford; one thou-
sand acres in Danby ; four thousand acres in Shoreham ;
four thousand acres in Hubbardton ; five thousand acres
in Ira; and one thousand acres in Whiting. Tryon's
military patents included fifty-five thousand, nine hun-
dred and fifty acres. The New Hampshire charters in
Corinth, Westminster, Windsor, Newbury, Weathers-
field, New fane, Reading, Springfield, Woodstock,
Cavendish and Saltash (now Plymouth) were confirmed
or regranted. This makes a total of five hundred and
forty-two thousand, four hundred and fifty acres granted
at this time.

Governor Tryon having been called to England, Lieu-
tenant Governor Colden once more became acting Gov-
ernor, and the granting of lands in the present State of
Vermont proceeded, the following townships being
created : Kellybrook, thirty thousand acres, in Fletcher
and vicinity ; New Rutland, twenty-three thousand acres,
in Sheldon; Sidney, twenty-three thousand acres, in
Cabot and vicinity ; Wickham, thirty-six thousand acres,
in Randolph and vicinity; St. George, thirty thousand
acres, in Coventry and vicinity; Bamf, thirty thousand
acres, in Burke and vicinity; Therming, twenty thou-
sand acres, in Canaan; Meath, twenty-five thousand
acres, in Fairfield and vicinity; Smithfield, twenty-five
thousand acres, in Waterville and vicinity.

Individual grants were made of twenty thousand
acres in Johnson and vicinity (to King's College) ;



196 HISTORY OF VERMONT

twenty- four thousand acres in Lincoln and Ripton;
twenty-eight thousand acres in Lincoln, Ripton and
Granville; ten thousand acres in Fairfield (in two par-
cels); two thousand acres in Pawlet; twenty thousand
acres in Ryegate; twenty- four thousand acres in Strat-
ton. Military patents for nine thousand, one hundred
acres were also issued by Golden, making a total of three
hundred and seventy-nine thousand, one hundred acres
granted.

After Governor Tryon's return in 1775 he granted the
township of Whippleborough, in Starksboro and vicinity,
containing forty thousand acres, and made an individ-
ual grant of twenty-three thousand and forty acres, in
Topsham, as late as June 12, 1776, making a total of
sixty-three thousand and forty acres.

This list, taken from a compilation in the ''Proceed-
ings of the Vermont Historical Society," includes grants
by Lieutenant Governor Golden of nine hundred and
sixty-five thousand, five hundred acres; by Governor
Moore, of one hundred and forty-four thousand, six
hundred and twenty acres; by Governor Dunmore of
four hundred and fifty-five thousand, nine hundred and
fifty acres; and by Governor Tryon of five hundred and
forty-nine thousand, five hundred and forty acres, or a
total of two million, one hundred and fifteen thousand,
six hundred and ten acres. Adding to this list three
hundred and three thousand, one hundred acres granted
by various Governors as military patents, the aggregate
amount of Vermont lands, granted by all New York
Governors, was two million, four hundred and eighteen
thousand, seven hundred and ten acres.



THE NEW HAMPSHIRE GRANTS 197

A later compilation made by Hiram A. Huse, a
thorough student of Vermont history, for the "New
Hampshire State Papers," includes grants by Governor
Dunmore of the townships of Chatham, containing
twelve thousand, seven hundred and fifty acres, prin-
cipally in Dorset, and Eugene, containing fifteen thou-
sand, three hundred and fifty acres in Rupert and Paw-
let. Other grants were Chester, containing thirty-one
thousand, seven hundred acres, being for the most part
a confirmation of the New Hampshire grant of Flam-
stead; Kingsland, including the present town of Wash-
ington, which became the county seat of Gloucester
county; and Poynell, said to have been located between
Thetford and Norwich. The township of Jauncey-
borough was situated between Ryegate, Topsham and
Peacham. Mention is made of the town of Rhineland,
called Underbill, and the New York Council changed the
name of Fulham (Dummerston) to Galway.

On February 14, 1776, a grant was made to Robert
Rogers, the well known scout of the French and Indian
W^ar period, and to others, of land on Lake Memphre-
magog, "to be erected into the township of Rogers-
borough, in compensation for the township of Dunbar,
granted to Rogers in 1762 by New Hampshire, but
already occupied." Probably other townships in the
New Hampshire Grants were patented by New York.

A map showing some of the English (or New York)
grants, indicates that Pratsburgh was granted to Jeston
Homfrey & Co., Deerfield to Wells & Co., and Minto to
Andrew Ellit & Co. A strip of land several miles wide,
extending along Lake Champlain from a point a little



198 HISTORY OF VERMONT

north of the mouth of Otter Creek nearly to the mouth
of the Winooski River, was granted to non-commis-
sioned officers and soldiers. This map shows grants to
Captains Ross and McAdam within the present limits
of Chittenden county and grants to Colonel Montresor,
Captain Williams and Lieutenants Cuyler, Dambler,
Allen, Grant, and Duncan Campbell. The last named
officer was a member of the famous Black Watch regi-
ment and was fatally wounded in General Abercrombie's
unsuccessful battle with the French army at Ticon-
deroga, in 1758. There is a legend to the effect that
Campbell was warned in a dream that he would meet
his death at Ticonderoga.

Few settlements were attempted on the New York
grants. Some rather ambitious plans were made for
Kingsland, the shire town of Gloucester county, which
is now known as the town of Washington. At a meet-
ing of the governors of King's College, held in New
York February 17, 1772, the Mayor, the Attorney Gen-
eral and other well known men being present, it was
reported that the encouragement given by this corpora-
tion for the settlement of the township had proved in-
sufficient, and it was voted that an actual survey be made
of the whole tract; that one thousand acres be laid out
in square lots of ten acres each for a "Town Spott,"
the center lot to be an open square or green. Plans were
made for laying out streets, and streams and places fit for
water works were to be noted in the survey. The first
twelve settlers were to have a choice of the central ten-
acre lots, and one hundred acres each for farms outside
of the town plot. It was planned to reserve certain lots



THE NEW HAMPSHIRE GRANTS 199

fronting on the central square for public buildings and a
church. All these plans for a city were destined to
failure, and only a log jail was erected, which gave the
name to Jail Branch, a tributary of the Winooski River.

To the confirmation of New Hampshire charters, or
regrants of the same, by the New York Council, already
mentioned, should be added the towns of Andover,
Averill, Barnet, Bridgewater, Clarendon, Fairlee, Ful-
ham (Dummerston), Guilford, Halifax, Hartford
(under the name of Ware), Leicester, Lemington,
Lunenburgh, Maidstone, Marlboro, Minehead (Bloom-
field), Norwich, Orwell, Peacham, Pom fret. Putney,
Rockingham, Ryegate, Sharon, Shrewsbury, Somerset,
Strafiford, Stratton, Thetford, Thomlinson (Grafton),
Topsham, Tunbridge, Wallingford, Westford, Wilming-
ton and Winhall.

The records of the New York Council show many
petitions for the confirmation of New Hampshire
Grants, and in some instances the petitions contain prac-
tically all the names of the Wentworth grantees except
those of political associates or personal friends of the
New Hampshire Governor. Some of the petitions show
the names of a portion of the New Hampshire grantees,
and in other instances only a few of the names mentioned
in the New Hampshire charter are to be found. The
records give the changes of names in the patents of some
of these towns. In some instances the names of
grantees under the Wentworth charters appear in the
charters of other towns regrantedby New York. In
the regrants of certain towns it is specified that the
shares of Benning Wentworth, and a few others, prob-



200 HISTORY OF VERMONT

ably friends of the Governor, shall remain vested in the
crovv'n.

The names of many well known New York families
appear in the New York grants of lands now a part of
Vermont, such as Van Cortlandt, Cruger, Delancey,
Livingston, Roosevelt, Schuyler, Stuyvesant, Ten Eyck,
John Jay, Isaac Low, and others. Among the compen-
satory patents issued is one to Israel Putnam, for Pom-
fret.

In only a few instances did New York names or New
York grants become embodied in the life of the people of
Vermont. As a rule the grants made by New York
were larger in area than those made by New Hampshire,
and the grantees for each township were fewer. The
average number of grantees in the townships granted
by New Hampshire was sixty- four, but the number
varied from forty-eight in Sudbury and Whiting, to
eighty-two in Topsham and ninety- four in Ryegate.

It is evident that there was much land speculation
both in New York and New Hampshire Grants, and some
of those engaged in these land transactions bore names
well known to the public. A respectable number of the
New Hampshire grantees, however, appear to have been
actual settlers, and not a few of these names are
familiar to Vermonters of the present day.



Chapter IX
CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS



ALTHOUGH some slight attempts at settlement
within the present limits of Vermont had been
made in the Connecticut valley prior to the close
of the French and Indian War, the area under cultiva-
tion beyond the immediate protection of a few fortified
posts was so small as to be almost negligible. During
the fifteen years that intervened between the surrender
of Montreal and the beginning of the American Revolu-
tion a great transformation took place, particularly in
that portion of Vermont now comprised in the four
southern counties of the State, Bennington, Rutland,
Windsor and Windham, and extending farther north in
the Connecticut and Champlain valleys. Indeed, by far
the greater part of this transformation occurred during
the decade between 1765 and 1775. Up to 1760 the
history of Vermont is confined largely to attempts on the
part of New England settlers to protect their homes
from the incursions of cruel and crafty savages, who
descended upon them by way of the passes through the
Green Mountains. The period with which this chapter
deals is that which relates to the first really successful
attempts to conquer the Vermont wilderness.

With the coming of peace in 1760, which resulted in
the banishment of French authority from Canada, the
long standing peril of Indian invasion was removed.
Several thousand Colonial soldiers had rendezvoused at
Crown Point or Ticonderoga or had entered the Cana-
dian region through one of its Vermont gatew^ays.
Some of them had aided in building the Crown Point
Road over the Green Mountains. Many of them had
seen that the new region was very promising, surpassing



204 HISTORY OF VERMONT

in fertility the soil of the older New England colonies.
They had noted its goodly pines, and had observed that
it was well watered by numerous rivers and an abun-
dance of smaller streams.

There was a general feeling of restlessness abroad, a
desire on the part of not a few New Englanders for a
wider field of activity. The New Hampshire Grants
were not so far removed that transportation methods,
which had changed very little for thousands of years,
would be seriously taxed in travelling to this Promised
Land, thus affording an outlet for the spirit of ad-
venture. The new lands were cheap, they were good,
they were accessible, and not many years elapsed before
the ancient highways of war became thronged with
families seeking to establish homes in the primeval for-
ests that lay in the valleys of the Connecticut River and
Lake Champlain and on the far stretching slopes and
foothills of the Green Mountains. In boats that
ascended the Connecticut or descended Lake Champlain,
on sledges that traversed the frozen surface of lakes and
streams, on horseback and on foot along the Indian
trails worn deep by the travel of countless centuries,
these sturdy pioneers, stout of heart and strong of limb,
thronged into this new region. Beyond the perils and
privations of the present they saw the vision of future
years of plenty and prosperity, and they were content
to toil and even to suffer, if only their dreams might
come true.

In six Vermont towns, Bennington, Guilford, Hali-
fax, Newbury, Pawlet and Townshend, settlements were
begun in 176L



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 205

Bennington — In Bennington, the first town west of
the Connecticut River granted by Governor Wentworth,
the leader in promoting the settlement of the township
was Capt. Samuel Robinson, who had resided in Hard-
wick, Mass., for twenty-six years. He had served in
the French and Indian War as an officer in Colonel
Ruggles' regiment, and was now fifty-six years old. As
the story generally is told, Robinson and a party of
soldiers, returning from Lake George to Massachusetts,
followed the Walloomsac River, supposing it to be the
Hoosac, until they came to the region later known as
Bennington, where they camped for the night. It is said
that Captain Robinson was so well pleased with this
locality that he determined to settle there. It is entirely
possible, of course, that the Hardwick Captain may have
blundered upon Bennington as the result of losing his
way, but the significant fact should not be overlooked
that when the township of Bennington was chartered
early in the year 1749, and several years before his
military expedition to Lake George, Samuel Robinson
was one of the grantees. Naturally he would be inter-
ested in his own property, whether he visited the place
by accident or by design, and he liked Bennington so well
that when he returned home it is said he organized a
company and purchased the rights of other original pro-
prietors, many of whom lived in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire.

The first immigration consisted of six families, includ-
ing twenty-tw^o people. These families, four of them
from Amherst, Mass., and two others, those of Leonard
Robinson and Samuel Robinson, Jr., came on June 18,



206 HISTORY OF VERMONT

1761. Twenty or thirty additional families came dur-
ing the summer and fall, including those of Capt. Samuel
Robinson, John Fassett of Hardwick, and others
from Massachusetts and Connecticut towns. The first
child born in town, January 2, 1762, was Benjamin
Harwood, who lived until June 22, 1851. Samuel Rob-
inson was commissioned a Justice of the Peace by Gov-
ernor Wentworth on February 8, 1762, and is said to
have been the first person within the present limits of
Vermont to be appointed to a judicial office. As early
as 1766 a meeting house was erected, the first Protestant
house of worship to be built in Vermont, and the first
church edifice to be built in this State in connection with
a permanent settlement.

Apparently there was a strong religious motive in
the settlement of Bennington, connected with what was
known as the Separatist movement. Much formality
is said to have grown up in the churches of New Eng-
land, and as the result of the preaching of Whitefield
and others there had been a great awakening, so-called.
This had resulted in some dissensions in the Congrega-
tional Church, and there were factions known as New
Lights and Old Lights. The Separatist churches of
Hardwick and Sunderland, Mass., united as the Church
of Bennington. Then the church at Westfield, Mass.,
voted to unite with the Bennington church, and the
Westfield pastor. Rev. Jedediah Dewey, became the pas-
tor of these united churches, coming to Bennington in
1763. Many members of the First Church at Norwich,
Conn., withdrew, refusing to pay tax rates for the sup-
port of the minister, and as many as forty men and



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 207

women of the Separatist faith in Norwich were im-
prisoned in a single year for this refusal. Not a few of
the early settlers of Bennington came from Norwich and
vicinity, and the fact that the Connecticut laws bore
rather harshly upon those not of the Orthodox faith,
doubtless contributed somewhat to the settlement of this
town and possibly that of other Vermont townships.

The soil of Bennington was highly productive and the
new township flourished. Seth Warner came in 1765
and Samuel Safford erected mills here in 1766. In a
letter from Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts to
Governor Pownal, then in London, dated at Boston July
1, 1765, it is stated that Bennington had sixty-seven
families and as many houses, some of the dwellings
being of a sort superior to those of common settlers.
Hiland Hall says that by the year 1765, "a large portion
of the town had become occupied by settlers from Massa-
chusetts and Connecticut, who had cleared much of the
land, erected dwelling houses and barns, with mills,
opened and worked highways and established schools for
the instruction of children and youth, and were living in
a comfortable and thriving condition." During the next
ten years the population increased rapidly, and accord-
ing to Rev. Isaac Jennings probably it had reached fifteen
hundred persons when the American Revolution began
in 1775.

GuiivFORD — Although land was cleared in Guiltord
by Jonathan and Elisha Hunt as early as 1758, the first
settlement was not begun until September, 1761, when
Micah Rice and family came into this town. Other
families soon followed, coming up the valley of Broad



208 HISTORY OF VERMONT

Brook after leaving the Connecticut River. The first
settlers were obliged to boil or pound their corn, or to
go fifteen miles to mill, carrying their grists upon their
backs.

Not being able to fulfill the conditions of the charter
requiring the grantees to settle, clear and cultivate five
acres for every fifty in the township, a renewal and ex-
tension was secured in 1761, and again in 1764. This
town was virtually a little republic, really subject only
to the British Parliament, which naturally did not inter-
fere with a frontier settlement in a remote portion of
New England. In 1772 the people of Guilford re-
nounced their New Hampshire charter and voted that
the town was in the province of New York.

Beginning in 1764, and continuing for several years,
the population of this town increased rapidly, so that
Guilford soon became the most populous town in the
New Hampshire Grants, although there was not a vil-
lage within its borders. In 1771 the population was
four hundred and thirty-six and in 1772 it is said to have
been five hundred and eighty-six. This increase con-
tinued until the population had reached two thousand,
four hundred and thirty-two when the first census was
taken in 1791, the year of Vermont's admission to the
Union.

HaIvIFax — An attempt made in 1751 to settle Hali-
fax, the second Vermont town granted by Governor
Wentworth, was frustrated by the hostility of the
Indians. Ten years later, in 1761, Abner Rice of Wor-
cester county, Massachusetts, settled here, and in 1763
other families came from Colerain and Pelham, Mass.



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 209

The population increased slowly during the first five
years of the town's existence, but after 1766 it grew
rapidly, and in 1771 the New York provincial census
showed the population of Halifax to be three hundred
and twenty-nine.

Newbury — In his excellent "History of Newbury,"
F. P. Wells relates the fact that four officers who had
served in Col. John Gofife's regiment during the French
and Indian War, Lieut. Col. Jacob Bayley, Capt. John
Hazen, Lieut. Jacob Kent and Lieut. Timothy Bedel,
returning home after the surrender of the French at
Montreal, in 1760, on their way down the Connecticut
valley stopped several days at Coos, as the region in
the vicinity of the Great Oxbow at Newbury was called,
and carefully examined the surrounding country. Con-
vinced that it was a most desirable location, Bayley and
Hazen came up in 1761 and took the first steps necessary
to establish a settlement. Men were secured to cut the
hay on the fertile Oxbow meadows, and cattle were
brought here, three men remaining to care for them dur-
ing the winter.

A few families came to Newbury in 1762, but it was
not until 1763 that a town charter was secured from
Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire, through the
efforts of Jacob Bayley and John Hazen. Settlers began
to come into the town in considerable numbers in 1763,
and during that year the first apple trees in Newbury
were planted. Most of the early inhabitants came from
southeastern New Hampshire and from Newbury,
Mass.



210 HISTORY OF VERMONT

The nearest mill to which the first settlers could re-
sort was located at Number Four (Charlestown, N. H.),
more than sixty miles distant. There were no roads
through the wilderness, and grain was carried to mill
in canoes, the meal or flour being brought home during
the following winter over the frozen surface of the Con-
necticut River. The crank for the first sawmill at New-
bury was drawn from Concord, N. H., on a hand sled,
a distance of nearly eighty miles.

TowNSHEND — Col. Johu Hazcltiue secured the char-
ter of Townshend, and it is said he caused the names of
neighbors and acquaintances to be entered as grantees
without their knowledge. The records show that he be-
came the owner of sixteen rights for one shilling each.
In 1761 Colonel Hazel tine cleared land in the west part
of the town and built a log fort. During the same sum-
mer John and Thomas Baird settled in town, all return-
ing to Massachusetts in the autumn. This practice of
working in the new township during the summer and
returning to the old home for the winter was continued
by these pioneers until 1766. Other persons began
clearings during the years 1764 and 1765. The popula-
tion in 1771 was one hundred and thirty-six.

PawlET — This town was granted to Jonathan Wil-
lard and sixty-seven others. For many years Captain
Willard was a resident of Colchester, Conn., and owned
and operated a vessel trading between New England
ports and New York. Soon after the year 1750 he re-
moved to Albany, N. Y., where he conducted the only
English tavern in the town. After residing in Albany



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 211

eight years he removed to Saratoga, N. Y., and engaged
in the lumber business.

In 1760 Captain Willard visited the New Hampshire
Grants with two companions, and selected three town-
ships. Grants were secured in 1761 for Pawlet, Danby
and Mount Tabor, the last named town being chartered
as Harwick. It is said that Captain Willard entered the
names of his former Connecticut neighbors as grantees,
and purchased many of their rights for a mug of flip
or a new hat. Pawlet fell to Willard as his share of
of the purchase.

Simon Burton and William Fairfield came into Pawlet
in 1761, Burton making the first clearing. In 1762
Captain Willard came into the town with nine laborers
and several horses, and as a result of their operations
several acres of land were cleared and sowed to wheat.
Meeting with heavy losses in the lumber business, Wil-
lard returned in 1764 or 1765, bringing his family,
although he had purchased the land in Pawlet for pur-
poses of speculation. Several of the early settlers were
veterans of the French and Indian War. Settlement
was slow until after Burgoyne's defeat in 1777. In
1770 there were only nine families in town.

PowNAL — The settlement of only one Vermont town,
Pownal, was begun in 1762. As early as 1724 Dutch
squatters had entered this region, and when settlers hold-
ing title under a New Hampshire charter arrived they



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