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found a few of these families in possession of farms,
claiming rights under the Hoosick patent granted by
New York. The first settlers holding New Hampshire
titles came from Rhode Island and Massachusetts.



212 HISTORY OF VERMONT

George Gardner, who came from Hancock, Mass., in
1765, is said to have attained the great age of one hun-
dred and fourteen years. He planted an apple nursery
at the age of eighty-five years and lived to see some
of the trees bear fruit.

Six townships, Arlington, Hartford, Hartland, Marl-
boro, Norwich and Shaftsbury, were settled in 1763.

ARI.INGT0N — The first dwelling erected in Arlington
was a log house, built in 1763 by William Searl. Sev-
eral other families came into this town the same year.
A rough road, running north and south, and passable
for ox teams, had been constructed. In the proprietors'
records of the town of Middlebury reference is made
to the cutting of a road from Arlington to Crown Point
in the autumn of 1764. In the spring of 1764 several
families came here from Connecticut, including those of
Remember Baker and Jehiel Hawley. Baker, who
achieved fame in later years as a leader of the Green
Mountain Boys, was a millwright. Hawley became a
large landed proprietor, his wife being a sister of Seth
Warner.

Hartp'ord — Practically all the grantees of Hartford,
with the exception of a few friends and relatives of
Governor Wentworth, were inhabitants of Connecticut.
Strenuous efforts were made to secure an early and a
rapid settlement of this township. In March, 1762, the
proprietors voted that a premium of sixpence should be
paid for each bushel of wheat, rye or Indian corn, raised
in Hartford during the year 1763.

There is some evidence to indicate that four families
of squatters settled here as early as 1761, but the pro-



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 213

prietors' records, and a petition to the New York govern-
ment for letters patent state that the settlement was
begun in 1763. The New York petition sets forth the
claim that ten persons entered the town and labored in
1763. Other settlers came the following summer. The
petition to which reference has been made, dated May,
1765, declared that ten more "this present spring" have
gone on to improve, and about ten others "intend to go
immediately." Most of the early settlers were Con-
necticut people, many of them coming from the town of
Lebanon.

Some of the best lands were purchased for one shilling
per acre. It is stated that "thousands upon thousands
of white pine trees were consigned to the fire or rolled
into the river because they were considered less valuable
than the land upon which they grew." The population
in 1771, according to New York census returns, was one
hundred and ninety. Probably at the outbreak of the
Revolutionary War there was a population of three hun-
dred.

HarTi^and — The settlement of Hartland (chartered
as Hertford) was begun by Timothy Lull, in May, 1763.
He came up the Connecticut River in a log canoe, bring-
ing his family and his household goods. At the mouth
of a large brook in this town he broke a bottle, which
contained, presumably, something stronger than Con-
necticut River water, and named the stream Lull's
Brook. Ascending this brook about a mile, he found a
deserted log house, and here he made his home. Most
of the first settlers came from Massachusetts and Con-



214 HISTORY OF VERMONT

necticut. The New York enumeration of 1771 gave this
town a population of one hundred and forty-four.

Marlboro — The first settlers of Marlboro were Abel
Stockwell of West Springfield, Mass., and Thomas
Whitmore of Middletown, Conn. Coming into this
township in the spring of 1763, one family settled in
the northern and one in the southern part of the town,
and they resided in Marlboro nearly a year before either
family knew of the presence of the other, each supposing
itself to be the only family in town. The settlement,
which had grown slowly, was considerably augmented in
1770 by emigrants from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
In 1771 the population of the town was fifty.

Many incidents are related of the hardships endured
by the early settlers. Samuel Whitney, a famous hunter
who lived in this town, became engaged in a hand-to-
hand struggle with a bear and carried a scar the re-
mainder of his life as a reminder of the terrible wound
he received. While he was ill of a fever the fuel supply
of the family became exhausted, and his daughter Betty,
aged thirteen years, yoked up the oxen, went into the
woods, cut a load of wood, drew it to the house, and
chopped it into firewood.

Norwich — Early in 1761 a petition was circulated
in eastern Connecticut, in the valleys of the Thames
River and its branches, the Shetucket and the Willi-
mantic, asking for four townships "at a place known as
Cahorse" (Coos) in the vicinity of what is now known
as Newbury. Col. Edward Freeman and Joseph Storrs
were appointed agents of a syndicate to carry this peti-
tion to Governor Wentworth at Portsmouth. The Gov-



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 215

ernor was not ready at that time to grant the very de-
sirable region at Coos, but the agents obtained a grant
of four townships, two on each bank of the Connecticut
River, about twenty-five miles south of the desired loca-
tion. The towns chartered were Norwich and Hartford
on the west bank, and Hanover and Lebanon on the east
bank of the river. The Norwich grantees were mostly
residents of Mansfield, Conn., and the neighboring towns
of Tolland and Willington.

In 1762 a portion of Norwich adjacent to the Con-
necticut River was divided into lots, and the proprietors
of the four towns voted to unite in ''clearing a road
from the old fort in Number Four on the east side of
the river as far up said river as a committee chosen
for the purpose may think proper." In 1763 a road was
opened as far north as the middle of the town of Han-
over.

Early in April, 1763, the proprietors of Norwich voted
to raise five pounds upon each proprietor's right, to be
divided among twenty-five men who should immediately
engage to settle twenty-five rights, beginning the en-
suing summer, and improving at the rate of three acres
annually for five years, failure to comply with these
terms calling for a repayment of the money advanced.
The required number having failed to present them-
selves, at a meeting held in May, 1763, it was agreed
that in case any number under twenty-five and not less
than fifteen should engage in the settlement as suggested
by January 1, they should be entitled to the money.

The first settlement in Norwich was made by John
Slafter, son of Samuel Slafter, one of the proprietors.



216 HISTORY OF VERMONT

and by Jacob Fenton and Ebenezer Smith of Mansfield,
both proprietors. Slafter had made a journey through
this region in 1762, and he found the location at Nor-
wich a desirable one. Soon after coming to town Fen-
ton was killed as the result of an accident. For four
years young Slafter cleared and fitted the new land, re-
turning each autumn to Connecticut to spend the winter.
In 1767 he married and in the spring of that year, with
his bride and several families from his neighborhood
who were going into the Coos country, a party was made
up for the journey of one hundred and fifty miles.
Leaving Mansfield on April 22, they could make no more
than eight or nine miles a day against the spring floods,
and they did not reach Norwich until May 10. In sev-
eral places it was necessary to unload the boats and
carry goods and boats around rapids or waterfalls.

Some pioneers came on horseback. Beyond Number
Four there was nothing but a crooked bridle path for a
road, and that was obstructed by fallen trees. There
were no bridges across the streams. Other settlers
came in the same manner. The wife, or the wife and
babes, were placed on the back of a horse with the cloth-
ing and bedding, and the man of the family walked.
In 1771 Deacon John Burnap and six children came to
Norwich, from Lebanon, Conn., carrying household
goods in packs on their backs.

Immigration was not large before 1767 or 1768, and
it is doubtful if the proprietors secured the minimum
number of fifteen settlers within the prescribed time
limit. As early as 1768 settlers had arrived in consider-
able numbers, and farms had been cleared two or three



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 217

miles back from the Connecticut River. Goddard and
Partridge's "History of Norwich" says: "Before 1770
a large and steady stream of immigration was pouring
into the new towns along the Connecticut River. The
woods were full of new settlers. On foot and on horse-
back, men, women and children thronged the rough and
narrow roads beside the river in the spring of every
year. Their canoes and boats dotted the river itself.
Late in winter or early spring many came by sleds or
sleighs down upon the firm ice that bridged the stream
from shore to shore.

"Rev. Mr. Sanderson in his 'History of Charlestown,
N. H.,' says that the town was crowded with companies
which had come there to take an outlook upon the new
lands of which they had heard marvelous tales from the
rangers and soldiers during the French and Indian
Wars. And it is not strange if the smooth and fertile
hillsides and rich intervales of Vermont did seem a
veritable land of Canaan to the immigrant accustomed
to the stony and sterile fields of eastern Massachusetts
and Connecticut.

"According to Mr. Sanderson, the traffic in supplies
for travellers and those newly arrived was a source of
much profit to the people of Charlestown. Not only
were the inns of the place frequently filled to overflow-
ing, but every private family had all they could victual
and lodge. * * *

"Never was a tract of country colonized and settled
by a more homogenous people. On both sides of the
river nearly all were emigrants from Connecticut, and
from that portion of Connecticut lying east of the Great



218 HISTORY OF VERMONT

River. By far the greater part came from a small group
of towns lying around Mansfield and Lebanon. A
radius of twenty miles extended in every direction from
the present town of Willimantic would cover pretty much
the whole ground. As regards Norwich, considerable
research among the oldest families has not revealed the
first one among the inhabitants of the town previous to
the year 1790 (then numbering more than 1,000 souls)
that in coming here did not leave a home in eastern Con-
necticut.

''Norwich and Hanover were largely settled by emi-
grants from Mansfield; Hartford, Lebanon and Pier-
mont from Lebanon, Conn. ; Thetford, Orford and Fair-
lee from Hebron; and Strafiford and Sharon from
Hebron and Goshen. * * * Qf Norwich itself,
after Mansfield and Preston, Tolland, Lebanon, Hebron,
Willington and Coventry were the principal mother
towns."

In 1771 Norwich contained forty families and two
hundred and six persons.

Shaftsbury — The first settlement in Shaftsbury was
made in 1763. A considerable number of settlers came
from Rhode Island and located in the northeast portion
of the town, the settlement being known as Little Rhode
Island. George Niles, one of the early settlers, lived to
be one hundred and five years old. Jonas Galusha,
afterward Governor of Vermont, came into town in
the spring of 1775.

As nearly as can be determined seven Vermont towns
were settled during the year 1764. The number in-



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 219

eluded Chester, Guildhall, Manchester, Panton, Sharon,
(probably) Thetford and Windsor.

Chester — This township was first granted by Gov-
ernor Wentworth as Flamstead, and later it was re-
granted as New Flamstead. Most of the original pro-
prietors were residents of Worcester, Mass., and neigh-
boring towns. The first settlement was made by
Thomas Chandler and his sons John and Thomas, in
1764. They were soon followed by seven men from
Worcester and Maiden, Mass., and Woodstock, Conn.
Some of the early settlers came from Rhode Island. In
1766 Governor Tryon of New York granted a charter
for this town which he called Chester, and under this
charter the lands of the town are now held. Chester
was made the shire- town of Cumberland county and en-
joyed that honor until 1772, when the county seat was
removed to Westminster. According to the New York
enumeration, the population in 1771 was one hundred
and fifty-two.

GuiivDHALL — Guildhall and the adjoining towns on
the Connecticut River, together with Brunswick and
Stratford, N. H., were known as the Upper Coos, to
distinguish this region from that around the Great
Oxbow at Newbury. The Indian trail from Maine to
Canada ran close to Guildhall. It is related that
Emmons Stockwell, returning from service in Canada
as a soldier in the French and Indian War, was
attracted by this portion of the valley of the Connecticut,
and organized at Lancaster, Mass., a party to settle this
region. There were five men in this party, including
Stockwell, some of them being residents of the Massa-



220 HISTORY OF VERMONT

chusetts town of Petersham. They took with them
twenty cattle and some horses. This year, 1764, they
planted seventeen acres of corn, the first grown in this
region by white men. It stood twelve feet high when
a frost killed it the twenty-seventh day of August. The
stock of cattle almost doubled the first year, but owing
to the destruction of the corn all the cattle perished the
first winter. Not discouraged by this loss, the settlers
secured more cattle from their former homes.

Temporary camps or cabins were built the first year,
but the following season more substantial dwellings
were erected. Other immigrants came in 1775. All these
early settlers were squatters, but after a controversy
lasting a considerable period, they were confirmed in
their possessions by the action of the Vermont Legisla-
ture.

Manchester — A party of explorers from Amenia,
Dutchess County, N. Y., while visiting the region now
known as Salem, N. Y., in 1763, ascended a mountain
which gave them an extensive view to the eastward.
Seeing from this point of vantage a pleasant valley, the
party visited it, and thus explored a portion of the pres-
ent town of Manchester. The visitors were favorably
impressed with this region, and bought nearly all the
rights of the proprietors, who were chiefly residents of
Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and held the lands
for purposes of speculation. The first settlement was
made during the summer or autumn of 1764. At that
time there was no settlement on the west side of the
Green Mountains north of Arlington. Nearly all the




(This Map is not dated, but was ordered by the Governor and Council
of New York in 1772)



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 221

early settlers were from Amenia, N. Y., a town largely
settled by New Englanders.

Panto N — A survey of Panton was made in 1762 by
Ebenezer Frisbee and others, of Sharon, Conn. In
April, 1764, the proprietors of this town offered a bounty
of seventy pounds to any number of the owners of rights,
not less than fifteen, who would go to this town and
make necessary clearings preliminary to settlement. It
appears that during the spring or summer of that year
Capt. Samuel Elmore, Zadock Everest, Samuel Chipman,
and others, to the number of fifteen, *'did go, and there
build, clear and fence," on fifteen of the town lots.
Work was begun on a sawmill in 1764, and it was com-
pleted the following year.

In 1766 Benjamin Kellogg and Zadock Everest
secured a surveyor and laid out seventy-six city lots, of
one acre each. Col. David Wooster, afterward an
American General during the Revolutionary War, held
a New York title to lands in this town. Peter Ferris
came from Dutchess county, N. Y., about 1766. Elijah
Grandey came from Connecticut in 1773, and Phineas
Holcomb from Dutchess county. New York, in 1774.

Sharon — Probably this town was settled in 1764,
although the date may have been 1765. The proprietors
offered a choice of lots to any five or more of their num-
ber who would "clear and soe three acres with English
grain," and build a house sixteen feet square within a
given period. Most of the early settlers came from Con-
necticut. This town was credited with sixty-eight in-
habitants by the enumeration of 1771.



222 HISTORY OF VERMONT

Thetford — The town lots of Thetford were sur-
veyed and a road was laid out in 1761. The first settle-
ment was begun in 1764 by John Chamberlain of Hebron,
Conn., from which town most of the early settlers came.
Other families followed in 1765. The land when cleared
was very productive, and moose, deer, beaver and fish
were plentiful.

Windsor — The first permanent settlement in Wind-
sor was made in 1764 by Capt. Steele Smith and family,
from Farmington, Conn. Plans were made at an earlier
date for drawing lots, laying out roads, building mills,
etc. In a petition to the New York provincial govern-
ment, asking for a regrant, dated October 29, 1765, it is
stated that about sixteen families had settled in Wind-
sor. The population in 1771 was two hundred and
three.

The records indicate that four towns in the New
Hampshire Grants were settled in 1765. These were
Addison, Bradford, Danby and Woodstock.

Addison — While serving as a soldier in General
Amherst's army, during the French and Indian War,
it was the custom of Benjamin Kellogg of Connecticut
to hunt deer within the present limits of the town of
Addison, to secure venison for the table of the British
officers at Crown Point. After the war had ended Kel-
logg returned to this region in 1762, 1763 and 1764 on
hunting expeditions. In the spring of 1765 Zadock
Everest, David Vallance and one other settler began a
clearing about three miles north of Chimney Point. In
September of this year Kellogg came up on his annual
hunting expedition, and John Strong of Salisbury,



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 223

Conn., accompanied him, seeking a location for a new
home. Selecting a place on the shore of Lake Cham-
plain, Strong built on the site of an old French house.
In February, 1766, Strong brought his family to
Addison, coming by way of Lakes George and Cham-
plain. During the same year several families came into
Addison and Panton by way of Otter Creek. Wild
animals were very troublesome, and it is related that
in September, 1766, while Strong was absent from home
on a trip to Albany, N. Y., to secure supplies, his family
had an unpleasant experience. A fire had been lighted,
as the evenings were cool, and a kettle of samp and a
pan of milk had been placed on the table for the family
supper. Just then the blanket that served for a door
was thrust aside and the head of a bear appeared. Mrs-
Strong caught up the baby, and hurrying the older chil-
dren up a ladder to the loft, she drew up the ladder after
her. The floor of the loft was made of small poles and
it was possible through the cracks to watch operations
below. Presently the bear and her two cubs entered the
room. After upsetting the milk the bear thrust her
head into the pudding pot, swallowed a large mouthful
and filled her mouth again before she discovered that
the pudding was scalding hot. With a furious growl
she struck the iron kettle, overturning and breaking it.
Then, sitting up on her haunches, her cubs sitting on
either side, she tried to get the hot pudding out of her
mouth. The sight was so ludicrous that in spite of the
danger the children in the loft overhead could not resist
the impulse to laugh at the curious spectacle. This
angered the old bear still more and she tried to climb



224 HISTORY OF VERMONT

to the loft, but after many fruitless attempts the animals
withdrew. When Mr. Strong returned home he made
a stout door of slabs, hung on wooden hinges, which
kept out other unwelcome visitors. This episode will
give an idea of the perils of frontier life in Vermont.

Bradford — The first settlement in Bradford was
made in 1765, the first settlers being squatters. In 1770
thirty landholders desiring a legal title, sent one of their
number, Samuel Sleeper, to New York with an oflfer to
William Smith, an influential citizen, that if he would
secure a royal charter, and give each of the landholders
a good title to one hundred acres in the new township,
he and such other proprietors as he might select,
should have the remainder of the lands. The charter
was secured and the name Mooretown was given pre-
sumably in honor of Sir Henry Moore, royal Governor
of New York. In the spring of 1771 a great freshet
occurred which destroyed much property in the Con-
necticut valley in this town, and as a result the more
elevated lands were sought by settlers.

Danby — On September 24, 1760, a meeting was
held at the house of Nathan Shepard, in Nine Partners,
Dutchess county, N. Y., which was attended by petition-
ers who asked Gov. Benning Wentworth of New Hamp-
shire for a grant of two townships. Samuel Rose was
appointed agent to go to Albany "and get what infor-
mation he could" relative to obtaining a grant for the
two townships, "in the western part of the province of
New Hampshire," to quote from records given in "Wil-
liams' History of Danby." Capt. William Lamson of
Albany was employed to procure the grant, but failing



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 225

to secure the desired results, on October 15, 1760, Jona-
than Willard was appointed the agent of the petitioners,
and he was sent to Portsmouth, N. H. His mission was
successful and he secured charters for Danby, Pawlet
and Harwick, known later as Mount Tabor. Apparently
the opinion was not very generally held in the vicinity
of Nine Partners that lands west of the Connecticut
River formed a portion of the territory of New York.

Surveys were made in 1762 and 1763, and in the
autumn of 1763 or in the spring of 1764 a road was laid
out from Bennington to Danby. The first settlement
was begun in the summer of 1765 by five men, two of
whom came from Nine Partners, N. Y., and two from
Rhode Island. Other settlers came in 1767, bringing
cattle and swine. About twenty families came in 1768.
A large number of the first settlers were Quakers and
in a letter Ethan Allen once alluded to "Quaker Danbe."
An eminence in town was called Dutch Hill, because
several families of Dutch extraction settled in its vicin-
ity. Wolves were troublesome in the early period of
the town's history.

Thomas Rowley, the poet of the Revolution, came
from Hebron, Conn., in 1768, and in 1769 he was elected
the first Town Clerk of Danby. Afterward he re-
moved to Shoreham.

Woodstock — In 1765, Timothy Knox, a student of
Harvard College, so the story runs, being disappointed
in a love aflfair, fled to what is now the town of Wood-
stock, and for three years lived a solitary life, following
the occupation of a trapper. The first permanent settler
was Andrew Powers, who came here in 1768. He was



226 HISTORY OF VERMONT

a native of Massachusetts, but had resided in Hartland
for a few years. James Sanderson came from Hart-
land in the autumn of 1768, drawing his property, his
wife and their six-weeks-old child on a hand sled.
Other settlers came about this time, but in 1771 there
were only forty-two inhabitants.

In 1766 settlements were made in Fairlee, Middlebury,
New fane, probably in Shelburne, in Shoreham and Sun-
derland.

Fairlee — In 1766 John Baldwin, who had come from
Hebron, Conn., to Thetford the previous year, settled in
Fairlee. In 1768 six other men made homes in this
town.

Middlebury — Several residents of Connecticut, most
of them from Salisbury, desiring to secure lands in the
New Hampshire Grants, made an agreement to act to-
gether in procuring a survey and applying for charters,
and John Everts of Salisbury was appointed their agent.
Securing the necessary assistance, he penetrated one
hundred miles into the wilderness beyond any settlements
before he found a sufficient tract of desirable land not
already surveyed or in process of being surveyed. It
is said to have been Everts' intention to apply for two
townships, but sufficient land for three was found on the
east side of Otter Creek. Beginning at the head of the
Great Falls (now in Vergennes) he surveyed New
Haven, Middlebury and Salisbury, the first and the last
being named for Connecticut townships, and Middlebury
being so named because it was situated between the two
other towns granted. The charters for the three towns
mentioned were obtained in 1761. There are indications



CONQUERING THE WILDERNESS 227

that the proprietors of Cornwall acted in some matters
with those of New Haven, Middlebury and Salisbury.



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