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ammunition, as Your Honour shall think proper."

This petition was signed by Joseph Woodward, Josiah
Bowker, Zebulon Mead, John Smith, Jonathan Faucett
(Fassett), Charles Brewster, Thomas Tuttle, Thomas
Rice, Elkanah Cook, Joseph Smith, lieber Allen, John
Smith 2nd, James Claghorn and William Post, as a
Committee of Safety for several towns on the New
Hampshire Grants.

In transmitting the foregoing petition to John Han-
cock, General Sullivan observed that "Colonel Warner
offers to raise a regiment to protect that quarter (Onion
River). This I could not consent to, as I have no such
authority; but beg leave to recommend it to Congress,
as those men are much better calculated for this purpose



532 HISTORY OF VERMONT

than any others, as they have such a thorough knowl-
edge of the country."

General Sullivan declared that he had sent Colonel
Winds and one hundred and fifty men to take post at
Onion River until the pleasure of Congress could be
learned. He added : "The reason of my sending a chief
Colonel with so small a detachment is because he cannot
do duty anywhere else for fear of the smallpox; this
is also the case with most of the men who are with him."

In a letter to General Washington, dated July 2, Gen-
eral Sullivan said he had given every assistance in his
power to remove the inhabitants from the frontier, and
mentioned the stationing of Colonel Winds at Onion
River to guard that region until he could write Generals
Washington and Schuyler. He added: "Doubtless
they will make some order upon it, which I hope will be
that Colonel Warner, of the Green Mountains, shall
raise men for that purpose, as I think those men much
better calculated to defend that part of the country than
any others."

The people of Panton, on July 3, appealed to General
Gates, at Ticonderoga, for protection, and on the fol-
lowing day sent a letter of thanks to Gates for sending
Captain Hay to confer with them. The petitioners de-
sired that "the standing stock of our farms" should
be appraised, so that any losses might be borne by the
whole community, in proportion to the value of each
individual's property. A request was made that a fort
or forts might be erected into which the people of that
township might retire every night. They were ready
to put themselves under the command of any officer
that might be designated, until the crops were harvested.



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 533

providing they were not called to go farther north than
Onion River, or farther south than Ticonderoga. It
is evident that General Gates made a good impression
upon the Panton committee, as the letter concludes as
follows: "Permit us to wish that Your Honour may
be long continued in the chief command over us, as the
easy access the distressed find to your ear is a convinc-
ing proof you will do everything in your power to ren-
der us as happy as the present situation of affairs will
admit of."

The Poultney Committee of Safety, of which Heber
Allen, a brother of Ethan and Ira Allen, was a member,
applied to General Gates, on July 29, by Lieut. Josiah
Grout, "for fifty weight of powder and one hundred and
fifty weight of lead, for a town stock," on the ground
that other frontier towns had applied for such aid from
the Continental stores. Their strength, patriotic senti-
ments and political conditions were succinctly stated in
these two short sentences: "We are upwards of fifty,
able to bear arms when called for. We are for liberty in
general, and don't know that there is one dam'd Tory
in this town."

A council of general officers, consisting of Generals
Schuyler, Gates, Sullivan and Arnold, transmitted to
Congress, on July 8, resolutions declaring that it was
advisable to raise six companies from among the inhab-
itants on the east side of Lake Champlain, each com-
pany consisting of one Captain, two Lieutenants, three
Sergeants, three Corporals and fifty privates. It was
stated that Colonel Warner and others had represented
that the people of the region mentioned would be com-
pelled to leave their homes unless a body of men should



534 HISTORY OF VERMONT

be stationed on the east side of the lake, north of the
settlements, "to prevent the incursions of the savages,"
and expressed a willingness to raise a body of men for
the Continental service.

Nathan Clark wrote General Schuyler from Man-
chester, July 16, enclosing the proceedings of the com-
mittees of the several towns on the New Hampshire
Grants, at which time officers were nominated to raise
the six companies previously suggested. The request
was made that Colonel Warner should command the
officers with Maj. Samuel Safford second in command.
The list of officers appointed to raise men for the sev-
eral companies included six Captains, Wait Hopkins,
Samuel Herrick, Jonathan Fassett, Ira Allen, Lemuel
Clerk (Clark), and Thomas Ransom.

News did not travel rapidly in those days, and when
some of the foregoing appeals were made it was not
known that on July 5, the day following the adoption
of the Declaration of Independence, upon recommenda-
tion of the Board of War, the Continental Congress had
voted to raise a regiment ''out of the officers who served
in Canada," and that the following officers should be
appointed : Colonel, Seth Warner ; Lieutenant Colonel,
Samuel Safford; Major, Elisha Painter; Captains, Wait
Hopkins, John Grant, Gideon Brounson, Ayiather
Angel, Simeon Smith, Joshua Stanton (Abner) Seeley,
Jacob Vorsboorong.

Ira Allen wrote to the New Hampshire Committee of
Safety, from Onion River, July 10: "I learn you are
alarmed at the retreat of our army out of Canada. Can
assure you the savages have killed and scalped a num-
ber of men by the river La Cole, on the west side of



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 535

Lake Champlain. When they will visit us or you is
uncertain. Advise you to look sharp and keep scouts
out, but not to move except some families much remote
from the main inhabitants. Last Saturday was at Crown
Point with General Sullivan. He assured me he would
do all in his power to protect the frontier settlements.
I proposed a line of forts by the river to Cohos (Coos).
He said he believed that to be the best place and made
no doubt but it would be done. He immediately ordered
Colonel Waits and two hundred men to this place, here
to remain and grant all protection to the inhabitants."

In a letter written to Governor Trumbull of Con-
necticut about this time, following an allusion to a peti-
tion from the inhabitants of Onion River, reference is
made to a communication from General Schuyler in
which it is stated that he (Schuyler) with Generals
Gates and Arnold, were to set out Tuesday morning.
The hope is expressed that ''their presence may have
a happy effect towards affairs in that quarter." This
would seem to indicate that Generals Schuyler, Gates
and Arnold had gone to Onion River.

Col. Joseph Wait wrote Colonel Hurd from Onion
River, on July 20, saying that when he was ordered
there with two hundred men he had expected to be sta-
tioned at that place until fall and to have built some
stockade forts along that river and down the opposite
side of the mountain range to Newbury; but other or-
ders having been issued, he expected to join the army
again in five or six days.

Eleven inhabitants of Onion River petitioned General
Gates, on August 6, asking for assistance, saying that
one family, consisting of five persons, had been cap-



536 HISTORY OF VERMONT

tured, and expressing a desire for a guard to permit the
harvesting of their valuable crops, or aid in the removal
of their families.

If Colonel Winds had been stationed at Onion
River earlier in the season he had not remained there
long, as he wrote General Gates from Shelburne, on
July 15, saying he was there by permission of General
Sullivan, with twenty-six men, and he had built a stock-
ade fort for the safety of himself and the inhabitants.
It is possible that the term Onion River was broad
enough to include the region as far south as Shelburne,
as a petition from the people of that town, dated July
19, 1776, mentions the fact that Colonel Winds and
fourteen men obtained leave from General Sullivan to
stop there, which obviated the necessity of the imme-
diate abandonment of the settlement upon the retreat
of the American army from Canada. Acting in con-
junction with Colonel Winds, the settlers built a stock-
ade fort, evidently at what is now known as Shelburne
Harbor, as the petition declared that "the place where
the fort stands is a very good harbor," and reference
is made to the fact that boats often are obliged to put
in there to avoid "sudden gusts in the summer." The
petition says: "We, the inhabitants, being but few in
number, and having considerable large crops of wheat
and other grain in the ground, besides stocks of cattle,
we hereby beseech that His Excellency would be gra-
ciously pleased, if he thinks it consistent with the good
of the service, to let some of the men who were there
go back again, or some others as a small guard." Among
the signers were Moses Pierson, James Logan and Lod-
wick Poter (probably Pottier).



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 537

Ten of the inhabitants sent a petition to Genefal
Gates, on August 6, 1776, telling of the capture by the
enemy of 'Xodowick Potter, one of our neighbors,"
who was carried away with his wife and children some
time the previous week, and urgently requested that a
guard be sent, for their protection, saying that the
gathering of a large harvest had just been commenced.
This was on the same day on which the inhabitants of
Onion River appealed to General Gates for a guard.

Not only the inhabitants of the Champlain valley, but
also the people of the Connecticut valley east of the
Green Mountains, were alarmed at the retreat of the
American troops from Canada. At a meeting held at
Dartmouth College, July 5, 1776, delegates were present
from Lyme, Hanover and Lebanon, on the east side of
the river and Thetford, Norwich and Hartford, on the
west side of the river. At this meeting it was voted to
raise fifty men exclusive of officers, to go to Royal ton
and fortify a post there, "and scout from thence to the
Onion River and Newbury," and to appoint a committee
of three to build and supply such post; to raise two
hundred and fifty men, exclusive of officers, to go to
Newbury, "to fortify, scout and guard them for three
months." Colonels Bayley, Johnson and Olcott were
appointed a committee to direct the affairs of the New-
bury department.

A letter from Colonel Plurd to the New Hampshire
Committee of Safety, dated July 7, 1776, contained the
following information : "By several persons I have met
with on the road coming from Coos, and by the last
intelligence I can collect, I find the inhabitants there,
especially those on and near the Connecticut River, from



538 HISTORY OF VERMONT

the Upper to the Lower Coos, are much more alarmed
and apprehensive of danger from the enemy than we
imagine; several families are already removed and re-
moving from thence."

The Continental Congress was not unmindful of the
appeals for aid for the northern frontier of New Eng-
land, and, as previously mentioned, it voted to raise a
regiment "out of the officers who served in Canada."
All, or nearly all of these officers, were men of the New
Hampshire Grants. This regiment, according to the
resolution authorizing its enlistment, was to be raised
on the same terms as that which Colonel Dubois had
been authorized to raise. These terms were that the
regiment was to be raised for three years, or during
the war; that the officers should be ''such as have served
with credit in Canada" ; that no officer was to be commis-
sioned until his company was raised and armed; and
that the arms for the soldiers were to be paid for "by
the Continent."

According to Matthew Lyon the authorization of the
Continental regiment to be commanded by Warner,
practically put a stop to recruiting for the six com-
panies authorized by General Gates, to be raised in the
New Hampshire Grants for the protection of the north-
ern frontiers, and which organization it had been
planned that Warner should command. Matthew Lyon
had been named as a Second Lieutenant in one of the
six companies and had raised some men, but finding
that only two companies and a part of another had been
recruited, and that the business was "falling into su-
pineness," he asked and received permission from Gen-
eral Gates to enter Warner's Continental regiment.



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 539

Colonel Warner wrote from Albany to the President
of the Continental Congress, on October 4, protesting
against the delay in settling his accounts, evidently for
the Canadian campaign, and saying ''the repeated de-
lays I have met with are a great prejudice to the raising
of the new regiment for which I have orders. Some of
the men who were in service the last winter's campaign
are in great necessity for their pay."

Not much information is available concerning the
part taken by the regiment of Green Mountain Boys
during the later phases of the Canadian campaign. In
his "Memoirs of Col. Seth Warner," Daniel Chipman
says : "Warner took a position exposed to the greatest
danger and requiring the utmost care and vigilance.
He was always in the rear, picking up the wounded
and diseased, assisting and encouraging those who were
least able to take care of themselves, and generally kept
but a few miles in advance of the British, who closely
pursued the Americans from post to post. By calmly
and steadily pursuing this course, by his habitual vig-
ilance and care, Warner brought off most of the in-
valids, and with this corps of the diseased and the infirm,
arrived at Ticonderoga a few days after the main army
had taken possession of that post."

Colonel Bedel wrote to General Gates on July 13 that
he had just received intelligence from the frontier towns
on the Connecticut River, "that the inhabitants there are
in general in great terror on account of the savages, and
a great number of them have left their farms with their
families; some remain, making stockade forts round
their houses to defend themselves. And as the savages
from St. Francis &c. are the only ones near them at



540 HISTORY OF VERMONT

present, I am in a great measure, inclined to think that I
could in a short time raise such a number of them as
would be able to defend that part, as the savages from
other parts would never venture that way when they
found friendly savages protecting us."

The determination of a council of general officers,
held on July 7, to abandon Crown Point, aroused much
opposition, although a small force was maintained there
until autumn. On July 8, the day following the decision
to abandon Crown Point, Col. John Stark and twenty
other field officers, respectfully protested to General
Schuyler against such a policy, saying that Crown Point
could not be retaken ''without an amazing expense of
blood and treasure." In their opinion such a step would
open a plain and easy passage for the enemy "into the
heart of the four New England governments and fron-
tiers of New York" ; and also "must occasion the retir-
ing of hundreds of families from their farms and quit-
ting their crops of grain which would be much more
than sufficient to maintain themselves, and drive them
upon other towns, which must occasion a consumption
of whatever could be spared for the public source, if n3i
a famine amongst them."

Concerning this matter General Washington in a
forceful manner wrote to John Hancock on July 19,
saying: "I confess the determination of the council of
general officers on the 7th to retreat from Crown Point,
surprised me much ; and the more I consider it th^ more
striking does the impropriety appear. The reasons
assigned against it by the field officers in their remon-
strance coincide greatly with my own ideas and those of




Lake Dunmore and Aloosalamoo [Mountain



— -t



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 541

the other general officers I have had an opportunity of
consulting with, and seem to be of considerable weight
— I may add, conclusive."

Writing the same day to General Gates, Washington
called Crown Point "a key to all these colonies," and
added these significant words: "Nothing but a belief
that you have actually removed the army from Crown
Point to Ticonderoga, and demolished the works at the
former, and the fear of creating dissensions and en-
couraging a spirit of remonstrating against the conduct
of superior officers by inferiors, have prevented me, by
advice of the general officers from directing the post at
Crown Point to be held till Congress should decide upon
the propriety of its evacuation. * * * j niust, how-
ever, express my sorrow at the resolution of your coun-
cil, and wish that it had never happened, as everybody
who speaks of it also does, and that the measure could
yet be changed with propriety."

A rather sharp correspondence followed between
Washington and Schuyler concerning the practical aban-
donment of Crown Point by the American forces.

The story of the part taken by the people of the New
Hampshire Grants in the Canadian campaign would be
incomplete without reference to the military road which
Gen. Jacob Bayley attempted to build from the Con-
necticut River to Canada. Writing from Newbury,
November 24, 1775, to his brother-in-law. Col. Moses
Little, concerning Canadian affairs, General Bayley ad-
vocated the building of a road by which St. Johns might
be reached more easily, and in this letter alluded to the
fact that in October, 1773, Bayley, Little and "Esquire



542 HISTORY OF VERMONT

Stevens" sent out a surveying party, which marked a
road from Newbury to Missisquoi Bay, two-thirds of
the distance to St. Johns, according to Bayley's estimate.

Frye Bayley, Abiel Chamberlin and Silas ChamberHn
left Newbury on February 1, 1776, on snow shoes over
the proposed route for Montreal, bearing a letter to Gen-
eral Wooster. On the sixth day out they reached Mr.
Metcalf's, at or near what is now the village of S wanton,
and observed that this route was "the best country for
a road either of us ever saw." On the seventh day they
reached St. Johns, and on the eighth day they arrived
at Montreal, remaining there two and one-half days. A
stop was made at Mr. Metcalf's settlement on the way
back, and Newbury was reached on February 18. Gen-
eral Bayley wrote General Washington on April 15 at
some length concerning the proposed road, saying: "It
will appear that the cost of making the road will be
saved in the soldiers marching home from Canada, at
the close of the present campaign, as it will save six
days' pay and provisions for all that live eastward of
Connecticut River." He added: "If I can be of any
service to the American cause in cutting the proposed
road, or any other way, I am ready. I should think
one hundred picked men from this army or elsewhere
will be enough to be employed in that business."

It was estimated that the distance from Portsmouth,
N. H., to St. Johns was ninety-three miles shorter by
way of Newbury than by Charlestown, N. H. (Number
Four), and Crown Point; from Boston to St. Johns
eighty-two miles nearer by way of Newbury than by
way of Crown Point; from Hartford, Conn., to St.



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 543

Johns, eighty-six miles nearer by way of Newbury than
by way of Albany.

The reply of General Washington, dated April 29,
is of sufficient importance to give in full. He says : "I
received your favor of the 23rd instant, with Mr. Met-
calf's plan, and Captain Johnson's journal of the route
from Newbury to St. Johns. The representation that
was transmitted to me by the hands of Colonel Little, I
had sent to Congress. Mr. Witherspoon has been since
sent to examine or explore a route; but I hear he is still
at Cohoos. The time of the Congress is so taken up
with many objects of consequence that it is impossible
for them to attend to everything; and as it is of impor-
tance that every communication with Canada should be
made as free as possible, it is my opinion and desire
that you set about the road you propose as soon as pos-
sible. As you must be the best judge who to employ,
you will please to take the whole upon yourself. We
cannot, at this time, spare soldiers, you must therefore
engage such men as you know will do the business faith-
fully and well. As to their wages, you must agree with
them on the most reasonable terms, and I doubt not that
you will, in this and every other instance, serve your
country with integrity, honour and justice. As you go
on, you will, upon every opportunity, keep me advised,
and I will provide for the expense, which you will be
careful in making as light as possible."

P. S. '*l send you by Mr. William Wallace two hun-
dred and fifty pounds, lawful money, to begin with."

The Continental Congress voted, on May 10, 1776,
"That as the road recommended by General Washington



544 HISTORY OF VERMONT

to be opened between the towns of Newbury, on Con-
necticut River, and the province of Canada, will facili-
tate the march and return of the troops employed in that
quarter, and promote the public service, the General be
directed to prosecute the plan he has formed respecting
the said road."

Having received General Washington's orders on
May 17, General Bayley called together the Committees
of Safety of Haverhill, N. H., and Newbury, on May
18, and consulted with those committees regarding the
wages to be paid, and the amount was fixed at ten dol-
lars per month. On May 21 two men were sent out to
engage laborers for two or three months and the neces-
sary utensils and supplies were purchased in Hartford,
Conn. Having heard of the retreat from Quebec, Gen-
eral Bayley thought it might be advantageous to the
Continental army to cut a bridle path over which men
and cattle might pass, before the wagon road was com-
pleted, and on May 27 he ordered ten men to perform
this task.

Col. Thomas Johnson, with several men, was detailed
to blaze out the road. They were followed by James
Whitelaw of Ryegate, who surveyed the route, and Gen-
eral Bayley with his party of laborers performed the
work of road building. The road began in the north-
eastern part of the town of Newbury, at the present
location of Wells River village, and passed through the
towns of Ryegate, Barnet and Peacham. The construc-
tion work had been carried about six miles beyond
Peacham, probably to a point in the town of Cabot,



THE CANADIAN CAMPAIGN 545

when scouts came in with news that Canadian troops
were advancing along the trail blazed out for this road.
The road builders hastily abandoned their task and it
was not resumed until the summer of 1779.

The itemized account which General Bayley submitted
to General Washington showed that one hundred and
ten men were employed forty-five days each. With the
provisions furnished each man received daily half a
pint of rum. The total amount of the bill submitted
was nine hundred eighty-two pounds, six shillings, five
and a half pence, lawful money.

Committees of Safety from Bath and Haverhill,
N. H., and Bradford met at General Bayley's house to
make plans for the protection of the people of the
vicinity. The inhabitants of Peacham and Ryegate
came to Newbury for protection. Most of the settlers
from the Upper Coos region fled to Haverhill or to Con-
cord, N. H. Joseph Chamberlin, with a scout of ten
men, was sent out to look for the enemy, but no trace of
the Canadian soldiers was found, and the settlers soon
returned to their homes.

General Bayley desired to keep in the Continental
service sixty men enlisted by him for road building
operations, for guarding the frontiers and for scouting
purposes. The New Hampshire Committee of Safety,
on July 18, asked General Bayley, in the event that the
Continental troops were disbanded to enlist fifty men
under the pay of that colony, to serve until December 1.

The general result of the retreat from Canada was to
leave the people of the New Hampshire Grants in a



546 HISTORY OF VERMONT

condition of alarm, and this was particularly true of
that portion of the people occupying the northern fron-
tiers. Conditions, however, were to be worse before
they were materially better.




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Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 1) → online text (page 34 of 34)