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fishing. Thus ended the most important Indian occupa-
tion of southern Vermont concerning which any records
exist.

With the defeat and death of Philip the River Indians
scattered. Some joined the Scaticooks in the Hudson
valley, while others found their way eventually to
Canada, where so many of the remnants of New Eng-
land tribes found a refuge, there to cherish bitter enmity
against the English settlers who had driven them from
their homes.

Two specimens of picture writing by the Indians have
been found in the Connecticut valley. The first, known



46 HISTORY OF VERMONT

as Indian Rock, was discovered on the south bank of the
West River, in the town of Brattleboro, about one hun-
dred rods west of the mouth of that stream. The figures
carved on this rock are small and crude. Six of them
probably represent birds, two may be intended for pic-
tures of snakes, and one has been likened to a dog, or
wolf.

The second specimen of picture writing was found
at Bellows Falls, near the foot of the waterfall on the
west side of the Connecticut River. It consisted of two
rocks on the larger of which were sixteen heads, rudely
carved. Near the center of the group was the repre-
sentation of the head and shoulders of a person, and
from the head extended six rays, or feathers. One
figure showed the head and shoulders, two rays extend-
ing from the head. The other figures represented only
heads without neck or shoulders, and from each of five
of the heads not previously mentioned two rays extended.
This carving was done on a surface six feet high and
fifteen feet wide. Near this rock was another and
smaller one containing a single head, fourteen inches
high and ten inches wide across the forehead, from
which seven rays extended.

These carvings are now almost entirely obliterated,
due to the building of a branch railroad to the paper
mills, the dumping of cinders and the blasting of the
channel of the river to facilitate the passage of logs.
There is no evidence to indicate the tribe or tribes re-
sponsible for this carving.

The site of the present village of Bellows Falls was
a favorite fishing resort for the Indians when white men



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 47

first came into the Connecticut valley, and above the
banks of the West River was an ancient Indian trail.
As both these regions were much frequented by Indians
the figures may have been cut by some native fisherman
encamped nearby.

The beautiful meadows of the Great Oxbow of the
Connecticut River at Newbury were occupied at differ-
ent times, probably, by various tribes. It is said that
following the defeat of the Mohicans by the Mohawks,
about 1628, some of the former tribes fled from their
homes around the headwaters of the Hoosac and
Housatonic Rivers, through the Battenkill Pass and over
the Green Mountains to the Connecticut River, where,
so the legend runs, the squaws cleared the Coos meadows,
and cultivated corn and beans.

The Indians of this region were known as Coosacs
or Coosucks, the name meaning, it is said, ''at the pine."
Schoolcraft says the Pennacooks occupied the Coos coun-
try from Haverhill to the sources of the Connecticut.
The occupation of this region does not seem to have been
continuous. Tradition says that the Mohicans who
came here returned later to their former homes. It is
recorded that in the spring of 1704 Caleb Lyman and
a few friendly Indians, having heard that a party of
Indians had built a fort and planted corn at Coos, set
out from Northampton, Mass., and during a thunder
storm, surprised the camp, killing seven Indians. The
survivors retired to Canada and joined the St. Francis
tribe, but the name of the Coosuck did not become extinct
for at least a century thereafter.



48 HISTORY OF VERMONT

Wells, in his "History of Newbury," says of the Coos
region: "It was, probably, neutral or disputed ground
between large tribes, visited by various bands or families
for the purpose of fishing or cultivating the meadows.
It was, perhaps, the residence, for many years at a time,
of some of these companies. But the testimony is so
vague, and the time so distant, that nothing positive
can be asserted. Those who have made a study of
Indian relics are of opinion, from the examination of
stone arrow and spear heads, that many of them came
from far distant parts of the country, even from beyond
the Mississippi, but whether through actual visits from
those remote tribes, or by purchase, cannot be known.

"The antiquity of these visits, or periods of habita-
tion, is attested by these relics of the stone age, articles
of greatest necessity, and therefore of greatest value in
Indian eyes. These have been found upon all the
meadows, and along the valley of Hall's Brook. But
the greatest quantity and variety, attesting their frequent
visits and long periods of residence, are found upon the
Oxbow and upon the ridge between it and Coos meadow.
These consist of arrow and spear heads, axes, chisels
and domestic utensils. A stone mortar and pestle were
found by the early settlers. The Great Oxbow seems
to have been a spot beloved by the Indians. The remains
of an Indian fort were found upon the Oxbow by the
settlers. * * * It is certain that a large part of the
Great Oxbow in Newbury and the Little Oxbow in
Haverhill (N. H.) had long been cleared and cultivated
by the Indians in their rude fashion. Of the other
meadows little is known, but it is supposed that they



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 49

were covered with woods, among which lay a great mass
of fallen timber, amidst which tall weeds and tangled
vines made, in many places, thickets which were almost
impenetrable. But there were cleared places in most, if
not all, and on Horse meadow was quite a large field."

Thompson, in his "History of Vermont," expresses
the belief that an Indian village was located in Newbury,
and says an Indian burial ground was found a short
distance below. Trees five or six inches in diameter
were found growing out of a mound in the Oxbow
meadow which contained Indian skeletons.

After the Pequawket tribe, which formed a part of
the Abnaki confederacy, was defeated near the present
site of Fryeburg, Me., in 1725, by the English under
Captain Lovewell, the survivors withdrew to the sources
of the Connecticut River, where they resided at the time
of the American Revolution.

The largest, the most important, and probably the
most ancient of Indian settlements of which we have
knowledge at the present time, were those situated with-
in the limits of the town of Swanton, only a few miles
from the Canadian border. About two miles below the
present village of Swanton, on the banks of the Missis-
quoi River, evidences have been found of a large Indian
village. About two feet below the surface may be
found great quantities of flint chippings, fragments of
pottery and native implements. L. B. Truax alone has
collected upwards of one thousand specimens from this
locality. In his opinion these relics indicate not only
occupation of Abnakis, but by Iroquois, and by a people
much older than either Algonquin or Iroquois.



50 HISTORY OF VERMONT

In the "Handbook of American Indians" this tribe is
called Missiassik, but there are many other spellings,
including Missiscoui and Missiskouy. They appear to
have been allied with the St. Francis Indians of Canada,
but as that tribe was a sort of catch-all for fragments
of not a few of the New England tribes it is difficult to
state their relationship to other Indian clans. They may
have been related to the Sokoki or Pequawkit Indians.

There is a tradition of the St. Francis tribe that many
years ago a bloody battle was fought on the Missisquoi
River near the head of what was known later as Rood's
Island, just below the site of what is marked on ancient
maps as an Indian castle. Many spear and arrow heads
have been found in this vicinity.

At an early date Jesuit missionaries made their home
among the people of this tribe and erected a chapel here,
it is supposed as early as the year 1700. Near the site
of this chapel a monument was erected, its dedication in
1909 forming a part of the Lake Champlain Tercen-
tenary exercises.

Chauvignerie, in 1736, gave the number of warriors
here as 180, which would indicate a population approxi-
mately of 800. Ira Allen, in his "History of Vermont,"
says: "On the Missisquoi River was a large Indian
town, which became greatly depopulated about 1730, by
a mortal sickness that raged among them; in conse-
quence of which they evacuated the place, according to
the tradition of the savages, and settled on the River St.
Francoise, to get rid of Hoggomag (the devil), leaving
their beautiful fields, which extended four miles on the
river, waste."



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 51

It is hardly probable that if the place was evacuated
in 1730 the population six years later was eight hundred,
but Allen, writing from memory, may have been mis-
taken in his date, which he does not attempt to fix with
absolute precision. It is certain, however, that the
Indians did return in considerable numbers and some re-
mained until the white men settled here. In 1757 the
official report of the French army at Lake St. Sacra-
ment (Lake George) included Abnakis of St. Francis
and Missiscoui.

Ancient maps show the presence of such a tribe near
the mouth of the Missisquoi River, and on some maps
there are indications that it may have extended over a
considerable region, including a portion of Canada.
These maps show the location of an Indian castle toward
the mouth of the river in the region now known as West
Swanton. Moreover, colonial records of New Eng-
land show that in this vicinity was located the castle of
a famous Indian chieftain, long the scourge of the Eng-
lish settlements of the Connecticut valley. Gray Lock,
after whom the highest mountain in Massachusetts is
named. His operations will be described in detail in a
subsequent chapter. Fragments of pottery and imple-
ments have been found at West Swanton. It is said
that for fifteen miles from the mouth of the Missisquoi
River along its banks, extending back for a distance of
a mile and a half from the stream, there is hardly a field
that does not show traces of Indian occupation.

Traces of a still more ancient Indian settlement were
found previous to the Civil War two miles north of the
village of Swanton, and not far from the Highgate line.



52 HISTORY OF VERMONT

On a sandy ridge, covered when the white men came
with a tall growth of pines, an Indian burial place was
found. How many forests grew to maturity and de-
cayed after these graves were made cannot be known.
Neither the Indians who lingered here after settlements
were begun, nor members of the St. Francis tribe from
Canada who have made visits here in recent years, re-
lated any traditions of an earlier race which occupied
this region.

At least twenty-five graves were opened, some of them
being not less than six feet below the surface, while others
were not more than two feet deep, but the drifting sand
of this locality makes it unsafe to assume that any of
the graves originally were shallow. Several skeletons
were found, and the indications were that the bodies
were buried in a sitting posture with their faces to the
east. These skeletons crumbled noticeably upon being
exposed to the air.

The sand under and immediately around the bodies
was colored a dark red, or reddish brown, except in two
instances, where the color was black. This color was
noticed to a depth of from four to six inches, and is sup-
posed to have been due to the presence of red iron oxide
or red hematite, small pieces of that mineral having
been found in several of the graves.

A few copper implements were taken from the burial
place, including a drill or awl and chisel-shaped object to
which fragments of wood adhered. This may have been
parts of a war club. Copper objects are rare among
Indian relics in this vicinity, and it is assumed that this



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 53



may have been brought from the Lake Superior region
as the result of barter between tribes.

Several stone tubes varying from six to sixteen inches
in length were discovered, the diameter being about one
and five-eighths inches. On one of these tubes the figure
of a bird with a leaf in its bill had been scratched. In
the collection of relics from these graves were about
thirty shell ornaments, also beads, the shells resem-
bling those of the Florida coast; a polished stone in
the shape of a bird, pierced with two holes, a shuttle and
a pipe made of soapstone; several flat plats of stone,
containing holes; two carvings of red slate, represent-
ing animals; one carving of pure white marble; a dis-
coidal stone like those found in the West; arrow heads,
spear heads and stone axes.

Other evidences of Indian occupation are to be found
in Swanton. L. B. Truax, who has made a careful study
of the Indian occupation here, has said: "The re-
sult of an active investigation and study of this region,
extending over a period of ten years, leads the writer to
the belief that the number of people inhabiting this re-
gion in the past has been very much underestimated by
writers and students."

Dr. David S. Kellogg, a thorough student of early
Champlain history, has said: "Later researches have
revealed the fact that this (Champlain) valley was once
quite thickly populated. I know of at least forty-five
dwelling sites, the greater portion of which I have located
and visited. The larger part of these are on, or near,
the lake itself; but there are also many on the rivers
and smaller streams and lakes, and some at a distance



54 HISTORY OF VERMONT

from any even moderately large body of water. The
evidence of former dwelling sites consists of stone imple-
ments and weapons and chippings scattered over small
areas вАФ say of half an acre or more."

Doctor Kellogg says that from Colchester Point up
the Winooski River as far as Williston, the soil abounds
in celts, chippings and wrought flints. A sand ridge
near the present city of Plattsburg, N. Y., was an im-
portant prehistoric dwelling place, and a great village
was located here, as a vast number of weapons, flint
chippings and fragments of pottery indicate.

The vicinity of Ticonderoga, N. Y., and Orwell, on
the Vermont shore, directly opposite, was a notable
Indian resort, and in modern times the earth here has
been "black with flints." Doctor Kellogg has said:
"The native flint exists in great abundance, in the lime-
stone rocks of the locality; and so it was that for cen-
turies the Indians resorted to this region, lived there,
and made weapons and implements for their own use,
and for traffic with other savages passing by. I have
obtained 2,500 chipped stone implements from these
shores alone."

Peter Kalm, a Swedish naturalist who visited the
Champlain valley at an early period, under date of July
20, 1749, gave his impressions of the Indians frequent-
ing the Lake Champlain region as follows : "We often
saw Indians in bark canoes close to the shore, which
was, however, not inhabited; for the Indians come here
only to catch sturgeons, wherewith this lake abounds,
and which we often saw leaping in the air. These
Indians lead a very singular life. At one time of the



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 55

year they live upon the small store of maize, beans and
melons, which they have planted ; during another period,
or about this time, their food is fish, without bread or
any other meat; and another season they eat nothing
but stags, roes, beavers, etc., which they shoot in the
woods and rivers. They, however, enjoy long life, per-
fect health, and are more able to undergo hardships than
other people. They sing and dance, are joyful and
aKvays content ; and would not for a great deal, exchange
their manner of life for that which is preferred in
Europe."

A study of various town histories furnishes consider-
able information concerning the Indian occupation of
Vermont. Swift's "History of Middlebury" says:
"We find satisfactory evidence in the Indian relics found
in different towns that the county of Addison was the
established residence of a large population of Indians,
and had been for an indefinite period. The borders of
Lake Champlain, Otter Creek, Lemon Fair and other
streams furnished a convenient location for that pur-
pose."

Pavements of cobble stones six or seven feet wide
have been found at springs in Cornwall near Lemon
Fair River and tributary brooks, with evidences that
fires had been built on them. Elsewhere in Cornwall
have been found arrow and spear heads, a stone gauge,
and evidences of the manufacture of Indian implements.
A pot made of sand and clay, of curious workmanship,
and holding about twenty quarts, was discovered at Mid-
dlebury. Parts of a kettle, ornamented with flowers and
leaves, were found in an old channel of Middlebury



56 HISTORY OF VERMONT

River, where the water had washed the bank away.
There have been found in Middlebury arrows and ham-
mers of flint and jasper, a stone pestle, and evidences of
the manufacture of arrow heads and other stone imple-
ments. There are two places in Salisbury where Indian
fireplaces have been found, both being near the stream
that runs through the village. Many crude earthen
vessels, including a kettle holding three or four pails
of water, have been plowed up near the Middlebury
River. Wolf Hill appears to have been a favorite
Indian resort.

Evidences of the manufacture of Indian implements,
and stone hearths on which fires were built, have been
found in Weybridge. A considerable number of Indian
implements were found on the Weybridge farm once
owned by the father of Silas Wright, a well-known New
York statesman. Early settlers in this town found indi-
cations of the cultivation of land by the Indians, who,
it is said, also made maple sugar here.

In Bristol and in Monkton have been found evidences
of the manufacture of Indian implements, and there was
an Indian burial place in the vicinity of Monkton Pond.
An Indian fireplace has been discovered in Panton, and
on the headwaters of the White River, in Hancock, was
found a stone pestle, twelve inches long and two inches
in diameter, and a stone mortar eight inches square and
eight and one-half inches deep. Indian implements have
been turned up by the plow in Addison, Panton and
Waltham, and the presence of flint chips at Vergennes
indicates a place where stone implements or weapons



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 57

were made. Two copper arrow heads have been found
in Ferrisburg.

A large copper celt eight inches long, two inches wide,
weighing thirty-eight ounces, and apparently cast rather
than hammered, was found near the mouth of Otter
Creek. The large number of arrow and spear heads,
and other relics, discovered near the mouth of this
stream, indicates an Indian occupation covering a con-
siderable period. In the "History of the Catholic
Church in the United States" references are made to
missions on the Otter Creek as well as the Missisquoi,
the statement being made that the Abnaki Indians, driven
from Maine by the English, were found on the Otter
Creek and other Vermont streams from 1687 to 1760.
It is also asserted that a stone chapel, containing a bell,
was erected near Ferrisburg. The earliest references
to the traversing of Lake Champlain as a convenient
route to and from Canada shows that the mouth of Otter
Creek was a frequent stopping place, and the stone chapel
may have been located near this accessible spot.

In Bennington county, as already stated, evidences
have been found of Indian occupation in Pownal.
Relics found in Manchester show that at some time
Indians lived in that town.

In the "History of Indian Wars," written by President
D. C. Sanders of the University of Vermont, and
published in 1812, he said: "Indian cornfields are
plainly to be seen in various parts of Vermont. In the
intervales at Burlington several hundred acres together
were found by the American settlers entirely cleared, not
a tree upon them. * * * Arrow heads are to be



58 HISTORY OF VERMONT

found in almost every spot. They are very numerous
on Onion ( Winooski) River and in all the woods in Bur-
lington." He also tells of the washing away of a por-
tion of the river bank opposite Burlington, which dis-
closed an ancient burial place, where was found "a vast
quantity of bones of various sorts and sizes for more
than ten rods in extent."

A party of Scaticook Indians from New York en-
camped on the Winooski River in 1699 for a year's stay
for the purpose of hunting beaver. On their way they
met some "Boston," or Eastern Indians, "who told them
to keep off from their coasts, or they would kill them."
References in the "History of the Catholic Church in
the United States" to Indian occupation of and missions
in this State, associate the Winooski River with the
Missisquoi and Otter Creek, and the valley of this stream
was an ancient Indian highway.

Colchester Point seems to have been occupied at an
early period by Indians. After settlements were begun
in this vicinity Indians still lingered at the mouth of
the Lamoille River, and for some time the site of an
encampment and burial place was to be distinguished
here. In a large mound at the mouth of this stream
were found skeletons of persons buried in a sitting pos-
ture, also arrow heads and other relics. Evidences of an
Indian camp ground have been found in Colchester where
Mallett's Creek empties into Mallett's Bay, and here
a number of bone implements with stone points, knives,
pottery, etc., have been discovered. What is said to be
the finest specimen of an Indian jar found in New Eng-
land was discovered in Colchester, in 1825, under the



INDIAN OCCUPATION OF VERMONT 59

roots of a large tree. Its height is seven and one-half
inches; its inside diameter at the top, live inches; its
circumference around the largest part, twenty-seven
inches ; and its capacity nine pints.

An Indian jar nine and one-half inches high, seven
and one-half inches in diameter at the top, twenty inches
in circumference at the largest part, and holding fourteen
quarts, was found in Bolton about the year 1860. An-
other jar of a similar kind was found by a hunter at
Bolton Falls in 1895 in a cave-like shelter made by large
rocks. It is ten inches high, nine inches across the
opening, thirty-six inches in circumference at the largest
part, and holds twelve quarts. Prof. G. H. Perkins,
State Geologist, once counted more than three hundred
different patterns on a large series of fragments of pot-
tery ruins found on the shores of Lake Champlain.
During the digging of a cellar in Essex, in 1809, a hand-
somely wrought Indian pipe was found, which President
Sanders declared "must have lain in the hardpan for
centuries."

The site of an Indian encampment was found in 1809
in the town of Richmond, on the Huntington River,
about half a mile above its junction with the Winooski.
Its antiquity was indicated by the fact that a birch tree
more than three feet in diameter was growing out of the
mound. Many Indian relics were found here.

At the mouth of the La Plotte River, in Shelburne, a
square field of about twenty-five acres had been cleared
and cultivated before the coming of the white men.
When the first settlers arrived there was a growth of
trees, evidently about thirty years old, in this field, but



60 HISTORY OF VERMONT

no stumps of the original timber were found. The first
white settlers came to Shelburne about 1766, so that
field was abandoned, evidently, about 1735. Heaps of
stones were found, carried there for use at the camp
fires, as the soil was not stony. When the field was
cleared in 1803 many arrow heads and Indian imple-
ments were discovered.

Essex county was a favorite hunting ground of the
Indians, and the abundance of moose gave to Moose
River its name.

Mention has been made of the most important Indian
settlements in Franklin county, located in the town of
Swanton, but the occupation of this region was not
limited to Swanton. The shores of Franklin Pond bore
evidences of Indian encampments. The town of Frank-
lin was a summer hunting ground of the St. Francis
tribe. Moose and deer were driven from the hills ad-
jacent to Little Pond, into the marshes where they were
killed, and their flesh was dried in the sun for the winter's
supply of provisions. Richford was a winter hunting
ground. Moose, deer and bears were plentiful and the
meat of these animals was frozen. The town of Shel-
don was a favorite fishing and hunting resort of the St.



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