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Stark. The prisoners were taken to Canada by the
Lake Memphremagog route.

There were not many Indian depredations in New
England between June, 1749, and May, 1754. When
the conflict generally known as the French and Indian
War began. Col. Israel Williams, commanding the north-
ern New Hampshire regiment, wrote to Governor Shir-
ley of Massachusetts, outlining a plan of campaign.
He suggested that at least fifty men should be stationed
at Fort Massachusetts, a part of them to be employed
to watch the roads from Crown Point. In his letter he
said : "The enemy generally when they leave that place
come by the southerly side of the Lake (Champlain) or
Drowned Lands, leave their canoes, and come down to
Hoosuck; or they may turn ofif to the east (into Ver-
mont) ; let which be the case, that fort is best situated
to send parties from for the purpose aforesaid to gain
advantage."

Colonel Williams refers to the forts north of the
Massachusetts border as follows: "As to ye forts
above ye Line, if New Hampshire would support them,
it might be well; but the advantage that would arise
to this government by doing it would not countervail
the expense, nor lessen the charge we must be at in de-
fending our frontiers on ye east side of ye River, where
they can be much easier and cheaper supplied with pro-



110 HISTORY OF VERMONT

visions. Notwithstanding the fort at No. 4, the enemy
can and will come down Black River, Williams River
or West River, go over east, or turn down south without
hazard, and return with like security the same way, or
go above."

Early on the morning of August 30, 1754, a band
of Indians appeared at Number Four, forcibly entered
the house of James Johnson, and captured Mr. Johnson,
Mrs. Johnson, their three children, a sister of Mrs. John-
son, Miss Miriam Willard, also Ebenezer Farnsworth
and Peter Labaree. Crossing the Connecticut, the party
proceeded up the Black River, camping the first night in
the southwest corner of the present town of Reading.
The following morning Mrs. Johnson gave birth to a
daughter, to whom was given the appropriate name of
Captive. After remaining at this camp for a day, a
litter was made on which Mrs. Johnson was carried. A
little later she was permitted to ride on a horse. As food
was scarce it became necessary to kill the horse, and
for several days the infant received its principal nourish-
ment from pieces of horse flesh, which it sucked. A
marker has been erected to commemorate the sufferings
of Mrs. Johnson. Captive Johnson and her parents
afterward returned from their captivity and the girl
later became the wife of Col. George Kimball of Caven-
dish.

Alarmed by this incursion, the few inhabitants of
Westminster removed to Walpole, N. H. In 1755 a
fort was built in the Great Meadow at Putney, to pro-
tect the people of that town, Westminster and West-
moreland, N. H. Bridgman's fort, built in Vernon



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 111

meadow, a little way below Fort Dummer, by Orlando
Bridgman, was burned by Indians early in October,
1747, several persons being killed, and others captured.
This fort was rebuilt on a larger scale, but it was erected
on low ground, and it was possible from a neighboring
eminence to see into the enclosure, and observe the move-
ments of the garrison. Evidently a watch was kept and
the signal for admittance was learned.

On the morning of June 27, 1755, Hilkiah Grant,
Benjamin Gaffield, and Caleb Howe accompanied by
Howe's two sons, left the fort to work in a cornfield
on the bank of the river. Returning at the close of the
day's labor, they were fired at from ambush. Howe
was shot, scalped, and left for dead, and his two sons
were captured. Gaffield was drowned in attempting to
cross the river, and Grant escaped.

The families in the fort had heard the firing and
awaited the return of the party from the meadow with
anxiety. Hearing the sound of footsteps and a rapping
outside, the occupants hastily opened the gate, the proper
signal having been given, and admitted, not members
of their families, but a band of hostile Indians. The
women and children, fourteen in all, were made prison-
ers and the fort was plundered and burned. The
prisoners were taken to Crown Point, a nine days' jour-
ney, and after resting there a week proceeded to the
Canadian settlement of St. Francis. Through the in-
fluence of Capt. Peter Schuyler and Maj. Israel Put-
nam, Mrs. Howe and three of her children were re-
deemed. Caleb Howe was found alive the morning
after the attack, and was taken to Hinsdell's fort, but



112 HISTORY OF VERMONT

died soon after his arrival there. Mrs. Howe was a
woman of great personal beauty, and was known as "The
Fair Captive." She was married three times. Her
first husband, William Phipps, and her second husband,
Caleb Howe, were killed by Indians. Her third hus-
band was Amos Tute, with whom she lived many years.

In 1757 Massachusetts raised a company of forty-
five rangers under Capt. John Burk, and they were
stationed at Hinsdell's fort. Much of their scouting
was along the West River and its branches, and fre-
quently they would ascend West River Mountain, to
watch for smokes from the enemy's campfires.

A party of Indians attacked the home of Capt. Fair-
bank Moore, on the West River, in Brattleboro, at mid-
night, March 6, 1758. Bursting open the door, they
killed and scalped Captain Moore and his son. Mrs.
Moore and her four children, the youngest only a few
weeks old, were taken prisoners, and the party on snow-
shoes crossed the Green Mountains to Fort Ticonderoga,
and from there proceeded to Montreal.

In the early autumn of the year 1759, General
Amherst, commanding the British troops in the Cham-
plain valley, exasperated by the fact that the St. Francis
Indians had made a prisoner of an officer sent with a
flag of truce, ordered Maj. Robert Rogers, the famous
scout, to take two hundred men and ''attack the enemy's
settlements on the south side of the St. Lawrence, in
such a manner as shall most efifectively disgrace and in-
jure the enemy and redound to the honor and success
of His Majesty's arms."



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 113

On the night of September 12, 1759, Major Rogers
started on his expedition. The French fleet was cruis-
ing on Lake Champlain, and it was with some difficulty
that Rogers and his men avoided the enemy. On the
fifth day out from Crown Point, while encamped on the
eastern shore of the lake, a keg of gunpowder acci-
dentally was ignited, and Captain Williams and forty
men, who were injured or sick returned, leaving one
hundred and forty-two men to continue the expedition.

After a terl days' journey, Rogers landed on the Cana-
dian shore of Missisquoi Bay, probably at what is now
the village of Philipsburg. The boats were concealed,
a sufficient supply of provisions was left to carry the
party back to Crown Point, and two trusty Indians re-
mained to watch the boats and supplies. On the second
day of his Canadian journey Rogers was overtaken by
his Indian guards, who informed him that four hundred
Frenchmen had captured the boats and half of that force
v/as following on his track.

Rogers determined to outmarch his pursuers, destroy
the St. Francis village, and return home by way of the
Connecticut River, having sent a few men back to Gen-
eral Amherst to inform him of the situation and to re-
quest that provisions be forwarded to Coos (now New-
bury) on the Connecticut River. For nine days the
party marched through a spruce bog, and on the tenth
day came to a river fifteen miles north of the village of
St. Francis. Leaving his detachment three miles from
the settlement, Rogers and two companions dressed in
Indian garb, approached the village. The Indians were
engaged, to use Rogers' expression, "in a high frolic."



114 HISTORY OF VERMONT

For this reason the attack was deferred until a half hour
before sunrise, the festivities having continued until four
o'clock on the morning of October 5.

Waiting until the merrymakers had fallen into a deep
sleep, Rogers attacked the village from three sides.
The wigwams were set on fire, two hundred out of a
population of three hundred were killed, and twenty
women and children were taken prisoners, most of whom
were released. At seven o'clock the battle was ended.
Six soldiers were wounded and one friendly Indian was
killed. Five English captives were released, and six
hundred scalps were found hanging upon poles over the
doors of the wigwams. In his journal Rogers remarked
that these Indians of St. Francis "had for a century past
harassed the frontiers of New England, murdering
people of all ages and sexes, and in times of peace when
they had no reason to suspect hostile intentions. They
had, within my own knowledge, during six years past,
killed and carried away more than six hundred persons."

It was determined to return to the post known as
Number Four. The party kept together for eight days,
and when they approached Lake Memphremagog, pro-
visions becoming scarce, they divided into companies
with guides, and were directed to assemble at the mouth
of the Ammonoosuc River. The enemy pursued and
captured seven men, two of whom escaped.

The officer ordered to proceed to the place agreed
upon with provisions remained only two days, and left
about two hours before the arrival of Rogers. Finding
a fresh fire burning, guns were fired, but the officer only
hastened his pace, thinking the enemy was approaching.



CHIEF GRAY LOCK AND INDIAN RAIDS 115

The soldiers were in a desperate condition, and
Rogers, leaving them to subsist as best they might on
ground nuts and lily roots, made a raft of dry pine trees
and with Captain Ogden and a captive Indian boy
paddled down stream, narrowly escaping being carried
over White River falls. The raft was lost and Rogers
then burned down trees, and burned them off at the
proper length for another raft, on which the three
floated to Ottaquechee Falls. They succeeded in getting
the raft over this waterfall, and floated down to Num-
ber Four. Here a party of wood cutters was found,
and a canoe loaded with provisions was sent immediately
up the river to the starving soldiers, reaching them ten
days after Rogers' departure. Two days later Rogers
went up the river with two canoes to meet his comrades.

After resting at Number Four those who were able
to march started for Crown Point, reaching that post
December 1, 1759. Forty-nine men, or one-third the
total force, died as a result of the hardships attending
this march through the wilderness.

Thus ended, with the practical annihilation of the St.
Francis tribe, the long period of border warfare, which
had been a scourge to New England, particularly to the
settlements in the Connecticut valley.

During the greater part of a century the soil of Ver-
mont and its navigable waters had been crossed and re-
crossed, traversed again and again, by Indian, French
and English war parties. Through the Green Mountain
forests, and along the rivers which flow down the moun-
tain slopes, had passed many bands of sorrowing cap-
tives, men and women and little children, led to a country



116 HISTORY OF VERMONT

where the speech and the customs were unfamiliar and
where they knew not what evil the future might hold in
store for them.

Today these savage forays, the war whoop at mid-
night, the torch and the tomahawk, the cruel journeys
over rough mountain trails, the fear of attack or
ambush, never entirely absent, seem like a terrible
dream; but for many a decade they were a very stern
reality to the pioneer settlers of New England.



Chapter V
THE FRENCH SEIGNIORIES



THE first settlement by white men within the limits
of what is now Vermont was made by the French,
at Isle La Motte, near the northern end of Lake
Champlain, in 1666, fifty-seven years after the great
explorer had discovered the lake to which he gave his
name. It is probable that this lake had been traversed
for years before the beginning of the Isle La Motte
settlement by missionaries sent to the Iroquois tribes,
and very likely encampments were made on Vermont
soil during these journeys southward. Isle La Motte,
Colchester Point and the mouth of Otter Creek seem
to have been favorite camp sites at a very early period.
A French document, dated March 8, 1688, declares that
for more than forty years several Frenchmen and some
Jesuit missionaries had resided in the Iroquois country.

Owing to the aggressiveness of the Iroquois in their
attacks upon the French in Canada, and a desire to have
military posts where stores for troops might be deposited,
it was decided in 1655 to build three forts on the Riche-
lieu River, designated on ancient maps as the River of
the Iroquois, because it led to the Iroquois country.

During the autumn of 1655, M. de Repentigny, a cap-
tain in the French service, was sent to Isle La Motte to
prepare a site for another fort, that should be the most
advanced of all the French fortifications. Pierre de St.
Paul, Sieur la Mothe (or la Motte), a Captain of the
Carignan regiment, with a few companies of soldiers,
was sent to this place in the summer of 1666 to build
the fort. It was completed in July of that year, shortly
before M. de Chazy, a young French officer, was killed



120 HISTORY OF VERMONT

by a Mohawk war party on Lake Champlain, near the
mouth of the river which bears his name. This fortifi-
cation was dedicated to St. Anne, the mother of the
Virgin, in whose honor a chapel was erected the same
year, 1666, which was the first edifice in Vermont,
erected for Christian worship, of which there is record.
Although the dates of the erection of chapels at the
mouth of Otter Creek and on the Winooski River are
unknown, it is probable that they were not built until
after the establishment of Fort St. Anne, and little is
known concerning their building.

It is a matter of record that the width of this fort
was ninety-six feet, but there is some doubt concerning
its length, one end of the site having been washed away.
The dimension that is known corresponded to that of
Forts Richelieu and St. Therese, built in 1665 on the
Richelieu River. If the length was the same, it was
one hundred and forty- four feet.

The Mohawks having broken their treaty with the
French, it was determined that the ofifenders should be
punished, and an expedition was organized in Canada
with orders to rendezvous at the new fort in Isle La
Motte, on September 28, 1666. Six hundred veterans
of the Carignan-Salieres regiment formed the nucleus
of the expedition. This was a famous regiment which
had been raised by Thomas Francis, Prince de Carignan,
and was commanded by Henry de Chapelas, Sieur
de Salieres, colonel of another regiment which was in-
corporated with that of Carignan, the name being
changed to Carignan-Salieres. This military organiza-
tion had participated in the war of La Fronde, had




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THE FRENCH SEIGNIORIES 121

served under Turenne at Auxerre, had been sent in 1664
to aid Emperor Leopold against the Turks, gaining dis-
tinction in the battle of St. Godard, and it had arrived
recently from Hungary. The first detachment of the
regiment arrived in Canada in June, 1665, with Marquis
de Tracy, to whom the King of France had issued a
patent of Lieutenant General, with a commission as
Viceroy in America. The remaining companies came
with Colonel de Salieres and the new Governor General,
M. de Courcelles.

Here, on this wilderness island, in the season when
the unbroken expanse of forest that extended from the
slopes of the Green and Adirondack Mountains to the
shores of Lake Champlain was turning to russet and
crimson and gold, were assembled in the farthest south-
ern outpost of the French dominions in Canada, six
hundred veteran soldiers, trained on the battlefields of
Europe, but ignorant of the tactics of the North Ameri-
can Indians. On the western shore of the lake, only
a little distance away, were encamped six hundred
habitants, or Canadian volunteers, and one hundred
Algonquins and Hurons. It was a curious combination
of opposite extremes in military organization. An
account of this foray into the Mohawk country has been
given in a previous chapter.

During the winter of 1666-67 many of the garrison
at Fort St. Anne were ill of scurvy, and at the request
of General de Tracy a priest was sent to Isle La Motte,
Father Dollier de Casson coming from Montreal on
snowshoes. He celebrated mass and officiated at the
burial of thirteen soldiers. Sixty men assembled daily



122 HISTORY OF VERMONT

for mass and prayers. Father de Casson remained at
the fort until the summer of 1667. Before the summer
was ended three Jesuit priests, Fathers Fremin, Pierron
and Bruyas, who had started for the country of the
lower Iroquois to restore the missions interrupted by
the wars, were detained at Fort St. Anne by the
threatening attitude of Indians known as the Loups
(Wolves), a part of the Iroquois nation, and while thus
detained they conducted a mission for the soldiers.
While at Isle La Motte, Father Pierron wrote a letter
dated August 12, 1667, describing his voyage to
America, and telling of the habits and customs of the
Indians. So far as known this was the first letter
written in Vermont. In June, 1668, Bishop Laval, the
first Bishop of Quebec and New France, journeyed
hither in a canoe and gave confirmation. This is said
to have been the first confirmation given within the
present limits of the United States.

Captain La Mothe was appointed Governor of Mon-
treal in 1670, and the fort probably was abandoned that
year. A few years later La Mothe was killed by the
Indians. He was not the founder of Detroit, and should
not be confounded with La Mothe de Cadillac, who took
a leading part in French afifairs in the West.

Father Kerlidou, who made a careful study of Fort
St. Anne and the early settlement on Isle La Motte, has
said: "Before leaving the fort the soldiers burned all
the palisades and barracks; they also took with them
everything which might be of use somewhere else."
The site of this ancient fort having been acquired by
the Roman Catholic diocese of Burlington, excavations



THE FRENCH SEIGNIORIES 123

were made in the spring of 1896. Fourteen mounds
were opened, under each one of which was found the
ruins of a fireplace, full of ashes. Under one mound
was a brick oven. The foundations of buildings
sixteen by thirty-two feet in size, and others sixteen by
twelve feet, were uncovered. The relics brought to light
included coins, one bearing the date 1656, portions of
guns, bullets, gun flints, arrow heads, tomahawks,
Indian pottery, carpenters' tools, nails, pieces of burned
timber, broken dishes, cooking utensils, pipes, buttons,
knives, forks, and two solid silver spoons, one bearing
the name of L. Case.

Although Fort St. Anne was abandoned, Isle La
Motte, thereafter, was a favorite stopping place for
expeditions passing through the lake, as it may have
been centuries before the white men came, and probably
the site of this fort never wholly lapsed into wilderness
conditions. While it is true that this settlement cannot
be called permanent, it has the distinction of being the
earliest made by white men within the present limits
of Vermont, a fact sufficient to make it noteworthy.

The story of the attempt of the government of France
to plant colonies in the valley of Lake Champlain is a
record of failure rather than success, if considered
apart from military occupation. On May 20, 1676, the
King of France issued an order authorizing the grant-
ing of lands in Canada, which was considered by the
French officials to be sufficient authority to warrant the
granting of lands adjacent to Lake Champlain. A con-
siderable number of these grants were made between
the years 1733 and 1737, inclusive. These grants, or



124 HISTORY OF VERMONT

seigniories, were based on the old feudal system of
France, the seignior owing homage to the crown, and
the tenants rendering fealty to the seignior. This sys-
tem was not entirely abolished in Canada until 1854.

These French seigniories on Lake Champlain are
shown on what is known as the De Lery map, dated
October 10, 1748, these grants extending from Fort
Chambly, on the Richelieu River, to Crown Point and
including both sides of the lake. The survey of the
lake for this map was made in 1732. The grantees,
or seigniors, holding title to lands within the present
limits of Vermont were Sieurs La Fontaine, de Beauvais
fils, Contrecoeur, Contrecoeur fils, Douville, Raimbault,
de la Perriere, and Hocquart. Possibly the southern
portions of the grants made to Sieurs Foucault and
de Lusignan may have been on the Vermont side of the
present international boundary line.

It is evident that the De Lery map did not attempt
to outline the limits of these seigniories with any degree
of accuracy, and therefore it is impossible to give their
location with reference to present township boundaries
only in a very general way. The grant to the younger
de Beauvais probably included Highgate, part of Swan-
ton, and may have embraced parts of Sheldon and
Franklin. The La Fontaine grant evidently included a
part of the Alburg peninsula. The map makes North
Hero too large and Grand Isle too small. The grant
made to the elder Contrecoeur included the island of
North Hero.

The map would indicate that the Douville seigniory
included St. Albans, a part of Georgia, and probably



THE FRENCH SEIGNIORIES 125

parts of Fairfield and Fletcher. The Raimbault
seigniory appears to have been the largest granted, as
shown by the De Lery map. Records show that this
seigniory was sold in 1766 by Sieur Jean Marie Raim-
bault, his wife and his daughter, to Benjamin Price,
Daniel Robertson and John Livingston for 90,000 livres
(about $18,000). This seigniory of La Maunadiere is
said to have a frontage of four leagues and a depth of
five leagues. If a league is equivalent to three miles,
then this seigniory had a frontage of twelve miles on
Lake Champlain and extended back from the lake a
distance of fifteen miles. It is expressly stated that the
River A la Mouelle (Lamoille) was within its limits,
and it probably included Milton, Westford, parts of
Georgia, Colchester, Fairfax, Fletcher and Underbill.
The La Perriere grant included Burlington, a part of
Colchester, and parts of Essex and Williston, being
divided by the "River Ouynouski" (Winooski), and
having a frontage of two leagues and a depth of three
leagues. The seigniory or lordship of Hocquart,
opposite Crown Point, as originally granted, April 20,
1743, had a frontage of one league on Lake Champlain
and a depth of five leagues. Another grant, made April
1, 1745, increased the bounds of the seigniory, so that it
had a frontage of four leagues, corresponding in size to
the seigniory of La Maunadiere. This lordship of
Hocquart is estimated to have contained about 115,000
acres. Probably it included the towns of Addison,
Panton, Waltham, Weybridge, New Haven, the city of
Vergennes, and parts of Ferrisburg, Bristol, Bridport,
Cornwall and Middlebury.



126 HISTORY OF VERMONT

The seigniory granted to Sieur Bedou on the west side
of the lake included Isle La Motte. This seigniory
originally was granted to M. Pean, Major of Quebec,
and later was transferred to Daniel Leinard, Sieur de
Beaujeau, who had a grant immediately north of this.

Some of the men to whom these grants were made
were eminent French officers. Captain La Perriere be-
came Governor of Montreal in 1752. Gilles Hocquart
was Intendant of Canada from 1728 to 1748. M. Pierre
Raimbault was Lieutenant General of the jurisdiction of
Montreal. M. de Beaujeau, who held Isle La Motte for
a time, succeeded M. Contrecoeur, another holder of a
Lake Champlain seigniory, in command of Fort
Duquesne, at the junction of the Allegheny and Monon-
gahela Rivers, and planned the ambuscade which re-
sulted in the defeat and death of General Braddock, at
the opening of the French and Indian War, but he won
victory at the cost of his life.

Some of the conditions of these French grants may be
shown in extracts from the grant to M. Hocquart. It
was declared to be "for the perpetual enjoyment by the



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