Copyright
Walter Hill Crockett.

Vermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 2) online

. (page 1 of 40)
Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 40)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


HISTORY OF VERMONT



r




^yJi.K^ i^(/^ H.rryi'^'^'




VERMONT

The Green Mountain State



BY

Walter Hill Crockett

author of

Vermont— Its Resources and Opportunities

History of Lake Champlain

George Franklin Edmunds



Volume Two



v.

I The Century History Company, Inc

New York
1921



THS NEW YORK
PUBLIC LIBRARY

569587A

ASTOR, LENOX AND

TILDSN FOUNOATiONS

R 1931 ^



Copyright 1921
BY The Century History Company

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



Publication Ofhce

8 West 47th Street, New York

U. S. A.



To THE Memory of
George Grenville Benedict

AND

Horace Ward Bailey

Who encouraged and aided the author

in his study of Vermont history,

these volumes are dedicated.



CONTENTS
CHAPTER XVI

THE NAVAL BATTLE OP LAKE CHAMPLAIN

Mount Independence Fortified.

Conditions at Ticouderoga.

Benedict Arnold Given Cliarge of Naval Operations on Lake

Champlain.
Strength of the American Fleet.
British Attack near Valcour Island.
American Ships Damaged.
Arnold Escapes under Cover of Darkness.

Overtaken by British He Runs Ships Ashore and Burns Them.
Carleton Makes Demonstration Before Ticonderoga and Returns to

Canada.
Battle of Lake Champlain, First Naval Engagement of Revolution.
Importance of the Battle as Viewed by Historians.

CHAPTER XVn

BURGOYNE'S INVASION

Exposed Position of Northern Frontier.

Mutiny at Jericho.

Officers Court Martialed.

St. Clair Assigned to Command of Ticonderoga.

Inadequacy of Its Defence.

British Prepare to Invade Champlain Valley.

Fleet Makes Spectacular Entrance into Lake.

Burgoyne Gives War Feast to Indians and Issues Bombastic

Proclamation.
Colonel Warner Rallies Militia on the Grants.
British Occupy Chimney Point.
Mt. Defiance Seized and Fortified.
St. Clair Compelled to Abandon Ticonderoga.
Part of the American Troops Retreat to Skenesborough.

CHAPTER XVni

THE BATTLE OF HUBBARDTON

Retreat of the American Forces from Ticonderoga to Castleton.
Warner Commands the Rear Guard.
General Eraser Leads British in Pursuit.
Is Joined by Reidesel and His German Dragoons.
Troops Ordered to Warner's Assistance Disobey Orders.
Colonel Francis Killed.

Warner's Troops Defeated and Dispersed after a Desperate Fight
at Hubbardton.



X HISTORY OF VERMONT

British Army Hastens Back to Skenesborough.
Burgoyne Issues a Proclamation and Sends Reldesel to Castleton.
Some Inhabitants Take the Oath of Allegiance.
Counter-Proclamation by Schuyler.

The Fall of Ticonderoga Creates Consternation on the New Hamp-
shire Grants and in America.
King George Rejoices.
St. Clair Tried by Court Martial and Acquitted.

CHAPTER XIX

THE BATTLE OF BENNINGTON

The Vermont Council of Safety Appeals to New Hampshire for

Assistance.
Colonel Warner Issues a Circular to Militia Officers.
Acceptance of Ira Allen's Plan to Raise Money for Equipment of

Troops by Sequestration of Estates of Tories.
Burgoyne's Increasing Difficulties.
New Hampshire Responds Promptly to Appeal for Aid and Sends

Force under General Stark.
Importance of Bennington as a Depot of Supplies.
British, Short of Provisions, Plan to Seize the Post and Make Raid

over Green Mountains.
General Lincoln Sent to Manchester.
He Goes to Schuyler's Aid.
Massachusetts Sends Help.
Lieutenant Colonel Baume with German Troops Sent Against

Bennington.
Opposition Being Greater Than He Had Expected He Sends for

Reinforcements and Fortifies His Position.
Attack by General Stark.
Green Mountain Boys and New Hampshire Troops Successfully

Assault Enemy's Position.
British Defeated and Baume Mortally Wounded.
Breymann Arrives with British Reinforcements.
Warner's Regiment Comes Just in Time to Meet Second Attack.
British Defeated and Pursued.
Incidents of the Battle.
The Casualties.
The Spoils of Victory.
Prisoners Sent to Massachusetts.
Far-reaching Eifects of the Victory.
Burgoyne's Estimate of the Battle.
Lincoln Attempts to Cut Burgoyne's Communications.
Capt. Ebenezer Allen Captures Mt. Defiance.
Colonel Brown Seizes British Shipping.
Gen. Jacob Bayley Stationed at Castleton.
Burgoyne's Surrender.
Dinah Mattis, a Slave, Given Her Freedom by Ebenezer Allen.



CONTENTS XI



CHAPTER XX

EARLY CONVENTIONS

First Dorset Convention.

Heman Allen Presents Petition to Congress.

That Body Recommends Temporary Submission to New York.

Second Dorset Convention.

Report of Mission to Philadelphia.

Proposal to Unite with New Hampshire Dismissed.

Convention Votes to Organize New Hampshire Grants into a Sepa-
rate District.

Ira Allen's Reasons for this Action.

Third Dorset Convention Subscribes to and Publishes a Covenant.

Committee of War Appointed.

Adjourned Session, Held at Westminster, Declares the New Hamp-
shire Grants an Independent State.

Name New Connecticut Adopted.

Declaration and Petition to Continental Congress Presented.

Windsor Convention Gives Name of Vermont to New Common-
wealth.

Constitution Considered and Promulgated.

Pennsylvania Constitution Closely Followed.

News of Burgoyne's Invasion Received.

Vermont's Constitution First to Prohibit Slavery and Grant Man-
hood Suffrage.

Document not Submitted to Popular Vote for Ratification.

CHAPTER XXI

STATE GOVERNMENT ORGANIZED

First Vermont Elections.

General Assembly Convened at Windsor.

Thomas Chittenden Elected Governor.

Machinery of State Government Put Into Operation.

Three Legislative Sessions Held During Year 1778.

Laws Enacted.

Sixteen New Hampshire Towns Annexed.

Ethan Allen Visits Philadelphia and Reports to Legislature Hos-
tility of Congress to Annexation of New Hampshire Towns and
Jurisdiction Withdrawn.

As a Result, Lieutenant Governor, Two Members of Council and
Twenty-four Representatives Withdraw from Vermont Legis-
lature.

Seceding Members Hold Convention and Favor a Union with New
Hampshire.

Massachusetts and New Hampshire Lay Claim to Vermont Terri-
tory.

Foes Within and Without Threaten New Commonwealth.



XII HISTORY OF VERMONT



CHAPTER XXII

LATER MILITARY OPERATIONS

Activities of Board of War.

Building of Fort Ranger at Rutland.

Ethan Allen Released from Prison.

Story of His Captivity.

Confinement in Pendennis Castle, England, in Prison Ships at Hali-
fax and New York.

Washington's ElTorts in His Behalf.

Levi Allen Seeks His Brother's Release.

Exchanged for British Officer, He Visits Washington and Is Wel-
comed Home.

Forts Erected at Pittsford and In Upper Connecticut Valley.

Attack on Pierson Farm at Shelburne.

New Invasion of Canada Proposed.

Building of Bayley-Hazen Road Continued.

North Line of Castleton and Pittsford Made Frontier.

Indian and Tory Raids.

Carleton's Expedition of 1780.

Principal Vermont Officers.

British Blockhouse Erected at North Hero.

The Loyalists in Vermont.



CHAPTER XXIII

A STRUGGLE FOR EXISTENCE

Ethan Allen Sent to Quiet Uprising by New York Partisans in

Cumberland County.
Governor Clinton Threatens to Invade Vermont.
Congressional Committee Appointed to Visit New State.
Delegations of Vermont Leaders Sent to Philadelphia.
Resolutions of Congress Relating to Controversy with New York

not Acceptable.
Ethan Allen's Vindication of Vermont's Position and Argument by

Stephen R. Bradley Circulated in Other States.
Ira Allen Visits Several Commonwealths on a Missionary Tour for

Vermont.
Petitions Presented to Congress.
Statement by Governor Chittenden.
Vermont's Position Strengthened.
Congress Unwilling to Coerce New State.
New York Legislature Ready to Abandon Claim to Jurisdiction

Over Vermont but Governor Clinton Prevents Action by

Threatening to Prorogue that Body.



CONTENTS XIII



CHAPTER XXIV

THE HALDIMAND NEGOTIATIONS

Appointment of General Haldimand as Governor General of
Canada.

Letters of Colonel Beverly Robinson to Ethan Allen Offering Ver-
mont a Separate Government Under the Crown.

Correspondence Sent to Congress with Notice of Vermont's Deter-
mination to Defend the Independence of the State.

Ira Allen Meets British Representatives at Isle Aux Noix to Confer
Regarding an Exchange of Prisoners.

Suspicion Regarding Negotiations.

Ira Allen's Skilful Explanation to General Assembly.

Fluctuating Opinion of British Authorities Concerning Vermont's
Intentions.

Ira Allen Manages Negotiations with Consummate Skill.

Enemies of Vermont and of Prominent Leaders Make Charges of
Disloyalty.

What the Haldimand Negotiations Accomplished.

Abundant Evidence Proves the Loyalty of the Vermont Leaders.

Attitude of Congress Toward Vermont More Friendly as a Result
of These Negotiations.

CHAPTER XXV

A DECADE OP DIPLOMACY

Attempt to Annex Vermont to New Hampshire.

Ira Allen's Remarkable Achievement in Averting a Dissolution of
the New State.

Vermont Annexes Portions of New Hampshire and New York.

Conflicts Arise from this Policy and Military Conflict with New
York Narrowly Averted.

Serious Complications with New Hampshire.

Eastern and Western Unions Abandoned.

Congress Proposes to Admit Vermont to the Union and then Fails
to Live Up to Its Implied Promise.

New York Pursues a More Conciliatory Policy.

Washington Alarmed Over Possible Attempt to Coerce Vermont.

After the Close of the War Vermont Grows Stronger as the Ameri-
can Confederation Grows Weaker.

CHAPTER XXVI

THE VERMONT REPUBLIC

How the Business of the State Was. Conducted.
The Coining of Money Authorized.
A Postal Service Established.
Trade Agreements with Canada.
Granting of Vermont Townships.



XIV HISTORY OF VERMONT

A Period of Rapid Growth.

The "Betterment" Bills.

First Council of Censors.

A General Condition of Unrest.

Objections to Cost of Justice.

Uprisings Against the Courts at Windsor and Rutland.

Financial Distress of the People.

Shays' Rebellion.

Ira Allen Vindicated of Charges of Dishonesty as Surveyor General.

Defeat of Governor Chittenden.

Deaths of Seth Warner and Ethan Allen.

CHAPTER XXVII

VERMONT ADMITTED TO THE UNION

New York Opens Negotiations with Vermont and Commissioners
are Appointed.

Activity of Alexander Hamilton In Favor of Ending the Dispute.

Nathaniel Chipman Enters Into Correspondence with Hamilton and
Later Visits Him.

The First Conference of the Two Commissions Unsuccessful.

New York Confers Broader Powers upon a Second Commission and
Another Conference Held at which an Agreement is Reached.

Vermont Agrees to Pay Thirty Thousand Dollars for a Relinquish-
ment of New York Land Claims.

Congress Votes to Admit Vermont as a State of the Union.

Convention Called to Ratify United States Constitution.

Debate Over Ratification.

Arguments of Nathaniel Chipman and Stephen R. Bradley for
Statehood.

Celebration of Vermont's Admission to the Union.

Congressmen and Senators Elected.

First Government Officials Appointed.

The First Census.

Jefferson and Madison Visit Vermont.

CHAPTER XXVIII

"OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION"

Review of the Struggle of a Quarter of a Century.
The Audacity, the Courage, the Persistence and the Resourceful-
ness of the Green Mountain Boys.
Summary of a Successful Struggle for Freedom Against Great Odds.
A Marvelous and Romantic Story of Heroic Men.

CHAPTER XXIX

VERMONT'S RAPID GROWTH

Large Increase of Population During First Two Decades of the

State's History.
Industrial and Agricultural Conditions.
Friction on the Northern Border.



CONTENTS XV



Political Discussion Relating to France.

Addresses to Presidents Washington, Adams and Jefferson.

Death of Governor Chittenden.

The Career of Matthew Lyon.

Services of Senator Stephen R. Bradley.

Vermont's Attitude Toward State Rights.

Governor Tichenor's Popularity.

State Capital Established at Montpelier.

The First State Bank.

Ira Allen's Visit to Europe.

Imprisoned in France.

Returns to America a Ruined Man.

His Exile in Philadelphia and His Death.



ILLUSTRATIONS

Thomas Chittenden Frontispiece

Constitution House, Windsor Facing page 60

The Bennington Battlefield " " 90

Plan of the Battle of Bennington " " 120

Bennington Battle Monument " " 150

Route of Bayley-Hazen Military Road " " 180

House Occupied by Ethan Allen at Bennington " " 210

Home of Thomas Chittenden, Arlington " " 240

Governor George Clinton of New York " " 270

Facsimile of Act Admitting Vermont as a State of the

Union " " 300

Facsimile of Vermont's Ratification of the United States

Constitution " " 330

Windham County Court House, Newfane " " 360

Early Vermont Currency " " 390

Early Vermont Coins " " 420

Mount Ascutney and Village of Windsor " " 450

Map Prepared by James Whitelaw, Surveyor General of

Vermont " " 480

Interior of Old Meeting House, Rockingham " " 510

Monument and Statue Over Grave of Ethan Allen at

Burlington " " 540

Rock Point, Burlington " " 570

The First State House at Montpelier " " 600



CHAPTliR XVI

THE NAVAL BATTLE OF LAKE CHAMPLAIN



EARLY in June, when General Schuyler saw the
probability that the Northern army must aban-
don Canada in the near future, he began to make
plans for strengthening the positions held on Lake
Champlain. He hoped soon to send an engineer to re-
pair Ticonderoga, if it was considered desirable to keep
that position, but expressed the opinion that a post on
the ground opposite the old fortress "would more
effectually secure us against the enemy." Schuyler's
views on the subject were made known to General
Washington, who wrote him on July 13 that
Messrs. Chase and Carroll, the commissioners who
were sent to Canada by Congress, as associates of Ben-
jamin Franklin, were of the same opinion that the east-
ern side of the lake was the more advantageous post to
occupy. Admitting that necessary works of defence
should be thrown up with the utmost dispatch in the
place most easily defended, Washington wished to know
if it would not be desirable to fortify both Ticonderoga
and the point opposite. Schuyler replied: "If a fort-
ress was erected on the east side of Lake Champlain,
nearly opposite Ticonderoga, it would equally command
both communications, with this advantage, that the
militia of the northern colonies are more at hand for
immediate succor, may all march by land to the post,
and attempt to raise a siege."

Early in July Generals Schuyler and Gates, having
occasion to go to Crown Point, took Colonel Trumbull
across the lake to inspect the site of the proposed forti-
fications, and the latter made such a favorable report
that at a council of general officers held on July 7, "it



HISTORY OF VERMONT



was unanimously resolved to take post there." Colonel
Trumbull in describing this location, said: ''At the
northern point it runs low into the lake, offering a good
landing place; from thence the land rose to an almost
level plateau elevated from fifty to seventy-five feet
above the lake, and surrounded on three sides, by a
natural wall of rock, everywhere steep, and sometimes
an absolute precipice sinking to the lake. On the fourth
and eastern side of the position ran a morass and deep
creek at the front of the rock, which strengthened that
front, leaving room only by an easy descent, for a road
to the east, and to the landing from the southern end of
the lake. We found plentiful springs of good water,
at the foot of the rock. The whole was covered with
primeval forest."

Writing to General Washington on this subject, Gen-
eral Schuyler said: "On the 9th we went over the
ground for the intended post on the east side, which
we found so remarkably strong as to require little labor
to make it tenable against a vast superiority of force,
and fully to answer the purpose of preventing the enemy
from penetrating into the country to the south of it."

General orders issued at Ticonderoga on July 13
directed Captain Stevens of the artillery to encamp with
his company "near the landing on the east side of the
lake, where all the artillery, stores, etc. are to be landed."
The Pennsylvania regiments were directed to encamp
"upon the new ground" July 16, where Colonel St. Clair
and Colonel Wayne were to lay out the encampment.
Orders were issued on July 22 to the three brigades com-
manded by General Arnold, Colonel Reed and Colonel



NAVAL BATTLE, LAKE CHAMPLAIN 5

Stark to encamp as soon as possible upon the ground
allotted them upon the heights. General orders issued
at Ticonderoga on July 30, showed that three of the
four brigades at that place were stationed at Mount
Independence, on the east side of the lake, in the present
town of Orwell, Vt. As a result of the clearing of the
forest and the exposing of the soil to the hot summer
sun, a fever became prevalent, said to resemble the yel-
low fever, which sometimes proved fatal in two or three
days.

Schuyler was so well pleased with the strength of
Mount Independence, that in writing to Washington
July 24, 1776, he said: "Can they (the enemy) drive
us out of the strong camp on the east side ? I think not.
I think it impossible for twenty thousand men to do
it, ever so well provided, if the camp consists of less
than even a quarter of that number, indifferently fur-
nished, such is the natural strength of the ground."

In accordance with a resolution of the Continental
Congress, a general hospital was erected on Mount Inde-
pendence. The summit of that mountain is a table-land
and here at a later date, a strong, star-shaped fort was
erected, surrounded by pickets. In the center was a
square of barracks.

By direction of General Gates, a road was cut from
the west side of Mount Independence to join the road
at Castleton, and a good bridge was constructed across
the Otter Creek at Rutland. This work was performed
under the direction of Lieut. Col. John Barrett of the
Cumberland county militia.



6 HISTORY OF VERMONT

The occasion of the naming of Mount Independence
bears a direct relation to the birth of the American
nation. The Boston Gazette of August 29, 1776,
printed an extract from a letter which said: "We hear
from Ticonderoga that on the 28th of July, immediately-
after divine worship, the Declaration of Independence
was read by Colonel St. Clair, and having said 'God save
the free independent States of America !' the army mani-
fested their joy with three cheers. It was remarkably
pleasing to see the spirits of the soldiers so raised after
all their calamities, the language of every man's coun-
tenance was, Now we are a people ! we have name among
the states of this world." Probably this date should be
July 18, when a courier arrived with news of the adop-
tion of the Declaration of Independence. A salute of
thirteen guns was fired and the neighboring eminence
was christened Mount Independence.

During the summer and fall of 1776, the greater part
of the army at Ticonderoga was engaged in throwing up
intrenchments, mounting guns, and securing provisions.
General Gates had been in command of this post upon
the return of the army from Canada, and General Sulli-
van, who had conducted the retreat from the north in a
manner that displayed great skill and bravery, being dis-
pleased at the honor accorded Gates, at his expense, left
in disgust for New York and Philadelphia.

Early in September the barracks and parade ground
were finished. The intrenching tools were so few that
it was necessary to divide the men into shifts that the
tools might not be idle at any time. The works were
completed in November, 1776, under the direction of



NAVAL BATTLE, LAKE CHAMPLAIN 7

Colonel, later General, Wayne. Among the troops were
men from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the New
Hampshire Grants. The Massachusetts troops came by
way of Springfield (Vt.), Rutland, Castleton, and
Skenesborough.

A letter written from Mount Independence by Col.
Samuel VVigglesworth, to the New Hampshire Commit-
tee of Safety, as late as September 27, 1776, shows that
conditions were still deplorable. In his letter he says:
"Gentlemen, I wish you could transport yourselves to
this place for a moment to see the distressed situation
of these troops. * * * There are no medicines of
any avail in the Continental chest; such as there are in
their native state unprepared ; no emetick nor cathartick ;
no mercurial nor antimonial Remedy ; no opiate or elixir,
tincture, nor even any capital medicine. It would make
a heart of stone melt to hear the moans and see the dis-
tresses of the dying. * * * Now, Sirs, think how
much more unhappy and distressed the conditions of
these troops would be should the enemy attack our
Lines."

Rum containing four pounds of gentian root and
two pounds of orange peel to a hogshead was served to
the men, and when these ingredients were not available
the physicians suggested as a substitute snakeroot, dog-
wood and centaury.

In time, however, conditions improved. The small-
pox gradually was conquered, and, although there was
some fever and ague, the health and spirits of the men
showed a great change for the better. Fresh beef and



8 HISTORY OF VERMONT

mutton added a pleasant variety to a salt pork diet and
the distress caused by lack of tents was alleviated, in a
measure at least, by the arrival of one hundred thousand
feet of boards for purposes of shelter.

It is certain that the soldiers of this army deserved
relief from conditions that often were almost intoler-
able. The sufferings of the army in Canada, and for
several months after their return to Crown Point and
Ticonderoga, deserve to rank with the privations en-
dured by Washington's troops at Valley Forge.

The necessity of constructing a fleet if the mastery
of the lake were to remain in the hands of the Ameri-
cans was apparent to all. General Gates selected Gen.
Benedict Arnold to have charge of naval operations, and
wrote Washington as follows concerning the choice:
"As soon as all the vessels and gondolas are equipped.
General Arnold has offered to go to Crown Point and
take command of them. This is exceedingly pleasing to
me; as he has a perfect knowledge of maritime affairs,
and is, besides, a most deserving and gallant officer."

General Schuyler, on May 7, 1776, had ordered
Jacobus Wynkoop, a captain in the Continental service,
to proceed immediately to Ticonderoga and take com-
mand of "all the vessels on Lake Champlain" — not an
imposing flotilla, by any means — and with the greatest
expedition to put them in the best condition possible for
immediate service. There is no evidence that any task
li importance was performed by Captain Wynkoop, but
he did mention in a memorial to Congress, that he ex-
pected the appointment of "Commodore of the Lakes."
When Gates appointed Arnold to command the ships on



NAVAL BATTLE, LAKE CHAMPLAIN 9

the lake there was trouble at once. Wynkoop refused
to take orders from Arnold, and maintained that he had
received no notice of the appointment of a successor.
After some sharp correspondence General Gates issued
an order on August 18, directing that Wynkoop should
be arrested and taken to headquarters at Ticonderoga
as a prisoner. Gates sent him on to Albany, where he
contented hnnself in writing to Congress concerning his
troubles.

Governor Trumbull of Connecticut, on July 29, had
this to say of the American strength on Lake Cham-
plain: "How they maintain their naval supremacy, I
must confess myself much at a loss. They build a gon-
dola, perhaps one in a week; but where are they to find
rigging for them — where the guns? To be sure they
have a great train of artillery, but very few of them
mounted on carriages; at present their materials and
conveniences for making them are very slender. They
have neither places fit for them to work in, nor materials
in that plenty that they ought to have. To oppose the
enemy on the lake they have a schooner of 12 carriage
guns, a sloop of 8 guns, two small schooners to carry
4 to 6 each, and three gondolas, and the large schooner
is now in good sailing order and about to take a trip
down the lake to make discovery. The sloop is a most
unmanageable thing, it is impossible to beat up against
a wind in her. The two small schooners are not armed
— and even the carriages of their guns are yet to be
made."

Arnold brought to the task of preparing the best pos-
sible fighting squadron the same energetic qualities that



10 HISTORY OF VERMONT

he had displayed in the Quebec campaign. The New
England seaports were called upon to furnish ship car-
penters and naval stores. It was necessary to fell the
trees in the woods and drag the timber to the ship yards
at Skenesborough. Most of the stores and ammuni-
tion for the fleet were conveyed overland, by roads that



Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 40)