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attention of the Mineralogist. In approaching Haverhill the valley of the
river expanded, and the soil assumed a more fertile appearance. The orchards
loaded with fruit and the corn yet standing in the field gave evidence of an
abundant harvest. In fine, the people seemed to possess all the requisites
necessary for their happiness. The inhabitants were generally of that class
who cultivate the soil, and who constitute the strength and pride of our
country. Though bred in the walks of obscurity, no individual displays more
nobleness of character than the American farmer. Haverhill, the half-shire
town of Grafton County, has a commanding situation on the east bank of
the Connecticut River, and is connected by a bridge with Newbury in Vermont.
Its public buildings are a church, court house, academy and jail. The houses
are generally neat and a spacious green adds much beauty to the place. Our
whole corps was entertained at the hotels.

Friday, Oct. 1st. The morning was one of the finest the season had
afforded, and having breakfasted we resumed our march at seven. Our road
for several miles was along an elevated plain, considerably higher than the
interval lands on the Connecticut. The great "Ox-bow," as it is called,
a circuitous bend in the river a short distance above the village of Haverhill,
affords the finest meadows in New Hampshire. This fertile vale extended
several miles on our left, presenting to the eye a highly picturesque and
beautiful landscape. Beneath us was a valley whose faded herbage already
exhibited traces of autumn, and where it terminates in the far off distance,
by the gentle rise of the Green Mountains, lay the interesting village of
Newbury. At ten, passed through "Horse-Meadow," situated in the north
part of Haverhill. Two miles from this, we left the Connecticut, which had
hitherto been almost constantly in view, and after three miles travel came
upon the Amonoosuck, a tributary to the Connecticut, which takes its rise
in the White Mountains. Following the course of this stream we soon came
to its junction with the Wild Amonoosuck, a rapid and furious torrent that
heads in the lofty Moosehillock. W"e arrived at half past eleven at Bath,
but without halting proceeded to the upper village, where the hospitality of
Messrs. Hutchins and Goodall had provided us a sumptuous entertainment.
These gentlemen had ascertained that we should take their village in our
march, and with characteristic generosity had provided an elegant repast,
which was the more acceptable because unexpected. Leaving with regret
our kind entertainers we, at 3, continued our march, expecting to reach


Littleton fifteen miles distant. Our road this afternoon was along the wild
and romantic banks of the Amonoosuck. The valley of this river has every
appearance of having been once the reservoir of a lake of no inconsiderable size.
The sun had set when we arrived at Glynville, a small village on the south-
east borders of the town of Littleton. There is here a descent of several feet
in the river, affording advantageous water privileges, and will probably at
some future day render this a manufacturing place. The hospitable inhabi-
tants had provided a supper of which each seemed willing to partake, notwith-
standing our late hearty dinner. Somewhat fatigued, we early sought that
repose necessary to continue our journey the following morning; distance
accomplished this day, thirty miles.

Appearance of the country was very similar to that of yesterday. Toward
the latter part of the day, however, the lofty hills which began to rise upon
either side of our road — the rapid and broken current of the river, plainly
evinced our approach to a more mountainous district. The peaks of Bethle-
hem and the lofty summits of the Franconia ridge were pointed out, as inter-
cepting our view of the White Mountains, which were now only twenty-five
miles distant.

Saturday, Oct. 2d. After a refreshing sleep, we arose in fine spirits
expecting to complete our journey this day to Mt. Washington. The morning,
though cold was clear and pleasant, and after a substantial breakfast which
our friends had provided, we set forward at seven. Crossing the Amonoosuck
at this place, we began to ascend a more elevated region. A walk of four
miles, continually ascending, brought us to Bethlehem's meeting house.
Here Capt. Partridge made an observation. From this place we had a distant
though imperfect view of the White Mountains. Without stopping longer
than was necessarj' to make the observations mentioned, we continued our
march through Bethlehem, which has for about two miles upon the road a
scattered and thin population. Passing this we entered the forest of Breton's
Woods, which, in a distance of fourteen miles, has but one solitary habitation.
The trees were principally beech, maple, birch, and the majestic pine. This
valuable tree, the spontaneous production of the woods of New Hampshire,
exhibits at this time but few specimens of its primitive glory. Still, the
traveller occasionally meets with a stately span which the axe has spared,
and which tower far above the surrounding forest. These specimens are,
however, rare and every year becoming less numerous. Long ere others can
grow to fill their places, these venerable relics of ages will fall beneath the axe
of the enterprising but too thoughtless adventurer.

A march of eighteen miles, mostly through this forest, brought us to
Crawford's, the last dwelling on the west side of the mountains. From this
place they were distinctly seen, high pointing to the heavens and their summits
capped with clouds. At intervals, when the mist which obscured our view
was dissipated, Mt. Washington could be seen lifting his hoary brow above
the others, and like him, from whom it derives its name, was elevated far
above surrounding creation. On the north, Jefferson presents his venerable
head, second to Washington alone— while to the south, Adams, Madison and
Monroe, "in quick succession rise." Amidst them the conical height,
justly though temporarily named "Pleasant," stands conspicuous. As far
as vegetation reigned, the dark, umbrageous shade of evergreens gave them
a gloomy and melancholy appearance. Deep ravines which torrents, through


ages of time, had worn in their bosoms rendered them highly romantic, and
made them, as it is reported they were, fit subjects of superstitions to the
untutored Indian. Well might these lofty summits, which have not a com-
parison from the Cordilleras of Mexico to the frozen ocean, suggest to the
unlettered mind of these sons of the forest an idea of Divinity. After dinner
a part of our corps visited the celebrated Notch, (a narrow defile in the moun-
tains, through which is the Portland and Lancaster turnpike. The remainder
started at four for the camps at the foot of Mt. Washington. Following the
turnpike mentioned, for about three-fourths of a mile toward the Notch,
we then left it for a narrow foot path, which had been cut with some difficulty
through the woods and which led directly to the camp. Our pathway was
impeded by rocks, stumps, fallen trees, bogs, morasses, and frequently by
streams of water across which had fallen some neighboring tree that served
as a bridge. Sometimes our course was along the margin of the Amonoosuck
and as we traversed its rocky banks we were alternately delighted and astonish-
ed with the romantic wildness of the place and its hurried and impetuous
waterfalls. It was twilight when we arrived at the camps, — two hunting
sheds built of bark in which we were to pass the night. They were erected
at the foot of the ascent to Mt. Washington by Mr. Crawford, the guide, for
the accommodation of such persons as curiosity should induce to visit it,
surrounded by lofty hendocks and pines. At no great distance a mountain
torrent swept its way foaming and chaffing the rocks that impeded its course.

After repeated trials we at length kindled a fire, whose cheerful blaze
threw a broad gleam over the surrounding gloom. A supper was soon pre-
pared from such means as our knapsacks afforded, and of which we partook
with eagerness. Fatigued with this day's exertions, particularly that of
the last seven miles, each one sought his blanket and throwing himself upon
the ground slept soundly till morning.

Sunday, Oct. 3. Scarcely had dawn appeared, when we again ranged our-
selves around our " Humble Board,' ' and after a hearty breakfast commenced
clambering the mountain. For more than a mile our path was through
a thick growth of woods, where roots and fallen trees rendered our ascent
laborious. At length the trees began to diminish in stature, and when within
about a mile of the summit, descended to a few low dwarfs whose branches
projected in an horizontal direction and nothing was to be seen but a pile of
barren and stupendous rocks. We here paused to take a view of the country,
extending to the west, and the immense pile of mountains that seemed thrown
in wild confusion around us. The heights of Franconia were immediately
before us; beyond them extended the Moosehillock range, and farther still might
be seen the Green Mountains, bounding the distant horizon. In ascending,
we became enveloped in clouds, and the cold which had continually increased
as we approached the summit, was soon almost insupportable. Snow had
fallen several days previous, and ice was formed in many places, which added
difficulty and even danger to our ascent. But by perseverance we at length
surmounted all obstacles, and thought ourselves amply compensated for the
fatigue we had undergone, by placing our feet on the highest summit east of
the Mississippi. We were, however, debarred the pleasure that had been
anticipated in viewing the surrounding country from this lofty eminence, by
dense clouds that lay beneath us. In consequence of this, our stay was not
protracted longer than was requisite to take the necessary observations for


ascertaining the mountain's altitude, when benumbed with cold, we hastened
down to the camp, and from thence to Crawfords' which we reached at half
past two.

After dinner we proceeded to the Notch, and Monday morning, Oct. 4,
left Crawford's at eight on our return, and reached Littleton, eighteen miles,
at twelve. We were received here with the same hospitality as on the second
inst., and after dinner started afresh for Bath where we arrived at seven.
We found quarters at the two spacious hotels in the lower village. Bath is
a flourishing village, and when it will have the direct comnuinication with
the cities on our sea-board, by means of the navigation of the Connecticut,
will become the seat of extensive business. It is surprising that this river,
the pride of New England and flowing more than four hundred miles through
the most populous and flourishing section of our country — its borders inhabited
by a race noted for their enterprise, should be so intensely neglected, when,
by trifling exertion, it might be made the means of enriching the numerous
villages that grace its margin, and giving energy to all who reside in its vicinity.
When that spirit of improvement, which so eminently distinguishes the citi-
zens of a neighboring state shall have extended to the banks of the Connecticut,
and rendered it navigable, Bath will rise in importance.

Friday, October 8. Left Bath at eight, passed through Haverhill at
eleven, Orford at three, and reached the "Military Academy" late in the
p. M., having travelled the last day, forty-two miles, and completed a march
of one hundred and sixty miles, in six days, a considerable part of which
was over a rough and mountainous district, that has justly obtained the
appellation of the "Switzerland of America." Thus ended our excursion
to the White Mountains. An excursion that was undertaken as much for
instruction with amusement, and which for a few days interrupted the uniform
tenor of our academic pursuits. We trust, however, that they were days not
unprofitably spent, and are sensible that we shall hereafter remember them
as an interesting era in our youthful annals, to which our minds will revert
with sentiments of the purest satisfaction."

During ]\Iay and June, 1825, Captain Partridge and a de-
tachment of twenty-five cadets made a trip to New York City,
via ]\Iiddletown, Conn. They returned by way of Albany, N. Y.
We quote from the Middletown Sentinel of April 27, 1825:
"Captain Partridge of the Military School at Norwich, Vt.,
accompanied by twenty-five of his scholars, arrived in this city
on Thursday last and departed in the steamboat last evening for
New York. We understand they intend to visit the ]\Iiddle States
and return by the way of Albany. These young men, owing to
the mode of instruction and exercise adopted by their teachers,
present a fine, hardy appearance. They travel mostly on foot,
carrying their clothing in their knapsacks.

" The corps of cadets numbering two hundred left Middletown,
on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 15, 1825, for Hartford. They
were hospitably received by the citizens of that city and by the


students of Washington College (Trinity). After parading
through the principal streets, they gave exhibition drills. Thej'
were billeted with the inhabitants. Owing to a heavy rain the
drills were suspended in the forenoon of the 16th. In the after-
noon the oorps was marched to Washington College where several
drills were given. At 9. a. m., the 17th, the corps was assembled
on the green east of the State House. A hollow square was
formed. Prayer was made by Rev. Walter Colton, Chaplain
of the " Academy." Then several drills wer^ given. At 10 a. m.
the students of Washington College, preceded by the faculty,
met the cadets. An address was made by Isaac E. Cary, one of
the Washington College students. The corps returned to Middle-
town on the afternoon of the 17th on the steamboat Oliver

The Hartford Times states: "There is at this time no
seminary of education in the State of Connecticut that attracts
more attention or calls for more remarks than the seminary
and pupils of Captain Partridge. The reputation of his seminary
and his mode of instruction is well known and duly appreciated
by the people of this great and growing country. The location of
it in Connecticut is hailed by many as an auspicious event. * * *
It may be said to be in principle a National Institute. It has
long been the ardent wish of the friends of science in America
that a National University should be instituted, in which
would be brought together the youth of our country from every
section of it, in which would be disseminated those national
feelings which would exterminate sectional partialities. It is
hoped, as this object is not yet accomplished, that Captain Par-
tridge's Seminary will become a substitute, as it is understood
that his pupils are from every state in the Union. Capt. Par-
tridge and his pupils have the good wishes of the lovers of science,
of order and decorum, the prayers of the good and the approba-
tion of all.' '

During November 17 and 18, 1825, the younger members
of the corps made an extended march to Haddam, Conn.

The corps of cadets left Middletown, Wednesday* a. m.,
May 23, 1826.

We give the account as written by a cadet, the historian of
the march :


Tuesday evening orders were given that every arrangement should be
made, and every one prepared to start by break of day on the following morn-
ing; accordingl}^ about 2 o'clock, we were aroused from our soothing dreams
of home and "other times" by the loud rattle of the Reveille Drum; and
although the duties of the two preceding days had been extremely fatiguing —
although our slumbers of the past night had been broken without a single
regret, all were ready in an instant; breakfast over, each one receiving his
day's rations and stowing it away in his knapsack, orders were given to "fall
in," and we immediately formed open columns of companies ready to take
up our line of march. It was not far from 4 o'clock; morning light just began
to dawn, when our little battalion consisting of one hundred, moved off with
buoyant spirit and bounding steps, to the sound of the drum and bugle'
greeted by the roar of the cannon, belonging to the Artillery corps in the city.
After having marched something more than a mile, a halt was ordered, the
music ceased, and word was given to advance with the route step. On the
way to New Haven nothing marvelous occurred; — as is almost always the
case in life, we failed to make a proper estimate of our own powers at first
setting out, although frequently cautioned by Capt. Partridge, and told that
"A good soldier would always commence so as to make the last mile as well
as the first," the consequence was that some of us suffered severely from
blistered toes and aching heads. We contented ourselves, however, with the
reflection that these were some of the benefits of Capt. Partridge's system —
benefits that poor human nature is not over fond of enjoying — nevertheless
to know what it is to suffer, and how to bear manfully, is not the least useful
kind of knowledge we can possess. We arrived within a mile of New Haven
about one o'clock, here we waited, agreeably to a previous understanding,
until between three and four o'clock when the Committee came out to wel-
come and escort us into the city. We were marched to the beautiful green
in front of the state house, literally covered with dust and sweat. In a few
moments we were all invited to the houses of the citizens, and received with
a warmth of heart and feeling that could not fail to make a deep and lasting
impression upon the minds of the whole corps. The next morning the cadets
had their usual dress parade, etc., after which they were dismissed for the
day. We now had an opportunity for viewing the city and vicinity, for
vjisiting the public Institutions and attending the sittings of the Legislature.
At an early hour many of the Corps were in the Gallery of the House; here
we had an opportunity to make ourselves acquainted with the manner of
conducting business in legislative bodies and viewing man in the most interest-
ing relation he can bear to his fellow man — sitting in judgment upon their
interests and happiness, investigating the resources, and debating the means
of promoting national wealth and prosperity. These are others of the ad-
vantages afforded by Captain Partridge's system; and if to become acquainted
with public men and public business, if to contemplate man standing in all
possible relations to his fellowmen, if to scan his actions under all circum-
stances, be not an important part of human knowledge, then ought oppor-
tunities for acquiring it have a place in a system of Education designed
to prepare youth for acting well their parts in the drama of human existence.

The afternoon of Thursday was spent in viewing the numerous public
buildings in the city and visiting the splendid cabinet belonging to Yale
College. In the evening Capt. Partridge gave a lecture to a numerous and


deeply attentive audience. After the lecture, the corps, in consequence
of an invitation previously given, attended Mr. Lee's concert at the Columbian
Garden. Friday morning after our usual parade we were reviewed by Gov.
Wolcott, and to the whole corps it must be a source of the greatest pleasure
to know that he expressed in the warmest terms his admiration of their con-
duct and appearance. The remainder of the forenoon was spent in various
military exhibitions, firing, etc. In the afternoon we were ordered to prepare
to return to Middletown. About 7 o'clock, with feelings of deep regret, we
were obliged to bid our new friends adieu, and immediately commenced our
march back. We were waited upon out of the city by the Committee, and
followed by a large concourse of people. After travelling all night, the corps
arrived at Durham; here they rested until Saturday morning when they
returned to the "Academy," and although many of us suffered not a little
from fatigue and pain, all are convinced that in no other way could they have
spent the time so profitably or indeed so pleasantly.

The New Haven Herald, May 24, 1826, gave the following
notice of the cadets in an editorial: "Their marchings, firings,
etc., were executed with admirable precision and effect, and all
their evolutions were performed in a manner which we have never
seen surpassed. Such is the result of proper organization and
regular discipline. The usual discipline of the school was observed
by the cadets while here, their appearance was highly respectable,
their demeanor polite and orderly and their visit gratifying and

Captain Partridge was invited by the corporation of the city
of New York to assist in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the
American Independence, July 4, 1826. The corps numbering
265 cadets, embarked on the steamboat Oliver Ellsworth at
Middletown, Friday night, July 3, but owing to a heavy fog
did not reach the city until 9 a. m. They were received by
Col. Wetmore's regiment of the state militia. The New York
Spectator says: "The precision of the Cadets and, young as
many of them were, the vigor with which they withstood the
fatigues of an intensely hot clay, attracted universal admiration."

The New York Evening Post, speaking of the manoeuvres of
the cadets of the 4th, says : " The accuracy of their manoeuvres
and marchings could not well be surpassed. And when we take
into consideration that each of these soldier boys, some not 14
years old, were harnessed with all the trappings of war, besides a
musket of 14 pounds' weight, their performance was truly astonish-
ing. It seems to show that a military and civil education may
be so combined as to render them a support and ornament mutually
to each other."


In the evening a banquet was given "the corps" by Gen.
Benedict which the various militia officers and many distinguished
guests attended. Among the toasts were the following: "The
Commander and Cadets of the 'A. L. S. & M. Academy' — science,
learning and discipline controlling the ardor of youth and sha-
ping the course of honor and usefulness," by Col. Ingraham,
"The Academy of Middletown — its principles an honor to the
country; the proficiency of its pupils a credit to the talents and
assiduity of the Instructor," by Col. Wetmore; "The volunteer
corps and militia of the State of New York — the right arm of the
civil authority," by Capt. Partridge. On Wednesday a. m.,
July 5, Captain Partridge paraded the corps in front of the
City Hall.

We quote from the New York Evening Post: "The fine
military appearance of the cadets soon attracted several
thousand persons to the spot. After going through the
usual formalities of a regular morning parade, they formed in a line
and commenced a series of well-executed manoeuvres, which would
have done honor to the oldest corps of the regular army. There
were present a number of officers of the U. S. Army and Militia,
who frequently mentioned the great delight and satisfaction they
derived in witnessing the drill of these interesting youths. A
distinguished French general was present, and in the warmest
terms expressed his admiration of the accuracy, rapidity and
precision with which the manoeuvres were executed. The cadets,
at the conclusion of the drill, fired in line, by alternate companies,
the feu de joie, and showed off in great style, firing from the
head of the column and retiring by the flanks to reload. After-
wards they formed in a hollow square, when His Honor, the Mayor,
and several members of the Common Council, marched into the
center. Here Capt. Partridge was addressed as follows by the
Mayor :

"Sir — I cannot permit the fine corps under your command
to leave the city, without expressing the admiration I have experi-
enced in witnessing their military performances, and in the name
of the Corporation, tendering you our thanks, and those of our
fellow citizens, for your kind and well-timed visit. We have
been delighted and astonished to witness, in so young a corps,
the most perfect discipline and gentlemanly deportment; and
the splendor of our late jubilee has greatly been enhanced by
their presence. It is the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration
of Independence, and the citizens of New York have made ex-


traordinary preparations for its celebration; but no part of the

Online LibraryWilliam Arba EllisNorwich University, 1819-1911; her history, her graduates, her roll of honor (Volume 1) → online text (page 5 of 61)