Vermont Historical Gazetteer
A Local History of
ALL THE TOWNS IN THE STATE
Civil, Educational, Biographical, Religious and Military
THE TOWNS OF WINDHAM COUNTY,
WITH HISTORIES OF
SUTTON IN CALEDONIA COUNTY, AND BENNINGTON IN
ABBY MARIA HEMENWAY.
MRS. CARRIE E. H. PAGE,
Gazetteer Pages 217-270
BY REV. AMOS FOSTER
A peaceful town with rural scenery fair
As pictures on the painted canvass are,
That has its little history to be told,
upon these pages. choicely here unrolled
By one its Pastor forty years, we're told
This town is bounded north by Westminster, cast by Connecticut River, separating it from Westmoreland; south by Dummerston, and west by Brookline. It is 13 miles south of Bellows Falls, and 10 north of Brattleboro. The Vermont Valley Rail Road passes through the eastern border, there being two stations, one called Putney, the other, East Putney.
It extends on the Connecticut River from north to south about 5 miles, and from the eastern to the western boundary between 6 and 7 miles, and contains, as reported by Asa Washburn, Esq., Vt. state's Assessor in 1814 15,791 acres and 70 rods. In variety and beauty of scenery, it is surpassed by few country places. In the easterly part of the town is the
so called from its earliest history, formed by a large bend in the river. The meadow comprises not far from 500 acres. The soil is rich, easy of cultivation, and yields abundant crops of grass, corn, and other kinds of grain. The Great Meadow is seen to good advantage in passing through Westmoreland on the Cheshire Rail Road; and in midsummer, the prospect from that point is most enchanting. It is said, that the Hon. Edward Everett, once passing over that road, was so delighted with the prospect that he could not suppress his emotions. He broke forth in a strain of eloquence to the great admiration of his fellow passengers.
Back from the river, the town is agreeably diversified with swells of land and intervals, susceptible of high cultivation and very productive.
presents a distinguishing feature in the. physical aspect of the town. This is a never-failing stream flowing from the west part of Westminster, receiving in its passage many tributary streams, and emptying into the Connecticut about a mile east of the village. This brook runs through a large meadow, at the lower end of which is The Village of Putney. The meadow is enriched by its frequent overflowings, and from year to year yields abundant crops of grass.
The Street (so called) passes from the village in a northerly direction, west of the meadow, for the distance of two miles and is lined with comfortable residences the whole distance. The traveler going north is delighted with the abundant verdure of the meadow and with Bare Hill crowned with pines and other evergreens, on the right; and he is no less pleased with the majestic swells of land and flourishing and productive fields, on the left.
Leaving the street, and taking a westerly course on what was formerly called the "County Road," leading to Newfane and Townshend, the traveler passes over West Hill, easy of ascent, presenting a varied aspect of beauty and fertility. The writer has ever considered the soil in this part of the town of a superior quality, and the advantages to the agriculturest of the first order. Yet for some reason, there has for forty years past, been a gradual decrease in the number of inhabitants; and many of the farms have been appropriated to grazing purposes. Cattle and sheep now occupy those fields which were once cultivated by the hand of man.
But the physical aspect at West Hill, and the magnificent prospect there presented still remain. As the traveler passes on to the summit, he is struck with wonder and delight. Beckley in his history of Vermont thus graphically describes the scene :
The view from this eminence is rich and majestic. Few places are more enchanting. As you face the south, you have on your right the narrow and deep valley of West River; and on your left the somewhat broader one of the Connecticut, some two thousand feet below you. Then the whole compass of the horizon to a great extent opens to your view, excepting a few degrees on the north being intercepted by a clump of trees. A large portion of the south west of New Hampshire, the northwestern of Massachusetts, and the southern section of Vermont is before you. From the Connecticut valley, your eye goes over hill and dale, clearings and wood lands, villages, hamlets and cottages, till it reaches the summit of the Monadnock. and thence north on the blue highlands towards the White Hills. The silvery surface of the Connecticut below Brattleboro, distant 10 or 15 miles, and the irregular and broken ridges of Southern Vermont and Franklin County in Massachusetts, come in sight; and the summit of the Green Mountains far to the north with their endless variety of shapes. with the Haystack, and Saddleback, and Stratton cliffs, limits your view on the right, but fixes your attention in silent admiration.
The original growth of forest trees, consisted of beech, birch, oak, maple, butternut and elm. The Great Meadow abounded with yellow pine; while the higher flats or plains were covered with white pines of majestic growth. In the valley through which Sackett's brook flows was one of the noblest groves of pines anywhere to be found. They lifted their heads to a vast height, the boughs closing over the traveler, rendering it dark, even at mid-day.
THE ROCK FORMATIONS
on the east side of Sackett's brook, are mostly mica slate, abounding with garnets and stauretide. Through the centre of the town run the extensive strata of argillite or roof slate. West of this range comes the mica slate again, interspersed with a hard, black lime-stone. In the east part of the town is found a very rare mineral, known by the name of fluate of lime, or fluor-spar, of a beautiful, emerald green. Specimens of this have been sent to the most distinguished mineralogists in this country and in Europe.
This town was early inhabited by the aborigines of our country, as appears from the discovery of arrows, spears, hoes, and broken pots. In several places on the intervals, when the settlements of the whites began, they found heaps of stones, evidently brought by hand from the high lands, bearing the marks of fire, and supposed to have constituted the fire-places of the Indian wigwams. But, what were the names or the number of the natives who occupied these grounds, or whether they had a permanent, or only an occasional residence, is not known. Previous to the
FIRST FRENCH WAR.
or the Cape Breton War, 1744, a settlement by whites was commenced on the Great Meadows, and a fort was built near the centre, called Fort Hill. The first attack made on the Fort by the Indians was on July 5, 1745. The sad fate of one of these settlers is worthy to be recorded; it is that of
He was captured by the Indians, while hoeing corn, near the south west corner of the meadow; was carried into the woods, and left in the care of one of the Indians, while the other was absent. Phipps watched his opportunity, and with characteristic intrepidity, with his hoe struck down the Indian in whose keeping he was; and seizing the gun of his fallen enemy, he gave the other who was returning, a fatal shot. He then attempted to seek refuge in the fort; but before reaching it, he was met by three other Indians who took his life. In the October following, the enemy again appeared at the Great Meadow and made an attack upon the garrison. An effectual resistance was made, one Indian killed, and the fort remained uninjured.
cutting wood one fourth of a mile from the fort, was captured. At this juncture, two men David Rugg and Robert Baker, were descending the river in a canoe; when perceived by the Indians they were fired upon; Rugg was killed. while Baker gained the opposite shore and escaped. Howe was carried to Canada, where he died. During this war, which began in 1744, and ended with the treaty of Aix la Chapelle, in Oct. 1747, the settlement was broken up, the fort destroyed and the people fled to places of greater safety.
In February 1755, a family by the name of Averill removed from Westminster to the Great Meadow. This family originally came from Shirley, Mass. to Charlestown, N. H., or No. 4. as it was then called. This was in 1744. The Cape Breton war coming on they fled to Northfield, Mass. After the close of the war, in 1751, they removed to Westminster, and from Westminster they came to Putney, as above stated. Here, they found Philip Alexander and John Perry with their families; also Michael Gilson, unmarried, with his mother and two sisters. These were from Massachusetts and were the first permanent settlers in town, and were the only white persons known within its limits.
Early in 1755, hostilities again commenced, and for their safety, the few inhabitants built another fort, in the south east part of the Meadow. In this enterprize they were joined by a considerable number from Westmoreland; among whom was Mr. Aldrich. the father of General Aldrich, Daniel Howe, Thomas Chamberlain, Joshua Warner, Daniel Warner. Harradon Wheeler, and Samuel Minott. At the close of the war, they all returned to Westmoreland, except Samuel Minott, who became a permanent citizen. Dr. Joseph Lord and William Willard joined the garrison during the French war.
The fort was of an oblong form, 120 feet in length, by 80 in width, and 17 feet high. It was constructed of hewn pine timber 6 inches thick. Some 16 houses were built within this fort; the back walls of the houses being formed by the wall of the fort, each with a single roof slanting up to the top of the wall. The houses fronted the hollow square in the centre. A great gate opened towards the east, and a small one towards the south. Here was a garrison of 12 men during the summer. A guard was kept while the men were at work, and they usually carried their arms into the field with them. No open attack was made upon the fort; though the Indians occasionally came shouting around it, rendering the night hideous.
The Meadow was now mostly in a rude state, being covered with yellow pine; with here and there a white pine and white oak, stretching their lofty boughs towards the heavens. Col. Willard, who owned the land, it is said, gave the use of it as a consideration for building the fort and defending it during the war.
LIEUT. JOSHUA HYDE.
In the summer of 1762, Lieut. Joshua Hyde made a purchase of a large tract of land in the east part of the town, and in the same year, he removed his family to a house near the river, about 50 rods south of the old Westmoreland bridge. Previous to this, there were but two families in town, except those in the Great Meadow, viz : the family of John Perry and that of Philip Alexander. Their residences were about a mile south of the Meadow. Both had been inhabitants of the Fort. There were now no mills and the people were subjected to the inconvenience of carrying their grain for grinding to Northfield, Mass and Chesterfield, N. H.
In 1764, Benjamin Hutchins and Samuel Skinner settled in the east part of the town near the great bridge. The same year
came from Canterbury, Ct., and purchased a farm on Sackett's brook, at the north end of the street. During the year, he was engaged in making preparations to remove his family, and was the first man who drove a team through the street. In the Spring of 1765, he commenced keeping house in the place where he afterwards died. By this time, Henry Walton, James Cummings, and Moses Johnson had taken up residences on the street. In the year 1768,
HON. NOAH SABIN
of Rehoboth, Mass., removed his family to town. His residence was near that of Joshua Parker. There was now, in addition to those already named, on the street, the families of William Wyman, and Charles Kathan. West of the street were the families of John Butler, Andrew Graham, Michael Law. and Dennis Lochlin. East of the mouth of Sackett's Brook were the families of Jonas Moore, Leonard Spaulding, Fair-bank Moore, and Samuel Allen. By this time, mills were erected, roads to some extent constructed, and conveniences for living multiplied; the diversity of scenery and soil was inviting, and the population rapidly increased.
of the town was from the State of New Hampshire, and bears date, Dec. 26, 1753. It was given to Josiah Willard and others, whose names are not known.
After New York claimed the territory, a charter was obtained from that state bearing date, Nov. 6, 1766.
Grantees under the Charter from New York are the following : Josiah Willard, Joshua Hide, Daniel Hubbard, Josiah Willard, Junior, Lois Butler, Thomas Frink, Jeremiah Hall, Joseph Hammond, Thomas Hill, Eunice Willard, Elijah Alexander, Sampson Willard, John Ellis, Henry Foster, Thomas Lee, Micah Lawrence, John Gould, James, Scott, and Nehemiah Houghton.
The town was organized, and the first town officers chosen, May 8, 1770. The record of this date is as follows :
"At a meeting of the Freeholders and Other Inhabitants of the Town of Putney on the second Tuesday of May, According to Charter, Capt. William Perce was Chosen Moderator for said Meeting, and the following persons was chosen to serve the Town in their respective Offices for the Ensuing year, [viz.] Suppervisor Noah Sabin; Town Clark, Noah Sabin; Assessors, Capt. Abijah Moor and Samuel Minott; Treasurer, Sept. Joshua Hide; Survayors of the Highways, Benjamin Wilson and .John Warner; Overseers of the Poor, Joshua Parker and Samuel Minott; Colector, James Cumings; Constables, Amos Haile, Jonathan Houghton, and John Perry - and the said meeting was adjorned to the Second Tuesday of July at the house of Ensign Comings in said Putney at One of the Clock on said day."
By subsequent records, it seems that other necessary officers of the town were chosen from time to time, such as selectmen, listers, grand and petit jurors, leather sealers, tithing-men, hayward, branders of horses, sealers of horses, sealers of weights and measures, pound-keepers, fence viewers. These officers all had their appropriate duties to perform, at once suggested to the minds of those in advanced years, however strangely the names of some of them may sound in the ears of the young.
At a regular town meeting held Mar. 15, 1784, it was voted to, " Choose a committee of seven to divide the town into districts for the benefit of schoolling.
At another meeting it was voted to " except of the report of the committee for dividing the town into school districts. "It was also voted to" Choose one or more meet persons in each school districts as trustees of school affairs as the law directs." Accordingly twelve "meet persons," whose names are given, were chosen for the above purpose; from which it may be inferred, that the town was originally divided into 12 school districts.
A change, however, was afterwards made. Originally, a part of what is now Brookline belonged to Putney, embracing the somewhat abrupt descent on the west side of the Hill, as far as Grassy brook. The vote of the town, passed Oct. 6, 1794, in reference to the excision was as follows :
"Voted to set off the westerly part of this town to join the south part of Athens, or some other town, as the General Assembly of this State may think fit; the bounds of said west part he as follows : (viz) ‘Beginning on Westminster line at the north east corner of lot No. 1, in the 13th range, and running southerly to the south west corner of lot No. 8, in the 14th range; from thence to the north west corner of Samuel Bennet, Jr's. lot; then on the west line of said Bennet's lot, and the west line of Capt. Ezekiel Wilson's lot to Dummerston line.’
According to the charter from New York, 19360 acres of land were originally comprised within the limits of Putney. By this action, some 3569 acres were cut off; leaving 15791. as reported by assessor Washburn in 1814.
In consequence of this action, a new arrangement in regard to school districts became necessary. At a meeting called Oct. 15, 1795, to act on the subject, a committee previously appointed made report that the town be divided into 8 school districts; which report was adopted and the dividing lines were particularly described. Other changes were afterwards made, and the number of school districts at the present time is 10.
From the organization of the town in 1770, the population continued to increase by immigration and otherwise, so that, according to Thompson, in 1791, the number of inhabitants was 1848. Subsequently, the population began to decrease, and in 1860, it was only 1163. Emigration has had its influence. But other causes have had their effects. Once it was common to find large families, consisting, in many cases, of eight, ten, twelve, and more children. There are those now living who distinctly remember three families dwelling near each other in which were 42 children; in one there were 13, in another, 14, and in another, 15. Now, as we pass from house to house, we find one, two, three, and sometimes more children; but quite commonly none at all. And in school districts, where once there were 40 or 50 scholars, we now find but 15 or 20. And in two localities, where formerly there were schools of a respectable number of scholars, no schools are now supported. These changes are common to our rural towns, and they afford matter for reflection to thinking minds.
The early inhabitants were social in their habits, kind and genial in their intercourse with each other and sympathetic in seasons of sickness and bereavement. A record is now in existence showing the action of the town 70 years ago in reference to the conducting of funerals. which is highly creditable to their moral sense and Christian sympathy.
They were a reading people. A large social library was for many years in existence, consisting of the standing authors of that period and although the advantages for an early education were limited, yet the people generally were well informed. The writer was intimately acquainted with one far advanced in life. 50 years ago who, in her youth, had enjoyed but three weeks' schooling : yet, in point of general intelligence, it would be difficult to find her superior. With civil and ecclesiastical history, the biographies of distinguished individuals, and religious treatises then extant, she was familiar, and her conversation on these subjects could not fail of being edifying to any one.
In general, those who succeeded the early inhabitants have been intelligent, moral. and industrious. As a consequence, the common comforts of life have not been wanting. The vices that have existed are such as may be found elsewhere; and there has always been a conservative influence operating which has held in check those disposed to do wrong. Outbreaking crimes have been very few.
have engaged attention generally, and in these the people have been successful. Few towns afford greater facilities for the farmer. The soil is rich and productive. The "Great Meadow " has ever been proverbial for its heavy crops of grain. The farms back from the river are excellent for grazing purposes, and the herds of cattle and sheep have yielded profitable returns to their owners. The reports of the annual County and State fairs have borne testimony to the superior quality of the horses, cattle and sheep which the town has produced.
For a number of years past A. M. Winslow and sons have been extensively engaged in the raising and sale of the short horn Durhams. As a specimen of the size and weight of these animals,
"THE DUKE OE PUTNEY"
may be named, less than two years old, weighing 1600 pounds. These cattle are sold in various parts of New England at very high prices.
Considerable attention is also paid to manufacturing and mechanical operations. On Sackett's brook which, in the distance of 80 rods, falls 180 feet, is a woolen-mill, owned by the
PUTNEY WOOLEN COMPANY,
George S. Coffin, Agent, doing a very considerable business in the manufacture of mixed flannels. The factory is 80 feet long by 32 wide, and 4 stories high. Adjoining this is a weaving-room 100 feet long, by 25 feet wide. A very commodious boarding-house belongs to the company.
[Since the foregoing account of the Woolen Mill was written the whole establishment has been sold. The large building is taken down and the materials removed. The boarding-house is owned by Mr. Lewis, and is fitted up in beautiful style for the accommodation of boarders for a longer or shorter period.]
Next is a paper mill owned by John Robertson, in which $7000 is invested aside from the real estate. Stock from 150 to 200 tons is annually worked up, yielding from $30,000 to $40,000 worth of paper. Another paper-mill is owned by William Robertson, doing a business of some $29,000 annually.
There are also, a saw and grist-mill, a furniture-shop, a chair-shop, a blacksmith-shop, and a harness-shop, and Clark Roberts is largely engaged in the business of carriage-making. Messrs. George L. Pierc and Herbert L. Wheat are the two Merchants. Mr. Wheat is Postmaster.
THE VILLAGE OF PUTNEY
is pleasantly situated in the valley of Sackett's brook, containing within its limits, besides the buildings already referred to, 75 dwelling-houses, two churches, 1 hotel, 2 school-houses, a beautifully constructed Masonic hall, and a very commodious Town House. The latter was built in the summer of 1871, at an expense of some $11,000.
It contains a spacious Town Hall, a large room for a High School, and four smaller rooms, for various useful purposes.
Since the opening of the Vermont Rail Road, a Post Office has been established in East Putney, named by the Post Office Department,
A lively business is here carried on, in the lumber trade and the manufacture of horse-rakes, by Franklin L. Pierce and Warren Parker.
In addition to the residences previously standing, several new ones of taste and beauty have recently been erected, rendering this section of the town inviting.
Noah Sabin, Sen., Amos, Haile, Matthew, Cushing, Daniel Sabin, John Talbut, William Stephenson, to 1796
1797 - 98: Noah Sabin, Jr.
1790 - 99: Daniel Sabin.
1800 - 03: Medad Combs
1804 - 27: Noah Sabin, Jr.
1828 - 29: Asa Houghton.
1830 - 34: James Lowe.
1835 - 43: William Houghton.
1844: William Wilder.
1845 – 67: William Houghton.
1868 - __ : A. B. Hewett.
The primary schools have compared favorably with the same order of schools in other towns. Well qualified teachers have generally been employed; and it could be said of nearly all our youth, that they possessed a good common education. Besides the schools just named, "select schools" were for many years sustained, in which the higher English branches, and the languages preparatory to admission to college, were taught. Instructors of superior qualifications were employed, and many youth were enabled to make those attainments in useful knowledge, by which they were prepared for the stations in life which they were called to fill. Others have been sent abroad to enjoy advantages still greater than any that could be found at home.
Luke Bowen, Luther Jewett, Samuel B. Goodhue, Reuben Washburn, Asa Keyes, Henry Crawford, Samuel Fletcher, John H. Noyes, Horatio Noyes, William White, George Ash, Jerome Allen, Henry D. Foster, and Wilder Harding.
Those who have entered the ministry from Putney are the following :
Luke Bowen, Luther Jewett, Samuel Fletcher, George Ash. Jerome Allen, Congregationalists :
Nathaniel Cudworth, and Forris Moore, Baptists:
Charles Harding and Samuel A. Cushing. Methodist.
Elisha Rood, Josiah Goodhue, John Campbell, 1st. Luther Jewett, Alexander Campbell, Nathaniel Chamberlain, John Campbell, 2d. David Allen, N . Bemis, Gustavus H. Loomis, E. W. Morse, H. D. Holton, D. P. Webster, G. S. Foster, E. S. Munger.
John Griffin, Phineas White. (see Biographical Sketch).
born in Putney May 30, 1787, graduated at Dartmouth college in 1810, after teaching 2 years in Chesterfield, N.H., studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1811. He immediately commenced practice in Putney and continued it till 1833. Since which he has resided in Brattleboro, pursuing his profession to the present time. (1869.) He has held the office of judge of probate and justice of the peace; has been a member of the house of Representatives for 3 years, a member of the Senate 2 years, and a Trustee of the Vermont Asylum for the Insane for about 20 years.
[Judge Keyes has since deceased. See History of Brattleboro, this volume for a biographical sketch. Ed.].
commenced the practice of law in Putney, where he remained a few years, and then removed to Ohio.
after a short practice of the legal profession, entered the ministry. For many years past, he has been connected with the religious press in the city of New York,
was a native of Haverhill,. N. H.; graduated at Dartmouth College in 1822, and studied law with the Hon. Moses P, Payson of Bath, N. H.
In 1828, he commenced his profession in Claremont, N. H., where he resided 10 years and was twice elected to the legislature, Sept. 2, 1834, he married Frances Mary, daughter of the Hon. Phineas White of Putney, to which place he removed in 1839, and continued the practice of his profession He served 3 years in the office of States Attorney, and has been a member of the Senate and of the house of Representatives 6 years. For the past 6 or 8 years he has turned his attention principally to farming,
The preceding statements having been made by Mr. Kimball himself, it is due to him that some additional remarks be made. For more than sixty years the writer has enjoyed his acquaintance, and during this whole period it may be truly said he sustained an irreproachable character. In college, though not a professor of religion, he strictly observed the rules of the Institution; and in point of scholarship, he was among the first in his class. While in the practice of law at Claremont, he made a profession of religion, and soon after his removal to Putney in 1839, he united with the Congregational church in this place, and during the more than forty years of his residence here, his life was beautifully adorned by the Christian graces. His social qualities were of a high order, and his agreeable and instructive interviews endeared him to all classes, both old and young. His place in the house of God was seldom vacant on the Sabbath, and he was usually present at the meetings during the week. He always manifested a deep interest in the cause of religion, and its prosperity was an object of his efforts and his prayers. The sufferings of his last sickness were borne with sweet submission and his hope of final acceptance was in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ. He died Feb. 25, 1884, aged 87 years and nearly 5 months, leaving an afflicted widow, and only son, and a large circle of other friends to mourn their loss.
From 1777 to 1862, reported by the Secretary of State :
1777: Dennis Lochlin.
1778: Abner Miles.
1779 : " " and Amos Haile.
1780: Amos Haile, Daniel Martin.
1781: Daniel Jewett, Lucius Wilson.
1782: Noah Sabin, Lucius Wilson.
1763: " " " "
1784: Lucas, Wilson, James Haile.
1785: Lucas Wilson.
1786 : Daniel Jewett.
1787: Noah Sabin.
1788, 1789 Daniel Jewett.
1790 - '96: John Campbell.
1797 - 1800: Daniel Jewett.
1801: Josiah Goodhue.
1802: James Fitch.
1803 - '07: Daniel Jewett.
1808 '09: David Leavitt.
1810, '11: Willard Taft.
1812, '13: Nathaniel Chamberlain.
1814: David Leavitt.
1815, -'20: Phineas White.
1821, '22: Joseph Winslow.
1823: Theophilus Crawford.
1824: 1825: None.
1826 - '27: Asa Keyes.
1828, '29: David Crawford,
1830 - '31: John Campbell.
1832 - '33: David Crawford.
1834, - '35 - '36: Crawford.
1838: Forris Moore.
1839, - 40: John Smith.
1841 - 42: Henry H. Barton.
1843 - 44: Joseph T. Radway.
1845: James Keyes.
1846, - 47: Walter P. Richardson.
1848 - 49 . Warren B. Richardson.
1850 - 51 Mark Crawford.
1852 - 53: Charles Blood.
1854, 55: Phineas D. Keyes.
1856, 57: John Kimball.
1858 - 59: Aaron Hitchcock.
1860 - 61: James J, Johnson.
1862 - 63: Charles Shrigley.
1861: John Kimball.
1865 - 66: David R, Cobb.
1867 - 68: John Robertson.
1869 - 70: Samuel E. Wheat.
1872 - 74: Dan P. Webster.
1876: Sterne O. Packer.
1878: William Robertson.
1880: Denison Davis.
1882: George H. Phillips.
In early days, considerable attention was paid to Military affairs. There was a large company of militia in the West part; and another in the East part of the Town. Besides these, there was a company of light infantry and one of cavalry or troops, as they were then called. These companies frequently met for the purpose of drilling; the annual meeting was the first Tuesday of June. These occasions drew together a large number of persons of all ages, and they were seasons of hilarity and mirth. The system was at length broken up by legislative enactment.
In our Revolutionary struggle, Putney bore an honorable part. Twenty-four of her sons were in the war, viz: Daniel Adams, Samuel Bennett, *Daniel Brown, Seth Carey, Abram Houghton, David Foster, Caleb Houghton, Elijah Houghton, Joshua Hyde, *Zenas Hyde, Daniel Jewett, Elisha Johnson, *Moses Johnson, ____ Kathan, Daniel Martin, Aaron M. Martin, Isaac Palmer, * John Smith, *Ezekiel Pierce, *John Stowers, James Upham, George Ware, *Luke Wilson, Ezekiel Wilson.
In the war of 1812, was David Crawford, concerning whom in Gardner's Dictionary of the army of the United States, is the following record:
"David Crawford, Vt. Second Lieut. 7 May 1812. First Lieut., June 1813. Adjutant 11 Regt, Infantry, 1814. Distinguished in the battle of Niagara Falls, Brigadier Major, distinguished in Gen'l. Brown's Sortie at Fort Erie, Sept, 17, 1814, in which he was wounded. Capt. Sept. 17, 1814.
In 1815, at the close of the war, he was retained in his full rank, the army being reduced to a peace establishment of 10,000; but not intending to spend his days in the army, he declined the honor.
He afterward held various civil offices; was representative from 1828-1833; a member of the last executive council in 1835; elector of president and vice president in 1836; senator from Windham County in 1840-41; member of convention to act upon proposed articles in altering the State constitution in 1843; member of the council of censors in 1848; a justice of the peace for 25 years.
Samuel Bennett, Jr. Wilder Brown, Herbert C. Deming, Waterman Joy, Comfort Joy, Abel Steele, John Brown, Asa Washburn, Jr., were also in the war of 1812.
1861 - 1865
VOLUNTEERS FOR THREE YEARS
Credited previous to the call for 300,000, Oct. 17, 1863.
NAMES, REG. CO.
Henry H. Black, 8 I
James F. Black, Do
Benj. R. Blair, 11, G
John Blake, 4, F
Dorr Blood, 2, C
Geo. D. Brown, S, I
Otis L. Brown, Do
Roswell Burnham, 11 E
Wm. C. Butler, Cav. F
Henry C. Campbell, 2 C
Simeon C. Clark, 11 E
Ebenezer F. Cross, Do
Seymour N. Crouch, 4 F
Calvin W. Daggett, 11 E
*William H. Haradan, 4 F
+ James Houghton, Do
Jerome M. Houghton, Do
*Warren V. Houghton, 4 C
Alonzo D. Kerr. 8 I
Horatio Knight. 4 F
Charles Knox, 8 I
Lewis Lane, 3 A
+ William E. Morse, 4 I
George Mandell, 11 G
Walter J. Parker, 8 I
Charles F. Phillips, Do
Franklin C. Pierce, 2 C
John T. Pierce, Cav. F
*Edward R. Pratt, 8 I
Edwin A. Puffer, Cav. F
Horace E. Roberts, 4 F
*William H. Roberts, Do
+Samuel C. Robertson Do
John Rowe Do
Arba N. Sampson. 2 C
Willard W. Sawyer. 8 I
Leroy Shelley, Do
Charles S. Smith. Do
Henry J. Smith, Do
Jeremiah Spear, 11 G
John A. Thewing, Cav. F
Charles L. White, 2 S S H
James D. Willard, 4 F
William F. Willard, 2 C
+Andrew J. Wood, 8 H
+William R. Underwood, 11 G
Charles H. Upham, Do
SOLDIERS UNDER CALL OF
Oct 13, 1863 for 300.000, and credits under subsequent calls.
NAMES. REG. Co.
John Blanchard, 8 I
*Charles J. Blood. Do
William Burton, Cav. I
*John R. Campbell, 4 I
*Edwin G. Carpenter, Do
Gregory Daggett, I S S F
John Fackney, 7
Charles H. Elliot. 4
Barney Flinn, Cav.
Albro V. Ford, 8
Daniel W. Hagar, Do
+George W. Haradan, 8 D
James Jackson, 10
Lorenzo P. Joy, 4 F
Warner W. Kerr, 8 I
George Matthews, Cav.
Patrick Mooney, 4 G
Samuel S. Penfield 8 K
+Hiram O. Phillips, 8 I
*John C. Pierce, Cav. F
Lewis J. Townshend, 8 I
James E. Whitney. 10
Martin Wilson, Cav.
Ephraim Wood, 8 F
VOLUNTEER FOR ONE YEAR,
ENROLLED MEN WHO FURNISHED SUBSTITUTES:
Albert Abbott, John Robertson.
James P. Whitney, 8 I
VOLUNTEERS FOR NINE MONTHS.
NAMES. REG. Co.
Ira S. Blanchard, 16 I
Henry J. Burnham, 16 B
+Watson C. Burnham, Do
Alphonzo C. Cobb. Do
Henry H. Holland, Do
George A. Houghton. Do
+Charles H. Pierce, Do
John D. Pierce, 16 I
*Willard M. Pierce, Do
Richard Dennis, 16 B
Lyman B. Wood, Do
FURNISHED UNDER DRAFT AND PAID COMMUTATION :
John P. Austin, Norman Cobb, Jr., Warren Davis, Albert Glynn, Lewis F. Holbrook, Peleg Winslow, Leverett K. Wellman, C. P. Wood.
PROCURED SUBSTITUTES :
Josiah H. Buffum, Henry D. Holton, Henry H. Laughton, John A. Moore, Frederick H. Wilson.
ENTERED SERVICE. REG. CO.
Hugh C. Campbell, 6 I
Charles R. Daggett, 6 B
+Died of disease.
In 1770, immense number of worms overspread the ground, like the worms of Egypt, by which the corn and grass were very much destroyed. But the corn so far recovered as to produce a tolerable crop. In 1793. the canker worm destroyed all the fruit. The leaves of the trees were so far devoured, that nothing but the stems were left. In 1823, in certain groves in the west part of the town for a mile or two in extent, a worm resembling the caterpillar that infests the apple-tree, appeared and consumed entirely the leaves of the maple, ash, beech, and some other trees, so that many of them died.
In Aug. 19, 1788 a violent tempest swept over the country and prostrated a large portion of the forest trees whose decaying trunks long remained as a monument of the violence of the storm. The sugar maple was so far destroyed, that but little sugar was made for many years.
There have been a number of severe freshets in Connecticut River by which more or less damage was done on the Great Meadow. In some cases the water has risen so high as to oblige the people to leave their houses.
In 1828, there was a freshet on Sackett's brook, which swept off most of the mills and bridges. The woolen-mill, paper-mill, black-smith-shop and other property was destroyed.
In 1813, the spotted fever prevailed to an alarming extent Rev. Mr. Andrews left a record descriptive of the epidemic, as follows:
"The fall of the year, 1812, was steadily, but not severely cold. On the last of November there fell about 4 inches of snow, which a few hours of sun would have carried off. But the cold was so uniform, that the snow lay without increasing or diminishing till the first of January. There then came considerable snows; but the cold was for the most part not severe, but very uniform. The weather was dry and clear, such as has generally been deemed most conducive to health. The fever began to rage the first week in January and continued with violence till the last of March, and did not wholly subside till May. There were between 200 and 300 cases of the epidemic, called the spotted fever. It was generally a very malignant typhus. From the 9th of January to the 13th of April, there were 38 deaths. When the thaws and rains commenced in March, the sickness abated; and the return of cold days never failed of producing new cases of the fever. So general and distressing a disease had never been known in this section of country."
Some 15 houses of more or less value have been destroyed by fire since the settlement of the town. In 1772, a log-house, standing near the centre of the street, belonging to Michael Law was burned, and three children perished in the flames; a daughter aged about 16 years, a son aged 10, and another son aged 7. The oldest son, aged 18 years had rescued two of the family from the flames, and in attempting to rescue a third, was so burned, that he died in about ten days.
In 1781, a house in the east part of the town, 50 or 60 rods east of Minott's Mills, was struck with lightning. Two persons were instantly killed; Mrs. Warner, the wife of Daniel Warner, and a girl by the name of Nancy Franklin.
In 1831, a house, standing near the old grave-yard on the street was burned, and an aged lady, the wife of Mr. Paul Moore, perished in the flames.
Seven persons have been drowned; Patience Wilson and James Milbury, both in Connecticut river; Thomas Minott, at Minott's mills; Jethro Brown, Archibald Allen, a child of Newell Moore, and another of Thomas Church, in Sackett's brook, near the village.
As illustrative of the resolution and courage of the wives and mothers in the early days of the town, it may be stated that the wife of Lieut. Joshua Hyde thrice narrowly escaped drowning in Connecticut river. Once she run her canoe against a snag under water by which means she was pitched into the river and sunk. She rose with the paddle in her hand, at some distance from the boat. But the currant brought her near it again, so that her daughter 10 years old, was enabled to reach her hand as she was sinking the second time. But, notwithstanding her perilous situation, she had the presence of mind to give directions by which she was safely conducted to the shore.
At another time, as she was passing between a high bank of the river and the water's edge, in stepping round a cake of ice, she was plunged into deep water. The weather was intensely cold. She had the fortitude and strength to gain the shore, and by the help of her husband, she reached home, but not till she had almost perished with cold.
At still another time, as she was passing the river on the ice, she stepped upon a board laid on a weak place in the ice, which gave way, and she was supported only by the board. Her danger was imminent. But using her remarkable discretion, she succeeded in keeping herself out of water, till a man came to her rescue.
Also, Philip Black, aged 17 years, was drowned in the Connecticut river, at Ware's ferry, Putney, while bathing one day in July 1882.
Within the period of 30 years, 47 persons have died between 80 and 90 years of age. In the same period 15 persons died whose united ages amount to 1411 years. The average is 94 years. The oldest person who has died in town was Mrs. Susanna Gould. She died Sept. 12, 1835, aged 104 years and 5 months.
Names and ages of persons in Putney, who have died from 1834 to 1884.
NAMES YEAR. AGE.
Asa Washburn, 1834, 77.
Mrs. Lamb, " 75.
Benjamin Reed, 1835, 82.
Susanna Gould, " 104.
Ruth Adams, " 84.
Mrs.. Radway, 1836. 81.
Hannah Snow, " 81.
Mary Alpin, " 85.
Wilmot Radway, 1837 82.
Gideon Moore, " 77.
Mrs. Asa Washburn, „ 77.
John Weir, " 89.
Jedediah Sabin, „ 77.
Daniel Martin, " 86.
Addington Daniels. 1838, 86.
Daniel Adams, " 82.
Lydia Jones, 1839, 91.
George Metcalf, " 79.
Lydia Fitch, " 85.
Eunice McClellan, " 89.
Alexander Campbell, " 90.
Bridget Keyes, " 77.
John Reed, 1840, 83.
Caleb Harding, " 76.
Jonas Keyes, " 80.
Bethana Clay, " 98.
Samuel Cudworth. " 70.
Jephtha Moore, " 77.
Widow Miles, " 83.
Zenas Hyde, 1841 82.
Sally Lowell, " 71.
John Noyes, " 78.
Ruth Pierce, " 81.
Hannah Joy. 1812, 85.
Huldah Reed. " 82.
Elenor Perry, " 79.
Polly Houghton, " 76.
Sarah Whitney. 1843 79.
Jane Hyde. " 77.
Mrs. Josiah White. " 78.
Ebenezer Ash, " 77.
Mrs. Blandon, " 78.
Widow Lord, " 84.
Elisabeth Aiken, " 78.
Mr. Turner, " 93.
Bethiah Martin, " 86.
Willard Tenney, 1844 72.
Widow Moore, " 82.
Elijah Houghton, " 83.
Thomas Campbell, " 86.
Josiah White, " 83.
Susanna Foster, " 89.
Roswell Parker, " 83.
John Smith, 1845, 85.
John Snow, " 79.
Ezekiel Pierce, " 91.
Rufus Pierce, " 76.
Willard Taft, " 79.
Isaac Palmer, 1846 94.
Dyer Joy, " 79.
Sally Allen, " 76.
Betsey Atwood, 1847, 73.
Benjamin Reynolds, " 84.
Widow Palmer " 80.
Mary Edwards, " 80.
Delira Freeman, " 81.
Freelove Burr, " 76.
Phineas White, " 76.
Widow Goodridge, " 89.
Elizabeth Barton, 1848, 61.
Anna Wilcox, 1849, 78.
Thankful Pierce, " 78.
Timothy Rice, 1850, 70.
Peter Hobert, " 81.
Sarah Hodgkin, " 86.
Elizabeth Reed, " 88.
Charles Cudworth, 1851, 86.
Annis Crawford, " 84.
Samuel Lord, " 84.
Susan Moore, " 78.
Abijah Moore, 1852, 94.
Betsey Houghton, " 76.
Ashbel Johnson, " 70.
Susan Hobert, " 81.
Josiah Hutchins, " 74.
Rebecca Reed, 1853, 86.
Abigail Keyes, " 95.
Ruth Sabin White, " 81.
Sally Houghton, " 72.
Thomas Houghton, 1851, 75.
Mrs. Parker, " 84.
Mrs. Robertson, " 88.
Elizabeth Burdett, 1855, 84.
Newell Moore, " 88.
Mr. Joslyn, " 80.
Mrs. Zeruiah Washburn, 1856, 90.
Jeduthian Baldwin, " 90.
Theophilus Crawford, " 92.
Joshua Fuller, " 70.
Sarah Davis, " 97.
Esther Allen, 1857, 75.
Cromwell Joy " 78.
Amasa Washburn, " 89.
Frank Lovell, 1858, 74.
Esther White, " 82.
Alanson Davis, 1859, 71.
Thomas Aplin, " 79.
Samuel Clark, " 88.
Charles Stewart Houghton, " 70.
Asa Keyes, " 94.
Eunice Campbell, " 81.
Volentine Kerr, " 71
Amos Jones, " 87.
Oliver Blood, 1860, 90.
Eunice Reynolds, " 96.
Katherine Bacon, 1861, 83.
Bethiah Mason, " 87.
Anna Foster, " 96.
Susanna Fuller, " 94.
Susan Reynolds, " 85.
Tryphosa Whitney, 1862, 72.
Nancy Pierce, " 81.
Russell Perry, " 70.
Harriet Morse, " 80.
Jerusha Taft, 1863, 85.
Benjamin Allen, " 88.
Melinda B. Whitney, " 74.
Norman S. Whitney, " 71.
Louis Wood, " 74.
Abner Bacon, 1864, 95.
Jane Blood, " 88.
Mrs. Mundell, " 75.
Trefosa Roberts, 1865, 81.
James Black, 1866, 79.
Daniel Joy, " 73.
Mrs. A. Hosford, " 70.
John Campbell, M.D. " 73.
Epa Cone, " 72.
Joseph Fish, " 72.
Mary Underwood, " 72.
Sally Joy, 1867, 73.
Mary Puffer, " 78.
Hannah Keyes, 1868, 90.
Thomas White, " 76.
Luther Alvord, " 78.
William Bennett, " 74.
Mrs. Luke Baker, " 85.
Joseph Metcalf, 1869, 94.
William M. Clough, " 81.
Samuel Wheat, " 81.
William Houghton, " 75.
Charlotte Jones, " 89.
Jemima Sabin, " 91.
Polly Moore, " 82.
Mrs. Lovell, " 79.
Jabez Miller, " 83.
Rufus Fitts, 1870, 84.
Newell Osgood, " 70.
Louisa Shaw, " 73.
Electa Johnson, " 78.
Loudon Holton, " 81.
Lydia Wilson, 1871, 73.
Mary Black, " 80.
David Crawford, " 81.
Jane Procter, " 82.
William W. Howard, " 76.
Herbert Deming, " 75.
Isaac Palmer, " 82.
Hannah B. Houghton, " 80.
Mary S. Ryan, 1872, 79.
Rodney Laughton, " 81.
Mary R. Alpin, " 94.
Mrs. Artemas Knight, " 81.
Nancy Joslyn, " 75.
Joel Willard, " 74.
David B. Johnson, " 75.
Lydia Wheat Miller, 1873, 78.
Zenas Smith, " 76.
Betsey Cummings, " 84.
Wealthy Smead Clough, " 83.
Daniel Waller, " 89.
Martha Taft, " 74.
Jerusha Hitchcock, " 71.
Israel Keyes, " 89.
Polly Houghton. " 81.
Alfred White, 1874, 86.
Betsey Boyden. " 71.
David Foster, " 77.
Mr. Kerr, " 79.
Joseph Fuller, 1875, 79.
Asa Houghton" " 80.
Mrs. Procter, " 94.
Aaron M. Winslow, " 77.
Mrs. Alfred White, " 84.
Lucinda Towers, " 77.
Reuben Smead, " 77.
Bersheba Wheeler, " 74.
Isaac Procter, " 94.
Mary Cummings Smith, " 86.
Mary Martin, 1876, 74.
Mrs. Thompson, " 73.
Cloe Kidder, " 80.
Elenor Blanchard, " 76.
David Allan M. D., " 79.
Jacob Keyes, " 70.
Mark Pierce, " 82.
Melinda Stoddard, 1877, 82.
Artemas Knight, " 91.
Rebecca B. Smith, " 74.
Fanny Sabin, " 85.
Sophronia Allen, " 71.
Aaron Hitchcock, " 86.
Rebecca Aplin, " 91.
Thursa W. Deming, 1878, 78.
Allen Newell, " 85.
George Lane, " 74.
Franlklin Houghton. " 75
Josiah Burdett, " 78.
Abner Walton, " 78.
Eunice Campbell Cone, " " 79.
Caroline Joslyn, 1879, 82.
Lucy B. Harding, " 80.
Benjamin Joslyn, " 84.
Alexander Edwards, " 74.
Eliza K. Underwood, " 74.
.John R. Harding,. " 81.
Saloma Sabin, " 92.
Mary M. Adams, " 71.
Sarah Jane Bruce, 1880, 81.
Experience Davis, " 92.
Daniel Campbell, " 77.
Isaac Leach, " 79.
Charles Campbell, " 70.
John Baldwin, 1881, 82.
Ira Cummings, " 84.
Mary B. Adams, " 82.
Russell Lamb, " 86.
Lovisa Darby, 1882, 82.
Warren Parker, " 60.
Sarah Booth, " 74.
Reuben G. Page, " 75.
Horace Reynolds, " 79
Charles Blood, " 80.
Mrs. Newton, " 72.
Electa Laughton, " 89.
Harriet Amelia Foster, " 80.
Eliza Knight, " 80.
Martha C. Washburn, 1883, 84.
Patty Church, " 82.
Polly Smith, " 80.
Nelson Crouch, " 76.
Sophia C. Haven, " 09.
Mary Hull Hard, " 76.
Many of the customs of the fathers are doubtless looked upon by those in modern times as curiosities; but to them they had their importance. One of these customs is that of marking their sheep. Each one had his peculiar mark, which was a matter of record in the town books; so that if one of his sheep strayed away the owner could easily distinguish his own among many others. Here is a specimen.
"John Talbert's Ear mark is a squar crop off the left Ear and Hole through Right."
"Samuel Wheet's Ear mark is a Squar croop of the Right Ear. And Two Swollows Tales in the End of the Same."
"Joseph Cushing's Ear mark is a Skew croop the uper Side of the Right Ear."
" Daniel Martin's Ear mark is a squar Crop of the Right Ear and Slit in the End of the Same."
"John Perry's Ear mark is a Squair Croop off each Ear."
"Lucas Wilson's Ear Mark is a Sqaure Crop of the Right Ear, and Two Swollows tales in said Crop and a Slit in the top of the Left."
Several instances of suicide have occurred. John Henry, July, 7, 1818, in a fit of insanity drew out his tongue with a pair of pinchers and cut it off with a razor. But finding the process of dying too slow in this way, with a stick, he twisted his cravat around his neck and thus effected his object.
Daniel Davis, Mar. 21, 1834, ascended the great beams in his barn and with a hammar fractured his skull. He fell to the floor fatally injured. He survived a few days, expressing regret for his rash act.
Lucia Roberts, Nov. 13, 1836, took a large dose of opium, of which she died.
Mrs. Persis Knight, Dec. 3, 1836, cut her throat with a razor. For some months, she had exhibited signs of mental derangement.
Mr. Warren R. Richardson and Valentine A. Kerr both hung themselves; Mr. R. April 27, 1859, and Mr. K. May 27, 1859.
The first child horn in town was Aaron, son of Philip Alexander, who lived on the Meadow. His birth was before the building of the Fort. Tradition says Col. Willard gave him 100 acres of land in commeration of the event. Several other children were born in the Fort.
The first child born off the Great Meadow was Lucy, daughter of Lieut. Joshua Hyde; and the first born on the street was Nathan, son of Joshua Parker, Oct. 30, 1765.
The first natural deaths known to have occurred were those of a Mr. Howe and a Mr. Wheeler, on the Meadow, and they were buried in Westmoreland, N. H.
The first death on the Street was that of Jemima, daughter of Joshua Parker, Sept. 13, 1777.
In 1768, Hon. Noah Sabin, Jr., built the first framed house, towards the upper part of the Street. The same year Mr. Amos Haile built one a little north west, near where the Hon. Theophilus Crawford afterwards lived. Not long after Mr. Moses Johnson built the first two-story-house in town. The house still remains, though not without having undergone alterations and repairs. After having stood a century the frame may be found "as good as new."
was built in the East part by Dea. Minott in 1765. The second was built by Jonathan Houghton a little below the village on Sackett's brook; and very near it was to the first saw-mill, built in 1796.
were established by Capt. Roswell Parker in 1785, in the East part.
opened, was by Peter Wilson in 1770. It stood a little west of the house of Dea. S. W. Houghton. Here, also, was the first tavern.
The second store was kept by Charles Chandler. It stood a few rods north of where James Crawford now lives, and was opened in 1783.
The paper-mill was originally built by Stimpson, Green, and Fairbanks, in the year 1822.
Religious services were held in the Fort on the Great Meadow for two or three years during the French war, conducted by Rev. Andrew Gardner, who had previously been chaplain at Fort Dummer.
The first settlers on the Street were those who loved the institutions of religion; and though few in number, they did not neglect to assemble together for divine worship. For a considerable time meetings were held in private houses or barns, as circumstances might be, generally conducted by Noah Sabin and Joshua Parker, the latter of whom was afterwards a deacon of the church.
The first sermon preached on the Street was by Rev. Mr. Goddard of Westmoreland, N. H., in the house of Mr. Moses Johnson, now owned by Mr. Geo. Hooper. Others were employed to preach for a longer or shorter time, till they were enabled to procure a pastor. Still they were without a house of worship. A meeting was at length called with a view to securing such an object. This meeting was held Jan. 13, 1773. It was voted that the house to he built should be forty feet long, and thirty-five feet wide, and forty feet post. It was also voted :
"That the spot of ground for the said building to be erected and set on, be upon the northly side of the road leading westward towards Townshend, and in the most convenient spot within twenty five rods of the main road (or Brook-road so called), leading through said Town of Putney."
A committee to superintend the business was chosen and the house erected according to the votes here recorded.
The way was now open to take measures for securing a pastor. Two or three ineffectual attempts having been made, the Rev. Josiah Goodhue was employed to preach in the summer of 1776.
The first action taken in reference to the settlement of Mr. Goodhue was as follows:
"Putney July 15, 1776. At a meeting of the inhabitants of this town legally notified and warned agreeable to covenant, first. Voted that Left. Joshua Hyde, be the moderator of this present meeting; 21y voted to give Mr. Goodhue a call to settle with us in the work of the gospel ministry; 3ly voted to give Mr. Goodhue fifty pounds settlement Lawful money of the Bay province; 4ly voted to give Mr. Goodhue fifty pounds salary for the first year, and rise five pounds a year till it gets to sixty pounds and then stop. 5ly voted that Mr. Lucas Wilson and Mr. Jonathan Houghton and Capt. John Kerthan, and Left. Joshua Hyde and Joshua Parker and Mr. Grindal Reynolds and Mr. Michal Law, be a Committee to wait upon Mr. Goodhue and make known the proposals to him.
And then said meeting was dissolved.
MATTHEW CUSHING, CLERK."
To the call extended to Mr. Goodhue in pursuance of the above action, he returned an affirmative answer. As yet no church had been organized, and a council was called for the two fold purpose of organizing a church and installing the pastor. The council commenced Oct. 16, 1776, on which day the Congregational church was organized, consisting of four male members, viz; Rev. Josiah Goodhue, Joshua Parker, John Wilson and Joshua Hyde. On the next day, Thursday, Oct. 17, 1776,
was installed first pastor of the church. Rev. Mr. Reeve of Brattleboro began the public and solemn exercises of the day with prayer. Rev. Mr. Farrar of New Ipswich preached the sermon from I, Tim. III, 1 : "If a man desire the office of a Bishop, he desireth a good work." Rev. Mr. Emerson of Hollis made the prayer before, and gave the charge. Rev. Mr. Bullen of Westminster gave the right hand of fellowship; and Rev. Mr. Webster of Temple made the prayer after the charge, and the whole was conducted and attended with great solemnity and decency.
Mr. Goodhue remained pastor till his death, Nov. 14, 1797. During his ministry 56 were added to the church.
After the death of Mr. Goodhue for more than two years, the church was destitute of a pastor; when a call for settlement was extended to
He was ordained, Feb 19, 1800 and dismissed, Feb. 15, 1803. Two were added to the church under his ministry,
was the third pastor. He was ordained June 25, 1817, and after a happy and useful ministry he was dismissed, May 27, 1827. During this pastorate several seasons of religious interest were enjoyed; but in 1817 a powerful revival took place, the influence of which pervaded every part of the community, producing a most happy effect upon the morals and habits of the people. As the direct result of this revival, 150 persons were added to the church. The whole number added unto the church during Mr. Andrews' ministry was 242.
was the successor of Mr. Andrews. He was installed March 3, 1830, and dismissed, Nov. 1, 1832. Under his ministry 70 persons were received into the church. In December 1832, a call was extended to
of Canaan" N. H. to take the pastoral. charge of the church and society. He accepted the call, and was installed, Feb 13, 1833. This relation continued till Sept, 20. 1853. During this pastorate four seasons of special religious awakening were enjoyed, and 197 members were admitted to the church.
was the next pastor. His installation took place, Jan. 11, 1854. He was dismissed, Dec. 9, 1857.
was Mr. Aiken's successor. He was ordained, Sept. 1, 1858, and dismissed. Feb. 20, 1861. During these two last pastorates, 24 members were added to the church.
For several years after Mr., Grout's dismission, the church was without a settled pastor; but enjoyed the labors of stated supplies.
was employed for four years; during which time 18 members were added to the church. On his retirement, by request of the Church and Society the
resumed his labors as acting pastor on the first Sabbath in February 1866 and closed them Dec. 15, 1872. During this period 45 members were admitted to the church here.
Following Mr. Foster as stated supplies, were Rev. Jehial Claflin, Mr. James Mason and John E. Russell, licentiates, and Rev. Austin Dodge, by which gentlemen, the pulpit was supplied till Apr. 24, 1881, when
commenced his labors as candidate for settlement; and having received a call from the Church and Society, on the 14th of September he was installed as pastor. Reckoning the number since Mr. Harlow's settlement, the whole number received to its membership is so far as can be ascertained, 752.
The following persons have held the office of deacons :
Samuel Minott, elected, June 10, 1778.
Joshua Parker, " " 19, 1778.
Grindall Reynolds. " Apr. 20, 1786.
Matthew Cushing, " " "
Israel Keyes, " Aug. 14, 1805.
Willard Taft, " May 9, 1811.
Jonas Keyes, " " "
Joshua Leavitt " Feb. 11, 1823
Benjamin Reynolds " " "
Nathaniel Chamberlain, " Oct. 30, 1823.
David Crawford, " Mar. 13, 1834.
John Gray, " January, 1835.
David Allen, " Sept. 3, 1846.
Simon W. Houghton, " Feb. 15, 1851.
Alvin G. Keyes, " " "
Franklin L. Pierce, " Aug. 30, 1872.
Frederick R. Cobb, " 1883.
[The Pastor and deacons of 1884, are we understand, the same as in 1883.]
erected in 1773, continued to be occupied until 1803; when a new one more commodious was built on a gentle eminence about midway of the street. It was dedicated Nov. 29, 1803, was continued to be used for public worship till. the spring of 1841, a period of 38 years. It was then taken down and a new house built in a more central part of the village. In the summer of 1867, this house was thoroughly repaired and fitted up in a style of beauty and convenience which does credit to the society. The audience room is in the upper story. In the lower are the vestries; one large for social meetings; the other smaller for the meetings of the Ladies Society.
The introduction of Modern Perfectionism in the year 1834. under the leadership of John H. Noyes, a member of the church, exerted a blighting influence upon the cause of good morals and religion. This sect, while they held to the doctrine of sinless perfection, at the same time embraced sentiments of a most licentious tendency. They enjoyed apparent prosperity for a few years, until their Leader was arrested for a high misdemeanor, and was put under heavy bonds for his appearance for trial at the superior court. He immediately left the state, his bonds were forfeited, and the community broken up. In all measures relative to the offending members, the church acted in perfect harmony, but the deleterious influence of the doctrines and practices of the sect long remained in the community.
[Noyes went from here to Oneida, N. Y., where he established his community. A book entitled "Noyesism Unveiled" by Rev. H. Eastman, a Methodist clergyman and ex-presiding elder, gives a more extensive account than here.]
THE BAPTIST CHURCH.
BY REV. HENRY C. BACON.
was organized, Nov. 12, 1787, consist about 40 members, and composed of persons residing in the West part of the town, - an industrious, thrifty people, mostly farmers.
In the year 1790, a house of worship was erected on the heights near where Oliver Wood now lives, and in 1793
was ordained pastor, who labored with this church several years. In 1818,
was settled as pastor. He was a faithful and highly useful minister. He labored with the church six years, when he laid down his armor to enter into rest.
In 1836, the old meeting-house was taken down and the following year a new house of worship was erected on a new site, far more convenient than the former one.
whose labors this church have enjoyed were Revs. Jonathan Wilson, Lewis Allen, Nathaniel Cudworth, Zibba Howard, Ferris Moore, Caleb Smith, and Calvin Baker.
Many years of spiritual prosperity were enjoyed by the church and goodly numbers were occasionally added to its membership until it became one of the largest and most prosperous of the Baptist churches in the Windham County Association.
Rev. Elisha D. Andrews in his account of the interesting revival of 1816, states that 30 persons united with this church as the fruit of that revival. It may be said of this church that it was a living branch of the "Living Vine." At this period a large proportion of the inhabitants of the town resided in the west part of the town; were a church-going people, their congregations were large on the Sabbath. The church was prosperous until about 1840 or 1845 when in consequence of the large emigration and death of its members the society began to decline and became extinct about 1860 and their house of worship was sold, taken down and the material used for other purposes.
In 1877, what few members of the old church were still living, together with others who had moved into the town during the interval from 1860 to 1877, connected themselves with the First Baptist Church of Brattleboro and in 1879, were organized as a branch-church with 18 members. In December 1879, this Branch Church called
of Hartford, Ct., to labor with them. In October 1880, Brother Parsons was ordained and became pastor of the Branch Church and is its present pastor. Success has crowned the labors of Pastor and people, the members have increased and Jan. 25, 1883,
withdrew from the Brattleboro church and became an
Having no house of worship, they hold their services in the Town Hall.
During the 4 years of this Church's labors, there has been 54 added to its membership, making its present members, 54; and during the past year a site has been purchased and the funds solicited and arrangements made to build a house of worship during the coming season.
THE METHODIST CHURCH.
Although some individuals of this persuasion previously resided in town, yet they were not embodied till about the year 1826, when a class was formed and soon after a church was organized. The first circuit preacher labored in 1869. Considerable additions were made to the church and in 1832 a commodious house was erected in the East part of the town. The society increased in numbers and embraced persons living in different parts of the town and it was at length thought expedient that another house be built in the village. Accordingly, in about 10 years after the first house of worship another was erected in 1842, and from that time to the present, public religious services have been regularly maintained in the latter house while the former has been converted into a hall, and appropriated to various other purposes.
The Methodist society here has been favored with a succession of faithful and devoted preachers, and frequent additions have been made to the church.
Among those whose names are held in grateful remembrance as having been especially active in promoting the interests of the church are Mason Drown and Timothy Underwood. They were among the original members and took a leading part in whatever promised to advance its welfare. Mr. Drown was humble and devoted as a Christian and adorned the religion that he professed. Mr. Underwood was an efficient worker in the cause, not only devoting his time and energies to its advancement, but giving liberally for the support of religious institutions.
For several years after the organization of the church ministerial labor was enjoyed in connection with other towns.
The following are the names of those who supplied the Methodist Church of Putney in the manner above stated.
Revs. Messrs Edward A. Rice, George Putnam, E. Marble, H. J. Wooley, E. B. Morgan, R. Putnam, F. Nutter. H. Webster, W. T. Locke, J. S. Loveand, John L. Smith, N. Howe and F. Guernsey. From 1846, the church has had its regular stated supply, viz :
1846-'47, Hubbard Eastman;
1848, Harvey Webster;
1849, Spencer Tileston
1850-'51, L. C. Dickenson;
1852-,53, J. L. Roberts;
1854, A. L. Pratt;
1855, N. Webster;
1826, J. A. Sherburne;
1857-'58, H. T. Jones;
1859-'60, E. J. Moore;
1861, H. B. Sawyer;
1862, Zenas Kingsbury :
1863-'64, A. C. Stevens;
1865-'66, N. W. Wilder;
1867-.68, R. W. Harlow.
1869, A. M. Wheeler;
1870-'71, L. Dodd;
1872-'73, C. S. Buswell;
1874-'75, J. H. Gaylord;
1876- '77, P. M. Frost;
1878-'79, S. B. Currier;
1880-'81, W. H. Hight ;
1882-'83, F. H. Knight;
Of this denomination, there has ever been a considerable number in town. In 1833, a Society was formed and they had preaching for a few years. For a long time past until recently they have been destitute of preaching of their order. Some two years ago they organized a new Society and employed a minister, Rev. E. Smiley. He has received a call from another place and will soon leave town.
THE FIRST PASTOR OF PUTNEY.
He was the third son of Dea. Samuel Goodhue, and was born in Stratham, N. H., July 1729. His mother's family name was Bartlett. He fitted for college under the instruction of Rev. Daniel Emerson of Hollis, N. H., and graduated at Harvard college in 1755, being a classmate of President John Adams, the elder. He was ordained over the Congregational church in Dunstable, Mass, where he remained about 16 years. Being dismissed from Dunstable at his own request, he came to Putney, where he was installed first pastor of Putney and the fourth settled in the County, Oct. 17, 1776. He remained in this pastorate 20 years; but was released from his public official duties for a year before his death, on account of ill health.
He married for his first wife, Elizabeth Fletcher, daughter of Dea. Fletcher of Dunstable. Mr. and Mrs. Goodhue were the parents of 7 children. One died in its infancy.
Josiah Jr. was for many years a physician, and stood high among the members of his profession.
Joseph was also, a physician, and for a considerable time held the position of a surgeon at Fort Constitution, in New Hampshire.
Elizabeth, the only daughter, married Dea. Peter Aiken of Windham.
Ebenezer was a highly respected deacon of the church in Westminster West.
Samuel Bartlett graduated at Dartmouth College, but never entered any profession.
Nathaniel became a lawyer and settled in the State of Ohio.
Mrs. Goodhue died Oct. 21, 1793. He afterwards married the widow of Mr. Joshua Hyde. She died Feb: 8, 1806. Both these women were persons of high respectability and moral worth. Mr. Goodhue died before his last wife, Nov. 14, 1797, aged 68 years. Many of his posterity are now living and are among the most useful citizens and members of the church of Christ.
At his funeral, a sermon was preached by the Rev. William Wells of Brattleboro, from Job 16, 22, which was published. As a preacher, Mr. Goodhue was strictly evangelical and impressive. As a pastor, he was devoted to the interests of his people, in his visits among them, always making religion some part of the topic of conversation. He was a man of an amiable and kind disposition; prudent and discreet in his conversation, and exemplary in his conduct. Rev. Mr. Wells in his funeral sermon bears the following testimony to his worth :
"I believe you will all agree with me in asserting, piety to God and benevolence to men were leading features in his character. The great object of his life was to be useful in his station as a minister of Christ, and to exemplify in his own conduct those virtues and graces which, with the greatest sincerity, he recommended to others. His end, like that of the godly man, was peace."
was born in Stoneham, Mass., June 4, 1720. He married March 7, 1745, Jemima Davenport of Charlestown. They resided in Boston till 1747; thence removed to Needham; afterwards to Canterbury, Ct., and in 1764 they came to Putney. In 1778 he was chosen deacon of the Congregational church, the duties of which office he discharged with promtitude and fidelity. He was a man of devoted piety, highly respected by those who knew him, and greatly useful as a Christian. Before the settlement of the first pastor, he usually conducted the exercises when the people were assembled for religious purposes. In his intercourse with others, he made religion the theme of conversation, and this was the source of his greatest comfort in life and in death. He died Feb. 21, 1813, aged 92 years. He was the father of six children, some of whose descendants are ornaments in the communities in which they live.
was the son of Rev. Joseph Lord of Charlestown, Mass., and was born in the year 1704. He was a graduate at Harvard College where his father had been educated. in 1724. He entered the medical profession and commenced practice in Sunderland, Mass. In 1734, he removed to Athol with the first settlers of that town. Here he took a leading position among the people; was their physician, religious teacher, magistrate, proprietors' clerk, treasurer, tax gatherer and surveyor. A misunderstanding at length arose between him and the Proprietors, which led to an unhappy legal controversy. In consequence of these difficulties, in 1759, Dr. Lord left Athol and came to Putney. Here his abilities were appreciated. By commissions dated the 16 of July 1766, he was appointed second Judge of the Court of common Pleas and a Justice of the Peace for Cumberland, now Windham County. These commissions were renewed on two subsequent occasions, and he was continued in office till the Revolution.
As the infirmities of age came upon him he desired to be released from public service, that he might, to use his own language, "spend the remainder of his days in calm retirement, and concern himself in nothing else but doing good and preparing for a glorious immortality." The Courts, however, were so modified as to continue him in the Judgeship; but to take "as little share of the burden of office upon himself, as should be agreeable to him." This was highly complimentary to the worthy magistrate.
He was a man of intelligence, of an upright moral and Christian character, and was highly respected by all who knew him. He had six sons and several daughters. His last years were spent with his son Jotham in Westmoreland, where he died in 1788, aged 84 years. Many of his descendants survive and fill respectable positions in society.
A grandson of the preceding, was born in Putney in 1769. His advantages for an early education were not superior. But by observation and self-culture he became intelligent and especially was he highly skilled in the science of architecture. In this department of business, he was uncommonly enterprising and useful. His last labor was the building of the first Presbyterian meeting house in New Orleans. He drew his plan, prepared the materials, took them by ship to that city and completed the building to the satisfaction of his employers. Before he left the city, he took the yellow fever and died on his passage home, Aug. 11, 1819, aged 50 years.
It is an interesting fact, that the house built by Capt. Lord was the same in which the lamented Sylvester Larned officiated as the first pastor of the first Presbyterian church in New Orleans. He was a graduate of Middlebury College in 1813, and died in New Orleans of yellow lever, on his birth day, Aug. 31, 1820, aged 24, about one year after Capt. Lord.
FROM HALL'S HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.
"He was born at Rehoboth, Mass., Now. 10, 1714, and was the only son of Noah Sabin of that place. Being religiously disposed in early life, he was designed by his father for the ministry. But to this profession he was not inclined. In the year 1768. at the age of fifty-four, he removed to Putney, and at the first election of town officers, May 8, 1770, was chosen town clerk. On the 14 of April, 1772, he was appointed Judge of the Inferior Court of common Pleas of Cumberland County, and Justice of the Peace. Previous to the affray at Westminster on the 13 of March, 1775, Judge Sabin opposed in every practicable manner the attempts of the people to interfere with the management of the courts. His extreme conscientiousness led him to adopt this course, for he knew that he had received a commission from the Crown, and felt that his oath bound him, at the least, not to offer resistance to the mother country. After being taken prisoner on this occasion, he was confined in the Court-house at Westminster for a few days, was then carried to Northampton, afterwards to New York city, where he was imprisoned. Being subsequently tried and honorably acquitted, he was supplied by Governor Tryon with clothing and ample means to return home. He was absent more than a year.
Regarded as a Tory in principle and as a secret favorer of the court of Great Britain, he was for a time subjected to many annoyances. Soon after his return, William Moore, Daniel Jewett, and Moses Johnson, committee men of Putney, accompanied by a party of their friends, armed with swords, went to his house, ordered him to mount his horse and follow them. Obeying their commands, he was conducted to Westminster, where he was placed in jail.
Many were the threats used to intimidate him during this transaction. His imprisonment, however, lasted but a day. In the evening, the door of his cell was opened, and he was allowed to return home. On his death bed, Moore, who had been the principal actor on this occasion, sent for Judge Sabin, confessed with tears the abuses of which he had been guilty, and besought forgiveness. On being assured that his request was granted, -- "Now," said he, "I can die in peace." Fearing that Judge Sabin might be in communication with the enemy, he was confined to his farm by an order of the committee of safety, passed in the year 1776, and permission was given to any one to shoot him, whenever he should be found beyond its limits. So bitter was the hatred towards him at this time, that one of his neighbors, a man zealous for the liberty of the colonies, and for the destruction of their foes, watched for him with a loaded rifle as he afterwards acknowledged, in the woods adjoining the Judge's house, prepared to shoot the despised Loyalist, should he venture beyond the prescribed lines.
Even the members of the church in Putney shared in these prejudices. Not being an original member, he was refused the privilege of occasional communion with them. This fact appears by the annexed extract from the church record:
"Putney, Dec. 7, 1778.
The church met and took under Consideration the request of Noah Sabin, Esq., of occasional communion with his church, and came to the following vote, That it was best, all things considered, not to receive him at present."
J. GOODWIN, Moderator.
He was afterwards on the 29th of April, 1781, admitted by vote to full communion, and was known as a "most stable, useful, and consistent member."
In 1781 he was elected Judge of Probate for Windham County, but on the 12th of April, in the same year, was suspended from office in order to satisfy the complaints of many who believed him to be dangerous as a Loyalist. He was reinstated on the 25 of October following, and it is believed continued in office until the year 1801. Judge Sabin was a man of uncommon powers of mind. He was cool and considerate in his purposes, sound and discriminating in his judgment. His counsels were often sought, and were generally safely followed.
For the period in which he lived, his education was superior. It is asserted with confidence that when the charter for Putney was obtained, he was the only person in the town possessed of sufficient skill to decipher the peculiar chirography in which the instrument was written. In his religious character, he was upright, sincere, and conscientiously true to his professions. It might he said of him that he was active as a Christian, for when the people were destitute of a minister, the duty of conducting the exercises of their religious assemblies often devolved on him. Although at first strongly attached to the Crown, and for some time after the commencement of the Revolution, undecided as to the course he should take in the struggle between the colonies and the mother country, his sympathies were subsequently enlisted on the side of the former, and no truer patriot was to be found than he. Upon retiring from office and active life, the remainder of his days as marked by acts of piety towards God and beneficence to mankind. He died on the 10th of March, 1811, at the advanced age of ninety-six years." [MS. Letter from Rev. A. Foster of Putney, Apr. 5, 1852. Doc. Hist. N.Y. IV. 1022]
In illustration of the character of Judge Sabin, it may be added, while some sportsmen were hunting on West Hill, one of them attempted to imitate the Indian war-whoop. The people in Brookline were alarmed by the apprehension that the Indians were about to fall upon them. The consternation spread into Athens and other towns. Large numbers, men, women and children instantly left their homes and made a hasty flight to escape the ferocity of the savage foe. Passing by the house of Judge Sabin in Putney, they found him quietly engaged in his accustomed occupations. They related to him the cause of their alarm; but he remained unmoved. They at once supposed him to be in alliance with the enemy, and the bitterest maledictions were heaped upon him. They pursued their flight as far as Westmoreland, and on the following day when their fears were dissipated, they attempted to return. But a severe snow storm, (it being about the 1st of Nov. 1780,) blocked the roads and greatly impeded their progress. Arriving at the house of Judge Sabin cold, weary and hungry, they were invited to enter his hospitable dwelling. Here they were furnished with food and clothing and every comfort the house afforded; in short, were treated in the kindest possible manner. Their prejudices were all removed, and the man who, the day before, had been so bitterly cursed, now received their most hearty thanks.
son of Noah Sabin, was born at Rehoboth, Mass., April 20, 1750, and removed with his father to Putney, when he was about eighteen years old. He held the office of Register of Probate of Windham County, from 1791 to 1801, and from the latter year until 1808, was Judge of Probate, in which station he succeeded his father. He was early elected a Justice of the Peace, and filled the office for nearly half a century. He represented the town of Putney in the General Assembly during the years 1782, 83, and 87. His death occurred at Putney, Dec. 5, 1827, in the 78th year of his age. In an obituary notice written soon after his decease, it is ,said:
"Judge Sabin was a man of sound mind, of a placid temper, and manifested upon all occasions that urbanity of deportment which commanded the love and respect of his acquaintance. He was an early settler of the town, and ever took an active interest in its civil and religious concerns. He was more than forty-seven years a magistrate, and sustained for many years the office of Judge of Probate and other office with honor to himself and usefulness to the public. He discharged the duties of office with such firmness and fidelity as to escape with a much less share of censure than is common in like cases.
As a Christian, he appeared humble and unostentatious, steady and uniform in his principles and practices. He seemed always to love religion, and to be governed by a sacred regard for its doctrines and duties. It appeared to be his stay in the closing scenes of life. He was resigned to the will of God, and ready to depart at his bidding. He was willing to be absent from the body, and to go and be present with the Lord." [From Hall's History of Eastern Vermont.]
was born in Manchester, Mass., Mar. 7, 1744. At the age of 20, he married Zilpah Hibbard and settled in Canterbury, Ct. He soon removed to Putney, and is said to have been the first blacksmith in town, commencing business in 1773. Residing 2 or 3 miles northwest from the street, he was connected with the Baptist congregation on West Hill, and for many years a leading member of that church. He was a man of firm religious principle, of unbending integrity, and of an irreproachable moral character. In all town matters and in every thing which concerned the public welfare, he exerted a great influence, as is evident from the fact that he represented the town in the State Legislature 13 years. He died March 28, 1829, aged 85. He was the father of Drs. Luther and Calvin Jewett of St. Johnsbury, both distinguished physicians, and the former for some years pastor of the Congregational church in Newbury; and the grand father of Rev. Milo P. Jewett, L. L. D., President of the Vassar Female College at Poughkeepsie, N. Y.
was born in Southington, Ct., in 1783. In the year 1803, he graduated at Yale College, and afterwards read theology with the Rev. Joseph Lathrop of West Springfield, Mass. The first Sabbath he preached in Putney was Nov. 24 1806. In April following, he received a call to settle in the ministry, and was ordained the third pastor of the Congregational church and Society June 25, 1807. Rev. Dr. Lathrop, his theological teacher, preached the sermon, on the occasion.
And now commenced a scene of peace, harmony, and religious prosperity, which it is a pleasure to recall. In the early part of his ministry, there were two or three seasons of more than usual religious interest, and a goodly number were added to the church. But not till the year 1816, was there a general revival of religion. To use his own language :
"During this season there was a deep impression of the importance of religion and of the worth of the soul; a deep conviction of sin and an anxious inquiry after the way of salvation. With the youth generally and to a considerable extent with others, the salvation of the soul was the 'one thing needful.' The vanities of life were laid aside and religion was the great concern. The house of worship was thronged and the Sabbath religiously observed. Other places of worship were gladly attended. Multitudes came and confessed Christ before men. In about a year 150 were added to the church. Eighty were added in one day."
Mr. Andrews' pastorate continued till May 27, 1829, a period of twenty-two years. The dismissing Council left the following testimony:
"From long acquaintance and Christian intercourse with Mr. Andrews, the Council are constrained to express their regret and sorrow at this separation, and their approbation of the spirit manifested by the people towards their late pastor, particularly in their generous subscriptions paid in defraying the expenses of his removal."
He went first to Bloomfield, N. Y., and then to Michigan, where he died in 1852.
He married Miss Betsey Lathrop of West Springfield, Mass., grand-daughter of Rev. Dr. Lathrop.
THE DR. CAMPBELLS OF PUTNEY
was born in Oxford Mass., in 1754. In early life he came to Putney and commenced the practice of medicine. He was a man of intelligence, energy and moral worth, and exerted a wide influence in his profession and in civil life. The confidence reposed in him by his follow-citizens is indicated by the fact that he was chosen to represent the town from 1790 to 1796 inclusive. He died Jan. 15, 1820, aged 66 years. His pastor gave the following testimony concerning him : "He had been for 37 years a useful physician in the place."
Brother of the preceding, was born in Oxford, Mass., in 1760, and was for many years a successful practitioner in medicine. He died, Dec. 15, 1839, AE 70 years.
was a son of the above. He was a native of Putney and here spent his life in the medical profession. He acquired an extensive practice, was a physician of superior judgment in the treatment of diseases, and was often called to a distance in consultation upon difficult cases. He died June 4, 1866, aged 73 years.
by JOHN KIMBALL, ESQ.
He was the son of Dea. Enoch White, and was born in South Hadley, Mass. Oct. 30, 1770. He graduated at Dartmouth college in 1797, and studied law with the Hon. Charles Marsh of Woodstock, Vt., and Judge Samuel Porter of Dummerston, Vt. In 1800, he commenced the practice of his profession in Putney, where he resided through life. He was called to many positions of honor and responsibility. He was Postmaster of Putney from 1802 to 1809; was for several years State's Attorney for the County of Windham, was Judge of the Probate Court, and from 1818 to 1820, was chief Judge of the County Court.
In 1820, he was elected a Representative to Congress and served one term. In 1836, he was a member of the Convention for revising the Constitution of Vermont. and from 1838 to 1840, was a Senator in the State Legislature; having previously been several times a Representative from the town of Putney. He belonged to the Masonic Order and was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Vermont.
After his election to Congress, he almost wholly abandoned his law business, engaging extensively, and with good success, in farming. The colleges of the State, and various benevolent institutions shared largely in his counsels and liberality. He was one of the trustees of Middlebury College, and was for several years President of the Vermont Bible Society, and of the Vermont Colonization Society. He was also an active member of the Congregational church in Putney, with which he and his wife united in 1815. He died July 6, 1847, aged 76.
He married, July 5, 1801, Esther Stevens of Plainfield, Ct., daughter of Nehemiah Stevens and Hepzibah Kellum. She was born Jan. 1777, and died Sep. 25, 1858, aged 81.
was born in Union, Ct., Apr. 25, 1764. He removed to Putney in 1799, having been for a number of years an inhabitant of Westminster. He purchased the farm originally owned by Mr. Amos Haile. Though engaged in agricultural pursuits, he was distinguished for his extensive reading, his retentive memory, his knowledge of the political history of the country, his keen observation of men and things, and his correct discrimination of character. His life was marked by uprightness and integrity. He enjoyed the confidence of his fellow citizens to a great degree. From 1816 to 1819, he was in the Executive Council; was Delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1822; and was also representative of the town and justice of the peace. He died Jan. 10, 1856, aged 95.
He was the son of the Hon. Theophilus Crawford, and was born in Westminster West, Aug. 1789. When he was about ten years of age his parents removed to Putney, and this was ever after the place of his residence. From his youth he sustained a good moral character. He was a regular attendant upon public worship and a generous supporter of the gospel. His attention was especially called to the subject of religion in the summer of 1833, and on the first Sabbath of November following, he entered into covenant with the Congregational church. In March 1834 he was appointed Deacon of the church, the duties of which he continued to discharge till advancing age rendered it expedient for him to retire.
Deacon Crawford was a man of a sound and discriminating mind and of correct moral principles. He was not hasty in forming his opinions, but when his mind was made up, he exhibited great firmness and decision. His reading was extensive and his knowledge on subjects of general interest was beyond what we generally find. By his fellow-citizens he was honored with various civil offices, the duties of which he discharged with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his constituents.
In his Christian life he maintained a consistent walk and conversation before the world. He felt that, the vows of God were upon him, and it was his endeavor so to live as not to dishonor the Christian name. He loved the house of God and the meeting for prayer, and on all occasions he was present unless providentially detained. To him the truths of the gospel were precious, and by these his soul was refreshed and his hope strengthened. During the last months of his life, his thoughts seemed to be more conversant with spiritual subjects. The prosperity of religion was an object of his ardent desires. In his last sickness he suffered much; yet patience and submission to the Divine will marked his spirit. His end was peace. He died March 1, 1871, aged 81 years and 6 months.
was born in Putney, July 15, 1791. He was son of Capt. Roswell Parker, who was a son of Joshua Parker, one of the first settlers on the street, and one of the original members of the Congregational church. A daughter of Joshua Parker and sister of Roswell Parker, married Mr. John Adams of Canterbury, Ct., and they were the parents of Mr. John Adams, Jr., for many years the distinguished Principal of Andover Academy, Mass. Warren Parker and John Adams, Jr., were, of course, own cousins.
Mr. Parker spent about 12 years of his early manhood in Lyndon and Rockingham doing the business of a clothier. He at length returned to Putney where he spent the remainder of his days. For nearly forty years he was employed in manufacturing the horse-hay-rake, an employment which proved highly profitable. But at length it was his misfortune to lose a large share of his property in the failure of the First National Bank of Brattleboro. Still he had a competency left and he did not suffer for a want of the necessaries of life. For several of his last years, he was deprived of the use of his limbs, which, with other infirmities rendered his situation very uncomfortable. Yet he was a patient sufferer and was not known to complain of the dealings of his Heavenly Father. He died Jan 14, 1882, in his 91st year.
Descending from an ancestry of great intellectual and moral worth, he inherited traits of character which contributed largely to his usefulness as a member of civil society and secured for him the respect and good will of his fellow-citizens. The cause of Temperance, Moral Reform, and Human Rights enjoyed his approval, and his patronage.
He was ever ready to lend a helping hand to relieve the needy and destitute, and whatever objects of public welfare called attention, he was one of the first to proffer his influence and means for their promotion. Although not a member of the church, to sustain the Institutions of religion was a leading object of his desires and efforts. Not only was he a liberal supporter of the gospel pecuniarly, but during the years of his health and bodily activity, his place in the Sanctuary was usually occupied. But he has left us, and although missed in his family, in the social circle, and in the house of prayer, he will long be remembered with affection and high respect by all who knew him.
was a son of Samuel and Mary (Washburn) Sargent and was born in Putney, May 5, 1794. [An anonymous sketch of Mr. Sargent sent in since the death of Mr. Foster gives the date of his birth May 17, 1794.] His parents had been early residents of Leicester, Mass. but removed to Putney in 1790. Of the grandfather of Nathan Sargent, it is said "he was a stanch patriot, and is mentioned, in connection with the march of the Leicester troops at the time of the Lexington battle, as having melted his clock-weights to provide bullets for the soldiers."
Samuel Sargent, the father of Nathan, married Mary, the daughter of Seth Washburn of Leicester and sister of Asa Washburn, an early inhabitant of Putney, who sustained through a long life a worthy reputation as a Christian and a civil magistrate. He died in 1825, aged 71 and his wife in 1848, aged 89. The subject of this notice, therefore was a cousin of the late Judge Washburn, many years a citizen of Ludlow, Vt.
An account of the public life of Mr. Sargent is given in Johnson's Cyclopaedia, probably being as correct as any that can be given, is here inserted:
" He received a good education; studied law; settled in Cahawba, Ala. in 1816, where he became County and Probate Judge; resided at Buffalo, N. Y., 1826-1830; established a Whig newspaper at Philadelphia, 1830; was afterwards Washington correspondent of the United States Gazette, becoming widely known under his nom de plume of "Oliver Old School;" was Sergeant at Arms at the U. S. House of Representatives 1849-51; Register of the Treasury 1851-53; Commissioner of Customs 1861-71; and was for some years A resident of the Washington Reform School. He was author of a Life of Henry Clay (1844) and Public Men and Events (2 vols. 1872) issued but a few days before his death. It contains many interesting reminiscences of the days of Jackson, Clay, and Calhoun. He died in Washington, D. C. Feb. 2, 1875."
The few survivors who knew Mr. Sargent speak of him in high terms as an agreeable and intelligent gentleman; and a warm friend of all good and worthy objects; and as one whose endeavor was to be faithful in all his official and private duties, and to be useful to his country and the world.
[Here the Ms. of Mr. Foster closes. We have received from Rev. Dr. Grout the following additional paper for Mr. Sargent, since the death of Mr. Foster. We understand it comes from the family of Mr. Sargent.]
Before Nathan was fifteen he had read Rollins Ancient History and other histories. His fondness for reading, created the desire for a good education, hut his father was blessed with more children than means, of whom two only were boys, and Nathan had to depend upon himself to carry out his desires; but he saved every penny he could earn until he had $10 when he went to Brattleboro, (March 1811,) and bought at Fessenden's book-store a Latin dictionary, $4.50; a Virgil, $4.50 and Adams' Latin grammar, $1.00, (total $10,) and with these studied Latin, occasionally reciting to his pastor, Rev. Elisha D. Andrews. Two years after, he taught school in Putney, having in the mean time attended the academy at West Brattleboro, paying his own way, by working on a farm during August and September. The following spring, he entered Judge Phineas White's office as a student at law. During the winter of 1813-14, he taught school in the East Parish of Westmoreland, N. H., and in the spring, went back to Judge White's office. The following winter he taught school at Brattleboro.
June 1, 1816, he went to Troy, N. Y., and entered the office of Stephen Ross as a law student, teaching school at the same time. He was admitted to the Bar Nov. 1818, and immediately went to Alabama, settling at Cahawba, then the seat of government of the future state.
In Alabama he was very successful as a lawyer, and was appointed Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and Judge of Probate in 1822, and afterwards elected by both Houses of Legislature. But, finding the climate unhealthy for one born on northern soil, he returned to New York, May 1824.
In 1830, he removed to Philadelphia, Pa., and became Editor and Proprietor of the Commercial Herald. In the New Year's address of the Public Ledger of Jan. 1837, Nathan Sargent is thus alluded to:* In 1842, he sold the "Herald " and became the correspondent of the U. S. Gazette and other papers, over the signature of "Oliver Old School."
Ben Perley Poore, in his "Reminiscences of Washington" published in the Atlantic Monthly for Sept. 1880, says, writing of Oliver Old School:
"His carefully written letters gave a continuous narrative of all important events, as they occurred at the National Metropolis, and he was one of those who aided in making the Whig party, like the Federal party which had proceeded it, eminently respectable."
He held successively the offices of Sergeant-at-arms of the U. S. House of Representatives, Recorder of the Land Office, Register of the Treasury and Commissioner of Customs. The last named position, he resigned about two years before his death. He was also the chief agent in establishing the Reform School for juvenile delinquents in Washington, and at the time of his death was President of the Board of Trustees of that institution.
His last literary labor, a book entitled "Public Men and Events," was highly commended by the press throughout the country.
His widow survived him two years, dying in 1877. He left but one child, a daughter, the widow of the Rev. M. L. Olds of Washington, D. C. He was a man of whose memory his daughter and grand-children may be proud; an honest politician, a good man in every relation of life.
*"Who is that snarler, Cassius like and lean
With humor caustic and with satire keen;
Who drubs the drones, the foplings and the fools,
Who flings at fashion lead by folly's rules?
Who while his trampling heels around he throws,
Cares not how hard he treads on others toes;
Who dares be just, nor fears to say the right,
Who will not flatter, but will sometimes bite;
Who makes e'en scoundrels sometimes say their prayers:
Commercial Herald is the name he bears."
PUTNEY WEST HILL.
A BRIEF SKETCH OF ITS SETTLEMENT. *
By DAVID L. MANSFIELD.
*The Writer is indebted to Hall's History of Eastern Vermont and Temple and Sheldon's History of Northfield, Mass. for much of the information given in this article.
The writer accepted an invitation to spend the 4th of July, 1882, with a party on Putney west hill, and view the landscape o'er, as seen from that elevated situation. The particular spot visited from which the prospect appeared most pleasing, was the height of land just north of the Simeon Reed place. The first Settlements in that vicinity were made soon after 1780, by persons from the southeastern part of Massachusetts. Mr. Reed's father, John Reed, came from Dighton, Mass.
Near Mr. Reed were located Samuel Bennett, Capt. Ezekiel Wilson, with a family of ten children, Thomas Turner, the Kerrs, the Johnsons, Moses Joy, and Charles Cudworth, Sen., who was the father of Charles, Jr., and grandfather of Gideon, the father of T. J. B. Cudworth of Brattleboro; South of where Mr. Cudworth lived was the Allyn family. Near the site of the old homestead in a pasture by the roadside were seen lying on the ground two slate stone slabs, on which were inscribed the names of "Joseph Allyn died Dec. 16, 1797, agea 77," and "Mary, wife of Joseph Allyn, died May 18, 1802, aged 78." Others were buried there, but no stone marks their lowly bed. Joseph Allyn was the father of Rev. Lewis Allyn, known as Elder Allyn, who preached many years in the Baptist church on Putney hill, and several years in Hinesburgh. Joseph Allyn came with his family from Rehoboth, Mass., west of Dighton, in which place the Allyn family were among the first settlers in 1644. Luther Allyn who was Postmaster in Dummerston many years ago, was a son of Lewis and grandson of Joseph Allyn.
Just east of the Reed place stood the old brick school house, that was pulled down some years ago; its foundation is overgrown with briers. About 1830, eighty scholars attended this school, and from it went out several who became professional men.
one of the prominent lawyers in Branch County, Michigan, and a native of Putney West Hill, sent to the Writer a book of poems of which he was the author, from which is taken the following, relating to the home of his youth
PUTNEY WEST HILL.
Oh may I once again with arms extended wide,
Embrace my sacred Muse upon that mountain side!
And sing one evening hymn where star-lit hills arise
And cloud their Alpine tops, high reaching to the skies.
And may I view again some autumn evening, bright,
The friendly harvest moon in cloudless chrysolite,
Move o'er those lofty peaks, lamp-like as they do stand,
The sentinels of earth, set by the great Command.
And in the troubled storm when ocean heaves her waves,
And pent up raging winds howl from their mountain caves,
While lightnings bolt the sky and strike from hill to hill,
As through the hollow glens at darkened interval,
The mountain-shaking thunders roll, subdued by roll,
In death's sepulchral tones resound from pole to pole.
Oh! let me be there then, the darkest mid night hour,
For there my soul received its spirit-stirring power.
The reflection of a Native of Putney in the far distant West.
When night her dark mantle
Hath spread o'er the earth,
And hushed in sweet slumber
The songsters of mirth;
When those who are weeping
And pining by day,
In the kindly embrace
Of forgetfulness lay,
When naught but the phantoms
And visions of night,
Deluding my fancy
With scenes of delight
Are floating around me
Bewildering the view
With things that deceive me,
So false, so untrue;
Yet let me be sleeping
When far from my home
When far from my kindred,
A stranger I roam;
For in dreams I revisit
My own native land,
In dreams see my father,
Extending his hand;
Dear mother and sisters
Come circling around;
My brothers I see them
And hear the glad sound
Of voices familiar
That oft times before
I've heard when awake,
But shall hear them no more.
Oh! let me while sleeping
Be welcomed to-night
At the home of my childhood,
That land of delight.
[ Mr. Turner's book, is a brochure of 74 pages: POEMS by J. W. TURNER dedicated to the people of Branch County, Coldwater, Mich. A. J. Aldrich & Co. Printers. 1880.]
Continued from page 249.
The soil in this locality, though rocky. is very good, and such as those farmers preferred to cultivate. It produced abundant crops of hay and grain which enabled them to keep a large stock of cattle. They supported large families and managed to accumulate property. They were hard working people; heavy stone walls enclose the fields and pastures on each farm which must have cost them much labor. As we looked down from our place of observation on these once cultivated farms we were reminded of the following lines, so illustrative of the labors performed by those early settlers.
"Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield;
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke;
How jocund did they drive their team a-field!
How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke."
The height of this hill as shown by barometer from each place indicated, is 1225 feet above the valley in Brookline and 1325 above the valley in Brattleboro. From West Hill may be seen not less than fifty townships lying in Vermont, New Hampshire, and, Massachusetts; and the view in midsummer is unsurpassed by any in New England. On the west you can trace the line of the Green Mountains from Florida, Mass., on the south to Mt. Holly on the north, Saddleback, Haystack in Wilmington, Municknung in Stratton, and Shatterack, tower up above the Green Mountain ridge on the western boundary. The eye takes in the entire space of the Connecticut valley from Ascutney Mountain in Windsor on the north, to Mount Holyoke in Hadley, Mass. on the south. Farthest to the east is the majestic Monadnock. The highlands of New Hampshire are distinctly visible from Sunapee to Mount Holyoke, a distance of more than 80 miles. Wachuset in Princeton, Mass. with its cloud capped summit, may be seen far to the south east, and mountain tops and fertile valleys are visible all along the southern horizon. Connecticut river is plainly seen for 10 miles below Brattleboro, and West river is in sight winding its course past Black Mountain which rises 1150 feet above the surface of the water. The pen fails to describe the beauty of the landscape in every direction; and this article is brought to a close with the feeling that the reader has been given after all, but a vague idea of the view from the summit of Putney West Hill.
THE GREAT MEADOWS.
WRITTEN FOR PUTNEY HISTORY
IN THE VT. HIS. GAZ.
BY DAVID L. MANSFIELD.
Ten years of the Writer's early life were spent near the "Great Meadows" in East Putney, which will account for the interest manifested by him in its history and settlement. The Meadow is located in the Connecticut River Valley and is overlooked from the east by a long range of high hills in Westmoreland, N. H. A similar range of Vermont hills extends along the western border, at the foot of which runs the highway in a northerly and southerly direction. A great bend in the river, beginning at Taylor's island on the northwest corner of the meadow, forms its boundary line, which is completed on the west side by the highway. The Vermont Valley Railroad passes across it in the west part parallel with the traveled road, and the Cheshire railroad is in plain view on the New Hampshire side. The meadow is about one mile across in a direct line from the west side to the eastern limit at the river, and contains 500 acres of rich alluvial soil which produces excellent crops. Its waving fields of corn and luxuriant vegetation, in midsummer, afford a fine view to the lover of natural scenery. In early times the lowest meadow lands were covered with a tangled growth of yellow pine, elm and butternut trees. This will explain why the fishing ground at the north end of the meadow is called "Butternut orchard," although no such trees are now standing near. The range of steep hills on the west was formerly covered with a fine growth of majestic white pines, nearly all of which have disappeared. and they are succeeded by a younger growth of the same kind. The lofty white pine is the glory of the American forest, yet the woodman spares it not. Here and there a tall pine or a stately elm may be seen standing alone and reminding us of the grandeur of the primeval forest. The first settlement in the town of Putney was made on the Great Meadow in 1742 or '43. Nehemiah How of Grafton, Mass., William Phipps, David Rugg of Lancaster and their families, with Robert Baker and others, made a clearing and built a fort in the central part of the meadow called Fort Hill. A settlement was also made on the opposite side of the river at No. 2, Westmoreland, during the same year. Daniel How, Thomas Crisson and others from Rutland, Mass., made a clearing and built log huts. As far back as 1736, Massachusetts held an undisputed right to the territory as far north as the present south line of Westmoreland, N. H., and claimed a good title to the country about 30 miles to the northward and to the east as far as the Merrimack river. Many persons were desirous of securing the rich meadow lands in that region, and accordingly petitioned the General Court, which voted Jan. 15, 1736, "That it was expedient to lay out four townships to he of the contents of 6 miles square, and not to extend more than 6 miles from the river." The grants lying on the east side of the river were numbered going up stream, as follows : No. 1, Chesterfield; No. 2, Westmoreland; No. 3, Walpole; No. 4. Charlestown. Those on the west side were numbered coming down the stream as follows: No. 1, Westminster; No. 2, Putney; No. 3, Dummerston; No. 4, Brattleboro. The township south of Brattleboro was called Hinsdale until 1802, when the name was changed to Vernon. Both Vernon and Hinsdale, N. H., formed one township when first chartered. Sept. 3, 1753. The charter was altered the same year, Sept. 26, and the grant was divided into two towns, both called Hinsdale. The line of separation was the west bank of Connecticut river. Previous to 1753 this tract of land was regarded as part of Northfield, but when the new state line was surveyed in March, 1741, it was cut off, and subsequently called the cut-off territory. Till the incorporation of Hinsdale in 1753, the people living on the cut off territory were styled in deeds and official documents, "of the northerly part of Northfield township above the line of the Massachusetts government." At the same session of the court, Jan. 15, 1736, two townships were laid out on the west side of the river south of the ''Great Falls." Joseph Tisdale of Taunton was empowered to call a meeting of the proprietors of No. 1, Westminster; and Palmer Goulding of Worcester to call together the proprietors of No. 2, Putney. The first settlement in Westminster was made in 1789. During that year Richard Ellis and his son Reuben built a dwelling house (log hut) and broke up five or six acres of land. Seth Tisdale and John Barney were with them. John Kilburn, the first settler in Walpole, N. H., started from Weathersfield, Conn., in 1740, stopped in Northfield, Mass , with his family, where he was taxed in 1741, and then moved on to No. 3, Walpole. The settlers on the Great Meadow prospered well and in three years' time had gathered quite a stock of cattle. There is evidence to show that this settlement was not abandoned at the beginning of the French and Indian war in 1744, or during its progress. The General Court in Massachusetts passed an order April 23d, 1746, for raising 171 men to be sent to the western frontiers, and 93 more to be apportioned to various forts, the one at "Great Meadow" receiving two men. The first violence occasioned by the Indians in the Connecticut valley, in this war, was on the Great Meadow, July 5th, 1745. A party of Indians captured William Phipps, who was hoeing in his cornfield at the southwest corner of the meadow. He was taken about half a mile into the woods on the west by two Indians. One of them went back down the hill for something which he had left, trusting the prisoner in care of his comrade during his absence. Phipps, with a determination characteristic of early settlers, watched his chance, struck down his keeper with his hoe, snatched away his gun and shot dead the other Indian as he came back up the hill on his return. Having disabled the one he struck by chopping him with his hoe, he then started for the fort, but unfortunately met three other Indians who shot, killed and scalped him and otherwise mangled his body. Rev. Benjamin Doolittle, to whom the Indians gave an account of the attack, says in a pamphlet printed in 1750, that the Indian who was struck down by Phipps afterwards died of his wounds. He also states in his narrative of mischief done by the Indians in the French war, that the same, or some other party of Indians, came to a place called Upper Ashuelot, (Keene, N. H.) killed and scalped Dea. Josiah Fisher, as he was driving his cows to pasture, about half a mile from the garrison. This event happened July 10th, five days after the killing of Mr. Phipps. The French and Indians assaulted the fort on Great Meadow Oct. 11th, the same year. The party numbered about 80. They took Nehemiah How captive and killed David Rugg, both residents of Putney. How had been cutting wood about 40 rods from the fort, and was on his way back when he was seized, hurried off into a swamp, probably where the creek now is, and bound by his captors. They were seen and fired upon from the fort. One Indian was killed, another mortally wounded, and a third, who had hold of Mr. How, had a bullet shot through his powder horn. The guard at the fort, who was on the lookout at the time, told Dea. Noah Wright, he thought the number of the enemy that came in sight of the fort was about 50: when he first saw them there were eight of them stripped and without their guns, in pursuit of Mr. How. When be saw they would catch him, he turned, and with hands lifted up resigned himself into their hands. The enemy were in the meadow scarce an hour, including the attack on the fort and killing the cattle." The fort was not much damaged. The cattle were all killed and their hides and the best parts of the flesh carried away by the Indians. Rugg and Thomas Baker were coming down the river in a canoe and were met by the Indians just below "Taylor's island." Rugg was shot and scalped, but Baker escaped. As soon as the assault on the fort was known at Northfield, Ensign Stratton started with ten men for Fort Dummer. They were joined by others, and under command of Col. Josiah Willard started late at night for the Great Meadow, which they reached at 2 o'clock next morning. This was on Sunday. After gaining what information they could of the soldiers at the fort, they followed the enemy's track till near sunset, when they came to a place where the Indians had scattered in different directions. Next day they made further pursuit, but the enemy had disappeared, and Col. Willard returned with his company to Northfield, having inflicted no punishment upon the Indians.
Capt. Phineas Stevens of No. 4. [Charlestown, N. H.] marched at the head of 60 men, to the Great Meadow in Putney, Aug. 5, 1746, and remained during the 6th and 7th, guarding the people while they were reaping their grain. On the 8th, he returned with his men to No. 4, to find that the cattle, horses and most of the hogs of the settlers had been killed by the Indians during his absence. All the houses outside the fort were burned except one near the stockade, and 16 horses were killed that belonged to Capt. How's force.
The fort built on the site of the Col. White place inclosed 15 dwellings. The great gate of the fort was on the south side toward Connecticut river. On the N. E. and the S. W. corners of the fort, watch-towers were placed. In the summer time during the Indian war, the garrison besides the inhabitants usually consisted of ten or twelve men from New Hampshire. During the year 1755, Philip Alexander, John Perry, John Averill, their wives and families, and Capt. Michael Gilson, a bachelor, his mother and his two sisters, were the only inhabitants. John Averill belonged to Westminster, but the place was so poorly protected at the beginning of the French and Indian war that he removed to Walpole with the other inhabitants of the town. There they remained with Col. Benjamin Bellows until October, following when they returned to Westminster. In February, following, the Averill family moved to Putney. The inhabitants of Westminster and Westmoreland, N. H., aided in building the fort for their mutual protection. When it was completed, Capt. David How, Thomas and Isaac Chamberlain, Joshua Warner and son, Daniel Warner wife and son, Harrison Wheeler, Deacon Samuel Minot, who afterwards married Capt. Gilson's mother, and Mr. Aldrich and son joined the garrison from Westmoreland. The son of Mr. Aldrich was afterwards Gen. George Aldrich. He died at Westmoreland in 1807. At the close of the French war, all who had removed from Westmoreland, returned, with the exception of Dea. Minot. William Willard joined the garrison in 1755. The father of Capt. Daniel How and the father of Harrison Wheeler died in the fort. Both were buried in Westmoreland. Religious services were held at the fort for a long time, and there Rev. Andrew Gardner, who had previously been chaplain and surgeon at Fort Dummer, preached nearly three years. Col. Josiah Willard owned the meadow, which was not more than half cleared at this time, and gave the use of the land as a consideration for building the fort and defending it during the war. The land was portioned out to each family and the inhabitants were accustomed to work in company for better protection in case of an attack from the enemy.
The widow of William Phipps married again in 1746. She was Jemima Sartwell, daughter of Josiah Sartwell, who built in 1739, Fort Sartwell. Her second husband was Caleb How, one of the grantees of Westmoreland when that town was chartered in 1752, and son of Nehemiah How , whose wife was Margaret Willard, daughter of Benjamin Willard. When Fort Bridgman was taken June 27, 1755, Caleb How was mortally wounded by the Indians and died next morning at Hinsdale fort, and was buried a short distance to the northeast of it, where his gravestones are still to be seen. His wife was captured when the fort was taken, and with her seven children carried to Canada. She was redeemed and brought home with three of her children by Col. Schuyler before 1760. Afterwards she went again to Canada and obtained her second daughter Submit Phipps, who married Nathan Willard, Nov. 22,1775. Nehemiah How, Caleb's father, who was taken prisoner on the Great Meadow, was carried to Canada by way of Lake George and Crown Point, and died at Quebec May 25, 1747, leaving a journal of his captivity, which was printed, 1748. The town of Putney was chartered by New Hampshire Dec. 26, 1753, to Col. Josiah Willard and others, and rechartered by New York Nov. 6, 1766. South of the central part of the Great Meadow stands a marble monument erected to the memory of Prentice Willard, who died March 25, 1796, aged 47 years. He was probably a descendant of Col. Josiah Willard, and at one time was the owner of all the Great Meadow. By his own request he was buried on the spot where his lone monument now stands, which may be plainly seen by the traveller passing the meadow in the cars. In 1754, John Perry, Philip Alexander and Michael Gilson removed from Massachusetts and settled on the Great Meadow as their predecessors had done, and in the following year, 1755, in company with others who had lately arrived, built a fort in the southeast part of the meadow on the site of the house now standing and once occupied by Col. Thomas White. The fort was built of yellow pine timber, hewed six inches thick, and was about 16 feet high. 120 feet long and 80 wide. The houses were built within the enclosure against the wall of the fort with a roof slanting down from the top of this wall which formed the back of the houses, all of which fronted the hollow square in the centre of the fort, Philip Alexander did not move from Massachusetts directly to Putney. He belonged to a family of nine children, five sons and four daughters, and was born in Deerfield Sept. 29, 1712. He lived in Winchester, N. H., in 1743, and removed thence to Putney. It is stated that he lived in Westmoreland in 1755, which is doubtless a mistake. He was one of the grantees of that town when it was chartered Feb. 12, 1752. Michael Gilson, Jonathan Cole and John Rugg were among the number of grantees. Mr. Alexander had a family of six children of whom Philip, the youngest, was born Oct. 26. 1755, and was probably the first white child born in Putney. Joseph Alexander, [father of Philip, born 1712,] was born Oct. 16, 1681. He removed from Deerfield to Northfield about 1716; resided a few years in Winchester, N. H., 1737-43; again in Northfield 1748-58; soon after removed to Hadley, where he died Sept. 30, 1761. He was a soldier and captain at the sacking of Deerfield, Feb. 29, 1704, but made his escape the first night. His father had nine children, five sons and four daughters. John Alexander, the grandfather of Philip, was born July 25, 1645; was a settler in Northfield in 1673; returned to Northhampton, where he died Dec. 31, 1733. His father, George Alexander, who also had a family of nine children, making three families of nine children each in as many successive generations, was born in Scotland, from which country his father, John Alexander, emigrated before 1644, and settled with his family in Windsor, Conn. George Alexander removed from Windsor to Northampton in 1655; was a settler in Northfield in 1673, and died May 5, 1703.
Probably Rev. Joseph Lord was the first resident preacher in Putney and lived in the east part of the town on the Great Meadow, as the place where Putney street now stands was not settled till 1764, when Joshua Parker made a settlement there on Sackett's brook, which passes through the village. Rev. Joseph Lord was born about 1704; graduated at Harvard College, 1726; lived in Hatfield 1733; was one of the original settlers of Athol, "who sat down in the forest there," Sept. 1735. He was for many years the leading man in the settlement; being the first preacher, first magistrate, first proprietor's clerk, first treasurer, first surveyer, and first tax-gatherer. In 1755, Col. Ebenezer Hinsdale paid him £3.6s.10d. (11.07 par value) for preaching four Sundays at Hinsdale. In 1759, he removed to Putney, and later to Westmoreland; was judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Cumberland county (which includes what is now Windham county) and in high favor with the king's party before the Revolution. He died Dec. 7, 1778. There were seven children in his family. Sarah Lord, the youngest, married July 21, 1763, Judge Thomas Chandler of Vermont, who was elected to the bench of the Supreme Court in October, 1778. Joseph Lord, (the father of Joseph, born about 1704,) was also a minister. He was born June 23, 1672; graduated at Harvard College 1691; was a preacher at Dorchester, S. C., for 20 years; was the first minister of Chatham, Mass., where he was ordained and the church organized 1720, and where he remained till his death in 1748. Thomas Lord, the grandfather, was born in 1633; a resident of Charlestown; died June 4, 1713. The great grandfather, Robert Lord, lived in Ipswich, Mass.; was representative in 1638; town clerk, clerk of the courts and register of deeds. He died in 1658.
Dummerston, Aug. 1881.
REV. AMOS FOSTER.
BY HENRY M. GROUT, D.D.
OF CONCORD, MASS.
Amos Foster, the son of Richard and Esther Jewell, was born in Salisbury, N. H., March 30, 1797, fifteen years after the birth of Daniel Webster in the same town. Richard Jr., an elder half-brother, was remarkable for mental vigor and moral worth, and as an old time farmer who, with limited means, raised a family of wide awake boys, seven of whom graduated from Dartmouth College, and six of whom - Eden Burroughs, William Cowper, Daniel, Davis, Roswell and Richard Baxter - found their way into the Christian Ministry, as in turn have several of their sons. A younger brother, Benjamin F. graduated from Amherst College, entered the ministry, and had useful settlements in Salisbury, N. H., and Dummerston, Vt., where he is still remembered as an unassuming and genial man, a writer of unusual felicity and force, and a preacher and pastor always faithful, sympathetic and beloved.
Amos was about a year old when his parents removed to Hanover in the same state. And it was there, not far distant from Dartmouth College, that he grew up. Baptized in infancy and religiously trained at home, he was converted during a religious revival at the age of eighteen; and soon after, the first Sabbath in January 1816, connected himself with the Congregational church at Hanover Center.
The next two years were spent at Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, whence he went to Dartmouth College to graduate in 1822. With the ministry in view, he had no sooner graduated than he gave himself to the study of theology; retaining for that purpose his connection with the College, and together with a number of other graduates enjoying the instruction of President Tyler and Professor Shurtleff. Two years were thus consumed, though he was licensed to preach, by the Windsor Association at Norwich, Vt., February 1824. His first sermon was preached, the very Sabbath after receiving license, in his own church at Hanover.
His first settlement was at Canaan, which joins Hanover on the east, and was at that time a thriving center of trade for the surrounding country. During the twenty-two years of its previous history the Congregational church in that place had never had a settled pastor; and the people gave to him a cordial welcome. He was ordained Mar. 2, 1825, the sermon being preached by President Tyler, very soon after his ordination, June 29, 1825, he was united in marriage to Harriet Amelia, daughter of Rev. Bronghton and Ruth Sabin White, then of Washington in the same state. His ministry in Canaan was happy and prosperous; lasting nearly 8 years, or nearly 9, counting from the time of his first preaching there. But his salary was meager, $400 and no parsonage, and that was not always fully paid. Accordingly, when the church in Putney invited him to its pastorate, with an offer of a salary of $450, and parsonage, the invitation was interpreted as a call of Providence, and in due time accepted.
His installation in Putney occurred Feb. 13, 1833. The sermon was preached by Rev. Phinehas Cooke, then of Lebanon, N. H., on account of his influence and stature, known as the high priest of New Hampshire. At that time Putney had a larger population than it now has; and much of this was on its greatly deserted hill sides. The Meeting-house stood at the upper end of the village, half a mile north of the present edifice; and the house, into which he soon moved, was a few rods north of that, and has continued to be his home during all the subsequent years of his residence in the town.
The first months of his ministry in Putney were marked by revival, and a number of similar seasons were enjoyed during the years which followed. At the time of his installation, such men as Judge White, Dea. Reynolds and Dea. Taft, were leaders in the church. James and Mark Crawford and Isaac Grout were among the subjects of the first revival. The church was one of the strongest in the county, having a membership of not less than two hundred.
To the duties of this new field, he gave himself with ardor, teaching in the Sunday School as well as preaching in the pulpit and visiting the people at their homes. He loved his people, and his affection for them was warmly reciprocated. Soon after his settlement the meeting-house was removed to its present location; a change which naturally involved discussion and differences of opinion; but he had the somewhat rare wisdom and grace to leave all that to the wise heads of the leaders of the flock. Then came the demoralizing movement of 80 called perfectionism, under the leadership of Mr. John Noyes. A graduate from Dartmouth College, Mr. Noyes had studied theology at Andover and New Haven; but the opinions he adopted and taught, and the practices he defended, were not simply fanatical but grossly immoral. Arrested for a high misdemeanor and put under heavy bonds, he confessed the crime charged against him by forfeiting his bonds and fleeing the state. Of his subsequent career at Oneida, N. Y., the world has sufficient knowledge. Through all, Mr. Foster was the wise leader and counsellor of the church in its prompt and firm treatment of this most blighting heresy.
At the end of twenty years, Mr. Foster was called to the church in Ludlow, Vt.; a call which was supported by such good reasons, having to do with his health and the pecuniary needs of a growing family, it seemed to be his duty to accept it. His stay in Ludlow was, however, not long. The business failure of his largest supporters soon compelled another removal; which this time was to Acworth N. H. His ministry at Ludlow lasted about three years, and that at Acworth about nine. At Ludlow the little church on the hill was always filled, the prayer-meeting full of life, and his work most happy, and not unfruitful. At Acworth he had a people staunch in principle and forcible in character. The church has been one of the strongest in the state. It gave to him a better support than he had ever before received. He was never happier, nor did he ever anywhere form warmer attachments then at those two places. But the field at Acworth was wide, and demanded physical vigor for its proper cultivation which, at sixty-eight, he felt that he did not enjoy. And having a home in Putney, he decided that it was best to return to the place where it had always been his desire to end his days.
His return to Putney was in the autumn of 1865. During the eleven and a half years of his absence from them, his former flock in that place had had a succession of short pastorates, and was now without a shepherd. He was at once asked to resume labor among them. To this he consented, but was never again installed. For seven years he served them as their "stated supply;" doing the work and taking all the interest of a state pastor. He was never more earnest or useful than during these last years. Two seasons of revival renewed the courage and increased the strength of the church. Old and young gathered about him with the old time confidence and affection. But in 1872 it seemed to be time to lay off the harness, and retire from active responsible service; and to this the people gave reluctant consent. He was now in the 76th year of his age, and had wrought in the ministry 40 years. Of these nearly 28 years had been spent in the service of the church in Putney.
In ceasing from his stated ministry, Mr. Foster did not cease to be interested in the work to which his life had been given. Several of his last winters were spent with his youngest daughter, in Concord, Mass. But whether there, or among his own former people in Putney, he was always welcome in the pulpit, and loved to be there. More than once after he had reached his 87th year he was invited to preach, and performed the service with remarkable animation and ease.
Mr. Foster was in the best sense a successful minister. During his ministry in Canaan 67 persons were received into the church and 197 members to the church in Putney during his first settlement there, at Ludlow 15 and 30 at Acworth, and 45 during his second ministry in Putney; in all, 347. He never made a large use of the press; but was an occasional contributor to secular and religious newspapers, and published three sermons: A THANKSGIVING DISCOURSE, preached at Canaan Nov. 29, 1827; A SERMON TO YOUNG MEN, preached at Putney Feb. 28, 1836; and AN ORDINATION SERMON at the ordination of the late Rev. Dr. E. B. Foster, his nephew, at Henniker, N. H. He also preached on six other ordination and installation occasions, and the Commission sermon at the General Convention of the churches of Vermont, at Manchester, in 1842.
Mr. Foster's worth and power for usefulness did not center in any single talent or quality, towering above the rest, but rather in an admirable balance of many in which few surpassed him. More than some others he was an ethical preacher, dwelling much on religious duties and Christian graces; but, in. the best sense, he was also a doctrinal preacher, delighting to emphasize the truth of God's free grace to perishing men. He had a remarkably pleasing voice; clear, mellow and musical. His manner was animated, by turns solemn and tender. He withheld no part of the truth: when he warned men, it was with tears.
His sympathetic nature made his services specially acceptable on occasions either of sorrow or of joy. The whole number of funerals at which he officiated was 739; and of weddings 378.
An old lady once paid him the compliment of being "dreadful neat at funerals." He never excused himself from any kind of service because of the labor or the expense it might involve. When he was sent for to go some miles out of the state to conduct a funeral he went; and when the man who had sent for him, instead of uttering to pay for the conveyance which had brought him, said, "I thank you for coming so far to bury my wife, and should be glad to return the favor," Mr. Foster answered that the man was welcome to the service, and need not trouble himself to return the favor.
One secret of his success in his work was his interest in the young. Among them he was always happy, and to them he gave much of his best thought and strength. They were never repelled by any coldness in his manner, but were drawn by his cordial tones and kindly words.
Mr. Foster was happy in his home, and loved by his children. He owed much to his wife, who did him good and not evil all the days of her life. She was a descendant of Judge Sabin, a prominent figure in the exciting scenes of early Vermont history. From both her parents she inherited energy, firmness, mental quickness, and expertness at whatever she had occasion to put her hands. But for her wisdom, skill and ordinarily good health, the family could never have thriven as it did. She was a model minister's wife; a wise, patient affectionate mother. "Her children arise up, and call her blessed: her husband also, he praiseth her."
In June 1875, Mr. and Mrs. Foster kept their golden wedding. It was a gala day for the town, as well as the family; for it was first of all a town celebration, though all the churches with which Mr. Foster had been connected participated in it. The town hall, where public exercises were held, was decorated with wreaths and flowers, the village band discoursed lively music, neighboring ministers and friends from a distance helped at the speech-making, and there were poems and songs and laughter and tears, and gifts in gold and silver amounting to more than he had ever received for any single year's salary, and last of all the banquet for which the good ladies of Putney had done their best, and that was well indeed.
Mrs. Foster survived the scenes of this day 7 years and 4 months. She passed peacefully away, Oct. 13, 1882. At the time of this writing Mr. Foster still waits in the now lonely house, into which they moved fifty years ago, in serene anticipation of the time when he shall be permitted to follow on.
[During the last sickness of Rev. Mr. Foster, Dr. Grout, kindly volunteered to finish reading the proof of Mr. Foster's papers in this work, which he has done. The above, we have thought well to give as written, so little time before Mr. Foster's death. At our request, to Dr. Grout, first, as the biographist of Mr. Foster, for the completion of his sketch, he thus completed the paper he had already given, - next column: We have also, a few papers from others we will add after we have closed the Docter's paper : - Ed.]
Mr. Foster lived nearly two years longer. His last months were spent in reviewing and completing his history of Putney for the Gazetteer. But he was not permitted to see more than its first pages in its printed form. He died in Putney, Sept. 22, 1884, aged 89 years, 5 months and 22 days.
A biographical sketch of his life, written by the author of this article appeared a few weeks after.
[We will open our additional papers for Mr. Foster with a selection from his manuscript sermons. In over 4000 pp. of the work now printed, we have given but three sermons : "The Ox Sermon" of Mr. Merrill, Peacham, the famous temperance tract - made into - of which more than 2,000,000 copies were published; Mr. Lord's dedication sermon of Bethany church, his crowning life work in the history of Montpelier, and Dr. Shelton's Historical Sermon in the same; but when any of our town historians has been a minister fifty years, we will give a specimen from his sermons. We have selected the funeral sermon of the Hon. Reuben Washburn who was raised in Putney. a copy of which has been furnished by Miss Hannah Maria Washburn.]
AT THE FUNERAL OF JUDGE WASHBURN.
APR. 26, 1860.
"I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil." John XVII. 15.
This is a part of the prayer which our Lord offered for his disciples just before his crucifixion. No language could better express his concern for them than that which he uses on this occasion. They were about to be thrown dependent and helpless into the midst of their enemies. Every kind of opposition would be raised against them. Various means would be resorted to and perseveringly used to destroy their influence and bring ruin upon the cause they had espoused.
Therefore, to prepare them for the bitterness of separation, and to meet the various evils which awaited them, Christ gave them his parting counsels, and affectionately commended them to the care and protection of their Heavenly Father. They would greatly need Divine support; for the world had already begun to hate them on account of their attachment to Christ and their zeal in defending his religion: and they would be still more persecuted, because they were no longer of the character or party of the rest of the world who rejected and despised their Savior.
It is to be noticed, Christ did not pray that his followers might be taken out of the world, although this would have been much better for them as individuals. Immediately to be delivered from the trials and persecutions which awaited them and ascend to glory with their Lord, would have been a great privilege. But there were important reasons why it was desirable for them to remain a while longer in this world. Their residence on earth was connected with a system of means by which the purposes of Infinite Benevolence were to be accomplished. The gospel was not yet promulgated , its efficacy not yet tasted; its benefits not largely enjoyed. It was needful, therefore, that they should remain longer on earth, that the influence of their pious example might be felt; the efficacy of their prayers experienced; and that, by their means the holy gospel which they were afterwards commissioned to preach to all nations might be spread abroad.
It is doubtless true, that if each Christian successively as he is converted were at once taken to heaven, it would be to his individual advantage. He would escape many evils which he is otherwise called to meet. But, as regards the general interests of religion and the welfare of mankind, it is of importance for Christians to remain a time in this world. Their own final salvation is not the only end of their conversion. Other important purposes are to be accomplished in connection therewith. They are brought into the kingdom to be the means of good to their fellow-men; to be co-workers with God in promoting the interests of his kingdom.
Without pretending to exhaust the subject, I propose to state some of the reasons why the continuance of good men in this world is desirable.
1. That vital godliness may be maintained. Mankind have ever been prone to degeneracy. This was the case with God's ancient people. How did he throw up entrenchments on every side to preserve the true religion among them. What vigilance on the part of their Prophets was necessary to keep them from the contaminating influence of the surrounding nations. And yet, how often did they depart from God. Into what degeneracy did they at length fall.
The same propensity is characteristic of every age. And to what result would it lead, were none of the truly pious left on earth to counteract it? True religion would soon die away; its doctrines would lose their hold on the affections of men; the bible itself would be thrust aside; and the last gleam of its light would be extinguished.
To the church is committed in a peculiar sense the responsible trust of preserving the word of God, - the record of his dealings with men, - the source whence we derive our knowledge concerning the way of salvation, - the chart of the Christian's hope, - the Fountain from which he draws his sweetest consolations. Let the church become extinct, or, let all good men be removed out of the world, and what would become of this sacred deposit? Who would give the scriptures circulation? Who would advocate the doctrines of the bible? Who would observe the ordinances of Divine Worship? Who would pray? Who would perform deeds of active piety? These things would not be done. The bible would become an obsolete, neglected book. The Sabbath and all outward religious observances would cease. The doctrines of religion would be exploded, and vital piety entirely disappear!
2. The continuances of good men in this world is desirable, because of the influence arising from a pious example. Men are creatures of imitation; and it is impossible for us to estimate the moral power they exert over each other in the various relations of life. They are thus mutually helping form each other's character, making each other more intelligent, virtuous, and useful, or the reverse. What an influence goes out from the daily and hourly example of parents. How strong the impressions which children early receive from that example. If it be radiant with deeds of piety, those impressions are favorable to the formation of a similar character in them. Let us acquaint ourselves with the early life of the most pious and useful men who adorn the Christian church, and we shall find that the moral influence exerted on them under the paternal roof was, in most cases, of the best kind. They were taught their relations to God, as moral and accountable beings. The importance of religion was urged upon their attention, and its excellences portrayed by an example corresponding with its precepts.
Such an influence as this must be felt; and it is felt, whether we consider its operations as confined to the family, or extended to the neighborhood or of the town.
It is sometimes the case, that a Christian example borrows power from the position of him who exhibits it. The consideration that men of high position and commanding influence in society have embraced religion has, doubtless, led others to examine its claims, and been the means of their conversion. If the child who is accustomed to look up to a parent with confidence and respect, is influenced by that parent in regard to his opinions and practices; so will those be influenced by the religious example of men of high standing to whom they are accustomed to look with deference.
On this principle, therefore, Christians by the exhibition of a pious example will exert a favorable influence on those around them. Others will read the bible, because their Christian friends read it; they will attend public worship, because their pious neighbors go; they will sympathize in a certain degree with serious people with whom they converse and are on terms of friendly intercourse. Thus, on the mere principle of imitation men receive many important shades to their moral character from the example of piety which they daily behold.
Such an example, however, will operate still more favorably to religion through the lovely traits of character which it exhibits. The attributes of the Christian fully and clearly developed present the most interesting character that can be exhibited. For proof of this, I need only ask you to look at the character of Jesus Christ. That was a perfect character, - the model of every excellence, - the pattern of every virtue. Contemplate the beautiful moral traits exhibited by him. Behold the assemblage of virtues that shone forth from his life. What eye is so blind as not to see them?
In the same degree in which those traits are exhibited by the humblest and most obscure of his disciples, will they now be admired by all who behold them. The exhibition of moral excellences, seen and admired as they appear in the life of any one of the followers of Jesus, must carry conviction to the mind of the beholder of the value of the principles from which they spring, and which, in their practical tendency, produce effects so desirable.
Such an example will, moreover, operate as a restraint upon the wicked. The consistent Christian will command respect. As much as wicked men sometimes slander and abuse him; as much as they profess to despise him; - if his deportment is such as it should be, - if he lives agreeably with his holy profession, always exhibiting the spirit of the gospel in his conduct and conversation, they will honor and respect him. Their judgment and conscience are on his side. The very presence of such a man strikes the mind of the wicked with a kind of awe. The mouth of the blasphemer is closed before him. The drunkard and reveller shrink away from his sight. The despiser of religion is abashed in his presence; for in him its excellency is seen. The life and conversation of the devoted Christian is a standing reproof to wicked men.
3. The continuance of good men in this world is desirable, in order that, by their piety, they may save it from the judgment of heaven. These have been sent upon communities and nations according as wickedness has prevailed, where that wickedness has not been counteracted in its effects by the piety of good men. Why was the old world destroyed by a flood! Because the wickedness of men became so great, and there was not piety enough to avert that terrible calamity. Why were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by fire and brimstone from the Lord out of heaven? Because the cry of their sin came up before God, and there were not ten righteous persons whose prayers might have saved them from the impending destruction.
History records the infliction of severe judgments upon nations and communities in more modern times. We are not warranted in scripture that they were sent with a special design to punish those nations and communities for their sins, because there was not moral goodness enough to prevent it. But, from the analogy of God's dealings with nations in other times, we may thus judge.
The principles, by which God regulates his dealings with mankind are the same in every age. Formerly, He punished nations for their wickedness, when there were not righteous men enough to avert the evil, and spared them when there were. Why then may we not conclude it is so now?
There is wickedness enough in the world to procure its destruction. Why has it not been destroyed? Why has not God poured out upon the earth the vial of his wrath? Because the cries of his people have come up before him, and prevented. Were the last saint of God removed to heaven, and the last breath of prayer spent, it seems to me, the world would not long survive. It must sink beneath the weight of its own iniquities.
We sometimes read of battles and victories, and like others often ascribe them to the superior valor and generalship of those in whose favor the tide of battle turns. But we are liable to misjudge. The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. More commonly, the cause of success lies out of view. God is always the direct controlling Agent. How often is this forgotten. There are other secret agencies and influences such as the piety, and prayers, and faith of Christians. To these God has respect; and for the sake of the sixty, the forty, the thirty, the twenty, and even the ten. He spares the city otherwise doomed to destruction.
Alarming apprehensions sometimes come over us, in regard to the future of our own country, and in view of the "impending crisis," we look around in amazement, and inquire, "Whence will help come?"
Talk we of patriotism - of wise legislation - of the expedients of statesmen - of the intelligence of the people? Do we put our trust in wealth? the number of our people, and our power, both by land and by sea ? What is patriotism? What is wise legislation ? What, the expedients of statesmen? What, intelligence? What is wealth and power? What are all of them combined without religion? Of one thing we may be sure - If religious principle goes down in our country, our free Institutions will go down with it. If the judgments of heaven are averted from our land, we shall owe it under God, to the faith, the piety and prayers of good men.
4. The continuance of good men in this world is desirable, that they may exert an agency in promoting the interests of Christ's kingdom. God has revealed to us the fact, that He has great and glorious purposes to be accomplished; certain plans to be carried out, involving the highest interest of his people. But how is this to be done? We know how it might be done. God, of his own pleasure, independent of any human agency, would with perfect ease accomplish all his stupendous designs.
But he does not see fit to take this course. He chooses to make use of human instrumentality for this purpose. He calls men into his service, and permits them to be co-workers with himself in the upbuilding of Zion. However desirable it might he for them to go at once to Heaven, and be with Christ; yet to the benevolent mind, it is also desirable to do something for the promotion of Christ's kingdom and the welfare of men. Although God could accomplish all his purposes without the use of means, yet he never will. It should never be forgotten, that it is thro' human means this work is to be done. And who are to be employed as instruments? Are they those who have no heart for the work of the Lord. Sometimes they are made the indirect means of promoting the interests of religion. But this is not the object of their labors and efforts. It does not absorb their desires and urge them on to action.
We might ask here, where are those great plans originated which contemplate the conversion and salvation of the world? Who are they, that contribute of their substance for the spread of the gospel ? Who are they, that use a direct influence to bring men to a knowledge of the truth? Are we not to seek an answer to these questions by a reference to Christians? Are they not the agents by whom the wheels of benevolent effort and Christian enterprize are rolled forward?
Let every good man, therefore, be taken from this world, and the moral machinery now in operation, by which so much has been done and more is promised, towards the conversion of the whole world to Christ, would at once stop. Who would be left to keep alive the benevolent societies now in existence? Who would sustain the Christian seminaries of learning in our land? Who would give circulation to the bible? Who would distribute tracts? Who would maintain the Sabbath school, - that institution, blessed of heaven, which has done so much for the rising generation, and for the world? Whose heart, burning with love for souls, and with strong desires for the salvation of the heathen, would lead him to sacrifice home and country, and much else that is dear of an earthly nature, that he might carry the light of the gospel to those who "sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!" Who would pray for the success of missions, and by other means urge on the work of the world's conversion? Who would there be to promote the cause of temperance, or any of those objects of moral reform, so dear to the Christian heart? These things would not he done, were there no good men on earth to do them!
From the preceding views we learn, 1st, What is the true mission of Christians to this world. Their own ultimate salvation is not the only object for which they were brought into the kingdom, and for which they should labor. Other interests of vast moment are to be promoted in connection with that work of the spirit of God. Our Saviour has denominated his disciples the "salt of the earth, and the light of the world." And he prayed that they "might not be taken out of the world, but that they might be kept from the evil," intimating, that for some important purpose, it was necessary they should have a dwelling-place on earth. If valuable purposes were to be answered by the continuance of the early disciples in this world, valuable purposes are to be answered by the continuance of Christians in the world now.
And the same reasons which render it needful why any Christians should live, render it needful for you to live. As Christians, you have much to do. It is for you to maintain the worship of God pure, to preserve true religion, to exhibit a pious example before men, one worthy of their imitation. It is for you to illustrate before the world by a holy conversation the principles of the religion you profess, so to live as to make its excellence appear. It is for you to offer prayer to God for the conversion of your fellow men. It is for you to maintain the institutions of the gospel; to sustain and carry forward those plans of benevolence which contemplate the removal of the moral darkness which overshadows the earth, and the ushering in of the light of day upon the world! How great the work before you. How important the mission of Christians to this world.
2. The weakest and most obscure may be exerting an influence for good of which they are not aware. We sometimes hear Christians who think they have outlived their usefulness, wondering why they are spared; and seeing nothing in this world which should create a wish in them to remain, they choose rather to depart.
Now such may altogether misjudge. It is certain, that if it were not needful for them to remain in the world, God would take them out of it; for, when he has nothing more for his children to do here, he removes them to another sphere of activity. And besides; they may not be aware of the good of which they are instrumental. Have they piety at heart? Are they the lovers of God? Do they fear and worship Him? Do they pray? Then, they are doing good. They are exerting a healthful moral influence on all about them. No matter how obscure, how unknown they are to men. God regards their piety and their prayers, and on their account he averts his judgments and sends down blessings upon men.
3. It is not intended, however, by anything said in this discourse, that this world is to be the everlasting home of good men. God has prepared better things for them than can be found on earth. Their eternal inheritance lies beyond the limits of mortality . In order, therefore, to enter upon the possession of it, they must pass through the change which we call "death." And, from the beginning, God has thus been taking them away from the world, and introducing them to the realities of another, transferring them from earth to heaven. It is interesting to trace the long line of worthies who have lived and acted their several parts in the cause of truth and righteousness, and, at length, been dismissed from service here, and gone up to receive their reward on high. This process is agreeable to the Divine plan, and will continue to go on till the whole company of the redeemed shall be gathered into heaven. Our blessed Lord said to the sorrowing disciples, and the same is true in respect to every good man, "I go to prepare a place for you; And if I go and prepare a place for you. I will come again and receive you to myself that where I am, there ye may be also." This is said of the very men, concerning Whom Christ prayed, that they might not be taken out of the world. Tho' they were to remain here awhile, they were not to remain always. There is a moral fitness in the Divine arrangement in this regard. Pious men are the subjects of Christ's kingdom. and it is suitable that they should be near him, and behold his glory. So then after having passed through their term of service and of discipline He, their Lord, comes and transfers them to that blissful state, where they find every thing adapted to their purified and exalted natures.
One by one, they are called for; and at Christ's bidding, go from earth and enter upon their reward in heaven. This is according to the design of God in their conversion. They are to be made meet, that is, qualified or prepared, to become partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. There is a sense in which that inheritance is to be possessed by Christ and his people in common. They enjoy a joint heirship to it. He is the first born among many brethren; and is not ashamed to call them brethren. Having had fellowship in suffering, they will have fellowship in glory.
4. The subject suggests the chief reason for mourning, when good men die. It is not on their own account. They make a happy exchange. They make a blessed exchange. They go to be with Christ in Heaven; and
"We should ill requite them to constrain
Their unbound spirits into bonds again"
It is not merely on account of Christian friends who survive. I do not mean that such may not mourn, when loved ones bid them adieu. How can it be otherwise. We should be wanting in the common sensibilities of our nature, were all tender emotions suppressed, when called to close the eyes of those who had been our bosom companions, the guardians and counsellors of our youth, our daily associates in the common pursuits of life, in religious duty, in those domestic and social joys which had gladdened our hearts by the way. It would not be well to suppress them. Jesus mingled his tears with the tears of the mourning sisters at Bethany. And then, too, the due indulgence of such emotions has a good moral effect. "By the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better." We learn how to sympathize with the suffering and are more ready to relieve them. And yet, as deeply as we may feel the temporary separation, we need not regret it over-much, for it is but temporary. Soon indeed, will our work on earth be ended; and if found ready, we shall then enjoy a happy re-union with those who have preceded us, on the shores of a blessed eternity!
But the chief reason for mourning when good men die is the fact that their direct influence for good ceases to be felt. Their removal is a loss to the world. God has, indeed, a service for them in heaven; they move, no doubt, in an enlarged sphere of usefulness. But their labors on earth have ended. The light of their example is extinguished Their prayers have ceased. Their endeavors to suppress vice, to promote intelligence, morality and piety among men have closed. They are not here, as once they were, to encourage by their counsels, their prayers, and their active co-operation, those pious and benevolent enterprizes which contemplate he removal of all those evils that afflict our race, and the establishment of righteousness and peace through the world.
It is true, their memories do not perish with their bodies. They are cherished in the affectionate recollection of the living. Thus, they exert an post-humous influence beneficial to survivors.
But their presence is not felt in the domestic and social circles, and in the still wider relations in which they had moved. We hear not their voice lifted up in prayer, or their pious expostulation with wrong-doers, or in tones of approval and encouragement to those who do well. They mingle not with us in the devotions of the Sanctuary. The places which once knew them know them no more. Look for them which way we will, we find them not. A sense of vacancy, of a loss, comes over us, painful to the heart.
Truly, in view of the removal of such, we may say, "Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men." Such cause of mourning have this community in view of the death of some whose names are fragrant with worthy deeds, and will long live in the grateful recollection of those who survive. They were such as could ill be spared; for they were the friends and patrons of learning, morality and religion. We might have prayed that, it could have so pleased God, He would not take them out of the world, but permit them still longer to remain among us, not for their own sake, but for the sake of society, the church, and the world.
Among the men whose influence for good has long been felt in this place, and whose removal must be deemed a public loss, is the venerable man who has just bidden us adieu.
Judge Washburn was a descendant of a pious ancestry, and was early instructed in the doctrines and precepts of our holy religion. He was born in Leicester, Mass., Dec. 30, 1781, was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1808. Studied law in Boston, and admitted to the Bar at the age of 28. In early life he made a public profession of faith in Christ, and was ever the steadfast friend of Religious institutions. He was an associate and lover of wise and good men.
His ideas of a civil government were those entertained by Washington, Adams, and other political worthies whose memory posterity will never cease to honor. Of the grand principles which form the basis of our free institutions, he was an unflinching advocate. To show the confidence reposed in him by the public, I need only refer to the fact, that he occupied a place on the Bench and in the Halls of Legislation. Various other offices of trust were at different times committed to his hands by his fellow citizens; in all which relations he demeaned himself with uprightness and integrity. He was a friend and patron of learning; and to him this community owe a debt of gratitude, as the principal agent in procuring the chartering and establishment of Black River Academy; an institution that has done much in training the young for positions of usefulness and respectability.
From my first acquaintance with the deceased more than twenty years ago, I have ranked him among my true friends. And I regard it as a singular coincidence, that I officiated at the funeral of his father, step-mother, two aunts, two cousins, and a brother-in-law - all, parishioners of my own; also, at the funeral of a brother, in Proctorsville; and now at his own; and I feel a melancholy pleasure in being present, at his own particular request, on this occasion, and paying this feeble tribute to his memory.
I cannot forbear saying to these afflicted relatives, it was with deep sorrow I received the intelligence of the removal of this Husband, Father, and Friend. The sympathies of my heart at once clustered around you, and my prayer was, and is, that you may enjoy the sustaining grace of God. Precious promises are to those who like you are called to drink the cup of sorrow. Accept these promises, and derive from them the comfort they are designed to impart. God spared your friend to a good old age; and the Providence that took him away is as wise, and as much to be adored, as the Providence that continued him to you so long. You mourn his removal; but not as those who mourn without hope.
If he had accomplished his mission to this world, it was as fit that he should leave it, as it was that he should remain in it, during the will of the Master; and the Christian spirit teaches you to say, in view of the loss you sustain, "The will of the Lord be done."
May the good Lord support you under your bereavement, and prepare you for your own departure hence.
This providence impresses a lesson on all our hearts, which alas, we are too slow to learn.
May we not turn a deaf ear to the voice which now admonishes us.
My beloved Friends - I need not remind you that we live in a world of change, of sorrow, and of death. This truth has often been illustrated in your own experience; and it has found a lodging in the deep places of your own hearts; and scarcely ever did I feel it more sensibly than to-day.
I behold affecting manifestations of it in the tears of sorrow-stricken survivors, who can tell of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives, whose presence but lately blessed their domestic circles.
But, alas, their sun has found its setting; and what a shadow has it cast around those hearth-stones once made cheerful by their presence.
When you recur to them now, your thoughts do not take you to their own once happy homes on earth; but they gather around the gloomy grave, where your own hands have laid them, and where you have shed your tears, and sent forth your prayers.
But I come not to open anew the wound which affliction. has made; but rather to apply, if I may, the soothing balm. I come as a brother and a friend to express the sympathy I feel in your sorrows, and to re-assure you, that however other relations call me away. I am still one of you, taking a part both in your joys and in your griefs, and to speak to you those words of holy comfort with which the blessed Master has taught us to comfort one another in our distress.
Let me say, then, though the loved ones who were once with you are now sleeping the sleep of death, they have not lost their conscious being. It is the body only that dies. The spirit lives in its disembodied state, far beyond the ills of mortality; awaiting the resurrection morn, when their now lifeless forms shall be restored and reproduced, and made spiritual and immortal, like unto Christ's glorious body.
And to you, in this time of your sorrow, God says, "I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward." Although beloved friends leave you, He never does. How much reason, therefore, have you to trust in him. For, "He maketh sore, and bindeth up; He woundeth, and His hands make whole." "He shall deliver thee in six, troubles; yea, in seven, there shall no evil touch thee." "He knoweth the way that you take; and when He hath tried you, you shall come forth as gold."
Mr. Foster preached the funeral sermon of Rev. Hosea Beckley, the early
historian of Vermont. See Beckley, Mansfield's History of Dummerston.
was written some 12 years since. He reviewed it during the past year. Returning the Ms., Apr. 10, 1884, he, in his letter, states :
"It is mostly the same as I had before sent you. There are some changes and additions, you will understand. It is your privilege to make any corrections you please "
An admission which comes so gracefully from a good writer, an editor can hardly find it in his heart to cut that man's paper down. Mr. Foster's history, as the Writer every way merited, has been as fully given as it came.
One of the chief additions in the revision was the extensive list of deaths of the old people, of Putney, which is we believe, the largest one any historian for his town in the State, has furnished, as yet: and he had the satisfaction before his death, at least to know his Town had given for their History to the Gazetteer the largest subscription that has ever been given by any town. exceeding even that of Montpelier for her History. We are proud of Putney; he must have been, more than we.
A FEW NOTES FROM LAST LETTERS :
* * As I was expecting to leave town for the summer, I was desirous of expressing my heartfelt thankfulness for the many manifestations of your kindness and good-will during the years of our acquaintance, and also, my earnest desires for your prosperity in completing the worthy object you have in view.
* * Mr. Mansfield [Emery] informs me he has obtained 300 names. [Since Mr. Foster's death the list has risen to 350.]
"Be assured of my kind regards and best wishes. I have always been interested in the work on your hands."
June, 11th. * * thank you for some of the Dummerston prff"s. It would be a real pleasure to me if I could help you as Mr. Mansfield does. Inform me, if I can be of any help to you in your important work."
July 15th. * * * Perhaps you consider it not necessary to send the proofs; if so all right." [All was right with him.]
Later, on his last finished paper - of Nathan Sargeant, "It is very difficult gathering facts, concerning former generations; the early acquaintances are nearly all gone."
Aug. 18th. * * * After my return to Putney, I will have ample time to assist you all that will be necessary. ** The Lord bless you and give you health and strength for the work in your hands. "
Sept. 8th.: Still at work.. " I will soon send a short account of the Hon. John Noyes, who for several years was a prominent citizen of Putney." This, he proposed for his last paper; but did not live to finish and send it.
Two more letters: the next is touching. He was gratified at last to see his town entered in press. He read, corrected well, and returned the first 8 pages, the second 8, corrected, but did not return as the first; calling for them, we received them and the following letter:
* * * I ought to have sent the inclosed before; but I had put them away in a safe place, and they were entirely forgotten. Please, pardon my neglect and other faults of my old age."
Mr. Foster's last letter, probably, he ever penned, just a week before he died :
" Friday morning - Please excuse, my neglect. I have been quite unwell, most of the week, and unable to attend to any secular business. I now sit up, but little. - A. F. "
was from the church, where he had preached so many times; a town was his mourners; the church was draped; the services impressive; among the relative mourners were Rev. Dr. Grout, his son-in-law, and Rev. Mr. Foster, his nephew, whose installation sermon he had preached. Rev. Dr Stevens of West Westminster, whose parish and Mr. Foster's had lain so many years side by side, spoke very feelingly in the funeral. Mr. Mansfield of Dummerston, first to give us an account of the funeral, Historian of the Town where Mr. Foster's brother preached twenty years, says : "Mr. Foster was a beloved friend of the people here in Dummerston, as well as in Putney. He was one of the best men I ever knew. It is certainly to be lamented, he did not live to see the Putney History printed * * The last interview I had with him was in reference to Putney History. He spoke highly of you, and was confident Putney History would certainly be printed. I mention, this, so many despaired of ever seeing either Dummerston or Putney printed."
And, it had been doubtful, but for the happy faith and help of these two most firm friends, in the two last, hard years for our local history and us : Mr. Foster was a personal and literary friend of 25 years standing, or more; when the losses on Vol. IV. came upon us, he doubled his own subscription and bent to the work of completing his history; - "died in the harness," past the middle line of his 88th year. His daughters write, - Mrs. Grout : " I write in behalf of my Father, sitting by his sick bed. He wishes me to say to you he has looked over the Ms. and finds you have already corrected the few errors, he found. * * * I regret to say Father is very sick, and we fear, failing fast. * * He wishes me to say it will be useless for you to depend upon him any longer as his health is so poor. This is how he puts it. [It was the first time he ever said he could not help, 4 days before he died. Mrs. G. continues :] The dear man is "all ripe for the harvest, and I think that he longs to join our precious Mother in that better world. * * If there are any questions you wish to ask Father in regard to the history, I will endeavor to get as satisfactory answers as possible in his weak state." Such were this kind family.
who being requested has also sent a memorial record of Rev. Mr. Foster's family which follows the letter for w'ch we have only room now for extracts.
Speaking of his death-bed: "I shall never forget the sweet smile that lighted his countenance, as he called us each by name and gave as a parting kiss, and said "I love you all alike." This was a few moments before he passed away. Dear precious Father! with his sweet and loving life, much of brightness has gone from our lives. But, he had his heart's desire - he died in the home he so dearly loved, and has found our dear Mother, whom he so tenderly loved and deeply mourned. * * * I love to think of them in that bright world. * * A precious legacy they have left us in their pure lives, their love and their prayers. When I wrote you from Putney, I did not think that Father would pass away so soon. * * His interest in the Gazetteer continued to the last. He often asked if I had written to you and told you why he did not write. It would have been an unspeakable pleasure to him to have seen your work completed; especially to have seen the History of Putney; for everything however trifling, connected with that place, touched a tender cord in his kind and loving heart."
Harriet Eliza, born, May, 27, 1826, married James Crawford, in Putney by Rev. A. Foster, July 17, 1852; five children, two living; residence, Putney.
Broughton White, born Sept. 7, 1828 married Mary S. Sutton, in Columbia N. C., May 3, 1852, five children; three living; died in Plymouth, N. C. Nov. 26, 1867.
Ellen Maria, born Oct. 1, 1830, married Simon Jones of Boston, in Ludlow, by Rev. A. Foster, Nov. 3. 1853, one son (with Jordan, Marsh & Co. Boston) residence, Natick, Mass. Mr. Jones died May 17, 1864.
Frances Jane, born May 3, 1832. married Rev. H. M. Grout in Ludlow by Rev. A. Foster, Sept. 7, 1854, three children, two living; residence Concord, Mass.
Henry Dwight, born April 4, 1834, married Luvia L. Carpenter in Pawlet, by Rev. Levi H. Stone, Apr. 16, 1866. No children; died in Grafton, Oct. 5, 1869.
George Champion, born Apr. 10, 1836, married Teresa M. Howe, in Acworth, by Rev J. L. Merrill, June 20, 1866, four children, three living; residence, West Medford, Mass.
Charles Samuel, born Sept. 25, 1838; married Hannah M. Black in Mendota, Ill., by Rev. H. S. Weller, Jan. 11, 1872; two children; residence, Erie, Pa.
* * * Young Foster, although always of a frail constitution was fitted for college and entered at Middlebury in 1852, and graduated 1856, being a classmate of Rev. C. W. Wheaton, D. D., now Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal church of Nevada and Hon. Allen Tenney, late Secretary of the State of New Hampshire, and Rev. Charles N. Mead of Andover Theological Seminary.
He maintained an honorary position in his class and graduated with honor. His social qualities made him a great favorite with his fellow students and all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. After his graduation he taught for a short time but finally settled in Sullivan County, New Hampshire, where he held the office of County Register for about five years, and was a very popular officer. He also had the office of Trial Justice in said County for several years and tried a large number of cases displaying much clearness of judgment and a great love of Justice; after retiring from the office of Register in Sullivan county, he removed to Vermont and became for a time the editor of the Gazette, (published at Ludlow.)
[We regret to retrench, a tribute to his talent as a writer, but we wish to close on this page, also, he and the Gazette will re-appear in the Ludlow History. How beautiful ! that they who are dead may reappear in history.