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REMONSTRANCE OF THE EXCEPTED PERSONS.

WESTMINSTER MASSACRE.

crable race of men from the face of the etiy to the jurisdiction of that colony, and earth.”

stood, in a measure, unconcerned spectaAgain, says that document: “ we there. tors of the controversy in which the setfore advertise such officers, and all persons tlers on the more westerly grants, were whatsoever, that we are resolved io inflict so deeply involved. And where this was immediate death on whomsoever may at- not the case, they had not yet been driven tempt the same; (that is, the apprehen- to desperation by the executive officers of sion of any of the persons indicted as New York. They were not, however, inrioters.) And provided any of us, or our different to the policy of Great Britain party shall be taken, and we have not no- towards her American Colonies. The tice sufficient to relieve them; or whether settlers on the New Hampshire grants we relieve them de not, we are resolved to were, generally, emigrants from the other surround such person, or persons, as shall New England provinces, and they readitake them, whether at his, or their own ly sympathized with their kindred and house, or houses, or any where that we friends, and were by no means backward can find him, or them, and shoot such per- in imbibing the growing spirit of opposison, or persons, dead. And furthermore, tion to the oppressive and arbitrary measwe will kill and destroy any person or ures pursued by the mother country topersons whomsoever, that shall presume wards her colonies. to be accessary, aiding or assisting in ta- The affairs of the colonies had assumed king any one of us, as aforesaid ; for, by so alarming an aspect, that delegates these presents, we give any such disposed from most of the provinces met at Philaperson, or persons, to understand, that al. delphia on the 5th of September, 1774, to though they have a license by the law consult upon measures for the common aforesaid, to kill us, and an indemnifica- safety. The meeting of this congress was tion' for such murder, from the same au- followed by an almost universal suspenthority, yet they have no indemnification sion of the royal authority in all the colofor so doing from the Green Mountain nies, excepting New York, which refused Boys ; for our lives, liberties and proper- its assent to the measures recommended ties are as verily precious to us as to any by that body, and the courts of justice of the king's subjects: but if the govern- were either shut up or adjourned without mental authority of New York insist upon doing any business. The first interrupkilling us, to take possession of our "vine- tion of this kind in the colony of New yards- let them come on; we are ready York, happened in the county of Cumfor a game of scalping with them, for our berland, on the New Hampshire grants. martial spirits glow with bitter indigna- The stated session of the court for that tion and consummate fury, to blast their county was to have been holden at Westinfernal projects."

minster, on the 13th of March, 1775. The remonstrance, from which the fore- Much dissatisfaction prevailed in the going are extracts, was dated the 26th day county because New York had refused to of April, 1774, and signed by Ethan Allen adopt the resolves of the continental Con. and six others. About this time a plan gress, and exertions were made to dis. was concerted to avoid the jurisdiction of suade the judges from holding the court. New York, by having the New Hampshire But, as they persisted in doing it, some of grants, and that part of New York lying the inhabitants of Westminster and the east of Hudson river, erected into a sepa. adjacent towns, took possession of the rate royal government. To effect this court house at an early hour in order to object, Philip Skeen, a colonel in one of prevent the officers of the court from enthe king's regiments, and the owner of tering. The court party soon appeared large possessions on lake Champlain, went before the court house, armed with guns, over to Great Britain, and seems to have swords and pistols, and commanded the met with some success; but nothing de- people to disperse. But, as they refused cisive had been done when the revolution to obey, some harsh language passed be. commenced, which put an end to the netween them, and the court party retired gociation.

to their quarters. The opposition to the claims of New The people then had an interview with York had hitherto been confined, princi- judge Chandler, who assured them that pally, to the inhabitants on the west side they might have quiet possession of the of the mountains. The settlers on the house till morning, when the court should grants in the vicinity of Connecticut riv- come in without arms, and should hear er, had, many of them, surrendered their what they had to lay before them. But, original charters, and had taken new ones contrary to this declaration, about eleven under the authority of New York. In o'clock at night, the sheriff, with the othseveral of the towns they submitted qui-ler officers of the court, attended by an

PROGRESS OF POPULATION.

RESOLUTIONS AND REMONSTRANCES. armed force, repaired to the court house. of the mountains driven to make common Being refused admittance, some of the cause with their brethren on the west, in party fired into the house and killed one opposing the government of New York. man* and wounded several others. The The indignation of the settlers throughout wounded men they seized and dragged to the New Hampshire grants was now raisprison, with some others who did not suced to the highest pitch, and probably the ceed in making their escape.

commencement of the American war at By means of those who escaped, the Lexington, on the 19th of April, was the news of this massacre was quickly spread, only thing which prevented the parties and before noon the next day, a large body proceeding to open hostilities. This event of armed men had collected. A jury of produced a shock which was felt throughinquest brought in a verdict, that the man out the colonies ; local and provincial conwas murdered by the court party. Sev. tests were at once swallowed up by the eral of the officers were made prisoners novelty, the grandeur and the importance and confined in the jail at Northampton, of the contest thus opened between Great in Massachusetts. But, upon the appli- Britain and her American colonies. cation to the Chief Justice of New York, they were released from prison and returned home.t These proceedings aroused the spirit of

SECTION V. opposition to New York throughout the grants on the east side of the mountains. Progress of Settlement, character of the A meeting of committees from the several Settlers, and modes of punishment. townships was held at Westminster, on It has already been remarked that, althe 11th of April, 1775, at which a num- though several establishments had been ber of spirited resolutions were adopted made in Vermont previous to that time, relative to the late unhappy transactions. the commencement of the settlement may Among other things it was voted, " That properly be dated from the conquest of it is the duty of the inhabitants, as pre- Canada in 1760. In that year, the whole dicated on the eternal and immutable law number of settlers on the territory of Verof self preservation, wholly to renounce mont did not exceed 300 persons, and aland resist the administration of the gov- though the settlement began from that ernment of New York, until such times time sensibly to advance, it was by no as the lives and property of the inhabi- means rapid till after the treaty of peace, tants may be secured by it." A commit. in 1763, by which Canada was ceded to tee was also appointed, of which Ethan Great Britain. In 1764, settlements had Allen was one, to remonstrate to the court been commenced in many of the townof Great Britain against that government ships on Connecticut river as far north as and to petition his Majesty, "to be taken Newbury, and in several townships on out of so oppressive a jurisdiction and the west side of the Green Mountains, in either annexed to some other jurisdiction, the county of Bennington. or incorporated into a new one."

In 1765, the government of New York, Thus were the settlers on the east side having acquired authority from the British * William French. The following is a literal copy New Hampshire grants as far eastward as

crown to exercise jurisdiction over the furnished to the Compiler of the Vermont State Pa' Connecticut river,commenced the division pers by the Hon. Wm. C. Bradley. It is preserved of the territory into counties, as mentioned broth as a literary curiosity and as cxhibiting uno- in section third. The division lines bequivocal indication of the spirit of the times.

tween the counties were, however, a matIn Memory of William French Son to Mr ter of little consequence, towards the close Nathaniel French Who Was Shot at Westinin of this period, for when the government eter March ye 13th 1:75 by the hands of Cruel of New York' found the opposition to Ministerial tools of Georg ye 3d in the Corthouse

their measures so determined and so genat a ll a Clock at Night in the 22d year of his

eral among the settlers on the grants, they Age-Her, William French his Body lies

seem to have given the court of Albany For Murder his blood for Vengance cries

county jurisdiction over the whole tract King Georg the third his 'Tory crew

of country. This gave rise to the exprestha with a bawl his head Shot threw

sion, unlimited county of Albany, so freFor Liberty and his Countrys Good

quently used by the Vermont pamphleteers he Lost his Life his Dearest blood

during the controversy with New York.

Previous to the year 1770, scarcely any A full account of these transactions was pub- settlements had been made on the west lished by a committre appointed for that purpose, side of the Green Mountains to the northon the 23d of March, 1775, and may be found in Slade's Vermont State Papers, page 55.

ward of the present county of Benning

CHARACTER OF THE SETTLERS.

ETHAN ALLEN.

SETH WARNER.

ton. During the next year, 1771, settle- | Allen wrote and dispersed several pamments were commenced in several town- phlets, in which he exhibited, in a manships in Rutland county, and this year ner peculiar to himself, and well suited was taken the first census of the inhabit to the state of public feeling, the injustice ants on the the grants on the east side of and cruelty of the claims and proceedings the mountains. By this enumeration it of New York. And although these pamappears that Cumberland county contain- phlets are unworthy of notice as literary ed, in 1771, 3,947 inhabitants, and Glou- productions, yet, they were at the time cester county 722, and it was estimated extensively circulated, and contributed that these two counties contained at that much to inform the minds, arouse the zeal, time two thirds of the people in the whole and unite the efforts of the settlers. district. The whole number of inhabit- The bold and unpolished roughness of ants must therefore have been about 7000. Allen's writings were well suited to give

No complete census was taken till the a just description of the views and proyear 1791, and hence it is impossible to ceedings of a band of speculating and undetermine the precise population of Ver- principled land-jobbers. His method of mont at the time of the commencement of writing was likewise well adapted to the the American Revolution. But as the condition and feelings of the settlers, and settlements were rapidly extending during probably exerted a greater influence over the five years succeeding the year 1771, we their opinions and conduct, than the same may safely conclude, that the whole pop- sentiments would have done clothed in ulation of Vermont at the commencement the chaste style of classic elegance. Nor of the war was at least 20,000. About the did it differ greatly in style, or literary close of the war we find the population merit, from the pamphlets which came incidentally estimated by Doct. Williams from New York. But although Allen wrote at 30,000 souls.

with asperity and freedom, there was The settlers on the New Hampshire something generous and noble in his congrants were a brave, hardy, but unculti- duct. He refrained from every thing vated race of men. They knew little of which had the appearance of meanness, the etiquette of refined society, were bless. injustice, cruelty or abuse towards those ed with few of the advantages of educa- who fell into his power, and protested tion, and were destitute of the elegancies, against the same in others. * and in most cases of the common conve- Next to Allen, Seth Warner seems to niences of life. They were sensible that have acted the most conspicuous part they must rely upon the labor of their own among the settlers. He, like Allen, was hands for their daily subsistence, and for firm and resolute, fully determined that the accumulation of property. They pos- the decisions of New York against the setsessed minds which were naturally strong tlers should never be carried into execu, and active, and they were aroused to the tion. But while Allen was daring and exercise of their highest energies by the sometimes rash and imprudent, Warner difficulties, which they were compelled to was always cool, calm and comparatively encounter. The controversy in which cautious. After Warner was proscribed they were engaged involved their dearest rights. On its issue depended not only the 10th of January, 1737. He married in Connec

* Ethan Allen was born at Litchfield, Conn. on their titles to their possessions, but, in ticut, came to Vermont himself about the year 1769 many cases, their personal liberty and and spent most of his after life here, but his family safety. Though unskilled in the rules of did not come to Vermont till 1778, just before his

Ho was taken prisoner at logic, their reasoning was strong and con- Montreal in the fall of 1775, and carried to Engclusive, and they possessed the courage land—was cxchanged in May 1778--removed io and perseverance necessary for carrying Burlington in 1787, where he died of apoplexy on

Alis ashes rest beneath a their plans and decisions into execution. plain marble slab in the beautiful cemetery near

We have already observed that, at the Winooski lower falls, having npon it the following head of the opposition to the proceedings inscription:of New York, stood Ethan Allen, a man

6. The obviously fitted by nature for the circum

Corporeal Part stances and exigencies of the times. Bold,

of ardent and unyielding, he possessed an

Genl. Ethan Allen unusual degree of vigor both of body and

rests beneath this stone mind, and an unlimited confidence in the 12th day of Feb. 1789, his own abilities. With these qualifica

aged 50 years. tions, the then existing state of the settle- His spirit tried the mercies of his God ment rendered him peculiarly fitted to be- In whom he believed and strongly trusted." come a prominent and successful leader. His true age was 52 years, one month and two During the progress of the controversy, I days.

REMEMBER BAKER.

BEECH SEAL.

MODES OF PUNISHMENT.

as a rioter, as related in a preceding sec- these conventions were regarded as the tion, an officer from New York attempted law of the land, and their infraction was to apprehend him. He, considering it an always punished with exemplary severity. affair of open hostility, defended himself The punishment most frequently inflicted against the officer, and in turn attacked, was the application of the “beech sealto wounded and disarmed him; but, with the naked back, and banishment from the the spirit and generosity of a soldier, he grants. This mode of punishment derived spared his life.

its significant name from allusion to the After Ethan Allen and Seth Warner, great seal of the province of New Hampno person on the New Hampshire grants, shire, which was affixed to the charters of up to the close of this period, acted a more the townships granted by the governor of distinguished part, or was more servicea- that province, of which the beech rod well ble to the settlers, than Remember Baker. laid upon the naked backs of the “YorkHe was the pioneer in many an enterprise ers," and their adherents, was humorously and was always in readiness for any emer- considered a confirmation. gency. Being a joiner and mill-wright by trade, he built the first mills which were erected at Arlington and Pawlet, and was preparing in connexion with his cousin, Ira Allen, for the erection of mills at Winooski falls, when the war of the revolution commenced.*

During the protracted controvesy in which these men acted so prominent a part, there had been, up to this time, fre. quent attempts to arrest it and bring it to an amicable settlement. Orders from the crown had likewise been often given to New York to suspend further prosecutions and make no more grants of the lands in dispute till his Majesty's further pleasure should be known respecting them. But in despite of royal orders and the remonstrances of the settlers on the grants, New York continued to assert and to endeavor to enforce her claims, and the repeated but vain attempts at reconciliation, served only to embitter the resentment of the contending parties and produce a state of hostility more decided and alarming.

That the reader may have a just idea of The affairs of the inhabitants of the the summary manner in which the congrants appear to have been managed du- vention and committees proceeded against ring this period by committees appointed those who violated their decrees, we will in the several towns, and who met in con- lay before them the sentence of Benjamin vention as occasion required, to adopt Hough, as a sample. It appears that measures for the common defence and Hough, who resided in the vicinity of welfare. The resolutions and decrees of Clarendon and who was a violent Yorker,

went to New York in the winter of 1774, As Capt. Baker was killed shortly after the for the purpose of obtaining the aid of close of this period, we would observe here that he government against the Green Mountain was born at Woodbury, Ct, about 1740; served in Boys, and that on the 9th of March, the Grants about 1764 ; was engaged in the reduction very day of the passage of the extraordi. of Ticonderoga and Crown Point in the summer of nary law of which we have already spo1775, and in August following, being sent by Gen. ken in the fourth section of this chapter, Montgomery to reconnoiter the enemy's position at he accepted the appointment of justice of St. Johns, he was shot by an Indian. distance this side of St. Johns, he landed and con- the peace for the county of Charlotte, uncealed his boat, and was about proceeding on foot, der the authority of New York. On his when he saw that his boat was already in possess return be proceeded to execute his new sion of some Indians. ed his boat, but as they paid no regard

to the den office within the grants, in defiance of the mand he drew up his gnn and it missed fire, and at decree of the convention which forbade it. the next instant received a shot through the head He was repeatedly warned to desist, but upou the spot. Slis companions then fled and made being found incorrigible, he was arrested their way back by land with the sad intelligence.

and carried before a committee of safety

[graphic]

BENJAMIN HOUGH'S PUNISHMENT.

DR. ADAMS' PUNISHMENT.

at Sunderland.* The decree of the con- mentioned, * and this matter, together with vention and the charges against the pris- the particulars of the transactions at Westoner being read in his presence, he ac- minster on the 13th of March, was made knowledged that he had been active in the subject of a special message to the copromoting the passage of the law above lonial assembly by Lieut. Gov. Colden. mentioned and in the discharge of his du- The Assembly, after discussing these subties as magistrate, but pleaded the juris-jects on the 30th and 31st of March, finally diction of New York over the Grant, in resolved to appropriate £1000 for the mainjustification of his conduct. This plea tenance of justice and the suppression of having no weight with the committee, riots in the county of Cumberland, and they proceeded to pronounce upon him that a reward of £50) each be offered for apthe following sentence, viz. “ That the prehending James Mead, Gideon Warren prisoner be taken from the bar of this and Jesse Sawyer, and also a reward of committee of safety and be tied to a tree, £50 each, in addition to the rewards preand there, on his naked back, receive two viously offered, for the apprehension of hundred stripes; his back being dressed, he Ethan Allen, Seth Warner, Robert Coch. should depart out of the district, and on re- ran and Peleg Sunderland. These resoturn, without special leave of the conven- lations constituted the last and dying eftion, to suffer death.This sentence was forts of the royal government of New York forthwith carried into execution, with un- against the New Hampshire Grants. The sparing severity, in the presence of a assembly was soon prorogued and never large concourse of people Hough asked met again, being superseded by the revoand received the following written certifi. lutionary authority of the provincial concate of his punishment, signed by Allen gress. and Warner :

Although the application of the beach

seal was the most common punishment, "SUNDERLAND, 30th of Jan., 1775. others were frequently resorted to. Some This may certify the inhabitants of the of these were in their nature trifling and New Hampshire Grants, that Benjamin puerile. The following may serve as a Hough hath this day received a full pun. specimen. A Dutchman of Arlington beishment for his crimes committed hereto- came a partisan of New York and spoke fore against this country, and our inhabi. in reproachful terms of the convention lants are ordered to give him, the said and of the proceedings of the Green Hough, a free and unmolested passport Mountain Boys. He advised the settlers toward the city of New York, or to the to submit to New York, and re-purchase westward of our Grants, he behaving their lands from that government. Being himself as becometh. Given under our requested to desist, and disregarding it, hands the day and date aforesaid.

he was arrested and carried to the Green ETHAN ALLEN,

Mountain tavern in Bennington. The Seth WARNER."

committee, after hearing his defence, or

dered him “to be tied in an armed chair, On the delivery of the paper, Allen and hoisted. to the sign, (a catamount's sarcastically observed that the certificate, skin, stuffed, sitting upon the sign post together with the receipt on his back, would twenty-five feet from the ground with large no doubt be admitted as legal evidence teeth, grining towards New York,) and before the supreme court and the

there to hang two hours in sight of the or and council of New York, though the people, as a punishment merited by his king's warrant to Gov. Wentworth and enmity to the rights and liberties of the inhis excellency's sign manual with the habitants of the New Hampshire Grants." Great Seal of the province of New Hamp. This sentence was executed to the no shire, would not.

govern

small merriment of a large concourse of Hough repaired immediately to the city people ; and when he was let down he was of New York, where he gave, under oath, dismissed by the comınittee with the exa minute account of the transactions above hortation to “ go and sin no more." * This committee consisted of the following, pero | full in the American Archives, Vol. 11, p. 215; and

* This curious relic of " olden time" is given in Ethan Allen, Beth Warner, Robert Cochran, also in the 15th and 16th Numbers of the flistorical Peleg Sunderland, James Mead, Gideon Warren and Readings, published in tbe State Henner, a: BeaJosse Sawyer.

nington

sons:

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