« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
Indian allies were always involved. Dur-captivity. Most of them, however, were ing their continuance, the frontier Eng. afterwards redeemed and returned to their lish settlements were frequently broken friends. up, and the inhabitants either massacred In 1756, as Captain Melvin, at the head or carried into captivity. Some account of about 20 men, was marching through of these transactions in the vicinity of the wilderness from Charlestown, New Vermont has already been given in the Hampshire, to Hoosic fort, and when in first chapter. But as very few settlements the southerly part of Newfane, which was were made within our limits while Cana- then uninhabited, he was fired upon by a da was in possession of the French, the large party of Indians, who were lying in first settlers of Vermont suffered less from ambush. A severe conflict ensued, in the incursions of the Indians than those which both parties suffered considerably of some of the other states.
in killed and wounded. Melvin's party was at length overpowered by numbers, and was obliged to leave the field in possession of the enemy. Melvin and sev. eral of his number made their escape and arrived safely at fort Dummer. The next day he returned to the battle ground with a party from fort Dummer. The Indians were not to be found, but the bodies of those who were slain were collected and buried.
At the time of the American Revolution the number of Indians residing in the vicinity of Vermont was greatly diminished; and as the Americans, at the commencement of that struggle, got possession of the military posts along lake Champlain, these few had, for a while, no opportunity to molest our settlements. But when the American army retreated from Canada in 1776, and the British had secured to themselves the command of lake Champlain,
our western borders were wholly at the Bridgeman's Fort.*
mercy of the enemy, and continued so We have already mentioned that the during the remainder of the war. All the inhabitants of Vernon were attacked and settlements in the vicinity of the lake
were broken up, and the settlers retired several of them slain by the Indians, in 1746, and that Bridgeman's fort was taken frontier military posts were at Castleton
with their families to the southward. The and destroyed by them the next year.
This place again received a hostile visit and Pittsford, on the west side of the in 1755. On the 27th of July, of this mountains, and at Barnard, Corinth, Newyear, Caleb Howe, Hilkiah Grout, and bury, and Peacham, on the east side.
During the last French war, a military Benjamin Gaffield were way-laid and fired
road had been opened from Charlestown upon by a party of Indians, as they were
to Crown Point, which was now very returning from their labor in the field, beneficial to the Americans, and early in Howe was killed, Gaffield was drowned
the spring of 1776, General Bailey was in attempting to ford the river, and Grout escaped unhurt . The Indians then pro; through the wilderness, to St. Johns, for
ordered to open a road from Newbury, ceeded to Bridgeman's fort, which had heen rebuilt, where they made prisoners of troops and provisions into Canada. He
the purpose of facilitating the conveyance of the families of these three inen, con had opened the road six miles above sisting of their wives and eleven children, Peacham, when the news arrived that our being all the persons in the fort. These were all carried to Canada, where they army had retreated from Canada, and the were doomed to suffer a long and cruel undertaking was abandoned. But in
1779, Gen. Hazen was ordered to Peach* This fort is now standing in Vernon. This am with part of a regiment, for the purfort and others so often mentioned in the accounts pose, as was said, of completing the road
They were constructed of "largo square timber begun by Bailey, so that an army might locked togethor at the corners iu the manner of a be sent through, for the reduction of Cancommon log, cabin, and covered with a rool, with ada. But this was probably only a feint port-holes "for firing upon the assailants. They i for dividing the enemy and preventing served only as protection against muskelry.
EXPEDITION AGAINST NEWBURY.
BURNING OF ROYALTON.
them from sending their whole force up menced their depredations at the house of the lake. Hazen, however, continued Mr. John Hutchinson, who lived near the the road 50 miles above Peacham, through line between Tunbridge and Royalton. the towns of Cabot, Walden, Hardwick, After making Mr. Hutchinson and his Greensborough, Craftsbury, Albany, and brother Abijah prisoners, they proceeded Lowell, and erected block houses at sev. to the house of Mr. Robert Havens, where eral places along the route. This was a they killed Thomas Pember and Elias great convenience to the settlers who Buiton. They then went to the house of came into these parts after the war, and Joseph Kneeland, took him and his fathis known at this day as the “Hazen Road.” er, and Simeon Belknap, Giles Gibbs and It terminated near a remarkable notch in Jonathan Brown. Proceeding thence to the mountain in Westfield, and which the house of Mr. Elias Curtis, they made has since been called Hazen's Notch. him and John Kent and Peter Mason
During the continuance of the war, the prisoners. frontier towns were frequently alarmed Thus far the business was conducted by the appearance of Indian scouting par- with the greatest silence, and the prisonties in their neighborhood, but the inhab-ers were forbid making any outcry upon itants were seldom molested. Their dwel. pain of death. They at length arrived at lings were, however, occasionally plun- ihe mouth of the branch, where they dered, and sometimes men were taken made a stand, while small parties proprisoners, and a few, at different times, ceeded in different directions to plunder were killed, but the women and children the dwellings and bring in prisoners. By were not usually injured, and never mas- this time the alarm bad become general, sacred as in former wars. In 1777, the the inhabitants were flying for safety in Indians killed two men in Brandon, took every direction, and the savages filled the several of the inhabitants prisoners, and air with their horrid yells. One party exburnt their dwellings. On the 9th of tended its ravages down the river into August, 1780, they took three men in Sharon, took two prisoners and burnt sey. Barnard, whom they carried to Canada ;* eral houses and barns. Another party and in October of the same year, they proceeded up the river, made prisoner of made a successful expedition against Roy- David Waller, a young lad who lived with alton, a thriving settlement on White General Stevens, plundered and set fire river, which then consisted of about 300 to the General's house, and advanced in inhabitants.
that direction about three miles, killing This expedition was designed against the cattle and plundering and setting fire Newbury, on Connecticut river, for the to the buildings as they passed. object, as was supposed, of capturing a After completing their work of destrucLieutenant Whitcomb, who in July, 1776, tion, they returned with their booty to while on a scout, had wantonly shot Gen. the place where they commenced their eral Gordon, a British officer, between attack in the morning. From this place Chambly and St. Johns, and robbed him they proceeded across the hill to Ranof his watch and sword. The British dolph, where they encamped for the night deeply resented this attack as unworthy on the second branch of White river. In of an officer, and were desirous of getting the course of the day they had killed two Whitcomb into their power. The party, persons, taken 25 prisoners, burnt upconsisting of about 300 men, mostly In- wards of 20 houses, and about the same dians, was commanded by one Horton, a number of barns, and killed about 150 British lieutenant. While proceeding up head of cattle, and all the sheep and hogs Winooski river, they fell in with several that fell in their way; having suffered no hunters, by whom they were told that the loss themselves, and scarcely met with people of Newbury were expecting an at- any opposition. Surprised, affrighted and tack, and were well prepared for defence. scattered from one another, the inhabiThis information induced them to turn tants could take no steps for their defence; their attention towards Royalton. the alarm, however, soon spread, and a
They accordingly proceeded up Ste number ofmen immediately marched from vens' and jail branch, and down the first Connecticut river,and the adjacent towns. branch of White river, to Tunbridge, By evening they amounted to several hunwhere they lay in their encampment dur dreds, and were collected at the place ing the Sabbath, and on Monday morning, where the attack was first commenced. it being the 16th of October, they com- Here they organized themselves, and
chose for iheir commander a captain John Some further account of these, and other similar House, who had served several campaigns transactions, will be found in part third, in the ac- in the continental army. counts of Barnard, Brandon, Bridport, and other towns.
Early in the evening, House began his
PURSUIT OF THE INDIANS.
march with this undisciplined but brave awakened by the rushing in of the sav. corps, in pursuit of the savages, who were ages, were so much frightened that they at this time encamped seven or eight lost the use of their reason, went out of miles ahead. The night was dark and he their doors naked, and stood motionless was guided amidst the logs, rocks and till the Indians brought them their clothes. hills with which the wilderness abounded This act of kindness restored their senses ; only by a few marked trees. When they they put on their clothes, collected the supposed themselves near the Indians, children and fled to the woods, while the they proceeded with caution, but as they savages were engaged in plundering the were passing over a stream which was house. At another place one of the wocrossed upon a large log they were fired men had the boldness to reproach the Inupon by the enemy's rear guard, which dians for distressing helpless women and had been posted behind some trees near children, telling them that if they had the place, and one man was wounded. the spirit and souls of warriors, they House's party returned the fire, killed would cross the river and go and fight the one Indian and wounded two others. The men at the fort. The Indians bore her guard then retreated to the Indian camp, remarks patiently, and only replied, squam and House advanced within about 300 shouldn't say too much. At another place yards of the same, where he waited till a woman having her gown carried out of day light without commencing an attack. the house with other plunder, resolved to
Fatigued by the business of the prece recover it. Seeing it in a heap of pillage ding day, and now suddenly awakened which the savages were dividing among from profound sleep, the savages were at themselves at the door, she seized it; first filled with consternation and thrown upon which one of the Indians clubbed into the utmost disorder. They, bowever, his gun and knocked her down. Not dissoon recovered from their fright, and were couraged, she patiently awaited an oppornot long in concerting measures for their tunity when the savages were collecting own safety. They sent out an aged pris- more plunder, seized and brought off her oner to inform the Americans that, if they gown, having at the same time one proceeded to make an attack, they should child in her arms and leading another immediately put all the prisoners to death. by the hand. Another woman having ber The proceedings thus far had caused two young son taken away with other little to be put to death; one to retaliate the boys, followed the Indians with her other death of the Indian, who had been slain, children, and entreated them to give him and the other for refusing to march, in up, which they did. Encouraged by this the expectation that the Americans would success, she then interceded for others, relieve them. These were tomahawked and finally prevailed upon them to give as they lay bound upon the ground. up 12 or 15 of her neighbor's children. Having placed their warriors in the rear One of the Indians then in a fit of good to cover their retreat, they silently left humor offered to carry her over the river their encampment, proceeded to Ran- npon his back. She accepted his propodolph, where they took one prisoner, sal, and her savage gallant carried her passed through the west part of Brook- safely over, though the water was up to field, and, by the way of Winooski river his middle, and she soon returned with and lake Champlain, to Montreal. her little band of boys, to the no small
House and his men were waiting for surprise and joy of their parents. the dawn of day and deliberating upon A few days after the burning of Royalthe message brought them by the prison. ton there was one of the most extensive er, till the Indians had departed and were alarms in the county of Windham, expe. far beyond their reach. They, however, rienced in Vermont during the war; but followed upon their trail as far as Brook- it proved to be wholly groundless. It field and then returned, having lost the happened, that as several men were suropportunity of attacking the enemy by veying lands in Brookline, some of them their caution and delay. On their way to undertook to imitate the Indian warCanada, the prisoners were well treated, whoop. In this they succeeded to admiand with respect to provisions fared as ration, and were heard by the inhabitants well as their masters. Of the twenty-six of Athens, who, supposing them to be real who were carried away, one died in cap- Indians, took fright, fled, and rapidly tivity, and the rest were liberated the next spread the alarm through the neighboring summer and returned to their friends. towns. Immediately all was terror and
During the attack upon Royalton, there confusion. To their bewildered imaginawere several occurrences which are wor- tions every noise became the yell of the thy of notice. In one of the houses first savage, and every rock and every tree of attacked, two women, being suddenly the forest a lurking place for the cruel
ALARM IN WINDHAM COUNTY.
DELEGATES SENT TO CONGRESS.
foe. With such precipitation did they burning log and brush heaps, which bad flee from their farms and dwellings that been piled by the industrions inhabitants the men left their teams harnessed in the of Newfane, and which had been set on field, and women their ovens heating and fire as they saw the storm approaching. victuals cooking by the fire.
On the 8th of March, 1781, a party of When the intelligence reached Colonel British and Indians made prisoners of Sargeant at Brattleborough, he sent out Colonel Johnson, Jacob Page, and Jonaorders into the different towns requesting than Elkins, and carried them to Canada. their militia to assemble for the purpose in the following summer, a scout consistof stopping the progress of the Indians ing of four men from Peacham, while who were laying waste the settlements. proceeding up Hazen's Road, were fired A snow storın had commenced, and before upon by a party of Indians. Two of them night was so severe as to render the fight were killed and scalped, and the other of the inhabitants laborious and distress- two made prisoners. In 1782, a party of ing; and, as evening come on, numerous British and Indians, after killing one man lights were seen along the horizon, which, and taking one prisoner at Newbury, proit was not doubted, proceeded from the ceeded to Corinth where they compelled conflagration of the dwellings of the in- the inhabitants to swear allegiance to the habitants wantonly plundered and set on British king. Other towns were also visfire by the Indians. This alarm spread ited by small parties of the enemy in the cver most of the country, but was happily course of the war, but during the period of short continuance. The brave soldiery of the negotiation, mentioned in the last marched into the deserted country, but section, and while Vermont was wholly they found nothing but a deep snow to at their mercy, these parties did very litinterrupt their progress. The original tle injury, and probably had orders from cause of alarm was soon ascertained, and the British generals not to molest the the lights, by which it had been height. inhabitants. ened, were found to proceed from the
THE ADMISSION OF VERMONT INTO THE UNION.
their mission, and appointed a committee Extending from the completion of the east
of five persons to confer with the deleern and western unions with Vermont on
gates from Vermont, and agree with them the 22d of June, 1781, to the dissolution upon the terms of admission, provided of the same on the 22d day of February, mont as an independent state.
Congress should see fit to recognize Ver1782.
On the 18th of August, a conference Vermont, having completed her eastern took place between this committee and the and western unions, as related in the pre- delegates from Vermont, at which sundry ceding chapter, appointed Jonas Fay, Ira questions were proposed to the latter reAllen, and Bezaleel Woodward, delegates specting the extent, population, and reto the American Congress to negotiate sources of Vermont, and the views and for her admission into the federal union. wishes of the inhabitants"; to all of which Full powers were given them to complete answers were returned.* On the 20th, the arrangement; and, if they effected the committee made their report to Contheir object, they were authorized to take gress; whereupon that body adopted the their seats in Congress as the representa- following resolution : "Resolved, That it tives of Vermont. These delegates ar. be an indispensable preliminary to the rerived at Philadelphia in the beginning of cognition of the independence of the peoAugust, and about the time of the public ple inhabiting the territory called Ver. cation of Lord Germain's letter, as al. mont, and their admission into the federal ready mentioned. On the 7th of August,
* For an account of this conference sec Slade's 1781, Congress took up the subject of State Papers, page 158.
RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS.
VIEWS OF VERMONT AND NEW YORK RESPECTING IT.
union, that they explicitly relinquish all bitration of no power under heaven. They demands of lands or jurisdiction on the however declared their willingness to subeast side of the west bank of Connecticut mit any questions, which might arise, river, and on the west side of a line be with regard to jurisdictional limits be. ginning at the north west corner of Mas-tween them and the neighboring states, sachusetts, thence running twenty miles to arbitrators mutually chosen; and, when east of Hudson river, so far as said river adınitted into the American union, they continues north-easterly in its general would not object to submitting such discourse, then by the west bounds of the putes to Congress. townships granted by the late government The Legislature of New York, on the of New llampshire, to the river running other hand, regarding the resolution of into East Bay, thence along said riyer Congress as a virtual determination of the and bay to lake Champlain, thence along controversy between that state and Ver. the waters of said lake to latitude 45 de- mont, passed a number of resolutions, and grees north."
a solemn protest against the proceedings Vermont and New York were both dis- of Congress.* Having stated their claims, satisfied with this resolution—Vermont, and some former proceedings of Congress because it required as a condition of her on the subject, they went on to express admission into the union, that she should their disapprobation and alarm at the evidissolve the agreeable connexions which dent intention of Congress, from political she had just formed-New York, because erpedience, to establish an arbitrary bounit recognized the claim, against which she dary, which excluded from that state a had so long and so earnestly contended ;-- great part of its territory. They declared the one, because it bereft Vermont of one that, in the opinion of the legislature, half her present territory, resources and Congress had no authority, by the artiimportance-the other, because it would cles of confederation, to intermeddle with allow Vermont still to have something left the territorial extent, or jurisdiction, of which she could call her own. This ap- either of the United States, except in case pears from the proceedings of their re- of dispute between two or more states in spective legislatures.
the union,—that to carry into execution The legislature of Vermont met at said resolution of Congress, would be an Charlestown, on the east side of the Con- assumption of power, and an infraction necticut river, in October, and on the of the articles of confederation, and that 16th of that month, the foregoing resolu- they therefore solemnly protested against tions were laid before them. The reso- the same. lution held out to Vermont a faint pros- With the resolution of Congress of pect of an admission into the federal union August 20th, a verbal message had been with her original territory, but having lost sent by General Washington to Governor much of her confidence in the assurances Chittenden, desiring to know what were of Congress, and having now consolidated the real designs, wishes and intentions of her unions at home, she felt herself in a the people of Vermont;-whether they condition to demand better terms than the would be satisfied with the independence relinquishment of one half her territory proposed in said resolution, or seriously and population, to secure the indepen- thought of joining the enemy and becomdence of the other half. After delibera- ing a British province. On the 14th of ting and debating upon the subject for November, Governor Chittenden returnseveral days, the assembly, on the 19th of ed an unequivocal and decisive answer to October, voted that they could not com- the above communication, in which he ply with the foregoing resolution of Con- said that no people on the continent were gress.*
more attached to the cause of America They declared that a compliance would than the people of Vermont; but, that destroy the foundation of the harmony they would sooner join the British in which then subsisted in the state, and be Canada, than submit to the government a violation of the solemn compact entered of New York--that, driven to despera; into by the articles of union and confed- tion by the injustice of those who should eration—that they would remain firm in have been her friends, Vermont was now the principles on which they had assumed obliged to adopt policy in the room of the powers of government—that they power. He ascribed the late resolution would hold inviolate the articles of union of Congress,not to the influence of friends, which connected the parts of the state to- but the power of enemies, believing that gether-and that they would submit the Lord Germain's letter had procured that, question of their independence to the ar- which the public virtue of the people
could not obtain. * For those proceedings, see Slade's S.P., p. 160.
* For these rosolutions soe Slade's S. P., p. 163.