Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

1

Slate for roofing was then substituted, and skilled quarrymen came over from Wales in large numbers to work in the quarries. Today the greater portion of the population of Fair Haven, Poultney, and Pawlet are Welsh, or of Welsh descent. Before 1840 or 1845 slate quarrying could hardly be called a State industry. At any rate, it was of so little importance that Thompson scarcely mentions it in the 1842 issue of his Vermont history.

CHAPTER XXVIII

PASSING OF THE OLD STOCK-EDUCATIONAL

Emigration; Immigration.-Emigration westward began at an early date, when vast tracts of the virgin forests still awaited the ax and plow. Tales of a mild climate and wide-spreading acres of rich lands unencumbered by woodland growth, allured many a hard-working man, who had become tired of warfare with the deep-rooted forests and the biting winters of the Green Mountain State.

The first to migrate traveled in emigrant wagons, whose rounded tops sheltered from the inclemencies of the weather both the family and such few household goods as were indispensable to the gipsy sort of life on the way, and a simple beginning in the land of their adoption. These vehicles were not unlike, in appearance, the rounded roofs that once sheltered the Algonquin Indians. Similar equipages may still be seen in the Far West, where they are known as “prairie schooners.”

On the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, emigration was made more convenient; and the new thoroughfare was at once thronged with victims of the Western fever" from all of the New England States, Vermont among the number. And westward has the tide of emigration continued to flow ever since; for, later in the period, the opening of the railway systems into the West made an additional drain upon Vermont as well as upon the entire East.

We are proud to say that wherever Vermonters have gone to help build up new commonwealths, they have been characterized by their ability and integrity; and, the country over, men are proud to own that they are native Vermonters.

In spite of the drain on Vermont's population, she has always managed to keep her number good through a foreign element, which, it cannot be denied, poorly compensates for the loss of the old stock. The first immigrants to come,

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

in any

considerable numbers, were from Canada ; and ever since they have continued to come, and now form a large per cent of our foreign population,

The Catholic Church.—There seem to have been but few Catholics in the State previous to the year 1830, and no Catholic Church organizations. During that year the Rev. Jeremiah O’Callaghan, a Catholic missionary, entered the State ; and not long afterward two others came. Three years later the first Catholic church was erected in Burlington. From that time on, there was a steady growth of the

church, owing to the rapid incoming of the French and Irish ; and before the end of this period numerous congregations had come into existence.

Temperance Reform. – As distilleries became more numerous in the State, the people began to realize the evils of intemperance; and early in this period temperance reform began. Some of the farmers would no longer keep up the custom of giving liquor to their help in haying-time or when a house or barn was to be raised; and this for a time made them unpopular, as they who array themselves against any established custom are liable to become.

A temperance society was formed as early as 1829, with the object of banishing alcohol from use as a beverage; and this society held its meetings annually in Montpelier. Town and county temperance societies were also formed in all parts of the State. Gradually the leaven worked and a better sentiment prevailed in regard to the cause of temperance, which finally became a matter of legislation. About the middle of this century Maine passed a prohibitory law, and Vermont soon followed her lead.

Establishment of Schools.— Between the years 1810 and 1840 over thirty secondary schools came into existence. These were, in the main, county grammar schools and academies. One was a normal school, which was incorporated in 1823 at Concord and was the first normal school in the United States. Many of these schools have now ceased to exist. Among those in successful operation are the following: St. Johnsbury Academy, incorporated in 1824; Burr and Burton Seminary, Manchester, 1829; Burlington High School, 1829; and, in 1834, Black River Academy at Ludlow, and Newbury Seminary at Newbury.

Newbury Seminary is now located at Montpelier, under the name of Montpelier Seminary.

Founding of Norwich University.-In 1819 Captain Alden Partridge, U. S. A., a former superintendent of West

Point, founded in Norwich, his native town, the “ American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy." This academy was incorporated by the act of the Legislature as Norwich University in 1834. Its course of study was peculiar in one respect - it allowed a student to omit the ancient languages and classics; and no specified time was allotted for the

the Captain Alden Partridge.

completion of

course, This institution is believed to have been the first to confer the now common degree of “ Bachelor of Science.”

The University remained at Norwich until the building known as the “ South Barracks” was burned in 1866, when, upon invitation of the citizens of Northfield, who subscribed liberally for its benefit and donated ample grounds, it was removed to that place. In 1898 the Legislature changed its name to “Norwich University, the

[graphic]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »