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A History of the Town of Goshen, Vermont
Nathan Capen1, ca. 1887
Robert M. Murphy, 2017
The following history lies in the vault of the Vermont Historical Society at Barre, Vermont (MS 974.31 G692). It is a manuscript history of the Town of Goshen, and differs in many respects from the history (by the same author) which appears in Abby Maria Hemenway’s Vermont Historical Gazetteer. This manuscript version contains significantly more information about individuals who lived in town. The transcriber has not substantively changed any of the written information, but has added punctuation to facilitate reading and made some spelling corrections.
By an examination of the charter of the town of Goshen it appears that the towns of Leicester, Salisbury, Ripton, Hancock & Philadelphia were either chartered or granted previous to September 2nd, 1791, its first charterbeing dated Feb. 2nd, 1792. For some unexplained cause it was rechartered November 1st, 1798, to the same parties: John Powell, William Douglass and 65 others the lands which in future to constitute the town of Goshen.
It being found by the survey of the above named towns that there was lands unsurveyed and unappropriated,but not of sufficient quantity for a township of six miles square, there being only 13,000 acres here. The deficiencywas made up by granting two gores similarly situated in Caledonia County, one by Wheelock containing 2,828 acres, & one by Walden of 1,339 acres.
The original proprietors levying taxes on their lands for the purpose of defraying the expenses of surveying and allotting their lands, making roads, etc.
In the year 1806 Jabesh Omsted from Pittsford, Vt., found his way to Goshen, secured a title to lot no. 50, of 200 acres; Omsted’s half of the lot is now owned by Arnold Ayer. Here in the wilderness with the assistance of his son, he laid up the body of what was to be a log house. He, being past middle age with a 2nd wife and family of small children, made slow progress in finishing his future home. Such was his anxiety to be on his land during thesugar season that he moved his family in March 1807, his wife being sick, with the assistance of three men brought her on a bed. And here within the walls of that log hut without a floor, rafter or roof save a few boards and brush to cover their beds and shelter them from the storms of that inclement season could have been seen March 15, 1807, Jabesh Omsted and Mary, his wife, and daughter Lydia, the first inhabitants of the town of Goshen.
Omsted succeeded in clearing a few acres, but coming here in a debt hoping to retrieve his broken fortune, he worked hard and fared harder the fall of the year 1810, when one of his creditors took it upon him to close up theconcern. At that time the civil process ran in this wise: “and for the want thereof take his body”. It not taking a very rigid scrutiny of Omsted’s effects to satisfy the officer that the body must pay the debt, so he was taken from his family and incarcerated in the jail at Middlebury.
1 Nathan Sidney Capen was born 27 May 1840 at Goshen, Vt., to Nathan Capen, Jr. and Rebecca Hooker. He married Mariah A.Severy on 29 Sep 1869 at Brandon, Vt. Nathan served as town clerk of Goshen for many years, and died at Brandon on 4 Feb 1908.
He soon obtained the liberty of the yard, but the time he was required by law to stay was too long for any other purpose than to prove that imprisonment for debt was but the relic of a barbarous age, and in his case it was too well exemplified. He wrote to his family, saying, on a certain Saturday night, he would be at home. When thatSaturday night came, they watched with the greatest anxiety for his return, the children often running out while the day lasted to see the first appearance of “Father”, and after dark listening to every sound in their eager anxiety togreet him. The mother often walking short distances in the direction she expected him to come, saying to the writer, “I made it my rule not to go out of sight of the house for if I had I shouldn’t have known where to have stopped.”Saturday night to Mr. Omsted’s family wore off drearily; he did not come. There was a lurking feeling that he might be sick, but hope sought to alleviate their fears by suggesting the probability of his staying somewhere to attend meeting on the Sabbath, his being an exhorter. They waited anxiously through the day. Monday brought a dreary East wind and snow storm which rendered traveling almost impossible. While Mrs.
Omsted was preparing breakfast a stranger knocked at the door and inquired for her. She said, “I knew he brought tidings and without further preliminaries I asked if Mr. Omsted was sick.” He replied, “very sick”. After a moment’s pause, he added, “he was alive when I left him, but there is no probability you will ever see him alive.” Mr. Omsted died the morning the messenger left. Preparations were made to bring his body home for burial, that his family might have the cold satisfaction of looking upon the lifeless form of that beloved husband and father. But either through fear of having the debt transferred to the person who should remove him or some other unexplained cause, he was buried in Middlebury. He died February 14, 1811. His children were Henry, Demis, David, Lemuel, Jonathan & Moses; 2nd marriage Lydia: Martha & Mary. Mary was born in March 1811, and is the wife of Wolcott Baird, now living in Chittenden, Vt.
Wolcott Baird, Jr., a grandson of Mr. Omsted, now resides in Goshen.
Goshen Church History
The first settlers would occasionally meet for religious instruction on the Sabbath.
Baptists, Congregationalists, Christians and Methodists would all meet and worship together. Samuel Bancroft from the south part of Philadelphia was the first Baptist preacher. Jabesh Omsted was an exhorter of the same faith.Edward B. Rollins of Randolph, Vt., the first Christian preacher, and Nathaniel Alden of Ripton, Vt., the first Methodist preacher. It was the custom to invite the ministering officials of the adjoining towns to come and preach when best they could. Appointments for preaching in the busy season in the afternoon of a workday would be carefully circulated and invariably secured good audience. Ox teams and all means of conveyance at hand would be brought into requisition to bring out old and young to hear their instructions.
The first persons baptized in town were John White, Nancy Blood, Lydia Carlisle and Hannah Smith in 1815by Rev. Edward B. Rollins. In the same year Amos Sawyer and Fanny, his wife, and Merriam Ayer, the wife of David Ayer, were baptized. These seven members constituted the first Christian Church.
Elder Abiathar Knapp was the first minister that settled in Goshen. He come from Shrewsbury, Vt., in 1822 and reorganized the Christian Church or Society Dec. 3, 1822. The names of those constituting the church at this time were Abiathar Knapp, Amos Sawyer, Lois Blood, Fanny Sawyer (wife of Amos), Cynthia Mason, NancyCarlisle and Anna Knapp. This organization existed till the 18th day of April, 1846. The whole number of members was 46, never over 20 at one time since, which time it has existed only in name. Elder Knapp preached here for eight years.He represented the town in 1829, removed to Moira, N.Y., the fall of 1829, and died in Missouri January 4, 1880, age 94 years, 11 months, 11 days.
The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the year 1818. The members constituting thatorganization were Wm. and Rebecca Clark, his wife, and Polly, their daughter, at this time residents of Leicester, and Benjamin and Mary Phelps, his wife. Other names were added; they slowly increasing until the winter of 1826-7, when there was an awakening of the religious feeling, and the religious societies increased in numbers, new names being added to their organizations.
I can do no better than give the recollections of Mr. Martin Allen in church history, he coming here with his father at the age of 11, and was a participant and actor in all things pertaining to the welfare of the inhabitants bothspiritual and temporal for a period of 39 years of adult age when he removed to Randolph, Wisconsin, where he died March 4th, 1879, aged 78 years.
He says in a letter written in February, 1859, that “Mr. Omsted come to town in 1807, was the first settler. Hebelonged to the Baptist Church. In a few years several families come but few had any regard for the Sabbath or religion. However, some came who made and regarded the profession of religion. In a few years ministers wereinvited to come and preach at their own convenience, and mostly at their own expense. The first church was formed by Rev. Edward B. Rollins of Randolph, Vt., and was called the Christian Church.
“The Episcopal Methodists formed a society about the year 1818 and continued till the present time. Their number was small, not over 15 at one time, until 1827 when it was increased to 26. Soon after this Sabbath preaching was obtained, one sermon in two weeks, more numbers joining until 1831. Private dwellings and school houses now being now too small to convene all who wished to attend meeting, the Methodist Society built a small meeting house 24 feet square. They now secured preaching one half of the time, organized the first Sabbath school,purchased a library, continuing to prosper until 1844, when the M.E. Church had reached the height of prosperity.
“From 1844 to the present time it has gradually decreased until at present they are few in numbers and feeble in means. Between two and three hundred have at different times united with that church. The largest number atany one time was about fifty. In the year 1848 was built by subscription the present more commodious house of worship for the M.E. Church.
“A number of years previous to 1844 the political Anti-Slavery or, Liberty, Party had begun to make itself felt by obtaining a few votes for its candidates, the fall election of 1844 obtaining 32 votes. The writer, feeling that his political and Church action were inconsistent with each other, determined to withdraw fellowship from the M.E.Church. Eight other members for the same reason also left, and in March 1844 organized the Wesleyan Methodist Church, having much to contend with, being few in numbers and having no place to meet for worship.
“As we espoused the cause of liberty most heartily, the other political parties of the town, sympathizing with the old M.E. Church, made it uphill work, and quite steep at that, for the Wesleyans, but they prospered to some extent. In 1851, amid much war of words, built a small but convenient house of worship, secured preaching, nearlyhalf of the time organized a Sabbath school, purchased a library of over 200 volumes. Yet ever few in number, never more than 20 members at one time. Sermons and lectures have been delivered on various subjects, many of them very good. There has been a large amount of preaching in town for the number of
inhabitants. I think 4000 sermons is a small estimate for the last forty years. I have heard 136 in one year, and think I have heard 3000 in thirty years.”
Martin Allen I would add to Mr. Allen’s letter that here mixing political with Church action was lost
that principle of “love which worketh no ill to its neighbor”, one so necessary to all vital piety.
1808 Joseph Carlisle with his wife and three children Joseph, Jr., Amy and Asa, come to Goshen from Plymouth, Vt., he being the second family in town, and commenced improvements on lands now owned by John White on the south side of the lot, and near the north line of the Capen farm. Here on the 15th day of April 1810 wasborn Miah Carlisle, the first male child born in Goshen, and died in Brandon, Vt., April 26th, 1886 at the residence of his son Ransom in Brandon, he being a resident of Rochester and well to do farmer of that place. Joseph Carlisle was a hard laboring man, but riches never appeared to be for him, was a good mechanic, was trustworthy, never fearing to denounce wrong or to contend for the right, was a good leader in vocal music. His children were Joseph, Amy, Asa, Mial, Anna, Amasa, Sylvia & Sarah, of whom are now living Joseph, Amasa, Sylvia & Sarah.
Joseph Carlisle died in Michigan at the residence of his son Asa, September 1859, aged 74.
David Ayer with his wife Merriam and their children David, Jr., Ira, Betsey, Nancy, Arnold, Merriam & Louisa, come here from Brandon in 1808, made the first improvements on lot no. 1 in the southwest corner of the town, lands now owned by Barnd Overbeek. He died October 1857, aged 88. Hannah Ayer, the mother of David,died Feb. 17, 1832, aged 83. David, Jr., married Tabiatha Allen, both deceased. Ira married Sally Bragg, is now (1886) living in Brandon, Vt. Betsy married Cyrus Osborn, and she is now (1886) a widow living in Peterboro,
N.H. Arnold married Anna Parks; he is now a widower 1886 living. Nancy married David Grandey, by whom she had one daughter, Melissa, the wife of Alonzo Johnson. She was afterward divorced and married Jesse White.Merriam married Josiah Dartt in 1886, living in Wisconsin. Louisa married Samuel Brown, and living a widow in 1886 in Illinois.
The children of David Ayer, Jr., and Tabiatha (Allen) Ayer were Evie, Arnold, Sophia, the wife of Enold Rogers of Pittsford, Mary Ann, widow of Dan Ray, living in Pittsford, Electa, the wife of Edward Jackson of Ticonderoga, N.Y., Edwin, Hiram & Laura, the wife of James Smith. Arnold, Edwin and Hiram are inhabitants ofGoshen, industrious and well to do citizens. David Ayer, Jr., died Jan. 16, 1875, age 79. Tabiatha, wife of David, died Sept. 13, 1873, age 75.
Jonathan Omsted come here in 1808, begun improvements on a part of his father’s lot near the SW corner where they lived 3 or 4 years, then moved into improvements bought of his brother Henry, where hard work andharder fare soon compelled him to remove to St. Lawrence County, N.Y., in 1816.
On a certain occasion Omsted, with the assistance of a friend, went to look for a bear which had broken loose from a trap. As good or bad luck would have it, they came across the ugly, cross-grained old denizen of the forest, who evidently felt more like declaring his independence, and fighting to maintaining it, then beating a hasty retreat.So she turned upon Omsted with her mouth open and paws extended, snapping and snarling, showing a willingness to embrace him with a hug. Omsted stood, with his gun at charge bayonet, as unconcerned as
Patience on a monument, his friend calling him to run. Yet he stood despite his entreaties till he could nearly reach the bear when Omsted fired into the bear’s mouth and said he when I fired in order to give her the full benefit of all Ihad in my gun. I pushed a little. But said his friend what if your gun had missed fire. I should have run around that birch tree.
Abdeon Owens bought a home here, coming from Salisbury, Vt., bought 25 acres just north of DavidAyer, but finding a backwoods life an uphill business, he with his family soon left.
Reubin Allen came with his father’s family in 1809 at the age of 13. Grew up a strong, resolute, persevering man; whatever he undertook he accomplished. Was for a long time leader of the M.E. Church. It was largelythrough his efforts that our Meeting House was built in 1848. Was an efficient officer in town affairs, prudent and careful in executing the trusts confided to him. Was often chairman of the board of Select Men, oftener than he desired. Represented the town in the Vermont Legislature in 1844 & 5. Nor was he derelict in his own affairs; he cleared up and worked a large farm. Worked one evening with a blacksmith, bought the tools next day, ever afterdoing a large amount of that kind of work in connection with his wheelwright business between the years of 1820 and 1840. The log buildings were generally superseded by more commodious framed ones. Allen’s perseveranceand activity made it an object for the townsmen to obtain his services to frame and erect their buildings. In 1832 Silas D. Gale built a large barn and, as Allen had done the framing, Gale enquired of him if he thought it could beraised without rum and added, “the general opinion is that it can’t be done”. Said Allen, “if that is what you want, it can and shall be done. Invite your help and have it understood the work is to be done with cold water only for drink.”
This was the first experiment of that kind ever tried in town and it proved a success.
When the frame was raised, the malcontents who had sat around idle spectators come up, Allen thus addressed them, “Gentlemen, I have erected my last frame with spirits in any form for drink.” His determination was never questioned, nor his ability doubted.
Reubin Allen removed to Randolph, Wisconsin, in 1854. Returned to visit the scenes of his youth where the largest and best part of his life had been spent, and to greet his old friends, made dear by their active public lives andreligious associations. Where he died on the 14th day of November 1868, aged 72.
James Cowen came to town in 1823 from Pittsford, Vt. He built a house across the brook just north of the burying ground where he, his wife and daughter Artemissa, resided. He was a man of uncommon intellect and wonderful memory. I have heard him say, for forty years, he could repeat the texts of every discourse he has heard preached and the occasion of its delivery, and that in three days after its delivery he could repeat every word of eachsermon preached from each text. He was a pious and exemplary man and almost invariably attended meeting. In argument he was systematic and lucid, cogent in reasoning and logical in discourse. On one occasion where the ordinance of baptism was being administered, after all those who had requested had been baptized, Cowen stepped forward and said, “Here is water; why may not I be baptized.” If thou believeth thou canst, said the old man, I believe, but his belief not being sufficient to satisfy the ministering official, he was not baptized. His religious belief was Restoration. On one occasion he stated in meeting that he had had a passage of scripture on his mind for some time and as there was no appointment for a certain Sabbath which he named, he would try to talk on that subject. And for fear he might get confounded he would give out the text there and in case of his failure the audience could help him. But the old man was adequate for his subject. A few days after the delivery of his discourse he said he shouldn’t preach any more for no sooner than he got one passage of scripture from his mind than another was impressed upon it. He composed several pieces of poetry, of which one only is to be found, and that was written after he was 81 years of age but a few days before he died and shows the state of his mind at the time.
My ears are deaf, my eyes are dim, And vision flees away,
My memory fails, my strength far spent, My flesh must soon decay.
I listen but I cannot hear, I gaze but cannot see,
Bless God I feel and that to me, Is good as good can be.
Some fragments of my broken thoughts, With me yet still remain,
To Jesus I devote them all, And bless his holy name.
Sometimes I fancy I can hear, The holy angels sing,
While they seem hovering round my bed, Borne by their golden wings.
They seem to waft a heavenly breeze, Which proves a royal feast,
When I am fanned by angels’ wings, I’m freed from all distress.
My time is short, for death draws near, A happy change for me,
Thus to depart and be with Christ, To all eternity.
He died May 13, 1845, aged 81.
Noah Allen and Reuben Grandey, the father of Allen’s wife, settled here in the spring of the year 1809, Allen from Sudbury and Grandey from Leicester, Vt. Allen’s family, consisting of a wife and five children, Reuben, Martin, Tabiatha, Alvin & Erie, to which were added in process of time, Polly, Sally, Noah, Saloma and Numan.Allen, being of a strong constitution and an industrious turn of mind, soon drove the forest back to make room for improvement and cultivation, with the care of his family clearing his land, making roads and all claims upon him consequent upon a new settlement were met with cheerfulness. Encouraging the despondent and seeking and assisting the needy were his characteristic traits.
He was chosen one of the Selectmen when the town was organized and was often afterward called to fill that and other places of trust which he done with care and fidelity, although political preferments were not congenial to his taste. Such was his anxiety for the settlement and prosperity of the town that he was by many of the settlersaccorded the honor of being the Father of the town.
Making sugar was an industry Allen early engaged in. Troughs made of the white ash dug out with an axe were substituted for buckets. Potash and five pail kettles were used to evaporate the sap. With such an outfit, Mr. Allen in one season with the assistance of his boys, made one thousand bbls. of granulated sugar and one barrel ofmolasses in ten consecutive days, an unprecedented feat with such an outfit in those early days.
The soil would willingly second the efforts of the settlers in sending forth crops to reward honest labor. Mr. Allen raised on 3½ acres of land 1360 bushels of English turnips in one season. It grew to a proverb that any man could raise large crops of any kind if Uncle Noah’s services could be obtained to sow it.
He died May 20, 1844, aged 72.
Reubin Grandey was seven years and six months a soldier in the War of the Revolution, came here from Leicester, Vt., with his wife and minor son then 14 years old and made the first improvements on lot no. 49, the farmnow owned by John B. Ferson. He was a quiet unassuming man, contenting himself with his domestic concerns, was an exemplary man somewhat aged when he came here. His wife Sally was a fit helpmeet for him, was careful about wounding the feelings of others or of stirring up controversies. On a certain occasion on meeting with a number of her neighbors, Mrs. Grandey heard a remark not strictly in accordance with her ideas of propriety and reproved them in this manner, “I fear you will get to talking about your neighbors; let us talk of God.” Reubin Grandey was the first person buried in our cemetery near the meeting house. He died April 30th, 1819; his wife, Sept. 23, 1822. There isno stone to mark the spot where the old soldier and his wife were laid away; their graves are still to be found.
In 1810 there came to Goshen from Massachusetts, Simeon C. Davis, Joseph Davis, Lemuel Tobey, NathanCapen and Erie Grandey, Grindal Davis & Levi Davis, Anthony Baker & George Walker.
Nathan Capen came to Goshen December 10, 1810, stayed the 1st night in a small shanty near the county road on the east line of lands then owned by Nathan Hawley and for a long time since owned by Daniel Hooker & his descendants. He received the west half of lot no. 50 & commenced improvements by cutting and fixing for buildinga house, he then being but 24 years of age and unmarried. But it being fashionable to build houses in those days, he built and finished one to suit his taste where he kept house alone for nearly 4 years, cleaning up and doing all workincumbent upon all new settlements, often working roads more than 2 miles in Brandon. Having to draw boards from Hall’s mill where Newton and Thompson’s spool & bon mill now stands in Brandon, a road to that locality being indispensable.
He was appointed Town Clerk when the town was organized which office he held 28 successive years,Justice of the Peace nearly the whole time, delegate to amend the Constitution
in 1828, was elected to represent the town in 1830 by a unanimous vote, which place was accorded him six successive years. He died March 12, 1852, aged 66 years.
His children were Assenath, the wife of J.N. Dartt (he died in Nebraska), Nathan, John, Charles & Minerva, the wife of Numan Allen (he died March 15, 1886).
- Simeon C. Davis made the first improvements on the farm now owned by Perry I. Ayer, son of Ira Ayer and grandson of David Ayer, erected buildings, cleared off land, etc., working with such energy that he was enabledto clear off and plant one acre of potatoes that first season, that being the largest field yet planted in town. Simeon C. Davis on the 11th day of August, 1814, was married to Lydia Tobey, it being the first marriage ever solemnized in Goshen. At that time it was a provision of law that all intentions of marriage should be made public by the town clerk at least eight days before the marriage. On Sunday, July 24, 1814, at a meeting for religious worship held at the dwelling house of Noah Allen, the proper officer made public announcement of the intention of marriage between Mr. Simeon C. Davis and Miss Lydia Tobey, whereupon Mr. Davis made the announcement of the intention of marriage between Mr. Nathan Capen of Goshen and Miss Mary B. Jepherson of Randolph. In the fall of the year 1814 Mr. Davis removed from town, Mr. Mial Carlisle occupying his place.
Joseph Davis made the first improvements on the north half of lot no. 28, lands now owned by Stephen Salls & Melvin Baker. Removed to Middlebury, Vt., in 1815.
Grindal Davis with Levi, brothers of Simeon C. & Joseph, made the first improvements on the south half oflot no. 28, they working together. Was chosen 1st Selectman when the town was organized in 1814; was appointed delegate to the convention to amend the Constitution. In September was chosen representative to the GeneralAssembly, and removed from town in 1815 to Yates, N.Y., where [he] lived, a wealthy and respected citizen.
Anthony Baker came to town from Sudbury, Vt., April 10, 1811, commenced improvements on the farm long owned by Martin Allen, now owned by Albia A. Ayer, son of [T.]I. Ayer. Baker built the first sawmill in 1817.He was chosen 1st Constable and Collector at the 1st town meeting.
Mr. Baker’s children were Almon P., Anthony S. (deceased), Polly M. (widow of John Brown ofMichigan), Perry, Olive S. (widow of [S.S.] Fletcher), Loren H. (now Town Clerk of Ripton), Harry H. & Prudence (wife of Chester Allen).
Anthony Baker died July 25, 1873, aged 84. His wife died Nov. 29, 1874, aged 88.
Erie Grandey began improvement on lands long owned by Abel Walker of Whiting, and built his house on the top of the hill south, and a few rods west, of the spot where Reubin Allen built a saw mill in 1837, on the west side of the road, nearly west of two old apple trees on the east side of the road. The cellar and embankments around the house are still to be found.
Patriotism was a characteristic of the Grandeys. The Army seemed to be their home as a matter of course. Erie left Goshen March 18, 1812, & enlisted in the Army May 12, came back for a short visit to his family, returned to the Army, and died of disease June 18.
Lemuel Tobey began improvement on lot no. 26, now owned by John & David Lonergan, built his house, stayed about five years and left in 1815.
George Walker purchased 100 acres of lot no. 29, the north half in 1811 (now owned by Calvin T. Persons), commencing the improvements, his family living in Shutesbury, Mass., he working a portion of his time to pay for his land. He managed in this way until 1822 when he moved his family to the home he had cut out of the wilderness here.
His children were Louisa (the wife of Lewis Russel of East Middlebury), Nancy (deceased), Abigail (the wife of Darius Crooke of Brandon), Betsy (wife of Wm. Tucker of California), Susan (deceased), George (of EastMiddlebury) & William (of Rutland). Four years of the time between 1811 and 1822 he worked for Benajah Douglass of Brandon in payment for his land. In this time he had sold his land to Samuel White , he & Samuel Sampson working the lands together till March 1815 when they redeeded to Walker and left the town. Walker died at Brandon, Oct. 8, 1878, aged 90.
- William Carlisle, a Revolutionary Soldier seven years and months came here from Plymouth, Vt., and began improvements on the west part of lot no. 26, lands now owned by Perry I. Ayer. His family being mostly grown up and married, their names were Lewis, Joseph, Polly, William Jr., Betsy, Mial, Lydia [&] Martin. One of the girls married John White, a brother of the wife of Benjamin Phelps. White commenced on lot no. 2 near the southwest corner; stayed a few years and removed to Michigan. Another married Arba Greenwood, who owned land here but never a resident for any length of time. Lydia married Lyseum Spear from Amherst, Mass., who settled herein 1823 and undertook the care and support of his wife’s father & mother, which arrangement was of short duration.The old people soon followed their son Mial to Randolph, Vt., where they died at an advanced age.
Mial’s children were Philena, Philancy & Marcellus. The father following the fortune of his son, removed to West Windsor, Vt., where he died.
James Fitts, a son-in-law of Reubin Grandey, came here from Leicester, and began on the north part of the lot then owned by Grandey. Here, by industry and hard labor, he made him a home and raised a family of children.Eunice Sophronia married William Carlisle [3d], since deceased, Sally Maria the wife of Franklin Bump of Salisbury, Vt. David G. removed to Wisconsin, his whereabouts being unknown, and James, Jr., is now (1886) a respected citizen of Salisbury, Vt. James Fitts was a much respected citizen, often faithfully filling places of trust and responsibility to entire satisfaction, was a Justice of the Peace most of the time while he resided here. Of him, James Bacon, a rhymester, facetiously said,
James Fitts fills out the writs, And David Grandeyserves them, It is a disgrace to this place,
And to every one that employs them.
James Fitts removed from Goshen to Salisbury, Vt., in the year 1838, where he died.
Asa Grandey was a Revolutionary Patriot, moved into the house with Anthony Baker. His family consisted of his wife, Jehial Cisco & wife, their son Jacob F. then a minor, being brother to Grandey’s wife. Asa Grandey’s son Asa, Jr., & David Omsted, son of Jabesh, were killed at the battle of French Mills. Grandey also had a sonSanford in the army, and who was in the battle at Plattsburg. Such was the noise of that battle that the guns were heard here. The old patriot with his wife walked the road before their house wringing their hands in an agony of grief, expecting to hear that Sanford was killed. Asa Grandey was never the owner of lands in Goshen, left townin the year 1814, together with the Ciscos, Newel & Timothy Egleston, who were probably relatives, they coming and leaving together for over the lake.
Abiathar Pollard came here in the year 1812 with his wife, who was a sister of Asa Grandey’s wife, movedinto the house built by Nathan Capen, was a Revolutionary Soldier, was in the battle of Red Bank. He used to say he was one of the 400 men under Col. Greene who defended Fort Mercer against the British attack and fired 60 rounds of cartridges before the contest was decided and the enemy left them. He died Dec. 1813, was the first grown person that had died in town and was buried near the west line of lot no. 50 by the side of the road.
There is nothing to mark the spot where the old patriot was buried and occasionally wagons are driven over his grave.
Benjamin Phelps came here from Swansea, N.H. in the year 1813, purchased improvements and finally settled with his son Reubin on lot no. 1 near the SE corner of the lot now owned by Ellen & James McGibbin. He took a decided stand in favor of the church and its responsibilities, truthful and upright in his intercourse with hisneighbors. He died July 5th, 1857, aged 89. His wife, Mary, died Dec. 25, 1856, aged 87. She had been a constant and faithful member of the Methodist Episcopal Church for over 70 years.
John White, a brother of Mrs. Phelps, settled and made improvements on the south west corner of lot no. 2, had previously married a daughter of Wm. Carlisle Senior. He stayed but a few years and removed to Michigan.
In March of the year 1814 there were 17 families in town and 25 tax payers. The interest in schools, thesupport and making highways and providing for the poor were considered of such importance that an organization as a town was deemed advisable. Accordingly, a sufficient number petitioned Henry Olin of Leicester, a Justice of the Peace for the county, to warn a meeting for that purpose which was answered in these words:
State of Vermont } Whereas application hath been made to me by more than four Addison County, § } respectable freeholders of the town of Goshen to warn a meeting of the inhabitants of said town for the purpose of electing town officers,
Therefore, notice is hereby given to the inhabitants of the town of Goshen to meet at the dwellinghouse of Simeon C. Davis in said town on the 29th day of instant March at ten of the clock forenoon of said day to act on the following articles.
1st, to choose a Moderator to govern said meeting. 2nd, to elect all such officers as the law directs.
Given under my hand at Leicester this ninth day of March 1814.
Henry Olin, Justice of the Peace
Goshen, March 29, 1814. Town Meeting opened agreeably to Notification. Henry Olin, Justice of the Peace, presided till Samuel White chosen Moderator.
Nathan Capen, Town Clerk, sworn.
Grindal Davis, Noah Allen, Anthony Baker, Selectmen, sworn. Joseph Davis, Treasurer, sworn.
Simeon C. Davis, Nathan Capen, James Fitts, Listers, sworn.
Anthony Baker, Constable and Collector of Town Rates, sworn. Joseph Davis, Grand Juror, sworn.
Simeon C. Davis, Nathan Capen, Fence Viewers, sworn. Joseph Carlisle, Pound Keeper, sworn.
Mial Carlisle, Sealer of Weights & Measures, sworn. Nathan Capen, Tythingman, sworn.
Grindal Davis, James Fitts, Anthony Baker, Hendrick Hyer, Surveyors Highways, sworn. Henry Omsted, Lemuel Tobey, Haywards, sworn.
Samuel White, Grand Juror.
Joseph Carlisle, Nathan Capen, Simeon C. Davis, James Fitts, Petit Jurors.
Voted to dissolve the meeting. Attest: Nathan Capen,Town Clerk.
Martin Carlisle, on becoming of age in 1815, commenced improvements on lands long owned by Jesse White, now owned by Morgan O’Brien. He was the owner of the first new lumber wagon ever brought to town.The boxes in the wheels done good service in three new wagons and are now five of them sound, doing good service in wheels owned by the writer.
Martin Carlisle was a stirring, industrious, public-spirited man; if there were sick and suffering, he found it out, had perhaps attended more funerals than any other man in the circle of his acquaintance. It was remarked by the officiating clergyman at his funeral that he had noticed him at more funerals than any other man in his acquaintance.He lived in town until 1824. Such were his attachments to the place and his old friends here that he chose this the dear home of his youth for his remains to sleep their long forever. On hearing of expect[a]tion of the Battle at Plattsburg, he with a number of other men equally imbued with the spirit of liberty and patriotism, procured all the equipment in town and started. If more equipment could have been obtained more men would have started. Withthem, liberty was a sentiment. On their arriving at the Goss tavern, now the poor farm in Brandon, young Carlisle met the doctor who had treated him through a fever the year before, who upon seeing such a squad accoutered in the panoply of war, immediately enquired if he was going to Plattsburg, and said if I had known I would have put a stop to it last fall. Without further ceremony, young Carlisle charged bayonet upon the doctor in dead earnest, who hurried to widen the distance between them, exhibiting a decided specimen of swift locomotion.
Isaac Gale came to town and commenced improvements the last week in November 1816 on lands which have ever since been owned by his descendants, Charles D. and John S. Gale, grandsons of Isaac Gale. His children were Squares S. Gale, Silas D., Isaac, Jr., Martha, Elisha
- & Augustus. The last two named are the only ones living. Square S. was for a number of years nearly crippled and helpless during his boyhood days. While in this condition, his father previously found a singular looking stone nearly as large as a man’s hand, of oval shape on one side and smooth flat on the other, perhaps one inch and a halfthick, striped with grey and green. Young Gale was allowed this stone for a play thing. In the event of time he had acquired the habit of placing it in his hat and holding his face over it. The discoveries he made gave it the name of the Philosopher’s Stone. He soon won a reputation for discovering lost articles about the premises. Of course, his wonderful exploits had to be tested; articles would be hidden and represented as lost. He would always discover them and tell with their whereabouts and say “where you put it”, always discriminating between the real loss and the feigned one. Money diggers began to engage his services to discover the whereabouts of the “chist of coin”, bee hunters to find the trees containing the hidden sweets. But he once directed some bee hunters to a tree filled with yellow wasps. Thisamusement soon came to a sudden and singular termination. The father and mother left for a visit, taking with them their decrepit son; in a few days they returned; their son performed most of the journey on foot, an exploit he had not done for years, and never after would he look at the stone for discoveries. His mother concealed the stone from his children till after his decease and the decease of his mother, when the mysterious stone was taken from its hiding place by Mrs. Cornelia Phelps, a daughter of sd. Gale and carried to Wisconsin.
William Carlisle, Jr., came from Cavendish, Vt., in March 1816, purchasing the improvements of Lemuel Tobey, was a tough, hard laboring man, but never wealthy. The children of his family now living are Wm., Jr., age 85, Tryphena, 83, Amos, 81, Deborah, 78, Atheta, 73, Sally, 70, Isaiah, 58. Wm. Carlisle, Jr., was a man of goodmemory, and a great story teller. Such was his style of relating anecdotes, that he would always enchain the attention of an audience around him, and even children would sit in breathless attention to hear him. The most minute circumstances he would relate with precision. That his stories were strictly true there could be no doubt for he always related them exactly alike, word for word, when he repeated them. He died May 11, 1858, age 79. His wife Tryphena, May 14, 1858, age 74. Tryphena Shedd, mother of Mrs. Carlisle, died March 12, 1851, age 89.
Amos Boynton came to town April 1817 f[rom] Plymouth, Vt., commenced improvements on lot no. 2 near the S.W. corner where he resided two years. Then bought improvements of Henry Omsted where Mr. Barnd Overbeek, his family, Ziba, Sally, Lucinda, and Clarissa. Ziba married Lois Clark; he was a preacher in the Protestant Methodist persuasion and reached the position of Presiding Elder. Sally married Gurdin T. Whitmore.Lucinda married Erie Allen. They all died in Wisconsin. Clarissa married Earl D. Whitmore, a brother of Gurdin.She died in Goshen. Earl D. died in Michigan. Amos removed to Plymouth, Vt., where he died, aged about 87.
Jonas Stickney with his family came to Goshen from Townshend, Vt., March 14th, 1823, and on his arrival moved into the log school house in District No. 2, he having purchased one half of lot no. 5, where he began his improvements. In consequence of misplaced confidence, he, at the age of 35, was stripped of all he had accumulated by industry and good economy for 14 of the best years of his life, with the exception of one yoke of oxen. Buying his land on credit, he, as almost all the first settlers, undertook to save something from his timber by making blast furnace coal and drawing it to Brandon 7 miles for 4 dollars per hundred bushels. It was slow work to raise a living for a family, make buildings & fences to secure crops and coal to make payments for land.Consequently, creditors would often feel a little restive, but nothing crooked or unjust was ever imputed to Mr. Stickney in his dealings with men. He lived to see his farm cleared up, comfortable buildings and a family of responsible children. Mary Ann married Abernathy of Cornwall, Vt. Jonas R. is a much respected citizen of Leicester. Sarah & . Warren H. died in Waukaw, Wisconsin, Jan. 14, 1848, aged 27, a young man highly respected and much lamented by all who knew him. Shubel R., now a citizen of Brandon,much respected, was born in Goshen October 22d, 1824, shared largely in offices of trust and responsibility in Goshen, for 2 years Constable and Collector, and represented the town in the Vermont
Legislature for the years 1857-8-9-60 and 1867. Nancy Augusta, the wife of James Carson, now residing in Brandon, Vt., and Jane E. married Lucius R. Allen. Since Allen’s decease she has married Edward Dartt, and now resides in the vicinity of Randolph, Wisconsin.
Ambrose Rising and Gardner Gale built the first house and cleared lands on lot no. 7, where Hiram Fay now resides, coming here in April 1825. They stayed about 2 years and returned to Barre to the place of their former residence.
Samuel White and Samuel Sampson, a brother-in-law of White, came here in 1813 from New Salem, Mass., made some improvements on lot no. 29. White b[u]ying of George Walker, and while Walker was at work paying forthe land, White and Sampson were doing something by way of clearing up, but in 1817 they had both reconveyed to Walker and left for New Salem.
The question of dividing the town of Philadelphia and annexing the north part to Goshen was early considered and decided as a matter of convenience to both Goshen and Chittenden.
An amicable adjustment and division was effected by the towns interested, and confirmed by an act of the Legislature at the October session, A.D. 1814. And Phineas Blood, Daniel Hooker, Jonathan Loveland, JonathanBagley, Theodore A. Cary, Lazarus Cary, Thomas Smith, Charles Blood, Robert Mason, Harvey Copley, Jonathan Kendall, William Jones, Samuel Robbins, Willard Robins, Nathaniel Belknap and Amos Sawyer were madeinhabitants of Goshen by that enactment.
The first clearing on the annexed portion was made by John Hooker and Chester Goss in the year 1800 on lotno. 19, then owned by Daniel Hooker, the father of John. They cleared five acres, set out apple trees, but sold their improvements, but never erected buildings thereon.
Phineas Blood, with his family consisting of a wife and three children, Cynthia, Nancy and Charles, camehere from Acworth, N.H., in 1806, and made the first improvements on lands now owned by Romeo M. Brown. Thefirst frame barn in this part of the town was built by him, which is still standing (1887). Between the years 1806 and1820 he had built four log houses on different parts of his own lands, one framed house. Cynthia married Robert Mason. Nancy married Martin Carlisle. Phineas Blood represented the town in 1815 and 16, was a Justice of the Peace in Philadelphia before it was divided, and also in Goshen from1815 to 1822, was 3 years and 3 months in the war of the Revolution, and died Sept. 10, 1822, aged 60 years.
Charles Blood, on becoming of age, commenced on a part of his father’s farm in 1810.
His children were Maria, the wife of Jacob Cary, now living on the old homestead (1887); Miranda, widow of the late Silas D. Gale; Otis, now of New Haven, a bachelor living with his sister Delight, the widow of Caleb Cole andnow widow of Israel F. Enos; Lois, the wife of John Whitcher; Phineas, now resident of Indiana; Morris, the husband of Melinda Allen; and Emily, the wife of Truman Towle, now 1887 residing in Sac County, Iowa.
Robert Mason married Cynthia Blood. His children by his first wife were Joseph, who lived here till 1852 when he removed to Wisconsin where he died; Mercy, the widow of John Brown, Jr., now 1887 living in Wisconsin;Eunice, the wife of Elnathan Knapp, died in Brandon. By his second wife were Roswell, Norman, Putnam, Robert & William now 1887 residing in Wisconsin; Volney, now 1887 residing in California; Cynthia, married Joshua Goss and died in Wisconsin some years ago. Robert Mason moved to Wisconsin in 1835 and died there.
Nancy Blood, the wife of Martin Carlisle, they had 4 children: Alma, the wife of Orange Smalley, living in Brandon; Lysander, now 1887 living in Wisconsin; Lauriston, died in Wisconsin; [and] Amanda, died in Rutland.They died young comparatively.
Nathaniel Belknap with his wife and one child, Sophronia, came here from Dublin, N.H., in the fall of the year 1810. When they arrived at Esq. Blood’s they were sheltered in an out shantee used for housing geese. New settlers at that time were anxiously awaited, and all the neighbors were soon appraised of their arrival. New acquaintances made avid friendships formed which ever after were remembered with gratitude and affection. Mr. Belknap stayed there three weeks in which time he erected a small log house, and said he, “I moved into my house here in the woods when there was but one board on it and that I brought from New Hampshire.” And said Mrs. Belknap, “for weeks I could lie in bed nights and count the stars.” Said Mr. Belknap, his eye brightening, he then being 76 years old, “I tell you we see hard times. The young folks nowadays couldn’t begin to stand it as we did.”Said he, “I have been more than a mile beyond Pittsford village to buy a bushel of corn. I couldn’t find it between here and there. When I paid for it I had to take 5 pecks because I couldn’t make change. I started for the mill, got it ground, shouldered it, and carried it home.” But, he added, “I didn’t get off the bed the next day.” He had traveled atleast 26 miles that day, 13 of it with 5 pecks of corn meal on his back. His second winter was a hard one. Said he, “I took a job lumbering in Pittsford, bought a yoke of oxen and calculated to work my way through the winter and have a team in the spring, but my oxen sickened and died, as also did my cow before spring.” At one time during that winter he undertook to draw a small load of hay from near where the Lodge grist mill formerly stood, that water power being now used and known as the Stone saw mill. His oxen failed, had to unyoke them, and with difficultydrove them home to an empty hovel with a cow starving and all the hay he had to feed was what he carried with him on his back.
Mr. Belknap was never pleased with political preferment, but on a certain occasion he said “I believe if I was one of the selectmen I would get rid of that Paupers before a year.” The case seemed to be desperate, and Mr. Belknap was appointed Chairman of the Board of Selectmen at the next annual meeting on the 4th day of March 1834. Either Mr. Belknap’s sagacity or other fortuitous circumstance, he with the coincidence of the Board succeeded in ridding the town of a burthen very expensive. But neither his pride at his success, or his ambition for promotion would encourage him ever to take office again. Mr. Belknap was a very reserved man in his language, seldom using a profane word. The nearest I ever heard from him was when his pet scheme of ridding the town of thepaupers, he was told of the machinations of a certain person to thwart his plan. He gave his head a sudden jerk back and said, “I vow, faith I wish to God, the devil had gxxxxn.” Mr. Belknap died April 20, 1860, aged 76y, 7m, 8 days.
David Carson with his brother James came to Goshen in the year [—- ], was born in
Lower Canada; at the age of 11 years made his home with John Brown, Jr., where he resided and worked nearly orquite a year in which time the question of a guardian for David was agitated for by the civil authorities in fear of the cupidity of those surrounding him. Next, after this, he worked for James Fitts two years. The first year Fitts was to have 20 dollars and three months schooling, which hardly clothed him. The next year he had the same privilege of schooling and 25 dollars, Mr. Fitts being so well satisfied that he made David a present of $5.00. This was the first money young Carson had received. From here, he earned wages and saved them working for seven years for Erie Allen, the question of guardianship being forever abandoned. Carson married Polly Maria Allen, daughter of Reubin and Dolly Allen January 10, 184_. Removed to Randolph,Wisconsin, August 25, 1855, where he has resided till the present time, July 20, 1888, having accumulated a handsome property and enjoying the respect and confidence of all.
July 18, 1822, Joseph Clemmonds, a resident of Goshen, was drowned in the forge pond near the new furnace. He, with a boy about his age, Douglas Whitmore, stopped to bathe, leaving their team by the roadside.Meanwhile, as neither of them could swim, they agreed if either of them was likely to get drowned, the other was togive the alarm before dressing himself. When young Clemmonds got beyond his depth Whitmore performed his part of the agreement, but before help could be obtained life was extinct. His age was 18, son of Joseph & Rebecca.
On the 27th day of March, 1828, Lorenzo, son of Reubin & Polly Phelps, was drowned in Phelps mill pond in Goshen. The child had been in the water but a few moments, had never sunk, as was evidenced by his clothes not being all wet. Mrs. Phelps drew him ashore with a stick, but he could not be resuscitated. His age was 2 years, 7 months, 27 days.
October 12, 1834, Mrs. Charles Preston committed suicide by hanging on the outside of the barn door, she using a part of a skein of linen yarn to produce that result. She had warned them of what she was tempted to do. Her age was 35.
In December 1834, Aaron, son of John and Polly Lyon, was scalded by sitting back into a pail of water so that death ensued; aged 3 years.
June 20, 1847, Hannah Tyler, wife of Jonas Tyler, hung herself with a harness strap to the upper round of the ladder and climbing through and breaking her neck in the fall. Aged 51.
On the 15th day of November, 1853, Alonzo Mason was killed by the fall of a tree or, of a broken limb broke off by a falling tree. He with Horton Lester, John White, George Dutton, Lucius Allen and [Orvis], were cutting saw logs. They had playfully endulged in the careless sport of falling trees as near each other as possible, not giving the alarm till the tree was well started, then call out and see each other scramble. Such carelessness is sure if persisted in to produce the same results and is but little less than criminal. Mason, age 26.
On the 11th day of October, 1866, Jesse Snow killed himself by hanging with a rope from scaffolding over the barn floor. Aged 37.
On the 26th day of October, 1866, Samuel T., son of Wm. N. & Lucinda Dutton, was scalded by setting back in a pail of water so that death ensued the same day. His age was 2 years.
Feb. 24th, 1869, William Tyler, son of Jonas & Hannah Tyler, committed suicide by cutting his throat with a razor. Aged 36.
August 15, 1872, Sarah Jane, daughter of Wm. N. & Lucinda Dutton, was killed by attempting to climb intothe window of the school house, District No. 1 in Goshen, the window falling and holding her by the neck until life was extinct.
Jan. 15, 1883, Clarence A. Briggs, son of Scott K. & Arrabell, was scalded by falling in a pail of boiling water so that death ensued in a few hours. Age 3 years.
May 17, 1884, Alfred H. Knapp was crushed to death by turning over a load of wood, throwing his horsesupon him. Every effort of the horses to get up resulted in sliding them more upon Knapp. The boy with him ran for help, but when he returned Knapp was dead. Age 55.
On the evening of Jan. 29th, 1830, George H. Dartt, while coasting between the Wesleyan meeting house and the burying ground, dislocated his elbow.
Jan. 25th, 1841, Edward Harvey Schuyler Dartt, while at school in Dist. No. 1, while at play running down the hill back of the school house, fell on the ice and frozen ground, hurting his knee, rendering it stiff and straight.He writes, at the age of 63, that he had broken the joint twice, but is still straight and stiff.
In November 1826, David Ayer, Jr.’s house and all his household furniture was burned to the ground, causedby storing shavings under the floor for the purpose of kindling fires. His little girl Sophia, in playing with lighted shavings, lighted one through the crack of the floor, which set the whole house almost instantly in a blaze. This was done Saturday, between 3 and 4 o’clock P.M. The next Tuesday night, he with his family slept in his own house, the inhabitants generously contributing in labor and material to produce that result. It was the first house burned in town.
In the year 1831, about the 1st of September, a barn well stored with hay, belonging to Martin Allen, wasstruck by lightning and burned up, making it very costly wintering his stock, such as stern necessity compelled him to keep the succeeding winter
In March 1837 a dwelling house standing on the farm was owned by John B. Fersons, owned by BlakeHammond & Co., occupied by Samuel Thatcher, was burned. The furniture in upper rooms being all burned, what was in the lower rooms that was saved was much damaged by fire and carelessness a heavy loss for Mr. Thatcher.
August 27, 1874, the dwelling house belonging [to] James R. McGibbin, built by John Capen and standingnear the Dartt sawmill site, was with its contents burned whild McGibbin & his wife were searching flowers for a birthday party; loss nearly or quite covered by insurance.
April 28, 1846, the dwelling house of Charles Washburn was struck by lightning, the fluid coming down the chimney and stove pipe, taking the sleepers of the floor, going out through the banking and killing five sheep lying on the house banking. Where the fluid went through the room, Mrs. Washburn sat back toward the stove; othermembers of the family were in the room but none were hurt.
In the early evening of June 7th, 1865, the dwelling house of Samuel F. Washburn was struck by lightning, the fluid literally demolishing the chimney and tearing up the floors, following Mr. Washburn leg and foot into his boot and tearing the top of the boot from th
bottom, leaving a very painful foot for Mr. Washburn to care for a number of days. Other than this, no one was hurt, although the main business of the fluid was done in the room with the other members of the family.
In about 1867 or 1868, in July, the dwelling house of William Tyler was struck by lightning. Mr. Tyler andhis step-mother were in the house; the house was filled with electricity. The description given by Mr. Tyler was that the room was full of little sparks. Such was the downward pressure of the fluid that a chair legs were forced through the floor. Making three houses within the radius of a half mile struck by lightning, and no lives lost in each instance; the houses were seriously demoralized.
In the winter of , Ebenezer Johnson, Erie and Alvin Allen, the snow being deep and sharp crust, went out in pursuit of deer. Mr. Johnson feeling the necessity of a knife with him, put a loose shoe knife in his pocket.After discovering their game, in the eager haste to secure it, Johnson fell upon his knife, cutting through between ribs near his backbone in the region of his kidney, a gash between three and four inches long.
For the Register Eagles: Their Nest andHabits
Addison County Illustrated History By D. Mason & Co.
Some time in October 1885 a Mr. F.C. Aldrich came to Goshen soliciting subscriptions for an illustrated history of Addison County, giving a glowing description of what it was to be, naming its attractions all the early settlers and their descendants down to the present time, when they commenced their improvements, their characteristic traits, &c. He saying that “Mr. Mason would want my services in furnishing him with the factsconcerning them”, saying further that he didn’t know but Mr. Mason had already wrote me in relation to it, and if he had not he would soon, that the photograph of one of my family would be placed at the beginning of our history, that Mr. Mason was a great publisher of county histories, &c.
As but a small part [of] the town’s history had been published by Mrs. Hemenway, and having an anxietyfor the publication of the whole, I gave my signature for a copy of the work with the understanding that my services would be paid on the delivery of the work.
I waited for the promised letter. About the 1st of Dec., I received a postal card from Syracuse GreatPublisher stating that he had received my subscription for the Illustrated History of Addison County. If Mr. Aldrich carried his gilt edged promises to the Eagle’s Nest they stayed there.
To D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, N.Y., saying that my efforts had been directed partly in locating the first settlers on the farms they commenced the first 20 years, that my manuscript might need copying, and that if he wanted I would copy it for him. I also wrote what Mr.
Aldrich said about the photograph and asked him who was to make the selection. I asked him to reply. I heard nothing.
On learning from the Register that the work would be delivered early in January, 1886, I wrote Mr. D. Mason & Co. that I felt I ought to be relieved of my subscription as all the
inducements held out to me had failed, I with more than 20 days time lost, that it was not the entertainment to which I had been invited, and I didn’t want the work. No reply.
But on the 23d day of February, in my absence the history was left at my house, and ten dollars demanded. Imet a Mr. Melvin, a very communicative sort of gentleman who told me his business and what he had done. I gave him the ten dollars and the book, too, refusing to be tantalized with its [—]. I inquired for Mr. Aldrich and Rann. He said they both had done their work, got their pay, and gone. He didn’t know where.
On examining this delectable piece of history, as far as Goshen is concerned, I find it imperfect, incorrect, and just as I knew it must be with the short time spent in its collection. I presume Mr. Melvin’s whereabouts will be equally hard to find and that he will play the same role in the next county history that D. Mason & Co. publish. That such delivery is not always satisfactory, a story in point will show when I asked of Mr. Melvin the privilege of writing after my name on his subscription book that I considered the whole work a complete swindle, which herefused, saying he held a written retraction from a man in Albany County, N.Y., where he was delivering histories in consequence of his denouncing him and his company as knaves. I feel toward Melvin and his Co. as the woman felt when the man she was about to marry told her that one of his brothers had been hung. She replied that she didn’t know that any of her friends had ever been hung but that thirty or forty of them had ought to have been. There is sufficient qualification in every county in the State of Vermont to furnish facts for its own historians and enterprise sufficient to publish the same without the voluntary assistance of historians of the mental caliber of W.S. Rann or even D. Mason & Co. of Syracuse, New York.