XX indexVermont  




"This is the shire town. The soil of  St. Albans is fertile, and under the management of good farmers, is rendered very productive.  The exports of wool, and other productions of the soil, are large and valuable. The water communications by the lake to New York and Canada, render St. Albans a mart of considerable trade from the surrounding country . . . The village of St. Albans is beautifully situated on elevated ground, and commands a fine prospect. It contains many handsome buildings, and is a busy place in the manufacture of various articles . . .  J. Walder is supposed to have been the first civilized person who settled in this town.  He removed here during the revolutionary war, and began improvements at the bay.  There was no addition to the settlement until 1785, when Andrew Potter emigrated to the town, and from that time the settlement advanced rapidly, by emigrants from the south part of this State, and from the other other States of New England. Among the earliest settlers were the families of Messrs. Potter, Morrill, Gibbs, Green and Meigs."

Gazetteer of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.



      The town of St. Albans is situated upon the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, in lat. 44° 49' N. and long. 3° 54' E. from Washington. It has Swanton on the N., Fairfield on the E., Georgia on the S., and the west is indented by a bay, called by the Indians Bellamaqueam bay, which is about 2 ½ miles in length by mile to 1 mile in width. Two cultivated and inhabited islands, one called Wood's Island, containing 115 acres, and the other POTTER's Island, containing 303 acres, belong to the town. Ball Island containing 7 acres, lies south of POTTER's Island. Hero Jesse WELDEN settled previous to the Revolution and returned there after the close of the war. While living there, an improvident settler stole from his crib a quantity of corn. He was tried and sentenced to receive 39 lashes, which was the first trial in the county. The indentation of the bay gives to the town an irregular shape, it being nearly 9 miles from its extreme eastern to its western limit, while from N. to S. it ms but about 5 miles. That, portion lying west of the bay is called St. Albans Point, and is in length about 2 ½ miles by 1/2 mile to about 2 miles in width. The western shore is called MaQuam from its proximity to MaQuam Bay in Swanton. This name is a corruption of the original Indian name, which was Bopquam: The true aboriginal name should be restored to this locality. Off this shore there is a small island, a former gathering place of the Indians, and called by them Popasquash.

      Along the eastern border of the town rises a range of hills, the southernmost and loftiest point of which, called Bellevue, affords one of the finest prospects in the country, taking in the highly cultivated valley of the Champlain, with its numerous villages; the lake, with its beautiful islands; the mountains in the rear of Montreal and other Canadian mountains; the Adirondacks on the south west, and the Green Mountain range on the east. There ms another hill in the south part of the town, called Prospect Hill, and another, half a mile north of the village, called Aldis Hill.

      Among the original forest trees, the sugar maple predominated, with a large admixture of beech, birch, elm, ash and hemlock. The soil is a rich loam, well adapted to the growth of the several cereal crops, and producing luxuriant grass. There is little waste land in the town, the hills being arable nearly to their summits, and affording the finest of pasturage for cattle and sheep. Gen, James WHITELAW surveyor-general of the State, used to say that St. Albans and Stowe were the two best towns in the State. Tradition has reported that the lands around the Bay were favorite places of resort for the Indians. The stone arrowheads and other Indian implements, found by the early settlers, give confirmation to the tradition.

      The town was chartered by Benning WENTWORTH Esq., the royal governor of the province of New Hampshire, August 17, 1763, in 70 equal shares. The grantees named were as follows viz., Stephen POMEROY, Elijah HUNT, Joseph HUNT, Lemuel ELLSWORTH, Solomon ELLSWORTH, Ebenezer HARVEY, Jonathan HUNT, Frederic ELLSWORTH, Nathaniel ELLSWORTH, John HUBBARD, Jonathan HUNT, jr., Heman POMEROY, Joel HUNT, Philip SAFFORD, Medad .POMEROY, Elisha HUNT, Elijah POMEROY, jr., John HUNT jr., Caleb STRONG jr., Seth FIELD, George FIELD, John GENISON, Samuel FIELD, Thomas WILLIAMS, Silas HAMBLETON, Arad HUNT, Thomas WILLIAMS. jr., Samuel SMITH, Aaron BURT, Joseph BURT, Aaron SMITH, Willard STEVENS, John HASTINGS, John GENTLE, Peter STANLEY, Samuel HUNT, Shammah POMEROY, Samuel POMEROY, Joseph ASHLEY, Joseph STEBBINS, Daniel JONES, Fellows BILLINGS, John CLARY, Abner COOLEY, Josiah FOSTER, Breed BATCHELDER, Caleb STRONG, Rufus HARVEY, James ROBINSON, Richard MONTAGUE, Napha FREEMAN, John HUBBARD, Oliver COOLEY, Hon. John TEMPLE, Wm. TEMPLE, Esq., John NELSON, Esq., Paul MARCH, William TREADWELL, Ebenezer ALEXANDER, Reuben ALEXANDER, Asa ALEXANDER and Hon. James NEVIN, Esq. The grant was made by George the Third, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, "to his loving subjects" above named. The conditions were that every grantee should plant and cultivate 5 acres of land, within the term of 5 years for every 50 granted, under penalty of forfeiture. All white and other pine trees, "fit for masting our royal navy," were reserved. One acre near the centre of the town was to be set to each grantee. A tax of is for every 100 acres, was to be paid annually, after Dec. 25, 1773.

      Jesse WELDEN, was unquestionably the first civilized settler of St. Albans. His place of birth is not known, but he came to this town from Sunderland, (having resided before that at Salisbury, Ct.) previous to the war of the Revolution, and built a log-cabin, a few rods south of the spot now occupied by the Congregational meetinghouse at the Bay. Duncan DUNN, settled south of the red house at the Four Corners. A Mr. DORSEY, settled south of DUNN, and Mr. SPAFFORD next, on the farm now owned and occupied by Nelson BUCK. These settlers, with all others north of Rutland county, were driven off by the events of the war. Jesse WELDEN is said to have been taken a prisoner by the British, and to have made his escape. It is to he regretted that so little is known of this hardy and intrepid pioneer. It has always been said that he was of Indian descent, and that his strong relish for the adventures of a pioneer life, in the solitude of the primeval forest, is thus to be accounted for. That he was a forward man in the infant settlement, will be abundantly shown in the course of this history. His memory is perpetuated in the street which bears his name, and also in the magnificent hotel, the pride and glory of St. Albans, which stands upon the north side of the public park, and which bears the name of the Welden House. After the close of the Revolutionary war, he returned, in 1785, and lived awhile at the Bay on what has since been called the BRACKETT place- After this he removed to what is now the village of St. Albans, and built a log-cabin some 10 rods S. W. of the present residence of Abel HOUGHTON. He cleared about 70 acres of land and planted an orchard. He held in possession three lots on the west side of South Main street, and shortly before his death, erected a hewed log-house, near the residence of Henry M. STEVENS. He was accidentally drowned, off Isle Ia Motte, in October 1795, while returning from St. Johns in Canada, in a skiff laden with salt. His body was not recovered until the spring following, when it was brought to St. Albans for interment. His estate, after payment of big debts, amounted to upwards of $4,000. The sum of $50 was subscribed by him in aid of the University of Vermont, and was one of the demands allowed against his estate. Among the articles of household property in the inventory of his effects, was one large family bible, appraised £1 10s.

      In the course of the year 1785, a number of men came to look over the town with a view to settlement, and in 1786, Daniel B. MEIGS, Amos MERRILL, Andrew, NOEL and Freeborn POTTER, Job and Nathan GREEN, Daniel BAKER, Thomas GIBBS and others, came in with their families. In 1787, Silas HATHAWAY came in from Bennington. He was largely interested in lands in St. Albans and did much to promote immigration. He held so much land in his own name and as an agent for others, that he was jocularly called Baron HATHAWAY. Many of his titles proved defective and he died, comparatively poor, in November, 1831, aged 67. Several of his descendants, however, are among the wealthiest families in the State.

      July 28, 1788, a meeting of the freemen and other inhabitants, was warned, to be holden at the house of Jesse WELDEN, by the Hon. John WHITE, one of the assistant judges of the court for the County of Chittenden, to which St. Albans at that time belonged, for the organization of the town. At this meeting Silas HATHAWAY was chosen moderator, and Jonathan HOIT, clerk. Jesse WELDEN, David ODELL and Andrew POTTER were chosen selectmen, and Daniel B. MEIGS, constable. At the state election in September, the following persons, among others, appeared and took the freeman's oath, viz. Hananiah BROOKS, Ichabod RANDALL, Simeon SPENCER, Jonathan COLVIN, Solomon HINDS, David WELDEN, James TRACY, James THORINGTON, William ABBEY and William GRIFFIN. The grand list of the town, for the year 1788, was £364 5s, and for 1789, £540 15s.


      The settlement of all new territory is attended with more or less of privation and suffering. The first settlers of St. Albans were not exempt from the common lot. They brought but little with them, Mr. MEIGS, in his reminiscences, states that one ox team brought all the goods of three families. Their cabins were of rude logs, the floor of basewood split and smoothed with an axe, the roof covered with bark, and the chimney of sticks plastered with clay. Provisions were very scarce for the first three or four years -- moose and other game furnishing an important portion of their living. The most accessible flouring mill was at Plattsburg, N. Y. They hauled their grain to the Bay, upon an ox-sled, through the mud, and then, when the wind permitted, proceeded in a log canoe, carrying 6 or 8 bushels. They would often be away 4 days in going and returning. The women and children of the settlement would sometimes get lost in traversing the woods. At such times the people were rallied, and, with loud hulloing and blowing of horns, would continue the search until the lost were found. There were no physicians nearer than Burlington and Cambridge. The settlement of the town however proceeded so rapidly that these privations were limited to a very few years.

      Among others who came in about this time was Levi ALLEN, a brother of the renowned Ethan ALLEN and of Gen. Ira ALLEN. He laid claim to a large portion of the lands of the town, and in a letter to his wife, playfully styles her "the Duchess of St. Albans," The organization of the County of Franklin and the establishment of St. Albans as the shire town or county-seat, in 1793, gave considerable impetus to its advancement. Great attention was given to the working of roads, and the public green, which is now one of the chief attractions of the village, was laid out and cleared. Silas HATHAWAY in the year 1794, built the large two-story house now owned and occupied by Romeo H. HOYT, which was the first framed house erected in the town. This was occupied by him as a tavern. The courts of the newly organized county were holden in the hall, and religious services occasionally performed there.

      The first record of a store is that of "Capt. WHITNEY," probably in 1792. A Mr. JACKSON is said to have had a store here about that time, and afterwards came Daniel RYAN, Prince B. HALL, Arza CRANE, Seth POMEROY, John CURTIS, Anthony RHODES, Joseph H, MUNSON, William FOOTE and Carter HICKOK.

      CHRISTOPHER DUTCHER settled at the Bay in 1790, where he built a tannery, near where the wheelwright shop of Warren GREEN now stands. On the location of the county seat at the village, he purchased the farm one mile south of the village, now owned and occupied by Benjamin F. RUGG. Here he built a tannery, on what has since been called the Dutcher brook, and was a prominent business man of the town until his death, which took place Feb. 4, 1814.
      COL. HOLLOWAY TAYLOR, from Northboro, Mass., came in about this time. He was an active and influential man, and considerable of a wit and humorist. His piquant sayings were frequently quoted by the settlers.
      DR. JOHN WARNER was here as early as 1793. He came from Bennington with a large family, and was, for several years, the only physician in town. He was not a regular practitioner, but had large experience in the diseases at that time prevalent, and possessed great knowledge of the medicinal qualities of the indigenous plants of Vermont. In this knowledge of the medicinal botany of the country he probably had no equal, and in the diseases incident to a new country, he was successful to an extent rarely exceeded by any practitioner of the time. 
      WILLIAM NASON, wife, one son and four daughters, came to St. Albans in 1796, from Epsom, N. H. Their effects were brought in four sleighs and one ox team. They were 7 days on the road. On their arrival here they were entertained by Major Amos MORILL, who lived at the Bay, on the farm now owned by Nelson BUCK. They next moved to the farm which they afterward occupied, one mile south of the -village, and which is now owned by Theron WEBSTER. A small framed house stood upon this lot, in which a Mr. HIBBARD kept a small store. Mr. NASON made extensive additions to this building, and shortly after, opened a tavern which he kept during his life, which closed in December, 1810.
      HALL, CRANE &. POMEROY had a store at this time on the lot now owned by J. Dorsey TAYLOR. Daniel RYAN came in 1797. His store was on the ground now occupied by the house of Mrs. Dr. STEVENS. He built and occupied the house next north of this, now owned by Hiram BELLOWS. His ashery was on the Stevens brook, on the south side of Welden Street, near Main. He was an industrious, prudent and thrifty man, and at the time of his death Feb. 8, 1810, was the richest man in the County of Franklin. Gen. John NASON, who came here with his father in 1796, says that at that time, the GREENs, David POWERS, Lewis WALKER and Elijah DAVIS, lived in log-houses in the south part of the town.
      A Mr. BRUSH lived on the GILMAN farm. Samuel CALKINS lived where D. R. POTTER now lives, and kept a tavern. David NICHOLS lived in a log-house near the gate of the old cemetery. Mr. WALDEN lived on the spot now occupied by the house of Henry M. STEVENS. There was a log-house on the corner of Main and Congress streets, covered, like the others, with bark, its windows of paper and chimney of split-sticks, plastered with clay. The green was at that time covered with a heavy growth of timber, chiefly maple, from which sugar was made every Spring. Dr. Seth POMEROY was post-master; the mails were brought from Burlington once a week. William COIT built a large house near where the Congregational church now stands. This was afterwards occupied by Dr. Levi SIMMONS. The frame was raised in June, 1796. The first jail of the county of Franklin was in the back part of this building. The second was the old basswood jail, which was erected in 1800, on what is now Bank street, just. west of the house of Samuel WILLIAMS. The third jail was built, on the corner where the Episcopal church now stands, in 1810. This was burned Dec. 26, 1813, and rebuilt in the year following. The fourth was erected on the site of the present jail in 1824. It was burned in March, 1827. A prisoner confined in the debtor's room, came near being destroyed with the building. The flames had made such progress before being discovered, that the door of his cell could not be reached, and he was rescued, through- an opening made, with some difficulty, in the roof. The present jail was erected in 1852. The first court-house, a neat and well finished building, was erected in 1800. This was succeeded by the one now occupied, in 1830. The Methodist church was built in 1820. The first Episcopal church in 1825. The one now in use in 1858. The first Congregational church was built in 1826, the second being the one now occupied, was finished in 1862. The first academy was built in 1800, the second in 1828, and the third and present spacious and commodious building in 1858. The ground on which the public buildings of the town were to be erected, was selected by the voters in town-meeting, assembled June 12. 1792, Col. Robert COCHRAN, Capt. FORD and Stephen PEARL were appointed a committee, "to set the stake for the center," which was done a few days afterward. The county of Franklin embraced three towns of the present county of Grand Isle, and the selection of St. Albans as the county seat, followed in 1800 by the erection of a court-house and jail, gave to it a new importance.

      As the reputation of the people of St. Albans, at this period, has been severely assailed, it is proper here to say that a calm investigation of facts discloses with what levity the most of them have been made.

      It is true that a considerable number of speculators and adventurers, with no particular calling, were attracted to the now and rising town; many of whom were men of dissolute and vicious habits. Assimilating with some of the citizens of like taste with themselves, they, for a time, gave tone to society, and brought upon the substantial settlers of the town a reputation they by no means deserved. Some of them were open and shameless gamblers; others, intemperate, licentious and profane, disregardful of the Sabbath and frequent disturbers of the public peace. In their drunken carousals, they would occasionally sally out to the neighboring settlements; where their boisterous shouts and obscene jokes tended greatly to disgust the orderly and quiet people in their secluded homes. On one occasion, a band of these silly inebriates started from the village at the hour of midnight, passing along the old stage-road to Georgia, blowing a couch shell, and calling out in stentorian tones, "awake ye dead and come to judgment." But the men who were engaged in felling the forest, and opening up farms, had not the slightest sympathy with these reprehensible men. They were, for the most part, a hard-working, temperate and thrifty class. Their tastes and habits were simple, and they lived in great harmony. In the long days of summer, before the evening twilight had faded from the sky, the light of their cabins was extinguished, and every soul in bed. They were up before the sun, ready for the labors of the day. That such people had no sympathy with the reckless and depraved adventurers, who were seeking to live by their wits, may be gathered from the action of the town, on matters connected with the advancement of virtue and morality among them. They voted, as early as 1796, when the town contained less than 500 inhabitants, to raise money by tax upon the grand list to hire a preacher. The town records show frequent movements afterward, in the same direction. May 9, 1803, the freemen, in open town-meeting, voted a formal call to Rev. Joel FOSTER, to settle with them in the gospel ministry, on a salary of $500 per annum, to be raised by tax upon the grand-list. The call, with Mr. FOSTER's reply thereto and the subsequent negotiation, are all spread upon the records of the town and prove the earnestness of the people, in their desire to promote sound morality and religion. An absurd tradition, that there were horse races in early times on the Sabbath, is easily disposed of. At the time when they were said to have occurred, there were not a dozen consecutive rods of road in the township, over which a horse could be driven beyond a walk.

      The first settled minister of the town was Rev. Jonathan NYE, who was ordained pastor of the Congregational church, March 5, 1805. A full account of the ministry of Mr. NYE, will be given in connection with the history of the several churches of the town. Considerable improvement in the habits and morale of the people was manifest from this time. It was not at once, however, that the Sabbath congregations presented the staid and orderly appearance, common in older communities. Gen. Levi HOUSE, a lawyer of ability and one of the leading men in the town, unfortunately became addicted to intemperance. In a state of partial intoxication, he, on a Sabbath day, decided to attend church, and entered while Mr. NYE was proceeding with his sermon. He had not been long in his seat before he made an audible response to a question propounded by the preacher. This was repeated, when Col. Seth POMEROY, acting as tithing man (one of whose duties it was to preserve order during public worship), called out from the gallery, "silence down there." Gen. HOUSE, turning his glassy eyes in the direction of the gallery, with maudlin tone exclaimed, "silence up there." Gen. HOUSE was for some years a very successful lawyer, and accumulated considerable property. He built a large and expensive house, which occupied the site of the residence of H. R. BEARDSLEY, but became at length miserably poor, and died of intemperance, March 30, 1813, aged 44 years.


      The trade and business of St. Albans suffered considerably during the existence of the embargo and non-intercourse laws. During the war which followed, however, the growth and prosperity of the town were advanced, rather than impeded, by the events which occurred. The stores and shops of the village were kept well stocked, and there existed a fair demand for merchandise and manufactured articles from the surrounding towns. The foundations of some of the best properties in the village were laid during these years. An active contraband traffic sprang up with Canada, the center of which was here, and which added to the floating population, numbers who were engaged in smuggling operations. The people on each side of the line, seemingly by mutual understanding, not only abstained from all irritating and hostile acts, but actually lived on terms of friendship and good neighborhood with each other throughout the war. Sleigh rides and pleasure parties, from both sides were not infrequent.

      Smuggling was pursued with considerable activity. The extreme scarcity and high price of all foreign goods were such as to justify great risk. Collisions between the revenue officers and the smugglers occurred frequently along the frontier, and in several cases with fatal results.

      HARRINGTON BROOKS, of St. Albans, a young man 24 years of age, having a wife and two children, both daughters, was shot and instantly killed, while attempting to escape from the custom-house officials with a skiff-load of salt. He was on his return from St. Johns in Canada, accompanied by Miner HILLIARD, on Sunday, Nov. 3, 1811, and had passed the revenue post of Wind-mill Point. He was pursued by the collector, Samuel BUEL, in a boat with John WALKER and George GRAVES as oarsmen. They came up with him about 9 o'clock A. M. near two rocky shoals or islets, one of which is called Gull island, lying off the west shore of Alburgh. The skiff drew less water than the revenue boat, and BROOKS kept in shoal water where BUEL could not board him. The latter demanded a surrender, when a parley ensued, BROOKS told the collector that he had only 7 bushels of salt; that it belonged to five different families who wanted to cure their pork; that there was no salt to be had at St. Albans, and that he would pay him the duties if he would accept the same and allow him to proceed. BUEL told him that he should seize the boat and its loading. BROOKS replied that he must catch him first. He started and kept on rowing around the shore of the islands, keeping his skiff where the water was so shallow that the revenue boat could not reach him. The chase continued for some time, when BUEL ordered WALKER to fire. He obeyed, and discharged a load of buck-shot, twelve of which penetrated the breast of the unfortunate man. He pulled open his shirt and exclaimed, "See what they have done," and fell forward dead upon the loading of the boat, covering the salt-bags with his blood. His boat, containing his dead body, was then towed by the revenue boat to the Alburgh' shore, to a place where a store was at that time kept by Mr. Alexander SCOTT. Here an inquest was holden; the body laid out and provided with a shroud by Mr. SCOTT and Duncan MCGREGOR, and, during the night, forwarded to his late home. A large and excited crowd awaited the arrival of the remains, and the indignation expressed at the course of BUEL was severe. The funeral services were attended by a large and sorrowing congregation. The exercises were conducted by the Rev. George W. POWERS, who delivered a funeral discourse, from Job xiv. 1, 2. The excitement which followed this deplorable event, aggravated by the extreme party virulence which at times prevailed, was very great, and continued for a long time. Mr. WALKER, who fired the fatal shot, although in obedience to his superior officer, was full of distress on account of it. It threw a cloud of gloom over his entire after life. He died at Albany, while a member of the legislature of the state of New York, to which he had been elected from the county of Clinton, in Jan. 1832.


      One of the most deplorable events, that ever took place in the town, occurred on the evening of Nov. 4, 1813. The great excitement it awakened at the time, and the influence which followed it, and which can be hardly said to have ceased, even at the present day, are sufficient to justify its introduction here. Silas GATES, of St. Albans, was shot and mortally wounded by Alva SABIN, of Georgia. The third brigade of the third division of the militia of Vermont, which included the entire county of Franklin, was called into the service of the General government en masse and marched out of the state, and stationed at Champlain N.Y. This singular and unaccountable act, by which the Vermont frontier for 40 miles, denuded of its entire military force, and which was employed, in the guarding of the territory, of the great and powerful state of New York, was severely censured by men of ail parties. It was urged, that supposing Vermont to be under obligation, to furnish troops to be taken beyond her borders, for the defence of sister states; why were those troops not taken from counties lying remote from the frontier? Why invite an invasion from Canada, by removing the natural defenders of the Vermont border and sending them out of the state? These questions could receive no very satisfactory answer, and the general temper was unquiet and sullen. The able bodied, arms-bearing portion of the population having been removed, there remained few indeed except the old men and boys to gather in and secure the fall harvest. In many fields might be seen the white haired old grandfather, toiling with his stripling grandsons, through the chilly month of October, and nearly to the setting in of winter, in the gathering and housing of the crops. Many of the soldiers, uneasy under the thought of the loss which their absence was occasioning, quietly slipped away from camp without leave, and went home. To such an extent had this proceeded, that a few only over 300 were left in camp. Among those who had gone to their homes was. Silas GATES. He was not quite 20 years of age and was, both physically and socially, one of the most splendid young men of-the town. His family likewise was one of the highest respectability. Sergeant Henry GIBBS and private Alva SABIN of Capt. Asahel LANGWORTHY's rifle company, were sent by their commanding officer to St. Albans to bring back deserters, including young GATES. During the evening of Nov. 4th, they called upon him at his father's house, and after some conversation he agreed to accompany them. The three started from the house, and had proceeded a short distance, when GATES went back for something which he said he had forgotten, but, instead of returning, he raised a window through which he passed, and started off on a run through en orchard on the north side of the house. SABIN being at the corner of the house, discovered him escaping, and called to him twice to stop, and threatened o fire upon him in case he did not. GATES kept on running, and at a distance of 25 rods SABIN fired. The ball took effect above the hip and near the spine. He lingered 5 days and 5 hours, when he died. Political feeling ran high, and the opponents of the government and the war seemed carried away by a spirit of fierce and vindictive wrath. They would have sacrificed SABIN at once, but the supporters of the administration and the war promptly rallied to his support and entered upon his defence. He was indicted for murder, and tried at the December term of the Supreme Court for 1813. There were present the Hon. Nathaniel CHIPMAN, chief judge, the Hon. Daniel FARRAND and Jonathan H. HUBBARD, assistant judges, Ebenezer MARVIN, jr., State's attorney, ALDIS & GADCOMB and Cornelius P. VAN NESS, attorneys for the defence. The jury did not agree, standing three for acquittal and nine for conviction of man-slaughter, and were soon discharged by the Court Jan. 3d, 1814. A second trial took plats in December, 1841, before the same court, when the jury again were not agreed, standing nine for acquittal and three for conviction of man-slaughter. At the December term of the court in 1815, a nolle prosequi was entered by the State, and the case was ended. People of all parties, including the relatives of the deceased, came at length to the conclusion that Mr. SABIN should be acquitted of all blame. He was but 20 years of age at the time and of course had little or no experience of the life of a soldier. His prisoner was escaping and he supposed it to be his duty to fire. It was about 8 o'clock of a cloudy evening, and GATES was running through an orchard set thick with apple-trees. He hastily drew up his gun and fired. By one of those singular acts of Divine Providence which more call chance, the ball even at the distance of 25 rods took fatal effect. Probably no one ever regretted this melancholy affair more than Mr. SABIN. He after this became a Baptist preacher in the town of Georgia, from which he was elected for several years representative to the General Assembly of Vermont. He was afterwards elected state senator from Franklin Co., judge of the-county court, secretary of state for Vermont, and finally had two elections to the House of Representatives of the United States.

      Another tragic affair occurred a short time after the killing of GATES, which created a great excitement in the County of Grand Isle, as well as in the surrounding country. The occurrence to which we allude, took place in Isle La Motte, but as the offenders were committed to jail in St. Albans, and tried here, the affair may be considered as belonging to the history of this town, and deserving a place in this sketch. During the war three sailors, from our fleet on the lake, went ashore with a subordinate officer, and visited the dwelling house of Judge HILL who kept an Inn on the Island. After they had tarried in the house a short time, Judge HILL, for some reason which has not been fully explained, took up a musket and called on the men to surrender as his prisoners. The officer in command ordered his men to fire. They accordingly did so, and judge HILL was killed on the spot. The sailors, with the officer, then left the house, and took refuge on board the vessel to which they belonged. The people of the town were highly excited, as Judge HILL was one of the most respectable men in the place.

      The next day an officer and posse of men were sent on board the vessel to arrest the offenders. Commodore MCDONOUGH, who was in command of the fleet, surrendered the three sailors, but refused to give up the officer who had accompanied them. The sailors were committed to jail in St. Albans, and were indicted and tried for murder at the next term of the court. The charge of the presiding judge was unfavorable to the prisoners, and the jury returned a verdict of manslaughter. The court sentenced them to the State prison for life.  It was generally thought that, although the sailors were legally guilty, they were not morally so, as they were in that condition in life that required an unreserved obedience to the orders of their superiors. At the next session of the Legislature they were all unconditionally pardoned.

      At the trial of the sailors there was evidence tending to show that sailors from the American vessels on the lake were in the habit of visiting Judge HILL's house, unaccompanied by an officer, and that at the time of the homicide in question, he knew the character of the men, and that they belonged to MCDONNOUGH's Squadron. It was, however, conjectured by some that he supposed they were British sailors, and that be intended to make them prisoners; and for that purpose stepped into an adjacent room and got a musket, sand in a threatening manner, as we have mentioned, demanded their surrender. If such were the facts, the conduct of judge HILL on the occasion may be in a measure accounted for. But it did not appear that he had sufficient assistance at hand to carry such intentions into effect.

      In 1814, occurred the invasion of the State of New York, by a British force under the command of Sir George PROVOST., numbering about 14,000 men, and the memorable battle of Plattsburgh. Only the part which the people of St. Albans took therein will be here stated. That an expedition, having for its object the invasion of the territory of the United States, was in preparation at Montreal, was a fact well understood. Its destination was soon disclosed, and Sunday, Sept. 4th, handbills, containing a proclamation of Gov. PROVOST, reached St. Albans, and were circulated among the people. The proclamation was printed on narrow slips of paper -- announced the invasion of the country, and promised protection to all who remained at their homes, and abstained from acts of hostility, and was signed R. BRISBANE, Adjutant General. On Monday, Sept. 5th, the magistrates, composing the board of civil authority of the town, carne together for deliberation, and as Gov. CHITTENDEN (at that time governor of the State,) had declined to call out the militia to aid in repelling the invading force, they decided to call on the people to volunteer for that purpose. They also sent out influential citizens to rouse the neighboring towns to arms. On Tuesday the 6th, the annual State election was holden, and the freemen were very generally present. After the votes had been deposited, a fife and drum were heard, and all who were willing to go to the defense of their country at Plattsburgh, were requested to fall in after the music. Eighty men, mostly democrats, volunteered promptly, and after taking a few turns on the green, were paraded. It was decided to start immediately. A number of citizens who had teams, offered to convey the men to South Hero, and about sunset they left, to cross at the sand-bar. The wind was blowing fresh and Sanford GADCOMB, one of the most promising young lawyers of Vermont, who was on horseback, was swept off the bar and saved only by the extraordinary power and endurance of his horse, who swam with him a distance of two miles, and brought him safe to land. The men remained over Wednesday on South Hero, awaiting transportation to Plattsburgh, Hero they organized as a military company and chose Samuel H. FARNSWORTH captain, and Daniel DUTCHER, lieutenant. On Thursday they were ferried across the lake to Plattsburgh, where they reported to Gen. MACOMB, and were by him ordered to Pike's campment on the Saranac . The company participated with honor in the fighting which followed, and particularly on Sunday, when they aided in repulsing a heavy attack by a column of the enemy who had forded the river and were in full march upon the American forte. The only casualty, was -the severe wounding of Mr. Robert LOVELL, a hero of the Revolution. He persisted in facing the entire British column, retreating backward, and continuing to load and fire. His companions remonstrated with him unavailingly. Nothing could induce him to turn his back to the foe, and he was, at length, hit by a musket-ball, in the abdomen, lingered for months in a most critical condition, but at length recovered and lived to a great age. Very few able bodied men remained behind. There wore individual members of the Federal party, who were so far controlled by partisan feeling, as not only to refrain from volunteering, but to with-hold encouragement to others to do so. But very many of that party were among the most active and vigorous in procuring recruits, arms and stores. From most of the houses throughout the town, the fathers, the elder sons, and all capable of handling a gun, had gone. Those who remained were filled with most distressing anxiety. The week wore away with no tidings from the seat of war. The drift of travel set strongly towards Plattsburgh. At every, hour of the day, and throughout the night, huge farm wagons were passing, filled with browned and stalwart men, armed with guns of various patterns, but none returned. On Thursday, a deserter from the British force came along and reported that their fleet lay at Ash island, ready for battle, and that, with the first change of wind to the north, it would sail up the lake to engage MAC DONOUGH. Very great confidence was expressed by all in Com. MAC DONOUGH, but it was well know, that his fleet was inferior to that of the British, The name of every vessel in either fleet, with the number of guns she carried, was well known and repeated twenty times a day, even by the school boys. Could MAC DONOUGH prevail against such disparity of force, was a question frequently put and one which occasioned grave foreboding.

      On Sabbath morning, Sept. 11th, the wind blew fresh from the north. A little after 1 o'clock, the town was startled by a tremendous cannonade directly west, which shook the houses and caused every thing moveable to jar and rattle, as if an earthquake were in progress. This was conjectured to be a signal of the approach of the fleet, to the army at Plattsburgh, to commence the action. A general movement of the people to the hill tops then commenced. From these heights the British war-vessels were distinctly seen, proudly bearing on a southerly course, and at length, rounding Cumberlandhead. Shortly after 9, a. m., the action commenced. -- Plattsburgh bay was covered with a dense canopy of smoke, the solid earth trembled under the thunder of the broadsides and the progress of the distant battle was watched with most intense anxiety. Over-2 hours of terrific cannonading had passed when the thunder lulled and soon ceased altogether. The firing continued briskly upon the land, but for better or for worse, it was all over upon the water. The gallant MAC DONOUGH if alive, was either a victor or a captive. The people slowly and silently returned to their homes, and it was not until after sunset, that a horseman rapidly passing, communicated the electrifying intelligence of the defeat and capture of the British fleet. The volunteers, for lack of transportation, did not return until the Wednesday after the battle. All parties now joined in doing them honor. A public dinner was given them soon after their return, to which was added a torch-light procession at evening, in which both political parties participated.

      The summer of 1816 was long remembered as the cold season, There were frost and snow once at least, during each month. In July and August snow did not actually lie upon the earth, but minute descending flakes were plainly visible. On the 5th and 10th of June, quite a flurry fell and the surface of the ground was frozen. Corn was killed to the roots, but sprouted again, and attained a respectable growth. A heavy frost about Sept. 10th, just as the young ears were ready for roasting, destroyed the entire crop, and there was not a sound ear of corn harvested in the county of Franklin. In the spring of 1817, seed-corn was sold in St. Albans at $4 per bushel. Ordinary flour was imported from Troy and Montreal, and sold at from S15 to $17 per barrel. A number of the inhabitants clubbed together, and sent Pierpont BRIGHAM to Chambly in Canada, to purchase a sloop load of wheat. This was delivered at St. Albans bay at a cost of $2.50 per bushel, The scarcity of bread-stuff's was so great, that the earliest ripe grain was at once cut, dried by artificial heat and ground to flour. The cold season gave a great impetus to the spirit of emigration to the milder climate of the West, and numbers removed to the, at that time, new State of Ohio. To such art extent did emigration progress, that during the decade ending in 1820, the population increased but 27.

      In the year of l820, the first and only execution in the county of Franklin, took place in St. Albans. This was the hanging of Luther VIRGINIA, for the murder of Rufus W. JACKSON, in the town of Highgate, Nov. 14, 1819, Virginia was a young colored man of intemperate and dishonest habits. He had worked for Mr. HERRICK, an innkeeper at Highgate Falls, and was convicted of stealing money from the till of the bar, and was sentenced to a term in the State's prison. After the expiration of his sentence, he settled in Canada near the line of Highgate. Sunday afternoon, November 14th, he came to HERRICKs', partially intoxicated, and demanded liquor. This being denied him, he became quarrelsome and had some angry words with JACKSON, who was present. He was finally expelled from the house and started, as was supposed, for home. JACKSON, at sunset, started on horseback to go to the north part of the town, crossed the bridge over Missisquoi river and ascended the hill beyond, when he was knocked from his horse by VIRGINIA, with a stake taken from a fence near by, and beaten to death. VIRGINIA drew the lifeless body out of the road, and the riderless horse returned to the tavern. This created alarm for the safety of JACKSON, and a party started off to search for him. The body was soon found and VIRGINIA was captured before morning, at his home in Canada, and lodged in the jail at St. Albans. JACKSON's watch was found secreted in his bed. Ha was convicted of willful murder at a special session of the Supreme Court, Dec. 13, 1819, and sentenced to be hung between the hours of 10 in the forenoon and 2 o'clock, P. M., Jan. 14, 1920. This sentence was carried into, execution by Shivoric HOLMES, the sheriff of the county of Franklin, in the field on the north side of Congress street, opposite Gov. SMITH's stock-barn. VIRGINIA attended his own funeral service at the Court House, which was conducted by Rev. Phineas CULVER, who preached a sermon from Genesis IX, 6, "Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed."The execution was witnessed by an immense concourse of people.

      In anticipation of the opening of the canal, connecting the waters of Lake Champlain with those of the Hudson, at Troy, two canal boats were built at St. Albans during the summer of 1823, viz. the Gleaner, by N. W. KINGMAN, Julius HOYT and John TAYLOR, and the Commerce, by the brothers HUNGERFORD of Highgate. The former of these was completed in September 1823, and under the command of Capt. Wm. BURTON, with a cargo of wheat and potatoes, was the first boat which passed through the canal. The little vessel in consequence of this, attained no little celebrity and honor. A full account of her first trip to New York and her reception on the way, is given on page 681 of Vol. 1, of this work. The new facilities afforded to trade with the great cities of the country, by the completion of the canal, were of incalculable value to western Vermont. Business of all kinds, at St. Albans, improved, and the enterprise of its citizens received a new impulse. The steamer Franklin was built at St. Albans bay in the year 1827. A full account of this vessel will he found upon page 694 of the seventh number of this work.

      Nov. 4, 1826 a charter for a steam-boat company by the legislature of the State, was granted to Julius HOYT and others, under the name of the St. Albans steam-boat company. The company was organized during the winter following; and N. W. KINGMAN was appointed president, and L. L. DUTCHER, clerk. This company built the steam-boat Mac Donough, to run as a ferry boat between St. Albans and Plattsburgh, touching at the islands of North and South Hero. This enterprise, although of small advantage to its projectors, was of great convenience to the community at large.

      The rebellion of the French population of Canada, against the rule of the sovereign of England in 1837, was the cause of no ordinary excitement, among the people along the northern frontier. A history of that abortive attempt at revolution does not properly come within the province of this publication, but so far as it was connected with our own history, it is entitled to notice. That the people of this country should have regarded with indifference the struggles of a conquered race, however unpromising, to throw off a foreign domination and establish a government and institutions of their own, was not for a moment to be expected. When the discomfited leaders sought safety by flight to the territory of the United States, they were received with the hospitality always awarded to unfortunate political adventurers, in common with all who seek an asylum among us. In the early days of the rebellion, several gentle-men, having become subjects of suspicion to the officers of the government and in danger of arrest, left their homes for a season and took up a temporary residence in St. Albans.

      Among these were R. S. M. BOUCHETTE, a young gentleman of high family connection, splendid abilities, and fine personal appearance; Doctor Cyril CATE, a young physician of influence and promise, and P. P. DEMARY, a respectable notary of St. Johns, with others of more or less distinction in their communities. A much larger number of refugees located themselves at the neighboring village of Swanton. They were for the most part exceedingly quiet and undemonstrative, making no apparent effort to enlist sympathy for their cause, or to excite ill will against the British government. But they did not remain idle. They secured two small pieces of cannon, some muskets of various patterns, and a small quantity of ammunition and stores. These were mainly purchased with money, but it is probable that some portion of them were contributed by sympathizing friends. It was their plan to force their way through the loyal population of the border, to the French country beyond. Having been reinforced by the arrival of 70 habitans from L'Acadie, and numbering in all just 96 men, they left the village of Swanton Falls, December 6th at 2 o'clock, 30 m. P. M. The men from L'Acadie had marched during the whole of the preceding night, and were worn and fatigued. As soon as they had crossed the province line, they commenced enforcing levies, upon the loyal opponents, of horses and provisions. When the party left Swanton and again when they reached the forks of the road at Saxe's mills and turned to the right, intelligence was sent forward to the British authorities of their movements. In a straggling and disorderly manner, they were proceeding slowly, entering the houses by the way, when at about 8 o'clock P. M. they were fired upon by a body of militia at Moore's corners This militia force consisted of several hundred men, thoroughly armed and well supplied with ammunition. From a chosen position by the road aide, on a steep, rocky bill, they kept up an irregular fire upon the invaders. The rebel party were rallied, as soon as it was possible; in the darkness and confusion, and proceeded to return the fire as well as they were able, by firing in the direction from whence the attack seemed to come, but without a living object against which to direct their aim. They stood the fire directed upon them for about 15 minutes when they broke and retreated back to Swanton, leaving one dead and two wounded men with most of their stores behind. The two iron pieces of cannon as well as the stores were lost, by reason of some of the horses which were drawing them being shot. Among the wounded was M. BOUCHETTE, who received a severe wound in the foot, from a musket ball just forward of the ankle joint, He had displayed undaunted bravery and coolness while under fire, and his unlucky adventure was very generally deplored. He was taken before P. P. RUSSEL, a magistrate of Phillipsburgh, 2 miles from the scene of action, by whom he was sent under guard, to the military post of Isle Aux Noix. The hospitality extended to the refugees, and the aid and comfort which it was alleged, had been afforded them by the people of the States, greatly exasperated the loyal people of Canada. Bitter denunciation of sympathizers, and acrimonious strictures upon the course of the American population along the frontier, were the staple burden of the loyal journals. These were replied to with equal bitterness by the American press, and the war of words became severe. The Montreal Herald threatened the Editor of the Burlington Free Press, "with a noose," and was very rancorous in its attacks upon our citizens. Many public meetings were holden on this side of the line, at which exciting speeches were made, and resolutions of an inflammatory character passed. On the 19th of December, a meeting of the citizens of Franklin County was holden at St. Albans, at which 2000 people were present. A committee, through their chairman, the late Henry ADAMS, made report, that "the following facts are clearly established by the testimony of numbers of intelligent and credible witnesses, whose affidavits are hereto annexed, viz.

      1. That frequent threats have been publicly made, by men of standing, both at St. Armand and Missisquoi Bay, to burn the villages of St. Albans and Swanton Falls, and the dwellings of citizens in other places.

      2. That frequent threats have been made by men of standing in Canada, to cross the line, and kidnap those Canadian patriots who have fled to our territory for protection from British tyranny.

      3. That armed men acting as British guards, and under the command of a British officer, have often been seen at night on this side of the line; and on, one occasion, while in our own territory, made proposals for the kidnapping of one of our own citizens,

      4. That a large number of our most worthy citizens in various parts of the country, have been threatened, as well by the armed guards stationed along the line, as from other quarters, with arrest, imprisonment and trial by court martial, for acts done and opinions expressed within the jurisdiction of the United States that lists containing the names of our citizens have been given to the armed guards, with orders to arrest the persons therein named.

      5. That several of our citizens have been arrested by the armed guards without any just cause, have been prevented from pursuing their lawful business, detained under arrest for several hours; stripped of their clothes and otherwise treated with abuse and insult.

      6. That some of the leaders of the tory faction in Canada, relying on the forbearance of our fellow citizens, have come among us and disturbed the public peace, brandishing their pistols in places of public resort.

      The affidavits alluded to in the report, were all read to the meeting, and fully sustained the assertions of the committee.

      Feb. 14, 1838, some 200 or 300 of the rebel force crossed the line to CALDWELL's manor, under the command of Doctors NELSON and COTE, and encamped for the night about 2 miles from the line. On mustering their party the next morning, it was ascertained that quite a proportion of the men had deserted during, the night. A superior British force was marching to attack them and they drew back to the line, when they surrendered to Gen. John E. WOOL, of the U. S. Army. This was the last attempt of the so-called patriots to enter Canada in this quarter, with an armed military force- From this time the excitement began to subside. A party of desperadoes, in the latter part of April, crossed the line from Canada in the night and burned several barns in the town of Highgate. Barns and other buildings were fired in several places in Canada. A militia force, under Gen. NASON, was stationed along the line in Highgate, to guard against the commission of hostile acts by either side. This measure was successful and after a few WEEKS the troops were recalled and discharged. It was several years before the angry feeling, which had been excited, disappeared, but it gave way at length and peace was fully restored. After the public mind had become tranquil, it was the general conviction that there had been a great deal of unnecessary and not very creditable excitement, and that the wrong was not confined to either side. If the people of Canada had indulged in rash and threatening language, it was known that throughout the entire winter they had been kept in a state of constant, agitation and alarm by reports that invasion from the United States, by an armed horde of rebels and sympathizers, was imminent. These reports were put in circulation by mischief-loving persons, who were amusing themselves by practicing upon the credulity of their neighbors. They did not hesitate to couple with this fictitious invasion the names of men of influence and standing, on this side of the line, as actively countenancing and abetting it. These idle reports being believed, was the principal cause of the intemperate utterances and threats to which allusion has been made.


      On Sunday, Oct. 16, 1842, Eugene CLIFFORD, residing in the north part of Fairfield, murdered his wife and infant child, by drowning in Fairfield pond. He was a deserter from the British army and had come to Fairfield where he married Mrs. Elizabeth GILMORE, a widow who owned a farm of some 50 acres. He had been told, and, being an ignorant man probably believed, that if he outlived his wife and child, this farm would be his own, and it is supposed that he then formed the purpose of bringing about their death.* He invited his wife to cross the pond with him in a log-canoe and she was never seen again alive. In the course of an hour or two, he came back to the neighborhood with the report that his wife, in the act of adjusting a shawl around her infant, had fallen out of the canoe and that both were drowned. Mrs. CLIFFORD wore a silk shawl, a valuable one which she had brought over from Ireland, and the infant was wrapped in a woolen blanket shawl. The bodies were recovered the next day. That of the infant had floated quite a distance and that of the mother was hooked up in water about 10 feet deep. But the shawls were not upon the bodies nor could they be found. This increased the suspicion, already existing, that CLIFFORD was the murderer. The agitation of the public mind became intense, People, for several miles around, came in, and a vigorous search was made for the missing shawls. They would not sink, and, unless carried off, must float to the shore. Every foot of the shore and the entire surface of the pond was carefully examined, but no traces of the missing articles ware found. CLIFFORD was in the charge of keepers and the search, for the day, was given up. On the following night the wife of Mr. Stephen MARVIN dreamed that she started to look for the shawls, that she crossed the road in front of her dwelling, got over the fence, then went through a field to a second fence athwart which a large hemlock tree had fallen; that she got over this fence, walked a short distance on the prostrate tree, and into a patch of woods where trees had been overturned by the wind; thence passed to ground, near the shore of the pond, covered by a thick growth of brush; and that there, in a shallow hole in the sand, and but partially covered, she found the shawls. On awaking, she made known the dream and expressed her entire confidence in being able to go directly to the spot and finding the shawls. She invited her husband to go with her, but he thought so lightly of the dream that he declined. A neighbor, by the name of BAILEY, however, offered to go and they set out together. She had never been over the ground, but proceeded, finding everything precisely as she saw it in her dream, and, at the end of the search came upon the shawls still wet as when the murderer buried them two days before. -- CLIFFORD was tried at the April term of the Court, at St. Albans, where the above facts were fully given in evidence and he was convicted of murder. He was sentenced to be hanged after the expiration of one year from his sentence, April 21, 1843, and in the meantime, and until the punishment of death was inflicted on him, to be committed to solitary imprisonment in the State Prison at Windsor. The execution of the sentence was not ordered by the governor, and the prisoner became a raving maniac, and, in this condition, died.

[* In an unfinished account of this murder and trial by the late Col. PERLEY, among his papers for Fairfield, it is stated that CLIFFORD was reputed guilty at the time, of an intimacy with a woman whom be thought he could marry if he could only remove his wife. -- -Ed]
      Previous to the introduction of Railroads, this, and the other towns of the county were in a state of partial isolation. The islands composing the County of Grand Isle cut us off from the main channel of the lake, which was the great highway of travel. In early times, the merchants, and others who had occasion to visit New-York, proceeded on horseback to Troy and from thence by sloop. -- Goods were freighted from New York to Troy and, from thence, by sailing vessels to St. Albans Bay. When a line of steam-hosts was established upon the lake, it was only of partial benefit to this part of the country. To reach them a land journey to Burlington was necessary, that being the nearest port at which they touched. The establishment of a steam-ferry to Plattsburg, in 1828, made a connection with the through passenger steamboats at that point, but little was gained, however, since transhipment at either point, was unavoidable. The markets of Boston and, the great manufacturing regions at the east, could hardly be said to be available to us at all. The trade with that section, which has since increased to such immense proportions, had no existence. The project of a rail-road, by which we could have easy and uninterrupted communication with all parts of the country, was received and entertained with universal favor. Several rail-road charters were granted by the legislature at the session of 1843, among which were charters for the Rutland & Burlington and Vermont Central Rail-Roads. The directors of the latter road claimed that their charter gave them the right to build their road across the sand-bar to South Hero, to connect with a road which had been located from Ogdensburgh to Plattsburgh, N. Y. To this the directors of the Rutland & Burlington objected. A movement was then made for a charter to an independent company, to build the road from Burlington northward to effect a connection with roads to the city of Montreal, and, also, with the one to be constructed from Lake Champlain to Ogdensburgh. In October, 1845, mainly through the efforts of the late Hon. John SMITH, the charter of the Vermont & Canada Rail-Road was granted by the legislature. This was to run from some point upon the State line, in Highgate, thence southward to Burlington, with a branch passing across the sand-bar to South Hero. Books for receiving subscriptions to the stock of this company were opened June 8, 1847. At this time an attempt was made, by the president of the Rutland & Burlington Rail-Road company, to obtain the control of the new organization, by the employment of an agent to subscribe for a majority of the shares of its capital stock. The subscription was made, but in a clandestine manner, and was stricken off by the commissioners. The company was fully organizd by July 8, 1847 by the appointment of seven directors and at a subsequent meeting of the latter, Hon. John SMITH was appointed president, and Lawrence BRAINERD, clerk. The project of a connection with the Ogdensburg road at Plattsburgh was, from the first, regarded as very unpromising by those best acquainted with the locality. There were not wanting those, who advocated the erection of a bridge from South Hero to Cumberland Head, a distance of 4 or 5 miles, and in water of great depth. But the great majority of people understood well that the connection could be made only by a ferry and that, through the winter months, there could be no communication whatever, on account of ice. The Burlington papers demanded the abandonment of the project and that the connection of the Vermont roads with the Ogdensburgh should be made at Burlington. The directors of the Ogdensburgh road, at length, changed its location from Plattsburgh to Rouse's Point, where the channel of the lake is so narrow as to render bridging a matter of comparative ease. The attention of the public began to be strongly attracted to this new and apparently feasible route. The great capitalists of Boston and other places, whose funds had been hitherto the main support of the Vermont roads, hesitated to advance further aid, except on the condition that an unbroken line of railway could be secured to the great lakes of the West. The Vermont and Canada rail-road therefore, in compliance with the statute, gave legal notice that an application would be made to the legislature for changes in their charter, which would give them the right to locate their road to the west shore of Alburgh and to build and maintain a bridge from that point to the west line of the State. A bill was introduced into the House of Representatives, Oct. 27, 1847. A contest ensued, which has few parallels in the history of legislation in this State. All the other rail-road interests in the State, with the exception of the Central, and the transportation interests of Lake Champlain combined to oppose the measure. The idea of "bridging the lake" was ridiculed as one of the most preposterous, ever indulged by sane men. Remonstrances, with hundreds of signatures from Burlington and towns to the south, and from all the villages on the New-York side of the lake, flooded the legislature. Even some of the towns, lying within a few miles of the projected road, sent in remonstrances signed by their principal men, embracing a large majority of their legal voters. They were also represented at the legislature by astute and busy lobbyists, who contributed to swell the clamor against the monstrous proposition. So fierce and vindictive was the onslaught, that one would have supposed, that the men who were endeavoring to furnish the last remaining link in the chain of rail-roads, binding the Last and the West, had been guilty of some flagrant outrage against the peace and well-being of society. The brunt of this memorable contest was borne by St. Albans, and, to cripple her energies the more, a bill was introduced to remove the shire of the county to Sheldon, This was passed by the House but defeated in the Senate. To conciliate the opposition to the bridge, if possible, the friends of the bill offered several amendments to meet objections which had been made, and, at last, consented to a motion to strike out from the bill, everything relating to a bridge at Rouse's Point. But all concessions were in vain. The bill was still opposed with undiminished zeal, and, Nov. 10th, a motion to dismiss prevailed by a vote of 106 ayes to 80 noes. Two days afterward the Hon. George W. FOSTER, of the Senate, called up a bill which had been introduced, entitled an act in amendment of an act incorporating the Vermont& Canada Rail-Road Company, and the same was passed with but one dissenting voice. This bill was sent to the House of Representatives, and, on Nov. 15, was passed by a vote of 72 ayes to 70 noes. This act repealed "so much of the first section of the act incorporating said company as is expressed and contained in the words, passing across the sand-bar to South Hero." Thus terminated this severe and exciting struggle; and if, at the time, the decision arrived at was not acquiesced in by all the parties concerned, its justice and wisdom have since been abundantly vindicated. The charter, as amended, proving satisfactory to the company a preliminary survey was ordered by the directors, at a meeting in Boston, Dec. 1, 1847. Henry R. CAMPBELL was appointed engineer and Phaon JARRETT assistant. The road was formally located in August, 1848, and work thereon commenced in the month of September following. It was completed to St. Albans, Oct. 17, 1850. The first train came upon the evening of the 18th, having among its passengers the members of the legislature from this county. A crowd had collected at the Lake street crossing, who received the train, the first which ever entered the County of Franklin, with hearty and vociferous sheers. The Troy & Montreal telegraph line was opened to St. Albans, Feb. 8, 1848. The building of the rail-road was followed by a steady increase of the business and considerable addition to the population of the town. Numbers of forehanded people from different towns in the county took up their residence here and erected neat and tasteful buildings. In 1860, the offices, machine and repair shops, of the rail-road were located at St. Albans, which caused the removal hither of many valuable families, and the building up of a number of streets which had been opened.


      The raid of Oct. 19, 1864, having given to the town a notoriety greater than any event which ever occurred within its bounds before or since, an accurate and full account will be expected in this place. A band of armed and desperate ruffians, in the interest of the slave-holders' rebellion, 22 in number, succeeded, by a secret and well planned movement, in robbing our banks in open day-light, and in escaping to their base of operations in Canada with their plunder. That a robbery so daring could be accomplished by a force so small, in a village of the population of St. Albans, has appeared to those unacquainted with the circumstances as something unaccountable. To effect it was necessary to make it a complete surprise. Our people, like those of New England villages generally, were occupied upon the day in question with their private -affairs, in their offices, shops and stores, with no suspicion of danger, and with scarcely a weapon of defense. The rebel plan was indeed a bold one, and is conceded to have been ably and skillfully carried out. An impression has gone abroad, that the raiders came into the town in a body and proceeded to make an open attack upon our citizens, intimidating them into a state of passive submission, while they were despoiling the banks of their treasure and our people of their property. This is not true. Bennett H. YOUNG, who it appeared afterward was the leader, accompanied by two others, came to town From St. Johns in Canada, Oct. 10, and put up at the Tremont-house. Two others, on the same day, stopped at the American Hotel, and, on the next day, were followed by three others. These men were, (most of them at least) in and about the village up to the time of the raid, occupied in ascertaining the habits of the people, the situation of the banks and location of their safes -- also the places where horses could be easiest obtained, when they should be ready to leave. They attracted no more attention than other strangers, who arrive more or less on every train, and put up at the hotels. One of those who stopped at the Tremont, was remarked as a diligent reader of the Scriptures, and was repeatedly heard reading aloud, an hour at a time. One of the charitable lady boarders took him to be a student of theology. In order to ascertain to what extent fire-arms were possessed by the people, they made a fruitless endeavor to borrow guns for the alleged purpose of hunting. They called at the stores, making enquiries for trifling articles, entering into conversation freely with the proprietors and others. YOUNG visited the residence of Gov. SMITH, and politely desired the privilege of looking over the grounds and of inspecting the horses in the stables, which was accorded him. Oct. 18th two more came to breakfast at the Tremont, and were joined by four more at dinner. The greater part of these men were afterward identified, as those who had been boarding at the hotels in St. John's in Canada, for some days previous. On the 19th, the day of the raid, five came to dinner at the American, and six at the St. Albans House. Of these, it has been satisfactorily proven, that two came in a carriage from Burlington, and that the others alighted from the Montreal train which arrived at noon. They differed in nothing from ordinary travelers, except that they had side valises or satchels, depending from a strap over the right shoulder. They had learned that Tuesday, being market day, would be an unfavorable one for their purpose, but that the day following would be the dullest of the week, when there would probably be but very few people in the streets. It so happened that on this particular Wednesday, nearly 40 of the active men of the town were in Montpelier, in attendance upon the legislature, then in session, and at Burlington, awaiting the progress of important cases before the supreme court. -- The names of the raiders, so far as it has been ascertained, were Bennett H. YOUNG, Turner TEAVIS, Alamanda POPE, Bruce SAMUEL, Eugene LACKEY, Marcus SPURR, Charles Moore SWAGER, George SCOTT., Caleb McDowal WALLACE, James Alexander DOTY, Joseph MCGRORTY, Samuel Simpson GREGG, Dudley MOORE, Thomas Bronson COLLINS, and Wm. H. HUTCHINSON. They were mostly YOUNG men of from 20 to 26 years, except MCGORTY, who was 38. The afternoon of Wednesday, Oct. 19th, was cloudy, threatening rain, and the streets were particularly quiet. By a preconcerted understanding, immediately after the town clock had struck the hour of three, the banks were entered, simultaneously, by men with revolvers concealed upon their persons. COLLINS, SPURR and TEAVIS, with two others, entered the St. Albans Bank. C. N. BISHOP, the teller, sat by a front window, counting and assorting bank-notes, when the men entered, and going to the counter to see what was wanted, two of them pointed two pistols, each of large size, at his head, upon which, he sprang into the director's room in the rear, in which was Martin I. SEYMOUR, another clerk, engaged with the books. BISHOP, with SEYMOUR, endeavored to close the door, but it was forced open with violence by the robbers, who seized them by the throat, pointing pistols at their heads, and saying in a loud whisper, "Not a word -- we are confederate soldiers -- have come to take your town -- have a large force -- we shall take your money, and if you resist, will blow your brains out -- we are going to do by you, as Sheridan has been doing by us in the Shenandoah valley." On being told that resistance would not be made, they relaxed their hold, but with pistols still pointed, they kept guard over their prisoners, while the others proceeded rapidly to gather up and stow away, in their pockets and valises, the bank-notes on BISHOP's table, and in the safe. A drawer under the counter containing $1,000 they failed to discover. Bags of silver containing $1500 were hauled out, from which they took about $400, saying, that the whole was "too heavy to take." While this was going on, the handle of the outside door was turned and one of the robbers admitted Samuel BRECK, a merchant of the village, with $393 in his hand, who had come in to pay a note. A robber presented a pistol at his breast and said, "I will take that money." Mr. BRECK told them that this money was private property, but it was taken and he was ordered to the back-room with SEYMOUR and BISHOP. Just after this, Morris ROACH, a young lad, a clerk of Joseph WEEKS, came with $210 in a bank book, to deposit. This was taken and the astonished boy dragged into the director's room with the others. COLLINS had the appearance of an educated man, and while keeping guard over the bank officers, discoursed about Gen. Sheridan's doings, and said that theirs was an act of retaliation. Mr. SEYMOUR remarked, that if they took the property of the bank as an act of war, they ought to give time to take an inventory of it, that they might make claim upon the government for indemnification. COLLINS replied sharply, "G-d d-n your government, hold up your hands." He then administered an oath, that they should do nothing to the injury of the confederate government-that they would not fire upon any of the soldiery of that government then in this town-and that they should not report their (the robbers) presence here, until 2 hours after they had left. The robbers had found but a few hundred dollars in United States bonds, and no gold. [*The securties of the bank were mostly deposited in the Park Bank in Now York.]  They knew that no bank would be doing business with so slender a basis, and were satisfied that, somewhere in the building, a large amount must be concealed. With the inevitable pistol pointed at his breast, Mr. SEYMOUR was severely interrogated as to their United States bonds and gold. They failed, however, to intimidate him into any confession, that there were either bonds or gold in the bank. In the safe through which they had nervously fumbled, was a large amount of U. S. bonds, in envelopes, belonging to private individuals and which had been deposited for safe keeping. The coolness and firmness of Mr. SEYMOUR, saved these parties some $50,000. The robbers also overlooked, in their great haste, a bundle of St. Albans bank notes in sheets, regularly signed, but which bad not been cut apart for use, to the amount of $50,000. It seems that they actually left behind, more money than they took from the bank. This happened probably from their being excited by liquor. They brought with them into the bank a rank atmosphere of alcoholic fumes, adding another to the many proofs already on record, of the intimate connection between ardent spirits and crime. The entire time occupied in the robbery of this bank, did not exceed 12 minutes. Hearing a report of firearms in the street, three went out. Two staid a few moments and backed out, with pistols pointed at their prisoners. HUTCHINSON and four others were deputed to rifle the coffers of the Franklin County Bank. Marcus W. BEARDSLEY, the cashier, sat by the stove conversing with James SAXE. Jackson CLARK, a wood-sawyer, was also in the room. HUTCHINSON came in shortly after three, "and Mr. BEARDSLEY arose and went behind the counter to see what was wanted. He wished to know what was the price of gold. Mr. BEARDSLEY replied that the bank did not deal in it. J. R. ARMINGTON then came in with money to deposit, and HUTCHINSON was referred to him. While Mr. BEARDSLEY was counting the money left by ARMINGTON, HUTCHINSON sold the latter two gold pieces for greenbacks. SAXE and ARMINGTON then went out, leaving HUTCHINSON standing at the counter, keeping up a conversation with BEARDSLEY. Immediately after this, four others came in and stood in a corner of the room a few moments, when one of them advanced a few steps, put his hand deep into a side pocket, and drew out a heavy navy revolver, which he pointed directly at BEARDSLEY, looking him straight in the eye, but without saying a word. Mr. BEARDSLEY thought he must be some insane man at large; and at first was inclined to fly, hut did not, and stood returning his gaze, when two of the others stepped forward, drawing their revolvers and pointing like the first, without a word from either. HUTCHINSON, who had kept his place at the counter, then said, in a low but very decided tone, "We are confederate soldiers. There are a hundred of us. We have come to rob your banks and burn your town." CLARK, hearing this, made a dash for the door, but was ordered back with a. threat of instant death if he moved. HUTCHINSON said, “we want all your greenbacks, bills and property of every description.” They came behind the counter and into the vault, taking possession of everything they supposed valuable. When they had secured their booty and were ready to leave, HUTCHINSON told Mr. BEARDSLEY that he must go into the vault, where CLARK had already been placed, for a second attempt to escape. Mr. BEARDSLEY remonstrated against an act so inhuman and told him that the vault was air-tight, and that no man could live long in it, that he had got all their money and that if left out he would make no alarm. This did not move the savage in the least. He seized his unresisting prisoner by the arm, led him into the vault, and fastened the door. BEARDSLEY supposed that they would carry into execution their threat to burn the town, and had before his imagination the horrid prospect of being burned alive. Hearing voices in the room, he rattled the iron door of his prison, and soon heard his name called by ARMINGTON. He told him how the door could be opened and was then released, his confinement having lasted about 20 minutes. As he emerged from the bank he saw the robbers galloping off in a body to the north.

      Four persons were engaged in the robbery of the First National Bank. The only persons present at the time were Albert SOWLES, the cashier, and Gen. John NASON, an old man, then nearly 90 years of age, and very deaf. WALLACE, with another closely following, approached the counter, drew a revolver, cocked it, pointed at SOWLES, and said, "You are my prisoner." He had also a revolver in his left hand. His manner was unsteady and nervous, his hands trembling as he pointed both pistols at SOWLES and said further, "If you offer any resistance I will shoot you dead." -- The other robber then came up and drew a revolver a foot and a half long. Two others then entered the bank, one of whom, MCGRORTY, went behind the counter to the safe, from whence he took bank-bills, treasury notes, and United States bonds, cramming the former in his pockets and tossing the latter to his fellow ruffians across the counter. While this was doing, BRUCE stood just within the door keeping guard. Having disposed of the funds of the bank upon their persons and in their valises, they passed out of the door. Wm. H. BLAISDELL then came into the bank and enquired what was going forward, and what these men were doing. Being told that they had robbed the bank, he stepped to the door and meeting one who was coming up the steps with pistol in hand, seized and threw him down, falling heavily upon him, WALLACE and another robber called out, shoot him, shoot him. This not being a matter of easy accomplishment for the prostrate wretch in the hands of a powerful man like BLAISDELL, his two companions came to the rescue. They held their pistols at BLAISDELL's head and told him to relinquish his hold, or that they would blow his brains out. Gen. NASON, who stood upon the steps, mildly suggested that "two upon one was not fair play." BLAISDELL seeing resistance to be useless, and that there was much more of the affair than he had supposed, released his antagonist and took post where they directed him upon the green. WALLACE, the robber who first entered the back, is a nephew of Hon. John J. CRITTENDEN, late Senator from Kentucky. Another of the band is a nephew of Ex-Vice-President Breckinridge. In the safe of the bank, MCGRORTY discovered 5 bags of coin and enquired of Mr. SOWLES what they contained. He was told that they contained cents, but to make sure that the truth had been told him, he untied the string of one and scattered the cents about the floor. Having thus satisfied himself that there had been no deception practiced upon him, he desisted from further examination. Had he pursued it thoroughly, however, his exertions would have been well rewarded, as one of the bags was filled with gold. Gen. NASON, the old man already mentioned, sat during the entire transaction in the back part of the room reading a newspaper. After the robbers had gone out, he came forward and mildly inquired “What gentlemen were those?"

      It has been shown that thirteen of the robbers had been engaged in rifling the banks. The others had been occupied in guarding the streets. The banks were all situated upon Main street, in a space not exceeding 45 rods. It was important not to allow any information to be carried out of this locality. At a short distance, down Lake street, were the machine-shops and depot buildings of the railroad, where hundreds of men were at work, who if made aware of what was doing, would have quickly disposed of the entire rebel party. They therefore stopped all persons who essayed to pass out of Main street by threats of instant death, and ordered them to pass to the green in front of the American. Some six or eight had been sent to this place, when Collins H. HUNTINGTON, an old and highly respectable citizen, came along on the way to the academy for his children, having heard no alarm, nor seen any thing to excite suspicion. As he was passing the American carriage-way, a man touched his shoulder and told him to cross over to the green.

      Mr. HUNTINGTON, supposing the man intoxicated, kept on, when the man spoke again saying, "If you don't go over I'll shoot you." Mr. H. looking back over his shoulder, said "Oh no, I guess you won't shoot me." The robber then fired and Mr. H. was hit, the ball striking a rib in the left of the spine, following it 6 1/2, inches, when it came out, leaving a flesh wound only. He took his place with the others on the green, and was soon liberated by the retreat of the robbers, and in a few days fully recovered of his wound.

      Some of the robbers now commenced the seizure of horses, with which to effect an escape. FIELD's livery- stable was first visited. Opposition to the appropriation of his horses being made by Mr. FIELD, a shot was instantly fired at him by YOUNG, the ball passing through his hat. Mr. SHEPARD of Highgate, driving a pair of horses in a double-wagon was stopped opposite the Franklin County bank and his horses taken. The harness was quickly stripped off and the robbers mounted without saddles, using the head-stalls for bridles. Leonard BINGHAM, hearing of the disturbance, came up Lake to Main street, and when near the American, saw YOUNG about to mount his horse in front of WEBSTER and FAILEY's store. Thinking he might be able to fall upon and seize him before getting seated and in a condition to use his pistol, he ran toward him, but was a trifle too late. He ran past him to near the front of WHEELER's store. Some dozen shots were fired at him, by one of which he was slightly wounded in the abdomen. YOUNG rode up and down the street, directing the operations of his fellow-robbers, ordering people into their houses, or to take a stand upon the green. A man started off when YOUNG called out, "What is that man running for? Where. the h-ll is he going to? Shoot the d-d cuss," and several shots were fired. L. A. CROSS, a photographer, hearing the report of pistols, came to the door of his saloon, and seeing YOUNG inquired what they were trying to celebrate. YOUNG replied, "I will let you know," and instantly discharged his revolver at him, the ball of which came near his head and lodged in the door. E. H. JONES was ordered by SERAGER to stop, and on his not complying, both SERAGER and YOUNG fired at him. YOUNG frequently ordered his men to throw Greek fire upon the wooden buildings. This was a phosphoric compound in a liquid state. A bottle of it was thrown against the front of N. ATWOOD's store, but without much effect. The water closet of the American was besmeared with the same compound. It burned until the next day; but as the wood-work was kept wet, it did no damage. The robbers now began to move towards the north, and halted near the corner of Main and Bank streets. BEDARD's shop was rifled of saddles, bridles and blankets. 7 horses were led out of FULLER's livery stable. E. D. FULLER, who had been out and was returning, having no knowledge of what had been done, inquired of his foreman what he was doing with the horses, and ordered him to take them back. The foreman said to him, "keep still, or they'll shoot you." He crossed the street and was ordered by YOUNG to bring him a pair of spurs from BEDARD's shop. FULLER, having a revolver in his pocket, sprang behind a post in front of DUTCHER's store, and aiming at YOUNG attempted to fire, but his pistol only snapped. YOUNG at this laughed outright, and said, "now will you get me the spurs?" FULLER replied "yea but I thought you were joking.” He passed through BEDARD's shop and back to the Welden House, which was then in process of erection by Mr. Elinus J. MORRISON. He told MORRISON that a strange set of men were making a visit and committing robbery in the street, whereupon MORRISON ordered all the men at work upon the building to come down, and came round with FULLER to the front of the Messenger office. In front of JAQUEZ grocery-store, a horse was hitched belonging to a French Canadian named BOIVIN. A robber had mounted the horse, but BOIVIN attacked him vigorously and pulled him off. Another robber then entered upon the quarrel, and BOIVIN being advised to desist, relinquished his hold. The alarm now was becoming general, the robbers were mounted and were shooting in every direction. FULLER being warned by M. F. WILSON that YOUNG was aiming at him, sprang behind an elm tree in front of B. PAUL's shoe-shop. MORRISON at the same moment undertook to escape into Miss BEATTIE's millinery store, and had his hand upon the door knob when YOUNG fired. The ball struck MORRISON, passing through the hand into the abdomen. He was taken into the drug-store of L. L. DUTCHER & Son, laid upon a bed and cared for an hour or so, when he was taken to his lodgings at the American Hotel, at which place he died Oct. 21. He was not a resident of St. Albans, but was engaged as contractor in erecting the brick-work of the Welden House. His home was at Manchester, N. H., and to that place his remains were taken for interment. Several of our citizens now came up with guns, which they attempted to discharge, but from being in bad order, they failed to go off. Capt. George P. CONGER came running up the street, calling upon all to rally with whatever weapon they could lay hands upon. The robbers, finding the street rapidly filling formed in sections of four and galloped off to the north. As they were leaving, Wilder GILSON who had but just heard of the robbery, came up with his rifle, and when in front of Wm. N. SMITH & Co.'s store, drew a careful and steady head, and fired upon the hindmost of the gang, as he sat on his horse, nearly in front of H. BRAINERD's store. He was seen to start quickly, and was evidently hit. As the party were leaving, a man apparently wounded was seen by several, supported on either side by two comrades. From a number of circumstances which have become known, It is thought by most people extremely probable, that this man died of his wound, in Canada, in the course of the winter following. The raiders took the road to Sheldon, making all the speed possible. At the village, they dashed across the bridge over the creek, and then attempted to set it on fire. They had intended to rob the bank at this place, but found it closed; and as they were apprehensive of a pursuit, they contented themselves with stealing a horse from Col. KEITH, and passed on to Canada, crossing the Missisquoi at Enosburgh Falls. A party of our citizens started in pursuit as soon as horses and arms could be procured; but one half an hour went by, before they were ready to move. A laughable incident occurred on the way to Sheldon. Just this side of the village, in the woods, they met a farmer on a good substantial horse, which one of them wanted in exchange for the one he was riding, which was near giving out. Without words or ceremony they drew the astonished farmer from his horse, which one of them quickly mounted, leaving his own jaded, panting animal in its place, when they dashed off rapidly as before. In mute and puzzled amazement, the farmer remained standing in the road, until the St. Albans party, riding like the others at full speed, came in sight. He, supposing them to be another portion of the body by whom he had been robbed, ran for life across the field, and the St. Albans party, recognizing the horse mistaking him for one of the robbers, gave chase, firing repeatedly at him, and gave it up only when their further progress was checked by swampy ground. The robbers succeeded in getting across the line into Canada, but thirteen were arrested there, and held for trial. 

      The money found upon them amounted to some $80,000. The prisoners were brought before Justice COURSOL, and after a long and tedious examination, at great expense to the banks and the U. S. government, he, on the 13th of December arrived at the conclusion that he possessed no jurisdiction in the matter, ordered the men to be discharged, and the stolen money to be restored to them. Applause was manifested in the court-room at this decision, but the infamous judge had a sense of decency remaining, sufficient to order it to be suppressed. The murderous ruffians left the court-room in triumph, and were received en the street by their sympathizing Canadian friends with cheers. LAMOTHE, the Montreal chief of police, anticipating, or having been notified in advance of the judge's decision, had the money of which he was custodian, ready to deliver, and having received it, the party left immediately. Some four or five of the robbers who had not escaped were rearrested, and an attempt was made to procure their extradition under the Ashburton treaty. They were brought before Mr. Justice SMITH at Montreal and after long delays and much additional expense to the United States government, the judge decided that the transactions of the robbers in St. Albans were acts of war, and therefore they were not liable to extradition. The Canadian government, it is believed, did not sympathize with these magistrates in their decisions. The governor-general, Lord MONCK, recommended to the Provincial Parliament, to appropriate $50,000 in gold, to be paid to the banks as an equivalent for the money found upon the captured robbers, and which had been restored to them by the order of Justice COURSOL. This was voted by the parliament and paid to the banks, and was equivalent to $88.000 in currency. The entire amount taken by the robbers was $208,000. The loss was therefore $120,000. To this might be added a sum not less than $20,000 which was expended in the arrest of the robbers, and in attempting to secure their extradition. The financial strength of the town was such, that no particular monetary disturbance was occasioned.

      While the raid was in progress, the telegraph operator sent a dispatch over the lines, that a body of rebels were in St. Albans, plundering the banks, setting fire to the town and shooting down the citizens in the streets. This, as might be expected, created intense excitement wherever it was made known. At Burlington the bells were rung, hundreds of citizens were congregated in the bank, and a body of armed men were immediately made ready and proceeded by train to St. Albans. From other towns came offers of assistance, but the retreat of the robbers rendered any further demonstration unnecessary. Two companies of the U. S, invalid veteran corps were ordered by the Governor, and arrived at 6 o'clock on the following morning, Col. P. C. BENTON was placed here to direct measures of defence against any further incursions. A company of infantry home-guards was organized, of which Louis McDonald SMITH was appointed captain, George H. KITTREDGE and L. P. KIMPTON, lieutenants. A company of cavalry were also organized, the officers of which were John W NEWTON, captain; F. Stewart STRANAHAN and Joseph W. TAYLOR, lieutenants.

      For several weeks after the raid, strange lights were seen, which were supposed to be signals for some attempt to fire the town or other nefarious purpose. A barn in the outskirts of the village was one evening discovered to be on fire. It was at once conjectured to be an incendiary fire, set for the purpose of attracting the people from the village, when an attempt to burn it would be made. Both companies of U. S. troops, and the Home Guards were, in the course of 15 minutes assembled for duty. The streets were rigorously patrolled, and sentinels placed at all important points, with directions to stop any who failed to give a satisfactory account of themselves. A powerful rain came on, which would have baffled any intention of burning, even had it been entertained. The streets were patrolled after this, during most of the ensuing winter. On the 10th of Dec., Maj. Gen. DIX issued an important order, directing all military commanders, In case further acts of depredation were attempted, to shoot down the marauders if possible, while in the commission of their crimes, or, if necessary, with a view to their capture, to cross the boundary line between the United States and Canada. This order, although somewhat modified soon after by President Lincoln, was productive of good. The rebel sympathizers in Canada grew much more respectful, and manifested less disposition to encourage attacks from their side of the line upon the territory of the United States.


      St. Albans was again the scene of considerable interest and excitement, in June, 1866, by the concentration here “of the right wing of the army of Ireland," more commonly known as the Fenian organization for the invasion of Canada. It has been supposed by many, that under our peculiar circumstances, a demonstration of this kind could not have been viewed by our citizens with special disfavor. This is not correct, it was true that the great majority of our people sympathized to some extent with Ireland, as a country which had been visited by the government of Great Britain with injustice and wrong. But that these wrongs could be -redressed, by the indiscriminate murder and pillage of the unoffending people of Canada, they deemed neither reasonable nor just. Had we been influenced by a spirit of retaliation, for the encouragement and assistance afforded the robbers by many of the Canadian people, we still should not have wished to include the men of the townships along the border, with whom we had no controversy. They had not harbored our enemies, nor feted and cheered them when fresh from the murder and robbery of our citizens, but, on the contrary, had promptly assisted in their capture. To countenance the letting loose, upon such a community, of a horde of unprincipled marauders, would have been an outrage for which we were by no means prepared. June 1, 1866, eight car loads of Fenians, said to number about 300 men, very unexpectedly to our citizens, arrived in the morning train from the south. They were, for the most part, rough and unprepossessing in appearance. Every train which came from the south brought accessions to their numbers. They were unarmed and without organization, and after a few hours lounge about the streets, moved off to the east and N. E. Certain men, who seemed to have authority, supplied them with provisions from the shops of the town, and those who remained over night lodged in barns and unoccupied buildings, or lay down upon the green. sward of the park under the trees. On Wednesday, the 6th, the force concentrated at Franklin, in the midst of a pouring rain. At night, they found lodgings in barns and unoccupied sheds. On Thursday, the 7th. Gen. SPEAR, the commanding officer, ordered an advance. On crossing the boundary line, he made a speech, to his followers, of a hopeful character and enjoined upon them strict respect for the women and children. The column moved into Canada, a distance of about 70 rods, and established the "Head-quarters of the army of Ireland" in an ordinary farm-house by the road-side. The entire force numbered about 1,200 men, one-half of whom were armed with tolerably good muskets. The remaining half were unarmed, except a small number who had revolvers, carbines and sabers. On Friday, the 8th, a party proceeded to the village of Frelighsburg, somec 6 miles, where a few shots were exchanged, stores plundered, and the British flag taken from the custom-house. On the 4th of June, U. S. troops began to arrive at St. Albans, under the command of Major GIBSON, and on the 7th, came Gen. MEADE, sent hither by President Johnson to preserve neutrality. Signs of discontent began to be manifest among the Fenian adventurers. Expected reinforcements and supplies did not arrive. They had neither tents nor commissariat, were quartered in the fields and subsisted by pillage. For a week they had lived in mud and rain and had lived on very indifferent and uncertain rations. Some began to leave on Friday, but the greater part, being appealed to by Gen. SPEAR to wait still longer for the arrival of reinforcements, remained. Certain of the citizens of St. Albans strongly urged Gen. SPEAR to abandon his expedition, and Gen. MEADE offered transportation to the men to their homes, in case they should return. On Saturday, the 9th, at 2 o'clock A. M., a council of war was holden, at which it was reluctantly acknowledged that the project must be abandoned. At 9 o'clock the man who had remained were drawn up in line when Gen. SPEAR expressed to them his inability to fulfill his promises, and their expectations, and desired as many men as would remain with him on British soil, to step from the ranks. Only 16 men responded to this call of their leader. Accepting this decision, he then dismissed his men and, without military order, they turned their backs upon Canada and took up their march for St. Albans. On reaching the northern limit of the corporation, they were met by a guard of U. S. troops, who took from them the guns they carried and allowed them to pass to the depot. The rail road officials had provided an extra number of oars for their transportation, in which, sad, tired and disheartened, they left for their homes. The U. S. troops, numbering nearly 1000, encamped on the green, and remained here for 2 weeks. They brought with them the splendid band of the 3d Artillery, whose open air concerts and music, at the dress parades, were highly appreciated by our citizens.

rials in Holy Cross Cemetery

St. Albans Historical Museum