New Hampshire State Papers, V26 Table of Contents

 New Hampshire State Papers


Index of Names of Places














OF VERMONT, FROM 1749 TO 1764.
























JOINT RESOLUTION relating to the preservation and publication of portions of the early state and provincial records, and other state papers of New Hampshire.


Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


That His Excellency the Governor be hereby authorized and empowered, with the advice and consent of the Council, to employ some suitable person and fix his compensation, to be paid out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated to collect, arrange, transcribe, and superintend the publication of such portions of the early state and provincial records and other state papers of New Hampshire as the Governor may deem proper; and that eight hundred copies of each volume of the same be printed by the state printer, and distributed as follows: namely, one copy to each city and town in the state, one copy to such of the public libraries in the state as the Governor may designate, fifty copies to the New Hampshire Historiュcal Society, and the remainder placed in the custody of the state librarian, who is hereby authorized to exchange the same for similar publications by other states.

Approved August 4, 1881.





The exercise of territorial jurisdiction and the grants of townships by the provincial government of New Hampshire west of the Connecticut, within the present boundaries of the State of Vermont, is an important and interestュing element in the history of both of these states. An acquaintance with the contentions between the provincial or colonial governments of New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire is necessary to a fair conception of the legal and political status of these grants in the first period of their history. In the earlier volumes of this series, the serious complications between New Hampshire and Massachusetts Bay, arising from the disputed boundary between them, may be studied to good purpose, particularly in the docuュments presented in Vol. XIX. The Massachusetts claim, at times, extended to an east and west line running through a point three miles north of the outlet of Lake Winnipiseogee, that being claimed as the point intended in the language of the charter, "the said River called Monomack, alias Merriュmack, or to the northward of any and every part thereof;" (Vol. XIX, p. 335). If that point had been intended as "any part" of the Merrimack River, the argument should have been effective in locating the north line of Massachusetts Bay three miles north of the point marked by the monuュment at Weirs known as Endicott Rock. But the King in Council, March, 1739-40, determined the line to be governed by the river so far as that folュlowed a westerly course, but when it turned to the north the line should continue "thence due West across the said River till it meets with his Majesty's other Governments." This result was favorable to the New Hampshire contention. The controversies over the theoretical location were thus practically ended. Differences have nevertheless existed as to the actual location of the line, until the recent settlement of the matter by commissions from both states.*

In 1741, Jonathan Belcher, who had been since 1730 the royal Governor of both Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, was succeeded in Massaュchusetts by William Shirley and in New Hampshire by Benning Wentworth. The commission of the latter described the boundary of the province "on the south side by a similar curve line pursuing the course of the Merrimack


*Joint commissions are at this time placing monuments on the line, and there is no reason to suppose that this matter will hereafter be a subject of interstate agitation.





river at three miles distance on the north side thereof, beginning at the Atlantic Ocean, and ending due north of a place called Pantucket Falls, and by a straight line drawn from thence due west across the said river till it meets with our other governments." The commission also contained a grant of authority to dispose of lands upon such terms as might seem fit. In 1744, by an order of the King in Council, the Province of New Hampュshire was reminded that it had neglected to take possession of and to proュvide for a fort called Fort Dummer, which was built in 1724 by Massachuュsetts upon the then western frontier of that province, and had been hitherto governed by them, "but is lately fallen within the limits of said province of New Hampshire by the settlement of the boundary line between the two provinces." Fort Dummer was situated within the limits of the present town of Brattleboro, Vt. In a report dated Aug. 14, 1752, on a case stated by the King in Council for the opinion of the English attorney-general and solicitor-general with respect to certain tracts of land granted by the govュernments of Massachusetts Bay and Connecticut, the following passage occurs in the official statement:

"There are also about 60,000 acres of land on the west side of Connectiュcut river which were purchased by private persons from the government of Connecticut, to whom that land had been laid out by the government of the Massachusetts Bay, as an equivalent for two or three townships which the Massachusetts Bay purchased from Connecticut government. This tract of land by the determination of the boundary line in 1738, is become part of New Hampshire, but the proprietors of it are subject to no conditions of improvement, and the land is waste and uncultivated."*

It will be observed that the boundary to the westward of Pantucket Falls between Massachusetts and New Hampshire is "due west * * * till it meets with our other governments." The western terminus of this line and the westュern boundary of New Hampshire would manifestly depend upon a determinaュtion of the eastern boundaries of "our other governments " lying to the westュward. It is manifest from the evidence that important considerations in reュspect to actual conditions, and official utterances, had contributed to the genュeral understanding that the easterly boundary of New York was not on the Connecticut River. But it is at an earlier period that this question was first raised and made an important element in colonial affairs. The Hartュford treaty of 1656 between the United Colonies of New England on the one part, and the Dutch colony of New Netherlands on the other, fixed a line of division between New Netherlands and New England to begin at the west side of Greenwich Bay, being about four miles from Stamford, and to run a northerly course twenty miles up into the country, and after, as it


* Hall's Early History of Vermont, p. 478. From Mass. Archives. See Stevens Papers, 17801775, p. 14, and Doc. Hist. N. Y., Vol. 4, p.542.






should be agreed by the two governments of the Dutch and of New Haven; provided the line should not come within ten miles of Hudson's River. The Dutch were to retain all the lands in Hartford of which they were actually possessed, known or set out by certain bounds or marks, and all the remainュder of the said land on both sides of Connecticut River to be and to remain to the English. This settlement seems to have been treated as conclusive by the parties till the conquest of the New Netherlands by the English in 1664. It was recognized by Dutch authority in the time of their reconquest and brief reoccupation of their former possessions in 1673. The provision for an extension of the line northerly, as settlements might ensue and require it, is the occasion for an inference that the Dutch pretensions would not extend easterly beyond the prolongation of the twenty-mile line provided that it did not come within ten miles of the Hudson.

The royal Connecticut charter of 1662 bounded the colony on the west by the South Sea. At this period there seems to be no evidence of a serious claim by the Dutch to territorial jurisdiction to the Connecticut River, and no admission of the validity of such a pretension by the, English. In 1664, a charter was granted to the Duke of York by King Charles to confirm his purchase of Long Island and other territory from the Earl of Stirling, to whom they had been conveyed by the Council of Plymouth on the surrender of their charter to the crown in 1635. Furthermore the charter to the Plymouth Company of Nov. 3, 1620, granted them "that part of America lying between 40 and 48 degrees north latitude and in length by all the breadth aforesaid throughout the main land from sea to sea." It was also the intenュtion to convey to the Duke of York the Dutch possessions of New Netherlands by the same instrument.*

The following extract from the language of the charter is sufficient to indicate the basis of the claim for a New York boundary on Connecticut River: "all that part of the main land of New England beginning at a cerュtain place called or known by the name of St. Croix, next adjoining New Scotland in America, and from thence extending along the sea coast unto a place called Potuaquine or Pemaquid, and up the river thereof to the farthest head of the same as its breadth northwards; and extending from thence to the river Kinebequi, and so upwards by the shortest course to the river Canada northwards, and also all that island or islands called by the name or names of Mattowacks or Long Island situate lying and being towards the west of Cape Cod, and the Narrow Highgansetts, abutting upon the main land between the two rivers there called or known by the several names of Connecticut and Hudson's river together also with the said river called Hudson's river, and all the land, from the west side of Connecticut river to the east side of Delaware Bay; and also all those several islands


* The Boundary Disputes of Connecticut, by Clarence W. Bowen, 1882.





called or known by the names of Martin's Vineyard and Nantukes or otherwise Nantucket." *

With this charter as the foundation of the contention, drawn after the grant to the Duke of York, issues were raised with Connecticut and Massaュchusetts successively, with a result confirming the boundary twenty miles east of and parallel with the Hudson River. It was also understood, for a considerable part of the period prior to 1740, that the western boundary of Massachusetts, against New York, extended to the line of Canada. The region afterwards constituting the State of Vermont was, for the most part, a wilderness, and the relations existing between the English and the French and their Indian allies rendered any considerable settlement of that part of New England hazardous in the extreme and impracticable. The claim of New York to territorial jurisdiction to the Connecticut River, if not practically abandoned, was for a long time held in abeyance. If, therefore, it was not a settled question whether the extent of New Hampュshire to the westward was a line corresponding to that of Massachusetts, the history and situation of affairs were such that Governor Wentworth might well apply the practical test of actual land grants on the west side of the Connecticut, with reasonable expectation of being sustained in the movement. The enterprising and overflowing surplus population of the older New England towns, long confined in restricted limits by French and Indian aggressions, were looking to this region as the most promising for their future occupation. Governor Wentworth, in 1749, entered upon the business of disposing of the lands lying between the Connecticut and the twenty-mile line. In the period from that date to and including 1764 he issued not less than 129 township charters and 6 individual grants. Meanュtime a correspondence was carried on between the New York and New Hampshire governors, in which Governor Wentworth declared his position and purpose, and Governor Clinton denied that his claims were well founded and asserted the counter title. This resulted in an appeal to the crown. A decision by the King in Council, rendered in 1764, declared "the western banks of the river Connecticut from where it enters the province of Massaュchusetts bay, as far north as the forty-fifth degree of northern latitude to be the boundary line between the said two provinces of New Hampshire and New York." It is surprising to those who critically examine the charter titles, the conduct of the parties, and the admissions of crown authorities, that the contention of New Hampshire should have been inefュfectual. It may well be questioned whether its cause was urged with the skill and vigor which characterized the agency of John Tomlinson for the province in the contest over our Massachusetts boundary. A London


*Hall's Early History of Vermont, p. 19. Col. Hist. N. Y., vol. 2, p. 295. U. S. Land Laws, vol. 1, p. 80.





letter of March 31, 1763, from Mr. S. Johnson to John Wendell, may suggest an explanation of the causes which led to the result foreshadowed.

"I am really surprised at the supiness of the Proprietors and even of your Province in this matter; had it been pursued with spirit immediately upon the alteration of the Jurisdiction & before any Grants had been made by New York, it is very plain to me, that the Proprs might very easily have secured their Lands, tho' the Province had not recovered its Jurisdiction, and even the latter I think was very probable.

"Many things which have since happened have increased the difficulty, but I should by no means even now despair of it, if the cause was supported as it ought to be by the joint aid and application of all the Proprietors and the Province, the one for the Property and the other for the Jurisdiction of the lands, the real Poverty of those who joined Capt. Robinson (tho' they did the best they could) rendered them unable to give the cause that effectual support which was (and is) necessary to give it proper weight and render the application to the Crown as regular and respectable as its Importance and the usual course of Proceedings in cases of this kind justly required; Money has in fact been wanting to do Justice to this Cause; it came here rather in Forma Pauperis which is an appearance seldom made or much regarded in this country, and is by no means an Eligible light in which to place an affair of this kind."*

Upon the rendition of a judgment by the King in Council making the west bank of the Connecticut River the boundary between New York and New Hampshire, an opportunity was afforded for an equitable arrangement of resulting conditions.

The region occupied by the New Hampshire Grants was fully opened to settlers by the termination of the French and Indian wars and the English-American conquest of Canada. The country had been extensively traversed by the troops of New Hampshire and the lower New England colonies engaged in the war, and its advantages for settlement were well understood. A genュeral movement of those interested in the grants, as holders or assignees of titles, ensued in the four years that elapsed before the royal adjudication of 1764.

The settlers on the grants and on the corresponding territory in northern New Hampshire rapidly cleared farms, made improvements, and established homes. This was undertaken and accomplished with full confidence in the validity of their titles under New Hampshire. The change in their political relations on the westerly side of the river, resulting from the King's decree, was unexpected and unwelcome. Nevertheless, it is not improbable that they would have acquiesced in the transfer of political jurisdiction to New


* X, N. H. State Papers, 216.





York without serious objection or opposition, provided it had allowed them an undisturbed possession of their lands and improvements.

There was also a considerable portion of the territory between the Conュnecticut River and the line to the westward to which New Hampshire had claimed and asserted jurisdiction, that was not covered by New Hampshire grants. Of course it was expected that this would be disposed of by the government of New York for its own purposes and in its own way, and no serious difficulties arose in that direction.

From the year 1761, until the beginning of the Revolution, Cadwallader Colden had held the office of Lieutenant-Governor, acting as chief magistrate during a large part of the period, and had been influential in reference to the vigorous policy pursued towards the New Hampshire Grants. He inュaugurated the scheme of regranting the lands, which had been included in the previous charters of New Hampshire. He was able and persistent in all his serious undertakings.

The inhabitants of the grants, however, long accustomed to local self-government in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire towns, were well skilled in the exercise of their political prerogatives, and were determined in the defence of what they deemed to be their just rights, never for an instant wavering in the defence of their new possessions, whatever form of resistance it involved.

They first appealed to the King, and on the 24th of July, 1767, obtained an order forbidding the Governor of New York to regrant lands covered by New Hampshire titles or to disturb the settlers under them. The language of the decree was as follows :

"His Majesty taking said report into consideration was pleased with the advice of his privy council to approve thereof, and doth hereby strictly charge require and command that the Governor, Commander-in-Chief of his Majesty's province of New York, for the time being, do not (upon pain of his Majesty's highest displeasure) presume to make any grant whatever of any part of the lands described in the said report, until his Majesty's further pleasure shall be known concerning the same."

No modification of this order was ever made by royal authority. Neverュtheless, Governor Colden persisted in his policy of aggression, which would compel a repurchase from New York or an abandonment of the earlier grant from New Hampshire. The settlers having the choice between one or the other of these alternatives and open resistance, moved with great unanimity to the adoption of the latter course, both from inclination and necessity.

Although in some instances the proprietors of New Hampshire titles chose to purchase immunity from disturbance from New York, it is note‑





worthy that where the alternative of resistance was adopted on the part of the settlers, they eventually maintained their position. The rule of persistence prevailed in all cases and each of the New Hampshire grants became a perュmanent political entity.

The conflict which ensued occupies the critical period in the history of Vermont, and had an important and controlling influence upon the course of events down to the time of the complete establishment of her statehood. Its presentation is not essential to an outline of the events which were preュcedent to the creation of the titles known as the New Hampshire Grants. Those who are interested in this epoch are referred to the works of the early historians of Vermont ; History of Eastern Vermont, by Benjamin H. Hall, 1858; The Early History of Vermont, by Hiland Hall, 1868; and Belknap's History of New Hampshire, chap. 26. (Governor Hall finds occasion in his work for a vigorous dissent from the conclusions of Mr. B. H. Hall as to the New York contention.) The principal references in documentary history are, the Records of the Governor and Council of Vermont, vols. 1 and 2 ; the Collections of the Historical Society of Vermont ; the Province and State Papers of New Hampshire, volume 10; and the published Colュonial Records and Documentary History of New York. Maps presenting the townships as laid out on the disputed territory may be found in the Records of the Governor and Council of Vermont, volume 8, opposite page 430, and in the Documentary History of New York, (quarto) volume 1, appenュdix. Valuable monographs treating the same subject in its various aspects, recently published, are New Hampshire and Vermont, by Henry A. Hazen, 1894; Dartmouth College and the State of New Connecticut, by John L. Rice, Proceedings of the Connecticut Valley Historical Society, 1879, page 152; The Vermont Controversy, by C. A, Downs, Granite Monthly, volume 11, pages 320, 349; The College Hall in Politics, by Frederick Chase, History of Hanover, 1891, chapter 7, page 422; Address of E. J. Phelps, at the Dedication of the Bennington Monument, 1891, p. 84; Vermont, A Study of Independence, by Rowland E. Robinson, 1892; Saunderson's History of Charlestown, N. H., 1876, chapters 8 to 12.

In the following pages, copies of all the New Hampshire grants west of the Connecticut River are presented. The arrangement is alphabetically by towns. These are exact transcripts from the records in the office of the Secretary of the State of New Hampsire. Plots of the outline of each grant accompany the charter. The admirable notes which appear in the appendix have been prepared by Hon. Hiram A. Huse, whose special qualifications for such a task are manifest in the part of the volume which was prepared by him.

In further illustration of the history of these grants, a copy of the peti‑





tions which were submitted to the King by the grantees and settlers in 1767, is given with the names of the petitioners. An incomplete catalogue of the grants was published in Slade's State Papers of Vermont, 1823, pages 13 to 16. The same list is reprinted in Province and State Papers of New Hampshire, volume 10, pages 204 to 207. These authorities included a grant of date June 7, 1763, without name. The omitted township was evidently Essex. The manuscript books of charters contain two grants, Stratton, July 30, 1761, and Somerset, Sept. 9, 1761, which should be added to the list.

Hinsdale was laid by its charter on both sides of the river, and is included in the lists above named. There were also six grants to officers for service in the French and Indian wars, covering 14,000 acres, which are mentioned as a supplement to Mr. Slade's list; four townships, viz.: Marlborough, afterwards New Marlborough; Draper, formerly Wilmington; Flamstead, alias Chester ; and Thomlinson, were regranted, and without including the grant of Hinsdale or the four renewals of grants, or those made to officers in His Majesty's military service, but adding Stratton, Somerset, and Essex, the whole number of original township grants should be 129.

This contribution to the documentary history of a most important period may well be supplemented hereafter by a production of the unpublished grants of townships and lesser tracts made upon the authority of the French, and those patents which the colonial government of New York issued for lands in the regions upon which the State of Vermont was erected. Other patents on the same ground, emanating from Massachusetts or Connecticut authority, should have place in the same work.

Equally important and interesting, and equally deserving of publication, are the petitions of the inhabitants, and other public documents relating to local affairs within the same state limits, which remain in obscurity in the archives of the French, English, Canadian, and several American state govュernments. This undertaking will doubtless commend itself to the favorable consideration of the people of the progressive state, whose history must be traced in the labyrinth which leads to these records in many distant, and often inconvenient, places of deposit and reference.

The communication which is appended, contains comments and suggestions which are an essential part of the prefatory statement introducing the prinュcipal text of this volume.







MONTPELIER, VT., October 10, 1895.

MY DEAR MR. BATCHELLOR: The notes will be useful mainly in giving a pretty full list of the names by which grants in Vermont have been known. They are not such as to warrant the word "admirable" applied to them in your manuscript preface, which you read to me Monday, unless you use it as meaning remarkable in the sense a friend of mine once said the good old village of East Bethel was a remarkable place. "You can start from East. Bethel," he said, "and go anywhere you like." So one can start from the notes and acquire elsewhere full and interesting information. He will have to enquire his way for the most part, however, for the guide boards set up in the notes are far from sufficient to give him full directions for his way.

Some errors in the notes as printed I hope you may have opportunity to correct. On p. 617, in line 25, 4,000 should be 40,000. On p. 619, in line 8, the comma after the word "on" is an unwelcome and untruthful inュtruder. Father Abell (of many Vermont legislatures), once told of a comma that saved a man's life a third of a century ago, by absenting itself from its proper place. Our constitution provides that in cases of treason and murder the governor shall have "power to grant reprieves, but not to parュdon, until after the next session of assembly." In the constitution as printed in a certain governor's day, the comma after "pardon" dropped out, and the governor, after a session of assembly, pardoned a prisoner who had been convicted of murder. This is not the constitutional comma returned, however, for that has already retaken its proper place.

On page 627 in the 5th line under Bamf, and on page 633 in the 4th line under Billymead, there should be no period after Bamf.

On page 648 under Coventry, the statement should be that Coventry Leg, (not Coventry Gore), was annexed to Newport in 1816. On page 649 it should be stated that Coventry Gore was annexed to Newport in 1894, (Laws of 1894, p. 406).

On page 650, (and in your index of names), read Dellius instead of Dellins as printed.

On page 670 in the last line 1719 should be 1791.

On page 690 the incorporation of Montpelier as a city should have been noted as in Laws of 1894, pages 177-200.

On page 694 under Newport there should have been noted the annexation of Coventry Leg and part of Salem, (Laws of 1816, p. 129); and the anュnexation of Coventry Gore, (Laws of 1894, p. 406).

On page 704 the name of the leading grantee of Randolph should have been given as Aaron Storrs.

On page 708 it should have been noted that part of the city of Rutland was annexed to the town of Rutland in 1894, (Laws of 1894, p. 242).





On page 715 South Bennington should be South Burlington as you have stated on page 740.

Reference should have been made under the respective towns named to the following town histories:

Matthews's History of Cornwall, also Dudley's; Williams's History of Danby; Adams's History of Fairhaven; Tucker's History of Hartford; Munュson's Manchester; Rev. E. H. Newton's Ms. History of Marlboro, (in Vermont Historical Society Library); Swift's Middlebury ; Frisbie's Middletown; Newfane Centennial; Bottum's Orwell; HolIister's Pawlet for One Hundred Years; Davis's Reading; Zadock Steele's Burning of Royalton; Goodhue's Shoreham; Paul and Parka's Wells; also a history of Whitingham whose author I do not at this moment recall; and a sketch of Wilmingュton Reunion.

No one desirous of tracing the early history of a Vermont town can leave out a careful examination of all the eight volumes of the Governor and Council. In that work Mr. Walton did much in the line on which your state has done much more in the publication of its State and Town Papers.

The manuscript Vermont State Papers in the Secretary of State's office contain a great amount of material never in print that is illustrative both of the history of the state and of the great majority of its towns. It is to be hoped and believed that, some day, the work of arranging and printing much of the matter contained in those papers will be entered upon. Most of the early legislation was upon petition, as were nearly all the grants. These petitions especially show the form and pressure of their time, with such accuracy as to be of great interest to any student of the days when the foundations were laid. With these papers, and access to the state libraュries and official records of New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, the full story of the New Hampshire Grants can some day be written; and it is one that, well told, will be neither flippant nor prosy.

Sincerely yours,




Editor N. H. State Papers.








Addison 3

Andover 7

Arlington 11

Averill 16

Barnard 20

Barnet 24

Bennington 29

Berlin 35

Bloomfield 39

Bolton 43

Brandon 47

Brattleborough 51

Bridgewater 58

Bridport 62

Bristol 66

Brunswick 71

Burlington 75

Castleton 79

Cavendish 83

Charlotte 87

Chester 91

Clarendon 99

Colchester 103

Corinth . 107

Cornwall 111

Danby 115

Dorset 119

Dover 123

Peter Brown 123

Stephen Holland 125

James Tute 127

Dummerston 130

Duxbury 138

Essex 142

Fairfax 146

Fairfield 150

Smithfield 154

Fairlee 159





Ferdinand 163

Wenlock 167

Ferrisburg 171

Georgia 175

Glastenbury 180

Grafton  184

Granby  192

Guildhall 196

Guilford  200

Halifax 207

Hartford 212

Hartland 216

Highgate 220

Hinesbnrgh 224

Hubbardton 228

Huntington 232

Jericho 236

Leicester 240

Lemington 244

Lewis 248

Ludlow 252

Lunenburg 257

Maidstone 261

Manchester 265

Marlboro 269

Middlebury 279

Middlesex 283

Milton 287

Monkton 291

Moretown 295

Mount Tabor 299

Newbury 303

Newfane 307

New Haven 315

Norwich 319

Orwell 323

Panton 327

Pawlet 331

Peacham 335

Peru 339

Pittsford 343

Plymouth 347

Pomfret 351

Poultney 355

Pownal 359

Putney 363

Reading 369





Readsboro 373

Andrew F. Phillips  373

Robert Rogers 376

Rockingham 378

Rupert 382

Rutland 386

Ryegate 390

Salisbury 394

Sandgate 398

Shaftsbury 402

Sharon 406

Shelburne 410

Sheldon 414

Sherburne 419

Shoreham 423

Shrewsbury 427

Somerset 431

Springfield 435

St. Albans 439

St. George 443

Stamford 447

Stockbridge 456

Stowe 461

Strafford 465

Stratton 469

Sudbury 473

Dunbar 477

Sunderland 481

Swanton 485

Thetford 489

Tinmouth 493

Topsham 497

Townshend 501

Tunbridge 506

Underhill 510

Mansfield 514

Wallingford 518

Wardsboro 522

John Walker 522

Waterbury 525

Weathersfield 529

Wells 533

Westford 537

Westminster  541

Weybridge 546

Whiting  550

Williston 553





Wilmington 557

Windsor 566

Winhall 569

Woodford 573

Woodstock 579

Worcester 583




Petitions of Inhabitants of New Hampshire Grants

to the King, 1766 589

Historical Notes 611