XX indexVermont  




"The Missico River enters this township from Sheldon, and after running some distance in the south part of it, passes in Swanton . . . About six miles above Swanton Falls is a fall in the river of about forty feet, affording some excellent mill privileges . . . The first settlers in this town were Germans, mostly soldiers who had served in the British army during the revolution, but the time of their settlement is not known.  The town was chartered in 1763." 

Gazetteer of Vermont, Hayward, 1849.



      Highgate, in the north-west part of Franklin County, bounded N. by Canada, E. by Franklin, S. by Swanton and Sheldon, W. by lake Champlain and Swanton; was chartered Aug. 17, 1763, by Gov. Wentworth to Samuel HUNT and 63 others, 6 miles square. Later surveys extended its boundaries in the form of a diamond on the S. E. nearly half through and between Sheldon and Franklin. None of the original grantees ever settled in town.


      In 1785-6, Joseph REYCARD, on the Canada line, on the farm now owned by C. and L. DRURY; John HILLIKER on Missisquoi river below Swanton; Jeremiah BREWSTER and Thomas BUTTERFIELD on the west side of Rock river, near the lake shore; in 1787, Conrad BARR, John SAXE, John STINEHOUSE, John SHELTEE, George WILSON, John Hogle, _____ LAMPMAN and Peter WAGGONNER.

     1787, Henry STINEHOUSE, Abram REYCARD and Catherine SHELTEE were born -- the first children supposed to have been born in town, and the same year, John SAXE built the first grist-mill on a small stream in the N. W. part of the town, where a mill has ever since been running, still called "SAXE's Mill." Before this there were no mills short of Burlington, 35 miles distant, a part of the way through pathless woods, or Plattsburgh, where the lake must be crossed by the settler with his grist in a canoe in addition to carrying it a great distance oh his back; hence the little log-mill, with its one run of stone, was a great blessing, and brought many settlers into town soon after it was built -- John STINETS, Jonathan BUTTERFIELD, Jacob HOSTOTT, Elias BESSY, H. SISCO, ____ TEACHOUT, Henry HOFMAN, James BOPEE, James MOULTE, Thomas BEST and others about 1769-91.

     1791, Catherine, wife of John SAXE, died; supposed to be the first death in town.

     1791, the first school was taught by Simeon FOSTER, in a house on Conrad BARR's farm, near SAXE's mill; Thomas THORP, from Baltimore, Md. taught in 1792-3 and Abram HYATT was the third school teacher.

     1796, there were 23 votes cast.

     1797, Andrew Potter built the first saw-mill at Highgate Falls, and a grist-mill, soon after.

     1799, Conrad BARR, and W. MOULTE built the first framed barns in town.

     1801, Matthew GODFREY and Peter SAXE kept the first store and tavern.

     1802, the first framed houses were built by Elijah ROOD, on Missisquoi river; ____ NEWCOMB, at Highgate Springs and Conrad BARR, near SAXE's Mills.

     1804, the first proprietors' meeting held in town, was at the house of John SAXE, the second Monday of January.

     1805, the town was organized; Mathew SAXE being the first town clerk.

     1806, Dr. Joseph B. CUTLER, the first settled physician, located and lived in town until his death in 1861.

     1807, Abel DRURY built the first furnace.

     1811, Thomas BEST built the first brick house. Jonathan LOUDON was the first tanner, locating on the river below Swanton Falls. Nehemiah SABIN and John CLOUGH, the first blacksmiths.

      The first settlers were principally Dutch refugees who supposed they had settled in Canada till after the establishment of the line between Canada and the States, and at the time there were no settlers found between Highgate and Burlington. John SAXE visited Burlington in 1786 with no guide but his pocket compass, and, when there was no house between Saxe's Mills and Burlington.

      At Highgate Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the State. Heman ALLEN, brother of Ethan, purchased the mills of Andrew POTTER, and the title to numerous lots of land in town which were held subject to annual rent, to which the right of title has been purchased in many instances.

      Indians frequented the settlement and sometimes pitched their wigwams near the settlers' cabins, and the children of the Indian and the white man have often played and frolicked together during the Indians' short sojourn. Encounters with wild animals were too numerous to be of much interest, and our early settlers pretty generally believed in spooks (as they called the apparitions of the departed) and would much rather have faced any wild animal of this region than to have seen a Jack O'Lantern in the night-time; they had also great confidence in the influence of the moon upon almost everything they undertook to do, and so far as the putting in of some kinds of crops is concerned, the moon is a ill consulted.

      This township is, geographically, very pleasantly situated, and, in picturesque scenery and sporting grounds, cannot be surpassed in the State. Champlain bounds it principally on the west with its silvery waters, its bold or level, gravelly shores, its charming islands, with now and then a white sail glimmering as it passes between or beyond them, -- on the seat, wooded hills, for many miles, dotted here and there with the dwellings and clearings; these hills are some 20 miles from the nearest range of the Green Mountains, and are the last range of hills between the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain. They continue southerly as far as Chittenden, about 6 miles, on an average, from the lake, giving, in many places, a beautiful descending grade from their bass to the lake. A large marsh near the lake, too wet for the farmer, grows a quantity of blueberries, that the people from the neighboring towns, from miles around, come to gather, every season.

      The nearest depot, on the Vermont and Canada railroad, is at Swanton Falls, 4 miles from Highgate Falls, near the lake shore. Some 3 miles from Swanton depot is located Highgate springs.



      The writer regrets exceedingly the decease of our friend and townsman who had commenced the history of Highgate, and justice to whose memory requires the publication of his papers, so far as he had progressed at the time of his demise, although he had made only a beginning before the rapid decline which terminated in death, so sadly, in the 45rth year of his age; so well known was his character for energy, we have reason to believe that, had he lived in the enjoyment of health to have completed the account, he would have made a far more acceptable history than the writer may be able to do. But as the history is thus left for some one to finish, and no other man has been found willing to undertake, -- and Highgate is my adopted, if not my native town, -- at the solicitations of the projector of this work, I have put my hand to the task so difficult even for one born and reared in the locality; feeling my disadvantages, yet preferring to do what I can for the town rather than see it go undone.

      I find, first, on examination of the early records, many imperfections and a want of system which makes it extremely arduous and difficult to glean the desired facts from them, and if some important facts are found wanting it may be charged to the fact that I have not been able to find them, and the memory of our venerable ancestors could not supply them.


      Samuel HUNT, Jonah ELMER, Eleazer POMROY, Elisha HUNT, Nehamiah HUGHTON, Samuel MARBLE, Hilkiah GROT, John BEAMAN, Josiah WILLARD, Samuel BENNET, Philip ALEXANDER, Elisha HARDING, Henry BOND. Nathaniel DART, Hophni BING, Joseph Loro, Benjamin DIKE, Joseph ASHLEY, Jeremiah HALL, Peter BELLOWS, Josiah POMROY, Jonathan HUNT, Arad HUNT, Elijah WELLS, Samuel HUNT, jr., Ebenezer POMROY, Samson WILLARD, Ebenezer MATTOON, Joseph SPENCER, William SHATON, John HUNT, Josiah STEBBINS, Josiah STEBBINS, jr., Elisha STEBBINS, Josiah HIDE, Samuel WILLIAMS, Thomas TAYLOR, William SYMS, Hezekiah ELMER, Elisha SMITH, John FARRAR, Savage TRESCOTT. Israel KNOWLS, John FISH, Benoni SMITH, Isaac ROBINSON, Caleb NOBLE, James MATTHEWS, John WILLIAMS, Nathan WILLIAMS, Joseph PROSE. Leonard WILLIAMS, Nathan WILLIAMS, Samuel HENSDALE, Thomas WILLIAMS, Barnabas HENSDALE, Capt. Thomas BELL, Hon. Theodore ATKINSON, Mark H. G. WENTWORTH, James NEVEN, Theodore ATKINSON, John FISHER, Esq., Daniel BING, Moses EVENS, William WHITE.

      The 1st condition of the grant was that every grantee, his heirs, or assigns, shall plant and cultivate 5 acres of land within 5 years, for every 50 acres of land contained in his or their share, or forfeit his right, which condition evidently was not complied with in a single case. The second condition was,

      That all white and other pine fit for roasting the royal navy be carefully preserved for that use.

     3d, before any division of the land be made, as near the center of the town as convenient, shall be reserved and marked out for town lots, one acre to each grantee.

     4th, Yielding and paying to us (Gov. WENTWORTH), for the space of ten years the rent of one ear of Indian corn on the 25th day of December, annually, and after the ten years to pay as above one shilling proclamation money for every hundred acres."

      From the conditions of the grant it is evident the original proprietors forfeited all right held under the grant, as not one of the above conditions was ever complied with, and it does not from the records appear that any one of these proprietors ever received any consideration for his interest therein. But in all the proceedings of the proprietors' meeting they seemed to respect the original grant as though it had been fulfilled to the letter on the part of the settlers. The first settlement, however, it appears was 23 years from the date of the grant, and without permission of Governor WENTWORTH or King George; and it is a question if King George III, or King George IV., his successor, had not been disturbed in his American possessions, whether Gov. WENTWORTH or his heirs might not disturb the peaceable possession of the present proprietors. However I am of the opinion that our land titles in Highgate are good and valid.

      Mr. SKEELS makes the statement that Highgate was not organized until 1805. I have not as yet seen any proof of the same, but find in the early records that Highgate held regular meetings in March of each year, and a freeman's meeting to September also. They regularly elected their town clerks, selectmen, grand jurors, treasurer, fence viewers, constables, and all other town officers as early as 1791, when they made choice of John WAGONER, moderator; Jonathan BUTTERFIELD, town clerk; Isaac ASSELTINE and Minard TEACHOUT, constables; John WAGONER, Mikel LAMPMAN and John HILLIKER, selectmen; Jacob HILLIKER, Peter LAMPMAN, fence viewers, and agreed that hogs might run at liberty. A meeting was legally warned and held Sept. 4, 1792, the record of which reads:

"In obedience to a warning dated 24th August, 1792, signed by the first constable of Highgate, met and the meeting was opened, and the freemen made choice of John KNICHABOKER to represent them in the General Assembly for the year ensuing. Then brought in their votes for governor, lieutenant governor, 12 counsellors. Then brought in their votes for treasurer. Then nominated Jonathan BUTTERFIELD and George WILLISON, justices of the peace."
      At this meeting there were 15 votes cast. 

      In 1793-4 Jonathan BUTTERFIELD was chosen representative. In 1794 there were 45 names entered upon the grand list. In 1795 there were but 13 votes cast for any officer, and the same year 55 names entered upon the grand list. On the 23d of March, 1795, a tax was raised of 3d. on the pound of all ratable estate in town.

      In the first book of records and the first record made upon the book, is a bond from Ira ALLEN to John SAXE, dated July 31, 1792; and reads as follows:

"To all peple to whome these presents a hall come Know yea that I Ira ALLEN of Colchester, County of Chittenden and State of Vermont am holden and firmly bound unto John SAXE County and State aforesaid in the penal sum of one hundred pounds L. M. which payment well and truly to be dun, I bind myself, my heirs, Executors, Administrators farely by these presents I witness whereof here hereafter set my hand and seal. The condition of the Bond is as follows (viz) said Ira ALLEN on his part acknoleges the rec't of forty pounds of sd SAXE has paid sd ALLEN in consequence of a former agreement, the true intents and meaning of this agreement is that sd All tis to give sd SAXE good Deed of a land on or before the first of May next, or give sd SAXE a Lease of sd Lot; No. 45 in Highgate the terms of ten years from this date rent free and pay back to sd SAXE forty pounds already Rec’d of him In witness whereof I have set my hand and Seal this 31st day of July, 1792.
Signed, IRA ALLEN. (Seal.)

In presents of Thos. BUTTERFIELD. 
Recorded 14th Sept., 1793"

      In 1792, Caleb HENDERSON, collector, sold nearly the whole township of Highgate to Ira ALLEN for £93, which deed was acknowledged Feb. 11, 1794, and appeared upon the record of 1803. Again the township was sold to Ira ALLEN, at vendue, by Noah CHITTENDEN, sheriff of Chittenden Co., for £9, and the deed recorded in 1803. In 1798, by the authority of the selectmen, the township was sold by Timothy WINTER, collector, to Isaac BISHOP for $3.15 for each share, to pay the one cent tax. This tax was levied by an act of the General Assembly Nov. 10, 1797, to be paid to the State treasurer for public, private and charitable uses.

      In 1794, George WILSON and Jonathan BUTTERFIELD, acting as selectmen, authorized John WAGONER to collect a half-penny tax, raised by an act of the general assembly in 1791, or to sell the township, 23,040 acres, to pay a tax and the cost of collection, or sale. It does not appear that the original proprietors paid any attention to this half-penny tax, which amounted to 13s. and 1d. per share of 315 acres and 2s. cost on each share; it appears that 63 shares, of 315 acres each, were sold to Orange SMITH, and one share to Jonathan BUTTERFIELD. By this sale, and for the small sum of ½ d. per acre, it passed from the original proprietors for about £55 for the whole township. May 10, 1799, the purchaser of the township, on the one cent tax, sold and deeded 55 of the original shares to Silas Hathaway for $20,000.

      In 1799, John CRAY was chosen representative to the general assembly.

      The first marriage on record was that of Isaac and Sally ASSELTINE, January 14, 1800, by Sylvester COBB, justice of the peace. Mar. 19, Andrew WILSON and Rachel WILSON were joined in wedlock and lawfully married by Matthew SAXE, J. P.

      In 1800, Matthew SAXE was again elected town clerk, Sylvester COBB, Samuel DEWEY and John CHAPPELL, selectmen; Hercules LENT, first constable; John DONNELSON, 2d, constable; John HILLIKER, grand juror; James PROPER and 9 other surveyors. Mar. 27, 1799, Matthew SAXE was elected town clerk; Hercules LENT, Sylvester COBB and Jonathan LANGDON, selectmen; John SAXE, town treasurer; Matthew SAXE, lister; Hercules LENT, 1st. constable; Pelok WILMER, grand juror. Voted that hogs may run in the road with good yokes on.

      On the first Tuesday of September, 1800, there were 19 votes cast for Governor, 23 for Lieut. Governor, 22 for treasurer and 31 for member of Congress.

      In 1801, there were 49 votes cast for state officers, and Matthew SAXE was again elected representative. In 1802, 62 votes were polled for governor. February 17, 1803, Ira. ALLEN executed a quit-claim deed of the 23,040 acres to Heman ALLEN for the nominal sum of $5,000; and February 25, Heman ALLEN executed a deed to Silas HATHAWAY.

      The principal actors in town business from 1793 to 1803 were Cornelius WILSON, Jonathan BUTTERFIELD, John SAXE, Matthew SAXE, Timothy WINTERS, Hercules LENT, Sylvanus COBB, Gordon GRAY, George STINEHOUR, Shadrack NORTON, Andrew POTTER, Thomas BEST, James WELCH, Nathan OLDS, Henry HUGHMAN, Asa HOLGAT, Thomas BUTTERFIELD, Jacob ELMER, John WAGONER, Jacob CRAY, John HILLIKER, Peter LAMPMAN, John STINETS, John CRAY, Jeremiah BREWER, Jacob HOSTET, Conrad BARR, John BARR, Levi HUNGERFORD, Samuel FOSTER, Minord TEACHOUT, George WILSON, John CLOW, Elias BERRY, Abraham ASSELTINE, Solomon PERCY, Peter MOULTE, Noel POTTER, Peter SAXE. The eleven first named held alternately the most important offices in the town, nearly every year, the remainder of the list holding the less important offices occasionally.

      The first proprietors' meeting of which there is any record to be found, was 41 years from the date of the grant in 1804, at the dwelling-house of John SAXE, Matthew SAXE, proprietors' clerk, Shadrach HATHAWAY, moderator. After repeated adjournments from time to time, without accomplishing any important business, April 12, 1805, a committee of three were appointed, to lay out, survey and return a plan of 3 lots of 103 acres, each, to each original share in due form of law. Matthew SAXE, Levi HENDERSON and John JOHNSON were appointed that committee, and made their report at a subsequent meeting; having accomplished the business assigned them. Their charge for the survey of the lst, 2d and 3d divisions was $485.75, which was allowed by vote of the proprietors, no one opposing.

      At the above meeting, a vote was also taken to quiet the rights of the actual settlers, some 40 or 50 in number, and after the 4th and 5th division a vote of the proprietors confirmed these rights as in the 1st, 2d and 3d division.

      The town from 1805---the date of its regular survey---up to 1820 made rapid strides in population, wealth and improvement. Previous to 1805 the settlements were mainly in the N. W. part of the town, where the town-meetings had been mostly held up to 1820, when a town-meeting was called "at the school-house near Arwin P. HERRICK's at Allen's Falls." The central village growing up around this beautiful waterfall, was just beginning to have its influence in town, and from this date the town clerk's office was mostly at the Falls. The grand list of 1794 was £.980 10s.; 1795, £1061 15s.; 1796, £1122 14s.; the grand list of 1820 was $14,851.26, which was 6 per cent of the appraised value. At this date and upon the above list there is 1 saw-mill appraised to Danforth AINSWORTH at $2000 located on the north side of the river at East Highgate, called Hyde's Falls, about 3 miles east of Allen's Falls; also 1 fulling-mill and carding machine to Lorin CARPENTER at Allen's Falls for $1500; 1 saw-mill and store to Abel DRURY in the N. W. part of the town at $800; 1 saw-mill to Luther HYDE, East Highgate, $1000; 1 furnace to KEITH and DRURY in the north part of the town at $2000; to S. W. and S. S. KEYS, 1 grist-mill, saw-mill, distillery, store and blacksmith's shop, at Allen's Falls assessed $10,100; 1 shop and factory to P. P. PAYNE and Diah RICHARDSON for $200; to SAXE and POWERS 1 grist-mill and machine, in the west part of the . town, at $2000; to Conrad SAXE, 1 black-smith's shop, $100; to James STEARNS, 1 smith's shop $200 and to George WAIT 1 saw-mill, supposed to be on Rock river at $400.

      Hundreds if not thousands of acres of the township were originally covered with a dense forest of the most valuable white pine that ever graced a forest, -- often one hundred or more large and stately trees standing upon a single acre, which if standing to-day, $50 the single tree, amounting to $5,000 to the acre, would not be an over estimate. Could Highgate have remained untouched until the present time, with its lofty pine plains, in its primeval grandeur, it is doubtful whether it would not he worth more dollars than it now is with all its improvements, and it would, moreover, have been one of the wonders of the world. But the pioneers, with reckless haste, destroyed its beautiful forests and dispersed from their native haunts the numerous herds of deer which fed upon its spicy foliage and drank with such peculiar liking from the mineral springs with which this township abounds.

      When, in 1819, S. W. and S. S. KEYES established themselves at Highgate village, no one dreamed there would ever be an end to pine timber; but they were indefatigable in the lumber business, and, in less than 20 years, our hemlock fast disappearing. About 15 years since I sold a lot of hemlock lumber, delivered at KEYES' dock for $3.75 per 1000 feet; it is now worth at the mill $9 per 1000 feet, delivered in the log; should the drains continue 20 years more, we must import lumber or go without. The KEYES firm, for some years, rafted pine in the shape of masts, spars and deal plank to Quebec, which was shipped for England; hence King George's subjects had the privilege of using some of the pine reserved by his much beloved Gov. B. WENTWORTH, -- by paying for it.


      Highgate Village is about one -mile south and a little to the east of the geographical center of the town, upon a waterfall of the Missisquoi river. This fall is one of the best (if not the best), to be found in the State. The bed of the river lies some 75 feet below the handsome pine plain land on which the village is built; the barks being high and rocky make it a convenient and safe water privilege with no possible danger of the river overflowing its banks and carrying off buildings and machinery; any desirable head and fall can be obtained; the bed of the river descends rapidly for ¼ of a mile or more, and at the foot of the fall must be about 80 feet lower than the level of the water above the dam. There are several good privileges as yet unoccupied, upon which factories, shops and mills might be built on either side of the river. I believe there are no mills or machinery on the north side of the river now in use, although it is one of the best and safest water privileges in Vermont. Directly above this privilege the river is spanned by the arch-bridge, before alluded to, which is some 50 feet above the water. The village is divided by the river, and the road from the bridge, both to the north and south, is quite ascending -- the north part of the village lying on higher ground than the south, but both portions upon pine-plain land. A more handsome tract of land upon which to build a city, can hardly be found in any country; the same on the north, east, west and south, extending for miles, affording any number of desirable building lots-such a privilege as at the West would become a city in 10 years.

      There is a waterfall upon the Missisquoi river about 1 mile above the lower village called Keep's Rapids, with good banks, where a head and fall of 16 feet can be realized with no serious expense; it is thought that this fall is as valuable and safe as any upon the river for factory or mill purposes, though it has not as yet been occupied.

      If there is any importance attached to the early history of the settlement of the different towns in the State, we have not commenced writing it a day too soon. I find the memory of our oldest inhabitants somewhat treacherous; they have distinct recollections of important events, yet it is next to impossible to arrive at exact dates. I have consulted the very best authority to be found in town, and have, at least, an approximate to the true dates.

      Andrew POTTER, it has been already stated, built the first house and barn-in the limits of the village, in about 1795, and the first gristmill, of logs, about 1800. It was carried by an over-shot wheel and the water conducted to the wheel by a spout, there being no dam at the time across the river. In 1804 or '05, Andrew POTTER and a Mr. PHELPS built the first saw-mill and also a dam across the river, which soon went off. In 1811 or '12 Heman ALLEN built a framed gristmill which was burned down about 1 year after. In 1815, Mr. ALLEN built a grist-mill of brick, which, after standing 10 or 11 years, was taken down and rebuilt by S. W. and S. S. KEYES, in 1826; this mill is now standing, owned and occupied by Stephen KEYES, the oldest son of S. S. KEYES. The first bridge across the river here was a trestle-bridge, near the foot of the falls, about 40 rods below the present bridge. This bridge was built by ALLEN and EVARTS in 1812, and was a toll bridge and went down in the fall of 1822 or '23. The present bridge which is an arch bridge, built by S. W. & S. S. KEYES, in 1824 or '25 is perhaps the best bridge of the kind in the State. The timbers for the arch were hewn out of tall crooked pine trees, and such timbers as, I presume, cannot now be found in the State. The bridge was built by private, enterprise, was a toll-bridge several years, but bought by the town some 15 years since, and from that time has been a free bridge, as are all of our bridges now. KIBBE and HATCH were the master builders, and the bridge, apparently, may stand for yet a half century more. The present mill-dam was built by Heman ALLEN in 1811 or '12.

      Ebenezer STOCKWELL came into town in 1809, moved into the POTTER house, and was the principal agent, or foreman, for Mr. ALLEN until 1819, when Heman ALLEN sold out the water privilege to S. W. & S. S. KEYES. Ira ALLEN built the first store in the village (time in doubt). Nathan WHITE and PHELPS built the first saw-mill on the Hungerford brook, about 1 mile south in, or about, 1798, and a small distillery in 1800, and in 1801 a grist-mill, soon sold to Sylvanus COBB and Samuel DEWEY; they also soon sold out to Simeon HUNGERFORD, At this period, and up to a much later date, this brook privilege was quite valuable, with a plenty of water the largest half of the year; but now such is the change in but 20 years, a man would as soon think of building a mill upon the outlet of a goose-pond, as upon that brook which formerly did a respectable business.

      S.S. KEYES built a substantial brick residence in 1819 and '20 on the west side of the road, some 20 rods south of the brick store now owned and occupied by Henry BAXTER as a drug store, probably built the same time as the house. In a few years S. W. KEYES built a good brick house upon the east- side of the green opposite.

      The buildings were ornamented with shade trees, had capacious yards, good out-buildings and were a handsome addition to the little village. The dwelling of S. W. KEYES is now owned and occupied by his widow. The water privilege upon the south side is now improved by one saw-mill-the same built by S. W. and S. S. KEYES at an early day -- Lorenzo OLDS, present proprietor. There are also 1 grist-mill, owned by Stephen KEYES, the eldest son of S. S. KEYS, late deceased, with 4 run of stones, and equal to the best in the State; 1 machine shop and carriage shop combined, Mr. OLDS, proprietor; 1 sash and blind factory, Mr. Henry ROBEY, proprietor, and 1 foundry which has been in operation many years, doing a respectable business, O. SHERIDAN proprietor. The south village has 48 dwelling-houses, 1 store (G. C. MOREY's) a post-office, 1 drug store, kept by Dr. Henry BAXTER, who manufactures N. G. WHITE's Pulmonary Elixir, as a specialty. Dr. BAXTER was a practicing physician in the village for some years prior to the present enterprise and now occasionally yields to the solicitations of his friends and will lend a helping hand in cases of necessity. In addition to the above there is also 1 smith's shop for custom work, 1 tailor's shop, 1 shoe shop, and one grocery kept by B. T. BROWN. The Episcopal church edifice, an honor and ornament to the village, is situated upon the east aide of the green, in connection with which is the cemetery of the south village. The village is gradually extending its boundaries in different directions. On what may be denominated Main street, there are several good dwellings upon each side of the highway, far enough apart to leave a level handsome green of nearly 2 acres, ornamented by fine shade trees of several years growth, and, to the honor of the citizens, all rubbish, wood, lumber, old carriages &c., are excluded from the highways. Each and every day the entire streets of both the north and south village appear as though fitted up for inspection, and the soil of the village is of such a nature that a violent shower is quickly absorbed, and if there is any citizen who has never been out of the village, he knows not what mud is. It is doubtful whether a healthier locality can be found, even in our favored Green Mountain State. On the north side of the river there are three meeting-houses, the Congregational, Methodist and Catholic, all comfortable and commodious, to which the church-going people of the town resort for worship -- the 4 houses referred to, being all the meeting-houses in town; whether all the members of these churches are enjoying a good degree of spiritual welfare or not, it is not my province to say. I leave that portion of history to be reported by the legitimate guardians of the flocks. There is no danger that any communities will have too much religion; that there are more professors than true and genuine possessors of that charity which thinketh no evil, I sometimes think; However, I conclude that the people of Highgate are as morally and religiously disposed, as are those of other localities enjoying the same religious privileges. Total abstinence or temperance is not yet quite universal; there have been repeated spasmodic efforts to reform the people in this particular, with but partial success.

      There are 3 hotels in the village, and, although I cannot of my own knowledge convict either of them of violating Vermont law, I have reason to suppose that neither of them is kept strictly upon total abstinence principles. The hotel in the north village is kept by the family of the late lamented Henry STINEHOUS. He was a model landlord. If all landlords had been like him, there would have been less cause for prohibition; he would never sell, even when he had a legal right, to the drunkard. Mrs.. STINEHOUR, now about 80 years old, hale and hearty, is reputed one of the best cooks in northern Vermont. Mr. STINEHOUR commenced the settlement of the north village in 1837, and there are now in that portion of the village 46 dwelling-houses, 2 stores, 1 grocery store, 2 carriage shop, (L. F. PEDNEAU) a post-office (called Highgate Center) and the town-house. The two stores are kept by J. B. CROSS, who had been in the mercantile business many years at East Highgate, and, about 4 years since, established himself here, and A. P. HERRICK, who had been engaged in trade many years at the south village; but something more than 1 year since removed his trade here. Both keep a general assortment of dry goods and groceries.

      Above the arch-bridge some 40 rods, on the north bank of the river, are N. A. WAIT's chemical works, extracting from hard wood timber a valuable oil -- acetate of lime -- extensively used in calico-print works. There is also a saddler and harness-maker -- E. C. THOMPSON -- 1 milliner, and F. N. JOHNSON is the hotel-keeper at the old tavern stand. Mr. JOHNSON has refitted his buildings, the past season, for the accommodation of boarders, who resort to the Champlain spring about ½ mile east of the village, and the accommodations still being found too limited to meet the rapidly increasing demand, and a large increase of boarders, invalids and pleasure seekers, being expected the coming season, I. S. JENISON, Esq., has purchased the beautiful residence of the late Heman ALLEN, and added thereto a commodious building, for an extensive boarding-house, of which Mr. Jed P. CLARK is the popular landlord.

      Seldom, if ever, has a mineral spring, in so short a time, gained so enviable a reputation, which the healing virtues of its water richly merit. This fact taken in connection with the healthy locality, makes the village a most agreeable, quiet summer resort. We give below the chemical analysis of the Champlain spring water by A. D. HAGER and M. D. BOSTON. By this analysis, in which more than 10 gallons of water were operated upon, the following compounds were separated:

Carbonate of potash, 3,679; soda, 1,226; ammonia, (traces); lime, 1,020; magnesia, 1,218; chloride of sodium, 0,164; potassium, 0,741; crenic acid, 0,900; protoxide of iron, 0,032; silicic acid, 0,820; -- weight one gall, 9,800 grs.
      All carbonates named were in a state of bicarbonates, besides an excess of carbonic and crenic acids were present.

      The average number of boarders the past season has been 100. It is claimed that the Champlain spring water has cured two cases of cancer, and consumption, scrofula, rheumatism, erysipelas, salt-rheum and all forms of cutaneous eruptions -- liver complaint, bowel complaint &c., &c., and is especially a specific for dyspepsia, even in its worst forms. Many of the cures have come within my own observation, and I feel justified in thus commending the spring, and still further hazard an opinion that its waters are not inferior to the best mineral waters in the county of Franklin. I am not a resident of this village, but live 3 miles distant and in the neighborhood of another mineral spring, and justice, and net self-interest, has prompted me to make the above statement.


      The Old Highgate Spring is in the west part of the town, near Missisquoi bay. Its curative properties have been known and appreciated for half a century or more. Although there are several other mineral springs in the county of Franklin, the old Highgate spring sustains not only its old high reputation, but is gaining ground every year, and I am informed by the proprietor, Mr. George AVERILL, that he has accommodations for 70 boarders, and for want of room has been obliged to disappoint very many applicants.

      The analysis of the Highgate spring water as rendered by Dr. Thomas Sterry HUNT, chemist and mineralogist to the Provincial Geological survey of Canada, contains in one thousand, to wit:

Chloride of sodium, 409; sulphate of soda, 042; carbonate of soda, 235; lime, 024: magnesia, 010; potash and boracic acid, not determined, -- 713.
      I am informed by one of our old settlers that our most renowned springs were old "deer licks," of which the deer were particularly fond.

      Besides the two described, there are several others in town, which may be found to be equally valuable when properly developed.


      As near as can be ascertained, the settlement commenced in 1807; or '08. Stephen POWELL and Peter MILLER received a lease of 50 acres from Ira ALLEN on the north side of the Missisquoi river, at the Falls in 1807, and built the dam across the river at that place and erected a saw-mill. Soon after, a small grist-mill was built upon the same side of the river. The place, for many years, was known as Powell's Falls. Some years from this date, I am informed that Stephen POWELL died, and the water privilege and saw-mill passed into the hands of Danforth AINSWORTH, who was in possession in 1820. About 1813, it is probable that Luther HYDE made a purchase upon the south side of the river, and built another saw-mill, and continued his residence there until his death, which was in 1847. The farm and saw-mill remained in the hands of the family until 1865, when it was sold to Freeborn E. BELL, the son-in-law of Harvey HYDE, Esq. -- the oldest son of Luther HYDE, Until 1837, the falls were known as Hyde's Falls, and now takes its name from its post-office. There is no descendant of Luther HYDE now in Highgate, and but few of his numerous family are now living. Mr. HYDE was somewhat noted in town, and well known through the county.

      Jesse CUTLER for some years carried on the carding and cloth dressing business, on the north side of the river, and built the house now occupied as a tavern, and at this time resides about one mile from the village, wanting a few days of 80 years, honored and respected by all who know him.

      In 1837, Luther RIXFORD and D. H. FARRINGTON moved into the town and made a purchase, at the Falls, at East Highgate, of a water-privilege and saw-mill, and erected a shop for the manufacture of scythes, The business has been continued for the last 30 years -- and is at this date, 1868 -- by O. S. RIXFORD, the youngest son of Luther RIXFORD. Mr. RIXFORD has also erected the necessary buildings for a foundry, which has been in successful operation about 3 years, principally in casting stoves, of which he manufactures and sells a large number, of excellent pattern and workmanship. Mr. RIXFORD employs in his business about 30 hands, and the little village is continually enlivened by the stirring music of the trip-hammers, early and late. In addition to Mr. RIXFORD's business, there are 2 saw-mills, 1 grist-mill, 1 blacksmith-shop, and 1 shop engaged in the manufacture of an improved dumping-wagon, with which the farmers of Franklin County are well pleased, We have in our village 1 tavern, 1 store, 1 tannery, 1 shoe-shop, 30 dwelling houses, 1 school-house, and 1 mineral spring that is appreciated by the inhabitants, especially in the summer months, Its healing waters have effected several cures, but it has not yet been analyzed, and no pain have been taken to give it notoriety.

      It is strongly impregnated with iron and a slight tincture of sulphur, and is an excellent tonic where the digestive organs are weak and de ranged. Its waters are not cathartic, but a sure antidote for chronic diarrhea and phthisic. No case of cancer has yet been tried, there not having been any case of that kind in the vicinity. It is a good blood purifier, but the owner of the spring is not desirous of puffing it before its waters have been fully proved.


      The inhabitants are extremely industrious, and every man has business of his own, consequently we cannot boast of having many loafers and black-legs. Only one capital crime has been committed in the town, to my knowledge, and that was about half a century since, and occasioned, as nine-tenths of our crimes are, by a too free use of ardent spirits and the closing up of a row. In the present limits of the village, Dec. 14, 1819, Rufus JACKSON, a clerk in the store of S. W. & S. S. KEYES, was killed by Luther VIRGINIA, a colored man. The writer witnessed the execution of the murderer, but has no desire to witness the like again.


      Harvey PALMER, about 1820; a man by the name of SHARKEY; a boy by the name of PERRY, while bathing; Allen PRATT and a Frenchman whose name is unknown, who while attempting to remove a pile of edging in time of high water, were precipitated into the river and swept off; Roswell NEWELL, while rolling logs into the river; Ferrin FILLEMORE, while rafting logs, and two other persons in the river near the village, whose names have escaped the memory of my informant, making 10 deaths by drowning since 1815.

      In 1832 Mr. John SEWARD was killed by a fall when at work on the grist-mill Solomon BOVAT, at one time fell 42 feet, had no bones broken, and was about his business in a few days, well as ever.

      Daniel HERRICK -- a man past middle age, was drawn up another time by the rope used for elevating grain to the 2d and 3d stories of the grist-mill, which was carried by water, and met in motion by Derriah HOGABOAM, who did not understand its management. - Mr. HERRICK was drawn up to the pully under the ridge-pole about 30 feet, and the rope being drawn out of his hands, he fell to the platform (a plank-floor) below. Some of his bones were broken, but he recovered again and lived many years afterwards.

      Welcome Freeman, while rolling logs into the river, was caught between two of the logs and his legs so badly crushed that, although amputation was immediately resorted to, he died so after.

      At a celebration in the village, after the election of Andrew Jackson, president, I believe, Mr. John BEARD had an arm blown off by an accidental discharge from the cannon.


Names of persons who died over 80 years of age:

93 years
81 years
Henry Stinehour
80 years
Caleb MEAD
82 years
Benjamin S. MEIGS
81 years
Huldah WAIT
87 years
81 years
Conrad BARR
92 years
Joseph B. CUTLER
81 years
Elkana ALBEE
81 years
82 years
86 years
Benjamin BARNES
82 years
Abraham CARMAN
82 years
82 years
88 years
91 years
84 years
82 years
82 years
near 90
Elizabeth HENDRICK
about 82
      Mrs. Mary SHERIDAN died a few years since, aged 93. Mrs. Polly SEWARD, widow of John SEWARD, is in her 89th year, about as smart as modern women generally at 40. And there are several now living in town over 80. Conrade SAGE, in his 85th year; Louis PEDNEAU was born in France, 1771, emigrated to Canada in 1796, to the U. S. in 1834, is 98; John KING (who does not know his age, and cannot read or write) is, undoubtedly, several years over 100, which is known by his recollection of events in history, and is now smart and healthy.


      At a very early stage of the settlement, schools were supported by subscription, and, in some cases by the scholar. There were many of the early settlers tolerably well educated, and that saw the necessity of schooling their children. I have not been able, however, to find upon the records any account of schools or scholars until 1821, when there were 6 districts in town, and the number of scholars 283. In 1822 there were 13 districts and the scholars numbered 517 and from this date they began to wake up on the subject, and the town has followed the lead of legislation since, and at the present time our schools are supported on the grand-list, and teachers have a steady boarding-place instead of boarding around, as once the custom, yet the district schools are not quite what they should be; only about one-half of the houses are exactly comfortable, the other half far from it. There has been, also, a select school at the Center of the town for several years, which has been well attended. About 10 winters prior to the war of the Rebellion, a lyceum was established in the village of East Highgate, where our young men have learned to think and reason, as can best be acquired by such practice. But when the war broke out our boys, that were old enough, fell into the ranks of the Union army, and over half who went from East Highgate, have never returned, and others are now out in the world endeavoring to make favorable marks in it. At this date our town is divided into 21 school districts.


      Dr. A. D. WEEKS was the first practicing physician in the village for a short period about 1825. Dr. Orren S. CAMPBELL came into the village in 1825, and was in practice in the town one or two years. Dr. Michael HATCH came in 1832 or '33, who, after one or two years practice, removed to Swanton village. Dr.. Franklin BRADLEY moved into the village about 1832, where he remained in practice for several years. From an anecdote of Dr. BRADLEY, we are led to conclude he was a man of good, sound common sense. In his practice, it is said, he had a patient who imagined that he was sick and sent for Dr. BRADLEY. From a prognosis of the case the Dr. came to the conclusion there was no disease preying upon his system, and that it was purely in his imagination. He did not, however, inform his patient, who had been bed-ridden for nearly a year, of his conclusions, but told him there was a plant somewhere upon the east hills which, if he could find it, would surely cure him, and such was the hope and anxiety of the patient, he was prevailed upon to accompany the doctor in pursuit of it, The sequel is, that they tramped on foot all day over the hills, when the doctor was so much exhausted that he was obliged to give up the chase, while his patient seemed to be as fresh as ever, and was from that day a well man again, although they failed to find the desired herb.

      Dr. Henry BAXTER settled in the village about 1842; Dr. O. S. SEARLES about 1845. Dr. S. has had a good practice, is now a resident of the North village, and yet in practice. Dr. BAXTER and Dr. SEARLES have been practitioners in the village for a greater length of time than any other physicians who have settled in it. Dr. MARTIN, a young physician, moved into the village in 1867, and is now in practice.


      The first lawyer who settled in this village was Robert L. PADDOCK, in 1825 or '26. As none of his relatives are now living in the vicinity, I am not able to trace his lineage, or the sequel of his history. He left Highgate some 20 years since and is now dead. L. E. PELTON was the next, about 1830. He studied law with Mr. PADDOCK; was admitted to the bar, and from that time has been in the practice of law in this village. Jesse CARPENTER was admitted to the bar about 1835, but was not in practice in Highgate many years. I am informed he is now in Winooski. A Mr. JOHNSON was a resident lawyer for a short time, about 40 years since. He removed to the West and is now dead. An incident of Mr. JOHNSON's professional life while in practice at the West, is characteristic of the man. He somehow gave offence to a brother lawyer who challenged him for a duel. Mr. JOHNSON accepting the challenge had the choice of weapons and the mode of fighting. He chose pistols, which were to be loaded with powder and ball, and each was to hold the muzzle of his pistol in the other's mouth, and both fire at the given signal. His opponent not fancying the arrangement, and having no particular desire to lose the top of his own head, thought that discretion was the batter part of valor, and unceremoniously declined the meeting. Benjamin PEAKE was in the practice of law for several years in the village. Although about 50 years of age, he enlisted in the service of his country during the war of the Rebellion. He is now a resident lawyer in the village of Swanton. Heman S. ROYCE settled in Highgate village and commenced practice about 1848. Mr. ROYCE is now in practice in St. Albans, and has an extensive practice. D. R. BAILEY, about 1859, took Mr. ROYCE's place in Highgate, but has also removed to St. Albans and has a good practice in company with P. DAVIS, Esq. John A. FITCH and George W. NEWTON are two young men now in the law practice in the South village.


      There is no Masonic lodge in the town, but masons are somewhat numerous. During the war many of our boys joined the fraternity in anticipation of being benefited thereby, should they be taken prisoners. How the sequel proved is more than I can tell. If their anticipations were realized, it is a great pity our soldiers had not all joined them. But not being a member of the invisible church, I shall not attempt to write its history, and am but a poor judge of its merits,


      John KNICKERBOCKER, 1792; Jonathan BUTTERFIELD, 1793, '94, 96; Orange SMITH, 1795; John CRAY, 1799; Matthew SAXE, 1800-'02; Sylvanus COBB, 1803, '04; Peter SAXE, 1806, '18, ‘27; Simeon HUNGERFORD, 1811; Abel DRURY, 1812, '23; Eben HILL, 1815; John AVERILL, 1820, '21, '22, '24, '25; Thomas BEST, 1827; John BARR, 1829, '30, '31, '37; Jesse CARPENTER, 1832-'35; Charles H. JENISON, 1836; Joseph B. CUTLER, 1839, '40; Luther K. DRURY, 1838; William SKEELS, 1841; Luther MEIGS, 1843; L. K. DRURY, 1845; Luther MEIGS, 1846; Daniel WATSON, 1847; 1848 and '52, no choice; Jesse CUTLER, 1849; A. P. HERRICK, 1850; Jacob CORMAN, 1851, '56; Calvin DRURY, 1853, '54; Asa WILSON, 1855; Henry BAXTER, 1857; Warren ROBINSON, '59, '60, '64, '65; Amos SKEELS, 1861; O. S. RIXFORD, 1862, '63, '68; Melvin CHURCH, 1866; J. B. SMITH, 1867.


      Peter SAXE, 1806, '07. '11; Amass HOWE, 1806, '07; Levi HUNGERFORD, 1806; Elkana ALBEE, 1810, '20, '28-'35; Abel DRURY, 1810, '12, '14; Warren TOWNSEND, 1807, '11; John BARR, 1812-'14, '31, '32, '38; Uri HILL, 1812, '13; John AVERILL, 1820-'26, '33, Thomas BEST, 1826-'28; Conrade SAXE, 1821; Ebenezer STOCKWELL, 1821; Joseph B. CUTTER, 1822-'26, '32, '33, '39; Abraham BLAKE, 1822, '23; Edward C. HASKINS, 1823, '24; William SKEELS, 1824, '25, '40-'42; Sanford SANDERSON, 1825-'28; John B. RHODES, 1830, '31; C. H. JENISON, 1829, '30, `37, '38, '41; Luther MEIGS, 1828-'30, '54-'56 ; Abraham HOLLENBECK, 1828; Luther K. DRURY, 1825, '26, '45; Eliphalet ALBEE, 1832; Israel S. JENISON, 1834-'37; Benjamin F. HOLLENBECK, 1835'37; Samuel GATES, 1838; Noah BEST, 1839, '47, '49, '63, '65, '66 ; Cornelius PALMER, 1839; Jacob CARMAN, 1840, '50; Nelson NYE, 1841 ; Clark ALBEE, 1842-'45; Samuel GATES, 1842; E. D. HYDE, 1844, '45; Allen BARR, 1846; I. S. Jenison, 1846, '48, '51,'52, '53, '56, '58, '60, '61, '62, '64; Daniel WATSON, 1846-'50, ‘54; C. P. PIERCE, 1847; Henry STINEHOUR, 1848; M. R. AVERILL, 1849; W. C. STEVENS, '50, 53, '61, '62; Smith FARRAND, 1851-'53; Warren ROBINSON, 1854, '55, '65-'67; Harry SMITH, 1855, '57; E. R. FROST, 1856, '57; F. TARBLE, 1857, '58; D. H. FARRINGTON, '58, '59 ; J. R. SMITH, 1859, '60; William TEACHOUT, 1859, '60; Calvin DRURY, 1861-'64; S. W. JENISON, 1863,-'66; Burton DIMON, 1867; John A. FITCH. 1867, ‘68; David SUNDERLIN, 1868; A. H. SPEAR. 1868.


      Jonathan BUTTERFIELD, 1791-'97; Thomas BEST, 1798; Matthew SAXE, 1799, 1800, '05, '06; Silvanus COBB, 1803, '04; John BARR, 1814-'24; Peter SAXE, 1810, '11 '28, '29; Oramel CUMINS, 1822, '23; William FARRAR, 1820-'22; Loring CARPENTER, 1825; Abel DRURY, jr., 1826, '27; Jesse CARPENTER, 1830 -'37; O. F. ROBINSON, 1839-'41; Benjamin PEAKE, 1842-'44; B. PEAKS, 1845, '46, Wm. ROBINSON, 1847, ‘48; A. P. HERRICK, '49, '50, '60-'68; Calvin DRURY, 1851-'54; Lucius GREEN, 1855; L. K. DRURY, 1856; William MARTIN, 1857-'58.


      Isaac ASSELTINE, 1791; John WAGONER, 1792, '93: George WILSON, 1794; John CRAY, 1795, '96; Timothy WINTER, 1797, '98; Hercules LENT, 1804, '09, '10; ____ Proper, 1806; Newcomb LAMBKINS, 1811; Edward C. HASKINS, 1812, '20; Luther K. DRURY, 1821, '22, '34; Daniel FILLEMORE, 1810; '23, '26, '28; B. F. HOLLENBECK, 1827; Clark ALBEE, 1830-'33; Jerhmell CUMINS, 1835-'39, '42-'44; Urial D. FILLEMORE, 1840, '41; Philo DRURY, 1845, '46; O. F. ROBINSON, 1847-'50; C. P. PIERCE, 1852-'57; J. P. PLACE, 1858-'68.


      To attain to a commission in the militia, was for many years looked upon as an important mark of honorable distinction. But as "June trainings" have been rendered famous for all time to come by a more prolific pen, and the general account of militia officers in one town will probably be its history in most others, the writer feels justified in passing over that portion of our annals briefly. Highgate companies of militia at regimental musters, for many years, however, would outflank most other companies on parade, and apparently were a strong, athletic race of men, and remarkably adapted, physically, for military life.

      The only names of men in town who were promoted to a captaincy, which I have obtained, are: 

      Capts. -- Timothy WINTER, Jacob CROY, Conrad SAXE, Luther MEIGS, Lumas MEIGS, Franklin HOLLENBECK, William HILLIKER, Jerahmill CUMINS, Jacob MCGOWEN, Elisha BARR, J. S. JENISON, Hannibal SHELTUS, 

      Vol. Rifle Uniformed. -- Capts. Conrad BARR, Harvey HYDE. Lorenzo G. POMEROY, brigadier-general.

      The uniformed companies took great pride in appearing well upon parade, and performed their evolutions promptly. The militia companies usually took more interest in their rations than in their evolution, and were generally reckless as to their appearance.

WAR OF 1812

      Highgate, in the war with England, as in the great Rebellion, was ready to furnish its men. It appears from the record, that the soldiers to guard the lines, and that were stationed at Swanton Falls, were detached by order of the President. Conrad SAXE was captain of the 2d Company of the 1st Regiment and lst Brigade of detached Militia. This 2d Company was raised from the towns of Highgate, Swanton, St. Albans, Georgia, Milton and Westford. The number from Highgate was 11, viz: Chester MILLER, David STICKNEY, Samuel HUBBELL, Moses MARTINDALE, David HERRICK, Nathaniel JOHNSON, John CORMAN, Henry CHAPPELL, David MOORE, David SAGAR, Peter BREWER. This company were detached for 6 or 9 months and served out their time at Swanton Falls in 1812. The commissioned officers in this company were Capt. Conrad SAXE, Lieut. Heman HOYT, Ensign Heman BLANCHARD.

      Highgate being a border town, it is not strange that such a portion of its inhabitants as those whose loyalty was overpowered by avarice, should enlist in the smuggling enterprise. To such, gold is always tempting, and it is doubtful if gold was ever so plenty since the organization of our government as at that period. British gold and silver somehow found its way into the States, and every substantial farmer had his old blue stocking-leg filled with it. The writer well remembers seeing heaps of it passing front hand to hand among the farmers. Every boy carried more or less of the real pewter jingling in his pockets, and of course there was more or less smuggling and occasionally the smugglers got sore heads, but what of that, as they were getting prompt pay for the risk.

      Captain Conrad SAXE, at the time of the battle of Plattsburgh, raised a company of volunteers, principally from Highgate, and started for the battle ground, and succeeded in reaching Grand Isle, but failed to get passage in season to participate in that memorable and well fought battle. Frequent rumors of approaching squads of Indians were circulated among the inhabitants, and families were congregated together, every moment expecting the tomahawk and scalping-knife. On these occasions the older members of the families would relate the anecdotes of Indian massacres during the Revolutionary war that would raise the hair upon the beads of us urchins, as the quills of a porcupine. However the Indians never came during the war. The victory on Lake Champlain and the skedadling of the British land forces back to Canada, gave the frontier settlers quiet again. I am not aware that, during this war, there was any serious depredation committed on either side, along the border. Those engaged in smuggling were not so much enemies to their country as friends of gain. When two countries are at war, there is more or less of this illicit traffic carried on. Human nature is nearly the same in all countries, hence the necessity of embargoes and stringent prohibition. The cannonading in the naval engagement on Lake Champlain was distinctly heard in Highgate and Swanton. Although but 8 years old, the writer has not forgotten the solemnity of the occasion, nor the anxiety depicted upon the countenances of old men who remained at home, as it was believed on the result of the battle depended our future peace. Not only that, but nearly every family had sent some of its members with such weapons as could be procured, either guns or pitchforks, to the scene of action. Life or death hung in the balance, hence the anxiety.