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population. It is certain that it had attained considerable strength, either during the French intrusion or the subsequent occupation by England. Kalm, the Swedish traveller in 1749, mentions rural improvements, churches and villages lying on both shores of the lake; and the journal of Rogers during the French war, refers to the same objects. No intelligent doubt exists, but that the fertile district between Crown Point and Ticonderoga was reclaimed and cultivated anterior to the Revolution. The forests standing upon it, when first occupied after that epoch, was of a second growth, furnishing the clearest proof that the original wood and timber had been removed, while the remains of an extensive cemetery and numerous vestiges of dwelling houses afford evidences equally authoritative of the former occupancy by a large population. That the scene, in another age, was animated by the activities of trade and commerce may be inferred from the fact, that the northern shore on Bullwagga Bay which formed a secure haven for batteaux, the instruments of commerce at that period, appear to have been carefully graded and arranged for their accommodation. The ruins of cellars, closely contiguous and extending some distance in front of this shore; the fragments of garden enclosures, fruit trees, garden plants growing wild and the relics of a flagged pavement, all combine to enforce the conviction that the place, in a former age, witnessed the presence of a large and active community. The use of the silver service at table and perhaps other appliances of wealth, known to have been enjoyed by some of the pre-revolutionary inhabitants, was indicative of social luxury and refinement. The traditions preserved in the families of the earliest settlers after the peace of '83 refer to a population of fifteen hundred, and a number of stores for the sale of merchandize. This is probably an exaggeration, but the signatures to a petition in 1775, of seventy-eight male residents must represent a population of several hundred in that stormy and transitory era.

A remarkable scheme which recent in

vestigations of Colonial archives have disclosed, exhibits Crown Point as a place of some early political importance. It is now scarcely disputed, that, immediately preceding the revolution, Philip Skene, William Gilliland and probably the agitators on the New Hampshire grants contemplated a design which was almost matured, for the organization of a New Colony, where imaginary boundaries extending from the Connecticut to the St. Lawrence, embraced Vermont and northern New York. Crown Point was the proposed Capital and Skene was to be the first Governor of the projected colony. It is a recognized fact that he was on his return from England in 1775, bearing a "Commission as Governor of Crown Point and Ticonderoga," when the storm of the revolution burst on the country, and dissipated all those visions of colonial changes and individual aggrandizement. To avoid a recurrence to the subject, I have anticipated the chronological order of events, in tracing the history of this interesting locality.

Whatever may have been the extent or condition of the French population, it all receded in 1759 before the advancing flood of British domination. The quarter of a century of the occupation by France, witnessed scarcely no progress in the colonization of the Champlain Valley. In the year 1665, a small fort had been erected on the Isle of Motte, and in 1731, a windmill was constructed on a bluff near the provincial line, which imparted its present name to the spot. Neither possessed any commercial or political import. A few isolated clearings. were made in their vicinity. When Kalm in '49 passed through the lake its solitude was unrelieved by a solitary human abode between Crown Point and the Canadian settlements; and in 1765, when Gilliland planted his colony on the Bouquet the same desolation still prevailed.

The peace of 1763 yielded to the British government an indisputed possession of the territory. The system was then inaugurated of extending grants to the reduced officers and soldiers of the army, in consideration of their services, to be located on any unappropriated lands of

the royal domain. To these persons the environs of Lake Champlain were the most familiar and attractive. These grants at once came in conflict with the French concessions, and thus, for a period, the settlement of the region was again arrested. The British Cabinet did not rest upon the obvious and tangible objection that the occupancy of France being an usurpation, invalidated her acts, but repudiated these concessions on the more equitable ground, that they had been forfeited by a default in the performance of their original condition. Although disregarded in the subsequent locations under the British grants, the representatives of the French titles, persisted with great pertinacity in the operation of their claims, and not until a decision of the Supreme Court of New York in 1809 were they declared invalid by a judicial adjudication. (John R. R. IV. 163.)

William Gilliland, an Irish merchant residing in New York, alive with energy and enterprize and fascinated by enthusiastic dreams of manorial splendour and opulence, purchased a large number of these grants, amounting, with other claims, to an aggregate of about 30,000 acres. He located seven of these rights, in a delightful district spreading from the Bouquet nearly to Split rock, along the margin of the lake, a distance of about six miles. These patents still exist under the names and with the boundaries established by Gilliland. He embarked, the 10th May 1765, a portion of his colonists, consisting of mechanics, farmers and labourers, at New York, in batteaux, and ascended the Hudson to Fort Edward. From thence their boats and materials were transported by the military road to Lake George. The batteaux were again launched, and the colony proceeded to Ticonderoga; traversing the short portage there they embarked on the waters of Champlain, and on the 8th of June, entered the Bouquet, reaching their anxiously desired forest homes, in the graphic language of Gilliland, "in the dreary wilds of Lake Champlain, then almost one hundred miles from any Chris

tian neighbourhood." Another party of the colonists drove the stock by land, swimming them over lakes and rivers and penetrating nearly a pathless forest. Fostered by the wise and patriarchial administration of the founder, the colony formed the germ, that rapidly expanded into the largest and most prosperous settlement north of Skenesboro. Its earlier history has been preserved and forms one of the most valuable and instructive narratives of American Colonization.


In the next and succeeding years, on both shores of the lake the axe of the pioneer began to resound amid the silence and solitudes of the forest. Count Charles Fredenburgh, a decayed German noble appeared in 1766, at the mouth of the Saranac, bearing a government warrant for 30,000 acres of land which he at once located in that vicinity, and soon afterwards erected a dwelling house, where the village of Plattsburgh now stands, and mills two miles in the interior, on falls which still bear his name. His dependents clustered around him in a thriving colony. Gilliland, magnificent visions of future baronial wealth and power, inflamed his imagination. Each lived in a style of elegance and dispensed a magnificent hospitality. Between neighbors of this spirit, and beyond the arm of civil power, collisions were perpetual and often bitter. Just before the revolution, all the structures of Fredenburgh were destroyed by fire and he mysteriously disappeared, murdered it was supposed to conceal the robbery of his plate and other valuable effects. His warrant, like many of Gilliland's grants, was not confirmed by a patent, and on the organization of the new state government, all his lands were confiscated.

The angry collisions between the New Hampshire and New York claimants impeded the natural course of colonization on the eastern borders of the lake, but a small settlement was formed near Burlington and a more important one where Vergennes now stands. The latter was the scene of hostile movements lawless

in both parties, in which the summary "infliction of the Beech Seal "" superseded the usual processes of law. Philip Skene, in 1763, established a colony at the present site of Whitehall, which he named Skenesboro'. For many years this was the most prominent and successful settlement in the Champlain Valley.

The Revolution burst upon Gilliland, just as he began to witness the fruition of his schemes and labors. The tract I have mentioned, embraced about fifty dwellings, besides numerous other edifices; it was sustained by mills and other appurtenances of civilization; it was adorned by orchards and meadows, and large flocks and herds grazed upon its pasture land. It presented a scene of almost Arcadian beauty and repose. Gilliland claimed that in 1775, he was in the enjoyment of an income of more than 1000 from his tenantry. The settlers in the absence of any practical civil government, instituted a local system for the promotion of their common interests, by a written compact, and anticipating the burning language of Jefferson, nearly in words, made it "binding on themselves by every tie of honor and honesty."

The war was initiated by the capture of Ticonderoga, and as it ebbed and flowed along the lake in alternate success and reverses, each wave rolled in renewed devastation over the doomed colony. The British authorities offered a large reward for the apprehension of Gilliland, and coming in conflict with the rapacity of Arnold, he was arrested and conveyed to Albany. Burgoyne assembled the savage hordes on the Bouquet, at the residence of Gilliland and there formed his atrocious Indian treaty. The war had closed and

Gilliland returned to his former home, but he beheld only the ashes and charred ruins of every structure; bridges and fences were demolished; roads broken up, while nature had resumed her empire over his fruitful fields. Crushed in mind and fortune he relinquished his wide possessions to other hands and soon after miserably perished in the forest of cold and hunger.

When tranquility and safety to life and property had been established by the national independence and the adjustment of the Vermont controversy, the popular mind was again attracted by the fertility and allurements of the Champlain Valley, and an intelligent and vigorous immigration began to spread through its borders and occasionally to penetrate into some inviting spot in the interior. On the New York shore, numerous locations were made, under certificates of "Soldiers' bounty lands" granted by the State, to soldiers of the Revolution. One of the earliest and most important was made by Zephaniah Platt and his associates, including some of the most eminent names in New York, which embraced the identical territory formerly located and surveyed by Fredenburgh. The peninsula of Crown Point, during the present century, I think, and perhaps more remotely, has alone been occupied by a solitary farm house. Recently the track of a rail road has disturbed its historic grounds and threatens the desecration of its venerable ruins.

Such is a brief narrative of the varied "occupation of the Champlain Valley;" and I conceive that the history of few sections of the country, is embellished with more interest or exciting romance.


The RECORD is indebted to Mr. Francis Jones, now a temporary resident of Cincinnati, for the following:

About twenty years ago I was spending a few days with a friend at the eastern end

1 See page 2 of the RECORD.

of Long Island, who was a descendant of one of the early settlers of Salem, Massachusetts. He had in a portfolio, a curious collection of letters written in the 17th century. Among these was one from his maternal ancestor whose family intermar

ried with that of the wife of Governor Endicott. He allowed me to make a copy of it to accompany a rude sketch of a ducking-stool which had been made for me several years before from one then in existence in a small town in Massachusetts. It would seem as if the suggestions of the writer of the letter that such a penitentiary instrument might be useful in Massachusetts, had been acted upon. It will be seen that this representation of a duckingstool corresponds very nearly with the description in the letter. In the drawing is an arm-chair instead of a stool, which made the punishment somewhat easier.

Thinking this bit of American social history, might interest some of the readers

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device which they learned in England, they say, to keep foul tongues yt make noise and mischief, silent, and of which I must faine tell you.

They have a Law which reades somewhat in this wise: "Whereas it be a sinn and a shame for scolding and lying Tongues to be left to run loose as is too often the way amongst women, be it therefore enacted y' any woman who shall, after being warned three severall times by yo Church, persist in excessive scolding, or in backbiting her neighbors, shall be brought before ye Magistrate for examination, and if ye offence be fairly proved upon her, shee shall be taken by an Officer appointed for

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1 Bishop Meade, in his "old Churches, Ministers and Families in Virginia" Vol. I, pages 253 and 254, gives some account of the punishments inflicted upon scolds and slanderers in some portions of that country. He says "If a woman was convicted of slander her husband was made to pay five hundredweight of tobacco, but this law proving insufficient, the

penalty was changed into ducking, and inflicted on the woman herself. Places for ducking were prepared at the doors of Court houses. An instance is mentioned of a woman who was ordered to be ducked three times from a vessel lying in the James River, near Bermuda Hundred, for scolding. If a man was guilty of slandering a minister, he was required to

The day afore yesterday at two of y clock in ye afternoon, I saw this punishment given to one Betsey, wife of John Tucker, who, by y violence of her tongue had made his house and y° neighborhood uncomfortable. She was taken to y pond near where I am sojourning, by y officer who was joyned by ye Magistrate and ye Minister, Mr. Cotton, who had frequently admonished her, and a large number of People. They had a machine for ye purpose y' belongs to ye Parish, and which I was told had been so used three times this Summer. It is a platform with 4 small rollers or wheels, and two upright posts between which works a Lever by a Rope fastened to its shorter or heavier end. At ye end of ye longer arm is fixed a stool upon which sd Betsey was fastened by cords, her gown tied fast around her feete. The Machine was then moved up to the edge of y pond, ye Rope was slackened. by y' officer, and y woman was allowed to go down under y° water for the space of

half a minute. Betsey had a stout stomach, and would not yield until shee had allowed herself to be so ducked 5 severall times. At length shee cried piteously, "Let mee go! let mee go! by God's help I'll sin so no more. Then they drew back ye Machine, untied ye Ropes and let her walk home in her wetted clothes, a hopefully penitent woman.

Methought such a reformer of great scolds might be of use in some parts of Massachusetts Bay, for I've been troubled many times by the clatter of ye scolding tongues of women yt like ye clack of y Mill seldom cease from Morning till Night.

I expect to stay here about the space of a moon yet, when I shall goe in a vessel from Jamestown to Salem, where I shall have ye honor of saluting you and Mr. Williams, as y' Humble,

and most Ob Servant,


Governor ENDICOTT.


A correspondent from Windham, Connecticut, sends to the RECORD the following copy of a broadside giving an account of a notable battle which occurred near that village more than a hundred

years ago:

On a dark, cloudy, dismal night in the month of July, A. D. 1758, the inhabitants of Windham, a small town in the eastern part of Connecticut, had retired to rest, and for several hours, all were wrapped in profound repose-when suddenly, soon after midnight, the slumbers of the peaceful inhabitants were disturbed by a most terrific noise in the sky right over their heads, which to many seemed the yells and screeches of infuriated In

pay a fine of five hundred pounds of tobacco, and ask the pardon of the minister before the Congregation.'

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He says (page 253) that "for a base and detracting speech against Mr. Hamar, a worthy gentleman of the Council at an early period of the Colony, a Mr. Barnes, of Bermuda hundred who was sent to Jamestown for trial, was 'condemned to have his tongue run through with an awl, to pass through a guard of forty men, and to be butted by every one of them, and at the head of the troop knocked down and footed out of the fort.'"-[EDITOR.]

dians, and others had no other way of accounting for the awful sounds, which still kept increasing, but by supposing the day of judgement had certainly come, and to their terrified imaginations, the awful uproar in the air seemed the immediate precursor of the clangor of the last trumpet. At intervals, many supposed they could distinguish the calling out of the particular names, as of Cols. DYER' and ELDERKIN, two eminent lawyers and this increased the general terror. But soon there was a rush from every house, the tumult in the air still increasing-old and young, male and female, poured forth into the streets, "in puris naturalibus," entirely

1 Eliphalet Dyer, was a native of Windham where he was born in 1721, and was at the time of this occurence nearly forty years of age. He was graduated at Yale College in 1740, and soon afterward commenced the practice of law in his native town. He represented it in the Connecticut Legislature from 1745 to 1762. During the French and Indian war he commanded a provincial regiment; and in 1762, he was appointed a member of the governors council. In 1763, he went to England as agent of the Susquehannah Company, an asssciation formed in Connecticut for the purpose of plant.

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