Vermont Trails
State News



The Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
February 15, 1803

At the last election for members of congress in the state of Vermont, in two districts no choice was made. In the fourth western district, Gideon Odin, Esq., the Democratic candidate is elected and in the north eastern, General William Chamberlain the Federal candidate.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
December 11, 1805

The Legislature of Vermont have passed, without opposition, the Resolution, from North Carolina, to amend the constitution of the United States so as to prohibit the importation of slaves.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
August 31, 1808

It appears by an article under the Burlington head that discontent has risen to a height truly alarming in the state of Vermont. We are fully aware of the hardships which those industrious people are suffering in consequence of the ill advised and ruinous measures of the government, and most sincerely commiserate their condition; but we are surprised and mortified at finding New England men, men of steady habits resorting to such irregular, such treasonable means of redressing their wrongs. We fear that the short reign of democracy in the state of Vermont has caused a degeneracy in the morals and principals of the people. Instead of taking themselves to arms, on such a trying occasion, they should betake themselves to the elections, and take care that no man shall be elected to represent them, either in the general or state government, who is not a decided friend of commerce and freedom, and a determined foe to French intrigues and embargoes. - U.S. Gaz.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
November 7, 1808
Rutland, Vermont, November 3

The Circuit Court of the United States, commenced a special session in this town on Thursday last, for the trial of Frederick Job and John Hoxie, on indictments for High Treason - Present the hon. B. Livingston, one of the judges of the supreme court of the U. States, and the hon. Elijah Paine, judge of the district court of Vermont. The court were occupied in impaneling the jury and other preparatory business, till Saturday evening. On Monday morning, F. Hoxie was called to the bar, and a number of witnesses were examined on the part of the government, when the Counsel for the prisoner stated, that they had several witnesses but should decline taking up the time of the court in their examination, as they conceived it wholly unnecessary. Col. Harrington opened the cause and recapitulated the evidence on the part of government. The hon. S. Hitchcock and D. Farrand esqrs spoke in behalf of the prisoner, and the district attorney made the closing plea. Judge Livingston then rose, and in a clear, concise, energetic and profoundly eloquent address to the jury, expounded the law and defined the crime of treason; in the course of which, he cited many precedents; comprising the opinions of the most distinguished judges in England and America, in which opinions the court perfectly coincided, to shew, that no single act in opposition to, or in evasion of a law, however violent or flagrant, where the object in private gain, can be construed into levying war against the United States - the offence set up in the indictment.

The jury retired about half past 11 o'clock at night and in a few moments returned with their verdict - Not Guilty.

On Tuesday morning, the district attorney entered a nolle prosequi on the other indictments, and the court adjourned without day.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
July 5, 1809

Fire at Bennington
A letter from a young lady in Bennington, Vermont, to her brother in St. Albans, informs, that on the morning of the 17th ult., between 3 and 4 o'clock, the barn of Mr. Cushman took fire, and the flames were so rapidly communicated, that the court-house, the goal, the dwelling house annexed thereto, the dwelling house of S. B. Young, ewq., and eight out houses and barns were destroyed before the progress of the fire could be arrested. A candle, carried into the stable by Mr. Holister, the stage driver, was knocked out of his hand by the horses into the hay. He received so much injury at the same time, that he could neither put out the fire himself, nor give such notice as to prevent its destructive progress. The whole loss is estimated at $10,000 and that sustained by Mr. Cushman to $4,000.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
September 12, 1810

Sudden Death - At a ball, in Bennington, Vermont, on the evening of th 16th ult., a young lady, before in perfect health, fell dead while performing a figure of the dance. So sudden a call will naturally lead one to the reflecion with how little certainty we can calculate on life.

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
October 31, 1810
Danville, Septebmer 19th

Singular Combat with a Bear - On Friday, the 21st ult., two lads, by the name of David and Samuel Morse, sons of Mr. James Morse, of Concord, Vermont, one of whom was aged 18 years, the other 16, were for the purpose of helping kill a bear that was caught in a trap. When within a short distance of the bear, it extricated itself from the trap, and closed with the oldest lad, who brought the bear under him as he fell. The other youth, with the courage which characterizes the "Green Mountain Boys", willing to share the danger with his brother, caught the bears head, and continued it to the ground with his

hands, having no weapon about him. This alarming scene being to sight of Mr. Morse's house, the mother of the lads flew to their assistance, caught the trap, which in her cool moments she would have been totally unable to manage, and with the first blow beat out the bear's eye, and drove the spring of the trap into his mough tne then held it so in that position until Mr. Caruth and Mr. Hamilton arrived and dispatched him. In the wrestle with the bear, he caught the youth's right hand in his mouth, which very considerably wounded him. No other injury was sustained. So striking an instance of preservation, by the judicious effort of true courage, probably has not occurred since the settlement of this state.

1811 Destructive Flooding

By a gentleman late from Vermont, we are informed that a very destructive freshet took place in Poultney river in that state, on Monday last, by which property estimated at the value of 100,000 dollars, had been swept away by the rapid rise of the river; mills, dwelling houses, barns, fences and cattle, with large fields of grain and grass were so suddenly taken off that in some instances the occupants had scarcely time to escape the destruction. Our informant adds that two or three lives were lost; an extensive woolen cloth manufactory was carried off, the value of which was supposed to be 15,000 dollars - in some instances where flourishing fields of grain and grass promised an abundant reward for the labor of the husbandman, the crop and soil were washed away and replaced by sand and gravel. Poulney, Castleton and Middletown are the only places from which we have heard. - N.Y. Gaz.

[Source: The Centinel, Gettysburg, Pa, August 21, 1811 - Transcribed by N. Piper]

The Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
October 21, 1812

The inhabitants of the frontier towns in Vermont are flying into the interior, leaving their homes and seeking protection among their friends. A family from Eden arrived here a few days since. They are in fear of the Indians, who are collecting on the lines, and there is no American force between Derby and Swanton, about eighty miles (Keene, N.H. paper)

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
Mary 12, 1819

An Arch Bridge, on a new construction, has been recently erected over Onion River near Montpellier in Vermont. It is said to be "composed of sixty-nine string pieces, thirty feet in length, and ten inches by eleven and a half in size together with twelve thwarts, or cross pieces, twenty-two feet long, seven inches by fourteen; forming one entire arch one hundred and ninety feet long and twenty broad; with not a singe mortice, tenon, bolt or band about it. The whole expense of the bridge did not exceed two hundred dollars."

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
December 22, 1819

Rutland, Vt. Dec. 1

The Dream - We find in a late Albany Gazette, that the wonderful dream, about which, so much has been said, and which is said to be the leading cause of the discovery of the murder of Colvin, at Manchester, has made its appearance in that paper. It appears to have been communicated anonymously; but the writer says, he had the story "from a gentleman of the first respectability," and of course "it can be implicitly relied on".

Here follows the story from the Gazett:

"In the village of Manchester, Vermont, several years since, a man of respectable connections and character, suddenly and mysteriously disappeared - all search and inquiry proved futile and in vain; till within a few weeks, a person dreamed that he had appeared to him, and informed him that he had been murdered by two persons whom he named, and that he had been buried in such a place, a few rods distant from a sapling bearing a particular mark, which he minutely described. The same dream occurred three times successively before he awoke. Each time the deceased seemed very solicitous for him to follow. Upon awaking, his feelings were wrought up to such a pitch, and he was so impressed with a belief of the fact, that he determined to collect some friends and follow the directions laid down in the dream. He did so, and discovered to his surprise a tree marked precisely as described; also the appearance of a grave, and upon digging found a human skeleton. After this discovery, the two persons implicated in the dream, were apprehended and put into confinement, and after a few days confessed the deed."

The subjoined notice was forwarded to us by a respectable citizen of Manchester - and who observes, that it is enclosed at the instance of Mr. Bourne's friends, with an urgent request that it be inserted in the Herald, this week. From this notice, an inference is readily drawn that Colvin absconded at the time it was supposed he was murdered, seven years ago. We have heard an intimation of this kind before; but are incapable of forming any opinion as to the probability or improbability of the fact, foe we have never been made acquainted with the testimoney exhibited on the trial of the Boorn's, only by way of some general observations, that it was very clear and conclusive against them. However, we readilty give publicity to the notice, and hope our brother editors throughout the U. States will copy it into their respective papers, for really it would be a happy event, if by these means, one could be raised from the dead, another saved from the gallow; another from the gloomy abode of the state's prison for life.

Murder - Printers of newspapers throughout the U. States, are desire to publish, that Stephen Bourne, of Manchester, in Vermont, is sentenced to be executed for the murder of Russell Colvin, who has been absent about seven years. Any person who can give information of said Colvin, may save the life of the innocent by making immediate communication. Colvin is about five feet five inches high, light complexion, light colored hair, blue eyes, about fourty years of age.

Manchester, Vt., Nov. 23, 1819

Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)
January 19, 1820

Case of Russel Colvin

Copy of a letter from a highly respectable member of the bar at Bennington, Vermont, to his friend in New-York, dated Dec. 27.

Dear Sir - In answer to yours of the 16th, I have to inform you that the trial of the case you allude to, and all the proceedings therein will soon be published, and I can then accommodate you, but it is out of my power at present to give you a full and correct statement of all the evidence had in the case, &c.

Russel Colvin married a daughter of a Mr. Bourne, and lived in the family until he absconded, which was in the year 1812. The last information they had of him he went into a field to work with Jesse and Stephen Bourne. As he had not been heard of for a number of years, Jesse and Stephen were strongly suspected of having murdered him. At last they were apprehended and confined for trial, and after being confined awhile, and every one telling them they must suffer, and they being ignorant of their situation, and without friends, they were so wrought upon, that they despaired themselves, and undertook to introduce fraud into their defence, which you know is often done in such cases, though this is of an uncommon kind.

The first plan suggested was thus - Jesse says to Stephen "We shall all be hung, and I believe we had better send and get the old man (meaning their father) to come and confess that he killed Colvin, aand they may pardon him, he being an old man;" and accordingly they sent to him and made the proposition to him, that he should confess the murder and save them and the family. The old gentleman readily told them he could not accede to their proposal for he was not guilty. Jesse then proposed to Stephen that they should themsleves confess the crime.  Stephen told him he would go his halves, but Jesse was too cowardly, and after repeated solicitations, Stephen up up his mind to take it upon himself, and save the lives of the rest of the family - being strongly impressed with a belief that they must all suffer death.

Accordingly he made a confession in writing that he killed Colvin in the field, and buried him - and that his brother Jesse saw him do it, although he did not assist him, and related all the circumstances - that he dug the body up, eighteen months after the murder, and put it under a barn which shortly after was burnt, and that the was the way the bones were destroyed. Jesse confessed he was his brother commit the act - and from these confessions they were both convicted of the murder of Colvin.

It is now ascertained, however, that they are both innocent, and that Colvin went off privately, and was never heard from until Mr. Chadwick gave the information in a New York paper. But few believed it until Colvin himself arrived in Manchester, which was announced by the firing of cannon, and the people assembled in immense numbers to see the man they really supposed had been murdered many years. You can more easily imagine than I can describe the feelings of the Bourne family and their connexions which they must have experienced on such an event. I has made a very considerable excitement in the minds of the people in this quarter of the country; and I presume the courts and juries with us will in future be more cautious in their convictions.

( Colvin arrived at Manchester on Wednesday the 23d ult. Stephen Bourne was immediatley set at liberty - 50 guns were fired in testimony of the public joy, the first of which was discharged by Stephen Bourne - Jesse Bourne was in the state prison, but was immediately to be released. A report of the trial is published at Rutland.)

Taken From the Wilmingtonian And Delaware Advertiser (Wilmington, Delaware)
June 15 1826

A bear was surrounded and taken in Brandon, Vermont on the 21st of May, weighing 428 pounds, which is said to be the largest ever taken in the state. Bruin had been rather mischievous among the neighboring sheep, and had killed fifteen or twenty of them, when the inhabitants in the vicinity became a little exasperated, mustered about 100 men, and surrounded and took him.

Vermont Abolished Capital Punishment
The Legislature of Vermont has adopted, a new criminal code, abolishing capital punishment in every case, but murder in the first degree, and arson of dwelling houses, causing death. The penalties of other crimes consist chiefly in imprisonment for a greater or less period.

The Wimingtonian And Delaware Advertiser, Jan. 5, 1826, page 2
Wilmington, DE
--Contributed by Robin Line

Calvin Noyes

Contributed by Cindy

Newspaper Date: 03-01-1831

New-Hampshire Gazette

Death Notices - Vol LXXVI; Issue: 16; Page [3]

In Vermont, Mr. Calvin Noyes, of Sharon, aged about 79. He bequeathed $4000 of his estate to different benevolent institutions.

Diphtheria Epidemic.
The ravages of diphtheria in the northern counties of Vermont, during the past year, were terrible. In Lyndon, with a population of 1800, 150 died--nearly every case of diphtheria. Whole families were swept away. One family of four beautiful children, with their young mother and her sister, were carried off in the course of a few days. In Danville, where the usual list of mortality seldom exceeds 30, last year it went up to 130. A lady living in Stewartstown, N. H., lost 14 cousins in the town of Burke. The average length of sickness is three days, but in many cases the destroyer does its work in 24 hours.
>>The Highland Weekly News (Hillsboro, Highland Co., Oh.) February 05, 1863 - Contributed by Kathy McDaniel

Narrow Escape from Railroad Accident
Fortunate Escape.---The Vermont State Journal gives the following account of a narrow escape from loss of life upon the Vermont Central Railroad, during the recent freshet: [flooding]
The lives of two car loads of passengers on the Central road escaped most imminent danger. The train ran safely over a bridge between Bethel and Randolph, where one of the abutments had settled, leaving one end of the bridge sustained only by the superstructure of the track! Ere the last car had passed, the bridge had settled about four feet; but the cars were strong---the connecting bars held---and the engine literally snatched the train from the jaws of death.
Gallipolis Journal (Gallipolis, Oh.) Thursday, August 08, 1850 - Contributed by Kahty McDaniel

New Hampshire Patriot - April 20, 1853 - Contributed by Frances Cooley

Daniel Hicks, a native of Vermont, died at Buffalo, New York, aged 101 years.

He served under General Gates, and fought at Ticonderoga, Crown Point and Bemis' Hieghts, and was present when Burgoyne surrendered his army at Saratoga.

Revolutionary Wives Alive in 1888
The Bennington Banner, Bennington VT, January 5, 1888
There are three wives of revolutionary soldiers in Vermont who draw pensions, Esther S. Damon, aged 78, Plymouth, Lucy Morse, aged 76, Barnard, and Patty Richardson, aged 86, Bethel.


Contributed by Barb Ziegenmeyer

WASHINGTON, March 1. Senator Proctor of Vermont died at his apartment at the Champlain this afternoon, after a.short illness following an attack of the grip. The senator's son, Governor Fletcher Proctor of Vermont, who was summoned to the city, was at the bedside when the senator passed away. Senator Proctor was 77 years of age.

The senator was ill and confined to his room at the Champlain apartments for about a week. His ailment was diagnosed as the grip, but later developed into pleurisy with pneumonia complications which affected his heart, which in an enfeebled condition proved too much for his powers of resistance. Besides his son, Governor Proctor, the governor's wife and several intimate friends were at the bedside when death came. The senator's body will be taken to his old home at Proctorville, Vermont.

The senator has been in feeble health ever since the assembling of congress, when it was remarked by friends that for the first time in their recollection he had failed to return from his usual fishing trip in the high state of health which he always enjoyed. His condition became alarming today, and members of the family were notified that the end was near. During the day his colleagues in the senate learned for the first time of the dangerous turn his illness had taken. News of his death reached the senate a few minutes after 5 o'clock. Senator Warren, chairman of the committee on military affairs, was then urging the passage of the bill to increase the pay of the army, which was a measure that for many years attracted the interest of the late Vermont senator. He had advocated putting the army on an equality with the navy, as regards the pay of enlisted men.

Arizona Silver Belt Globe. Gila County Arizona Thursday March 5, 1908

Time Magazine, Saturday, May 5, 1923 - Donated by Kim Torp

Died. Andrew J. Goodhue, 75, father of Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, at Burlington, Vt.


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