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Biography of John Hatch, Esq.

The elder of the brothers, John and Joseph Hatch, was born at Preston, Connecticut, June 9, 1727; came to Norwich Vermont in the earliest days of its settlement and founded his home on the hill farm owned and occupied at a later day by Deacon John Dutton. At a proprietors’ meeting at Mansfield, Connecticut, in 1766, Mr. Hatch was elected one of the selectmen of Norwich; at a town meeting at the latter place, held in 1769, he was elected selectman, town clerk and one of a committee of five to lay out highways “where they shall think needful.” He held the office of town clerk continuously until 1780, except for the year 1766, when it was filled by Peter Olcott. Mr. Hatch was a practical surveyor of land, and his services were much in request for that purpose. He made the survey of Norwich into lots in 1766, and laid out in person most of the highways in town during the first twenty-five years after its settlement. In 1778 he was employed to make a survey of the town of Hartford into lots, under the direction of Benajah Strong and Israel Gillett, a committee of that town. At that time he held the office of county surveyor of Cumberland County, by the appointment of the Governor and Council of Vermont. April 10, 1772, he was commissioned a justice of the peace for Gloucester County by William Tryon, the royal governor of New York, he executed the duties of this office for several years, probably until the establishment of state government by Vermont in 1778. Mr. Hatch married Sarah...

Church History of Norwich Vermont

The great achievement of the first generation of Norwich settlers was the building of a meeting house. More than any other event of the time, with the possible exception of the accomplishment of the national independence, this was an undertaking that enlisted the energies and taxed the resources of our forefathers. The building of a meeting house in a New England frontier settlement a century ago was regarded a matter of public concern, to be supported by the whole community without regard to sect or party, like the opening of roads or any other public charge. In less than ten years from the time the first clearing was made in Norwich, the preliminary steps were taken to provide a meeting house to be used for the accommodation of the whole people in the public worship of God. The question of the location of this building was sharply agitated, re-resulting in a keen competition between different sections of the town for the coveted distinction, inasmuch as the location of the house was supposed to fix the site of a possible future village where much of the business of the town would be transacted. When it became apparent that no agreement could be reached, a locating committee of three men from out of town was chosen and summoned upon the ground to decide where the meeting house should stand. The formal report of this Committee as made at the time has recently been found among the papers of the late W. H. Duncan, Esq., of Hanover, N. H., and by the kindness of Honorable Frederick Chase has been furnished to the...

Norwich Vermont in the Controversy with New York

The contest with New York in regard to land titles was the first of a series of political commotions that arose to disquiet and vex the settlers on the New Hampshire Grants, to turn their thoughts and energies away from the improvement of their little properties, and check their growing prosperity. In this contest the inhabitants of the upper valley of the Connecticut in general took no active part. They all held their lands under New Hampshire Grants, and as New York never re-granted the same lands to other parties, or attempted to dispossess them or molest them in any manner in the quiet enjoyment thereof, they had personally no cause for controversy with the authorities of that province. The town records of Norwich contain no allusion to the vexed questions that occupy so large a space in contemporary history on the west of the Green Mountains, nor do the words “New York” once occur on these records, except in conveyances of land from one person to another, where the property is described as lying in the “Province of New York.” The authority and jurisdiction of New York were for the most part quietly ignored. No active partisans of her claims are known to have resided in town, nor did the town “in apprehension of future loss of their landed property,” procure at a heavy expense a new charter from the New York government confirming them in possession, as was the case with a large proportion of the towns in what is now Windsor County. The farthest that the town went in apparent recognition of New York jurisdiction, was...

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