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Location: Stonington Connecticut

Biographical Sketch of Doctor Enos Lewis

The youngest son of Dr. Joseph and Experience (Burr) Lewis, was born at Norwich, Jan. 19, 1784; studied medicine with his father and at Dartmouth Medical College, where he graduated in 1804; surgeon in the U. S. Army, 1808-1810; afterwards practiced his profession in Norwich. He married Katurah, daughter of Beebe Denison of Stonington, Connecticut, at Norwich, June 28, 1812, by whom he had five children. Doctor Lewis died at his home in Norwich, on the site of the residence of the late George W. Kibling, September 14, 1823. He was a scholarly man, of sterling integrity, and took...

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Burton Family of Norwich Vermont

Jacob Burton It is quite impossible to indulge in even a brief review of Mr. Burton‘s advent into Norwich from Preston, Conn., without repeating something of what is said of him in other places in this volume. Mr. Burton came to Norwich, to reside, in the latter part of 1765, bringing with him his sons, Elisha, John, Josiah, Isaac, and Asa, and his eldest daughter, Anna, who, soon after, married Simeon Carpenter. For some time she was the only young lady in town. Before locating in town, Mr. Burton had purchased two one hundred acre lots of land, which embraced the greater part of the present Norwich village, and built his dwelling-house (the first one erected in town) on the southern and eastern part of his purchase, and tradition has it that it was built directly over a large pine stump, which protruded through the floor, and its top having been smoothed off and recesses made in its sides for cupboards, it was used as the family table. Elisha, one of the sons, built the house where Samuel A. Armstrong resides, and John, another son, built the house now the home of Thos. A. Hazen. Mr. Burton‘s political record is given under its appropriate head in another part of the book. 1See: Political Parties in Norwich Vermont Of Mr. Burton it may be said that he was literally and...

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Migration of Families out of Norwich VT

At the first enumeration of the inhabitants of eastern Vermont, as made by the authority of New York in 1771, Norwich was found to be the most populous of all the towns of Windsor County, having forty families and 206 inhabitants. Windsor followed with 203, and Hartford was third with 190. The aggregate population of the county (ten towns reported) was then but 1,205, mostly confined to the first and second tiers of towns west of the Connecticut River. Twenty years later, in 1791, Hartland led all the towns of the county with 1,652 inhabitants, Woodstock and Windsor coming next with 1,605 and 1,542 respectively. Exceptional causes made the little town of Guilford (now numbering scarcely more than one thousand inhabitants), till after the year 1800, the most populous town in the state. In Norwich, the great falling off in the size of families in recent years is seen in the fact, that in the year 1800, the number of children of school age was 604, out of a total population of 1,486, while in 1880 with a nearly equal population (1,471) it was but 390. In the removal of large numbers of the native-born inhabitants by emigration, we must find the principal cause of the decline of our rural population. Preeminently is this true of Norwich. The outflow of people began very early and now for more than...

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First Settlements in Norwich Vermont

Having glanced thus briefly at the action of the Norwich proprietors in opening a way to reach their new township in the wilderness, and in dividing up a portion of its surface into lots suitable to become the homesteads of future settlers, let us pause a moment and see what had meantime been done in the work of actual settlement. I am indebted to Rev. Edmund F. Slafter of Boston for an interesting account of what was unquestionably the first attempt at settlement made within the limits of the town. I quote from the Slafter Memorial: “Samuel Slafter [of Mansfield, Connecticut], the father of John Slafter, being an original proprietor, and being at the first meeting chosen treasurer of the corporation, took a deep interest in the settlement of the town. At his suggestion, his son John made a journey through the forests of New Hampshire in 1762, to examine the territory and report upon the advantages it might offer as a place of settlement. He found it pleasantly situated on the western banks of the Connecticut, with a good soil, but for the most part of an uneven, hilly surface. He reported it well watered, not only by the Connecticut but by several small, clear streams, and by one more important one called the Ompompanoosuc, an Indian name signifying ‘the place of very white stones’ whose waters emptied...

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Record Of The Extraordinary Attack On Stonington

NEW LONDON, AUGUST 17, 1814. On Tuesday the 9th instant, at 5 P. M. the “Ramilies”, 74, “Pactolus”, 38, a bomb ship, and the “Dispatch”, 22 gun brig, arrived off Stonington, and a flag was sent on shore with the following note– “”On board his Majesty’s Ship, Ramilies, Stonington, Aug. 9.” TO THE MAGISTRATES OF STONINGTON. Gentlemen–One hour is allowed you from the receipt of this communication, for the removal of the unoffending inhabitants. THOMAS M. HARDY.[2] This notification was received by two magistrates[3] and Lieutenant Hough of the drafted militia, who went off to meet the flag. The officer was asked whether a flag would not be received on board. He said no arrangements could be made. They inquired whether Com. Hardy had determined to destroy the town. He replied that such were his orders from the Admiral, and that it would be done most effectually. When the gentlemen reached the shore, a crowd waited with great anxiety for the news; which being stated, consternation flew through the town. An express was despatched to General Cushing,[4] at New London. A number of volunteers hastened to collect ammunition; others ran to the battery, which consisted of two 18 pounders and a 4 pounder, on field carriages, with a slight breast work, 4 feet high. The sick and the aged were removed with haste: the women and children, with loud...

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Names Of Volunteers, From The Connecticut Gazette

[From the Conn. Gazette, Aug. 24th.] The following is handed us as a list of the volunteers (tho’ presumed not entirely perfect,) of those who so bravely stood the brunt of the attack of Stonington Point:– Of “Stonington”:– Capt. George Fellows, Gurdon Trumbull, Capt. Wm. Potter, Alexexander G. Smith, Dr. William Lord, Amos Denison jun., Lieut H. G. Lewis, Stanton Gallup, Ensign D. Frink, Ebenezer Morgan, John Miner. Of “Mystic”:– Jesse Deane, Jeremiah Holmes, Deane Gallup, N. Cleft, Frederick Haley, Jedediah Reed. Of “Groton”:– Alfred White, Frank Daniels, Ebenezer Morgan, Giles Moran. Of “New London”:– Major Simeon Smith, Capt. Noah Lester (formerly of the Army), Major N. Frink, Lambert Williams. From “Massachusetts”:– Capt. Leonard, Mr. Dunham. [From the Conn. Gazette, Aug. 31st.] By an error of the compositor, the following names were omitted in the list published in our last paper, of volunteers who so greatly contributed to the glorious defence and preservation of Stonington, viz.:– Simeon Haley, Thomas Wilcox, Jeremiah Haley, Luke Palmer, Frederick Denison, George Palmer, John Miner, William G. Bush, Asa Lee. There were probably others, whom we have not...

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Muster-Roll Of Capt. Wm. Potter’s Company

[From the original in the Comptroller’s office, at Hartford.] MUSTER ROLL of the 8th Company of Infantry under the command of CAPTAIN WM. POTTER in the Thirtieth Regiment of Con. Militia in service of the United States, at Stonington, commanded by Lieut. Col. WM. RANDALL, from the 9th of August when last mustered, to the 27th of August 1814.– “Names and Rank. Commencement Expiration Alterations and Remarks of service. of service. Remarks since last muster.” “Captain”, William Potter, Aug. 9 Aug. 27 “Lieut.” Horatio G. Lewis, ” 9 ” 27 {detached for service “Ensign”, Daniel Frink, ” 9 ” 23 { and ordered to N. { London, Aug. 22. “Sergeants:” Francis Amy, ” 19 ” 27 Charles H. Smith, ” 9 ” 27 Peleg Hancox, ” 22 ” 27 Gurdon Trumbull, ” 9 ” 27 “Corporals:” Azariah Stanton jr., ” 16 ” 27 Junia Cheesebrough, ” 9 ” 27 Joshua Swan jr., ” 22 ” 27 “Privates:” {detached for service Phineas Wilcox, ” 9 ” 23 { and ordered to N. { London, Aug. 23. Hamilton White, ” 9 ” 27 {detached for service Henry Wilcox, ” 9 ” 23 { and ordered to N. { London, Aug. 23. Nathan Wilcox, ” 9 ” 27 Samuel Burtch, ” 9 ” 27 Jonathan Palmer, ” 9 ” 27 Andrew P. Stanton, ” 9 ” 27 James Stanton, Aug. 9 Aug....

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Account Of The Attack, Published By The Borough Authorities

ACCOUNT OF THE ATTACK, FURNISHED FOR PUBLICATION, BY THE MAGISTRATES, WARDEN AND BURGESSES.[14] [From the Conn. Gazette, Sept. 7th,] “Stonington Borough, Aug. 29, 1814.” “Mr.” Green–In relation to the extraordinary attack of the enemy, of the 9th inst., on this village, the public have been furnished with various accounts; and though the circumstantial and generally correct account given in your paper [of the 7th of August,] precludes the necessity of a recapitulation of the whole transaction, yet this village having been the object of the attack and resentment of Sir Thomas, the Magistrates, Warden and Burgesses residing therein, feeling deeply interested that some official document comprehending a supply of some facts not given, and alteration of others, and a general statement relative to the whole, should be published,–offer the public the following statement: On Tuesday afternoon of the 9th inst. anchored off our harbor, the frigate “Pactolus”, the “Terror”, a bomb ship, and the brig “Dispatch” of 20 guns. From the difficulty of the navigation in Fisher’s Island Sound, we have been generally impressed that such ships of war dare not approach us; but the presumption of the enemy has created new fears, and we think it our duty to say, that further means of defense and protection ought to be afforded us; this we have often requested. Various were the opinions respecting the object of the enemy, but...

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Letter From Capt. Amos Palmer To The Secretary Of War

[From Niles’s Weekly Register, Oct. 21, 1815.] DEFENCE OF STONINGTON. The defense of Stonington by a handful of brave citizens was more like an effusion of feeling, warm from the heart, than a concerted military movement. The result of it, we all know, and it afforded sincere delight to every patriot. But the particulars we have never seen so accurately described as in the following concise narrative from the chairman of the committee of defense, to the Secretary of War, of which we have been provided with a copy for publication.–“Nat. Intelligencer.” “Stonington Borough, Aug. 21, 1815. To the Hon. Wm. H. Crawford, Secretary of War. SIR: The former Secretary of War put into my hands, as chairman of the committee of defense, the two 18-pounders and all the munitions of war that were here, belonging to the general government, to be used for the defense of the town,–and I gave my receipt for the same. As there is no military officer here, it becomes my duty to inform you [of] the use we have made of it. That on the 9th of August last [year], the “Ramilies” 74, the “Pactolus” 44, the “Terror” bomb-ship, and the “Despatch” gun brig, anchored off the harbor. Commodore Hardy sent off a boat, with a flag; we met him with another from the shore, when the officer of the flag handed me...

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Extract From Gen. Root’s Speech In Congress, 1817

In the House of Representatives, on the Bill to provide for the payment of Militia called out by State authority, and not placed under the command of the United States. [After animadverting with great severity on the affair at Pettipaug point,[19] and the course pursued by Governor Smith, of Connecticut, for the defense of New London]– “There was “one” achievement, said Mr. R., which brightened the annals of Connecticut and shed lustre on the American character. He alluded to the “Defense of Stonington”. A more brilliant affair, said he, had not taken place during the late war. It was not rivalled by the defense of Sandusky, the glorious triumph on the Niagara, nor the naval victories on Erie and Champlain. And yet that heroic exploit is claimed in favor of Governor Smith’s militia, and is to gild the pill which we are called upon to swallow. The detached militia, said Mr. R., had nothing to do in that affair. It was achieved by fourteen democrats, “volunteer” democrats, who were determined to defend the town or perish in its ruins. Commodore Hardy, fearful that that democratic town would send torpedoes among his squadron, demanded a pledge that no harm should be done to his ships. No pledge being given, and after advising the removal of women and children from the town, the enemy made a vigorous attack, first in barges,...

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The Battle Of Stonington, By Philip Freneau

BY PHILIP FRENEAU. “In an attack upon the town and a small fort of two guns, by the “RAMILLIES”, seventy-four gun ship, commanded by Sir Thomas Hardy; the “PACTOLUS”, 38 gun ship; “DESPATCH” brig, and a razee, or bomb ship,–August, 1814.” Four gallant ships from England came Freighted deep with fire and flame, And other things we need not name, To have a dash at Stonington. Now safely moor’d, their work begun, They thought to make the Yankees run, And have a mighty deal of fun In stealing sheep at Stonington. A deacon then popp’d up his head, And Parson Jones’s sermon read, In which the reverend doctor said That they must fight for Stonington. A townsman bade them, next, attend To sundry resolutions penn’d, By which they promised to defend With sword and gun old Stonington. The ships advancing different ways, The Britons soon began to blaze, And put th’ old women in amaze, Who feared the loss of Stonington. The Yankees to their fort repair’d, And made as though they little cared For all that came–though very hard The cannon play’d on Stonington. The “Ramillies” began the attack, “Despatch” came forward–bold and black–And none can tell what kept them back From setting fire to Stonington. The bombardiers with bomb and ball Soon made a farmer’s barrack fall, And did a cow-house sadly maul That stood a mile...

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Celebrations Of The Battle of Stonington

1815. Thursday, Aug. 10th, the first anniversary of the battle, was observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer. The old flag was again hoisted on the flag-staff at the battery: and a procession, formed at that place, marched to the Congregational meeting-house, to listen to a discourse by the pastor, Rev. Ira Hart. On its conclusion, the procession returned to the battery, where the exercises of the day were closed by prayer. “On Friday evening a grand anniversary ball was given; the assembly being both numerous and brilliant.”–“Conn. Gazette, Aug. 23d.” 1818. Celebration at the Borough, on Monday, Aug. 10th. “The company was very numerous, and the business of the day went off with great eclat.”–“Id. Aug. 12th, 1818.” 1824. An Oration was delivered at the Congregational meeting-house, by Rev. David Austin, “characteristic of his talents, patriotism, and eloquence.” The concourse of citizens from Stonington and the neighboring towns was unusually large and respectable. An excellent dinner was provided by Major Babcock, at the Borough Hotel, to which a large number of citizens and invited guests did ample justice. The following were among the volunteer toasts: By Capt. Edmund Fanning. “The Grasshopper Fort”[B]–may it never be forgotten by those whom it defended. By Samuel Copp, Esq. “American Eighteen-pounders”–as handled in the Grasshopper Fort. By Gen. J. Isham. “August 10th, 1814”–May no vile calumniator hereafter attempt to tarnish the...

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Defense of Stonington Notes

NOTE 1, page 9. Stonington Borough, incorporated by the Legislature [of Connecticut,] in 1801, is situated on a narrow point of land about half a mile in length, at the eastern extremity of Long Island sound. On its eastern side lies Paucatuck bay, and on its west the harbour, terminating in Lambert’s Cove. It has four [two] principal streets running north and south, intersected at right angles by nine cross streets, and contains about one hundred and twenty dwelling houses and stores. It has also two houses for public worship, an academy, where the languages are taught, and two common schools; two rope-walks, commodious wharves, and ware houses for storage…. In the census of 1810, the “town” contained 3043 inhabitants, and there are now [1819], 335 qualified electors.–“Pease & Niles’s Gazetteer of Connecticut.” NOTE 2, page 9. Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, Bart.–afterwards Vice-Admiral, and G. C. B.,–was at this time not far from thirty-five years of age. He entered the British navy, as a midshipman, at twelve; and was promoted to the rank of commander in 1797, for distinguished gallantry in the capture of a French brig, under the walls of Vera Cruz. He commanded the “Mutine” brig, in the battle of the Nile,–became the favorite of Nelson, and was appointed to the command of his flag-ship, serving with him, successively, in the “Vanguard”, the “Namur”, the “St. George”,...

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Letters Of Commodore Hardy

Since the foregoing pages were printed, my friend Professor D. C. Gilman, has brought to my notice the original letters of Commodore Hardy, to the inhabitants of Stonington and to General Isham, which are now in the Library of Yale College. The first (of August 9th) was copied with sufficient accuracy in the account published by the magistrates, warden and burgesses (page 25), I reprint it here, but with a facsimile of the signature. “His Britannic Majesty’s Ship”, PACTOLUS, “9th August, 1814. 1/2 past 5 o’clock, P. M.” Not wishing to destroy the unoffending Inhabitants residing in the Town of Stonington, one hour is granted them from the receipt of this to remove out of the town. [Illustration: (Hardy Signature)] “To the Inhabitants of the Town of Stonington.” The second, is in reply to the letter from the magistrates which was sent on board the “Ramillies”, by Col. Isaac Williams and Dr. William Lord, on Wednesday, the 10th. As “official etiquette” did net permit Col. Green to obtain “an exact copy,” he could only print its substance “as far as memory served” (see page 14). The magistrates allude to it, in their published account (p. 30), as “the singular communication received from Commodore Hardy, which preceded the fire on Thursday.” It is evident that the British commander was strangely in error as to the assurances and engagements which he...

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