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Lake George, and Richelieu River
By James P. Millard
Part II (b) continued- THE BRITISH LAKES
January 1761- AUGUST 1773
Spelling and punctuation in quotes are as found in
the original. Black text with underlines indicates a hyperlink.
Settlement begins in earnest
Colonial troops returning to their families after fighting the Kings' Wars travel the new road built by Amherst across Vermont. They well remember these lands, and will return as settlers, opening up these wild, frontier lands to settlement. Many receive land grants from the King, a reward for their faithful service, and an incentive to settle the Kings Colony.
"Shoreham, the initial rendezvous (at Hand's Cove) of Allen's party, was chartered (through the agency of Col. Eph. Doolittle, a captain under Amherst) to 64 grantees. Its charter was the earliest granted west of the Green Mountains and north of Castleton. Doolittle served at the capture of both Ti and Crown Point, and with many of his men built the military road from Crown Point to Charleston, N.H., which passed from Chimney Point in Addison, through Bridport and Shoreham, in each of which towns the colonel became proprietor of six rights. Nine men of Shoreham are know to have been with Allen at Ti, among them Elias Kellogg, Samuel Woolcott and son, and Daniel Newton."**
"Bridport, a post town of 42 square miles, chartered to 64 proprietors, mostly from Massachusetts, of whom Col. Doolittle and Benj. Raymond were most active in making a settlement."**
"On account of a bend in the lake, the proprietors of Addison procured from Gov. Benning Wentworth, a grant of that township."**
"Middlebury, Vt., was chartered and Col. John Chipman began the first clearing in 1766, at a time when there was not a single dwelling-house in the section west of the mountains and north of Manchester which was 60 miles away. The prospect was so discouraging that Chipman returned to Connecticut and did not visit his clearing for seven years. He then came with the Hon. Gamaliel Painter, who located near an ancient encampment, where many fine Indian relics have since been found. In 1820, a large pot, made of sand and clay and holding about 20 quarts, was dug up nearly entire. After the war the settlers returned to their abandoned farms and by Nov. 1, 1800, Middlebury College was incorporated."**
"Salisbury (Vt.) was chartered. The first settler, Amos Story, was killed by a falling tree, but his widow came with her large family of children and did the work of a man, in felling trees, rolling logs and clearing the land. During the Revolution, she had a place of refuge in a cave in the bank of the Otter Creek. A monument on the site of the home of that bravest of pioneer mothers, Ann Story, was dedicated July 27, 1905."**
"By the treaty of peace signed in Paris, France formally ceded to Great Britain the Province of Canada."**
"--J.W. set out with the soldiers for Crown Point, where he was detained 4 days, during which time he brought from Mr. Benzel the time of David Phleming, and from Capt. Brown's man 2 sows-- and was then obliged to pay £5 or £6 for mending soldier's guns, which were broken falling on the ice."**
"Giles Hocquart deeded to M. Michel, Chartier De Lotbiniere, all of his seigniory lying north of Hosptital Creek (Addison). Lotbiniere petitioned the British Government from time to time to be reinstated in his lands and was finally, in 1776, given a seigniory on the St. Lawrence river."**
"Burlington and Colchester each received its charter. The former township was originally 36 square miles, measuring 10 miles in a right line along the Winooski river and six miles from north to south on the eastern boundary. Among the grantees of Colchester there were ten by the name of Burling and it is supposed that the name of Burlington was given by mistake to the adjoining town to the south."**
"The town of Georgia, Vt. was chartered. The early settlers had, at first, to go to Burlington and Plattsburgh for their grinding, but the population increased so fast that mills were soon erected."**
"Swanton, Vt., was chartered, containing 23,040 acres. Previous to the English conquest of Canada there had been a settlement at Swanton Falls of about 50 huts, a church and saw mill, belonging to French and Indians who remained until the beginning of the Revolution."**
"Panton (Vt.) was chartered. Among the first settlers were Joseph Pangborn, Odle Squire, Timothy Spaulding and others from Cornwall, Conn. Peter Ferris came from Nine Partners and the death of his wife before the Revolution is said to have been the first in town."**
Ferment and unrest in the colonies
Great Britain- her subjects laboring under higher tax rates than any other European nation, determines that the colonies in America are not paying their fair share to the Crown. A series of taxes and "Acts" is levied upon the King's subjects in America.
This leads to widespread dissent and unrest in the British colonies in North America. Groups such as the "Sons of Liberty" are formed to resist royal decrees and acts of Parliament such as "The Stamp Act."
"William Gilliland and his colony reached the Bouquet after a laborious and perilous journey of thirty days from New York."**
"Operations had by this time commenced by Wm. Gilliland's colony for opening a road to the falls (of the Bouquet, ground had been cleared, logs cut and the erection of a house, 44 feet by 22 feet, begun. This, the first dwelling built by civilized man between Crown Point and the line of Canada, was occupied by Burgoyne's troops at the time of the invasion."** [Depending on your definition of "civilized man", the actual first dwelling would have been built by the Indians or the French. jpm]
"... Mr. Gilliland and his exploring and surveying party set out from his encampment for the mouth of the Au Sable river, which he ascends to discover its falls and their distance from the lake. He describes the river as about 60 yards wide and more than twice as large as the Boquet. Pursuing his ascent he discovers the now famous Au Sable Chasm and thus describes it: ' In this place the river formed into a most curious canal; this is a prodigious rock. It is a most admirable sight, appearing on each side like a regular built wall, somewhat ruinated, and one would think that this prodigious cleft was occasioned by an earthquake, their height on each side is from 40 to 100 feet in the different places; we saw about a half a mile of it, and by its appearance when we stopped, it may continue many miles further.' " (note: Fuller Tuttle incorrectly dates this as 1765) ** Corrected to 1765 based on information in The Journal of William Gilliland [***]
" '... from the bottom of Cumberland we proceeded homeward and arrived that night, on our passage viewing the Islands Saint Michael, Valcour and Chapon or Schuyler Island, all of which we found ordinary, light rocky, stony land, and ill timbered.'--Gilliland"** (note: Fuller Tuttle incorrectly dates this as 1765) ** Corrected to 1765 based on information in The Journal of William Gilliland [***]
"The birthday of Liberty Newton, son of Marshall Newton of Shrewsbury, Mass. Afterwards, both father and son were pioneers of Shoreham, Vt., and the latter, a soldier of the Revolution, later settled at Ticonderoga, where, in 1801, he built the first iron forge in the Champlain Valley."**
" 'We all proceeded homeward; on our way we stopped at the river Alamollie (the Lamoille) which lies about east of the south end cape of Grand Isle; is a very large river, much larger than Otter Creek; went about 6 miles up it, no falls or rapids appeared, continued smooth, deep and wide, is well stored with fish, the land on both sides very sandy and bad, much ordinary pine timber. Near the lake the land is very low, looks as if flooded in spring.'--Gilliland"**
" '--mustered up all my men and set out, all being armed for my lower tract opposite Isle Valcour, in order to build my possession house, at the River St. Aranack, or Cragan river and to oppose Mr. Fredenburgh, should he attempt to make encroachments there; arrived there this evening.'--Gilliland"**
Captain Charles de Fredenburgh receives 30,000 acres from the Crown. He founds a settlement at the mouth of the Saranac River. This will grow to become the City we now know as Plattsburgh.***
"De Fredenburgh and nineteen associates petitioned for a grant of 20,000 acres of land, at Cumberland Bay on the west of Lake Champlain. This included both sides of the Saranac River and Cumberland Head."** (note: Fuller Tuttle incorrectly dates this as 1766) ** Corrected to 1767 based on information in NYS Archives, "Calendar of N.Y. Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed Land Papers 1643-1803" XXIV ***
"Died near Paris, on the anniversary of his defeat and capture by the English at Lake George twelve years before, Ludwig August Dieskau, a German general in the service of France."**
Unrest grows in New England. Anti-British riots take place. The Crown responds by sending two infantry regiments to Boston.
A warrant of survey is issued at Fort George to Count Charles de Fredenburg and 19 associates for a grant of 20,000 acres on the western shore of Lake Champlain. This encompassed the region known today as Plattsburgh and Cumberland Head. (January 27)
A sawmill and a gristmill are in operation at the first falls of the Otter Creek, a town that will come to be known as Vergennes, Vermont.
"The English government issued a mandamus for 30,000 acres of land, lying on the west side of Lake Champlain, to be surveyed to Count Charles de Fredenburgh, a German nobleman who had been a captain in the British army."**
Dissension spreads throughout the Colonies. Virginia's House of Burgesses issues a resolution rejecting Parliaments right to tax British colonists.
The Governors of New York and New Hampshire each grant land to settlers in the area now known as Vermont. New York claims rights to the Connecticut River, while New Hampshire claims it's territory reaches to the shore of Lake Champlain. This controversial activity, each side claiming the territory to the East of Lake Champlain, and selling chunks of it, will cause considerable tension in the "Grants" between settlers on each side. Two brothers from Connecticut, Ethan and Ira Allen, obtain title to tens of thousands of acres from the New Hampshire Governor, Benning Wentworth. New York, in the meantime, is selling the same land. Trouble is brewing in the wilderness bordering Lake Champlain.
The Green Mountain Boys are founded by Ethan Allen. This controversial group of settlers is originally formed for a less than noble purpose than that for which they have become best known. At best a disciplined mob, this group of "patriots" spends the years before the Revolution harassing "Yorkers" who come to settle the lands granted them by New York. Ethan Allen, together with this unruly group, will forcibly eject any who dare challenge his land claims.
A "massacre" takes place in Boston. Clashes between colonists and British troops leave three dead, two mortally wounded and six others injured.
"Gov. Tyron of New York issued a proclamation, offering a reward of twenty pounds each, for the arrest of Ethan Allen, Seth Warner, Remember Baker, and some others."**
"John Munro and others from Albany effected the capture of Remember Baker in his home in Arlington but he was rescued by Warner and others before the Hudson river was reached at the place where Troy now stands."**
Ira Allen and Remember Baker establish a settlement at the lower falls of the Onion River, we now know this as Winooski.
An enormous explosion rocks the massive walls of Amherst's fort at Crown Point. A fire that resulted from soldier's wives boiling fat to make soap touches off 100 barrels of gunpowder in the magazine. The damage is so substantial that the fort- already neglected- is not deemed worthy of rebuilding.
"John Strong, Benjamin Kellogg, Zadock Everest and ten other Addison boys went with Allen to dispossess Reid at the Falls near Vergennes."**
** THREE CENTURIES IN THE CHAMPLAIN VALLEY: A COLLECTION OF HISTORICAL FACTS AND INCIDENTS- TERCENTENARY EDITION. 1909: Compiled and Edited by Mrs. George Fuller Tuttle. Saranac Chapter, D.A.R. Plattsburgh, NY.
***David C. Glenn, "History Timeline," December 13, 2001. Personal email correspondence to author. Letter detailing errors and corrections to Fuller Tuttle work of 1909. (December 13, 2001).
This is the conclusion of TIMELINE, Part II (b): The British Lakes
The TIMELINE continues HERE
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