Robert Pender's Indian Hatchet


A Relic of Olden Times.---We have in our possession an Indian Hatchet, which was found by Mr Pender, some days ago, while working on the new road to the West Village. It is very old, and half eaten up with rust. The hole for the admission of the handle is disproportionately large; and whether it is a relic of the red men or not, it is a decided curiosity, and indisputably belongs to a former generation.

For many years, a tradition has been rife in this vicinity, that a Lead Mine exists somewhere on Whetstone Brook, to which the Indians used to resort, in the early settlement of the country, and cut out the metal so pure that they could run bullets from it.


There has of course been great search for this mine; but only one white man, named Alexander, ever discovered it, and he was shot by the Indians so that he died before he could tell the place of its location. This is said to have happened on the plain near the house of Rufus Clark, Esq.


Vermont Phoenix, August 26, 1847.


Robert Pender was a well-known local Scotsman, the purveyor of "Green Mountain Elixir", and the resident in the three-story "Pender's Fort" on the peak of Wantastiquet. Eventually the abandoned fort was visited as an attraction by climbers and hikers for years until finally, covered with grafitti, it burned down in 1860.


The Rufus Clark Tavern stood at the foot of Canal Street, close by its junction with South Main Street. Rufus Clark's mother was Freedom Alexander (1761-1796) who died twenty three days after the birth of her sixth child.


The notion of Indians killing to maintain a secret sounds apocryphal, and was a staple in the travelling patent Indian Medicine shows during this time.


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