To the Editor of The Vermont Phoenix :
The following documents, which I unearthed while recently prosecuting an antiquarian investigation for another purpose, will be read with interest by your Newfane subscribers, if by no others. Daniel Whipple, by whom the first paper is signed, was a citizen of Brattleboro, and a man of note in his day. Both he and his subordinate exercise an economy in the use of marks of punctuation that would have delighted the heart of Lord Timothy Dexter.
Daniel Whipple Esquire High Sheriff of ye County of Cumberland to Nathaniel Stedman of Fain Constable in Pursuance of A Warrant to me from his Excellency the Right Honorable John Earl of Dunmore Captain General and Governor in Chief of ye province of New York bearing date the 16th day of January 1771 You are hereby Required and commanded forthwith to Number and take an Account of all ye Inhabitants Within Your District Distinguishing therein the Age Sex and Whether Black or white as in ye Scheme at ye foot hereof which you are to Do with as Great Exactness as possable and to Return the same to me under your hand as Soon as Conveniently may to gather with a List of the Names of ye head of Every family within the same District--Given under my hand & seale at Brattleborough in the County of Cumberland ye 25th Day of March 1771
Danl Whipple Sheriff
Sir I have it in Command from ye Secretary to Require the Constables to Execute the part Assigned them with Due Care & Attention and to furnish me with your Return as quick as possable
D W ShF
A true List of the Name of the Had of Every famely of the town of New fain
Josaph Dyer Junr
males under 16
males above 16 and under 60
Femails under 16
Femails above 16
males 60 and upwards
Sur I have gon through the Bizeness Asined me In your Warrant With as much Care as posabely I Could & If thare Be any Arrows pleas to Excuze them from you Humbel sarvant
Newfain Apriel ye 20 1771
A somewhat informal return, it must be admitted, but probably containing no "Arrows" sufficient to vitiate the proceeding.
P. H. W.
Letter by Pliny H. White.
Pliny Holton White was born in Springfield, Connecticut on October 6, 1822 and was admitted to the bar of Windham County in 1843, where he practiced until 1853. White edited the Brattleboro, Vermont newspaper "Eagle" during 1851-1852.
At the time of his death in Coventry, Vermont on April 24, 1869, he was the president of the Vermont Historical Society.
On the occasion of the centennial of the Congregational church of Westminster, Vermont, former resident Rev. Pliny H. White on June 1, 1867 preached a one hour long sermon on the text Hebrews 10:32 "But call to remembrance the former days."
Daniel Whipple of Brattleborough was appointed on the 17th of April, 1770, by commission from the colonial government of New York, to the shrievalty of Cumberland county, in the place of John Arms resigned, and held that position until the latter part of the year 1772. Of his honesty and ability different views were entertained by the judges presiding in the courts within his bailiwick. In a letter to Governor Tryon, dated the 6th of February, 1772, Judge Thomas Chandler stated that Whipple's conduct in striving to apprehend a party of rioters who had created much disturbance at Windsor, had led "His late Excellency the Earl of Dunmore, and the Honorable His Majesty's Council," to grant him a township of land as a reward for his services. Whipple presented this communication to Governor Tryon, but it does not appear that his application for a patent of the grant was allowed. On the 10th of October following, Samuel Wells and Noah Sabin, associate judges with Chandler, represented to Governor Tryon the unfitness of Whipple for his place. They accused him of charging and receiving mileage fees, when by law he was entitled to none; of remissness and negligence in the execution of his office, manifested by committing "almost the whole care thereof" to deputies ill-chosen and unfit for the trust; of exacting exorbitant and unlawful fees; and of refusing to receive prisoners into custody who had been taken on execution. Conduct like this they declared to be "totally subversive of the authority of the civil magistracy" in the county, and "highly prejudicial and displeasing to the well disposed inhabitants" therein residing. These statements were confirmed by Crean Brush, clerk of the county, and Whipple was soon after dismissed from office. He was succeeded by William Paterson, who was afterwards conspicuous at the "Westminster Massacre." The time of his death is not known, but the letters of administration taken out by Mary Whipple, administratrix upon his estate, were dated at New York on the 15th of April, 1775.
Benjamin H. Hall, History of Eastern Vermont,From Its Earliest Settlement to the Close of the Eighteenth Century.With a Biographical Chapter and Appendixes. (1857), pps 725-6.
To Daniel Whipple Esq., High Sheriff of the County of Cumberland
In obedience to a Warrant under your hand and seal, dated the 26th day of March 1771, ordering me to number the inhabitants of Brattleborough, and, according to the inhabitants, I have numbered the same.
John Alexander, Constable
April the 22d, 1771.
Heads of Families.
Edward King, Nathan Gould, Joel Atcherson, William Bruce, Israel Field, Silas Field, Nath' Church, Timothy Church, Joseph Burt, Jacob Ball, Ephraim Knapp, Reuben Camp, Evenezer Hawes, Thomas Reeve, Jonathan Herrick, Elijah Prouty, Thomas Cook, Philip Paddleford, Richard Prouty, John Alexander, Jonathan Hobbs, Sawyer Wright, Saml Knight, Josiah Camp, John Houghton, Thos. Farrand, Eber. Church, Reuben Field, Josiah White, Nathaniel Church 2d, William Nichols, Simeon Corkins, William King, John Pike, William Goss, Ziba Wilder, Saml Brown, Wilder Willard, Nathan Willard, Nathl French, Oliver Harris, Josiah Arms, Malachi Church, Isaac Robinson, Samuel Wells, David Church, Abner Reeve, Evenr. Fisher, Oliver Cook, William Macomb, Abner Scovel, Benj. Butterfield Jr, William Ellas, Henry Wells, Saml Kent, Elias Wilder, Lemuel Kendrick, Levi Bolding, John Bolding, Thomas Chamberlain, John Wilder, Joshua Wilder, John Sergeant, Thomas Sergeant, Jesse Frost, Jacob Spaulding, Beman Butterfield, Daniel Whipple, Zachariah Whipple, Ziba Wilder Jr., Bennett Field, Timothy Whipple, Benj Gorton, Jonathan Church, John Comstock.
Males, under 16
Males, above 16 and under 60
Males, 60 and upwards
Females, under 16
Females, above 16
One Black female, under 16
Whole number in Brattleborough
No of the heads of families
John Alexander died in Marlboro, July 8, 1828, supposed to be 90 years of age. At the time Bridgeman's Fort was burned by the Indians--the site of which is now in Vernon, and a short distance from Fort Dummer--where Mrs. Howe and others were made captive by said Indians, John Alexander was a lad 10 years old, and then in the woods after the cows belonging to the fort; being thus in the woods he escaped captivity. The following year he gave proof of a daring spirit for a boy of only eleven years. He discovered a bear and two cubs a short distance from his residence. His father being absent, he, fearless of consequences, repaired to the house, took down a loaded gun, and with a well directed shot killed the old bear on the spot. He then, with a lad of similar age, caught and secured both of the cubs.
Henry Burnham, History of Brattleboro, Vermont