Samuel Elliot On Newfane Hill


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Hon. Samuel Elliot


For the Phoenix.


Mr. Ryther---One day during the recent session of our Court, I walked up to New Fane Hill, the former seat of the Judicial and legal business of the County. This elevated site, yields a romantic prospect. The eastern branches of the Green Mountains at the West---Escutney and other lofty peaks at rhe North---and the valley of Connecticut River, and a long extent of the Western parts of New Hampshire and central part of Massachusetts, with the distant Monadnock and Wachusett, make up the Eastern view.


The prospect will reward one pleased with a view of Mountains and rugged scenery, for the toil in gaining the ascent.


The Hill now looks lonely and deserted.---The Old Court House and other buildings are mostly removed; and the Meeting-house which stood on the very pinnacle is also gone, the flames of which illumined the hill one dark night, some years ago; and which, many believe was the work of gothic hands.


The scene waked up in my mind, many interesting recollections. Here, for many years the citizens met, as in other shires, for transacting their Court and County Business, buffetted in winter by the blasts and snows driving over the mountains; and enjoying in summer the refreshing breezes and pleasant prospects of the place. And how many of those citizens, more especially that class connected with the Court and Bar, have passed away, as well as the buildings and busy hum of business, never to return! Of the 20 or 25 who generally attended as Members of the Bar from this and adjoining Counties, when I removed from Massachusetts to this County in 1803, only two are now in attendance.* All the others, except one living in New Hampshire,+ have decended to the grave. And probably death has made a proportionate requisition from the attending throng of citizens and spectators. A new generation has arisen upon the stage, and many striking changes have taken place in the fortunes and condition of those who survive.---On the prostration of the hill settlement, pleasant & active villages have grown up at Fayetteville and Williamsville; and new roads have been wrought, and the old ones improved at great expense.


The Old Academy building is still to be seen, as if triumphing over the desolation, but the accents of science and music no more charm, or are confined to the feeble efforts of a district school. Yet amid this loneliness and desolation, Nature, more permanent, bestows the same prominent and interesting scenes. Now as then, may be seen, on some delightful morning, the deep, long, drawn vale at the East, filled to the brim with a flood of whitened fog, richly diversified by the rays of the sun, and resembling an immense sheet of water, with a multitude of apparent islands formed by the tops of the hills rising above the level of the foggy surface.---Now, as then, the admirer of the works of Creation, may behold the sun or moon rising on the far distant horizon, and lighting up a richly varied view, over the far extended and rugged scenery around.


September 17, 1840.


S. E.


*Hon. Phinehas White, and Wm. C. Bradley.


+Hon. Elijah Knight. Samuel Elliot was not admitted to the bar till 1804.


Vermont Phoenix, October 23, 1840.


Hon. Samuel Elliot is writing to William E. Ryther.


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Letter To His Brother William


Brattleboro' Vt Mar 29, 1807


Dear William,


Once in a while I address my self to you
by letter, and am extremely happy in having a brother so near
and affectionate to correspond with. I am always pleased with
receiving your letters & in hearing from you and your family
Brother James has returned in not very good health---his health
is however mending---My health the present spring & winter past
has been not the best---Bad colds have caused some alarms about
my health---Ma'am generally speaking has had good health. She
sends her best love & remembrance to you---your wife.
William Martha &c.---I join her in the same. Hope you will write
me a letter soon---we want to haear how you all do---what luck
you have in Business & Lotteries! &c&c Please to tell me
whether you want your money this spring. Little Madison & Edwin
are well.


With sincere affection I am
Your brother & friend
Saml Elliot


Mr William Elliot


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