Alexander And Sally Turner

Alexander Turner In Washington, D. C., September 2, 1869.jpg

Alexander Turner

Wedding Portrait

September 2, 1869, Washington, District Of Columbia

Turner Family History

Descendants in the Turner family relate that an early ancestress, the daughter of an English merchant, was shipwrecked off the coast of Ghana while traveling from England to Africa on her honeymoon. Her husband perished, but she was saved by an African chieftain's son and eventually bore him a son.

This son was in turn captured by another slave trader and taken to New Orleans, where he was auctioned "on the block" and taken to the John Gouldin (Golden) plantation in Port Royal, Virginia at some time following 1820. This plantation contained two thousand acres and seventy-seven slaves. He married a Cherokee woman called Silverbells.

Alexander grew up in Port Royal and was taught to read by Gouldin's granddaughter. In his 1916 pension application, Turner claimed that "My right name is Alex Burkley" because his mother's maiden name was Rose Berkeley. Was this a surviving African naming custom? Alexander Turner's given name may be related to Jubal Early's middle name.

His father was Robert Turner, his younger brother by about thirteen years was George W. Turner---the middle name almost certainly being either Washington or William. George W. Turner had a nephew living in his household in Washington, D. C. in 1920, named William T. Turner.

Alexander escaped and joined the First New Jersey Cavalry as an assistant cook, and fought at the battle of Bull Run. He was wounded in the hip, and then worked as an orderly for Assistant Surgeon Ferdinand V. Dayton---


Ferdinand V. Dayton

Assistant Surgeon

Dr. Ferdinand V. Dayton was born on July 25, 1834, the son of the Honorable William Lewis Dayton, United States Senator from New Jersey, and U. S. Minister to France, who died suddenly in Paris in 1864. Dr. Dayton served as Assistant Surgeon of the First New Jersey Cavalry and subsequently as Surgeon of the Second Cavalry, with which he remained until the regiment was discharged. Ferdinand Dayton then leased a cotton plantation in Mississippi, and was engaged in its cultivation at the time of his death in November 1866.

In the spring of 1863, Alexander Turner guided his regiment to his old plantation in Port Royal, where he allegedly killed his former cruel overseer.

After the Civil War, the Turner family sojourned in Williamsburg, Maine---

In their book "Maine's Visible Black History: The First Chronicle of its People", authors H. H. Price and Gerald E. Talbot detail the black workers who came to Williamsburg Township to work in the Adams H. Merrill quarry, which was actually in neighboring Brownsville. Alexander Turner's grandson, J. Bruce Turner remembered---

Grandfather worked for Merrill in Williamsburg, Maine in his slate quarry. He had brought a number of former slaves and relatives to Williamsburg to be with him while he was working in the quarry. During the evening he would teach the former slaves how to read and write and figure. They earned as much as $.50 a day. When these workers went down into the quarry they could be seen wearing a pencil behind their ear which was an indication that this was a tool that they could use in addition to the drills and this hammers which were used in the quarry.

The Turner family then removed to Boston for several years. Two Grafton saw mill proprietors, the young man Vestus A. Wilbur and Charles S. White, came to town looking for strong men to work for them. They stressed the healthy Vermont land to Alexander---


Vestus Aurelius Wilbur

Circa 1868

The Turners arrived at Grafton in the fall of 1872 and settled on the south side of Bare Hill---two miles out the Townshend road from the village, and one mile uphill from there---the place name indicating its already deforested condition, literally, Bare Hill---


Grafton, Vermont

F. W. Beers Atlas 1869

Alexander worked in Grafton as a logger, and in a saw mill, and raised enough money to purchase, piece by piece, three lots of land that eventually came to one hundred fifty acres of land, and to build Journey's End Farm---


Journey's End, Turner Hill, Grafton

Alexander Turner and his wife Sally Early, or possibly Sarah, raised their sixteen children at Journey's End. Their house contained thirteen rooms at one time. Their neighbor and fellow logger was Henry A. Thompson, who lived along the Townshend road, down the hill and to the west of Journey's End---


Henry Allen Thompson

Nineteen In 1865

Alexander And Sally's Neighbor Along The Townshend Road

On New Year's Day 1880, Henry Thompson drew a load of hemlock logs to Charles White's saw mill, and during the balance of January he delivered loads of cordwood into Grafton Village that had been cut by Alexander Turner and Mr. Colman.

Henry Thompson kept diaries his whole life long. An entry for June 15, 1880 reports, "Mended fence with Turner A. M. Hunted after steers P. M., found them in Geo. Obers in Athens.". Farmer Thompson left the steers there and paid Ober for the pasturage until October.


Bridge Along The Townshend Road

Henry A. Thompson's Homestead

Another later diary entry by Henry Thompson dated March 25, 1882 records the death of Alexander Turner's youngest child's death the day before. An unnamed male child, less than a year old, died on March 24, 1882.

Henry Thompson was re-elected Grafton's first selectman at the annual Town Meeting in 1888. Eight days later, the destructive Blizzard of 1888 came in. Following this, the Grafton death rate was exceedingly high that year. Thompson's diary names Carrie Turner, who died on August 16, 1888 at the age of eleven.

Henry A. Thompson sold in 1872 forty-five acres of land to Vestus A. Wilbur and Charles White, who in turn sold the land in 1881 to Alexander Turner.

"The Life of a Vermont Farmer and Lumberman: The Diaries of Henry A. Thompson of Grafton and Saxtons River", Edited by Stuart F. Heinritz. Vermont History, Winter 1974, Volume 42 No. 1, pp. 89-139.


View From Turner Hill Toward Grafton Village

Farm Homestead, Two Outbuildings In Winter Snows

Man And Woman In Foreground


Sally's Guitar, William Early's Banjo, Alexander's Fiddle


Sally is said to have been the daughter of a slave mistress of Colonel, later General Jubal Alexander Early of the Confederate Army. Sally is probably one of several children, black and white, born out of wedlock to Jubal Early. Many of his illegitimate children took the name Early after the Emancipation, and moved mainly to Missouri.


Sally In 1882

Between The Death Of An Infant Son And The Birth Of Daisy

There is a photograph that is identified as taken at a cider press party in Dummerston, Vermont, probably in the 1890's, at the place that later became known as the Log Cabin Farm. This photograph is posed, and apparently taken somewhat in jest, as if to burlesque a formal tea party.

The woman in the center---behind the barrel---in this detail from the photograph, may be Sally Turner enjoying her neighbors' company, the jest, and the cider as well---


To provide for the contrary---maybe this is not Sally Turner? At any rate, here is another photograph taken several years later, also posed, and apparently with less humorous intent---


Three Turner Children

District No. 2 School Class With Teacher

Daisy At Left


Daisy At Right

During this time, around 1903 in particular, Sally and her daughter Rose were attending the Baptist Church in Grafton.

Alexander and Sally Turner's fourteen children included Rachel, Rose M., Lucy Ellen or Ellen, Lindsey A., Carrie L., William H. or "Willie", Susan W., Unnamed Male died March 25, 1882, Jessie N. or Daisy born June 21, 1883, Cora D., Mabel B., Florence S. or Florence F. S. or Flossie, and finally, Enough Turner. Sally's brother William, called "Uncle Early", her sisters Zelma or "Zeb", and Florida Turner were also in Grafton.


View From Bear Hill In 1923

Formerly Bare Hill

Alexander Carried A Flour Barrel Up This Gentle Slope

Family Portraits


Alexander Turner And Sally

Journey's End Porch In Early 1920's


Alexander Turner


Corporal William H. Turner

World War One


Jessie N. Turner

Daisy In 1915

Boston, Massachusetts


Daisy Turner

Cloche, Fur And Sass



Daisy Turner

Boston, Circa 1930


Alexander Turner's Pension Petition

Grafton, Vermont

June 6, 1916

Dept. of Bureau of Pensions

Mr. E. C. Turnan

Dear Sir

Should have answered your letter of Feb. 12 before this but have been ill. Will do so now - I have stated in a previous letter that I was a slave and ran away from my masters plantation. John Golden, fifteen miles from Fredericksburg, Va, and joined the Yankee army at Fredricksburg, Co. I first New Jersey Cavalry, asst. cook. and then was detailed as an orderly for Dr. Dayton Hospital Dept. My right name is Alex Burkley, and what I gave but the white rebels would and could at that time come right into camp and pick out his slaves and send them back to his plantation. Therefore I was ordered to be called Alex Walker, then Alex Turner, that is the cause of my name changes. I have been an invalid here with rheumatism and am helpless now, and have been for 18 years. Otherwise I should go to Trenton N. J. where I could find some of the officers that know me. The first Cal. Co. I time was out in 64 -- they formed a new Cal 2nd Regiment at Trenton New Jersey under Gov. Parker. The first was discharged at Washington, D. C. I went as orderly again for Dr. Dayton. Ferdinan Dayton. While with him from 61 to 64 I done big service for the government carrying wounded from Battle fields and waiting on them in hospital. In one of the biggest Calvery fights during the war at Brandy Station. I was wounded receiving a bullet in my hip -- Of course at that time, I mean when I joined the Yankee Army they would not allow a negro to inlist At the first battle of Bull Run two Officers escaped from the rebels and my mother and I kept them hid in a dug out four months. feeding them -- at the end of that time the yankee Army got down beside the rappahanac River in King George. Co. and we got them back to the yankee Army again. The second night after joining the yankee Cal., I took 40 men and led them five miles after crossing River to a rebel picket post and took eight rebels. I could have hundreds of incidents of services that I rendered. The Col. of the Cal. name was Windham and the Drum Col. was Causshair if not spelled right the way pronounce. Captain of Co. I was Lookus and Leutenant was Addison. Captain Lookus was killed at Rappidan station. I dont know what else I could add to help. But I was a slave and had no learning and was not allowed to try to learn. Otherwise I could explain things better. I am a man 70 years old now and if it is possible to ever get any help in a pension I need it now as I will not live always -- there is one man here living in town with me who was in our brigade and in the same battles that I was. I hope to hear from you at any early date. I have been sick for months but hope this is not to late to receive help if possible.

Have been in this town forty three years.

Yours Truly

Alexander Turner

Grafton, Vermont.


The Virginia Raid

Historical manuscript tells tale of Virginia raid in 1861

Posted: Feb 23, 2013 10:30 PM EST
Updated: Apr 20, 2013 10:30 PM EDT

It was the summer of 1861. War had been declared.

In response to President Abraham Lincoln's plea for volunteers, the First New Jersey Cavalry was organized with Company K and M basically composed of Sussex County men.

By the time the troops reached Virginia during April of 1862 the Cavalry was under the command of Col. Perry Wyndham with Lt. Col. Virgil Broderick heading Co. K. Serving as Chaplain was Rev. Henry R. Pyne whose record of the troop's activities was compiled into book format in 1871.

When the troops reached King George County, Va., they were welcomed by the slaves who viewed them as their liberators. As Pyne observed, "now commenced an exodus which paralyzed deluded Virginia gentry who had argued themselves into a conviction that their slaves were too contented and happy to seek for freedom from their state of bondage. Shutting their eyes to the constant laceration of all the domestic affections, the perpetual state of uncertainty as to the future, the hopelessness of any improvement of their condition, which had been forever hanging over the heads of the unfortunate Negroes, their owners had regarded the satisfaction of their material wants as sufficient . . ."

It was against this backdrop that a small contingent of slave owners assembled at the Dr. John Gouldin plantation to organize a rendezvous for the deportation of their slaves to the neighborhood of Richmond. "The slaves were not without intimation of the design; and now men, who had before been reluctant to leave their families, felt themselves forced away. Hurrying to the army with a sense of injury upon them, they were eager to punish in return those who had intended to kidnap them."

One of the slaves that escaped from the Gouldin Plantation was Gilman the Spy (Humphrey). A July 3, 2011, Herald article that focused on this former slave was forwarded by Branchville resident Sonja Hulbert to Jane Beck of Vermont.

Beck has compiled a manuscript about one of the former Goulden slaves, Alex Turner, who also escaped to Co. K.

Beck's manuscript "Journey's End: Destination of a Dream" provides an oral history of Turner's life that includes a segment devoted to the raid that occurred on the Gouldin Plantation and involved Broderick, Edsall, Humphrey and members of Co. K.

To recount what had transpired, Humphrey nearly drowned when a little leaky dugout capsized and he was rescued by members of Co. K. Henry B. Edsall and Henry Heater. While relating the story of his escape, Humphrey alluded to a party of Confederate cavalry stationed in the neighborhood of his home.

Upon questioning by Broderick, it was determined that a small body of mounted men was stationed at the house of Dr. Gouldin, about ten miles from the river bank.

As Pyne explained "it was to this post that the slave owners intended to gather all their active and doubtful slaves, arranging, with the rebel general, Anderson, to have them escorted thence to the nearest station on the railroad, to be employed there in military labor or transported to the South for similar duty."

Humphrey eagerly agreed to serve as a guide on an expedition against the group gathered at the Gouldin plantation. Broderick readily secured permission from the colonel to take a party across the river to accomplish their capture. The party consisted of twenty; Broderick, Humphrey, another escaped slave, Broderick's orderly sergeant Henry Darris and sixteen volunteers from Co. K. From various accounts it appears that Edsall, too, participated in this raid.

The story of this successful raid not only appears in Pyne's book but under the title of "Stealing a March" in the April 18, 1863, issue of Harpers Weekly Magazine.

There were a few variations in the two accounts. One interesting difference is that Harpers described the party as containing 17 whites and three Negro aides but only identifies Humphrey as the main guide.

After marching over ten miles in what was described as complete darkness, the raid was a complete surprise and successful with the party, nine in all, surrendered. Horses were also taken.

Beck, who acquired Tom Goudin's account of this raid complained that they took some of his wine as well as a horse. Tongue-in-cheek, Beck adds "he (Tom) was high up in the Bethesda Baptist Church which did not allow the drinking or purchasing of alcoholic beverages but I guess that wine didn't count."

The First New Jersey Cavalry continued active throughout the duration of the Civil War. Over the course of the war it participated in 97 engagements, 79 of the men were killed in action, 170 died from wounds, 34 were captured as prisoners of war with twelve of the men missing and presumed dead. Among those that lost their lives were Broderick, Captain Thomas R. Haines, and Lt. Alanson Austin.

As for the two former Gouldin slaves, as a result of his services on the expedition that dark stormy night, Humphrey was brought to the attention of Col. Wyndham and was rewarded by being attached to headquarters in the capacity of scout and guide.

Humphrey served through the campaign in the Shenandoah, but when the army returned to that neighborhood one year later, he became frightened at the reward offered for his capture offered by his former master, Dr. Gouldin, which he found posted everywhere, and he was sent north to Newark, where he was provided for by friends of the colonel of the regiment.

But time brings change. The Aug. 11, 1905, Sussex Independent article explains that the friends had passed away leaving Humphrey on his own resources. It was these circumstances that found Sir Gillman (Humphrey) in Hamburg seeking out Edsall, who was then serving as the Hamburg Postmaster.

As explained in the article, the purpose of his visit was to identify himself with the regiment and to secure three or four survivors of Co. K. to testify of his services.

The sworn testimony of his comrades was to be sufficient to establish his claim and he would then be in a position to secure the passage of a special bill through Congress granting him a pension. The writer of the article conceded that this would not be so easy as although he was attached to headquarters, he never came in personal contact with the members of the expedition which he guided that night on the Rappahannock, while the survivors are unable to recognize him after a lapse of thirty-three years, though most were convinced of his identity.

The writer added that "unfortunately, however, he was only sworn in, and was never formally mustered into the regiment; and while there can be no doubt that he is entitled to a pension, there are no records by which he can establish his claim to service."

The last we hear about Humphrey is when Edsall "saw him safely on the train the next morning heading for Nutley where he had been making his home."

As for Alex Turner, Beck advises that he changed his name several times, as like Humphrey, he was concerned that he would be returned to Dr. Gouldin. Beck advises that when he crossed the Rappahannock he was known as Alex Burkley, then Alex Walker and finally Alex Turner.

As his reward for serving as a guide on the raid, Turner served as an orderly with assistant surgeon Ferdinand Dayton. Beck writes that Alex was supposed to go with Dayton but he was on a furlough when the orders came through to go out west. When he got back, they were gone.

After the war, Dayton found Alex, brought him back to New Jersey, found him a job and placed him into night school. Unlike Humphrey, however, Alex Turner moved around, finally settling in Grafton, Vt., where he died in 1923 as a free man, farmer and a landowner.

It's true that despite their service to their county that neither of the two men ever collected a pension. But, thanks to the Sussex County men who served in Co. K of the First New Jersey Cavalry, the two men did gain their freedom and "the right to secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity . . ."

Jennie Sweetman is the history columnist for the New Jersey Herald.




Turner, Alexander of Grafton, Vt., departed this life on Thursday, December 30, 1923 at 9:30 p. m. at the age of 78 years. Even until the last, his faith never failed. He was born in Port Royal, Virginia, son of Robert and Rose (Berkeley) Turner. His father was Negro, his mother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. Mr. Turner was born a slave and remained so until the Country was freed. He was a faithful husband, a good father, and a kind neighbor, and will be greatly missed. He was a favorite among members of the GAR for many years. He leaves his wife, nine daughters, and one son, William Turner, who was unable to be here, several grandchildren, and one brother, George Turner of Washington, D. C. Funeral services were held at his home on Highland Avenue Sunday at 2 p. m. , Rev. W. E. Lombard, pastor of the Saxtons River Baptist Church officiating. Miss Helen L. Greene and John Grant sang "My Saviour First of All." Eight of the daughters acted as pall bearers and all dressing in white. The floral tributes were many and beautiful. Burial was in the village cemetery. Those outside the family attending the funeral were Mrs. Lucy Greene and daughter Helen of Medford, Mass., Arthur Wheeler and Dr. William A. Barnes of Lexington, Mass., and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Bemis of Athens, Vt. ---

No tender yet, sad farewell,
From his quivering lips were heard.
So softly he crossed that quiet stream
That not a ripple was stirred.

He was spared the pain of parting tears,
As he left the world of strife;
It was scarcely dying - he only passed,
In a moment to endless life.

Weep not for the swift release,
From earthly pain and care,
Nor grieve that he reached that home of rest,
E're he knew that he was there.

But think of that sweet surprise,
The sudden and strange delight.
He felt as he met the Saviour's smile,
In that beautiful home of light.

Obituary from the Ludlow, Vermont Tribune.



Journey's End

The Preservation Trust is working on an exciting project to preserve and interpret Journey's End, the homestead of African American Daisy Turner in Grafton, Vermont.

The work is part of a cooperative effort of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Division for Historic Preservation, the Fish and Wildlife Department at the Agency of Natural The Vermont Electric Cooperative, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and VELCO.

Journey's End was so named because it represented the happy conclusion of the difficult journey of Daisy's father, an escaped slave and Civil War Veteran, to Vermont. Alex Turner successfully farmed, logged and raised a large family at this hill farm using the traditions he learned at the Virginia plantation where he was a slave.

Daisy lived a remarkable life and was articulate until she died in 1988 at the age of 104. Her stories and the history of Journey's End have been well documented by Jane Beck, the founder of the Vermont Folklife Center.

Birchdale Camp, built in 1911, is the lone remaining building on the site, although the foundations of the main house, the original log building and several outbuildings remain as important archeological resources. The site is significant on a state and national level for its association with African American history.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont News.



View From Turner Hill Toward Grafton Village

Farm Homestead, Two Outbuildings In Winter Snows

Man And Woman In Foreground


Daisy Turner

Daisy Turner v. Alba M. Bragg

Daisy J. Turner was the plaintiff in chancery against Alba Marl Bragg, et al. This case was tried, in its several aspects, five times before the Vermont Supreme Court---February 10, 1943, and especially October 5, 1943, also November 6, 1945, October 7, 1947, and October 2, 1951.

The Journey's End land records were sifted meticulously in this case, and the lawyers' diverse reports serve also describe the homestead's history---

October 5, 1943

Daisy Turner, Executrix,


Alba M. Bragg et al.

Present: Moulton, C. J., Sherburne, Buttles, Sturtevant and Jeffords, JJ.

Syllabus by the Court

Bill in Chancery seeking injunction against trespass upon real estate. In Chancery, Windham County, Adams, Chancellor. Decree for the defendants. Affirmed.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Moulton

The plaintiffs are the nine daughters of Alexander Turner, deceased, residuary devisees of his estate, one of whom is the executrix of his will. The bill of complaint alleges that the defendants, Alba M. Bragg and the Bragg Lumber Corporation, have trespassed and cut timber upon certain lands, the property of the estate situated in the town of Athens, and, although warned to desist, have refused to do so and threaten to continue. The prayer is that the defendants may be enjoined from further entry upon the lands, and cutting or removing the timber thereon and for general relief. A temporary injunction was issued, which was modified by a stipulation between the parties which among other matters permitted cutting on condition that a certain sum per 1000 feet cut should be deposited in trust to await the outcome of the litigation.

Hearing was held before the Chancellor, who, after filing written findings of fact, entered a decree for the defendants to recover their costs. The plaintiffs have brought the cause to this court upon exceptions. It has been here once before upon another issue, Turner v. Bragg, 113 Vt 156, 30 A.2d 450.

These facts have been found: Alexander Turner in his lifetime owned real estate situated in the Town of Grafton and in the Town of Athens as now constituted. At the time these towns were originally chartered and surveyed they did not abut upon each other, since there was a strip of land lying between them, known as Avery's Gore, which was not included in either. This Gore was bounded on the north by the south line of Grafton and on the south by the north line of Athens. The latter line (to which it will be necessary later to refer in the course of this opinion) is known as the Old Athens line, or the Kelly line. By Act of the Legislature in 1815 a part of the Gore was annexed to the Town of Athens thus making its north boundary to coincide with the south boundary of Grafton.

The property belonging to the Turner Estate consists of three parcels. The first of these (designated on trial as the 50 Acre lot) lies in greater part at least in Grafton; the second (referred to as the 45 Acre lot) is of the same width and adjoins the 50 Acre lot on the south, and is situated in the present town of Athens, both of these parcels together being known as the Wilbur and White property from the names of Turner's grantors; the third, known for a like reason as the Wheelock lot, adjoins the Wilbur and White lots on the east and is in the present Town of Athens.

The trespasses complained of are claimed to have been committed on the 45 Acre lot and the plaintiffs rely upon their record title. The deed from Vestus A. Wilbur and Charles White to Alexander Turner, dated October 13, 1881, describes the land so conveyed as being all and the same land conveyed to the grantors by Henry A. Thompson, by deed dated February 17, 1872. The deed from Thompson to Wilbur and White describes the property as bounded "on the south by land of Tisdale Porter and C. C. Fairbanks.... meaning by these presents to convey the same and all the land described in a deed from Nathan Wheeler to Joel Smith dated March 18, 1830." Henry Thompson derived his title from Stillman Thompson by deed dated March 2, 1871, describing the southern boundary as lands of Tisdale Porter and C. C. Fairbanks and referring to the deed from Wheeler to Smith. The Wheeler-Smith conveyance gives the southern boundary of the 45 Acre lot as "the old Athens Line" (the Kelly line, so called). There is no finding as to the source of Stillman Thompson's title, but the Chancellor has placed the northern line of the Tisdale Porter land south of the Kelly line, thus apparently assuming that Stillman Thompson owned property as far south as the Tisdale Porter lot and conveyed it by his deed to Henry Thompson.

Alexander Turner purchased the Wheelock lot from Henry H. Wheelock on April 7, 1884, the description being of land bounded on the north by land of Wheelock and Dexter Conant, west by land formerly of Wilbur and White and now by Alexander Turner, south by land of Butterfield and Smith and east by land of Town-send and Clark. The Clark lot is thus described in a former deed from Joseph Tinkham to Benjamin Smith, given in 1839: "Beginning at Tisdale Porter northeast corner thence north twenty rods to what is known by the name of the Kelly line thence west on said Kelly line to a small birch tree marked for a corner thence south twenty three rods to a stake and stones standing on Tisdale Porter north line thence east 3 1/2 degrees north on said Porter's line fifty rods and ten links to the place of beginning containing six acres 115 rods of ground." The Townsend property lies directly east of the Clark lot and the Chancellor finds that it cannot be a part of the easterly boundary of the Wheelock lot, the deed so describing it being erroneous in this respect.

The defendant Alba M. Bragg is the owner of the Tisdale Porter land which lies south of the plaintiff's 45 Acre lot (the Wilbur and White property) and is described as bounded on the north and west by the Wilbur and White land. As to the other land described as part of the southern boundary of the 45 Acre lot, stated to be owned by C. C. Fairbanks, no evidence was introduced of any record title of Fairbanks to land in that locality, and the Chancellor is unable to find where it is situated.

The Chancellor viewed the premises and has found that the Kelly line is marked by a line of stone piles beginning on the easterly side of the old Athens-Grafton road, and extends westerly along the northerly boundary of the Townsend and Clark lots to and beyond a point 23 rods northerly from a stake and stones marking the southwest corner of the Clark lot. The point at which the stone piles commence at the easterly side of the road just mentioned is the north east corner of the Townsend lot. The Wheelock lot, now owned by the plaintiffs, lies north of the Clark and Townsend lots. The Chancellor is unable to find who owns a small piece of land situated between the westerly boundary of the Clark lot and the easterly boundary of the 45 Acre lot, but does find that the defendant Bragg does not own or claim to own it.

It is found that the plaintiffs own no land southerly of a line extending from the stake and stones at the southwesterly corner of the Clark lot westerly, in part along the location of an old brush fence, to a point a little southerly of the end of a wall on the westerly boundary of the 45 Acre lot, and that the defendant Bragg's property does not extend northerly of this line at that location. It is also found that the defendants have not trespassed upon either the Wilbur and White lots or on the Wheelock lot.

The plaintiffs contend that the Chancellor has made findings of boundaries not involved in this litigation, having to this extent exceeded his jurisdiction, and ask that these findings may be stricken from the record. The specific findings thus attacked are concerning the southern boundary of the Wheelock lot and the southwest corner of the Clark lot; the location of the Kelly line; and that the defendants have not trespassed upon the Wheelock lot. The basis for the claim is that since the cutting sought to be enjoined is alleged to be on that part of the Wilbur and White property known as the 45 Acre lot, the boundary between that lot and the Tisdale Porter property, now owned by the defendant Bragg, is the only line in issue.

[1, 2] It is true, that in the absence of some ground for injunctive relief such as irreparable damage or threatened trespasses, "it is not the business of equity to try titles to real estate and the existence of a dispute as to the boundary between adjoining lands does not alone afford sufficient ground for a court of equity to ascertain and fix the boundary." Aguirre v. Aja, 113 Vt 123, 124, 30 A.2d 88, 89; Watkins v. Childs, 79 Vt 234, 236, 65 A 81. But this principle does not preclude the Court from finding such lines and landmarks relating to adjacent property as have a bearing upon the disputed boundary. In this case the location of the Kelly line and the southwest corner of the Clark lot were material to the ultimate finding of the boundary in issue. The surveys of both plaintiffs and defendants agreed in making the Kelly line the northern boundary of the Clark lot, the controversy being as to its location on the ground. The southwest corner of this lot is found to be 23 rods south of the Kelly line, as called for in the deed, and to be indicated by a monument, from which a line drawn westward, in part along the remains of an old fence, is the limit north of which the defendants' property does not extend. We see no impropriety in these findings which are of subordinate facts upon which the Chancellor has rested his ultimate finding. The extent to which such subordinate facts may be reported lies in the sound discretion of the trial court. Waterman v. Moody, 92 Vt 218, 235, 103 A 325. It is, on the whole, the better practice to report them. Allen's Admr. v. Allen's Admrs., 79 Vt 173, 186, 64 A 1110; Winship v. Waterman , 56 Vt 181, 185.

[3] But there is no claim of threatened trespasses upon the Wheelock lot and no injunction is sought as to any acts committed thereon, and the plaintiff's position in this regard was made clear at the hearing. There is said to be an action at law pending between the present parties to recover damages alleged to have been sustained by previous cutting of timber on this property but this proceeding has nothing to do with the case before us. The southern boundary of the Wheelock lot has no perceptible bearing upon the issue here presented. The finding with regard to it and the finding that the defendants have not trespassed upon this parcel of land are clearly of matters not in issue and are immaterial. They need not be stricken from the record. The plaintiffs are not prejudiced by them since they can be disregarded without affecting the result of the material findings. Waterman v. Moody, 92 Vt 218, 236, 103 A 325; Crampton v. Lamonda, 95 Vt 160, 164, 114 A 42. Exceptions to immaterial findings are not for consideration. Valiquette v. Smith, 108 Vt 121, 129, 183 A 483; Dunn v. Williams, 107 Vt 447, 453, 181 A 131; University of Vermont v. Wilbur's Est. 105 Vt 147, 174, 163 A 572; Houghton v. Grimes, 103 Vt 54, 65, 151 A 642; Murphy, Ex'x, v. McMahon, 100 Vt 86, 88, 135 A 3; Hall v. Windsor Savings Bank, 97 Vt 125, 140, 121 A 582, 124 A 593; Platt, Adm'x, v. Shields and Conant, 96 Vt 257, 268, 119 A 520.


Marshall Franklin Bragg named his son after his father, Alba Marl Bragg. This grandson Alba M. Bragg was born August 31, 1880, died 1954, and is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in Bellows Falls.


McClellan's Map Of Windham County 1856


Riverledge Farm - Lindsey A. Turner

Wealthy W. Conant owned a 340 acre farm known as Riverledge Farm on Townshend Road. Best estimates indicate the barn was built around 1820. Based on common farming practices of the time the hillsides of Riverledge Farm were probably pastures used for grazing either sheep or cows.

In 1890 the farm was sold to John B. Lawrence. The land stayed within the Lawrence family for approximately 50 years. Local lore suggests that a chimney fire may have occurred in the early 1930's destroying some or possibly all of the dwelling. Another story mentioned the house was rebuilt after the fire by Dean Zeller who lived nearby. During the Lawrence time the farm was used for raising a few cows to produce milk and butter which was sold at the local store.

On November 12, 1940, fifty acres were sold to Lindsey A. Turner, who was a brother to the noted Grafton storyteller Daisy Turner. The remaining 290 acres was sold to Albert H. Lawrence and his daughter Carlotta G. Lawrence.


Grafton Village In 1909



Alexander Tilling His Vegetable Garden At Journey's End


Research By Thomas St. John

August 2012

Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro Black History

Charles H. Eddy, Grocer, Afri Kolao Advertisement, June 1906.jpg

Charles H. Eddy, Grocery, Flat Street, June 1906 Advertisement

Orion Clark was the popular long-time barber in Elliot Street, and also an entrepreneur.

Black History In Brattleboro is Anne Dempsey's "Special to the Reformer" series in six parts during February 1994. Here are the forgotten black residents---the first black landowner, fugitive slaves, barbers, the women, the soldiers. There is an array of enjoyable research here.

James Frost Mansion, Frost Meadows, Shoemaker Shop, Flat Street.jpg

Frost Mansion On Flat Street

Charles C. Frost's Shoemaker's Shop And Slave Safe House

Fugitive Slaves On Flat Street concerns the only reliably documented station on the Underground Railroad in Brattleboro. Charles C. Frost sheltered roughly forty fugitive slaves at his house and shoe shop on the south side of Flat Street, successfully concealing his activity even from friends for two decades.

Sidney Jackson, Vermont Record And Farmer, October 14, 1868.jpg

Vermont Record And Farmer, October 14, 1868.

John G. Sugland worked in Brattleboro as a woodcutter along the railroad tracks after serving with the Massachusetts 54th Infantry (Colored) in the Civil War, helping Gen. William T. Sherman's march through South Carolina. Private Sugland's letter written on May 20, 1864 from Charleston, South Carolina to Addison Whithead in Vernon, Vermont is here.

Jacob Cartledge escaped on the Underground Railroad from cruelty in Georgia, then enlisted for three years as a private in the 43rd Pennsylvania Regiment. Jake came to Brattleboro in 1879, chopped wood, and worked for the Barrows Coal Company.

Alexander Jenkins, Revere House Stable Hand, 1870.jpg

Vermont Record And Farmer, May 27, 1870.

"There are few men on the street who will not miss his ready hands and ready wit."

Vermont Phoenix, June 22, 1877.

Andrew Johnson Reed met Col. John S. Tyler and Assistant Surgeon George F. Gale of Brattleboro in Virginia.

Alexander And Sally Turner established his Journey's End homestead after escaping from the Virginia plantation of John Gouldin, serving in the First New Jersey Cavalry as assistant cook and hospital orderly, and raising his great family in Grafton.

Elliot Street Chapel Riot 1837 concerns the disruptions at the Church on the Common chapel which was built three years before, and now stands on Spring Street.

Fire Department Discharge, 1869.jpg

Vermont Phoenix, May 28, 1869.

Rev. Jonathan Edwards' sermon about the New York Negro Riots in the summer of 1741, "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God" is examined at





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