Early History

Early History

Cabot, Vermont

Credit, History of Cabot, VT. :

"Vermont Historical Gazetteer, Washington County Vol. IV. No. 1. August, 1881." Edited by Abby Maria Hemenway Published by Miss Hemenway, Montpelier, VT.. Printed by Joseph Poland, Montpelier, Vt. pp 74, 75 & 76

**Special thanks to the Cabot Public Library and the Cabot Historical Society. [BSD]


By John M. Fisher.


Cabot is situated in the N.E. part of Washington Co . . . 6 miles square; bounded N. by Walden and Danville, E. by Danville and Peacham, S. by Marshfield, and W. by Woodbury, and lies 21 miles easterly from Montpelier. It was granted Nov. 6, 1780; chartered by Vermont to Jesse LEVENWORTH and 65 others, Aug. 17, 1781; but not surveyed and lotted till 1786. The survey was made by _______ CABOT, of Connecticut, and James WHITELAW. Thomas LYFORD, whose father was one of the first settlers, being at that time a young man, 18 years of age, worked with them through the survey. In the extreme west part of the town Mr. CABOT broke the glass in his compass, and was obliged to go through the wilderness to the nearest house about 6 miles away, and take a square of glass out of the window to replace it.

The names of the grantees were not entered upon the town records, and it cannot be determined with certainty who of those ever settled in town. By what we can gather from the original plan of the town, it appears very few of them ever made this town their home.

The township was lotted by James WHITELAW, and a field-book written out by him September, 1786, contains the number of each lot and full description of the same, measurement, etc., closing each with a statement of what in his judgment the land is adapted to, whether pasture or general farming. There were 12 lots in each division, and 6 divisions, making 72 lots in town. The first meeting of the proprietors was warned by Alexander HARVEY, justice of the peace.

To meet at the house of Jonathan ELKINS, in Peacham, County of Orange, on the 2nd Monday in June, 1786, to transact the following business, viz.: 1st, to choose a moderator to govern said meeting; 2nd, to choose a clerk; 3rd, to agree what they will do respecting the settlers in said town, and to see what encouragement they will give to settlers; 4th, to lay a tax to defray the expense of surveying and lotting said town.

At this meeting, Jonathan ELKINS was chosen moderator, and Jesse LEVENWORTH, clerk.

Meetings were adjourned from time to time. November 3, 1786, they met at the house of Thomas CHITTENDEN, in Arlington, and the survey being completed and presented to the meeting, it was voted that Giles CHITTENDEN and Truman CHITTENDEN, being indifferent persons, be a committee to draw the lots, which being done by them in the presence of the meeting as the law directs, was as follows:

Jesse LEVENWORTH, lot No. 5; Jesse LEVENWORTH, 55; Mark LEVENWORTH, 10; William LEVENWORTH, 1; Evans MUNSON, 57; Isaac DOOLITTLE, 64; Robert FAIRCHILD, 19; Ebenezer CRAFTS, 14; Timothy NEWEL, 72; James LANE, 66; Elias TOWNSEND, 28; William HOLMES, 18; Richard MANSFIELD, 70; Nathan LEVENWORTH, 15; Moses BAKER, 20; Jas. WHITELAW, 7; Philander HARVEY, 65; David BRYANT, 51; Frederick LEVENWORTH, 53; Jonathan HEATH, 33; Eames JOHNSON, 45; Thomas LYFORD, 21; Edmund CHAPMAN, 50; Benjamin WEBSTER, 40; David BLANCHARD, 56; Jonathan ELKINS, 26; Jonathan ELKINS, Jr., 42; William CHAMBERLIN, 60; Ephraim FOSTER, 44; Abel BLANCHARD, 58; Benjamin AMBROSE, 34; Minister, 62; Minister, 63; Grammar School, 69; College, 3; William DOUGLAS, 49; Asa DOUGLAS, 68; Beriah PALMER, 17; Martha DOUGLAS, 13; Ebenezer JONES, 67; Jesse GARDNER, 41; Mary ANDRUS, 47; William DOUGLAS, 52; Content DOUGLAS, 46; Asa DOUGLAS, Jr., 12; Zebulon DOUGLAS. 48; Lyman HITCHCOCK, 54; Nathaniel WALES, 36; Saphiah HITCHCOCK, 2; John BATCHELDER, 32; Elephalet RICHARDS, 29; Jonathan PETTET, 30; Matthew WATSON, 38; Ezekiel TIFFANY, 43; Abel BLANCHARD, 39; Peter BLANCHARD, 27; Reuben BLANCHARD, 35; Jason CROSS, 16; Solomon JOHNSON, 9; Robert HAINS, 61; Samuel RUSSELL, 23; David WATERS, 6; Thomas CHITTENDEN, Esq., 4; Paul SPOONER, 25; Joseph FAY, Esq., 8; Abigail GUNN, 59; Barnabas MORSE, 24.

. . .The town was named by Lyman HITCHCOCK, one of the grantees, in honor of his bride-elect, Miss CABOT, of Connecticut, a descendant of Sebastian CABOT. Mr. LEVENWORTH never settled or lived in town, but settled and built the mills at what is now known as West Danville.

In 1779, Gen. Hazen cut through the wilderness, and made a passable road for 50 miles above Peacham, running through the north-eastern part of Cabot, over what is known as Cabot Plain, through Walden and Hardwick. He camped for a few weeks on the plain about 1/3 of a mile to the south of the residence now of SPRINGER. Here they expected an attack from the British from Canada, who were sending a portion of their forces down on the east side of the state, instead of sending them all down the Lake, upon the west side. A fortification was thrown up by Hazen's soldiers. The ground bears the name of Fortification Hill, and a small portion of the fortification is still seen, and a large rock pointed out where the army built their camp-fires.

Connected with Hazen's army was a squad called Whitcomb's Rangers, among whom was Thomas LYFORD, grandfather of Thomas LYFORD now living in the village of Cabot. Gen. HAZEN expecting an attack from the enemy, WHITCOMB and LYFORD were sent to the north as spies. During the long scout WHITCOMB's shoes gave out, and he threatened to shoot the first man he met for his. After several days, cautiously proceeding, they heard a distant crackling of the brush, then a faint tramp of feet, and at once secreted themselves in an advantageous position, and waited. In a short time a scouting party of the enemy discovered themselves, British and Indians, making for Gen. HAZEN's quarters, commanded by Gen. GORDON. Our scouts felt upon their action for a few moments hung great results; not only their own lives, but those of their comrades and Gen. HAZEN's army. The enemy advanced, Gen. GORDON in front, little thinking what is concealed in the thicket. WHITCOMB thinks of his shoes; tells LYFORD to be cool; takes good aim; Gen. GORDON falls forward; throws his arms around the neck of his horse; the horse, frightened, turned back and ran into camp; the British general lived to get into camp, but died very soon after. WHITCOMB was secreted under a bank where the waters in a little ravine had washed out a hole, which was covered with a log. Over this log, he said, a number of Indians ran whooping, brandishing their tomahawks; that he could have pulled any one of them off from the log as they passed over into the hole, but he thought it not best. LYFORD was concealed near him. After a long search, the Indians gave up they could not find the one who sent the bullet.

As soon as WHITCOMB and LYFORD considered it safe they came from their hiding places, and returned to the camp of Gen. HAZEN with the news. WHITCOMB did not get his shoes, but they had accomplished all and more than they set out for. The enemy, dismayed, retreated back to Canada, and thus ended what was expected to be a battle or skirmish on Cabot's Plain. [See account of Major WHITCOMB and this adventure in vol. I of this work, page 1067 -- Ed.]

Gen. HAZEN finished his road through to the town of Lowell, and then returned to the south. This road from near Joe's pond, led to the south of the present traveled road, until it came to the three corners of a road near the present grave-yard on the plain; here it struck what is now the present traveled road and continued to the north line of the town. It was of great benefit to the first settlers. It is still called The Hazen Road.


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