Hayward’s New England Gazetteer (1839) page 94
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firincipally of beech, birch, oak,
maple and hemlock. There is a
ridge of hard, broken, and in some
4>arts stony, land, east of the river
■road, extending almost the whole
length of the town, and which is
•considered unfit for settlements.
The south part of the town appears
; to have a different soil, and is favor-
able for yielding the lighter grains.
Charlestown contains two parishes,
which, are divided by a line run-
ning from Cheshire bridge S. 87°
E., to the corner of Ac worth and
Unity. In the south parish, there
is a handsome village, delightfully
situated, at the distance of about
half a mile from Connecticut river,
and parallel with it. In the north
parish is a meeting-house and a
small village. Cheshire bridge,
2 miles N. of the S. meeting-
house, connects this town with
Springfield, Vt. From this bridge
Cheshire turnpike leads southerly
through the principal village, to
Keene. Charlestown was granted
by Massachusetts, Dec. 31, 1735,
by the name of
JSTumber 4, which
is sometimes applied to it at the
present day.

On the 2d July, 1753, No. 4 was
incorporated by tbe name of Charles-
town. The charter was granted by
Gov. Benning Wentworth to Jo-
seph Wells, Phinehas Stevens and
others, who were purchasers under
the old grantees. In 1754,the French
war commenced—and the inhabit-
ants were obliged to take up their
residence in the fort. The first set-
tlers of Charlestown, like the first
inhabitants of almost every frontier
town in New England, were, prior
to 1760, the victims of savage cru-
elty. For twenty years after tbe
first settlement, their neighbors on
the N. were the French in Canada,
on the W. the Dutch, near the
Hudson, on the E. the settlements
on Merrimack river, and on the S.
few were found until arrived at
Northfield, in Massachusetts, a dis-
tance of* more than 40 miles. The

Indians were at peace but a small
portion of that time. From their    j

infancy, the settlers had been fa-
miliar with danger, and had acquir-    j

ed a hardihood unknown to poster-    j

ity. W'hen they attended public    ;

worship, or cultivated their lands,    ]

they sallied from    the fort prepared    j

for battle, and worshipped or labor-    ;

ed under tbe protection of a senti-    ;

nel. In their warfare, the Indians
preferred prisoners to scalps, and    J

few were -killed but those who at-    1

tempted to escape, or appeared tpo    ;

formidable to be encountered with
success. The first child born in    |

Charlestown was Elizabeth, the    j

daughter of Isaac    Parker. She was    ■;

born 1744, and    died in 1806.—    ;

Charlestown has been favored with    I

a number of eminent men, only
one of which we have room to men-
tion. Capt.
Phixehas Stevens
was one of the first settlers. The
town when in its infancy was pro-
tected by his intrepidity. He was
a native of Sudbury, Mass., from
whence his father removed to Rut-
land. At the age of 16, while his
father was making hay, he, with
three little brothers, followed him
to the meadows. They were am-
bushed by the Indians, who killed
two of his brothers, took him pris-
oner, and were preparing to kill his
youngest brother, a child four years    ‘

old. He, by signs to the Indians,
made them understand if they
would spare him, he would carry
him on his back—and he carried
him to Canada. They were redeem-
ed and both returned. He receiv-    j

ed several commissions from Gov.    j

Shirley, and rendered important    I

services in protecting the frontiers.    '

In 1747, when Charlestown was
abandoned hy the inhabitants, he    j

was ordered to occupy the fort with    ]

30 men. On the 4th of April, he    1

was attacked by 400 French and In-    I

dians, under Mons. Debeline. The
assault lasted three days. Indian    ;

stratagem and French skill, with
fire applied to every combustible

______-____  J


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