Ancestors’ Stories

Updated/Edited: 25 Mar 2015

Now and then, one runs into something wonderfully personal about our ancestors. Here’s one. ~Dan
Concerning Joel Hamilton, Son of Ezra and Lydia Barnes Hamilton
Birth 11 Feb 1759 in Brookfield, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Death 05 Jun 1826 in Fair Haven, Rutland, Vermont, USA

From the book:
1781. Rutland County. 1881: Centennia Celebration of the Organization of Rutland County, VT, Held Under the Auspices of the Rutland County Historical Society, at the Town Hall, Rutland, VT, March 4, 1881. Including the Addresses, Historical Papers, Poems, Etc., with a Record of the Proceedings of the … Society Since Its Organization (Google eBook) Argus and patriot book print, 1882 – Rutland County (Vt.) – 196 pages

“Joel Hamilton belonged to a company from Brookfield Mass who were ordered to take the block houses in the rear of Burgoyne’s army as they went to Saratoga. The company captured the block house at Fort Ann and went from there to Skeenesboro. Peeping around the mountain they discovered that the garrison at that place was stronger than own forces and furthermore the house stood on an island and they had neither boats nor cannon. The captain was aware of the extremely belligerent nature of his townsman, Mr Hamilton, and proposed leaving him to keep up the war while the remainder of the company returned to Fort Ann for cannon. He thought Mr Hamilton was amply to do his part but to drag cannon through the woods would be a toilsome task and he resolved first to try words. Accordingly the oflicers appeared and demanded the surrender of the block house. The garrison were disposed to parley and finally would not surrender unless allowed to the men in the Brookfield company. Such a mathematical exercise would be fatal to their cause and so putting a bold front the captain said if they did not surrender he would immediately fire upon them. The fear of possible artillery behind the mountain had its effect and the garrison the mortification of surrendering to a force less than their own armed with old muskets. At the close of the war, Joel Hamilton settled on the mountain north of Fairhaven village which still bears his name. It was there that his wife had an encounter with a bear which was in pursuit of a calf. Armed with an axe she drove away the bear and took the calf into the house. That was a lonely spot and Mr Hamilton afterwards built on the road. He amassed considerable property and was said to have a peck of silver dollars. He had no children and to his home seven nephews successively taking each the intention of making him his heir. The old gentleman man was not spared to discard the seventh as he had the other six. In the great revival of 1816, Mr Hamilton was converted and became deacon of the Congregational church.”

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