Collection: History of Norwich VT

Migration of Families out of Norwich VT

At the first enumeration of the inhabitants of eastern Vermont, as made by the authority of New York in 1771, Norwich was found to be the most populous of all the towns of Windsor County, having forty families and 206 inhabitants. Windsor followed with 203, and Hartford was third with 190. The aggregate population of the county (ten towns reported) was then but 1,205, mostly confined to the first and second tiers of towns west of the Connecticut River. Twenty years later, in 1791, Hartland led all the towns of the county with 1,652 inhabitants, Woodstock and Windsor coming next

Norwich Vermont Street Scene

Postmasters and Postal Service in Norwich Vermont

It was fifteen years after the admission of Vermont into the Federal Union, and forty years after the settlement of the town, before Norwich had a post office. The first post office was established at Norwich Plain, July 1, 1805, and Jacob Burton was appointed postmaster. Postmaster Burton kept the office in his harness shop on the main street of the village, nearly opposite the present residence of Mrs. William E. Lewis. Probably the duties of the office were not so great as to interfere much with the prosecution of his trade. It is doubtful if Mr. Burton had more

Political Parties in Norwich Vermont

The strength of the great political parties that have divided the suffrages of the country almost since the union of the States under the Constitution has usually been pretty evenly balanced in Norwich. Elections have been sharply contested, and party feeling has frequently run high. Up to the formation of the Republican Party (1854 or 1855) a majority of the voters in town generally ranged themselves with the political disciples of Jefferson and Jackson, though on several occasions, notably in the Harrison campaign of 1840, their ascendancy was successfully contested by the Whigs. In the state election of 1854, the

High School Building, Norwich Village, Erected in 1898

History of Norwich Vermont Education

From the town records it appears that the first attempt to divide the town into school districts, was at a town meeting held November 19, 1782, when John Slafter, Elijah Brownson, Ithamar Bartlett, Joseph Loveland, Paul Bingham, Joseph Hatch, Daniel Baldwin, Abel Wilder and Samuel Brown, Jr., were made a committee for that purpose. Soon thereafter the committee reported that they “could effect nothing on the business of their appointment,” and were discharged. No further move in town meeting towards districting the town for school purposes appears to have been made until March 30, 1785, when, on petition of persons

American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy

Among the well known educational institutions in our land during the early part of the past century, was the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy, the forerunner of Norwich University, founded by the late Capt. Alden Partridge in 1819, in Norwich, his native town. The corner-stone of the Academy building 1This building was constructed of brick, was four stories high and forty-seven by one hundred feet on the ground, and was situated just south of the present high school building, and near the east end of the now vacant lot opposite the residence of Mrs. William E. Lewis. was placed

Norwich University 1862 - North Barracks South Barracks

A Brief History of Norwich University

In 1835, the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy became “Norwich University,” by virtue of an act of incorporation granted by the legislature of Vermont the previous year. Captain Alden Partridge remained at the head of the institution until 1843, and soon after sold the buildings and grounds to the Trustees of the University. There was one feature in the scheme of education established at Norwich University which honorably distinguished it from nearly all other similar institutions of its time in New England. From the first it was wholly free from sectarian influence. This principle was prominently set forth in

Norwich Vermont in the Civil War

During the four years of war for the suppression of the Rebellion, Norwich furnished 178 different men for the armies of the Union. There were seven re-enlistments, making the whole number of soldiers credited to the town 185. By the census of 1860, the number of inhabitants was 1759. It appears, therefore, that the town sent to the seat of war rather more than one in ten of its entire population, during the four years’ continuance of hostilities. About the same proportion holds good for the state at large, Vermont contributing, out of an aggregate population of 315,116, soldiers to

Norwich Vermont in the War of 1812

In the spring of 1812, war with Great Britain again seemed imminent. Causes of complaint against the aggressions of the British government had existed for a long time, and the irritation was now increasing on all sides. It did not seem possible that actual war could much longer be postponed, although public opinion in the United States was still far from unanimous for an immediate appeal to arms. Norwich, as had been her wont in Revolutionary times, again let her voice be heard when great public and national interests were being agitated before the people. At the close of a

Norwich Soldiers in War with Mexico

Names of soldiers from Norwich Vermont in the War with Mexico T. B. Ransom, Colonel 9th United States Infantry. Killed at Chapultepec, September 13, 1847. Henry O. Brigham, Drummer 9th United States Infantry. Died at Detroit, Mich. James Crangle, Hudson Kimball, Oramell Chamberlain, Ezekiel V. Hatch, George Hatch, Rowell, Elijah Hatch. Died at Tunbridge, Vt. Frederick K. Spear. Died at West Point, N. Y.

Norwich Vermont in the Revolutionary War

The sources of information in regard to the part taken by the town in the Revolutionary struggle are few and scanty. The earliest allusion in the town records to this important epoch of the country’s history is found in the election of a Committee of Safety at the annual town meeting, March 11, 1777. This committee was five in number: Deacon Joseph Smalley, Samuel Hutchinson, John Hatch, Captain Hezekiah Johnson and John Hopson. There is much reason to believe, however, that this was not the first Committee of Safety that acted for the town; but was a new committee selected