Friday, April 8, 2011

Cavendish Semiquincentennial: Revolutionary War

The first settlers in Cavendish Capt. Coffeen and his wife Susanna, arrived in 1769. During the Revolutionary war years 1775-1783, Susanna was the only woman that remained in Cavendish. In 1777, Coffeen’s grain and grass fields, as well as fledgling young orchard, were destroyed when 300 New England troops were stationed on his farm, while working on the Crown Point Road. Later in the year, after the surrender of Crown Point and Ticonderoga, militia, whose terms had expired or where discharged for misconduct, again encamped at Coffeen’s as they made their way home. The tavern house, which Coffeen had established, was immediately filled to overflowing. Those who could not get lodging inside, built fires with the boards that Capt. Coffeen had procured for building a large barn and house. They stripped his home of nearly everything it contained and the turned their horses into his grain. They justified their actions by declaring that the enemy would do it themselves within 48 hours. Capt. Coffeen’s sent his family to relatives in Rindge, NH. For the remainder of the summer, his house became a camp for the vagrant soldiery, several of whom died under his roof.

In this same year, Coffeen was chosen to represent Vermont at the Windsor Convention to form a Constitution for the new State of Vermont in June of that year.

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