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Without this additional dormitory space and increased dining room facilities the Normal School at Keene must not only cease to grow but the public school system in New Hampshire must continue to struggle under the handicap of untrained and unprepared teach
What will the New Hampshire legislature do in meeting this situation?
sider for a moment a backward step.'
"My experience with the different legislators this year has led me to believe they are, as a whole, men who are taking their responsibilities seriously and are anxious to do what they believe is for the interest of the State of New Hampshire, having in mind always that the State is sure to receive value for any expenditure of of money. I believe they will give this subject sufficient consideration and come to the conclusion that the construction of this dormitory would be a very great MENT OF W. E. MASON, THE contributory factor in SCHOOL HAS COME TO RANK HIGH the development of the educational facilities of the State, thereby making New Hampshire a better place in which to
UNDER THE PROGRESSIVE MANAGE
"A study of public education in New Hampshire," declares Huntley N. Spaulding, chairman of the State Board of Education, "shows an almost uninterrupted progress for a long period of years with a decided advance during the past four years under the present educational law, it would be hard to believe that the present administration would con- live."
What was it for-that agony of strife,
Of sorrow, scorn, remorse, and prayer, high vows
The soul with light but laughed to scorn! The wound
Of toilers opened sore again by Gain
Where, crushed with wealth, a nation's Ideal dies!
HE name Ashley is one in Claremont.
a familiar Even late
comers know it as attached to the old and interesting ferry across the Connecticut chartered in 1784. It seems probable that the Ashleys had operated this ferry several years prior to obtaining a charter. It is still in operation and a picturesque relic of the past.
Of the seventy grantees, commonly called proprietors, named in the town charter, October 26th, 1764, the Ashleys, Colonel Samuel, Captain Oliver and Lieutenant Samuel, Jr., were the only ones who ever came to live in Claremont. The Town History tells little about them, and even less about the east and west line, six miles long, which came to bear their name. Since this line may have had something to do with the temporary attachment of their family name to the town or locality, it seems worth while to state where and what it was, and is, for in common with the remarkable persistence of property
lines the world over, many property boundaries in Claremont are fixed today by this Ashley Line.
On the Proprietors' Map of Claremont, drawn on a sheepskin, probably in the fall of 1766, or winter of 1767, may be seen a line parallel to and about five hundred and eighty rods north of of the town's south boundary. This straight line crosses the Great Road near the schoolhouse at the fork of the roads about half a mile southwesterly from Claremont Junction, and half a mile north of the road branching to the ferry, crosses the Bible Hill road a few rods south of the trolley line, cuts Sugar River twice a little north of its sharp rightangled bend about a mile east from the village, the easterly of the two cuts is near the mouth of "Quobbinnight Brook," and again crosses the river very near the Newport
On the Proprietor's Map the land north of the Ashley Line looks very different from that south of it; for
th of the line nearly all of the land marked out into numbered paralgrams representing fifty and hun-1 acre lots, while on the south space is left blank. This is due to the fact that at the first meeting of the Proprietors all of the land south of the line had been appropriated in very large shares by officials of the colony and influential proprietors; most of it was held by them in common; while at the second meeting of the Proprietors, a few weeks later, a committee had been appointed to "lott out ye remaining [northern] part of said Town in such manner as they shall judge most proper and return a Plan thereof to the Proprie tors." The small lots north of the line were distributed to Proprietors of lesser consequence.
At the first meeting of the Proprietors, February 2, 1767, the large tract south of that line, nearly one-third of the entire town, and containing more than seven thousand acres, had been set off as follows: Five hundred acres in the southeast corner to the Governor; three hundred and fifty acres each to his brother, brother-inlaw and nephew,-all members of the Governor's Council,-three hundred and fifty acres each to Lieutenant Governor John Temple, Col. John Goffe and Col. William Symes. These two colonels had long been prominent in affairs, military and civil, in western New Hampshire. The six three-hundred-and-fifty acre allotments were, curiously enough, set off in narrow strips more than five miles long, extending east from the Governor's farm to the Newport line, but they were only thirty rods wide. rods wide. Perhaps it was thought that in long narrow strips the recipients would be. more likely to receive a fair share of hill and meadow, field and forest, than
if set off in shorter and wider parallelograms. The remainder of the large tract south of the line, containing about five thousand acres, was set off to fourteen influential Proprietors including the three Ashleys, apparently to be held by them in common until they should agree upon a division of the land; but no division was ever made, for before the settlers came, Col. Ashley had bought all or nearly all of the land south of the line except the Governor's farm. It is, therefore, not surprising that the line became known as the Ashley Line, nor is it, with such ownership and the prominence of the family, surprising that the town, or at least the southern half of it, became known for a time as Ashley. That the three Ashleys were prominent in the Province, later the State, also in the County and Town, is attested by several hundred entries in the records, many of them printed in the volumes of New Hampshire State Papers. In Claremont's charter Samuel Ashley was appointed to give notice of the first Meeting and was also appointed the Moderator thereof. He acted in that capacity at both the first and second meetings of the Proprietors. He, his sons and his coadjutator, Col. Josiah Willard, managed the business of the newly fledged township in a way to suit their own fancies, friends and fortunes, particularly the latter, for, prior to the Revolution, the business was mainly speculation in land.
Col. Ashley was named as a grantee in the charters of Dupplin, later Lempster, of Winchester and Hinsdale, all in 1753; of Grantham in 1767; of Grafton in 1769; of Jefferson in 1772; also of several townships in the New Hampshire Grants, now Vermont; among these historic Westminster in 1752, and even more his
(1) The tradition, heard related in the writer's boyhood, was that Quobbinnight Brook received its quaint name (See Walling's Map of Sullivan County. 1860.) from the following circumstance: Residents of a place called Quobbin in Massachusetts had come up to spy out the land with a view to "squatting," and had camped near the brook. Purchasers of land rights from the Proprietors, learning of this intention, had no desire for their company. They accordingly gathered at night in the near-by woods, discharged their muskets and imitated Indian war-hoops. The Quobbinites hastily departed, never to return. The unique character of the name lends credence to this tradition.
toric Windsor in 1761. In the Windsor charter Col. Ashley's name. the first of the grantees; he was appointed Moderator, and, as in the charter of several other townships his sons, Oliver and Samuel Jr., were also named among the grantees.
The personal and private work of the Ashleys was, as we have seen, dealings in charters and lands. Their public work was, mainly, in that great world event, the American Revolution. Col. Ashley was a member of the several Provincial Congresses convened at Exeter in 1774 and 1775, later a member of the General Assembly of the State. In May 1775 he was selected one of the nine who constituted the famous Committee of Safety for the Province. In January 1776 he was elected a member of the Council which with the Committee of Safety to a large extent managed the government and affairs of the state during the Revolution. He raised a regiment of which he was commissioned colonel. In March 1779 he was chosen one of the two representatives to the Continental Congress; but for some reason declined to serve; perhaps, like many others disgusted with the inefficiency of that body, he felt that he could be of more service by continuing his work in the state and in the army. On the day of sending in this declination he was. appointed one of a committee "to confer with Ira Allen, Esq., agent for the people of the place called Vermont." He was appointed a member of many other important committees by the General Assembly.
At the head of his regiment he marched to the defence of Ticonderoga in May 1777; he served as Brigade Major on the staff of General Stark, and continued in the service under General Gates until the surrender of Burgoyne at Burgoyne at Saratoga. A letter from General Gates, no very
certain compliment, commends his work in that campaign. He probably did as much if not more than any other subordinate officer in the prompt mustering of the very efficient New Hampshire troops during the Revolution. His eldest son, Oliver, represented "Clairmont" in the Fourth Provincial Congress. On July 1st 1775, Oliver, with Jonathan Childs of Lyme, was appointed to confer with the Congress in Massachusetts, and the Assembly in Rhode Island and Connecticut, respecting "the situation of of Ticonderaga, Crown Point & Canada & the Frontiers of New York & New Hampr,.... & relative to any plan of operations in those parts.' From the official report that he traveled 976 miles a long distance. on horseback, in the discharge of his duties between May 17th and November 16th, 1775 we gather that Captain Ashley was fairly active at that time. He was captain of the Claremont company which marched from "Number Four" on August 17, 1777, to fight at the battle of Bennington, his brother Samuel Jr., was a lieutenant in the company. This necessarily brief relation does scant justice to the efforts of the Ashleys in the settlement of the town and in the Revolution; but it suffices, in some degree, to show why the locality might have been called by their
But. was it ever called Ashley? What evidence can be produced to prove the assertion and if produced with what degree of certainty can such evidence be relied upon?
Of local evidence we have, at present, none to offer, and little of any sort emanating from places nearer than London and Paris, but from those cities we have contemporaneous maps, compiled by the best cartographers then living.
To be continued
About the Good Old Days
ISHES and dusting have a philosophic effect upon us. We always recite recite poetry, preferably psalms, over a dishpan, and in the process of getting the GRANITE MONTHLY moved into its new quarters in the Patriot Building, dusting and cataloguing cuts and books and putting old files to rights, we have been evolving a philosophy of moving which in our estimation will compare favorably with Thomas Carlyle's philosophy of clothes.
We haven't worked out details yet. We've got only as far as the main thesis which is that living to-day is like living in the midst of a perpetual furniture moving performance. One is neither here nor there. Hence confusion which would be resolved to simplicity could one move the clock backwards or forwards a few years.
For instance, there may be some satisfaction in living when the U. S. Army Air Service gets the upper hand of man's old enemy weather. In those days Dartmouth, desiring fair weather for carnival day, won't have to go to the expense of weather insurance. They'll just send up an air-sweep to electrocute the clouds and clear up the blue.
Assuredly the times to come have some advantages.
On the whole, however, our vote is in favor of moving back the clock to the Good Old Days.
And strangely enough we believe a secret ballot of the Legislature would reveal a similiar lack of the progressive spirit. Not a few of the law-makers sigh-we have heard them for the good old days when voting was simplified by the presence of the high oracle just across the street, when a man's first duty was to his political bossand there was no second duty.
Which is not to say that no one can get instructions on voting to-day. There is the solemn Vox Populi known as "party mandate," evoked with earnest prayer wherever legislators congregate. And there are other "instructions. . . .' But they all lack the finality and something of the odor of sanctity of the Good Old Days.
Politics were real adventure then. Only the other day a member of the present legislature told us that his first taste of politics came when, as a boy of fourteen, his father, a political leader in his little village, sent him through the autumn woods one night to carry a message to a farmer, who with his two grown sons lived in a lonely little cabin. The message was
"Father says tell you he'll give you sixty dollars for your three cows this
The old farmer smiled shrewdly and stroked his chin.
"You tell your Dad I've been offered seventy-five dollars for them cows this year."
And the boy-who was a politician even in those days-swallowed hard and said:
"In that case, Father said I was to offer you seventy-five dollars for your three cows."
"You tell your father that he shall have the cows!"
And with no mention of politics, no bothersome arguments about issues or personalities, the political deal was closed and the boy went home to report a successful campaign to his father.
The teller of the story is an earnest and upright statesman. He would scorn to traffic in votes to-day. But as he tells the story of that moonlight ride years ago his eyes light up with gleam of regretful reminiscence and longing for the Good Old Days.