Facts and Folklore

Cabot is situated in the northeast part of Washington County, Lat. 40.23’; Long. 4.42’.   It is six miles square and is bounded on the north by Walden, on the east by West Danville and Peacham, on the south by Peacham  and Marshfield, and on the west by Woodbury.  Cabot is 21 miles east of Vermont’s capital city of Montpelier, and 18 miles from St. Johnsbury. 

Granted on November 6, 1780, and chartered on August 17, 1781 to Jesse Levenworth and 65 associates.
Cabot was not surveyed and lotted until 1786, when Mr. Cabot, a surveyor from Connecticut, (Almost certainly Marston Cabot, Jr., older brother of Sophia Cabot, for whom the town is named. See:
How Cabot Got Its Name, A Love Story), James Whitelaw and young Thomas Lyford of Cabot, did the surveying.  James Whitelaw carefully made a description of each lot in a notebook, judging if the land was adapted to pasture, farming, was swamp or timber and other identifying information.  There were 6 divisions, each with 12 lots, for a total of 72 lots.

The first meeting of the newly formed township was warned by Alexander Harvey, justice of the peace, and met at the house of Jonathan Elkins, of Peacham, on Monday, June 2, 1786.  At that meeting, Jonathan Elkins was chosen moderator and a Jesse Levenworth, clerk.  By November 3, 1786, they were ready to award lots.  They met at the home of Thomas Chittenden, in Arlington, where Giles Chittenden and Truman Chittenden, both being considered indifferent to the outcome, were charged to draw the lots.  Original lot records show some discrepancies:  lots 31 and 37 were not listed in the James M. Fisher record published in the Vermont Historical Gazetteer, 1867-1891, (page 75), and Mr. Fisher states, "There being but 71 proprietors and 72 lots, it was Voted that lot No. 24 be disposed of, as the settlers now in town should see fit."  However, Fisher clearly listed lot No. 24 for Barnabas Morse; also, he states that lots 71 and 72 were for "town school," and yet lot No. 72 was listed as being drawn for Timothy Newel.  These discrepancies may be due to the difficulties in reading old records, or mistakes may have happened in transcribing or printing.

The 1790 U. S. Census records for Cabot show several names indicating some of those who were originally lotted land in Cabot stayed at least for a few years.  Some who drew lots, had arrived earlier .  

Mr. Fisher mentions that Jesse Levenworth, one of the original grantees, never lived in Cabot.  Mr. Levenworth held land at the southeastern end of Joe's Pond in what was then called Hillsborough.  He had constructed mills there and believed it to be part of Cabot, however, in October of 1786, the Vermont Legislature in Rutland made the decision Hillsborough was actually part of the Town of Danville


The writings here are based on research of historical accounts, old documents and records.  Authors may have taken some liberties to add their own thoughts, and there may be inadvertent mistakes due to misunderstanding or misinterpretation of words, errors in spelling or in transcription, but they are, to the best of our knowledge, true accounts.

Thomas Osgood, by Mary Carpenter, 1975


We label these stories "Folklore" because they have been handed down over the years, told and taught to our children.  They are probably true stories, but cannot be proven.  We wonder at the logic of some of these tales, but since none of us was present, we can only admit these things could have happened and they are worth telling again as part of our early history.

First Settler Comes to Cabot 
Cabot's Bear Story
The Shooting of Gen. Gordon