Folks started burying their dead in Chippenhook Cemetery in 1792. One of its most famous occupants is Judge Theophilus Harrington, 1762-1813. Harrington is best known for a ruling he is supposed to have issued in the case of a runaway slave from New York. In June 1804, the slave's owner sought to reclaim him. Harrington demanded proof that the claimant did indeed own the slave. The owner produced bills of sale for both the slave and the slave's mother. Judge Harrington said that the documents of title did not go far enough back in time. When the owner asked what proof of ownership the judge would accept, Judge Harrington replied, "Nothing short of a bill of sale signed by God Almighty Himself." Justices Royall Tyler and Jonathan Robinson concurred, and the slave was set free. Their actions were considered by abolitionists as an expression of the Vermont Constitution's prohibition against slavery. The supposed quote from Harrington was engraved on a plaque which was installed in Westminster Abbey by British abolitionists.

Feature Story

Notes and Comment #1

Editor’s note: Fifty-eight years ago, in October 1959, the Vermont Old Cemetery Association, was one year old and published its first newsletter, then called Notes and Comment. Next year is our 60th year and we will be looking back at our history so that we can look forward to the next 60. Here is our first newsletter!

The Vermont Old Cemetery Association got off to a very good start at the organizational meeting on Saturday the 18th of October 1958. The eleven persons who were present at this first meeting became charter members of the Association.

Dues have been set at $1.00 a year. We have also established a memorial membership of $5.00 each which may be taken out in memory of some relative or friend.

Our membership has been growing steadily and the spring meeting on the 2d of May 1959 was quite well attended. Several DAR groups and granges have joined and also the Vermont Society...Read on...

The Vermont Old Cemetery Association Spring Meeting
is May 6, 2017 in Newfane, Vermont

VOCA's Spring Meeting is Saturday, May 6th.

Meeting place: Newbrook Fire Department located approximately a half mile north of the center of Newfane on the east side of Route 30. Meeting starts at 10:00 with coffee hour beginning at 9:00.

Lunch is chicken parmesan with a vegetarian option. Please let Charlie Marchant know if you are requesting a vegetarian meal. Cost of lunch is $12.00 per person and make checks out to Charlie Marchant and mail to Charlie Marchant, PO Box 132, Townshend, VT 05353. Checks should be received by Monday May 1st. Questions? Call Charlie at 802-365-7937.

Afternoon program is a tour led by the one and the only Charlie Marchant of the Stone Arch bridges in the Newfane area that are on the National Registry including the newly restored Scott Covered Bridge.

Point of order...