A letter to The Honorable Paul Brigham, Esquire (Norwich)

Burlington 22 of March 1814.

My dear Sir,
I have directed Mr. Babcock to take some scions from Col. Buell’s orchard. You will have the goodness to acknowledge the receipt of them. I shall always be happy to execute any orders of the kind. It will ever give me pleasure to have it in my power to do any thing to promote the cultivation of fruit trees in this state, as well as oblige my hon’d friend.
When the scions shall have grown so as to produce fruit, I will call at Norwich, and eat an apple with you.
I hear the Republicans have gained in N.H. I hope we shall have the pleasure of seeing you again in Montpelier.
With sentiments of the most perfect respect, I am your sincere
friend, J Chamberlain

The Hon. Paul Brigham, Esq.

Paul Brigham was an American Revolutionary soldier and Democratic-Republican politician. He was the second lieutenant governor of Vermont, and upon the death of Vermont’s first governor Thomas Chittenden, served as governor for the last seven weeks of Chittenden’s term. He, Lydia, and their five children lived on what is today known as Brigham Hill.

Paul Brigham served in the Revolutionary War in a Connecticut Regiment. After the war, he paid £300 for 100 acres in Norwich, and became a prominent gentleman farmer, building the house you see on the left. The Brigham family continued to live in Norwich for generations and their apple orchard still flourishes. Below is a photograph of Ernest Brigham pruning the apple trees in the 1940s. Could this tree be a descendant from one of the scions mailed to Paul in 1814?

Thanks to Cody Williams for narrating this letter.