Stick to your aim; the mongrel’s hold will slip,
But only crow-bars loose the bull-dog’s lip;
Small as he looks, the jaw that never yields,
Drags down the bellowing monarch of the fields.

The first man who commenced a settlement in the town of Salisbury, Vermont, on the Otter creek, was Amos Storey, who, in making an opening in the heart of the wilderness on the right of land to which the first settler was entitled, was killed by the fall of a tree. His widow, who had been left in Connecticut, immediately resolved to push into the wilderness, with her ten small children, to take his place and preserve and clear up his farm. And this bold resolution she carried out to the letter, in spite of every difficulty, hardship and danger which for years constantly beset her in her solitary location in the woods. Acre after acre of the dense and dark forest melted away before her axe, which she handled with the dexterity of the most experienced chopper. The logs and bushes were piled and burnt by her own strong and untiring hand: crops were raised, by which, with the fruits of her fishing and unerring rifle, she supported herself and her hardy brood of children. As a place of refuge from the assaults of Indians or dangerous wild beasts, she dug out an underground room, into which, through a small entrance made to open under an overhanging thicket in the bank of the stream, she nightly retreated with her children. And here she continued to reside, thus living and thus laboring, unassisted, till, by her own hand and the help which her boys soon began to afford her, she cleared up a valuable farm and placed herself in independent circumstances in life. 

* For this anecdote and that of Mrs. Hendee, we are indebted to the Hon. Daniel P. Thompson, of Montpelier, author of ” The Green Mountain Boys,” ” Locke Amsden,” &c. In a note to the author, in a letter which contained these anecdotes, he appropriately observes that “the women of the Green Mountains deserve as much credit for their various displays of courage, endurance and patriotism, in the early settlement of their State, as was ever awarded to their sex for similar exhibitions in any part of the world. In the controversy with New York and New Hampshire, which took the form of war in many instances; in the predatory Indian incursions, and in the war of the Revolution, they often displayed a capacity for labor and endurance, a spirit and firmness in the hour of danger, and a resolution and hardihood in defending their families, and their threatened land against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign, that would have done honor to the dames of Sparta.”


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

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