Indian Stones talk at Cavendish Historical Society

Indian Stones
Indian Stones plaque in Reading, Vt. Photo provided

CAVENDISH, Vt. – How many times have you driven along Route 106 and seen the “Indian Stones” sign? If you had a chance to examine the stones, you’d see that they describe the birth of a European descent child in 1754. While the stones may be in Reading, the birth took place in Cavendish on what is today the Knapp Pond area.

On Sunday, Aug. 25, the Cavendish Historical Society will be presenting a talk on the story behind the Indian Stones, including the capture of the Johnson family by the Abenaki, their captivity, and their lives afterwards.

What happened to this family that Susannah Johnson would later write in her autobiography, “In justice to the Indians, I ought to remark, that they never treated me with cruelty, to a wanton degree; few people have survived a situation like mine, and few have fallen into the hands of savages, disposed to more lenity and patience. Modesty has ever been a characteristick of every savage tribe; a truth which my whole family will join to corroborate, to the extent of their knowledge. As they are aptly called the children of nature, those who have profited by refinement and education, ought to abate part of the prejudice, which prompts them to look with an eye of censure on this untutored race. Can it be said of civilized conquerors, that they, in the main, are willing to share with their prisoners, the last ration of food, when famine stares them in the face? Do they ever adopt an enemy, and salute him by the tender name of brother? And I am justified in doubting, whether if I had fallen into the hands of French soldiery, so much assiduity would have been shewn, to preserve my life.” Note the text appears as written.

The talk begins at 2 p.m. at the Cavendish Historical Society Museum on Main Street in Cavendish and will include a trip to see the stones. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call 802-226-7807 or email

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