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The rapid progress in popularity [population] and improvement, and the many surprizing incidents that have taken place during the short period of your existence as a state, will furnish material for some able historian, to give the world an history, that shall be both entertaining and instructive. I conversed with men of genius, whose minds had been improved by a liberal education, and appeared to be well acquainted with the arts of state policy. But there was one thing that fell under my observation, which gave me some uneasiness, and which if not remedied in time, may prove fatal to those rights and liberties which you have purchased at so dear a rate. What I have reference to is the manner of electioneering.
The using of undue influence in matters of this kind, destroys that freedom of election, which ought to be held dear and sacred by a people who mean to secure their independence, and transmit the blessings of it to posterity.
This is an evil under which Great Britain groans to this day, who are compelled to submit to the domination of those elected to office by bribery and corruption, and afterwards taxed to pay the expence. And though it sometimes happens that gentlemen of real worth are brought forward in this way, who honour their appointments, and are a blessing to society of which they are members: yet in how many instances are men promoted, who are altogether unqualified for the higher walks of government into which they are introduced, and steal into office through the mistake of mankind. Had they continued in the more obscure paths of life, they might have proved good citizens as well as useful members of society; but their being placed in a sphere for public action, the business of which they are unacquainted with, proves a real injury to themselves, and entirely frustrates the end of their appointment.
There are some who thrust themselves forward by the mere dint of a brazen front, and those low intriguing arts despised by men of sense and honesty, by which they intimidate some and allure others of the lower class; whereas if such designing men were only stripped of their property, and presented in their true light, [they] would soon sink into their original nothingness, and become objects of ridicule and contempt. But I shall remark no farther; to conclude with the words of the poet, In times of general agitation,
Some rise like scum in fermentation:
Side down to get themselves a-top:
And when they've gained their favourite point,
For want of strength can't move a joint.
As useless as a leaky cask,
Or like a furnace out of blast;
Who shortly must be laid aside,
Like horse, unfit to draw or ride.*
The emphasis on the word "furnace" clearly indicated that Matthew Lyon was the object of this censure. He was at that time running both a furnace, at Fairhaven, and the western district for Congress against Israel Smith and Isaac Tichenor.-See A. N. Adams's History of Fairhaven, p. 419. Moreover, he was publicly charged as an adept in two arts "the art of making politics malleable, and the other the art of selling civil offices for proxies."-See Vermont Gazette of Oct. 17 1791.
*NOTE BY THE EDITOR.--These lines were adapted from Trumbull's McFingal, Canto III:
For in this ferment of the stream
The dregs have work'd up to the brim,
And by the rule of topsy-turvies,
The scum stands foaming on the surface, &c.
NO SLAVES IN VERMONT IN 1791.
The official printed reports of the Census of the United States, from 1790 until 1870, assigned 16 slaves to Vermont in 1790, all in the county of Bennington; but, in preparing the report of the Census of 1870, a critical examination of each previous Census was made, and one of the results was the discovery of the fact, that the persons charged to Vermont in 1790 as slaves were free blacks, and were so returned by the marshal of the State. This discovery was made by a Vermonter, GEO. D. HARRINGTON, Esq., Chief Clerk in the Census Bureau. It is strange that such an error should have passed uncorrected for eighty years, and the more strange when it is evident that the error was known in Vermont in 1791. The following, from the Vermont Gazette of Sept. 26 1791, is to the point:
The return of the marshal's assistant for the county of Bennington states, that there are in the county 2503 white males over sixteen years of age, and 2617 under that age. 5559 white females. 17 black males over and 4 under 16. 15 black females. Total of inhabitants, 12,254. To the honor of humanity NO SLAVES.
The foregoing agrees with the census report in the total number of population, and disagrees only in the classification of the blacks.
The reports of the census give the population of Vermont as of 1790, but the census of Vermont was not taken until 1791.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED
AMENDMENTS ADOPTED IN 1791.
The first Congress, Sept. 25 1789, proposed to the States twelve amendments to the Constitution of the United States, ten of which were ratified by the requisite number of States. These are the first ten amendments now attached to the Constitution. Two of the proposed articles failed. Vermont, however, ratified the whole, by an act passed Nov. 3 1791. The two articles rejected by other States were as follows:
Article the first.-After the first enumeration required by the first Article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every thirty thousand, until the number shall amount to one hundred, after which, the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than one hundred Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every forty thousand persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to two hundred, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall not be less than two hundred Representatives, nor more than one Representative for every fifty thousand persons.
Article second.-No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.-Hickey's Constitution, sixth edition, p. 33.
THE ELEVENTH AMENDMEnt, adopted JAN. 8 1798.
From the Vermont Assembly Journal of Oct. 25 1793:
The Governor and Council appeared in the house, when his Excellency made the following communications, viz.
A circular letter from his Honor Samuel Adams, Esquire, Lieutenant Governor in and over the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,' dated October 9th, 1793-accompanied with
1 Acting Governor, Gov. Hancock having died on the day preceding the date of Mr. Adams's letter.
The Speech of his Excellency John Hancock, Esquire, late Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to both branches of the Legislature of said Commonwealth, at their sessions begun and held at Boston, Sept. 18th, 1793, agreeably to his Excellency's proclamation-with the answers of the two branches of the Legislature-together with the following resolutions of the Legislature of Massachusetts, viz.
"COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. IN SENATE, Sept. 23a, 1793.
"Whereas a decision has been had in the Supreme Judicial Court of the United States, that a State may be sued in the said Court, by a citizen of another State; which decision appears to have been grounded on the second section of the third article in the constitution of the United States:
Resolved, That a power claimed, or that may be claimed, of compelling a State to be made defendant in any court of the United States, at the suit of an individual, is, in the opinion of this Legislature, unnecessary and inexpedient, and in its exercise, dangerous to the peace, safety, and independence of the several States, and repugnant to the first principles of a federal government.
"Therefore, Resolved, That the Senators from this State, in the Congress of the United States, be, and they are hereby instructed, and the Representatives requested, to adopt the most speedy and effectual measures in their power, to obtain such amendments in the constitution of the United States, as will remove any clause or article of said constitution, which can be construed to imply or justify a decision, that a State is compellable to answer in any suit, by an individual or individuals, in any court of the United States.-And his Excellency is hereby requested to communicate the foregoing resolves to the Supreme Executives of the several States, to be submitted to the consideration of their respective Legislatures.
Sent down for concurrence. "In the House of "Read and concurred.
SAMUEL PHILLIPS, President. Representatives, Sept. 27th, 1793. EDWARD H. ROBBINS, Speaker.
By the Governor approved, Sept. 27th, 1793. JOHN HANCOCK. "A true copy,
JOHN AVERY, jun. Secretary."
Samuel Adams to Thomas Chittenden.
The letter of Samuel Adams has been preserved in the Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 65, and is as follows:
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS. BOSTON, October 9th 1793. Sir, The papers which I have the honor to inclose to your Excellency, contain the Speech of the late Governor,' & the proceedings of the Legislature of this Commonwealth, upon a principle of National Government, in which each State in the Union is equally interested.
A Mandatory precept of the Supreme Judicial Court of the United States, having been served by the Marshal of the District of Massachusetts, on his Excellency John Hancock Esq. late Governor, & James Sullivan Esq. the Attorney General of the Commonwealth, directing their appearance in that Court, to answer on the behalf of the Commonwealth, to a complaint filed by William Vassal, it became necessary to
For the speech of Gov. Hancock, see Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 38, p. 114.
call the Legislature into Session: The Governor therefore, with the advice of the Council, convened the General Court.
The claim of a Judiciary Authority over a State possessed of Sovereignty, was of too much moment to be submitted to, without the most serious deliberation. The Legislature of this Commonwealth has treated the subject with an attention, commensurate to the importance of the power demanded; & as you will please to observe by their proceedings, have resolved, that it is unnecessary & inexpedient; & in its exercise dangerous to the peace, safety & independence of the several States, & repugnant to the first principles of a Federal Government.
The support of the Federal Government is an object of high importance in the mind of every true friend of the Union; but it is easily discerned, that the power claimed, if once established, will extirpate the federal principle, & procure a consolidation of all the Govern
The resolutions of the Legislature made it the duty of the late Governor to communicate their proceedings on this subject, to the Governors of the several States; but the melancholly event of his death intervening, it becomes my duty, as Lieut. Governor of the Commonwealth, to make the Communication: And I do it with great cheerfulness, because my opinion fully accords with the determination of the Legislature, who have requested it.
As this is a question of so interesting a nature, & in which all the States are equally concerned, there seems to be a propriety in a free communication of their sentiments upon it: And it is hoped that, when the Legislature of the State, over which you have the honor to preside, shall be in Session, & contemplate the importance of the subject, this Commonwealth will find itself greatly supported by the Wisdom of their measures, & their salutary & candid advice.
I have the honor to be, sir, With great Respect & Esteem, Your Excellency's Very hble Servt. SAML ADAMS.
His Excellency Thomas Chittenden Esq”.
In October 1792, Isaac Tichenor was requested by the Legislature to act for the State in the settlement of Ira Allen's accounts as State Treasurer and Surveyor General, Allen having proposed to enter a suit against the State in the U. S. Circuit Court for the District of Vermont. Oct. 20 1793, Tichenor by letter informed the Speaker of the House that, being unable to attend court, he had appointed Darius Chipman to take charge of the suit, “who attended and prevented the entry of the action.” ' This was five days before Gov. Chittenden communicated the resolutions of Massachusetts; and doubtless in consequence of this order of
1 Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 67. In the same, Vol. 38, p. 123, is Allen's writ declaring against the State for fifteen thousand dollars. The officer levied on the townships of "Carthage and Woodbridge, so called," and described by the bounds of the present towns of Jay [Carthage] and Troy [Woodbridge]. In the original charter of Woodbridge that township is bounded on the west by Alburgh, and that charter covered, in part at least, the New Hampshire grant of Highgate. evident, therefore, that, after the original charter of Woodbridge had been abandoned, Allen transferred the name of "Woodbridge" to the township now known as Troy.