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Letter of Enoch Woodbridge, on accepting the office of Judge of the

Supreme Court.1

RUTLAND Oct. 29 1794. Sir through you I would communicate to the Honble House that I have this day appeared before his Excellency and taken the Oath of Office as one of the Judges of the Supreme Court in this State agreeable to my appointment.

I would further communicate to the Honble House the high Sense I feel for the Honor conferred on me in the appointment. I feel Sir as if the Lives, Liberties and property of my fellow citizens are to be in some Degree committed to my charge.-I feel it Sir as a heavy Charge-but hope by the ade and guidance of Divine providence & by the good counsel of my Fellow citizens I may be enabled to Discharge the Duties of the Office to Gen' Satisfaction.

I am Sir with Esteem your most Obed and Humb. Servt.

The Honble Dan'. Buck Speaker.


ENOCH WOODBRIDGE was in the continental service in 1779 as Commissary of Issues. Soon after the close of the war he became a citizen of Vermont, residing at Vergennes, of which city he was the first Mayor. He was a member of the Assembly from 1791 until 1795, and again in 1802; a Delegate in the Constitutional Convention of 1793; Judge of the Supreme Court in 1794 and until 1801, and Chief Justice for the last three years of service. He died in May, 1805. His successors in public service were the late Hon. Enoch D. Woodbridge, and the present Hon. Frederick E. Woodbridge, both of Vergennes.

Resignation of Thomas Porter, and proceedings thereon.

From the printed Assembly Journal, 1794:

Oct. 29.-The honorable Thomas Porter, esquire, appeared in the house, and informed them, that from the infirmities of his age, he had been induced to resign the office of a councillor, in this State, and of course his seat in the council had become vacant. After expressing a wish for the present and future prosperity of this and the United States, he withdrew.

Oct. 30.-Mr. Jacob, from the committee appointed to draft an address to the Honorable Thomas Porter, Esquire, reported as follows, viz.

Resolved, That the following address, signed by the speaker and countersigned by the clerk, be presented to the Honorable Thomas Porter, Esquire, who hath lately resigned his seat as a councillor, and that the same be entered on the journals.

Sir-This assembly, sensible of the uprightness and integrity with which you have so long filled the office of a Counsillor in this state, regret that the time has arrived, when you say, the infirmities of age have induced you to retire to the private walks of life. In the name of the freemen, they thank you for the patriotic firmness, with which you have for a long series of years, stepped forth in support and vindication of their liberties. Be assured, Sir, you retire with the approbation of your


From the original, in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 78. "Are" erased and "to be" inserted.

country for your past services, and their ardent wishes for your present and future felicity. DANIEL BUCK, Speaker.


Which was read and accepted. Ordered, That the clerk present the above address.

IN COUNCIL, Oct. 30 1794. The Letter of Address from the Legislature to the Hon'ble Thomas Porter Esq' on his Resignation of his Office as Councillor [was] Read and Unanimously approved by the Council.

Declination of Lieutenant Governor Hunt.

From the Rutland Herald of June 27 1796.

To the Freemen of the State of Vermont.

By your choice, I have had the honor of filling the office of Lieutenant Governor, in and over said state, for the two last years. So far as I could learn my duty, I have endeavoured to discharge it. The suffrages of my fellow citizens, at all times, command my respect. As they were unsolicited in that appointment, they excite my unfeigned gratitude. Should I again be honored with the election, the present arrangement of my affairs will oblige me to decline it. I therefore unequivocally request those who have honoured me with their votes, to give them to some other person. JONATHAN HUNT.

This resignation of the Lieutenant Governor [added the Herald,] will be matter of sorrow to the citizens of this state. While the blessings of heaven follow him in his retirement, may his office be filled with another steady republican; who, disdaining the iniquities of electioneering, like Mr. Hunt, shall find a faithful discharge of the duties of an active and useful life, the surest as well as the most honourable method, of engag ing the suffrages of his fellow citizens.


Governor Chittenden to Lewis R. Morris, Speaker of the House.' RUTLAND, Oct. 15th, 1796. Sir Having Recd the inclosed Letter from the Honble Moses Robinson, Esquire, one of the Senators from this State, to the Congress of the United States, containing his resignation of that office, I have Taken the earliest opportunity to communicate the same to the General Assembly. You will Please to communicate this Together with the inclosed Letter from him.-Am Sir your most Obedient & very Humble Servant. THOS. CHITTENDEN.

Speaker of the House of Assembly.
The letter enclosed was as follows:

RUTLAND, 15th Oct. 1796.2

Dear Sir,-Having an appointment to the office of Senator of the United States, it was my intention to have served the whole term for which I was elected, but the circumstances of my domestic affairs are such as render it wholly incompatible with my interest or duty any longer to hold that office.

1 From the original letter in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 91. From the printed Assembly Journal of 1796, p. 17.

I therefore take this method to communicate to the Legislature, from whom I received the appointment, a resignation of said office. However desirable popular applause may be, yet the consciousness of having acted with integrity and from the purest principles of the love of our country, affords a consolation highly to be preferred. The free suffrages of my fellow citizens for a number of years past, gave me an opportunity to express my attachment to their interest-and be assured, sir, that a just sense of my obligation to my country is too deeply impressed on my mind ever to be effaced, or to [permit me to] be an indifferent spectator of its prosperity or misfortunes. I am, dear sir, with respect, and sentiments of high esteem, your excellency's most obedient and very humble servant. MOSES ROBINSON.

His Excelleny Thomas Chittenden.

Joseph Marsh to the General Assembly.1

To the Legislature of the State of Vermont, now sitting at Rutland: Gentlemen,-Age, infirmity and a wish not to stand in the way of the usefulness of one better qualified, forbid my longer exercising the office of Chief Justice of the County Court for the county of Windsor— Therefore with a grateful sense of the honor done me, by your repeated former appointments-I must request you to consider me no longer as a candidate for that office. JOSEPH MARSH.

Hartford 15th Oct. 1796.

Isaac Tichenor, on his election as United States Senator, to Gov. Chit2 tenden

RUTLAND, Oct. 20th, 1796.

Sir,-By a message from the Secretary of Council, I am informed, that it has been the pleasure of the Legislature to confer on me an appointment to represent this State in the Senate of the United States, as well to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of the honorable Moses Robinson, as for the term of six years.

The confidence placed in me by my fellow citizens, in this instance, excites my most grateful acknowledgments, and demands my best exertions to promote their true interests.

Under these impressions I conceive it to be my duty to decline an acceptance of the office of Chief Justice, which the legislature have been pleased to confer on me, and with the purest motives devote myself to a faithful discharge of the trust committed to me, as Senator of the United States.

I am, sir, with due respect, your Excellency's obedient and very humble servant, ISAAC TICHENOR.

His Excellency Thomas Chittenden, Esq.

To be communicated to both Houses of the Legislature. Nathaniel Chipman was elected Chief Justice by the Grand Committee, vice Tichenor declined.

Gov. Chittenden to Samuel Mattocks, on a case of apprehended defalcation.3 Having been informed that William Sweetser, sheriff of Windsor county, was in danger of bankruptcy, treasurer Mattocks asked the ad


'From the original, in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 90.

From the printed Assembly Journal, Oct. 20, 1796.

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vice of the governor as to issuing extents on which Sweetser as sheriff would receive the money. The reply follows:

WILLISTON 18th of April 1796 Sir I received your Letter of the 2a Instant yesterday have observed its Contents

Alowing the facts Contained in the representation made to you by a Gentleman from the County of Windsor to be true (that you are to Judg of as I have not his name neither have I had opportunity to Question him) I am at no loss to advise you to withhold the Extents from Esq Sweetchers

if this must be done your owne wisdom will direct you as to the manner if you make it known to the County that your Extents will not be sent till Oct Session it will Caus a delay in the Collection of the money the dammeg of which will in nowise Compare with a Total Loss of it

Should you hold back the Extents and Say nothing abought it they [the tax-payers] will Expect them from Weeke to Week and it might put it in Esq' Sweetchers Power to obtain a large Sum of the money and should he fail [as he did] the Constables would Suffer and the Government be kept out of it a number of years

I am Sir yours in Sincerity

Samuel Mattocks Esq".


Samuel Hitchcock, and Roswell Hopkins, Commissioners for revising the statutes, to the Legislature, on the inadequacy of their compensation.

To the honble the legislature of the State of Vermont

The subscribers have flattered themselves by the almost unanimous concurrence of the legislature in the several bills reported by the Committee of revision, that they had executed the trust reposed in them with acceptance and fidelity.

From the short period allowed them for the completion of the business, they have been driven to the necessity of wholly neglecting their private concerns, and of making extraordinary exertions to effect the object. Having been informed of the wages resolved for their services per day by the General Assembly, they consider the same inadequate to the private sacrifices and exertions which they have made, and altho they would be willing to make a partial sacrifise for the good of the public, they cannot feel themselves justified to themselves and families in further pursuing the business for the compensation proposed.-And while they avow the above sentiments for themselves, they are sufficiently authorised to express the same for their friend and colleague Judge Chipman, and therefore must beg to be discharged from any farther attention to the business of their appointment-and have the honor to be, with the most perfect respect, yours and the public's very humble Serts. SAM. HITCHCOCK, ROS HOPKINS.

Rutland March 7th 1797 2 oClock P. M.

Gov. Chittenden to the Freemen of Vermont, declining the office of Governor. July 1797.

My Fellow Citizens.- Impaired as I am, as to my health, I have had thoughts of addressing you on the propriety of preparing your minds in

The mail went once a week.

From the original, in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 98.

the ensuing Election, to place in the Chair a worthy citizen to administer this Government. As the period for that purpose is drawing nigh, your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust. And that the expression of the public voice may be more unanimous, I now apprize you of the resolution I have formed to decline being considered as a candidate at the ensuing election.

Impressed with a sense of your former attachment to my person and character the obligations I am still under to you, together with my continued warm attachment to the interest and welfare of the people of this state, must induce you to believe that unanimity of sentiment, not only in the choice of my successor, but in every exertion to promote the interest and happiness of the people of this state, from whom I have so long had, not only the honor to govern, but also their confidence and approbation, will be to me the greatest pleasure.

That you may be harmoniously united in appointing a worthy and virtuous citizen for that purpose, and that the administration and other parts of the government may, under God, be directed to the best purposes for the peace and happiness of this people is my most fervent wish. The benefits which we have reason to expect will be transmitted to posterity, resulting in our united exertions in the organization and support of this government, will be to me an adequate reward for the many years devoted to your service with an upright zeal.

And while I express my warmest attachment for, and acknowledgment to the worthy Freemen of this state, committing their interests and concerns, together with my own, to the all-wise and benevolent disposer of all things, I shall continue my earnest prayers for the continuance of his favors, and that we may be saved from internal discord and foreign invasion, and that the great and benevolent Jehovah may continue to be our protector. THOMAS CHITTENDEN.

State of Vermont, July, 1797.1

Gov. Tichenor to Samuel Mattocks, on the payment of the debt to New


Nov 22d 1798.

Dear Sir, I omitted to mention to you my earnest wish that the Debt due to the State of New York should be paid as soon as possible-in case any of your neighbours were going to Albany, in whom you could confide, you might send the Money at different times by them & lodge it in the bank of Albany -- this would be an easy & safe mode of making the payment, & when the whole should be remitted, you might personally attend & finish the business-you will not consider, that the State of New York has a right to demand any Interest.

I am in friendship yours—

The Treasurer.


From The Rutland Herald of Aug. 14 1797. In all the Vermont newspapers this letter was erroneously styled "Gov. Chittenden's Resignation," and the historians Williams and Thompson have perpetuated this error.

Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 185.

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