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As I accept this Appointment, it will now become necessary for me to resign the Office I have for several years past sustained as Judge of the Supreme Court.
Give me leave to assure your Excellency, that my frequent reappointments to that Office have afforded me the most pleasing satisfactory evidence of the approbation of my fellow Citizens. Your Excellency will be pleased to communicate these my Sentiments to the Council and General Assembly, Towards whom, together with your Excellency, I remain with Sentiments of most perfect Esteem.
His Excelly. Thos. Chittenden.
On motion, Resolved, That the Committee do now proceed to the choice of a Judge of the Supreme Court, in the room of the Hon. Elijah Paine.
The ballots being taken, Lott Hall Esq. was declared duly elected.
Letter of Samuel Knight to the General Assembly, on retiring from the office of Chief Justice, and proceedings thereon.1
To the Honorable the General Assembly of the State of Vermont,
Gentlemen, At the time of my retiring from the office of Chief Justice of this State, I beg to be permitted to express to the Legislature the sense which I have of the honour that has been repeatedly done me in being appointed so often to that office. I am fully sensible of the right of the honourable Assembly to appoint any person they think proper, at the head of the judiciary department: and do not at all call in question the wisdom or propriety of the appointmeent which they have made. At the same time I cannot but express a consciousness of the most upright intentions and views in the discharge of every part of the duty of that important office; and I am happy to find upon the most careful enquiries which I can make, that the people of this State have not complained that any part of my official conduct has appeared unto them, to deviate from the strictest rules of Justice, equity, or propriety; these considerations afford me greater satisfaction than the emoluments of any office whatsoever.
Upon retiring from the publick business of the State, you will give me leave to express the most ardent wishes that the Legislature may at all times be guided by the Spirit of wisdom in the appointment of all their judiciary and executive officers: That the Courts of Justice may always remain pure and uncorrupted, in administering Justice to this people: and that the people may continue to enjoy the blessings of freedom and good government to the latest posterity.
Rutland Oct ye 15th. 1794.
From the printed Assembly Journal of 1794 :
Oct. 18.-On motion by Mr. Jacob, Resolved, That the following address from this house be presented to the Honorable Samuel Knight Esquire, late Chief Justice of this state.
Sir,-This house in answer to your respectful address to both branches of the legislature, take the liberty to express to you the lively sense with which they are impressed of the justice, equity and propriety of your conduct, in the discharge of the various duties of the important office of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and of the dignity with which you have so long presided.
'From the original, in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 75.
Of the consciousness of the most upright intentions and views with which you declare you have been uniformly actuated, we are fully convinced.
We are happy to find that you do not question the right or propriety of the assembly in displacing its officers.
And in retiring, sir, from the public business of the state, we wish you may enjoy all the satisfaction appertaining to private and social life,long continue a blessing to your family and society, and when the curtain of life shall drop, receive a crown of Glory that shall never fade away. DANIEL BUCK, Speaker.
Oct. 21.- Whereas the honorable Samuel Knight, Esquire, has never received a grant of lands from this state or the government of NewHampshire and New-York, and it being suggested that there are small gores of land, not granted or claimed by any private individual:
Therefore, Resolved, That the Honorable Samuel Knight, Esquire, have liberty to bring in a bill granting him two thousand acres of land in this state (if there be that quantity unlocated to be found,) under such regulations, restrictions, conditions and reservations, as the legislature shall direct.
An act was passed accordingly.-See printed Laws of Vermont, 1794,
Israel Morey to Gov. Chittenden, resigning the office of Brigadier General.1
Sir I have for nearly twenty years Served my Country in the Military department. I am now so far advanced in life, that I wish for leave to resign my office as Brigadier General in the Second Brigade & fourth Division of Militia.—Iˇthink, Sir, it would be for the interest of the Brigade which I have the honor to command that I should resign at this time. I therefore request your Excellency that you would be pleased to accept of it. I have the honor to be your Excellency's most obedient and humble Servant. ISRAEL MOREY.
Rutland, Oct. 18th. 1794.
His Excellency Thomas Chittenden.
TRUMAN SQUIER, Sec.
William Chamberlain of Peacham was elected vice Morey resigned. Gen. MOREY represented Orford, N. H., in the Vermont Assembly in 1778; and Fairlee in 1786, 1788 until 1791, and 1793 until 1798— eleven years. He was Judge of Orange County Court 1786, 1789, and 1790; also a member of the Constitutional Convention of 1793. It is evident from his letter that his military services included the whole of the revolutionary war. In May 1775 he was a delegate from Orford to a Convention at Exeter, N. H., to take measures to restore the rights of the colonies; and in November of the same year he was delegate to a like Convention at the same place. Samuel Morey, second son of Gen. Morey, propelled a boat by steam in 1792 to 1793, ten years before Fulton constructed his experimental steamboat. Fulton in fact had the benefit of Morey's invention, and supplanted him.-Vt. Hist. Magazine, Vol. II. pp. 893, 894; and Deming's Catalogue.
1 From the original in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 77.
Letter of Enoch Woodbridge, on accepting the office of Judge of the
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 Gen1 Satisfaction.
I am Sir with Esteem your most Obed and Humble 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
1 From the original, in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 78. 2" Are" erased and "to be" inserted.
country for your past services, and their ardent wishes for your present and future felicity. DANIEL BUCK, Speaker.
RICHARD WHITNEY, Clerk.
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 engaging the suffrages of his fellow citizens.
RESIGNATION OF U. S. SENATOR MOSES ROBINSON, IN 1796.
Governor Chittenden to Lewis R. Morris, Speaker of the House.1 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.
RUTLAND, 15th Oct. 1796. 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.
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.4
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 WindsorTherefore 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. Chittenden 2
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.
Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 173.