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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 24 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. A's 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—
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
2 Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 185.
Same to Same.1
Dec 7th 1798. Dear Sir, The last Mail deceived me, otherwise I should then have written to you on the subject of the York Debt-since my last to you on this subject-the Comptroller [of New York] says-you may send any sum, even to ten Dollars, to the Treasurer (Robert McClallen) at AÏbany, and it shall be received, & receted-he thinks this will be the easiest and most eligible mode of remittance-the sum is much wanted, and I flatter myself it will be in your power to forward it, soon.
I am your friend
The letters to the State Treasurer, preserved in the Vermont State Papers, give abundant evidence of the great poverty of the people except in land, and that the taxes necessarily imposed, for both the ordinary revenue and the extraordinary payment to New York, were very burdensome. For example: July 20, 1798, John Mattocks, subsequently governor, wrote to his father, Samuel Mattocks, then state treasurer, that he (John) had borrowed fifty-three dollars of first constable Scott of Peacham, "out of that vanity the cent tax," which sum he was constrained to borrow to discharge his court and clerk's fees at the last term of the court. The money was to be repaid on the day this letter was written, but, continued John, alas it is to me unobtainable out of considerable (I might almost say large) sums now due by note book & ex". I cannot raise the inconsiderable sum above mentioned therefore am oblidged to give this letter to Scott [the constable] in payment of the $53;" and then begged his father to take his note and discharge the debt.3 It is evident from the assurance of its comptroller that New York also was in great need.
Letter of Doct. Roswell Hopkins, on resigning the Office of Secretary of State.
BURLINGTON, October 15, 1802. Sir,-Through you it becomes my duty to communicate to the House of Representatives, that I expect shortly to remove from this government, and must decline a re-appointment to the office of secretary of state: an office to which, for fifteen successive years, I have been elected by the, almost, unanimous suffrages of that honourable House. A confidence thus reposed in me, by the guardians of the people, demands my acknowledgments, and I cannot retire from office without expressing my gratitude, and most ardent wishes for the prosperity of the state, in this public manner. I am, Sir, with sentiments of high esteem, Your most obedient Humble servant, ROSWELL HOPKINS.
The hon. the Speaker of the House of Representatives.*
2 In October 1797, a tax of one cent on each acre of land in the state was imposed, to meet the state expenses for 1798, in lieu of a tax on the grand list.
For the letter of John Mattocks see Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 205.
Printed Assembly Journal, 1802, p. 9.
Letter of Hon. David Wing, Jr., on accepting the office of Secretary of State.
To the Honourable Abel Spencer Esq.
Speaker of the General Assembly of the State of Vermont. Sir,-Impressed with a lively sense of the honor conferred on me by the general assembly, in appointing me to the office of Secretary of State, I return therefor my sincere and grateful thanks. When I consider the importance of the office, and my own qualifications, it is with much diffidence I accept the appointment. I consider it very unfortunate for me, that I receive the appointment on the resignation of a man, who has filled the office for a number of years, with the universal approbation of the state; for any error of mine in the execution of the office, will of course be more glaring in the view of the public. However, I flatter myself, that every unintentional error I may commit, will be excused by the candid and honest. D. WING, Jun.
Burlington, Oct. 18, 1802.
DAVID WING, Jr., was born in Rochester, Mass. June 24 1766, came to Montpelier about 1790, and for twelve years served as town clerk, town representative, and judge of the county court, and then was elected to the secretaryship. To this office he was annuallly re-elected until his death, Sept. 13 1806. By his capacity, integrity, and gentlemanly manners, he became one of the most popular of the public men of the State; of which the fact that, while he was a Federalist in politics, Republican legislatures retained him constantly in office, is ample proof. Had he lived, he doubtless would have been employed in many higher offices.— See D. P. Thompson's History of Montpelier, pp. 175–177.
For other papers see as follows: Address of the Council of Censors to the General Assembly, ante, p. 46; Letters of resignation by Gamaliel Painter, ante, p. 95-Truman Squier, ante, p. 173-Gen. William Chamberlain, ante, p. 239—and Luke Knoulton, ante, p. 271.
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, ON LAND AND WATER.
A very large proportion of the acts of the legislature, in the period covered by this volume, levied taxes on the proprietors of land in the new towns in the State, to raise money to be expended in building and repairing roads and bridges - the purpose and effect being to impose a portion of these burdens upon the owners, both resident and non-resident, of the land to be benefitted by the expenditure; but at the same time, by a general statute, each male person, (clergymen and teachers excepted.) between the ages of twenty-one and sixty years, was required to work out, on the highways, a tax of sixteen shillings annually.1 In some special cases lotteries were authorized, the proceeds of which were used in the construction of roads and bridges which were either unusually expensive or of more than local benefit. Within the same period, turnpikes were provided for by acts of incorporation; and the exclusive right to run stages and maintain ferries was in some instances granted.
CHAMPLAIN CANAL, AND NAVIGATION OF CONNECTICUT RIVER. While these necessary works of internal improvement were going on --and the multitude of them made the expense very heavy, there was an equal necesssity for avenues of transportation out of the State, and especially to the seaboard, and it is found that to this matter public attention was turned with more interest and zeal than it had been, at an earlier date, to Ira Allen's project of a canal from the river St. Lawrence to lake Champlain. The earliest allusion to this subject in Vermont is the following in the Vermont Gazette of Sept. 6, 1790:3
'Acts of March 8 1787, and Nov. 1 1792.
2 See Vol. III, pp. 407–420.
About 1784, perhaps later, William Gilliland, of Willsborough, N. Y., wrote as follows:
The region of both sides of Lake Champlain, is now a well inhabited country, and the lands amazingly advanced in value even at present.