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Courts of Law, for Lands Granted by your Legislature, which in fact is, & must be considered by your Courts as the most Legal title he can have, & which nothing but an Act of your Legislature can do away, which I flatter myself cannot be avoided, when it is Considerd the manifest injustice I am likely to suffer; I therefore request Your Excellency may lay this letter, with the Attested Copy of the Original Grant & its translation' which I herewith transmit, before your Legislature in June Next, a Grant in fact older not only than your State but than most of the members that Compose it, & Confirmd by the capitulation at the Conquest of this Country [Canada] & By the treaty of peace [between France and England] afterwards in 1763, & Independt of many other Arguments which might be brought in support of my Claims & of which I have talked fully to Coll. Allen, my present situation in respect to you, is so like your former Situation in respect to N-York (even if the French Governm as Coll. Allen Alledges had no Right to Grant Lands to the Southward of 45°) that by bringing the matter home to yourselves, you will in a Stronger manner feel the injustice you were about to do me who have paid dear for those Lands & already have been at so considerable an Expence in Settling them
I have also requested Coll Allen (who I make no doubt will obtain an Equivalent from you) to get my Original Grant registred in your State & that in Case they are Confirmd by Your Legislature, he may Send me a Copy of such Confirmation, but if Contrary to my expectations, & those Ideas of justice & policy which Should naturally Engage you to wish to establish a Character with your Neighbours by a Connexion with Whom nature has pointed out reciprocal Advantages, & that my Grant Should not be Confirmd by Your State, You (who have been in a like situation) Can better Conceive than I Express What my feelings Will be When deprived of so Considerable a part of my property. I have the Honor to be With Great Respect & regard Y Excellencys Most Obedt & Most Hble Serv HENRY CALDWELL.
Gov. Chittenden complied with Caldwell's request, on the 14th of June 1785, when the letter and accompanying papers were read in the Assembly, and postponed to the October session. Strong as was the appeal to the sympathy and generosity of the State, the relief asked could not be granted, and subsequent events proved that no very great injury resulted to Caldwell's estate, or to those citizens of Alburgh who held under him. The latter got their land by possession, and Caldwell's son and heir sold the remainder of the claim to Heman Allen of Highgate, for whom the price paid, with consequent expenses in suits, proved to be a bad investment.
INTERFERENCE OF BRITISH OFFICERS AND ACTION OF VERMONT IN 1792.
From the printed Assembly Journal of Oct. 15, 1792 :
The Governor and Council appeared in the House-when his Excellency made the following communications, viz.
4th. Copy of instructions from his Excellency the Governor, to Mr. Stanton, directing him to proceed to Alburgh, and make enquiry rela
These documents, the original grant in the French language and a translation of it, are in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, pp. 108-110.
tive to Enos Wood, Deputy-Sheriff for the county of Chittenden, being taken by a British guard and conveyed to St. Johns.
5th. A copy of a letter from his Excellency Governor Chittenden, to his Excellency Alured Clarke, Governor of the province of Quebec, requesting an explanation of the conduct of the aforesaid British guard. 6th. Directions to Levi Allen, Esq. to proceed to Quebec with the abovementioned letter.
8th. A copy of a letter from his Excellency the Governor to the President of the United States, informing him of the conduct of the British guard aforesaid.
9th. A letter from his Excellency Governor Clarke, to his Excellency Governor Chittenden, in answer to the letter above cited.
10th. A copy of another letter from his Excellency Governor Chittenden, to the President of the United States, enclosing a copy of Governor Clarke's letter.
11th. Two letters from the Hon. Thomas Jefferson, Esq., Secretary of the United States, dated the 9th and 12th July, 1792, in which were sundry papers enclosed, relative to the disturbances occasioned by the abovementioned British guard.
12th. Sundry affidavits relative to the above communication.
The above communications being read, were all referred to Messrs. [Daniel] Farrand, I. [Israel] Smith, and E. [Elijah] Sheldon, to join such Committee as the Council shall appoint, to state facts, and make report.
The papers above submitted to the General Assembly in 1792 were as follows:
Gov. Chittenden to Joshua Stanton.
WILLISTON June 10th 1792 Sir I have received verbal information, that the Capt. Commanding at Point au fair, on the last week, with a party of men under his command came to Alburgh and there in a hostile rioutous and illegal manner obstructed and oppossed Mr Enos Wood, a Deputy Sheriff under Col. Pearl, high Sheriff of the County of Chittenden, in the execution of his office & duty and made him, together with two others, his assistants, prisoners. In order to know the particulars of this conduct, you are hereby requested without loss of time to go to Alburgh and there make inquiry and procure authentic evidence of the facts-and on your way, you will call on Major [Nathan] Hutchins, of the north Hero, who I am informed was present at this transaction, to know of him the circumstances and also request him to be at Burlington on Wednesday next, where I shall be, personally to give me what information he has of the business. You will also call on Esqrs. [Benjamin] Marvin and [Samuel] Mott of Alburgh and request them to give me particular information in writing whether the inhabitants of that town have organized agreeable to the orders I have heretofore given-and what is the appearance of the disposition of the people with respect to this government. I am &c
Gov. Chittenden to acting Gov. Clarke of the province of Quebec.
To his Excellency Alured Clark Esq"
WILLISTON June 16th 1792
Sir A British Capt with an armed force leaving his post and penetrating eight or nine miles within the acknowledged jurisdiction of
'From a copy of the letter in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 48.
Vermont, and there imprisoning an executive officer of this government in the peaceable execution of his office, and by force of arms rescuing and withholding from him property taken into custody by a civil process for satisfying a just demand of debt; conveying the officer and two of his assistants under guard at [to] St Johns and there confining them in a common guard house; forcibly taking and detaining from him the precept he had been executing; imprisoning a justice of the peace under this government while he was quiet in his own house and carrying him to a british garrison and there paroling him as in a time of open war; and all this at a time of perfect tranquility between the two governments, has an appearance both novel and extraordinary-but as novel and extraordinary as this may be, these are transactions that have taken place by the command of De Chambault, captain at point au fair, within a few days past.-I feel myself therefore obliged immediately to request from your excellency an explanation of this unprecedented conduct and unprovoked insult upon the government of Vermont, or at least to know whether it has been done with your excellencys knowledge, direction, order or approbation.
I am Sir your humble Sert
To Mr. Levi Allen
Gov. Chittenden to Levi Allen.
WILLISTON June 16th 1792.
Sir I request that you will without loss of time repair to the city of Quebec and personally deliver to his Excellency Gov. Clark, my letter herewith sent you-and wait a reasonable time for his answer. I have also sent you copies of sundry affidavits, which you will make use of to assertain the facts stated in my letter, should you find it necessary.You will return as soon as the nature of the business will admit, and immediately make known to me, such communications relative to this business as you may obtain. I am Sir your humble Sert
Another letter to Allen, of the same date and purport, seems to have been designed for credentials. It is filed Governor Chittenden Orders on the Service of the State 1792."
Gov. Chittenden to President Washington.
To the president of the United States
Sir-The unprovoked insult lately offered to this, and the united government by the commanding officer of a british Garrison within the jurisdiction of the united States; is so flagrant a breach of the Laws of Nations, and the late treaty with great Britain; that I feel myself under obligations to give you the earliest information of it. I have enclosed you sundry affidavits, to which I refer you for the particulars.-Inclosed also is a copy of my Letter to the Governor of Canada of the 16th instant.-As soon as I receive an answer I shall without loss of time, communicate it to you, together with such other circumstances as may here
'From a copy in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 52.
2 For copies of both letters, see Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, pp. 49, 50.
after come to my knowledge.-I am with the greatest respect your Excellency's very humble Servant THOMS. CHITTENDEN. Williston, June 16th, 1792.
True copy from the Original.'
Acting Gov. Clarke to Gov. Chittenden.
QUEBEC 5th July 1792.
Sir Your letter of June the 16th delivered by M2 Levi Allen did not reach my hand until the 30th of that month.
Your representation leading to Questions beyond the sphere of my Trust, and being unaccompanied with the Proofs to be expected with Complaints of that kind, I can only give command for the Investigations to be obtained here on a Subject of such Importance to the Peace of the Border.
If the Result shall be a Report affecting Points that belong to National Discussion, the information collected will go from me into such Channels as may bring the Report I receive with the Documents for its Verification under the Consideration of the Sovereignty I serve; and with these I shall not fail to transmit a Copy of your letter.
I am to presume, that a similar Deference will be held by yourself, towards the Power, to which the State you Govern is reputed to be Subordinate, and I trust in the Wisdom of the Negotiations and Councils of the Sovereignties concerned, for the Maintenance of the Faith of Treaties, and the Preservation of the Common Tranquility. I am, Sir, your very humble servant ALURED CLARKE.2
Gov. Chittenden to President Washington.
VERMONT WILLISTON July 16th 1792. Sir, Before this time I conclude you have received my Letter of the 16th of June Inclosing Sundry affidavits relative to the abuses lately offered this as well as the united States by the officers & Soldiers Stationed at Point au fair together with a Copy of my Letter to Lieu Governor Clarke upon the subject
I now have the Honor to Transmit to your Excellency a Copy of Governor Clarke's answer to me I shall make no Comments upon the equivocal and evasive manner in which it is written
as I was Sensible that the Conduct of this garrison might Involve questions of national Importance and desarve a national discursion I took the earliest opportunity of transmiting to your Excellency the Information I had recieved upon the subject but as the Injury was more immediately felt by the Citizens of this State I consider my Self Justifiable in requesting of the Commanding officer at Quebec an Explanation of so new and unprecedented abuses from that Quarter Imprest with the Idea that what had been done was without his order or approbation. I Submit to your Excellency how far I have acted prudent in this Business or what father or differant measures I Should have taken
I think it my duty further to observe that Alburgh is a tongue of land Seperate from the main land Cauled Point a fer by the waters of Lake Champlain Containing abought Sixteen Thousand acres and is from three to Ten miles distant from the Garrison it Contains between Sixty & Seventy heads of famileys Including abought five Hundred Souls
'From copy in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 51.
2 From the original, in Ms. Vermont State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 53.
A part of the Settlers Possessed the Land as an old french Seignory the other part as a grant under the authority of the State of Vermont. the former Settlers finding their Title Involved and wishing to avail themselves of a Title under Vermont in order to secure to themselves the reward of their toils Assembled with the other Inhabitance and Early in the month of June organized as a Town agreeably to the Laws of this State and took the Necessary oaths to Intitle themselves to the privileges of freemen and Citizenship within this State and are (a few only excepted) Solicitous not only to be protected but Governed by the Laws of this & the united States
at the Last Session of the legislature in this State Two Justises ware appointed resident at Alburgh who ware soon after sworn into office. previous to their appointment the Inhabitance had not been the Subjects of any civil Government but the place had been too much a randezvous for outlaws and fugitives from justice as their views are now meritorious it is to be hoped that every attempt to defeat them will meet its deserved recompence
I bave the Honor to be your Excellency very ob' Sarvt
Thomas Jefferson to Gov. Chittenden.
PHILADELPHIA, July 9th. 1792. Sir, I have the honor to enclose you sundry papers communicated to me by the British Minister residing here, which have been duly laid before the President of the United States, and further to solicit from your Excellency information as to the facts therein stated, and while I am authorized to assure you that the government is proceeding sincerely and steadily to obtain by the way of negotiation a relinquishment of our territory held by the British, I am at the same time to press that no measures be permitted in your state, which, by changing the present state of things in districts where the British have hitherto exercised jurisdiction, might disturb the peaceable and friendly discussion now in hand, and retard, if not defeat, an ultimate arrangement.
I have the honor to be with perfect respect and esteem, Your Exceliency's most obedient & most humble servant,
His Excellency the Governor of Vermont.
PHILADELPHIA 5th July 1792. Sir, I have the honor of submitting to your consideration copies of certain papers, which I have received from Canada. They contain information that some persons, acting under the authority of the State of Vermont, have attempted to exercise legal jurisdiction within districts now occupied by the King's troops, and have committed acts of violence on the persons and property of British subjects residing under the protection of his Majesty's Garrisons.
At this period, when the grounds of the subsisting differences between our respective countries are become the subjects of serious and temperate discussion, I cannot but entertain the strongest confidence that the general government of the United States will entirely disapprove of the violent conduct observed by the State of Vermont upon this occasion,
From a copy, evidently made in haste, in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 56.