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Let me congratulate you, gentlemen, upon the prosperity of our public affairs; both as we stand related to the union at large, and as it more immediately relates to our internal concerns, as an individual state.

The prosperity of the United States should be considered as dear to us as our own; the interests of both are in fact inseparably connected. As a member of the union, we may pride ourselves in the wisdom, integrity, and firmness of the administration of our general government. By its wisdom, the specious designs of the French rulers, to involve us in a ruinous war, have been discovered and frustrated; by its integrity, a rational love of our own country has been adhered to, in lieu of an enthusiastic preference of a foreign power, and the demand of a degrading tribute boldly resisted; and by its firmness, the wanton depredations upon our commerce have been checked upon our coasts, and the ships of lawless freebooters have been subjected to just reprisals.

Though we cannot with propriety be called a commercial state, yet as the sale of the produce of our farms intimately depends upon its exportation from the seaports of our sister states, when their commerce is destroyed, the tiller of the soil is involved in its ruin; and the enemy, who captures the cargo of the merchant, gives a mortal blow to the harvest of the husbandman.

The return of Mr. Gerry, the last of our insulted messengers of peace [to France,] although without effecting the object of their mission, must be considered, by every discerning man, as a fortunate event: an event which must confound the advocates for French amity, dissolve the last ligaments which bind us to that aspiring, perfidious nation, and convince the most obdurately incredulous, that friendly and sincere proffers of amicable accommodation can have no avail with men whose ambition is gain, and whose policy is plunder. The prolongation of a treaty, the manifest object of which was to delude us with the prospect of adjustment and indemnification for our losses, while the most flagrant injuries to our trade and insults to our neutral rights were professedly continued, could not be desirable.

As a respectable member of the union, it behoves us at this momentous period, when the Sovereignty of our nation is threatened, to express in the most decided manner, by our official acts, our confidence in, and adherence to our national government, and to convince France that, notwithstanding the liberal efforts of some deluded and designing men among us, we are not a divided people; and that she may no longer presume upon that intestine division of political sentiments, which has so long invited her insults, and to which so many European Republics have fallen a sacrifice.1

This part of the speech is a response to the appeal of President Adams to Congress and the country, on the speech of the French President Barras as delivered upon taking leave of Mr. Madison as the American minister, in which Barras emphatically denounced "the American government" as condesending "to the suggestions of her former tyrants," and called upon the American people, “always proud of their liberty," never to forget "that they owe it to France."-See American State Papers, octavo edition of 1817, Vol. 3, pp. 489–90. President Adams said, in his message to Congress of May 16 1797:

Such attempts ought to be repelled with a decision which shall convince France, and the world, that we are not a degraded people, humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority, fitted to be

The instructions of our federal executive to our Envoys to France are strongly marked with candour, and breathe the purest desires for peace; while the diplomatic interference' of our Envoys indisputably evidences the rectitude of our national conduct. While, on the other hand, the conduct of the French Directory displays a series of diplomatic subterfuge, and insidious attempts to seduce the affections of our unwary citizens, and inflame the passions of bad men against the administration of our general government; and instead of meeting our demands for redress, upon the fair field of discussion, they haughtily demand of us large sums of money, for the beggarly liberty of uttering our complaints. May we not congratulate ourselves, that a period is put to this deceptive and degrading negociation?

America must now, under God, look to her own rescources. and the valour aud patriotism of her own citizens, for that justice which she has in vain sought from French uprightness, or French friendship.

I rejoice, Gentlemen, that such is the state of our Finances, and the general prosperity of our internal concerns, that we are prepared to meet any exigencies, to which our national concerns may expose us, without any peculiar embarrassments. By the wise provision of our last Legislature, it will appear from the exhibits of our Treasurer, that there is in the Treasury the sum of fourteen thousand dollars, a sum equal to the discharge of our civil expenses, to the payment of the average of the thirty thousand dollars due to the state of New-York, and, it is presumed, sufficient for all the outstanding hard money orders. Give me leave to remark upon this species of state's security, that while our taxes are regularly voted, levied and collected, and money remains in public bank, there appears a manifest want of economy in the issuing orders bearing an interest; which orders have become the subject of trade, are often sold at discount, and the interest seldom profits the honest creditor of government, but oftener enhances the gains of the speculator. Permit me to recommend to your attention the calling in of these orders; and that some provision be made to prevent the issuing of them in the future. As an inducement to this measure it may be observed, that more impediments to the adjustment of the public accounts, with the treasurer, have arisen from this source than from any other.

I shall lay before you some communications from the general government, and from the executives of neighboring states. That from the governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts is of such import it may be proper to communicate [it] immediately, that it may be subject to mature deliberation.

Provision you are sensible is made in the federal Constitution for such amendments as may receive the sanction of the Legislatures of nine states. His excellency, Governor Sumner, has forwarded to me, for your consideration, a resolve of the legislature of Massachusetts, passed June 28th, of the current year, in which, after noticing the expediency "that every constitutional barrier should be opposed to the introduc

the miserable instruments of foreign influence; and regardless of national honor, character and interest.-See same volúme of American State Papers above referred to, p 87.

For the response of Vermont, see address to President Adams in Appendix H.

1 "Intercourse" in the Vermont newspapers.

An error, owing perhaps to the provision that the original constitution should be adopted on the consent of nine states.

tion of foreign influence into our councils," they propose that the constitution of the United States should be so amended that "no person shall be eligible as President, or Vice President of the United States, nor should any person be a senator, or representative in the Congress of the United States, except a natural born citizen; or unless he should have been a resident in the United States at the time of the declaration of independence, and shall have continued, either to have resided within the same, or to have been employed in its service, from that period to the time of his election."

The expediency of this amendment must be referred to your wisdom. I will not presume to dictate, but I think it obvious, that a government can be best administered by its own citizens; and this amendment may perhaps free us from those visionary schemes of policy, which foreigners, unacquainted with the genius, habits, and interests of our community, may rashly intrude upon our national councils.'

The recent and excellent revision of our municipal laws [1797] will necessarily abridge your session; impressed with the propriety of economising the monies of your constituents, I am persuaded you will render it short as possible. No endeavour on my part shall be wanting to forward the dispatch of public business. I wish you, Gentlemen, an agreeable session, and fervently pray the great arbiter of events to direct all your deliberations to the public good.


His excellency the Governor and Council then withdrew.


IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Oct. 12 1798. On motion, Resolved. That a committee of three be appointed to prepare and report an answer to his Excellency's speech to both houses. And a committee was appointed of Mr. [John W.] Blake, Mr. [Daniel] Chipman, and Mr. [Samuel] Cutler.

Oct. 19.-The committee appointed to prepare and report an answer to His Excellency's speech to both houses, reported an answer, which was

read and ordered to lie.

Oct. 20.-The house then took under consideration the answer to the governor's speech, reported to this house on the 19th, in the words following, to wit,

"To His Excellency, Isaac Tichenor, Esquire, governor of the

State of Vermont.

"Sir, As the representatives of the Freemen of Vermont, assembled agreeable to our Constitution, you cannot entertain a doubt, that we are disposed to express the sentiments of our constituents; and, by the aid of the Executive, we trust, fully competent to advance the common interest of our fellow citizens.

"We shall always look to the era of our national government as the commencement of our national prosperity; and under the smiles of Divine Providence, we shall pray for its continuance. United with our sister states, we shall always be able to repel foreign invasion, or chastise domestic insurrection. While from experience, we place great confidence in the executive of the United States, and admire the juvenile feats of our infant navy, we consider agriculture and commerce too nearly allied to suffer a separation. Our interest is immediately connected with the one; our exertions shall tend to protect the other.

"We view, with indignation and concern, the depredations committed 'See Appendix B.

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by the French on our commerce; the insults offered to our government through our messengers of peace; and the insidious attempts, which have been unceasingly made, to separate the people from their government. But, Sir, the veil is removed.-Let us adopt an old motto,Liberty or Death! The French nation, oppressed by their leaders, and deprived of everything like constitutional liberty; their object conquest, and their policy plunder, are unqualified for negociation. We therefore rejoice in the return of our envoys; and may we only speak to them through the mouths of our cannon, until they come to a sense of the injuries they have done us, and a wish to repair them. We feel a national pride, and place full confidence in the valor of our citizens, and

our own resources.

"The situation of our treasury will claim our earnest attention, and every measure in our power shall be used to meet the public exigencies with promptness and economy. The communication from our sister state of Massachusetts is important, and comes from so respectable a branch of the union that it cannot fail of receiving from us full discussion and deliberation. The Constituion of the United States wisely provides for its own amendment: but the power should only be used upon a full conviction of its utility.

"We cannot close this reply to your address without expressing our entire approbation of your administration for the past year; and our sincere wishes that your usefulness may be long continued to your country."

Mr. W. C. Harrington then introduced the following resolution, to wit, Resolved, That the foregoing answer to the speech of his Excellency the governor, delivered at the opening of the house, pass; and that it be signed by the Speaker in behalf of this House; and that a committee, consisting of three members, be chosen to deliver the same to his Excellency the Governor; and that the said committee be nominated by the speaker.

The same being agreed to by the house, Mr. Blake, Mr. [Udney] Hay, and Mr. [Roswell] Olcott were nominated and appointed.1

It will be observed that this war-charged address was agreed to by both parties in the Assembly. On the same day, and immediately succeeding the adoption of the foregoing paper, the question was taken on a like address to President Adams, when twenty-three members voted against it, for the reason that it approved of all of the official conduct of the President.-See Appendix H.

That the voice of Vermont was for war, irrespective of party preferences, is evident from the fact that a forcible appeal from Gen. Eli Coggswell was favorably responded to by the legislature of 1798.-See printed Assembly Journal, pp. 37-39.



His Excellency the Governor and Council appeared in the House, and having taken their seats, his Excellency delivered the following speech, to wit:

'Printed Assembly Journal of 1798, pp. 10-17, 66, 73-75.

Gentlemen of the Council, and Gentlemen of the House of Representatives. The confidence of his constituents affords the highest pleasure an upright magistrate can receive; the continuance of that confidence, expressed in their annual suffrages, gives a sanction to his official conduct, and is indeed his best reward; but even this enjoyment is heightened, when he perceives the state, over which he presides, in the possession of peace and prosperity, and the nation advancing in riches and honor. That I eminently enjoy this rich satisfaction, a cursory display of the public concerns of the state, and the Union, will abundantly illustrate.

In our inland state agriculture attaches primary attention. We have to rejoice that our early harvest has been plenteous, and the latter harvest promises speedily to gratify the brightest hopes of the husbandman. While we deplore the pestilence,' which has thinned the seaports of our sister states, our mountains and our vallies have been the habitations of health: while war has ravaged other countries, our happy interest in the Federal Union has preserved our land in peace: and while domestic tumult has destroyed the tranquility of others, we have to rejoice that no daring insurrection has disgraced our Government; and that our citizens continue to venerate Religion, Morality, and the Laws.

We may congratulate ourselves, that at no period since the formation of our government, were the duties of the Legislature less arduous. By the wise and prudent arrangement of the last and preceding Legislatures, the debts that were contracted in support of our revolutionary war, and for extinguishing the claims of a neighboring state, are now happily discharged; and the people of this state, accustomed to industry. temperance, and frugality, are in general prosperous and happy, under a system of laws wisely adapted to our local situation, and adequate to the general exigencies of Government.

As a state, however, we have the ensuing year to meet some expences which, although reasonable, and by no means burthensome, will call for the exercise of public economy: I allude to the direct tax of the United States, and the sitting of the Council of Censors, which, if the result of their wise deliberations should conclude in calling a Convention, would enhance the demands on the public chest. Perhaps it may not be amiss, on this occasion, to suggest the expediency of the Legislature's giving the efficacy of example to the precept of economy.

The last time I had the honor to address you, our national prospects were clouded, and nothing but a firm reliance, under heaven, in the justice of our cause, and a well grounded confidence in the wisdom of the Chief Magistrate of the Union, and the patriotic energy of our national administration, could have supported the discerning citizen in the assurance of the welfare of his country. But no sooner had the United States assumed a firm and decided attitude, no sooner had our nation equipped and manned her Navy with her native citizens, and enacted salutary laws for the defence and protection of our rights, than foreign aggressors abridged their depredations. Our commerce, under the protection of our Flag, at once revived; and the citizens of the United States, daily experiencing the beneficial effects, manifest their approbation and support: even the combined powers of Europe envy the wisdom and patriotism of our administration, which, without the horrors of open war, has already procured us the respect, and I trust will soon secure us that justice from the French rulers, which they themselves cannot retain, without the sacrifice of abundant blood and treasure.

If, as a member of the Union, we are called upon to defray our pro

The yellow fever, which had been very fatal.

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