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In a free state, a Militia, well equipt and disciplined, has ever been considered as the great and sure basis of its independence. Impressed with this truth, our sister states have made the greatest governmental exertions, to cherish and invite their citizens to practice the arts of war in times of peace, that they might know how to defend their Country in the hour of danger. In some States, they have furnished the Militia with fire arms, at the public expense, and in allmost all with field artillery. In our state, the Militia are very deficient in military equipments and totally destitute of field artillery. I have frequently made the situation of our Militia the subject of unsuccessful communication, and can only hope, from the patriotism of the present legislature, that the claims of this brave and meritorious part of our fellow citizens will be fully answered, especially as the late peace has probably brought the price of military articles within that rule of economy which ought to regulate public expenditure.

I cannot forbear to mention, with high satisfaction, that our schools and colleges are assuming a very respectable appearance of utility and reputation. It is in the progress and influence of education, knowledge, virtue, and religion, that all orders of men will receive the most substantial benefits that can accrue, either to individuals or to societies.

If necessary, in pursuance of the duties of office, I shall recommend for your consideration any other business by particular message. I sincerely wish you an agreeable session, and firmly hope, that with temperance and wisdom becoming the assembled Fathers of the people, you will conduct for their best interest. ISAAC TICHENOR.

Burlington Oct. 18th 1802.

On the answer of the Assembly to this speech, the parties in the House were pretty nearly divided, and much discussion ensued. The Jeffersonian Republicans carried their address by a vote of 93 to 85.See printed Assembly Journal of 1802, pp. 109–117. The Federalists entered a protest on the journal.-See Ibid. pp. 201-203, and 284-288.


Gentlemen of the Council, and Gentlemen of the house of Representatives: We are again assembled to devise and adopt such measures as will promote the great interest of our fellow citizens.

In the exercise of the duties assigned to us, it may not be unprofitable to look back to the infant state of our Republic, from thence trace the measures pursued by our venerable fathers, to whose wisdom and firmness we are indebted for the rank and privileges of an independent state. It is a tribute justly due to their virtues, thus publickly to acknowledge, that the evils, arising from divisions and party spirit, were not known in their legislative Councils. Their appointments to offices were fixed on men whose disinterested zeal for the public good was manifested more by their acts than their professions. A patriotic spirit of union, in Council and measures, animated their administrations. They subdued the wilderness, they sowed the seeds of science and the arts, and the elder states saw, with surprise, a few united and virtuous Citizens demanding as their right an honorable station among her sister states. It should be remembered, that it was union alone sustained them, in their infant struggles for right, in their noble exertions for sovereignty. It is wisdom in us to adhere to those rules and maxims, by which they regulated

their conduct, and like them, to make the general good the great object of all our public measures.

One important part of the business assigned to us, by the Constitution, is the appointment of public officers; our duty in this respect is plain and easy to be understood: the wisest and best men, those who by precept and example, will cherish obedience to the laws, are evidently the most proper candidates. And while we aim to appoint only such to office, there will be no room for party views and interest to influence our proceedings.

The enacting of laws should ever be a business of mature deliberation. The happiness and safety of society does not depend on the multiplicity of its laws. Laws should be few in number, explicit, and duly enforced. What the operation of a law will be, upon a community, the most discerning cannot often foretell. A partial evil is sometimes noticed upon the promulgation of a law, which is often greatly overbalanced by its more general and beneficial effects. The only sure mode of deciding upon the merits of a statute is to submit to the process of partial experiment. Hence it follows, that Legislatures should be as careful in repealing as in enacting laws. Among the public acts passed by the last General Assembly, it is believed that the act relating to insolvent debtors is not sufficiently explicit and guarded to secure the rights of Creditors, and afford the remedy intended for Debtors. An investigation, by an Assembly possessing accurate knowledge of the operation of this statute, and of some others recently enacted, will determine if amendments are necessary.

By the twenty fourth Section of our Constitution, in order to make sanguinary punishments less necessary, it is strongly recommended, "That means should be provided for punishing by hard labor those who should be convicted of crimes not capital; whereby the criminal shall be employed for the benefit of the public, or for the reparation of injuries done to private persons." Whether the period has arrived, in which this humane and salutary recommendation can be carried into effect, you can best judge; but the weakness of our County Goals throughout the State, the frequent escape of persons convicted for crimes, the great expence sustained by the state and county Treasuries for the apprehension of prisoners, and the yet greater expence of supporting Criminals in our County Goals, impress it upon me as a duty, to draw the attention of the legislature to the erecting of a State prison. I may here add, we have not to venture the expence upon the uncertainty of experiment, but the benefits and even profits of a public penitentiary house or state prison has [have] been abundantly proved in a number of the neighboring States.

In a just arrangement of our fiscal concerns much advantage will result to the people. While we are careful to supply the Treasury with such sums of money as the public exigencies require, it will at all times be useful to pay a strict attention to public expenditures, and to ascertain from time to time, the amount of monies drawn for the support of different branches of our government: for this purpose, the public accounts will be laid before you.

The state of our Militia has strong claims on your attention: by an official communication from the President of the United States, it has again become my duty to invite you to a consideration of this subject: this communication, together with a return of the effective force of our Militia will be laid before you. They are respectable for numbers, they are brave; they inherit the spirit of their fathers: to preserve this spirit, they must be well armed and equipped: this cannot be effected without legislative aid. Our safety and freedom essentially depend on this class

of our fellow citizens. It is our highest interest, as a nation, to engraft the character of the soldier on the citizen, and to cherish that spirit, which gave us independence. It will be a sure and cheap defence.

While the horrors of war are again taking place in some of the nations of Europe, I cannot but congratulate you on the happy state of peace and tranquility that pervades the United States. A country that steadily pursues the business of Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and science and avoids war, except in defence of her just rights, is in the surest way of national prosperity and improvement. The glory derived from the increasing population and happiness of a country, is far more eligible and useful, than any thing, that can be obtained by making war, on any nation, or being distinguished by the destruction of the human race.

I shall be happy, Gentlemen, to cooperate with you in any measures that may serve to promote the interest and honor of the state: And I trust that we shall all bear in mind, that the public business will always be done to the greatest advantage, when it is done in the exercise of wisdom, of candor, and of moderation.


For the answer of the Assembly to this specch, see Assembly Journal of 1803, pp. 36, 37.



The resolutions of Kentucky, adopted Nov. 10 1798, were drawn by Mr. JEFFERSON, and the first of the series was in these words:

Resolved, That the several states composing the United States of America, are not united on the principle of unlimited submission to their general government; but that by compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States, and of amendments thereto, they constituted a general government for special purposes, delegated to that government certain definite powers, reserving, each state to itself, the residuary mass of right to their own self-government; and, that whensoever the general government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force; that to this compact each state acceded as a state, and is an integral party; that this government, created by this compact, was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but, that as in all other cases of compact among parties having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress.

The resolutions then went on to specify several acts of Congress and constructions of the constitution as infractions of that instrument, and closed by inviting the several states to " concur in declaring these void and of no force," and to "unite with this Commonwealth in requesting their repeal at the next session of Congress." These resolutions were condemned by several of the States, and on the 14th of November 1799, Kentucky re-affirmed its doctrine of State-Rights, and in the following words expressly declared that Nullification was the rightful remedy for infractions of the Constitution:

That the several states who formed that instrument being sovereign and independent, have the unquestionable right to judge of the infraction; and that a nullification by those sovereignties of all unauthorized acts done under color of that instrument is the rightful remedy.1

Instead of concurring in the resolutions of Kentucky, the Legislature of Virginia adopted a series of its own, which were drawn by JAMES

1M. W. Cluskey's Political Text Book, 1859, pp. 276–280, 664.

MADISON. These refrained from announcing nullification as "the rightful remedy;" but declared that the powers of the general government resulted from "the compact to which the states are parties;" are "limited by the plain sense and intention" of the constitution; and that "the states, who are parties thereto, have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose, for arresting the progress of evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them."

These resolutions found their final and logical outcome in the secession of the Southern States in 1861, and the War of the Rebellion. The legislators of Vermont in 1799 were wiser than they knew; for while they declared that the Kentucky dogmas would "defeat the grand design of our Union," they did not forecast the holocausts by fire and sword which their sons have most bravely met. The replies of Vermont follow:

IN GRAND COMMITTEE, Oct. 21 1799. Agreeably to the concurrent resolutions of both branches of the legislature, his Exellency the Governor and Council met the House of Representatives in joint committee to take into consideration the Resolutions of the states of Kentucky and Virginia:1 his Excellency in the Chair, Richard Whitney Clerk.

On motion, Resolved, That the said Resolutions be read at large; also that the address of the minority of the House of Representatives of the state of Virginia against the resolutions of the majority of that House, be read.

Mr. Udney Hay then proposed to print the resolutions of Kentucky and Virginia, together with the acts of Congress which were condemned by them, which was negatived.

On motion, Resolved, That a sub-committee consisting of five members, be appointed to take under consideration the said resolutions of Virginia and Kentucky, and report to this Committee an answer or answers expressive of the sense of the Committee thereon. And a committee was appointed of Mr. [Daniel] Chipman, Mr. [John W.] Blake, Mr. [Samuel] Williams, Mr. [Udney] Hay, and Mr. [Councillor Stephen]


Oct. 29. Mr. [Daniel] Chipman, from the sub-committee appointed to prepare and report to the Committee a resolution or resolutions, in answer to the said resolutions of the states of Kentucky and Virginia, reported certain resolutions, which were read as followeth, to wit: THE ANSWER TO THE RESOLUTIONS OF THE STATE OF KENTUCKY. To his Excellency the Governor, the Hon. Council, and General Assembly convened in joint committee, your sub-committee to whom was referred the resolutions of the states of Kentucky and Virginia, beg leave to report the following answer to the resolutions of the State of Kentucky.

The order of the replies of Vermont is changed from that in the Assembly Journal, to correspond with the fact that the resolutions of Kentucky preceded those of Virginia in point of time.

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