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to say that the French line of latitude, 45° north, had been agreed upon in 1766 by Sir Henry Moore, then governor of the province of New York, and Brig. Gen. Guy Carleton,' then in Canada, and that this line was acknowledged by Great Britain, in the treaty of 1783, to be the northern boundary of the l'nited States so far as Vermont and part of New York were concerned. The maintenance of British posts south of this line, from 1783 to 1796, was therefore a plain infraction of the treaty. The representatives of Great Britain so confessed, but excused the offence on the ground that the United States were at the same time violating the fourth, fifth, and sixth articles of the same treaty. Other important facts necessary to be stated are, that on the first day of November 1744, the King of France had granted the township of Alburgh to Francis Focault ; that after the conquest of Canada, this grant had been confirmed by the King of Great Britain ; that the title had passed from Focault through Gen. Haldimand aud Henry Caldwell to John Caldwell-all British subjects; and that, at the time of this controversy, many citizens of Caldwell's upper manor, alias Alburgh, were in possession of their land under the Caldwells, either by deeds or as lessees. Hence, in the British point of view, the title in Focault's successors was good. Moreover, the fifth article of the treaty of 1783 stipulated
That the Congress shall earnestly recommend (as it did] to the legislatures of the several states, to provide for the restitution of all estates, rights and properties which have been confiscated, belonging to real British subjects, and also of the estates, rights and properties of persons resident in districts in the possession of his majesty's arms, and who have not borne arms against the United States.
Great Britain insisted that this article had been violated by the United States; and when Gov. Chittenden organized Alburgh as a Vermont town in 1792, it is certain that Henry Caldwell regarded it as fatal to his title. It therefore may be concluded, though it is not so stated in terms in any part of the correspondence to which access has been had, that Lord Dorchester and the British minister also regarded the action of Vermont as being dangerous to the Caldwell title, and a violation of the treaty.
On the other hand, Gov. Chittenden had far stronger reasons for asserting the jurisdiction of Vermont over that town. By an act, to which Lord Dorchester himself was a party in 1766, the town was severed from Canada and became and remained a part of New York, in law, until the controversy between Vermont and New York had been settled; it was assigned to Vermont by the resolution of the Continental
Who had become Lord Dorchester at the time of this controversy. · As to the title of Focault and his successors, see letter of Henry Caldwell to Gov. Chittenden, and tlie documents therein referred to, post, p.
456. 3 The Caldwell title finally failed because, as one ground at least, it had not been recorded in New York.
Congress of Aug. 20 1781,' to which New York consented in 1790; by the treaty of 1783 Great Britain confirmed it to Vermont, and Congress also confirmed it by the act of 1791 which admitted the State into the Union. Thus in 1792 Gov. Chittenden had a perfect right, in every point of view, to assert the jurisdiction of Vermont, and also to assert that the establishment of civil government there had no bearing whatever upon the legal rights of citizens of the town claiming or possessing land there, or of Caldwell or other British subjects. The former had ample remedy in the state courts; and the latter, under the treaty of 1783 and the federal constitution, in the courts of the United States."
Thus, in the Vermont point of view, Gov. Chittenden was clearly right, in spiritedly resenting the intrusion of British troops, as well as prudent in committing to President Washington the management of a business which became very dangerous to the peace of the country.
The claim of the Caldwells, father and son, as Focault's successors, really does not belong to this question, except so far as it served as an excuse for the British officers. So much has here been conceded to them. But Gov. Chittenden was aware, quite as well as they, of the grounds of the Caldwell claim, and perhaps better aware than they of its weakness.
The following letter preceded the organization of Alburgh by more than seven years:
Henry Caldwell to Gov. Chittenden.
BELMONT Near Quebec 29th March 1785– S-I had the Honor of writing to Your Excly the 2 of Feby last, to which refer, Since which time I have had the pleasure of seeing Coll Ira Allen & we have had frequent Conversations respecting my property to the Southward of this province, his Claim he tells me is founded on a late Grant from Vermont State in Consideration of his services & the Expences he has been at on Acc of the State, that he had asked for that land in preference to any other, from liking its Situation & the goodness of the Soil, not knowing any thing of my Claim to it, that however he is very willing to relinquish his Claim provided he gets an Equivalent from your State elsewhere, & I believe he is very well Satisfy'd of the justice of your Adopting that measure,
I have mentioned to him what I now have the Honor of mentioning to you, that it would be in vain for me to Contend with him in your
'In the Vt. Hist. Magazine, Vol. II, p. 4996, this resolution is so construed as to exclude Alburgh from Vermont; which is precisely the reverse of its true meaning. Ira Allen drew the line adopted in that resolution, shortly after he had obtained the charter of Alburgh, and by no means intended to give the town to New York.-See his statement in Vol. II, pp. 319, 320.
? These remedies were afterward resorted to, when both Caldwell's and Allen's titles failed, and the landholders of Alburgh gained title by possession.-See Vt. Hist. Magazine, Vol. II, pp. 489, 492; and Vermont Reports, Vol. 3, p. 542.
3 From the original letter, in Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, p. 13.
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, & Condirmd by the capitulation at the Conquest of this Country (Canada) & By the treaty of peace [between France and England] afterwards in 1763, & Independ 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 Yr Excellencys Most Obedt & Most Hble Servt
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 Alburglı 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
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 Chittendan, 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 12:h July, 1792. in which were sundry papers enclosed, relative to the disturbances occasioned by the above mentioned 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, io 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 M". 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, bis 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 bas 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 &cMr. Stanton.
Gov. Chittenden to acting Gov. Clarke of the province of Quebec.
WILLISTON June 16th 1792– To his Excellency Alured Clark Esq”
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 wbether it has been done with your excellencys knowledge, direction, order or approbation. I am Sir your humble Sert.
Gov. Chittenden to Levi Allen.
WILLISTON June 16th 1792. To Mr. Levi Allen
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 leiter 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.
Thos. CHITTENDEN. 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. ? For copies of both letiers, see Ms. Vt. State Papers, Vol. 24, pp. 49, 50.