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All the burden of national concerns is by the Constitution of the United States, deligated to the national Government; to that government it belongs to regulate our intercourse with foreign Nations,-to secure their friendship by every mean, consistent with our national dignity, our national happiness and prosperity ; or, in Cases of the last necessity, with the combined powers of these States, to repel all hostile invasions of our rights.-From this same Government we derive an additional Guarantee of our internal tranquility & the freedom of our Laws & Governmt.
The wisdom with which that Govt has been administered, in the times of the greatest Difficulty and danger-the success which has hitherto attended the national measures-the known experience, firmness, & integrity of those who are placed at the head of its Administration, ought to inspire us with a proper Degree of Confidence in the future, & to excite us to every patriotic exertion, in support of those measures, which, under Providence, may secure the national prosperity. Happily the Constitution of this State & that of the United States, tho' embracing different objects, are founded in the same republican principles, & coincide in the same important end, the security of the Rights & happiness of the People ; Constitutions thus coincident, & confirming each other, leave no room for a difference of principle, but only for a diversity of sentiment respecting measures, best suited to promote the public Interest. There cannot, therefore, be any just occasion among us, for the spirit of party & faction, the greatest evil to which republican Governments are subject; it is only in judging of the tendency & utility of the measures of Govt
. that there can be the prospect of a diversity of Sentiment; while principles are the same the freest debates & the most critical examination of every subject that may come before you will be of the greatest use ; and on every subject while the majority must in all cases decide, temperance & candor will best conduct thë Debate.
The necessary business of the Session will come before you from a variety of sources. From the sudden transision of an appointment in the federal Government to the Office & Duty on which I now enter, it cannot be expected, that I should be prepared to detail to you the public business, which will demand your consideration. Any communications which may have been made to my deceased Predecessor, Govt. Chittenden, shall be laid before you : and while I mention his name, permit me to pay a respectful tribute to his memory. It must be a pleasing reflection, not only to his particular friends, but to our fellow Citizens at large, that under his administration, this Govt. has flourished & obtained a respectable Character among her Sister States. The public good unquestionably was the chief object, to which his political conduct was directed. Gentlemen of the House of Representatives.
The state of the public expences & Revenues is an object which most properly belongs to your Department, & cannot fail to engage your careful attention. The Economy that will prove eventually the most favourable to the People, is to guard agt the introduction of a public Debt; nothing of this nature ought to exist in a time of prosperity & peace; and in whatever form a public Debt may exist, it cannot fail, in its operations, to prove unfavourable to the People. While the public expences are managed with Economy, the easiest way to support them, will be to make the annual provision always adequate to the necessary expenditures. Gentlemen of the Council and General Assembly,
In any measures which may tend to the promotion of education, & the progress of useful knowledge, in this State,-to the encouragement
of industry & frugality, so necessary to the happiness & prosperity of a People,-to insure uniformity & stability to our Code of Laws, without which justice cannot be impartially administered, & to give an extensive & lasting intluence to the principles of Virtue & Religion, I shall be happy to co-operate in your Councils & Labours.
As, by our Constitution & Laws, the powers of the different branches of our Gov! in appointments, in many respects, are to be as well jointly as separately exercised-you will permit me to observe, that it is from among Men of Principle, Virtue anl integrity you will find the best public officers; and it is from [the intluence of] such men that the wisest measures of Govt are adopted, and a steady conformity to the Constitution & Laws of our Country is secured;-By a faithful discharge therefore of the Duties, as well joint as separate, thus deligated, you will exhibit to the good People of this state, an example worthy of their confidence.
[Signed Isaac TICHENOR.]' His Excellency the Governor and Council withdrawing, the house proceeded to business.
On motion, Resolved, That Mr. Israel Smith, Mr. Amos Marsh, and Mr. Speaker [Abel Spencer,] be a committee to draft an answer to his Excellency's speech to both branches of the legislature.
Accordingly, on the 18th of October, Mr. Smith reported an answer, responding seriatim to the sentiments of the governor. This answer was laid on the table, and seems to have been left there. It was not priuted in the Vermont newspapers of that period.?
SPEECII OF Gov. TICHENOR.-1798.
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Oct. 12 1798. His excellency the governor, accompanied by the honorable council, came into the house, and delivered the following speech. Gentlemen of the Council, and gentlemen of the House of Representatives.
The political world presents no fairer sight, than the representatives of an independent people convened to deliberate for the common good, and with united information and abilities, to advance the common prosperity.
Coilected, indiscriminately from the various classes of our citizens, from all parts of the state, you bring with you to this assembly the unequivocal representation of the interests of your constituents; and your persons and property, being subject equally with theirs, to your legislaiive doings, affords them a complete assurance of the integrity of your official conduct.
I rejoice that the benificent Ruler of the universe has been pleased to continue unto us the blessings of our excellent constitution of government. I sincerely rejoice that, in the course of his providence, we are connected with our sister states, in one general government. As a separate state, we were comparatively weak; sometimes, disquieted with domestic insurrections, and at all times exposed to foreign insults: we have become with them, strong to depress domestic inquietude, and to repel foreign oppression (aggression].
See printed Assembly Journal for 1797, pp. 22–27, where the speech is slightly changed-probably by the governor.
* Same, pp. 27, 28, 55-58.
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, pertidious 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.
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 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 volume 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 Siates, 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 no: 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  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.
ISAAC TICHENOR. His excellency the Governor and Council then withdrew.?
ANSWER OF THE ASSEMBLY,
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 froin experience, we place great contidence 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.