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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 camnon, 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 IIouse; 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.'
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.
SPEECH OF GOV. TICHENOR-1799.
IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, Oct. 12 1799. 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 (laring 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 tirm 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.
portion of public monies, for the support of measures which have for their objects the security of our excellent governments, the preservation of our property, of our civil and religious rights, and the protection of our commerce, upon which (I cannot too often repeat) the success of our agriculture ultimately depends, what good citizen is there among us that would not yield a ready compliance ?
An unfortunate event, which took place near the north line of this state, within the province of Canada, in February last, and which, in its consequences, might have interrupted that good neighborhood, which it is the mutual interest of people inhabiting adjacent territories to preserve, has led to a correspondence between the Executive of his Britannic Majesty's province of Lower Canada and myself. I shall now only add, that we are indebted to the liberality and justice, which has distinguished the conduct of his Excellency the late Governor Prescott, and the coincidence of the present commander in chief, Governor Milnes, for a happy and amicable adjustment of this disagreeable business. As this correspondence particularly appertains to the executive branch of our Government, I shall lay it before the Council, whose wisdom will direct such further communication as they may think proper..
I shall communicate to you certain Resolutions from the states of Virginia and Kentucky. These resolutions, in some of our sister states, whose opinions we respect, have met with severe comment; in others, with marked contempt: it remains for you to reply to them in the manner you shall judge they merit. For my own part, I have not the smallest hesitation in predicting that they will meet your decided disapprobation: because they contain principles hostile to your best interests, and because I know you love your country, and are rationally attached to the principles of our excellent Federal Constitution.”
I wish you an agreeable session, and ardently pray the Governor of the Universe, to direct all your deliberations for ihe best good of your constituents, and welfare of your Country. ISAAC TICHENOR.
ANSWER OF TIIE ASSEMBLY.
His Excellency the Governor and Council having withdrawn, Ordered, That a committee be appointed to prepare and report an answer to the speech of his Excellency the Governor to both branches of the Legislature: and a committee was appointed of Mr. [Daniel] Chipman, Mr. [Udney] Hay, and Mr. [Rev. Asa] Lyon.
Oct. 21 1799.--Mr. [Daniel] Chipman, from the committee appointed to prepare and report an answer to the speech of bis Excellency the Governor delivered before both branches of [the] Legislature on the twelfth instant, reported an Answer, which was read in the words following, to
“To His Excellency Isaac Tichenor, Esquire, Governor of the
State of Vermont. “Sir, The confidence of your constituents expressed by a decided majority of their annual suffrages, affords the highest satisfaction to the General Assembly. While the people are the source of power and honor, their grateful approbation must be the best reward the Chief Magistrate can receive for his continued service. With you, sir, we sincerely rejoice that, under your administration, the state is in a high degree prosperous and happy ; that the bounties of providence have been so lib
*See special message on this subject, post p. 514. * See Appendix K.
erally bestowed, the blessings of health and peace so generally enjoyed ; and the honor and felicity of the nation so extensively encreased. To behold our citizens rapidly advancing in habits of industry and economy, the science of government generally understood among the people, and a high veneration for religion, morality and the laws, gives us ihe fullest assurance that ill founded jealousy of our rulers cannot exist, nor the ambitious and designing find means to discourage the upright Magistrate. We predict, with pleasure, the encrease of well founded contidence in the state and general governments, built upon the firm basis of our happy constitution.
“The discharging of past debts and the present state of the treasury, are a noble evidence of the wisdom and prudence of our former Legislatures. Our present resources, managed with a wise frugality, which this Legislature will not fail to enforce by example, will enable us to meet with promptitude any expense which this, or the general government may require.
- The wisdom and firmness of the Chief Magistrate of the Union, supported by the patriotic energy of the national Legislature, have been crowned with success, beyond the most sanguine expectations of our citizens. With pleasure we behold the late gloom dispelling, and a prospect opening, which nothing but a full reliance, under Heaven, in the justice of our cause, and a firm confidence in the wisdom of our national administration, could have led us to expect. Our commerce is protected, our rights are defended against lawless invaders, and we hope soon by our energetic measures, to obtain that justice, which our messengers of peace have hitherto sought in vain. Agriculture, so nearly connected with commerce, already smiles, it gladdens the countenance of the husbandman, and fills the heart of every patriot with joy: Feeling our interest in the result of these decided measures, rejoicing in the security of our dearest rights, we wish success to every laudable enterprize, and will be ready to afford the most prompt and ample aid in our power.
· With saiisfaction we received information, from your Excellency, of the accommodation of an unhappy affair, which had given serious alarm to many of our citizens : your seasonable interference, and the happy result of your correspondence, we consider is of the highest importance, and trust we shall never forget the liberality and justice of his Excelleney, the late Governor, and his Honor the present Commander in Chief of his Britannic Majesty's province of Lower Canada, which in so great a degree have contributed to this event.
“Be assured, sir, that we shall duly consider the resolutions from Virginia and Kentucky, and give them that treatment which, after mature deliberation, we shall judge they merit. Our attachment to the principles of our excellent Federal Constitution is such that any sentiment or measure tending to its subversion, will be considered hostile to our best interest, and ever meet our decided disapprobation. Let constitutional rights be forever sacred, and disorganizing principles eternally detested!
"From these sentiments we shall ever act, and relying that your excellency will fully coincide in the same principles, we wish you all prosperity, and pray for ihe welfare of the nation.
On motion, Resolved, That the foregoing Answer to the Speech of his Excellency the Governor, delivered on the 12th instant, before both branches of the Legislature, be accepted; and that it be signed by the Speaker in behalf of the House; and that a committee consisting of
three members be appointed to deliver the same to his Excellency. And a committee was appointed of Mr. Speaker [Amos Marsh,] Mr. Ephraim Wheelock, and Mr. (Udney] Hay.'
The Jeffersonian republicans in this legislature numbered fifty two, but they refrained from making any issue with the Governor, reserving themselves for a protest on the answer of the Legislature to the Virginia and Kentucky resolutions of 1798.-See Appendix K.
SPECIAL MESSAGE OF Gov. TICHENOR, AND ACTION OF THE ASSEMBLY
THEREON.-Oct. 1799. Oct. 19.-Mr. Speaker informed the Ilouse he had received a communication from his Excellency the Governor, which he then read as followeth, to wit: "Gentlemen of the flouse of Representutives,
**HIerewith will be laid before you by my secretary, an official correspondence between the executive of the province of lower Canada and myself, relative to, and certain other papers illustrative of the unfortunate circumstances of the deatli of John Greys, who was drowned in lake Champlain, while in the custody of certain citizens of this state, who had inconsiderately arrested the deceased within the territory of his Britanie Majesty. Bills of indictment, charging these citizens with the murder of said Gregy, were found in the Colonial Court of King's Bench of Criminal Jurisdiction in Montreal, and a demand to deliver over these citizens for trial was made in consequence thereof.
“Although this was a business appropriately of an executive kind, yet as the subject of it has excited much speculation, under the advice of the Council I have thought fit to acquaini you of the measures adopted by me, for the adjustment and termination of an occurrence of so serious and delicate a nature, and hope they will meet the approbation of the honorable House. With great respect and consideration, I have the honor to be your obedient servant,
ISAAC TICHENOR. *In Council, 19th Oct. 1799.“
The official papers communicated by his Excellency to the House were then read. Whereupon, Resolved, that Mr. [Udney] Hay, Mr. [.Jonathan] Robinson, and Mr. [Rev. Asa] Lyon be a committee to prepare and report a resolution expressive of the approbation of this House of the conduct of his Excellency, in accommodating the dillerences which had arisen between the governments of the province of lower Canada and this state in consequence of the unfortunate death of John Greyg.
Oct. 22.- Mr. Hay, from the committee appointed to popare and report a resolution expressive of the approbation of this House of the conduct of his Excellency the Governor, in accommodating the differences which had arisen between the executives of the province of lower Canada and this State, on account of the unfortunate death of John Gregg, made a report which read as followeth : " To his Excellency Isaac Tichenor, Esquire.
“ We had the honor, on Saturday last, to receive a communication of your official correspondence with his Excellency General Prescott, late Governor of Canada, and since his departure wiih Lieutenant Governor Milnes, who now presides over that province. The unhappy atlair, which occasioned that correspondence, had long given painful anxiety to the citizens of this state.
"Printed Assembly Journal for 1799, PP. 8-10, 55, 56.