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BIOGRAPHICAL CHAPTER.

 

STEPHEN ROW BRADLEY.

 

 

THE brothers Bradley, six or seven in number, came to this country from England about the year 1650, having previously served among, Cromwell's Ironsides, in which corps William

 

 

594                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

Bradley, the first settler of North Haven, Connecticut, and one of the brothers, was an officer.* Stephen Bradley, another of the brothers, became a resident of New Haven, where he labored at his calling, which was that of a silversmith. On the beha­vior of the Protector's troops when disbanded, Macaulay has passed the highest encomium. "Fifty thousand men, accustomed to the profession of arms, were at once thrown on the world: and experience seemed to warrant the belief that this change would produce much misery and crime, that the discharged veterans would be seen begging in every street, or that they would be driven by hunger to pillage. But no such result fol­lowed. In a few months there remained not a trace indicating that the most formidable army in the world had just been. absorbed into the mass of the community. The Royalists them­selves confessed that, in every department of honest industry, the discarded warriors prospered beyond other men, that none was charged with any theft or robbery, that none was heard to ask an alms, and that, if a baker, a mason, or a waggoner attract­ed notice by his diligence and sobriety, he was in all probability one of Oliver's old soldiers." Wholly consonant with this de­scription of the scarred and war-worn veterans of the Protectorate was the conduct of the Bradleys.

Moses Bradley of Cheshire, Connecticut, the second son of Stephen, married Mary Row, only daughter and heiress of Daniel Row of Mount Carmel, now Hamden. Their son, Stephen Row Bradley,† the subject of this notice, was born in that part of Wallingford which is now comprised in the town of Cheshire, on the 20th of February, 1754. Having entered Yale College, he was graduated at that institution a Bachelor of Arts on the 25th of July, 1775. Three years later, on the 9th of September, 1778, he received from his Alma Mater the degree of M. A. Of his early tastes, some idea may be formed from the fact, that, while a student in college, he prepared an almanac for the year 1775, an edition of which, numbering two

 

* "The first settler in North Haven appears to have been William Bradley, who had been an officer in Cromwell's army. He lived here soon after the year 1650, on the land belonging to Governor Eaton, who owned a large tract on the west side of the [Wallingford or Quinnipiac] river." — Barber's Conn. Hist Coll., p. 241.

† Whenever Mr. Bradley wrote his name at full length, which was but seldom, he, until past middle life, put it down "Stephen Row Bradley." It was so spelt in the record of his baptism in Wallingford, and also on the title-page of an alma­nac which he published in 1775. "Rowe" and "Roe" are the other forms in which the middle name sometimes appears.

 

 

                                        STEPHEN ROW BRADLEY.                              595

 

thousand copies, was published by Ebenezer Watson of Hartford, printer, on the 1st of November, 1774.

Soon after graduating he entered the American service, and as early as the 4th of January, 1776, was captain of a company called the "Cheshire Volunteers." During that month he was ordered to march his men to New York, and his pay rolls, which were presented to Congress on the 26th of June, 1776, show that he and his company were employed in the continental ser­vice from January 25th to February 25th of that year. It would appear that he soon after relinquished the captaincy of this company. On the 17th of December, 1776, with the rank of adjutant, he was appointed to the stations of vendue master and quarter master. He afterwards served as aid-de-camp to General David Wooster, and was engaged in that capacity when that noble officer fell mortally wounded on the 27th of April, 1777, during the attack on Danbury. In 1778 Bradley was employed as a commissary, and during the summer of 1779 served as a major at New Haven. The time which he could spare from military avocations was occupied in more peaceful pursuits. It appears from a letter written by Richard Sill, dated January 27th, 1778, that Bradley was at that time teach­ing a school at Cheshire. His law studies, in the meantime, were directed by Tapping Reeve, afterwards the founder of the Litchfield law school. The precise date of his removal to Ver­mont is not known. It is probable that even after his removal he not unfrequently visited Connecticut, until he resigned his place in the militia of that state.

His first appearance in public, in Vermont, was at an ad­journed session of the Superior court, held at Westminster on the 26th of May, 1779. On this occasion he was commissioned as an attorney-at-law, and received a license to plead at the bar within that "independent" state. At the same time he was appoint­ed clerk of the court. His knowledge of the law and the ability which he displayed in the practice of his profession, raised him at once to a high position in the estimation of the community. On the 16th of June, 1780, he was made state's attorney for the county of Cumberland. At this period the controversy respect­ing the title of the New Hampshire Grants was attracting the attention, not only of the states which laid claim to that district, but of Congress. "Having popular manners, and a keen in­sight into society, he became a prominent political leader, and exercised a large influence in laying the foundation of the state

 

 

596                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

of Vermont, then the Texas of this country. Ethan Allen, Ira Allen, Seth Warner, and Thomas Chittenden, all from Connecticut, being the Austins and Houstons of its early history." On the 24th of September, 1779, Congress, by an act, resolved to adjudicate upon the claims of Massachusetts Bay, New Hamp­shire, and New York, on the 1st of February, 1780. To Mr. Bradley was assigned the task of presenting, for the considera­tion of Congress, the views held by Vermont on this important question.

With but little knowledge, at the time, of the extent of the subject, the young lawyer commenced his investigations, and in less than two months, had completed a faithful and well-written account of the state of the controversy. This was read before the Council of Vermont, at Arlington, on the 10th of December, 1779, and, having been approved of by them, was ordered to be published. It appeared early in the year 1780, under the title of "Vermont's Appeal to the Candid and Impartial World," and aided essentially in supporting the claims of Vermont to a separate and independent government. It was written with vigor, and did not want those flowers of rhetoric which adorn, and, not unfrequently, strengthen argu­ment. Few copies of this production are now extant, but among those pamphlets written at this period upon the contro­versy, "Vermont's Appeal" stands pre-eminent, not only on account of the force with which it is composed, but also by reason of the manner in which the topics of which it treats are presented. It was laid before Congress early in February, 1780, by its author, who had been previously selected to advocate the claims of Vermont at Philadelphia. Copies of the publication were also presented to many of the members, but no opportunity was granted to Mr. Bradley to appear in person before a committee of Congress, in consequence of the postponement of the consideration of the controversy question. In the month of September following, Mr. Bradley again visited Philadelphia, as a commissioner in behalf of Vermont. At the end of two weeks, he and his colleague, Ira Allen, became convinced that Congress were determined to decide upon the controversy without considering Vermont as a party, and deemed it their duty to withdraw. Before leaving, they presented a remonstrance to Congress, dated the 22d of September, 1780, in which they set forth their views with reference to the course which had been adopted towards Vermont, and deprecated the

 

 

                                APPOINTED TO VARIOUS OFFICES.                     597

 

policy which would divide that state between New Hampshire and New York, or annex it to the latter.

Owing to his thorough acquaintance with the views enter­tained by a majority of the people of Vermont, on the merits of the controversy question, the counsels of Mr. Bradley were highly esteemed and readily followed, on all occasions. An examination of his papers affords conclusive evidence, that at this period, and for many years after, he was, in many respects, the ablest man in the state. Nor did his qualifications for mili­tary service escape the observation of the citizens of his adopted state. By commission, dated August 27th, 1781, he was appointed a lieutenant in the first regiment of the Vermont militia, and on the 15th of October, in the same year, was raised to the rank of colonel. During the troubles which disturbed the peace of the southern part of Windham county, Colonel Bradley was indefatigable in his endeavors to restore order, and seldom failed to accomplish his purpose. The resignation of his colonelcy was accepted on the 2d of March, 1787, and for four years he does not appear to have engaged at all in military avocations. A curious letter, written to him by William Page, of Charlestown, New Hampshire, dated May 1st, 1789, is still preserved, in which some allusions are made to the measures which were adopted to subdue the supporters of New York residing at Guilford, and in that neighborhood. "You doubt­less remember," the writer observed, "of once calling on me for a sword. You then was in pursuit of honor and cash. I think you desired to cut, slay, and destroy the Yorkers. Hav­ing accomplished all this, and having not only changed your manner and mode of attack, but your weapon also, you will please send to me the sword by the bearer, for, as all other weapons fail me, it is time to take the sword." The military career of Colonel Bradley did not, however, end here, for he was appointed brigadier general of the eighth brigade of the militia of the state, by a commission dated January 26th, 1791.

Of the offices held by Mr. Bradley, the following list embraces a partial account. In 1782, he was a select man of Westminster, and served as clerk of that town from October 6th, 1787, to October 9th, 1788. He was register of probate for Windham county from December, 1781, to March, 1791, and, on the 21st of February, 1783, was appointed a judge of the court of the county, in the place of Samuel Fletcher, who had refused to serve. From October, 1788, to October, 1789, he sat as a side‑

 

 

598                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

judge in the Supreme court of the state, and was admitted to practice in the Circuit court of the United States on the 12th of May, 1793. He represented the town of Westminster in the Assembly of the state, at the sessions in 1780, 1781, 1784, 1785, 1788, 1790, and 1800, and was elected speaker of the House at the session in 1785. He was a member of the state constitutional convention in 1791, and was elected to the Council in September, 1798. When, in the year 1789, it became evident that Vermont would soon be admitted into the Union as a separate state, commissioners were appointed on the 23d of October, for the purpose of ascertaining and establishing the line between New York and Vermont. Of the number was Mr. Bradley. In addition to the civil and military appointments with which he was honored, he also received marks of esteem from Dart­mouth and Middlebury colleges. The honorary degrees of M. A. and LL.D. were conferred upon him by the former insti­tution. He was appointed a fellow of Middlebury college in the act incorporating that seminary of learning, passed on the 1st of November, 1800, and held that position until the time of his death.

After the completion of the Federal Union by the admission of Vermont in 1791, Moses Robinson and Stephen R. Bradley were, on the 17th of October, in that year, chosen the first United States senators from that state. The former took his seat on the 31st of the same month; the latter on the 7th of November following. On drawing lots for the purpose of de­termining to which of the three classes each belonged, Mr. Bradley drew first, and fell to "the class whose seats would be vacated at the expiration of four years from March, 1791." Mr. Robinson drew the longest term, and, of course, fell to the class whose seats were to be vacated in six years from March, 1791. Elijah Paine was chosen to succeed Mr. Bradley in 1795. At the expiration of Mr. Paine's term in 1801, he was elected for another six years, but having declined the position, Mr. Bradley was elected to fill the vacancy, which was a term of six years from the 4th of March, 1801. During the greater part of the session of 1802-3, he filled with dignity the position of president, pro tempore, of the Senate. On the 4th of March, 1807, he commenced another term of six years as senator, and in 1808 was again elected temporary president of the distinguished body to which he belonged.

In politics, Mr. Bradley was a Republican of the school of

 

 

                                                    HIS POLITICS.                                         599

 

Jefferson, from whom he received many marks of personal esteem. Desirous of securing a democratic succession in the presidency of the United States, Mr. Bradley endeavored to consummate the nomination of Madison at the close of Jeffer­son's second term. For this purpose, he issued a call for a cau­cus, of which the following is a copy :—

 

"SIR:

"In pursuance of the powers vested in me, as president of the late convention of republican members of both houses of congress, I deem it expedient, for the purpose of nominating suitable and proper characters for president and vice-president of the United States at the next presidential election, to call a convention of said republican members, to meet at the senate-chamber on Saturday, the 23d inst., at six o'clock at which time and place your personal attendance is requested, to aid the meeting with your influence, information, and talents.

                                                  "S. R. BRADLEY.

"Dated at Washington,

"19th January, 1808."

 

This circular, so mandatory in style, was indignantly de­nounced by many, as a usurpation of power. A large portion of the members refused to attend, unwilling, as was remarked, "to countenance, by their presence, the midnight intrigues of any set of men who may arrogate to themselves the right (which belongs only to the people) of selecting proper persons to fill the important offices of president and vice-president." The meeting was attended, however, by ninety-four members from both houses. Of this number, only one member was from the state of New York. Mr. Madison was nominated with apparent unanimity, though Mr. Monroe had been supported previous to the caucus by a strong party of men, among whom were some who were unfriendly to the policy of Jefferson.

The war of 1812, which was, in the main, a democratic mea­sure, was not supported by all the members of that party. President Madison, it was supposed, was persuaded to engage in it, only in order to secure a second election. Randolph "openly and strenuously opposed it from the beginning to the end," and Mr. Bradley, who was at that time the ablest democratic senator from New England, "earnestly counselled Madi­son against it." So dissatisfied did Mr. Bradley become with

 

 

600                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

the national policy of this period, that, on the 4th of March, 1813, at the close of his congressional labors, he withdrew altogether from public life, determined, since he was unable to prevent a needless war, not to continue in any position, where he would be subjected to the calumnies and odium of a majority from whom he dissented.

In a previous chapter* may be found an account of a trial which took place at Westminster, on the 27th of May, 1779. On this occasion, Noah Smith filled the office of state's attorney, and Mr. Bradley acted as counsel for the defendants. In the midst of the trial, Ethan Allen appeared in court, accoutred in military dress, as has been detailed in the account referred to. After Smith had finished his argument, in the course of which he had made several quotations from Blackstone's Commentaries, Allen, who thought that the state's attorney was manifest­ing too great leniency towards some of the prisoners, arose, and told the jury that, in the observations he was about to make, he should not deal in quibbles. Then, turning to Smith, he said:— "I would have the young gentleman to know, that with my logic and reasoning, from the eternal fitness of things, I can upset his blackstones, his whitestones, his gravestones, and his brimstones." Here he was interrupted by the chief-justice, Moses Robinson, and was gravely informed that it was not allowable for him to appear in a civil court with his sword by his side. Upon this, Allen, nettled by the interruption, unslung his weapon, and bringing it down on the bar table with a force which made the house ring, exclaimed,

 

"For forms of government, let fools contest;

Whate'er is best administer'd, is best."

 

Having delivered himself in this style, he was about to resume his remarks, when, observing that the judges were whispering together, he listened for a moment; and then cried out:— "I said that fools might contest for forms of government — not your Honours! not your Honours!" It is presumed that the apology was satisfactory, for Allen was permitted to finish his address, as previously narrated, after which the trial proceeded without further check.

On retiring from public life, Mr. Bradley returned to Westminster, where he resided until the year 1818. He then re-

 

* See ante, pp. 342, 343.

 

 

                                DESCRIPTION OF HIS CHARACTER.                     601

 

moved to the neighboring village of Walpole, New Hampshire, "where he lived in ease, independence, and honour, until he took his willing, and not painful deparature, with the cheerful expression of a mind at peace with itself, with the world, and with heaven." His death occurred on the evening of Thurs­day, December 9th, 1830.

In his "Descriptive Sketch" of Vermont, published in 1797, Dr. John Andrew Graham has referred to Mr. Bradley, as he then knew him, in these words:— "Mr. Bradley is a lawyer of distinguished abilities, and a good orator. He has held some of the most important offices of the state, and was late a senator in Congress. Few men have more companionable talents, a greater share of social cheerfulness, a more inexhaustible flow of wit, or a larger portion of unaffected urbanity." The Hon. S. G. Goodrich, known the world over as "Peter Parley," who, in the year 1818, married the daughter of Mr. Bradley, has, in his late work entitled "Recollections of a Lifetime," noted some of the prominent characteristics of the influential senator. "He was distinguished for political sagacity, a ready wit, boundless stores of anecdote, a large acquaintance with mankind, and an extensive range of historical knowledge. His conversation was exceedingly attractive, being always illustrated by pertinent anecdotes and apt historical references. His developments of the interior machinery of parties, during the times of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison; his portraitures of the political leaders of these interesting eras in our history — all freely communicated at a period when he had retired from the active arena of politics, and now looked back upon them with the feelings of a philosopher — were in the highest degree interesting and instructive."

His son, the Hon. William C. Bradley, who was born on the 23d of March, 1782, still survives, at Westminster, in a green old age. He has filled many stations of honor in the service of his country, and while on the floor of Congress enjoyed, in a peculiar manner, the personal and political esteem of Henry Clay and other distinguished statesmen. The assistance which Mr. Bradley has on all occasions most cheerfully afforded, in the preparation of this work, has contributed materially to its correctness, and has enabled the author to present many facts which otherwise would have remained unrecorded.*

 

* Macaulay's Hist. Eng., vol. i. chap. ii. Hollister's Hist. Conn., ii. 628. Bel‑

 

 

602                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

PAUL BRIGHAM.

 

 

 

DURING the revolution­ary war, this gentleman served as a captain, and was stationed, a part of the time, at Coventry, Connecticut. After his removal to Vermont, he attained to the rank of a major-general of militia. He was highly respected by all who knew him, and discharged the duties of the various offices which he was called to fill to the satisfaction of his constituents and with honor to himself. By the citizens of Norwich, the town in which he resided, he was esteemed for those traits of character which mark the just man and the kind neighbor. He was an assistant justice of the court of Windsor county from 1783 to 1786, and from 1790 to 1795; and was chief justice of the same in 1801. He held the office of judge of probate in 1800; and was high sheriff of the county from 1787 to 1789. He represented the inhabitants of Norwich in the General As­sembly during the sessions of 1783, 1786, and 1791; was a member of the Council from 1792 to 1796; and sat in the state constitutional conventions of 1793, 1814, and 1822 as the delegate from Norwich. Having been elected lieutenant-governor of the state in 1796, he was from that time annually returned to the same office, the years 1813 and 1814 excepted, until 1820, when, "admonished by the infirmities of age," he refused longer to be a candidate for that station. While serving in this capacity, the gubernatorial chair was occupied at different times by Thomas Chittenden, Isaac Tichenor, Israel Smith, and Jonas Galusha. From Dartmouth college he received the honorary degree of M.A., in 1806. His death occurred at Norwich on the 15th of July, 1824, in the 79th year of his age.*

 

lows Falls Intelligencer, December 13th, 1830. North Star, Danville, Vt., De­cember 28th, 1830. Triennial Catalogues of Yale, Dartmouth, and Middlebury colleges. Acts and Laws of Vt., 1800, pp. 36-40. Journals Am. Cong., ed. 1823, i. 388. Journals U. S. Senate, 1791, p. 25. Slade's Vt. State Papers, pp. 114, 116, 122-126. Kendall's Travels, i. 177. Deming's Catalogue of Vt. Officers, passim. Graham's Descriptive Sketch of Vt., pp. 110, 111. Goodrich's Recollections of a Lifetime, i. 448, 449; ii. 99, 100. Young's American Statesman, pp. 341, 342. Various MSS. Documents, Letters, etc.

*Thompson's Vt., Part III., p. 130. Williams's Hist. Vt., ed. 2d., i. 91, 92. Triennial Catalogue of Dart. Col. Deming's Catalogue of Vt. Officers, passim.

 

 

                                                                                                                       603

                                       CREAN BRUSH.

 

 

THE subject of this notice was born in Dublin, Ireland, about the year 1725, and was educated to the profession of the law. While at home, he bore some military commission, as the style of dress indicated by his portrait — which is still extant, and which was painted before he removed to this country –– evinces. Of his military rank, except that he was familiarly called "Colo­nel," and of the time and occasion of his service, nothing is

 

 

604                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

known. At the age of thirty or thirty-one, he married a Miss Cushing, a resident of the city where he dwelt. By her he had one child, Elizabeth Martha, who was born probably in the year 1758. The mother did not long survive the birth of her daughter, and Mr. Brush being left a widower, placed the little infant in the care of some of his relatives, and came to America a short time previous to, or during, the year 1762. Having settled in New York city, he there married Margaret Montuzan, a widow lady, and by her former marriage the mother of a daughter named Frances.* He early obtained employment in the office of the secretary of the province of New York, and for several years held the post of assistant under the deputy secretary, Goldsbrow Banyar. In the year 1764, on the 27th of January, he received from Lieut.-Gov. Cadwallader Colden a license to practise as an attorney at law, "in all his Majesty's Courts of Record," within the province. It is probable that his law part­ner was John Kelly, an Irishman of ability and standing. Mr. Brush removed to Westminster during the year 1771, and on the 25th of February, 1772, was appointed clerk of Cumberland county,† vice John Chandler, removed. He was made surrogate of the county on the 14th of the following April, and at the same time, he and two others received a commission to ad­minister oaths to all officers, both civil and military, within their jurisdiction.

On becoming a resident of Westminster, Mr. Brush was feasted by the inhabitants from house to house. The display which he affected in his dress, contrasted strongly with the simple garb of the villagers, and for some time pomp and pa-

 

* There is a tradition that Brush was not legally married to his second wife. The story goes, that she, in her maiden days, had been much admired by Brush, who had paid her his addresses, but without success. She married, in preference, a colonel in the British service, who was the father of her child Frances. He was killed in the old French war, or in some of the battles immediately subsequent to the year 1755. The widow and the widower having met, they agreed to live together as husband and wife, and did so, but the connection was not lawfully established. Resort was had to this alliance in order that Mrs. Brush might be enabled to draw the pension due her as the widow of an officer, which right she forfeited in the event of a second marriage.

† He resigned the clerkship on the 7th of March, 1774, and was succeeded by Samuel Gale, who married the daughter of Samuel Wells of Brattleborough. In the Connecticut Courant of April 10th, 1775, is the list of the members of the last Colonial Assembly of New York. The name of Brush is given with these re­marks:— "A native of Ireland, practising the law in Cumberland county, who sold the clerkship of the county to Judge Wells's son-in-law."

‡ This commission was renewed on the 18th of February, 1774.

 

 

                                        ELECTED ASSEMBLYMAN.                             605

 

rade availed to conceal the defects of character. But as vul­garity of mind became apparent, and novelty of appearance ceased to attract attention, Mr. Brush found, in spite of his boasted attainments as a man of large information, and his pretensions to gentility, that his only friends were a few high-toned and arrogant loyalists. Notwithstanding the prevalence of such sentiments as these in the minds of the people of West­minster, Mr. Brush wielded an extensive political influence in the county, on account of his intimate connection with many of the principal government officers. The house in which he lived was situated north of the meeting-house, and was the only building in the town whose four sides faced the cardinal points. It was originally built for the Rev. Mr. Goodell, supposed to be the first minister of the town. It was subsequently owned by a citizen of Walpole, New Hampshire, who sold it to Mr. Brush. In later years it became the residence of Dr. Elkanah Day. One of the reasons which induced Mr. Brush to settle in this quiet village, was the opportunity which was thereby afforded him, to sell his lands, which were scattered throughout the northern parts of New York and the interior portions of the New Hampshire Grants, and included many broad acres along the banks of the Connecticut, in the town and neighborhood of Westminster. He also hoped to rise in political distinction, an end which he could not accomplish among the learned and aristocratic in the more southern towns of New York. His business, on account of his knowledge of legal forms, was mul­tifarious, and to assist him in it, he kept a clerk, Abraham Mills by name, who, as far as disagreeable traits of character were concerned, was a copy in miniature of his master.

In answer to a petition signed by the inhabitants of Cumber­land county, permission was given them by the Governor and Council of New York, to elect two representatives to the General Assembly of that province. The order confirming this permission was promulged on the 23d of December, 1772, and at an election subsequently held, Samuel Wells of Brattleborough and Crean Brush of Westminster were returned as representatives. On the 2d of February, 1773, they presented their credentials to the General Assembly, and were admitted to seats "at the table" of legislation. Brush although in a great measure devoid of principle, possessed many of the qualifications essential to the character of a successful partizan politician, and he soon became noted for his advocacy of all ministerial Inca‑

 

 

606                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

sures, and for his hatred of every attempt at reform. Fluency of speech and a spirited style of oratory, enabled him to give expression to his opinions in a manner which attracted attention. By these means he obtained an influence, which he never failed to exert in behalf of his party. In the controversy between New Hampshire and New York respecting the New Hampshire Grants, he evinced a deep interest, and was well prepared by knowledge obtained while in the office of the se­cretary of state to present the question in an accurate and reli­able form.

In answer to a petition from Col. John Maunsell and others, "interested in lands to the westward of Connecticut river," praying that the General Assembly would adopt measures to prevent "the success of the solicitations and interposition of the government of New Hampshire, in prejudice of the ancient limits" of New York, the House on the 17th of February, 1773, having resolved itself into a "grand committee on griev­ances," declared that the eastern limits of the colony, both by the royal grants to the Duke of York and by the orders in privy council of July 20th, 1764, were the western banks of Connecticut river. For the purpose of presenting the subject in a tangible form, they appointed Col. Philip Schuyler, John De Noyellis, and Crean Brush a committee to draft a represen­tation of the rights of the colony of New York to the lands in question. This representation, when agreed to by the House, was to be transmitted to the agent of the colony, to enable him to maintain the claim at the court of Great Britain. On Satur­day, the 6th of March following, Mr. Brush gave in the report of the committee, which was adopted on Monday the 8th, and entered on the journals. It was entitled "A state of the right of the colony of New York, with respect to its eastern boundary on Connecticut river, so far as concerns the late encroachments under the government of New Hampshire."

This document was subsequently printed in the form of a folio pamphlet, and, with others of a similar character, was placed in the hands of all the leading men engaged in the controversy. It was prepared mainly by the Hon. James Duane, and presented an able argument in support of the rights of New York. Although it had been hoped that the reasons brought forward in the representation would have a tendency to restrain the people residing on time "Grants," who favored the jurisdiction of New Hampshire, from indulging in acts of

 

 

                                             BRUSH'S INFLUENCE.                                  607

 

violence against the settlers under New York, yet evils of this nature seemed rather to increase than diminish. On the 1st of February, 1774, Benjamin Hough, a magistrate by appoint­ment from New York, presented a petition to the General As­sembly of the province, asking, in behalf of himself and others, to be protected from the "outrageous cruelty" of the "Bennington mob." The subject was considered in "the grand committee on grievances," and a report therefrom was pre­sented to the House on the 5th, by Mr. Brush, in behalf of the chairman, Mr. Clinton, recommending that body to request the Governor to issue his proclamation, offering a reward of £50 each for the apprehension of Ethan Allen and seven of his compatriots, and counselling the House to bring in a bill to suppress "riotous and disorderly proceedings." Mr. Brush and Colonel Ten Broeck were appointed to prepare the bill, and on the 9th the result of their labors was laid before the house, and was soon after passed into a law. The Governor's proclamation was issued on the 9th of March, and a reward of £100 each was offered for the apprehension of Ethan Allen and Remember Baker, and of £50 each for the apprehension of six of the other ringleaders.

The influence which Mr Brush possessed in the House was neither feeble nor unfrequently exercised. On the night of the 29th of December, 1773, the mansion of Governor Tryon was destroyed by fire. This calamity was referred to by the Governor, in his speech to the Assembly, on the 12th of January, 1774. A few days later a motion was offered by Mr. Brush, in these words: "I move that the House do resolve, that there be allowed unto his Excellency the Governor, the sum of £5,000, as a token of the deep concern of this House for the damage he sustained by the late dreadful fire, towards a compensation, in some measure, of his great losses; and as a pub­lic testimonial of that high respect and esteem they bear to his person and family." This proposition elicited much debate, and, though strenuously opposed, was passed by a majority of two, fourteen members voting for and twelve against it. Soon after these occurrences, the Governor made known his inten­tion of departing for England. The announcement was pub­lished to the house on the 8th of March, and Messrs. Wilkins, Jauncey, and Brush were appointed to draft an address to his Excellency, "expressing the high sense they entertain of the great and extensive benefit derived to the colony from the up‑

 

 

608                          HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT.

 

rightness, justice, and impartiality of his administration; the deep concern they feel on his departure; their ardent desire of his speedy return; their affectionate wishes for the welfare and happiness of his Excellency and his family; and their firm reliance that he will represent to their most gracious Sove­reign, the unshaken loyalty of this his faithful colony, and their steady and zealous attachment to his sacred person and government." With true Irish spirit, Mr. Brush in the address which he drew, embodied in the most fulsome language the ideas contained in the above resolution, and on the 20th of March the eulogistic document was placed in the hands of the man who afterwards became notorious, as the sacker of peaceful villages, and the murderer of unoffending women and helpless children.

Bitterly opposed to every measure designed to introduce a more faithful administration of the government, Mr. Brush now directed his efforts to stem the torrent which was soon to break down the barriers of tyrannical oppression. On the 23d of February, 1775, he delivered a set-speech against the proposi­tion of Mr. Thomas, to elect delegates to the second Continental Congress. Being charged "with using expressions which threw indecent reflections both on the conduct of the gentle­men of the opposition and on the proceedings of the last Con­gress," Mr. Brush caused his speech to be printed and pub­lished, that the public might be able to form an opinion as to the justice of the charges. He was answered by Messrs. Clinton and Schuyler, who, with Colonel Woodhull, were the leading patriots in the house. The debate was significant of the spirit of the times, and served to show how widely at variance were the opinions of those who, as representatives of the people, were assembled to legislate for the welfare of the colony. On the same day, Mr. Brush presented the report of the committee, who, in pursuance of Mr. De Lancey's motion, made on the 31st of January, had been appointed "to prepare a state of the grievances" of the colony. On the 9th of March, he was chosen, with Colonel Seaman and Mr. Gale, to prepare the draft of a memorial to the House of Lords. The report, which he presented on the 16th, as chairman of the committee, was subjected to many alterations and amendments. With the other memorials which had been prepared for the King and the Commons, it was adopted on the 25th. These addresses were in every respect, "tame, ridiculous, and very loyal," but the House was ruled by a Tory majority, who strove in every

  page 610

 

                         RETIREMENT FROM LEGISLATIVE OFFICE.              609

 

way to adopt such measures, as would be most likely to ad­vance the interests of their own party, and it was by their votes that every vigorous effort of the minority was emasculated, and made to do service in behalf of oppression.

Mr. Brush's name appears with prominence on one other occasion, in the records of the Colonial Assembly. As soon as the news of the "Westminster Massacre" reached New York, the messengers who had brought the information were examined, and their depositions were laid before Lieut.-Gov. Colden. His message, delivered on the 23d of March, recommended immediate action. The subject was brought up for consideration on the 30th. Ever ready to gain power by a bold act, Mr. Brush moved that the sum of £1,000 be "granted to his Majesty to be applied to enable the inhabitants of the county of Cumberland to reinstate and maintain the due administration of justice in the said county, and for the suppression of riots therein." The motion prevailed in this form, and the treasurer of the colony was ordered to disburse the amount named, on warrants, issued by the proper authorities. With the adjournment of the Assembly on the 3d of April, ended Mr. Brush's career as a legislator. His ability as an orator was acknowledged even by his foes, and his speeches were generally prepared with care and skill. As a writer, he is referred to in Trumbull's MacFingal, in the following verses:–

 

"Had I the Poet's brazen lungs,

As sound-board to his hundred tongues,

I could not half the scribblers muster

That swarmed round Rivington in cluster;

Assemblies, councilmen, forsooth;

Brush, Cooper, Wilkins, Chandler, Booth;

Yet all their arguments and sap'ence

You did not value at three half-pence."

 

During the summer which followed the commencement of hostilities in the colonies, Mr. Brush probably remained in the city of New York, working as best he might for the good of the King. In the fall he repaired to Boston, then occupied by the British, and offered his services to General Gage. These were accepted, and he was soon after engaged in an employment which gave him a temporary power, which he did not fail to

 

* American Archives, Fourth Series, vol. i. cols. 1288, 1290-1294, 1303, 1307, 1316-1318, 1322. Journals Col. Ass. N. Y. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 1025. Dunlap's N. Y., i. 450, 451. Trumbull's MacFingal, Boston ed., 1799, canto p. 28

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