THE ADMISSION OF VERMONT INTO THE UNION.
Petitions of citizens of New York who had suffered loss in Vermont — Statement of their losses — Report of committee of the New York Legislature on the petition — Commissioners of the Land Office appropriate lands for the sufferers, situated in Clinton, now Bainbridge — Governor Chittenden's address to the people of Vermont — Insurrection at Windsor — Trial of insurgents — Another disturbance — Military called out — Obedience to law enforced — Laws relieving the distresses of the people — Disposition among prominent citizens of New York, favorable to the acknowledgment of Vermont as an independent state — Bill for this purpose introduced into the Legislature of New York — Hamilton's speech in its behalf — It fails — Bounds of Cumberland and Gloucester counties — Adoption of the constitution of the United States — Correspondence between Nathaniel Chipman and Alexander Hamilton — Commissioners appointed by New York to declare Vermont a separate state — Commissioners appointed by Vermont to meet them — Other commissioners appointed by New York — Deliberations of the commissioners of the two states — Report of the New York commissioners — Is approved of by the Legislature of Vermont, who pass an act for paying $30,000 to New York, as an indemnity — Convention at Bennington for considering the expediency of asking for Vermont admission into the Union — Negotiations — Vermont becomes one of the United States — Division of the $30,000 among the New York claimants.
BY their opposition to the government of Vermont, the supporters of New York residing in the southern part of Windham county had lost many of their personal effects; had been obliged to neglect, to a certain extent, the cultivation of their farms, and the care of their premises; and had suffered inconveniences, serious and without number. These causes, combined with the fines and imprisonment to which they had been subjected, had reduced them to a condition of poverty from which they could not well recover without assistance. On the 24th of February, 1786, Timothy Church, William Shattuck, and Henry Evans addressed a petition to the Legislature of New York on the subject of the losses which they and their fellow-sufferers had sustained. In this paper they stated
542 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1786.
that they and their friends, "by their attachment, zeal, and activity in endeavoring to support the just and lawful authority of New York," had incurred the displeasure of those "who styled themselves freemen of Vermont;" that they had been led to believe by the resolutions of Congress — especially those of' the 5th of December, 1782 — and by the laws and declarations of the Legislature of New York, that "the lawless and ungrateful usurpers" of the jurisdiction of that state "would be brought to submit to its lawful authority;" that they had been deceived in these reasonable expectations; and that their opponents had "risen in arms to the number of four or five hundred" against them, had killed one and wounded others of their number, had driven some from their habitations or imprisoned them, and had confiscated the estates and sold the effects of many. "Your petitioners cannot but hope," they observed in conclusion, "that having thus sacrificed their all; suffered such exquisite tortures, banishments, imprisonments in loathsome gaols, half-starved and threatened with being put to ignominious deaths, but that your honors will take their case into your most serious consideration, and grant them some relief in their deplorable situation. And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever be good citizens of the state of New York."*
This petition was read in the Senate on the 27th, and was committed to Messrs. Williams, L'Hommedieu, and Douw. On the 28th, Church, Shattuck, and Evans prepared a verified list, containing not only the names of those who had suffered on account of their attachment to New York, but also a statement of the amount of damages they had sustained. By this it appeared that of those who had been either imprisoned, banished, or deprived of their effects, four were civil officers, twenty-one military officers, and nearly a hundred private soldiers. It was also shown that their losses amounted to £16,663 13s. 8d. On the 1st of March, Mr. L'Hommedieu, from the committee to whom was referred the petition, presented the following report:—
"It appears to the committee, that the petitioners, with many others holding offices, both civil and military, under the authority of this state, with other inhabitants of the county of Cumberland, have greatly suffered in their persons and estates,
* Papers relating to Vt. Controversy, in office Sec. State N. Y., p. 51. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 1014, 1015.
1786.] GRANTS TO CHURCH, SHATTUCK, AND OTHERS. 543
and are still subject to heavy fines imposed by the authority of the assumed state of Vermont, for no other crime than supporting the lawful authority of this state in the said county, which they from time to time have done, in pursuance of sundry resolutions of Congress, the several laws of this state, and the directions of their superiors in office. That the petitioners, with others whom they represent, being deprived in a great measure of the means of subsistence, and having become odious to the present government of the said assumed state, by reason of their supporting the laws of this state in the said county, are unable to continue longer in the said county without the greatest inconvenience to themselves and families, and are desirous of removing immediately into the western parts of this state, provided they could procure vacant lands fit for cultivation. That in the opinion of your committee, the said petitioners and others whom they represent, have a claim on the state for some compensation for their sufferings and losses, and that it will be proper for the state to grant to the petitioners and the persons they represent, a quantity of vacant land equivalent to a township of eight miles square."
After reading the report, Mr. L'Hommedieu delivered it in "at the table," where it was again read, and agreed to. Thereupon, the Senate resolved "that the Legislature, during their present meeting, will make provision for granting to Col°. Timothy Church, Major William Shattuck, Major Henry Evans, and about one hundred other persons whom they represent, a quantity of vacant lands equal to a township of eight miles square." A copy of this resolution was immediately sent to the Assembly, and on the same day a resolution of concurrence was returned to the Senate.*
Soon after these proceedings, measures were taken to comply with the determination expressed in this concurrent resolution. The result of these efforts was seen in the twentieth clause of "An act for the speedy sale of the unappropriated lands within the state, and for other purposes therein mentioned," passed on the 5th of May. By this clause, it was enacted that "it shall, and may be lawful to, and for the said commissioners [of the land office], to appropriate a tract of land equal to eight miles square, in any of the townships to be laid
* Journal Senate N. Y., 9th session, pp. 32, 35, 36. Journal Assembly N. Y., 9th session, p. 64. Papers relating to Vt. Controversy, in office Sec. State N. Y., p. 53. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 1016-1017.
544 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1786.
out in pursuance of this act, for the use of Colonel Timothy Church, Major William Shattuck, and Major Henry Evans, and such other persons of the counties of Cumberland and Gloucester, as shall be deemed by the said commissioners to be sufferers in opposing the government of the pretended state of Vermont, and to grant the land in such township, in such proportion to each of such sufferers, as to the said commissioners shall seem meet and proper, and to direct letters patent to be prepared accordingly, and, having approved of the same, the Governor, or person administering the government of this state for the time being, shall cause the great seal of this state to be affixed thereto."*
On the 6th of May, the day following the adoption of this act, a meeting of the commissioners of the land office was held in the city of New York, at the office of the secretary of state. Recognizing the full force of the act, the title of which has been already cited, and of a resolution they had previously passed, in which they described generally the land which they intended to bestow upon those who had suffered in the service of the state — the commissioners resolved "that the following tract of land equal to eight miles square, in a township to be laid out agreeable to the said act and the preceding resolution, be and is hereby appropriated for the use of Colonel Timothy Church, Major William Shattuck, and Major Henry Evans, and such other persons of the counties of Cumberland and Gloucester as shall be deemed by this board to be sufferers in opposing the government of the pretended state of Vermont, to wit:— Beginning at a point on the west bank of the Unadilla or Tianaderha river, one mile northerly from where the same empties itself into the Susquehanna, and thence running down the said river to the mouth thereof, thence southerly along the line run by Simon Metcalfe for the line of cession, commonly called the line of property, established at the treaty with the Indians at Fort Stanwix in the year 1768, eight miles, and extending from thence and from the place of beginning west so far as to include 40,960 acres, the north and south bounds to be east and west lines, and the west bounds to be a north and south line, and that a certified copy of this resolution be a sufficient warrant to the surveyor general to survey the same."
The prosecution of the claims of the New York adherents
* Laws of New York, 9th session, p. 133.
1786.] DISTRIBUTION OF LAND. 545
was entrusted to the care of Timothy Church and William Shattuck. On the 11th of July, at a meeting of the commissioners of the land office, held in the city of New York, they produced to the board "a list of the names of one hundred and seven persons, inhabitants of Cumberland county, with their affidavit, proving that the said persons were sufferers in opposing the government of the pretended state of Vermont, and that the quantity set down on the said list opposite to the names of the respective persons, are the proportions which they would, on an estimate of their respective losses of property and time, and sufferings by imprisonment, respectively be entitled to, of the tract of eight miles square, appropriated, agreeable to law, by this board for their use, on a presumption that there were no other sufferers." On a closer investigation, the board concluded that there might be other persons equally entitled to "the bounty of the state," whose names were not inserted in the list presented by Church and Shattuck. This opinion was sustained by the fact that the list did not "in any instance extend to the inhabitants of Gloucester county." A resolution was therefore passed, "that there be reserved of the tract appropriated as aforesaid, the quantity of 6,400 acres, equal to ten lots, to satisfy the claims of such of the said sufferers as may not be included in the list now produced."
The board then proceeded to the consideration of the claims of the several persons named in the list, and having acknowledged them "to be sufferers in opposing the government of the pretended state of Vermont," distributed among them, in a ratio proportionate to their losses, fifty-four lots of 640 acres each, reserving ten lots of 640 acres each to meet any just demands for compensation that might be made in the future. Of the land thus granted, Timothy Church received 3,840 acres; William Shattuck, 3,200 acres; Henry Evans, 1,920 acres; Francis Prouty, 1,180 acres; Hezekiah Stowell, 840 acres; William White, Joseph Peck, Daniel Ashcraft, and David Thurber, each 640 acres; Charles Phelps, 508 acres; James Davidson, 500 acres; and the rest smaller quantities.*
* Daniel Shepardson received 280 acres. On the 4th of July, 1786, a few days before the allotment was made, he wrote to Governor Clinton from Guilford, informing his Excellency that he was dissatisfied with the statements that Mr. Shattuck had presented concerning his (Shepardson's) losses by the Vermonters. At the same time, he communicated an epitome of his losses in these words:— "By the Best Istemate that I Can make on the Whole for Time and Money Spent and for My Catel that have Bin taken from me By the Varmontears and for Being
546 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1786.
But in no case did any one person receive less than 90 acres. Of the reserved lands, lots of 640 acres each were, on the 12th and 14th of September, divided among certain of the sufferers who had neglected to apply for compensation at the appointed time.*
The land granted to "the sufferers in opposing" the government of Vermont was, at the time of the grant, located in Montgomery county. It formed "a part of a larger tract" which the province of New York had purchased of the Oneida and Tuscarora Indians, in the year 1768, and was known in the records of the land office and on the pages of the field books as a part of No. 2, or Clinton township. In the year 1791, the land which had been appropriated to the "sufferers," and a sufficient quantity additional to make an area of 48,000 acres, was erected into a township by the name of Jericho. On the 1st of June, 1814, the name of the township was changed to Bainbridge, in honor of Commodore William Bainbridge, whose victory, as commander of the Constitution, over the British frigate Java, was at that time the theme of remark and admiration throughout the United States. Bainbridge is situated in the south-eastern corner of the county of Chenango. The Susquehanna river runs through the township from the north-east to the south-west, and divides it diagonally. "The inhabitants came principally from the Eastern States," observes Mr. Spafford in his Gazetteer of the State of New York, "and it is almost superfluous to add that common schools for the education of youth are well supported."†
maid prisoner allso for my Beeing Drove from my Famaly and farm a Bout five Months, their Distressing my famaly and taking provishon from my house when, I was in Exile allso their taking my Son prisonr who was a Solger under Cap Peck and for two fire arms and for Many more Damages too Neumorous to Menshun the which I Sustaned By Vermont [my losses are equal] To the Amount of Four Hundred Dolars And for the Better understanding I wood Refer His Excelency Unto Mar Evens Who is Best aquanted with my Affairs." It is probable that this information arrived too late to affect the decision of the commissioners. Papers relating to Vt. Controversy, in office Sec. State N. Y., p. 55.
* Land Office Minutes, in office Sec. State N. Y., 1784—1788, i. 169, 170, 194—198, 220, 221, 224, 225. Doct. Hist. N. Y., iv. 1017—1020.
The names of the "sufferers" who were recompensed in lands, the quantity they received, the time when the grants were made, and other particulars relating to this subject, will be found in Appendix K.
† The town of Bainbridge, by the name of Clinton, was situated in the county of Montgomery until February 16th, 1791, when Tioga county was taken from Montgomery. At that time Bainbridge, by the name of Jericho, was organized as a part of Tioga. On the 15th of March, 1798, portions of Herkimer and Tioga
1786.] WISE ADDRESS OF GOVERNOR CHITTENDEN. 547
While the Legislature of New York were endeavoring to compensate those of their citizens, who in maintaining the jurisdiction of that state on the "Grants," had lost much of their real and personal estate, the government of Vermont was engaged in devising measures to satisfy the wants of its own citizens. During the summer, "the sufferings of the people becoming severe, and their complaints loud, on account of the extreme scarcity of money, Governor Chittenden, in the month of August, published an address to the inhabitants of the state, which was evidently dictated by a paternal regard for their welfare and happiness." In this carefully considered paper, he earnestly exhorted his fellow–citizens to be industrious and economical; to avoid, as much as possible, the purchase of foreign productions; and to devote their attention to the raising of flax and wool, and the various articles necessary for food and clothing. He counselled them to exercise prudence and diligence in business; mutual forbearance and kindness in their relations with one another; and a true regard for the safety of the state. By this course of conduct, and by the assistance which the Legislature would afford at their next session, he expressed a hope that their sufferings would be brought to a speedy termination, and they become "a prosperous and happy people."*
In accordance with the promise of Governor Chittenden,
counties were formed into a county by the name of Chenango. Since that time, Bainbridge — by the name of Jericho until 1814, and subsequently by the name of Bainbridge — has formed a part of Chenango county. The village of Bainbridge, now a "large and thriving" place, was incorporated by an act of the Legislature of New York, passed April 21st, 1829. The other settlements in the town are known as East Bainbridge, North Bainbridge, South Bainbridge, and Bettsburgh.
In the laws of New York, appended to the act for "altering the name of the town of Jericho in the county of Chenango" to Bainbridge, which was passed on the 15th of April, 1814, appears the following note, by the patriotic editor of the volume, inserted in brackets:— "The name of Bainbridge will be held dear by every American who loves his country and admires the heroes who defend it. The inhabitants of Jericho have evinced much patriotism in the alteration of the name of this town. We have now counties and towns bearing the names of Washington, Clinton, Gates, Jay, Preble, Decatur, Perry, and Bainbridge, besides others in honor of our revolutionary and naval heroes." — Maps in Book of "Deeds," in office Sec. State N. Y., xx. 568—570. Map No. 57, in office Sec. State N. Y. Laws of New York, 1791, 14th session, chap. x. Greenleaf's ed., ii. 341; 1798, 21st session, chap. xxxi.; 1799, 22d session, 2d meeting, chap. xxxiii.; 1814, 37th session, chap. clxxx. p. 213; 1829, 52d session, chap. cxcviii. pp. 302—308. Spafford's N. Y. Gazetteer, Art. JERICHO. Biog. Am. Military and Naval Heroes, ii. 143—176. Barber's N. Y. Hist. Coll., ed. 1841, pp. 99, 100.
* Thompson's Vt., Part II. p. 79.
548 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1786.
measures were taken by the Legislature during their session in October, to relieve the embarrassments of the people. Those who were inclined to suffer inconvenience rather than disturb the peace of the state, ceased to complain, and endeavored to quiet the murmurings of their neighbors. Others who owed money and who did not intend to pay their debts, determined "to prevent the sitting of the courts in which judgments and executions might be obtained against them." By the terms of the statute, a session of the court of common pleas for the county of Windsor was appointed to be held at Windsor on Tuesday the 31st of October. On the morning of that day, a mob of about thirty armed men,* from the towns of Barnard and Hartland, under the command of Robert Morrison, a Hartland blacksmith, and Benjamin Stebbins, a Barnard farmer, assembled near the court house at Windsor, a little after sunrise. Though no movements to that effect were made, yet their obvious design was to hinder the sitting of the court. Prompt in the discharge of duty, Stephen Jacob the state's attorney, and Benjamin Wait the high sheriff, waited on the malcontents; read to them the riot act and several other acts relative to unlawful assemblages; made proclamation to them to disperse; addressed them on the "impropriety of their proceedings;" and kindly advised them to return peaceably to their homes. After a little hesitation, they concluded to obey the laws, and dispersed.† The court convened in the afternoon, adjourned to the next morning, and then proceeded to business without any further molestation.
On Tuesday, the 14th of November, a term of the Supreme court was held at Windsor, Paul Spooner, chief judge, presiding, assisted by Nathaniel Niles, Nathaniel Chipman, and Luke Knowlton, side judges. Warrants were immediately issued for the arrest of the rioters, and Morrison and several of his men were taken and placed in confinement. Complaints were then exhibited against them by Stephen Jacob. In these it was charged that they, on the 31st of October, "with guns, bayonets, swords,
* In the complaint exhibited by the state's attorney, in the action of the freemen against the rioters, the persons charged with being engaged in this disturbance, were Amos Bicknal, John Whitcomb, and Solomon Aikin of Barnard; Moses Lull, Daniel Munsell, Daniel Munsell, Jr., Thomas Lazel Munsell, and Hira Flowers of Hartland; and "divers others to the said attorney unknown." MS. Court Papers.
† In one account the following statement appears:— "The insurgents being disappointed in their views, dispersed."
1786.] WINDSOR RIOTS. 549
clubs, drums, fifes, and other warlike instruments, unlawfully, routously, and tumultuously did assemble and gather themselves together, to disturb and break the peace of the state;" and that being thus assembled, they did "parade themselves in the front of the court-house in said Windsor in martial array, and with fixed bayonets did resist, obstruct, and hinder" the sheriff of the county, and the county court "from entering the said court house, and them did impede from opening and holding the said court, then and there by law to be opened and holden." To these charges Morrison pleaded guilty and threw himself upon the mercy of the court. The court sentenced him to suffer one month's imprisonment to procure bonds of £100 for his good behavior for two years; to pay a fine of £10, and to bear the costs of the suit. The punishment of the other offenders, who either pleaded or were found guilty, was proportioned to the offences they had committed.
Soon after the result of the trial had been announced, about fifty of the insurgents, most of whom resided in Hartland, assembled under arms at the house of Captain Lull, in that town, five miles north of the Windsor court house, with a fixed determination to rescue Morrison from imprisonment. The court having been informed of these proceedings on the 16th of November, directed the sheriff to procure assistance, proceed to the place where the insurgents were collected, arrest them, and commit them to prison. In obedience to these commands sheriff Wait, who was also Colonel of the third regiment of the Vermont militia, ordered Captain Dart of Weathersfield to march his company to Windsor. On the evening of the same day, the soldiery of the latter place assembled to aid the civil authority. The court and some of the higher military officers then called a council, and having taken into consideration the situation and character of the mob, determined that it would be true policy to take them by surprise. In conformity with this conclusion, Colonel Wait, with a force of forty men well armed, set out for the encampment of the insurgents very early on the morning of the 17th, and after a march of more than five miles, reached it between the hours of three and four.
Having escaped the notice of the guards by taking a circuitous route, Wait and his men entered Captain Lull's house in two divisions, and after a short, but "very resolute" attack, captured twenty-seven of the insurgents. During the conflict the leaders of the revolt escaped. So expeditiously was this
550 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1786.
service performed, that Wait's party returned to Windsor and lodged the culprits safely in the jail at that place, before sunrise. Though the victory over the insurgents was gained with comparative ease, yet several wounds were received by the sheriff's party. Stephen Jacob, the state's attorney, did not escape without injury, and Wait himself was "badly wounded in the head."* Still he was able to attend court, and, observed a chronicler of that time, would "have headed his regiment if necessity had required it." The results of this attack would have been far more disastrous, but for the humanity and firmness evinced by the military. The conduct of Captain Dart was highly applauded, and it was publicly announced at the time that he and his company were entitled to "the particular thanks of the freemen" of the state.
On the 18th the state's attorney exhibited a complaint against the insurgents,† in which they were charged with having assembled for the purpose of hindering the Supreme court from proceeding with the trial of certain persons who had been "informed against for a high misdemeanor," and for the purpose of rescuing Robert Morrison, "then a prisoner in the gaol at said Windsor pursuant to a legal order from said court." In answer to these accusations the prisoners pleaded guilty, and appeared "very humble and penitent." In consequence of these manifestations, they were "treated with great tenderness by the court." Fines were imposed upon them, and they were also required to discharge the cost of the suits, and to procure bonds for their good behavior for one year. Fears had been entertained that an insurrection of the people was about to happen, which would endanger the government of the state, and jeopardize the lives and liberty of those who refused to join it. Preparations for such an event were accordingly made, and on Saturday, while the trial of the insurgents was in progress, six hundred soldiers‡ under the command of Brig.-Gen. Peter
* In the pay roll of the field and staff officers, Colonel Wait claimed remuneration for loss, occasioned by "twenty-six days' sickness of wound."
† In one of these complaints, the persons informed against, were Amos Kendall, Benjamin Hale, Silas Hale, David Hale, and Abijah Capen of Windsor; Benjamin Munsell, Timothy Wooster, Eleazer Bishop Jr., Paul Rogers, Oliver Rogers, Samuel Danforth, Silvanus Wood, John Jenne, Elzi Evans, Asa Evans, Zera Evans, Elisha Gallup Jr., James Kelsey, and William Hopkins of Hartland; and Josiah Clark, and Josiah Hurlburt of Woodstock. MS. Court Papers.
‡ Among the militia present on this occasion, were Capt. Matthew Patrick's company of forty-three men; Capt. Andrew Tracy's of twenty-one men; Capt.
1786.] OUTBREAK IN RUTLAND. 551
Olcott assembled under arms at Windsor. Meantime the insurgents, having received reinforcements, had collected at Lull's house to the number of a hundred. While in doubt as to the course they should pursue, information was brought to them of the preparations for defence or attack which were in progress at Windsor. Satisfied that government was too strong to be overcome by their puny efforts, the malcontents dispersed, studious only to avoid detection and disgrace. Early in the following week the soldiers returned to their homes, and peace was again restored to the distracted county. On the 21st of November, a similar outbreak occurred in Rutland, at the commencement of the session of the court. For a time, it seemed as though the efforts of the "Regulators," as the rioters styled themselves, would be successful. But the firmness and dignity of the court; the readiness of the militia to act in defence of government; and the speedy measures which were taken to quell the insurrection, all united to avert a result so fearful. The insurgents were in the end defeated, and the course of justice was not again impeded by the reckless conduct of those whom misfortune had reduced to misery and want. The passage of laws to relieve the people from vexatious litigation, and more especially of an act "making neat cattle, beef, pork, sheep, wheat, rye, and Indian corn a lawful tender, if turned out by the debtor on any execution, which must be received by the creditor at the value of their apprisal by men under oath,"* tended to make the burden of debt under which many were laboring more
Henry Tolles's of sixteen men; Capt. Asahel Smith's of thirteen men; Capt. Nathaniel Weston's of ten men; and the combined companies of Capts. John Hopson and Nathaniel Severs of twenty-two men. The field and staff officers of the third regiment who, as it was expressed in the pay roll, "turned out for the support of government," were Col. Benjamin Wait, Lieut.-Col. Elijah Robinson, Major Jesse Safford, Adjt. Briant Brown, and Qr.-Mr. Jesse Williams. During this disturbance, the troops were well fed, as appears by the bills subsequently presented to the state treasurer for payment. Col. Benjamin Wait's demand "for supplying the troops with rum and other necessary provisions" was allowed, as was that of Elijah West "for his victualling and liquors delivered to Capt. Dart's company," and as were also several other demands of a similar nature.
* This act was passed at the session of the Legislature of Vermont, held at Bennington during February and March, 1787. On the 2d of the latter month, the following resolution was passed by the General Assembly, and ordered to be published:— "Resolved, that this house entertain a high sense of the services done to this state by the officers and soldiers, whose spirited exertions crushed the late daring insurrection against government, in the counties of Rutland and Windsor, and do hereby return the said officers and soldiers their hearty thanks." — Thompson's Vt., Part II. p. 81.
552 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1786.
endurable, and served "to check the legal enforcement of collections." The people became satisfied of the protective character of government, and gave it a support, cordial, firm, manly, and patriotic. Attention to business was rewarded by increased profits. Competence crowned the labors of many. Contentment smiled in the humble cottage and pervaded the hospitable farm-house. Health glowed in the faces of the rosy girls and ruddy matrons of the Green Mountains, and happiness waved its wand of blessing over the valleys of the peaceful Connecticut.*
The allotment of lands by the Legislature of New York to Timothy Church and his associates, led others who had been similarly situated, but who at a comparative early stage in the controversy had submitted to the government of Vermont, to apply for assistance. On the 12th of December, Eleazer Patterson, Samuel Knight, Benjamin Butterfield, John Sergeant, Josiah Arms, and twenty-two other persons addressed a petition to Governor Clinton and to the Senate and Assembly of New York, in which they declared that they had been "uniformly loyal to the state of New York;" had supported the rights and interests thereof; had "not only frequently risked their lives, but expended large sums of money and lost an abundance of time in defence of the said state had been often imprisoned and had suffered the loss of property to a considerable amount." They further stated that they had "continued to exert themselves in support of the state of New York, until they were left totally abandoned to the fury of their enemies," and then had submitted "to the usurpation of the government of Vermont," only to avoid being "deprived of their whole property." For these services and sufferings they asked as a compensation, "a grant of vacant and unappropriated land." No evidence was adduced in support of these statements. In consequence of this omission, the committee of the Legislature to whom the subject was referred, reported adversely to the petition.†
* Worcester Magazine, 1786, ii. 460, 465. MS. Complaints of the state's attorney. MS. Pay rolls. MSS. in office Sec. State Vt. Thompson's Vt., Part II. pp. 79—81.
† At a meeting of the commissioners of the land office, held on the 25th of May, 1787, "the petition of Eleazer Patterson of Hinsdale, suggesting himself to be a sufferer in opposing the government of the pretended state of Vermont, and praying for a grant of lands accordingly," was read. Similar petitions from John Kathan, Obadiah Wells, and the widow of Henry Sherburne were, at the same time, presented. The consideration of all these applications was postponed. Land Office Minutes, in office Sec. State N. Y., 1784—1788, i. 256. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 1020—1022.
1787.] FAVORABLE FEELING IN NEW YORK TOWARDS VERMONT. 553
At this period, a disposition favorable to the admission of the state of Vermont into the Union, began to be manifested by some of the most influential citizens of New York. Of this number were such men as Alexander Hamilton, Philip Schuyler, Richard Harrison and Egbert Benson. The pretensions of Vermont to a separate jurisdiction, first announced soon after the commencement of the late revolution, had been maintained throughout the whole of that struggle, and had never been disavowed although conciliatory laws had been passed, overtures made, and negotiations carried on in Congress to effect this result. The peace of 1783 had found Vermont in a condition of actual independence, organized under a regular form of government, and with a population rated at one-half of that of New York. The latter state had formerly threatened to reduce the people of Vermont to its obedience. The idea of subjection had now become so involved in difficulty, that all except the most rash and thoughtless had abandoned it as foolish and chimerical. While affairs were in this position, an attempt was made to further the project of admitting Vermont to a share in the federal government. An act "to empower and direct the delegates of this state in Congress, to accede to, ratify, and confirm the sovereignty and independence of the people of the territory commonly called and known by the name of the state of Vermont," was introduced into the Legislature of New York, during the session of 1787.
On the 24th of March, a petition from John Foxcroft and "many other persons," proprietors of lands in Vermont, relative to this bill, was read in the Assembly. The petitioners asked to "be indulged with a copy of the said bill," and to "be heard by themselves or their counsel thereupon." These requests were granted. On the 28th, the counsel for the petitioners appeared before a committee of the Assembly, "entered into a large field of argument" against the bill, and endeavored to show that it was "contrary to the constitution, to the maxims of sound policy, and to the rights of property." His observations were not destitute of weight, and to many of them additional force was given by the fact that they were to a certain degree founded in truth. He was followed by Alexander Hamilton, who in an elaborate address strove to prove, not only that the constitution permitted this measure, but that policy demanded it and justice acquiesced in its adoption. At every point he met his opponent's objections with forcible rea‑
554 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1787, 1788.
soning, and succeeded, in almost every instance, in overturning his positions. His opinion as to the policy of merging Vermont in New York, was expressed in these words:— "For my part, I should regard the reunion of Vermont to this state, as one of the greatest evils that could befall it; as a source of continual embarrassment and disquietude." The bill, after undergoing many alterations, passed the Assembly on the 12th of April, and was immediately sent to the Senate. Here it was read on the same day, and on its second reading on the 13th, was committed to a committee of the whole. By them it was never returned to the Senate. The admission of Vermont as a fourteenth state was postponed to a later time.*
Though the Legislature of New York had ceased to exercise authority over Vermont, yet, by the constitution of New York, the counties of Charlotte, Cumberland, and Gloucester were still claimed as constituent parts of that state. By the same instrument, power was given to "the future Legislatures" of the state, "to divide the same into such further and other counties and districts," as should be deemed necessary. In conformity with this authority, a law was passed on the 7th of March, 1788, for dividing the state of New York into counties. By this it was enacted, that the county of Cumberland should contain "all that part of this state beginning on Connecticut river at the north bounds of the state of Massachusetts, and extending westward along the same until such line shall meet with, and be intersected by, a line proceeding on a course, south ten degrees west from the north-west corner of a tract of land granted under the Great Seal of the late colony of New York, on the 14th day of September, 1770, to James Abeel and nine other persons; and extending from the said point of intersection, north ten degrees east, until such line shall meet with, and be intersected by, another line, to be drawn on a course north, sixty degrees west from the south-west corner of a tract of land granted under the Great Seal of the late colony of New York, on the 13th day of November, in the year of our Lord 1769, and erected into a township by the name of Royalton; and running from the last mentioned point of intersection, south sixty-six degrees, east to Connecticut river; and so down along the same river to the place of beginning."
* Hamilton's Works, ii. 374—390. Journal Ass. N. Y., 10th session, pp. 116, 117, 123, 155. Journal Senate N. Y., 10th session, pp. 84, 85.
1788.] BOUNDARIES OF GLOUCESTER COUNTY. 555
By the same enactment, Gloucester county was to contain "all that part of this state bounded southerly by the north bounds of the county of Cumberland; easterly by the east bounds of this state; northerly by the north bounds of this state; and westerly by a line to be drawn from the north-west corner of the said county of Cumberland, on a course north ten degrees east, until such line shall meet with, and be intersected by, another line proceeding on an east course from the south bank of the mouth of Otter creek; and from the said last mentioned point of intersection running north fifty degrees east to the north bounds of this state." On the west side of the Green Mountains the land which had formerly comprised the county of Charlotte, was, by this new division, included within the counties of Washington and Clinton.*
By a resolution of Congress passed on the 28th of September, 1787, the plan of the present constitution of the United States was transmitted to the several state Legislatures, "in order to be submitted to a convention of delegates chosen in each state by the people thereof." During the summer of 1788, it became evident that the constitution would be adopted by eleven of the thirteen states, and the national government established. The attention of the most intelligent men in Vermont was now forcibly directed to her peculiar situation. Prominent among these was Nathaniel Chipman. His opinion concerning the controversy in which Vermont had been so long engaged, was, that if the question should ever be brought before an impartial tribunal for decision, the New York title would be adjudged to be better than that of Vermont.† Holding this view of the case, he felt "extremely anxious" that the jurisdictional dispute should be speedily adjusted. For the purpose of consultation, a number of gentlemen, among whom were Lewis R. Morris and Gideon Olin, met at his house in Tinmouth, in the early part of July. The result of this conference was an agreement that he should write to Hamilton on the subject of a settlement of the controversy.
Agreeable to this determination, Chipman addressed a letter to Hamilton on the 15th of July, in which he briefly alluded to the situation of the larger portion of the landed property of Vermont
* Laws of N. Y., 11th session, pp. 133-136.
† "It is now generally believed, that, should we be received into the Union, the New York grants would, by the federal courts, be preferred to those of Vermont." N. Chipman to A. Hamilton, in Life of Chipman, p. 74.
556 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1788.
suggested certain methods by which Vermont might be brought to accede to the "new federal plan" of government; and desired to know whether, in case Vermont should be received into the Union, the "federal legislature, when formed," might not be induced, on some terms, "to make a compensation to the New York grantees out of their western lands, and whether those grantees might not be induced to accept such compensation." Daniel Chipman, the brother of Nathaniel, and the bearer of this communication, delivered it to Hamilton at Poughkeepsie, where that gentleman was then in attendance upon the New York convention for the adoption of the United States' constitution. On the 22d, Hamilton replied, acknowledging Chipman's letter "as the basis of a correspondence" that might be productive of public good. "The accession of Vermont to the confederacy," wrote he, "is doubtless an object of great importance to the whole, and it appears to me that this is the favorable moment for effecting it upon the best terms for all concerned. Besides more general reasons, there are circumstances of the moment which will forward a proper arrangement. One of the first subjects of deliberation with the new Congress will be the independence of Kentucky, for which the southern states will be anxious. The northern will be glad to find a counterpoise in Vermont. These mutual interests and inclinations will facilitate a proper result." He further informed Mr. Chipman that there would be no distribution of western land to particular parts of the community; assured him that the public debt of the United States would be provided for by indirect taxation, and by other politic measures; recommended that the state of Vermont should ratify the constitution, upon condition that Congress should provide for the extinguishment of all existing claims to land under grants of the state of New York, which might interfere with claims under the state of Vermont; and declared that it would be wise "to lay as little impediment as possible" in the way of the reception of Vermont into the Union.
In answer to another letter from Mr. Chipman of the 6th of September, Mr. Hamilton referred in general terms to the subject of their correspondence, and reiterated in a more extended form the observations he had previously made. To a suggestion of Mr. Chipman, that Vermont would desire to extend her territorial limits before becoming a part of the Union, Mr. Hamilton replied:— "I am sorry to find that the affair of the boundary is likely to create some embarrassment. Men's minds
1788.] LETTER OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. 557
everywhere out of your state, are made up upon, and reconciled to that which has been delineated by Congress. Any departure from it must beget new discussions, in which all the passions will have their usual scope, and may occasion greater impediments than the real importance of the thing would justify. If, however, the further claim you state cannot be gotten over with you, I would still wish to see the experiment made, though with this clog; because I have it very much at heart that you should become a member of the confederacy." Referring then to the question of the right of the Legislature of Vermont to decide upon the accession of that state to the Union, he observed:— "There is one thing which I think it proper to mention to you, about which I have some doubts, that is, whether a legislative accession would be deemed valid. It is the policy of the system to lay its foundation on the immediate consent of the people. You will best judge how far it is safe or practicable to have recourse to a convention. Whatever you do, no time ought to be lost. The present moment is undoubtedly critically favorable. Let it, by all means, be improved." During the following winter, Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Chipman had an interview at Albany, "when," observes the biographer of the latter gentleman, "they took a view of the subject somewhat different from their opinions which appear in the foregoing correspondence, and agreed on a mode of settling the controversy, which was afterwards adopted by the two states."*
The dispute between New York and Philadelphia as to which should be the permanent seat of the federal government, was finally decided in favor of the latter city. This result showed plainly that the western and southern influence was greater in Congress, than the northern. No state felt the force of this fact more severely than New York. Kentucky, whose territory belonged to Virginia, was anticipating a reception into the federal government, as a separate state, at no distant day. The admission of Vermont, it was seen, would tend, in some measure, to equalize representation. Her weight would serve as a counterpoise to the undue influence of particular sections of the Union. It was known at the north, that the adoption of the constitution of the United States had tended greatly to increase the desire of New York and Vermont, that the latter state should become a part of the Union. The controversy
* Life of Chipman, pp. 70-81.
558 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1789.
which had so long divided these states, whose interests, but for that, were now almost identical, was the only barrier which prevented the connection. The wisest and best men in both, were ready to make the attempt to remove this hindrance, by concessions that would be just for each.* Such was the wish, also, of those to whom the administration of public affairs was entrusted.
For the purpose of manifesting their willingness to end the controversy, the Legislature of New York, on the 14th of July, 1789, passed an act "appointing commissioners with power to declare the consent of the Legislature of the state of New York, that a certain territory within the jurisdiction thereof, should be formed or erected into a new state." The commissioners named, were Robert Yates, Rufus King, Gulian Verplanck, Robert R. Livingston, Simeon De Witt, Richard Varick, and John Lansing Jr. In the words of the act, they, or "any four or more of them," were vested with full power "to declare the consent of the Legislature of this state, that such district or territory within the jurisdiction, and in the north-eastern and northern parts thereof, as the said commissioners shall judge most convenient, should be formed and erected into a new state." Special provision was at the same time made, that nothing contained in the act should be construed to give any person claiming lands in the district "to be erected into an independent state," any right to any compensation from the state of New York.†
* The tone of public opinion on the subject of the controversy may be deduced, to a certain extent, from the newspapers of that period. The following extract is from Thomas's Spy, No. 831, March 12th, 1789.
"Vermont, Bennington, February 23 .
"Two of the agents of this state, appointed to attend on Congress, to negotiate the admission of this state into the new federal government, have attended the legislature of New York, during their session at Albany, in order to influence that honorable body to recognize our independence; and we learn that a bill for that purpose is now under their consideration, by which the western bounds of this state is affixed at the western bounds of the townships granted by Hampshire.
"We are informed from respectable authority, that many influential members of the legislature of New York, are anxious for the admission of Vermont into the Federal Union, to prevent internal divisions among the American states. The Hon. General Schuyler and others have given it as their opinion, that matters should be compromised amicably and speedily between this state and the New York claimants — the peace of the Union being of far greater value than half a million acres of land."
† This act was sent to Thomas Chittenden, in a letter dated at Albany on the 16th of July, 1789, and signed by all the commissioners except Richard Varick. Laws of N. Y., 1st meeting of 13th session, p. 2. Williams's Hist. Vt., ii. 257, 258.
1789, 1790.] APPOINTMENT OF BOUNDARY COMMISSIONERS. 559
On the 23d of October, 1789, the Legislature of Vermont responded to the advances made by the Legislature of New York, and passed an act, appointing Isaac Tichenor, Stephen R. Bradley, Nathaniel Chipman, Elijah Paine, Ira Allen, Stephen Jacob, and Israel Smith, commissioners in behalf of the state, "with full powers to them, or any four or more of them, to treat with commissioners that now are, or hereafter may be, appointed by the state of New York, and who shall be fully authorized and empowered, by the said state of New York, to ascertain, agree to, ratify, and confirm a jurisdictional or boundary line between the state of New York and the state of Vermont; and to adjust, and finally determine, all and every matter or thing which, in any wise, obstructs a union of this state with the United States." Special provision was at the same time made, that nothing in the act should be construed to give the commissioners power, either "to lessen or abridge the present jurisdiction" of Vermont; or to "oblige the inhabitants of the same, or any other person or persons, claiming title to lands" previously granted by Vermont, or "the late province of New Hampshire," to relinquish "their claims under the jurisdiction thereof, or, in any wise, subject the state of Vermont to make any compensation to different persons, claiming under grants made by the late province, and now state, of New York, of lands situate and being in the state of Vermont, and within the jurisdiction of the same."*
Having become satisfied that several omissions had been made in the act of the 14th of July, 1789, by which commissioners had been appointed to acknowledge the sovereignty of Vermont, the Legislature of New York, on the 6th of March, 1790, repealed that act, and passed another with a similar title. Robert Yates, Robert R. Livingston, John Lansing Jr., Gulian Verplanck, Simeon De Witt, Egbert Benson, Richard Sill, and Melancton Smith were named as commissioners in the second act. The same authority which had been conferred on the other commissioners was transferred to them, and, in addition to this, they were vested with "full power to treat, conclude, and agree with any person or persons, or any assemblies or bodies of people," touching the relinquishment of the jurisdiction of the state of New York over a certain portion of her "north-eastern and northern" territory; and touching "the securing or con‑
* Slade's Vt. State Papers, pp. 102, 193. Life of Chipman, p. 82.
560 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1790.
firming of rights, titles, or possessions of lands within such district or territory, held or claimed under grants from the state of New Hampshire while a colony, or under grants, sales, or locations made by the authority of the government or jurisdiction now existing, and exercised in the north-eastern parts of this state, under the name or style of the state of Vermont, against persons claiming the same lands under grants from this state while a colony, or since the independence thereof." In an accompanying proviso, the commissioners were prohibited from sanctioning or countenancing, in any way, the "grants, sales, or locations" made "by or under Vermont," in that portion of the state of New York, to which the name of the Western Union had been once applied by Vermont.
In another section of this act, it was stated, that whatever the commissioners might stipulate to receive, as "a compensation for extinguishing the claims" to lands within the said district, derived under the late colony of New York," should be for the use of those claimants thus deprived of their grants, although in the stipulations the "compensation should be declared to be for the use of this state, or for the people thereof." It was also provided that nothing in this act should be construed to give to any person claiming as above set forth, "any right to any further compensation" from the state, than the compensation which might "be so stipulated as aforesaid."*
In conformity with the terms of this act, and of that passed by the Legislature of Vermont, the commissioners of the two states assembled. "The only point of difficulty and debate," observes Mr. Williams, "related to a compensation for the lands claimed by the citizens of New York, which had been regranted by the government of Vermont." The discussions on this subject were carried on in a most friendly and conciliatory manner, and after two or three meetings, "an equitable and amicable agreement" was concluded. On the 7th of October, the commissioners of New York by virtue of the powers granted to them for that purpose, declared the consent of the Legislature of New York, that the state of Vermont should be admitted into the Union of the United States of America; and that immediately upon such admission, all claims of jurisdiction of the state of New York within the state of Vermont should cease.
* Laws of N. Y., 2d meeting, 13th session, p. 13.
1790.] SPECIFICATION OF THE BOUNDARY LINE. 561
They further declared that thenceforth, "the perpetual boundary line between the state of New York and the state of Vermont" should be as follows:— "Beginning at the north-west corner of the state of Massachusetts; thence westward, along the south boundary of the township of Pownall, to the southwest corner thereof; thence northerly, along the western boundaries of the townships of Pownall, Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington, Sandgate, Rupert, Pawlet, Wells, and Poultney, as the said townships are now held or possessed, to the river, commonly called Poultney river; thence down the same, through the middle of the deepest channel thereof, to East Bay; thence through the middle of the deepest channel of East Bay and the waters thereof, to where the same communicates with Lake Champlain; thence through the middle of the deepest channel of Lake Champlain, to the eastward of the islands called the Four Brothers, and the westward of the islands called Grand Isle and Long Isle, or the Two Heroes, and to the westward of the Isle La Mott, to the forty-fifth degree of north latitude."
With regard to the lands which had been granted by New York, the commissioners, announcing "the will of the Legislature of the state of New York," decreed that, "if the Legislature of the state of Vermont should, on or before the first day of January, 1792, declare that, on or before the first day of June, 1794, the said state of Vermont would pay to the state of New York the sum of thirty thousand dollars, that, immediately from such declaration by the Legislature of the state of Vermont, all rights and titles to lands within the state of Vermont, under grants from the government of the late colony of New York, or from the state of New York, should cease," those excepted which had been made in confirmation of the grants of New Hampshire. Such was the deliberate decision of the commissioners upon the topics which had been submitted to them for a final and definitive settlement.*
The plan proposed in this decision met with the approbation of the Legislature of Vermont, and on the 28th of October they passed an act, directing the treasurer of the state to pay the sum of thirty thousand dollars to the state of New York, at or before the time proposed; adopting the line proposed by the commissioners as the perpetual boundary between the two states; and declaring all the grants, charters, and patents of
* Williams's Hist. Vt., ii. 258, 259. Slade's Vt. State Papers, pp. 190, 191, Thompson's Vt., Part II. p. 83. Doc. Inst. N. Y., iv. 1023.
562 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1791.
land, lying within the state of Vermont, made by or under the late colony of New York, to be null and void, and "incapable of being given in evidence in any court of law" within the state, those excepted which had been made in confirmation of the grants from New Hampshire. "In this amicable manner," observes Mr. Williams, "was terminated a controversy which had been carried on with great animosity for twenty-six years."* Both sides were weary of the contest, and, happily for them, the general condition of America was favorable to conciliatory measures. This seems to have been the only period, in which the matter could have been adjusted to the satisfaction of all parties. †
The difficulties with New York having been terminated by these proceedings, the General Assembly of Vermont issued a call for a convention of the people, to take into consideration the expediency of joining the federal union. The convention met at Bennington on the 6th of January, 1791. Among the delegates were Thomas Chittenden, the president, and Moses Robinson, the vice-president of the convention, Nathaniel Chipman, Stephen R. Bradley, Ira Allen, Ebenezer Allen, Daniel Buck, Jonathan Arnold, Gideon Olin, Jonathan Hunt, John Strong, John Fassett, Timothy Brownson, and many others of sound practical sense, and stern integrity. Of the conflicting opinions which, prevailed on this occasion, Mr. Williams remarks:— "The members were not all agreed on the expediency of being connected with the thirteen states, and it was doubted, whether a majority of the people were for the measure. Several members of the convention wished to defer the consideration of the question, to a more distant period. It was urged on the other hand, that the safety, the interest, and the honor of Vermont, would be essentially promoted by joining the union of the other states, and that this was the precise time, when it might be done without difficulty or opposition."
Favoring the accession of Vermont to the union, Nathaniel Chipman, distinguished both as an able jurist and an accomplished scholar, urged the convention to give their assent to the measure, and in a forcible and argumentative speech, advanced his reasons for recommending such a course. In emphatic language, he described the insignificance of the condition to
* The commencement of the controversy is generally fixed at the date of the Order of the King in Council, viz. July 20th, 1764. See ante, p. 130.
† Williams's Hist. Vt., ii. 259, 260. Slade's Vt. State Papers, pp. 191, 193, 194.
1791.] VIEWS OF NATHANIEL CHIPMAN. 563
which Vermont would be continually subjected, should she remain a separate state, and foreshadowed her probable fate in case a war should arise between the United States and Great Britain. He showed in what manner learning and science, and manufactures, and the arts, would be patronized in Vermont by means of the Union, and how, as a result of the same cause, the moral and social condition of the state would be exalted. He referred to the different methods that had been adopted in different ages of the world, to bring states similarly situated to act as one confederacy, and declared that the constitution and the federal government of the United States, though almost phenomena in civil polity, were better calculated than any other means that could be adopted, to unite in one body the people of the United States, and to secure "the tranquillity, happiness, and prosperity of the Union."
Arguments like these prevailed, and on the 10th of January, after a session of four days, the convention resolved that application should be made to Congress for the admission of Vermont into the federal Union. This decision was supported by an instrument, in which the convention, by virtue of the power and authority to them entrusted for that purpose, "fully and entirely" approved of, assented to, and ratified the constitution of the United States, and declared, that "as soon as the state of Vermont shall be admitted by the Congress into the Union, and to a full participation of the benefit of the government now enjoyed by the states in the Union, the same shall be binding on us and the people of the state of Vermont forever." This instrument was signed by one hundred and five of the one hundred and nine members of the convention. The convention having completed the business for which they had been called together, dissolved on the 11th of January.
The General Assembly of Vermont met at Bennington, on the day previous to the dissolution of the convention, and, on the 18th, made choice of Nathaniel Chipman and Lewis R. Morris, as their commissioners to repair to Congress and negotiate the admission of Vermont into the Union. Pursuant to their appointment, these gentlemen visited Philadelphia and laid before General Washington, the President of the United States, the proceedings of the convention and Legislature of Vermont, before referred to. On the 18th of February, Congress by an act declared, "that on the fourth day of March, one thousand
564 HISTORY OF EASTERN VERMONT. [1791—1795.
seven hundred and ninety, one, the said state, by the name and style of 'the state of Vermont,' shall be received and admitted into this Union, as a new and entire member of the United States of America." Thus did Vermont finally reach the position which she was so well entitled to fill. Her accession to the Union was everywhere regarded with satisfaction, and no better proof of the feeling of Congress on the subject is needed, than the fact that she was admitted without debate and by a unanimously affirmative vote.*
During their session held at Windsor in the months of October and November following, the General Assembly of Vermont made provision for raising the sum of $30,000, by a general land tax.† At this period in the history of the United States, before the establishment of a national currency, the difficulty of procuring large sums of silver or gold was severely felt. Owing to this scarcity of a circulating medium, and the poverty of the people, the state of Vermont was unable to pay the whole of the stipulated amount at the appointed time. An act was therefore passed by the Legislature of New York, extending the time of the payment. As soon as the greater portion of the $30,000 had been received, a question arose as to the method of apportionment which should be adopted, in dividing it among those to whom it belonged. For the purpose of removing all trouble on this point, the Legislature of New York passed an act on the 6th of April, 1795, "concerning the money paid into the treasury of this state, by the state of Vermont."
In the preamble of this act, the various proceedings which had led to a settlement of the controversy were recited, and the necessity of making "a just and equitable distribution" of the money which already had been and which hereafter was to be paid, was stated. To accomplish this object, Robert Yates, John Lansing Jr., and Abraham Van Vechten were appointed commissioners,
* Hist. Vt., ii. 260, 261. Slade's Vt. State Papers, pp. 194—196. Life of Nathaniel Chipman, pp. 83-95. Ira Allen's Inst. Vt., pp. 249, 250.
† "The General Assembly of Vermont has passed a law, laying a tax of one halfpenny per acre, on all lands in that state, for the purpose of raising the sum of $30,000, to discharge the demand of the state of New York upon them." Thomas's Spy, November 24, 1791, No. 973.
"As compensation for the loss of these lands, the state of Vermont stipulated and paid to the state of New York, 30,000 Spanish milled dollars."
"With good management, 30,000 dollars cancelled grants from the late colony of New York, for about 5,000,000 acres of land." — Ira Allen's Hist. Vt., pp. 249, 250.
1799.] FINAL SETTLEMENT OF THE DISPUTE WITH NEW YORK 565
to decide all claims of citizens of New York to lands situated in Vermont which had been ceded by the former state to the latter, and to determine what proportion of the $30,000 each claimant should receive. The commissioners were directed to give notice of the time when they would receive and examine claims. Claimants who should not notify their claims to the commissioners, within one year after the publication of the notice, were declared for ever barred of the right of recovery. Vested with these powers, and guided by these regulations, the commissioners began their examination. Many applications were received, and the amount of compensation claimed was far greater than the sum from which it was to be drawn. Finally on the 23d of April, 1799, the commissioners, rendered their report. Of the seventy-six-claimants among whom the sum was divided, those who received the largest amount were Goldsbrow Banyar, Samuel Avery, the heirs of James Duane, William Cockburne, the heirs of Simon Metcalf, Brooke Watson, William Smith, John Plenderleaf, Jonathan Hunt, John Bowles, Thomas Norman in right of his wife the daughter of Crean Brush, Abraham Lot, Samuel Stevens, James Abeel, the heirs of Cadwallader Colden, and John Bard.*
With this apportionment all the direct results flowing from the controversy between New York and Vermont ceased. The two states, united by the bonds of trade and mutual interest, no longer regarded one another with jealousy or distrust, but sought rather, by the interchange of confidence and concession, to obliterate the recollections of the past. From the time when Vermont first declared her independence, "Freedom and Unity" was the expression of the principles which guided her conduct. "Freedom and Unity" is the motto with which she now stands among the states of this Union.
* Life of Chipman, p. 82. Laws of N. Y., 18th session, pp. 34, 35. Doc. Hist. N. Y., iv. 1024, 1025.
An account of the division of the $30,000 is contained in Appendix L.