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BY G. B. SAWYER, ESQ.
Wm. A. Griswold came into professional and public life at a time when the founders of the state were gradually retiring from it. He belonged to a class of men worthy to succeed them, and was conspicuous for the stations he held and the influence he long exercised. His abilities, always equal to the requirements of his position, were combined with a disposition so kind and frank that everybody loved and respected the man, and opponents and friends concurred in conceding to him sincerity in his opinions and honesty in his conduct: indeed, indirection, subterfuge, equivocation and the arts which make up the demagogue's stock in trade were alien to his nature; he received the public confidence because he deserved it.
Mr. Griswold was born in New Marlborough, Mass., Sept. 15, 1775. He was about ten years old when his father removed to Bennington. In due time, he was sent to Dartmouth College where he graduated, studied law with Judge Jonathan Robinson; married according to the laudable custom of that primitive time, at the age of twenty-three, Miss Mary Follett of eighteen, and opened his office at Danville, then the county town of Caledonia county. He was successful his practice gradually extending from his own, to the neighboring counties of Essex, Orange, and Orleans; and he was considerably employed in the district and circuit courts of the United States, to which the evasions and violations of the revenue laws, and the circumstances of the times attracted a greater share of business then, than afterwards. Law suits are multiplied by the difficulties incident to a new country, and the land titles in that region were unsettled. Questions of fact and law blended, and decided together under the singular judicial system which then prevailed, demanded of counsel close preparation and the ready use of all his resources; they were more severely contested then, than now, and the bar wanted neither learning nor ability. Tradition and even the reports of that period, few and imperfect as they are, have preserved the characteristics of Mattocks, Cushman, Fletcher, Paddock, Baxter, Sawyer, Young and others, of whom Mr. Griswold was a worthy competitor and compeer. Mr. Griswold was a good lawyer, though there were not wanting critics to note that his interest in political and social matters around him diverted him from the attention and study that his profession required. And he was a good advocate, clear and quick in his perceptions, and exceedingly fluent. He was always an acceptable, and often an effective speaker in the courts, legislature, and public assemblies.
He was appointed to the office of state's attorney in 1803, which he continued to hold with a few interruptions until he removed to Burlington in 1821. He was elected to the legislature from Danville in 1807, the year in which the act passed establishing the state prison. This policy, which had been much canvassed and objected to in the state, and seriously opposed in the legislature, Mr. Griswold warmly supported — urging the legislature to abandon the branding-iron, pillory, and whipping post, which crushed the criminal under a load of irretrievable disgrace, and to substitute the American idea, as he called it, a kind of punishment which contemplated and rendered possible his reformation and restoration to society. He remembered with satisfaction his own exertions on that occasion, and the pleasure he felt at the time, from the passage of the bill. He remained a member till 1811, five sessions consecutively. On all subjects of local and state legislation, his knowledge and excellent judgment with his suavity of manners gave him much influence to promote good, and defeat bad measures. "He was a good legislator, a very good legislator," said his friend Gov. Crafts.
This period was one of intense party excitement. From the commencement of her war against the French revolution in 1793, England had impressed our seamen, and plundered our ships. The commerce of the only neutral civilized nation in the world offered an immense prize to the rapacity of
the mistress of the seas — and she seized it. Neither the recent treaty (Jay's in 1796), nor the value of the American commerce and market, nor the injury and peril of our hostilities availed to restrain her aggressions. Our remonstrances she treated with insolent indifference. The attack upon the Chesapeake in 1807, and the taking of a portion of her crew by force from an American frigate, and under the protection of the American flag, reluctantly and lamely apologized for, had left a smouldering shame and wrath that demanded a different kind of atonement.
The restrictive measures, the embargo and non-intercourse, adopted to withdraw our seamen and commerce from her grasp, and to withhold supplies she could scarcely obtain elsewhere, were really preparations for the war which soon ensued. The legislature became the arena for the discussion of these and other measures of the national government. Mr. Griswold, an ardent supporter of the administrations of Jefferson and Madison, defended them with all his zeal and ability; and to the last, and when these questions had apparently passed away, he could never speak of the aggressions of England without resentment. The conduct of that government and the hostile and malignant spirit manifested by that country, since the breaking out of the existing* rebellion here, and the consequences to which they may lead at no distant time, have awakened a new interest in these old questions, and remind the writer of the sentiments so often expressed by Mr. Griswold many years since. The metaphysical and abstract proposition, said he, on which she based her aggressions in impressing our seamen, "once a subject, always a subject," drawn from Roman law, and resting on force alone, was suitable to the genius and position of old Rome, when she was mistress of the civilized world and there was nobody to complain, evade or resist it. But England was only one of a multitude of states, independent and co-equal. — Again it was against natural right, which permits man to transfer himself to any spot on earth's surface, where he may improve his condition, and to form new relations with any people that will receive him. These new relations are necessarily exclusive and annul the old; and human governments, things of convention, changing and transitory, cannot abrogate nor abridge natural rights. Practically, the right asserted by England had been denied by all civilized nations, including England herslf. Did Holland surrender the defeated republicans of the Cromwell time, France and Spain the British Catholics, or England the French Huguenots, who were refugees, on the simple ground that they were native born subjects and owed their persons and service to the mother country? The deck of an American ship on the high seas is the same as the soil of the country; and if England had a right to take by force its crew, she was equally authorized to send her agents upon our territory and take from it any she might claim. And what kind of right is that which can be exercised only under conditions that strip the victims of all chance of a fair trial, even of the fact whether they are within her own claim? No court, no jury, no appeal; but a British officer, sent on board the American ship unarmed and defenceless, became the interested and irresponsible tribunal to condemn them to service in British men-of-war for life, and to shed their blood in battles and quarrels not their own. Notoriously they made no distinction between the native and naturalized seamen, who were carried off and numbered thousands; and American protections were torn up, trampled upon and disregarded at pleasure.
During this time, her right of search, paper blockades, and orders in council, had organized piracy into a system enforced by her cruisers and privateers, and ratified by her, courts, which in such questions are simply a department of her government.
In British estimation anything is justified and consistent with the law of nations, which her interests require and her power can enforce. Hundreds of millions of American property were confiscated; and, indeed, it was significantly remarked in parliament that since Trafalgar, American Commerce gave the British cruisers and privateers their principal employment, and rewarded it. The Barbary powers, whom Preble and Decatur conquered and punished after a five-years war, enslaved our seamen and captured our vessels; and kindred and Christian England did the same for 20 years, as Mr. Griswold firmly believed, from envy of our commercial prosperity, the fear that our republican system of government would become firmly
* This paper was written in 1863. — Ed.
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established, and from hatred to our people, cherished by her commercial, aristocratic and governing classes. With ships, commerce, colonies, England was vulnerable, — destitute of these, France was unassailable; and he was for striking the enemy that could be reached.
With these sentiments, Mr. Griswold, chosen an elector of President in 1812, voted for James Madison, and the War.
He re-entered the legislature in 1813, to which he was annually re-elected to 1819. — The nation had had peace within its limits for 20 years; and our armies had been entrusted to the Hulls, Wilkinsons, Hamptons, incompetent and unfaithful generals, as most unfortunately has happened to us since; and except our naval victories, the war, which had now lasted 15 months, had little to present from the army but failure and reverses. The supporters of the war were dispirited, its opponents exulted, exaggerated our disasters, redoubled their exertions and their threats, and made important gains in the elections. — How have the errors, faults, and misfortunes of those times been re-produced in our own, only with a stage of action grander, a compass of consequences vaster, Catalines more wicked and remorseless, and a devil to inspire them, more busy and crafty than we had given him credit for!
In 1813 Vermont had failed to elect her governor by the people; and constitutionally, the election devolved upon the legislature in joint ballot. The Republicans, as the administration party were then called, had the Council, and the Federalists had a majority in the House; but the former had a majority in the joint ballot. The latter controlled the committee of elections, which excluded the votes of some 200 or 300 soldiers, gaining several councillors, and bringing the parties to a tie.
Numerous ballottings ensued, and no choice seemed possible, when it was announced that the Hon. Martin Chittenden had received a majority. Somehow, a vote had been changed. The Republican members, amazed and bewildered, sprang to their feet. One cried "it is impossible;" another demanded a recount, another an investigation, amidst calls for order! order! from the victors. An adjournment was moved, resisted, and declared carried by the Speaker (Mr. Daniel Chipman of Middlebury.) On the opening of the House, next morning, the Speaker entered the Hall with Mr. Chittenden on his arm, marched directly to the desk and instantly administered the oath of office; and a troublesome debate and investigation being dexterously anticipated and prevented, the Governor elect, equipped as by magic, with a long Gubernatorial speech, denouncing the War as unjust, unnecessary and ruinous, proceeded at once to deliver it. This was a second dose of ipicac for the unlucky and disappointed Republicans, who denied his right to make a speech at all; for the whole 117 members, who had so steadily kept their ranks in a hundred ballottings, made their depositions that, in the last one they all voted and voted for Galusha.
Of these 117 members was Mr. Carpus Clark, from a small town in Rutland County, who had made arrangements to remove from the state, and did so remove, immediately after the rising of the legislature, and who exhibited signs of sudden prosperity — a span of fine horses, &c. — which, with other circumstances, were interpreted as the reward and evidence of apostacy. Besides his deposition, political friends who sat neer his seat declared they saw his vote for Galusha, and were quite sure he put it in.
Josiah Dunham, editor of the Washingtonian, a keen writer, a man of learning and talents, was Clerk of the House, and counted the votes. Following the stately fashion of the old times, he wore shirt ruffles over his hands; and it was loudly asserted that, of the votes which the numerous ballottings had scattered about the desk, a wrong one had somehow got entangled in the folds of his ruffles! But Mr. Dunham, though a warm partizan, was really a gentleman and an honorable man, and it is quite unlikely he would commit such a mistake — on purpose. The lost vote, like Jonathan's arrow, could not be found nor satisfactorily traced.
Vermont, the New England State which sustained the declaration of War, and voted for Madison against Clinton, with a representation then double, and a relative political weight quadruple of what she now has — a frontier state too — was revolutionized, and that in the midst of war — an event which produced a deep sensation at the time. The revolution was caused by the exclusion of the soldiers' votes. Those soldiers were citizens of Vermont, most of them even natives, and
lost none of their rights by entering the military service of the United States, of which Vermont and its people were a part, and to which they owed an equal and common duty. In all governments, in republics especially, the act of the citizen-soldier in voluntarily exposing himself to the painful restraints and hardships of military life, and encountering the perils of sickness, wounds and death, in defence of his country and vindication of its rights, is regarded as worthy of bounties, pensions, and rewards, and honored with heartfelt approbation, gratitude, and thanks. That act the tyranny of faction treated as an offence, to be visited with the same consequences which the law imposes upon an offender after conviction of an infamous crime. It punished patriotism by inflicting upon it the penalty of a forfeiture of the right of suffrage, and aggravated the wrong by insultingly proclaiming that the citizen, in becoming a soldier, sank into a slave and was unfit to enjoy the rights and exercise the functions of a citizen. In Vermont, this exclusion was soon to be followed by condign retribution upon its authors. It is curious to note the recurrence of the same spirit after the lapse of half a century. The sympathizers with the present rebellion, having succeeded in a season of temporary dejection (1862), in obtaining control of the legislatures in many states, instantly manifested the same bitter hostility to the soldiers, nine-tenths of whom were volunteers, the flower of the intelligent youth of the country, actuated by patriotism alone. As legislative provisions were necessary, in order to enable the military voters absent in the army to exercise their rights of suffrage, all resolutions, propositions, and bills to that end, and to render their exercise safe and practicable, were opposed and voted down; and the executive of the Empire State, to crush legislation, sent to the legislature a veto in advance. Why should not those who are aiding the traitors waging war to destroy the union, constitution, and free government itself, hate their defenders?
A measure, in the same spirit and of which we have recently had a counterpart in a neighboring state, is worth relating. A few weeks after the adjournment of the legislature, in Nov. 1813, Gov. Chittenden issued a proclamation recalling and discharging Col. Dixon's Regiment of Vermont Militia, which had been regularly called into the service of the United States, and were at Plattsburgh supplying the place of regular troops, thus liberated and engaged in active service, on the ground that the general government had no constitutional right to take the militia beyond the limits of the state. By the constitution, the militia may be called into the service "to execute the laws of the union, to suppress insurrections and repel invasion," without local or any other limitation; and when called into service "the President shall be commander-in-chief of the militia of the several states," no more, no less. And in the very first instance in which the militia were called out, — the whiskey insurrection in Pennsylvania in 1794, — President Washington ordered out the militia of the neighboring states purposely, as he declares, and with 15,000 of such he suppressed it.
The futility of this second main reason, viz: that these men were required at home to defend their own state, was to have a speedy demonstration. When in August and September, 1814, the British invaded us by land and water, the men of Vermont, volunteers, without distinction of party, rushed in thousands to Plattsburgh; and the glorious double victory of the 11th of September, proved that Plattsburgh was the very spot where Vermont as well as New York was to be defended.
The Governor dispatched a messenger, a militia brigadier general, to Plattsburgh, with his proclamation, with directions to enforce it. The officers met, signed a protest in reply to it, drawn up by Capt. Sanford Gadcomb of St. Albans, admirable for its spirit and ability, and unanimously refused to obey it. The men, when they learned his errand, seized the messenger and ignominiously helped him out of camp; and he at least was glad to find himself safe at home. The proclamation only served to render irretrievable the fall of the party and the politicians held responsible for it. Of Gov. Chittenden, it is but just to say, that he was constitutionally moderate, and disinclined to extremes, an enlightened man, of long congressional and political experience; but little self-reliant, and yielding to the counsels of friends and advisers in proportion as they were confident in their opinions and reckless of consequences. The public in his day made many allowances for him; but this only injured his party the more, who
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were made responsible for faults which they were compelled, perhaps, to recognize and sanction.
During these two stormy years (1813 and 1814) Mr. Griswold was an active and energetic member, sustaining the war and every measure to strengthen the hands of the government and its friends, and was a leader, perhaps the leader of his side of the House.
After the peace, the ascendency of the Federal party became a thing of history, — leaving the impressive lesson that no party can stand, that refuses to stand by the country and its government in time of war with foreign foes or domestic traitors.
In 1815 he was elected speaker of the House, and was annually re-elected to 1819, inclusive, after which he ceased to be a member. He retired from it universally esteemed and popular.
Vermont then elected her six members of congress by general ticket, and on the ticket nominated by a meeting or caucus of the members of the legislature and citizens of the state who repaired to Montpelier to attend it, were the names of William A. Griswold and Rollin C. Mallary. On another ticket (got up under the auspices of Mr. Van Ness, and which proved mainly successful) was Col. Orsamus C. Merrill. After the election, the appropriate committee of the legislature excluded the votes of two or three towns for some informality, and in consequence Col. Merrill obtained the certificate of election. — Mr. Mallary repaired to Washington, and contested the seat. The committee of elections, and afterwards the House admitted the excluded votes, and the result was that Mallary had more votes than Merrill, and Griswold more votes than either, and was elected. John Randolph exclaimed, "Neither of the contestants is entitled to the seat! where is Mr. Griswold?" But no Mr. Griswold appeared, and the seat was awarded to Mr. Mallary. The latter five times re-elected, chairman of the committee of manufactures for years, attained a national reputation as an able debater and statesman, and remained in congress till his death. A seat in congress does not commonly go begging, and Mr. Griswold had not afterwards the good or bad fortune to reach it. Between the two men the warmest personal friendship existed, cemented by long years of public service together; and if Mr. Griswold's surrender of the honor and advantages of a seat in congress was a sacrifice to personal friendship, it was one of which his generous heart was as capable as any man's, and cost him as few regrets. At all events, the circumstance is singular, never having occurred in the history of congress before or since.
President Monroe appointed him to the office of District Attorney of the United States, which he held to the close of Mr. Adams' administration in 1829. He was a member of the council of censors in 1828, an elector of President in 1836, voted for Harrison, elected to the legislature from Burlington in 1841.
Having removed to Burlington (where he resided during the rest of his life), and formed a law partnership with his brother-in-law, Judge Follett, he pursued his profession as long as health permitted.
He was a disciple of the political school of Jefferson, which taught that amidst the diversities of physical and intellectual gifts and faculties, every man has a right to be, or become, a citizen in a free state; that incapacity to exercise civil rights, is the result of ignorance and debasement, which the state can anticipate and ought to remove by proper provisions for education: which declared "eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the minds and bodies of men;" that man was capable of self-government; that our republican institutions, state and national, were instituted to guarantee to every man his natural and civil rights, and the free exercise of his abilities and faculties subject only to the just restraints of law;" to consolidate the Union and thus to perpetuate the freedom, prosperity and strength of the nation at home and abroad — such were the principles of the original old-fashioned democracy; and Mr. Griswold was such a democrat.
A supporter of Mr. Adams' administration he was opposed to Gen. Jackson's — to his sweeping removals, his oppressive Indian policy, and his bank war to destroy what was soon to expire, without convulsion or injury, by the limitation of its own existence. But when he took his manly stand to enforce, by the alternative of war, the payment of the $5,000,000 awarded us, which France evaded or refused to pay; when he issued his noble proclamation against the nullifiers of South Carolina, which, with the energetic measure
taken to sustain it, postponed for 30 years the rebellion which southern traitors and their abettors at the north have raised to destroy both the union and liberty, the old hero had not a friend who would have gone further to support him than Mr. Griswold. — "What manner of man is Gen. Jackson?" asked one of his warm partizans of Mr. Griswold, on his return from Washington, after a winter spent there. "He is more like Gov. Tichenor in looks, address, and manners, than any man I ever saw," was the characteristic reply, and a Bennington man could say no more.
He was the ardent friend and supporter of Mr. Clay, — the very man to feel in its full force the magnetism of his personal qualities and his generous and all-embracing patriotism.
He was naturally a public man from quick sympathies with whatever concerned the well being of his country and society; a magistrate always fulfilling cheerfully local and minor public trusts, frequently chosen the arbitrator of his neighbors' differences; the member of all useful associations for the promotion of all material, social, moral, and religious interests, and aiding them by his efforts and his means; the frank defender of good principles, and good men. He will be especially remembered as an excellent specimen of a species becoming rare, but we hope not quite extinct — an honest politician.
His wife and his children, with one exception, some in opening youth, others in the flower of their age, preceded him to the grave. Prepared and reconciled to the common lot of man, by such sorrows, he died in 1845, 70 years of age.
If an apology is required for introducing and pursuing some topics, further than their connection with Mr. Griswold warranted, the answer is that they involve principles and events with which he had to deal; and these have, moreover, an intrinsic and instructive interest in relation even to what is passing before our eyes. And if these reminiscences can give pleasure to any who knew and valued him or induce one young man to cherish the temper and principles and imitate the example of one of the most useful, honorable, and amiable of men, the end of this rambling and imperfect notice will have been answered.
[Furnished by the Family. — Ed.]
Nathan B. Haswell, born in Bennington, Jan. 20, 1786, was the son of Anthony Haswell, of whom a notice is given on page 176.
At the age of twelve he was employed in his father's printing office setting type. His father was clerk of the general assembly, and during their sessions in Westminister he took the whole charge of the office, and the publication of a weekly newspaper with its editorial department devolved upon and was conducted by him during the absence of his father.
Wishing to fit himself for some professional service, he entered as a student the law office of Hon. Jonathan Robinson, in 1800, and continued his studies until 1804, when he left for Burlington, from an offer made by David Russell, Esq. (who had been made a partner of his father in establishing the first printing office in Vermont), who desired his receiving a liberal education at the U. V. M.
While he was anticipating the completion of a thorough education in college, news came of the destruction by fire of his father's house, office, and various other property, which decided him to engage in active business at once. In 1805 he received from Jabez Penniman, collector of customs, the office of inspector at Burlington, which office he held, honorably discharging its duties during the embargo, until 1809, when he resigned.
He was married, Sept. 20, 1810, to Plimpton, daughter of Oliver Plimpton, Esq., of Sturbridge, Mass. (Mrs. Haswell died Aug. 20, 1848.)
In 1812 and 1813, Mr. Haswell was the issuing commissary for distributing army rations. He was also a portion of the time the public store keeper, and also superintended the taking an inventory of the public property in Burlington. He was appointed orderly sergeant in the corps of exempts formed at Burlington during the war of 1812.
When the British under Col. Murray made an incursion into this section, and from their row gallies fired several shots into town, he was active in assisting Capt. Chappell to meet the enemy. In 1814 he forwarded troops, provisions, &c., to the army at Plattsburgh. From 1818 to 1836 be held the offices of clerk of the county and the supreme court, notary
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public, master in chancery, &c. In 1836-7 he represented Burlington in the state legislature. In the same year, was appointed U. S. agent to build the break water and to superintend the cleaning the channel with a steam dredging machine, between the islands of North and South Hero. Also, during that time he had charge of the break-water at Plattsburgh, and performed some important services on that work.
To the masonic order, he was over forty years a most active and efficient member, was Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter, and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Vermont, for many years.
During the few last years of Mr. Haswell's life, his constitution became enfeebled by frequent and severe attacks of illness. A last and fatal one occurred during an absence at the West on business. He died at Quincy, Ill., June 6, 1855. His remains were brought to Burlington for interment.
From a Sentinel; Extra, — June, 1855, we quote, "He (Mr. Haswell,) for half a century has been one of our most public and liberal citizens." For the growth and prosperity of Burlington, none have been more liberal in bestowing services and means to promote its true interests. Many offices of trust have been held by Mr. Haswell, and their duties discharged with fidelity and satisfaction. The democratic party in him have lost one of its most zealous and able supporters, in whom they found the true, manly, and consistent politician.
"Amiability and kindness were his characteristics." Few men possessed so even a disposition. Few indeed like himself, upon nearly all occasions, are able to wear that smile of cheerfulness which gladdens and warms every heart.
He took a deep interest in the welfare of others, hence our community greatly and generally deplore the loss of one of its best and most useful citizens.
Mr. Haswell was buried with masonic honors, several hundreds of the fraternity from all parts of the state being present. The funeral services were at the Unitarian Church, sermon by the Rev. Joshua Young.
BY LYMAN CUMMINGS, ESQ.
"Archibald W. Hyde, born at Pawlet, Vt., February 21, 1786, died at Burlington, Vt., February 10, 1847." His father was one of the first settlers of Grand Isle, of Grand Isle Co. — for many years clerk of the county court and a prominent man, — he raised a large family, several of whom are still living — two of his daughters in Burlington. One married the late Benjamin F. Bailey, Esq:, and one other the Hon. Charles Russell. The subject of our notice graduated at the University of Vermont in 1808 , studied law with the Hon. C. P. Van Ness, and was admitted to the Chittenden county bar, September, 1811, and soon after because a law partner with Mr. Van Ness. Mr. Van Ness, collector of customs for the district of Vermont, appointed Mr. Hyde inspector and deputy collector, which office he held under several collectors and all administrations till 1841, when he was superseded under Harrison's administration solely on political grounds. With his successor, the merchants and traders, transacting business, — of all political parties, — becoming dissatisfied and deeming the official duties of the office to be of more importance to the public than the success of any individual or party, petitioned for the removal of the then collector and reinstatement of Mr, Hyde. Accordingly Mr. Hyde was reinstated in 1843, which office he held until the next turn of the political wheel. This, to say the least, speaks more than pages in favor of Mr. Hyde's ability and integrity in the discharge of his official duties.
The families of Mr. Van Ness and Mr. Hyde were connected by affinity, as well as politically, which naturally accounts for their connection in business pursuits. The political history of Mr. Van Ness is written and published in the official documents of the U. S. government and of the government of Vermont, and requires no comment here, except to call the attention of the reader to the position and commanding political influence of Mr, Van Ness, which gave Mr. Hyde, situated as he was, influence over Mr. Van Ness, and whenever exerted reached headquarters and produced the result desired. Mr. Hyde had the credit of dispensing a large share of the patronage incident to the offices of collector and commissioner on the boundary line between the United States and England exercised by Mr. Van Ness.
A middle aged gentleman, well educated, who had resided in the cities and been proprietor and publisher of a respectable
newspaper, and traveled in Europe, came to settle in the beautiful village of Burlington, soon after the close of the war of 1812. He sought and cultivated an acquaintance with Mr. Hyde, and they soon became mutual friends. He was an applicant for a foreign mission or commercial agent abroad, and appealed to his new friend, Hyde, to use his influence with Mr. Van Ness and others to procure an appointment. He furnished his new friend with a file of his newspapers, to show his talent and ability as an editor. An examination showed that the paper was of the Federal persuasion, and, on a familiar acquaintance with the applicant, his new friend fixed his rank among the aristocrats of the day. This negotiation had been pending for some time, until the applicant, becoming slightly impatient and consequently pressing for an answer, his new friend, desiring to be relieved, announced to him, in his peculiar eccentric manner, that he had succeeded in getting an appointment for him as consul to Juniper Island. This Island, it will be seen by the map, contains about ten acres, situated in the bay of Burlington, Lake Champlain, about three miles from the wharves in the village of Burlington, was at the time uninhabited, except by gulls, was frequented occasionally by sailing parties, fishermen and hunters for gulls' eggs, though it is now the site of a light-house, with a dwelling-house occupied by the keeper, who cultivates a few acres of rather barren soil. This announcement cooled the ardor of the gentleman, and he retired, considering himself gulled. and ever after they passed each other with a cool bow.
In the war of 1812 Mr. Hyde was United States barrack-master at Burlington as long as the army were quartered there. I now speak of his military appointments merely for the purpose of tracing his steps from the civilian to the rank of Colonel. After the war of 1812, about the year 1818, the militia company of the village chose him their Captain, which office he accepted in a speech — "that he deemed the title of Captain honorable and had no doubt of his ability to discharge its duties to their entire satisfaction, in time of peace, and therefore accepted the office," and treated the company according to the customs of the day. The militia of that day were respectable and well officered. The next year Capt. Hyde warned out his company for June inspection at an inn outside the village. About 10 o'clock A. M. he directed his orderly to form them in line for inspection, in two ranks — facing inwards for convenience. The Captain and his orderly marched through the ranks, took down the names and equipments of each, then marched out one side of the line and ordering front face, invited them to repair to the hall of the inn and take refreshments. After discussing the merits of the banquet, the Captain dismissed his company for the day. This was received with huzzas for the Captain. The company, instead of being marched in all directions and wheeled at all angles, after the drum and life, until they were exhausted and went home hating militia trainings, spent the afternoon in such amusements as they preferred. The Captain's military tactics became very popular with the rank and file in the regiment and resulted in the end in his being appointed Colonel, which he resigned a few years after.
Mr. Hyde was a consistent democrat of the Jefferson school, openly avowing and practicing his principles, at the same time tolerant and liberal to those who differed with him in opinion.
He was apparently a man of leisure, and enjoyed life. It was a query among his cotemporaries, how he succeeded so well in the world with so little toil and exertion. Some rhyming joker of his day wrote Mr. Hyde's acrostic, which I think was never published, though a few manuscript copies are extant. If those lines be considered by the surviving friends of Mr. Hyde as uncalled for in this notice, my apology is that whatever occurred that goes to show the characteristics and standing of the subject is pertinent, and the portrait would be incomplete without them:
"Ask, you'll receive, seek and you'll find
"Riches and pleasure, to your mind.
"Consider plants, grown in the field,
"How without coloring they yield.
"In all his glory Sol'mon's outdone,
"By him who's neither toiled or spun.
"Ask what you will not be denied;
"Loaves, fishes, the public provide,
"Dressed and prepared ready to chaw,
"With no work but wagging your jaw.
"Has any aught but what's received
"Year from year for deeds not achieved
"Drink, eat, be merry, lest you die,
"Ever live now, but don't go dry."
In religion Mr. Hyde, in the early part of his life, was classed among the liberals. About the year 1835, much to the surprise of his acquaintances, Mr. Hyde embraced the
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Roman Catholic faith, and was admitted to the church in Burlington, to which he donated about five acres of land, on which was erected a church edifice (now the French Catholic church) in the north-east part of the village.* The sincerity of his faith was never doubted by his friends, nor the church; he lived and died a Christian.
The reader may by this time have come to the conclusion that Mr. Hyde was a very eccentric character. He was in fact either affirmative or negative, a character that could not rest on half-way or intermediate grounds. In his youthful days he dressed very genteel, and was fond of gay and fashionable society. In the latter part of his life he admired antique costumes and habit, dressed in small clothes, wore knee and shoe-buckles or long boots, and withal a long cue hanging down his back; was given to eulogizing our forefathers, and lamenting the degeneracy of their descendants, and was listened to with great interest and satisfaction both by the well informed and curious. And, with all his peculiarities, Mr. Hyde was consistent in principle; a man whose word you could always rely upon, whose friendship you could always trust, whose assistance you could seek in trouble; and to the poor and lowly he was proverbially charitable. He remained single through life, and left at his death a handsome estate which he distributed by will to his relatives.
BY J. N. POMEROY, ESQ.
The decease of Horace Loomis of Burlington, which occurred on the 6th of April last (1865), at the advanced age of 90 years, was to the community like the fall of an ancient, familiar and venerable land-mark — so generally and favorably was he known and confided in, so long fixed in his locality, and so uniform and consistent in his character. He was born in Sheffield, Mass., on the 15th January, 1775, and came with his father's family to reside in Burlington, on the 17th Feb., 1790, being then 15 years of age — and for 75 years resided on Pearl Street, within speaking distance of the place where the family first located. During 40 years of that time he was actively and earnestly engaged in the leather business, either in the employment of his father or on his own account, and for more than 60 years resided in his well known hospitable mansion on Pearl street, which, with the "old stone shop," on the opposite side, he built in the then recently cleared forest. He was twice married and left a widow, three children, seven grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He celebrated his golden wedding in 1855, and died within a month of the 60th anniversary of his second marriage.
Mr. Loomis was a remarkable man — he was over six feet in hight, of stout and manly frame, large features, open and fresh countenance, and of an earnest and genial expression. He would have been a marked man in any assembly of people, and in his later years and in his best estate he was the rival of the "fine old English gentleman." He received but a common school education, which substantially closed with his 15th year. The earnest demand for labor in the new settlement was not calculated to favor the cultivation of the mind or teach its value. Nevertheless he found time to educate himself in all the requirements of a man of business, and was well informed as to what pertains to the business, political condition, and character of the prominent men of his own and other countries. The solid realities of his early life taught him to underrate what was not real and tangible, and hence he took little interest in matters of imagination, in poetry, theories, or abstractions of any kind, and became emphatically a practical business man. He early learned the necessity and duty of honest exertion and industry — these he considered the true and legitimate means of wealth and independence; he respected labor and had a peculiar regard for the money which was its price — yet, when occasion demanded, he spent it like a lord. He was always an early riser, and rejoiced in the fresh morning air, and instances occurred not unfrequently when, in his morning calls, he disturbed the lingering slumbers of his customers in the neighboring towns.
His example exercised a larger and beneficial influence on the community, particularly the young men, in whom he took a deep interest, and ever treated with considerate kindness and respect. But strict and rigid as were
* Rather the ground now occupied by the cemetery, we are later informed. The first chapel was indeed built there; but having been destroyed by fire, the additional site of the present church was purchased by the Catholic party, and the lot given by Mr. Hyde appropriated for a burial-yard. — Ed.