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sor, and all those, except two, Judge White, from Georgia, and Judge Law, from Colchester, voted against the principal amendments; and yet the members from the four southern counties were so unanimously in favor of them, that after a session of about a week, they were rejected by a very small majority. Some amendments of minor im. portance were adopted, the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 30th sections were added, and the 26th amended, and the Constitution thus amended was adopted, and is the Constitution contained in Thompson's History of Vermont, and which is, by many, taken to be the first Constitution of the State. Gov. Chittenden was President of the Convention, but he took no part in the debates. It was understood that he was in favor of the proposed amendments, but perceiving that the passions of a majority of the members were so highly excited in opposition that they could not be adopted, he considered it to be his duty to reserve his influence for future occasions, when it might be available in promoting the public good.
He met the legislature at the October session of 1796, for the last time, and delivered the following speech, which, as Mr. Thompson, in his History of Vermont, remarks, is characterised by
simplicity, sound sense, and a paternal regard for the welfare of the people : " Gentlemen of the Council and Assembly :
So well known to you are the manifold favors and blessings, bestowed on us as a people, by the Great Ruler of the universe, that it would be unnecessary for me to recapitulate them. I would, therefore, only observe, that, but a few years since, we were without constitution, law, or government;-in a state of anarchy and confusion; at war with a potent foreign power; opposed by a powerful neighboring state ; discountenanced by the Congress; distressed by internal dissensions ; ---all our landed property in imminent danger, and without the means of defence.
Now your eyes behold the happy day, when we are in the full and uninterrupted enjoyment of a well regulated government, suited to the situation and genius of the people, acknowledged by all the powers of the earth, supported by the Congress,-at peace with our sister states, among ourselves, and with the world.
From whence did these great blessings come ? From God. Are they not worth enjoying ? They surely are. Does it not become us as a people to improve them, that we may have reason to hope that they may be continued to us and transmitted to posterity ? It certainly does.
What are the most likely means, to be taken by us as a people, to obtain this great end ?-To be a faithful, virtuous and industrious and moral peo
ple. Does it not become us as a legislature, to take every method in our power, to encourage' virtue, industry, morality, religion and learning ? —I think it does. Is there any better method, than by our own example ; and having a sacred regard to virtue, industry, integrity and morality, in all our appointments of executive and judicial offi
This is the day we have appointed to nominate all our subordinate executive and judicial officers, throughout the state, for the present year. The people, by free suffrages, have given us the power, and in us they have placed their confidence ;
and to God, to them, and to our own consciences we are answerable. Suffer me then as a father, as a friend, and as a lover of this people, and as one, whose voice cannot be much longer heard here, to instruct you, in all your appointments, to have regard to none but those who maintain a good moral character-men of integrity, and distinguished for wisdom and abilities ; in doing this, you will encourage virtue, which is the glory of a nation, and discountenance and discourage vice and profaneness, which are a reproach to any people.”
Soon after this, his health began to decline, and the next season, being satisfied that he should never again be able to perform any public duties, he resigned the office of Governor, and died on the 25th of August, 1797, in the 69th year of his age. Thus a kind Providence prolonged his life, until he had the satisfaction to see his beloved State rise from a wilderness, sparsely settled by the Green Mountain "Boys, contending for their independence, as a pcople, into a highly cultivated State, holding a high rank among her sister States of the Union. What a rich and appropriate reward for all his noble and patriotic exertions! And he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had toiled for a grateful people, who would ever hold him in affectionate remembrance, as the father of the State.
Origin of Civil Government. The powers of Government
necessarily vested in individuals, until the people are capable of Self-Government.— The people of the British American Colonies organized the first Civil Government founded on the sovereignty of the people, the natural gove ernment of civilized man, and it will be extended througli the world.
Having brought down the history of the Constitution from its first formation to the close of Gov. Chittenden's administration, I shall close with some observations on the past, and some conjectures as to the future. I have said that the government founded on the sovereignty of the people is the natural government of man. It may be asked how can this be, since such Government was never formed until these latter days, when the people of the British American Colonies were compelled to form such governments.
A single glance at the origin and progress of civil government will furnish an answer to this question, and I can but glance at it merely to call the reader's attention to the subject.
In the origin of civil society, more or less individuals associated and acted together in the management of their common concerns, and certain individuals took the lead, as certain school boys take the lead in all their juvenile sports, and these individuals acquired an influence which gave them command in all their enterprises. In progress of time, a right to command was conceded, and it became the duty of all to obey. At length this right to command descended to the heir—hence the hereditary monarchies of Europe.
In the same manner was the right to govern vested in a number of individuals, forming an aristocracy. • The people of Europe continued under these governments, until they lost all ideas of their natural rights, and were contented in the enjoyment