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Note to page 118.—In the MS. prepared for the press, the following was inserted, between lines 13 and 14 from the top: “Gov. Gerry, who was a member of the Convention which formed the Constitution of the United States, and was a distinguished republican through life, when the Convention were endeavoring to fix on the best form of government, remarked—' Perhaps a limited monarchy would be the best form of government, if we had materials for a House of Lords.'”—The author inserted this from memory, having read it some years since, in a volume containing the journals of the Convention which formed the Constitution of the United States, with notes of the several debates in the Convention, taken by Chief Justice Yates, who was one of the delegates from the State of New York; and, not being able to find these remarks in any published work, he erased them from the MS., from a fear that he had stated them incorrectly. The following has since been found, in the first volume of Elliot's Debates on the Federal Constitution, page 454: “ Gov. Gerry remarked-perhaps a limited monarchy would be the best government, if we could organize it, by creating a House of Peers, but this cannot be done."
LETTER FROM GOV. CHITTENDEN TO GEN. WASHINGTON, UPON THE COURSE AND POLICY OF VERMONT IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR.
Arlingtori, Nov. 14, 1781. SIR,—The peculiar situation and circumstances with which this state, for several years last past, has been attended, indu. ces me to address your Excellency, on a subject which nearly concerns her interests, and may have its influence on the common cause of the states of America. Placing the highest confidence in your Excellency's patriotism in the cause of liberty, and disposition to do right and justice in every part of America, (who have by arms supported their rights against the lawless power of Great Britain I herein trans1 mit the measures by which this state has conducted her poli
cy, for the security of its frontiers; and, as the design and end of it was set on foot, and has ever since been prosecuted on an honorable principle, (as the consequences will fully evince,) I do it with full confidence that your Excellency will not improve it to the disadvantage of this truly patriotic, suffering states; although the substance has been communicated by Capt. Ezra Hicock, employed by Major General Lincoln, by your Excellency's particular direction, and who arrived here with the resolutions of congress of the seventh day of August last, which appeared in some measure favorable to this state. I then disclosed to him the measures this state had adopted for her security, which I make no doubt has by him been delivered your Excellency. And though I do not hesitate that you are well satisfied of the real attachment of the government of this state to the common cause, I esteem it, nevertheless, my duty to this state, and the common cause
at large, to lay before your Excellency, in writing, the heretofore critical situation of this state, and the management of its policy, ihat it may operate in your Excellency's mind, as a barrier against clamorous aspersions of its numerous (and, in many instances, potent) adversaries. It is the misfortune of this state to join on the frontier of Quebec, and the waters of the Lake Champlain, which affords an easy passage for the enemy to make a descent with a formidable army on its frontiers, and into the neighborhood of the several states of New York, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, who have severally laid claims, in part or in whole, to this state, and who have used every art which they could devise to divide her citizens, to set congress against her, and, finally, to overturn the government, and share its territory among them. The repeated applications of this state to the congress of the United States, to be admitted into the federal union with them, upon the liberal principles of paying a just proportion of the expenses of the war with Great Britain, have been rejected, and resolutions passed, ex parte, tending to create schisms in state, and thereby embarrass its efforts in raising men and money for the defence of her frontiers, and discountenancing the very existence of the state. Every article belonging to the United States, even the pickaxes and spades, has been by the commissioners ordered out of this state, at a time when she was erecting a line of forts on her frontiers. At the same time the state of New York evacuated the post of Skeensborough, for the avowed purpose of exposing this state to the ravages of the common enemy.
The British officers in New York, being acquainted with the public disputes between this and the claiming states, and and between congress and this state, made overtures to Gen. Allen, in a letter, projecting that Vermont should be a colody
under the crown of Great Britain, endeavoring, at the same time, to draw the people of Vermont into their interest. The same day Gen. Allen received this letter, (which was in Aug. ust, 1780,) he laid it before me and my council, who, under the critical circumstances of the state, advised that no answer, either oral or written, should be returned, and that the letter be safely deposited till further consideration: to which Gen. Allen consented. A few months after, he received a second letter from the enemy, and same council advised that Gen. Allen should send both letters to congress, (inclosed in a letter under his signature,)which he did, in hopes that congress would admit Vermont into union; but they had not the desired effect.
In the fall of the year 1780, the British made a descent up the Lake Champlain, and captured the forts George and Ann, and appeared in force on the lake. This caused the militia of this state, most generally, to go forth to defend it. Thus the militia were encamped against the enemy near six weeks, when Gen. Allen received a flag from them, with an answer to my letter, dated the preceeding July, to Gen. Haldemand, on the subject of an exchange of prisoners. The flag was delivered to Gen. Allen, from the commanding officer of the enemy, who was then at Crown Point, with proposals for a truce with the state of Vermont, during the negotiating the exchange of prisoners. Gen. Allen sent back a flag of his to the commanding officer of the British, agreeing to the truce, provided he would extend the same to the frontier parts of the state of New York, which was complied with, and a truce took place, which lasted about three weeks. It was chiefly owing to the military prowess of the militia of this state, and the including the state of New York in the truce, that Albany