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and Schenectady had not fell a sacrifice to the ambition of the enemy that campaign.
Previous to the retreating of the enemy into winter quar. ters, Col. Allen and Maj. Fay were commissioned to negotiate the proposed exchange of prisouers. They proceeded so far as to treat with the British commissioners on the subject of their mission, during which time they were interchangeably entertained with politics, which they treated in an affable manner, as I have been told, but no cartel was settled ; and the campaign ended without the effusion of blood.
The cabinet council, in the course of the succeeding winter, finding that the enemy in Canada were about seven thousand strong, and that Vermont must needs be their object the ensuing campaign, circular letters were therefore sent from the supreme executive authority of this state to the claiming states before mentioned, demanding of them to relinquish their claims to this state, and inviting them to join in a solid union and confederation against the common enemy. Let. ters were also sent to your Excellency and to the states of Connecticut and Rhode Island; any [one] of these letters stated the extreme circumstances of this state, and implored their aid and alliance, giving them withal to understand, that it was out of the power of this state to lay in magazines and support a body of men sufficient to defend this state against the force of the enemy. But to those letters there has been no manner of answer returned.
From all which it appeared that this state was devoted to destruction by the sword of the common enemy. It appeared to be the more unjustifiable that the state of Vermont should be thus forsaken, inasmuch as her citizens struck the first of. fensive blow against British usurpation by putting the continent in possession of Ticonderoga, and more than two hundred pieces of cannon, with Crown Point, St. John's, and all Lake Champlain; their exertions in deseating General Carleton in his attempt to raise the siege of St. John's; their assisting in penetrating Canada; their valor in the battle of Hubbardton, Bennington, and the landing near Ticonderoga ; assisting in the capture of General Burgoyne, and by being the principal barrier against the power of the enemy in Canada ever since.
That the citizens of this state have, by nature, an equal right to liberty and independency with the citizens of America in general cannot be disputed, and that they have merited it from the United States, by their exertions with them, in bringing about the present glorious revolution, is as evident a truth as any other which respects the acquired right of any community. Generosity, merit and gratitude all conspire in vindicating the independence of Vermont; but notwithstanding the arguments which have been exhibited in sundry pamphlets in favor of Vermont, which have been abundantly satisfactory to the impartial part of mankind, it has been in the power of her external enemies to deprive her of union, confederation, or any equal advantage in defending themselves against the common enemy. The winter being thus spent in fruitless attempts to form alliances, and no advantages were procured in favor of this state, except that Massachusetts withdrew her claim on condition that the United States would concede to the independence of Vermont; but that if they would not, they would have their smack at the south end of its territory; still New York and New Hampshire were strenuously opposed to the independence of Vermont, and every stratagem in their power to divide and sub-divide her citizens were exerted, imagining that their influence in congress, and the certain destruction (as they supposed) of the inhabitants of this state by the common enemy, could not fail of finally accomplishing their wishes.
In this juncture of affairs, the cabinet of Vermont projected the extension of their claim of jurisdiction upon the state of New Hampshire and New York, as well to quiet their own internal divisions occasioned by the machinations of those two governments, as to make them experience the evils of intestine broils, and strengthen this state against insult. The legislature accordingly extended their jurisdiction to the eastward of Connecticut River to the old Mason line, and to the westward to Hudson River; but in the articles of union referred the determination of the boundary line of Vermont and the respective claiming states, to the final decision of congress, or such other tribunal as might be mutually agreed upon by the contending governments. These were the principal political movements of the last winter. The last campaign opened with a gloomy aspect to the discerning citizens of this state, being destitute of adequate resources, and without any alliance, and that from its local situation to Canada, obliged to encounter the whole force of that province, or give up its claim to independence and run away.
Vermont being thus drove to desperation by the injustice of those who should have been her friends, was obliged to adopt policy in the room of power; and, on the first day of May last, Colonel Ira Allen was sent to Canada, to further negotiate the business of the exchange of prisoners, who agreed on a time and place, and other particulars relating to the exchange. While he was transacting that business, he was treated with great politeness, and entertained with politcal matters, which necessity obliged him to humor in that easy manner that might serve the interests of this state in its extreme critical situation, and that its consequences might not be injurious to the United States. The plan succeeded. The frontiers of this state were not invaded, and Lord George
Germain's letter wrought upon congress and procured that from them which the public virtue of this people could not.
In the month of July last, Major Joseph Fay was sent to the British shipping on Lake Champlain, who completed an exchange of a number of prisoners who were delivered at Skeensborough in September last, at which time and place Colonel Ira Allen and Major Fay had a conference with the British commissioners, and no damage had as yet occurred to this or the United States from this quarter. And in the month of October last, the enemy appeared in force at Crown Point and Ticonderoga, but manœuvred out of their expedition, and were returned into winter quarters in Canada with great safety ; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:-“I will put my hook in their nose, and turn them back by the way which they came, and they shall not come into this city” (alias Vermont) “sạith the Lord.”
It remains that I congratulate your Excellency, and participate with you in the joy of capturing the haughty Cornwallis and his army, and assure your Excellency that there are no gentlemen in America who enjoy the glorious victory more than the gentlemen of this state, and him who has the honor to subscribe himself your Excellency's devoted and most obedient, humble servant,
THOMAS CHITTENDEN. His Excellency GENERAL WASHINGTON.
REPRESENTATION IN THE SEVERAL STATES.
Below we give the number of members in each house of representatives in the Union, excepting those states which have been recently organized, with the number of inhabitants to each representative in the several states, and the constitutional provisions for reducing the number of representatives and equalizing the representation in some of the New England States.
INHAB. TO A REP.
3,323 New Hampshire,
2,459 Rhode Island,
1,409 New York,
- 18,976 New Jersey,
9,252 North Carolina,
6,609 South Carolina,
3,837 By the foregoing, it appears that in the states South and" West they have a less number of representatives than in the New England States, and that their representation is perfectly equal. Counties being the only local corporations of any importance, they, in the first place, decided what would be the most suitable number of members in a house of representatives, and then apportioned them to the several counties, according to their population. And as there has been noth