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two volumes of "Tyler's Reports." In regard to these Hon. R. C. Mallory writes May 3, 1810, "It was with the greatest pleasure I learned from your letter that the Il volume of Chief Justice Tyler's reports was in a state of forwardness for the press. To the younger members of the bar who have not yet attained the transcendent power of making, changing and misciting decisions of the supreme court, whether they exist or not, it is extremely interesting. To the lawyer of taste the I volume is a happy presage of the second. It will afford a rich entertainment. Vermont jurisprudence has long been derided by our neighboring states, not from their own knowledge, but from the infamous slanders of our own still more infamous citizens. We have hitherto had no judicial monument which bore upon it the legitimate character of our administration of justice. Of course when our own people condemn, others were justified in believing. Your honor therefore claims the highest esteem for boldly standing forth in defence of its reputation, and lending your talents and influence to rescue it from unmerited reproach.”
While employed upon the reports, Judge Tyler found time to put in press another work, "The Yankee in London, a series of letters by an American youth during nine months residence in London.” This was received with favor, and reviewed, both here and in England, without a doubt that the author was an eye-witness of scenes and manners so graphically described.
In the fall of 1809 Judge Galusha was elected governor, and his place on the bench filled by Hon. David Fay, a distinguished lawyer of Bennington.
In 1811 Judge Tyler accepted the professorship of jurisprudence in the University of Vermont. He had been an active member of its corporation for ten years, and exerted himself efficiently to promote its interests.
During the whole period of his chief justiceship, political party feeling was more embittered than at any other time in our history. In the northern counties especially, the opposition to the embargo and non-intercourse act was so violent as to array public sentiment very much on the side of illicit traders. When the crew of a small smuggling craft, the "Blacksnake,” fired on the revenue officers, and killed two or three persons ; and when United States Collector Buel ordered a soldier to fire upon a man who was running in a boat load of salt, killing him instantly, the consequent trials for murder arrayed popular feeling against the execution of the laws, and made the position of the judges one of great difficulty. The letters addressed to the chief justice show the confidence felt in his ability to allay the virulence of party feeling. Mr. Jonathan Janes, of St. Albans, for instance, having heard that it was doubtful whether he would attend the next term of the court there, writes : "I hope and pray that we may not be deprived of your presence at that time. Never has your presence been so necessary. We have had the greatest display of the spirit of disorganization ever known here or elsewhere in the state. It has been unsafe for a friend of the government to express an opinion of the most outrageous riots. Your friends are all extremely anxious to have you come, believing that your presence will have more effect than both the other judges.”
In the fall of 1813, as is well known, after the severest contest, the federalists gained control of the legislature and changed all the judges of the supreme court.
Judge Tyler returned to Brattleboro, and, having disposed of the farm on which his family had resided, removed to the village, and resumed his practice at the bar, which for six or eight years was pecuniarily more profitable than his service of the state had been. After the year 1820 he was obliged gradually to relinquish business by the progress of a cancer, which proved fatal on the 16th of August, 1826.
Chief Justice Tyler had eleven children, nine sons and two daughters. His eldest son died at the age of nineteen, a mem
ber of the junior class of the University of Vermont. The rest survived him. There are now living of his descendants, (1879) four sons, thirteen grand-children, and four greatgrand-children.
During the many months of his confinement to his house and chamber, he amused himself with various literary works, none of which have been published. His last poem is entitled "The Chestnut Tree.” His pastor, the rector of the parish at Guilford, having presented him with a horse chestnut, then rare in this vicinity, he fancies it planted within his grass-plat's narrow bounds,” and after two centuries to be the favorite resort of the villagers. The various characters of that distant era are vividly pictured. After describing the quarrelsome meeting of two of the village doctors, he thus introduces the representatives of his own profession :
"The troubled eye turns with delight,
From this degrading, senseless scene,
With the next couple on the green.
Engaged in converse sweet and bland,
Make their confiding hearts expand.
These friends, engaged in verbose war,
Were wrangling at the noisy bar!
Your interest, honor, bliss impede :-
And only foes when richly feed !".
And surely not ungracefully did the jurist, novelist, dramatist, poet and christian thus conclude the last labor of his facile pen :
"When ardent youth crowned life's gay scene,
I could bright Fancy's dreams create,
The flickering sparks could scintillate.
But ebbing mind and troubled head,
Both bid me cease the poet's strains ; Invention's gone, and Fancy's fled,
And naught but chiming rhyme remains. In this vain, airy, shadowy scene,
Is there no moral that appears? No sage reflection to be seen
More suited to my waning years?
Faith! Holy Faith! and Hope sublime,
Point to the apostolic page, There, in the "buried seed” to find
Meet subject for reflecting age. Misshapen seed! I too, like thee,
Shall in our parent earth be cast, Nor with new life shall quickened be,
Till the grave's wintry season's past. Oh, may I then like that fair tree
Erst by th' inspired exile seen, By crystal waters planted be,
And nurtured by the living stream!
Removed to that celestial clime,
From the world's follies and its care, And like that Tree of Life, divine,
Bloom in immortal verdure there!"
REPORT OF COMMITTEE
· JURISPRUDENCE AND LAW REFORM.
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING, 1879.
TO THE VERMONT BAR ASSOCIATION :
Gentlemen : Your committee on jurisprudence and law reform consists of Hon. George F. Edmunds, Hon. Cornelius W. Clarke and myself. By reason of the continued absence of Senator Edmunds in Washington, and, since the adjournment of congress, in Europe, and by reason of the unfortunate and distressing disability of Mr. Clarke, for whose early restoration to health we unite in fervently hoping, I have been deprived of all assistance in considering the subjects assigned to that committee.
Knowing as I do that I am the least qualified of the committee to report upon such matters, and, by reason of my education at the bar of another state, much less qualified therefor than almost every other member of the association, I have approached the questions suggested with extreme diffidence.
A special reference was made to this committee to prepare and submit to the present meeting a draft of a proposed uniform set of rules of practice for the county courts of the state, and also to make some recommendation in respect to the admission of attorneys.