No distinction shall I make between Trojan and Tyrian.
The Federal grip upon Connecticut, one of the last strongholds of that party, was weakening. Preceding the deflection of the Episcopalians in Connecticut, there had been throughout New England a strong Federal opposition to the national government and its commands during the War of 1812. Such conduct had shattered party prestige, and when its opposition culminated in the Hartford Convention of 1814, it wrote its own death-warrant. The Republicans, on the contrary, had dropped local questions of constitutional reform and religious liberty, preferring to bend all their energies to the support of the general government. When as a national party they humbled England and brought the war to a victorious close, the contrast of their loyalty to state and national interests steadily drew the popular favor. In the era of good feeling and prosperity that followed, the great national political parties dissolved somewhat and crystallized anew. In Connecticut a similar change took place in local politics. In the years immediately following the war, the Democratic-Republicans, the majority of the dissenters, and the dissatisfied among the Federalists, formed different coalitions that, under the general name of Toleration, [a] opposed the Standing Order. In 1816 the agitation for constitutional reform was revived, and after three years resulted in the overthrow of the Federalists and the triumph of a peaceful revolution whereby religious liberty was assured.
The conduct of the Federal party, both within and without Connecticut from 1808 to 1815, was quite as much the real cause of their downfall in the state as that coalition between clergy and lawyers described by Dr. Beecher as causing the breakdown of party machinery and its ultimate ruin. Glancing somewhat hastily at some of the most far-reaching acts of the Federalists, we find first the Federal opposition to the embargo that from December 22, 1807, for over a year paralyzed New England commerce. In February, 1809, John Quincy Adams, who had recently resigned the Massachusetts senatorship because of his unpopular support of the embargo, informed President Jefferson that the measure could no longer be enforced. He assured the President that the New England Federalist leaders, privily encouraged by England, were preparing to break that section off from the union of the states if the embargo were not speedily repealed. This information, whether accurate or not, so influenced the President and his advisers that the Non-intercourse Act, applying only to France and England, replaced the embargo, whose repeal took effect from March 4, 1809. In the following December, Madison's administration (in the belief that France had withdrawn her hostile decrees) limited non-intercourse to England alone, after having vainly urged upon her a repeal of her Orders in Council. With the embargo lifted, New England commerce revived, and Connecticut seamen, Connecticut farmers, [b] Connecticut merchants, together with artisans of all the allied industries that were called upon in the fitting out of ships and cargoes, enjoyed two years of prosperity. The period was given over to money-getting, and the ordinary rules of national or commercial honesty were flung to the winds. Napoleon sold licenses to British vessels to supply his famishing soldiers stationed in continental ports, while forged American and British papers were openly sold in London. So enormous were the profits of a successful voyage that the possibility of capture only added zest to the American ventures and contributed not a little to the daring of the privateers in the years of the war. So enriched was the state that by May, 1811, Connecticut had so far recovered from her late financial distress that the |state owed no debt and every tax was paid,| while her exports were: domestic, [USD]994,216; foreign, [USD]38,138, or a total of [USD]1,032,354.
The ninety days' embargo of 1812, the declaration of war (June 18,1812), and the patrolling of Long Island Sound by a British fleet, brought such desolation to Connecticut that ships again lay rotting at the wharves, ropewalks and warehouses were deserted, cargoes were without carriers, and seamen were either scattered or idling about, a constant menace to the public peace. National taxes to support a detested war were laid upon the people at a time when their incomes were ceasing, and their homes and property were laid bare to a plundering enemy. |A nation without fleets, without armies, with an impoverished treasury, with a frontier by sea and land extending many hundreds of miles, feebly defended| by fortifications old and neglected, had rushed headlong into war with the strongest nation of the earth without |counting the cost.| Such was the opinion of the Federalists everywhere and, at first, of the large wing of the Republican party who preferred peace. The Federalists of Connecticut, when they saw a small majority sweep the nation into the conflict with Great Britain, believed the war threatened liberty of speech. They feared military despotism, when the general government demanded the control of the militia; and that the war would prostrate| their civil and religious institutions by increasing taxation and loss of income.| [c] They feared |national dismemberment| when the war measures, together with the presence of the British fleet blockading the coast, alternately angered the people almost to rebellion against an apparently indifferent central government, or drove them into plans for self-defense. Much of the opposition in New England is in part accounted for by the rebound towards Federalism which the declaration of the war caused, and by the belief that the national election of 1812 would be a Federal victory. Though it turned out to be a defeat, it consolidated and so strengthened that party in New England that before the close of 1813 all the state executives were Federalists and were arrayed against the administration. The Republicans kept their hold upon the minority, partly by the diversion of the capital, thrown out of the carrying trade, into privateer ventures, war supplies, and manufactures.
At the beginning of the war, Governor Griswold, of Connecticut, backed by both houses of the legislature, joined with Governor Strong of Massachusetts (supported only by the House of Representatives) in a refusal to place the militia under regular officers of the United States army. They refused also to allow the quotas called for by General Dearborn (under the Act of Congress of April 10, 1812), for the expedition against Canada, to leave the state. These executives claimed that the troops were not needed to execute the laws of the United States, to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion, -- the only three constitutional reasons giving the President the right to consider himself |commander in chief of the militia of the several states.| By taking such a stand, the state governors assumed to decide whether a necessity existed that gave the President his constitutional right to call out the militia. Mr. Henry Cabot Lodge, in his |Memoir of Governor Strong,| exonerates that executive by pleading his intense convictions of duty, his loyal patriotism, and his later efficient aid [d] in defending the eastern coast of the state. Mr. Lodge reminds his reader that the governor's position was supported by the best lawyers, whom he had been at great pains to consult concerning state and federal rights, which, at that period, had not been so carefully examined and discriminated between as since. The same pleas may be urged for Governors Griswold [e] and Smith. The Connecticut legislature immediately passed an act for raising twenty-six hundred men for state defense under state officers. Governor Griswold's successor, Gov. J. Cotton Smith, when Decatur was blockaded in the Thames, when the descent upon Saybrook was made, at the attack upon Stonington, and during those months when the enemy hovered upon the long exposed coast line, kept a large force of militia ready for duty. The state supported these troops, for, in the wrangle over officership, the national government refused the promised supplies.
The New England Federalists soon found seven great reasons for party action. They were the uncertain success of the war by land; the great commercial distress; [f] the possession by the enemy of a large part of Maine; the publication of the terms upon which England would grant peace; [g] the proposed legislation in the fall of 1814, providing for the increase of the United States army by draft or conscription; the proposed modified form of impressment of sailors; and the bill allowing army officers to enlist minors and apprentices over eighteen years of age, with or without consent of parents or guardians. [h] These measures drove the New England Federalists, at the call of Massachusetts, to the formation of the Hartford Convention. The Connecticut legislature approved the sending of delegates by a vote of 153 to 36 opposed. Massachusetts and Rhode Island answered with like enthusiasm. New Hampshire and Vermont hesitated, but the counties of Cheshire and Grafton in the former state and of Windham in the latter sent each a delegate to the convention. Rhode Island sent four delegates and Massachusetts twelve, of whom George Cabot was elected president of the convention. Connecticut furnished the secretary of the convention, and later its historian in Theodore Dwight of Hartford. She also sent seven other delegates, namely: Chauncey Goodrich, mayor of Hartford, and from 1814 to 1815 governor of the state; John Treadwell, ex-governor; James Hillhouse, who had served as United States representative and senator; Zephaniah Swift, United States representative and later chief judge of superior court of Connecticut; Calvin Goddard, United States representative; Nathaniel Smith, United States representative and later judge of the supreme court; and Roger Minot Sherman, a distinguished lawyer and member of the state legislature. All the delegates to the Hartford Convention were men of high character, and most of them well-known leaders of the Federal party. The convention lasted for three weeks, and, as its sessions were conducted with the greatest secrecy, many prejudicial rumors and surmises arose. The Massachusetts summons had bidden the delegates convene for measures of safety |not repugnant to our obligations as members of the Union,| and the convention acknowledged that it found the greatest difficulty in |devising means of defense against dangers, and of relief from oppressions proceeding from the act of their own Government without violating constitutional principles or disappointing the hopes of a suffering and injured people.| The secrecy, the known antagonism to the Administration, the knowledge of New England's early disbelief in the cohesive power of the Union, and the convention's demands and resolutions, combined to give a bad and traitorous reputation to the Hartford Convention that has never been absolutely cleared away.
As early as 1796, over the signature |Pelham,| there had appeared in the |Hartford Courant| a series of articles written with great ability and keen foresight as to the difficulties that would arise in making any impartial legislation for a nation composed of parts having such diverse economic systems as those of the North and the South. The articles suggested the development of two nations instead of one. During the War of 1812, various suggestions had been thrown out by different newspapers enlarging upon the resources of New England and hinting at a separate peace with England. There were not a few who, upon learning of the resolutions of the convention, felt that |Pelham| was a close adviser of its measures if not one of its delegates. Public opinion was so wrought up by the assumed disloyalty of the Hartford Convention that in 1815 it forced the publication of the convention's brief and non-committal |Journal.| From it little more was learned than that the convention had resolved that the different states should take measures to protect themselves against draft by the national government, that New England should be allowed to defend herself, and for that purpose should have returned to each of her states a reasonable share of the national taxes to meet the expense of their arming. In addition, each New England state should set apart a certain portion of her militia under her governor to give aid in cases of extremity should she be called upon by the governor of another state. At the close of the convention, delegates were appointed to proceed to Washington with these resolutions and also with six proposed amendments [i] to the national constitution. These demands and resolves were reinforced by the proposal that should the Administration refuse to consider the propositions, another convention should be held in the following summer to consider further action. When the delegates arrived in Washington with the resolutions, of which two state legislatures had meantime approved, the news of peace had been declared. In the general jubilation they saw fit to leave their message undelivered. For years the taint of rebellion clung to the Hartford Convention, and forced its secretary, in 1833, to publish his |History,| a defense of its members and their measures. Even this did not remove the stigma. The delegates had in their own communities always retained their reputation for high personal character, but politically they were irretrievably ruined by their participation in the Hartford gathering. They had dealt their party in their states a mortal blow, and the Hartford Convention has been well named |the grave of the Federal party.|
However much the members of the convention swathed their sentiments in expressions of allegiance to the Union, at least until extreme provocation should force a separation; or however much they declared their conviction that peace, not war, should be the time chosen for such a separation, and that, first of all, distinction should be carefully made between a bad constitution and a bad government, and a good constitution or government badly administered, there was no doubt but that they proposed to push nullification to the point of active resistance within what they considered their legal rights. They had also proposed a set of amendments which they knew stood no chance of meeting with approval from any number of the states. Moreover the Hartford Convention, whatever its intentions, seriously alarmed and embarrassed the Administration. Because of the consequences of their policy, its members were culpable in the opinion of all who hold that, in the distress of war, to hamper one's own government is to lend assistance to the enemy. [j]
The war at first was not popular, but made friends for itself as it progressed. Connecticut sailors were among the seamen that England had impressed, and Connecticut captains had surrendered ships and rich cargoes at the command of the mistress of the seas. But the naval triumphs of the first year caught the popular fancy, for |not until the Guerriere's colors were struck to the Constitution had a British frigate been humiliated on the ocean.| The victories on land were about equally balanced. The disclosures of English perfidy in attempting through her secret agents [k] to detach New England from the Union before war should break out, and during the conflict, by favoritism to Massachusetts, helped to increase the supporters of the war policy. Further, the war brought out the latent powers of the nation, both for defense and for prosperity. The gradual introduction of machinery since 1800 had enlarged the small manufactories of Connecticut, and begun the exchange of products between near localities. But before the War of 1812 no manufacturing in Connecticut had achieved a notable success. [l] There was invention and skill, [m] and often profit, in the home market for the coarser products, but there was a general tendency to prefer imported goods of finer make. The war cut off such supplies, and the need created a paying demand and developed an ability to supply it. The political party that conducted the war to a successful finish developed the policy of protection of infant industries, and the tariff of 1816 gave birth to Connecticut as a manufacturing state. The repeal of the obnoxious war measures, the speedy reduction of the national expenses, and the promise of prosperity smoothed out lingering resentment. The Federal party was virtually extinct outside of its last strongholds in New England and Delaware. In the Era of Good Feeling following the war the whole people composed one party, with principles neither those of the original Federal party nor those of the original Republican party, but a combination of both.| [n]
In New England during the War of 1812, as in the Revolution, the clergy had been the nucleus of the local dominant party, and with its leaders had been bitter opponents of the |unrighteous war.| Consequently the Congregational clergy shared in the popular disapproval and condemnation that overtook the Federalists. In Connecticut, for a time, the Standing Order by its affiliation with the Federal party prolonged its control. of the state. But the tide was turning. Dr. Lyman Beecher, Dr. Dwight's able lieutenant, made vigorous and laudable efforts to uphold the Dwights, the Aaron and Moses, as it were, of the waning political power. The |Home Missionary Society,| [o] Bible societies, the |Domestic Missionary Society for the Building up of Waste Places,| and the many branches of the |Society for the Suppression of Vice and Promotion of Good Morals| [p] did much good among those who welcomed them. Where their results were simply those of a morality enforced by law, they caused still greater dissatisfaction with the ruling party. [q] The union of the clergy and lawyers was not as influential as had been anticipated in the early days of 1812. Soon after the war the clergy adopted a less vigorous policy, preferring an attitude of defense against calumny and a withdrawal from politics. [r]
The elections showed the change in public opinion. At the April election, 1814, the Federals reelected Governor Smith, while the Republican candidate, Mr. Edward Boardman, received 1629 votes. The following year, notwithstanding Governor Smith's reelection, Mr. Boardman polled 4876 votes, and the Republicans made a gain of twenty in the House of Representatives, while in the fall nominations for Assistants, the highest Federal vote was 9008 and that of the Republicans was 4268.
In January, 1816, |a meeting of citizens from various parts of the state| was held in New Haven to agree upon a nomination for governor and lieutenant-governor, which would bind together the Republicans and such of the Federalists as were opposed to the Standing Order. Oliver Wolcott and Jonathan Ingersll were unanimously agreed upon. Oliver Wolcott had been living out of the state for fourteen years, and for most of that time had not been in politics. His Republican supporters had had time to forget him as a staunch Federalist, and remembered him only as a man of parts who had held the secretaryship of the treasury under Washington and Adams, and who had |opposed the Hartford Convention; like Washington was a friend to the Union, a foe to rebellion; with mild means resisted bigotry, with a glowing heart favored toleration.| As he had approved the policy of the general government since the days of Madison, he was pronounced an available candidate. A good Congregationalist, he would not offend the Federalists, would be acceptable to the Republicans, and would stand to the capitalists and farmers as favorable to a protective tariff and to more equitable taxation within the state. The prestige given him by the executive abilities of his father and grandfather in the gubernatorial chair also counted in his favor. The candidate for lieutenant-governor was Jonathan Ingersoll, a Federalist, an eminent New Haven lawyer, a prominent Episcopalian, senior warden of Trinity Church, and chairman of the Bishop's Fund. He had had political training in the Council, 1792-1798, and had been judge of the Superior Court, 1798-1801, and again from 1811 to 1816. His nomination was the price of the Episcopal vote, for |it was deemed expedient by giving the Episcopalians a fair opportunity to unite with the Republicans, to attempt to affect such change in the Government as should afford some prospect of satisfaction to their united demands.| [s]
The |Connecticut Herald,| indignant at the Assembly's conduct in the Phoenix Bank affair, left the Federal party and independently nominated Jonathan Ingersoll for lieutenant-governor instead of the regular candidate of that party, Chauncey Goodrich. The |American Mercury,| the organ of the American Toleration party, the union of Republicans, dissenters, and dissatisfied, in order |to produce that concord and harmony among parties which have too long, and without any real diversity of interests, been disturbed, and which every honest man must earnestly desire to see restored,| nominated for governor, Oliver Wolcott; for lieutenant-governor, Jonathan Ingersoll. The Federal candidate for the executive was Governor John Cotton Smith, up for reelection. The Tolerationists failed by a few hundred votes to seat their candidate for the executive, with the result that the election of 1816 raised to office Governor Smith and Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll. Governor Smith received 11,589 votes, Mr. Wolcott 10,170, while Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll polled a majority of 1453 over his opponent, Mr. Calvin Goddard. [t] It was the first time that a dissenter had held so high an office. The Federalists might have seized the opportunity to renew their former friendship with the Episcopalians had it not been for their stubbornness and for their old fear of Churchmen in political office. At the October town meetings, the returns from ninety-three towns gave a Federal vote of 7995 and a Republican of 6315 for representatives, with a Federal majority of about thirty in the House. [2ll]
The Federalists, realizing that the Episcopal vote was almost lost to them, that their domestic policy was in disfavor, and that their conduct during the war had damaged them and was leading to their downfall in Connecticut even as in the nation, resolved upon a desperate measure to conciliate a larger number of the dissenters. This was the Act of October, 1816, for the Support of Literature and Religion. Briefly, it divided the balance of the money which the nation owed Connecticut for expenses during the war, namely [USD]145,000, among the various denominations. To the Congregationalists it gave in round numbers, and including the grant to Yale, [USD]68,000; to the Episcopalians, [USD]20,000; to Methodists, [USD]12,000; and to Baptists, [USD]18,000; to Quakers, Sandemanians, etc., nothing. [u] The Quakers were assumed to be satisfied with their recent exemptions from military duty upon the payment of a small tax; Sandemanians and other insignificant sects to be conciliated by the act of the preceding April, which repealed, after a duration of nearly one hundred and eighty years, the fine of fifty cents for absence from church on Sunday. The people were at last free, not only to worship as they chose, but when they chose, or to omit worship. They had yet to obtain equal privileges for all denominations, and exemption from enforced support of religion. The passage of the Act for the Support of Literature and Religion raised, as the Congregationalists ought to have known it would, a violent protest from every dissenter and from every political come-outer. Some of the towns in town-meetings opposed the bill as unnecessary for the support of schools and clergy; as wasteful, when it would be wiser to create a state fund; and as unduly favorable to Yale, where the policy was to create an intellectual class and not to advance learning and literature among the commonalty. At Andover, February 1, 1817, Episcopalians, Baptists, and Methodists met together and denounced the act because they disapproved of the union of Church and State which it encouraged; because of Yale's tendency to bias religion; because they all approved of the voluntary support of religion; and because they all scorned such a political trick as the bill appeared to them, namely, an attempt to win by their acceptance of the money their apparent approval of the enforced support of religion. The Baptist societies in different towns met to condemn the measure on the same grounds, and on the additional ones that it was unfair to the Quakers, who had no paid preachers; to the Universalists, because they were numerically still too small to be of political importance; and indeed to many men, since, as every man had contributed to the expense of the war, every man ought to be rewarded proportionally. The Methodists agreed in all these criticisms, and were no more backward in denouncing a measure which forced on them money they did not seek, and for a purpose of which they disapproved. The Methodist Society of Glastonbury were most outspoken, declaring the law --
incompatible with sound policy and inconsistent with any former act of the legislature of the state; the ultimate consequence of which will prove a lasting curse to vital religion, which every candid and reflecting mind may easily foresee; and we view it as a very bold and desperate effort to effectuate a union between Church and State.... We are induced to believe that Pilate and Herod, and the chief Priests are still against us,... [USD]12,000 to the contrary notwithstanding. Resolved --
(1) We don't want such reparation for being characterized as an illiterate set of enthusiasts devoid of character; our clergy a set of worthless ramblers, unworthy the protection of our civil laws.
(2) Pity and contempt for the Legislature should be expressed for bribery.
(3) We believe the money, if received, would be a lasting curse.
(4) The measure was intended for politics, not religion, and was a species of Tyranny.
(5) We should use our best endeavors to have the money used for state expenses.
(6) Thanks should be sent to the members of the Legislature who had opposed the measure.
All Methodists were further angered by the affront put upon them by the General Assembly, which, in spite of their known determination not to receive the money, appointed Methodist trustees, of whom a majority were Federalists, to receive their share of the appropriation. The trustees accepted the money, defending their action on the ground that they believed that their claim would become void if they did not draw the money, and it might then be put to a worse use. But the Methodist societies did not uphold the trustees, and |regretted the committee imposed on us by the Legislature of the state.| The chairman of the committee, the Rev. Augustus Bolles, refused to serve, and the societies rejected the money. [v]
As a result of the unwelcome legislation, the Republicans received the whole vote of the Methodists for the |Toleration and Reform Ticket| of 1817, which repeated the nominations of the preceding election. The Episcopalians of course favored the reelection of Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll. One small provocation by the Congregationalists of the First Church of New Haven -- the attempt to place the odium of expulsion upon a member who became an Episcopalian -- did not tend to allay feeling. The Toleration party were sure of the votes of the more feeble dissenters, whose interests they promised to regard, as well as of those of the Baptists and of such Federalists as disapproved of the high-handed policy of the Standing Order. The Tolerationists were also counting upon a steady increase of recruits from the Federal ranks as soon as the appreciation of a recent attack by the legislature upon the judiciary and its danger should become more and more realized. Many such recruits, convinced of the necessity of constitutional reform, had gathered at the general meeting of Republicans held in New Haven in October, 1816, to make up the ticket for the spring election of 1817. The campaign issue was |whether freemen shall be tolerated in the free exercise of their religious and political rights.| It was met by the election of Governor Wolcott with a majority of 600 votes over ex-Governor J. Cotton Smith, and by no opposition to the reelection of Lieutenant-Governor Ingersoll. [w] At the same election many minor Republican officials were seated, and the House went Republican by an assured majority of nearly two to one, the Senate remaining strongly Federal.
Governor Wolcott's inaugural placed before the Assembly the following subjects for consideration: (1) A new system of taxation; for, as the governor pointed out, the capitation tax was equivalent to about one-sixteenth of the laboring man's income. (2) Judges of the Superior Court should hold their office during good behavior instead of by annual appointment by the legislature. (3) There should be a complete separation of legislative and judicial powers of government. (4) Rights of conscience and the voluntary support of religion, though if necessary with |laws providing efficient remedies for enforcing the voluntary contracts for their [ministers'] support,| should be considered; and (5) Freedom of suffrage. In concluding, the governor urged that |whenever the public mind appears to be considerably agitated on these subjects, prudence requires that the legislature should revise its measures, and by reasonable explanation or modifications of the law, restore public confidence and tranquillity.| [x]
To consider briefly these various points: Taxes upon mills, machinery, and manufactures needed to be light in order to secure their continued existence. The necessities of war-time had created a larger market for their products, but one that could not be continued after the close of the war allowed European products to enter free of duty. Nor could the factories exist if burdened with heavy taxes before the new tariff measures of 1816 had revived these depressed industries. In agriculture, taxes upon horses, oxen, stock, dairy products, and increased areas of tillage handicapped the farmer. Again, the tax upon fire-places, rather than upon houses, weighed heavily upon the poor and the moderately well-to-do, who built small and inexpensive houses with say three fireplaces, while the rich owners of older and more pretentious dwellings were often rated for fewer. [y] Money was scarce, rich men rare. So also was great poverty. There was a scanty living for the majority. Trades were few, wages low. A farm-hand averaged three shillings a day, paid in provisions. Women of all work drudged for two shillings and sixpence per week, while a farm overseer received a salary of seventy dollars a year. The children of people in average circumstances walked barefoot to church, carrying their shoes and stockings, which they put on under the shelter of the big tree nearest to the meeting-house. Their fathers made one Sunday suit last for years. The wealthy had small incomes, though relatively great. It was whispered that Pierpont Edwards, the rich and prosperous New Haven lawyer, had an income from his law practice of two thousand dollars per year.
Points (2) and (3) in the governor's address were prompted by the widespread interest created by the action of the legislature in October, 1815, when it had set aside the conviction, by a special Superior Court at Middletown, of Peter Lung for murder, on the ground that the court was irregularly and illegally convened. The chief judge was Zephaniah Swift of Windham, author of the |System of Connecticut Laws.| [z] Judge Swift appealed to the public [aa] to vindicate his judicial character from the censure implied by the Assembly's action. An ardent Federalist, who in the early days of statehood could see no need of a better constitution than he then insisted Connecticut possessed through the adoption of her ancient charter, he had long opposed the ecclesiastical establishment which that charter upheld. In his defense of the constitution he had maintained that |it ought to be deemed an inviolable maxim that when proper courts of law are constituted, the legislature are divested of all judicial authority.| [2l2] But when the legislature claimed as constitutional the right to call to account any court, magistrate, or other officer for misdemeanor or mal-administration, [ab] Judge Swift admitted the lack of |a written constitution.| He further argued that the one |made up of usages and customs, had always been understood to contain certain fundamental axioms which were held sacred and inviolable, and which were the basis on which rested the rights of the people.| Of these self-evident principles one was that the three branches of government -- the executive, legislative, and judicial -- were coordinate and independent, and that the powers of one should never be exercised by the other. |It ought to be held as a fundamental axiom,| the judge declared, |that the Legislature should never encroach on the jurisdiction of the Judiciary, nor assume the province of interfering in private rights, nor of overhauling the decisions of the courts of law.| Otherwise, |the legislature would become one great arbitration that would engulf all the courts of law, [ac] and sovereign discretion would be 'the only rule of decision, -- a state of things equally favorable to lawyers and criminals.|
With respect to the fifth point in the governor's address, the right of suffrage, the Republicans and their allies demanded its extension from householders haying real estate rated at [USD]7 (40s.), or personal estate of [USD]134 (L40), to |men who pay small taxes, work on highways, or do service in the militia.|
In the fall of 1817, the reform party had forced the repeal of the obnoxious Stand-Up Law, and it demanded that other restrictive measures should be annulled. So bitter was the Federal antagonism in the Council that during all the spring session of 1817, the Tolerationists loudly complained that every reform measure proposed in the House was lost in the Federal Senate. The committees to which parts of the governor's speech had been referred for consideration did little. That on taxation made a report in the fall recommending that a careful investigation of conditions and resources should be made, because, as capital sought investment, in banks, manufacturing, and various commercial enterprises unknown to the earlier generations, [ad] the fairness of the old system of taxation was lapsing. The mixed committee, including several Tolerationists and having an Episcopal chairman, that was to report upon the religious situation, gave no encouragement to dissenters. The spring session allowed one barren act to pass, the |Act to secure equal rights, powers, and privileges to Christians of all denominations in this state.| It enacted that henceforth certificates should be lodged with the town clerk, and permitted a come-outer to return to the society from which he had separated. In the following spring, when an attempt was made to pass a bill to supersede this act, it was maintained that the law of 1817 |did not effect the object or answer the desire of the aggrieved party,| for it retained the certificate clause and continued to deny to dissenters the measure of religious liberty freely accorded to the Established churches.
The Tolerationists were determined to carry the elections of 1818. In the fall elections of 1817, they again had a majority of nearly two to one in the House, and consequently the struggle was for the control of the Senate. At the fall meetings, they placed in nomination their candidates for senators, and all through the winter they agitated in town meetings and in every other way the discussion of their |Constitution and Reform Ticket.| Party pamphlets were scattered throughout the state. One of these, the most in favor, was |The Politics of Connecticut: by a Federal Republican| (George H. Richards of New London). At the spring elections of 1818, the Constitution and Reform Ticket carried the day, seating the reflected governor and lieutenant-governor, eight anti-Federal senators, and preserving the anti-Federal majority in the House. The political revolution was complete, and the preliminary steps towards the construction of a new constitution were at once begun. [ae]
The governor's inaugural address specified the main task before the Assembly in the following words: --
As a portion of the people have expressed a desire that the form of civil government in this State should be revised, this highly interesting subject will probably engage your [the Assembly's] deliberations.... Considered merely as an instrument denning the powers and duties of magistrates and rulers, the Charter may justly be considered as unprovisional and imperfect. Yet it ought to be recollected that what is now its greatest defect was formerly a pre-eminent advantage, it being then highly important to the people to acquire the greatest latitude of authority with an exemption from British influence and control.
If I correctly comprehend the wishes which have been expressed by a portion of our fellow citizens, they are now desirous, as the sources of apprehension from external causes are at present happily closed, that the Legislative, Executive and Judicial authorities of their own government may be more precisely denned and limited, and the rights of the people declared and acknowledged. It is your province to dispose of this important subject in such manner as will best promote general satisfaction and tranquillity.
The House appointed a select committee of five to report upon the revision of the form of civil government. The Council appointed Hon. Elijah Boardman (Federalist) and Hon. William Bristol (Tolerationist) to act as joint committee with several gentlemen selected by the House. The joint committee reported that |the present was a period peculiarly auspicious for carrying into effect the wishes of our fellow-citizens, -- the general desire for a revision and reformation of the structure of our civil government and the establishment of a Constitutional Compact| and |that the organization of the different branches of government, the separation of their powers,the tenure of office, the elective franchise, liberty of speech and of the press, freedom of conscience, trial by jury, rights which relate to these deeply interesting subjects, ought not to be suffered to rest on the frail foundation of legislative will.| Immediately, the House passed a bill requiring the freemen of the towns to assemble in town meeting on the following Fourth of July |to elect by ballot as many delegates as said towns now choose representatives to the General Assembly,| said delegates to meet in constitutional convention at Hartford on the fourth Wednesday of the following August (Aug. 26) for |the formation of a Constitution of Civil Government for the people of this state.| The bill further declared that the constitution when |ratified by such majority of the said qualified voters, convened as aforesaid, as shall be directed by said convention, shall be and remain the Supreme Law of this State.| An attempt was made to substitute |one delegate| for |as many delegates| as the towns sent. Upon the question in the convention, as to what majority should be required for ratification, there was considerable diversity of opinion. |Two-thirds of the whole number of towns| was suggested, but was opposed on the ground that |two-thirds of the whole number of the towns might not contain one-fourth of the people.| |Three-fifths of the legal voters of the state| was also suggested. In the final decision, the simple |majority of the freemen| was accepted. Had this not been the case, the constitution would have failed of ratification, for, as Burlington made no returns, the vote stood 59 out of 120 towns for ratification, with 13,918 yeas to 12,364 nays, giving a majority of but 1554.
Several causes tended to bring about an eager, an amiable, or tolerant support of the work of the convention. Eepublicans and Tolerationists hoped for sweeping reforms. The Federalists were divided. Many there were who believed it dangerous for the state to continue destitute of fundamental laws defining and limiting the powers of the legislature, and to such as these the need of a bill of rights, and of the separation of the powers of the government, was immediate and imperative. The influential faction of the New Haven Federalists were moved to modify any opposition existing among them by the proposed change to annual sessions of the legislature with alternate sittings in the two capitals. There were still other Federalists who accepted the proposed change in government as inevitable, and who wisely forebore to block it, preferring to use all their influence toward saving as much as possible of the old institutions under new forms. And in this resolve they were encouraged by the high character of the men that all parties chose as delegates to the constitutional convention.
The convention met August 26,1818, at Hartford. Governor Wolcott, one of the delegates from Litchfield, was elected president, and Mr. James Lanman, secretary. Mr. Pierpont Edwards was chosen chairman of a committee of three from each county to draft a constitution. The estimated strength of the parties was one hundred and five Republicans to ninety-five Federalists, and, of the drafting committee, five members belonged to the political minority. [af] An idea of the character of the men chosen for this important task of framing a new constitution is gained from a glance at some of the names. To begin with, over thirty-nine of the delegates to the convention either were Yale alumni or held its honorary degrees, and half of the drafting committee were her graduates. Ex-Governor Treadwell and Alexander Wolcott led the opposing parties, while their able seconds in command were General Nathaniel Terry of Hartford and Pierpont Edwards of New Haven. The latter still held the office of judge of the United States District Court, to which Jefferson had appointed him. Among the delegates, there were Mr. Amasa Learned, formerly representative in Congress, the ex-chief-judges Jesse Root and Stephen Mix Mitchell, Aaron Austin, a member of the Council for over twenty years until the party elections of 1818 unseated him, ex-Governor John Treadwell, and Lemuel Sanford, -- all of whom had been delegates to the convention of 1788, called to ratify the constitution of the United States. Five members of the drafting committee were state senators, namely: Messrs. William Bristol, Sylvester Wells, James Lanman, Dr. John S. Peters of Hebron, and Peter Webb of Windham. Five others, Messrs. Elisha Phelps, Gideon Tomlinson, James Stevens, Orange Merwin, and Daniel Burrows were afterwards elected to that office, while Gideon Tomlinson and John S. Peters became in turn governors of the state. James Lanman, Nathan Smith (a member also of the committee), and Tomlinson entered the national Senate. Among the delegates, there were nearly a dozen well-known physicians, most of them to be found among the Tolerationists. Messrs. Webb, Christopher Manwaring of New London, Gideon Tomlinson of Fairfield, and General Joshua King of Ridgefield, together with Joshua Stow of Middletown (also on the drafting committee), had been for years the warhorses of the democracy, loyal followers of their leader Alexander Wolcott, who had been the Republican state manager from 1800 to 1817.
The method of procedure in the convention was to report from time to time a portion of the draft of the constitution, of which each article was considered section by section, discussed, and amended. After each of the several sections had been so considered, the whole article was opened to amendment before the vote upon its acceptance was taken. When all articles had been approved, the constitution was printed as so far accepted, and was again submitted to revision and amendment before receiving the final approval of the convention.
While the constitutional convention was in session, the Baptists and Methodists resolved that no constitution of civil government should receive their approbation and support unless it contained a provision that should secure the full and complete enjoyment of religious liberty. [2l5] And it was known that the Episcopalians were ready to second such resolutions. These expressions of opinion were of weight as foreshadowing the kind of reception that many of the towns where the dissenters were in the ascendant would accord any constitution sent to them for ratification.
In the convention both the old Federal leader and the old Democratic chief objected to the incorporation in the constitution of a bill of rights. Governor Treadwell opposed it on the ground that such |unalterable| regulations were unnecessary where, as in a republic, all power was vested in the people. Alexander Wolcott objected that such a |bill would circumscribe the powers of the General Assembly| and also because of his disapproval of some of its clauses. When the draft of fourth section was under discussion, namely that |No preference shall be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship,| the Kev. Asahel Morse, a Baptist minister, offered the substitute, --
That rights of conscience are inalienable, that all persons have a natural right to worship Almighty God according to their own consciences; and no person shall be compelled to attend any place of worship, or contribute to the support of any minister, contrary to his own choice.
The substitute was rejected, and after some discussion, the wording of the section was changed by substituting |Christian| in place of |religious| and this change retained in the final revision. [ag]
The seventh article, |Of Religion,| was the subject of a long and earnest debate.
Sec.1. It being the right and duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe, in the mode most consistent with the dictates of their own consciences; no person shall be compelled to join or support, nor by law be classed with or associated to any congregation, church or religious association. And each and every society or denomination of Christians in this State, shall have and enjoy the same and equal powers, rights and privileges; and shall have power and authority to support and maintain the Ministers or Teachers of their respective denominations, and to build and repair houses for public worship, by a tax on the members of the respective societies only, or in any other manner.
Sec.2. If any person shall choose to separate himself from the society or denomination of Christians to which he may belong, and shall leave written notice thereof with the Clerk of such society he shall thereupon be no longer liable for any future expenses, which may be incurred by said society.
The Federalists contested its passage at every point, and succeeded in modifying the first draft in important particulars, but could not prevent complete severance of Church and State, nor the constitutional guarantee to all denominations of religious liberty and perfect equality before the law. To the first clause as reported -- |It being the right and duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the Great Creator and Preserver of the Universe, in the mode most consistent with the dictates of their consciences| -- Governor Treadwell objected that |Conscience may be perverted, and man may think it his duty to worship his Creator by image, or as the Greeks and Romans did; and though he would tolerate all modes of worship, he would not recognize it in the Constitution, as the duty of a person to worship as the heathen do.| Mr. Tomlinson afterwards moved to amend the clause to its present shape, |The duty of all men to worship... and their right to render that worship.| Governor Treadwell objected that the same clause went |to dissolve all ecclesiastical societies in this State. That was probably its intent as Messrs. Joshua Stow and Gideon Tomlinson had drafted it. The former answered all objections by asserting that |if this section is altered in any way, it will curtail the great principles for which we contend.| [ah]
The first section was finally adopted by a vote of 103 to 86, while a motion to strike out the second section was rejected by 105 to 84. On its final revision it read: --
Sec.1. It being the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the Great Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and their right to render that worship in the mode most consistent with the dictates of their consciences; no person shall, by law, be compelled to join or support, nor be classed with, or associated to, any congregation, church, or religious association. But every person now belonging to such congregation, church, or religious association, shall remain a member thereof, until he shall have separated himself therefrom, in the manner hereinafter provided. And each and every society or denomination of Christians, in this state, shall have and enjoy the same and equal powers, rights and privileges; and shall have power and authority to support and maintain the ministers or teachers of their respective denominations, and to build and repair houses for public worship, by a tax on the members of any such society only, to be laid by a major vote of the legal voters assembled at any such society meeting, warned and held according to law, or in any other manner. [ai]
During the last revision of the constitution Mr. Terry had offered the two amendments that continue the old ecclesiastical societies as corporate bodies.
The draft of the whole constitution was read through for the last time as amended and ready for acceptance or rejection, and put to vote on September 15, 1818. It was passed by 134 yeas to 61 nays. The constitution then went before the people for their consideration [aj] and ratification. For a while its fate seemed doubtful; but by the loyalty of the Federal members of the convention and their efforts in their own districts the whole state gave a majority for ratification. The southern counties, with a vote of 11,181, gave a majority for ratification of 2843; the northern counties, with a vote of 15,101, gave a majority against ratification of 1189.
The Toleration party as such had triumphed, and they felt that they had won all they had promised the people, for they had secured |the same and equal powers, rights and privileges to all denominations of Christians.| They had also cleared the way for a broader suffrage and for the proper election laws to guarantee it. At the last two elections the Republicans in the Toleration party had carefully separated state and national issues, and had in large measure forborne from criticism of the partisan government, insisting that the people's decision at the polls would give them -- the people -- rather than any political party, the power to correct existing abuses. The Republicans also insisted that the Tolerationists, no matter what their previous party affiliation, would with one accord obey the behests of the sovereign people. But when the constitution was an assured fact the Republicans felt that the Federalist influence had dominated the convention, and the Federalists that altogether too much had been accorded to the radical party. Nevertheless it was the loyalty of the Federal members of the convention that won the small majority for the Tolerationists and for the new constitution, even if that loyalty was founded upon the belief, held by many, that the choice of evils lay in voting for the new regime.
The constitution of 1818 was modeled on the old charter, and retained much that was useful in the earlier instrument. The more important changes were: (1) The clearer definition and better distribution of the powers of government. (2) Rights of suffrage were established upon personal qualifications, and election laws were guaranteed to be so modified that voting should be convenient and expeditious, and its returns correct. (3) The courts were reorganized, and the number of judges was reduced nearly one half, while the terms of those in higher courts were made to depend upon an age limit (that of seventy years), efficiency, and good behavior. Their removal could be only upon impeachment or upon the request of at least two thirds of the members of each house. Judges of the lower courts, justices of the peace, were still to be appointed annually by the legislature, and to it the appointment of the sheriffs was transferred. [ak] (4) Amendments to the constitution were provided for. (5) Annual elections and annual sessions of the legislature, alternating between Hartford and New Haven, were arranged for, and by this one change alone the state was saved a yearly expense estimated at [USD]14,000, a large sum in those days. (6) The governor [al] was given the veto power, although a simple majority of the legislature could override it. (7) The salaries of the governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives were fixed by statute, and were not alterable to affect the incumbent during his term of office. (8) And finally, the union of Church and State was dissolved, and all religious bodies were placed upon a basis of voluntary support.
Among the minor changes, the law that before the constitution of 1818 had conferred the right of marrying people upon the located ministers and magistrates only, thereby practically excluding Baptist, Methodist and Universalist clergy, now extended it to these latter. While formerly the only literary institution favored was Yale College, Trinity College, despite a strong opposition, was soon given its charter, and one was granted later to the Methodists for Wesleyan College at Middletown. Moreover, the government appropriated to both institutions a small grant. The teaching of the catechism, previously enforced by law in every school, became optional. Soon a normal school, free to all within the state, was opened. The support of religion was left wholly to voluntary contributions. [am] The political influence of the Congregational clergy was gone. |The lower magistracy was distributed as equally as possible among the various political and religious interests,| and the higher courts were composed of judges of different political opinions.
The battle for religious liberty was won, Church and State divorced, politics and religion torn asunder. The day of complete religious liberty had daw'ned in Connecticut, and in a few years the strongest supporters of the old system would acknowledge the superiority of the new. As the |old order changed, yielding place to new,| many were doubtful, many were fearful, and many there were who in after years, as they looked backward, would have expressed themselves in the frank words of one of their noblest leaders: [an] |For several days, I suffered what no tongue can tell for the best thing that ever happened to the State of Connecticut.|
[a] Party names were |American,| |American and Toleration,| |Toleration and Reform.|
[b] Three fourths of Connecticut's exports were products of agriculture.
[c] |All institutions, civil, literary and ecclesiastical, felt the pressure, and seemed as if they must he crushed. Our schools, churches and government even, in the universal impoverishment, were failing and the very foundations were shaken, when God interposed and took off the pressure.| -- Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, i, 266.
[d] The Massachusetts militia were placed under General Dearborn, August 5, 1812.
[e] Governor Griswold died Octoher, 1812, and was succeeded in office by Lieutenant-Governor John Cotton Smith.
[f] The direct tax laid July 22-24,1813, by the national government, was apportioned in September, as follows: To Massachusetts, [USD]316,270.71; to Rhode Island, [USD]34,702.18; and to Connecticut, [USD]118,167.71, divided as follows (which shows the relative wealth of the different sections of the state), Litchfield, [USD]19,065.72; Fairfield, [USD]18,810.50; New Haven, [USD]16,723.10; Hartford, [USD]19,608.02; New London, [USD]13,392.04; Middlesex, [USD]9,064.20; Windham, [USD]14,524.38; and Tolland, [USD]6,984.69. Duties were levied upon refined sugar, carriages, upon licenses to distilleries, auction sales of merchandise and vessels, upon retailers of wine, spirits, and foreign merchandise; while a stamp tax was placed upon notes and bills of exchange. -- See Niles Register, v, 17; Schouler, ii, 380. The tax in 1815 was [USD]236,335.41. -- Niles, vii, 348.
[g] Briefly, an independent Indian nation between Canada and the United States; no fleets or military posts on the Great Lakes, and no renunciation of the English rights of search and impressment.
[h] The April (1815) session of the Connecticut legislature passed an |Act to secure the rights of parents, masters and guardians.| It declared the proposed legislation in Congress contrary to the spirit of the Constitution of the United States, and an unauthorized interference with state rights. It commanded all state judges to discharge on habeas corpus all minors enlisted without consent of parents or guardians, and it enacted a fine, not to exceed five hundred dollars, upon any one found guilty of enlisting a minor against the consent of his guardian, and a fine of one hundred dollars for the advertising or publication of enticements to minors to enlist.
[i] |Amendments: (1) Restrictions npon Congress requiring a two thirds vote in making and declaring war, (2) in laying embargoes, and (3) in admitting new states. (4) Restriction of the presidential office to one term without reelection, and with no two successive Presidents from the same state. (5) Reduction of representation and taxation by not reckoning the blacks in the slave states. (6) No foreign born citizen should be eligible to office.
[j] |They advocated nullification and threatened dissolution of the Union.| -- J. P. Gordy, Political History of the United States, ii, 299.
[k] The President in March, 1812, sent to Congress the documents for which he had paid one John Henry [USD]50,000. The latter claimed to be an agent sent from Canada in 1809 to detach New England Federalists from their allegiance to the Union. Congress by resolution proclaimed the validity of the documents. The British minister solemnly denied all knowledge of them on the part of his government. The American people believed in their authenticity, which belief was confirmed during the war by the distinct favor shown for a while to Massachusetts, and by the hope, openly entertained by England, of separating New England from New York and the southern states.
[l] Manufactures in Connecticut (abridged from the U. S. marshal's report in the autumn of 1810, cited in Niles' Register, vi, 323-333) were represented by 14 cotton mills, 15 woolen mills. (By 1815 New London county alone had 14 woolen mills and 10 cotton.) These had increased to 60 cotton in 1819, and to 36 woolen. Flax cloth, blended or unnamed cloths, and wool cloth, -- all these made in families, -- amounted to a yearly valuation of [USD]2,151,972; hempen cloth, [USD]12,148; stockings, [USD]111,021; silks (sewing and raw), [USD]28,503; hats to the value of [USD]522,200; straw bonnets, [USD]25,100; shell, horn, and ivory in manufactured products, [USD]70,000. Looms for cotton numbered 16,132; carding machines, 184; fulling mills, 213, and there were 11,883 spindles.
In iron, wood, and steel: 8 furnaces, with output of [USD]46,180; 48 forges, [USD]183,910; 2 rolling and slitting mills, 32 trip-hammers, [USD]91,146; 18 naileries, [USD]27,092; 4 brass foundries, 1 type foundry, brass jewelry, and plaited ware, [USD]49,200; metal buttons, 155,000 gross, or [USD]102,125; guns, rifles, etc., [USD]49,050.
Among other manufactories and manufactures there were 408 tanneries, [USD]476,339; shoes, boots, etc., [USD]231,812; the tin plate industry, [USD]139,370; 560 distilleries, [USD]811,144; 18 paper mills, [USD]82,188; ropewalks, [USD]243,950; carriages, [USD]68,855, and the beginnings of brick-making, glass-works, pottery, marble works, which, with the state's 24 flaxseed mills and seven gunpowder mills, brought the sum total to approximately [USD]6,000,000.
Still the great impetus to manufacturing, which completely revolutionized the character of the state, followed the Joint-stock Act of 1837, with its consequent investment of capital and rush of emigration, resulting in later days in a development of the cities at the expense of the rural districts.
[m] Gilbert Brewster, the Arkwright of American cotton machinery, Eli Whitney, with his cotton gin and rifle improvements, and John Fitch, with his experiments with steam, are the most distinguished among a host of men who made Yankee ingenuity and Yankee skill proverbial.
[n] |Era of Good Feeling, 1817-1829. The best principles of the Federalists, the preservation and perpetuity of the Federal government, had been quietly accepted by the Republicans, and the Republican principle of limiting the powers and duties of the Federal government had been adopted by the Federalists. The Republicans deviated so far from their earlier strict construction views as in 1816 to charter a national bank for twenty years, and to model it upon Hamilton's bank of 1791 which they had refused to re-charter in 1811,| -- A. Johnson, American Politics, pp.80, 81.
[o] |This was for the support of missions outside the state. The Domestic or State Home Missionary Society undertook the buiding up of places within the state that were without suitable religious care. The former finally absorbed the latter when its original purpose was accomplished. Then, there was the Litchfield County Foreign Mission Society, founded in 1812, the first auxiliary of the American Board, which began its career in 1810, and was incorporated the same year that its youngest branch was organized.| -- Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, i, 275, 287-88 and 291.
[p] Organized in New Haven in October, 1812, with Dr. Dwight as chairman. Members of the committee upon organization included nearly all the prominent men of that day, both of the clergy and of the bar. A list is given in Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, i, 256.
[q] |We really broke up riding and working on the Sabbath, and got the victory. The thing was done, and had it not been for the political revolution that followed, it would have stood to this day.... The efforts we made to execute the laws, and secure a reformation of morals, reached the men of piety, and waked up the energies of the whole state, so far as the members of our churches, and the intelligent and moral portion of our congregation were concerned. These, however, proved to be a minority of the suffrage of the state.| -- Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, i, 268.
|In Pomfret the Justice of the Peace arrested and fined townspeople who persisted in working on Sunday, and held travellers over until Monday morning.| -- E. D. Lamed, History of Windham, ii, 448.
[r] |The odium thrown upon the ministry was inconceivable. ... The Congregational ministers agreed to hold back and keep silent until the storm blew over. Our duty as well as policy was explanation and self-defence, expostulation and conciliation.| -- Autobiography, i, 344.
[s] |Aristides,| March 26, 1826, and |Episcopalian,| March 13, issues of the American Mercury.
|When the Episcopal Church petitioned the legislature in vain, as she did for a series of years, for a charter to a college, he (the Rev. Philo Shelton of Fairfield) with others of his brethren proposed a union with the political party, then in a minority, to secure what he regarded a just right. And the first fruit of the union was the charter of Trinity (Washington) College, Hartford. He was one of a small number of clergymen who decided on this measure, and were instrumental in carrying it into effect; and it resulted in a change in the politics of the State which has never yet been reversed.| -- Sprague's Annals of American Pulpit (Episcopal), v, 35.
[t] Total vote for governor 21,759. Mr. Goddard received 9421 votes. -- J. H. Trumbull, Hist. Notes, p.36.
[u] The law apportioned one third of the money to the Congregationalists; one seventh to Yale; one seventh to the Episcopalians; one eighth to the Baptists; one twelfth to the Methodists, and the balance to the state treasury. -- Cited in Connecticut Courant, November 8, 1816. Acts and Laws, pp. 279, 280.
[v] The first installment, [USD]50,000, was paid into the Treasury in June, 1817. The Methodists, and later the Baptists, accepted their share, but not until political events had removed some of their objections.
See the Mirror, February 16, 1818. It was not until 1820 that the final acceptance of the money took place.
J. H. Trumbull, Hist. Notes, p.36, foot-note, gives the following figures. By November, 1817, [USD]61,500 had been received and apportioned: Congregationalists, [USD]20,500.00; Trustees of the Bishop's Fund, [USD]8,785.71; Baptist Trustees, [USD]7,687.50; Methodist Trustees, [USD]5,125.00; Yale College, [USD]8,785.71, and a balance still unappropriated of [USD]10,616.08.
[w] Legal returns gave Wolcott 13,655
Scattering 202 13,321
-- -- -- -- -- --
|The correction of errors increased the majority to 600, which the Federalists conceded. -- J. H. Trumbull, Hist. Notes, p.38, footnote.
[x] Governor Wolcott's speech, Connecticut Courant, May 20, 1817; also Niles' Register, xii, pp.201-204.
[y] |In our climate, three fireplaces are occasionally necessary to the comfortable accommodation of every family.| -- Governor's speech.
[z] Published 1795.
[aa] A vindication of the calling of the Special Superior Court at Middletown... for the trial of Peter Lung... with observations, &c, Windham, 1816.
[ab] The legislature had also interfered with decisions regarding the Symsbury patent. See E. Kirby, Law Reports, p.446.
[ac] A summary of the Connecticut constitution, taken from Niles's Register, asserts that the General Court has sole power to make and repeal laws, grant levies, dispose of lands belonging to the state to particular towns and persons, to erect and style judicatories and officers as they shall see necessary for the good government of the people; also to call to account any court, magistrate, or other officer for misdemeanor and maladministration, or for just cause may fine, displace, or remove, them, or deal otherwise as the nature of the ease shall require; and may deal or act in any other matter that concerns the good of the state except the election of governor, deputy-governor, assistants, treasurer and secretary, which shall be done by the freemen at the yearly court of election, unless there be any vacancy by reason of death or otherwise, after an election, when it may be filled by the General Court. This court has power also, for reasons satisfactory to them, to grant suspension, release, and jail delivery upon reprieves in capital and criminal cases.
The elections for the assistants and superior officers are annual; for the representatives, semi-annual. The sessions of the General Court are semi-annual. The Governor and the speaker have the casting vote in the Upper and Lower House, respectively.
The Superior Court consists of one chief judge and four others, and holds two sessions in each county each year. Its jurisdiction holds over all criminal cases extending to life, limb, or banishment; all criminal cases brought from county courts by appeal or writ of error, and in some matters of divorce.
The county court consists of one judge and four justices of the quorum, with jurisdiction over all criminal cases not extending to life, limb, or banishment, and with original jurisdiction in all civil actions where the demand exceeds forty shillings. Justices of the Peace, in the various towns, have charge of civil actions involving less than forty shillings, and criminal jurisdiction in some cases, where the fine does not exceed forty shillings, or the punishment exceed ten stripes or sitting in the stocks. Judges and Justices are annually appointed by the General Court, and commonly reappointed during good behavior, while sheriffs are appointed by the governor and council without time-limit and are subject to removal. Recently county courts determined matters of equity involving from five pounds to two hundred pounds, the Superior Court two hundred pounds to sixteen hundred, and the General Assembly all others.
Probate districts, not coextensive with the counties, exist, with appeal to the Superior Court.
In military matters, the governor is the captain-general of the militia, and the General Court appoints the general officers and field officers, and they are commissioned by the governor. Captains and subalterns are chosen by the vote of the company and of the householders living within the limits of the company, but must be approved by the General Court and commissioned by the governor before they can serve. All military officers hold their commissions during the pleasure of the General Assembly and may not resign them without permission, except under penalty of being reduced to the ranks. -- Niles' Register, 1813, vol. iii, p.443, etc. Corrected slightly by reference to Swift's System of Laws.
[ad] Banks and insurance companies began to organize about 1790 to 1810.
[ae] In 1818, for the first time, a dissenter, Mr. Croswell, rector of Trinity Church, New Haven, preached the Election Sermon.
[af] Messrs. Pitkin, Todd, G. Lamed, Pettibone, and Wiley. Of these, the first had been twenty times state representative, five times speaker of the House, and for thirteen years had been representative in Congress.
[ag] The first seven sections of the Bill of Bights according to the final revision are: --
Sec.1. That all men when they form a social compact, are equal in rights; and that no man, or set of men are entitled to exclusive public emoluments or privileges from the community.
Sec.2. That all political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit; and that they have, at all times, an undeniable and indefeasible right to alter their form of government, in such a manner as they may think expedient.
Sec.3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this state; provided, that the right, hereby declared and established, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state.
Sec.4. No preference shall be given by law to any Christian sect or mode of worship.
Sec.5. Every citizen may freely speak, write, and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty.
Sec.6. No law shall ever be passed to curtail or restrain the liberty of speech or of the press.
Sec.7. In all prosecutions or indictments for libels, the truth may be given in evidence; and the jury shall have the right to determine the law and the facts, under the direction of the court.
[ah] Mr. Trumbull asserts that |writers and historians are in error when attributing to Mr. Morse of Suffield (the Baptist minister aforementioned) the drafting of the Article on Religious Liberty. The drafting committee were Messrs. Tomlinson and Stow, and the first clause, as reported, seems to have been taken with slight alteration from Governor Woleott's speech to the General Assembly, May, 1817, namely, 'It is the right and duty of every man publicly and privately to worship and adore the Supreme Creator and Preserver of the Universe in the manner most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience.'| -- J. H. Trumbull, Notes on the Constitution, pp.56, 57.
[ai] The second section remained unchanged.
[aj] Seven hundred copies were distributed among the towns.
[ak] By later amendments, judges of the Supreme Court of Errors and the Superior Court are nominated by the governor and appointed by the General Assembly. Judges of probate are now elected by the electors in their respective districts; justices of the peace in the several towns by the electors in said towns; and sheriffs by their counties.
[al] By amendment of 1901, the vote for governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary, treasurer, comptroller, and attorney-general was changed from a majority to a plurality vote, the Assembly to decide between candidates, if at any time two or more should receive |an equal and the greatest number| of votes.
[am] |It cut the churches loose from dependence upon state support -- It threw them wholly on their own resources and on God.| |The mass is changing,| wrote Dr. Beecher. |We are becoming another people. The old laws answered when all men in a parish were of one faith.| -- Lyman Beecher, Autobiography, i, pp.344, 453.
[an] Lyman Beecher.