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nominated S. C. Shurtleff of Montpelier for Governor.


(The campaig-n in this State was an active one. The
Presidential nominee was a grandson of President Wil-
liam Henry iTarrison, and in some respects the log-cabin
and Tippecanoe features of 1840 were reproduced. Log
cabins on wheels were a feature of political processions.
A great rally was held at Burlington with speeches by
Senator Warner Miller of New York, John M. Thurston
of Nebraska and others. Dillingham was elected by a
majority of 27,628. The vote was, Dillingham (Rep.),
48,522; Shurtleff (Dem.), 19,527; Seeley (Pro.), 1,372;
scattering, 5. The total vote was one of the heaviest
ever cast, nearly reaching that of 1880.

William Paul Dillingham was born at Waterbury,
l^ecember 12, 1843, being the son of Gov. Paul Dilling-
ham. He was educated in the public schools, in New-
bury Seminary and Kimball Union Academy. He
studied law wath Hon. Matt H. Carpenter, his brother-
in-law, and in the office of his father, and was admitted
to the bar in 1867. For a considerable period he was
a member of the Montpelier law firm of Dillingham,
Huse and Howland. He was State's Attorney for
Washington county from 1872 to 1876; Secretary of
Civil and Military Affairs, 1874-76; represented Water-
bury in the Legislature in 1876 and 1884; was State
Senator from Washington county in 1878 and 1880;
and was State Tax Commissioner from 1882 to 1888.
He was elected United States Senator in 1900. He has
been a lay delegate to the Methodist General Conference,
a trustee of the University of Vermont, and is a director
of the National Life Insurance Company and president
of the Waterbury Savings P)ank and Trust Company.


The Legislature organized by reelecting Josiah Grout
of Derby as Speaker. Redfield Proctor of Proctor
was a member of the House. In his inaugural address
Governor Dillingham discussed the violations of the pro-
hibitory law, and asked if the time had not come when
imprisonment should be a penalty for the first offence.
He was strongly of the opinion that the time had come
for such a modification of the law. The town system of
schools had been perfected and offered to the people,
only to be rejected, and the Governor observed that
"to-day we stand in the position occupied ten years ago,
with the district system in force in nearly all the towns
of the State, unimproved and full of glaring faults."
He found, however, fhat a great majority of the people
preferred the old district system and were averse to any

One of the important acts of the legislative session
was a revision of the school law. Provision was made
for the election of a State Superintendent of Education
by the Legislature at an annual salary of two thousand
dollars, with an allowance of six hundred dollars for
expenses. Each town was to elect a member of a
County Board of Education, which should select text
books and elect a County Supervisor of Schools. This
act was a long one, including fifteen chapters and two
hundred and ninety-six sections.

The payment of a special United States tax as a liquor
seller was made prima facie evidence that the holder of
such license was a common seller of intoxicating liquor
and the place where such liquor was kept was adjudged
a common nuisance. In certain instances officers of the


law were empowered to seize liquor without a warrant.
The Governor was authorized to appoint a commissioner
to collect authentic statistical information, as complete
as might be obtained, and covering a convenient series
of years, in regard to agricultural production, live stock
interests and prices of farm property and farm labor.
Information was also desired in regard to manufactur-
ing interests, particularly the undeveloped agricultural
manufacturing resources. The commissioner was
directed to compare the Vermont statistics with those
of other States, to investigate methods employed by other
States and countries and to report at the next session of
the Legislature. The sum of one hundred thousand dol-
lars was appropriated for a State Hospital for the Insane
and Waterbury was selected for the site.

An act was passed to suppress "bucket shops," and
gambling in stocks and bonds, petroleum, cotton, grain
and provisions. Another act, forbidding betting on the
results of elections was passed. The fiscal year was
made to cover the period from July 1 to June 30.

A joint resolution adopted called attention to the fact
that Vermont had been honored but once with a Cabinet
position, and then only for a few months, and it was
"Resolved, That it is the unanimous sense of these bodies,
without distinction of party, that President-elect Harri-
son could do no wiser or better thing than to remember
Vermont when he forms his Cabinet ; and in view of the
high character and sound sense of Ex-Oov. Redfield
Proctor, we would most cordially recommend him to the
confidence of the President-elect, and hereby recjuest our


delegation in Congress to use their influence to secure
for him a Cabinet appointment."

The Maritime Canal Company of Nicaragua was in-
corporated, and among the incorporators were Frederick
Billings of Woodstock and Franklin Fairbanks of St.

The Presidential vote of Vermont by counties in 1888
was as follows:


Addison 4.036

Bennington 2,497

Caledonia 3,083

Chittenden 4,149

Essex 907

Franklin 3,121

Grand Isle 465

Lamoille 1,797

Orange 2,792

Orleans 3,036

Rutland 6,088

Washington 3,715

Windham 4,344

Windsor 5,163













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. . .








. . .




Total 45,192 16,788 1,460 1,977 131

Harrison's majority, 24,836.

Vermont's Presidential Electors were Henderson C.
Wilson of Troy, Henry R. Start of Bakersfield, Henry
C. McDuffee of Bradford and Darius J. Safford of

Many Vermonters attended the inauguration of Presi-
dent Harrison in March, 1889. Governor Dillingham


and a considerable number of prominent citizens of the
Green Mountain State were in attendance, and for the
benefit of these visitors, Senator and Mrs. Morrill gave
one of their delightful receptions.

On the day following the inaugural ceremonies Presi-
dent Harrison sent to the Senate his list of Cabinet
appointments, which included the name of Redfield
Proctor of Vermont as Secretary of War. James G.
Blaine of Maine was appointed Secretary of State, and
in order to include Ex-Governor Proctor it was neces-
sary to disregard the rule which ordinarily assigns to
New England only one Cabinet position. The new
War Secretary soon proved that he was the right man
in the right place. His Civil War experience had given
him a familiarity with and a fondness for military mat-
ters. He had had the training of a lawyer, and his
experience in building up the greatest business of its
kind in the world had given him an invaluable experience
in administrative affairs. Few men in public life have
had more strongly developed than Secretary Proctor
that very desirable quality, not easily defined, known as
common sense. He had all the prudence and sagacity
which have been characteristic of the Vermont ^'ankee
for many generations, and he had the hap])y faculty of
getting on well with other men. He. never put on airs.
He was plain, simple and straightforward in his manner,
and he inspired confidence. He was eminently sane and
well balanced, and with these (Uialities. useful if not
showy, he achieved success. He did not fret concerning
military etif|uctte and the forms and traditions of army
life. He did not antagonize Congressional leaders, but


Born in Shoreham, Vt., May i6, 1824. He became a
successful business man and one of New York's leading
bankers. He served one term in Congress, was appointed
United States Minister to France in 1881 and was elected
Vice-President of the United States in 1888, when Benjamin
Harrison was chosen President. He was elected Governor
of New York in 1894. He died May 16, 1920, on the ninety-
sixth anniversary of his birth.


established cordial relations with them and secured re-
sults that would have been impossible if he had been less

Gen. L. A. Grant of Minneapolis, a native of Vermont
and commander of the famous Vermont Brigade during
the latter part of the Civil War, was appointed Assist-
ant Secretary of War.

One of the first matters in the War Department to
interest Secretary Proctor was the welfare of the en-
listed men. When he assumed his duties as head of the
War Department, desertions from the army were a
menace to the service. In his admirable paper on Red-
field Proctor, read before the Vermont Historical
Society, Hon. Frank C. Partridge called attention to
the fact that during the period from January 1, 1867,
to June 30, 1891, there were 88,475 desertions from the
Regular Army. From 1820 to the opening of the Civil
War the rate of desertion was 14.8 per cent of the en-
listed strength of the army. For the year ending June
30, 1889, the rate was 11.6 per cent. Secretary Proc-
tor's policy was "to make the service worth seeking, and
then," said he, "enough good men will seek it and be glad
to stay in it." He submitted four recommendations and
commended three other proposals favored by army offi-
cers, all of which were aimed at removing the causes
of desertion. These recommendations were embodied in
the act of June 16, 1890, which resulted in a marked
improvement in the service. The rate of desertions for
the year ending June 30 was reduced to 9 per cent and
for the next year to 6.1 per cent, and when Secretary
Proctor left the department the rate was still decreasing.


In accordance with Secretary Proctor's suggestion,
Congress enacted a law in 1890 removing some of the
hardships and abuses from which enUsted men had suf-
fered under the court martial provisions of the Articles
of War. The Secretary issued an order providing that
on request a suitable officer should be detailed as counsel
to defend an enlisted man placed on trial. During his
administration an act was passed providing for an exam-
ination of officers for promotion. Secretary Proctor in-
augurated a system of "efficiency records," which should
give intelligent and accurate information concerning the
capacity of army officers, which might be used as a basis
for special details in service and for promotions.

During Secretary Proctor's administration the mod-
ern system of coast defence was begun. He was able
to convince Congress of the need of a suitable appropria-
tion and it was voted. An army officer has said: "It
was of no little consequence at this critical formative
period, when the Nation was without a single modern
defence, or a single modern gun, that Redfield Proctor
of Vermont was Secretary of War to give force and
effect and impetus to the plans of the military experts
by his wisdom, his executive ability, his knowledge of
men and his great business sagacity."

Soon after coming to his new task, he established, in
July, 1889, the Record and Pension Division of the War
Department. Pension cases had been delayed and the
searching of records was unmethodical. The new de-
partment was placed in charge of Capt. Fred C. Ains-
worth, a native of Vermont, in later years Adjutant
General of the army, and the results achieved were mar-


velous. Instead of long delays in furnishing informa-
tion, it was possible under the new system to answer
90 per cent of the letters within twenty-four hours after
they were received. The office force was able also to
transcribe the records by means of the card index sys-
tem, so that approximately six hundred clerks could
be employed elsewhere, and a saving of at least one mil-
lion dollars a year was made.

A difficult and delicate situation confronted Secretary
Proctor when the Mayor of New Orleans officially
notified him of the death of Jefferson Davis, President
of the Confederate States, who had been Secretary of
War in the Cabinet of President Pierce. It was cus-
tomary to place the department flag at half mast for
a period of thirty days for a former Secretary. If this
had been done in honor of Mr. Davis, the Union veterans
and the Northern people generally would have resented
such a tribute. On the other hand, a brusque reply
would have ofifended grievously millions of Southern
people. Secretary Proctor's native wisdom was shown
in the following message sent to Mayor Shakespeare:
"Your telegram informing me of the death of Mr. Davis
is received. In refraining from any official action there-
on I would not, and I hope I do not, add to the great
sorrow of his family and many friends. It seems to
me the right course and best one for all. You will,
I am sure, understand that its adoption is prompted by
a sincere wish and purpose to act in that spirit of peace
and good will which should fill the hearts of all our
people." This attitude was endorsed by most news-
papers in the South as well as in the North.


President Harrison depended much upon Secretary
Proctor's advice ''about all kinds of perplexing questions
which formal Cabinet meetings cannot settle," to quote
from an article published in 1891. When Secretary
William Windom died, the President asked Mr. Proctor
to become Secretary of the Treasury, but he declined.
The offer, however, was an evidence of Secretary Proc-
tor's ability and the President's confidence in him.

Later, when William H. Taft was at the head of the
War Department, he said of Redfield Proctor, ''As Sec-
retary of War he gave effect to changes of system and
consolidation of work resulting in improvement and
great and continuing economy of administration."
Judged by a record of notable achievement, Redfield
Proctor ranks among America's great Secretaries of

In 1889, Lyman E. Knapp of Middlebury was
appointed Governor of Alaska.

The year 1889 marked the completion of one hundred
years of government under the American Constitution,
and this event was fittingly celebrated at New York from
April 29 to May 1 . The Vermont National Guard under
Col. William L. Greenleaf participated with credit in a
great military parade. The New York newspapers
called attention to the striking appearance of Governor
Dillingham, youngest of the visiting Governors, who
attracted much attention, mounted on a fine horse and
wearing a military cloak.

Acting under authority of an act passed in 1888, Gov-
ernor Dillingham appointed A. B. Valentine, a promi-
nent business man of Bennington, a commissioner to in-


vestigate agricultural and manufacturing conditions and
possibilities in the State. As a result of these efforts
Swedish immigrants were induced to settle at Wilming-
ton and Weston.

The Democratic State Convention of 1890 nominated
Herbert F. Brigham of Bakersfield for Governor. The
feature of the convention was a hard fought contest be-
tween two factions of the party, one attempting to oust
Hiram Atkins of Montpelier from the chairmanship of
the State Committee, and the other seeking to retain him
in office. The Atkins faction won by a small majority.

The Republican State Convention was said to have
been the most largely attended gathering of this kind
ever held in Vermont. There were active contests for
every elective office and the race for the Governorship
nomination between Lieut. Gov. Urban A. Woodbury of
Burlington and Carroll S. Page of Hyde Park was par-
ticularly close and exciting. Colonel Woodbury had
been a soldier in the Civil War and the veterans of the
Union Army had been a power in Vermont politics for
years, but in this political battle the civilian won, the
vote being, Page, 386; Woodbury, 337; scattering, 6.
Henry A. Fletcher of Cavendish defeated Col. George
W. Hooker of Brattleboro as a candidate for the office
of Lieutenant Governor by a vote of 317 to 297.

In the First District Republican Convention, Judge
H. Henry Powers of Morrisville was nominated as a
candidate for Congress without opposition, the name of
James K. Batchelder of Arlington having been with-
drawn before the convention opened.


The vote for Governor was as follows: Carroll S.
Page, 33,462; Herbert F. Brigham, 19,299; Edward L.
Allen, 1,161; scattering, 304.

Governor Page was in his forty-seventh year, having
been born at Westfield, January 10, 1843. He was edu-
cated in People's Academy, Morrisville, Lamoille County
Grammar School at Johnson and Lamoille Central
Academy at Hyde Park. He engaged in business and
built up at Hyde Park the largest plant in the United
States dealing in raw calf skins. He is president of the
Lamoille County National Bank and the Lamoille County
Savings Bank and Trust Company, and a director of
the Swanton Savings Bank and Trust Company. He
represented Hyde Park in the Legislature in 1869, 1870
and 1872, and was a Senator from Lamoille county in
1874. He was Savings Bank Examiner from 1884 to
1888. For eighteen years, from 1872 to 1890, he was a
member of the Republican State Committee, and during
the last four years he was its efficient chairman. He
was a delegate to the Republican National Convention
of 1880 and 1912, being chairman of the delegation in
the latter year. As Governor he ranks among Ver-
mont's ablest executives.

The new Congressman, Horace Henry Powers, was
lx)rn in Morristown, May 24, 1835. He was educated
at People's Academy, Morrisville, and graduated from
the University of Vermont in the class of 1855. He
taught school for two years, studied law and was ad-
mitted to the bar in 1858. He practiced law at Hyde
Park for four years, and in 1862 formed a ])artnershi])
with P. K. Gleed at Morrisville. He represented Hyde


Park in the Legislature in 1858, was State's Attorney
for Lamoille county, 1861-62; was a member of the last
Council of Censors in 1869 and of the Constitutional
Convention of 1870. He was elected State Senator from
Lamoille county in 1872 and Representative from Mor-
ristown in 1874, being chosen Speaker of the House.
He was elected a Judge of the Supreme Court in 1874
and served until his election to Congress in 1890. He
was chairman of the Vermont delegation to the Repub-
lican National Convention in 1892. He served in Con-
gress until 1901, when he resumed the practice of law.
He died December 8, 1913. He was an able Judge and
an influential Congressman. In the Fifty-fourth Con-
gress he was chairman of the Committee on Pacific Rail-
roads and took a prominent part in railroad legislation.

Henry R. Start of Bakersfield was elected Speaker.
In his retiring message Governor Dillingham alluded to
the attempt to develop Vermont. He said that in 1880
the census returns showed 430,041 persons born in Ver-
mont, and only about 58 per cent of this number resided
in the State. When the Vermont railroads were built
many Irish laborers came into the State. A consider-
able number of these men settled here, and induced
friends to come. The State must look abroad for immi-
grants if sparsely populated towns were to be repopu-
lated. He had appointed as Vermont Commissioners to
the World's Columbian Exposition, Dr. H. H. Mclntyre
of Randolph and Bradley B. Smalley of Burlington.

Governor Page, in his inaugural address, called atten-
tion to the fact that the Vermont Supreme Court had
held that the law taxing the earnings of transportation


companies received from interstate traffic was illegal,
and that a new law was needed. In discussing the need
of additional quarters for the insane he said that the
care of these unfortunate persons in 1875 cost approxi-
mately $20,000,, and in 1889, $72,694. Some dissatis-
faction had been expressed with the school law of 1888,
largely on account of the additional expense. He
recommended the adoption of the Australian ballot sys-
tem, the passage of a weekly payment law and favored
a creditable representation at the Chicago Exposition.
He found sentiment in favor of a ten-hour working day.

The Legislature of 1890 revised the corporation tax
law and provided for a secret ballot in elections. The
school law was amended, county boards of education
and county supervisors being abolished. A provision
was made, however, for county examiners of teachers.
Any person selling imitation butter, not colored pink,
was made subject to a fine of fifty dollars for a first
ofifence, and one hundred dollars for each subsequent
ofifence, half of the fine to go to the complainant. The
Governor was given power to appoint Judges of all city
and municipal courts. A joint resolution was adopted
recognizing the great loss the State had sustained in the
death of Frederick Billings.

Proposals of amendment to the State Constitution
were made in the Senate as follows : Changing the date
of holding State and county elections from September
to November, rejected, 106 to 17; providing for separate
Supreme and county courts, rejected, 7 to 20; forbidding
the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquors, re-
jected without a yea and nay vote; enabling the Senate


to propose constitutional amendments at any session, re-
jected by a vote of 1 to 23 ; apportioning Senators accord-
ing to population, rejected without a yea and nay vote;
establishing judicial circuits for the Supreme Court, of
not more than four counties each, adopted by the Senate
by a vote of 20 to 5, but rejected by the House, 29 to 83 ;
making the term of office of Senators and Representa-
tives four years, rejected without a yea and nay vote;
apportioning Representatives to districts, rejected by the
Senate, 16 to 12, less than two-thirds of the members
supporting it; making members of the Legislature in-
eligible to any executive or judicial office, adopted by the
Senate but not approved by the House.

Senator Morrill was reelected, receiving 27 votes in
the Senate and 167 in the House. Edward J. Phelps of
Burlington, the Democratic candidate, received one vote
in the Senate and 56 votes in the House.

The population of Vermont, as shown by the census
of 1890, was 332,422. The gain was too small to be
appreciable, only 136, or less than one-tenth of one per
cent. The v/hite population was 331,418. The per-
centage of native born inhabitants was 86.7, and of for-
eign born residents, 13.3. The population by counties
follows :

Addison 22,277

Bennington 20,448

Caledonia 23,436

Chittenden 35,389

Essex 9,51 1

Franklin 29,755

Grand Isle 3,843


Lamoille 12,831

Orange 19,575

Orleans 22,101

Rutland 45,397

Washington 29,606

Windham 26,547

Windsor 31,706

Six counties gained in population, Chittenden, Essex,
Lamoille, Orleans, Rutland and Washington, being in
this list. The greater part of the gain was made in
the industrial counties of Chittenden, Rutland and
Washington. The counties of Addison, Bennington,
Caledonia, Franklin, Grand Isle, Orange, Windham and
Windsor lost population during the decade.

The division of Rutland into three towns during the
last census period, gave Burlington first place again. If
this division had not taken place Rutland would have
exceeded Burlington by a margin of 3,608.

The towns and cities which, in 1890, had a population
exceeding 2.500, were as follows: Burlington, 14,590;
Rutland, 11,760; St. Albans, 7,771; Brattleboro,
6,862; Barre, 6,812; St. Johnsbury, 6,567; Benning-
ton, 6,391 ; Colchester, 5,143; Rockingham, 4,579; Hart-
ford, 3,740; West Rutland, 3,680; Brandon, 3,310;
Randolph, 3,232; Swanton, 3,231; Newport, 3,047;
Poultney, 3,031 ; Derby, 2,900; Springfield, 2,881 ; Mid-
dlebury, 2,793; Fair Haven, 2,791; Northfield, 2,628;
Lyndon, 2,619; Woodstock, 2,545.

In 1890 there were in Vermont, 32,573 farms, with
a total acreaj2:c of 4,395,646, of which 2,655,943 acres
were improved land. The value of land and buildings


amounted to $80,427,990; implements and machin-
ery, $4,733,560; live stock, $16,644,320; farm products,
$20,364,980. The average value per acre was $23.16

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 13 of 43)