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\^ermont Cong-ressmen voted against the bill, as did
prominent Republicans like Garfield, Kasson, Frye and
Hale, but it passed the House by a vote of one hundred
and ninety-one to eigbty-six. Some of the leading
Republican newspapers of Vermont were outspoken in
op])osition to the Electoral Commission and criticised
Senator Edmunds for his advocacy of the policy.

Edmunds was named as the first Senate member of
the commission. It so happened that as a result of an
attempt to defeat Senator Logan of Illinois, Justice
David Davis was taken up as a Senatorial candidate and
elected. The four Justices thereupon selected Justice
Bradley as the fifth member of the judicial section of the

It was asserted in the newspapers of that time that
Senator Edmunds opened the discussion in favor of the
Hayes Electors in the Florida case, the first of the dis-
puted cases to come before the Commission, This case,
like the others that came before that tribunal for de-
cision, was settled in favor of the Republican contestants,
by a vote of eight to seven.

As it became evident that the Commission would de-
cide in favor of Hayes and Wheeler, the IX'mocrats en-
deavored to find weak points in the Republican case.
An attempt was made to prevent the cnuntin^ of the vote
of Henry N. Sollace, the X'erniont I^lector, whose eligi-
bility had been called in cjuestion. A package had been
sent to Abram S. Hewitt, a New ^'ork Congressman,
who had been active in the nianagenient of the Demo-
cratic campaign, containing what purported to be a cer-


tificate of election for Amos Aldrich as one of the Ver-
mont Presidential Electors, signed by B. B. Smalley,
Clerk of the United States Court for the District of Ver-
mont. A telegram to that effect had been sent to
Speaker Randall. When the House and Senate in joint
session reached Vermont in the counting of the electoral
votes, the package forwarded to Mr. Hewitt was pre-
sented, but the presiding officer. Senator Ferry, refused
to receive it. The joint session thereupon adjourned.
In the Senate, Senator Edmunds submitted a resolu-
tion that Henry N. Sollace's vote be counted, objection to
the contrary notwithstanding, and it was agreed to
unanimously. The Vermont case was discussed in the
House on March 1, amid much tumult and excitement.
A resolution was offered requiring the President of the
Senate to return to the House the package offered by
Mr. Hewitt, and Speaker Randall ruled that it was in
order. Both Garfield of Ohio and Reagan of Texas pro-
tested against such an irregular certificate. Mr. Hen-
dee of Vermont explained the local features of the case.
An attempt was made to send the Vermont case to the
Electoral Commission. After the two hours of debate
allowed by law, about sixty Democratic members
attempted to filibuster, but Speaker Randall was firm in
his opposition to such a course, and the Vermont vote was
accepted. At 10:35 o'clock on the night of March 1,
the joint session was resumed, and the five votes of Ver-
mont were counted fo^ the Republican candidates. At
4:10 o'clock on the morning of March 2, 1877, the count-
ing of the electoral vote was completed, and Senator
Ferry, President Pro Tem of the Senate, officially de-


clared Rutherford B. Hayes to be the President-elect of
the United States. Thus a great crisis in our national
existence was passed, and whether one believes that the
verdict reached was just or unjust, credit must be given
to the patriotic statesmen who found an honorable way
out of one of the most difficult and dangerous situations
that has threatened the United States in all its history.
The conspicuous leader, the master mind, in these deli-
cate and difficult negotiations was George F. Edmunds.
No man knew what such a commission might report. If
Tilden had been declared the President-elect, then upon
the head of George F. Edmunds would have been poured
the anathemas of disappointed Republicans. lie risked
his reputation and his continuance in public life by the
step he had taken ; but he realized better than many of his
fellow Republicans the danger of the situation, and he
put patriotism above partisanship. This service alone
entitles him to a place among the greatest American
statesmen. To quote again from Rhodes, the historian,
"There are few sublimer legislative achievements in our
history than the Electoral Count bill, framed in the midst
of intense political excitement and agreed to by thirteen
out of the fourteen members of a bi-partisan committee.
The almost unanimous concurrence rendered certain the
approval of Congress and the country. To the two
chairmen, Edmunds and Payne, must be given the great-
est credit." There has been nuicli dispute concerning
the legality of the election of Mayes, and many persons
still insist that Tildt'n was lawfullv chosen. Mr.
Edmunds, iKnvexcr, had no doul)i on this score, and
writing in the Century Magadnc, thirty-six years after


the commission rendered its decision, he said: "I be-
lieve that the time has come when, among fair-minded
and intelHgent Americans who will investigate the pub-
lic and printed documents and papers in existence on
the subject, there will be few divergent opinions touching
the justice and lawfulness of the election of Mr. Hayes.
They will find that he was lawfully elected and installed
to the office by fair and lawful means."

On Monday, March 5, 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes
was inaugurated as President of the United States,
being escorted into the Senate Chamber by Senator
Morrill. The name of Senator Edmunds was suggested
for the office of Secretary of State. President Hayes
turned to Senator Morrill for advice and support. He
offered him any Cabinet place at his disposal with two
exceptions, but the Senator declined, saying:

"There is no gift, no office to which I could be
appointed that I would accept in preference to a seat in
the United States Senate. I consider that the highest
honor that could be bestowed upon me and the highest
function I could perform." Senator Hoar said that
Senator Morrill brought to him a message from Presi-
dent Hayes asking what Massachusetts man he desired
in the Cabinet. It is known that on one occasion, Sena-
tor Morrill declined the offer of the position of Minister
to Greece.

In 1876 Senator Edmunds had used his influence in
behalf of a bill to appropriate one-half the net cash pro-
ceeds from the sale of public lands, to establish an educa-
tional fund to be divided among the States and Terri-
tories, according to the number of children of school age.


Judge David A. Smalley of the United States Court
for the District of Vermont, died at his home in Burling-
ton on March 10, 1877, aged sixty-eight years. His
term of service had covered more than twenty years.
The nomination of his successor, Hoyt H. Wheeler of
Brattleboro, was one of the earliest of President Hayes'
judicial appointments. Judge Wheeler was then forty-
three years old. He was a native of the town of
Jamaica, had been a member of both branches of the
State Legislature, and had served more than six years
on the Supreme Court bench.

The Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad was com-
pleted in 1877. This railroad, connecting Portland, Me.,
and Lake Champlain, originated with Gov. Horace Fair-
banks, and to his energy was due its inception and com-
pletion. Ground was broken at St. Johnsbury on
December 22, 1869, Thaddeus Fairbanks digging the
first shovelful of earth. Salutes were fired, the band
played and the celebration ended with a supper in the
evening. The last rail was laid in the town of Fletcher,
July 17, 1877. Special trains from St. Johnsbury and
Swanton met at Fletcher and Governor Iniirbanks drove
a silver spike, completing a task which had lasted seven
and one-half years. Speeches were made by Judge
Luke P. Poland and John I>. Brown of Portland, Me.,
the latter saying that his city had put three million dol-
lars into the t'nler])rise. The singing of the I )oxology
concluded the ceremony. In 1X80 the road was reor-
ganized as the St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain. In
1885 it passed into the hands of the Boston and Lowell.


Born September 27, 1823, in Royalton, Vt., but removed
to Woodstock in 1835. He graduated from the Universit^вАҐ
of Vermont in 1844. He was admitted to the bar and went
to California, where he built up a lucrative practice and
became a prominent citizen of the State. Returning to
Woodstock he became interested in the Northern Pacific
Railroad, secured additional capital and was active in pushing
it to completion. xVIr. Billings was active in public affairs
in Vermont and was interested in all good things. He gave
a beautiful library- building to the University of Vermont.
He died September 30. 1890.

^^'t^-'Cy^L-z^^ cr^C>^t^t^^^^-<^.^-;^:::^


and later was acquired by the Boston and Maine Rail-

This year, 1877, marked the completion of the first
hundred years of Vermont's independence, following the
next year after the centennial anniversary of the Nation.
A local celebration at Westminster, January 17, 1777,
marked the centennial of Vermont's Declaration of Inde-
pendence, but the great event of the year was the one
hundredth anniversary of the Battle of Bennington. A
Vermont Centennial Commission was organized with
Edward J. Phelps as president and nine ex-Governors
were members.

The celebration began on August 15, 1877, with a pro-
cession including the Vermont National Guard, a bat-
talion of New Hampshire militia, the Putnam Phalanx
of Hartford, Conn., veterans of the Civil War, and civic
and military organizations. After an address of wel-
come, by Edward J. Phelps, Daniel Roberts of Burling-
ton delivered an eloquent speech. A poem, entitled "Ver-
mont," wTitten by Mrs. Julia C. R. Dorr of Rutland, was
read by Prof. J. W. Churchill of Andover, Mass. Brief
speeches were made by Gen. Joseph R. Hawley of Con-
necticut, Ex-Gov. Walter Harriman of New Hampshire,
Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts, Gov. Selden
Connor of Maine and Gov. Charles C. Van Zandt of
Rhode Island.

President Hayes and party arrived about four o'clock
in the afternoon. The distinguished guests were met
at Troy, N. Y., by members of the Bennington Monu-
ment Commission, at the State line by Adjt. Gen. Theo-
dore S. Peck and at the Bennington station by Governor


Fairbanks and detachments of Vermont and New Hamp-
shire militia. The party consisted of President and
Mrs. Hayes, Attorney General Devens, Secretary of
War George W. McCrary and Postmaster General Key.
Secretary of State William M. Evarts arrived earlier
than the President and his party.

The ringing of bells and a sunrise salute ushered in
Bennington Battle Day, August 16. The village was
elaborately decorated and a triumphal arch had been
erected at the intersection of Main, North and South
streets. A procession with Col. A. B. Valentine as chief
marshal, containing numerous military and civic organi-
zations, was reviewed by President Hayes.

Public exercises were held in a large tent. Prayer
was offered by Rev. John W. Allen of North Woodstock,
Conn., a grandson of "Parson" Allen, of Bennington
Battle fame.

Edward J. Phelps presided, and Governor Fairbanks
welcomed the guests. A scholarly oration was delivered
by President Samuel C. Bartlett of Dartmouth College.
An ode written by William Cullen Bryant was read by
Prof. J. W. Churchill and a hymn by Mrs. Marie Mason
was sung. President Hayes, Secretary Evarts, Post-
master General Key and Attorney General Devens spoke

The public exercises were followed by a banquet.
Edward J. Phelps presided at the after dinner speak-
ing and proposed toasts to President Hayes and Queen
Victoria. Speeches were made by Secretary of State
William M. Evarts, Gov. B. F. Prescott of New Hamp-
shire, E. W. Stoughton (afterward Minister to Russia),


Governor Fairbanks, Senator Edmunds, Postmaster
General Key, Attorney General Devens, Senator Morrill,
Hon. Thomas Allen of St. Louis, Mo., a grandson of
''Parson" Allen, Lieut. Gov. Horatio G. Knight of Mass-
achusetts, and President Bartlett of Dartmouth College.
Attorney General Devens afterward said that Mr.
Phelps had no equal in the United States for grace and
felicity of address on such an occasion.

Historical celebrations were held at Hubbardton July
7, and at Windsor, July 8 and 9.

When John Sherman went into the Hayes Cabinet
as Secretary of the Treasury, he was succeeded as chair-
man of the Senate Finance Committee by Senator Mor-
rill, who held that responsible position until his death
in 1898, with the exception of the periods 1879-81 and
1893-95, when the Democrats controlled the Senate.
For many years Vermont Senators were chairmen of
two of the most important committees of the Senate,
Judiciary and Finance.

In November, 1877, Senator Morrill opened the de-
bate on the Bland silver bill, which as reported in the
Senate provided for the coinage of dollars of 412^
grains each, not less than two million dollars and not
more than four million dollars to be coined each month.
The Senator pronounced the measure, "a fearful assault
upon the public credit." He said: "It resuscitates the
absolute dollar which Congress entombed in 1834, worth
less than the greenback in gold and yet to be a full legal
tender." During all his long period of service in the
Senate, Mr. Morrill was a tower of strength against any
assaults to debase the currency or weaken the financial


strength of the Nation. He stood firm as a rock against
the free coinage of silver and against all measures which
he considered financial heresies. At the age of eighty-
two years, he made a masterful speech, two hours in
length, on the silver question.

The Republican State Convention of 1878 unani-
mously nominated Lieut. Gov. Redfield Proctor for Gov-
ernor. E. P. Colton of Irasburg was nominated for
Lieutenant Governor over Flugh Henry of Chester by a
plurality of twenty votes. The platform approved the
motives and general course of the Hayes administration.

The Democratic State Convention, for the third con-
secutive time, nominated W. H. H. Bingham of Stowe
as the party candidate for Governor. The Republicans
of the First Congressional district renominated Charles
H. Joyce of Rutland. In the Second district, James
M. Tyler of Brattlel3oro defeated Congressman 1). C.
Denison of Randolph, by a vote of 144 to 66. The con-
vention was held at White River Junction, and on the
same day Vice President William A. Wheeler passed
through the place on his way to Boston, and spoke

The contest in the Third district was close and bitter.
The principal contestants were Gen. W. \V. Grout of
Barton and Bradley Barlow of St. Albans, a wealthy
contractor and railroad man. Charges reflecting upon
his business integrity were freely made against A'Ir. Bar-
low. The district convention was held at 1 lydc Park
on July 24, and the attendance was estimated at one
thousand persons. On the first ballot the vote stood,
Grout, 07; Barlow, 96; K. A. Sowles of St. Albans. 6;


G. N. Dale of Island Pond, 6; G. W. Hendee of Morris-
ville, 4; H. H. Powers of Morrisville, 2. Eight bal-
lots were taken, Grout leading on every one except the
fifth, when he was tied with Barlow, each having 99
votes. On the eighth ballot Grout was nominated, re-
ceiving 105 votes. Barlow received 94; Hendee, 3;
Dale, 2; and Powers, 1. Barlow is said to have con-
gratulated Grout and the fight apparently was ended.
About three weeks later, however, on August 17, two
district conventions were held. The first was an Inde-
pendent Republican convention, held at St. Albans, which
nominated Mr. Barlow for Congress. On the same day
a Greenback convention nominated Barlow. The con-
test was a spirited one and charges of the use of money
were made. The result of the vote was: Barlow,
9,119; Grout, 6,679; G. L. Waterman (Dem.), 3,572;
scattering, 136. As there was no choice, a second elec-
tion was held, and Barlow was elected, the vote being
approximately. Barlow, 8,300 ; Grout, 4,300 ; Waterman,
1,000; scattering, 40. A considerable number of Demo-
crats voted for Barlow. The vote for Governor re-
sulted as follows: Proctor, 37,312; Bingham, 17,247;
Carlos C. Martin, 2,635; Charles \\\ Willard, 730;
scattering, 32.

Bradley Barlow was born in Fairfield, May 12, 1814.
He was educated in the common schools and for a time
was clerk in a store in Philadelphia. He succeeded his
father in business at Fairfield and in 1851 he re-
moved to St. Albans. For twenty years he was active
in banking and railroad business. He was cashier and
later president of the Vermont National Bank of St.


Albans and was interested in the Southeastern Railway
of Canada and Northern Vermont. In 1860 he became
interested in an overland stage business and mail con-
tracts in the West, which were profitable. He invested
largely in the Welden House, a St. Albans hotel, was a
director of the Central Vermont Railroad and a director
and president of the Vermont and Canada Railroad.
Before the Civil War he was a Democrat, but later was
a Republican. He represented Fairfield in the Legisla-
ture in 1845 and 1850-52, and St. Albans in 1864-65.
He was a member of the Senate from Franklin county in
1866 and 1868, and of the Constitutional Conventions
of 1843, 1850 and 1857. He served one term in Con-
gress. He died at Denver, Colo., November 1, 1889.

James M. Tyler was born in Wilmington, April 27,
1835. He attended Brattleboro Academy, graduated
from the Albany (N. Y.) Law School and was admitted
to the bar in 1860. He formed a partnership with Gen.
Stephen P. Flagg of Wilmington, which continued four
years. He then formed a partnership with Charles K.
Field of Brattleboro, which continued until Mr. Field's
death. At the present time (1921) he is president of
the X'ermont National Bank of Brattleboro. He repre-
sented Wilmington in the Legislatures of 1863 and 1864.
He was State's Attorney of Windham county, 1866-68,
and served two terms in Congress. He served on the
vSupreme Court bench of Vermont from 1887 until his
retirement in 1908. He resides in Brattleboro.

Redfield Proctor, the new Governor, was born in
Proctorsville. in the town of Cavendish, June 1. 1831,
being the youngest son of jabez l^roctor. The \illage


of Proctor sville was founded by Capt. Leonard Proctor,
a Revolutionary soldier, who served as an officer in the
battles of Lexington, Trenton and Monmouth, and in
the winter of 1783-84 removed to Vermont. Jabez
Proctor was an active and an influential man. He was
a member of the Governor's Council from 1822 to 1827,
Judge of Probate for the District of Windsor from
1830 to 1834, and a Presidential Elector in 1824 and
1836. Through his mother, Betsey Parker, Redfield
Proctor was related to the Redfield family, which gave
two eminent jurists to the State. His elder sister was
the wife of Stoddard B. Colby, a prominent citizen of
Vermont. The young man attended Black River and
Derby Academies, and graduated from Dartmouth Col-
lege in the class of 1851. Among his classmates were
two Vermont men who afterward achieved distinction,
Jonathan Ross and Charles W. Willard.

The lure of the West attracted him and soon after
graduating from college he emigrated to Minnesota,
then a frontier State, to seek his fortune. He was not
successful and returned home to find Vermont the real
"Land of Opportunity." His father had died when the
lad was only eight years old, and he now assumed the
duty of managing his mother's affairs. In 1856 he was
elected a director of the local bank, and in 1858 mar-
ried Emily Dutton, daughter of Samuel F. Dutton, of
Cavendish, a prominent citizen of Windsor county.
The village of Cavendish was called Duttonsville, and
there had been a good natured rivalry between the two
families and the two villages of Proctorsville and Dut-


Desiring to study law, Mr. Proctor entered the Albany
(N. Y.) Law School, graduating in 1859. He was ad-
mitted to the bar at Albany and at Woodstock, and for
approximately one year, 1860-61, he practiced law in
Boston with a cousin, former Chief Justice Isaac F.

When the Civil War began he left his law office with
only a day's notice, and returned to Vermont, being
appointed Lieutenant and Quartermaster of the Third
Vermont Volunteers. In July, 1861, he was detailed for
service on the staff of Gen. William F. ("Baldy") Smith.
In September, 1861, Governor Fairbanks appointed him
Major of the Fifth Vermont Regiment.

During the Peninsular campaign Major Proctor was
stricken with tuberculosis and ordered home on sick
leave. He was so weak that he was obliged to remain
in Washington for a month. He reached Vermont in
May, 1862, and as soon as he was able, he spent much
time in sitting on the bank of a trout brook, and fish-
ing. The fresh air treatment was beneficial, although
the regimental surgeon predicted that Major Proctor
could not live long. Acting on the physician's advice,
he resigned his commission, but as he continued to im-
prove, he accepted the position of Colonel of the
Fifteenth Vermont. As an officer of General Stannard's
Brigade, he i)arlicipated in the stirring c\'cnts of the
Battle of Gettysburg. The term of service of the regi-
ment having expired, the men started for home, but upon
re(|uest of (k'ncral Canby remained in New ^'ork for a
few days to aid in f|uelHng the Draft Riots. Although
his health j)rcvcnle(l Colonel Proctor from attaining


higher military rank he was known as a good soldier.
In November, 1864, he suggested a reunion of Vermont
officers which resulted in the formation of a permanent

After his return from service, Colonel Proctor and an
army comrade. Col. Wheelock G. Veazey, formed a law
partnership at Rutland. The confinement of the law
office was not to his liking, nor did it agree with his
health. He bought a farm a mile north of Rutland and
gave some of his time to farming and to business. In
1869 he was appointed receiver of a small marble busi-
ness at Sutherland Falls (now Proctor), and the oppor-
tunity of his life opened before him. Pie saw the possi-
bilities of the marble business of Vermont, and in
November, 1870, organized the Sutherland Falls Marble
Company, which consolidated several smaller concerns.
Pie put all of his own property into this business, bor-
rowed what he could secure, and became the treasurer
and manager of the company. Ten years later the busi-
ness had prospered so that it was free from debt and
occupied a strong financial position. In 1880 he was
elected president of the Rutland Marble Company, which
owned large marble quarries at West Rutland and mills
there and at Center Rutland. Later in the year he
formed the Vermont Marble Company, which was des-
tined to become the greatest marble producing concern
in the world.

In 1867 and in 1868, Colonel Proctor represented Rut-
land in the Legislature, serving during his first term as
chairman of the Committee on Elections and during
his second term as chairman of the Committee on Joint



Rules and as a member of the Ways and Means Com-
mittee. In 1874 he was elected a Senator from Rut-
land county, and was chosen President Pro Tern of the
Senate. His promotion followed in regular order. He
was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1876, and two years
later became Governor. Colonel Proctor was a man
gifted with great business ability and abundant common
sense. He w^as democratic in his ways and inspired con-
fidence. When called upon to express his views, he
spoke acceptably, his deep, resonant voice carrying well
in a large audience. His distinguished career in national
affairs will be treated elsewhere.

In 1878 Governor l^'airbanks delivered a retiring mes-
sage to the Legislature, a policy that became a custom
thereafter for outgoing executives.

In his inaugural message Governor Proctor was able
to announce that the State was virtually out of debt,
but the indebtedness of the towns probably was as large
as at the close of the Civil War, as a result of financial
aid extended to railroad enterprises. Therefore re-
trenchment and rigid economy was urged. "Heavy
taxation," he said, "drives away capital (and) clogs the

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 7 of 43)