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wheels of business." Attention was called to the heavy
court expenses and the evils of special legislation. He
advocated the modifying of the Governor's pardoning
power by associating others with him in its exercise.

In his message this sound advice was given, as good
for later generations as for his own time: "fyet no man
then, seek to build up class distinctions, which have no
real foundation, or to excite a fancied conflict of inter-
ests. I say fancied, for no real one exists, or can exist


among us. It is a time above all others to learn the
lesson of our mutual dependence. We cannot legislate
universal prosperity, though unwise laws may greatly
retard its coming. Honest labor and that 'firm adher-
ence to justice, moderation, temperance and frugality,'
which our State Constitution enjoins, are the best
remedies for the evils of the hour." The Legislature
organized by electing as Speaker, James L. Martin of

Early in the summer of 1878 there had been an
attempt to organize a movement for the election of Judge
Luke P. Poland as United States Senator to succeed Jus-
tin S. Morrill, but Senator Morrill was chairman of the
powerful Finance Committee, one of the most influential
and respected members of the Senate, and his hold upon
the people of the State was too strong to be shaken.
Mr. Poland's name did not appear as a candidate and Mr.
Morrill was reelected during this session. In the Senate
the vote stood, Morrill, 26; Frederick Billings of Wood-
stock, 2; Asa M. Dickey of Bradford (Dem.), 1 ; James
Barrett of Rutland, 1. The vote in the House was as
follows: Morrill, 161; Dickey, 50; H. H. Powers of
Morrisville, 9; Edward J. Phelps of Burlington, 4; Car-
los C. Martin of Ferrisburg, 2; Frederick Billings, 1.

The important legislation of the session of 1878 in-
cluded a general revision of the banking laws, particu-
larly those features relating to investments by savings
institutions, and provided for the taxation of savings
banks and trust companies. The law relating to the
management of penal institutions was amended. The
name of the Work House was changed to the House


of Correction. The Governor was authorized to appoint
three Supervisors of the Insane. An act to prevent a
too frequent change of text books reflected popular dis-
satisfaction with a phase of the educational policy of the
State. A text book committee of two was to be chosen
in each town every fifth year to act with the Town Super-
intendent. The act establishing the State Board of
Agriculture was repealed and the Governor was author-
ized to appoint a State Superintendent of Agricultural
Affairs at a salary of $1,400 and expenses. The Gov-
ernor was authorized to employ counsel when necessary,
and to request one or more Judges of the Supreme Court,
the number not to exceed three, to sit with him at hear-
ings for pardons.

The Vermont Senators and Representatives in Con-
gress were requested to use their efforts to secure the
modification of the so-called Bland Silver Act so that
the number of grains in the dollar should be increased
or the amount of coinage limited, urging that it ''would
be a great wrong thus to inflate values and thereby neces-
sitate another cruel shrinkage of values." Secretary
Sherman's efforts to resume specie payments were
heartily approved and members of the Congressional
delegation were instructed to use all honorable means
to prevent a repeal of the Resumption Act. The delega-
tion in Congress was requested to inquire into the expe-
diency of establishing a diplomatic school along lines
similar to the Military and Naval Academies. A resolu-
tion was adopted opposing the admission of reporters of
sensational newspapers to unrestricted interviews with


convicts sentenced to prison for the commission of high

The Governor was authorized to appoint a State His-
torian to compile a history of Vermont's part in the
Civil War. Commissions were authorized to revise the
Statutes and to report on the best method of reducing
court expenses without injuring the efficiency of the

Postmaster General David M. Key passed through
Vermont on August 1, 1879, staying over night at Bur-
lington, where he was serenaded and delivered an ad-
dress from the piazza of the Van Ness House.

The plan to build the Brattleboro and Whitehall Rail-
road was agitated in southern Vermont during the late
seventies and several towns bonded for this purpose.
The laying of the rails was begun in April, 1880, and
the road was completed as far as South Londonderry,
October 20, 1880. The road was formally opened for
passengers and freight traffic, November 18, 1880.

The census of 1880 gave Vermont a population of
332,286, a gain of 1,735, or only 0.5 per cent. The num-
ber of inhabitants in each county is given herewith:

Addison 24,173

Bennington 21,950

Caledonia 23,607

Chittenden 32,792

Essex 7,931

Franklin 30,225

Grand Isle 4,124

Lamoille 12,684

Orange 23,525


Orleans 22,083

Rutland 41,829

Washington 25,404

Windham 26,763

Windsor 35,196

The counties which showed gains were Addison, Ben-
nington, Caledonia, Essex, Grand Isle, Lamoille, Orange,
Orleans, Rutland and Windham, but the gains were very
small. The counties which lost population were Chit-
tenden, Franklin, Washington and Windsor. Most of
the losses were in Chittenden county, and were due,
apparently, to an incorrect return of the population of
Burlington in 1870. In 1880 Rutland was the most
populous town or city in the State. The towns and
cities returning a population in excess of 2,500 were:
Rutland, 12,149; Burlington, 11,364; St. Albans, 7,193;
Bennington, 6,333; Brattleboro, 5,880; St. Johnsbury,
5,800; Colchester, 4,421; Rockingham, 3,797; Bran-
don, 3,280; Montpelier, 3,219; Springfield, 3,145;
Swanton, 3,079; Hartford, 2,995; Middlebury, 2,993;
Randolph, 2,910; Northfield, 2,836; Woodstock,
2,815; Poultney, 2,717; Castleton, 2,605.

In 1880 the census statistics showed that there were
in Vermont 3,286,461 acres of improved and 1,596,127
acres of unimproved land. The total cash value of
farms was $109,346,010; all farm property, including
land and buildings, $130,811,490; domestic animals,
poultry and bees, $16,586,195; farm implements and
machinery, $4,879,285. The average value per farm
was $3,683 and the average value per acre, $26.79.


President Chester A. Arthur


The figures for domestic animals were as follows:
Milch cows, 217,033; other cattle, 167,204; working
oxen, 18,868; horses, 75,215; sheep, 439,870; swine,
76,384; poultry, 517,992. Agricultural products were
reported as follows: Butter, 25,240,826 lbs.; cheese,
1,545,789 lbs.; milk sold or sent to factories, 25,240,826
lbs.; wool, 2,551,113 lbs.; eggs, 3,150,131 doz. ; maple
sugar, 11,261,077 lbs.; maple syrup, 128,091 gals.;
honey, 221,729 lbs. Vermont ranked tenth in pounds of
butter made, being exceeded in total amount produced
by New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Michi-
gan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Missouri. Vermont ranked
first in maple sugar and fifth in amount of cheese

The statistics for crop production in Vermont in 1880
are given herewith : Barley, 267,625 bu. ; buckwheat,
356,618 bu.; corn, 2,014,271 bu.; oats, 3,742,282 bu.;
rye, 71,733 bu. ; wheat, 337,257 bu. ; potatoes, 4,438,172
bu. ; field beans, 51,542 bu. ; hay, 1,052,183 tons; tobacco,
131,432 lbs.; hops, 109,350 lbs.; orchard products
(value), $640,942; forest products (value), $1,947,755.
In yield per acre Vermont ranked eleventh in barley,
fourth in buckwheat, third in corn, third in oats, twenty-
first in rye, fourteenth in wheat, twelfth in potatoes,
thirteenth in beans, thirteenth in hay and twenty-fifth
in value of orchard products.

In 1880 there were in Vermont 26,214 persons en-
gaged in manufacturing, mechanical and mining indus-
tries. There were 2,874 manufacturing establishments
and the value of the manufactured products amounted
to $31,354,366. The capital invested was $23,265,224.


The biggest single industry was the lumber business
of Chittenden county. There were 688 establishments
manufacturing lumber or its products, with an output
valued at $3,258,816. There were thirty-five factories
making sash, doors and blinds, eighteen planed lumber
mills, eleven factories making wooden handles, twelve
coffin shops, thirty wood turning and carving shops,
seventeen wooden ware factories, four packing box
shops, six wood pulp mills, three factories making win-
dow blinds and shades, five factories making toys and
games, fifty-six furniture factories, fifteen chair shops,
and three scale factories. There were forty- four woolen
mills, employing 2,084 hands and turning out a product
valued at $3,217,807. The woolen mills proper were
distributed by counties as follows : Addison, four ; Ben-
nington, one; Caledonia, three; Chittenden, three;
Franklin, two; Lamoille, one; Orange, five; Rutland,
one; Washington, seven; Windham, two; Windsor, ten.
There were in 1880 eight cotton mills in Vermont,
employing 721 hands, and 55,081 spindles, with an in-
vested capital of $936,096 and producing goods valued
at $855,864. They were located by counties as follows:
Bennington, four; Chittenden, one; Windsor, three.

There were two shoddy mills with an output of
$56,000. There were six factories making hosiery and
knit goods, employing 383 hands, with an invested capi-
tal of $492,000 and producing goods, the wholesale value
of which was $595,270. Vermont produced 6,620 tons
of iron in 1880, and had one open hearth steel furnace.
Vermont reported sixty-nine establishments engaged in
marble and stone work with an output valued at


$1,303,790. The State ranked sixth in value of product
and twelfth in number of establishments. There were
two organ factories, the value of their product being
$680,800. There were three scale factories, with an out-
put valued at $2,080,477, being greater than the value
of the scale factories in all other States of the Union.
There were nine charcoal establishments, nine lime kilns,
seven kaolin companies and ten patent medicine estab-
lishments. From 1870 to 1880 there was a slight de-
crease in value of manufactured products and in number
of hands employed.

During the latter part of the Hayes administration
the Democrats controlled the Senate, and inserted in the
army appropriation bill a provision which, in effect,
would have deprived the President of his constitutional
power in the execution of the laws. It was feared by
some Republicans that the President would sign the bill.
Believing that such provisions were entirely out of place,
and that they would deprive the President of the means
of carrying on the Government unless he would consent
to the changing of important laws, Senator Edmunds
made a speech in which he opposed the bill. It was
passed by both Senate and House, but was vetoed by
the President, who sent a note to the Vermont Senator,
saying that his argument had convinced him (the Presi-
dent) that it was his duty to veto the bill. Later Senator
Eaton of Connecticut, in a criticism of the veto mes-
sage, said: "The hand was the hand of Esau Hayes,
but the voice was the voice of Jacob Edmunds."

During the Hayes administration Justice Hunt of the
United States Supreme Court tendered his resignation,


and the President asked Senator Edmunds to accept the
appointment to fill the vacancy. The Democrats had
complained of the preponderance of Republican members
of the court and had threatened to refuse the confirma-
tion of any Republican, but it was intimated that they
would waive the point in Mr. Edmunds' favor. Senator
Roscoe Conkling was displeased because he had not been
consulted in advance and induced Justice Hunt to with-
draw his resignation. Ben Perley Poore, the well
known Washington correspondent, said in his "Sixty
Years' Reminiscences": ''Invaluable in opposition and
almost irresistible in assault, Senator Edmunds has
always been regarded by the Republicans in the Senate
as their 'tower of strength' when the political horizon
was overcast."

The principal candidates for the Republican Presi-
dential nomination in 1880 were Gen. U. S. Grant and
James G. Blaine. Early in the year there appeared to
be considerable Grant sentiment, particularly among
veterans of the Civil War, and some influential news-
papers were favorable to the ex-President without
actually endorsing his candidacy. Other Vermont
Republicans were strongly opposed to Grant, believing
that a third Presidential term was contrary to American
ideals. At the annual meeting of the Vermont Dairy-
men's Association, held early in the year. Governor Proc-
tor, after alluding to President Hayes as a man of Ver-
mont ancestry, suggested that the country might do well
to come directly to Vermont for its next President. It
was generally understood that this reference was in-


tended to apply to Senator George F. Edmunds, and it
was received with much enthusiasm.

The Republican State Convention to elect delegates-
at-large was held on February 25. Hiram A. Huse of
Montpelier offered the following resolution: "The
Republicans of Vermont present to the Republicans of
the country George F. Edmunds as a suitable person to
be made the candidate of the Republican party for the
next President. We do this not wholly or chiefly from
our State pride in a man whose public service has been
so honorable to the people whom he has represented, but
because his pure life, his eminent ability, his valuable
public service and his unflinching Republicanism have
marked him by a higher title than the accident of birth-
place or residence, as a person fit to be President of the
United States. Himself a representative of what the
Republican party ought to hold as its most precious
possession, an unwavering fidelity to the principles upon
which the party was built and has won its great reputa-
tion, and of the intellectual power and moral sense and
courage through which alone it can preserve what it has
so worthily achieved, his candidacy would be of itself a
declaration of principles and the sign of success." On
motion of Judge Poland the resolution was adopted
unanimously. There was an element in the Republican
party which saw in this movement a shrewd plan to pre-
vent the election of a Grant delegation ; and would have
preferred an uninstructed delegation, professing to be-
lieve that in the event of a deadlock Edmunds would be
stronger as a compromise candidate than he would with
the support of the anti-Grant forces of Vermont and


Massachusetts behind him. It was reported at the time
that for second choice the convention delegates were
about equally divided between Grant and Blaine.

Ex-Gov. John Gregory Smith of St. Albans, Frederick
Billings of Woodstock and Ex-Gov. John W. Stewart of
Middlebury were unanimously elected delegates-at-large.
There was a contest for the fourth place, the names of
Judge Poland, Col. George W. Hooker of Brattleboro
and Col. John B. Mead of Randolph being placed in
nomination. Judge Poland withdrew his name and
Colonel Hooker was elected. The district delegates
chosen were: First District — John G. McCullough of
North Bennington and L. Bart Cross of Montpelier;
Second District — Col. John B. Mead of Randolph and
H. C. Belden of St. Johnsbury; Third District— Col.
G. G. Benedict of Burlington and Carroll S. Page of
Hyde Park. Massachusetts also elected Edmunds dele-
gates to the National Convention.

Frederick Billings of the Vermont delegation placed
the name of George F. Edmunds in nomination as a can-
didate for the Presidential nomination. After describ-
ing the type of man needed for the party standard bearer,
he said: ''Such a candidate, healing all dissensions, of
wondrous ability, of aggressive integrity, of the largest
experience in public affairs, of the highest statesmanship,
is that brave, clear, vigilant man, on whom rests no
shadow of reproach, to whom in every crisis in the coun-
cils of the Nation we turn with joy and confidence — the
central figure and leader of the Senate — the foremost
type and defender of all that is best in Republican faith,
the ideal candidate, seeking not the office, worthy of the


best days of this Republic, having the promise and
potency of victory, is George F. Edmunds, and George
F. Edmunds Vermont nominates for the Presidency.

"Gentlemen, we bring you this breeze from the Green
Mountains. How quickly it will swell into a gale and
how surely it will sweep the land." The nomination was
seconded by John E. Sanford of Massachusetts. The
long deadlock that followed when the balloting began,
with the Grant delegates maintaining their ranks un-
broken for ballot after ballot, is a familiar episode in the
political history of the United States.

On the first ballot Edmunds had thirty- four votes, dis-
tributed as follows: Vermont, ten; Massachusetts,
twenty; Connecticut, two; Ohio, one; Tennessee, one.
From the second to the seventh ballot, inclusive, he had
thirty-two votes, and from the eighth to the eighteenth,
inclusive, he had thirty-one. This number dropped to
thirty on the nineteenth ballot, but returned to thirty-
one on the twentieth, where it remained until the twenty-
eighth. On the twenty-ninth ballot the Massachusetts
men left Edmunds for Sherman, although expressing a
willingness to return if his nomination seemed possible.
The Edmunds vote on the twenty-ninth ballot was
twelve, and from the thirtieth to the thirty-fifth in-
clusive was eleven. On the thirty-sixtl;, which was the
final ballot, his name disappeared and Vermont, follow-
ing the lead of other States, voted for James Abram
Garfield of Ohio, who became the party nominee.

The Grant delegates had planned to go to Edmunds
if the General could not be nominated, but they waited
too long. It has been asserted that if the Grant men


had gone to the Vermont candidate on the thirty-fifth
ballot, in all probability he might have been nominated.

The Convention nominated as its Vice Presidential
candidate Chester A. Arthur of New York, a native of
Vermont, born in the town of Fairfield. It is related
that in 1851, Arthur, who had just graduated from
Union College, taught one term of school at North
Pownal, Vt. About two years later a student in Wil-
liams College helped to pay his expenses by teaching an
evening writing school in the same building at North
Pownal. The name of this writing master was James
A. Garfield.

George W. Hooker was nominated as the Vermont
member of the Republican National Committee.

The Democratic State Convention elected as delegates-
at-large to the National Convention, Lucius Robinson of
Newport, L. W. Redington of Rutland, B. B. Smalley
of Burlington and James H. Williams of Bellows Falls.
Other delegates were: First District — B. B. White of
Calais, Milo C. Huling of Bennington; Second District
— Don C. Pollard of Cavendish, N. P. Bowman of St.
Johnsbury; Third District, George L. Waterman of
Hyde Park and F. W. McGettrick of St. Albans. No
resolutions of instruction were adopted, but Hiram
Atkins of Montpelier, one of the active leaders of the
Vermont Democracy, was an ardent supporter of Gen.
Winfield S. Hancock, who was nominated as the party
candidate for the Presidency. The eflfective work which
Mr. Atkins did for Hancock at the National Convention
has been cited as an example of the political influence
sometimes wielded by a country editor. Vermont sec-


onded the name of William H. English of Indiana as
the Vice Presidential candidate, and he was nominated.

The Republican Convention held for the nomination
of State officers chose Roswell Farnham of Bradford as
candidate for Governor without opposition. John L.
Barstow of Shelburne was nominated by acclamation for
Lieutenant Governor. Luke P. Poland, detained by
court business, sent a letter to the convention saying that
as chairman of the Congressional committee which in-
vestigated the Credit Mobilier scandal, he found nothing
in all the testimony presented, or in facts that came to
his knowledge, that led him to doubt General Garfield's
personal integrity, notwithstanding the charges made
by Garfield's enemies.

In the First Congressional district, Colonel Joyce was
renominated by one majority over Ex-Gov. John W.
Stewart. James M. Tyler was renominated in the Sec-
ond district. In the Third district. Gen. William W.
Grout of Barton was nominated, receiving 107 votes, 43
being cast for E. A. Sowles of St. Albans and 36 for
H. Henry Powers of Morrisville.

The Democrats nominated Edward J. Phelps of Bur-
lington as the party candidate for Governor. An active
campaign was waged, Mr. Phelps being attacked for his
alleged lukewarm attitude toward the Northern cause
during the Civil War. One of the most efifective Repub-
lican speeches was made by B. F. Fifield of Montpelier,
and it was extensively circulated throughout the North-
ern States as a campaign document.

The vote polled in the September election, 70,684, was
the heaviest ever cast for a Governor of Vermont until


the vote of women swelled the total in 1920. It was as
follows: Roswell Farnham (Rep.), 47,848; Edward J.
Phelps (Dem.), 21,245; Madison O. Heath (Green-
back), 1,578; scattering, 13. General Garfield wired,
"Vermont's victory helps the cause everywhere."

A reunion of the Society of the Army of the Potomac
was held at Burlington, June 16, 1880. Joaquin Miller
read a poem. Luther R. Marsh of New York delivered
an oration, and the distinguished guests included Gen-
erals Sheridan, Miles, Sickles, McMahon, King, Frank-
lin, Slocum, E. M. McCook, and Charles Dudley Warner,
the author. Governor Proctor and Senator Edmunds
were speakers at the banquet.

Roswell Farnham, Governor-elect, was born in Bos-
ton, Mass., July 23, 1827. He came to Bradford, Vt.,
with his father in 1840. He was educated at Bradford
Academy and the University of Vermont, graduating
from college in the class of 1849. After teaching at
Dunham, Que., Franklin and Bradford he was admitted
to the bar. He served as State's Attorney for Orange
county, 1859-62; was State Senator, 1868-69; Presi-
dential Elector, 1876; and a member of the State Board
of Education. He went out in the Civil War as Second
Lieutenant of the First Vermont, and later was Captain
and Lieutenant Colonel of the Twelfth Vermont. After
the war he resumed the practice of law. He died at
Bradford, January 5, 1903.

A military review was a feature of Governor Farn-
ham's inauguration. In his message he referred to the
excellent financial condition of the State. There was
a sufficient amount of cash on hand to pay all debts


and leave a surplus. He alluded to the prevalence of a
desire to return to annual legislative sessions. Only the
added expense deterred him from making such a recom-
mendation. He thought the State was not keeping pace
with educational progress and he favored the appoint-
ment of a Board of Education. He urged the en-
couragement of manufacturing industries. James L.
Martin was reelected Speaker.

One of the important measures of the session was an
act to equalize taxation. Property was to be set in the
list at one per cent of its value in money on April 1.
Express and telegraph companies were taxed two per
cent on their gross receipts. Places where intoxicating
liquors were sold were held to be common nuisances.
An act was passed to prevent and suppress contagious
diseases among domestic animals. Oleomargerine
could not be exposed for sale or sold unless it had the
name of the product on the container. County courts
were authorized to appoint annually three county road
commissioners. Women were given the right to vote
in school meetings and to hold school offices.

Manufacturing establishments erected and mines and
quarries opened were exempted from taxation for five
years and a vote of the town might exempt for ten years.
The Board of Agriculture as originally constituted was
reestablished. The Governor was authorized to detail
two companies of militia to represent the State at the
Yorktown Centennial and the sum of $2,000 was appro-
priated. John L. Barstow was appointed Vermont com-

Online LibraryWalter Hill CrockettVermont, the Green mountain state (Volume 4) → online text (page 8 of 43)