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August 26th, 2016

Senate Report

Senate Report: Robert Frost

By Senator Bill Doyle Dorothy Canfield Fisher had this to say about Robert Frost: “Any state, even a self-contained, reticent state like Vermont, feels proud when out of all the other places in the world it is chosen for a home by a man of genius. There was a deep unspoken feeling that he belongs with us, that he alone in the world of poets puts in...

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The People’s House: A History of the Vermont Statehouse – Construction of Third Statehouse

By Senator Bill Doyle After much debate about the location of the next Statehouse, a formal vote was taken in 1857; the results were as follows: Montpelier, 116; Burlington, 67; Rutland, 35; Bellows Falls, 8; Middlebury, 1; and Northfield, 1. The vote in the Senate was as follows: Montpelier, 13; Burlington, 11; Rutland, 4; and Middlebury, 1. On Fe...

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The People’s House: A History of the Vermont Statehouse Part IV in a Series

Second Statehouse Burns; Debate Over Capitol Continues By Senator Bill Doyle A fire at 7 p.m. on January 6, 1857 created the need to construct a third Statehouse. The Statehouse was being heated for a septennial event, a constitutional convention. It is still a mystery where the convention met. The local newspapers did not report on the location. A...

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The People’s House: A History of the Vermont Statehouse – Part III in a Series

By Senator Bill Doyle Second Statehouse, 1836-1857 In 1831, the legislature asked for proposals for a new Statehouse. In the running were Montpelier, Burlington, Woodstock, Rutland, Middlebury, and Randolph. In 1832, the legislature chose Montpelier, provided that Montpelier would raise $15,000. Montpelier raised $18,000, and with the extra money,...

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Senate Report: Three Governors Illustrate Waterbury’s Productive History

By Senator Bill Doyle Waterbury was granted by Governor Benning Wentworth, the royal Governor of New Hampshire, to Joseph Abbott and 63 grantees in June 1763. Waterbury was originally six miles square, but in time, its land area was increased by accessions from Middlesex and Bolton. In 1763, many of the proprietors lived in Waterbury, Connecticut a...

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Senate Report: The People’s House – A History of the Vermont Statehouse

Part II in a Series By Senator Bill Doyle By 1808, it became necessary to have hard money to purchase glass and nails to finish the building. At this meeting, Montpelier voted to raise a tax of 4 cents on the dollar for each inhabitant. Two-thirds of this tax could be payable in grain, butter and cheese. In 1807, Montpelier’s grand list was $23,000...

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Senate Report: President Andrew Jackson Not Popular in Vermont

By Sen. Bill Doyle On the national level, the “Era of Good Feeling” came to a close with the election of 1824. Four men ran for president that year – John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson and William Crawford – and none gained a majority. The election was thrown into the House of Representatives, and Adams, with Vermont Congress...

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Senate Report: Anti-Slavery and the Movement to Prohibit Liquor

By Senator Bill Doyle The Whigs occupied the statehouse for almost twenty years, beginning with Silas Jenison in 1835, with the Democrats winning only one election, in 1853. In addition to the Whigs, Democrats and Anti-Masons, a splinter party had come upon the Vermont political scene. The Liberty party grew out of the organized anti-slavery moveme...

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Senate Report: The Founding of Middlesex

By Sen. Bill Doyle Middlesex was granted on June 8, 1763 to Jacob Rescaw and 64 others by Benning Wentworth, the royal governor of New Hampshire. As was true for most of the Wentworth grants, one right was reserved for the first settled minister, one for schools, one for the propagation of the gospel and one right to Governor Wentworth. Some schola...

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Senate Report – Matthew Lyon: Colorful Vermont Congressman

By Sen. Bill Doyle The story of Matthew Lyon focused national political attention on the new-born state of Vermont and offers a good illustration of the intensity of political strife in the 1790s. Lyon came to this country from Ireland as a “redemptioner,” meaning the cost of passage was paid by some potential American employer in return for a cont...

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