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June 27th, 2016

Senate Report

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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Dorothy Canfield Fisher: One of Vermont’s Most Versatile Scholars

By Sen. Bill Doyle Dorothy Fisher was one of Vermont’s most versatile scholars. She was a short story writer, historian, novelist, and lecturer. She was born in Lawrence, Kansas, and in 1907, she and her husband, John, moved to Canfield family land in Arlington. Many of her works were influenced by her experience in Vermont, including Hillsboro Peo...

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Nathaniel Chipman: An Architect for Vermont’s Admission to the Union

By Sen. Bill Doyle Nathaniel Chipman was one of Vermont’s early leaders, whose greatest achievement was being an architect of Vermont’s admission to the Union. He was born in Connecticut in 1752 and graduated from Yale College in 1777. He was absent from his graduation because he was serving in the Revolutionary War. He was in George Washington’s a...

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