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give in their votes for the persons they choose for the said offices respectively, with their names written on a piece of paper, which are received and fealed up by a constable in open meeting, the votes for each office by themselves, with the name of the town and office written on the outside,' These votes, thus sealed, are sent to the general assembly in May, and there counted by a committee from both houses. All freemen are eligible to any office in government. In choosing assistants, twenty persons are no. minated, by the vote of each freeman, at the freeman's meeting for choosing representatives in September annually. These votes are sealed up, and sent to the general assembly in October, and are there counted by a committee of both houses, and the twenty persons who have the most votes stand in nomination; out of which number the twelve who have the greateft number of votes, given by the freemen at their meeting in April, are, in May, declared afiltants in the manner above-mentioned. The qualifications of freemen are, maturity in years-quiet and peaceable behaviour -a civil conversation, and freehold eitate to the value of forty shillings per annum, or forty pounds personal estate in the list, certified by the lelect men of the town; it is necessary, also, that they take the oath of fidelity to the state. Their names are enrolled in the town-clerk's office, and they continue freemen for life, unless disfranchised by sentence of the fuperior court, on conviction of misdemeanour.
The courts are as follows: The justices of the peace, of whom a pumber are annually appointed in each town by the general assembly, have authority to hear and determine civil actions, where the demand does not exceed four pounds. If the demand exceed forty shillings, an appeal to the county is allowed. They have cognizance of small oifences, and may punish by fine, not exceeding forty shillings, or whipping, not exceeding ten Itripes, or fitting in the stocks. There are eight county courts in the late, held in the several counties by one judge and four justices of the quorum, who have jurisdiction of all criminal cases, arising within their respective counties, where the punishment does not extend to life, limb, or banishment. They have original jurisdiction of all civil actions which exceed the jurisdiction of a juftice. Either party may appeal to the superior court, if the demand exceeds twenty pounds, except on bonds or notes vouched by iwo witnesses,
There are several courts of probate in each county, consisting of one judge. The peculiar province of this court, is the probate of wills, granting administration on inteftate eftates, ordering distribution of them, and appointing guardians for minors, &c, An appeal lies from any decree of this court to the superior court.
The superior court consists of five judges. It has authority in all criminal cases extending to life, limb or banishment, and other high crimes and misdemeanors, to grant divorces, and to hear and determine all civil actions brought by appeal from the county courts, or the court of probate, and to correct the errors of all inferior courts. This is a circuit court, and has two stated fefsions in each county annually. The superior and county courts try matters of fact by a jury, or without, if the parties will agree.
There is a supreme court of crrors, consisting of the deputy-governor and the twelve alliftants. Their fole business is to determine writs of Q3
error, brought on judgments of the superior court, where the error complained of appears on the record. They have two itated sessions annually, viz. on the Tuesdays of the weeks preceding the stated sessions of the general affembly,
The county court is a court of chancery, empowered to hear and determine cases in equity, where the matter in demand does not exceed one hundred pounds. The superior court has cognizance of all cases where the demand exceeds that lum. Error may be brought from the county, to the superior court, and from the superior court to the supreme court of errors, on judgment in cases of equity as well as of law.
The general assembly, only, have power to grant pardons and reprieves -to grant commissions of bankruptcy-or protect the persons and estates of unfortunate debtors.
The common law of England, so far as it is applicable to this country, is considered as the common law of this state. The reports of adjudication in the courts of king's bench, common pleas and chancery, are read in the courts of this state as authorities; yet the judges do not consider them as conclusively binding, unless founded on solid reasons which will apply in this state, or fanctioned by concurrent adjudications of their own courts
The feudal fyftem of descents was never adopted in this state. All the real eftate of inteftates is divided equally among the children, males and females, except that the eldest son has a double portion. And all estates given in tail, must be given to some person then in being, or to their immediate issue, and shall become fee fimple ettates to the issue of the first donee in tail. The widow of an intestate is entitled to a third part of the personal eftate for ever, and to her dower, or third part of the houses and lands belonging to the intestate at the time of his death, during her life.
Prallice of law.] The practice of law in this state has more fimplicity, but less precision, than in England. Affiftants and judges are impowered to issue writs through the state, and justices, through their respective counties. In these writs, the substance of the complaints or the declarations must be contained, and if neither of the parties shew good reason for delay, the causes are heard and determined the same term to which the writs are returnable. Few of the fictions of law, fo common in the English praćiice, are known in this fiate. The plaintiff always has his election to attach or summon the defendant. Attornies are admitted and qualified by the county courts. Previous to their admission to the bar, they must study two years with a practising attorney in the state, if they have had a college education, and three years if they have not; their morals must be good, and their characters unblemished, and they must sustain an examination by the attornies of the court of the county where they are admitted, and be by them recommended to the court. When admitted to the county court, they can practise, without other qualifications, in any court in the state. There are upon an average, about thirteen attornies to each county, one hundred and four in the state; a very great proportion for the real exigencies of the people. Yet from the litigious spirit of the citizens, the
* A volume of reports of adjudications of the superior court, it is expected will soon be published by a gentleman of abilities, in the profession of law, under the infrection of the court.
most of them find employment and support. There is no attorney-general, hnt there is one attorney to the state in each county.
New Inventions.] Early in the war, David Bushnel, A. M. of Say. Drook, invented a machine for submarine navigation, altogether different from any thing hitherto devised by the art of man. This machine was so constructed as that it could be rowed horizontally, at any given depth, under water, and could be raised or depressed at pleasure. To this machine, called the American Turtle, was attached a magazine of powder, which was intended to be fastened under the bottom of a thip with a driving screw, in such a way as that the same stroke which disengaged it from the machine should put the internal clock work in motion. This being done, the ordinary operation of a gun-lock, at the distance of half an hour, or any determinate time, would cause the powder to explode and I are the effects to the common laws of nature. The fimplicity, yet combination discovered in the mechanism of this wonderful inachine, have been ac, knowledged by those killed in phyfics, and particularly Hydraulics, to be not lels ingenious than novel.' Mr, Bushnel invented fereral other cusious machines for the annoyance of the British nipping, but from accidents, not militating against the philosophical principles on which their success depended, they but partially fucceeded. He destroyed a vellel in the charge of commodore Symmonds. One of his kegs also demolished a velfel near the Long-Inand Thore. About Christmas, I
1777, le committed to the Delaware river a number of kegs, destined to fall among the Britif fleet at Philadelphia ; but his squadron of kegs, having been separated and retarded by the ice, demolished but a single boat. This catastrophe, however, produced an alarm, unprecedented in its nature and degree; which has been so happily described by the Hon. Francis Hopkinson, in a long, stiled • The Battle of the Kegs *,' that the event it celebrates will not be forgotten so long as mankind Thall continue to be delighted with works of humour and taste.
Mr. Hanks, of Litchfield, has invented a method of winding up clocks bp means of air or wind only, which is new and ingenious.
Mr. Culver, of Norwich, has constructed (whether he was the inventor I know not) a Dock-Drudge, which is a boat for clearing docks and removing bars in rivers ; a very ingenious and useful machine. Its good effects have already been experienced in the navigation of the river Thames, the channel of which has been considerably deepened. This machine will no doubt be productive of ery great advantages to navigation throughout the United States.
A machine for drawing wire was invented sometime since at Norwich, by the Hon. N. Niles, now in Vermont.
The Rev. Joseph Badger, while a member of Yale College in 1785, constructed an ingenious planetarium, (without ever having feen one of the kind) which is deposited in the library of that university.
History. The present territory of Connecticut, at the time of the firit arrival of the English, was poslelied by the Pequot, the Mohegan, Podunk, and many other Imaller tribes of Indians. * See Cd. Humphrey's life of General Putnam, p. 123.
The Pequots were numerous and warlike. Their country extended along the sea-coast from Paukatuk, to Connecticut river. About the year 1630, this powerful tribe extended their conquests over a considerable part cf Connecticut, over all Long-1 Nand and part of Narragansett. SASSAcus, who was the Grand Monarch of the whole country, was king of this nation. The seat of his dominion was at New-London, the ancient Indian name of which was Pequot.
The Mohegans were a numerous tribe, and their territory extensive, Their ancient claim, which was surveyed and settled by commiflioners from Queen Ann, in 1705, comprehended all New-London county, except a narrow strip of about eight miles wide, on the sea-coast, almost the whole of the county of Windham, and a part of the counties of Tolland and Hartford. UNCUS, distinguished for his friendship to the English, was the Sachem of this tribe.
The Podunks inhabited Eaft Hartford, and the circumjacent country. The first Sachem of this tribe, of whom the English had any knowledge, was Tatanimoo. He was able to bring into the field more than 200 fighting men.
The first grant of Connecticut was made by the Plymouth council, to the Earl of Warwick, in 1630, and confirmed by his majesty in council the fame year. This grant comprehended all that part of New England which lies west from Narragansett river, 120 miles on the sea-coaft from thence, in latitude and breadth aforesaid, to the south sea. The year following, the Earl assigned this grant to Lord Say and Seal, Lord Brook, and nine others.
No English settlements were attempted in Connecticut until the year 1633, when a number of indian traders, having purchased of Zequalson and Natawanute, two principal Sachems, a tract of land at the mouth of Little river in Windsor, built a house and fortified it, and ever after maintained their right of soil upon the river.
The same year, a little before the arrival of the English, a company of Dutch traders came to Hartford, and built a house which they called the Hirse of Good Hope, and erected a small fort, in which they planted two cannon. The remains of this settlement are still visible on the bank of Connecticut river. This was the only settlement of the Dutch in Connecticut in those ancient times. The Dutch, and after them the Province of New-York, for a long time, claimed as far east as the western bank of Connecticut river. It belongs to the professed historian to prove or difprove the justice of this claim. Douglass says, “ The partition line between New-York and Connecticut, as established December 1, 1664, run from the mouth of Memoroncok river, (a little west from Byram river,) N. N. W, and was the ancient easterly limits of New York, until Nov. 23, 1683, when the line was run nearly the faine as it is now settled *.' If Douglass is right, the New-York claim could not have been well founded.
In 1634, Lord Say and Seal, &c. fent over a small number of men, who built a fort at Saybrook, and held a treaty with the Pequot Indians, who, in a formal manner, gave to the English their right to Connecticut river and the adjacent country. * Douglass, Sum. Vol. II. p. 161.
In 1635, the Plymouth council granted to the Duke of Hamilton, all lands between Narraganfett and Connecticut rivers, and back into the country as far as Massachusetts fouth line. This covered a part of the Earl of Warwick’s patent, and occasioned some disputes in the colony. There were several attempts to revive the Hamilton claim, but were never prosecuted,
In Oct. of this year, about fixty persons from Newton, Dorchester, and Waterton, in Massachusetts, came and festled in Hartford, Wetherlfield, and Windsor, in Connecticut; and the Jane following the famous Mr. Hooker, and his company, came and settled at Hartford, and was a friend and father to the colony to the day of his death.
The first court held in Connecticut was at Hartford, April 26th, 1636.
The year 1637 was distinguished by the war with the Pequots. This warlike nation had, for lome time, been troublesome neighbours. They solicited the Narragansetts to join them in extirpating the English. They had surprized and killed several of the English upon Connecticut river. These threatening appearances and actual hoftilities, induced the three colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, and Connecticut, 10 combine their forces to carry the war into their country, and to attempt the entire destruction of the whole tribe. Myantonomo, the Narraganfett Sachem, and Uncas, Sachem of the Mohegans, sent to the English and offered their service to join with them against the Pequors. Forces were accordingly raised in all the colonies, but those of Connecticut, on account of their vicinity to the enemy, were first in action. Captain Mason, with 8o English and 100 Indians from Connecticut river, proceeded by water to the Narraganfett's country, where 200 of that tribe joined him. On the 24th of May, they began their march for Sassacus' fort on Pequot, now Thames, river. They afterwards determined first to assault Mystic fort, which was situated between them and Pequot river. On the morning of the 26th of May the attack was made. The Indians, after a midnight revel, were buried in a deep ileep. At the moment of their approach, the centinel happened to be gone into a wigwam to liglit his pipe. The barking of a dog gave the alarm. The Indians awoke, teized their arrows, and began their hideous yell. They were joined in their tremendous noise by the Indians in the English army, who were in the rear, and afraid to approach. The battle was warm and bloody, and the victory compleat. The fort was taken-about 70 wigwams were burnt--50 or 60 of the Indians were killed-many were wounded and taken, and the rest escaped. Sallacus and his warriors at Pequot, struck with terror at the news of this defeat, demolished their principal fort, burnt their wigwams, and fled to the westward. Capt. Stoughton, with 160 men from Massachusetts, had by this time arrived at Saybrook. He, with his forces, joined Captain Mason, and pursued the Indians, and overtook and surrounded them in a great swamp near Pairfield. A Sachem and ninety-nine women and children cane out and delivered themselves up to their pursuers. Terms of peace were offered to the rest. But after a short parley they determined, that as they had lived they would die together. There were about eighty who made this resolution. Part of these escaped by means of the darkness of the night. The reít were either killed or taken. In this action the Indians had guns,