Page images
PDF
EPUB

versation, and forty shillings freehold, or forty pounds personal estate.”

The governor and lieutenant-governor are chosen by the people ; the assistants by twenty persons named by the electors the preceding October; eighty towns sending two representatives, and thirty-nine, one each, the present house consists of 199 members.

Judiciary.— The judges appointed by the legislature for the term of a year, are re-eligible, though liable to impeachment for misbehaviour. The Courts are, Ist, A Supreme Court of Errors, of nine judges, who sit twice a year at Hartford and Newhaven. 2d,

Three Superior, or Circuit Courts, consisting each of three of the nine judges, one of whom is chief, who have authority in all criminal cases extending to life, limb, and banishment; also in matters of divorce, and in all actions brought by appeal from the county courts, or by writs of error. The state is divided into three circuits, in each of which three of the judges meet twice a-year, whose decisions are liable to revision by the Court of Errors. 3d, The County Courts consist of a judge and four justices of the quorum, who have original jurisdiction in all civil actions wherein the demand exceeds forty shillings; and in all criminal cases, where the punishment does not extend to life, limb, or banishment. In both courts the trial is by jury, according to the course of the common law of England. In four of the counties they sit three times a-year, and twice in the other four. 4th, A City Court, consisting of a mayor and two aldermen, sits monthly in the five cities. 5th, A Probate Court, consisting of

ma

one judge, which meets according to the direction of the judges. 6th, Justice's Courts, consisting of a single justice of the peace. The authority of Justices of the Peace extends to all civil actions, in which the demand does not exceed forty shillings; also to some criminal cases in which the fine does not exceed the said amount; to sitting in the stocks, or whipping not exceeding ten stripes. In districts of less extent than counties, there are judges for the probate of wills, from whom there is an appeal to the superior court.

The County Court now determines matters of equity from L.500 to L. 200 value ; the Superior Court, from L. 200 to L. 800; and all cases exceeding this sum are determined by the General Assembly.

There is an attorney of the Governor and Company in each county ; but no attorney-general.

The officers of the United States for this state are :

1st, A judge with a salary of 1000 dollars a-year. 2d, An attorney with 200. Sd, Marshal. 4th, Clerk, with fees.

Finances.- In the year 1811, the revenue of the state amounted to 79,192 dollars. The funds in public stock to 421,871; the school funds to 1,210,065 dollars.

The taxes are levied according to the polls and rateable estate of the freeholders. All males between sixteen and seventy years are subject to taxation. Under the name of rateable estate are included horses, horned cattle, cultivated and uncultivated land, houses, shipping, all sorts of riding carriages, clocks and watches, silver plate, and money at interest.

S

Statement of the Revenue for 1811. Tax on rateable estate, and on polls,

46,674 dollars. Interest on stock in the United States funds, 16,437 Dividends on bank stock,

9,788 Duty on writs,

6,291

Interest on stofank stock,

79,190

Funds, exclusive of those for Schools. Six per cent. stock real capital,

127,153 Six per cent. deferred stock,

115,480 Three per cent. stock,

50,038 Bank stock,

129,200

[ocr errors]

Adding the school fund of 1,201,065, the whole amount is 1,622,936 dollars. This fund was created from the sale of public lands in 1795, the yearly interest of which, with 12,000 dollars from the public taxes, is given for the support of common schoolmasters; and it appears that each town receives more money from the state for this purpose than the amount of the tax.

The governor, in his speech addressed to the legislature on the 12th of May 1817, observes, in respect to the capitation tax, “ that, deducting the costs of clothing, and other necessary personal expences, the annual contributions of a labouring man without property are, on a mean calculation for the state, equal to one-sixteenth part of his income.” “ That an assess. ment of sixty dollars in the general list is equal to that on twenty-four acres of the best alluvial meadow

VOL. II.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

in the counties of Hartford, or Middlesex ; or to that on forty-eight acres of the best meadow-land in any other part of the state ; or to that on 175 acres of the best wood or timber land in the vicinity of our navigable waters; or to that on a first-rate new brick, or stone house, containing twelve fire-places in either of our cities." He objects to the assessment on mills, machinery, and manufactures ; on commercial investments; on the profits resulting from trades, professions, and employments, and on monies loaned on interest.

The sum of 50,000 dollars, received by the state from the United States for services rendered by the militia in the general defence during the late war, has been distributed for the support of religion and learning: To the Congregational Societies, 16,666 ; Episcopal Bishop's Fund, 7142; Baptist Societies, 6250; Methodists, 4166; Yale College, 2142.

Military Force. The governor is captain-general, and the deputy-governor lieutenant-general of the militia. The other general and field officers are appointed by the general court, and commissioned by the governor. The captains and inferior officers are chosen by the vote of the company and householders living within its limits, approved by the general court, and commissioned by the governor, without whose permission no officer can resign his commission, under the penalty of serving in the ranks as a private soldier; and all hold their commissions during the pleasure of the Assembly. The militia, in 1815, amounted to 18,009 men, of whom 14,377 were infantry.

Religious Denominations.

Congregationalists,
Baptists,
Episcopalians, .
Other denominations,

No. of Churches. 218 of which 36 are vacant. 67 64 of which 68 are vacant.* 12)

According to the report of the General Convention of Baptists held in Philadelphia in May 1817, the number of churches was forty-nine ; that of members 60,772.

In 1816 the balance due to the state by the United States for expenditures made in the public defence, amounting to 145,014 dollars, was appropriated by a legislative act to religious and literary institutions. Among the former it was distributed in the following proportions : Presbyterians, or Congregationalists, 1-3d; Episcopalians, 1-7th; Baptists, 1-8th ; Methodists, 1-12th.

Religious Institutions. There are thirteen associations and consociations; the first composed of ministers only; the second of ministers, with a delegate from their respective churches. The general association in Connecticut, which meets annually in June, is composed of two representatives from each district association, with whom is united a representation of three members of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States; of one member from the General Convention of Congregational and Presbyterian churches in Vermont; of two members

* See Mr Beecher's address on this subject.

« PreviousContinue »