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GOVERNORS OF CONNECTICUT SINCE 1769. Jonathan Trumbull

1769 | John Treadwell Mathew Griswold

1784 Roger Griswold Samuel Huntingdon

1785 | John Cotton Smith Oliver Wolcott

1796 Oliver Wolcott Jonathan Trumbull

1798

1811 1812 1817

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Reminiscences.-During the encroachment of the Indians in 1754, a delegation from New Hampshire, (Atkinson ;) Massachusetts, (Hutchinson ;) Rhode Island, (Hopkins ;) Connecticut, (Pitkin ;) New York, (Smith ;) Pennsylvania, (Franklin ;) agreed upon a union, which took place July 4, 1755-neither of whom could bave entertained an idea, that, 22 years hence, on the same day of the month, the then colonies would declare themselves independant of England, and that Hopkins and Frauklin, who signed the union in 1754, should sign the Independence of 1776.

Gen. Lafayette.-The town of Briane, the birth-place of this philanthropist, has honored his return by a public celebration. Of all the testimonials which he has received of the regard of his fel. low men on both sides of the Atlantic, this will not be the least welcome to him.

MARRIAGES.

JANUARY, 1826. Worcester-Rev. Thomas R. Sullivan, and Miss Charlotte C. Blake. Holden-Mr. Oliver Blake, and Miss Laura Hubbard. Bolton-Mr. George H. Cunningham, and Miss Mary Ann Woodbury: Shrewsbury-Mr. Nathaniel Cole, and Miss Elizabeth Gardner. Leicester-Mr. Dwight Bisco, and Ruth Woodcock. Charlton-Mr. Ebenezer C. Mann, and Rebecca Fitts.

DEATHS.

JANUARY, 1826. Worcester-Col. Moses N. Child-52. Graston-14th--Mre. Mary Leland--68. Shrewsbury--Mr. Edward F. Drury,-31.

Charlton--Mrs. Lucy Stone-63.-Mrs. Freelove Jenckes-29.-Mary Rich_45.

Rutland-Charles Sydenham Clark--8 months. Samuel Ball.
Lancaster-Timothy Whiting, Esq.

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BIOGRAPHICAL.

ORIGINAL.

JAMES OTIS.

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JAMES Otis was born at Great Marshes, now West Barnstable, in this State, February 5, 1724. The want of a classical education had taught his father properly to appreciate its advantages, and the son was placed under the tuition of the Rev. Mr. Russell to prepare for the University at Cambridge. He entered college in June, 1739. During the two first years, bis wit and vivacity led the elder students to seek his society, and his time was devoted more to amusement than books. It was not until towards the close of his collegiate course that the powers of his mind began to be disclosed, and his true character to be developed. He received his first degree in 1743, and his second, in regular course, three years afterwards. From his junior year, he applied himself with great assiduity to his studies, and the levity and playfulness heretofore marking his character, were exchanged for grávity and refection. While spending his vacations at his father's bouse, such was the constancy with which he applied himself, that the neighbors rarely saw him. Notwithstanding his diligence and apparent sobriety, his wit and humor would occasionally discover themselves. He sometimes amused himself by playing on the violin. A small party, consisting of young people, once visiting his father's, during a vacation, persuaded him to unite with them in their sports. A set was made up for a dance, and after much entreaty, Otis

fairto take bis violin and play for them. When they had be Pas made ly engaged, he suddenly stopped playing, and holding up his fiddle in one band, and his bow in the other, exclaimed, “ So Orpheus fiddled, and so danced the brutes !" and throwing them away, fled into the garden, leaving the disconcerted dancers in the midst of

their figure.

After he left college he devoted himself to miscellaneous reading for near two years. He then commenced the study of the law in the office of Mr. Gridley, one of the most eminent lawyers and civilians of the province. Having completed bis studies, he first opened his office and began the practice of law in Plymouth. But he remained here only two years, when he removed to Boston, where he soon became one of the most distinguished in his profession. His integrity, his learning, and his eloquence, in a short time furnished him a very extensive business. No member of the bar was thought to possess more general information than Mr. Otis.

His reputation had gone abroad into the adjoining provinces, and in cases of difficulty and importance, the council and aid of no one was sought with more eagerness and relied on with such confidence. His frank and undisguised manners gave him an almost unlimited control over the minds of the jury, while the correctness of his principles and his magnanimity, acquired for him the admiration of the court. The perfect urbanity of his manners, and the ardor of his patriotism, joined with these other popular qualities, made him no less the delight of the whigs, than the terror of the government party.

Soon after the conquest of Canada, the provinces were alarmed by a report that some unpleasant changes were about to be made in their government. The truth of the rumor was first seen in an order of council to carry into effect the acts of trade. For this purpose writs of assistance, as they were called, were to be granted to the officers of the customs, on petition, by the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Sewall gave it as his opinion that the writs were unconstitutional, and that the court had no right to grant them. The other judges were silent. The writs being demanded by officers of the Crown, they could not be dismissed without a hearing, and the term of the Court held in February, 1761, at Boston, was appointed for arguing the question. The merchants looked forward to the decision with the deepest solicitude. Mr. Otis, as advocate general, was called on by the officers of the customs to manage their cause. He regarded the writs as illegal and tyrannical, and to avoid appearing in support of measures he deemed oppressive and unjust, he resigned his office. He was then applied to by the mer. cantile interest of Salem and Boston to oppose the granting the writs. He was aided by Mr. Thatcher, one of the most eminent of the profession of the law. Mr. Gridley, his former instructor, was employed by Government to oppose him. The case was opened by the latter gentleman, and argued with much learning and dignity. He was followed on the other side by Mr. Thatcher, in a speech remarkable for its ingenuity and capdor, and the mildness and moderation with which it was pronounced. “ But Otis," to use the language of the ex-president Adams, “ was a flame ot fire; with a promptitude of classical allusions, a depth of research, a rapid summary of historical events and dates, a profusion of legal authorities, a prophetic glance of his eyes into futurity, and rapid torrent of impetuous eloquence, he burried away all before him. American Independence was then and there born. The seeds of

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