By: Michael B. Miley
At length, O Vermonters, we have dismissed from our state, or driven out, or, when they were departing of their own accord, we have pursued with words, Quiros and Stenger, mad with audacity, breathing wickedness, impiously planning mischief to our state, threatening fire and sword to you and and to our Kingdom. They are gone, they have departed, they have disappeared, they have rushed out. No injury will now be prepared against these walls within the walls themselves by those monsters and prodigies of wickedness. And we have, without controversy, defeated them, the sole generals of this domestic war. For now that the dagger will no longer hover about our sides; we shall not be afraid in Lyndon, in Burke, in the Base Lodge, in the Mid-Burke Lodge,– yes, and within our own private walls, they were moved from their place when they were driven from the state.
Beyond all question we ruin these men; we have defeated them splendidly when we have driven them from secret treachery. But that they have not taken their swords red with blood as they intruded; that they have left us alive; that we wrested the weapons from their hands; that they have left the citizens safe and the mountain standing, what great and overwhelming grief must you think that this is to them. Now they lie prostrate, O Vermonters, and feel themselves stricken down and abject, and often casts back their eyes towards our state, which they mourn over as snatched from their jaws, but which seems to me to rejoice at having vomited forth such pests, and cast them out of doors
But if there be any one of that disposition which all men should have, who yet blames me greatly for the very thing in which this writing exults and triumphs– that is not my fault, O Vermonters, but the fault of the times. Stenger and Quiros ought to be visited with the severest punishment; and both the customs of our ancestors, and the state, demand this of us; but how many, think you, were there who did not believe what I reported? How many who out of stupidity, or ignorance, did not think so? How many who even defended him? How many who, out of their own depravity, favoured them?
But as I saw that, since the matter was not even then proved to all of you, if I had punished them, as they had deserved, I should be borne down by unpopularity. I brought the business on to this point that you might be able to combat openly when you saw the enemy without disguise. But how exceedingly I think this enemy to be feared now that they are out of doors, you may see from this– that I am vexed even that they have gone from this state with but a small retinue.
What I have been waiting for, that I have gained– namely, that you should all see that a conspiracy has been openly formed against Vermont. There is not any longer room for lenity; the business itself demands severity. One thing, even now, I will grant– let them depart, let them be gone. I will tell them the road. O happy Vermont, if we can cast forth these dregs of our fair state. Even now, when Quiros and Stenger alone have been gotten rid of; the state seems to me relieved and refreshed; for what evil or wickedness can be devised or imagined which they did not conceive? What prisoner, what thief; what assassin, what parricide, what forger of wills, what cheat, what debauchee, what spendthrift, what adulterer, what corrupter of youth, what profligate, what scoundrel can be found in all Vermont, who does not avow that they has ever been on terms of intimacy with Stenger and Quiros. What nefarious acts of infamy have not been done by them?
I am confident that some fate is hanging over these men; and that the punishment long since due to their iniquity, and worthlessness, and wickedness, and lust, is either visible at hand or at least rapidly approachinŒŒg. There is no nation for us to fear– no king who can make war on the people of Vermont. The only plots against us are within our own walls– the danger is within– the enemy is within. We must war with luxury, with madness, with wickedness. For this war, O Vermonters, I offer myself as the general. I take on myself the enmity of profligate men. What can be cured, I will cure, by whatever means it may be possible. What must be cut away, I will not suffer to spread, to the ruin of Vermont. Let them depart, or let them stay quiet; or if they remain in the state and in the same disposition as at the present, let them expect what they deserve.