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Individual Record -- Chittenden, Lucius Eugene

MILITARY SERVICE

Age: 0, credited to Burlington, VT
Unit(s): State
Service: Peace Commissioner, Registrar of the US Treasury

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VITALS

Birth: 05/24/1824, Williston, VT
Death: 07/22/1900

Burial: Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington, VT
Marker/Plot: Not recorded
Gravestone researcher/photographer: Kathy Valloch
Findagrave Memorial #: 24933096

MORE INFORMATION

Alias?: None noted
Pension?: Not eligible
Portrait?: Unknown
College?: Not Found
Veterans Home?: Not Found
(If there are state digraphs above, this soldier spent some time in a state or national soldiers' home in that state after the war)

Remarks: None

DESCENDANTS

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BURIAL:

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Tombstone

Lakeview Cemetery, Burlington, VT

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Biography

Chittenden, L. E., of New York City, was the son of Giles, who was the fifth in descent from Thomas Chittenden, the first Governor of Vermont. He was born at Williston, May 24, 1824.
Educated at the Williston and Hinesburgh academies, he studied law with Norman L. Whittemore, of Swanton, and was admitted to the bar in Franklin county, with John G. Saxe and Croydon Beckwith in September, 1844. Commencing practice in Burlington in the spring of 1845, his partners in succession were Wyelys Lyman, Edward J. Phelps and Daniel Roberts. In 1861 Mr. Chittenden was appointed by Governor Fairbanks a member of the Peace Conference, which met at Washington on the invitation of the Governor of Virginia, on the third of February in that year. As he kept the records of the conference he afterwards published them in 1864. At the request of Salmon P. Chase he accepted the position of Register of the Treasury, which position he held until 1864. In 1867 he commenced the practice of his profession in New York City, where he still resides. Mr. Chittenden has collected, and still owns, probably the largest collection of books printed in and relating to Vermont. He has published the following books and pamphlets: "Address on the Centennial Celebration at Ticonderoga, " "Address on the Dedication of the Monument to Ethan Allen at Burlington, " "Recollections of Abraham Lincoln and his Administration, " "Reminiscences from 1840 to 1890, " and several other pamphlets and magazine articles.
He has been a Republican since the formation of the party, and was an organizer of the Free Soil party in 1848. He is also a life member of the N. E. Society, of the Republican and Grolier clubs, and the Society of Medical Jurisprudence.

Source: Jacob G. Ullery Men of Vermont: An Illustrated Biographical History of Vermonters and Sons of Vt., Brattleboro, Vt.: Transcript Publishing Co., 1894, Part III, p. 38.

Biography

LUCIUS EUGENE CHITTENDEN.
Lucius Eugene Chittenden, ex-register of the treasury of the United States, lawyer and author, was born in Williston, Chittenden county, Vermont, on the 24th of May, 1824, the son of Giles, the grandson of Truman, and the great-grandson of Thomas Chittenden, who was in 1777 elected the first governor of independent Vermont, and eighteen times re-elected to that office. He was the eighth in descent from William Chittenden, who settled in Guilford, Connecticut, in 1639. Giles, the father of Lucius E., was the eldest son of Truman, who was the youngest of the four sons of the first governor. Giles represented Williston in the state legislature in the year 1803.
Lucius E. Chittenden received his early education in district schools of Williston, and the academies of Williston, Hinesburg and Cambridge, Vermont. By the advice of Norman L. Whittemore, an uncle by marriage and a lawyer of ability in Swanton, Vermont, he selected the law as his profession, pursued his studies in his uncle's office and resided in his family. In the winter of 1842, at the age of seventeen, he was hired to teach the district school on Hog Island, which had been twice broken up by unruly boys, some of whom were older than himself. He had a single encounter with them, after which he taught the school and governed the boys without farther difficulty. He attended the legal lectures of Judge Turner in St. Albans, taught school in the winter, and with John G. Saxe, the poet, and Corydon Beckwith, afterward an eminent corporation lawyer in Chicago, was admitted to the bar of Franklin county at St. Albans in September, 18.44. He opened his law office in Burlington in May, 1845, where he practiced with success, in partnership, successively, with Wyllys Lyman. Edward J. Phelps and Daniel Roberts, all leading citizens and the last two eminent as lawyers. At that time Chittenden county had a very able bar. Asahel Peck. D. A. Smalley, George P. Marsh, Jacob Maeck and Charles Adams were the seniors, and E. J. Phelps, George F. Edmunds, Levi Underwood and others the juniors in the profession.
Mr. Chittenden was never satisfied with his limited education. Before his admission to the bar, he pursued the study of the Latin and several of the modern languages under private tutors, with energy and perseverance. His knowledge of the modern languages, which he has never ceased to pursue, has no doubt promoted his success and enabled him to study the natural sciences as a recreation and relief from the severer labors of his profession. As early as 1846 he became actively interested in politics and public affairs. He was prominent in the antislavery and "free-soil" movements, and was the editor of the Free Soil Courier in the campaign which resulted in the election of John S. Robinson as governor of Vermont. He was an earnest Republican from the first organization of the Republican party, and during the long term of his life never failed to give to the candidates of that party the strong support of his voice and vote. He was a state senator from his native county in 1856-1860 and an influential legislator. In February, 1861, he was appointed by Governor Erastus Fairbanks a delegate to the famous Peace Conference which met in Washington to take measures for averting the. coming Civil war. He prepared and afterwards published a careful report of the debates and proceedings of that conference. He was associated with ex-Governor Chase, of Ohio, a leading member of the conference, and when Mr. Chase became secretary of the treasury, in President Lincoln's first cabinet, he tendered to Mr. Chittenden the office of register of the treasury, which he held during the four years of President Lincoln's first term. It was at that time an office of great responsibility, involving great and continuous labor. The issues of the treasury during the war, in bonds, "greenbacks," treasury notes and fractional currency, reached an aggregate far beyond human comprehension. At the close of the war these issues were represented by a public debt of more than three thousand million dollars. The securities had been placed in the hands-of the people and the proceeds received into the treasury through the offices of the register and the treasurer of the United States, General F. E. Spinner. They required the labor of hundreds of male and female clerks from every loyal state and territory, often appointed with no examination except such as the head of the bureau could give them. And yet this enormous amount of money and bonds was. by the employees of these two offices, issued to, and their proceeds received from the people and covered into the treasury without the loss of a dollar by theft, fraud or errors. No higher testimonial to the fidelity of these employees could possibly be given.
In the closing year of the century, Mr. Chittenden is the only surviving officer of the treasury appointed by President Lincoln. His resignation was made necessary by his failing health and broken constitution. He left the treasury poor in purse but with a reputation which his descendants would not exchange for money. After the close of the war Mr. Chittenden established himself in his profession in New York city, where he has since continued its practice.
Mr. Chittenden has cultivated his scholarly tastes by collecting a library which is especially rich in rare volumes relating to the early history of his native state and to the history of engraving and printing. No state in the Union has an early history of such patriotic and thrilling interest as Vermont. It still remains to be written, and Mr. Chittenden, who believes his books indispensable to its accuracy, has perfected an arrangement by which this valuable collection has been transferred to the library of the University of Vermont, where it will be preserved intact for future use. Many of the volumes are very rare, and some of them are believed to be unique.
Mr. Chittenden's publications include an edition of "Reeve's Domestic Relations" with notes; the "Debates and Proceedings of the Peace Conference at Washington in February, 186t;" "A Centennial Address on the Capture of Ticonderoga, May, 1876:" "An Address on the Dedication of the Monument to Ethan Allen, at Burlington in 1878." "Recollections of President Lincoln and his Administration;" "The Speeches, Addresses and Letters of Abraham Lincoln;" "An Unknown Heroine, A Story of the Civil War;" "Personal Reminiscences;" and many magazine and historical articles. His "Biography of Thomas Chittenden, the first Governor of Vermont," is in an advanced stage of preparation.
In 1856 Mr. Chittenden married Mary, daughter of Horace Hatch, M. D., of Burlington. They had three children: Horace II., a lawyer in New York city: Mary H., wife of William Bradford; and Bessie B., wife of Rev. Frederick B. Richards, pastor of the Presbyterian church, corner of Fourteenth street and Second avenue, in New York citv.

Source: Genealogical and family history of the state of Vermont, edited by Hiram Carleton, pp 614-615.

Obituary

LUCIUS E. CHITTENDEN DEAD
Was Register of the Treasury Under President Lincoln-Garfield
Probably the Last Man Living Who Knew Name of Person Who Loaned Our Government $10,000,000 in 1862 - Wrote His Name 50 Hours Without Rest.

Lucius E. Chittenden, register of the treasury under President Lincoln's administration, and an author and lawyer of note, died Sunday at his summer home in Burlington from cholera morbus after an illness of four days. Mr. Chittenden as a typical Vermonter. He was an authority on all matters concerning the history of the state, and he was ever ready to praise and defend her.

Mr. Chittenden was born in Williston, May 24, 1824. He was the son of Giles Chittenden, grandson of Trueman Chittenden and great grandson of Thomas Chittenden, who in 1777 was elected first governor of Vermont and 18 times re-elected to that position.

Mr. Chittenden was educated in the common schools of his native town and in the academies of Hinesburg and Cambridge. He studied law in the office of Norman L. Whittemore in Swanton, teaching school in winter. He was admitted to the bar of Franklin county in 1845, practicing his profession with Wyllys, Lyman, Edwad J. Phelps and Daniel Roberts, all leading men and the last two eminent lawyers recently deceased.

As early as 1846 he became actively engaged in politics. He was prominent in the anti-slavery and Free Soul movements and was an ardent Republican when that party was organized. In 1856-60 he was state senator for Chittenden county, where he had great influence in legislation. In 1861 he was appointed a delegate to a conference of peace held in Washington to take measures to avert the then impending war and was there associated with ex-Gov. Chase of Ohio, a leading member of the conference. When Mr. Chase became secretary of the treasury in President Lincoln's first cabinet Mr. Chittenden was tendered the office of register of the treasury, holding the position for four years. At the close of the war Mr. Chittenden established himself in New York, where he had since lived, coming to Burlington only to spend the summer months.

In 1856 Mr. Chittenden married Mary, daughter of Dr. Horace Hatch of Burlington, who died in 1894. By her he had three children, Horace H., a lawyer in New York city, Mary H., wife of William Bradford of Burlington, and Bessie H., Chittenden, who s unmarried and lives in New York city.

Mr. Chittenden was probably the last man living who knows the name of the man in London who in 1862 loaned the United States government $1,000,000 sterling, worth then, owing to the premium on gold, nearly $10,000,000 without security, and especially wishing to avoid notoriety. Never, probably did more than four persons know the name of this national benefactor, for at that time the government was desperately in need of money. The loan was made through Charles Francis Adams, then our minister to the court of St. James. The unknown man had the money and he knew the United States wanted it sorely and he loaned it gladly.

Minister Adams insisted that the mysterious individual should accept $10,000,000 in United States coupon bonds for the loan. The man did not want the bonds, but Minister Adams insisted, and in order to get these bonds to London on a given steamer, which left New York, Mr. Chittenden, who, as register of the treasury, had to sign all Unites States bonds and notes at the time, was obliged to work continuously signing his name from a Friday noon until the following Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock - 50 hours without sleep and with scarcely any rest whatever.

If any one imagines this an easy job, just let him sit down and write a name over and over again for three or four hours. The result was, in Mr. Chittenden's case, a terrible paralysis of the arm for the time being, and it is doubtful if he was not permanently injured from the physical labor involved in this one act alone of his official career.

Probably Mr. Chittenden's chief book was his report of the "Debates and Proceedings of the Secret Sessions of the Peace Conference Held at Washington in February, 1861.: Other publications were his edition of "Reeve's Domestic Relations" (1846); "Debates and Proceedings of Congress on the Subsidies to the Pacific Railroads" (1871); "The Capture of Ticonderoga" (1872); Recollections of President Lincoln and His Administration" (1891); "An Unknown Heroine: an Historical Episode of the War Between the States" (1863); and a compilation of "Lincoln's Addresses" (1895).

Source: Vermont Phoenix, July 27, 1900.
Courtesy of Tom Boudreau.