The Independent Republic Of Vermont

By | September 21, 2019

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County Map Of The States Of New York, New Hampshire, Vermont. Massachusetts, Rhode Id. And Connecticut.(Wikimedia Commons)

Before becoming the fourteenth state in the United States, Vermont was actually an independent country, declaring its independence on January 15, 1777, and remaining that way until March of 1791. It went by various titles, such as republic, commonwealth, and territory, but most often referred to itself as the State of Vermont, in the hopes of eventually being accepted to the union as a state.

The circumstances leading to its independence began in 1664 when Charles II of England granted the lands which would eventually become the State of New York to the Duke of York. In this grant, the lands making up Vermont were included in New York. When Benning Wentworth was appointed the governor of New Hampshire by King George II in 1741, he understood the decree which defined the border between New Hampshire and Massachusetts to place Vermont within the New Hampshire territory. As a result, he began selling land grants and thousands of people settled in Vermont.

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Vermont in winter. Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

Naturally, New York disputed New Hampshire’s claim to the land and, on July 20, 1764, King George III ruled in favor of New York. New York then began selling land grants for the area, basically forcing the people who had settled there after buying grants from Wentworth to buy their lands a second time, this time from New York. In 1767, the Privy Council ordered New York to stop selling the land grants, but by that time, unrest had already begun.