Independence Day . . . Vermont Style

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Montpelier State House 04

photo credit: nlnnet

Here is a fascinating story in today’s Burlington Free Press about how Vermont became a state–not as simple as one would have imagined.  This also sheds more light on why New Hampshire and Vermont are referred to as the “twin states” since Vermont was once part of New Hampshire, well, sort of:

Much of what’s now called Vermont was known as the New Hampshire Grants. The New Hampshire governor who sold off the land essentially washed his hands of it after New Yorkers started muscling in. The New Yorkers were encouraged by an order from King George III that put New York’s border at the Connecticut River but ambiguously left the legitimacy of the New Hampshire land titles unresolved. The Green Mountain Boys rose up to resist New York control.

Interestingly, Vermont also spent 14 years as an independent republic:

Vermont spent 14 years as an independent republic, which wasn’t entirely cause for celebration.

“Vermont was a very reluctant republic,” said historian Paul Searls. Why? Because Vermonters wanted to join the union. For years, New Yorkers stood in the way, as did the Continental Congress, which passed a resolution in 1780 declaring Vermont’s existence “subversive of the peace and welfare of the United States.” Members of Congress were worried about secessionists beyond New England, as well.

Do read the rest . . . and have a happy 4th of July!

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