Vermont history in the 1700s

What historic events happened in the 1700s?

January 10, 1737 

Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Connecticut. He was destined to become Vermont's most famous patriot. He is said to have been the boldest, bravest, and cleverest man then living in frontier Vermont. He has also been called a rogue, a cheat, and a liar. 

Ethan Allen, Famous Vermonter

September 3, 1761

The town of Tunbridge was chartered. Tunbridge is home to the World's Fair. The Tunbridge World’s Fair began in 1867. The fair celebrates Vermont’s agricultural and farming community. Many people bring their animals or vegetables to show at the fair.

June 7, 1763

The town of Jericho was chartered. Jericho is home to the Jericho Center Country Store. As of 2020, it is one of the oldest stores in the state. It has been operating since 1807.

Jericho Center Country Store (video)

May 10, 1775

Fort Ticonderoga was captured by the Green Mountain Boys under the leadership of Ethan Allen.

Ethan Allen, Famous Vermonter

July 7, 1777 

The Battle of Hubbardton, the only battle of the American Revolution fought on Vermont soil, ended in victory for the British under General Burgoyne. As Colonel Seth Warner and his regiment of Green Mountain Boys retreated, Warner cried out, "Meet me in Manchester," where he and his men rallied and went on to victory at the Battle of Bennington.

July 8, 1777

The first constitution of the state of Vermont was written at a tavern in the town of Windsor. The Constitution included free education for all students. It also outlawed adult slavery. Child slavery remained legal.

August 16, 1777

The British forces of John Burgoyne were decisively defeated at the Battle of Bennington by American troops from Vermont and New Hampshire led by John Stark and Seth Warner.

The Battle of Bennington and Its Monument (PDF)

May 31, 1778

Ethan Allen returns to Vermont after being held prisoner by the British for nearly three years. Allen was caught when he tried unsuccessfully to capture Montreal.

Ethan Allen

February 20, 1779

Vermont adopts the first state seal. Ira Allen, Ethan's brother, designed it and Reuben Dean, a printer, carved it.

Vermont State Seal

December 23, 1779

Bethel became the first town chartered by the independent state of Vermont.

January 13, 1781

New Hampshire ended claims to Vermont land. Ten years later, Vermont became its own state.

Becoming a State

February 12, 1781

Judah Spooner and Tim Green began publishing Vermont's first newspaper, the Vermont Gazette, in Westminster.

All the News That is Fit to Print (PDF)

August 9, 1781

The town of Williamstown is chartered. Thomas Davenport was from Williamstown. Davenport patented the first electric motor for locomotion in the United States. He used magnets to build the motor.

June 15, 1785

The Vermont Legislature gave Reuben Harmon of Rupert permission to make copper coins for the state. Harmon minted the coins from 1785 through 1788.

Making a Mint in Vermont (PDF)

May 4, 1787

The first permanent settlement of Montpelier was formed by Colonel Jacob Davis and fellow settlers.

February 17, 1789

Ethan Allen was buried in Burlington. He is famous for leading the Green Mountain Boys to capture Fort Ticonderoga at the start of the Revolutionary War.

October 15, 1787

Rutland County Grammar School was founded. Students went to a grammar school before they went to college. The Rutland County Grammar School later became Castleton University, now part of Vermont State University.

October 22, 1790

On the motion of Stephen R. Bradley of Westminster, the general assembly calls a convention to decide whether Vermont should ratify the United States Constitution and join the Union as the fourteenth state.

January 6, 1791

The Bennington Convention ratifies the federal constitution and applies for Vermont's admission to the Union. Vermont becomes a state on March 4, 1791.

The Great Vermont Statehood Debate (PDF)

March 4, 1791 

Vermont becomes the fourteenth state, the first to join the original thirteen. 

The 14th State

June 6, 1791

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, both to become U.S. presidents, tour Vermont.

A Visit To Vermont (PDF)

October 14, 1795

Ethan Allen's brother Ira offered to pay the University of Vermont 1,000 pounds sterling if it would change its name to Allen University.

May 23, 1796 

Historian and naturalist Zadock Thompson is born in Bridgewater. He wrote history books and sold them cheaply so that all Vermonters could read them.

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Vermont Historical Society. "Vermont history in the 1700s." Vermont History Explorer. Accessed May 22, 2024.

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