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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Constitution House - Windsor, Vermont

Here at Elijah West’s tavern in Windsor, Vermont along the Connecticut River, the locals decided in July of 1777 to make this place a free and independent republic. There were a few things to iron out of course, land grants claimed by New Hampshire across the river, and claims by New York on the other side (independence from its neighbors more than independence from Great Britain was the main issue at this stage), and then this whole Revolutionary War hullabaloo. Also, a few months earlier it was decided in a preliminary vote to call the whole prospect “New Connecticut”.

But (we may presume) over a tankard or two, they got down to business and decided that Vermont would be the name (a derivation of the French verd mont -- green mountains), and that their constitution would be a bit different to what had been hammered out by the other states. Vermont was the first to outlaw slavery, and to assure universal voting rights for men whether or not they owned property. Vermont was also the first to establish free public schools.

Having got that out of the way, it was another decade after the Revolutionary War ended that they got around to shedding their Republic and joining the United States in 1791. Vermonters like to be sure, and they seem to have decided the USA was going to work out all right.

For more on the Constitution House, now a museum, have a look at this website.


Unknown said...

Thanks for the informative post on my home state! I've been to the Constitution House, but that was many years ago & I'd forgotten most of the facts you presented here.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Hi, John. Windsor's in a very pretty section of the state, but then pretty much all of Vermont is beautiful.

Caftan Woman said...

A most intriguing era. Interesting stuff.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thank you, CW. Yeah, I'd like to have been a fly on the wall.

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