Editor’s note: our grateful thanks for this extraordinarily brief yet illuminating account of how Vermont became independent are extended to Martha Hafner of Randolph Center, a retired schoolteacher who must know something about limited attention spans for the subject of history.
Prior to 1777, New Hampshire had been selling plots of land to families coming to this region, though some of this real estate also was sold by New Yorkers, causing disputes as to who actually owned the land.
King George III addressed this problem in 1764 by declaring the New York deeds legal. This left the people of the ‘Grants’ region (Vermont) distressed as some faced loss of everything. This lead to the rise of Ethan Allen, who gathered up those facing huge losses. There was political unrest as some favored New York and others New Hampshire.
The Constitutional Congress encouraged independence so on Jan. 15, 1777, Vermont declared independence from New York, New Hampshire, and Great Britain. Since they were not part of the 13 colonies, it was an independent republic that fought alongside the original 13. New York refused to accept Vermont’s independence until in 1791 they reached agreement. Then Vermont became a part of the union.