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The American Republic: 1760-1870

The Connecticut River Valley: A Rebellion within the Revolution


1735 - Colonial governor of Massachusetts charters four towns along the Connecticut River in present day southern Vermont and New Hampshire.

1740 - King George II settles boundary dispute between Massachusetts and New Hampshire, placing the border where it is today. Description of boundaries exacerbates boundary issues with New York.

1744 - Fort #4 is built in Charlestown, NH, to protect British interests on the frontier.

1749-1761 - New Hampshire's provincial governor Benning Wentworth grants over 63 Vermont and New Hampshire charters. Present-day Vermont becomes the New Hampshire grants.

1764 - Royal Board of Trade declares the west-bank of the Connecticut River as the boundary between NY and NH.

1769 - With leadership from Hanover, NH, an association of Connecticut River towns speaks up for an independent status.

c. 1770 - A rapid influx of settlers to the northern Connecticut River Valley begins and lasts until the early 1800s. The population of the grants is estimated between 12,000 and 13,000.

1775 - Local farmers try to prevent New York court from sitting in the Westminster Courthouse. Sheriff and deputies fire into an unruly crowd, killing two men. Known as the Westminster Massacre. Incident incites Connecticut River Valley settlers (east-siders) to unite with Ethan Allen and the west-siders against New York colonial authorities. This signaled the end of New York's operation of courts in the Grants.

Opposition is no longer focused only on New York but also on King George. The struggle becomes linked to the American cause.

1777 - A convention held in Westminster in January goes beyond the one held in 1769 and calls for the new and independent state of New Connecticut.

A convention held in Windsor in July votes to adopt the first constitution of the "Free and Independent State of Vermont."

1778 - 16 river towns in New Hampshire join the Vermont Republic.

A convention of river towns meets in Cornish, NH, and considers forming a new and separate state called "New Connecticut."

1779 - New Hampshire responds by claiming all of Vermont's territory.

1780 - Vermont Redemption Act restores properties and civil rights to Loyalists

1781 - Delegates from both sides of the river convene in Charlestown and agree to remain united. Meanwhile, Vermont annexes an additional 22 river towns in NH.

Monroe and Langdon, NH remain as only two river towns near the Connecticut, south of Lancaster, that do not join with Vermont.

1782 - New Hampshire sends 1,000 soldiers to reinforce its jurisdiction.

Guilfordites rebel against the unjust demands of Vermont. In response, Ethan Allen forms a posse comitatus to quell dissent in Guilford and Brattleboro.

1783 - Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, sets off another boundary dispute (this time with Canada), centering on various interpretations of where the Connecticut River headwaters lay.

1785 - Vermont and New Hampshire follow the rest of the country into a deep depression.

Vermont Betterment Act pays "tresspassers" for property improvements made to Loyalist property

1786 - In reaction to the rising number of debt cases, an armed mob of 30 men threaten to close the Windsor Courthouse.

Daniel Shays and others escape to Vermont after their armed insurrection raising new concerns among the northern states about Vermont remaining outside the Union.

Constitutional delegates assemble in Philadelphia. Among the issues to be discussed is the problem of creating new states from existing ones.

1788 - NH becomes the ninth state in the Union.

1790 -- New York and Vermont legislatures settle the western boundary of Vermont with $30,000 to be paid to New York in compensation.

1791 - Vermont enters the Union as the fourteenth state.


Resources

Compiled from Proud to Live Here, Freedom and Unity, and Hall's History of Eastern Vermont.

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