Originally inhabited by American Indians, the Vermont area was first explored in 1609 by a French expedition led by Samuel de Champlain. He claimed his France, and the state’s largest lake bears his name.
A century later, the initial English settlers arrived. In 1724 they built their first permanent settlement (Fort Dummer) on a site under present-day Brattleborough.
At the end of the French and Indian Wars, the 1763 Treaty of Paris gave control of the land of Vermont to the British, and the possibility of seizing the land appeared.
English colonies of New Hampshire and New York the land was immediately demanded, and the New Hampshire settlers quickly staked their honestead demands.
To protect the interests of those New Hampshire settlers against the new migrants from New York, Ethan Allen and others formed a militia called the Green Mountain Boys, and they helped control those original demands by preventing New Yorkers from moving in.
Disturbed by unfair taxes and other demands from the King of England, landowners, merchants and ordinary citizens in England ‘s original 13 colonies rebelled and they declared their independence from Great Britain. America’s War of Independence began in 1775 and ended in 1781. In the early stages of the war, the same
The Green Mountain Boys earned additional fame by capturing Fort Ticonderoga from the British on May 10, 1775.
In 1777, the proud locals here declared their lands an independent republic and named it New Connecticut. Later that year, the delegation met in Westminster, changed its name to Vermont, and drafted a constitution that even outlawed slavery.
Vermont remained an independent republic throughout the War of Independence, until in 1791 it joined the United States as its 14th state.
Across America, the plight of black slaves in southern states was a contentious issue. That front-burner dispute between northern and southern states peaked, and in 1861 the American Civil War began.
- Topschoolsintheusa: Guides to study in Vermont, including geography, climate, economy, and tourism of the state.
- A2zcamerablog: Offers general information about Vermont, covering history, population, economy and county list.
- Campingship: State outline of Vermont, including geography location, state capital, brief history and a list of largest counties by area.
Vermont supported the Northern (or Union) cause and about 28,000 volunteers served in the war effort. At the end of the war, over 5,000 of Vermont’s best were dead.
In the late 19th century, and into the 20th century, railroads changed the farming economies of the northeastern US, and Vermont’s industries were no exception. Additional favorable attention to the state came from two of his native sons, both Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge, served as US President.
Then the Great Depression of the 1930s resurfaced, proving to be financially disastrous across Vermont and all of America. At the end it was World War II that helped rebuild the state’s 20th century economy as many of its industries provided materials for the war.
Its modern economy is still stimulated by check-in, maple syrup production and mining. High tech companies have praised that connection, and tourism continues to grow as ski resorts near and on Mt. Mansfield – offers some of the finest ski venues in the northeast.
Vermont and its citizens have proudly served the cause of freedom, and this land of covered bridges, small towns, rolling farmlands and stunning vistas remains an essential must-see for any American history student or nature lover.
1500s – 1600s
- (1535) French explorer, Jacques Cartier, first European to explore Vermont
- (1609) Samuel de Champlain claimed the Vermont area of France ; discovered Lake Champlain
- (1666) St. Anne, first white settlement built at Lamotte Island
- (1724) British built Fort Drummer, first permanent settlement in Vermont
- (1731) French built fort at Chimney Point
- (1759) French abandoned settlement of Chimney Point
- (1760) Crown Point Military Road, ended east-west across Vermont
- (1764) Vermont became part of New York City, decreed by King George III
- (1774) Scottish-American Land Company brought Scottish settlers to Vermont
- (1775) Ethan Allen, Green Mountain Boys, captured Fort Ticonderoga
- (1777) Battle of Hubbarton, only Revolutionary War Battle fought in Vermont; Vermont declared independence from Great Britain ; forbidden slavery
- (1779) Property rights established for women
- (1780) Last major Indian raid
- (1785) First marble quarry opened in Dorset
- (1791) Vermont became the 14th American state
- (1805) Montpelier named capital
- (1812) Vermont Volunteers fought the British in battles at Chippewa, Lundy’s Lane, Plattsburgh during the War of 1812
- (1814) US gained control of Lake Champlain, stopped British invasion
- (1823) Champlain Open Canal, created a water route between Vermont, New York
- (1835) Abolitionist Samuel J. May is mobbed during a lecture at Montpelier
- (1837) John Deere patented the steel plow; Thomas Davenport patented the first electric motor
- (1849) First Vermont railroad completed from Boston to Lake Champlain
- (1850) Vermont repealed the American Fugitive Slave Law
- (1864) St Albans attacked during the Civil War
- (1881) Vermont native Chester Arthur became 21st President of the United States
- (1918) Women voted in city elections
- (1921) Women’s suffrage passed
- (1923) Vermont native Calvin Coolidge becomes US president; gasoline tax passed; national flag adopted
- (1927) Vermont flood caused 84 deaths
- (1934) First US ski tow built at Woodstock
- (1954) Consuelo Northrup Bailey elected the first female lieutenant governor in the United States.
- (1962) First Democratic governor in over 100 years elected
- (1964) The last towns in Vermont got electricity – Victory, Granby and Jamaica
- (1985) Madeleine M. Kunin became Vermont’s first female governor
- (2000) Vermont Assembly approved same-sex marriage
- (2001) Vermont produced 275,000 US gallons of maple syrup; Senator James Jeffords left GOP to become independent, Democratic Party gained control of Senate for the first time since 1994 (2004) Former governor, Howard Dean, dropped out for Democratic presidential nomination
- (2010) Human rights activists interrupted the Israel Ballet in Burlington, drawing attention to the dance company’s complicity in Israeli war crimes
- (2011) Tropical Storm Irene caused major flooding, washed away bridges, three deaths