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pose, (when and by what authority does not appear,) which warned the inhabitants on the New Hampshire grants “ to meet together by their Delegates from each town,” at the time and place and for the several purposes specifically named. In June, 1776, the inhabitants on the west side of the Green Mountains were again“ warned ” in like manner, and those on the east side, within the nominal jurisdiction of New York,
“ desired,” to “meet by their several delegates in General Convention;" and from that period the eastern towns began to appear by delegates. In January 1777, a Convention assumed jurisdiction of the whole territory, and declared it to be “ a separate, free and independent jurisdiction or state.” These Conventions were formally warned, either by a committee appointed for the purpose, or by a resolution of a preceding Convention, or sat on their own adjournments; the delegates were appointed by the inhabitants of the several towns; and the resolves made in Convention were executed by committees or agents thereto appointed. This simple machinery stood instead of a formally constituted state government, and performed all the offices of such an one as far as was necessary and practicable. One body exercised whatever of supreme legislative and executive power the occasion demanded; but that body was elected by the people, expressed their will, and was responsible to them. These Conventions established the State, ruled it for a brief period, and gave to it in due time a constitution. For these things their records deserve to stand as the first chapter in the governmental history of the state.
March 14-16, 1775, the power of the royal Provincial Congress of New York was thoroughly broken in eastern Vermont, by the arrest of its judicial officers at Westminster. April 11, 1775, a General Convention of committees on the east side of the Green Mountains denounced the Westminster massacre of March 13, and voted to renounce and resist the administration of the government of New York, till they could appeal“ to the royal wisdom and clemency, and till such time as his Majesty shall settle this controversy."1 This was the last expression of loyalty to the king by any representative body in the state. The news of the collision at Lexington fired the hearts of a majority of the people, and on the 10th of May the first heavy blows upon British military power in America were struck by Allen and Warner at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. In consideration of these services, the Continental Congress voted, June 23, 1775, to pay “the men who had been employed in the taking and garrisoning of Crown Point and Ticonderoga ;” and
recommended to the Convention of New York that they, consulting with Gen. Schuyler, employ in the army to be raised for the defense of America, those called Green Mountain Boys, under such officers as the said Green Mountain Boys shall choose.” A copy of these resolutions was given to Allen and Warner. With these, and an official letter from
* See Appendix, A., No. 1.
the President of Congress, John Hancock, to the Convention of New York, they repaired to that body. On the 4th of July, Allen and Warner were admitted to the Convention, and that body ordered, that in consequence of a recommendation from the Continental Congress, “an independent body” of troops not exceeding five hundred men, officers included, be forth with raised, of those called Green Mountain Boys ; that they elect all their own officers ; that Maj. Gen. Schuylerl be requested to forward this order," &c. From this action sprang the General Convention which the editor regards as the first in the record of the government of the State of Vermont. It was indeed a Convention of Town Committees, with the approval of the only government which New York then had, but it will be observed that it ignored the authority of New York, and expressly declared that its action was “in compliance with the orders of Congress," as well as the recommendation of an officer commissioned by Congress. It assumed to be independent of all other states, and its function was that of the other states, giving to the continental army such a contribution as was then most needed from every state-an efficient military force, which was at once employed in an attack upon Canada.
of the continental army, then recently appointed by Congress.
Hiland Hall's Early History of Vermont, pp. 208-212; E. Allen's M88., pp. 151-157.
CONVENTION AT DORSET,
JULY 26, 1775.
[From the Vermont Historical Society Collections, Vol. I.]
At a meeting of the committees of the several townships on the New Hampshire Grants, west of the range of the Green Mountains, convened at the House of Mr. Cephas Kent, innholder, in the township of Dorset, July 26, 1775, voted as follows, viz. :
1st. Chose Mr. Nathan Clark Chairman. 20. Chose John Fassett Clerk.
3d. The motion being made and seconded whether the convention shall prosecute ( proceed) in choosing Field and other Officers, according to the Provincial Congress and Gen. Schuyler's directions, passed in the affirmative.
Then proceeded as follows :
4th. Chose Mr. Seth Warner Lieutenant Colonel for the regiment of Green Mountain Boys by a majority of forty-one to five.
5th. Chose Mr. Samuel Satford Major for said regiment by a majority of twenty-eight to seventeen.
Then proceeded and chose seven Captains and fourteen Lieutenants, by a great majority, viz. : Captains.
First Lieutenants. Second Lieutenants. [1.] Weight[Wait]Hopkins, John Fassett, [Jr.] John Noble, s2.j Oliver Potter,
Ebenezer Allen, James Claghorn, [3.] John Grant,
Barnabas Barnum, John Chipnian, 4.] William Fitch, David Galusha, Nathan Smith, [5.] Gideon Brownson,
Philo Hard, [6.] Micah Vail,
Jesse Sawyer, [7.] Heman Allen, Gideon Warren, Joshua Stanton.
NATHAN CLARK, Chairman.'
'Ethan Allen was a self-nominated candidate against Warner, and was greatly mortified by his defeat. He charged it to “the old farmers," who did “not incline to go to war ;" claimed that he was a favorite with officers in the army and with the young Green Mountain Boys, and relied upon the Continental Congress to give him a commission.
Allen was then in his fortieth year, Warner in his thirty-third ; the selection of the younger of the two heroes was remarkable.—See Early History, pp. 212, 213. Lt. Col. Warner and Major Safford were citizens of Bennington,
A copy of the above was sent to Gen. Schuyler with a letter as follows:
and were each promoted one grade in the continental regiment of 1776. The officers of the first company were also Bennington men. Wait Hopkins afterward became Major, and John Fassett, jr., a prominent man in the state government.
The second company was probably from Poultney and Tinmouth. Ebenezer Allen resided in Poultney at the time of his appointment, but removed soon after to Tinmouth, which he represented in several Conventions, beginning in January, 1776. Ebenezer and Ethan Allen's families were descendants of two brothers, Matthew and Samuel, who came to New England in 1632.--See Vt. Hist. Mag., vol. I, p. 607. Ebenezer was Major of the Rangers and a brave and successful officer. See Early History, p. 452. Feb. 17, 1777, Tinmouth" voted not to raise money towards Seth Warner's regiment.” Having furnished a portion of the men for continental service, it is presumed the town was of opinion that Congress should pay them. Lieut. Claghorn will be found hereinafter as Lt. Col. of Vermont militia.
The third company was probably from Addison, Monkton, Middlebury, and the vicinity. Lieut. Barnum was the first settler of Monkton, and was killed in defending the block-house at Shelburne, March 12, 1778.See Vt. Hist. Mag., vol. I, pp. 65, S60, 878. John Chipman cleared the first land in Middlebury. He was in active military service for most of the time from the spring of 1775 till he was taken prisoner at Fort George in Oct. 1780. He took part in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, was at the taking of St. Johns and Montreal, and in the battles of Hubbardton, Bennington, and Saratoga. Chipman was “ discharged at Montreal,” and was in 1776 again commissioned in Capt. Smith's company, Warner's regiment. He died in Middlebury in Aug. 1829.-See Vt. Hist. Mag., vol. I, pp. 50-51, and Deming's Catalogue, 1851, p. 110. There are several references to “ Capt. Grant," “ Lt. Grant,” and “ Maj. Grant,” but these are not identified as John Grant. One Captain declined service; possibly it was Grant.
The fourth company was probably from Pawlet and Shaftsbury. Capt. Fitch represented Pawlet in most of the Conventions. David Galusha was of Shaftsbury. Nathan Smith was probably of Bridport until 1784, when he settled in Shoreham.-See Swift's Addison County, p. 87; and Vt. Hist. Mag., vol. I, p. 94. IIe was Captain in 1777, and appointed Major of the 5th regiment May 28, 1778. It is stated that “ Major Nathan Smitlu” and Benjamin Vaughan first scaled the enemy's breast-work in Bennington battle; but this was some months before he received the title of “Major."See Goodhue's Shoreham, p. 23.
The fifth company was probably from Sunderland and vicinity. Capt. Brownson of Sunderland served through the war, having been promoted to the rank of Major in the continental service, and afterward General in
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR HONOR :-In compliance with the orders of Congress, as well as your recommendation, I enclose the proceedings of
the Vermont Militia. J.J. Graham said : Gen. Brownson “was a violent politician in the late war; and that as a proof of his valiant conduct, he now (1797] carries in his body eighteen pieces of lead, which he received during that fatal contest.”—Graham's Letters, p. 47. No notice can be found of Lieut. Blakeley. Lieut. Philo Hard, [probably of Arlingto...) seems to have joined the enemy.-See order of the Governor and Council, March, 1778. Gen. Ebenezer Walbridge, of Bennington, was a Lieut. in Brownson's company in March, 1776, Adj't in the battle of Bennington, afterwards Col. of militia in service, and Brigadier General.-See Vt. Hist. Mag., vol. I, p. 172; and Early History, p. 473.
The sixth company seems, from the then residence of the officers, to have been of Danby, Arlington, and Colchester. Capt. Vail represented Danby in several of the Conventions. Of Lieut. Ira Allen's eminent services to the state notice is not needed. Feb. 10, 1778, Jesse Sawyer was appointed Captain in Maj. Benj. Wait's regiment, intended for an expedition to Canada under Gen. Lafayette. May 28 of the same year he was ordered by the Gov. and Council to search for inimical persons in towns north of Arlington.
The seventh company probably consisted in part of men from the northern towns near Onion [Winooski] river, and part from Sunderland and vicinity. It is difficult to locate the residence of Capt. Heman Allen. He was a brother of Ethan, born in Cornwall, Oonn., Oct. 15, 1740, died May 18, 1778, of disease contracted in Bennington batile. He was a member of the Convention of Jan. 16, 1776, and was its agent to present its petition to Congress; a delegate for Middleborough (Middlebury) in the Convention of July 24, 1776 ; a member at large with Col. Seth Warner in the Convention of Sept. 25, 1776 ; a delegate for Rutland in the Convention of Jan. 15, 1777, and for Colchester in the Convention of June 4, 1777. He served with Warner in the Canada expedition of 1775, and in July 1777 was appointed a member of the State Council of Safety.—Ira Allen's Vermont in Vermont Historical Society Collections, vol. 1, p. 369, 388 ; Ethan Allen Mss., close of the index. Lieut. Gideon Warren resided in Sunderland, and was Captain in command of the men who guarded the frontier, Feb. 7, 177€. May 28, 1778, he was appointed Colonel of the 5th regiment of Vermont militia. It appears from a vote of the Gov. and Council of April 30, 1779, that Col. Warren was wounded in the service, and received from Vermont one hundred and twenty pounds, advanced on his claim upon the continental treasury for the allowance made by Congress to wounded officers. Joshua Stanton resided in Colchester, and he is noticed as a prominent and useful man.-See the history of Colchester, in the Vt. Historical Magazine, vol. I, pp. 761-763.