REVOLUTIONARY WAR

      With Vermont the Revolutionary contest possessed a double interest, and while she lent her aid to redress national grievances, she also maintained a spirited contest on her own account, resolving to secure her independence from New York. The territory treated of in this work, however, has none of the romantic stories and traditions of this period that grace the annals of localities earlier settled. The people of the New Hampshire Grants, as may well be supposed, entered with an especially hearty zeal into this contest. Their schooling had been such as to render them an exceedingly undesirable foe to meet, as a large portion of the settlers had served in the French and Indian war, and during the twelve or fifteen years that had intervened had been almost continuously at strife with New York, and entertained a feeling of deadly hatred against King George and the British Parliament. It is not strange, then, that the "Green Mountain Boys" were soon both feared and respected by their adversaries.

      Washington county took no part in this struggle, as the war ended about the time the first settlement was made within its territory.


[The first settler in the territory now included in Washington county was Thomas Mead, from Massachusetts, in the spring of 1783.]
 
      The names of the Revolutionary soldiers and the part each took in the common cause, who resided here afterward, we have mentioned, so far as known to us, in their respective town sketches.
      The surrender of Cornwallis, at Yorktown, October y, 1781, virtually put an end to all these troubles, and the "Green Mountain Boys" were soon again enjoying the privileges of peace.

WAR OF 1812

      The yoke of the mother country having been thrown off, the American colonies rapidly advanced in material prosperity and wealth. Vermont expanded into a free and independent state, and was finally received into the sisterhood of the Union, March 4, 1791. In the meantime the French nation, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, had arrived at the zenith of military glory, and was giving England great cause for fear and trembling. England, in turn, seeming to forget that her American offspring had arrived at maturity and was able to protect its own institutions, continued her acts of tyranny. Looking upon herself as mistress of the ocean, during her wars with Napoleon, she utterly disregarded the rights of the United States as a neutral nation. Her cruisers would stop and search American vessels, and seize such able-bodied seamen as were needed, on the pretext that they were British subjects. An American frigate, not in a condition to resist, having been subjected to this indignity, almost within sight of an American port, after receiving several broadsides for denying the right of such search, the President issued a proclamation ordering all British ships of war to quit the waters of the United States. Congress also laid an embargo on American vessels, detaining them at home, but afterwards substituted a non-intercourse act, prohibiting trade with Great Britain. All intercourse between this state and the people of Canada was prohibited, without a permit from the governor, under a penalty of $1,000 fine and imprisonment at hard labor in the state penitentiary for a term of seven years.

      Notwithstanding all this, England persisted in her offensive course. All hopes of obtaining concessions on the impressment question from her were at length abandoned. George II., who was still on the throne, had become insane, and the men who had managed affairs were as short-sighted as his advisors had been forty years before, whose folly had provoked the Revolution. Longer submission to their arrogant claims was deemed unworthy of a free nation, and war was therefore formally declared by the United States, June 18, 1812.

      Vermont, thinking that the difficulties of the times required its sentiments to be known by the other states, adopted the following resolution: 


"We therefore pledge ourselves to each other to our government, that with our individual exertions, our examples and influence, we will support our government and country in the present contest, and rely on the Great Arbiter of events for a favorable result."
 
      This resolution Washington county sustained to the letter. Suffice it to say, two years the storm of war raged, after which, the victorious soldiers again returned to their quiet and peaceable avocations.
 
 

Gazetteer Of Washington County, Vt. 1783-1899, 
Compiled and Published by Hamilton Child,
Edited By William Adams.
The Syracuse Journal Company, Printers and Binders.
Syracuse, N. Y.; April, 1889.
Pages 27-29

Transcribed by Karima Allison, 2003