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Monday, July 08, 2013

When Vermont Became A Republic

What a fun time to write a constitution!

William Marsh, James Mead, Ira Allen, and Captain Salisbury, were appointed a Committee to wait on the Commander of Tieondaroga Fort, and consult with him respecting the regulations and defence of the frontiers, then adjourned to the 4th of July, 1777, to meet at the same place. While the Committee was at Ticondaroga, General Burgoyne, with his army, appeared on the lake, and resting at Crown Point, he sent a scout of about 300, mostly Indians, to land at the mouth of Otter Creek, to annoy the frontiers of the State.

General Poor refused to allow any troops to the Committee for the defence of the frontiers, but allowed Colonel Warner to go with the Committee, who soon raised men sufficient to repel the assailants. All who were members of the Convention left the militia, and repaired to Windsor on July 4th, 1777.

A draft of a constitution was laid before the Convention, and read. The business being new, and of great consequence, required serious deliberation. The Convention had it under consideration when the news of the evacuation of Tieondaroga arrived, which alarmed them very much, as thereby the frontiers of the State were exposed to the inroads of an enemy. The family of the President of the Convention, as well as those of many other members, were exposed to the foe.

In this awful crisis the Convention was for leaving Windsor, but a severe thunder-storm came on, and gave them time to reflect, while other members, less alarmed atthe news, called the attention of the whole to finish the Constitution, which was then reading paragraph by paragraph for the last time. This was done, and the Convention then appointed a Council of Safety to act during the recess, and the Convention adjourned.

The Council of Safety proceeded to Manchester and on their arrival found that to be Colonel Warner’s head quarters, and that he had only part of his regiment with him, which was raised in Vermont. That Colonels Warner and Francis had brought up the rear of the army in the retreat from Ticondaroga, and were overtaken at Hubbardton by a party of the enemy, where a severe skirmish took place, and just as the enemy began to give way, Colonel Francis ordered a retreat of part of his regiment, to take a more advantageous position; his orders were mistook, and the retreat was general; this encouraged the enemy, and Colonel Francis, in endeavouring to stop the retreat and confusion of his regiment, was killed ; thus the enemy gained a battle, which a few moments before had been given over as a defeat.

The loss in killed and wounded was considerable on both sides ; in this dispute Colonel Warner’s regiment suffered severely. Thus, in a few days, the inhabitants, for near a hundred miles on the west side of the Green Mountains, were left without protection by the American army. General Redhasle, with his Hessian troops, pushed on from Skeensborough to Castleton, where some of the inhabitants took protection under him, while others fled with their families, flocks and herds. The roads were, as well as the country, a scene of confusion ; the inhabitants retiring southward, the army took a circuitous course more toward the west, and rendevouzed at Saratoga.

Thunderstorms are expected today, as well.  No new constitution in the forecast, however.

And yes, Vermont was most certainly a republic


July 8, 2013 in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink


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