People have lived in the area that is today the state of Vermont for thousands of years. Prior to the Europeans arriving, the land was inhabited by the Abinaki people. The Abinaki spoke the Algonquian language and included the Micmac and the Pennacook Native American tribes.
Sugar Maple Trees by Tim McCabe
In 1609, French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in Vermont and claimed the land for France. Champlain helped the local Abinaki Indians fight off the Iroquois by giving them guns. French settlers arrived mostly to trade for beaver furs which were popular in France.
The first European settlement in Vermont was Fort St. Anne, which was built by the French in 1666 to protect the fur trading routes.
French and Indian War
The British arrived in 1724 and established their own settlement in Vermont called Fort Dummer. The fort was mostly built to protect Massachusetts from raiding Indians and French. Eventually, the British and the French went to war in 1754. This war was called the French and Indian War. Both sides allied with different Indian tribes throughout the East Coast of North America. The war ended with the British winning in 1763. Britain now had control of Vermont.
When the American Revolution began, the people in Vermont joined because they wanted their independence. In 1775, Ethan Allen led a group of Vermont settlers called the Green Mountain Boys in capturing the British Fort Ticonderoga. This was an important early victory for the colonists.
During the war, in 1777, Vermont declared itself an independent republic. At first it was called New Connecticut, but they later changed the name to Vermont. They created their own constitution, postal service, money, and government.
Ethan Allen capturing Fort Ticonderoga
by Heppenheimer & Maurer
Becoming a State
After the war, the new country of the United States had issues with the independent country of Vermont. People from both New York and New Hampshire had claims on land in Vermont. Some people in the U.S. actually wanted to invade Vermont. In 1790, Vermont agreed to pay a $30,000 fine in order to settle the dispute. A year later, in 1791, Vermont joined the United States as the fourteenth state.
- 1609 - Samuel de Champlain explores Vermont and claims the land for France.
- 1666 - The French build Fort St. Anne, the first European settlement, on an island in Lake Champlain.
- 1724 - The English build Fort Dummer in Vermont to protect the colonists in Massachusetts.
- 1754 - The French and Indian War begins.
- 1763 - The British win the French and Indian War and take control of Vermont.
- 1775 - Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys capture Fort Ticonderoga.
- 1777 - Vermont declares itself an independent republic.
- 1787 - Montpelier is established by Colonel Jacob Davis and General Parley Davis.
- 1790 - Vermont settles its land disputes with New York and New Hampshire.
- 1791 - The U.S. Congress admits Vermont as the 14th state.
- 1805 - The state capital is moved to Montpelier from Windsor.
- 1881 - Chester A. Arthur becomes the 21st President of the United States.
- 1823 - Calvin Coolidge becomes the 30th President of the United States.
History >> US Geography >> US State History