Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Vermont
VERMONT, a State in the North Atlantic Division of the North American Union; bounded by Quebec, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New York; admitted to the Union, March 4, 1791; number of counties, 14; capital, Montpelier; area, 9,564 square miles; pop. (1890) 332,422; (1900) 343,641; (1910) 355,956; (1920) 352,428.
Topography.—The surface of the State is mountainous, being traversed from N. to S. by the Green Mountains, which culminate in Mansfield Mountain in the N. W. with an altitude of 4,300 feet. The State is drained in the E. by the affluents of the Connecticut river, which forms its entire E. boundary line, and in the W. by those rivers entering Lake Champlain, which forms over one-half its W. boundary. The principal rivers are the Passumpsic, Wells, White, Black, West, and Deerfield, flowing into the Connecticut; and Otter Creek, Winooski, Lamoille, and Missisquoi emptying into Lake Champlain. Lake Memphremagog on the Canadian border receives the Clyde and several other small streams. The rivers are not navigable, but afford excellent water power. There are numerous small lakes, the principal ones being Willoughby, Maidstone, Seymour, Dunmore, Austin, and Bombazine. Several large islands in Lakes Champlain and Memphremagog belong to the State, North and South Hero, Isle la Motte, and the peninsula of Alburg, with the former, constituting Grand Isle county.
Geology and Mineralogy.—The principal geological formations are of Azoic and Silurian origin, the entire State being covered with glacial drift. Laurentian deposits occur in the S. W., and Lower Silurian and Primordial rocks occur along Lake Champlain. Old sea beaches, lake and river terraces, and terminal moraines abound in fossils, and make geological research exceedingly interesting. The State is famous for its marbles. They occur in many localities, especially in Bennington and Rutland counties, and are found in many colors. Iron, silver, gold, galena, and zinc occur in small deposits, and other mineral products are amethysts, feldspar, mica, chalcedony, jasper, garnets, tourmaline, and asbestos. The product of the granite quarries is over $5,000,000 annually, slate over $1,000,000, and talc about $500,000. The metal production is of little importance.
Agriculture.—Vermont is a farming State and produces all the cereals, but stock raising and dairy farming are the principal agricultural industries. It is especially noted for its production of maple sugar. The acreage, value and production of the principal crops in 1919 was as follows: corn, 40,000 acres, production 2,120,000 bushels, value $3,710,000; oats, 110,000 acres, production 3,960,000 bushels, value $3,564,000; hay, 910,000 acres, production 1,456,000 tons, value $29,266,000; potatoes, 25,000 acres, production 3,125,000 bushels, value $4,906,000.
Manufactures.—The extensive water power, timber land, and stone quarries of Vermont give it a prominent place among manufacturing States. There were in 1914, 1,772 manufacturing establishments, employing 32,704 wage earners. The capital invested amounted to $79,847,000; the amount paid in wages was $18,617,000; value of materials was $42,706,000; and the value of the finished product $76,991,000. The principal articles of manufacture are lumber and timber, dairying products, marble and granite tombstones and monuments, paper and wood pulp, flour and grist, woolen goods, hosiery and knit goods.
Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 48 National banks in operation, having $4,935,000 in capital, $4,220,000 in outstanding circulation, and $9,341,000 in United States bonds. There were also 20 mutual savings banks with $110,241,000 savings deposits.
Education.—School attendance is compulsory for children from 6 to 15 years. No children under 16 who have not completed a nine year school course may be employed in railways, factories, mines, or quarries. There were in 1919, 61,059 enrolled pupils in the schools, which numbered 2,472. There were 3,023 teachers. The State has two normal schools. The institutions for higher education are the University of Vermont, Middlebury College, and Norwich University.
Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Congregational; Methodist Episcopal; Regular Baptist, North; Presbyterian; Protestant Episcopal; Universalist; Freewill Baptist; and Spiritualist.
Finances.—The total receipts for the fiscal year 1919, amounted to $4,221,582, and the disbursements to $4,795,598. There was a balance at the end of the year of $507,715. The bonded indebtedness of the State in that year was $741,531.
Railways.—The total railway mileage in 1919 was 1,080. The chief lines are the Boston & Maine, the Central Vermont, and the Rutland railroads.
Charities and Corrections.—The institutions under the supervision of the State Board of Charities and Probations include the State Prison at Windsor; House of Correction at Rutland; Industrial School at Vergennes; Soldiers' Home at Bennington; School for Feeble-minded; Hospital for the Insane at Waterbury; Sanatorium at Pittsford. There are ten hospitals under the control of the State.
State Government.—The Governor is elected for a term of two years and receives a salary of $3,000 per annum. Legislative sessions are held biennially and are unlimited in length. The Legislature has 30 members in the Senate and 246 in the House, each of whom receives $3.00 per day and mileage. There are 2 Representatives in Congress.
History.—The first settlement by whites was made in 1724 on the site of the present town of Brattleboro. Immigration began to pour in in 1760-1768, during which period the soil had been claimed as part of the New Hampshire grant; whereupon, a counter claim was put forth by the governor of New York, under virtue of the grants from Charles II. to his brother, the Duke of York. On an appeal to the English crown, jurisdiction over the new territory was decided in favor of New York. This was the precursor of an armed strife which continued for 10 years between the New York authorities and the Vermont settlers under the leadership of Ethan Allen and others. This state of things was partially interrupted by the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. In 1777 Vermont declared her independence, and sought admission into the National Confederation. Difficulties intervened, however, and it was not till 1791 that she was admitted into the Union; having previously bought off the claims of New York with the sum of $30,000. Though not at the time a member of the confederated colonies, Vermont had played a distinguished part in the war of independence, and her “Green Mountain Boys” participated in some of the hardest fought battles of the war. In the War of 1812, the Vermonters added fresh laurels to their military record. During the Civil War Vermont furnished more than her quota of men, sending more than one-tenth of the whole population.