The New International Encyclopædia/Vermont
VERMONT′ (Fr., Green Mountain). A North Atlantic State of the United States, belonging to the New England group. It lies between latitudes 42° 44′ and 45° 3′ north, longitudes 71° 30′ and 73° 25′ west, and is bounded on the north by the Canadian Province of Quebec, on the east by the State of New Hampshire, on the south by Massachusetts, and on the west by New York. The entire eastern boundary is formed by the Connecticut River, and more than half of the western boundary by Lake Champlain, most of the islands in that lake, including Grand and La Motte islands and the peninsula projecting southward from Canada, belonging to Vermont. The State measures 158 miles from north to south, and 41 to 90 miles from east to west. Its area is 9565 square miles, including 430 square miles of water. It ranks thirty-ninth in size among the States.
Topography. The Green Mountains cover practically the whole State, with an irregular mass of rounded hills, peaks, and ridges, so that no portion of any great extent is level. The range enters the State at its southwestern corner and extends northward as a single main range with outlying hills till it reaches the centre of the State, where it divides into several parallel ranges, taking a northeast direction. The general elevation of the surface of the State is between 500 and 1000 feet, though the northwestern portion, along Lake Champlain, sinks to a little over 100 feet above the sea. The crest of the mountain range has a height of over 3000 feet for a considerable distance in the centre of the State, and two peaks rise above 4000 feet, Mount Mansfield, the highest point in the State, having an altitude of 4364 feet.
The Green Mountains form a continuous water-parting between the tributaries of the Connecticut River on the east and those of the Hudson and Lake Champlain on the west. The chief branches of the Connecticut are the West and the White Rivers. Four streams of considerable size enter Lake Champlain, the Missisquoi, Lamoille, Winooski, and Otter, and a fifth, the Poultney, forms part of the State boundary. The Hudson receives two small streams from the southwestern corner of the State, while the Black River in the north flows into Lake Memphremagog, a portion of which extends south of the boundary line. There are no large lakes within the State, but a considerable number of smaller lakes and ponds are scattered among the mountains.
|COPYRIGHT, 1891 AND 1903, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.|
AREA AND POPULATION OF VERMONT BY COUNTIES.
|County Seat.|| Area in
|Caledonia||F 3||St. Johnsbury||652||23,436||24,381|
|Franklin||B 2||Saint Albans||645||29,755||30,198|
|Grand Isle||A 2||North Hero||83||3,843||4,462|
Climate. The climate of Vermont is rigorous, but healthful and bracing. The summers are cool and generally pleasant. The winters are very severe and prolonged, with a heavy snowfall. Lake Champlain is generally frozen during February, though the climate on the lake shore is milder than in the rest of the State. At Burlington the normal mean temperature for January is 18°, and for July 70.4°. At Northfield, in the centre of the State, the mean is 15.5° for January and 66° for July. The maximum rarely exceeds 90°, and is generally about 80°, but has been as high as 98°; the minimum is generally -15°, but in the mountains may fail more than 30° below zero. The average rainfall ranges between 40 inches in the north and south to 33 inches in the west central portion.
Soil and Vegetation. The soil is to a great extent stony and of a poor quality, though in the valleys, and especially in the western lowlands, there is much land that is suitable for cultivation. The hills and valley-slopes, as well as the summits of the mountains, are covered with rich herbage, and there are large forests of pine and hemlock, with spruce and fir on the higher slopes. On the lower lands there are also forests of deciduous trees, the sugar maple being one of the most common trees.
Geology and Minerals. The whole of Vermont is of ancient formation, ranging from the Devonian to the Pro-Cambrian age. The central axis of the Green Mountains is composed of gneiss, flanked for a short distance on the east by a narrow band of Devonian limestone, and on the west by large beds of Cambrian quartz and Old Red sandstone. The rest of the surface rock consists chiefly of Silurian limestone. The uplifting of the mountains occurred at the close of the Lower Silurian period, and the strata have been greatly folded, crushed, and metamorphosed. Evidences of glacial action, such as drift deposits and boulders, are everywhere abundant.
The principal mineral wealth of Vermont is in its rocks, and particularly in the crystalline and other more or less metamorphosed limestones which lie in immense beds along the western base of the mountains, and which furnish a great variety of marble, from white to almost pure black. Granite, slate, and soapstone are also abundant, and the quartz-mica-schists near Lamoille furnish excellent whetstones. Important veins of asbestos are bedded in the serpentine rocks in the north central part of the State. Among metallic ores iron and copper are the most abundant, but lead, manganese, gold, and silver are also found in small quantities.
Mining. Vast stone resources have long constituted an important source of wealth to the State. The marble quarries were the first to be extensively worked. The first quarry in the State was opened in 1785, and now Vermont produces two-thirds of the marble quarried in the United States. Proctor is noted for the largest marble quarry in the world. The marble of this section is said to be whiter and more durable than Carrara marble, which it is rapidly displacing for monumental purposes. More than half of the total product is now used for monuments. The production of marble in 1872 amounted to $2,275,000; the sales then fell until in 1896 they were only $1,101,000. However, they have since revived, and in 1901 amounted in value to $2,753,583. The quarrying of granite ranks next to that of marble in importance. The granite quarries have been developed chiefly since 1880 and the output doubled during the decade 1890-1900. All of the gray varieties of granite, but none of the red, are found, and much of it is of a very superior quality, almost half of the $1,245,828 worth quarried in 1901 being used for ornamental purposes. The largest granite quarries are at Barre. Large quantities of slate are mined in the western part of Rutland County. Some limestone is also mined. Altogether there were, in 1899, over 200 quarries in the State, giving employment to 8000 men and turning out a product valued at $4,600,000; in 1901 the output was valued at $4,700,000. Metal-mining has never been extensive, though small quantities of copper have for a long time been produced.
Agriculture. In 1900 4,724,440 acres, or 80.8 per cent. of the area, were included in farms. The decade 1890-1900 was characterized by a large decrease in the improved land, but a much larger increase in the area of unimproved farm land. The average size of farms in 1900, 142.7 acres, was greater than in any other census year in the last half of the nineteenth century, and greater than for any other State east of the Mississippi River. Over 85 per cent. of the farms are operated by their owners. With the exception of the river valleys and lower hill lands of the State, the land is generally stony and comparatively sterile. Nevertheless, agriculture has always been the leading industry in the State. With the adoption of intensive methods of cultivation the soil is made to produce abundantly, the production of corn per acre being greater than that of any other State. But this is accomplished at great expense, and between 1880 and 1890 a number of farmers were forced to abandon their farms, under the competition of the fertile lands of the West. Farming is more and more adjusting itself with reference to the development of the dairying industry. The State is naturally well adapted for this, and her dairy products are of a superior quality. The acreage of the hay crop is about four times that of all other crops combined. Oats, the most important cereal crop, is decreasing in acreage, while that of corn is increasing. Wheat and rye have declined steadily since 1850, and both have ceased to be important. Potatoes are an important crop, and some barley and buckwheat are raised. The production of maple sugar and syrup in Vermont still receives much attention, and the State annually produces more maple sugar than any other State in the Union, and two-fifths that of the entire country. The production of apples is another important industry, the apple trees in 1900 numbering 1,675,131.
The following table shows the acreage of the leading crops for the census years indicated:
|Hay and forage||1,006,495||.........|
Stock-Raising. As above noted, cattle-raising has become the predominant industry in Vermont agriculture. The number of dairy cows has increased every decade since 1850. The production of milk in 1899—142,042,223 gallons—was 56.6 per cent. greater than in 1889. In 1899 dairy products were sold to the amount of $8,010,429, over half of which was received from sales of milk. In 1850 Vermont had over 1,000,000 head of sheep, but the number has steadily decreased. The horses of Vermont were among the first to win fame on the race-courses of the country, and include the Morgan, Messenger, and Black Hawk stocks. The following table shows the number of domestic animals on farms:
|Mules and asses||356||330|
Forests and Forest Products. In 1900 it was estimated that the woodland area included 3,900 square miles, or 43 per cent. of the total area. A large part of this, however, was second growth, or cut-over land. For many years the lumber industry has been important, considering the small area of the State. Since 1890 there has been a decline (see table below), owing to the practical exhaustion of the white pine. At the same time there was an increase in the value of planing-mill products. Burlington was in 1882 the third largest lumber market in the United States. The marketable timber at present consists mainly of spruce and hemlock. There is a thriving wood-pulp industry, centring largely at Bellows Falls, on the Connecticut River, where it is favored by water power and adjacent forests.
Manufactures. Vermont is the least industrial of the New England States. There has been, however, a significant development of manufactures in recent years. The value of products in 1900, $57,646,715, was 50.4 per cent. greater than in 1890, and the capital invested, $48,547,964, had increased 48.2 per cent. during the same period. In 1900 there were 29,455 persons engaged as wage-earners, or 8.6 per cent. of the total population. The most important group of industries are those which depend upon the forests for their raw materials. The great increase in dairying has been accompanied by a rapid development of the factory production of butter and condensed milk. The superiority of the stone resources of the State has afforded a basis for the manufacture of monuments and tombstones and for the allied marble and stonework industries. Of the other industries, the more important are the manufacture of flour and grist-mill products, foundry and machine-shop products, woolen goods and hosiery, and knit goods. Burlington is the largest manufacturing centre. The following table includes the most important industries for the census years indicated:
|Value of products,|
work and repairing
|Increase, 1890 to 1900||......||20.5||1,312||$10,419,750|
|Per cent. of increase||......||14.5||9.6||43.5|
Commerce. Considerable foreign commerce is carried on with Canada through Burlington, which is the port of entry of the United States customs district of Vermont. The imports and exports of merchandise from this district in 1901 were $12,242,835. The district of Memphremagog, with Newport as its chief port, had an aggregate value of imports and exports for the same year of $5,004,556. This commerce is carried on with Montreal, principally by the way of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River; and by means of canals navigation is also practicable to Albany and New York.
Transportation. The railroads of the State are operated chiefly by the Central Vermont, the Boston and Maine, and the Grand Trunk railroad companies. The total length of roads was nearly stationary during the decade 1890-1900, about 1000 miles, of which 870 are local. Improvement is being made in the public highways, the State having provided a system of State aid and supervision.
Banks. The opposition to banks was so strong in Vermont at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries that there were no banks until 1806. In that year a State bank was established, which was owned and managed by the State. The conditions imposed upon it were so stringent that it had little success, and a law was passed to wind up its affairs in 1812, but the final settlement came only in 1845. In 1817 the first private State bank was chartered, and by 1827 there were ten of them. There was no general banking law, and each was governed by its charter. The act of 1831 introduced a safety fund system for the purpose of guaranteeing the circulation. The fund was made up of payments by the banks to the amount of 4½ per cent. of their capital stock. A 10 per cent. tax on profits was imposed at the same time. In 1842 another act was passed, relieving from this contribution all banks that should execute bonds guaranteeing all their obligations in specie. A free banking act was passed in 1851, allowing note issue only on deposits of reliable State securities. All these measures put the banks on a very sound foundation, and Vermont did not suffer any serious bank calamities. The introduction of the national banking system gradually reduced the number of State banks, and none were known to exist after 1890. There have been savings banks since 1850, and they are popular. Some of them combine the business of a trust company with that of a savings bank. In 1902 there were 48 national banks, with capital, $6,460,000; surplus, $1,515,000; cash, etc., $982,000; deposits, $12,620,000; and loans, $13,301,000. There were 41 mutual savings banks, with 128,529 depositors, and total deposits amounting to $41,987,497.
Government. The capital is Montpelier. The Constitution was adopted by convention July 9, 1793, and amended by conventions in 1823, 1836, 1850, and 1870, and by the people in 1883. Every tenth year after 1880 the Senate may propose amendments to the Constitution. If an amendment receives a two-thirds vote of the Senate, and a majority vote of the House of Representatives, and a majority vote of each House of the next following General Assembly, it shall be submitted to a vote of the people, when a majority vote determines its final acceptance or rejection. The State sends two members to the National House of Representatives.
Suffrage is granted to native or naturalized citizens of the United States who are twenty-one years of age, have resided one year within the State, and are of a ‘quiet and peaceable behavior.’ The registration of voters is required. New ballot laws based on the Australian system were adopted in 1890.
Legislative. The Senate consists of thirty members, apportioned among the counties on the basis of population. The House of Representatives is composed of one delegate from each town (township). General elections are held biennially on the first Tuesday of September of even years, and the sessions of the Legislature convene on the first Wednesday in the following October, and have no time limit. Revenue bills must originate in the House of Representatives. The Legislature may constitute towns, boroughs, cities, and counties.
Judicial. The judiciary of the State consists of a Supreme Court of seven judges, each receiving $3000 salary; of a Chancery Court, which the Supreme Court judges also hold; of a county court in each county; of justices' courts in the several towns; and of probate courts in each probate district. The Supreme Court judges are elected by the Legislature and hold office two years. All others are elected by the people and hold office for one year.
Executive. A Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State, and Auditor of Accounts are elected by the people biennially. Other State officers, whose election is not otherwise provided for, are chosen by joint vote of the two Houses. The veto of the Governor may be overridden by a majority vote of each House.
Finances. The total expenditures of the State during 1791, the first year of its Statehood, were £3219, which were obtained mainly from a general tax on property and partly from sale of public lands. The budget grew slowly, and direct taxation upon property remained the main source of income. In 1841 it brought in $68,000, out of a total budget of $85,000. The Civil War and the expenses resulting from it forced an issue of bonds, amounting in all to $1,650,000. These were very rapidly redeemed, and by 1870 there were only $841,000 of bonds outstanding. By 1880 the total funded debt did not exceed $140,000, almost all of which the treasury owed to its own college fund. In 1881 and 1884 some laws were passed laying special taxes on banks, railroads, other transportation companies, express, telegraph, telephone, and insurance companies. As the income from these sources grew, the State tax became less important. In 1871-75 it amounted to 90 per cent., and at the end of the eighties about 27 per cent. There is a small direct tax laid annually for school purposes and another for highways. For the period 1900-02 direct taxation brought in only 32 per cent. Other sources of income are an inheritance tax, licenses, fees, etc. The satisfactory condition of the State finances was in no small degree due to the fact that there were never undertaken any considerable public improvements. The expenditures were therefore very limited, and in 1901-02 amounted (excluding loans repaid) to $886,079; of this sum $176,334 was the State school and highway taxes redistributed to the towns, leaving for State expenses proper $710,345. The balance in the treasury on June 30, 1902, was $324,969.
Militia. The men of militia age, in 1900, numbered 70,850. The organized militia, in 1901, numbered 776.
Population. The population grew from 85,425 in 1790 to 280,652 in 1830. Since that year the growth has been very slow, the number being, in 1890, 332,422, and in 1900, 343,641. The State ranked twelfth in population in 1790, twenty-first in 1840, and fortieth in 1900. There has been a large influx of foreigners. The foreign-born, in 1900, numbered 44,747, of whom 25,540 were Canadians. Vermont has the smallest percentage of urban population of any of the North Atlantic States. Burlington, the largest city, had, in 1900, 18,640 inhabitants; Rutland, 11,499; and Montpelier, the capital, 6266.
Religion. The early inhabitants were largely of the English ‘Non-Conformist’ or ‘Independent’ type, who became known as Congregationalists, and they have continued the strongest religious sect in the State. Later the Methodists became important. Still later the influx of foreigners brought a strong Catholic element.
Education. Before the population and wealth began to concentrate in towns the old district system afforded uniformity in school conditions; but as a result of this movement there is a great disparity in school advantages. Many rural schools are very small and have short terms. In 1893 there was a change from the district to the town system, and through better transportation facilities some improvement has been made in the rural schools. Under the town system the high schools have improved, and there has been a 50 per cent. increase in the attendance. The average duration of schools has latterly been above 150 days. In 1900 there were 84,720 children between the ages of five and eighteen, of whom 65,964 were enrolled, and 47,020 in average attendance. There were in that year 256 male and 2714 female teachers. The schools derive their main support from local funds and taxes, though some assistance is secured from a State school tax and a State school fund. Of higher institutions the State supports normal schools at Randolph, Johnson, and Castleton, and a State university, including agricultural and medical departments, at Burlington. The Congregationalists maintain a college at Middlebury.
Charitable and Penal Institutions. There is a State insane asylum at Waterbury, and the insane asylum at Brattleboro is aided by the State. The two have more than 800 patients. The State has no institution for the deaf or blind, but cares for them by contract in institutions of other States. The State soldiers' home is located at Bennington. The State prison is at Windsor. Persons convicted of minor offenses are sent to the House of Correction at Rutland. Youthful offenders, both boys and girls, are sent to the industrial home at Vergennes.
History. The first explorer of this region was Champlain (q.v.), who, in 1609, sailed up the lake which bears his name. The country was said to be inhabited by the Iroquois, but this is doubtful. No settlements were made until 1665, when the French built Fort Saint Anne on Isle la Motte. Frequent French incursions were made through ‘the Wilderness’ against New England and New York, and in 1696 seigniories were granted. Massachusetts built Fort Dummer in 1724 on the site of Brattleboro, and in 1728 a trading house was opened here. French forts were built at Chimney Point and Crown Point in 1730-31, and much loss was inflicted on the English settlers by roving bands who used these posts as headquarters. English blockhouses were built and many battles were fought after 1744. The French abandoned all posts in 1757 except Isle aux Noix, and this was taken the next year. In 1732 Colonel John Henry Lydius bought of the Mohawks a tract of land corresponding nearly to the present counties of Addison and Rutland, and this purchase was confirmed by Governor Shirley, of Massachusetts, in 1744. New Hampshire claimed the territory to a line drawn 20 miles east of the Hudson River, i.e. as far as the border of the Massachusetts territory, and after 1749 Governor Wentworth, of New Hampshire, made lavish grants, and small settlements sprang up everywhere. New York, though she had acquiesced in the Massachusetts boundary, claimed this territory to the Connecticut River. Proclamations and counter-proclamations were issued, but in 1764 a royal order was issued declaring the Connecticut the boundary between New Hampshire and New York. The New York Government considered this to mean that the ‘New Hampshire Grants’ were annulled, and ordered the settlers to repurchase from New York. This was generally refused, and the settlers secured, in 1767, another royal order forbidding the granting of disputed lands until further instructions. New York continued, however, to grant the lands not previously sold. A convention of settlers was held at Bennington and they determined to resist by force any processes of the New York courts. The grand jury at Albany in 1770 indicted some of them as rioters, and several were arrested in 1771. Committees of safety were organized in the several towns, and it was decreed that no New York officer should take any one out of the district without consent of the committee. To enforce these rules the ‘Green Mountain Boys’ were organized under Ethan Allen (q.v.) and others, and they prepared to resist a reported expedition under Governor Tryon, who, however, ordered all prosecutions stopped until the matter might be submitted to the King. Nevertheless some grantees were dispossessed. The New York Assembly offered a reward of £100 for Ethan Allen or Remember Baker in 1774, but to no effect. At Westminster in the east a contest between a sheriff's posse and citizens resulted in the ‘Westminster Massacre’ on March 13, 1775. In April a convention met there and proclaimed the territory independent of New York, but declared itself willing to await the King's pleasure as to whether it should become a separate province or be annexed to some other province.
During the Revolution the colonists waged practically a separate war against the British and Indians. The capture of Ticonderoga, May 10, 1775, was almost entirely the work of the ‘Green Mountain Boys.’ In January, 1776, a convention at Dorset sent a commission to Congress, which, however, would not consider the proposition of making a new State. On January 15, 1777, another convention met at Westminster, and declared the territory an independent State with the name New Connecticut, and asked for admission. The present name was substituted in June, at the advice of Dr. Thomas Young, of Philadelphia, and a constitution similar to that of Pennsylvania was adopted, but with a clause prohibiting shivery. The government went into effect March 12, 1778, and sixteen towns east of the Connecticut River were united to the State in June, but the union was dissolved the next year, because of the resentment of New Hampshire, which now began to press its claim to the territory. New York also renewed its claims. No action was taken by Congress, and in retaliation Vermont extended its jurisdiction over the New Hampshire towns and over New York east of the Hudson, but, owing to the advice of Washington, the claim was given up February 22, 1781. After the close of the Revolution a gradual change in feeling took place in New York, and on July 15, 1789, a commission to treat with Vermont was appointed. In October, 1790, it was agreed that New York should cease opposition to the admission of Vermont to the Union on payment of $30,000 for disputed land claims. This was soon paid, and the State became a member of the Union March 4, 1791, the first State admitted under the Constitution.
The State was more democratic from the beginning than any other of the New England States. There were no rich and no aristocracy. The capital was laid out at Montpelier, the geographical centre of the State, in 1808. The University of Vermont was incorporated in 1791 and the first class graduated in 1804. There was considerable emigration after 1825, but there has been a gradual settlement of French Canadians to replace those departing. The State furnished more than its quota during the Civil War. Some Southern sympathizers from Canada invaded the town of Saint Albans in October, 1864, and this was made a point in the Geneva Arbitration. The Fenian operations against Canada, in 1866 and 1870, had their base in this town. The State adopted a prohibitory amendment to the Constitution in 1852, but abandoned the policy of prohibition in 1902, when the voters of the State declared for high license. This measure, amounting to local option regulation, became law in 1903.
In 1792, 1796, and 1800, the State was carried for Federalist electors, but was Democratic-Republican thereafter to 1824. In that year, and again in 1828, the Adams Republicans were successful. In 1832 the vote was cast for the Anti-Masonic candidate. After that time it was steadfastly Whig to 1852, and has been Republican, by large majorities, ever since.
|Governors of Vermont|
|BEFORE ADMISSION TO THE UNION|
|Cornelius P. Van Ness||““||1823-26|
|Ezra Butler||Adams Republican||1826-28|
|Samuel C. Crafts||““||1828-31|
|William A. Palmer||Fusion||1831-35|
|Silas A. Jenison||Whig||1835-41|
|Charles K. Williams||“||1850-52|
|John S. Robinson||“||1853-54|
|John G. Smith||“||1863-65|
|John B. Page||“||1867-69|
|Peter T. Washburn||“||1869-70|
|John W. Stewart||“||1870-72|
|John L. Barstow||“||1882-84|
|Samuel E. Pingree||“||1884-86|
|E. J. Ormsbee||“||1886-88|
|W. P. Dillingham||“||1888-90|
|Carroll S. Page||“||1890-92|
|Levi K. Fuller||“||1892-94|
|Urban A. Woodbury||“||1894-96|
|Edward C. Smith||“||1898-1900|
|William W. Stickney||“||1900-02|
|J. G. McCullough||“||1902 —|
Bibliography. Gilman, Bibliography of Vermont (Burlington, 1891); Perkins, Archæology of Vermont (Philadelphia, 1881); Williams, Natural and Civil History of Vermont (2d ed., 2 vols., Burlington, 1809); Allen, Natural and Political History of Vermont (London, 1798); Robinson, Vermont, in American Commonwealth Series (Boston, 1892).