3.1 Declaration of Independence

Caption: The Courthouse at Westminster (also the site of the massacre) where independence was declared. (Vermont Historical Society)

The declaration of independence was signed on January 15th, 1777 at the Courthouse in Westminster, New Hampshire Grants [1].  The four delegates that came together to sign the document were Jonas Fay, Thomas Chittenden, Heman Allen, and Ruben Jones, all important figures in Grants [1]. The ultimate goal was to give inhabitants of the New Hampshire grants the ability to form themselves into a separate and independent  state or government [1].  Prior to this declaration, there was a long history of harassment of Grant settlers. New York rejected evidence presented by Allen and other Grant settlers for validation of their land claims. Followed by confrontations starting in 1770 in Bennington and peaking in the Westminster Massacre of 1775. The declaration stated to New York, Vermonters had had enough. Vermonters wanted security for their property rights and independence seemed to be the only way.

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  1. The Second Vermont Republic: The Green Mountain Self-Determination Movement. http://vermontrepublic.org/vermonts-declaration-of-independence-1777/ 

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