HST 184: 30-May-2005
Reading Notes

Freedom and Unity: A History of Vermont
pp. 145-276

Years of Optimism and Anxiety: 1807-1850

The Price of Statehood: Jefferson's Embargo

Calvinist Congregationalism - the elect, "saints"
Rising after 1780s: Methodists, Universalists, Free-Will Baptists

1783, Vermont version of CT Standing Order: town can tax to erect meeting house and minister

1807: Tichenor out, Israel Smith, Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party in, dump the CT Standing Order

Smith, penal reform: rehabilitation instead of retribution, incarceration is more enlightened, built prison in Windsor

1791: UVM, non-sectarian
1800: Middlebury's Calvinists protest - start own college
1809: steam service, 24 hours from Whitehall to St. John, Canada
1782-1802: Bellows Falls, CT River, locks, canal
1805: Montpelier chosen permanent capitol chosen, 1st meeting 1808

1803: Bonaparte, US neutral, British step up impressing,
June 1807 USS Chesapeake impressment incident, Jefferson responds with embargo
Vermonters ignore it to continue trading with Canada, Black Snake incident, Cyrus Dean hung, outrage against Dem-Repubs, 1808: Smith out, Tichenor in, but nationally VT still voted for Dem-Repub James Madison.
Vermonters who had previously shipped south to NE/NY now ship to Canada

The War of 1812 in the Champlain Valley

War: troops move into Burlington, fortifications built, border inhabitants pull back
Federalists oppose war
Burlington farmers, merchants, millers taverns make a killing supplying troops
Vergennes: iron works for shot,
cotton, flax, wool, glass, factories and distilleries all flourish
But troops also bring pnuemonia epidemic

1813: Chittenden sends troops home saying don't participate in invasion of Canada
meanwhile, smuggling is still good (British/Canadian army has to eat too!)
Captain Zebulon Montgomery Pike is captain of 15th infantry at Burlington

Spring 1814: Captain Thomas McDonnough building ships in anticipation of British invasion
9/11/1814: Battle of Plattsburgh
Christmas: Treaty of Ghent (with Jackson's Battle of New Orleans as added spice)

In the subsequent patriotic fervor, Federalists peaceniks mistrusted
Dem-Repubs in such high repute, party identity recedes: one big happy family

Calamity, the New Commercialism, and the Selective Nature of Growth

1815: Britain floods American market with manufactured goods: Vermont factories can't compete
1816 and froze to death (Mt. Tambora, Indonesia)

1820-1837: steady growth, uneven population growth: some towns lost lots, more marginal areas gained.

10/8/1823: Champlain Canal (before: 40 ships on Lake, after: 200+
western state goes commercial, eastern state not yet

buy wheat, grow corn and hay to feed livestock: sheep
small farmers can grow corn and still hire themselves out during hay season

1824: Kentucky Senator Henry Clay: protective tariff for NE wool (southerners don't like it but what the heck). British can still undersell U.S.
1828: Tariff of Abominations: doubles import duty on wool, prices climb (meanwhile, wheat midge makes a sure crop of wheat even more difficult)

land prices rise - need more for grazing - harder for small farmers

So, if it takes so many years to get a farm, and there are no guarantees, its make more sense to either get into manufactury or leave.

Revivalism and Reform

Second Great Awakening: Methodists - do the method, get to heaven - a much more democratic religion
Even Congregationalists get on board: 'new measures' revivals - pray them into revival in 3-4 day sessions

1835: Rev. Jedediah Burchard comes to Burlington, supported by Middlebury people. UVM resists (Burchard blows it when 2 students are hired to make transcripts, Burchard tries to buy them off, fails - a note-taking scandal!!) Burchard discredited, Middlebury loses students, UVM gains.

1826 American Society for the Promotion of Temperance - Boston
1828 Vermont Temperance Society
run like revivalism: tracts, etc.

At first, against hard liquor. Later, against hard cider: orchards in jeopardy: uphillers withdraw support

Masonry/anti-masonry - downhill/uphill
Mix it with politics: start own party but soon align with Whigs (made up of nat'l Republicans, Federalists, and one-cause 'anti' people)

1819-1820: VT responds to Missouri entry as slave state.
1828: William Lloyd Garrison moves to Beenington to eidt Journal of the Times, a campaign newspaper pro Adams. VT not radical enough - he returns to Boston
VTers lean more toward Liberia approach

1824: Middlebury: Vermont Antislavery Society

1837: Patriotes uprising in Canada, VT offers moral support,
1838: uprising put down but patriotes have seen/liked Burlington and start to move in

1837: depression, price of wool drops, banks close, factories close

Anxiety Replaces Optimism

1830s: on the move: some towns are gainers (esp. commercial towns like Burlington), commercial farm communities are losers

But the gains are often Irish, French-Canadian, etc. Catholic, different

Party/politics picking up: newspapers are highly partisan
Whigs promising to turn depression around, get voted in: they don't do it. No tariffs, wool bottom drops out (is this all familiar-damn uphillers voting for Bush...)


1840s: licensing laws (temperance)
1852: Maine Liquor Law

1827: Board of School Commissioners of Common Schools
plan: standardize textbooks. VTers react - Commission dissolved
1845: Act Relating to Common Schools - follows Horace Mann (Mass. commissioner of education) idea for standards for teachers (and books, too). Set up heirarchy of superintendants. Doesn't quite work. Dumped in 1849.
Actually, an effort to equalize education - rich kids got to private school

1846: VT Historical Society - mostly antiquarian impulse - save the Bennington Battle maps, Ethan Allen, etc.