The Fourteenth State

Act of Congress document declaring Vermont a state. Signed by Thomas Jefferson.

It was not a certainty in 1777 that Vermont would become the fourteenth state in the Union. America was still at war and victory wasn’t assured. New York, an important part of the American effort, wasn’t going to give up title to the Grants without a fight. Vermont didn’t improve its chances of acceptance when it began negotiating with Great Britain to become part of greater Canada. The American Congress was suspicious of the new republic and became even more frustrated when Vermont tried to annex more lands—this time from New Hampshire.

Negotiations continued through the 1780s. Finally in 1790 New York and Vermont settled their long-standing differences over the Grants. In January 1791 Vermont delegates met in Bennington and ratified the U.S. Constitution. On March 4, 1791, Vermont was accepted into the United States of America, as the fourteenth state.

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