Wednesday, 15 January 2020

res publica

On this day in 1777 delegates from twenty-eight settlements convened in a town called Winsor to declare their independence from disputed and competing territorial claims by colonial Quebec and the breakaway states of New York and New Hampshire and established the Republic of Vermont.
Though it was eventually admitted into the Union in 1791 as the fourteenth state after the original thirteen colonies, in the intervening years, it was a fully-formed and constituted government with a postal system, a militia (Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys—from les verts monts), flag, anthem, legal system (which abolished slavery), credentialed diplomats and currency, the coinage called Vermont coppers. Coins struck after the British surrender when it seemed more guaranteed that the US would be a stable political entity bore the motto on their observe Stella quarta decima—meaning the fourteenth star and signaling the republic’s aspiration to join them. It was not until 2015 that the state dictum officially became “Stella quarta decima fulgeat,” secondary after the “Freedom and Unity” of the state seal.