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Benjamin V


When Royal Grants were made for New Hampshire & New York, they were made by two different Kings. They overlapped. New York claimed to the Connecticut River & New Hampshire claimed to within 10 miles of the Hudson River. Before 1767-8 New Hampshire made a lot of land grants to settlers. Finally the King that was in power ruled that the New York claim was right. New York promptly created two New York counties there, Cumberland to the south & Gloucester to the north, & set up New York government in the towns. They also granted land to the settlers without regard to the New Hampshire people then living on land granted by New Hampshire. The fight became quite bitter by 1775. People living there that cared not for either New Hampshire or New York organized the "Green Mountain Boys". Among these were the ALLEN boys - Ethan, Ira, Heman (sic) & Levi. In 1776 the people asked the Continental Congress to admit Vermont as a State - & were refused. They promptly declared Vermont as an independent sovereign nation & remained so for 10 years until they were admitted to the Union.

Now, BENJAMIN-5 had fought with Sir William Johnson against Indians in the Mohawk Valley in New York in 1760-63. He was commissioned a Captain in the New York Militia. He was also a lawyer & was made an Associate Justice in the Court of Common Pleas & Court of General Sessions in "Cumberland County, NY". This court sat in Westminster, Vermont, near Brattleboro. BENJAMIN-5 also became prominent in town affairs in Brattleboro. His loyalty was to the New York government and Militia, to whom he owed his position, not to the English government in England.

About 1775, the Green Mountain Boys sent a company to Brattleboro & Westminster to "clean out that New York crowd & that nest of Tories." There was a big confrontation in Westminster with CAPTAIN BENJAMIN as leader, holding the courthouse, with his son, SGT. BENJAMIN, in charge of what men he could gather. A lot of shouting, a little shooting, and Capt Benjamin took a pistol ball up his coat sleeve without its entering his arm. He & his men were arrested, taken to Greenfield, Massachusetts to jail, tried, fined 40 (pound & let go, but the New York government of Vermont was broken. CAPT BENJAMIN went back to Brattleboro, still a lawyer, still very influential, but not in charge. He eventually was sent to the Vermont Legislature as a representative.

Copyright 2006 T. Risinger

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