Vergennes, Vermont

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Vergennes (pronounced /vərˈdʒɛnz/) is a city located in the northwest quadrant of Addison County, Vermont, in the United States. Bordered by the towns of Ferrisburgh, Panton and Waltham, as of the 2000 census the city population was 2,741. It is the smallest of Vermont's nine cities in terms of population (though the city of Winooski covers a smaller area).

Contents

History

Vergennes, first settled in 1766 by Donald MacIntosh, was established in 1788,[1] the only one of Vermont's cities not to have been first chartered as a town or independent village. Instead, portions of the pre-existing towns of New Haven, Panton and Ferrisburg where they intersected at the Otter Creek Falls were drawn off to create Vergennes.[1] It is the smallest city (by population) in Vermont.

The city is named for Charles Gravier, Comte de Vergennes.[4] Reluctant to openly do anything that might involve her in another war with England, France agreed to aid the colonists in their revolution behind the scenes, due mainly to the efforts of Benjamin Franklin. As directed by Louis XVI, Gravier established a dummy company through which the Americans received nearly 80% of their military supplies. It was also Gravier who negotiated the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which formally brought the Revolutionary War to a close.

Here, Thomas MacDonough built and armed the fleet that would defeat the British on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812. The Monkton Iron Company (which was at the time the largest iron works in the colonies) manufactured the fittings for MacDonough's fleet, as well as most of the cannon shot used by the army in the north. The ore used was mined in nearby Monkton.

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