Skip to main content

tv   American History TV Visits Burlington Vermont  CSPAN  November 19, 2017 2:00pm-3:26pm EST

2:00 pm
african court. thus one arm of the axis did not know where the supply lines that would be shortened by winning the control of the mediterranean. it would >> watch the entire film sunday at 4:00 p.m. eastern on railamerica, here on american history tv. only on c-span3. >> america's first great lake when it comes to historic significance, lake champlain is a 120 mile long water superhighway that cuts between the green mountains of vermont and the adirondacks of new york. it has served as a corridor for today it conflict, and is really a great place for recreation.
2:01 pm
>> ethan allen was one of vermont's founding fathers. he was the first colonel commandant of the original green mountain boys, and the green mountain boys were at one time the largest paramilitary force in north america, if not for the actions of ethan allen, and the other green mountain boys, vermont may very well have looked different than it does today. announcer: welcome to burlington, vermont on american history tv. located on lake champlain, about 45 minutes south of the canadian border. it is home to the university of vermont, and it is the state's most popular city with about 42,000 residents. our comcastp of cable partners, over the next 75 minutes, we will explore the city and region. we begin on the waters of lake champlain. to hear how important it was to the city's origins.
2:02 pm
>> welcome to lake champlain. we are out here today on the spirit of ethan allen interiors. -- great opportunity to tip to talk about america's first great lake when it comes to historic significance. lake champlain is a 120 mile long water superhighway that cuts between the green mountains of vermont and the adirondacks of new york. the lake itself covers 490 square miles. theall of human history in champlain valley, it has served as a corridor for commerce, conflict, and today it is really a great place for recreation. the lake is called lake champlain because a french a french-- because of explorer. here been invited on a tour from
2:03 pm
his native american allies from the florence river valley. upon their journey south along this 120 mile long lake, they encountered the iroquois. the iroquois and champlain's allies were rivals for the control of this trade route and a skirmish broke out. champlain and a couple of his fellow frenchman had firearms, and as a result, the french and their allies from the north won the skirmish. champlain modified the lake after himself. a new region of new france and what is now called the champlain valley and set off a protected period of conflict between the british who were moving north up from the atlantic seaboard and the french who were expanding their territory outward from the st. lawrence river. in the lowerch
2:04 pm
champlain valley, this began to set off alarm bells with the british. it set off a protracted period of conflict or colonial wars between new france and new england that would ultimately culminate with the french and indian war. british french and the would build some of their most expensive fortifications in the champlain valley during this time. and during the american revolution, lake champlain would become a key point in the northern part of a war, starting in may of 1775 when ethan allen, benedict arnold, and the green mountain boys would capture the british fortress of ticonderoga. ofs, depriving great britain its dues of lake champlain as a communication, resupply, and reinforcement corridor between new york city and their northern
2:05 pm
capital at quebec city. the capture of ticonderoga set arms race between the british and the american forces as of the british and the american forces built naval fleets. the americans built theirs at whitehall, new york. the british built theirs up on the richelieu river, the river that lake champlain flows into into the north. ultimately, these two fleets would clash at the battle of alcor island on the pretense of 1776. where benedict arnold's u.s. navy fleet gave the british all they could handle on that first day of what would turn out to be a three-day running gunbattle down the leak -- the lake. ultimately, arnold's fleet would either be sunk, surrender, or scuttled as he made his way back down toward the protection of the guns at crown port -- point
2:06 pm
in ticonderoga. the spirit of the mission was successful as the commander of towardce got ticonderoga, took a look at the american defenses there, and decided being so late in the season in the northeast with winter coming on coming he did not want to get involved in a protracted siege of ticonderoga. so he turned his invasion force around and return to canada. this would result in him being replaced with the flamboyant gentleman johnny burgoyne, the british general who would come back down lake champlain in the summer of 1777, ultimately pressed through the american defenses at mount independence, and for tech on a rocha, and reach of the lake where his soldiers began the long march to saratoga. into anoga, they ran ever growing american army who
2:07 pm
had been roused to action by the invasion of this large british invasion force. almost a year to the day after the battle of al gore in the year of 1777, the invasion force surrendered to american general for ratio gates. even though at the battle of saratoga, it was arnold, the same guy who had help capturing ticonderoga, the same guy who led the naval defense of lake champlain, a was his heroic on the battlefield that turned the tide for the american forces. of battle of sarah coat -- saratoga is important because that is the battle they gave the french confidence to back the americans in their bid for independence. the invasion of lake champlain marked the last major action on the lake during the american revolution when the revolution to expandmerce began in the champlain valley. all of that commerce going north into british canada.
2:08 pm
lake champlain flows into the wish leo, which flows into the st. lawrence, giving markets from the champlain valley easy access to those large markets of montreal and quebec city and access to foreign goods coming in through the port at quebec. in the case of the war of 1812, the british early on secured control of the lake as a result order to protect the town of burlington. the united states army under the command of lieutenant sylvester churchill built a gun battery on the bluffs overlooking burlington harbor. the british navy had free reign on the lake, october 2 of 1813. they came into burlington bay with the intent of burning the city to the ground. or the town as it was at that point. and were repelled by the american guns of the battery in gunboats thatore have been built for the defense
2:09 pm
of the lake. done -- there was an established industrial area. it was not until late in the summer of 1814 at the american fleet was ready to sail. when it was ready, it went immediately north on the lake to engage with a british invasion force that was being assembled on the richly a river. river.lieu unlike the battle of alcorn which took place on the north -- on the new york side, the battle of lake champlain took place north of alcorn in cumberland day. the american fleet got there first. commodore thomas mcdonough and, the american commander, was able to arrange his ships in a line of battle and awaited the arrival of the british invasion oh -- invasion fleet.
2:10 pm
on september 11 of 1814 and tax into cumberland bay and engaged the american line. the battle was her rent a sleep bloody -- was horrendously bloody. won thehe americans who day. this was in part due to mcdonough ends practices where he was able to rotate his boats by using their anchors, where he could bring a fresh side of guns to bear on a battered british fleet. the british flagship, the compliance with strike their colors, indicating the british fleet had surrendered. it is important to remember a british army was launching a land defensive against the american land forces in flux bird. when the british commander on naval partner strike their colors, he, too, ordered a withdrawal.
2:11 pm
this battle of plattsburgh, the battle of like champagne, was -- was theat'll flat last battle fought that would end the war of 1812. with hostilities ended in the champlain valley, people began to return to thoughts of commerce. as a result, commerce began to explode along the shores of lake champlain. stating down here on the burlington waterfront, we are really at the epicenter of burlington's commercial history. when lieutenant sylvester ,hurchill held the top battery he was looking over an expansive bay but very little land below him. as commerce grew in perth -- in burlington, as did the waterfront.
2:12 pm
essentially incubator spaces for as the accesses here to the lake verrilli was access to the outside world. this was the place to be if you were someone who was looking to develop any kind of new industry. burlington's waterfront industrial sites blossomed throughout the 1800s. one of the biggest generators of economic growth in burlington was lumbar. by 1873, burlington was the third-largest timber pour in the united states. much of that timber being floated down from british canada and being milled here in burlington. or made into anything from blinds to boxes. all of that would be loaded onto canal boats and head somewhere else. to beld be remiss standing here and not talk about the steamships of lake champlain. the second steamships for commercial service in the united states was built just south of
2:13 pm
where we are standing now. the steamer vermont was launched in 1809. after the first boat claremont on the hudson to maintain a regular commercial service for passengers traveling from the south end of lake champlain to st. john in key back on a weekly -- in quebec on a weekly trip. you had boats the size of ticonderoga down at the museum bringing passengers and freight from one place to another. the workforces of the commercial era were the canal boats. whether they were the sailing canal boats, up through the mid-1860's, or the standard canal boats or barges that would be towed around by steam tags from one end of the lake to the other. ultimately, it was the arrival of the railroad in the 1850's , or would create the end the beginning of the end, for
2:14 pm
the commercial shipping industry on lake champlain. one of the greatest cultural resources that lake champlain has to offer in terms of maritime history are the shipwrecks on the bottom of the lake to we have over 300 documented shipwrecks on the bottom of lake champlain. lakeall of the eras of champlain history. native american times, this era of conflict between the french and british, the americans in the british, but the bulk of the shipwrecks are commercial vessels. andr the war of 1812 ended, commerce exploded, it was fueled by commercial shipping on the lake. the champlain canal opened, connecting the south end of lake champlain with the hudson river. two years later, the erie canal opened, opening the floodgates to commerce using these inland commercial waterways. the real work force of lake champlain commerce were canal boats. during the early canal era, lake champlain had really interesting canal boats that we call today
2:15 pm
sailing canal schooners. burlington harbor has two shipwrecks that are well preserved. the wreck of the oj walker and the general butler. during the late 1800s, during their last voyage, they were both carrying very heavy cargo. lake champlain's underwater preserve system, we have the to open these shipwrecks up for scuba divers. scuba divers can tie onto the yellow marker buoy, and follow the guidelines down to the concrete block and follow a line to the wreck where they can get a sense of the size of the vessel and to their design. they started a multi-year full-size create a replica of one of the sailing canals scooters. it is -- schooners.
2:16 pm
the oj walker which is sunk out in the middle of burlington bay. exhaustive study by the maritime museum archaeologists and historians and ship rates the schooner which is now an ambassador of lake champlain history, traveling each summer along the inland trade route that lake boat from lake champlain would have trouble during the commercial era. burlington really mirrors this change over time that you can see from the air, from the lake, from the land. is constantly repurpose inc.. in the mid-1800s, they were adding land to create economic growth. the railroads came in the burlington waterfront transitioned from docs to rail yards. during the 1980's, the
2:17 pm
burlington waterfront from railroad to recreational areas. thanks do to then burlington mayor bernie sanders who was instrumental in reclaiming what was an industrial railroad yard and creating what is now burlington's waterfront park which hosts festivals throughout the year. then there is the burlington bikeway, that takes the old commercial railroad line and it has been completely renovated to bring world-class lakeside cycling for tourists and residents. the story of burlington can be told by looking at the burlington waterfront. >> burlington is unique -- is as unique as vermont. is reallycity that attractive to young people. what we are seeing is this is the center of the vermont economy.
2:18 pm
what has happened recently is a lot of new businesses have come in, ben & jerry's, we have artisan cheeses who have a big present -- presence. we have some of the finest craft brewery. has a bright future. but is so important to us in vermont because our state is largely world. rural.argely rural america is a challenge. the strength we have in burlington helps us in vermont to build our rural communities. two major parts of ferment history to affect the whole state and burlington are our agricultural tradition and town meetings. there has been an enormous sense of citizen participation and activism ever since the founding of the republic of vermont. had -- the agricultural tradition, where our farmers have had the view that if we
2:19 pm
take care of the land, the land will take care of us. even though far -- even though the farms are in decline, it is not like it used to be. that ethics of being an environmental steward that we has been important to the state of vermont. and our tradition of town meeting where we talk about everything from weather to get a new school bus or firetruck to sometimes having a nuclear freeze initiatives on the ballot. that citizen participation has been very important to vermont. >> vermont has always had two things. one, there has been a fiscal conservatism here. we pay our bills. with our state, we do not have a balanced budget amendment but we always have a balanced budget. that has been true whether we have had democratic or republican governors. there has always been a sense of social liberalism. it is your business how you lead your life.
2:20 pm
to some extent, that has to do with this engagement we have a town meeting where people who have chosen to live it lit -- a different kind of life you live, you get to know them. your kids are on the soccer team that you coach. or they are on the volunteer fire department with you. ofy spent a mutual response respect and an acceptance that people make their own decisions on how they want to live their life. we have seen that with vermont passing civil unions in the legislature, and then the legislature passing marriage equality. other states, it was often a court decision. we have seen it with a very inclusive approach to life in our community. the history of burlington, vermont is tied directly to lake champlain, lumber, textiles, and politics. we speak with local historian
2:21 pm
about the history of burlington and its role in vermont. >> we are standing above what in the 1790's was referred to as burlington bay on lake champlain. of course, the fact that it is on lake champlain is part of the reasons why we have the city here today. europeans, the new englanders who came up here, including iraq island, saw the potential of burlington bay as a port city. lake champlain flows north and it flows into the racial you river -- into the richelieu river. which gives burlington and inlandly enough place, access to the atlantic ocean.
2:22 pm
early settlers saw that and became interested. ,he area did not take off despite the attempts by ira importantake this an place to put the university here, making it the shire town of two tinton county with the courts. it did not take off until 1823. in 1823, the champlain canal was finished which connected the southern end of lake champlain to the hudson river. in essence, it opened up all ofse markets to the south vermont. one historian has said that before 1823, lake champlain tipped north. south.823, it tipped burlington grew tremendously in the 1820's. having said that it grew
2:23 pm
tremendously, the population of burlington in 1830, seven years after the canal opened, was only 3000. in 1800, it had only been about 1000. theas a prosperous place in 1820's. again, i emphasize the word little. 1840's, because of this connection, this waterway some very to canada, entrepreneurial types saw the potential for bringing canadian river up the richelieu down to burlington. burlington, at that time, was being connected to the railroad itsem which was in embryonic form. railroads being introduced in and country in 1830's 1840's.
2:24 pm
two railroad lines came into the burke -- came in to burlington by the late 1840's. burlington have the potential of people bringing down either raw timber or lumber. lumber that was milled in canada, into burlington. and then transported onto railroad cars and shipped to places south. that also meant that people that made various products out of wood, for example, window frames, doors, were attracted to the area to come in, set up shop. they set up shop behind me to the west of me right down on the lake. that would came in, it was intor milled here or made goods and shipped out. or it was simply transshipped to finished lumber. fortunately for burlington, maybe i should have mentioned lateearlier, in the
2:25 pm
1830's, textile mills had been established in burlington's twin town, because it is right across the river from burlington. and that is the town of winooski. textile mills were built there. besides being a lumber town, burlington was also a textile town. but helped carry burlington through the difficult times when the lumber trade fell off. lumber business grew tremendously, beginning with the civil war. beginning with the 1860's. right up to the end of the century, specifically right up to the early 1890's, there was one man who is responsible for that come out barnes, he is the one who figured out you put that
2:26 pm
lumber on railroad cars in burlington and there is money to be made. a well loved man, a great oflanthropist, built a lot buildings. what they saw in the 1890's was a real dropping off in the lumber trade. that was a tricky time for burlington. what was going to pick it up? worldally, it was the the burlingtoned area economy because of those textile mills. the textile mills in winooski where making a heavy woolen cloth that were made into blankets for the military, were made into topcoats, all the heavy materials. sadly, for burlington's history, the mills as we all know in new england, could not compete with the low labor cost and the low fuel cost of mills in the south.
2:27 pm
you did not have to heat mills in the south like you had to heat mills in new england. millwork began to dry up. in 1954, the big mills here and winooski, shut down. and through probably about 3000 workers in the area out of work. that was probably one of the real low points in burlington's history. fortunately, there was a group of businessmen, the publisher of the local newspaper who put their heads together, created a development company, and this is a case where it really worked, and began trying to figure out, how do we bring jobs to the burlington area? burlington in the 1950's was a sleepy town, certainly was not the place it has become in the last 20 years.
2:28 pm
these businessmen who got together, what they decided to do was they would build a state-of-the-art facility that a business could move into. as luck would have it, as gb ic was looking for a tenant for this facility, ibm was looking , andn expansion facility chose this facility. that was a game changer not just for burlington, but for the whole burlington area. it brought in good paying jobs. a lot of professionals. at the same time, a lot of those mill workers that have been put out of work when the mills closed, they could become line workers in the manufacturer of the chips which were good paying jobs. there was anen,
2:29 pm
infusion of new money, a new energy that came into the area. i think at its height, ibm employed a, 1980, thousand or 9000 people. -- 8000 or 9000 people. they were a major engine in the city. ibm is no longer here. but it was bought by a company called global industries. they are still in business. i would say in recent years, because of that excitement, all that money that came into the city, because of the fantastic growth of the university, the university has 14,000 students are so. 1950, it hadtly as about 3000. that has been a major engine driving the local economy. also the hospital. the university hospital. it was a private hospital initially founded in 1880's -- in the 1880's. it has grown tremendously.
2:30 pm
burlington became this surprisingly sophisticated place. and as probably many of your viewers now, in the last 25 years or so, burlington and either environmental magazines, outdoor magazines, has constantly been named as one of in thet places to live united states. certainly, i think most people here would agree with that. except for maybe the tough months of march and april when there is still snow on the ground. we have talked about the local economy. one of the significant burlington'sn economic history was the man who built this home. it is now an office, by the way. --belted as a home in the built it as a home, his name was timothy follett.
2:31 pm
always refer to this place as the follett house. now it is known as the pomelo agency, named after the real estate company that owns it. follett was any interesting man. he was born in bennington around 1800. came up to the university of vermont. he was in one of the first graduating classes at you vm. he was one of those men like iraq allen, lawrence barnes later on, who was very much forward thinking. he saw what was going to happen to burlington when the champlain canal opened in 1823. he kind of jumped careers at that point. he became a shipping magnet. he and another partner built a pier at the bay. they began acquiring boats,
2:32 pm
acquiring canal boats. follett was doing extremely well through the 1830's and 1840's. to make the his partner probably controlled 90% of the shipping on the lake. unfortunately in the 1840's, he mistake.rious business although you would not have thought so at the time. he saw -- he understood he was in the transportation business. this new thing coming along, railroads. investor the leading and proponent of bringing a railroad line from over on the east side of the lake where lines were already coming up from boston, the east side of vermont along the connecticut river, he would build a line connecting those lines over to burlington. if he did that. he built a line that came into
2:33 pm
in 1847, 1848. he was a little bit premature in the sense that that's logging ininess that would develop the late 1850's and in the 1860's was not quite there yet. follett ended up with a line that went from the east side of the state to burlington, the town of 3000 people, there was no traffic. also it was an expensive line to build because you had to go through the green mountains. the twowho was one of wealthiest men in burlington in and is as and 1840's relic of his health -- of his wealth, he basically in the early 1850's goes belly up. he is impoverished. sure he wasm brokenhearted and disillusioned
2:34 pm
and depressed. burlington has produced some interesting political characters. one that i have been intrigued with four years as a man by the name of james edmund burke. earlywas born in the 1850's, once the trade of blacksmith, moves into burlington around 1870 when he is 30 years old. old. years he blacksmiths. his shop was not very far from where we are standing. maybe a block or two over. he gained a reputation as the honest blacksmith. and he gets involved in politics. first as an alderman on thenting this area city council, and in 1903 he takes on the republican establishment. the republicans were the
2:35 pm
railroad people of the textile mill -- in the textile mill, the business class had controlled the town. the town had become very diverse. we talk about diversity today as being more about a racial diversity or gender diversity. in those days, you had irish in burlington, french-canadians, you had fairly large jewish community in burlington, italians, lebanese, and all those people voted democrat. in 1903, they voted for burke. burke comes the second democratic mayor since the civil war -- becomes the second democratic mayors since the civil war. there would be a long succession of irish mayors. burke would be mayor on and off, not consecutively, until the late 1930's. the last time burke was elected, i think he was 86 years old. he was elected in the midst of
2:36 pm
the depression because people wanted to shake things up. there was a much poverty. he was also an interesting character in the sense that he was very much a progressive. he wanted efficient government, he wanted city-owned utilities so private concerns would not be getting the public. he was also socially very conservative. one year, he heard that emma goldman, the look -- the extreme left ring -- wing radical was coming to town to give a talk. her advancement had rented a hall in the north end of burlington, the working class section of town. a half-hour before she is scheduled to show up to speak, work shows up with -- burke shows up with two policemen and says you are not going to speak in burlington. he was an interesting man that way. as i said, socially conservative. in many political ways, a
2:37 pm
progressive. in the town.ved in terms of personalities, who have gone on too much bigger things, you had bernie sanders. bernie had come to vermont early 1970's.e as many young people did. vermont already had that cachet of a place to get back to the earth, get back to your roots, be a real person, it away from corporate america. bernie was part of that movement. threw -- bernie threw his hat in the ring, the race for governor, i am in. he was a little bit of a laughingstock. he had a very clear message as
2:38 pm
we always know. he was very much for the working people. for the issues that concerned working people. 1981, in a fluke election, a french canadian background, well-known in the community, have been mayor for it quite a number of years, he was going to run, but there was one of the members and the old italian italiany had a nice restaurant in town, very popular for years, there had been some bowe.eling with dickie he wanted to get the democratic mayor. bernie throws his hat in the ring. vote -- paquette still got most of the vote.
2:39 pm
took enough votes away from him that bernie won the mayoral election, by a think 14 votes. sanders, this person that no one thought would ever win an election, becomes mayor of burlington. what bernie showed, he brought in good, bright people to man the city posts and made -- set the groundwork for making burlington the progressive city it has become. something i think we and burlington have known -- in burlington have known over the years, it might not be so readily apparent to someone who is visiting burlington from armont, is epitomized by saying, a joke, if you will, that we will pass around from time to time. the line is something like this, the nicest ring about burlington
2:40 pm
is that it is so close to vermont. the reason it is meaningful is because i think everyone's image of vermont is of this rural state, maybe a little backward in its ways, maybe a picture of that used to exist but does not exist anymore. is anin fact burlington extremely sophisticated place. it is sophisticated on a very small scale. we have a population of 41,000, 42,000. you have the headquarters of all the banks here. you have the courts here. offices for main most vermont businesses of any size. you have a very educated population here.
2:41 pm
ruralnot this backward, place that people think of when they think of vermont. ethan allen is known as the father of vermont. this brush in, controversial american patriot ruffled many feathers along the way. join us as we learn more about this complex individual as we visit to be ethan and museum -- ethan allen museum in vermont. >> ethan allen was one of vermont's founding fathers. the first colonel commandant of the original green mountain boys. which was an unofficial militia organization that was trying to protect the land rights of new hampshire settlers in early vermont. before vermont was even a state or thought of. ethan allen was born in litchfield, connecticut.
2:42 pm
-- he lived ined several towns in connecticut. he was known as a scholar there. he was actually studying to enter yale when he had to leave when his father died to manage the family affairs. he had been forced out of several towns because of his dissident religious beliefs. he was a commercial game hunter at one point and he traveled extensively through this area in what is now or mont, which is territorydisputed until the 1740's and 1750's and into the 1760's. that was what brought him here for the first time. initially, vermont was claimed by both new hampshire and new york. both colonies and both governors would begin chartering towns in this area. new hampshire especially was especially active in doing this. the governor of new york
2:43 pm
disputed the governor of new hampshire's right to issue land claims in this area, and the matter was put before the king's privy council. the landil ruled that that is now vermont rightfully belongs to new york. the governor of new york had a charter issued by charles the second and they officially gave control of what is now vermont to new york. but there was still ambiguity as to what would happen to be people who purchased land from new hampshire. are those valid purchases or are they invalid purchases? the governor of new york stated that he would be willing to honor the new hampshire land title if they had been purchased from him. essentially asking people to pay for their land twice. this is at a time where you could own hundreds of acres and have no money, the mortgaged heavily, so people were either not disposed to do it or not in
2:44 pm
a position to do it. hampshire, the new sellers were given two choices. either have their land sold from under them, or pay the fees to new york to have it validated. people chose both options, but a lot of people chose to resist. they formed an unofficial organization called the green mountain boys. the green mountain boys were at one time the largest paramilitary force in north america. the numbers range from anywhere around 350 two as many as 1000 people that were members. ethan and who had arrived and purchased land titles in 1770 was elected to colonel. the green mountain boys acted as an unwelcoming committee. of stories,ts stories of beatings, stories of general intimidation, stories of
2:45 pm
houses being burnt down, new york settlers arriving to find new hampshire settlers already on their land. really at a state of dispute. if you look at it, it was almost a state of civil war between people who bought land from new hampshire and people who bought land from new york. issue arrest warrants for the green mountain boys. they were declared an outlaw organization. ethan allen, sen. warner:, and several other leaders were declared outlaws and had warrants issued for their arrests. the reward for capturing ethan allen was 80 pounds sterling. this continued for several years until a larger conflict came in to take over. that was that great britain had 20 colonies in north america and a revolt started in 13 of them. the green mountain boys were
2:46 pm
involved in most of the actions in the northern campaign of the american revolution. one of the most well-known actions was the attack on fort ticonderoga. on may 10, 1775, the green fortain boys attacked ticonderoga and captured it without a shot being fired. part of the reason they captured it without a shot being fired, the garrison at the port had not that anived word official revolt had begun. they were not prepared or on guard for defense. also, the port was in a major state of disrepair at that time. most of the garrison were nearing the end of their careers as soldiers. they captured that port on may 10, the next day, seth warner led a detachment to capture ground .2 capture them in new york. that they secured
2:47 pm
work product down through the adirondacks by colonel henry knox and they were set up on dorchester heights. they were used to drive off the british fleet and reopened boston harbor. leader, ethan allen -- later ethan allen, appear before congress. they were officially recognized as a regiment of the continental army. as one of the first official continental regiments. ethan would not remain in command of this regiment. the green mountain boys collected their officers. there was a lot of politics being played in the early continental congress. but also within the command apparatus of the continental army. ethan lost command of the green mountain boys in favor of his cousin, seth warner. ethan did stay on as a scout when the american army invaded
2:48 pm
canada in 1775. during the invasion of canada, the green mountain boys were involved in the attacks on montreal, the attacks on quebec , would participate in the retreat. ethan now and had led and had led --ethan allen and advanced army. he intended to attack montreal. he was unsuccessful in this. in fact, the attack on montreal was a botch and ethan was taken prisoner. he would remain a prisoner of war for three years. after he was freed, he published a famous account of his captivity and it described that he was beaten quite often, starvation, disease, but he was kept there for three years and he was exchanged for a british colonel.
2:49 pm
the exchange was negotiated by alexander hamilton. the policies and procedures that were created during the revolution to exchange ethan allen continued to influence u.s. prisoner of war policy through the civil war. burlington was very uninhabited during the revolution. there were maybe six households before the revolution. most of them evacuated while the war was going on for fear of raids coming south of canada. ethan was freed from captivity, his health was severely ruined, his first wife had died, his son had died. he wanted to live the quiet life. he and his brother owned a land speculating business. it was not doing well financially. he decided to dissolve the partnership. this was part of his settlement. he received 1400 acres of prime and he burlington,
2:50 pm
for a frontierle farmer and philosopher. but he settled on his 1400 acre estate to live that life of a frontier philosopher, for as he called it a claude hopper philosopher, and he had his brother build a house for him on the land. by josiah was built april in 1785 and 1786. ethan and his family moved into it in 1787. the house behind me, it is the original house. it was continuously lived in until the late 1970's, early 1980's. each family that lived there added onto it in little bit. in the museum took it over, we had to remove all of the modern pieces. as they began moving the modern by --, and expedition led
2:51 pm
they found the original framework, the original sheathing, the original beams, and the original foundation that dates back to the 1780's construction. a lot of it was stated by the shape of nails, the type of nails use, the construction house, the, and this original foundation matches the description or the dimensions that youth and had asked for it to be built. the house was completely restored back to how it would have looked in the 18th century. this is where ethan spent the last two years of his life. vermont did not ratify the constitution and become the 14th state until 1791. ethan died two years earlier. got to actually see vermont become an independent state within the united states. final negotiation, vermont agreed to compensate new york for its lost territory.
2:52 pm
in february, union 1791. we were the first state admitted after the original 13. if not for the actions of ethan allen and the other green mountain boys, vermont may very well have looked different than it does today. >> university of vermont was founded in 1791, making it the third oldest university in new england. the land it sets on was donated by ira allen, the guinness brother of ethan allen. we talk with a local historian about the life of ira allen. >> here we are and what is called college green of the university of vermont. probably one of the prettiest spots in burlington. behind me, we have a statue of
2:53 pm
iarra allen. he was the youngest of the brothers. the most famous of who was ethan allen. the statue is on the campus because some would say that iraq alan was the founder of the was thety --ira allen founder of the adversity. some claim he was the founder of the state of vermont which i think there would be a lot of people who would contend that is not true. his older brother ethan would have something to say about that. who wasike thomas to 10 the first governor of the independent state of vermont. in 1772 cameat ira up. from vermin netiquette -- from connecticut.
2:54 pm
at the time, it was a new territory being opened up. it was a territory claimed by the governor of new hampshire, this is in colonial times, and the governor of the royal province of new york. it was a contentious area. the allen brothers were speculators in land. they became very interested in the land appear. and began to buy titles under the new hampshire grants. as opposed to the new york grants. ira came appear in 1772 and he he wass region, and as later on to say in a biography, he said this was the land my heart delighted in. he became the principal the viable -- developer. of what is today northwestern vermont. he centered his development lowerties on the
2:55 pm
stretches of the winooski river which is east of the spot we are on by maybe a mile or so. that we are land standing on. he owned most of the land in what is burlington today. i should not qualify this by saying most of that land he bought on ious. he did not have much money himself. he was buying the land from speculators who had picked up grants of land as he himself had done. but speculators who lived in new york city who lived in connecticut in massachusetts, but were willing to sign over deeds to these rights with the stipulation that they would then be paid in five years. this is 1772, 1773, and that probably would have been fine had there been no revolutionary war. doing is he ira was
2:56 pm
came appear and he began developing this land. that is to say, putting in roads, putting and bridges, to make it more valuable. then he hoped to use a good 1990's term, he hoped to flip these properties appear. unfortunately, they were intervened. -- the war intervened. the grants became essentially a very dangerous place to live, giving the british were up the road in canada. the secure lines were further south. ira was very much involved in the conflict. he is involved with the founding of the state of vermont at that time. in the state of vermont is founded because of vermonters that owned land over here as ira did were afraid of new york or control of the land, those grants, those deeds, would be
2:57 pm
tainted, would be worth nothing. for monitors decided the best thing to do was to become an independent state. an, the realira, eth core group said it we will become an independent state. vermont does not become a part of the federal union until 1791 when that whole issue of who had valid titles. ends,anwhile when the war there is no money in these new american states. everyone is in debt. in's creditors began closing on him, saying i have this iou and you owe me money. he is desperately trying to make money here in vermont with these lands. he begins to really focus in on burlington. is in the late 1780's.
2:58 pm
he sees the future as being in burlington. it is on the lake, so it has the potential to have shipping going up and down the lake between canada and eventually to new york state through the whitehall area. if a canal would ever be built there. he begins to develop burlington is he begins to make it a more attractive place for developers. for example, this region is made a county around 1792 -- 1790. ensures that this place, burlington, becomes the shire town, which means it will have the court houses here, there will be lawyers, judges. important it an place. he also makes sure it has the first u.s. post office in vermont. that might not be true.
2:59 pm
it might have been the second u.s. post office. thirdly, he knew that if you had a college in your town, that just as weajor draw know it is today. it is one of the things that makes burlington a great place. around 1790, he begins to agitate the legislature to make burlington the site of a university. in order to entice the legislature to give burlington a charter for that, he pledges a piece of land, this land we stand on as the site of the university. he also pledges $3000 to get the university up and going. this is where the story gets complicated. he is totally broke up the time. to use the classic phrase, he has no money. he is very desperate.
3:00 pm
1796, he hasary of a desperate plan. he goes to europe. the british to put in a canal to bypass the shallows on the river. always, his vision is that vermont passes fortune is tied to the north because of late champlain -- like champlain, it is tied to canada and europe. he would have said what chicago anntually became, it will be important shipping center. to interest the british.
3:01 pm
the issue, vermont is a state but owing all this money, he thinks the best thing for vermont would be for him to become inattentive against what to attach to canada. talk, he begins everyg, if you give valley that through of french in lower canada, that is to say.
3:02 pm
he actually pursues the plan. he ends up staying in europe for five years, gone for five years. all these creditors have closed in on the money they all him and they take virtually all of his land. the man is land poor and he goes back to vermont totally frustrated in 1801. him.are still pursuing i think he is thrown in jail and or twice for debt ultimately, in about 1809, he leaves vermont, goes initially to in philadelphia he is costly trying to recoup his losses. as in philadelphia.
3:03 pm
the man who has so much to do with the formation of the state, not the founder but a key person, and had a lot to do with the founding of the university of vermont. he ends up a popular in dies there in 1814, and we had no idea where that gravis. this great name we attacked with vermont ends up being a popular and unknown. gone to the university of vermont and walked by the statue every day, they might not know much about him.
3:04 pm
>> c-span is learning more about the area's history. join us. rhoda -- ticonderoga is one of the visited -- most visited sites in the museum. it stands out pier 1 this is big boat doing? it begs you to come on board. the museum is a campus of mostly and it is auctures village section. in 1947.er -- she amassed a major collection. objects.a of
3:05 pm
weathervanes, cigar store indians, and ticonderoga. what is interesting is it was in 1906. the internal combustion engine. this might be in last vote for lake champlain. she was the last one. operated the day vote.
3:06 pm
from the vermont shoreline to the new york shoreline, home-court, was burlington, vermont. an hour, an hour and a half, not long. she had a regular schedule and kept it. delaware and hudson railroad company. tight time schedule. you could board -- board a train in new york city, you go up to lake george, you get off that dinner, get on another train, the further up the shore and get and towestport burlington the next day. it is a link in the transportation network of the time. route withegular
3:07 pm
dell or hudson railroad company, a very strict schedule between the shores of vermont and new york state. by the time you got to the mid-20's, things started to change. roads were much better. built in -- nymex is the big cut out of the ties usage internal -- in terms of ridership. three years there, it did not run because of financial restraints. no one was running. that, the need for the
3:08 pm
war effort. a lot of efforts were decommissioned and scrapped during that time. it is almost like they were stuck or saved in the back waters of vermont. engine, handame fires cold broilers that brutal the water and the engine. converted.t had been it is significant from the standpoint of the engine. you come in during the depression and shortly after , they decide they will not run the transportation company anymore. make ends meet with steamers anymore. they are antiquated. a private investigator came along and purchased the
3:09 pm
champagne company. it but kept it running more of an excursion. he ran into trouble because of the cost of running it. eventually in the late 40's, he got out of the steamboat business and he sold it. they were former captains and they kept it going through those years. instrumental they had he into financial problems
3:10 pm
convinced to purchase a time for the museum. in 1953 after three years of the museum on the water, having difficulty finding engineers and they retired, had to be inspected any year, to make them passable again, it was too much to sustain. not to runecided anymore and they were considering scratching it but thought, no, let's bring it to the museum. here we are two miles from the lake. . 900 ton vessel on land to find the imagination of how it got here. it was quite a feat and took a good solid year of planning. they build a system and hauled it through the fields.
3:11 pm
to bring it here to the museum in 1955. when a vessel is on the water operating, it has a crew. 26 who not only operate the vessel but maintain a the vessel. it lost that crew. the museum had another structure and already had many buildings by then. andmited crew of masons workmen and carpenters and painters to keep the buildings and now they had a 220 foot steamboat to maintain.
3:12 pm
it was difficult to say the least. i step on board as the director and project manager of the crew and the effort. i initially thought it would take us three years and internet to be 5.5 years. in, you start hearing see deterioration has gone much deeper. this is 1993 through 1998. we in many cases took it apart and put it back together again. she is a national historic landmark. 1963.tatus in one of the first vessels to ever achieve that. it is quite significant. awards were given to buildings, historic structures. we had an obligation to preserve
3:13 pm
as much of the vessel as possible in the restoration process. it was humbling to work on that from that perspective. humbling to look at the history of what she represented because at that time, she was the last one of her type in the world with a steam engine and passenger steamer. we knew we had to preserve her and do our very best. that is perhaps why it took a few years more than what we had anticipated. we felt obligated to do it right. it is so important for future generations, not only the current generation for the families that visited here today, but it is important to preserve as a key element of the national heritage, the last canining steamboat that you
3:14 pm
go aboard and touch it for in areas other see what it is like on board. it is very key to our national heritage. for this country still in existence, to come up close and personal in touch and feel what it is like to be on board. quite at the historic train station at the museum just outside of vermont where c-span is learning more about its history. join us as we take a look at the real history of vermont. >> here we are at a train station at the museum, built in , in servicewilliam
3:15 pm
with the central vermont railway as well. to helprincipally built out with passenger rail service in the region. perhaps more significantly for the availability of the webs, to be a look to travel as they wished within the area to come up to their summer home and go back down to new york city or other areas around the country. it was built -- and serve passenger rail service and stopped at that point into this region. it was then given to the museum for posterity and to allow other to see it. it is exhibited with much of the railroad memorabilia typical in these stations. it was part of the founders collection at this time.
3:16 pm
the center ofrom shelburne here to the museum, not far away. probably less than a mile. one of the shortest moves that had to happen for the building of the museum. this is a traveling pastor , built in 1899 by the car company just before it changed ownership through the company at that time. the president of that railroad, use ofart webb, also had the car of until about 1915 as a passenger car for personal use and company business to get from different areas within the region and perhaps down to new
3:17 pm
york city. other interesting notes, it was used by a former vermont to him orit was given he purchased it, i am not sure, but he would take the car up to place in canada where he had a summer camp and he would use it for transportation there as well. it came to the museum of his later in the 19th 50's, and probably ran on a regular basis up until about 1914. to the changed ownership governor, the former governor of the state of vermont. then a candidate became part of a canadian railway system for a number of decades. the museum in the late 19th 50's, around 1960. sontson webb junior is the
3:18 pm
and want to have an exhibit of how the family moved on the summer home in the capability they had almost at the whim of their fingertips to go to the train station, and go or they needed to go. it was something he wanted to bring to the museum and show how folks traveled, and how those that the family had traveled here and around the country, it was brought here and it was panelingwith mahogany within it. we're just now understanding this private card. >> locomotive to 20 was built in 1915 for the central vermont railway company.
3:19 pm
it is medium-sized locomotive. coal and steam powered. poundsghly 28,000 available traction poll. it means from a starting point, it can poll 28,000 pounds and get up to about 50 miles an hour with 1500 horsepower which depended largely on the firemen and the engineers build a proper fire to get that much steam out of it. it is a 460 configuration. four front wheels and 60 driving wheels and trailing wheels, often called the 10 wheeler. we are fortunate to have it here at the museum. it was the last locomotive to run in from aunt on the vermont railway and was also often turned as the president's train because it helped pull special
3:20 pm
, herbert hoover, franklin d. roosevelt, dwight eisenhower, and even had a special trip pulling a special excursion train to winston churchill he was visiting canada . the220 was able to handle passenger service, not typical of all locomotives. that mean it had a hookup for the passenger car to provide steam and steam heat to the passenger car as well. that is why it was used for special excursions, for the different presidents. you have the capability of hooking up to a private railcar and hauling it on the track.
3:21 pm
>> our cities tour staff recently traveled to burlington, vermont, to learn more about it. at c-span.org. you're watching american history tv a week and every weekend on c-span3. >> american history tv is on c-span3 every weekend, featuring museum tours, archival films, and programs on the presidency, the civil war, and more. here is a clip from a recent program. i am aame is janet and museum technician. i work specifically for the vietnam's veterans memorial collection here at the museum resource center. you -- it is a facility for parts but our collection is housed entirely in this building. are a collection of objects
3:22 pm
left in a memorial in d.c., the vietnam veterans memorial. bandors come by every day our park rangers collect and then every two weeks or so, we do pick up at the memorial and bring them out here to our resource center where we sort andugh them and catalog make them a part of our collection. this was in 2000, left by allen for barry. who was killed in vietnam. i will just read it. "i dearest barry, 31 years since you are taken away from a but you remain in my heart, my truce love always. as a look at the memorial wall today in washington, i leave with you the ring i gave you the first summer we met. i love you still even though i married and had three beautiful children.
3:23 pm
i mourn for the family we were never given the chance to have here when the lord takes me home, i will -- i will meet you again and share many memories. i feeling the purpose of this collection is to help people over things that happened in the past and remember specifically the men who died in vietnam and this collection lends a helping hand. people will leave things that are folk art, and just the process of making a craft help them heal. a lot of things have to do with ptsd. a lot of those groups, they do a therapy group in a make something and they leave it at the wall. that is helping their healing process. we have a lot of things that give a little more information
3:24 pm
about a specific life. when you go to the wall, you see the names. a little background history is given to those names. leftng as someone has something. that is really the purpose of the collection. >> you can watch this and other american history programs on a website where all of our videos are archived. c-span.org/history. >> monday night on the communicators, adam talks about his book, "irresistible," the rise of addictive technology and the business of keeping us hooked. >> they'd say we know the
3:25 pm
dangers of technology. they do not say we built and mechanisms designed to hook -- to hook people. that is the sense you get never get high on your own supply but if you're creating something and you know what the dangers are, you want to make sure the people you love and hold dear, are not going to be affected by them. >> watch monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> next, author joe michalski talks about how robert e. lee maneuvered his army after the andle of gettysburg describes the reorganization of both armies during the months after leave a treated across the potomac river. this half-hour talk was hosted by the gettysburg heritage center. tammy: welcome back.

19 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on