Download this document in MS Word format

AutoFill Template

NO. R-98.  House concurrent resolution commemorating the 230th anniversary of the Revolutionary War fortification of Mount Independence in Orwell, Vermont.


Offered by:  Representatives Stevens of Shoreham, Devereux of Mount Holly, Jerman of Essex and Zenie of Colchester

Offered by:  Senators Ayer and Giard

Whereas, in July 1776, while our nation was being established in Philadelphia, critical military developments were occurring in the Champlain Valley, and

Whereas, on July 2, 1776, approximately 5,200 American soldiers, over one-half of whom were ill from smallpox or fatigue, had retreated from Canada and reached the western shore of Lake Champlain at Crown Point, and

Whereas, American Major General Horatio Gates and his military leadership resolved that it was “prudent to retire immediately to the strong ground on the east side of the Lake, opposite to Ticonderoga,” to Rattlesnake Hill in present day Orwell, and

Whereas, by July 8, 1776, the first reconnaissance of the new site had been made, and then on July 28, 1776, the assembled troops heard the Declaration of Independence for the first time, and they named the new outpost Mount Independence, and

Whereas, it was a strategic imperative for the Americans to halt the southward push on Lake Champlain of British forces and, in October 1776, the Americans’ Northern Department Army of nearly 12,000 soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga and the newly-constructed Mount Independence fortification proved sufficient to persuade British General Sir Guy Carleton to reverse course and sail back with his forces to Canada for the winter, and

Whereas, American troops spent a difficult winter of 1776–1777 at Mount Independence, and

Whereas, starting in February 1777, the American army, under the direction of Chief Engineer Jeduthan Baldwin, began construction on the ice of a bridge between Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga, an engineering marvel, and the American troops worked feverishly that spring and early summer to complete the extensive fortifications at Mount Independence, anticipating the arrival of British General John Burgoyne, and

Whereas, on July 5–6, 1777, when it became clear that there were not enough soldiers to defend Mount Independence and Fort Ticonderoga against the British and their German allies, American General Arthur St. Clair gave the order to withdraw under the cover of darkness, and

Whereas, the British and Germans occupied Mount Independence from July 6 to November 8, 1777, burning it before they retreated to Canada, and

Whereas, the Fort Ticonderoga Association owns the northern half of the Mount Independence site, and the Vermont board of historic sites purchased much of the southern half in 1961, thus holding in the public trust one of America’s best-preserved Revolutionary War archaeological sites, and

Whereas, the Mount Independence site, which has been designated a Vermont state historic site and a national historic landmark, is the home of over six miles of trails and an outstanding art museum–visitor information center, and

Whereas, among the commemorative events marking the 230th anniversary of the occupation of Mount Independence by American, British, and German forces, and the sacrifices of those who built and served at this fortification, are the July 1, 2007 opening of a new handicap accessible trail and  “Soldiers Atop the Mount,” a living history weekend on July 21 and 22, and this summer’s commemorations will be held with the assistance of the Mount Independence Coalition and other volunteers, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly commemorates the 230th anniversary of Mount Independence, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Orwell town clerk, the Mount Independence Coalition, the Vermont division for historic preservation, and the Fort Ticonderoga Association.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont