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Vermont and the War of 1812

Politics and Propaganda

Secondary sources are listed first, followed by primary sources.


Adelson, Richard H. "Politics and Intrigue: John Henry and the Making of a Political Tempest." Vermont History 52 (1984): 89-102.
Interesting study of a British agent's work in Vermont, 1808-1812.
Call number: F46 .V55 (Special Collections)

Brown, Roger H. "A Vermont Republican Urges War: Royall Tyler, 1812, and the Safety of Republican Government." Vermont History 36 (1968): 13-18.
Call number: F46 .V55 (Special Collections)

Brynn, Edward. "Patterns of Dissent: Vermont's Opposition to the War of 1812." Vermont History 40 (1972): 10-27.
Good overview of Vermont's attitudes towards the war.
Call number: F46 .V55 (Special Collections)

Degree, Kenneth. “Impasse! Vermont's 1813 Legislative Session.” Vermont History 78 (2010): 151-180.
Call number: F46 .V55 (Special Collections).

Duffy, John J. "Broadside Illustrations of the Jeffersonian-Federalist Conflict in Vermont, 1809-1916." Vermont History: 49 (1981): 209-22.
Useful study of polticial broadsides before and during the war.
Call number: F46 .V55 (Special Collections)


Chittenden, Martin. An Address of Members of the House of Representatives...on the Subject of the War with Great Britain. Bennington, VT, 1812.
Vermont Congressman Martin Chittenden eloquently summarized the federalist opposition to the war.
Call number: Z209 .B466 A32 1812 (Special Collections, closed stacks)

Citizen of Vermont. A Free Inquiry into the Causes, Both Real and Pretended, for Laying the Embargo. Windsor, VT, 1808.
Call number: E336.5 .F85 (Special Collections, closed stacks)

Citizen of Vermont. The Crisis: or the Origin and Consequences of our Political Dissensions. Albany, 1815.
Attributed to Nathaniel Chipman, it is a Federalist diatribe on "the horrors of a ruinous and hopeless war."
Call number: E357 .C93 (Special Collections, closed stacks)

Colonel Isaac Clark Papers.
Clark (1742-1822) of Castleton, Vermont, led the Vermont troops during the War of 1812. The Colonel Isaac Clark Papers consist primarily of personal and military correspondence from 1812 to 1821. Clark's letters relate to troop activity in the Champlain Valley, while his son Isaac Jr.'s letters provide some details of recruiting efforts and troop life in the northern outposts. The papers also contain materials pertaining to political issues before and during the War of 1812.
Finding aid
Call number: Manuscripts (Special Collections).

Dunham, Josiah. An Oration...Pronounced at Windsor, February 22, the Request of the Washington Benevolent Society. Windsor, VT, 1814.
Vermont's most outspoken Federalist, Dunham also published the weekly Windsor Washingtonian and advocated for New England's secession from the union.
Call number: E312.63 .D855 (Special Collections, closed stacks)

Sanford Gadcomb Papers.
The collection includes letters relating to Gadcomb’s service as a soldier in the Vermont militia during the War of 1812 and documents relating to his views as a staunch Jeffersonian Republican supporting the war.
Finding aid

Call number: Manuscripts (Special Collections).

Newspapers: Green Mountain Farmer (Bennington), Vermont Centinel (Burlington), Vermont Journal (Windsor), and the Washingtonian (Windsor)
Weekly newspapers
provide excellent coverage of the Embargo, the economy, political battles, and the war.
Call number: Online access available to UVM affiliates and walk-ins through America's Historical Newspapers. (Under "Place of Publication," select Vermont).

Van Ness, Cornelius. An Oration Delivered at Williston, July 4, 1812.
Jeffersonian posiiton supporting the war.
Call number: E286 .W738 1812 (Special Collections, closed stacks)

Martin Chittenden

Martin Chittenden of Jericho, Vermont served in Congress from 1803-1813. A Federalist, he voted against the War of 1812. As governor of Vermont 1813-1814, Chittenden ordered Vermont militia units to return from Plattsburgh where they were prepared to defend against British invasion, but the units' officers refused. After the American victory in the Battle of Plattsburgh, Chittenden was defeated in the 1815 election.