Bennington - Encyclopedia

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BENNINGTON, a village and one of the county-seats of Bennington county, Vermont, U.S.A., situated in the S.W. part of the state, about 30 m. E.N.E. of Troy, New York. Pop. (1890) 397 1; (1900) 5656, of whom 965 were foreign-born. The township of the same name, in which it is situated, had in 1900 a population of 8033, living chiefly in the villages of Bennington, North Bennington and Bennington Centre, the last a summer resort. The village of Bennington is served by the Rutland railway, and is connected by electric railway with North Adams and Pittsfield, Mass., and Hoosick Falls, N.Y. It is picturesquely situated at the foot of the Green Mountains, and the summit of the neighbouring Mt. Anthony (2345 ft.) commands a magnificent view. The village has woollen mills, knitting mills, stereoscope, box, and collar and cuff factories and machine shops. There are white clay and yellow ochre works in different parts of the township. Bennington is the seat of the Vermont state soldiers' home. The Bennington Battle Monument, a shaft 301 ft. high, is said to be the highest battle monument in the world. It commemorates the success gained on the 16th of August 1777 by a force of nearly 2000 "Green Mountain Boys" and New Hampshire and Massachusetts militia under General John Stark over two detachments of General Burgoyne's army, totalling about 1200 men, under Col. Friedrich Baum and Col. Breyman. These came up one after the other in search of provisions and were practically annihilated, Col. Baum being mortally wounded and 700 men taken prisoners. The scene of the battle is about 5 m. from the village. The victory had an important influence on Burgoyne's campaign (see American War Of Independence), weakening Burgoyne and encouraging the American militia to take the field against him. Bennington was settled in 1761 and was named in honour of Governor Benning Wentworth of New Hampshire. The township was organized in 1762. It was one of the "New Hampshire Grant" towns, both New York and New Hampshire claiming jurisdiction over it, and, being the home of Ethan Allen and Seth Warner, it became the centre of activities of the "Green Mountain Boys," of whom they were leaders. During the fifteen years in which Vermont was an independent commonwealth, Bennington was the headquarters of the council of safety. In 1828-1829 W. L. Garrison edited here a paper called The Journal of the Times. The village of Bennington was incorporated in 1849.

See Merrill and Merrill, Sketches of Historic Bennington (Cambridge, Mass., 1898).

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