Vermont 1791 Census

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1791 Census: Slave Holders, Other Free Persons and Slaves - Addison County - Vermont

1791 census contributed by Joann Nichols from Brattleboro, Vermont
 
Vermont was the 14th state to join the Union in March 1791. Prior to that time it was the Vermont Republic beginning in 1777. A noted thing about the constitutions for both the Republic and the State, is that the first article of those constitutions outlawed slavery using the following words:

Republic: "All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety. No male person, born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person, as a servant, slave or apprentice, after he arrives to the age of twenty-one years, nor female, in like manner, after she arrives to the age of eighteen years, unless they are bound by their own consent."

State: "That all persons are born equally free and independent, and have certain natural, inherent, and unalienable rights, amongst which are the enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety; therefore no person born in this country, or brought from over sea, ought to be holden by law, to serve any person as a servant, slave or apprentice, after arriving to the age of twenty-one years, unless bound by the person’s own consent, after arriving to such age, or bound by law for the payment of debts, damages, fines, costs, or the like."

While no one in Vermont was to be held as a slave, you will see that some of the people I have researched appear to have been slaves prior to arriving in Vermont and perhaps were still considered as a slave for a while.

The title of my talk comes from the fourth column of the 1790 census form, entitled "all other free persons."

Since Vermont didn’t join the Union until March 1791, the census was not taken until later that year. Sometimes a person would be listed in one state in 1790 and then in 1791 they would be in Vermont. One of my "other free persons" appears to be in that category.

Vermont now has 14 counties, but at the time of the 1791 census there were only seven counties.

Note: Bold print names are Colored American Heads of Households


Researcher: J    Joann Nichols
Date:2007  


 County - Addison     Head of Household Free Whites All other free persons Slaves
    Males 16 & over Males 1-15 Females
   
 
Addison     Benjm. Paine 2 0 2 1  
Ferrisburgh     Jonathan Saxton 1 1 4 9  
Ferrisburgh     Martin Shelhaus 1 1 2 1  
Ferrisburgh     Edward Gould 1 2 3 1  
Ferrisburgh     John Harvey 1 0 2 1  
Middlebury     Wm. B. Sumner 2 2 3 1  
Middlebury     Martin Foot 1 1 3 1  
Shoreham     Cull Payne 0 0 0 4  
Shoreham     John North 2 1 1 1  
Vergennes     Jobe G. Fitch 1 1 3 1  
Vergennes     William Goodridg 3 0 3 1  
Vergennes     William Brush 3 2 6 1  
Vergennes     Robbert Lewis 2 0 2 1  
Vergennes     Asa Strong 2 1 1 1  
Vergennes     James Welding 0 0 0 6  
Vergennes     Ebenzr. Huntington 2 1 2 1  
Vergennes     Azariah Painter 3 0 0 1  
Weybridge     Saml. Jewett 3 0 3 1  
Whiting     Benjamin Andrus 1 1 1 1