Jepther Sharp

Jepther Sharp is listed in the 1791 VT census in Bradford, Orange County, with one white female and seven other free persons. 


Jeptha Sharp next appears in Bradford in the 1800 census with six other free persons.


I originally thought that the name Jepther might have been a female since there was a white female in the household together with the seven other free persons.  But in 1800 there were only six other free persons in the household.  I have also seen where someone several years ago who only saw the 1791 census thought the census taker had made an error and put the tick mark in the white female rather than white male column!  But after seeing the 1800 census I believe Jeptha Sharp was an “other free person,” and head of household in 1791 in Bradford.


He served in the Revolutionary War from Vermont during 1781.


On 10 September 1796 he signed a petition for incorporation of the Bradford Social Literary Society.


His name is registered in the Bradford Town Clerk’s office as being a Universalist; this was filed 24 November 1800.  Vermont Religious Certificates by Alden Rollins (2003).


Jeptha Sharp had several children recorded in Bradford.  Silom[?], female, born 21 Feb. 1784; Harvey Sharp born 7 July 1786; Betsey Sharp born 13 Feb. 1788; and Parsey Sharp born 30 April 1790.  These births are all recorded in the Old Town Book, page 119.


Jeptha obtained land from four different grantors in Bradford; I have not yet been able to find the book where they are recorded.  The index was very difficult to read from the microfilm so I may have miscopied the page numbers.  On 1 Dec. 1796, Jepthah Sharp of Bradford, Blacksmith, in consideration of the Natural Love and affection I have and do bear unto my beloved Son Henery Sharp of Bradford, yeoman, and also for divers other good causes and considerations . . . 50 acres of Land.  He signed by mark.  He had another deed with the same wording to his son, James Sharp, on the same date.  Henery and James both sold their property to Joshua Barron in 1797 and 1798.


The book, A History of Bradford, Vermont, by Harold Haskins (1968), on page 400 says, “The steep hill at the beginning of the South Road as it takes off from Route 25 and starts toward West Bradford has long been known as Sharp’s Hill.  It was named after Jeptha Sharp, a Negro, who built a house for his family, including four or five children, on this hill approximately where the homes of the Farr family has long been situated.  Jeptha Sharp was one of our early citizens, his
name appearing on the petition sent to the State Legislature in 1796, asking that our library be incorporated.  How he chanced to come
here, how long he stayed, and where he went seem not to be a part of our available records.”