for calling a county convention on the 7th day of February, 1775, were
signed by John Hazeltine, on the 30th day of the preceding January.
This body met at Westminster and delegates from 12 towns were in attendance.
John Hazeltine was chosen moderator. This convention recommended
it to their constituents, “To choose a man for their supervisor at the
next annual meeting, such as they would choose if they were to send him
to New York as their assemblyman; that so the supervisors may select two
men out of their body, such as they shall think most proper, which they,
the supervisors of the county are desired to return to their constituents
for their consideration and approbation by a regular vote, when called
upon to choose assemblymen in said county.”
A standing committee of correspondence,
consisting of 28 members from 21 towns, was appointed to correspond with
the committees of correspondence elsewhere. John Hazeltine was appointed
chairman of the committee of correspondence; and he was “Empowered to call
the county together, by way of their delegates, on any important emergency.”
It was ordered that on the application of the committee of three towns
to our chairman, it be in his power to call a meeting of the committee
if he shall think proper, but on application of five towns by the committees,
that then a meeting shall be called immediately.”
No record has been preserved of the
election of town officers in this town for years, 1775 and 1776.
The Dorset convention of July 24, 1776, was the first representative which
decided that an appeal to the inhabitants of the Grants should be made
to have them form the same into a seperate State. Townshend was the only
town on the East side of the Green Mountains, represented in that Assembly.
The first step taken by the convention
towards the making of the appeal was to declare its purpose in the form
of a resolution, “that application be made to the inhabitants of said Grants
to form the same into a separate district.” A committee was then
raised to exhibit the proceedings of the convention to the inhabitants
on the East side of the mountain, and to treat with said inhabitants relative
to their associating with that assembly. Capt. Heman Allen, Col.
William Marsh and Dr. Jonas Fay, in conjunction with Capt. Samuel Fletcher
and Mr. Josiah Fisk, the two delegates from this town, were chosen the
committee. Dr. Jonas Fay, Col. Thomas Chittendon and Lieut. Ira Allen
were appointed to prepare instructions for said committee. So influential
and energetic a committee under so able guidance would be likely to succeed,
when success was possible.
When the convention above named was
held inhabitants on the West side of the Green Mountains very generally
favored the movement for a new State. On the
East side of the mountains,
however, the new State party did not number one-half of the people.
But the party was growing fast. The convention proposed to ruin an
adverse majority by sending the wisest and most sagacious members of the
that body to labor for this object with the people on the East side of
For this town, the plan of the convention
was so thoroughly executed, that by the month of December, 1776, all the
inhabitants were in favor of independence of the Grants. Every member
of the convention, save one, signed the foregoing association. Among
the signers are the names of Samuel Fletcher and Josiah Fisk, the delegates
from Townsend. After Nov, 1776, no inhabitants of the town were friendly
to the jurisdiction of New York.