The Westminster Massacre: Why Eastern New York Province Become A State (Vermont) and Western New York Didn’t

The Province of New York extended east to New Hampshire during the Colonial Era. Isolated both physically and culturally from its Albany overseers, it broke off to become its own independent state. Why didn’t the Greater Western New York Region do the same? Click the link below for this week’s episode of The State of Greater Western New York Report to learn the story behind Vermont’s decision to secede and its similarities and differences with Greater Western New York.

This week’s guest Christopher Carosa, Deputy Historian for the Town of Mendon, NY, offers the backstory on the competing land claims between New York and New Hampshire, how these led to the formation of Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys, and why the conflict culminated with the Westminster Massacre on March 13, 1775, nearly a month before “the shot heard ’round the world” in Lexington and Concord.

In the show’s second half, Carosa provides a specific account of the Westminster Massacre. He then begins to answer the question as to why Vermont split from the Colony of New York (and refused to join the Colony of New Hampshire) while Greater Western New York failed to do the same.

Our guest happily answered questions from the live audience. In fact, these are probably some of the same questions you had. Would you like to be a live audience member so you can ask our guests questions? Click here to join the growing number of members who share your feelings on because then we can automatically send you the link to watch our shows live.

Theme music by “mansardian” courtesy of under Creative Commons License Attribution 3.0

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