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Vermont History Explorer

What role did women play in the founding of Vermont?

Like many other Vermont settlers, Ann and her husband Amos Story annstorysmgrew up in Connecticut. They bought land in Salisbury, one of the New Hampshire Grants. In 1774, Amos travelled to Salisbury with Solomon, his thirteen year old son. Ann and the other children stayed in Rutland. 

Amos and Solomon cleared land for a farm. They built a log house that would be their family’s new home. Sadly, Amos died while cutting down a tree. Ann Story, now a widow, moved to the farm in Salisbury with her five children in 1775.

When the Revolutionary War between England and the colonies started, some settlers left their farms in Vermont. The settlers were afraid of being caught in between the British and American armies. The Story family remained on their land. In 1776, Ann Story’s house was burned down by Native Americans who were allied with the British army. She and her children rebuilt the house and added a trap door. The family could escape through the trap door if the raiders came back. 

mrsstoryscavesmAnn also used a cave along the banks of the Otter Creek to hide her family. The cave was big enough for a canoe to fit inside. They hid supplies and food inside the cave.

Ezekiel Jenny, a Tory who supported the British, found the Story’s hiding spot. After he left, Ann sent a message to the Green Mountain Boys. They captured Ezekiel Jenny and took him to the American army at Fort Ticonderoga.  

After the war ended, Ann and her family stayed in Salisbury. Her children grew up and started their own farms. Ann died in 1817, long after Vermont became a state.  Ann is remembered for her hard work and bravery. She represents the many women who helped settle Vermont.

Thinking about Historyarticle

One historian wrote that Ann Story “could use an axe with a skill and power which few of her neighbors could equal.”  (History of Salisbury, 1860) 
What other skills do you think Ann needed to run her farm?

Learn Moremapncompass

books Ann Story, A Vermont Pioneer (PDF)
explorerlogoib The Green Mountain Boys
map Salisbury map from Atlas of Addison County by F.W. Beers, 1871 (reprinted 1971)
high quality scan
link Listen to historian Deborah Clifford talk about Ann Story (outside link)
explorerlogoib Read Ann Story, Vermont's Heroine of Independence, a biography of Ann Story
explorerlogoib Read Green Mountain Hero, a historical fiction book about Ann Story and her family