Deborah Pickman CliffordIn memory of her devotion and contributions to Vermont history and to the special role of women in forging that history, this fund is dedicated to sustaining the mission of the Vermont Historical Society, and each year will also underwrite collections, programs or services specific to Vermont women’s history.

About Deborah Pickman Clifford

Deborah Pickman Clifford of New Haven, Vermont had a distinguished career as biographer and writer. When few women were writing Vermont history and none had systematically addressed the role of women in the state, she returned to graduate school and plunged into obscure sources about women’s lives, publishing highly regarded studies of legendary reformers and seminal articles about Vermont’s female activists. If she was willing to pursue these formidable subjects with a remarkable thoroughness and skill, she was also devoted to her family and to serving the broader community. Through her scholarly articles and skillful biographies as well as her generous support and leadership of the Vermont Historical Society and Sheldon Museum, Deborah carved out a memorable pathway of service to the state. Like Abby Hemenway, Deborah was a woman on a quest to learn more about everything and everybody, including herself, and to enjoy life in the process. At the time of her passing at the age of 75, Clifford left behind a legacy of having opened the door to the exploration of women’s history in Vermont.

The trustees of the Vermont Historical Society passed a memorial resolution in appreciation of Deborah’s service to the society as its first woman president and in recognition of her valuable contributions to the state’s history. In addition, the society has established the Deborah Pickman Clifford Legacy Fund, an endowment in her honor. After her passing, Deborah Pickman Clifford was inducted into the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Donate to the legacy fund

If you are interested in donating to the Deborah Pickman Clifford Legacy Fund, please contact Kate Olney at (802) 479-8525;, or by donating online and noting that your donation is earmarked for this fund.

Deborah Pickman Clifford links