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Green-Mountain freeman. [volume] : (Montpelier, Vt.) 1844-1884
Alternative Titles:
  • Freeman
Place of publication:
Montpelier, Vt.
Geographic coverage:
  • Montpelier, Washington, Vermont  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
J. Poland
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 41, no. 10 (Mar. 5, 1884).
  • Began Jan. 6, 1844.
  • English
  • Montpelier (Vt.)--Newspapers.
  • Vermont--Montpelier.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01208013
  • Vermont--Washington County.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01221123
  • Washington County (Vt.)--Newspapers.
  • Absorbed by: Vermont watchman (Montpelier, Vt. : 1822).
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Daily ed.: Daily Green Mountain freeman.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 3 (Jan. 20, 1844).
  • Editors: J.C. Aspenwall, 184<4>, 1848-1849; C. Briggs, 1846; H. Hopkins, J. Poland, <1848>; D. Thompson, 1854-1855; S. Boyce, 1855-<1858>; C. Willard, <1862-1865>; J. Wheelock, <1873-1876>.
  • Has occasional supplements.
  • Liberty, <1848>; Republican, <1854>; Anti-slavery, <1855>; Republican, <1858>
  • Published as: Green Mountain freeman, <1848-1878>
  • Publishers: J. Poland, 1844-1845; Poland & Briggs, 1845-1846; J. Poland, 1846-1849; J. Scott, 1849; Scott & Thompson, 1849-<1850>; D. Thompson, <1850-1855>; S. Boyce, 1855-1861; C. Willard, 1861-1868; Willard & Wheelock, 1869-1871>; J. Wheelock, <1873-1878>
sn 84023209
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Green-Mountain freeman. [volume] January 20, 1844 , Image 1


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The Vermont Freeman, Green-Mountain Freeman and The Daily Green Mountain Freeman

Newspapers played an important role in the effort to promote the political objectives of the antislavery Liberty Party in Vermont. In 1842, 1200 copies of the People’s Advocate, a Concord, New Hampshire paper, were printed in Montpelier, Vermont, to promote Liberty Party candidates. From November 1842 to 1843, the Vermont Freeman, published first by antislavery agent and lecturer Alanson St. Clair and then by Joseph E. Hood, with editorial assistance from Chester C. Briggs, was issued from Montpelier and Norwich. The two extant issues include mostly articles from other antislavery papers, with very little content specific to Vermont.

In October 1843, a Liberty Party convention voted to establish the Green Mountain Freeman as the official party organ, with Joseph Poland as publisher and Joseph C. Aspenwall as editor. The first issue appeared in January 1844. Poland believed that "the omnipotent influence of decided, energetic, and uncompromising antislavery papers" would rally more supporters than occasional lectures and sermons. To get the paper into as many hands as possible, Poland advertised special bulk rates for individual issues, and offered to take maple sugar, any kind of produce, or cloth in payment for subscriptions. Under his direction, the Freeman helped the Liberty Party establish a strong presence in Vermont. The Freeman had achieved the largest circulation of any newspaper in Vermont by1847. Poland issued the Freeman as both a party and a family paper. Political content included reports on lectures and meetings, contributions from antislavery advocates, and editorial correspondence. When the Liberty Party merged with the Free Soil Party in 1848, the Freeman endorsed Free Soil principles and candidates.

Poland left the Freeman in December 1848. It continued to be an important antislavery paper under his successors, who included Jacob Scott and Daniel P. Thompson from 1849 to 1855 and Sidney S. Boyce from 1856 to early 1861. When Charles W. Willard became the owner and editor in April 1861, he issued a prospectus promising that while the Freeman would continue to stand against slavery, it would include more general material and news, as well as a strong agricultural department. Willard took over just as the Civil War started, and the Freeman provided extensive coverage of military and political developments. In addition to the weekly edition, Willard published the four-page Daily Green Mountain Freeman from April 15, 1861, through the end of 1863. The Freeman's war correspondent, Private Wilbur Fisk, contributed nearly 100 reports between 1861 and 1865. The Freeman also advocated for universal suffrage and actively supported the 1870 effort to add a women's suffrage amendment to the Vermont constitution.

Joseph W. Wheelock began working at the Green Mountain Freeman as a printer in 1852. In 1869, he acquired a half interest in the paper. Wheelock managed the Freeman until May 1873, when he became the sole owner. After Wheelock's death in 1876, his son Herbert R. Wheelock continued the paper until March 1884, when William W. Prescott purchased the Freeman and merged it with the larger Vermont Watchman.

Provided by: University of Vermont