Poultney was chartered in 1761 when Royal Governor Benning Wentworth, in the name of King George the Third, granted 61 proprietors equal shares in a township six miles square "for the due encouragement of settling a new plantation within Our said Province (of New Hampshire)." Governor Wentworth had made 16 of these "New Hampshire Grants" in what is now
Most of the Poultney grantees were at the time residents of
This was a period of great land speculation with rival claims of ownership by
At the last annual proprietors meeting in
The first settlers, who had come in April, 1771, and built shanties near the present-day main intersection in Poultney, were Ebenezer Allen, a cousin of Ethan, and Thomas Ashley, an Allen in-law. At the first town meeting, on March 8, 1775, the First Town Clerk was elected – Heber Allen.
The Allens, the Ashleys and the Green Mountain Boys were successful in resisting the Yorkites and became famous for the taking of
After the Declaration of Independence, Poultney men participated in a series of state-wide conventions that culminated in January, 1777, with the adoption of the Vermont Declaration of Independence, which declared "that the district of territory known by the name and description of the New Hampshire Grants, is, and of right ought to be, considered as a free and independent jurisdiction or State, by the name, and forever hereafter to be called, known and distinguished by the name of New Connecticut, alias Vermont."