Benjamin Wheaton

  • <p>West Brattleboro Common, 1896 photo: Brattleboro Historical Society</p> <p>West Brattleboro Common, 1896 photo: Brattleboro Historical Society</p>

Play Audio & View Transcript - Student Created audio with Brattleboro Area Middle School (BAMS) and Brattleboro Historical Society (BHS)

  • Benjamin Wheaton - BHS/ BAMS Student Production (Placeholder)

About

In 1786, Benjamin Wheaton bought land in Brattleboro. He was not the only black person living in Brattleboro then, but he was the first to own property in town. All the others lived with, and worked for, white families as farm laborers or domestic servants. In 1791, he took the Freeman's Oath, Vermont's prerequisite for voting. He also owned a share in the Brattleboro Library. In 1806, he purchased land adjoining his property. He died in March of that year, presumably from smallpox. Having no heirs, the town bought his land which was, according to the deed, "to be used by the town of Brattleboro forever as a road, common, or green and for no other purpose." Today, this land, on Western Avenue, is known as the West Brattleboro Common.

Tour Stop Location

Brattleboro, Vermont, United States

Research & Production

Audio Production, Research & Narration:

Student Created audio with Brattleboro Area Middle School (BAMS) and Brattleboro Historical Society (BHS).

Ongoing Development and Involvement:

As a community-created project, we encourage ongoing dialogue, questions, and engagement. If you would like to be involved in future developments, have information or a perspective that could deepen others' understanding of this topic, please contact us

Pictured Above: West Brattleboro Common, 1896 photo courtesy of Brattleboro Historical Society