Vermont covers 9,614 sq mi; its capital is Montpelier. The Green Mountains extend through the centre of Vermont. The highest point is Mount Mansfield, at 4,393 ft. Most of the rivers drain into Lake Champlain. Settled originally by Abenaki Indians, the region was explored by Samuel de Champlain, who in 1609 discovered the lake that now bears his name. The French established the first permanent European settlement in 1666 on Isle La Motte. Both the Dutch and the British established settlements in the 18th century, but the area fell exclusively to the British in 1763. Disputes arose between New York and New Hampshire concerning jurisdiction of the area; New Hampshire had awarded grants to settlers. In 1770 Ethan Allen organized the Green Mountain Boys to repel encroachers from western New York. In 1775, at the start of the American Revolution, Allen and his group, fighting for the colonies, captured Fort Ticonderoga from the British. Vermonters created an independent republic in 1777, and in 1791 it became the 14th U.S. state. In 1864, during the American Civil War, it was the site of the only action north of Pennsylvania when a band of Confederates raided St. Albans from Canada. Dairying and the mining of granite and marble contribute to the economy. In the 1930s the first ski runs were built, and by the 1960s a winter tourist industry had developed.
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