Throughout the colonial period the territory of Vermont was claimed by both New Hampshire and New York. On January 15, 1777, six months after the original thirteen colonies declared their independence from England, Vermont proclaimed itself to be an independent republic and remained so until admitted to the union as the fourteenth state on March 4, 1791. The Republic of Vermont became the first American local government to authorize and establish a mint to produce coins. On June 10, 1785 the House of Representatives of the Freemen of Vermont appointed a three member committee to study a petition from Reuben Harmon, Jr. requesting that he be allowed to mint copper coins, a fourth committee member was added from the upper chamber known as the Governor's Council.
Five days later, on June 15th the committee presented an act to the legislature that would grant Harmon an exclusive two year right to mint coppers within the Republic starting July 1, 1785. It was stipulated the coppers had to weigh one third of an ounce troy weight (160 grains) and that they would contain designs and mottos approved by the committee. Harmon was also required to post a bond of £5,000. On that same day, the act was read and approved by the House and sent up and to the Council where the members voted to concur with the House, approving the measure into law. Interestingly, although Vermont was an independent republic, the legislature continually referred to itself as a state in their legislation, hence the act says Harmon was granted "...the exclusive right of coining Copper within this State for the term of two years...".
The day after Harmon's coining petition was granted, June 16, 1785, he posted the required bond and presumably began setting up his mint in Rupert, Vermont. The first location of the mint was on the north side of Millbrook Stream. In the mid 1850's Charles Bushnell sent letters inquiring about information on several confederation era mints. At that time some elderly local residents remembered these mints in operation during their youth.