CONTACT: Sylvia Plumb, Director of Communications, (802) 262-2626

Vermont Humanities Council Presents First Wednesdays Lecture

UVM Professor and Former Deputy Secretary of State Debate Vermont Secession
at Montpelier’s Unitarian Church


Montpelier ~ University of Vermont Professor Frank Bryan and former Deputy Secretary of State Paul Gillies will debate whether the time has come for a Second Republic of Vermont at Montpelier’s Unitarian Church on April 1. The event, "The Great Debate: Is it Time for a Second Vermont Republic?" is part of the Vermont Humanities Council's First Wednesdays lecture series and takes place at 7:00 p.m.

Americans, including New Englanders, have periodically contemplated secession since the Union began. Frank Bryan and Paul Gillies will consider this question from Vermont’s perspective in an informative and good-spirited debate moderated by Ethan Allen Institute President John McClaughry.

Frank Bryan is the author of Real Democracy: The New England Town Meeting and How it Works, and teaches in the Political Science Department at the University of Vermont. Paul Gillies is partner in the law firm of Tarrant, Marks & Gillies. He served as Deputy Secretary of State of Vermont from 1981-1993.
The Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays series is held on the first Wednesday of every month from October through May, featuring speakers of national and regional renown. Talks are held at Kellogg-Hubbard Library unless otherwise noted.

First Wednesdays is also presented in eight other communities statewide: Brattleboro (at Brooks Memorial Library); Burlington (at Fletcher Free Library); Manchester (at First Congregational Church, hosted by Mark Skinner Library); Middlebury (at Ilsley Public Library); Newport/Stanstead, Quebec (at Goodrich Memorial Library and Stanstead College, in alternating months); Norwich (at Norwich Congregational Church, hosted by Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society); Rutland (at Rutland Free Library); and at St. Johnsbury Athenaeum. The program is free, accessible to people with disabilities and open to the public. 

Upcoming Montpelier talks include “Powers of Persuasion” with Bennington College professor April Bernard on May 6 and “Companions for the Passage” with author Marjorie Ryerson on June 3 (rescheduled from January).

The Vermont Department of Libraries and Windham Foundation are the statewide underwriters of First Wednesdays.

For more information, contact the Kellogg-Hubbard Library at 802.223.3338 or contact the Vermont Humanities Council at 802.262.2626 or [log in to unmask], or visit

The Vermont Humanities Council is a private nonprofit working to bring the power and the pleasure of the humanities to all Vermonters—of every background and in every community. The Council envisions a state in which every individual learns throughout life—a state in which all its citizens read, reflect, and participate in public affairs.

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