The Stephen Bates Collection

The Stephen Bates Collection

Stephen Bates Historic Marker, Vergennes, VT

Beginning October 5, 2021, visitors to the Bixby Library can view the new Stephen Bates exhibit in the Community Room. This exhibit details the life of Stephen Bates, Vermont’s earliest known Black Sheriff and Chief of Police. Bates was a well-respected resident of Vergennes who was very involved in the community.

In 2019-20, Sheriff Bates’ great-grandsons, Larry Schuyler and Nick Schuyler of Massachusetts teamed up with a group of historians and community members to research Sheriff Bates’ story and create a permanent roadside
historic marker in Vergennes. Through these collective efforts, a historic marker commemorating Sheriff Bates was unveiled on October 3, 2021, at Vergennes City Park. The footage of the historic marker dedication can be viewed on Media Factory’s website here.

Additional Resources.

The Stephen Bates Exhibit

Documentary: The Life of Stephen Bates

Panel Presentation: “Stephen Bates: From Slave to Sheriff