Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789

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Ethan Allen (1738-1789), Revolutionary War officer and Vermont leader, achieved a place in history by capturing Fort Ticonderoga in 1775. He championed Vermont's drive for statehood. Ethan Allen was a distinct type of frontier soldier. His influence on the settlers of Vermont was comparable to that of John Sevier on the inhabitants of Watauga, East Tennessee, and of Thomas Sumter on the up-country men of South Carolina. Frontier people possessed clan-like loyalties, and they looked to strong men to lead them. Allen had all the credentials. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had great physical strength, along with "rough and ready humor, boundless self-confidence and shrewdness in thought and action equal to almost any emergency." When Vermonters were threatened by New York authorities who claimed the area and denied the validity of their land titles, they formed in 1770 a military association, an unauthorized militia which Allen commanded. The members were mostly rough, roistering young men, and they called themselves the Green Mountain Boys. Allen was the eldest son of a substantial farmer in Litchfield, Connecticut. His father's early death left him with the responsibility of caring for his mother and seven other children, and it brought his schooling (preparation to enter Yale College) to a permanent end. Allen, however, had a genuine intellectual bent, and he was to write a number of pamphlets on such diverse subjects as the taking of Ticonderoga, Vermont's controversies with New York, and religion.

From the description of Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10582855

Leader of the American Revolution and author, of Burlington, Vt.

From the description of Deed, 1772. (Portsmouth Athenaeum Library & Museum). WorldCat record id: 70960982

Militia officer.

From the description of Papers of Ethan Allen, 1773-1784. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71132342

Continental Army officer.

From the description of Ethan Allen correspondence, 1775. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79449292

Ethan Allen was born on January 21, 1738, in Litchfield, CT, the eldest of six sons of Joseph and Mary (Baker) Allen. Moving to Vermont around 1769, Allen became a prominent figure in the disputes surrounding the New Hampshire Grants. He helped form the Green Mountain Boys to thwart New York's efforts to impose its jurisdiction in the dispute territory. With his brothers Heman, Zimri, and Ira, Ethan formed the Onion River Land Company. Together they became the largest landowners in the Champlain Valley.

In 1775 Ethan joined the forces of the Revolutionaries and with Benedict Arnold captured Fort Ticonderoga. Later, upon attempting the capture of Montreal, Allen was himself captured by the British. He was imprisoned in England for over two years. Released in 1778, Allen returned to Vermont and continued his campaign against New York.

Ethan was a leading spokesman for an independent state of Vermont. Along with his brother Ira he was instrumental in forming and protecting the Republic of Vermont (1777-1791). Ethan was an active promoter not only of Vermont independence, but also of Deism. His "Reason, the Only Oracle of Man" was one of the first American Deist tracts. Allen died in Burlington, Vt, on February 12, 1789.

From the description of Papers, 1753-1789. [microform]. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122640935

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Ethan Allen Hitchcock. 1835 - 1909. Subject Files
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Papers of Ethan Allen, 1773-1784. Library of Congress
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. AL(frag.)S, 1779 March 6, Bennington, to George Washington. Cornell University Library
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Papers, 1753-1789. [microform]. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Washington, George, 1732-1799. ALS, 1781 July 10 : Head Qrs. near Dobbs Ferry, to [Joseph Jones]. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. ALS, 1784 Aug. 31, Bennington, Vt., to Ira Allen, Onion River, Vt. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Papers of Ethan Allen Hitchcock. 1835 - 1909. Memorabilia. 10/28/1902 - 5/2/1904. Correspondence from the New Hampshire Society of the Cincinnati
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Letter, 1774 November 15, Bennington [Vt.], to Theodore Atkinson, Portsmouth, N.H. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Autograph letter signed : Sharon, to Watson and Goodwin, Printers, Hartford, 1778 Dec. 28. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. An essay on the universal plentiude of being and on the nature and immortality of the human soul and its agency : manuscript, [1784] Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn United States Revolution collection, 1754-1928. Gadsden Public Library
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. ALS, 1784 Aug. 5, Sunderland, Vt., to Goose Van Schaick. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Prince, Christopher, 1751-1832. Christopher Prince papers, 1806-1891. Library of Congress
referencedIn Allen family. Allen family vital records, 1728-1741. Litchfield Historical Society
referencedIn New York (State). Provincial Congress. Correspondence of the Provincial Congress, Provincial Convention, Committee of Safety, and Council of Safety, 1772-1777 (bulk 1775-1777) New York State Archives
referencedIn Fort Ticonderoga, Museum, (N.Y.). Military manuscripts, 1722-1848. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Williams, John, 1752-1806. Papers, 1767-1841. American Periodical Series I
referencedIn Guy Johnson papers, 1773-1831 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Johnson, Guy, ca. 1740-1788. Guy Johnson papers, 1773-1831. Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Quitclaim from Ethan Allen, Burlington, Vermont, to Justice Wheeler, Lanesboro, Massachusetts : manuscript signed, 1788 September 30. Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. ALS, 1775 September 20, [Saint Tuors, Canada] to General Richard Montgomery. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Stark, John, 1728-1822. Papers, 1758-1819. New Hampshire Historical Society Library
referencedIn Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985. America's Ethan Allen : production material. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Smith, Charles Manley, 1868-1937. Proclamation of Charles Manley Smith, 1936. Library of Congress
creatorOf Adams, Abigail, 1744-1818. Gwathmey collection [manuscript], 1708-1852. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Skene, Philip Wharton, 1725-1810. Papers, 1765-1789. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Wendell family papers, ca. 1620-1921. Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Great Britain. Army. First Independent Company of New York Rangers. Records, 1777-1782. New-York Historical Society
referencedIn Reed, George B. (George Bowlend), b. 1829. George B. Reed Vermont scrapbook, 1761-1905. Vermont Historical Society
creatorOf Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801. Papers, 1765-1886 (inclusive), 1775-1806 (bulk). Harvard University, Houghton Library
referencedIn Papers, 1765-1886 (inclusive), 1775-1806 (bulk). Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Carter, Joseph C. Joseph Cleveland Carter papers, 1918-1985 bulk: ca. 1950-1985. Vermont Historical Society
referencedIn McCullough, Hall Park, 1872-1966. Revolutionary War records, 1777-1915. Bennington Museum, Incorporated
referencedIn Dolbeare family. Papers, 1665-1830. Massachusetts Historical Society
referencedIn Terry, Roderick, 1876-1951. Roderick Terry Jr. Autograph Collection, 1672-1940, 1750-1915. Redwood Library & Athenaeum
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. ALS, 1784 Aug. 31, Bennington, Vt., to Ira Allen, Onion River, Vt. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Papers of Ethan Allen Hitchcock. 1835 - 1909. Memorabilia
referencedIn Battell, Philip, 1807-1897. Minutes of conversations, 1840-1860. Sheldon Museum Research Center
referencedIn Draper, Lyman Copeland, 1815-1891,. Draper manuscripts: Draper's historical miscellanies, 1720-1887. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Canadiana manuscripts, 1749-1811. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Frederick M. Dearborn collection of military and political Americana, Part I: The Revolution and the Administration, 1669-1958. Houghton Library, , Harvard College Library, Harvard University
referencedIn Allen, Levi, 1745-1801. Levi Allen petty ledger A, 1784-1801. Chicago History Museum
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. ALS, 1775 May 12, Ticondaroga [sic], to the Committee of Safety. Copley Press, J S Copley Library
referencedIn Christopher Prince Papers, 1806-1891 Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
referencedIn Fort Ticonderoga Museum (N.Y.). Journal collection, 1758-1780. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Letter (facsimile), 1775, May 11. Brown University, John Hay Library
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Deed, 1772. Portsmouth Athenaeum Library & Museum
creatorOf Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. Ethan Allen correspondence, 1775. Library of Congress
referencedIn Smith, Martha V., 1858-1952. Vermont history and biography collection, 1926-1930s. Vermont Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Allen, Ethan, 1738-1789. person
associatedWith Allen family. family
associatedWith Allen, Heman, 1779-1852. person
associatedWith Allen, Ira, 1751-1814, person
associatedWith Allen, Levi, 1745-1801. person
associatedWith Allen, Levi, 1794-1801. person
associatedWith Als. person
associatedWith Arnold, Benedict, 1741-1801. person
associatedWith Atkinson, Theodore, 1697-1779. person
associatedWith Battell, Philip, 1807-1897. person
associatedWith Bradley, Stephen Row, 1754-1830. person
associatedWith Carter, Joseph C. person
associatedWith Committee of Correspondence for the City and County of Albany, corporateBody
associatedWith Dearborn, Frederick M. (Frederick Myers), b. 1876 person
associatedWith Dolbeare family. family
associatedWith Fort Ticonderoga Museum (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fort Ticonderoga, Museum, (N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Fort Ticonderoga (N.Y.). corporateBody
associatedWith Great Britain. Army. First Independent Company of New York Rangers. corporateBody
associatedWith How, Nehemiah. person
associatedWith Johnson, Guy, ca. 1740-1788. person
associatedWith Montgomery, Richard, 1738-1775. person
associatedWith New York (State). Provincial Congress. corporateBody
associatedWith Onion River Land Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Prince, Christopher, 1751-1832. person
associatedWith Reed, George B. (George Bowlend), b. 1829. person
associatedWith Skene, Philip Wharton, 1725-1810. person
associatedWith Smith, Charles Manley, 1868-1937. person
associatedWith Smith, Martha V., 1858-1952 person
correspondedWith Stark, John, 1728-1822. person
associatedWith Stevens, Henry, 1819-1886. person
associatedWith Terry, Roderick, 1876-1951. person
associatedWith Van Schaick, Goose, 1736-1789, person
associatedWith Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985. person
associatedWith Washington, George, 1732-1799. person
associatedWith Watson and Goodwin, Printers, Hartford, corporateBody
correspondedWith Wendell family. family
associatedWith Wheeler, Justice, Lanesboro, Mass. person
associatedWith Williams, John, 1752-1806. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New York (State)
New Hampshire
Vermont
United States
Ticonderoga (N.Y.)
United States
Vermont
United States
New Hampshire--Strafford County
New Marlborough (Mass. : Town)
Ticonderoga (N.Y.)
Subject
Real property
Rationalism
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Religion--Philosophy
Land titles
Canadian invasion, 1775-1776
Real estate investment
Occupation
Army officers
Landowners--New Hampshire
Militia officers
Function

Person

Birth 1738-01-21

Death 1789-02-12

English

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