"His fortitude and firmness seem to have placed him out of reach of misfortune. There is an original something in him that commands admiration; and his long captivity and sufferings have only served to increase, if possible, his enthusiastic zeal." - George Washington
The story of Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys is one of those delightful tales that American schoolchildren hear about in school, but it is also one that is much more interesting to listen to in older age. Unlike revered founding fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who came from Virginian plantations, Allen was a rough and tumble frontiersman, more likely to fight than talk. And yet, he was in no way a dullard, but instead as well-read as many of his contemporaries and more so than the average man of his day. His family story reads almost like a cheap novel, from his heretic father to his hotheaded brothers and his shrewish first wife. By the time he was 30 years old, Allen had run up a significant list of skirmishes with law, something most of his fellow Revolutionary War heroes managed to avoid. Unlike Washington, who received his military training as a soldier in the famous British Army, Allen learned to fight in the backwoods of what is now Vermont, struggling alongside others for independence years before Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.
When the American Revolutionary War broke out in earnest, Green did not go to state leaders to ask for a commission to fight; instead, Connecticut officials came to him, and it led to his involvement in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, a successful but controversial operation that found Allen having to work with none other than Benedict Arnold, over who would lead the attack on the British fort.
While that success suggested an instinct for battle, Allen would suffer setbacks, and eventually he was captured and held prisoner by the British for nearly two years. Fortunately, the two years he spent as a captive with the British were not wasted, for when he returned home, he joined the people of the newly formed Republic of Vermont, and worked towards making it an independent state. Though it took years of work both honorable and underhanded, he ultimately succeeded, and remains held in the highest esteem by many in the state of Vermont to this day.
Ethan Allen: The Life and Legacy of the Revolutionary War Leader and a Founder of the State of Vermont examines the life of the controversial Northeasterner. You will learn about Ethan Allen like never before.