If you have studied American history at all then the name of Ethan Allen will be familiar to you.
After fighting in the French and Indian War (1754–63), Allen settled in what is now Vermont. At the outbreak of the American Revolution, he raised his force of Green Mountain Boys (organized in 1770) and Connecticut troops and helped capture the British fort at Ticonderoga, New York (May 10, 1775).
245 years ago today……
A tale that we are all familiar with but the rest of that story is that in that same year, 1775, Allen was captured by the British as he attempted to invade Canada.
After aborting a poorly planned and ill-timed attack on the British-controlled city of Montreal, Continental Army Colonel Ethan Allen is captured by the British on September 25, 1775. After being identified as an officer of the Continental Amy, Allen was taken prisoner and sent to England to be executed.
Although Allen ultimately escaped execution because the British government feared reprisals from the American colonies, he was imprisoned in England for more than two years until being returned to the United States on May 6, 1778, as part of a prisoner exchange. Allen then returned to Vermont and was given the rank of major general in the Vermont militia. In 1777, Vermonters had formally declared their independence from Britain and their fellow colonies when they created the Republic of Vermont. Forever loyal to the colony he founded, Allen spent the rest his life petitioning the Continental Congress to grant statehood to Vermont.
After the war concluded, the independent Vermont could not join the new republic as a state, because New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut all claimed the territory as their own. In response, frustrated Vermonters, including Allen, went so far as to negotiate with the Canadian governor, Frederick Haldimand, about possibly rejoining the British empire.
Ethan Allen died on his farm along the Winooski River in the still independent Republic of Vermont on February 12, 1789, at the age of 51. Two years after his death, Vermont was officially admitted into the Union and declared the 14th state of the United States.
Now you know the rest of them story.
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