On this day in 1789, the 12th of February, Vermont Patriot Ethan Allen died at the age 52 of on his Winooski River homestead. Born January 21, 1737 in Litchfield, Connecticut, to Joseph Allen and Mary Baker, Ethan is best remembered as the patriotic leader of the Green Mountain Boys, who took the British fort at Ticonderoga with Benedict Arnold in May 1775. Like Arnold, Ethan Allen faced charges of treason. He attempted to negotiate terms by which Vermont could rejoin the British empire in the early 1780’s, when New York blocked its entrance as one of the United States. In the late 1760’s, tensions mounted between the residents of Vermont and the numerous New York settlers arriving in their colony. Ethan led the Green Mountain Boys in guerrilla actions against the New York landowners in Vermont. New Yorkers responded by issuing a warrant for his arrest and a reward of £100 for anyone bringing him into custody. These energies were turned toward the British when war began. Ethan led the Green Mountain Boys to join Benedict Arnold at Fort Ticonderoga and expedite victory there. Allen earned the title of Patriot by his actions there. He and Arnold took Ticonderoga and seized the cannon that would allow the Patriots to drive the British from Boston. Allen continued into Canada, where he was taken prisoner by the British in Montreal in August 1775, being held for three years before being released in the colony he most despised, New York. Allen spent the rest of his life serving and promoting the interests of Vermont, until his untimely death on February 12, 1789. Sculptor Larkin Goldsmith Mead captured Ethan’s image.
Ethan Allen, Vermont Patriot