ETHAN ALLEN (1738-1789)
Born in Litchfield, Connecticut
Then parents moved to Cornwall.
Had five brothers and two sisters
Ethan was the oldest of them all.
Parents were Joseph and Mary
Family known to be influential.
Brother Ira was the youngest
And would earn some grand credentials.
The University of Vermont.
Ira founded and earned respect
Also a prominent figure in
The government of the Republic.
In fifty-five his father died
Preventing Ethan’s education.
Always felt disappointment
But home needed his attention.
Allen was head of the household
In seventeen-hundred and fifty seven.
Joined the Litchfield County Militia,
To his siblings the farm was given.
In sixty-two near Salisbury
Was part owner in smelting iron ore.
Seeing a great need for kettles
Wash and cooking they were made for.
That same year he was married
His wife’s name was Mary Brownson.
They made their home in Sheffield, Mass.
Would have four daughters and a son.
His marriage he was not happy
Was frequently absent from home.
Impulsive and a heavy drinker
Is fact that Ethan liked to roam.
What was called the New Hampshire Grants
Today we know it as Vermont.
Moved his family from Salisbury
For a Grant of land that he would want.
In Fay’s tavern in Bennington
A group called the Green Mountain Boys.
Formed a militia to protect their land
Violence they would employ.
Allen and Benedict Arnold
On May tenth in seventy-five.
Had seized Fort Ticonderoga
The Green Mountain Boys led the drive.
Fought for freedom and liberty
Was a take charge man of his life.
A symbolic figure of Vermont
As a leader showed no strife.
Frontiersman, soldier and statesman
The Green Mountain state does honor.
Ethan Allen as their hero
A leader and the founder.
(January 21, 1738 – February 12, 1789)
Ethan Allen was born in 1738 in Litchfield, Connecticut, the eldest of the eight children of Joseph and Mary Allen. He had five brothers (Heman, Heber, Levi, Zimri, and Ira) and two sisters (Lydia and Lucy) all of whom lived to adulthood, unusual in those days. Of these siblings, his youngest brother Ira is best known as the founder of the University of Vermont in 1791, and as an influential member of the government of the Republic of Vermont. When Ethan Allen was in his teens he worked and moved grain for a mill in Woodbury. In the 1740?s children started working at an early age. When work permitted, Allen liked to be with his elders He asked many questions and learned a lot. He also liked to read a great deal, he read the Bible until he found other books in Cornwall. He read almost every book in Cornwall. When he learned to write and read at a young age, he started his thoughts on paper. His father impressed with Allen’s ambition, sent him to Reverend Jonathan Lee for schooling in Salisbury. His father’s death forced him to leave the school. He returned home to help bury his father and take charge of the family farm. He acted as head of the family and did very well. Ethan from going to Yale to pursue his education, a disappointment he felt throughout his life.
In the summer on 1757, at the age of 19, Allen turned the farm over to his brothers and enlisted in the militia to fight in the French and Indian War. His company did not see any action in the war, and for the next four years Allen just helped with the farm. In late 1761, Allen Began work in Salisbury smelting iron ore. He built a huge blast furnace (which is still there today) to smelt iron ore and to make kettles; kettles were in need at that time. In the 1760’s, New Hampshire’s governor began granting land in the region now know as Vermont. In 1768, Allen left his family at his brother’s home in Salisbury and headed north to the New Hampshire Grants.
After a short stay there he returned to Salisbury. He eventually moved his whole family to the Grants. The Green Mountain Boys were a citizens’ militia founded in Fay’s Tavern in Bennington in 1770. This militia could be called up to protect, by force if necessary, the ownership of the land in the New Hampshire Grants. Ethan Allen was its first and by all accounts very charismatic Colonel-Commandant. Ethan Allen, who has become a folk hero in Vermont, was an unusually flamboyant backwoodsman-turned-statesman from Connecticut. He was one of the early inhabitants of Burlington, where he lived on his property in the Winooski River interval from 1787 until his death in 1789. He made a very significant contribution to the early history of Vermont, at that time called the New Hampshire Grants, when the territory constituted the northern frontier of the New England colonies, and of the emerging nation.