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First Name: Ethan

Last Name: Allen

Birthplace: Litchfield, CT, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Continental Army (1775 - 1784)

Date of Birth: 21 January 1738

Date of Death: 11 February 1789

Rank: Colonel

Years Served:
Ethan Allen

•  Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)


Ethan Allen

Brevet Colonel, Continental Army

Ethan Allen was born on 21 January 1738 in Litchfield, CT.

He was a fiercely independent soldier who often caused problems for the Americans, as well as the British. During the war, he served in the French and Indian War at Fort William Henry, acquiring land in Vermont for his services. When the area that would later become the State of Vermont came under Land Grant disputes between New York and New Hampshire in the late 1760s, he formed and became Colonel of the "Green Mountain Boys" Militia unit to discourage New York' aims with guerrilla attacks. (This led to Royal Governor Tryon putting a reward out for his capture.)

When the Revolutionary War started, he led his militiamen with Benedict Arnold in his most celebrated feat - the 10 May 1775 capture of the lightly defended Fort Ticonderoga. The guns Colonel Allen and Arnold captured there helped force the British out of Boston. His resistance to efforts to incorporate his Green Mountain Boys into the Continental Army caused him to be voted out of command by his men (they were led by Colonel Seth Warner for the rest of the war).

Ethan Allen then accompanied Benedict Arnold in the expedition to Canada, and was captured in the failed assault on Montreal. He was imprisoned in England until paroled in October 1776. After his formal exchange in May 1778, he received a brevet of Colonel in the Continental Army, but received no command, so he returned to Vermont.

Frustrated in his attempts to have Vermont become its own state (it was part of New Hampshire at the time), he entered into negotiations with the British, in Quebec, to make it an English Colony. (These plans were wholly unsuccessful.)

A popular history of Allen's life states: "he was a talented guerrilla leader, devoted to Vermont, but indifferent to the United States." 

Death and Burial

Ethan Allen died on 11 February 1789. He is buried at Greenmount Cemetery in Burlington, VT.

Honoree ID: 2059   Created by: MHOH




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