1.3 Enter Ethan Allen


Caption: The Calamount Tavern, birthplace of the Green Mountain Boys. (Wikipedia Commons)

A major shareholder (45,000 Acres in the “Onion River Company along with his 5 brothers) in the Land Grants, Ethan Allen travel to Albany and appeared in front of the New York supreme court in 1770 to appeal the voiding of the Grants by the Board of Trade in London [1]. In the case of Small v. Carpenter, Benning Wentworth’s grants were shown to have no legal authority [2]. To quote Allen in his 1779 book, A Vindication of the Opposition of the Inhabitants of Vermont to the Government of New-York: “The Plaintiffs appearing in great state and magnificent…together with their junto of land thieves, made a brilliant appearance; but the defendants appearing in but ordinary fashion, having been greatly fatigued by hard labour wrought on the disputed premises,…made a very disproportionate figure in court…in fine, interest, connection and grandeur…easily turned the scale against the honest defendants” [3]. Quoting a bible verse referring to a battle where a few Israelites had slaughtered a huge Syrian army (“The Gods of the valley are not the Gods of the hills”), Allen left the courtroom and rode to Bennington. At the town’s crowded tavern (the Calamount Tavern), Allen told the New Hampshire settlers the news and roused them to support violent resistance, although contingent on a final decision by the Crown [4]. By doing this Allen and the settlers had the option to defend themselves against any invasion by New York law enforcement.

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Citations:

  1. Randall, Willard Sterne. Ethan Allen: His Life and Times. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011. 229.
  2. Ibid. 232.
  3. Ibid. 234.
  4. Ibid. 239.

 

 

 

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