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Allen

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ALLEN, Ethan, American soldier: b. Litchfield, Conn., 10 Jan. 1737; d. Burlington, Vt., 13 Feb. 1789. About 1769 he removed to Bennington, Vt. The Vermont territory had been given by the Crown to both New Hamp shire and New York under conflicting grants; and when the dispute was settled (1764) in favor of New York, Governor Wentworth of New Hampshire had already granted 128 townships and continued fo grant others up to the Revolution. New York at once proceeded to regnant the same territory, but the indig nant settlers drove out the surveyors, applying the "beech seals (fresh-cut rods) to enforce their withdrawal. The English government or dered the status quo to be respected by New York, and further disorders averted by grant ing only ungranted lands; the New York au thorities continued to send surveyors, their grantees persisted in attempting to take pos session of their lands, and the New Hamp shire grantees continued to eject both deputy sheriffs and claimants by armed force and to chastise them besides. Allen at once took part in the dispute and soon • became a leader : an athletic and adventurous giant, he was now in his element. In 1770 he was appointed agent for the settlers at Albany, where they were to plead their rights; the decision went against them, and a fresh attempt being made to en force New York rights, the settlers raised a regiment for defense, called "Green Mountain Boys,' of which Allen was made colonel. Tryon of New York, historically more renowned for vanity and bad temper than ability or sue cess, proclaimed him an outlaw and offered f150 for his capture; but under Allen, Seth Warner and other able partisan chiefs, the settlers held New York at bay. Allen in 1774 answered publications in defense of the New York claims by a tract defending the Vermont ers, reprinted in 1779. When the Revolution broke out Congress ordered Arnold to raise troops and seize the British fortresses on the New York border; but the Vermonters fore stalled them by collecting a force of "Green Mountain Boys' at Castleton, Vt., under Allen's command, which on 10 May 1775 captured Ti conderoga and its garrison without a combat, and shortly after Crown Point and Skenes borough (Whitehall), giving them a mass of stores and the command of Lake Champlain.

This action moved Congress to grant them the same pay as Continental soldiers, and to recom mend the New York Assembly to employ them in the army under their own officers. Allen and Warner journeyed thither and asked ad mittance to session; and after some grumb ling over receiving proclaimed felons, a heavy majority voted to admit Allen, and later to raise a regiment of ((Green Mountain Allen wrote a letter of thanks and proposed an invasion of Canada, which was rejected. He then joined Schuyler's army as a volunteer, was sent on secret missions to Canada, meet ing on the last one Col. John Brown, who weed to join him in an invasion of Canada. Fort Chambly was captured; but Brown left Allen in the lurch at the attack on Montreal, and Allen was taken prisoner 25 September and sent to England. He was chained and treated with great severity, but after some months was sent to Halifax, N. S., and ex changed 6 May 1778. On returning to Ver mont he was appointed commander of the mi litia and Congress made him lieutenant-colonel in the regular army. The old land-grant feud still raged, and in the attempted British in trigue (1780-83) to have Vermont annex itself to Canada as a protection against New York, Allen paralyzed British military action by pro fession to consider a bribe for favorable ac tion; later he was charged with treason, but the charge was not sustained. He settled in Bennington and finally in Burlington, where he died. He was a member of the legislature, and after the war was a delegate to Congress, where he worked for the admission of Vermont as a State, which it had been by self-proclama tion since 1777. It was not till 1789, however, that New York waived its claims, and Allen did not live to see the result. He wrote the story of his captivity (1779) ; (Vindication of the Opposition of Vermont to the Govern ment of New York) (1779) ; and (Reason the Only Oracle of Man' (1784), being a deist of the Paine stripe. Consult Sparks' (Life) (Bos ton 1834) ; and Henry Hall's (Ethan Allen' (New York 1892).