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The Revolutionary War hero Ethan Allen was born on January 21, 1738, in Litchfield, Connecticut. He was a soldier, farmer, frontiersman, and author during the American Revolution. Allen was perhaps best known for being the militia leader of a special group of soldiers in the Revolutionary War known as the Green Mountain Boys, a ragtag group of Vermont Territory frontiersmen who made a formidable army. In May of 1775, Ethan Allen, along with future traitor Benedict Arnold, led the Green Mountain Boys in the successful seizure of the British Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York. Allen was captured by the British Royal Navy in September 1775 while trying to capture Montreal, Quebec, for the Patriots. He was released in 1778.
Ethan Allen at Fort Ticonderoga
Working to Make Vermont a State
After his release by the British, Allen worked hard to help establish the eventual state of Vermont and even considered an offer from the British to make Vermont a separate British province. Some of the land purchased by Ethan Allen would eventually become the state's largest city: Burlington. In addition to being a soldier and Revolutionary War militia leader, Ethan Allen was also a respected author who wrote papers that were widely read about his experiences in the Revolutionary War, the formation of Vermont, and his political philosophies. Ethan Allen married twice and had eight children of his own. He died in the Vermont territory on February 12, 1789. His death came just two years before the Vermont Territory was granted statehood.