Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Ethan Allen

Via VT Commons, some highlights of this piece regarding VT’s swashbuckling hero.

Ethan Allen (1738-1789) was the "Sooner" of our Founding Fathers. He started shooting at Redcoats long before the rest of them. As early as 1770 the British governor of New York put a price on his head. Allen and his Green Mountain Boys successfully defended their homesteaded farms in Vermont from British troops trying to enforce land grants New York had sold to others. They were well-seasoned fighters by the time it all became official in 1776. They took Fort Ticonderoga after an epic march in fierce conditions that caught the British asleep. Allen awoke them by proclaiming that he was taking possession "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress." The Jehovah bit was all tongue in cheek, for Allen was a freethinker who thought Judeo-Christian-Islam-anity was a calamity[…]
[…]Shocking people was Allen’s specialty. He stopped his wedding ceremony when asked if he would pledge "to live with Fanny Buchanan agreeable to the laws of God." He wanted to know which god and whose god the marriage was supposed to please, stalling the proceedings until it was specified to be Nature's god and no other[…]
[…]He said the Bible "…[was] offensive to reason and common sense, and subversive of moral rectitude in general." This was the first time in American history that a formal publication attacked the Christian religion. It attacked the creation myth, eternal punishment, revelation, miracles, prophecy, faith, the trinity, Jesus, divinity, and imputation, but stood for natural morality based upon reason and kindness[…]
[…]A minister intruded during the death watch and said, "General, I fear the angels are waiting for you," only to hear his booming voice respond: "Waiting, are they? Waiting, are they? Well, goddamn 'em, let 'em wait."

Sadly the museum that previously invited tourists to stride through his last known dwelling is closed. The structure still stands (photos can be found here) but it’s future is unknown.

Perhaps the VT legislature should spend less time (and tax payer money) on wholly symbolic gestures and begin to not only retrieve the history of our state but also concentrate on statewide issues.