"By whose authority have you and your mob entered His Majesty's fort?"
It was May, 1775, and the question was dressed to Ethan Allen by the British commandant at Ticonderoga.
Ethan's instant reply has passed into history. It is an answer the rings like the Liberty Bell itself -triumphant and vibrating. "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!"
This great American is perhaps best known as the leader of the Green Mountain Boys who captured Fort Ticonderoga. But his whole life was spent battling for justice and independence. As a young man he had championed the cause of his fellow townsmen when the governor of New York tried to impose on them the ancient landowning system of feudalism under which farmers could not own the land on which they lived. Ethan and his Boys drove the Yorkers out of the Grants (which later became the state of Vermont).
After Ticonderoga, Ethan was given the dangerous job of recruiting soldiers among the French settlers in Canada. Captured in Montreal, he was imprisoned on British ships, and two and a half years passed before he was back home among his hills and the people he loved.
Ethan Allen is Vermont's special hero, but he is no less a hero to every other state in the Union for the high principles in which he believed and for which he fought.
Did you find this review helpful?