Letter: Historically inaccurate attack on Ethan Allen

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Editor of the Reformer:

You published a letter last week with so many historical inaccuracies ("The Allen brothers are symbols of wrong done to Abenaki," June 18), that a full response would exceed your letter limitations ... anyone who believes the condemnation of Ethan Allen is justified needs to learn about history, not allow others to make it up as they go along.

In 1775, before the Constitution of the Republic of Vermont was written, Ethan Allen sent a letter entreating the St Francis Abenaki to side with the Americans in the Revolution against the British. His chosen emissary to carry his message was Captain Abraham Nimham, son of Daniel Nimham, chief sachem of the Stockbridge Mohicans of Western Connecticut and Western Massachusetts.

Most of Vermont, up to the Missisquoi and east to Waterbury Center, was the territory of the Stockbridge Mohicans, who fought alongside their Yankee brothers at the victory at Battle of Bennington, were chopped to ribbons at the Battle of Kings Bridge in the Bronx (both Daniel Nimham and his son Abraham were killed in close hand to hand fighting), but continued to fight in spite of the loss of many heads of households on behalf of the Republic of Vermont as Rangers on the Northern Frontier, as witnessed by a roster signed by General Ethan Allen and Governor Thomas Chittenden in 1780.

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The Republic of Vermont granted the Stockbridge Mohicans the town of Marshfield, Vermont, but they sold it and bought land at Brotherton in upstate New York, eventually moving to Wisconsin, where they remain a federally recognized tribe to this day.

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Ethan Allen never went before the Continental Congress. The Allens bought up titles to grants of land made after the French & Indian War in Vermont and peddled deeds to the land to their neighbors in western Connecticut and western Massachusetts.

The land in question (Vermont) was formerly conquered by the French, but after the French & Indian War was ceded to Great Britain.

The Green Mountain Boys have absolutely nothing to do with "Roger's Raiders" (the writer meant Roger's Rangers). Roger's Rangers were formed under the British Military during the French & Indian war, and the Green Mountain Boys formed in the years just preceding 1775 and the onset of the American Revolution.

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Ethan Allen is as important a hero as there ever was, and to belittle him brings great dishonor to any resident of this state who can't find the time to research and understand Vermont's and Ethan Allen's admirable history.

Linus Leavens

South Burlington, June 23


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