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Virtual Vermonter - History - Green Mountain Boys


flag of the Green Mountain BoysThe Green Mountain Boys (aka Green Mountain Boyes) were a paramilitary group organized in Western Vermont in the decade prior to the American Revolution. They were comprised of settlers and land speculators who held New Hampshire titles to lands between the Conneticut River and Lake Champlain -- modern Vermont. New York was given control of the area by a decision of the English crown and refused to respect the New Hampshire land titles and town charters. Although a few towns with New York land titles -- notably Brattleboro on the Conneticut River -- supported the government in Albany, the vast majority of the settlers in the sparsely populated frontier region rejected the authority of New York.

The Green Mountain Boys were a paramilitary force several hundred strong that effectively controlled the area where New Hampshire titles had been issued. They were led by Ethan Allen, his brother Ira, and their cousin Seth Warner?. They were based at the Catamount Tavern in Bennington -- ironically only a short distance from the New York seat of government in Albany. By the 1770s, the Green Mountain Boys had become an armed military force and de facto government that prevented the Albany government from exercising its authority in the NorthEast portion of the state of New York. New York authorities had standing warrants for the arrests of the leaders of the rebellious Vermonters, but were unable to exercise them. New York surveyors and other officials attempting to exercise their authority were prevented from doing so and in some cases were severely beaten.

When the Revolutionary War started in 1775, Ethan Allan and a force of his guerillas along with colonial General Benedict Arnold marched up to Lake Champlain and captured the important military posts at Fort Ticonderoga, Crown Point, Fort Ann and the town of St John (Now St Jean), Quebec. The Green Mountain Boys later formed the basis of the Vermont militia which selected Seth Warner as it's leader. Some of the Green Mountain Boys preferred to stick with Ethan Allen and were captured along with Allen in August 1775 in a bungled attack on the city of Montreal.

Vermont eventually declared its independence from New York and organized a government based in Windsor. The army of the Vermont republic was based on the Green Mountain Boys. Although Vermont initially supported the American revolution and sent troops to fight Burgoyne's British at Hubbardton and Bennington in 1777, Vermont eventually adopted a more neutral stance and became a haven for deserters from both the British and colonial armies. George Washington -- who had more than sufficient difficulties with the British -- brushed off congressional demands that he subdue Vermont. The Green Mountain Boys/Vermont Army faded away after Vermont eventually joined the United States as the fourteenth state.

-from the Wikipedia

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, which means that you can copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license. For more information, visit here.

For More Information:

The Green Mountain Boys: A Historical Tale of the Early Settlement of Vermont
by Daniel P. Thompson

Revolutionary Outlaws: Ethan Allen and the Struggle for Independence on the Early American Frontier
by Michael A. Bellesiles

Ethan Allen: The Green Mountain Boys and Vermont's Path to Statehood (The Library of American Lives and Times)
by Emily Raabe

All materials on this site © The Virtual Vermonter and created by New England Virtual Design. Questions or comments about this site or Vermont in general? Contact us!


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