Green Mountain Boys

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The Green Mountain Boys were a militia organization first established in the 1760s in the territory between the British provinces of New York and New Hampshire, known as the New Hampshire Grants. Headed by Ethan Allen and members of his extended family, they were instrumental in resisting New York's attempts to control the territory, over which it had won de jure control in a territorial dispute with New Hampshire. When these disputes led to the formation of the Vermont Republic in 1777, the Boys became the new republic's militia. Some companies served in the American Revolutionary War, including most notably the 1775 Capture of Fort Ticonderoga and later invasion of Quebec, and battles at Hubbardton and Bennington in 1777.

Following Vermont's admission to the Union in 1791, the original organization essentially disbanded. The Green Mountain Boys were mustered again during the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. Today it is the informal name of the Vermont National Guard which comprises the Vermont Army and Air National Guards.

Contents

Historical unit

The original Green Mountain Boys were a militia organized in what is now southwestern Vermont in the decade prior to the American Revolutionary War. They comprised settlers and land speculators who held New Hampshire titles to lands between the Connecticut River and Lake Champlain, an area then known as the New Hampshire Grants, that is now modern Vermont. New York was given legal control of the area by a decision of the British crown and refused to respect the New Hampshire titles and town charters. Although a few towns with New York land titles, notably Brattleboro on the Connecticut River, supported the government in Albany, the vast majority of the settlers in the sparsely populated frontier region rejected the authority of New York.

With several hundred members, the Green Mountain Boys effectively controlled the area where New Hampshire grants had been issued. They were led by Ethan Allen, his brother Ira Allen, and their cousins Seth Warner and Remember Baker. They were based at the Catamount Tavern in Bennington, 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 Province 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, and settlers arriving to clear and work land under New York–issued grants were forced off their land, and sometimes had their possessions destroyed.

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