“Come Down From There!”

10 May
1875 engraving depicting the capture of Fort T...

1875 engraving depicting the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by Ethan Allen on May 10, 1775 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If the name “Ethan Allen and His Green Mountain Boys” appeared in newspapers today, it would look like an advertisement for a group of folk-singers. Ethan Allen performed in the American Revolutionary War in the same way as General George Patton did in World War II. He was the militia commander in Vermont who, loving to take his soldiers on daring sweeps into enemy territory, could not be restrained by superior officers.

As soon as possible after war began in the Spring of 1775, Ethan Allen led his leather-stockings to the Lake Champlain area where the British had garrisons at Ticonderoga and Crown Point. These garrisons were supposed block the route from New York to Montreal, but their defences had been neglected. The British in Canada had not expected to go to war with their fellow-countrymen south of the border.

When Ethan Allen led his force of 200 men (including Benedict Arnold) to Ticonderoga on May 10, everyone in the fort was asleep. Allen called on it to surrender and finally aroused the commanding officer, who asked him by what authority he was making such a demand. Allen is quoted in history books as having replied, “In the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.” There is a more realistic school of thought which believes his real words were, “You damned old rat, come down from there!”

Crown Point and then Fort St. John fell as easily. The Americans took three British Forts in a space of 125 miles without firing a shot. The easy victories encouraged the Americans to believe that Montreal and Quebec could be taken with little opposition. General Arnold persuaded George Washington to adopt that strategy, and not try to capture Nova Scotia and close off the St. Lawrence to British reinforcements. This was an unfortunate decision for the Americans, because British sea power did relieve Quebec and force the invaders to retreat.

Amazing, right? To read more about today’s post, I suggest visiting, and The Battle of Ticonderoga from Hobart High School (I think), Military History at by Kennedy Hickman, Willard Sterne Randall wrote an interesting piece at, and finally EyeWitness to History. A new blog I just learned about also covers this is Sandiateaparty. And another great blog I suggest you visit, is Un Current Events .

And for physical books, I suggest Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, and also Ethan Allen: Frontier Rebel, and finally General Sir Guy Carleton, Lord Dorchester: Soldier-statesman of early British Canada.


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27 responses to ““Come Down From There!”

  1. johngalt

    May 14, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Very nice post . Along with those related links regarding the capture of Ft Ticonderoga , allow me to shamelessly link to our Uncurrent Events 5.10.13 post which includes numerous links to further reading about said capture in the Events section of the post :

    We hope you don’t mind the shameless self-promotion but after reading your post and seeing the related material we thought that perhaps your readers would be interested . Thanks johngalt

    • tkmorin

      May 14, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      No, I don’t mind at all! As a matter of fact, I appreciate it! I’ll go check that out! Thank you! πŸ™‚

      • johngalt

        May 14, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        My pleasure . Thank you . I love your posts . History is a real passion of mine .

        • tkmorin

          May 14, 2013 at 5:25 pm

          Oh believe me, that is something I so understand!! I find history fascinating as well! πŸ™‚

          • johngalt

            May 14, 2013 at 6:18 pm

            I can see that . Your posts are great . I like your site very much .

  2. johngalt

    May 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    Reblogged this on YouViewed/Editorial.

  3. L. Marie

    May 10, 2013 at 11:33 am

    A brilliant and bold strategy to be sure. Would that all wars ended without a shot being fired.

    • tkmorin

      May 10, 2013 at 11:36 am

      Wouldn’t it be nice, eh? πŸ™‚

  4. furrylittlegnome

    May 10, 2013 at 10:19 am

    As a native Vermonter, furrylittlegnome enjoyed this particular post of yours!!!

    • tkmorin

      May 10, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Thank you, furrylittlegnome! I am happy about that! πŸ™‚

  5. seeker

    May 10, 2013 at 9:50 am

    That’s very gentleman way of asking to surrender. P.S. I still need the link for MIB ~poke~

    • tkmorin

      May 10, 2013 at 10:03 am

      I’m going to work on this soon — πŸ™‚

  6. Maurice A. Barry

    May 10, 2013 at 9:42 am

    Whenever I think about the likes of Allen I wonder what was their base motivation. Did they earnestly think they were working in service to others or was it a combination of arrogance, the urge for self-glorification and the love of a big scrap? You can probably tell what my feelings are :>)

  7. andy1076

    May 10, 2013 at 9:34 am

    You’re right, the beginning where you say “Ethan Allen and his green mountain boys” makes me want to grab a banjo and go at it lol! sounds like he was quite the compulsive gun ho but wow what a history πŸ™‚

    • tkmorin

      May 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

      I love the individuals in history, more than countries … Some are quite colourful, eh! I’m glad you liked it, Andy! πŸ™‚

      • andy1076

        May 10, 2013 at 9:46 am

        I absolutely did! these Individuals are the ones that add that little something to history and make us proudly say “EH!” πŸ˜€

        • tkmorin

          May 10, 2013 at 9:48 am

          … and sometimes “eh?” πŸ™‚

          • andy1076

            May 10, 2013 at 9:51 am

            EH! πŸ˜€

          • andy1076

            May 10, 2013 at 9:51 am

            ooops I meant to say “Eh?”

            ps: Sorry for filling up the timeline πŸ˜€ lol

  8. campfireshadows

    May 10, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Today when we think of a “Fort”, we envision a well fortified impenetrable structure. In fact, many forts were little more than a campground on a hill in which some were surrounded by upright wooden post while others used the natural landscape as their only protection. The idea of the British soldiers being crack troops was far from reality. Most were the least trainable, hoodlums condemned and pressed into military service or those who would normally be homeless or owed a financial debt. The American soldiers rarely had decent firearms, seasonal clothing (Many were actually naked or wore blankets). Through most of the war, it was a debacle for both sides. I’m glad Canada was never ‘conquered’ as I’d hate to see all those wonderful people up north under today’s thumb of Washington DC. Great post my friend!

    • tkmorin

      May 10, 2013 at 9:25 am

      Thank you very much!! πŸ™‚

  9. The Howling Mad Cat

    May 10, 2013 at 8:23 am

    I just love your posts! Ellie

    • tkmorin

      May 10, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thank you so much! πŸ™‚


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