Founder of the State of Vermont, Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, on January 21, 1738. As an explorer, he became involved in the "Hampshire Grants" dispute regarding conflicting land claims between New Hampshire and New York. As a result of the 1770 New York Supreme Court decision invalidating the New Hampshire grants, the settlers formed the Green Mountain Boys with Allen as their colonel commander to defend their property. The skirmishes escalated to such a degree that Allen was outlawed by Governor George Clinton of New York in 1771.
During the Revolutionary War, Allen and his Green Mountain Boys joined forces with Colonel Benedict Arnold to capture Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775. While invading British-held Canada with Colonel John Brown, Allen was captured on September 25, 1775, and held prisoner for two years before being exchanged. He immediately received the brevet rank of colonel in the Continental Army.
He returned to Vermont and was made major general in the Vermont militia. Allen petitioned the Continental Congress for Vermont's statehood. When refused, he negotiated with Britain over the status of Vermont and was accused of treason. Allen died on February 12, 1789, two years before Vermont was admitted into the Union.