Opinion: Pulling down Ethan Allen’s statue

By John McClaughry

A woman in Barre Town, excited by the epidemic of statue demolishing, is calling for removing the statue of Col. Ethan Allen from the front portico of the Vermont State House. Why? Because Ethan and his brothers led and defended the white settlement movement into the New Hampshire Grants in the 1770s, and the land once roamed by the Abenaki ended up in Anglo ownership.

Public domain

Sculpture of Ethan Allen carved by Aristide Piccini in 1941. Located at the Vermont State House.

It’s true that in the 17th century white settlers pushed northwest into what is now Vermont. The Abenaki living here resisted, and gladly cooperated with the French in Canada, who wanted to stem British expansion. There were three bloody Abenaki Wars, the last one ending well before Ethan was born. Most of the Western Abenaki nation had departed north to friendly Quebec by Ethan’s arrival in 1770. Ethan battled the Albany Junto in defense of land patents granted by New Hampshire.

There is no record of Ethan ever engaging in hostilities with the Abenaki. He was reported to have claimed that there were no Indians left in the Grants, which may not have been entirely true.

Doubtless he was a racist, like all white settlers of Vermont who, mindful of the French-sponsored Abenaki massacre of whites at Deerfield, Massachusetts, in 1704, regarded the Abenaki as primitive, ignorant and frequently bloodthirsty savages.

But to take down Ethan’s statue from the State House is totally unmerited, and I would hate to see anybody try it.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Public domain

16 thoughts on “Opinion: Pulling down Ethan Allen’s statue

  1. There was a day when instead of giving people like this “A Platform”, we told them to sit down and be quiet.

    I can’t say giving 330 million people a platform to force us all to listen to their every thought has done us good as a nation.
    I just read that 7 out of 10 people believe we are approaching civil war.. so maybe it’s time to tell people with thoughts like this to just be quiet again.
    No, Vermont shouldn’t be sterilized of it’s past and the notion to do so makes you look like quite a Moonbat.

    Why are we judging these people in history by todays standards? they didn’t know what was going on a mile up the road. They did the best they could with the information they had at the time.
    How could we expect more of them?

  2. Does the woman in Barre Town know the Ethan DID Not own slaves???? By her reckoning, there should be no statues. Sad!!!

  3. Everyone knows…..

    “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books – books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?” Dan Brown

    After the third Punic War between Rome and Carthage, 149-146 BC, the remaining Carthaginians, a small part of the original pre-war population, were sold into slavery by the victors – the normal fate in antiquity of inhabitants of sacked cities. Carthage was systematically burned for 17 days; the city’s walls and buildings were utterly destroyed, and their fields salted. The remaining Carthaginian territories were annexed by Rome and reconstituted to become the Roman province of Africa. Carthage ceased to exist.

    Interestingly, the United States has never tried to obliterate a culture. To this day, for example, native Americans
    have 300 federally recognized reservations totaling some 55 million acres. 44 million acres are tribal trust lands, 11 million acres are individually owned, a security and legal standing the tribes had never experienced in their past history. In fact, and despite the turmoil of its evolving sentiments, the founding of the United States marked the first instance in human history in which individual liberties were protected by a Bill of Rights.

    But as Benjamin Franklin opined in his address to the 1787 Constitutional Convention:
    “this Constitution….. can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

    We are, today, at risk of losing our rights because our history is being rewritten in our public schools while we sit complacently in our living rooms.

    • Well said, a bit concerning to say the least. The sofa has a very compelling force on this state, not sure we can overcome its gravitational pull.

    • The Abenaki took plenty of white women and children as slaves.
      They put them in canoes and floated them right up the river into Quebec where they used them for labor.
      I’ve got accounts of this in my town history here at the historic society.. probably many towns have similar stories.
      They were vicious, they couldn’t even farm here without other farmers on horses all standing guard. My town was settled twice it was so bad for a while.
      But hey, lets not get the facts out there right?

      • Well Indians took over territories used by others too, it’s not like they all just stayed in their little corners, anybody heard the term war path?

  4. If it gets mandated, I’d like to know when it is planned for implementation so I can go there and defend Old Ethan.

  5. Who is this woman? We should all be aware of the idiots who walk among us! She is definitely not a Vermont history major. One of the one’s we are aware of is Conner Casey, Montpelier City councilor!

  6. This all has nothing to do with the man for whom the statue was built, nothing.

    Because we have filled a segment of the population with indoctrination and an overabundance of self righteousness most of the population is entirely ignorant that every man walking this planet is terribly flawed. Had there been any education in the perversion of man’s heart, we wouldn’t be tearing down statues, realizing we’re all terribly flawed and the fact somebody did something of significance is worthy of celebration.

    Look at the statue, it is physically stunning. Yet people would topple a work of art without thinking.

    Notice nobody in this group, or any group for that matter is talking about lifting up others? Why not have a statue of Martin Luther King? Clarence Thomas? Thomas Sowell? BB King? Fredrick Douglas? Aretha Franklin?

    There are so many of our brothers and sisters to celebrate with, to lift up, to honor. But by their actions you will know their hearts. What are their actions? Do they lift up our brothers and sisters? Our neighbors? Do they have us loving and forgiving each other?

    Yes, yes, by their actions you will know their hearts and true intent.

  7. If this poorly educated ‘Barre woman’ gains any traction with her misguided cause, I will go on the warpath. No more tolerance for her special causes – I will tear them down or paint over them.

    The time has come to say Enough.

  8. You can learn from History, with all it’s good and bad ……..

    Liberals feel out of sight out of mind, lets remove all the statues
    out of sight, no more history ?? but what about all the books,
    that will be next ” Book Burning ” ……

    Just as in the 1930s. The books targeted for burning were those viewed
    as being subversive or as representing, ideologies opposed to Nazism or
    today’s Socialism…………… no difference !!!

    • I’ve ordered the book, The Iron Curtain, The crushing of Eastern Europe to prepare for what may be coming our way. That and the Naked Communist. In reading about the book they talk about how the subversives loved, loved to control the radio back then, which of course was the main source of transmitting information.

      Now today, who controls/owns Hollywood…the Chinese. What is Hollywood producing? I’ll answer that one Alex, absolute trash, filth and hopelessness. Our news complete propaganda, we have our own even in the Green Mountains called VT Digger, censorship capital and propagandist extraordinaire. The internet is completely owned and manipulated, Google can easily sway the votes by 10%….

      Yeah they’ve got way better tools to fill your mind with utter garbage and hate. Which manifests itself in reality with…….utter garbage and hate. Garbage in garbage out.

      We have no basic understanding of how man works or doesn’t, to which our forefathers did. By learning and changing our direction we can bring about a productive, healing and nurturing society.

      By their actions, these people want to tear down, hate, steal and rob.

  9. Those who demand that the present must sanitize the the past will deliver an empty future bereft of our enduring ability to learn from our mistakes.

  10. For more than a century before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, native American tribes on the east coast had contact with Europeans. European visitors brought with them diseases to which the natives had no immunity, including smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, cholera, and bubonic plague. As many as 90 percent of the northeastern indigenous people perished. In some cases, there weren’t enough natives to bury their dead. And those who survived were often killed in tribal wars instigated by the French. https://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/exactly-new-englands-indian-population-decimated/

    So, Ethan Allen may have been accurate in describing the diminished native populations in ‘the Grants’ at that time.

    • There is a wealth of real and actual papers and knowledge right in all of our own towns Historical Societies.
      It seems as though not enough people have gone there and read through it all.
      It’s quite facinating… I’ve been to many.
      Best place to learn there is. You really can’t argue much when you are looking at the actual papers in many cases.

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