Pulling Down Ethan Allen’s Statue

July 9, 2020

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.

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.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

bob jones July 9, 2020 at 11:00 pm

These people belong in a mental hospital!!!


Robert July 10, 2020 at 9:03 pm

It’s going to get very crowded in there. Most of the Legislature will be patients as well.


Patrick Finnie July 11, 2020 at 12:13 am

Not to worry, the Legislators will be in the Penthouse !


Mark call July 9, 2020 at 11:16 pm

leave it up we don’t need to be destroying our history! We need to remember where we came from and learn from. Thank


Kathy July 9, 2020 at 11:55 pm

We need to stop with the destruction of our history. It’s getting ridiculous. Isn’t this what happened with Nazi Germany? Didn’t they try to say it never happened? We should honor our history and learn from mistakes made in the past. How do we teach our future generations if everyone is out destroying everything? What it shows me is the people that are doing this and promoting this are weak and can’t deal with truth. God Bless America.


John and Sandra Lincoln July 9, 2020 at 11:57 pm

Not A CHANCE. You’re welcome to go somewhere else.


Marc July 10, 2020 at 12:22 am

This removal of statues is whining people looking for something to wine about! If you don’t like our statue then go somewhere else! This women is part of the problem and should be shown the door! Bye bye GTFO !


Scott Ede July 10, 2020 at 12:34 am

As a descendant of Ethan Allen, I am appalled and think this has to stop. She clearly needs her head examined.


Ken Lizotte July 13, 2020 at 12:20 pm

I’m a 3rd generation Vermonter of both Caucasian and American Indian stock and I am in full agreement with you. Your ancestor was the greatest hero of this state and republic, despite the rhetoric from socialists. I intend to be there should an attempt be made to remove the statue and defend it and our heritage.


Stephen Fleming July 10, 2020 at 12:59 am

Is taring and feathering the appropriate method of punishment for the crime of defacing Ethan Allen.


Steve Petelle July 10, 2020 at 2:23 pm

I believe that is to light a punishment. This should be used for merely thinking of doing such an act!


Ryan Greene July 10, 2020 at 1:08 am

I am a Green Mt. Boy and on my other side of my family Siciliano (Greek/Italian)… We have defended the statues in NY that were impenetrable by Antifa, DSA AMERICA, Marxist… I will defend these statues! Anyone who trys to remove them will be VERY REGRETFUL OF THEIR ATTEMPTED ACTIONS. THATS A PROMISE! TRY IT AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS! MOLON LABE!!! 🇺🇸🇮🇹🇬🇷


Ivan st george July 10, 2020 at 9:06 pm

rock on brother


Karol Delia July 10, 2020 at 1:20 am

I hope no one gives in to this! This is getting ridiculous!!
Stand up Vermonters!


fred nouvertne July 10, 2020 at 1:26 am

I agree with you. Taking the statue down is a heinous act. I wonder if the woman from Barre is a native Vermonter? I’m not, however, been here just over half my life. 32 years. I love history, and the Allen family fascinates me.


Amanda Erno July 10, 2020 at 1:48 am

Thank you for standing up for our state’s history, John McClaughry! We need to save our history! Do not let this happen!


Jeff Silbet July 10, 2020 at 2:33 am

To say all settlers were racist is most unfair and probably untrue. These were not highly educated people If they were educated at all. They saw the Indians as enemies preventing their settlement and farming endeavors. They surely did not see them as inferior humans or so I’ve read. Elsewise I agree with the author the statue should stay. All historic artifacts should be preserved as we learn from them as future generations will. Good or bad they should sty.


Edwin lawson July 10, 2020 at 10:28 am

Please tell us the womans name. Fair disclosure is importany.


Doreen D. Horton July 10, 2020 at 11:53 am

The statues are a part of our history,,
Why must the bleeding heart liberal seek to destroy our heritage?


Boganboy July 10, 2020 at 4:22 pm

I can see no reason why Americans should imitate the Taliban in Afghanistan and ISIS in Syria, or of course the Nazis in Germany.

Obviously the statue should be left alone.


Andrew Conte July 10, 2020 at 4:44 pm

What do these people hope to accomplish by defacing or erasing history. History is displayed for several reasons, To show your pride, to mourn a loss, to remind us of better/worse times, and above all, to learn from it. These idiots who want to bring down anything that they or their group find offensive is offensive to me and millions of others.

Let go of your agendas and stop wasting time with this foolishness


dave July 10, 2020 at 9:58 pm

the cancel culture needs to recognize and appreciate our past to learn from it , every generation stands on the shoulders of those before


Cynthia Hinrichsen July 10, 2020 at 10:52 pm

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
—George Orwell (1903-1950)


Kendel Stafford July 10, 2020 at 10:58 pm

All the supportive comments about the statue are great but they mean nothing. A minority movement has caused the removal of statues all over the country and the vandalizing of memorials and millions of dollars worth of public and private property. What makes anyone think that some lunatic won’t be sucessfull in getting the Allen statue torn down? What started out as a reasonable movement to right long existing wrongs has given rise to violent mob action and completely ridiculous actions to promote some peoples warped vision of what they think our country should be.


Rich Parry July 10, 2020 at 11:28 pm

A woman from Barre Town? Who?


Carlene July 22, 2020 at 4:28 pm

I’d like to know also. Why are they hidingbher


Bruce Shields July 10, 2020 at 11:56 pm

The Abenaki, relative to the State of Vermont, had three strikes. In 30 Years War (French & Indian War in US terminology) the Abenaki were active combatants for the French against Britain, including Massachusetts. Britain won. Twenty years later, the Abenaki were active combatants on behalf of the new government in Quebec — the United Kingdom — against the American Revolution. The Americans won. Following that, they actively sided with New York against Vermont’s petition to become a State in the USA. No armed action in that, but a lot of lobbying. Vermont won. It is not the fault of Ethan Allen that the Abenaki had a disastrous foreign policy.


Mark Shepard July 11, 2020 at 2:55 am

Bruce Shields, I always appreciate your historical perspectives. You are a terrific example of the benefit of knowing history. Thanks!


Patrick Finnie July 11, 2020 at 12:48 am

Ya know I could insult the intelligence of a person like this, but I’d rather just let them talk and amuse me with their ignorance. On the other hand anybody that would actually attempt this kind of vandalism should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and serve their time in the slammer,….in Turkey


Robin July 11, 2020 at 12:34 pm

If you all really believe in “remembering” history then you will gladly allow for the genocidal piece to be remembered on this statue in large print.


Winifred McCarthy July 11, 2020 at 7:20 pm

Those whose conscience is sensitive to perceived wrongs in the past centuries should contact those who they feel are wronged and give them their ownership rights. Surely that would be the far richer and more rewarding way in which to do penance for the sins of past historical figures. Those that the individuals feel need justice would certainly feel the more personal recompense and be appreciative of the generosity. The statue should stand, and there could be a plaque added or perhaps another statue with some redemptive statements or witness.


Bill July 12, 2020 at 12:54 am

This crazy woman is tempting our leftist dominated legislature to remove the statue. Don’t be shocked if they go along with it.

It would be a shame for the statue to go but a possible silver lining might be that some Vermonters finally awaken to an awareness that many of our woke legislators need to go.


Paul July 12, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Bill is correct, our ultra-liberal, super-majority legislature would most likely go along with it, and unfortunately our current Governor, based on his track record since being elected, would do nothing to stand in its way.


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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