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Statue of Ethan Allen, Montpelier, VT
[Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection]


Leader of the Green Mountain Boys

Biographical Data
Religious Views
References, Links, & Further Reading

Education: mostly self-educated, some informal, private instruction

Occupation: farmer, businessman

Political Affiliation: republican

Organizational Affiliation(s): Mason

Religious Affiliation: none

Summary of Religious Views:

Ethan Allen was a freethinker and critic of Christianity. He wrote Reason, the Only Oracle of Man, in which he espoused natural religion and denied the validity of traditional religions, including Christianity. It is said that he stopped his wedding ceremony when the phrase "agreeable to the laws of God" was uttered, in order to clarify that the only god meant was the god of nature, and not the god of any organized religion or any other god. Only after he was reassured on this point would he allow the ceremony to proceed.

Views on Religion & Politics:

Considered the Bible detrimental to public morals.


"In the circle of my acquaintance, (which has not been small,) I have generally been denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism make me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not, strictly speaking, whether I am one or not, for I have never read their writings; mine will therefore determine the matter ..." -- Reason, the Only Oracle of Man, 1784, Preface

"In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue." -- Reason, the Only Oracle of Man, 1784

References, Links, & Further Reading: Books, Articles, Links


Works by Ethan Allen

ed. by R. H. Orth , J. K. Graffagnino, & J. J. Duffy, Ethan Allen and His Kin: Correspondence, 1772-1819, Univ. Press of New England, 1998
The Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity, (1779); reprints, A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity
Reason, The Only Oracle Of Man: Or, A Compenduous System Of Natural Religion, (1784); reprint, Ulan Press, 2012
Vindication of the Opposition of Vermont to the Government of New York, (1779); reprint, Gale, Sabin Americana, 2012


Virginia Aronson & Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Ethan Allen: Revolutionary Hero (Revolutionary War Leaders), Chelsea House, 2000
Michael A. Bellesiles, Revolutionary Outlaws: Ethan Allen and the Struggle for Independence on the Early American Frontier, Univ. Press of Virginia, 1995
John Pell, Ethan Allen, Ayer, 1977
Henry W. De Puy, Ethan Allen and the Green-Mountain heroes of '76. With a sketch of the early history of Vermont, Phinney, Blakeman & Mason Buffalo, Breed, Butler & co., 1861; reprints, Ethan Allen and the Green-Mountain heroes of '76
Willard Sterne Randall, Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, W. W. Norton, 2011


Benson J. Lossing, "Ethan Allen," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 17, Iss. 102, November 1858, pp. 721-744


Works by Ethan Allen

Reason, the Only Oracle of Man (Internet Infidels)
Reason, the Only Oracle of Man (Liberty Online)

Biographical Sites

The Story of Ethan Allen (1738-1789) (Hypertext on American History)
Ethan Allen Homestead
Ethan Allen (Virtual Vermont)
Ethan Allen (Internet Infidels)

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