Green Mountain Boys

c. 1771–c. 1781

The Green Mountain Boys was a militia group formed by Ethan Allen to keep the New Hampshire Grants from becoming part of New York. During the American Revolution, they captured Fort Ticonderoga.

Ethan Allen, Green Mountain Boys, Illustration

This illustration depicts Ethan Allen and other leaders of the Green Mountain Boys planning a mission. Image Source: Library of Congress.

Summary of the Green Mountain Boys

The Green Mountain Boys was a militia group founded by settlers in the “New Hampshire Grants” — present-day Vermont — to help defend the property rights of settlers against New York authorities. The area was called the New Hampshire Grants because New Hampshire had granted the land to the settlers. However, New York also claimed ownership of the land and tried to enforce its laws on the residents. In some cases, New York sold land that had already been settled to its own settlers. In the Grants, the New York officials and New York settlers were referred to as “Yorkers.”

Ethan Allen and others organized the Green Mountain Boys in 1770 to help oppose New York sheriffs who tried to enforce New York’s claims and laws. However, Allen and his men also terrorized the settlers who had purchased their grants from New York.

Shortly after the Revolutionary War began, the Green Mountain Boys, led by Allen, and Benedict Arnold, surrounded and captured Fort Ticonderoga on May 10, 1775. This was the first victory for American forces in the war and provided valuable resources for the American forces. The 59 cannons and mortars from Ticonderoga were taken to Boston by a force led by Henry Knox and used in the Seige of Boston to eventually drive the British out of the city.

The group joined with the Continental Army and participated in the failed invasion of Canada in 1775. Ethan Allen and other members were captured in a failed attempt to take Montreal at the Battle of Montreal on September 25, 1775.

The Green Mountain Boys, under the leadership of Colonel Seth Warner, participated in the Battle of Hubbardton (July 7, 1777) and the Battle of Bennington (August 16, 1777), playing a key role in weakening the forces of General John Burgoyne.

Prominent Members of the Green Mountain Boys

Key Facts About the Green Mountain Boys

  • The Green Mountain Boys were founded in 1770 to defend settlers in the New Hampshire Grants from New York authorities.
  • Ethan Allen was the first leader of the Green Mountain Boys.
  • Some members helped capture Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point in May 1775.
  • Ethan Allen and Seth Warner successfully petitioned the First Continental Congress to include the Green Mountain Boys in the Continental Army.
  • Afterward, Seth Warner was selected as the leader of the regiment, succeeding Ethan Allen, and the regiment was known as “Warner’s Regiment.”
  • Members of the Green Mountain Boys were recognized for wearing a sprig of evergreen in their caps for their field sign.

Significance of the Green Mountain Boys

The Green Mountain Boys are important to United States history because they played a key role in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga at the start of the American Revolutionary War and helped aid in the founding of Vermont. Later on, they joined the Continental Army under the command of Seth Warner and were referred to as Warner’s Regiment. They participated in important battles that helped the Americans defeat forces led by General John Burgoyne in the late summer of 1777.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Green Mountain Boys
  • Date c. 1771–c. 1781
  • Author
  • Keywords Green Mountain Boys, Who were the Green Mountain Boys, Who led the Green Mountain Boys, What did the Green Mountain Boys do
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date June 16, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update June 11, 2024