Benedict Arnold was an American military officer who served as a general during the American Revolutionary War, fighting for the American Continental Army before defecting to the British in 1780. George Washington had given him his fullest trust and placed him in command of the fortifications at West Point, New York. Arnold planned to surrender the fort to British forces, but the plot was discovered in September 1780 and he fled to the British, his name became a byword in the United States for treason and betrayal because he led the British army in battle against the men whom he had once commanded. Arnold was born in the Connecticut Colony and was a merchant operating ships on the Atlantic Ocean when the war began in 1775, he joined the growing army outside Boston and distinguished himself through acts of intelligence and bravery. His actions included the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, defensive and delaying tactics at the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain in 1776 which allowed American forces time to prepare New York's defenses, the Battle of Ridgefield, operations in relief of the Siege of Fort Stanwix, key actions during the pivotal Battles of Saratoga in 1777, in which he suffered leg injuries that halted his combat career for several years.
Arnold claimed that he was passed over for promotion by the Continental Congress, while other officers obtained credit for some of his accomplishments. Others in his military and political circles brought charges against him of corruption or other malfeasance, but most he was acquitted in formal inquiries. Congress investigated his accounts and concluded that he was indebted to Congress, he borrowed to maintain a lavish lifestyle. Arnold mingled with Loyalist sympathizers in Philadelphia and married into one such family by marrying Peggy Shippen, she was a close friend of British Major John André and kept in contact with him when he became head of the British espionage system in New York. Many historians point to her as facilitating Arnold's plans to switch sides; the British promised £ 20,000 for the capture of a major American stronghold. His scheme was to surrender the fort to the British, but it was exposed in September 1780 when Patriot militia captured André carrying papers which revealed the plot.
Arnold escaped and André was hanged. Arnold received a commission as a brigadier general in the British Army, an annual pension of £360, a lump sum of over £6,000, he led British forces on raids in Virginia, they burned much of New London, Connecticut to the ground and slaughtered surrendering forces after the Battle of Groton Heights—just a few miles downriver from the town where he had grown up. In the winter of 1782, he and Peggy moved to England, he was well received by King George III and the Tories but frowned upon by the Whigs and most Army officers. In 1787, he moved to Canada to a merchant business with his sons Henry, he was unpopular there and returned to London permanently in 1791. Benedict Arnold was born a British subject, the second of six children of Benedict Arnold and Hannah Waterman King in Norwich, Connecticut Colony on January 14, 1741, he was named after his great-grandfather Benedict Arnold, an early governor of the Colony of Rhode Island, as were his father and grandfather and an older brother who died in infancy.
Only he and his sister Hannah survived to adulthood. His siblings were, in order of birth: Benedict, Mary and Elizabeth. Arnold was a descendant of John Lothropp through his maternal grandmother, an ancestor of six presidents. Arnold's father was a successful businessman, the family moved in the upper levels of Norwich society, he was enrolled in a private school in nearby Canterbury, Connecticut when he was 10, with the expectation that he would attend Yale University. However, the deaths of his siblings two years may have contributed to a decline in the family fortunes, since his father took up drinking. By the time that he was 14, there was no money for private education, his father's alcoholism and ill health kept him from training Arnold in the family mercantile business, but his mother's family connections secured an apprenticeship for him with her cousins Daniel and Joshua Lathrop, who operated a successful apothecary and general merchandise trade in Norwich. His apprenticeship with the Lathrops lasted seven years.
Arnold was close to his mother, who died in 1759. His father's alcoholism worsened after her death, the youth took on the responsibility of supporting his father and younger sister, his father was arrested on several occasions for public drunkenness, was refused communion by his church, died in 1761. In 1755, Arnold was attracted by the sound of a drummer and attempted to enlist in the provincial militia for service in the French and Indian War, but his mother refused permission. In 1757 when he was 16, he did enlist in the Connecticut militia, which marched off toward Albany, New York and Lake George; the French had besieged Fort William Henry in northeastern New York, their Indian allies had committed atrocities after their victory. Word of the siege's disastrous outcome led the company to turn around, Arnold served for only 13 days. A accepted story that he deserted from militia service in
Siege of Boston
The Siege of Boston was the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War. New England militiamen prevented the movement by land of the British Army, garrisoned in what was the peninsular city of Boston, Massachusetts Bay. Both sides had to deal with resource supply and personnel issues over the course of the siege. British resupply and reinforcement activities were limited to sea access. After eleven months of the siege, the British abandoned Boston by sailing to Nova Scotia; the siege began on April 19 after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, when the militia from surrounding Massachusetts communities blocked land access to Boston. The Continental Congress formed the Continental Army from the militia, with George Washington as its Commander in Chief. In June 1775, the British seized Bunker and Breed's Hills, from which the Continentals were preparing to bombard the city, but their casualties were heavy and their gains were insufficient to break the Continental Army's hold on land access to Boston.
The Americans laid siege to the British-occupied city. Military actions during the remainder of the siege were limited to occasional raids, minor skirmishes, sniper fire. In November 1775, Washington sent the 25-year-old bookseller-turned-soldier Henry Knox to bring to Boston the heavy artillery, captured at Fort Ticonderoga. In a technically complex and demanding operation, Knox brought many cannons to the Boston area by January 1776. In March 1776, these artillery fortified Dorchester Heights, thereby threatening the British supply lifeline; the British commander William Howe saw the British position as indefensible and withdrew the British forces in Boston to the British stronghold at Halifax, Nova Scotia, on March 17. Prior to 1775, the British had imposed taxes and import duties on the American colonies, to which the inhabitants objected since they lacked British Parliamentary representation. In response to the Boston Tea Party and other acts of protest, 4,000 British troops under the command of General Thomas Gage were sent to occupy Boston and to pacify the restive Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Parliament authorized Gage, among other actions. It was reformed into the Provincial Congress, continued to meet; the Provincial Congress called for the organization of local militias and coordinated the accumulation of weapons and other military supplies. Under the terms of the Boston Port Act, Gage closed the Boston port, which caused much unemployment and discontent; when British forces were sent to seize military supplies from the town of Concord on April 19, 1775, militia companies from surrounding towns opposed them in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. At Concord, some of the British forces were routed in a confrontation at the North Bridge; the British troops, on their march back to Boston, were engaged in a running battle, suffering heavy casualties. All of the New England colonies raised militias in response to this alarm, sent them to Boston. After the battles of April 19, the Massachusetts militia, under the loose leadership of William Heath, superseded by General Artemas Ward late on the 20th, formed a siege line extending from Chelsea, around the peninsulas of Boston and Charlestown, to Roxbury surrounding Boston on three sides.
They blocked the Charlestown Neck, the Boston Neck, leaving only the harbor and sea access under British control. In the days following the creation of the siege line, the size of the colonial forces grew, as militias from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut arrived on the scene. General Gage wrote of his surprise of the number of rebels surrounding the city: "The rebels are not the despicable rabble too many have supposed them to be.... In all their wars against the French they never showed such conduct and perseverance as they do now."General Gage turned his attention to fortifying defensible positions. In the south, at Roxbury, Gage ordered lines of defenses with 10 twenty-four pound guns. In Boston proper, four hills were fortified, they were to be the main defense of the city. Over time, each of these hills were strengthened. Gage decided to abandon Charlestown, removing the beleaguered forces to Boston; the town of Charlestown itself was vacant, the high lands of Charlestown were left undefended, as were the heights of Dorchester, which had a commanding view of the harbor and the city.
The British at first restricted movement in and out of the city, fearing infiltration of weapons. Besieged and besiegers reached an informal agreement allowing traffic on the Boston Neck, provided no firearms were carried. Residents of Boston turned in 2,000 muskets, most of the Patriot residents left the city. Many Loyalists who lived outside the city of Boston fled into the city. Most of them felt that it was not safe to live outside of the city, because the Patriots were now in control of the countryside; some of the men, after arriving in Boston, joined Loyalist regiments attached to the British army. Because the siege did not blockade the harbor, the city remained open for the Royal Navy, under Vice Admiral Samuel Graves, to bring in supplies from Nova Scotia and other places. Colonial forces could do little to stop these shipments due to the naval supremacy of the British fleet. American privateers were able to harass supply ships, food prices rose quickly. Soon the shortages
The Boston Massacre, known to the British as the Incident on King Street, was a confrontation on March 5, 1770 in which British soldiers shot and killed several people while being harassed by a mob in Boston. The event was publicized by leading Patriots such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams. British troops had been stationed in the Province of Massachusetts Bay since 1768 in order to support crown-appointed officials and to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation. Amid tense relations between the civilians and the soldiers, a mob formed around a British sentry and verbally abused him, he was supported by eight additional soldiers, who were hit by clubs and snowballs. They fired into the crowd without orders killing three people and wounding others, two of whom died of their wounds; the crowd dispersed after Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson promised an inquiry, but they re-formed the next day, prompting withdrawal of the troops to Castle Island. Eight soldiers, one officer, four civilians were arrested and charged with murder, they were defended by future President John Adams.
Six of the soldiers were acquitted. The men found. Depictions and propaganda about the event heightened tensions throughout the Thirteen Colonies, notably the colored engraving produced by Paul Revere. Boston was the capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay and an important shipping town, it was a center of resistance to unpopular acts of taxation by the British Parliament in the 1760s. In 1768, the Townshend Acts were enacted in the Thirteen Colonies putting tariffs on a variety of common items that were manufactured in Britain and imported in the colonies. Colonists objected that the Acts were a violation of the natural and constitutional rights of British subjects in the colonies; the Massachusetts House of Representatives began a campaign against the Acts by sending a petition to King George III asking for repeal of the Townshend Revenue Act. The House sent the Massachusetts Circular Letter to other colonial assemblies, asking them to join the resistance movement, called for a boycott of merchants importing the affected goods.
Lord Hillsborough had been appointed to the newly created office of Colonial Secretary, he was alarmed by the actions of the Massachusetts House. In April 1768, he sent a letter to the colonial governors in America instructing them to dissolve any colonial assemblies that responded to the Massachusetts Circular Letter, he ordered Massachusetts Governor Francis Bernard to direct the Massachusetts House to rescind the letter. The house refused to comply. Boston's chief customs officer Charles Paxton wrote to Hillsborough for military support because "the Government is as much in the hands of the people as it was in the time of the Stamp Act." Commodore Samuel Hood responded by sending the 50-gun warship HMS Romney, which arrived in Boston Harbor in May 1768. On June 10, 1768, customs officials seized Liberty, a sloop owned by leading Boston merchant John Hancock, on allegations that the ship had been involved in smuggling. Bostonians were angry because the captain of Romney had been impressing local sailors.
Given the unstable state of affairs in Massachusetts, Hillsborough instructed General Thomas Gage, Commander-in-Chief, North America, to send "such Force as You shall think necessary to Boston", the first of four British Army regiments began disembarking in Boston on October 1, 1768. Two regiments were removed from Boston in 1769, but the 14th and the 29th Regiments of Foot remained; the Journal of Occurrences were an anonymous series of newspaper articles which chronicled the clashes between civilians and soldiers in Boston, feeding tensions with its sometimes exaggerated accounts, but those tensions rose markedly after Christopher Seider, "a young lad about eleven Years of Age", was killed by a customs employee on February 22, 1770. Seider's death was covered in the Boston Gazette, his funeral was described as one of the largest of the time in Boston; the killing and subsequent media coverage inflamed tensions, with groups of colonists looking for soldiers to harass, soldiers looking for confrontation.
On the evening of March 5, Private Hugh White stood on guard duty outside the Boston Custom House on King Street. A young wigmaker's apprentice named Edward Garrick called out to Captain-Lieutenant John Goldfinch, saying that Goldfinch had not paid a bill due to Garrick's master. Goldfinch had settled the account the previous day, ignored the insult. Private White called out to Garrick that he should be more respectful of the officer, the two men exchanged insults. Garrick started poking Goldfinch in the chest with his finger. Garrick cried out in pain, his companion Bartholomew Broaders began to argue with White which attracted a larger crowd. Henry Knox was a 19-year old bookseller who served as a general in the revolution; as the evening progressed, the crowd around Private White grew more boisterous. Church bells were rung, which signified a fire, bringing more people out. More than 50 Bostonians pressed around White, led by a mixed-race former slave named Crispus Attucks, throwing objects at the sentry and challenging him to fire his weapon.
White had taken up a somewhat safer position on the steps of the Custom House, he sought assistance. Run
Noble train of artillery
The noble train of artillery known as the Knox Expedition, was an expedition led by Continental Army Colonel Henry Knox to transport heavy weaponry, captured at Fort Ticonderoga to the Continental Army camps outside Boston, Massachusetts during the winter of 1775–1776. Knox went to Ticonderoga in November 1775 and moved 60 tons of cannons and other armaments over the course of three winter months by boat, horse, ox-drawn sledges, manpower along poor-quality roads, across two semi-frozen rivers, through the forests and swamps of the inhabited Berkshires to the Boston area, covering 300 miles. Historian Victor Brooks has called Knox's exploit "one of the most stupendous feats of logistics" of the entire American Revolutionary War; the route which he followed is now known as the Henry Knox Trail, the states of New York and Massachusetts have erected markers along the way. The American Revolutionary War erupted with the Battles of Lexington and Concord in April 1775. Benedict Arnold was a militia leader from Connecticut who had arrived with his unit in support of the Siege of Boston.
One reason that he gave to justify the move was the presence of heavy weaponry at Ticonderoga. On May 3, the committee gave Arnold a Massachusetts colonel's commission and authorized the operation; the idea to capture Ticonderoga had been raised to Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys in the disputed New Hampshire Grants territory in Vermont. Allen and Arnold joined forces, a force of 83 men captured the fort without a fight on May 10; the next day, a detachment captured the nearby Fort Crown Point, again without combat. Arnold began to inventory the two forts for usable military equipment, but he was hampered by a lack of resources and conflict over command of the forts, first with Allen and with a Connecticut militia company sent to hold the fort in June, he abandoned the idea of transporting the armaments to Boston and resigned his commission. In July 1775, George Washington assumed command of the forces outside Boston, one of the significant problems which he identified in the nascent Continental Army was a lack of heavy weaponry, which made offensive operations impossible.
It is not known who proposed the operation to retrieve the Ticonderoga cannons, but historians tend to credit either Henry Knox or Benedict Arnold with giving Washington the idea. Knox was a 25 year-old bookseller with an interest in military matters who served in the Massachusetts militia, he had become good friends with Washington on his arrival at Boston; when Washington gave him the assignment, he wrote that "no trouble or expense must be spared to obtain them." On November 16, Washington issued orders to Knox to retrieve the cannons and authorized £1000 for the purpose, he wrote to General Philip Schuyler asking him to assist Knox in the endeavor. Washington's call for the weapons was echoed by the Second Continental Congress, they issued Knox a colonel's commission in November—although it did not reach him until he returned from the expedition. Knox departed Washington's camp on November 17 and traveled to New York City for supplies, reaching Ticonderoga on December 5, he shared a cabin with a young British prisoner named John André at Fort George at the southern end of Lake George.
André had been taken prisoner during the Siege of Fort St. Jean and was on his way south to a prison camp; the two were of a similar age and temperament, found much common ground to talk about. The next time they met, Knox presided over the court martial which convicted and sentenced André to death for his role in Benedict Arnold's treason. Knox's letters and diaries provide the primary sources for much of the daily activity in this journey, his description is detailed for some of the events and dates, but there are significant gaps, significant portions of the journey are poorly documented much of the Massachusetts section. Some of these gaps occur because Knox did not write about them, others because pages are missing from the diary. Other sources confirm some of Knox's details or report additional details, but parts of the route are not known with certainty, modern descriptions of those parts are based on what is known about Massachusetts roads at the time, including the placement of markers for the Henry Knox Trail.
Regardless, the route was less in the corridor of today's Massachusetts Turnpike. Upon arrival at Ticonderoga, Knox set about identifying the equipment to take and organizing its transport, he selected 59 pieces of equipment, including cannons ranging in size from 4- to 24-pounders and howitzers. He estimated the total weight to be transported at 119,000 pounds; the largest pieces were the 24-pounders which were 11 feet long and estimated to weigh over 5,000 pounds. The equipment was first carried overland from Ticonderoga to the northern end of Lake George, where most of the train was loaded onto a scow-like ship called a gundalow. On December 6, the gundalow set sail for the southern end of the lake, with Knox sailing ahead in a small boat. Ice was beginning to cover the lake, but the gundalow reached Sabbath Day Point, after grounding once on a submerged rock, they sailed on again the next day, with Knox going ahead. He reached Fort George in good time. A boat went to check on its progress and reported that the gundalow had foundered and sunk not far from Sabbath Day Point.
This appeared to be a serious setback at fi
Henry Knox was a military officer of the Continental Army and the United States Army, who served as the first United States Secretary of War from 1789 to 1794. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, he owned and operated a bookstore there, cultivating an interest in military history and joining a local artillery company; when the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, he befriended General George Washington, rose to become the chief artillery officer of the Continental Army. In this role he accompanied Washington on most of his campaigns, had some involvement in many major actions of the war, he established training centers for artillerymen and manufacturing facilities for weaponry that were valuable assets to the fledgling nation. Following the adoption of the United States Constitution, he became President Washington's Secretary of War. In this role he oversaw the development of coastal fortifications, worked to improve the preparedness of local militia, oversaw the nation's military activity in the Northwest Indian War.
He was formally responsible for the nation's relationship with the Indian population in the territories it claimed, articulating a policy that established federal government supremacy over the states in relating to Indian nations, called for treating Indian nations as sovereign. Knox's idealistic views on the subject were frustrated by ongoing illegal settlements and fraudulent land transfers involving Indian lands, he retired to what is now Thomaston, Maine, in 1795, where he oversaw the rise of a business empire built on borrowed money. He died in 1806 from an infection he contracted after swallowing a chicken bone, leaving an estate, bankrupt. Henry Knox's parents and Mary, were of Scotch-Irish origin, his father was a ship builder who, due to financial reverses, left the family for Sint Eustatius in the West Indies where he died in 1762 of unknown causes. Henry was admitted to the Boston Latin School, where he studied Greek, Latin and European history. Since he was the oldest son still at home when his father died, he left school at the age of 12 and became a clerk in a bookstore to support his mother.
The shop's owner, Nicholas Bowes, became a surrogate father figure for the boy, allowing him to browse the shelves of the store and take home any volume that he wanted to read. The inquisitive future war hero, when he was not running errands, taught himself French, learned some philosophy and advanced mathematics, devoured tales of ancient warriors and famous battles, he immersed himself in literature from a tender age. However, Knox was involved in Boston's street gangs, becoming one of the toughest fighters in his neighborhood. Impressed by a military demonstration, at 18 he joined. On March 5, 1770 Knox was a witness to the Boston massacre. According to his affidavit, he attempted to defuse the situation, trying to convince the British soldiers to return to their quarters, he testified at the trials of the soldiers, in which all but two were acquitted. In 1771 he opened his own bookshop, the London Book Store, in Boston "opposite William's Court in Cornhill." The store was, in the words of a contemporary, a "great resort for the British officers and Tory ladies, who were the ton at that period."
Boasting an impressive selection of excellent English products and managed by a friendly proprietor, it became a popular destination for the aristocrats of Boston. As a bookseller, Knox built strong business ties with British suppliers and developed relationships with his customers, but he retained his childhood aspirations. Self-educated, he stocked books on military science, questioned soldiers who frequented his shop in military matters; the genial giant enjoyed reasonable pecuniary success, but his profits slumped after the Boston Port Bill and subsequent citywide boycott of British goods. In 1772 he cofounded the Boston Grenadier Corps as an offshoot of The Train, served as its second in command. Shortly before his 23rd birthday Knox accidentally discharged a gun, shooting two fingers off his left hand, he managed to reach a doctor, who sewed the wound up. Knox supported the Sons of Liberty, an organization of agitators against what they considered repressive British colonial policies, it is unknown if he participated in the 1773 Boston Tea Party, but he did serve on guard duty before the incident to make sure no tea was unloaded from the Dartmouth, one of the ships involved.
The next year he refused a consignment of tea sent to him by James Rivington, a Loyalist in New York. Henry married Lucy Flucker, the daughter of Boston Loyalists, on June 16, 1774, despite opposition from her father, due to their differing political views. Lucy's brother served in the British Army, her family attempted to lure Knox to service there. Despite long separations due to his military service, the couple were devoted to one another for the rest of his life, carried on an extensive correspondence. After the couple fled Boston in 1775, she remained homeless until the British evacuated the city in March 1776. Afterward, she traveled to visit Knox in the field, her parents left, never to return, with the British during their withdrawal from Boston after the Continental Army fortified Dorchester Heights, a success that hinged upon Knox's Ticonderoga expedition. When the war broke out with the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, Knox and Lucy snuck out of Boston, Knox joined the militia army besieging the city.
His abandoned bookshop was looted and all of its stock stolen. He served under General Artemas Ward, putting his ac
William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe
General William Howe, 5th Viscount Howe, KB, PC was a British Army officer who rose to become Commander-in-Chief of British forces during the American War of Independence. Howe was one of three brothers. In historiography of the American war he is referred to as Sir William Howe in distinction to his brother Richard, who held the title of Lord Howe at that time. Having joined the army in 1746, Howe saw extensive service in the War of the Austrian Succession and Seven Years' War, he became known for his role in the capture of Quebec in 1759 when he led a British force to capture the cliffs at Anse-au-Foulon, allowing James Wolfe to land his army and engage the French in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Howe participated in the campaigns to take Louisbourg, Belle Île and Havana, he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Wight, a post he held until 1795. Howe was sent to North America in March 1775, arriving in May after the American War of Independence broke out. After leading British troops to a costly victory in the Battle of Bunker Hill, Howe took command of all British forces in America from Thomas Gage in September of that year.
Howe's record in North America was marked by the successful capture of both New York City and Philadelphia. However, poor British campaign planning for 1777 contributed to the failure of John Burgoyne's Saratoga campaign, which played a major role in the entry of France into the war. Howe's role in developing those plans and the degree to which he was responsible for British failures that year have both been subjects of contemporary and historic debate, he was knighted after his successes in 1776. He resigned his post as Commander in Chief, North America, in 1777, the next year returned to England, where he was at times active in the defence of the British Isles, he sat in the House of Commons from 1758 to 1780. He inherited the Viscountcy of Howe upon the death of his brother Richard in 1799, he married, but had no children, the viscountcy became extinct with his death in 1814. William Howe was born in England, the third son of Emanuel Howe, 2nd Viscount Howe and Charlotte, the daughter of Sophia von Kielmansegg, Countess of Leinster and Darlington, an acknowledged illegitimate half-sister of King George I.
His mother was a regular in the courts of George II and George III. This connection with the crown may have improved the careers of all four sons, but all were very capable officers, his father was a politician, who served as Governor of Barbados where he died in 1735. William's eldest brother, General George Howe, was killed just before the 1758 Battle of Carillon at Fort Ticonderoga. Another brother, Admiral Richard Howe, rose to become one of Britain's leading naval commanders. A third brother, commanded ships for the East India Company, Winchelsea in 1762–4 and Nottingham in 1766, made observations on Madeira and on the Comoro Islands. William entered the army when he was 17 by buying a cornet's commission in the Duke of Cumberland's Dragoons in 1746, he served for two years in Flanders during the War of the Austrian Succession. After the war he was transferred to the 20th Regiment of Foot, where he became a friend of James Wolfe. During the Seven Years' War Howe's service first brought him to America, did much to raise his reputation.
He joined the newly formed 58th Regiment of Foot in February 1757, was promoted to lieutenant colonel in December of that year. He commanded the regiment at the Siege of Louisbourg in 1758, leading an amphibious landing under heavy enemy fire; this action earned Howe a commendation from Wolfe. Howe commanded a light infantry battalion under General Wolfe during the 1759 Siege of Quebec, he was in the Battle of Beaufort, was chosen by Wolfe to lead the ascent from the Saint Lawrence River up to the Plains of Abraham that led to the British victory in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham on 13 September 1759. After spending the winter in the defence of Quebec City, his regiment fought in the April 1760 Battle of Sainte-Foy, led a brigade in the capture of Montreal under Jeffery Amherst before returning to England. Howe led a brigade in the 1761 Capture of Belle Île, off the French coast, turned down the opportunity to become military governor after its capture so that he might continue in active service.
He served as adjutant general of the force that captured Havana in 1762, playing a part in a skirmish at Guanabacoa. In 1758, Howe was elected a member of parliament for Nottingham, succeeding to the seat vacated by his brother George's death, his election was assisted by the influence of his mother, who campaigned on behalf of her son while he was away at war, may well have been undertaken because service in Parliament was seen as a common way to improve one's prospects for advancement in the military. In 1764 he was promoted to colonel of the 46th Regiment of Foot, in 1768 he was appointed lieutenant governor of the Isle of Wight; as tensions rose between Britain and the colonies in the 1770s, Howe continued to rise through the ranks, came to be regarded as one of the best officers in the army. He was promoted to major general in 1772, in 1774 introduced new training drills for light infantry companies. In Parliament he was sympathetic to the American colonies, he publicly opposed the collection of legislation intended to punish the Thirteen Colonies known as Intolerable Acts, in 1774 assured his constituents that he would resist active duty against the Americans and asserted that the entire British army could not conquer America.
He let government ministers know that he was prepared to serve
Ethan Allen was a farmer, land speculator, writer, lay theologian, American Revolutionary War patriot, politician. He is best known as one of the founders of the U. S. state of Vermont, for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga early in the American Revolutionary War along with Benedict Arnold. He was the father of Frances Allen. Born in rural Connecticut, Allen had a frontier upbringing but received an education that included some philosophical teachings. In the late 1760s he became interested in the New Hampshire Grants, buying land there and becoming embroiled in the legal disputes surrounding the territory. Legal setbacks led to the formation of the Green Mountain Boys, whom Allen led in a campaign of intimidation and property destruction to drive New York settlers from the Grants; when the American Revolutionary War broke out and the Boys seized the initiative and captured Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775. In September 1775 Allen led a failed attempt on Montreal that resulted in his capture by British authorities.
First imprisoned aboard Royal Navy ships, he was paroled in New York City, released in a prisoner exchange in 1778. Upon his release, Allen returned to the Grants, which had declared independence in 1777, resumed political activity in the territory. In addition to continuing resistance to New York's attempts to assert control over the territory, Allen was active in efforts by Vermont's leadership for recognition by Congress, he participated in controversial negotiations with the British over the possibility of Vermont becoming a separate British province. Allen wrote accounts of his exploits in the war that were read in the 19th century, as well as philosophical treatises and documents relating to the politics of Vermont's formation, his business dealings included successful farming operations, one of Connecticut's early iron works, land speculation in the Vermont territory. Land purchased by Allen and his brothers included tracts of land that became Burlington, Vermont, he was twice married.
Ethan Allen was born in Litchfield, the first-born child of Joseph and Mary Baker Allen, both descended from English Puritans. The family moved to the town of Cornwall shortly after his birth; the move to Cornwall grew out of Allen's father's quest for freedom of religion during a time of turmoil: the Great Awakening, when Puritans were separating into churches with differing dogmas, in particular about the proper form of conversion: by works or by grace. His lifelong interest in philosophy and ideas emerged against the backdrop of his father's involvement in these Puritan debates and his father's refusal to convert to the covenant by grace; as a boy Allen excelled at quoting the Bible and was known for disputing the meaning of passages. Seven siblings, all of whom survived to adulthood, joined the family between Allen's birth in 1738 and 1751. Allen had two sisters, his brothers Ira and Heman would become prominent figures in the early history of Vermont. Although not much is known about Allen's childhood, the town of Cornwall was frontier territory in the 1740s.
By the time Allen reached his teens, the area, while still a difficult area in which to make a living, began to resemble a town, with wood-frame houses beginning to replace the rough cabins of the early settlers. Joseph Allen died in 1755. Allen had, before his father's death, begun studies under a minister in the nearby town of Salisbury with the goal of gaining admission to Yale College. Allen's brother Ira recalled that at a young age, Allen was curious and interested in learning. Allen was forced to end his studies upon his father's death. While he volunteered for militia service in 1757 in response to French movements resulting in the siege of Fort William Henry, his unit received word while en route that the fort had fallen, turned back. Though the French and Indian War continued over the next several years, Allen did not participate in any further military activities, is presumed to have tended his farm, at least until 1762. In that year, he became part owner of an iron furnace in Salisbury.
He married Mary Brownson, a woman five years his senior, from the nearby town of Roxbury, in July 1762. They first settled in Cornwall, but moved the following year to Salisbury with their infant daughter Loraine. Allen proceeded to develop the iron works; the expansion of the iron works was costly to Allen. The Allen brothers sold their interest in the iron works in October of 1765. By most accounts Allen's first marriage was an unhappy one, his wife was rigidly religious, prone to criticizing him, able to read and write. In contrast, Allen's behavior was sometimes quite flamboyant. In spite of these differences the marriage survived until Mary's death in 1783. Allen and Mary had five children only two of whom reached adulthood. Allen's exploits in those years introduced him to the wrong side of the justice system, which would become a recurring feature of his life. In one incident, he and his brother Heman went to the farm of a neighbor, some of whose pigs had escaped onto their land, seized the pigs.
The neighbor sued to have the animals returned to him.