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The Legendary Ethan Allen – Mystery of Where he is Buried?

Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen's life exhibited traits of fierce independence and generated strong debate in the history books. Allen was no military genius, but perhaps, a loud-mouthed braggart.

He was also said to be a steadfast patriot who apparently did not know the meaning of fear.

The Mysterious Whereabouts of Ethan Allen – Unraveling the Legend's Burial Place

Flickr - USCapitol - Ethan Allen Statue
Ethan Allen Statue – Washington DC

Ethan Allen, an iconic figure in American history, left behind a legacy of fierce independence and strong patriotism that is still a topic of debate among historians. While his military tactics were not considered genius, his bold and loud persona commanded attention and respect.

Leading the Green Mountain Boys

Allen's notable feat, leading the Green Mountain Boys with Benedict Arnold to capture Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain, is well documented. However, the mystery surrounding his final resting place remains unsolved.

George Washington once wrote of Ethan Allen, “There is an original something about him that commands attention.” But the question remains, where is this legendary hero buried?

The Search for Ethan Allen's Grave

Ethan Allen died on February 12, 1789, two years before Vermont was admitted into the Union. There are those who believe that he was buried at Green Mount Cemetery in Burlington, VT, under an eight-foot statue and a 35-foot granite column, the cemetery's tallest and most prominent monument.

It is the tallest and most prominent monument in the state of Vermont. The whole structure rests solidly upon a huge foundation of impressive stone work. However, errors in the cemetery records indicate that Allen could possibly be buried 40 feet away from the site first identified as his grave.

We seemed to have misplaced a hero

Archaeologists reportedly excavated the area around Allen’s grave, based upon the cemetery plot map and were not successful in finding anything at all. Many theories from grave robbers to a secret burial elsewhere are merely random speculation.

However, errors in the cemetery records indicate that Allen could possibly be buried 40 feet away from the site first identified as his grave. Recent archaeological excavations around the area where his grave was believed to be did not yield any significant discoveries.

There is some controversy over exactly where Ethan Allen is buried in Burlington's Green Mount Cemetery. Here are some key details about this controversy:

  • The standard account is that Allen was buried in an unmarked grave in a section of the cemetery that was once set aside for Yellow Fever victims. His remains were later moved and a monument was erected in the mid-1800s to mark his grave site.
  • However, in the 1990s some historians began to question whether Allen's remains were actually moved to the monument site. There are no good historical records documenting the reburial.
  • One alternative theory proposed by a local historian is that Allen's original grave site was accidentally paved over by a nearby road before the monument was erected. This would mean his remains are still buried under the paved road.
  • Others argue the monument still accurately marks the spot, even if the remains were never moved. But there is debate over why there is no record of a reburial if it occurred.
  • Attempts have been made to settle the issue, including subsurface radar scans to detect remains under the road and monument site. But the scans have remained inconclusive.

So in summary – while Ethan Allen might be buried somewhere in Burlington’s Green Mount Cemetery, the exact location of his remains is still disputed with no definitive resolution despite some investigations. The monument marking his grave may or may not actually be over his body. The uncertainty has fueled an ongoing local controversy over the true burial site.

Ethan Allen at Fort Ticonderoga

Others believe that he may be buried in another town or possibly not even be buried in Vermont at all.

Ethan Allen: His Life and Times
Ethan Allen: His Life and Times
Amazon Kindle Edition; Randall, Willard Sterne (Author); English (Publication Language); 651 Pages – 08/22/2011 (Publication Date) – W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)
$9.99
A Narrative of Ethan Allen's Captivity: Containing His Voyages and Travels
A Narrative of Ethan Allen's Captivity: Containing His Voyages and Travels
Allen, Ethan (Author); English (Publication Language); 176 Pages – 05/22/2013 (Publication Date) – Dover Publications (Publisher)
$9.95 Amazon Prime
Ethan Allen: The Life and Legacy of the Revolutionary War Leader and a Founder of the State of Vermont
Ethan Allen: The Life and Legacy of the Revolutionary War Leader and a Founder of the State of Vermont
Charles River Editors (Author); English (Publication Language)
$6.99 Amazon Prime
Sale
Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution
Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys and the American Revolution
Wren, Christopher S. (Author); English (Publication Language); 320 Pages – 05/21/2019 (Publication Date) – Simon & Schuster (Publisher)
$13.92 Amazon Prime
Ethan Allen & the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga: America's First Victory
Ethan Allen & the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga: America's First Victory
Amazon Kindle Edition; Smith, Richard B. (Author); English (Publication Language); 122 Pages – 04/30/2010 (Publication Date) – The History Press (Publisher)
$11.99
Reason, the Only Oracle of Man: Or a Compenduous System of Natural Religion (Classic Reprint)
Reason, the Only Oracle of Man: Or a Compenduous System of Natural Religion (Classic Reprint)
Allen, Ethan (Author); English (Publication Language); 186 Pages – 06/21/2012 (Publication Date) – Forgotten Books (Publisher)
$11.55 Amazon Prime

Ethan Allen – The Missing Legend

Numerous theories exist regarding Allen's missing grave, ranging from grave robbers to a secret burial location. Nevertheless, nobody knows for sure where Ethan Allen's remains lie.

George Washington would write of Allen, “There is an original something about him that commands attention.”

On May 10, 1775, Ethan Allen accompanied by Benedict Arnold, led the Green Mountain Boys to capture Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain.

In conclusion, the mystery surrounding the burial site of Ethan Allen remains a topic of fascination, and while many have tried to locate his remains, the question remains unsolved. Although his final resting place may remain a mystery, his legacy and contributions to American history will always be remembered.

Ultimately, the truth is nobody really knows, for certain, where Ethan Allen is buried.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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