Ethan Allen's Cousin, Ebenezer, Purchase Record for Establishing Poultney, VT For Sale
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Ethan Allen's Cousin, Ebenezer, Purchase Record for Establishing Poultney, VT:
ETHAN ALLEN (January 21, 1738 – February 12, 1789) was a farmer, businessman, land speculator and Revolutionary War patriot and politician. He is best known as one of the founders of the state of Vermont. Many Poultney men, including Ethan, his cousin Ebenezer and Thomas Ashley would participate in the 1775 capture of Fort Ticonderoga, along with Benedict Arnold.
EBENEZER ALLEN received an appointment as captain in Col. Herrick’s battalion of rangers in July 1777, and served with distinction at the Battle of Bennington and in September of the same year, led the assault on Mt. Defiance. He was heavily involved in the founding of Poultney, VT, as evidenced by the document offered here.
4 pp, 7 x 11 ½, Stratford, April 17, 1789 ADS by Ebenezer with wonderful content documenting purchases of supplies for establishing Poultney. Ebenezer’s accounts were with Captain Stowe and Litchfield, dry goods merchant Truman Hinman, dating between April 18, 1771, and December 17, 1772. The account, signed twice by Ebenezer, in the text and at the conclusion, dates only days after he, together with Thomas Ashley, an in-law of the Allen family, made camp on the bank of the Poultney River, establishing the town on April 15, 1771.
The account includes four major orders of supplies Hinman (1731-1793), who was a partner of Shadrach Osborn (1747-1838). The account begins with very basic supplies ordered only days after Allen and Ashley built their shanties. “1 Bundle of Linnen,” “1Ream Paper,” “4 half Faggots steel,” “2 Small Nails,” “1 Small bag Indigo,” and most important, a “Cross Cut Saw.”
By June 14, Allen was anticipating the arrival of more settlers, and ordered what appears to be not only supplies for himself, but for resale, including a box of pipes. “1 Bundle of Saws,” “nails, “3 Empty Cases,” “pepper,” “6 Iron Shovels,” “Large Trunk Goods,” “6 Tea Kettles,” “2 Bundles of Scythes,” “2 bags of paint,” “16 Shear molds,” “4 Bags Shott,” “1 Bag Coffee,” “6 pewter tankards.” The next day, Allen ordered even more of what he had ordered the previous day as well as “3 Bundles Books,” “1 Bundle Hour Glasses,” “a parcell [sic] Stone Ware.” That cache lasted the summer and Allen did not make another order until October. This time, besides the basics, including spices, dry goods, nails and iron, he sent for wine, “1 Bundle German Steel,” “1 Very Large Bocks [sic] of Dry Goods.”
An account between Allen and the Hindman-Osborn partnership appears on the fourth page dating between August 7 and March 4, 1773 for nails, “6 puter [sic] platters.” The supplies had to be carted via New York, and Allen paid mostly in cash or by the exchange of wheat. One of Allen’s customers was Captain Stowe, who purchased a variety of goods from Allen.
The account appears to have been composed by Allen in 1789 due to some dispute over payment. Allen certified on the final page, “…that the foregoing Account from Apr. 18th 1771 to Octr. 17th 1771 is as it stands on my Shipping Book & the same was paid to me by Capt. Stowe July 2, 1772…”
Ever the wanderer, Ebenezer did not stay in Poultney for long. In 1779, Ebenezer became of the original grantees of South Hero, Vermont, on Grand Isle in Lake Champlain, and moved his family there soon afterwards. He toured Ohio, Michigan and Upper Canada in 1792, and in 1795, he became a partner in an effort to purchase the entire lower Michigan peninsula from the U.S. government. The attempt to purchase the area for $500,000 fell apart after it was revealed that two of Allen’s partners had attempted to bribe several congressmen for their support. In 1800, Allen left South Hero to live in Burlington, where he operated a tavern until his death in 1805.
Expected toning, folds. A spectacular example of American history bringing together Revolutionary War heroes with the founding of Vermont.
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