Ethan Allen owned land in the New Hampshire Grants. He did not want to lose his land to the Yorkers. He also did not want to pay more money for his land. Other settlers felt the same way. After talking at the Catamount Tavern in Bennington, these men joined together to start the Green Mountain Boys.
The Green Mountain Boys wanted to scare the Yorkers and chase them away. When Dr. Samuel Adams tried to defend the Yorkers, he made the Green Mountain Boys angry. Even though Adams owned land in the New Hampshire Grants, the Green Mountain Boys put him on trial at the Catamount Tavern. They decided he was guilty. To punish him, they tied a chair to the tavern's sign and made him sit in the chair for hours. The tavern was a popular place in Bennington. The supporters of the Grants probably yelled at Dr. Adams and kept him from helping the Yorkers.
Not all of the settlers supported the Green Mountain Boys. Some people did not like that the Green Mountain Boys broke the law or scared Yorkers. Many settlers paid money to New York to keep their land.
The Green Mountain Boys also protected Vermont during the Revolutionary War. They helped Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold capture Fort Ticonderoga from the British. At the Battle of Bennington, the Green Mountain Boys fought with the American troops to beat the British.
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Thinking about History
When is it right to use violence to defend your land or opinions? Is the answer different during a war?
If you were Dr. Samuel Adams, how would you respond to the Green Mountain Boys?