Ethan Allen presumably said "The gods of the hills are not the gods of the valleys" and invited a New York lawyer to come find out what he meant over in Bennington from Albany.
And it occurred to me, I have never seen any documentation that Ethan Allen ever said that other than his brother's assertion of it in his 1798 history of the State of Vermont.
So I went back and started looking at all of the Allen papers that I could find. I didn't find that he said that and in the process of looking through those materials, I discovered the stories of Ethan Allen's death and they were all over the place. How he died, exactly when he died, where he died, what his funeral was like, how many people were there, how the ministry reacted to him since Allen was a certified 'deist-er'.
You know we asked questions that the biographers had not asked before. Did Ethan Allen own slaves? Did Ethan Allen ever kill a man? Did Ethan Allen really write the two books that he's known for? And we believe that the Ethan Allen that is the icon of the State of Vermont was invented in the 19th century.
"Inventing Ethan Allen" by John J. Duffy and H. Nicholas Muller III.