The body of
But the soul of
It was there that Ethan Allen,
After passing round the “flowing bowl” (an eighteenth century euphemism for having a few beers) it was suggested to Allen with a wink and a nod that if he as Vermont’s brave and wise leader would acquiesce to the so very reasonable suggestion that Vermont be annexed to New York, his courageous action would surely be remembered and his own Vermont holdings spared from the ensuing taxation that was to follow.
There it was. The bribe. Worse, this bribe was made in a manner all too familiar to those who have occupied the “outback” of world from the hills of biblical antiquity to the great plains of the American west – wherever the cities confront the farms, the big the small, the powerful the weak. The subtext read. “This hillbilly won’t even know he is being bribed.”
One can only imagine the mix of emotion – from anger to bemused delight – that Allen felt when he declined the offer, rose from the table and said.
“The Gods of the hills,” Sirs “are not the God’s of the valleys.”
It was at this precise moment that
As with all great persons controversy followed Allen throughout his life and controversy continues among those who interpret his life.
But two truths are clear.
First he was a rebel. Aligning himself with the more radical
Second. He could not be bought. Not by Hew
We see this mix of stubborn defiance and loyalty to principle throughout the history of our state. Allen would have agreed with much of it, disagreed with more. But he would have always admired our style.
This is Frank Bryan from Starksboro