Talk:Ethan Allen

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Good articleEthan Allen has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
February 9, 2010Good article nomineeNot listed
April 27, 2010Good article nomineeListed
Current status: Good article

older entries[edit]

The Eastern seaboard of the United States changed from Julian to Gregorian calendar with Great Britain in 1752. Thus Ethan Allen was born under the Julian calendar. I think it's a bad idea to change his birthdate to Gregorian, especially without indictating that you've changed it. The date on which he was born was January 10, 1737/8 (O.S.) which is equivalent to January 21, 1738 (N.S.), and he died February 12, 1789. Is changing dates from Julian to Gregorian a standard? If so I think we should reconsider it. -- Someone else 09:35 Jan 24, 2003 (UTC)

On the January 21 page we can truthfully only say: Births:

  • 1738 - Ethan Allen, American patriot (+ 1789) who would have been born on January 21st if the Gregorian calendar were in effect when he was born, but who instead was born on January 10, the day on which he would have celebrated the aniversary of his birth. Nonetheless whe have chosen to give you the calculated date of his birth in the proleptic Gregorian calendar.

Or on the January 10 page we could say:

  • 1738 - Ethan Allen, American patriot (+ 1789) (the Julian date on which he was born)

-- Someone else 09:47 Jan 24, 2003 (UTC) wat up


why is he tagge as an american revolution spy? i see no mention of this in the article. (talk) 04:04, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

perhaps speculations concerning the Haldimand Affair Tedickey (talk) 10:43, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Image wrong, tallx s inferior. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lyhendq (talkcontribs) 03:57, 21 September 2018 (UTC)


The article is flagrantly biased toward the Tory point of view. A few years of study of contemporary literature could assist the author(s) in remedying the shortcoming.

-- Electrodynamic (talk) 23:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps you'd like to elaborate on what you consider to be "Tory bias" in the article. Magic♪piano 14:25, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ethan Allen/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

The article is flagrantly biased toward the Tory point of view. A few years of study of contemporary literature could assist the author(s) in remedying the shortcoming.

Reviewer: Electrodynamic (talk) 23:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
This isn't a review, this is commentary. Please continue on the talk page. Magic♪piano 14:24, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

i think he is funny like a spy maybe — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 29 January 2013 (UTC)


It has been stated that Ethan stood about 6'4" in a couple of revolutionary publications. —Preceding unsigned comment added by TruckTurner (talkcontribs) 21:26, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Please add that to the article! with a citation! :) The more editors here, the merrier. Outback the koala (talk) 06:07, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
While my perusal of sources was not quite exhaustive, I did specifically look for descriptions of Allen, since he was never imaged from life. The best description was the one in the Appearance section. I don't recall any specific references to his height. Magic♪piano 19:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Ethan Allen/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Grondemar 21:52, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

 Working Will aim to complete this review in the next couple of days. Grondemar 21:52, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry for taking so long, I'm still reviewing, but here are a couple of things I've found so far:

  • The lead seems short for the length of the article; please expand to three or four thicker paragraphs. The first two paragraphs can be (and probably should be) combined into a single paragraph, as they together introduce Ethan Allen.
  • The article talks about Allen defending cases in court; it might help to elaborate somewhere on how Allen gained his legal education (presumably self-taught, but when?).
    • Allen did not have any legal training; he hired a lawyer to the actual court work in the 1770. I will make this clear. Magic♪piano 20:55, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
    • I've expanded the lead, and added mention of Allen's legal advisor. Magic♪piano 15:07, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
      • Looks good, I've stuck both concerns above. Grondemar 22:44, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

More to come. Grondemar 03:35, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, here's the rest of the review (finally!):

  • In the Imprisonment section, Allen was first placed on the HMS Gaspée, but if you read the article this wikilinks to, that ship was burned in 1772. I assume these are two different ships of the same name?
  • Later in the Imprisonment section, Allen was jailed for a parole violation that he admitted was "partly true": what exactly did he do?
  • Death section: It would be nice, and more WP:NPOV to include some positive obituary quotes, rather than just list the negative ones. If "most" obituaries were positive, quoting only negative ones gives them WP:UNDUE weight.
  • The overall article is highly dependent on one source: the Jellison book. I roughly estimate 75% of the citations are from this single book, and in fact many of the cites are in page number order. It would be desirable to include more citations from other works about Allen; this definitely will be needed if you intend to bring this article to WP:FAC.

I also made several copyedits to the article; make sure I didn't change anything of importance.

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
    Due to heavy reliance on the Jellison book.
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    This article will be Good article on hold on hold for seven days waiting closure of the above concerns.

Thanks. Grondemar 22:44, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments. Some observations:
  • HMS Gaspée does indeed currently redirect to Gaspée Affair; it is certainly true that the British reuse ship names. I'm not sure how to deal with this; the only action I find satisfactory (and not very) that doesn't involve delving into British naval records (not my strong point) is to delink the instance here. A brief survey indicates some disagreement among sources about exactly what type of ship Allen's Gaspée was (brig, schooner, or sloop), which might provide another point of disambiguation. I will make inquiries at the MILHIST and Ships projects to see if some Royal Navy record hounds can help out.
  • Allen does not say why his parole was revoked; his narrative implies he was somehow framed. I may revisit this particular point, since I need to get a hold of some sources again. (I'm not inclined to trust Allen much on this point, and may just elaborate what he says a bit better and present as explicitly his claim.)
  • Sources: Jellison's biography is fairly definitive. The only other useful modern biography is Bellesiles, although his focus is somewhat broader than Allen himself and sometimes lacks details. (There have also been issues with his scholarship: see his WP entry, although I'm not sure how much of an effect that controversy would have here.) Of other recent books, Hoyt (listed in Further reading) is essentially docudrama; it may be factually correct, but it also includes things clearly fictional, like significant exchanges of dialogue. As a result it is not a useful source (but it might be an entertaining read.) All other sources are older, and often lacking in detail; I use them when I can. I will pick up Bellesiles (and possibly Holbrook) to see what can be re-cited from them; this will take a while, but I should be able to get through it over the next week. This will also give me opportunity to address the legacy assessment in a more balanced manner. Magic♪piano 16:28, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
I've now cited about 1/2 the article to sources other than Jellison; is this sufficient to address your concern?
I've also corrected the Gaspée links; I located enough information to establish HMS Gaspée as a ship index page. I've also recast Allen's parole violation with some background and a likely cause. Magic♪piano 16:14, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
All of my concerns have been addressed. I am Good article passing GA for this article. Thanks for all the hard work! Grondemar 20:51, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! Magic♪piano 21:20, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Not A Christian[edit]

Perhaps I missed something in the article but in the Preface to his book, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man, Allen says, "I am no Christian", yet he is tagged in this article as being a Christian, an 18th Century Universalist Christian, and a Universalist, which is a Christian denomination. He admits that he was baptized as an infant but calls himself a Deist. What the deally, yoh? Shall I remove those tags? Or can someone show me something I missed or make an argument that Deism is Christianity, in which case the article on Deism will badly need to be rewritten? -A none mouse. 27 August, 2011 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

New 2011 Biography of Ethan Allen[edit]

There is a new biography of Ethan Allen by Willard Sterne Randall publshed in 2011. I am thinking of adding new citations from it to support the factual base of this existing Wiki article on Ethan Allen.

In addition, Randall's book has new information on Ethan Allen's childhood, and the religious disputes his father, Joseph Allen, was engaged in with the local Litchfield church over the dogma of Puritanism, disputes that lead the Allen family to move to Cornwall, Conneticut in search of freedom of religion. Randall shows that this quest for religious freedom was pursued by Ethan Allen, as well, in his adult life. I would like to add a paragraph or two on this to the text. Or maybe someone else would like to do this? ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Delancy (talkcontribs) 21:25, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Footnotes Added[edit]

I added Footnotes. and a couple of sentences, to the Wikiipedia article on Ethan Allen -- the section on Childhood. The footnotes are from the new book by Randall (2011) called Ethan Allen. Basically the footnotes have information on the Puritan background and religious commitments of the Allen family. I hope the information is helpful in shedding light on Ethan Allen's involvement in philosphical debates in his lifetime, some of which are treated near the end of the Wikipedia article.

I am a new editor and had to struggle a bit to get the mark-up code right on footnoting. At one point someone thought I had not given any footnotes, and deleted what I had done. However, I was just having difficulty figuring out the editing process and the formating for footnotes. The footnotes are now there, as well as the two sentence addition to the text. I have received a lot of help from CHZZ on this. Much thanks! I am wondering if MagicPiano, or other editors, have any comments or suggestions on what I have done. I'd like to add some more footnotes and supporting information from the Randall book on the Grants issue.

Delancy --Delancy (talk) 02:44, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

reliance on Bellesiles[edit]

I note this article relies very extensively on the work of one historian who appears to have had some problems in the past. Collect (talk) 12:43, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Twenty out of more than 150 citations are to Michael Bellesiles. I did most of the work to cite this article, and was aware of Bellesiles' history. Most of the initial citation was to Jellison, mainly because it was the best work I could actually borrow (this is well before Willard Sterne Randall published his biography). I only later re-cited some material to Bellesiles for diversity. There is relatively little here that is cited to Bellesiles that is not confirmable in other sources. (I believe most of what's cited to him is also not particularly controversial.) Magic♪piano 13:00, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Family Tree[edit] — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:242:4000:7812:84CB:CCDA:1AA:53E9 (talk) 18:02, 24 October 2016 (UTC)


The postcard shows a home which is located in Litchfield, CT. In the book "Images of America: Litchfield" by Ralph White (ISBN: 978-0-7385-7534-6) PG.53 shows a modern photo of the house and states that it was moved from Goshen, CT. This website ( states that the house was built in 1736, two years before Ethan Allen's Birth. When did they move the house from Goshen? Seems unlikely they did it 2 years after building it. Tommyborsh (talk) 20:50, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Slight sentence syntax error[edit]

In the first sentence, "Ethan Allen (January 21, 1738 [O.S. January 10, 1737][4] – February 12, 1789) was a farmer, businessman, land speculator, philosopher, writer, lay theologian, and American Revolutionary War patriot, and politician", the article has and used in the sentence twice, first before "American Revolutionary War patriot," and then again before "politician". Either the first "and" was meant to be "an", or someone typed "and" twice, perhaps not noticing the error. If I have made a mistake here, I apologize, I do not usually do this sort of thing.

Birth Date[edit]

"Ethan Allen (January 21, 1738 [O.S. January 10, 1737]"

The O.S. is not a year off. Was he born in 1737 or 1738? (talk) 17:15, 10 May 2018 (UTC)

See Old Style and New Style dates. At the time, according to the Julian calendar then in force, the new year was considered in the British colonies to begin on March 25, so a document (for example, a baptismal record) would have the date as "January 10, 1737". When this date is converted to the Gregorian calendar we use today (and was then in use in most of western Europe), whose year begins on January 1, it becomes "January 21, 1738". Which year he was born in depends on which calendar you choose to consult. Magic♪piano 19:01, 10 May 2018 (UTC)