Saturday, May 15, 2010

Allen and Arnold: 30 Days to Glory

Allen and Arnold: 30 Days to Glory
Part 1: Introduction
Next: April 19 - April 22


Before I write about the American invasion of Canada, I’m going to spend some time with the series of events that set the stage for that invasion: the American seizure of Fort Ticonderoga (among other sites) in May, 1775. The seizure of Fort Ticonderoga is one of the more-frequently described events of the war. The present account differs from others in two respects. First, many histories have argued that the idea to attack Ticonderoga originated with either Benedict Arnold or Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys. This account shows that the idea originated independently among at least three different individuals or groups of individuals. Second, this account is written in the form of a day-by-day synopsis of events taking place from April 19, 1775 (the battles of Lexington and Concord), to May 19, 1775 (the conclusion of the first, abortive invasion of Canada). Not only are the actions of Allen and Arnold described, but also those of their contemporaries. In this way, the account contextualizes the Ticonderoga campaign in terms of the wider British and American response to the start of the war.

Note: Quoted passages will be altered to bring them in line with modern standards for spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. I won’t be listing the sources used in each post (as I have laboriously for past projects), but in brief I am drawing upon Peter Force's American Archives, a number of journals and collections of correspondence, and Benedict Arnold’s regimental memorandum book. The interested reader who would like to know more about the sources is invited to leave a question in comments.

Links to posts in this series:

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