Category Archives: History

Fort Ticonderoga Captured by Ethan Allen & Benedict Arnold

Fort Ticonderoga Captured by Ethan Allen & Benedict Arnold: May 10, 1775

 

Fort Ticonderoga Captured by Ethan Allen & Benedict Arnold

Because of its location on Lake Champlain, Fort Ticonderoga was the key to access of both Canada and the Hudson River Valley. During the French and Indian War, thousands of soldiers had died fighting to gain or maintain control of the water highway between Canada and New York. Fort Ticonderoga, the Gibraltar of North America, was the key to Lake Champlain and, in turn, Lake George and the Hudson River.

It was May of 1775; just three weeks after Lexington and Concord. The American Revolution was just beginning. Both Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold realized that not only would Fort Ticonderoga be a relatively easy target for the patriots, but that it would prevent British control of the waterways and the access they provided.

Lake Champlain

This 128-page softcover book features stunning historical images from the archives of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and other regional collections, and includes chapters on Patriotic Sites and Celebrations; Commerce in the Canal Era; The Age of Steam; Crossing Lake Champlain; Recreational Boating; Summer and Summer Folk; Hunting and Fishing; and Winter. ‘Lake Champlain’ tells the story of this historic, busy commercial corridor and recreational destination.

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Independently, both Allen and Arnold set out to capture Ticonderoga. Arnold, of Connecticut, led small force of Massachusetts militiamen, while Allen, also originally from Connecticut, led the Green Mountain Boys of Vermont. After some heated negotiations (both leaders had big egos), the two agreed to a joint command.

On May 10, 1775  Arnold  and Allen led 168 Green Mountain Boys and New England militia in a dawn attack on the fort, surprising and capturing the sleeping British garrison. The rebels sneaked into the fort and demanded its surrender. Captain William DeLaPlace, the garrison commander, surrendered his sword and the fort; no-one was killed in the daring dawn raid.

 

Fort Ticonderoga Captured by Ethan Allen & Benedict Arnold

Fort Ticonderoga 

Although this was a small-scale conflict, the Battle of Fort Ticonderoga was the first American victory of the Revolution, and later supplied the Continental Army with needed artillery to force the British from Boston and to use in future battles.

Following the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Colonel Henry Knox transported more than 60 tons of military supplies including 59 artillery pieces from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston. Ticonderoga’s cannon were placed on Dorchester Heights which had a commanding view of Boston. The threat of the cannon forced the British to evacuate Boston on March 17, 1776 and the Continental Army entered Boston the next day.

The Importance of the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga

The significance of the battle was the captured cannons, munitions and other armaments from Fort Ticonderoga which were transported to Boston and used to fortify Dorchester Heights and break the standoff at the Siege of Boston. The location of the fort itself was also very important as it protected New York and New England from British invasion from Canada.


Guns Over The Champlain Valley:
A Guide To Historic Military Sites And Battlefields
(Paperback)
Author: Coffin, Howard

The Champlain Valley is one of the most historically rich regions of the country. Fort Ticonderoga, Saratoga, Fort William Henry, Crown Point, Plattsburgh, Bennington and Valcour Island all lie along the ancient warpath that is the Champlain Corridor.
In this lively and informative new travel guide to historic places and events, the author leads you to each venue, describing the events and their long-lasting impact.  Adventure awaits you with Guns over the Champlain Valley.
Order Today

 

More About Lake Champlain History:

The Rush-Bagot Treaty

April 28, 1818: The Rush-Bagot Treaty

The Rush-Bagot Treaty demilitarized Lake Champlain

The Rush-Bagot Treaty demilitarized Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes

On April 28, 1817, Acting United States Secretary of State Richard Rush and the British Minister to Washington Sir Charles Bagot signed and exchanged letters that became the Rush-Bagot Agreement or Treaty, which demilitarized Lake Champlain and the Great Lakes.

 

Rush-Bagot Treaty plaque

Rush-Bagot Treaty plaque

 

The agreement  provided for demilitarization of the lakes along the international boundary, where many British naval arrangements and forts remained. The treaty stipulated that the United States and British North America could each keep one military vessel (of no more than 100 tons) as well as one cannon (no more than eighteen pounds) on Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain. It later extended this to the other Great Lakes and to the entire Canadian border.

The USA and Canada have worked well together at cleaning up the lakes and keeping them demilitarized. The US Coast Guard now has bigger guns, but Canada looks the other way. According to Wikipedia, “The Canadian government decided that the armament did not violate the treaty, as the guns were to be used for law enforcement rather than military activities. Canada reserved the right to arm its law enforcement vessels with similar weapons.”

Click here to learn more about The Rush-Bagot Treaty

Ethan Allen: His Life and Times
is the story of one of Vermont’s
most famous citizens.Written by
Willard Sterne Randall this book
sheds a new light on one of
Vermont’s founding fathers.
Buy Ethan Allen: 
His Life and Times
Here

 

More About Lake Champlain History:

Lake Champlain Designated the 6th Great Lake

Lake Champlain Designated the 6th Great Lake (for a while)

Lake Champlain Designated the 6th Great Lake (for a while)Everyone can agree that Lake Champlain is great, but it is not officially a Great Lake. Much of the confusion over this is due to Lake Champlain briefly being designated the 6th Great Lake.

Without fanfare on March 7, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed a bill giving Lake Champlain official designation as one of the Great Lakes, at least as far as Federal research money goes. On March 25, 1998 Congress voted to rescind the ‘Great Lake’ designation for Lake Champlain.

The designation allowed Lake Champlain to receive Sea Grant funding.  Although the designation was quickly revoked, the funding still exists. This is funding is important, because Lake Champlain is connected to the Great Lakes and faces many similar issues including invasive aquatic species, as well as, phosphorus over-loading.

 

Lake Champlain Designated the 6th Great Lake for Sea Grant

Lake Champlain Sea Grant is dedicated to improving the understanding and management of Lake Champlain, Lake George and their watersheds for long-term environmental health and sustainable economic development.

A cooperative program of the University of Vermont and SUNY Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain Sea Grant is a part of a national network of 35 projects and programs at coastal and Great Lakes colleges, coordinated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Congressional Pushback

The move had angered some lawmakers from the Great Lakes states. ”If Lake Champlain ends up as a Great Lake, I propose we rename it ‘Lake Plain Sham,’ ” said Representative Steven C. LaTourette, an Ohio Republican who co-chaired the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force.

Lake Champlain is not even the sixth largest lake in the United States – in area or in volume.  It is only sixth in the United States in terms of its length. Although not a ‘Great Lake’ anymore, Lake Champlain is still a great lake!

Lake Champlain

This 128-page softcover book features stunning historical images from the archives of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and other regional collections, and includes chapters on Patriotic Sites and Celebrations; Commerce in the Canal Era; The Age of Steam; Crossing Lake Champlain; Recreational Boating; Summer and Summer Folk; Hunting and Fishing; and Winter. ‘Lake Champlain’ tells the story of this historic, busy commercial corridor and recreational destination.

Buy Here

More About Lake Champlain History:

Battle of Valcour Island: October 11, 1776

This date in Lake Champlain History

Battle of Valcour Island: October 11, 1776

battle of valcour island

Royal Savage, Benedict Arnold’s flagship, is shown run aground and burning, while British ships fire on her (watercolor by unknown artist, ca. 1925)

Continental Brigadier General Benedict Arnold and his 17-ship flotilla were defeated after three long and separate actions at the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain when they engaged 25 ships under British Captain Thomas Pringle.

Benedict Arnold and Battle of Valcour Island

Benedict Arnold

The Continental Army had retreated from Quebec to Fort Ticonderoga and Fort Crown Point in June 1776 after British forces in Canada were reinforced. They Americans then spent the summer of 1776 strengthening those forts, and building additional ships to augment the small American fleet already on the lake under the command of Arnold.

The British had a 9,000 man army in Canada but needed to build a fleet to move it on the lake. By early October, the British fleet, which significantly outgunned the American fleet, was ready to launch their offensive.

Battle of Valcour Island

Battle of Valcour Island: October 11, 1776

On October 11, 1776 Arnold lured the superior British fleet into the straight between Valcour Island and the New York mainland where their maneuverability was limited. Although Arnold’s makeshift fleet was defeated, the battle delayed the British advance and caused it to fall back into winter quarters.

The British fleet and army withdrew from Lake Champlain on October 20, 1776 and returned to Canada for the winter. It was nearly a year before the British advance was renewed.

Ethan Allen: His Life and Times
is the story of one of Vermont’s
most famous citizens.Written by
Willard Sterne Randall this book
sheds a new light on one of
Vermont’s founding fathers.
Buy Ethan Allen: 
His Life and Times
Here

 

More About Lake Champlain History: