ETHAN ALLEN – THE MAN & THE MYTH
PBS Documentary Film Project
Projected Release - Spring of 2025
Rick Moulton Productions - www.Rickmoulton.com
Made in partnership with Vermont Historical Society as our Fiscal Agent.
There has never been a Documentary Film made on Ethan Allen. With the 250th Anniversary of our Country’s Independence and the 250th Anniversary of Ethan Allen’s capture of Ft. Ticonderoga – now is the time for this film to be made.
Rick Moulton Productions is producing an hour-long PBS documentary that explores the importance of Ethan Allen's life contextualized against our Country's history. Collaborating with notable historians, organizations, museums, archives, authors, and experts, we will present the various aspects of Ethan Allen's life and his place in the fight for independence. The film will be released in 2025, a year ahead of the 1776-2026 American Birthday, in line with the 250th anniversary date of Ethan’s famous 1775 capture of Fort Ticonderoga. With Ethan Allen we have a character with worldwide name recognition whose life provides an opportunity to examine the civic, ethnic, racial, and gender perspectives during this time in American history. Our documentary will provide a down the middle, fact-based, and balanced view of this pivotal activist and will attract an inclusive and broad audience. To quote Vermont writer, Glenn Fay and historian, Angie Grove: "Ethan Allen does not have to be shown as a hero to interest people in his story. On the contrary, his story will generate more interest by showing his more nuanced human side.”
Intriguing and insightful interviews will be interwoven with visuals that tell the story of Ethan Allen's life. The production will be an impartial depiction of this complex man and his impact on the American Revolution and Vermont's struggle to statehood. The project is made under the auspices of the Vermont Historical Society as our fiscal agent and partner. The materials collected: interviews, film outtakes, and research will be given to the Vermont Historical Society along with the film for their use. After the premiere and three-year PBS release, this film will be available to the public free for all time. We are working with the Ethan Allen Homestead, Vermont Humanities Council, Vermont Public, and the Fort Ticonderoga Museum as important players in this project. These organizations will collaborate with the Vermont Agency of Education to develop educational materials that integrate the film into a curriculum for students that depicts the colonization of Vermont, the Revolutionary War, and how Vermont became the 14th State.
As a sponsoring station, Vermont Public will distribute the production throughout the nation on the PBS National Network. There are many additional resources to draw upon in making this film. We will be working with primary sources available from multiple collections including UVM's Special Collections, Philadelphia's American Philosophical Society, Vermont State Archives, The Harvard Library, Michigan University’s Clements Library, as well as collaborating and utilizing resources at Fort Ticonderoga, Montreal's Stewart Museum, and The Vermont Historical Society.
Our film, "Voice of America - Lowell Thomas and The Rise of Broadcast News" released in 2019 was distributed to 89% of the Nation's PBS networks. Why? Because to protect Democracy, citizens needed to be enlightened on the importance of protecting an independent and free press and the values inherent in the factual presentation of the news.
This Ethan Allen film will shine a light on his life, examine his activism amid Vermont's march toward statehood with its own representative Government. "Ethan Allen: The Man and the Myth" will try to weigh - using factual data: was he a patriot, a rebel, or a terrorist? Vermont is a beacon for the rest of the country because of our progressive and collaborative form of government that protects and encourages citizen participation. Was Ethan Allen a populist advancing the interests of the common man or was he just seeking to line his own pockets? Today - all eyes are on our little state of Vermont as we move forward with policies that protect liberty, freedom, and individual rights. We are in the forefront of environmental and climate justice, racial justice, reproductive freedom, liberty of our press, LBGTQ rights, forward thinking sustainable farming, entrepreneurship, and the list goes on and on. Ethan Allen's writings provide the foundation for the activism that Vermont is known for today, and as we go forth with tenacity and strength understanding his life, we will be offering a warning and sobering appreciation for this way of life that has come to define our beloved Green Mountain State. –
Melinda & Rick Moulton – Rick Moulton Productions 1.2023
Ethan Allen – The Man and The Myth
1. Ethan Allen’s Early Life
Context: Anglican break with Puritans. The Allen Family joins the
migration of New England English settlers north.
Ethan's domestic life - wife Mary & five children.
From farm to Iron furnace, (1st foundry) to Huntsman.
His relationship & behavior toward People of Color, Native Americans, and Women.
2. Ethan Allen’s role in land speculation and the Onion
River Land Company
Context: The end of the French & Indian war makes Vermont safer for settlement. This settlement’s impact on Native Americans from how settlers made a living. Ethan makes a living, surveying, farming, and his relationship with Native Americans. His efforts at land speculation. Formation of Onion River Land Company.
Differences between New Hampshire & New York Titles - New England vs. New York settlement.
3. Formation and role of the Green Mountain Boys.
Context: Actions in Vermont as seen by NY, NH, in VT, and by
Continental Congress. Ethan Allen and his family’s motivation and role in forming the militia called the Green Mountain Boys -
Bennington Party/greater good vs Bennington Mob/Self-interest.
Ejectment Trials - “the Gods of the valleys are not the Gods of the hills”
4. How and why political activism emerged in Vermont.
Context: Vermont attitudes compared to rest of American
Colonies in the lead-up to the American Revolution.
Significant role of women in early Vermont & in Ethan's life
Ethan’s early political essays in newspapers
Vermont’s Public Opinion, Loyalist vs Rebel, Tory vs Patriot
Ethan’s role in early Vermont politics
5. Why was Ethan Allen a high-profile figure and national
Context: Lexington and Bunker Hill. Revolution in the air. Ethan’s rise in national stature throughout the duration of the war.
Ethan Allen’s role in the Revolutionary War: Taking of Fort Ticonderoga and its strategic importance. Loses command of the Green Mountain Boys. Role as ranger at St Jean and bumbling attempt to take Montreal. Ethan’s capture, shipped to London to hang but trial, imprisonment, and parole. Ethan in England and return to New York City. Exchanges and he publishes best seller - “Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen’s Captivity”
Still in print today.
6. Ethan Allen's continued role in Vermont politics
Context: Vermont’s sovereign territory… A Republic
Formalization of "Greater Vermont". Ethan's civic service for the VT Republic. Vermont's Declaration of Independence & Constitution.
Judge for the Banishment Act.
Political newspaper writings.
British Incursions into Northern Vermont.
Haldimand Negotiations to join Canada.
Petitions to the Continental Congress for inclusion of VT.
7. Ethan Allen's relationship with the institutions of slavery
Context: Vermont Constitution’s ambiguous attitude towards
indenture vs slavery. Declares slavery unlawful while tolerating
existing slavery to continue, perhaps within his own residence and family. Ethan Allen’s late economic behavior and interaction with Black workers. Ethan’s writings to Native Americans, on the institutions of slavery and racism. His treatment of Native Americans will be clearly studied.
8. Ethan Allen’s contribution to the discourse around the Great
Awakening and The Enlightenment, and the effect on
American intellectual culture
Context: Rise of Enlightenment, Deism & Transcendentalism in
Europe and the Colonies. Ethan Allen's evolution as an Enlightenment thinker, picks up on Thomas Young’s draft of “Reason: The Only Oracle of Man”. Ethan completes and publishes "Reason: The Only Oracle of Man.”
9. The enduring mythic image of Ethan Allen but
demythologized legacy is more complex
Context: What the stories of white male Founders can offer us.
The controversy regarding Ethan's consideration as The Founding
Father of Vermont. The mythmaking surrounding Ethan Allen’s life and Legacy. The evidence to admonish or commend
Critical summary seen through our lens in a modern context
ADVISORS, HISTORIANS, ORGANIZATIONS AND TALENT
For the PBS Documentary Film –
ETHAN ALLEN – THE MAN & THE MYTH
Advisors, Consultants and Talent
Documentary Film Project by Rick Moulton Productions
Prof. Sarah Pearsall
John Hopkins University
Author of “Freedom Round the Globe:
A New History of the American Revolution, 1763-88” and expert
on Woman in the Revolutionary War Era.
Dr. Julien Mauduit McGill University co-authored
“Jacksonian America and the Canadian Rebellion”
Dr. Maxime Dagenais McMasters University Program Manager,
ARiEAL Research Coauthor of “The Land In Between” and “Jacksonian America and the Canadian Rebellion.”
Coordinator of the Wilson Institute for Canadian History
Prof. Mark E. Lender
Professor Emeritus of History at Kean University
-American History PHD Rutgers University. Author of “Fort
Ticonderoga; the last campaigns the War in the North 1777- 1783”,
“The War for American Independence: A Reference Guide,” “A
Respectable Army: The Military Origins of the Republic, 1763-1789”
and “Theaters of the American Revolution: Northern, Middle, Southern,
Gene Procknow Author of “William Hunter: Finding Free Speech” and frequent contributor to The Journal of the American Revolution. Gene hosts and curates the web site www.researchingtheamericanrevolution.com
Prof. Andrew Buchanan Oxford University, American History PHD Rutgers
University where he also taught, Andrew is a professor of History at
the University of Vermont and expert in global and military history.
Prof Jeff Marshall Just closing his academic career at the University of Vermont including fifteen years as Director of the University Libraries’ Silver Special Collections. As the University Library Professor, knowledge of UVM rare books and manuscripts which pertain to Ethan Allen.
Dr. Elise Guyette Former college professor, museum educator, Vermont Historian and Author of “Discovering Black Vermont” specializing in Black History in the State
Judy Dow is Winooski Abenaki and French-Canadian descent. She is Gedakina’s Executive Director and serves on our board. Judy is a lifelong learner and teacher of over 30+ years. Judy has an education career spanning more than three decades. She worked primarily as an independent educator, with degrees in Native Studies, Education and Teaching for Social Justice, but is also an environmentalist, consultant, cultural specialist, author, and basket maker conducting classes and workshops for students of all ages. She was the 2004 recipient of the Governor’s Heritage Award for Outstanding Educator.
Christopher Wren New York Times writer and author of “Those Turbulent Sons of Freedom: Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Boys and the American
Prof. Mark Peterson Yale University author of “The City-State of Boston: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630-1865”, “The Price of Redemption: The Spiritual Economy of Puritan New England, Revolution’s Ends”, “The Price of Redemption: The Spiritual Economy of Puritan New England, Revolution’s Ends: A History of the American Revolution for the Twenty-First Century.
Beth Hill Fort Ticonderoga’s President and CEO since 2010 after a successful tenure with the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, Historic Sites Division. She has been a leader in the museum and cultural destination profession for 25 years and has an M.A. in history from American University.
Matthew Keagle Fort Ticonderoga’s Curator of Collections BA from Cornell University, Masters in American Material Culture from the Winterthur Museum. has been involved in curation, exhibitions, research, and interpretation for historic sites and museums in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Delaware, Virginia, and North and South Carolina. He holds a BA from Cornell University, an MA in American material culture from the Winterthur Museum, and a PhD from Bard Graduate Center. Since joining Fort Ticonderoga in 2014, he has been developing exhibits, conducting research, and delivering programs that explore the eighteenth-century military experience. He has researched and lectured at collections and archives across the US, Canada, and Europe, with a particular focus on military dress in the eighteenth century. https://www.bgc.bard.edu/research-forum/articles/681/military-material-culture
Lindsay Houpt-Varner is the Executive Director of Rokeby Museum in Ferrisburgh, Vermont. She received her Ph.D. from Durham University in the UK with a specialty in community culture and social history in the 17th and 18th centuries. She started working in cultural heritage in 2011 as a community educator and administrator for the Durham World Heritage Site in the UK. From 2016-2018, she was the project director for the Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul, an initiative in partnership with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and Community Heart & Soul. From 2018-2020 was the first Community Outreach Director at Cumberland County Historical Society in Pennsylvania. She has taught at colleges and universities in the US and UK about British History, public history, and Colonial America.
Dr. Willard Randall Prof. of History Champlain College and Author of “Ethan Allen: Life and Times,” “The Founders’ Fortunes: How Money Shaped the Birth of America,” and “Alexander Hamilton: A Life”
Kevin Graffagnino Retired from 11 years as the Randolph G. Adams Director of the Clements Library at the University of Michigan. Former Director of Vermont Historical Society and Author of “The quotable Ethan Allen” “Shaping of Vermont: From the Wilderness to the Centennial, 1749-1877” Co Author “Vermont Heritage: Essays on Green Mountain History”
Art Cohn Founder of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Underwater
Archaeologist, Author of the original Historical Study for Ethan Allen
Gary G. Shattuck, Legal Scholar on the New Hampshire vs New York Grants and Co-author of “The Rebel and the Tory”
Chris Graff UPI and AP Correspondent
Richard B Smith Author “Ethan Allen and the Capture of Fort Ticonderoga.” “The Revolutionary War in Bennington County” and Vermont Firsts”
Steven Perkins Executive Director of the Vermont Historical Society, previous Executive Director of the Bennington Museum and Director of Development and Community Relations at Echo Leahy Center.
Angie Grove Executive Director of the Ethan Allen Homestead and
ongoing relationship with the Alnôbaiwi and the founding of
Vermont Indigenous Heritage Center
Christopher Ilstrup Executive Director of the Vermont Humanities Council
previously at VT Digger where he was the COO and Senior
Philanthropic Advisor at the Vermont Community Foundation.
Michael Hattem Director Yale - New Haven A historian of early America, with a broad focus on culture and politics in the long eighteenth century. I am especially interested in cultural memory in (and of) the American Revolution and early America, the origins and causes of the American Revolution, print culture, and colonial New York City. I am the author of Past and Prologue: Politics and Memory in the American Revolution, which explores the role of changing historical memories in revolutionary American culture and politics.
Executive Director and Staff of the New York Historical Society
Executive Director and Staff of The New York State Archives
Bob Stannard - The Voice of Ethan Allen -Bob Stannard is an 8th generation Vermonter. He is an entrepreneur, author, columnist, musician, activist, former logger, former legislator, former lobbyist, father and grandfather and a decent bass fisherman. He is married to the most wonderful woman in the world, Alison Stannard.
Stephen Kiernan - Narrator & Music Talent -As a journalist and novelist, Stephen P. Kiernan has published nearly four million words. His newspaper work garnered more than forty awards — including the George Polk Award and the Scripps Howard Award for Distinguished Service to the First Amendment. Stephen’s newest novel, UNIVERSE OF TWO, was released in 2020. He is also author of the novels THE CURIOSITY (now in television series development), THE BAKER'S SECRET (a regional Indie bestseller), and THE HUMMINGBIRD. He has also written two nonfiction books, LAST RIGHTS and AUTHENTIC PATRIOTISM. His work has been translated into many languages.
Dr. John B. Allen -The Voice of Governor Frederick Haldimand
Elise Killian - The Voice of Fanny Allen - Elise Killian is a native Vermonter and recent graduate from Wagner College for theatre performance. Recent credits include Into the Woods (The Baker’s Wife), Cabaret (Fritzie), and Lizzie (musical director). She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.
Aimee Motta - The Voice of Mary Allen - Aimée Motta is a teacher in Huntington, Vermont. She is passionate about theater and has just recently returned to the stage with Huntington Players Group.
Susan Evans McClure
Susan Evans McClure is the Executive Director of The Vermont Arts Council. She was past Executive Director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum where she led the talented team of educators, curators, museum professionals, and archaeologists as they connect people to our region’s past to build a stronger future for our communities. Previously, Susan was Director of Programs and Audience Development at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, where she led a team responsible for inspiring national conversations on the importance of the humanities to civic life. She also launched the National Museum of American History’s Food History Program and managed on-site educational opportunities for visitors. Susan holds an Ed.M. in Arts in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Theater and History from McGill University. Her research focuses on the field of public history, connecting people with the past in ways that are relevant to their lives today outside of the walls of the classroom.
November 4, 2022
ETHAN ALLEN HOMESTEAD
To whom it may concern:
It is our pleasure to write a letter of endorsement for the proposed Ethan Allen documentary film by Rick Moulton Productions. We strongly support this project and its focus on Vermont history and the fight for American democracy.
As an organization whose mission it is to “bring the 18th century to life” we believe a conscientious, inclusive, and analytical documentary film about Vermont founder Ethan Allen will help educate a modern audience about Vermont’s unique struggle for democracy and the role
Vermont played in the shaping of our nation, as well as the successes and shortcomings of
America’s founding era. After discussing this project at length with the executives at Rick Mouton Productions, we are confident that Rick Moulton Productions is the right team to bring this story to a wider audience and increase the visibility of Vermont’s role in American democracy.
The Ethan Allen Homestead Museum pledges our support to this project and commits to assist through consultation and marketing. We believe this project will benefit our local community as much as our national community and will increase support for the preservation of Vermont history and American democracy.
Angie Grove John Devino
Executive Director President, Board of Directors
P.O. Box 390 • Ticonderoga, New York 12883 (518) 585-2821 • Fax (518) 585-2210 www.FortTiconderoga.org
December 8, 2022
To Whom It May Concern,
The Fort Ticonderoga Association offers this letter of interest to indicate our enthusiastic support for Rick and Melinda Moulton's Ethan Allen project — a documentary film exploring the life, legend, and legacy of Ethan Allen. We appreciate their approach to this topic, which will provide a lens into the Champlain region and the broader world during the period of Allen's life. The documentary is timely and intended to coincide with the US Semiquincentennial commemoration.
We look forward to participating in this project with Rick and Melinda Moulton and will provide access to our museum's rich collection, consultation on the historic content, participation in the documentary, and access to our stunning historic property within parameters to be determined.
Based on reading about the project, and conversations with Rick and Melinda, as well as the lengthy record of Rick's filmmaking, distributing high quality films locally and nationally with PBS, we have confidence that the Ethan Allen project will be widely embraced and appreciated by audiences of all ages.
Fort Ticonderoga is a museum, historic site, and center of learning on-site and virtually through our Center for Digital History. Our mission is to preserve, educate and provoke an active discussion about the past and its importance to present and future generations. We foster an active dialogue about the origin and evolution of our nation's military and specifically Ticonderoga's history and its impact on the 18ff-century world. Fort Ticonderoga engages audiences of all ages in historical literacy and critical thinking through programs, which includes K12, university, lifelong learners, and multi-generational audiences.
has very ambitious plans for the 250th period growth with the goals to increase access and ucational reach to audiences across our nation and this documentary is complementary to our goals.
VERMONT HUMANITIES COUNCIL
11 Loomis Street, Montpelier, Vermont 05602 P (802) 262-2626 firstname.lastname@example.org vermonthumanities.org @vthumanities
Dear Melinda and Rick:
I am writing on behalf of Vermont Humanities, the Vermont state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, in support of your new film project, Ethan Allen: The Man and the Myth.
Vermont Humanities is committed to and excited about engaging as a supporting partner and advisor on the project during the development and production phases. When the film is completed, we expect that we will help to facilitate programming in Vermont, supporting coidentification of local partners and venues, humanities engagement and program curation, and audience development.
This project fits squarely within our mission to use the humanities to connect with people across Vermont to create just, vibrant, and resilient communities and to inspire a lifelong love of learning. For many years, we have worked with local humanists and creatives to facilitate creation and curation of humanities resources for use with youth and adult audiences. The collaborative nature of our work allows us to unite with partners across Vermont in order to ensure success. These partners include the Vermont Department of Libraries, the Vermont School Library Association, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont International Film Festival, and many others.
As a lead into our nation’s 250thanniversary, this film is a timely effort that centers local voices and partners, connected around the question of what it means to be a Vermonter today through the lens of our complicated colonial history. Vermont Humanities is proud to support this film project however possible.
Christopher Kaufman Ilstrup Executive Director
VERMONT PUBLIC (TELEVISION AND RADIO)
To Whom It May Concern,
Vermont Public offers this letter of interest to indicate our enthusiastic support for Rick & Melinda Moulton’s Ethan Allen project - a fascinating documentary film exploring the life, the man, and the myths of this historically important Vermont figure.
As a more-than-statewide broadcaster, reaching all of Vermont, upstate New York, western New Hampshire, and the Montreal Metro region, we are committed to connecting the citizens in our region to each other through shared stories and experiences. Rick & Melinda’s project is a prime example of something can deeply connect with our local audience – and shed new light and focus on a Vermonter that has shaped our past, present, and future.
Based on reading about the project, and conversations with Rick & Melinda, as well as the long track record of Rick’s filmmaking, distributing high quality films locally and nationally with PBS, we have confidence that the Ethan Allenproject will be widely embraced and appreciated by our viewers. We look forward to broadcasting and streaming the film on Vermont Public and supporting Rick & Melinda in whatever ways are possible.
Director of Content Partnership, Executive Producer & Host, Made Here Vermont Public
VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Vermont History Center & Leahy Library
To Whom It May Concern:
Vermont History Museum & Store Pavilion Building 109 State St. Montpelier, VT 05609-0901 (802) 828-2291
The Vermont Historical Society offers its support and counsel to Rick Moulton Productions for the documentary film production Ethan Allen: The Man & The IV(yth. This project, the first modern documentary of Vermont Icon Ethan Allen, will explore the life and the impact of both this figure's historical actions as well as posthumously assigned mythology.
The Vermont Historical Society is the only organization in Vermont with a State-wide mission to tell the totality of Vermont's story. As an organization, we believe that an understanding of the past changes lives and builds better communities. Much recent scholarship has explored the biography and mythology of Ethan Allen; wc look forward to rendering and combining this work into an easily accessible documentary for consumption by the general public. We look forward to the use of a Vermont story to explore the roots of our democracy and the foundational era of both our state and our country.
Rick Moulton Productions has a long track record of producing high-quality films with both local and national distribution. We feel this project is in good hands, with an impressive array of historical advisors and partners. Vermont Historical Society looks forward to participating in this project in the highest and best way possible.
SPONSORSHIP LEVELS = CREDIT LISTING IN THE FILM
Ethan Allen – The Man & The Myth
Release Date 5.1.2025
$180,000 Budget for PBS 60-Minute Film for National Release
Pledges can be made over three years
2023, 2024, and by May in 2025
$50,000 or more
Major Independent Bold Opening Credit
Major Independent Bold Closing Credit
Listed on All Marketing Materials and Publicity
$20,000 or more
Major Independent Bold Closing Credit
Listed on All Marketing Materials and Publicity
$10,000 or more
Listed Boldly, Separate Listing, in Credit Roll at the End of the Film
Listed in Credit Roll Based on Dollar Amount
This Film will be seen for decades, and the educational materials will be part of the Vermont curriculum. Credit exposure for your sponsorship will provide terrific exposure through broadcasting
Rick Moulton Productions is only reaching out to Vermont businesses and donors to participate in the funding of this project and we hope to reach our goal with local Vermont sponsorships.