Overview Dated: November 2022
ETHAN ALLEN - THE MAN AND THE MYTH
Projected Release - Spring of 2025
Rick Moulton Productions is producing an hour-long PBS documentary that explores the importance of Ethan Allen's life to 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 fighting for American Democracy. With Ethan Allen, we have a character with worldwide name recognition whose life provides an opportunity to examine the ethnic, racial, and gender perspectives during the time of our American Revolution. 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 a factual depiction of the man and his impact on his times, the American Revolution, Vermont's struggle to Statehood, and our Modern Democracy. The project is made under the auspices of the Vermont Historical Society and in association with the Ethan Allen Homestead. We will be working with the Vermont Humanities Council and Vermont Public who will collaborate with the Vermont Agency of Education to make it part of their curriculum in schools across the state. Additionally, Vermont Public will help in distribution throughout the nation on PBS stations. There are multiple 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, 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" was distributed to 89% of the Nation's PBS networks. Why? Because to protect Democracy, citizens need to be enlightened on the need to protect an independent and free press and the values inherent in the factual presentaiton of the news. This Ethan Allen film will shine a light on his life and his activism leading Vermont's march toward statehood and our Democratic form of Government. "Ethan Allen: The Man and the Myth" will be an important film for a variety of reasons. Vermont is a beacon for the rest of the country because of its progressive and open form of government that protects and encourages citizen participation. All eyes are on our little state 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 life provides the foundation for the activism that brings us all to this place where we live today and inspires us to go forth with tenacity and strength to protect our way of life here in Vermont with Liberty and Justice for All.
Ethan Allen – The Man and The Myth ( A working Title)
1. Ethan Allen’s Early Life
Context: Anglican break with Puritans. Allens join 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 to Black servants and workers.
2. Ethan Allen’s role in land speculation and the Onion
River Land Company
Context: English settlement’s impact on Native Americans from
how settlers made a living.
Formation of Onion River Land Company.
Ethan’s relationship with Native Americans.
Differences between New England and New York settlement
NH vs NY titles & Ethan voices role in NY/NH land disputes
3. Formation and role of the Green Mountain Boys.
Context: Actions in Vermont as seen by NY, NH, in VT, and by
Ethan Allen and Family’s motivation and role in forming this
militia called the Green Mountain Boys -
Bennington Party/greater good/Bennington Mob/Self interest.
Ejectment Trails - “the gods of the hills are not the Gods of the Valleys”
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: His rise in national stature through-out the duration of
Ethan Allen’s role in the Revolutionary War:
Taking of Fort Ticonderoga and the strategic importance.
Losing command of the Green Mountain Boys.
Role as ranger at St Jean and trying to take Montreal.
His capture, shipped off to London for trial and imprisonment,
Paroled, Ethan tours England as a public speaker.
Publishes “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
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.
Formalization of "Greater Vermont".
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.
Ethan Allen’s late economic behavior and interaction with Black
Ethan’s writings on the institutions of slavery and racism
8. Ethan Allen’s contribution to the discourse on the Great
Awakening and the Enlightenment and its effect on
American intellectual culture
Context: Rise of Enlightenment, Deism & Transcendentalism in
the Europe and its colonies.
Ethan Allen's evolution as an Enlightenment thinker,
His publication of "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 a founding
father of Vermont.
The mythmaking surrounding than Ethan Allen’s life and
Critical summary seen through our lens of modern context