Allen, Ira

Allen, Ira, 1751–1814, political leader in early Vermont, b. Cornwall, Conn. He was the younger brother and the assistant of Ethan Allen. Although he was a member of the Green Mountain Boys, he took little part in their activities. His cool shrewdness, his adeptness in business matters, and his brilliant planning complemented the colorful vigor and rash violence of his brother. He organized the Onion River Land Company and secured the lands around the Winooski River and Lake Champlain that the Allens worked hard to protect. Ira Allen took part in the conventions at Dorset and Westminster that brought about the independence of Vermont, and he was a leading figure in its political life in the years following, holding many offices. He was involved in the long negotiations with the British and was accused of treason. After Vermont became a state he was forced out of politics. He helped to establish the Univ. of Vermont. In 1798, Allen published his Natural and Political History of the State of Vermont.

See biography by J. B. Wilbur (1928).

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