Ethan Allen * (1738-1789)

"[I demand Fort Ticonderoga] In the name of the great Jehovah, and the Continental Congress." --Ethan Allen in A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity * in 1779

Excerpts from Reason: The Only Oracle of Man * * (1784)

I have generally been denominated a Deist, the reality of which I never disputed, being conscious I am no Christian, except mere infant baptism make me one; and as to being a Deist, I know not, strictly speaking, whether I am one or not, for I have never read their writings; mine will therefore determine the matter...
The idea of a revengeful God... is offensive to reason and common sense, and subversive of moral rectitude in general.
Those who invalidate reason, ought seriously to consider, 'whether they argue against reason, with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle, that they are laboring to dethrone;' but if they argue without reason, (which, in order to be consistent with themselves, they must do,) they are out of the reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.

We are told that the knowledge of the depravity of reason, was first communicated to mankind by the immediate inspiration of God. But inasmuch as reason is supposed to be depraved, what principle could there be in the human irrational soul, which could receive or understand the inspiration, or on which it could operate so as to represent to those whom it may be supposed were inspired, the knowledge of the depravity of (their own and mankind's) reason (in general:) for a rational inspiration must consist of rational ideas, which pre-supposes that the minds of those who were inspired, were rational previous to such inspiration, which would be a downright contradiction to the inspiration itself; the import of which was to teach the knowledge of the depravity of human reason, which without reason could not be understood, and with reason it would be understood, that the inspiration was false.

THERE is not anything which has contributed so much to delude mankind in religious matters, as mistaken apprehensions concerning supernatural inspiration or revelation; not considering that all true religion originates from reason, and can not otherwise be understood but by the exercise and improvement of it; therefore they are apt to confuse their minds with such inconsistencies. In the subsequent reasonings on this subject, we shall argue against supernatural revelation in general...
In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue.
... while we are under the power and tyranny of priests, since as it ever has, it ever will be their interest, to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith.

"General Ethan Allen of Vermont died and went to Hell this day." --Rev. Ezra Stiles in his diary on 13 February 1789 * *

"Arrived at Onion-river falls [Winooski] & passed by Ethan Allyn's grave. An awful Infidel, one of ye wickedest men yet ever walked this guilty globe. I stopped & looked at his grave with a pious horror." --Rev. Nathan Perkins in his Narrative Of A Tour Through The State Of Vermont * on 25 May 1789