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Catalog Data

Unidentified Artist  Search this
Ezekiel Russell, 1743 - Sep 1796  Search this
Ethan Allen, 21 Jan 1738 - 12 Feb 1789  Search this
Woodcut on paper
Image: 16.1 × 8.7 cm (6 5/16 × 3 7/16")
Sheet: 17.5 × 11 cm (6 7/8 × 4 5/16")
Book closed: 17.5 × 11 × 0.2 cm (6 7/8 × 4 5/16 × 1/16")
c. 1779
Exhibition Label:
This small portrait—the only known image of Ethan Allen made during his lifetime—scarcely hints at the larger-than-life persona that made him a force to be reckoned with. Outraged by a court decision that would have stripped frontiersmen of land they were settling in the Green Mountains (now in Vermont), Allen spearheaded a campaign of resistance and intimidation. Emboldened by his successful attack on Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775, he made an impulsive attempt to seize Montreal four months later and was captured by the British. Upon his release, Allen published a scathing account of his two-and-a-half years of imprisonment, an excerpt of which appears in this issue of Russell’s American Almanack. Turning his attention to politics, Allen unsuccessfully lobbied Congress in 1778 for Vermont’s recognition as an independent state. Always controversial, he devoted his last years to writing radical theological treatises.
Este pequeño retrato, única imagen conocida de Ethan Allen hecha en vida, apenas sugiere la formidable personalidad que lo hacía una fuerza avasalladora. Indignado por un dictamen de los tribunales que habría despojado a los colonos de tierras donde se estaban asentando en la zona de las Green Mountains (hoy en Vermont), Allen lideró una campaña de resistencia e intimidación. Su exitoso ataque al fuerte Ticonderoga en mayo de 1775 lo animó a intentar tomar Montreal cuatro meses más tarde, pero fue capturado por los ingleses. Al ser liberado publicó un crudo recuento de sus dos años y medio en prisión, del cual se publicó un extracto en esta edición de Russell’s American Almanack. Luego dirigió su atención a la política y en 1778 cabildeó infructuosamente ante el Congreso por que se reconociera a Vermont como estado independiente. Siempre controversial, dedicó sus últimos años a escribir tratados teológicos radicales.
Music\Musical instrument  Search this
Costume\Headgear\Hat  Search this
Print  Search this
Ethan Allen: Male  Search this
Ethan Allen: Military and Intelligence\Soldier\Revolutionary War  Search this
Ethan Allen: Politics and Government\Patriot  Search this
Ethan Allen: Natural Resource Occupations\Hunter  Search this
Ethan Allen: Business and Finance\Banking and Finance\Land speculator  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
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National Portrait Gallery Collection
Currently not on view
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery