Since 2016 the Green Mountain Boys Project have been researching the celebrated military unit, which lived and served along what was then the New York and New Hampshire border (in modern day Vermont) from the 1760s until 1779.
The Green Mountain Boys, led by Ethan Allen and his brother Ira, controlled the area of disputed land grants. Based at a tavern in Bennington, they evaded arrest warrants from New York State and harassed settlers from New York, surveyors, and other officials, often with severe beatings and destruction of their belongings.
At a stand-off at the New York established court in March of 1775, two men were killed and Ethan Allen called for independence from New York.
In May 1775, the Green Mountains Boys, along with Benedict Arnold, captured Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga, and Fort George from the British. Their cannon were taken by Henry Knox to Boston, to break the siege of Boston.
Vermont declared itself an independent nation in January 1777, initially supporting the Revolutionary War, but eventually adopting a neutral position that provided a haven for deserters from both armies and set the stage for the Haldimand Affair, when some Green Mountain Boys, including Ethan Allen, secretly negotiated with the British to restore Crown rule.
Photo of Mount Independence State Historic Site courtesy Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.