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Edgar Allan Poe and the Green Mountain Boys

By Anum Arshad March 22, 2013 Period 3 Lloyd

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Edgar Allan Poe was an American author and poet whose works contributed to the Romantic Literary Movement. Some have been misled to believe that Poe was an active member of the Green Mountain Boys but this is a false statement. The leader of the Green Mountain Boys was named Ethan Allen which sounds greatly similar to the famous author known as Edgar Allan Poe. It is also clear that Poe was not a part of the Green Mountain Boys due to the fact that he was born in 1809 and the Green Mountain Boys we active during the late 18th century thus making it impossible for Poe to be a part of this radical group. To avoid any more confusion between the correlations of the two unrelated entities well delve a bit deeper into the subject of both matters. Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts to a crumbling family. His father left at an early age and his mother passed away when he was only 3 years old. Once both of his parents were out of the picture he set off to live with John and Frances Allan, in Richmond, Virginia. He bonded well with his newly adoptive mother but never seemed to form a good relationship with John; the reason being that Poe didnt want to be a businessman and follow in Johns footsteps, but instead he dreamed of becoming a writer. Poe would even go as far as writing poetry on the back of Johns business documents and by the age of 13, Poe had compiled enough poetry to publish a book but his headmaster and father quickly shot this idea down (Poes Life). In 1826 Poe left Richmond to study at the University of Virginia where he did exceptionally well in all of his classes but accumulated a large sum of debt; the reason being that John had only given Poe about 1/3 of the funds that he needed to attend school. In order to pay his expenses, Poe took up gambling and when that scheme went sour he became so dreadfully poor that he turned to burning his

Page |3 furniture to keep himself warm. Humiliated by his impoverished condition he returned to Richmond furious with John for not giving him enough money to study in the first place. He eventually went to visit his fianc Elmira Royster at her house but was deeply saddened when he discovered that she had been engaged to someone else in his absence. Poe stayed with the Allans for a few more months where the increasing tensions and hostility between Poe and John eventually led Poe to storm out of the mansion ready to start his life as a successful poet. He published his first book known as Tamerlane when he was at the ripe age of 18. He then decided to join the United States Army but quickly rushed back to Richmond after two years when he heard news of the only mother he ever knew, Frances, dying of tuberculosis (Edgar Allen Poe Biography). By the time he had arrived back to Richmond she was already buried. This led him to reconcile with John where he helped Poe get into the United States Military Academy at West Point. Before he left to West point he published another volume of poetry and while attending the school he heard about John getting married to another woman, which upset Poe due to the fact that he never told Poe or even invited him to the ceremony. Poe was eventually kicked out of West Point after eight months but soon after he published another book. Poe went searching for long lost relatives of his blood family and eventually stumbled upon Maria Clemm, his aunt, and Virginia Clemm, her daughter. He moved in with them and Virginia became the inspiration of many of Poes poems and eventually, his wife. Poe then returned to Richmond and started working for a magazine as a cut-throat critic who wrote reviews while publishing some of his own work. His aggressive reviews and personality eventually led him to leave the publication, however he did work for two other publications for short amounts of time. Poe didnt reach stardom until the late 1830s and early 1840s where he published poems such as The Fall of the House of Usher and The Raven. Poe continued his work in varying forms and wrote several different essays such as The Poetic Principle. His wife Virginia passed away in 1847 leaving him

Page |4 to drown in grief and sorrow for his lost love. While he continued to work on his literary career he became financially unstable and struggled with his health. He left on a trip to Philadelphia on September 27, 1849 when he was found in Baltimore under great stresses. He was taken to a hospital where he eventually died on October 7th, 1849. There has been a lot of speculation about Poes death some say it was alcoholism and others say it was congestion of the brain. Poe had said I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity (Brainyquote) which shows that he knew what others had thought of him. Either way America suffered the loss of a great poet and writer due to his tragic and unfortunate lifestyle. The Green Mountain Boys were a patriot militia group during the American Revolution led by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold. The group began in 1770 in Bennington, Vermont as an unauthorized military group fighting to protect property rights of local citizens that had received land from New Hampshire. The dispute began when New York argued that New Hampshire did not have to right to grant land west of the Green Mountains. The newly formed Green Mountain boys fought against sheriffs who tried to enforce New York laws and terrorized settlers who had New York grants. Allan was said to say that they were fighting for Liberty, Property, and Life, (The Green Mountain Boys). They also started burning buildings, stealing cattle, and administering occasional floggings with birch rods. The Green Mountain Boys joined the revolution on May 10th, 1775 with about 100 men under the joint command of Ethan Allan and Benedict Arnold where they captured Fort Ticonderoga. They eventually became a part of the continental army and later served on an offensive attack against Canada. In 1777, the Green Mountain Boys reorganized their militia despite an ongoing conflict with New York over where their jurisdiction lies and went up against General John Burgoyne in the battles of Hubbardton and Bennington (The Green Mountain Boys). The Green Mountain Boys destroyed the part of Burgoynes army whom was foraging for supplies which led to his eventual defeat. They continued to have an internal war against New York which Allen pursued in such heat that he negotiated With Britain

Page |5 in order to have Vermont return to British rule. Allen later resigned from the Vermont militia in 1781 which led Vermont to be annexed into the Union. As you can see, Edgar Allan Poe had nothing to do with the Green Mountain Boys and the statement that he even led them to victory is a farce. The real leader of the Green Mountain Boys went by the name of Ethan Allen causing the mix up between the two. We can clearly see that these were two completely different people and different time periods clearing up the mix up between the two. Hopefully no one will go through this confusion in the future.

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BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. "Edgar Allan Poe Biography." A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. "Ethan Allen: Leader of the Green Mountain Boys." Military History. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. "The Green Mountain Boys." The Green Mountain Boys. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. "Green Mountain Boys (United States History)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013. "Poe's Life." Edgar Allan Poe Museum : Poe's Life, Legacy, and Works : Richmond, Virginia . N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Mar. 2013.