In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress

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Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York, from Mount Defiance

Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga, New York, from Mount Defiance (Photo credit: M. Wanner)

American Minute from William J. Federer

A surprise attack before dawn on MAY 10, 1775, gave America one of its first victories of the Revolutionary War.

Just 3 weeks after Lexington and Concord, Ethan Allen led 83 Green Mountain Boys of Vermont to capture Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain by overrunning it in the early morning while the British sentry was sleeping.

Ethan Allen, whose statue is in the U.S. Capitol’s Statuary Hall, demanded immediate surrender.

The bewildered British captain asked in whose name such a request was being made.

Ethan Allen hotly retorted:

“In the Name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress.”

Fort Ticonderoga’s 50 cannons were incredibly moved by 25-year-old Colonel Henry Knox over 200 miles from New York across Vermont and New Hampshire to a hill overlooking Boston Harbor, forcing British ships to evacuate.

Three weeks after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, Harvard President Samuel Langdon told the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, May 31, 1775:

“If God be for us, who can be against us?..May our land be purged from all its sins! Then the Lord will be our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble, and we will have no reason to be afraid, though thousands of enemies set themselves against us.”

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