Sunday, October 05, 2008

Ethan Allen On My Mind

Next month I'll be taking part in a blog tour for Susanna Reich's nonfiction book, Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin. I started reading the book and was soon reminded of my favorite nineteenth century guy,Ethan Allen.

Reich reports that George Catlin's father, Putnam, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut as was Ethan Allen. (Allen would have been around twenty-five when Putnam was born.) Putnam (a significant name in Connecticut) Catlin is described as having been descended from Puritans, and there's an implication that the strict way in which he ran his family may may have been the result of Puritan influence. That he could have been influenced by Puritan thinking makes sense to me because Puritans dominated Connecticut in the sixteenth century and experienced a resurgence (the Great Awakening) in the mid-seventeenth.

The seventeenth century Puritan mindset and world figures in Ethan Allen's life story, too, though he could be described as the anti-Puritan. He rejected all things Puritan.

So, that's why I had Ethan on my mind last week. Then I found that J. L. Bell at Oz and Ends wrote a post about my book relating to Ethan Allen, The Hero of Ticonderoga. And then he wrote another.

But that's not all!

Yesterday I was visitng a family member who had recently returned from Ireland where he had been in some coastal city where...the prison ship on which Ethan Allen was held after being captured by the British during the Revolution made port!

What are the chances that Ethan Allen would come up (okay, only sort of come up as far as the George Catlin book is concerned) three times in a week? Come on! The guy's been dead nearly 220 years.

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