Ira Allen (April 21, 1751 in Cornwall, Connecticut - January 7, 1814) was one of the founders of Vermont, and leaders of the Green Mountain Boys; and was the brother of Ethan Allen.
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Ira Allen was born in Cornwall, Connecticut, the youngest of six sons born to Joseph and Mary (Baker) Allen. In 1771 Allen went to Vermont as surveyor for the Onion River Land Company. The Allen brothers established the company in order to purchase lands under the New Hampshire Grants. Through this Allen was involved in a dispute with New York over conflicting land claims in the region.
He was a member of the Vermont Legislature, in 1776-1777, and was a leading figure in the declaration of the Vermont Republic in 1777. He and his brother Ethan were implicated in potentially treasonous actions when they entered into negotiations with Frederick Haldimand that suggested they might turn Vermont over to the British.
Allen designed the Great Seal of Vermont and the seal of the University of Vermont.
In 1780 he presented to the Legislature a memorial for the establishment of the University of Vermont. He contributed money and a fifty-acre (20 ha) site at Burlington. He was called the "Metternich of Vermont" and the "Father of the University of Vermont." Ira Allen pledged 4000 British pounds sterling to the University of Vermont, but never donated that money. In response, the Trustees of the University of Vermont secured a Writ of Attachment on his title to the town of Plainfield to try to extract payment of his original 4000 pound pledge.
He served as the first Surveyor General of Vermont from 1779 to 1787.
In 1789 he married Jerusha Enos, the daughter of Roger Enos and Jerusha Hayden Enos. Members of the Allen and Enos families were the original proprietors of Irasburg. Ira Allen subsequently acquired all the proprietary rights to Irasburg, and deeded the town to Jerusha Enos as a wedding gift.
He went to France in 1795, and sought French army intervention for seizing Canada, to create an independent republic called United Columbia. He bought 20,000 muskets and 24 cannon, but was captured at sea, taken to England, placed on trial, charged with furnishing arms for Irish rebels, but was acquitted after a lawsuit which lasted eight years.
He owned undeveloped land including a stake in Barton, Vermont and was a major stakeholder in Irasburg, Vermont which was named after him.
He published books:
The Natural and Political History of Vermont. London: J.W. Myers. 1798. ISBN 0-8048-0419-2. ,
Statements Appended to the Olive Branch, (1807)