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Ira Allen

20th century Unidentified Copy after William Wood Born: Ipswich, England Died: London, England 1810 watercolor on ivory sight 3 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (8.8 x 7.0 cm) oval Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mrs. Norvin H. Green 1941.5.3 Not currently on view

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Ira Allen, younger brother of the patriot Ethan Allen, was born in Connecticut in 1751 and played a major role in the founding of Vermont. He owned a large amount of land and was heavily involved in trade in the young Republic. In 1796, Allen traveled on the American ship Olive Branch with fifteen thousand muskets meant to equip French-Canadian and American recruits for a rebellion in Canada. A British warship captured the Olive Branch, however, and Allen spent the next several years in confinement and legal battles. By the time he returned to Vermont in 1801, creditors had taken most of his properties and, fleeing debtor’s prison, Allen moved south. He died poor in Philadelphia in 1814, and was buried in an unmarked grave in the Free Quaker Cemetery.


Portrait male - Allen, Ira - bust

painting - miniature

paint - watercolor