Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"The patriotic requirement of hanging a loyalist." What happens when things get civil-war-style messy: The fate of David Redding

In an incident more like a lynching than a legal procedure, New Yorker David Redding was the first person to be tried and hanged in the state of Vermont. Redding had been a Loyalist with Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, stolen horses, shot and powder in New York, and eluded arrest there by riding into Vermont, where he was caught and tried in Bennington for theft and treason and convicted. When it appeared that Redding would go free because of an improperly empaneled jury, Ethan Allen, back in Vermont only a few days after nearly three years as a British prisoner, arranged with Governor Thomas Chittenden to serve as prosecutor in a new trial on June 6, 1778. Allen ignored the threshold issue of jurisdiction, which the Bennington court lacked for crimes committed in New York. Moreover, as Vermont was independent of the thirteen states, the United States' cause against Redding was also not in the court's jurisdiction. Nonetheless, Allen's impassioned anti-Loyalist rhetoric swung the jury away from the legal question to the patriotic requirement of hanging a loyalist, and Redding was hanged in the afternoon of the trial before a large crowd on Bennington green. -- The Vermont Encyclopedia, John J. Duffy, et. al.
My thanks and a tip of the boonie hat to Amish Tom for sending me the image above of David Redding's tombstone in Bennington.

The Catamount Tavern, Bennington, Vermont, in a photo taken a few years before it burned in 1871.

Redding was tried in the Catamount Tavern (originally known as Fay's House) in Old Bennington. Built in 1769 and burned in 1871, the tavern was the site of many important events in Vermont's colonial and revolutionary history. The name Catamount Tavern came about when grantees from New Hampshire posted a stuffed catamount on the tavern's signpost to scare away New Yorkers who claimed their land. The Catamount served as headquarters for the Green Mountain Boys. Ethan Allen planned the capture of Fort Ticonderoga there and Johnny Stark used it as a headquarters while helping defeat General Burgoyne. It was also the meeting place of Vermont's only form of government, the Vermont Council of Safety.

Thus it was to The Catamount Tavern that David Redding, a member of the Queen's Loyal Rangers and a Loyalist spy, was brought when re-arrested after escaping while being transported to Albany, New York on the charge of horse thievery.

At Redding's first trial, he was quickly found guilty and sentenced to be hanged in a field next to the tavern, but John Burnham, a local merchant and loyalist sympathizer, delayed the execution by pointing out that Redding had been tried by six rather than twelve men. This caused an uproar among local Rebels and Redding would have been hung immediately had not Ethan Allen promised "you shall see somebody hung, for if Redding is not hung, I will be hung myself."

After the second trial and execution, his body was not buried but rather his bones were kept in a drawer and used for medical research. They were not finally interred until 200 years later in the Old First Church Cemetery, in Bennington. The image at the top marks this belated burial.

Food for thought for present-day "loyalists" of the regime.


Defender said...

A catamount is a mountain lion. Not a bad mascot, right up there with "Wolverines!"
Ethan Allen was very fortunate to have survived British imprisonment. Many didn't.
If our overseers keep making examples, there will be many "prosecutors" ready to step forward when there's little left to lose.

Allen said...

between 1780-83 ethan allen was under negotiations with the governor of quebec to return vermont to the british...(AKA The Haldimand Affair)

mostly it was over giving vermonters military protection against new york!

parts of this was also the reasoning behind the Constitutional Convention. it was thought that trade wars between states would get them negotiating with foreign powers for extra muscle, like vermont did. and they were well aware that the states would quickly become colonies again if that happened.

Toaster 802 said...

Ran this story of yours in my Vermont blog. Very cool, and added more knowledge about one of the founding fathers of Vermont

Ethan Allen is an everyday man's hero, and won that fame by using all of the tools available to patriots today. Threat, and bluster, show of arms with a willingness to use them led to almost everyone of his achievements being bloodless. We would do well as Americans to seriously study his tactics, methods, and mindset and apply them to today's problems.

This case not withstanding however. If you read Ethan's accounts of his captivity, you can see why objectivity in this case went out the window, and this loyalist was in the wrong place at the wrong time for sure. The British were none to kind to the victor of Fort Ticonderoga, and Allen could be a vindictive bastard. As this story shows.

While the hippy takeover has led to a progressive power base here in Vermont, those politics are because of Supreme court meddling, giving the cities too much power in a farm state. They have spent their wad however, and even with the figurehead frauds in power, the tighter they try to grip the power, the more the country side slips through their fingers.

Ethan Allen had little love for the federal government and the congress, and most real Vermonters today do not ether.

Toaster 802 said...

“I am as Resolutely Determined to Defend the Independence of Vermont, as Congress are that of the United States, and, Rather than fail, will Retire with hardy Green Mountain Boys into the Desolate Caverns of the mountains and wage war with human Nature at large.” - Ethan Allen

Got Militia?

Carl said...

(choose one)
(there may be some overlap)

Some assembly required.

Carl III

Anonymous said...

Carl said...
(choose one)
(there may be some overlap)

Some assembly required.


Sean said...

For what's coming, we're going to have to invent an item I call, "The Electric Bleacher". It's either that or the ole' Rottweiller Pit.

Little Sally Sunshine said...

Conserve our trees. Conserve our rope.
Michael Collins once said that the price of a bullet was a justifiable expense for resolving the treahery of a tyrant.

Anonymous said...

Two of my direct forefathers fought and died at Saratoga. John Sr was a Patriot; John Jr was a Loyalist.

I am grateful both men paid the ultimate price as their sense of honor and duty persists to the current generation of their posterity.

This is also why I believe open immigration is wrong for America. THose men died not for abstractions such as the neocon "Propositional Nation" BS. They fought and died because they loved their children and their lands and each trusted his position enough to pay with their lives.

This manner of judgment far surpasses anything we have been asked today. It blasts into trivia the argument of alien immigrants and their multicult.

No, the America of the Saratoga campaign and its aftermath was for each family's land, their blood kin, and the ability to exercise their God-given rights as Englishmen, whatever the consequences. The French of Canada had no such duty. Neither the Scotts of Nova Scotia nor the Germans of Pennsylvania.

No, the American-English of the North American colonies fought, bled, killed and died for the benefit of their children and their children's children. To give that sacred heritage to all that come with their dirty little hands out-stretched for goodies and the Almighty Dollar deserve only our contempt and, perhaps sooner rather than later, an armed escort off my family's 400-years interest in American land.

Sign me,
Son of the Mayflower
Son of the American Revolution
Son of my father and my father's father, American by blood and birth.

Bad Cyborg said...

What's this about hangin' loyalists? I thought the revolution would use Kosovo rules of engagement. Under Kosovo rules wouldn't the modern day Reddings just get a nice, cheap, QUICK .308 or .223? Why bother hangin' 'em? Way more time money an' effort 'n the likes o' them are worth.

Besides, hanging's WAY too good for them. By my reckoning loyalist politicians and media pundits are hardly worth shootin' much less hangin'.

Kosovo ROE, right, Mike? Kosovo ROE. In fact if the nice youngster who promised 100 heads is reading this, media pundits, politicians and high ranking breaucrats ought to be at the top of your list for sources of those heads. Corrupt Federal Judges oughn't to be too awful far down the list either.

Bad Cyborg X

sofa said...

Very helpful: DC Tree Map


Dedicated_Dad said...

I've been saying for a lot of years - we're going to need a lot of rope...


Dennis308 said...

Will bring rope but if we run out of trees I am more than willing to use Lamp Posts or as some people call ém Street Lights. Guess that the Collectives we have to wait in Lines for turn at Hanging, Good that way they know what´s about to happen.


Anonymous said...

"Conserve our trees. Conserve our rope.
Michael Collins once said that the price of a bullet was a justifiable expense for resolving the treachery of a tyrant."

Gravity is free, and the Washington Monument is very tall.

Pat H. said...

It's the way of all collaborators; here, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

God himself does not look upon collaborators kindly.

oldsmobile98 said...

Food for thought for patriots as well. Nuremberg 2.0, should it come, needs to be orderly, not "more like a lynching than a legal procedure".

Modern-day Reddings deserve a fair trial. If they aren't offered one, they might decide they prefer an unfair gunfight. Or knife fight.

Anonymous said...

Hey Carl, how about just stuffing their throats with ballots marked NO, and then sending them into exile.

Much less blood and guts to clean up.

Devil Flea said...

Actually ... we are going to need more brains than rope.

For your reading pleasure, I offer to you all:


And browse around here, you might find some interesting things:


aughtsix said...

Anonymous @ September 7, 2010 5:14 PM said:

"No, the American-English of the North American colonies fought, bled, killed and died for the benefit of their children and their children's children. To give that sacred heritage to all that come with their dirty little hands out-stretched for goodies and the Almighty Dollar deserve only our contempt and, perhaps sooner rather than later, an armed escort off my family's 400-years interest in American land." (Emp. added.)

Couldn't have said it better.

My great, great, great grandfather arrived in America as a drummer boy in the British Army. He was captured by a continental soldier and his son who were on their way home for the winter. After spending the winter with real Americans and acquiring a taste for Liberty, my ancestor joined the Cause of Mankind and mustered out after Yorktown as drum major. He and his new friend married and took their families to homestead land grants in Kentucky and Tennessee. And that's just one side of my family.

This is MY country. I will not see Liberty destroyed and our land surrendered to or plundered by... anyone.

Death to the Enemies of Mankind!



Anonymous said...

About 40 years ago the likes of SDS and the Weather Underground were going to be more than willing to eliminate (say genocide)about 25million or so die hard American capitalists. These radicals are still around and I doubt their goals have changed. Who's gonna get it first, us or them?

Amish Tom said...

From the patriot post this morning.

Glad you liked the stone from Bennington.

"I have sometimes asked myself whether my country is the better for my having lived at all? I do not know that it is. I have been the instrument of doing the following things; but they would have been done by others; some of them, perhaps, a little better." --Thomas Jefferson, 1800

Amish adds, but if nobody had done anything...

Amish Tom said...

BTW, Ethan Allen, according to his daughter, only formally attended school for THREE MONTHS that are known, yet:

Ethan Allen at the start of the war, prior to an assault on Royal forces, Ticonderoga, 9 May 1775 (Lots of people think the war started in 1776...but it was already started when the Declaration was written):

Friends and fellow soldiers, you have for a number of years past been a scourge and terror to arbitrary power. Your valor has been famed abroad, and acknowledged, as appears by the advice and orders to me from the general assembly of Connecticut, to surprise and take the garrison now before us. I now propose to advance before you, and in person conduct you through the wicket gate; for we must this morning either quit our pretensions to valor, or possess ourselves of this fortress in a few moments; and, inasmuch as it is a desperate attempt, which none but the bravest of men dare undertake, I do not urge it on any contrary to his will. You that will undertake voluntarily, poise your firelocks.

He was known as a bit laconic, but I think it's because he didn't think he was as well spoken as he was...My thrupence...

Minimal education and spoke eloquently anyway. Something to think about. Government schools, help or hindrance? Reckon it's a mixed bag. Ethan did pretty well on his won, though...

Witchwood said...

A perfectly good tree should not have to suffer swine hanging from its limbs. There are plenty of available lamp-posts for the modern traitor.

Keep in mind that Tories will not be our only problem. If a shooting war breaks out the country will be in turmoil, and there will be riots, rapes, and general large-scale thuggery to deal with in addition to the Enemy.

Defender said...

Lincoln's own words on secession. How it's only constitutional and legal if you have federal permission. How wanting to use the right and power to remove oneself from government tyranny -- rather than alter or abolish it as the Founders also suggested -- is "treason."


Anonymous said...

You don't mess with those Bennington Boys "Green Mountain Boys" of old. They once hung a man (tied him bound to a chair) and hung him from the Catamont Tavern sign which faced him north to Albany. He hung there for a couple days then they released him telling him to send a message to all those in Albany who were trying to steal their lands.