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‘Dark Mansion of Fiends’
Part 4 of 4: Impressions of A Narrative of Ethan Allen’s Captivity, 1779, pages 94-124
© 2023 James LaFond
MAY/24/24
Concerning his parole and release from captivity.
Allen was offered a commission as a colonel, a promotion, and to be paid in “...instead of in paper rages, [A] in hard guineas,” under Burgoyne, which would have set him against his former commander, Arnold. He refused to turn from blue coat to red and would be condemned in stages to a prison normally used for criminals.
Allen continued his political preaching and compared himself to Jesus Christ and Howe to Satan, “To give him all the kingdoms of the world, if he would fall down and worship him.”
In January 1777, Allen was quartered on “the westerly part of Long Island,” under no particular hardships. Officers under parole were expected to restrain themselves from escape by giving their word of honor and were all, it seems, good for it. [0] Giving into the urge to run would negate one’s membership in the multi-national, multi-ethnic honor cult that remained tenaciously part of post-Aryаn Western Society.
The defeat of the expedition that Allen had been offered command in, occasioned Howe’s order to punish the prisoners in his power. Allen was taken from a tavern where he stayed with fellow officers and conducted to “the provost-gaol in a lonely apartment next above the dungeon.” This was the military jail, the dungeon underneath reserved for military criminals who had done worse than desert, having committed some more violent offense. Having money and making friends with a gentleman below in the dungeon, “forming an oblique relationship,” whispering through a crack, Allen pledged relief:
“… weeks afterwards, with the additional petitions of the [American] officers in the provost, procured his dismission from the dark mansion of fiends to the apartments of his petitioners.”
The officers were still lodged away from the disease ridden privates. Captive officers were named in profile, and it was noted that two militia officers tried to escape their parole and were jailed with them. [0] Various captains were taken to the dungeon and beaten.
Allen discusses military operations he learned from second hand and how the success of the Continentals bettered the lot of the prisoners as many Brits were taken captive. A proclamation by Burgoyne indicated that that field general disagreed with Howe’s treatment of prisoners as well as Patriot and Tory atrocities, pleading an end to, “Arbitrary imprisonment, confiscation of property, persecution and torture…”
With any Civil War, such activity is encouraged by an expectation of victory by both or either factions and an expectation that the victorious government would grant possession of enemy property to those in actual possession. [1]
A piece of Allen’s better patriotic hyperbole suggests the nightfall of all empires:
“Vaunt no more old England! Consider you are but an island! And that your power has been continued longer than the exercise of your humanity.”
Allen’s account descends largely into patriotic statements, written as the war was still in full swing. He continues on to encourage the use of French, Hebrew and other languages instead of English, in what appears to be a globalist and post racial philosophy:
“...to improve mankind, and erase the superstition of the mind by acquainting them that human nature, policy and interest, are the same in all nations, and at the same time they are bartering commodities for the conveniences and happiness of each nation, they may reciprocally exchange such part of their customs and manners as may be beneficial, and learn to extend charity and good will to the whole of mankind.”
Thus Allen predicts the worldview of a hundred and more NGOs in 2020s America.
In May 1778, Allen was taken to a sloop of war to dine with General Campbell as a prequel to his exchange, at Elizabethtown for Colonel Archibald Campbell.
At his release Allen did his best to extend cruelty to the private soldiers of each side:
“Mean while I entertained them with a rehearsal of the cruelties exercised towards our prisoners; and assured them that I should use my influence, that their prisoners [who might include the very Pennsylvania men he advised to enlist in British service rather than starve to death in filth] should be treated in future in the same manner...that their examples should be applied to their own prisoners…”
On the next to last page of his narrative, Allen declares that Washington holds the status “his excellency” a royal attribution and to himself reserved the rights due the hereditary nobility, at Fish Kill, where General Gates, “...was pleased to treat me with the familiarity of a companion, and generosity of a lord…”
Allen was in no doubt a man among men, more rugged than most of his elite class, a self described warrior/philosopher able to encourage the lower orders of men he disdained to bold action, which was rare in that age of faint-hearted [2] private soldiers. His liberal, progressive, global beliefs in which he and others played the part of ideological Christs provides a dark foreshadowing of the Terror of the French Revolution and the many wars of political annihilation of the 20th Century.
Notes
-A. Printed rag paper fiat currency.
-0. The formation of the first of three distinct iterations of the infamous KKK was occasioned by defeated rebels of Tennessee banding together to prevent a proposed political genocide by the Governor and the victorious Unionists of Tennessee.
-1. Militia officers seemed to be an exception, perhaps explaining the butchery of General Woodhul.
-2. See the combat results table for the game Empires in Arms, in which nearly all massed battles are decided by the moral failing on one side, precipitating a general rout. This extended to the American Civil War in which the bayonet was a moral weapon, rarely if ever being crossed between blue and gray, but one side breaking before contact, or in many cases crouching yards away and firing instead.
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