Critical Evaluation

(Critical Survey of Literature, Revised Edition)

A homespun product, THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS is as native to its time and place as the granite ledges and sugar orchards of New England. Daniel Pierce Thompson, lawyer, editor, and judge, had spent his boyhood on a farm near Montpelier, Vermont, and his knowledge of frontier life was as extensive as Cooper’s. A writer by accident rather than by choice, he presented in his half dozen novels a romantic yet truthful record of the early history of his state.

Of his books, THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS is the best and the most popular. Printed first on a small newspaper press, it ran through more than fifty editions by 1860. Because the story deals with Ethan Allen and the struggle of his Green Mountain Boys for liberty, the book has become the classic novel of Vermont. Thompson never strayed too far from facts or local scenery. In this novel, Captain Warrington is Seth Warner under a fictional disguise made necessary by the plot. Selden and Captain Hendee are also recognizable as real persons. Mrs. Story, Munroe, Skene, Reed, McIntosh, Benedict Arnold, and Ethan Allen appear under their own names, familiar figures in the early annals of the state.

Thompson celebrates the independence of the early settlers of Vermont. His historical romance is very much a folk epic, complete with larger-than-life characters, humorous peasant types, and a series of loosely connected adventures that dramatize the birth of a regional consciousness. If at...

(The entire section is 543 words.)