The day of the meeting of the Second Continental Congress.





On May 10, the Continental Congress convened, and on the same day Ethan Allen took possession of the strong fortress of Ticonderoga. It was the first act of positive aggression by the patriotic party, for at both Lexington and Concord they were acting on the defensive. The expedition was planned in Connecticut and reinforced in western Massachusetts, but the main reliance was to be placed on Ethan Allen and his "Green Mountain Boys," whose daring and energy were already well known. Benedict Arnold, who had been commissioned in Massachusetts for the same purpose, arrived only in time to join the expedition as a volunteer. On May 10, 1775, eighty-three men crossed the lake with Allen. When they had landed, he warned them that it was a dangerous enterprise, and called for volunteers. Every man volunteered. The rest took but a few moments. They entered with a war-whoop the open wicket-gate, pressing by the sentinel, and when the half-clad commander appeared and asked their authority, Allen answered with the words that have become historic, "In the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress."

The Congress was only to meet that day, but it appeared already to be exercising a sort of antenatal authority, and a fortress which had cost eight million pounds sterling and many lives was placed in its hands by a mere stroke of boldness. Crown Point gave itself up with equal ease to Seth Warner, and another dramatic surprise was given to the new-born nation.





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