10 Forgotten Stories About Colonial Americans
10 Forgotten Stories About Colonial Americans

10 Forgotten Stories About Colonial Americans

Jennifer Johnson - December 17, 2017

10 Forgotten Stories About Colonial Americans
William Beadle killed his family and then himself, ranker.com

First Documented Murder-Suicide

William Beadle was born in England about 1730. While historians are unsure when Beadle and his wife came to the New World, it is known that they moved to Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1773. It is also believed that before William and his wife moved, they had two children. A boy who was born around 1771 and a girl, who would have been born the following year. It is also recorded that two more daughters were born after the family moved to Wethersfield.

The William Beadle story is one of those, it is not always what it seems stories. Once the family settled in Wethersfield, William opened a mercantile and became a highly successful merchant. In fact, it is believed that he was one of the most successful in his colony. Other Colonists believed that the family lived an ideal life. However, once the American Revolutionary War started, the worth of the continental dollar began decreasing. But this did not stop patriotic William Beadle from continuing to accept the money. Unfortunately, this also led to Beadle’s downfall. The more the continental money depreciated, the less money Beadle’s mercantile made.

With the loss income of his store, Beadle fell far from being one of the wealthiest merchants around. Eventually, this loss bothered him so much he nearly stopped talking to his wife and their four children. It is also noted that during the last year of his life, he always brought an ax to bed with him. Furthermore, he started caring his carving knife and sleeping next to the knife. Eventually, his eating and sleeping patterns decreased.

Near the end of his life, Beadle wrote a letter asking if it was his time to die. However, no one could have predicted what William Beadle would do that fateful morning. One morning in December of 1783, William Beadle killed his wife and their four children. After he murdered his entire family, Beadle slit his own throat, taking his own life. The William Beadle murder and suicide is the first document case of such in the history of the United States of America.

10 Forgotten Stories About Colonial Americans
Ethan Allen, Biography.com

The Real Ethan Allen

Today when you think of the name Ethan Allen you probably think of the furniture store. However, while the store is named after this Ethan Allen, he had nothing to do with furniture. In fact, Ethan Allen was a revolutionary hero. On top of that, Ethan Allen was also the founder of Vermont, a politician, land speculator, and wore many other hats. Ethan Allen was born during the year 1738 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Throughout his life, Ethan was known as a rebel-rouser, or someone who liked to stir up large groups of people for his own entertainment.

With being known as a rebel-rouser his whole life, it is no surprise that Ethan would fight in every war during his life. He first joined the military during the French and Indian war. After this war, Ethan settled in what is now known as Vermont. However, during Ethan’s time, New York and New Hampshire were claiming the land as their own. In 1770, New York ruled that New Hampshire Grants were invalid and therefore the land did not belong to them. In response, a group known as the Green Mountain Boys came together to stop New York from taking their land. The leader of this group was Ethan.

Once the American Revolution started in 1775, the Green Mountain Boys turned to supporting the American Colonies. Ethan Allen, along with Benedict Arnold, led the group in capturing Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Believing they could do more, the group tried to capture Montreal but failed. This failure led to the capture of Ethan and being sent off to spend two years in the Cornwall, England prison. After his release, Ethan returned to Vermont, which was not part of the United States or British America. In response, Ethan tried to negotiate with Canada, however, this only made him untrustworthy to everyone else. Ethan died in his Vermont home in 1789, two years before Vermont joined the United States.