Kidnapped! Rescued! Remember Baker remembered

By Tom Hughes

A public ceremony in Arlington, Vermont is planned for 2 p.m. on Monday, March 21, to commemorate the 250th anniversary of a historic and violent home invasion and the armed capture of a man named Remember Baker.

In the parking area, just across Ice Pond Road from the Federated Church of East Arlington, historians will be joined by local government leaders to honor the memory of Remember Baker, who survived a horrific break-in and abduction.  Baker was a Connecticut native and cousin to fellow Green Mountain Boys Ethan Allen and Seth Warner.  He was a husband to Desire, a father to young son Ozi, an Arlington miller and landowner, and a captain in the Green Mountain Boys, those legendary defenders of the land claims that had been granted by New Hampshire Governor Benning Wentworth.    

The program will be held outdoors but could move inside if the weather grows too wintery.  Starting at 2:00, local historian Bill Budde will describe the dramatic events of March 21, 1772.  After a welcome from representatives of Arlington town government, the state senators and the members of the Vermont house of representatives, who represent Arlington in the Vermont Legislature, will share brief comments.  A one-page Vermont legislative resolution will be read.  To close the ceremony, living history musket men will fire a salute in honor of Remember Baker and early Vermont’s brave defenders.

As part of the continuing land disputes between the New Hampshire Grants and New York, a posse of Yorkers under Justice John Munro attempted to collect the New York bounty on Green Mountain Boy Remember Baker at his cabin in east Arlington on March 21, 1772.  Awakened in the night and dressed in only his nightshirt, Baker attempted to defend his family with an ax.  In the ensuing scuffle, Baker’s thumb was severed by a Yorker sword, with Baker’s wife and son also sustaining injuries.  Attempting to draw off his attackers and elude capture, Baker jumped from the top story of his cabin but was captured, then transported towards Albany in the Province of New York.  Some Green Mountain Boys managed to catch up with the posse and rescue Baker who, three years later, tragically died a patriot hero early in the War for American Independence.

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