What’s The Connection Between The Boston Tea Party and Amenia Union?
At the Annual Meeting of the Kent Historical Society on Sunday October 18, 2009, at 2:30pm in the Kent Town Hall, David Parker illuminated the life of Ethan Allen’s unsung sidekick and partner-in-rebellion – Dr. Thomas Young.
Mr. Parker, who has been researching the life of Thomas Young for many years, explained how the United States very well might not be the great free country we know today had it not been for the radical thoughts of Dr. Young.
As a very youthful physician, Thomas Young, aged 19, left his home on the western shores of the Hudson River and headed east to the little settlement on the northwest border of Kent. There he found lodging at the home of Captain Garret Winegar, a prominent German Palatine immigrant. Winegar was one of the leaders of a group of Palatines who settled in this area; his descendants moved to the Macedonia section of Kent where they were involved in the iron industry. Dr. Young learned to speak the Old Dutch language, and became physician to the Palatine community.
In 1762, the erudite young doctor was asked to name the growing village in the Oblong on the New York side of the state line. He came up with the word Amenia, which he said meant “pleasing” in Latin. He lived in Amenia Union, just inside the Connecticut border, for 12 years, practicing medicine, reading voraciously and developing a rather radical and rebellious way of looking at the world.
1762 was a fateful year not only for the hamlet of Amenia but for the American colonies as well. 1762 was the year in which Thomas Young met Ethan Allen, and found in him a kindred spirit with a well developed sense of rebellion against all powers that be.
This friendship would set Young on the trajectory that eventually took him from the Oblong Valley all the way to Boston and Philadelphia – the hot beds of the brewing American Revolution. Working with radicals such as Thomas Paine, and supported by Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Young set about to ensure that the colonies could not only break away from England but also establish an entirely new order of governance in the fledgling new country.