MRS. FRANCES MONTRESOR BUCHANAN

Frances, known as "Fanny," was the daughter of Widow Margaret Brush (Hall, gives her name as Margaret Montuzan; also called Margaret Montresor). Fanny was born on 4 Apr 1760. It is has been thought that she was the daughter of Capt. John Montresor. Fanny is said to have come to Westminster with her mother and her mother's new husband, Patrick Wall, probably between 1779 and 1783. Fanny was remembered by the people of Westminster as a "dashing" young woman.

"Fanny" married (1) Capt. JOHN BUCHANAN about 1776 at the age of sixteen (named Frances Buchanan, wife of Capt. Buchanan in will of Crean Brush, Boston, 1777). Buchanan was a British Naval Officer who died during the American Revolution.

Fanny married (2) as Frances Montresor to Gen. ETHAN ALLEN at the home of Gen. Stephen R. Bradley of Westminster VT on 16 Feb 1784 at the age of 24 in Westminster. Ethan, the son of Joseph and Mary (Baker) Allen, was born 10 Jan 1737/8 in Litchfield CT and died 12 Feb 1789. He married (1) MARY BROWNSON on 23 Jun 1762 Woodbury CT. Mary, the daughter of Cornelius Brownson died in 1783 in Sunderland, Bennington Co., VT and was buried in the Arlington VT Cemetery.

Fanny married (3) DR. HON. JABEZ PENNIMAN of Burlington VT on 28 Oct 1793 in Westminster.

Fairbanks gives us the following account of Mrs. Buchanan (p 588):

Mrs. Buchanan is spoken of as a "dashing woman," with an "imperious bearing," which attracted the attention of the quiet people of Westminster. She is said to have been a "fascinating woman, endowed with an ease of manner, which she had acquired from intercourse with polite society, and possessed of a refined taste and many accomplishments.

During one of his frequent visits to Westminster, Gen. Ethan Allen, who was at that time a widower, formed an acquaintance with Mrs. Buchanan, which afterwards "ripened into a warm, but singularly intermittent friendship."

John Norton, keeper of the tavern, playfully remarked to her one day, with reference to the prospective alliance, "Fanny, if you marry General Allen, you will be the queen of the new State." "Yes," she replied, "if I should marry the devil, I should be the queen of hell."

The aversion, however, with which she at times held the character of the man "whom all feared and few loved," appears to have given place to the admiration of his nobler traits, and she consented to become his wife. The novel wedding, which is admirably described by Mr. Hall, took place at the residence of Gen. Stephen R. Bradley, of Westminster.

"Thus did the step-daughter of Crean Brush become the wife of the man for whose apprehension Governor Tyron, at the instigation of Brush, had on the 9th of March 1774, offered a reward of 100 pounds sterling."

Fanny's Purse

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References:

Chandler, Thelma, "Ethan Allen," Branches & Twigs, Vol. 13:4, Autumn 1984, pp. 121-122.

Fairbanks, F. J., Rev. "The History of the East Parish," from The Double History of Westminster, Vermont, Abby Maria Hemenway, Editor (Chicago: Press of Jameson & Morse, 1885).

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