- Michael A. Bellesiles
Fay, Jonas (28 January 1737–06 March 1818), frontier revolutionary leader, was born in Hardwick, Massachusetts, the son of Stephen Fay and Ruth Child, farmers and tavernkeepers. After serving briefly in the Seven Years’ War as a clerk, Fay trained himself in the practice of medicine. In 1766 he moved with his family to the frontier town of Bennington, where his father opened the Catamount Tavern, a famous center for radical political action. From 1750 until 1775 the Green Mountain region lay at the center of a jurisdictional conflict between New York and New Hampshire, both of which held charter rights to the area. Jonas Fay quickly became a key participant in the separatist movement seeking to negate the claims of both provinces, serving as secretary of the extralegal conventions that eventually created the state of Vermont. A member of the Green Mountain Boys, Fay was present at the capture of Fort Ticonderoga and served as a surgeon in ...