Ethan Allen

Ethan Allen

Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
Color print of a trotting horse (Ethan Allen) pulling a wagon on a track.
A color print of a liver bay trotting horse with a harness pulling driver along a track.
Ethan Allen was foaled on June 18, 1849 by Joel W.Holcomb of Ticonderoga, NY. He was sired by Vermont Black Hawk, a distant descendant of the thoroughbred Messenger, and birthed by Poll. On the Holcomb farm, he was treated as a family pet, admiration that continued through his public career. Orville S. Roe of Shoreham, Vermont, bought half an interest in the colt, so during his earlier years, he was owned jointly by Holcomb and Roe. That was the beginning of his many owners. In 1862 he was sold to Frank Baker, who, after a time, sold him to Dan Mace and I. D. Walton. In 1866 he was purchased by J. E. Maynard of Boston, who sold him to Eph. Simmons, but afterwards bought him back, and again sold him, November 5th, 1868, to Wesley P. Balch of Boston, who in turn sold him to Col. H. S. Russell of Milton, Massachusetts. Ethan Allen was known for being the most handsome trotter in the races and had one of the longest racing careers, spanning 18 seasons. In 1853 he set the 4-year-old record of 2:36. In 1858 he reduced the stallion record to 2:28 for the mile. The great achievement of his life occurred on June 21, 1867, when, at age eighteen, and hitched with a running mate, he defeated Dexter, at the Fashion Course in Long Island in 2:15, 2:16 and 2:19. He won a total of 33 races, 22 in a single harness. His titles included Champion Trotting Stallion of the World, Champion of the World at Four Years of Age, and Champion of the World to Pole, with a best time of 2:25 ½. Ethan Allen was highly popular at stud, with his fees reaching $500. He produced six under 2:30 trotters. Ethan Allen died at Sprague and Akers Farm, owned by Colonel Amasa in Lawrence Kansas on September 10, 1876 at age 27 and was buried at the entrance of the trotting course in Kansas, with a monument to commemorate his career. Later, his skeleton was exhumed and displayed at the Museum of Natural History in Lawrence. He was inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1999 as an “Immortal.” The popular trotting horse weather vane was based upon his silhouette.
Haskell and Allen’s most memorable productions were their horse prints. A Boston based publisher of lithographs, the firm seems to have issued more large folio images than small. Haskell began as a print seller with Haskell and Ripley (1868) but in 1869 he began a partnership with George Allen. In 1873 they moved to 61 Hanover St in Boston where they prospered for a few years. They went bankrupt in 1878.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Haskell & Allen
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Boston
image: 8 in x 12 in; 20.32 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Peters Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object