John Brown, an American spy from Pittsfield, Massachusetts who had carried correspondence between revolutionary committees in the Boston area and Patriot supporters in Montreal, was well aware of the fort and its strategic value. Ethan Allen and other Patriots in the disputed New Hampshire Grants territory also recognized the fort's value, as it played a role in the dispute over that area between New York and New Hampshire. Whether either took or instigated action prior to the Connecticut Colony's recruitment efforts is unclear. Brown had notified the Massachusetts Committee of Safety in March of his opinion that Ticonderoga "must be seized as soon as possible should hostilities be committed by the King's Troops."
When Arnold arrived outside Boston, he told the Massachusetts Committee of Safety about the cannons and other military equipment at the lightly defended fort. On May 3, the Committee gave Arnold a colonel's commission and authorized him to command a "secret mission", which was to capture the fort. He was issued £100, some gunpowder, ammunition, and horses, and instructed to recruit up to 400 men, march on the fort, and ship back to Massachusetts anything he thought useful.
antique vintage pocket watches