Delaware House of Representatives Release
Delawarean Allen McLane was one of the American Revolution’s most intriguing figures. A resident of what is present-day Smyrna, McLane was a daring cavalryman, spy, and a close confidant of General George Washington. In fact, commenting on McLane’s prowess as a horse soldier, Washington once reportedly said: “I would not do without him in the light corps — no, not for a thousand pounds.”
Yet despite his contributions, Allen McLane’s legacy has been one of obscurity.
“There is nothing in the state named for him,” said Tom Welch, a staffer in the Delaware Division of Museums who has made it his mission to see McLane recognized and remembered.
That effort is starting to bear fruit with the recent signing of Senate Joint Resolution 7, which urges all Delawareans to consider “appropriate means of honoring McLane’s memory in a lasting way” and to share those ideas with their elected officials.
State Senators Bruce Ennis (D-Smyrna) and Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) sponsored the measure that received bipartisan support in the General Assembly.
“Two of my children are teachers, so I have an insight into how important it is for us to educate our children about our early history,” said State Rep. Harvey Kenton (R-Milford), who attended the signing ceremony for the legislation at the Old Statehouse in Dover.
State Rep. Dave Wilson (R-Cedar Creek Hundred), also on hand for the event, said: “As one of the original 13 colonies, Delaware’s Colonial past is a special part of our heritage and it needs to be honored and preserved, otherwise it could be lost. Allen McLane is a good example of that. If not for the work of a handful of people, the key role he played in the Revolution might have been entirely forgotten. Fortunately, we have a chance to fix that oversight.”