Federal agents killed battling smugglers in 1808 to be honored

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is going to be honoring two federal agents killed in the line of duty battling smugglers carrying contraband along the Winooski River in Burlington 206 years ago.

In a ceremony on Sunday at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington's intervale, Customs and Border Protection will honor the agents killed on Aug. 8, 1808 in what became known as the Black Snake Affair.

A marker will be unveiled near the spot along the river where the agents, Vermont militiamen assigned to the Customs Service, were killed. A third man, a local farmer, was also killed.

The smugglers were loading the Lake Champlain ferry the Black Snake with potash that was destined for Canada in violation of a trade embargo with Great Britain.