144
144
Putnam, Israel, as Continental General
Estimate
3,5005,000
LOT SOLD. 4,688 USD
JUMP TO LOT
144
Putnam, Israel, as Continental General
Estimate
3,5005,000
LOT SOLD. 4,688 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

|
New York

Putnam, Israel, as Continental General
Letter signed ("Israel Putnam"), 2 pages on a bifolium (12 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.; 318 x 190 mm), Princeton, [New Jersey], 21 January 1777, to the Council of Safety in Philadelphia, docketed on address page "from General Putnam Princeton 21 Jan[ua]ry 1777"; formerly folded, second leaf inlaid, two blank portions of address leaf mended. Light blue half-morocco drop-box, gilt-stamped title on spine, with an engraved portrait of the general laid in and the Copley bookplate.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Literature

Hazard, Samuel, ed., Pennsylvania Archives, vol. 5 (1853), p. 196; and partially printed in M.L. Montgomery, History of Berks County (1894), vol. 1, pp. 112-113

Catalogue Note

When the British withdrew after Washington's victories at Trenton (26 December 1776) and Princeton (3 January 1777), Putnam  was put in command of the American wing posted at Princeton. Both armies were in want of supplies, and General Putnam reports to the Council on desertions and on a skirmish with a British foraging party.

"Capt. Echard [Conrad Eckert, 1741–1791] and Capt. Fisher of Berks County have just informed me that their Companies have run away to a Man, except Lieut. Wright & a drum. I hope Gentlemen, no Pains or Cost will be spared to apprehend these Men and bring them back to their Duty. I think it is of the last importance that this spirit of Desertion should be crush'd in its Infancy & the Militia taught that there is a Power than can & will detain them." Putnam advises as part punishment, an extension of their enlistment terms or "we shall in a few Days have not a Man of the Militia left."

"A foraging party of the Enemy of about 1000 men came Yesterday as far as Somerset Court House with 200 Waggons & 4 field pieces —they collected 6 or 700 Head of Cattle had plundered Fowls, Hams, Butter, Cheese etc. when a small party of the Jersey Militia posted near that place attacked them and obliged them to give way ... they were most seasonably reinforced to the Amount of about 400 in all, renewed the attack and put them to flight, retook the whole of their plunder, with about 50 waggons & 100 horses, many of them English, and eight prisoners."

The JAMES S. COPLEY LIBRARY: MAGNIFICENT AMERICAN HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS: FIRST SELECTION

|
New York